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

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

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

31 March, 2015

Harmless pesticide still used in Australia -- ozone "hole"  regardless

In their role as sand in the gears of civilization, Greenies constantly find reasons to ban useful chemicals,  making pest and weed control difficult and raising costs.  We need therefore to look at where a ban is really needed.  In this case the reason for the ban is a laugh.  Methyl bromide was banned because it allegedly harmed the ozone layer. 

But even though the ozone layer "protections" were put in place long ago, the "hole" in the ozone layer waxes and wanes as it always did.  The "protections" have protected nothing. The ozone "hole" is now properly regarded as just another failed Greenie scare.  Although  official meteorological records of the "hole" are no doubt still available, nobody I know even bothers to track it anymore. 

So the ban on Methyl bromide should in fact now be lifted completely -- giving farmers and others a colorless, odorless, nonflammable fumigant to use, where appropriate

About 70 per cent of Australian strawberries are being grown on runners that have been fumigated with an environmentally damaging pesticide that has been banned around the world.

Methyl bromide is an odourless and colourless gas which was banned under the United Nations Montreal Protocol in 1989 because it depletes the ozone layer.

Australia agreed to phase it out by 2005 but a decade later, nine strawberry runner growers at Toolangi, in Victoria's Yarra Valley, are still using nearly 30 tonnes a year.

They produce 100 million strawberry runners annually, which in turn generate about 70 per cent of Australian strawberries.

Each year they apply to the UN for a critical use exemption from the ban, claiming the alternatives are financially crippling.

The co-chair of the UN Methyl Bromide Technical Options committee, Dr Ian Porter, said the situation was frustrating.

"Internationally, we've gotten rid of 85 per cent of methyl bromide, and it's a great win for mankind — in fact it's the best environmental gain that's been made," he said.

"[The strawberry runner growers] want to get rid of it, but there's a responsibility to provide high-health runners for the industry.

"It's frustrating ... but we don't want industries to fall over economically or technically. We don't want more disease or pests in Australia."

Environmental Justice Australia said it was concerned the growers were using a loophole to continue their use of methyl bromide.

"I think if people did know more about this issue, they'd be very concerned that the strawberries they're consuming are contributing to this significant environmental issue," chief executive Brendan Sydes said.

"There was a commitment to phase out this chemical by 2005 and yet, despite that, we're continuing to use it in this industry. It's a real concern.

"I think it's a real failure of the industry to come up with some alternative methods of producing strawberry runners, but also of the government to insist on compliance with this important regulatory regime."

Prices would increase to $10 a punnet: industry

The strawberry growers said if they were forced to stop using methyl bromide, the viability of the $400 million strawberry industry would be "compromised" and 15,000 jobs jeopardised.

The industry estimated their costs could soar by 500 per cent if they were to switch to soilless growing systems, similar to those used in parts of Europe.

The runner industry has invested more than $700,000 on research and development to find alternatives to methyl bromide.

That cost would be passed on to consumers, and a punnet of strawberries could end up costing more than $10.

"You imagine turning 100 hectares immediately into glass houses, and the impact that would have," Dr Porter said.

"It's just not the least bit economical at this stage.

"It's tough to weigh up economics, it's one of our challenges. Will consumers pay $10 a punnet? I don't know."


Feisty Ala. climate change critic claims Washington is trying to intimidate him

An Alabama atmospheric scientist who has gained a global reputation as a repudiator of "mainstream climate science" strongly defended his research record at the University of Alabama, Huntsville (UAH), where he is a distinguished professor and director of the university's Earth System Science Center.

John Christy, who has been at UAH since 1987, said this week that all of his research funds are derived from state and federal agencies and that he has never accepted research money from business or industry groups that have challenged the scientific findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the National Research Council and other expert bodies.

Nor has he accepted research funding from groups actively engaged in lobbying against U.S. climate change policies, he said.

Moreover, Christy suggested a recently launched congressional investigation into sources of his and other climate scientists' research funding is an attempt by Democrats in Washington to squelch dissenting opinions about the degree of climate warming and the role that human-generated greenhouse gas emissions have in a shifting climate.

"I've been involved in this issue for 25 years, and I'm past the point of being intimidated," Christy said in an email responding to the inquiry led by House Natural Resources ranking member Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) exploring outside funding to climate researchers at seven U.S. universities.

"This is simply a way for the Administration to publicly draw attention to us as scientists not aligned with their views, implying there must be a scurrilous reason for daring to think the way we do," he added.

Christy said he did not distinguish between Democrats in Congress, where the investigation is playing out, and members of the Obama administration who have cast Christy and other scientists with dissenting views on climate change as being idealogues or beholden to the fossil fuel industry and other polluters.

"They are one and the same to me," he said.

Not a joiner

Christy's comments follow renewed attention brought to his and six other high-profile academics' research records, public engagements and other activities carried out in their capacities as university employees.

Others targeted by the Grijalva investigation are Richard Lindzen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Robert Balling of Arizona State University, Judith Curry of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Steven Hayward of Pepperdine University, David Legates of the University of Delaware and Roger Pielke of the University of Colorado.

All seven of the academics have testified before Congress, and several have participated in events hosted or sponsored by groups seeking to disprove widely accepted climate change theories or characterize the phenomenon as a hoax.

Some of those organizations, such as the Heartland Institute and the Institute for Energy Research, have come under scrutiny from advocacy groups, climate scientists and elected officials for their lobbying activities, public statements and financial support for research that promotes climate change skepticism.

Christy, who is credited with important research using balloons and satellites to measure changes in the Earth's lower atmosphere, is well-known to climate skeptic organizations, and his work has been cited in various documents and reports. He is also a well-known figure in both Washington, D.C., and Alabama, where he has been the state's official climatologist since 2000.

In the past, Christy has said he avoids close association, including attending the meetings of climate skeptic groups, to avoid "guilt by association."

He has testified before Congress numerous times, most recently in 2013, and is one of the lead authors of the IPCC's 2001 report in which the satellite temperatures were included as a high-quality data set for studying global climate change. He has since become one of the IPCC's staunchest critics.

Among other things, Christy has said IPCC models suggesting that climate change is an imminent threat are wrong, and he has argued that efforts to arrest climate change by sharply curtailing the burning of fossil fuels will leave the country without its cheapest and most abundant energy resources.

"Someone has just done a terrific job at marketing an [unproven] idea," Christy said of leading climate theories in a June 2014 interview

Before Congress, Christy has often struck a more combative posture.

"It appears the nation has indeed enacted knee-jerk remedies to 'combat climate change' through regulations on carbon dioxide," he told a House panel in December 2013. "I warned this committee in 1996 that these would be 'unproductive and economically damaging.'"

In the same testimony,Christy submitted comments from fellow climate scientist Curry of Georgia Tech likening the IPCC to an entity that has stifled scientific inquiry and worked to infect the scientific and policy communities with false findings, much the way a disease infects an organism. "We need to put down the IPCC as soon as possible -- not to protect the patient who seems to be thriving in its own little cocoon, but for the sake of the rest of us whom it is trying to infect with its disease," Curry said.

Such comments have brought Christy into the crosshairs of numerous climate advocacy groups, as well as Democrats like Grijalva, who last month began digging into sources of financial support for researchers like Christy and the six others targeted in the investigation.

In a Feb. 24 letter, Grijalva asked UAH administrators to respond to a series of questions and information requests concerning Christy's work. Among other things, the congressman asked for all of Christy's testimony before government agencies, as well as detailed information on any "external funding" that Christy has received from non-UAH sources, including "consulting fees, promotional considerations, speaking fees, honoraria, travel expenses, salary, compensation and other monies."

In an email last week, a spokesman for House Natural Resources Committee Democrats declined to provide any information on the investigation's findings to date.

Christy said that the university will be sending a response "based on all of my funding records." As for the investigators' request for all of Christy's public testimony, he said his remarks before Congress are already part of the public record, including information about research funding sources.

Christy also has the backing of his employer. Ray Garner, chief of staff to UAH President Robert Altenkirch, said in a statement that Christy "has always approached his work with the utmost of integrity, and the quality of his research is nothing short of exemplary."


Is Global Warming a Moral Cause?

On March 1, the New York Times published a silly piece titled “Is the Environment a Moral Cause” by Robb Willer (writing from Palo Alto, CA, of course) saying conservatives don’t embrace global warming alarmism and other popular environmental causes because they are more concerned about “patriotism, respect for authority, sanctity or purity” than “protecting people and ecosystems from harm and destruction.”

With all due respect to Prof. Willer, this isn’t even close to the truth. Rupert Wynham’s wonderful March 26 letter to the BBC makes it abundantly clear that conservatives view global warming as an issue loaded with moral concerns of a different kind: truth-telling, respect for others, healthy skepticism toward authority and propaganda, and willingness to publicly debate those who disagree.

Conservatives – and, opinion polls show, a healthy majority of the American public – don’t “believe in global warming” because its advocates utterly lack credibility. They’ve been caught again and again exaggerating, lying, and even breaking the law to end any civil discussion of the causes and consequences of climate change. Ordinary people aren’t fooled by propaganda. They’ve figured it out.

Willer writes, “To win over more of the public, environmentalists must look beyond the arguments that they themselves have found convincing.” That’s only partly right. They need to start speaking the truth, stop believing government agencies and advocacy groups that have been shown to lie and deceive to achieve power or financial rewards, and start debating their critics. Nothing else will restore environmentalism to the status it properly held before it became an appendage of the left-liberal political movement.


Institute of Physics Accused of Corruption as Climate Change ’97 Percent Consensus’ Claim is Debunked

In the nearly two years since John Cook and his colleagues published their ’97 percent’ paper claiming a scientific consensus on climate change, the term ’97 percent’ has become something of a mantra for global warming advocates. President Obama tweeted “Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.” The Guardian runs a regular column headed “Climate Consensus – the 97%” (regular contributors include co-authors of the original paper).

The paper, published by the Institute of Physic’s IOPScience has been downloaded over 300,000 times and was voted the best 2013 paper in Environmental Research Letters. But does the 97 percent claim stack up?

Richard Tol, Professor of Economics at the University of Sussex and the Professor of the Economics of Climate Change at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, says no. He has penned a blog, since published in edited form by The Australian, thoroughly debunking Cook’s paper, its methodology, its results, and the way it has been used by climate change advocates.

“Climate research lost its aura of impartiality with the unauthorised release of the email archives of the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia,” Tol says. “Its reputation of competence was shredded by the climate community’s celebration of the flawed works of Michael Mann. Innocence went with the allegations of sexual harassment by Rajendra Pachauri and Peter Gleick’s fake memo.

“Cook’s 97% nonsensus paper shows that the climate community still has a long way to go in weeding out bad research and bad behaviour. If you want to believe that climate researchers are incompetent, biased and secretive, Cook’s paper is an excellent case in point.”

Firstly, Tol points out that science doesn’t depend on consensus. A scientific truth is objective not subjective; that is, it’s true whether one person adheres to it, or everybody adheres to it.

Secondly, Cook’s paper, titled Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature, only claims that 97 percent of the scientific literature that takes a position on climate change (most does not) supports man-made global warming hypotheses. Yet supporters have used it to claim that 97 percent of scientists support global warming theories; they do not.

That aside, Tol highlights problems specific to Cook’s paper, such as the fact that, although Cook and his team sampled over 12,000 papers to reach their conclusion, they “did not check whether their sample is representative for the scientific literature. It isn’t. Their conclusions are about the papers they happened to look at, rather than about the literature. Attempts to replicate their sample failed: A number of papers that should have been analysed were not, for no apparent reason.”

That wasn’t the only sampling issue – further analysis has found that their sample was “padded with irrelevant papers,” such as an article on TV coverage of climate change which has been used as evidence to support climate change. “In fact, about three-quarters of the papers counted as endorsements had nothing to say about the subject matter,” Tol says.

Despite these and other issues, the paper’s editor praised the paper for its “excellent data quality”. Refusal to hand over data for third party analysis breaches the publisher’s policy on validation and reproduction, yet an editorial board member of the journal defended Cook’s obfuscation as “exemplary scientific conduct”.

The conduct of the Institute of Physics as the publishers of the report, and the University of Queensland, Cook’s employer, in protecting him has led the blogger Andrew Montford to accuse them of corruption.

“As an indictment of the corruption of climate science it’s hard to beat. That the Institute of Physics and the University of Queensland would stand behind such a blatant piece of politicking and deceit is almost beyond belief.

“As far as they are concerned when it comes to climate science there is no study too fraudulent, no conduct too reprehensible, no deception too blatant,” he said.


Do Joe Romm and Fellow Climate Scientists Think Sexual Misconduct is OK?

Climate science is a world in which wealthy businessmen who make charitable donations to museums are targeted and ostracized. Yet creeps who write about urinating on women get a free pass

A passage from former IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri’s 2010 book, "Return to Almora"

Yesterday the left-leaning US website,, ran this headline: Museums’ Ties To The Koch Brothers Are Not OK, Scientists Say. The story is written by Joe Romm, a gent who tosses around the phrase ‘anti-science’ so frequently he long ago deprived it of all meaning.

We’re told about an open letter signed by Romm and 53 other “Leading climate scientists and museum experts.” These people say they’re

deeply concerned by the links between museums of science and natural history with those who profit from fossil fuels or fund lobby groups that misrepresent climate science.

The letter singles out a particular person, David Koch. The fact that this wealthy individual chooses to donate his money and time to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and the American Museum of Natural History is a scandal, apparently. According to the letter:

We are concerned that the integrity of these institutions is compromised by association with special interests…

When some of the biggest contributors to climate change and funders of misinformation on climate science sponsor exhibitions in museums of science and natural history, they undermine public confidence in the validity of the institutions responsible for transmitting scientific knowledge.

… the only ethical way forward for our museums is to cut all ties with the fossil fuel industry… [bold added]

Ah, yes. Integrity. Public confidence. Ethics. These are all important ideas. Too bad activist scientists such as Romm are so selective about where and when they think such ideas apply. I’ve recently written about a senior Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) official by the name of Jean-Pascal van Ypersel who has worked for and taken money from Greenpeace.

Where is the open letter from 54 leading climate scientists pointing out that the IPCC’s integrity is irretrievably compromised by such a link? Why aren’t these same scientists declaring loudly that there’s no quicker way to undermine public confidence in a purportedly scientific entity than for its officials to get into bed with agenda-driven, green multinationals?

And if ordinary, everyday ethics are the issue where, oh where, are the open letters making it clear there’s no place in climate science for the sort of egregious sexual harassment of which Rajendra Pachauri, the former chairman of the IPCC, now stands accused?

Why hasn’t anyone at ThinkProgress even bothered to mention Pachauri’s resignation? Hello, it happened more than a month ago – on February 24th. Why isn’t anyone on that website talking about the highly embarrassing fact that Pachauri’s resignation letter tells us he’s on a religious crusade to save the planet? Surely a statement such as that shockingly undermines everyone’s confidence in the IPCC’s scientific neutrality.

When a public figure steps down due to allegations of sexual misconduct that’s big news. Why isn’t ThinkProgress reporting this news? At what moment in history would it be more relevant for the public to know that a top climate official finds himself in this kind of trouble? I mean, there’s only a major climate summit scheduled for later this year.

Search for ‘Pachauri’ at ThinkProgress and you’ll get 163 hits, or 17 pages of results. There’s

an interview with Pachauri from May 2007
a 2009 story about Pachauri endorsing the activist’s campaign
a 2010 defense of Pachauri after he is criticized by Roger Pielke Jr. in the New York Times
a 2011 article that refers to Pachauri – an economist and industrial engineer – as the “U.N.’s top climate scientist”
But the mentions of this public figure stop dead on November 2, 2014. Apparently not a single newsworthy event involving the U.N.’s [former] top climate scientist has occurred since then.

Let us speak frankly: Climate science is a world in which wealthy businessmen who make charitable donations to museums are targeted and ostracized. Yet creeps who write about urinating on women – and who stand accused of long term, outrageous sexual harassment – get a totally free pass.


The tip of the climate spending iceberg

How your tax and consumer dollars finance Climate Crisis, Inc. and hobble America

Paul Driessen

Lockheed Martin, a recent Washington Post article notes, is getting into renewable energy, nuclear fusion, “sustainability” and even fish farming projects, to augment its reduced defense profits. The company plans to forge new ties with Defense Department and other Obama initiatives, based on a shared belief in manmade climate change as a critical security and planetary threat. It is charging ahead where other defense contractors have failed, confident that its expertise, lobbying skills and “socially responsible” commitment to preventing climate chaos will land it plentiful contracts and subsidies.

As with its polar counterparts, 90% of the titanic climate funding iceberg is invisible to most citizens, businessmen and politicians. The Lockheed action is the mere tip of the icy mountaintop.

The multi-billion-dollar agenda reflects the Obama Administration’s commitment to using climate change to radically transform America. It reflects a determination to make the climate crisis industry so enormous that no one will be able to tear it down, even as computer models and disaster claims become less and less credible – and even if Republicans control Congress and the White House after 2016. Lockheed is merely the latest in a long list of regulators, researchers, universities, businesses, manufacturers, pressure groups, journalists and politicians with such strong monetary, reputational and authority interests in alarmism that they will defend its tenets and largesse tooth and nail.

Above all, it reflects a conviction that alarmists have a right to control our energy use, lives, livelihoods and living standards, with no transparency and no accountability for mistakes they make or damage they inflict on disfavored industries and families. And they are pursuing this agenda despite global warming again being dead last in the latest Gallup poll of 15 issues of greatest concern to Americans: only 25% say they worry about it “a great deal,” despite steady hysteria; 24% are “not at all” worried about the climate. By comparison, 46% percent worry a great deal about the size and power of the federal government. 

But Climate Crisis, Inc. is using our tax and consumer dollars to advance six simultaneous strategies.

1) Climate research. The US government spends $2.5 billion per year on research that focuses on carbon dioxide, ignores powerful natural forces that have always driven climate change, and generates numerous reports and press releases warning of record high temperatures, melting icecaps, rising seas, stronger storms, more droughts and other “unprecedented” crises. The claims are erroneous and deceitful.

They are consistently contradicted by actual climate and weather records, and so alarmists increasingly emphasize computer models that reinvent and substitute for reality. Penn State modeler Michael Mann has collected millions for headline-grabbing work like his latest assertion that the Gulf Stream is slowing – contrary to 20 years of actual measurements that show no change. Former NASA astronomer James Hansen received a questionable $250,000 Heinz Award from Secretary of State John Kerry’s wife, for his climate crisis and anti-coal advocacy. Al Gore and also rake in millions. Alarmist scientists and institutions seek billions more, while virtually no government money goes to research into natural forces.

2) Renewable energy research and implementation grants, loans, subsidies and mandates drive projects to replace hydrocarbons that are still abundant and still 82% of all US energy consumed. Many recipients went bankrupt despite huge taxpayer grants and loan guarantees. Wind turbine installations butcher millions of birds and bats annually, but are exempt from Endangered Species Act fines and penalties.

Tesla Motors received $256 million to produce electric cars for wealthy elites who receive $2,500 to $7,500 in tax credits, plus free charging and express lane access. From 2007 to 2013, corn ethanol interests spent $158 million lobbying for more “green” mandates and subsidies – and $6 million in campaign contributions – for a fuel that reduces mileage, damages engines, requires enormous amounts of land, water and fertilizer, and from stalk to tailpipe emits more carbon dioxide than gasoline. General Electric spends tens of millions lobbying for more taxpayer renewable energy dollars; so do many other companies. The payoffs add up to tens of billions of dollars, from taxpayers and consumers.

3) Regulatory fiats increasingly substitute for laws and carbon taxes that Congress refuses to enact, due to concerns about economic and employment impacts, and because China, India and other countries’ CO2 emissions dwarf America’s. EPA’s war on coal has already claimed thousands of jobs, raised electricity costs for millions of businesses and families, and adversely affected living standards, health and welfare for millions of families. The White House and EPA are also targeting oil and gas drilling and fracking.

Now the Obama Administration is unleashing a host of new mandates and standards, based on arbitrary “social cost of carbon” calculations that assume fossil fuel use imposes numerous climate and other costs, but brings minimal or no economic or societal benefits. The rules will require onerous new energy efficiency and CO2 emission reduction standards that will send consumer costs skyrocketing, while channeling billions of dollars to retailers, installers, banks and mostly overseas manufacturers.

As analyst Roger Bezdek explains, water heaters that now cost $675-1,500 will soon cost $1,200-2,450 – with newfangled exhaust fans, vent pipes and condensate removal systems. Pickup trucks with more fuel efficiency and less power will nearly double in price. Microwaves, cell phones, vacuum cleaners, hair dryers, toasters, coffee pots, lawn mowers, photocopiers, televisions and almost everything else will cost far more. Poor and middle class families will get clobbered, to prevent perhaps 5% of the USA’s 15% of all human CO2 emissions toward 0.04% of atmospheric CO2, and maybe 0.00001 degrees of warming.

4) A new UN climate treaty would limit fossil fuel use by developed countries, place no binding limits or timetables on developing nations, and redistribute hundreds of billions of dollars to poor countries that claim they have been harmed by emissions and warming due to rich country hydrocarbon use. Even IPCC officials now openly brag that climate policy has “almost nothing” to do with protecting the environment – and everything to do with intentionally transforming the global economy and redistributing its wealth.

5) Vicious personal attacks continue on scientists, businessmen, politicians and others who disagree publicly with the catechism of climate cataclysm. Alarmist pressure groups and Democrat members of Congress are out to destroy the studies, funding, reputations and careers of all who dare challenge climate disaster tautologies. At President Obama’s behest, even disaster aid agencies are piling on.

New FEMA rules require that any state seeking disaster preparedness funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency must first assess how climate change threatens their communities. This will mean relying on discredited, worthless alarmist models that routinely spew out predictions unrelated to reality. It likely means no federal funds will go to states that include or focus on natural causes, historical records or models that have better track records than those employed by the IPCC, EPA and President.

6) Thought control. In addition to vilifying climate chaos skeptics, alarmists are determined to control all thinking on the subject. They are terrified that people will find realist analyses and explanations far more persuasive. They refuse to debate skeptics, respond to NIPCC and other studies examining natural climate change and carbon dioxide benefits to wildlife and agriculture, or even admit there is no consensus.

They want the news media to ignore us but cannot put the internet genie back in the bottle. The White House is trying, though. It even sent picketers to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s home, to demand that he knuckle under and apply 1930s’ telephone laws to the internet, as a first step in content control

States must refuse to play the climate crisis game. Through lawsuits, hearings, investigations and other actions, governors, legislators, AGs and other officials can delay EPA diktats, educate citizens about solar and other natural forces, and explain the huge costs and trifling benefits of these draconian regulations.

Congress should hold hearings, demand an accounting of agency expenditures, require solid evidence for every climate claim and regulation, and cross-examine Administration officials on details. It should slash EPA and other agency budgets, so they cannot keep giving billions to pressure groups, propagandists and attack dogs. Honesty, transparency, accountability and a much shorter leash are long overdue.

Via email


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


30 March, 2015

Australia: Infantile Greenies and the "threatened" future of a pretty Tasmanian parrot

The article below is from the environmental writer at the Australian far-Left "New Matilda" magazine so its truthfulness cannot be assumed  -- but the interesting thing is the approach of the article. It is typical of "stop everything" environmentalism.  It offers no compromise and no middle way.  Instead of assisting informed decision-making it just does its best to build a roadblock to action. 

In those circumstances, if there are foolish decisions made about environmental matters the Greens are partly responsible for that.  Most of Tasmmania is locked up under environmental regulations so there has been no balance at all so far.  The voters have clearly grown tired of that and gave Tasmania's conservatives an unprecedented clear victory in the last State election.  The conservatives are now doing what they were elected to do -- unlock some of the locked-off areas.  It would be so much better if they could do it in a consultative way with all parties -- but compromise is unknown to Greenies.  "We want it all" is their juvenile cry. 

A more mature Greenie response to what the voters have clearly asked for would be to suggest alternative areas that could be opened up that did not threaten environmental harm.  But in a long article (only partially excerpted below) there was no whisper of that.  They are emotional toddlers

Concerns over the Abbott government’s plans to “deregulate” the environment and give up much of its environmental powers to the states found a compelling voice this week, as revelations emerged that the Tasmanian government approved logging in contravention of expert advice, knowingly pushing an endangered bird much closer to extinction.

It’s the sort of industry-first approach that environmental lawyers and conservationists are concerned could become far more common under the federal government’s so-called ‘One Stop Shop’ reforms.

The policy would drastically diminish the federal environment minister’s portfolio and see state governments - which stand to gain much more from big developments, mining, and forestry - vested with assessment and approval powers over matters of national environmental significance.

The government says the ‘One Stop Shop’ will cut red tape without a drop in environmental standards but documents obtained by Environment Tasmania under freedom of information laws, released earlier week, have raised serious questions over the state’s commitment to conservation.

The Hodgman government has approved the logging of at least three out of five areas of forest which provide key breeding habitat for the endangered Swift Parrot, it was revealed, despite repeated advice from experts that it will hasten the species’ already steep decline to extinction.

“Conservation objectives for the species at the [local] and regional scales will not be met” if the areas are logged, scientists within Tasmania’s environment department warned.

Less than 1,000 breeding pairs of Swift Parrot remain. Each year the bird undertakes the longest known migration of any parrot, to breed on the east coast of Tasmania.

The areas the Tasmanian government has now approved for logging are high-quality nesting habitat that are known to host large numbers of the just 2,000 remaining individuals during breeding season.

Cutting down forests in this breeding habitat, scientists within the department warn in one email, “will result in the continued loss of breeding habitat that has been identified as being of very high importance for the species with the further fragmentation of foraging habitat”.

“This cannot contribute to the long term survival of the species.”

Put simply, “there is no scientific evidence to support the position that continued harvesting of breeding habitat will support conservation objectives for the species”.

Ordinarily, where matters of national environmental significance such as threatened species are involved, the federal Environmental Protection Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act would be triggered and the Commonwealth government would be tasked with ensuring conservation outcomes are met.

For the Swift Parrot, though, there was no federal safeguard.

The Tasmanian government was allowed to issue the approvals, and ignore the expert advice, because of a deal with the federal government, known as the Regional Forestry Agreement (RFA).

It’s a deal that is remarkably similar to the wholesale hand-over of powers the Abbott government is pursuing through its One Stop Shop reform.


New Federal Regulations Threaten Fracking Boom

The Department of Interior missed an opportunity for real reform recently when it released new regulations on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, on federal lands.

Since the onset of the Obama administration, the U.S. has undergone both an energy boom that was the bright spot in the great recession and a heated political battle over the Department of Interior’s lack of transparency that significantly slowed oil and gas production on federal lands. It also likely is not the last rule coming from the Obama administration to regulate fracking.

In typical “If it keeps moving, regulate it” fashion, Interior started a rule-making process in November 2010 in response to increased fracking activity and public concerns that were exacerbated by fallacious films such as Gasland and Matt Damon’s Promised Land.

The rule updates and expands regulation and will be revisited again in seven years. It is largely duplicative of what states already do to regulate fracking—adjusting construction standards to protect water resources and requiring disclosure of chemicals and advance public notice of fracking activity. Regulations apply to federal and Indian lands as well as private or state lands where the underground mineral rights belong to the federal government. States otherwise would regulate fracking on state and private lands as they have been. Unsurprisingly, extremist environmental groups did not think the Interior Department went far enough.

The Department of Interior should have taken the fracking boom as an opportunity to pivot away from one-size-fits-all regulation and turn management of fracking activity to the states. Regulation at the state and local level—as opposed to from Washington—has been a chief reason for the impressive economic results and environmental record of the new technology. Even the White House Council of Economic Adviser’s noted in its annual report to Congress that the regulatory structure that met local concerns regarding fracking was at the state and local level.

Instead, it has taken Interior five years to develop these new regulations, and politically driven management of federal lands has played a significant role in the loss of productivity on those lands. Meanwhile, states have effectively and efficiently managed the energy boom on state and private lands even as demand to develop oil and gas resources has increased. In fact, states have been regulating fracking for decades. While federal regulators lose even more time putting these new regulations into practice, states already have policies in place that reflect the unique conditions of the state.

Federal management of energy resources also has had a chilling effect on productivity. According to the Congressional Research Service, roughly 43 percent of all proven crude oil reserves in the U.S. are on federal lands. And yet, since 2009, oil production on federal lands has fallen by 9 percent even as production on state and private lands has increased by 61 percent over the same period. In 2010, 36 percent of all domestic oil production came from federal lands; now only 23 percent does. A similar story can be told of coal and natural gas. This activity translated into more jobs and higher incomes.

States have also been more responsive to the unique interests and concerns of their communities, in contrast to Interior’s approach of stalling on granting permits to drill for oil and gas. Not a single case of water contamination has been caused by the process of fracking, and although there are best practices that must be followed, fracking has withstood the many myths demonizing the technology.

Some communities have elected to ban the use of fracking technology. Unfortunate and misguided as that is, good environmental policy puts the freedom to make decisions in the hands of the people who are affected most by management choices. Nevertheless, Interior’s rule prevents this local decision-making.

Congress and energy producers already have responded in kind. In recent days, 27 senators introduced legislation to block the regulation and the Independent Petroleum Association of America and Western Energy Alliance filed a lawsuit against the Department of Interior, calling the rule “a reaction to unsubstantiated concerns” that “lacks the factual, scientific or engineering evidence necessary to sustain the agency’s action.” Ultimately states, not Washington, should regulate fracking activities on federal lands. They are more knowledgeable and adaptable to the conditions of each region.


Gallup: Concern About Environment Down – Americans Worry Least About Global Warming

Americans’ concern over environmental issues such as water and air pollution and extinction of species is down from last year, and the data show that of all green issues, Americans worry the least about global warming (or climate change), according to Gallup.

As part of its annual Environmental survey, which Gallup has done for more than two decades, the surveyors on March 5-8 asked, “I’m going to read you a list of environmental problems. As I read each one, please tell me if you personally worry about this problem a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or not at all.”

The results showed that when it came to “pollution of drinking water,”  60% worried about it a “great deal” in 2014 but only 55% worried about it a “great deal” in 2015.

For “global warming or climate change,” some 34% worried about it a “great deal” in 2014 but that went down to 32% in 2015.

Commenting on the results, Gallup said,  “Americans' concern about several major environmental threats has eased after increasing last year. As in the past, Americans express the greatest worry about pollution of drinking water, and the least about global warming or climate change.”

“[T]he nature of the environmental agenda may indirectly be influencing Americans' concern,” said Gallup.  “The primary focus of the environmental movement has shifted toward long-term threats like global warming -- issues about which Americans tend to worry less than about more immediate threats like pollution.”

“Importantly,” said the surveyors, “even as global warming has received greater attention as an environmental problem from politicians and the media in recent years, Americans' worry about it is no higher now than when Gallup first asked about it in 1989.”

When Gallup broke the data down by political party, Republican versus Democrat, it found that only 13% of Republicans worry a “great deal” about global warming in 2015 while 52% of Democrats worry a “great deal” about the issue.

“Democrats worry more than Republicans about all of the issues,” said Gallup.  “Notably, Democrats are more worried about global warming now than they were in 2000, perhaps reflecting the shift in the focus of the environmental agenda toward this issue.”

In its survey, Gallup interviewed by telephone a random sample of 1,025 adults, aged 18 and older, in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The poll had a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points.


Thanks to the EPA, Even If You Like Your Shower, You Can't Keep It

A good shower is one of life's simple pleasures. Until it gets interrupted by government.

If you like your shower, you probably can't keep it once the bureaucrats are done. The War on Women and Men Taking Showers began with a 1992 law that restricts how much water can flow through each nozzle. In 2010, the feds cracked down against multiple-nozzle showerheads. Now the EPA wants to limit how long we can stay in the shower.

The Environmental Protection Agency is subsidizing development by the University of Tulsa of a shower-timing system that allows people to be billed according to their time in the shower. The concept starts by providing hotels with real-time reports on each guest. With normal bureaucratic progression, this could soon become a requirement that everybody is metered in their showers at home.

This is government pushing us around. It is part of the “nudge” philosophy pushed by President Barack Obama's former regulations czar, Cass Sunstein. He co-authored the book, Nudge, which describes how laws and regulations can push us to behave the way that government desires. We pay more for light bulbs, pay more for automobiles, pay more for electricity, and get less in the shower, all because government denies us any other choice. Indeed, the EPA grant on timing shower-taking states that behavior modification is the goal.

What difference does it make when our showering is regulated?

Surveys by soapmakers reveal that two-thirds of us shower (or bathe) daily, with the average being 5 showers per week. For American men, we shower 10 minutes at a time, with 15 minutes for women. Those who sing in the shower usually take longer—and evidently that's a majority of us.

The exact times differ in various studies. According to the EPA, the average shower is eight minutes, which they say is still too long. EPA brochures encourage us to drop down by a minute, to what would be a 7-minute norm. That's barely enough time to sing two songs!

Multiple environmental groups want more; they promote a 5-minute max. Many of these advocate taking an even-briefer “Navy shower”: 1) turn on water to rinse your hair and body; 2) turn off the water while you apply shampoo, use soap, and scrub; 3) turn on the water for a quick rinse-off, then turn it off and dry yourself.

That's hardly enough time to sing a single verse.

It's easy to imagine an EPA-run system that shuts off our water automatically when we reach their time limit. The agency claims it has no such plan; it is only making suggestions for shorter showers. But the bureaucratic practice is that suggestions become guidelines, which become policies, which become legally-binding regulations.

Bit-by-bit and drop-by-drop, the feds are stifling our showering.

The original restrictions were enacted by Congress in 1992, signed by President George H.W. Bush. That Clean Water Act dictated low-flow showerheads (2.5 gallons-per-minute max), along with 1.6 gallons-per-flush toilets. Many people turned to multi-nozzle showers to get as one workaround. Then came President Barack Obama. His bureaucrats in 2010 re-interpreted the law and declared that all nozzles combined cannot exceed 2.5 gpm. They filed lawsuits against fixture manufacturers to enforce this.

EPA keeps pushing the envelope even farther. They seek to lower the norm to 2.0 gpm or less, via a series of “WaterSense” incentive awards. Innkeepers, manufacturers, homebuilders, contractors and others are asked to sign a written agreement with the EPA to voluntarily lower their allowed legal limit of water use. Those groups are then allowed to use the “WaterSense” logo on their products and advertising; they benefit from EPA's marketing campaign that supports the label.

Is all this restriction on water usage really necessary? There is no shortage of water, not even what can be made available for drought-stricken California. The problem is that moving, processing and reclaiming water all require energy. And the constant environmentalist crackdown on energy sources keeps making it too expensive to get the water everyplace where it is needed.

The federal restrictions, however, apply equally to all parts of the country, whether local water problems exist there or not.

The law of supply and demand still works. Those who choose to use more H2O can pay higher water bills for the privilege. But green advocates complain that it's unfair to let people consume more of a product simply because they can afford to do so.

What goes unmentioned is that low-flow showerheads cost more for everyone. Manufacturers must add extra internal features to enhance the water velocity, otherwise the low-flow might dribble out and fail to wash away the suds. For decent quality, the lower the flow, the higher the price.

Meanwhile, Americans are engaged in massive civil disobedience about showering. Many purchasers of new showerheads—the majority, according to reports—soon remove the flow restrictor or drill a larger hole in the shower fitting so they can enjoy more than just 2.5 gallons per minute.

Perhaps someday this will lead to a modern-day Boston Tea Party. But this time it would be the low-flow nozzles and toilets that get dumped in the harbor.


Challenging the EPA Steamroller

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week in Michigan v. EPA, a case that has the potential to either check the Environmental Protection Agency’s runaway abuse of power or give it unchecked authority to bankrupt any industry it sees fit.

At issue is the agency’s duty to adhere to the Clean Air Act’s “appropriate and necessary” standard when issuing and enforcing regulations. The EPA published mercury and air toxin standards in 2012 that, by the agency’s own estimates, would cost the economy close to $10 billion annually. The public health benefits supposedly to be gained from the rules would amount to $6 million annually at the most, meaning that every $20,000 of regulatory fees that the energy industry pays would lead to only $1 in public benefit. What a deal.

The EPA argues economic cost is not a factor when considering whether regulations are appropriate and necessary, claiming environmental benefits alone are what concern the agency.

When the case was before the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s dissent took the EPA to task: “Your only statutory direction is to decide whether it is ‘appropriate’ to go forward with the regulation. Before making that decision, what information would you want to know? You would certainly want to understand the benefits from the regulations. And you would surely ask how much the regulations would cost. You would no doubt take both of those considerations – benefits and costs – into account in making your decision. That’s just common sense and sound government practice.”

The EPA, though, is not concerned with common sense or legality. Its goal with the mercury regulations, among the costliest in history, is to drive coal-fired power plants out of business. And it’s all part of Barack Obama’s strategy to make sure electricity prices “necessarily skyrocket.”

During oral arguments before the Supreme Court, Justice Stephen Breyer, one of the Obama administration’s most loyal water carriers, tried to justify the EPA’s position. He suggested that the agency would consider the appropriateness of costs at some later point when enforcing the mercury rule since, under the Clean Air Act, the EPA has the power to apply rules in an “appropriate and necessary” manner.

It’s hoped that the legal minds of at least five Supreme Court justices will be sharp enough to recognize the contradiction of such an argument. If the EPA wasn’t concerned about whether its measures were appropriate at the regulatory rulemaking phase, then where’s the incentive to revisit the appropriate cost later on? Furthermore, if the EPA has the ability to decide whether the regulatory cost was appropriate at a later date, then it’s engaging in an action that it has stated in this case it need not do.

In Michigan v. EPA, the agency argues Rule of Law is irrelevant. If the Supreme Court rightly disagrees, then it will rule against this rogue EPA.




“Sustainability” is a key idea on college campuses in the United States and the rest of the Western world. To the unsuspecting, sustainability is just a new name for environmentalism. But the word really marks out a new and larger ideological territory in which curtailing economic, political, and intellectual liberty is the price that must be paid now to ensure the welfare of future generations.

This report is the first in-depth critical study of the sustainability movement in higher education. The movement, of course, extends well beyond the college campus. It affects party politics, government bureaucracy, the energy industry, Hollywood, schools, and consumers.

But the college campus is where the movement gets its voice of authority, and where it molds the views and commands the attention of young people.

While we take no position in the climate change debate, we focus in this study on how the sustainability movement has distorted higher education. We examine the harm it has done to college curricula and the limits it has imposed on the freedom of students to inquire and to make their own decisions.

Our report also offers an anatomy of the campus sustainability movement in the United States. We explain how it came to prominence and how it is organized. We also examine the financial costs to colleges and universities in their efforts to achieve some of the movement’s goals.

Often the movement presents its program as saving these institutions money. But we have found that American colleges and universities currently spend more than $3.4 billion per year pursuing their dreams of “sustainability” at a time when college tuitions are soaring and 7.5 percent of recent college graduates are unemployed and another 46 percent underemployed.

In addition to the direct costs of the movement, we examine the growing demands by sustainability advocates that colleges and universities divest their holdings in carbon-based energy companies without regard to forgone income or growth in their endowments.

What makes “sustainability” so important that institutions facing financial distress are willing to prioritize spending on it? In this report, we examine that question. Because the idea of “anthropogenic global warming”—or “climate change”—is so closely interwoven with the sustainability movement, we devote a chapter early in the report to laying out the arguments on both sides of the debate.

The appeal of the sustainability movement depends to a great extent on the belief that the world is experiencing catastrophic warming as a result of human activities that are increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Is this belief warranted?

We are neutral on this proposition, but we stand by the principle that all important ideas ought to be open to reasoned debate and careful examination of the evidence. This puts us and others at odds with many in the sustainability movement whose declared position is that the time for debate is over and that those who persist in raising basic questions are “climate deniers.”

The “debate-isover” position is itself at odds with intellectual freedom and is why the campus sustainability movement should be examined skeptically.

We support good stewardship of natural resources, but we see in the sustainability movement a hardening of irrational demands to suspend free inquiry in favor of unproven theories of imminent catastrophe.

And we see, under the aegis of sustainability, a movement that often takes its bearings from its hostility towards material prosperity, consumerism, free markets, and even democratic self-government.

Full report here (PDF)


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


29 March, 2015

South Pole's icy edge is rapidly vanishing: Antarctic ice shelves have shrunk by as much as 18% in ten years, claims study

Amusing.  The ice loss has accelerated in the last decade.  But there has been no global warming in the last decade.  So the loss CANNOT be due to global warming.  If the data is sound -- a very big IF when looking at Warmist research -- the effect is probably due to sub-surface vulcanism  -- with a lot of that being revealed recently

Antarctica's icy edge is disappearing in warming ocean waters, with the last decade seeing the rate of ice loss increase dramatically.

This is according to a new study that has combined 18-years worth of ice shelf thinning data from three different sets of satellites.

The researchers claim that some ice shelves in West Antarctica have lost as much as 18 per cent of their volume in the last ten years.

Satellite data from 1994 to 2012 clearly shows the accelerating decline which could hasten the rise in global sea levels, scientists say.

The findings, published today in the journal Science, come amid concern among many scientists about the effects of global climate change on Earth's vast, remote polar regions.

During the study period's first half, to about 2003, the overall volume decline around Antarctica was small, with West Antarctica losses almost balanced out by gains in East Antarctica.

After that, western losses accelerated and gains in the east ended.

'There has been more and more ice being lost from Antarctica's floating ice shelves,' said glaciologist Helen Fricker of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.

The Crosson Ice Shelf in the Amundsen Sea and the Venable Ice Shelf in the Bellingshausen Sea, both in West Antarctica, each shrank about 18 percent during the study period.

'If the loss rates that we observed during the past two decades are sustained, some ice shelves in the Amundsen and Bellingshausen seas could disappear within this century,' added Scripps geophysics doctoral candidate Fernando Paolo.

The melting of these ice shelves does not directly affect sea levels because they are already floating.

'This is just like your glass of gin and tonic. When the ice cubes melt, the level of liquid in the glass does not rise,' Paolo said.

But the floating ice shelves provide a restraining force for land-based ice, and their reduction would increase the flow of the ice from the land into the ocean, which would increase sea levels.

'While it is fair to say that we're seeing the ice shelves responding to climate change, we don't believe there is enough evidence to directly relate recent ice shelf losses specifically to changes in global temperature,' Fricker said.


Weather Vain: Obama Uses Climate Hoax to Bully Govs

DESPITE the uncertainty expressed by his own FEMA head: "Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Craig Fugate said the frequency of tornadoes and hurricanes is cyclical, and he doesn’t know if global warming has anything to do with it. Should Obama's own FEMA head be denied funding?.

If you can’t beat ‘em, buy 'em! That’s the President’s new approach to climate change skeptics in conservative states. The Obama administration is apparently so desperate for support that it’s willing to blackmail governors into adding global warming to their disaster planning – or block their federal funds. FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said the conform-or-pay rules would go into effect next March. In the meantime, governors have a choice: they can bow down to the Left’s faulty science or lose millions of dollars in FEMA relief planning.

Under the new regulations, only states that tackle the effects of “changing environmental or climate conditions” in their long-term “hazard-mitigation plans” will qualify for funding. Specifically, governors must “identify tools and approaches that enable decision-making to reduce risks and increase resilience from a changing climate.” It’s a shocking amount of political arm-twisting, even for this administration.

Clearly, the rules were made to hurt – and it’s no secret whom. Republican Governors like Rick Scott (Fla.), Bobby Jindal (La.), Chris Christie (N.J.), Pat McCrory (N.C.), and Greg Abbott (Texas) have been openly critical of the administration’s climate push, and these guidelines are payback. Of course, many of these regions – including my home state of Louisiana – are coastal, meaning that they are especially vulnerable to storms and other natural disasters. And while FEMA promises that it won’t attach these same strings to hurricane, flood, or other post-disaster relief, the administration’s word is about as reliable as the Left’s science.

Interestingly enough, FEMA’s extortion plan comes on the heels of a pretty damning report from key environmental experts, who agreed last year that the White House’s National Climate Assessment is a “masterpiece of marketing” that crumbles like a “house of cards” under the weight of real-world evidence. In an open letter, the group of 15 blasted the government’s “climate models” for “dramatically fail(ing) basic verification tests. Nowhere do they admit to these well-known failures. Instead, we are led to believe that their climate models are close to perfection.” The real damage control started well before when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was forced to admit that the world’s temperatures haven’t risen in 17 years. (If you thought the holes in the Ozone layer were big, you should see the ones in the Left’s credibility!)

Without any real science to prop up his agenda, the President is pulling a page from his abortion playbook: government extortion. Unfortunately, this kind of ideological hostage-taking is nothing new for the White House. When Catholic Charities wouldn’t pledge allegiance to the administration’s abortion views, HHS pulled the plug on more than $5 million in human trafficking grants, despite the fact Catholic Charities is among the most qualified organizations to render aid and assistance to the trafficked.

Obviously, the totalitarian tactics of this administration knows no bounds. “This story really brings together all the elements of Obamaism,” writes Dan McLaughlin. As HotAir puts it, “It’s legally dubious; it ignores Congress… it’s an obvious political pander to the Left with a bonus of putting right-wingers in a spot, even at the expense of placing citizens at risk; and it (mocks) state autonomy. Basically, it’s the environmental equivalent of executive amnesty. All that’s missing is 18-24 months of Obama statements denying that he’d ever do something like this before turning around and doing it.”


The Great Oxygenation Event

Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser


Photosynthesis (PS) is the process by which algae and plants convert carbon dioxide (CO2) to organic matter, like the wood of trees. Any other organism on this planet that is not an alga or plant itself feeds on the former. Therefore, CO2 is the source of all life on earth. There is not a single organism that does not require the carbon atom as a basic building block.

Photosynthesis brings about another product, rarely mentioned but vital to all higher organisms on the planet, and that is molecular oxygen (O2). There is no other source of O2 on earth but photosynthesis. Therefore, without carbon dioxide there also would be no free oxygen in our atmosphere.
Oxygen (O2)

Without oxygen in the water there would be no fish. Without oxygen in the air there would be no mammals on land. Oxygen is the material organisms need to turn the plant-accumulated sun-energy into energy useful for our ability to move and propagate. Given its concentration in the air alone, nearly 21%, oxygen is approximately 500 times the level of CO2 that makes up 0.04% (even after burning all the fossil fuels for centuries). As you can see, there is little CO2 but plenty of O2 in the atmosphere.

Given the fact that all free molecular O2 in our atmosphere and water comes solely from CO2 via the photosynthesis (PS) process, you may wonder if this was a “slow and steady” accumulation of O2 or if there were epochs in the earth history that really got the PS process going in grand style. Indeed, the latter was the case and it’s what scientists commonly refer to as “the great oxygenation events” (GOEs). Actually, there were two such periods. The first one some two billion years ago (plus or minus a few million) and second one a billion-plus years later. Now, don’t get the idea that the GOE happened over night or even over a few thousand years. In geological terms such “short” periods are not even mentionable. No, each GEO took many millions of years.

The Great Oxygenation Event

However, the GOE is real, particularly the second one. It was a time of great plant exuberance on earth. Plants like the modern-day horsetail (Equisetum sp.) and the long-extinct scale trees were growing all over like mad. In some of the coal seams, their imprints can still be found. The GOE happened mainly during the (geological) Carboniferous period stretching from 350 to 300 million years ago. During these 50 million years, a great part of the atmospheric CO2 was converted by PS to O2.

Actually, the PS process was so active then that the O2 concentration in the air rose to 35%, nearly double the level it is today. The decline since took many more millions of years to distribute it “more justly” between the atmosphere and the ocean water. Today, the oceans hold much of that formerly “excess” molecular oxygen. But now back to the “evil” carbon dioxide.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

As mentioned already but worth repeating here: the entire supply of molecular oxygen on earth is derived from that CO2. Naturally (pun intended) the PS process did not just create the oxygen, it also had a “side effect” of reducing the atmosphere’s content of CO2. Around the time of the GOE, the atmosphere contained more than ten times the level of today and before that it was more than a 100 times that level.

Despite the planet’s continuous (and still continuing) attempts to keep the atmosphere supplied with an adequate level of that CO2 stuff it had steadily declined to a level of approximately 200 ppm (parts per million). At that concentration, plants simply become starved of available CO2 as its partial pressure can no longer sustain PS. Mother Nature’s PS process consumed more CO2 than all the thousands of volcanic vents and eruptions could push into the air. Luckily for all life on earth, the algae and plants did not die out and managed to slow down their CO2 consumption by “hibernating” until they could once more “breathe again freely” when the CO2 level had increased again. There is evidence in for that in the renewed growth of ancient redwood trees in California.

You’d think these facts alone would be enough to get the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all “anti-carbon-footprint-advisors” like the United Nations’ IPCC and many NGOs to reconsider. Not a chance. They are hell-bent to call it pollution. Even the U.S. Supreme Court said so (perhaps you can forward the link to this post or a copy to the court and/or to any of the elected officials in your area); they might just be interested in getting this info.

In any event, I think it’s an appropriate contribution to this year’s “Earth Hour” on Saturday, March 28, 2015. The WWF and other NGOs are asking you to curtail your “carbon footprint” for the “sake of Mother Nature.” Some folks then have a candle light dinner or candle light party.

That’s great, burn some candles at Earth Hour. It’s good, really, because burning candles produce more life-sustaining carbon dioxide than modern low-carbon-footprint electric lights.


Major peer-review scandal causes withdrawal of 43 published scientific papers

Peer review cannot prevent dishonesty or bias

There’s a lot of unsettled science going on these days. The peer-review system, which is supposed to serve as a quality assurance system, allowing credentialed experts to pass judgment on new research before it is published, is breaking down. The latest in a series of scandals involves 43 papers, but more are expected to follow.

Fred Barbash of the Washington Post reports:

    "A major publisher of scholarly medical and science articles has retracted 43 papers because of “fabricated” peer reviews amid signs of a broader fake peer review racket affecting many more publications.

    The publisher is BioMed Central, based in the United Kingdom, which puts out 277 peer-reviewed journals. A partial list of the retracted articles suggests most of them were written by scholars at universities in China, including China Medical University, Sichuan University, Shandong University and Jiaotong University Medical School. But Jigisha Patel, associate editorial director for research integrity at BioMed Central, said it’s not “a China problem. We get a lot of robust research of China. We see this as a broader problem of how scientists are judged.”

    Meanwhile, the Committee on Publication Ethics, a multidisciplinary group that includes more than 9000 journal editors, issued a statement suggesting a much broader potential problem. The committee, it said, “has become aware of systematic, inappropriate attempts to manipulate the peer review processes of several journals across different publishers.” Those journals are now reviewing manuscripts to determine how many may need to be retracted, it said."

Science has become a major industry, with the billions of dollars of government funding available not just in the US but worldwide providing incentives for cheating. Promotion in universities depends on publication in peer-reviewed journals, so desperate academics seek it, no matter how trivial or even phony the results. In addition, in medicine, climate science, and many other fields, huge financial stakes exist for non-scientists, leading to pressure on the peers who do the reviewing. As the Clmategate emails revealed, conspiracies among the peers who review can lead to suppression of research contrary to the interests of the conspirators.

The integrity of science – and the continued progress of mankind – depends on the efficacy of peer review. We are at a critical point, with the danger of phony science misleading us into dead ends and worse.


British regulator knocks back Warmist complaint

Decision of the Complaints Committee: 021014 Ward v The Mail on Sunday

1. Bob Ward complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that The Mail on Sunday had breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined “Exposed: Myth of Artic Meltdown”, published on 31/08/2014.

2. The article reported that the Arctic ice extent had increased over the last two years.

3. The complainant was concerned that the article gave the inaccurate impression that the long-term decline in Arctic sea ice had reversed. He said that the article had omitted the fact that the Arctic sea ice extent in August 2014 had been the seventh-lowest recorded level since records began. He also said that the article had not made clear that the 2012 reading had been the lowest on record, nor had the article explained that, on numerous occasions, the ice extent had increased for one year, without reversing the overall decline.

4. Further, the complainant said that the article had inaccurately reported that there was no evidence that the number of polar bears were declining. He said that latest estimates indicated that, of the 19 sub-populations of polar bears, four are declining, five are stable and one is increasing; there was not enough data to estimate trends for the other nine sub-populations. The article had included a graph recording Arctic Sea extent over the last ten years headlined “How melt has slowed over 10 years”. The complainant said that the graph was significantly misleading as the linear trend in the sea ice extent data was steeper for the period between 2004 and 2014 than it was for the entire record of 1979 to 2014.

5. The complainant said that the newspaper had also inaccurately reported the comments made by the American politician Al Gore; it said that in 2007 Mr Gore had suggested that the North Polar Ice Cap could be completely gone in seven years. The complainant said that it had been significantly misleading to omit that, while he had cited one study which predicted that this would be the case, he had also cited a different study which had suggested it could happen by 2029.

6. The complainant said that the newspaper should acknowledge that the article was inaccurate and significantly misleading, publish his letter in full and provide an assurance that it would take greater care to ensure that future articles on this issue were accurate.

7. The newspaper said that the “myth” mentioned in the headline was the claim that the Arctic might be ice-free by 2014. The article had reported the unexpected increase in Arctic sea ice over the past two years, but it had made clear that the long-term trend remains in decline, caused, at least in part, by human activity. The newspaper said that the article had included a considerable amount of balancing material and had quoted several scientists.

8. In relation to polar bears, the article had acknowledged that that there was “no reliable data from almost half the Arctic, so it cannot say whether numbers are falling or rising”. It had not been significantly misleading on this point.

9. The graph headlined “How melt has slowed over 10 years” had been accurate; readers could see for themselves how the levels of ice have gone down over the past 10 years, and up in the last two.

10. While the newspaper did not accept that the article was significantly misleading, it offered to publish a lightly amended version of the complainant’s letter. The complainant’s letter would make clear that he considered the article to be misleading.

Findings of the Committee

12. Topics such as the effects of climate change and global warming remain matters of intense discussion and debate. Under the terms of Clause 1, newspapers are entitled to publish controversial or unorthodox views on such issues, provided that they are not inaccurate or significantly misleading.

13. The article presented the author’s view that forecasts regarding the melting of Arctic ice had overestimated the rate of decline. The complainant did not dispute that measures showed that the Arctic ice extent had increased over the last two years. The article had made clear that the long-term trend still showed a decline, and the coverage had included commentary from a number of scientists, expressing a variety of views on the matter, including one who had stated that he was “uncomfortable with the idea of people saying the ice had bounced back”, and warned against reading too much into the ice increases. The article had made clear that scientific opinions regarding the significance of the most recent data varied. In this context, the omission of the information that the measure in 2012 had been the lowest on record, and that 2014 had still been the seventh lowest since records began, was not significantly misleading. The article did not suggest that it had been established as fact that the long-term decline in Arctic sea ice had reversed.

14. The article had made clear that the Polar Bear Specialist Group admitted that it did not have the necessary data to establish whether the numbers of polar bears was rising or falling. In this context, it had not been significantly misleading to suggest that there was no scientific evidence to establish that the number of bears was declining.

15. The article had been illustrated with a graph which plotted the Artic Sea extent in millions of square kilometres, titled “How melt has slowed over 10 years”.  While the Committee noted the complainant’s concern that the linear trend in the sea ice extent data was steeper for the period between 2004 and 2014 than it was for the entire record of 1979 to 2014, in circumstances in which the complainant did not dispute that the graph had been plotted accurately, the Committee was satisfied that the presentation of the data had not been significantly misleading.

16. The complainant was concerned that the newspaper had misrepresented a speech by Al Gore. As Mr Gore had cited a study which projected that the Arctic sea ice could disappear by 2014, it had not been significantly misleading to omit that he had also cited a different study which had suggested it could happen by 2029. The Committee also noted that the newspaper had tried to contact Al Gore for comment on this matter. There was no breach of the Code. Nonetheless, the Committee welcomed the newspaper’s offer to publish a letter from the complainant.


It’s Time to use U.S. Oil to make the World Far Safer

It’s Time to use U.S. Oil to make the World Far Safer
by STEVE CHAMBERS March 24, 2015

The United States has the opportunity to use vast, untapped reserves of oil to make the world far safer, now and for generations to come.  These reserves would eliminate the world's concerns about where its oil would come from, how much it would cost, or whether it might be shut off by Mideast warfare or willful disruptions.  They would defund some of the world's worst regimes.  And they would be profitable at today's prices, so pose no economic burden and in fact would provide many economic benefits.  The only thing standing in the way of developing them is feverish environmental fear.

The world consumes about 92 million barrels per day of oil, or roughly 34 billion barrels a year.  The oil market is quite separate from the rest of the energy market.  Lawrence Livermore Labs provides data that show that 70% of oil consumption in this country fuels transportation (the rest going primarily to industrial uses as both energy and chemical feedstocks), while transportation burns oil for 92% of its fuel.  Therefore, the oil market is quite separate from other sources of electrical generation, whether coal, nuclear reactors, or windmills.  This pattern is similar around the globe.  Global consumption has been growing quite steadily at just about 1% per year and is likely to continue to do so, even allowing for the numerous initiatives to make transportation less dependent on oil, including electric vehicles.

The economic growth of China and India, along with smaller countries, makes continued oil consumption growth virtually certain, and they might actually force growth to accelerate.  Each of those two giants alone is likely almost to double current total oil consumption by the time their economies yield per capita incomes comparable to the developed world, which should happen in the next generation or two.  The faster they grow their economies, the faster global oil consumption will grow.

Supplying this growing demand are officially declared, proven oil reserves of approximately 1.6 trillion barrels, which would last approximately 47 years at current consumption levels - but which will dwindle much faster as Chinese and Indian consumption grow.  Almost half of these global reserves lie under the sands of the Mideast, and would outlast reserves in most other areas given the various current production rates, so the world would become more and more reliant on Muslim oil.  As terrorism has bitterly taught the world in the past 14 years, some of the revenues from these Mideast reserves are being used to spread virulent versions of Islamic ideology and its accompanying jihad throughout the world.  If it weren't for these oil revenues, militant Islam wouldn't be a major global problem.

Of these global proven reserves, the U.S. contributes only about 30 billion barrels, or less than 2%, despite the rapid increase of reserves from the shale oil fracking boom.  At the current consumption of about 19 million barrels per day, these reserves would only last 4 years if not supplemented by imports and further discoveries.  Canada officially contributes 173 billion barrels, the third largest in the world, after Venezuela and Saudi Arabia; however, this number grossly understates the real potential in Canada.

The large majority of Canada's reserves come from the heavy oil in the sand formations of far northern Alberta.  These are variously estimated actually to contain between 1.6 and 2.5 trillion barrels - that is 1.0-1.6 times global proven conventional reserves.  Not all of these reserves can necessarily be recovered at current prices, but clearly the potential is enormous.  The lowest cost technology to tap these reserves is economic at about $60-65 per barrel (on a West Texas Intermediate oil price equivalent), according to the Canadian Research Institute, with alternative approaches requiring prices about $30 higher.

But the U.S. reserves are also grossly understated.  In the high scrub brush terrain of the Green River area of western Colorado, eastern Utah, and southwest Wyoming lie shale formations on or near the surface that are estimated to contain up to 3 trillion barrels - twice the global proven reserves.  Pilot programs have demonstrated that these reserves would be economic at about $35-54 per barrel, per the U.S. Department of Energy.  Combining the reserves in the Canadian oil sands with those in the Rockies shales, North America could triple the world's reserves of oil, at today's prices.

Despite the prodigious profit potential of these reserves, only three companies have recently begun tentatively developing them.  This is because the vast majority of the reserves lie on Federal lands that are not available for development.

This was not always the case.  Towards the end of its last term, the Bush administration issued regulatory policies, over the objections of Congressional Democrats, making these reserves more accessible than they had been.  The Obama administration reversed those polices in November 2012.  The reason: concerns about anthropogenic climate change (ACC).

Proponents of ACC theories hate all forms of carbon energy, but they harbor a special animus for both Canadian oil sands and Rockies oil shales.  Producing them requires large amounts of heat, which requires burning natural gas or oil itself, significantly increasing the carbon footprint of each barrel of oil.  As a consequence, environmentalists not only block the development of the Rockies shales, but are also blocking the XL Pipeline that would safely and efficiently transport the Canadian oil to Gulf Coast refineries, where it could be efficiently processed in facilities that were built to handle heavy Venezuelan crude oil.

ACC proponents greatly overstate both the strength of their evidence and the consequences of the potential problems, as an increasing amount of research and findings is demonstrating, including from ACC-promoting scientists.  Indeed, even their common claim that, in the words of Vice President Kerry, "Ninety-seven percent of the world's scientists tell us" that ACC is an "urgent" problem turns out to be a fiction.

Many scientists, including MIT professor emeritus of meteorolgy Richard Lindzen, have repeatedly pointed to flaws in the ACC theories, most recently Lindzen in a Wall Street Journal article.  In his article, he not only points out that ACC promoters' own models have predicted rapidly rising global temperatures for the last 15 years while actual temperatures have been flat, but also that the proposals to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide would be onerous for developed economies and crushing for developing ones.  Not incidentally, he also describes how Congressional devotees of ACC are trying to use the power of the Federal government to silence skeptics of accepted ACC wisdom.

Several panels of eminent economists, including many Nobel laureates, studied the likely impact of ACC under the aegis of the Copenhagen Consensus.  They, along with others such as energy specialist Alex Epstein (in his new book, The Earth is Not a God), have reached conclusions about ACC's economic consequences similar to those of climate scientists such as Professor Lindzen.  They have also pointed out that the policies environmentalists propose would hurt people in developing economies in the short and medium term and thus stunt their long term economic growth.  It's worth noting, incidentally, that the Copenhagen Consensus panels accepted the premise of ACC in reaching their conclusions.

Ironically, by hurting long term growth in developing countries, ACC proponents' policies would make it harder for the people in those countries to deal with the problems that they worry will occur.  If those developing economies instead grew and developed, their people would be able to adapt to and substantially mitigate the predicted negative impacts of ACC - if any in fact materialized.  Consequently, poorer countries are not concerned about addressing ACC.  They recognize a greater urgency to improve the economic lot of their people today and grow their income to the levels enjoyed by developed countries and won't sacrifice these gains to address problems that might or might not occur generations from now.  Nor are developing countries such as Venezuela, Nigeria, and China interested in suppressing their own oil production industries.

The ACC proponents' opposition to American oil is a fool's errand.  They can't stop everyone's oil from reaching the global market, just America's, but oil is fungible, so stopping American oil only is pointless.  Other countries also have large oil reserves, particularly the Venezuelans, who claim the world's largest reserves, at just under 300 billion barrels.  The large majority of these are oil sands, just as carbon-intensive as Canada's, that lie in the nearly inaccessible Orinoco basin.  Their production costs would be comparable to Canada's.  For the time being, the country's parlous economic and political situation are preventing production.  Yet even if Venezuela can overcome these problems, one must ask: Does the world really want this unstable nation and ally of Cuba and Iran to become the next Saudi Arabia?  Would the world not prefer to have the U.S. and Canada be the guarantors of oil security?

Even without the Venezuelans, other producers, such as Russia, Angola, and Nigeria, will bring new reserves onto the market, albeit probably at higher prices than North American producers would demand, and probably with their own political baggage.  High oil prices would be a grudgingly accepted consolation prize for environmentalists, as it might lead to more conservation.  But the price difference would likely be oil in a range a range of $90-110 from higher cost sources versus of $55-90 from the Canadian oil sands and Rockies' shale.  Is the limited conservation that this might induce enough to warrant preventing the U.S. from developing its huge reserves?  Consider the broader context.

Imagine the geopolitical impact of bountiful and moderately priced oil coming from two stable North American democracies.  The greatest impact would be on the militant Muslim petrostates, who are using their oil revenues as a weapon, exporting their extreme versions of Islam and funding terror and turmoil around the world.  Even more troubling, Iran's regime is currently in the process of trying to gain control the oil reserves of the Saudis, Iraq, and the other Mideast oil producers.  If it succeeds, it will be able unilaterally to threaten the non-Muslim world with oil disruptions - particularly if it obtains nuclear weapons.  But with virtually unlimited, moderate cost oil from North America, the oil receipts of Iran - as well as the Saudis - will be far below their current budgetary needs.  Not only will the Iranian regime have less money to fund its jihadist, expansionist plans, but the leverage it would hope to gain will virtually disappear, at least once the U.S. shale reserves are actually producing.  On the other hand, not developing these reserves will be an open invitation to the ayatollahs to continue to use oil as a sword of its jihad.

Moreover, the significant fiscal pressure that Iran would face for the foreseeable future might force the regime to curtail or even drop its nuclear arms program.  As a minimum, such constraints would force them to seek means other than oil exports to fund their regime and its vicious pet programs.  At best, the ensuing pressure on Iran's broader economy and people could precipitate merciful regime change.

This same economic vice would grip the Saudis and other militant Islamic petrostates, as well as Russia and Venezuela.  These bad actors would have to find other ways to finance their mayhem and ambitions.  Better yet, they would have to abandon them, to everyone else's benefit.

Consider also what this would mean for major oil consuming nations.  The Chinese regime would not have to worry about where its oil would come from, or whether disruptions in the Mideast could throttle its economic growth, leading to social unrest that might topple the regime and threaten the lives of the Party bosses.  This would affect their calculations about whether they need to devote so many of the nation's scarce resources to the blue water navy that it is now rapidly building to control sea lanes and dominate offshore oil reserves.  Perhaps with less uncertainty about oil, the Chinese government could be persuaded to be less expansionist and bellicose.

Meanwhile, India and the rest of the developing world would not have to worry about oil security, either, and would be able to focus their efforts and resources on other, more productive matters of economic development.  Furthermore, with secure, moderate cost energy, these countries should be able to grow more quickly than with higher cost oil.  Such higher growth would not only be a global good in its own right, it might enable some poor residents of an India or Tanzania, who otherwise might not survive to adulthood or receive an education, to develop technology that helps control the problems ACC might create- or demonstrate that there are no such problems in the first place.

Turning to Europe, its people would not be held in thrall by Muslim - or Russian - oil exporters.  This should have a liberating effect on their governments' attitudes towards these exporters and the Mideastern immigrants that are causing such burdens on their economies and disruption in their societies.  Stable, moderately priced oil would also produce much wider benefits for their economies.

Summarizing this geopolitical opportunity, America's vast oil reserves could be an important offensive economic weapon to help pacify, stabilize, and develop the world.  America could free the world from the risks of oil disruptions or price gyrations, not to mention the violence funded by Muslim and Russian oil revenues, to which the ACC proponents now subject us.

In addition to all those significant benefits, one must consider the substantial economic gains the U.S. would receive.  Our trade deficit would fall dramatically; every million barrels per day of oil exported would produce about $22 billion in revenue.  The U.S. Treasury would receive sizable windfalls from the combination of additional royalties on the oil produced and taxes on the profits of oil producers and income of workers.  Assuming an average royalty of 12.5%, reportedly the average for the last 100 years, for every additional 1 million barrels per day of production, the Treasury would receive about $2.7 billion.  If the Rockies could supply the incremental growth of the world over the next decade, that would reach roughly 10 million barrels a day in production, or exports of $220 billion per year (roughly half the trade deficit in 2013 of $472 billion) and royalties of $27 billion.  As the late Senator Everett Dirksen would have noted, we'd then be talking about "real money," even if the U.S. had to split the exports with Canada.

In addition to these benefits, the economy would reap many other rewards.  Well paying jobs would proliferate throughout the Rockies and along the routes that oil would follow for refining and export.  The benefits of these job increases would ripple throughout the economy.  Stable energy prices at reasonable levels would lower risk and hence allow higher returns on capital and greater productivity gains throughout the economy.  At the likely price levels, this situation might even help stimulate alternative, "clean" energy technologies by giving them a moderately high and stable price as a target.  Finally, greater geopolitical stability could even lead to a peace dividend.

The U.S. thus has the opportunity to make the world safer while substantially helping its own sluggish and debt-burdened economy.  Our choice is a simple but stark one: to use our energy as a weapon to defund and defang the jihad and a resurgent Russian empire while promoting global economic growth and stability; or to allow ACC proponents to perpetuate policies that endanger world peace and burden the global economy with high costs for dubious benefits.  Once we decide, the next step is simple.  The only thing Washington needs to do is to cut the red tape that is strangling our vast oil reserves (both Rockies shales and others on Federal land) and let private enterprise do the rest.

It's time for the American people to take a hard, clear-eyed, open-minded look at ACC worries and decide whether they really warrant leaving our oil weapon in its scabbard, despite all the good its use could do.  Already, poll after poll reports that Americans are overwhelmingly concerned about economic matters, and are far more concerned about national security than they are about ACC, if they even mention anything remotely like ACC among their concerns.  If Americans conclude that ACC isn't the great global threat some claim, then we should elect a government that will wield American oil for the prosperity and security of the entire world.



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 March, 2015

The latest "ad hominem" attack from a Warmist below

Even an alleged scientist, Ken Rice of U Edinburgh,  just cannot bear to mention any scientific data about climate.  His attack below on the skeptical Richard Tol in fact presents neither evidence nor reasoning.  It is a pure attack on the man himself. And such attacks are a classical informal fallacy in logic. They prove nothing.  Where is the data that prove Tol wrong?  There is none -- not a single solitary fact.  As any kind of a reply to Tol it is non-existent.  It's probably a reasonable expresion of faith though

Richard Tol has another article about how claims of a scientific consensus don’t stand up (you can read it here if you really want to). It’s the standard message that he’s been promoting for quite some time now and I really can’t bring myself to point out the flaws again; it’s just getting tedious. I’m also tired of always being a critic. I thought I might, instead, try to write something a bit more positive.

I think what Richard has done here is a fantastic example of how persistence can eventually pay off. If you have some kind of agenda, or a message you’d like to promote, just be persistent; eventually you will succeed in getting it out there. It doesn’t really matter if what you’re saying is strictly correct, or not. It doesn’t really matter if what you’re saying is balanced and objective, or not. It doesn’t really matter if what you’re arguing against is something you’ve already accepted as being true. Just keep going. Eventually you will succeed.

Ignore those who point out your errors and tell you that you’re wrong. Ignore those who point out that your behaviour leaves much to be desired. Few people are sufficiently persistent, and so they’ll eventually just give up. You’ll be left to promote your message, free from the criticisms of those who would rather your audience were informed, than misinformed.

Now, there are of course some big caveats. Your message does need to appeal to some kind of audience, ideally one with some power and influence. There’s no point doing this if you won’t actually achieve something. Your message also has to be at least plausible, and you do need to avoid promoting something that would be obviously objectionable and/or libelous. Of course, you’ll be reasonably safe from claims of libel, as most who typically complain about such things would probably be in your audience, rather than amongst those about whom you’re writing.

This strategy also isn’t for everyone. If you have any interest in maintaining some actual credibility, this may not be optimal. If, however, that doesn’t particularly bother you, then carry on. It can be a particularly successful strategy, as long as you have suitable persistence and little interest in what others might think of you.

So, there you go. People think that I can only be a critic, but sometimes I can see the positives in what those with whom I broadly disagree are doing. I think Richard is the living embodiment of the saying if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!. Maybe we could all learn a lesson from this episode? Maybe this is a strategy worth considering. On the other hand, if you have any interest in maintaining a shred of dignity, possibly not. Similarly, if you would like the strength of your argument to be based on something other than your critics simply giving up, this may not be for you.


