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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30 June, 2014

Laughing Stock Met Office…2007 “Peer-Reviewed” Global Temperature Forecast A Staggering Failure

Frank Bosse at Die kalte Sonne here puts the spotlight on a global warming forecast published by some British MetOffice scientists in 2007. It appeared in Science here.

The peer-reviewed paper was authored by Doug M. Smith and colleagues under the title: “Improved Surface Temperature Prediction for the Coming Decade from a Global Climate Model“.

Using sophisticated methods, the target of the paper was to forecast the temperature development from 2004 to 2014 while taking the internal variability into account.

The claims made in Smith’s study are loud and clear

    "…predict further warming during the coming decade, with the year 2014 predicted to be 0.30° ± 0.21°C [5 to 95% confidence interval (CI)] warmer than the observed value for 2004.

Furthermore, at least half of the years after 2009 are predicted to be warmer than 1998, the warmest year currently on record.“

Now that it’s 2014 and the observed data are in, we can compare to see how Smith et al did with their forecast. Boy, did they fail!

The following chart shows the actual result of the Smith et al forecast, showing the real observations since 1998:

Figure 2: Observed temperature development as to the MetOffice’s own data HadCRUT4 compared to the claims made in the Smith et al paper. The lower black line shows the linear trend of the observed results. The blue-gray lines show the confidence range of the forecast. The red line shows the linear trend of Smith et al. Chart modified from DkS.

Clearly we see that the Met Office observations show a cooling of 0.014°C over the 2004-2014 decade and is below even the forecast lower confidence limit. Moreover not a single year was warmer than 1998, despite having predicted at least three would be warmer.

According to Bosse, when the 2007 chart was published it was supposed to act as another nail in the coffin for global warming skeptics. The chart was even adopted by a German report titled: “Future information for the government.” Bosse writes:

    "Here one reads that ‘good decadal forecasts for policymaking and economy are very useful’ (page 6) … as long as they are ignored, one might add.”

Bosse calls the chart a fiasco because it falsely advised policymaking. Bosse adds:

    "Until today, since the first IPCC report of 1990, they have not made any progress when it comes to the central theme of climate prognoses: How many degrees Celsius of warming results from a doubling of Co2 concentration?”

Bosse writes that the 2007 Smith et al forecast failed neither to take known ocean cycles nor natural factors sufficiently into account and writes that the climate sensitivity value assumed by the IPCC must be reduced.

Now that 2007 is some years behind us, even Smith et al have realized their forecast was overinflated and so they produced a new paper which appeared last year. The latest by Smith has taken natural variability more into account and he is much more careful with prophecy-making. Still, the range of uncertainty the new paper offers makes it “more or less useless”, Bosse writes.

Figure 3: Latest forecast by Smith et al for global temperature until 2022 (Figure 8 of the aforementioned paper)

 Bosse concludes:

    "As long as man is unable to determine with the needed precision the role natural variability plays in our observed climate, calculating the impact of greenhouse gases will remain prophecy. Do you feel guilty that you are still using incandescent light bulbs? Don’t fret over it!"

We’ll be revisiting Smith’s newest forecast in about 5 years time. In the meantime we have to ask ourselves if these people will ever learn. Science can take only so much damage.


"War on mercury":  Update

by Dr Klaus L.E. Kaiser

Shortly after my recent post on the War on Mercury, the SETAC journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry published a series of articles on mercury in the environment. Most prescient among these is a paper by K. Vijayaraghavan and coworkers with the title “Response of fish tissue mercury in a freshwater lake to local, regional, and global changes in mercury emissions.“ epa logo

That paper concludes that fish mercury reductions may take 50 years to respond to any reduction in deposition such as from coal burning power plants in the U.S. It further states that recovery (I am not sure from what really) “could potentially be partially or completely offset by growth in non-U.S. mercury emissions.”

There you have it: The recently embarked upon “War on Mercury” by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not likely to result in any reduction of mercury levels in fish any time soon – if ever. Mercury is a Common Element in Nature Mercury is a common element in nature and is found in every rock, soil, and water sample; its abundance is similar to that of silver.

Naturally, mercury is also present in most organisms. Worldwide, annual “emissions” are estimated to be around 4,000 tons per year of which only 2% are from the U.S. and 60+% from natural sources (leachates of rocks and from volcanos). The accompanying picture from the SETAC paper demonstrates this clearly. It shows one of the worldwide mercury emission scenarios for the year 2050.

Even with the most stringent new “Mercury and Air Toxics Standards” (MATS) rules by EPA, the proportion of worldwide mercury emissions by the U.S. will not materially change nor will any reduction in fish mercury levels be measurable for years to come – if ever. As mentioned previously, EPA’s “War on Mercury” is a ruse. In reality it is a “War on Coal” which equates to a “War on Electric Power.”

The War on Electric Power

The war on electric power generation from fossil fuels, especially coal, is in full swing. You may have noticed it already when looking at your hydro bill but expect worse to come. Many of the existing power plants will not be able to accommodate additional demands placed upon them by MATS. Instead, they’ll simply plan to shut down entirely.

New coal-fired power plants are not being built for the same reasons. According to the same journal report, the total contribution of U.S. coal-fired power plants is only about 10% of all the mercury emissions in the country. If that is true then EPA is obviously giving coal a bad name and forgetting all other emissions. Therefore, it is clearly a political move not based on rational science.

The result can only be that electric power costs will continue to go up, more likely way up. Other Countries Other countries don’t care about mercury emissions and they are certainly not in the process of shutting down coal power plants. In fact, China and India are building new ones at a rate of one per week. Or, they are going full steam ahead with new nuclear power plants, like France and also China and India.

In other countries, like South Africa abundant coal is used to create both cheap electric power and automotive fuel via the Fischer-Tropsch process. No wonder, the world’s coal consumption is still rising steadily. EPA’s MATS rules are a costly exercise in futility.


Media Hype ‘Risky Business’ Climate Campaign, Forget Their Past Attacks on Former Treasury Secretary

When a bad guy becomes a good guy

Apparently journalists are happy to forgive when they agree with their former opponents.

Henry M. Paulson, Jr., Secretary of the Treasury under President George W. Bush, wrote an op-ed in The New York Times on June 22, warning of the financial risks of climate change. Soon afterward, Paulson was publicly joined by billionaire liberal donors Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg in the “Risky Business” campaign to highlight the alleged “economic risks of climate change in the United States.”

As media outlets clamored to promote the trio’s work, they failed to mention Paulson had long been demonized for his role in the financial crisis. The media also turned a blind eye to the campaign’s funding by liberal billionaires.

The Times, The Washington Post, Time Magazine and other publications touted this new “bipartisan report” and praised Paulson for promoting climate alarmism. But those reports ignored millions of dollars from liberal donors and their own previous criticism of Paulson as “blameworthy” and one of the “villains of the financial crisis.”

In the Times, Paulson predicted a coming “climate crash” which he compared to the “devastating” financial crisis of 2008. “This is a crisis we can’t afford to ignore. I feel as if I’m watching as we fly in slow motion on a collision course toward a giant mountain,” he wrote. Ironically, Paulson called upon his past experience with financial crises, saying “I was secretary of the Treasury when the credit bubble burst, so I think it’s fair to say that I know a little bit about risk, assessing outcomes and problem-solving.”

Serving as the Treasury secretary from 2006 to 2009, Paulson developed and orchestrated the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP), bailing out major banks after the 2008 crisis. He also served as CEO of Goldman Sachs for seven years before working in the Bush administration.

Just two days after his op-ed, Paulson and a group of former government officials and billionaires released an economic report, forecasting climate change’s economic damage. This new project was chaired by Paulson, as well as billionaire climate alarmist Steyer and former New York City mayor and billionaire Bloomberg.

Major media outlets seized on this report and promoted its conclusions without questioning the report or its authors. Time Magazine’s Dan Kedmey claimed “rising seas and extreme weather could lead to billions of dollars in economic losses,” and Reuters’ Sharon Begley predicted “the price tag could soar to hundreds of billions by 2100.” Meanwhile the Post’s Steven Mufson warned of “extreme heat and rising sea levels linked to climate change.”

Other outlets praised the report’s authors as prestigious or knowledgeable. The Huffington Post’s Kate Sheppard referred to them as “a group of people who know a thing or two about making and losing money.” The Times’ Justin Gillis described the authors as “a coalition of senior political and economic figures from left, right and center, including three Treasury secretaries stretching back to the Nixon administration.”

But many of these same outlets were highly critical of Paulson during the 2008 financial crisis, but didn’t mention past criticism.

The Times’ Gretchen Morgenson and Don Van Natta Jr., in August 2009, wrote that “Paulson’s Calls to Goldman Tested Ethics” and described suspicious correspondence between Paulson as Treasury secretary and his former employer Goldman Sachs.

Similarly, Time Magazine listed Paulson as one of “25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis” and said “he was late to the party in battling the financial crisis” was wrong in “letting Lehman Brothers fail” and called the bank bailout he advocated “a wasteful mess.” Finally, a Daily Finance article described Paulson as one of “Seven Villains of the Financial Crisis.”

Few media outlets even called attention to the massive amount of liberal money behind “Risky Business” with Steyer and Bloomberg as co-chairs. Steyer, who’s worth $1.6 billion according to Forbes, pledged $100 million to push climate alarmism in 2014. His wealth pales in comparison to Bloomberg’s $34.2 billion, according to Forbes. Bloomberg has also spent heavily on climate-related causes. In 2011, he pledged $50 million to the liberal Sierra Club in order to “shut down coal-fired power plants,” according to the Times.


New Paper: Ground Thermometers Prove H2O, N2 and O2 control Climate – NOT CO2

by Dr Darko Butina

The theory of dangerous anthropogenic (man-made) global warming was invented in the early 1980s and describes Earth as some virtual planet where temperatures have oscillated +/- 0.6C around the mean of 14.0C since the 1880s. thermometer All temperatures below 14.0C (13.4C to 14.0C) were declared ‘normal’ by a clique of climate scientists, while temperatures between 14.0C to 14.6C were deemed ‘abnormal’.

In effect, all life on this virtual planet exists at a total range of 1.2C. However, all the ‘evidence’ for global warming is based on a purely theoretical number called ‘global average temperature,’ which is yet another proxy thermometer used by all climate scientists and related papers published since 1980.

However, the temperatures of air actually measured by real thermometers vary between -70.0C and +50.0C, with a total range of 120.0C! The travesty of it all is that the notion of a global average temperature has been used by the climate community in the last 30 years without showing any scepticism in the validity of its use, and despite the fact all other sciences and the general public use thermometers as a measure of temperature.

In my first paper on the subject of air temperature, Butina 2012, I showed that it is impossible to differentiate annual temperature patterns of the 1800s from those in the 1900s and 2000s. Furthermore, it was clearly shown that the ‘hockey stick’ graph scenario published by Mann et al., in 1998, cannot be found in daily tmax/tmin data and that the ‘hockey stick’ scenario is a simple artefact of this non-existent global average temperature applied as if it was a ‘thermometer’. It must follow that any model that per se uses global average temperature as an input has to be wrong.

My second and latest paper entitled “Quantifying the effect that N2, O2 and H2O have on night-to-day warming trends at ground level” is demonstrating the power of instrumental-based data, specifically calibrated thermometers, and the importance of knowing and understanding the functioning of the thermometer and the physicochemical properties of molecules.

So let us first go back to basics and start with the thermometer and the information that is embedded in the thermometer’s readings. The operation of a calibrated thermometer is based on the thermal equilibrium between two sets of molecules – the molecules inside the thermometer, mercury (Hg) for example, and the molecules surrounding the thermometer (air or water):


Sneaky Penguins

 by Dr Klaus L.E. Kaiser

Who would have thought it: The Emperor penguin colony located near Pointe Géologie in Antarctica has been observed for more than 60 years. In the 1970s, the number of penguins in the colony declined by 50 percent. Researcher groups had earlier expressed fear that the penguins are not able to survive the (supposedly) warming temperatures in the region. emperor penguins

Now a research team lead by the University of Minnesota has found evidence that the penguins are simply shifting their place. Sort of like you hiding in the shade of a tree or house when the sun is shining too hot or hiding behind a wind break when the breeze is too cold. In other words, they just moved to a more hospitable area.

The scientists concluded that “the penguins are more adaptable and smarter than previously thought.” Given the recent record advance of ice cover in the Antarctic, it is more likely than not that the penguins were actually trying to get better shelter from the biting cold than any torching heat. Well, at 50 F below I would be inclined to seek better shelter too and would tell the global warming believers to go to the nearest expletive.


Another Wind Farm horror story from Denmark

Evidence from Denmark of mass farming livestock deaths due to wind turbine low frequency noise pollution is now growing alarmingly.  We recently reported mass deaths at the mink farm of Kaj Bank Olesen. In a latest update he now complains that, when the wind blows from the South West (where the nearby wind turbines are), mother minks attack their own puppies – those that were born healthy after the 1,600 miscarriages of last month (1). mink farm

As a result of their wounds, over twenty puppies had to be put down, and 40 put in observation.

Online news agency BREITBART reported on this new mishap, the third one since the wind turbines started to operate in September 2013: More-Deaths-Linked-to-Wind-Turbines-near-Danish-Mink-Farm The news last fall of the first incident – minks attacking each other – was published by two Danish newspapers (1). That of the second tragedy, last month – the 1,600 miscarriages – was only covered outside Denmark (2). It’s not surprising: the wind industry is arguably the little kingdom’s first employer and exporter, and its influence is felt everywhere in Denmark, e.g. in the media, in government, and in scientific circles such as universities (3). Thus, by not publishing the shocking story, editors effectively protected the giant multinational company VESTAS, which manufactures wind turbines.

But this changed last Saturday, when local media AOH.Dk published online an article about the Olesen fur farm: “It happened two weeks ago. Minks began to bite their puppies and each other” writes the author Jesper Wind (4). He then makes reference to the earlier tragedy: “… since they [the wind turbines] began to spin last fall, the number of stillbirths and deformed puppies increased fivefold, says Kaj Olesen Bank.” And the article continues: “The proportion of females that refused to mate has quadrupled as compared to last year, when there were no wind turbines behind his mink farm.”

The AOH article ends by an invitation to read more on the story in the printed newspaperHerning Folkeblad, which covers news from central Jutland (5). So the news is well out of the bag now: it can no longer be ignored, published as it is by Danish media and going viral on the Net. Actually, mainstream editors from the rest of the world may still decide to hush it up, in spite of the deleterious implications such a decision would have on public health. But WCFN doesn’t think they would do something so unethical.

Scientific evidence has been accumulating since the eighties, proving that low-frequency vibrations emitted by wind turbines are harmful. Vested interests still react by asserting that the Wind Turbine Syndrome is “all in the head” – i.e. a nocebo effect. But this dubious argument no longer gets any traction when we see animals being affected, becoming aggressive, developing deformities, or even dying en masse (6) when exposed 24h a day to heavy doses of these vibrations.

The wind industry and their friends in government are highly embarrassed by the news WCFN broke to the world earlier this month: 1,600 miscarriages at fur farm near wind turbines/

Hence the efforts to hide it, just as "they"covered up the true extent of the massacres of raptors, swallows, swifts and bats. Sadly, the mainstream media have often helped industrial and political interests to hush up inconvenient news. But this is a different kettle of fish: if wind turbines can cause deformities in minks, sheep, cattle and horses (7), they can obviously cause similar effects in human populations living near them. It would be downright criminal to hide this from the public.



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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29 June, 2014

No denying climate change deniers

The article below accepts "Steve Goddard's" claims that Warmists have fudged the temperature data.  Some readers however may be aware that prominent skeptic Anthony Watts has criticized Goddard's claims.  Reading Watts in detail is however a little amusing.  He agrees that the Warmists have misrepresented the data but says that was by accident and not deliberate.  I smell Koolaid.  I have previously suspected that Watts wants to be loved by the Warmist experts (e.g. when he warned Warmists that outsiders could get into their computer files)  and I think that this confirms it.  Otherwise he would have written his article to say:  "Yes.  Goddard's analyses were unsophisticated but his conclusions stand up nevertheless"

People who refuse to drink the Kool-Aid known as global warming-climate change are not just “deniers”; we are guilty of a “nihilistic refusal” to address the issue. So says a Washington Post editorial commenting favorably on Monday’s Supreme Court ruling that allows the Environmental Protection Agency, under certain limits, to proceed under the Clean Air Act to regulate major sources of greenhouse-gas emissions.

The actual nihilists are those who refuse to accept any scientific information that undermines their claim that the globe is warming and humans are responsible for it. Cults are like that. Regardless of evidence contradicting their beliefs, cultists persist in blind faith.

Sometimes one must look to sources outside the U.S. to get a better perspective on what is happening.

The London Daily Telegraph’s Christopher Booker, author of “The Real Global Warming Disaster,” writes of climate change denier Steve Goddard’s U.S. blog Real Science, which he says shows “ shamelessly manipulated has been one of the world’s most influential climate records, the graph of U.S. surface temperature records published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).” Goddard, Booker adds, illustrates “, in recent years, NOAA’s U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) has been ‘adjusting’ its record by replacing real temperatures with data ‘fabricated’ by computer models. The effect of this has been to downgrade earlier temperatures and to exaggerate those from recent decades to give the impression that the Earth has been warming up much more than is justified by the actual data.”

Goddard compared the most recently published graphs with “those based only on temperatures measured at the time.” He concludes: “The U.S. has actually been cooling since the ‘30s, the hottest decade on record; whereas the latest graph, nearly half of it based on ‘fabricated’ data, shows it to have been warming at a rate equivalent to more than 3 degrees centigrade per century.”

If that isn’t a smoking gun, what is?

Last month, President Obama issued a proclamation for “National Hurricane Preparedness Week.” He said, “As the climate continues to warm, hurricane intensity and rainfall are projected to increase.”

Except many believe the climate is not continuing to warm (see above) and that there has been no significant warming for 17 years (see more at As for hurricanes, USA Today reported last month: “...the nation is enjoying two record streaks for a lack of hurricanes: It’s been nine years since the last hit from a ‘major’ hurricane and also nine years since a hurricane of any sort hit Florida, traditionally the most hurricane-prone state in the nation. ... A ‘major’ hurricane is a Category 3, 4, or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale of Hurricane Intensity; the minimum wind speed for a major hurricane is 111 mph.” (Despite its fury and the high death toll, Hurricane Sandy’s wind speeds did not fall under the official category of a “major” hurricane when it touched down.)

The global warmers are the ones refusing to discuss, debate or even mention the growing body of science questioning and in increasing instances disproving their theories. They also mostly ignore news of manipulated climate models and the serious concerns of scientists who no longer believe the climate is changing significantly.

Many in the media, including some newspaper editorial pages, refuse to broadcast or print information that challenges and in some cases refutes arguments about global warming, claiming it is “settled science.” It is nothing of the kind, as any open-minded person can see by a simple Google search.

This is about government gaining more control over the lives of its citizens. Already they are in our bathrooms, our cars, our light bulbs and so many other areas that have the cumulative effect of encroaching on our freedoms. Government is not the final arbiter of truth, yet the global-warming cultists worship at its shrine.

Polls show the public has far greater concerns. An April Gallup Poll affirms previous findings: “...warming has generally ranked last among Americans’ environmental worries each time Gallup has measured them with this question over the years.”

So exactly who are the real nihilists and deniers?


The Three Faces of Sustainability

Paul Driessen

Pressure from the United Nations, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and environmental activists to promote “sustainable” development has led to “economically harmful and environmentally counterproductive” policies that have resulted in completely unsustainable practices, writes environmental expert Paul Driessen in a new report for The Heartland Institute.

The failure to define exactly what true sustainability is “gives unelected regulators increasing control over energy use, economic growth, and all other aspects of life,” writes Driessen. Both wealthy and economically depressed regions of the world are pressured to avoid developing coal, oil, natural gas, hydroelectric power, and nuclear power despite evidence showing them to be “the only abundant, reliable, and affordable sources of energy.” Such anti-energy policies “perpetuate poverty for developing countries and reduce living standards in wealthier countries.”

In “The Three Faces of Sustainability,” Driessen calls for “true sustainable development” that “improves living standards instead of paying mere lip service to them.” This requires “allowing people the freedom to develop and use new technologies and best practices that conserve resources, reduce waste and pollution, and give people incentives to choose the most efficient energy and mineral sources and to abandon them once better ones are found.”

He concludes,

    Wise resource use is consistent with sustainable development because the creative human mind – what economist Julian Simon called the ultimate resource – will continue to devise new technologies and new ways of finding and extracting important natural resources. We will never lack the resources needed to continue improving lives, unless misguided activists, politicians, and regulators succeed in placing those resources off-limits. Our most valuable natural resources are not endangered or approaching exhaustion under any reasonable analysis. ... In sharp contrast, political sustainability impedes efforts to improve lives, protect the planet, and prolong resource availability for current and future generations.

Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For a Constructive Tomorrow and a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute. His articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, Investor’s Business Daily, and numerous other newspapers and magazines, and on websites around the world.


Plastic Bag Bans Will Cost You

When municipal officials started to impose bans on lightweight plastic shopping bags, it seemed like the latest attempt to inflict a little pain on consumers — a mostly symbolic effort to make us feel like we were "doing something" to save the planet.

But as a statewide plastic bag bill advances in the assembly, it's clear it also largely is about money — about protecting some industries and trying to shift around the costs of waste disposal and clean up.

S.B. 270 "prohibits retail stores from providing single-use carryout bags to customers, and requires retail stores to provide only reusable grocery bags for no less than 10 cents per bag," according to the state assembly's analysis. It also provides $2 million in grants and loans to help manufacturers convert their facilities and to pay for recycling efforts.

In his fact sheet, the bill's sponsor, Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, argues that 88 percent of the 13 billion high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic bags retailers hand out each year are not recycled, that it costs the state more than $25 million a year to dispose of the waste and that such bags kill birds, turtles and other species.

Yet we all need to get groceries home from the store, so we must place them into some sort of bag. The American Progressive Bag Alliance, representing manufacturers of HDPE bags, sent around a different, heavier kind of plastic bag allowed under the bill. The group claims that it takes five times as much energy to produce these thicker bags that are similar to the kind used in department stores.

"S.B. 270 is not about the environment," the alliance argues. "It's a scam … to enrich the California Grocers Association to the tune of billions of dollars in bag fees at the expense of 2,000 hard-working Californians." Grocers could pocket as much as $189 million a year from the new bag fees, according to a bag manufacturer's study, although grocers dispute that and may face additional costs to revamp their checkout stands and to store and transport these bigger bags.

If S.B. 270 becomes law, Californians also will rely more heavily on those heavy non-woven polypropylene bags (NWPP) that stores often decorate with logos and sell for about a dollar. These are made from oil rather than natural gas, so critics note that a ban of lighter bags could harm efforts to address global warming.

This can get pretty confusing, but the main goal of S.B. 270's supporters is to force consumers to shift to something reusable, so that they toss away fewer bags. I take issue with the term "single use" plastic bags, given that most of us reuse these light, cheap bags we now get — to dispose of cat litter, to curb the dog during walks, to line our wastebaskets. It's hard to believe that the new reusable bags or paper bags will be reused a lot more than these supposedly non-reusable ones.

A new study from the libertarian Reason Foundation notes that S.B. 270's supporters do not account for the energy use needed to clean the heavier types of bags and that consumers are unlikely to reuse them enough to pay for their additional costs.

The California Department of Public Health, Reason notes, warns consumers to clean and sanitize these bags frequently to avoid the outbreaks of food-borne illness caused by, say, reusing a bag that had been used to bring home meats, but has since sat in the hot car trunk. This means additional water, detergent and electricity use (not to mention time).

Reason wonders whether this effort is worthwhile. "Contrary to some claims made by advocates of plastic bag bans, plastic bags constitute a minuscule proportion of all litter," the report explains. Miniscule means about 0.6 percent of the nation's "visible" litter.

In an interview Friday, Sen. Padilla told me that this isn't just a new idea, but it's something that has noticeably reduced the waste stream in cities that have implemented it. He calls concerns about health risks "overblown."

If so, that's good news. But if S.B. 270 passes, Californians will face many new annoyances and costs, with Reason pegging the cost of California bag-bans on consumers at more than $1 billion a year. So at least no one can call this "cheap" feel-good legislation.


Endangered Bird Forces Duxbury To Cancel 4th Of July Celebration

The town of Duxbury has cancelled what was an annual 4th of July beach bonfire celebration.

The endangered piping plover bird has moved-in and there are at least 24 nests on Duxbury Beach. There are large areas of the beach that are restricted. The town’s July 4th committee said usually a couple thousand people attend the celebration and there is no way to ensure the nests will not get trampled, so the bonfire is cancelled.

“The plovers are federally protected. We have to follow the law,” said Margaret Kearney, Duxbury 4th of July activities committee
This is the 2nd year the plover’s presence cancelled the party.

Last year, 17 nests were on the beach.  “They tend to come back to the siame area and every year they hope to grow or maintain the population,” said Missy Battista, co-manager of Duxbury Beach.

In 2013, the committee moved the bonfire to another location, but there was little interest.

Most Duxbury residents said they understand the need to cancel the bonfire for the bird. Since the birds return every year, the committee said next year they’ll consider a new tradition of having the beach bonfire at another time.


EPA Chief: Costly 'Clean Power Plan' Gives Americans 'More Opportunities to Reduce Waste'

 Sure, the EPA's new pollution rules will raise the cost of electricity, forcing many Americans to use less of it. But don't think of it as a price hike.

"It's actually about providing (Americans) more opportunities to reduce waste," EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told Congress on Wednesday. Under the EPA's demand-reduction scenario, Americans can retrofit their homes and buy more energy-efficient appliances, she said.

This, in turn, will create jobs in government-approved industries.

The sweeping EPA plan announced earlier this month sets carbon-reduction targets for each state, then allows states to decide how to meet those targets, either on their own or in partnership with other states.

McCarthy said many states will choose the most "cost-effective strategy," which is to reduce consumer demand for electricity:

But that means raising the cost of electricity, Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) told McCarthy: "EPA has said the rule will not increase the cost of electricity, but under this proposed rule, the cost of electricity per kilowatt hour will actually increase. Isn't that correct?"

"Well, we have indicated that the monthly cost of electricity at its peak will be somewhere around a gallon-of-milk cost," McCarthy said. "But we also recognize that when demand-side reduction is used -- which is the easiest, quickest and usually the preferred approach of states -- that it actually reduces the bill itself."

"But it reduces it based upon Americans using less electricity, not the fact that the cost of electricity goes down, but making it impossible for Americans to use electricity as they ought to be allowed to use electricity," Walberg said.

"Actually, the amount of increase in the rates is well within the range of fluctuation that we have been seeing," McCarthy replied. "And so we are quite convinced that--"

"Through Scarcity! Through Scarcity!," Walberg interrupted. "That's happening in my district. That's through scarcity. The push is to reduce electricity by saying to the consumer, don't use electricity. It's not by reducing the cost of production of it."

"It's actually about providing them more opportunities to reduce waste," McCarthy said.

Walberg also pressed McCarthy on whether the Clean Air Act gives EPA the authority to regulate American electricity consumption.

"We're not suggesting that we do regulate that. We are regulating pollution at the source," she said.

The Clean Air Plan requires states to meet certain pollution reduction goals by 2030. The EPA says that will result in 30 percent less pollution from the fossil fuel sector -- mainly coal -- across the U.S. when compared with 2005 levels.

EPA says the plan improves the health of the planet and the people who inhabit it.

"The first year that these standards go into effect, we’ll avoid up to 100,000 asthma attacks and 2,100 heart attacks -- and those numbers go up from there," McCarthy said in a speech on June 2. "That means lower medical bills and fewer trips to the emergency room, especially for those most vulnerable like our children, our elderly, and our infirm. This is about environmental justice, too, because lower income families, and communities of color are hardest hit."

But it's also about creating jobs in industries that liberals like:

"Well, we know that this will actually create thousand of jobs, and those jobs are going to be created in the clean energy economy," McCarthy said at Wednesday's hearing. "We are talking about jobs both related to renewable energy as well as the wealth of energy-efficiency programs. If you're heavily reliant on coal, it also can be expenditures that you make at those facilities to deliver that energy more efficiently. So there's a lot of choices that states can make here."

McCarthy said every state should be able to reach the goals the EPA has set for them. "This is not a stretch goal for any state -- it's an opportunity to turn climate risk into business opportunity, job growth and economic growth."

Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass.) applauded the government's effort to remake the nation's energy landscape:

"It seems pretty clear that you're giving an incentive for states to put in more solar panels, erect more wind turbines, weatherize more homes, install more energy-efficient appliances and machinery. I mean, this is the direction we're heading -- these are jobs that pay well, they can't be exported, they're here to stay, is that right?" he asked.

"That's exactly right," McCarthy agreed.


Britain's green energy cost hits record high as expensive turbines built at sea

The cost of generating green electricity has hit a record high as subsidies are handed to expensive offshore wind farms and household solar panels, new figures show.

The annual bill for consumers to subsidise renewable technologies has soared to more than £2.5bn as more turbines are built and households install panels on their roofs.

But new figures show that the average cost for each unit of green electricity has also increased, hitting a record high of £66.97 per MWh in 2012-13, the most recent period for which figures are available.

The figure was a rise from £54.26 the year before, despite pledges from ministers to bear down on the costs of green energy.

The increase reflects the drive to build wind turbines at sea, which receive roughly twice as much subsidy as those built onshore, where wind farms have proved increasingly controversial.

Subsidies paid to energy companies for this kind of large-scale project reached £2bn, from £1.5bn a year before.

The new figures also reflect the rush by tens of thousands of households to install solar panels on their roofs at generous subsidy levels before ministers cut support in March 2012. The bill for this kind of small-scale subsidy leapt to £500m in 2012-13, from £150m the year before.

Dr John Constable, director of Renewable Energy Foundation, a UK charity that has long been critical of the costs of the renewables targets, said: “DECC is subsidising renewables to meet arbitrary and over-ambitious EU targets, so it was inevitable that we would move rapidly up the cost curve once the ‘cheaper' opportunities had either been fully developed like landfill gas or exceeded the limits of public acceptability like onshore wind.”

He added: “Subsidy costs are now spiralling out of control - the annual burn is about £3bn a year and rising fast. There still is a good case for experimenting with renewables, but building so much capacity when the whole sector is still fundamentally uneconomic is bound to end in tears.”

A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: “As we move closer to achieving the government’s renewables target it is inevitable we will start using more expensive forms of renewable energy such as offshore wind, which can be deployed at far greater scale than other renewable technologies. By supporting these technologies now we are driving down their costs.

“Nonetheless the support levels for each technology are coming down over time and our analysis suggests household electricity bills will be on average £41 lower per year between 2014-30 compared to meeting the our targets using current measures.”



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 June, 2014

Sea level only creeping up

There are considerable difficulties in measuring sea level  -- particularly when changes are small.  A big issue is whether land itself is also rising or falling.  Swedish sea-level Nils Axel Morner has been working on the problems involved for many years.  In his latest paper he has found a geologically very stable area that includes 3 tide gauges. Using these gauges, he shows that sea levels have risen only about half an inch over the last 125 years

Deriving the Eustatic Sea Level Component in the Kattaegatt Sea

Author: Nils-Axel Mörner


Changes in global sea level is an issue of much controversy. In the Kattegatt Sea, the glacial isostatic component factor is well established and the axis of tilting has remained stable for the last 8000 years. At the point of zero regional crustal movements, there are three tide gauges indicating a present rise in sea level of 0.8 to 0.9 mm/yr for the last 125 years. This value provides a firm record of the regional eustatic rise in sea level in this part of the globe.


Never-Ending Green Disasters

    by Viv Forbes
Newton’s 3rd law of motion, if applied to bureaucracy, would state: “Whenever politicians attempt to force change on a market, the long-big-govt-term results will be equal and opposite to those intended”.

This law explains the never-ending Green energy policy disasters.

Greens have long pretended to be guardians of wild natural places, but their legislative promotion of ethanol biofuel has resulted in massive clearance of tropical forests for palm oil, sugar cane and soy beans.  Their policies have also managed to covert cheap food into expensive motor fuel and degraded land devoted to bush, pastures or crops into mono-cultures of corn for bio-fuel. This has wasted water, increased world hunger and corrupted the political process for zero climate benefits.

Greens also pretend to be protectors of wildlife and habitat but their force-feeding of wind power has uglified wild places and disturbed peaceful neighbourhoods with noisy windmills and networks of access roads and transmission lines. These whirling bird-choppers kill thousands of raptors and bats without attracting the penalties that would be applied heavily to any other energy producers – all this damage to produce trivial amounts of intermittent, expensive and blackout-prone electricity supplies.

Greens have long waged a vicious war on coal, but their parallel war on nuclear power and the predictably intermittent performance of wind/solar energy has forced power generators to turn to hydro-carbon gases to backup green power. But Greens have also made war on shale-gas fracking – this has left countries like Germany with no option but to return to reliable economical coal, or increase their usage of Russian gas and French nuclear power. Their war on coal has lifted world coal usage to a 44 year high.

Greens also say they support renewable energy, but they oppose any expansion of hydro-power, the best renewable energy option. For example, they scuppered the Gordon-below-Franklin hydro-electric project, which would have given Tasmania everlasting cheap green electricity. But they never mention their awkward secret – the Basslink under-sea cable goes to Loy Yang power station in Victoria and allows Tasmania to import coal-powered electricity from the mainland.

Robbie Burns warned us over 200 years ago:

“The best laid schemes of Mice and Men
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!”


No Denying Climate Change Deniers

People who refuse to drink the Kool-Aid known as global warming-climate change are not just "deniers"; we are guilty of a "nihilistic refusal" to address the issue. So says a Washington Post editorial commenting favorably on Monday's Supreme Court ruling that allows the Environmental Protection Agency, under certain limits, to proceed under the Clean Air Act to regulate major sources of greenhouse-gas emissions.

The actual nihilists are those who refuse to accept any scientific information that undermines their claim that the globe is warming and humans are responsible for it. Cults are like that. Regardless of evidence contradicting their beliefs, cultists persist in blind faith.

Sometimes one must look to sources outside the U.S. to get a better perspective on what is happening.

The London Daily Telegraph’s Christopher Booker, author of "The Real Global Warming Disaster," writes of climate change denier Steve Goddard's U.S. blog Real Science, which he says shows " shamelessly manipulated has been one of the world's most influential climate records, the graph of U.S. surface temperature records published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)." Goddard, Booker adds, illustrates ", in recent years, NOAA's U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) has been 'adjusting' its record by replacing real temperatures with data 'fabricated' by computer models. The effect of this has been to downgrade earlier temperatures and to exaggerate those from recent decades to give the impression that the Earth has been warming up much more than is justified by the actual data."

Goddard compared the most recently published graphs with "those based only on temperatures measured at the time." He concludes: "The U.S. has actually been cooling since the '30s, the hottest decade on record; whereas the latest graph, nearly half of it based on 'fabricated' data, shows it to have been warming at a rate equivalent to more than 3 degrees centigrade per century."

If that isn't a smoking gun, what is?

Last month, President Obama issued a proclamation for “National Hurricane Preparedness Week." He said, "As the climate continues to warm, hurricane intensity and rainfall are projected to increase."

Except many believe the climate is not continuing to warm (see above) and that there has been no significant warming for 17 years (see more at As for hurricanes, USA Today reported last month: "...the nation is enjoying two record streaks for a lack of hurricanes: It's been nine years since the last hit from a 'major' hurricane and also nine years since a hurricane of any sort hit Florida, traditionally the most hurricane-prone state in the nation. ... A 'major' hurricane is a Category 3, 4, or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale of Hurricane Intensity; the minimum wind speed for a major hurricane is 111 mph." (Despite its fury and the high death toll, Hurricane Sandy's wind speeds did not fall under the official category of a "major" hurricane when it touched down.)

The global warmers are the ones refusing to discuss, debate or even mention the growing body of science questioning and in increasing instances disproving their theories. They also mostly ignore news of manipulated climate models and the serious concerns of scientists who no longer believe the climate is changing significantly.

Many in the media, including some newspaper editorial pages, refuse to broadcast or print information that challenges and in some cases refutes arguments about global warming, claiming it is "settled science." It is nothing of the kind, as any open-minded person can see by a simple Google search.

This is about government gaining more control over the lives of its citizens. Already they are in our bathrooms, our cars, our light bulbs and so many other areas that have the cumulative effect of encroaching on our freedoms. Government is not the final arbiter of truth, yet the global-warming cultists worship at its shrine.

Polls show the public has far greater concerns. An April Gallup Poll affirms previous findings: "...warming has generally ranked last among Americans' environmental worries each time Gallup has measured them with this question over the years.

So exactly who are the real nihilists and deniers?


Global Warming (Snowstorms) Killed Obamanomics?

Wow. Remember when everyone was predicting 3 percent GDP growth for 2014? Apparently the “experts” were a little off. (Seriously… Economists, meteorologists, and global warming scientists must have pretty awesome job security.) It turns out that the first quarter of 2014 actually contracted 2.9 percent. Yeah, we just saw the largest revision between second and third estimates of GDP since 1976.

So what caused this (apparently) unpredictable drop in economic activity? Well… According to CNBC, it can all be chalked up to snowstorms in January and February (which are clearly freak occurrences due to global warming). Maybe we can just have Obama sign an executive order that bans winter weather?

Um… Right. Several inches of global warming snow killed the economy in early 2014. I mean, it was no hurricane, or earthquake, or apocalyptic zombie virus outbreak, but it was still “extreme” weather, right? After all, there weren’t any broken levies, flooded New York City boroughs, or state-wide wildfires… But, yeah: snow caused the economy to shrink by nearly three percent. (Well, Bill de Blasio did keep all those rich Manhattan residents snowed in for a few weeks; but I don’t think the postponement of their Neiman Marcus shopping trips caused a massive contraction in GDP for the first quarter.)

Heck, with the way the Administration is trying to shift blame for poor economic performance, I’m almost expecting them to somehow blame Q1 GDP on a computer crash… Assuming that winter weather is the reason (which I’m kinda inclined to doubt), then we must have a pretty fragile “recovery” going on. The idea that GDP could be dampened by some heavy seasonal snowstorms is plausible; but if Father Winter is responsible for the single largest decline in economic output in five years, then our “recovery” is about as fragile as Hillary Clinton’s sense of reality.

But, wait a minute! I thought the Obamacare premium hikes were going to save us from this awful trend of disappointing GDP growth. Remember? Because that’s what the official White House Spin Doctor had to say when the first round of disappointing estimates were released:

So, let me get this straight: We were pinning our hopes of an economic expansion on skyrocketing healthcare inflation? “I know you can’t afford your rent, clothing or food… But look at your massive insurance premium. Aren’t we a prosperous bunch?”

But even with the burden blessing of Obamacare-induced increases in healthcare spending, we managed to see economic activity grind to a halt in January and February of 2014. (Apparently, the Obamacare price hikes hadn’t yet had their impact on the recovery-weary public.) So, again, we ask why did the Q1 GDP disappoint in the midst of our great Obamanomics comeback? Because people don’t buy things when it snows? (I mean, aside from snow shovels, winter clothing, hot water heaters, space heaters, scarves, insulated windows, de-icer, alcohol, dinners, movie rentals, books, health insurance, etc.)

Oh… But those people that originally told us we would expand by three percent in 2014, are now telling us that things are getting better. And who wouldn’t believe the group of experts who were surprised by the initial report of 0.1 percent growth? Especially when they were equally shocked by the subsequent revisions to that number, which ultimately showed a contraction of 2.9 percent…

So things are better, right? I mean, we just saw higher inflation than anticipated, with negative GDP, stagnant wages, and record-low labor force participation; but sure… Obamanomics is a big success.

Now, if we could just hike gas prices up a little, maybe we can make the 1970s jealous.


EPA employees warned to stop defecating in the hallways

I hope this is a spoof but I fear it is not

Employees ith the Environmental Protection Agency were recently warned to keep their bathroom habits in the bathroom.

According to communications obtained by Government Executive, employees of a Denver, Colorado office of the EPA were admonished for what the publication described as “inappropriate bathroom behavior.”

* In the email, obtained by Government Executive, Deputy Regional Administrator Howard Cantor mentioned “several incidents” in the building, including clogging the toilets with paper towels and “an individual placing feces in the hallway” outside the restroom.

Apparently, this EPA office needed to “consult” with a workplace violence expert on the matter in order to ascertain that leaving human feces in office hallways was “very dangerous.”

When asked for a statement, EPA spokesman Richard Mylott refused to comment on what he called “ongoing personnel matters” at the Denver office.


Now EPA says it can't find emails requested by Congress because of hard drive crash

How thin can an excuse get?

Does the federal government have any systems at all to back its email archives? Maybe not, because the Environmental Protection Agency is now using the same excuse as the IRS is using in response to a Congressional subpoena: the computer ate our homework.

In a hearing Wednesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said the agency was still trying to recover the emails from a now-retired employee who was involved in a controversial EPA evaluation of a proposed mine project in Alaska's Bristol Bay.

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., asked McCarthy: "Were all of his emails preserved according to the Federal Records Act or was a law violated?"

McCarthy responded: "I think we have notified the appropriate authorities that we may have some emails that we cannot produce that we should have kept. I do not know yet whether we can recover all of these or not." She added that later: "We are not sure where the failure came from and what it is attributed to."

A committee aide told the National Journal that an apparent hard drive crash in 2010 is preventing the recovery. The crash reportedly happened right around the same time that the committee first started expressing an interest in the emails.

The former EPA employee in question was Philip North, a fish biologist. North contributed to an agency study released in January that said a proposed mining project in the Bristol Bay area could hurt the salmon population. The agency has not been able to recovery any emails from him from 2002 through 2010.

The EPA's Inspector General is probing some possible "collusion" between people inside the agency and environmental groups opposed to mining regarding the report's recommendations. "I look forward to his report," McCarthy said.

McCarthy said the agency was still trying to recover some of the emails, but that this has been complicated by the fact that they have lost contact with North, who is reportedly on an extended trip to New Zealand. The agency first told the National Archives of the problem on Tuesday, but had not told the committee until Wednesday.

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., was incredulous: "Two different government agencies tried to convince Congress and the American people this week that emails disappear into thin air. We didn’t believe it when we heard it from the IRS and I’m not inclined to believe the EPA’s excuses. The Federal Records Act is very clear. This is either willful ignorance on the part of the EPA or gross incompetence. I hope the EPA will follow through and turn over the relevant information it promised to the Oversight Committee months ago."



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

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


25 June, 2014

New paper claims the 'pause' is 'not so unusual' & 'no more than natural variability'

He's baack!...  Shaun Lovejoy has published a new paper which cites his prior claim of 99.9% confidence that one of the two temperature graphs below is your fault, and the other due to natural variability.

Both graphs are half-century plots of HADCRUT4 global temperatures. Both use exactly the same time and temperature scales.  Can you tell with 99.9% confidence which one is 1895-1945 (Nature’s fault), and which is 1963-2013 (Your fault)?

[graphs from Not A Lot Of People Know That, not Lovejoy's paper]

FYI according to Lovejoy's dodgy statistics the top graph is man-made, the bottom graph is due to natural variability.

In Lovejoy's new paper, he acknowledges a 'pause' in global warming since 1998, says it's "not so unusual" and concludes "the pause is no more than natural variability." Indeed, the pause is due to natural variability that has not been accounted for by climate models, and thus invalidates attribution claims that the past 50 years of temperature variations are necessarily due to man-made CO2. Furthermore, prior work by NOAA and others has found 'pauses' of 15 or more years are indeed unusual and would suggest the climate models are overly sensitive to CO2. According to RSS satellite data, the 'pause' has lasted almost 18 years.

The paper:

Return periods of global climate fluctuations and the pause

S. Lovejoy

An approach complementary to General Circulation Models (GCM's), using the anthropogenic CO2 radiative forcing as a linear surrogate for all anthropogenic forcings [Lovejoy, 2014], was recently developed for quantifying human impacts. Using pre-industrial multiproxy series and scaling arguments, the probabilities of natural fluctuations at time lags up to 125 years were determined. The hypothesis that the industrial epoch warming was a giant natural fluctuation was rejected with 99.9% confidence. In this paper, this method is extended to the determination of event return times. Over the period 1880-2013, the largest 32 year event is expected to be 0.47 K, effectively explaining the postwar cooling (amplitude 0.42 - 0.47 K). Similarly, the “pause” since 1998 (0.28 - 0.37 K) has a return period of 20-50 years (not so unusual). It is nearly cancelled by the pre-pause warming event (1992-1998, return period 30-40 years); the pause is no more than natural variability.


New EPA Regs Issued Under Obama Are 38 Times as Long as Bible

Since President Barack Obama took office on Jan. 20, 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued 2,827 new final regulations, equaling 24,915 pages in the Federal Register, totaling approximately 24,915,000 words.

The Gutenberg Bible is only 1,282 pages and 646,128 words. Thus, the new EPA regulations issued by the Obama Administration contain 19 times as many pages as the Bible and 38 times as many words.

The Obama EPA regulations have 22 times as many words as the entire Harry Potter series, which includes seven books with 1,084,170 words. They have 5,484 times as many words as the U.S. Constitution, which has 4,543 words, including the signatures; and 17,088 times as many words as the Declaration of Independence, which has 1,458 words including signatures.

Using the website and the Federal Register itself, found 2,827 distinct rules published by the EPA since January 2009 covering, among other things,  greenhouse gases, air quality, emissions and hazardous substances.

The Federal Register publishes documents, including proposed rules, notices, interim rules, corrections, drafts of final rules and final rules. The tabulation included only final rules from the EPA.

To get an approximate word count for each EPA rule in the Federal Register, evaluated a few random rules from the 2,827 EPA regulations published since Obama took office, and calculated an approximate average of 1,000 words per page. From this, calculated that the 2,827 final EPA rules that have been published in the Federal Register so far take up 24,915,000 words.

This is only an approximation because some pages in the Federal Register carry more words than others, and some regulations end in the beginning or middle of a page. For example,  one of the regulations was five-pages long and totaled 5,586 words, an average of 1,117 words per page.

Another regulation was three-pages long and 3,150 words, which averaged to 1,050 words per page. another rule was four-pages long and 4,426 words, or an average 1,106 words per page.

“The broader question of whether the Obama Administration’s EPA is “overreaching” in its regulatory effects has not gone away. Critics both in Congress and outside of it regularly accuse the agency of overkill,” states  a Congressional Research Service report, EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track?

“EPA’s actions, both individually and in sum, have generated controversy,” the CRS report states. “Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress have expressed concerns, through bipartisan letters commenting on proposed regulations and through introduced legislation that would delay, limit, or prevent certain EPA actions.”

Yet, EPA proponents are fighting for more rules. “Environmental groups and other supporters of the agency disagree that EPA has overreached. Many of them believe that the agency is, in fact, moving in the right direction, including taking action on significant issues that had been long delayed or ignored in the past. In several cases, environmental advocates would like the regulatory actions to be stronger,” said the CRS report.


Climate change: Less of a scientific agenda and more of a political agenda

By Marita Noon

Those who don’t believe in climate change are “a threat to the future,” says the Washington Post in a June 14 article on President Obama’s commencement address for the University of California-Irvine. Regarding the speech, the Associated Press reported: “President Obama said denying climate change is like arguing the moon is made of cheese.” He declared: “Scientists have long established that the world needs to fight climate change.”

The emphasis on a single government policy strays far from the flowery rhetoric found at the traditional graduation ceremony—especially in light of the timing. While the president was speaking, all of the progress made by America’s investment of blood and treasure in Iraq was under immediate threat. And, as I pointed out last week, what is taking place right now in Iraq has the potential of an imminent impact to our economic security. Instead of addressing the threat now, why is he talking about “a threat to the future” that might happen in the next 100 years?

The answer, I believe, is found later in his comments.

In his speech, Obama accused “some in Congress” of knowing that climate change is real, but refusing to admit it because they’ll “be run out of town by a radical fringe that thinks climate science is a liberal plot.”

Perhaps he’s read a new book by a climatologist with more than forty years of experience in the discipline: The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science by Tim Ball, PhD —which convincingly lays out the case for believing that the current climate change narrative is “a liberal plot.” (Read a review from Principia Scientific International.) In the preface, Ball states: “I’ve watched my chosen profession—climatology—get hijacked and exploited in service of a political agenda.” He indirectly calls the actions of the president and his environmental allies: “the greatest deception in history” and claims: “the extent of the damage has yet to be exposed and measured.”

It is not that Ball doesn’t believe in climate change. In fact, he does. He posits: “Climate change has happened, is happening and will always happen.” Being literal, Obama’s cheese comment is accurate. No scientist, and no one is Congress, denies natural climate change. However, what is in question is the global warming agenda that has been pushed for the past several decades that claims that the globe is warming because of human-caused escalation of CO2. When global warming alarmists use “climate change,” they mean human-caused. Due to lack of “warming,” they’ve changed the term to climate change.

Nor is he against the environment, or even environmentalism. He says: “Environmentalism was a necessary paradigm shift that took shape and gained acceptance in western society in the 1960s. The idea that we shouldn’t despoil our nest and must live within the limits of global resources is fundamental and self-evident. Every rational person embraces those concepts, but some took different approaches that brought us to where we are now.”

Ball continues: “Environmentalism made us aware we had to live within the limits of our home and its resources: we had a responsibility for good stewardship.” But, “the shift to environmentalism was hijacked for a political agenda.” He points out: “extremists demand a complete and unsustainable restructuring of world economies in the guise of environmentalism” and claims: “the world has never before suffered from deception on such a grand scale.”

Though it is difficult to comprehend that a deception on such a grand scale, as Ball projects, could occur, he cites history to explain how the scientific method was bypassed and perverted. “We don’t just suddenly arrive at situations unless it is pure catastrophe. There is always a history, and the current situation can be understood when it is placed in context.”

In The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science, Ball takes the reader through history and paints a picture based on the work of thought leaders in their day such as Thomas Malthus, The Club of Rome, Paul Erlich, Maurice Strong, and John Holdren. Their collective ideas lead to an anti-development mindset. As a result, Ball says: “Politics and emotion overtook science and logic.”

Having only been in this line of work for the past seven-and-a-half years, I was unfamiliar with the aforementioned. But Ball outlines their works. Two quotes, one from Erlich, author of, the now fully discredited, The Population Bomb, and the other from Strong, who established the United Nations Environment Program (the precursor to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), resulted in an epiphany for me. I now know that the two sides of the energy debate are fighting apples and oranges.

I’ve been fighting for cost-effective energy, jobs, and economic growth. I point out, as I do in a video clip on the home page of my website, that the countries with the best human health and the most physical wealth are those with the highest energy consumption. I state that abundant, available, and affordable energy is essential to a growing economy. I see that only economically strong countries can afford to care about the environment.

While the other side has an entirely different goal—and it’s not just about energy.

Ehrlich: “Actually, the problem in the world is there are too many rich people.” And: “We’ve already had too much economic growth in the United States. Economic growth in rich countries like ours is the disease not the cure.”

Strong: “Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized nations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”

When the other side of the energy debate claims that wind turbines and solar panels will create jobs and lower energy costs—despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, I’d mistakenly assumed that we had similar goals but different paths toward achieving them. But it isn’t really about renewable energy, which explains why climate alarmists don’t cheer when China produces cheap solar panels that make solar energy more affordable for the average person, and instead demand tariffs that increase the cost of Chinese solar panels in the U.S.

Ball states: “In the political climate engendered by environmentalism and its exploitation, some demand a new world order and they believe this can be achieved by shutting down the industrialized nations.”

He cites Strong, a senior member of The Club of Rome, who in 1990 asked: “What if a small group of these world leaders were to conclude the principal risk to the earth comes from the actions of rich countries?” A year later, The Club of Rome released a report, The First Global Revolution, in which the authors state: “In searching for a common enemy against whom we can unite, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like, would fit the bill. …The real enemy then is humanity itself.”

Throughout the pages of The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science, Ball goes on to show how in attempting to meet the challenge of collapsing an industrialized civilization, CO2 becomes the focus. “Foolishly we’ve developed global energy policies based on incorrect science promulgated by extremists.”

Ball concludes: “Because they applied politics to science they perverted the scientific method by proving their hypothesis to predetermine the result.” The results? “The sad truth is none of the energy and economic policies triggered by the demonization of CO2 were necessary.”

Obama said: “Scientists have long established that the world needs to fight climate change.” Yes, some have—many for reasons outlined in Ball’s easy-to-read new book. But, surely not all. Next month, hundreds of scientists, policy analysts, and thought leaders, who don’t agree with the president’s statement (including Ball and myself), will gather together for the Ninth International Conference on Climate Change. There, they won’t all agree on the reasons, but they’ll discuss and debate why each believes climate change is not a man-caused crisis. In real science, debate is welcome.

The computer models used to produce the scientific evidence and to provide legitimacy in support of the political agenda have a record of failed projections that would have doomed any other area of research and policy. Ball points out: “The error of their predictions didn’t stop extremists seeing the need for total control.”

The claim of consensus is continually touted and those who disagree are accused of thinking the moon is made of cheese. According to Ball: “Consensus is neither a scientific fact nor important in science, but it is very important in politics.”

Do you want to live in a world with “the best human health” or in one where “the real enemy is humanity itself?” Energy is at the center of this battle.

“It is time to expose their failures [and true motives] to the public before their work does too much more damage.”


New Report: Alarm Over Climate Turns People Off

Alarmist claims about the impact of global warming are contributing to a loss of trust in climate scientists, an inquiry has found.

Apocalyptic language has been used about greenhouse gas emissions as “a deliberate strategy by some to engage public interest”.

However, trying to make people reduce emissions by frightening them has “harmful consequences” because they often respond suspiciously or decide the issue is “too scary to think about”.

The inquiry, by a team of senior scientists from a range of disciplines, was commissioned by University College London to find better ways of informing the public about climate science.

Public interest in climate change has fallen sharply in the past few years, according to a survey last month which found the number of Google searches for the phrase “global warming” had fallen by 84 per cent since the peak in 2007.

Confidence in climate science was undermined in 2010 by the revelation that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a UN scientific body which advises governments, had falsely claimed that Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035.

Scientists have also been accused of exaggerating the rate of loss of Arctic sea ice by claiming the North Pole could be ice-free in summer by 2020. Other scientists say this is unlikely before 2050.

Claims were made a decade ago, and later retracted, that the snows of Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, could disappear by 2015.

The inquiry, led by Professor Chris Rapley, former director of the Science Museum, concludes: “Alarmist messages that fail to materialise contribute to the loss of trust in the science community.”

The report says climate scientists have difficulty “delivering messages that are alarming without slipping into alarmism”.

It says the media is partly to blame for seeking “a striking headline”.

However, the report says there was also a “preconception that communicating threatening information is a necessary and effective catalyst for individual behaviour change”.

It says the “climate science community” is quick to challenge those who downplay climate change but less willing to question “alarmist misrepresentations” of climate research.

Doom-laden reports may make people feel anxious but their concern does not last.  “Over time this worry changes to numbness, desensitisation and disengagement from the issue altogether.

“The failure of specific predictions of climate change to materialise creates the impression that the climate science community as a whole resorts to raising false alarms. When apparent failures are not adequately explained, future threats become less believable.”

The report says the 30,000 climate scientists worldwide are at the centre of an intense public debate about key questions, such as how we should obtain our energy, but are “ill-prepared” to engage in it.

It adds that this difficulty in communicating their work is “proving unhelpful to evidence-based policy formulation, and is damaging their public standing”.


German Solar Sector Collapses As Government Plans "Sun tax"

Germany’s solar industry association, BSW Solar, has condemned the German government for its stance on PV, claiming that in the first five months of this year the country only installed 818MW of new PV generation capacity.

Compared to the same period last year, the amount of newly installed capacity has apparently dropped by 45%. BSW Solar says that at that rate, Germany will miss even the lower limit of the ‘target bandwidth’ the nation has set itself. Recently altered renewable energy targets allowed for the country to stay on track if it managed to install between 2.5GW and 3.5GW of PV in the year.

Since the beginning of 2012, BSW Solar claims system prices have fallen in Germany by 25%. Yet between 2012 and 2013 it says, demand for PV dropped by 60%, followed by the similarly poor showing recently between January and May.

The ‘bandwidth’ targets have been roundly condemned by industry groups including BSW Solar and renewable energy association BEE when they were proposed late last year. The targets extend to 2035 and allow for Germany to aim to be generating between 55% and 60% of its energy from renewable sources.

Also condemned were plans to levy charges for self-consumption [Sonnensteur; Sun tax] onto residential PV system owners, while some heavy industries will seek exemption from those same charges for economic reasons.


Solar getting shafted in Italy too

Italy's plans to cut subsidies for solar power producers risk alienating investors and triggering costly legal battles, undermining Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's drive to attract foreign capital to bolster a fledgling economic recovery.

Renzi's centre-left government has pledged to cut power bills by 10 percent to help struggling households and small firms, and has tabled a set of measures that include spreading incentives for solar power producers over a longer timeframe.

Draft legislation seen by Reuters - which is set to be signed into law soon but which could still be subject to change - says larger solar power operators will have to extend the term of their subsidised tariffs from 20 to 24 years, effectively thinning them out, or accept a straight 8 percent cut.

The government says the solar industry has already profited from one of Europe's most generous incentive schemes, paid for by consumers through their bills, and should now do its part in bringing end-user prices down.

But solar firms and investors say the move changes the rules on which they based their decisions and so could scare off long-term foreign capital and trigger costly legal action, while generating only minimal savings.

"You can't penalize operators halfway through their investments; they won't come back," said Pietro Colucci, CEO of Italian-based renewable energy company Kinexia.

Renzi, nicknamed Mr Demolition Man, has committed to clean up and streamline Italy's ways of doing business and has introduced a raft of laws to try to make the country more competitive. But critics say the government is too rushed and has not thought things through.

The new rules will apply to solar plants of over 200 kilowatts, affecting around 8,600 operators that receive about 60 percent of subsidies.

In a newspaper editorial on Friday, Michael Bonte-Friedheim, the CEO of Nextenergy Capital Group, a merchant bank to the renewable energy sector, said Renzi probably believed his proposal was easier than tackling inefficiencies in the Italian energy sector and cutting high taxes on energy users.

"Maybe he's right, but good luck in attracting foreign investors in the future. Don't come knocking on my door," he said.

Italy's solar power market - which has drawn private equity firms such as Terra Firma and First Reserve as well as bank-owned investment firms and pension funds - took off at the end of 2010 when new rules sent production subsidies skyrocketing: from 750 million euros in 2010 to 3.8 billion euros in 2011 and 6.7 billion euros in 2013.

In the last five years, investors have poured more than 50 billion euros into Italian renewable energy, building around 17 gigawatts of solar capacity.

In an attempt to curb costs and stop power bills rising, Rome capped incentives, but they will still cost Italians more than 200 billion euros over the next 20 years.

"That's a lot of money for consumers to pay. Retroactive cuts have happened in Spain, Greece and Bulgaria. The operators can't not have seen this coming," said a manager at a top energy trading association.



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 June, 2014

I shouldn't laugh! Pathetic Warmists excited by alleged temperature change for May of only two HUNDREDTHS of one degree!

That's not data.  It's a statistical abstraction. They don't give many figures below but you can find them here

Driven by exceptionally warm ocean waters, Earth smashed a record for heat in May and is likely to keep on breaking high temperature marks, experts say.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Monday said May's average temperature on Earth of 59.93 degrees Fahrenheit (15.54 degrees Celsius) beat the old record set four years ago.

However, California is having a record hot first five months of the year, a full 5 degrees above normal.