The Religion of Planet Earth

By Father Raymond J. de Souza

One of the more curious aspects of the climate change debate is that those who most loudly profess to follow the science don’t act much like scientists — proposing and persuading — as much as they do ideological enforcers, shaming and punishing those who disagree.

It’s not my field, but those who argue here — Terrence Corcoran, Rex Murphy — for alternative views to the advertised consensus are rigorous thinkers with arguments to be engaged. I try my best to read as a layman what I am able to grasp about the issue. I have a healthy skepticism, not so much about climate science, but that the settled science, we are told, fits together rather too neatly with the agenda of those arguing for every greater state control of economic life.

Given that the principal global economic priority must be the development of the poorer nations, and that their people have suffered far too long from too much government control, I doubt that their affliction will be ameliorated by a global climate treaty. Which presents two priorities often presented in moral clothing — the obligation to alleviate poverty and the proper stewardship of creation.

All of which came to mind reading the letter of resignation of Rajendra Pachauri, head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) from 2002 to 2015, the UN body which provides the imprimatur of orthodoxy for climate science. Dr. Pachauri flew as high as it gets in the climate stratosphere, accepting the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the IPCC alongside co-winner Al Gore in 2007. Dr. Pachauri resigned last week after sexual harassment allegations were made in his native India.

About the veracity of the allegations I have no knowledge, but his letter to the UN secretary-general included this startling confession: “For me the protection of Planet Earth, the survival of all species and the sustainability of our ecosystems is more than a mission. It is my religion and my dharma.”

There are no shortage of Christians who ground their ecological concern in their theology of creation, and certainly the pantheistic religions of the east there would provide similar resources. Yet to declare the care of Earth to be a religion all by itself seems rather careless use of language.

It is unlikely that Dr. Pachauri actually worships his own work. In any case, that would be just workaday vanity in the world of celebrity climate activism, and need not be dressed up in the language of salvation. Likely what he meant was that he places ecological matters at the heart of his worldview, evaluates all other data in light of that, and therefore derives an economic and political program that needs to be imposed on the global social order.

He likely thinks that is what a religion is. But that is the world of ideology, not the world of religion, especially not of biblical religion in the Christian tradition.

Religion is not an ideology, though it can be corrupted to become one. Religion treats as fixed those points of revelation that have as their object that which is unchanging, namely God. Yet their application to the social order precisely requires a response to changing circumstances, including the insights of other disciplines, including economics, politics, history and the environmental sciences. That’s why there is no such thing as Christian tax policy, or trade policy or climate policy. For example, Christians have it as a matter of divine revelation that concern for the poor is not optional, but essential. How to best assist the poor remains a matter of differing circumstances and consequently competing policy choices.

Religion which presents a complete model of the social order, rooted only in principles generated from within itself, has in fact become more of an ideology than a faith open to the truth of the world, both revealed (theology) and observed (science). That actually sounds more like the IPCC today than the pulpit.

A hallmark of the post-Enlightenment world has been the denigration of religious belief as closed-minded by the scientific establishment. There is no more establishment body than the IPCC. It’s a shame that Dr. Pachauri left it to his leave-taking to reveal that his own approach is more close-minded ideology than rational science. A theologian would be more open-minded.


Global Warming Is Killing Everyone

Climate change, formerly known as global warming, often takes center stage for Democrats. That’s not true of the electorate, but Democrats are undeterred. What is astonishing is the degree to which Democrats will mislead their constituents to grab the reins of power in Washington, DC.

Take newly elected Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), who wooed voters by pledging to address man-made global warming with initiatives like cap and trade. On Feb. 4, Beyer wrote on his website, “In all, extreme weather events triggered over $110 billion in losses and almost 7,000 fatalities” in 2014. He reiterated that claim a month later in the Falls Church News-Press, in which he repeated, “More than 7,000 Americans lost their lives to climate change-fueled events last year.”

That’s pretty startling. And egregiously wrong. After Beyer’s assertion received backlash, spokesman Thomas Scanlon attempted to clear the air. “That number should be globally, not just in the United States,” he told PolitiFact. “We made an error in editing this column.”

Even still, the claim is deceptive. The statistic (which was actually 7,700) was derived from Germany-based insurer Munich RE, which tallies “global natural loss event.” According to researcher Peter Hoeppe, “We do not have the ability to identify the direct impact of global warming on fatalities caused by natural catastrophes, other than to say any fatality caused by the earthquake peril are not due to global warming.”

On that note, PolitiFact writes, “Of the 7,700 deaths, Munich RE estimated 850 were caused by earthquakes. The remaining 6,850 deaths, the company wrote, were caused by ‘weather-related’ events.”

But the evidence to back Beyer’s claim is essentially nonexistent. Michael Bastasch of The Daily Caller notes, “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change itself says there’s ‘limited evidence of changes in extremes associated with other climate variables since the mid-20th century.’” Moreover, Bastasch adds, “Not only has weather not been getting more ‘extreme’ in the last century, mankind’s ability to withstand extreme weather events has increased globally. The International Disaster Database reports that more than 3.5 million people were killed by natural disasters in the early 1930s when the world population was about half what it is today. Fast forward to 2014 and only 7,700 people worldwide were killed by natural disasters (which includes earthquakes), according to Munich Re.”

Any loss of life is a tragic part of the human condition, but 7,000 individuals is a far cry from 3.5 million. We should be thankful for the protection we have today, largely driven by fossil fuels and other economic development in the face of ecofascist opposition. But advancing the climate agenda requires alarmism.

One final note: Beyer made a career owning and operating Volvo, Land Rover, Kia, Volkswagen and Subaru dealerships. If he sincerely believes that alleviating “the harmful consequences of global climate change is the existential crisis of our generation,” as he so adamantly professes, perhaps he should start by shuttering his fossil fuel-burning, CO2-belching businesses.


Reporters Explain Why Balance Isn’t Needed On Global Warming

Is it morally permissible to allow “climate deniers” to appear in print and televised media?

Columbia University journalism students wrestled with this question recently at a screening of the new documentary, “Merchants of Doubt.” “Merchants,” based on the 2010 book by science historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, endeavors to smear skeptics of anthropogenic global warming as the henchmen of the fossil-fuel industry. The film is light on evidence, as I show here, but heavy on verve. Director Robert Kenner (“Food, Inc.”) traces the stories of sly 1950s tobacco reps who hired scientists to cast doubt on a growing consensus that smoking was unhealthy. The film’s implication, insinuated rather than demonstrated, is that global warming doubters are likewise mercenary.

If you buy that argument, then it makes some sense to keep “deniers” from deluding the public. In a room full of journalism students in training to ask tough questions and root out the truth, everyone bought it.

Global Warming Opposition Equals Propaganda

“It is a lie to say that global warming poses no danger,” New York Times reporter Justin Gillis told the crowd as part of a panel after the screening. He was responding to a question from the editor of the Columbia Journalism Review, who had asked him whether news outlets present a “false balance” when they cite both proponents and skeptics of anthropogenic global warming. Since the science is “settled,” and “consensus” has been achieved, why not quote only the proponents? “Journalists care about the truth—that’s my only care in life, to find the truth,” Gillis added. “To act as if the evidence is half and half is to tell a lie. I refuse to perpetuate that lie.”

Wendell Potter from the Huffington Post recommended that newspapers create a new “propaganda beat” with reporters devoted solely to unmasking the “deniers” as frauds.
“Accurate information about climate change is a human right,” insisted Emily Southerd, campaign manager for the advocacy group Forecast the Facts. “Accurate information” in this case apparently means “consensus” information. Southerd shared that her organization is petitioning news stations to quit booking “deniers” like Marc Morano of, one of the “merchants” shown in the film. Wendell Potter from the Huffington Post recommended that newspapers create a new “propaganda beat” with reporters devoted solely to unmasking the “deniers” as frauds.

It’s hard to take such caviling seriously when the New York Times is running beguiling hit pieces on respected (but climate-skeptic) astrophysicist Willie Soon and cheering a McCarthyite investigation into seven other professors who expressed skepticism towards the idea that global warming is dangerous and man-made. In the United Kingdom last summer, after global warming-skeptic Lord Nigel Lawson appeared on the BBC, the head of the BBC Complaints Unit announced that “minority opinions and sceptical views should not be treated on an equal footing with the scientific consensus.” Lawson has not been on the BBC since.

Skeptics are not exactly popular in the media. Gillis acknowledged a tacit pact among print journalists to stop giving credence to climate skeptics. He called this an “enlightenment” that began ten or 15 years ago. American television, he noted, still lets a few skeptics onto the air; broadcasters have yet to come out of the Dark Ages.

Denying the Deniers

The merits of the term “denier” also got some play among the panelists. Southerd cast a strong vote in favor of the term: “these people need to be labeled what they are: climate change deniers.” Gillis explained the need to maintain the appearance of impartiality. “This is much like the abortion wars: what term you use signals what side you are on.” His own preference was to describe the “deniers” as “people who oppose climate science.” He was adamant, though, that these opponents-of-climate-science should never be called “skeptics”; all scientists are professional skeptics, and it would be inappropriate to honor the climate-doubters with such a term.

Paper trails indicate that federal agencies solicited climate science research that supported their conclusions, cherry-picked peer reviewers known to be sympathetic to the pro-global warming cause, and overlooked conflicts of interest.
One member of the audience thought to ask about the funding for pro-anthropogenic global warming scientists. What if someone investigated the money that supports global warming research, and made a “Merchants of Doubt” sequel about the consensus scientists? An excellent question, especially since in the last 15 years pro-sustainability and global warming research has enjoyed nearly $400 million in funding from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); $3 billion from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; $600 million from the National Institutes of Health; $1.7 billion from National Science Foundation; and even $2 million from the National Endowment for the Arts.

No worries about that, Gillis responded: “99.9 percent of climate science is funded by the government.” That means, he explained, that each grant is disclosed by number to the public, making every transaction transparent and trustworthy.

But Gillis neglected to explain that studies from two different organizations have uncovered in this federally-funded research cozenage and artifice of exactly the sort “Merchants” espies in climate change doubters. Paper trails indicate that the EPA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and other federal agencies solicited climate science research that supported their conclusions, cherry-picked peer reviewers known to be sympathetic to the pro-global warming cause, and overlooked conflicts of interest by assigning research papers to be reviewed by members of the same organizations that produced the research in the first place. In response to concerns such as these, the House of Representatives is considering the Secret Science Reform Act and the Science Advisory Board Reform Act to try to bring transparency to the research these federal agencies use as the basis for their environmental regulations.

But none of this was relevant, apparently, in an evening’s conversation about threats to the integrity of climate science. Perhaps such obstinate belief in the credibility of global warming research should itself be labeled a kind of doubt-denialism.


Australia: Herbicide cancer claim cops a spray

The most common chemical used in Australia by farmers and gardeners to kill weeds “probably” causes cancer, according to the World Health Organisation.

The finding by the French-based International Agency for Research of Cancers that the ­active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup — glyphosate — is likely to be a carcinogen has shocked the agricultural sector.

The multi-weed killer remains approved for safe use in Australia, except around waterways, and throughout the world. The federal government’s Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority has not commented on this week’s WHO finding or decided whether it plans to review the safety of glyphosate, which makes up the bulk of Australia’s $1.5 billion annual herbicide sales.

Since its invention by chemical company Monsanto in 1974, glyphosate has become the most common herbicide sprayed by all farmers worldwide, usually ­applied after autumn rain and before crops like wheat, barley and canola are sown to kill weeds.

Monsanto yesterday reacted with “outrage”, accusing the WHO cancer agency of “agenda- driven bias”. It claimed the ruling was inconsistent with decades of safety reviews and more than 800 studies showing glyphosate is safe for human health.

South Australian grain grower Mark Jaensch has been using Roundup and other cheaper or generic brands of glyphosate on his 500ha of crops for the past 30 years.

He is about to order another 600 litres of the herbicide today as he waits for a good autumn break on his Callington farm to signal the start of new weed growth, spraying time and, finally, crop sowing.

Ironically, his glyphosate chemical use has increased since the 1990s when he started using new “direct drilling” methods, sowing crop seeds directly into old stubble beds — without the usual ploughing to control weeds — in a bid to preserve soil moisture and prevent erosion, topsoil loss and dust storms.

“I’m reliant on it; we can’t put our crops in without (glyphosate), it would be hard to replace it,” Mr Jaensch said.

“But to be honest, I’m not too worried about this new (WHO warning); unless something comes out more concrete than ‘probably causes cancer’, I think it’s just scaremongering — I mean it’s not even classed as a dangerous poison on the label and you can still buy it in a spray can from the supermarket.”

Mr Jaensch said the chief difference from the 30 years ago was that he was now a better and safer user of herbicides such as Roundup.

His big tractor with its air-conditioned cab has charcoal filters to prevent him breathing sprayed chemicals, laws are much stricter about under what weather and wind conditions herbicides can be used, and most farmers now must undertake a safe chemical course before being able to buy products.

IARC report co-author and glyphosate expert Kate Guyton said the new finding of “probable carcinogen” was based on existing evidence from multiple studies of the effects of glyphosate on male agricultural and forestry occupational workers.

She said the report stopped short of saying the chemical conclusively caused cancer, or how much exposure would trigger cancer, but did find that scientists know people exposed to glyphosate in their daily jobs experienced a higher incidence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma than those not exposed to the chemical.

Other studies have found that glyphosate leads to DNA and chromosomal damage in laboratory animals, which can lead to cancer.

“I don’t think home use is the issue; it’s [in] agricultural use this will have the biggest impact,” Dr Guyton said.  “For the moment, it’s just something for people to be conscious of.”

A recent study by the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety and the University of Sydney found the incidence of cancer is lower in farmers, than in the general population, despite having the highest level of exposure to pesticides.

Federal Agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce said today he would seek advice from the government’s Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority on whether the safety of glyphosate use needed to be reviewed.

But Mr Joyce did not appear overly worried by the new World Health Organisation “probable carcinogen” warning.  “A literature review of existing research suggests there is limited evidence that potentially links glyphosate with cancer,” Mr Joyce said.

“We propose to seek advice from the APVMA whether, on balance, the position has changed [but] this [IARC finding] would appear to be a re-identification of a small number of old research papers.”


Oil and gas exports: one policy change, many benefits

By Marita Noon

“Businesses that sell to foreign markets put more people to work in high-quality jobs, offering more Americans the chance to earn a decent wage,” claimed the Obama administration’s Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker in a March 18 Wall Street Journal (WSJ) opinion piece.

She makes a strong case for U.S. exports: “jobs in export-intensive industries pay up to 18 percent more than jobs not related to exports.” Her premise is: “The U.S. economy ended 2014 on the uptick, and exports added to the momentum.” Noticeably absent is any mention of the potential for “high-quality jobs” and economic “uptick” that would come from the export of America’s abundant oil-and-natural gas resources — something an executive order could expedite; something her office could champion.

Pritzker states: “From large enterprises and multinational corporations to small startups and local manufacturers, an increasing number of businesses are realizing that their customer base is no longer around the corner, but around the world. They understand that 95 percent of the world’s customers live outside the U.S., and to succeed in the 21st century, they must find a way to reach consumers in ever-expanding markets.” Penny, this is especially true for American energy!

Due to the modern technologies of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing — developed and refined within our borders — the U.S. is producing more oil and natural gas than in decades. So much that we are nearly out of places to store it. We know how to produce it safely and cheaply. But, unlike the airplanes Pritkzer’s co-author Jim McNerney, CEO of Boeing Co., builds, the oil-and-gas industry is prevented from sending its abundance to “foreign markets” — including our allies in Europe who are dependent on energy from a source that uses it as a weapon against them.

The same day WSJ published Pritzker’s piece, it featured a news story announcing: “some of the world’s biggest oil companies are starting to give up” on “hydraulic fracturing wildcatting in Europe, Russia and China.” This, despite the fact: “Eastern European officials who were eager to wean their nations off of Russian gas welcomed the explorers.” It explains: “Wells in Poland and China can cost up to $25 million each, while American wells on average cost about $5 million” — resulting in overseas costs to produce a barrel of shale oil that are higher than what it can be sold for with the current world-wide low prices.

In trade negotiations, the U.S., according to the New York Times (NYT), “typically argues that countries with excess supplies should export them.” We have excess supplies of both crude oil and natural gas that has driven down prices — resulting in “trouble for an industry that has done much to keep the national economy afloat in recent years.” We “should export them”—but we aren’t.

“Why can’t we export crude oil and natural gas?” you might ask — especially when the U.S. can export refined petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. The NYT explains: “In 2011, the country pivoted from being the world’s largest importer of petroleum products to becoming one of the leading exporters.” At that point, for the first time in 21 years, refined petroleum became our number one export product — though Pritzker never mentioned that.

The “energy world changed.” But, as NYT points out, exports could soak up the excess production, “but there are still political hurdles.”

For crude oil, the problem is energy policy enacted before the “energy world changed.” Signed into law in 1975, after the 1973 Arab oil embargo shook the U.S. with high oil prices, the goal of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, according to the International Business Times, was “to stifle the impact of future oil embargos by foreign oil producing countries.” The result was a ban on most U.S. oil exports — though some exceptions can be made and the Commerce Department has recently given export licenses to two companies for particular types of oil. The WSJ reports: “Ten companies have applied for similar ruling to export oil.”

For natural gas exports, the problem is two-fold. Exporting natural gas is not prohibited, but it is not encouraged or made easy. In order to export natural gas, it must be converted into Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) — which is done at multibillion-dollar facilities with long lead times for permitting and construction that require purchase contracts to back up financing. Many potential customers for U.S. LNG are non-Free Trade Agreement (FTA) countries. Currently, Breaking Energy (BE) reports, “the Department of Energy (DOE) has issued five final and four conditional approvals for LNG export to non-FTA countries.” The Financial Times says about two dozen U.S. LNG export facilities have been proposed with four “already under construction, which have contracts to back up their financing.” Last month, according to Reuters, looking to reduce dependence on supplies from Russia, Lithuania signed an agreement to purchase LNG from the U.S.’s first export terminal: Cheniere Energy Inc.’s Sabine Pass, which is expected to send its first cargoes by the end of this year.

Fortunately, as I predicted in November, there are fixes in the works that, as energy historian Daniel Yergin said, symbolize “a new era in U.S. energy and U.S. energy relations with the rest of the world.”

In January, Senators John Barrasso (R-WY) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) introduced the LNG Permitting Certainty and Transparency Act to expedite DOE decisions on LNG export applications. It specifically requires a decision on any LNG export application within 45 days after the environmental review document for the project is published. Currently, applications to export natural gas to non-FTA countries require the Secretary of Energy to make a public interest determination which includes a public comment period. Not surprisingly, “environmental groups are lobbying the Obama Administration to veto the bill.” BE states: “The bipartisan bill could garner enough votes to gain a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.”

A month later, Representative Joe Barton (R-TX), along with 14 co-sponsors, introduced a bill to end the crude oil export ban: HR 702. On March 25, the House Foreign Affairs Committee will meet to debate and vote on the bill — though its passage is not as optimistic as the LNG bill. Bloomberg sees that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are weary, fearing “that they’d be blamed if gasoline prices climb after the ban is lifted.” Oil producers support lifting the ban, while refiners oppose it.

In October, David Goldwyn, the State Department’s coordinator for international energy affairs in the first Obama administration, said: “The politics are hard.” He added: “When the economics become overwhelming the politics will shift.” The NYT stated: The telltale sign of a glut will be a collapse in the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) price, the principal American oil benchmark, which is currently [October 2014] about $3 below the world Brent price.” It continues, “If the spread cracks open, the economic arguments for free export of domestic crude will probably win the day.”

That day may have come. On March 13, the WSJ editorial board announced: “WTI now trades 20 percent below the world market price.” Holman Jenkins, who writes the Business World column for the WSJ, says: “Oil producers are already being denied a premium of $12 a barrel by not being allowed to export this oil.” Thomas Tunstall, research director at the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Institute for Economic Development, reported: “Before the rapid increase in U.S. oil and gas production, WTI historically sold at a slight premium to Brent, typically about $1-$3 per barrel.”

“U.S. pump prices are mainly tied to the price of Brent crude, which is freely traded on the world market and is higher than it might otherwise be because of the ban on U.S. exports,” explains the WSJ. “If U.S. producers were allowed to compete globally, prices of Brent and WTI would converge over time, and U.S. gasoline prices would come down, all things being equal.”

Now, the “industry that has done much to keep the national economy afloat” is in trouble. There have been some 74,000 layoffs in the U.S. oil patch since November.

If Congress could muster up the political will to lift the arcane oil export ban, the U.S. could emerge as a major world exporter, which according to the NYT, would result in the “return to a status that helped make the country a great power in the first half of the 20th century.” Yergin adds: “Economically, it means that money that was flowing out of the United States into sovereign wealth funds and treasuries around the world will now stay in the U.S. and be invested in the U.S., creating jobs. It doesn’t change everything, but it certainly provides a new dimension to U.S. influence in the world.”

Pritzker brags that the Commerce Department has “worked with the private sector to help businesses reach customers overseas; … to open new markets for U.S. goods and services; to reform the export-control process; and to overcome barriers to entry.” For U.S. oil-and-gas producers the biggest barrier to reaching customers overseas and opening up new markets is our own energy policy — something the administration and Congress have taken steps to fix. According to Bloomberg, if they knew the public was with them, lawmakers could easily save American jobs and investment, lower gasoline prices, help balance our trade deficit, aid our allies, and increase U.S. influence in the world.



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

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


26 March, 2015

More stupid speculation and bad data from some arch-Warmists

The data behind the claim below is totally corrupt, almost hilariously so, (See here) but even if it were immaculate the inferences drawn below from it would still be very questionable

The North Atlantic meridional overturning circulation is not well understood and attributing a change in it to global warming is pure speculation.  Rahmstorf is an oceanographer so he should be particularly ashamed at lending his name to this.  But, then again, he claims that observed average temperature differences of a few HUNDREDTHS of a degree mean something, even though they are not even statistically significant. 

And attributing changes in such a vast body of water to a temperature rise of less than one degree Celsius is on the face of it improbable anyhow

The Gulf Stream, the ocean current that brings mild weather to northern Europe and balmy conditions to the south east of the US, is slowing at its fastest rate in 1,000 years.

New research has revealed that the enormous currents that circulate warm and cold water around the Atlantic ocean has slowed by 15-20 per cent over the past century.

Scientists say that the increasing flow of fresh water from melting Greenland ice sheets may be driving the slowdown.

Professor Stefan Rahmstorf, an oceans physicist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, said: 'It is conspicuous that one specific area in the North Atlantic has been cooling in the past hundred years while the rest of the world heats up.

'Now we have detected strong evidence that the global conveyor has indeed been weakening in the past hundred years, particularly since 1970.

The findings suggest that as global temperatures rise due to climate change, areas that are warmed by the Gulf Stream could see temperatures fall, particularly in the winter. [Warming causes cooling, once again]

The Gulf Stream is a powerful current that forms part of the North Atlantic meridional overturning circulation.

This is a system of currents that are driven by the rising and sinking of water in different regions of the Atlantic.

Warm water from the equator is driven north towards the Artic where it cools, increases in salinity and sinks to the ocean depths.

This drives deep sea currents that pump water back to the equator, where it is warmed, rising to the surface and feeding the currents towards the pole.

In the Arctic, cold salty water sinks to the ocean depths, driving deep sea currents down to the equator where warmer water then rises to the surface and feeds the Gulf Stream.

The influx of warm water from the equator, which travels up through the Gulf of Mexico, past Maine and then up the west side of Britain and Norway, helps to warm weather systems in Northern Europe.

It makes winter conditions in much of northern Europe far milder than they normally would be, keeping Britain and the west coast of Norway largely snow and ice free through the winter months.

The researchers, whose study is published in the journal Nature Climate Change, found that the sea in the northern Atlantic is colder than predicted by computer models.  [What?  Another  model failure?]

They estimate that 8,000 cubic kilometres of fresh melt water haver flowed into the northern Atlantic from Greenland's icesheets between 1900 and 1970.

This fresh water is less dense than the salty water of the ocean and tends to float on the surface, disturbing the balance that causes cold water to sink in that region.

Usually freezing sea ice in the arctic causes the salinity of the ocean water to increase and so become more dense. Adding fresh water dilutes this effect.

Using recent sea surface and atmospheric temperature data, along with data from ice-cores, tree rings and sediments, they found that the changes in the ocean currents are unprecedented since the year 900AD.

However, the researchers also found that the cooling above the Northern Atlantic may also help to slightly reduce the effect of warming on the continents due to climate change.

They warn, however, that if the circulation weakens too much it could even break down completely. [How?]

Professor Jason Box, from the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, said it appeared man-made climate change was responsible for the slow down of the Gulf Stream and may worsen as global temperatures increase.

He said: 'The human-caused mass loss of the Greenland ice sheet appears to be slowing down the Atlantic overturning – and this effect might increase if temperatures are allowed to rise further.'


Why do Climate Denial and Racism go Hand in Hand?

Once again Warmists are abusing the messenger rather than discussing the facts. And they attempt to link only two individual climate skeptics to racism.  So even if all they say is true and relevant, they have no statistically sound basis for any generalization.  A sample of two is most unlikely to yield accurate generalizations. It would certainly fail a test of statistical significance.  Two swallows don't make a summer any more than one does.  So the post below is yet another example of the low intellectual level behind most Warmist writing

Famously climate denying Senator Ted Cruz announced for  President this week.

Above, see   Senator Cruz’s extravagant praise for one of the 20th century’s most prominent Southern racist segregationists, Jesse Helms. There’s a little well-documented history there for those too young to remember.

I’ve posted before on the link between racism and climate change denial, and I’ve noted that Senator Jim Inhofe is to climate denial as Strom Thurmond was to civil rights.  Both clung to outmoded and terribly destructive irrational prejudice, long beyond what reason would dictate. Even Thurmond softened his racial rhetoric in later years – while Inhofe has grown only more bombastic and shrill.

Here is yet another example, in Senator Cruz open admiration for Jesse Helms. Maybe there’s an answer to this in the way the denialist brain functions, that’s an area for further research.


Science Museums Urged to Cut Ties With Kochs

Dozens of climate scientists and environmental groups are calling for museums of science and natural history to “cut all ties” with fossil fuel companies and philanthropists like the Koch brothers.

A letter released on Tuesday asserts that such money is tainted by these donors’ efforts to deny the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change.

“When some of the biggest contributors to climate change and funders of misinformation on climate science sponsor exhibitions in museums of science and natural history, they undermine public confidence in the validity of the institutions responsible for transmitting scientific knowledge,” the letter states. “This corporate philanthropy comes at too high a cost.”

The letter does not mention specific companies, but it does name David H. Koch, who sits on the boards of the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and has given tens of millions of dollars to those institutions....

....Chris Norris, a paleontologist and prominent blogger on museum issues, warned that if museums started removing board members or turning down donations, they risked damaging their reputations for objectivity. Doing so, he added, would enable “others to argue that the information they provide is partisan and not to be trusted.”


Fossil Fuel Divestment Activists Could Stand in the way of any Transition to Cleaner Energy

Nobody is likely to confuse tiny Brevard College in North Carolina, student population about 700, with the University of California system, with 233,000 students on 10 sprawling campuses. But they have at least one thing in common: Students and faculty members think they can help "save the planet" if their schools stop investing in companies that recover and process fossil fuels.

Faculty, students, and alumni from 17 schools, including Dartmouth, Georgetown, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford, and the University of Pennsylvania, have even created a donor-advised divestment fund to pressure their universities "to do the right thing and divest from fossil fuels." When a school complies, it will receive the donations and earnings given in its name.

Though the school is not a member of this "Fossil Free Divestment Fund," Brevard's trustees recently fell in line, voting to purge such stocks from the school's $25 million endowment.

While those promoting divestment on college campuses clearly believe in their cause, what they don't appear to understand is that divestment could actually slow America's transition to nonpolluting energy.

As Lisa Jackson, President Obama's first Environmental Protection Agency administrator, made clear in her July 2009 testimony to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, U.S. action on climate change would have no impact on average global temperature if emissions in China, India, and the European Union continue to rise.

If the United States acting alone on climate change would have no practical impact, how much of an impact do you think the symbolic gesture of a few universities (or even a lot of universities) tinkering with their investment portfolios would have?

However, while divestment would have a negligible impact on climate change, it could have an impact on university earnings. That, in turn, could slow efforts to reduce the world's reliance on fossil fuels.

According to the National Association of College and University Business Officers, roughly $22 billion in university funds are invested in energy and natural-resource companies, about 5 percent of all university assets.

Harvard President Drew Faust, whose students staged a sit-in recently in support of divestment, observes that endowments are a "resource, not an instrument to impel social or political change."

Consider the University of California. In its wide-flung system, tens of thousands of students commute to class each day, so there's a practical side to the question as well. But there's also the matter of the reported $91 billion portfolio the chief investment officer manages, which helps fund academics, operations, pensions, research, and scholarships.

This is where divestment activists allow ideology to get in the way of practicality.

Universities already are on the cutting edge of technological advances that could help reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Divestment would hinder those efforts.

Robert Stavins, a professor of business and government at Harvard's Kennedy School and a lead author in three rounds of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says, "The real contributions of great universities to the fight against climate change will be through our products: research, teaching, and outreach to policy-makers. That is how we have made a difference on other societal challenges, and it is how we will make a real difference on this one."

While the vote by Brevard College's trustees may make students feel good, what divestment on a large scale could do is reduce the amount of money universities have to finance serious environmental research.

A bad idea at the best of times, selling oil and gas stocks in today's world of fossil-fuel abundance is an even worse idea. Crude oil prices have fallen dramatically during the past year, and the share prices of U.S. oil companies have followed the market down. Buying "high" and selling "low" is never a wise investment strategy - not for individual investors, not for institutions, and not for colleges and universities.

Universities can help chart America's energy future. But they can do this best in the classroom and laboratory, not by dumping their energy investments - especially at a loss.


An Obama prophecy fulfilled:  Electricity Price Index Climbed to New Record in February

The prophecy

The seasonally adjusted electricity price index climbed to a new record of 213.009 in February, up from 212.290 in January and from 206.404 a year ago.

The average price for a KWH of electricity—at 13.8 cents—was also the highest it has ever been in the month of February.

Electricity prices have not always risen in the United States.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual electricity price index, which measures the price of electricity relative to a baseline of 100, was 45.5 in 1913. By 1947, it had dropped to 26.6. By 1974, it had risen to only 44.1—meaning electricity was relatively less expensive in 1974 than it had been in 1913.

Electricity Price Index-February

Generation of electricity peaked in the United States in 2007, when the nation produced 4,156,745 million KWH of electricity, according the Energy Department’s Monthly Energy Review.

So far, the Department of Energy has only reported the electricity generation numbers for the first eleven months of 2014 (through November). But in those eleven months, the nation produced 3,748,649 million KWH of electricity, which is less than the 3,812,783 million KWH produced in the first eleven months of 2007.

That means the U.S. produced 64,134 million KWH less electricity--or 1.68 percent less--in the first eleven months of 2014 than it did in the first eleven months of 2007. At the same, according to Census Bureau estimates, the population of the United States grew from 301,621,157 in July 2007 to 318,857,056 in July 2014.

There has been a particularly dramatic decline in amount of electricity produced by coal in the United States since 2007. In the first eleven months of that year, the U.S. produced 1,845,881 million KWH of electricity using coal, according to the Monthly Energy Review. In the first eleven months of 2014, it produced 1,463,297 million KWH of electricity using coal. That is a decline of 382,584 million KWHs or 20.7 percent.

Average Price of KWH by Month

Increased production of electricity using solar and wind sources has not made up for the decline in coal power. In the first eleven months of 2007, the U.S. produced 550 million KWH using solar and 17,811 million KWH using wind—for a combined total of 18,361 million KWH for solar and wind.

In the first eleven months of 2014 that had increased to 17,360 million KWH using solar and 167,044 million KWH using wind for a combined solar-wind total of 184,404 million KWH from solar and wind—an increase from 2007 of 166,043 million KWH in solar and wind power.

That made up for only 43.4 percent of the lost production from coal.

Through November, the 184,404 million KWH of electricity produced in the United States using solar and wind equaled only 4.9 percent of the 3,748,649 million KWH electricity produced in the country in the first eleven months of 2014.

Data released by the BLS today also showed that the average price for a kilowatt hour (KWH) of electricity was 13.8 cents in February. That is the same as the average price in January of this year, but the highest price ever recorded for a February.

The average price for a KWH of electricity tends to hit its annual peak in the summer, decline in fall, hit its low point in winter and rise in spring. In July through November of 2012, the average price for a KWH was less than it had been in July through November of 2011. But in 2013 and 2014, the average price for a KWH set a monthly record in every month of the year. January and February of 2015 have continued that trend—with the average price of a KWH setting monthly records.

Annual Electricity Price Index

In June, July and August of 2014, the average price of a KWH hit  an all-time record of 14.3 cents.

While electricity prices have been climbing to new records in the United States over the past two years, that has not been the case with other sources of energy. The price indexes for gasoline and fuel oil have declined dramatically over the past year—although they did increase from January to February.

“The energy index rose 1.0 percent in February, ending a series of seven consecutive declines,” said the BLS in its monthly summary of the Consumer Price Index. “The gasoline index turned up after a series of sharp declines, rising 2.4 percent. (Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices rose 5.3 percent in February.) The fuel oil index also increased after recent declines, rising 1.9 percent. The electricity index rose 0.3 percent in February after a 0.9-percent increase in January. The only major energy component index to fall in February was natural gas, which declined 2.0 percent following a 3.4-percent decrease the prior month. Despite the February increases, the gasoline and fuel oil indexes have declined sharply over the past year, falling 32.8 percent and 31.2 percent, respectively. The index for natural gas has also declined over the past year, falling 6.5 percent, but the electricity index has increased 3.2 percent.”

The overall seasonally adjusted price index went up only 0.2 percent in February. "Over the last 12 months," said the BLS, "the all items index was unchanged before seasonal adjustment."


Hypocrisy Alert: Obama Signs Executive Order To Lead On Climate Change

The week following the Obama’s taking two separate planes to Los Angeles, President Obama signed an executive order that will mandate the federal government to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 2008 levels.

The President is committed to addressing the climate change threat – both by taking action here at home and showing leadership on the world stage. As part of his commitment to lead by example to curb the emissions that are driving climate change, today President Obama will issue an Executive Order that will cut the Federal Government’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 40 percent over the next decade from 2008 levels — saving taxpayers up to $18 billion in avoided energy costs — and increase the share of electricity the Federal Government consumes from renewable sources to 30 percent. Complementing this effort, several major Federal suppliers are announcing commitments to cut their own GHG emissions.

Today, the Administration is hosting a roundtable that will bring some of these large Federal suppliers together to discuss the benefits of their GHG reduction targets or to make their first-ever corporate commitments to disclose emissions and set new reduction goals.

Obama’s plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions supports the climate change agreement he made with China where the president committed the U.S. to lower emissions between 26 to 28 percent below 2005 amounts by 2025.

The federal government will meet part of its emission reductions by using more clean energy and increasing the use of electric vehicles.

Unsurprisingly, Obama did not make any personal commitments to cut back on his family’s use of air travel to save the planet.



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 March, 2015

Another blast from the past -- via Steve Goddard

40 years ago, the National Academy of Sciences wanted to evacuate 6 million people to save them from global cooling.

Climate change will allegedly make food TASTE bad: Global warming will lead to tougher meat and flavourless carrots

It's all Warmist theory-based prophecy.  Karoly is an old shell-backed Warmist. And we know how good Warmist prophecies are 

But let me mention some facts instead.  If warming is bad for flavour, fruit from the Tropics should be insipid.  But I grew up in the tropics and I can assure you that tropical fruit are yummy:  Pawpaws and mangoes are of course well-known but there are also Granadillas, Soursops, Custard apples and other fruit which are little known because they do not travel well -- but which are very tasty indeed.  If you've never eaten Granadilla and ice-cream, you  haven't lived.  And the sad things called pawpaws outside the tropics are nowhere nearly as good as  pawpaws straight off the tree.

As for any overall shortage of food being caused by warming, that is utter nonsense.  Plantlife flourishes in warm climates like nowhere else.  It almost leaps out and grabs you at times in the tropics

For those hoping global warming will bring more opportunities for a summer barbecue, there may be disappointment ahead - climate change is likely to make steaks and burgers far less appetising.

In a major report on the impact of global warming on food, scientists have concluded that the quality of many meats and vegetables is due to decline at temperatures increase.

The researchers predict that as heatwaves become more common, steaks and other meats are likely to become stringier and tougher - putting the traditional barbecue at risk.

Popular vegetables like carrots are also likely to become less flavoursome and have a less pleasant texture.

Potatoes are likely to suffer far more from blight, which rots the tubers and makes them inedible.

Onions could get smaller if temperatures early in the season increase while fruit and nut trees in some regions may not get cold enough to signal fruit development.

The report, produced by scientists at the University of Melbourne, also warned that milk yields could decrease by up to 10-25 per cent as heatwaves grow more common.

Lower levels of grain production could also hit dairy cattle, meaning their milk contains less protein, which would result in poorer quality cheese.

Professor Richard Eckard, director of the primary industries climate challenges centre at the University of Melbourne, said: 'It’s definitely a wake up call when you hear that the toast and raspberry jam you have for breakfast, for example, might not be as readily available in 50 years time.

'Or that there may be changes to the cost and taste of food items we love and take for granted like avocado and vegemite, spaghetti bolognaise and even beer, wine and chocolate.

'It makes you appreciate that global warming is not a distant phenomenon but a very real occurrence that is already affecting the things we enjoy in our everyday lives, including the most common of foods we eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner.'

The scientists assessed the impact of the changing climate on 55 foods grown in Australia and other parts of the world.

It predicted that as weather conditions get warmer, with heatwaves and other extreme events increasing in frequency, agricultural production will be hit hard.

The cost of apples could rise as farmers try to combat damage from extreme temperatures on fruits like apples by using shade cloths.

Heat stress will have a particular impact on meat production with cattle and chickens suffering in higher temperatures and affecting their appetite.

This will mean meat is likely to be be tougher and more stingy.

Pigs could have particular problems in the heat as they do not possess sweat glands.

Avocados are also likely to get smaller in warmer temperatures as the plants get stressed while the trees themselves will flower far less.

Temperatures above 27 degrees can cause beetroot flowering stems to grow early and result in smaller bulbs, while the vegetable can also lose some of its distinctive red colouring in warmer temperatures.

Professor David Karoly, an atmospheric scientists at the University of Melbourne and one of the co-authors of the report, said countries like Australia, where drought is already a major problem, are likely to be worse hit.

He said: 'Global warming is increasing the frequency and intensity of heatwaves and bushfires affecting farms across southern and eastern Australia, and this will get much worse in the future if we don’t act.

'It’s a daunting thought when you consider that Australian farms produce 93% of the food we eat.'


Solar power is now becoming more affordable (?)

Some dubious thinking from South Africa. When you read the article, it turns out that what they mean is: because the ESKOM utility company raised the tariffs by 25.3%, now more people will be using solar energy. Because it may be cheaper to opt out of the grid

Eskom plans to increase electricity tariffs by up to 25.3%, could mean that homeowners and businesses are increasingly using solar power.

Janine Myburgh, president of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said yesterday that its tariffs are becoming more expensive, while increasingly becoming more affordable to use solar power.

The underlying problem is that Eskom is selling less electricity than a decade ago. Almost a quarter of Eskom's power stations do not generate power because of maintenance or because something was wrong, said Myburgh.

"The less electricity supplied by Eskom, the more shrinkage income from power sales. Eskom to try to solve this by increasing electricity tariffs, but now Eskom is becoming increasingly expensive, while solar power becoming more affordable. "

Eskom's biggest problem is its expenses.  Last year it was calculated that Eskom's coal accounts for the increase in the six years to 2014 to R19 billion to R70 billion per year.  In this period the  utility increased its number of employees from 11,515 to 46,919, Myburgh said.

"Eskom's expenses rise, therefore, while power sales drop. Eskom has a big problem with the productivity of its employees and maintenance that is not done. "

Myburgh said the Eskom dilemma has also had a positive result. Green and renewable energy is becoming increasingly popular as people are forced to use solar panels and solar water heaters to avoid the constantly rising utility rates.

Chris Haw, managing director of Future Energy Sola, who constructed among others the roof-top solar power system at the Black River Park office complex in Observatory, explained solar power is a way to avoid the expensive Eskom.

When the owner of a building decided to invest in solar energy, there is a fixed expense to its budget because the solar power system is guaranteed for 25 years.

Businesses that have mostly energy needs through the day may fit well with solar energy, making it a good choice to be more independent of Eskom.

SOURCE  (Translated from Afrikaans by John Ray with a lot of help from Google Translate)

Radical environmentalism’s death campaigns

Its anti-DDT war is a lethal “death-rate solution” imposed on Third World countries

Paul Driessen

The terms racism, white supremacy, crimes against humanity are bandied about so often that they have become almost meaningless. But they are absolutely appropriate in an arena where they are too rarely applied: radical environmentalism’s campaigns that perpetuate poverty, disease and death, by denying Earth’s most impoverished and powerless people access to modern life-saving technologies.

Imagine activist groups preventing you from having your child vaccinated against polio or hepatitis, or from starting her on chemotherapy for leukemia – because they are “concerned” about “possible side-effects” and the “ethics” of permitting such “risky” procedures. Absurd! you say. Outrageous!

Of course it is. But that is what radical environmentalists are doing to Third World countries. By denying people access to abundant, reliable, affordable electricity, modern fertilizers and biotech seeds, and especially DDT to prevent malaria and other insect-borne diseases, they are killing millions every year.

Many of my articles have documented this. Now a new film written, self-financed and produced by Dr. D. Rutledge Taylor, MD graphically presents powerful new evidence of how the Audubon Society, Sierra Club, other predominantly white environmentalist pressure groups and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency conspired to hide and discredit scientific evidence, and wage a campaign of disinformation and outright lies, to ban the most effective weapon yet devised to prevent malaria and other vicious diseases.

3 Billion and Counting: The death toll is mounting shows how DDT was invented on the eve of World War II and became a secret weapon that kept Allied soldiers on the battlefield, instead of in hospitals or graves. After the war, it was sprayed on millions of Europeans to prevent typhus. It then eradicated malaria in Europe, the United States and other developed nations. No one ever got sick from DDT.

Available on demand and through, You Tube, Google Play, iTunes and elsewhere, the film chronicles how Rachel Carson’s wildly inaccurate book Silent Spring helped persuade the Audubon Society to launch the Environmental Defense Fund for the sole purpose of demanding a DDT ban.

Why would Audubon do such a thing? Its own research and Department of the Interior studies showed that bird and animal populations were exploding during the two decades when DDT was used most widely. Countless other studies documented that the life-saving chemical was safe for humans and most wildlife, including bald eagles. People actually tried to kill themselves with DDT – and repeatedly failed.

An EPA scientific panel conducted six months of hearings, compiled 9,312 pages of studies and testimony, and concluded that DDT was safe and effective, was not carcinogenic, and should not be banned. Nevertheless, without attending a single hour of hearings or reading a single page of the panel’s report, EPA Administrator William Ruckelshaus banned U.S. production and use of DDT in 1972 – at a time when over 80% of the chemical was being exported for disease control.

Then why the attacks? As EDF scientist Charles Wurster said 1969, “If the environmentalists win on DDT, they will achieve a level of authority they have never had before.” When asked later how he justified human deaths from pesticides that replaced DDT, versus the “mere loss of some birds,” he said “organophosphates act locally and only kill farm workers, and most of them are Mexicans and Negroes.”

Ruckelshaus said he had a political problem, and fixed it. He never considered the plight of malaria victims, and anti-DDT activists still ignore their agony and deaths. Audubon, EDF, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, Pesticide Action Network, Natural Resource Defense Council and other radical groups that oppose DDT just don’t give a damn – even as they have become filthy, callously rich by opposing the life-saving chemical and other technologies.

Sierra Club executive director David Brower, Population Bomb author Paul Ehrlich and other arch-environmentalists believed the biggest problem facing Planet Earth was “uncontrolled growth” in human populations. Ehrlich argued that the “instant death control” provided by DDT exports was “responsible for the drastic lowering of death rates” in underdeveloped countries. Those countries were not practicing a “birth rate solution” – and thus needed to have “death rate solutions” imposed on them, via campaigns against energy, Golden Rice and other biotech crops, and especially DDT.

Almost 3.5 billion people worldwide are at risk of getting this horrific disease, 207 million are actually infected every year, and over 800,000 die year after year from malaria. The vast majority are children and pregnant women, and some 90% of them are in Sub-Saharan Africa. In that region, a child still dies every minute from malaria, and most African children have been brain-damaged to some degree by malaria. Worldwide, nearly 80% of all infectious diseases are spread by insects.

Malaria is certainly a disease of poverty. But poverty is a disease of malaria. It leaves victims too sick to work or care for their families, for weeks on end. Medicines and hospital stays drain families’ meager savings. The disease costs tens of millions of lost work hours, billions in lost wages, and tens of billions for medicines and care in antiquated hospitals. It leaves entire nations impoverished.

However, spraying small amounts of DDT on the walls and eaves of cinderblock and mud-and-thatch homes, once or twice a year puts a long-lasting mosquito net over entire households. It keeps 80-90% of mosquitoes from even entering the homes; irritates any that do enter, so they leave without biting; and kills any that land. No other chemical, at any price, can do all this.

In response to these facts, anti-DDT pressure groups rail about risks that are trivial, illusory or fabricated. DDT is associated with low birth-weights, slow reflexes and weakened immune systems in babies, and could cause premature birth and lactation failure in nursing mothers, they claim.

Not one peer-reviewed scientific study supports any of this fear-mongering. Every one of these alleged problems is definitely associated with malaria and other endemic Third World diseases. And compared to the death and devastation that DDT could prevent, the alleged DDT risks are irrelevant.

However, constant deception and harassment by these groups have caused many health agencies and aid organizations to not use or fund DDT, and often other pesticides. Instead, they focus on bed nets, education, “capacity building,” and treatment with drugs that are too often unavailable, counterfeit, or ineffective because the malaria parasites have become resistant to them.

Still, the efforts have been somewhat successful. Millions of women and young children now sleep under insecticide-treated nets. Millions now get diagnosed more quickly and receive better care and medicines, often at clinics where two doctors examine up to 400 patients a day. In 2010, the World Health Organization and Roll Back Malaria boasted of an 18% reduction in child mortality, compared with 2000.

But that is not nearly good enough. We would never tolerate 18% as “good enough,” if American or European children’s lives (or Greenpeace and EDF kids’ lives) were at stake and a 90% reduction were possible – as it would be, if health workers were also eradicating mosquitoes and spraying DDT.

Instead, they protect Africans and Asians from minimal or illusory risks, by condemning them to agonizing deaths from readily preventable diseases. “They are using us in anti-DDT experiments,” says Ugandan human rights activist Fiona Kobusingye. “They are playing with our lives.”

They are also playing with American lives. Spraying clothes with DDT once a year would keep infected ticks away and prevent Lyme disease that leaves tens of thousands battling chronic, debilitating pain and illness for years, Dr. Taylor explains. But the same anti-pesticide radicals are dead-set against that.

Dr. Taylor ends his film by drinking 3 grams of DDT … in 2008 – with no ill effects, then or today.

Watch 3 Billion and Counting. Then contact these Big Green pressure groups and their staffs and board members, and the foundations, politicians and bureaucrats who support them. Tell them it’s time to end their eco-manslaughter.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (,  author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death, and coauthor of Cracking Big Green: Saving the world from the Save-the-Earth money machine. He is a featured expert in 3 Billion and Counting.

Via email

Feds To Block FEMA Funds For States That Deny Man-Made Global Warming

Well, there’s one way to ensure that everyone buys into the man-made global warming hoax: extortion. Starting next year the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will stop funds from going to states that refuse to believe that humans are causing climate change.

This news comes straight from the leftist eco-nuts at Inside Climate News, so you can be assured that it isn’t a “paranoid” conservative interpretation of an innocuous FEMA regulation:

    "The Federal Emergency Management Agency is making it tougher for governors to deny man-made climate change. Starting next year, the agency will approve disaster preparedness funds only for states whose governors approve hazard mitigation plans that address climate change".

Sounds pretty fascist to me. If you have the truth on your side, you do not need to force people to believe it. Only liars and charlatans resort to bullying tactics like this.

    "This may put several Republican governors who maintain the earth isn’t warming due to human activities, or prefer to do nothing about it, into a political bind. Their position may block their states’ access to hundreds of millions of dollars in FEMA funds".

Basically it works like this: state governments must accept that man-made global warming is real and commit public funds to programs designed to mitigate the effects of it, even if it isn’t real. State governments that fail to do this will loose out on millions, if not billions, in FEMA funds.

    "Specifically, beginning in March 2016, states seeking preparedness money will have to assess how climate change threatens their communities. Governors will have to sign off on hazard mitigation plans. While some states, including New York, have already started incorporating climate risks in their plans, most haven’t because FEMA’s old 2008 guidelines didn’t require it".

And it appears that this isn’t just about global warming, but all things that environmentalist hate:

    “This could potentially become a major conflict for several Republican governors,” said Barry Rabe, an expert on the politics of climate change at the University of Michigan. “We aren’t just talking about coastal states.” Climate change affects droughts, rainfall and tornado activity. Fracking is being linked to more earthquakes, he said. “This could affect state leaders across the country.”

What the hell does fracking have to do with global warming? Does this mean that states that allow fracking are also going to have funds withheld? Probably.

Don’t go thinking this new regulation is a shakedown. According to FEMA spokeswoman Susan Hendrick forcing states to accept global warming as reality is actually just a way to “raise awareness and support for implementing the actions in the mitigation strategy and increasing statewide resilience to natural hazards.”

Raise awareness? Sounds more like a fun run than a tyrannical mandate. Here’s the best part about all this:

    "The new federal rules don’t require public involvement in the creation of states’ disaster preparedness plans, eliminating the opportunity for environmental groups and concerned citizens to submit comments or concerns about the assessments".

So FEMA, an unelected body, will withhold vital funds from states if they don’t believe in man-made global warming and there is to be no public debate or scrutiny. That’s as Obama as it gets. I’m sure if this works out, he’ll try a similar scheme for gun control, gay marriage, and abortion.


DOE Wind Fantasies (same assumptions, same results)

“Before Americans are asked to pay more billions for an energy resource that still, after 23 years, cannot stand on its own two feet, Congress should ask DOE to get out of the vision business and report on the practicality of wind energy reaching even 10% of the U.S. power market.”

The Department of Energy, has once again buddied up with its friends in the wind industry to releasing an updated vision of how the United wind energy can achieve a 20% market share of the electricity (not total energy) market by 2030. This time, DOE went a step further to claim we could get to 10% wind by 2020 and a whopping 35% wind by 2050 (wind’s current electric-market share is 4.5%).

A quick review of the report suggests it suffers the same flaws as DOE’s last attempt from 2008. For example, using DOE’s own numbers, between now and 2020 (5 years), the U.S. would need to:

1) Install another 52,000 MW of wind. That would be more than 10,000 MW per year;

2) Of this, 3,000 MW would be offshore, where none exists today. (DOE’s analysis was completed before Cape Wind collapsed);

3) Improve overall capacity factors to 40% average where they have stagnated at 30% for years.

Obviously, we will not see a change in capacity factors for existing wind projects, so that means the next 52,000 MW will have to operate at efficiencies of roughly 50%. DOE’s report, apparently banks on technology improvements between now and 2020 to achieve the increases in production. It also banks on the continuation of the wind production tax credit (PTC).

But what DOE seems to be downplaying is the fact that the wind PTC has never led to the type of wind development the agency is claiming possible.

The years when we had large deployments of wind turbines were tied to the 1603 cash grant program in place from 2009-2012. And these were discrete events – 2010 had 10,000 MW and 2012 had 13,000 MW – with an average across the four years of roughly 8,000 MW. In 2013, only 1,000 MW were installed after the cash grant program expired and the industry flushed it’s project pipeline racing to get the grant money.

Whether DOE’s vision has credibility is one question before us. The second is whether American taxpayers want, or can afford the “investment” in wind power. The federal budget deficit promises to be a major issue for reform in the 2016 elections, if not before.

According to EIA, wind energy received the largest share of direct federal subsidies and support in FY 2013, accounting for 37% of total electricity-related subsidies ($5,936 billion). Nearly three-fourths of FY 2013 wind energy subsidies were direct expenditures largely resulting from the grant program. FY 2013 did not represent the biggest payout for wind. Costs associated with the federal  grant program are assigned to the year in which a project is placed in service. In FY 2010, 84% of Section 1603 grant payments went to wind energy.

Looking at the cost per megawatt hour paid to fund wind versus other beneficiaries, the numbers are staggering. The below table relies on data from EIA for the years 2007, 2010, and 2013.

These numbers represent only the federal subsidies paid to wind versus other technologies. Additional subsidies are available to wind through state renewable portfolio standards and integration costs borne by rate- and taxpayers.

Before Americans are asked to pay more billions for an energy resource that still, after 23 years, cannot stand on its own two feet, Congress should ask DOE to get out of the vision business and report on the practicality of wind energy reaching even 10% of the U.S. power market.



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 March, 2015

An amusing new wrinkle on "ad hominem" argument

The latest brainwave of the Warmists below.  Once again they refuse to discuss the science and instead focus on personalities.  And their preamble about the sufferings of Warmists is just fantasy.  No links to proof of the accusations

For nearly thirty years, climate scientists have been the targets of character assassination by the fossil-fuel industry’s hired guns. They’ve been mugged on the streets of public discourse, pounded by the fists of demagoguery and smear. Their lives have been upended in an effort to have their research suspended. They’ve been kicked, slapped, whipped, tripped, and called every ugly name in the book.

Now they’re fighting back, in a bold and innovative new campaign known as More Than Scientists. This campaign provides an inside look into the lives of the climate scientists whose extensive research led to the scientific verdict that greenhouse gas emissions were causing our planet’s temperature to increase to dangerous levels.

Eric Michaelman, a Seattle-based climate activist, is the creator of this effort. In an e-mail interview last week, Michaelman told me that this initiative “developed out of discussions and brainstorming between longtime climate activists in the Seattle area and scientists at the University of Washington who personally wanted to play a more constructive part in the public conversation about climate…[W]e felt that video would be the best medium with the goal of helping the public better get to know the scientists personally, since when you see and hear someone talking it’s easy to make your own impression of their sincerity and conviction.”

Rational-thinking people have long since been convinced of the sincerity and conviction of those who have labored tirelessly for decades to analyze the risk greenhouse gases pose to the planet. However, if you have any friends who still think Sean Hannity knows more about climate change than actual climate scientists, ask them to watch these videos and see if they change their minds…or just keep them closed.


Fossil fuels are here to stay

Matt Ridley

THE environmental movement has advanced three arguments in recent years for giving up fossil fuels: (1) that we will soon run out of them anyway; (2) that alternative sources of energy will price them out of the marketplace; and (3) that we cannot afford the climate consequences of burning them.

These days, not one of the three arguments is looking very healthy. In fact, a more realistic assessment of our energy and environmental situation suggests that, for decades to come, we will continue to rely overwhelmingly on the fossil fuels that have contributed so dramatically to the world’s prosperity and progress.

In 2013, about 87 per cent of the energy that the world consumed came from fossil fuels, a figure that — remarkably — was unchanged from 10 years before. This roughly divides into three categories of fuel and three categories of use: oil used mainly for transport, gas used mainly for heating, and coal used mainly for electricity.

Over this period, the overall volume of fossil-fuel consumption has increased dramatically, but with an encouraging environmental trend: a diminishing amount of carbon-dioxide emissions per unit of energy produced. The biggest contribution to decarbonising the system has been the switch from high-carbon coal to lower-carbon gas in electricity generation.

On a global level, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar have contributed hardly at all to the drop in carbon emissions, and their modest growth has merely made up for a decline in the fortunes of zero-carbon nuclear energy. (The reader should know that I have an indirect interest in coal through the ownership of land in Northern England on which it is mined, but I nonetheless applaud the displacement of coal by gas in recent years.)

The argument that fossil fuels will soon run out is dead, at least for a while. The collapse of the price of oil over the past six months is the result of abundance: an inevitable consequence of the high oil prices of recent years, which stimulated innovation in hydraulic fracturing, horizontal drilling, seismology and information technology. The US — the country with the oldest and most developed hydrocarbon fields — has found itself once again, surprisingly, at the top of the energy-producing league, rivalling Saudi Arabia in oil and Russia in gas.

The shale genie is now out of the bottle. Even if the current low price drives out some high-cost oil producers — in the North Sea, Canada, Russia, Iran and offshore, as well as in America — shale drillers can step back in whenever the price rebounds. As Mark Hill of Allegro Development Corporation argued last week, the frankers are currently experiencing their own version of Moore’s law: a rapid fall in the cost and time it takes to drill a well, along with a rapid rise in the volume of hydrocarbons they are able to extract.

And the shale revolution has yet to go global. When it does, oil and gas in tight rock formations will give the world ample supplies of hydrocarbons for decades, if not centuries. Lurking in the wings for later technological breakthroughs is methane hydrate, a sea floor source of gas that exceeds in quantity all the world’s coal, oil and gas put together.

So those who predict the imminent exhaustion of fossil fuels are merely repeating the mistakes of the US presidential commission that opined in 1922 that “already the output of gas has begun to wane. Production of oil cannot long maintain its present rate.” Or president Jimmy Carter when he announced on television in 1977 that “we could use up all the proven reserves of oil in the entire world by the end of the next decade.”

That fossil fuels are finite is a red herring. The Atlantic Ocean is finite, but that does not mean that you risk bumping into France if you row out of a harbour in Maine. The buffalo of the American West were infinite, in the sense that they could breed, yet they came close to extinction. It is an ironic truth that no non-renewable resource has ever run dry, while renewable resources — whales, cod, forests, passenger pigeons — have frequently done so.

The second argument for giving up fossil fuels is that new rivals will shortly price them out of the market. But it is not happening. The great hope has long been nuclear energy, but even if there is a rush to build new nuclear power stations over the next few years, most will simply replace old ones due to close.

The world’s nuclear output is down from 6 per cent of world energy consumption in 2003 to 4 per cent today. It is forecast to inch back up to just 6.7 per cent by 2035, according the Energy Information Administration.

Nuclear’s problem is cost. In meeting the safety concerns of environmentalists, politicians and regulators added requirements for extra concrete, steel and pipework, and even more for extra lawyers, paperwork and time.

The effect was to make nuclear plants into huge boondoggles with no competition or experimentation to drive down costs. Nuclear is now able to compete with fossil fuels only when it is subsidised.

As for renewable energy, hydro-electric is the biggest and cheapest supplier, but it has the least capacity for expansion. Technologies that tap the energy of waves and tides remain unaffordable and impractical.

Geothermal is a minor player for now. And bioenergy — that is, wood, ethanol made from corn or sugar cane, or diesel made from palm oil — is proving an ecological disaster: It encourages deforestation and food-price hikes that cause devastation among the world’s poor, and per unit of energy produced, it creates even more carbon dioxide than coal.

Wind power, for all the public money spent on its expansion, has inched up to — wait for it — 1 per cent of world energy consumption in 2013. Solar, for all the hype, has not even managed that: If we round to the nearest whole number, it accounts for 0 per cent of world energy consumption.

Both wind and solar are entirely reliant on subsidies for such economic viability as they have. Worldwide, the subsidies given to renewable energy currently amount to roughly $10 per gigajoule: These sums are paid by consumers to producers, so they tend to go from the poor to the rich, often to landowners.

It is true that some countries subsidise the use of fossil fuels, but they do so at a much lower rate — the world average is about $1.20 per gigajoule — and these are mostly subsidies for consumers (not producers), so they tend to help the poor, for whom energy costs are a disproportionate share of spending.

The costs of renewable energy are coming down, especially in the case of solar. But even if solar panels were free, the power they produce would still struggle to compete with fossil fuel — except in some very sunny locations — because of all the capital equipment required to concentrate and deliver the energy.

This is to say nothing of the great expanses of land on which solar facilities must be built and the cost of retaining sufficient conventional generator capacity to guarantee supply on a dark, cold, windless evening.

The two fundamental problems that renewables face are that they take up too much space and produce too little energy.

To run the US economy entirely on wind would require a wind farm the size of Texas, California and New Mexico combined — backed up by gas on windless days. To power it on wood would require a forest covering two-thirds of the U.S., heavily and continually harvested.

John Constable, who will head a new Energy Institute at the University of Buckingham in Britain, points out that the trickle of energy that human beings managed to extract from wind, water and wood before the Industrial Revolution placed a great limit on development and progress.

The incessant toil of farm labourers generated so little surplus energy in the form of food for men and draft animals that the accumulation of capital, such as machinery, was painfully slow. Even as late as the 18th century, this energy-deprived economy was sufficient to enrich daily life for only a fraction of the population.

Our old enemy, the second law of thermodynamics, is the problem here. As a teenager’s bedroom generally illustrates, left to its own devices, everything in the world becomes less ordered, more chaotic, tending toward “entropy,” or thermodynamic equilibrium. To reverse this tendency and make something complex, ordered and functional requires work. It requires energy.

The more energy you have, the more intricate, powerful and complex you can make a system. Just as human bodies need energy to be ordered and functional, so do societies. In that sense, fossil fuels were a unique advance because they allowed human beings to create extraordinary patterns of order and complexity — machines and buildings — with which to improve their lives.

The result of this great boost in energy is what economic historian and philosopher Deirdre McCloskey calls the Great Enrichment. In the case of the US, there has been a roughly 9000 per cent increase in the value of goods and services available to the average American since 1800, almost all of which are made with, made of, powered by or propelled by fossil fuels.

Still, more than a billion people on the planet have yet to get access to electricity and to experience the leap in living standards that abundant energy brings. This is not just an inconvenience for them: Indoor air pollution from wood fires kills four million people a year. The next time that somebody at a rally against fossil fuels lectures you about her concern for the fate of her grandchildren, show her a picture of an African child dying today from inhaling the dense muck of a smoky fire.

Notice, too, the ways in which fossil fuels have contributed to preserving the planet. As the American author and fossil-fuels advocate Alex Epstein points out in a bravely unfashionable book, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, the use of coal halted and then reversed the deforestation of Europe and North America.

The turn to oil halted the slaughter of the world’s whales and seals for their blubber. Fertiliser manufactured with gas halved the amount of land needed to produce a given amount of food, thus feeding a growing population while sparing land for wild nature.

To throw away these immense economic, environmental and moral benefits, you would have to have a very good reason. The one most often invoked today is that we are wrecking the planet’s climate. But are we?

Although the world has certainly warmed since the 19th century, the rate of warming has been slow and erratic. There has been no increase in the frequency or severity of storms or droughts, no acceleration of sea-level rise. Arctic sea ice has decreased, but Antarctic sea ice has increased.

At the same time, scientists are agreed that the extra carbon dioxide in the air has contributed to an improvement in crop yields and a roughly 14 per cent increase in the amount of all types of green vegetation on the planet since 1980.

That carbon-dioxide emissions should cause warming is not a new idea. In 1938, the British scientist Guy Callender thought that he could already detect warming as a result of carbon-dioxide emissions. He reckoned, however, that this was “likely to prove beneficial to mankind” by shifting northward the climate where cultivation was possible.

Only in the 1970s and 80s did scientists begin to say that the mild warming expected as a direct result of burning fossil fuels — roughly a degree Celsius per doubling of carbon-dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere — might be greatly amplified by water vapour and result in dangerous warming of two to four degrees a century or more.

That “feedback” assumption of high “sensitivity” remains in virtually all of the mathematical models used to this day by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC.

And yet it is increasingly possible that it is wrong. As Patrick Michaels of the libertarian Cato Institute has written, since 2000, 14 peer-reviewed papers, published by 42 authors, many of whom are key contributors to the reports of the IPCC, have concluded that climate sensitivity is low because net feedbacks are modest.

They arrive at this conclusion based on observed temperature changes, ocean-heat uptake and the balance between warming and cooling emissions (mainly sulfate aerosols). On average, they find sensitivity to be 40 per cent lower than the models on which the IPCC relies.

If these conclusions are right, they would explain the failure of the Earth’s surface to warm nearly as fast as predicted over the past 35 years, a time when — despite carbon-dioxide levels rising faster than expected — the warming rate has never reached even two-tenths of a degree per decade and has slowed down to virtually nothing in the past 15 to 20 years. This is one reason the latest IPCC report did not give a “best estimate” of sensitivity and why it lowered its estimate of near-term warming.

Most climate scientists remain reluctant to abandon the models and take the view that the current “hiatus” has merely delayed rapid warming. A turning point to dangerously rapid warming could be around the corner, even though it should have shown up by now. So it would be wise to do something to cut our emissions, so long as that something does not hurt the poor and those struggling to reach a modern standard of living.

We should encourage the switch from coal to gas in the generation of electricity, provide incentives for energy efficiency, get nuclear power back on track and keep developing solar power and electricity storage. We should also invest in research on ways to absorb carbon dioxide from the air, by fertilising the ocean or fixing it through carbon capture and storage. Those measures all make sense. And there is every reason to promote open-ended research to find some unexpected new energy technology.

The one thing that will not work is the one thing that the environmental movement insists upon: subsidising wealthy crony capitalists to build low-density, low-output, capital-intensive, land-hungry renewable energy schemes, while telling the poor to give up the dream of getting richer through fossil fuels.


Your Pet Is a Global Warming Machine

Greenies hate pets too.  They are consistent haters

Though some environmentalists love their dogs more than they love their Sierra Club reusable water bottles, a single dog can have a bigger ecological footprint than an SUV. And cats aren’t much better. According to research highlighted by the New Scientist, it takes an estimated 1.1 hectares of land per year to create the chicken and grain that a large dog eats for its food. A Toyota Land Cruiser SUV, driven 10,000 kilometres a year, would use .41 hectares of land, less than half that of the dog.

"Owning a dog really is quite an extravagance," Dr. John Barrett of the Stockholm Environment Institute in York, UK told the New Scientist, "mainly because of the carbon footprint of meat."

Cats and dogs also wreak havoc on the local wildlife. The estimated 7.7 million cats in the United Kingdom kill more than 188 million wild animals every year. And cat excrement, which can contain the disease Toxoplasma gondii, has been blamed for killing sea otters (and may have a hand in causing schizophrenia in humans, according to RadioLab).*

The New Scientist has some suggestions of how to lessen Fido’s ecological “pawprint,” including feeding him more environmentally friendly foods. Perhaps forcing people to consider the impact of their pets may keep the carbon footprint on a leash.


Global warming not to blame for mass starvation of sea lion pups, says NOAA

Yesterday it was reported that sea lion pups along the California coast are literally starving to death. According to scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), global warming has nothing to do with it. It's all part of an El Niño weather pattern that's wreaking havoc on the food chain supply. sick sea lion

NOAA released figures yesterday showing that since January 1, "more than 1,800 starving sea lion pups have washed up on California beaches since Jan. 1 and 750 are being treated" in marine mammal care centers across the state.

Scientists at NOAA believe the crisis hasn't reached its peak and expect more sea lions to show up on beaches for at least two more months. Meanwhile, thousands of adult maleCalifornia sea lions are "surging into the Pacific Northwest, crowding onto docks and jetties in coastal communities."

According to NOAA, the "Channel Islands rookeries where nearly all California sea lions raise their young sit in the middle of the warm expanse. Female sea lions have strong ties to the rookeries. They take foraging trips of a few days at a time before returning to the rookeries to nurse their pups."

But this warm expanse has risen from 2 to 6 degrees Fahrenheit (when compared to the long-term average), which is not an ideal environment for the sea lion's diet: fish and squid,including "salmon, hake, Pacific whiting, anchovy, herring, rockfish, lamprey, dogfish, and market squid." Sea lions will even eat clams.

It's believed their food source is moving north to cooler waters, forcing the mothers to abandon their pups as they travel further away from the nurseries in search of food, sometimes for over a week. As a result, "the pups aren't eating as much or as frequently and they are weaning themselves early out of desperation and striking out on their own even though they are underweight and can't hunt properly."

NOAA says that a particularly strong weather pattern known as El Niño is to blame, not climate change. “It’s a very regional patch of warm water and it doesn’t look like global warming to me,” said Nate Mantua, a NOAA research scientist based in Santa Cruz, California.

El Niño weather patterns are "associated with a band of warm ocean water that develops in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific," which in turn warms the ocean off the Southern California coast. The last El Niño of this magnitude was in 1998, when "2,500 sea lion pups were found washed up on California beaches."

On March 5, 2015, NOAA predicted this El Niño weather pattern would be weak, and have little influence on weather and climate. "NOAA scientists will continue to monitor the situation and will issue its next monthly update on April 9."

Meanwhile, NOAA says the sea pups rescued by animal centers are tube-fed, tagged, and then released back into the wild. Unfortunately, the vast majority of sea pups spotted and reported to authorities are beyond help, with some dying and others being euthanized.


It's Not "Global Warming." It's "Springtime."

By Alan Caruba

After decades of environmental claims that “global warming” would plunge the planet into catastrophic harm to its human and other inhabitants—at the same time blaming humans for causing it—the sheer arrogance and ignorance of these claims always ignores the real power that is represented by the Earth itself and the beginning of Spring should be proof enough for anyone paying any attention.

This year, Spring begins in the northern hemisphere on Friday, March 20 at 6:45 PM EDT. In the southern hemisphere it marks the beginning of Autumn.

Spring manifests itself in ways we take for granted yet it is a combination of many events that should make us marvel if we gave them any thought. For example, where does all the snow go? The U.S. and the rest of the world set records of snowfall levels throughout Winter.

As noted by the U.S. Geological Service, “in the world-wide scheme of the water cycle, runoff from snowmelt is a major component of the global movement of water.”

“Mountain snow fields act as natural reservoirs for many western United States water-supply systems, storing precipitation from the cool season, when most precipitation falls and forms snowpacks…As much as 75 percent of water supplies in the western states are derived from snowmelt.”  Snowmelt ensures sufficient water for all of us and for the Earth that depends upon it for the growth of all vegetation.

How do the flowers know it is Spring? In a 2011 article for the Inside Science News Service, Katherine Gammon noted that “Just in time for the birds and bees to start buzzing, the flowers and the trees somehow know when to open their buds to start flowering. But the exact way that plants get their wake-up call has been something of a mystery.”  A molecular biologist at the University of Texas, Sibum Sung, has been trying to solve that mystery and has discovered “a special molecule in plants that gives them the remarkable ability to recall Winter and to bloom on schedule in the Spring.”

Nothing on Earth happens by accident. It is a remarkable inter-related system to which we give little thought. The sheer power of all those blooming flowers and trees should tell us something about the power of Nature that dwarfs all the claims that humans have any influence whatever on the events of Spring or any other time of the year.

Then think about the role of the animals with whom we share the planet. In the Spring many come out of hibernation in their dens, while others such as birds make lengthy migrations from the warmer climes to those in the north. The huge migration of Monarch Butterflies should leave us speechless. Spring is a time when many animals give birth to their young.

A sign of the Spring that leaves us breathless is the way it is the season for the aurora borealis. Dr. Tony Phillips of NASA notes that “For reasons not fully understood by scientists, the weeks around the vernal equinox are prone to Northern Lights. From Canada to Scandinavia they provide a great show.

“Such outbursts are called auroral substorms and they have long puzzled physicists,” says UCLA space physicist Vassilis Angelopoulos. They represent “a potent geomagnetic storm.” The equinox in Spring and Autumn is a time when magnetic connections between the Sun and Earth are most favorable.

One book, “Silent Spring”, by Rachel Carson, first published in September 1962, started the environmental campaign against pesticide use for any reason, leading most famously to the ban on DDT in the U.S. What Carson neglected to tell readers was how they were supposed to cope with the trillions of insects that come with the advent of warm weather.

No pesticide use does not mean less mosquitoes, less termites, less flies, less ants, or less of any other insect species and the diseases they spread, property damage, and the damage they cause to crops of all descriptions. And, of course, the much of the pollination of crops and other vegetation depends on insect species.

Carson’s claims of a silent spring bereft of bird species was a blatant lie. Rich Kozlovich, an authority on pest management, noted that “Bird populations were never so high in North America” despite the use of DDT and other pesticides. “Carson’s claim about how the poor robin was going to disappear was not only wrong, she was deliberately lying.”

“Carson was a science writer for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and absolutely had to know that in 1960 there were 12 times more robins, 21 times more cowbirds, 38 times more blackbirds, 131 times more grackles, etc., compared to 1941 numbers.”

Spring is a time of renewal in the northern hemisphere and it occurs with enormous levels of natural power. Most people, however, are oblivious to that power as they enjoy the sight of flowers and trees blooming.

I could almost guarantee that you will read or hear about “global warming” or “climate change” being attributed to the arrival of Spring. Do yourself a favor. Keep in mind that those claims, like Rachel Carson’s, represent an anti-humanity, anti-energy, and anti-capitalism agenda of the environmental movement.

Instead, celebrate the seasonal renewal of life on Earth and give thanks for the energy that permits you to control the environment of the structures where you live and work, that provides you the means to get in your car and go anywhere, and that powers every device you use


Australia: Dredges will not damage reef

Greenie scaremongering has no scientific basis

The resources and ports sectors continue to defend their dredging practices as safe after the Queensland and federal governments unveiled a long-term Great Barrier Reef management plan.

The plan includes a ban on dumping dredge spoil anywhere in the world heritage area, a limit on port expansion to four sites and targets for reducing sediment, nutrient and pesticide contamination.

It will be a key factor in the UNESCO world heritage committee's decision on whether to list the reef as "in danger" in June this year.

The Greens on Monday urged the federal government to go further after the Australian Coral Reef Society released a report recommending against the expansion of the Abbot Point coal terminal in central Queensland.

Top coral reef scientists were presenting a choice between protecting the Great Barrier Reef and developing Queensland's Galilee Basin, Greens senator Larissa Waters said.  "In an age of climate change, it's scientifically impossible to do both," she said.

"The Abbott and Palaszczuk government's Reef 2050 Plan for the World Heritage Committee completely ignores the impact of the Galilee Basin coal mines on the reef and other world heritage areas."

Ms Waters said increased shipping through the reef would lead to ocean acidification, more dangerous storms and coral bleaching.

But linking the basin's development to the reef's plight was "a new low point in a campaign of misinformation", GVK Hancock said.

Every reputable analyst agreed that global demand for coal would grow for many decades regardless of the basin's development, spokesman Josh Euler said.  "If we as a nation don't develop the Galilee Basin then some other country will develop their equivalent resource," he said.

Mr Euler said this would allow competitors to gain significant financial and employment benefits.  "The expansion of the existing Abbot Point Port will not impact the Great Barrier Reef."

The government's plan ignores a science-based approach to dredging, according to Ports Australia.

An unwarranted blanket ban on dredging was placing the long-term viability of the ports system at risk, according to chief executive David Anderson.

"The science has been discarded, and instead the policy has been dictated by an activist ideology, with the complicity of UNESCO, which has swayed these governments," he said.



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

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


23 March, 2015

Climate change not so global

This pesky story for Greenies is from last year.  It may have been contradicted by now.  Limited sampling gives unstable results in glaciology

Scientists are calling for a better understanding of regional climates, after research into New Zealand's glaciers has revealed climate change in the Northern Hemisphere does not directly affect the climate in the Southern Hemisphere.

The University of Queensland study showed that future climate changes may impact differently in the two hemispheres, meaning a generalised global approach isn't the solution to climate issues.
UQ School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Head Professor Jamie Shulmeister said the study provided evidence for the late survival of significant glaciers in the mountains of New Zealand at the end of the last ice age – a time when other ice areas were retreating.

"This study reverses previous findings which suggested that New Zealand's glaciers disappeared at the same time as ice in the Northern Hemisphere," he said.

"We showed that when the Northern Hemisphere started to warm at the end of the last ice age, New Zealand glaciers were unaffected.
"These glaciers began to retreat several thousand years later, when changes in the Southern Ocean led to increased carbon dioxide emissions and warming.

"This indicates that future climate change may impact differently in the two hemispheres and that changes in the Southern Ocean are likely to be critical for Australia and New Zealand."

The study used exposure dating of moraines - mounds of rocks formed by glaciers - to reconstruct the rate of ice retreat in New Zealand's Ashburton Valley after the last glacial maximum – the time when the ice sheets were at their largest.

The researchers found that the period from the last glacial maximum to the end of the ice age was longer in New Zealand than in the Northern Hemisphere.

They also found that the maximum glacier extent in New Zealand occurred several thousand years before the maximum in the Northern Hemisphere, demonstrating that growth of the northern ice sheets did not cause expansion of New Zealand glaciers.

"New Zealand glaciers responded largely to local changes in the Southern Ocean, rather than changes in the Northern Hemisphere as was previously believed," Professor Shulmeister said. "This study highlights the need to understand regional climate rather than a global one-size-fits-all."


The early rise and late demise of New Zealand’s last glacial maximum

By  Henrik Rother et al.


We present here a comprehensive record of glaciation from a New Zealand valley glacier system covering the critical 15,000-y period from the local last glacial maximum (LGM) to near the end of the last ice age. This record from a key site in the midlatitude Southern Hemisphere shows that the largest glacial advance did not coincide with the coldest temperatures during this phase. We also show that the regional post-LGM ice retreat was very gradual, contrary to the rapid ice collapse widely inferred. This demonstrates that glacial records from New Zealand are neither synchronous with nor simply lag or lead Northern Hemisphere ice sheet records, which has important implications for the reconstruction of past interhemispheric climate linkages and mechanisms.


Recent debate on records of southern midlatitude glaciation has focused on reconstructing glacier dynamics during the last glacial termination, with different results supporting both in-phase and out-of-phase correlations with Northern Hemisphere glacial signals. A continuing major weakness in this debate is the lack of robust data, particularly from the early and maximum phase of southern midlatitude glaciation (?30–20 ka), to verify the competing models. Here we present a suite of 58 cosmogenic exposure ages from 17 last-glacial ice limits in the Rangitata Valley of New Zealand, capturing an extensive record of glacial oscillations between 28–16 ka. The sequence shows that the local last glacial maximum in this region occurred shortly before 28 ka, followed by several successively less extensive ice readvances between 26–19 ka. The onset of Termination 1 and the ensuing glacial retreat is preserved in exceptional detail through numerous recessional moraines, indicating that ice retreat between 19–16 ka was very gradual. Extensive valley glaciers survived in the Rangitata catchment until at least 15.8 ka. These findings preclude the previously inferred rapid climate-driven ice retreat in the Southern Alps after the onset of Termination 1. Our record documents an early last glacial maximum, an overall trend of diminishing ice volume in New Zealand between 28–20 ka, and gradual deglaciation until at least 15 ka.


One man responsible for billions of deaths: Hitler? Stalin? Mao? Napoleon? Genghis Khan?

No.  It's a certain cheery American journalist:  Marc Morano

There's a new film you should see about the industry of Climate Change Denial: Merchants of Doubt.  It will be shown in only a limited release, but you can also stream it on Hulu.  Here's the trailer:

And one of the featured "stars" of the film is the Marc Morano, who runs the climate denial blog Climate Depot (link deliberately not provided), a former staffer of Senator James Inhofe (R - Big Oil). He openly admits in Merchants of Doubt that "I'm not a scientist, although I do I play one on TV occasionally. Okay, hell, maybe more than occasionally. [Laughs]"  That's one of his many jobs - debating real climate scientists on news outlets, among them Fox News and CNN.  You can see him in the  the trailer of the documentary also saying the following:

    "Communication is about sales.  Keep it simple.  People will fill in the blanks with their own - I hate to say biases - but with their own perspectives in many cases. [...]

    We go up against a scientist, most of them are very hard to understand and very BORING"

But Morano is much more than merely a shill for hire.  He is one nasty piece of work.  A former producer of Rush Limbaugh's radio show, he also helped jump start the Swift Boat campaign against John Kerry with his May 3, 2004 CNS article “Kerry ‘Unfit to be Commander-in-Chief,’ Say Former Military Colleagues" which CNS has conveniently scrubbed from its website, but which you can read in it entirety here. Morano was also instrumental in casting aspersions on Rep. John Murtha's military record and the medals and citations Murtha was awarded, after Murtha came out in 2005 against any further deployment of troops to Iraq.

    Now the Cybercast News Service, a supposedly independent organization with deep ties to the Republican Party, has dusted off the Swift Boat Veterans playbook, questioning whether Mr. Murtha deserved his two Purple Hearts. The article also implied that Mr. Murtha did not deserve the Bronze Star he received, and that the combat-distinguishing "V" on it was questionable. It then called on Mr. Murtha to open up his military records.

    Cybercast News Service is run by David Thibault, who formerly worked as the senior producer for "Rising Tide," the televised weekly news magazine produced by the Republican National Committee. One of the authors of the Murtha article was Marc Morano, a long-time writer and producer for Rush Limbaugh.

However, the most despicable thing he does now is post lies about, and misleading quotes (conveniently taken out of context) by, climate scientists on his website.  Then he publishes their email addresses.  In short he's a serial harasser of scientists who publish peer reviewed scientific research linking climate change to the burning of carbon based fuels.  You can imagine the result.

    Climate ethicist Donald Brown, who has been the focus of Morano’s “reprehensible” tactics four times, called it “sheer intimidation.” In 2012, highly-regarded MIT climatologist (and Republican) Kerry Emanuel — another Morano target — wrote me, “I had heard about the hate mail and threats received by others, but am surprised at how little it takes these days to trigger hysterical and hateful responses from the ideologues out there.” Emanuel explained that some emails contained “veiled threats against my wife,” and other “tangible threats.”

Morano himself seems to think this is all just fun and games.  Or so he has claimed, when he says in Merchants of Doubt how much he enjoyed coming up with new ways to "mock and ridicule" scientists when he worked for Inhofe.  The truth is, there is nothing funny about what he does, as his own rhetoric is often tinged with the language of violence and hate, such as this example from an article in the March 2010 issue of Scientific Americanwhich he was quoted as saying climate scientists are perpetrating a "con job."

    "You have every aspect of our lives subject to regulatory control - down to the light bulbs we can put in - based on climate science," Morano said. The researchers "never wanted to debate and they kept trying to demand the debate was over."

    "Whenever you have someone ginning up a crisis and wanting to take power, you're going to have anger," he added. "When you've been conned at a used car dealer, you don't go back cheerily and politely to talk to them."  [...]

    "I seriously believe we should kick them while they're down" ... "They deserve to be publicly flogged."

    So, what possible reason could Morano have for prominently displaying these email addresses – as he does for many other stories that involve climate scientists he evidently despises – other than to encourage his readers who lap up his warped world vision to "get in touch"? I'll let you fill in the gaps.

What exactly are Morano's credentials as a climate expert - other than working for Rush Limbaugh and James Inhofe, and as a journalist for the right wing media outlet, Cybercast News Service?  Desmogblog has the details on his "credentials" such as they are.

    Marc Morano is the executive director and chief correspondent of, a project of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT). Morano is also the Communications Director at CFACT, a conservative think-tank in Washington D.C. that has received funding from ExxonMobil, Chevron, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars from foundations associated with Richard Mellon Scaife. According to 2011 IRS Forms (PDF), Morano was the highest paid staff member with a salary of $150,000 per year. Morano's blog Climate Depot regularly publishes articles questioning man-made global warming.

    Although he has no scientific expertise in the area, Morano has become a prominent climate change denier. He has been called “the Matt Drudge of climate denial”, the “King of the skeptics,” and a “central cell of the climate-denial machine.” He was also listed as one of 17 top “climate killers” by Rolling Stone Magazine. He has accused climate scientists of “fear mongering,” and has claimed that proponents of man-made global warming are “funded to the tune of $50 billion.”

    When Morano was asked about his qualifications for speaking about an issue such as climate science, he responded by saying, “I have a background in political science, which is the perfect qualification to examine global warming.”

I suppose his background in political science and "smear campaigns" helps him keep his communications to his audience simple, so they can provide the proper "perspectives" to the "information" he "sells" regarding climate change.  Simple enough to ratchet up unreasonable hate and threats toward real scientists earning far less than Mr. Morano does.

Sure hope Morano doesn't decide to "release the dogs" by posting personal information about the scientists of the ICECAP team who so recently revealed the dangers of thinning ice from warming ocean current in both West and East Antarctica.  But maybe he'll be too busy enjoying his status as the "star" of the documentary about his deceitful and unethical tactics to smear bigger fish in the climate science community, to bother with the folks of ICECAP.

    Kenner, 65, does admire people such as Marc Morano, a professional climate-change denier and founder of the Climate Depot Web site who is, arguably, the star of Kenner’s film [Merchants of Doubt]. [...]

    In “Doubt,” Morano recounts with glee how he has published the e-mail addresses of climate scientists, subjecting them to intimidation and flaming attacks from anonymous critics. (Several of the abusive e-mails are read aloud in the film by their recipients, in an evocation of Jimmy Kimmel’s “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets” segments.) It makes for a semi-serious tone that masks Kenner’s more sobering message: We’re routinely being lied to, by people who are darn good at it.

Unfortunately, the efforts of people like Morano, who by any definition is a thug and character assassin, have had a lasting effect already on our ability to limit the effects of man-made climate change, as Harvard Professor, Naomi Oreskes, co-author of the book Merchants of Doubt, on which the film of the same name is based, points out.

    “Scientists are worried. We’ve lost 20 years. If this keeps up as we’re going, we’re looking at a 6- to 10-foot rise in the sea level by 2100.” The film brings that point home graphically, showing a map of Boston and nearly all major coastal cities underwater. Reiterating the pandemic fear sweeping through the scientific community, Oreskes points to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) recommendation of a significant (some say 80 percent) reduction in emissions by 2050 as a necessary course of action. “The really crucial thing,” Oreskes says, “is to get started on emissions reduction, because once we do, technology and momentum will kick in. The hardest thing is to start.”

Yes, twenty critical years wasted thanks to hacks and mercenaries like Marc Morano.  Years that we could have turned the tide to limit our exorbitant emissions of greenhouse gases. Years that we will never recover.  And Morano is still out there right now, working hard to delay action on climate change for another twenty years, while being well paid to destroy the lives of hundreds of millions in the short term, and quite possibly by the end of the century, billions of human beings (not to mention all the other species going extinct because of global warming).  Is it any wonder I labeled Morano "Evil" in my title?  Trust me, it isn't hyperbole.


Why I am a Climate Change Skeptic

By Dr. Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace

I am skeptical humans are the main cause of climate change and that it will be catastrophic in the near future. There is no scientific proof of this hypothesis, yet we are told “the debate is over” and “the science is settled.”

My skepticism begins with the believers’ certainty they can predict the global climate with a computer model. The entire basis for the doomsday climate change scenario is the hypothesis increased atmospheric carbon dioxide due to fossil fuel emissions will heat the Earth to unlivable temperatures.

In fact, the Earth has been warming very gradually for 300 years, since the Little Ice Age ended, long before heavy use of fossil fuels. Prior to the Little Ice Age, during the Medieval Warm Period, Vikings colonized Greenland and Newfoundland, when it was warmer there than today. And during Roman times, it was warmer, long before fossil fuels revolutionized civilization.

The idea it would be catastrophic if carbon dioxide were to increase and average global temperature were to rise a few degrees is preposterous.

Recently, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) announced for the umpteenth time we are doomed unless we reduce carbon-dioxide emissions to zero. Effectively this means either reducing the population to zero, or going back 10,000 years before humans began clearing forests for agriculture. This proposed cure is far worse than adapting to a warmer world, if it actually comes about.

IPCC Conflict of Interest

By its constitution, the IPCC has a hopeless conflict of interest. Its mandate is to consider only the human causes of global warming, not the many natural causes changing the climate for billions of years. We don’t understand the natural causes of climate change any more than we know if humans are part of the cause at present. If the IPCC did not find humans were the cause of warming, or if it found warming would be more positive than negative, there would be no need for the IPCC under its present mandate. To survive, it must find on the side of the apocalypse.

The IPCC should either have its mandate expanded to include all causes of climate change, or it should be dismantled.

Political Powerhouse

Climate change has become a powerful political force for many reasons. First, it is universal; we are told everything on Earth is threatened. Second, it invokes the two most powerful human motivators: fear and guilt. We fear driving our car will kill our grandchildren, and we feel guilty for doing it.

Third, there is a powerful convergence of interests among key elites that support the climate “narrative.” Environmentalists spread fear and raise donations; politicians appear to be saving the Earth from doom; the media has a field day with sensation and conflict; science institutions raise billions in grants, create whole new departments, and stoke a feeding frenzy of scary scenarios; business wants to look green, and get huge public subsidies for projects that would otherwise be economic losers, such as wind farms and solar arrays. Fourth, the Left sees climate change as a perfect means to redistribute wealth from industrial countries to the developing world and the UN bureaucracy.

So we are told carbon dioxide is a “toxic” “pollutant” that must be curtailed, when in fact it is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, gas and the most important food for life on earth. Without carbon dioxide above 150 parts per million, all plants would die.

Human Emissions Saved Planet

Over the past 150 million years, carbon dioxide had been drawn down steadily (by plants) from about 3,000 parts per million to about 280 parts per million before the Industrial Revolution. If this trend continued, the carbon dioxide level would have become too low to support life on Earth. Human fossil fuel use and clearing land for crops have boosted carbon dioxide from its lowest level in the history of the Earth back to 400 parts per million today.

At 400 parts per million, all our food crops, forests, and natural ecosystems are still on a starvation diet for carbon dioxide. The optimum level of carbon dioxide for plant growth, given enough water and nutrients, is about 1,500 parts per million, nearly four times higher than today. Greenhouse growers inject carbon-dioxide to increase yields. Farms and forests will produce more if carbon-dioxide keeps rising.

We have no proof increased carbon dioxide is responsible for the earth’s slight warming over the past 300 years. There has been no significant warming for 18 years while we have emitted 25 per cent of all the carbon dioxide ever emitted. Carbon dioxide is vital for life on Earth and plants would like more of it. Which should we emphasize to our children?

Celebrate Carbon Dioxide

The IPCC’s followers have given us a vision of a world dying because of carbon-dioxide emissions. I say the Earth would be a lot deader with no carbon dioxide, and more of it will be a very positive factor in feeding the world. Let’s celebrate carbon dioxide.


You Will Never Guess What The EPA Might Regulate Next

It’s obvious the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has way too much money to play with.

Following yesterday’s news that the EPA was funding research to reduce air pollution emissions from cooking on propane fired barbecue grills, the latest research grant is aimed at hotel showers.

Researchers at the University of Tulsa were awarded $15,000 to develop a wireless device that will allow water use from showers to be measured and reported to both the hotel guest via a smartphone and to hotel management. According to the grant, hotel guests waste millions of gallons of water each year and it’s hoped that guests will reduce their water use when they realize the amount of water they are using.

The research on propane gas grills involves modifying the barbecue grill design to reduce particulate matter that’s emitted during cooking especially when the fire hits the grease from the food.

The Chemical and Environmental Engineering department at the University of California, Riverside, received $15,000 to develop a two-step process to reduce particulate matter during barbecuing. The fist step involves reducing the amount of grease that hits the cooking flame by temporarily inserting a tray between the meat and grill just before flipping. Since the tray is cooler than the grill surface it will minimize the amount of grease emitted from the meat, resulting in less smoke and particulates released into the air and inhaled by the cook. The tray is removed immediately after the meat is flipped.

The second step involves an air filtration system.

Only the EPA could devise projects that are so detached from reality.

Hotel guests pay a premium for lodging and will resist being spied on by hotel management for water use. In many hotels, a small card is displayed in the bathroom to remind the guests that water conservation is important. Some hotels go a step further and suggest that guests can opt out of having the towels and sheets replaced daily.

Addressing emissions from propane barbecues is even more ridiculous. Backyard cooks are not going to go through an extra step before flipping the meat. Not only does that step increase the possibility of getting burned but the tray also becomes an additional item that needs to be cleaned.

Finally, the elaborate filtration system would add to the cost and maintenance of the grill.

Funding make-work research projects exposes the incompetence and waste at the EPA.


MD: Senators hotly debate language in fracking bill

Legislators from western Maryland oppose a bill that would hold fracking companies accountable for any damage done during the process, saying it would kill any chances of cashing in on natural gas deposits in the state.

Spirited debate came to an abrupt halt when the Senate decided to seek the state attorney general's opinion on disputed language in the bill.

Fracking extracts natural gas from Marcellus shale, which can be found underneath of nearly all of Garrett County and parts of Allegany County. A Towson University study finds tapping into Marcellus shale could infuse billions into the western Maryland economy.

"I think the bottom line is this bill bans fracking, period, with this language in there, the way it is now," Senate President Mike Miller said.

A Senate committee struck strict liability language that fracking supporters argue would have completely deterred interest in drilling. They inserted a description of the process as an ultra-hazardous and abnormally-dangerous activity.

Sen. George Edwards, R-Western Maryland, said he asked the state attorney general's office for a legal opinion and plans to get what he was told on the phone in writing.

"Simply put, this is just another way of saying strict liability," Edwards said.

"This 'ultra-hazardous' is a legal term of argument. What we've done in the bill is to leave it up to our courts to determine the parameters of liability based on the contamination of fracking," said Baltimore County Democratic Sen. Bobby Zirkin, the bill's sponsor.

Edwards wants to strike those words.  "This guts the bill and what we are trying to do is protect our citizens," Zirkin said.

Edwards served on a state committee charged with coming up with recommending regulations that would help safeguard the practice.

"To pass something like this before you haven't even ruled on the regulations, I believe, is putting the cart before the horse," Edwards said.

"The better course of action was to define it in a way that would allow our courts to determine the parameters of strict liability or their liability standards," Zirkin said.

"For five years, this has been looked at," Edwards said.

"The bill simply says if we do it and if somebody gets hurt or if our water is contaminated, then we are going to hold the right people responsible," Zirkin said.

The attorney general's office released its advisory late Wednesday afternoon, saying that describing the fracking process as an ultra-hazardous and abnormally dangerous activity is strict liability language.


Australia: New Leftist  government of Victoria throws "Climate variability" out, brings "climate change" back in

Climate change is back on the political agenda in Victoria, with the Andrews Government considering going it alone with a state-based greenhouse gas emissions reduction target.

In a symbolic but significant gesture, Environment Minister Lisa Neville has ordered bureaucrats in her department to "call it what it is - climate change", banning the phrase "climate variability" preferred by the former Napthine government.

In a speech to the Australian Coastal Councils Conference last week, Ms Neville declared "we are putting climate change back on the agenda in Victoria", promising to make the state a national and international leader on the issue.

"In the absence of national leadership on this critical issue, we understand as a State Government we must take the lead on climate change and are committed to reinvigorating climate action within our state, and restoring Victoria's status as a leader in Australia and internationally," Ms Neville said.

Although the environment barely featured in the recent election campaign, the comments suggest the Andrews government wants to make it a central political issue. It is believed a push by the former Bracks Labor government to introduce a state-based emissions trading scheme could potentially be reinvigorated, with Victoria in discussions with both South Australian and New South Wales.

Asked about such a possibility, Ms Neville told Fairfax Media it was too early to make any commitments, suggesting the outcome of global climate talks in Paris later this year would shape the state's policy.

As a first step, the state government is considering whether a Victorian emissions reduction target might be introduced.

"We are currently reviewing legislation and programs and whether a state carbon emissions reduction target would be effective," Ms Neville told the conference. "We're also refocusing the role of Sustainability Victoria to assist communities to take practical action locally and assessing the need for additional policies and programs."

Ms Neville has been picked to lead the national "climate adaptation working group" of environment ministers. She said support for action on climate change had slipped by 20 per cent in the last four years, suggesting people have a hard time accepting solutions to a problem that is essentially long term.

"We must recognise that we have been here before," she said. "We tried to create that bigger picture federally and it fell over."

Given the global nature of the problem, business groups have expressed alarm about the possibility of unilateral action.

Australian Industry Group Victorian director Tim Piper said he had no problem with Victoria taking on a leadership role. "But we also know that unilateral regulations which don't bring the rest of the country with us disadvantage Victorian companies and consumers and are bound to fail," Mr Piper said.

Environment Victoria chief executive Mark Wakeham said he was optimistic Labor was genuinely committed to "decarbonising" the economy.

"Labor's commitment to reintroducing an emissions reduction target for the state, and its appetite for working with other states like SA and NSW to increase and lead national efforts on decarbonisation is an extremely positive development in the lead up to international climate negotiations in Paris," Mr Wakeham said.



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

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


22 March, 2015

"Arctic" apples could be better than organics

After years of research and extensive field testing, the Okanagan’s own GMO apple is going to the big leagues.

Genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) are routinely attacked by urban organic activists in spite of the fact that not a single ailment has ever been linked to this technology. And now, as a testament to the baselessness of such attacks, the rights to the GMO Arctic Apple have been purchased by the U.S. biotechnology company Intrexon (owners of GMO salmon), for the princely sum of $41 million.

This acquisition stands as a textbook example of how to stand up to organic activists.

Rather than compromise, Neal Carter, the Summerland developer of this non-browning apple, stood firm as organic activists claimed falsely that a GMO apple threatened organic orchards. The only question that remains is whether the organic industry will take former U.S. president Bill Clinton’s advice from 1997 and include the Arctic Apple in organic production.

Unlike some GMO crops that incorporate pesticides, the GMO Arctic Apple could, in theory, be grown under organic management with composted fertilizer and holistic pest management, according to the original version of the world’s most-widely adopted organic standards – the USDA National Organic Program.

I grew up on an organic farm and worked for five years as a USDA-contract organic inspector. I left when the organic movement became a bureaucratic scam designed to propel an anti-GMO, anti-scientific political agenda.

I still support the true principles of organic production. But with three-quarters of organic food being imported from countries like China, and with 46 per cent testing positive for prohibited pesticides — pesticides that do cause harm and can lead to death — it has long been my position that the organic industry has a massive problem on its hands, a problem that has nothing whatsoever to do with GMOs.

Organic crops are not tested. Record-keeping and record-checking are all that’s required to get a crop certified.

Imagine if we quit testing athletes at the Olympics. Do you think maybe athletes might take this as a licence to cheat? This is how the anti-GMO organic industry runs.

No wonder multimillionaire organic execs like John Mackey (Whole Foods) and tax-subsidized activists like Ronnie Cummins (The Organic Consumers Association) pretend GMOs threaten organic farms. By maligning this field of science, they’ve carved-out a sizable niche for themselves, giving consumers the false hope that they’re eating a better diet when they purchase premium-priced, certified-organic food, all based on the fact that it’s non-GMO.

The reality is quite the opposite.

The lack of organic field testing not only results in 46 per cent of organic food testing positive for prohibited pesticides, but also in un-composted fecal matter making its way into the organic food chain.

As Carter and his new corporate masters at Intrexon will surely attest, this causes serious illness, and can lead to death. How is this “organic” exactly?

GMO Golden Rice, papaya and brinjal are all examples of non-proprietary (no patent) GMO crops that could be grown organically. The time is long overdue for the organic industry to follow Clinton’s advice and embrace GMOs. And what better place to start than with Carter’s GMO Arctic Apple?

By standing up to organic “pseudo-science and naysaying fearmongers,” Carter proves that when the enemies of science can’t beat you, they might someday be forced to join you.


Waiting for a Guardian outcry

So, in the wake of Pielke Jr's comment yesterday, we know that Kerry Emanuel has been citing a paper without disclosing that he had been involved in its preparation. We know that the paper was commissioned and paid for by green billionaire Tom Steyer.

The question that now springs to mind is whether Emanuel has disclosed this activist cash in his academic work; in the wake of the recent rumpus over Willie Soon's papers, readers will recall that environmentalists are very keen that such disclosures are made.

Emanuel has disclosed in one of his papers that his own business, WindRiskTech, is involved in the same line of work:

"Conflict of interest statement: The technique used here to estimate the level of tropical cyclone activity in CMIP5-generation climate models is also used by a firm, WindRiskTech LLC, in which the author has a financial interest. That firm applies the technique to estimate tropical cyclone risk for various clients."

However, the argument made about Willie Soon's COI disclosures was that all of his papers should disclose his funding from an oil company, whether directly connected or not. So in this case I feel certain that environmental activists will be loudly condemning Emanuel's failure to disclose Emanuel's income stream from a green billionaire.

No? Why ever not?


Building a crony capitalist society

A few days ago I noted the comments of the UNFCCC's Christiana Figueres about the UN's desire to transform the basis of daily economic life:

"This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for the, at least, 150 years, since the industrial revolution."

I couldn't help but think of this when considering a couple of developments on the underground coal gasification front over the weekend. Firstly was the news that a successful UCG pilot plant in Queensland is to be closed down after legislators decided that they didn't want to deal with the flak from environmentalists. The second is the vigorous attempts by greens to prevent UCG getting off the ground in Scotland, with enormous pressure being applied to Holyrood politicians to slam on the brakes.

This is very much a transformation of the economic development model that has been reigning for 150 years. For most of that time, if you wanted to start a new industrial business you started it. Now it is necessary to suck up to politicians and to buy off the environmentalists first. Free markets are replaced by crony capitalism and protection rackets.

You can see why UN bureaucrats would be in favour.


No wonder the British Greens are in a mess over economics

By Tim Worstall

Molly Scott Cato is their leading economist.  Hear her:

"Most important, she would not be focusing the narrative of her budget around the deficit. We believe that austerity is a political project, designed to reinforce the power of financial and corporate elites, and achieve the long-held ambition of those on the right in politics of bringing about the shrinking of the state. Closing the deficit is not our prime economic objective; the important thing is to build a more equal and ecologically sustainable economy. We would balance the current account over time, but are prepared to borrow to invest".

Molly Scott Cato apparently doesn’t know the difference between the current account (trade related) and the deficit (government budget related).



Federal land regulation continues to strangle energy production

Federal land ownership in the United States continues to grow despite the federal government already owning more than half of most of the western states. While some have been advocating for the return of this land to the states or protect it from being closed off from oil and gas operations, the Obama Administration has worked just as hard to increase the federal government’s land grab. Contrast:  As President Bush’s second term as president was coming to an end, 4 million acres of land in Alaska was released by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for drilling and exploration. Seven years later, President Obama has proposed to set aside 12 million acres in Alaska, designating it as “wilderness” and off-limits to up to 42 billion barrels of oil.

Most recently, the Obama administration has proposed the largest critical habitat designation ever, setting aside 226 million acres of ocean off Alaska’s coastline (an area twice the size of California) to protect the Arctic ringed seals who were listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act in 2012 after environmental activists petitioned the Obama administration.

Even though NOAA says that oil and gas activities have occurred in areas with protected species in the past, designating these Alaskan waters as a critical habitat would mean that all oil and gas activity would have to be evaluated based on how much it would impact ringed seals. Alaska’s outer continental shelf is considered to be one of the world’s largest untapped oil and gas reserves boasting as much as 27 billion barrels of oil and 132 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Other federal lands expansion that slipped into the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would add 250,000 acres of new wilderness in western states and put thousands more acres off limits to drilling and mining in states.

In 2011, the U.S. Forest Service originally tried to ban fracking in the 1 million acre George Washington National Forest, but failed. It would have been the first outright ban on the practice in a national forest.

Much of the land targeted for government takeover holds great oil and natural gas resources which could provide jobs in the energy industry and a flow of resources from our own American supply. Once those lands become “monuments,” access to those natural resources is limited and in the hands of the federal government. The government currently owns 650 million acres, or 29 percent of the nation’s total land.

The Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 and the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act (NREPA). The Omnibus bill was passed with over 100 land grab measures. The NREPA included federal takeover of nearly 24 million acres of land in the American west and northwest; however, NREPA never made it out of the House subcommittee.

The ability of the White House to simply snatch land from under the feet of the American people comes from the Antiquities Act of 1906. The Act was initially intended to set aside small portions of land for monuments and national parks, but has since been abused by lawmakers to control large quantities of property. Federal government land control and land acquisition takes away opportunities for development, particularly when it comes to much needed energy resources. The land designated as “monument” space could have created jobs, boosted the economy and enhanced our energy security.


Florida  State employee banned for uttering ‘climate change’  -- contrary to instuctions

A Florida state employee has been reprimanded and told not to come to work after Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) administration banned the use of the terms “climate change” and “global warming.”

Earlier this month, reports said that officials in the Scott administration ordered Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) administrators not to use the terms in documents or meetings because they asserted that the climate science behind global warming was not a “true fact.”

According to the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), Scott’s ban claimed its first victim earlier this month.

A press release from PEER said that Barton Bibler, who works as DEP Land Management Plan Coordinator, had attended a Florida Coastal Managers Forum and took notes when attendees discussed climate change.

“Mr. Bibler’s official notes on this meeting reflected all of that discussion. He was directed to remove any hot button issues, especially explicit references to climate change, and then was given a letter of reprimand for supposedly misrepresenting that the ‘official meeting agenda included climate change,’” the statement noted. “As he was given the reprimand on March 9th, Mr. Bibler was told to not return to work for two days which would be charged against his personal leave time.”

Before he was allowed to return to work, DEP required that that Bibler’s doctor complete a “Medical Release Form,” and evaluate him for an unspecified “medical condition and behavior.”

“Bart Bibler has fallen through a professional looking glass in a Florida where the words ‘climate change’ may not be uttered, or even worse, written down,” PEER Director Jerry Phillips explained. “If anyone needs mental health screening it is Governor Rick Scott and other officials telling state workers to pretend that climate change and sea-level rise do not exist.”

PEER has called on the DEP Office of Inspector General to investigate the department for mishandling Bibler’s reprimand.

“Not just the employees but the citizens of Florida should demand a full investigation into what the heck is going on inside DEP and whether we can expect more cases like this,” Phillips insisted. “Under Governor Scott, the Department of Environmental Protection functions like a gulag where those in servitude who show any spark of honesty are simply made to disappear.”

It was not immediately clear when, if ever, Bibler would be allowed to return to work.



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


20 March, 2015

A few laughs about the recent Warmist propaganda film

(Judith Curry has a wide-ranging  demolition of the movie)

@RogerPielkeJr tweeted: "Merchants of Doubt in a nutshell: How a 90 yr-old man and a few dead friends fool the stupid American public.  End of civilization results."

Jim Lakely adds:

Just in case anyone was wondering, Merchants of Doubt supposedly opened Friday at the Bethesda Row Cinema. You can hardly get a more sympathetic audience than Bethesda, Maryland. The film is no longer in the theater. See here

Merchants of Doubt also premiered March 6 at the Lincoln Plaza Cinema in New York's Upper West Side, the “cultural, intellectual hub” of the city. It, too, is no longer playing there.  See here

Who knows? Maybe it will pick up steam when it gets to the video-on-demand market. But right now it’s looking like the “Heaven’s Gate” or “Gigli” of global warming propaganda mockumentaries.

Joe Bast comments:

…but Chicago Tribune gives it four stars (and never mentions its native sons…  thanks a lot!) The review is behind a paywall, so it probably won’t do a lot of harm.

Via email

Gore says climate-change deniers should pay political price

Former Vice President Al Gore on Friday called on SXSW attendees to punish climate-change deniers, saying politicians should pay a price for rejecting “accepted science.”

Gore said smart investors are moving away from companies tied to fossil fuels and toward companies investing in alternative energy.

"We need to put a price on carbon to accelerate these market trends,” Gore said, referring to a proposed federal cap-and-trade system that would penalize companies that exceeded their carbon-emission limits. “And in order to do that, we need to put a price on denial in politics."

SXSW Interactive brings together designers, developers, investors, entrepreneurs and politicians for several days of talk about technology, innovation and the future. The massive annual festival also includes film and music portions.

Gore, who has made climate change an overriding theme since he lost to George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential election, made no mention of his political future. He took several questions from Twitter after his talk. None asked whether he was considering another run for the White House.

He said he hoped his third SXSW appearance would help promote the fight against climate change and to help put pressure on those who say it’s not a problem.

“We have this denial industry cranked up constantly,” Gore said. “In addition to 99 percent of the scientists and all the professional scientific organizations, now Mother Nature is weighing in.”

He led a presentation on major weather events that he said could be attributed to human activity. He linked troubles in the Middle East at least partially to climate change, saying that drought drove more than a million Syrian refugees into cities already crowded with refugees from the Iraq war.

At one point, Gore’s presentation showed a slide of Pope Francis. “How about this Pope?” Gore said.

Cardinal Peter Turkson, a Vatican official who helped draft the Pope’s anticipated encyclical on the environment, said recently that the planet was getting warmer and that Christians needed to address the problem. Gore said he looks forward to release of the Pope’s document, expected in June or July.

“I’m not a Catholic,” Gore said, “but I could be persuaded to become one.”


Access to Mid-Atlantic Energy Resources Advances Long-term Energy Security

At the end of January, the Obama administration announced the next step in a long process that could result in the exploration and ultimate extraction of oil-and-gas resources of the U.S. mid-Atlantic—something the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Governors Coalition supports. On March 30, the 60-day comment period ends. If everything goes well, we could see new American resources on the market in twenty years.

With the current oil abundance, it may seem like an odd time to be going after more. However, the legal wheels that could allow limited access to the vast, untapped oil resources move very slowly. Today’s market conditions will fluctuate between now and 2035 when the global demand for energy is expected to spike. Not to mention the increasingly volatile situation in the Middle East, where new coalitions are already being formed: Iran and Iraq, Saudi Arabia and South Korea—just to name two. If one more beheading takes place or a bomb hits the right (or wrong) target, the region could erupt, and the entire energy dynamic would change. Considering the variables, American energy security is always something worth pursuing.

The planning for the 2017-2022 OCS leasing program (5Y OCS) began June 2014, when the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) issued a request for information and comments. Then, in January, it published the Draft Proposed Plan; the Final Proposed Plan is anticipated in early 2017. 5Y OCS proposes just one mid-Atlantic lease sale six years from now—and even its future is precarious. The mid-Atlantic currently has no leases in federal waters.

Explaining the process, Offshore magazine writes: “The OCS Lands Act requires the Secretary of the Interior to prepare a five-year program that includes a schedule of potential oil and gas lease sales and indicates the size, timing and location of proposed leasing activity as determined to best meet national energy needs, while addressing a range of economic, environmental and social considerations.”

The BOEM estimates that the entire U.S. OCS holds approximately 90 billion barrels of oil and more than 400 trillion cubic feet of natural gas which are technically recoverable. Based on 30- to 40-year-old data, it estimates that the mid-Atlantic OCS may contain approximately 8-9 billion barrels of oil equivalent—which at current consumption rates would be enough to meet South Carolina’s needs for 67 years. New seismic and other geological and geophysical surveys are needed. Modern practices and technologies will provide a more comprehensive view that will help make informed decisions on using the resources.

While the proposal for possible mid-Atlantic development faces opposition from environmental lobbyists, who call it a gift to oil-and-gas interests and an anchor to the “dirty fossil fuels of the past,” it enjoys a favorable political climate in the affected coastal states, where polls show citizens support offshore drilling.

When the January announcement came out, North Carolina’s Republican Governor Pat McCory, chairman of the OCS Governors Coalition, applauded the proposal: “Responsible exploration and development of oil and gas reserves off our coast would create thousands of good paying jobs, spur activity in a host of associated industries, generate billions of dollars in tax revenue and move America closer to energy independence.” Even Virginia’s Democrat senators say the proposal is a “significant step … that should result in safe, responsible development of energy resources off the Virginia and mid-Atlantic coasts.”

Both the senators and governors want to see legislation passed that would provide for the same type of revenue-sharing system currently applied to the Gulf States to compensate local communities for additional infrastructure, environmental protection, and other coastal management needs generated by the new economic activity. If Congress allows revenue sharing, Brydon Ross, Southeast director of the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), predicts that it “could generate more than $10 billion in revenue combined for critical public budget infusions without taxpayer dollars.”

Unfortunately, even though the draft proposal includes it and lawmakers and citizens in the impacted states support it, future mid-Atlantic resource development is not a sure thing. The Washington Post (WP) calls the plan: “politically fraught.”

“This is a political plan,” Randall Luthi, president of the National Ocean Industries Association, stated, “not a plan based on science and resource data”—though he acknowledged it “is a small step in the right direction.” Luthi added: “Our members are encouraged by the decision to further analyze the mid- and south-Atlantic areas, which have not been included in a leasing program for over two generations.”

5Y OCS is still in the early stages. Addressing the ongoing process, Jeremy Kennedy, an attorney who focuses on domestic- and international-energy transactions, explains: “Each of the steps … will winnow the scope of the 2017-2022 leasing program.” The WP reports: BOEM “could decide to narrow—but not expand—the proposed leasing area before it is finalized.”

Kennedy sees that “little is certain at this time.” After all, the Obama administration has killed previous potential lease sales. “Once published,” he states, “planned lease sales can always be cancelled or delayed by the Interior Department, president or Congress.”

Will the U.S. pursue development of our own offshore oil-and-natural gas resources in the Atlantic, as Canada, Cuba, the Bahamas, and South American Atlantic-coast countries do? No one really knows—but it is something we should do.

Supporters of American energy security need to get involved in the “political process” by making our voices heard. Add your public comment before the March 30 deadline.


British Liberal backs Leftist climate change campaign

Leftism wipes out your critical faculties

Pension and insurance funds should consider urgent divestment from “very risky” coal assets and then gradually retreat from oil and gas, Ed Davey, the UK energy and climate change secretary, has warned.

Throwing his weight behind the Guardian’s “Keep it in the ground” campaign, he said a recent analysis which suggested 82% of coal reserves must remain untouched if temperature increases are to be kept below 2C – the widely accepted threshold for dangerous climate change – was “realistic”.

Davey said it was not up to an energy minister to tell fund managers how to run their businesses, but added that it was vital to introduce regulatory transparency that would drive investors from fossil fuels to renewables.

“If you invest in a lot of coal assets you may be over-exposed but it is up to you to make that decision and for government to ensure the information is available. The 82%... is quite a number. It seems to me to be relatively realistic,” he argued.

“We are going to need a lot of oil and gas over the next two or three decades but increasingly over time I think these oil and gas assets will look risky as the world makes climate change treaties, as it will do, as carbon pricing becomes more ubiquitous and companies cut down on fossil fuel use far, far quicker than you expect and therefore this argument is really, really significant.”

On Monday, the Guardian launched a campaign asking the two largest charitable foundations in the world – the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust – to move their investments out of fossil fuel companies. More than 72,000 people have signed the petition calling for the foundations to divest.

Introducing the campaign, editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger wrote: “This [campaign] will almost certainly be won in time: the physics is unarguable. But we are launching our campaign today in the firm belief that it will force the issue now into the boardrooms and inboxes of people who have billions of dollars at their disposal.”

Davey wrote in a comment piece, “I’m strongly backing the Guardian’s campaign to raise the profile of the divestment debate ahead of the December climate change negotiations in Paris.”

His support comes amid signs that British pension funds, banks and insurance companies have not changed their behaviour since a major report warned last year they were much more financially exposed than their European counterparts to overvalued or “stranded” fossil fuels.....


A succinct comment from an Oregonian

So we have voted to adopt the politically correct move to reduce the energy content of our fuel.

Suppose we reduce the energy of our fuel by 10 percent, which will increase the price. It will also take approximately 10 percent more gallons to reach our destination, so we have a net gain of about zero, except we have voted to give away more money.

It's a typical governmental solution to a probably non-existent problem.

There is plenty of room for politically incorrect opinion on the global warming issue anyway. Global temperature measurements have remained static for about 17 years. Most experts (?) for global warming work for the government or for colleges with government grants. Those who did not agree are no longer employed.

Hot spots and cold spots migrate around and if you want to prove global warming, you measure the hot spots and ignore ice building up in the Arctic. Some scientists say we are approaching the long leg of our lopsided orbit and cooling can be expected.

Obviously, our treaty maker doesn't think danger is imminent or he wouldn't give China 16 more years to continue building coal-fired plants while we plan to destroy our ability to compete immediately.


IPCC scientists fail again to justify global warming alarm

The beguiling simplicity of the first sentence of an article in last week’s Dominion Post by Wratt, Reisinger & Renwick (WRR) about the IPCC’s view of climate change masks deep ambiguity and confusion about what precisely the dangerous anthropogenic global warming (DAGW) hypothesis is all about.

In that sentence WRR say that “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and human influence on the climate system is clear.”

The statement that warming of the climate system is unequivocal is disingenuous and ambiguous in equal measure, because whether the statement is true or not depends entirely on the time period considered.

For instance, mild global warming occurred between the end of the Little Ice Age (say 1860) and now, and also between 1979 and 1997. However, it is also true that cooling of a degree or two has occurred since the peak of the Mediaeval Warm Period (say 900 AD), and also since the Holocene Climatic Optimum about 8000 years ago.

Planet Earth is therefore clearly on a long-term cooling trend within which the 20th century multi-decadal warmings that so worry the IPCC represent weather variability and oceanographic-atmospheric oscillations more than they do long-term climate change.

It is also the case that no modern warming has occurred since 1997, an 18 year-long period during which atmospheric carbon dioxide levels increased by 10%. That 10% increase represents fully 30% of all the human-related emissions since the start of the industrial revolution – all for no warming, remember.

Which brings us back to the real hypothesis that we wish to test. It is not, as WRR seem to believe, that “warming of the climate system (is) happening” but specifically that “dangerous global warming will be caused by human-related carbon dioxide emissions”.

Science is about testing hypotheses, and the facts related above are a primary test of the DAGW hypothesis as just stated. The hypothesis fails that, and many other, empirical tests.

In addition, there is another primary hypothesis that WRR have failed to address, which is the simplest hypothesis that explains all the facts – called by scientists the null hypothesis. Given the highly variable nature of both weather and climate through time, the simplest hypothesis is that “observed modern changes in the climate system, or in plants and animals affected by it, are due to natural causes unless and until specific evidence indicates otherwise”. Neither WWR nor their favoured IPCC scientific sources describe any evidence whatever that invalidates that hypothesis.

WWR’s innocuous first sentence continues “…. human influence on the climate system is clear”.

Well, of course, for we can’t imagine a single scientist who would dispute that statement.

For example, the building of towns and cities alike replaces natural vegetation and land surfaces with industrial materials, thus providing a heat trap for solar radiation and causing the local warming that is termed the urban heat island effect. Similarly, in the countryside, farmers cut down dark-coloured native vegetation and replace it with light-coloured crops such as wheat. These fields now reflect more incoming solar radiation than did the native forest, which results in local, human-induced cooling.

Adding up the various human warming and cooling influences around the globe must result in a figure that represents the net human effect on global temperature. But the effect is so small that it has yet to be calculated accurately, let alone measured; indeed, we do not even know whether the net human effect worldwide is one of warming or cooling.

The issue then is not one of “is there human influence” on climate, but of “how great is the human influence and what sign does it have”?

As summarised in the reports of both the IPCC and NIPCC (Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change), thousands of scientists have expended hundreds of billions of dollars researching this question since 1988 (formation year of the IPCC) without any evidence emerging that the human effect rises above the noise in the global temperature signal, or that any of the manifold changes in the natural world around us today are being caused by human-related carbon dioxide emissions.

Given that it has taken us almost 600 words to dissect and correct just the single opening sentence of the WRR article, readers will appreciate that it would take nearly a book to adequately discuss, and in many instances correct, the remainder of their tendentious article.

For interested readers, we have provided a point by point commentary on the eleven points enumerated by WRR at this web address – Here, we conclude by offering just a brief summary statement of the remainder of the WRR article - which is this.

WRR (and the IPCC) present many statements of fact with which we, and many other scientists, agree. In interpreting those facts, however, WRR fail to deploy them to test the DAGW hypothesis, fail to negate the null hypothesis, often treat evidence in an anecdotal way, and reveal a partiality for adopting alarmist environmental projections from known-to-be-faulty deterministic computer models.

Bryan Leyland is an engineer who specializes in and writes about renewable energy matters. Bob Carter is a geologist and environmental scientist, and Chief Scientific Advisor to the International Climate Science Coalition. Both are also authors of the recent book “Taxing Air”, which discusses all sides of the global warming issue.



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


19 March, 2015

Chris Mooney assumes what he has to prove

Mooney is a science popularizer who regularly spins all findings as supportive of the Green/Left.  Logic is not however his strong suit.  He implies below that recent bad weather is due to global warming ("greenhouse gas emissions").  But how can it be when there has been no global warming for 18 years?  It is to be expected that local temperature changes -- as in the Arctic -- will have some effects but a local effect is not a global effect.  I have to put it very simply for the likes of Mooney

Is the rapid melting of the Arctic paying us back for our greenhouse gas emissions by messing with the jet stream — which carries weather through the northern hemisphere? And could that, in turn, explain recent breakouts of extremes all around the northern half of the world — including recent snowfall in the east coast?

That’s what Rutgers University’s Jennifer Francis has argued in a series of papers going back to 2012 — but there has been quite a lot of criticism. Several distinguished climate researchers even wrote to Science magazine in early 2014 contesting the notion, saying that “we we do not view the theoretical arguments underlying it as compelling.”

And yet stubbornly, more published research keeps appearing and seeming to add support to the idea that the warming Arctic is changing the jet stream. That statement comes with an exclamation point on Thursday in particular, with a new paper out in Science that confirms many of Francis’s ideas and applies them not just to extreme winter weather but, in some ways even more troubling, to extremes of summer heat.

The new paper, by Dim Coumou and two colleagues at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the University of Potsdam in Germany, finds that the melting Arctic is indeed messing with the jet stream (as well as the broader atmospheric circulation) and our weather. But it also goes further by asserting that there’s a strong effect in the summer in particular. The progress of weather is slowing during the summer, the authors assert, and the result could be a very deadly one — including “more persistent heat waves in recent summers.”

Or as the researchers put it, a weaker jet stream and atmospheric circulation in the summer, caused by a reduced differential in temperature between the equator and the north pole as the Arctic warms faster than the mid-latitudes, “has made weather more persistent and hence favored the occurrence of prolonged heat extremes.”

The study, said Francis — who is familiar with the work but was not involved in the research — not only confirms her broad idea, but does so by examining a new and more detailed mechanism. The Potsdam researchers looked at an atmospheric feature called “eddy kinetic energy,” which, as Francis explained, basically refers to the winds swirling around regions of high and low pressure. Those winds have decreased, the paper finds.

“That’s why they’re saying that it’s more likely to have summer extreme events,” Francis said. “Because the weather just is not changing as much, and the weather systems themselves are just more stagnant and lethargic.”

The new study points in particular to the devastating 2010 summer heat wave in Russia. “By late July and early August, numerous cities witnessed a crescendo of record breaking daily readings near 40ºC, more than +10ºC warmer than what would normally have been experienced at this warmest time of year,” noted the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at the time. The resulting death toll could have been as high as 55,000.

So how did such an extreme come about? The new paper notes that “the record breaking July temperatures over Moscow were associated with extremely low [eddy kinetic energy].” In other words, there was just not enough circulation of air to bring in cooler temperatures.

“If this whole circulation slows down and there’s less energy in these storms, then basically we get more persistent weather situations, which can lead to some extreme heat waves,” said Stefan Rahmstorf, also a researcher at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research but not one of the study’s authors.

So what’s the upshot for the ongoing debate over whether the Arctic is, indeed, messing with weather in the mid-latitudes all over the globe? “I think the balance of evidence is kind of moving towards confirming that there is this influence of the Arctic,” said Rahmstorf.

“It’s making the pile of evidence I think look pretty substantial,” added Francis.

That doesn’t mean the debate is over or clinched. But it does mean that questions over precisely how the rapidly melting Arctic is feeding back into the weather we all experience are getting more pressing and pertinent than ever.


Global warming about to restart?

More prophecy and modelling.  None of their prophecies have come true yet so why should we expect this to be an exception?  And the prophecy is basically a straight-line extrapolation -- and climate does not change in a straight line way.  It goes up and down in largely unpredictable ways

Just when it looked like things might be quiet on the climate change research front for a couple of days in terms of notable findings, there was this: "We find that trends in greenhouse-gas and aerosol emissions are now moving the Earth system into a regime in terms of multi-decadal rates of change that are unprecedented for at least the past 1,000 years."

That's what researchers wrote in a letter published online March 9 in Nature Climate Change. Their work explored the rates of change in global-mean temperatures in 40-year periods extending through 2020, based on past climate records and future projections.

What they found, as mentioned in the quote above, is that rates of global warming are set to accelerate at a pace not seen for thousands of years.

Climate data for the past millennium show that global temperatures have fluctuated by 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit each decade. In the past 40 years, the trend's ramped up, angling toward 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit per decade but remaining roughly within historical boundaries.

However, the researchers project that will change in the next five years (2020), with warming rates surpassing what's been seen in the past 1,000 years -- and perhaps even the past 2,000. If greenhouse gas emissions continue at current levels, rates will keep rising to hit 0.7 degrees Fahrenheit per decade. The researchers expect the warming rates to continue to be that high through 2100.

World regions that can expect to be the first to experience these accelerated warming trends will be the Arctic, North America and Europe.

And in using a timescale of 40 years, the researchers put the results into a context relevant to "the lifetime of much of human infrastructure," they wrote. And in terms of human socio-economic infrastructure, the implication is time is of the essence for Arctic dwellers, North Americans and Europeans to start thinking about adaptation planning.


"Burning the Constitution should not become part of our national energy policy"

Eminent legal scholar Laurence Tribe reported as under to Congress on EPA CO2 rules -- summary only. Full report at link

The Environmental Protection Agency’s “Clean Power Plan” would command every State by the year 2016 to develop a package of EPA-approved laws requiring coal-fired power plants to shut down or reduce operations, consumers and businesses to use less electricity and pay more for it, and utilities to shift from coal to other energy sources - a total overhaul of each State’s way of life.

Noncomplying States would face sanctions, including the potential loss of federal highway funds, and the takeover of their energy sectors by an inflexible federal plan of uncertain scope that would inflict significant economic damage.

EPA lacks the statutory and constitutional authority to adopt its plan. The obscure section of the Clean Air Act that EPA invokes to support its breathtaking exercise of power in fact authorizes only regulating individual plants and, far from giving EPA the green light it claims, actually forbids what it seeks to do.

Even if the Act could be stretched to usurp state sovereignty and confiscate business investments the EPA had previously encouraged and in some cases mandated, as this plan does, the duty to avoid clashing with the Tenth and Fifth Amendments would prohibit such stretching.

EPA possesses only the authority granted to it by Congress. It lacks “implied” or “inherent” powers. Its gambit here raises serious questions under the separation of powers, Article I, and Article III, because EPA is attempting to exercise lawmaking power that belongs to Congress and judicial power that belongs to the federal courts.

The absence of EPA legal authority in this case makes the Clean Power Plan, quite literally, a “power grab.” EPA is attempting an unconstitutional trifecta: usurping the prerogatives of the States, Congress and the Federal Courts - all at once. Burning the Constitution should not become part of our national energy policy.


A bishop of Global Warming delivers a sermon to sinners

Britain’s former top climate envoy has delivered a scathing review of the climate outlook of the fossil fuel industry, in general, and of oil giant Shell, in particular, whose global warming strategy he described as narcissistic, paranoid, and psychopathic in an open letter to the Dutch company’s CEO, Ben Van Beurden.

John Ashton, who served as Special Representative for Climate Change at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) from 2006 to 2012, delivered the withering missive last week, in response to a speech by Van Beurden that called on his peers to be “less aloof” and “more assertive” on climate change.

But Ashton, who is the founding CEO of Third Generation Environmentalism (E3G), said the Shell boss’s speech was characterised by a cognitive dissonance that said more about the state of mind of the fossil fuel industry than the external conditions that prompted the Shell CEO to speak out.

He said that while oil giants like Shell accepted the “moral obligation” to respond to climate change, it was not considered to be a threat to the industry’s march of progress, which was expected to continue indefinitely.

“It is in truth not your fault that climate change is a hard problem,” Ashton wrote. “Though your industry must bear some responsibility for our failure so far to face it, that is not exclusively your fault either.

“But the choices of your generation of CEOs will be decisive, not only for you as corporations but for the eventual success or failure of our response to climate change.

“That is why you will be held relentlessly to account for those choices; why what you said last month invites forensic scrutiny.”

Ashton’s long and extraordinary letter is well worth reading in its entirety, but we’ve excerpted some of the best bits below, in case you need convincing…

“As we stride forward, a golden thread of growth links the size of the economy, demand for energy, and demand for oil and gas. This should continue indefinitely. Yours will remain “an industry that truly powers economies”, as “the world’s energy needs will underpin the use of fossil fuels for decades to come”.

“You do not, it appears, see climate change as a threat to the steady march. But you fear we might be overzealous. Excessive concern for the climate might lead us to break the golden thread by constraining the combustion of your products.”

“Your response is that we should ease off on climate. We can have a transition but it cannot transform. The aim, in any meaningful timeframe, should not be an energy system that is carbon neutral nor even low carbon.

Instead we must settle for “lower-carbon”, whatever that means, to allow us the “higher energy” that “makes the difference between poverty and prosperity”.”

“That is the story of your mask: a manifesto for the oil and gas status quo, justified by the unsupported claim that the economic and moral cost of departing from it would exceed the benefit in climate change avoided.

Beneath the mask is the face. Its story is encoded in language and tone, and it does not match the mask.

Climate change is a mirror in which we will all come to see the best and the worst of ourselves.  In that mirror you seem to see the energy system you have done so much to build and to find it so intoxicating that you cannot contemplate the need now to build a different one.

There is a touch of narcissism in the story of your face.

The paranoiac fears conspiracies that do not exist. You fear a non-existent conspiracy to bring about your sudden death.

There is a touch of paranoia in the story of your face.

The psychopath displays inflated self-appraisal, lack of empathy, and a tendency to squash those who block the way.”

I do not know what the new business model looks like. You won’t begin to know yourselves until you accept that as an instrument of the common good the old one is already dead........


Settled Science Scam

A systematic rebuttal by Steve Moore

National Geographic’s latest cover story generated lots of attention for comparing climate change skeptics to those who fear vaccinations, disbelieve NASA’s moon landing, and oppose water fluoridation.

The author bemoans the fact that only 40% of Americans (according to Pew Research Center) “accept that human activity is the dominant cause of global warming,” asking how so many “reasonable people doubt science.” Dubbing climate change one of the “precepts of science,” the author opines that climate change skepticism is “dispiriting” for anyone considered a “rationalist.” How could so many dismiss “settled science”?

Actually, there’s a healthy reason that the public has come to distrust government warnings and the scientific experts: they are often wrong.

Ironically, National Geographic’s sermon on settled science could have hardly come at a more inopportune time. In recent months, leading scientists have reversed themselves and have admitted their expert findings and advice were wrong on eating fat. After decades of telling us not to do so, we now learn that fat can be good for your diet and for weight loss. What we all thought to be true based on the expert testimonies, turned out to be precisely the opposite of the truth. Oops.

This kind of reversal happens all the time in the pursuit of scientific truths. Forty years ago the experts warned of a coming ice age, now they are absolutely certain the earth is warming – and some of the same “experts” were on board both scares. National Geographic even acknowledges this inconvenient fact, but explains that even though the climatologists were all wrong several decades ago, this somehow actually helps make the case for global warming.

Wait, for a scientific fact to be true, it has testable and refutable. But if any weather pattern confirms “climate change,” then by definition it is neither refutable nor is it testable. That’s convenient.

Here is how the magazine derisively describes one reason why there is such widespread skepticism on climate change: “Many people in the United States—a far greater percentage than in other countries—retain doubts about that consensus [of global warming] or believe that climate activists are using the threat of global warming to attack the free market and industrial society generally.”

Wait. It is an irrefutable truth that many climate change activists ARE using the climate change issue as a means of attacking free market capitalism. This past summer major environmental groups gathered in Venezuela to solve leading environmental problems like global warming, concluding in the Margarita Declaration “The structural causes of climate change are linked to the current capitalist hegemonic system.” In fact, the statement itself included the motto, “Changing the system, not the climate.”

So how is it delusional paranoia to believe that the climate change industry wants to shut down capitalism when the movement plainly states that this is their objective? And how can a movement be driven by science when its very agenda violates basic laws of economics? I am no scientist, but I am first in line in questioning the wisdom and motivation of a movement whose purpose is to steer the U.S. economy off a cliff toward financial ruin.

Americans are also naturally skeptical that government can do anything to achieve the grandiose task of changing the weather of the planet – because the U.S. government can’t even do simple things like balance its budget, deliver the mail, or run a health care website. If global warming ever becomes a planetary threat, it will undoubtedly be solved by technological progress – not repressive government action – and this is dependent on the very free enterprise system the left wants to tear down.

As for the future of our “industrial society,” the global warming agenda of shifting away from cheap and abundant fossil fuels and forcing nations to adopt much more expensive and less reliable wind and solar powered energy is a frontal assault against industrialization. One of the surest ways of reducing industrial output and moving hundreds of millions of people into poverty is to make energy more expensive. Now we are told that in order to save the planet, we must do just that. The left is promoting the obvious fairy tale that we can somehow power our $18 trillion industrial economy in America with windmills. Europe tried the green energy route and it was an economic fiasco.

One other point on the issue: if there were no ulterior motive of the greens and their only agenda was to stop the rise of the oceans by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, then most honest and rational people would say the solution is for America to build perhaps 40 nuclear power plants over the next decade. In 2013, coal provided just under 1.6 million gigawatts of electricity. One nuclear power plant (such as South Korea’s 6 reactor Yonggwang plant) can provide 50,000 gigawatts annually. So production from just 40 of these plants would equal the entire amount of electricity produced from coal. This would provide cheap and abundant electric power with almost no greenhouse emissions and would not slow industrial progress. But most in the climate change crowd hate nuclear power.

Moving on, National Geographic next makes this claim: “Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, one of the most powerful Republican voices on environmental matters, has long declared global warming a hoax. The idea that hundreds of scientists from all over the world would collaborate on such a vast hoax is laughable.”

Laughable? The entire history of the green movement is full of grand hoaxes and even catastrophic advice, dating back to the modern-day birth of this movement with Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. This was the green anthem which played a big part in the banning of DDT around the world – a move which contributed to millions of Africans losing their lives from malaria. The lesson of the false DDT scare is that there are very real dangers to false scares and faulty science.

As for the claim that scientists would never “collaborate on a hoax,” what about the scandal of climategate, which the left to this day pretends didn’t happen? Shouldn’t the fact that some the leading climate change researchers were caught red-handed manufacturing evidence and suppressing data even cause some degree of skepticism by the media and the scientific community as to the validity of the “science”?

Then there is the reality that nearly every environmental scare of the 1970s and backed by hundreds of scientists as well as media like National Geographic, was proven to be a hoax? In the 1970s we were told that the world was overpopulated, running out of energy, food, water, minerals, getting more polluted, and that the end result would be massive poverty famine and global collapse. Every aspect of this collective scientific wisdom was spectacularly wrong.

In 1980, a “collaboration” of hundreds of the top scientists in the United States government issued a report called The Global 2000 Report to the President which was a primal scream that in every way life on earth would be worse by 2000 because the world would run out of oil, gas, food, farmland, and so on. Just a few brave souls like Julian Simon and Herman Kahn dared to contradict this conventional wisdom. They were disparaged then – just as climate change skeptics are today – as dangerous lunatics.

Yet on every score these iconoclasts were right and the green scientific consensus was wrong. What was the cost? Start with the fact that hundreds of millions of Chinese – mostly girls – are demographically missing today because of the barbaric one child policy, which the greens all supported as a way to save the planet.

False scares lead to a massive misallocation of resources as governments chase nonexistent goblins, which leaves less money for solving real societal ills. For one-tenth of the cost of the global warming crusade, if the world concentrated on bringing clean water, cheap energy, and schools to desperately poor areas of the world, child mortality would fall dramatically and living standards would rise.

The final insult by the National Geographic article is this: “It’s very clear, however, that organizations funded in part by the fossil fuel industry have deliberately tried to undermine the public’s understanding of the scientific consensus by promoting a few skeptics.” So everyone who dares question the climate change theology has been bought off by industry polluters, but the climate change research brigades are pure as snow. Really?

In 2010, Climate Depot identified more than 1,000 international scientists, including many current and former United Nations International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientists, who voiced skepticism about the climate change consensus and the IPCC – a consensus which National Geographic seems to think is the gospel of global warming. Are 1,000 scientists “a few,” and are they all bought off by the Koch brothers?

No doubt industry funds some of these skeptics, but it is also true that the U.S. government and private foundations are providing billions of dollars of funding – Obama wants $8 billion this year – for climate change research and activities. Needless to say, the best way to get defunded and to go unnoticed is to conclude global warming isn’t happening. Would anyone want to fund the green-industrial complex if the earth’s temperature weren’t on a catastrophic path of warming or cooling?

National Geographic concludes by saying the debate is over on climate change. Period. What is clear is that this “settled science” argument isn’t meant to advance scientific inquiry and understanding, but to shut it down. What is the left so afraid of that they want to cut off all debate and disparage all who question the consensus. Once liberals believed in “questioning authority,” now they insist on universal allegiance to every conventional wisdom.

Once when I was at The Wall Street Journal, I wrote a column about the myth of disappearing polar bears. (Here we have yet another example of how the left simply manufactures false crises to advance an ideological agenda). After I spoke with one of the few experts in Alaska who is involved in the population counts of the polar bears and he reported to me that the population is up not down, he called me after the article ran in a panic and said his job was in jeopardy for reporting the politically incorrect facts. This is the real tragedy of science today: political correctness now has invaded the research facilities.

Scientific truth is the first casualty in ideological crusades like that of climate change. I am in no position to know whether it is happening or not, but as with half of Americans I question this settled science, if only because of the Stalinist approach which commands everyone to believe. The tolerance movement refuses to tolerate a minority opinion. By pounding skeptics as imbeciles, stooges of industry, and right wing republican ideologues, National Geographic has managed to set back science, not advance it.


Royal Society Lets The Dogma Out: Global Warming Think Tank Brings Balance to Climate Science Debate

The Royal Society has misrepresented current thinking on climate change by presenting new theories as established facts and leaving out evidence that doesn’t support man made global warming dogma, a group of climate scientists has claimed.

In December, the Royal Society published a Short Guide to Climate Science, which it presented as a definitive guide to all things climate science. It asks and answers 20 questions, some of which display clear bias within the phrasing of the question, such as “How do scientists know that recent climate change is largely caused by human activities?” and “Climate is always changing. Why is climate change of concern now?”

In response, the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) has produced The Small Print – What the Royal Society Left Out, in order to bring balance to the evidence base. It takes the Royal Society’s original 20 questions in turn and present a “fuller picture” on each.

For example, in response to the question “What role has the Sun played in climate change in recent decades?”, The Royal Society says “The Sun has not played a major role in recent climate change. The Sun provides the primary source of energy driving Earth’s climate system and variations in the energy emitted by the Sun affect Earth’s climate. However, satellite measurements since the late 1970s show no overall increase in the energy emitted by the Sun, while the climate system has warmed.”

But the GWPF refutes this answer as too simplistic, saying: “It is frequently claimed that the Sun has not played a major role in recent climate change because the overall energy emitted by the sun has changed little. This is simplistic. There is significant evidence that the Sun has played an important role in climate change, and over the 20th century in particular.

“Quantifications of these changes suggest forcing comparable to anthropogenic forcing. While variability of total solar irradiance may be small, variability of specific components of solar output can be large, and some of these are believed to affect the climate through mechanisms other than direct heating, for example by influencing cloud formation. These effects are a matter of current inquiry.”

The contents of the Royal Society’s report is not the only criticism that the GWPF has of the document. “The authors who wrote the guide were not identified. Nor were the members of the Royal Society asked whether they endorsed it or not. […] We have no way of knowing how many Royal Society Fellows actually agree with it,”  Prof Ross McKitrick, the chairman of the GWPF’s Academic Advisory Council said. By contrast, the GWPF lists all thirteen authors of its report, all of whom endorse the contents.

This weekend, a fellow of the Royal Society confirmed that the organisation, which enjoys a presitigious history stretching back over 350 years, displayed “selectivity” when presenting evidence on the climate change debate.

“I produced a paper that urged the Society’s council to distance itself from the levels of certainty being expressed about future warming,” Prof Michael Kelly said. “I said it ought at least to have a ‘plan B’ if the pause should last much longer, so calling the models into still more serious question. I got a polite brush-off.”

Prof McKitrick said “many commentators were concerned that the [Royal Society’s] guide was profoundly misleading, misrepresenting major points while overlooking some of the key issues and question marks over the science, glossing over them as if they were of little consequence.

“In a time of universal overconfidence, to be willing to state what is not known is an essential, albeit controversial, duty of scientists.

“[Our] report attempts to give a more accurate picture of climate science and to add in the caveats and to explain the gaps in our knowledge over which the Royal Society guide drew a veil.

“The Royal Society, quite properly, does not draw policy conclusions from the meager science they present (and misrepresent), but they, most assuredly, know that others will.”



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 March, 2015

Warmists promoting skeptics again

There's no such thing as bad publicity.  Some excerpts from  a film review below that give Marc Morano a good plug

"Merchants of Doubt," directed by Robert Kenner, focuses on corporate spin doctors such as those who deny the existence of human-made climate change. (Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics)
In Washington, everyone’s always pushing something.

There’s Robert Kenner, sitting in the private banquet room of a Georgetown hotel, in front of a poster for his new documentary, “Merchants of Doubt,” which he has come to town, he says, to “sell.” That choice of words is fitting. Kenner’s movie — a follow-up to the filmmaker’s acclaimed, Oscar-nominated “Food, Inc.” — is all about marketing.

The germ of Kenner’s latest project, a simultaneously entertaining and inciting exposé of professional charlatanism — practiced, most saliently, by those hired to make the case that global warming isn’t real, or at least that there is no scientific consensus on it — sprouted in the director’s head during the making of “Food, Inc.”

Kenner, 65, does admire people such as Marc Morano, a professional climate-change denier and founder of the Climate Depot Web site who is, arguably, the star of Kenner’s film. After a stint in the 1990s reporting for Rush Limbaugh, Morano worked briefly as a flack for Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), who famously called global warming a “hoax.”