May was especially hot in parts of Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Spain, South Korea and Australia, while the United States was not close to a record, just 1 degree warmer than the 20th century average.

Georgia Tech climate scientist Kim Cobb and other experts say there's a good chance global heat records will keep falling, especially next year because an El Nino weather event is brewing on top of man-made global warming.

An El Nino is a warming of the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean that alters climate worldwide and usually spikes global temperatures.

May was 1.33 degrees (0.74 degrees Celsius) warmer than the 20th century world average.

The last month that was cooler than normal was February 1985, marking 351 hotter than average months in a row.

This possibly could quiet people claiming global warming has stopped, but more importantly it 'should remind everyone that global warming is a long-term trend,' Princeton University climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer said.  Which is his way of admitting that the temperature change noted is trivially small

Setting or tying monthly global heat records has happened frequently in recent years. The last global monthly cold record was set in December 1916.


More Warmist clutching at straws

The following study has been hyped by Warmists (e.g. here) and is alleged to show that global warming will kill people.  But if you can read statistics, the hilarity in it never stops.

For a start, they study summer months only, whereas the big killer is winter!  Had they included all seasons, they would have found that global warming will save lives  -- and that would never do!

I am a bit too exhausted from laughing at that one to say much more but I will note that their hazard ratios are a joke.  They are almost unity -- indicating no effect of temperature.  And the The Federal Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence, Second Edition says (p. 384): "The threshold for concluding that an agent was more likely than not the cause of an individual's disease is a relative risk greater than 2.0."  The bozos below found a relative risk of only half that!

Summer temperature variability and long-term survival among elderly people with chronic disease

Antonella Zanobettia et al.


Time series studies show that hot temperatures are associated with increased death rates in the short term. In light of evidence of adaptation to usual temperature but higher deaths at unusual temperatures, a long-term exposure relevant to mortality might be summertime temperature variability, which is expected to increase with climate change. We investigated whether the standard deviation (SD) of summer (June–August) temperatures was associated with survival in four cohorts of persons over age 65 y with predisposing diseases in 135 US cities. Using Medicare data (1985–2006), we constructed cohorts of persons hospitalized with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, congestive heart failure, and myocardial infarction. City-specific yearly summer temperature variance was linked to the individuals during follow-up in each city and was treated as a time-varying exposure. We applied a Cox proportional hazard model for each cohort within each city, adjusting for individual risk factors, wintertime temperature variance, yearly ozone levels, and long-term trends, to estimate the chronic effects on mortality of long-term exposure to summer temperature SD, and then pooled results across cities. Mortality hazard ratios ranged from 1.028 (95% confidence interval, 1.013– 1.042) per 1 °C increase in summer temperature SD for persons with congestive heart failure to 1.040 (95% confidence interval, 1.022–1.059) per 1 °C increase for those with diabetes. Associations were higher in elderly persons and lower in cities with a higher percentage of land with green surface. Our data suggest that long-term increases in temperature variability may increase the risk of mortality in different subgroups of susceptible older populations.


Greenpeace chief commutes - by plane: Executive flies 250 miles from Luxembourg to Amsterdam despite organisation's anti-air travel campaign

A Greenpeace senior executive commutes to work by plane despite the organisation’s anti-air travel campaign, it emerged yesterday.

Pascal Husting, Greenpeace International’s programme director, has been flying 250 miles between Luxembourg and Amsterdam at the charity’s expense since 2012.

Each trip costs Greenpeace £200 and would generate 142kg of carbon dioxide emissions, according to airline KLM.

Over two years this would amount to 7.4 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions - the equivalent of consuming 17 barrels of oil, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.

But Mr Husting defended the arrangement and said he would rather not take the journey but it was necessary because the alternative is a twelve hour round trip by train.

He told the Daily Telegraph: ‘I spend half my life on Skype and video conference calls.  ‘But as a senior manager, the people who work in my team sometimes need to meet me in the flesh, that’s why I’ve been going to Amsterdam twice a month while my team was being restructured.’

He said that from September he would switch to making the trip once a month by train due to ‘the work of restructuring my team coming to an end, and with my kids a little older’.

Mr Husting’s travel arrangements were revealed just days after Greenpeace was forced to apologise for losing £3million of public donations in an unauthorised currency dealing.

In a statement online John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK, said: ‘As for Pascal’s air travel. Well it’s a really tough one. Was it the right decision to allow him to use air travel to try to balance his job with the needs of his family for a while?

‘What kind of compromises do you make in your efforts to try to make the world a better place?

‘I think there is a line there. Honesty and integrity to the values that are at the heart of the good you’re trying to do in the world cannot be allowed to slip away. For what it’s worth, I don’t think we’ve crossed that line here at Greenpeace.’

But Greenpeace members were outraged by the senior executive’s commuting habits and called Mr Pascal a ‘hypocrite’.

Greenpeace volunteer of 30 years, Richard Lancaster, said: ‘I have to say I’m deeply troubled by these revelations - I had hoped and assumed Greenpeace was better than this.

‘I volunteer with Greenpeace but work in the commercial world and if I took a job in another country I’d expect to move to where the job is and if I couldn’t for family reasons I wouldn’t take the job - so I find Pascal’s travel arrangements almost unbelievable.’

According to Greenpeace flying is ten times worse for climate change than taking the train and is responsible for 13 per cent of the UK’s impact on the climate.


India targets Prince Charles' aide in war on Greenpeace

British Greenpeace activists are a threat to India's economic development, according to an intelligence report

India's intelligence agency has targeted an adviser to Prince Charles and British activists in a campaign against Greenpeace and other foreign groups it claims are a threat to its economy.

The Indian government last week banned direct foreign funding of local campaign groups, after a report by its Intelligence Bureau warned that organisations funded by Greenpeace and other international institutions were growing throughout the country and "spawning" mass movements which now pose a "significant threat to national economic security."

The decision was revealed after the Indian government indicated it was ready to further exploit its large coal reserves and asserted its right to increase carbon emissions for economic development. Prakash Javadekar, the environment minister, said India had a "right to grow" and that it could not address climate change until it had eradicated poverty.

According to the Intelligence Bureau report, Greenpeace and other environmentalist groups had stalled the development of new coal mines, challenged its plans for more coal-fired power stations, and delayed other vital infrastructure projects in campaigns which had reduced India's GDP growth by two to three per cent. Much of their work, it said, is funded by the US-based Centre for Media and Democracy, which the report described as a Democratic Party-oriented group supported by liberals like George Soros and "multiple far-left foundations".

The report, which was leaked last week, singled out Dr Vandana Shiva, an Indian scientist and adviser to Prince Charles on sustainable agriculture.

She has been his long-term collaborator on organic farming since they participated in the Reith Lectures in 2000. He is said to find her inspiring and keeps a bust of her at his Highgrove home. During his visit to India in November last year, the prince visited her organic farm in Dehra Dun to highlight her campaign against the use of genetically-modified seeds.

Dr Shiva has blamed the high cost of GM cotton seeds for the suicides of 284,000 heavily indebted farmers since 1995.

According to the Intelligence Bureau report, "six NGOs, including Greenpeace, are at the forefront of anti-GMO activism in India" and the movement "was initiated in 2003 by Vandana Shiva". It also emphasises her role as a consultant to Greenpeace Australia and her group, Navdanya, as a recipient of foreign donations. Her campaign was highlighted along with other movements blamed for "anti-developmental activities" which included Greenpeace plans for "crop circle" protests against the cultivation of genetically-modified soya and corn. The group had planned to capture the demonstrations on Google Earth, the report said.

The report named four British environmentalists and cyber-experts among 12 foreign activists it said were planning to organise protests against coal fired power stations and had been involved in upgrading Greenpeace India's computer security systems. It discussed the work of Matt Philips, a British energy analyst and cited a claim by Pakistan's former intelligence chief that his previous employer, the charity Save the Children, was linked to the American CIA spy agency.

Two other British activists, Fiona Stewart and Emma Gibson, had visited Greenpeace's headquarters in Bangalore in January an "upgraded its communications systems and installed sophisticated and encrypted software in its servers and computers", the report said.

Dr Vandana Shiva said India's Intelligence Bureau's report was an "attack on civil society" which she said she would defend.

She had decided to campaign against the introduction of genetically-modified seeds into India in 1987 after she attended a conference at which agricultural chemicals industry representatives said they would "take patents on seeds so they could collect royalties from every farmer, in every season, in every country of the world", she said in the Asian Age newspaper.

Her court action against the genetically-modified seed company Monsanto delayed its plans to cultivate Bt Cotton in India for four years. Her NGO Navdanya has since collected a vast seed bank to help farmers cultivate low cost organic crops and avoid the debts she believes have been caused by the costs of using genetically-modified seeds.

The report was "biased" in favour of foreign companies she blames for farmers' debts and suicides, she said.

"They're not allergic to foreign funding for defence or railways but only foreign funding to build civil society", she said.

Greenpeace India said the report was a "malicious" attempt to speed up environmental clearances for coal and nuclear power projects and a "concerted effort by parties with a vested interest to ensure elimination of any opposition", said its India director Samit Aich.

India was the world's fastest growing carbon gas emitter in 2012 but has rejected calls to reduce them as unfair. Its ministers say western economies were to blame for polluting the Earth's atmosphere during their industrialisation and that India's own development cannot be held back to meet new emission targets.


India invokes 'right to grow' to tell rich nations of its stand on future climate change negotiations

In what may be a strong signal to rich nations on the issue of climate change, New Delhi on Tuesday said the developing countries, including India, have a "right to grow" and in the process their "net emission (of greenhouse gases) may increase".

Though India reiterated its commitment to reduce emissions, it made its preference clear. It said the country cannot address the challenges of climate change unless it eradicates poverty through economic growth.

Underlining that the problem of emission has not been created by the developing nations and hence responsibility for addressing it should not be solely put on them, environment minister Prakash Javadekar said, "We have to reduce our carbon emissions. But, I (India) have not created the carbon emission problems, which have been done by others. But I am not into any blame game. The issue is that I have a right to grow. India and developing countries have right to grow. These are the emerging economies".

His statement assumes significance in the light of a meeting of 'governments, leaders from finance, business, local government and civil society' in New York in September this year to "bring bold and new announcements and action" to keep the earth below the globally agreed two degree temperature rise.

Noting that poverty is an "environmental disaster", Javadekar said "unless we tackle poverty, unless we eradicate poverty, we cannot really address the climate change."

"To that end, we need to grow. Our net emission may increase," he said while speaking at a function on the occasion of the "World Day to Combat Desertification".

The remark is expected to further strengthen the resolve of the BASIC group of nations on the issue of climate change. This bloc of four biggest emerging economies - Brazil, South Africa, India and China - has consistently been articulating developing countries' point of view at every forum while seeking bigger actions from rich nation to cut down emissions as part of their historical responsibility.

Although the new government in India has not undermined the efforts to deal with the problem, the remark has certainly indicated hardening of stand by India as far as role of rich nations is concerned towards their 'bigger' responsibility to not only cut down emissions but also help out poor nations in taking various mitigation and adaptation measures.

Javadekar articulated India's point of view barely three weeks after the new government showed some seriousness and gave new nomenclature to the environment ministry by adding 'climate change' as its core functioning. The ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) is now the ministry of environment, forests and climate change (MoEFCC) under the new government.

Interestingly, Javadekar had showed the same seriousness while speaking at a function to mark the 'World Environment Day' on June 5. He had said that India would provide a "new vocabulary to the world in environment conservation" as New Delhi was more conscious to its role.

It is to be seen whether his remark was merely a 'rhetoric' or something which meant real works on the ground to fight the challenge of climate change.

In certain quarters, the change in narrative is only seen as India's new found zeal to 'project' its efforts to the global community more proactively now. New Delhi will possibly highlights its own works to deal with climate change more proactively while seeking rich nations to work more.

India too had voluntarily pledged to reduce its carbon emission by 20 to 25%, over the 2005 levels, by the year 2020. But, it has been blamed for not doing enough to deal with the issue of greenhouse gas emission.

Amid this backdrop, Javadekar had on June 5 said India should not be portrayed as a "villian" in the debate on climate change but should instead provide new dimensions to the discourse.

"The world has always provided a vocabulary (on climate change) and we have reacted. We will provide a new vocabulary to which the world will react and we will take the discourse to a new height because we bother about climate change. We will work by keeping energy efficiency as the central theme," he had said.

But, the question now is whether this "right to grow" pitch will find a prominent place in the climate change discourse when rich and poor nations sit together to work out a global climate deal?


An Australian environmental authority attacked for allowing development

A parliamentary inquiry is to be held into the performance of NSW's Environment Protection Authority after a string of controversies that have dogged the agency, including botched prosecutions, accusations of cover-ups, mismanagement and a referral to the corruption watchdog.

Labor's environment spokesman, Luke Foley, successfully moved for the inquiry in the NSW Upper House on Thursday after warning that the EPA appeared more focused on protecting polluting industries than looking after the community and human health.

It also follows the introduction of a private member's bill last year by opposition MP Ron Hoenig calling for the EPA to be stripped of its powers to prosecute serious environmental offences because it was "incompetent" and does not have the "guts" to go after environmental criminals. Mr Hoenig wanted the powers to be given to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

EPA chief executive officer Barry Buffier said the inquiry would be an "opportunity to increase public awareness and understanding about the important role we play in protecting the communities and environment of NSW".

The inquiry comes after months of revelations by Fairfax Media about controversies over the EPA's performance, including its management of coal dust pollution in the Hunter, the mercury and other toxic chemical contamination in the Botany Hillsdale region and its alleged failure to protect koala habitats in the Royal Camp State Forest.

It also follows the EPA's abandonment of its biggest ever prosecution case, which was launched against the chemical company DuPont for allegedly polluting the ground and killing trees and plants around its Girraween site. DuPont had maintained it was not responsible for the pollution.

Community groups around the state, which have led the complaints about the EPA, have welcomed the inquiry saying it is in the best interests of the people.

The Hunter Community Environment Centre spokesman Dr John Mackenzie said they were pleased it would focus on the agency's repeated mishandling of coal dust monitoring in the region, which was referred to the Independent Commission Against Corruption earlier this year.

"We are hopeful that the inquiry will improve the EPA’s ability to be a strong and effective environmental regulator," said Dr Mackenzie. "This inquiry is also vital for restoring community confidence in the EPA, given that its performance in recent years has fallen well shy of community expectations."

Botany resident Sharon Price said: "We look forward to a long-awaited, positive outcome."

The inquiry will specifically look into the land contamination issues at Botany and Hillsdale, the coal dust pollution in the Hunter, and the ground water contamination in the Piliga by Santos. Mr Foley has raised concerns about exploration company Santos being given a ''pathetic $1500 fine for the contamination of a water aquifer with uranium at levels 20 times higher than safe drinking water guidelines''.

It will also look into the regulation of cruise passenger ships at the White Bay Cruise Terminal and the regulation of forestry practices in Royal Camp State Forest.



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

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


23 June, 2014

Gore Blames Syria Civil War on Global Warming

Ya gotta laugh.  He offers not a shred of proof for the way he connects everything to global warming.  And he has a good reason for that.  There has been no warming for 17 years so nothing recent CAN be attributed to warming.  Neither droughts in the middle East nor anything else can be caused by something that does not exist.  But the wackiest part below is his claim that Canadian oil has to be shipped via the USA to reach China.  That Canadians could simply ship it via the Pacific obviously eludes him. Mr Harper  has threatened to do just that in fact. See map below. Al's geography is as bad as his climate science

Al Gore sat down for a wide-ranging interview with Rolling Stone. Some highlights - he says Obama will very likely reject Keystone.  He also says that the climate-related drought was one of the underlying causes for the current civil war in Syria.

Syria Excerpt -

"Syria is one of the countries that has been in the bull's-eye of climate change. From 2006 to 2010, a historic drought destroyed 60 percent of the country's farms and 80 percent of its livestock - driving a million refugees from rural agricultural areas into cities already crowded with the million refugees who had taken shelter there from the Iraq War. As early as 2008, U.S. State Department cables quoted Syrian government officials warning that the social and economic impacts of the drought are "beyond our capacity as a country to deal with." Though the hellish and ongoing civil war in Syria has multiple causes - including the perfidy of the Assad government and the brutality on all sides - their climate-related drought may have been the biggest underlying trigger for the horror."

Keystone Excerpt -

"Something else is also new this summer. Three years ago, in these pages, I criticized the seeming diffidence of President Obama toward the great task of solving the climate crisis; this summer, it is abundantly evident that he has taken hold of the challenge with determination and seriousness of purpose.

He has empowered his Environmental Protection Agency to enforce limits on CO2 emissions for both new and, as of this June, existing sources of CO2. He has enforced bold new standards for the fuel economy of the U.S. transportation fleet. He has signaled that he is likely to reject the absurdly reckless Keystone XL-pipeline proposal for the transport of oil from carbon-intensive tar sands to be taken to market through the United States on its way to China, thus effectively limiting their exploitation. And he is even now preparing to impose new limits on the release of methane pollution."


CO2 is off the hook!  We have a new villain!

It's all predictions.  No evidence of any change

As global nightmares go, the greenhouse effect has managed not to keep policy makers awake nights devising plans of action. Scientists see an assortment of theoretical catastrophes just over the horizon, but the more dire their predictions, the more difficult it seems to find an appropriate response.

A new scientific study has confirmed a swiftly changing view of what causes the greenhouse effect -heightening both the urgency of the problem and the difficulty of controlling it. The study finds that the leading role in the earth's warming belongs not to carbon dioxide, as long believed, but to an assortment of rare, mostly artificial gases, many never seen in the atmosphere before the 1960's.

That supports the view of atmospheric scientists that the world is rushing toward global climate change on a startling scale. Already the changes in the atmosphere are thought to have changed the balance of incoming and outgoing energy, holding in infrared radiation the way the glass of a greenhouse does.

Beginning in a decade or two, scientists expect the warming of the atmosphere to melt the polar icecaps, raising the level of the seas, flooding coastal areas, eroding the shores and sending salt water far into fresh-water estuaries. Storm patterns will change, drying out some areas, swamping others and generally throwing agriculture into turmoil. Federal climate experts have suggested that within a century the greenhouse effect could turn New York City into something with the climate of Daytona Beach, Fla.

But the new view of the greenhouse effect, as much as the old, highlights the difficulty of finding practical weapons against what remains an uncertain demon.

So far, the greenhouse effect has not been clearly felt. In the generations since scientists first theorized that increased carbon dioxide would alter the earth's temperature balance by trapping heat in the atmosphere, no one has been able to measure a significant warming. Scientists have explanations for that, and they believe their temperature curves will soon soar off the scale. But for now the greenhouse effect remains part of a hypothetical, if not so distant, future.

Even if officials were moved by the urgency of the problem, it would be hard to know what they should do. The Environmental Protection Agency estimated last year, for example, that a drastic 300 percent worldwide tax on fossil fuels to discourage their use - a tax conceivable in a world of scientists, if not in a world of politicians and business executives - might make a tiny difference of about five years.

So the Government waits. "It's a creeping problem, an incremental problem, and we're very bad at dealing with incremental problems," says Stephen H. Schneider, a climate expert at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. "There always seems to be an intermediate problem of higher value."

Until recently, the culprit seemed to be strictly carbon dioxide, which has been increasing steadily for the last century. But the new study, to be published next month in the Journal of Geophysical Research, confirms that an even greater greenhouse effect is likely to come from 30 or more trace gases, mostly emitted by industry and agriculture. These gases are more efficient at trapping heat on its way out to space, and they are increasing much faster than carbon dioxide.

That seriously complicates the problem of finding effective controls. And it suggests to climate experts that they should be giving more credence to the high end of the most recent predictions. But those predictions have great uncertainty built in. "Whenever you work with a climate model, you are trying to play God," says V. Ramanathan, one of the authors of the new study. For example, as the bright polar icecaps melt, they might reflect significantly less sunlight back out to space - and since the earth would then absorb that much more energy, the warming would be amplified. For similar reasons, big changes in temperature could come from small changes in cloud patterns, and scientists aren't sure whether the changes will warm or cool.

Eroded Beaches

In an October 1983 report, the Environmental Protection Agency estimated that the sea level could rise as much as 11 feet by the end of the next century - or as little as 2 feet. It settled on 5 to 7 feet as the likely range. The higher figure would put substantial pieces of Florida and Louisiana under the waves and flood parts of some coastal cities. Even the lower figure would cut away chunks of shoreline. Experts estimate that a one-foot rise in the ocean could erode 100 to 1,000 feet of sand beach all along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts.

One certainty is that people will first feel the greenhouse effect not in slight changes but in extremes. Areas that now get severe floods once a century might get them once a decade. Temperate locales will get many more heat waves and many fewer cold snaps. In the long run, to be sure, not all the news would be bad. Plenty of places could benefit from extra warmth, and if the corn belt loses territory to the south it could gain it to the north. But in the century to come scientists expect painful dislocations. Some argue that the Government ought to be aggressive about acting, even in small ways, to buy time. One way or another, a lesson is under way in people's ability inadvertently to change the face of the planet.

"The only way to be certain is to perform the experiment on ourselves," says Mr. Schneider. "For better or worse, that's what we're doing."


EPA’s Energy Cost Prediction Akin to ‘If You Like Your Doctor, You Can Keep It’

Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) on Thursday compared the Environmental Protection Agency’s prediction that electricity bills will go down as a result of proposed carbon emissions regulations for power plants, because people will use less energy to the campaign promise that then-candidate Barack Obama made that health insurance premiums would go down and his pledge that “If you like your doctor, you can keep it.”

“When you say that utility bills are gonna go down by 8 percent, it reminds me of candidate Obama saying that under his health care plan, insurance premiums would decrease by $2500 per family without increased taxes and without a mandate. Of course now they’re up $2500 per family. When you say that you’re gonna give states flexibility, it reminds me of ‘If you like your doctor, you can keep it,’” said Cassidy.

On June 2, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy signed the Clean Power Plan. Among other things, the EPA predicts that by 2030, these new measures will “cut carbon emissions from the power sector by 30 percent below 2005 levels” and “shrink electricity bills roughly by 8 percent by increasing energy efficiency and reducing demand in the electricity system.”

“And we show that with the significant increase in energy efficiency that will be implemented as a result of the rule, that electricity bills in 2030 we predict will go down, because ... people will be using less energy,” EPA Assistant Administrator Janet McCabe testified Thursday before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on the EPA’s proposed carbon emissions regulations.

“We also show that the price of electricity will go up a little bit -- but overall bills will come down,” McCabe added.

Cassidy told the story of a family who was in danger of losing their home. Refinancing saved their mortgage, and they ended up paying less, but the cost of food, gas, and insurance went up.

“They’ve been denied the economic benefits of projects like Keystone XL Pipeline, which now Canada’s gonna ship their oil to China to create Chinese jobs, and you want to raise their utility prices,” he said.

“Now you may say that conservation will on net decrease, but let’s be clear. Let’s not mislead. The reality is poor people – those who are lower income – are less able to invest in those conservation measures. This is just going to be a bull’s eye on other family’s ability to do things such as keep their homes,” Cassidy said.

Cassidy accused the administration of raising to “an art level,” the misleading of the American people by manipulating statistics. He said companies will lean towards investing outside the U.S., because “their input cost of energy” will go up.

McCabe disagreed with this assessment, saying “there are many things that go into making those decisions.”

Cassidy noted that Louisiana has announced $90 billion in “construction projects involving polymer, petrochemical, gas to liquids – industry that will create great paying jobs for working Americans.”

He asked McCabe if her agency has analyzed the impact that the new EPA regulation would have on the expansion of the manufacturing base.

“No, no we didn’t,” McCabe said.

“Yeah, so these jobs are on the bubble. There are more families that will lose their homes, and you’ve not done the analysis,” Cassidy said.

“This administration is so busy saving the earth. They’re willing to sacrifice the American family,” Cassidy said, adding that the president and his administration have been insensitive to their plight.


Executive fiats in the other Washington

Two western state governors intend to get low carbon fuel standards, by legislation or decree

Paul Driessen

Progressives believe in free speech, robust debate, sound science and economics, transparency, government by the people and especially compassion for the poor – except when they don’t. These days, their commitment to these principles seems to be at low ebb … in both Washingtons.

A perfect example is the Oregon and Washington governors’ determined effort to enact Low Carbon Fuel Standards – via deceptive tax-funded campaigns, tilted legislative processes and executive fiat.

The standards require that conventional vehicle fuels be blended with alternative manmade fuels said to have less carbon in their chemical makeup or across the life cycle of creating and using the fuels. They comport with political viewpoints that oppose hydrocarbon use, prefer mass transit, are enchanted by the idea of growing fuels instead of drilling and fracking for them, and/or are convinced that even slightly reduced carbon dioxide will help reduce or prevent “dangerous manmade climate change.”

LCFS fuels include ethanol, biodiesel and still essentially nonexistent cellulosic biofuels, but the concept of lower carbon and CO2 naturally extends to boosting the number of electric and hybrid vehicles.

Putting aside the swirling controversies over natural versus manmade climate change, its dangers to humans and wildlife, the phony 97% consensus, and the failure of climate models – addressed in Climate Change Reconsidered and at the Heartland Institute’s Climate Conference – the LCFS agenda itself is highly contentious, for economic, technological, environmental and especially political reasons.

California has long led the nation on climate and “green” energy initiatives, spending billions on subsidies, while relying heavily on other states for its energy needs. The programs have sent the cost of energy steadily upward, driven thousands of families and businesses out of the state, and made it the fourth worst jobless state in America. Governors Jerry Brown, John Kitzhaber and Jay Inslee (of California, Oregon and Washington, respectively) recently joined British Columbia Premier Christy Clark in signing an agreement that had been developed behind closed doors, to coordinate policies on climate change, low carbon fuel standards and greenhouse gas emission limits throughout the region.

California and BC have already implemented LCFS and other rules. Oregon has LCFS, but its law terminates the program at the end of 2015, unless the legislature extends it. As that seems unlikely, Mr. Kitzhaber has promised that he will use an executive order to impose an extension and “fully implement” the state’s Clean Fuels Program. “We have the opportunity to spark a homegrown clean fuels industry,” the governor said, and he is determined to use “every tool at my disposal” to make that happen. He is convinced it will create jobs, though experience elsewhere suggests the opposite is much more likely.

Mr. Inslee is equally committed to implementing a climate agenda, LCFS and “carbon market.” If the legislature won’t support his plans, he will use his executive authority, a state-wide ballot initiative or campaigns against recalcitrant legislators – utilizing support from coal and hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer. Indeed, Inslee attended a closed-door fundraiser in Steyer’s home the very day he signed the climate agreement. The governor says he won’t proceed until a “rigorous analysis” of LCFS costs and technologies has been conducted, but he plans to sole-source that task to a liberal California company.

Their ultimate goal is simple. As Mother Jones magazine put it, “if Washington acts strongly on climate, the impact will extend far beyond Washington…. The more these Pacific coast states are unified, the more the United States and even the world will have to take notice.”

But to what end? In a world that is surging ahead economically, to lift billions out of abject poverty and disease – with over 80% of the energy provided by coal, oil and natural gas – few countries (or states) are likely to follow. They would be crazy to do so. Supposed environmental and climate benefits will therefore be few, whereas damage to economies, families and habitats will be extensive.

The Oregonian says the LCFS is “ultimately a complicated way of forcing people who use conventional fuels to subsidize those who use low-carbon fuels. It’s a hidden tax to support ‘green’ transportation. It will raise fuel prices … create a costly compliance burden … [and] harm Oregon’s competitiveness far more than it will help the environment. And that assumes it works as intended.” It will not and cannot.

LCFS laws will raise the cost of motor fuels by up to 170% over the next ten years – on top of all the other price hikes like minimum wages and the $1.86 trillion in total annual federal (only) regulatory compliance costs that businesses and families already have to pay – the Charles River Associates economic forecasting firm calculates. If these LCFS standards were applied nationally, CRA concluded, they would also destroy between 2.5 million and 4.5 million American jobs.

Ethanol gets 30% less mileage than gasoline, so motorists pay the same price per tank but can drive fewer miles. It collects water, clogs fuel lines, corrodes engine parts, and wreaks havoc on lawn mowers and other small engines. E15 fuel blends (15% ethanol) exacerbate these problems, and low-carbon mandates (“goals”) would likely require 20% ethanol and biodiesel blends, trucking and other groups point out.

Those blends would void vehicle engine warranties and cause extensive damages and repair costs. The higher fuel costs would affect small business expansion, hiring, profitability and survival. The impact of lost jobs, repair costs, and soaring food and fuel bills will hit poor and minority families especially hard.

Some farmers make a lot of money off ethanol. However, beef, pork, chicken, egg and fish producers must pay more for feed, which means family food bills go up. Biofuel mandates also mean international aid agencies must pay more for corn and wheat, so more starving people remain malnourished longer.

Biofuels harm the environment. America has at least a century of petroleum right under our feet, right here in the United States, but “renewable” energy advocates don’t want us to lease, drill, frack or use that energy. However, the per-acre energy from biofuels is minuscule compared to what we get from oil and gas production. In fact, to grow corn for ethanol, we are already plowing an area bigger than Iowa – millions of acres that could be food crops or wildlife habitat. To meet the latest biodiesel mandate of 1.3 billion gallons, producers will have to extract oil from 430 million bushels of soybeans – which means converting countless more acres from food or habitat to energy.

Producing biofuels also requires massive quantities of pesticides, fertilizers, fossil fuels – and water. The US Department of Energy calculates that fracking requires 0.6 to 6.0 gallons of fresh or brackish water per million Btu of energy produced. By comparison, corn-based ethanol requires 2,500 to 29,000 gallons of fresh water per million Btu of energy – and biodiesel from soybeans consumes an astounding and unsustainable 14,000 to 75,000 gallons of fresh water per million Btu!

Moreover, biofuels bring no net “carbon” benefits. In terms of carbon molecules consumed and carbon dioxide emitted over the entire planting, growing, harvesting, refining, shipping and fuel use cycle, ethanol, biodiesel and other “green” fuels are no better than conventional gasoline and diesel.

Put bluntly, giving politicians, bureaucrats and eco-activists power over our energy would be even worse than having them run our healthcare system and insurance websites. Spend enough billions (much of it  taxpayer money) on subsidies and propaganda campaigns – and you might convince a lot of people they should pay more at the pump and grocery store, and maybe lose their jobs, for illusory environmental benefits. But low-carbon mandates are a horrid idea that must be scrutinized in open, robust debate.

It’s time we stopped letting ideology trump science, economics and sanity. We certainly cannot afford to let despotic presidents and governors continue using executive orders to trample on our legislative processes, government by the people, constitutions, laws, freedoms, livelihoods and living standards.

Fiats are fun cars to drive. Executive fiats are dictatorial paths to bad public policy.

Via email

Democrats use climate change as wedge issue on Republicans

When President Obama stood before students in Southern California a week ago ridiculing those who deny climate science, he wasn't just road testing a new political strategy to a friendly audience. He was trying to drive a wedge between younger voters and the Republican Party.

Democrats are convinced that climate change is the new same-sex marriage, an issue that is moving irreversibly in their favor, especially among young people, women and independents, the voters who hold the keys to the White House in 2016.

Wedge issues are those in which one side believes strongly that it has the moral high ground. Just as Republicans held the upper hand on same-sex marriage in 2004, Democrats now see climate change as a way to drive their base voters to the polls while branding Republicans as antiscience and beholden to special interests.

It's not just their own polling telling Democrats that. Stanford political scientist Jon Krosnick [My comment on Krosnick as a pollster is here] found in a new survey that an overwhelming majority of Americans believe climate change is happening and that humans are to blame.

"If I were a campaign consultant, which I'm not," Krosnick said, "it's a no-brainer to advise that if a candidate is comfortable being on the green side of this issue, this is something to trumpet, because it will win more votes than it will lose."

Pushing EPA rule

Polls show large majorities of Americans favoring action on climate change, even if it causes electricity prices to rise. That's one reason Obama has moved ahead forcefully on a rule proposed this month by the Environmental Protection Agency to limit carbon dioxide pollution from the nation's power plants, the biggest step against climate change yet taken by any administration.

It would seem to be a risky bet in a midterm election year in which Democrats' control of the Senate rests on races in a handful of fossil-fuel-dependent states such as Louisiana, Alaska and West Virginia. Republicans clearly think so.

"Much of the Republicans' ability to capture the Senate goes through energy-producing states," said Republican analyst Ford O'Connell. He believes Obama is less worried about Senate Democrats than he is about burnishing his legacy.

After the rule was announced, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the campaign arm of Senate Republicans, ran robocalls in four states dependent on coal-fired electricity, saying the rule would raise energy costs.

GOP attack

Committee spokeswoman Brook Hougesen said the Democrats' "war on coal" is just the beginning, and will soon spread to oil and "cripple entire industries and destroy jobs."

"People need to drive their car, they enjoy watching television, using the iPhones and iPads, sending e-mails and using Facebook," Hougesen said. "They want their energy costs lowered, not raised."

On Thursday, Senate Republicans blocked a must-pass Senate energy appropriations bill by demanding a provision to kill funding for the EPA rule. The move could force a partial government shutdown this fall, if it means Congress is unable to pass the spending bill.

But rather than shy away from the fight, Democrats and their allies are waging a vigorous counterattack.

"The climate deniers in the GOP are beginning to sound like the Flat Earth Society, and what will help them in GOP primaries and gerrymandered districts is going to kill them with swing voters in national elections," said Brad Woodhouse, president of the liberal Americans United for Change.

Chris Lehane is the top political strategist for former Silicon Valley hedge-fund manager Tom Steyer's NextGen Climate Action, a political action committee planning to spend $100 million in state and local races. He's promising to use climate change as a wedge issue.

It "plays into what I call the Republican troglodyte brand," Lehane said - "anti-immigrant, antiwomen, antiscience."


Obama’s Climate McCarthyism Demeans Presidential Office

President Barack Obama demeaned the dignity of the presidency by ridiculing tens of thousands of scientists for simply disagreeing with his lay opinions on global warming. While the political left throws shrill temper tantrums against anybody who “disrespects” the Office of the Presidency by asking Barack Obama a challenging question (something they had no qualms about during the Bush administration), Obama himself is setting the applicable ground rules for disrespectful political discourse and climate McCarthyism.

At a commencement address Saturday at the University of California, Irvine, Obama encouraged students to heap scorn on Ph.D. scientists at some of the world’s most prestigious universities and scientific research institutions if they disagree with Obama’s global warming policies.

“When President Kennedy set us on a course for the moon, there were a number of people who made a serious case that it wouldn’t be worth it,” Obama said. “But nobody ignored the science. I don’t remember anyone saying the moon wasn’t there, or that it was made of cheese.”

President Obama is correct that no Ph.D. scientists – and likely no sane individuals – seriously argued that the moon was made of cheese or was merely an illusion. Does that analogy apply to the global warming debate?

Distinguished professors and scientific researchers on the staffs of Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, MIT, NASA, NOAA, etc., have published research and publicly expressed their findings that humans are not creating a global warming crisis. More than 30,000 scientists, including more than 16,000 with post-graduate science degrees and more than 9,000 with Ph.D.s, have taken the affirmative step of signing a petition summarizing such science. Almost certainly, tens of thousands more – and likely hundreds of thousands more – similarly agree but are unaware of the petition or haven’t taken the affirmative step to read it, review it, and submit their signatures.

As host of the Heartland Institute’s International Conference on Climate Change, which I host approximately once per year, I routinely have to turn away dozens upon dozens of highly qualified university science professors who have heard of the conference and hope to secure a speaking slot. With a limitless budget and time schedule, I could easily have hundreds of university science professors and thousands more professional scientists give presentations calling attention to the flaws in President Obama’s global warming alarmism.

Indeed, multiple surveys of professional meteorologists and climate scientists reveal that if a consensus on the issue exists at all, it is that whatever global warming is occurring is of mixed natural and human causation and does not justify the economy-killing prescriptions championed by self-serving politicians like Barack Obama.

To the limited extent global warming alarmists publicly debate the issue, their track record for success is about the same as that of China at soccer’s World Cup. For those who are skeptical, take a look at how one the global warming movement’s most visible advocates, Gavin Schmidt, fared the one time he participated in a public debate. After getting beaten so soundly that even he admitted it was a mistake to debate other scientists on the issue (and blamed his loss on one of his opponents being taller than him), is it any wonder he and his fellow alarmists avoid public debates the way John Edwards avoids National Enquirer reporters? Perhaps forgetting how badly Schmidt fared in his one-time debate, a Florida State University faculty member who was trained by Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project agreed to publicly debate me on the topic and fared just as miserably. Here is video of the debate that climate alarmists claim “is over.”

This brings us back to Obama’s attempt to vilify and ridicule scientists who disagree with his lay scientific conjecture. Perhaps it is true that ridicule and vilification are common, if regrettable, aspects of contemporary politics. Most Americans would hope that the President of the United States would not demean the office by engaging in such mean-spirited and sophomoric behavior, but we have also come to realize that politicians will be politicians, no matter how much power they have attained. But this isn’t about one ambitious politician smearing another ambitious politician. This is about the President of the United States – a non-scientist – making a grossly dishonest mischaracterization and analogy at the expense of expert scientists and then encouraging our nation’s best and brightest to shout down those scientists utilizing further dishonesty and McCarthyism to further political agendas. And the moment somebody questions the President about such reprehensible conduct – no matter how calmly the question is asked – the political left goes into conniptions about how appalling and reprehensible it is to disrespect the Office of the President of the United States in such a manner.

Sorry, Barack, but you have only yourself to blame for so pitifully demeaning the Office of the President.


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22 June, 2014

News that is music to Al Gore's ears

The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consulaff, at Bergen, Norway.

Reports from fishermen, seal hunters, and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes.

Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared.

Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds. Within a few years it is predicted that due to the ice melt the sea will rise enough to make most coastal cities uninhabitable.


I apologize. I neglected to mention that this report was from November 2, 1922, as reported by the AP and published in The Washington Post 92+ years ago. Verified by Snopes.

The scandal of fiddled global warming data

When future generations try to understand how the world got carried away around the end of the 20th century by the panic over global warming, few things will amaze them more than the part played in stoking up the scare by the fiddling of official temperature data.

There was already much evidence of this seven years ago, when I was writing my history of the scare, The Real Global Warming Disaster. But now another damning example has been uncovered by Steven Goddard’s US blog Real Science, showing how shamelessly manipulated has been one of the world’s most influential climate records, the graph of US surface temperature records published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Goddard shows how, in recent years, NOAA’s US Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) has been “adjusting” its record by replacing real temperatures with data “fabricated” by computer models. The effect of this has been to downgrade earlier temperatures and to exaggerate those from recent decades, to give the impression that the Earth has been warming up much more than is justified by the actual data.

In several posts headed “Data tampering at USHCN/GISS”, Goddard compares the currently published temperature graphs with those based only on temperatures measured at the time. These show that the US has actually been cooling since the Thirties, the hottest decade on record; whereas the latest graph, nearly half of it based on “fabricated” data, shows it to have been warming at a rate equivalent to more than 3 degrees centigrade per century.

When I first began examining the global-warming scare, I found nothing more puzzling than the way officially approved scientists kept on being shown to have finagled their data, as in that ludicrous “hockey stick” graph, pretending to prove that the world had suddenly become much hotter than at any time in 1,000 years.

Any theory needing to rely so consistently on fudging the evidence, I concluded, must be looked on not as science at all, but as simply a rather alarming case study in the aberrations of group psychology.


Goldman Sachs are on the job!

A war-cry from former Goldman Sachs boss Hank Paulson excerpted below.  It's basically just the usual appeal to authority but, perhaps because he is a Republican, he does actually mention some evidence.  He mentions melting in the Arctic but fails to mention that the Antarctic is gaining mass overall.  He mentions melting in the West Antarctic but fails to mention that it's got lots of volcanoes under it.  He mentions recent windstorms but fails to mention that they are far fewer than they were.  So he is not quite as brain dead as most Warmists and that might persuade some people

THERE is a time for weighing evidence and a time for acting. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout my work in finance, government and conservation, it is to act before problems become too big to manage.

For too many years, we failed to rein in the excesses building up in the nation’s financial markets. When the credit bubble burst in 2008, the damage was devastating. Millions suffered. Many still do.

We’re making the same mistake today with climate change. We’re staring down a climate bubble that poses enormous risks to both our environment and economy. The warning signs are clear and growing more urgent as the risks go unchecked.

The solution can be a fundamentally conservative one that will empower the marketplace to find the most efficient response. We can do this by putting a price on emissions of carbon dioxide — a carbon tax. Few in the United States now pay to emit this potent greenhouse gas into the atmosphere we all share. Putting a price on emissions will create incentives to develop new, cleaner energy technologies.

We are building up excesses (debt in 2008, greenhouse gas emissions that are trapping heat now). Our government policies are flawed (incentivizing us to borrow too much to finance homes then, and encouraging the overuse of carbon-based fuels now). Our experts (financial experts then, climate scientists now) try to understand what they see and to model possible futures. And the outsize risks have the potential to be tremendously damaging (to a globalized economy then, and the global climate now).

Already, observations are catching up with years of scientific models, and the trends are not in our favor.

Fewer than 10 years ago, the best analysis projected that melting Arctic sea ice would mean nearly ice-free summers by the end of the 21st century. Now the ice is melting so rapidly that virtually ice-free Arctic summers could be here in the next decade or two. The lack of reflective ice will mean that more of the sun’s heat will be absorbed by the oceans, accelerating warming of both the oceans and the atmosphere, and ultimately raising sea levels.

Even worse, in May, two separate studies discovered that one of the biggest thresholds has already been reached. The West Antarctic ice sheet has begun to melt, a process that scientists estimate may take centuries but that could eventually raise sea levels by as much as 14 feet. Now that this process has begun, there is nothing we can do to undo the underlying dynamics, which scientists say are “baked in.” And 10 years from now, will other thresholds be crossed that scientists are only now contemplating?

It is true that there is uncertainty about the timing and magnitude of these risks and many others. But those who claim the science is unsettled or action is too costly are simply trying to ignore the problem. We must see the bigger picture.

I’m a businessman, not a climatologist. But I’ve spent a considerable amount of time with climate scientists and economists who have devoted their careers to this issue. There is virtually no debate among them that the planet is warming and that the burning of fossil fuels is largely responsible.

Some members of my political party worry that pricing carbon is a “big government” intervention. In fact, it will reduce the role of government, which, on our present course, increasingly will be called on to help communities and regions affected by climate-related disasters like floods, drought-related crop failures and extreme weather like tornadoes, hurricanes and other violent storms. We’ll all be paying those costs. Not once, but many times over.

This is already happening, with taxpayer dollars rebuilding homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy and the deadly Oklahoma tornadoes. This is a proper role of government. But our failure to act on the underlying problem is deeply misguided, financially and logically.

In a future with more severe storms, deeper droughts, longer fire seasons and rising seas that imperil coastal cities, public funding to pay for adaptations and disaster relief will add significantly to our fiscal deficit and threaten our long-term economic security. So it is perverse that those who want limited government and rail against bailouts would put the economy at risk by ignoring climate change.

This is short-termism. There is a tendency, particularly in government and politics, to avoid focusing on difficult problems until they balloon into crisis. We would be fools to wait for that to happen to our climate.

Climate change is the challenge of our time. Each of us must recognize that the risks are personal. We’ve seen and felt the costs of underestimating the financial bubble. Let’s not ignore the climate bubble.


Presidential Pollinator Protection: More Activity as Substitute for Accomplishment

An article by Justin Sink appeared in the online edition of The Hill on 06/20/14 stating that Obama has sent out an executive order to all Cabinet secretaries and agency heads requiring “the federal government to develop a plan for protecting pollinators such as honey bees, butterflies, birds and bats in response to mounting concerns about the impact of dwindling populations on American crops.”

Obama also claims, “the problem is serious and requires immediate attention to ensure the sustainability of our food production systems, avoid additional economic impact on the agricultural sector, and protect the health of the environment".

Consistency is important, it’s unfortunate that Obama is wrong so -consistently. It’s also unfortunate that so many who have posted commentaries on the problems with bees, birds, bats and butterflies are equally so. If the logical fallacies and misinformation were eliminated from these commentaries there would far fewer, and those left would be far more accurate.

Let's start with European honey bees. In January of 2012 I pointed out in my article,Colony CollapseDisorder: Cause – All Natural:

“First, it is not true that there has been a mysterious worldwide collapse in honey bee populations. In fact managed hives (which contain the bees which do the vast majority of our pollinating) have increased by a remarkable 45 per cent over the last five years. Lawrence D. Harder from the department of biology at the University of Calgary and Marcelo Aizen from Buenos Aires set about pinning down a couple of myths…….The bee disaster scenario is dependent upon data which is far too regional to take seriously and ‘not representative of global trends’. The truth is that there are more bees in the world than ever. They go on to say; ‘It is a myth that humanity would starve without bees.’ While some 70 per cent of our most productive crops are animal-pollinated (by bees, hoverflies and the like), very few indeed rely on animal pollination completely. Furthermore, most staple foods — wheat, rice and corn — do not depend on animal pollination at all. They are wind-pollinated, or self-pollinating. If all the bees in the world dropped dead tomorrow afternoon, it would reduce our food production by only between 4 and 6 per cent.....‘Overall we must conclude that claims of a global crisis in agricultural production are untrue.’

Sink goes on to say;

“under the president's order, the government will establish a new task force tasked with developing a "coordinated research action plan" to help better understand and prevent the loss of pollinating species.” And that “government agencies will also be tasked with developing plans to enhance habitats for pollinating species on federal lands. And agencies will partner with local governments, farmers, and the business community in a bid to increase the quality and availability of available habitats for the species.”

This will be just another excuse for huge land grabs by the federal government, as if under the Endangered Species Act the use of “suitable habitat” rulings aren’t bad enough already.

Obama claims that"given the breadth, severity, and persistence of pollinator losses, it is critical to expand federal efforts and take new steps to reverse pollinator losses and help restore populations to healthy levels”. Now here’s the part that should be of even more concern. The President says; "these steps should include the development of new public-private partnerships and increased citizen engagement." Who exactly will make up these groups of ‘citizens’ in these ‘public-private” groups? Will it be the Sierra Club, Greenpeace or other green/left activists who will use any excuse to stand against modern life, progress, chemicals, genetically modified foods, and more? Or will it be the National Pest Management Association, The Farm Bureau, Croplife America or Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment, who are responsible for defending the nation against insects, disease and starvation?

Let's now deal with the slaughter of bats - which are all protected - and birds - many of which are protected or endangered. It's the green movement that must take responsibility for their slaughter through their promotion of wind energy.  Bats are killed extensively by the “low-pressure air pockets created around the swirling blades of the turbines cause bats' lungs to implode, instantly killing them”.

This is a direct result of following the same idiotic green energy production ideas that failed under Jimmy Carter, and another lack of consistent thinking that should concern everyone. These Cuisinarts are causing massive slaughters worldwide of protected birds and bats; massively larger than environmentalists claimed was being caused by DDT (which was a lie and doesn’t kill bats at all) and the government has given them a pass!

As I pointed out in my article, "Green Power and Precautionary Double Standards”;We absolutely know these monsters are killing at least 573,000 birds every year, including some 83,000 eagles, hawks and other raptors - in clear violation of US laws. Other estimates put the toll at closer to 13,000,000 birds and bats annually. Why are the "precautionary" activists stone-cold silent about that? Why? Because “unintentional kills are to be expected”! If you killed a bald eagle in an “unintentional” accident would you get the same kind of pass? No! Because this double standard is deliberate.

(Editor's Note:  Since this article was published some have finally stepped up, but they also fail in consistent thinking because they're willing to accept kills in smaller numbers.)

What about butterfly protection? That is nothing more than a direct attack on genetically modified crops.  In reality there’s no real evidence GMO’s impact butterflies negatively, except for a Cornell study in 1999, and even the author, Professor John Losey, noted the study was a "laboratory study” and not to be taken too seriously against real world activity. The butterflies in the study were forced to feed on corn pollen, which proved something entomologists already knew – Bt enhanced corn pollen can kill Monarchs. Apparently he doesn’t believe this study lays ground work for any real concern saying; "our study was conducted in the laboratory and, while it raises an important issue, it would be inappropriate to draw any conclusions about the risk to Monarch populations in the field based solely on these initial results."

In the real world Monarch butterflies don’t like, and generally don’t eat corn pollen, or anything corn pollen rests on if given other options. As for Bt enhanced corn pollen landing on other plants such as milkweed - it had better be right next to the corn field since corn pollen is heavy and doesn’t travel far, and there is very little milkweed around corn fields. Also the study did not display how much Monarchs would have to eat to be harmed or how much exposure there would have to be to Bt in the real world....

This play by the President is nothing more than activity as a substitute for accomplishment, with potentially other motives behind it. As for that $50 million the President has requested for the Department of Agriculture to create a public-private movement to reverse this trend -Does anyone really believe a dime will make it to the National Pest Management Association, The Farm Bureau, Croplife America, Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment or any other responsible group?  


Some Things the Media Claim Were Caused by ‘Global Warming’

It seems like with global warming embedded in our politics (for now), anything we don’t fully understand can now be ‘legitimately’ blamed on the weather. Forget the trusty old excuse about the dog eating your homework: A sampling of news stories tells us instead that global warming might really be the cause of all our problems. Allegedly, thanks to global warming:

Your breakfast got even less exciting. Your morning coffee is going to be more expensive. Also, the cost of cereal could climb by as much as 30 percent because of global warming according to an Oxfam report(their recommendation to General Mills and Kellogg’s: “intensify” effort to cut greenhouse gases, which ironically would also likely increase the cost of cereal and beverages). Thankfully, populations of feral cats and dogs are liable to increase, and these could suffice as possible “bridge food” for climate change refugees.

History and culture have been redefined. Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jack Dawson didn’t make it off the Titanic in 1912 thanks to global warming. Two years later the world engaged in WWI, followed by the Great Depression, and WWII, all of which apparently slowed the pace of global warming. In current cultural events, the arts world has been subjected to climate change…the musical. And a horror movie. Some congregations have been subjected to a new topic for bad sermons. And employees are less productive at work.

America’s adversaries have been aided. Climate change has boosted Russian rice, corn and sunflower seed crops and promises to unlock some of the natural resources trapped in Siberian permafrost. And rather than failed diplomacy, climate change was the catalyst for Boko Haram. Meanwhile, North Korea has emerged as an example of combating climate change.

Nature got a little bit wilder. Salamanders are shrinking in size, but the return of bus-sized snakes is more likely. Meanwhile the coquis frog in Puerto Rico croaks a little higher, butterflies in Ohio are showing up a bit earlier, and there is an abundance of rock snot in West Virginia streams and not enough tissues to deal with it. It also has been discovered that global warming killed a 16-year-old polar bear (even though the average lifespan of a polar bear is 15-18 years).

Vacation plans are being ruined. Airline passengers might want to use those seatbelts on their next flight because of greater turbulence. Thanks to global warming, life in Asia is generally miserable and England will be too wet, and too dry…and too cold…and too hot. That hike you may have been planning to the peak of Mt. Everest will be harder, in case it wasn’t hard enough already, and out of good eco-conscience you probably shouldn’t run another marathon because of all the unnecessary CO2 emissions. And the migration of the Baird’s sparrow away from North Dakota to Canada is threatening to cut into the hordes of tourists coming to bird watch.

What has been called the dangerous, more expensive, more uncertain future of climate change may in fact just be climate, which always changes.  Nevertheless, the Obama administration wants to implement costly global warming regulations that not only will have almost zero impact on global average temperatures, but also will  drastically change for the worse how Americans access and use energy, an important building block of the American economy and quality of living

Now that’s a real problem—one Congress actually can do something about.


Australia:  Greenie-inspired attempt to lock away a large semi-wilderness area knocked on the head in the courts

QUEENSLAND’S Wild Rivers legislation has been declared invalid in Cape York, ending a five-year struggle by indigenous groups to preserve the right to pursue economic opportunities in the region.

A Federal Court judge yesterday ruled that a Queensland minister erred in law five years ago in declaring three rivers on the cape as "wild”.

The main objection of indigenous groups was that the legislation stopped potential economic development of the region in far north Queensland by "locking up” the rivers and the areas around them. They claimed the previous state Labor government had undertaken the Wild Rivers plan to win green preferences in city seats it needed to retain power.

The Federal Court decision centred on the Bligh government’s action in declaring the Archer, Lockhart and Stewart rivers on Cape York as wild rivers on April 3, 2009, only weeks after the state election that saw the ALP government returned.

Federal Court judge Andrew Greenwood found yesterday that the decision was made too quickly and without enough consideration of the views of the traditional owners.

"The decision to make the declarations was a function of urgently delivering on an election promise ... the declarations got ahead of the formulation of the material addressing the preconditions upon which the exercise of the power rested,” he wrote in his judgment.

The government had received 3062 submissions about the declarations, but 2577 of these were pro forma submissions made through the Wilderness Society’s website.

Indigenous leader Noel Pearson, who led the opposition to Wild Rivers by arguing that it deprived indigenous people of economic opportunities, said yesterday that the five-year legal struggle had diverted attention from key areas such as health and education on the cape.

He said new projects that could provide jobs for indigenous people in areas such as horticulture and tourism could now begin.

"Traditional owners should decide whether they want conservation or a mixture of both," Mr Pearson said.

"We don’t want this unilaterally imposed on them by political deals in Brisbane."

"It’s a just process, but it really shouldn’t have taken five years to reach this point.”

The Archer, Lockhart and Stewart rivers were the most prominent of the 12 rivers gazetted under the legislation. Most of the others are in western Queensland such as Coopers Creek and the Georgina and Diamantina Basins, but some are on the east coast of Cape York, such as Hinchinbrook near Ingham.

While the Newman government has set in train a process of regional land plans on Cape York that would supersede Wild Rivers, the legislation still exists elsewhere in the state and is not due to be debated until August, when it is expected to be extinguished.

"So they have made promises, but after two years, it still hasn’t happened,” Mr Pearson said.

"At the end of the day, the court victory came before anything else.” Mr Pearson was scathing in his criticism of former Labor premier Anna Bligh and former natural resources minister Stephen Robertson, who made the Wild Rivers declarations.

The Cape York leader said yesterday: "They should hang their heads in shame having put our people through five years of struggle."

The action was brought forward by traditional owner Martha Koowarta, the widow of 1980s Cape York land rights campaigner John Koowartha who successfully challenged Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s government over a land rights claim in 1982.

Mrs Koowarta, who lives in the Cape York town of Aurukun but was in Brisbane for the judgment yesterday, was elated at the outcome.

"I’m so happy," she said outside the court.

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said the court outcome vindicated the Liberal National Party’s opposition to the Wild Rivers scheme when it was in opposition. The court awarded costs against the government.

"I can’t say we’re happy about it, but otherwise it would be the indigenous groups who paid,” Mr Seeney said.

The main supporter of Wild Rivers was the Wilderness Society. It said that the river catchments on Cape York would now be exposed to "risky industrial development such as open-cut mining, in-stream dams and intense irrigated agriculture”.

"Queensland is blessed with some of the last remaining free-flowing rivers left on the planet and they need to be treasured,” said Queensland campaign manager Tim Seelig.



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20 June, 2014

Kerry: 'At Least 98, 99% of All Scientists in Our Country’ Believe in Climate Change

At this stage, Kerry is speaking deliberate lies.  Nothing new about that for him. He's still got the hat, remember

At a time when debate is swirling over the assertion that 97 percent of scientists endorse man-made global warming, Secretary of State John Kerry – a frequent citer of the 97 percent figure – in a speech Wednesday nudged the figure up to “at least 98, 99 percent.”

“When it comes to climate change, when it comes to food security, we are literally facing a moment of adversity – perhaps even dire necessity,” Kerry said at a State Department food security award ceremony.

“It’s hard to convince people – hard to convince people of a challenge that isn’t immediately tangible to everybody particularly,” he continued. “But it is clear to at least 98, 99 percent of all the scientists in our country that to confront these challenges, we must invent and we must innovate, and most of all, we need to work together and we need to get to work.”

On several occasions this year Kerry has referred to “97 percent of scientists” backing the notion that climate change is happening, and that human activity is to blame – or what activists refer to as “anthropogenic [that is, human-induced] global warming” (AGW).

In a speech in Mexico last month, he spoke of “97 percent of the scientists of the world warning us about the devastating impact of global climate change if we don’t take action – and take serious action – soon.”

A few days earlier, he told Boston College graduates that “97 percent of the world’s scientists tell us this is urgent.”

And in a speech in Indonesia in February, Kerry said that “97 percent of climate scientists have confirmed that climate change is happening and that human activity is responsible,” adding that “these scientists agree on the causes of these changes and they agree on the potential effects.”

Kerry’s latest comments come amid debate over the accuracy of the 97 percent claim, which is based most often on a survey by a team led by an Australian physicist and climate blogger, John Cook, which reported that 97 percent of some 4,000 peer-reviewed studies that declared a position on AGW “endorsed the consensus position.”

When that survey was published in May 2013, President Obama linked to a wire service report on it on his Twitter account, tweeting, “Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.”

(In fact neither the published survey nor the wire service report referred to the “dangerous” claim.)

Last month, the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by Heartland Institute president and CEO Joseph Bast and climate scientist Roy Spencer, charging that the 97 percent claim was “a fiction,” and challenging the Cook and other studies often cited as sources for the figure.

That in turn brought strong and critical responses from several quarters, including the online magazine Salon, and one of the co-collaborators in the Cook study, writing in The Guardian.

After a hearing of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology late last month, committee chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said in a statement that both the latest report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the White House’s National Climate Assessment documents “appear to be designed to spread fear and alarm and provide cover for previously determined government policies.”

“The president and others often claim that 97 percent of scientists believe that global warming is primarily driven by human activity,” Smith said. “However, the study they cite has been debunked. When asked today whether the science of climate change is settled or if uncertainties remain, witnesses unanimously said that the science is not settled.”

Witnesses at the hearing included Richard Tol, professor of economics at Britain’s University of Sussex, and an IPCC report lead author who asked to have his name removed from its latest summary report because he said he found it “too alarmist.”


Green-left messiah desperately seeking spin-doctor

George Monbiot, not for the first time, has admitted to being wrong. He feels his life’s work, banging on about saving the planet, has annoyed people. He wants to stop being annoying, which entails “changing the language”.

Like many middle-aged men, George Monbiot, one of the Guardian’s more prominent left-wing messiahs, is having a wee crisis.  “For 30 years I banged on about [environmental] threats,” he laments, only to find that he’s been “engaged in contradiction and futility”.

The problem? We’re just not listening. So he is searching his soul, and making a demonstrative display of it, as if to say, “Look at me! See how intellectually honest I am with myself!”

And he is. Too honest by half, in fact. He reveals himself to be a misanthropic, insulting elitist. Let me explain.

Monbiot thinks the fact that environmentalists have failed to convince people of the urgency of their case has to do with how he and his ilk communicate things. Emphasising threats, he says, only serves to appeal to “extrinsic values”, such as “power, prestige, image and status”.

As he theorises: “Experimental work suggests that when fears are whipped up, they trigger an instinctive survival response. You suppress your concern for other people and focus on your own interests. Conservative strategists seem to know this, which is why they emphasise crime, terrorism, deficits and immigration.” (He does not say on which pusillanimous right-wing racists he experimented, and whether they survived.)

Since environmentalists have always preached the fear of armageddon, he reasons, they’ve only made people more selfish and uncaring. Instead, he thinks the green left ought to appeal to what he calls “intrinsic values”, namely “intimacy, kindness, self-acceptance, independent thought and action”.