These days, Morano most often pops up on TV shows arguing against the science of climate change. In front of Kenner’s camera, Morano makes for a jocular — and weirdly unapologetic — advocate for what can only be called ignorance.

“I’m not a scientist,” he jokes, flashing a huge, telegenic grin, “but I play one on TV.”

He also plays dirty. In “Doubt,” Morano recounts with glee how he has published the e-mail addresses of climate scientists, subjecting them to intimidation and flaming attacks from anonymous critics. (Several of the abusive e-mails are read aloud in the film by their recipients, in an evocation of Jimmy Kimmel’s “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets” segments.) It makes for a semi-serious tone that masks Kenner’s more sobering message: We’re routinely being lied to, by people who are darn good at it.

But Kenner doesn’t care that other global-warming deniers are unlikely to buy a ticket to his film, let alone be converted by it.

He is optimistic that the last vestiges of climate resistance will one day be swept away, likening it to the sea change that has occurred over the past several years in popular attitudes about same-sex marriage and other once-contentious issues.


'A Radical Change in Climate Conditions'

Now that meteorological winter 2014-2015 is in the books (though the season isn’t formally recognized as ended until the Spring Equinox on March 20), anti-fossil fuel gurus are warning that, despite frigid cold spells over the Eastern United States, overall it was the 19th warmest on record. “Averaged together,” reported, “temperatures across the country this winter were 2.1 Fahrenheit degrees above the 20th-century mean, according to NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.”

Moreover, based on measurements from the National Snow & Ice Data Center, seasonal ice buildup in the Arctic is on pace to set a new record low. So it’s officially time to freak out, right? Well, no. Before you start preparing for The Great Climate Apocalypse, consider this:

“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 Consul Ifft, at Bergen, Norway.

"Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers, he declared, 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 with 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.”

That sounds awfully familiar because that’s exactly what alarmists are clamoring about today. Only the excerpt is from an article published by the Associated Press on Nov. 2 … 1922. Nearly a century later, it still appears the climate is, well, repetitious. As are propagandists on a mission.


"The Guardian" is properly cautious for once

They use words which admit that it is all speculation

Russian scientists have now discovered seven giant craters in remote Siberia, a geologist told AFP on Thursday, adding that the mysterious phenomenon was believed to be linked to climate change.

The discovery of an enormous chasm in a far northern region known to locals as “the end of the world” in July last year prompted speculation it had been caused by a meteorite or even aliens.

A YouTube video of the hole went viral and a group of scientists was dispatched to investigate.

“We have just learnt that in Yakutia, new information has emerged about a giant crater 1km [0.6 miles] in diameter,” the deputy director of the Oil and Gas Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vasily Bogoyavlensky, told AFP.

He said this brought to seven the number of reported pits.  “Footage allows us to identify minimum seven craters, but in fact there are plenty more,” he said.

All of the craters have been discovered in the remote, energy-rich Yamalo-Nenetsky region in north-western Siberia.

Scientists say that rather than aliens or meteorites, the holes are caused by the melting of underground ice in the permafrost, which has possibly been sped up by rising temperatures due to global warming.

“The phenomenon is similar to the eruption of a volcano,” said Bogoyavlensky.  As the ice melts, methane gas is released, which builds up pressure until an explosion takes place, leading to the formation of a crater.

The scientists are still trying to estimate what danger, if any, is posed by the holes. Methane is extremely flammable and at least one of the craters is situated near an exploited gas deposit.

An expedition is planned to the latest crater discovered to determine if it was formed in the same manner.

It may be hard to identify other craters which may have formed into lakes over time, said Bogoyavlensky.

“When they appear the craters are empty, and little by little they fill up with water. In the space of two or three years they become lakes and it is difficult to study them.”

He said some may have formed dozens or hundreds of years ago, but went unnoticed in such remote regions.


Equatorial Glaciers show what drives the climate on earth. It is not CO2. It is the water cycle

Written by Dr Klaus L.E.

Think equator, the place on earth where each day has 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night, no winter or summer seasons, just a tropical paradise on earth. Except for the higher elevations, where there are glaciers. Yes, real natural ice right there on the ground courtesy of Mother Nature. furtwangler glacier

Let’s look at the glaciers near the earth’s equator and you’ll find some on each continent that straddles the equator, i.e. Asia, Africa, and South America. They are:

    Carstensz Glacier, near the peak of Puncak Jaya, Indonesia, island of New Guinea;04°05’S, 137°11’E; elevation ~4,700 m.

    Furtwängler Glacier (Mt. Kilimanjaro), Tanzania, Africa; 03°04.3’S, 37°21’E; elev. ~5,700 m.

    Cayambe Glacier, Ecuador, South America; 0°00’N, 78°00’W; elevation ~5,000 m.

If you want to find them on Google Earth, just copy the bold coordinates (e.g., 04°05’S, 137°11’E) into the search field and it will take you right there. The screenshot (above) is taken from the satellite imagery of the Furtwängler Glacier, as available on Google Earth on Feb. 26, 2015. The information on the bottom of the image (not shown) says “Image © 2015 Digital Globe.”

Of course, climate alarmist prophecies predicted the Furtwängler Glacier to have long disappeared by now. After all, according to Wikipedia, its size was only six hectares in the year 2000. Surely, the additional umpteen ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere since then should have made it disappear entirely by now. What’s the hold-up?

Then there are more glaciers on Mt. Kilimanjaro too, like the Rebmann Glacier on the opposite side of the mountain and even larger than the Furtwängler Glacier . You can visit them all, guided tour packages are available from several outfits, like and

Perhaps you are wondering why there are any glaciers near the equator to begin with? Isn’t it all tropical paradise with shimmering white-sand beaches and some steaming jungle interiors? Obviously, the answer is NO and the reason is the third dimension.

The Third Dimension

That’s the height or elevation above sea level and it is much more critical than the latitude of your position on the globe. If you have flown in a modern airplane you’ll probably know what I mean. The little flat screen in front of you allows you to not just to watch movies but check up on your current location and the outside temperature. At typical cruising altitudes of 35,000 ft. (11 km) the temperature is around MINUS 40 F (-40 C). It does not matter whether it’s hot or cold at sea level, at an elevation of 5 km or so the temperature is around freezing and it decreases rapidly the higher you go.

Therefore, you are not likely to see much liquid water at those elevations. It is either frozen or invisible vapor and seasonal shrinkage of such high altitude glaciers and snowfields is by sublimation, the process of direct change from the solid to the vapor state. However, this process is not restricted to high altitudes.

You can observe it just as well in low elevation areas that have snow cover in late winter or early spring when the air temperature is still well below freezing. Then the vapor pressure of the “water” molecules in the snow is greater than that in the air and causes the snow to volatilize directly without prior melting.

Even so, there is a large amount of energy required to volatilize the ice. That energy comes from the sun via radiation, from the air and the remaining water, ice, or snow. How much energy? Let’s do a simple calculation of the water cycle.

Water Cycle

Worldwide, the energy flux between solid or liquid water and its vapor is gigantic.

You can get an idea of that from the total world river flow, estimated to 1,000,000 cubic meter (m^3) each second; the Amazon River alone has a flow of 200,000 m^3/s. That adds up to 3x10^13 m^3 per year, or 30,000 cubic kilometer (km^3) per year. Add to that the amount of rainfall on the ocean surface and the amount evaporated from the land surface and the number is more like 100,000 km^3 or 25,000 cubic miles of water that gets evaporated in a year.

Now you know what drives the climate on earth. It is not CO2. It is the water cycle.


Global Temperature Trends From 2500 B.C. To 2040 A.D.

Written by Climatologist Cliff Harris and Meteorologist Randy Mann

Recent global climate variation is entirely within natural cyclical variation, cooling trend now underway and is likely to continue to 2030's, according to best data.

Until the early to mid 2000s, global temperatures were more than a degree Fahrenheit warmer when compared to the overall 20th Century mean. From August of 2007 through February of 2008, the Earth’s mean reading dropped to near the 200-year average temperature of 57 temps 2500bc to present

Since that time, the mean reading has been fluctuating. But, the recently expired winter of 2013-14 was the coldest and snowiest in modern times in parts of the Northern Hemisphere, including the U.S., Canada and Japan.

We, Cliff Harris and Randy Mann, believe that the warming and even the cooling of global temperatures are the result of long-term climatic cycles, solar activity, sea-surface temperature patterns and more. However, Mankind’s activities of the burning of fossil fuels, massive deforestations, the replacing of grassy surfaces with asphalt and concrete, the ‘Urban Heat Island Effect,’ are making conditions ‘worse’ and this will ultimately enhance the Earth’s warming process down the meteorological roadway in the next several decades.

From the late 1940s through the early 1970s, a climate research organization called the Weather Science Foundation of Crystal Lake, Illinois, determined that the planet’s warm, cold, wet and dry periods were the result of alternating short-term and long-term climatic cycles. These researchers and scientists also concluded that the Earth’s ever-changing climate likewise has influenced global and regional economies, human and animal migrations, science, religion and the arts as well as shifting forms of government and strength of leadership. (See Long-Term Chart).

Much of this data was based upon thousands of hours of research done by Dr. Raymond H. Wheeler and his associates during the 1930s and 1940s at the University of Kansas. Dr. Wheeler was well-known for his discovery of various climate cycles, including his highly-regarded ‘510-Year Drought Clock’ that he detailed at the end of the ‘Dust Bowl’ era in the late 1930s.

During the early 1970s, our planet was in the midst of a colder and drier weather cycle that led to concerns of another ‘Little Ice Age.’ Inflationary recessions and oil shortages led to rationing and long gas lines at service stations worldwide. The situation at that time was far worse than it is now, at least for the time being.

The Weather Science Foundation also predicted, based on these various climate cycles, that our planet would turn much warmer and wetter by the early 2000s, resulting in general global prosperity. They also said that we would be seeing at this time widespread weather ‘extremes.’ There’s little doubt that most of their early predictions came true.

Our recent decline in the Earth’s temperature may be a combination of both long-term and short-term climate cycles, decreased solar activity and the development of strong long-lasting La Ninas, the cooler than normal sea-surface temperature event in the south-central Pacific Ocean. Despite the recent rise, sunspot activity since in the late 2000s has averaged near the lowest levels since ‘The Little Ice Age’ ended in the mid-to late 1800s. By 2020, some scientists state that solar activity will plummet once again that could lead to much colder weather across the globe. This recent "cool spell," though, may have only been a brief interruption to the Earth’s overall warming trend. Only time will tell.

Based on these predictions, it appears that much warmer readings may be expected for Planet Earth, especially by the 2030s, that will eventually top 1998's global highest reading of 58.3 degrees. It’s quite possible we could see an average temperature in the low 60s.

We at Harris-Mann Climatology,, believe that our prolonged cycle of wide weather ‘extremes,’ the worst in at least 1,000 years, will continue and perhaps become even more severe, especially by the mid 2010s. We've already seen a huge, disastrous "Mega Storm" hit the East Coast in late October of 2012. The Great Plains and Midwest has recently experienced the worst drought since the 'Dust Bowl Days' of the 1930s in 2012. Since the turn of the century, we've seen widespread flooding, crop-destroying droughts and freezes and violent weather of all types including ice storms, large-sized hail and torrential downpours.

The harsh conditions will likely lead to additional crop damage or losses resulting in higher food prices. This has been already the case since 2011.

Dr. Wheeler also discovered that approximately every 102 years, a much warmer and drier climatic cycle affects our planet. The last such ‘warm and dry’ peak occurred in 1936, at the end of the infamous ‘Dust Bowl’ period. During that time, extreme heat and dryness, combined with a multitude of problems during the ‘Great Depression,’ made living conditions practically intolerable.

The next ‘warm and dry’ climatic phase is scheduled to arrive in the early 2030s, probably peaking around 2038. It is expected to produce even hotter and drier weather patterns than we saw during the late 1990s and early 2000s.

But, we should remember, that the Earth’s coldest periods have usually followed excessive warmth. Such was the case when our planet moved from the Medieval Warm Period between 900 and 1300 A.D. to the sudden ‘Little Ice Age,’ which peaked in the 17th Century. Since 2,500 B.C., there have been at least 78 major climate changes worldwide, including two major changes in just the past 40 years.

By the end of this 21st Century, a cool down may occur that could ultimately lead to expanding glaciers worldwide, even in the mid-latitudes. Based on long-term climatic data, these major ice ages have recurred about every 11,500 years. The last extensive ice age was approximately 11,500 years ago, so we may be due again sometime soon. But, only time will tell.


A Changing Climate in the Global Warming Debate

 There’s a new mood in the air among those attuned to the cultural influences that affect scientific inquiry. Fluttering against our inclinations to look the other way is a nagging realization that what we must now study is science itself, before it’s too late and before we’re completely blind to the new reality that modern science is failing us. The monomaniacal obsession with CO2 in the science of global warming is now seen to have taken on a compulsive dimension with all the earmarks of a dementia; and, we have to be concerned about the future wellbeing of the very institution of higher learning.

 What we’re seeing is a refusal to admit simple truths, such as the inhumanity of depriving the Third and Developing worlds of energy. We’ve come face-to-face with the possibility that a belief in global warming theory is more than a symptom of a small, culturally and socially disordered subgroup of society. The anxiety, fear, hypochondria, hysteria, phobias and quixotic societal maladaptation to challenges in the world around us can no longer be treated by simply throwing more money at the specter of climate change.

 Some scientists in wide-ranging fields from philosophy, psychology, sociology and religion to economics and ethics, are looking more closely at the psycho-cybernetics underlying what has come to be called, climate change: a movement that is partly science, politics and religion; and, in large part, a heavy-handed dose of self-defeating neurosis. We may never agree on the reasons for the birth of the AGW phenomenon –i.e., the shared belief that modernity and humanity simply going about the business of living are heating the globe with disastrous consequences for all.

    Scientific disciplines, like economies, can and do experience booms and busts.  We document a boom in climate science, sustained by massive levels of funding by government entities, whose scientific direction is set by an extra-scientific organization, the IPCC, which has emerged as a “big player” in the scientific arena, championing the hypothesis of anthropogenic global warming.  We note the difficulties in obtaining definitive empirical clarity due to the complex nature of climate, the feedback between the effects of the IPCC’s advocacy and the government’s willingness to fund the science, the ideological and political agendas at play, the dangers to the integrity of scientific procedure in the context of ideological bias, and the poor performance of the “crony capitalist” enterprises that have grown on the back of politicized science. (Butos, WN, McQuade, TJ. Causes and Consequences of the Climate Science Boom)

 The AGW phenomenon – largely typified by Left versus right thinking – has given rise to a host of cultural disorders and a societal schizophrenia based on a fear of climate change, all while demanding change of all sorts, irrespective of the consequences. The fear mongering about the causes of foul weather and disease – of droughts and storms, cancer and death – and, the Left’s hatred of president Bush, then Governor Palin, then the ‘Tea Party’ and ultimately conservatism is the preferred way of thinking of this new order. The Left’s demonizing of Christianity, capitalism and the wisdom of the Founders with its pogrom against Christ, the productive and the Constitution – as apocalyptic beasts that must be slain by progressivism – all while being blind to the evils of radical Islam and communism, is a unifying mark of Leftist consensus-thinking. The believers of global warming have become the supporters of liberal fascism, complete with an antipathy to Middle East Jews.

 What principles do the followers of Climatism look to for spiritual guidance? What could typify Leftist-thinking more than their respect for the beliefs of people like Ward Churchill, Chairman Mao, Al Gore, Hillary Clinton and pastor Jeremiah Wright (“No, no, no, not god Bless America: god Damn America”)? Are we witnessing the decline and fall of Western civilization and the rise of a dysfunctional, unconscious incompetent, secular, socialist herd of nihilists: a society corrupted on the inside and rotting from the head down with no respect for Western philosophy, traditions, principles, morals, ethics, ideals? Have we forgotten that Americanism holds at its heart the foundational belief that every individual has the God-given right to be free of the tyranny of the many?

    The very nature of the IPCC’s organization, from its politically motivated appointments of senior staff, to its process of producing allegedly scientific summaries by negotiated compromise, to its toleration of the intervention of political operatives into the production of the most publicized reports of the state of the science, has served to make it the purveyor of tainted science… And as a herding-inducing Big Player in science, the IPCC has provided synergy for the interventions of Big Players of a different sort, the government entities who have seized on the IPCC-generated consensus to fund the climate science boom thereby justify increasing economic interventions citing the threat implied in the AGW hypothesis. (See, Butos, et al., Ibid.)

 Sure, sure, it is true that a belief in global warming has been exposed as being something more than science and even politics; but, more interesting now is the blind acceptance of this new religion within the consciousness of so many Westerners, and most especially among the elitists of Leftist-thinking academia. The answer may be very simple: perhaps, they don’t love their country and simply have no respect for Western culture and traditions. Not even the scientific method can hold their allegiance. Their slowly unfolding counter-cultural vision of Utopia is where they want to live but they just can’t seem to get there except by making the rest of us feel guilty for living.

    I’ve been mocked, vilified, besmirched… simply for expressing the view that the case for global warming and climate change, and in particular the emphasis on the damage caused by carbon dioxide, the so-called greenhouse gas that is going to do for us all, has been massively over-stated… Blinded, maybe even brainwashed by the climate-change zealots, we are spending so much money on reducing carbon emissions that there is a danger of us bankrupting ourselves – and future generations – to solve a problem that in the opinions of a growing number of scientists and opinion-formers has been wildly exaggerated… those who have been worshiping so ardently at the altar of reduced carbon emissions… may find that they have been deifying not just a false god…

I want a clean, green planet. But this obsession with controlling carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere is now as dangerous as it is ridiculous… how worried they are about global warming, rising sea-levels and, having seen alarmist films such as Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth… And this breaks my heart. I want children to be excited about the future, not cowed by it. I want them to grow up in a world which is going to be better than the one their parents knew, not significantly worse. I want them to grow up excited by technology and new inventions, not worrying about where the electricity is going to come from to power them. ~Johnny Ball (Beware the global warming fascists…, 22-Feb-2011)

Scientific booms do burst, but in areas where the phenomena are complex and not well understood, the busts can be quiet and long drawn out… and create an ideal breeding ground for incentives that motivate ideologically biased people to circumvent normal constraints in the name of pursuing a “greater good.” ~Butos, et al., Ibid.



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 March, 2015

Conservatives Are No More Biased About Science Than Liberals Are

The article below by psychological researchers Erik C. Nisbet and R. Kelly Garrett is a curious one.  I have no great argument with either their conclusions or their methodology but it is a sad day when scientific claims are examined in this way.  Disputes about scientific claims should be examined by presentations and discussions of the evidence only.  The article below does not do that.  It treats the facts as irrelevant.  It claims that ideology dictates scientific conclusions, not the facts underlying the conclusions.

The sad thing is that they are obviously right in lots of cases,  but it seems a great pity that they could not survey the evidence pro- and con- for the scientific conclusions that they study.

I like to think that  I am persuaded solely by reason and the facts.  I can well imagine that in saying that I provoke laughter.  But I think I can substantiate it. 

Christians sometimes say that I am their favorite atheist.  And they have good grounds for that.  I am basically a very religious person and was a very fundamentalist Christian in my teens.  I am perfectly at home even with a demanding and puritanical religion.  But I also have studied philosophy from an early age and I cannot fault Carnap's argument that all metaphysical statements are meaningless.  So I have been an extreme atheist for the whole of my adult life.  I don't even believe that the statement "God exists" is meaningful.  Can you get more thoroughgoing atheism than that?

But due to my religious instincts and religious past, I still have warm feelings towards Christians and regularly defend them.  So some people CAN come to conclusions about the world that are ideologically inconvenient -- VERY inconvenient in my case.

And the undoubted fact that Northeast Asians (in China, Japan, Korea) have markedly higher IQs than people of European origin might well be bothersome to a person of European origin like myself and I could be inclined to deny it -- as Leftists do.  But I actually accept the reality with perfect equanimity.  I publicize it in fact.

I suspect that many atheists find something or somebody in the world about them to worship.  The way many obviously intelligent academics pore over the works of Karl Marx seems to me to be pretty religious.  "What Marx was really saying" is a phrase that I have heard from them "ad nauseam".  They treat Das Kapital in the same way that fundamentalist Christians  treat the Bible.  Their examination of it is very reminiscent of the theological disputes among Christians. It is certainly their holy book.

And I know why they do that.  Marx was a great hater. He hated just about everyone -- even the working class from which he hoped so much.  And Leftism is a religion of hate.  Leftists hate the world about them.  They hate "the system", in their words.  That is why they yearn to "fundamentally transform" it, to use Obama's phrase.  So haters like a great hater.  Marx FEELS right to Leftists, even if no application of Marxism has worked even passably well.

So have I too found a new object of worship to replace my early Christianity?  I don't think so.  I am not only an extreme atheist, I am also a complete one. I don't believe in Karl Marx, Jesus Christ or global warming. And I also don't believe in the unhealthiness of salt, sugar and fat. How skeptical can you get?  But I could be said to worship reason, I think.

Getting back to the article below:  The authors reveal themselves to be very unscientific.  Though maybe they had to be in order to get their stuff published.  Take for instance this paragraph:

"We note in particular that our findings neither exempt nor validate the well-organized and heavily funded “climate denialist movement.” This movement engages in extensive public communication campaigns and lobbying efforts intended to misrepresent the science and scientific consensus about the issue"

Where is the evidence that climate skeptics are "well-organized and heavily funded"?  They quote no evidence because there is none.  The overwhelming majority of climate skeptics are just isolated individuals calling foul over what they see as bad science. And very few of us have received a cent in connection with our writings on climate. I have received nil and other skeptics I know say the same.

The statement is however a rather good example of psychological projection.  Warmists receive vast financial support not only from government but even from energy companies such as Exxon.  Leftists understand people so poorly that they judge other people by themselves. They HAVE to believe that we are like them.

Despite my criticism of the article below, I hope it is clear that I do agree with their fundamental premise that there is such a thing as "motivated social cognition". That people see what they want to see or expect to see is proverbial and has often been demonstrated in psychological experiments.  Even the classical Asch conformity experiment is as good a demonstration of motivated social cognition as any.

And motivated social cognition provides an excellent explanation for the fact that there is a large degree of consensus among academics about the dangers of global warming.  Solomon Asch would not be surprised by it. Let me elaborate:

At law, one routinely asks "Cui Bono" (who benefits?) in deciding guilt or innocence of some crime. It's often the decisive factor in arriving at a conviction.  And looking at who benefits from a belief in dangerous global warming makes it crystal clear why academics support that belief.  The global warming scare has produced a huge shower of research money to fall on climatologists  and anyone else who can get into the act.  All academics hunger for research grants and the global warming scare provides those  lavishly.  Say that your research supports global warming and you are in clover.  If we go by the legal precedents, the consensus among academics is a consensus about the desirability of research grants more than anything else.

And the same thing goes for journalists and newspaper proprietors.  Scares sell newspapers and global warming is a scare that can be milked in all sorts of ways. John Brignell has a long list of the ways.

So where is the impact of the article below likely to be?  I am confident that it will have very little impact.  It goes against the kneejerk way the Green/Left respond to skeptics.  Rather than challenge the facts that skeptics put forward, the Green/Left simply resort to abuse.  They say anything derogatory about skeptics that they can think of.  They fallaciously think that abusing the arguer answers the argument.

And one of the commonest types of abuse that they resort to is to say that skeptics are psychologically defective in some way.  One such way is that skeptics and conservatives generally are supposed to be especially closed-minded and ideologically biased.  The article below sinks that accusation rather well. But the Green/Left cannot afford to lose an arrow out of their slender quiver of them so the study below will simply be ignored.  Ignoring facts is a standard Leftist defence mechanism so will be trotted out on this occasion with the greatest of ease

I could say more but I have already said much so I will end with an anecdote.  Sometimes in company when some adverse weather event is being discussed, I say: "It must be due to global warming".  Every time I say that people laugh. Skepticism about global warming is very widespread.  As far as I can see, it is only a few Leftist barrow-pushers who believe in it and I wonder how sincere their belief is.

I excerpt below just the "guts" of the article I have been discussing:

Testing our partisan brains

Our own study focused on the second explanation for ideological divides and tested whether conservative and liberal trust in science varies by topic.

Recruiting a diverse group of 1,500 adults from a national online panel of volunteers, participants were randomly assigned to read scientifically accurate statements about different science topics.

Some participants read about issues exhibiting a significant partisan divide, including climate change, evolution, nuclear power, and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of natural gas, while others read about issues that tend to be viewed as ideologically neutral, namely geology and astronomy.

Nuclear power and fracking are often seen by liberals as threatening their environmental values. Evolution and climate change are more often contested by conservatives because they challenge the social and economic beliefs associated with their ideology.

We went into our experiment expecting that liberals and conservatives would experience negative emotional reactions when reading statements challenging their views, which would increase their skepticism to the claim.

We also anticipated that participants would be motivated to resist the science, experiencing feelings of threat and arguing against the presented information.

Each of these factors would lead individuals to feel more distrustful of the source of the unwelcome information, the scientific community.

Unsurprisingly, we found that conservatives who read statements about climate or evolution had a stronger negative emotional experience and reported greater motivated resistance to the information as compared to liberals who read the same statements and other conservatives who read statements about geology or astronomy.

This in turn lead these conservatives to report significantly lower trust in the scientific community as compared to liberals who read the same statement or conservatives who read statements about ideologically neutral science.

Significantly, we found a similar pattern amongst liberals who read statements about nuclear power or fracking. And like conservatives who read statements about climate change or evolution, they expressed significantly lower levels of trust in the scientific community as compared to liberals who read the ideologically-neutral statements.

Biased attitudes toward scientific information and trust in the scientific community were evident among liberals and conservatives alike, and these biases varied depending on the science topic being considered.

An additional distressing finding was that though liberals who read statements about climate change and evolution reported greater trust in science than conservatives who did the same, they also reported significantly less trust in the scientific community than liberals who read ideologically neutral statements about geology or astronomy.

This suggests that highly partisan, high profile science can result in an overall loss of public confidence in the scientific community, even amongst those likely to trust the evidence.

We wish to stress that demonstrating that both conservatives and liberals are prone to responding to ideologically unpalatable scientific information in a biased manner is not an excuse for either side to do so.

We note in particular that our findings neither exempt nor validate the well-organized and heavily funded “climate denialist movement.” This movement engages in extensive public communication campaigns and lobbying efforts intended to misrepresent the science and scientific consensus about the issue; it funds and targets political candidates; and it attempts to intimidate climate scientists.


MOVIE REVIEW of "Kingsman: The Secret Service", only recently released and the most subversive anti-AGW movie yet

Anthony Cox below rightly reports that the movie has a large basis in fact.  The Green/Left do indeed despise humanity and want  to reduce the human population.  And many do see humanity as a "disease" infecting and damaging the planet.  And as psychohistorian Richard Koenigsberg points out at length, that is also how Hitler saw Jews -- as parasites infecting Germany. 

Leftists rarely know much about history and it shows.  They keep on repeating themselves with no awareness of their past mistakes and failures.  Because they know so little history, they cannot learn from it.

Note that Croly and others of the war-mongering American "Progressives" around the beginning of the 20th century also relied on the human body as an analogy to the state and justified their policies as "healing" the body of America.  The more things change, the more they remain the same -- at least among Leftists

Some movies are unintentionally anti-AGW because they are so pretentious like Atavar or just plain stupid like Noah.

Some are subtle and sly in their critique of AGW like Interstellar, a great movie or Captain America: The Winter Soldier another great piece of cinema.

But there is nothing subtle or sly about Kingsman: The Secret Service; this movie presents in Technicolour the awful nature of alarmists; they are elitist, narcissistic and misanthropic. And riddled in hypocrisy.

The villain is Valentine, played by Samuel Jackson. Valentine is another tech billionaire who despises his fellow man for causing AGW. His solution is to kill off 99.9% of the human population.

His sales pitch to the rich and famous is classic alarmist agigprop. Valentine tells them that humans are a virus raising the temperature of the living Earth. If the virus isn’t destroyed the planet’s fever will worsen and either the planet will fight back and kill the disease of the disease will kill the planet.

The idea that humans are a disease or parasite has underpinned the AGW narrative and is espoused by all the leading AGW scientists and particularly AGW’s many rich supporters like Bill Gates.

In Kingsman Valentine is seen convincing Obama of his vision which is ironic since Obama’s chief scientist, John Holdren, is an avid supporter of forced reduction of humanity. In real life Obama would have taking no convincing.

Valentine, as the archetypal rich supporter of AGW,  has a tenuous hold on real life. He thinks he is living in a movie and can’t stand the sight of blood even though he is prepared to kill billions.

Valentine is the perfect portrayal of the elitist loon who supports AGW. He has made his vast wealth from his society and now as a matter of vanity will destroy that society. The thought that his lifestyle will cease when the society is destroyed doesn’t enter his thinking. This is cognitive dissonance on a grand scale.

Valentine implants chips in the chosen ones so they can resist the doomsday device he has perfected.

In a delicious twist all the elistists, including Obama (and Prince Charles) literally lose their heads when the device backfires.

The movie wittily portrays the religious nature of AGW belief when Valentine tests his device on a bible bashing Southern Baptist church. The message is plain: when religion claims to be fact trouble is inevitable. This is what has happened with AGW: it is religion masquerading as fact. Armed with the pseudoscience of AGW rich crackpots like Valentine can live out their dreams. At the end Valentine can’t tell reality from his ego generated bubble of fantasy.

The movie offers no formal solution to the blight of public corruption by the AGW scam and relies on a steadfast and very aggressive secret organisation to violently eradicate the AGW zealots and hypocrites.

We should be so lucky in the real world.


Extreme weather the new normal in Australia's disaster-prone neighbourhood

As soon as I saw the headline above I smelled a rat.  I then deployed my pesky habit of going back to the raw data underlying the report.  I did not have to go far.  I read here

"In order for a disaster to be entered into the database at least one of the following criteria has to be fulfilled: - 10 or more people reported killed; - 100 people reported affected; - a call for international assistance; - declaration of a state of emergency"

So the finding is not about climate but about people. It does not list cyclones, hurricanes etc. but rather the number of people impacted.  And with growing populations in third world countries -- where most of the casualties occur -- one must expect more people to be impacted when severe weather strikes.  The data therefore tell us NOTHING about "climate change"

If it seems to you that major humanitarian emergencies are happening more often, you're right. Extreme weather events like the one that devastated Vanuatu on Saturday are on the rise. Since 2000, the average number of climate-related disasters each year has been 44 per cent higher than between 1994 and 2000 and well over twice the level during the 1980s, a data-based managed by Brussels-based Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters shows.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a disaster risk reduction conference in Japan on Saturday that climate change is making extreme weather events the new normal.

"Over the last two decades, more than four out of every five disasters were related to the climate change phenomenon," he said. "The economic toll is as high as $300 billion every year."

Developing countries are disproportionately affected – they account for about 95 per cent of all people killed by natural disasters – and once again small, vulnerable nations have been hit hardest. Cyclone Pam caused damage in Kiribati, Tuvalu and the Solomon Islands before tearing through Vanuatu.

Vanuatu President Baldwin Lonsdale has stressed the long-term consequences of the disaster.

"All I can say is that our hope for prospering in future have been sedated."

Australia's immediate neighbourhood is especially prone to extreme weather events. The latest World Risk Index, collated by the United Nations University, showed five of the 10 countries most vulnerable to disasters are near Australia. The index's rankings have proved alarmingly accurate. Vanuatu was ranked No.1 on the index, and the Philippines, which was shattered by Cyclone Haiyan only 16 months ago, was ranked No.2. Other Australian neighbours among the top 10 were Tonga, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.

Australia is a significant contributor to the global humanitarian system and has a special responsibility in the Pacific region.

"As one of the biggest and strongest economies in the region, Australia really should be leading the way in helping our closest neighbours to prepare for and recover from disasters such as Cyclone Pam," said Paul Ronalds, the head Save the Children Australia.

Australia contributes about 60 per cent of all the aid given in the Pacific Islands and is best equipped to lead major humanitarian operations in the region. With the humanitarian system under strain across the globe, it is likely Australia will be called upon more often to provide assistance after extreme weather events in the Pacific.


The Last Battle of Climate Alarmism?

Written by Dr Vincent Gray

The Environmentalist religious dogma that humans are destroying the earth has spawned many scams. Its most ambitious project, veritably a Superscam has been the claim that the climate is controlled by human emissions of so-called greenhouse gases.

These cause global warming which will ultimately destroy us unless we cease using 'fossil fuels.' The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was set up in 1988 in order to supply scientific evidence to support this scam.

It was realised from the start that the task was impossible.

The earth does not have a temperature and there is no way that a scientifically acceptable average temperature can currently be derived. it is not possible to know whether the earth is warming or cooling, Then, the climate is constantly changing. No part is ever in equilibrium.

The trace gases in the atmosphere are not well mixed and their concentrations change constantly in every place. It is not possible to derive an average concentration for any of them. Then, the science of the study of the climate, built up over many centuries as the discipline of meteorology, has officially established weather forecasting services in most countries. These services now measure many climate properties with a variety of instruments, including satellites.

The measurements are used in the most up to date computer models based on currently accepted physics, thermodynamics and statistics. They provide the only scientifically valid daily forecasts of future weather for every part of the earth.

Atmospheric carbon dioxide measurement has not proved to be useful and they do not even bother to measure it. It is simply not possible to overcome these difficulties with honest science, It has therefore been necessary to employ fraud, dishonesty, distortion fabrication, massive public relations, and enormous sums of money.

Jim Hansen of the Goddard Institute of Space Studies in New York provided a pseudo global temperature technique that has proved useful to the scammers. He admits that there is no such thing as an absolute Surface Air Temperature (SAT : He calls it elusive) Meteorologists know it is impossible to measure a plausible average surface air temperature. Instead they record a daily maximum and minimum in a protected screen at their weather stations. Today they often also measure at different intervals as well.

These are a useful guide to temperature conditions.
Hansen and Lebedeff 1987 decided to ignore what Hansen had said was impossible. They assigned a constant temperature to each weather station for a whole month and assumed that this temperature applies also to a radius of 100 km around each weather station. The chosen temperature was the total average maximum and minimum temperatures measured at that station for a each month, the sum of the statistically unacceptable maximum/minimum averages.

They considered that could correlate each station figure with the next weather station. But their correlation coefficient was only 0.5 or lower. By subtractimg the average from stations in all latitude/longitude boxes from the average in each box they got an annual global temperature anomaly record. There is no mention of the very large inaccuracy figures that should accompany this exercise, or of the varying number and quality of the global weather stations, both currently and over time.

The IPCC has used the supposed trend of a measly few decimals of a degree of this concoction to prove that global warming is happening and will inevitably rise dangerously. Now it has broken down.

This trend has hardly changed for 18 years while greenhouse gases have supposedly increased The IPCC has resorted to desperate measures. Instead of annual warming we now have to worry about decadal warming, Efforts are escalated to fudge the figures and publicise a slight rise of hundredths of a degree at any opportunity The required treatment of atmospheric carbon dioxide was made by Charles Keeling of the Scripps Institute off Oceanography La Jolla California.

The grossly oversimplified climate models demand that atmospheric carbon dioxide is globally constant, only increasing from more human emissions.

This was a problem because there exist some 40,000 previous measurements going back to the early 19th century, published in famous peer reviewed journals, sometimes by Nobel Prize-winners. These measurements showed that surface concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are never constant and vary from one place to another, time of day, season, and wind direction.

Keeling suppressed this early information. He gave the excuse that he had a slightly different measurement method and he had discovered fhaf there was a background concentration which was almost constant and increased steadily with increased emissions. Keeling based his figures on sites at the Mauna Loa volcano on the island of Oahu. Hawaii, and a site in Antarctica.

In order to come close to a globally constant value at any one time it was required that most other measurements were made from coastal sites on winds from the ocean. Any figures that did not comply are rejected as noise.

A difficulty was that the steadily increasing figures over the years did not easily agree with the rather sporadic behaviour of the approved global temperature. Now this carbon dioxide scam has broken down.

The NASA satellite AIRS system now provides frequent global maps of carbon dioxide concentration showing that it is not well mixed, is highly variable, and tends to be higher in regions of high emissions. The officially sponsored background is no longer relevant, and the fact that the supposed warming effect of carbon dioxide is logarithmic with concentration means that increases have little effect in high concentration areas and is most effective over forests and pastures where it is beneficial.

The IPCC climate models defy all of the accumulated knowledge of climate science currently practised by meteorologists and replace it with a system of absurdities which has been amazingly successful.

Instead of the ever changing climate we know. It is now assumed to be static. All heat exchanges are by radiation. Admittedly the input and output are radiation but everything else in the climate combines all methods of heat exchange, predominantly conduction, convection and latent heat change.

The sun is assumed to shine all day and might with equal intensity. The earth is dead where living creatures are impossible except they emit greenhouse gases. All the past climate effects known to meteorology are parameterized and assumed to be constant.

There is no hope that such a model could possibly forecast future climate and the IPCC even admits this. They say the models provide projections, never predictions.

At the beginning they avoided being proved wrong by projecting only so far ahead that they could be sure nobody living would survive to check. The IPCC has now been running for 25 years and the early reports had to show that the models fitted their temperature record. Now it doesn’t.

Also the models could be used to calculate present upper troposphere temperatures, and that does not work either. They are therefore in deep trouble. All they can do is prevent people from telling the truth.

Every news bulletin, every newspaper must have a daily reference to global warming or carbon footprint or endure protests from climate activists who must all write letters to the press and organise rentacrowd gatherings of environmental devotees to picket any discussion venues. There must be constant lectures by those most financially dependent on the scam.

With luck the downfall of Valhalla will take place at the Paris Climate meeting in December where the attempts to impose a global climate dictatorship will either fail miserably or fizzle slowly. What a relief!


Tidal lagoons: another green rip-off?

This latest green initiative is promising, but it will cost British taxpayers a fortune

The headlong charge to make the UK a low-carbon economy is reflected in the desperation of both the current Lib-Con coalition government and the Labour opposition to find and fund new ways of producing green energy. The scale of the problem is hard to underestimate. As Caroline Flint, the shadow energy secretary, noted last weekend: ‘We need to invest around £100 billion in the electricity system alone by 2020 as we replace ageing and polluting sources of power with new, cleaner alternatives. But investment is running at half that level.’

Flint was talking to the Observer about Labour’s idea of green premium bonds to encourage the public to invest in new forms of energy. While it may be copying a policy that is already in place in Germany, it sounds like an expensive way to raise money when the government can borrow from the financial markets very cheaply. It’s just the kind of wonkish, half-thought-through announcement we can expect more of in the run-up to the election. But when it comes to green energy, cost barely seems to be a consideration in the rush to be seen to be green.

Last week, for example, plans for producing electricity in the UK from tidal lagoons were unveiled. The first, to be built off the coast of Swansea, will involve building a sea wall five miles long with turbines embedded into it. As the tide comes in, water will flow through the turbines to produce power and the process will be reversed as the tide goes out. The proposal would involve building six such lagoons – four in Wales plus two in England.

In many ways, this is good news. When green energy is so often discussed in terms of small-scale local schemes, or overshadowed by the demand to use less rather than generate more, the plans for tidal lagoons are on a huge scale and involve billions of pounds of investment. Unlike wind power, which is unpredictable, the timing of electricity production from the lagoons would be predictable because we know exactly when tides come in and out, making the electricity much easier to manage on the National Grid.

And a sea wall – something that could have other benefits besides producing power – is far less likely to incur the wrath of local residents who often hate their local landscape being covered in wind turbines. With offshore wind turbines – which are much more productive than their equivalents on land – proving to be stubbornly expensive to build and maintain, tidal lagoons could solve a number of problems.

The trouble is the cost. The developers want a guaranteed price of £168 per megawatt-hour (MWh) from the Swansea scheme. That’s far higher than the cost of electricity from coal (more like £50 per MWh) or even onshore wind (roughly £80 per MWh). The only redeeming feature of tidal lagoons is that the costs might, in the long run, come down to marginally less than the eye-bleedingly expensive price agreed for power from the Hinkley Point C nuclear-power plant, at £95 per MWh. Moreover, if we going to bank on the costs of tidal power coming down as more facilities get built, maybe we should give the same benefit of the doubt to nuclear, the costs of which would no doubt fall as more plants were built. That is if they are ever given the chance, given the lingering anti-nuclear feeling among green groups and in the corridors of power.

Such is the price to be paid for low-carbon energy – and it will be end-users who pay that price. Not only will it make high energy bills even higher, but it makes the UK even less attractive to heavy industrial users of electricity. At a time when the government is trying to ‘rebalance’ the economy towards industry and away from services, making large-scale production even more expensive by bumping up the price of power seems irrational.

In the dash to decarbonise the UK economy in the name of preventing climate change, the result could be far greater hardship. There are often claims that green policies will produce lots of jobs, but the reality is almost certainly the opposite: massive subsidies to particular firms – green-energy producers, recycling firms, and so on – at the expense of many others. The tidal lagoon project is a case in point. It is only the obsession with global warming that means schemes like these tidal lagoons are considered viable at all. Meanwhile, natural gas produced by fracking is struggling to get off the ground, despite having enormous potential to produce cheap, reliable and flexible power. Where gas replaces coal, it leads to lower emissions than before. Yet green groups have been at the forefront of trying to block its development in the UK.

In short, tackling climate change through making energy more expensive could have worse consequences than rising temperatures (and would do little to prevent rising temperatures).

It is one thing to favour low-carbon solutions where there is little difference in price. There can be benefits in terms of increasing security of supply, providing some insurance against fluctuating fuel prices and producing less local air pollution. But those benefits do not justify the enormous sums of money being thrown at renewable-energy schemes, at the expense of the people who need the energy. Instead of spending a fortune on dubious energy sources funded by whizz-bang schemes like Flint’s premium bonds, maybe we should have a serious conversation about the damage that green policies could be having


Crony biofuel politics wag the dog

A governor and his son lobby for ethanol – and expect presidential candidates to endorse it

Paul Driessen

Talk about the Norfolk terrier tail wagging the Great Dane. If they are to have any hope of winning their party’s nomination, Republican presidential hopefuls better support ethanol mandates, Hawkeye State politicos told potential candidates at the recent Iowa Agricultural Summit in Des Moines.

“Don’t mess with the RFS,” Republican Governor Terry Branstad warned, referring to Renewable Fuel Standards that require refiners to blend increasing amounts of ethanol into gasoline. “It is the Holy Grail, and I will defend it,” said Rep. Steve King, another Iowa Republican. It is vital for reducing carbon dioxide emissions and preventing dangerous climate change and weather extremes, said others.

Corn ethanol is big in Iowa, the March 7-8 Ag Summit kicked off the state’s 2016 election debates, big-time GOP donor Bruce Rastetter made his fortune from ethanol and hosted the event, and the first presidential primary will be held in Iowa. Moreover, Gov. Branstad’s son Eric directs the multi-million-dollar America’s Renewable Future campaign, which co-sponsored the summit and hopes to convince increasingly skeptical voters that the federal government must retain the RFS or even expand it.

Failure to back the RFS means sayonara to any White House hopes, candidates were told. Appropriately chastened, many normally free market proponents dutifully took to the podium to endorse the mandates.

Some cited national security as a justification. The RFS reduces demand for foreign oil, Jeb Bush asserted. Biofuels are a way for America to “fuel itself,” said Mike Huckabee. “Every gallon of ethanol … is one less gallon you have to buy from people who hate your guts,” Lindsay Graham added.

Others focused on allegedly unfair competition. Rick Santorum said the RFS helps ensure that other competitive products besides oil and natural gas “are allowed into [the energy] stream.” Scott Walker recanted his previous opposition and said someday the ethanol industry won’t need these mandates, but right now it “needs government assistance,” because “we don’t have a free and open marketplace.”

Bush and Santorum added that ethanol boosts corn-state economies and creates jobs “in small town and rural America.” Chris Christie said the RFS is “what the law requires” and we need to comply with it. Rick Perry seemed to say it’s time to end federal mandates – and let states pick winners and losers.

That’s fine. But now that they have bowed to the biofuel gods, kowtowed to the small cadre of Iowa corn growers, sought the blessings of crony capitalist campaign contributors, and repeated the standard deviations from facts about green energy, climate change and national security, perhaps they will pay closer attention to other candidates, and to what’s actually happening in the energy and climate arenas.

Presidential hopefuls Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul remained firm in their belief that the RFS should be phased out now. Cruz has joined Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and others in sponsoring bills to abolish the corn ethanol RFS over five years.

If refiners and gas stations really are working with big oil to cut off access, Cruz suggested, “there are remedies in the federal antitrust laws to deal with that.” Otherwise “the right answer” is to let biofuels keep innovating and producing on their own, “and not have Washington dictating what is happening.”

Biofuel’s problem is not lack of access or unfair competition. It’s that the world has changed since ethanol subsidies and mandates were enacted in 2005. Back then, people more plausibly believed we were running out of petroleum, and global warming might become a serious problem.

But then hydraulic fracturing took off. This steadily improving 60-year-old technology turned the United States into the world’s #1 producer of oil and natural gas – and the U.S. is now importing one-third of its oil, instead of two-thirds. Gasoline prices have plunged, making ethanol much less cost-competitive.

Motorists are buying less gasoline than the 2005 and 2007 ethanol mandates envisioned, so refiners don’t need even 14 billion gallons of corn ethanol a year, much less the 15 billion statutory cap. They’ve hit a “blend wall,” and are being forced to buy far more ethanol than they can blend into E10 gasoline. They certainly don’t need an extra 21 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol by 2022 – and innovators still haven’t figured out how to make that “advanced biofuel” at a profit.

Using tax dollars to prop up new subsidies, and imposing 15% ethanol gasoline mandates, would be a ridiculous response. The last thing we need is more citizen cash for crony capitalist cellulosic capers.

As to climate fears, no Category 3-5 hurricane has hit the United States since late 2005, the longest such period in more than a century, and perhaps since the Civil War. Tornado activity is also down. Arctic ice has returned to normal and Antarctic ice is at record levels. Sea levels are rising at barely six inches per century. The global frequency and duration of droughts, rainfall and snowfall is within historic norms.

Where is the crisis? The fossil fuel link? If human carbon dioxide emissions drive climate change, did steadily rising atmospheric CO2 levels cause all these blessings and normalcy, and average global temperatures to hold steady for 18 years? The far more likely answer is that the sun and other natural forces still dominate climate and weather systems, as they have throughout Earth and human history – and as actual, real-world temperature, climate, weather, solar and other observations strongly suggest.

IPCC, EPA, NASA, Obama, Penn State, East Anglia University and other climate models and alarms are completely at odds with what is happening on Planet Earth. No wonder alarmists are now so desperate that they blame every weather event on fossil fuels, and viciously attack scientists who point to reality … and threaten their Climate Crisis, Inc. money machine and regulatory power grab.

On top of all the corporate and scientist welfare, rip-offs and McCarthyite tactics, the manmade climate cataclysm mantra has also created a steady stream of corruption and scandal. Former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber was forced to resign, after he and his fiancé Cylvia Hayes profited (and failed to report $118,000 in income) from “green energy” schemes. Current Oregon Global Warming Commission chairman Angus Duncan is also president of the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, which makes millions from regional and national sales of renewable energy and “Green Tag” carbon offsets; he also helped write the state’s climate change strategy and cap-and-trade system!

Tens of billions of dollars in wheeling, dealing, nepotism and corporate-environmentalist-political cronyism is intolerable. The Branstad governor-son arrangement raises sniff tests of its own.

Then there are the practical problems. A few corn and soybean farmers get rich. But meat and poultry producers pay far more for feed, and family food bills keep rising. Perhaps worse, says the World Bank, turning half of the U.S. corn crop into fuel creates aid and food shortages in poor nations. More people stay hungry longer, and more die of malnutrition and starvation. The UN Food and Agriculture Association says this has caused food riots and calls it an environmental “crime against humanity.”

Ethanol-blends get fewer miles per tank than pure gasoline. They collect water, corrode engine parts, and cause serious maintenance and repair problems for lawn mowers, chain saws, snowmobiles, emergency generators and other small engines. Classic car enthusiast and former Late Night host Jay Leno says ethanol “eats through fuel pump diaphragms, old rubber fuel lines or pot metal parts, then leaks out on hot engines … and ka-bloooooie!” The older cars catch fire – far more often than before E10 was required.

A new Oregon State University study says biofuels barely reduce fossil fuel use and are likely to increase greenhouse gas emissions. And US Department of Energy and other studies demonstrate that producing biofuels requires unsustainable amounts of land, water, fertilizers, pesticides and fossil fuels.

Not surprisingly, even many likely Iowa voters are now skeptical of federal ethanol mandates. Nearly half of them no longer support the RFS even if it helps some Iowa farmers. Republican presidential candidates who surrendered to a gaggle of Iowa corn growers and renewable fuel interests need to reflect long and hard on these ethanol and corruption realities, and the broader national interest.

Via email


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


16 March, 2015

By what right?

By the right of the First Amendment for starters -- followed by the right to point out that the scientific consensus is often wrong and eventually has to be abandoned

John Kerry:

“Science tells us that when the water temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, it turns to ice. No one disputes that,” he said. ”So when science tells us that our climate is changing and human beings are largely causing that change, by what right do people stand up and just say, ‘well, I dispute that, or I deny that elementary truth?'"

“And yet there are those that do so,” he said.

Kerry spoke for nearly an hour at the Atlantic Council, and insisted that the science behind climate change is settled.

“It may seem obvious to you, but it isn’t to some,” he said. “The science is and has and long been crystal clear when it comes to climate change.” [Crystal clear?  Crystal-ball clear more like it]

“If we make the switch to a global clean energy economy … if we think more creatively about how we power our cars, heat our homes, operate our businesses, then we still have time to prevent the worst consequences of climate change,” he said. “It really is as simple as that.”


Environmentalism, a theory of natural limits, is intrinsically pro-austerity; to be anti-austerity and environmentalist is a contradiction in terms

Yet Green/Left politicians from Greece to Britain are railing against austerity.  They are not acknowledging their self-contradictions

All three of them were there: UK prime minister and Tory leader David Cameron, his deputy and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, and Labour leader Ed Miliband. It was only a few weeks ago, too. The General Election was meant to be looming, the arguments and debates hotting up. But, no, there they all were, green NGO lobbyists lurking in the background, signing a joint pledge to fight climate change regardless of who won the election. This was all about agreement, consensus. As far as Cam, Cleggers and the Miliband brother were concerned, the issue of climate change and its policy imperatives, such as carbon budgets and ‘the transition to a low-carbon economy’, were simply not up for argument. In effect, they agreed to put climate change beyond debate.

If you ever needed a more striking example of just how little separates the different brands of the political class, it’s this politics-defying moment: three fortysomething, corporate-suited men-about-Westminster all agreeing that there are some things you just can’t talk about in front of the electorate.

It was a shockingly undemocratic moment. But not a surprising one. The fortunes of what was to become environmentalism may have waxed and waned ever since reactionary cleric Thomas Malthus first suggested, in the late eighteenth century, that there are natural limits to what Enlightenment philosophes’ posited as unlimited social and material progress. But, with the slowdown of Western economies from the 1970s onwards, environmentalist sentiment, the belief that human society has gone as far as it can and should, has gradually come to dominate the worldview of Western elites. Hence it is now effectively the ideology of the West’s clueless, futureless political leaders.

And little wonder. Environmentalism didn’t just rationalise away economic stagnation as something natural (with the growth of the financial services sector, and a series of credit-pumped bubbles providing illusory optimistic interludes). It turned the potential failure materially to advance society, to grow the economy, into something almost virtuous, something that mightn’t be such a bad thing. Born from Malthus’s opposition to Enlightenment reason, an opposition to the confidence in man’s ability to master nature, and to drag society towards a gleaming, ever-more prosperous, ever-freer future, environmentalism, in its late twentieth and early twenty-first-century incarnations, allowed Western leaders to disavow all that Enlightenment baggage, to recast modernity as something rapaciously industrial, tyrannical and hubristic. We should know our place. Not championing growth became virtuous. Not seeking to master nature became wise. And consuming and producing less? That became the dream.

So the fact that the UK’s three party-political amigos showed the depth of their commitment to environmentalism and ‘fighting climate change’ by attempting to de-politicise it was really only to be expected. It is their ideology, their grand narrative. The avoidance of a scorched and sunken dystopia is the closest Cameron and pals have to a big, unifying idea, the end that makes sense of all their low-fi policies, be it diminished energy production, limited house building or no-growth economics. They can as little do without environmentalist sentiment as they can PR consultants. It makes sense of their role.

But there’s something else going on, too. Back in the mid-2000s, when the papers were daily full of green-tinted End of Days predictions, Lord Stern’s economics-of-climate-change dirges excited the Guardian-subscribing classes and people actually bothered to read the latest IPCC report, politicians were desperate to display their climate-change-fighting credentials. So in 2006, a pre-prime-ministerial David Cameron was hugging huskies in the Arctic, a pre-prime ministerial Gordon Brown was making climate change his big cause at the Fabian Society’s annual conference, and a never-to-be-prime-minister David Miliband was talking excitedly of prioritising ‘carbon thrift, as well as economic thrift’. Consume less, cut back and make do - that was the mantra.

The commentariat also seemed militantly environmentalist. A columnist writing in the Financial Times in 2006 argued that ‘rationing provides the best solution to the problem of reducing carbon emissions quickly, dramatically and equitably’. In the New Statesman one writer argued, in a piece called ‘Why we must ration the future’, that because ‘carbon rationing represents a total break with business as usual… it is the only climate-change policy that will work’. In 2007, the Guardian’s George Monbiot boasted that environmentalism was a ‘campaign not for abundance but for austerity’. ‘Bring on the recession’, he said.

But that militancy ceased, and that party-political enthusiasm for all things green became more muted, less strident, as the economic crisis and subsequent recession unfolded. So why has environmentalism retreated behind semi-closed doors? Because it has been a victim of its own miserable success. The limiting, the cutting back, the restraint, the austerity, all of which had been called for with such grim glee before 2008, had now become a reluctant reality. To promote environmentalist thinking with the same vigour in the midst of the recession now just sounds like an endorsement of the recession – which, effectively, it always was.

But that poses a problem for politicians who at least want to offer the promise to the electorate, albeit in bad faith, that things might get better. And it poses a problem for reactionary lefties, who embraced environmentalist tropes with such opportunist anti-capitalist glee before 2008, but who now want to challenge austerity. Environmentalism, a theory of natural limits, is intrinsically pro-austerity; to be anti-austerity and environmentalist is a contradiction in terms.

This is one of the great unspoken paradoxes of contemporary politics. Ahead of the General Election, the very same politicians and commentators who once displayed their environmentalist credentials, their restrain ’em and ration ’em sentiments, with such pride, now claim to be vehemently anti-austerity. Miliband recently ramped up his anti-austerity gurning, moaning about how much ‘Tory cuts’ are taking away from British men and women. Monbiot raged against ‘the continued implementation of austerity’. Even Green Party leader Natalie Bennett, who had been let out for the day at the Greens’ spring conference, called for an ‘end [to] the failed austerity experiment’.

Yet, behind the big-spending bluster, through the fug of anti-austerity posing, this same elite network remain absolutely shot through with environmentalist thinking, the same thinking that calls on us to change our behaviour, to ration our consumption, to accept the limits to growth. The same thinking that disavows Enlightenment and modernity as just so much human-centric error. And someone like Miliband asks us to believe he’s opposed to austerity. Is he having a laugh? One minute he’s denouncing the nasty Tories for their austerity regime, the next he’s pledging his commitment to the ‘fight against climate change’ in coalition with Cam and Cleggers.

This isn’t a problem confined to the UK. We’ve seen it in Europe, where parties like Syriza pose as the enemies of austerity while embracing every green-hued prejudice going. It’s a profound and troublesome contradiction, and it’s one that needs to be overcome. Because the biggest impediment to a genuinely anti-austerity, pro-abundance politics is not Cameron or so-called neoliberalism; it’s the environmentalism that, for too long, has held Western political elites in its baleful thrall.


Solar power propaganda vs. the real world

By Marita Noon

solar panel installationWhen a former “senior communications official at the White House” writes a blog post for U.S. News and World Report, you should be able to trust it. But when the author states that the Keystone pipeline (should it be approved) would create only 19 weeks of temporary jobs, everything else he says must be suspect — including the claim that our “energy infrastructure will be 100 percent solar by 2030.”

I contacted both a union representative and one from TransCanada — the company behind the Keystone pipeline. Each affirmed that the 19-week timeframe was total fantasy. The portion of the Keystone pipeline that remains to be built is 1179 miles long — the vast majority of that within the U.S.— with construction expected to take two years.

TransCanada’s spokesperson Mark Cooper responded to my query: “While some people belittle these jobs as temporary, we know that without temporary construction jobs — and the hard work of the men and women who do them — we wouldn’t have roads, highways, schools or hospitals. We wouldn’t have the Empire State Building, the Golden Gate Bridge, or the Hoover Dam. So, I would say to these detractors: ‘It is OK if you don’t like or support Keystone XL. But let’s stop putting down the very people who have helped build America.’”

The premise of the On the Edge blog post is that we shouldn’t look at Keystone as a jobs creator. Instead, the author claims, the jobs are in “solar energy disruption.” He is frustrated that “GOP leaders almost universally ignore or disdain this emerging energy economy.”

He states: “A third of all new electric generation in 2014 came from solar. A new solar installation or project now occurs somewhere in the U.S. — built by a team of American workers employed in the fastest growing energy sector in the world — every three minutes.”

This may be true but, as you’ll see, it belies several important details. Plenty of cause exists for Republican lawmakers to “disdain” the growth in renewable energy.

If “a third of all new electric generation in 2014 came from solar,” there is reason for it—and it does not include sound economics.

First, efficient and effective base-load, coal-fueled electricity that has provided the bulk of America’s power is being prematurely shut down by regulations prompted by environmental lobbyists and promulgated by the Obama Administration. It is virtually impossible to get a new coal-fueled power plant permitted in the U.S. Even natural gas-powered plants, such as the one planned to replace the Salem Harbor coal-fueled plant, meet with resistance from groups such as Grassroots Against Another Salem Plant, which “has pledged to use peaceful civil disobedience to block construction of the gas plant.” And, of course, just try to build a nuclear power plant, and all the fear-mongers come out.

What’s left? Renewables, such as wind and solar, receive favorable treatment through a combination of mandates and subsidies. Even industrial wind and solar have their own opposition within the environmental lobby groups because they chop up and fry birds and bats— including protected bald and golden eagles.

The brand new report, Solar Power in the U.S. (SPUS), presents a comprehensive look at the impacts of solar power on the nation’s consumers.

Clearly, without the mandates and subsidies, this “solar energy disruption” would go dark.

We’ve seen companies, such as Solyndra, Abound Solar, and Evergreen Solar, go bankrupt even with millions of dollars in state and federal (taxpayer) assistance. I’ve written extensively on these stories and that of Abengoa—which received the largest federal loan guarantee ($2.8 billion) and has resorted to questionable business practices to keep the doors open (Abengoa is currently under investigation from several federal agencies).

SPUS shows that without the subsidies and mandates these renewable projects can’t survive. For example, in Australia, sales of solar systems “fell as soon as the incentives were cut back.” Since the Australian government announced that it was reconsidering its Renewable Energy Targets, “investments have started to dry up.”

Knowing the importance of the “incentives,” the solar industry has now become a major campaign donor, providing political pressure and money to candidates, who will bring on more mandates, subsidies, and tax credits. Those candidates are generally Democrats, as one of the key differences between the two parties is that Democrats tend to support government involvement. By contrast, Republicans lean toward limited government and the free market. The GOP doesn’t “disdain” solar, but they know it only survives because of government mandates that require a certain percentage of renewables, and specifically solar, in the energy mix, plus the subsidies and tax credits that make it attractive. Therefore, they can’t get excited about the jobs being created as a result of taxpayers’ involuntary investment, nor higher energy costs. There is a big difference between disdaining solar power and disdaining the government involvement that gives it an unfair advantage in the marketplace.

The blog post compares the “solar energy disruption” to what “occurred when direcTV and Dish started to compete with cable television. More choices emerged and a whole lot of new jobs were created.” However, those jobs were created through private investment and the free market—a fact that, along with solar’s dependence on incentives, he never mentions. Likewise, the jobs supported by building the Keystone pipeline would be through private funding.

The blog’s author touts this claim, from the book Clean Disruption: “Should solar continue on its exponential trajectory, the energy infrastructure will be 100 percent solar by 2030”—15 years from now. Even if state and federal governments were to continue to pour money into solar energy—which, as is pointed out in SPUS, subsidies are already being dialed back on a variety of fronts—there is no currently available solution to solar’s intermittency.

SPUS draws upon the example of Germany, which has led the way globally in solar and other renewables. Over time, the high renewable penetration has contributed to residential electricity prices more than doubling. Renewables received favored status, called “priority dispatch,” which means that, when renewable electricity becomes available, the utilities must dispatch it first, thereby changing the merit order for thermal plants. Now many modern, natural gas-fueled plants, as well as coal, couldn’t operate profitably. As a result, many were shut down, while several plants were provided “capacity payments” by the government (a double subsidy) in order to stay online as back-up—which maintains system stability. In Germany’s push for 80 percent renewable energy by 2050, it has found that despite the high penetration of renewables, given their inherent intermittency, a large amount of redundancy of coal- and natural-gas-fueled electricity (nuclear being decommissioned) is necessary to maintain the reliability of the grid.

As the German experience makes clear, without a major technological breakthrough to store electricity generated through solar systems, “100 percent solar by 2030” is just one more fantasy.

The blog post ends with this: “the GOP congressional leadership ignores these new jobs inside an innovative, disruptive energy sector that is about to sweep across the country it leads—in favor of a vanishingly small number of mythical Keystone ‘jobs’ that may never materialize. It makes you wonder. Why?”

The answers can be found in SPUS, which addresses the policy, regulatory, and consumer protection issues that have manifested themselves through the rapid rise of solar power and deals with many more elements than covered here. It concludes: “Solar is an important part of our energy future, but there must be forethought, taking into account future costs, jobs, energy reliability and the overall energy infrastructure already in place. This technology must come online with the needs of the taxpayer, consumer and ratepayer in mind instead of giving the solar industry priority.”


Five reasons Britons shouldn’t vote Green

Anti-growth, anti-human and bizarrely pro-horse riding: a Green government would be awful.

With the UK General Election only a couple of months away, there has been much discussion about the Green Party’s growth in popularity. This is something that both the Greens’ supporters and their detractors are putting down to disaffected Labour voters going in search of a progressive, left-wing party that fights for the interests of ordinary people.

In the 2010 election, then Green Party leader Caroline Lucas won the Greens their first seat in parliament, and netted them just under one per cent of the nationwide vote. Despite current leader Natalie Bennett’s recent car-crash interview on LBC, and a subsequent string of unimpressive performances, some polls suggest the Greens could win up to 11 per cent of the vote in this election, giving rise to what people are calling the ‘green surge’. But this surge is based on a sham. The Green Party is not now, nor has it ever been, a progressive party. Here’s five reasons why.

1) The Greens are Malthusians

Thomas Malthus is about as far from a progressive man of the people as you can get: the eighteenth-century cleric’s central idea was that the poor must be prevented from reproducing in order to stem overpopulation. And yet Malthusianism is the foundation of Green Party politics. The party was born in the early Seventies, when a middle-class couple from Coventry came across an article on overpopulation in Playboy. Solicitor Lesley Whittaker and her husband Tony, a former Tory councillor, decided something must be done. They formed the cloyingly named People Party – the Green Party’s first incarnation. The party subscribed to the Blueprint for Survival, a manifesto for sustainability by environmentalist Edward Goldsmith which, among other things, advocated deindustrialisation, a return to living in small peasant communities, the sterilisation of women and an end to all immigration. Up to the early Nineties, the Green Party, and its then spokesman David Icke (he of lizards-run-the-world fame), still wanted to reduce the UK’s population by 20million.

Over the past decade, the Greens have attempted to distance themselves from Malthus’s arguments – perhaps because the only other party advocating Malthusianism is the BNP. But although the Green Party’s recently published manifesto makes no mention of overpopulation, its website still has a population-policy page that talks about striving to achieve ‘sustainable population levels’. In order to do so, the page encourages people to live ‘sustainable lifestyles’ – ‘sustainable’, in this case, being a thinly veiled euphemism for ‘childless’.

2) The Greens are anti-growth and anti-abundance

As the Green Party has distanced itself from its Malthusian roots, it has had to look for another way to reduce the human footprint. And so it has focused on curtailing economic growth and people’s consumption habits. A growing economy that produces more employment, more material goods and a higher standard of living has always been considered a desirable and progressive aim. But the Greens are insisting that growth must stop. Apparently, poor people’s desire to live plusher, more comfortable lives is nothing more than greed.

The Green Party’s website tells us: ‘Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, society has expected continual increases in material affluence for the people of the world, and has therefore relentlessly pursued the goal of economic growth.’ In place of this, the Greens advocate a shift from material production and prosperity to something called ‘wellbeing’. The fact that prior to the Industrial Revolution the vast majority of people in the Western world lived in unimaginable poverty seems to have escaped the Greens.

3) The Greens hate science and infrastructure

There was a time when, if there was a water shortage, people might think of constructing a new reservoir. This isn’t how the Greens would like to do things. We’ve got to make do with what we have, remember? New, large-scale infrastructure is anathema to the Green ideology. You can’t go anywhere in Britain without seeing traces of the blight of human civilisation on the landscape, and the Green Party is having none of it. The new Green manifesto gloats that the party would spend nothing on improving roads or expanding airports. What’s more, it plans to continue to fight for two old Green favourites: bans on nuclear power and genetically modified crops.

4) Green taxes would hit the poor hardest

Many of the Greens’ killjoy policies, like shutting down zoos and banning alcohol on planes, would make everyone miserable, regardless of social standing. But despite the Green Party’s talk of redistributing wealth and creating a fairer society, most of the Greens’ proposed taxes would hit the poor the hardest.

Under the party’s proposals, goods and services would be taxed according to how much damage the party deems these products do to the environment. So, if you’re less well-off, you can say goodbye to your carbon-belching car and jetting off for foreign holidays; the Greens’ plan is to make these sorts of luxuries unaffordable for common folk. Instead, you’ll be told to walk or cycle. And if you’re elderly, disabled or just lazy, their 2015 manifesto tells us that ‘animal-powered transport, in particular horse-powered transport, is also sustainable’.

As for exotic luxuries like coffee, bananas and chocolate, these will be taxed beyond the reach of the average pleb. Maybe if you save up you can have them at Christmas. Oh, and booze: the Greens want to raise the price of all alcohol by 50 per cent.

5) People will always come second

Central to the Green ideology is the idea that humanity is a burden on the planet; that we should be subservient to nature, not masters of it. The Enlightenment idea that humans should seek to control and dominate the world around them is wrong, Greens say, as it undermines ‘healthy interdependence of individual, nature and society’. Instead, the Green Party believes we need a ‘reduction in the physical burden human societies place upon our planet’. That ‘burden’ is what most of us call civilisation. And a lot of us quite like it. 



Five current reports below

Kimberley gas plant protesters ‘left nothing’ for local people

THE Aboriginal leader who backed a $40 billion gas plant in the Kimberley as a way of creating indigenous jobs has attacked “extreme nutter” environmentalists who he says derailed the plan but have since done nothing to help the region’s impoverished people.

Wayne Bergmann, a businessman and former head of the Kimberley Land Council, told an oil and gas conference in Perth yesterday that suicide rates and unemployment were rising in the Kimberley due to a paucity of jobs, especially for younger people.

Telstra director Geoff Cousins and singers Missy Higgins and John Butler were among those who opposed the use of James Price Point, 60km north of ­Broome as the site for the Woodside Petroleum project.

The high-profile campaigners joined green groups in arguing against industrialisation of the remote Kimberley region, which boasts some of the world’s most spectacular wilderness areas.

Woodside abandoned its plan in 2012 and walked away from a deal with the KLC to pay $1.5bn in benefits to Kimberley indigenous groups over 30 years in exchange for use of the land at James Price Point.

The company is instead planning to build the plant to process its Browse Basin gas reserves off the Kimberley coast using floating LNG technology.

This means that only a fraction of the employment, health and education benefits promised to Aborigines will be delivered.

Mr Bergmann, who lives in Broome, yesterday said the environmentalists had left the Kimberley and their legacy was “destroying any opportunities” for Aboriginal people.

“They’re all gone but the region is still in devastation,” he said.  “We’ve still got the highest suicide rates, the lowest employment (rates).

“Geoffrey Cousins is still living in his house in Sydney — he hasn’t left anything back in our region.

“So I’m driven to create jobs because if our mob don’t have meaning in their life, these statistics are going to continue.”

Mr Cousins has previously defended his role in the campaign and accused Mr Bergmann of failing to ensure that the 2011 agreement with Woodside had a “break clause” to ensure payments would flow to Aboriginal communities even if the company chose a different site for the project.

He said Woodside had a moral obligation to fulfil its promises under the native title deal and he believed the WA government was responsible for ensuring Aboriginal people received the same health and education services that other citizens took for granted.

Mr Cousins was appointed last year as head of the Australian Conservation Foundation — the country’s largest environmental lobby group.

Mr Bergmann said since the collapse of the Woodside deal he had turned his attention to creating jobs for Aboriginal people by helping to form a maritime company that is on the verge of a major expansion.

He said the company, Aboriginal Maritime Pty Ltd, or AML, was finalising a share buyback under which its indigenous shareholders will increase their combined stake to 51 per cent.

Mr Bergmann told the Australasian Oil and Gas conference that he had been offended by claims by the Maritime Union of Australia that AML was underpaying its workers. “We’ve grown up fighting for our mob — the very last thing we are going to do is underpay our workers,” he said.

In January, the Fair Work Commission approved a four-year enterprise bargaining agreement for AML.

The MUA challenged the EBA late last year, saying that it could result in Aborigines receiving pay and conditions inferior to those of non-Aborigines.

But FWC commissioner Tim Lee found the agreement provided for pay between 20 per cent and 220 per cent above award rates.

AML is owned by several Aboriginal sporting and business identities, including former AFL stars Dean Rioli and David Wirrpanda.


Extra Solar PV for Grid - NT Study

Not mentioned below is that Alice springs is effectively in the middle of a desert -- so experiences bright and sunny days most of the time.  There is no way the findings could be generalized to often cloudy coastal areas

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) today released a study that shows how up to 10MW of extra solar photovoltaic (PV) could be installed in the Alice Springs grid without adversely affecting supply stability.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said this additional PV would make a sizeable difference to the Alice Springs grid, which currently has 4.1MW of solar and a peak load of almost 55MW in summer.

"The findings of this study are timely and show how more solar PV could be reliably introduced into Australian electricity networks," Mr Frischknecht said.

"ARENA provided $242,625 towards the study which was conducted by Northern Territory (NT) engineering company CAT Projects, and investigated the impact of large amounts of solar PV on electricity grids and how to effectively manage it.

"One of the challenges involved in increasing grid-connected solar power in Australia is how to best manage the local weather impacts, such as cloud cover.

"CAT Projects used a network of solar monitoring stations to estimate the maximum number of solar power generators that can be connected to the Alice Springs electricity grid without energy storage.

Mr Frischknecht said the study found that dispersing solar PV across geographical locations can effectively counteract its variability within a network.

"The study shows that building a larger number of smaller installations and spreading them out, ideally 3-5 kilometers apart in Alice Springs, can reduce the impact of local cloud cover and smooth overall solar energy output," Mr Frischknecht said.

"This analysis is very relevant to solar projects currently being planned in the NT and elsewhere in Australia, and could allow network planners to increase the amount of solar PV that can be connected to the network.

"The findings should also allow performance-based Power Purchase Agreements to be more accurately formulated, potentially lowering the cost of renewable energy generation.

"Studies like this have a vital role to play in helping to increase confidence in renewable energy, overcoming barriers and encouraging more renewables into electricity grids."

The study is now publically available in line with ARENA's commitment to advance competitive renewable energy technologies and solutions through knowledge sharing.

The results are available on the analysis of variations in instantaneous weather effects project page.


Australian Politicians Pressured to come Clean on Climate Fraud

Written by Dr Judy Ryan

As of March this year the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) is under investigation for possible maladjustment of its data by an Independent Advisory Forum. The BoM scientists  say they follow Worlds Best Practice, but all over the world Meteorological Agencies are coming under scrutiny. BoM

The world will be watching Australia. The public submission by Drs Judy Ryan and Marjorie Curtis to the Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt and the Technical Advisory Forum sets out the historical context which facilitated what the evidence is suggesting is a politically driven global scam.

Their submission emailed on 4th March 2015 was CC’d to more than 360 national and international media, political and other interested entities. It was BCC’d to many more. They find that the public email is a powerful tool and encourage others all over the world to use it.

Their letter is as follows:

Dear Minister Greg Hunt,

We are writing to thank you for organising an independent investigation of the Bureau of Meteorology’s data management practices.  We trust that you have received good advice and chosen independent and objective scientists and statisticians to be members of the Technical   Advisory Forum.

We have been very concerned about the advice you are receiving ever since we heard you stating publicly that you rely mainly on the advice from the CSIRO and the BoM.

Unfortunately, as the evidence indicates, scientific integrity in Australia’s once iconic institutions, such as the Bureau of Meteorology, (BoM) and our Universities has disintegrated.  The scientific ‘peer review’ has also collapsed.   For that reason we reference this document to robust evidence based internet sites. This includes Wikipedia, which in the discipline of climatology, is more robust.

The evidence also indicates that the  human caused Global Warming hypothesis and its associated demonisation of carbon dioxide is a global scam.  It is driven by the desire for power by politicians, and money and prestige for the funded climate scientists.

The evidence shows that the CO2 demonisation scam is well established in Australia.  Unfortunately it has continued under your stewardship of the Department of Environment. This is illustrated by the unhelpful response (dated 19th December 2013 ) to my formal complaint to the Department of Environment.  See  here

It is further evidenced by the Ombudsman’s final response dated 27th February 2014. See  here

However, on the 4th September last year at the Fenner School of Environmental  at the Australian National University a prominent  Australian climate scientist, Professor Michael Raupach, publicly conceded that the term ‘carbon’ is shorthand for ‘carbon dioxide’. He also conceded  that it is definitely not a pollutant.

Sadly Professor Raupach has passed away, but we will always remember him  and the words he spoke when responding to a question from the audience. The question and Professor Raupach’s response can be heard here at 1.06.33 into the recording. See here

Dear Minister, we feel that it is necessary to provide you and the Technical Advisory Forum members with the historical evidence to what we believe to be the greatest fraud yet perpetrated against humanity. You may wonder what a bit of history has to do with the  BoM’s data  homogenisation practices, but please read on. We will be as brief as possible

*  Early 1900’s a young ecologist  Eugene Odum set out test the hypothesis that “Nature is in Equilibrium”. His  data supported that hypothesis. He went on to experience wealth and prestige. He wrote the  book , “The  Fundamentals of Ecology” . It was published in 1953, and became a school text book in many different countries. Consequently, his wealth and prestige increased. The hypothesis that “Nature is in Equilibrium" also known as  the “Balance of Nature” or “Gaia” prevailed. 

*  However,  with the advent of desktop computers  in the late 1960s the theory was retested by a new generation of ecologists.

*  The evidence from all the those later studies showed that no matter what the sample size the data showed no such relationship. To the contrary, it showed nature to be a wild thing; a dynamic natural system with huge variance.

*  The nature in equilibrium theory was  not only disproven  but discredited in the 70s.  See  here

* It was replaced by chaos theory which states that “In the disciplines of Meteorology …..and Biology…….Small differences in initial conditions (such as those due to rounding errors in numerical computation) yield widely diverging outcomes for such dynamical systems, rendering long-term prediction impossible in general. See here

*  The problem was that there was much money, power and corruption associated with  the  Gaia theory by that time. Eugene Odum, already wealthy, became a member of the hugely influential entrepreneur orientated ” Club of Rome”. He was highly regarded by the establishment until he died peacefully in 2002 aged 88.

History shows that it was a  grave error of judgement  by the academic establishment of the time not to investigate Eugene Odum for possible scientific fraud. The ramifications of that error were profound. Chaos theory was quietly discarded and in the early 1970’s the disproven Gaia theory was resurrected and rechristened “Sustainability” .

 One only has to look at the 2009 Australian High School Science curriculum to realise that  the disproven Gaia is still the order of the day in our country.  See here

To quote the bottom two lines from page 6    “Order and change are necessary ideas to understand systems. Understanding systems provides the basis for appreciating the nature of equilibrium and interdependence.”

Australia dare not allow history to repeat itself in our nation. For if we do, the Gaia scam and all its associated academic funding scams will continue and science in Australia will continue to be mired in uncertainty.

The definition of fraud is, “a false representation of a matter of fact, whether by words or by conduct, by false or misleading allegations, or by concealment of that which should have been disclosed, which deceives and is intended to deceive another so that he shall act upon it to his legal injury.” (Black’s Law Dictionary).

It is true that  the Australian people are experiencing financial disadvantage as a result of the host of policies and administrative decisions driven by advice regarding the science of climate change. Is that advice false or misleading? Does it deceive by concealing or omitting or embellishing or misrepresenting relevant facts?

You may wonder how this definition could  apply to the BoM.  Please read on. During Professor Karoly’s time as editor of Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Journal he and other scientists published  a paper in AMOJ Vol 62, 2012.    To quote from the paper   “Trend analysis confirmed that the 1.1 °C increase in maximum temperature and 0.9 °C increase in minimum temperature since 1960 are the largest and most significant trends in Southeastern Australian temperature in the last 152 years”.

The evidence indicates that those predictions were based on weather stations where the BoM  may have  maladjusted the data. See here

This is one of the issues the Technical Advisory Forum will no doubt be addressing.

It is our humble opinion that a legitimate question is; have BoM scientists disseminated information to the Australian people in a deceptive manner.  Does their behaviour  meet  Black’s legal definition above.

We believe that Australia with its strong democracy under the Abbott government needs to take strong steps to address the climate change scam. The historical evidence indicates that Australia  should hold the Australian perpetrators accountable. Australia can lead the world  back to scientific integrity and sanity.

In closing we reiterate we are two senior citizens expressing the opinion we formed as a result of our own research. Whether the evidence backs it up or  is for others to decide. The BoM scientists are openly copied in to this email. We request them to respond by clicking reply all if they dispute anything we have said.

Respectfully yours

Drs Judy Ryan and Marjorie Curtis


Royal commission is set to debate a proposed plan from SA senator to expand nuclear industry

FREE power, no payroll tax and no motor vehicle tax. Sounds pretty great, right? That is what South Australian Senator, Sean Edwards is touting if the state expands its nuclear energy industry.

According to the Liberal senator, the state would be able to access ten of billions of dollars from the global nuclear industry if they are allowed to store rods and nuclear waste from other countries.

“The science is in. The process is proven and we have a first mover advantage which would see us generate wealth akin to being the Saudis of the South,” he told the Adelaide Advertiser.

The senator believes it would turn South Australia into a “special economic zone” which would further attract business investment.

Mr. Edwards has thrown his weight behind the project. He has reportedly met with countries interested in partnering with the state government and has briefed Trade Minister Andrew Robb and Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane on the details. All while promising huge economic incentives to the people of his state.

Ziggy Switkowski, former CEO of Telstra, is a nuclear physicist who is the former head of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation. He told TheAdelaide Advertiser that the program could “represent billions of dollars of revenue each year.”

Mr. Switkowski reviewed the industry for the Howard Government in 2006 and believes the improvements in science and technology have helped convince people of its safety.

A Royal Commission on the matter was announced last month with SA premier saying “it is now time to engage in a mature and robust conversation.”

It’s a debate that WA Greens Senator, Scott Ludlam said we need to have if only to “put the issue to bed once and for all.”

Nuclear energy has consistency proved to be one of the most viscerally divisive issues in politics so it comes as no surprise that the state’s proposal has been met with criticism by some members of the public.

Yesterday marked the fourth anniversary of the Fukishima nuclear disaster and opponents of Mr. Edwards plan took to the steps of the Adelaide parliament to protest the Royal Commission’s inquiry.

Dr. Jim Green, from Friends of the Earth, Australia attended the protest and told ABC radio that he was there to for two reasons. To lend his sympathy to the 160,000 Japanese who remain displaced from the Fukishima disaster and to send a message to the government that they’re “not happy about the terms of reference” of the inquiry.

The inquiry’s terms of reference will focus on uranium enrichment, nuclear generation and waste storage. Opponents of nuclear energy say the focus of the inquiry is disproportionately skewed towards the positive financial benefits without adequately accounting for the dangers.

Dr. Green would like to see uranium mining and previous nuclear programs such as Radium Hill and the Port Perry Uranium processing site included in the inquiry. Both sites sit deserted and serve as a reminder to Dr. Green of the perils of nuclear power.

A cartoon implies that the only casualty from Fukishima was the future of the nuclear ind

A cartoon implies that the only casualty from Fukishima was the future of the nuclear industry as the body of a man representing the nuclear power industry lies dead. Source: Supplied

In the past Prime Minister Tony Abbott has expressed his willingness to have nuclear power play a greater role in providing the energy needs of Australia. Yesterday he said he is “very interested” in the upcoming inquiry.

The inquiry starts next week however the consultation on the draft terms of reference close tomorrow.

So with just a single day left for the public to submit their opinion on the issue, perhaps it’s worth asking the question: At what price should we be willing to become a nuclear dumping ground?


Prime Minister faces fracking protest in south-east South Australia

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says decisions about unconventional gas mining will remain with state governments.

Mr Abbott touched down in Mount Gambier this week, where he faced a protest from South Australian farmers over fracking, a practice used to extract gas from within the earth.

Farmers at the protest expressed concern fracking would damage prime agricultural land and contaminate water supplies.

The Prime Minister said Australia should be "cautious" about unconventional gas mining but deflected decision-making to state governments.

A parliamentary inquiry into fracking in the south-east of SA is underway, with a committee due to make recommendations to State Government ministers after analysing submissions and hearings.

Mr Abbott said he did not want to see any practice that would "jeopardise the long-term future of some of the finest agricultural country" in Australia but did not commit to a national inquiry.

"I think it's important that the State Government should take seriously the inquiry, which has now been launched by Liberal members of the South Australia Parliament and let's see what the inquiry comes up with," he said.

"So far it seems that the problems people fear have not arisen but, when in doubt, it's best to proceed with caution.

"It is, in the end, a matter for state governments."


Fracking Under fire in taxpayer-funded film

According to a recent article in the Australian Financial Review, Screen Australia, Screen Queensland, and Screen West, and you too, are contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars to an anti-fracking documentary called Frackman.

The documentary tracks Queensland resident, “pig shooter and accidental activist” Dayne Pratzsky on his escapades, including trespassing on private land, and getting arrested at anti-fracking protests.

So far, Screen Australia has invested $200,000 of your money in the film, plus giving it a $435,000 tax credit offered to films with significant Australian content and expenditure.

Screen Queensland has invested $220,000 of taxpayer money, while Screen West has contributed $156,000.

Former Queensland Arts Minister, Ian Walker, pointed out that Screen Queensland was an independent body, and its decisions were not based on political criteria, but on artistic merit, but we still have a few questions.

WasteWatch is neither for nor against fracking; we will leave that debate to people who know more about it. And we are not suggesting for one second that the film ought not to be made or screened.

But forcing the taxpayer to fund it, when it has already taken a side in a controversial question of public policy? We wonder if that might not be a bit much.

Steve Wright, a director of the Energy Resource Information Centre, seems to have already made up his mind. He calls the film “an anti-industry campaign tool,” and “a big element of the activist toolkit” in the anti-fracking campaign.



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

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


15 March, 2015

The Streisand effect is kicking in

From Wikipedia:  "The Streisand effect is the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet. It is named after American entertainer Barbra Streisand, whose 2003 attempt to suppress photographs of her residence in Malibu, California inadvertently drew further public attention to it."

A Warmist site has just put up an article about the "the small network of hired pundits and scientists helping to sow doubt about climate science".  They then list the Devils concerned  and give a bit of information about each one.  So they are effectively letting the cat out of the bag about the "settled Science" claim.  They are making known to people I would never reach that the science is not settled -- and give information to their readers that could lead them to the dissenting voices concerned.  They are busting their own coverup of dissent.  And their list of villains is a long one -- further crashing the "consensus" claim. 

Because the list is so long, I reproduce only a few  entries  below, including mine.  But the complete list is a handy guide to anyone interested in climate skepticism. 

And you can even look below for people who have won the "Noble" [sic] Prize!  The authors' spelling is as defective as their science.  They are probably unaware that there once was a guy named Alfred Nobel

Their assertion that all the people they list are "hired" pundits is a psychopathic lie.  Most of us have never received a cent from anybody in connection with our writings on climate.  They just lie with gay abandon and no concern for evidence, as psychopaths do

In the months before the debut of the new documentary film "Merchants of Doubt," long-time climate denialist Fred Singer contacted more than two dozen bloggers, public relations specialists and scientists asking for help in derailing the documentary’s release.

"Can I sue for damages?” Singer asked in an email last October. "Can we get an injunction against the documentary?"

Singer is one of the "merchants of doubt" identified in the documentary, as are a number of other recipients of his email. The documentary, released nationwide last week, exposes the small network of hired pundits and scientists helping to sow doubt about climate science and delay legislative action on global warming in the United States.

Singer's email became public earlier this week when it was leaked to journalists.

Many of those copied on the email thread, such as Singer and communications specialist Steven Milloy, have financial ties to the tobacco, chemical, and oil and gas industries and have worked to defend them since the 1990s. Others seem relatively new to the denialist camp, such as climate scientist Judith Curry. All, however, have been vocal before Congress, on broadcast news or on the Internet in arguing that human activity is not the primarily driver of climate change.

Here is InsideClimate News' guide to those who were on the emails, in alphabetical order:

Timothy Ball

A retired geography professor from the University of Winnipeg, Ball says he doesn't believe humans are behind climate change. The "claim" of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that humans are almost solely responsible for global warming "is not proven except in their computer models and cannot be proven until we understand how much climate varies naturally," he wrote on his website.

Joe Bastardi

Bastardi has a bachelor's degree in meteorology and worked at Accuweather before joining WeatherBELL Analytics LLC, a meteorological consulting firm. Last September, Bastardi told the website, "Nature, not man, rules the climate system." He said the people who participated in the People's Climate March were "more concerned with their political agenda than climate science," and that they shouldn't be "prostituting the weather and climate for [their] own needs."

William Briggs

Briggs is a statistician at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and a consultant at New York Methodist Hospital. More than two decades ago, he spent a year as a meteorologist for the National Weather Service. He is listed as an expert on the Heartland Institute's website, where he wrote, "Climate change is of no real interest to anyone except climatologists." Earlier this year, he co-wrote an article in the peer-reviewed Chinese Science Bulletin with fellow climate denialists Christopher Monckton and Willie Soon arguing that the IPCC's models are inaccurate and the world won't warm dangerously this century.

Judith Curry

Curry is a professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology. During a January 2014 hearing before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Curry said the problem of climate change has been "vastly oversimplified." She said scientists should pay more attention to the role of natural variability in the climate system and the uncertainties in climate modeling. She also said the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is overly confident in attributing most of the warming to human activity.

Joe D'Aleo

D'Aleo is a former Weather Channel meteorologist and executive director of, a project that seeks to connect "respected scientists and journalists that are not deniers," but who don't believe human activity is the main driver of global warming. Last May, D'Aleo was one of 15 climate skeptics who wrote a rebuttal to the White House's National Climate Assessment report. "As this rebuttal makes clear, the NCA provides no scientific basis whatsoever for regulating CO2 emissions," they wrote.

Greenie Watch

The Greenie Watch blog is run by Australian social scientist John Ray. It questions the scientific evidence for global warming. "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," he wrote on his blog's home page. In response to the release of Fred Singer's emails about the film "Merchants of Doubt," Ray wrote, "We skeptics have got Warmists on the defense, a pathetic 'ad hominem' defense though it is."

William Happer

Happer is a physicist at Princeton University and an outspoken critic of global warming. He has repeatedly called global warming trends "exaggerated." In a TV interview last year, he compared the scientific community's treatment of carbon dioxide to "the demonization of poor Jews under Hitler." During President George H. W. Bush's term, Happer was director of the office of energy research at the Department of Energy.

Patrick J. Michaels

Michaels is the director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Washington, D.C. He was long considered the most credible scientist in the climate denial campaign. He was the president of the American Association of State Climatologists and an IPCC author, sharing the 2007 Noble Peace Prize with other contributing scientists. But Michaels—who at one point estimated 40 percent of his funding came from the fossil fuel industry—has been caught repeatedly making inaccurate climate claims, including on Fox News and in the Washington Post and Forbes.

Roger Pielke

Roger Pielke Sr., a controversial climate scientist, said he believes that "humans have altered the climate system." However, he also supports the idea that warming has recently stopped and has argued against some well-established points of climate science, such as observed sea level rise and glacier melting. Pielke holds the position of senior research scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Studies. He also is a senior research associate the University of Colorado in Boulder. It's unclear whether the intended recipient of an email thread concerning "Merchants of Doubt" was Pielke himself, or his son Roger Pielke Jr. His son is a policy researcher at the Center for Science and Technology in Colorado and has criticized those who have linked climate change to increasingly extreme weather.

S. Fred Singer

Singer is one of the earliest and most vocal scientists in the climate denial campaign. He was an academic and government space researcher for nearly four decades before working on behalf of the tobacco industry to discredit scientific evidence that smoking was bad for human health.  In the early 1990s, he started attacking global warming. He founded an anti climate-action think tank, the Science and Environmental Policy Project, using fossil fuel funds. The group has denied the existence of man-made climate change for 25 years. He also created the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), a publication of junk science that counters the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's work. He has called the IPCC's latest assessment "a wonderful paper weight or door stop."

Wei-Hock (Willie) Soon

Soon, a solar physicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, has posited that increased energy from the sun—not the burning of fossil fuels—is the biggest driver of modern climate change. His theory has been widely refuted by the scientific community, including the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the National Academy of Sciences. In February, public documents showed that Soon received hundreds of thousands of dollars from fossil fuel interests to publish "deliverables" in the form of articles about the solar-warming theory in scientific journals. He failed to disclose conflicts of interests to those journals and during congressional testimony. Soon also has ties to several conservative, climate-denying think tanks, including the Heartland Institute and the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow.

Roy Spencer

Spencer is a scientist at the University of Alabama-Huntsville and a former senior scientist for climate studies at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. He says he believes natural fluctuations in the climate system could be the primary driver of global warming. During a Senate hearing in July 2013, Spencer told the committee humans "are having some influence" on climate change, "but it is impossible to know with any level of certainty how much influence."

Anthony Watts

Watts edits the blog Watts Up With That, which questions climate science and presents, "the untold story of the climate debate from the climate skeptic side." Watts studied electrical engineering and meteorology at Purdue University but never graduated. He then served as an on-air meteorologist for 25 years. He's a frequent speaker at anti-climate action events hosted by the Heartland Institute. "I believe that our [man-made] contribution [to climate change] may be far less than has been postulated," he told a California newspaper in 2007. "Our measurement network has been compromised—not intentionally, but accidentally and through carelessness."


SciAm abandons science

Their support for Warmism has rotted their brains. See the excerpt below.  They even call CO2 "the most prominent greenhouse gas" when Warmist scientists always concede that the major effect is from water vapor rather than from CO2. 

And they claim that a fall in atmospheric CO2 of only 7ppm caused major effects.  We have seen much bigger changes that in recent times with NO effects. 

The bit of speculation below is more a verbal fart than anything to do with science.  The CO2 fall is their only scientific datum.  The rest is just navel-gazing

The atmosphere recorded the mass death, slavery and war that followed 1492. The death by smallpox and warfare of an estimated 50 million native Americans—as well as the enslavement of Africans to work in the newly depopulated Americas—allowed forests to grow in former farmlands. By 1610, the growth of all those trees had sucked enough carbon dioxide out of the sky to cause a drop of at least seven parts per million in atmospheric concentrations of the most prominent greenhouse gas and start a little ice age. Based on that dramatic shift, 1610 should be considered the start date of a new, proposed geologic epoch—the Anthropocene, or recent age of humanity—according to the authors of a new study.

"Placing the Anthropocene at this time highlights the idea that colonialism, global trade and the desire for wealth and profits began driving Earth towards a new state," argues ecologist Simon Lewis of the University of Leeds and University College London. "We are a geological force of nature, but that power is unlike any other force of nature in that it is reflexive, and can be used, withdrawn or modified."

Lewis and his U.C.L. colleague, geologist Mark Maslin, dub the decrease in atmospheric carbon dioxide the "Orbis spike," from the Latin for world, because after 1492 human civilization has progressively globalized. They make the case that human impacts on the planet have been dramatic enough to warrant formal recognition of the Anthropocene epoch and that the Orbis spike should serve as the marker of the start of this new epoch in a paper published in Nature on March 12. (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group.)

Researchers have advanced an array of proposals for when this putative new epoch might have begun. Some link it to the start of the mass extinction of large mammals such as woolly mammoths and giant kangaroos some 50,000 years ago or the advent of agriculture around 10,000 years ago. Others say the Anthropocene is more recent, tied to the beginning of the uptick of atmospheric CO2 concentrations after the invention of an effective coal-burning steam engine.


Deceitful Warmist Movie a Huge Flop at the Box Office

The invaluable site for movie buffs who are also interested in the box-office business of film is BoxOfficeMojo. That site reports that “Merchants of Doubt” has earned $23,300 in the four theaters in which it opened on Friday. So that means … “Merchants of Doubt” had the 314th best opening weekend ever for a documentary film in the United States! What an achievement!

Overall, “Merchants of Doubt” finished $40 better than the 1999 opening of “American Movie” (#315), and just $55 behind 2008’s “Gunnin’ for that #1 Spot” (#313). Never heard of those movies? Neither has anyone else – and neither will anyone hear of, nor long remember, “Merchants of Doubt.” But, for those curious about the company this film keeps:

“American Movie” (1999) is a “documentary about an aspiring filmmaker’s attempts to finance his dream project by finally completing the low-budget horror film he abandoned years before.”

“Gunnin’ for That #1 Spot” (2008) is a documentary about “eight of the U.S.’s top high school basketball players [competing] in the first ‘Elite 24? tournament at Rucker Park.” That film should have been helped by the fact that it was directed by Adam Yauch, better known as the late, great “MCA” of the legendary rap group Beastie Boys. It still only made a total of $50,804.

The market has spoken … again. The public just ain’t buying what the climate alarmists are selling – even at what is going to be an enormous loss for the producers of “Merchants of Doubt.” Couldn’t happen to a better group of film-makers whose piece of expensive propaganda demonized researchers who adhere to the scientific method. You’d be much better informed if you read Russell Cook’s excellent “Merchants of Smear.”


Steve Goddard offers some additional comments:

I just attended the premier in DC with Michael Mann and Katherine Hayhoe in the audience. It was a small theater and there was no one else in my row,

Most of the movie was about the tobacco industry in the 1960's.  Then they showed a few clips of skeptics, and intermixed them with clips of 1960's tobacco crooks. The idea was that anyone who questions a scientific theory, is a big tobacco paid child killer.

Katherine admitted after the movie that the only people who were going to watch it were people who already believed Al Gore's sci-fi flick.

EPA Administrator: Coffee at Risk Due to Climate Change

Climate change is bad for EVERYTHING.  Good that we don't seem to be having any.  We could always drink dandelion coffee, though.  It's not too bad if you grow your own dandelions and have it fresh.  And dandelions are worldwide!

 In a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy said that “climate change puts the world’s coffee-growing regions at risk.”

“Climate change injects volatility into the global marketplace. Volatility leads to instability,” McCarthy said. “Take coffee. Now coffee is a temperature sensitive crop. Climate change puts the world’s coffee-growing regions at risk.

“Growth depends on a safe environment and a stable climate,” she said. “We can no longer accept the false premise that pollution is somehow part of the growing pains of growth. If that’s your premise, then the foundation of that growth was not built to last. It was wrongly designed.

“Climate change isn’t just a moral responsibility we must accept. It’s an economic opportunity we can seize.”

McCarthy not only emphasized the economic effects of climate change, but said that it posed a “national security concern.”

“Once you open your eyes, you’ll realize that climate is not just an environmental issue. It is a fundamental economic issue and national security challenge,” McCarthy said.

“It’s no surprise that according to the American Security Project, 70 percent of the world’s countries explicitly call climate change a national security concern.”


Heartland Institute President Rips Senators for Repeating Lies about Climate Scientists

Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast says Democratic U.S. Sens. Ed Markey, Barbara Boxer, and Sheldon Whitehouse should be ashamed of themselves for abusing their offices as part of a campaign to “stigmatize and demonize” those who are skeptical of a human-caused climate crisis.

Bast’s remarks come in response to the senators’ February 25 letter demanding funding, planning, and organizational details from The Heartland Institute and 99 other businesses and nonprofit organizations that question the causes and consequences of global warming.

“Shame on you for abusing your public office in an attempt to silence public debate on such an important public policy topic,” Bast wrote in his letter, mailed yesterday. “I am grateful that a majority of members on the Committee on Environment and Public Works has strongly condemned your views and tactics.”

The three Democratic senators sent their February 25 letter in the wake of misleading news reports about prominent climate scientist Dr. Wei-Hock “Willie” Soon, who works for the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Bast also defended Dr. Soon, who has presented scientific findings at several climate conferences organized by Heartland.

“You repeat the vicious libel that Dr. Wei-Hock ‘Willie’ Soon failed to disclose funding for his work,” Bast wrote. “Are you not aware that neither his employer, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, nor the journal that published the scholarly article in question, Science Bulletin, has found Dr. Soon violated any of their rules or disclosure policies? Who asked you to repeat that lie?”

“I am very proud to report that The Heartland Institute has spent millions of dollars over the past ten years supporting scientific research that contradicts alarmist claims about climate change,” Bast wrote. “The New York Times calls us ‘the primary American organization pushing climate change skepticism.’ The Times is not a credible source on this topic, but you three probably find it persuasive.”

Bast also told Sens. Markey, Boxer, and Whitehouse that the totality of the information they will receive about Heartland’s funding, organization, and programs can be found on Heartland’s websites including


Another ship sets out to Antarctica to "show" impact of global warming

They are incapable of showing any such thing. It's just a thin  excuse for having fun in boats. If cooling were the current wisdom,  they would be saying that they were sailing to "show" the effect of cooling

Robert Swan is a “polar explorer, environmentalist and the first man ever to walk unsupported to both the North and South Poles,” according to his site 2041. Swan walked to the South Pole in 1984 and the North Pole in 1989. Since then, he has traveled to Antarctica 35 times. His journeys inspired him to launch 2041 to protect Antarctica. The name comes from the date when the world’s moratoriums on mining and drilling in Antarctica will expire. Its mission is “to build personal leadership skills among people who choose to embrace the challenge of sustaining all forms of life—in their families, communities, organizations and the planet.”

Next week, he and his 2041 team will journey to the last great wilderness on Earth. The International Antarctic Expedition 2015 will bring together people from around the world to “debate, discuss and determine firsthand the effects of climate change.” The team will assess the effects of temperature rise on Antarctica and, upon return, the team plans to educate the public and hopefully spur action on climate change.

Swan has been recognized for his work with an appointment as UN Goodwill Ambassador for Youth and Special Envoy to the Director General of UNESCO. He’s even been knighted as an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Since 2003, he has taken 1,100 people from 72 nations to Antarctica “in hopes that it will ignite their passion for preservation.” Swan says, “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.”

This year’s expedition begins on March 13, in Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world. From there, the team will embark on their ship, Sea Spirit, to Antarctica. With stops at Cuverville Island, Neko Harbour, Paradise Harbour and Lemaire Channel, the team will get an expansive tour of the icy continent. The team will also stop at King George Island, the location of the 2041 E-Base, the first education station in Antarctica made with sustainable products and powered by renewable energy. In 2008, Swan successfully became the first person in Antarctic history to live for two weeks solely on renewable energy. On March 25, the 2041 team will return to Ushuaia.

Dr. Marcus Eriksen, co-founder of 5 Gyres Institute, will be on Swan’s Antarctica expedition and will provide blog posts to EcoWatch. Stay tuned.

In a Ted Talk last October, Swan explains the importance of these expeditions: “We need to listen to what these places are telling us,” he said. “And if we don’t, we will end up with our own survival situation here on planet Earth.”

The gravity of Antarctica’s ice melt is severe. The continent holds 90 percent of the world’s ice and 70 percent of the world’s freshwater, according to Swan. The sea level rise from Antarctica’s ice melt would reshape the world as we know it. [It would but it isn't]



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

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


13 March, 2015

Vicious VICE on HBO

An email to them from Marc Morano below:

Hi Ahmad,

Just watched the show and I must say you conflated my comments. In the broadcast you put in all of these comments from me about 'sea ice.' Not land ice. Then you imply that I am confused on the difference between the two. On the contrary!

Please watch the full interview I gave you at the Heartland conference in DC, I clearly made a distinction and even talked to the interviewer about how people get confused between the two.

Here is my latest report on Antarctica land based glacial ice. Meda at it again hyping Antarctic melt fears – Recycles same claims from 2014, 1990, 1979, 1922 & 1901! – Climate Depot’s Point-By-Point Rebuttal

Your show lacked any perspective on how long these glacial melt fears have been around and it was rank propaganda to have me discussing 'sea ice' and implying I am confused when you omitted my discussion of land based ice.

If I cared enough about the broadcast, I would be upset. But you should at least alert your staff and re watch my full interview. I think you will find you are guilty of misrepresenting my views, perhaps because of ignorance on your production staff. Either way, you omitted my discussion of land-based ice.

80-yr-old Weather Channel Founder Explains the History of the Global Warming Fraud

The video below is from a year ago but it is quite an evergreen and is well worth repeating

John Coleman, 80-year-old award-winning meteorologist and founder of the Weather Channel explains the history of the global warming fraud.

“Politics had gotten in the way of the science.” Coleman explains that there is no man-made global warming, and he’s sure of it.

Coleman says:

“I love our wonderful planet Earth. If I thought it was threatened by global warming, I would devote my life to stopping the warming!”

Now they call it “climate change” instead of global warming, because the warming has stopped, says Coleman, and that $4.7 billion in taxpayer money is funding “bogus reports” and “bogus research.”

At about the 11:30, Coleman begins a detailed explanation about just how the global warming fraud was started and heated up, including how Al Gore got involved in the movement

This is a 36 minute video concerning the Global Warming Fraud by the man who started the Weather Channel way back when.  He takes the viewer through all the steps and stages of the subject and tells us to "follow the money". 

Global Warming started with Professor Roger Revell (1909-1991) and after much research  Prof. Revell's conclusion was  that global warming was indeed a hoax.

Former Vice Pres. Al Gore figures prominently in this narrative, starting with being a "D" student of Pro. Revell at Harvard, receiving prestigious awards, turning on Prof. Revell and then refusing any debate on the issue of Global Warming, now changed to the semantically PC wording Climate Change.


This changes nothing - The Guardian campaign on climate change

The Guardian has embarked on a campaign to put climate change in the spotlight again. Starting last weekend it used the first pages of its print edition to publish comments by high profile campaigners like Naomi Klein, Bill McKibben and George Monbiot. These were accompanied by powerful artwork from Anthony Gormley, Nele Azevedo and Judy Watson. The motto of the campaign is 'Keep it in the ground', don't burn the vast amounts of fossil fuels that are still buried underground. Otherwise we would fry the planet.

The campaign kicked off with Naomi Klein. She asks 'What is wrong with us?'

"A great many of us engage in this kind of climate change denial. We look for a split second and then we look away. Or we look but then turn it into a joke (“more signs of the Apocalypse!”). Which is another way of looking away. Or we look but tell ourselves comforting stories about how humans are clever and will come up with a technological miracle that will safely suck the carbon out of the skies or magically turn down the heat of the sun. Which, I was to discover while researching this book, is yet another way of looking away."

Framing the issue in this way prompts the question 'Why do we look away when confronted with so many other, more devastating issues, causing harm in the here and now?' We (as human civilization, community of states, societies) have not found ways to stop war, economic crises, or inequality. Compared to these issues that cause daily human suffering, harm and death, climate change is a distant threat. Framing the issue in the way Klein does makes it rational not to put climate change on the top of the political agenda.

Klein believes that there is a solution to the problem of climate change which makes us all better off, through reclaiming democracy, blocking free trade deals, nationalising energy and water, etc. There is a lot of wishful thinking in this, and the belief that all the good things go together. Somehow in this process carbon emissions will go down, and we will live happily ever after.

While Klein's vision is to get rid of capitalism in order to solve the climate problem, Bill KcKibben thinks that technical solutions are available, and made operational by some big capitalist firms:

"None of the problems the fossil fuel players keep predicting for renewables seem decisive. Yes, the sun goes down at night, but that tends to be when the wind kicks up. We’re learning to store peak power in all kinds of ways: a California auction for new power supply was won by a company that uses extra solar energy to freeze ice, which then melts during the day to supply power. The smart meters now coming on line around the world allow utilities to juggle demand, turning off your water heater when its not needed.

Wise companies have either seen the future or learned their lesson: E.ON, Germany’s biggest utility, announced last year that it will now focus on wind and sun. “We are the first to resolutely draw the conclusion from the change of the energy world,” chief executive Johannes Teyssen told reporters in Dusseldorf. “We’re convinced that energy companies will have to focus on one of the two energy worlds if they want to be successful.”

Again, a fair amount of wishful thinking, and a big ask of consumers to accept demand based pricing of energy based on surveillance technologies. Be that as it may, both his and Klein's visions are based on the problems of the Western rich countries, where carbon emissions will peak soon. What about the rising demand in cheap energy in the rest of the world?

Step up George Monbiot, making the slogan 'Keep it in the ground' operational. He suggests the Paris summit in December should adopt a document along these lines:

"Scientific assessments of the carbon contained in existing fossil fuel reserves suggest that full exploitation of these reserves is incompatible with the agreed target of no more than 2C of global warming. The unrestricted extraction of these reserves undermines attempts to limit greenhouse gas emissions. We will start negotiating a global budget for the extraction of fossil fuels from existing reserves, as well as a date for a moratorium on the exploration and development of new reserves. In line with the quantification of the fossil carbon that can be extracted without a high chance of exceeding 2C of global warming, we will develop a timetable for annual reductions towards that budget. We will develop mechanisms for allocating production within this budget and for enforcement and monitoring.”

The consequence of such a policy would be that prices for fossil fuels rise massively. In the absence of alternative sources this would have serious impacts on economic activity and social wellbeing. Either there is some wishful thinking that somehow we will have solved the problem of renewables just in time, or a complete disregard about these issues because of the need to 'save the planet'. Again, there can be no surprise that such proposals will not find political traction.

The good thing about the Guardian is that it also has comment pages where such grand visions are brought back to reality. Today Mark Lynas has such a comment which demonstrates how such campaigns are unlikely to change much, because the issue is polarised, and the contributions published so far only help deepening the polarisation.

"The Guardian’s climate campaign is, in principle, very welcome. But it risks reinforcing this polarisation by leading with two extensive extracts from Naomi Klein’s latest book, This Changes Everything: Climate vs Capitalism. Lefties will lap it up; others will see it as evidence that science has been appropriated as cover for an ideological project.

For Klein, whose career has always focused on fighting capitalism, climate change merely means we must renew that fight. It doesn’t seem to strike her as odd or fortuitous that this new “crisis”, which she admits she’s only lately discovered, should “change everything” for everyone else but merely reinforce her own decades-old ideological position. Her analysis of the problem is the same as for all the rest of today’s challenges – that it is the fault of multinational corporations, “market fundamentalism” and the “elites”, who in her view control the media and democratic politics.

Depressingly, all this confirms what social psychologists have long insisted: that most people accept only scientific “facts” that are compatible with or which reinforce their political identities and worldviews. The environmental left leapt on climate science because it seemed to confirm deeply held notions of the planet being fragile, and modern civilisation being in essence destructive. Moreover, climate science at last seemed to herald the global doom that the eco-Malthusian left had always hoped for.

All of this makes climate change much harder to deal with than it would otherwise be. In insisting that tackling carbon emissions must be subordinated into a wider agenda of social revolution and the dismantling of corporate capitalism, Klein isn’t making climate mitigation easier: she is making it politically toxic. In rejecting “too easy” solutions such as nuclear power and advanced renewables technologies (the dreaded “technofix”), the left puts its cards on the table – and confirms what the right has always suspected: that climate mitigation is not a primary but at best a secondary goal.

This is also a debate conducted in a western bubble. No one in India doubts that the emergence from poverty of hundreds of millions of people in south Asia will require the production of prodigious amounts more energy – far more than could ever be compensated for by any remotely plausible “energy austerity” path taken by the west. Don’t forget: rich OECD countries have already peaked their CO2 emissions, so pretty much all the future growth will come from Asia, Africa and South America".

Quite a lot to agree with, I think.


How a Solar Farm Set Hundreds of Birds Ablaze

It's no secret that solar power is hot right now, with innovators and big name companies alike putting a great deal of time, money, and effort into improving these amazing sources of renewable energy. Still, the last thing you'd likely expect is for a new experimental array to literally light nearly 130 birds in mid-flight on fire.

And yet, that's exactly what happened near Tonopah, Nevada last month during tests of the 110-megawatt Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project.

According to Rudy Evenson, Deputy Chief of Communications for Nevada Bureau of Land Management (NBLM) in Reno, as reported by Re Wire, a third of the newly constructed plant was put into action on the morning of Jan. 14, redirecting concentrated solar energy to a point 1,200 feet above the ground.

Unfortunately, about two hours into the test, engineers and biologists on site started noticing "streamers" - trails of smoke and steam caused by birds flying directly into the field of solar radiation. What moisture was on them instantly vaporized, and some instantly burst into flames - at least, until they began to frantically flap away. An estimated 130 birds were injured or killed during the test.

But worry not, green home owners. The solar energy we are talking about here is not like the solar panels that top your roofs. Solar panels don't produce enough heat to cause such a scene.

The plant in question, which was expected to come at least partially online this month, runs on 17,500 heliostat mirrors - each the size of your average garage door - that concentrate and reflect thermal solar energy at a tall center tower. This tower uniquely contains molten salt, of all things, which is circulated to produce steam and generate electricity. Excess heat is stored in the salt and can be used to generate power for up to 10 hours, including during the evening hours and when direct sunlight is not available.

As a self-sustaining energy source that only needs water and sunlight, the new plant certainly sounds like a boon for the natural world.

"The Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project will reduce the nation's reliance on fossil energy supplies, producing enough solar energy in one year equivalent to about one-eighth of the total output of Hoover Dam," developer Solar Reserve announced during the groundbreaking of the project in 2011.

What's more, this isn't even the first plant of this kind to be seen in the United States. The Mojave desert is home to an older heliostat power plant more than 10 times this latest project's size. Called the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, this plant boasts a stunning 300,000 solar mirrors to heat a specially designed "water furnace" (which is less efficient than the molten salt appropach).

Unfortunately, the redirected sunlight causes such a wide sphere of superheated radiation that  the plant sees one streamer every two minutes, according to investigator estimates.

Officials behind the project have refuted that claim, saying that most of the streamers are floating trash or wayward insects, but federal wildlife officials have begun calling these 'eco-friendly' power towers "mega traps" for wildlife.

According to The Associated Press (AP), many biologists call the number of deaths "significant" and suspect that the streamers are caused by a chain of attraction - that is, insects are drawn towards the bright plant's light, which in turn attracts birds looking to feast on crispy bugs.

However, it's important to note that unlike the California and Nevada plants, earlier, smaller versions of these power towers tested in Europe did not regularly see these kinds of incidents. And when the Crescent Dunes plant ran a second test using less mirrors, no more birds burst into flames.

Garry George, renewable-energy director for the California chapter of the Audubon Society, even told the AP that while the reports are "alarming... it's hard to say whether that's the location or the technology" that's behind the deaths. It may simply be that more birds follow air paths that happen to cross the new solar fields.

He added that like with any new technology, "there needs to be some caution," and hopefully engineers can learn from these early mistakes.

US Fish and Wildlife Service officials are now waiting for a death toll for a full year of operation at the Ivanpah plant. The subsequent report may impact plans for future solar power towers in the United States.


Does the Ethanol Mandate Include Singing Its Praises?

A number of potential Republican presidential candidates descended on the Iowa Ag Summit this past weekend to shore up their bona fides with the state’s agricultural industry. Unfortunately, when it came to the subject of ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), most of the White House hopefuls resorted to pandering to voters rather than speaking truth about failed policy.

The hard-charging environmental lobby rallies around corn-based ethanol as a fuel alternative because ecofascists have great faith that it’s better for the environment (spoiler alert: it’s not). Farmers, particularly those in Iowa, embrace the policy mandating ethanol as a fuel additive because it raises demand for corn and puts more money in their pockets.

The environmental and agricultural lobbies have been strong enough to keep the RFS alive even after a number of scientists and economists have disproven the effectiveness and benefits of ethanol.

Sure, ethanol combustion in automobiles does produce less CO2 than fossil fuel combustion, which gives climate change fanatics warm fuzzies. However, growing all the corn necessary to meet Washington’s arbitrary mandate (and its subsequent effect on food prices), along with the intensive production process of manufacturing ethanol, heavily outweighs any benefits we experience through ethanol use. And that’s not to mention the fuel’s destructiveness for engines, or that CO2 is not a pollutant.

An Associated Press investigation into ethanol production revealed that, in their rush to clear land to plant corn, farmers “wiped out millions of acres of conservation land, destroyed habitat and polluted water supplies.” Wetlands were devastated, and billions of pounds of fertilizers contaminated rivers. Had manufacturers of any other product taken these actions, the Obama White House would be calling for investigations and fines. Instead, the administration plows ahead with current policy.

And as Mark Alexander wrote last year, “More than 90% of our nation’s corn crop went toward feeding people and livestock in the year 2000, with less than 5% of the crop going toward ethanol. In 2013, however, a whopping 40% went toward ethanol. To illustrate this grossly inefficient use of our natural resources, the amount of grain required to fill a 25-gallon automotive fuel tank with ethanol is enough grain to feed one person for an entire year.”

Nevertheless, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad played the role of Captain Obvious when he stated that any candidate who publicly opposes the ethanol mandate would probably not win the Iowa caucus next year. In truth, it’s tough to stand in front of a crowd of potential supporters and tell them you are against their favorite policy. But no one ever said having the courage of your convictions was easy.

Almost all of the major GOP White House contenders failed the conviction test in Iowa.

Rick Perry said, “I don’t think you pull the RFS [Renewable Fuel Standard] out and discriminate against the RFS and leave all these other subsidies.” In other words, subsidies are good because subsidies exist.

Chris Christie and Lindsey Graham voiced full-throated support for the RFS, and Mike Huckabee claimed ethanol was good for national security policy by reducing dependence on foreign imports. Rick Santorum argued ethanol “creates jobs in small-town and rural America, which is where people are hurting.”

Even Scott Walker, who opposed ethanol in 2006, said that while he is opposed to government intervention he will support the ethanol mandate. “Right now we don’t have a free and open marketplace,” he asserted, so why not keep the mandate going? He did add that eventually there will be “no need to have a standard,” but his squishiness was palpable.

Jeb Bush was less objectionable, but also ducked making any substantive statements. “The markets are ultimately going to have to decide this,” he said, though he equivocated by refusing to set a firm deadline for phasing out the RFS.

Only Ted Cruz managed to get it right. “I recognize that this is a gathering of a lot of folks where the answer you’d like me to give is, ‘I’m for the RFS, darn it,’” he said. “But I’ll tell you, people are pretty fed up, I think, with politicians who go around and tell one group one thing, tell another group another thing, and then they go to Washington and they don’t do anything that they said they would do.”

Cruz added, “I don’t think Washington should be picking winners and losers. When it comes to energy, we should have an all-of-the-above approach, but it should be driven by the market.” Exactly right.

The audience applauded Cruz’s candor for coming out against the RFS, but no doubt many also made a mental note to scratch him off their short list for 2016.

Republicans don’t seem to have a problem speaking out against ObamaCare’s mandate that Americans buy health insurance. Why do they then embrace the mandate that Americans buy ethanol?

The answer is simple: Iowa is always an important state for presidential candidates as its caucus kicks off the primaries. But the ethanol debacle illustrates why this privilege should no longer reside in the Hawkeye State. GOP candidates should be standing by free market principles instead of corporate welfare, but thanks to the primary structure they’re forced to pander to Iowa farmers.


The EPA Thinks You're Stupid

By Alan Caruba

The folks at the Environmental Protection Agency, starting with a long line of its administrators that now includes Gina McCarthy, think you and the Congress of the United States are stupid. They have been telling lies for so long they can’t imagine that their chokehold on the American economy will ever end.

It is, however, coming to an end and the reason is a Republican-controlled Congress responding to the countless businesses and individuals being ravaged by a ruthless bureaucracy driven by an environmental agenda determined to deprive America of the energy sources vital to our lives and the nation’s existence.

This was on display in early March when Gina McCarthy testified to the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee, asking for a nearly $500 million increase in its 2016 budget. The total discretionary budget request would have topped out at $8.6 billion and would reward states nearly $4 billion to go along with the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

The problem is that the Clean Power Plan is really about no power or far more costly power in those states where the EPA has been shutting down coal-fired plants that not long ago provided fifty percent of all the electricity in the nation.

In February 2014, the Institute for Energy Research reported:

“More than 72 gigawatts (GW) of electrical generating capacity have already, or are now set to retire because of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulations. The regulations causing these closures include the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (colloquially called MATS, or Utility MACT), proposed Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), and the proposed regulation of carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.

To put 72 GW in perspective, that is enough electrical generation capacity to reliably power 44.7 million homes—or every home in every state west of the Mississippi River, excluding Texas. In other words, EPA is shutting down enough generating capacity to power every home in Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

Plants closed or soon to be

Over 94 percent these retirements will come from generating units at coal-fired power plants, shuttering over one-fifth of the U.S.’s coal-fired generating capacity. While some of the effected units will be converted to use new fuels, American families and businesses will pay the price with higher utility bills and less reliability for their electricity.”

What nation would knowingly reduce its capacity to produce the electricity that everyone depends upon?

Answer: The United States of America.

Why? Because the EPA has been telling us that coal-fired plants produce carbon dioxide (CO2) and it is causing ours and the world’s temperature to increase to a point that threatens our lives. They have been claiming that everything from blizzards to droughts, hurricanes to forest fires, are the result of the CO2 that coal-fired plants produce.

That is a huge, stupendous lie.

In the Senate Committee meeting, McCarthy said, “Climate change is real. It is happening. It is a threat. Humans are causing the majority of that threat...the impacts are being felt. Climate change is not a religion. It is not a belief system. It’s a scientific fact. And our challenge is to move forward with the actions we need to protect future generations.”

Climate change is real. It’s been real for 4.5 billion years and it has absolutely nothing to do with anything that humans do, least of all heating, cooling and lighting their homes, running their businesses, and everything else that requires electricity.

McCarthy said that the EPA’s overall goal was to save the planet from rising sea levels, massive storms, and other climate events that impact our lives. No, that’s not why the EPA was created in 1970. Its job was to clean the water and the air. It has done a relatively good job, but its mandate had nothing to do with the climate, nor does the provision of energy have any impact on the climate.

The reverse is true. The climate has a lot of impact on us.

Regarding the “science” McCarthy referred to, according to a 2013 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, there were record low tornadoes, record low hurricanes, record gain in Arctic and Antarctic ice, no change in the rate of sea levels, and there had been NO WARMING at that point for 17—now 19—years.

When Sen. Jeff Sessions asked McCarthy a number of questions about droughts and hurricanes, she either dodged providing a specific answer or claimed, as with hurricanes, that “I cannot answer that question. It’s a very complicated issue.”

Asked about the computer models on which the EPA makes its regulatory decisions, McCarthy replied, “I do not know what the models actually are predicting that you are referring to.” Sen. Sessions said that it was incredible that the Administrator of the EPA “doesn’t know whether their predictions have been right or wrong.”

As for any “science” the EPA may be using, much of it is SECRET.

H. Sterling Burnett, the managing editor of the Heartland Institute’s Environment & Climate News, reported on The Secret Science Reform Act (HR 4012) introduced by the House Science Committee late last year. The bill would “prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from proposing, finalizing, or disseminating regulations or assessments based on science that is not transparent or reproducible.”

The House passed the Act on November 20, 2014 and it has been received in the Senate, read twice, and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works. If it passes the Senate, that will be a giant leap forward in gaining oversight and control of the EPA.

Until then, the EPA’s administrator and staff will continue to work their mischief in the belief that both Congress and the rest of us are stupid. We’re not.



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

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


12 March, 2015

Climate change predictions have been wrong for decades

By Walter E. Williams

"But the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact," said President Barack Obama in his 2014 State of the Union address. Saying the debate is settled is nonsense, but the president is right about climate change. gives the definition of climate change: "Changes in average weather conditions that persist over multiple decades or longer. Climate change encompasses both increases and decreases in temperature, as well as shifts in precipitation, changing risk of certain types of severe weather events, and changes to other features of the climate system."

That definition covers all weather phenomena throughout all 4.54 billion years of Earth's existence.

You say, "Williams, that's not what the warmers are talking about. It's the high CO2 levels caused by mankind's industrial activities that are causing the climate change!" There's a problem with that reasoning.

Today CO2 concentrations worldwide average about 380 parts per million. This level of CO2 concentration is trivial compared with the concentrations during earlier geologic periods. For example, 460 million years ago, during the Ordovician Period, CO2 concentrations were 4,400 ppm, and temperatures then were about the same as they are today. With such high levels of CO2, at least according to the warmers, the Earth should have been boiling.

Then there are warmer predictions. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, warmers, such as the Union of Concerned Scientists, made all manner of doomsday predictions about global warming and the increased frequency of hurricanes. According to the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, "no Category 3-5 hurricane has struck the United States for a record nine years, and Earth's temperature has not budged for 18 years."

Climate change predictions have been wrong for decades. Let's look at some. At the first Earth Day celebration, in 1969, environmentalist Nigel Calder warned, "The threat of a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind."

C.C. Wallen of the World Meteorological Organization said, "The cooling since 1940 has been large enough and consistent enough that it will not soon be reversed." In 1968, Professor Paul Ehrlich predicted that there would be a major food shortage in the U.S. and that "in the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people (would) starve to death."

Ehrlich forecasted that 65 million Americans would die of starvation between 1980 and 1989 and that by 1999, the U.S. population would have declined to 22.6 million. Ehrlich's predictions about England were gloomier. He said, "If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000."

In 1970, Harvard University biologist George Wald predicted, "Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind." Sen. Gaylord Nelson, in Look magazine in April 1970, said that by 1995, "somewhere between 75 and 85 percent of all the species of living animals (would) be extinct."

Climate change propaganda is simply a ruse for a socialist agenda. Consider the statements of some environmentalist leaders. Christiana Figueres, the U.N.'s chief climate change official, said that her unelected bureaucrats are undertaking "probably the most difficult task" they have ever given themselves, "which is to intentionally transform the (global) economic development model."

In 2010, German economist and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change official Ottmar Edenhofer said, "One must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world's wealth by climate policy." The article in which that interview appeared summarized Edenhofer's views this way: "Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection. ... The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world's resources will be negotiated."

The most disgusting aspect of the climate change debate is the statements by many that it's settled science. There is nothing more anti-scientific than the idea that any science is settled. Very often we find that the half-life of many scientific ideas is about 50 years. For academics to not criticize their colleagues and politicians for suggesting that scientific ideas are not subject to challenge is the height of academic dishonesty.


Fracking gets a boost in Britain

Ineos has invested £168m in UK shale gas exploration through a deal with IGas Energy that will see the companies drill up to 11 wells in the North West and frack six of them.

The petrochemicals giant said it would pay an initial £30m for stakes of 50pc-60pc in seven exploration blocks in the Bowland basin in Cheshire and north Wales, as well as an option of a stake in two East Midlands blocks and buying IGas out of one block in Scotland.

Ineos has also committed to pay up to £138m to fund exploration in the Bowland licences, where IGas has already drilled three wells.

The proposed work involves drilling six vertical wells, one of which would be fracked, and five horizontal wells, all of which would be fracked.

IGas shares rose almost 16pc on the news, which its chief executive Andrew Austin said "underpins the quality, scale and significant potential of our licences".

"Ineos’s commitment of upfront cash and considerable capital investment will help fund us through the next steps of our shale appraisal and production programme," he said.

IGas would have to repay its £65m share of costs if the sites ever began commercial shale gas production.

No fracking has taken place in the UK since a moratorium was lifted in 2012 while planning applications to do by rival Cuadrilla have made slow progress.

Drilling under the IGas deal is unlikely to begin for several years, Ineos director Tom Crotty said.

The IGas deal is Ineos's first under plans unveiled last year by its billionaire owner Jim Ratcliffe to invest up to £640m in UK shale gas exploration.

Ineos said the deal would make it the third biggest shale gas player by licence area - behind IGas and Cuadrilla - with access to a quarter of a million acres of potential shale gas reserves.

Gary Haywood, head of Ineos's upstream division, said: "This is a great opportunity to acquire some first class assets that have the potential to yield significant quantities of gas in the future.

"Ineos’s scale, asset position across the UK, US shale gas expertise, and our expertise in managing oil and gas facilities will be a great match with IGas’s existing onshore asset base, and significant exploration and production capability."

Ineos had previously bought stakes in two Scottish exploration blocks near its Grangemouth refinery in the hope of sourcing ethane as a feedstock, but faces an uphill battle after the Scottish Government recently imposed a fresh moratorium on fracking.

Mr Crotty said it was happy with the Scottish government’s proposal for public consultation but warned that a long-term ban would be “a major problem for the Scottish economy”.

He denied that recent setbacks for Cuadrilla suggested the tide was turning against shale. “The tide has always been a bit difficult,” he said. “We have a lot of work to do to persuade people this isn’t a Frankenstein monster.”

Mr Crotty said he would not be surprised if a Government announcement on awarding new shale oil and gas exploration licences was delayed until after the general election for political reasons – despite companies having been told to expect the results early this year.

Whitehall and industry sources confirmed a delay was expected.


EPA Chief Gina McCarthy Can't Answer Climate Questions

Gina McCarthy, head of the EPA, can't answer basic questions about global temperatures, climate models or numbers of hurricanes. She didn't know being a global warming zealot requires knowledge of math.

If the science of climate change was "settled," you'd think one of the generals in the war on global warming would have memorized the numbers that point to our planetary doom from a menace the administration says is a greater threat than terrorism.

But McCarthy was asked some pretty simple questions Wednesday at a Senate hearing Wednesday on her request for $8.6 billion to help fight the claimed imminent doom of climate change, and her performance didn't help her case.

One of the questions involved droughts and the claim that their frequency has increased due to warming that is said to be caused by mankind's increased production of greenhouse gas, such as carbon dioxide, the basis for all life on Earth but judged by the EPA to be a pollutant.

"Let me ask you this," said Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., inquired of McCarthy. "There was an article from Mr. (Bjorn) Lomborg ... from the Copenhagen Institute. He says, along with Dr. (Roger) Pielke from Colorado, that we've had fewer droughts in recent years. Do you dispute that?"

The seemingly clueless McCarthy pathetically responded that she didn't "know in what context he's making statements like that." Context? Truth has its own context, and the inconvenient truth that McCarthy wasn't aware of, or didn't want to face, is that Pielke and Lomborg are right.

Pielke, a professor at the University of Colorado, told the Senate environment and public works subcommittee in July 2013 that droughts have "for the most part become shorter, less frequent and cover a smaller portion of the U.S. over the last century." Globally, he said, "there has been little change in drought over the last 60 years."

Sessions also asked McCarthy if we've had more or fewer hurricanes in the last decade. It was another question she said she couldn't answer because "it's a very complicated issue." Well, no, not unless basic math is a complicated issue. Sessions noted that we have in fact gone nearly a decade without a Category 3 storm or higher making landfall in the U.S.

The last hurricane to hit America as a Category 3 or higher was Wilma, which struck Florida on Oct. 24, 2005. Superstorm Sandy had wind speeds barely reaching Category 1 status when it slammed into New Jersey in 2012 and wreaked havoc.


Obama’s Plan Will Kill Jobs, Hike Heating Costs

Any Wisconsinites starting to wonder whether they are living through “The Long Winter,” as described by Laura Ingalls Wilder, will find no comfort in President Obama’s plans to cut the use of our most affordable and reliable sources of energy.

Though we may not be relegated to heating our homes by burning twisted bundles of straw, the president’s plans to restrict use of our most economical fuels will not only increase the costs of driving, heating and lighting, they will reduce incomes and kill jobs. For Wisconsin, it works out to 20,000 fewer manufacturing jobs by 2023.

How so? Natural gas, petroleum and coal provide nearly 80 percent of all energy used in the United States. Despite large subsidy and mandate driven growth rates, wind and solar satisfy only about 2.5 percent of our energy needs and do so at higher cost and with intermittent supply. And therein lies the problem. Eliminating conventional energy makes us pay more and get less. There are no magic wands here.

When energy is more expensive, consumers spend more on it and less on other things. And producers must pay those higher energy costs as well. That raises the costs of lawn mowers, blenders and every other product people may want at the same time those people (i.e., the aforementioned consumers) have less to spend on those things. So, guess what? Fewer lawn mowers and blenders will be sold; and it takes fewer employees to make those lower quantities.

Researchers at The Heritage Foundation used a clone of the Department of Energy’s big energy model and estimated the economic impact of the Obama administration’s broadly stated carbon targets.

What we found is that, for Wisconsin, “fewer” means 20,000 lost manufacturing jobs. And this is after accounting for any increases in jobs manufacturing no-carbon or low-carbon substitutes and any gains from increased energy efficiency that the higher energy prices induce. That 20,000 figure is the net job loss.

There are those who say (however indirectly) that those 20,000 newly unemployed workers need to take one for the team to prevent climate catastrophe. There are a couple of Grand Canyon sized holes in this argument.

First, the associated claims of increasingly extreme weather are not borne out in the data kept by our own National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration nor even by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s data keepers. There just aren’t any upward trends in hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts or floods. Nor is sea-level rise accelerating.

Extreme weather events have been with us since there was us, and they will almost certainly continue regardless of rules from Washington, D.C.

Second, cutting our emissions by even 60 percent (we are not on track for that) would moderate world temperatures by less than a tenth of a degree Celsius by the end of the century. Throw in a 60 percent cut from the rest of the developed world and any increase is cut by less than two-tenths of a degree. So to the 20,000 lost Wisconsin manufacturing jobs add those from the other 49 states, Canada, Japan, all of Western Europe, and the impact still would be an amount nobody could detect without a very accurate thermometer.

If the lost jobs don’t buy us much on the global warming side, wouldn’t we at least get cleaner air? Since CO2 is colorless, odorless and nontoxic (and helpful to plant growth) we need to look at conventional pollution.

The air has gotten cleaner even as energy production has risen dramatically. According to the National Energy Technology Laboratory, modern coal power technology cuts emissions of nitrous oxides by 86 percent, of sulfur dioxides by 98 percent, and of soot by 99.8 percent.

If you want to, go ahead and worry about your own carbon footprint, but let’s not have Washington use its regulatory footprint to stomp out 20,000 manufacturing jobs in Wisconsin for no good reason.



Today, we learn from the New Republic, a delegation of six schoolkids is visiting Washington DC with a view to educating Republican senators including Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz about the reality of global warming.

Let us pause awhile to relish the arrogance, stupidity and frankly borderline child-abusive nature of this ludicrous stunt, cooked up by the hard-left pressure group Avaaz.

One of the kids, Nadia Sheppard, 16 from North Carolina is quoted as saying: “Scientists have noticed that this was a problem for a really long time, like, maybe 20 years ago? Longer than I’ve been alive.”

Yeah, but, like, Nadia, what scientists have also, like, noticed is that there has been no statistically significant warming since 1998, the year before you were born. Does it not strike you as a bit suspicious that the thing you’ve been told by your teachers constitutes the greatest peril of our age – “global warming” – hasn’t actually happened at any stage in your entire existence?

Not that I’m blaming poor Nadia or those other hapless kids who have been dragooned into this stunt. Rather I blame Avaaz – and the broader climate alarmism movement generally – for co-opting innocents like this into their grubby propaganda wars.

Two points worth remembering about kids are a) their frontal lobes haven’t formed so they’re impulsive and irrational and b) the quality of their knowledge is dependent on the quality of their teaching, so if they’ve been taught idiocy then they will spout idiocy.

Later in the article, we learn of a separate poll, commissioned by Avaaz last year, which revealed that of more than a thousand US 12-year-olds polled, 90 per cent responded that climate change is real and “significantly” driven by human activity.

This devastating near-unanimity among America’s prepubescents on the reality of climate change I personally find moving, powerful and hugely persuasive.

I’m now just an opinion poll away from being forced to recognise the error of my ways. So tell us, please, Avaaz because this is really important and we’re dying to know:

Is America’s kitten population similarly convinced of the reality of global warming? And if it is, mightn’t this have the makings of a devastatingly effective media campaign with the potential to go viral like you would not believe?

Just a thought, Avaaz. Feel free to take or leave.


Electric cars won’t save drivers anything, not one single red penny

We have the glorious news today that if only everyone drove electric cars then everyone driving an electric car would save loadsamoney. It isn’t actually true though, electric cars won’t save drivers anything at all, not one single red penny:

Electric cars could cut the UK’s oil imports by 40% and reduce drivers’ fuel bills by £13bn if deployed on a large scale, according to a new study.

An electric vehicle surge would deliver an average £1,000 of fuel savings a year per driver, and spark a 47% drop in carbon emissions by 2030, said the Cambridge Econometrics study.

The paper, commissioned by the European Climate Foundation, said that air pollutants such as nitrogen oxide and particulates would be all but eliminated by mid-century, with knock-on health benefits from reduced respiratory diseases valued at over £1bn.

But enjoying the fruits of a clean vehicle boom will require an infrastructure roll-out soon, as the analysis assumes a deployment of over 6m electric vehicles by 2030 – growing to 23m by 2050 – powered by ambitious amounts of renewable energy.

And who, might we ask, has to pay for that infrastructure? Ah, yes, of course, that’s us, the general taxpayer, isn’t it? So, we’re asked to dig into our pockets to make driving cheaper for other people. And given that it’s not the poor who are going to be buying expensive electric vehicles that’s us, the general taxpayer, subsidising the better off, isn’t it? Not quite the way this is meant to work.

However, there’s another problem with this. Which is that electric cars aren’t going to save drivers any money at all, not in the long term. For petrol driven cars, if petrol were untaxed, are still very much cheaper than electric cars. Sure, for environmental reasons that might mean that a bit of subsidy to get the new technology rolling might be worth it (not that we agree but we’re willing to accept the possibility at least). And that tax on petrol does raise some £27 billion for the Treasury, at least it did last time we looked.

Politicians are not simply going to acquiesce at having £27 billion less of our money a year to play with and dispose of as they wish. Thus, as electric cars become a larger portion of the fleet so taxation of electic cars will rise in order to replace that revenue lost from taxing petrol. That £27 billion is still going to be extracted from drivers whatever else happens.

So given that the savings from electric vehicles are entirely tax driven, and the tax system will not, as soon as the revenue loss becomes noticeable, stay static then we cannot say that the widespread adoption of electic cars will save drivers money.

In fact, given that the electric car untaxed is still more expensive than the petrol car untaxed, yet the political imperative will be to make sure that tax revenues do not fall, we will find out that electric cars cost drivers more than petrol driven. Because, once electric cars become popular, they will have to carry the costs of their inefficiency and also that same tax burden.

This idea that drivers will, in the long term, save money by having electric cars is thus a con. It simply won’t happen: not when politicians so enjoy spending the money they raise through the taxation of driving.



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

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


11 March, 2015

The Warmists are worried

See the big attack on skeptics published in SciAm below.  We skeptics have got Warmists on the defense, a pathetic "ad hominem" defense though it is.  The intellectually respectable way to conduct a debate is to present factual evidence on the issue and reasoning based on that evidence.  Note that today's offering on this blog contains abstracts from two academic journal articles  -- presentations of new facts.  That is lightyears away from what Warmists do.  They attack persons and ignore the climate facts.  Following the article I reproduce some emailed comments from Jim Lakely, Director of Communications at  The Heartland Institute -- JR

Evan Lehman

Before the release this Friday of the documentary "Merchants of Doubt," S. Fred Singer sought the advice of nearly 30 climate skeptics about their chances of halting the movie and whether he should sue Naomi Oreskes, who co-authored the book on which it's based.

"Has she finally gone too far?" asked Singer.

The discussion is outlined in a chain of emails initiated last fall by the 90-year-old physicist, who is featured in the film for his work questioning the amount of influence people have on rising temperatures. His request reached a mix of academics and others who have been mostly antagonistic toward mainstream climate findings. ClimateWire obtained the emails from a source who received them as a forwarded message.

Perhaps the strongest response came from James Enstrom, an epidemiologist who has challenged the science around the health risks of secondhand smoke and particulate air pollution. Enstrom told Singer that he could make "a very strong case" against Oreskes if Singer filed complaints with the universities she's affiliated with.

"I suggest you Attack Oreskes by Filing short Grievances with Harvard and Stanford," Enstrom wrote to Singer on Oct. 21. Oreskes is a professor of scientific history at Harvard University with a doctorate from Stanford University.

"Good thought," Singer responded.

The wider discussion is viewed by some as a window into the network of skeptical scientists, bloggers and conservative think tank scholars who often raise objections to mainstream climate science. The tactics discussed -- like lawsuits and grievances -- reflect previous efforts to constrain critics of Singer and others through legal attacks, or the threat of them, several people involved with the movie say.

"This is part of their intimidation," Oreskes said in an interview. "It's a part about trying to make people frightened that if they do speak up and they do expose what's going on, they'll get attacked. And they will get attacked. I've been attacked."

The documentary is based on her book, "Merchants of Doubt," published in 2010. In it, she outlined the similarities between the political fight around climate change and the earlier debates about whether smoking was dangerous. The effort to fight health problems from smoking was stalled for years. She suggested that a small group of scientists cooperating with think tanks and businesses managed to obscure basic truths about the harms of both. The movie will be released nationally Friday. It's directed by Robert "Robby" Kenner, the creator of the 2008 documentary "Food Inc."

Singer, who cooperated with Kenner to film a scene for the movie, said in an interview with ClimateWire that he has decided not to take legal action against Oreskes or Kenner. It would be too expensive and would require too much of his time, he said. He also ruled out filing grievances against Oreskes with university administrators because "they're just as bad as she is."

Still, Singer has sent mixed signals about his intentions. Last week, he sent a letter to Kenner to raise the possibility of legal action.

"I would prefer to avoid having to go to court; but if we do, we are confident that we will prevail," Singer said in the letter, which suggests that the film treats him maliciously and adds, "it is rather too bad that you got mixed up with Naomi Oreskes."

A 'liar for hire' or an honest skeptic?

The letter was posted on Climate Depot, a website critical of climate science run by Marc Morano, who is featured in the film and was a recipient of Singer's emails last fall.

"I think there's a pattern," Kenner said of Singer's letter in an interview. "It's to come after and try to silence critics and to intimidate. And when [Singer] implies litigation is very expensive, I think it's an attempt to be intimidating."

On the other hand, it might be going too far to suggest that Singer's goal is to stifle his critics if he feels he's been slandered, said Andrew Hoffman, a professor at the University of Michigan who studies the behavior of climate skeptics.

Singer says he believes the movie refers to him as a "liar for hire," though he hasn't seen it. That's false, he said, noting that he believes genuinely that humans have little effect on climate change. He also rejects the idea that he's being paid by fossil fuel companies, apart from an unsolicited $10,000 donation from an Exxon foundation 12 years ago to the Science & Environmental Policy Project, which he founded.

Singer acknowledged that he has "made a lot of money on oil," but it was decades ago, from fees he charged to financial institutions, major corporations like IBM and some oil companies to predict the price of crude using a computer model he created, Singer said. The money wasn't related to research around climate change, he said.

"I'm real sad about this attack, but it's not unexpected," Singer said of the "liar for hire" phrase.

But does the movie say that?

No, said Kenner, who provided a transcript of the scene with Singer to ClimateWire. He and others say it appears to be a phrase created by a media outlet that reviewed the film.

Besides, lying isn't a common tool of skeptical scientists, Oreskes said. These contrarians are generally successful, and trusted by some, in one field or another.

"This isn't about lying," Oreskes said. "This is something much more terrible, in a way. Much more devious. A kind of what we call doubtmongering."

"I never said that anyone was lying, and I never would say that," she added. "But this is part of the strategy, too. These people put words in other people's mouths, and then they act all outraged about it, and they spread the claim that you said something that you never said. And then they threaten to sue you for it."

Singer supporters slam 'Merchants of Smear'

Oreskes has an example in mind.

Singer filed a libel suit in the early 1990s against Justin Lancaster, a climate researcher at the University of California, San Diego, who claimed that Singer had taken advantage of his mentor and colleague, Roger Revelle, a noted climate scientist, in the months before Revelle's death.

Singer approached Revelle a month before his triple bypass heart surgery to cooperate on a journal article that downplayed the urgency of addressing climate change. It marked a reversal for Revelle, who supported policies to reduce greenhouse gases and was a mentor to former Vice President Al Gore. The paper roiled the climate debate as Gore's opponents highlighted it to raise questions about the certainty of warming.

But Revelle missed the debate. He died in July 1991 and was unable to shed light on Lancaster's assertions that Singer had pressured Revelle into co-authoring the paper in his weakened state after surgery. So Lancaster accused Singer of acting unethically, and Singer sued. Lancaster eventually settled the suit and entered a yearslong gag period.

He would later say the settlement was one of his biggest regrets. And he accused Singer, in even stronger terms, of pressuring Revelle to cooperate.