The trick is to seduce us with promises of a better world, all nice and clean and “rewilded”. This obscure and clumsy term might be surprising in this context, but naked greed explains it. He craftily links to his book, which happens to be “a manifesto on rewilding”. After all, when he’s being self-interested, he’s not like the rest of us, who are just short-sighted, hateful and uncaring. (Especially when we write about environmental exaggeration and how it harms emerging economies. Hint, hint. I earn royalties and I don’t care.)

Monbiot makes it clear: he doesn’t think that “climate breakdown” and “mass extinction” are no longer threats. He still thinks his purpose is “saving the planet”, as if he is some sort of holier-than-thou messiah who can promise us a place in paradise if only we wouldn’t squirm under his gentle, guiding hand.

But he realises he’s been quite annoying about it, which must be why we’re not listening to him. And that is a public relations problem. It is a matter of changing how he and his allies in the environmental movement communicate. Like a priest who feels he’s lost the the youth to dancing and wickedness, Monbiot thinks it’s about “changing the language” to be less “alienating”.

It never once occurs to him that his substance, not his style, might be the problem. Monbiot has on many an occasion been forced to renounce convictions he once firmly held. It is true that someone who is often wrong is not necessarily always wrong, but it can’t help his credibility.

He famously made a u-turn about nuclear power, which he had always rejected in the strongest terms. In the aftermath of Fukushima, he conceded what most of us have long known: nuclear power is among the cleanest and safest sources of energy we know.

Monbiot had to climb down off his pulpit in praise of veganism. He once said the only way to avoid widespread famine was for the rich to give up meat, fish and dairy. He now says the ethical case “once seemed clear”, but he was wrong.

In 1999, before the violent “Battle in Seattle” protest against the World Trade Organisation, George Monbiot was rallying the anti-globalisation troops. A few years later, he admitted he was wrong about trade, adding: “The only thing worse than a world with the wrong international trade rules is a world with no trade rules at all.”

Another favourite trope of the left is that rampant greed and consumerism means we’ll inevitably run out of resources, because they’re not infinite. The most popular of these was the neurosis about “peak oil”. As recently as 2009, Monbiot wrote: “It’s probably too late to prepare for peak oil, but we can at least try to salvage food production.”

Of course, the price mechanism prevented the anticipated disaster, as I’ve always argued it would. Only when the alarmist predictions failed to come true, and new sources like shale oil and oil sands began to boom, did Monbiot finally admit “we were wrong”. He likes the royal “we” when he’s in a confessional mood.

All of these admissions of error have come with face-saving caveats, of course. Vegans were wrong, but we ought to farm meat differently. Peak oil alarmists were wrong, but there’s too much of it. Free trade is not evil, but don’t you just loathe George Bush?

To Monbiot’s mind, repeatedly being proven wrong by both argument and history couldn’t possibly be why environmentalists lack credibility when they warn about threats. No, he thinks it is because the green left fails to heed “psychologists and cognitive linguists”.

He says environmentalists just need to put a positive spin on things, and everyone will reject selfishness and greed and skip into an enchanted, rewilded future, hand in hand.

It has not occurred to Monbiot that perhaps people don’t like him because he insults them. He accuses people who disagree with him of being self-centred and insecure fools who don’t care about anyone else and care about nature least of all. What a patronising, prejudiced delight he must be at dinner parties.

It hasn’t occurred to Monbiot that when some of us talk about economic concerns, we consider all the good things prosperity has done for humanity: lower child mortality, less disease, longer lives, better nutrition, more leisure time and – yes – improved environmental quality.

It comes as a surprise to him that caring about prosperity is not mutually exclusive with caring about humanity or nature. He can’t bear to admit that people who disagree with him might want a clean, healthy environment too.

I cannot speak for everyone on his political right, because it would be presumptuous of me to claim to know the wants and needs of billions of people. Most of humanity is hardly a monolithic bloc. Some of us surely are racist bigots, but most of us are not. Some of us are happy to be called “conservative”, but not all of us are. Some of us torture puppies, but I think I can safely say most of us want less poverty and more prosperity. Being George Monbiot is a rare gift, of course, but a few of us lesser mortals even think of nature as more than just a healthy, productive resource where we live and grow our food. Some of us actually experience “wonder and enchantment” about nature once in a while, though we won’t admit it down the boozer.

It’s hard to fathom, I know, being that we’re such a degenerate lot, but as Monbiot says himself: “Surveys across 60 countries show that most people consistently hold concern for others, tolerance, kindness and thinking for themselves to be more important than wealth, image and power.”

The shame for him is that he needs to learn this from surveys. This suggests a deep-seated misanthropy. To him, it’s always been an either-or question. Either you’re like George Monbiot, or you’re a depraved miscreant. Either you like nature, or you think only of money.

As Monbiot himself wrote less than six weeks ago, in a piece entitled “Why we couldn't care less about the natural world”: “The richer we are and the more we consume, the more self-centred and careless of the lives of others we appear to become.”

He divides the world into two stereotypes: people like him – who care about things like intimacy, kindness, self-acceptance, independent thought and action – and the rest of us – who don’t think for ourselves, fear other people, hate ourselves, are cruel and cold, and couldn’t care less about nature. We’d sell our own mothers if a toff with a demagogic streak told us he’d get an immigrant to wax our banger, because that’s how common we are. (And by “banger” I mean “old car”, of course.)

So, now Monbiot has discovered that he was wrong about that too. Without any apparent self-consciousness about his own opinion of last month, he writes: “We've tended to assume people are more selfish than they really are.”

Yes, you have tended to assume that, George. That’s why people don’t like you. That’s why people don’t listen to you. You’re wrong all the time. You insult people for saying so. And you’re condescending enough to think they can be manipulated by some shiny new spin.

There’s your communication problem, right there. Stop calling people shallow and greedy and stupid and cold and self-centred. Start respecting the needs and desires of other people, even if they don’t live in a charming and ancient Welsh hamlet of 2,000 souls.

Sorry about your mid-life crisis. But until you stop lashing out at people for not buying your brand of baloney, you’re the very epitome of the prejudice and smug hypocrisy of the green-left elite.


The EPA is America's Other Enemy

By Alan Caruba

While our attention is focused on events in the Middle East, a domestic enemy of the nation is doing everything in its power to kill the provision of electricity to the nation and, at the same time, to control every drop of water in the United States, an attack on its agricultural sector. That enemy is the Environmental Protection Agency.

Like the rest of the Obama administration, it has no regard for real science and continues to reinterpret the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. It has an agenda that threatens every aspect of life in the nation.

As Craig Rucker, the Executive Director of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) recently warned, “True to her word,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, “is busily grabbing powers for EPA that Congress specifically chose not to grant, and that the Supreme Court has denied on multiple occasions.”

“The federal bureaucracy under the Obama presidency has a voracious appetite for more power. It despises individual liberty and drags down the economy every change it gets,” Rucker warns.

In addition to implementing President Obama’s “war on coal” that is depriving the nation of coal-fired plants that provide electricity, the EPA has announced a proposed rule titled “Definition of ‘Waters of the United States’ Under the Clean Water Act”, redefining, as Ron Arnold of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise reported in the Washington Examiner “nearly everything wet as ‘waters of the United States or WOTUS—and potentially subject us all to permits and fines.”

The President has made it clear that the rule of law has no importance to him and his administration and this is manifestly demonstrated by the actions of the EPA. “This abomination,” says Arnold, “is equivalent to invasion by hostile troops out to seize the jurisdictions of all 50 states. WOTUS gives untrustworthy federal bureaucrats custody of every  watershed, creates crushing new power to coerce all who keep America going and offers no benefit to the victimized and demoralized tax-paying public.”

In response to the EPA’s new power grab, more than 200 House members called on the Obama administration in May to drop its plans to expanded the EPA’s jurisdiction over smaller bodies of water around the nation. A letter was sent to EPA Administrator McCarthy and Department of Army Secretary John M. McHugh (re: Army Corps of Engineers) asking that the proposal be withdrawn.

“Under this plan, there’d be no body of water in America—including mud puddles and canals—that wouldn’t be at risk from job-destroying federal regulation,” said Rep, Doc Hastings (R-Wash), chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee. “This dramatic expansion of federal government control will directly impact the livelihoods and viability of farmers and small businesses in rural America.”

Nearly thirty major trade associations have joined together to create the Waters Advocacy Coalition. They represent the nation’s construction, manufacturing, housing, real estate, mining, agricultural and energy sectors. The coalition supports S. 2245, “Preserve the Waters of the U.S. Act” which would prevent the EPA and Corps of Engineers from issuing their “Final Guidance on Identifying Waters Protected by the Clean Water Act.”

What has this nation come to if the Senate has to try to pass an act intended to prevent the EPA from extending control over the nation’s waters beyond the Clean Waters Act that identifies such control as limited to “navigable waters”? You can’t navigate a water ditch or a puddle!

There are acts that limit agencies such as the EPA from going beyond their designated powers. They are the Regulatory Flexibility Act and the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act.  The coalition says that the EPA and Corps “should not be allowed to use guidance to implement the largest expansion of Clean Water Act authority since it was enacted. Only Congress has the authority to make such a sweeping change.”

In two Supreme Court decisions, one in 2001 and another in 2006, rejected regulation of “isolated waters” by the EPA.

It does not matter to the EPA or the Obama administration what the Supreme Court has ruled Congress has enacted in the Clean Water Act, nor the Clean Air Act.

We are witnessing an EPA that is acting as a criminal enterprise and it must be stopped before it imposes so much damage on the nation that it destroys it.


Fixing our dictatorial EPA

EPA, White House and activists must no longer deceive America and rule by executive fiat

Paul Driessen

Last year, Congress enacted 72 new laws and federal agencies promulgated 3,659 new rules, imposing $1.86 trillion in annual regulatory compliance costs on American businesses and families. It’s hardly surprising that America’s economy shrank by 1% the first quarter of 2014, our labor participation rate is a miserable 63% and real unemployment stands at 12-23% (and even worse for blacks and Hispanics).

It’s no wonder a recent Gallup poll found that 56% of respondents said the economy, unemployment and dissatisfaction with government are the most serious problems facing our nation – whereas only 3% said it is environmental issues, with climate change only a small segment of that.

So naturally, the Environmental Protection Agency issued another round of draconian restrictions on coal-fired power plants, once again targeting carbon dioxide emissions. EPA rules now effectively prevent the construction of new plants and require the closure of hundreds of older facilities. By 2030 the regulations will cost 224,000 jobs, force US consumers to pay $289 billion more for electricity, and lower disposable incomes for American households by $586 billion, the US Chamber of Commerce calculates.

The House of Representatives holds hearings and investigations, and drafts corrective legislation that the Harry Reid Senate immediately squelches. When questions or challenges arise, the courts defer to “agency discretion,” even when agencies ignore or rewrite statutory provisions. Our three co-equal branches of government have become an “Executive Branch trumps all” system – epitomized by EPA.

Some legal philosophers refer to this as “post-modernism.” President Obama’s constitutional law professor called it “the curvature of constitutional space.” A better term might be neo-colonialism – under which an uncompromising American ruler and his agents control citizens by executive fiat, to slash fossil fuel use, fundamentally transform our Constitution, economy and social structure, and redistribute wealth and political power to cronies, campaign contributors and voting blocs that keep them in power.

Even worse, in the case of climate change, this process is buttressed by secrecy, highly questionable research, contrived peer reviews, outright dishonesty, and an absence of accountability.

Fewer than half of Americans believe climate change is manmade or dangerous. Many know that China, Australia, Canada, India and even European countries are revising policies that have pummeled families, jobs, economies and industries with anti-hydrocarbon and renewable energy requirements. They understand that even eliminating coal and petroleum use in the United States will not lower atmospheric carbon dioxide levels or control a climate that has changed repeatedly throughout Earth’s history.

Mr. Obama and EPA chief Gina McCarthy are nevertheless determined to slash reliance on coal, even in 20 states that rely on this fuel for half to 95% of their electricity, potentially crippling their economies. The President has said electricity rates will “necessarily skyrocket,” coal companies will face bankruptcy, and if Congress does not act on climate change and cap-tax-and-trade, he will. Ms. McCarthy has similarly said she “didn’t go to Washington to sit around and wait for congressional action.”

However, they know “pollution” and “children’s health” resonate much better than “climate disruption” among voters. So now they mix their climate chaos rhetoric with assertions that shutting down coal-fired power plants will reduce asthma rates among children. It is a false, disingenuous argument.

Steadily improving air pollution controls have sent sulfur dioxide emissions from U.S. coal-fired power plants tumbling by more than 40% and particulate emissions (the alleged cause of asthma) by more than 90% since 1970, says air quality expert Joel Schwartz, even as coal use tripled. In fact, asthma rates have increased, while air pollution has declined – underscoring that asthma hospitalizations and outdoor air pollution are not related. The real causes of asthma are that young children live in tightly insulated homes, spend less time outdoors, don’t get exposed to enough allergens to reduce immune hyperactivity and allergic hypersensitivity, and get insufficient exercise to keep lungs robust, health experts explain.

But the American Lung Association backs up the White House and EPA claims – vigorously promoting the phony pollution/asthma link. However, EPA’s $24.7 million in grants to the ALA over the past 15 years should raise questions about the association’s credibility and integrity on climate and pollution.

EPA also channels vast sums to its “independent” Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, which likewise rubberstamps the agency’s pollution claims and regulations: $180.8 million  to 15 CASAC members since 2000. Imagine the outrage and credibility gap if Big Oil gave that kind of money to scientists who question the “dangerous manmade climate change” mantra.

Moreover, even EPA’s illegal studies on humans have failed to show harmful effects from pollution levels the agency intends to impose. Other EPA rules are based on epidemiological data that the agency now says it cannot find. (Perhaps they fell into same black hole as Lois Lerner’s missing IRS emails.) EPA’s CO2 rulings are based on GIGO computer models that are fed simplistic assumptions about human impacts on Earth’s climate, and on cherry-picked analyses that are faulty and misleading.

In numerous instances, EPA’s actions completely ignore the harmful impacts that its regulations will have on the health and well-being of millions of Americans. EPA trumpets wildly exaggerated benefits its anti-fossil-fuel rules will supposedly bring but refuses to assess even obvious harm from unemployment, soaring energy costs and reduced family incomes. And now Mr. Obama wants another $2.5 billion for FY-2015 climate change models and “assessments” via EPA and the Global Change Research Program.

EPA’s actions routinely violate the Information Quality Act. The IQA is intended to ensure the quality, integrity, credibility and reliability of any science used by federal agencies to justify regulatory actions.  Office of Management and Budget guidelines require that agencies provide for full independent peer review of all “influential scientific information” used as the basis for regulations. The law and OMB guidelines also direct federal agencies to provide adequate administrative mechanisms for affected parties to review agency failures to respond to requests for correction or reconsideration of scientific information.

Those who control carbon control our lives, livelihoods, liberties, living standards and life spans. It is essential that EPA’s climate and pollution data and analyses reflect the utmost in integrity, reliability, transparency and accountability. A closed circle of EPA and IPCC reviewers – accompanied by a massive taxpayer-funded public relations and propaganda campaign – must no longer be allowed to rubberstamp junk science that is used to justify federal diktats. Governors, state and federal legislators, attorneys general, and citizen and scientific groups must take action:

·         File FOIA and IQA legal actions, to gain access to all EPA and other government data, computer codes, climate models and studies use to justify pollution, climate and energy regulations;

·         Subject all such information to proper peer review by independent scientists, including the significant numbers of experts who are skeptical of alarmist pollution and climate change claims;

·         Demand that new members be appointed to CASAC and other peer review groups, and that they represent a broad spectrum of viewpoints, organizations and interests;

·         Scrutinize the $2.5 billion currently earmarked for the USGCRP and its programs, reduce the allocation to compel a slow-down in EPA’s excessive regulatory programs, and direct that a significant portion of that money support research into natural causes of climate change; and

·         Delay or suspend any implementation of EPA’s carbon dioxide and other regulations, until all questions are fully answered, and genuine evidence-based science is restored to the regulatory process – and used to evaluate the honesty and validity of studies used to justify the regulations.

Only in this manner can the United States expect to see a return to the essential separation of powers, checks and balances, economic and employment growth – and the quality, integrity, transparency and accountability that every American should expect in our government.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow ( and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death.

 Via email

Crackdown: India Curbs Greenpeace Funding

Following an Intelligence Bureau (IB) report that alleged foreign-funded NGOs were creating obstacles to India’s economic growth, the Home Ministry has clamped down on Greenpeace, an international campaign group present in 40 countries.

In a letter dated 13th June, the Ministry has directed the Reserve Bank of India that all foreign contributions originating from Greenpeace International and Climate Works Foundation — two principal international contributors to Greenpeace India Society — must be kept on hold until individual clearances are obtained from the Ministry for each transaction.

The RBI has been asked to direct banks to this effect. The central bank has also been asked to report to the government if any government department or institution is receiving such funds.

Greenpeace was specifically targeted because the IB report had charged it with orchestrating “massive efforts to take down India’s coal-fired power projects and mining activity.”

According to the report, public protests in Madhya Pradesh’s Singrauli region — which produces 15,000 MW energy — were being engineered by Greenpeace, “actively aided and led by foreign activists.”

In its directive to the chief general manager, Department of Banking Operations and Development, RBI, the Ministry has invoked Section 46 of the Foreign Contributions (Regulations) Act, 2010, that says the “Central government may give such directions as it may deem necessary” for execution of the provisions of the Act.

The new directive will effectively bar the NGO from accepting foreign money, as it will require seeking case-by-case clearance for each contribution.


Made Arrogant By His Ignorance

by Don Boudreaux

Several weeks ago I was interviewed by a very sharp high-school student in Vermont on the pros and cons of government efforts to encourage green-technology industries.  Today the student’s teacher sent me a ridiculously rude e-mail.  Here’s my reply.

    "Were it not for the rudeness and shrillness of your note I would thank you for it.  As it is, I merely acknowledge it.

    You say, referencing the interview that I gave to your excellent student, that you’re “appalled to find out that a so-called economics professor opposes the U.S. taking the lead in green technology industries.”  You misunderstand my position.  I’m not at all opposed to U.S.-based companies “taking the lead” in those (or in any other) industries.  I am, however, opposed to what you favor – namely, the government subsidizing or dispensing other favors to firms in such industries even if the end result would be that these companies become industry leaders.

    The arguments against government picking industrial winners and losers are many, and I’m in no mood to rehearse them here.  I’ll simply quote the 19th-century Swiss economist Jean Charles-Leonard Simonde de Sismondi, who wrote in 1815 that “It ought to be recollected that each merchant knows his own business better than the government can do; that the whole nation’s productive power is limited; that in a given time, it has but a given number of hands, and a given quantity of capital; that by forcing it to enter upon a kind of work which it did not previously execute, we almost always at the same time force it to abandon a kind of work which it did execute; whilst the most probable result of such a change is the abandonment of a more lucrative manufacture for another which is less so, and which personal interest had designedly overlooked.”*



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

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


18 June, 2014

British boffin tells Obama's science advisor: You're wrong on climate change

A top British scientist has come out with new research flatly contradicting the idea that extremely cold winters in North America – like the one just past – will become more frequent due to global warming. This new analysis disagrees completely with the assessment of President Obama's personal science advisor.

Dr James Screen of Exeter uni in England is a mathematician who has been studying the arctic ice sheet for several years. According to a university announcement highlighting his latest research:

"Climate change is unlikely to lead to more days of extreme cold, similar to those that gripped the USA in a deep freeze last winter ... [Recent changes in the Arctic climate have] actually reduced the risk of cold extremes across large swathes of the Northern Hemisphere."

Screen's new paper is published in the hefty climate journal Nature Climate Change. In it he writes:

"Subseasonal cold-season temperature variability has significantly decreased over the mid- to high-latitude Northern Hemisphere in recent decades. This is partly because northerly winds and associated cold days are warming more rapidly than southerly winds and warm days ... decreases in subseasonal cold-season temperature variability ... are detectable in the observational record and are highly robust in twenty-first-century climate model simulations."

Or, in other words, severe cold spells like the ones Americans and Canadians have just suffered through are not increasing in frequency and shouldn't be expected to.

That contradicts very sharply with the view of Dr John Holdren, president Obama's White House science and technology adviser. He says:

“A growing body of evidence suggests that the kind of extreme cold experienced by the United States is a pattern we can expect to see with increasing frequency as global warming continues.

“I believe the odds are that we can expect as a result of global warming to see more of this pattern of extreme cold."


USHCN Data Tampering – Much Worse Than It Seems

Yesterday I did a post showing how more than 40% of USHCN monthly temperature is fabricated from non-existent raw data, and the percentage is rising exponentially.

Taking this a step further, I analyzed the temperature trend since 1990 of only the fabricated data – and compared it to the measured raw data. The actual thermometer data shows no US warming since 1990, but USHCN’s fabricated data shows more than 1.5 degrees warming.

Just how bad is their cheating? They are tampering with the data at a rate of 7.6ºF per century. They have introduced a huge warming bias by introducing fake data which has no thermometer data to back it up.



There has been some discussion recently about the possibility of an El Nino starting later this year and if it will restart global warming. Certainly if the usual effect of an El Nino – warming of the surface waters of the equatorial Pacific – happens and the global annual average surface temperature reaches a new record because of it, perhaps only by a few thousandths of a degree, then it will be hailed by some as a “resumption” of global warming.

Anyone who has turned a globe of the Earth so that they are facing the Pacific Ocean will be in no doubt that it is perhaps the major feature of our planet’s surface. Looking at the globe that way it is hardly possible to see any land at all. When the Sun shines down on the Pacific it has a powerful effect warming the surface waters. Trade winds blow the warmed surface waters to one side of the Pacific where the warm water accumulates in a warm pool storing heat. When those winds reduce in strength the warm pool sloshes back across the Pacific releasing energy, changing current directions and strengths and wind directions that can be felt all over the world. El Ninos happen every few years and are a way of reducing the heat content of the Pacific and distributing it worldwide.

The biggest El Nino on record occurred in 1997-98. It catapulted the world to then record surface temperatures. Unfortunately, its onset was not predicted at the time as well as many thought it would be with most predictions only suggesting a weak event six months ahead of time.

No one knows how an El Nino starts, some say its quasi-periodic nature points to an unstable mode of ocean-atmosphere coupling. Others believe it is related to the behaviour of the thermocline – the interface between warm water at the surface and the cold water below about 100 metres.

When the 1998 El Nino occurred it was a record breaker. In Nasa Giss (current values) it was 0.2 deg C warmer than the years either side of it. In many respects it is one of the dominant features in the global temperature record over the past 40 years. In the 1980s and early 1990s there was little significant increase in global annual average surface temperature. Looking at the surface temperature record it is clear that the 1997-8 El Nino is positioned at a step-change in global surface temperatures from one 15-year period of little warming to another 15-year plus period of the same though at a more elevated temperature. Indeed it was the 1997-8 El Nino’s boost to global surface temperatures that helped the decadal rate of surface temperature increase given by the IPCC, 0.2 deg C, to be “validated.”

Since 1998 El Ninos have not made any statistically significant impact on the global surface temperature. They have raised it slightly causing alarmist claims that global warming has restarted but one year of statistically insignificant increase does not a restart make.

Today, after many post hoc corrections to the temperature data gathered at the time, in Nasa Giss 1998 is the third warmest year behind 2005 and 2010 (other El Nino years) although when one allows for the errors of measurement 1998 is statistically indistinguishable from 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2003, and 2002. Technically the annual temperature of 2010 was equal to 2005 and only 0.03 deg C above 2007 – 2010 and 2005 were El Nino years, 2007 was a cool La Nina year – though not in statistical terms. The 2010 warmth was not yearlong being confined to two very warm months in March and June. The other ten months were at average or less than average temperature, as defined by the post-1997 surface standstill.

Some, such as Kevin Trenberth, are making a big deal of the putative 2014 El Nino, “there are some things going on in the tropical Pacific Ocean that we haven’t seen since the 1997, 1998 El Nino event…the question is how large it is going to be?”

We’ve been here before with the same commentators. It always happens when an El Nino is imminent see here, here and here.

While an El Nino might nudge temperatures up slightly, which considering the 2014 global surface temperatures seen in the first third of the year is probably the most that can happen this year, I don’t think that it will be a record breaker because there is less heat stored in the Pacific now than there was in the years preceding the 1997-8 event.

Looking at the surface temperature record the way the 1997-8 El Nino changed things is obvious. What will the next super El Nino do, if one is possible in the elevated temperatures of the past 16 years. Will it cause another step up?


Wind Farms Severely Harmful to Wildlife, New Study Finds

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 195 birds and other flying animals have been killed by turbines at five of the largest wind farms on Maui and Oahu since Aug. 2007.
A new study from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, combining an impressive six hundred other studies, describes the severe effects wind turbines can have on wildlife. Not only are the disturbances and noise of the building of turbines an issue but also the sound of the windmills rotating and electromagnetic fields (EMF) caused by transferring the electricity produced to the mainland.

At the construction phase, for example, "extreme noise from pile-driving" is observed to cause "significant avoidance behaviour in marine mammals" and "highly likely to cause mortality and tissue damage in fish."

On the noise of the blades there was "avoidance of the offshore wind farm (OWF) area by harbour porpoise, and possibly a habituation over time."

EMF affects “cartilaginous fish, which use electromagnetic signals in detecting prey” and EMF could also disturb fish migration patterns.”

The OWF “may also alter local biodiversity patterns and lead to undesired effects.”

Onshore wind farms also have severe effects on animals and birds. A paper published in 2013 from Poland looked at domestic geese (Anser anser f domestica) bred 50m from a wind turbine against 500m for the control group.

After twelve weeks monitoring noise levels and the stress measuring cortisol levels the researchers concluded: “Lower activity and some disturbing changes in behavior of animals from group I (50m) were noted.

“Results of the study suggest a negative effect of the immediate vicinity of a wind turbine on the stress parameters of geese and their productivity.”

In Portugal a study also found that foals born near wind turbines developed Equine Flexural Limb Deformities.

Biologist Dr. Lynne Knuth, in a letter to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, testified: “The problems with animal reproduction reported in the wind farms in Wisconsin are lack of egg production, problems calving, spontaneous abortion (embryonic mortality), stillbirth, miscarriage and teratogenic effects:

In chickens: Crossed beaks, missing eyeballs, deformities of the skull (sunken eyes), joints of feet/legs bent at odd angles. In cattle: missing eyes and tails.”

While these effects seem to occur in the immediate vicinity of a wind turbine they are hugely important to humans. It has long been reported that those living near wind farms suffer from ill health.  Sleep deprivation, headaches, tinnitus, balance problems, motivational difficulties and depression are just some of the alleged effects.

Wind farms continue to be a controversial subject both on and offshore. Not only is the power in need of government subsidies, the comparative cost of producing a Megawatt (MWh) of power ranges from £60 to £65 for coal and gas through to £90 to £150 respectively for onshore and offshore wind farms. Certainly in the UK there is increasing resistance from the population, being the proverbial blot on the landscape.

Many wind farm proponents point to psychogenesis and its subset psychsomaticism, where the person has the real symptoms but they are psychological induced, rather than physically induced. One has to say with animals it is highly unlikely.

When the West Country band The Wurzels release a new record bemoaning wind farms, resistance has to be taken seriously.


Obama Talks Climate Change While Iraq Implodes

By Alan Caruba

It is depressing beyond words that we will have to endure two and a half more years of an endless stream of lies about climate change from President Obama.

On June 14 he gave a commencement speech to graduates of the University of California at Irvine, using it to tell Big Fat Lies, not the least of which was that the Earth’s temperatures were rising when in fact they have been falling for nearly eighteen years.

It is an endless source of wonder to me that no part of the mainstream media disputes him when he says things like this. For years now they have been reporting the evidence of increasingly cold weather worldwide.

 On the same day the President was lying about warming, eight inches of snow fell in Rize, Turkey. It has fallen as well in South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia while closer to home snow fell on several cities in Idaho with cold freezes extending into Oregon. In June!

Obama used the speech to demand that politicians take steps to acknowledge climate change which used to be called global warming until it became undeniable to everyone except the charlatans lining their pockets with utterly bogus “research” that underwrites the source of the lies, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Obama continues to listen to his White House advisor, Dr. John Holdren, whose contempt for the human race is such he would happily see large parts of it disappear. In February, Holdren told reporters that all weather is impacted by climate change, but that is what climate change has done for 4.5 billion years. Not mentioned was that climate cycles are measured in centuries while weather is a short-term event. The most recent mini-ice age lasted from 1300 to 1850.

Holdren alluded to droughts affecting parts of the nation, claiming they were getting longer and drying. Two leading climate scientists, former NASA scientist Dr. Roy Spencer and University of Colorado climate scientists, Roger Pielke, Jr, called Holdren’s assertions “pseudo-science rambling.” “The idea that any of the weather we are seeing is in any significant way due to humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions verges on irrationality,” said Spencer. Pielke called Holdren’s assertions “zombie science.”

While Holdren is warning about droughts that could cause famines, James M. Taylor, the managing editor of the Heartland Institute’s monthly, Environment & Climate News, took aim at the IPCC claims, noting that U.S. and global crop production, especially the most important staple food crops, corn, rice, and wheat, “have more than tripled since 1970. During the past few years, the United States has set crop production records for alfalfa, cotton, beans, sugar beets, sweet potatoes, canola, corn, flaxseed, hops, rice sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers, peanuts and wheat, to name just a few.”

The worst part of Obama’s lies about the so-called “greenhouse gases” that we’ve been told for decades are warming the Earth is the way those lies are translated into government policies. The Obama administration, via the Environmental Protection Agency, has launched a war on coal-fired plants that produce 40% of the nation’s electricity claiming that their emissions such as carbon dioxide (CO2) are causing a warming that is not happening. What is happening is a deliberate effort to drive up the cost of electricity for everyone.

America runs on electricity and 68% of it is generated by fossil fuels, 20% by nuclear, and 7% by hydropower. So called “clean energy”, wind and solar, provides about 4% at far higher costs than the others and exists largely due to government subsidies and mandates.

Claims about increased severe storms, heat waves, and hurricanes simply have no basis in fact. In recent years there has been a record low in the numbers of tornadoes, hurricanes, no change in the rise of sea levels, but record gains in Arctic and Antarctic ice. None of this is reported by the mainstream media.

Yet Obama told graduates that rising temperatures and sea levels, as well as intensifying storm patterns represent “one of the most significant long-term challenges that our country and our planet face.” He said this even though his administration’s recent National Climate Assessment acknowledged that “There has been no universal trend in the overall extent of drought across the continental U.S. since 1900.” The report, however, is being used to justify carbon-related regulations.

While the world’s attention is on one of the greatest threats facing it, the takeover of northern Iraq by a barbaric Islamist group—one from which even al Qaeda disassociated itself—Obama is talking about non-existent climate threats to further policies that kill jobs in the U.S. and harm its struggling recovery of our economy.

While the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) seeks to expand its control of a major portion of the Middle East, Obama thought it was more important to lie about the climate to college graduates.

How much more damage Obama can inflict on the economy between now and the end of his second term in office is unknown, but what we do know is that his priorities, based on scare-mongering speeches about the climate will continue until he leaves office.


That wicked mercury

by Viv Forbes

A mercury-based antiseptic in common use for many years

The environmental debate today is so corrupted by politics and propaganda that facts are too often distorted, and exaggeration of risk is commonplace.

The vicious war on hydro-carbon fuels is a good example where certain substances are labelled “poison” or “pollution” when associated with coal utilization, but blithely ignored in other areas.

For example, climate alarmists have labelled carbon dioxide produced by carbon fuels as a “pollutant” and the US Supreme Court even declared it to be so. But that ignores the simple truth that 100 times more carbon dioxide exists in the lungs of every animal on earth than in the air; it is an ingredient in beer, bread and champagne; it is essential nutrition for all plant life on earth; and this plant life supports all animal life – hardly a pollutant.

With their “CO2 pollution” propaganda failing, alarmists are now accusing coal of filling the air with mercury “poison”, which sounds really scary. Their aim now is to use supposed mercury dangers to force the closure of more coal-fired power stations. This is just another aspect of the war on carbon fuels – they want to kill coal by fair means or foul.

However if tiny traces of mercury are so dangerous, why do millions of people allow dentists to put silver amalgam (with 50% mercury) in their teeth? And why does the EPA ignore all the mercury waste that dentists flush down their sinks every day?

And why does the US FDA allow mercury compounds to be used in flu vaccines? And the people attacking the minute amount of mercury in coal are the same people promoting dangerous mercury-laden compact fluorescent lights.

Traces of mercury occur widely in rocks and minerals and it gets taken up in minute amounts by plants, water and animals living near those sources. When those plants form coal, tiny traces of mercury may be there too. In rare places the mercury content of rocks is so high that dangerous quantities may get into nearby plants and sea life. In other places, bushfires release more mercury to the atmosphere than coal-fired power stations. Mercury has been circulating in the biosphere for far longer than man has been burning coal. Whether it is poison or harmless depends on the dose.

So, let us take care with mercury, but let’s not lose track of where our biggest risks occur. Every human faces risks every day just staying alive. But emissions from modern pollution-controlled power stations using washed coal are not one of our major health hazards, especially where Australian coals are being used because their content of mercury is so extremely low. For many people in the world, lack of electricity, starvation, drought, floods and death from exposure pose far greater dangers than the risk that there may be from miniscule traces of mercury occurring naturally in all plant and animal material, including coal.

For those worried about possible over-consumption of mercury, another trace metal, selenium, provides natural protection. Today, the real health problem is more often a deficiency of selenium in the diet.

Some Real Mercury Risks

Humans have long used mercury and its compounds, sometimes at far greater risk than today. The term “mad as a hatter” arose over 100 years ago from symptoms suffered by felt hat makers handling mercuric nitrate while making felt hats from animal fur.

Ladies once used cinnabar, a bright red natural ore of mercury, as a cosmetic and mercuro-chrome was once widely-used to combat infection and scarring in wounds.

Perhaps the worst recent mercury incident occurred 50 years ago at Minamata Bay in Japan which was contaminated by mercury in waste from a plastics factory. Local residents were badly affected after eating contaminated shellfish from the bay.

Another incident in New Zealand, initially blamed on run-off from an old gold mine, involved mercury contamination of coastal fish. Then it was remembered that there was a fish of that type in the museum that had been caught before gold was discovered. This fish also had mercury. It was then found that the rock/soil near the sea contained higher than normal mercury and this was probably the source for the mercury in the fish.

More recently, many light-houses turned on a bath of mercury and there are millions of mercury-filled thermometers and electrical switches still in use.

Every activity in life involves risks. Every person must balance those risks and rewards sensibly.



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


17 June, 2014

Why Millenials Embrace Oil, Fracking

Katie Kieffer

There’s hope for the future. My generation of Millennials is embracing entrepreneurial oil jobs to keep America’s lights on.

On June 2, the Obama administration proposed new carbon regulations calling for a 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. Why 2030? Who knows! It’s an arbitrary date, not a number based on sound science.

Coal currently supplies 39 percent of America’s electricity. TIME Magazine reports that Obama’s proposal will promote “fuel switching” from coal to so-called clean forms of energy such as solar. Fuel switching is the politically correct term for putting Americans out of work and the power grid in jeopardy. There are consequences to this knee-jerk switch to government-subsidized “green” energy.

Millennials understand these consequences. Which is why a Pew report issued this spring found that Millennials are “somewhat less likely than older adults to describe themselves as environmentalists—just 32% say this describes them very well…” Millennials care about the environment. But, since science tells us that humans are not responsible for detrimental warming and over 15% of us are unemployed—our priority is jobs.

The Shale Boomers

Our parents are Baby Boomers. Call us the Shale Boomers.

20-something and 30-something Millennials are jumping into the oil industry. Bloomberg Businessweek reports that “After years of failing to attract and retain young talent, the industry is suddenly brimming with upstart millennials....” and that “oil and gas veterans call it ‘the great crew change.’”

Young whippersnappers are taking advantage of the shale boom to start their own businesses, and are doing well. Bloomberg reports that there has been a 60 percent increase in the Young Professionals in Energy’s Dallas chapter since 2009. That means there are now 4,000 young professionals in the Dallas chapter—and many are staking out careers in oil.

Millennials embrace oil and fracking because we understand that wind and solar is not necessarily “environmentally friendly.” That is, unless you call the birds killed by windmills and the desert land consumed with thousands of reflecting mirrors earth-friendly. Solar panels are also dependent on rare earths, which are dominantly mined by the world’s Polluter-in-Chief, China.

Second, we understand that the technology is not there yet. Both wind and solar provide intermittent energy and cannot replace the steady, reliable energy that we get from coal and natural gas. Tech-dependent Millennials are not very interested in living through a blackout.

Third, we understand that since 2007, there has been a net increase of only 0.3% jobs for young people between the ages of 22 and 34.

Where are all those jobs—especially the permanent green jobs that President Obama promised us? I’ve looked high. I’ve looked low. I’ve seen the Treasury Inspector General’s report indicating that the federal government handed out bonuses to IRS employees who did not pay their taxes. But my young friends are still living with their parents. And our parents are just as frustrated as we are! After all, they thought they could enjoy retirement instead of delaying retirement while Lois Lerner enjoys her paid vacation.

Experts estimate that Obama’s carbon regulations proposal will cull 250,000 jobs as 165 coal-fired plants have either shuttered or are set to shutter.

“Here’s a dirty little secret: people are tired of [President Obama’s] speeches. People want jobs,” Rush Limbaugh said on his talk show on November 11, 2009. Rush made that statement seven days after Obama was elected for the first time. If we were tired then, we’re exhausted now. “Dead exhausted,” as Hillary Clinton might moan.

There is hope and solutions, as I explain in my new book, “Let Me Be Clear,” that Random House is publishing on June 24. There are ways to create jobs, become entrepreneurs and take back our American Dreams. But, we must strike while the iron is hot and implement these solutions now—before the midterms and 2016 presidential elections.

Otherwise, we’ll add four more years of Hillary to a country that, at $17.5 trillion in the hole, is already “dead broke.” Let’s take action.


Washington’s Northern Virginia suburbs grapple with ‘smart growth’

Even in one of the most politically correct enclaves in the country, resistance is growing to elaborate and expensive transportation projects favored by elite planners.

In Arlington County, just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C, the local equivalent of a political bombshell exploded in an April special election for the county board.  A heavily favored proponent of installing a controversial streetcar line was soundly defeated by a candidate who called the project wasteful.

At issue was a proposed 4.9-mile streetcar that would run on Columbia Pike from the Pentagon City Metro stop to Baileys Crossroads.  The Washington Post recently reported that the cost of the project at $358 million, up $100 million from the previous estimate by the county, and $48 million above what federal transportation officials predicted last year.

Million-Dollar Super Stops

In addition to the skyrocketing cost of the streetcar, Arlington officials also have to defend proposed construction of new “Super Stops” for buses that will cost an estimated $1 million each.  Caught off guard by the groundswell of resistance to their taxpayer-funded schemes, Arlington officials are now considering a refere-BikeLanes-ndum on the streetcar project and they may scale back plans for their million-dollar bus stops.

Things may be heating up for the planners in neighboring Fairfax County, too.  There, a proposed $100 million transportation referendum includes $85 million for new bikeways and pedestrian paths.  Not included in the referendum is another county project that would spend $92 million on an overpass spanning the Dulles Toll Road that sets aside more than 35 feet of the 59-foot-wide bridge for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Risking Life and Limb

And there’s more.’s Virginia bureau reports that Fairfax County is concerned that acquiring right-of-way for bike lanes may be too expensive.  Their solution?  “Sharrows.”  Bikes and cars would share the same lanes on certain roads. It seems not to have occurred to them that assigning cars and bikes to the same lanes could pose a huge risk to bicyclists.

Arlington and Fairfax Counties are home to tens of thousands of government workers.  These are folks who make a living spending other people’s money.  If they are raising questions about sense of these extravagant transportation projects, then something truly remarkable is going on.

It’s about time.


EPA imperialism

The proposed budget for the federal Environmental Protection Agency for fiscal year 2015 is $7.89 billion. That should be plenty of money for the EPA to colonize more of American life.

As Keith Matheny notes in the Lansing State Journal, the EPA is advancing new regulations that will make life more difficult for farmers. According to Laura Campbell of the Michigan Farm Bureau, the rules could require federal permits to modify a farm’s drainage ditches that are dry 11 months of the year. Dan Wyant, director of Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality, told Matheny that the regulations will “require more permitting, slow business down and cost more time and expense to business owners; there’s just no doubt about that.”

Iowa farmer Dean Lemke told Ron Nixon of the New York Times, “If I have to go to the EPA to figure out if I need a permit because a ditch I’m planting next to sometimes has water in it, that’s time I’m not planting. And if I’m not planting, I’m not making money.”

EPA critics have a strong case that the rules will quash economic growth, infringe on property rights, and increase the price of food. This is clearly a power grab on the part of the federal agency, and that should come as no surprise. As James V. DeLong noted in Out of Bounds, Out of Control, the EPA has few checks on its authority, writes rules with limited guidance from Congress, and has created entire programs out of thin air by changing the standard of evidence as it prosecutes alleged violations.

As we noted in EPChe: An Expensive, Oppressive Agency Gets a Symbol, the federal agency abounds in regulatory zealots. Consider how Al Armendariz, an EPA regional boss and Obama appointee, described the EPA enforcement style: “It is kind of like how the Romans used to conquer villages in the Mediterranean — they’d go into a little Turkish town somewhere and they’d find the first five guys they saw and they’d crucify them. Then that little town was really easy to manage for the next few years.”

The EPA is not the only obstruction to sound water policies. As Rep. Tom McClintock notes, federal policy abets California’s current drought by making it difficult to expand dams and water storage facilities. This stems from a “nihilistic vision of increasingly severe government-induced shortages, higher and higher electricity and water prices, massive taxpayer subsidies to politically well-connected and favored industries, and a permanently declining quality of life for our children.”


Greenpeace  try being capitalists -- but are clueless at it

Looks like the anti-capitalist, tree-hugging Greenpeace organization doesn’t practice what it preaches when it comes to the evils of capitalism.

A number of newspapers in the German speaking part of Europe are reporting how the environmental activist organization took millions of the money received as private donations and has blown it in high-risk casino-grade investments - instead of using it to protect the environment.

Spiegel here reports, “Greenpeace has been rocked by a finance scandal” and that it has “blown millions from donations“. According to Spiegel:

An employee at Greenpeace Central in Amsterdam lost a total of 3.8 million euros in currency speculation. According to Spiegel information, the money comes from donations transferred to Amsterdam Central from financially sound Greenpeace regional organizations like those in Germany…”

Note how the blame gets shifted to “an employee”, as if Greenpeace management is not accountable. Well, management is responsible and those donating deserves answers as to why their donations were being blown in dubious get-rich-quick schemes.

According to Spiegel, the employee was betting on a falling euro. Mike Townsley of Greenpeace International says the employee has since been sacked and calls the bad speculation “a serious miscalculation”, which was discovered by an “internal control system”. Greenpeace assures that the problem is solved and everything is back in order.

Instead of firing the poor employee, Greenpeace could have taken the socially compassionate step of sending him to training, or perhaps to Gamblers Anonymous. But no, instead they do the cold-hearted capitalistic thing and throw him out onto the streets. Or better yet, they could pay him a huge bonus, and then ask the government for a bailout.

Spiegel writes that the money had been earmarked to set up regional Greenpeace offices. But that money is gone, and the loss is deemed as “substantial”.

I remember Greenpeace activists asking me for a donation on the streets of Rome when I visited last April. Boy, I sure am glad I didn’t give them anything.

As one Spiegel reader comments, “Like everywhere, it’s easier to speculate with other people’s money.”


As Usual, UN Climate Talks Ends In Deadlock

The use of carbon markets to curb rising greenhouse gas emissions was dealt a blow on Sunday after two weeks of United Nations talks on designing and reforming the mechanisms ended in deadlock.

The negotiations, held as part of U.N. climate negotiations in Bonn, Germany, made scant progress as envoys representing almost 200 nations tied reforms to progress under the wider discussions and remained entrenched in diverse positions.

The stalemate gives investors little sign that there will be a pickup in demand under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), the U.N.'s current main carbon market which has seen activity dry up after funneling over $400 billion into emission-cutting projects in developing countries over the past decade.

It also offers no guidance on how the growing patchwork of national and regional carbon markets worldwide will fit into a future international framework to tackle climate change.

“It is disappointing we didn’t move forward,” said Elina Bardram, an official at the European Commission representing the 28 EU nations at the talks.

“We believe there is a future for markets ... (but) to agree on something that wouldn’t be robust enough for us to engage on later on would just not make any sense,” she told journalists at a briefing after the talks ended on Sunday.


Big-emitting businesses and rich nations including the United States, Japan, and members of the European Union, favor designing new market-based mechanisms to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions as cheaply as possible.

Poorer nations have been more wary, particularly as most CDM investment went to wealthier emerging nations such as Brazil and China for industrial gas destruction projects, which generated healthy profits for companies but led to little sustainable development and had their environmental integrity questioned.

Negotiations over a raft of CDM reform proposals broke down over whether to study how to convert the CDM to generate net emission reductions, rather than merely to generate carbon credits that can be used by developing countries to offset their emissions.

Efforts to include the option were led by a group of over 40 low-lying island developing nations most at risk of being submerged by rising sea levels due to global warming.

It was also backed by the EU, which has used the lion's share of CDM credits to date but wants to scale up global emission reduction efforts and encourage richer developing countries to pay for their own emission cuts.

Some other developing nations blocked the move, reflecting a wider 20-year distinction in U.N. climate negotiations that has put the onus on industrialized nations to curb global greenhouse gas output because of their historical responsibility for emissions and capacity to pay.

The deadlock dismayed other poorer nations keen to tap CDM investment.

"We are disappointed by the lack of progress; the CDM has not yet seen its way to Africa," said a spokesman for Sudan on behalf of a bloc of 54 African nations.


In a separate strand of the talks, governments failed to make much progress on efforts to launch a platform to help set common standards and accounting rules for reducing emissions and tie together national and regional emissions trading schemes.

Separate text listing elements of such a platform, referred to a "Framework for Various Approaches", was promoted by a group of richer nations including United States and Japan, which are both designing their own programs to use foreign carbon credits.

But this was removed after meeting resistance from developing nations, which first want rich governments to take on deeper emission reduction targets at home.

Small island states and the EU are also concerned about advancing work on the framework without safeguards to assess the environmental integrity of new schemes, according to negotiators and observers to the mostly closed-door talks.

The EU, whose draft contribution towards a Paris deal contained no firm additional demand for foreign carbon credits to 2030, has been criticised by investor groups for undermining its leadership role in new carbon market development.

But the EU's Bardram defended the approach. She said the bloc was committed to developing market-based measures in the long term if other nations made comparable commitments.

“We do need to allow for a situation to develop whereby other partners have sufficient ambition for a truly global market to develop," she said.

The U.N. talks are scheduled to resume at the next negotiating round in December in Lima, Peru.


India rebelling against Greenpeace destructiveness

All set to take action against Greenpeace India, the ministry of home affairs served a show cause notice to the international NGO on Friday asking why its permission to get foreign funding under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (FCRA) should not be withdrawn. At least ten more NGO's could receive similar notices within a week.

Greenpeace, a NGO working on environment issues, has been in the centre of controversy with a Intelligence Bureau (IB) report indicting it for fuelling anti-nuclear agitations and adversely effecting Indian economy. A senior MHA official told ET the evidence against Greenpeace was foolproof and it would be difficult for the organisation to defend itself.

At least 10 more NGO's will be sent notices under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 by the Union Home Ministry by next week, asking them to explain their funding and spending pattern as a "stricter fund monitoring" regime for NGO's is set to kick in and a "review is already underway" after the IB has raised an alert, a ministry official said.

The NGO's facing the heat would include six NGOs involved in opposing genetically modified organisms and certain NGO's in the North-East in touch with Dutch NGO Cordaid. An earlier IB report had named Cordaid role in agitations that led to the Home Ministry withdrawing Cordaid's permission to get foreign funding.

A similar action is expected against Greenpeace. A recent Home Ministry report dated December 6, 2013 said the NGO sector in India is vulnerable to the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing.

The stricter regime against NGOs would involve immediate measures to ensure registered NGO's file their statutory annual returns to the government. The review initiated at the Home Ministry has shown that nearly half the registered NGOs under FCRA - 20,825 out of the 43,527 to be precise - did not file annual returns with the central government which contain details of foreign receipts and utilization.

"This is a matter of grave concern and will be rectified soon under a stricter regime," a senior Home Ministry official said.

A Home Ministry official said Greenpeace was also sent a questionnaire two months ago, asking the NGO to explain its funding and operations. This was part of an ongoing exercise at IB to study the role of NGO's post the anti-nuclear protests at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu. This inquiry revealed certain alleged irregularities on part of Greenpeace.



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

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16 June, 2014

Wow!  No wonder the ecofascists fired him

Prof Caleb Rossiter is a sincere Leftist.  He really does want to help the poor -- particularly in Africa.  So the ecofascist determination to reduce EVERYONE'S living standards disgusts him.  And it disgusts him most of all because it has only pseudo-science behind it.  Below he gives a comprehensive demolition of the whole of Warmism

The Debate is finally over on “Global Warming” – Because Nobody will Debate

I am deserting from the Climate War.  I will never write another climate article or give another climate talk, and I’ll bite my tongue and say oooooooooooom when I hear or see the sort of exaggerations and certainties about the dangers of heat-trapping gasses that tend to make my blood boil at their absurdity.  For a decade I’ve been a busy soldier for the scientific method, and hence a “skeptic” to climate alarmism.  I’ve said all I think and know about this repetitive, unresolveable topic.  I’ll save hundreds of hours a year for other pursuits!

This is not like my pledge to my wife after a marathon that “I’ll never do another one.”  This is real.  There is simply too little room for true debate, because the policy space is dominated by people who approach this issue not like scholars weighing evidence, but like lawyers inflaming a jury with suspect data and illogical and emotional arguments.  

The believers in human–induced catastrophic climate change, strongly represented among the liberal and radical left of American and international politics, have won the mainstream media and government battle for the conventional wisdom, but lost the war for policy change.  None of the governmental and few of the institutional and individual actors who claim to fear climate change will take real steps to reduce their use of energy, choosing instead to put on phony shows of “green-ness” and carbon-trading shell games.  So it’s over, on both fronts.

I guess I should be happy, since in the other two areas, and blogs, in which I expend professional and personal blood, sweat, and tears (the American empire, and school “reform”) I am usually in agreement with the radical left, and never win.  I nod my head happily when reading the Nation magazine and listening to Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now, yet am sadly on the losing end of the policy fights in my areas that they describe.  Politicians and well-paid reformers continue to double down on the disaster of nearly 30 years of the blame-the-teacher, mistest-the-student regime, and U.S. arms and training for dictators have reached new heights under every president from Carter to Obama.

Finally, I’m a winner, but for all the wrong reasons.  The leaders of the big governments who control global policy aren’t avoiding change because they disagree with the conventional wisdom.  They’re avoiding change because it would be politically uncomfortable for them.  Thank goodness, because the change they’re mouthing would be more than uncomfortable for developing countries.  It would be a disaster, de-industrializing them and taking decades off their citizens’ life expectancy.

* * *

Climate Claims and Fears Can Drive You Crazy

I never expected to be in the Climate War.  I have enough wars to fight as an anti-imperialist and an activist supporting development and democracy in Africa against a U.S. policy of backing dictators and American corporations.  Only by chance did I get drafted for climate duty.  About 10 years ago, when a graduate student in my class on international research statistics wrote a required analysis of any peer-reviewed study in the field, she chose a journal article on some aspect of climate science.  Her paper reported data and conclusions about human-induced global warming that were so weak and illogical in their own terms that I gave her a poor grade, noting: “You can’t have read this study carefully.” 

She protested, and brought me the article, and indeed I saw that one of the most respected names in climate science and climate policy was writing flights of fancy and getting them published in refereed journals.  I raised her grade, of course, but not all the way to an A, because she had been so smitten with the credibility of the author and the journal that she forgot to check his logic.

Since then I have assigned hundreds of climate articles as I taught and learned about the physics of climate, the construction of climate models, and the statistical evidence of extreme weather.  My justification to my department has been that there may be no issue in global politics more important to more people worldwide than the claim of catastrophic, human-induced warming.   If it’s true, billions will suffer from its effects if we do not act; if it’s false, billions will suffer from needless restrictions on energy, growth, and life expectancy if we do act. 

Africans will be foremost among those suffering in both cases.
As an academic, in both employment and inclination, I wanted to learn, to promote inquiry and debate, and that it why I now need to stop.  My blood simply boils too hot when I read the blather, daily, about climate catastrophe.  It is so well-meaning, and so misguided.  I feel like I am watching the modern version of Phrenology, the racist “science” of skull shape that permeated academia and public opinion about Africans and Africa-Americans throughout the 19th century in Europe and white America.  That conventional wisdom conveniently justified colonialism and segregation as systems in which intelligent and benevolent whites ruled colored people. 

And it pains me to see climate hysteria spread, because Africans again could pay the price.  It will inevitably put pressure on Western lenders like the World Bank to reduce funding for power generation in Africa, leading to less economic growth, less personal income, and lower life expectancy.

When the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) butchers basic statistical concepts in its findings and its charts; when students call on their universities to divest from energy companies and their presidents argue financial impact but proffer the assumption that greenhouse gasses are a threat to survival; when advocates of African development call for the World Bank to block energy projects; or when the Nation magazine publishes a call to lower the parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from 400 parts per million to 300, which would require an end to all world industry for 100 years, and has a picture of the globe on its cover with the caption, “It’s not warming, it’s dying,” I become a man on the verge of doing something I’ll certainly regret.

I don’t want to be driven to crime like climate alarmist Peter Gleick, who stole, leaked, and attributed forged materials from the pro-growth Heartland Institute in 2012, or the climate skeptics who stole and leaked the “Climategate” memos from the University of East Anglia’s Central Research Unit (CRU) in Britain in 2009, facing certain moral sanction and possible criminal investigation.  I don’t want, to cite Gleick’s partial confession, to wake up and find that “my judgment was blinded by my frustration with the ongoing efforts” that disrupt “the rational public debate that is desperately needed.” 
I don’t want go raving around, making absurd statements like President Obama, UN Secretary General Ban, or World Bank President Kim.  Obama has long been delusional on this issue, speaking of a coming catastrophe and seeing himself as King Canute, stopping the rise in sea-level.  But he really went off the chain in his state of the union address this year.  “For the sake of our children and our future” he issued an appeal to authority with no authority behind it:

"We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science and act before it's too late."

There is no judgment of science, overwhelming or other, that human-induced warming has led to any of the events cited.  In fact, there is little conclusive science on the causes of these extreme events at all, except to say that like their predecessors at earlier times in recorded history, they require rare coincidences in many weather building blocks and are unpredictable.

Then Obama pulled out the IPCC’s illogical last refuge, the hoary claim that “the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15.”  That record started in 1860, when a 150-year warming began that even the IPCC concedes had nothing to do with industrial emissions in its first 75 years.  At the high point of a warming period you will of course have a concentration of high years! 

And of course this trivial claim says nothing about the cause of the warming, or the temperature in previous warm periods, of which we would probably find quite a few since the end of the Ice Age 15,000 years ago, if we had always had today’s measuring devices.  (A 100,000 year oscillation in our orbit of the Sun from perfect circle to five percent elliptical drives temperatures up and down on the order of 20 degrees, and we happen to be at the high end right now.)

Ban, in a speech on the “Threat of Climate Catastrophe,” recently warned that “if we continue along the current path, we are close to a 6 degree increase.  You all know the potential consequences:  a downward global spiral of extreme weather and disaster; reversals in development gains; increases in displacement; aggravated tensions over water and land; fragile States tipping into chaos.” 

Actually, the IPCC’s models, which are fundamentally mathematical data-fitting exercises with little real-life scientific basis, predict a 4 degree rise at most over 100 years, but actual temperatures have been running at about one-third of that rate in the 30 years since the models first made that prediction.

Kim tells us: “If we do not act to curb climate change immediately we will leave our children and grandchildren an unrecognizable planet.”  That’s sort of like the CRU’s David Viner saying in 2000, a decade before two winters of dramatic snowfall on England’s green and pleasant land: “Children just aren't going to know what snow is.” 

Acting for children is definitely a big theme here: an analyst at a left-leaning think-tank wrote about yelling out the names of Obama’s children when subjecting herself to arrest as part of a campaign to block the Keystone oil pipeline.  Fortunately the World Bank has not followed another hip American campaign and tried to reduce today’s 400 parts of carbon dioxide per million in the atmosphere to 350, which would require an end to all industry on earth for 100 years.  The Bank still funds power plants based on coal and gas.  Coal is an inexpensive African resource that can be scrubbed with modern technology to eliminate the real pollution, which is not carbon dioxide but sulfur dioxide, and gas has nearly no dangerous residue when burned.

* * *

“The Debate is Over” Indeed

“The debate is over on Global Warming.”  That statement has been popular for 25 years with a group I call the catastrophists.  During this period they have held true to their claim, consistently refusing to engage in debate, as opposed to polemics.

 As a result, the catastrophists have perversely made it true for all of us, as not just public discourse but scientific inquiry, not just interpretive models and statistical studies but the basic data itself, about human influence on global climate have all been hopelessly politicized in a scurry for money, loyalty, and reputation.  Finally, the catastrophists are right: the debate is over, because the fundamental elements of a useful debate are lacking.

I define a catastrophist as someone who insists that any debate is dilatory and therefore immoral because the evidence is so clear and overwhelming that:

    the roughly one degree rise in average global temperature since 1860 has been triggered by industrial emissions (I say triggered because the climate models that attribute the one degree rise to emissions do so by tripling their purported impact through theoretical cloud feedbacks to the initial increase in heat);

    this slight warming has increased storms, droughts, and sea levels; and

    these effects will turn into a catastrophe that threatens life on earth if we don’t replace fossil fuels with other forms of energy.

Catastrophists are generally environmental activists, politicians, and journalists.  They come from the rich tradition of Malthusians, Luddites, and Greens, by which I generally mean the apocalyptic, anti-growth, environmental left.  They still celebrate tarnished figures and institutions, such as:

    Rachel Carson, author of the 1962 book The Silent Spring, who called the pesticide DDT cancerous to humans without any evidence (and the CDC has found that there still is none), resulting in an effective ban on DDT that led to millions of deaths in Africa from malaria before it was reversed;

    Paul Ehrlich, author of the 1968 book The Population Bomb, who predicted billions of deaths from starvation and the end of nations from India to the United Kingdom within decades, only to see the greatest increase in well-being in human history over the next thirty years.  Population did double, but energy production and real average income tripled, and life expectancy rose 15 years in poor countries and 12 years worldwide.  (Poor Professor Ehrlich – his belief in scarcity due to high demand caused him to lose his famed 1980 bet on commodity prices with economist Julian Simon, who held that scarcity is redefined constantly by technology and human ingenuity.)

    Mother Jones magazine, which claimed in 1982 that men’s sperm counts were falling to infertile levels because of industrial chemicals and radioactivity, a claim that had little basis then and has been thoroughly debunked by now.  However, as in the case of Erin Brockovitch, portrayed in an Oscar-winning movie for suing over a harmful chemical in a town’s water when that chemical is not harmful in water, the facts have never caught up with the sensational allegation.
    The late Stephen Schneider, a leading warming alarmist who in the 1970’s was a cooling alarmist, as was the first director of the data and modeling pinnacle of warming alarmism today, the CRU.