"It was one of the worst things I ever did, was to give him a retraction," Lancaster said in an interview. "I did it to try to save my marriage."

Singer frequently points to his success with that case. He raised it in his letter to Kenner and in his emails last fall.

"The lawsuit was not filed to intimidate," Singer said in the interview. "It was filed because what Lancaster suggested was that I faked the participation of Roger Revelle as a co-author. That's completely untrue. We have a complete retraction and an apology."

In his October emails, Singer reaches out to some of the most recognizable opponents of mainstream climate science and policies, including Willie Soon, Patrick Michaels, Anthony Watts, Steven Milloy, Joe Bastardi and Joe Bast.

An English climate change denier, Christopher Monckton, viscount of Brenchley, responded to Singer's request for advice by saying he would "draft the complaint" for a lawsuit, but Singer never followed up.

"In every way, they have bent the science," Monckton said of mainstream scientists and the filmmakers. "And having bent the science and not convinced anybody, not even themselves really, they're not simply resorting to the fallback position which Hitler and Goebbels on the left did, which Mao Tse-tung and Pol Pot did, and of course ... Stalin and Lenin did, and that is smear."

"So this film should really be called 'Merchants of Smear,'" he added.

The pre-release controversy around the movie provides more than just a glimpse into the stormy messaging strategies on climate change. It also promotes the film. But does it help convey the facts?

Hoffman, of the University of Michigan, says tit-for-tats between mainstream and contrarian researchers tend to raise the profile of skeptical scientists, despite their relatively small number. He pointed to the recent inquiries undertaken by Democratic members of Congress, who want the identity of donors who help fund skeptical academics, as an advantage for those who challenge climate science.

"Frankly, this degradation benefits the skeptics," Hoffman said.


Below are some emailed comments on the article above from Jim Lakely, Director of Communications, The Heartland Institute

This entire article is projection. It's like Bizarro world. Everything is opposite of the truth and actually applicable to the warmists, not skeptics.

It is obvious that Evan Lehman somehow got a very meaty email thread some months ago, and was waiting until the debut of the “Merchants of Doubt” movie to spring it on the world. We should be prepared for this not being the end of “revelations” from our frank and private email exchanges.

And this is for Evan, whom I can only assume will get word of this email: Your headline, subhead, and lead says skeptics are going to fight back by filing lawsuits against Oreskes and the makers of the "Merchants of Doubt" movie. But you wait until Paragraph 10 to reveal the truth: No lawsuits are forthcoming. Nice work. Your MSM credentials are intact.

Aside from that, Evan, you've missed three real scoops:

(1) There is a publicly funded “professor at the University of Michigan who studies the behavior of climate skeptics”? Why doesn't the public know more about this taxpayer-funded professor who wastes so much time studying the “3 percent” of skeptics — especially if the the other “97 percent” consensus has already won the public debate and the “science is settled”? Might want to ask that of Andrew Hoffman, and then do a series of stories about why the “minority” argument is so compelling that a taxpayer-funded professor examines it so closely.

(2) You have Oreskes on the record denying that the entire thesis of her book — and of this movie — is that climate “skeptics” are paid by fossil fuel companies to lie about what is happening to the earth's climate. If so, she needs to put in a call to the marketers of her book, this movie, and everyone she has ever spoken to in the media to run corrections. The entire media push for her book and this movie — and the coordinated attack on Dr. Soon, Dr. Pielke, Dr. Curry, Morano, Heartland, etc. — is that we are all “paid liars.” The truth is that all the money flows to the other side, and the skeptics are the honest ones.

(3) Hoffman claims that, “frankly, this degradation benefits the skeptics.” Why would that be. Evan? Could it be that some alarmist scientists — who believe in their models as faithfully as a Christian believes in prayer — are having second thoughts about starting a Climate Inquisition? Could it be that the science is on the side of the of the “skeptics,” whom Oreskes and the filmmakers are calling liars, i.e. heretics? Could it be that the overreach of leftist priests in Congress — Grijalva, Markey, Boxer, Whitehouse, et. al. — has alerted the public to the fact that the heretics might be on to something, and their presentation of the actual data deserves an honest shake in the mainstream media?

Again, this for Evan: Scoops #1, #2, and #3 deserve your attention. You might lose some esteem among your fellow “mainstream” climate reporters for exploring them, but that should be made up in spades by the warm feeling of journalistic integrity that comes to any honest reporter.

Senator on Climate Change: ‘Put an International Price on Carbon’

LOL!  The chances of getting even a national price seem nil, let alone an international price.  Australia once had a Left-enacted carbon price but the effects were so unpopular that it brought down the government concerned and was abolished by the incoming conservative government

Democratic Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse called for an international price on carbon as a way to combat climate change, which he said is the most important issue in need of bipartisan support in Congress.

“The thing that’s going to hit us in the long run is going to be climate change and right now it’s an issue that Republicans just haven’t been able to deal with at all. And I hope that as the public moves and as the evidence builds up that they will find a way to free themselves to deal with it because we badly, badly need to take action. The world is looking to us and the consequences if we get it wrong will not be good for a nation that leads by the power of its example,” said Whitehouse after being recognized at the Friends of National Service Awards reception held by Voices for National Service.

President Obama pledged $3 billion in aid for an international fund to help developing countries fight climate change.

Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Budget Committee, said the U.S. must do more to get other nations to act.

“I think that the best solution and the most economically effective solution is to put an international price on carbon so that the markets can work correctly and there’s not this huge built-in subsidy to the polluting fuels. Getting there is going to require U.S. leadership and I hope a general agreement can be reached this winter in Paris,” he said.

Whitehouse was asked if a price on carbon could hurt the economy in any way.

“Well, if the money were just mailed away to Mars, yeah, that would probably hurt the economy. But if you put the money straight back into the economy through lower tax rates particularly, then the economy has the same amount of money and I think what you would find is the tax reductions spurred activity and the money that went back to regular workers was spent in the economy more quickly than extra returns to these big multinational corporations,” he responded.

“So, I would think that a proper, what they call revenue-neutral carbon fee, would actually kick up economic activity and be a net plus and there’s a fair amount of, even very conservative economic analysis, to support that view.”


New paper finds large calculation errors of solar radiation at the top of the atmosphere in climate models

A new paper published in Geophysical Research Letters finds astonishingly large errors in the most widely used 'state of the art' climate models due to incorrect calculation of solar radiation and the solar zenith angle at the top of the atmosphere.

According to the authors:

"Annual incident solar radiation at the top of atmosphere (TOA) should be independent of longitudes. However, in many Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) models, we find that the incident radiation exhibited zonal oscillations, with up to 30 W/m2 of spurious variations. This feature can affect the interpretation of regional climate and diurnal variation of CMIP5 results."

The alleged radiative forcing from all man-made CO2 generated since 1750 is claimed by the IPCC to be 1.68 W/m2. By way of comparison, the up to 30 W/m2 of "spurious variations" from incorrect calculation of solar zenith angle discovered by the authors is up to 18 times larger than the total alleged CO2 forcing since 1750.

Why wasn't this astonishing, large error of basic astrophysical calculations caught billions of dollars ago, and how much has this error affected the results of all modeling studies in the past?

The paper adds to hundreds of others demonstrating major errors of basic physics inherent in the so-called 'state of the art' climate models, including violations of the second law of thermodynamics. In addition, even if the "parameterizations" (a fancy word for fudge factors) in the models were correct (and they are not), the grid size resolution of the models would have to be 1mm or less to properly simulate turbulent interactions and climate (the IPCC uses grid sizes of 50-100 kilometers, 6 orders of magnitude larger). As Dr. Chris Essex points out, a supercomputer would require longer than the age of the universe to run a single 10 year climate simulation at the required 1mm grid scale necessary to properly model the physics of climate.


On the Incident Solar Radiation in CMIP5 Models

Linjiong Zhou et al.


Annual incident solar radiation at the top of atmosphere (TOA) should be independent of longitudes. However, in many Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) models, we find that the incident radiation exhibited zonal oscillations, with up to 30 W/m2 of spurious variations. This feature can affect the interpretation of regional climate and diurnal variation of CMIP5 results. This oscillation is also found in the Community Earth System Model (CESM). We show that this feature is caused by temporal sampling errors in the calculation of the solar zenith angle. The sampling error can cause zonal oscillations of surface clear-sky net shortwave radiation of about 3 W/m2 when an hourly radiation time step is used, and 24 W/m2 when a 3-hour radiation time step is used.

SOURCE  (See the original for links)

Bad health effects of wind turbines

An interesting research report below.  The researchers even felt the bad effects personally

Wind Turbine Acoustic Investigation: Infrasound and Low-Frequency Noise—A Case Study

By Stephen E. Ambrose et al.


Wind turbines produce sound that is capable of disturbing local residents and is reported to cause annoyance, sleep disturbance, and other health-related impacts. An acoustical study was conducted to investigate the presence of infrasonic and low-frequency noise emissions from wind turbines located in Falmouth, Massachusetts, USA. During the study, the investigating acousticians experienced adverse health effects consistent with those reported by some Falmouth residents. The authors conclude that wind turbine acoustic energy was found to be greater than or uniquely distinguishable from the ambient background levels and capable of exceeding human detection thresholds. The authors emphasize the need for epidemiological and laboratory research by health professionals and acousticians concerned with public health and well-being to develop effective and precautionary setback distances for industrial wind turbines that protect residents from wind turbine sound.


Solar Power Propaganda vs. The Real World

When a former “senior communications official at the White House” writes a blog post for U.S. News and World Report, you should be able to trust it. But when the author states that the Keystone pipeline would create only 19 weeks of temporary jobs, everything else he says must be suspect—including the claim that our “energy infrastructure will be 100 percent solar by 2030.”

Both a union representative and one from TransCanada—the company behind the Keystone pipeline—affirmed that the 19-week timeframe was total fantasy. The portion of the Keystone pipeline that remains to be built is 1179 miles long. Construction should take two years.

The premise of the blog post is that we shouldn’t look at Keystone as a jobs creator. Instead, the author claims, the jobs are in “solar energy disruption.” He is frustrated that “GOP leaders almost universally ignore or disdain this emerging energy economy.”

He states: “A third of all new electric generation in 2014 came from solar.”

This may be true but, as you’ll see, it belies several important details. Plenty of cause exists for Republican lawmakers to “disdain” the growth in renewable energy.

First, efficient and effective coal-fueled electricity that has provided the bulk of America’s power is being prematurely shut down by regulations promulgated by the Obama administration. It is virtually impossible to get a new coal-fueled power plant permitted in the U.S. Even natural gas-powered plants meet with resistance. And, of course, just try to build a nuclear power plant and all the fear-mongers come out.

What’s left? Renewables, such as wind and solar, receive favorable treatment through a combination of mandates and subsidies.

The brand new report, Solar Power in the U.S. (SPUS), presents a comprehensive look at the impacts of solar power on the nation’s consumers.

We’ve seen companies, such as Solyndra, Abound Solar, and Evergreen Solar, go bankrupt even with millions of dollars in state and federal (taxpayer) assistance. I’ve written extensively on these stories and that of Abengoa—which received the largest federal loan guarantee ($2.8 billion) and has resorted to questionable business practices to keep the doors open.

SPUS shows that without the subsidies and mandates these renewable projects would do dark. For example, in Australia, sales of solar systems “fell as soon as the incentives were cut back.” Since the Australian government announced that it was reconsidering its Renewable Energy Targets, “investments have started to dry up.”

Knowing the importance of the “incentives,” the solar industry has now become a major campaign donor, providing political pressure and money to candidates, who will bring on more mandates, subsidies, and tax credits. Those candidates are generally Democrats, as one of the key differences between the two parties is that Democrats tend to support government involvement. By contrast, Republicans lean toward limited government and the free market. The GOP doesn’t “disdain” solar, but they know it only survives because of government mandates that require a certain percentage of renewables, and specifically solar, in the energy mix, plus the subsidies and tax credits that make it attractive. Therefore, they can’t get excited about the jobs being created as a result of taxpayers’ involuntary investment, nor higher energy costs. There is a big difference between disdaining solar power and disdaining the government involvement that gives it an unfair advantage in the marketplace.

The blog post compares the “solar energy disruption” to what “occurred when direcTV and Dish started to compete with cable television. More choices emerged and a whole lot of new jobs were created.” However, those jobs were created through private investment and the free market—a fact that, along with solar’s dependence on incentives, he never mentions.

SPUS draws upon the example of Germany, which has led the way globally in renewables. Over time the campaign has contributed to residential electricity prices more than doubling. Renewables receive favored status, called “priority dispatch,” which means that, when renewable electricity becomes available, the utilities must dispatch it first, thereby changing the merit order for thermal plants. Now, many modern power plants couldn’t operate profitably and, as a result, some were shut down, while others were provided “capacity payments” in order to stay online as back-up—maintaining system stability. In Germany’s push for 80 percent renewable energy by 2050, it has found that despite the high penetration of renewables, given their inherent intermittency, a large amount of redundancy of coal- and natural-gas-fueled electricity (nuclear being decommissioned) is necessary to maintain the reliability of the grid.

As the German experience makes clear, without a major technological breakthrough to store electricity generated through solar systems, “100 percent solar by 2030” is just one more fantasy.

The blog post ends with this: “the GOP congressional leadership ignores these new jobs … in favor of a vanishingly small number of mythical Keystone ‘jobs’ that may never materialize. It makes you wonder. Why?”

The answers can be found in SPUS, which addresses the policy, regulatory, and consumer protection issues that have manifested themselves through the rapid rise of solar power and deals with many more elements than covered here. It concludes: “Solar is an important part of our energy future, but there must be forethought, taking into account future costs, jobs, energy reliability and the overall energy infrastructure already in place. This technology must come online with the needs of the taxpayer, consumer and ratepayer in mind instead of giving the solar industry priority.”


Retired professor turns whistleblower on climate change

While much of the debate over climate change surrounds whether or not it is occurring, one glaciologist and retired professor says the real issue is that the topic is being used as a political pawn to siphon money and votes.

Dr. Terry Hughes, in an interview with The College Fix, said researchers want to keep federal funding for climate change alive, and politicians want to earn environmentalist votes, and both predict global pandemonium to that end.

Hughes, a professor emeritus of earth sciences and climate change at the University of Maine, said for years his colleagues urged him to be in lockstep with former Vice President Al Gore – “the drum major in the parade denouncing global warming as an unmitigated disaster,” he told The College Fix.

But Hughes – who believes global warming is actually a good thing because more carbon dioxide is good for the environment in many ways – said he does not want to march to that beat.

“Too many (the majority) of climate research scientists are quite willing to prostitute their science by giving these politicians what they want,” he said.

Hughes – who worked for 35 years at the Department of Earth Sciences and the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine – said climate cycles overlap with election cycles, which helps politicians “get electoral visibility by pounding the panic drums.”

But what he wants people to understand is that climate change researchers and politicians collude to create fear of a disaster that will never happen.

“You will never read or hear any of this from the scientific and political establishments,” he said. “I’m now retired, so I have no scientific career to protect by spreading lies.”

Among Hughes’ theories, he said he believes the desire to continue the climate change arguments has a “racist” component to it. His evidence? A 1974 National Security Study Memorandum written by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

“NSSM 200 states that American economic supremacy can be maintained only if U.S. foreign policy is aimed at reducing the non-white population worldwide,” he said. “We need their natural resources to maintain our standard of living.”

Hughes said the U.S. has carried out that policy successfully by supporting the one-child policy in China, and also accuses the government of “targeting aborting baby girls using ultrasound technology that is rampant in both China and India, the two countries producing the most atmospheric carbon dioxide by far.”

Hughes, who is now retired, does not fear backlash.

Hughes told The College Fix that he has sent copies of his arguments to his former colleagues at the University of Maine and at NASA. Most of them “probably disagree,” he said, but added that they all receive funding for climate research.

According to a retirement announcement from the University of Maine’s human resources department, “Dr. Hughes is an internationally renowned glaciologist who pioneered many of the modern ideas currently under study in the field. Not least of these is the current understanding of how massive ice sheets collapse and how important future collapse of portions of the Antarctic ice sheet will be to future sea level rise – a concept now commonly referred to as ‘the soft weak underbelly’ of Antarctica.”

Ironically, the notice goes on to state that “many of his most ‘outlandish’ scientific contributions may not even be appreciated for years to come.”

His reasons for why global warming is a good thing, Hughes told the Capital Journal, is that “atmospheric CO2 would greatly increase agricultural production,” “thawing permafrost would increase by one-seventh Earth’s landmass open to extensive human habitation,” and “if the sea level did rise, there would be a global economic boom,” among other arguments.



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


10 March, 2015

German Physical Chemistry Scientist On Proof Of CO2 Forcing: “Measurements Show Exact Opposite”

A recent publication in Nature purported it had finally detected the radiative forcing of increasing atmospheric CO2.

German physical chemist Dr. Siegfried Dittrich slams the media’s assertions of proof that CO2 was guilty of the warming, claiming they are faulty and that they were passed on uncritically

Once again a big war-dance is made out of a minute temperature change of only 3 hundredths of one degree Celsius, a change that is well within natural variation.  See here for a previous mention of the matter on this blog

‘The real guilt by CO2 for the greenhouse gas effect is finally proven.’ This was the subheading of a DPA release appearing at FOCUS Online on 27 February.

Later in the text it is written: ‘For the first time we are seeing the enhancement of the greenhouse effect in nature’, and at the Hamburg-based Max Planck Institute for Meteorology it was gleefully added that finally also the magnitude of the anthropogenic impact has become visible.

It all goes back to the latest surface radiation measurements recently published in an essay in Nature (details here and here). However no one seems to have noticed that the measurements actually showed the exact opposite of what is claimed to have been proven above, namely nothing other than what serious climate critics have always been saying about anthropogenic greenhouse effect.

The number for the increase in CO2-dependent back radiation given by Nature of 0.2 watt/m2 per decade is indeed in reality nothing more than trifle. Why would the earth be shocked when 1367 watts per square meter strikes the surface at noon along the equator? The ever-changing deviations from this so-called solar constant mean value are in fact considerably greater than the above given 0.2 watts/m2.

According to the IPCC, the surface radiative forcing increase in the event of a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration is exactly 3.7 Watt/m2, a figure that has been independently confirmed on multiple occasions. Over the last decade the atmospheric CO2 concentration increased some 20 parts per million. Currently it stands at about 400 ppm. Here any undergraduate student is able to compute that the resulting surface radiative forcing increase is approximately 0.2 watt/m2, which has been confirmed by the above mentioned measurements.

Also the resulting global temperature increase can be computed using one of the IPCC equations, which also can be derived from the Stefan-Boltzmann radiation law.

In Nature it is expressly remarked that the measured difference in surface radiative forcing of 0.2 watt/m2 is solely for cloud-free zones on earth. With an average 40% cloud cover and a 30% overlap between the present water vapor and CO2 absorption spectrum, the above calculated temperature value gets reduced from 0.06°C to 0.03°C. Here in reality we are talking about an effect that is barely measureable, and one that has no dramatic impact when combined with the fictional water vapor amplification, which incidentally the superfluous ‘Energiewende’ is based on ad absurdum. It is more than regrettable that FOCUS uncritically passed on these misinterpretations. A correction should be made immediately.


Biden: Climate skepticism ‘like denying gravity’

In that case demonstrate it as easily as one can demonstrate gravity.  Joe never was the sharpest knife in the drawer

Vice President Joe Biden blasted climate change skeptics like Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), saying their opinion is akin to denying gravity.

In an interview the HBO series “Vice” released Friday in advance of the premiere of its third season, Biden said it’s increasingly difficult for climate skeptics to intelligently argue their case.

“I think it’s close to mindless. I think it’s like, you know, almost like denying gravity now,” Biden told host Shane Smith when he asked about Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and a high-profile skeptic who called climate change “the greatest hoax” perpetrated on mankind.
“The willing suspension of disbelief can only be sustained so long,” he continued. “The expression my dad used to always use is ‘reality has a way of intruding.’”

Nearly all congressional Republicans agree with Inhofe that greenhouse gases caused by human activity has little or no effect on the climate.

But Inhofe has deliberately been very vocal about the issue. Last month, for example, he threw a snowball on the Senate floor, arguing that the “very unseasonable” cold weather serves is evidence against the scientific consensus that humans are causing global warming.

Biden said 2012’s Superstorm Sandy, and its impact in New York, helps make the case for human-caused climate change.

“All of the sudden, people who were saying it couldn’t happen, they’re now knowing, they have to plan for another one of these storms, and another, and another, and another,” he said.

He also pointed to make financial institutions like Goldman Sachs who are accounting for climate change in their finances.

“When the financial institutions of America began to price in the cost of carbon for the cost of doing business, you know it’s reality.


Merchants of censorship plugging the same old lies

A new documentary shows how a "professional class of deceivers" has been paid by the fossil fuel industry to cast doubt on the science of climate change, in an effort akin to that from the tobacco industry, which for decades used deceitful tactics to deny the scientific evidence that cigarettes are harmful to human health. The film, Merchants of Doubt, explores how many of the same people that once lobbied on behalf of the tobacco industry are now employed in the climate denial game.

An infamous 1969 memo from a tobacco executive read: "Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the 'body of fact' that exists in the minds of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy." Using similar tactics, a very small set of people have had immense influence in sowing doubt on the scientific consensus of manmade climate change in recent years.

Merchants of Doubt features five prominent climate science deniers who have been particularly influential in deceiving the public and blocking climate action. Their financial connections to the fossil fuel industry are not hard to uncover. Yet major U.S. television networks -- CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, ABC, CBS, and PBS -- have given most of these deniers prominent exposure over the past several years.

Now that these Merchants of Doubt have been exposed, the major cable and network news programs need to keep them off the airwaves, a sentiment echoed by Forecast the Facts, which recently launched a petition demanding that news directors do just that.


Silencing skeptics – financing alarmists

Will Congress and media examine government, environmentalist and university alarmist funding?

Paul Driessen

Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA), other senators and Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) recently sent letters to institutions that employ or support climate change researchers whose work questions claims that Earth and humanity face unprecedented manmade climate change catastrophes.

The letters allege that the targeted researchers may have “conflicts of interest” or may not have fully disclosed corporate funding sources. They say such researchers may have testified before congressional committees, written articles or spoken at conferences, emphasizing the role of natural forces in climate change, or questioning evidence and computer models that emphasize predominantly human causes.

Mr. Grijalva asserts that disclosure of certain information will “establish the impartiality of climate research and policy recommendations” published in the institutions’ names and help Congress make better laws. “Companies with a direct financial interest in climate and air quality standards are funding environmental research that influences state and federal regulations and shapes public understanding of climate science.” These conflicts need to be made clear, because members of Congress cannot perform their duties if research or testimony is “influenced by undisclosed financial relationships,” it says.

The targeted institutions are asked to reveal their policies on financial disclosure; drafts of testimony before Congress or agencies; communications regarding testimony preparation; and sources of “external funding,” including consulting and speaking fees, research grants, honoraria, travel expenses and other monies – for any work that questions the manmade climate cataclysm catechism.

Conflicts of interest can indeed pose problems. However, it is clearly not only fossil fuel companies that have major financial or other interests in climate and air quality standards – nor only manmade climate change skeptics who can have conflicts and personal, financial or institutional interests in these issues.

Renewable energy companies want to perpetuate the mandates, subsidies and climate disruption claims that keep them solvent. Insurance companies want to justify higher rates, to cover costs from allegedly rising seas and more frequent or intense storms. Government agencies seek bigger budgets, more personnel, more power and control, more money for grants to researchers and activist groups that promote their agendas and regulations, and limited oversight, transparency and accountability for their actions. Researchers and organizations funded by these entities naturally want the financing to continue.

You would therefore expect that these members of Congress would send similar letters to researchers and institutions on the other side of this contentious climate controversy. But they did not, even though climate alarmism is embroiled in serious financial, scientific, ethical and conflict of interest disputes.

As Dr. Richard Lindzen, MIT atmospheric sciences professor emeritus and one of Grijalva’s targets, has pointed out: “Billions of dollars have been poured into studies supporting climate alarm, and trillions of dollars have been involved in overthrowing the energy economy” – and replacing it with expensive, inefficient, insufficient, job-killing, environmentally harmful wind, solar and biofuel sources.

Their 1090 forms reveal that, during the 2010-2012 period, six environmentalist groups received a whopping $332 million from six federal agencies! That is 270 times what Dr. Willie Soon and Harvard-Smithsonian’s Center for Astrophysics received from fossil fuel companies in a decade – the funding that supposedly triggered the lawmakers’ letters, mere days after Greenpeace launched its attack on Dr. Soon.

The EPA, Fish & Wildlife Service, NOAA, USAID, Army and State Department transferred this taxpayer money to Environmental Defense, Friends of the Earth, Nature Conservancy, Natural Resource Defense Council, National Wildlife Fund and Clean Air Council, for research, reports, press releases and other activities that support and promote federal programs and agendas on air quality, climate change, climate impacts on wildlife, and many similar topics related to the Obama war on fossil fuels. The activists also testified before Congress and lobbied intensively behind the scenes on these issues.

Between 2000 and 2013, EPA also paid the American Lung Association well over $20 million, and lavished over $180 million on its Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee members, to support agency positions. Chesapeake energy gave the Sierra Club $26 million to advance its Beyond Coal campaign. Russia gave generously to anti-fracking, climate change and related “green” efforts.

Government agencies and laboratories, universities and other organizations have received billions of taxpayer dollars, to develop computer models, data and reports confirming alarmist claims. Abundant corporate money has also flowed to researchers who promote climate alarms and keep any doubts to themselves. Hundreds of billions went to renewable energy companies, many of which went bankrupt. Wind and solar companies have been exempted from endangered species laws, to protect them against legal actions for destroying wildlife habitats, birds and bats. Full disclosure? Rarely, if ever.

In gratitude and to keep the money train on track, many of these recipients contribute hefty sums to congressional candidates. During his recent primary and general campaign, for example, Senator Markey received $3.8 million from Harvard and MIT professors, government unions, Tom Steyer and a dozen environmentalist groups (including recipients of some of that $332 million in taxpayer funds), in direct support and via advertisements opposing candidates running against the champion of disclosure.

As to the ethics of climate disaster researchers, and the credibility of their models, data and reports, ClimateGate emails reveal that researchers used various “tricks” to mix datasets and “hide the decline” in average global temperatures since 1998; colluded to keep skeptical scientific papers out of peer-reviewed journals; deleted potentially damaging or incriminating emails; and engaged in other practices designed to advance manmade climate change alarms. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change based many of its most notorious disappearing ice cap, glacier and rainforest claims on student papers, magazine articles, emails and other materials that received no peer review. The IPCC routinely tells its scientists to revise their original studies to reflect Summaries for Policymakers written by politicians and bureaucrats.

Yet, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy relies almost entirely on this junk science to justify her agency’s policies – and repeats EPA models and hype on extreme weather, refusing to acknowledge that not one Category 3-5 hurricane has made U.S. landfall for a record 9.3 years. Her former EPA air quality and climate czar John Beale is in prison for fraud, and the agency has conducted numerous illegal air pollution experiments on adults and even children – and then ignored their results in promulgating regulations.

Long-time IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri has resigned in disgrace, after saying manmade climate change is “my religion, my dharma” (principle of the cosmic order), rather than a matter for honest, quality science and open, robust debate. The scandals go on and on: see here, here, here, here and here.

It’s no wonder support for job and economy-killing carbon taxes and regulations is at rock bottom. And not one bit surprising that alarmists refuse to debate realist scientists: the “skeptics” would eviscerate their computer models, ridiculous climate disaster claims, and “adjusted” or fabricated evidence.

Instead, alarmists defame scientists who question their mantra of “dangerous manmade climate change.” The Markey and Grijalva letters “convey an unstated but perfectly clear threat: Research disputing alarm over the climate should cease, lest universities that employ such individuals incur massive inconvenience and expense – and scientists holding such views should not offer testimony to Congress,” Professor Lindzen writes. They are “a warning to any other researcher who may dare question in the slightest their fervently held orthodoxy of anthropogenic global warming,” says Dr. Soon. Be silent, or perish.

Now the White House is going after Members of Congress! Its new Climate-Change-Deniers website wants citizens to contact and harass senators and congressmen who dare to question its climate diktats.

Somehow, though, Markey, Grijalva, et al. have not evinced any interest in investigating any of this. The tactics are as despicable and destructive as the junk science and anti-energy policies of climate alarmism. It is time to reform the IPCC and EPA, and curtail this climate crisis insanity.

Via email

The coming of global cooling

by Theodore White, astrometeorologist

As the Sun nears to begin its Grand Minimum, I have been warning and forecasting for years the coming of global cooling - a true danger to the Earth and its inhabitants.

This, as the madness of those who claim such an impossible thing as 'man-made global warming' go on and on in their arrogance as they perpetuate the impossible as if it is a given with their silly statements that the 'science is settled.'

Total horse manure.  What will happen is this:

After the warm years of 2015 and 2016 pass with the final two years of solar-forced global warming, the pundits will act as if the trace gas known as carbon dioxide will cause the Earth to forever 'warm' and the oceans to rise with all their gloom and doom on the Earth 'becoming a greenhouse' - which is literally impossible due to the laws of physics that govern the Earth climate.

It is the Sun that is the cause of global warming, global cooling and everything else in between.

The planets modulate the Sun's many rays, and all the indications - every single last one of them that I have calculated - point to one thing and that is global cooling.

It is coming for certain and I have been warning those who will listen to the truth of the entire matter of climate change.

As global cooling officially arrives in mid-December 2017, the years going into the early 2020s will see a major ENSO of the cold phase, called La Nina,' which I have forecasted will arrive in the winter of 2021-2022, and which will be a MAJOR event in the northern hemisphere. It will be preceded by a brutal winter season in the southern hemisphere as well.

The climate change will be abrupt, as it gets colder far faster than it can warm, and as we go into the year 2020 the pundits will be at a total loss to explain how the cooler seasons and colder temperatures are happening so quickly.

Remember that those pundits, those who have gone on and on for years blaming humanity for 'global warming,' will not be there to help you during the three decade long plus era of global cooling.

Already the Antarctic is gearing up for global cooling, and in the Arctic, since 2010, the jet streams have begun their shift from a east/west flow to one that is becoming increasingly north to south.

That is the reason for the polar vortices that are going to become ever more frequent and common as fierce cold temperatures plunges down into the mid-latitudes and further south.

By the end of the first La Nina of the global cooling era, there will be far fewer loud mouths going on and on about how humans are 'warming' the planet as many people will pray for warmer temperatures, but that warmth will not arrive.

Rather, it will get colder still and colder and colder - all during the 2020s, the 2030s and the 2040s. By the late 2020s, when it will have become obvious to all but the truly stupid that global cooling is indeed in effect, the world will be a different place than it is right now.


The entire planet will be affected by the drop in temperatures as the Sun enters its Grand Minimum cycle.

The seasons of fall, winter and spring will be colder and wetter in many regions, while drought will become more common in other regions that suffer from ground soil that remains colder and lacking in nutrients.

The summer seasons will also be cooler, with more cloud cover and wetter days. Expect warmer temperatures to be pushed further into late August and September, rather than in June and July and early August.

Blasting storms in winter and spring will mean much more snow and ice storms - this will make the winter seasons longer (six months) as opposed to the usual three months.

Of course, this will affect crop yields as the latitude lines for the growth of crops like canola, corn, soybeans and wheat will fall further south, and even in southern regions it will be cooler and cloudier than normal.

The use of energy, and this is where it gets really odd, will mean that those who are freezing will turn to burning as much carbon (coal, wood) as possible.

You see, those big loud months who said that "warm is bad" will indeed burn as much carbon as is possible to stay warm.

You can see the hypocrisy of these people who claim that 'warm-is-bad as they eat their food warm, drink their warm coffees and vacation in warm locales - all the while; going on and on about how 'warm-is-bad.'

Expect the next 36 years, counting from solar year 2017, as the global cooling era. So much time has been wasted on the lie of 'man-made global warming,' that is too late for many to prepare for it on the scale of making a difference. Far too much time has been simply thrown away preparing for global cooling on the outright lie of 'man-made global warming.'

This means, of course, that it is up to individuals and small groups and organizations to begin to make preparations. Those who laugh at your preparation now will be the very same ones crying cold and icy tears as global cooling rages on worldwide.


Australia rates a zero as Big Solar booms around the world

Well-done, Australia!

Figures released on Friday by utility solar analysts show that global capacity of utility-scale PV generating capacity at the end of 2014 reached 35.9GW.

The data shows that new plant commissioned during the year totalled 14.2 GW, almost doubling the record of 7.4 GW set the previous year – and equal to the entire installed capacity up to the end of 2012.

Worldwide utility-scale photovoltaic power generation is now fairly evenly split between the three leading continents; Asia, Europe and North America. 2014 is the first year when Africa and South America started to show meaningful contributions.

But where is Australia? Every continent increased its volume compared to 2013 – except Australia, which rates zeros on new annual capacity and cumulative operating capacity. (Actually, on cumulative capacity it would rate at 30MW – the Royalla and Greenough River solar plants – but that is 0.03GW, and Wiki-Solar only goes one decimal point).

“Even Europe returned to growth, after declines in 2012 and 2013,” said Wiki-Solar founder Philip Wolfe.

“Performance at the national level is however more variable. Europe’s resurgence – after the 2012 policy changes in the traditional powerhouse of Germany – has been fuelled mainly by a buoyant British market.”

Wiki-Solar predicts that the UK will this month leapfrog India, and maybe even Germany, to become the world’s third or fourth largest market; driven by a flood of projects racing to beat legislative changes. The country then risks following other European markets into a period of stagnation.

Meanwhile Germany is trialling a new approach to utility-scale solar, which may see growth re-starting in coming years.

“Only the US, China and India can claim consistent longer-term growth”, says Wolfe; though he believes that the drivers in countries like Chile, Japan and Canada look relatively stable.

“I am hoping they too will become sustainable markets for the industry.”



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


9 March, 2015

Britain's wackiest political party

The Greens like to do things differently. One of their deputy leaders had just blown a few billion pounds more from their wish-list budget when the chairwoman – who could hardly be seen in her green jumper against the vast green background – announced an ‘attunement’.

This turned out to be a reflective – and to my mind rather long – minute’s silence. ‘It’s incredibly successful if people get stressed,’ explained our host, although several people around me merely used the pause to check social media on their smartphones.

Welcome to the world of Britain’s wackiest political party, on display this weekend at its spring conference in Liverpool.

There is something mildly amusing about a party that insists on meditative breaks, has a keynote speaker identified as ‘a non-binary person from Belarus’ and chairwomen who say things like: ‘I would like to hear from someone who does not identify as a man.’

And a party that uses such a contorted form of internal democracy it ends up with daft policies to ban most cars and seriously debates proposals to extend human rights to all animals.

Yet this is currently the country’s most successful political party, attracting 100 recruits a day from people dismayed by traditional party politics. Bizarrely, the duffest interviews given by its bumbling leader Natalie Bennett only drive up membership.

Joining the hundreds of enthusiastic delegates – a mixture of grizzly bearded hippies, elderly ideologues, earnest young recruits and well-spoken women in charity shop chic – offered fresh insight into what is now the third biggest party in England and Wales. They proclaim the politics of the future.

Yet much of the time it felt like I had stumbled into an Alan Bennett sketch filled with middle-class people munching on non-meat sandwiches as they debated how to save a world wrecked by austerity, bankers and Conservatives.

Many of these new members – half of whom voted Liberal Democrat at the last Election – are young people inspired by the idea of reshaping politics. They were given special badges declaring their status and enthusiastically snapped up green T-shirts on sale.

Presumably they were not the people targeted in a seminar explaining how to use email.

Yet for all these new recruits rushing around excitedly, there were also the same old stalls offering vegan recipes for raspberry cake, T-shirts emblazoned with ‘Still Hate Thatcher’ and angry leaflets denouncing the monarchy.

On one, I found Jon Liebling, a friendly 47-year-old dancer promoting the medicinal use of cannabis. He said he had smoked the drug for 26 years to curb anxiety attacks.

His stall proclaimed ‘United Patients Alliance with Norml Women’s Alliance’. When I asked about Norml Women, he said its founders ‘felt there was too much testosterone in the cannabis movement’ – but they had not turned up and he had forgotten the acronym’s meaning.

The Australian-born Bennett promises a new style of politics – which many people might say she exemplifies with her stumbling interviews and inability to explain key policies.

Yet after she spoke on Friday, managing to avoid ‘mind blanks’ as she promised lots of new taxes, the grey-haired woman next to me could not stop gushing: ‘I am so excited. I am overwhelmed. I feel like I belong here.’ She turned out to be a Labour deserter. And this is why the sudden Green surge is giving her previous party palpitations as it is outflanked on the left.

Indeed, electoral mathematics mean it is possible the Greens might not just impact on voting outcomes in May but even be in position to join a coalition led by Ed Miliband.

This is a party that wants to ban the monarchy, House of Lords, much of the Armed Forces, free schools, foie gras and fur – while freeing up drugs, borders, brothels and, said its leader, allowing people to join terror groups such as Islamic State.

Yesterday they chucked in free university undergraduate education, joining the Greens’ desires for free social care, free universal childcare, 500,000 extra new homes and a basic income for everyone costing almost three times the budget of the National Health Service.

Since they also want to end economic growth, I asked their press team how these policies would be paid for. ‘There’s lots of money around,’ replied one party veteran, looking at me as though I was stupid.

A younger colleague said children would not start schooling until six under a Green government – although it is hard to believe this would raise the requisite £350 billion or so needed to close the annual gap between their policies and economic reality.

The Green Party’s emphasis on ultra-democracy is admirable, giving all members a voice – but it means scores of strange ideas end up on its statute books since anything is possible with its Alice in Wonderland politics.

Among the proposals considered this weekend, for instance, is the extension of human rights to ‘all sentient life forms’ with ‘the murder, torture and kidnapping’ of dogs and dolphins carrying the same penalties as when such crimes are committed against people.

I went to one meeting where 19 people were determining a ban on foie gras due to the force-feeding of geese. One young man dissented on the grounds this was discriminatory to dairy cows that were being ‘raped’ and their calves ‘murdered’.

‘To have a ban on the dairy industry would not be popular with the public. It would be a vote loser,’ responded session leader Ronnie Lee – although hastily adding he had been a vegan for 44 years in case anyone might think him unsympathetic to animals.

Then there was the well-attended gender group, which agreed people should be allowed ‘a third option of X gender’ on passports – although the discussion leader then confessed this might create risks for people publicly identified as transgender in many countries.

The meeting also agreed parents should be allowed to avoid putting children down as either male or female on birth certificates.

One elderly Green from Tyneside, doing his best to keep up, admitted he was confused by the latest terms for transgender people.  He was not the only one, with talk about LGBITQ people – the ‘I’ turned out to be for Intersex and the ‘Q’ for Questioning.

At the peace and defence group, software engineer Chris Burdess said they needed to review policies that were ‘unnecessarily inflammatory and aggressive’ towards diplomats and members of the armed forces. ‘We don’t want to single them out as evil,’ he said.

But their policy-making process is so ponderous, Burdess admitted this could not be achieved before the Election. Mind you, they have pledges to pass measures that were actually passed nearly two decades ago.

Such eccentricities might be endearing if the Greens had not suddenly emerged as a semi-serious force in British politics.

Yet its leaders brush aside criticism of policy absurdities by saying they are merely promoting new ideas and looking long-term.

Downstairs in the Liverpool convention centre was a gathering for fans of fantasy games. Upstairs, they seemed to be playing fantasy politics. But if this shambolic bunch ever got a sniff of power, the entire country would be losers.


‘Protect the Land Owner': Virginia Farmer Continues Fight Against Environmental Group

Instead of filing the same version of the conservation easement that was signed by its president and a Virginia farmer, the Piedmont Environmental Council pulled a “bait and switch” that dramatically altered the document’s terms and conditions.

That’s one of several revelations that have come to light in the past few days as Martha Boneta, the owner of Liberty Farm in Fauquier County, Va., prepares to initiate a new round of litigation against Piedmont Environmental Council, a non-profit land trust.

Boneta refiled a lawsuit Wednesday in Fauquier County Circuit Court that says the environmental group colluded with realtors and government officials to issue zoning citations against her property. This was done to force Boneta into selling her farm, she alleges in the suit.

Boneta also is considering filing a second lawsuit at the federal level against Piedmont Environmental Council.

That suit would be based on the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, commonly known as RICO.

The environmental group’s inspectors and officers have overstepped their authority under the easement to the point where they have trespassed across Liberty Farm and interfered with her farming activities, Boneta alleges.

Moreover, an analysis of the discrepancies that exist between the documents underpinning the easements shows that it may be “invalid,” and “unenforceable,” she says.

Boneta bought the farm from the Piedmont Environmental Council in July 2006 with the easement already attached. On June 29, 2006, Boneta and Chris Miller, the Piedmont group’s president, signed each page of the purchase contract with the easement.

But on July 26, 2006, the Piedmont Environmental Council filed the alternative easement with Fauquier County officials, without Boneta’s consent, just prior to transferring the title of the property over to her. The new agreement provides the green group with rights and privileges not in the version Boneta agreed to when she purchased the farm.

There’s more.

New evidence has emerged that appears to debunk a historical designation the Piedmont Environmental Council makes in both the signed and filed versions of the easement that says Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, the confederate Civil War general, encamped on Boneta’s property on the evening of July 18, 1861.

Historical accounts of Jackson’s movements in and around the Paris, Va. section of Fauquier County at that time place the encampment at another location.

Oddly enough, the Piedmont Environmental Council makes a similar historical claim about Jackson’s whereabouts in the easement documents it has associated with Ovoka Farm, also located in Paris, but on a separate parcel of land from Liberty Farm.

The general couldn’t have been in both places at the same time.

Boneta has provided The Daily Signal with an “Analysis and Assessment of Damages” — prepared by an economist she hired — that details the losses she incurred as a result of the altercations and discrepancies in the easement documents.

The analysis shows that the historical claim made about the Jackson encampment inflated the real estate price of Liberty Farm well beyond its actual value.

Boneta paid $425,000 for the property in 2006. Over a two-year period, she was forced to fence off about 18 acres of the Oak Grove section of the farm — where the Piedmont Environmental Council located the Jackson encampment — which meant she could not farm in this area.

“What the PEC has done is unethical and a breach of contract,” Boneta told The Daily Signal in an interview. “If they can do this to me and my family, what else have they done? We are shocked to learn that a non-profit 501(c )(3) that is supposed to operate in the public interest would commit this kind of an act.”

The idea behind conservation easements is for property owners to receive tax breaks in exchange for agreeing to restrict future development on a portion of their property. The Boneta easement lists the Piedmont Environmental Council and the Virginia Outdoors Foundation as co-holders.

The environmental council has not responded to recent inquiries from The Daily Signal seeking comment, but it has presented the public with an online post that provides details of its history with the property and the differences it has with Boneta.

The Virginia Outdoors Foundation passed a resolution last November that said it would be willing to assume full control of the easement if the opposing sides could come to terms. That has turned out to be a big “if.” The Virginia Outdoors Foundation has uncovered “a number of serious flaws” in the easement it says must be addressed through “a corrective amendment.”

What Boneta describes as a “bait and switch” between the signed easement and the easement filed with the county government further complicates the ongoing legal standoff as there are substantial differences between the two documents. In fact, entire sections were added to the filed version of the easement without Boneta’s consent, according to the “Analysis and Assessment” paper.

These new revelations could serve as the basis for the federal lawsuit Boneta expects to file on top of the suit that has been reactivated at the state circuit court level.

“The only reason why the lawsuit was withdrawn at all was to give an opportunity for mediation,” Boneta explained.

“The PEC has not taken responsibility for the horrendous bad acts and damage they have done. We have no choice than to re-file the existing lawsuit as well as additional lawsuits and claims.”


“A Critical Assessment of ‘Air concentrations of volatile compounds near oil and gas production: A community-based exploratory study’

In October 2014, Environmental Health published a study purporting to show fracking operations for oil and gas production cause dangerous air quality issues. The study has been cited by environmental groups, the media, and some policymakers as “proof” of the dangers associated with fracking.

In this Policy Brief for The Heartland Institute, chemist and environmental consultant Rich Trzupek identifies significant flaws in the study. For example,

* the study’s authors did not conduct upwind and downwind sampling, but rather assumed background concentrations based on national averages;

* the risk levels used are based on a lifetime of exposure to the target pollutant at the measured concentration. In the majority of cases this comparison is not scientifically defensible;

* and the study is not an examination of air quality during fracking, but rather an examination of air quality near operations and equipment common to oil and natural gas production and transportation regardless of whether the well was fracked.

Trzupek also notes, “In 60 percent of the sampling events, ... concentrations of target pollutants did not exceed the alarm levels set by the authors. To their credit, the authors did not attempt to hide this fact. Nevertheless, this fact has been routinely ignored by media and policymakers ...”


Critiquing ‘Phantom’ Global Warming Risks to Defense Readiness

In May 2014, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report titled Climate Change Adaptation: DOD Can Improve Infrastructure Planning and Processes to Better Account for Potential Impacts.[1] The authors write, “We were asked to assess [the Department of Defense’s] progress in taking action to adapt its U.S. infrastructure to the challenges of climate change.” The request came from five Democratic members of the U.S. Senate: Barbara Boxer (CA), Mark Begich (AK), Al Franken (MN), Jeff Merkley (OR), and Sheldon Whitehouse (RI).

The phrasing of the request suggests there is no doubt climate change poses a “challenge” the Department of Defense (DOD) should be addressing. This bias is not surprising since each of the elected officials who asked for the report has in the past made alarmist claims about the causes and consequences of climate change and called for policies to increase the cost of fossil fuels and subsidize the development and use of alternative fuels such as biofuels, solar, and wind.

The GAO staff members who led the study are listed as Director of Defense Capabilities and Management Brian J. Lepore, the primary contact, and Assistant Director Laura Durland. GAO “key contributors” are listed as Frederick K. Childers, Roshni Dave, Michele Fejfar, Michael Hix, Sarah Kaczmarek, Mary Koenen, Brandon Kruse, Amie Lesser, Amanda Manning, Celia Rosario Mendive, Anne Stevens, Chris Stone, Joseph Thompson, Christopher Turner, Erik Wilkins-McKee, and Michael Willems.

The following critique of GAO’s study reveals GAO has overlooked convincing evidence that what is called “climate change” is unlikely to have a greater effect on DOD’s infrastructure or America’s military preparedness in general than past changes in climate. GAO also overlooked evidence that shows requiring DOD to invest in mitigation or adaptation to address phantom risks could divert resources from other more urgent needs, reducing military preparedness.

Much more HERE

Facing extinction... to make 'green' fuel

Deep in the Sumatran jungle, a British zoologist forms a magical bond with a young orang-utan. His mission? To help stop their habitat being ravaged

It is an utterly heart-melting image. A young Sumatran orang-utan swings down from his tree to nuzzle and play with a British zoologist who is here to save his life.

Dr Ian Singleton gets a privileged close-up view of how these highly intelligent animals are possessed of such an extraordinarily wide range of emotions, and why they form such close and touching bonds with human beings. As well they might: sharing 97 per cent of humans’ DNA, they are one of our nearest living relatives.

Tragically, though, these bewitching pictures, captured by environmental photographer David Higgs, betray a story that shows humanity at its most rapacious.

Orang-utans like these face becoming the first species of great ape to become officially extinct. There are just 6,000 still wild in Sumatra’s swamps and rainforests. Their numbers are reducing rapidly because their habitat is being ravaged, largely to make way for the mass plantation of palms.

The plants produce palm oil, which is used increasingly in an ever-growing variety of western consumer products from chocolate bars and biscuits, to soaps and cooking oil.

It is also used to give diesel cars a ‘green’ bio-diesel mix – the EU has committed to eco-targets that say ten per cent of transport energy must come from renewable sources including bio-fuels by 2020. Indonesia produces 31 million tonnes of palm oil every year, and uses about 3.4 million tonnes for its own bio-diesel consumption.

Dr Singleton, who cut his teeth at Gerald Durrell’s zoo in Jersey, is director of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP), a charity based in Medan, north-west Sumatra. Here he runs a health and quarantine centre, where sick and injured orang-utans are nursed back to health; arranges the rescue of orang-utan orphans and those kidnapped for pets; and campaigns to keep what is left of their habitats.

Orang-utans can be subjected to horrifying violence – often inflicted by loggers, miners and oil-palm planters. One of the orang-utans getting urgent care at the centre is blind. He was rescued as a ‘teenager’, after being shot 62 times. Three of those gun shots hit him in the eyes. Having lost his sight, he will never be able to return to the wild.

He came from the Leuser Ecosystem, an area where most Sumatran orang-utans live. It is supposed to be protected. Another orang-utan at the SOCP centre is known as ‘No Nose’, because most of it was sliced off by a machete.

Dr Singleton told The Mail on Sunday that the threat to the apes’ habitat didn’t come from local people, but from large, multinational companies that ‘make all the profit from cutting down the forests but bear none of the huge costs’. Indeed, most of SOCP’s staff are Indonesian, including a cadre of dedicated vets, scientists and conservationists.

The threat is very real. One area which had, until recently, one of the largest and densest orang-utan populations was the Tripa peat swamp forest near Medan. ‘Since the mid-1990s, it’s shrunk from 60,000 hectares (232 square miles) to just 9,000 (34),’ Dr Singleton said.

The wider Leuser Ecosystem – which once covered more than 7,700 square miles – is disappearing just as rapidly. The problem, Dr Singleton added, had been exacerbated because Indonesia’s Aceh province, where SOCP mostly works, was granted regional autonomy.

Legally, its forests and swamps were supposed to be protected, ‘but the Aceh government’s land use plan doesn’t even mention this’. Recently, SOCP successfully took a firm that had carved out illegal concessions in the swamp lands to court, resulting in a £20 million fine.

Yet the destruction continues. Typically, Dr Singleton said, the oil-palm planters were ‘first on the scene’ when a forest area was first opened up. In their wake came roads, another deadly threat.

‘Once you break up orang-utan populations by fragmenting their habitats with roads, they swiftly die out.’ There is no doubting the size and profits of the palm oil industry. In 2013, Indonesia exported 21 million metric tonnes of the oil, worth more than £15 billion.

But Dr Singleton said: ‘Using palm oil for biofuel actually doesn’t cut but drastically increases emissions, because it means cutting down forests. It isn’t a green option.

‘The best thing would be an immediate moratorium on the use of biofuel from this source… I would like to see the EU investigate the consequences of its decisions.’

Senior Greenpeace campaign official Patrick Venditti agrees. ‘Fuelling Europe’s vehicles in this manner may well drive orang-utans, as well as tigers and other endangerd species in Sumatra, to extinction.’

SOCP now wants to establish an ‘orang-utan haven’ near Medan, as a centre for conservation, education and research that will also give local people a chance to experience the apes close-up, as many Sumatrans have never seen an orang-utan. ‘This is a critically endangered species,’ Dr Singleton said. ‘To save them, we need all the help we can get.’


Climate Scientists to Bullies in Congress: Buzz Off

Rep. Raul Grijalva, a Democrat from Arizona and ranking member of the House of Representatives Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, sent a letter to seven university presidents demanding information on funding sources, financial disclosure guidelines, and all draft testimony or exchanges relating to the testimony of certain researchers who have testified before Congress on climate change issues.

Grijalva’s letter asked about the climate research and funding for seven scholars: geographer Robert C. Balling, Jr., Arizona State University; atmospheric scientist John Christy, University of Alabama; climatologist Judith Curry, Georgia Institute of Technology; historian Steven Hayward, Pepperdine University; climatologist David Legates, University of Delaware; atmospheric physicist Richard Lindzen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and political scientist Roger Pielke Jr., University of Colorado.

The letter, plainly intended to intimidate climate scientists who dare to question the Obama administration’s often-stated view that climate change is man-made and dangerous, generated heated responses from science organizations, individual scientists, and other members of Congress.

“Sends a Chilling Message”

The American Meteorological Society, the national scientific society for the development and dissemination of atmospheric, oceanic, and hydrologic sciences, responded to a letter from U.S. Grijalva with a letter of its own. The letter, signed by Dr. Keith L. Seitter, AMS Executive Director, and dated February 27, is a stinging rebuke of Grijalva’s demands.

“Publicly singling out specific researchers based on perspectives they have expressed and implying a failure to appropriately disclose funding sources — and thereby questioning their scientific integrity — sends a chilling message to all academic researchers,” Seitter wrote. “Further, requesting copies of the researcher’s communications related to external funding opportunities or the preparation of testimony impinges on the free pursuit of ideas that is central to the concept of academic freedom.”

Seitter goes on to say peer-review, not political inquiries into funding sources, “is the appropriate mechanism to assess the validity and quality of scientific research, regardless of the funding sources supporting that research as long as those funding sources and any potential conflicts of interest are fully disclosed. The scientific process that includes testing and validation of concepts and ideas — discarding those that cannot successfully withstand such testing — is chronicled in the peer reviewed scientific literature. We encourage the Committee to rely on the full corpus of peer-reviewed literature on climate science as the most reliable source for knowledge and understanding that can be applied to the policy options before you.”

Attacking Skeptics’ Funding

Grijalva justified his query by citing recent media attacks on researchers skeptical of the theory greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels for energy are causing catastrophic global warming.

The latest media assault began in late February with an article in The New York Times repeating claims made by a long-time Greenpeace staffer, Kert Davies, that Harvard-Smithsonian astrophysicist concealed financial support received by the Smithsonian Institution to support his work. The Times article noted Soon’s work was supported by more than $1.2 million from fossil fuel companies over 11 years.

The information was not new, as Davies had been pushing similar stories as early as 1997. The Times reporter failed to mention the funds went to the Smithsonian and not directly to Dr. Soon, and the Smithsonian kept approximately half the money it raised specifically to ensure that Dr. Soon’s research was appropriate and conducted without undue influence by donors.

The Smithsonian has said it is investigating the matter. Since its staff negotiated and signed every contract for all of the money raised for Dr. Soon’s work, it presumably already has found there is no conflict of interest on Dr. Soon’s part.

The Smithsonian Institution’s charter says all such grant results “must be unclassified, in order not to abridge the institution’s right to publish, without restriction, findings that result from this research project.” The funders neither directed nor had control over the research or the dissemination of its results.

Grijalva’s ‘Lysenkoism, Witch Hunt’

Responding to Grijalva’s letter, climatologist David Legates said, “Grijalva was asked why he targeted the seven of us. His response was that we were the most well-published, most often-cited, and had the most impact on public policy in the United States. Not that our research was likely fraudulent, not that we had taken big sums of money from foreign governments, or that we simply had been publishing bad research. None of these were the reason. It was simply that we are too effective with our research and too persuasive with our arguments. Pure and simple. And since we disagree with him and his views, we must be harassed. Maybe that will stop us.

“Unfortunately, we have entered into a new age of Lysenkoism,” Legates said. “Lysenkoism” refers to an episode in science history where the scientific process was heavily influenced by the Soviet government in order to reach politically acceptable conclusions.

Roger Pielke, Jr., another of the researchers whose funding sources and e-mails Grijalva requested, wrote on his blog that Grijalva should already know he has never received any funding from fossil fuel companies and has no conflict of interest, since he has testified to this before Congress on several occasions. “I know with complete certainty that this investigation is a politically-motivated ‘witch hunt’ designed to intimidate me (and others) and to smear my name,” Pielke wrote.

Pielke goes on, “The incessant attacks and smears are effective, no doubt. I have already shifted all of my academic work away from climate issues. I am simply not initiating any new research or papers on the topic and I have ring-fenced my slowly diminishing blogging on the subject. I can’t imagine the message being sent to younger scientists.”

John Nothdurft, director of government relations for The Heartland Institute, said the probe into Soon and other climate researchers is part of a campaign to divert attention away from the facts about climate change. “Instead of having a real conversation with the American public about the science and economics of climate change, well-financed advocacy groups and politicians with many ‘conflicts of interest’ of their own would rather direct the public’s focus on who funds nonprofit organizations, independent research institutions, scientists, economists, and other experts,” Nothdurft said.

“Apparently it is now a national offense to raise any concerns over certain aspects of the science or economics of policies that purport to deal with human-caused climate change,” Nothdurft said. “This witch hunt has nothing to do with ensuring that science is accurate or reliable. These attacks are leveled by people who refuse to engage in civil debate over important matters of science, economics, and public policy. They should not be allowed to win the day.”

Even alarmists in the global warming debate say Grijalva has gone too far with his demands. Bob Ward, policy and communications director with the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment in the U.K., a frequent critic of climate skeptics, tweeted, “Politicians should not persecute academics with whom they disagree. No ifs or buts.”

Controversial climate researcher Michael Mann, recently sued by the attorney general of Virginia requesting e-mails concerning Mann’s climate research during his time at the state-supported University of Virginia, called the letters from Grijalva and other Democrats “heavy handed and overly aggressive.”

Activists’ Funding Goes Unquestioned

On her blog, Climate etc., climatologist Judith Curry responded to Grijalva’s letter, arguing if Congress and the press are truly concerned whether funding taints climate research, they should also be asking about funding from large environmental foundations and lobbying groups pushing for government action. Curry asked, “Are we not to be concerned by funding from green advocacy groups and scientists serving on the Boards of green advocacy groups?”

Among the potential conflicts of interest not under scrutiny by the media or congressional Democrats are those of Princeton professor Michael Oppenheimer, who has written a number of peer-reviewed papers and testified before Congress on multiple occasions. He previously served as chief scientist for, and is still a science advisor to, the multimillion-dollar lobbying group Environmental Defense.

Joe Romm, author of several books on climate change, has also testified on several occasions before Congress concerning global warming. Romm is a senior fellow and chief science advisor at the Center for American Progress, which argues for greater government control over the economy. Neither Romm nor his coauthors filed conflict-of-interest disclosures for their article in Environmental Research Letters, although the journal explicitly requires it, stating, “All authors and co-authors are required to disclose any potential conflict of interest when submitting their article (e.g. employment, consulting fees, research contracts, stock ownership, patent licenses, honoraria, advisory affiliations, etc.). This information should be included in an acknowledgments section at the end of the manuscript (before the references section). All sources of financial support for the project must also be disclosed in the acknowledgments section.”

Grijalva himself has taken $78,854 from environmental lobbying groups, according to the imablawg website.

Pielke tweeted, “Once you tug on the thread of undisclosed financial interests in climate science, you’ll find it more a norm than exception.”



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

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


8 March, 2015

Media stunt "Exposes Climate Deniers" (?)

We will have to wait and see how vicious the VICE production  (mentioned below) is but I append after the article some comments on the matter from Jim Lakely, Director of Communications at The Heartland Institute

The third season of the Emmy-winning news series VICE debuts today at 11 p.m. on HBO. The first episode covers the pressing issue of sea level rise. VICE Media founder Shane Smith travels to the bottom of the world to investigate the instability of the West Antarctic ice sheet and see how the continent is melting. Then, the VICE crew heads to Bangladesh to capture the impacts of rising sea levels on this South Asian country.

“From the UN Climate conference to the People’s Climate March to the forces that deny the science of global climate change,” says HBO, “this extended report covers all sides of the issue and all corners of the globe, ending in a special interview with Vice President Joe Biden.”

VICE is an innovative media company whose correspondents cover stories that traditional news outlets often overlook. HBO partners with VICE to produce the weekly series. And the season premiere has good timing because next week Robert Swan will take his 2041 team on this year’s International Antarctic Expedition to show the firsthand effects of climate change on the continent.

“Antarctica holds 90 percent of the world’s ice and 70 percent of its freshwater,” says VICE Media founder Shane Smith. “So if even a small fraction of the ice sheet in Antarctica melts, the resulting sea level rise will completely remap the world as we know it. And it is already happening: In the last decade, some of the most significant glaciers [in Antarctica] have tripled their melt rate.”

Antarctica is getting all of this attention because if “it starts melting at the same rate as Greenland, we’re in for trouble,” says Smith. And yet, “in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence,” says Smith, there’s a small, but vocal group of climate deniers that have skewed public perception of climate science and stonewalled efforts to take meaningful action in addressing climate change.

VICE gets an inside look at these self-proclaimed “skeptics” at their annual International Conference on Climate Change hosted by the Heartland Institute, who are funded by the likes of Exxon Mobil and the Koch Brothers. As Upton Sinclair famously said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”


Jim Lakely comments:

Any promotional material that contains the words “ending in a special interview with Vice President Joe Biden” is special all right … just not in the way they imagine.

I remember the VICE crew at ICCC-9. Mostly nice fellas, smiling on the outside while gathering their audio and video, but certainly frowning on the inside. I was helpful, giving them background information on Heartland and these conferences. It obviously didn’t take.

VICE “star” Shane Smith parachuted in for one day to interview some people. One of them was Joe Bast. Smith was so ignorant of even the most basic knowledge about this debate he embarrassed himself. I believe I have some raw video of that interview on my home computer.

If you go to the link, one note about the second video, which is about Heartland’s latest climate conference: Smith proves himself incapable of even Googling Heartland and finding our website. He calls us an “environmental organization.”

Paper: Global Warming? More Like Global Cooling

A new paper claims that declining solar activity since 1998 could mean falling global temperatures in the years ahead — contrary to predictions of rapid warming made by virtually all climate models.

“The stagnation of temperature since 1998 was caused by decreasing solar activity since 1998,” wrote Jürgen Lange Heine, a physicist with the German-based European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE).

“From 1900 to 1998, solar radiation increased by 1.3 W / m², but since 1998 it has diminished, and could reach values ??similar to those of the early 20th century. A drop in global temperature over the next few years is predicted,” Heine wrote.

Heine argues that warming during the 20th Century was not caused by increasing carbon dioxide emissions, but instead by increasing solar activity, changes in cloud cover caused by cosmic rays and huge amounts of cloud condensation nuclei in the atmosphere from the nuclear weapons tests conducted from 1945 to 1963.

Climate scientists have attributed this warming largely to carbon dioxide emissions emitted from human activities, mainly from burning fossil fuels, but Heine says the connection between carbon dioxide and temperature is only superficial.

“Despite steadily rising carbon dioxide levels observed in the years 1945 to 1975, as well as since 1998, a decrease or stagnation in global temperatures occurred that does not fit with the carbon dioxide hypothesis,” Heine wrote.

The “stagnation” in global temperatures since 1998 Heine refers to is known as the “pause” or “hiatus” in global warming. Both satellite-derived and surface temperature readings show no significant warming trend in global temperatures for the last 10 to 20 years.

Heine is not the first researcher to tie the “pause” in warming to declining solar activity. Several researchers over the years have predicted that declining solar activity could plunge the Earth into another “Little Ice Age.”

Shrinivas Aundhkar, director of India’s Mahatma Gandhi Mission at the Centre for Astronomy and Space Technology, recently told people attending a lecture that declining solar activity could mean a “mini ice age-like situation” is nigh.

“The sun undergoes two cycles that are described as maximum and minimum,” Aundhkar said. “The activity alternates every 11 years, and the period is termed as one solar cycle. At present, the sun is undergoing the minimum phase, reducing global temperatures.”

High sunspot activity has been associated with periods of warming on the Earth, like the period between 1950 and 1998. On the other hand, low sunspot activity has been linked to cooler periods, like the so-called “Little Ice Age” when temperatures were much cooler than today.

Scientists have struggled to explain why global temperatures have not risen nearly as fast as climate models predicted. Researchers have offered dozens of explanations as to why global temperatures have stagnated since 1998.

A recent study by Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Michael Mann, a noted environmentalist and creator of the “hockey stick” graph, claims that man-made global warming is on the rise but is being tempered by natural cooling cycles from the oceans.

“We know that it is important to distinguish between human-caused and natural climate variability so we can assess the impact of human-caused climate change on a variety of phenomena including drought and weather extremes,” Mann said in a statement. “The North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans appear to be drivers of substantial natural, internal climate variability on timescales of decades.”

“Our findings have strong implications for the attribution of recent climate changes,” he said. “Internal multidecadal variability in Northern Hemisphere temperatures likely offset anthropogenic warming over the past decade.”

Other research suggests that warming has stalled because increasing amounts of carbon dioxide are being absorbed by the world’s oceans, which is causing them to warm and acidify.

A recent study published in the journal Nature found that most of the excess heat from carbon dioxide has been trapped in the tropical southern oceans. Researchers said the top 1,600 feet of ocean water warmed 0.009 degrees Fahrenheit. The next 4,000 feet warmed just 0.0036 degrees since 2006.

But the study also illustrates how the ocean is able to absorb lots of carbon dioxide, or heat, without experiencing much warming.


The Rise of the CO2 Fairy

By forecaster Joe Bastardi

In Sept. 2011, I did a video explaining why I thought the winters of ‘12-'13, '13-'14 and '14-'15 could be quite severe for the U.S. We had the late start in '12-'13, the brutal start to finish of '13-'14, and then the fast out of the gate, back off, then come on gangbusters winter this year.

When one considers November challenged the legendary November of 1976 in terms of cold, and that February went after such years as 1934, 1958, 1978 and 1979 – all holy grails of cold for people who understand how the weather can get so extreme – then you understand the magnitude of the cold that major population areas of the U.S. have dealt with. Moreover, the preseason snow forecast from is looking very good, and snowfall is not done yet for the season. The following graph was made in October, not after all this started. In fact, in mid-winter, there were loud cries asserting winter’s demise, similar to the pre-2010 “Snowmeggedon.” That winter backed off also.

It’s not perfect, but it said loudly, Look out, there is going to be a lot of snow this year. In the West, a lot of the snow is early and late in the season, so it’s common to see late-season rallies. For instance, Denver had a very snowy November and the snowiest February on record.  So there is time to “bullseye” the southern and central Rockies.

And precisely what we loudly proclaimed beforehand about the result of what we saw coming last winter and now this winter (and in early Jan 2013, warning about the rest of that one) is being echoed by economists:  "Slowing U.S. economy is inconvenient truth" (MarketWatch)

A quote from the article:

    “[A] good chunk of this [economic] slowdown traces to the unusually severe weather that struck most of the country late last year and early in this year.”

Our reasons were laid out well beforehand and were centered on an idea I picked up while talking with some meteorologists I knew around Houston in 2007. I listened to their idea and researched it privately, getting input from people I knew and trusted in the field. There were plenty of years to look at, plenty of examples of similar set ups. The point is that you can see this coming by lining up patterns in the past.

In the highly competitive world of private meteorology, cutting edge ideas are battle-tested. One does this on one’s own time, and your “funding” is having a job where clients pay you to be right on the weather. So you spend countless hours researching ideas to give them an edge.

It is the nature of the competitive meteorologist to trust but verify that all that came before you is a foundation for the chance to compete against the ultimate opponent – weather. One understands that in an infinite system as majestic as the atmosphere there is nothing etched in stone. Grasping the total picture with a intimate knowledge of the past is essential to even having a chance to hit events that resemble some of the great occurrences of the past. While similar, nothing is ever the same!

In talks I give now, I always make sure people know that no extra CO2 was used to come up with my ideas. It’s done to get a laugh, the point being the forecast does not take CO2 into account.

I also stated I hoped that, if my ideas had merit, it would wake people up to the folly of the statements being made when the earth was still in a warming phase. I introduced publicly on the O'Reilly Factor the Triple Crown of Cooling, which is now The Grand Slam of Climate.

It was also opined that, in the past, when these cyclical shifts occurred, there were local pickups of what is now being called extreme weather. But it is nothing out of the ordinary in the big picture, no sign of an appending atmospheric apocalypse, warm or cold. It’s nothing that is not well within the realm of what nature does. Why? Because we used examples of past events before the fact to set all this up.

Case in point: the idea we put out in Jan. that this month in the Northeast could rival the benchmark February of 1934. That was said before it happened. You will notice many of the people reporting on the cold now bring that month up. But we explained the why before the what. Anyone can say there is six inches of snow on the ground when there is six inches of snow on the ground.

But my better angel years ago was hoping such events I was alluding to would wake people up to the folly of things they were saying about man-made global warming. The very people I was saying that to instead have doubled down on excuses.

I was going to do this opinion on one particular column I saw Feb. 17 in USA Today titled “Nationally, it’s been one of the warmest winters on record” that used data through Jan. to claim this was one of the warmest winters on record.

I got mad for four reasons:

a.) The author seemed to forget that Feb. accounts for a third of winter, so 20% of the winter season was not considered.

b.) The West was warm, but many of the stations are far newer, have less records and are less reliable as far as station upkeep goes than the long running stations in the Plains and East.

c.) While Nevada and Utah are great states, far less people live there than the Northeast, which the author had the amazing chutzpah to call “chilly” in the face of a run at the coldest month ever.

d.) The entire Heating Degree day season is November-March. When you include November, it’s darn close to last year (which was also being spun twofold: 1. It’s not that cold, and 2. Yes, it is cold, but it’s caused by global warming).

Like most of the great winters in the Eastern U.S., there is a lot of warmth in the West and North. The enhanced meridional flow is something we forecasted based on the Pacific temperatures last year and this year. No big mystery unless you either don’t know about it or do and choose to deceive people as to the cause of such things.

In any case, I said I was going to write on that, but with the onslaught of one blast after another that has come down the pike from people pushing this issue (the colder it got, the bigger the excuse) – the latest being a witch hunt launched by people in congress on several climate scientists who actually believe there may be some human influence but dare to question how much – I decided I can’t single out one article. They are coming fast and furious by people who had no idea before what was going on.

Explanations that, frankly, make a lot of us in the field laugh, including some people I am friendly with but don’t see eye to eye with me. (Side note: I never see these folks in public venues, where one can be embarrassed if wrong. But they love to explain after the fact what they didn’t know before.)

So here we are, being told CO2 is responsible for global warming — climate change, the term they are now using, is a natural event which only people that claim humans are driving them deny – and events perfectly natural and to a large degree fairly predictable simply by understanding what went on before. What we have to ask these people in the face of the actual geological record that shows CO2 and temperatures is: Why is it CO2 now, but not before?

Anyone see any linkage between CO2 and temperatures?

Why would the increase of one molecule of CO2 out of every 10,000 molecules of air over a 100-year period suddenly pick now, at 400 ppm, to overcome the sun, oceans, stochastic events and the design of the system, including the physical properties of CO2 in relation to the other greenhouse gases, of which it’s only 1%?

The answer below I think makes as much sense as the explanations I am seeing out there:

Could it be there is a CO2 fairy waving its magic wand? While CO2 has little to do with actual weather and climate, as shown by past events, both recent and in the geological time scale, apparently it can affect people who believe it does.


Environmental Reforms that conservatives would like

Here’s a quick update on the latest developments in environmental regulation: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is preparing what likely will be the most costly regulation in history—stringent ozone restrictions that manufacturers estimate will cost the economy $140 billion and threaten one million jobs.

The EPA and Army Corps of Engineers are attempting to vastly expand their authority over virtually every land-use decision under the guise of protecting wetlands. And then there’s the Obama administration’s attempt to bypass Congress with its “climate action plan” to drastically raise the cost of the fossil fuels that power the nation.

Although the details of these various regulatory schemes differ, collectively they represent deeply disturbing aspects of current environmental policy: agencies routinely exceeding their statutory powers, the absence of scientific and economic analyses to inform decision-making, the penchant of Congress to ignore regulatory costs and delegate their powers, and a persistent imbalance between regulatory costs and benefits.

These problems represent dysfunction of a high order, the result of years of regulatory abuse. Nor are the problems solely economic. Overly politicized policies shift attention and resources from real environmental threats to ideological causes—and the environment suffers.

For years, some conservatives (and only some) have argued against ineffective and inefficient environmental regulation. But just saying “no” isn’t enough. Americans care about the environment and thus advocates of sensible natural resource stewardship must initiate commonsense reforms and offer alternatives to the status quo.

Toward those ends, the Heritage Foundation this week released its recommendations for improving environmental policy. The new Environmental Policy Guide features 167 recommendations for reform that arose from consultations with dozens of experts from a variety of fields. In nine chapters organized by environmental issue, the guide offers reforms that can be achieved through legislation, authorizations and oversight.

For example, the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act require amendment in order for property owners to receive compensation when government restrictions result in the loss of property value. Otherwise, there is no check on the agencies’ “taking” of private property, and individuals are forced to pay the costs of policies that supposedly benefit all.

Congress also must conduct oversight hearings on the near-term impacts of the administration’s sweeping climate action plan on electric power reliability. In addition, there should be no funding to implement or enforce any regulation that is based on information or data that does not meet federal quality standards. Junk science makes for junk policy.

Regulatory excess increasingly inhibits economic growth and erodes individual liberty. Reforms are urgently needed to impose accountability on agencies and Congress. The Environmental Policy Guide provides concrete and sensible actions to do so.


Judge Slams EPA’s ‘Offensively Unapologetic’ Handling of Conservative Group's FOIA

A federal judge on Monday strongly criticized the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for being either careless or incompetent, calling the agency “offensively unapologetic” in its mishandling of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests from at least one conservative group.

Also, concerning one EPA employee in particular, the judge said the person "at best, demonstrated utter indifference to EPA's FOIA obligations" and "at worst" the employee "is lying," although there is not enough evidence in the record to determine which conclusion is correct.

In his opinion in the case of Landmark Legal Foundation v. the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth described the EPA’s attitude toward FOIA requests as “shoddy,” “offensive” and “insulting” after the agency effectively ignored and continually botched a FOIA request from the LLF, a right-leaning law firm, in 2012.

Lamberth also said, "At bottom, EPA's handling of Landmark's request leaves far too much room for a reasonable observer to suspect misconduct."

“Two possible explanations exist for EPA’s conduct following Landmark Legal Foundation’s filing of a Freedom of Information Act request in 2012,” Lamberth wrote in his opinion, released Monday, Mar. 2. “Either EPA sought to evade Landmark’s lawful FOIA request so the agency could destroy responsive documents, or EPA demonstrated carelessness toward Landmark’s request.”

“Either scenario reflects poorly upon EPA and surely serves to diminish the public’s trust in the agency,” he added.

On Aug. 17, 2012, the Landmark Legal Foundation, a public interest law firm run by well-known conservative attorney Mark Levin, filed a FOIA request with the EPA asking for information and records regarding any outside environmental groups the agency had consulted or communicated with on policy and regulations.

The LLF also asked for any records showing that the EPA was slowing or delaying the announcement of any regulations or public comment opportunities until after the presidential election on Nov. 6 of 2012.

The short, two-part FOIA started a series a actions in the EPA that would last more than two years.

The EPA first denied LLF’s request for expedited processing in October of 2012. The agency then issued a notice to 45 of its employees to preserve “potentially relevant information” relating to the FOIA request with a due date of October 30.

This notice, however, was not sent to the agency’s top two officials, then-Administrator Lisa Jackson and Deputy Administrator Robert Perciasepe.

Aaron Dickerson, special assistant to the Administrator, and Nena Shaw, then-special assistant to the Deputy Administrator, reportedly received but did not respond to the notice, and were not given the due date, Lamberth said.

The agency then dragged its feet on responding to the FOIA until well after the Nov. 6 election, when President Barack Obama was ultimately elected for a second term. The EPA officials also failed to conduct a thorough search for potentially relevant EPA records, including searching Administrator Jackson’s personal email accounts that she used for government business, Lamberth noted in his opinion.

Jackson’s Blackberry, which easily could have contained relevant information, was erased following her resignation in February 2013, Lamberth added.

Lamberth also noted that “there is no evidence in the record that…anyone…conducted a search of the Deputy Administrator’s records prior to December 20, 2014” – more than two years after the initial FOIA request was filed.

On top of failing to look through relevant records, Special Assistant Nena Shaw also claimed to have experienced “technical difficulties” while transferring information to the collection database. Instead, she “printed the responsive records” but “does not recall precisely what happened to the printed records,” Lamberth said.

“Such an assertion is about as close to a sworn ‘dog ate my homework’ statement as one can make,” Lamberth said, adding that “the Court can only conclude that such responsive records – if they ever existed in the first instance – have been lost.”

Lamberth further said, "At best, Shaw demonstrated utter indifference to EPA's FOIA obligations. At worst, Shaw is lying. There is not enough in the record from either Landmark or EPA to determine which is correct. What is clear, however, is that Shaw goes out of her way to avoid presenting any defined timeline for her search-related activities, which only adds to the fuzziness of her declaration."

Despite slamming the EPA for its poor management of the LLF’s information request, Lamberth denied LLF’s request for sanctions against the agency for withholding information, explaining that LLF could not prove that EPA officials acted in “bad faith,” and that “[n]egligence is insufficient to impose punitive sanctions.”

However, that did not stop Lamberth from stating that the EPA’s “offensively unapologetic” mishandling of the FOIA request “leaves far too much room for a reasonable observer to suspect misconduct.”

“The Court is left wondering whether EPA has learned from its mistakes, or if it will merely continue to address FOIA requests in the clumsy manner that has seemingly become its custom,” Lamberth said.

“This Court would implore the Executive Branch to take greater responsibility in ensuring that all EPA FOIA requests – regardless of the political affiliation of the requester – are treated with equal respect and consciousness,” he added.

Responding to Lamberth’s opinion, Levin accused the EPA of viewing Americans as “public enemies,” calling their mishandling of FOIA requests “reprehensible.”

"Judge Lamberth's decision should be a complete embarrassment for everyone at the Environmental Protection Agency,” Levin said. “Their conduct, from start to finish in this case, was reprehensible, and the Judge made clear that they avoided severe punitive sanctions only because of the narrowly defined requirements of the law.”

"The corporate culture at the EPA, from the Administrator down to the most junior administrative assistant, is that of an imperial bureaucracy answerable only to its own ideological agenda,” Levin added. “To them, the American public are nothing but public enemies. And the EPA shouldn't judge its success in handling FOIA requests by whether or not any of its people wound up facing federal contempt charges or possible criminal prosecution."


Subsidized global-warming propaganda musical

Fortunately, propaganda is rarely funny or entertaining

Elizabeth Harrington at the Washington Free Beacon offers a familiar old slice of sleaze funded by the federal government. An “investigative theatre” company in New York, The Civilians, has been granted almost $950,000 by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and believe it or not, the National Science Foundation.

Why should the American taxpayer – you – be forced to pay for the garbage that follows? Because you, and everyone else, would never pay for it if it weren’t mandated by this radical administration which will be gone in 22 months, thank God.

Their most recent work of “art” was a musical called “Pretty Filthy,” exploring the “human side of the porn industry.” While the porno piece wasn’t directly funded by the NEA, federal funds keep this propaganda wagon on the road.

In “Pretty Filthy,” the troupe based their songs and scripts on interviews with “adult entertainers.” They promoted themselves as “armed with notepads and recorders,” providing an insider’s glimpse into the “other Hollywood” – the porn industry in the San Fernando Valley.

Naturally The New York Times loved it. Critic Charles Isherwood oozed that the “thoroughly winning cast” showed an “admirable sympathy” for porn stars. He liked the lyrics (“Two things you need to shoot porn? A camera and a thumb”) and the snark (“It was like being with a corpse … a corpse who [sic] giggled”).

But usually The Civilians are funded to churn out radical-left claptrap. Last year, they were awarded $20,000 for a podcast series called “Let Me Ascertain You.” In a series titled “LGBTQ All Out!,” they explored topics such as “a teenage lesbian shunned by her Jehovah’s Witness community, a master domination top who locks people up in his basement, a gay military soldier who attempted suicide, and the life of homeless gay youth on the streets of New York City.”

The company received a $12,000 NEA grant in January 2013 for new plays from their “Research and Development Group.” Winter Miller, a playwright, is working on a project about the “stigma” of abortion. Asking when life begins is hurtful, Miller believes, and has “led to the murder of doctors and the growth of extremist movements in the United States, of which the tea party is the least overtly violent.”

The NEA also provided The Civilians a $25,000 grant to produce a musical on the “Paris Commune” that briefly ruled the city in 1871, which, according to, was “where the working class for the first time in history, took power into its own hands.” Leon Trotsky preached about its lessons and how the “masses” had failed to embrace the revolution. Playwright Michael Friedman insisted the commune resembled the hope springing out of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Overall, The Civilians has received $247,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts since 2007, including $65,000 for “The Great Immensity,” a musical about the doom rapidly approaching through climate change. The majority of the project was funded by a National Science Foundation grant of $697,177. Characters proclaimed panicky things like, “We are actually breaking the world. We break the world and it’s done. Game over.” Why hasn’t everyone grasped the allegedly imminent demise of our planet? “People are stupid,” they proclaimed.

Unsurprisingly, this amply subsidized global-warming propaganda musical was canceled after only a three-week run last spring at Manhattan’s Public Theatre. Even the reviewers couldn’t make themselves love it.



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

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


6 March, 2015

Looking back

Just Another Warmist Lie

by Viv Forbes

2015 is the make-or-break year for climate alarmism, with a crucial battle planned for Paris in November. So we can expect regular bursts of global warming propaganda. panic button

The year started on cue with a breathless announcement from the US National Climate Data Centre: “2014 was Earth's warmest year on record” (their records start in 1880).The Little Ice Age ended in about 1880.

Therefore it is no surprise that global temperatures have generally risen since then. And it reveals nothing about the cause of the warming.Moreover the announcement hides more than it reveals.

Firstly the alleged new peak temperature is just 0.04? higher than 2010. Who are they kidding? No weather recording station can measure to that accuracy. Once the likely error bars are added to the averaged data, the story changes to “recent global temperatures remain flat”.Secondly, what does “average” mean?

Almost every place on Earth has a different average temperature, and the averages range from 34? to -58?, a range of 92?. With very large daily and seasonal variations, an unevenly scattered and variable set of temperature recording stations, plus frequent “adjustments” to the raw figures, their calculated “global average” is probably a manipulated and meaningless number.Trends are more important than spot values.

Satellite data and proxies such as ice core data give more reliable long-term “average” temperature trends; both records say that 2014 is NOT unusually high.Moreover, information on global temperature trends go back far beyond 1880 - ice core data goes back 20,000 years, as shown below in the GRIP ice core data records.

These show there were several periods in the last 10,000 years with global temperatures significantly above that for 2014.


Naomi Oreskes Warps Climate Skeptic History

Harvard historian of science Naomi Oreskes is best known to climate realists for her 2010 screed Merchants of Doubt, but a short, obscure, error-riddled essay she wrote as a chapter in the book How Well Do Facts Travel? The Dissemination of Reliable Knowledge is more significant. In it she examines the 1991 origin of the “skeptics are paid industry shills” narrative found in a legendary set of “leaked Western Fuels memos.”

Oreskes’ chapter is important because she interprets the memos as industry’s plan for a vast national campaign using paid climate scientists to create lasting public doubt about global warming. That’s the same interpretation repeated ad nauseam by climate alarmists such as Al Gore, Ross Gelbspan (1997’s The Heat Is On), and Canadian attack website DeSmogBlog.

Appallingly, nobody in this parade of critics ever fact-checked the memos, not even historian Oreskes. Critics misinterpreted what they were looking at in the hundred-or-so pages of “Western Fuels memos.” They cherry-picked pieces that made skeptics look worst and patched them together into an assumption-laden fairy-tale.

According to Russell Cook’s excellent Heartland Institute Report Merchants of Smear, and numerous interviews with the “memo” sources, all the critics had was a hodgepodge of e-mail exchanges from a loose coalition of 24 large and small electric utilities worried about a carbon tax bill in Congress.

The fairy tale spinners focused only on emails from the utilities’ coal suppliers. The coalition explored lobbying to raise public concern about the impact of the tax, along with pointing out the weaknesses in the claims humans were causing climate change, using well-established skeptical scientists as spokesmen to balance the deluge of alarmist publicity.

The “memos” were the everyday work products of coalition members—including the Edison Electric Institute, a large trade group of investor-owned utilities—filed away in no particular order. EEI coordinated the most misinterpreted document, a campaign proposal by opinion survey firm Cambridge Reports of Massachusetts. The other “memos” included letters, meeting notices, reports from a hired Washington public relations firm, sample ads from a North Dakota direct mail firm, and similar items.

Innocuous Trade Association Demonized

Less than one-third of the jumbled “memos” involved Western Fuels Association. It’s ironic that they became known as the “Western Fuels memos,” because WFA is just the opposite of what the alarmist critics thought. It wasn’t a lobbying group but rather a nonprofit, member-owned co-op serving consumer-owned rural electric cooperatives and other public power systems. WFA manages mining and transportation of coal from member-owned mines and buys additional coal in the open market, facts printed on the inside cover of WFA’s annual reports.

The coalition’s climate skeptics picked the semi-humorous acronym “ICE,” and Cambridge Reports suggested several names to fit, including “Informed Citizens for the Environment” and “Information Council for the Environment.” Western Fuels used the latter.

The single most misinterpreted page, “Strategy,” listed nine goals, topped by “Reposition global warming as theory (not fact).” Critics mischaracterized that as “orders from headquarters” to reposition the public into believing global warming is not a fact. Al Gore even featured it in ominous red letters spread across a frame of his movie An Inconvenient Truth. Actually, it was merely a suggestion offered by Cambridge Reports.

Coalition Dissolves

Even more importantly, Western Fuels Association officials did not even read the Cambridge Reports proposal, because they had already hired Simmons Advertising of Grand Forks, North Dakota. They never saw the “Reposition global warming as theory (not fact)” goal, and they say they wouldn’t have used it if they had, because it was too abstract.

The national campaign never happened, a three-city test run flopped, and the coalition dissolved amid disagreements between skeptics and pragmatists. In July 1991, coalition members went their separate ways. Smaller ones, generally skeptics, chose to fight for sound science and against new regulations, whereas big, investor-owned utilities abandoned the science debate and chose to lobby to favorably influence legislation.

Slanted Focus, Coverage

Of the original “Western Fuels memos,” only fifty poorly scanned, frustratingly incomplete images on a Greenpeace Investigations site are publicly available today. So, where did Oreskes get the entire set?

She claims she found them “in the archives of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) in Washington, D.C.” and advises, “scholars wishing to consult these materials should contact the AMS.”

AMS is actually headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts It maintains a small Washington, DC office for government affairs, but it has no archives. The AMS archivist in Boston verified no such documents ever existed in the society’s archives.

Oreskes said an “Anthony Socci” brought the documents to her attention. The AMS archivist said Socci—a Senate Commerce Committee staffer from 1991 to 1993 who managed hearings for Sen. Al Gore—had been an AMS employee for a time, and likely had a personal copy he made available to Oreskes.

How did Socci get the documents? The most likely answer comes from a letter on EEI letterhead dated May 6, 1991, showing the group’s global warming task force strongly disparaged the skeptic campaign. Within a month, the memos were circulating among environmentalists in Washington. The Sierra Club forwarded a copy to the New York Times, mentioned in a July 8, 1991 article headlined, “Pro Coal Ad Campaign Disputes Warming Idea.”

A noted historian, when asked for the simplest definition of history, said, “History is what really happened.” That’s not what Oreskes wrote.


Sustainability has failed, but does Britain's Green party know it?

The sustainable development model has long been doomed to failure, but the Green Party is still in denial, argues John Foster in The Guardian

The coming general election is the least predictable for many years. One reason for this is the “green surge” – the Green party is unprecedentedly polling at around 7%, with recent evidence suggesting that it could affect the outcome in at least 18 seats and thus, in a volatile situation, the overall result.

More people are now members of the Greens than the Liberal Democrats. This is already a major change to the political environment within which business has to operate. Has the green agenda finally arrived in British politics?

The Greens are arriving just as it is becoming evident that the sustainability paradigm has failed. The issue of climate change illustrates this failure. If we don’t keep average atmospheric temperature to less than 2C above pre-industrial levels, we are (as all credible experts now agree) in for dangerous and potentially disastrous climate change.

Unless we are already well embarked on a programme for drastic reductions worldwide, we won’t achieve them; as the permanently crossed fingers of the international sustainability establishment testify, we clearly have not.

This example illustrates how impotent the sustainable development model always was. Constraining present needs (or desires) to serve future needs could only offer a toolkit of lead spanners, liable to bend under any real strain. No wonder we still find the nuts and bolts of unsustainable living stubbornly unshiftable.

Greens are perhaps as deep in denial about climate change as those with more standard vested interests. This can be encapsulated in the words of the Green Party member who said: it can’t be too late to stop climate change, because if it was, how could we find the energy to go on campaigning?

This logic is now coming under breaking strain. Defending the idea that it can’t be too late, from the knowledge that we have barely started, gives rise to techno-fantasy. The Oxford geoengineering programme, for instance, canvasses the introduction of sulphur dioxide particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect away a proportion of incoming sunlight, or adding nutrients to the oceans to increase draw-down of atmospheric carbon.

But such projects belong to the realm of science fiction and, as even their proponents tacitly recognise, merely continue the mindset which has brought us to our present plight.

Since that mindset is doomed, we are going to have to learn to live with post-sustainability. This will be bleak. It means accepting that we face what a former UK government chief scientist has called a “perfect storm” of food, water and energy shortages worldwide, with all their consequences in terms of attempted migrations, struggles for resources and associated conflict. The only way to retrieve anything for human hope from this mess will be to re-conceive emerging post-sustainability positively, as ‘post- hubris’.

Hubris is overweening confidence in human ability to control our surroundings and what happens to us. The modern project of managing the natural world for human benefit, launched by the scientific revolution and the Enlightenment, now stands revealed as a lethal form of this failing. To have pointed this out is the green movement’s real achievement hitherto.

This is now gaining wider recognition with unexpected support for what could become a green-led recovery from hubris. We see this in the contempt for all conventional politicians, who promise betterment but fail to deliver.

Correspondingly, there is a growing sense that our resilience lies in the strength of both national and local culture, which further moves towards multiculturalism can only subvert. A confused form of this awareness can be seen in the UKIP phenomenon.

Closely related is recognition of our need to recover solidarities of community, which neoliberal capitalism under governments of the right and (vaguely) the left has trashed. This explains the haemorrhaging of Labour support to the Greens and nationalists on issues like transport, healthcare and welfare.

Post-hubristic consciousness is clearly still inchoate and embraces many contradictions – Scottish nationalists reject the UK but yearn for the EU, many UKIP supporters resist the realities of climate change. The need to rebuild what viable resilience we can is impossible to ignore.

Also impossible to ignore is that these are all profoundly ecological recognitions, of which the Greens should be natural trustees. Will they rise to that responsibility?

One thing can confidently be predicted about this general election, is it will cost the Greens an heroic expenditure of effort for very minimal results in terms of seats and parliamentary voice. Given excited expectations among a much larger membership, disillusion will be all the more acute. Will it lead to a reappraisal of strategy and realignment with new allies? For the business community, as for the rest of us, much hangs on the answer.


Former IPCC Climatologist Lennart Bengtsson Calls Out Spiegel On Climate Gloom: “Wrong…Hopelessly Naïve…Ought To Know Better”

Some days ago I wrote about how German news weekly Der Spiegel had resorted once again to catastrophe-hopping when it recently rolled out its print edition whose front cover featured a burning planet caused by human climate change.

Skeptics in Europe reacted harshly, but at the same time dismiss the doomsday piece as a desperate sensationalism stunt in a bid to stem its hemorrhage of readers.

Some criticism even came from rather hefty figures in the climate scene. For example Swedish professor Lennart Bengtsson, former IPCC climatologist and former head of the German Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg.

Bengtsson posted a commentary concerning the Spiegel doomsday piece at the Swedish Anthropocene site here. He calls the alarmist views of book author Naomi Klein, which Spiegel cited in its article: “not only wrong, but also hopelessly naïve.”

Bengtsson, who has gravitated from being an regular alarmist to a non-alarmist luke-warmer over the years, thinks that the growing emission of greenhouse gases is a problem over the long term, but that it is not an urgent problem. He writes there is no scientific basis showing the weather has become more extreme.

The storms are not worse than before, and they will be fewer in a warmer climate as a result of the polar regions warming up.”

On sea level Bengtsson writes that it is now rising at about 3 mm per year, but has not accelerated over the past 23 years. It makes no sense to rush and to make “hasty and inaccurate decisions“. He writes:

"The reason for the increased emissions of carbon dioxide is the increasing earth‘s population and the desire of all the poor to live a life that is a little better and more hopeful, and perhaps someday even take a taxi at any time – surely among some of Naomi Klein’s environmental sins.”

Bengtsson calls the belief that a non-capitalist system can solve the earth’s energy and environmental problems “completely naïve” and uninformed, citing past failed experiments in socialism.

"If anyone ought to be familiar with the costs needed to solve the problems left behind by communist East Germany, it is Spiegel. The Elbe River was a dead river at the time of the German reunification. Now, thanks to the capitalist system, it has returned to life.”

As an example of a successful approach to lower CO2, emissions, Bengtsson uses the United States: “In fact, one of the few countries that has significantly reduced CO2 emissions are the United States, through its growing gas exploration!”

Bengtsson adds:

"The only hope to solve the planet’s long-term environmental problems is via the open and free society, not least of all by a socialist dictatorship on a global scale. This at least Spiegel’s editors ought to know.”


The Political Assault on Climate Skeptics

Members of Congress send inquisitorial letters to universities, energy companies, even think tanks


Research in recent years has encouraged those of us who question the popular alarm over allegedly man-made global warming. Actually, the move from “global warming” to “climate change” indicated the silliness of this issue. The climate has been changing since the Earth was formed. This normal course is now taken to be evidence of doom.

Individuals and organizations highly vested in disaster scenarios have relentlessly attacked scientists and others who do not share their beliefs. The attacks have taken a threatening turn.

As to the science itself, it’s worth noting that all predictions of warming since the onset of the last warming episode of 1978-98—which is the only period that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) attempts to attribute to carbon-dioxide emissions—have greatly exceeded what has been observed. These observations support a much reduced and essentially harmless climate response to increased atmospheric carbon dioxide.

In addition, there is experimental support for the increased importance of variations in solar radiation on climate and a renewed awareness of the importance of natural unforced climate variability that is largely absent in current climate models. There also is observational evidence from several independent studies that the so-called “water vapor feedback,” essential to amplifying the relatively weak impact of carbon dioxide alone on Earth temperatures, is canceled by cloud processes.

There are also claims that extreme weather—hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, floods, you name it—may be due to global warming. The data show no increase in the number or intensity of such events. The IPCC itself acknowledges the lack of any evident relation between extreme weather and climate, though allowing that with sufficient effort some relation might be uncovered.

World leaders proclaim that climate change is our greatest problem, demonizing carbon dioxide. Yet atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide have been vastly higher through most of Earth’s history. Climates both warmer and colder than the present have coexisted with these higher levels.

Currently elevated levels of carbon dioxide have contributed to increases in agricultural productivity. Indeed, climatologists before the recent global warming hysteria referred to warm periods as “climate optima.” Yet world leaders are embarking on costly policies that have no capacity to replace fossil fuels but enrich crony capitalists at public expense, increasing costs for all, and restricting access to energy to the world’s poorest populations that still lack access to electricity’s immense benefits.

Billions of dollars have been poured into studies supporting climate alarm, and trillions of dollars have been involved in overthrowing the energy economy. So it is unsurprising that great efforts have been made to ramp up hysteria, even as the case for climate alarm is disintegrating.

The latest example began with an article published in the New York Times on Feb. 22 about Willie Soon, a scientist at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Mr. Soon has, for over 25 years, argued for a primary role of solar variability on climate. But as Greenpeace noted in 2011, Mr. Soon was, in small measure, supported by fossil-fuel companies over a period of 10 years.

The Times reintroduced this old material as news, arguing that Mr. Soon had failed to list this support in a recent paper in Science Bulletin of which he was one of four authors.

Two days later Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva, the ranking Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee, used the Times article as the basis for a hunting expedition into anything said, written and communicated by seven individuals — David Legates, John Christy, Judith Curry, Robert Balling, Roger Pielke Jr., Steven Hayward and me— about testimony we gave to Congress or other governmental bodies. We were selected solely on the basis of our objections to alarmist claims about the climate.

In letters he sent to the presidents of the universities employing us (although I have been retired from MIT since 2013), Mr. Grijalva wanted all details of all of our outside funding, and communications about this funding, including “consulting fees, promotional considerations, speaking fees, honoraria, travel expenses, salary, compensation and any other monies.” Mr. Grijalva acknowledged the absence of any evidence but purportedly wanted to know if accusations made against Mr. Soon about alleged conflicts of interest or failure to disclose his funding sources in science journals might not also apply to us.

Perhaps the most bizarre letter concerned the University of Colorado’s Mr. Pielke. His specialty is science policy, not science per se, and he supports reductions in carbon emissions but finds no basis for associating extreme weather with climate. Mr. Grijalva’s complaint is that Mr. Pielke, in agreeing with the IPCC on extreme weather and climate, contradicts the assertions of John Holdren, President Obama’s science czar.

Mr. Grijalva’s letters convey an unstated but perfectly clear threat: Research disputing alarm over the climate should cease lest universities that employ such individuals incur massive inconvenience and expense—and scientists holding such views should not offer testimony to Congress.

After the Times article, Sens. Edward Markey (D., Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.) and Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.) also sent letters to numerous energy companies, industrial organizations and, strangely, many right-of-center think tanks (including the Cato Institute, with which I have an association) to unearth their alleged influence peddling.

The American Meteorological Society responded with appropriate indignation at the singling out of scientists for their scientific positions, as did many individual scientists. On Monday, apparently reacting to criticism, Mr. Grijalva conceded to the National Journal that his requests for communications between the seven of us and our outside funders was “overreach.”

Where all this will lead is still hard to tell. At least Mr. Grijalva’s letters should help clarify for many the essentially political nature of the alarms over the climate, and the damage it is doing to science, the environment and the well-being of the world’s poorest.


Official Australian report finds climate change benefits

Climate change could have positive economic spin-offs, a new government report says.  It's only one sentence in a vast bureaucratic document but it is a sign of the times to see some realism creeping into officialdom

The Intergenerational Report released on Thursday includes a chapter on "managing the environment", which has been a feature of previous versions of the five-yearly economic and budget update.

The report sets out the government's plan to reduce carbon pollution through its $2.55 billion Emissions Reduction Fund.

But it also says "some economic effects may be beneficial".  "Where regions become warmer or wetter this may allow for increased agricultural output - while others may be harmful," the report said.

"For example, lower rainfall may reduce crop yields, or transport infrastructure (such as roads, ports and rail networks) may become more susceptible to damage from extreme weather events."

The report reinforces the government's aim to cut emissions by five per cent on 2000 levels by 2020.

But, despite the report being about Australia in the period to 2055, it does not discuss a possible new target.

"Australia will meet its Kyoto target for 2020 and will join with the international community to establish post-2020 targets with the aim of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions," it said.

"The international community has agreed to aim to keep global warming to a less than two degrees celsius increase above pre-industrial climate levels."

The intergenerational report produced by Labor in 2010 found that unmitigated climate change would leave Australian GDP in 2100 about eight per cent lower than the level it would be in the absence of climate change.

Former Liberal treasurer Peter Costello's 2007 report concluded: "There does seem to be consensus around the fact that significant levels of global warming imply losses in global GDP over the longer term that should be factored into the policy choices made today."



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

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


5 March, 2015

An Obama promise that has come true!

Watch him make the promise here.  And people voted for him!  The power of a dark skin in a nation brainwashed into guilt by the Left

In contrast to the steep decline in the gasoline price index over the past year (which led to a decline in the overall Consumer Price Index), the seasonally adjusted electricity price index hit an all-time high in January, according to data released last week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In January, the seasonally adjusted price index for electricity was 212.290. That was up from 210.489 in December, which was the record up until then. Before that, the high had been the 209.341 recorded in March of last year.

The annual electricity price index set a record in 2014 of 208.020 up from 200.750 in 2013.

In January, the average price for a kilowatthour (KWH) of electricity also hit an all-time high for that month of the year.

According to BLS, a KWH of electricity cost an average of 13.8 cents in January 2015, which was less than the 14.3-cent cost in June, July and August of 2014 (and 14.1-cent cost of September 2014) but more than the average cost of a KWH in any month—including the summer months—of 2013. In that year, the average price of a KWH peaked at 13.7 cents in the months from June to September.

The rise in the electricity price index ran counter to the gasoline price index, the overall energy price index, and the overall Consumer Price Index, all of which declined in January as well as over the past twelve months.

“The gasoline decrease was overwhelmingly the cause of the decline in the all items index, which would have risen 0.1 percent had the gasoline index been unchanged,” said BLS.

The BLS’s price indexes measure relative change in prices against a baseline of 100. The seasonally adjusted monthly electricity price index exceeded 100 between September and October of 1983, when it rose from 98.9 to 101.0.

Historically, increasing electricity prices have not been inevitable in the United States. From 1913 to 1946, the electricity price index trended down from 45.5 to 26.6. By 1974, it was still only 44.1, which was less than it had been in 1913.


After the collapse of Communism, global warming is the next great hope of the far Left -- in their hunger for global mastery

Interview summary

Lord Christopher Monckton says the “climate change” issue is really a way to gain control of the world.  Lord Monckton, former award winning journalist who was once an advisor to Margaret Thatcher, contends, “This is a story that has been grossly, I mean grossly, oversold.  They have exaggerated beyond all reason. 

Just this week, I’ve had a major paper published in the Science Bulletin of the Chinese Academy of Science which gives the reasons why they got it wrong.  We went into their wretched climate models and took them apart.  We’ve found what they did wrong, and we exposed it.  The left have gone ballistic.”

Lord Monckton goes on to say, “What seems to be happening is the communist, in particular the hard left, have taken up these climate cudgels in a very big way, and they are the ones that are really driving this agenda.  Why are they doing this?  That is the first question.  The reason, of course, is they have long wanted to set up what used to be called the socialist international.  It’s a single giant global communist tyranny. 

Of course, you get Obama, whose father was communist.  His chief mentor was communist.  His rhetoric is communist.  He has taken this up in a big way.  The State of the Union Address was really rather pathetic. . . . I never thought I’d see the United States electing a communist as President.” 

Lord Monckton also points out, “These people are totalitarian.  These are people who want global government. They want to be part of a regime of total control. . . . This is what the hard left has always wanted.  It was the same in Hitler’s Germany. . . .Now, you got the communist party in the United States, but now they are calling it the Democrats.”

The co-founder of Greenpeace, Patrick Moore, has made public statements that say there is “no scientific proof” humans are the cause of global warming.  Lord Monckton, who knows him personally, says, “Patrick Moore has made a very moving speech about how he tried to set up a genuine environmental organization.  Its intention was to make the world a better place, to leave a smaller environmental footprint on the world. . . . He is heartbroken.  I can’t tell you how sad he is at the perversion of the organization he founded. 

Goofy teenagers are giving it money and going around collecting money, not realizing that what they are actually collecting money for is not an environmental organization anymore.  It is a communist front.  It is there solely to bring in a world government to put its people in charge, using the environment just as Hitler used it as the excuse for additional totalitarian control. 

Let’s not forget, it was Hitler who first founded the green movement and first used the environmental movement, not for the basis for genuine concern about the environment, but as a basis for getting control over every detail over people’s lives so they couldn’t argue back.  That’s what this is really all about. . . .  I get criticized all the time as to why I don’t just stick to the science.  I say somebody has to tell the truth, not only about the science, but also about the politics.”

Lord Monckton believes there is climate change, but he does not believe man has anything to do with it.  Lord Monckton says science will ultimately back up that claim.  Why the recent push on climate change that is also called global warming?  Lord Monckton says, “I think they are panicking because they know that this process  . . . cannot be kept going for very much longer because . . . it’s been 25 years since the UN produces a report saying we were all doomed, and since then, the rate of warming has been half of what they predicted and well below their entire range of estimates.” 

Also, former Vice President Al Gore predicted the polar ice caps would be melted by now.  Just the opposite has happened, as Lord Monckton points out, “If you took the Artic and the Antarctic together, global sea ice was the greatest it’s been throughout the 35 years of the satellite era.  It is greater than it has ever been before.”

Lord Monckton closes by saying, “God Bless America, and in light of what’s to come, if we don’t stop it, God Bless us all.”


More Ice on Great Lakes Now Than During 2014 Polar Vortex

 The total ice cover of the Great Lakes is currently 88.3 percent, or 2.3 percentage points more than it was at the same time during last year’s polar vortex, when 86 percent of the lakes’ surfaces were frozen solid, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The ice accumulation is also much higher than the 51.4 percent long-term average since 1973. However, it is still short of the record of 94.7 percent, which was set on Feb. 19, 1979.

Lakes Erie, Huron and Superior are almost completely frozen over, according to NOAA’s Great Lakes Surface Environmental Analysis (GLSEA). Three quarters of Lakes Michigan and Ontario are also covered in ice.

Ice cover on the Great Lakes currently runs from a high of 96.18 percent on Lake Huron to a low of 71.16 percent on Lake Michigan, Lt. David B. Keith, public affairs officer at the U.S. National/Naval Ice Center (NIC), told

As of Sunday, the ice cover on each lake was:

Lake Huron: 96.18 %
Lake Erie: 96.01 %
Lake Superior: 94.14 %
Lake Ontario: 76.13 %
Lake Michigan:  71.16 %

There is so much ice on Lake Erie that the Arthur M. Anderson, a 767-foot freighter, got stuck in it for five days late last month. The Coast Guard ice breaker Bristol Bay also got stuck in the 8-to-10-foot thick ice itself while on a mission to rescue the stranded freighter. Both vessels were finally released by the Griffon, a Canadian Coast Guard ice cutter.

Imagery from NOAA’s polar-orbiting satellite is used to take daily readings of the surface temperatures of the Great Lakes. NIC produces a twice-weekly overview of current conditions during the winter months.

According to the National Weather Service’s 30-day outlook for March, which was released on Feb. 28, below-average temperatures are predicted in the eastern half of the United States this month:

“The update to the March temperature outlook indicates an increased probability of below-normal mean temperatures over a more extensive area of the Eastern U.S. covering most regions east of the Rocky Mountains with the exception of the Southeast.”

However, NOAA does not believe that the Great Lakes ice record set in 1979 will be broken this year.

"I'm not expecting to break the record this year as we've got a ways to go (record is 94.76%, sounds closer than it actually is) but we may still see an increase of ice later this week with another cold push into the upper Midwest,” said Brian Jackson, NOAA’s Great Lakes ice analyst.

“Our maximum ice extent this year, so far, occurred on Saturday, Feb. 28, when we hit 88.75%. This puts this year in 5th place on record (since 1972).

Record: 94.76% - 1979
2nd: 92.19% - 2014
3rd: 90.7% - 1994
4th: 90.06% - 1977
5th: 88.75% - 2015

“It may be possible to move into 3rd or 4th place into this weekend, depending on how much the ice shifts and melts ahead of the colder air moving in," Jackson noted.

But Joe D’Aleo, co-founder of the Weather Channel, thinks that the record could be broken. During “the next 5-10 days, cold temperatures will help challenge the record,” he said in a blog post.


Obama’s claim that Keystone XL oil ‘bypasses the U.S.’ earns Four Pinocchios

“I’ve already said I’m happy to look at how we can increase pipeline production for U.S. oil, but Keystone is for Canadian oil to send that down to the Gulf. It bypasses the United States and is estimated to create a little over 250, maybe 300 permanent jobs. We should be focusing more broadly on American infrastructure for American jobs and American producers, and that’s something that we very much support.” – President Obama, interview with WDAY of Fargo, N.D., Feb. 26, 2015

President Obama, seeking to explain his veto of a bill that would have leapfrogged the approval process for the Keystone XL pipeline, in an interview with a North Dakota station repeated some false claims that had previously earned him Pinocchios. Yet he managed to make his statement even more misleading than before, suggesting the pipeline would have no benefit for American producers at all.

The Fact Checker obviously takes no position on the pipeline, and has repeatedly skewered both sides for overinflated rhetoric. Yet the president’s latest comments especially stand out. Let’s review the facts again.

The Facts

As we have noted before, when the president says “it bypasses the United States,” he leaves out a very important step. The crude oil would travel to the Gulf Coast, where it would be refined into products such as motor gasoline and diesel fuel (known as a distillate fuel in the trade). Current trends suggest that only about half of that refined product would be exported, and it could easily be lower.

A report released in February by IHS Energy, which consults for energy companies, concluded that “Canadian crude making its way to the USGC [Gulf Coast] will likely be refined there, and most of the refined products are likely to be consumed in the United States.” It added that “for Gulf refineries, heavy bitumen blends from the oil sands are an attractive substitute for declining offshore heavy crude supply from Latin America.” It concluded that 70 percent of the refined product would be consumed in the United States.

Enviromentalists dismiss IHS as a biased source, but the analysis mirrors the conclusions of the State Department’s final environmental impact statement on the Keystone XL project. This is what is especially strange about Obama’s remarks, as he appears to be purposely ignoring the findings of the lead Cabinet agency on the issue.

“Comments were received throughout the review process speculating that WCSB heavy crude oil supplies carried on the proposed Project would pass through the United States and be loaded onto vessels for ultimate sale in markets such as Asia,” the State Department said. “As crude of foreign origin, Canadian crude is eligible for crude export license as long as it is not commingled with domestic crude. However, such an option appears unlikely to be economically justified for any significant durable trade given transport costs and market conditions.”

The report added:

“Once WCSB [Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin] crude oil arrives at the Gulf Coast, Gulf Coast refiners have a significant competitive advantage in processing it compared to foreign refiners because the foreign refiners would have to incur additional transportation charges to have the crude oil delivered from the Gulf Coast to their location….  Gulf Coast refineries have the potential to absorb volumes of WCSB crude that go well beyond those that would be delivered via the proposed Project. On this basis, the likelihood that WCSB crudes will be exported in volume from the Gulf Coast is considered low.”

Finally, note that Obama said Keystone was just for Canadian oil, and “we should be focusing on American infrastructure for American jobs and American producers.” But actually, Keystone would help U.S. oil producers in North Dakota and Montana. TransCanada, the builder of the pipeline, has signed contracts to move 65,000 barrels a day from the Bakken area –and hopes to build that to 100,000. That’s nearly 10 percent of the region’s production.

The Congressional Research Service in 2013 estimated that about 12 percent of the pipeline’s capacity had been set aside for crude from the Bakken region. Of course, delays in the Keystone project have sent oil producers in search of other methods of transport, potentially making this link less relevant, but the president can’t argue the project was not proposed without U.S. producers in mind.

Moreover, as we have noted before, U.S. companies control about 30 percent of the production in Canada’s oil sands region. Thus, contrary to Obama’s suggestion, it is not strictly Canadian.

We have poked fun at TransCanada for suggesting the pipeline would reduce reliance on foreign energy — when in fact Canada is a foreign country — but that does not give Obama license to suggest there is no possible American benefit from the pipeline.

(Incidentally, while the president spoke of 250 to 300 permanent jobs, the State Department report actually says 35. But this is a construction project. How many construction projects result in very many permanent jobs?)

The White House declined to provide an on-the-record defense of the president’s statement. That certainly suggests officials are unwilling to make a public case contradicting the State Department findings.

The Pinocchio Test

When Obama first started making the claim that the crude oil in the Keystone pipeline would bypass the United States, we wavered between Three and Four Pinocchios — and strongly suggested he take the time to review the State Department report.

Clearly, the report remains unread.

The president’s latest remarks pushes this assertion into the Four Pinocchios column. If he disagrees with the State Department’s findings, he should begin to make the case why it is wrong, rather than assert the opposite, without any factual basis. Moreover, by telling North Dakota listeners that the pipeline has no benefit for Americans, he is again being misleading, given that producers in the region have signed contracts to transport some of their production through the pipeline.

Four Pinocchios


Making the Moral Case for Fossil Fuels

by JANET LEVY   -- a BOOK REVIEW  of "The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels" by  Alex Epstein

In the anti-fracking film Gasland, producer Josh Fox proclaims that the process of extracting previously inaccessible oil and gas from shale pollutes water supplies, increases the incidence of cancer and leads to higher levels of seismic activity, despite ample contrary evidence. This self-proclaimed environmental watchdog and anti-fracking crusader has led extensive efforts to end or prevent fracking throughout the United States by obfuscating the truth and stopping communities from reaping the benefits of America's shale boom. Josh Fox and others like him are uninterested in looking for improvements in fracking technology and safety. Instead they seek to shut down shale exploration and other fossil fuel extraction altogether.

In his recent book, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, Alex Epstein challenges the ethical bias of environmentalists who oppose fossil-fuel use and deftly argues that fossil fuels have vastly improved the planet and the lives of its human inhabitants. He contends that a human-centric moral value that supports the well-being and prosperity of human beings ranks on a higher ethical plain than the utopian, environmentalist ideal of a "wild" earth or environment absent little or no human impact. Epstein's moral position is that man should serve human beings, not nature, and that it is wrong-headed and misguided to view man as a destructive force meriting punishment for cultivating the environment for his benefit. With fossil fuels, limiting their use creates reduced economic prosperity, higher levels of human starvation, lower life expectancies and higher rates of infant mortality.

To environmentalists, any transformation of nature is inherently bad and man bears primary responsibility for negatively impacting nature in the quest to develop and utilize resources. Epstein counters this view with the assertion that man's very survival depends on transforming the environment and that the goal should be responsible resource use, not lack of human impact. Fossil fuel use should be embraced for the many ways they improve our lives, he contends.

To counter the fallacy of environmental harm from fossil use, Epstein reviews past predictions of resource depletion and planetary destruction that never came to pass. In 1972, the Club of Rome and ecologist Paul Ehrlich, then still a Stanford University faculty member, declared that we would run out of oil, natural gas, and certain essential minerals by 1993. In 1970, Life magazine reported that within a decade that city dwellers would need to wear gas masks to survive rampant air pollution, that sunlight reaching the earth would be greatly diminished and that hundreds of thousands of people would die.  Of course, none of these dire predictions came to pass and our air and water are cleaner than ever.

Epstein applauds fossil fuels' many benefits in developed countries and contrasts impoverished societies with their unreliable and low levels of fossil-fuel resources and utilization and the resulting poor sanitation, rampant disease, limited food production, and minimal transportation of goods. A poignant example is a hospital in Gambia, where infant mortality rates are extremely high due to lack of electric power for ultrasound machines to diagnose in-utero problems and incubators to save the lives of premature babies.

Epstein cites data showing that the more fossil fuels are used, the fewer deaths occur from droughts, floods, storms and other climate-related disasters. He compares undeveloped nations with low fossil-fuel use to developed nations and concludes that the latter have higher levels of safety because of better transportation for relief efforts, sturdier buildings and higher agricultural yields. Fossil fuels have enabled us to turn unusable water into usable water and eradicate disease through mass production of pharmaceuticals and vaccines and improved sanitation facilities. Plus, fossil fuels give us the opportunity to move to other climates or change our existing environment to be safe and comfortable despite climate challenges. The machines that run on fossil fuels have transformed the hazardous natural environment to a healthier human environment, Epstein says.

The author also examines the argument that renewable resources can augment or replace fossil fuels entirely. He notes, first, that not a single, independent free-standing wind or solar power plant exists anywhere in the world. He then delineates the problems with renewable energy. Compared to fossil fuels which are cheap, plentiful, reliable, easily extracted and naturally stored, renewable energies, solar and wind, are not plentiful, accounting for under two percent of our energy usage; cannot be naturally stored; and are not reliable because they depend on the vagaries of weather. While fossil fuels are intrinsically concentrated, solar power is diffused and requires many additional resources to concentrate its energy. Plus, it relies on fossil fuel-powered backup systems for off-peak periods.

Although wind farms release no emissions, rotating turbines kill and injure more than a million birds and bats annually and cause pollution from extraction of rare-earth minerals needed to manufacture the turbines. Both wind and solar power require extensive land use and aesthetically degrade the landscape.

Further, wind-energy production causes noise that many find disturbing. Epstein concludes that fossil fuel exploration actually impacts the environment far less than the renewables favored by environmentalists.

 Today, dire predictions exist that CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels will cause climate catastrophe within a few decades. The truth, Epstein writes, is that, although significant warming has not occurred for a few decades, humans actually thrive with warmer temperatures and plant life proliferates. Both conditions led to drops in climate-related deaths in the past, Epstein says, citing data to back up his claims from the UN Environment Programme's, Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (CRED/OFDA).

Amidst the hysteria surrounding claims of global warming and campaigns to stop fossil fuel use, the question should be raised, "What ultimately benefits human life?" Far from being a danger to the planet, fossil fuels have vastly improved the quality of human life. Our real concerns should be about policies based on unsubstantiated and fallacious claims that would ultimately restrict our use of traditional energy resources that have served us so well. Ultimately, we should focus on how to continue improving the planet for human beings and not on saving the planet from human beings


Venezuela Uses 'F Word' to Discredit Fracking

ALL oil producing nations are probably cursing American ingenuity at the moment

A socialist president who still seems to like his pomp and circumstance

Venezuela is not mincing words with a new exhibition titled "F---ing Fracking" that denounces the environmental toll of hydraulic fracturing in the United States.

"Today at 4pm .... Inauguration of the educational exhibit #FuckingFracking ... Don't miss it," ruling Socialist Party official Ernesto Villegas said on Twitter.

The event features speeches by an economist and oil expert, and will wrap up with a play, according to a half-page advertisement in newspaper Ultimas Noticias. The ad depicts a fractured heart dripping with black oil with dried up leaves coming from the arteries.

President Nicolas Maduro has for months alleged that the United States is deliberately flooding the market with shale oil to sink prices and destabilize his OPEC nation, as well as Russia.

The decline in oil prices has slammed his increasingly cash-strapped and unpopular government in the midst of a deep recession and ahead of important parliamentary elections.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, involves injecting water and chemicals deep underground to break up rock and release oil and gas.

Environmental groups have expressed concern about risks linked to the process, such as chemical leaks into groundwater and disposal of waste water produced in the process.



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

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


4 March, 2015

Disproving the second law of Thermodynamics??

A recent study highlighted earlier on this site, claimed to have recorded the signature of global warming cum climate change cum climate disruption via the re-radiated energy coming from atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). From it I quote the following pertinent sections:

"They say it confirms the science of climate change and the amount of heat-trapping previously blamed on carbon dioxide.  'We see, for the first time in the field, the amplification of the greenhouse effect because there's more CO2 in the atmosphere to absorb what the Earth emits in response to incoming solar radiation,' said Daniel Feldman, a scientist in Berkeley Lab's Earth Sciences Division and lead author of the Nature paper.

'Numerous studies show rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations, but our study provides the critical link between those concentrations and the addition of energy to the system, or the greenhouse effect,' Feldman adds.  He said no one before had quite looked in the atmosphere for this type of specific proof of climate change."

There you have it, they have disproved the second law of TD in one easy session without further ado!

The authors seem not concerned that amplification and the addition of energy require new energy, which they claim comes off atmospheric CO2. If engineers are made aware of this extraordinary property of CO2 they will surely be able to design equipment to capture and double the available energy output. If it were true then CO2 would be used in industry as an energy source, which of course it isn't. But it is widely used as a COOLANT, with new applications being researched right now - e.g. here

CO2 does indeed cause more cooling, although that is by only a tiny amount, but it's all that CO2 can do. See  here

A scientific fact is that neither the greenhouse effect nor any climate forcing parameter exist in the open to space atmosphere in which we all live, despite all that you read. Both require energy or create energy out of thin air, literally, see the K&T earth energy budget, where the atmosphere is depicted as source of energy with even more power than the sun itself.

A communication from Hans Schreuder of Sky Dragon fame.  The "addition of energy to the system" is certainly a very strange claim


AP’s Seth Borenstein hypes Antarctic melt fears – Recycles same claims from 2014, 1990, 1979, 1922 & 1901!

'The Associated Press is recycling more than century old Antarctica ice sheet melt and sea level rise fears.  Reporter Seth Borenstein is not the first one to hype these same Antarctica melt fears. Virtually the exact same claims and hype were reported in 2014, 1990, 1979, 1922 and 1901!

2014: Watch: WUSA 9 DC TV station on Antarctic melt fears features images of DC monuments underwater. ‘It’s our choice how fast the seas rise’ – We control sea level rise? Watch Now: Local DC News Schlock Report on Antarctica & Sea Level Rise

1990: Flashback January 11, 1990: NBC’s Today Show features Paul Ehrlich warning of impacts of Antarctic ice melt: 'You Could Tie Your Boat to the Washington Monument'

1979 NYT: “Boats could be launched from the bottom of the steps of the Capitol’ in DC–‘Experts Tell How Antarctic’s Ice Could Cause Widespread Floods - Mushy Ice Beneath Sheet’]

1922: 'Mountain after mountain of [Antarctic] ice will fall into the sea, be swept northwards by the currents, and melt, thus bringing about, but at a much more rapid rate, the threatened inundation of the land by the rising of the sea to its ancient level.' - The Mail Adelaide, SA - April 29, 1922 

1901: ‘London On The Border of Destruction’: ‘To Be Wiped Out By A Huge Wave’ - Queanbeyan Age – August 10, 1901 - Excerpt: ‘Geologists believe that this great ice sucker has reached the stage of perfection when it (Antarctica) will, break up again, letting loose all the waters of its auction over the two hemispheres, and completely flooding the low-lying lands of Europe, Asia, and North America.'

The Associated Press and Seth Borenstein are at it again. The article by Seth Borenstein and Luis Andres Henao titled ‘Glacial Melting In Antarctica Makes Continent The ‘Ground Zero Of Global Climate Change’‘ was published on February 27, 2014.

The AP left out contrary peer-reviewed studies, inconvenient data and trends that counter the articles ‘worse than we thought’ narrative. The AP paints an erroneous picture of potential sea level rise, volcanic causes of any melting and the current state of Antarctica and the geologic history of the continent.

Why did the AP not include any ice specialists with differing views? See: Prominent Scientist Dissents: Renowned glaciologist declares global warming is ‘going to be a big plus’ – Fears ‘Frightening’ Cooling – Warns scientists are ‘prostituting their science’ – Dr. Hughes is an internationally renowned glaciologist who pioneered many of the modern ideas currently under study in the field.’ Dr. Hughes has travelled to the Arctic ten times and the Antarctic thirteen times since 1968, mostly as the principal investigator of NSF-funded glaciological research.

Of course this was no surprising given the article was co-written by Seth Borenstein who’s recent reporting on ‘hottest year’ claims had to be corrected. See: AP ‘clarifies’ ‘hottest year’ claims: ‘Kudos to Marc Morano for keeping the heat (heh) on about this’

AP’s Seth Borenstein at it again! Claims ‘global warming means more Antarctic ice’ — Meet the new consensus, the opposite of the old consensus

Borenstein has a long history of promoting global warming fears at the expense of journalistic ethics. See: ‘Long sad history of AP reporter Seth Borenstein’s woeful global warming reporting’ More on Borenstein here.

More HERE  (See the original for links)

Now it's caterpillars that cause global warming!

A new study published in Nature Plants shows that hungry, plant-eating insects may limit the ability of forests to take up elevated levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, reducing their capacity to slow human-driven climate change.

The finding is significant because climate change models typically fail to consider changes in the activities of insects in the ecosystem, says Richard Lindroth, a professor of ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the leader of the study. The research suggests it's time to add insects to the models.

Carbon dioxide typically makes plants grow faster and makes them more efficient in how they use nutrients. But the amount of damage caused by leaf-munching bugs in the study nearly doubled under high carbon dioxide conditions, leading to an estimated 70g of carbon-sequestering biomass lost per meter squared per year.

"This is the first time, at this scale, that insects have been shown to compromise the ability of forests to take up carbon dioxide," Lindroth says.

In addition, as feeding increased, more nutrients moved from the canopy to the forest floor in the form of insect fecal material and chewed-on leaf scraps, mixing into the soil and likely altering the nutrient profile of the forest.

"Insects are munching on leaves and they're pooping out remnants, so they are changing the timing of nutrient cycling as well as the quality," Lindroth says.

John Couture, a former graduate student in Lindroth's lab and the lead author of the study, spent three years with his team studying the impact of elevated carbon dioxide alone, elevated ozone (which is highly toxic to plants) alone, and elevated levels of both gases combined on stands of aspen and birch growing in what was once one of the largest simulated ecosystems in the world, the Aspen Free-Air Carbon dioxide and ozone Enrichment (Aspen FACE) experiment located near Rhinelander, Wisconsin.

Unlike a greenhouse or atmospheric chamber, the FACE site (now decommissioned) was a massive outdoor experimental area that allowed trees to grow under natural conditions, like natural soil, sunlight, and rainfall. The only artificial conditions were those that were experimentally manipulated.

The site consisted of a dozen stands of trees growing in 30 meter diameter plots, surrounded by a network of PVC pipes designed to vent gases into the environment around them.

They were exposed to carbon dioxide and ozone at levels predicted for the year 2050, although Lindroth says the 560 parts-per-million carbon dioxide level studied is probably too low.

The trees were planted as saplings in the mid-1990s and by the time Couture collected data for the study from 2006 though 2008, they had grown to resemble any number of the disturbed forest stands found throughout Wisconsin.

Couture and his team walked through each site, clipping leaves from the canopy using scissors at the end of pruner poles or from scaffolding near the top of the canopy. They also set out frass baskets -- laundry baskets lined with sheets -- to collect scraps of leaves dropped by messy, munching caterpillars and other bugs dining in the canopy, and to collect their fecal droppings.

Tens of thousands of leaves and countless frass baskets later, Couture measured the amount of leaf area consumed by the insects in each plot and sifted through the frass and food droppings in the baskets to assess just how much eating the bugs were doing, to measure the amount of nutrients leaving the trees via their droppings, and to assess the loss of tree biomass.

Why insects would do more munching in a carbon dioxide rich forest is in part a matter of chemistry. Because carbon dioxide is a limiting resource for plant growth, high levels of the gas change the way trees use other resources, like nitrogen, typically leading to less nutritious plants.

"It's like a slice of Wonder Bread versus a slice of high density, protein-rich bakery bread; there's a lot more protein in the bakery bread than the white bread," says Couture. "Insects have a base level of nutrients they need in order to grow and to reach that, they can choose either to eat higher-nutrient food -- unfortunately, insects don't always have that choice -- or to eat more."

Overall, the team found high ozone plots were less hospitable to insects, reducing their munching behavior and leading to less biomass loss.

With the findings, the researchers created models allowing them to predict what could happen in forests under changing environmental conditions.

"The big question is, will northern forests grow faster under elevated carbon dioxide?" says Lindroth. "Carbon dioxide is a substrate for photosynthesis. It gets converted into sugars, which then become plant biomass. Will trees take up more carbon dioxide and thus help reduce its increase in the atmosphere?"

As humans continue to contribute more carbon dioxide to Earth's atmosphere, the answer should be yes as trees act as sponges for the greenhouse gas. But it turns out, very hungry caterpillars and their bug brethren -- in their own quest for food in an elevated carbon dioxide environment -- may limit that growth and reduce the capacity of forests to slow climate warming.


UPDATE: Craig Idso has emailed some preliminary comments on the above claims.  He notes the powerful point that, despite all the cries of doom from Warmists, the earth is steadily greening -- as one would expect from increased atmospheric CO2.  Those caterpillars might have to munch harder!  Craig's comments below:

While I have not seen the paper discussed in this press release, I would not be concerned about the headline of this paper.  There are numerous counter papers showing the opposite is more likely to be true, some from THE VERY SAME FACE LOCATION!  The devil is always in the details and I suspect it may have been related to their experimental design. 

Coincidentally, I am just finishing a manuscript that will be submitted to a journal that discusses this very same topic in a section of the paper, and again, the results are overwhelmingly in the other direction where elevated CO2 REDUCES herbivore attack damage.

The net greening observed by satellites is a combination of several factors, including  rising CO2, temperature, precipitation, nitrogen fertilization, policy (e.g., afforestation), etc.  I also discuss this in my forthcoming paper.

Regardless of the causes, the important point in the matter is the fact that despite all of the many real and imagined assaults on vegetation over the past several decades from forest fires, droughts, floods, deforestation, insect outbreaks, and the “dreaded” rise in temperature and CO2 concentrations, which the alarmists claim should be destroying nature, on the whole, there has been a net greening.  And that is a very powerful point that must be made again, again, and again.

UK: Forget MPs and 'cabs for hire’ – the green lobby is already at the wheel

It was scarcely believable that Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Jack Straw should have been so shameless and so naive. Both were caught out by exactly the same trick that, five years ago, led to Stephen Byers happily admitting to a carefully placed Dispatches briefcase that, when it came to “cash for access”, he was “like a cab for hire”. But at least those former ministers were only touting for thousands of pounds a day after they had left their positions of direct power and influence over government policy. What, then, are we to make of those politicians who receive astonishingly lavish rewards from firms engaged in “renewable energy” when they are still in a position to influence government policy, or have only just stepped down from having responsibility for it?

Last week I referred to the speed with which Charles Hendry MP switched from being minister of state for energy and climate change to the chairmanship of Forewind Ltd. That, you may recall, is the consortium to which his old ministry has just given the go-ahead to build the world’s largest offshore wind farm, which in its first 10 years of operation is likely to receive some £9 billion in public subsidies. Mr Hendry, we see from his declarations of interest, last year earned £48,000 from Forewind, at up to £1,000 an hour; and also earns £60,000 a year from a company called Bombo, which hopes to build an “interconnector” to bring renewable energy to Britain from Iceland.

He, of course, replaced Lord Deben (aka John Gummer), who was persuaded to resign from Forewind when he was appointed chairman of the “independent” Climate Change Committee, on which the Government relies for advice on its energy policy. But he still, for a while, managed to retain his directorship of Veolia, a company which hopes to make a fortune from connecting wind farms to the grid.

Then, of course, there was the controversial case of Tim Yeo MP, who long served as chairman of the also supposedly “independent” select committee on energy and climate change, despite earning £200,000 a year from various renewable and “low carbon” energy firms. These included his directorship of Eurotunnel, which plans a new interconnector to bring French electricity to Britain, specifically to provide back-up for our unreliable wind farms.

Mr Yeo eventually had to step aside as chairman after being allegedly caught on video admitting to having “coached” an employee of a solar energy firm in which he had an interest on how to handle questions from his own committee. But he was cleared by the Commons standards watchdog, and still remains on this hugely influential committee.

These men had no need to become “cabs for hire”. They have been able to cruise, all above board, in that strange twilight zone between positions of influence and the greatest public subsidy bonanza Britain has ever seen


Chilling Climate Change at New York Times

Yes, climate really does change, running hot and cold with mainstream media news cycles. Just one week after the New York Times showcased a Feb. 21 hatchet piece on Dr. Willie Soon, a man-made climate alarm doubter at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics “who claims that variations in the sun’s energy can largely explain recent global warming”, its front page Feb. 27 piece was far more chilling.

Headlined “28 Days on Ice” and illustrated with dramatic ice and snow scenes, the later feature indicates that Dr. Soon along with other skeptical scientists may have very good reasons to doubt that any crisis exists after all. As the subtitle states, “From the Hudson to La Guardia Airport, this February may be New York’s coldest since 1934, the National Weather Service Says.”

Before I go any further with this, let me be very clear that neither I nor anyone I know doubts that climate changes. This has been going on throughout our planet’s history — beginning long before the Industrial Revolution introduced smokestacks and SUVs.

Let’s also recognize a big difference between local and ever-changing short-term weather events and regional/global climate shifts characterized over at least a three decade long period. Accordingly, weather changes occurring during a single season or even over a few years in one region don’t validate global climate trending one way or another, much less any measurable human influences.

Consider, for example, that Icelandic Vikings raised livestock in grasslands on Greenland’s southwestern coast as recently as 1,000 years ago. These Norse settlements were then abandoned by about 1350 — after temperatures dropped. Temperatures dropped dramatically again in the middle of the 16th century. The end of this time witnessed brutal winter temperatures suffered by Washington’s troops at Valley Forge in 1777-78, and Napoleon’s bitterly cold retreat from Russia in 1812.

Although temperatures and weather conditions have been generally mild over about the past 150 years, the past century has witnessed two periods of warming. The first occurred between 1910 and 1945 when CO2 levels were relatively low, compared with now.

The second warming which followed a full climate cycle cool-down began in 1975. Global mean temperatures rose at quite a constant rate until 1998, a strong Pacific Ocean El Niño year. Satellite records show that since then, and despite rising atmospheric CO2 levels, temperatures have been statistically flat over the past 18 years and counting.

Consider that less than a half-climate cycle after the planet had experienced a full cooling cycle, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Al Gore’s minions already determined that human fossil-fueled CO2 emissions had put the world at tipping point crisis. Then, after Mother Nature intervened to suggest otherwise, the story changed. Global warming not only became re-termed climate change — now it even caused global cooling. And yes, as a matter of fact, U.S. winters have been getting colder over the past 20 years.

Still, according to the IPCC, “Milder winter temperatures will decrease heavy snowstorms.” As recently as last month, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy teamed with the Aspen Skiing Co. and a pair of Olympic snowboarders at the "X Games" to put out the message that reduced snow due to climate change would ruin the ski industry. Yet according to a snow report website, “Current snowpack levels are at 165 percent of average” for Aspen.

On the other hand, haven’t global warming activists been warning us that since warmer air adds more moisture, snow storms will become worse? As the Center for American Progress headed by former Obama White House adviser/Clean Power Plan proponent John Podesta claimed, “climate change may have affected the [recent Boston] snow storm  — may have made it more likely, may have made it worse than it would have been without so much greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.” Incidentally, this very same John Podesta will most likely head Hillary’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Besides, given that U.S. winter temperatures are actually colder, how does this warmist argument explain record snow and ice? At the same time that Connecticut experienced the coldest February in recorded history, nearby Boston amassed a near record 101.8 inches of snow.

Meanwhile, ice breakers had to open pathways through the Hudson River to keep ships moving. New England lobster boats became frozen in ports for weeks. And on Jan. 27, Canadian adventurer Will Gadd, using ice picks, became the first person ever to scale Niagara Falls which had frozen solid.

So if some of us have come to suspect that we’re witnessing a feverish snow job, does this really qualify us as climate change deniers? Golly, this is all so confusing. It’s enough to give anyone attempting to keep track of the changing story cold sweats.


Running Updates on the "Witch Hunt"

Roger Pielke, Jr.

This post will serve as a running update on the so-called "investigation" of my research on disasters and climate change at the University of Colorado. I will update it as warranted, with newer stuff at the top. Pointers and tips welcome in the comments.


    Rep. Grivalja has walked back his requests, according to Ben Geman at the National Journal: Climate Letters Went Too Far. Since Rep. Geman already has complete access to all my financial COI disclosures, I guess we now know that the letter was an unnecessary stunt designed to smear. Nice.

    The Denver Post (March 3) has an editorial titled "CU rightly defends Roger Pielke Jr. against political bully" -- key quote: Rep. Grijalva's "gambit amounts to a bold, abusive assault on academic freedom."

    Mark Steyn asks why no reporters appear to be interested in the fact that an anonymous person had forewarning of Rep. Grivalja's "investigation" and used a fake email account from a Russian server to taunt those who would later receive letters from the Congressman. Bizarre to be sure, and if I hadn't seen the taunting email in advance I might not have believed it. But as I've said, nothing surprises me in the climate debate anymore.

    To believe that Rep. Grijalva's "investigation" has merit, you have to believe either (a) in a shadowy conspiracy of fossil fuel interests funneling me (and others) money under the table to produce certain research results and testimony, which have somehow mysteriously passed peer review and been accepted by the IPCC, or (b) there is no such conspiracy, but I (and others) need to be falsely accused and smeared in order to remove us from the debate. Tin foil hat or unethical campaigner? Not a great choice.

    Several reporters have asked me why I testify before Congress if I know that my results will be used by Republicans. Aside from the interesting framing of this question, I have written on my views of providing testimony here in PDF (following the testimony that I am now being investigated for) and please take careful note of the "To Avoid Any Confusion" bullets on p. 2 of my testimony here in PDF. 

Original bullet points

    This week I have been invited to do various interviews for print/online and radio. I'll update here when these are available and I have more details.

    9 News in Denver had a excellent story, shown in the video above and online here.

    For those interested in my actual research on climate please head over to this summary in the final post at my climate blog, The Climate Fix.

    A group called the Energy & Environment Legal Group has filed state freedom of information act requests modeled on the Rep. Grijalva letter with 4 universities (Colorado, Arizona, Delaware, Georgia Tech) requesting funding information from 5 researchers. This is obviously a retaliatory act, legitimized by Rep. Grijalva's campaign. It is just as wrong-headed.

    Here in PDF is that strongly worded letter from the American Meteorological Society to Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) warning that he is sending "a chilling message" to all researchers.

    Yesterday I had a nice chat with Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) who represents my district here in Boulder. What we said will stay between us, but it was very a positive conversation.

   Also yesterday @EricHolthaus - a widely read scientist and climate activist - taunted me with the following bizarre Tweet: "It’s getting harder and harder for @RogerPielkeJr to remain relevant." Upon later learning that I'm no longer doing climate change research Holthaus Tweeted that his earlier taunt was no longer relevant. Great evidence that a lot of this is about eliminating unwelcomed voices in the debate.

   At The Breakthrough Institute, Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus take the high road and argue that political intimidation of academics in unacceptable, defending both me and Michael Mann.



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

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


3 March, 2015

Just When You Thought Scientists Couldn’t Possibly Get Any Stupider

Three years ago, ingenious scientists predicted that DC cherry trees would bloom in February

ScreenHunter_7616 Mar. 02 00.33
Could cherry blossoms one day be blooming in winter? – The Washington Post

We just had our second coldest February on record, and Chesapeake Bay is frozen over.

ScreenHunter_7603 Mar. 01 20.02

With lots more record cold on the way.

ScreenHunter_7617 Mar. 02 00.36

You have to wonder how these people are able to tie their own shoes, much less find their way to their ivory tower to write and peer-review this kind of garbage.


Polar Vortex Common In The 19thC

I came across a chapter in Hubert Lamb's "Climate, History and the Modern World", which has more than a bit of topical relevance.

We are all well aware of the extremely cold winters in the eastern half of the States, both this year and last. This has coincided with warm winters in the west, the sort of extreme weather which warmists would like to blame on "climate change".

Well it turns out that they had the same weather patterns in the 1850's and 60's, and the reason was just the same - a meridional jet stream.

HH Lamb - Page 253

Lamb believed that this meridionality was actually more common during the Little Ice Age, and there is plenty of evidence of the same phenomenon during the cooling period of the 1960's and 70's.

Is the latest incarnation of this just weather, or an indication of a return to a colder era? Either way, it won't stop junk scientists blaming it on "global warming".


Warmists still promoting their flop film

Below is part of a blurb from "Newsweak" trying to drum up interest in the cinematic Kenner/Oreskes attack on climate skeptics.  It's been out for a while now but seems to have been a box-office flop.  I have said all I want to say about it before so will refer readers back to that

In Merchants of Doubt, their 2010 book that vivisects bad science and industrial cynicism, science historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway decried the uneven battle for the popular imagination fought, on one side, by scientists ill-equipped for high-volume cable-TV tussles and, on the other, by the "well-financed contrarians" bent on dismantling whatever lab results, peer-reviewed theories and settled science might lead to even the most benign corporate regulations.

The authors unraveled the deny-and-obfuscate tactics concocted in the 1950s by Mad Men and Big Tobacco to cloud understanding of what even the proto-mainstream media was beginning to grasp. "Cancer by the Carton," read a 1953 headline in Reader's Digest. "Doubt," countered a public relations memo exhumed decades later from Big Tobacco's yellowed files, "is our product."

And doubt, argued Oreskes and Conway, became the mantra for purveyors of acid rain, ozone holes and, most significant, global warming. Keep the cigarettes burning, the CO2 combusting and the profits flowing for as long as possible.

Joining the fray is filmmaker Robert Kenner, whose surprisingly rollicking screen adaptation of Merchants of Doubt opens March 6 in New York and Los Angeles. It's a worthy follow-up to his 2008 Oscar-nominated Food, Inc., which arrived when Americans were primed to point fat fingers at Big Agra. This time, Doubt lands amid a national debate over science-legit, pseudo or just plain bad-that intensifies with every foot of Boston snow or new case of Disneyland measles.

Along with corporate greed and Madison Avenue chicanery, Kenner's film exposes a devoted and long-lived cadre of scientists (and their philosophical descendants) who established their careers during the A-bomb era and the Cold War's Big Science rivalries. Anti-communist ideologues, well-trained and often brilliant scientists such as physicists S. Fred Singer and the late Frederick Seitz saw (and see) corporate regulation as a pathway to socialism, an endgame more fearsome than any secondhand smoke or patchy ozone.


Now Europe wants to ban halogen light bulbs

The sale of halogen bulbs which are used in millions of homes could be banned as early as next year as part of the EU's energy-saving drive.  It follows the prohibition of traditional incandescent bulbs, which have been phased out in an effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Millions of halogen bulbs are sold in Britain every year, often for use in kitchen and bathroom spotlights. Any ban could consequently cause enormous inconvenience.

The European Commission and green campaigners say halogens are not much more efficient than traditional bulbs so should be replaced by energy-saving compact fluorescent bulbs - known as CFLs - and LEDs.

Yet these alternatives can be as much as 15 times more expensive. There is the additional problem that some LEDs do not work with the dimmer switches and wiring circuits currently used by halogen bulbs, while CFLs can take up to five minutes to reach full brightness.

The EC is due to hold a vote on the issue in April, when it could agree to go ahead with the proposed 2016 ban or push back the date to 2018.

Consumer group Which? argued there are good reasons for a delay. A spokesman said: `Half of Which? members still have halogen bulbs in their home and more than two in five have halogen spotlights. Delaying the ban until 2018 would allow more time for some of the compatibility and user issues to be resolved.'

And a campaign group of manufacturers called LightingEurope is demanding any ban on halogens is delayed until 2020 at the earliest, in order to minimise the impact on consumers and the industry.

The group's secretary general, Diederik de Stoppelaar, said: `A phase-out before 2020 is going to be costly and inconvenient to consumers. The industry supports the change to more energy efficient lighting... however, an earlier date does not allow for alternative developing technologies to be widely available.'

But Which? added that despite the inconvenience, there are some positives to switching. The new bulbs last longer and, because they are more energy efficient, they will cut electricity bills over time.

Typically, halogens use 10 per cent less energy than incandescent bulbs, while CFLs use 60-80 per cent less and LEDs up to 90 per cent less. LED lights are so efficient that a 5-watt bulb is, in theory, equivalent to a 35-watt halogen.