Catastrophists have taken over the workings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a United Nations body comprised not of scientists, but of governments.  The IPCC was formed in 1988 not to test the assumption that emissions were driving heat and heat was driving dangerous “climate change,” but to broadcast it.  The IPCC was supposed to be the gold standard for climate claims, but as it become a politicized forum, pushing out scientists who were frustrated by the way careful discussions of findings and theories in its working papers were distilled into political alarms in the summary materials used by politicians and the press.

The IPCC uses tricks that scientists and statisticians rage about, almost like a mimicking of the classic text, How to Lie with Statistics.  For example, the IPCC claims “90 percent certainty” in its attribution of most of the warming of the past 50 years to human causes.  All scientists know that using this phrase implies that a statistical test has been performed on random data, leaving only a ten percent chance that the conclusion is incorrect.  But there is no testing, and there are no statistics, involved in the IPCC’s statement -- just a number pulled from thin air.

The IPCC also featured a misleading trend line chart in its latest report, in which convenient starting points and different time periods were used to show a constantly “accelerating” change in temperature when there was no true acceleration.  The chart was eventually pulled, but the IPCC’s favorite physicist, catastrophist guru James Hansen, continues to use similar tricks in showing temperature and shifts in number of hot days, comparing different time periods of different lengths.

The IPCC's tricks show that it is too politicized to trust.  In addition to its repeated claims about the recent number of “hottest years on record” it has reversed its earlier judgment that proxy data like tree rings showed that global average temperature was much higher just a few hundred years ago, during the Medieval Warming period.  In either case, the proxy data is so rough that nothing conclusive or meaningful can be said about past temperatures at anywhere near the scale of accuracy we use today, but the reversal was politically significant.

The reversal resulted from a concerted campaign by catastrophists who saw that the Medieval warming might imply that the cooling afterwards was an oscillation, caused by nothing but the natural regression to a long-term mean.  That, in turn, might imply that the recent warming is just another natural counter to that, without the need for SUV’s to explain it. 

The reversal was fraudulent in two ways: technical, by using data manipulation and ignoring error margins to create a “hockey stick” that shows a recent spike up in temperature (the stick’s blade) after a thousand year flat-line (its handle), and theoretical, by arguing that logically the recent increase from a flat-line, even if true, is somehow evidence of human cause.

Finally, the IPCC is flat out wrong about the computer models of the atmosphere that sit at the core of its claim that the recent correlation of carbon dioxide levels and temperatures is a causal relationship.  (Note that the models say nothing useful about the effects of temperature on weather events, which is the holy grail of catastrophists.  Those claims are made from statistical studies of the frequency of rare events, are handicapped by poor data for the past, and are generally inconclusive even in their own terms.)

    The IPCC argues that the models are based on physical science, unlike social science models.  This is not true.  While the models use physical equations about the theoretical rate of heat transfer, like social science models they rely on estimates and parameters for those equations, and more importantly are just as helpless before the many interactions of key variables.

    The IPCC argues that the models take the numerical relationships that best explain the temperature record of the past 150 years and simply apply them to the next 100.  This is not true.  Models as big as these run away, up or down, very quickly, and arrive at nonsensical answers.  They must be “tuned” carefully, not just for the past but for the future.

    The IPCC argues that the models reveal a strong “sensitivity” of temperature to increases in carbon dioxide.  This is not true.  The models build in a theoretical sensitivity and then triple it through proposed feedbacks in cloud formation.

    The IPCC argues, and this is its supposed clinching argument, that the fit between physics and temperature in the model is best captured by its claims on carbon sensitivity, and that no other variable works as well.  This is preposterously incorrect. 

Physicist Richard Lindzen caustically calls this “proof by lassitude,” since it implies that if the modelers can’t think of any other reasons for warming, there must be none.  (The proof is a little strange, when you think that the mechanism through which the 100,000 year, 20 degree cycle based on the earth’s ellipse is also physically unknown.) 

But the problem is far greater than that.  With just a bit of the level of scrubbing the IPCC models undergo, one could indeed fit the temperature series beautifully to baseball scores, or snail lengths, or any series of data.  That is the nature of modeling, and why Wall Street geniuses go broke with close-fit models of the past: they may have no predictive value for the future, because the associations are correlational, not causal.

There are a few scientists, statisticians, and mathematical modelers among the catastrophists, but most of their peers don’t qualify, because of our caution about data and models.  Let me summarize the more cautious position:

    We know that, all things being equal, industrial emissions lead to warming because their frequencies of oscillation match some of the frequencies of infra-red heat leaving the earth -- although the warming response generally lessens over time as the absorption bands in those frequencies become full.
  But we also know that all things are never equal.  It is the interactions and feedbacks that determine the true impact of a physical change, and there is little physical evidence to support the assumption in the IPCC’s models that the feedback from initial emissions-based warming is on the order of a tripling.
  Finally, we know that the lack of decent long-term data on all sorts of contributing variables keeps us from concluding much of anything about the effects of the roughly one degree rise in temperature since 1860 on hurricanes, drought, floods, storms, wild-fires, sea-level, and other present-day “climate catastrophes.”

As a statistician who teaches about the fundamental uncertainties of global climate models and the difficulty of finding data series that are good enough and long enough to find a recent trend in extreme weather and sea levels, I have for years scoffed at claims that “the debate is over.”  The climate system is so complex and chaotic, and its many interactions so poorly understood on so many time scales, that I more think that there is little useful information with which to begin, let alone end, a debate.

“Anti-intellectual, and anti-science,” I would complain, as the catastrophists dominated mainstream debate, turning the noble scientific title of “skeptic” into the horrific libel of being a “denier” of a coming Holocaust. 

At least I could be thankful that the domination of mainstream and leftist debate did not translate into domination of policy.  Both rich and poor countries continue to talk down fossil fuels while using them every chance they get, because these low-cost forms of energy have been the source of the economic growth and longer life expectancy the world has experienced in two dramatic waves: the industrialization of Europe, the United States and Japan in the 19th century and the industrialization of Korea, China, India, and others in Asia and to a lesser extent in Latin America and Africa in the 20th century.

But after a decade of trying to engage in public discourse on the various issues relating to carbon power, now I have concluded that the catastrophists are finally right – the debate IS over on global warming:

    Both sides have their scientists (Lindzen versus Hansen, Happer versus the pack)), both sides have their media (Washington Post versus Wall Street Journal, Time versus Forbes, Fox versus ABC).

    Both sides even have their own data streams (CRU’s ground instrument set and the University of Alabama at Huntsville’s satellite wave-length set) that require significant and judgment-laden adjustments.  (Unlike the case of the U.S. Consumer Price Index, the measurements and corrections are not handled by an unbiased, protected team, but by the protagonists themselves!)
Both sides have their central websites that constantly compile articles and arguments for the media and public: the catastrophists’ and Union of Concerned Scientists versus the skeptics’ staid Science and Environmental Policy “The Week that Was” at and the wild and wooly 

(Wonderful exceptions to all this gloom about partisanship are environmental scientist Roger Pielke Jr.’s blog and climate physicist Fred Taylor’s books, which show a clarity and restraint I admire but can no longer replicate.  Their scientific expertise, of course, I never could.)

    Both sides shamelessly, immediately, and viciously attack the findings and background of those they oppose.

    Both sides resort to silly arguments that would be laughed out of an introductory statistics or logic course.  The catastrophists seize on a decade of rising temperatures in the 1980’s, some hot days and rain storms, and recent extreme weather and damages, and they issue ingenious interpretation of ancient proxies to show a current high, along with misleading charts. 

The skeptics similarly seize on a decade of flat temperatures in the 2000’s, some cool days and snow storms, and extreme weather and damages in decades past, and they issue their own interpretations of ancient proxies to show higher temperatures a thousand years ago, and their own misleading charts.  None of these tricks, none, are relevant to determining the cause and effect of the one degree rise in global temperature since 1860.
But only one side, the catastrophists, won’t debate, fearing to give credibility to their opponents and preferring to cast them as kooks.  I have given up on inviting my colleagues from environmental and left-leaning think tanks to debate me and more distinguished skeptics on my campus.  They just won’t do it.

Useful inquiry cannot be conducted in this politicized environment, and without useful inquiry, relevant public discourse is impossible.  So much money, and so many jobs and reputations, are wrapped up in the core creation of data and models and the analysis of proposed policies that the debate is effectively over.

Even the language of the issue is politicized.  At first, catastrophists used the term “global warming.”  While not quite accurate (the warming has been concentrated on the higher latitudes, suspiciously near the entirely natural North Atlantic Oscillation), it is something that can at least be measured with a consistent methodology, at least since 1980 and the advent of satellite sensing with global coverage. 

One can say today if the average global temperature is rising, and if it is rising in some regions but not others, with much more certainty than before 1980.  In that earlier era, and in the series the IPCC still uses today, global temperature was estimated from averaging data from weather collection stations that stood in as proxies for thousands of square miles of land and ship collection stations that stood in for hundreds of thousands of square miles of sea.  Hilariously, the pre-1980 estimates are accorded respect down to the tenth of a degree, and included in comparisons with the satellite data, when their uncertainty is many orders more massive.

Then, coincident with the satellite data showing a flat line in global temperature for five-year averages from the mid-1990’s to today, the term “climate change” completely replaced “global warming.”  Now, climate is always changing, so this doesn’t mean anything more than when my students tell me that studying abroad “changed their life.”  I always ask: how did their life change, and was it for the worse or the better?

“Climate change” has inappropriately become short-hand for “extreme heat and droughts, extreme rainfall and snowfall (which seem contradictory…), extreme winds, and floods that emerge from them.”  It includes by incorporation a rise in sea-level from warmer water (which expands in size) and melting ice on land (melting sea ice, as in the Arctic, already displaces its weight in sea-level). 

Every time the phrase is used, it is loaded, a claim already assumed.  The New York Times reported a rise in carbon dioxide levels with this headline: “CO2 at Level Not Seen in Millions of Years, Portending Major Climate Changes.”  The article provided no evidence, of course, about which changes were portended – and that word itself implies calamitous changes.

What finally brought me to my retirement from the Climate War was my attempt to think through the claims in a recent film about the Maldives Islands that my think-tank had sponsored.  The former president had been a darling of the catastrophists, holding a cabinet meeting under water to show how his country would look if the wicked West didn’t stop warming the planet. 

A trip through journal articles, particularly one by a noted sea-level expert, Nils Axel-Morner, that disputed the rise in detail, showed me that the president’s claim is very hard to evaluate.  Nowhere could I find evidence for dramatic changes over the past 40 years in the Maldives -- which of course does not rule out dramatic changes being on the way -- and I discovered that land sinks, and rises, to the clock of its underlying tectonic plates and geological formations as well as to the sea’s clock.  Sea level is difficult to measure because it sloshes around, over tens of thousands of miles, and the measuring devices must be relative to some standard – the land, a dock, the bottom, all of which are always changing.

So here we are again on the Maldives, facing a question that relies on good historical data, systematic corrections and interpretations, and careful modeling.  I could tell even before I read competing studies how the dispute would go.  Just as with temperature, hurricanes, droughts, and global sea level, interested parties on both sides, skeptics and catastrophists, control the data and its manipulation, as well as the modeling. 

Even disinterested scientists are forced into line by the high political stakes, finding themselves either hailed and rewarded or castigated and exiled based on their results.  I realized that no matter how much I studied the issue, I could never trust the data, the manipulation, and the models, because of the partisanship.  And that is why the debate is over.

I’m gonna miss a lot of it – the excitement of learning about modeling, paleoclimate, satellite sounding, the 100,000 year cycles, how ice cores can provide temperature estimates, and the fun of watching students grapple with the possibility that everything they have been taught about climate change in college might be wrong. 

But I’m not gonna miss the stress of being the odd man out in my lefty think-tank, or of being in agreement with my usual foes.  All I can say is, to people in both developed and developing countries, I hope I’ve helped just a little bit by being part of the resistance to the plan to de-industrialize your economies.  So far, so good -- not because we skeptics convinced anybody about the dangers of emissions, but because people remain convinced of their benefits. 


Ohio Governor Freezes State's Clean Energy Law

Ohio Governor John Kasich on Friday signed legislation to freeze a six-year old law that required utilities to sell increasing amounts of green energy, making the state the first in the country to roll back a clean energy mandate.

Kasich, a Republican mentioned as a possible contender for the 2016 presidential race, signed Senate Bill 310, which passed in the state's legislature with strong support from some of Ohio's biggest industrial power users, such as Alcoa, and the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.

A number of other companies with operations in the state, including Honda Motor, Honeywell and Whirlpool , opposed the freeze, and have said it will risk new jobs in the state.

The original 2008 Ohio law called on utilities to sell more green power each year. The Senate bill freezes the mandate at current levels until 2017.

The move comes after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a proposal on June 2 to put the U.S. power sector on track to cut carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants by 30 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels.

Each state has been given an individual target. Ohio needs to cut the amount of carbon it emits per megawatt hour of electricity produced by 28 percent.

Environmental groups have said that suspending the clean energy plan means Ohio will not be able to meet the recently introduced EPA carbon emission limits.

The original law passed easily under Kasich's predecessor, Democrat Ted Strickland. It required Ohio utilities to sell at least 25 percent of electricity from renewable sources like wind or solar by 2025.

The law also required utilities to boost energy efficiency, reducing customers' power usage by 22 percent.

In announcing on Friday afternoon that Kasich signed the bill, his office did not offer a comment


Peer-Reviewed Survey (By Warmists) Finds Majority Of Scientists Skeptical Of Global Warming Crisis

It is becoming clear that not only do many scientists dispute the asserted global warming crisis, but these skeptical scientists may indeed form a scientific consensus.

Don’t look now, but maybe a scientific consensus exists concerning global warming after all. Only 36 percent of geoscientists and engineers believe that humans are creating a global warming crisis, according to a survey reported in the peer-reviewed Organization Studies. By contrast, a strong majority of the 1,077 respondents believe that nature is the primary cause of recent global warming and/or that future global warming will not be a very serious problem.

The survey results show geoscientists (also known as earth scientists) and engineers hold similar views as meteorologists. Two recent surveys of meteorologists (summarized here and here) revealed similar skepticism of alarmist global warming claims.

According to the newly published survey of geoscientists and engineers, merely 36 percent of respondents fit the “Comply with Kyoto” model. The scientists in this group “express 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.”

The authors of the survey report, however, note that the overwhelming majority of scientists fall within four other models, each of which is skeptical of alarmist global warming claims.

The survey finds that 24 percent of the scientist respondents fit the “Nature Is Overwhelming” model. “In their diagnostic framing, they believe that changes to the climate are natural, normal cycles of the Earth.” Moreover, “they strongly disagree that climate change poses any significant public risk and see no impact on their personal lives.”

Another group of scientists fit the “Fatalists” model. These scientists, comprising 17 percent of the respondents, “diagnose climate change as both human- and naturally caused. ‘Fatalists’ consider climate change to be a smaller public risk with little impact on their personal life. They are skeptical that the scientific debate is settled regarding the IPCC modeling.” These scientists are likely to ask, “How can anyone take action if research is biased?”

The next largest group of scientists, comprising 10 percent of respondents, fit the “Economic Responsibility” model. These scientists “diagnose climate change as being natural or human caused. More than any other group, they underscore that the ‘real’ cause of climate change is unknown as nature is forever changing and uncontrollable. Similar to the ‘nature is overwhelming’ adherents, they disagree that climate change poses any significant public risk and see no impact on their personal life. They are also less likely to believe that the scientific debate is settled and that the IPCC modeling is accurate. In their prognostic framing, they point to the harm the Kyoto Protocol and all regulation will do to the economy.”

The final group of scientists, comprising 5 percent of the respondents, fit the “Regulation Activists” model. These scientists “diagnose climate change as being both human- and naturally caused, posing a moderate public risk, with only slight impact on their personal life.” Moreover, “They are also skeptical with regard to the scientific debate being settled and are the most indecisive whether IPCC modeling is accurate.”

Taken together, these four skeptical groups numerically blow away the 36 percent of scientists who believe global warming is human caused and a serious concern.

One interesting aspect of this new survey is the unmistakably alarmist bent of the survey takers. They frequently use terms such as “denier” to describe scientists who are skeptical of an asserted global warming crisis, and they refer to skeptical scientists as “speaking against climate science” rather than “speaking against asserted climate projections.” Accordingly, alarmists will have a hard time arguing the survey is biased or somehow connected to the ‘vast right-wing climate denial machine.’

Another interesting aspect of this new survey is that it reports on the beliefs of scientists themselves rather than bureaucrats who often publish alarmist statements without polling their member scientists. We now have meteorologists, geoscientists and engineers all reporting that they are skeptics of an asserted global warming crisis, yet the bureaucrats of these organizations frequently suck up to the media and suck up to government grant providers by trying to tell us the opposite of what their scientist members actually believe.

People who look behind the self-serving statements by global warming alarmists about an alleged “consensus” have always known that no such alarmist consensus exists among scientists. Now that we have access to hard surveys of scientists themselves, it is becoming clear that not only do many scientists dispute the asserted global warming crisis, but these skeptical scientists may indeed form a scientific consensus.


Obama resorts to abuse

Mentions not a single scientific datum.  His entire speech relies on one of the informal fallacies of logic:  The appeal to authority

 United States President Barack Obama, appearing emboldened after his recent move to cut carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, ridiculed members of the US Congress for denying climate change or pleading scientific ignorance as an alibi for avoiding an inconvenient truth.

Speaking in gleefully sarcastic terms to a commencement ceremony at the University of California, Irvine, on Saturday, Mr Obama likened those who deny climate change to people who would have told US president John Kennedy, at the dawn of the space program, that the moon ''was made of cheese''.

He saved his most scathing words for lawmakers who say they are not qualified to judge the issue because they are not scientists. These people,  Mr Obama said, recognise the truth but will not utter it for fear of being ''run out of town by a radical fringe that thinks climate science is a liberal plot''.

''I'm not a scientist either,'' Mr Obama told  the young audience, "but we've got some good ones at NASA. I do know the overwhelming majority of scientists who work on climate change, including some who once disputed the data, have put the debate to rest.''

 Mr Obama also said he had hit upon a novel way to speed up the nation's response to hurricanes, floods, droughts, tornadoes, wildfires, mudslides and other natural disasters: Make states and cities compete for a $US1 billion pot of money.

Mr Obama announced the competition, which would award funds to state and local authorities with the most innovative plans for rebuilding in a way that protects against future disasters.

''We also have to realise, as hundreds of scientists declared last month, that climate change is no longer a distant threat, but 'has moved firmly into the present','' Mr Obama said.

''Today's Congress,'' he declared, "is full of folks who stubbornly and automatically reject the scientific evidence. They will tell you climate change is a hoax or a fad. One member of Congress actually says the world might be cooling."

He added: "I want to tell you this to light a fire under you. As the generation getting short-changed by inaction on this issue, I want to tell you that you cannot accept that this is the way it has to be."



Daniel Aronstein runs a blog where his own comments are mostly in all-caps. He has excelled himself below, however




















Glaciers and Global Warming

The melting of glaciers is often cited as evidence mankind is causing global warming through carbon dioxide emissions. A corollary of this is that melting glaciers raise sea levels, which will reach catastrophic levels unless CO2 emissions are reduced. Adding to the massive evidence already refuting these assertions, a recent paper provides more accurate reconstruction of two centuries of previous data “by using many more stations, particularly in the polar regions, and recently processed historic data series from isolated island stations.” The new study is based on monthly mean sea level data from 1807 to 2010. Regarding this new study, well-known meteorologist Anthony Watts wrote “this newest analysis of the most comprehensive data set available suggests that there has been no dramatic increase—or any increase, for that matter—in the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration. [Therefore, there is no evidence of any human influence on sea levels.]” The last sentence, in brackets, is Mr. Watt’s.

Two other recent studies conclude that global warming of two glaciers in Antarctica will undermine the entire West Antarctic ice sheet, causing it to collapse and slide into the ocean. The authors contend that the Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers are melting on their undersides due to warm ocean water. As a result, the glacier is no longer held in place, they say. As pieces of the ice shelf break off, the ice behind slides forward. The authors assert “…we find no major bed or obstacle that would prevent the glaciers from further retreat and draw down of the entire basin.” This, they suggest, would raise sea level 10 feet or more in coming centuries.

Dr. Don Easterbrook, geology professor emeritus, Western Washington University, provides an illuminating explanation of why this dire prediction will not come true. With the aid of excellent maps, he provides a useful perspective on the geologic setting, the location of mountains, the drainage patterns and outlets of the two glaciers, and the scale of the size and thickness of the West Antarctic ice sheet relative to the Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers. For example, the East Antarctic ice sheet has more than 90% of the continent’s ice; the West Antarctic ice sheet, only about 8 and 1/2%, and the Pine Island Glacier only about 10% of that.

But most surprising—and convincing—is Easterbrook’s statement: “The importance of ice thickness is that virtually all of the ice sheet is considerably thicker than the depth below sea level to bedrock, so the ice is grounded and will not float.” He demonstrates this with the graph below accompanied by the following explanation.

“[This] is a profile of the West Antarctic ice sheet from the east coast to the Transantarctic Mts., showing thickness of the ice sheet, sea level, and the subglacial floor. At its deepest part, the subglacial floor is 2,000 m (6,500 ft) below sea level, but almost all of the subglacial floor in this profile is less than1,000 m (3,300 ft) below sea level. The ice is mostly more than 2,500 m (8,000 ft.) thick, sobasic physics tell us it will not float in 1,000 m (3,300 ft.) of water nor will sea water melt its way under the ice.”

Easterbrook also notes that “at least half a dozen potential grounding lines may be seen” in the above graph. This refutes the claim “that there is nowhere that the glacier can ground so it will all collapse into the sea.”

A Look at Other Glaciers

A book published in 1926, Climate Through the Ages by C.P.E. Brooks, states “the period from 1600 to 1850 has been termed the ‘Little Ice-Age.’ There were minor maxima of glaciation about 1820 and 1850; since then the glaciers and ice-sheets have been in rapid retreat in all parts of the world.”Today, 88 years later, the necessity of an adequate historical sample is evident. A website on global warming stresses this: “When examining claims made about glaciers, it is important to have historical data back to at least the early 1900s – otherwise the information is out of context for a climatic assessment. Statements about changes over the last few decades are meaningless without a longer term context…

“Most glaciers around the world (alpine and Greenland ice-sheet glaciers) have been melting as part of the long-term warming trend since the end of the Little Ice Age in the 1700s (although some are actually increasing). The recession of glaciers started long before anthropogenic CO2 levels rose…the recession of glaciers cannot be due to anthropogenic CO2-based global warming…

“The IPCC only needs CO2 for the climate models and only for the northern hemisphere…. The anthropogenic CO2 based theory is based strictly on computer models – the empirical data do not support it.

“The United Nations IPCC was founded in 1988 with the purpose of assessing “the scientific, technical and socioeconomic information relevant for the understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change.”  —i.e. it is based on the assumption of “human-induced climate change” – there was no attempt to evaluate the scientific evidence of the cause of the warming….[The IPCC] always makes statements regarding the definite human causation; it has never provided substantial scientific evidence that anthropogenic CO2 is the cause. The only evidence provided is the output of computer models.

This website shows this chart of 169 glaciers with the comment it is “consistent for most glaciers worldwide – the recession of the glaciers started at the end of the Little Ice Age.”

The graph shows the glaciers have been receding since 1750, with the trend accelerating after about 1820. This is long before global industrialization, which didn’t get underway until the middle of the 20th Century. The electric light bulb and the telephone hadn’t been invented yet. (Thomas Edison wasn’t even born.) The first commercial electric power plant was not built until 1881-82. Henry Ford began assembly line production of automobiles in 1913, but by then half of the glacier loss from 1800 to 2000 had already occurred. And 70 percent of the glacier shortening occurred before 1940. Obviously the global retreat of the glaciers was not caused by increased CO2 from factories and automobiles. So it is perhaps surprising that new studies keep springing up trying to blame the melting of glaciers on increases in carbon dioxide emissions. But it should not be surprising in light of the fact the IPCC was founded for the purpose of gathering evidence for “human-induced climate change.”

The Kilimanjaro Story

About a decade ago there was rising concern about the melting of Mt. Kilimanjaro’s icecap, which was widely blamed on global warming. That presumption did not fit with the available data.

Measurements were made of the Kilimanjaro icecap in 1912, 1953, 1976 and 1979. Kilimanjaro lost 45% of its icecap between 1912 and 1953. Had that trend continued, those glaciers would already be gone. But the period 1953 to 1976 was a period of global COOLING (minus 0.13 degrees F.)—and Kilimanjaro’s glaciers still lost another 21%. Another 12% disappeared since 1976, the lowest rate since 1912. Thus contrary to the hype of the global warming alarmists, Kilimanjaro’s icecap melted more slowly in recent decades, not faster.

Moreover, since 1979 we have satellite measurements, which are far more accurate than ground-based measurements and give us measurements at various elevations. At the height of Mt. Kilimanjaro, 19,000 feet, they show a cooling of the Kilimanjaro area of 0.40 degrees F. beginning in 1979. This cooling rate (0.17 degrees F. per decade) is exactly the same as the warming rate 1912 to 1953. Kilimanjaro is just one more example of trying to scare the public with a global warming story that has no basis in fact.

In the journal Nature, researcher Betsy Mason wrote,“Although it’s tempting to blame the (Kilimanjaro) ice loss on global warming, researchers think that deforestation of the mountain’s foothills is the more likely culprit….Without the forests’ humidity, previously moisture-laden winds blew dry. No longer replenished with water, the ice is evaporating in the strong equatorial sunshine.”  Mason’s work has since been confirmed by several other researchers.

Geologic Perspective

Ten major ice ages have occurred during the past one million years, and another ten occurred in the prior million or so years. These ice ages lasted about 90,000 years and were separated by warm interglacial periods lasting about 10,000 years. We are currently in the Holocene interglacial period. Since this began about 11,500 years ago, we are no doubt very late in this cycle, after which the earth will again experience an ice age.

Sea levels have fluctuated widely as the ice advanced and retreated in accordance with the 90,000- and 10,000-year cycles. Since the most recent period of maximum glaciation, 18,000 years ago, the sea level has risen more than 300 feet without CO2 emissions from industrialization. A land bridge had existed across the Bering Strait, so it was possible to walk from Siberia to Alaska.

The hype of global warming alarmism claimed the temperatures in the 1990s were “unprecedented” and required drastic limiting of CO2emissions to prevent “catastrophic” global warming. But if we compare the mean temperature of the 1990s to the warmest temperatures of the four prior interglacials, we see the 1990s weremuch cooler than all of these corresponding periods. In fact, all four were warmer than the current one by an average temperature of more than 2 degrees C.

120,000 years ago, during the last interglacial period, the Eemian, global sea level was about 8 m (26 feet) higher than today. Globally, temperatures were 1-2 degrees C. higher, and the water temperature of the North Sea was about 2 degrees C. higher than today.

The climate in Greenland during the Eemian period was about 8 degrees C. higher than today. At the beginning of the Eemian, 128,000 years ago, the ice sheet in northwest Greenland was 200 meters higher than today. It regressed during the warm Eemian period, so by 122,000 years ago that ice sheet had sunk to 130 meters below the current level.

The foregoing facts show that current temperatures, glaciers and sea levels are well within the natural range of fluctuations. Far more extreme climate conditions existed many times in the past without ever causing the catastrophic consequences predicted from the far more modest climate changes we see today or are likely to see in the future. Arguments to the contrary are simply baseless and implausible.

It is also baseless and implausible that carbon dioxide is the “culprit” in global warming and a threat to the future. CO2 is a very weak greenhouse gas and comprises only 0.04% of our atmosphere. Water vapor is a strong greenhouse gas and is responsible for at least 95% of any greenhouse effect. If we could eliminate all of the threat from CO2, we would still have that 95% of greenhouse effect (plus about one percent from minor gases.)

Since the greenhouse effect of CO2 is so minor, all of the computer models assume it will be amplified by water vapor, without which there would be no disaster scenario. But in the many documented periods of higher carbon dioxide levels, even during much warmer climate periods, such amplification never happened. During the time of the dinosaurs, the carbon dioxide levels were 300-500% greater than today. Five hundred million years ago, the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was 15-20 times what it is today. Yet the catastrophic water-vapor amplification of carbon dioxide warming never occurred. Today we’re told catastrophe will result if carbon dioxide doubles. But during the Ordovician Period the carbon dioxide level was 12 times what it is today, and the earth was in an Ice Age. That’s exactly opposite to the “runaway” warming that computer models predict should occur.

It is also implausible that mankind has a significant—much less a decisive—effect on atmospheric CO2. Of the CO2 that constitutes 5% or less of the greenhouse effect, 97% of that comes from nature, not man. By far the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions is the equatorial Pacific Ocean. It produces 72% of the earth’s emissions of carbon dioxide, and the rest of the Pacific, the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean, and the other waters also contribute. Volcanoes, swamps, rice paddies, fallen leaves, and even insects and bacteria produce carbon dioxide, as well as methane, which is a far more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. Termites alone emit far more CO2 than all the fossil fuels burned annually, and plant respiration and decay emit 10 to 15 times more CO2 than termites, according to P. R. Zimmerman of the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Human emissions are trivial to the climate.

So why all the hysteria about controlling global warming? It’s really not about global warming at all. It’s about controlling people for ideological reasons. It would be futile to campaign against global warming from water vapor. Or the sun. (See my previous posting, “It’s the Sun, Stupid.”) But if you can scare the public that global warming is a threat to humanity and the future of the planet because of CO2and industrial progress, they are likely to vote for those proposing “solutions” for controlling people and progress to avert disaster even if it isn’t real. Global warming is a way of smuggling collectivist ideology into political power, broadening economic controls, social engineering and effacing individual rights, all under the banner of collective good.

The global warming issue is really a political ticket to a dangerous future of centralized control. It is the future version of George Orwell’s 1984. If the government says something is “true,” it is, even if it isn’t. If it says global warming is occurring, that is “true,” even if it isn’t. If it says it is caused by CO2, that is “true,” even if it isn’t. If EPA says CO2 must be regulated because it is a health hazard, that is “true” even if it isn’t.

    "It isn’t just that the alarmists are trumpeting model results that we know must be wrong. It is that they are trumpeting catastrophes that couldn’t happen even if the models were right" –Richard Lindzen, climatologist, MIT professor of meteorology.



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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15 June, 2014

The Stockpile Solution for curbing fossil fuel use:

Bryan Caplan is being a bit silly below.  Stockpiling a commodity would raise its price and draw out more supply.  And eventually the government would run out of money to build their ever-bigger stockpiles

If I were convinced that the fate of mankind hinged on massive reductions in carbon emissions, I would still be pessimistic about unilateral taxes or cap-and-trade.  As I told Yoram:

National emissions regulations can have perverse global effects.  If relatively clean countries switch to clean energy (via command-and-control regulations, cap-and-trade, pollution taxes, or green norms), fossil fuels don't vanish.  Instead, their world price falls - encouraging further consumption in relatively dirty countries.  The net effect?  I was hoping Bauman would tell us, but he didn't even raise the issue.

International tax or cap-and-trade treaties seem almost equally flawed.  Some countries will sign; others won't.  In a world market, won't the fossil fuels the participants stop using just find their way into the hands of the non-participants?  On a homework problem, admittedly, you can solve this problem with punitive carbon tariffs on non-signatories.  In the real world, though, won't this lead recalcitrant countries to sign the treaty, then fail to domestically enforce it?

Yesterday, I hit upon an alternative policy that avoids all these problems: Stockpiling. Instead of taxing or capping pollution, a government could unilaterally buy lots of fossil fuels and sit on them forever.  This would raise the world price of fuel, spurring reduced consumption around the globe.  And since the government only pays for fossil fuels it actually receives, energy producers around the globe have no incentive to thwart the policy.  Indeed, industry has a strong incentive to participate and support the re-imagined war on carbon.

After I proposed this idea, GMU prodigy Nathan Bechhofer quickly showed me that I was reinventing the wheel.  Stockpiling is the heart of Bard Harstad's "Buy Coal! A Case for Supply-Side Environmental Policy" (Journal of Political Economy, 2012).  The original piece is math-heavy, but here's a readable write-up. 


A fundamental problem with adopting a "demand-side mindset" that implements policy to reduce fossil fuel consumption is that not everyone takes part, Harstad argues. An international agreement between coalition countries to curb oil consumption will initially have the desired effect of reducing overall demand, but this will lower the price of oil, giving a strong incentive to countries outside of the agreement to buy and use more.

On the other hand, Harstad argues, if an international agreement decides to limit oil extraction and supply, the price will go up, and countries outside of the agreement are likely to churn out more for export.

"Both on the demand-side and the supply-side the result is carbon leakage, which is an increase in pollution abroad relative to the emission-reduction at home," says Harstad, who is associate professor of managerial economics & decision sciences at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. Carbon leakage describes the process by which carbon-cutting measures in one location cause knock-on emissions elsewhere.

The Harstad solution:

Harstad's solution is for coalition countries to buy up extraction rights in countries outside of such agreements--"third countries," in his terminology. And though this has the obvious benefit of preventing emissions from those fossil fuels, there are rather more far-reaching implications.

Coalition countries will naturally focus on marginal deposits least profitable for host countries, because these can be had the most cheaply. After a third country has sold off the rights to its marginal deposits, Harstad argues that its supply is less sensitive to fluctuations in global fuel price. Coalition countries are then able to limit their own supplies without the undesirable effect that third countries will increase theirs. The price of fuel is equalized universally. Harstad goes so far as to assert that the equalized price is high enough that even third countries would be compelled to pursue alternative energy technology, and sign up to coalition agreements.

Notice that in Harstad's version of the proposal, the government stockpiles fossil fuel extraction rights rather than fossil fuels themselves.  Given monitoring and commitment costs, though, buying extraction rights is a recipe for corruption.  It's easy to inflate a geological report if the everyone knows the customer will never extract the resources he imagines he's buying.  And after the U.S. acquires and closes a Chinese coal mine, who keeps out the wildcatters - and why won't the watchmen just take bribes to look the other way?  Physical stockpiling preempts all of these problems. 

To repeat, I don't actually favor this policy.  But if a government wants to curb carbon emissions, stockpiling seems like the smart way to do it.  Am I wrong?


Cavuto: When I first became a global warming 'doubter'

I don't know how you feel about this global warming issue.  But I first became a doubter when they re-branded the issue and started calling it climate change.  It was brilliant on environmentalists' part because it covered any contingency. Warming, cooling, raining, misting, everything.  After all, climate's always changing, so try arguing that one.

But let's remember how all this started.  With dire predictions of warmer winters and soon, no winters, and if we didn't do anything about it, no us either.

So forget about whether they were calling it global warming then or climate change now, we, mankind had to do something about it, and fast.

But wait a minute. I think I've heard this dire talk before. Not about the earth warming, about the earth cooling.

Thirty-something years ago it was all the rage. And I should know, thirty-something years ago today I graduated high school. (do you really think I'm going to tell you the exact number) Did any of us look like the world was about to end? I didn't know it. And look at my mom and dad? Do they look like they knew it?

Thank god Leonard Nimoy knew it, and in this super scary TV special back in May 1978, Spock wasn't afraid to say it.

"The next Ice Age is on its way and could come sooner than anyone had expected. At weather stations in the far north temperatures have been dropping for 30 years. According to some climatologists, within a lifetime we might be living in the next Ice Age"

Is it over?  But it wasn't over, and it didn't stop with Spock. I'm telling you this was the whole 1970s. I lived through it!  And all this time you thought all I had to worry about was leisure suits.

Try this not so leisurely warning on May 21,1975, from the New York Times warning about "a major cooling ahead."

Or this time magazine cover from December. 3, 1973 warning about "The Big Freeze."

And in case anyone missed it, this other Time Magazine cover. Different picture. Same warning, January 31, 1977.

And just in case anyone missed those, a cozy Christmas cover, heralding, "The Cooling of America."

Not to be out-done, rival Newsweek on April 28, 1975 detailed ominous signs of "The Cooling World," including this uplifting nugget, "If the climatic change is as profound as some of the pessimists fear, the resulting famines could be catastrophic."

So now I'm freezing and starving!  No Yodels. No Ring Dings. No anything!  Food gone. Freeze on.

Everyone reported it. Nobody questioned it. The entire scientific community in lockstep with it. And doubters were idiots if they denied it.

Governments had better get cracking, or humans would be all but frozen in their evolutionary tracks.  Well? Not quite.

So maybe that's why me and my parents didn't look so panicked back then.  Maybe that's why you didn't see one strand of my Lego hair out of place back then.

We weren't oblivious. We were onto this.  But that was then.  We wouldn't be so stupid now.  Or would we?


Evidence Trumps the Phony Consensus

by Viv Forbes.  Viv has many academic qualifications and has worked in many occupations but he is at present probably Australia's skinniest farmer

We are lectured monotonously about the “consensus” that carbon dioxide produced by human activities is “highly likely to cause dangerous global warming”. The alarmist computer models are all based on this assumption, with predicted warming multiplied by also assuming strong positive feedbacks.

A consensus of opinion never determines a scientific question – real proof depends on evidence and logic. Consensus is a tool of politics and a guidepost for lemmings.

The so-called “Greenhouse Effect” depends entirely on the known property of carbon dioxide gas to intercept radiant heat in certain wavelengths. This process starts operating as soon as the extra gas enters the atmosphere.

If this influence is strong enough to drive “dangerous global warming”, its effect should be noticeable even in the short term, with Earth’s surface temperature increasing in step with increasing carbon dioxide.

Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been steadily increasing for over a century, but global temperatures have fluctuated in broad cycles decades long, and there has been no warming for the last 17 years.

This evidence suggests that increasing carbon dioxide is not a major driver for dangerous global warming, no matter what the consensus says – even if a million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.

We may still get natural global warming, as the vast restless oceans roll over or the solar cycles change, but man-made carbon dioxide is not driving these processes. Moreover, a bit of warming is not our greatest risk – history shows that ice ages extinguish more species and habitats than warm eras.

The consensus of alarmists is trying to lynch an innocent party.


U.S. Gov’t Spends $50K on Green Cooking Alternatives

The National Science Foundation has awarded a $50,000 grant to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to develop stored solar stoves as a solution to the “global cooking problem.”
“The World Health Organization asserts around 3 billion people still cook and heat their homes using solid fuels in open fires and leaky stoves. Such cooking and heating produces high levels of indoor air pollution with a range of health-damaging pollutants, including small soot particles that penetrate deep into the lungs,” the grant said.

“In poorly ventilated dwellings, indoor smoke can be 100 times higher than acceptable levels for small particles. Exposure is particularly high among women and young children, who spend the most time near the domestic hearth,” said the grant. “Nearly 2 million people a year die prematurely from illness attributable to indoor air pollution due to solid fuel use.

The grant noted that “considerable time” is wasted for women and children on fuel gathering, taking away time from other productive activities like school. It also noted that, “in less secure environments, women and children are at risk of injury and violence during fuel gathering.”

The grant cited “non-renewable harvesting of biomass” as a contribution to climate change. It also warned that “methane and black carbon” climate change pollutants can result from the emission of from inefficient stove combustion.

“Non-renewable harvesting of biomass contributes to deforestation and thus climate change. Methane and black carbon (sooty particles) emitted by inefficient stove combustion are powerful climate change pollutants,” the grant said.

“The proposed technology addresses this large market and a corresponding domestic market that seeks green cooking alternatives with a no-fuel and no-flame device that stores energy to cook when the user needs it,” the grant said.

“In this proposal, the team proposes a strategy of concurrent (a) research, (b) development, and (c) field testing, with each of the three efforts informing the others. This three-pronged approach uses the lean start-up model which advocates interaction with end users and avoids prolonged R&D around solutions that may not be adopted in the field,” the grant added.

The grant recipient plans to work with state and national parks to develop a prototype as well as with local parks and campgrounds for input.

“The team intends to work with state and national parks to develop prototype grills/stoves for testing, and will also work with local parks, campgrounds, and university/campus facilities to gain input for development of prototypes,” the grant said.

“Preliminary feedback from park facility managers indicates a very high level of enthusiasm for a green, clean, fuel-free cooking alternative that reduces fire risk, and there are 215,000 state park campsites alone,” it added.

Calls to Bruce Elliot-Litchfield, principal investigator for the grant, were not returned by press time.


Obama national monument designations destroy communities, extinguish mining claims

President Obama is in trouble with his usual allies, not to mention his ever-ready opponents, over two recent acts of excessive executive power: the Bergdahl prisoner swap and the new CO2 regulations announced on Monday, June 2.

Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Senate Intelligence Committee chairman, has been publicly critical of the administration’s decision not to adhere to a law requiring 30 days’ notice to Congress before releasing detainees from the Guantanamo Bay facility in Cuba. Bloomberg reports: “she’s not convinced there was a ‘credible threat’ against the life of freed Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl that motivated the White House to keep its plans secret.”

Regarding the CO2 regulations, Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee chairman, has come out against the president’s approach, saying: “This should not be achieved by EPA regulations. Congress should set the terms, goals and timeframe.” Representative Nick Rahall (D-WV), who, like Landrieu is in a tough reelection fight, has come out with even stronger opposition to the president’s plan calling it: “Overreaching, overzealous, beyond the legal limit.” Rahall says the actions of the EPA “have truly run amok.”

Both stories have dominated the news cycle for the past week. Yet, just a couple of weeks earlier, another story of executive overreach got little coverage and the affected allies stood by the President’s side as he signed an order creating, what the Washington Post called: “the largest national monument of the Obama presidency so far.”

After years of heated local debate and despite polling that shows the people are not behind the president, on May 21, Obama declared the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks region of New Mexico, nearly 500,000 acres, a national monument—his eleventh such designation “so far.” Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, and Representative Ben Ray Lujan, (all D-NM) were present at the signing ceremony. The official Department of the Interior photo shows each of them with big smiles as they look on.

They should be happy. Udall and Heinrich had previously proposed similar federal legislation. Praising the president’s effort, Udall said: “The president’s decision finally puts into motion a plan that began with the people of southern New Mexico, who wanted to ensure these special places would continue to be available for local families and visitors to hike, hunt and learn from the hundreds of significant historic sites throughout the area for generations to come.”

But not everyone is smiling. The Las Cruces Sun-News (LCSN) reports: “Republican Rep. Steve Pearce, whose congressional district covers the region, issued a statement taking issue with Obama’s use of the 1906 U.S. Antiquities Act, saying monuments created under it are supposed to cover only the ‘smallest area compatible’ with the designation. He contended the approval ‘flies in the face of the democratic process.’” Pearce’s statement says: “This single action has erased six years of work undertaken by Doña Ana County ranchers, business owners, conservationists, sportsmen officials and myself to develop a collaborative plan for the Organ Mountains that would have preserved the natural resource and still provided future economic opportunities.”

Ranchers and off-road vehicle users have opposed the large-scale monument. The LCSN states: “In particular, ranchers have been concerned about impacts to their grazing allotments on public lands in the wake of the new monument.”

Steve Wilmeth, a vocal ranching advocate, whose family has been ranching in New Mexico since 1880 says his ranch, and many others with whom he’s worked side-by-side, will be impacted by the designation. “The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument designation puts America’s ranchers on a glide path to destruction. The full implications won’t be known until the management plan is complete, but, due to the private lands that are embedded within the designation and based on historic evidence, with a single stroke of his pen, President Obama’s actions has likely put the livelihood of nearly 100 families fully in jeopardy, and, based on all other such designations will likely destroy what many, myself included, have spent a lifetime creating.”

Wilmeth’s view is based on experience. Another New Mexico rancher Randell Major, lost his ranch due to the El Malpais National Monument designation. In a letter detailing his story, Major explained: “On December 31, 1987, our area was designated as the El Malpais NCA [National Conservation Area] and National Monument. This made a third of our allotment wilderness, a third NCA, and a third non-NCA. At this time, the El Malpais NCA was to be managed by the BLM [Bureau of Land Management] and required the BLM to develop a general management plan for the management of the NCA.”

Major was told the plan didn’t affect his grazing allotment. However, he states: “after getting and reading the plan, I found out they wanted big changes on our allotment; such as the closing of most of our roads that we travel on to conduct our business—putting out salt, supplements, and repairing and maintaining our waters. They had plans to keep our livestock out of our springs for riparian area purposes.  There is a long list of things that I could go on and on.”

Major says that the landowners were not included in the planning process. He quotes the BLM as saying: “It is our priority for acquisition of lands containing natural and or cultural resources requiring management or protection, and or lands needed for visitor access and facility development. For those areas where private uses are incompatible with NCA goals and purposes or where important resources are on private land.”

Major concludes: “It is my opinion that the radical environmental groups have teamed up with our federal agencies. Their goal is to take control of all the land and put ranchers out of business. It is a sad day in this country when this is allowed to happen. …  My hat is off to ranchers who continue to fight for the property that belongs to them.”

On a recent radio interview featuring Congressman Pearce, Wilmeth, and Colin Woodall, Vice President, Government Affairs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, discussing the new national monument, Woodhall pointed out that DC is not worried about ranchers and Pearce said: “The law allows the agencies to destroy you and there’s nothing you can do.” Agency personnel are appointed and hired by the federal government. They have great authority but little accountability—holding positions of power that can’t be voted out.

The law Pearce is referencing is known as the Antiquities Act, signed into law by President Roosevelt in 1906. The Act for the Preservation of Antiquities limited Presidential authority for National Monument designations to Federal Government-owned lands and to, as Pearce referenced, “the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects protected.” The Antiquities Act also authorized “relinquishment” of lands owned privately, authorizing the Federal Government to take land. The Constitution’s Fifth Amendment requires owners be compensated by the rest of us taxpayers. But fair market value can change dramatically when a policy change triggered by laws such as the Antiquities Act modifies the broad multiple use category for large segments of the federal estate to limited and recreational use.”

Addressing his Techado Allotment 50 miles south of Grants, New Mexico, originally purchased in 1968, Major says: “In the year 2003, we tried to be willing sellers.  … They would not offer us value of the land based on neighboring comparable sales. They would not compensate us for our improvements on the allotment, such as, fences, waters, corrals, buildings, etc.”

While the Federal Government owns much of National Monument land, private, tribal and state lands are often enclosed inside new designations. Essentially, an Antiquities Act presidential proclamation transfers valuable “multiple use” land into a restricted use category as management plans can disallow historical use.

History shows that in cases where the Antiquities Act has been used—whether for a National Conservation Area, a National Park, or a National Monument—mining claims were extinguished, homes have been torn down, communities have been obliterated, and working landscapes been destroyed. The National Park Service Association’s website states: “ultimately, the Park Service is expected to own and manage virtually all privately owned lands within park boundaries.  … private inholdings can disrupt or destroy park views, undermine the experience of visitors, and often diminish air and water quality while simultaneously increasing light and noise pollution. Park Service managers have stated … that privately owned land within park boundaries creates gaps that shatter the integrity of individual parks and the system as a whole, and make it more difficult and expensive for the Park Service to protect key resources.”

Proof of my claims can be found in the sad tales of federal land grabs, including what happened to the town of McCarthy, Alaska, when President Carter used the Antiquities Act to create the Wrangell-St. Elias National Monument in 1978; Ohio’s Cuyahoga River Valley’s conversion from “a patchwork of lovely scenery and structures: row crops and orchards, pastures and woodlots, barns and farmhouses, and tractors working the fields” as Dan O’Neill called it in A Land Gone Lonesome, to the Cuyahoga River Valley National Recreation Area that razed more than 450 homes; and what happened in Utah when President Clinton declared 1.7 million acres to be the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument that locked out a lot of ranchers and potential coal mining.

At an April 2013 Congressional hearing, Commissioner John Jones of Carbon County, Utah, told the Committee: “Please don’t insult rural communities with the notion that the mere designation of National Monuments and the restrictions on the land which follow are in any way a substitute for long-term wise use of the resources and the solid high wage jobs and economic certainty which those resources provide.”

Supporters of National Monuments often tout the economic benefits tourism will bring. Former Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar has said: “There’s no doubt that these monuments will serve as economic engines for the local communities through tourism and outdoor recreation—supporting economic growth and creating jobs.” The LCSN reported: “Many supporters of the Organ Mountains Desert-Peaks National Monument have argued it will boost the local economy by attracting tourists to the area.” Yet, Commissioner Jones, in his testimony, asked: “If recreation and tourism, which are supposed to accompany the designation of national monuments, are such an economic benefit to local communities, why is the school system in Escalante, Utah, in the heart of the Grand Staircase, about to close due to a continual decline in local population since the monument was created?”

Bill Childress is the Regional BLM director who will oversee the management plan for the new Organ Mountains Desert-Peaks National Monument—expected to take five years (complete and painful long after Obama is out of office). He says that “at least for now” changes will not be noticed by many people. However, according to the LCNS, “some roads or trails could be closed after that document takes effect.” The LCNS report, What’s next for the Organ Mountains Desert-Peaks National Monument?, continues: “Asked if ranchers should be concerned about curtailment of their grazing rights after the record of decision has been made, Childress said: ‘I can’t prejudge the decision. All I can say is most monument lands that the bureau manages permit grazing. We do have a few examples where that’s not the case in small areas. But, (the proclamation) acknowledges that we need to manage those and make decisions on grazing based on the existing rules, and that’s what we plan on doing.”

New Mexico ranchers know the history and they are worried. According to the LCSN: “Jerry Schickendanz, chairman of the Western Heritage Alliance, which opposed the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks designation, said a key concern of the group is that ranching wasn’t listed prominently among the list of resources in Obama’s monument declaration.”

The impact goes beyond ranching. The LCNS reporting says: “the proclamation prevents the BLM from selling or getting rid of any of the land, allowing new mining claims or permitting oil and natural gas exploration.”

Federal land management policy has shifted from managing working landscapes populated by productive resource-based communities of ranchers, farmers, loggers, and miners, to a recreational landscape intended to delight visitors. This is especially troubling in the West where the vast majority of many states is owned by the federal government.

At the signing of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument Declaration, Obama repeated his State of the Union Address pledge: “I’m searching for more opportunities to preserve federal lands.” It is New Mexico today, but your community could be impacted next.

In Nevada, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Senator Dean Heller (R) has just warned Obama “against designating a national monument in the Gold Butte region of Clark County.”  Unlike Udall and Heinrich, who happily supported the New Mexico designation, Heller is quoted as saying: “I am extremely concerned about the impact a unilateral designation will have on my state.”

The Review-Journal states: “There has been heightened sensitivity among Western conservatives since Obama on May 21 designated 500,000 acres in the Organ Mountain-Desert Peaks region of southern New Mexico as a national monument that would allow it to be managed more like a national park. They have bristled at what they regard as federal ‘land grabs’ exercised by the president without approval by Congress, and seek to head off further designations.”

While there are some cases where Congress has abolished National Monuments and transferred the lands to other agencies, and Alaska and Wyoming have enacted legislation prohibiting the president’s power to 5,000 acres, New Mexico’s ranchers live in raw fear of the unlimited power the Antiquities Act allows the executive branch.

Hundreds of millions of acres have been set aside with the stroke of a pen. Each designation provides a photo op featuring a smiling President and his allies (Udall, Heinrich, and Lujan) with stunning pictures of the latest protected place. All while somewhere within the borders of a state or territory someone’s access is taken, someone’s hunting and fishing grounds are gone, someone’s land has been grabbed, someone’s life’s work is wiped out, and opportunities for the American dream of a future rancher, farmer, miner are dashed.


Australian PM lauds coal during Texas speech, says climate change shouldn’t limit use of fossil fuels

TONY Abbott has visited the energy capital of the USA to insist he does not want the battle against climate change to limit the use of any type of fuel.

Promoting his plan to scrap the carbon tax in front of an audience of energy executives in Houston, Texas, Mr Abbott said he wanted Australia to become a centre of cheap energy.

While he said Australia should look towards new energy sources, he said we should also focus on cheap and reliable energy.

“Affordable, reliable energy fuels enterprise and drives employment,” Mr Abbott said.

“It is the engine of economic development and wealth creation.”

“Australia should be an affordable energy superpower, using nature’s gifts to the benefit of our own people and the wider world.”

The PM defended Australia’s existing energy exports and said we have a long term future exporting black coal, LNG and uranium.

“It is prudent to do what we reasonably can to reduce carbon emissions,” he said.

“But we don’t believe in ostracising any particular fuel and we don’t believe in harming “economic growth.”

“For many decades at least coal will continue to fuel human progress as an affordable, dependable energy source for wealthy and developing countries alike.”

The speech came after Mr Abbott met US President Barack Obama and agreed to disagree on the best way to tackle climate change.

Mr Obama wants a global carbon price while Mr Abbott wants to replace Australia’s carbon tax with a $2.5 billion “direct action” plan that includes paying companies to cut emissions.

Declaring he wanted closer ties with the largest city in Texas, Mr Abbott announced he would appoint an Australian consulate-general to the boom town.

After receiving a gift of Stetson cowboy hat, Mr Abbott let the audience know he felt like an honorary Texan, saying “yee ha”.

Houston is home to more than 100 Australian companies, including BHP Billiton, Woodside, Santos, WorleyParsons, Macquarie Group, Pryme Oil and Gas, Lend Lease and Brambles.

Houston is the largest city in Texas, which has an economy the size of the 13th largest country in the world.

Mr Abbott said the consulate-general Houston would allow Australia to “maximise the two-way trade and investment opportunities of the US energy revolution”.

Mr Abbott will today meet with a business delegations before visiting the Texas Medical Centre — the largest of its kind in the world — to promote his plan for a $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund.



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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13 June, 2014

Fired for ‘Diverging’ on Climate: Progressive Professor’s fellowship ‘terminated’ after he called global warming ‘unproved science’

Dr. Caleb Rossiter was “terminated” via email as an “Associate Fellow” from the progressive group Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), following his May 4th, 2014 Wall Street Journal OpEd titled “Sacrificing Africa for Climate Change,” in which he called man-made global warming an “unproved science.” Rossiter also championed the expansion of carbon based energy in Africa. Dr. Rossiter is an adjunct professor at American University. Rossiter holds a PhD in policy analysis and a masters degree in mathematics.

In an exclusive interview with Climate Depot, Dr. Rossiter explained: “If people ever say that fears of censorship for ‘climate change’ views are overblown, have them take a look at this: Just two days after I published a piece in the Wall Street Journal calling for Africa to be allowed the ‘all of the above’ energy strategy we have in the U.S., the Institute for Policy Studies terminated my 23-year relationship with them…because my analysis and theirs ‘diverge.’”

“I have tried to get [IPS] to discuss and explain their rejection of my analysis,’ Rossiter told Climate Depot. “When I countered a claim of ‘rapidly accelerating’ temperature change with the [UN] IPCC’s own data’, showing the nearly 20-year temperature pause — the best response I ever got was ‘Caleb, I don’t have time for this.’”

Climate Depot has obtained a copy of a May 7, 2014 email that John Cavanagh, the director of IPS since 1998, sent to Rossiter with the subject “Ending IPS Associate Fellowship.”

“Dear Caleb, We would like to inform you that we are terminating your position as an Associate Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies,” Cavanagh wrote in the opening sentence of the email.
“Unfortunately, we now feel that your views on key issues, including climate science, climate justice, and many aspects of U.S. policy to Africa, diverge so significantly from ours that a productive working relationship is untenable. The other project directors of IPS feel the same,” Cavanagh explained.

Rossiter’s May 4, 2014 Wall Street Journal OpEd pulled no punches. Rossiter, who holds a masters in mathematics, wrote: “I started to suspect that the climate-change data were dubious a decade ago while teaching statistics. Computer models used by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to determine the cause of the six-tenths of one degree Fahrenheit rise in global temperature from 1980 to 2000 could not statistically separate fossil-fueled and natural trends.”

His Wall Street Journal OpEd continued: “The left wants to stop industrialization—even if the hypothesis of catastrophic, man-made global warming is false.” He added: “Western policies seem more interested in carbon-dioxide levels than in life expectancy.”

“Each American accounts for 20 times the emissions of each African. We are not rationing our electricity. Why should Africa, which needs electricity for the sort of income-producing enterprises and infrastructure that help improve life expectancy?

The average in Africa is 59 years—in America it’s 79,” he explained.

Rossiter and IPS seemed a natural fit, given Rossiter’s long history as an anti-war activist. IPS describes itself as “a community of public scholars and organizers linking peace, justice, and the environment in the U.S. and globally. We work with social movements to promote true democracy and challenge concentrated wealth, corporate influence, and military power.

But Rossiter’s credentials as a long-time progressive could not trump his growing climate skepticism or his unabashed promotion of carbon based fuels for Africa.

Rossiter’s website describes him as “a progressive activist who has spent four decades fighting against and writing about the U.S. foreign policy of supporting repressive governments in the formerly colonized countries.”

“I’ve spent my life on the foreign-policy left. I opposed the Vietnam War, U.S. intervention in Central America in the 1980s and our invasion of Iraq. I have headed a group trying to block U.S. arms and training for “friendly” dictators, and I have written books about how U.S. policy in the developing world is neocolonial,” Rossiter wrote in the Wall Street Journal on May 4.

Rossiter’s Wall Street Journal OpEd continued: “The left wants to stop industrialization—even if the hypothesis of catastrophic, man-made global warming is false. John Feffer, my colleague at the Institute for Policy Studies, wrote in the Dec. 8, 2009, Huffington Post that ‘even if the mercury weren’t rising’ we should bring ‘the developing world into the postindustrial age in a sustainable manner.’ He sees the ‘climate crisis [as] precisely the giant lever with which we can, following Archimedes, move the world in a greener, more equitable direction.”

“Then, as now, the computer models simply built in the assumption that fossil fuels are the culprit when temperatures rise, even though a similar warming took place from 1900 to 1940, before fossil fuels could have caused it. The IPCC also claims that the warming, whatever its cause, has slightly increased the length of droughts, the frequency of floods, the intensity of storms, and the rising of sea levels, projecting that these impacts will accelerate disastrously. Yet even the IPCC acknowledges that the average global temperature today remains unchanged since 2000, and did not rise one degree as the models predicted....

“But it is as an Africanist, rather than a statistician, that I object most strongly to ‘climate justice.’ Where is the justice for Africans when universities divest from energy companies and thus weaken their ability to explore for resources in Africa? Where is the justice when the U.S. discourages World Bank funding for electricity-generation projects in Africa that involve fossil fuels, and when the European Union places a ‘global warming’ tax on cargo flights importing perishable African goods?”


Australian academic slams tyranny of the greens

Professor Ian Plimer has never been renowned for moderation in his opinions about the extremist elements of the green movement and in this book he launches on them in a full-blooded, broken-bottle attack.

In his own words: “What started as a ­laudable movement to prevent the despoilation of certain areas of natural beauty has morphed into an authoritarian, anti-progress, anti-democratic, anti-human monster.” That Plimer should attack the greens is no surprise. More impressive is the book’s foreword, written by Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace, who fully ­supports Plimer.

He congratulates Plimer for a book that provides a “different . . . and extremely rational look at the agenda of the green movement today”. “In many respects, they have become a combination of extreme political ideology and religious fundamentalism rolled into one,” Moore says.

“There is no better example of this than the fervent belief in human-caused ­catastrophic climate change.” Moore even rejects the core green belief that carbon dioxide emissions are harmful.

Plimer’s thesis is that the real agenda of green groups (often registered as charities) is nothing less than the destruction of modern civilisation and that a key aim is to kneecap the global energy industry which provides society with electricity. It has always seemed odd that greens are so hostile to a gas which is vital for the life of trees. As a trained geologist, Plimer is well aware that the planet’s climate has been changing since its birth 4½ billion years ago. “If the Earth’s climate did not constantly change, then I would be really worried,” he says.

What he contests is that manmade carbon dioxide has anything much to do with such change. It must be comforting for left-wingers to blame evil industrialists for destroying our planet, but in fact carbon dioxide accounts for only 0.04 per cent of the atmosphere and man-made carbon dioxide accounts for maybe 4 per cent of that, so Plimer regards the proposition as nonsense.

Also, carbon dioxide emissions do not accumulate quickly in the atmosphere.

After five to seven years, they are absorbed by the oceans, trees or rocks. Plimer believes that for scientists to argue that traces of a trace gas can be the driving force for climate change is fraudulent.


Sceptical scientists do not know what causes climate change but it would seem a complex combination of factors. Plimer believes the atmosphere is merely the medium through which climate change manifests itself and the major driver is “that giant fusion reactor we call the sun”.

He says: “It is quite capable of throwing out immense clouds of hot, ionised gases many millions of kilometres into space, sometimes with drastic effects on both the Earth’s atmosphere and on spacecraft travelling outside the lower atmosphere and the Earth’s protective magnetic shield.” Plimer, who is not renowned for pulling his punches, describes green extremists as hypocritical – “a malevolent unelected group attempting to deconstruct healthy societies that have taken thousands of years to build”.

That may sound extreme, but it’s difficult to find an alternative explanation for the change they have forced upon the Drax power station in Yorkshire.

Drax used to boast it was the largest, cleanest and most efficient coal-fired power station in Europe, generating up to 3960 megawatts. Greens demonstrated against it, saying Drax was the largest carbon dioxide emitter in Europe. So Drax is changing from coal to biomass. Plimer says it intends to import timber from North Carolina for fuel. This is madness, both economically and ecologically. A plant which used to burn 36,000 tonnes of coal a day will instead burn 70,000 tonnes of wood.

Forests will have to be chopped down in North Carolina, which must involve some destruction of native habitats of creatures such as otters and woodpeckers. Habitat destruction kills birds and animals more surely than climate change ever will. The timber will be reduced to pellets in factories fuelled by conventional fuels, then shipped across the Atlantic in diesel-burning boats. Over the 20-year life of the power station, that would involve the destruction of ­511 million tonnes of wood.

The energy density of wood is about half that of an equivalent weight of coal, so wood will produce more expensive ­electricity. Burning wood also releases its stored carbon dioxide.


The European Environment Agency has ruled that burning wood is carbon neutral because the carbon dioxide will be absorbed over time by the oceans or other trees.

That leaves the EEA in the odd position of believing that a molecule of carbon dioxide emanating from wood behaves differently to a molecule emanating from coal.

The greens, having achieved their aim, have stopped demonstrating although there is a strong argument that the conversion of Drax will make it more, not less, harmful to the planet.

Wind farms and solar power stations are unreliable and totally unable to provide base load electricity.

Plimer gives calculations which show that wind turbines are barely able to generate as much electricity in their lifetime as it takes to make them.

. Even more bizarre was the Spanish solar plant which enjoyed such large subsidies that it could make profits generating electricity at night by shining floodlights on the panels. The floodlights were powered by a diesel generator. These are only three examples of green illogic from a book crammed with them. Plimer has assembled a massive case which needs answers.

Even more bizarre was the Spanish solar plant which enjoyed such large subsidies that it could make profits generating electricity at night by shining floodlights on the panels. The floodlights were powered by a diesel generator. These are only three examples of green illogic from a book crammed with them


It’s Real: GlobalChange.Gov

CS Lewis warned us about men without chests. That is, technocrats who use what Winston Churchill called “the lights of perverted science” to play God without ethics, without morality, without responsibility.

And now they have a website. It's called

And they have a legal mandate too, not just to investigate so-called climate change, but to investigate “global change” in general.

“The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP,)” says the website, “was established by Presidential Initiative in 1989 and mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act (GCRA) of 1990 to ‘assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.’”


And whatever else that open-ended mission statement means, one thing you can be sure of is that the USGCRP will get shriller, more strident and more partisan as the science behind so-called “global change” becomes more damning to their hypothesis.

“Researchers have issued the ‘loudest and clearest alarm bell to date,’” reports Bloomberg, “signaling the need for urgent actions to combat climate change in the U.S., the president's science adviser said May 6. The third and most comprehensive installment of the National Climate Assessment shows that evidence of human-induced climate change is growing stronger as its impacts are increasingly felt across the country.”

Most comprehensive? Yes, and so was Tolstoy’s War and Peace. But then both are only works of fiction.

Still, mainstream media is using's latest position paper as more thin scientific evidence-- and I use the term sarcastically-- that global warming is already causing great harm to the United States.

The rest of us, they believe, are just too stupid to know it without a website.

The report catalogs a litany of hypotheses, fantasy, wishful thinking and poor science to bolster claims about so-called climate change that have already been proven scientifically incorrect.

For example, the report states that since 1980 hurricanes have become more prevalent, more intense, and probably--it's implied--much more racist.

In fact, scientific evidence and history show just the opposite.

While the so-called climate change models have predicted a vast number of killer hurricanes, and the hurricane predictors year after year have predicted a vast number of killer hurricanes, the predictions have been so far off base that hurricane predictions are even less reliable than NFL draft projections.

This most popularized predicted effect of global warming from the models given us by the climate change clowns-- increased hurricane and tropical storm activity-- was shown conclusively to be without merit in 2011 by a paper produced by the science and operations officer at the National Hurricane Center, Dr. Chris Landsea.

In a work published in late November of 2011 and carefully labeled an “opinion” piece on the site for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration- which is quick to distance itself from the conclusions reached by Landsea-- concludes that “the overall impact of global warming on hurricanes is currently negligible and likely to remain quite tiny even a century from now.”

Landsea is a supporter of the theory of man-caused global warming, but says the models for hurricanes are wrong.

In the rarefied atmosphere of climate politics this deviation was enough to get him labeled as a "climate skeptic," perhaps enough to get him excommunicated as a "climate denier." Landsea resigned from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2005 because he felt it had become politicized and was ignoring the science.

Yet somehow he remains the leading hurricane expert in the US, despite his "shoddy" science.

Landsea attacked three specific datasets that are often used by global warming alarmists to show that the warming of the earth will have terrible consequences for human-kind: 1) the frequency of storms; 2) the intensity of storms and; 3) the economic damage of storms.

In each data subset he showed that apparent increases in storm activity or effect can be ascribed to advances in technology or development that skew the data rather than a real increased frequency or effect of storms.

And that's exactly what you'd expect from CS Lewis's “Men without Chests”-- that is, men without hearts.

You'd expect them to skew the data by using technology and development, and then shining the light of perverted science upon it, with an assist by perverted media, to institute global change, whatever that ‘change’ happens to entail.

But you don’t need to worry about that, they say. They'll tell you what you need to know and when you need to know it,

Because now they have a website, just like they do for all of their other programs. They still, however, don't have hearts.


GM crops in England as soon as next year: Outrage as ministers back first commercial planting

Anti-GM campaigners reacted with fury last night after the Government backed an EU vote that could lead to weedkiller-resistant maize being sowed in England next year.

Other European countries can ban the so-called Frankenstein food after EU ministers said members could opt out of GM planting.

Critics said England’s first commercial GM crops would spell disaster for wildlife and contaminate conventional and organic crops, with ‘catastrophic’ consequences for farmers.

The Government position is also at odds with those of the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly, which have opted for a ban.

The EU vote allowing the planting of two types of maize resistant to the weedkiller Roundup was passed by agriculture ministers in Luxembourg, although the European Parliament must approve it.

Dr Helen Wallace, of the campaign group GeneWatch UK, said: ‘The Government has colluded with commercial lobbyists to fast track Roundup Ready GM maize into England, despite the expected harm to British wildlife such as birds and butterflies caused by blanket spraying of these crops.

‘If some farmers in England press ahead with GM cultivation, conventional and organic farmers across the country will face the unnecessary risk of loss of markets due to contamination with GM.’

The Government’s pro-GM stance also flies in the face of public opinion, with most consumers saying they are concerned about the impact of the crops on the countryside, wildlife and their health.

The approval of commercial GM planting has been stalled for ten years because the EU needed all member states to vote for it.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson – the Government’s cheerleader for genetically-modified crops – has been pressing for regulations that allow individual member states to plant them once they have been declared safe by Brussels.

He said the EU decision will fast-track them into farms and supermarkets, adding: ‘This is a real step forward in unblocking the dysfunctional EU process for approving GM crops, which is letting down farmers and stopping scientific development.

‘Farmers will have more power in deciding whether to grow GM crops that have passed a robust, independent safety assessment.’

But Peter Melchett, of organic industry body the Soil Association, said: ‘In future, a committed, pro-GM Secretary of State like Owen Paterson could take the decision to make England a “GM country”, and once that is taken it will be difficult for a future Government to adopt a different position. This will lead to farmers losing export markets to the rest of Europe and most of the rest of the world, which would be catastrophic.’

The EU vote is a victory for multi-national biotech firms, which have spent millions lobbying British ministers and officials to speed up the approval of GM crops. The Government claims there is no risk to humans or the environment.

But European and US research suggests there are health concerns and a threat to wildlife, and warns of the damage from ‘superweeds’ that develop a natural resistance to the pesticides used on GM crops.

Liz O’Neill, director of GM Freeze, said: ‘Even if a country or region does establish a ban, they will find it very difficult to protect their fields and food from contamination if neighbours start growing GM.’

However, the Government said safeguards would be put in place to protect conventional crops from GM contamination.


False Alarms in the Frigid Zone

By Viv Forbes

Alarmists see a man-made calamity in every change in the Antarctic ice cap.

There is nothing unusual about ice caps melting, ice sheets splitting, icebergs calving or glaciers and sea-ice advancing or retreating. This has been happening naturally for eons.

The Antarctic ice comes and goes. In 1513, a Turkish sea captain, Piri Reis, using ancient maps, produced an accurate chart of the coastline of Antarctica which is now covered by a kilometre of ice. Geological evidence suggests it was ice-free just 6,000 years ago. Several past eras of icing and melting follow the natural cycles of the solar system, totally ignoring man’s puny activities.

It is not surprising that most glaciers and ice sheets show melting and calving at sea level while snow is being added at their source. If this did not occur, much of Earth’s water would eventually become tied up in the ever-growing ice sheets (as happened in the Ice Ages). And when land-based ice caps melt during periodic warm eras, the sea level inevitably rises and all life-forms must adapt to the new shoreline.

Sea levels rose swiftly by some 130 metres as ice sheets melted at the end of the latest ice age just 13,000 years ago. This made islands out of many coastal hills. We are all descendants of a long line of survivors who had the sense to adapt to these dramatic sea level changes without needing edicts from climate witch-doctors prohibiting camp fires and ordering villagers to abandon their seaside settlements.

There is no evidence that man’s production of carbon dioxide is having any effect in Antarctica. Despite rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, global surface temperatures are steady, global sea levels are rising very gently and the Antarctic Ocean must be cold because the sea-ice surrounding Antarctica has increased to record levels.

Examination of ice cores suggests that it takes several hundred years for Earth’s vast oceans to fully adjust to cycles of global warming and cooling. Thus today’s oceans may be still warming, expanding and degassing in gradual adjustment to the medieval warm era which peaked about 700 years ago.

Ice caps grow and shrink naturally, depending mainly on the relative temperatures of the atmosphere and the surrounding oceans. A warm ocean with a cold atmosphere is a recipe for rapid accumulation of snow and ice on adjacent land. Moisture evaporates rapidly from the warm ocean, and then the cold air over the land triggers precipitation. A warm atmosphere and a cool ocean will reverse that process and see the ice caps melt and return to the ocean. It is all about the ratio of precipitation vs outflow and melting.

The Arctic is a totally different story, because here, there is no land – just the Arctic Ocean. Floating sea-ice comes and goes, depending on the temperature and direction of winds and ocean currents. However, the melting of floating sea-ice has no effect whatsoever on global sea levels.

The amount of Arctic Sea ice trended down for the 15 years ending 2008, but seems to have stabilised since then. However, it has disappeared in the past and will probably disappear again.

Undersea vulcanism is adding warmth to oceans at both poles and under-ice volcanoes may well be melting and undermining ice sheets in the West Antarctic.

Someday the huge Antarctic ice cap may melt, or large slabs of ice may slip off the continent into the sea. When that happens, the seaside homes of Al Gore and Tim Flannery will be submerged and other shore-dwelling humans must evacuate or drown.

These are all un-stoppable natural events. There is no chance that polar ice will be affected in the slightest by carbon taxes in Australia, wind turbines in the North Sea, or solar panels plastered all over California.


Abolition of Australia's carbon tax now looks set to pass the Australian Senate

There is no doubt that it will pass the lower house and that it will gain Royal assent

Prime Minister Tony Abbott's ''pledge in blood'' to repeal the carbon tax seems all but assured after Clive Palmer put a single condition on his party's support: that all energy savings flow back to consumers.

The government has already tasked the consumer watchdog, with ensuring that energy companies pass on the estimated 9 per cent saving on electricity bills and 7 per cent on gas bills that should result from abolition of the carbon tax.

The Abbott government has promised a $550 a year saving for each household if the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission delivers.

After a tense few weeks in which he has threatened to stymy the government's agenda, Mr Palmer released a statement outlining the price of his party's support.

"If the Palmer United Party senators are to support a repeal of the carbon tax it will be under the proviso that the savings, by law, are transferred into lower energy costs for everyday Australians,'' he said.

"Only on these terms would we support repealing the carbon tax because of the benefits it would offer the people as well as the economy through the abolition of an artificial cost on business which was hampering our international competitiveness."

Mr Palmer's statement made no mention of his previous demand that the carbon tax be repealed retrospectively. Under that scenario, the mining magnate would potentially have been let off the hook for a disputed carbon tax bill of more than $6 million.

The Coalition needs six votes of eight votes from the crossbench to pass legislation through the new Senate from July 1.

Senator-elect Ricky Muir has pledged to vote in tandem with the three members of Palmer United.

NSW senator-elect David Leyonhjelm and Family First's Bob Day are economic dries who have already pledged to back the repeal of the tax, giving the government has the numbers if Mr Palmer is good to his word and satisfied consumers will benefit to the full extent promised.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt welcomed the news saying the government was legislating to guarantee price relief.

A spokesman for Mr Hunt said: ''The independent regulatory authorities are already showing two prices for energy - one with a carbon tax and one without - we know the relief will be there. As [ACCC chairman] Rod Sims said what goes up will come down.''

Greens leader Christine Milne renewed her call for all PUP members to abstain from any vote on the carbon tax due to the potential conflict of interest posed by Mr Palmer's mining riches.

In his statement, Mr Palmer restated his party's opposition to a repeal of the mining tax unless the Abbott government backed down on plans to cut welfare payments to orphans of soldiers killed or badly injured during service.




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 June, 2014

Volcanoes behind West Antarctic glacial melting

I can't resist saying: "I told you so". The climate scientists got it wrong when they attributed the ice-loss to global warming. I am not a climate scientist but got it right. How come? It is because they were working from a false theory -- that global warming is happening -- whereas I was working from a true theory -- that global warming is NOT happening. The Warmists below try to save their bacon by saying that global warming is partly responsible but they have no proof of that -- whereas the vulcanism is well proven

Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin have determined that subglacial volcanic activity, along with climate change, is contributing to the melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet.

The findings significantly change the understanding of conditions beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet where accurate information has previously been unobtainable.

“It’s the most complex thermal environment you might imagine,” said co-author Don Blankenship, a senior research scientist at UTIG and Schroeder’s Ph.D. adviser. “And then you plop the most critical dynamically unstable ice sheet on planet Earth in the middle of this thing, and then you try to model it. It’s virtually impossible.”

For the Thwaites Glacier in particular, collapse has gone from “probable” to “inevitable.” Scientists are now more interested in how fast the glacier is melting, and what impact it will have on sea levels when it eventually collapses. Though scientists were aware of subglacial geothermal activity to some degree, lead author Dusty Schroeder and his colleagues used radar techniques to show that the community had previously underestimated the degree of influence geothermal activity was having.

Rather than low, even heat distribution across the bottom, the researchers liken it more to a multi-burner stove, with “hotspots” distributed below the glacier. Not only is it contributing to the melting of Thwaites Glacier, but it also explains why the ice sheet seems to be sliding at such an accelerated rate. The faster it slides into the ocean, the less stable it becomes.

“The combination of variable subglacial geothermal heat flow and the interacting subglacial water system could threaten the stability of Thwaites Glacier in ways that we never before imagined,” Schroeder said.

The collapse of the Thwaites Glacier would cause an increase of global sea level of between 1 and 2 meters, with the potential for more than twice that from the entire West Antarctic Ice Sheet.


Miners unions Against Job-Killing EPA Rule

Officials of three labor unions are standing with the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) in opposition to a proposed new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) power plant rule that UMWA says will cost hundreds of thousands of union workers their jobs.

But five other unions contacted by either did not respond or refused to comment when asked whether they shared UMWA’s concerns.

“The proposed rule...will lead to long-term and irreversible job losses for thousands of coal miners, electrical workers, utility workers, boilermakers, railroad workers and others without achieving any significant reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions,” UMWA president Cecil E. Roberts said in a June 2 statement.

The new rule could ultimately cause the loss of 485,000 permanent union jobs and put “hundreds of thousands more - mostly senior citizens living on already-low fixed incomes - squarely in the crosshairs,” he stated, without any corresponding benefit for the environment.

.“Global emissions will actually rise as more industrial jobs are moved out of the United States to countries which do not and will not have any kind of emissions rules,” Roberts continued.

“Why on earth should we be willing to sacrifice the lives and livelihoods of our fellow citizens on the naive bet that economic competitors like China, India, Brazil, Russia and others will follow our lead?”

“The UMWA has not and does not dispute the science regarding climate change,” he added. “Our dispute is with how our government is going about addressing it, and on whom the administration is placing the greatest burden in dealing with this challenge.”

The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBB), the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), and the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) also expressed dissatisfaction with the direction the Obama administration is taking, especially since UMWA maintains that the proposed rule will do “nothing to address climate change” and that the jobs lost will be “among the best paying blue-collar jobs in America.”

Under the proposed rule, which aims to cut 30 percent of carbon emissions from the power sector by 2030, states must submit plans by June 30, 2016 explaining how they will cut emissions. EPA recommendations include “cofiring or switching to natural gas, retirements of plants, expanding renewables like wind and solar and expanding nuclear,” all of which move away from coal.

A more effective strategy to reduce carbon emissions, says IBB president Newton B. Jones, lies in the development of affordable carbon capture and storage technology, rather than what he called the “enormous devastation” the proposed rule will cause.

Cecil Roberts
United Mine Workers of America president Cecil E. Roberts (UMWA)

“We can still forge a path towards a world energy mix that includes ‘efficient’ renewable energy systems,” Jones said in a statement, “not just the mega-expensive feel-good ones we have been subsidizing with taxpayer resources.”

Noting that “European nations that have shut down much of their coal-fired generation capacity and subsidized a wave of renewable systems are now facing energy shortages,” Jones added that “the administration’s current energy policy is taking us down a similar path.”

Other union leaders said they fear that maintaining a dependable supply of electricity will be difficult once the new rule is in force. IBEW notes that 56 gigawatts currently generated by coal-fired power plants will be lost by 2016.

Calling the EPA rule a “sea change in national energy policy,” the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) also said that it threatens the reliability of the nation’s electrical grid.

“As last winter’s polar vortex proved, the only way to ensure there is enough reliable power to fuel the nation is cost-effective, environmentally efficient and much needed coal-fired facilities to play a key role in keeping the lights on,” the union warned in a June 2 press release.

“Approximately 90 percent of the plants scheduled to close were required to run during last winter’s polar vortex to prevent grid disruption,” the IBEW agreed. “It will do our nation little achieve [cleaner air] at the expense of a balanced energy portfolio capable of meeting the demands of modern society."

IBEW officials say they recognize that coal-fired plants may become less competitive as the energy market changes. “But how many are gonna be shut down prematurely and are not going be able to be there when the country needs them for energy?” asked Jim Spellane, IBEW’s media advisor.

But when asked five other unions whether they stood with the miners against the loss of union jobs and power-generating capacity, they either did not respond or refused to comment.

“Thanks for reaching out, but we don’t have a comment,” the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) told The Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen refused to comment as well.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, and the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Union - which are part of the same AFL-CIO trade federation as UMWA – also did not respond to’s inquiries.

However, LIUNA officials have been outspoken about their support for building the Keystone XL pipeline, which would create an estimated 42,000 jobs, many of them unionized, according to the State Department.

In a Google hangout on May 21, the legislative director of LIUNA, David Mallino, said that “for many of our members this isn't just a pipeline but it’s actually a lifeline to be able to sustain their middle-class lives.”

The IBEW’s Spellane also spoke favorably about Keystone: “Opponents say this is just one more thing to increase reliance on fossil fuels, but that’s not gonna go away even if you don't build the pipeline, which is potentially worse for the environment.”


Antarctic Sea Ice Continues To Blow Away Records

Antarctic sea ice has set a new record for May, with extent at the highest level since measurements began in 1979. At the end of the month, it expanded to 12.965 million sq km, beating the previous record of 12.722 million sq km set in 2010. This year’s figure is 10.3% above the 1981-2010 climatological average of 11.749 million sq km.

The lowest extent on record was 10.208 million sq km in 1986.

It is a similar story for the average monthly extent, below.

Ice extent has been consistently and continuously well above climatological norms for the last 12 months.

More HERE (See the original for links)

Activists pressure tactics to force Canada to list polar bears as ‘threatened’ have failed

The CBC reported on June 6, 2014 (“NAFTA panel won’t review Canada’s polar bear policy“):

“Vote rejects request for investigation into why Canada won’t designate bears threatened, endangered.”

“An international trade panel has decided not to review whether Canada is enforcing its own environmental legislation to protect its polar bear population.

The Commission for Environmental Co-operation voted 2-1 to reject a request for an investigation into why Canada has chosen not to designate the bears as threatened or endangered. A U.S. environmental group had filed a submission claiming that decision leaves the bears without protection, despite the ongoing loss of their sea-ice habitat and resulting projections of declining numbers.

“We’re obviously disappointed,” said Sarah Uhleman, lawyer for the Center for Biological Diversity, which filed the complaint.”

Since the argument that polar bears may be threatened with extinction sometime in the future is based not on their current status but on perceived future threats that may occur if future predictions of global warming also occur, I see this as good news indeed.


Scientists Admit Polar Bear Numbers Were Made Up To ‘Satisfy Public Demand’

This may come as a shocker to some, but scientists are not always right — especially when under intense public pressure for answers.

Researchers with the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG) recently admitted to experienced zoologist and polar bear specialist Susan Crockford that the estimate given for the total number of polar bars in the Arctic was “simply a qualified guess given to satisfy public demand.”

Crockford has been critical of official polar bear population estimates because they fail to include five large subpopulations of polar bears. Due to the uncertainty of the populations in these areas, PBSG did not include them in their official estimate — but the polar bear group did include other subpopulation estimates.

PBSG has for years said that global polar bear populations were between 20,000 and 25,000, but these estimates are likely much lower than how many polar bears are actually living in the world.

“Based on previous PBSG estimates and other research reports, it appears there are probably at least another 6,000 or so bears living in these regions and perhaps as many as 9,000 (or more) that are not included in any PBSG ‘global population estimate,’” Crockford wrote on her blog.

“These are guesses, to be sure, but they at least give a potential size,” Crockford added.

PBSG disclosed this information to Crockford ahead of the release of their Circumpolar Polar Bear Action Plan in which they intend to put a footnote explaining why their global population estimate is flawed.

“As part of past status reports, the PBSG has traditionally estimated a range for the total number of polar bears in the circumpolar Arctic,” PBSG says in its proposed footnote. “Since 2005, this range has been 20-25,000. It is important to realize that this range never has been an estimate of total abundance in a scientific sense, but simply a qualified guess given to satisfy public demand.”

“It is also important to note that even though we have scientifically valid estimates for a majority of the subpopulations, some are dated,” PBSG continues. “Furthermore, there are no abundance estimates for the Arctic Basin, East Greenland, and the Russian subpopulations.”

“Consequently, there is either no, or only rudimentary, knowledge to support guesses about the possible abundance of polar bears in approximately half the areas they occupy,” says PBSG. “Thus, the range given for total global population should be viewed with great caution as it cannot be used to assess population trend over the long term.”

PBSG’s admission also comes after academics and government regulators have touted their polar bear population estimates to show that polar bear numbers have grown since the 1960s. PBSG estimates have also been used to show that polar bear populations have stabilized over the last 30 years.

Polar bear populations became the centerpiece of the effort to fight global warming due to claims that melting polar ice caps would cause the bears to become endangered in the near future. Years ago, some scientists predicted the Arctic would be virtually ice free by now.

Polar bears became the first species listed under the Endangered Species Act because they could potentially be harmed by global warming. But some recent studies have found that some polar bear subpopulations have actually flourished in recent years.

“So, the global estimates were… ‘simply a qualified guess given to satisfy public demand’ and according to this statement, were never meant to be considered scientific estimates, despite what they were called, the scientific group that issued them, and how they were used,” Crockford said.

“All this glosses over what I think is a critical point: none of these ‘global population estimates’ (from 2001 onward) came anywhere close to being estimates of the actual world population size of polar bears (regardless of how scientifically inaccurate they might have been) — rather, they were estimates of only the subpopulations that Arctic biologists have tried to count,” she added.



[Yesterday] morning, a Chinese climate adviser announced that the country was going to limit its carbon dioxide emissions. Now he has backed down and says: “That was just my personal opinion. What I have said does not represent the view of the Chinese government.”

Was this really just a gaffe? Earlier in the day, He Jiankun, a Chinese climate adviser announced that the People’s Republic of China would cap its carbon emissions. That was a powerful statement, at least it was perceived as such – not least because the American president also announced that he was more determined than ever to mobilise against carbon dioxide emissions.

But China is already backing down. “What I have said today was my personal opinion,” He told the Reuters news agency in Beijing. His statements from the morning session were intended only for “academic studies”. “What I have said does not represent the view of the Chinese government or of any organisation,” he clarified .

At a [green energy] conference He had earlier said the world’s largest CO2 producer would, for the first time, cap its greenhouse gas emissions to a specified upper limit. This, he claimed, would be firmly anchored in China’s upcoming five-year plan that will come into force in 2016. Coming soon after the announcement of new measures by the U.S. government the day before, this announcement had raised hopes of an international breakthrough in the fight against global climate change. What now?




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 June, 2014

Beyond Storms & Droughts: The Psychological Impacts of Climate Change

This is pseudo-science. The full "report" is here. There is NO research into climate change contained in it at all. It is at best colorful propaganda. The arguments in it are of the kind: "Big storms upset people. Therefore climate change will upset people." Any mention of the fact that extreme wind events have been less frequent in recent years is not to be found in this tripe

So their arguments are in the form of a syllogism with a premise that is both missing and false

The impacts of climate change on the world are often obvious, like the sight of retreating glaciers in Alaska or the slow creep of rising seas that are washing big portions of southern Louisiana out into the Gulf of Mexico.

But look at it from a different perspective, and it's clear that some of the biggest impacts from Earth's rapidly warming climate occur within us as human beings, like the sense of loss and trauma felt by hurricane survivors after everything they know – their homes, workplaces, churches, really their entire community – is swept out to sea.

How we'll handle experiences like these in a world changed by global warming is the subject of a new report, "Beyond Storms and Droughts: The Psychological Impacts of Climate Change," by the American Psychological Association and ecoAmerica, an environmental advocacy group devoted to climate change and sustainability issues.

Both organizations issued the report as a wake-up call to all Americans, whom they say can expect "broad psychological impacts" on their well-being and health from climate change.

That means a future with heightened levels of stress, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, as well as a loss of community identity – if nothing is done to stop or slow emissions of industrial-produced greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.



In an effort to win public support for the EPA’s recently proposed regulations to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions from coal-burning power plants an estimated 30 percent by 2030, the White House has begun a campaign in which it claims the carbon dioxide “pollution” causes children to get asthma.

“The next version of the White House claim will have puppies and kittens in it too,” David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D., a Heritage Institute research fellow in energy economics and climate change, told WND, treating the Obama administration argument with derision.

“Carbon dioxide has nothing to do with any health effects directly.”

Kreutzer explained that when the issue is pressed directly, top Obama administration “get a little bit more honest” and shift their ground to argue that even if carbon dioxide is not a toxic gas, it is still the indirect cause serious health problems such as asthma.

“What the White House is really maintaining is that when we get more carbon dioxide, we get more ozone, and the ozone causes asthma. Or, if more carbon dioxide causes global warming, then spring will last longer and we will have more pollen. Or, by using less coal we will have reduced particulate emissions and the particulate emissions cause asthma.”

Marc Morano, the executive director of Climat Depot, agrees.

“This is pure propaganda,” Morano told WND.

“The White House is trying to demonize carbon dioxide as a pollutant. The idea is to convince people that carbon dioxide somehow causes asthma and puts children in hospitals.”

Morano said Obama “has shifted the debate to children and asthma because he knows the public is not buying global warming.”

Both Kreutzer and Morano insist the EPA already has ample regulations that have been enforced for decades to remove toxic particles from the air to a level the EPA considers safe for health regardless of cost.

“The whole point of this asthma campaign is for the White House to get sick children on TV,” Kreutzer insisted.

“Even if you believed the most dire predictions of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the EPA’s proposed regulations would not reduce enough carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to make any measurable impact on the climate.”

Morano contends there is a difference between regulating the amount of carbon dioxide in the air and regulating pollutants.

“We have largely solved classical air pollution over the past few decades,” he noted.

“The coal-burning power plants coming on line today are vastly cleaner than they were a generation ago. But the Obama EPA isn’t regulating pollution with these new rules. They are regulating carbon dioxide, not carbon.”

He pointed out that carbon dioxide, a miniscule trace gas in the atmosphere, is vital to photosynthesis and life on earth. It is a gas everyone exhales, and plants use it for food.

There is nothing inherently toxic or unhealthy in carbon dioxide,” he said.

Still, Morano cautioned the White House change of emphasis to health themes is “effective propaganda.”

“People say, ‘I don’t know if I buy global warming, but I want to clean up the air,’” he noted.

“As long as the White House can manage to convince the American people that carbon dioxide is a pollutant, identical to smog, soot and toxic air particulates, the shift of the EPA debate from climate change directly to asthma, lung disease and other health care issues will persuade some normally intelligent people, including generally credible news editors on television.”

White House ‘war on asthma’

The evidence is abundant that the Obama administration has shifted into high gear a campaign to convince the public the EPA carbon dioxide regulations are necessary because carbon dioxide “pollution” increases asthma that impacts disproportionately “vulnerable” groups, including children, the elderly, the poor and “communities of color.”

In a June 6 press release the White House argued, “In the past three decades, the percentage of Americans with asthma has more than doubled, and climate change is putting those Americans at greater risk of landing in the hospital.”

The White House press release went on to state that the effects of climate change “impact the most vulnerable Americans – putting the elderly, kids, and people already suffering from burdensome allergies, asthma, and other illnesses at greater risk.”

To make sure the full emotional impact of the asthma argument was appreciated, the White House press release concluded as follows:

The President believes we have a moral obligation to leave our children a planet that’s not irrevocably polluted or damaged. While no single step can reverse the effects of climate change, we must take steady, responsible action to cut carbon pollution, protect our children’s health, and begin to slow the effects of climate change so that we leave behind a cleaner, more stable environment. That’s why the President put forward the Climate Action Plan last year and earlier this week, the Environmental Protection Agency released a vital component of that plan – common-sense carbon pollution standards for existing power plants.

The press release linked to a seven-page White House-authored paper that repeated the argument, claiming carbon-dioxide emissions cause climate change that in turn causes children to develop asthma.

“We have a moral obligation to leave our children a planet that’s not irrevocably polluted or damaged. The effects of climate change are already being felt across the Nation,” the White House report claimed in the first sentences.

The second paragraph made the causal link argument: “Climate change, caused primarily by carbon pollution, threatens the health and well-being of Americans in many ways, from increasing the risk of asthma attacks and other respiratory illnesses to changing the spread of certain vector-borne diseases.”

Then came a statement designed to touch the reader’s emotions: “Certain people and communities are especially vulnerable to the health effects of climate change, including children, the elderly, those with chronic illnesses, the poor, and some communities of color.”

The White House campaign to blame carbon-dioxide emissions for causing asthma was kicked off in President Obama’s weekly address May 31, delivered at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington.

“Hi, everybody. I’m here at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., visiting with some kids being treated here all the time for asthma and other breathing problems,” the president said. “Often, these illnesses are aggravated by air pollution – pollution from the same sources that release carbon and contribute to climate change. And for the sake of all our kids, we’ve got to do more to reduce it.”

EPA administrator Gina McCarthy, in a press release announced the agency’s “Clean Power Plant.”

“About a month ago, I took a trip to the Cleveland Clinic,” she said. “I met a lot of great people, but one stood out – even if he needed to stand on a chair to do it. Parker Frey is 10 years old. He’s struggled with severe asthma all his life. His mom said despite his challenges, Parker’s a tough, active kid – and a stellar hockey player. But sometimes, she says, the air is too dangerous for him to play outside. In the United States of America, no parent should ever have that worry.

McCarthy proceeded to claim the EPA’s plan to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions from coal-burning power plants would “deliver climate and health benefits up to $90 billion dollars,” while avoiding up to 100,000 asthma attacks and 2,100 heart attacks in the first year alone.

What causes asthma?

Contrary to Obama administration assertions that carbon dioxide causes asthma, the professional health care community appears stumped when asked directly to explain what causes it.

“Asthma is very common, affecting more than 26 million people in the United States, including almost 7 million children. No one knows for sure why some people have asthma and others don’t,” the website of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology notes.


You Won’t Believe Who America’s Greatest Enemy Is

Every administration must define the enemy from which they are protecting us. During the Cold War, that was easy. But since the fall of the Berlin Wall, it’s often been less self-evident.

During the Cold War, the enemy was in Moscow. The big challenge was to make neither too much, nor too little of the threat. George Kennan always argued for a tempered, measured threat assessment. On the other hand, the drafters of NSC 68, led by Paul Nitze, and Senator Arthur Vandenberg wanted to “scare the hell out of the American people.”

Getting the threat right was critical. It was the main selling point to the public about how much was enough to defend us.

But America’s long-time selling point for strategy crumbled with the Wall. No self-evident replacement arose until 9/11. From the rubble of the World Trade Center, a strategy for fighting a “global war on terrorism” (GWOT)—the “Long War”—emerged.

Then came Obama. He not only shortened the long war and banned GWOT from the rhetorical locker room, he actively participated in a campaign to delegitimize the whole endeavor. That crusade continued into the West Point speech. “[A] strategy that involves invading every country that harbors terrorist networks is naive and unsustainable,” the president told the Corps of Cadets and their assembled loved ones.

But while treating the terrorist threat dismissively, Mr. Obama went on to identify an alternative “enemy” on which to pin a grand strategy. Unfortunately, his chosen enemy is just as far removed from a pressing threat to national security as his caricature of the Bush Doctrine was divorced from the real Bush Doctrine.

The “enemy” chosen by Obama to animate America’s grand strategy is climate change. The nation’s existential goal, therefor, is “to energize the global effort to combat climate change, a creeping national security crisis that will help shape your time in uniform,” the commander-in-chief told his new troops at West Point. Apparently, the new second lieutenants will spend their careers fighting the weather.

Weather may seem an odd foe for the military. But for a progressive president, it’s the perfect choice.

Obama can’t be accused as a warmonger because he doesn’t want the military to fight anyone—he wants the military to help people.

Weather isn’t a person or a country. He risks offending almost no one.

Making climate change a national security matter also helps a president to press for other statist agenda items—from pet green energy projects to adopting the right-to-protect doctrine.

Unfortunately, as an organizing principle for national security, climate makes a terrible “enemy.” It is enormously complex and unpredictable. The unpredictability of how climate change will play out on the global stage ought to dissuade any strategist from regarding it as an organizing principle around which one can practice what Freedman calls “the art of creating power.” Basing strategy on climate would be the ultimate march of folly.

Mr. Obama may well know that. The reference to climate may be just like the rest of the address: knowingly empty rhetoric. But it does lead to a conclusion devoid of complexity and unpredictability—this speech and the vapid ideas in it will soon be forgotten.


Australia And Canada Form Climate Realist Alliance

The political leaders of Canada and Australia declared on Monday they won’t take any action to battle climate change that harms their national economies and threatens jobs.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Australian counterpart, Tony Abbott, made the statements following a meeting on Parliament Hill.

Abbott, whose Liberal party came to power last fall on a conservative platform, publicly praised Harper for being an “exemplar” of “centre-right leadership” in the world.

Abbott’s government has come under criticism for its plan to cancel Australia’s carbon tax, while Harper has been criticized for failing to introduce regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Canada’s oil and gas sector.

Later this week, Abbott meets with U.S. President Barack Obama, who has vowed to make global warming a political priority and whose administration is proposing a 30-per-cent reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 2030.

At a Monday news conference, Harper and Abbott both said they welcomed Obama’s plan. Abbott said he plans to take similar action, and Harper boasted that Canada is already ahead of the U.S. in imposing controls on the “electricity sector.”

But both leaders stressed that they won’t be pushed into taking steps on climate change they deem unwise.

“It’s not that we don’t seek to deal with climate change,” said Harper. “But we seek to deal with it in a way that will protect and enhance our ability to create jobs and growth. Not destroy jobs and growth in our countries.”

Harper said that no country is going to undertake actions on climate change — “no matter what they say” — that will “deliberately destroy jobs and growth in their country.

“We are just a little more frank about that.”

Abbott said climate change is a “significant problem” but he said it is not the “most important problem the world faces.

“We should do what we reasonably can to limit emissions and avoid climate change, man-made climate change,” said Abbott.

“But we shouldn’t clobber the economy. That’s why I’ve always been against a carbon tax or emissions trading scheme — because it harms our economy without necessarily helping the environment.”

Abbott’s two-day trip to Ottawa was his first since becoming prime minister and it quickly became evident he is on the same political page as Harper.

They are both conservative politicians who espouse the need to balance the budget, cut taxes, and focus on international trade.

Just as Harper once turned to former Australian prime John Howard for political guidance, Abbott is now turning to his Canadian counterpart as a model.

He recalled how he met Harper in late 2005, just before the federal election that brought Harper to power.

“You were an opposition leader not expected to win an election. But you certainly impressed me that day. And you’ve impressed not only Canadians but a generally admiring world in the months and years since that time.”

“I’m happy to call you an exemplar of centre-right leadership — much for us to learn, much for me to learn from the work you’ve done.”

Harper paid tribute to Abbott for the work he has done as chair of the G20, which will hold a meeting in November in Australia.

“You’ve used this international platform to encourage our counterparts in the major economies and beyond to boost economic growth, to lower taxes when possible and to eliminate harmful ones, most notably the job-killing carbon tax,” said Harper.


Obama’s Climate Plan Faces Years Of Legal Challenges

A key concession touted by vulnerable Democrats in the administration's new carbon pollution standards may provide the greatest legal threat to the controversial new rules, the cornerstone of President Obama's climate change agenda.

The administration is giving states broad flexibility on how they meet Environmental Protection Agency targets for existing power plants to reduce their carbon emissions 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

Under the rules, states may take actions to reduce pollution that aren’t directly related to power plant emissions. A state could avoid retiring a power plant by investing in cleaner technology, push energy efficiency programs that will cut demand, or invest in wind and solar, according to the EPA.

That latitude marks an unprecedented move by the agency, which typically specifies methods of reducing emissions solely for power plants.

"We gave every state the opportunity to say where they wanted investments to happen,” said EPA chief Gina McCarthy said in an interview with PBS after unveiling the proposal. “Some of them will invest in their coal units, they will get them more efficient and they will stay for a long time."

Red-state Democrats have generally been critical of the overall climate rule, but see the flexibility option as a benefit for energy industries, allowing each state to choose a method that reflects its priorities.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), who faces a tough reelection battle this year, called the flexibility approach a "wise" decision by the EPA.

Legal observers, though, aren’t sure the EPA’s maneuver will pass muster in the courts.

Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA has the power to mandate states apply "the best system of emissions reductions," to existing power plants.

Critics say the EPA is now using a definition of “best system” that is too broad. Traditionally, the agency used “best system” to refer to specific technologies or practices to reduce pollution from plants.

Now the EPA is defining “best system” to include other flexible options states can use, including cleaner, renewable energy sources to meet the agency’s reduction targets.

A top agency official said the EPA is not bending the Clean Air Act, it is simply changing the pollutant it applies to it, and looking beyond carbon technology for ways to reduce power sector emissions.

The EPA official acknowledged that it was a completely new approach, but said the agency considered the legal implications surrounding it before proposing the rule. The official said EPA wouldn’t have issued the rule if they didn’t think it would be upheld.

But many legal experts, and even Obama's top climate adviser, John Podesta, expect challenges, putting the future of the rules in the hands of the courts once it's finalized.

A legal challenge will likely contest the flexibility or "beyond the fence" options afforded to states when determining how best to become more energy efficient.

In the case of Kentucky, prime coal country where the climate plan is under full assault, EPA estimates the state will become 17 percent more energy efficient by 2030 through reductions in carbon emissions.

Kentucky can do that by investing cleaner technology in its coal plants, which would curb carbon emissions, or they can become more efficient by joining a cap-and-trade program, or establishing energy efficiency programs for consumers.

The problem, electric utilities say, is that even if Kentucky were to invest in cleaner coal plant technology, like EPA chief McCarthy said they could, it wouldn't be enough to meet the 18 percent efficiency rate.

At best Kentucky would become 6 percent more efficient when adding new technology to a plant, forcing the state to adopt other energy policies.

"Every time the Clean Air Act has been used, it has never been to justify compliance obligations beyond the fence line of the specific source being regulated," said Scott Segal, director of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council.

"There is definitely a legal risk to creating such a broad interpretation," Segal added. "Especially since there is no precedent on this. The question is whether the EPA can base a standard on mandating demand-side controls."

In effect, courts will likely be asked if the EPA can require carbon dioxide emission reductions that are separate from power plants.

That part of the rule which power generating companies are expected to challenge, though, is one vulnerable Democrats, like Landrieu, from pro-energy states have celebrated.

Fellow Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, (Alaska) said his top priority for the rules would be the flexibility they would afford his home state.

Conservative groups are working hard to tar Begich in his energy-producing state by attempting to tie him to a number of Obama's climate policies.

The administration has tried to assuage pro-fossil fuel Democrats like Landrieu and Begich that the flexible rules will be a benefit and place the burden of reducing pollution on all states.

That concession could help the regulations weather the political storm, but at the cost of inviting an equally tough legal fight.

Robert Glicksman, professor of environmental law at George Washington University, though, said that if history is any indication, the EPA is likely to prevail.

"The EPA has at least a reasonable chance of prevailing," Glicksman said. "In recent cases the Supreme Court has noted the deference they are obliged to afford the EPA when a provision isn't clear."

But he cautioned, it could all depend on the courts.


British Banana Republic

More evidence is emerging of Britain's decline into banana republic status, driven by the politicial establishment's eccentric attachment to all things green.

"Britain may be forced to use “last resort” measures to avert blackouts in coming winters, Ed Davey, the energy secretary, will say on Tuesday.

Factories will be paid to switch off at times of peak demand in order to keep households’ lights on, if Britain’s dwindling power plants are unable to provide enough electricity, under the backstop measures from National Grid."

I am in awe of Mr Davey, who is trying to spin this as an opportunity for businesses:

"He told the Telegraph businesses were “delighted” to get paid to reduce demand. Some would not actually “switch off” and would instead fire up their own on-site generators to replace grid supplies. Others, such as large-scale refrigeration firms, could temporarily cut power without any negative effects."

Of course the reason they are "delighted" is that they are going to be paid a great deal of money for switching off and using their own generators. The fact that this is going to cost consumers a great deal of money and increase carbon emissions to boot is, of course, not worthy of a mention.




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


10 June, 2014

Giant Of Geology/Glaciology Rejects Warmism

Christian Schlüchter is Professor emeritus for Quaternary Geology and Paleoclimatology at the University of Bern in Switzerland. He has authored/co-authored over 250 papers

This post is about an interview by the online Swiss Der Bund with Swiss geology giant Christian Schlüchter titled: “Our society is fundamentally dishonest“. In it he criticizes climate science for its extreme tunnel vision and political contamination.

Geologist Sebastain Lüning sent me an e-mail where he writes: “This is probably the best interview from a geologist on climate change that I have read for a long while. My highest respect for Prof. Schlüchter.” Fritz Vahrenholt calls it “impressive”.

His discovery of 4000-year old chunks of wood at the edge of glaciers in Switzerland in the 1990s unintentionally thrust the distinguished geologist into the lion’s den of climate science. Today the retired professor and author of more than 250 papers speaks up in an interview.

Almost glacier-free Alps 2000 years ago

Early in the interview Schlüchter reminds us that during Roman times in the Alps “the forest line was much higher than it is today; there were hardly any glaciers. Nowhere in the detailed travel accounts from Roman times are glaciers mentioned.” He criticizes today’s climate scientists for focusing on a time period that is “indeed much too short“.

In the interview, Schlüchter recounts how he in the 1990s found a large chunk of wood near the leading edge of a glacier. The chunk of wood, he describes, looked as if it had been dragged across a cheese shredder. It was clear to Schlüchter that the specimen had to be very old. Indeed laboratory analysis revealed that it was 4000 years old. Next they found multiple wood fragments with the same age, all serving to fill in a major piece of the paleo-puzzle. His conclusion: Today where one finds the Lower Aare-Glacier in the Bernese Alps, it used to be “a wide landscape with a wildly flowing river“. It was warmer back then.

Until the 1990s, scientists thought that the Alps glaciers had been more or less consistently intact and only began retreating after the end of the Little Ice Age. Schlüchter’s findings showed that glacial retreats of the past also had been profound.

This threw climate science into chaos and it remains unreconciled today.

Ice-free 5800 of the last 10,000 years

But not all scientists were thrilled or fascinated by Schlüchter’s impressive discoveries. He quickly found himself the target of scorn. Swiss climate scientist Heinz Wanner was reluctant to concede Schlüchter’s findings. Schlüchter tells Der Bund:

I wasn’t supposed to find that chunk of wood because I didn’t belong to the close-knit circle of Holocene and climate researchers. My findings thus caught many experts off guard: Now an ‘amateur’ had found something that the Holocene and climate experts should have found.”

Schlüchter tells of other works, which also have proven to be a thorn to mainstream climate science, involving the Rhone glacier. His studies and analyses of oxygen isotopes unequivocally reveal that indeed “the rock surface had been ice-free 5800 of the last 10,000 years“.

Distinct solar imprint on climate

What’s more worrisome, Schlüchter’s findings show that cold periods can strike very rapidly. Near the edge of Mont Miné Glacier his team found huge tree trunks and discovered that they all had died in just a single year. The scientists were stunned.

The year of death could be determined to be exactly 8195 years before present. The oxygen isotopes in the Greenland ice show there was a marked cooling around 8200.”

That finding, Schlüchter states, confirmed that the sun is the main driver in climate change.

Today’s “rapid” changes are nothing new

In the interview he casts doubt on the UN projection that the Alps will be almost glacier-free by 2100, reminding us that “the system is extremely dynamic and doesn’t function linearly” and that “extreme, sudden changes have clearly been seen in the past“. History’s record is unequivocal on this.

Schlüchter also doesn’t view today’s climate warming as anything unusual, and poses a number of unanswered questions:

Why did the glaciers retreat in the middle of the 19th century, although the large CO2 increase in the atmosphere came later? Why did the earth ‘tip’ in such a short time into a warming phase? Why did glaciers again advance in 1880s, 1920s and 1980s? [...] Sooner or later climate science will have to answer the question why the retreat of the glacier at the end of the Little Ice Age around 1850 was so rapid.”

On science: “Our society is fundamentally dishonest”

CO2 fails to answer many open questions. Already we get the sense that hockey stick climate claims are turning out to be rather sorrowful and unimaginative wives’ tales. He summarizes on the refusal to acknowledge the reality of our past: “Our society in fundamentally dishonest“.

“Helping hands for politicians”

In the Der Bund interview Schlüchter describes a meeting in England that turned him off completely. The meeting, to which he was “accidentally” invited, was led by “someone of the East Anglia Climate Center who had come under fire in the wake of the ‘Climategate’ e-mails“:

The leader of the meeting spoke like some kind of Father. He was seated at a table in front of those gathered and he took messages. He commented on them either benevolently or dismissively. Lastly it was about tips on research funding proposals and where to submit them best. For me it was impressive to see how the leader of the meeting collected and selected information. For me it also gets down to the credibility of science. [...] Today many natural scientists are helping hands of politicians, and no longer scientists who occupy themselves with new knowledge and data. And that worries me.”

Schlüchter adds that the reputation of science among young researchers is becoming more damaged the more it surrenders to politics. He indirectly blasts IPCC chief scientist Thomas Stocker:

Inventing the devil was one of man’s greatest inventions ever achieved. You can make a lot of money when you paint him on the wall.”

Northern hemisphere still gripped in ice age mode

Schlüchter also says that the northern hemisphere is still in the ice age mode and that the glaciers during the Roman times were at least 300 to 500 meters higher than today. “The mean temperature was one and half degree Celsius above that of 2005. The current development is nothing new in terms of the earth’s history.”

At the end of the interview Schlüchter says that solar activity is what is sitting at the end of the lever of change, with tectonics and volcanoes chiming in.


AGU: Enforcing the consensus

"I have decided to reject the submission based on the significant scientific consensus regarding the question of human-induced climate change." – Eos editor

After reading in the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) newspaper Eos, (4 Feb 2014, here ) an oddly emotional account of a recent unexceptional and unquestioning film on climate change consensus science, I penned a Forum article for Eos.

According to the Eos guidelines:

"Forum contains thought-provoking contributions expected to stimulate further discussion, within the newspaper or as part of Eos Online Discussions. Appropriate Forum topics include current or proposed science policy, discussion related to current research in the disciplines covered by AGU (especially scientific controversies), the relationship of our science to society, or practices that affect our fields, science in general, or AGU as an organization."

The text of the Forum essay that I submitted can be found [here EOSforumSubmission]. I proposed via the article to have a forum where scientists, especially graduate students, could offer a personal summary view of a data set of particular interest, relating to an aspect of climate sensitivity, global temperature change, sea-level change and associated indications of anthropogenically driven or natural variation. A brainstorming of ideas if you will, with the essential criterion that each must be founded on a credible data set. Or in the language of the AGUs mission statement, it would be a forum for a diversity of scientific ideas and approaches.

I fear I caused some consternation in the inner sanctums of our peak geophysical body; it took six weeks for the Editor in Chief to assign an editor and another 6 weeks to produce a decision (and this, for a weekly newspaper).

The text from the Editor’s letter to me is appended below. The Editor stated that the decision is “reject” because “climate change ….is no longer a topic of scientific controversy. “

It is slightly ironic that such a blinkered response, contrary to AGUs mission statement of “open exchange of ideas… diversity of background, scientific approaches” , should come at the same time as we have news of the outpouring of bile at Lennart Bengtsson [here and here] , and of the University of Queensland threats of legal action to suppress further analysis of Peter Cook’s (“97% consensus”) paper.

The decision was also disappointing in that it was based on the Editor’s “discussion with colleagues and staff” (no reviewer was ever assigned). The decision was however in keeping with past AGU actions such as that of refusing to publish the dissenting view from within its own expert committee which prepared its recently updated position statement on climate change (the dissenting view was by AGU Fellow Roger Pielke Sr, and was published at Climate Etc. here)

Unlike the U.S. Congress and the Supreme Court, AGU does not see value in publishing diverse or dissenting views.

The central point of my article argued for a forum of ideas designed to stimulate use of data and independent thought among students, and to encourage recognition of the complexity of the topic. However apparently our student population is composed of fragile folk who should not be exposed to controversy – a pity, because presenting science as an unarguable “consensus” is quite counter-productive to inspiring young scientists’ curiosity.

It is also sad that the AGU has adopted the closed-mind approach, while in comparison the American Physical Society has sponsored a day of frank presentation [link to previous Climate Etc. post on this], argument and discussion on the same topic, calling on three scientists from the anthropogenic global warming consensus, and another three who in various ways question some of the assumptions or conclusions of that consensus (one being AGU Fellow Judith Curry). The proceedings of this meeting are [here]. They contain verbatim the six presentations, plus 106 pages of following discussion. It seems strange that the APS Committee of Experts could find room to debate data and interpretation, calmly and objectively, while AGUs editorial circle of colleagues and staff cannot countenance our graduate students doing the same.


'Clean Energy' Ruined Spain; now Obama is Dragging the US Over the Same Green Precipice

"Feeding the masses on unicorn ribs". That was how Walter Russell Mead once poured scorn on Obama's misbegotten attempts to revive the US economy by creating five million "green jobs."

Mead was quite right, of course. And there was plenty of evidence to back him up, such as the 2009 report by a Madrid university professor Gabriel Calzada Alvarez that for every expensive "green job" created by government subsidy, 2.2 jobs were destroyed in the real economy.

The Obama administration responded as only the Obama administration knows how: by calling in its left-wing attack dogs. Friendly organisations including George Soros's Center for American Progress and various well-funded wind industry lobbyists were recruited to monster this unhelpful evidence, which was dismissed for its "lack of rigor."

It's in this context we need to view the Environmental Protection Agency's dispiriting announcement of its latest swingeing assault on US industry - disingenuously billed as a "commonsense plan to cut carbon pollution from power plants."

The pain will be felt most acutely, of course, in the coal-producing states. But the damage will extend right across America for at least one very simple reason which was perfectly evident five years ago when Obama launched his "green jobs" scheme and is even clearer now: the expensive, unreliable, intermittent renewable energy which Obama and the EPA are trying to promote is no substitute for the cheap, abundant, reliable fossil fuel energy which Obama and the EPA are trying to kill.

Not only are renewables environmentally damaging (as witness the damage done to the world's avian fauna by bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco-crucifixes) but they are also the most unconscionable drain on the taxpayer and the broader economy.

Again, all we need for proof of this is to go to Spain, whose green energy travails represent a hideous warning of the fate that now awaits America. (H/T Global Warming Policy Foundation)

Spain was one of the first countries to buy heavily into the "clean energy" chimera and - from the mid-90s attracted billions of dollars' worth of local and foreign "investment" from rent-seekers attracted by the guaranteed 14 per cent per annum rate of return offered on solar park projects and the similarly huge subsidies for wind farms.

But there was a problem. As should have been obvious from the start "clean energy" is - and almost certainly always will be - unviable in a free market. The limited energy it produces is next to worthless because it is only available when the wind blows or the sun shines - which is not necessarily when it is actually needed. Hence the need for all those government subsidies, without which not a single one of those renewable energy projects exist.

By the time the Spanish government woke up to the problem, the damage was done. Green energy projects have cost it a staggering 200 billion Euros in subsidies, 56 billion Euros of which it has paid out, another 143 billion Euros it still owes but which its hard-pressed coffers cannot possibly spare. Successive administrations have tried to reduce the cost by drastically reducing subsidies - causing a wave of bankruptcies among local businesses foolish enough to have leapt aboard the green bandwagon. But this has only exposed the Spanish government to costly lawsuits by the various foreign investors which piled in to take advantage of the green energy scam.

As Die Welt reports:

This week, U.S. energy company Nextera Energy has summoned Spain before the International Centre for Settlement for Investment Disputes (ICSID) to demand redress. The U.S. company regards the new rules as a retroactive change to the original guarantees. Nextera Energy has invested heavily in the Spanish solar power plant Termosol .

Other large investors, such as a Deutsche Bank investment fund, involved in the Andalusian power plant Andasol, and French bank BNP have asked ICSID, a World Bank organization, for arbitration. Another group of foreign investors issued first lawsuits in 2011, based on the European Energy Charter which promises investment protection and prohibits expropriation.

Spain may be a very different place from America but where renewable energy is concerned, the rules are exactly the same: the more "clean energy" you develop, the more scum-sucking corporatist parasites you attract, the more eagles you slice and dice, and the greater the burden you place on both the taxpayer and the economy - all to no discernible practical purpose whatsoever.

Welcome to Obama's bright green future. The Spanish (and the Danish, and the Portugese, and the Germans...) have already seen it and it doesn't work.


Winter is over! Forecasters reveal Great Lakes are FINALLY ice free after record breaking seven months frozen

Global cooling?

It has been a long, cold winter for much of America - but the Great Lakes have really suffered.

Forecasters finally revealed today that all of the Great Lakes including Lake Superior are now ice free.

It marks the end of a record breaking 7 month stretch where the lakes were covered in at least one ice cube, which is the longest period since satellite records began back in the 70’s.

June 7th became the official ice out date of the lake which also makes in the latest in the year ice has coated the water.

There was still a third of the Lakes coated in ice the last week of April which was the largest amount of ice that late in the year, a trend that continued into June.

Earlier this year Nasa revealed that even though North America was a full month into astronomical spring, the Great Lakes have been slow to give up on the harsh winter.

The space agency published this stunning picture of the Great Lakes, showing a third of their expanse is still covered in ice.

Lake Superior was found to be the most affected, and was found to be 63.5 percent ice covered on April 20th.

Averaged across Lake Superior, ice was 22.6 centimeters (8.9 inches) thick; it was as much as twice that thickness in some locations.

Researcher George Leshkevich said that ice cover this spring is significantly above normal.

For comparison, Lake Superior had 3.6 percent ice cover on April 20, 2013; in 2012, ice was completely gone by April 12. In the last winter that ice cover grew so thick on Lake Superior (2009), it reached 93.7 percent on March 2 but was down to 6.7 percent by April 21.

Average water temperatures on all of the Great Lakes have been rising over the past 30 to 40 years and ice cover has generally been shrinking. (Lake Superior ice was down about 79 percent since the 1970s.)

But chilled by persistent polar air masses throughout the 2013-14 winter, ice cover reached 88.4 percent on February 13 and 92.2 percent on March 6, 2014, the second highest level in four decades of record-keeping.

Air temperatures in the Great Lakes region were well below normal for March, and the cool pattern is being reinforced along the coasts because the water is absorbing less sunlight and warming less than in typical spring conditions.

Lake Superior ice cover got as high as 95.3 percent on March 19. By April 22, it was reported at 59.9 percent; Lake Huron was nearly 30.4 percent. News outlets noted that as many as 70 ships have been backed up in Lakes Michigan, Huron, and Erie, waiting for passage into ports on Lake Superior.

The U.S. Coast Guard has been grouping ships together into small convoys after they pass through locks at Sault Ste. Marie, in order to maximize ice-breaking efficiency and to protect ships from damage.

Superior is the world’s largest freshwater lake by area (82,100 square kilometers or 31,700 square miles) and the third largest by volume.

The waters average 147 meters (483 feet) in depth, and the basin is believed to hold about 10 percent of the world’s liquid fresh water.


Obama’s Enviro Radicalism Dooms Reid’s Senate Majority

Majority Leader Harry Reid lost his majority last week. It will just take five months to make it official.

Obama’s disastrous bungling of the Bergdahl trade, piled on top of a Veteran’s Administration scandal have helped put a fork into his last remaining claims of competence and credibility. In a predictably low turnout 2014 election, all the President can offer his allies is access to his prodigious voter turnout operation and the money he raises from his far left contributor network.

But it is the global warming regulations that the EPA announced a week ago that have flat-lined Harry Reid’s chances of being Majority Leader again in 2015.

The election map was difficult enough for the Senate Democrats with three vulnerable southern Senators to defend: Pryor (AR), Landrieu (LA) and Hagen (NC), along with almost guaranteed Republican takeovers due to retirements in West Virginia and South Dakota. When coupled with a Democrat seat in toss-up Montana that is occupied by a recent appointee, and an Alaska seat that never should have become Democrat, Harry Reid’s hold on power in D.C. has been considered tenuous from the beginning of this Congress.

While this challenge to hold control is formidable, many Democratic Party Senate candidates are now forced to run against Obama to survive.

Republican Leader Mitch McConnell from Kentucky is the only legitimate potential Democrat pick-up opportunity, and Obama’s regs have wrecked these hopes. Reid and crew recruited the candidate they wanted -Alison Lundergan Grimes. They have been aggressively raising money for her and the polling showed Grimes in a near dead heat as the state appears ready for change.

Yet, after Obama’s EPA announcement of a new set of regulations that will effectively end the burning of coal as an electricity generation fuel source, Grimes has been forced to spend more than $100,000 running ads declaring,

“Mr. President, Kentucky has lost one-third of our coal jobs in just the last three years… Now your EPA is targeting Kentucky coal with pie in the sky regulations that are impossible to achieve. It’s clear you have no idea how this affects Kentucky.”

Grimes’ attempt to separate herself from Obama with Kentucky voters might work against an underfunded, unprepared neophyte opponent, but McConnell is anything but that. While she is well-liked and respected, it will be impossible for her to separate herself from Obama’s anti-coal regulatory jihad.

Obama’s environmental war on energy is likely to haunt other Democratic Senators in increasingly difficult races. In New Hampshire, Senator Jeanne Shaheen is fighting for her political life.

This past frigid winter, the state suffered from a natural gas shortage that spiked electricity prices and threatened the ability of the poor to heat their homes. With this fresh in voter’s minds, Obama’s regulatory destruction of coal burning facilities could not come at worse time for Shaheen, a past outspoken supporter for EPA regulations designed to shut down coal burning utilities. As temperatures turn colder in late October, Shaheen will likely be running as hard from Obama’s radical environmental agenda as her wannabe colleague Grimes is today.

Minnesota is another state where the Obama anti-resource development regime is likely to come into play. While people outside the state think of Minnesota as being a combination of Mall of America, farmers and cereal producers, it is iron ore mining and the miners who do the hard work which form one of the core Democrat constituencies. The hold of the national Democratic Party on the Iron Range in the northern part of the state slipped in the Republican sweep of 2010, when long-time incumbent Rep. James Oberstar was stunned by a Republican upstart. While order was restored in 2012, the same off-year impulses are at work in 2014 as those which brought down Oberstar, and Democrat Senator Al Franken could be the victim.

Franken’s far left national agenda give him little wiggle room in terms of disavowing Obama’s environmental agenda – an agenda that cuts to the heart of the job security of those very Iron Range workers who he depends upon for votes.

With the Sierra Club actively attacking Minnesota utility companies, Franken is caught in a political vice over energy with the likely result being a cracking of his rural, worker voting base, and the end to this liberal fundraising powerhouse’s career.

In normal political circumstances, a President would hold off on announcing politically devastating new regulations until after his allies had survived their elections, but Obama is not playing by these rules.

Instead he has chosen to force the issue in an attempt to ensure his own legacy, while almost certainly ending Harry Reid’s Senate rein as a consequence.

While November is still five pages on the calendar away, Obama’s bad first week of June, is likely to be replayed continuously for voters like a bad recurring Democrat nightmare. The only question remaining is how many seats will it cost them in a year already set up to sweep Harry Reid from power.


The regulatory death of energy in the U.S.

By Alan Caruba

Before President Obama took office in 2009, the amount of electricity being produced by coal-fired utilities was approximately 50 percent of the total. Today it is approximately 40 percent and, as the Environmental Protection Agency regulations that took effect on June 2 are fully implemented, more such utilities are likely to close their doors. The basis for the regulations is utterly devoid of any scientific facts.

Environmentalism, as expressed by many of the organizations that advocate it, is, in fact, an attack on America, its economic system of capitalism, and its need for energy to maintain and grow its business and industrial base. Electricity, of course, is also the energy we all use daily for a multitude of tasks ranging from heating or cooling our homes to the use of our computers and every other appliance.

The EPA regulations are said to be necessary to reduce “greenhouse gas” emissions, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2) which the Greens deem to be a “pollutant” in our atmosphere. It is not a pollutant, despite a Supreme Court decision that identifies it as such, but rather a gas vital to all life on Earth, used by all vegetation for its growth. CO2 is to vegetation what oxygen is to all animal life. Humans, all seven billion of us, exhale CO2!

Viv Forbes, Chairman of the Carbon Sense Coalition and a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, notes that the Earth’s atmosphere “is not a greenhouse” and “does not have a glass roof. It uses convection to redistribute heat very quickly.” The claim for several decades has been that CO2 has an effect on the Earth’s surface temperature, but Forbes points out that “water vapor is a far more effective agent for insulating the Earth and preserving its warmth than carbon dioxide,” adding that “there is no evidence that man-made carbon dioxide is a significant cause of global warming.”

Indeed, even though the amount of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere has increased, Forbes points out that “Close examination of past records shows that temperature tends to rise before CO2 content rises, sometimes centuries earlier.” Significantly, at the same time Greens have been crying out against emissions of CO2 from coal-fired utilities and other sources, the Earth has been in a cooling cycle now verging on 18 years!

The EPA is lying to Americans regarding carbon dioxide and, worse, its proposed regulations will reduce the number of coal-fired utilities and drive up the cost of electricity for Americans.

One of the many Green organizations, Earthjustice, claims that “Climate change threatens the world as we know it—and the chief culprit is fossil fuel burning. To avert ecological disaster, Earthjustice is pushing for a shift from dirty to clean energy to stabilize our climate and build a thriving sustainable world.”

There is literally nothing that mankind can do to “stabilize” the Earth’s climate. While the Earth has been going through climate change for 4.5 billion years, there is no evidence that anything mankind does has any effect on it. The change the Earth has encountered, as mentioned, is a cooling, a far different scenario than the “global warming” claims of the past three decades or more.

Tom Richard, the editor of, notes that “Arctic sea ice has rebounded to higher and higher levels each year. Antarctica is actually gaining in size and there has been no increase in droughts, tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, ‘extreme weather’, flooding, et cetera.”

Reducing CO2 would have zero benefits, while at the same time the EPA regulations would have a dangerous and totally unnecessary effect on CO2 emissions from plants producing electricity. Other nations around the world are actually abandoning “clean energy” — i.e., wind and solar power — in favor of building many more coal-fired plants to meet their need to provide energy for their populations and their economic growth. China and India are just two examples.

To support its claims of the forthcoming EPA regulations, EarthJustice is claiming that climate change “hits people of color the hardest” and that power plants “disproportionately impact Latino communities.” It noted “the moral obligation of faith community to act on climate change and support carbon pollution limits.” This has nothing to do with the actual facts of climate change and CO2 as noted here and is a blatant political campaign to secure support from these groups.

The reality, as noted by the Bipartisan Policy Center, a policy research organization founded by former Senate leaders from both parties, was quoted in the May 26 edition of The Wall Street Journal: “A 25 percent reduction (of CO2) with a 2015 baseline might make it impossible for some companies to operate.” The article notes that the cap-and-trade policies of emissions allowances that the EPA is putting in place “amounts to a hidden tax” on a whole range of electrical generation and industrial plants that produce CO2 emissions. The EPA will likely use the term “budget program” to avoid “cap-and-trade”, a proposal that was rejected by Congress.

Writing in Commentary, Jonathan S. Tobin, said that the new regulations on carbon emissions “will have a potentially devastating impact on America’s more than 600 coal-fired power plants,” noting that “the move was made possible by Supreme Court decisions that ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency had the right to regulate (CO2) emissions, giving the President virtual carte blanche to remake this sector of our economy without requiring congressional consent.”

In July, the Heartland Institute, a free market think tank, will hold its ninth international confereTher nce on climate change. Previous conferences have brought together some of the world’s leading authorities on meteorology and climatology to debunk the decades of lies Greens have told about climate change and global warming.

The President has put “climate change” high on his list of priorities and it is an attack on the nation’s ability to affordably and extensively provide the energy needed to meet current needs for electricity and reducing our capacity to meet future needs.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is on record saying that the President’s bogus “climate change” policy could cost the U.S. economy $50 billion a year and force more than a third of coal-fired plants to close by 2030. The Heritage Foundation says “The plan will drive up energy prices for American families and businesses without making a dent in global temperatures.”

This is a form of regulatory death for the nation and comes straight out of the Oval Office of the White House.




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


9 June, 2014

Alarmism Rife At The BMA

Given the low quality of the many medical journal articles that I covered for 8 years in my FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC blog, the low quality of the thinking below is no surprise to me at all, at all

It appears that climate change hysteria has even infiltrated the British Medical Association, the BMA. A recent article in the Student BMJ by Julian Sheather, the BMA’s Deputy Head of Ethics, shows such a stunning lack of knowledge and groupthink, that it is frightening to think these people are supposed to be in charge of our health.

The article is titled “MEDICINE AND CLIMATE CHANGE – Do doctors have special moral responsibilities?”, but unfortunately it is under copyright.It can though be read here. (The full article can be accessed by free registration).

But when I tell you the opening paragraph mentions “perfect moral storm”, “outright deniers”, “John Kerry” and “catastrophic”, you will probably get the idea!

Use of the phrase, “outright deniers”, clearly shows he has utterly failed to understand what the debate on climate change is all about. He then compounds this by quoting John Kerry, as if any politician is automatically trustworthy!

Society expects doctors, as much as other scientists, to be objective, be concerned only with the facts and continually question. It would appear that Sheather has done none of these things, and instead simply parrots the official line.

This might be alright if it was just his own personal point of view, but he is trying to mobilise the BMA and its members in a political campaign, as he states at the end.

Critically though doctors and medical students must press for collective action….And by highlighting the health impacts of an impending global catastrophe they might just help bring home the seriousness of what we are confronting.

Interestingly, he recognises the immense benefits that industrialised economies and prosperity have brought to people’s health.

“Industrialised economies have delivered enormous health benefits. Some are ambiguous, and they have not been equitably distributed, but they are real. Up to a certain threshold, prosperity improves overall health. Technology has transformed medicine. Industrial agriculture can lift the threat of starvation. Much of this has been driven by fossil fuel. “

But seems happy to lose these.

“If tackling climate change strikes at the heart of our industrial economies then real benefits may have to be forgone.”

Any doctor’s prime responsibility is to the health of his patients. Therefore, to even be prepared to see that health compromised in order to address an unknown and unquantified problem which might occur in the far future, is a dereliction of that duty.

Climate, along with many other things, changes all the time, and there is always a need for medical organisations to keep up with these changes. But this needs to be done in a balanced, objective and verifiable way. Where, for instance, is there the recognition that milder winters in the UK will help to save many lives?

There are so many health issues that, even with all the advantages that today’s medical science brings us, need to be seriously addressed. Whatever the ultimate effects of “climate change”, these will surely be way down the list of most ordinary people’s concerns.

People, and patients, expect doctors to be tackling these issues, and not engage in some phoney war on climate change. I suspect most doctors and nurses will feel the same.


The hockeystick man says coal slowed temp rise US hottest spots of warming: Northeast, Southwest?

Coal causes warming, coal slows warming. Make up your minds!

The Southeast and Northwest were among the places that warmed the least. In the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, industrial sulfur particle pollutants from coal burning may be reflecting sunlight, thus countering heating caused by coal's carbon dioxide emissions, said Pennsylvania State University professor Michael Mann.


Hollywood’s hydrocarbon hypocrisy

Anti-fracking fervor underscores dismissive attitudes toward working classes and poor families

Paul Driessen

Several Hollywood elites were recently caught red-handed on videotape, agreeing to take money from a Middle Eastern oil sheikh for another anti-fracking movie. Their actions were shameful, but they felt no shame – only anger at the folks who caught them in the act. Indeed, the ironies are matched only by their hypocrisy and disdainful disregard for the consequences of their anti-fracking fervor.

The video records a conversation involving a producer, two actors – and someone they thought represented an oil oligarch. The Hollywood glitterati made it clear that they were willing to take Middle East oil cash for a film intended to help block drilling, hydraulic fracturing, energy production, job creation, revenue generation and our nation’s economic rejuvenation.

The three are known for their environmental fervor – and their apparent belief that it’s okay to drill for oil in Arab countries, but against all reason to drill in the United States. It’s also okay for them to enjoy lavish lifestyles, as long as California imports its oil and electricity, to avoid drilling in the Golden State.

Had this been a sincere movie offer, it would have brought a sweet deal for an Arab oilman protecting his oil sales from US competition, by helping Hollywood stars make a film aligned with their disconnected-from-reality views on environmental balance. But it was a hoax perpetrated by James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas, which catches glamorous stars and other people just being themselves.

The meeting occurred in March at the Beverly Hills Hotel recently made notorious for being owned by the Sultan of Brunei, who favors sharia laws that can often be brutal. The tape reveals how far some Hollywood environmentalists will go to push their narrow agenda and work against the nation’s interests. It also recalls Matt Damon’s anti-fracking film, Promised Land, funded by the United Arab Emirates, and Josh Fox’s fabrication-filled film that was eviscerated by McAleer and McElhinney’s FrackNation.

In discussing the movie proposal, Sundance-award-winning environmental film producer Josh Tickell tells “Muhammad” the fake sheik not to divulge that Middle Eastern oil loot is supporting the project, because that would make the movie “a nonstarter.” Academy Award-nominated actress Mariel Hemingway chimes in, saying the funding information should be shared “only at this table.”

Ed Begley Jr., who sits on the Oscar Board of Governors and is well-known for his staunch support for all things environmental, adds a big dose of cynicism. “Washington and Hollywood are a lot alike: all illusions, special effects, smoke and mirrors,” he says. This is no different, seems to be his message.

After the tape was made public, Tickell, Hemingway and Begley tried to explain away their behavior and foist the blame on O’Keefe and Veritas. They had agreed to meet with Muhammad only to help a friend get a movie deal. They had been set up. She should have conducted better “due diligence” on “Muhammad,” Hemingway told Fox News. “I was made to look foolish and to seem in favor of additional dependence on foreign oil,” Begley lamented. Falsely claiming that O’Keefe had referred to environmentalists as “Nazis,” Tickell attempted to tar the messenger: Veritas had tried to “equate the extermination of European Jews with efforts to oppose fracking,” he dissembled.

In other words, “I didn’t do nuthin’ wrong. Duh cops entrapped me into doin’ it.”

Begley’s website extols his stardom, lifestyle and environmental dogma. The actor is known for riding his bicycle to events, lives in a “sustainable” wind and solar-powered house, drives a subsidized electric car, and has won awards for supporting environmental causes. Meanwhile, he depends heavily on fossil fuels for his employment in energy-guzzling Hollywood and nearly every benefit he enjoys outside his home: restaurants, hospitals, air travel, the internet, his website. That’s nice for him.

But what about the rest of America, where ordinary people must support their families on average wages, drive affordable gasoline-fueled cars, and use hydrocarbons to heat their homes and cook their food? “As environmental issues become more pressing,” Begley challenges them to “take action.” By that, he apparently means kill the jobs, economy and fossil fuels that enhance and safeguard our lives.

Never mind that petroleum has been the one bright spot in the US economic recovery, putting millions of Americans back to work and generating hundreds of billions of dollars for investment portfolios and local, state and federal treasuries. In fact, according to IHS Global Insights, unconventional oil and gas production – in conjunction with chemicals manufacturing and other hydrocarbon feed stock and energy-dependent industries – have contributed more than 2.5% per year to America’s GDP. They’ve created 2.5 million new direct and indirect jobs, with the prospect of an additional 3.9 million jobs by 2025!

With economic growth averaging a pitiful 2.2% annually over the past four years, that means the nation’s growth would have been in negative territory all those years, were it not for fracking – instead of only during the first quarter of 2014 (when it contracted by 1%). At the state level, the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business says a statewide fracking ban would kill 68,000 jobs and cost the state’s economy $8 billion over the ensuing five years.

On a related topic, recall that only computer models and politicized pseudo-science have been able to find the dangerous manmade global warming and climate disruption that Begley, Hemingway, Tickell and other Big Green activists use to justify anti-fracking and anti-coal policies.

And what about impoverished Third World countries? Begley is dismissive of their needs. In 2002, he told me and other environmental journalists that he opposes building power plants in Africa, saying “It’s much cheaper for everybody in Africa to have electricity where they need it – solar panels on their huts.”

This is truly the super-rich 0.01% versus the 99.99% of merely well-off, middle class, poor and minority Americans, and the truly destitute people struggling daily just to survive in developing countries, amid malnutrition, diseases and energy deprivation unheard of in the USA, Canada or Europe.

Meantime, don’t forget the ironies in all of this. Were it not for fracking, US carbon dioxide emissions would not have declined 11% since 2005. Largely because of climate change, renewable energy and anti-fracking hysteria, European countries are rapidly expanding their coal-based electricity generation (and greenhouse gas emissions), while asking the USA to sell them natural gas. Contrary to recent stories in “mainstream” media outlets like Reuters, the UK Guardian and USA Today, China has no intention of putting a “hard cap” on its CO2 emissions. Nor do India and other emerging markets. They need that energy to modernize their economies, lift billions out of poverty, and avoid riots and revolutions.

Meanwhile, back in the States, it is the Obama, Hollywood and Big Green attitudes about fracking, coal and average working-class families that have put a number of Senate Democrats on the endangered list. As to their voting base, the same eco-centric, high-tax, boundless regulation policies have helped ensure that over 40% of heavily indebted new college graduates are unemployed or working in food services, retail and other jobs that don’t even require college degrees. Minorities are also disproportionately hurt.

Begley and his comrades’ attacks on O’Keefe do not change these facts. But for them, poor people’s health, lives and access to affordable energy must be guided and limited by “sustainability” and anti-hydrocarbon ideologies. As Green Planet production company chief Josh Tickell said in the video, “It’s money, so in that sense we have no moral issue.”

These Hollywood elites are not innocents caught in a web. They are zealots who got their just desserts. In their warped way of thinking, the end – saving the environment from imagined dangers, while padding Hollywood pockets – justifies the means.

Sure, they got snookered. But anyone who watches the video can see they were complicit in the deception and sting. May their unintended honesty be a lesson for all voters who might be tempted to continue supporting Big Green ideologies.

Via email

A cautious Warmist

A while back at Nottingham University's - Making Science Public project, Prof Mike Hulme contributed his thoughts on Cook and Nuccitellis' 97% paper..

The “97% consensus” article is poorly conceived, poorly designed and poorly executed. It obscures the complexities of the climate issue and it is a sign of the desperately poor level of public and policy debate in this country that the energy minister should cite it. It offers a similar depiction of the world into categories of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ to that adopted in Anderegg et al.’s 2010 equally poor study in PNAS: dividing publishing climate scientists into ‘believers’ and ‘non-believers’. It seems to me that these people are still living (or wishing to live) in the pre-2009 world of climate change discourse. Haven’t they noticed that public understanding of the climate issue has moved on? ...

My point is that the Cook et al. study is hopelessly confused as well as being largely irrelevant to the complex questions that are raised by the idea of (human-caused) climate change. As to being confused, in one place the paper claims to be exploring “the level of scientific consensus that human activity is very likely causing most of the current GW” and yet the headline conclusion is based on rating abstracts according to whether “humans are causing global warming”.

These are two entirely different judgements.

The irrelevance is because none of the most contentious policy responses to climate change are resolved *even if* we accept that 97.1% of climate scientists believe that “human activity is very likely causing most of the current GW” (which of course is not what the study has shown).

And more broadly, the sprawling scientific knowledge about climate and its changes cannot helpfully be reduced to a single consensus statement, however carefully worded. The various studies – such as Cook et al – that try to enumerate the climate change consensus pretend it can and that is why I find them unhelpful – and, in the sprit of this blog, I would suggest too that they are not helpful for our fellow citizens.

- Mike Hulme. (Mike Hulme is Professor of Climate and Culture in the Department of Geography at King's College London. He was formerly professor of Climate Change in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia)

SOURCE (Comments)

Greens Lose Battle As Germany Prepares To Lift Ban On Fracking

Jeevan Vasagar

Germany is set to lift its ban on fracking as early as next year, after caving in to business demands that it should reduce its dependency on Russian energy and boost competitiveness with US manufacturers.

Applications to carry out the controversial process for extracting the country’s estimated 2.3tn cubic metres shale gas reserves will be subject to an environmental impact assessment under new legislation to be discussed by the cabinet before the summer recess.

Fracking has been the subject of a fierce debate in Germany’s ruling coalition, with some politicians keen to reduce reliance on Russian energy imports, while others fear the impact of fracking chemicals on a densely populated country.

German manufacturers have been strong advocates of the new technology, which they believe has provided cheap shale gas energy to their US competitors while Germany grapples with a costly switch to subsidised renewables.

Details of the new regulations emerged in a letter from Sigmar Gabriel, German economy minister, to the head of the Bundestag’s budget committee. In the letter, Mr Gabriel wrote that permission to carry out fracking would be subject to approval from regional water authorities and that “further requirements for the fracking permit process are still being considered”. [...]

The EU’s energy commissioner Günther Oettinger has urged European governments to allow fracking “demonstration projects” to diversify the continent’s sources of energy.


How Fracking Helps America Beat German Industry

Nestled in the green hills of southern Germany, chemical giant Wacker Chemie churns out a wide range of product, from an ingredient for chewing gum to the polysilicon crystals in solar cells.

The electricity to produce all that - enough power for more than 700,000 households annually - has become more costly at Wacker's main factory in Burghausen. It has played a big part in pushing up the firm's total energy bill by 70 percent over the last five years, to nearly half a billion euros.

It's a different story across the Atlantic in the U.S. state of Louisiana. There, chemicals maker Huntsman Corp pays 22 percent less for its power than it did just seven years ago.

The tale of those numbers underlines a profound shift underway in two of the world's biggest industrial powers. Thanks in large part to Germany's decision to phase out nuclear power and push into green energy, companies there now pay some of the highest prices in the world for power. On average, German industrial companies with large power appetites paid about 0.15 euros ($0.21) per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity last year, according to Eurostat, the European Union's statistics agency.

In the United States, electricity prices are falling thanks to natural gas derived from fracking - the hydraulic fracturing of rock. Louisiana now boasts industrial electricity prices of just $0.055 per kWh, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data.

Peter Huntsman, chief executive of the family firm, calls the United States the new global standard for low-cost manufacturing. Huntsman is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to expand in the United States, and rapidly closing plants in Europe. The company estimates that a large, modern petrochemical plant in the United States is $125 million cheaper to run per year than in Europe. That sum includes cheaper power, waste disposal and myriad other factors, and Huntsman said the contrast is similar for Asian plants.

That's a dramatic change from just a few years ago, when Germany was held up as a model of manufacturing prowess. As recently as 2011, politicians in Washington were openly discussing how to copy Germany's success.

"We need to be more like Germany," General Electric Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt said in an interview that year with Reuters.

Now things are heading the other way. German Chancellor Angela Merkel's energy policies - designed to sharply boost the share of renewables in Germany's energy mix, tackle climate change and cut Germany's dependency on foreign gas and oil - are a rising source of concern for the country's industry, particularly energy-intensive companies like Wacker. According to Germany's Chamber of Commerce and Industry, half of the country's industrial companies believe their global competitiveness is threatened by Germany's energy policy, and a quarter of them are either shifting production abroad or considering doing so. The United States is among the top destinations.

In March, BMW, the world's largest luxury carmaker, said it would invest $1 billion to expand its plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, making it the German group's biggest production facility by 2016. In all, German companies invested more than 800 billion euros in U.S. expansions between 2008 and 2012, according to the most recent Bundesbank statistics. Germany's Chamber of Commerce and Industry reckons that investments could reach 200 billion euros in 2014, an all-time high.




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 June, 2014

World War II Skeletons Washed From Graves by Rising Seas

Hang on just a cotton-picking minute! When things that were submerged become unsubmerged in littoral (coastal) areas, that is due to a sea-level FALL. Rising seas cover things up. So these uncoverings are exactly the OPPOSITE of what Warmists predict. And below is a handy-dandy chart showing exactly what we would expect: Marshall island sea levels have been falling recently. Ain't facts pesky things?

Skeletons of World War II soldiers are being washed from their graves by the rising Pacific Ocean as global warming leads to inundation of islands that saw some of the fiercest fighting of the conflict.

On the day Europe commemorated the 70th anniversary of the storming of Normandy beaches in the D-Day landings, a minister from the Marshall Islands, a remote archipelago between Hawaii and the Philippines, told how the remains of 26, probably Japanese soldiers, had been recovered so far on the isle of Santo.

“There are coffins and dead people being washed away from graves; it’s that serious,” Tony de Brum, minister of foreign affairs for the Marshall Islands, said yesterday. Tides “have caused not just inundation and flooding of communities where people live but have also done severe damage in undermining regular land so that even the dead are affected.”

Spring tides from the end of February to April had flooded communities, he told a group of reporters at the latest round of United Nations climate talks in Bonn.

The minister’s comments bring home the stark future for low-lying island nations as the planet warms, causing sea levels to rise. The Marshall Islands, a string of more than 1,000 such isles with a population of about 70,000, is about 2 meters (7 feet) at its highest point, according to de Brum.

The tropical western Pacific is a region the UN said this week is experiencing almost four times the global average rate of sea level increase, with waters creeping up by 12 millimeters (half an inch) a year between 1993 and 2009. The global average pace is 3.2 millimeters a year.


The claim of a 97% consensus on global warming does not stand up

Hairy Dutch economist Richard Tol is a lukewarmist. He accepts that warming is happening and that there is some human influence but not much more of the Warmist catechism. He felt suspicious of the Cook et al "97% consensus" claim from the beginning. He got his doubts into one of the journals only to get the article criticized by dedicated Warmist Dana Nuccitelli. If you trace Nuccitelli's claims back to their sources, you find that he regards opinions of his fellow Warmists as being facts. Tol summarizes his work and replies to Nuccitelli below

Dana Nuccitelli writes that I “accidentally confirm the results of last year’s 97% global warming consensus study”. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I show that the 97% consensus claim does not stand up. At best, Nuccitelli, John Cook and colleagues may have accidentally stumbled on the right number.

Cook and co selected some 12,000 papers from the scientific literature to test whether these papers support the hypothesis that humans played a substantial role in the observed warming of the Earth. 12,000 is a strange number. The climate literature is much larger. The number of papers on the detection and attribution of climate change is much, much smaller.

Cook’s sample is not representative. Any conclusion they draw is not about “the literature” but rather about the papers they happened to find.

Most of the papers they studied are not about climate change and its causes, but many were taken as evidence nonetheless. Papers on carbon taxes naturally assume that carbon dioxide emissions cause global warming – but assumptions are not conclusions. Cook’s claim of an increasing consensus over time is entirely due to an increase of the number of irrelevant papers that Cook and co mistook for evidence.

The abstracts of the 12,000 papers were rated, twice, by 24 volunteers. Twelve rapidly dropped out, leaving an enormous task for the rest. This shows. There are patterns in the data that suggest that raters may have fallen asleep with their nose on the keyboard. In July 2013, Mr Cook claimed to have data that showed this is not the case. In May 2014, he claimed that data never existed.

The data is also ridden with error. By Cook’s own calculations, 7% of the ratings are wrong. Spot checks suggest a much larger number of errors, up to one-third.

Cook tried to validate the results by having authors rate their own papers. In almost two out of three cases, the author disagreed with Cook’s team about the message of the paper in question.

Attempts to obtain Cook’s data for independent verification have been in vain. Cook sometimes claims that the raters are interviewees who are entitled to privacy – but the raters were never asked any personal detail. At other times, Cook claims that the raters are not interviewees but interviewers.

The 97% consensus paper rests on yet another claim: the raters are incidental, it is the rated papers that matter. If you measure temperature, you make sure that your thermometers are all properly and consistently calibrated. Unfortunately, although he does have the data, Cook does not test whether the raters judge the same paper in the same way.

Consensus is irrelevant in science. There are plenty of examples in history where everyone agreed and everyone was wrong. Cook’s consensus is also irrelevant in policy. They try to show that climate change is real and human-made. It is does not follow whether and by how much greenhouse gas emissions should be reduced.

The debate on climate policy is polarised, often using discussions about climate science as a proxy. People who want to argue that climate researchers are secretive and incompetent only have to point to the 97% consensus paper.

On 29 May, the Committee on Science, Space and Technology of the US House of Representatives examined the procedures of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Having been active in the IPCC since 1994, serving in various roles in all its three working groups, most recently as a convening lead author for the fifth assessment report of working group II, my testimony to the committee briefly reiterated some of the mistakes made in the fifth assessment report but focused on the structural faults in the IPCC, notably the selection of authors and staff, the weaknesses in the review process, and the competition for attention between chapters. I highlighted that the IPCC is a natural monopoly that is largely unregulated. I recommended that its assessment reports be replaced by an assessment journal.

In an article on 2 June, Nuccitelli ignores the subject matter of the hearing, focusing instead on a brief interaction about the 97% consensus paper co-authored by… Nuccitelli. He unfortunately missed the gist of my criticism of his work.

Successive literature reviews, including the ones by the IPCC, have time and again established that there has been substantial climate change over the last one and a half centuries and that humans caused a large share of that climate change.

There is disagreement, of course, particularly on the extent to which humans contributed to the observed warming. This is part and parcel of a healthy scientific debate. There is widespread agreement, though, that climate change is real and human-made.

I believe Nuccitelli and colleagues are wrong about a number of issues. Mistakenly thinking that agreement on the basic facts of climate change would induce agreement on climate policy, Nuccitelli and colleagues tried to quantify the consensus, and failed.

In his defence, Nuccitelli argues that I do not dispute their main result. Nuccitelli fundamentally misunderstands research. Science is not a set of results. Science is a method. If the method is wrong, the results are worthless.

Nuccitelli’s pieces are two of a series of articles published in the Guardian impugning my character and my work. Nuccitelli falsely accuses me of journal shopping, a despicable practice.

The theologist Michael Rosenberger has described climate protection as a new religion, based on a fear for the apocalypse, with dogmas, heretics and inquisitors like Nuccitelli. I prefer my politics secular and my science sound.


There is no "settled science". Science is a push into the unknown -- and a very difficult push at that

Why Reducing U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions Is a Risky Move in a Global Economy

Will China and the rest of the world follow our lead or take a free ride?

On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a proposal that would require America's electrical power generation industry to cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent below their 2005 levels by 2030. Everyone agrees that by themselves, these reductions would have an insignificant effect on global warming. Indeed, using an uncontroversial computer model, climatologist Paul Knappenberger has calculated that eliminating all U.S. carbon dioxide emissions immediately would reduce global average temperatures by only about -0.08°C by 2050.

So why does the White House want these cuts? In his May 28 speech to the cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, President Obama pledged that he would in the next year "make sure America is out front in putting together a global framework to preserve our planet." He added that "American influence is always stronger when we lead by example. We can't exempt ourselves from the rules that apply to everybody else." And where does the president want our example to lead? To 2015's big U.N. climate change conference in Paris, where the world is supposed to hammer out an agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions to levels that would keep the world from warming by more than 2° Celsius.

The administration's plan has garnered accolades around the world. Connie Hedegaard, the European Union's commissioner for climate action, has praised the proposal, declaring that it "shows that the United States is taking climate change seriously" and "sends a positive signal ahead of the Paris conference." The U.N.'s top climate change bureaucrat, Christiana Figueres, has said the plan "will send a good signal to nations everywhere that one of the world's biggest emitters is taking the future of the planet and its people seriously." In an op-ed for the Financial Times, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry asserts that the United States "is setting a responsible example." And with an "ambitious global agreement in Paris" pending, he writes, "We will need leaders and people around the world to do the same." As The Week's Ryan Cooper puts it, these rules are supposed to let the U.S. "go into new negotiations with a nice fat emissions reduction to demonstrate commitment and good faith."

Will other countries follow Washington's lead and cut their own carbon dioxide emissions? Game theory suggests some clues.

International climate negotiations are somewhat similar to the prisoner's dilemma. Assuming man-made global warming is costly to all countries, the optimum solution is for all countries to cut their greenhouse gas emissions. But for an individual country, the better option is to keep burning low-cost fossil fuels while other nations reduce their emissions. Since all countries recognize that other countries are likely to cheat and continue to use fossil fuels, they all fail to cut their emissions.

Is there a way out of that dynamic? Two political scientists, Scott Barrett of Columbia and Astrid Dannenberg of Princeton, tried to find one in a 2013 study using game theory experiments. They concluded that if game players know for sure where the threshold for huge losses is located, they will cooperate to avoid it. The catastrophe threshold acts a form of punishment that encourages cooperation.

The experiments involved games in which the players knew crossing a certain threshold spelled disaster for their winnings. Given this certain knowledge, the vast majority players made and kept their promises about their contributions to the general pot, and they avoided crossing the disaster threshold in eight out of 10 games. But when the threshold for catastrophe was even slightly indeterminate, the players crossed essentially every time.

The current uncertainties about the effects and intensity of future climate change suggest that countries are unlikely to follow the Obama administration's lead. Based on their experimental results, Barrett and Dannenberg hold out the hope that climate research that reduces threshold uncertainty might help spur countries into mutual cuts of their greenhouse gas emissions.

In another 2013 study, Gunnar Eskeland of the Norwegian School of Economics tried to figure out whether there is a case for early, unilateral, unconditional emissions reductions. He concludes that small countries whose emissions won't make much of a difference to eventual global warming might act as climate leaders by cutting their emissions.

Why small countries? If a big country with lots of emissions were unilaterally to cut first, Eskeland explains, other big emitting countries would likely succumb to the temptation to free ride. The first country's cuts would delay any deleterious effects of global warming for other countries, and the countries that declined to cut their emissions would also be able to take advantage of even cheaper fossil fuels.

The lower global price for fossil fuels is called "carbon leakage"; it results from the fact that the first mover country has cut its demand. Under the administration's new plan, in fact, domestic cuts in coal demand will likely mean more shipments of cheap American coal abroad. As Darek Urbaniak, the energy policy officer at WWF Europe, has warned, "This cheap coal and associated CO2 emissions may find its way to the EU and other countries set on using coal for power generation" unless European politicians adopt policies like America's.

Eskeland has described exactly the situation in which the planet's two biggest emitters of carbon dioxide, the United States and China, find themselves. Nevertheless, President Obama is proceeding with unilateral emissions cut. We will soon see if China and other countries will elect to free ride.

Two Washington State University economists, Ana Espinola-Arredondo and Felix Munoz-Garcia, observe in a 2010 study that efforts to free ride are pervasive in negotiating international environmental agreements. Among other findings, countries sign international environmental agreements only when the costs of failing to comply are low. Think in this context of Canada and Japan, both of which ratified the greenhouse gas emission cuts under the Kyoto Protocol and then basically ignored their commitments. Espinola-Arredondo and Munoz-Garcia further predict that when countries make high commitment proposals predicated on other countries agreeing to them, no country will act. They point out, for example, that the European Union promised to cut its emissions steeply by 2020 if other countries would too. No other country responded to this European initiative by matching its proposed cuts.

In a 2011 working paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research, two economists—Geoffrey Heal of Columbia and Howard Kunreuther of the University of Pennsylvania—explore the idea that there may be tipping points in climate negotiations. The notion is that once enough countries have joined a climate agreement, other countries will quickly do so. But how many are enough?

To illustrate how tipping points might work with climate policies, Heal and Kunreuther discuss the way the world phased out unleaded gasoline and the ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) coolants used in air conditioners.


Sen. Wicker: Climate Action Plan Will Hurt Farmers, Foresters, Fishermen

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) said Tuesday that the Obama administration’s climate action plan, announced Monday by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, will have “little effect on the climate,” but will negatively affect farmers, foresters, and fishermen.

“Yesterday as part of the president’s climate action plan, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy announced a new set of rules to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.

These regulations would have little effect on the climate, but the rules would have a negative effect on the livelihood of all energy users including farmers, foresters, and fishermen, who are the focus of today’s hearing,” Wicker said at a Senate subcommittee hearing on the impact of climate change on wildlife and agriculture.

As previously reported, McCarthy said when the new regulations take effect by 2030, “electricity bills will be 8 percent cheaper.”

But according to Wicker, “costly regulations mean that farmers who irrigate their crops by pump would face higher utility bills.”

In addition, “foresters would pay more for electricity to turn their timber into building materials and paper – products that are essential to our economy.”

“These industries already face a myriad of challenges in a difficult economic environment, but at what cost are we going to hurt these economic sectors in the pursuit of aggressive but dubious climate regulations?” Wicker asked.

“The costs to these industries are sure to go up,” he said.

“Farmers are said to be on the front line of climate change, because they are most likely to be affected by altering weather patterns,” Wicker said. However, “Farmers have been managing their crops effectively and adapting to variable climate conditions for generations and generations. This is nothing new.”

“Unfortunately, this generation will now have to cope with higher electricity costs, because of questionable climate regulations. For farmers who properly manage their land, a changing climate is not the problem, but burdensome regulations that increase the cost of farm production are,” he said.

Furthermore, “carbon dioxide is require for photosynthesis - the process by which these forests use sunlight to grow,” Wicker said. “Plants tend to grow better under conditions of higher CO2 levels. Scientists have dubbed this effect CO2 fertilization.”

Forestry in Wicker’s home state of Mississippi is a $14 billion industry that supports over 63,000 full- and part-time jobs. Forests cover more than 60 percent of the state, he said, and “healthy forests support industry that employs 25 percent of Mississippi’s manufacturing work force.”

“Given the current depressed market for forestry goods, higher prices for electricity would only worsen industry problems for foresters who properly manage their trees,” Wicker said. “A changing climate is not the problem, but onerous regulations that increase the cost of forestry production are.”


Australia: Solar users the champagne and latte sipping set: Tim Nicholls

Treasurer Tim Nicholls has described Queenslanders who took part in Labor's solar bonus scheme as "champagne sippers and the latte set", while labelling the program "middle class welfare".

In an attack on the opposition during parliamentary question time on Thursday, Mr Nicholls took a question from LNP MP Kerry Millard on "how the government is building on its strong plan for a brighter future".

He used the question to criticise Labor's economic track record and - encouraged by an interjection from the Premier who has solar panels on his home, but does not receive the 44-cent feed-in-tariff - turned into an attack on those who do.

"The only idea he [Curtis Pitt] has put forward in terms of dealing with anything of economic sense was to reintroduce the solar bonus did that work? It worked by adding $3 billion to the cost of power bills for Queenslanders to 2027-28," he said.

"Disgracefully, it worked to penalise those people who could least afford to install solar power.

"So those people who were paying for the middle class welfare that Labor was putting out there - for the champagne sippers and the latte set - with whom they hang around all the time in terms of making themselves feel good, but making the rest of Queenslanders pay for it."

Just under 285,000 households signed up to Labor's 44 cent feed-in-tariff scheme. Another 40,000 households received the 8 cent feed-in tariff until a recent legislation change, which means they will now have to negotiate directly with energy retailers.

Lindsay Soutar, the National Director of Solar Citizens, a solar power lobby group, said the Queensland government was "demonising" solar users.

"We know that most households that installed solar have in fact been households on lower and middle incomes," she said. "That is because these folks are more sensitive to rises in power prices and solar is one of the best ways to take back control over power bills.

"So typically, it is the outer suburbs and people in regional areas, not the inner-city chardonnay set."

The Queensland Competition Authority recently announced the average home annual power bill would increase by another $200 in the next financial year.

Ms Soutar addressed a Queensland solar users forum in Brisbane overnight, discussing options to "go off the grid".

"The price of solar has just plummeted in the last five years, which is why it has become an affordable choice and that is something that continues to be attractive," she said.

"Which is why the big power companies and the Queensland government are so against solar, because essentially they can see why people are finding it so attractive, and looking for other options away from the big power companies."




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


6 June, 2014

As Peanuts might say...

New paper shows anthropogenic emissions have had a net cooling effect since beginning of industrial revolution

Note that the authors show that clouds have a COOLING effect. Global warming theory assumes that they have a WARMING effect. So in more ways than one this article strikes at the heart of global warming theory

A paper published today in Science claims the transition from "pristine" to "slightly polluted" atmosphere at the beginning of the industrial revolution in the 18th century had a "dramatic aerosol effect [of increasing] clouds" over the oceans.

According to the authors: "transition from pristine to slightly polluted atmosphere yields estimated negative forcing of ~15 watts per square meter (cooling), suggesting that a substantial part of this anthropogenic forcing over the oceans occurred at the beginning of the industrial era, when the marine atmosphere experienced such transformation."

By way of comparison, the IPCC alleged change in radiative forcing from CO2 [plus alleged positive water vapor feedback] since the beginning of the industrial era is +1.8 watts per square meter*, or 8.3 times less. According to an accompanying editorial to the paper, the authors "show that even small additions of aerosol particles to clouds in the cleanest regions of Earth's atmosphere will have a large effect on those clouds and their contribution to climate forcing."

*Per the IPCC formula: 5.35*ln(395/280) = 1.8 W/m2 at the top of the atmosphere [or only about 1.8* (1/3.7) = 0.5 W/m2 at the surface]

From aerosol-limited to invigoration of warm convective clouds

By Ilan Koren et al.


Among all cloud-aerosol interactions, the invigoration effect is the most elusive. Most of the studies that do suggest this effect link it to deep convective clouds with a warm base and cold top. Here, we provide evidence from observations and numerical modeling of a dramatic aerosol effect on warm clouds. We propose that convective-cloud invigoration by aerosols can be viewed as an extension of the concept of aerosol-limited clouds, where cloud development is limited by the availability of cloud-condensation nuclei. A transition from pristine to slightly polluted atmosphere yields estimated negative forcing of ~15 watts per square meter (cooling), suggesting that a substantial part of this anthropogenic forcing over the oceans occurred at the beginning of the industrial era, when the marine atmosphere experienced such transformation.


Note a corollary of the above finding: If we did as Warmists want and drastically cut back industrial activity, there would be a pronounced WARMING effect, not a cooling effect

G20 not a place to discuss climate change, says BHP chief

The chief executive of the world's largest miner, BHP Billiton, has backed Prime Minister Tony Abbott's decision to keep climate change off this year's G20 agenda, despite concerns Australia is increasingly viewed as being disengaged from the international climate debate.

In the same week that United States president Barack Obama pledged to slash carbon emissions from power plants by 30 per cent on 2005 levels, and China flagged an unprecedented absolute cap on emissions, Mr Abbott signalled he would pass on the opportunity to use Australia's leadership role as host of the G20 to focus on climate change – arguing the November summit in Brisbane was primarily an "economic meeting" to discuss matters of finance and trade.

"I don't think that's a backward step," BHP chief executive Andrew Mackenzie told reporters in Beijing, where he was attending meetings as part of a trade and business advisory panel advising the G20. "I agree with the Australian government with this. If you try and use [the G20] to solve all the problems of the world, you'll solve none. It's better to concentrate on a few things and do them really well."

Mr Mackenzie said he accepted there was a "long-term need" to have a pricing mechanism for carbon to drive the innovation that would "ultimately decarbonise the creation of energy around the world" – but insisted Labor's tax would have done more harm to the economy than good.

"That's kind of a mixed message, I accept," he said.

The BHP chief, who was also on the tail-end of a 10-day tour of China, Japan, Korea and India, which included meetings with some of the miner's largest customers, also insisted the mining giant remained an attractive long-term investment prospect for shareholders despite sharp falls in the iron ore price and persistent concerns over China's economic outlook.


Just Assume We Have A Climate Crisis

Climate modelers and disaster proponents remind me of the four guys who were marooned on an island, after their plane went down.

The engineer began drawing plans for a boat; the lumberjack cut trees to build it; the pilot plotted a course to the nearest known civilization. But the economist just sat there. The exasperated workers asked him why he wasn’t helping.

“I don’t see the problem,” he replied. “Why can’t we just assume we have a boat, get on it and leave?”

In the case of climate change, those making the assumptions demand that we act immediately to avert planetary crises based solely on their computer model predictions. It’s like demanding that governments enact laws to safeguard us from velociraptors, after Jurassic Park scientists found that dinosaur DNA could be extracted from fossilized mosquitoes … and brought the carnivores back to special-effects life.

Climate models help improve our conceptual understandings of climate systems and the forces that drive climate change. However, they are terrible at predicting Earth’s temperature and other components of its climate. They should never be used to set or justify policies, laws and regulations – such as what the Environmental Protection Agency is about to impose on CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants.

Even our best climate scientists still have only a limited grasp of Earth’s highly complex and chaotic climate systems, and the many interrelated solar, cosmic, oceanic, atmospheric, terrestrial and other forces that control climate and weather. Even the best models are only as good as that understanding.

Worse, the models and the science behind them have been horribly politicized. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was ostensibly organized in 1988 to examine possible human influences on Earth’s climate. In reality, Swedish meteorologist Bert Bolin and environmental activist groups wanted to use global warming to drive an anti-hydrocarbon, limited-growth agenda. That meant they somehow had to find a human influence on the climate – even if the best they could come up with was “The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate.” [emphasis added]

“Discernible” (ie, detectable) soon metamorphosed into “dominant,” which quickly morphed into the absurd notion that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have now replaced natural forces and become the only factors influencing climate change. They are certainly the only factors that climate activists and alarmists want to talk about, while they attempt to silence debate, criticism and skepticism. They use the models to generate scary “scenarios” that are presented as actual predictions of future calamities.

They predict, project or forecast that heat waves will intensify, droughts and floods will be stronger and more frequent, hurricanes will be more frequent and violent, sea levels will rise four feet by 2100 [versus eight inches since 1880], forest fires will worsen, and countless animal species will disappear. Unlikely.

Natural forces obviously caused the Medieval Warm Period, the Little Ice Age and the Pleistocene Ice Ages. (A slab of limestone that I dug up has numerous striations – scratches – left by the last mile-thick glacier that covered what is now my home town in Wisconsin.) After long denying it, the IPCC finally acknowledged that the LIA did occur, and that it was a worldwide agricultural and human disaster.

However, the models and computer algorithms the IPCC and EPA rely on still do not include the proper magnitude of solar cycles and other powerful natural forces that influence climate changes. They assume “positive feedbacks” from GHGs that trap heat, but understate the reflective and thus cooling effects of clouds. They display a global warming bias throughout – bolstered by temperature data contaminated by “urban heat island” effects, due to measuring stations being located too close to human heat sources. They assume Earth’s climate is now controlled almost entirely by rising human CO2/GHG emissions.

It’s no wonder the models, modelers and alarmists totally failed to predict the nearly-18-year absence of global warming – or that the modeled predictions diverge further from actual temperature measurements with every passing year. It’s no wonder modelers cannot tell us which aspects of global warming, global cooling, climate change and “climate disruption” are due to humans, and which are the result of natural forces. It’s hardly surprising that they cannot replicate (“hindcast”) the global temperature record from 1950 to 1995, without “fudging” their data and computer codes– or that they are wrong almost every time.

In 2000, Britain’s Met Office said cold winters would be a thing of the past, and “children just aren’t going to know what snow is.” The 2010 and 2012 winters were the coldest and snowiest in centuries. In 2013, Met Office scholars said the coming winter would be extremely dry; the forecast left towns, families and government agencies totally unprepared for the immense rains and floods that followed.

In 2007, Australia’s climate commissioner predicted Brisbane and other cities would never again have sufficient rain to fill their reservoirs. The forecast ignored previous drought and flood cycles, and was demolished by record rains in 2011, 2013 and 2014. Forecasts of Arctic and Antarctic meltdowns have ignored the long history of warmer and colder cycles, and ice buildups and breakups.

The Bonneville Power Administration said manmade warming will cause Columbia River Basin snowpack to melt faster, future precipitation to fall as rain, reservoirs to be overwhelmed – and yet water levels will be well below normal year round. President Obama insists that global temperatures will soar, wildfires will be more frequent and devastating, floods and droughts will be more frequent and disastrous, rising seas will inundate coastal cities as Arctic and Antarctic ice shelves melt and disintegrate, and 97% of scientists agree. Every claim is based on models or bald-faced assertions unsupported by evidence.

And still the IPCC says it has “very high confidence” (the highest level it assigns) to the supposed agreement between computer model forecasts and actual observations. The greater the divergence from reality, the higher its “confidence” climbs. Meanwhile, climate researchers and modelers from Nebraska, Penn State, Great Britain and other “learned institutions” continue to focus on alleged human influences on Earth’s climate. They know they will likely lose their government, foundation and other funding – and will certainly be harassed and vilified by EPA, environmentalists, politicians, and their ideological and pedagogical peers – if they examine natural forces too closely.

Thus they input erroneous data, simplistic assumptions, personal biases, and political and financial calculations, letting models spew out specious scenarios and phony forecasts: garbage in, garbage out.

The modelers owe it to humanity to get it right – so that we can predict, prepare for, mitigate and adapt to whatever future climate conditions nature (or humans) might throw at us. They cannot possibly do that without first understanding, inputting and modeling natural factors along with human influences.

Above all, these supposed modeling experts and climate scientists need to terminate their biases and their evangelism of political agendas that seek to slash fossil fuel use, “transform” our energy and economic systems, redistribute wealth, reduce our standards of living, and “permit” African and other impoverished nations to enter the modern era only in a “sustainable manner,” as defined by callous elitists.

The climate catastrophe camp’s focus on CO2 is based on the fact that it is a byproduct of detested hydrocarbon use. But this trace gas (a mere 0.04% of Earth’s atmosphere) makes life on our planet possible. More carbon dioxide means crops, forests and grasslands grow faster and better. CO2’s role in climate change is speculative – and contradicted by real-world measurements, observations and history.

Computer models, scenarios and predictions of planetary Armageddon are little more than faulty, corrupt, even fraudulent pseudo-science. They have consistently forecast what has not happened on Planet Earth, and failed to forecast what did happen.

They must no longer be allowed to justify EPA’s job-killing, economy-strangling, family-bashing rules for vehicles, power plants, cement kilns, refineries, factories, farms, shopping malls and countless other facilities that are or soon will be regulated by agency fiat.


Fracking, property rights and compensation

Written by Dr. Eamonn Butler

A new Infrastructure and Competitiveness Bill, to be announced to Parliament in the Queen's Speech on Wednesday, will change the UK's trespass law to allow shale gas exploration firms to drill beneath private property without needing the owners' permission.

This move will greatly advance fracking in the UK, where there are large shale gas reserves. It will bring major economic benefits, not to mention increased energy security, at a time when the country's North Sea oil production is tapering off. But there are issues about it, which need to be addressed.

People feel strongly about their property rights, and do not like the idea that people can 'mine' underneath it, even if it is a mile or more underneath it. Others are not over-bothered, but maintain that if people are going to drill under their property, they should be compensated. And some people are concerned about what might go wrong, in terms of the geological stability of their land or the pollution of local water supplies. While research suggests that these latter concerns are almost entirely unfounded, drilling under people's property remains something of concern for them, for a variety of reasons.

The government has tried to address the issue by saying that prospecting firms must make 'community payments' by way of compensation, though critics have complained that the amounts being mooted are rather small. But a more important question is whether such collective payments really meet the public concerns at all. If they simply go into the coffers of local governments, to be spent by local politicians on whatever pet social-engineering scheme they favour, property owners will not regard that as any compensation at all.

If public disquiet is not to hamper the UK's fracking initiatives, compensation should do directly to those whose property is affected. And it must be large enough to convince the majority of them to accept the process. Sending a cheque directly to every home in a village is not such an onerous task. But it is the one thing that would make people accept – and even welcome – fracking under their property, the only practical measure that shows at least some respect for their property rights.


Reid blocks McConnell's bill on EPA rule

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) blocked Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) from passing his Coal Country Protection Act.

McConnell asked unanimous consent to pass his bill, S. 2414, which would require the administration to meet bench marks before the Environmental Protection Agency implements a carbon reduction plan for power plants, but Reid objected.

“The rule will not become effective for a long time,” Reid said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “I know the importance of this issue, and I’ll be as cooperative as I feel is appropriate with the Republican leader. But at this time, I object.”
The EPA announced earlier this week that is would issue a new rule to reduce carbon emissions at power plants by 30 percent over 15 years. McConnell said this was just another part of President Obama’s “war on coal.”

McConnell is concerned that the new rule will cost his state jobs in the coal industry. He said there would create “lots of pain for minimal gain.”

"The president’s regulations will increase electricity prices and create job loss," McConnell said. “Opponents of this bill would be supporting job loss in Kentucky, our economy being hurt, and seniors’ energy bills spiking — for almost zero meaningful global carbon reduction."

McConnell’s bill would stop the administration from implementing the new rule until it can prove no jobs will be lost and that energy prices won’t increase. While Democrats control the Senate, it’s unlikely that his bill will receive a vote.


Climatologist Dr. David Legates tells the U.S. Senate of the harassment and silencing of climate dissenters

By David R. Legates, Ph.D., C.C.M. - University of Delaware. Testimony before the Environment & Public Works committee of 3 June 2014

I am a Professor of Climatology at the University of Delaware and I served as the Delaware State Climatologist from 2005 to 2011. I also am an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Agricultural Economics & Statistics and the Physical Ocean Science and Engineering Program. I received a B.A. in Mathematics and Geography, a M.S. in Geography, and a Ph.D. in Climatology, all from the University of Delaware. I served on the faculty of the University of Oklahoma and Louisiana State University before returning to the University of Delaware in 1999. I was part of the US delegation that negotiated a protocol for the first climate data exchange program with the Soviet Union in 1990. I am recognized as a Certified Consulting Meteorologist by the American Meteorological Society and was the recipient of the 2002 Boeing Autometric Award in Image Analysis and Interpretation by the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing.

Excerpted from Legates testimony:

In my Senate Testimony in 2003 regarding the so-called “Hockey Stick” graph of global air temperature (Legates 2003), I concluded with the statement I’m sorry that a discussion that is best conducted among scientists has made its way to a United States Senate committee. But hopefully it has become evident that a healthy scientific debate is being compromised and that only by bringing this discussion into the light can it be properly addressed.

At that time, an attack had been made on the scientific process. Editors at two journals were harassed to the extent that an abrogation of their commitment to reviewer confidentiality had been demanded of them. One of the journals, Climate Research, was threatened with an organized boycott and the Director of its parent organization, who first evaluated the situation and exonerated the managing editor, recanted in the face of this boycott. The newly appointed Senior Editor had moved to bar two scientists from future publication in Climate Research – without a hearing and without even an accusation of fraud or plagiarism.

I would like to provide you with an update on how the state of science has progressed in the intervening eleven years as it regards climate change. In 2009, a release of documents from the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom (known colloquially as ‘ClimateGate’) shed light on how the scientific process was being subverted. With respect to me personally, I learned that in 2001, I had been denied publication of an important rebuttal due to collusion between an author and an editor. In the Second Assessment Report (SAR) of the IPCC, the phrase “balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate” had been inserted, and that five separate statements to the contrary had been removed by a single author.

Dr. Robert E. Davis and I examined the citations given in support by Dr. Ben Santer, Dr. Thomas Wigley, and their colleagues. We had found that the statistic they used to make their conclusions was seriously flawed and published our results. Wigley and his colleagues published a rebuttal and we were denied a response since “we did not add anything significant to the discussion.” I assumed we had not done enough to sway an impartial editor.

But in an e-mail, Dr. Wigley explained how he had engineered his rebuttal and suggested it be used as a template for others. He indicated he had contacted the editor, complained that any such publication criticizing his research should have been cleared by him first, and the two agreed that his rebuttal would be treated as a new submission and any response Davis and I made were to be squelched by the editor. We had always suspected such events might have occurred but it took the ClimateGate documents to provide the proof.

But these issues were to pale in comparison to what was about to happen. On December 16, 2009, I received a letter that, due to the ClimateGate revelations and pursuant to the Delaware Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Greenpeace requested my “email correspondence and financial and conflict-of-interest disclosures” that were “in the possession of or generated by the Office of the Delaware State Climatologist” from January 1, 2000 regarding ‘global climate change’ and containing any of 22 additional keywords.

The Delaware FOIA statute is fairly terse with respect to the University. It simply states that the University of Delaware is exempt from State FOIA except for the conduct of the Board of Trustees of the University and documents relating to the expenditure of public funds. Although during my tenure as the State Climatologist, the Office obtained no funds from either the State or the University – I provided goodwill climate services to the State on behalf of the University – and I had conducted no business that could be construed as climate change related. Technically, nothing should have been produced.

Shortly after receiving the request from Greenpeace, I met with the University Vice President and General Counsel, Mr. Lawrence White. He summarily informed me that I was required to turn over not just documents related to the State Climate Office and what Greenpeace requested, but ALL documents that I had in my possession relating to ‘global climate change’ – whether or not they were produced through the State Climate Office. I was told that as a faculty member, I must comply with the request of a senior University official.

On January 26, 2010, Mr. White received a letter from the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) making a nearly identical request of three other faculty members who had contributed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. One of those faculty members was from my own department (Dr. Frederick E. Nelson) and had an office down the hall from me. Mr. White sent me an e-mail containing this FOIA request and indicated “this one will probably be answered with a short ‘no’.” After a follow-up letter by CEI on February 3, Mr. White finally responded that “because the information you seek does not relate to the expenditure of public funds, the University respectfully declines your records request.”

I subsequently met with Mr. White to obtain an explanation as to why I was being treated differently. He explained to me that I did not understand the law. As he sees it, even though the law may not require the University to produce e-mails and documents, the law does not prohibit him from requiring me to produce them for his perusal and potential release to Greenpeace. As such, I was again instructed to turn over all the documentation he requested to him ASAP.

At that point, I sought outside legal counsel. On February 9, 2010 and after questions raised by my lawyer, Mr. White agreed to a ‘do-over’. After further review, Mr. White indicated in a letter to CEI that he wished to retract his email to them and “reconsider the substance of your FOIA request” because his initial response “did not take sufficient account of the legal analysis required under the Act.” Mr. White indicated to CEI and to my lawyer that their FOIA would be handled in a manner identical to my Greenpeace FOIA.

In a telephone conversation between me and the Dean of the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, I subsequently was told that as a University faculty member, Mr. White in a discussion with my colleague, Dr. Frederick Nelson, I learned that he had met with one of Mr. White’s assistants’. Dr. Nelson related to me that she shared all she could about my FOIA discussions but then left the meeting without providing instructions regarding his FOIA. He subsequently sent a follow-up email to both her and Mr. White asking for specifics of what he was to produce. As of July 2012, he had yet to hear back from either of them. He has since retired from the University.

On June 20, 2011 – 472 days or exactly 1 year and 3.5 months – I again heard from Mr. White. He had now hired a 3rd year law student to go through the materials I had provided to him over a year earlier. But why the delay and now the sudden flurry of activity? Less than a month earlier, on May 25, 2011, the Virginia Supreme Court had ruled on the case between Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and the University of Virginia that emails by former professor Dr. Michael Mann and in the University of Virginia’s possession must be turned over to the Attorney General’s Office.

Interestingly, all this began as a result of a CEI FOIA of Dr. Mann that followed a similar Greenpeace FOIA on Dr. Patrick Michaels – a former faculty member at the University of Virginia. The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and several professional organizations including the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union (of which both Dr. Michaels and I are members) vehemently protested the FOIA request. The AAUP stressed to the University of Virginia that “we urge you to use every legal avenue at your disposal to resist providing the information demanded in the [civil investigative demand]” arguing that “documents and e-mail communications that were part of an ongoing scientific discussion might be taken out of that context, and used to create an impression of wrongdoing.” They concluded that “it is the University’s obligation to protect academic freedom by seeing that legal tools such as this…are not used to intimidate scientists whose methods or conclusions are controversial.”

Interestingly, Dr. Joan DelFattore, president of the AAUP Chapter at the University of Delaware had recently published an article on academic freedom at the University of Delaware. Citing her appreciation for having a general counsel (i.e., Mr. White) who understands the importance of academic freedom, she wrote: “It is also useful to consider that once an administration silences any speech, it may be assumed that the university is endorsing whatever speech it fails to suppress. A university’s real interest lies in fostering the exchange of divergent views on the understanding that the university itself does not necessarily endorse any of them and certainly does not endorse all of them.”

I therefore decided to elicit her assistance through the AAUP. While her comments sounded laudable, her response to me was that FOIA matters “would not fall within the scope of the AAUP”. This, of course, is in direct contrast to the stance taken by the AAUP in the Cuccinelli vs. University of Virginia where the AAUP President, Cary Nelson, wrote: “We are urging the University of Virginia to…publicly [resist] the threat to scholarly communication and academic freedom represented by the concerted effort to obtain faculty emails…Whatever people may think of climate research, the climate for academic freedom must not be allowed to deteriorate. If scientists think every email they send may be subject to a politically motivated attack, it will create a chilling effect on their discourse and hurt scientific research.’”

Indeed, the AAUP defended Dr. Mann at the University of Virginia but refused to become involved in my similar case at the University of Delaware, citing that they stood firmly behind Mr. White’s actions.

Finally, on July 22, 2011, I was provided a list of what Mr. White had decided to release to Greenpeace – pending my permission. Mr. White further reiterated that he was indeed treating the subjects of the CEI FOIA in an identical manner. Communication I had with Dr. Nelson and the response by the 3rd year law student to my query – she indicated I was the only faculty member whose documents were being examined – suggests otherwise. If I am being singled out for my views – punish the ‘skeptics’ while protecting the ‘believers’ as happened by the disparate treatment at the University of Virginia regarding Drs. Mann and Michaels – then doesn’t that make the entire discussion of academic freedom at the University of Delaware by Dr. DelFattore into a lie? Again, Dr. DelFattore wrote that “once an administration silences any speech, it may be assumed that the university is endorsing whatever speech it fails to suppress.”

On this topic I cannot agree more.

Mr. White wrote “if you object to the release on any of these documents, then I would inform the groups requesting this information that there are some documents in Dr. Legates’ custody that we have not produced and that they should direct further questions about the documents to you.”

I am puzzled as to why I have the right to object to the release of any documents. If Mr. White’s interpretation of FOIA as it pertains to the university is correct, then why should I or any other faculty member be allowed to object to their release? Doesn’t the law trump my protests? But if he has decided to release documents outside of the FOIA just because he can, as he explained to me at the outset, then the University has unfairly targeted me. On this there can be no middle ground.

Through my attorney, I subsequently requested several questions be answered by Mr. White.

Until my letter, I had not indicated to Mr. White that I had been in contact with Dr. Nelson regarding his FOIA case. At this point, I informed Mr. White that I knew he had not asked Dr. Nelson to produce any documents, despite the fact that on three occasions, Mr. White had asserted he would treat all of us equally. The next day, February 2, 2012, Mr. White responded to questions posed to him – not to the ones contained in my letters but to questions he had already answered on August 2, 2011. Most interesting is Mr. White’s response to question 1 of that exchange which explicitly addressed the equal treatment of me and those targeted by the CEI FOIA request:

“Attached is a .pdf of an email exchange we had on February 10, 2010, memorializing our agreement on how this matter would proceed. Term 5 provides: “Dr. Legates and the University of Delaware professors who are the subject of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s FOIA request (dated Feb. 3, 2010) will be subject to the same process—that is, they too will be required to produce documents for your review—and they will be subject to the same legal standard for determining whether and to what extent FOIA applies.” On August 2, 2011, Mr. White had provided a short, one word response to that question – “Confirmed.” But on February 2, 2012, his reply to the same question indicates he had not been truthful:

“I have not yet dealt with FOIA requests directed at faculty members other than Dr. Legates. I reiterate that, if and when additional documents are gathered relating to other FOIA requests on this subject matter, you will be allowed to review those documents before they are produced.”

In February of 2010, Mr. White had agreed that all parties would be subject to the same procedures and insisted that he was proceeding in exactly the same manner with them. Now, he asserts that “if and when additional documents are gathered” I will be allowed to review those documents. Why should I have the right to look at the documents of others?

More importantly, two years had passed since CEI submitted its FOIA request and Mr. White indicated that “I have not yet dealt with FOIA requests directed at faculty members other than Dr. Legates.” This clearly indicates that he had no intent to honor his do-over request on February 9, 2010 – in essence, I will be treated differently than other faculty because he has every right to treat me that way.

I have since become aware of a case that involved the University of Delaware in 1991. In the Gottfredson/Blits federal arbitration case of 1991, the University of Delaware explicitly conceded (and it was upheld by the arbiter) that the University’s review of research and teaching notes would violate a faculty member’s academic freedom. The University’s Faculty Senate Committee on Research that had investigated Professor Linda Gottfredson stated that, “the Committee has never directed its attention to the content or method of any faculty member’s research or teaching, and would oppose any attempt to restrict a colleague’s rights in these protected areas” (i.e., areas of academic freedom and contract rights).

In a meeting with the Chief Budget Officer of the University, I learned that my faculty salary only includes my teaching workload since FY2009 when that was transferred to state support. Thus, the only item that could be covered by State funds (and hence covered under the State FOIA) was my teaching materials since September 2008. No e-mails, no unfunded research, no service assignments were covered. Mr. White’s actions violate a federal ruling to which the University has agreed to abide by.

Thus, there were no documents that fell under the Greenpeace FOIA – nothing I did as Delaware State Climatologist related to global climate change and none of my teaching duties were accomplished as the Delaware State Climatologist. On April 8, 2014, my documents were finally returned to me.

Thus, it appears that Mr. White arbitrarily decided to gather, examine, and potentially release files to Greenpeace simply because he, acting as an officer of the University has chosen to harass and try to silence me for deviating from ‘University-approved’ scientific views. I chose to resist the release of these materials – not because I have anything to hide – but to protect my academic freedom and the freedom of others and to reject the University’s attempts “to intimidate scientists whose methods or conclusions are controversial,” as the AAUP argued at the University of Virginia. If one faculty member can be bullied by a heavy-handed administration, then certainly other faculty will be under attack in the future.

Over the years, I have applied for several federal grants. Two in particular, submitted to NASA and the USDA (the latter involved using precipitation estimates by weather radar to enhance agricultural planning which had nothing to do with climate change), were never reviewed. It is not that I have received bad reviews; indeed, I have received no reviews at all. Program officers refuse to provide reviews and even to respond by e-mail or telephone. My understanding is that this is related to Anderegg et al. (2010) which often is used as a type of ‘black list’ to identify “researchers unconvinced of anthropogenic global warming,” to use their terminology.

As existed in the case of Lysenkoism in the Soviet Union, a healthy scientific discussion is being subverted for political and personal gain. With the recent case of Professor Lennart Bengtsson and the story I have told here, scientists who deviate from the anthropogenic global warming playbook are likely to be harassed, have grants and proposals rejected without review, be treated more harshly than their peers, and be removed from positions of power and influence.

I would have hoped that in the past decade, the discussion has become more civil. Indeed, a civil discussion can be had with some scientists that believe in the extreme scenarios of anthropogenic global warming. But too many in places of prominence and with loud voices have made this a war zone. Scientists like Bengtsson and myself have tenure or its equivalent and are somewhat insulated from the extreme attacks. But young scientists quickly learn to ‘do what is expected of them’ or at least remain quiet, lest they lose their career before it begins.

I leave you with this thought: When scientific views come under political attack, so too does independent thinking and good policy-making because all require rational thought to be effective.




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 June, 2014

EPA’s next wave of job-killing and impoverishing CO2 regulations

Unleashing EPA bureaucrats on American livelihoods, living standards and liberties

David Rothbard and Craig Rucker

Supported by nothing but assumptions, faulty computer models and outright falsifications of what is actually happening on our planet, President Obama, his Environmental Protection Agency and their allies have issued more economy-crushing rules that they say will prevent dangerous manmade climate change .

Under the latest EPA regulatory onslaught (645 pages of new rules, released June 2), by 2030 states must slash carbon dioxide emissions by 30% below 2005 levels.

The new rules supposedly give states “flexibility” in deciding how to meet the mandates. However, many will have little choice but to impose costly cap-tax-and-trade regimes like the ones Congress has wisely and repeatedly refused to enact. Others will be forced to close perfectly good, highly reliable coal-fueled power plants that currently provide affordable electricity for millions of families, factories, hospitals, schools and businesses. The adverse impacts will be enormous.

The rules will further hobble a US economy that actually shrank by 1% during the first quarter of 2014, following a pathetic 1.9% total annual growth in 2013. They are on top of $1.9 trillion per year (one-eighth of our total economy) that businesses and families already pay to comply with federal rules.

A U.S. Chamber of Commerce study calculates that the new regulations will cost our economy another $51 billion annually, result in 224,000 more lost jobs every year, and cost every American household $3,400 per year in higher prices for energy, food and other necessities. Poor, middle class and minority families – and those already dependent on unemployment and welfare – will be impacted worst. Those in a dozen states that depend on coal to generate 30-95% of their electricity will be hit especially hard.

Millions of Americans will endure a lower quality of life and be unable to heat or cool their homes properly, pay their rent or mortgage, or save for college and retirement. They will suffer from greater stress, worse sleep deprivation, higher incidences of depression and alcohol, drug, spousal and child abuse, and more heart attacks and strokes. As Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) points out, “A lot of people on the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum are going to die.” EPA ignores all of this.

It also ignores the fact that, based to the agency’s own data, shutting down every coal-fired power plant in the USA would reduce the alleged increase in global temperatures by a mere 0.05 degrees F by 2100!

President Obama nevertheless says the costly regulations are needed to reduce “carbon pollution” that he claims is making “extreme weather events” like Superstorm Sandy “more common and more devastating.” The rules will also prevent up to 100,000 asthma attacks and 2,100 heart attacks in their first year alone, while also curbing sea level rise, forest fires and other supposed impacts from “climate disruption,” according to ridiculous talking points provided by EPA boss Gina McCarthy.

As part of a nationwide White House campaign to promote and justify the regulations, the American Lung Association echoed the health claims. The Natural Resources Defense Council said the rules will “drive innovation and investment” in green technology, creating “hundreds of thousands” of new jobs.

Bear in mind, the ALA received over $20 million from the EPA between 2001 and 2010. NRDC spends nearly $100 million per year (2012 IRS data) advancing its radical agenda. Both are part of a $13.4-billion-per-year U.S. Big Green industry that includes the Sierra Club and Sierra Club Foundation ($145 million per year), National Audubon Society ($96 million), Environmental Defense Fund ($112 million annually), Greenpeace USA and Greenpeace Fund ($46 million), and numerous other special interest groups dedicated to slashing fossil fuel use and reducing our living standards. All are tax-exempt.

As to the claims themselves, they are as credible as the endlessly repeated assertions that we will all be able to keep our doctor and insurance policies, Benghazi was a spontaneous protest, and there is not a scintilla of corruption in the IRS denials of tax-exempt status to conservative groups.

The very term “carbon pollution” is deliberately disingenuous. The rules do not target carbon (aka soot). They target carbon dioxide. This is the gas that all humans and animals exhale. It makes life on Earth possible. It makes crops and other plants grow faster and better. As thousands of scientists emphasize, at just 0.04% of our atmosphere, CO2 plays only a minor role in climate change – especially compared to water vapor and the incredibly powerful solar, cosmic, oceanic and other natural forces that have caused warm periods, ice ages and little ice ages, and controlled climate and weather for countless millennia.

The terrible disasters that the President and other climate alarmists attribute to fossil fuels, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are creatures of computer models that have gotten virtually no predictions correct. That should hardly be surprising. The models are based on faulty assumptions of every size and description, and are fed a steady diet of junk science and distorted data. We shouldn’t trust them any more than we would trust con artists who claim their computers can predict stock markets or Super Bowl and World Series winners – even one year in advance, much less 50 or 100 years.

The models should absolutely not be trusted as the basis for regulations that will cripple our economy.

Contrary to model predictions and White House assertions, average global temperatures have not risen in almost 18 years. It’s now been over eight years since a category 3-5 hurricane hit the United States – the longest such period in over a century. Tornadoes are at a multi-decade low. Droughts are no more intense or frequent than since 1900. There were fewer than half as many forest fires last year as during the 1960s and 1970s. Sea levels rose just eight inches over the last 130 years and are currently rising at barely seven inches per century. There’s still ice on Lake Superior – in June! Runaway global warming, indeed.

This is not dangerous. It’s not because of humans. It does not justify what the White House is doing.

Asthma has been increasing for years – while air pollution has been decreasing. The two are not related. In fact, as EPA data attest, between 1970 and 2010, real air pollution from coal-fired power plants has plummeted dramatically – and will continue to do so because of existing rules and technologies.

For once the President is not “leading from behind” on foreign policy. However, there is no truth to his claim that other countries will follow our lead on closing coal-fired power plants and slashing carbon dioxide emissions. China, India and dozens of other developing countries are rapidly building coal-fueled generators, so that billions of people will finally enjoy the blessings of electricity and be lifted out of poverty. Even European countries are burning more coal to generate electricity, because they finally realize they cannot keep subsidizing wind and solar, while killing their energy-intensive industries.

Then what is really going on here? Why is President Obama imposing some of the most pointless and destructive regulations in American history? He is keeping his campaign promises to his far-left and hard-green ideological supporters, who detest hydrocarbons and want to use climate change to justify their socio-economic-environmental agenda.

Mr. Obama promised that electricity prices would “necessarily skyrocket” and that he would “bankrupt” the coal industry and “fundamentally transform” America. His top science advisor, John Holdren, has long advocated a “massive campaign” to “de-develop the United States,” divert energy and other resources from what he calls “frivolous and wasteful” uses that support modern living standards, and enforce a “much more equitable distribution of wealth.” The President and his Executive Branch bureaucrats are committed to controlling more and more of our lives, livelihoods and liberties.

They believe no one can stop them, and they will never be held accountable for ignoring our laws, for their corruption, or even for any job losses, deaths or other destruction they may leave in their wake.

Every American who still believes in honest science, accountable Constitutional government – and the right of people everywhere to affordable energy and modern living standards – must tell these radical ideologues that this power grab will not be tolerated

Via email

CA: Hydrogen-fueled cars face uncertain market

Cars that drive hundreds of miles on a tank of hydrogen and spew nothing from the tailpipe but water will hit the market this month in California.

But it wasn't customer demand that drove automakers to build fuel-cell cars - it was basic economics, with a nudge from regulation.

California and other states are pushing automakers to offer cars that don't contribute to global warming. Many companies turned to electric cars and plug-in hybrids in response.

However, executives at Hyundai, Toyota and several other automakers are convinced that fuel-cell cars, which can fill up in five minutes, are better suited to Americans' driving habits than electric cars will ever be.

And if the cars prove popular enough to make money someday, automakers that develop and build their own fuel cells may be able to keep a bigger slice of the profits than they can from electric cars.

The most expensive component of any plug-in vehicle is its battery, and while some electric car makers such as Tesla Motors and Nissan build their own battery packs, many don't.

"When you develop all the technology for yourself, and you don't have to pay any patents, you can reap the benefits down the road," said Derek Joyce, manager for product public relations for Hyundai.

Slow sales

His company spent more than 14 years developing and testing its own fuel cell. Next week, Southern California drivers will become the first in the nation to lease Hyundai's fuel-cell version of its Tucson sports utility vehicle. It will go for $499 per month - about double the price of leasing a gas-burning Tucson.

The company won't say how many people have signed up. But Hyundai plans to make about 600 of the cars by the end of 2015. For comparison, Nissan sold 954 electric Leaf hatchbacks and GM sold 1,529 Chevy Volts, an advanced plug-in hybrid, in their first year on the market.

Eco-minded drivers who spent years badgering the auto industry into building electric cars haven't done the same for fuel cells. Many of them even call the new technology a waste of time, requiring a whole new network of expensive fueling stations. Fuel-cell cars, as a result, will jump into the market without a safety net.

"Nobody wants them," said Felix Kramer, founder of CalCars, a plug-in vehicle advocacy group. "Nobody's asking for them. People who wanted a zero-emission car can now get any number of electric vehicles. I'm kind of bewildered about why Toyota and Honda and the others are hanging so much on it."

The car companies know they need to convince people - electric-vehicle fans and ordinary drivers alike - to give fuel cells a chance.

"I certainly won't argue with you that the awareness for fuel cells is very low compared to the awareness of EVs," said Craig Scott, manager of advanced vehicle technologies for Toyota Motor Sales, USA. "We have to do our job to make people aware that this is here, now, and it's not some kind of science project."

Fuel-cell cars operate much like electric cars, relying on an electric motor rather than an internal combustion engine to turn the wheels. But instead of drawing their electricity from a big, rechargeable battery pack, they produce it onboard. A fuel cell uses an electrochemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen to generate current.

California requirements

That reaction yields no carbon dioxide or smog-forming chemicals, only water. As a result, automakers can use fuel-cell cars to meet California's requirements that a small percentage of the vehicles they sell in the state produce no greenhouse gas emissions. The California Energy Commission last month agreed to spend $46.6 million building 28 hydrogen fueling stations in the Bay Area, the Los Angeles region and along the Interstate 5 corridor.

"Our goal is really zero-emission vehicles," said commission Chairman Robert Weisenmiller. "So if it's electric, if it's hydrogen, if it's biofuels - we're agnostic."


British supermarkets only give 2% of unwanted food to hungry families and send the rest to be turned into biofuel because it is cheaper

Families are going hungry while supermarkets are paid public money to turn tonnes of surplus food in biofuel, a new report has revealed.

Only two per cent of the estimated 400,000 tonnes of extra food produced by shops and restaurants each year is sent to charities, according to a government inquiry.

The other 98% is either dumped in landfill or turned into biogas using government subsidies of up to £70 per tonne.

The Parliamentary Inquiry into Hunger and Food Poverty was told millions of pounds of public money is subsidising 'anaerobic digestion plants' which convert food into biogas, while charities miss out.

Labour MP Frank Field, who co-chaired the inquiry, has criticised the use of taxpayer's cash to destroy edible food, branding the scheme 'madness on stilts'.

His inquiry's report stated: 'The food industry should set itself a target of reducing the amount of surplus food disposed of in landfill, and turned into compost or energy, by 100,000 tonnes each year by the end of the next parliament.

'This should be achieved by preventing waste in retail and supply chains, and by redistributing surplus food through the voluntary sector.'

Currently, an estimated 3.4 million tonnes of food is wasted every year by the food industry in the UK, before it reaches shops or restaurants.

At least 10% of that waste is fit for human consumption, enough for 800 million meals.

Tesco revealed last year that 68 per cent of its bagged salads, 48 per cent of its bakery goods and 24 per cent of its grapes go to waste.

Since 2003, the cost of food has increased at a greater rate than earnings, with the cost of a weekly shop increasing by 46%, while the average wage went up by only 27.9%.

FareShare, an organisation that resdistributes food to charities, says it has to charge supermarkets around £100 a tonne for food that is given to them to cover storage and transport costs.

Meanwhile, biogas companies were handed nearly £30million in subsidies from the Department of Energy and Climate change.

FareShare director Mark Varney told the Times: 'I'm up against that economic obstacle when I talk to the food industry and they say; "Well, actually, we have got an arrangement with this operator who comes and picks up the food".'

Mr Field has now called for the system to be changed to make given food to charity the cheapest option for the food industry.

He said: 'We're calling for a real focus on the millions of tonnes of surplus food that goes to waste each year in the food retail sector. Our proposals would save charities money, put downward pressure on food prices and provide healthier options to families relying on voluntary support.'

The inquiry found doubling the number of food given to charities could save them around £160million over the next parliamentary term.

Around 1.6million tonnes of food waste is used in Britain's 82 biogas plants every year as part of the Government's commitment to get at least 15% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.

But the agency helping to set up the plants has admitted some of the food used is edible.

Tesco has revealed that in the first six months of 2013 it generated 30,000 tonnes of food waste, of which 21 per cent was fruit and vegetables.

The supermarket donates around 2,300 tonnes of food to charity, much of which is past its sell-by date but still deemed safe.

Last month, a survey of executives of all major supermarket chains revealed top bosses ignore use-by and sell-by dates on their own food, with one manager branding the dates 'ridiculous'.

Waitrose announced earlier this week that it would start selling 'blemished' fruit and veg after strict EU rules on misshapen produce were relaxed.


Double-dipping greens double-cross taxpayer trust

For many green energy companies, profligate federal spending is a gift that keeps on giving. The noble goal of “promoting renewable energy production” provides a veil for large, politically connected firms to double- or even triple-dip in Uncle Sam’s many unsustainable “sustainability” programs.

Let’s start with the Export-Import Bank. The federal export-credit corporation, which extends loans, guarantees, and insurance policies to private companies to purchase U.S. products, is rightfully facing challenges to its uncertain reauthorization vote this September. Opponents argue that the Export-Import Bank is rife with cronyism and provides dubious benefits for U.S. taxpayers while assuming unacceptable levels of risk exposure.

Fewer know that the Export-Import Bank is also a hefty player in the green energy racket. According to public data, the bank has generously increased assistance to “clean” energy and sustainability-related projects in recent years, representing roughly 11 percent of the bank’s portfolio since 2007.

Natural gas projects, deemed “clean energy” by the Environmental Protection Agency, received $11.8 billion in Ex-Im assistance from FY 2007 to FY 2014, or 62 percent of the green portfolio. Solar energy enjoyed 20 percent of the portfolio, with $3.7 billion in assistance. Nuclear projects received roughly $1.8 billion in assistance, while wind projects received $1 billion in assistance.

Many of the lucky firms that received Ex-Im assistance also enjoyed benefits from other federal subsidy programs. Firms that were fortunate enough to also receive cash under the Department of Treasury’s 1603 program raked in another combined $22 billion in Ex-Im assistance over the last seven years.

Among those companies, we find giant manufacturer and D.C. fixture General Electric. It received $20 billion in Ex-Im green-related assistance since 2007. Another $4 billion of 1603 cash went to support wind farms that use GE turbines.

We see similar patterns with other federal green energy programs like the Department of Energy’s controversial 1703, 1705, and AVTM loan programs. Companies that are rich in green energy benefits seem to only get richer.

In some cases, one can wonder if the firm’s political connections have played a role in its good fortune. Take the Spanish multinational Abengoa. The company benefited from $2.8 billion in assistance from DOE’s 1705, $203.9 million in help from the Export-Import Bank, and significant money from Treasury’s 1603 for its project in Minnesota and another project in Arizona.

As it turns out, former vice president and green-energy advocate Al Gore bought a large stake in Abengoa in 2007. Former New Mexico governor (and Obama administration ally) Bill Richardson is a member of the Abengoa International Advisory Board. Richardson was also a member of the 2013 Advisory Committee that guides Ex-Im policy.

In 2012, the Department of the Interior also fast-tracked approval for Abengoa loans; the firm received generous investment tax credits to open its (Obama-endorsed) Solana project in 2008; the predominately U.S.-funded Inter-American Development Bank, where Richardson sat on its selection committee, awarded Abengoa a $41 million loan for a wind-energy project; and Abengoa received a special $2 million “SunShot” award grant from DOE in 2013. And we shouldn’t forget that Bill Richardson is a former DOE secretary.

U.S. car manufacturers, too, enjoyed a fair amount of double-dipping into federal coffers for their green energy activities. Ford Motors, for instance, received almost $1 billion in Ex-Im assistance since 2007 while also raking in roughly $6 billion through the DOE’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) program. Tesla Motors, the fast growing electric car company, also received a $465 million loan from DOE’s ATVM. This federal generosity pairs nicely with the $34.7 million tax break it scored from the state of California last December and the variety of federal and states tax breaks the company enjoys.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), better known as the “stimulus,” provided more venues for double-dipping. The Green Mountain Energy, a subsidiary of mega-moocher NRG Energy, received two generous stimulus grants in 2011. Likewise, Reliant Energy and Reliant Energy Tax Retail LLC, two other NRG Energy companies, reported receiving at least 37 grants under the ARRA. These grants augmented the $3.8 billion in Section 1705 loan guarantees for NRG. NRG was also eligible to receive $430 million from the section 1603.

The worst part? Federal agencies can’t even keep track of where the money went!

A December 2013 report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration raised alarms that many companies receiving benefits under the 1603 program also filed for illegal tax credits. The IRS admits that it has no way to check who is getting what benefits. The all-you-can-eat green subsidy buffet has been wide open for business, and there’s no telling who devoured most of this wasted feast.

Large corporations don’t only double-dip into the Ex-Im Bank sustainability portfolio or other various green energy programs; it just happens that “sustainable energy production” is what’s on the menu for this administration. The best way to put an end to this corporate gluttony is to abolish all subsidies to private companies in whatever industry they appear.


Study shows iron from melting ice sheets may help buffer global warming

Melting ice is self-limiting

A newly-discovered source of oceanic bioavailable iron could have a major impact our understanding of marine food chains and global warming. A UK team has discovered that summer meltwaters from ice sheets are rich in iron, which will have important implications on phytoplankton growth. The findings are reported in the journal Nature Communications on 21st May, 2014.

It is well known that bioavailable iron boosts phytoplankton growth in many of the Earth's oceans. In turn phytoplankton capture carbon – thus buffering the effects of global warming. The plankton also feed into the bottom of the oceanic food chain, thus providing a food source for marine animals.

The team, comprising researchers from the Universities of Bristol, Leeds, Edinburgh and the National Oceanography Centre, collected meltwater discharged from the 600 km2 Leverett Glacier in Greenland over the summer of 2012, which was subsequently tested for bioavailable iron content. The researchers found that the water exiting from beneath the melting ice sheet contained significant quantities of previously-unconsidered bioavailable iron. This means that the polar oceans receive a seasonal iron boost as the glaciers melt.

Jon Hawkings (Bristol), the lead author, said: "The Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets cover around 10% of global land surface. Iron exported in icebergs from these ice sheets have been recognised as a source of iron to the oceans for some time. Our finding that there is also significant iron discharged in runoff from large ice sheet catchments is new. "

"This means that relatively high iron concentrations are released from the ice sheet all summer, providing a continuous source of iron to the coastal ocean"

Iron is one of the most important biochemical elements, due to its impact on ocean productivity. Despite being the fourth most abundant element in the Earth's crust, it is mostly not biologically available because it is largely present as unreactive minerals in natural waters. Over the last 20 years there has been controversy over the role of iron in marine food chains and the global carbon cycle, with some groups experimenting with dumping iron into the sea in order to accelerate plankton growth – with the idea that increased plankton growth would capture man made CO2. This work indicates that ice sheets may already be carrying out this process every summer.

Based on their results the team estimates that the flux of bioavailable iron associated with glacial runoff is between 400,000 and 2,500,000 tonnes per year in Greenland and between 60,000 and 100,000 tonnes per year in Antarctica. Taking the combined average figures, this would equal the weight of around 125 Eiffel Towers, or around 3000 fully-laden Boeing 747s being added to the ocean each year.

Jon Hawkings added: "This is a substantial release of iron from the ice sheet, similar in size to that supplied to the oceans by atmospheric dust, another major iron source to the world's oceans.

At the moment it is just too early to estimate how much additional iron will be carried down from ice sheets into the sea. Of course, the iron release from ice sheet will be localised to the Polar Regions around the ice sheets, so the importance of glacial iron there will be significantly higher. Researchers have already noted that glacial meltwater run-off is associated with large phytoplankton blooms - this may help to explain why".

Commenting on the relevance of this study, Professor Andreas Kappler (geomicrobiologist at the University of Tübingen, Germany, who is also secretary of the European Association of Geiochemistry) said:

"This study shows that glacier meltwater can contain iron concentrations that are high enough to significantly stimulate biological productivity in oceans that otherwise are oftentimes limited in the element iron that is essential to most living organisms. Although the global importance of this flux of iron into oceans needs to be quantified and the bioavailability of the iron species found should be demonstrated experimentally in future studies, the present study provides a plausible path for nutrient supply to oceanic life."

More information: Ice sheets as a significant source of highly reactive nanoparticulate iron to the oceans. Authors Jon R. Hawkings, Jemma L. Wadham, Martyn Tranter, Rob Raiswell, Liane G. Benning, Peter J. Statham, Andrew Tedstone, Peter Nienow, Katherine Lee & Jon Telling Nature Communications , 5:3929 , DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4929, published 21 May 2014


Renewable Energy Poses Security Risk, New Paper Warns

A new paper published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation warns that intermittent wind and solar energy pose a serious energy security risk and threaten to undermine the reliability of UK electricity generation.

Many people – including ministers, officials and journalists – believe that renewable energy enhances Britain’s energy security by reducing the dependency on fossil fuel imports. The ongoing crisis over the Ukraine and Crimea between Russia and the West has given much attention to this argument.

Written by Philipp Mueller, the paper (UK Energy Security: Myth and Reality) concludes that domestic and global fossil fuel reserves are growing in abundance while open energy markets, despite the conflict in the Ukraine, are enhancing Britain’s energy security significantly.

In contrast, the ability of the grid to absorb intermittent renewable energy becomes increasingly more hazardous with scale.

Germany provides a warning example of its growing green energy insecurity. Last December, both wind and solar power came to an almost complete halt for more than a week. More than 23,000 wind turbines stood still while one million photovoltaic systems failed to generate energy due to a lack of sunshine. For a whole week, conventional power plants had to provide almost all of Germany’s electricity supply.

Germans woke up to the fact that it was the complete failure of renewable energy to deliver that undermined the stability and security of Germany’s electricity system.

“Open energy markets are a much better way to ensure energy security than intermittent generation systems like wind and solar. It would be a huge risk in itself for Britain to go down the same route as Germany and destabilise what is still a reliable UK electricity grid,” said Philipp Mueller.

Press release



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 June, 2014

Pointless Obama coal plan creates outcry on both sides of politics

President Barack Obama's plan to reduce carbon emissions is escalating environmental policy fights in energy-rich states, home to many of the marquee races that could determine which party controls the Senate after November's elections.

Democrats running in conservative-leaning states in Appalachia and other energy-producing areas quickly distanced themselves from the draft rule released Monday by the Environmental Protection Agency. The proposal aims to reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuel-fired power plants by an average of 30% from 2005 levels by 2030.

"When I'm in the U.S. Senate, I will fiercely oppose the president's attack on Kentucky's coal industry, because protecting our jobs will be my No. 1 priority," said Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Kentucky secretary of state, who is challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) in one of the year's most expensive races.

Even in areas less dominated by coal, vulnerable Democrats criticized Mr. Obama for acting without congressional approval to advance his agenda. They sought to do so carefully to avoid alienating the party's base, which generally supports efforts to combat climate change.

Republicans, who face little political risk from criticizing the president, labeled the proposed rule a job-killing reward to his environmental donors and a new "energy tax" that would drive up electricity prices.

"The president's plan is nuts," House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) said in a statement, reflecting a GOP consensus that the rule would inhibit job creation and economic growth.

President Barack Obama disagreed, saying: "It provides a huge incentive for states and consumers to become more energy efficient."

The plan elicited the most heated attacks in Appalachian states, including Kentucky and in West Virginia, where a coal miner appears on the state flag. But even when Democrats criticized the president's plan, Republicans worked to tie their rivals to Mr. Obama.

Democratic state Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, who is running to replace the retiring Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D., W.Va.), vowed to work to block the plan.

Her GOP rival, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, who also opposes the proposed regulations, stressed Ms. Tennant's past support for the president in a call with reporters Monday.

Ms. Tennant "has been very positive about him in terms of leading the country, and w"We very much differ in terms of that," she said.

Other Democrats in conservative-leaning states proposed taking legislative action to block the EPA from implementing the rule.

Rep. Nick Rahall (D., W.Va.), running for re-election in a conservative-leaning district, said Monday he would introduce a bill aimed at scuttling the proposal and preventing the government from issuing any similar rules without congressional approval for at least five years.

"There is a right way and a wrong way of doing things, and the Obama administration has got it wrong, once again," Mr. Rahall said in a statement.

Mr. McConnell has also said he plans to introduce legislation seeking to block the rule, though it stands little chance of advancing in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

The EPA proposal also is expected to stoke efforts by vulnerable Democrats to distance themselves from the president in other battleground Senate states, including Alaska and Louisiana.

"While it is important to reduce carbon in the atmosphere, this should not be achieved by EPA regulations," said Sen. Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat running for re-election.

Even before the EPA announcement, Ms. Landrieu was airing a TV ad touting her commitment to building the Keystone XL pipeline, and Sen. Mark Begich (D., Alaska) reminded voters in his own ad that he supports more oil drilling in the Arctic.

Some Democrats in tight races sought to avoid antagonizing the party's base voters, who are particularly important in midterm elections, when turnout is often lower.

In North Carolina, Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan praised the EPA during a speech to local environmental activists last week, saying the agency's "ability to responsibly regulate greenhouse gas emissions is key to protecting our environment."

Her calculus is that voters will welcome an environmental push after coal ash spilled into the state's Dan River in February.

Still, Ms. Hagan, who is being challenged by North Carolina Republican state House speaker Thom Tillis, said she expected to ask for changes after reviewing the rule.

Republicans were quick to note Monday that Mr. Obama's latest push to rein in carbon emissions has strong support among Democratic donors, including California environmentalist Tom Steyer, who is helping to fund candidates who oppose the Keystone construction.

"Once again, President Obama is more concerned with the desires of billionaire campaign contributors and placating extremist special interests than helping American workers and families escape the failed Obama economy," said Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas).

Democrats in secure seats hailed what they called a landmark step in combating global warming.

"Thank goodness the president refuses to be bullied by those who have their heads in the sand, and whose obstruction is leading us off the climate change cliff," said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.).


EPA Admits Climate Rule Will Raise Electricity Prices

In 2008, Barack Obama said his energy plan would cause electricity prices to “necessarily skyrocket.” The Environmental Protection Agency’s latest power plant regulations seem designed to do just that.

The EPA’s own regulatory analysis of its rule to cut carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants says it will hike retail electricity by as much as 6.5 percent by 2020 — all while forcing 19 percent of the U.S. coal-fired capacity to shutdown and decreasing coal production by up to 28 percent.

“Under the provisions of this rule, EPA projects that approximately 46 to 49 GW of additional coal-fired generation (about 19% of all coal-fired capacity and 4.6% of total generation capacity in 2020) may be removed from operation by 2020,” the EPA says in its regulatory impact analysis of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan.

The decrease in coal-fired power will also cause natural gas prices to rise up to 11.5 percent as an additional 1.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas is used to make up for the lack of coal power in 2020.

“Average retail electricity prices are projected to increase in the contiguous U.S. by 5.9% to 6.5% in 2020,” the agency reported. Prices will have increased by about 3 percent by 2030, the agency added. But the EPA added that electricity prices will fall by nine percent after 2030 because of lower energy demand and increased energy efficiency further cuts consumption.

Despite the energy price increases, the Obama administration and its environmentalist allies have hailed the regulation as a major step in tackling global warming and improving public health.

“The EPA’s proposal to limit carbon pollution from power plants for the first time ever is a giant leap forward in protecting the health of all Americans and future generations,” Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement.

The NRDC released a study last week arguing the EPA’s power plant rule would save Americans $37.4 billion on their electric bills in 2020 and create 274,000 jobs — a much more optimistic prediction than even the EPA put forward.

But the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reported that EPA’s power plant rule would increase peoples’ energy costs by $17 billion per year. In total, the EPA rule would cost the U.S. economy $50 billion annually and kill 224,000 jobs per year.

Previous EPA regulations have already set the stage for skyrocketing electricity prices. The Mercury Air Toxics Standard (MATS), which comes in full effect in 2016, has already been predicted to force many coal plants to shut down and help drive up electricity costs.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says “low natural gas prices and slower growth of electricity demand” have hurt coal’s competitiveness as a power source. But a major reason why coal plants are shutting down is because they “must comply with requirements of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) and other environmental regulations.”

Closing coal plants will drive up natural gas prices by 150 percent over 2012 levels by 2040, this cost rise will cause electricity prices to jump seven percent by 2025 and 22 percent by 2040. EIA does not predict power prices declining after 2030 due to lower demand and increased energy efficiency.

EIA notes that “because natural gas prices are a key determinant of wholesale electricity prices, which in turn are a significant component of retail electricity prices. Accordingly, the cases with the highest delivered natural gas prices also show the highest retail electricity prices.”

EPA estimates the power plant rule to cost more than $7 billion in 2020 and nearly $9 billion in 2030, but will deliver $93 billion in “climate and public health benefits”.

Even with the ostensibly huge benefits of the rule, Republicans some Democrats have come out against it, saying it’s a backdoor energy tax on Americans.

“Make no mistake, the administration’s proposed rule is nothing more than a national energy tax that will be yet another sucker punch to middle-class families struggling to get by in the Obama economy,” said South Dakota Republican Sen. John Thune.

“These regulations, which will increase electricity costs, will especially hurt low-income families and seniors who live on fixed incomes and already devote a large share of their income to electricity bills,” Thune said. “In addition to hurting families, the regulations will destroy jobs, while essentially doing nothing to improve our global environment. The president’s proposed regulations are lose-lose-lose.”


States Already Moving To Blunt Obama's Carbon Plan

As President Barack Obama prepares to announce tougher new air quality standards, lawmakers in several states already are trying to blunt the impact on aging coal-fired power plants that feed electricity to millions of consumers.

The Obama administration on Monday will roll out a plan to cut earth-warming pollution from power plants by 30 percent by 2030, further diminishing coal's role in U.S. electricity production in the process. The Environmental Protection Agency refused to confirm the details of the proposal Sunday. People familiar with the proposal shared the details on condition of anonymity, since they had not been officially released.

The opposition to Obama's new carbon emission standards has been strongest in some states that have large coal-mining industries or rely heavily on coal to fuel their electricity. State officials say the new federal regulations could jeopardize the jobs of thousands of workers and drive up the monthly electric bills of residents and businesses.

It remains to be seen whether new measures passed by the states will amount to mere political symbolism or actually temper what's expected to be an aggressive federal effort to reduce the country's reliance on coal. But either way, states likely will play a pivotal role, because federal clean air laws leave it up to each state to come up its own plan for complying with the emission guidelines.

The proposed EPA rules to be announced Monday could be the first to apply to carbon dioxide emissions at existing power plants. Coal is the most common fuel source for the nation's electricity and, when it's burned, is a leading source of the greenhouse gasses that trap heat in the atmosphere and contribute to climate change.

Without waiting to see Obama's proposal, the governors of Kansas, Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia signed laws directing their environmental agencies to develop their own carbon emission plans that consider the costs of compliance at individual power plants. Similar measures recently passed in Missouri and are pending in the Louisiana and Ohio legislatures.

Missouri lawmakers went even further in their defense of the coal industry. When activists proposed a ballot initiative barring local tax breaks for St. Louis-based Peabody Energy, state lawmakers quickly passed a measure banning such moves.

Some states have specifically empowered local regulators to develop emission plans that are less stringent than federal guidelines. According to measures passed recently, the state policies are to take into account the "unreasonable cost" of reducing emissions based on a plant's age and design and the "economic impacts" of shutting down particular power plants.

"The concern is that the federal standards — if they come out the way that most people expect them to — are going to drive the cost of electricity up for every single consumer in the state," said Missouri state Rep. Todd Richardson, a Republican.

Eighty-three percent of Missouri's electricity comes from coal-fired power plants, the fifth highest percentage nationally behind West Virginia, Kentucky, Wyoming and Indiana.

Federal emission regulations already allow flexibility for states if they can demonstrate costs would be unreasonable for particular facilities. But a spokesman for the EPA's Midwestern region, which oversees several states that rely predominantly on coal for their electricity, said he's unaware of that provision ever being used.

It's unlikely that the Obama administration would essentially undercut its new carbon emission standards by granting widespread exceptions, said Bill Becker, executive director of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, which represents air pollution control agencies in 42 states and 116 metropolitan areas.

If a state doesn't comply with EPA guidelines, the federal agency can create its own plan for the state.

"This is not a standard that a state then can willy-nilly ignore," Becker said. "It's going to have to achieve at least that standard or more. Period."

In many Midwestern states, the drive to constrain the new federal emission standards has been supported by an electricity industry that has a large financial stake in coal.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback held a ceremonial signing in April for legislation allowing the state to set "flexible" standards for carbon dioxide emissions. He held the event in Holcomb at the proposed site of a new $2.8 billion, coal-fired power plant being pursued by Sunflower Electric Power Corp.

The legislation "is an effort by us to be able to handle issues at the state level, instead of being dictated, one size fits all, nationally," Brownback said. He added: "We will see how effective it is."


The EPA’s Political Futility

Its climate-change policies set up the administration for a fall on Election Day.

New rules for existing coal-fired power plants require a big reduction in allowable carbon dioxide emissions. The only way this will be possible will be by upgrading almost all combustion units, and the ultimate cost of the upgrades will make coal noncompetitive with much-less-expensive natural gas–fired facilities.

EPA’s proposed new greenhouse-gas regulations are a campaign promise come true. In 2008, Senator Barack Obama announced that, if elected, his climate policies would “necessarily bankrupt” anyone who wanted to build a new coal-fired power plant.

Public comments on EPA’s proposal to do just that closed on May 9, and there is no chance that the president will renege — or that this policy will have any detectable effect on global temperature.

The EPA’s own model, ironically acronymed MAGICC, estimates that its new policies will prevent a grand total of 0.018ºC in warming by 2100. Obviously, that’s not enough to satisfy the steadily shrinking percentage of Americans who think global warming is a serious problem.

MAGICC tells us that the futility of whatever Obama proposes for existing plants will be statistically indistinguishable from making sure that there are no new coal-fired ones. In fact, dropping the carbon dioxide emissions from all sources of electrical generation to zero would reduce warming by a grand total of 0.04ºC by 2100.

This is hardly going to stop the crescendo of global-warming horror stories, perhaps best summarized by the government’s recently released “National Assessment” of the effects of climate change on our country.

For example, the assessment tells us that global warming will increase mental illness in our nation’s cities. The obvious implication is that people in Richmond are crazier than they are in Washington, 100 miles to the north. Or that people must really be loony in Miami.

But what about all the weird weather plaguing the country? What the alarmists don’t tell you is that not since records were kept in the 1860s have we have gone this long without a Category 3 hurricane’s crossing our shoreline. They omit that there’s no evidence of an increase in weather-related damages once you adjust for the fact that there are now more people with more expensive stuff to hit. Even the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, so often cited to justify our futile policies, acknowledges that one.

The politics of scaring people to death over climate change are probably more dangerous than the weather. And research suggests that the more people read that some “scientists say” the world is about to end, the less they believe them.

Chalk it up to apocalypse fatigue. By my best guess, global warming is the eighth environmental Armageddon I have lived through. Who even remembers that, according to some of our most esteemed scientists, “acid rain” was going to cause an “ecological silent spring”? Like so many global catastrophes, it was a bit exaggerated.

You’d think the administration would see not just how futile these policies are in addressing climate change but also how costly they are politically. Some compelling analysis of polls shows that the Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives in the 2010 election because, under Democratic leadership, it passed cap-and-trade, which the Senate wisely stopped short of. In Australia, similar policies favoring cap-and-trade cost the Liberal party its leader in 2009 and subsequently sacked two Labour prime ministers, Keven Rudd and Julia Gillard.

Is this really the road the administration wants to go down in 2014? If history is any guide, a pretty steep price will be paid on Election Day — all for policies that will have no measurable effect on climate change.


Stop feeding renewable energy beast, urges E.On

German energy giant's chief says technologies such as wind and solar are no longer in their infancy so must not be given special treatment

European governments must stop handing generous subsidies to green energy technologies, the head of energy giant E.On has warned.

Johannes Teyssen said that renewable power sources, such as wind and solar, were no longer in their infancy, so to continue to hand them special treatment had a distortive effect.

Speaking in London at the annual conference of Eurelectric, the European electricity industry body of which he is president, Mr Teyssen said: “10 years ago renewables were in an immature state and needed to be nurtured.

“Today they are the biggest animal in the zoo and if you continue to treat them as imbeciles and feed them baby nutrition you will just get a sick big cat.”

He claimed the only people blocking debate about ending financial aid for renewables were those who “just want to harvest subsidies without accountability”.

Mr Teyssen has argued that Europe must scrap all “green levies” that are used to subsidise renewables. He has said he supports such technologies but that the funding model is wrong and Europe should instead install a proper carbon price to drive the market to find the most cost-effective ways of going green.

E.On, like most European utilities, is losing money from its gas-fired power plants as expansion of renewable energy and cheap coal prices mean they are only called upon to run for short periods of time. It has already mothballed some plants and experts warn more closures could leave Europe at risk of power cuts at times of peak demand when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow.

In the UK, the Conserative party has pledged to end subsidies for onshore wind power if it wins the next election. However, it appears committed to offshore wind, which is a newer technology but still significantly more expensive.

The Government has already announced it is closing a subsidy scheme for large-scale solar farms two years early and take-up exceeded expectations.

Mr Teyssen also warned that the energy industry must do more to attract employees at a time when some companies were seeing “whole management teams leaving” and it was “difficult to attract young people to this industry”. “We have been under fire for years and years,” he said. “We need to rebuild confidence.”


No "consensus" among Australian Earth scientists about "climate change"

This may be the first learned society to desert the Warmist ship

AUSTRALIA’S peak body of earth scientists has declared itself unable to publish a position statement on climate change due to the deep divisions within its membership on the issue.

After more than five years of debate and two false starts, Geological Society of Australia president Laurie Hutton said a statement on climate change was too difficult to achieve.

Mr Hutton said the issue “had the potential to be too divisive and would not serve the best interests of the society as a whole.”

The backdown, published in the GSA quarterly newsletter, is the culmination of two rejected position statements and years of furious correspondence among members. Some members believe the failure to make a strong statement on climate change is an embarrassment that puts Australian earth scientists at odds with their international peers.

It undermines the often cited stance that there is near unanimity among climate scientists on the issue.

GSA represents more than 2000 Australian earth scientists from academe, industry, government and research organisations.

A position statement published in 2009 said the society was concerned about the potentially harmful effects of carbon dioxide emissions and favoured “strong action to substantially reduce current levels’’.

“Of particular concern are the well-documented loading of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, which has been linked unequivocally to burning of fossil fuels, and the corresponding increase in average global temperature,’’ it said.

“Risks associated with these large-scale perturbations of the Earth’s fundamental life-support systems include rising sea level, harmful shifts in the acid balance of the oceans and long-term changes in local and regional climate and extreme weather events.”

Publication of the position statement caused an uproar among members and led to a revised statement, after wide consultation. The revised statement said: “Geological evidence clearly demonstrates that Earth’s climate system is inherently and naturally variable over timescales from decades to millions of years.

“Regardless of whether climate change is from natural or anthropogenic causes, or a combination of both, human societies would benefit from knowing what to expect in the future and to plan how best to respond.

“The GSA makes no predictions or public policy recommendations for action on climate beyond the generally agreed need for prudent preparations in response to potential hazards, including climate change.”

The revised statement was criticised as being too vague.

In a short statement published in the latest edition of the society newsletter, Mr Hutton says: “After a long and extensive and extended consultation with society members, the GSC executive committee has decided not to proceed with a climate change position statement.’’

“As evidenced by recent letters to the editor … society members have diverse opinions on the human impact on climate change. However, diversity of opinion can also be divisive, especially when such views are strongly held.

“The executive committee has therefore concluded that a climate change position statement has the potential to be far too divisive and would not serve the best interests of the society as a whole ,” the statement says.




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 June, 2014

Barack Obama plans 30 per cent cuts in power carbon emissions

The United States has unveiled a new regulation requiring the power sector to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 30 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030, one of the strongest actions ever taken by the US to combat global warming.

With hopes for major climate legislation long since vanished, it forms the centrepiece of the Obama administration's climate change strategy.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Gina McCarthy unveiled the plan, saying it was not just about "disappearing polar bears and melting ice caps". "Climate inaction is costing us more money in more places more often," she said.

Under the new regulation, America's existing power plants - the main source of the country's carbon pollution - will have to cut their carbon emissions by 30 per cent of 2005 levels within the next 15 years.

The coal industry has gone immediately on the attack. With an eye on November's mid-term elections, Democrats in coal mining states have moved to distance themselves from the measure.

Congressman Nick Rahall, who represents West Virginia where coal mining is a big part of the economy, said the proposal was "bad for jobs". "Make no mistake about it," he said. "The only real question is where on a scale from devastating to a death blow that this new rule will fall."

The regulation addresses a major unmet priority of Barack Obama's presidency and is likely to be his last chance to substantially shape domestic policy.

Having failed to push a sweeping climate change bill through Congress in his first term, the president is now acting on his own, using his executive authority under the Clean Air Act to issue the regulation.

If the measures withstand an expected onslaught of legal and legislative attacks, they will come into effect a year from now.


Evidence mounts against climate change, Obama acts anyway

It has been a bad month in the media for the environmentalist crowd.

News has come out that polar bears — a bread and butter fundraising dynamo endangered species for the global warmist crisis machine — may not be in danger at all.

The ferocious predators that have been repackaged as cute, cuddly Coke swilling stuff toys are significant because the species became the first to be declared “endangered” by the U.S. government due to the presumed warming trend.

Only one problem – the bears may not be endangered at all.

In fact, scientists who make the population claims about the snow white, nine foot tall behemoths admit that their numerical count that is the basis of the polar bear hysteria is, “simply a qualified guess given to satisfy public demand.”

The researchers further admit that their estimates don’t include large population groups of polar bears that likely increase their total numbers by twenty percent or more.

In the face of the alarming news that the world might not face a polar bear shortage after all, other news certain to be cataclysmic to fear mongering environmental direct mail efforts was released – the United States has undergone a record length of time without experiencing a hurricane.

The well known denier denizen the Washington Post reports, “Such a streak, or “drought”, is unprecendented (sic) going back to 1900. As of the start of this hurricane season, the span will be 3,142 days since the last U.S. major hurricane landfall. The previous longest span is about 2½ years shorter!”

Quite inconvenient when the President himself warned that, “The changes we’re seeing in our climate means that, unfortunately, storms like Sandy could end up being more common and more devastating.”

Hard to reconcile his dire prediction with the facts, but that never stopped the environmental agenda before.

And then there is the sticky Antarctica problem that arose earlier in the month. Worldwide news was made by predictions dooming a set of glaciers located on the western part of the continent – lost in the headlines was the timeline for doom – 200 to 900 years from now.

Also lost in the headlines was the news that Antarctica continues to experience record high levels of ice. Pesky continent is supposed to be losing ice, and it is going off and setting records in the opposite direction.

Closer to home, swimmers were warmed to not go into Lake Superior this past Memorial Day weekend due to still remaining icy conditions.

All of this combined with the lack of a warming planet since before rising seniors in high school were born, and it is clear that Mother Nature is making a pretty strong argument against those who insist the science is settled on the global warming debate.

Yet, President Obama persists on using this shaky science to impose crippling regulatory regimes on the nation. New regulations that are not only economically disastrous as evidenced by the GDP contraction last quarter, but also more importantly, put our nation’s ability to produce enough electricity to meet our growing demand in jeopardy.

And that would be a global warming disaster – our nation devolved from the most developed in the world to a third world status all due to Obama’s fealty to an economic suicide pact on the green altar of climate change.


Green jobs myths

The Internet is awash with websites promoting green jobs. Unlike regular jobs, green jobs are socially and environmentally responsible. And they are more rewarding and fulfilling. They give the green-collar worker a sense of belonging to something greater than himself. As a candidate in 2008, Barack Obama promised five million high paying green jobs. To green advocates, these jobs have helped implement the green recovery from the "Great Recession." Many tens of millions more will be created to build a new Green Economy that will bring social justice, environmental harmony, and sustainable prosperity to America.

As the Green Economy emerges, our entire infrastructure must be modernized, to bring our systems of agriculture, transportation, manufacturing, education, housing, and so forth into a mellifluous alignment with nature. According to Bright Green Talent, one of numerous companies established to help the green collar crowd, "we have to change everything — the way we live, the way we work, the way we eat, the way we travel, the way we make things." For those eager to begin green careers, it's "a wonderful time to get a green job or become a green entrepreneur." There's no time like the present to prepare for challenges ahead, such as "species extinction, deforestation, sea pollution, desertification, topsoil reduction, and freshwater depletion." And what could be more rewarding and fulfilling than a pat on the back from humanity for staving off "ecological collapse, major conflict, famine, drought, and economic depression"?

But back in the real world, there is a problem. Despite a few years of rapid growth in wind-and solar-generated electricity, there is no demand for green jobs. The ambitious, profligate schemes to create a green economy have gone awry. Sustainability is stagnation, even in the green world.

In his 2012 reelection bid, President Obama boasted about his record of creating 2.7 million green jobs, with many more on the way — ostensibly the result of his $90 billion clean-energy stimulus. In reality, it was the result of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) redefining a green job as any employment with an environmental benefit. Under the new BLS definition, many coal miners, loggers, bus drivers, iron workers, bike-repair shop clerks, and used-record store employees have green jobs.

Based on direct-employment data, however, only 140,000 actual green jobs existed when Mr. Obama was touting 2.7 million. This paltry number included the 910 direct jobs in the solar and wind energy industries that were created by the stimulus program (at a cost to taxpayers of $9.8 million per job). But it also included green jobs that existed before Obama took office. That is, even 140,000 was a gross overstatement. In examining the president's shamelessly deceptive claims, Reason magazine discovered both the paucity and the vapidity of green jobs, and provided a more accurate characterization of our emerging Green Economy:

Surprisingly, the top sector for clean jobs was not installing sleek new solar panels or manufacturing electric cars, but “waste management and treatment” (386,000 jobs). In other words, trash collectors. Rounding out the rest of the top four were “mass public transit” (350,000 jobs), conservation (315,000), and “regulation and compliance,” i.e., government employees (141,000). Should the 21st Century economy really depend on hiring more trash collectors, bus drivers, and bureaucrats?

The growth in legitimate green jobs was embarrassingly grim, even in industries such as solar and wind that had experienced significant growth in installation capacity. According to the Wall Street Journal, in 2012, after two years of a "ninefold increase in solar power . . . solar employment had increased just 28%." In 2008, the wind industry employed about 85,000; by 2012, it employed about 81,000 — a decline of almost 5%.

Today, millions of Americans would be thrilled to land a job producing planet-healers such as solar panels, windmills, or batteries. Unfortunately, most of those jobs have moved to places such as China, where the cost of labor for producing the products is $1.74 per hour — compared to $35.53 per hour for American manufacturers. Thanks to green economists, who didn't think that an enormous labor cost differential would matter, American taxpayers blew $90 billion to create a green manufacturing boom in China, and now pay subsidies to homeowners and businesses to buy China's green products — green sustainability to the geniuses in Washington DC.

True, the present glut of cheap foreign solar panels has benefited many American consumers, as have the generous tax-funded subsidies. And, in recent years, solar panel installation jobs have increased by 20% annually. These jobs, however, pay on average less than $38,000 a year — compared with $52,400 a year, the average pay for manufacturing jobs. On the bright side, installers can think of the $14,400 difference as psychic income, derived from their being socially and environmentally responsible.

Central planners have pushed the green revolution to new heights of crony capitalism — and irony. America's subsidized solar-panel manufacturing industry is unhappy with China's subsidized solar-panel manufacturing industry. Consequently, the US division of solar-panel maker SolarWorld AG, a German-owned firm, is lobbying Congress for protection. But America's subsidized installation industry is happy with cheap Chinese solar panels. In this skirmish, notes a recent Slate article, “The World’s Dumbest Trade War”: "one side is wearing an American flag over a German flag, and the other has an American flag draped over a Chinese flag."

Immense subsidies to bring us together in a cause greater than ourselves have, instead, brought the world’s top economic powers to "the brink of a trade war that could cripple a promising industry in both countries, kill jobs, and hurt the environment all at once. It’s a terrible trade-policy trifecta." So much for environmental harmony.

And where's the environmental harmony for our birds and tortoises? Birds crashing into solar panels (or plummeting to their deaths after having their wings "reduced to a web of charred spines" by solar mirrors) are not good for the green image. Nor are dead desert tortoises, whose habitat has been disrupted by tediously sprawling solar farms. And gangly wind farms are worse, swatting more than a half million birds to death annually, including the iconic bald eagle.

After almost six years of throwing billions of taxpayer money at anything green, the excitement is over. Large-scale renewable energy has slowed to a feeble crawl, if not a morbid decline. Of the 365 federal applications for solar facilities since 2009, only twenty are on track to be built; only three large-scale plants are operational. Solar companies are going broke, and projects are being cancelled. Solar energy remains uncompetitive and, for all of the hoopla, contributes less than one half of 1% to the nation's power supply. Declining subsidies (the current 30% investment tax credit, for example, will drop to 10% in 2016) and increasing environmental costs (consider, for instance, the BrightSource Energy solar farm in California's Ivanpah Valley, which has already spent over $56 million relocating tortoises) are driving investors away. The wholesale blade-kill slaughter of birds has jeopardized the wind energy industry's annual subsidy ($12 billion in 2013).

Some green job promoters may be thinking, "Well, at least things can't get any worse." If so, they are wrong. The lawsuits are starting. There's nothing like a lawsuit to increase project costs, scare off financial backers, and kill green jobs. Recently, the Justice Department (taking time from its hectic fossil fuel lawsuit schedule) brought charges against a Wyoming wind farm that had been killing golden eagles, and won. The victory was small (a puny $1 million fine) but ominous. On its heels, the American Bird Conservancy announced plans to sue the Interior Department over eagle-kill permits that authorize windmill companies to "kill and harm bald and golden eagles for up to 30 years without penalty." This is bad news for green job seekers, and for bird hunters, who could apparently get a 30-year permit instead of an annual license. Bird hunter to Fish and Wildlife clerk: "Yeah, I'll have one of those eagle-kill permits, you know, for my windmill."

The EPA has spent over $50 million on 237 green job training programs. Of the 12,800 people trained, 9,100 obtained green jobs — at a cost to taxpayers of $5,500 per job. The Department of Energy has spent $26 billion on green energy loan programs that created 2,308 permanent jobs — at a cost to taxpayers of $11.25 million per job. Evidently, none of the employees works on the 20 million acres of federal land that the Obama administration has made available to renewable developers. Last October, in the first auction of this land for solar development, not a single bid was made. However, some of them may work on the millions of acres that Obama has denied to fossil fuel developers, where they search for reasons to suppress fracking. Yet fracking (on private lands) has created 360,000 jobs, at a cost to taxpayers of $0 per job, while reducing America's energy costs by $100 billion and carbon emissions by 300 million tons.

By 2012, fewer than 140,000 (of the five million promised) green jobs had been created, and these at an enormous cost to taxpayers. The number of legitimate new green jobs available today is anyone's guess. But green job seekers might want to dust off their brown resumes. A search at Bright Green Talent returned 14 green jobs — in the entire country. Damn that “talent” requirement! A similar search at Great Green Careers was more promising, returning 196 openings. But only four of them were full-time positions — in the entire country. Perhaps the other 192 companies were using the 29.5 hour work week Obamacare work-around.

Today, five years after the Great Recession, the general economy continues to stagnate. Economic growth has been stifled by feckless healthcare, energy, and financial reform policies. Despite incessant claims of job growth, jobs have been lost. The labor participation rate (the percent of the working-age population that is working) — the most accurate, and the only unambiguous, measure of employment — has dropped from 66 to 63% during the so-called recovery. And, despite equally incessant claims that we need more of them, there is no demand for green jobs. Five years of "sustainability" have brought stagnation, even to the green economy: shrinking profits, decreasing subsidies, project delays and cancellations, lawsuits, an imminent trade war, and widespread tortoise and bird carnage.

Nevertheless, earlier this month, at a California Walmart, President Obama proclaimed, "We’re going to support training programs at community colleges across the country that will help 50,000 workers earn the skills that solar companies are looking for right now.” That would be bird carcass removers and tortoise herders.


Prominent French scientist predicts cooling

Dr. Jean-Louis Pinault is a proven expert environmental physicist and statistical analyst of global spatio-temporal data. His publication record leaves no doubt in this regard: Pinault-Google-scholar-profile.

Dr. Pinault has developed a model, which he supports with extensive statistical analyses of global spatio-temporal data, whereby relatively small solar variations (relative to the large variations occurring on the lifetime of the Sun) acquire leverage on global climate via an oceanic resonance tuning that operates on the global ocean oscillations on Earth.

Dr. Pinault was met with sufficiently significant resistance from the dominant scientific cabal, know as "peer review", to decide to concentrate on writing a book, rather than fighting reviewers and spineless and lazy editors (my words). In his book he both explains his science ideas and exposes the scientific censorship which has frustrated him. His book is "From the melody of the oceans to climate change: a fight against ostracism", and was just released on May 10, 2014.

Dr. Pinault's ideas are important for two reasons: (1) they suggest a new and plausible mechanism whereby small solar constant variations have an amplified effect on Earth, which may dominate climate change within the current multimillion-year period, with the present ocean masses, and (2) they illustrate how difficult it is for a recognized scientist to propose a model that is not sufficiently aligned with dominant scientific dogma.

Dr. Pinault's model is consistent with my own calculations that show that average climate sensitivity, without ocean resonances, is greater for solar constant changes and for planetary surface modifications than for changes in CO2 concentration: HERE, and HERE.

In a recent email exchange, Dr. Pinault explained his new book to me in this way:

The theory of anthropogenic climate warming, i.e. resulting from the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, carbon dioxide in particular, has produced the economic and political media frenzy we know, unprecedented in the history of science. On the other hand, there are those who oppose who are skeptical about this hypothesis. Arguing natural climate variability observed in the past, including the recent past regarding the Little Ice Age, they refute alarmist predictions that are becoming harder to sustain as the temperature of the planet has no longer increased over the last fifteen years, while the concentration of carbon dioxide is soaring.

This confrontation between the proponents of global warming due to human activity, supported by the IPCC, and skeptics reflects a misunderstanding of the mechanisms involved in climate variability. Computers of the former allow a "bad model to be accurately wrong", I quote William Gray, whereas the latter challenge the working methods and the scientific integrity of the IPCC members who cling tenaciously to the theory of greenhouse gases liable for global warming, which is the raison d'être of the IPCC.

But this very uneven debate, skeptics cannot enforce their arguments in scientific journals that are subject to censorship since the Copenhagen Climate Conference, should now be enriched with a phenomenon totally unknown to climatologists and oceanographers, which is the planetary wave resonance in the oceans. This discovery, which I did by chance at a time when I knew almost nothing about the oceans and climate, not only allows explaining and reproducing the warming of our planet, more precisely the middle and long-term climate variability, but also the El Niño phenomenon, the succession of wet or dry years observed in Western Europe since the 70°S, the surface currents in oceans...

Highlighting the resonantly forced ocean long-waves allows lifting the veil on many previously unexplained phenomena of both oceanic and climatic origin. Is that the tropical belt of the oceans produces long-waves, whose wavelength is several thousand kilometers. Trapped by the equator they are deflected at the approach of the continents to form off-equatorial waves that act as tuning slides, like a trombonist who uses his slide for resonating the air column in the pipe with the vibration of his lips to produce a note. This musical analogy explains the title of this book, my instrumental practice helped me a lot in understanding the oceanic and atmospheric phenomena, at least as much as my training as a physicist mathematician that provided me with a beautiful diploma from the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, a long time ago.

These long tropical waves resonate with the main source of forcing that are the trade winds, whose period is annual, to produce sub-harmonic whose period is multi-annual. These long baroclinic waves result of the oscillation of the thermocline.

The tropical oceanic resonance is one of the drivers of ocean surface circulation and contributes to the formation of strong western boundary currents. Around latitude 40°N or S, those western boundary currents leave the boundary of the continents to join each of the five oceanic subtropical gyres. These resonantly forced baroclinic waves then become gyral, turning clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the southern hemisphere. Having the same periods as the baroclinic waves of the tropical oceans, they form where the western boundary currents leave the coast: again, like the trombone, the wavelength of these gyral waves tunes with the period frequency of forcing.

For periods between half a year and eight years, the forcing of these gyral waves is induced from the sequence of warm and cold waters conveyed by western boundary currents, and now cause the oscillation of the thermocline of the gyre. But these gigantic gyral waves also have the ability to tune with the long-period solar cycles of one to up to several centuries, as well as Milankovitch cycles that affect the occurrence of glacial and interglacial periods, which reflect the changes in terrestrial astronomical parameters throughout tens of thousands of years, while filtering out the effects of the better known, the 11-year solar cycle.

These resonant baroclinic waves have the ability to 'hide' the thermal energy that drives them by lowering the thermocline; those warm deepwater little participate in evaporation so that the resonant gyral ocean waves act as heat sink by absorbing more thermal energy than they re-emit. On the contrary, during the uprising of the thermocline, thermal surface anomalies induce atmospheric instabilities say again baroclinic, depressions or cyclones, which, carried by the jet-streams at high altitude, travel throughout the continents. Changes in surface temperature of continents tend to balance with the thermal anomalies of subtropical gyres. Positive or negative, these thermal anomalies of sea surface tend to produce the same anomalies at the surface of continents due to the large heat capacity of seawater on the one hand, and the cyclonic or anticyclonic activity stimulated at mid-latitudes secondly.

This thermal balancing internal to our planet, which occurs over the years, smooth the climate variations we observe daily at mid-latitudes. This simple model, if not simplistic, is based on the imbalance between the energy received and re-emitted by the earth. This imbalance mainly depends on the depth of the thermocline of resonantly forced gyral waves, firstly allowing to account for long-term climate variability, and secondly to reproduce with high accuracy global warming observed during the second half of the 20th century, then the stagnation of the average temperature of the planet, precursor of the beginning of a slow cooling that will continue for several centuries. This warming effect results in the accumulation of warm seawaters by coupling with solar activity which showed a burst in the 20th century, what climatologists call the modern maximum which indicates the end of the Little ice age that occurred between the 16th and 18th centuries and also that of the Ice Age that happened more than 10,000 years ago.

This discovery gives reason to the skeptics when they observe a correlation between long-term variations in solar activity and climate. Up to now these arguments were refuted by the official theory since climate models were not able to interpret how a variation in solar activity well below the percent can impact the climate without involving the phenomenon of oceanic resonance. Then the influence of greenhouse gas emissions played the role of troubleshooter to remedy model failures.

Clearly the controversy over global warming emphasized our ignorance concerning fundamental oceanic and climatic phenomena. Gyral wave resonance should reconcile the community of oceanographers and climatologists, skeptical or not. But subjected to the ubiquitous ostracism in 'official' scientific circles, I resigned myself to suspend submitting my work in peer-reviewed scientific journals, giving priority to dissemination of results.

Dr. Pinault's book should be of interest to climate scientists worthy of the title, and to historians of science.

His model will be tested in the coming decades, since it predicts: "...firstly allowing to account for long-term climate variability, and secondly to reproduce with high accuracy global warming observed during the second half of the 20th century, then the stagnation of the average temperature of the planet, precursor of the beginning of a slow cooling that will continue for several centuries."

If he is correct, then it will be even more reason to conclude that modern CO2 increases don't matter and never mattered, regarding modern climate change.


Is Michael Oppenheimer crumbling on Warmism?

Punts on the crucial question of climate sensitivity

Michael Oppenheimer was a paid partisan of the environmental pressure group Environmental Defense and the climatologist to the Hollywood stars. Oppenheimer was the holder of the “Barbra Streisand Chair of Environmental Studies” at the Environmental Defense Fund. Streisand explained: “My Foundation started supporting climate change work in 1989, when I donated a quarter of a million dollars to support the work of Oppenheimer at EDF.

The following statements were made during the Q&A session of the May 29th House hearing:

Michael Oppenheimer: ‘Some things are more or less settled, some things are not. The question of whether carbon dioxide is 30 to 40 percent above pre-industrial times, that’s settled. The question of exactly how warm the Earth will become as a result, that’s not.’ Oppenheimer refused to defend the 97% claims. ‘Whether the 97% is defensible, I really don’t know.’


Skeptics in practice

A sophisticated network of metal thieves has targeted some 20 French wind turbines in a new looting trend, scaling the near 40-metre-high structures and stealing up to one tonne of metal from a single engine, Le Figaro reported Wednesday.

Citing an anonymous police source, the daily newspaper said the ring stole metal from wind farms in sparsely populated areas, where they had less chance of being caught.

“They cut the power to turn off the engine propeller motor,” the officer said, noting the thieves broke through the doors at the bottom of the turbines, before using the stairs to reach the engine which is located at the top – often as high as 40 metres off the ground. “By using bolt cutters and makeshift tools they then cut and ripped out the whole metal wiring, which is mostly made of copper,” he said.

The officer said a metal raid of a single wind turbine engine could amount to as much as one tonne of loot. One tonne of copper is estimated to be worth around 4,500 euros on the market.

But the officer said the thieves take great risks, since their modus operandi means they’re stuck within the turbines for several minutes during the raids, with no alternative exits to the bottom door.

According to Le Figaro, at least 20 such incidents have been recorded recently. Two successful raids and one foiled attempt were reported in March alone.

In response to the escalated number of raids, turbine operators have installed video surveillance systems, while police have begun patrolling particularly large wind farms with helicopters equipped with cameras.

“If it’s not a national problem yet, it’s soon going to become one” an unnamed investigator told the newspaper.




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


2 June, 2014

Pause in global warming upsets religious believers

Ross McKitrick is best known as the Canadian professor who took the so-called hockey stick graph — which is worshipped unquestioningly by anthropogenic global warming religionists — and snapped it over his scientific data like a piece of kindling.

Now the environmental economics professor at the University of Guelph is putting his data crunching prowess to work on global warming climate models and is similarly destroying the credibility of these forecasts — which are looking less reliable than tarot card reading.

Earlier this week, McKitrick ably showed a crowd of about 300 people at a joint Friends of Science/Frontier Centre for Public Policy luncheon in Calgary how the gap is growing wider and longer between what global warming models predicted and what has actually happened to the world’s climate.

In a discussion entitled “The ‘Pause’ in Global Warming: Climate Policy Implications,” McKitrick stated that “it’s not so much the pause but the flaws that matter” most with regard to general circulation models or global climate models (GCMs).

McKitrick showed a lot of graphs and mathematical equations that cannot be adequately reproduced in this space (but can be viewed on the Friends of Science website) which clearly show that since 1994, warming on Earth has levelled off and that the trend actually “goes negative in 2001” to the present day.

McKitrick’s data all comes from what is called HadCRUT — which is the data of monthly digital temperature records formed by combining the sea surface temperature records collected by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the land surface air temperature records compiled by the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia. (This is the university that was engulfed in controversy in recent years after its CRU emails were hacked and it was shown that these climate scientists wanted to find ways “to hide the decline” in global temperatures. But I digress.)

To his credit, McKitrick pointed out to the crowd that on its own, the 20-year pause in warming “means nothing.”

But then he showed some graphs which show observed temperatures with climate models, and something strange happens. From 1890 to 1990, the maximum amount of time in which the two lines don’t cross was nine years, way back in the late 1800s. Currently, the two lines between climate models and real world temperatures haven’t crossed for 14 years and climbing.

“This is the real issue,” says McKitrick. “At the point when the modelers could no longer peek at the answer, they started getting it wrong. Significantly wrong.”

Between 1990 and 2014, CO2 levels increased by 13 per cent. The climate models all agree on what should have happened, which is why the climate religionists at the CRU wanted to cook the books to “hide the decline.”

Fully 111 out of 114 models touted by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted too much warming.

The models predicted warming of 0.21 C per decade — which is more than four times the actual observed level.

As Hans von Storch of the Institute of Coastal Sciences in Germany stated recently: “If things continue as they have been, in five years, at the latest, we will need to acknowledge that something is fundamentally wrong with our climate models. A 20-year pause in global warming does not occur in a single modelled scenario,” said von Storch, a renowned “consensus” climate scientist.

Indeed, last year, von Storch said: “We’re facing a puzzle. Recent CO2 emissions have actually risen even more steeply than we feared. As a result, according to most climate models, we should have seen temperatures rise by around 0.25 degrees Celsius over the past 10 years. That hasn’t happened. In fact, the increase over the last 15 years was just 0.06 degrees Celsius — a value very close to zero.”

Judith Curry, climatologist and chair of earth and atmospheric sciences at Georgia Tech, says: “If the 20-year threshold is reached for the pause, this will lead inescapably to the conclusion that the climate model sensitivity to CO2 is too large. Further, 20 years is approaching the length of the warming period from 1976-2000 that is the main smoking gun for AGW (man made global warming.)”

Right. Twenty years of warming caused these scientists to claim that a global crisis was imminent. Will 20 years of no warming or even cooling mean the crisis is averted? Don’t count on that.

McKitrick points out that some climate scientists are scrambling to explain the pause. They’re saying that the oceans are absorbing more heat than expected, or that there are changes in Pacific wind patterns, or that there is poor coverage of the Arctic surface or on declining stratospheric water vapour.

“These are all new hypotheses,” points out McKitrick, “yet the science was supposedly ‘settled’ over a decade ago.”


Of course, there are social and policy implications if the climate models that have predicted catastrophe are proven wrong.

Apparently, “within standard uncertainties, Integrated Assessment Modelling (IAM) estimates of the social cost of carbon falls somewhere between $0 and $206 per tonne of CO2.” The crowd laughed at that slide.

Clearly, the “settled science” was predicting too much warming in response to CO2 emissions. McKitrick says within the next two to four years, this will be “decisively confirmed” unless it is “explained away.”

In other words, expect new theories. After all, there’s a reason AGW religionists all talk about climate change now instead of global warming: they have too much at stake to let their gravy train crash and burn like the credibility of their climate models.


Scientist Dr. Daniel Botkin Tells Congress why he reversed his belief in global warming to become a skeptic

Prominent Scientist Dr. Botkin, who has studied climate change for 45 years, told the Committee in Q&A: 'I have been concerned about global warming since 1968 and in the 1980s, it looked like the weight of evidence lent towards human induced climate change, to a significant extant, and since then it's moved against it.'

Later in the hearing, Botkin elaborated: 'I was concerned that there was a human induced climate warning and I gave talks and TV interviews that said that, but since the middle of the 1990s, there is evidence that is running against that.

For example the temperature change is not tracking carbon dioxide very well. Then there is the information from the long term antarctic ice core and some from recent paper in the arctic, that suggest that carbon dioxide does not lead temperature change, it may actually lag it significantly or may not lead it at all, and if that is the case that is still an open but important scientific evidence.

Selected Excerpts:

Since 1968 I have published research on theoretical global warming, its potential ecological effects, and the implications for people and biodiversity. I have spent my career trying to help conserve our environment and its great diversity of species. In doing so I have always attempted to maintain an objective, intellectually honest, scientific approach in the best tradition of scientific endeavor. I have, accordingly, been dismayed and disappointed in recent years that this subject has been converted into a political and ideological debate....

I want to state up front that we have been living through a warming trend driven by a variety of influences. However, it is my view that this is not unusual, and contrary to the characterizations by the IPCC and the National Climate Assessment, these environmental changes are not apocalyptic nor irreversible.

2. My biggest concern is that both the reports present a number of speculative, and sometimes incomplete, conclusions embedded in language that gives them more scientific heft than they deserve. The reports are “scientific-sounding” rather than based on clearly settled facts or admitting their lack. Established facts about the global environment exist less often in science than laymen usually think.

3. HAS IT BEEN WARMING? Yes, we have been living through a warming trend, no doubt about that. The rate of change we are experiencing is also not unprecedented, and the “mystery” of the warming “plateau” simply indicates the inherent complexity of our global biosphere. Change is normal, life on Earth is inherently risky; it always has been. The two reports, however, makes it seem that environmental change is apocalyptic and irreversible. It is not....

The extreme overemphasis on human-induced global warming has taken our attention away from many environmental issues that used to be front and center but have been pretty much ignored in the 21st century.


The Regulatory Death of Energy in America

By Alan Caruba

Before President Obama took office in 2009, the amount of electricity being produced by coal-fired utilities was approximately fifty percent of the total. Today it is approximately forty percent and, when the Environmental Protection Agency regulations take effect as of June 2, more such utilities are likely to close their doors. The basis for the regulations is utterly devoid of any scientific facts.

Environmentalism, as expressed by many of the organizations that advocate it is, in fact, an attack on America, its economic system of capitalism, and its need for energy to maintain and grow its business and industrial base. Electricity, of course, is also the energy we all use daily for a multitude of tasks ranging from heating or cooling our homes to the use of our computers and every other appliance.

The EPA regulations are said to be necessary to reduce “greenhouse gas” emissions, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2) which the Greens deem to be a “pollutant” in our atmosphere. It is not a pollutant, despite a Supreme Court decision that identifies it as such, but rather a gas vital to all life on Earth, used by all vegetation for its growth. CO2 is to vegetation what oxygen is to all animal life. Humans, all seven billion of us, exhale CO2!

Viv Forbes, the Chairman of the Carbon Sense Coalition and a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, notes that the Earth’s atmosphere “is not a greenhouse” and “does not have a glass roof. It uses convection to redistribute heat very quickly.” The claim for several decades has been that CO2 has an effect on the Earth’s surface temperature, but Forbes points out that “water vapor is a far more effective agent for insulating the Earth and preserving its warmth than carbon dioxide,” adding that “there is no evidence that man-made carbon dioxide is a significant cause of global warming.”

Indeed, even though the amount of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere has increased, Forbes points out that “Close examination of past records shows that temperature tends to rise before carbon dioxide content rises, sometimes centuries earlier.” Significantly, at the same time Greens have been crying out against emissions of CO2 from coal-fired utilities and other sources, the Earth has been in a cooling cycle now verging on eighteen years!

The EPA is lying to Americans regarding carbon dioxide and, worse, its proposed regulations will reduce the number of coal-fired utilities and drive up the cost of electricity for Americans.

One of the many Green organizations, Earthjustice, claims that “Climate change threatens the world as we know it—and the chief culprit is fossil fuel burning. To avert ecological disaster, Earthjustice is pushing for a shift from dirty to clean energy to stabilize our climate and build a thriving sustainable world.”

There is literally nothing that mankind can do to “stabilize” the Earth’s climate. While the Earth has been going through climate change for 4.5 billion years, there is no evidence that anything mankind does has any effect on it. The change the Earth has encountered, as mentioned, is a cooling, a far different scenario than the “global warming” claims of the past three decades or more.

Tom Richard, the editor of, notes that “Arctic sea ice has rebounded to higher and higher levels each year. Antarctica is actually gaining in size and there has been no increase in droughts, tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, ‘extreme weather’, flooding, et cetera.”

Reducing CO2 would have zero benefits while, at the same time, the EPA regulations would have a dangerous and totally unnecessary effect on CO2 emissions from plants producing electricity. Other nations around the world are actually abandoning “clean energy”. i.e., wind and solar power, in favor of building many more coal-fired plants to meet their need to provide energy for their populations and their economic growth. China and India are just two examples.

To support its claims of the forthcoming EPA regulations, EarthJustice is claiming that climate change “hits people of color the hardest” and that power plants “disproportionately impact Latino communities.” It noted “the moral obligation of faith community to act on climate change and support carbon pollution limits.” This has nothing to do with the actual facts of climate change and CO2 as noted here and is a blatant political campaign to secure support from these groups.

The reality, as noted by the Bipartisan Policy Center, a policy research organization founded by former Senate leaders from both parties, was quoted in the May 26 edition of The Wall Street Journal saying “A 25% reduction (of CO2) with a 2015 baseline might make it impossible for some companies to operate”, noting that the cap-and-trade policies of emissions allowances that the EPA is putting in place “amounts to a hidden tax” on a whole range of electrical generation and industrial plants that produce CO2 emissions. The EPA will likely use the term “budget program” to avoid “cap-and-trade”, a proposal that was rejected by Congress.

Writing in Commentary, Jonathan S. Tobin, said that the new regulations on carbon emissions “will have a potentially devastating impact on America’s more than 600 coal-fired power plants” noting that “the move was made possible by Supreme Court decisions that ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency had the right to regulate (CO2) emissions, giving the President virtual carte blanche to remake this sector of our economy without requiring congressional consent.”

In July, the Heartland Institute, a free market think tank, will hold its ninth international conference on climate change. Previous conferences have brought together some of the world’s leading authorities on meteorology and climatology to debunk the decades of lies Greens have told about climate change and global warming.

The President has put “climate change” high on his list of priorities and it is an attack on the nation’s ability to affordably and extensively provide the energy needed to meet current needs for electricity and reducing our capacity to meet future needs.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is on record saying that the President’s bogus “climate change” policy could cost the U.S. economy $50 billion a year and force more than a third of coal-fired plants to close by 2030. The Heritage Foundation says “The plan will drive up energy prices for American families and businesses without making a dent in global temperatures.”

This is a form of regulatory death for the nation and comes straight out of the Oval Office of the White House.


Spanish Lesson For Obama: Green Energy Transition Unaffordable, May Crash Soon

Lawsuits may force Spain to bring its renewable energy experiment to an end. It’s a green policy fiasco that has gone terribly wrong due to astronomical costs. It’s a powerful lesson for the White House that has often cited the Spanish model as one to emulate.

Only recently, Spain was widely praised as the champion of wind energy in Europe. What is more, all over the country new solar parks were built and renewable energy had become the main source of energy supply on the Iberian Peninsula. Those days, however, may soon be over. That’s because Spain’s industry ministry intends to drastically cut back on subsidies for “clean energy.” The whole country has to cut back, the industry ministry argues drily, and energy producers have to do too.

This argument seems irrefutable since the figures that are now assessed by the government are astronomical indeed. The subsidies that are going to flow into green energy projects on the Iberian Peninsula amount to a staggering 200 billion euros. Approximately 56 billion euros have already been paid out. The lion’s share of this sum went into rather generous feed-in tariffs for wind and solar energy which, since 1995, have attracted numerous investors from both home and abroad.

The remaining 143 billion euros are due to be paid out in the next 20 years for green energy projects that have already been connected to the grid, foremost for solar farms.

Given these sums, it would appear that industry minister Jose Manuel Soria has come to the conclusion that the only option left is to put his foot down. He now plans to cut green subsidies for the energy sector by about 20 percent, to 7.5 billion euros per annum. The minister, however, has not reckoned with affected green investors who are up in arms and fighting the planned subsidy cuts.

Moratorium on new solar farms
This is not the first time that Spain intends to take advantage of solar investors retrospectively. Numerous foreign investment funds, especially from the US, have invested heavily in Spain’s renewable energy in recent years, expanding solar energy production significantly. They were lured by promises by the then socialist industry minister who had agreed a fixed rate of return of 14 percent per annum for solar park investments.

“The sun can be yours,” huge billboards claimed. Thousands of Spanish investors were keen not to miss this golden opportunity either. As a result, solar power production on the sun-drenched Iberian Peninsula increased from 53 to 313 gigawatt hours (GWh) between 2007 and 2010.

Surprised by the huge demand, the government of socialist Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero introduced a moratorium for new solar farms, guaranteed feed-in tariff were reduced to 25 years and the premiums were paid only for a certain number of hours of sunshine per year. After a change of government at the end of 2012, the new conservative administration upped the ante and introduced a new electricity tax of 7.5 percent, causing the profits for the solar industry to fall by around 30 percent.

A good opportunity for nuclear power?
This week, U.S. energy company Nextera Energy has summoned Spain before the International Centre for Settlement for Investment Disputes (ICSID) to demand redress. The U.S. company regards the new rules as a retroactive change to the original guarantees. Nextera Energy has invested heavily in the Spanish solar power plant Termosol .

Other large investors, such as a Deutsche Bank investment fund, involved in the Andalusian power plant Andasol, and French bank BNP have asked ICSID, a World Bank organization, for arbitration. Another group of foreign investors issued first lawsuits in 2011, based on the European Energy Charter which promises investment protection and prohibits expropriation.

If the investors win their case, Spain can expect claims for damages amounting to billions of euros. In such a case, the further expansion of renewable energy in Spain would then come to end end at once.

The industry minister is not the only one who is aware of the potential consequences. Two traditional power generators, Endesa and Iberdrola, even see a good chance for new deals with nuclear power. They have requested an extension of the operating license for the Garoña nuclear power plant which had already been taken off the grid. Garoña is now expected to provide electricity until 2031. The investor believe that despite new security investments the nuclear power plant will be profitable. They expect that after the boom and bust of recent years the share of renewable energy will decline.


The Casualties of Obama’s War on Coal

This week President Obama is expected to announce new regulations on carbon emissions that will have a potentially devastating impact on America’s more than 600 coal-fired power plants. The move was made possible by Supreme Court decisions that ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency had the right to regulate such emissions, giving the president virtual carte blanche to remake this sector of our economy without requiring congressional consent. As the New York Times reports today, this decision is being closely watched abroad as governments look to see whether the U.S. is setting a good example for other nations, such as China, whose economies are driven by coal and which do far more polluting of the atmosphere than America does.

Yet the Chinese aren’t the only ones following this issue. The president has already signaled that addressing climate change was one of the priorities of his second term as well as making it clear that he was eager to move ahead and govern by executive order rather than via the normal constitutional process that involves the legislative branch. As such, the White House rightly anticipates that this broadside aimed at the coal industry will be intensely popular with Obama’s core constituencies on the left as well as the liberal mainstream media. But while leading Democratic donors such as Tom Steyer will be cheering a measure that fits his ideological agenda, not everybody in the Democratic Party is going to be happy with what amounts to a new Obama war on coal. In particular, the Democrats’ brightest hope for stealing a Republican-controlled Senate seat this fall—Kentucky’s Alison Lundergan Grimes—may wind up paying a fearful price for Obama’s decision.

As the Times notes, the conundrum of America’s extremist environmentalist lobby lies in the fact that the U.S. is actually doing relatively little of the carbon damage that they believe is fueling global warming. The vast majority of the increase in emissions comes from developing economies around the globe, especially in places like China. While resistance to the sort of tough restrictions on carbon that environmentalists lust for is strong in nations that produce fossil-based fuels, the Chinese believe that the West should pay the steep economic price involved in such schemes while they and other developing nations are allowed to burn all the coal they want. By making his ruling, Obama won’t just be harming the U.S. economy. By setting a good example, Washington thinks their going first will somehow persuade the Chinese to follow suit.

This is highly unlikely. Though it pays lip service to global warming theories, China’s top priority is building their economy. Meanwhile, nations such as Russia are not shy about stating their unwillingness to stop burning coal. But by taking what he believes is the high road with respect to the environment, the president will be fulfilling not only the promises made to his domestic liberal constituencies but also behaving in a manner that is consistent with his belief in multilateral foreign policy.

But back at home this high-minded environmentalism may not play as well as he thinks. Many Americans fear that Obama will damage their economy while doing nothing to alter the warming equation that is being decided elsewhere. Though the media has followed the White House playbook in emphasizing any report that hypes the threat from global warming while downplaying any development that undermines this thesis, the public has demonstrated repeatedly that this issue is not a priority, especially when compared to their concerns about the economy and jobs. And this is exactly what the president’s orders will affect most grievously.

Among the biggest losers will be regions where the coal industry is a mainstay of the economy. Unfortunately for the Democrats, the best example of such a state is Kentucky, where Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell remains the country’s most endangered Republican in an election cycle that should otherwise be quite favorable to the GOP. McConnell has been working hard to tie Grimes to Obama, a charge that she has steadfastly rejected. But the president’s regulatory war on coal will be a body blow to Grimes’s attempt to argue that it will be her and not Obama who will be on the ballot this November. Grimes smartly opposes the administration’s environmentalist stands with respect to coal, but the new orders will escalate the struggle to a point where it could play a crucial role in the midterms. Grimes has sought to make McConnell the main issue in the contest, something that is not to the advantage of the dour minority leader and longtime incumbent.

But if the key issue is defense of Kentucky’s coal industry against the White House, it will be difficult for the Democrat to assert that she will be in a better position to resist this assault than the man who may be the majority leader of the upper body next January. In a contest to see who can be most hostile to Obama, the GOP has the edge over even the most independent Democrat.

The war on coal is exactly the ticket to fire up the president’s coastal elite base as well as very much what the international community wants. But it could be the death knell for Grimes’s Senate hopes. If that race makes the difference in deciding control of the Senate, it could be that global warming will be the issue that pushes Obama from a weak-second term incumbent to dead-in-the-water lame duck.


Coral reefs are better at coping with rising sea temperatures than we thought

Coral reefs are under threat from rising sea temperatures caused by global warming. But in a recent paper, published in Science, it was found that certain types of coral are able to adapt to tolerate higher sea temperatures by changing the genes they express. Scientists think this new discovery could be used to devise new ways of protecting coral reefs, as well as improving our predictions of how they will cope with climate change in the future.

Marine rainforests

Known as the "rainforests of the sea," coral reefs form some of the most diverse ecosystems on earth. Despite only covering 0.1 percent of the ocean's surface, they provide a home for 25 percent of all maritime species, including fish, mollusks, and sponges.

Coral reefs are actually deposits of calcium carbonate, the substance found in sea shells. The makeup of any coral reef is complex and consists of microscopic organisms called corals that live together in small colonies known as polyps. Polyps that contain "reef building" coral species are responsible for laying down the calcium carbonate that form the reefs. Corals live together with algae, and this relationship helps coral reefs survive.

But when coral reefs experience stress, such as an increase in sea temperature, they sometimes expel the algae, which results in coral bleaching, a phenomenon in which the coral loses all its color, appearing completely white. This can result in the death of the reef. For example, in 2005, the US lost half of its coral reefs in the Caribbean to a massive bleaching event.

It is already known that some corals are better than others at coping with stress. So Professor Stephen Palumbi and his colleagues at Stanford University in California set out to assess whether coral species have the ability to acclimate to warmer temperatures by increasing their thermal tolerance levels.

Palumbi and his team completed their fieldwork on coral reefs in the U.S. National Park of American Samoa on Ofu Island. They concentrated on an important reef-building coral species. The corals were contained in two adjacent pools. In the first pool, water temperatures were more varied, reaching temperatures as high as 35°C. This was known as the highly variable pool. The second pool, known as the moderately variable pool, rarely experienced water temperatures of above 32°C.

Coral transplant

First, the researchers tested the photosynthesis rates of corals from both pools to compare how well they coped with high temperatures. They then transplanted coral colonies from the moderately variable pool to the highly variable pool to see if the coral would adapt to higher water temperatures. The transplanted corals were left to acclimate over the course of about two years, and were regularly tested for thermal tolerance over this time. The researchers conducted genetic analysis to see if there was any change in gene expression during this period that would result in higher thermal tolerance.

It was found that corals in the highly variable pool were more tolerant of higher temperatures when compared to the corals in the moderately variable pool. But the most interesting finding involved the ability of the coral to acclimate to higher water temperatures. Dr Daniel Barshis, part of the team that completed the research, said: "The most important finding was that corals are capable of increasing their thermal tolerance limits substantially in just 12 to 18 months. This acclimation in upper tolerance limits correlates with changes in gene expression as well."

Real-world applications

Barshis went on to say that this new knowledge should be integrated into models that predict the effects of global warming on coral reefs to help us understand how they will respond to rising sea temperatures in the future, he said: "This research provides some glimmer of hope that corals may have the ability to survive more than we've given them credit for, but only if we reduce the amount of current and future stresses."

This research also has many real-world applications that could help protect coral reefs from future climate change. Palumbi said, "It should be possible to use climate-resistant corals in transplant/restoration efforts in order to replant reefs with greater future resilience. This is one of the things we are doing this summer in a set of pilot projects in Samoa."

More information: Mechanisms of reef coral resistance to future climate change, Science 23 May 2014: Vol. 344 no. 6186 pp. 895-898. DOI: 10.1126/science.1251336


Reef corals are highly sensitive to heat, yet populations resistant to climate change have recently been identified. To determine the mechanisms of temperature tolerance, we reciprocally transplanted corals between reef sites experiencing distinct temperature regimes and tested subsequent physiological and gene expression profiles. Local acclimatization and fixed effects, such as adaptation, contributed about equally to heat tolerance and are reflected in patterns of gene expression. In less than 2 years, acclimatization achieves the same heat tolerance that we would expect from strong natural selection over many generations for these long-lived organisms. Our results show both short-term acclimatory and longer-term adaptive acquisition of climate resistance. Adding these adaptive abilities to ecosystem models is likely to slow predictions of demise for coral reef ecosystems.




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


1 June, 2014

What the muck! Eco-friendly university power station explodes covering the area with stinking cows' poo

An eco-friendly power station suddenly exploded this morning showering the surrounding area with hundreds of tonnes of stinking cow dung.

The blow out in a slurry processing tank happened in the early hours at the plant outside Harper Adams University near Newport in Shropshire.

Onlookers said one side of the 30ft tall corrugated metal building was completely torn off while the roof and supporting wall collapsed.

Thousands of gallons of slurry spilled into a nearby farm flooding one road and leaving several fields waterlogged.

Fire crews and police arrived at the scene at 10am and sealed off the scene with tape while the buildings were inspected.

Environment Agency officials spent the day at the site assessing the damage and working to minimise the effect on the environment.

A university spokesman said: 'The University is working with them (The Environment Agency) to assess the damage and minimise any impact on the environment.'

Onlookers yesterday described the extent of the damage. One said: 'The plant is made up of about six main structures and one, a 30ft high corrugated metal building at the back of the plant, has had virtually all of one side apparently blown out.

'There is a huge mountain of slurry piled up inside which has poured from the building onto a farm track and part of the roof has collapsed.

'It looks like there is tonnes of the brown slime that has spilt out in total, it will certainly take a while to clean up.'

The incident is the second time the £3million power plant has leaked sludge in the last year. In February last year thousands of gallons of waste flooded farmland and entered rivers after a storage tank was left unsealed for 36 hours.

Temporary dams were then put up to stop more pollution flowing into watercourse which feed the rivers Strine and Tern.

The anaerobic digestion plant was built in 2011 in a bid to offset carbon emissions and has saved 3.4 times the current emissions from campus buildings.

The plant takes food and farm waste and creates power to be used at Harper Adams University.

Named after a wealthy 19th century farmer, the university is the UK’s leading specialist provider of higher education for the agri-food chain and rural sector.


School Car Wash Fundraisers Banned in Virginia County

For years, car washes have been a fundraising staple for high school sports teams, marching bands and youth groups.

Just get some kids together with buckets and soap, rent out a parking lot, put up a sign and hope it doesn’t rain.

But in Arlington, Va., you also have to hope the government doesn’t catch you.

Charity car washes and car wash fundraisers are now banned on school property there, after the Department of Environmental Services issued new rules for stormwater and water runoff.

The county pins the blame on the Virginia General Assembly, which approved more stringent water regulations last year.

“There is an underlying reason why most types of car washing are not allowed under state and federal stormwater regulations,” DES spokeswoman Shannon Whalen told the Arlington News.

Those important reasons: washing cars can cause chlorinated water and soap to wash into local streams, which flow into the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay.

But Whalen found a silver lining in the new regulations.

“There are educational and environmental benefits that come with finding new and environmentally friendly ways to raise money for extracurricular activities,” she said.

One of those educational benefits: high school kids get a first-hand civics lesson in how government shuts down just about any activity it doesn’t like. Try finding that lesson in any textbook.

Coaches told the Arlington News they’re concerned about how the ban will affect sports and other activities. After all, the market can only handle so many bake sales.

The new stormwater regulations in Virginia have consequences beyond Arlington.

By the letter of the law approved in July 2013, all car washes that aren’t for personal use require a permit from the state government, even charity car washes held on private property.


Fire Statistics Debunk Asserted Link to Global Warming

California Gov. Jerry Brown blamed global warming for recent wildfires in California, but objective data show a decline in wildfires as our planet modestly warms.

2013 was one of the quietest wildfire years in U.S. history, according to data from the federal government’s National Interagency Fire Center. The 47,000 wildfires last year may seem like a very large number – and it certainly gives global warming alarmists like Brown plenty of fodder for misleading claims – but the 47,000 wildfires was less than half the average number of wildfires that occurred each year in the 1960s and 1970s. Earth was cooling during the 1960s and 1970s when so many more wildfires occurred.

The unusually quiet 2013 fire season continued a long-term trend in declining wildfires. From 1962 through 1982, for example, at least 100,000 wildfires occurred in the United States every year. Since 1982, however, not a single year has registered 100,000 wildfires. During the past decade, an average of 73,000 wildfires occurred each year. During the 1970s, by contrast, an average of 155,000 wildfires occurred each year.

The 2014 wildfire season, moreover, has been relatively quiet so far. The total number of wildfires is well below the 1962–2013 average and is even below the average for the past decade. Even so, the below-average 22,000 wildfires so far this year give alarmists plenty of opportunities to mislead the public about the facts.

Droughts and wildfires have always occurred and will always occur. While global warming is reducing the frequency of droughts and wildfires, warming will not completely eradicate droughts and wildfires. They will continue from time to time despite their long-term decline.


Why Do These Well-Fed Anti-Science Activists Oppose Safe, Cheap Food For Poor People?

Nearly 2,000 studies about GMOs all say the food is safe

Take the panic over genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. Ninety percent of all corn grown in America is genetically modified now. That means it grew from a seed that scientists altered by playing with its genes. The new genes may make corn grow faster, or they may make it less appetizing to bugs so farmers can use fewer pesticides.

This upsets some people. GMOs are "unnatural," they say. A scene from the movie Seeds of Death warns that eating GMOs "causes holes in the GI tract" and "causes multiple organ system failure."

The restaurant chain Chipotle, which prides itself on using organic ingredients, produces videos suggesting that industrial agriculture is evil, including a comedic Web series called "Farmed and Dangerous" about an evil agricultural feed company that threatens to kill its opponents and whose products cause cows to explode.

Michael Hansen of Consumer Reports sounds almost as frightening when he talks about GMOs. On my show, he says, "It's called insertional mutagenesis ... you can't control where you're inserting that genetic information; it can have different effects depending on the location."

Jon Entine of the Genetic Literacy Project responds: "We've eaten about 7 trillion meals in the 18 years since GMOs first came on the market. There's not one documented instance of someone getting so much as a sniffle."

Given all the fear from media and activists, you might be surprised to learn that most serious scientists agree with him. "There have been about 2,000 studies," says Entine, and "there is no evidence of human harm in a major peer-reviewed journal."

That might be enough to reassure people if they knew how widespread and familiar GMOs really are—but as long as they think of GMOs as something strange and new, they think more tests are needed, more warnings, more precaution.

Yet people don't panic over ruby red grapefruits, which were first created in laboratories by bombarding strains of grapefruit with radiation. People don't worry about corn and other crops bred in random varieties for centuries without farmers having any idea exactly what genetic changes occurred.

We didn't even know what genes were when we first created new strains of plants and animals. There's no reason to believe modern methods of altering genes are any more dangerous.

In fact, because they're far more precise, they're safer.

And since genetic modification can make crops more abundant and easier to grow, it makes food cheaper. That's especially good for the poor. Another life-changer is a new strain of vitamin A-enriched rice that has the potential to decrease the frequency of blindness that now afflicts about a half-million people a year, mostly children. But activists—who tend to be rich and well-fed—are pressuring countries in Asia and Africa into rejecting GMO rice.

Crusades against food are endless. First Lady Michelle Obama urges students to eat organic, even though that term has no real meaning in science besides "partly composed of carbon."

My nonprofit for schoolteachers, Stossel in the Classroom, offers free videos that introduce students to economics. This year, we ran an essay contest inviting students to write on the topic "Food Nannies: Who Decides What You Eat?"

I was happy to see that many students understood that this debate is about more than safety. It's really about freedom. Sixteen-year-old Caroline Clausen won $1,000 for her essay, which contained this sarcastic passage: "Congress shall have the power to regulate the mixing, baking, serving, labeling, selling and consumption of food. Did James Madison's secretary forget to copy this provision into the Constitution?"

Rising generations will have more food options than ever before. They face less risk of starvation or disease than any humans who have ever lived. Let's give them science instead of scare stories.


Environmentalists Cheer California's Latest Plan to Sink Its Economy

Getting oil out of the US’s largest reserve is going to be much harder than expected. So why are some people celebrating?

Environmentalists are gleeful at the news reported last week by the U.S. Energy Information Administration that the amount of recoverable oil from California's Monterey Shale formation — predicted to be the nation's largest reserve of oil — is a whopping 96-percent below original production estimates.

In response, more than 100 environmental groups signed a letter to the California Legislature calling for a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and other "stimulation" techniques that ultimately would be needed to develop this oil field. They say the new estimates are "undercutting the misguided rationale" for allowing fracking before more studies are done.

"I never saw so much glee from bad economic news," said Tupper Hull, spokesman for the Sacramento-based Western States Petroleum Association. "It does not change the dynamics or the debate about hydraulic fracturing." The oil industry's main point is a good one — there's no less oil in that vast geologic formation that largely lies underneath the Central Valley and parts of the Los Angeles basin.

The reduced production number "is the government's estimate of how much oil drillers can get out of the earth with existing technology and at current prices," said Sabrina Lockhart, spokeswoman for Californians for a Safe, Secure Energy Future, which promotes fracking.

Original estimates produced by a 2013 University of Southern California study assumed that tapping oil in the Monterey Shale would be similar to tapping it in other lucrative oilfields. But test wells were less productive than expected because of our state's twisted geology. Current fracking and horizontal drilling techniques can't get at the oil the way they can in other places.

This problem will fix itself. The oil may be too expensive to extract right now using current techniques, but if oil prices go up there will be increased incentive to figure out how to get it out of the ground.

Economists have been surprised that natural gas has become such an important part of the nation's energy mix in the past few years, but technological advancements have opened up those vast new resources and created an economic boom in economically depressed areas of North Dakota, Pennsylvania and elsewhere. Something similar could happen here with oil if the state doesn't squelch it.

"The fact that the technology doesn't exist today, doesn't mean that it won't exist tomorrow," said Tom Tanton, with the Energy & Environment Legal Institute, which advocates for "free-market environmentalism." Apparently, even the anti-fracking groups understand as much or they wouldn't still be pushing for a moratorium on accessing oil reserves that are not now available.

Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed tough new oil-exploration regulations that were nevertheless championed by the oil industry given that they set up a predictable framework that allows new oil-extraction technologies to proceed.

The governor had no response to the new federal estimates, but Brown recently said on national TV that California has been fracking for 50 years and that "we are not going to shut down a third of our oil production and force more oil coming from North Dakota." He has called for careful development of the state's oil resources while "hammering at the demand." Brown no doubt sees a future revenue boom, but it has no impact now.

"There's nothing built into either our economic or revenue forecasts related to fracking," according to Department of Finance spokesman H.D. Palmer. "So regarding EIA's lower estimate, the bottom line is that it isn't a hit to our bottom line."

So the new federal estimates warrant a giant shrug. California will not ban fracking or soon slap an oil-severance tax on producers. There's no effect on the state budget. All the oil is still in the ground. Environmental groups are still issuing dire predictions and letters to the legislature.

The only thing that changes is the rest of us know what many oil-industry experts had always believed: Efforts to fully tap the Monterey Shale will have to wait for the future.


Carbon dioxide won't cause famines

In fact, more atmospheric CO2 will spur crop growth – if we let it

Dennis T. Avery

Historian Geoffrey Parker is the author of Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the 17th Century. In a recent opinion piece, he suggested that the desperate climate from 1600 to 1700 is a template for human collapse in our twenty-first century. There are two massive flaws in his theory.

Almost all past agricultural and cultural collapses occurred during “little ice ages,” not during our many global warm periods. In addition, today’s seeds, fertilizers and modern farming techniques and technologies are far superior to anything mankind possessed during previous crises.

The seventeenth century was part of the 550-year Little Ice Age, the most recent of at least seven “little ice ages” that have befallen the planet since the last Pleistocene Ice Age ended some 13,000 years ago. Studying sediment deposits in the North Atlantic, Gerard Bond of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory found such centuries-long “little ice ages” beginning at 1300 AD, 600 AD, 800 BC, 2200 BC, 3900 BC, 7400 BC, 8300 BC, and perhaps at 9100 BC. In fact, these worldwide Dansgaard-Oeschger disasters arrived on a semi-regular basis some 600 times over the past million years.

Each of these icy ages blasted humanity with short, cold, cloudy growing seasons, untimely frosts, and extended droughts interspersed with heavy and violent rains. Naturally, their crops failed. Humanity’s cities starved to death, repeatedly – with seven collapses in Mesopotamia, six each for Egypt and China, two for Angkor Wat and at several calamities in Europe.

The early cultures gave the illusion of continuity: the Nile and the Yangtze always had at least a little irrigation water. However, “little ice age” hunger and disease drove human and animal migrations across thousands of miles and over continents, led to major invasions like the Huns into Europe’s Dark Ages, and caused the collapse of kingships and ruling dynasties around the globe.

While acknowledging the existence of the cold, chaotic periods, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has barely factored them into its computer models. The IPCC seems to think it is just coincidence that our warm and relatively stable Modern Warming directly followed the latest awful Little Ice Age.

Moreover, our recent climate has been more stable than the chaotic “little ice ages.” Iraq has not had a three-century drought recently. The Volga River Valley has not been too flooded to farm for 700 years, as happened after 600 BC. British logbooks show the Little Ice Age featured more than twice as many major hurricanes making landfall in the Caribbean, compared to the twentieth century.

Parker mentions three possible driving forces for the seventeenth century collapse: volcanoes, El Niños, and the sun. There’s no cycle in the volcanoes, however, and the El Niños are too short – rarely lasting more than a year or two. That leaves the sun, and the powerful influences it has on Earth’s temperature and climate.

Indeed, Parker’s own book focuses on the Maunder Minimum (1645–1715 AD), the solar cold cycle that existed during and caused the depths of the Little Ice Age. During this time, the sun had virtually no sunspots for 70 years, significantly reducing the crop-growing warmth reaching our planet, while producing long periods of horrendous storms and floods that killed crops and ruined harvested grains.

We must compliment Parker for recognizing that the climate was the key to these global crises. He fails, however, to acknowledge that this has been a recurring pattern.

With this omission, Dr. Parker draws the wrong conclusion about the threat to future societies. There is no visible reason to expect famines today due to carbon dioxide, which improves plant growth for crops, forests, grasslands and algae, as atmospheric CO2 levels increase.

The danger is the cold, chaotic weather of the “little ice ages” themselves. That will shrink agricultural zones and shorten growing seasons. Another such icy period is inevitably coming, though not likely in the next two centuries, if past cycles are an accurate guide.

Regardless, for the next 20-25 years, humanity will likely be in another cooling period, caused by the sun’s reduced energy output and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. We are about 150 years into the modern warming. Since the shortest of these warm periods during the Halocene was 350 years, and they generally last 350 to 800 years, it is unlikely that we will enter another Little Ice Age for a couple more centuries.

But even a prolonged cooler period (akin to what Earth experienced 1860-1900 and 1940-1975) could create problems for some crops in some areas: such as grapes in Washington, Wisconsin and Great Britain. Mostly, though, modern crops and agricultural practices can handle colder weather and shorter growing seasons reasonably well – and certainly much better than was the case for previous generations of humans during previous colder spells

Dr. Parker nearly redeems himself by making the most valid point of all. We now have science and transportation to deal much more effectively with that coming “little ice age.” Our biggest advantage is our modern high-yield agriculture. Today we harvest perhaps six times as much food per acre as the desperate farmers of the seventeenth century, and our yields keep rising, thanks to scientific breakthroughs like nitrogen fertilizer, pesticides and hybrid seeds.

We must also thank unfairly maligned biotechnology, which lets us grow many crops that are disease, drought and insect resistant; rice that can survive prolonged periods under water; plants that are resistant to herbicides and thus facilitate no-till farming that improves soils and reduces erosion; and specialty crops like “golden rice” that incorporate formerly missing nutrients into vital foods.

Our crop yields are also rising because of another surprising factor: more atmospheric carbon dioxide. This trace gas (400 ppm or 0.04% of Earth’s atmosphere) acts like fertilizer for plants, and thus for the animals and people who depend on them. Studies show that doubling CO2 in the air will boost the growth of herbaceous plants by about 30% to 35%; trees will benefit even more.

Indeed, satellites show that Earth’s total vegetation increased 6% just from 1982 to 1999, as CO2 levels increased. Famines in a CO2-warmed tomorrow are therefore less likely, not more.

If humans have food, they can do all the other things necessary for civilization. However, we must double food production per acre – again and rapidly – to feed the world’s oncoming peak population, and enable all people to enjoy the nutrition that Americans and Europeans already do.

Equally important, since 1960, higher yields have also saved wildlife habitat equal to a land area greater than South America from being plowed for more low-yield crops. The price of farming failure in coming decades will not be famine. Instead, it will be the loss of hundreds of millions of acres of wildlife habitats.

Misguided opposition to biotechnology, fossil fuels and increased atmospheric carbon dioxide could very well condemn millions of people to malnutrition and starvation, and numerous wildlife species to extinction.




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


This site is in favour of things that ARE good for the environment. That the usual Greenie causes are good for the environment is however disputed.

Context for the minute average temperature change recorded: At any given time surface air temperatures around the world range over about 100°C. Even in the same place they can vary by nearly that much seasonally and as much as 30°C or more in a day. A minute rise in average temperature in that context is trivial if it is not meaningless altogether. Warmism is a money-grubbing racket, not science.

By John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.), writing from Brisbane, Australia.


"The growth of knowledge depends entirely on disagreement" -- Karl Popper

"Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts" – Richard Feynman

"The desire to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it" -- H L Mencken

'Nothing is more terrible than ignorance in action' -- Goethe

“Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.” -- Voltaire

Lord Salisbury: "No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome; if you believe theologians, nothing is innocent; if you believe soldiers, nothing is safe."

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

"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


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.


Climate is just the sum of weather. So if you cannot forecast the weather a month in advance, you will not be able to forecast the climate 50 years in advance. And official meteorologists such as Britain's Met Office and Australia's BOM, are very poor forecasters of weather. The Met office has in fact given up on making seasonal forecasts because they have so often got such forecasts embarrassingly wrong. Their global-warming-powered "models" just did not deliver

Here's how that "97% consensus" figure was arrived at

A strange Green/Left conceit: They seem to think (e.g. here) that no-one should spend money opposing them and that conservative donors must not support the election campaigns of Congressmen they agree with

To Greenies, Genghis Khan was a good guy, believe it or not. They love that he killed so many people.

Greenie antisemitism

After three exceptionally cold winters in the Northern hemisphere, the Warmists are chanting: "Warming causes cold". Even if we give that a pass for logic, it still inspires the question: "Well, what are we worried about"? Cold is not going to melt the icecaps is it?"

It's a central (but unproven) assumption of the Warmist "models" that clouds cause warming. Odd that it seems to cool the temperature down when clouds appear overhead!

To make out that the essentially trivial warming of the last 150 years poses some sort of threat, Warmists postulate positive feedbacks that might cut in to make the warming accelerate in the near future. Amid their theories about feedbacks, however, they ignore the one feedback that is no theory: The reaction of plants to CO2. Plants gobble up CO2 and the more CO2 there is the more plants will flourish and hence gobble up yet more CO2. And the increasing crop yields of recent years show that plantlife is already flourishing more. The recent rise in CO2 will therefore soon be gobbled up and will no longer be around to bother anyone. Plants provide a huge NEGATIVE feedback in response to increases in atmospheric CO2

Every green plant around us is made out of carbon dioxide that the plant has grabbed out of the atmosphere. That the plant can get its carbon from such a trace gas is one of the miracles of life. It admittedly uses the huge power of the sun to accomplish such a vast filtrative task but the fact that a dumb plant can harness the power of the sun so effectively is also a wonder. We live on a rather improbable planet. If a science fiction writer elsewhere in the universe described a world like ours he might well be ridiculed for making up such an implausible tale.

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A "HEAT TRAPPING GAS". A gas can become warmer by contact with something warmer or by infrared radiation shining on it or by adiabatic (pressure) effects but it cannot trap anything. Air is a gas. Try trapping something with it!

Greenies are the sand in the gears of modern civilization -- and they intend to be.

The Greenie message is entirely emotional and devoid of all logic. They say that polar ice will melt and cause a big sea-level rise. Yet 91% of the world's glacial ice is in Antarctica, where the average temperature is around minus 40 degrees Celsius. The melting point of ice is zero degrees. So for the ice to melt on any scale the Antarctic temperature would need to rise by around 40 degrees, which NOBODY is predicting. The median Greenie prediction is about 4 degrees. So where is the huge sea level rise going to come from? Mars? And the North polar area is mostly sea ice and melting sea ice does not raise the sea level at all. Yet Warmists constantly hail any sign of Arctic melting. That the melting of floating ice does not raise the water level is known as Archimedes' principle. Archimedes demonstrated it around 2,500 years ago. That Warmists have not yet caught up with that must be just about the most inspissated ignorance imaginable. The whole Warmist scare defies the most basic physics. Yet at the opening of 2011 we find the following unashamed lying by James Hansen: "We will lose all the ice in the polar ice cap in a couple of decades". Sadly, what the Vulgate says in John 1:5 is still only very partially true: "Lux in tenebris lucet". There is still much darkness in the minds of men.

The repeated refusal of Warmist "scientists" to make their raw data available to critics is such a breach of scientific protocol that it amounts to a confession in itself. Note, for instance Phil Jones' Feb 21, 2005 response to Warwick Hughes' request for his raw climate data: "We have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?" Looking for things that might be wrong with a given conclusion is of course central to science. But Warmism cannot survive such scrutiny. So even after "Climategate", the secrecy goes on.

Most Greenie causes are at best distractions from real environmental concerns (such as land degradation) and are more motivated by a hatred of people than by any care for the environment

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

‘Global warming’ has become the grand political narrative of the age, replacing Marxism as a dominant force for controlling liberty and human choices. -- Prof. P. Stott

Comparing climate alarmist Hansen to Cassandra is WRONG. Cassandra's (Greek mythology) dire prophecies were never believed but were always right. Hansen's dire prophecies are usually believed but are always wrong (Prof. Laurence Gould, U of Hartford, CT)

The modern environmental movement arose out of the wreckage of the New Left. They call themselves Green because they're too yellow to admit they're really Reds. So Lenin's birthday was chosen to be the date of Earth Day. Even a moderate politician like Al Gore has been clear as to what is needed. In "Earth in the Balance", he wrote that saving the planet would require a "wrenching transformation of society".

For centuries there was a scientific consensus which said that fire was explained by the release of an invisible element called phlogiston. That theory is universally ridiculed today. Global warming is the new phlogiston. Though, now that we know how deliberate the hoax has been, it might be more accurate to call global warming the New Piltdown Man. The Piltdown hoax took 40 years to unwind. I wonder....

Motives: Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is generally to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Policies: The only underlying theme that makes sense of all Greenie policies is hatred of people. Hatred of other people has been a Greenie theme from way back. In a report titled "The First Global Revolution" (1991, p. 104) published by the "Club of Rome", a Greenie panic outfit, we find the following statement: "In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill.... All these dangers are caused by human intervention... The real enemy, then, is humanity itself." See here for many more examples of prominent Greenies saying how much and how furiously they hate you.

The conventional wisdom of the day is often spectacularly wrong. The most popular and successful opera of all time is undoubtedly "Carmen" by Georges Bizet. Yet it was much criticized when first performed and the unfortunate Bizet died believing that it was a flop. Similarly, when the most iconic piece of 20th century music was first performed in 1913-- Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" -- half the audience walked out. Those of us who defy the conventional wisdom about climate are actually better off than that. Unlike Bizet and Stravinsky in 1913, we KNOW that we will eventually be vindicated -- because all that supports Warmism is a crumbling edifice of guesswork ("models").

Al Gore won a political prize for an alleged work of science. That rather speaks for itself, doesn't it?

Jim Hansen and his twin

Getting rich and famous through alarmism: Al Gore is well-known but note also James Hansen. He has for decades been a senior, presumably well-paid, employee at NASA. In 2001 he was the recipient of a $250,000 Heinz Award. In 2007 Time magazine designated him a Hero of the Environment. That same year he pocketed one-third of a $1 million Dan David Prize. In 2008, the American Association for the Advancement of Science presented him with its Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award. In 2010 he landed a $100,000 Sophie Prize. He pulled in a total of $1.2 million in 2010. Not bad for a government bureaucrat.

See the original global Warmist in action here: "The icecaps are melting and all world is drowning to wash away the sin"

I am not a global warming skeptic nor am I a global warming denier. I am a global warming atheist. I don't believe one bit of it. That the earth's climate changes is undeniable. Only ignoramuses believe that climate stability is normal. But I see NO evidence to say that mankind has had anything to do with any of the changes observed -- and much evidence against that claim.

Seeing that we are all made of carbon, the time will come when people will look back on the carbon phobia of the early 21st century as too incredible to be believed

Meanwhile, however, let me venture a tentative prophecy. Prophecies are almost always wrong but here goes: Given the common hatred of carbon (Warmists) and salt (Food freaks) and given the fact that we are all made of carbon, salt, water and calcium (with a few additives), I am going to prophecy that at some time in the future a hatred of nitrogen will emerge. Why? Because most of the air that we breathe is nitrogen. We live at the bottom of a nitrogen sea. Logical to hate nitrogen? NO. But probable: Maybe. The Green/Left is mad enough. After all, nitrogen is a CHEMICAL -- and we can't have that!

UPDATE to the above: It seems that I am a true prophet

The intellectual Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180) must have foreseen Global Warmism. He said: "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane."

The Holy Grail for most scientists is not truth but research grants. And the global warming scare has produced a huge downpour of money for research. Any mystery why so many scientists claim some belief in global warming?

For many people, global warming seems to have taken the place of "The Jews" -- a convenient but false explanation for any disliked event. Prof. Brignell has some examples.

Global warming skeptics are real party-poopers. It's so wonderful to believe that you have a mission to save the world.

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

The claim that oil is a fossil fuel is another great myth and folly of the age. They are now finding oil at around seven MILES beneath the sea bed -- which is incomparably further down than any known fossil. The abiotic oil theory is not as yet well enough developed to generate useful predictions but that is also true of fossil fuel theory

Help keep the planet Green! Maximize your CO2 and CH4 output!

Global Warming=More Life; Global Cooling=More Death.

The inconvenient truth about biological effects of "Ocean Acidification"

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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