But while a typical 35-watt halogen spotlight costs about œ1, a 5-watt LED can be anything from œ5 to œ15.

The managing director of British lighting company BLT Direct, Steven Ellwood, supports the 2016 ban.

He said: `We understand the concerns of experts who want to delay the ban in order to iron out some issues. [But] implementing the ban sooner rather than later would see plenty of benefits for consumers, not to mention the environment.'

Other advocates of the 2016 deadline argue that the energy savings for Britain as a whole could be so large that it would eliminate the risk of black-outs caused by the closure of old and run-down power stations.

One analysis suggests that if all 27 million homes reduced their need for lighting by 100 watts on winter evenings, this would cut peak energy demand by 5 per cent.


Warmist Jihad?

Climate Crisis extremists attack experts who challenge claims of imminent climate Armageddon

Paul Driessen

ISIL and other Islamist jihad movements continue to round up and silence all who oppose them or refuse to convert to their extreme religious tenets. They are inspiring thousands to join them. Their intolerance, vicious tactics and growing power seem to have inspired others, as well.

After years of claiming the science is settled and unprecedented manmade catastrophes are occurring right now, Climate Crisis, Inc. is increasingly desperate. Polls put climate change at the bottom of every list of public concerns. China and India refuse to cut energy production or emissions. Real-world weather and climate totally contradict their dire models and forecasts. Expensive, subsidized, environmentally harmful renewable energy makes little sense in world freshly awash in cheap, accessible oil, gas and coal.

Perhaps worse, Congress is in Republican control, and in 23 months the White House and Executive Branch could also shift dramatically away from the Freezing-Jobless-in-the-Dark Side of the Force.

Climate Crisis industrialists are also fed up with constant carping, criticism and questions from growing numbers of experts who will not kowtow to their End of Days theology. Once seemingly near, their dream of ruling a hydrocarbon-free world of "sustainably" lower living standards become more remote every week. Extremist factions had dreamed of a global climatist caliphate and want vengeance.

So borrowing from Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton mentor Saul Alinsky's book, Rules for Radicals, they have gone on the attack: Pick a target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. A good tactic is one your people enjoy. A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag. Keep the pressure on, with different tactics and actions. They've also borrowed from the Islamic State playbook: Silence your enemies.

Led by Greenpeace associate Kert Davies, this Climatist Jihad wing of the climate chaos movement has launched a well funded, carefully choreographed vendetta of character assassination and destruction, vilifying dangerous manmade climate change "deniers" and trying to destroy their careers. Their Big Green, Big Government and media allies are either actively complicit, rooting from the sidelines or silent.

Instead of bullets, bombs and beheadings, they use double standards, Greenpeace FOIA demands, letters from Senator Ed Markey and Congressman Raul Grijalva, threats of lost funding and jobs, and constant intimidation and harassment. Submit, recant, admit your guilt, renounce your nature-rules-climate faith, Climatist Jihadis tell climate realists. Or suffer the consequences, which might even include IRS, EPA and Fish & Wildlife Service swat teams bursting through your doors, as they did with Gibson Guitars.

Their first target was Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics scientist Wei-Hock "Willie" Soon. Working closely with Greenpeace's Climate Investigations Center, the Boston Globe and New York Times alleged that Dr. Soon received $1.25 million from the fossil fuel industry, but failed to disclose those funds when his scientific papers were published and falsely claimed he had no conflict of interest.

The charges are bogus. Harvard had full knowledge of Dr. Soon's research financing and took 40% of the grant money off the top: some $500,000! The details are all public records, and Dr. Soon has a solid track record of going where his careful and extensive research takes him - regardless of where the money comes from. Not a scrap of evidence suggests that he falsified or fabricated data or conclusions, or twisted his science to satisfy research sponsors, on any of the numerous topics he has studied.

He has received incredible flak from environmentalist pressure groups, media outlets and even his own university - and has courageously stood behind his research, analyses and findings, which continue to withstand intense scientific scrutiny. Harvard-Smithsonian recently said it "does not support Dr. Soon's conclusions on climate change," and Harvard Earth and Planetary Sciences Professor Daniel Schrag averred that Soon's approach to finding global average temperatures was perhaps not "as honest as other approaches." But they offer not a scintilla of evidence to support their allegations of inaccuracy and dishonesty, and give him no opportunity to respond.

Indeed, one of the most prominent aspects of the climate imbroglio is the steadfast refusal of alarmist scientists to discuss or debate their findings with experts who argue that extensive, powerful natural forces - not human carbon dioxide emissions - drive Earth's climate and weather. "Manmade disaster" proponents also refuse to divulge raw data, computer codes and other secretive work that is often paid for with taxpayer money and is always used to justify laws, treaties, regulations, mandates and subsidies that stifle economic growth, kill jobs and reduce living standards.

Dr. Soon is not the only target. The Climate Jihadists are also going after Robert Balling, Matt Briggs, John Christy, Judith Curry, Tom Harris, Steven Hayward, David Legates, Richard Lindzen, and Roger Pielke, Jr. More are sure to follow, because their work eviscerates climate cataclysm claims and raises serious questions about the accuracy, credibility, integrity and sanctity of alarmist science.

Climate Crisis, Inc. wants a monopoly over the issue. Its members focus almost exclusively on alleged human causes of climate change and extreme weather events - and would love to see skeptics silenced. Crisis proponents will not even attend scientific conferences where skeptics discuss natural causes and alarmists have opportunities to defend their hypotheses, models and evidence. (Perhaps the FCC needs to investigate this monopoly and issue "climate neutrality" rules, to ensure honest and balanced discussion.)

It fits a depressing pattern: of the White House, Democrats and liberals shutting down debate, permitting no amendments, conducting business behind closed doors, not allowing anyone to read proposed laws and regulations, rarely even recognizing that there are differing views - on ObamaCare, ObamaNetCare, IRS harassment of conservative donors and groups, PM Netanyahu's speech to Congress, or climate change.

The Climate Crisis industry thrives on tens of billions of dollars annually, for one-sided climate research, drilling and fracking studies, renewable energy projects and other programs, all based on dubious claims that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions threaten climate stability and planetary survival.

Businesses, job holders and consumers pay the huge costs of complying with the resultant regulations and soaring energy costs. Taxpayers pay for much of the research and propaganda that drives the rulemaking. Russia and hard-left foundations have also contributed billions to the process; and government unions, environmental pressure groups and renewable energy companies give generously to researchers and to politicians who keep the alarmist research programs, regulatory processes, mandates and subsidies alive.

All of this raises another elephantine issue. If a couple million dollars over a decade's time creates near-criminal conflict-of-interest and disclosure problems for skeptic/realist scientists, what effects do billions of dollars in research money have on alarmist researchers and their universities and institutions?

Few, if any, alarmist researchers have disclosed that their work was funded by government agencies, companies, foundations and others with enormous financial, policy, political and other interests in their work, ensuring that their conclusions support manmade factors and debunk natural causes. Many of those researchers have signed statements that their research and papers involved no conflicts, knowing they would not get these grants, if their outcomes did not reflect the sponsors' interests and perspectives.

Moreover, ClimateGate, IPCC revelations and other investigations have revealed extensive and troubling incidents of manipulated data, faulty models, wild exaggerations, broken hockey sticks, and completely baseless claims about hottest years, disappearing glaciers, coastal flooding and other "crises." And those claims severely impact our energy costs, jobs, living standards, economic growth and freedoms.

We need to end the double standard - and investigate the alarmist researchers and institutions.

Or better yet, let us instead have that all-out, open, robust debate that climate realists have long sought - and alarmists have refused to join. Equal government and other money for all research. All cards and evidence on the table. No more hiding data and codes. Answer all questions, no matter how tough or inconvenient. And let honest science decide what our energy and economic futures will be.

Via email

Historic documents show half of Australia’s warming trend is due to “adjustments”

Adjustments that cool historic temperatures have almost doubled Australia’s rate of warming

There was a time back in 1933 when the CSIRO was called CSIR and meteorologists figured that with 74 years of weather data on Australia, they really ought to publish a serious document collating all the monthly averages at hundreds of weather stations around Australia.

Little did they know that years later, despite their best efforts, much of the same data would be forgotten and unused or would be adjusted, decades after the fact, and sometimes by as much as one or two degrees.

Twenty years later The Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics would publish an Official Year Book of Australia which included the mean temperature readings from 1911 to 1940 at 44 locations.

Chris Gillham has spent months poring over both these historic datasets, as well as the BoM’s Climate Data Online (CDO) which has the recent temperatures at these old stations. He also compares these old records to the new versions in the BOM’s all new, all marvelous, best quality ACORN dataset. He has published all the results and tables comparing CDO, CSIR and Year Book versions.

He analyzes them in many ways – sometimes by looking at small subsets or large groups of the 226 CSIR stations. But it doesn’t much matter which way the data is grouped, the results always show that the historic records had warmer average temperatures before they were adjusted and put into the modern ACORN dataset. The adjustments cool historic averages by around 0.4 degrees, which sounds small, but the entire extent of a century of warming is only 0.9 degrees C. So the adjustments themselves are the source of almost half of the warming trend.

The big question then is whether the adjustments are necessary. If the old measurements were accurate as is, Australia has only warmed by half a degree. In the 44 stations listed in the Year Book from 1911-1940, the maxima at the same sites is now about half a degree warmer in the new millenia. The minima are about the same.

Remember that these sites from 1911-1940 were all recorded with modern Stevenson Screen equipment.  Furthermore, since that era the biggest change in those sites has been from the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect as the towns and cities grew up around the sites. In some places this effect may already have been warming those thermometers in the first half of the last century, but in others UHI can make 5 to 7 degrees difference.

If Australian thermometers are recording half a degree higher than they were 70 – 100 years ago, we have to ask how much of that warming is the UHI effect? Common sense would suggest that if these older stations need any correction, it should be upward rather than downward to compensate for the modern increase in concrete, buildings and roads. Alternatively, to compare old readings in unpopulated areas with modern ones, we would think the modern temperatures should be adjusted down, rather than the older ones.

Chris Gillham discusses the potential size of the UHI changes:

“In 2012 and 2013 it was anticipated that UHI warming in south-eastern Australia will continue to intensify by approximately 1C per decade over and above that caused by global warming (Voogt 2002), with tests in 1992 showing a UHI influence up to 7.2C between the Melbourne CBD and rural areas. [PDF]

Smaller but significant UHI influences were found in regional towns, with a 1994 test observing a UHI intensity up to 5.4C between the centre of a Victorian town and its rural outskirts.” 

The situation with adjustments stays roughly the same if we go back even further. Gillham compared 226 stations during the period from 1855 -1931 and the average is about half a degree less than what it is now — from 2000-2014.

The first station in the CSIR record, Melbourne, starts in 1855. Each year, new stations came online. By 1865 there are ten stations and by 1880 there are nearly 30.

Ideally we could compare 50 stations which didn’t move or start and stop over the same period, but even the ACORN dataset in the 1900s doesn’t do that, introducing new stations up to the 1970s.

It is hard to draw conclusions from the CSIR record as is. But neither can it be ignored. Roughly two thirds of the temperatures were recorded on Stevenson screens, but much of the data in the 1800s was recorded on screens, sheds and shades until Stevenson screens were introduced across Australia over the 20 year period from 1887 – 1907. And scientists in the 1930s were very much aware of the effect of slight changes in screens as one long running comparison of different screens side by side had already been going for over 30 years in Adelaide. (I’ll write more on that soon).

It’s rough but, as rough guides go, it’s the only data we have. Other peer reviewed papers have estimated Australia’s average temperature change to 0.09C  in 1000AD based on two groves of trees in Tasmania and New Zealand. Wouldn’t thermometers be kinda useful?

One small piece of good news is that at least the early CDO records maintained by the BoM online appear to match the averages within the Year Book and CSIR tables. At least the copies of the original data put online are accurate as far as these rough tests go.

The Bottom line

There is a treasure trove of information in these historic documents for people interested in long-term climate.

The difference between the original records and the adjusted ACORN dataset suggests that the adjustments cooled original temperatures by 0.4C between 1910 and 1940, which means that around 45% of the modern “warming” trend is due to these homogenisations and adjustments which have not been independently justified and oddly appear to go in the opposite direction to what common sense would suggest might be necessary. In the older and larger CSIR tables, there is an overall cooling adjustments of 0.5C.

Thanks to Chris Gillham for the massive amount of data crunching and tracking it takes to provide meaningful numbers.

Chris Gillham’s Conclusions:

Downward ACORN adjustment of historic temperature records from weather stations before 1940 adds 0.3C or 0.4C to Australia’s rate of climate warming since 1910 but the reason for the downward adjustments is unclear.

Various timescale and station comparisons show insignificant changes or warming up to 0.5C from 1931 to 2000-14. These temperatures from 1855 to 1940 are compared to what the BoM describes as the hottest decade ever recorded in Australia (2014 claimed as the third hottest).

Other historic documents add weight to the evidence that pre-1910 temperatures were not significantly cooler than current readings.

For example, On the Climate of the Yass-Canberra District published in 1910 by Commonwealth Meteorologist Henry Hunt shows temperatures at 10 locations were on average 0.1C warmer in all years before 1909 than in 2004-2013. Hunt also presents 1909 summer and winter mean temperatures at six northern Australia locations which average 0.2C warmer than those locations in 2004-2013 (download PDF).

The CSIR and Year Book temperature datasets are unadjusted records compiled by Australia’s leading scientists and weather experts in the mid 20th century and are accurate but differ from BoM records that are adjusted in both RAW and ACORN.

Their dataset timescales include the first 85 years of temperature recording at most weather stations across Australia in a network more than twice as large as ACORN, and their averages are a legitimate historic record indicating climate warming has been significantly less than calculated with adjusted data since 1910.



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


2 March, 2015

Judith Curry's  reflections on the witch-hunt against skeptics

It looks like it is ‘open season’ on anyone who deviates even slightly from the consensus.   The political motivations of all this are apparent from  Call Out The Climate Deniers.

It is much easier for a scientist just to ‘go along’ with the consensus.  In a recent interview, as yet unpublished, I was asked: I’ve seen some instances where you have been called a “denier” when it comes to climate change, I am just curious as to your opinion on that? My reply:

"As a scientist, I am an independent thinker, and I draw my own conclusions about the evidence regarding climate change. My conclusions, particularly my assessments of high levels of uncertainty, differ from the ‘consensus’ of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Why does this difference in my own assessment relative to the IPCC result in my being labeled a ‘denier’? Well, the political approach to motivate action on climate change has been to ‘speak consensus to power’, which seems to require marginalizing and denigrating anyone who disagrees. The collapse of the consensus regarding cholesterol and heart disease reminds us that for scientific progress to occur, scientists need to continually challenge and reassess the evidence and the conclusions drawn from the evidence".

Well, the burden is on Georgia Tech to come up with all of the requested info. Georgia Tech has a very stringent conflict of interest policy, and I have worked  closely in the past with the COI office to manage any conflicts related to my company.  Apart from using up valuable resources at Georgia Tech to respond to this, there is no burden on me.

Other than an emotional burden.  This is the first time I have been ‘attacked’ in a substantive way for doing my science honestly and speaking up about it.  Sure, anonymous bloggers go after me, but I have received no death threats via email, no dead rats delivered to my door step, etc.

I think Grijalva has made a really big mistake in doing this.  I am wondering on what authority Grijalva is demanding this information? He is ranking minority member of a committee before which I have never testified.  Do his colleagues in the Democratic Party support his actions?  Are they worried about backlash from the Republicans, in going after Democrat witnesses?

I don’t think anything good will come of this.  I anticipate that Grijalva will not find any kind of an undisclosed fossil fuel smoking gun from any of the 7 individuals under investigation.  There is already one really bad thing that has come of this – Roger Pielke Jr has stated:

"The incessant attacks and smears are effective, no doubt, I have already shifted all of my academic work away from climate issues. I am simply not initiating any new research or papers on the topic and I have ring-fenced my slowly diminishing blogging on the subject. I am a full professor with tenure, so no one need worry about me — I’ll be just fine as there are plenty of interesting, research-able policy issues to occupy my time. But I can’t imagine the message being sent to younger scientists. Actually, I can: “when people are producing work in line with the scientific consensus there’s no reason to go on a witch hunt.”"

Update:  I just remembered something interesting/entertaining.  Too bad Grijalva only requested my travel since 2007.  In 2006 I was on the ‘green circuit’, with numerous invites from green advocacy groups.  One trip is particularly notable, which was organized by the Wildlife Federation.  Peter Webster and I had an hour with then Governor Jeb Bush, and then another hour with then candidate Charlie Crist.

Following that meeting, we visited several different cities, where I and Joe Romm (!) gave a tag team presentation on the climate change problem and the solutions.

So I’m not sure how to ‘score’ this one; Wildlife Federation and Romm on one side, and Jeb Bush on the other side.  To those of you not following U.S. politics, Jeb Bush is a Republican candidate for President in the 2016 elections.


Global Warming: Follow the Money

It isn’t the fossil-fuel companies that are polluting climate science. Citing documents uncovered by the radical environmental group Greenpeace, a group of media outlets — including the New York Times and the Boston Globe — have attacked global-warming skeptic Wei-Hock (Willie) Soon for allegedly hiding $1.2 million in contributions from “fossil fuel companies.”

The articles were the latest in an ongoing campaign by greens and their media allies to discredit opponents of the warming agenda.

But in allying themselves closely with activist groups with which they share ideological goals, reporters have fundamentally misled readers on the facts of global-warming funding. In truth, the overwhelming majority of climate-research funding comes from the federal government and left-wing foundations. And while the energy industry funds both sides of the climate debate, the government/foundation monies go only toward research that advances the warming regulatory agenda.

With a clear public-policy outcome in mind, the government/foundation gravy train is a much greater threat to scientific integrity. Officials with the Smithsonian Institution — which employs Dr. Soon — told the Times it appeared the scientist had violated disclosure standards, and they said they would look into the matter.

Soon, a Malaysian immigrant, is a widely respected astrophysicist, and his allies came quickly to his defense. “It is a despicable, reprehensible attack on a man of great personal integrity,” says Myron Ebell, the director of Global Warming and International Environmental Policy for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, who questioned why media organizations were singling out Soon over research funding.

Indeed, experts in the research community say that it is much more difficult for some of the top climate scientists — Soon, Roger Pielke Jr., the CATO Institute’s Patrick Michaels, MIT’s now-retired Richard Lindzen — to get funding for their work because they do not embrace the global-warming fearmongering favored by the government-funded climate establishment.

“Soon’s integrity in the scientific community shines out,” says Ebell. “He has foregone his own career advancement to advance scientific truth. If he had only mouthed establishment platitudes, he could’ve been named to head a big university [research center] like Michael Mann.”

Mann is the controversial director of Pennsylvania State’s Earth System Science Center. He was at the center of the 2009 Climategate scandal, in which e-mails were uncovered from climatologists discussing how to skew scientific evidence and blackball experts who don’t agree with them.

Mann is typical of pro-warming scientists who have taken millions from government agencies. The federal government — which will gain unprecedented regulatory power if climate legislation is passed — has funded scientific research to the tune of $32.5 billion since 1989, according the Science and Public Policy Institute. That is an amount that dwarfs research contributions from oil companies and utilities, which have historically funded both sides of the debate. Mann, for example, has received some $6 million, mostly in government grants — according to a study by The American Spectator — including $500,000 in federal stimulus money while he was under investigation for his Climategate e-mails.

Despite claims that they are watchdogs of the establishment, media outlets such as the Times have ignored the government’s oversized role in directing research. And they have ignored millions in contributions from left-wing foundations — contributions that, like government grants, seek to tip the scales to one side of the debate.

Last summer, a minority staff report from the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works gave details on a “Billionaire’s Club” — a shadowy network of charitable foundations that distribute billions to advance climate alarmism. Shadowy nonprofits such as the Energy Foundation and Tides Foundation distributed billions to far-left green groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, which in turn send staff to the EPA who then direct federal grants back to the same green groups. It is incestuous. It is opaque. Major media ignored the report.

Media outlets have also discriminated in their reporting on Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. The Times trumpeted Greenpeace FOIA requests revealing Soon’s benefactors, yet it has ignored the government’s refusal of FOIA filings requesting transparency in pro-warming scientists’ funding. The Competitive Enterprise Institute, for example, has submitted FOIA requests asking for the sources of outside income of NASA scientist James Hansen (a key ally of Al Gore). The government has stonewalled, according to Ebell.

Media reporting further misleads readers in suggesting that “fossil fuel” utilities such as the Southern Company (a $409,000 contributor to Soon’s research, according to the Times) seek only to undermine climate science.

In truth, energy companies today invest in solar, biomass, and landfill facilities in addition to carbon fuels. Companies such as Duke Energy, Exelon Corporation, NRG Energy, and Shell have even gone so far as to join with green groups in forming the U.S. Climate Action Partnership — an industry/green coalition that wants to “enact strong national legislation to require significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.”

This alliance worries a scientific community that is hardly unanimous that warming is a threat. Continued funding of contrarians such as Soon and Lindzen is essential to getting the best scientific research at a time when the EPA wants to shut down America’s most affordable power source, coal — at enormous cost to consumers.

The lack of warming for over a decade (witness this winter’s dangerous, record-breaking low temperatures) and Climategate are proof that the establishment has oversold a warming crisis. Attempts by the media to shut up their critics ignore the real threat to science.


Rajendra Pachauri’s Resignation Letter

The resignation letter of the IPCC chairman is a two-page love letter to himself.

Rajendra Pachauri resigned as chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) today. It was a long time coming. As a journalist who has followed his career for the past five years, writing enough to fill a full-length book, my assessment of 74-year-old Pachauri is a harsh one: He has been a non-stop train wreck.

Today, he finally exited the stage. In true Pachauri fashion, his resignation letter is a two-page love letter to himself. You wouldn’t know that recent allegations of sexual assault, stalking, harassment, and uttering threats suggest strongly that he is a longtime sexual predator.

You wouldn’t know that this latest scandal has profoundly undermined the credibility of the IPCC in the run-up to the UN climate summit scheduled for Paris in December.

Instead, Pachauri talks about all the wonderful things that happened during his 13-year reign. He refers to “priceless assets” and “unmatched contributions.” And to the “close friends and colleagues” who urged him to finish his term rather than quit early. (Neglecting to mention the calls for his resignation issued by the Sunday London Times, the Financial Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Telegraph, and the New Scientist over the years.)

Pachauri’s letter talks about his “greatest joy” and his “sublime satisfaction.” And about religion:

"For me the protection of Planet Earth, the survival of all species and sustainability of our ecosystems is more than a mission. It is my religion and my dharma."

Yes, the IPCC – which we’re told to take seriously because it is a scientific body producing scientific reports – has, in fact, been led by an environmentalist on a mission. By someone for whom protecting the planet is a religious calling.

Even here, at the end, Pachauri fails to grasp that science and religion don’t belong in the same sentence; that those on a political mission are unlikely to be upholders of rigorous scientific practice.

What’s missing from this letter is any suggestion of remorse. When a scandal-plagued leader resigns because his alleged misdeeds are nuking his organization’s reputation, that is a mark of failure. He has let everyone down.

Where are his words of apology to the thousands of IPCC-linked scientists whose honour is now eternally tarnished by their association with him?

In August 2013, after US Secretary of State John Kerry described Pachauri’s leadership of the IPCC as “extraordinary,” I asked the rhetorical question: If that is the case, what would a bad job look like? before listing 17 reasons why Pachauri’s behaviour has been inadequate and inexcusable.


How To Solve The Water Crisis: Use More Fossil Fuels

It’s cliché to say we have a water crisis. It’s certainly cliché to blame it on “climate change,” i.e. fossil fuels.

But if we look at the big-picture data, as against fixating on the most dramatic headlines about the places that happen to be in a state of drought (such as southern California, where I live), a different story emerges: thanks in part to increasing fossil fuel use, we are bringing about a world where our bodies and our crops have more of the water they need, not less.

The Water Opportunity: Ending Drought as We Know It

Let’s look at droughts. To read the headlines about “megadroughts” you would think that drought is a worse problem than ever. And that would be a big, big problem.

Droughts are historically the most common form of climate-related death; a lack of rainfall can affect the supply of the two most basic essentials of life, food and water. Drought is also supposed to be one of the most devastating consequences of CO2 emissions, so let’s see how they match up.

Clearly, CO2 emissions have not had a significant effect on droughts, but expanded human ability to fight drought, powered by fossil fuels, has: from better agriculture (more crops for more people), to rapid transportation to drought-affected areas, to modern irrigation that makes farmers less dependent on rainfall. Shouldn’t fossil fuel energy get some credit here?

To give you one particularly astonishing data point, the International Disaster Database reports that the United States has had zero deaths from drought in the last eight years. This doesn’t mean there are actually zero, as the database only covers incidents involving ten or more deaths, but it means pretty near zero.

Historically, drought is the number-one climate-related cause of death. Worldwide it has gone down by 99.98% in the last eighty years, for many energy-related reasons: oil-powered drought-relief convoys, more food in general because of more prolific, fossil fuel-based agriculture, and irrigation systems. And yet we constantly hear reports that fossil fuels are making droughts worse. These reports give credibility to climate-prediction models that can’t predict climate, but no credibility to the plain facts about how important more energy is to countering drought.

The Water Opportunity: Clean Drinking Water for All

 Access to clean water goes up dramatically in the last 25 years as countries have used more and more fossil fuels.

To understand this trend—and why it’s not a coincidence—we have to step back and ask the question: Where does clean water come from?

Most of Earth’s surface is covered with water—but not nearly enough of it is usable for our high standards and purposes.

Most of the water is saltwater in the oceans. Most of the fresh water is trapped in massive ice sheets in places like Antarctica or Greenland. Some is part of a large water cycle of clouds and precipitation. Some portion is naturally “poisoned” brackish water of low quality in soil layers deep below the surface, containing too much salt and too many metals and other chemicals to be of any use without energy-intensive treatment. Nature does not deliberately or consistently produce “drinking water” able to meet a rigorous set of human health specifications.

As I wrote in my article “How Fossil Fuels Cleaned Up Our Environment”:

"We need to transform naturally dangerous or unusable water into usable water—by moving usable water, purifying unusable water, or desalinating seawater. And that takes affordable energy.

If you were to turn on your faucet right now, in all likelihood you could fill a glass with water that you would have no fear of drinking. Consider how that water got to you: It traveled to your home through a complex network of plastic (oil) or copper pipes originating from a massive storage tank made of metal and plastic. Before it ever even got to the distribution tank, your water went through a massive, high-energy treatment plant where it was treated with complex synthetic chemicals to remove toxic substances like arsenic or lead or mercury. Before that, the water would have been disinfected using chlorine, ozone, or ultraviolet light to kill off any potentially harmful biological organisms. And to make all these steps work efficiently, the pH level of the water has to be adjusted, using chemicals like lime or sodium hydroxide."

Natural water is rarely so usable. Most of the undeveloped world has to make do with natural water, and the results are horrifying. Billions of people have to get by using water that might contain high concentrations of heavy metals, dissolved hydrogen sulfide gas (which produces a rotten-egg smell), and countless numbers of waterborne pathogens that still claim millions of lives each year. It’s a major victory for any person who gains access to the kind of water we take for granted every day—a victory that fossil fuels deserve a major part of the credit for.

The lesson is clear: if we want a water-filled future, we need a power-filled future. One where we have more power to turn unusable water into usable water—to move clean water to where it needs to be. Clean water is overwhelmingly something we create, not something we get. Remember that next time you hear about a “water crisis,” because a water crisis is ultimately a power crisis: a failure to produce or use the power that can get clean water to anyone, anywhere.

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

Warmists never learn

They can't afford to

The Associated Press and Seth Borenstein are at it again. The article by Seth Borenstein and Luis Andres Henao titled ‘Glacial Melting In Antarctica Makes Continent The ‘Ground Zero Of Global Climate Change’‘ was published on February 27, 2014.

The AP left out contrary peer-reviewed studies, inconvenient data and trends that counter the articles ‘worse than we thought’ narrative. The AP paints an erroneous picture of potential sea level rise, volcanic causes of any melting and the current state of Antarctica and the geologic history of the continent.

Why did the AP not include any ice specialists with differing views? See: Prominent Scientist Dissents: Renowned glaciologist declares global warming is ‘going to be a big plus’ – Fears ‘Frightening’ Cooling – Warns scientists are ‘prostituting their science’ – Dr. Hughes is an internationally renowned glaciologist who pioneered many of the modern ideas currently under study in the field.’ Dr. Hughes has travelled to the Arctic ten times and the Antarctic thirteen times since 1968, mostly as the principal investigator of NSF-funded glaciological research.

Of course this was no surprise given the article was co-written by Seth Borenstein who’s recent reporting on ‘hottest year’ claims had to be corrected. See: AP ‘clarifies’ ‘hottest year’ claims: ‘Kudos to Marc Morano for keeping the heat (heh) on about this’
AP’s Seth Borenstein at it again! Claims ‘global warming means more Antarctic ice’ — Meet the new consensus, the opposite of the old consensus

Borenstein has a long history of promoting global warming fears at the expense of journalistic ethics. See: ‘Long sad history of AP reporter Seth Borenstein’s woeful global warming reporting’ More on Borenstein here.

Climate Depot Analysis:

First off, no mention of all=time record sea ice (not land based ice sheets) expansion in Antarctica. See: Feds: ‘January had largest Antarctic sea ice extent on record’ – NCDC: ‘Antarctic sea ice during January was 890,000 square miles (44.6 percent) above the 1981–2010 average. This was the largest January Antarctic sea ice extent on record, surpassing the previous record set in 2008 by 220,000 square miles.’ & National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC): Past 3 years in a row set ice record! ‘Sea ice in Antarctica has remained at satellite-era record high daily levels for most of 2014?

And yes, AP’s Seth Borenstein has previously tried to claim that more Antarctic sea ice is caused by global warming. See: AP’s Seth Borenstein at it again! Claims ‘global warming means more Antarctic ice’ — Meet the new consensus, the opposite of the old consensus

Of course this claim ignores contrary data. See: Brian Gunter: ‘Antarctic Continent Has Not Warmed In The Last 50 Years’ — ‘Zero temperature trend for the main regions of the Antarctic continent’

And by just focusing on the smaller West Antarctic ice sheets, the AP seems to be intentionally misleading readers by ignoring the conditions on the vast bulk of Antarctica. See: 2013: New paper finds the majority of East Antarctic glaciers have advanced in size since 1990 – A new paper published in Nature.

Climate Depot’s Point-By-Point Rebuttal of latest Antarctic melt fears:

AP claim: ‘In the worst case scenario, Antarctica’s melt could push sea levels up 10 feet (3 meters) worldwide in a century or two…Scientists estimate it will take anywhere from 200 to 1,000 years to melt enough ice to raise seas by 10 feet, maybe only 100 years in a worst case scenario.’

Climate Depot Response: This is just speculation, unproven predictions amped up with extreme scenarios and not based on current climate reality. According to the AP’s article, the melt rate has slowed down. See: Sunshine Hours blog: Antarctica Losing 130 gigatons of ice per year (last Year it was 159 gigatons per year) 1) Last year it was 159 gigatons per year (Almost all of it where there are volcanoes under the ice)

2) NSIDC: “The Antarctic Ice Sheet contains 30 million cubic kilometers (7.2 million cubic miles) of ice.” A gigaton of ice is approximately one cubic kilometer of ice.

So … at 130 gigatons per year, how long before Antarctica melts? That would be 30,000,000 / 130.

The Answer: 230,000 years until Antarctica melts. Why did Associated Press Borenstein fail to mention that?

AP Claim: ‘130 billion tons of ice (118 billion metric tons) per year for the past decade, according to NASA satellite calculations. That’s the weight of more than 356,000 Empire State Buildings, enough ice melt to fill more than 1.3 million Olympic swimming pools.’

Climate Depot Response:  Sounds scary, right? Well, that is what the AP reporters want you to be scared. But just how alarming is  that melt rate? The AP answers that question many paragraphs later.

“At its current rate, the rise of the world’s oceans from Antarctica’s ice melt would be barely noticeable, about one-third of a millimeter a year. The oceans are that vast.”

So all of these analogies about Empire State Buildings and Olympic swimming pools amount to ‘barely noticeable.’  Of course the rate of sea level rise is not noticing anything unusual in Antarctica.

Even the IPCC concedes that there was no significant anthropogenic influence on climate prior to 1950, thus man is not be responsible for sea level rise beginning 150-200 years ago, at the end of the Little Ice Age.

Via The Hockey Schtick: The sea level rise over the past ~200 years shows no evidence of acceleration, which is necessary to assume a man-made influence. Sea level rise instead decelerated over the 20th century, decelerated 31% since 2002 and decelerated 44% since 2004 to less than 7 inches per century. There is no evidence of an acceleration of sea level rise, and therefore no evidence of any man-made effect on sea levels. Sea level rise is primarily a local phenomenon related to land subsidence, not CO2 levels. Therefore, areas with groundwater depletion and land subsidence have much higher rates of relative sea level rise, but this has absolutely nothing to do with man-made CO2.

Scientist counters media hype on Antarctic ice sheet ‘collapse: ‘It has been in progress for several thousand years, and is neither new nor man-caused’

Some Perspective on the Headlining Antarctic Ice Loss Trends – The press coverage is aimed to make this sound alarming—“This West Antarctic region sheds a Mount Everest-sized amount of ice every two years, study says” screamed the Washington Post. Wow! That sounds like a lot.

Turns out, it isn’t. The global oceans are vast. Adding a “Mount Everest-sized amount of ice every two years” to them results in a sea level rise of 0.02 inches per year.

Climatologist Dr. Pat Michaels Mocks climate claims: ‘Sea levels have been rising since before the end of the last ice age, about 11,600 years before the Industrial Revolution’

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

Australia: Fracking to go ahead in Federal territory

THE Northern Territory lacks the proper regulatory environment to go ahead with fracking, a report has found, as the government moves forward to permit the practice.

THE Hydraulic Fracturing Inquiry report recommends laws to effectively manage environmental risks associated with the practice, which on Thursday was banned for a further five years in Tasmania. "There is no justification whatsoever for the imposition of a moratorium," the report read.

Mines and Energy Minister Dave Tollner said the government would "broadly" adopt all six recommendations in the report, which the NT government released on Thursday.

"Obviously there's been a lot of heat in community debate on the issue and the government is very keen to get the community on board," Mr Tollner told reporters.

The government is considering drawing up exclusion zones around regional centres to allay health concerns by residents.

Mr Tollner said it could take a year or longer to set up the right regulations; meanwhile, there are 24 wells in the works to be drilled this year.

While the regulations are being redrawn, operators will have to abide by a set of "guiding principles", and if they violate them they will be forced to stop work, Mr Tollner said.

But relying on operators to monitor themselves is "completely nonsensical", said David Morris, principal lawyer for the NT Environmental Defenders Office (EDO).

"If you've got a good operator things will probably be done in accordance with the guidelines, and if you've got a bad operator they won't," he told AAP.

Mr Morris said mining often occurred in remote parts of the NT, with the closest populations being indigenous communities who often didn't fully understand the science.

Mr Tollner said mining groups needed to communicate better with the community in explaining fracking processes.  "We expect them to be very upfront and transparent with the community and they have to explain exactly what they're doing," he said.

The report is "a victory for science over scaremongering," said Steven Gerhardy, NT director of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association.

He said the report offered a "sensible blueprint" for the shale gas industry, which could provide jobs, investment and improved infrastructure in remote and regional areas.



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


1 March, 2015

Meat consumption causes global warming?

I think I missed this article when it came out 6 years ago but it is amusing.  It is actually part of the war on meat that health freaks, vegetarians and others have long been waging -- with very little success -- as the article itself shows.  There is a table attached to the article that allows a comparison of consumption betweeen 1961 and 2002.  And with the exception of hopelessly misgoverned countries such as Argentina, meat consumption has risen markedly in most countries over that time.

So the article is in fact a desperate attempt to get the global warming religion to help with the crusade against meat.  It assumes the truth of global warming without question.  And there is certainly zero data on the relationship between global temperature and meat consumption.

Between 1961 and 2002, meat consumption has seen a large increase virtually worldwide and a corresponding jump in its environmental impact.

Links between meat consumption and climate change have been widely known for many years, partly due to deforestation in the Amazon rainforest to make room for the livestock. Clearing these forests is estimated to produce a staggering 17% of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than the entire transport sector.

Increased meat-eating has followed rising affluence in many parts of the world. China's levels doubled between 1990 and 2002. Back in 1961, the Chinese consumed a mere 3.6kg per person, while in 2002 they reached 52.4kg each; half of the world's pork is now consumed in China.

The US and the UK are among the few countries whose meat consumption levels have remained relatively stable. Surprisingly, it is not the US with the largest consumption (124.8), but Denmark with a shocking 145.9kg per person in 2002


MORE global warming (cooling?)

Slurpee waves! The moment semi-frozen breakers rolled ashore in New England amid record cold.  And there  are icebreakers on the Hudson

Plummeting temperatures have broken hundreds of winter records across the country - making February one of the coldest months in history.

But in New England, it has gotten so cold even the waves are starting to freeze.  These incredible photos of so-called 'slurpee waves' were taken by surfer Jonathan Nimerfroh in Nantucket, Massachusetts.  He took his camera out when he noticed the horizon looked strange - and then spotted the surf had turn slushy.

The stunning images were taken as snow and icy rain continues to cause chaos across the country - with states of emergency being declared in the South.

And even though March begins on Sunday - forecasters have warned that the arctic conditions are set to continue.

Mr Nimerfroh, who posted the pictures on his Instagram account on Wednesday, told the Daily Mail Online: 'When I pulled up to the beach I could see the horizon just look strange. When I got to the top off the dunes I see that about 300 yards out from the shoreline the ocean was starting to freeze.

'The high temp that day was around 19 degrees. The wind was howling from south west which would typically make rough or choppy conditions not so good for surfing but since the surface of the sea was frozen slush the wind did not chance the shape. They were perfect dreamy slush waves.

'Most waves were around two feet with some larger sets slushing through around three foot or waist high. What an experience to be absolutely freezing on the beach watching these roll in while I mind surfed them.

'The next day I drive up to see if things melted but that same 300 yards out of water froze solid on the surface. No waves at all. I've been asking all the fishermen and surfers if they have ever seen such a thing. This is a first they all said.'

On Friday morning the cold will continue, as temperatures will be at least 10 degrees below average in all areas east of the Rockies, and up to 30 degrees below average in some areas.

It comes after winter Storm Remus dumped a messy mix of snow, rain, sleet and freezing rain from Texas to the Mid-Atlantic states.

The conditions left 216,000 customers were without power from Alabama to Virginia early on Thursday morning. Some motorists even woke up in their cars after the snow meant highways were blocked off.

Thundersnow was also reported in several locations, including northwest of Waco, Texas early Wednesday morning and around midnight Thursday morning in Raleigh, North Carolina.


White House: Seven in Ten Doctors Say Climate Change Is Harming Patients

Have they forgotten that most deaths occur in winter?  Warming would save lives?  They probably haven't.  Most doctors (over 4 fifths) surveyed did not reply so there is no knowing what the majority opinion was

Usually when the Obama administration is discussing doctors and health issues, Obamacare is on the table. Thursday, however, the White House threw a curve by linking health to climate change. In a new blog post, the White House declares that "7 out of 10 Doctors [say] Climate Change Is Already Harming Patients’ Health."

While often the White House has been a source of upbeat reports on recent health improvements attributed in part to the Affordable Care Act, the language of this post stands in sharp contrast. For example:

"Already, 1 in 10 children in the U.S. suffers from asthma. Heat-related health problems are growing. Pollen concentrations are up. Rising temperatures are only going to bring more smog, more asthma, and longer allergy seasons that put more Americans at greater risk of landing in the hospital."

"...increases in air pollution due to climate change are worsening the severity of illnesses in their patients, and they expect these health impacts will further increase in the future."

"...their patients are experiencing other climate-related health problems — including injuries due to severe weather, allergic reactions, and heat-related impacts."

The survey cited by the White House was conducted by the American Thoracic Society, a group of over 15,000 doctors, researchers, nurses, and other health professionals with a focus on "research, clinical care, and public health in respiratory disease, critical illness, and sleep disorders." Although 5,500 members were randomly selected for invitations to participate in the survey, only 17 percent responded. Of the 915 respondents, 65 percent (rounded to 7 in 10 by the White House) agreed that climate change is 'relevant to patient care" either "a great deal" or "a moderate amount."

The White House also cites, but does not link to, a survey of the National Medical Association's membership whose results are said to be in line with the American Thoracic Society survey. (The National Medical Association, according to its website, "promotes the collective interests of physicians and patients of African descent", and is distinct from the more well known American Medical Association.)

The survey to which the White House apparently refers can be found at and indeed reports that respondents felt that "climate change is affecting the health of their own patients a great deal or a moderate amount (61 percent)." This survey had a response rate of 30 percent, or 284 respondents.

According to the White House, representatives of the American Thoracic Society were on Capitol Hill Thursday to "educate" representatives about the survey results to help push Congress to support the president's climate initiatives.


The Crucifixion of Dr. Willie Soon

In recent weeks, Dr. Wei-Hock "Willie" Soon, a distinguished solar astrophysicist, coauthored with Christopher Monckton, Matt Briggs, and David Legates an important work of original scholarship in the Science Bulletin (previously titled Chinese Science Bulletin), a publication of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The article reveals what appears to be an error in the computer models used to predict global warming that leads models to over-estimate future warming by a factor of three. The article has been downloaded more than 10,000 times, a huge number for a peer-reviewed journal article.

You might expect environmentalists, policymakers, and reporters to celebrate this new finding, since it means a potential threat to the environment and human health has been found to be less likely than previously thought. If the work of Soon et al. is confirmed by other scientists, the “global warming crisis” may need to be cancelled and we can all enjoy lower taxes, fewer regulations, and more personal freedom.

But this is not how environmentalists and others reacted. Instead, they denounced the article, often apparently without even having read it or understood it. [See here, here, and here.] Christopher Monckton, one of the article’s coauthors, ably defended the article from these criticisms. Having failed to refute the article, environmentalists turned to smearing the authors.

Forecast the Facts – a creepy front group created by the left-of-center Center for American Progress to attack meteorologists who don’t toe the environmentalists’ line on global warming – launched  a petition to the Smithsonian Institution demanding that Dr. Soon be fired. They claim to have more than 20,000 signatures on it.

The petition is brief:

"Dr. Willie Soon — an astrophysicist employed by the Smithsonian — is a go-to “scientist” for climate deniers in Congress, despite his lack of climate credentials. Worse yet, he’s received research grants exclusively from fossil fuel companies and dark money groups since 2002.

Now The Boston Globe is reporting that Soon just published a paper on climate change without disclosing his fossil fuel funding — a violation of the journal’s ethics code and a no-no in the science community.

Tell the Smithsonian: Don’t lend your good name to fossil fuel-funded climate denial. Drop Dr. Willie Soon."

The claim that Dr. Soon lacks “climate credentials” is false and meant to harm his reputation. Dr. Soon is a distinguished astrophysicist with many published articles in peer-reviewed climate science journals. A bio at lists many publications and awards and features this quotation from Freeman Dyson, one of the world’s most respected physicists: “The whole point of science is to question accepted dogmas. For that reason, I respect Willie Soon as a good scientist and a courageous citizen.’’

Forecast the Facts’ second lie is more serious, because alleging a violation of professional ethics is taken seriously in the academy. Dr. Soon and his coauthors told the editor ofScience Bulletin,  “None of the authors has received funding from any source for this work. The authors declare no conflicts of interest.”

The petition misrepresents a Boston Globe article which reported only that an environmental group “accused” Dr. Soon and his coauthors of failing to report possible conflicts of interest to the journal’s editor. The petition fails to tell potential signers that the article quoted Soon’s coauthor, Christopher Monckton, vigorously refuting the claim. It also fails to note the reporter said the Science Bulletin had not responded to a request for comment, so he had no way of knowing whether there was a “violation of the journal’s ethics code.”

We have reviewed the Science Bulletin’s  policy regarding disclosure of potential conflicts of interest and the coauthors’ letter to the editor explaining their decision to declare no conflicts of interest. We believe the coauthors were correct and there was no violation of the journal’s ethics code.

The phrasing of this petition is plainly misleading, making it meaningless regardless of how many people are fooled into signing it. It should immediately be withdrawn and a public apology extended to Dr. Soon.

Regrettably, this fake petition is typical of the tactics used by the left in the global warming debate. Good men like Dr. Soon and his coauthors are being demeaned, threatened, and their careers put at risk by organizations and individuals that rarely get named, much less criticized, in the mainstream media.

That’s wrong and ought to change.


Not a 100% believer? Even borderline climate apostates like Pielke must be punished in the witchhunt

The witchhunt over tenuous connections to fossil fuel funding wants to do a lot more than just silence a few people. The aim is to maintain the global chill over all of academia. That’s why it’s so important we support the individuals under fire, and don’t give in.

Congratulations to Richard Lindzen, John Christy, Judith Curry, Steven Hayward, Roger Pielke, David Legates, and Robert Balling. All of them have been named to be investigated and lined up for character assassination like Willie Soon. Obviously they are effective and convincing speakers, and a threat to the climate-industry.

Stephen Hayward is flattered, and mocks the critics: “Are You Now or Have You Ever Been a Climate Skeptic?”

“Let’s start by axing a simple question: If I say “two plus two equals four,” does the truth of that proposition depend on whether I’ve received a grant from the Charles G. Koch Foundation? Apparently it does for Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), the ranking member of the House Committee on Natural Resources. He has sent letters to seven universities targeting seven academics who, according to the Democratic spokesman for the committee, were chosen because they seem “to have the most impact on policy in the scientific community.”

Even a tiny step beyond the approved line will be punished

Consider how hard-line the inquisition is. Roger Pielke Jr. accepts most of the consensus IPCC positions, even calling for a carbon tax, and supporting Obama’s proposed EPA regulations, but he’s under fire as much as those who question everything.  The aim here is much larger than just stopping Pielke — the real audience are the thousands of silent borderline skeptical academics watching on. Imagine if they spoke their minds?  The message to them is “don’t even think it”. All academics must be 100% believers, and even the smallest deviation from the permitted line will receive the same treatment.

The harassment and pressure work on whistleblowers. We are all human. Sadly even Pielke admits, despite having tenure, that the harrassment means he has changed the way he writes and researches:

The incessant attacks and smears are effective, no doubt, I have already shifted all of my academic work away from climate issues. I am simply not initiating any new research or papers on the topic and I have ring-fenced my slowly diminishing blogging on the subject.

As Mark Steyn would say the process is the punishment.

Judith Curry writes: This whole issue has now become personal.

As Paul Homewood says: McCarthyism is not dead.

The real conflicts of interest in climate science matter for people waving unreplicable models

Judith Curry discusses the conflict of interests and points out that it not as relevant in climate science as in other areas where things are not so easily replicable:

The issue is this.  The intense politicization of climate science makes bias more likely to be coming from political and ideological perspectives than from funding sources.  Unlike research related to food and drug safety and environmental contaminants,  most climate science is easily replicable using publicly available data sets and models.  So all this IMO is frankly a red herring in the field of climate science research.

I would argue that many of the results used in climate science are not replicable in practice. They come from mysterious black box models or detailed homogenization methods, which even if the full code were available, would take individuals months of work to replicate. In the total absence of funding and grants, no one independent is going to replicate them.

In other words, the people who have conflicts of interest that really need exposing are not skeptics reporting on public datasets which can be replicated, but climate modelers and temperature adjusters who make public announcements with billions of dollars and lives resting on them, but which have not been independently replicated. And when I say “independently” replicated, I don’t mean by another group with the same conflict of interest.

If the evidence was so solid, and the models so reliable, climate scientists would be demanding and welcoming funding to outright skeptics to settle the issue. Instead, fans of the complex unskilled and failing models know that their assumptions are dubious and unsupported, and if a truly skeptical scientist were given equivalent resources to replicate it, they would probably tear it to shreds, exposing how fickle the projections were and how dependent it all was on a few key, baseless, guesses.


Upping the heat on climate number-crunchers

This major attack on Warmist crooks in high places appeared in Australia's national daily.  I think Americans will have little difficulty in mentally converting the cricket metaphor into a baseball metaphor

CRICKET legend Donald Bradman is a useful metaphor for the escalating global row over claims the world’s leading climate agencies have been messing with the weather.

Imagine, for instance, if some bureau of sport were to revise the Don’s batting average in Test cricket down from 99.94 to 75 after adjusting for anomalies and deleting innings of 200 runs or more.

What if the bureau then claimed another batsman had exceeded the Don’s revamped record to become the greatest ever?

Critics could be told the adjustments “don’t matter” because they had not affected overall global batting averages. Just as many batsmen had been adjusted up as down. And complaints could easily be dismissed as the “cherrypicking” of a few, isolated batsmen.

David Stockwell, Australian Research Council grant recipient and adjunct researcher at Central Queensland University, raised the Bradman analogy in his submission to a newly formed independent panel that will oversee the operation of the Bureau of Meteorology’s national temperature dataset.

Stockwell was highlighting public concerns at the BoM’s use of homogenisation techniques to adjust historical temperature records to remove anomalies and produce a national dataset called ACORN-SAT (Australian Climate Observations Reference Network — Surface Air Temperature). The panel, or technical advisory forum, which will hold its first discussions with BoM staff on Monday, was formed in December after a series of questions were raised publicly about the treatment of historic temperature records that has resulted in temperature trends at some Australian sites being changed from long-term cooling to warming.

Liberal senator Simon Birmingham, former parliamentary secretary to Environment Minister Greg Hunt, instructed BoM to fast-track the appointment of the panel, which was recommended in 2011 in a peer review of ACORN-SAT’s establishment. The make-up of the panel was announced by Birmingham’s replacement as parliamentary secretary, Bob Baldwin, in January.

In the meantime, controversy about homogenisation of climate records has exploded into a global concern after similar trend changes to those raised in Australia were identified in Paraguay and in the Arctic. Accusations of “fraud” and “criminality” have been made against some of the world’s leading weather agencies. There is now the prospect of a US Senate inquiry.

Respected US climate scientist Judith Curry has facilitated a wideranging debate on the issue, saying more research was needed, but that it is probably not the “smoking gun” for climate science, as some had claimed.

There is a long history regarding complaints about how climate data has been handled by authorities and how poorly those making complaints have been treated.

The general trend is made clear in a 2007 email exchange, now known as Climategate, between a senior BoM official and scientists at East Anglia University in Britain. BoM’s David Jones said Australian sceptics could be easily dissuaded if deluged with data.

“Fortunately in Australia our sceptics are rather scientifically incompetent,” Jones wrote. “It is also easier for us in that we have a policy of providing any complainer with every single station observation when they question our data (this usually snows them)”, he said.

Even better, noted East Anglia University’s Phil Jones, was to give troublemakers a big package of data with key information missing, making it impossible to decipher.

But more than seven years on, as the world’s weather bureaus report more and more broken temperature records and further examples emerge of incongruous adjustments, the pressure is building for a transparent process to finally untangle the numbers.

In Australia, ACORN-SAT was created in 2009 to replace BoM’s so-called high-quality dataset after questions were raised about the quality and accuracy of that network.

ACORN-SAT, which the Senate was told this week is managed by a two-person team in BoM, uses information from a select range of weather stations and computer modelling to compile its national temperature record. The data is also used to help create the global temperature record.

The panel to oversee ACORN-SAT will be headed by CSIRO scientist Ron Sandland and includes a wide range of experts in statistics and mathematics.

Sandland tells Inquirer he will hold a teleconference with BoM on Monday to decide how the process would be run.

The panel was first recommended by a peer review in September 2011 headed by Ken Matthews. The peer review gave ACORN-SAT a glowing report, describing it as conforming to world’s best practice. But it also called for greater transparency, better communication and independent oversight.

Despite criticisms about transparency and the results of homogenisation at some sites by members of the public, BoM was slow to act on the peer review recommendation to establish a technical advisory forum.

BoM is one of Australia’s most widely trusted organisations. Millions of people use its online weather services and a Senate estimates hearing was told this week that more than 30,000 people followed BoM’s Twitter feed in the wake of cyclones Marcia and Lam, which landed simultaneously in Queensland and the Northern Territory this week.

However, as one of the government’s lead agencies on climate change, BoM has come under greater scrutiny. A vocal chorus has been claiming that there is a pattern of historic temperatures being reduced to make the warming trend of the late 21st century look more acute.

The questioners were quickly labelled “amateurs” by atmospheric scientist David Karoly, from the University of Melbourne, as he and other climate science academics rushed to support BoM’s work.

But the issue has exploded internationally following a declaration by US agencies NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that 2014 was the hottest year on record. As in Australia, regions were found where warming temperature trends had been created or increased through a process of homogenising records with neighbouring areas, some in other countries hundreds of kilometres away.

Published examples include Paraguay in South America and the Arctic, where a warm period in the 1930s and a well-documented period of intense cold around 1970 were erased from the record by homogenisation to give a steady rising temperature trend.

“How can we believe in ‘global warming’ when the temperature records providing the ‘evidence’ for that warming cannot be trusted?” asked British contrarian and climate change sceptic James Dellingpole.

“I’m not saying there has been no 20th-century global warming, I think there probably has been,” he said. “But I don’t honestly know. The worrying part … is that neither — it would appear — do the scientists.”

The website of Britain’s The Sunday Telegraph registered more than 30,000 comments under an article by columnist Christopher Booker saying the fiddling of temperature data has been “the biggest science scandal ever”. “What is now needed is a meticulous analysis of all the data, to establish just how far these adjustments have distorted the picture the world has been given,” Booker wrote.

The integrity of global temperature records after homogenisation is fiercely defended by global climate agencies, despite the fact that satellite measurements available from 1979 show a slightly different warming trend to surface-based records.

Australia’s BoM has issued two statements ahead of the Sandland review panel. In one it says temperature records are influenced by a range of factors such as changes to site surrounds, measurement methods and the relocation of ­stations.

“Such changes introduce biases into the climate record that need to be adjusted for, prior to analysis,’’ BoM says.

“Adjusting for these biases, a process known as homogenisation is carried out by meteorological authorities around the world as best practice, to ensure that climate data is consistent through time.”

BoM’s American counterpart, NOAA’s National Climatic Data Centre, says for global temperatures it is important to keep in mind that the largest adjustment in the global surface temperature record occurs over the oceans.

“All NOAA methodologies go through the peer-review process standard in scientific inquiry,” it says. Despite this, there remains enormous and heated debate about the issue.

Climate scientist Curry has opened an online debate that includes key scientists from the independent organisation Berkeley Earth, which compiles its own global temperature record, the results of which accord with those of other international agencies.

The Berkeley scientists conclude that Dellingpole and Booker’s claims of the “biggest fraud” of all time and a “criminal action” by climate scientists amount to nothing.

“Globally, the effect of adjustments is minor because on average the biases that require adjustments mostly cancel each other out,” they say.

But their web post generated heated discussion covering both the science of homogenisation and the standing of science.

European climate change economist Richard Tol, responding to Curry’s post, says the more important question raised by the debate over temperatures is perhaps why the public has lost so much trust in climate science that it prefers to believe columnists such as Booker over climate scientists at Berkeley. A Telegraph poll suggested that 90 per cent of 110,000 readers had sided with Booker.

“I would hypothesise that the constant stream of climate nonsense — we’re all gonna die, last chance to save the planet, climate change is coming to blow over your house and eat your dog — has made people rather suspicious of anything climate ‘scientists’ say,” according to Tol.

“If my hypothesis is correct, instead of arguing with Booker about the details of homogenisation, you should call out the alarmists.”

Curry tells Inquirer her main conclusions from the heated exchange in response to the Berkeley post are that “the stated uncertainties in global average temperatures are too small”.

“More research needs to be done to understand the impacts of the adjustments and to make individual locations more consistent with the historical record,” she says.

She says much more data work is needed to clarify the temperatures in the Arctic, which is a big source of difference among the different datasets in the northern hemisphere.

“I suspect that all this won’t change the qualitative result from the dataset, that is that the Earth is warming,” Curry says.

The way in which the Australian review of the BoM ACORN-SAT data is conducted could go a long way towards answering some of the questions being asked worldwide.

A common criticism of climate authorities such as BoM is that ­justifications for temperature smoothing may sound reasonable in the broad, but are often poorly explained in the detail of individual adjustments.

It is the task of the high-powered review panel to satisfy itself that the integrity given to BoM’s dataset by the initial peer review has been maintained.

Sitting on the panel with Sandland will be:

*  Bob Vincent, emeritus professor in the school of chemistry and physics at the University of Adelaide.

*  Phillip Gould, from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

*  John Henstridge, who founded Data Analysis Australia, now the largest private statistical organisation in Australia,

*  Susan Linacre, a former president of the International Association of Survey Statisticians.

*  Michael Martin, professor of statistics in the research school of finance, actuarial studies and applied statistics at Australian National University.

*  Patty Solomon, professor of statistical bioinformatics at the University of Adelaide.

*  Terry Speed, a former president of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics.

Declining an invitation for David Jones, BoM’s manager of climate change and prediction, to write for Inquirer, a BoM spokeswoman says establishment of the technical advisory forum will provide “an independent framework for quality assurance tests and analysis of the bureau’s climate dataset, and it would not be appropriate to pre-empt this process.”

But critics of BoM are already lining up to have their questions answered.

Research academic Jennifer Marohasy has accused BoM of using “creative accounting practices” in both the homogenisation of data to remodel individual series as well as the choice of stations and time periods when the individual series are combined to calculate a national average for each year.

Marohasy says BoM’s methodologies have turned a cycle of warming and cooling over the past century into one of continuous warming.

In a submission to the review group, Marohasy makes three recommendations to render the overall official national temperature trend for Australia “more consistent with history, and reasonable accounting practices”.

The first is to use the same locations when calculating average mean temperatures for different years.

Marohasy’s research shows that while the national average temperature is calculated from a set of just 104 weather stations, the same 104 stations are not used every year.

“In particular, hotter places are added later in the time series, which currently begins in 1910”, she says.

“For example, Wilcannia is a very hot town in western NSW.

“There is a long continuous maximum temperature record for Wilcannia that extends back to 1881, but the bureau only adds Wilcannia into the mix from 1957.

“Obviously, if the national average temperature is calculated from a mix of hotter locations in the 1990s than, say, in the 1920s, then it will appear that Australia was hotter in the 1990s, even if the temperatures at individual weather recording stations were the same during these two periods,” Marohasy says.

Her second recommendation is to start the official record from 1880, not 1910, thus including the hot years of the Federation drought in the official record.

Lastly, Marohasy says adjustments should not be made to temperature series unless an irregularity exists in the original series that was caused by a known, documented change in the equipment at that weather recording station and/or a known change in the siting of the equipment.

Her view is supported by retired certified practising accountant Merrick Thomson, who has told the panel there is a lack of transparency associated with the change in the mix of weather stations used to calculate the national average.

Thomson says when BoM transitioned to the new ACORN-SAT system in 2012 it removed 57 stations from its calculations, replacing them with 36 on average hotter stations.

“I calculate that this had the effect of increasing the recorded Australian average temperature by 0.42C, independently of any actual real change in temperature,” Thompson says.

“Of the 57 stations removed from the calculation of the national average temperature, only three have actually closed as weather stations,” he adds.

Thomson asks the panel: “Why was the mix of stations changed with the transition to ACORN-SAT, and why was this not explained and declared, particularly given that it has resulted in a large increase in the 2013 annual temperature for Australia, I calculate 0.56 degree Celsius?”

He asks what criteria were used to determine whether a station becomes part of the national network.

Stockwell says although many had rushed to defend the BoM, saying the adjustments “don’t matter” as they do not change the global temperature graphs appreciably, they clearly do matter to a lot of people.

In a submission to the panel, Stockwell highlights what he considered unsound practices by BoM in handling the national data.

“Every portrayal of historical data should be historically accurate,” he says, “else it becomes revisionism and strays out of the domain of science and into the domain of ideology and politics.”

Self-declared “citizen scientist” Ken Stewart has been more pointed. “The apparent lack of quality assurance means ACORN-SAT is not fit for the purpose of serious climate analysis including the calculation of annual temperature trends, identifying hottest or coldest days on record, analysing the intensity, duration and frequency of heatwaves, matching rainfall with temperature, calculating monthly means or medians, and calculating diurnal temperature range,” he says.

“In conclusion, ACORN-SAT is not reliable and should be scrapped.

“ACORN-SAT shows adjustments that distort the temperature record and do not follow the stated procedures in the bureau’s own technical papers, generating warming biases at a large number of sites, thus greatly increasing the network wide trends,” Stewart says in his submission.

“Furthermore, the bureau does not take account of uncertainty, and the data are generally riddled with errors indicating poor quality assurance.

“Finally, its authors have not followed up on most undertakings made more than three years ago to permit replication and improve transparency.

The obvious and widespread depth of feeling about BoM’s ­treatment of historical records ­underscores the wisdom of recommendations made by the 2011 ACORN-SAT peer review.

The review panel encouraged BoM to improve the public transparency of ACORN-SAT arrangements.

“This will not only build public confidence in the dataset but should assist the bureau in its continuous improvement efforts and its responsiveness to data users,” the peer review panel said.

“The panel also encourages the bureau to more systematically document the process used, and to be used, in the development and operations of ACORN-SAT.

“Some aspects of current arrangements for measurement, curation and analysis are non-transparent even internally, and are therefore subject to significant ‘key persons risk’, as well as inconsistency over time.”

Current criticism of BoM over the temperature series is obviously unfamiliar territory for what remains one of Australia’s most highly regarded public institutions.

This criticism is by no means an existential threat to BoM but a rigorous and transparent review of ACORN-SAT data, methodology and communication is clearly needed, and long overdue.



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



This site is in favour of things that ARE good for the environment. That the usual Greenie causes are good for the environment is however disputed. Greenie policies can in fact be actively bad for the environment -- as with biofuels, for instance

Context for the minute average temperature change recorded in the header to this blog: 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.

Leftists have faith that warming will come back some day. And they mock Christians for believing in the second coming of Christ! They obviously need religion

Global warming has in fact been a religious doctrine for over a century. Even Charles Taze Russell, the founder of Jehovah's Witnesses, believed in it

By John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.), writing from Brisbane, Australia.

I am the most complete atheist you can imagine. I don't believe in Karl Marx, Jesus Christ or global warming. And I also don't believe in the unhealthiness of salt, sugar and fat. How skeptical can you get? If sugar is bad we are all dead

Inorganic Origin of Petroleum: "The theory of Inorganic Origin of Petroleum (synonyms: abiogenic, abiotic, abyssal, endogenous, juvenile, mineral, primordial) states that petroleum and natural gas was formed by non-biological processes deep in the Earth, crust and mantle. This contradicts the traditional view that the oil would be a "fossil fuel" produced by remnants of ancient organisms. Oil is a hydrocarbon mixture in which a major constituent is methane CH4 (a molecule composed of one carbon atom bonded to four hydrogen atoms). Occurrence of methane is common in Earth's interior and in space. The inorganic theory contrasts with the ideas that posit exhaustion of oil (Peak Oil), which assumes that the oil would be formed from biological processes and thus would occur only in small quantities and sets, tending to exhaust. Some oil drilling now goes 7 miles down, miles below any fossil layers

As the Italian chemist Primo Levi reflected in Auschwitz, carbon is ‘the only element that can bind itself in long stable chains without a great expense of energy, and for life on Earth (the only one we know so far) precisely long chains are required. Therefore carbon is the key element of living substance.’ The chemistry of carbon (2) gives it a unique versatility, not just in the artificial world, but also, and above all, in the animal, vegetable and – speak it loud! – human kingdoms.

David Archibald: "The more carbon dioxide we can put into the atmosphere, the better life on Earth will be for human beings and all other living things."


Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough - Michael Crichton

"The growth of knowledge depends entirely on disagreement" -- Karl Popper

"Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts" – Richard Feynman

"The desire to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it" -- H L Mencken

'Nothing is more terrible than ignorance in action' -- Goethe

“Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.” -- Voltaire

Lord Salisbury: "No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome; if you believe theologians, nothing is innocent; if you believe soldiers, nothing is safe."

Calvin Coolidge said, "If you see 10 troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you." He could have been talking about Warmists.

Some advice from long ago for Warmists: "If ifs and ans were pots and pans,there'd be no room for tinkers". It's a nursery rhyme harking back to Middle English times when "an" could mean "if". Tinkers were semi-skilled itinerant workers who fixed holes and handles in pots and pans -- which were valuable household items for most of our history. Warmists are very big on "ifs", mays", "might" etc. But all sorts of things "may" happen, including global cooling

Bertrand Russell knew about consensus: "The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.”

There goes another beautiful theory about to be murdered by a brutal gang of facts. - Duc de La Rochefoucauld, French writer and moralist (1613-1680)

"Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate" -- William of Occam

Was Paracelsus a 16th century libertarian? His motto was: "Alterius non sit qui suus esse potest" which means "Let no man belong to another who can belong to himself." He was certainly a rebel in his rejection of authority and his reliance on observable facts and is as such one of the founders of modern medicine

"In science, refuting an accepted belief is celebrated as an advance in knowledge; in religion it is condemned as heresy". (Bob Parks, Physics, U of Maryland). No prizes for guessing how global warming skepticism is normally responded to.

"Almost all professors of the arts and sciences are egregiously conceited, and derive their happiness from their conceit" -- Erasmus

"The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin." -- Thomas H. Huxley

Time was, people warning the world "Repent - the end is nigh!" were snickered at as fruitcakes. Now they own the media and run the schools.

"One of the sources of the Fascist movement is the desire to avoid a too-rational and too-comfortable world" -- George Orwell, 1943 in Can Socialists Be Happy?

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts -- Bertrand Russell

“Affordable energy in ample quantities is the lifeblood of the industrial societies and a prerequisite for the economic development of the others.” -- John P. Holdren, Science Adviser to President Obama. Published in Science 9 February 2001

The closer science looks at the real world processes involved in climate regulation the more absurd the IPCC's computer driven fairy tale appears. Instead of blithely modeling climate based on hunches and suppositions, climate scientists would be better off abandoning their ivory towers and actually measuring what happens in the real world.' -- Doug L Hoffman

Something no Warmist could take on board: "Knuth once warned a correspondent, "Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it." -- Prof. Donald Knuth, whom some regard as the world's smartest man

"To be green is to be irrational, misanthropic and morally defective. They are the barbarians at the gate we have to stand against" -- Rich Kozlovich


This is one of TWO skeptical blogs that I update daily. During my research career as a social scientist, I was appalled at how much writing in my field was scientifically lacking -- and I often said so in detail in the many academic journal articles I had published in that field. I eventually gave up social science research, however, because no data ever seemed to change the views of its practitioners. I hoped that such obtuseness was confined to the social scientists but now that I have shifted my attention to health related science and climate related science, I find the same impermeability to facts and logic. Hence this blog and my FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC blog. I may add that I did not come to either health or environmental research entirely without credentials. I had several academic papers published in both fields during my social science research career

Update: After 8 years of confronting the frankly childish standard of reasoning that pervades the medical journals, I have given up. I have put the blog into hibernation. In extreme cases I may put up here some of the more egregious examples of medical "wisdom" that I encounter. Greenies and food freaks seem to be largely coterminous. My regular bacon & egg breakfasts would certainly offend both -- if only because of the resultant methane output

Since my academic background is in the social sciences, it is reasonable to ask what a social scientist is doing talking about global warming. My view is that my expertise is the most relevant of all. It seems clear to me from what you will see on this blog that belief in global warming is very poorly explained by history, chemistry, physics or statistics.

Warmism is prophecy, not science. Science cannot foretell the future. Science can make very accurate predictions based on known regularities in nature (e.g. predicting the orbits of the inner planets) but Warmism is the exact opposite of that. It predicts a DEPARTURE from the known regularities of nature. If we go by the regularities of nature, we are on the brink of an ice age.

And from a philosophy of science viewpoint, far from being "the science", Warmism is not even an attempt at a factual statement, let alone being science. It is not a meaningful statement about the world. Why? Because it is unfalsifiable -- making it a religious, not a scientific statement. To be a scientific statement, there would have to be some conceivable event that disproved it -- but there appears to be none. ANY event is hailed by Warmists as proving their contentions. Only if Warmists were able to specify some fact or event that would disprove their theory would it have any claim to being a scientific statement. So the explanation for Warmist beliefs has to be primarily a psychological and political one -- which makes it my field

And, after all, Al Gore's academic qualifications are in social science also -- albeit very pissant qualifications.

A "geriatric" revolt: The scientists who reject Warmism tend to be OLD! Your present blogger is one of those. There are tremendous pressures to conformity in academe and the generally Leftist orientation of academe tends to pressure everyone within it to agree to ideas that suit the Left. And Warmism is certainly one of those ideas. So old guys are the only ones who can AFFORD to declare the Warmists to be unclothed. They either have their careers well-established (with tenure) or have reached financial independence (retirement) and so can afford to call it like they see it. In general, seniors in society today are not remotely as helpful to younger people as they once were. But their opposition to the Warmist hysteria will one day show that seniors are not completely irrelevant after all. Experience does count (we have seen many such hysterias in the past and we have a broader base of knowledge to call on) and our independence is certainly an enormous strength. Some of us are already dead. (Reid Bryson and John Daly are particularly mourned) and some of us are very senior indeed (e.g. Bill Gray and Vince Gray) but the revolt we have fostered is ever growing so we have not labored in vain.

A Warmist backs down: "No one knows exactly how far rising carbon concentrations affect temperatures" -- Stefan Rahmstorf, a scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

Jimmy Carter Classic Quote from 1977: "Because we are now running out of gas and oil, we must prepare quickly for a third change, to strict conservation and to the use of coal and permanent renewable energy sources, like solar power.


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.

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)


"Tongue Tied"
"Dissecting Leftism" (Backup here)
"Australian Politics"
"Education Watch International"
"Political Correctness Watch"
"Greenie Watch"
Western Heart


"Marx & Engels in their own words"
"A scripture blog"
"Some memoirs"
To be continued ....
Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).
Queensland Police -- A barrel with lots of bad apples
Australian Police News
Paralipomena (3)
Of Interest


"Food & Health Skeptic"
"Eye on Britain"
"Immigration Watch International".
"Leftists as Elitists"
Socialized Medicine
QANTAS -- A dying octopus
BRIAN LEITER (Ladderman)
Obama Watch
Obama Watch (2)
Dissecting Leftism -- Large font site
Michael Darby
Paralipomena (2)
AGL -- A bumbling monster
Telstra/Bigpond follies
Optus bungling
Vodafrauds (vodafone)
Bank of Queensland blues

There are also two blogspot blogs which record what I think are my main recent articles here and here. Similar content can be more conveniently accessed via my subject-indexed list of short articles here or here (I rarely write long articles these days)

Main academic menu
Menu of recent writings
basic home page
Pictorial Home Page
Selected pictures from blogs (Backup here)
Another picture page (Best with broadband. Rarely updated)

Note: If the link to one of my articles is not working, the article concerned can generally be viewed by prefixing to the filename the following: