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

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

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30 November, 2016

Another shriek about bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef

This is just a repetition of a story that has been going on for a year or more.  Previous claims of this nature have been shown to be highly exaggereated so a repetition of the claims from the same people as before has no credibility. 

I was born and bred in an area close to the reef and have been hearing cries of alarm about the reef for 50 years.  But somehow the reef still seems to be there.  It has always had episodes of retreat but coral is highly resilient and bounces back quite rapidly.

One thing we can be sure of is that the problems were not caused by anthropogenic global warming.  Why?  Because that theory says that warming is caused by increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.  But the latest readings show NO increase in CO2 during 2015 and 2016

There WAS warming up until recently but that was caused by the El Nino weather cycle, not CO2. Once again we had the chronic Warmist problem that CO2 levels and temperatures do not correlate.  Below is a picture of the El Nino effect on global temperatures.  You see it peaked late last year and has been falling ever since.  So if warmth was the cause of the reef problems, the reef should soon start to recover

Two-thirds of the corals in the northern part of the Great Barrier Reef have died in the reef’s worst-ever bleaching event, according to our latest underwater surveys.

On some reefs in the north, nearly all the corals have died. However the impact of bleaching eases as we move south, and reefs in the central and southern regions (around Cairns and Townsville and southwards) were much less affected, and are now recovering.

In 2015 and 2016, the hottest years on record, we have witnessed at first hand the threat posed by human-caused climate change to the world’s coral reefs.

Heat stress from record high summer temperatures damages the microscopic algae (zooxanthellae) that live in the tissues of corals, turning them white.

After they bleach, these stressed corals either slowly regain their zooxanthellae and colour as temperatures cool off, or else they die.

The Great Barrier Reef bleached severely for the first time in 1998, then in 2002, and now again in 2016. This year’s event was more extreme than the two previous mass bleachings.
Surveying the damage

We undertook extensive underwater surveys at the peak of bleaching in March and April, and again at the same sites in October and November. In the northern third of the Great Barrier Reef, we recorded an average (median) loss of 67% of coral cover on a large sample of 60 reefs.

The dieback of corals due to bleaching in just 8-9 months is the largest loss ever recorded for the Great Barrier Reef.

To put these losses in context, over the 27 years from 1985 to 2012, scientists from the Australian Institute of Marine Science measured the gradual loss of 51% of corals on the central and southern regions of the Great Barrier Reef.

They reported no change over this extended period in the amount of corals in the remote, northern region. Unfortunately, most of the losses in 2016 have occurred in this northern, most pristine part of the Great Barrier Reef.

The bleaching, and subsequent loss of corals, is very patchy. Our map shows clearly that coral death varies enormously from north to south along the 2,300km length of the Reef.

The southern third of the Reef did not experience severe heat stress in February and March. Consequently, only minor bleaching occurred, and we found no significant mortality in the south since then.

In the central section of the Reef, we measured widespread but moderate bleaching, which was comparably severe to the 1998 and 2002 events. On average, only 6% of coral cover was lost in the central region in 2016.

The remaining corals have now regained their vibrant colour. Many central reefs are in good condition, and they continue to recover from Severe Tropical Cyclones Hamish (in 2009) and Yasi (2011).

In the eastern Torres Strait and outermost ribbon reefs in the northernmost part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, we found a large swathe of reefs that escaped the most severe bleaching and mortality, compared to elsewhere in the north. Nonetheless, 26% of the shallow-water corals died.

We suspect that these reefs were partially protected from heat stress by strong currents and upwelling of cooler water across the edge of the continental shelf that slopes steeply into the Coral Sea.

For visitors, these surveys show there are still many reefs throughout the Marine Park that have abundant living coral, particularly in popular tourism locations in the central and southern regions, such as the Whitsundays and Cairns.


The northern third of the Great Barrier Reef, extending 700km from Port Douglas to Papua New Guinea, experienced the most severe bleaching and subsequent loss of corals.

On 25% of the worst affected reefs (the top quartile), losses of corals ranged from 83-99%. When mortality is this high, it affects even tougher species that normally survive bleaching.

However, even in this region, there are some silver linings. Bleaching and mortality decline with depth, and some sites and reefs had much better than average survival. A few corals are still bleached or mottled, particularly in the north, but the vast majority of survivors have regained their colour.

What will happen next?

The reef science and management community will continue to gather data on the bleaching event as it slowly unfolds. The initial stage focused on mapping the footprint of the event, and now we are analysing how many bleached corals died or recovered over the past 8-9 months.

Over the coming months and for the next year or two we expect to see longer-term impacts on northern corals, including higher levels of disease, slower growth rates and lower rates of reproduction. The process of recovery in the north – the replacement of dead corals by new ones – will be slow, at least 10-15 years, as long as local conditions such as water quality remain conducive to recovery.

As global temperatures continue to climb, time will tell how much recovery in the north is possible before a fourth mass bleaching event occurs.


Swiss reject plan to speed up exit from nuclear energy

Swiss voters have rejected a plan to force their government to accelerate the country’s exit from nuclear energy.

A majority of cantons voted against the plan in Sunday’s referendum. Under Switzerland’s direct democracy system, proposals need a majority of both the states and overall votes to pass.

The plan promoted by the Green Party would have meant closing three of Switzerland’s five nuclear plants next year, with the last shutting in 2029. A projection for SRF public television showed the initiative failing by 55 percent to 45.

After the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, the Swiss government adopted a gradualist approach toward transitioning the country to renewable energy by 2050.

The five Swiss nuclear power plants now generate 40 percent of the country’s electricity.

A similar movement is underway in neighboring Germany, where officials are stepping up transition to renewables like solar energy in time to be done with nuclear energy by 2022, a deadline also set after the Japanese tsunami.

As part of an energy plan that runs through 2050, the Swiss government has already agreed not to replace its existing nuclear plants, which can operate as long as they’re deemed safe. The plants are to be closed progressively as their life spans expire, and the government says it needs time to switch to other sources such as wind, solar, and biomass energy.

Switzerland regularly holds referendums as part of its particular form of direct democracy, which allows voters in the country of about 8.2 million to set policy on major issues — at times causing hassles for officials to carry out the public’s will.

The two chambers of the Swiss legislature and the executive Federal Council have variously argued that the earlier shutdown of the nuclear energy program would have forced Switzerland to import more electricity, such as from carbon-spewing coal-fired plants in Germany.

Plus, early shutdowns could make the government — and thus taxpayers — liable to pay penalties to the nuclear plant operators.

"The initiative will compromise the security of our energy supply," Federal Councilor Didier Burkhalter warned in a government video.

But Ilias Panchard, secretary general of a group whose French name translates as "Get Out of Nuclear," said Switzerland’s nuclear power complex is dangerous, aging, and beset by problems — with two of the five Swiss plants not operating at the moment for safety or technical reasons.

His group insisted that now is the time to set a fixed timetable, before it’s too late to move to a proper replacement.

"If we just wait until an accident or a problem with the plants, then we do not have the time, the energy to replace it. So the idea of the initiative, the referendum, is to say: In 2029 we will have no more nuclear energy in Switzerland," he said in an interview in Geneva.

The initiative would have limited the life span of nuclear plants to 45 years, and force the closure next year of three of the plants, Beznau 1 — which Panchard called the world’s oldest operating nuclear plant, built in 1969 — as well as Beznau 2 and Muhleberg.

"Concretely, that means that in 2017, about one-third of the electricity generated by nuclear energy will be lacking. That amounts to the average annual electricity consumption of close to half of Swiss households," Burkhalter said, adding that renewables won’t be able to make up the difference right away.

Two other plants would shut over the next 13 years: Goesgen would close in 2024 and Leibstadt in 2029.


Solar, wind industries hope years courting Republicans pays off under Trump

U.S. wind and solar companies for the first time gave more money to Republicans than Democrats during the 2016 election cycle, according to federal campaign disclosures, part of a years-long effort to expand renewable energy’s appeal beyond liberal environmentalists.

The industry is now hoping its strategy of reaching across the political divide will pay off in the form of Congressional support as Republican Donald Trump, a climate change skeptic who has expressed doubts about the role of clean energy, takes the White House in January.

"We're not starting from ground zero," said Isaac Brown, a principal at 38 North Solutions, which lobbies on behalf of clean energy clients.

The U.S. wind and solar industries employ over 300,000 people, making clean energy an important political constituency that is about five times bigger than the coal sector for jobs, thanks to years of rapid growth fueled by government incentives and declines in the cost of their technologies.

They have also fought to win over a new breed of backer: conservatives skeptical of climate change but interested in supporting homegrown energy alternatives that increase national security, boost competition, and create well-paying blue collar jobs.

But Trump’s upset victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton in the Nov. 8 presidential election has cast doubt on the future of a federal tax break for renewable energy seen critical to the industry’s continued growth.

Trump has never specifically called for those credits to end, but has expressed skepticism about the role of solar and wind in the U.S. energy landscape, calling both "so expensive" and blaming wind turbines for killing birds and ruining picturesque landscapes.

During his campaign, Trump also called global warming a hoax and promised to quit a global accord to cut greenhouse gas emissions, though he has since softened his stance and said he is keeping an "open mind" about the deal.

The renewable energy industry got a boost last year when Congress approved a five-year extension of tax credits for new power projects fueled by solar panels and wind turbines, and the industry's main concern in Washington is to ensure they are not withdrawn in Trump's first term, or allowed to expire should he win a second.

A Trump official did not respond to a request for comment about how he will approach renewables as president. But one of Trump's potential picks for Energy Secretary, Oklahoma oil and gas drilling mogul Harold Hamm, has been a vocal opponent of subsidies for renewable energy.

Renewable stocks took a beating immediately after Trump’s election but have since mostly recovered.

During the 2016 cycle, the wind and solar industry's political action committees contributed more than $225,000 to Republican candidates for office, compared with $185,000 for Democrats. The numbers are not large by the standards of political donations but they mark the first time the industry has tilted its contributions toward Republicans, according to federal records.

In 2012, Democrats got about two-thirds of the industry’s contributions.

Though Democrats have historically been viewed as the strongest supporters of renewable energy, utility-scale wind farms and solar installations are found throughout the nation - including in Republican-leaning states like Arizona, North Carolina, Oklahoma and North Dakota - and enjoy bipartisan support among Americans.

A Pew Research Center poll from October found 83 percent of conservative Republicans favor more solar installations, and 75 percent favor more wind farms. Those figures were 97 percent and 93 percent for liberal Democrats.

The expansion of solar beyond liberal strongholds like California and the Northeast has been critical to garnering Republican support over the last few years. The wind industry has been established in red states for far longer than solar and has a longer track record of support from Republican lawmakers in those states.


The Growth Of Global Warming Nonsense: Surely We've Reached Peak Madness

Time magazine said Donald Trump's election has climate change negotiators down, but not out, and has "cast a long shadow over progress made at" the United Nations climate conference held earlier this month in Morocco. Seems the alarmist community is still stuck in the denial phase of the five stages of grief.

The negotiators' denial is not their attempt to pretend that Trump didn't win, a road that some on the left have taken. It is more deeply rooted in the fact that their predictions of disaster have not materialized.

They have tried for decades to frighten everyone on the planet and all this time later, few are scared because they see the gaping holes in the narrative, the miserably failed forecasts, the glaring lack of evidence and the garbage dump of lies.

Yet the activists continue to behave and screech as if the world is on the brink and there are only days left to save it.

Average Westerners simply trying to live their lives honestly and work hard for their families aren't moved by the braying. They see insane proposals, such as the one from Oxford University that suggests foods should be priced according to their climate impacts, and shake their heads as if their loony uncle living in the room over the garage is talking to Moses again.

But it's more than that, isn't it? It seems we are watching the psychological breakdown of a segment of the Western population that is desperately trying control other people and greedily snatch the world's economic levers, and employing harsh scare tactics in its effort to achieve these goals.

Let's not even pretend that this group cares about the environment. The international Paris agreement that President Obama unilaterally signed on to without input from Congress, the agreement that the alarmist community has declared to be absolutely vital to putting off climate change, would do little to stop projected warming into the next century.

Researcher Bjorn Lomborg, who believes that man's carbon dioxide emissions are having some impact on the planet, says that if every nation fulfilled its promise to cut emissions by 2030, "the total temperature reduction will be 0.048" degrees Celsius by 2100.

In other words, Paris won't change a thing.

Despite the fact that the Paris accord will produce no climate benefit, the political left, which includes the agenda-driven media, continues its deranged behavior over the election of Trump because he has indicated that he will pull the U.S. from Obama's unethical deal.

This lunacy, consciously chosen, is possibly best illustrated by the Democratic National Committee staffer who whined that Clinton's loss means that he's "going to die from climate change," and marched out of a meeting in which the Democrats were trying to rally from their election defeat.

The unfortunate dupe, who must be a recent campus emission, as he acted like one of higher education's delicate snowflakes, is the product of the hysteria his own party has whipped up.

Global warming raving has also affected a group of eight kids from Washington, who are suing their state over climate change. The Associated Press says they are "part of a nationwide effort by young people to try to force action on global warming."

They've been incited, no doubt, by the Democrats' unrelenting fanaticism about the subject.

But isn't the Democratic Party the party of science? That's the label its members have awarded it. Aren't the kids and the Democratic staffer simply reacting to the party's rational position on global warming? Journalist John Tierney probably wouldn't agree.

"The only successful war on science is the one waged by the Left," Tierney, a New York Times reporter, wrote in the Autumn 2016 City Journal.

He acknowledges that "there's plenty of ignorance all around," but also reports that "some surveys show that Republicans, particularly libertarians, are more scientifically literate than Democrats."

Remember this the next time outgoing (thankfully) Secretary of State John Kerry says anything about global warming. He might be one of the many members of his party who doesn't know that astrology isn't a science and that it takes a year for Earth to revolve around the sun.


Army Corps to close Dakota pipeline protesters’ camp

The Army Corps of Engineers plans to close off a swath of North Dakota land that for months has housed a campsite for anti-pipeline protesters.

The Army Corps sent a letter to the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe Friday that said all lands north of the Cannonball River will be closed on Dec. 5, the Associated Press reported.

"To be clear, this means that no member of the general public, to include Dakota Access pipeline protesters, can be on these Corps lands," the letter from Col. John Henderson reads.

Tribe Chairman Dave Archambault told the AP that the land to be closed includes the Oceti Sakowin camp on Army Corps land where many protesters have set up.

Another camp, Sacred Stone, sits on the opposite of the river and will not be affected by the Army Corps decision.

Henderson said that the decision "is necessary to protect the general public from the violent confrontations between protestors and law enforcement officials that have occurred in this area, and to prevent death, illness, or serious injury to inhabitants of encampments due to the harsh North Dakota winter conditions."

He said that necessary services, including emergency and medical resources, can not be properly provided to protesters there.

"I do not take this action lightly, but have decided that it is required due to the concern for public safety and the fact that much of this land is leased to private persons for grazing and/or haying purposes as part of the Corps' land management practices," he wrote.

The letter goes on to say that a "free speech zone" will be set up on the south side of the Cannonball River for peaceful protests.

"In these areas, jurisdiction for police, fire, and medical response is better defined making it a more sustainable area for visitors to endure the harsh North Dakota winter."

The Army Corps warned that anyone on the lands north of the river after Dec. 5 will be considered trespassing and could face prosecution. They added that anyone who stays there does so at their own risk and liability.

The Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes, joined by a flood of other tribe members and supporters, are fighting the final stretch of the 1,200-mile pipeline, that they say could threaten drinking water and cultural sites. Tensions between protesters and police have escalated in recent weeks, with law enforcement using water cannons and allegedly concussion grenades.


Britain’s Stupid Climate Policy Needs the Donald Trump Treatment

by James Delingpole

Britain has now officially ratified the COP21 Paris climate agreement.

The good news is that this will make no difference to anyone or anything because the agreement is toothless and non-binding. The bad news – as you can tell from some of the ministerial comments – is that it serves to remind us that Britain’s climate and energy policy is still in thrall to the environmentalist lunacy which wiser heads like Donald Trump are trying to write out of history.

Wiser heads? Donald Trump?? Yes, I can almost hear the sneering and the jeering from the usual suspects.

But even if you disagree with Trump’s environmental and energy policy – which I don’t – it remains an unarguable fact that the world’s most powerful nation is heading in a very clear direction for at least the next four years: pro-fossil-fuels, anti-renewables. This is going to have a massive, largely positive impact on the U.S. economy because by bringing down the cost of energy, it will give consumers more disposable income and enable businesses – especially in energy-intensive heavy industry – to increase their profit margins or cut costs to the benefit of their bottom line.

At this point, America’s global economic competitors have one of two options: either they wake up and smell the coffee and move in America’s direction; or they bury their heads in the sand, pretend we’re still living in the status quo ante and sit, helpless, while America’s new higher-carbon economy steals half of their business.

Judging by the comments of the Minister for Climate Change and Industry – about as fatuous a title as being Minister for Veganism and Meat – Britain has already made up her mind:

    "The UK is ratifying the historic Paris Agreement so that we can help to accelerate global action on climate change and deliver on our commitments to create a safer, more prosperous future for us all," Nick Hurd, Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry, said.

    "We are going to use this positive momentum to grow the UK low-carbon sector, which is already worth over 46 billion pounds, as we continue to provide secure, affordable and clean energy to our families and businesses," he said."

Nick Hurd, it should be noted, had the best education money can buy at Eton. Clearly, it was utterly wasted if this is the sort of bilge he comes up with.

What can government-imposed limits on carbon dioxide emissions (which inevitably lead malinvestment, cronyism, tariffs and subsidies) possibly have to do with prosperity? Or indeed safety?

It is weapons-grade bollocks and inspires very little faith that Theresa May, despite her axing of the Department of Energy and Climate Change, has any real grasp of the rapidly changing nature of the climate debate. We got a depressing taste of this when she gave the monstrously expensive, outdated, and generally rubbish Hinkley Point C power station the go-ahead.

If the even crazier exercise in green virtue-signalling and crony capitalism the Swansea Bay Tidal Project gets approved, we shall know that the government has lost the plot completely.

Perhaps had Hillary Clinton won the presidential election, this would make a sort of sense. Britain would be merely going with the flow of international policy.

But Trump won and now Britain faces a stark choice, described here by Rupert Darwall who has been in Marrakech at the COP22 conference.

    "Although Britain is formally leaving the EU, its climate and energy policies look set to remain exactly the same. Indeed, when it comes to climate and energy, Britain is being more Catholic than the Pope.

    The German government has stated its intention to keep burning coal for at least the next two decades; Greg Clark’s business department has just launched a consultation on phasing it out by 2025.

    That is unlikely to play well in Washington, to say the least. Coal is important to Republicans. Over the last two years, Britain imported 16.5 million tonnes of coal from America, worth $1.4 billion.

    Four of the top five coal-producing states voted Republican – including Pennsylvania, which switched from the Democrats. Of the top 10 coal-burning states, seven voted Republican last week, including Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s Indiana and swing state Ohio.

    An iron rule of American politics is that domestic politics trump international considerations. As Henry Kissinger told The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg after the election, Trump’s victory "could enable us to establish coherence between our foreign policy and our domestic situation".

    And it is very hard to envisage the Trump Administration looking kindly on a potential trade deal with a partner that is in the process of banning imports of American coal – and putting American miners out of work"

So far it looks like Britain is hell bent on taking the wrong decision. Business Secretary Greg Clark looks to be clueless and it seems depressingly likely that all the green activists who infested the defunct Department of Energy and Climate Change have simply been dispersed within other ministries, spreading their environmentalist crony capitalist poison.

Here is John Constable’s depressing take:

    "The UK’s new secretary of state for Business, Greg Clark, has just given his first public speech on energy. It suggests, unfortunately, that he is not yet sufficiently confident of his brief to resist the views of his civil servants. Indeed, this speech could easily have been written for Ed Miliband, or Chris Huhne, or Ed Davey, and suggests that the rent-seeking green interests in the electricity sector are re-injecting themselves into the national bloodstream through an interventionist industrial strategy. This will result in overcapitalisation and reductions in productivity"

We have scotched the Green Blob but not killed it. A long hard battle lies ahead of us.



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29 November, 2016

Arctic warming claim: An amusing combination of alarm and uncertainty

The article below starts out by making a big deal out of the fact that: "Temperatures in the Arctic are currently about 20C above what would be expected".  Which is roughly true as far as it goes.  But like all Green/Left reporting, the important bits are what is left out.  SEPP  tells us what is left out:

"The current warmth in the Artic provides material for alarmists to predict drastic climate change. Many of the stories fail to mention that although the mean Arctic temperatures are as much as 15ºC, about 30ºF, above normal, with some day-time exceptions, the temperatures are still well below freezing. Further, the alarmist stories fail to mention that temperatures in Asia are drastically below normal for weeks --- as much as 60ºF below normal in Siberia. Long before appropriate instrumentation, the Arctic experienced warm periods, as seen in the Greenland ice cores and in warm periods such as the 1920s"

And then we come to bathos. After the shrill and unhesitating alarm of the first part of the article, we find out that they are actually very uncertain.  They really don't understand what is going on very well at all:  "very serious changes are happening, but they are still poorly understood. We need more research to understand them". 

You couldn't make it up.  Utter trash

Arctic scientists have warned that the increasingly rapid melting of the ice cap risks triggering 19 "tipping points" in the region that could have catastrophic consequences around the globe.

The Arctic Resilience Report found that the effects of Arctic warming could be felt as far away as the Indian Ocean, in a stark warning that changes in the region could cause uncontrollable climate change at a global level.

Temperatures in the Arctic are currently about 20C above what would be expected for the time of year, which scientists describe as "off the charts". Sea ice is at the lowest extent ever recorded for the time of year.

"The warning signals are getting louder," said Marcus Carson of the Stockholm Environment Institute and one of the lead authors of the report. "[These developments] also make the potential for triggering [tipping points] and feedback loops much larger."

Climate tipping points occur when a natural system, such as the polar ice cap, undergoes sudden or overwhelming change that has a profound effect on surrounding ecosystems, often irreversible.

In the Arctic, the tipping points identified in the new report, published on Friday, include: growth in vegetation on tundra, which replaces reflective snow and ice with darker vegetation, thus absorbing more heat; higher releases of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from the tundra as it warms; shifts in snow distribution that warm the ocean, resulting in altered climate patterns as far away as Asia, where the monsoon could be effected; and the collapse of some key Arctic fisheries, with knock-on effects on ocean ecosystems around the globe.

The research, compiled by 11 organisations including the Arctic Council and six universities, comes at a critical time, not only because of the current Arctic temperature rises but in political terms.

Aides to the US president-elect, Donald Trump, this week unveiled plans to remove the budget for climate change science currently used by Nasa and other US federal agencies for projects such as examining Arctic changes, and to spend it instead on space exploration.

"That would be a huge mistake," said Carson, noting that much more research needs to be done on polar tipping points before we can understand the true dangers, let alone hope to tackle them. "It would be like ripping out the aeroplane’s cockpit instruments while you are in mid-flight."

He added: "These are very serious problems, very serious changes are happening, but they are still poorly understood. We need more research to understand them. A lot of the major science is done by the US."


'Remarkable year': What's behind the record low sea ice in Antarctica

Why should sea-ice levels suddenly change from high to low? The galoots below don't know but my guess is increased activity from Antarctica's sub-surface volcanoes.  But you are not allowed to mention that. One thing that is not responsible is CO2.  The latest findings show that CO2 levels were static for 2015 and 2016

It was in early August this year when Phil Reid, a climatologist with the Bureau of Meteorology, first noticed something odd happening to the ice around Antarctica.

An area of ice had started to melt in the eastern Weddell Sea even though the region was still in darkness and air temperatures below freezing.

Confirmed later as a rare sighting of the Weddell polynya – as such melts are known – abnormal sea ice activity began showing up in other regions off the southern continent.

Having set records for area covered by sea ice just over two years ago, the ice has rapidly retreated since late August to set new marks for record-low coverage for this time of year.

"It's been a pretty remarkable year," Dr Reid said, adding sea ice now totalled about 12.8 million square kilometres, or more than 2 million below average for November.

The Weddell polynya indicates there were unusually warm waters beneath, but researchers won't know for sure until they can retrieve and analyse data from floats, Dr Reid said.

Some extreme weather, which also brought in warmer air from the north, may have helped corral the thinning ice into smaller areas. "That atmospheric pattern exacerbated the regions of lower-than-normal sea ice," he said.

Mark Brandon, a polar oceanographer and blogger at the UK's Open University, said the ice was noticeably compacting in three areas – the Ross Sea, the Cosmonauts Sea, and in the Bellingshausen and Weddell seas.

Dr Brandon said that the increased mobility of the ice implies there is less of it, so volume has probably dropped too.

"We have no long-term wide geographical ranging measurements of sea ice thickness in the Antarctic that are comparable to what we have in the Arctic," he said. "For various technical reasons we don't have [satellite data] – yet – either.

"But with the evidence in the Weddell Sea I would be surprised if the volume is constant given the pack is not being compressed against the coast," he said.


Go global warming!

England will face its coldest November night for almost 25 years as temperatures plummet below freezing this week. People have been told to wrap up warm with overnight temperatures forecast to drop to -8C in southern England by Tuesday. The last time it was this cold was in Yorkshire, on November 22 1993.

It will be chilly this evening with temperatures dropping to -6C in the South of England and minus -5C in the West Midlands.

A band of cloud over the North of the country and towards Scotland will keep temperatures milder, reaching around 4C.

Into Monday and Tuesday it will remain dry with clear skies, but temperatures will drop overnight to -8C.

The brisk conditions are only expected to last until Wednesday, with warmer weather forecast later on in the week.

Met office meteorologist, Luke Miall said: 'We are set for a couple of cold nights but we won't see sub zero temperatures during the day. It's just a case of wrapping up warm if you go out.

Ladbrokes are offering odds of 2/1 that a new record is set for the coldest night of 2016 before next Sunday.


No, Donald Trump Hasn’t Suddenly Gone Soft on ‘Global Warming’

I gave my take on this on Sunday

"Trump now believes that man-made climate change is real" claims a headline in Mother Jones. (Top trolling, guys. Almost worthy of the Master, DJT himself.)

"In shift, Donald Trump says humans may be causing global warming," says PBS.

According to The Washington Post, meanwhile:

    President-elect Donald Trump appears to be softening his tone on whether climate change is real and on his stated plans to scrap the recent multinational agreement to limit carbon emissions.

The name for this nonsense is "fake news" – as becomes clear when you read the transcripts of what President-Elect Trump actually said at his meeting with The New York Times:

    THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN, opinion columnist: But it’s really important to me, and I think to a lot of our readers, to know where you’re going to go with this. I don’t think anyone objects to, you know, doing all forms of energy. But are you going to take America out of the world’s lead of confronting climate change?

    TRUMP: I’m looking at it very closely, Tom. I’ll tell you what. I have an open mind to it. We’re going to look very carefully. It’s one issue that’s interesting because there are few things where there’s more division than climate change. You don’t tend to hear this, but there are people on the other side of that issue who are, think, don’t even …

    ARTHUR SULZBERGER Jr., publisher of The New York Times: We do hear it.

So at this point, Trump is gently introducing the NYT‘s liberals to the concept that not everyone thinks the same way on climate change as they do. Let’s carry on, shall we?

    FRIEDMAN: I was on ‘Squawk Box’ with Joe Kernen this morning, so I got an earful of it.  [laughter]

    TRUMP: Joe is one of them. But a lot of smart people disagree with you. I have a very open mind. And I’m going to study a lot of the things that happened on it and we’re going to look at it very carefully. But I have an open mind.

    SULZBERGER: Well, since we’re living on an island, sir, I want to thank you for having an open mind. We saw what these storms are now doing, right? We’ve seen it personally. Straight up.

    FRIEDMAN: But you have an open mind on this?

    TRUMP: I do have an open mind. And we’ve had storms always, Arthur.

    SULZBERGER: Not like this.

    TRUMP: "You know the hottest day ever was in 1890-something, 98. You know, you can make lots of cases for different views. I have a totally open mind.

    My uncle was for 35 years a professor at M.I.T. He was a great engineer, scientist. He was a great guy. And he was … a long time ago, he had feelings — this was a long time ago — he had feelings on this subject. It’s a very complex subject. I’m not sure anybody is ever going to really know. I know we have, they say they have science on one side but then they also have those horrible emails that were sent between the scientists. Where was that, in Geneva or wherever five years ago? Terrible. Where they got caught, you know, so you see that and you say, what’s this all about. I absolutely have an open mind. I will tell you this: Clean air is vitally important. Clean water, crystal clean water is vitally important. Safety is vitally important.

    And you know, you mentioned a lot of the courses. I have some great, great, very successful golf courses. I’ve received so many environmental awards for the way I’ve done, you know. I’ve done a tremendous amount of work where I’ve received tremendous numbers. Sometimes I’ll say I’m actually an environmentalist and people will smile in some cases and other people that know me understand that’s true. Open mind"

Trump, it is obvious to anyone with half a brain, is taking the piss. He is telling the NYT‘s liberal assembly "I hear what you say" and then, ever so nicely, indicating that he doesn’t give a toss. The way he repeats that phrase "open mind". He’s trolling them, basically. (Especially where he tells them he’s an "environmentalist": classic Trump.)

    JAMES BENNET, editorial page editor: When you say an open mind, you mean you’re just not sure whether human activity causes climate change? Do you think human activity is or isn’t connected?

    TRUMP: I think right now … well, I think there is some connectivity. There is some, something. It depends on how much. It also depends on how much it’s going to cost our companies. You have to understand, our companies are noncompetitive right now.

    They’re really largely noncompetitive. About four weeks ago, I started adding a certain little sentence into a lot of my speeches, that we’ve lost 70,000 factories since W. Bush. 70,000. When I first looked at the number, I said: ‘That must be a typo. It can’t be 70, you can’t have 70,000, you wouldn’t think you have 70,000 factories here.’ And it wasn’t a typo, it’s right. We’ve lost 70,000 factories.

    We’re not a competitive nation with other nations anymore. We have to make ourselves competitive. We’re not competitive for a lot of reasons.

    That’s becoming more and more of the reason. Because a lot of these countries that we do business with, they make deals with our president, or whoever, and then they don’t adhere to the deals, you know that. And it’s much less expensive for their companies to produce products. So I’m going to be studying that very hard, and I think I have a very big voice in it. And I think my voice is listened to, especially by people that don’t believe in it. And we’ll let you know.

"We’ll let you know." In other words: "I’ll get back to you." In other words: "Sorry. Not interested in your business. Got better things to do."


Five stages of climate grief

Ever since the elections, our media, schools, workplaces and houses of worship have presented stories showcasing the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

Liberal-progressive snowflakes are wallowing in denial, anger and depression. They cannot work, attend class or take exams. They need safe "healing" spaces, Play-Doh, comfort critters and counseling. Too many throw tirades equating Donald Trump with Adolph Hitler, while too few are actually moving to Canada, New Zeeland or Jupiter, after solemnly promising they would.

Nouveau grief is also characterized by the elimination of bargaining and acceptance – and their replacement by two new stages: intolerance for other views and defiance or even riots. Sadly, it appears these new stages have become a dominant, permanent, shameful feature of liberal policies and politics.

The Left has long been intolerant of alternative viewpoints. Refusing to engage or debate, banning or forcibly removing books and posters, threatening and silencing contrarians, disinviting or shouting down conservative speakers, denying tax exempt status to opposing political groups, even criminalizing and prosecuting climate change "deniers" – have all become trademark tactics. Defiance and riots were rare during the Obama years, simply because his government enforced lib-prog ideologies and policies.

Liberals view government as their domain, their reason for being, far too important to be left to "poorly educated" rural and small-town voters, blue-collar workers or other "deplorable" elements. Liberals may not care what we do in our bedrooms, but they intend to control everything outside those four walls.

They are aghast that over 90% of all US counties and county equivalents voted for Trump. They’re incensed that President Trump and Republicans in Congress, 33 governor’s offices and 69 of 99 state legislatures nationwide will likely review and reform policies, laws and regulations on a host of issues.

Above all, they are outraged over what might happen to their "dangerous manmade climate change" mantra. It was supposed to be their ticket to endless extravaganzas at 5-star venues in exotic locales – their trump card for controlling the world’s energy, economy, livelihoods and living standards.

That is why they demand that only their "facts" be heard on the "consensus science" supporting policies they say are essential to prevent a "disastrous" 2º C (3.6º F) rise from 1850 levels, when the Little Ice Age ended (and the modern industrial era began). It’s why the Paris climate agreement tells developed nations to keep fossil fuels in the ground, roll back their economies and reduce their living standards – while giving $100 billion per year to poor countries for climate mitigation and reparation.

That, in turn, is why developing countries eagerly signed the Paris accord, bringing it into force and effect just before this year’s climate confab in Marrakech. They would not be required to reduce their fossil fuel use or greenhouse gas emissions. And they – or at least their governing classes – would receive trillions of dollars over the coming decades. Countless thousands were thus in jolly spirits as they flew giant fuel-guzzling, GHG-spewing jetliners into Morocco for the historic event.

But then, on the third day, news of the US elections brought misery and mayhem to Marrakech. Event organizers had tolerated credentialed Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow representatives handing out Climate Hustle DVDs and discussing Real World climate science and energy development. But when CFACT erected a Donald Trump cutout and shredded a copy of the Paris accord, they sent armed police to forcibly end the educational event and boot the impudent non-believers out of the hallowed conference.

Marrakech may have marked the zenith of the religious-political climate movement. President-Elect Trump has long held that there is likely "some connectivity" between human actions and the climate – but he has also said it is a "hoax" to say humans are now causing catastrophic global warming and climate change. He also says he has an "open mind" on the issue and will be studying it "very closely."

Here are a few important facts and probing questions that he could raise, to get the ball rolling.

1) The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was formed to detect and assess possible human influences on global climate systems, amid many natural forces. However, it soon began looking only at human influences. Now it claims warming, cooling and weather are driven only by human emissions. How and why did this happen? How can alarmists ignore the powerful natural forces, focus solely on air emissions associated with fossil fuel use – and call it solid, honest, empirical, consensus science?

2) Your "manmade climate chaos" thesis – and computer models that support it – implicitly assume that fossil fuel emissions and feedbacks they generate have replaced numerous powerful natural forces that have driven climate cycles and extreme weather events throughout Earth and human history. What caused the ice ages and interglacial periods, Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age, Anasazi and Mayan droughts, and other major climate and weather events – before fossil fuel emissions took over?

Where did all those natural forces go? Why are they no longer functioning? Who stole them? When did they stop ruling the climate: in 1850, 1900, 1950 … or perhaps 1990, after the IPCC was established?

3) You claim climate and weather patterns are already "unprecedented" and increasingly cataclysmic. But even as plant-fertilizing CO2 levels continue to climb, average global temperatures have risen barely 0.1 degrees the past two decades, amid a major El Niño. Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets are growing at record rates. Seas are rising at barely seven inches per century. It has now been a record eleven years since a category 3-5 hurricane struck the US mainland; the previous record was nine years, 1860 to 1869. The 2016 US tornado count was the lowest on record. Where are the unprecedented cataclysms?

4) Your computer models begin with the assumption or assertion that increasing levels of carbon dioxide will cause rapidly, dangerously rising global temperatures, and more extreme weather events. But if this assumption is wrong, so are your models, projections and scenarios. It’s garbage in / garbage out. And in fact your models have been wrong – dramatically and consistently, year after year. When will you fix them? When will they factor in data and analyses for solar, cosmic ray, oceanic and other natural forces?

5) The manmade climate cataclysm community has refused to discuss or debate its data, methodologies, analyses and conclusions with those whom you call "skeptics" or "deniers." 97% consensus, case closed, you say. What do you fear from open, robust debate? What manipulated data or other tricks are you trying to hide? Why are you afraid to put your cards on the table, lay out your supposed evidence – and duke it out? Do you really think taxpayers should give you one more dime under these circumstances?

6) The FDA and other federal agencies require that applications for drugs, medical devices and permits for projects include extensive raw data, lab and project methodologies, and other information. Your modeling and other work is largely paid for with taxpayer money, and used to determine public policies. Why should you be allowed to hide your data and methodologies, treat them as proprietary, refuse to share them with Congress or "realist" scientists, and refuse to engage in a full peer-review process?

7) EPA’s "social cost of carbon" scheme blames everything imaginable on fossil fuels – but totally ignores the huge benefits of using these fuels. Isn’t that misleading, disingenuous, even fraudulent?

8) America already produces more ethanol than it can use. Now EPA wants another 1.2 billion gallons blended into our gasoline. Why should we do this – considering the land, water, environmental, CO2, fuel efficiency and other costs, rampant fraud in the RIN program, and impacts on small refiners? If we replace all fossil fuels with biofuels, how much land, water, fertilizer and energy would that require?

9) Wind turbines are land intensive, heavily subsidized and exempted from most environmental rules. They kill millions of birds and bats. Their electricity is expensive and unreliable, and requires fossil fuel backup generators. Why should this industry be exempted from endangered species laws – and allowed to conduct bogus mortality studies, and prevent independent investigators from reviewing the work?

Mr. Trump, keep an open mind. But keep exercising due diligence. Trust, but verify. And fire anyone who lies or refuses to answer, or provides the climate equivalent of shoddy work and substandard concrete.

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


28 November, 2016

National Geographic asked photographers to show the impact of climate change

The idea that you could photograph climate change is a considerable absurdity so it should be no great surprise that the results embodied much absurdity.

And equally absurd is the idea that you can support a generalization --  which global warming is -- by selected cases of something. I used to be something of a photographer in my youth and I am quite confident that I could produce a series of shots to "illustrate" just about anything.

For instance, just about everyone seems to have heard that Australia is a "dry" continent.  It is.  Most of it is deserts. But just by wandering around the tropical areas where I was born and bred, I could produce photos of things in Australia that "prove" the opposite: Photos of lush greenery, big rivers, scenic waterfalls and images of dairy cows grazing lush green fields of long grass.  Thus I could "prove" that Australia is NOT a dry country.  In fact, however, such a procedure would in fact give precisely wrong results.

Given the feebleness of the presentation, I am not going to attempt to critique it all so I will advert briefly to the text underneath a picture of animals grazing at dusk.

Underneath the picture, the following text occurs:

"These animals have found the secret stash of the orange farmer who dumps the oranges that have fallen from his trees at least seven kilometers away from the orchards to control the breeding of the fruit fly. It is the end of a winter exacerbated by global warming, which makes the season longer and drier and the summer hotter with less rain in an already dry climate"

Which is complete nonsense.  The scene is apparently from somewhere in South Africa and it may be that there was unusually low rainfall there recently. Rainfall varies.  But the low rainfall was NOT due to global warming.  Due to El Nino, there was indeed an unusually warm period globally in late 2015 and early 2016 but why should that cause less rain?  Hot weather evaporates more water off the oceans and that comes down again as rain. Which is why the tropics are wetter than elsewhere. El Nino should have caused MORE rain, not less.  Even the most basic physics seems to be unknown to most Warmists -- JR.

Stunning new data indicates El Nino drove record highs in global temperatures suggesting rise may not be down to man-made emissions

Global average temperatures over land have plummeted by more than 1C since the middle of this year – their biggest and steepest fall on record.

The news comes amid mounting evidence that the recent run of world record high temperatures is about to end.

The fall, revealed by Nasa satellite measurements of the lower atmosphere, has been caused by the end of El Nino – the warming of surface waters in a vast area of the Pacific west of Central America.

Some scientists, including Dr Gavin Schmidt, head of Nasa’s climate division, have claimed that the recent highs were mainly the result of long-term global warming.

Others have argued that the records were caused by El Nino, a complex natural phenomenon that takes place every few years, and has nothing to do with greenhouse gas emissions by humans.

The new fall in temperatures suggests they were right.

Big El Ninos always have an immense impact on world weather, triggering higher than normal temperatures over huge swathes of the world. The 2015-16 El Nino was probably the strongest since accurate measurements began, with the water up to 3C warmer than usual.

It has now been replaced by a La Nina event – when the water in the same Pacific region turns colder than normal. This also has worldwide impacts, driving temperatures down rather than up.

The satellite measurements over land respond quickly to El Nino and La Nina. Temperatures over the sea are also falling, but not as fast, because the sea retains heat for longer.

This means it is possible that by some yardsticks, 2016 will be declared as hot as 2015 or even slightly hotter – because El Nino did not vanish until the middle of the year.

But it is almost certain that next year, large falls will also be measured over the oceans, and by weather station thermometers on the surface of the planet – exactly as happened after the end of the last very strong El Nino in 1998. If so, some experts will be forced to eat their words.

Last year, Dr Schmidt said 2015 would have been a record hot year even without El Nino.

‘The reason why this is such a warm record year is because of the long-term underlying trend, the cumulative effect of the long-term warming trend of our Earth,’ he said. This was ‘mainly caused’ by the emission of greenhouse gases by humans.

Dr Schmidt also denied that there was any ‘pause’ or ‘hiatus’ in global warming between the 1998 and 2015 El Ninos.

But on its website home page yesterday, Nasa featured a new study which said there was a hiatus in global warming before the recent El Nino, and discussed why this was so. Last night Dr Schmidt had not returned a request for comment.

However, both his own position, and his Nasa division, may be in jeopardy. US President-elect Donald Trump is an avowed climate change sceptic, who once claimed it was a hoax invented by China.

Last week, Mr Trump’s science adviser Bob Walker said he was likely to axe Nasa’s $1.9 billion (about £1.4 billion) climate research budget.

Other experts have also disputed Dr Schmidt’s claims. Professor Judith Curry, of the Georgia Institute of Technology, and president of the Climate Forecast Applications Network, said yesterday: ‘I disagree with Gavin. The record warm years of 2015 and 2016 were primarily caused by the super El Nino.’

The slowdown in warming was, she added, real, and all the evidence suggested that since 1998, the rate of global warming has been much slower than predicted by computer models – about 1C per century.

David Whitehouse, a scientist who works with Lord Lawson’s sceptic Global Warming Policy Foundation, said the massive fall in temperatures following the end of El Nino meant the warming hiatus or slowdown may be coming back.

‘According to the satellites, the late 2016 temperatures are returning to the levels they were at after the 1998 El Nino.

The data clearly shows El Nino for what it was – a short-term weather event,’ he said.


Captain Cook's detailed 1778 records confirm global warming today in the Arctic (?)

The Warmists really are incredible.  Here they are generalizing from ONE YEAR!  We know that Actic ice waxes and wanes so how are we to know that 1778 was typical of anything?  It could have been an unusually hot or an unusually cold year.  We have no way of knowing. This is faith, not science

Passengers simmered in Jacuzzis and feasted on gourmet cuisine this summer as the 850-foot cruise ship Crystal Serenity moved through the Northwest Passage. [Led by two icebreakers!]

But in the summer of 1778, when Capt. James Cook tried to find a Western entrance to the route, his men toiled on frost-slicked decks and complained about having to supplement dwindling rations with walrus meat.

The British expedition was halted north of the Bering Strait by "ice which was as compact as a wall and seemed to be 10 or 12 feet high at least," according to the captain's journal. Cook's ships followed the ice edge all the way to Siberia in their futile search for an opening, sometimes guided through fog by the braying of the unpalatable creatures the crew called Sea Horses.

More than two centuries later, scientists are mining meticulous records kept by Cook and his crew for a new perspective on the warming that has opened the Arctic in a way the 18th century explorer could never have imagined.

Working with maps and logs from Cook's voyage and other historical records and satellite imagery, University of Washington mathematician Harry Stern has tracked changes in ice cover in the Chukchi Sea, between Alaska and Russia, over nearly 240 years.

The results, published this month in the journal Polar Geography, confirm the significant shrinkage of the summer ice cap and shed new light on the timing of the transformation. The analysis also extends the historical picture back nearly 75 years, building on previous work with ships' records from the 1850s.

"This old data helps us look at what conditions were like before we started global warming, and what the natural variability was," said Jim Overland, a Seattle-based oceanographer for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who was not involved in Stern's project.

Though earlier explorers ventured into the frigid waters off Alaska, Cook was the first to map the ice edge, Stern said. Cook undertook the voyage, which also covered the Northwest coast, on orders from King George III to seek a shorter trading route between Europe and the Far East across the top of the world.

Stymied by the ice, Cook headed for the winter to Hawaii, where he was killed by native people.

Stern's analysis found that for more than 200 years after Cook's visit the summer ice cover in the Chukchi Sea fluctuated, but generally extended south to near where Cook encountered it.


Another Blow To CO2…French Scientist’s Research Attributes Most Global Warming To Solar Activity

More fresh climate science just out showing that the sun is the main driver of our climate.

The Dutch-British publishing company Elsevier B.V. has put online a paper entitled "Earth Climate Identification vs. Detection and Attribution". This publication, referenced on the ScienceDirect website, was revised in the due rules by a peer committee in Annual Reviews in Control (ARC), one of the seven scientific journals of IFAC, federating thousands of international experts in automatic control and modelisation of complex systems.

The paper’s author, Professor Philippe de Larminat, applied the proven techniques of dynamical systems identification to the Earth climate, using paleoclimatic databases available from the major institutes and international organizations. It follows that "with a 90% probability level, one cannot reject the hypothesis of a zero anthropogenic contribution". While "the hypothesis of a low sensitivity to solar activity must be rejected with a probability level greater than 90%."

Conversely, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) considers that "it is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the middle of the 20th century", this on the basis of the "Detection and Attribution", a theory explicitly dedicated to anthropogenic attribution of recent climate change.

The paper presents and clarifies the causes of this contradiction:

* The main one is due to the durations used for climate observations: a thousand years for identification, at most one hundred and fifty years for the Detection-Attribution, thereby eliminating the millennia events of the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age, notoriously correlated to solar activity. "It has the effect of minimizing the contribution of solar activity," says the author.

* The second contradiction is due to a confusion between cause and effect, about the El Niño events. The author examines the reasons for this "heavy methodological error, which is obvious to any expert in systems science".

Could the Philippe de Larminat publication challenge the prevailing consensus on anthropogenic climate change, consensus which is turning the world economic issues (COP 21, 22) as far as the moral issues (Laudato si)? Questioned on the eventuality that a new consensus can emerge, that of a preponderant influence of solar activity on the climate, the author only recalls:

Neither the consensus nor the votes have any place in science; only the evidence matter. To the argument of authority, French philosopher Descartes opposed the authority of the argument. But the consensus is only a submission to the argument of authority, the lowest ever."

This publication, whose part is accessible even to the non-experts, confirms the conclusions already advanced by the author in his previous work "Climate change – identification and projections" (ISTE/Wiley, 2014).


Australian anti-immigration politician slips into wetsuit for barrier reef trip -- and finds that all is well with the reef

Most of the media have been amusing about this.  They say that she has embarrassed herself by not going to the "right" part of the reef.  But that claim is itself a message that only part of the reef is affected by bleaching.  We can perhaps be thankful to them for getting that message out to a wider audience. 

There are many possible causes of bleaching but the  loons of the Green/Left are sure it is caused by global warming.  And that might pass muster when we note that the bleaching has occurred in the most Northerly (and hence warmer) one-third of the reef.  Problem:  Coral LIKES warmth, which is why the Northern part of the reef normally has the greatest biological diversity.  Normally, the further North you go (i.e. the warmer you get), the greater the diversity.  So the cause of the bleaching is unknown. 

As a fallback position, the Greenies say that the bleaching is caused by agricultural runoff.  Problem: The Northern part of the reef runs along an area of the Cape York Peninsula where there is virtually NO agriculture.  The soils there are too poor for it to be economically feasible.  So no runoff.  "Facts be damned" seems to be the Greenie motto

Pauline Hanson has slipped into a wetsuit and made a splash on the Great Barrier Reef to show the world the natural wonder is worth visiting amid claims it is dying.

The senator, who once cooked fish for a living, went swimming off Great Keppel Island today and expressed concerns about reports on the reef's health.

Ms Hanson says agenda-driven groups are telling "untruths" about the state of the reef that are harming the tourism industry and businesses.  "When we have these agendas that are actually destroying our tourism industry and businesses ... we need to ask the questions and we want answers," she said. "The Greens have no concern about people and jobs that we need here in Queensland, and the escalating costs that we are feeling from the effects of this."

One Nation senators Malcolm Roberts, who has long argued the case that global warming doesn't stack up, and Brian Burston were also on the reef trip.

Mr Roberts said people had stopped coming to the reef because they were being told it was dead and that Australia should not be reporting on its health to the UN agency UNESCO.

Conservationists are concerned climate change is putting severe stress on the reef, which experienced a massive coral bleaching event this year, and some have declared it's dying at an unprecedented rate.

They say Ms Hanson and her senators visited the wrong part of the reef as the southern sections had been least affected by the worst bleaching event in the icon's history.

The World Wildlife Fund said One Nation should have visited Lizard Island where bleaching, caused by high water temperatures, has killed much of the coral.



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 November, 2016

More Orwellian thinking from the Green/Left

Press "freedom" = restricting the voice of global warming skepticism

Amazing to see what Christiane Amanpour had to say about global warming and "press freedom" -- starting at 4:35 here

The transcript on the link (slightly different from what she actually says in the video) includes the following:

"It appeared much of the media got itself into knots trying to differentiate between balance, objectivity, neutrality, and crucially, truth.

We cannot continue the old paradigm--let's say like over global warming, where 99.9 percent of the empirical scientific evidence is given equal play with the tiny minority of deniers.

I learned long ago, covering the ethnic cleansing and genocide in Bosnia, never to equate victim with aggressor, never to create a false moral or factual equivalence, because then you are an accomplice to the most unspeakable crimes and consequences. (my emphasis)

Wikipedia states that "The CPJ International Press Freedom Awards honor journalists or their publications around the world who show courage in defending press freedom despite facing attacks, threats, or imprisonment."

Isn't it ironic that an award for press freedom is going to an individual who feels that defending press freedom means that journalists must self-censor and RESTRICT their readers' access to countering and opposing views. And she equates reporting of skeptics' views with "ethnic cleansing and genocide in Bosnia" and "unspeakable crimes".

And note that the 97% consensus has now become, according to Amanpour, 99.9%.  She is obviously not much interested the actual facts.

Sweden's Royal Academy of Science highly critical of wind power

Translation of the main points by EPAW's spokesman in Scandinavia, Peter Skeel Hjorth:

Multi-billion-dollar subsidies for wind power are wasteful
Wind power production is negligible

10 TWh of wind power would require costly expansions to the distribution network

Expansion of wind power will harm Swedish competitiveness

Expansion of wind power will cost dearly to electricity customers

Expansion of wind power will not reduce carbon dioxide emissions

The subsidies could be better spent on other things

Thirteen of Sweden's most eminent scientists within climate and energy explain that the current Swedish wind power investment is a huge mistake that will cost the Swedish people billions of dollars without providing any benefits to the country.

It is also stated that wind production is minuscule, but was it to increase significantly then it would entail additional costs to electricity consumers in the form of demands for increased network expansion and back up power generation.

All in all this means that the expansion of wind power as a whole is negative for the electricity consumers and for Sweden's competitiveness. There are no environmental benefits either because wind power is not able to reduce carbon emissions.


Antarctic ice has hardly melted in 100 years, log books from Captain Scott's doomed expedition to the South Pole confirm

Which rather contradicts this dramatic report:  "In 2014, researchers claimed the melting of glaciers in West Antarctica may be irreversible. A study by Nasa and the University of California, Irvine revealed the barren region was haemorrhaging ice at a rate triple that of a decade before. The team found the rate by taking radar, laser and satellite measurements of the glaciers' mass between 1992 and 2013. 'The mass loss of these glaciers is increasing at an amazing rate,' said scientist Isabella Velicogna, jointly of the University of California, Irvine and Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory"

A century after their deaths, Antarctic explorers Captain Robert Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton are helping further our knowledge of the frozen continent. Log books recovered from their doomed expeditions show the amount of sea ice there has barely changed in 100 years.

Only one region, the Wendell Sea, has seen a significant reduction – 14 per cent – scientists from the University of Reading found.

Scott died with four of his men in 1912 during their ill-fated quest to become the first to the South Pole.

The team reached their goal only to find their rival, the Norwegian Roald Amundsen, had beaten them by five weeks. They perished on the return journey.

Shackleton, who had explored Antarctica with Scott a decade before, led an expedition to trek across the continent between 1914 and 1917. He had to be rescued when his ship sank. He died in 1922.

Log books detailing the extent of the sea ice in Antarctica were recovered from both expeditions.

These have been used to help fill gaps in the data – complete records of ice cover exist only for the period since scientists began to use satellites to survey the planet.

Researchers looked through the logbooks of early Antarctic explorers from the 'Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration (1897-1917)' and compared the recorded observations of Antarctic ice from the time with satellite images from today.

Jonathan Day, who led the University of Reading study, said: 'The missions of Scott and Shackleton are remembered in history as heroic failures, yet the data collected by these and other explorers could profoundly change the way we view the ebb and flow of Antarctic sea ice.

'We know that sea ice in the Antarctic has increased slightly over the past 30 years, since satellite observations began.

'Scientists have been grappling to understand this trend in the context of global warming, but these findings suggest it may not be new.'

It is not known why Antarctic ice has grown since the 1970s.

Some scientists believe the widening hole in the atmosphere's ozone layer has caused stronger surface winds over Antarctica and more frequent storms in the Southern Ocean.

But the results from the 'heroic age' of polar exploration suggest this also happened earlier in the 20th century.

The log books give details of ice cover, the state of the sea, the weather and wildlife spotted from the deck.

The study implies Antarctic sea ice levels in the early 1900s were similar to today, at between 2 million and 2.8 million square miles (5.3 million and 7.4 million square kilometres).

Estimates suggest levels were significantly higher in the 1950s.

The research, published in the European Geosciences Union journal The Cryosphere, suggests the Antarctic is much less sensitive to the effects of climate change than the Arctic, which has seen a dramatic decline in sea ice.

Mr Day said: 'The Southern Ocean is largely a 'black hole' as far as historical climate change data is concerned, but future activities planned to recover data from naval and whaling ships will help us to understand past climate variations and what to expect in the future.'


All power to energy security: Australia could learn from Trump

When US president-elect Donald Trump listed his six top priorities for executive action this week on "day one" of becoming the most powerful man in the world, naturally most attention was grabbed by his very first decision: withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

Yet in global terms, and in Australia’s interest, his second priority was just as important.

This was Trump’s pledge to "cancel job-killing restrictions on the production of American ­energy including shale energy and clean coal, creating many millions of high-paying jobs".

Energy security was placed above national security.

The jobs of coalminers, the use of low-cost shale deposits for ­energy and the creation of manufacturing jobs were placed ahead of national security, and the withdrawal from the Obama administration’s commitment to the Paris agreement on climate change didn’t even rate a mention.

There is global agitation about the pragmatism of protecting jobs through energy security, providing energy at a low enough price so people can afford to use it and producing energy when ­people need it, as well as an ­imperative to lower carbon emissions. The hidden cost of "intermittency" — the hallmark of wind and solar production — and the danger of blackouts are being recognised.

Australia is fortunate in that, historically, it has had low-cost ­energy, enormous natural res­ources, a pristine environment and the benefit of seeing how policy parameters such as the European emissions trading system and subsidised ­renewable energy programs work in practice.

Trump’s priorities and actions on energy are vital to Australia’s own energy future, economic growth, job creation and climate change actions as precipitous political decisions around the world are distorting energy markets, pushing up costs for ­industry, driving jobs across borders, exporting manufacturing ­opportunities and perversely ­affecting markets and carbon emissions.

There is also a political neces­sity to continue to get public support for climate change initiatives, although Trump has demonstrated there can be a white-hot anger about ideological climate change policies that don’t recognise the hurt to workers.

In recent weeks in Australia the closure of the Victorian Hazelwood coal-fired power station has been announced with the loss of 750 jobs in the Latrobe Valley, in part because of French government climate change policy; ­export coal prices have soared; coalmines have reopened; and AGL, one of the biggest domestic gas suppliers, has set aside $17 million for a feasibility study for Australia, the biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, to import lower-cost LNG from suppliers in the Middle East.

As well, South Australia experi­enced catastrophic power blackouts, Victoria became a net electricity importer, with the ­potential for dire shortages or blackouts at times of extreme ­demand, and the Victorian Labor government introduced a bill this week to extend its existing moratorium on conventional onshore gas exploration to 2020.

The Greens, environmental ­activists and the ALP are simultaneously building a public campaign for the transition from coal and gas to a mainly renew­able ­energy future that is putting cutting carbon emissions ahead of ­energy and job security.

It is a challenge for all sides of politics in form and substance.

According to Industry, Innovation and Science Minister Greg Hunt, the Victorian government’s decision to continue to ban onshore natural gas exploration is the final act in laying the foundation for a "manufacturing crisis" with a looming shortfall in natural gas supply ­because Australia is locked into long-term LNG exports, and Victoria and NSW are banning or ­effectively banning gas exploration and production.

"It is absolutely clear there is no shortage of gas resources in the ground but there is a shortage of gas supply to homes and industry," Hunt tells ­Inquirer. "We have to be honest that the effective closure of new supplies will risk jobs, will risk prices and will risk economic activity.

"The sad part, over and above that, is that potentially we choose higher emissions sources of ­energy for electricity."

Whereas Australia is aiming to reform its energy market, upgrade its electricity interchange, boost renewable energy, keep coal and gas as integral parts of energy generation and job creation for decades to come, and meet its international agreements to cut carbon emissions by 26 per cent to 28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030, Trump is happy to shed global ­obligations to provide cheap power for the US economy.

He campaigned successfully on creating American jobs and specifically on returning the manufacturing and mining jobs lost in states such as Pennsylvania, which he snatched from Hillary Clinton, sensing the blue-collar fear and reality of job losses because of climate change policies closing mines and raising costs to support renewable energy.

As for Australia, seen as one of the world’s great carbon demons because of its coal production, it does not have the option of dumping carbon polices as Trump ­intends to do, but neither should Australian governments, state and federal, adopt distorting policies that push costs to domestic and ­industry users to levels that are punitive, unsustainable and a threat to a cohesive energy supply and security.

Without commenting on any US administration’s domestic policy, Hunt makes the point: "American manufacturing in ­recent years has become more competitive in significant measure because they have had access to lower-cost gas; it actually brought gas on board. As a matter of economics, if there is more natural gas available in the US, then their manufacturing will be even more competitive."

In the past 10 years in the US, electricity generation from gas has risen from 18.7 per cent to 32.5 per cent while coal has fallen from 49.5 per cent to 33 per cent. Coal and natural gas are now almost equal as the producers of American electricity. During the same period, renew­able electricity energy has grown from 8.8 per cent to 13.8 per cent and nuclear has ­remained steady at 19.4 per cent.

The real lesson for Australia in the US experience of the role of gas, coal and renewables in this energy-climate change mix is not the increased potential economic threat from Trump’s low-cost powered US industrial base but from Europe.

Although Trump’s first priority involved ensuring the US created American jobs by producing steel and "making cars", the threat to Australia’s coal exports — which even Bill Shorten admits must go on for decades — is the framing of public opinion and policy development that puts energy security at risk.

Ideologically driven energy ­decisions in Europe taken years ago provide the example of how Australia should not proceed: ­unrealistic renewable energy targets, unsustainable renewable ­energy subsidies, rising electricity prices, precipitously doing away with fossil fuels, politically driven decisions to close nuclear power plants, the export of jobs and, ironically, the start of the failure of carbon emission reduction policies.

In the past two years Germany’s renowned world leader status on renewable energy has started to be tarnished as political decisions to subsidise renewables and to close nuclear power plants, coalmines and coal-fired power plants have ­resulted in price rises and ­environmental anomalies.

Rising costs for industry’s power have forced companies to relocate, the government has told renewable energy producers they have to manage without subsidies, coal-fired power stations are being commissioned, brown coal — lignite — mines are being opened and brown "dirty" coal is still a large part of baseload electricity generation.

Paradoxically, as Germany tries to become nuclear free, it is buying nuclear-generated electricity from France and the French are importing cheap lignite-powered electricity from Germany. This makes a mockery of carbon emission and nuclear energy ­reductions.

France introduced a carbon tax on coal-fired electricity and cut subsidies to coal — in part affecting the Latrobe Valley — as a climate change policy, but higher costs forced the government to cancel the tax within a few months.

As Europe heads into winter, there are predictions of greater ­demand from Britain and The Netherlands from electricity suppliers, and some of that will be coming from Germany’s "dirty ­secret" of lignite. Germany is being attacked by industry for higher prices creating job losses and by environmentalists for dropping its specific carbon emission reduction targets for 2050.

Australia has the opportunity to bring a sober, pragmatic but ­environmentally responsible ener­gy security to bear in the ­national interest, but at the ­moment the approach is fractured, ideologically driven and not receiving the priority Trump is prepared to give energy security.


CLEXIT: Harmful, Costly, Unscientific Climate Treaties should be torn up

A new international organization aims to prevent ratification of the costly and dangerous Paris global warming treaty which is being promoted by the EU and the present US administration.
"CLEXIT" (CLimate Exit) was inspired by the Brexit decision of the British people to withdraw from the increasingly dictatorial grasp of the EU bureaucracy.

Without any publicity or serious recruiting, Clexit has attracted over 60 well-informed science, business and economic leaders from 16 countries.

The secretary of Clexit, Mr Viv Forbes from Australia, said that widespread enforcement of the Paris climate treaty would be a global tragedy.

"For the EU and the rest of the Western world, ratification and enforcement of the Paris Treaty (and all the other associated decrees and Agendas) would herald the end of low-cost hydrocarbon transport and electricity, and the exit of their manufacturing, processing and refining industries to countries with low-cost energy.

"For developing countries, the Paris Treaty would deny them the benefits of reliable low-cost hydrocarbon energy, compelling them to rely on biomass heating and costly weather-dependent and unreliable power supplies, thus prolonging and increasing their dependency on international handouts. They will soon resent being told to remain forever in an energy-deprived wind/solar/wood/bicycle economy.

"Perhaps the most insidious feature of the UN climate plan is the "Green Climate Fund". Under this scheme, selected nations ("The rich") are marked to pour billions of dollars into a green slush fund. The funds will then be used to bribe other countries ("developing and emerging nations") into adopting silly green energy policies.

"Naturally some smart politicians and speculators in the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and in the small island nations, understand that they can profit from the Paris Treaty by gaming the rules on things like carbon credits, or milking the green fund for "climate compensation" or "green energy technology". This will only work for a while, and when the handouts stop, the re-adjustment to reality will be very painful.

"This UN-driven war on carbon energy has already caused massive losses and dislocation of western industry. If allowed to continue as envisaged by the Paris Treaty, this economic recession will become a world-wide depression, and all nations will suffer.

"We must stop this futile waste of community savings; cease the destruction and dislocation of human industry; stop killing rare bats and birds with wind turbine blades and solar/thermal sizzlers; stop pelletising trees and shipping them across the world to feed power stations designed to burn coal; stop converting food to motor vehicle fuel; and stop the clearing of bush and forests for biofuel cultivation and plantations."

"Carbon dioxide does not control the climate. It is an essential plant food and more carbon dioxide will produce more plant growth and a greener globe."



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 November, 2015

Some matters arising from Trump's NYT interview

The Donald's Scottish golf course has been widely praised and Trump himself seems to feel a strong connection to it.  But in his NYT interview Friedman hinted that sea-level rises might flood it.  Would he want his golf cause to be flooded?  From what I can see the course is well and truly above sea level so that claim would probably not fly but in case parts of it are a bit low, it would be nice if someone was on hand to draw Trump's attention to the official sea level information for Aberdeen.  The Trump International Golf Links are just 10 miles North of Aberdeen.

The NOAA chart for Aberdeen is here.  You will see from it that the sea level rise there averages out to about 3 inches per century and from about 1985 on there appears to be no trend at all.  That should immunize Trump against the usual leftist lies about the oceans rising.

In the same interview "Pinch" Sulzberger claimed that America has never had storms as bad as ones that hit recently.  So perhaps the story below could be mentioned:

The Great New England Hurricane of 1938
On September 21, 1938, one of the most destructive and powerful hurricanes in recorded history struck Long Island and Southern New England. The storm developed near the Cape Verde Islands on September 9, tracking across the Atlantic and up the Eastern Seaboard. The storm hit Long Island and Southern Connecticut on September 21, moving at a forward speed of 47 mph! Sustained hurricane force winds were felt across central and eastern Long Island and southeastern Connecticut. The hurricane produced a destructive storm surge flooding coastal communities as well as producing three to seven inches of rainfall.


Max Recorded Sustained Wind: 121 mph at Blue Hill Observatory, MA

Max Recorded Wind Gust: 186 mph at Blue Hill Observatory, MA

Highest Sustained Wind Measurement not Influenced by Terrain: 109 mph at Fishers Island, NY (Landsea et al 2013)

Lowest Observed Pressure: 27.94 in (946.2 mb) at Bellport, NY

Estimated Lowest Pressure: 27.79 in (941 mb) near Brentwood, NY as the wind and pressure centers were slightly displaced due to its fast speed and extra-tropical transition (Landsea et al. 2013, National Hurricane Center; Hurricane Research Division Re-Analysis Project)

Speed at landfall: 47 mph (Landsea et al. 2013, National Hurricane Center; Hurricane Research Division Re-Analysis Project)

Peak Storm Surge: 17 ft. above normal high tide (Rhode Island)

Peak Wave Height: 50 ft. at Gloucester, MA

Deaths: 700

Homeless: Approx. 63,000

Homes/Buildings Destroyed: Approx. 8,900

Trees Destroyed: Approx. 2 Billion

Boats Lost or Destroyed: Approx. 3,300

Cost: $620 million (1938 Dollars); Equivalent to approx. $41 billion using 2005 inflation, wealth, and population normalization then estimated to 2010 Dollars (Blake and Gibney 2011).


Satellites Show The Global Warming ‘Pause’ Is Back

Satellite-derived temperature data suggests the "pause" in global warming is back as the recent El Nino fades and cooler temperatures prevail, according to a new analysis.

Land temperatures have declined to pre-El Nino levels, according to Dr. David Whitehouse, suggesting the El Nino warming event may not have a big impact on the long-term global warming trend.

"The decrease is seen in the land only data," wrote Whitehouse, the science editor for the Global Warming Policy Foundation. "Data from the sea shows a decline but not as much. This is expected given the ocean’s thermal lag."

"Data from the RSS group that provides satellite temperature services show that late-2016 temperatures have returned to the level it was at post-1998," he wrote. "This clearly shows the recent El Nino for what it is – a short term weather event. Now that it is over it can easily be seen that the lower Tropospheric temperature displays no long-term trend between 1999 – 2016."

The recent El Nino that began in late 2015, was incredibly powerful and boosted global average temperature to record levels. El Nino actually broke the so-called "pause" in global warming — a more than two-decade period in the satellite record with no statistically significant warming.

Whitehouse also pointed out it’s uncertain if satellite data will undergo a "step-change" to warmer temperatures, like it’s done in the past. Outside of these "step-changes," global temperature remains stable in the satellite record, suggesting the warming is largely driven by El Ninos and La Ninas.

"Many have noticed that the strong El Nino of 1998 resulted in a ‘step-change’ in lower atmospheric temperature," Whitehouse wrote.

"There is no reliable statistical evidence for an increase before it in the satellite data that was available in 1979," he wrote. "After 1998 the temperature did not return to its previous level but remained at a higher, stable level. It remains to be seen if the temperature will undergo another step-change. It’s very early days but on the sparse data available I think it seems unlikely."

Scientists and some media outlets sounded the alarm on man-made global warming as El Nino drove February temperatures to their highest level on record.

"We are in a kind of climate emergency now," Stefan Rahmstorf, a climate scientist at the Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research, said in February.

"This is really quite stunning" and "it’s completely unprecedented," he said.

But satellites temperatures are especially sensitive to El Ninos, and temperatures peaked in February, but began to rapidly decline in the following months — though not fast enough to avoid 2016 likely becoming the warmest year on record.

Experts still predict a somewhat weak La Nina cooling event to persist through the rest of the year and bring "drier and warmer weather in the southern U.S. and wetter, cooler conditions in the Pacific Northwest and across to the northern tier of the nation this winter," according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).


NASA Climate Scientists Threatens To Resign If Trump Cuts Funding

A hollow threat, methinks -- but welcome

NASA’s top climate scientist urged President-elect Donald Trump to keep paying for global warming programs, but threatened to resign if Trump censored his science.

Dr. Gavin Schmidt, the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, told the Independent he and other government scientists are "not going to stand" for any funding cuts or other interference in their work.

"The point is simple: the climate is changing and you can try to deny it, you can appoint people who don’t care about it into positions of power, but regardless nature has the last vote on this," Schmidt, told The Independent Thursday. "It’s something we’re going to have to deal with sooner or later, and it’s better sooner rather than later. We don’t have a choice if we’re going to deal with it."

Trump has called global warming a "hoax," "mythical," a "con job," "nonexistent," and "bullshit." Trump views policies created to fight global warming as hurting U.S. manufacturing competitiveness with China.

When The Independent asked Schmidt what he would do if Trump told him global warming was a hoax, Schmidt replied: "With respect, that’s not actually true."

Schmidt went on to say he’d consider resigning if Trump didn’t embrace his vision of NASA as an environmental research institution or threatened to censor him.

Trump’s space policy focuses on eliminating bureaucratic waste and cutting back on environmental science research so the agency can pursue more ambitious goals, like sending humans to Mars.

NASA’s budget includes more than $2 billion for its Earth Science Mission Directorate, which works to improve climate modeling, weather prediction and natural hazard mitigation. NASA’s other functions, such as astrophysics and space technology, are only getting a mere $781.5 and $826.7 million, respectively, in the budget proposal.

Spending on the directorate has increased by 63 percent over the last eight years, making it the largest and fastest growing budget of any NASA science program. Over the same time period, the general NASA budget grew only by 10.6 percent — just enough to account for inflation. The Directorate’s goal is to help NASA "meet the challenges of climate and environmental change." The organization is also responsible for global warming models proven to be inaccurate when checked against actual temperature observations.

Industry analysts suspect that Trump will likely modestly increase NASA’s overall budget while slashing many of the environmental science programs originally instituted by President Barack Obama.

The top scientific question Schmidt claimed that NASA wants to answer in its budget justification is "How are Earth’s climate and the environment changing?" The more typical space questions, such as "Are we alone?" and "How does the universe work?," were at the very bottom of the list.

Even global warming alarmist Bill Nye the "Science Guy," who’s also the CEO of the Planetary Society, has criticized Obama’s attempts to cut NASA’s space exploration and planetary science programs in favor of global warming. NASA’s planetary science program has previously held car washes and bake sales to gain political support to maintain funding.


UK: Bid to Retain Subsidies Crushed by Court of Appeal

The greatest Ponzi scheme of all time is on the brink of collapse.

In America, Trump’s ‘deplorables’ have crushed the wind industry’s hopes of carpeting the United States in millions of these things; shares in wind turbine makers, like Denmark’s Vestas have plummeted.

In Australia, the wind industry is like a wandering zombie; quite apparently lifeless, but unwilling to yield to death’s strengthening grip. The Large-Scale RET on which it depends is bound to be scrapped, as it will never be met and the political cost of lumping $1.5 billion each year in a Federal penalty tax on top of all Australian power consumers’ retail power bills will force the Liberal Coalition and the Labor opposition to slash the annual target, once again.

In the UK, David Cameron went to an election promising to scrap subsidies to onshore wind power and to give a right of veto to local communities over proposed wind power projects (no prizes for guessing how locals in Britain have chosen to exercise their power of veto). Accordingly, with the exception of Scotland, the wind industry in Britain is on its knees. The decision to back the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant hasn’t helped them much, either.

Proving that the wind industry is always and everywhere about maintaining massive subsidies until kingdom come, in response to the Cameron government’s legislation slashing renewable subsidies, the wind industry cried foul and took their grievance to Court. The thrust of their argument was that the Government was bound to honour throwaway promises about backing wind power with subsidies filched from taxpayers and/or power consumers until the end of time.

The Court of Appeal thought otherwise.

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

A diagnosis of the real problem

The two issues are apparently unrelated:

* There is no scientific evidence linking the warming in the 2oth century to CO2 and there is clear evidence from long term records that show that such changes occur quite naturally.

* There is no historical evidence that anyone in Britain was ever called a celt, ever knew themselves as a celt; in contrast, the Roman texts make it very clear that the Britons considered themselves to be distinct from the Gauls and Romans and that the Celts were a subgroup of the Gauls.

However, despite the overwhelming evidence in both cases, there persists a false belief amongst academia that the "politically correct" idea is unequivocally true.

In both areas, but for very different reasons, I started with a naive belief in the status quo, then found it increasingly difficult to reconcile the facts with what I was told, and then as any sceptic would do, I went to check the raw facts myself to try to determine what a reasonable assessment of the facts would suggest and in both cases I have found that far from being a very nuanced debate, it turns out that the evidence is overwhelmingly against what has become the "political correct" myth within academia.

What is the problem?

Let me first explain the issue with science in academia. The problem academics have with real sceptic science, is that science doesn’t work by consensus, it is not some democracy where we all vote for which theory we want to work, nor is it some beauty contest where we decide which theory is most attractive.

Instead, using the political analogy, science is a dictatorship of the facts. There is no compromise, if the facts say something is true, then no number of people wanting something else to be true can make it true. And often the truth science reveals is uncompromising even brutal and often not at all Politically Correct.

So, if the facts say that some racial group have a lower IQ or another are more athletic, or that Homosexual activity increases the risk of Aids, then irrespective of whether it is or is not Politically Correct (to e.g. infer one race is superior or inferior or to suggest that some sexual persuasion is bad) science requires the real scientist to tell the truth. However, that is not acceptable within academia. Because academia is an overwhelmingly politically "liberal" (PC, left of centre)

But the bigger problem is not that academics tend to be liberal, but that the system of peer review within academia creates a vicious cycle whereby certain views become more and more correct and all other views become unacceptable.

The problem stems from what academics call: "peer review", but which increasingly know outside as "buddy review". This and the way academia forces those writing for it, to "cite" "reliable" sources creates a huge compulsion to be "politically correct".

Because as anyone who has ever tried editing Wikipedia on climate knows, by  "reliable" what is really meant is "the politically correct view of liberal public-sector academia". As such anyone who wants to be cited, must in turn be politically correct which means they must be liberal, anti-private sector and pro-establishment academia. The result, is a huge compulsion on those writing papers within academia to conform to the politically correct norm. And because the system is re-enforcing, it has become a vicious cycle of increasing political correctness distrust of outside views and conservatism.

Because, by politically correct, I don’t just mean lying about lack of significant differences (if they exist) in race or gender, or promoting "nannyism" in all its various forms, but also political within academia itself, in that new ideas must respect the internal politics of academia and not step on the toes of other academics.

The result, I think, having observed their appalling behaviour on global warming, is that academia has become one of the most conservative and repressive cultures in the world, and I think I would include in that comparison even extremist Islamic groups.

From industrial revolution to industrial pariah

Academics always like to think of themselves as being at the forefront of change. That unfortunately is another of their delusions and again based on a historical lie. The reality is very different.

The industrial revolution in Britain didn’t start with academic science as most children are now being taught in what has become a "religion of science". Instead as the name implies, the industrial revolution started with engineers and industrialists, who used their practical skills, experience and understanding to build better and better machines; to build pumps to allow mining deeper and deeper; to observe the progressive layers of geology and their relationship in different areas to understand the 3D geological map under our feet and thereby locate new coal seams; doctors who used their knowledge to understand the body, and navigators who built better instruments and clocks to measure longitude.

They were the ones who literally created the modern world. They mapped the world, they worked out the progression of fossils which provide the key to unlock the geological time-line beneath our feet and from  that sequence work out where the coal layers would surface; they created the modern industrial society with all its benefits, they created modern medicine & sanitation that means we all live longer.

The truth is that if academics played any role at all, it was secondary. As far as I can see, it wasn’t until well after the success of the industrialists, navigators, traders, etc., that academics were dragged by the burgeoning success of industry to try to find a role for themselves. And yes, there is not doubt their role was useful to industry. Because codifying and publicising the knowledge of engineers was a common good to all industrialists. But I have yet to find any evidence that academia led this industrial revolution.

Far from supporting industry, as it once did, now because of the culture exemplified in Lord of the Rings, academia has a vitriolic hatred of industry and the private sector, which it freely expresses through the proxy of CO2. Because from what I’ve seen of them on the internet, academics really don’t seem to care at all about the global temperature itself. It is almost a side issue compared to the much more key concern of academics who are obsessed with global warming which is that they want to get rid of industry, commerce and capitalism.

Or perhaps it is envy? That academia can’t stand all those upstart industrialists who rule the world – not because they are "intellectually superior" and so feel they can dictate what is politically correct – but because they just supply the world’s population with the goods and services they want. And boy do the academics seem to hate that!

Why modern academia is stagnating

So, the partnership between industry and academia is broken. But the real beneficiary of that partnership was not industry – which as the rest of the world shows, will steam on despite the lack of support from academia.

Instead the real losers from that broken partnership is academia itself. Because through that culture of hatred of industry and commerce, it has turned in on itself and become entirely inward looking. It seems to me that in the UK it has become excessively focussed on all that is "politically correct". On the environment. On gender. On "racial harmony". On social manipulation. On anti-industry CO2. On political marxism.

But because it is so political, within that kind of environment, where being politically correct is now a necessary requirement to being published and then being cited – both of which dictate progresion in academia – the pressure to conform has become so great that (if global warming is typical of academia) then in many areas progress is all but impossible.

Progress requires change. Change requires overturning old ideas. And a conservative institution inward looking culture like academia is challenged by new ideas. Thus, no academic can now challenge the established views of academia.

Instead, because academia can’t criticise itself, it must now find easy targets outside academia. This explains why people like Lewandowsky pick on sceptics. We are not part of the "in crowd". We do not have huge coffers to afford to sue the shirt off his back for his lies. So Lewandowsky not only feels free to attack sceptics, it seems he feels compelled to attack us for just daring to not accept his politically correct views.

So, I have no doubt, that this kind of attitude and culture is now prevalent throughout academia. So that it is now standard practice to find external groups to attack & vilify (ironically at the same time as preaching harmony and tolerance to everyone).

But the one group who can never be challenged are academics themselves. Academics are a taboo, their ideas are sacrosanct, not even mother nature herself is allowed to contradict them.

And when even the clearest most unequivocal evidence contrary to the views of academia, such as mother nature’s failure to warm, cannot be tolerated, there is no doubt whatsoever that all new evidence is heavily repressed. As such it is certain that this repressive culture within academia is going to cause of stagnation.

The war is lost

After a decade and a half on global warming, where the evidence of their failure was blatantly obvious, yet the politically correct views dominated US and UK policy, I do not believe they have it within them to change.

There just is not the critical faculty within academia to impartially assess itself. And there are no other institutions in the US and UK which can challenge its supremacy in intellectual critique.

When the evidence against the global warming obsession was clear and unequivocally laid out in the pause and was (almost without exception) universally rejected by academia, there is not one hope in hell that US & UK academia could challenge itself on something so nuanced as its own culture.

As such, it is inevitable that the stagnation and decay of both US and UK academia and industry will continue – at least until the long term economic decay and success of other countries so destroys our ability to maintain the "cuckoo" in the nest and it dies from the economic decay it itself brought about.



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 November, 2016

Study sheds new insights into global warming 'hiatus' (?)

This is just an expression of opinion.  No new data here.  A sentence from the journal abstract is amusing:  "A review of recent scientific publications on the "hiatus" shows the difficulty and complexities in pinpointing the oceanic sink of the "missing heat".  In other words, they have no evidence to back up their theory.  And they certainly have no evidence that the hiatus is "temporary".  That is just a statement of faith

A new study of the temporary slowdown in the global average surface temperature warming trend observed between 1998 and 2013 concludes the phenomenon represented a redistribution of energy within the Earth system, with Earth's ocean absorbing the extra heat. The phenomenon was referred to by some as the "global warming hiatus." Global average surface temperature, measured by satellites and direct observations, is considered a key indicator of climate change.

In a study published today in Earth's Future, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, lead author Xiao-Hai Yan of the University of Delaware, Newark, along with scientists from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, and several other institutions discuss new understanding of the phenomenon. The paper grew out of a special U.S. Climate Variability and Predictability Program (CLIVAR) panel session at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting.

"The hiatus period gives scientists an opportunity to understand uncertainties in how climate systems are measured, as well as to fill in the gap in what scientists know," Yan said.

"NASA's examination of ocean observations has provided its own unique contribution to our knowledge of decadal climate trends and global warming," said Veronica Nieves, a researcher at JPL and the University of California, Los Angeles and co-author of the new study. "Scientists have more confidence now that Earth's ocean has continued to warm continuously through time. But the rate of global surface warming can fluctuate due to natural variations in the climate system over periods of a decade or so."

Where's the missing heat?

While Yan said it's difficult to reach complete consensus on such a complex topic, a thorough review of the literature and much discussion and debate revealed a number of key points on which these leading scientists concur:

*    Natural variability plays a large role in the rate of global mean surface warming on decadal time scales.

*    Improved understanding of how the ocean distributes and redistributes heat will help the scientific community better monitor Earth's energy budget.

Earth's energy budget is a complex calculation of how much energy enters our climate system from the sun and what happens to it: how much is stored by the land, ocean or atmosphere.

"To better monitor Earth's energy budget and its consequences, the ocean is most important to consider because the amount of heat it can store is extremely large when compared to the land or atmospheric capacity," said Yan.

According to the paper, "arguably, ocean heat content—from the surface to the seafloor—might be a more appropriate measure of how much our planet is warming."

Charting future research

In the near term, the researchers hope this paper will lay the foundation for future research in the global change field. To begin, they suggest the climate community replace the term "global warming hiatus" with "global surface warming slowdown" to eliminate confusion.

"This terminology more accurately describes the slowdown in global mean surface temperature rise in the late 20th century," Yan said.

The scientists also called for continued support of current and future technologies for ocean monitoring to reduce observation errors in sea surface temperature and ocean heat content. This includes maintaining Argo, the main system for monitoring ocean heat content, and the development of Deep Argo to monitor the lower half of the ocean; the use of ship-based subsurface ocean temperature monitoring programs; advancements in robotic technologies such as autonomous underwater vehicles to monitor waters adjacent to land (like islands or coastal regions); and further development of real- or near-real-time deep ocean remote sensing methods.

Yan's research group reported in a 2015 paper that some coastal oceans (e.g., U.S. East Coast, China Coast) responded faster to the recent global surface warming rate change than the global ocean.

"Although these regions represent only a fraction of the ocean volume, the changing rate of ocean heat content is faster here, and real-time data and more research are needed to quantify and understand what is happening," Yan said.

Variability and heat sequestration over specific regions (e.g., Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Southern Oceans, etc.) require further investigation, the authors conclude. However, there is broad agreement among the scientists and in the literature that the slowdown in the global mean surface temperature increase from 1998 to 2013 was due to increased uptake of heat energy by the global ocean.


How Trump Can Reverse Obama Climate Change Regulations

President-elect Donald Trump will come into power next year with the authority to redefine his predecessor’s ambitious and divisive legacy on climate and energy policy.

Just as President Barack Obama has used regulations and executive actions to try and make the U.S. a world leader in cutting planet-warming emissions across much of the nation’s economy—especially targeting the coal industry—Trump can largely act alone to define his own agenda.

"I really do think there will be some kind of reversal of Obama-era policies, but there are legal, political, and practical constraints on how far the Trump administration can go," said Jody Freeman, the director of Harvard University’s environmental law and policy program, in an interview with The Daily Signal.

Based on rhetoric in his campaign, and staffing choices he’s made, Trump has indicated he will pursue a dramatically different direction than Obama, one that relies on industry and market forces to continue the U.S.’ progress toward a cleaner energy future, and removes the government from much of that role.

Under this vision, Trump, as he has vowed to do, would "cancel" last year’s Paris climate agreement, which commits more than 190 countries to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide.

Trump cannot pull out of that global agreement right away. The soonest he can do is four years from when the deal went into effect, this November.

But because the deal is not binding and only contains voluntary pledges with no enforcement mechanism, Trump can undermine the U.S.’ contribution to the agreement.  He could do this by dismantling the Clean Power Plan, a set of regulations developed by the Environmental Protection Agency created to reduce carbon emissions from electricity generation.

The Clean Power plan, which is being contested in court and has not been enforced, encourages utility providers to replace coal-fired power plants with those using natural gas and renewable energy sources.

Trump has named Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute—a leading opponent of the Clean Power Plan—to head his EPA transition team.

Ebell, who is considered a key figure in shaping the president-elect’s energy views, has not spoken publicly about his role helping Trump.

He provided The Daily Signal an exclusive statement about his views on climate change. "My [Competitive Enterprise Institute] colleagues and I agree that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, that greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere are increasing as a result of human activities—primarily burning coal, oil, and natural gas—and that this means the global mean temperature is likely to rise," Ebell said. "Where we disagree with global warming alarmists is whether this amounts to a crisis that requires drastic action."

Ebell continued:

"President Obama’s climate action plan and other proposed energy-rationing policies will have negligible effects on greenhouse gas levels, but pose a grave threat to our economy and especially to the health and well-being of poor people. I believe that we should pursue energy policies based on the scientifically-supported view that abundant energy makes the world safer and the environment more livable, as well as the humanitarian view that affordable energy should be accessible to those who need it most, particularly the most vulnerable among us."

‘He Can Do a Lot for Us’

While Ebell did not describe specific policies he is recommending to Trump, the president-elect has been clear about one of his agenda items: encouraging more drilling to revive the coal industry, which has lost 68,000 jobs since 2011.

"There is no question he can do a lot for us," said Luke Popovich, vice president of National Mining Association, in an interview with The Daily Signal. "When people say he can’t bring all coal jobs back or restore coal to greatness, they are making perfection the enemy of the good. He can do a lot of good."

Popovich acknowledges the natural market forces that have contributed to the decline of coal.

The hydraulic fracturing boom in shale fields that began a decade ago has flooded the market with natural gas, a cleaner and cheaper energy source. Coal now makes up 30 percent of electricity generated in the U.S., down from 50 percent in 2008.

But Popovich attributes at least some of that decline to Obama’s regulations, mainly a EPA standard introduced in 2011 that limited emissions of mercury and other toxins from coal plants.

He says Trump could boost coal’s prospects by canceling a new proposed Obama administration rule restricting mining discharges in streams, and lifting a moratorium on coal leases in the Powder River Basin in Wyoming and Montana.

In addition, Popovich says the prospect of the Clean Power Plan pushed utility providers to switch from coal production to natural gas, and greener sources like wind and solar power.

Last year, according to The New York Times, 94 coal-fired power plants were closed across the country, and this year 40 more are expected to close by the end of December.

"Seeing the writing on the wall, utility companies have certainly not made bets that coal would stick around," Popovich said. "Trump is not going to be able to restart all the coal fired plants that were retired. And we are not denying the marketplace has been a problem. But the biggest advantage of a Trump administration is he would be reverting to an all-of-the-above energy policy where we let the marketplace and not government determine what fuels would be used and at what volume."

Making Coal Viable

Popovich, and other industry experts, say Trump can work with Congress on ways to make coal more viable in the future by incentivizing environmental improvements.

"There are several no regrets policies that could involve a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, but also achieve some of Trump’s stated economic goals," said Paul Bledsoe, an independent energy and climate change consultant who advised the Clinton administration on these issues. "There is a huge, burgeoning new economic sector in low emissions clean energy. This is a pretty big economic opportunity for the U.S. given our technological prowess."

Bledsoe, in an interview with The Daily Signal, says there is bipartisan support on Capitol Hill for legislation to expand tax credits for carbon capture and storage systems. These systems, which are expensive and far-off from being introduced on a large scale, would attach to coal production facilities and capture carbon emissions to sink them permanently in the ground.

Some experts say efforts to save coal are difficult to achieve.

At least some of Trump’s proposals, these experts note, would actually boost the fortunes of natural gas over coal, increasing its supply into the market.

Trump has said he would ease restrictions on pipeline building, approving the Keystone XL pipeline that Obama blocked and the Dakota Access pipeline, a controversial project that has been delayed. He has also said he plans to weaken rules limiting gas exploration and production on federal land.

"There are areas where he will get in conflict with himself," said Michael Webber, deputy director of the Energy Institute at the University of Texas, in an interview with The Daily Signal. "The energy industry is complex. No one thing makes everyone happy. So while pulling out of the Paris Agreement would help coal, and would hurt natural gas, some of his other proposals would do the opposite."

World Shift

Others argue that if Trump prioritizes industry at the expense of addressing climate change, the U.S. would suffer politically as other countries—including rivals like China—move toward limiting emissions.

Countries party to the Paris Agreement are discussing ways to punish the U.S. if Trump reneges from the pact, like introducing a carbon tariff, The New York Times reports.

"The Trump administration cannot change the fact that the world is committed to solve this problem," Freeman said. "The direction of energy composition is changing and is really baked into the private sector and into what investors expect. I personally think you need a regulatory foundation to drive home some of this change, and there will be a loss if the U.S. federal government exits the field."

If international pressure forced Trump to maintain the Paris commitment, and act less aggressively to reverse Obama policies, the president-elect, with Congress, could take more limited action. For example, they could press to provide financial support and retraining to communities harmed by coal’s fall.

Popovich says coal miners would welcome any form of help, even if it has limited impact.  "It has proven to be very difficult to implement [plans that help coal communities] in any way that’s going to help these people get back on their feet," Popovich said. "No one is refusing it. But these guys are making enough money to support a family with coal, and it’s hard to know what government can do for them. They don’t want other jobs. They want the jobs they are losing."


The Trump-Climate Freakout is over nothing

He will reverse a policy that isn’t working anyway

Given the emotional reactions that Donald Trump and climate change each trigger separately, they offer an especially combustible combination. Paul Krugman worries that Trump’s election "may have killed the planet." Activist Bill McKibben calls Trump’s plan to reverse the Obama climate agenda by approving the Keystone XL pipeline and other fossil-fuel projects, repealing the Clean Power Plan, and withdrawing from the Paris agreement "the biggest, most against-the-odds, and most irrevocable bet any president has ever made about anything."

And let’s not forget "Zach," the DNC staffer who reportedly stormed out of a post-election meeting upset that "I am going to die from climate change."

A Trump presidency offers many reasonable reasons to worry. But the fear that he will kill the planet, or even poor Zach, is at least one anxiety we can dispel. Just listen to President Obama. His administration developed a "Social Cost of Carbon" that attempts to quantify in economic terms the projected effects of climate change on everything from agriculture to public health to sea level, looking all the way out to the year 2100. So suppose President Trump not only reverses U.S. climate policy but ensures that the world permanently abandons efforts to mitigate greenhouse-gas emissions. How much less prosperous than today does the Obama administration estimate we will be by century’s end? The world will be at least five times wealthier.

Zach may even live to see it. The Dynamic Integrated Climate-Economy (DICE) model, developed by William Nordhaus at Yale University, which has the highest climate costs of the Obama administration’s three models, estimates that global GDP in 2100 without climate change would be $510 trillion. That’s 575 percent higher than in 2015. The cost of climate change, the model estimates, will amount to almost 4 percent of GDP in that year. But the remaining GDP of $490 trillion is still 550 percent larger than today.

Without climate change, DICE assumes average annual growth of 2.27 percent. With climate change, that rate falls to 2.22 percent; at no point does climate change shave even one-tenth of one point off growth. Indeed, by 2103, the climate-change-afflicted world surpasses the prosperity of the not-warming 2100.

 Zach might take issue with DICE’s underlying scientific and economic assumptions, yet the model produces cost estimates much higher than those of the PAGE and FUND models, which are also considered by the Social Cost of Carbon analysis. And while not every potential effect of climate change lends itself to quantification in economic terms, remember: This is the approach chosen by the Obama administration — not a group often known for trying to minimize the climate threat. The Paris agreement’s impact is at best a few tenths of a degree Celsius.

Further, Trump is not significantly altering the likelihood of incurring these costs, because the climate agenda he intends to unravel is a failure already. Domestically, even the EPA acknowledged that its Clean Power Plan will have no meaningful influence on future temperatures. The State Department said the same about blocking the Keystone XL pipeline.

The purported value of these policies was to display international "leadership." But the global picture is no better. Even with U.S. "leadership," the commitments made by other countries under the Paris agreement look almost identical to the paths those countries were on already. Thus the agreement’s impact is at best a few tenths of a degree Celsius. MIT’s Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, for instance, projected 3.9°C of warming by 2100 without the Paris agreement and 3.7°C with it.

Proponents of the agreement argue it will nonetheless spur clean-energy investment. "It is going to move the marketplace," said Secretary of State John Kerry. It is "a break-away agreement which actually changes the paradigm." It is "going to spur massive investment."

Instead, investment has plummeted. Over the first three quarters of 2016, global clean-energy investment is down 29 percent relative to 2015. Q3 investment saw a 43 percent drop from Q3 2015 — falling to its lowest level since the George W. Bush administration.

Bizarrely, some analysts have reversed course and now argue that if the United States abandons Paris, we will be left behind while the world continues with climate action. Alden Meyer, director of policy and strategy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, told The Atlantic: "China, Europe, Brazil, India and other countries will continue to move ahead with the climate commitments they made under Paris no matter what the next president does, because these commitments are in their own national interest."

That only confirms the weakness of the Paris agreement and the futility of President Obama’s climate agenda. If everyone is still just pursuing their national interest, what has American "leadership" accomplished? And what is really lost in the transition to a Trump agenda?

The preferred narrative is obvious: The world was so close to solving this climate-change thing until Donald Trump came along. But in fact the world was still on square one. If anything, activists should be relieved that Trump’s election will prevent them from ever being held accountable for the costly and ineffective policies they pursued.

They might also be relieved to learn that — even with no climate policy at all — the world will continue to grow healthier and wealthier.


The climate cat-and-mouse game and Trump

It was all just a charade

Climate diplomacy is just war by other means. In fact, climate as diplomacy took birth for this purpose though the pretense at the surface is anything but. The initial momentum of the climate movement was Malthusian – directed at overconsumption of ‘resources’ and ‘overpopulation’ of the earth by the wrong types of human beings in developing countries.

Paradoxically however, the movement incorporated globally negotiated treaty-making under the UN as an integral part of its design. This meant inviting the very targets of the Malthusians  to voluntarily subject themselves to the intended curbs—in growing crops, using forests and land, producing and using fossil fuels—essentially in all elements of modern life. This central, unresolved paradox has remained at the heart of the UNFCCC/IPCC process.

When things kicked off (at Rio de Janeiro) in 1992, the only way to entice developing countries to participate in the UNFCCC was via  (a) promises of a temporary reprieve and special permissions to continue using fossil fuels – the so-called principle of ‘common but differentiated responsibilities,’ and (b) dangling the twin carrots of technology transfer and financial aid to overcome the ravages of climate change.

Developing countries like India and China, then utterly secure in their backwardness, were eager to accept these conditions. All one had to do was accept climate consensus formulations (‘the science’) to appear scientific, which was an attractive proposition to the global South. Once accepted the Rio template brought further benefits. They could band together in berating developed countries like the US and the UK for their ‘rampant consumerism,’ ‘capitalism,’ and ‘exploitation of resources.’ They could pretend to ‘care’ for ‘the environment.’ The ball of ’emission reduction’ was not yet in their court which made the moral posturing easier.

To be fair, as poor nations lacked leverage, there were direct participatory pressures on developing countries. If they chose to keep away from the UNFCCC/COP negotiations, they could find themselves subject to mandatory rules made in their absence.  The safety valve in all this was the knowledge that the US was neither about to transfer nuclear technology nor freely part with gobs of cash. The developed countries had their safety valves, too. For a good while, countries like Germany and Russia double-counted incidental large dips in their GDP toward the Kyoto protocol.

In the US, the Senate proved to be an insurmountable barrier for climate activist legislation. Ironically, in climate circles, the knowledge/belief that neither India nor China would accept verifiable mandatory emission reduction targets has itself served as an inhibitory force. In other words, each party depends on the other to act in their self-interest in order to protect themselves from self-harm in the name of climate!

Developed countries use ‘the science’ to pursue Malthusian dreams of their environmentalist cohorts. Developing countries pretend at believing in the science to play at being the global left. Skepticism at the whole charade drops between the cracks. This has been the climate story over the past 22 years – of pantomime fools dancing around a Gordian knot.

There is, however, great danger even in play-acting in a Malthusian drama. At regular intervals, countries have found themselves paying a real price for the indulgence. The Climate Change Act in the UK is one such example. Written entirely by a college-level activist, the passage of the CCA exposed the weakness of ‘checks and balances’ in the UK and showed how trivial it was to being gamed.

The EPA coal rules – the so-called ‘Clean Power Plan’ of the Obama administration in the US are a second example of calculated harm inflicted by a government on its own citizens.

With Copenhagen, the UNFCCC/COP system entered an unstable phase. Here a hastily assembled alliance of countries BASIC fended off a binding agreement.  But the wall of ‘common but differentiated responsibilities’ was crumbling fast with the growth of the Indian, Brazilian and Chinese economies. Post-Copenhagen, the United States went to work breaking down the BASIC alliance and by 2015 had largely succeeded. Stung by failure, climate activists were under pressure to show the world they could succeed. India did not want to be seen as a lone villain obstructing a treaty. The Paris agreement was born.

With Paris, there were only two safety valves left standing. One, that developed countries would not actually cough up billions of dollars annually for ‘climate adaptation.’ Two, the US Senate or the political system would not ratify and implement an internationally imposed mandate of emissions reduction.

It is at this juncture that Donald Trump has been elected. As Benny Peiser points in the Financial Post, if Trump carries out what he has proclaimed, there would be no free cash flowing toward developing countries in the guise of a climate fund. The Obama-era climate regulations could see themselves dismantled completely. These should provide enough excuses for developing countries—if they have the sense to recognize the opportunity—to disengage from economic self-harm and walk away from the precipice.  The abysmal failure of the Indian position at Marrakech should serve as yet another example that moral posturing on the climate brings zero tangible benefits to countries.

With Trump, and open climate skepticism, a global era of countries depending on others to act in self-interest in order to protect their own can finally come to a end.  The chapter of fake collective global climate guilt can be closed.


Pipeline anarchy

Trump win fuels more rampant theft and destruction – and North Dakota citizens pay the price

Paul Driessen

Is this to be our future? Last week’s elections will soon end autocratic rule via executive fiat, the war on coal and hydrocarbons, IRS agents targeting conservative groups, government SWAT teams invading businesses and homes, and numerous other Abuses and Usurpations.

But now we’re getting leftist anarchy and riots – with mindless, incoherent radicals smashing Portland storefronts, beating a Chicago motorist, and pummeling a ninth grade Woodside, CA Trump supporter.

Amid it all, the epitome of nihilist, watermelon environmentalist, criminal, sore-loser fury is raging south of Bismarck, North Dakota, where thousands of "peaceful protesters" are camping illegally on federal and private lands, "venting their anger" over the Dakota Access Pipe Line.

This $3.8-billion, 1,172-mile, state-of-the-art, 30-inch conduit will carry 470,000 barrels of oil daily from the state’s Bakken oil fields to Illinois. It’s about 85% complete, and the only segment left to be finished in North Dakota is a 1,000-foot passage under Lake Oahe, a manmade reservoir on the Missouri River. DAPL runs parallel to the existing Northern Border natural gas pipeline, through the same area and under the lake.

The pipeline would replace 700 railroad tanker cars or 2,000 semi-trailer highway tanker trucks per day. It has created thousands of manufacturing and construction jobs. Bakken’s light, sweet crude oil replaces imports, fuels our vehicles, powers our economy, and provides raw materials for many essential products.

Since it is underground, once it is installed and grasses are planted, the pipeline will be invisible except for occasional pumping stations, valves and other facilities. Modern metals, warning systems, automatic shutoff valves, 24/7/365 monitoring and other safeguards minimize the risk of spills – and nearly 140 revisions rerouted the DAPL around populated areas and sensitive ecological, archaeological, sacred and historic sites. The pipeline is 99.98% on private land and is covered by easements and other agreements.

All these and other issues were addressed repeatedly and thoughtfully during a three-year, 389-meeting review and approval process. Landowners, communities, environmentalists and citizens provided input, and 55 Native American groups were consulted. Prominent in their refusal to participate were the Standing Rock Sioux, whose reservation is a half-mile from Lake Oahe, where the pipeline is set to cross.

Only now are Standing Rock tribal leaders and members voicing opposition. Not surprisingly, they have been joined by Indians from across America, and by a motley assortment of activists, agitators and anarchists whom friendly media and politicians insist on praising as "peaceful resisters" against an industrial intrusion that "threatens" the climate, tribal culture, drinking water, historic artifacts and sacred sites. A United Nations "special rappoteur" on human rights claims law enforcement officials are using "violent" tactics against arrested protesters and subjecting them to "inhuman and degrading" conditions!

These claims are "tonka chesli" – Lakota for BS.

These thousands of militants are trespassing. They’ve wiped out forage that ranchers were depending on to feed their cattle and bison during fall and winter months. They blockade roads and rail lines, set fires to make passage impossible, and harass reporters who question their actions. One tried to shoot a deputy. They have burned bridges, destroyed millions of dollars of construction equipment, chased livestock until they lose their calves or die of exhaustion – and killed, maimed or eaten cattle, horses and domesticated buffalo. They’ve promised far more destructive actions, and even issued death threats against their critics.

A favorite tactic employs "peaceful dissidents" and "prayer groups" to block and distract ranchers and sheriff’s deputies from an area, while others destroy nearby fence wire and posts. One rancher told me repairing just the fence on the ranch where they graze buffalo will cost at least $300,000 and weeks of hard work. The anarchists obviously don’t care about innocent people who are caught in the middle.

Other ranchers’ lost forage and animals, time and fuel spent on repairs, and other expenses will cost well over $500,000. No one has offered any compensation, even though the militants have millions of dollars.

Washington Times journalist Valerie Richardson reports that, as of November 1, the militants’ Sacred Stone camp alone raised $1.3 million for supplies on GoFundMe and $1.2 million on FundRazr for legal defense. The Red Warrior Camp quickly collected $142,000 via GoFundMe and $105,000 in legal defense cash on IndieGogo, even though the Standing Rock council is frustrated and wants them gone.

Rumors run rampant that the "protesters" are also raking in bundles of welfare checks, plus "charitable and educational contributions" from "progressive" billionaires like Tom Steyer (coal), George Soros (currency speculation), Warren Buffett (railroads and tanker cars); outfits they fund, such as the Tides Foundation,, EarthJustice and Indigenous Environmental Network; and various Russian, Saudi and other foreign sources that would like to keep US oil and gas locked up.

Perhaps the abundant cash will attract corporate and pro bono lawyers, legal foundations and attorneys general who can freeze the assets and pursue individual or joint and several liability claims, plus punitive damages, to compensate ranchers, other locals and companies – and dissuade future lawlessness.

Last January, 26 peaceful ranchers who encamped on federal wildlife refuge property in Oregon were arrested, one was shot and killed, and the survivors were charged with, tried for (and found not guilty of) theft, conspiracy and weapons violations. Many wonder why these North Dakota militants and criminals are getting a free pass, glowing press coverage, and millions of dollars from crime-financing enablers.

The nearly completed DAPL has to cross the river somewhere and will pose the same low pollution risks wherever it goes. But it will be built with the utmost care, with the best technologies and materials.

So what is actually driving these destructive, vindictive, violent protests against this convenient "poster child" pipeline?

* True-believers are obsessed with "dangerous manmade climate change" – to justify and obscure their real agenda: a new world economic order to replace capitalism, global wealth redistribution, and UN control of development, livelihoods and living standards, for rich, poor and emerging nations alike.

* The "keep it in the ground" anti-hydrocarbon movement prefers blanketing the USA and planet with billions of solar panels, wind turbines and biofuel fields, to produce expensive, subsidized, unreliable energy – while killing birds, bats and other wildlife by the millions – rather than producing affordable energy-dense fossil fuels from holes in the ground, and transporting them by pipeline. (Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II supports much greater emphasis on renewable energy.)

* Radical elements among Native Americans (and Canadian Indigenous Peoples) want to control the land, water, energy and lives of white people whose predecessors took their ancestral lands. Their feelings are understandable. But imagine the chaos this would cause and the precedent their success would set for Europe, Latin America, China, Hawaii, the Middle East and beyond, as PC politics rewrite history.

* The anarchists think they have a right to vilify and void laws, processes, approvals and property rights – even threaten lives. 90% of those arrested have been out-of-state agitators, and many get paid to raise hell.

* And of course, they are outraged, inconsolable and defiant over Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump.

They have no grasp of basic facts. Pipelines are safer than trucks or rail cars. This low-pressure line is state-of-the-art and will be monitored constantly and inspected regularly. High-cost renewable energy impacts small businesses, hospitals, blue-collar workers, and poor and minority families the hardest. And President Obama’s refusal to accept a court order or speak out against the crime is fueling the insanity.

Hopefully, President Trump, governors, AGs, other elected officials, and publicly spirited lawyers and judges will do the right thing: shut these anarchists down, compensate ranchers and other victims – and award punitive damages against the Big Green operatives who have caused so much damage, under the guise of freedom of speech (for them only) and phony concern for Native culture and the environment.

Then finish the pipeline, renew our focus on energy we can count on, and put America back to work.

Via email


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23 November, 2016

RSS – Satellite Temperatures Back to Where they Were Before El Nino

RSS is one of the two satellite temperature data sets. They show the EL Nino "peak".

I wonder how far the La Nina will drop?


Carbon is not the enemy

Nature has published a provocative essay entitled Carbon is not the enemy (full text available online).  Excerpts:

Carbon has a bad name.

But carbon — the element — is not the enemy. Climate change is the result of breakdowns in the carbon cycle caused by us: it is a design failure. Anthropogenic greenhouse gases in the atmosphere make airborne carbon a material in the wrong place, at the wrong dose and for the wrong duration.

Rather than declare war on carbon emissions, we can work with carbon in all its forms. To enable a new relationship with carbon, I propose a new language — living, durable and fugitive — to define ways in which carbon can be used safely, productively and profitably. Aspirational and clear, it signals positive intentions, enjoining us to do more good rather than simply be less bad.

It is easy to lose one’s way in the climate conversation. Few of the terms are clearly defined or understood. Take ‘carbon neutral’. The European Union considers electricity generated by burning wood as carbon neutral — as if it releases no CO2 at all. Their carbon neutrality relies problematically on the growth and replacement of forests that will demand decades to centuries of committed management.

Such terms highlight a confusion about the qualities and value of CO2. In the United States, the gas is classified as a commodity by the Bureau of Land Management, a pollutant by the Environmental Protection Agency and as a financial instrument by the Chicago Climate Exchange.

A new language of carbon recognizes the material and quality of carbon so that we can imagine and implement new ways forward. It identifies three categories of carbon — living, durable and fugitive — and a characteristic of a subset of the three, called working carbon. It also identifies three strategies related to carbon management and climate change — carbon positive, carbon neutral and carbon negative.

Carbon is at the heart of soil health. In healthy ecosystems, when plants convert CO2 into carbon-based sugars — liquid carbon — some flows to shoots, leaves and flowers. The rest nourishes the soil food web, flowing from the roots of plants to communities of soil microbes. In exchange, the microbes share minerals and micronutrients that are essential to plants’ health. Drawn into the leaves of plants, micronutrients increase the rate of photosynthesis, driving new growth, which yields more liquid carbon for the microbes and more micronutrients for the fungi and the plants. Below ground, liquid carbon moves through the food web, where it is transformed into soil carbon — rich, stable and life-giving. This organic matter also gives soil a sponge-like structure, which improves its fertility and its ability to hold and filter water.

This is how a healthy carbon cycle supports life. This flow kept carbon in the right place in the right concentration, tempered the global climate, fuelled growth and nourished the evolution of human societies for 10,000 years.

Let’s keep those carbon bridges open on all landscapes — rural and urban. Let’s use carbon from the atmosphere to fuel biological processes, build soil carbon and reverse climate change. Let’s adopt regenerative farming and urban-design practices to increase photosynthetic capacity, enhance biological activity, build urban food systems, and cultivate closed loops of carbon nutrients. Let’s turn sewage-treatment plants into fertilizer factories. Let’s recognize carbon as an asset and the life-giving carbon cycle as a model for human designs.

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

10,000 fly in for doomed climate talks

More than 10,000 people are flying to Marrakesh for a UN climate change conference despite officials admitting that they will make little or no progress on key issues.

The two-week meeting, which begins in the Moroccan city on Monday, was declared as the "conference of action", where 195 countries were supposed to reveal how they will fulfil pledges made a year ago to cut their emissions. Instead, they are likely to agree to suspend talks until 2018.

Previous conferences have produced communiqués with grand titles named after their location, including last year’s Paris Agreement. A UK government source said: "Will there be a Marrakesh Something? There will have to be a decision that basically says we agree to reconvene with a date."

However, delegates will be able to stay busy thanks to a Michelin guide to the conference supplied by the UN. It lists top hotels, "beauty and wellness spas", as well as the best beaches.


Trump Should Let Senate Kill Obama’s Paris Climate Treaty

By Phil Kerpen

When is a treaty not a treaty?  According to the Obama administration, whenever the president says so.  This claim is especially dubious with respect to the Paris agreement on global warming, which as Marlo Lewis of the Competitive Enterprise Institute has shown, is more ambitious than predecessor agreements that were universally accepted to be treaties.

Surely if President Obama possesses an asserted authority to declare an agreement identical in form and more ambitious in substance than previous treaties to be a non-treaty, then President Trump will have the authority to reach the opposite, more plausible conclusion.

There is little doubt that the Trump administration will reject the Paris agreement, but the option of properly recognizing it as a treaty and allowing the Senate to formally reject it has several advantages.

First, it prevents the dangerous precedent of a president binding the country and his successor to international commitments without the broad support that the Constitution requires through the advice and consent process.  Secondly, it sidesteps the question of whether the withdrawal provision of the Paris treaty itself forces us to wait four years before withdrawal is effective.  Finally, it exposes as false the talking point that skepticism of the Paris agreement is outside the political mainstream.

John Kerry, who infamously declared global warming a greater threat to the United States than terrorism, gave his final speech on the subject this week to the UN functionaries in Marrakech, Morocco. He offered a soothing fantasy.

"No one should doubt the overwhelming majority of the citizens of the United States who know climate change is happening and who are determined to keep our commitments that were made in Paris," Kerry said to applause.

Last week’s election emphatically showed the opposite.   The Midwest delivered the White House to Trump, who dominated among the working class voters who care far more about how much they are paying to fill up the gas tank and keep their lights on than they do about what United Nations computer models predict about the climate in decades or centuries – the results of which show minimal change anyway.  Appalachian voters in particular preferred Trump in a stunning 469 of 490 counties.

The Paris treaty is a magnificent example of the bad deals made for America that ultimately paved Donald Trump’s path to the White House.

Specifically, the Paris treaty effectively bans coal-fired power plants in the United States while China has 368 coal plants under construction and over 800 in the planning stage.  India's coal production under the deal is projected to double by 2020.  Even Europe is allowed to build coal plants.  It forces Americans to endure painful cuts while the rest of the world continues with business as usual.

Even worse, American taxpayers will be forced to cough up $100 billion in climate-related foreign aid by 2020, with the promise of much more to follow.

Which brings us to the Senate.

Trump can submit the Paris treaty in full confidence that it will not pass with the required 67 votes in a body that has just 48 Democrats.  The interesting question: how low can the vote total for this rotten deal go?

With ten Senate Democrats sitting in states Trump carried, many senators will be forced to choose between their green billionaire donors out in San Francisco and the voters they need to survive in 2018.  And when the Senate votes the Paris treaty down, it will send an emphatic message to the world that – despite what John Kerry told his friends in Marrakech – the American people are with Trump on this, not Obama.


Obama rescinds Arctic offshore drilling proposal

President Obama has rescinded a proposal to allow new oil and natural gas drilling in the Arctic Ocean as part of a five-year plan for leasing released on Friday.

Obama's move takes drilling rights sales off the table through 2022.

The Interior Department had previously proposed limited drilling rights sales to the Beaufort and Chukchi seas north of Alaska, where there has never been oil and natural gas production from traditional mobile drilling rigs.

But officials, citing environmental concerns and low industry interest, rescinded that proposal on Friday in releasing the new plan.

The decision all but bans Arctic drilling for that time period, since oil companies have let almost all of their leases in the Arctic expire or have surrendered them.

It’s a major win for environmentalists, Alaska Natives and others who feared the environmental consequences of opening the frigid, unforgiving Arctic waters to drilling, especially in the case of a spill.

President-elect Donald Trump could seek to amend the five-year drilling plan to add more sales. But he would have to go through a long regulatory process to do so, potentially taking years, and could encounter problems like President George W. Bush did when he attempted a similar strategy.

Trump pledged during the campaign to open vast areas of public land and water to fossil fuel production that had not been allowed before.

Since the plan is being released late in Obama’s time in office, congressional Republicans could try legislatively to overturn the plan or open the Arctic or Atlantic to drilling.

The oil industry and its allies have pushed Obama to keep Arctic drilling on the table and let market forces decide if drilling should happen in the Arctic seas.

"Given the unique and challenging Arctic environment and industry’s declining interest in the area, foregoing lease sales in the Arctic is the right path forward," Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a statement.

The final version of the five-year offshore leasing plan released Friday allows up to 10 drilling rights sales in the Gulf of Mexico, the country’s main offshore drilling areas, and up to one plan in the Cook Inlet in south-central Alaska.

"The plan focuses lease sales in the best places — those with the highest resource potential, lowest conflict, and established infrastructure — and removes regions that are simply not right to lease," Jewell said.

"The proposal makes available more than 70 percent of the economically recoverable resources, which is ample opportunity for oil and gas development to meet the nation’s energy needs," said Abigail Ross Hopper, director of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

Obama in March took Atlantic Ocean drilling out of consideration, after floating a small set of drilling rights sales off the coasts of an area between Virginia and Georgia.

Despite the possibility of the plan being overturned, Democrats and greens cheered Obama’s decision.

"I appreciate that the Interior Department considered the greater risk posed while operating in dynamic and challenging offshore environments in choosing to remove future leasing in the Arctic," said Sen. Maria Cantwell (Wash.), the top Democrat on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

"We need to ensure that we can drill safely and respond to spills before exploration moves forward in ecologically sensitive areas," she said.

Despite the possibility of the plan being overturned, greens cheered Obama’s decision. "Oceana applauds President Obama and Secretary Jewell for their leadership in protecting our coasts from dirty and dangerous offshore drilling," Jacqueline Savitz, senior vice president for the United States at Oceana, said in a statement.

"Today’s announcement demonstrates a commitment to prioritizing common sense, economics and science ahead of industry favoritism and politics as usual," she said.

Republicans and the oil industry slammed Obama.

"The Arctic has become nothing more than a prop for the president’s legacy," said House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah).

"Today’s plan will chart a path of energy dependency for decades to come," he said. "We should be building on our position as a global energy leader, but we are punting it to Russia as Obama appeases the environmentalists pulling his strings."

American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard called the move "a short-sighted decision that ignores America’s long-term energy security needs," and said he is hopeful that Trump would reverse Obama’s removal of the Arctic.

Greens had asked Obama to go further, and invoke a rarely-used legal provision in the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act that they say would allow him to permanently protect the Arctic and Atlantic from drilling.

The Friday release did not include any use of that provision.

Interior referred questions about that proposal to the White House, which said it had no news Friday on the request.



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 November, 2016

7 Ways Climate Change Is Impacting Your Life Right Now (Even If You Haven't Noticed Them)

Just the first part below of an intellectually impoverished article by  BECCA SCHUH, a materially impoverished artist.  Why are so many artists these days Leftist lamebrains?  Is it because most artists have to be lamebrains to do what they do?  Some pretty strange things pass as art these days

She references below the increasing frequency of hurricanes and storms but offers no statistics to back up her assertion that they are increasing.  Official statistics show that the frequency of hurricanes has  markedly DECLINED in recent years but what does that matter when you have got virtue on your side? 

Typical Warmist crap.  I could fisk the rest of her article but that would be unkind to dumb animals

By this point, you probably know that climate change is a very real and persistent threat to our future quality of life — a 2016 Gallup poll found that 64 percent of Americans described themselves as "worried a great deal" or "fair amount" about global warming; it also found that 41 percent of us felt global warming will become a "serious threat" to our lives or way of life, and only 10 percent of Americans believing that the effects of global warming will never make an impact in our lives. Despite all this, it can be hard to connect the scientific facts, or the news from far regions of the world, to our daily lives — but as people with power continue to deny the impact of climate change (exemplified by the news that President-elect Trump has picked climate change skeptic Myron Ebell to lead his EPA transition team), being aware of the real impact of climate change has become more important than ever. And we don't have to wait to see what that impact is — with each passing month, climate change affects more things about how we operate, from the minutiae of daily living to our long-term plans.

1. Hurricanes Are Increasingly Severe

Recently, Hurricane Matthew joined the ranks of recent hurricanes like Sandy and Katrina that reached new highs of catastrophe. Destructive hurricanes are not a new phenomenon in the Southeastern United States, and no individual hurricane can be directly attributed to climate change, but the increasing frequency and severity of these storms is directly correlated to global warming — as temperatures rise from the surplus of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the ocean heats up, and warm tropical waters create more powerful hurricanes.

Scientists predict that global warming will also cause increased rainfall in the eye of hurricanes, which will increase flooding — which, in turn, creates some of the most drastic long term effects on daily life after a hurricane, from damaged roads to loss of property. For people who live in areas that are susceptible to hurricanes, this means a great deal of future planning for protecting assets and loved ones. However, Southern coastal states aren't the only ones that have to worry about the severe weather of climate change.


Donald Trump expected to slash Nasa's climate change budget

US President-elect Donald Trump is set to slash Nasa's budget for monitoring climate change and instead set a goal of sending humans to the edge of the solar system by the end of the century, and possibly back to the moon.

Mr Trump, who has called climate change a "Chinese hoax", is believed to want to focus the agency on far-reaching, big banner goals in deep space rather than "Earth-centric climate change spending".

According to Bob Walker, who has advised Mr Trump on space policy, Nasa has been reduced to "a logistics agency concentrating on space station resupply and politically correct environmental monitoring".

Mr Walker, a former congressman who chaired President George W. Bush's Commission on the Future of the US Aerospace Industry, told The Telegraph: "We would start by having a stretch goal of exploring the entire solar system by the end of the century.

"You stretch your technology experts and create technologies that wouldn't otherwise be needed. I think aspirational goals are a good thing. Fifty years ago it was the ability to go to the moon."

This year Nasa's Earth Science Division received $1.92 billion in funding, up nearly 30 per cent from the previous year.

Its funding has gone up 50 per cent under President Barack Obama. At the same time Mr Obama proposed cutting support for deep space exploration by $840 million next year.

The money for earth sciences goes to projects like the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System, a constellation of eight satellites intended to monitor surface wind speed on the oceans.

Speaking hours after Mr Trump's election win Thomas Zurbuchen, Nasa's science administrator, defended the work. He said: "Nasa's work on Earth science is making a difference in people’s lives all around the world every day. Earth science helps save lives."

But Republicans have complained the agency that sent men to the moon should not be spending billions of dollars on "predicting the weather".


An 850-Year hydroclimatic history of Northwestern China reveals no trend suggestive of a CO2 influence
Paper Reviewed: Gou, X., Gao, L., Deng, Y., Chen, F., Yang, M. and Still, C. 2015. An 850-year tree-ring-based reconstruction of drought history in the western Qilian Mountains of northwestern China. International Journal of Climatology 35: 3308-3319.

In explaining the rationale for their work, Gou et al. (2015) state that it is necessary to produce long-term drought reconstructions "for the purposes of accurately understanding current as well as predicting future hydroclimatic changes." This is because long-term records can provide historical context and shed critical light on important climate forcings, feedbacks and processes, as well as provide a means to test climate model projections that forecast changes due to anthropogenic increases in atmospheric CO2. Against this backdrop, and hoping to fill a regional data void, Gou et al. thus set out to reconstruct the hydroclimatic history of the western Qilian Mountains of northwestern China.

Their proxy record originated from juniper tree-ring cores, which after proper analysis and calibration, produced an 850-year (AD 1161-2010) reconstruction of drought (May-July self-calibrating Palmer Drought Severity Index). As shown in the figure below (and confirmed by spectral analysis), there are several interannual, inter-decadal and centennial cycles present in the record, but no trend in the data that would suggest an obvious recent influence from greenhouse gases. In contrast, however, the scientists report that three periods of mega-drought (AD 1260s-1340s, 1430s-1540s and 1640s-1740s) "corresponded to the Wolf, Spörer and Maunder solar activity minimum periods," while adding that "results of the multi-tape method analysis and wavelet analysis further confirmed the relationship between hydroclimate variability and solar activity forcing."


Global Warming: Policy Hoax versus Dodgy Science

by Dr. Roy W. Spencer

In the early 1990s I was visiting the White House Science Advisor, Sir Prof. Dr. Robert Watson, who was pontificating on how we had successfully regulated Freon to solve the ozone depletion problem, and now the next goal was to regulate carbon dioxide, which at that time was believed to be the sole cause of global warming.

I was a little amazed at this cart-before-the-horse approach. It really seemed to me that the policy goal was being set in stone, and now the newly-formed United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had the rather shady task of generating the science that would support the policy.

Now, 25 years later, public concern over global warming (aka climate change) is at an all-time low remains at the bottom of the list of environmental concerns.

Why is that? Maybe because people don’t see its effects in their daily lives.

1) By all objective measures, severe weather hasn’t gotten worse.

2) Warming has been occurring at only half the rate that climate models and the IPCC say it should be.

3) CO2 is necessary for life on Earth. It has taken humanity 100 years of fossil fuel use to increase the atmospheric CO2 content from 3 parts to 4 parts per 10,000. (Please don’t compare our CO2 problem to Venus, which has 230,000 times as much CO2 as our atmosphere).

4) The extra CO2 is now being credited with causing global greening.

5) Despite handwringing over the agricultural impacts of climate change, current yields of corn, soybeans, and wheat are at record highs.

As an example of the disconnect between reality and the climate models which are being relied upon to guide energy policy, here are the yearly growing season average temperatures in the U.S 12-state corn belt (official NOAA data), compared to the average of the climate model projections used by the IPCC:

Yes, there has been some recent warming. But so what? What is its cause? Is it unusual compared to previous centuries? Is it necessarily a bad thing? And, most important from a policy perspective, What can we do about it anyway?

The Policy Hoax of Global Warming

Rush Limbaugh and I have had a good-natured mini-disagreement over his characterization of global warming as a "hoax". President-elect Trump has also used the "hoax" term.

I would like to offer my perspective on the ways in which global warming is indeed a "hoax", but also a legitimate subject of scientific study.

While it might sound cynical, global warming has been used politically in order for governments to gain control over the private sector. Bob Watson’s view was just one indication of this. As a former government employee, I can attest to the continuing angst civil servants have over remaining relevant to the taxpayers who pay their salaries, so there is a continuing desire to increase the role of government in our daily lives.

In 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was given a legitimate mandate to clean up our air and water. I remember the pollution crises we were experiencing in the 1960s. But as those problems were solved, the EPA found itself in the precarious position of possibly outliving its usefulness.

So, the EPA embarked on a mission of ever-increasing levels of regulation. Any manmade substance that had any evidence of being harmful in large concentrations was a target for regulation. I was at a Carolina Air Pollution Control Association (CAPCA) meeting years ago where an EPA employee stated to the group that "we must never stop making the environment cleaner" (or something to that effect).

There were gasps from the audience.

You see, there is a legitimate role of the EPA to regulate clearly dangerous or harmful levels of manmade pollutants.

But it is not physically possible to make our environment 100% clean.

As we try to make the environment ever cleaner, the cost goes up dramatically. You can make your house 90% cleaner relatively easily, but making it 99% cleaner will take much more effort.

As any economist will tell you, money you spend on one thing is not available for other things, like health care. So, the risk of over-regulating pollution is that you end up killing more people than you save, because if there is one thing we know kills millions of people every year, it is poverty.

Global warming has become a reason for government to institute policies, whether they be a carbon tax or whatever, using a regulatory mechanism which the public would never agree to if they knew (1) how much it will cost them in reduced prosperity, and (2) how little effect it will have on the climate system.

So, the policy prescription does indeed become a hoax, because the public is being misled into believing that their actions are going to somehow make the climate "better".

Even using the IPCC’s (and thus the EPA’s) numbers, there is nothing we can do energy policy-wise that will have any measurable effect on global temperatures.

In this regard, politicians using global warming as a policy tool to solve a perceived problem is indeed a hoax. The energy needs of humanity are so large that Bjorn Lomborg has estimated that in the coming decades it is unlikely that more than about 20% of those needs can be met with renewable energy sources.

Whether you like it or not, we are stuck with fossil fuels as our primary energy source for decades to come. Deal with it. And to the extent that we eventually need more renewables, let the private sector figure it out. Energy companies are in the business of providing energy, and they really do not care where that energy comes from.


Australia's Senator Roberts was right about "adjusted" temperature data in Greenland

Shifty Peter, official Greenie writer for the Fairfax press, has written below that Senator Roberts got it wrong in claiming that NASA/GISS concealed high temperatures in Iceland during the late 30's and early 40s.

But what is the proof Roberts got it wrong?  There is none.  All that has happened is that the head of NASA/GISS has asserted that the adjustments were reasonable and reflrected reality.  But he would say that, wouldn't he?  Is he going to admit to being a fraud? Given the chronic mendacity of the Green/Left, his word means nothing.

But the NASA head is given some support from the head of historic Icelandic meteorolgy, Trausti Jónsson.

Problem: A few years ago the same Trausti Jónsson energetically condemned the NASA/GISS adjustments.  Given the pressures put on climate scientists by the Warmist establishment, it seems clear that Trausti Jónsson has now been bullied into supporting the NASA/GISS fraud.

Additionally, news reports from the late '30s reported ferocious heating in the Arctic.  No wonder Warmists "adjusted" it to non-existence.

All of which tends to show that Senator Roberts was right and we are up against crooked scientists when we deal with Warmists

A senior NASA official has taken the extraordinary step of personally rejecting the claims of One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts that the agency had falsified key data to exaggerate warming in the Arctic.

Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, told Senator Roberts he was "mistaken" in his assertion that the US agency had "removed" Arctic data to mask warming in the 1940s.

"You appear to hold a number of misconceptions which I am happy to clarify at this time," Dr Schmidt told Senator Roberts in letters and emails obtained by Fairfax Media. "The claim that GISS has 'removed the 1940s warmth' in the Arctic is not correct."

In his letter to NASA dated November 14, Senator Roberts explained his interest in the agency's temperature calculations, saying they had "influenced" the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's warnings on global warming that in turn had informed Australian government policy.

Iceland weighs in

"In Australia, we have considerable concern about temperature adjustments made by NASA over many years," Senator Roberts wrote, including charts from Icelandic stations at Vestmannaeyjar and Teigarhorn.

"In dropping the temperatures for the early period, the [Arctic] warmth for the 1930s and 1940s appears to have been removed," he said. "What is your specific reason for doing this?"

In an email, Truasti Jonsoon, senior meteorologist with a specialty in historical climatology at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, told Senator Roberts that the temperature "adjustments" are "quite sound".

"During this early period there was a large daytime bias in the temperature data from Iceland as presented in this publication," which accounted for much of the "discrepancy" at Teigarhorn and less so at Vestmannaeyjar, Mr Jonsoon said.

For the latter station, it was relocated in October 1921 to a higher elevation. "Comparative measurements at both sites have shown that the later location is about 0.7 degrees Celsius colder than the former – this relocation has to be 'adjusted' for," he said.

"I assure you that these adjustments are absolutely necessary and well founded although the finer details of the resulting series shown in your letter differ slightly from my own version," he told Senator Roberts.



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

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


21 November, 2016

Warmist fanatic Bill McKibben on Trump

In the excerpt below, he makes assertions that are unreferenced and unargued for and ignores large facts that don't suit him. Take the following assertion: "This year has been the hottest year recorded in modern history, smashing the record set in 2015"

There's some small truth in that but it's what McKibben "forgets" to say that matters.  He forgets to say that CO2 levels did not match the warming.  I quote fron the journal article appended below:

"For year 2015 alone, the growth in EFF [EFF = emissions of CO2 from fossil fuels] was approximately zero ... For 2016, preliminary data indicate the continuation of low growth in EFF"

So the CAUSE of the warming is not as McKibben would have you believe. The 2015 warming was clearly NOT an effect of an anthropogenic CO2 rise -- because there was no CO2 rise. So his whole story is totally undermined. Even if we allow as real and warming-caused all the dire phenomena he lists, they are NOT caused by a CO2 rise.  So restrictions on CO2 are irrelevant to the warming and Trump's actions will cause no harm.

President-elect Donald Trump has already begun to back off some of his promises: Maybe not all of Obamacare has to go. Maybe parts of his wall will actually be a fence. Maybe it’s okay to have some lobbyists running the government after all.

But I fear he won’t shrink from the actions he has promised on climate change: withdrawing the United States from the Paris accord, ending President Obama’s Clean Power Plan and okaying every new fossil-fuel plan from the Keystone XL pipeline on down. He won’t back down because those are hard-to-hedge choices and because he’s surrounded by climate-change deniers and fossil-fuel insiders who will try to ensure that he keeps his word.

So let’s be entirely clear about what those actions would represent: the biggest, most against-the-odds and most irrevocable bet any president has ever made about anything.

It’s the biggest because of the stakes. This year has been the hottest year recorded in modern history, smashing the record set in 2015, which smashed the record set in 2014. The extra heat has begun to steadily raise sea levels, to the point where some coastal U.S. cities already flood at high tide even in calm weather. Global sea ice levels are at record lows, and the oceans are 30 percent more acidic. And that’s just so far. Virtually every scientific forecast says that without swift action in the next few years to cut carbon emissions, this crisis will grow to be catastrophic, with implications for everything from agriculture to national security that dwarf our other problems.....

If you don’t think poor people should get subsidized medical care, that’s ugly, but it’s an opinion you’re entitled to hold. Science isn’t like that: The heat-trapping properties of the carbon dioxide molecule simply a reality. Which is why, even if we fail in our efforts to stop Trump from making his bet, it’s important for history to note what’s going on. One man is preparing to bet the future of the planet in a long-shot wager against physics.


Global Carbon Budget 2016

Corinne Le Quéré et al.


Accurate assessment of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and their redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial biosphere – the "global carbon budget" – is important to better understand the global carbon cycle, support the development of climate policies, and project future climate change. Here we describe data sets and methodology to quantify all major components of the global carbon budget, including their uncertainties, based on the combination of a range of data, algorithms, statistics, and model estimates and their interpretation by a broad scientific community. We discuss changes compared to previous estimates and consistency within and among components, alongside methodology and data limitations. CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industry (EFF) are based on energy statistics and cement production data, respectively, while emissions from land-use change (ELUC), mainly deforestation, are based on combined evidence from land-cover change data, fire activity associated with deforestation, and models. The global atmospheric CO2 concentration is measured directly and its rate of growth (GATM) is computed from the annual changes in concentration. The mean ocean CO2 sink (SOCEAN) is based on observations from the 1990s, while the annual anomalies and trends are estimated with ocean models. The variability in SOCEAN is evaluated with data products based on surveys of ocean CO2 measurements. The global residual terrestrial CO2 sink (SLAND) is estimated by the difference of the other terms of the global carbon budget and compared to results of independent dynamic global vegetation models. We compare the mean land and ocean fluxes and their variability to estimates from three atmospheric inverse methods for three broad latitude bands. All uncertainties are reported as ±1?, reflecting the current capacity to characterise the annual estimates of each component of the global carbon budget. For the last decade available (2006–2015), EFF was 9.3?±?0.5?GtC?yr?1, ELUC 1.0?±?0.5?GtC?yr?1, GATM 4.5?±?0.1?GtC?yr?1, SOCEAN 2.6?±?0.5?GtC?yr?1, and SLAND 3.1?±?0.9?GtC?yr?1. For year 2015 alone, the growth in EFF was approximately zero and emissions remained at 9.9?±?0.5?GtC?yr?1, showing a slowdown in growth of these emissions compared to the average growth of 1.8?%?yr?1 that took place during 2006–2015. Also, for 2015, ELUC was 1.3?±?0.5?GtC?yr?1, GATM was 6.3?±?0.2?GtC?yr?1, SOCEAN was 3.0?±?0.5?GtC?yr?1, and SLAND was 1.9?±?0.9?GtC?yr?1. GATM was higher in 2015 compared to the past decade (2006–2015), reflecting a smaller SLAND for that year. The global atmospheric CO2 concentration reached 399.4?±?0.1?ppm averaged over 2015. For 2016, preliminary data indicate the continuation of low growth in EFF with +0.2?% (range of ?1.0 to +1.8?%) based on national emissions projections for China and USA, and projections of gross domestic product corrected for recent changes in the carbon intensity of the economy for the rest of the world. In spite of the low growth of EFF in 2016, the growth rate in atmospheric CO2 concentration is expected to be relatively high because of the persistence of the smaller residual terrestrial sink (SLAND) in response to El Niño conditions of 2015–2016. From this projection of EFF and assumed constant ELUC for 2016, cumulative emissions of CO2 will reach 565?±?55?GtC (2075?±?205?GtCO2) for 1870–2016, about 75?% from EFF and 25?% from ELUC. This living data update documents changes in the methods and data sets used in this new carbon budget compared with previous publications of this data set (Le Quéré et al., 2015b, a, 2014, 2013). All observations presented here can be downloaded from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (doi:10.3334/CDIAC/GCP_2016).

Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 8, 605-649, 2016

NOAA September Temperature Fraud

NOAA claimed record heat in numerous locations is September, like these ones in Africa and the Middle East.

This is a remarkable feat, given that they don’t have any actual thermometers in those regions. In fact, NOAA doesn’t have any thermometers on about half of the land surface.

Satellite temperatures showed that September was close to normal in those regions which NOAA declared to be record hot.

The global surface temperature record is garbage. This is the 21st century, and it needs to be replaced by satellite temperatures which show little or no warming this century.

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

Wipe the EPA entirely

The $4-trillion-per-year federal government works incessantly against the private sector. Likely no wing is more pernicious than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

On his way to prison for defrauding taxpayers out of more than $1 million, former high-level EPA official Jon Beale said that while at the agency he was: "working on a ‘project’ examining ways to ‘modify the DNA of the capitalist system.’ He argued that environmental regulation was reaching its ‘limits’…so he began working on his plan."

Which, thankfully, was eventually scrapped. But how obnoxious is the EPA – and how much free time does it have – to even consider, let alone work on, such a plan?

Idle bureaucrat hands are the Devil’s playground. There are more than 800,000 federal government employees – that the employer its own self deems "non-essential." Get that? The Feds have hired almost a million people – they themselves say are totally superfluous.

We have far too many bureaucrats – with nigh nothing to do. So they start looking for things to do – like trying to "modify the DNA of the capitalist system."

Rather than assigning them things to do, or allowing them to go on these regulatory spelunking forays – how about we scrap their gigs? And while we’re at it – the agencies in which they work? Because if these agencies green light these sorts of regulatory search-and-destroy missions, they have no productive work to do – and thus shouldn’t exist.

President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly said he’d all-but-shutter the EPA: "‘Environmental Protection, what they do is a disgrace. Every week they come out with new regulations. They’re making it impossible…’ (Fox News’ Chris) Wallace interjected, ‘Who’s going to protect the environment?’ ‘They – we’ll be fine with the environment,’ Trump replied. ‘We can leave a little bit, but you can’t destroy businesses.’"

Trump, by the way, also wants to close the Department of Education: "‘I believe that we should be – you know, educating our children from Iowa, from New Hampshire, from South Carolina, from California, from New York. I think that it should be local education.’"

Trump is, of course, absolutely right. And that local solution for education – is the same solution for the environment. Nigh all fifty states have some bureaucratic iteration of both Education and the EPA. So why are there completely redundant, fifty-first entities in Washington?

Iowa’s version of the EPA and Hawaii’s version know how to handle their respective issues far better than does the bureaucracy in far-off DC. The fifty states can each tailor their policies to their very different climates, topographies and industries.

DC’s EPA can only issue one-size-fits-all mandates – which never fit anyone anywhere. And these mandates have to be overreaching enough to consume and cover the biggest states – which of course crushes all the rest.

Trump should thus realize – we don’t even need to "leave a little bit" of the federal EPA.

Also because as happens with all things DC, the "little bit" you leave behind – will eventually grow back into the monstrosity with which we are currently afflicted. So end it – don’t mend it.

All the while, the DC EPA continues to inexorably stray ever further from any tether to legislation passed by Congress. But one example is its repeated, vast unilateral expansions of its powers under the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) law. Courts have repeatedly rebuked the EPA – but why would bored bureaucrats allow either the law or the courts to rein them in? So they’ve expanded yet again – even further than ever before.

Trump gets this too: "‘The President can go in and tell the director of the EPA to eliminate the Waters of the U.S. rules,’ he says. ‘We will get through the abuse of the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act, which is taking place through the EPA, and we will eliminate those abuses. We think the Waters of the U.S. is an enormous overreach, and it needs to be eliminated.’"

Hundreds of millions of Americans will be thrilled. Farmers in particular will be ecstatic.

President Trump should absolutely shut down these WOTUS abuses – but he shouldn’t stop there. He should shut down entirely the agency engaged in this obnoxiousness. The EPA absolutely needs to go. And, thankfully, it will be one of the easiest of all of them to close.

Team Trump has brilliantly named Myron Ebell as leader of their EPA transition. Ebell is no fan of the EPA and its egregious assaults on the private sector. All the right anti-capitalism people loathe him.

President-elect Trump should have Ebell transition the EPA – right out of existence.

The nation, its people and its economy will all be dramatically better for it.


The Facts About the Dakota Access Pipeline That Protesters Don’t Want You to Know

For more than three months, thousands of protesters, most of them from out of state, have illegally camped on federal land in Morton County, North Dakota, to oppose the construction of a legally permitted oil pipeline project that is 85 percent complete.

The celebrities, political activists, and anti-oil extremists who are blocking the pipeline’s progress are doing so based on highly charged emotions rather than actual facts on the ground.

This 1,172-mile Dakota Access pipeline will deliver as many as 570,000 barrels of oil a day from northwestern North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to connect to existing pipelines in Illinois. It will do this job far more safely than the current method of transporting it by 750 rail cars a day.

The protesters say they object to the pipeline’s being close to the water intake of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. However, this should be of no concern as it will sit approximately 92 feet below the riverbed, with increased pipe thickness and control valves at both ends of the crossing to reduce the risk of an incident, which is already low.

Just like the companies that run the 10 other fossil-fuel pipelines crossing the Missouri River upstream of Standing Rock, Energy Transfer Partners—the primary funder of this pipeline—is taking all necessary precautions to ensure that the pipeline does not leak.

But even if there were a risk, Standing Rock will soon have a new water intake that is nearing completion much further downstream near Mobridge, South Dakota.

From the outset of this process, Standing Rock Sioux leaders have refused to sit down and meet with either the Army Corps of Engineers or the pipeline company.

The Army Corps consulted with 55 Native American tribes at least 389 times, after which they proposed 140 variations of the route to avoid culturally sensitive areas in North Dakota. The logical time for Standing Rock tribal leaders to share their concerns would have been at these meetings, not now when construction is already near completion.

The original pipeline was always planned for south of Bismarck, despite false claims that it was originally planned for north of Bismarck and later moved, thus creating a greater environmental danger to the Standing Rock Sioux.

The real reasons for not pursuing the northern route were that the pipeline would have affected an additional 165 acres of land, 48 extra miles of previously undisturbed field areas, and an additional 33 waterbodies.

It would also have crossed zones marked by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration as "high consequence" areas, and would have been 11 miles longer than the preferred and current route.

North Dakotans have respected the rights of these individuals to protest the pipeline, but they have gone beyond civil protesting.

Though these protesters claim to be gathered for peaceful prayer and meditation, law enforcement has been forced to arrest more than 400 in response to several unlawful incidents, including trespassing on and damaging private land, chaining themselves to equipment, burning tires and fields, damaging cars and a bridge, harassing residents of nearby farms and ranches, and killing and butchering livestock. There was even at least one reported incident where gun shots were fired at police.

The recent vandalization of graves in a Bismarck cemetery and the unconscionable graffiti marking on the North Dakota column at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., are examples of how the protesters’ actions do not match their claims of peaceful demonstration.

Equally disturbing is the meddling by the Obama administration in trying to block this legally permitted project through executive policymaking. This has encouraged more civil disobedience, threatened the safety of local residents, and placed an onerous financial burden on local law enforcement—with no offer of federal reimbursement for these increasing costs.

All that remains for the pipeline project to be completed is for the Army Corps of Engineers to issue a final easement to cross the Missouri River at Lake Oahe. With no legal reason remaining to not issue it, I am confident the Trump administration will do what’s right if it’s not settled before President Donald Trump takes office.

The simple fact is that our nation will continue to produce and consume oil, and pipelines are the safest and most efficient way to transport it. Legally permitted infrastructure projects must be allowed to proceed without threat of improper governmental meddling.

The rule of law matters. We cannot allow lawless mobs to obstruct projects that have met all legal requirements to proceed.


Global freezing: 15-year ice age predicted to hit in only 4 years as sun prepares to 'hibernate'

The world could be facing a 15 year winter

A 15-YEAR long mini ice age could be due to hit the Northern hemisphere in just FOUR years as the sun prepares for 'hibernation' - triggering a barrage of cataclysmic events.

A team of experts have warned that huge seismic events, including volcanic eruptions, plunging global temperatures and destabilization of the Earth's crust will become more common after worrying changes to the surface of the Sun were recorded.

It could take up to 15 years for solar activity to return to normal with extreme weather and freezing temperatures continuing until 2035.

The warning will infuriate environmental campaigners who argue by 2030 the world faces increased sea levels and flooding due to glacial melt at the poles.

Solar activity, measured by the appearance of sun spots, has been declining at a greater rate than at any other time in history, it has emerged.

The Sun is now without spots for the first time in five years after 21 days of minimal activity were observed through the course of 2016.

Although spots reappeared sporadically during the summer, repeated slumps of no activity were recorded through the year.

The trend has prompted scientists to warn that the world is hurtling towards a historic solar minimum event with output potentially dropping to an all-time low.

The phenomena are thought to drive extreme cold weather in Europe, including Britain, Northern America and across the lower southern hemisphere affecting New Zealand and parts of South America.

They have also been linked to major earthquakes in tremor hotspots igniting fears that major cities including Tokyo and Los Angeles could be facing the next 'big one'.

It could take 15 years for solar activity to return to normal
Research by the The Space and Science Research Center in Florida revealed a strong link between low solar activity and seismic events.

The study looked at volcanic activity between 1650 - 2009 and earthquake activity between 1700 - 2009 comparing it to sunspots records.

It revealed a terrifying correlation between reduced solar activity and the largest seismic and volcanic events in recorded history.

Researchers at Japan's Institute for Cosmic Ray Research concluded there is a link between global volcanic activity and solar activity lows.

Study author Toshikazu Ebisuzaki said: "Volcanoes with silica-rich and highly viscous magma tend to produce violent explosive eruptions that result in disasters in local communities and that strongly affect the global environment.

"We examined the timing of 11 eruptive events that produced silica-rich magma from four volcanoes in Japan (Mt. Fuji, Mt. Usu, Myojinsho, and Satsuma-Iwo-jima) over the past 306 years (from AD 1700 to AD 2005).

"Nine of the 11 events occurred during inactive phases of solar magnetic activity (solar minimum), which is well indexed by the group sunspot number.

"This strong association between eruption timing and the solar minimum is statistically significant to a confidence level of 96.7 per cent."

The frequency of sunspots is expected to rapidly decline over the next four years reaching a minimum between 2019 and 2020.

Solar expert Piers Corbyn of forecasting group WeatherAction warned the Earth faces another mini ice age with potentially devastating consequences. He said: "We are now in a decline of solar activity and are on course for a very quiet period. "This can cause a shift in the jet stream making it move further south and as a result it turns very cold in temperate latitudes including Europe, Britain and North America.

"We are anticipating temperatures to drop leading to ocean water freezing and ice drifts washing up around the coasts in Europe - we expect the next mini ice age."

He said the link between huge changes in solar activity and earthquakes is down to a reduction in the strength of magnetic fields around the Earth.

Japan, America, the Philippines and quake prone regions of the Middle East and Asia are about to be put on high alert, he warned.

He explained fewer solar flares associated with a minimum period reduce the magnetic pull over the surface of the Earth.

This stops all movement of tectonic plates, even the frequent harmless shifts which go unnoticed, allowing huge pressure to build up underneath the Earths crust.

The result, Mr Corbyn said, is much like a pressure cooker with any slightest movement triggering a massive earthquake.

"Think of it like comparing two bags of sugar being filled," he said.

"If you have one with a small hole in the bottom it is constantly emptying while more is being added so there is no overall effect.

"The other has no hole so it gets fuller and fuller until eventually it bursts, this is the sort of thing we are taking about.

"What we expect is fewer earthquakes overall, but more extremely severe ones in at risk regions, and this is very worrying. "Tokyo, Los Angeles and other big cities could all be looking at the next big one."

Scientists predict the number of observed sun spots will continue to decline over the next few years in the run up to 2020. Eventually the 'blank period' will stretch into months triggering the start of the next Solar Minimum likely to last 15 years..

It will mark the 24th cycle since 1755 when solar activity was first recorded and the link made to climate and changes in terrestrial conditions.

In Britain, the main threat is of a repeat of the last significant solar minimum which triggered the infamous little ice age in the 1600s.

The so-called maunder minimum saw exceptionally harsh winters ravage the UK and northern Europe and led to the River Thames freezing over.

A Met Office-led study published last year claimed although the effect will be offset by recent global warming, Britain could see cooler than average winters in years to come.

A spokesman at the time said: "A return to low solar activity not seen for centuries could increase the chances of cold winters in Europe and eastern parts of the United States but wouldn't halt global warming.

"Return of 'grand solar minimum' could affect European and eastern US winters."

Solar physicist David Hathaway, of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Centre, added: "The solar minimum is coming, and it's coming sooner than we expected."



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 November, 2016

Pesky glaciers

Something a reader sent me reminded me of something I had forgotten.  He wrote:

A glacier is a river of ice flowing slowly to the sea, fed by the head waters due to a build up of pressure, the same as a river of liquid water. They even have currents and flow around boulders that will not break loose and the bottom and sides flow slower than the middle.  A glacier that has receded is due to a lack of new moisture at the source.

The central point in that is that glacial advance and retreat is primarily a function of precipitation.  Which means that a lack of snowfall  is what causes a glacier to shrink/retreat.  Warmists, by contrast, regularly attribute glacial retreat to warming, completely ignoring the fact that glaciers around the world wax and wane all the time, even when temperatures are plateaued.

And the really interesting thing about that is what causes fluctuations in snowfall.  There are many local factors but if we  are talking about global influences, what causes reduced snowfall is COOLING.  A warming world evaporate more water off the oceans and that water vapor would fall again as rain/snow. Conversely, a cooler world would evaporate less ocean water, leading to reduced precipitation.

Greenies rarely these days talk about melting glaciers except in the case of Greenland but next time you hear a Greenie talking about a shrinking glacier somewhere say to them:  "So we are having global cooling now, are we?"  It won't help your friendship, though.  I was once on quite good terms with a man who had a solid scientific background when some shrinking glaciers came up in conversation.  I started to explain to him the role of precipitation but he cut the conversation rather short and I have never heard from him again.  Warmists are fragile souls.  How sad is it that some simple scientific facts can upset someone!

Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club is having fun

He is just fundraising but it helps to have a villain.  So guess who got elected as the villain?  We read:

Breaking: In an organized stunt, a lackey of Myron Ebell - the head of Trump's EPA transition - just ripped up a copy of the Paris Climate deal next to a cardboard cutout of Trump. These people are laughing about the future of our planet. We cannot let them win. Fight back. Make a membership donation

Marc Morano seems peeved that he was not named.  He was just a "lackey".  He comments: "Tell Brune we are coming after the Sierra Club's nonprofit status .."

Green Elites, Trumped

Cautious praise from the WSJ

The planet will benefit if the climate movement is purged of its rottenness.

Hysterical, in both senses of the word, is the reaction of greens like Paul Krugman and the Sierra Club to last week’s election. "The planet is in danger," fretted Tom Steyer, the California hedge funder who spends his billions trying to be popular with green voters.

Uh huh. In fact, the climate will be the last indicator to notice any transition from Barack Obama to Donald Trump. That’s because—as climate warriors were only too happy to point out until a week ago—Mr. Obama’s own commitments weren’t going to make any noticeable dent in a putative CO2 problem.

At most, Mr. Trump’s election will mean solar and wind have to compete more on their merits. So what?

He wants to lift the Obama war on coal—but he won’t stop the epochal replacement of coal by cheap natural gas, with half the greenhouse emissions per BTU.

He probably won’t even try to repeal an egregious taxpayer-funded rebate for wind and solar projects, because red states like this gimme too. But Republican state governments will continue to wind back subsidies that ordinary ratepayers pay through their electric bills so upscale homeowners can indulge themselves with solar.

Even so, the price of solar technology will continue to drop; the lithium-ion revolution will continue to drive efficiency gains in batteries.

Mr. Trump wants to spend on infrastructure, and the federal research establishment, a hotbed of battery enthusiasts, likely will benefit.

In a deregulatory mood, he might well pick up an uncharacteristically useful initiative from the Obama administration. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission quietly is revisiting a scientifically dubious radiation risk standard that drives up the cost of nuclear power.

What a Trump election will do is mostly dismantle a green gravy train powered by moral vanity that contributes nothing to the public welfare.

A phenomenon like Trump, whatever its antecedents, is an opportunity—in this case to purge a rottenness that begins at the commanding heights. The New York Times last year published a feature entitled "short answers to the hard questions about climate change" that was notable solely for ignoring the hardest question of all: How much are human activities actually affecting the climate?

This is the hardest question. It’s why we spend tens of billions collecting climate data and building computerized climate models. It’s why "climate sensitivity" remains the central problem of climate science, as lively and unresolved as it was 35 years ago.

Happily, it only takes a crude, blunderbussy kind of instrument to shatter such a fragile smugness—and if Mr. Trump and the phenomenon he represents are anything, it’s crude and blunderbussy.

As with any such shattering, the dividends will not be appropriated only by one party or political tendency.

Democrats must know by now they are in a failing marriage. Wealthy investors like George Soros,Nat Simons and Mr. Steyer, who finance the party’s green agenda, have ridden the Dems into the ground, with nothing to show for their millions, and vice versa.

On the contrary, the WikiLeaks release of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails only dramatizes what a liability they’ve become, demanding attacks on scientists and even loyal Democrats who don’t endorse their climate-disaster scenarios. Their anti-coal, anti-pipeline, anti-fracking stance especially hurts Dems with union households, which turned out in record numbers for Mr. Trump.

It was always crazy to believe in an unprecedented act of global central planning to wean nations away from fossil fuels, but equally idiotic not to notice that our energy economy is ripe slowly to be transformed by technology anyway.

One greenie who is beyond the need for handouts is Bill Gates, who has made himself non grata by saying the current vogue for subsidizing power sources that will always need subsidies is a joke—an admission of defeat.

Honest warriors like Mr. Gates and retired NASA alarmist James Hansen insist real progress can’t be made without nuclear. Why haven’t others? Because the Tom Steyers and Bill McKibbens would sacrifice the planet 10 times over rather than no longer be fawned over at green confabs. That’s rottenness at work.

There’s a reason today’s climate movement increasingly devotes its time and energy to persecuting heretics—because it’s the most efficient way to suppress reasoned examination of policies that cost taxpayers billions without producing any public benefit whatsoever.

The theory and practice of climate advocacy, on one hand, has been thoroughly, irretrievably corrupted by self righteousness—blame Al Gore, that was his modus. Yet, on the other, it has allowed itself to become the agent of economic interests that can’t survive without pillaging middle-class taxpayers and energy users—exactly the kind of elitist cronyism that voters are sick of.

Without attributing any special virtue to Mr. Trump, he represents a chance for a new start. He might even turn out to be good for the planet


The unhinged Steyer-funded CAP campaign against @RogerPielkeJr was a very great scandal

Pielke comments:

I haven’t had a chance to update this blog with anything related to the surprise (to me at least) at finding myself the subject of an email in the John Podesta email leaks from Wikileaks. That email revealed that an organization that was fouinded and led by Podesta, the Center for American Progress, engaged in a successful effort to have me removed as a writer at 538, the "data journalism" site created by Nate Silver.

The Boulder Daily Camera has a very good series of articles about the revelation that there was an organized political effort against me.

The multi-year campaign against me by CAP was partially funded by billionaire Tom Steyer, and involved 7 writers at CAP who collectively wrote more than 160 articles about me, trashing my work and my reputation. Over the years, several of those writers moved on to new venues, including The Guardian, Vox and where they continued their campaign focused on creating an evil, cartoon version of me and my research.

Collectively, they were quite successful. The campaign ultimately led to me being investigated by a member of Congress and pushed out of the field.

One example of CAP’s campaign involved a series of over-the-top protestations against a paper that I wrote in 2008 with climate scientist Tom Wigley and economist Chris Green. In it, we argued that the IPCC had baked in too much assumed decarbonization in its scenarios of future emissions and policies.

CAP responded with multiple posts, such as the unhinged, "Why did Nature run Pielke’s pointless, misleading, embarrassing nonsense?" There were many more.

I am happy to report that sometimes good science wins out in the end. Our paper has now been cited almost 250 times (Google Scholar). More importantly, our analysis now shows up in the scenarios being used for the 6th assessment of the IPCC. Here is a key figure from our paper (on the left) and a virtually identical one from the recent IPCC scenario paper

It is not important to understand the details here (but if you’d like to, our paper is here in PDF), but it is abundantly clear that our analysis was the basis for that used by those who have created the next generation of IPCC scenarios. Our paper is not cited by the IPCC authors – that apparently would be a step too far, given how deeply the campaign of destruction against me has influenced how I am perceived.

But no matter. The ideas that we first presented in 2008, trashed by those who for whatever reason were intent of a campaign of personal destruction, now show up in 2016 as being core to those of the IPCC.

That is pretty sweet.

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

Three Climate Policy Executive Orders the President-Elect Should Repeal

President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to "cancel immediately" all of President Obama’s "illegal and overreaching executive orders," and he strongly opposes Obama’s climate agenda. Will Obama’s climate policy executive orders be among the first on Trump’s chopping block?

Here are three prime targets for repeal, beginning with the most recent.

*    Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade (March 19, 2015). This order requires federal buildings to obtain at least 30 percent of their electricity from renewables by 2030. All new federal buildings constructed in that year must be "energy net-zero," meaning their energy consumption must be "balanced by onsite renewable energy." Also in 2030, 50 percent of all new passenger vehicles in agency fleets must be zero-emission and plug-in hybrid vehicles. To carry out those and many other requirements, agencies must establish "chief sustainability officers" to implement "green supply chain management" under the tutelage of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. In addition to using our tax dollars to expand the federal trough for green special interests, the order is a consciousness-raising exercise. If kept in place, it will help perpetuate climate-centric groupthink in federal agencies.
*    Climate Resilient International Development (September 23, 2014). "This order requires the integration of climate-resilience considerations into all United States international development work to the extent permitted by law." The main problem here is that development is the best strategy for making poor countries more resilient, and affordable energy is critical to development. Elevating "climate-resilience considerations" too easily becomes an excuse to deny poor countries access to affordable energy, ignore the real causes of poverty (corruption, lack of strong property rights), and legitimize phony grievances against the fossil energy-rich United States.
*    Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change (November 1, 2013). This order requires federal agencies to promote "engaged and strong partnerships and information sharing at all levels of government" to help "safeguard our economy, infrastructure, environment, and natural resources" from climate change impacts. Agencies are to "support and encourage smarter, more climate-resilient investments by States, local communities, and tribes, including by providing incentives through agency guidance, grants, technical assistance, performance measures, safety considerations, and other programs, including in the context of infrastructure development." In other words, the order directs agencies to recruit, indoctrinate, bankroll, and coordinate climate activists at all levels of government. Perhaps a better title for the order is "Mobilizing the Long March through the Institutions."



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 November, 2016

Greenland Blowing Away All Records For Ice Growth

Greenland’s surface has been gaining about 3.5 billion tons of ice per day since the first of September. This is about 50% above normal.

Meanwhile government funded experts fraudsters are telling the press that Greenland is melting at catastrophic speed

One of the top priorities of the Trump administration should be to root those responsible for this fraud out of government.


Job one for Trump: Dismantle EPA regulatory assault on economy

President-elect Donald Trump must begin unraveling the Obama legacy immediately. As harmful regulations continue to cripple economic growth, rescinding EPA regulations on coal is the first necessary step for the Trump administration to get America back to work and end the big government policies Obama instituted.

Since the 2007 Supreme Court decision in Massachusetts v. the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), that agency has been able to regulate carbon emissions as "harmful pollutants" under the terms of the Clean Air Act.

Under the Obama administration that is exactly what the EPA did with the 2009 Carbon Endangerment Finding. This rulemaking in turn has been used to justify the continual implementation of regulations that expand the agency’s power and wage a war on coal.

The Trump administration must now begin rescinding these regulations under the terms of the Administrative Procedures Act, a process that could take up to two years. Best to get started now.

Currently under the EPA’s regulations published at 80 Fed. Reg. 64,510 and 80 Fed. Reg. 64,662, the EPA has the ability regulate both existing and developing power plants for excessive carbon emissions. This overreach was granted by the Obama administration and has worked to make coal electricity uneconomical.

By rescinding these regulations, Trump could provide a tangible opportunity for blue collar job growth in by beginning the rebuilding of the American coal industry.

But this is only the start. President Obama did not only put in place regulations which cripple businesses and make coal uneconomical, he also put in place regulations which disempowered citizens and state government eager to push against the EPA’s interjection.

Using sue and settle arrangements, environmental groups sue the EPA or local governments demanding to have issues addressed. To avoid further litigation, the parties settle the suit and the EPA is given permission to address the issue with newly expanded powers, even if previously the EPA had not jurisdiction or authority over the issue. Sue and settle provides them with new oversight.

While the Obama administration has used sue and settle arrangements throughout the last 8 years to expand overreach, rescinding prior sue and settle arrangements under the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act would prevent the EPA from continuing to destroy local employment opportunities. Stop it where it stands.

This could be the first show of unity by the Trump administration and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) after a hard-fought campaign where Trump and McConnell did not always see eye to eye.

Despite having control over both houses in Congress, Trump could face barriers to the implementation of his agenda with McConnell. At one point in the campaign Trump pegged McConnell as the "epitome of an establishment Republican." However, now, with a narrow lead in the Senate, Trump must rely on McConnell to deliver his platform.

While the two have argued on issues such as immigration reform, ending the Obama administration war on coal has been a pillar for the McConnell Senate. And surely Congress can act, by defunding harmful regulations. Where that is not possible or fails, rescinding regulations via the executive process is up to Trump.

This is one area Trump will be able to work together with McConnell, making the most of Republican majorities in both houses of Congress the next two years.

Trump gained the support from Americans left unemployed from the regulations of the Obama Administration placed on industry growth, now he can show them why his win was worth it, by dismantling the EPA assault on the U.S. economy and getting the job-creating engine back up and running.

Through the rescinding and defunding of harmful regulations and the barring of sue and settle arrangements, Trump and Congress can rein in the EPA while promoting job growth and free enterprise; something the Obama administration could never accomplish.


Skeptics Thrown Out Of UN Climate Summit After Holding Pro-Trump Event

Three global warming skeptics were thrown out of the United Nations (U.N.) summit in Morocco after holding a pro-Donald Trump event where one of them tore up a copy of the Paris climate agreement.

"UN Security escorted three members of an Non-Governmental Organization called the Competitive Enterprise Institute off the premises today, and removed badges for the duration of the week, after an unregistered demonstration," U.N. spokesman Nick Nuttall told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

One of those skeptics was Marc Morano, the publisher of Climate Depot, who was tossed out of the Marrakech summit after shredding a copy of a climate deal signed by nearly 200 countries last year. Morano was taken off the premises and won’t be allowed back in, the U.N. said.

Morano, wearing a red Trump hat, said "the delegates here seem to be in deep denial about President-elect Trump’s policies" before being escorted off the premises by security, according to ABC News.

The Rebel Media, a conservative Canadian news site, snapped a photo of Morano being forcibly moved by U.N. security guards.

Morano was holding an event near the U.N. summit’s media center that featured a giant poster of President-elect Trump behind him. Morano already made waves after publishing a lengthy report challenging the very foundation on which the U.N. summit was built: man-made global warming.

The U.N. apparently thought his "unregistered" demonstration went too far.

"Members of this NGO have attended previous UN climate conferences and there is a well-publicized code of conduct for NGOs," Nuttall said. "This requires them to register a planned demonstration with UN security for approval. All peaceful demonstrations within the conference are approved and roughly 10-15 are happening every day at the Marrakesh conference. Approval is not based on the message demonstrators wish to send, political or otherwise, but on the safety of delegates. This is especially relevant with Heads of State still present on the premises."

"The UNFCCC is one of the most tolerant UN bodies in respect to permitting demonstrations at its conferences but we need demonstrators to respect this well-established code for their own safety and the safety of all participants," Nuttall said.

Morano’s event attracted a large crowd of reporters and photographers before being shut down.

U.N. delegates are in Marrakech to hash out an implementation plan for the so-called Paris agreement that was ratified by enough countries to come into effect this year. But delegates were disheartened by Trump’s recent election win.

President-elect Donald Trump vowed to "cancel" the Paris deal. Trump also promised to stop funding U.N. global warming programs, despite being called a "climate denier" by left-wing activists.


"PEAK" OIL? The USGS Just Found 20 Billion Barrels of Oil

Thanks in part to fracking

In what seems to becoming a weekly occurrence, the oil industry just produced another stunning example of its ability to find new reserves in the 21st century. A new assessment of the so-called "Wolfcamp shale" formation near Midland, Texas estimates that the region contains some 20 billion barrels of crude and another 1.6 billion barrels of natural gas liquids. Take that, "peak oil" doomsayers. The Texas Tribune reports:

[The Wolfcamp shale estimation is] three times higher than the amount of recoverable crude the agency found in the Bakken-Three Forks region in the upper midwest in 2013, making it "the largest estimated continuous oil accumulation that USGS has assessed in the United States to date," according to a statement.

"The fact that this is the largest assessment of continuous oil we have ever done just goes to show that, even in areas that have produced billions of barrels of oil, there is still the potential to find billions more," said Walter Guidroz, program coordinator for the USGS Energy Resources Program.

The fact that the USGS is now—in 2016—making its largest-ever estimate of a single oil resource speaks volumes about the state of American energy security, and the speed at which our country’s oil landscape has changed over the past decade as a result of the shale revolution.

To be clear, without technological advances like hydraulic fracturing and horizontal well drilling—two practices that have only been deployed en masse over the past eight years or so—we wouldn’t be counting these 20 billion barrels of crude as recoverable.

While OPEC struggles to stay afloat in a market where crude struggles to break $50 per barrel, U.S. shale producers are surprising analysts and petrostates alike with their ability to keep the oil flowing at these bargain prices. This resiliency can largely be put down to their relentlessly innovative spirit and the dogged pursuit of technological advances to help streamline drilling processes and bring breakeven costs down. But new technologies aren’t just keeping shale firms afloat, they’re also uncovering new reserves of oil and gas that will continue to buoy America’s position as a major energy supplier for years to come.


Thanks to shale, the US is flush with a record amount of natural gas— just in time for winter

The United States has never entered a winter with more natural gas at the ready, according to the latest data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). During the warmer months of the year, countries pump drilled natural gas into storage, anticipating a cyclical spike in demand when temperatures start falling. As we head into those colder months now, the amount of natural gas in storage here in the United States has just hit an all-time high, as the EIA reports:

Working natural gas in storage reached a record high of 4,017 billion cubic feet (Bcf) as of November 4, according to EIA’s latest Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report. Inventories have been relatively high throughout the year, surpassing previous five-year highs in 48 of the past 52 weeks…The injection season for natural gas storage typically runs from April through October, although net natural gas injections sometimes continue for several weeks during November. In fact, the previous record for natural gas storage was set at 4,009 Bcf for the week ending November 20, 2015.

So what does this mean for American families looking to heat their homes with natural gas this winter? Well, as the EIA explains, that all depends on the weather:

Based on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) winter forecast, EIA expects U.S. average household natural gas consumption to increase 8% this winter, with the largest increases in the Northeast and Midwest census regions. Under this scenario, EIA expects inventories to end the winter at slightly below 1,900 Bcf. However, temperatures so far this winter have consistently been at or above weekly average normal levels, and NOAA’s latest three-month temperature outlook forecasts that December–February temperatures will be higher than normal. In a scenario with temperatures 10% warmer than forecast, U.S. average household natural gas consumption would be 1% lower this winter compared to last winter, with inventories at winter’s end near 2,300 Bcf.

But while the exact rate at which households and businesses consume natural gas in the United States this winter remains to be seen, we do know that we’ve never been in a better position with respect to natural gas. This abundance isn’t just a boon to energy security, it also corresponds to cheaper prices, a development that is especially helpful for poorer families for whom their heating bills make up a larger slice of the monthly budget.

We’d be remiss to not give credit where credit is due for this unprecedented hoard of natural gas: Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal well-drilling of shale formations around the country are entirely responsible for this resurgence in oil and natural gas production over the past eight years. It is hard to overstate the impact fracking has had on the U.S. energy landscape, and this latest glut of gas is just the latest example of its ability to shore up U.S. energy security.



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 November, 2016

It’s Time to Stop Spending Taxpayer Dollars on Elon Musk and Cronyism

From Enron to Bernie Madoff, at the end of every great American financial scandal, the totality of the perpetrators’ greed seems to be matched only by the public’s incredulity at how such a thing could be allowed to happen.

And thanks to Elon Musk, there’s a good chance we may all be asking this question again soon.

The Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee have launched a probe into tax incentives paid to solar companies, according to The Wall Street Journal. The committee probes, led by their respective Republican chairmen, Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas and Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, have found an appropriate and disturbing target to begin this work.

SolarCity, a solar installation company set to be purchased by Tesla Motors Inc., is one of the seven companies named in the initial investigation.

Already grossly subsidized, Musk’s SolarCity has become an albatross of waste, fraud, and abuse of tax payer dollars. As legitimate earnings and cash become even scarcer for SolarCity, its entanglement in the Tesla empire suggests that a drastic reckoning not only is imminent, but in fact emboldening Musk to become more outlandish and reckless.

Notably, SolarCity is run by Musk’s cousins, Lyndon and Peter Rive. During his chairmanship at SolarCity, Musk’s family enterprise has taken in billions of taxpayer dollars in subsidies from both the federal and local governments. But the subsidies and sweetheart deals were not enough, as losses and missed projections continued to mount.

Ultimately, rather than endure the embarrassment of collapse and further damage to the public image of Musk and Tesla, the cousins conspired to have Tesla simply purchase SolarCity this year. The conditions of the deal screamed foul play.

To say nothing of what sense it might make for an automaker to purchase a solar installation company, Tesla stockholders were being forced to absorb a failing, cash-burning company and pay top dollar to do so.

While cost cutting and corporate restructuring should have been the priority for a company swimming in debt and burning through available cash, SolarCity in fact has been doubling down on the failed model of taxpayer support. The desperate thirst for handouts has manifested itself in some of the murkiest political waters imaginable.

Thanks to Musk’s cozy relationship with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, the state has granted at least $750 million of its taxpayers’ money to SolarCity, building the company a factory and charging it only $1 per year in rent.

It would be hard to imagine such an operation would not be lucrative for its shareholders. And yet somehow, SolarCity never has made a profit.

It’s not just in New York. In this year’s race for Arizona Corporation Commission, the state’s public utilities overseers, only one outside group funneled cash into the contest.

All of the $3 million donated by that group, Energy Choice for America, came from SolarCity. The beneficiaries are candidates who have signaled their willingness to be part of the "green machine" that greases the skids for lucrative government subsidies.

Burning through taxpayer dollars, buying elections, and expanding a network of crony capitalism has become so inherent to the SolarCity model that $3 million to a public commissioner’s race, brazen though it may be, is only a drop in the bucket for Musk and SolarCity.

In 2013 alone, SolarCity received $127.4 million in federal grants. The following year, in which it received only $342,000 from the same stimulus package, total revenue was just $176 million and the company posted a net loss of $375 million.

Despite an expansion of operations and claims to be the leader in the industry, SolarCity never has been able to survive without serious help from government subsidies and grants. The failure to responsibly turn taxpayer dollars into a profitable renewable energy provider has led to SolarCity’s collapse into the welcoming arms of Tesla.

And with Tesla, SolarCity in fact will be right at home, compounding a disastrous shell game that Elon Musk is playing with government resources.

It has been widely reported that among SolarCity, Tesla, and the rocket company SpaceX, Elon Musk’s confederacy of interests has gotten at least $4.9 billion in taxpayer support over the past 10 years.

This is almost half of Musk’s supposed net worth—taken from the pockets of American citizens and put into companies that can survive only by cannibalizing each other, spending without end, and promising that success is always just beyond the horizon and yet never arrives.

The American people are being taken on a ride by SolarCity, Tesla, and Musk. The ride is fueled by a cult of personality in Musk. And it costs billions of taxpayer dollars as he promises us not only the moon, but to harness the power of the sun and send us all to Mars.

In the cases of Enron and Bernie Madoff, in the end the cheated victims wished to have woken up sooner to the hubris that enabled such a downfall—or that at least regulators had pulled their heads out of the sand before the full impact of the collapse was realized.

We’ve seen this story before and we know how it ends.

The congressional investigations underway not only are necessary but a signal that more must be done, and soon. We may not be able to help Elon Musk stop himself from failing again, but we certainly shouldn’t be the ones to pay for it.

It’s past time for the American people to stand up to Musk and demand that our legislators and other elected officials bring him back to earth before spending one more dollar of our money. He’s wasted enough of it already.


Climate Report to UN: Trump right, UN wrong – Skeptics Deliver Consensus Busting ‘State of the Climate Report’ to UN Summit

Key climate data highlights:

Global temperatures have been virtually flat for about 18 years, according to satellite data, and peer-reviewed literature is now scaling back predictions of future warming

The U.S. has had no Category 3 or larger hurricane make landfall since 2005 – the longest spell since the Civil War.

Strong F3 or larger tornadoes have been in decline since the 1970s.

Despite claims of snow being ‘a thing of the past,’ cold season snowfall has been rising.

Sea level rise rates have been steady for over a century, with recent deceleration.

Droughts and floods are neither historically unusual nor caused by mankind, and there is no evidence we are currently having any unusual weather.

So-called hottest year claims are based on year-to-year temperature data that differs by only a few HUNDREDTHS of a degree to tenths of a degree Fahrenheit – differences that are within the margin of error in the data. In other words, global temperatures have essentially held very steady with no sign of acceleration.

A 2015 NASA study found Antarctica was NOT losing ice mass and ‘not currently contributing to sea level rise.’

In 2016, Arctic sea ice was 22% greater than at the recent low point of 2012. The Arctic sea ice is now in a 10-year ‘pause’ with ‘no significant change in the past decade.

Polar bears are doing fine, with their numbers way up since the 1960s.


CO2 is not the tail that wags the dog. CO2 is a trace essential gas, but without it life on earth would be impossible. Carbon dioxide fertilizes algae, trees, and crops to provide food for humans and animals. We inhale oxygen and exhale CO2. Slightly higher atmospheric CO2 levels cannot possibly supplant the numerous complex and inter-connected forces that have always determined Earth’s climate. As University of London professor emeritus Philip Stott has noted: "The fundamental point has always been this. Climate change is governed by hundreds of factors, or variables, and the very idea that we can manage climate change predictably by understanding and manipulating at the margins one politically selected factor (CO2), is as misguided as it gets." "It’s scientific nonsense," Stott added.

Even the global warming activists at acknowledged this in a September 20, 2008 article, stating, "The actual temperature rise is an emergent property resulting from interactions among hundreds of factors."

The UN Paris climate change agreement claims to able to essentially save the planet from ‘global warming’. But even if you accept the UN’s and Al Gore’s version of climate change claims, the UN Paris agreement would not ‘save’ the planet.

University of Pennsylvania Geologist Dr. Robert Giegengack noted in 2014, "None of the strategies that have been offered by the U.S. government or by the EPA or by anybody else has the remotest chance of altering climate if in fact climate is controlled by carbon dioxide."

In layman’s terms: All of the so-called ‘solutions’ to global warming are purely symbolic when it comes to climate. So, even if we actually faced a climate catastrophe and we had to rely on a UN climate agreement, we would all be doomed!

The United Nations has publicly stated its goal is not to ‘solve’ climate change, but to seek to redistribute wealth and expand its authority through more central planning. UN official Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chair of the IPCC Working Group III, admitted what’s behind the climate issue: "One must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy … One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore."

EU climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard revealed: Global Warming Policy Is Right Even If Science Is Wrong. Hedegaard said in 2013, "Let’s say that science, some decades from now, said ‘we were wrong, it was not about climate,’ would it not in any case have been good to do many of things you have to do in order to combat climate change?"

The UN is seeking central planning. UN climate chief Christiana Figueres declared in 2012 that she is seeking a "centralized transformation" that is "going to make the life of everyone on the planet very different." She added: "This is a centralized transformation that is taking place because governments have decided that they need to listen to science."

The UN and EPA regulations are pure climate symbolism in exchange for a more centrally planned energy economy. The UN and EPA regulations are simply a vehicle to put politicians and bureaucrats in charge of our energy economy and ‘save’ us from bad weather and ‘climate change.’

Climatologist Dr. Roy Spencer in 2016: "Global warming and climate change, even if it is 100% caused by humans, is so slow that it cannot be observed by anyone in their lifetime.

Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, droughts and other natural disasters have yet to show any obvious long-term change. This means that in order for politicians to advance policy goals (such as forcing expensive solar energy on the masses or creating a carbon tax), they have to turn normal weather disasters into "evidence" of climate change."

While the climate fails to behave like the UN and climate activists predict, very prominent scientists are bailing out of the so-called "consensus."

Renowned Princeton Physicist Freeman Dyson: ‘I’m 100% Democrat and I like Obama. But he took the wrong side on climate issue, and the Republicans took the right side’ – An Obama supporter who describes himself as "100 per cent Democrat," Dyson is disappointed that the President "chose the wrong side."

Increasing CO2 in the atmosphere does more good than harm, he argues, and humanity doesn’t face an existential crisis. ‘What has happened in the past 10 years is that the discrepancies between what’s observed and what’s predicted have become much stronger.’

Nobel Prize Winning Physicist Dr. Ivar Giaever: ‘Global warming is a non-problem’ – ‘I say this to Obama: Excuse me, Mr. President, but you’re wrong. Dead wrong.’ ‘Global warming really has become a new religion.’ – "I am worried very much about the [UN] conference in Paris in 2015…I think that the people who are alarmist are in a very strong position.’

Green Guru James Lovelock reverses belief in ‘global warming’: Now says ‘I’m not sure the whole thing isn’t crazy’ – Condemns green movement: ‘It’s a religion really, It’s totally unscientific’ – Lovelock rips scientists attempting to predict temperatures as ‘idiots’: "Anyone who tries to predict more than five to 10 years is a bit of an idiot, because so many things can change unexpectedly."

While these scientists take another look at the climate data, efforts to transform economies away from fossil fuels underway but even proponents admit they are purely symbolic.

EPA Chief Admits Obama Regs Have No Measurable Climate Impact: ‘One one-hundredth of a degree?’ EPA Chief McCarthy defends regs as ‘enormously beneficial’ – Symbolic impact

Former Obama Department of Energy Assistant Secretary Charles McConnell: ‘The Clean Power Plan has been falsely sold as impactful environmental regulation when it is really an attempt by our primary federal environmental regulator to take over state and federal regulation of energy.’ – ‘What is also clear, scientifically and technically, is that EPA’s plan will not significantly impact global emissions.’ – ‘All of the U.S. annual emissions in 2025 will be offset by three weeks of Chinese emissions. Three weeks.’

And energy use has not really changed all that much in over 100 years. Reality check: In 1908, fossil fuels accounted for 85% of U.S. energy consumption. In 2015, more or less the same


Trump Regulatory Rollback: Auto Fuel Efficiency Standards

Activists howl in outrage and frustration

The Obama Administration imposed fuel efficiency standards on the automobile industry requiring them to increase fuel efficiency standards to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. Now carmakers are reportedly asking the incoming Trump administration for a "a pathway forward" on setting final fuel efficiency standards through 2025 and calling on the next administration to "harmonize and adjust" the rules.

Predictably, any hint that regulations might be rolled back brings forth howls of protest from activists. And so it has. Public Citizen, the self-styled "people's voice in the nation's capital" issued a press release decrying the notion that corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards might be loosened:

"In 2009, in the aftermath of financial losses that stemmed from poor sales of inefficient fleets and higher oil prices, American taxpayers rescued the auto industry after it nearly went out of business. Now, this same industry sent a memo to Trump's lobbyist-staffed transition team asking for permission to ease off improved fuel economy standards.

"Let's not forget that the reason the auto industry had to be bailed out was because automakers built a fleet of gas-guzzling sports utility vehicles that they could no longer sell. More fuel efficient cars would have saved them and taxpayers the trouble, but now it appears that the auto industry has learned nothing from its recent mistakes.

"Federal regulators raised fuel efficiency standards because they save consumers money and are an important part of our effort to combat climate change"

Back in 2009, I criticized Obama's proposed CAFE standards as an inefficient stealth tax on driving. It's inefficient because drivers pay more, car companies make less money, and state and federal governments don't get any extra revenues. If activists and politicians want Americans to drive more fuel-efficient cars, the simple and honest thing to do would be to substantially raise gasoline taxes concluded a 2002 National Academy of Sciences report.

Ultimately, I argued, setting CAFE standards is just a way for cowardly politicians to avoid telling their fellow citizens that they should pay more for the privilege of driving.


Ecological impact assessments fail to reduce risk of bat casualties at wind farms

Paul R. Lintott et al.


Demand for renewable energy is rising exponentially. While this has benefits in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, there may be costs to biodiversity [1]. Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) are the main tool used across the world to predict the overall positive and negative effects of renewable energy developments before planning consent is given, and the Ecological Impact Assessments (EcIAs) within them assess their species-specific effects. Given that EIAs are undertaken globally, are extremely expensive, and are enshrined in legislation, their place in evidence-based decision making deserves evaluation. Here we assess how well EIAs of wind-farm developments protect bats. We found they do not predict the risks to bats accurately, and even in those cases where high risk was correctly identified, the mitigation deployed did not avert the risk. Given that the primary purpose of an EIA is to make planning decisions evidence-based, our results indicate that EIA mitigation strategies used to date have been ineffective in protecting bats. In the future, greater emphasis should be placed on assessing the actual impacts post-construction and on developing effective mitigation strategies.


Finally, Warmists Find a Real Threat

Comment from Australia

Whatever else he does, President-elect Donald Trump can be counted on to shoo those green snouts out of the climate-scare trough -- first by repealing Obama's executive orders, then by re-directing from the UN to domestic environmental concerns. It's a beautiful thing

"I’m feeling very flat today," snuffled Amanda McKenzie, CEO of Tim Flannery’s crowd-funded Climate Council.  As she should, given that  President-elect Trump will  end  the trillion-dollar renewable-energy scam so beloved by the council.

McKenzie continues, "Progress on climate change can feel hopeless and it’s tempting to give up and turn away." But instead, she rattles the tin for donations of $10 a month "to allow us to undertake some massive projects next year that will power communities and everyday Australians to spearhead our renewable energy transition." Good luck with that, Amanda.

Throughout the Western world, green lobbies are likewise oscillating between despair and self-delusion over the Trump election.

Trump’s agenda – as per his election website –  includes

Unleash America’s $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, plus hundreds of years in clean coal reserves.

Declare American energy dominance a strategic economic and foreign policy goal of the United States.

Become, and stay, totally independent of any need to import energy from the OPEC cartel or any nations hostile to our interests.

Rescind all job-destroying Obama executive actions.

Reduce and eliminate all barriers to responsible energy production, creating at least a half million jobs a year, $30 billion in higher wages, and cheaper energy.

Trump says Obama’s onslaught of regulations has been a massive self-inflicted economic wound denying  Americans access to the energy wealth sitting under their feet: "This is the American People’s treasure, and they are entitled to share in the riches."

Other than that, the president-elect’s  common-sense policies make the 20,000 climate careerists and activists in Marrakech, led by Vice-President John Kerry, seem comically irrelevant. They were supposed to be implementing the feeble Paris climate accord – notwithstanding that China has just announced a 19% expansion of coal capacity over the next five years.

But with the US leadership no longer concerned about climate doom, the rationale for these annual talk-fests (22  to date) has evaporated. Robert McNally, energy consultant and former George W. Bush adviser,  says climate change policy "is going to come to a screeching halt. The Paris Agreement from a U.S. perspective is a dead agreement walking."

The agreement now has only the EU’s backing in terms of actual and significant cuts to emissions, although Australia is also now pledging to do its tiny bit for foot-shooting insanity. The EU’s continued subsidies to renewables will merely worsen its competitiveness vis a vis the new energy powerhouse across the Atlantic.

Trump has pledged not only to rip up the Paris deal, but to withdraw all US climate funding to the UN. The UN climate fund is supposed to build to $100b a year for Third World mendicants. Obama has given $500m so far and pledged $3 billion to the UN climate fund,  but Trump will divert those billions to domestic environmental projects such as the Florida Everglades. As he told supporters,  "We’re spending hundreds of billions of dollars. We don’t even know who’s doing what with the money."

Obama, unable to get his climate legislation through the Republican-controlled Congress, used regulatory powers instead to get the job done. Trump can now neutralize those efforts simply by reversal or non-enforcement of the regulations.

One of the climate war’s best-kept secrets is that there is no real constituency for renewables, other than vested interests and noisy green groups.[1] That’s why both candidates gave global warming so little prominence in the campaign. Nearly a third of Americans think the global warming scare is a total hoax.

It’s a similar story internationally: a UN annual poll last month (9.7m respondents) had "action on climate change" rating dead last among 16 issues, with top ratings going to education, health care and jobs. Even people from the richest nations rated climate action only 10th. The poll in 2015 got the same result.

Trump’s personal view on climate-change science  is that  CO2 is probably causing some warming but the scare is vastly exaggerated.[2] He will therefore reverse Obama’s assault on the coal and coal-fired power sectors and give them a better chance to compete with natural gas.

Trump’s choice of key climate advisers is a nightmare for the warmist establishment. To transition the US Environmental Protection Agency from climate activism, he’s picked outspoken skeptic Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy & Environment at the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute . The CEI is equivalent to Australia’s Institute of Public Affairs.

Ebell laughs at his leftist critics and cites to congress his Greenpeace listing as a leading "climate criminal".  He thinks warming will not be a problem for one or two centuries; meanwhile we should expand access to all types of energy – on an unsubsidized basis.

Canadian climate scientist Tim Ball told a Melbourne seminar this week that Trump is getting science advice from satellite meteorologist Dr Roy Spencer. Spencer’s  data has demonstrated that orthodox climate models have exaggerated actual warming by a factor of two to three. His own readings from satellites showed no significant warming for the 21 years up to the 2015-16 El Nino spike. He emphasises the vast uncertainties about climate forecasting and the still-unknown roles of natural forces.

Spencer, who holds a NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for global temperature monitoring, believes  the near-universal funding of climate research by governments causes a bias towards catastrophic forecasting, since governments won’t fund non-problems. He wants funding to be at arm’s length from political interests. For the Department of Energy, Trump has picked energy lobbyist Mike McKenna, with ties to the industry-backed American Energy Alliance and Institute for Energy Research.

Trump’s election is rocking the climate-scare industry to its foundations. Four decades of madness is coming to an end.



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 November, 2016

Does the World Need Climate Insurance? The Best Scientific and Economic Evidence Says NO

Executive Summary

President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers asserts that climate insurance, like fire insurance, is just common sense. Their analogy, however, is fundamentally wrong. House fires are not only serious, but also common. We know what causes them, how often they occur, and the amount of damage that results. For a few hundred dollars a year, a homeowner can protect himself against a known risk of a catastrophic incident. Yet there is no empirical evidence that catastrophic climate change is a risk at all. Many people refer to carbon dioxide (CO2 ) as a "pollutant;" in reality, CO 2 gas is a natural part of the ecosystem—and essential to life on Earth. CO2 levels are currently at record low levels compared with those that prevailed over most of the Earth’s history. The modest increases in CO2 levels that have occurred over the past century—thanks, in part, to the combustion of fossil fuels—have led to a pronounced and well-documented greening of the Earth. Plants grow better and are more drought resistant with more CO2 . This greening has benefited—and will continue to benefit—human society, particularly the world’s poor, whose lives depend on productive agriculture. The actions necessary to reduce CO 2 emissions by any meaningful amount as "insurance" against climate change would be painful for Western countries and devastating for poor countries. Sensible people spend their insurance dollars carefully to protect their families against real risks. "Climate insurance" would simply be a waste of scarce resources


Dakota Access—Legal, Beneficial & Necessary

With its recent decision to deny the temporary injunction requested by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed what supporters of the Dakota Access Pipeline have maintained fervently all along: the more-than-halfway finished pipeline satisfied every one of the myriad state and federal regulations that govern its construction and eventual operation. That alone should be enough for the Obama administration to comply with its own permitting process, and allow the project to resume.

Equally compelling are Dakota Access’s real benefits to America’s economy, our domestic infrastructure and national security.

North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois—the four states traversed by the 1,172-mile DAPL—engaged in a meticulous two-plus-yearlong project review. So, too, did the United States Army Corp of Engineers. All five of these public bodies determined, conclusively, that Dakota Access was safe, that its route did not disrupt any areas of cultural significance, and that it fell well within the compliance parameters of the individual states’ laws, as well as those of the federal government.

From the beginning, Dakota Access emphasized commitment to consulting its Native American neighbors and to transparency. All available evidence—very much including the 389 meetings with 55 tribes arranged by the USACE— supports those claims. So, too, do the more than 140 modifications made voluntarily to the pipeline’s route itself. This is why even neutral observers can make the case that Dakota Access not only merited favorable certification, permitting and full approval, but earned them as well.

And speaking of earning, the economic benefits of Dakota Access are significant. Not just to the four states involved—all of which already have received millions in new revenue thanks to the construction phase alone, along with more than $150 million in additional sales and income taxes—but also to the U.S. economy at large.

To date, the $3.8 billion DAPL has incurred more than $2 billion in construction and development costs and will create between 8,000 and 10,000 jobs.

Dakota Access is not just a welcome job-creator and tax-revenue-producing machine. It is also one of the largest American infrastructure investments to come along in some time. Once completed, it will utilize a safe, environmentally sound, state-of-the-art pipeline to transport domestically produced light, sweet crude oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota to major refining markets throughout the country.

The reality is that America’s economy—everything from manufacturing and agriculture to food production and transportation, and even the development of newer, more sustainable energy resources—depends hugely on crude oil. Today, much of that crude oil is shipped across the country by rail or by truck, both of which represent much greater accident-related risks to public safety and to the environment. In fact, pipelines like Dakota Access are the safest mode of transportation on the globe.

At today’s production levels, Dakota Access will transport half of the total output of the Bakken region, generating royalties for the landowners and states along the route, very much including the Native Americans who hold oil and gas leases on reservation property. It will also reduce America’s reliance on foreign—often hostile and unstable—sources of oil.

Dakota Access was approved after extensive—and intensive—regulatory review. The Obama administration should green light its operation immediately. And the people still protesting and disrupting the pipeline’s completion, many of whom failed to participate in public hearings, should go home.


Wind Power: Our Least Sustainable Resource?

    "A single 1.7 MW wind turbine, like the 315 Fowler Ridge units, involves some 365 tons of materials for the turbine assembly and tower, plus nearly 1,100 tons of concrete and rebar for the foundation. Grand total for the entire Fowler wind installation: some 515,000 tons; for Roscoe, 752,000 tons; for Shepherds Flat, 575,000 tons. Offshore installations of the kind proposed for Lake Erie would likely require twice the materials needed for their onshore counterparts."

The alter ego of climate change in these renewable energy debates is sustainability: the argument that wind and other "renewable" energies are sustainable, whereas oil, gas and coal are not.

This assertion may have had some merit a few years ago, when it could plausibly be claimed that the world was running out of fossil fuels. However, it is now clear that several centuries of economically recoverable coal remain to be tapped – and the horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) process ensures that at least one or two centuries of oil and natural gas could be recovered from shale deposits around the world. "Imminent resource depletion" is no longer a plausible or valid argument.

Indeed, fracking provides abundant natural gas that can fuel power plants, lower carbon dioxide emissions and keep electricity prices low. Heavy reliance on wind energy (offshore and onshore) would raise electricity prices, while doing nothing to reduce CO2 emissions, since backup generators running on standby but ramping up repeatedly all day long run inefficiently and emit more carbon dioxide.

However, there is another aspect to sustainability claims, and when common environmental guidelines, policies and regulations are applied, it is clear that wind energy is our least sustainable energy source.

Land. Wind turbine installations impact vast amounts of habitat and crop land, and offshore wind turbines impact vast stretches of lake or ocean – far more than traditional power plants.

Arizona’s Palo Verde nuclear plant generates 3,750 megawatts of electricity from a 4,000-acre site. The 600-MW John Turk ultra-supercritical coal-fired power plant in Arkansas covers a small portion of 2,900 acres; gas-fired units like Calpine’s 560-MW Fox Energy Center in Wisconsin require several hundred acres. All generate reliable power 90-95% of the year.

By contrast, the 600-MW Fowler Ridge wind installation (355 turbines) spans 50,000 acres of farm country along Indiana’s I-65 corridor. The 782-MW Roscoe project in Texas (627 turbines) sprawls across 100,000 acres. Oregon’s Shepherds Flat project (338 gigantic 2.5 MW turbines) covers nearly 80,000 wildlife and scenic acres along the Columbia River Gorge, for a "rated capacity" of 845 MW.

The 625 to 1,600 turbines planned for Lake Erie will impact hundreds of thousands of acres, planting bird and bat killing machines across miles and miles of lake habitat – while future Canadian wind farms on the Ontario side of the lake will affect hundreds of thousands more acres, and millions more birds and bats.

Raw materials. Wind installations require enormous quantities of steel, copper, rare earth metals, fiberglass, concrete and other materials for the turbines, towers and bases.

A single 1.7 MW wind turbine, like the 315 Fowler Ridge units, involves some 365 tons of materials for the turbine assembly and tower, plus nearly 1100 tons of concrete and rebar for the foundation. Grand total for the entire Fowler wind installation: some 515,000 tons; for Roscoe, 752,000 tons; for Shepherds Flat, 575,000 tons. Offshore installations of the kind proposed for Lake Erie would likely require twice the materials needed for their onshore counterparts.

To all that must be added millions of tons of materials for thousands of miles of new transmission lines – and still more for mostly gas-fired generators to back up every megawatt of wind power and generate electricity the 17 to 20 hours of each average day that the wind does not blow.

Money. Taxpayers and consumers must provide perpetual subsidies to prop up wind projects, which cannot survive without steady infusions of cash via feed-in tariffs, tax breaks and direct payments.

Transmission lines cost $1.0 million to $2.5 million per mile. Direct federal wind energy subsidies to help cover this totaled $5 billion in FY 2010, according to Energy Department data; state support added billions more, and still more billions were added to consumers’ electric bills. The Other People’s Money well is running dry, and voters and consumers are getting fed up with cash-for-cronies wind schemes.

Energy. It is extremely energy-intensive to mine, quarry, drill, mill, refine, smelt and manufacture the metals, concrete, fiberglass, resins, turbines and heavy equipment to do all of the above. Transporting, installing and repairing turbines, towers, backups and transmission lines requires still more energy – real energy: abundant, reliable, affordable … not what comes from wind turbines.

Some analysts have said it requires more energy to manufacture, haul and install these Cuisinarts of the air and their transmission systems than they will generate in their lifetimes. However, no cradle-to-grave analysis has ever been conducted, for the energy inputs or pollution outputs.

Health. Environmentalists regularly make scary but wildly speculative claims about health dangers from hydraulic fracturing. However, they and wind energy companies and promoters ignore and dismiss a growing body of evidence that steady low frequency noise from wind turbines causes significant human health problems, interferes with whale and porpoise navigational and food-finding systems, and affects other wildlife species.

Sudden air pressure changes from rapidly moving turbine blades can cause bird and bat lungs to collapse. In addition, serious lung, heart, cancer and other problems have been documented from rare earth mining, smelting and manufacturing in China and Mongolia, under those countries’ far less rigorous health, workplace safety and environmental regulations.

To date, however, very few health or environmental assessments have been required or conducted prior to permit approval, even for major wind turbine installations, much less the grand "visions."

Environment. Raptors, bats and other beautiful flying creatures continue to be sliced and diced by wind turbines. However, government regulators continue to turn a blind eye to the slaughter, and the actual toll is carefully hidden by wind operators, who treat the data as trade secrets and refuse to allow independent investigators to conduct proper studies of bird and bat mortality. Furthermore, wind turbines are increasingly being installed in sensitive wildlife habitat areas, like Lake Erie and onshore areas like Shepherds Flat, as they are often the best remaining areas for relatively abundant, consistent wind.

Jobs. The myth of "green renewable energy jobs" is hitting the brick wall of reality. While turbines installed and maintained in the USA and EU create some jobs, many of them short-term, the far more numerous mining and manufacturing jobs are in China, where they are hardly "green" or "healthy." Moreover, as Spanish and Scottish analysts have documented, the expensive intermittent electricity generated by wind turbines kills 2.2 to 3.7 traditional jobs for every "eco-friendly" wind job created.

Electricity costs and reliability. Even huge subsidies cannot cure wind power’s biggest defects: its electricity costs far more than coal, gas or nuclear alternatives – and its intermittent nature wreaks havoc on power grids and consumers. The problem is worst on hot summer afternoons, when demand is highest and breezes are minimal. Unable to compete against cheap Chinese and Indian electricity and labor, energy-intensive industries increasingly face the prospect of sending operations and jobs overseas.

All of this is simply and completely unsustainable.


Breaking: 1920’s Brit ‘fatally infected’ All Government Climate Models

A sensational new study shows western government climate models rely on a fatally flawed 1920’s algorithm.  Scientists say this could be the breakthrough that explains why modern computers are so awful at predicting climate change: simulations "violate several known Laws of Thermodynamics."

British climate researcher Derek Alker presents an extraordinary new paper ‘Greenhouse Effect Theory within the UN IPCC Computer Climate Models – Is It A Sound Basis?’ exposing previously undetected errors that government climate researchers have unknowingly fed into multi-million dollar climate computers since the 1940s. [1]

Alker explains:

    "This paper examines what was originally calculated as the greenhouse effect theory by Lewis Fry Richardson, the brilliant English mathematician, physicist and meteorologist.

    In 1922 Richardson devised an innovative set of differential equations. His ingenious method is still used today in climate models. But unbeknown to Richardson he had inadvertently relied upon unchecked (and fatally flawed) numbers supplied by another well-known British scientist, W. H. Dines."

Unfortunately, for Richardson Dines wrongly factored in that earth’s climate is driven by terrestrial (ground) radiation as the only energy source, not the sun. Richardson had taken the Dines numbers on face value and did not detect the error when combining the Dines numbers to his own. Alker continues: "The archives show Richardson never double-checked the Dines work (see below) and the records do not show that anyone else has ever exposed it."

The outcome, says Alker, is that not only has the original Richardson & Charney computer model been corrupted –  but all other computer climate models since. All government researchers use these core numbers and believe them to be valid even though what they seek to represent can be shown today as physically impossible.

Alker adds:

    "My paper specifically describes how the theory Dines calculated in his paper violates several of the known Laws of Thermodynamics, and therefore does not describe reality.

    The greenhouse effect theory we know of today is based on what Richardson had formulated from the Dines paper using unphysical numbers created by Dines. But Dines himself later suggested his numbers were probably unreliable."

Unfortunately, Dines died in the mid-1920’s and did not inform Richardson about the error. Thereupon, in the late 1940’s, Richardson began working with another world figure in climate science – Jule Charney  as the duo constructed the first world’s first computer climate model. It was then the dodgy Dines numbers infected the works.

Alker, who studied the archives scrupulously for his research reports that there is no published evidence that Richardson understood Dines’s calculation method. And we think he and Charney put the Dines numbers into the world’s first computer model verbatim.

In essence, the ‘theory’ of greenhouse gas warming from the Dines numbers can be shown to start with a misapplication of Planck’s Law, which generates grossly exaggerated ‘up’ and none existent ‘down’ radiative emissions figures. Then, layer by layer, part of the downward radiation is added to the layer below, which is in violation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

Thereby, like a domino effect, this bogus calculation method becomes GIGO ("garbage in, garbage out") to all computers that run the program. Alker adds:

    "What the climate simulations are doing is creating energy layer by layer in the atmosphere that shouldn’t be there (it has no other source than of itself). It is then destroyed layer by layer (it is absorbed and then discarded – in effect destroyed). This is all presented in such a way to give the appearance that energy is being conserved, when it is not being conserved,"


Myron Ebell is perfectly suited to lead the transition to a new EPA

President-elect Donald Trump has named Myron Ebell to head up his transition team for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The news was met with name-calling, even though Ebell agrees with the same position taken by a former top scientist with the Obama administration, Steve Koonin (formerly of Cal Tech) namely, that scientists simply do not know what fraction of observed global warming is due to manmade CO2 emissions.

Consequently, Ebell has expressed concern about EPA positions, including the Clean Power Plan. The EPA’s controversial power plan is based on an inadequate understanding of global warming and should not drive our middle class into energy poverty against congressional will.

Based on my experience as the secretary of a State Environmental Department, here are some observations I’d like to offer Ebell for his consideration.

It is critical to understand that while the federal government, through Congress, establishes the overall goals of environmental protection through laws like the Clean Air and Water acts, the implementation of those laws is by state governments.

Consequently, America has made tremendous strides in environmental protection over the last decades. We are breathing cleaner air and have cleaner water than ever before.

State governments and their citizens have demonstrated the ability to implement programs that protect our environment without destroying the very thing that makes environmental protection possible: a strong economy.

Over the last eight years the Obama administration has abandoned this successful approach to environmental protection as envisioned by Congress. Instead, they have turned to special interest groups to drive centralized planning. Prime examples include the 2015 EPA Power Plan and the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.

These rules contain illusory flexibility to states when in reality they represent a huge shift of control from states to the federal government. Even the current administration acknowledged that the power plan was symbolic and would do little to improve air quality.

The power plan would be expensive and shut down energy plants that have not yet been paid for, thereby stranding those costs with ratepayers. It would harm the industrial sector by significantly increasing electricity rates, which would throttle manufacturing industries that require low energy prices to compete.

Similarly, under WOTUS land use decisions would be federalized. Our nation’s agricultural industry would be hamstrung by costly and unnecessary land use restrictions, which would stifle growth opportunities. The expansion of manufacturing, commercial and residential development would be left to federal bureaucrats.

Fortunately, dozens of states and state agencies stood their ground against the federal government and won stays against these rules. In an unprecedented move, the U.S. Supreme Court reached down into an appeals court to place the power plan on hold until the legal challenge against it could be resolved. The waters of the United States  (WOTUS) rule was also stayed. We hope the Trump EPA will review existing rules and base its policy decisions on sound data and measurable results.

History has demonstrated time and again that just as "all politics is local," so is environmental protection. State and local governments know best how to apply the many tools available to protect the environment and public health. In fact, states are responsible for the vast majority of enforcement and write nearly all the permits through which the private sector protects us and our environment. We still need the EPA, but not the EPA of the past.

Research should target specific problems and challenges. We need coordination on industry-level initiatives that cross state lines. However, we must end the idea that more regulation is automatically good and allow state and local experts, not Washington bureaucrats, to improve the environment. It is time to return to the cooperative federalism that Congress intended when writing these laws.

Returning control of our environment to the states also limits the dark money from self-serving lobbyists and deep-pocketed special interest groups masquerading as environmentalists. Almost every major rulemaking under the Obama administration was driven by a sue-and-settle scheme that is designed to allow special interest and federal appointees to write rules in private and exclude citizen involvement. This was evident by the EPA’s shameful use of secret emails whereby high-ranking EPA officials used fictitious email accounts to communicate with special interest groups to avoid the reach of public records.

A thoughtful and knowledgeable individual like Myron Ebell appears to be perfectly suited to lead the transition to a new EPA. His position on climate change is simply one example of his suitability. The EPA does play a role in environmental protection. However, that role, like all federal government, should be limited in order to maximize freedom.



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 November, 2016

Report: carbon emissions flat in last 3 years

This fun on several levels.  If the trend (or lack of it) continues the "fight" is over.  CO2 levels have been stabilized and there is now no further need for action on the global warming front.  We have arrived at where we are going and the temperature  is fine.  Keep the coalfires burning! 

Needless to say, the Warmists are once again taking refuge in prophecy.  Instead of extrapolating from the present situation, which is the only data we have, they are saying:  No, No, No -- Anything but that! You can't take our game away from us like that!  So on the basis of nothing at all they are prophesying a resumption of CO2 rises.  No science there:  Just faith.  They haven't got a clue about climate but they do have faith.

But there's another level on which this is fun.  The Warmists have been proclaiming for the same three years that temperatures are leaping -- with 2015 showing a temperature of a whole degree above the reference period.  And there is an element of truth in that.  But what CAUSED the recent warming?  If there was no increase in CO2 the increase in temperature cannot be due to CO2!  The connection which is the very basis of Warmist theory just did not happen -- again.

The increases which the Green/Left have been proclaiming as proof of a global emergency CANNOT have been due to human activity and must have been due to normal natural phenomena like the El Nino climate cycle.  What a teeth grinder!

But will they really grind their teeth over it?  Unlikely.  They already ignore so many inconvenient facts that ignoring this one will be a breeze

Worldwide emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide have flattened out in the past three years, a new study showed Monday, raising hopes that the world is nearing a turning point in the fight against climate change.

However, the authors of the study cautioned it's unclear whether the slowdown in CO2 emissions, mainly caused by declining coal use in China, is a permanent trend or a temporary blip.

"It is far too early to proclaim we have reached a peak," said co-author Glen Peters, a senior researcher at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo.

The study, published in the journal Earth System Science Data, says global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industry is projected to grow by just 0.2 percent this year.

That would mean emissions have leveled off at about 36 billion metric tons in the past three years even though the world economy has expanded, suggesting the historical bonds between economic gains and emissions growth may have been severed.

"This could be the turning point we have hoped for," said David Ray, a professor of carbon management at the University of Edinburgh, who was not involved with the study. "To tackle climate change those bonds must be broken and here we have the first signs that they are at least starting to loosen."

The authors of the study attributed the slowdown mainly to a decrease in Chinese coal consumption since 2012. Coal is a major source of CO2 emissions.

Chinese emissions were down 0.7 percent in 2015 and are projected to fall 0.5 percent in 2016, the researchers said, though noting that Chinese energy statistics have been plagued by inconsistencies.

Peters said it remains unclear whether the Chinese slowdown was due to a restructuring of the Chinese economy or a sign of economic instability.

"Nevertheless, the unexpected reductions in Chinese emissions give hope that the world's biggest emitter can deliver much more ambitious emission reductions," he said.

China, which accounts for almost 30 percent of global carbon emissions, pledged to peak its emissions around 2030 as part of the global climate pact adopted in Paris last year. Many analysts say China's peak is likely to come much earlier — and may already have occurred.

"The continued decline of China's CO2 emissions, combined with knowledge of structural change in the energy system, does indicate that CO2 emissions from China may have peaked, however a few more years of data is needed to confirm this," said Bill Hare, of Climate Analytics, a separate group that monitors global emissions.

However, even if Chinese emissions have stabilized, emissions in India and other developing countries could push global emissions higher again. India's emissions rose 5 percent in 2015, the study said.

The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States — the world's No. 2 carbon polluter — could also have an impact.

U.S. emissions fell 2.6 percent last year and are projected to drop 1.7 percent this year, as natural gas and renewables displace coal in power generation, the study showed. But it's unclear whether those reductions will continue under Trump, who has pledged to roll back the Obama administration's environmental policies, including the Clean Power Plan, which was meant to reduce carbon pollution from U.S. power plants.

Other researchers not affiliated with the study stressed that it's not enough for global emissions to stabilize; they need to drop toward zero for the world to meet the goals of the Paris deal.

"Worryingly, the reductions pledged by the nations under the Paris Agreement are not sufficient to achieve this," said climate scientist Chris Rapley of University College London.

The agreement calls for limiting warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) or even 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F) compared with pre-industrial times.


Global warming is already changing genes

This is utter rot.  They cannot know just which influences are behind any selective pressure.  It could be fishing, mining, tourism or whatever.  The article is just an exercise in speculation

Global climate change has already impacted every aspect of life on Earth, from genes to entire ecosystems, according to a new study in Science.

"We now have evidence that, with only a ~1 degree Celsius of warming globally, major impacts are already being felt in natural systems," says study lead author Brett Scheffers, an assistant professor in the department of wildlife, ecology and conservation at the University of Florida.

"Some people didn’t expect this level of change for decades."
"Genes are changing, species’ physiology and physical features such as body size are changing, species are shifting their ranges, and we see clear signs of entire ecosystems under stress, all in response to changes in climate on land and in the ocean."

Scheffers and researchers from 10 countries found that more than 80 percent of ecological processes that form the foundation for healthy marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems already show signs of responses to climate change.

"Some people didn’t expect this level of change for decades," says coauthor James Watson of the University of Queensland. "The impacts of climate change are being felt with no ecosystem on Earth being spared."

Many of the impacts on species and ecosystems affect people, according to the authors, with consequences ranging from increased pests and disease outbreaks, unpredictable changes in fisheries, and decreasing agriculture yields.

Why our grandkids will encounter different plants

"Many of the responses we are observing today in nature can help us determine how to fix the mounting issues that people face under changing climate conditions," Scheffers says. "For example, by understanding the adaptive capacity in nature, we can apply these same principles to our crops, livestock, and aquacultural species."

"Current global climate change agreements aim to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius," says Wendy Foden, coauthor and chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission’s Climate Change Specialist Group. "We’re showing that there are already broad and serious impacts from climate change right across biological systems."


Republicans plan multi-billion dollar climate budget raid

The winds of change following the US election are about to blow through the well-funded – up to now at least – world of climate-related bureaucracy, as CCN mournfully reports.
US Republicans are expected to axe billions of dollars in climate finance when they take the White House and Congress in January.

Funds to help poor countries adapt to the impacts of global warming and develop sustainably will be redirected to domestic priorities.

"We are going to cancel billions in payments to the UN climate change programmes and use the money to fix America’s water and environmental infrastructure," said President-elect Donald Trump in his 22 October Gettysburg address. With a Republican majority in the Senate and House of Representatives, there appears to be little standing in his way.

Rachel Kyte, head of the UN’s Sustainable Energy for All programme, said Trump did not have a mandate to reverse US climate finance commitments. "All developed countries made promises," she said. "A promise made has to be a promise kept."

Notably, the US promised $3 billion towards the UN-backed Green Climate Fund, of which just $500m has been delivered. The outstanding sum is a major chunk of the $10bn seed money donated to the flagship scheme.

UN institutions are also vulnerable. The Republicans have been gunning for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) since it accepted Palestine as a full party earlier this year.

They say continuing to fund it clashes with domestic law supportive to Israel – an argument Barack Obama rejected.

"It would be illegal for the President to follow through on his intention to provide millions in funding for the UNFCCC and hundreds of millions for its Green Climate Fund," says the Republican platform.

A US exit would leave a $4m hole in the UNFCCC’s annual budget, more than a fifth of the total.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which periodically compiles a mass of scientific evidence on the dangerous impacts of global warming and its human causes, also comes under attack.

It is "a political mechanism, not an unbiased scientific institution", says the Republican manifesto. "Its unreliability is reflected in its intolerance toward scientists and others who dissent from its orthodoxy. We will evaluate its recommendations accordingly."

Contributing $5m over the past five years, the US is the biggest backer of the IPCC. While the Republicans don’t explicitly threaten to end that, their hostility does not bode well.


Record Global Cooling Over The Last Eight Months

Over the last eight months, global temperatures over land have cooled a record 1.2 C. November is seeing record cold in Russia and South Australia, so we should see the record cooling trend continue.

As temperatures cool at a record pace, experts say global warming is now unstoppable.

People in Russia might tend to disagree with this assessment.


New Regs Ignore Fact Fracking Doesn't Taint Well Water

Energy: New federal regulations on fracking on public land ignore a study documenting that methane found in well water is unrelated to the location of hydraulically fractured oil and gas wells.

When the Obama administration recently released its new regulations on fracking — regulations that it said were needed to keep up with the advance and success of the decades-old technology to meet public safety needs — the Independent Petroleum Association of America and Western Energy Alliance immediately filed suit, saying that the new regs were based on "unsubstantiated concerns" that lacked any scientific basis.

"Hydraulic fracturing has been conducted safely and responsibly in the United States for over 60 years," noted IPAA president Barry Russell, who also pointed out the impact of the new regulations on job and economic growth. Fracking has produced an oil and natural gas boom, making them energy sources of the future, not the past.

The Obama administration doesn't like fracking and wishes that fracking would just go away so it can go on subsidizing the Solyndras of the world. But Russell is right: Fracking is safe, and the new study proves that any concerns are politically motivated fear-mongering.

Published online in late March in Environmental Science and Technology, the study focused on 11,309 drinking wells in northeastern Pennsylvania. It found that background levels of methane in well water are unrelated to the location of oil and gas wells drilled using fracking technology.

The study calls into question the validity of studies released in 2011 and 2013, touted by the White House and its environmentalist base as proving the dangers of fracking. But these studies involved selected groups of only 60 and 141 domestic well samples from wells near Dimock, Pa.

As we noted in June of 2013 ("EPA Covers Up The Safety Of Fracking"), Dimock was the centerpiece of "Promised Land," a film financed by a company owned by the United Arab Emirates that did nothing to alter Hollywood's stereotype of businessmen — particularly energy-industry executives — as greedy plunderers of the planet.

The oil and natural gas boom from the shale of the Bakken Formation in North Dakota and the Marcellus in, yes, Pennsylvania, threatens the Emirates and other OPEC members.

Critics of the new study will point out that Chesapeake Energy, which has large oil and gas interests in Pennsylvania, provided the database for the researchers. But they did not provide the conclusions, and we think a study from a team led by hydrologist Donald Siegel of Syracuse University has more credibility than a film starring Matt Damon and financed by OPEC.

Siegel does not dispute that there may be occasional individual instances of well contamination due to poor construction and faulty casings. But he points to a 2014 study that found that just 0.24% of the thousands of wells in northeast Pennsylvania were ever given citations for well water contaminated with methane.

Speaking of his mega-study vs. the 2011 and 2013 selected samplings, Siegel says: "I would argue that (more than) 10,000 data points really tell a better story."

Shale formations in which fracking is used are thousands of feet deep. Drinking-water aquifers are generally only a hundred feet deep. There's a lot of solid rock in between. And as we've said, the technology is not new, with the first well employing fracking being drilled in Oklahoma in 1947.

As noted by Energy in Depth, a petroleum-industry research, education and outreach campaign, CO2 emissions are at their lowest in 20 years due to greater use of natural gas from fracking — part of an energy boom creating thousands of jobs and enhancing energy security.



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

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


14 November, 2016

Elitist Journal Rejects Skeptic Study As ‘Not Helpful’ To Climate Cult

A scientific study which suggests global warming has been exaggerated was rejected by a respected journal because it might fuel climate scepticism, it was claimed last night.

The alarming intervention, which raises fears of ‘McCarthyist’ pressure for environmental scientists to conform, came after a reviewer said the research was ‘less than helpful’ to the climate cause. professor

Professor Lennart Bengtsson, a research fellow at the University of Reading and one of five authors of the study, said he suspected that intolerance of dissenting views on climate science was preventing his paper from being published.

‘The problem we now have in the climate community is that some scientists are mixing up their scientific role with that of a climate activist,’ he told the Times.

Prof Bengtsson’s paper suggests that the Earth’s environment might be much less sensitive to greenhouse gases than previously thought. If he and his four co-authors are correct, it would mean that carbon dioxide and other pollutants are having a far less severe impact on climate than green activists would have us believe.

The research, if made public, would be a huge challenge to the finding of the UN’s Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change (IPCC), that the global average temperature would rise by up to 4.5C if greenhouse gases in the atmosphere were allowed to double.

The paper suggested that the climate might be less sensitive to greenhouse gases than had been claimed by the IPCC in its report last September, and recommended that more work be carried out ‘to reduce the underlying uncertainty’.

The five contributing scientists submitted the paper to Environmental Research Letters – a highly regarded journal – but were told it had been rejected. A scientist asked by the journal to assess the paper under the peer review process reportedly wrote: ‘It is harmful as it opens the door for oversimplified claims of "errors" and worse from the climate sceptics media side.’

Prof Bengtsson, 79, said it was ‘utterly unacceptable’ to advise against publishing a paper on the political grounds. He said: ‘It is an indication of how science is gradually being influenced by political views. The reality hasn’t been keeping up with the [computer] models.

‘If people are proposing to do major changes to the world’s economic system we must have much more solid information.’

Next year the UN hopes to broker an international agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, a replacement for the Kyoto Protocol which would impose legally binding targets on every country. The last attempt, at the Copenhagen conference in 2009, ended in disaster, with recriminations flying and all chances of a deal in tatters.

The Paris conference in December 2015 is thought by many politicians to be the last realistic chance for a deal to be made if disastrous climate change is to be averted. A controversy at this stage risks putting the science which underpins the negotiations at doubt, something many – not least politicians in Britain and the US – will be keen to avoid.

The publisher of the Environmental Research Letters journal last night said Professor Bengtsson’s paper had been rejected because it contained errors and did not sufficiently advance the science.

A spokesman for IOP Publishing said: ‘The paper, co-authored by Lennart Bengtsson, was originally submitted to Environmental Research Letters as a research Letter.

‘This was peer-reviewed by two independent reviewers, who reported that the paper contained errors and did not provide a significant advancement in the field, and therefore failed to meet the journal’s required acceptance criteria.

‘As a consequence, the independent reviewers recommended that the paper should not be published in the journal which led to the final editorial decision to reject the paper.’


Now comes the hard, fun and vital part

"Making America great again" requires deep-sixing punitive energy and environmental rules

Paul Driessen

The American people have roundly rejected a third Obama term and legacy of deplorable policies that were too often imposed via executive edicts, with minimal attempts to work with Congress or the states.

This election shows that hard-working Americans do not want their country and its constitutional, energy and economic systems "fundamentally transformed." They want America to be great and exceptional again. They want all people to live under the same laws and have the same opportunities, rights and responsibilities for making their lives, families, communities and nation better than they found them.

We the People also made it clear that we have had a bellyful of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats, media moguls and intellectual elites dictating what we can read, think and say, how we may worship, what insurance and doctors can have, what rules, jobs and living standards we must live with.

With the elections over, the truly difficult tasks lie before us. Filling Supreme Court vacancies with jurists who believe in our Constitution, repealing and replacing ObamaCare, reforming the politicized IRS, DOJ and FBI, immigration issues, and fixing the VA and incomprehensible tax code are all high on every list.

However, abundant, reliable, affordable energy remains the foundation of modern civilization, jobs, health and prosperity. So these suggestions for President Trump’s first years focus on critical tasks that can be accomplished by his Executive Branch alone or in conjunction with Congress and the states.

As you read them, thousands of politicians, regulators, scientists and activists are gathered for yet another "climate conference," this time in Marrakech, Morocco. They are shocked and despondent over the election results, and worried that the Trump Administration won’t support their agenda. They’re right.

Under the guise of preventing "dangerous manmade climate change" and compensating poor countries for alleged "losses and damages" due to climate and weather caused by rich country fossil fuel use, they had planned to control the world’s energy supplies and living standards, replace capitalism with a new UN-centered global economic order, and redistribute wealth from those who create it to those who want it. So:

Job One) Let the assembled delegates and world know America has a president – and a Congress – not a king. Suspend and defund any initiatives and orders issued under the Paris climate treaty, and send it to the Senate for Advice and Consent (and assured rejection) under Article II of the Constitution. Its impacts are so onerous and far-reaching that it is clearly a "treaty" within the meaning of our founding document, even if President Obama prefers to call it a "nonbinding agreement" to avoid Senate review.

2) Review the assertions, models, "homogenized" data, science and research behind the multitude of climate and renewable energy mandates – to see if they reflect Real World empirical evidence. Many, most or all will be found to be biased, wildly exaggerated, faulty, falsified or fraudulent.

The recent listing of polar bears as "endangered" was based on junk science and GIGO computer models that claim manmade global warming will send the bears’ record population numbers into oblivion. EPA’s Clean Power Plan assumes shutting down US coal-fired power plants will stop climate change, even if China, India and other countries build thousands of new coal-fueled generators over the next 20 years.

The all-encompassing "social cost of carbon" scheme attributes every imaginable harm to carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels. It ignores the incredible benefits of carbon-based energy, and dismisses the horrendous impacts that abandoning these fuels would have on human health and welfare.

Every one of these EPA, Interior and other regulatory diktats assumes that CO2 has suddenly replaced the powerful natural forces that have driven climate fluctuations throughout Earth’s history – and ignores this miracle molecule’s role in making crops, forests and grasslands grow faster and better, with less water.

As reviews are completed, agenda-driven rules and executive orders should be suspended, rescinded and defunded, so that they are no longer part of the $1.9 trillion regulatory drag on job and economic growth.

Grants for biased research can be terminated, agency personnel assigned to climate programs can be reassigned, and those found falsifying data or engaging in other corrupt practices should be punished.

3) A recent White House report lists $21.4 billion in annual spending on climate research and renewable energy programs. That’s in addition to EPA and other federal agency regulatory budgets – and on top of the burdensome impacts the programs have had on families, businesses, jobs and our future.

Terminating biased, needless or punitive programs would go a long way toward balancing the budget and getting our nation back on track. Ending crony corporatist deal-making, power grabbing and enrichment schemes would ensure that The Billionaire’s Club and its government and industry allies no longer have access to taxpayer billions, no longer have a stranglehold on our energy and economy, and no longer get still richer on the backs of American workers, taxpayers and consumers.

4) Revise Endangered Species Act provisions and regulations to require that any listings, permit denials or penalties reflect honest empirical science – not computer models or baseless assertions. Exemptions for bird and bat-killing wind turbines must no longer be permitted, and ESA rules must be applied with equal force to all projects, not just drilling, mining, pipelines, power plants, grazing and timber cutting.

5) Approve the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines; end the obstructionism and finish the projects. Standing Rock Sioux Indians had multiple opportunities to participate in the review process, but refused to do so. Now they and Soros-supported radicals are preventing work, destroying expensive equipment, butchering ranchers’ cattle and bison, and harassing local families. This can no longer be tolerated.

6) Prohibit and terminate sue-and-settle lawsuits, under which activists and regulators collude to secure a sympathetic judge’s order implementing regulations that they all want. (Or initiate a series of sue-and-settle actions by energy and manufacturing interests against Trump agencies – and then stop the practice!)

7) Reform the 1906 Antiquities Act. Intended to protect small areas of historic or scenic value, it has been abused too often to place millions of acres off limits to energy development and other economic uses, by presidential edict. Losing Senate candidate Katie McGinty engineered a massive land lock-up in Utah that double-crossed the state’s governor and congressional delegation, and even President Clinton.

Congress must more clearly define its purposes, limit the acreage that can be designated by presidential decree, and provide for congressional review and approval of all decisions.

8) Reform the Environmental Protection Agency, and devolve many of its powers and responsibilities back to the states, under a consortium representing all 50 state EPAs. We have won the major pollution battles that EPA was created to address. Now we must devote appropriate funding and personnel to real remaining environmental problems – and shrink or terminate Obama-era agenda-driven programs.

Recent EPA actions on climate, air quality, human experiments, the Clean Power Plan, the war on coal, and "waters of the United States" were used to expand its budget, personnel, and powers over the nation’s environment, energy and economy. EPA needs a shorter leash, less money and a smaller staff.

9) Shrink the renewable energy programs, and jumpstart onshore and offshore leasing, drilling, fracking and mining on federally managed lands. America can again produce the fossil fuel blessings that lifted billions out of poverty, disease and early death – and created jobs, prosperity, health, living standards and life spans unimaginable barely a century ago. We should also encourage other nations to do likewise.

10) If President Obama finishes his term with a tsunami of regulations and executive orders, it should be met with similar suspend, defund and rescind reactions. Mr. Obama, congressional Democrats and their riot-prone base should understand that programs and rules imposed with the stroke of a pen, and without the support of Congress and the American people, can and should also be undone with the stroke of a pen.

Without these difficult but necessary (and fun) steps, it will be very hard to make America great again.

Via email

Tears, angst as EPA workforce braces for Trump takeover

U.S. EPA employees were in tears. Worried Energy Department staffers were offered counseling. Some federal employees were so depressed, they took time off. Others might retire early.

And some employees are in downright panic mode in the aftermath of Donald Trump's victory.

"People are upset. Some people took the day off because they were depressed," said John O'Grady, president of American Federation of Government Employees Council 238, a union that represents thousands of EPA employees. After Election Day, "people were crying," added O'Grady, who works in EPA's Region 5 office in Chicago. "They were recommending that people take sick leave and go home."

EPA employees stand to see some of the most drastic changes under the Trump administration, and they may be taking things a bit harder than other government workers.

The president-elect has vowed to repeal some of the rules they've toiled on for the last eight years during the Obama administration, including the Clean Power Plan rule to cut power plants' greenhouse gas emissions.

Trump has even suggested abolishing the agency entirely, although that would be an uphill political climb. Trump has picked a top climate change skeptic to lead his EPA transition team — Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute — and has promised sweeping reforms in the agency that's long been a target for industry groups and Republicans who say its rules overreach.

"If you look at the seven stages of grief, I'm still in denial. I will not look at the news. I will not read the news," said an EPA career employee.

Another EPA staffer said, "I don't actually know anybody here that was supporting Trump." That person said people are "worried" that their work over the last eight years will be unraveled. "It's always a time of uncertainty" when a new administration comes in, the employee said, and there were fears when the George W. Bush administration came into office, too. But "people are more worried this time," the person added.

Silvia Saracco, head of a union chapter that represents EPA employees in North Carolina's Research Triangle Park, said, "There is a lot of angst out there, nervousness."

Some DOE employees are feeling glum, too.

"I think it's a sadness and a worry about just how far someone will go, especially when you never believe anything he says," said one longtime Energy Department employee. "Many of us have worked in both the Bush and the Obama administrations, and I don't think that we feel like it will be like just going back to Bush again."

The DOE employee added, "We know that now more than ever, it is important to do whatever we can to do a good job in the areas that we care about. ... What we can do is not lose sight of whatever ideals brought us to this work in the first place."

One Fish and Wildlife Service employee witnessed "business as usual" after the election, although, "obviously, there was some surprise."

Most federal employees "will work for whomever is elected," that person said. "That's just part of what I've always believed, that we should not be extremely emotional about it, certainly not in our public life."

Mass exodus?

There's been speculation that many of Trump's critics in the federal workforce might opt to leave or retire early.

"If [Trump] starts doing rotten things, then people will say, 'Enough of this crap,'" said O'Grady. "You might see retirements from people who say, 'Why bother working there anyway?'"

Saracco worked at EPA during the Reagan administration. "There was a big exodus" then, she said.

Several also noted that EPA has an aging workforce like other government agencies — about 31 percent of the federal workforce is eligible to retire. In addition, according to this year's Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, 3.57 percent of EPA employees plan to retire within the year, while another 10.76 percent plan to retire within one to three years.

"Whenever there is a change of administration, career officials that are retirement eligible take stock and decide what to do next, even if you agree with the party coming in," said Joe Edgell, senior vice president of National Treasury Employees Union Chapter 280, which also represents EPA employees.

"Do I think a lot of people are going to retire? Well, yeah," Edgell said. "Could it be higher than normal? We have to see what happens."

Government workers have expressed worry about a Trump victory in the past. A poll by the Government Business Council released earlier this year found that 14 percent of responding federal employees said they would consider leaving government service if the GOP nominee won, while another 11 percent answered "maybe" (Greenwire, Feb. 1).

By and large, agency employees say they and their colleagues are planning to stick around — at least for a while.

"They're going to try to work from within as much as possible and do their job," Saracco said. "That's what we're supposed to do as civil servants, ... not have people who politically are going back and forth."

She's been trying to console worried workers by reminding them that they've lived through changing administrations before.

"We all have to keep in mind that we are federal employees, we swear allegiance to the Constitution, and we are executive branch employees. Whoever wins the election is who gives us the direction that we're to go in. That's our job," Saracco said.

She also cautioned that it isn't clear yet what exactly a Trump administration will do in office.

"There's a lot of rhetoric that takes place on the campaign trail. We all have to remember that," she said. "Let's not assume we know. We need to see what's going to happen."

EPA managers have stressed to staff to stay professional and work with Trump's transition team. In an agencywide email after the election, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy emphasized that there should be a smooth transition

After Trump's inauguration in January, "I will be coming to work and continue to be paid for the work that I do," said the career EPA employee. "Whether I like it, whether they like it, that remains to be seen."

Another EPA career employee said the agency has been able to function under prior Republican administrations.

"We have been through Reagan, got through [George W. Bush]. We will get through this."


Defy 'Stalinist' global warming rules and burn much more coal, says Trump's key economic adviser

Regulations on climate change are ‘Stalinistic’. And America can earn more than $100billion from global companies by cutting their tax rates.

If this sounds like the extreme rhetoric of America’s President-elect Donald Trump, that’s because they are the words of his senior economic adviser, Stephen Moore.

A former adviser to the Reagan administration, Moore has the ear of ‘The Donald’ on economic issues.

Speaking to The Mail on Sunday just hours after Trump’s election victory, he outlined a vision for the US and world economy that will fuel fury among critics, but may also calm fears that the planet’s biggest economy may be about to close its doors on the world. And there was good news for Britain as he hailed the idea of a US-UK trade deal.

As well as having worked for Reagan when he was only in his 20s, Moore has sat on the board of the Wall Street Journal and is chief economist for the US think-tank the Heritage Foundation.

And he is in no doubt that the rest of the world will be affected by Trump’s Presidency. ‘If we get it wrong, the whole world gets it wrong,’ he declares. ‘But I think this is going to be like the 1980s. We are going to get it right. And the rest of the world will follow. Britain and France and Spain and other nations will say, "Ah, that’s what you do! You cut taxes. You get regulations off the back of business."

‘This could be the start of an expansion like we saw in the 1980s and 1990s – the greatest period of wealth creation and poverty reduction in the history of mankind.’


Washington State voters reject carbon tax

Washington voters gave an overwhelming thumbs down Tuesday to a citizen initiative to impose a direct tax on carbon emissions. But that doesn’t look to be the end of the story on regulating global warming pollution at the state level.

With much of the vote now tallied in Washington state, the nation’s first voter initiative to create a carbon tax is going down 59 to 41 percent. The campaign director for the opposition to Initiative 732 said the discussion on climate and energy policy is not over in the state.

"We believe that we have an obligation to act and to do what is right," said Brandon Houskeeper from the Association of Washington Business. "The question is how do we come up with a pathway that is commensurate with Washington’s contribution to a global problem. I think it requires us having a broad table."

In the short term, the action shifts to the courtroom. Industry associations are hoping to strike down separate Inslee administration global warming pollution regulations. The main feature of the state’s new Clean Air Rule is a gradually tightening cap on emissions from the state’s biggest sources.

Further down the road, another initiative that taxes carbon pollution is a possibility, but an alliance behind that said in a statement Wednesday that it will first take a stab at passing something through the 2017 Washington Legislature.

The labor and environmental group-backed Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy posted a summary of a revised legislative proposal Tuesday. It would put an escalating price on carbon emissions and use the proceeds to support alternative energy projects as well as "investments" to mitigate effects of climate change on forests and vulnerable communities.

"With everything else the legislature has on its plate … the climate proposal will face an uphill battle," Washington Environmental Council President Becky Kelley acknowledged.

But in light of the election of climate change skeptic Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, "State level action is where it’s going to be at," Kelley said.

If there were to be another ballot measure, Washington State Labor Council President Jeff Johnson said he would target the general election two years hence. "2017 would be nearly impossible to pull off," Johnson said in an interview. "2018 is more appropriate time wise."

"It’s a dark moment for the climate landscape," said state Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, a Democrat from Seattle, reflecting on the election fallout Wednesday. In a subsequent email, Fitzgibbon shed some of his glumness.

"Voters have shown, by reelecting Gov. Inslee and electing a pro-climate action majority in the (state) House, that we are ready for climate action in Washington," Fitzgibbon wrote.

"Carbon Washington will continue as an organization," said Joe Ryan, co-chair of the group that sponsored the failed Initiative 732. "Our grassroots base is our strength. We are energized to continue our work on carbon pricing in the state legislature, and to promote effective, equitable, economically sound and politically viable carbon pricing in other states and in Washington, D.C."



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13 November, 2016

Behind the Furious Green/Left protests at the Trump triumph

The screaming will get louder. The Greenies know full well that the Trump win means that we have bought 8 or more years of time to study Climate Change. The truth will be determined and it will not be too late to react if indeed the world has to do something to counter Climate Change.

Many of the pundits screaming for CO2 reductions will be gone, having given up or dead. This world wide movement to suppress the expansion of wealthy, healthy countries will end. Cheap available energy is the single most important element to the reduction of poverty.

Why the death of coral reefs could be devastating for millions of humans

It certainly would be detrimental, though well within the human capacity to adapt.  But will it happen? Coral recovers quickly from bleaching and at Bikini atoll it even survived a thermonuclear hit on it!  If an H-bomb didn't kill it off, what would? Coral reefs have been around for millions of years and in some cases are today right where they always were.

They are however surrounded by Green/Left lies.  Australian Greenies claim that reef damage is caused by agricultural runoff.  Problem:  The current bleaching event on the Great Barrier Reef is on its Northern third, along the coast of the Cape York Peninsula  -- and there are virtually no farms there.  Isn't reality pesky?

Coral does undergo bleaching from time to time in response to various stressors but bleaching is a defence mechanism, not death.

And even the first sentence below is a laugh.  Oceans CANNOT be both warmer and more acidic at the same time.  Warmer oceans outgas CO2, which is the alleged cause of the acidity. Just open a warm can of Coke someday if you doubt it. Physicists call it Henry's law.  There's no such thing as an honest Greenie as far as I can see.  You believe anything they say at your peril

Coral reefs around the globe already are facing unprecedented damage due to warmer and more acidic oceans. It’s not a problem that just affects the marine life that depends on them or deep-sea divers who visit them.

If carbon dioxide emissions continue to fuel the planet’s rising temperature, the widespread loss of coral reefs by 2050 could have devastating consequences for tens of millions of people, according to research published Wednesday in the scientific journal PLOS.

To better understand where those losses would hit hardest, an international group of researchers mapped places where people most need reefs for their livelihoods, particularly for fishing and tourism, as well as for shoreline protection. They combined those maps with others showing where coral reefs are most under stress from warming seas and ocean acidification.

Countries in Southeast Asia such as Indonesia, Thailand, and Philippines would bear the brunt of the damage, the scientists found. So would coastal communities in western Mexico and parts of Australia, Japan, and Saudi Arabia. The problem would affect countries as massive as China and as small as the tiny island nation of Nauru in the South Pacific.

In many places, the loss of coral reefs would amount to an economic disaster, depriving fishermen of their main source of income, forcing people to find more expensive forms of protein, and undermining the tourism industry.

"It means jobs for lots of people," said Linwood Pendleton, the study’s lead author and an international chair at the European Institute of Marine Studies.

In addition, many countries depend on coral reefs as a key barrier to guard against incoming storms and mitigate the damage done by surging seas. Without healthy reefs, "you lose what is essentially a moving, undersea sea wall," said Pendleton, who estimated that about 62 million people live less than 33 feet above sea level and less than two miles from a coral reef. "The waves just come into shore full force. That can cause loss of life. It can cause loss of property."

Some of the countries most dependent on coral reefs are also among the largest polluters.

"Some of the places that have the most to lose . . . are also among the biggest carbon emitters," Pendleton said. "They really have it in their power to bring down the levels of carbon" they emit into the atmosphere.

Other countries that rely heavily on reefs, such as Fiji or Papua New Guinea, have relatively small carbon footprints. Still, Pendleton said they can take other measures — including not overfishing and avoiding pollution — to prevent putting further pressure on already stressed reefs.

The researchers acknowledged more study is needed to better understand both what is happening to coral reefs around the globe and how that will affect humans. But it can be difficult, they noted, because "carrying out science and data collection in many of the coral reef regions most at risk of global environmental change is a challenge." Many regions lack the capacity to do routine data collection, and scientists often have trouble getting permission to sample in coastal areas or where maritime jurisdictions are disputed.

While coral reefs traditionally have been resilient in the face of environmental pressures, mounting evidence suggests their ability to bounce back is limited.

This fall, scientists reported that substantial swaths of the Great Barrier Reef — the world’s largest coral reef system, located off Australia —might have died in the wake of a historic coral-bleaching event.

"The mortality is really devastating," Andrew Hoey, a senior research fellow with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University in Queensland, told the Post last month as scientists worked to catalog the damage. "It’s a lot higher than we had hoped."

Earlier This spring, researchers discovered that parts of Florida’s coral reef tract — the largest reef in the continental United States and the third-largest barrier reef ecosystem in the world — are actually dissolving into the water, likely because of the effects of ocean acidification.

Meanwhile, reefs around the US territory of Guam and other nearby islands, in what is known as the Marianas archipelago, have suffered from coral-bleaching events every year since 2013.

And there’s been no sign of a break this summer. After a recent dive in Guam’s Tumon Bay, coral ecologist Laurie Raymundo took to Facebook to describe her shock at the devastation.

"I consider myself to be fairly objective and logical about science," wrote Raymundo, of the University of Guam. "But sometimes that approach fails me. Today, for the first time in the 50 years I’ve been in the water, I cried for an hour, right into my mask, as I witnessed the extent to which our lovely Tumon Bay corals were bleaching and dying."


Trump win opens way for China to take climate leadership role (?)

This is a lot of wishful thinking.  China will do what is in the best interests of China: Nothing more, nothing less.  China's apparent agreement with global warming in recent years is a clever game.  What just about ALL Chinese want is a reduction in particulate and acidic pollution.  And to get there the best way is to reduce reliance on coal and build nukes instead -- which is what China is doing.

So China harvests good will by doing what the Greenies want -- reducing coal usage -- but doing it for Chinese reasons, not Greenie reasons.  Any CO2 reduction is in fact completely incidental to China's policy.  Reducing coal usage fits Chinese aims and just coincidentally fits Greenie aims

The election of climate change skeptic Donald Trump as president is likely to end the U.S. leadership role in the international fight against global warming and may lead to the emergence of a new and unlikely champion: China.

China worked closely with the administration of outgoing President Barack Obama to build momentum ahead of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. The partnership of the two biggest greenhouse gas emitters helped get nearly 200 countries to support the pact at the historic meet in France's capital.

By contrast, Trump has called global warming a hoax created by China to give it an economic advantage and said he plans to remove the United States from the historic climate agreement, as well as reverse many of Obama's measures to combat climate change.

He has appointed noted climate change skeptic Myron Ebell to help lead transition planning for the Environmental Protection Agency, which has crafted the administration’s major environmental regulations such as the Clean Power Plan and efficiency standards for cars and trucks.

Beijing is poised to cash in on the goodwill it could earn by taking on leadership in dealing with what for many other governments is one of the most urgent issues on their agenda.

"Proactively taking action against climate change will improve China's international image and allow it to occupy the moral high ground," Zou Ji, deputy director of the National Centre for Climate Change Strategy and a senior Chinese climate talks negotiator, told Reuters.

Zou said that if Trump abandons efforts to implement the Paris agreement, "China's influence and voice are likely to increase in global climate governance, which will then spill over into other areas of global governance and increase China's global standing, power and leadership."

Chen Zhihua, a representative of the Chinese delegation and official in the climate change division of the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's economic planning agency, said Chinese and other countries' efforts will not change if the United States withdraws from the agreement.


Donald Trump Follows on Promise to Gut the Environmental Protection Agency With His Choice of Transition Leader

Fabulous.  Ebell is as good a skeptic as you get

In debates and speeches leading up to the election, President-elect Donald Trump had promised to "get rid of [the Environmental Protection Agency] in almost every form" and to "cancel" the United States’ commitment to the international Paris Agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. signed the Paris Agreement earlier this year.

Now that he’s won, how serious is Trump about accomplishing these goals? In his pick to lead the administration transition for the EPA— unearthed in September by Energy & Environment Daily—it seems he’s intent on keeping his word. Trump chose Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Here’s how Energy & Environment Daily describes him:

Ebell is a well-known and polarizing figure in the energy and environment realm. His participation in the EPA transition signals that the Trump team is looking to drastically reshape the climate policies the agency has pursued under the Obama administration. Ebell’s role is likely to infuriate environmentalists and Democrats but buoy critics of Obama’s climate rules.

Ebell, who was dubbed an "elegant nerd" and a "policy wonk" by Vanity Fair, is known for his prolific writings that question what he calls climate change "alarmism." …

Ebell has called the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan for greenhouse gases illegal and said that Obama joining the Paris climate treaty "is clearly an unconstitutional usurpation of the Senate’s authority."

Trump has also chosen Ebell’s counterparts for the Department of Energy and the Department of the Interior, Energy & Environment Daily reports.

Mike McKenna, a Republican lobbyist and veteran of George H.W. Bush’s Department of Energy, will assist Trump. David Bernhardt, a natural resources lawyer who has worked in the George W. Bush administration, will transition the Department of the Interior.


Is EPA's Clean Power Plan "Transformative"?

In an October 31st  letter to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, National Mining Association attorney Peter Glaser provides new evidence that "EPA far understated the effects of the Clean Power Plan (CPP) by exaggerating the amount of coal generation that will retire even without the rule." Ironically, the smoking gun is the agency’s own updated modeling, albeit for a different regulation—the Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR).

Glaser’s argument may be summarized as follows:

The Environmental Protection Agency’s "base case" (the future absent the CPP) indicated that "in 2016, 20 percent of U.S. coal capacity would disappear even if the rule were not adopted, reducing coal generation to 214 gigawatts (GW)."

However, the agency’s just-published CSAPR Update eliminates the "phantom retirements" assumed in the CPP base case. Agency modeling "now shows 268 GW of coal generation for 2016."

EPA is now pretty much on the same page as the Energy Information Administration (EIA), which recently reported 272 GW of coal generation in service as of August 2016.

EPA estimates coal generation "must decline to 174-183 GW to meet CPP requirements."

That means coal capacity must decline by "about one third."
The new data confirm Obama administration boasts—denied, however, in EPA’s briefs before the Court—that the CPP "will transform the power sector."

For links and documentation, see my post on GlobalWarming.Org. For a witty debunking of EPA’s fuzzy math, see Stephen Eule’s commentary on the Institute for 21st Century Energy blog.

Why does this matter? At the outset of the CPP oral argument, Judge Thomas Griffith challenged West Virginia Solicitor General Elbert Lin to explain why the CPP is "transformative." The term harks back to the Supreme Court’s 2014 ruling in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA (2014), a case also dealing with the scope of EPA’s authority to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2).

In Utility Air, the Court ruled that EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule was "unreasonable because it would it would bring about an enormous and transformative expansion in EPA’s regulatory authority without clear congressional authorization." There is obviously no clear congressional authorization for the Power Plan, but Griffith and his colleague Judge David Tatel suggested the absence of a "clear statement" by Congress is irrelevant unless the CPP is "transformative."

Judge Griffith cited EPA’s estimate that the Power Plan would reduce coal generation "only  . . .  five percent" below baseline projections:

How is it transformative when the change to the coal industry will actually only be a five percent difference between the rule being administered and there being no rule at all? By 2030, apparently 32 percent of power plants will be coal operated without the rule, 27 percent will be coal operated with the rule; that hardly sounds transformative [p. 6].

Glaser’s letter provides a partial rejoinder. EPA’s current modeling indicates the CPP will shut down an additional 11-13 percent of current coal generation capacity, more than double what the agency told the court.

However, Griffith was dismissive when Mr. Lin, citing EIA modeling, argued the Power Plan would reduce coal capacity by 10 percent below baseline projections: "[Y]ou’re talking about a marginal difference, some experts say a five percent difference, your experts say 10 percent difference, by 2030, that doesn’t seem to me to be transformative."

With all due respect, Judges Griffith and Tatel miss the point. To begin with, an unauthorized regulation does not have to be "transformative" to be unlawful. "Transformative" just makes an "unauthorized" rulemaking a more egregious case of bureaucratic overreach. Any legislative rule lacking an express or clearly implied delegation of power from Congress is unlawful.

In the second place, a rule need not have large short-term material or financial impacts to be "transformative." Far more important are the rule’s lasting impacts on national policy, the economy, and constitutional balances.

In Utility Air, the Court elaborated on the meaning of "transformative" as follows:

When an agency claims to discover in a long-extant statute an unheralded power to regulate "a significant portion of the American economy," Brown & Williamson, 529 U. S., at 159, we typically greet its announcement with a measure of skepticism. We expect Congress to speak clearly if it wishes to assign to an agency decisions of vast "economic and political signifi­cance."

EPA’s adoption of the Power Plan is clearly a matter of vast "economic and political significance." For starters, the CPP is not just a rule, it is a regulatory framework. The 2022-2030 CPP compliance period is just Phase 1. Subsequent rulemakings will surely marginalize if not eliminate fossil generation. As petitioners point out in their core issues reply brief (p. 7), "EPA claims the power to require States to enforce emission reductions that are premised on changing the nation’s mix of electric generation—a power that would permit EPA to effectively ban the sources of generation it disfavors."

That assessment is not alarmist. The CPP’s prerequisite rulemaking, EPA’s so-called "carbon pollution standards" for new power plants, effectively bans investment in new coal generation. It does so by basing the standards on a technology—carbon capture and storage—that is prohibitively costly and plagued with technical problems. EPA acknowledges the CPP’s current requirements will have no discernible climate impact. That obviously implies the need for more aggressive action down the road.

So the transformative character of the CPP should not be assessed by coal market shares in 2030. What matters is the precedent it sets, the policy dynamic it unleashes, and the economic developments the new policy trajectory permits and precludes. Under the CPP, coercive de-carbonization becomes the central organizing principle of federal and state regulation of electricity. Is that not a momentous change in national policy? The CPP as a framework will channel and constrain untold billions of dollars in energy-related investment.  

The CPP also entails a fundamental shift in political power from Congress and the states to EPA. The CPP mandates the replacement of fossil energy with renewables regardless of the policy preferences of Congress, state legislatures, governors, and state electorates. The rule usurps states’ authority over power-sector resource planning and development and Congress’s authority to determine national policy on energy and the environment. A rule that undermines both federalism and the separation of powers is by definition "transformative."


Nobody really takes global warming seriously

A partly realistic Warmist writes below

One of the morbidly fascinating aspects of climate change is how much cognitive dissonance it generates, in individuals and nations alike.

The more you understand the brutal logic of climate change — what it could mean, the effort necessary to forestall it — the more the intensity of the situation seems out of whack with the workaday routines of day-to-day life. It’s a species-level emergency, but almost no one is acting like it is. And it’s very, very difficult to be the only one acting like there’s an emergency, especially when the emergency is abstract and science-derived, grasped primarily by the intellect.

This psychological schism is true for individuals, and it’s true for nations. Take the Paris climate agreement.

In Paris, in 2015, the countries of the world agreed (again) on the moral imperative to hold the rise in global average temperature to under 2 degrees Celsius, and to pursue "efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees." To date, 62 countries, including the United States, China, and India, have ratified the agreement.

Are any of the countries that signed the Paris agreement taking the actions necessary to achieve that target?

No. The US is not. Nor is the world as a whole.

The actions necessary to hold to 2 degrees, much less 1.5 degrees, are simply outside the bounds of conventional politics in most countries. Anyone who proposed them would sound crazy, like they were proposing, I don’t know, a war or something.

So we say 2 degrees is unacceptable. But we don’t act like it is.

This cognitive dissonance is brought home yet again in a new report from Oil Change International (in collaboration with a bunch of green groups). It’s about fossil fuels and how much of them we can afford to dig up and burn, if we’re serious about what we said in Paris. It’s mostly simple math, but the implications are vast and unsettling.

Let’s start from the beginning.

Scientists have long agreed that warming higher than 2 degrees will result in widespread food, water, weather, and sea level stresses, with concomitant immigration, conflict, and suffering, inequitably distributed.

But 2 degrees is not some magic threshold where tolerable becomes dangerous. A two-year review of the latest science by the UNFCCC found that the difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees means heat extremes, water shortages, and falling crop yields. "The ‘guardrail’ concept, in which up to 2°C of warming is considered safe," the review concluded, "is inadequate."

The report recommends that 2 degrees be seen instead as "an upper limit, a defense line that needs to be stringently defended, while less warming would be preferable."

This changing understanding of 2 degrees matters, because the temperature target we choose, and the probability with which we aim to hit it, establishes our "carbon budget," i.e., the amount of CO2 we can still emit before blowing it.

Many commonly used scenarios (including the International Energy Agency’s) are built around a 50 percent chance of hitting 2 degrees. But if 2 degrees is an "upper limit" and "less warming would be preferable," it seems we would want a higher than 50-50 chance of stopping short of it.

So the authors of the Oil Change report choose two scenarios to model. One gives us a 66 percent chance of stopping short of 2 degrees. The other gives us a 50 percent chance of stopping short of 1.5 degrees.

As you can see, in either scenario, global emissions must peak and begin declining immediately. For a medium chance to avoid 1.5 degrees, the world has to zero out net carbon emissions by 2050 or so — for a good chance of avoiding 2 degrees, by around 2065.

After that, emissions have to go negative. Humanity has to start burying a lot more carbon than it throws up into the atmosphere. There are several ways to sequester greenhouse gases, from reforestation to soil enrichment to cow backpacks, but the backbone of the envisioned negative emissions is BECCS, or bioenergy with carbon capture and sequestration.

BECCS — raising, harvesting, and burning biomass for energy, while capturing and burying the carbon emissions — is unproven at scale. Thus far, most demonstration plants of any size attaching CCS to fossil fuel facilities have been over-budget disasters. What if we can’t rely on it? What if it never pans out?

"If we want to avoid depending on unproven technology becoming available," the authors say, "emissions would need to be reduced even more rapidly."

There’s no happy win-win story about that scenario, no way to pull it off while continuing to live US lifestyles and growing the global economy every year. It would require immediate, radical shifts in behavior worldwide, especially among the wealthy — a period of voluntary austerity and contraction.



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 November, 2016

Climate change may be escalating so fast it could be 'game over', scientists warn

All that this shows is that if you make extreme assumptions you will get extreme results. I have added the journal abstract to the summary below.  Once again we see a reliance on the 8.5 Representative Concentration Pathway -- meaning that the most extreme estimate of CO2 in the atmosphere was used.  So it's basically just guesswork

It is a vision of a future so apocalyptic that it is hard to even imagine.

But, if leading scientists writing in one of the most respected academic journals are right, planet Earth could be on course for global warming of more than seven degrees Celsius within a lifetime.

And that, according to one of the world’s most renowned climatologists, could be "game over" – particularly given the imminent presence of climate change denier Donald Trump in the White House.

Scientists have long tried to work out how the climate will react over the coming decades to the greenhouse gases humans are pumping into the atmosphere.

According to the current best estimate, by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), if humans carry on with a "business as usual" approach using large amounts of fossil fuels, the Earth’s average temperature will rise by between 2.6 and 4.8 degrees above pre-industrial levels by 2100.

However new research by an international team of experts who looked into how the Earth’s climate has reacted over nearly 800,000 years warns this could be a major under-estimate.

Because, they believe, the climate is more sensitive to greenhouse gases when it is warmer.

In a paper in the journal Science Advances, they said the actual range could be between 4.78C to 7.36C by 2100, based on one set of calculations.

Some have dismissed the idea that the world would continue to burn fossil fuels despite obvious global warming, but emissions are still increasing despite a 1C rise in average thermometer readings since the 1880s.

And US President-elect Donald Trump has said he will rip up America’s commitments to the fight against climate change.

Professor Michael Mann, of Penn State University in the US, who led research that produced the famous "hockey stick" graph showing how humans were dramatically increasing the Earth’s temperature, told The Independent the new paper appeared "sound and the conclusions quite defensible".

Dr Tobias Friedrich, one of the authors of the paper, said: "Our results imply that the Earth’s sensitivity to variations in atmospheric carbon dioxide increases as the climate warms.

"Currently, our planet is in a warm phase – an interglacial period – and the associated increased climate sensitivity needs to be taken into account for future projections of warming induced by human activities.

"The only way out is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible."

Dr Andrey Ganopolski, who was involved in the research and on the IPCC’s latest report, admitted their work was controversial with some scientists disagreeing and others agreeing with their findings.

"In our field of science, you cannot be definite by 100 per cent. There are always uncertainties and we discuss this in the paper," he said.


Nonlinear climate sensitivity and its implications for future greenhouse warming


Global mean surface temperatures are rising in response to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. The magnitude of this warming at equilibrium for a given radiative forcing—referred to as specific equilibrium climate sensitivity (S)—is still subject to uncertainties. We estimate global mean temperature variations and S using a 784,000-year-long field reconstruction of sea surface temperatures and a transient paleoclimate model simulation. Our results reveal that S is strongly dependent on the climate background state, with significantly larger values attained during warm phases. Using the Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 for future greenhouse radiative forcing, we find that the range of paleo-based estimates of Earth’s future warming by 2100 CE overlaps with the upper range of climate simulations conducted as part of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5). Furthermore, we find that within the 21st century, global mean temperatures will very likely exceed maximum levels reconstructed for the last 784,000 years. On the basis of temperature data from eight glacial cycles, our results provide an independent validation of the magnitude of current CMIP5 warming projections.

Science Advances  09 Nov 2016: Vol. 2, no. 11, e1501923. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501923


The man that Donald Trump calls the "king of energy" in the U.S. predicts quick action by the next president to roll back Obama administration policies opposed by the oil and natural gas industry.

"There are so many of them. You just scrap them," Harold Hamm, the billionaire CEO of Continental Resources, said Wednesday, hours after Trump’s surprising win over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

"There’s five times the regulation on our industry than there was before the Obama administration," Hamm said in an interview. "I mean, it’s just been a pile-on."

Among the policies opposed by Hamm and other producers is a proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency to curb emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide, from oil and gas operations.

"It’s like we’re out to pollute the world with methane gas," Hamm complained, disputing assertions by advocates of the policy that the industry hasn’t done enough to capture the emissions.

"That’s not the case," he said. "It’s never been the case."

That’s just one of many energy policies that Trump, a climate skeptic, could target quickly using his executive authority, ClearView Energy Partners, a Washington consulting group, said in a note Wednesday.

For example, the Trump administration could come to the rescue of two controversial oil pipeline projects, including granting an easement to the Dakota Access pipeline, a $3.7 billion project that would carry crude oil from North Dakota, where Continental Resources is a major player, to an Illinois refinery.

The project is stalled in North Dakota in the face of opposition by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and its supporters, who say the project would destroy ancient tribal artifacts and potentially pollute waterways.

Likewise, Trump’s administration could approve a new cross-border permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, a TransCanada Corp. initiative to ship oil from Canada to the U.S. that Obama rejected last year.

Other potential pro-industry actions at the disposal of the new administration include resuming periodic oil and gas leasing on federal lands, revising or abandoning Energy Department requirements for exporting liquefied natural gas and suspending Securities and Exchange Commission rules requiring companies to disclose risks posed by climate change, according to ClearView.

"People are going to use oil and gas," Hamm said. "So, if we don’t develop our own, you’re back on foreign oil."

As for oil price prices, Hamm expects "stability" as Trump aims to open more federal land and offshore waters to drilling, curb regulations and support exports of U.S. crude.

As Hamm spoke, the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil was on a rollercoaster ride, falling 2.6% to $43.80 a barrel just after midnight Wednesday, then rising 4.2% to $45.67 at noon.

Hamm’s remarks come as speculation continues that he may be a candidate for energy secretary in the Trump administration.


Trump Victory Threatens Green Investors And Subsidy Sharks

Republican victories in Tuesday’s election inject new risks into investments in sustainable energy and clean tech companies, according to one top analyst.

"[Donald] Trump’s surprise victory last night, in tandem with Republicans maintaining majority control of both houses of Congress, constitutes in our view a material negative for the majority of our stocks under coverage," said Oppenheimer analyst Colin Rusch, in a research note Wednesday.

Rusch covers a number of solar energy firms, companies that develop technologies for energy efficiency, waste and recycling companies, as well as alternative transportation companies such as Tesla.

"We expect shares broadly to trade off today at higher magnitude than equity indices and believe the election outcome injects significant policy uncertainty into the growth outlook for multiple verticals, with solar/alternative transportation plays the most impacted," Rusch said in the note.

Elsewhere, Rusch’s outlook is likewise not uniformly negative, but he identifies a few policy issues that could pose trouble for some of the companies he covers.

First, the election places the Clean Power Plan at risk. A Trump presidency and Republican control of Congress could lead to a rollback of the plan, adopted by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2014, as a means to combat climate change by limiting emissions from power plants. Rolling back the CPP could pose "contagion risk to global renewable and energy efficiency investments," Rusch’s note said.

Trump has repeatedly expressed skepticism over climate change, once famously calling it a Chinese hoax designed to undermine U.S. manufacturing.

Along these lines, Rusch and his colleagues said they "would not be surprised to see a Trump administration attempt to block federal support for EV buyers but could provide support for companies such as TSLA that are creating US manufacturing jobs."

Tesla shares were recently trading down more than 4 percent, at $186.38.

Rusch’s concerns are particularly striking, given the fact that Tesla Chairman and CEO (and SolarCity Chairman) Elon Musk said in an interview with CNBC on Nov. 4 that he did not think the outcome of the election would "make much of a difference one way or the other" to Tesla’s business.

Residential solar power companies could face a more challenging regulatory climate as well as weakened demand due to greater support for coal power. This could have implications for companies such as First Solar and SunPower, as well as others.

Solar stocks also were lower Wednesday with SolarCity down 5.7 percent, First Solar down 2.7 percent and SunPower shedding nearly 15 percent.


Trump Victory: Shock And Disbelief At Marrakech UN Climate Talks

MARRAKECH (MOROCCO): Daylight broke in the ochre city with the news of Donald Trump’s decisive victory in the US elections. Trump’s victory came as a shock to most, who were prepared for a tight race with the expectation that Secretary Hillary Clinton would make it to the finish line with a slim margin.

Shock and disbelief marked Bab Ighli, the venue of the UN-sponsored climate meet. Even as delegates sought to retain an air of normalcy virtually every conversation turned to Trump, and what the elevation of a climate denier to the White House meant for the global efforts to tackle climate change.

Throughout his campaign, Trump repudiated climate change. He described it as a Chinese hoax, denied the science, described climate change funding as wasteful. While candidate Trump has been categorical about his views on climate change, it is unclear if as president he will follow through. Observers from the United States and other countries stressed that it was too soon to say what the Trump Administration would do.

This isn’t diplomatic sidestepping of the question. The fact is that it is too early to determine what President-elect Trump will do.

He could well follow through on his promise to pull out from the Paris Agreement, but since the treaty is already in force, the United States is locked in for three years, with another year or so for the process of withdrawal from the treaty. Observers at Marrakech have consistently stressed that US participation in the Paris Agreement is guaranteed for what would be the first term of a Trump presidency.

While the US would continue to be a party to the Paris Agreement, its participation in the process of finalising the rulebook for the treaty would change. Some delegates stressed therefore it was important to agree at Marrakech to complete the rule making process by 2018.

The other cause of concern is the US contribution to climate finance. Trump has said that he would "cancel billions in climate change spending for the United Nations". The US pledged $3 billion over a four year period to the Green Climate Fund. So far only $500 million has been provided. Republican lawmakers had objected to the pledge made by the Obama administration, arguing that it wasn’t legal as it was done without specific congressional authorization. Providing financial support is one of the key commitments of industrialised countries under the UN Convention on Climate Change, has been reiterated in the Paris Agreement. The Green Climate Fund was set up to help developing countries reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

The other cause of concern is in the area of domestic policies. Domestic climate action lies at the heart of the Paris Agreement. This could well mean a reversal of many of the decisions, most of which were carried out through executive orders, of the Obama administration. The Clean Power Plan, which is central to the US national climate action plan. This could well mean that the US doesn’t adhere to commitments made in the national climate action plans under the Paris Agreement, and this would make it difficult to meet the goal of restricting temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius.


EPA wants your wood-burning stove

In a blow to innovation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has denied a petition to reconsider a restrictive regulation dealing with wood stoves and the types of wood burned in them.obama-net-neutrality-fcc-title-ii-100529803-primary.idge

The regulation, finalized by the EPA last year, made changes to the emission standards applicable to residential wood stoves, in bureaucratic speak, "residential wood combustion devices."

The petition was filed by Richard S. Burns & Company, Inc., a Philadelphia waste management firm that challenged the EPA’s prohibition on making wood pellets and chipped wood from the "clean wood" which is removed from construction sites. The EPA’s regulation does not allow clean wood from "construction or demolition" to be used because it is considered a "prohibited fuel."

The company asserted that it has the ability to separate out wood from other materials, and that this wood could be recycled into products suitable to be burned in wood stoves. The EPA denied the petition, and effectively bigbrothermandated that these materials be sent to landfills instead. In its denial, the EPA claimed that the cost to those like the petitioner to make "clean wood" fuels as requested would be expensive. "The EPA does not believe this cost on the industry is justified." This, despite the fact that the costs would be borne by industry volunteers who believe they can product a product that meets the EPA’s standards.

The EPA is saying, in essence, "we don’t believe you can, so we’re not going to let you try."

The regulation at issue is a long and complex, but a couple other areas are worth noting.

If you manufacture a wood stove that is to be sold in Canada or Russia, the regulation does not affect you. "Affected wood heaters manufactured in the United States for export are exempt from the applicable emission limits." So, the Canadians and Russians can get an affordable wood stove from a U.S. manufacturer, but a North Carolinian can only buy one that complies with the 83 page regulation which is further explained by the 203 page regulatory impact analysis.

obama-fingerAccording to the EPA, the average price for a wood stove is $848. In its regulatory analysis the EPA noted that commenters had suggested that this regulation would increase the cost to bring a new model to market by up to 25% driving price well above $1,000.00. That is a significant increase that must be passed along to the homeowner in order for the manufacturer to survive as the EPA estimates that they have profit margins of a little over 4%.

Representative David Rouzer of North Carolina has offered legislation which would repeal the wood stove regulation arguing, "The EPA has no business meddling with how wood heaters are made — much less putting in place new regulations that would effectively price them out of the market. More and more families are using wood heaters to help lower their energy costs during these tough economic times.  That’s why, it’s imperative Congress continue working together to strike down these unnecessary regulations."

The regulation applies testing standards that must be met before any new wood stoves can be sold. Old wood stoves are not covered by the regulation, so if your house has an existing one you do not have to worry unless you need or want to replace it.

Evidencing the EPA’s desire to micro-manage personal behavior, the regulation even places personal prohibitions on homeowners who use one of these new stoves. "No person is permitted to burn any of the following materials in an affected wood heater…. paper products…"

There is an exception; you are allowed to use paper to start a fire. "The prohibition against burning these materials does not prohibit the use of fire starters made from paper." If you use the paper to start a fire you are fine, but if the fire is already burning it is illegal for you to use paper any longer. While the EPA goes to great lengths to describe the emission standards, they do not provide any explanation as to the exact moment when the fire is large enough so that the continued use of paper to make the fire larger is prohibited.  There are also BLOG-FIRE-bigstock-Fire-119560371restrictions on the types of wood homeowners can use. They "will be required to use only the grades of pellet fuels and wood chips that are included in the owner’s manual based on the heater/stove certification tests."

How prohibitions on homeowners regarding paper and wood are to be enforced is not exactly clear from the regulation, but expect the EPA to find a way.

This whole thing is absurd. Federal government, leave our wood stoves alone.



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 November, 2016

Trump wins

Polar bears celebrate. Al Gore goes into hiding.  The Global Warming and Climate Change agenda has now been put on hold. The USA will lead the world away from this fanatical religion

Last 5 years were hottest on record: UN

The usual dishonesty. The real news is that temperatures have in fact plateaued, except for a minor blip in 2015 caused by the El Nino weather cycle.  Here are the actual global mean temperature anomalies in degrees Celsius as given by GISS for the 5 years concerned:

2011 .61; 2012 .64; 2013 .66; 2014 .75; 2015 .87

You will see that the temperatures for the first three years in the series differed only in hundredths of a degree, essentially meaning no change. And the remaining two differed only in tenths of a degree.  It's essentially a picture of stasis:  no change worth talking about

Note also that the temperatures for 1998 (.63), 2002 (.63), 2003 (.62) and 2005 (.69) were very similar to the recent temperatures, again indicating no change

And the 2011, 2012 and 2013 temperatures were DOWN on the 2010 figure (.72).  Handy that they took 2011 as their starting point, isn't it?  Wouldn't want to upset a neat picture of rises, would we?

And isn't is wonderful what you find when you look at the actual numbers?  You would guess none of what I have just pointed out from the alarmist guff below

The past five years were the hottest on record with mounting evidence that heat waves, floods and rising sea levels are stoked by man-made climate change, the United Nations weather agency says.

Some freak weather events would have happened naturally but the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on Tuesday said greenhouse gas emissions had raised the risks of extreme events, sometimes by a factor of 10 or more.

"We just had the hottest five-year period on record, with 2015 claiming the title of hottest individual year. Even that record is likely to be beaten in 2016," WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said in a statement.

Among the worst extremes, a 2011-12 drought and famine in the Horn of Africa killed more than 250,000 people and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines killed 7800 in 2013, the WMO said.

Superstorm Sandy caused $US67 billion ($A87 billion) of damage in 2012, mostly in the United States, it said in a report issued to a meeting of almost 200 nations in Morocco tasked with implementing a 2015 global agreement to combat climate change.

The last five-year period beat 2006-10 as the warmest such period since records began in the 19th century.

The heat was accompanied by a gradual rise in sea levels spurred by melting glaciers and ice sheets. The changes "confirmed the long-term warming trend caused by greenhouse gases", the WMO said of the report.

And the amount of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, reached 400 parts per million in the atmosphere for the first time in records in 2015, it said.

Last year was the first in which temperatures were one degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times, partly because of an El Nino weather event that warmed the Pacific.

The 2015 Paris Agreement set an overriding target of limiting warming to "well below" 2 degrees above pre-industrial times, ideally just 1.5 degrees.

But pledges so far to curb greenhouse gas emissions are too weak and put the globe on target for about 3 degrees, UN data shows.


Extensive flooding of coastal cities on the way?

The stuff below is the most total and utter rubbish.  It is all based on the expected level of CO2 in the atmosphere.  They assume exactly what is never found:  That temperatures will rise in synchrony with CO2 levels

I append the journal Abstract to the article below.  Note: The "Representative Concentration Pathway" refers to the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.  There are 4 such pathways, all assuming very different levels of CO2.  It's all guesswork, in other words. The authors below have mostly used the most extreme estimate (8.5). 

It's a deliberate attempt at alarmism, not the sort of cautious  and balanced presentation one normally expects in an academic journal article.  They had to use extreme estimates in order to have anything at all to say

With global climate talks kicking off in Marrakech, Morocco on Monday, a new study provides a sobering warning about what may happen to coastal mega-cities if decisive global emissions cuts are not made soon.

Based on a scenario in which countries fail to sharply rein in emissions of global warming pollutants, coastal cities are likely to see the fastest rate of sea level rise in human history before the end of the current century, the study found.

This damaging scenario is not just limited to a future generation in the year 2100 but has already begun.

What's more striking is that the study shows that more than more than 90 percent of the world's coastal areas will see more than the global average sea level rise.

The study paints a particularly dark scenario for the densely populated cities of South and Southeast Asia, where low-lying coastal cities could be eaten away by the sea, displacing millions.

The study, published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that if global warming pushes past 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, above preindustrial levels, about 80 percent of the global coastline may see more sea level rise than the global average.

The study is the first to make specific sea level rise projections for 136 coastal cities starting with 2 degrees Celsius of warming and above, according to lead author Svetlana Jevrejeva of The National Oceanography Center in Liverpool.

Jevrejeva and her colleagues found that 2 degrees of warming would yield an average global ocean rise of 0.6 feet. But in the sprawling city of Lagos, Nigeria, for example, that much warming would likely cause 0.7 feet of sea level rise with a worst-case-scenario of 1.1 feet.

Two degrees Celsius is also defined as the upper limit to global warming under the Paris Climate Agreement, which went into effect on Nov. 4, but that limit is likely to be reached by 2045, based on emissions trends.

"If the Paris Agreement fails and the worst-case scenario comes to pass, South Florida and the boot of Louisiana would not likely survive this century. Many more places, from Boston to Shanghai, would be gravely threatened," said Ben Strauss, a sea level rise researcher at the nonprofit group Climate Central who is unaffiliated with the new study.

The meeting in Marrakech is aimed at speeding up emissions cuts and generating more ambitious targets so that the Paris goal is met.

This study asks what would happen to global sea levels if we blow past the target.

If the climate were to warm by 5 degrees Celsius, or 9 degrees Fahrenheit, above preindustrial levels by 2100 — which is roughly the path we're on now — New York City could see more than a meter, or about 3.6 feet, of sea level rise with an even higher upper limit, when factoring in sources of uncertainty.

"If warming continues above 2 degrees Celsius, then, by 2100, sea level will be rising faster than at any time during human civilization," the study says.


Coastal sea level rise with warming above 2 °C

Svetlana Jevrejeva et al.


Two degrees of global warming above the preindustrial level is widely suggested as an appropriate threshold beyond which climate change risks become unacceptably high. This "2 °C" threshold is likely to be reached between 2040 and 2050 for both Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5 and 4.5. Resulting sea level rises will not be globally uniform, due to ocean dynamical processes and changes in gravity associated with water mass redistribution. Here we provide probabilistic sea level rise projections for the global coastline with warming above the 2 °C goal. By 2040, with a 2 °C warming under the RCP8.5 scenario, more than 90% of coastal areas will experience sea level rise exceeding the global estimate of 0.2 m, with up to 0.4 m expected along the Atlantic coast of North America and Norway. With a 5 °C rise by 2100, sea level will rise rapidly, reaching 0.9 m (median), and 80% of the coastline will exceed the global sea level rise at the 95th percentile upper limit of 1.8 m. Under RCP8.5, by 2100, New York may expect rises of 1.09 m, Guangzhou may expect rises of 0.91 m, and Lagos may expect rises of 0.90 m, with the 95th percentile upper limit of 2.24 m, 1.93 m, and 1.92 m, respectively. The coastal communities of rapidly expanding cities in the developing world, and vulnerable tropical coastal ecosystems, will have a very limited time after midcentury to adapt to sea level rises unprecedented since the dawn of the Bronze Age.


Solar Radiation Sufficient! No Greenhouse Effect Of Certain Atmospheric Gases!

Written by Dr Jerry L Krause

Since its inception Principia Scientific International (PSI) has published many articles attempting to discredit, if not refute, the hypothesis termed the greenhouse effect of certain atmospheric gases (GHE).  Recently there has been a fury (too many to cite) of articles which seem to be getting closer to accomplishing this feat.  However, most all these articles are based upon reasoned arguments.  I do not consider the Science founded by Galileo and Newton to have be based upon reasoned argument.  The science founded by Galileo and Newton is based upon scientific laws.

What is a scientific law?  First, before defining a scientific law, it seems useful, no necessary, to consider a bit of confusion which seems to exist as to what Science is, or does.  This confusion possibly exists because Galileo, Newton, and their commentaries were better known to be natural philosophers instead of simply as being scientists.

Since a common definition of a philosopher is one who seeks to learn the Truth, some consider Science to be a method used to discover the Truth.  William M. Briggs, in a recent PSI article——stated:  "There is no method particular to Science to discover the Truth."  Richard Feynman, in an address at the 1955 fall meeting of the National Academy of Sciences reminded his audience that "scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty—some most unsure, some nearly sure, but none absolutely certain.

A scientific law is merely a summary of similar observations for which there has never been observed an exception.  It is not a hypothesis, not a theory, not an explanation; it merely predicts what will be observed in specific circumstances.  It cannot be proven by reason and it can only be disproved by an observation that is an exception to the summary.  Hence, as Einstein stated:  "No amount of experimentation can ever prove right, a single experiment can prove me wrong." So, it seems no amount of observation (experimentation) can ever prove a scientific law, a hypothesis, a theory, an explanation to be the Truth, but a single observation (experimental result) can prove each of them to be False.

Given this input from scientists, Karl Popper, a 20th Century philosopher of Science, concluded that any proposed Scientific hypothesis has to have a testable prediction (result) to be a viable hypothesis.  The GHE hypothesis has such testable result which is well-accepted by its proponents.  It is that if there were no greenhouse gases capable of absorbing the radiation being emitted by the earth’s surface due to its temperature, the earth’s average temperature would be about 33oC less than its observed average temperature.  So, all one has to do to prove the GHE hypothesis to be false is to refer to observations of the earth’s natural system which demonstrate that the earth’s average temperature cannot be less that which is observed.

In a previous article——I had called attention to a scientific law of meteorology that had not yet recognized as being a scientific law.  It was:  "The surface temperature of an object, at thermal equilibrium with the atmosphere in contact with it, can be no lower than the dewpoint temperature (the temperature at which the atmosphere is saturated with water vapor) of the atmosphere in contact with it."  Since the average dewpoint temperature of the atmosphere has to be equal to, greater than the average temperature of the earth and this dewpoint temperature had nothing to do with water’s ability to absorb a portion of the radiation being emitted by the earth’s surface, I momentarily considered that is scientific law proved the GHE hypothesis to be false.

However, the proponents of the GHE quickly pointed out that the current dewpoint temperature was only due to the earth’s greater than expected temperature.  Which I had to accept to be valid argument.

Then I discovered that I and many others had overlooked something much more obvious than the scientific law involving the atmosphere’s dewpoint temperature.  Another quote attributed to Einstein is:  "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."  I have no desire to hide the fact that Carl Allen Brehmer drew my attention to an observed fact about which Anthony Bright-Paul later wrote:  "Let’s take the Sahara. The Sun shines down and the radiation passes through the Oxygen and Nitrogen that makes up 99% of the atmosphere and encounters the surface of the Planet – in this case sand. We all know that radiation has to encounter mass to produce heat. So the sands get pretty hot. You can see David Attenborough in one of his films standing there and saying that the temperature of the sand was circa 70ºC and the air above it was 40ºC. Pretty damn hot, eh?" (

Actually, there are two observed facts which are overlooked; one is commonly known and the other not so commonly known.  The first is the maximum diurnal air temperature of 40ºC (104oF) which has been observed at many locations as a record temperature for a given day of the year.  But does anyone doubt that it could be common every day maximum temperature for the Sahara Desert?  The second is the maximum temperature, 70ºC (158ºF), of the desert sand.

Carl, an amateur scientist, did an experiment in which he measured the air temperature and the topsoil temperature continuously from mid-June to mid-July in 2012 somewhere in the vicinity of Chino Valley, AZ, USA.  During this period he observed an average maximum diurnal topsoil (surface?) temperature of about 55ºC (131ºF) and an average maximum diurnal air temperature of about 34ºC (93ºF).

There can be little doubt that the maximum temperatures referred to by Anthony and observed by Carl are solely due to the incident solar radiation upon the earth’s surface at these two different locations.  Hence, there can be little doubt that these maximum temperatures could not be 33ºC less if there were no greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.  It seems clear that maximum temperature of a day is due to ‘sunshine’ and the minimum possible temperature of a day is due to the atmosphere’s dewpoint temperature.  Hence, common observations prove the GHE hypothesis to be absolutely false.  And there can be no argument about this.


America needs to use more energy, not less

During the 2016 election, both candidates promised to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. Donald Trump made the recovery of jobs lost to China and Mexico a cornerstone of his campaign. Hillary Clinton’s website states: "While too many politicians and experts in Washington gave up on American manufacturing, Hillary never did."

"The rhetoric," reports US News, "has struck home with Americans across the country—particularly those currently or formerly employed in the embattled U.S. goods-producing and manufacturing sectors, who have repeatedly borne the brunt of corporate efforts to move work overseas."

Because many of the lost jobs are due to automation and technological improvements—which have enabled more production from fewer workers—there is skepticism on both sides of the aisle as to whether these lost jobs can actually come back. However, I believe, most Americans don’t want to see more of our jobs disappear. Harry Moser, founder and president of the Reshoring Initiative, which aims to bring manufacturing back home, is optimistic. He told me that we are now losing about as many jobs to offshoring, as we are recovering: "We’ve gone from losing somewhere around 200,000 manufacturing jobs a year in 2000 to 2003 to net breaking even. Balancing the trade deficit will increase U.S. manufacturing by about four million jobs at current levels of productivity"

According to, the percentage of people who work in manufacturing is at a record low of 8.5 percent—which compares to "20 percent in 1980, 30 percent in 1960 and a record 39 percent during World War Two."

While there are many factors driving offshoring, lower wages give countries like China and Mexico a competitive advantage. Energy costs, however, give the U.S. an advantage as "manufacturers need a lot of energy to make their processes work," stated Gary Marmo, director of sales for New Jersey’s Elizabethtown Gas. He says: "A typical office building will use 5,000, 10,000, 20,000 therms a year. A good sized manufacturing plant will probably use that same amount in just a couple of days." Electricity frequently represents one of the top operating costs for energy intensive industries such as plastics, metals, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals—and, according to a recent study comparing costs in the U.S. and China, electricity is about 50 percent higher in China.

Because manufacturing is energy intensive, bringing industry back to the U.S. and/or attracting businesses to relocate here, will increase our energy consumption. As my column last week on the Clinton Foundation and Haiti makes clear, industry needs energy.

President Obama has derided U.S, energy use: "The U.S. uses far more electricity than its North American neighbors combined," but the U.S. also does more with our energy. Comparing the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and energy consumption numbers for the U.S. and Canada, for example, both use a similar volume of energy but the U.S. has substantially higher GDP. A study of global energy consumption versus GDP found: "energy is so intrinsically linked to GDP that energy policy more or less dictates how our economy performs."

Mike Haseler, the study’s author, explains: "rising GDP is an indication of a prosperous economy"—which is why economic commentators cite GDP number when they say: "President Barack Obama may become the first president since Herbert Hoover not to serve during a year in which the growth in real GDP was at least 3 percent.  Yet, in the name of climate change, through government policy, many countries are trying to discourage energy use by forcing costs up. Haseler states: "They are cutting energy use as the economy of Europe collapses because European industry can no longer compete with countries where energy prices are not artificially raised by senseless ‘green’ policies."

The energy advantage is not just an issue between countries, it is a factor in where companies locate within the U.S. "High electricity bills are a strong disincentive to create new jobs associated with a new or expanded product line," writes Don Welch, president of New Hampshire based Globe Manufacturing Co, LLC. New Hampshire’s electric prices are 55.6 percent higher than the national average. Welch’s company is the leading producer of firefighting turnout gear. He explains: "higher electricity costs not only add hundreds of thousands of dollars to the cost of making our products—firefighting suits and equipment—but it’s money we could otherwise re-invest in the business, including creating new jobs here in New Hampshire. New Hampshire’s high electricity prices are a drag on our economy. It puts New Hampshire companies like mine at a competitive disadvantage compared to companies in other parts of the country." Because Globe also has plants in three different states, he clearly sees the difference energy costs make in doing business. Welch says: "I already know that the electric bill I am paying at my facility in Oklahoma is half of what I pay in New Hampshire." If he is going to add a product line, energy costs are a big factor in deciding where to expand.

John F. Olson, president and CEO of Whelen Engineering Company, of Charlestown, NH, and Chester, CT agrees. In a letter to the editor, Olson wrote: "Manufacturers are in competition with other U.S. manufacturers, or even worse, offshore competition in China. New Hampshire manufacturers have the most expensive electricity in the country."

If we can bring back manufacturing jobs—or at least stem the flow of them from our country—we need to be encouraging low-cost energy and making more of it available. Moser believes: "balancing the trade deficit should be the number 1 national priority." He told me that would take a 25 percent increase in manufacturing—which would require about a 10 percent increase in energy usage. Yet, climate change policies demand that we take greater cuts than the developing countries like China and India. If our energy costs continue to go up, as they have in New Hampshire, we’ll lose the best competitive advantage we have.

Moser explains: "Manufacturing has the highest multiplier effect among the major sectors. Every job created in manufacturing creates additional jobs in other sectors that supply, support and service manufacturers."

To bring manufacturing back to the U.S., or encourage expansion, we need energy that is abundant, available and affordable — and we’ll need to use more, not less. If we want to balance our trade deficit, boost GDP, and have a prosperous economy, energy is the key. As I am known for saying: "energy makes America great!"


Risk estimates from climate models are largely political, not scientific

Resulting in biased advice to insurance companies

While catastrophe modeling may seem an objective science that relies on data to tell the story, more often than not politics plays a role on loss projections and sets the tone for both the insurance and reinsurance market, according new research co-authored by Roger Pielke, Jr.

According to a study "The Truthiness about Hurricane Catastrophe Models," Pielke and his co-author Jessica Weinkle argue that catastrophe models are "politically stylized views of the intractable scientific problem of precise characterization of hurricane risk."

Citing examples from past events and outcomes, the paper published last month says that model creators "use choice and preference for outcomes to develop a model" when they are faced with conflicting scientific theories.

Those choices, in turn, include "political positions on relevant knowledge and the risk that society ought to manage."

Specifically, Pielke says that the most obvious example of this effect is "the invention" of the RMS 2006 "medium term" forecast that predicted an on average 40% increase in hurricane damage on for the Gulf Coast, Florida and the U.S. Southeast over 5 years.

That forecast, along with the 2011 update, created huge changes to insurers’ and reinsurers’ probable maximum loss [PML] and, as a result, their capitalization even though Pielke’s argument that various shifts in modeled estimates of risk since that time.

"As we show in an example in the paper, using an idealized portfolio and 2011 models, the PML varied by a factor of 6.  All loss estimates within that huge range have a legitimate scientific basis. Science alone did not narrow that range – extra-scientific factors would need to play a role," Pielke says. "The simplest way [to prevent politicizing models] is to accurately characterize the modeled solution space."

We should not be afraid to show uncertainties; it is valuable information.



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 November, 2016

The Weather Channel video uses young kids to promote ‘global warming’ fears

The Weather Channel released a climate change video featuring young children attempting to convince their parents of the seriousness of the issue. The video, entitled ‘When Kids are Talking Climate – Maybe it’s Time to Listen!’ was released on November 1, 2016.


Kids: ‘Dear Mom and Dad: ‘The science is clear’

‘It rains harder now’
‘Sea levels are rising’
‘This is about our families health’
‘Climate change is real, it’s bad and it’s caused by humans.’
‘97% of scientists agree that global warming started decades ago.’
‘Dear Mom and Dad, science says that the impact of climate change could be very catastrophic during my lifetime.’
‘Rising sea levels would displace millions.’
‘A major threat to national security.’
‘Hottest year on record.’

Note: All of these climate change claims put forth by the kids (and the adults) are easily debunked. Here is Climate Depot’s official climate talking points file, just released. CLIMATE TRUTH FILE: 2016: Skeptical Talking Points from A-Z on Global Warming – Point-By-Point

And all of these climate claims are addressed in the new skeptical film ‘Climate Hustle’ out on DVD now.


The Battle for our Grasslands and Livestock

By Viv Forbes, Albrecht Glatzle and others

Grasslands and arable land cover just 10% of Earth’s surface but (with the oceans) they produce all of our food and fibre. But the productivity and health of our grasslands, farms and livestock are under threat from global warming alarmists and green preservationists.

We are afflicted by climate crazies and methane madness. It is poor public policy that condones restrictions on grazing operations, or taxes on grazing animals, based on disputed theories that claim that bodily emissions from farm animals will cause dangerous global warming.

New Zealand was the first cattle country to propose a "livestock fart tax". Four hundred farmers then drove 20 tractors to the Parliament in Wellington waving placards and banners saying "STOP THE FART TAX". The proposal was laughed out of Parliament. But the war on farmers and livestock continues.

Ruminants such as sheep, cattle and goats cannot make long-term additions to the gases in the atmosphere - they just recycle atmospheric carbon and nitrogen nutrients in a cycle-of-life that has operated for millennia.

Grazing ruminant animals with their emission products have always been part of healthy grasslands. Only when large numbers of animals are fed artificially and confined on the one patch of land do pollution problems appear.

Many otherwise genuine environmentalists are assisting the destruction of grasslands with their native pastures and endangered grass birds. Blinded by their love for the trees, they neglect the grasses, legumes, herbs and livestock that provide their food. In Australia they pass laws to protect weedy eucalypts invading the grasslands but ignore the valuable and declining Mitchell grass that once dominated Australia’s treeless plains.

Grasslands are also under threat from cultivation for biofuel crops, from subsidised carbon credit forests and from the remorseless encroachment of fire-prone government reserves and pest havens.

Trying to control atmospheric carbon-bearing gases with taxes is futile and anti-life. Even if carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere doubled, or more, the climate effect if any, is probably beneficial (warmer at night and near the poles and with more moisture in the atmosphere). More importantly, all life on Earth already benefits from the additional CO2 plant nutrient in the atmosphere, and would benefit even more were CO2 levels to double.

Nitrogen is the most abundant natural gas in the atmosphere, inhaled in every breath and an essential component of all protein. Grazing livestock merely recycle a few compounds of nitrogen, all of which either return to the atmosphere or provide valuable nitrogen fertilisers for the plants they graze on.

We also have the modern methane madness. Mobs of grazing ruminants have been roaming the grasslands since cave-man days. Methane has also been seeping from marshes, bubbling out of oceans, leaking from coal seams and oil seeps and being released in huge quantities from volcanoes. So what more can a few domestic cows and sheep do to affect this? Methane from domestic ruminants is a non-problem.

It is a foolish and costly fantasy to believe that Earth’s climate can be controlled by passing laws, imposing taxes, attempting to manipulate the bodily emissions of farm animals or trying to prevent farmers from clearing woody weeds invading their pastures.


Germany says coal to remain relevant

Germany’s economy minister says his country will not be phasing out brown coal before 2040, as the government looks to ways to ensure minimisation of job losses in coal regions.

This reinforces the message coming from the government in early summer. In June Berlin distanced itself from initial proposals to set out a timetable to exit coal-fired power production "well before 2050" as part of a national climate action plan.

Now it plans to set up a committee for climate protection and structural change that will deal with how to exit brown coal production while ensuring jobs for the affected regions.

The committee will be asked to come up with proposals by 2018.

The German government has pledged to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 95 per cent compared to 1990 by the middle of the century.

Domestic hard coal mining are expected to cease in 2018 and Germany's coal miners and users expect the country's last brown coal mines to close by around 2045.


House science chairman gets heat in Texas race for being a global warming skeptic

In the race for the White House, the climate change debate has been more or less missing in action. In the race for a central Texas House seat, the Democrat hoping to topple 30-year incumbent Republican Lamar Smith has made global warming his top campaign issue.

Democrat Tom Wakely is campaigning as a champion of climate science in a year when Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump — and most other candidates for Congress, for that matter — have barely touched on the issue, in what is shaping up to be the hottest year on record.

Wakely has seized on a theme that has defined Smith’s run in Washington as chairman of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology: He’s a climate change skeptic.

Smith, 68, an attorney from San Antonio who’s represented the area northwest of the city since 1987, rejects the scientific consensus that man-made pollution is behind global warming. He’s used his perch as committee chairman to subpoena federal climate scientists to discredit their research, issuing a record number of legal summonses this Congress and turning a panel that was once a sleepy backwater into an aggressive attack dog.

This has made Smith a polarizing figure in Washington, beloved by oil and gas interests who give generously to his campaigns and vilified by those fighting to reduce global warming pollution.

Now his attacks on scientists are percolating back home in a district buffeted in recent years by drought and water shortages. And while Smith does not often highlight his views on climate change on the campaign trail, Wakely, a little-known Democratic activist, saw an opening this year.

"Lamar Smith is the major impediment to anything being done on climate change in Congress and absolutely nobody is talking about it," said the 63-year-old Air Force veteran and former union organizer who supported Bernie Sanders. "People in this district are slowly getting the message that climate change is not a far left wing conspiracy."

Wakely has little shot at unseating Smith, who is running for a 16th term in a safely red district.

But his campaign isn’t the only sign that Smith’s stance on global warming is raising some eyebrows back home. Smith has long won the support of local newspapers. But this year, his hometown paper, the San Antonio Express-News, refused to endorse him for re-election, citing his "bullying tactics" on climate change.

"We’ve argued that Smith’s undeniably conservative credentials have been a good fit for the 21st congressional District," the editorial board wrote on Oct. 17. "However, Smith’s actions have developed more transparently this term into an issue that goes beyond the boundaries of his district. A particular issue is his abuse of his position as chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. Specifically, it is his bullying on the issue of climate change that should concern all Americans." The Express-News is one of Texas’s largest newspapers.

The editorial cited Smith’s threat to Kathryn Sullivan, chief of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of criminal charges if she did not release her scientists’ internal communications about a landmark study they released last year refuting the long-held view of a  global warming pause.

The Express-News did not endorse Wakely, though, saying he is not a good fit for the conservative district.

Texas’s 21st, which stretches from parts of San Antonio to parts of Austin through rural Hill Country, has been safely red for years, thanks to redistricting that has given Republicans a generous electoral advantage.

Smith was one of the first members of Congress to endorse Donald Trump and has stood by the nominee, who is favored to win central Texas. Like Trump, he says the U.S. has not done enough to secure the border with Mexico and is co-sponsoring legislation to keep out Syrian refugees.

This Congress, Smith has shown a willingness to go beyond the boundaries of the science committee’s traditional jurisdiction, subpoenaing attorneys general and environmental groups investigating whether oil giant ExxonMobil covered up what it knew of the dangers of climate change and launching an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state. He has also demanded records from the Environmental Protection Agency to undermine President Obama’s regulations to reduce emissions from power plants.

"As Chairman, I have an obligation to conduct vigorous oversight of agencies and programs within my jurisdiction," Smith said in a statement to the Post. "Under that umbrella, I work to ensure that federal agencies base their regulations and policy decisions on the best available science and not on partisan politics."


Another big Australian power station closes  -- with a big impact on costs and another threat to system reliability

Even after watching what South Australia did to itself – pushing for renewable energy, increasing electricity prices, shutting down coal-fired power stations, reducing energy security, and triggering a statewide blackout – the Big V is rushing headlong down the same path.

Confirmation the Hazelwood coal-fired power station will close early next year guarantees power prices will increase by at least 8 per cent in Victoria next year.

Given SA imports huge amounts of power from that state, the increases will flow across the border.

The La Trobe Valley plant has 1600 megawatts of baseload capacity and has supplied up to 25 per cent of Victoria’s power.

Victoria has been an exporter of electricity, sending power to SA, Tasmania and even NSW at times but now will need to import power at peak times – mainly coal-fired electricity from NSW.

Instead of cheap reliable coal-fired power, Victoria is following SA with increased reliance on subsidised, unreliable wind and solar energy. Good luck.

Just like SA, Victoria has seen car manufacturers and other companies close, with jobs shed in the steel and aluminium sectors. Power prices have been a major factor.

More job losses will come – this is deliberate policy leading to inevitable deindustrialisation.

It is bad news for SA because, as industry shrinks across the border, local suppliers will be hit.

And, as Victoria’s electricity becomes more expensive and less reliable, it will increase SA’s exposure, given the state’s dangerous reliance on the Victoria’s Heywood interconnector – as everyone discovered on September 28.

SA’s biggest user of electricity is the Olympic Dam mine – one of the world’s largest uranium and copper operations.

BHP-Billiton shelved its huge open-cut expansion a few years ago but now plans to massively expand its underground mining, more than doubling copper output from 200,000 tonnes a year to 500,000 tonnes over the next decade.

This is vital for a struggling state economy – Olympic Dam has helped to keep SA above water since the State Bank disaster.

Yet the mismanagement of the power situation could kill the plans, as the head of BHP-Billiton’s Australian operations, Mike Henry, told me on television last week.

Olympic Dam refines copper on site, requiring vast amounts of "stable, affordable energy" and the company is deeply worried about a repeat of September’s blackout (that shut it down for two weeks) and ongoing price spikes.

"Left unresolved, that sort of thing will start to put at risk some of the investments we have planned for Olympic Dam," Henry said.

That is a stark warning. It should create shockwaves in SA and have the Weatherill government urgently looking at ways to increase baseload power.

Instead, the situation is getting worse because of what the Victorians are doing.

It is difficult to overstate the madness that is afoot – we must be approaching peak lunacy.

In the name of climate change policies, the two states most reliant on manufacturing have deliberately chosen policies to increase power prices and make energy less reliable; and then have mourned the loss of manufacturing jobs.

And to assuage their deep concerns about climate change both states have also spent billions of dollars building desalination plants that are mothballed.

Labor politicians in both states and federally are now publicly expressing concern about workers who have lost their jobs in coal-fired power stations when the policies they have implemented are deliberately designed to shut down these very generators.

Remember, every time these politicians mourn a job loss in the energy or manufacturing sectors, this is exactly what those same politicians have tried to achieve through their climate policies.

Renewable energy targets and other prices on carbon are about driving out so-called "dirty" industries and replacing them with "green" and "clean" jobs – you’ve heard the politicians say that.

They just don’t seem to trumpet these aims so loudly when real people are actually laid off.

And, of course, the real idiocy of all this is that it is doing precisely nothing for the environment.

While we deliberately make ourselves less competitive, impose higher prices on ourselves and toss our compatriots out of work, global emissions continue to rise.

In China and India, they are building more coal-fired power stations that will burn coal mined in NSW and Queensland.

But in Victoria and SA the unemployed can huddle together in the darkness, perhaps using a desalination plant as a windbreak, and try to convince themselves they are saving 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


8 November, 2016

A bullet to the head of Warmism

Jamal Munshi shows below that a  basic asumption of Warmism is wrong.  Fossil fuel use does NOT bump up atmospheric CO2 levels

Responsiveness of Atmospheric CO2 to Fossil Fuel Emissions

Jamal Munshi


This short note is a validation of a previous work which found no correlation between changes in atmospheric CO2 and fossil fuel emissions at an annual time scale. In this work, this result is tested for robustness with respect to sample period selection within a range of data availability. A resampling procedure similar to bootstrap is used. Resampling ensures that the failure to find a correlation is not an artifact of the sample period chosen. The results validate the robustness of the previous finding and imply that here is no evidence that atmospheric CO2 is responsive to fossil fuel emissions at an annual time scale net of long term trends. This result is robust. It holds for all possible combination of years in the study period 1958-2015.


Below is about as explicit an "ad hominem" attack as you will find

"Attack the man not the message" is a strategy of desperation -- a strategy of no logical or intellectual merit

Brendan DeMelle, Executive Director, DeSmog

A colorful cast of characters has made a living out of denying the science of climate change. These so-called "experts" often start out their statements with "I’m not a climate scientist, but…" before launching into a series of carefully rehearsed talking points meant to confuse the public on the climate change issue. Many of them are well-paid operatives of organizations like The Heartland Institute, CFACT, and Americans for Prosperity, which take contributions from fossil fuel corporations — including ExxonMobil,the Koch Brothers and their company Koch Industries — who seek to delay or block any substantial government policy initiatives meant to curb fossil fuel emissions or hasten the rapid growth of cheaper, cleaner sources of energy like wind and solar power.
Below is a list of ten of the most prominent climate deniers working actively to mislead the public and delay policy action to address climate change.

Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. According to Oil Change International, Inhofe has received over $2 million in political contributions from the fossil fuel industry. He once compared the Environmental Protection Agency to the Gestapo, and brought a snowball onto the Senate floor to ‘disprove’ global warming. Sen. Inhofe, author of the 2012 book The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future, once claimed on the Senate floor that "man-made global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people."

Executive director of and communications director for the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), an anti-science think tank that has received funding from ExxonMobil, Chevron, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars from foundations associated with Richard Mellon Scaife. Morano previously worked for Sen. James Inhofe and began his career with Rush Limbaugh.

More HERE 

Leaked Speech: Bill Clinton Calls ‘Coal Country’ Most ‘Anti-Immigrant’ Part Of America

Playing the race card

Former president Bill Clinton, who previously took flack for mocking the "coal people" in West Virginia and Kentucky, accused "coal country" of being the "most anti-immigrant" part of America while speaking at a private fundraiser for Hillary Clinton.

As he did when criticizing the "coal people," Clinton again singled out Kentucky and West Virginia while speaking to the audience of wealthy Democratic donors in November 2015.

Bill and Hillary Clinton (Photo: Mike Segar-Pool/Getty Images)   Bill and Hillary Clinton (Photo: Mike Segar-Pool/Getty Images)
"One of the reasons I’m for immigration reform is that on balance immigrants add to the employment base, not take away from it," Bill said, according to a leaked transcript of the speech

He added that housing problems "in the most anti-immigrant parts of America, like in coal country, West Virginia and Kentucky, don’t have anything to do with immigrants." (RELATED: Bill Clinton Mocked Working Class Voters At Private Fundraiser)

The transcript of the speech was published by anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks among thousands of other documents from the email of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta.

Bill’s comments are just the latest coal-related gaffe for the Clinton campaign.

Hillary was forced to play damage control earlier this year after promising to put coal miners "out of business."

In September, Bill Clinton mocked the "coal people" of West Virginia and Kentucky for supporting Trump


GM wheat shows massive rise in yield

Genetically modified wheat crops could see a leap in yields after glasshouse trials showed a massive 40% increase in grain output.

Researchers focusing on making the photosynthesis process in wheat plants more efficient are hoping to have the first field trial of this new wheat crop drilled next spring.

The new wheat plants – with genes added from a grass called stiff brome – have been showed to assimilate carbon dioxide better than conventional wheat which led to a big jump in crop biomass.

Three UK research bodies are joining forces, including the Universities of Essex and Lancaster together with Rothamsted Research, to look at the use of GM technology for the first time to increase crop yields.

"We have seen yield increases of 20 to 40% in greenhouse pots, although this in not a yield indication for the field," Christine Raines from the University of Essex told a briefing on Friday (4 November).

Yield delight

The researchers said even if they saw half that yield rise they would be delighted, as there is a need to break through the barrier to wheat yields which has been seen in recent years.

"Even a relatively modest increase would be a major advance, even a 5% increase would be amazing," said Malcolm Hawkesford from Rothamsted.

The research project applied on Thursday (3 November) to Defra for the go-ahead to grow the wheat trial which would amount to just under 100sq m of the crop being grown in Rothamsted’s fenced GM-dedicated 3.2ha growing area.

They are planning to use the technology in the spring wheat variety Cadenza at Rothamsted in 2017 and also in 2018 if the trial is improved.

"This is the only way we can determine whether we can get a yield increase in the field, and this yield increase could be huge," said Dr Hawkesford.

The researchers identified that the process of photosynthesis can be limited by the lack of the enzyme SBPase, so they are looking to increase the level by engineering wheat plants by introducing a SPBase gene from stiff brome.

Extra gene copies

They have produced two types of plants one in which two extra copies of the SBPase gene are added and another in which six extra copies of the SBPase gene are introduced.

"We are improving photosynthesis to improve the yield of wheat," said Elizabete Carmo-Silva of Lancaster University.

If this technique does work then this trait could be transferred to other crops, while wheat yields could be further increased by looking at other enzyme levels which might be boosted, the researchers said.

Currently, only GM maize is grown commercially in the EU. This is grown largely in Spain and is used to protect the crop against a weevil pest, called the European corn borer.

Such is the level of opposition across Europe to GM technology there have been no other GM crops approved and subsequently grown since 1998.

Last week, UK farm minister George Eustice hinted British farmers may be able to grow GM crops once the UK leaves the EU, following the Brexit vote in June.

A recent trial at Rothamsted looking at GM wheat designed to repel aphids disappointed researchers as the crop was seen to be no better protected than conventional wheat.

This trial in 2012 and 2013 was targeted by anti-GM campaigners and the wheat plots had to be protected by a high fence, with the cost of the whole trial subsequently rising to nearly £3m.

The cost of the current GM trial is about £866,000, with nearly £700,000 coming from the UK government funded Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the rest by the US Department of Agriculture.


Science says Australia's record hot summers will become normal (?)

Totally dishonest.  No mention that the high 2015 temps were an effect of a natural El Nino weather pattern -- nothing to do with CO2

Look at the CO2 levels from Australia's Cape Grim climate observatory over the heart of the El Nino period.

Within an accuracy of parts per billion, there was NO increase in CO2 levels at all! The warming over the El Nino period was ENTIRELY natural, with NO contribution from a CO2 rise. CO2 levels did NOT rise so they CANNOT be responsible for the higher temperatures.

Below we see where the peak of the El Nino effect was.  High temps coinciding with NO rise in CO2

So, it was during a period of no CO2 rise that temperatures peaked.  Super pesky

Australian scientists say the hottest year on record globally in 2015 could be an average year by 2025 if carbon emissions continue to rise at the same rate.

The latest study has tried to define the concept of what is a new normal when talking about climate change.

Dr Sophie Lewis of the Australian National University says human activities have already locked in higher temperatures but immediate action could prevent record extreme seasons year after year.

"If we continue with business-as-usual emissions, extreme seasons will inevitably be the norm within decades and Australia is the canary in the coal mine that will experience this change first," says Dr Lewis.

"If we don’t reduce our rate of emissions the record hot summer of 2013 in Australia — when we saw temperatures approaching 50 degrees Celsius in some areas — could be just another average summer season by 2035."

The recent State of the Climate report by the peak science body, the CSIRO, and the Bureau of Meteorology also says severe fire seasons fueled by increasingly hot days will continue for Australia.

Australia’s climate has warmed by around 1 degree celsius since 1910. Extreme fire weather, and a longer fire season, has increased across large parts of Australia since the 1970s.

And 2015 was the warmest year since modern record-keeping began in 1880, according to analysis by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

However, the latest Australian research shows record-breaking temperatures can be prevented from becoming average.

"Based on a specific starting point, we determined a new normal occurred when at least half of the years following an extreme year were cooler and half warmer," says Dr Lewis. "Only then can a new normal state be declared."

Using the National Computational Infrastructure supercomputer at ANU to run climate models, the researchers explored when new normal states would appear.

The research team looked at temperatures from December to February across Australia, Europe, Asia and North America.

"The results revealed that while global average temperatures would inevitably enter a new normal under all emissions scenarios, this wasn’t the case at seasonal and regional levels," says Dr Lewis.

"We found that with prompt action to reduce greenhouse gases a new normal might never occur in the 21st century at regional levels during the Southern Hemisphere summer and Northern Hemisphere winter."

The research is published in the Bulletin of the American Meterological Society.



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

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


7 November, 2016

Warmist believes in funny money

The guy excerpted below has fallen for the old Douglas credit fallacy.  "Social Creditors" did quite well in Canada for a while, particularly in B.C., if I remember rightly. And aside from their misunderstanding of the financial system, I think they were fairly conservative.  So it is amusing that the enthusiastic young Warmist below has rediscovered it and got it published in the Guardian.  It made my day to read it anyway.

The thing he knows nothing about is the velocity of circulation but I am not going to try to give a lesson in Economics 101 in this post.  Most amusing of all is that the "new idea" he has in the final paragraph below is exactly what happens now.  I am pretty sure that the Guardian will be embarrassed into deleting this article soon so check it out

The writer below is Jason Hickel, a young professor of anthropology at the London School of Economics, which has been Left-leaning for just about the whole of its existence.  They do however have a distinguished record in economics so will certainly be embarrassed by the ignorance below emanating from their hallowed halls

What is it about Warmism that fries the brains of even quite smart people?

How can we redesign the global economy to bring it in line with the principles of ecology? The most obvious answer is to stop using GDP to measure economic progress and replace it with a more thoughtful measure – one that accounts for the ecological and social impact of economic activity. Prominent economists like Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz have been calling for such changes for years and it’s time we listened.

But replacing GDP is only a first step. While it might help refocus economic policies on what really matters, it doesn’t address the main driver of growth: debt. Debt is the reason the economy has to grow in the first place. Because debt always comes with interest, it grows exponentially – so if a person, a business, or a country wants to pay down debt over the long term, they have to grow enough to at least match the growth of their debt. Without growth, debt piles up and eventually triggers an economic crisis.

One way to relieve the pressure for endless growth might be to cancel some of the debt – a kind of debt jubilee. But this would only provide a short-term fix; it wouldn’t get to the real root of the problem: that the global economic system runs on money that is itself debt.

This might sound a bit odd, but it’s quite simple. When you walk into a bank to take out a loan, you assume that the bank is lending you money it has in reserve – money that it stores somewhere in a vault, for example, collected from other people’s deposits. But that’s not how it works. Banks only hold reserves worth about 10% of the money they lend out. In other words, banks lend out 10 times more money than they actually have. This is known as fractional reserve banking.

So where does all that additional money come from? Banks create it out of thin air when they make loans – they loan it into existence. This accounts for about 90% of the money circulating in our economy right now. It’s not created by the government, as most people assume: it is created by commercial banks in the form of loans. In other words, almost every dollar that passes through our hands represents somebody’s debt. And every dollar of debt has to be paid back with interest. Because our money system is based on debt, it has a growth imperative baked into it. In other words, our money system is heating up the planet.

Once we realise this, the solution comes into view: we need banks to keep a bigger fraction of reserves behind the loans they make. This would go a long way toward diminishing the amount of debt sloshing around in our economy, helping reduce the pressure for economic growth.

But there’s an even more exciting solution we might consider. We could abolish debt-based currency altogether and invent a new money system completely free of intrinsic debt. Instead of letting commercial banks create money by lending it into existence, we could have the state create the money and then spend it into existence. New money would get pumped into the real economy instead of just going straight into financial speculation where it inflates huge asset bubbles that only benefit the mega-rich.


Warmist muscle-head confuses CO2 with carbon monoxide

In a new online video, actor and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger once again threatened climate skeptics with death.

Schwarzenegger made the carbon monoxide threat to political leaders who want to stop the EPA from regulating carbon dioxide.
Schwarzenegger declared in the video: "Some politicians even want to shut down the EPA’s ability to regulate carbon. I would like to strap their mouth to the exhaust pipe of a truck, turn on the engine and let’s see how long it would take them to tap out."

Schwarzenegger also threatened death to skeptics in 2013:

Arnold Schwarzenegger on global warming ‘deniers’: ‘Strap some conservative-thinking people to a tailpipe for an hour and then they will agree it’s a pollutant!’


Roundup the corrupt fear mongers

Deceit and collusion drive campaigns to ban a vital, popular, safe, affordable herbicide

Paul Driessen

Do we really need more collusion, corruption and deceit in the service of renegade regulators, organic food interests, anti-chemical activists, and policies that carry harmful or even lethal consequences?

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is one of the most widely used herbicides on Earth. Numerous farmers use it in conjunction with Roundup-Ready seeds, to grow crops that thrive in fields sprayed to eliminate weeds – while also being insect-resistant and drought-tolerant, thanks to other traits built into their DNA. Such crops significantly reduce the need to spray pesticides and irrigate fields.

They also permit no-till farming, which eliminates mechanical weeding, thereby greatly reducing erosion and enabling soils to retain their stores of carbon, carbon dioxide and other nutrients.

Glyphosate is also better, safer and less expensive than "organic" alternatives. On a volume basis, it is much less toxic than salt or vinegar, which are often combined for homemade weed killers. Farmers also have to use far more salt-vinegar concoctions and apply them more often than they would glyphosate, and even then the S-V mix is not nearly as effective. Industrial-strength organic herbicides also exist.

However, when ultra-green Sonoma County, California tried one of these "natural alternatives" to glyphosate, the "organic" product cost 17 times more than Monsanto’s oft-vilified chemical to cover the same acreage. Moreover, sprayers had to use hazmat suits and respirators when applying the natural chemical mix, because it irritated eyes and nasal passages. Glyphosate/ Roundup requires no protective gear. The "organic" mixture is also toxic to bees and other beneficial insects; Roundup is not.

These hard realities force many organic farms to rely on mechanized or hand weeding. But tractors crush closely planted crops, and even full-sized hoes don’t offer enough control to avoid damaging sensitive plants. That means poorly paid migrant farm workers must bend over all day, using short-handled hoes. So California banned the little hoes, and then banned "unnecessary hand weeding" since it also causes serious to permanent back problems – but exempted organic farms from the ban.

With people having safely eaten trillions of servings containing one or more GMO ingredients, and hundreds of scientific organizations having determined that genetically modified foods are perfectly safe, radical anti-technology groups like Greenpeace have increasingly focused on glyphosate as their substitute villain. They’ve also enlisted a number of regulatory agencies, by helping to get anti-chemical activists in their ranks and launching high-pressure campaigns to secure desired agency decisions.

Among them is the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a World Health Organization (WHO) bureau headquartered in France. IARC simply reviews existing research and classifies chemicals as definitely, probably, possibly or not likely to cause cancer in humans at extremely high doses. It does not conduct its own studies or determine which exposure levels do not actually pose cancer risks.

Considering that coffee, alcohol, salted fish, and many nutritious fruits and vegetables are carcinogenic in high doses, this is not a very useful approach. In fact, since 1965, IARC has reviewed over 900 chemicals and concluded that only one is "probably not carcinogenic to humans."

All too often, IARC uses its classifications to justify chemical bans, without considering other factors. As a 2016 Toxicology and Pharmacology journal paper by ten US and EU toxicology and cancer experts demonstrates, this methodology is outmoded, unworkable and likely to reach erroneous conclusions. Even worse, IARC is now controlled by anti-chemical activists who have multiple conflicts of interest and often collude with other activists in regulatory agencies and extreme environmentalist groups.

What is really needed, these experts emphasize, is "risk assessment," which requires evaluating human exposure to a chemical in terms of its avenue (topical, inhalation or ingestion) and the duration, frequency and magnitude of exposure, to assess maximum safe doses. Evaluations must also determine whether substances that cause cancer in animals also do so in humans. For instance, statins and many other pharmaceuticals are carcinogenic for animals, but safe for humans. Only after all this is done can proper risk management and mitigation measures be developed. However, IARC does none of this.

The IARC hazard-identification method can lead to crazy results. For instance, it puts processed meat in the same "definitely carcinogenic" category as poisonous mustard gas. The paper’s authors ask: Should we treat processed meats the same way we do mustard gas: reduce exposure to zero? Or should we treat mustard gas the way we handle red or processed meat: as part of a healthy lifestyle, in moderation?

Addressing these and other considerations, the European Food Safety Authority recently concluded that glyphosate "is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans." IARC labeled glyphosate "a probable human carcinogen" and vigorously lobbied Brussels officials for a ban, threatening its approval in the EU.

This unprecedented political activism raises serious questions about collusion, dishonesty and lack of transparency at the IARC, US Environmental Protection Agency and NIH’s National Institutes of Environmental Health, which is led by anti-chemical activist Linda Birnbaum. University of Illinois emeritus professor Bruce Chassy, risk evaluation blogger David Zaruk, the US House of Representatives Oversight Committee, the Reuters News Agency and others have documented all of this, and more:

IARC cherry-picked both the studies it relied on, and data from within those studies, to support conclusions sought by activists like former NIEH staffer Chris Portier. He drove the IARC review process, influenced who would be on its evaluation panels, and campaigned across Europe for a ban – while receiving paychecks from the anti-pesticide pressure group Environmental Defense Fund. IARC hid those connections and failed to disclose similar conflicts of interest by other review panel members.

Now IARC is refusing to release data and documents used in reaching its conclusions and advising panelists not to disclose materials requested under FOIA. It claims IARC is the "sole owner" of all such materials, even though they were developed using US and EU tax money, and peer review by independent outside experts is essential for ensuring honest, accurate, scientific decisions that serve the public interest.

Meanwhile, IARC insists that its practices are "widely respected for their scientific rigor, standardized and transparent process and freedom from conflicts of interest." You cannot make this stuff up.

Meanwhile, EPA has again delayed its final decision on glyphosate safety, removed a supportive memo from its website, and given contradictory and deceptive testimony on the issue to Congress. House Science, Space and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) has sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, demanding explanations and corrections.

One question involves the relationship between EPA and Chris Portier’s brother Ken, who was recently added to EPA’s Scientific Advisory Panel on glyphosate. The two served on multiple NIEH and EPA panels and meetings, without disclosing their relationship, even when Ken reviewed Chris’s work.

The National Institutes of Health has given tens of millions of dollars to IARC. And yet, when the House Oversight Committee questioned its officials about glyphosate decisions and ties to EPA, NIH agreed to appear only if any hearing was off limits to the press and public. What are the agencies trying to hide?

Worst of all, this war on GMO food and glyphosate has lethal consequences. As former UK Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has noted, Vitamin A Deficiency causes 500,000 children to go blind and half of them to die every year. VAD also causes nutritionally acquired immune deficiency syndrome, which results in another two million children dying annually from diseases they would otherwise survive. Nutrient-fortified "Golden Rice" could prevent VAD – but Greenpeace and other radicals oppose its use.

That means their 15-years-long war on Golden Rice alone has killed 30 million children. Tens of millions more have died because the same extremist groups oppose DDT, other pesticides and fossil fuels. They are more worried about far-fetched risks from glyphosate and GMO foods than about this death toll. That is outrageous. This eco-manslaughter, this crime against humanity, can no longer be tolerated.

We need to use Roundup on the corruption, collusion, cronyism and callous disregard for human lives.

Via email

Corruption in academe

Most scientists have personalities that are not conducive to being the rock in the current. They just want to do their research and be left alone. Furthermore, PhD's are much like military officers. They rise in the ranks by going along to get along. Show me an officer who told his superiors they were wrong - and proved it - and I will show you a career junior officer. Show me an academic going for his doctorate who tells his professors their theories are all wrong and has a dissertation clearly demonstrating it - and I will show you someone who will have to be in love with a masters degree.

This pattern repeats over and over again. During the years Stalin was slaughtering his people in the Soviet Union with his insane agricultural policies one scientist became his favorite, Trofim Denisovich Lysenko.

Lysenko believed that "amassing of evidence was substituted for casual proof as the means demonstrating the "correctness" of the underlying hypotheses" and those who failed to conform to the tenets of the new biology could be silenced or suppressed as enemies of the truth. It also did not concern him if his followers "manipulated" somewhat their data or their experimental results, since minor falsifications could still support the ideological cause, which represented a higher level of truth than the precise reporting of facts", and for almost 30 years some of the finest minds in Russian biology either "became infected with....[the] madness" or "converted" to it. Many if not most scientists in America are now converts to the insanity because the holy grail of science is no longer truth but grant money.

In Russia, "scientists, who were skeptical, were threatened with loss of their working and publishing opportunities if they did not conform to these views. As a result they were forced to adjust the direction of their research or to contribute some kind of work which was in accord with the Stalinist ideology." Some got around this by publishing entirely in Latin …of which the commissars were ignorant. Some refused to bend to the madness of the new biological ideology at all, and were permanently silenced.

We don't send people to gulags or execute them out of hand for having differing scientific views but those who don't accept the "consensus" have been silenced or suppressed as enemies of the truth, and have been threatened with loss of their working and publishing opportunities if they did not conform to the acceptable politically correct standards of "the higher truth".

The left still demands total obedience and obeisance no matter how insane their positions may be. Stalin and his favorite scientists caused millions to starve to death, and no one dared complain! One New York Times reporter, Walter Duranty won a Pulitzer Prize for lying about Stalin's atrocities claiming no one was starving Russia.

Yes, the media is part and parcel of this outrage, and have been since they were infiltrated and infested with communists and Stalinist agents starting in the 20's. And yes - I might as well really tick someone off - Joe McCarthy was right! Also, McCarthy didn't go after Hollywood! That was done by the House on Un-American Activities Committee - and that was run by the Democrats. And we also know along with government and Hollywood, these agents infested the unions, academia, newspapers and radio.

Well, it's time honest scientists organized, stood up on their hind legs and started suing these misfits of academia, science, sanity and reality, otherwise they may find out this nation will become a scientific gulag.

The Soviet Union and their viperous agents may be gone, but these misfits in academia are the offspring of vipers, and they're just as deadly in their desires and intentions as was Stalin was to destroy the United States, one institution at a time.


Businesses Try Not to Sweat New Global Climate Change Rule

The air conditioning and refrigeration industries are accustomed to change.

Indeed, manufacturers had been bracing for an international climate regulation targeting them, and representatives of the industries even had a seat at the negotiating table.

Global leaders last month celebrated completion of a deal to phase down worldwide emissions of chemical coolants called hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, used in air conditioners and refrigerators. Manufacturers already investing in new solutions were hopeful consumers would not experience significant cost increases.

"We are manufacturers trying to deal with realities of making these things work," said Kevin Messner, senior vice president of policy and government relations at the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers.

In interviews with The Daily Signal, representatives of sectors in the appliance industry described the challenges and opportunities ahead in complying with the terms of a new global climate deal that Secretary of State John Kerry called "the single most important step" taken so far to limit climate change.

On Oct. 15, in Kigali, Rwanda, more than 170 countries, including the U.S., China, and India, agreed to limit the use of HFCs. They account for a small percentage of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, but are considered more powerful than carbon dioxide.

The phasedown would begin in 2019, with the goal of a global reduction of 80 percent in the use of HFCs by 2047.

The agreement came in the form of an amendment to the 1987 Montreal Protocol, an international treaty ratified during the Reagan administration and designed to protect the Earth’s ozone layer.

This means the deal is legally binding, unlike a higher-profile international climate change accord approved in Paris last year. That agreement targeted carbon emissions and required only voluntary pledges from countries to comply.

While the HFC deal has received little criticism from business interests or Republicans in Congress, at least one leading skeptic of climate change says the agreement should require Senate approval. The State Department is reviewing whether the HFC amendment requires approval as a treaty.

"Should the Obama administration proceed to formalize acceptance of the latest amendment to the Montreal Protocol, the Senate must be involved," Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., told The Daily Signal in a written statement, adding:

The Montreal Protocol has been formally amended four times since it entered into force with each one going through the advice and consent process in the Senate. Despite the message from the Obama administration, the limitations of Senate-granted authority to the Montreal Protocol have not changed.

‘Writing on the Wall’

In response to the original Montreal Protocol, which phased out use of chlorofluorocarbons, the ozone-depleting coolants known as CFCs, manufacturers transitioned to a replacement chemical: HFCs.

While HFCs are healthier for the ozone layer, many scientists say they, like CFCs, are a strong agent that produces climate change.

In anticipation of the regulations, companies collectively have spent billions of dollars researching a replacement for HFCs and redesigning manufacturing equipment.

"It’s not normal for industries to ask to be regulated," said Frances Dietz, vice president of public affairs at the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute, a major industry group. Dietz added:

But if you look at it from a business perspective, predictability is very important. Even if it’s something you’d rather not have to do, at least if I know what’s coming I can prepare for it. We saw the writing on the wall and set ourselves up, so we were not surprised. It’s an interesting story that everybody is on the same page.

Sergio Chayet, director of a master’s program in supply chain management at Washington University in St. Louis, says suppliers such as Chemours, Honeywell, Arkema, and Daikin have invested in research and development on what they call HFOs, or hydrofluoroolefins. An alternative to HFCs, they quickly degrade in the atmosphere, limiting how much heat they trap.

These suppliers have been actively securing patents and building production facilities in the U.S., China, and Japan, some of which already are operational.

Making a Change

Some alternatives to HFCs are in use. For example, a coolant called HFO-1234yf is becoming the standard chemical used to air-condition new cars in the U.S. and European Union.

But other alternatives have not been approved in the U.S.

Critics of HFO-1234yf question its safety and cost. The New York Times reports the alternative coolant is at least 10 times more expensive than the one it replaces.

Costs are higher, Chayet said, because the HFO industry is highly concentrated and protected by patents, giving the limited participants pricing power.

But, he said, HFOs require little up-front capital investment because the cooling process is similar to that of HFCs. That is, it’s relatively easy to retrofit manufacturing equipment to produce the new coolant.

HFOs also are considered flammable, although not as much so as hydrocarbon, another potential alternative coolant.

Nick Richards, a spokesman for General Motors Co., told The Daily Signal that the Detroit-based company has produced more than a million light-duty vehicles globally with the new refrigerant, HFO-1234yf, since 2013.

Richards referred to HFO-1234yf as the "most highly tested refrigerant ever to be developed," and said prices for the coolant have reduced "significantly" in the past few years.

"The refrigerant remains a cost-effective way to meet environmental standards around the globe," Richards said. "Vehicle hardware changes required to use the new refrigerant do not add any significant cost to the overall product."

‘Design to Reality’

Some industry groups question whether alternative coolants can be proved safe and effective in the timeline required by regulations.

Before the international agreement, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a rule phasing out HFCs in new appliances sold in the U.S., such as refrigerators, by 2021.

Messner, of the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, said that meeting the 2021 deadline—instead of the 2024 date proposed by the industry—will cost an additional $230 million.

"Engineers don’t like uncertainty, and that’s where we are right now," Messner said. "Everyone is assuming the safety standards will change [allowing widespread use of new coolants] and that could happen in a year, in 10 years, or it could never happen. That’s nice for everyone to assume, but as engineers, we need to design to reality."

Industry groups say most large companies acknowledge the short-term costs of the transition away from HFCs, but are confident the regulations won’t impose a significant burden on the industry—or consumers.

Consumer prices for appliances eventually may rise as much as 2 percent, a figure in line with previous coolant phasedowns, according to Kevin Fay, executive director of the Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy, an industry group that represents chemical companies and appliance makers. Fay told The Daily Signal:

All things considered, would we like to be spending resources on other issues? Absolutely, but at the same time, in terms of addressing energy efficiency and getting products out there providing health and safety to the customer, the agreement allows that process to move forward in something of a smoother fashion.

Developing countries with hotter temperatures, meanwhile, could feel more of an impact.

In one, India, millions of people are on the verge of being able to afford their first air conditioner, cooled by HFCs.

Under the deal, India and other hotter countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Pakistan have a more lenient timetable to reduce HFC levels.

"For developing countries, the increased costs due to patents could end up making refrigeration and air conditioning unaffordable for many entry-level consumers," Chayet said.



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6 November, 2016

The Dakota pipeline as an example of government malfunction

Uncertainty. Perhaps the worst of words for private sector investors. The free market is filled to the brim with it. One rarely if ever knows how things will transpire. You measure twice – if not three, four or five times. And then you cut your deal. Then you cross your fingers – and hope for the best.

And with all of that – eight out ten businesses fail. Ouch.

But that’s the nature of the private sector. If you want a successful, vibrant economy – you have to acknowledge and accept this uncertainty as a part of the deal.

What you don’t need – is all sorts of additional, superfluous, ridiculous uncertainty piled on top of you by government.

And the Barack Obama Administration is Team Uncertainty.

What you want from government is an orderly process for new laws. Thankfully, the Constitution sets that up. Elected members of the Legislative Branch debate bills. We the People can lobby members of Congress to redress our grievances. Making the bills better – or, failing that, making Congress better by electing new members.

The Obama Administration has bypassed all of this. And has instead governed by a massive flood of regulatory fiats – issued by unelected bureaucrats. Whom we can’t lobby. Of whom we can’t rid ourselves in the next election. (In fact, we can’t get rid of them just about ever.)

This is the very definition of uncertainty. You never know when or where the next government anvils are going to fall. And you have zero say in any of it. It is thus impossible to measure twice, thrice or more – and you’ll never feel comfortable cutting any deal. So fewer and fewer people do.

Because for all you know your entire business model may the very next day be irreparably damaged or even deemed illegal – by some unnamed bureaucrat somewhere within the Gigantism of the $4-trillion-per-year federal government.

All of this (and more) is why President Obama will be the first chief executive in our history to never have a year of even 3% economic growth.

Speaking of – sometimes, the economy-killing bureaucrat does have a name. And a very recognizable face. Behold President Obama his own self – throwing an ocean-sized bucket of government water on the private sector.

Obama Says Army Corps is Considering Ways to ‘Reroute’ Controversial Dakota Access Pipeline: "On Tuesday, President Obama weighed in on the Dakota Access pipeline being constructed to transport oil from North Dakota to a refinery outside Chicago."

Get that? The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is "being constructed." Which means – it’s already been approved. By FIVE different governments.

The pipeline will run through four states. And all four of those states’ governments approved the pipeline. And guess who else approved it? The Barack Obama Administration – via its aforementioned Army Corps of Engineers.

So the DAPL folks did exactly what they were supposed (forced) to do. They played Mother-May-I with five different governments – and received five go-aheads.

And now President Obama has after-the-fact, retroactively pulled the rug out from under them. Hello, uncertainty.

And in so doing, is siding with the liars and thugs who have been blocking the already-approved project.

Up to and including the ridiculous New York Times’ ridiculous Bill McKibben – who last week defended the indefensible in a ridiculous screed entitled "Why Dakota Is the New Keystone." The title isn’t even true. DAPL was approved by the Feds (and everyone else) – the Keystone Pipeline was not.

McKibben having joined with the liars and thugs in word – word is he will today be joining with them in deed. In person, in North Dakota, helping to continue to block lawful commerce from being conducted.

Who are the these liars and thugs? The Standing Rock Sioux Indian Tribe – and their environmentalist-radical trail lawyers from EarthJustice.

How are they liars?

The Disingenuous Duo has filed a lawsuit to block the pipeline, in which they claim: "Neither [Dakota Access] nor the Corps ever consulted with the Tribe…or had invited their participation as the Tribe had repeatedly requested."

Except: "A basic examination of documents provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and state utility boards, as well as filings by the Corps of Engineers and Dakota Access in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia shows the (Standing Rock Sioux Tribe) and environmental allies met with regulators multiple times, and filed over a hundred comments throughout state and federal review periods. Filings also show that Dakota Access made seven attempts to meet with the tribe directly but were rejected every time."

So, they’re liars.

How are they thugs?

The Morton County (North Dakota) Sheriff’s Department has issued a statement (and offered up some pictures) in which they catalog the very peaceful protesters’ very peaceful protests. Up to and including:

A woman firing multiple gun shots at the police line,

Protesters throwing Molotov Cocktails at officers,

Two officers receiving minor injuries after being hit by logs and other debris,

Protesters setting numerous fires to vehicles and other debris; at least nine vehicles plus construction equipment was torched.  (For reference, the photos that show the burned out vehicles on the bridge are located at Backwater Bridge on Highway 1806.),

142 people were arrested on Thursday and Friday bringing the number of protesters who have been arrested in the County for illegal acts since August 10 to 411.

So, they’re thugs.

All of this lying and thuggery – now tacitly endorsed by the President of the United States.

All in opposition to a pipeline – already approved by the President of the United States.

Yet another federal-government-sized dose of uncertainty – heaped upon a private sector already suffering from pronounced crush syndrome.


Making The Rogue EPA Obey The Law, One Case At A Time

The Obama administration's war on coal was dealt a setback by a recent decision from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia. The court held that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency failed to follow the law and did not properly evaluate the job losses caused by its regulations.

Plaintiffs, including Murray Energy Corp., a large coal producer, sued the EPA regarding its failure to comply with the Clean Air Act, which instructs the EPA to "conduct continuing evaluations of potential loss or shifts of employment which may result from the administration or enforcement of the provision of this Act and applicable implementation plans."

The EPA argued that because there is no specified date by which evaluations should be completed, there is no enforceable duty to perform any evaluations. The court, noting the "continuing" language used in the statute, didn't agree. The EPA here is like a child who after being told by a parent to "keep your room clean" argues that the absence of a deadline means that they do not really have to clean the room.

Only in a federal bureaucracy could the term "continuing" be construed as "never." As the court noted, the "Blacks's Law Dictionary" definition of "continuing" is "uninterrupted."

The court stated that "while the EPA may have discretion as to the timing of such evaluations, it does not have the discretion to categorically refuse to conduct any such evaluations."

The court further noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has held "it is rudimentary administrative law that discretion as to the substance of the ultimate decision does not confer discretion to ignore the required procedures of decision-making."

Thus, while Congress gave the EPA discretion to determine the structure of "continuing evaluations," that discretion cannot be translated into discretion to not conduct the evaluations.

The EPA also had the gall to assert that the plaintiff coal companies had no standing to sue, arguing that no injury to the plaintiffs could be traced to the failure to perform evaluations.

On this point the court disagreed, stating, "while the EPA argues that such (injury) would only be traceable to the earlier actions of the EPA rather than the failure of the EPA to conduct employment evaluations, this Court cannot agree. The claimed injuries, while in part traceable to the prior actions of the EPA, may also be fairly traceable to the failure of the EPA to conduct the evaluations."

The court then gets to the real reason why the EPA does not want to perform these continuing evaluations: Doing so "may have the effect of convincing the EPA, Congress, and/or the American public to relax or alter EPA's prior decisions." In other words, the EPA knows that the only way to be sure it can succeed in its war on coal is to keep the effects secret as long as possible.

Keeping the effects secret will also help keep Congress from asking the EPA uncomfortable questions. Here the court, quoting the U.S. Supreme Court, stated that the "continuing evaluation requirement 'will allow the Congress to get a close look at the effects on employment of legislation such as this, and will thus place us in a position to consider such remedial legislation as may be necessary to ameliorate those effects.' "

The court ordered the EPA to provide it with a plan on how it would perform the evaluations. After the EPA begins performing the required evaluations, Congress should take up the court's invitation and "get a close look at the effects on employment." Those effects should be taken into consideration when considering how much taxpayer money the EPA gets from Congress next year.


The "Voluntary" Component of EPA's Clean Power Plan Makes It Even More Unlawful

Today I filed a comment letter on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule titled "Clean Energy Incentive Program Design Details." The comment period closes today at the stroke of midnight.

As the title suggests, EPA’s proposal is designed to flesh out the details of the Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP), a major program element of the agency’s so-called Clean Power Plan (CPP), on which the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals recently held oral argument.

The gist of my comment letter is that the CEIP makes the Power Plan even more unlawful, enlarging EPA’s already formidable power grab to pick energy market winners and losers and rig the electricity marketplace against fossil fuels.

The CEIP is what’s known in regulatory parlance as an "early action credit" scheme. In a generic early action credit program, companies that reduce emissions before the start of a compliance period receive credits they can later use during the compliance period to meet part of their obligations. They can also sell the credits in emissions trading markets.

A key point to bear in mind is that all early action credit programs transfer wealth, in the form of tradable emission credits, from those who don’t take early action to those who do. Both the environmental integrity of the associated emissions reduction program and the monetary value of the credits demand that each early credit be subtracted from, rather than added to, the supply of credits available in the mandatory period. Otherwise credit inflation would devalue the credits as tradable assets and the total supply of regulatory allowances would exceed the emissions reduction target or cap.

Thus, although often touted as "voluntary" and "win-win," early action crediting is a coercive, zero-sum game. For every company that gains a credit in the early action period, there must be another than loses a credit in the compliance period. Early actors profit at the expense of companies that don’t participate. That is not an unintended consequence but the very purpose of such programs. The intent is to "incentivize" early reductions by imposing windfall losses on those who do not "volunteer."  

The CEIP includes two novel features not included in any previous early action program or proposal of which I am aware. First, EPA will create a federal "matching pool" equivalent to 300 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) to provide bonus federal credits in addition to early credits awarded by States. Second, participation is restricted to investors in renewable energy and demand-side energy efficiency projects. No credits will be awarded to utilities that achieve early CO2 reductions by improving the heat-rate efficiency of coal power plants or by shifting baseload generation from coal to gas.

In short, the CEIP is the first greenhouse gas early credit program ever adopted or proposed to discriminate against classes of early reducers based on their fuel source or core technology, and the first to intensify the zero-sum dynamic of an early action program by means of a federal-state "matching pool."

A major criticism of the Power Plan generally is that it is a strategy to expand the market share of renewables rather than to improve the "environmental performance" (lower the emissions rate) of existing coal and gas power plants. The CPP sets performance standards for existing fossil-fuel power plants that EPA acknowledges are infeasible and unaffordable even for new sources using state-of-the-art control technology.

To meet the CPP’s unachievable standards, owners of fossil-fuel power plants have the "choice" to produce less power from coal or gas facilities, shut down the plants, or invest in new renewable units, which are not even "sources" (emitting facilities) under the pertinent statutory provision, section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act. The CPP is transparently designed to undermine the economics of coal generation and advantage renewables at the expense of both coal and gas.

The CEIP will enhance EPA’s ability to suppress coal and gas generation. To repeat, only investments in renewable energy and demand-side energy efficiency will qualify for early credits, ensuring that all early credits are awarded at the expense of fossil-energy interests. Plus, the early credit "matching pool" will intensify the pain and penalty already inflicted on fossil-energy interests by their exclusion from the CEIP, because it will further reduce the supply of credits available to them in the compliance period by an amount equivalent to 300 million tons of CO2.

The logic operating here is political, not statutory. EPA is biased against fossil fuels and seeks to rig the marketplace against fossil fuels. There is no evidence, textual or otherwise, that Congress enacted Sec. 111(d) to pick energy market winners and losers or transfer wealth from fossil energy interests to alternative energy interests.

Read the full comment letter here. More information on CEI's legal challenge to the Clean Power Plan, CEI, et al. v. EPA, is here.


Paris climate deal: don’t bet on renewable energy to stop global warming

A realistic Warmist below.  He understands the economics, if not the climate data

The Paris climate agreement has now officially come into force. Although Donald Trump and other climate change deniers have vowed to abandon it, most have hailed the agreement as a huge success and a significant milestone in our quest to limit the effects of global climate change.

But here’s the problem: many climate experts warn that the commitments made at Paris still fall far short of what is required to halt global warming at the 2°C mark, never mind reversing the growth of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The simple truth is that the Paris agreement is blind to the fundamental, structural problems that prevent us from decarbonising our economies to the radical extent needed.

Take renewable energy. Among the most progressive leaders in business, government and NGOs there is a shared belief that, if only we could switch off the fossil fuel tap and quickly transition towards renewable energy sources, we still have a chance to save the world from runaway climate change. All that’s needed is massive investment in wind, solar, geothermal and other renewables. International agreements such as those reached in Paris are what makes those investments possible, providing business confidence and policy commitment.

While I feel part of this group of progressives, there are some hard facts that cannot be ignored.

Fossil fuel still dominates

First, the renewable schemes to date have largely been at the expense of unpopular nuclear installations, while the global share of fossil fuel-generated energy consumption remains at about 80-85%: just where it’s been since the early 1970s. Yes, massive solar and wind parks are being built around the world, but they haven’t yet changed the business models of Shell, BP and other fossil fuel giants. On the contrary, they feel more secure than ever to invest in fossil fuel sources, particularly gas, which they see as a "transition fuel" – here to stay until at least 2050 they say.

Land shortage

Second, the massive amounts of land required for installing gigawatts of solar and wind power will destroy natural habitats and take away valuable farmland. This is already evident in the way existing biomass production schemes – forests in the US for instance, sugar cane in Brazil or palm oil in Malaysia – have had serious environmental and social side-effects to the extent that they have been labelled as "greenwash.

There simply isn’t enough accessible land for all the solar or wind farms that would be needed to transition to a renewable future. Wherever renewables have been developed at the "mega" level, they end up bulldozing, quite literally, people and wildlife. And generally it’s the poorest, usually rural, communities who are disproportionately affected, given that their land values are lowest and existing users have little power or formal land rights. For example, large-scale hydroelectric dam projects, currently the greatest source of renewable energy, have destroyed many human communities and flooded irreplaceable natural habitats.

Yes, offshore wind can fill some of the gaps, but it is more expensive to build and maintain than onshore, and the generated energy has to be transmitted over long distances.

Heavy on metals

Third, as French scientist Olivier Vidal and his colleagues recently pointed out, the shift to renewable energy will "replace one non-renewable resource (fossil-fuels) with another (metals and minerals)." Vidal estimates that 3,200 million tonnes of steel, 310 million tonnes of aluminium and 40 million tonnes of copper would be needed to build the latest generations of wind and solar facilities. Together with demand from electric vehicle manufacturers, a worldwide renewables boom would rely on a 5% to 18% annual increase in global production of minerals for the next 40 years.

Similarly startling projections are made for other materials oiling the wheels of green capitalism, including silver, lithium, copper, silicon, gallium and the rare earths. In many cases, supplies of these raw materials are already dwindling. The Toyota Prius, for example, one of the greenest cars on the market, relies on a range of very dirty rare earth minerals, the excavation and processing of which has devastated large areas of Inner Mongolia in China.

Removing carbon

Lastly, the climate challenge is so urgent and huge that we actually need to remove carbon from the atmosphere, rather than just switching to renewables. That’s the view of prominent climate scientist James Hansen, the former head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, who has shown that, even if we switched to zero-carbon energy sources today, we would still be facing a serious climate challenge for centuries to come.

What this all means is that the Paris agreement doesn’t go far enough. In fact, it might give us the impression of moving in the right direction, but actually the pledged actions are so far off what is needed, it spreads false hope.

So, what is needed then?

A realisation that simply switching to renewables alone will not solve the climate change problem.

We need to start removing carbon from the atmosphere.

We need to tackle the demand side. We cannot simply assume that relentless economic growth is compatible with a green future.

These points raise uncomfortable questions that only those who can think and act against the grain dare to ask. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t transition to renewable energy. Not at all. But that alone will not save the climate. The world’s climate experts and leaders in business, government and NGOs, who are about to gather in Marrakesh for yet another UN conference, would do well in starting to engage with this uncomfortable truth.


Why Climate Spending Does Nothing and Should Be Scrapped

Comment from Australia

The industrial burning of fossil fuels has released CO2 that is purported to be responsible for .7 degrees of planetary warming over the last century, and climate models predict it could be responsible for up to another 2 – 6 degrees over the next 100 years. Despite the fact that very few of the climate change predictions made since the late 80’s have come true (think empty dams, no more snow in the UK and an ice-free arctic) if a warmer earth is going to be problem, what can we do about it?

Mainstream thinking tells that leaving fossil fuels in the ground is the answer. According to the IPCC we must act now to reduce emissions substantially in order to reduce climate risks and increase our chances of adapting to a warmer world. Across the globe various carbon pricing schemes, taxes and renewable energy subsidies have been put in place in order to roll back the clock on global carbon dioxide emissions.

In Australia we have the Emissions Reduction Fund to which the government have allocated $2.55 billion in order to to help achieve Australia’s 2020 emissions reduction target of five per cent below 2000 levels by 2020. Then there is the $1 billion dollars pledged after the Paris Climate Summit last year, $200 million pledged over 4 years for the Global Climate Fund, and also $200 million dollars pledged to Mission Innovation, a multi-country group whose mission is to accelerate global clean energy innovation. It has been estimated that the overall gross cost of decarbonising Australia’s energy production over the next 20 years will be $60 billion.

But what will we get for those dollars and how much will it affect global temperature? With perhaps the exception of Mission Innovation, which focuses on more on ‘clean’ energy innovation and not carbon reduction, the dollars spent largely serve to increase energy poverty and slow economic growth, by making energy production more expensive. Together with the Renewable Energy Targets we are also heading towards a 23.5% reliance on unreliable renewable energy sources by 2020, and nobody can say with any accuracy exactly how many degrees of future warming these measures will mitigate. Seeing as Australia emits just 1% of the total global carbon dioxide emissions per year, and we are striving to reduce this to 5% less than our 2000 emission levels, we can assume it’s not very much. Meanwhile, worldwide there are 350 gigawatts of coal projects currently under construction, and 932 gigawatts of pre-construction coal proposals in the pipeline. Compare that to Australia’s annual coal production capacity of 29 GWe in 2014, it becomes apparent that our efforts are not only futile, but seriously undermined.

Consider also that global population will continue to rise until at least mid-century, meaning that in order for global carbon dioxide emissions to even remain stagnant, per capita emissions must continually fall proportionate to population growth. We are told that if fossil fuel use and carbon dioxide emissions stabilise at today’s levels, the climate will still warm by .6 degrees over the next 100 years. To achieve this continual reduction in per capita emissions, it means no new cheap energy for the developing world, and somebody would have to stop India, Indonesia and China from building new coal powered plants. A realist knows that this will never happen; it is more likely that globally we will continue on a ‘business as usual’ course. No number of carbon reduction schemes in the West will have any ability to stop this growth and they certainly won’t have any effect on the temperature.

But in rushing to decarbonise, are we on the right track? Alex Epstein, author of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels outlines in his book just how much benefit fossil fuel use has been to humanity. By every measure human well-being is better than has ever been. We have cleaner air to breathe free from wood smoke, clean water, sanitation, sturdy homes, modern medicine and modern farming methods all due to the cheap reliable energy that fossil fuels provide. To him, the planet is here for us to modify and improve and in doing so we improve our lives. He even argues that fossil fuels improve the environment, evidenced by the fact that richer, industrialised nations have more measures in place to protect the environment than poorer, non-industrialised nations. By continuing to access cheap and plentiful energy through the burning of fossil fuels we are further equipping ourselves to withstand extreme weather events, and overcome and adapt to any changes a that warmer planet may bring. Mortality rates due to extreme weather events have actually declined by 95% since 1900, due, one can assume, to the protection modern fossil fuel powered technology affords, by way of satellite monitoring and more powerful modes of disseminating information.

Those who hark back to pre-industrialised societies as some sort of utopian existence where man is at one with nature, neglect to realise that without modern civilisation we would be faced with disease, hunger and very short and miserable lives. Those who demonise the ‘dirty fossil fuel industry’ naively forget just how much our modern lifestyles relies on it in order to function. They also forget that ‘clean’ energy sources have their own negative environmental impacts, and that fossil fuels and rare earths are required in order to produce ‘climate friendly’ solar panels and wind turbines.

What is comes down to is risk benefit analysis. No power source currently available is free from negative impacts. Fossil fuels can be polluting, but newer technologies are making it less so. Eventually fossil fuels are going to run out (but much later than the ‘peak oil’ scare had us believe) and at that point motivation to invest in alternatives will be at its greatest. Once alternative energy sources become viable under their own steam, demand for fossil fuels will decline. Our future lies in innovation, human ingenuity and an energy market free from government subsidies and incentives, that will provide us with the platform to develop new energy technology that works. It helps to remember that we don’t actually know with any certainty what the future climate will be; we need to be able to adapt to any future climate problems we may face including rapid warming or indeed global cooling.

Energy policies that attempt to push a move away from fossil fuel consumption before we are really ready have everything to do with ideology and nothing to do with common sense. The billions of taxpayer dollars Australia is spending in order to ‘do something’ about the climate is money down the drain and an example of government waste. It is money that could be better spent on any number of programs that would actually have a beneficial effect on our environment, or on our standard of living.  Our climate dollars will have next to no impact on the climate, and are instead just very expensive tokenism.



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 November, 2016

Papa Gore! DiCaprio on Gore’s influence: ‘He literally took me, you know, like a child….and explained what global warming was’

And he's learnt nothing since

DiCaprio: "I actually got to meet Al Gore, who — I asked him what was the, you know, the most important environmental issue in the world, and he, without hesitation, said ‘global warming’ and literally took me, you know, like a child and wrote out a chart and explained what global warming was and how, um, basically because of, you know, carbon emissions in our atmosphere, we’re going to, you know, change our climate forever." - Interview at 42:50 min. with Charlie Rose on PBS in a 2004.

SOURCE  Video at link

Ecofascists Still Looking for Bogeymen

Exxon ordered to turn over 40 years of documents on climate

In the latest chapter of the saga regarding ecofascist persecution over global warming, New York Supreme Court Justice Barry Ostrager ordered ExxonMobil and its accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers to provide 40 years-worth of scientific, technical and administrative documents related to the energy company’s internal studies on the impact of fossil fuels on climate change.

Ostrager’s ruling appears to come in response to actions taken by state attorney general Eric Schneiderman, who last year opened an investigation into whether ExxonMobil deliberately misled the public and the government about the true impact of its products on the environment. Because the Left would never mislead about its agenda.

Schneiderman didn’t have any real proof regarding malfeasance by the energy company, but he does have political momentum in the form of a group called Green 20. This climate mafia of sorts is yet another offshoot of the Left’s attempts to shut down debate over climate change by pursuing actual criminal charges against those who disagree with the climate alarmist crowd’s interpretation of data and prescription for policy.

For the ecofascists and their enablers in the judiciary (i.e., the aforementioned Ostrager), actual proof of misdeeds is not necessary to compel ExxonMobil to produce the documents in question. Worse still is that Ostrager’s ruling presents a dangerous precedent, demonstrating that political will alone can drive judicial decisions, with Rule of Law left to twist in the wind.

ExxonMobil and PwC have claimed that any legal action against them should take place in Texas, as that is where the company is headquartered. They also recognize that Texas is friendlier to the relationship between companies and their accounting firms. Unsurprisingly, Ostrager rejected their claim, stating that New York is a perfectly good venue for this case as ExxonMobil also does business there. He stated his belief that ExxonMobil and PwC’s interpretation of Texas business laws is skewed, therefore apparently giving him the right to fleece the company in the Empire State.

ExxonMobil is sure to fight this order. It had better do so unless it wants the government to run roughshod over its rights. The challenge that has been laid down with this case will take some time to wind its way through the courts, so it will be worth watching what happens very closely. More than mere hot air is at stake.


Trump: We Will Cancel ‘Global Warming Payments’ To The UN

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump told supporters at a Florida campaign rally he would "cancel billions in global warming payments to the United Nations" if he won the election.

"We will also cancel billions in global warming payments to the United Nations, and use that money to support America’s vital environmental infrastructure and natural resources," Trump told supporters Wednesday.

Democrats often take the opposite tact in Florida when it comes to global warming. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign has pointed to flooding in Miami Beach as evidence of global warming’s worsening effects.

The former secretary of state also suggested global warming strengthened Hurricane Matthew as it devastated Florida’s eastern coastline in October. Clinton also attacked Trump for calling global warming a Chinese "hoax."

Trump has shaken off such criticisms and is playing up the billions of taxpayer dollars President Barack Obama pledged to give the UN’s Green Climate Fund (GCF). Obama said he’d give the GCF $3 billion — the president’s already handed over $500 million to the GCF.

"We’re spending hundreds of billions of dollars. We don’t even know who’s doing what with the money," Trump said, promising to spend that money in the U.S. instead.

"We’re gonna work on our own environment, Trump said. "That includes repairing the Herbert Hoover Dike in Lake Okeechobee, protecting the Florida Everglades."

Florida is often portrayed by environmentalists as on the frontlines of global warming, but that message doesn’t seem to be a winning one based on recent polling.

RealClearPolitics has Trump leading by one percentage point in Florida, based on the average of seven October polls. For perspective, Clinton was leading by four points in late October, according to RCP.


Australian power station closure: Electricity bills could rise 8pc, Victorian Government modelling shows

A Greenie triumph.  They have been agitating to achieve this shut-down for a long time.  Why?  Because it is Victoria's "dirtiest" power station.  But Greenie dirt is different.  In this case the dirt is an invisible, tasteless and odorless gas that our bodies create all the time up until our death: CO2

Household power bills could increase by between 4 and 8 per cent following the closure of the Hazelwood power station, modelling released by the Victorian Government shows.

Hazelwood's majority French owner, ENGIE, is tomorrow expected to announce the plant will close in March next year.

Hazelwood generates up to a quarter of Victoria's energy supply, and the loss of its cheap, brown-coal fired electricity would push up power prices.

The ABC has obtained government-commissioned modelling that estimated the average residential power bill would rise by about 4 per cent in 2017, or $44 a year.

That's the equivalent of 85 cents a week.

The analysis, by Carbon + Energy Markets, is based on futures market wholesale price projections.

However a separate analysis based on assumptions by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, predicted the average household bill would remain unchanged in 2017, then rise by about 8 per cent in 2018, or $86 a year. That's the equivalent of $1.65 a week.

"The reality will be that if Hazelwood closes there will be an impact on electricity pricing," Treasurer Tim Pallas said.

"How much that will be we'll need to continue to monitor."

However Mr Pallas said the closure of Hazelwood would not jeopardise Victoria's energy security.

With continued questions about the future of the Hazelwood power station, the next generation has its eyes set on renewable energy.

"We have been given absolute assurances that there is more than enough energy in the network to sustain and support the community's energy needs," he said.

Shadow Treasurer Michael O'Brien disagreed.

"Put it this way. Hazelwood provides 25 per cent of our electricity needs," he said. "If you're sitting on a four-legged chair and one leg falls off, it's not going to stay upright for very long."

Mr O'Brien quoted analysis by Frontier Economics which forecast retail prices for Victorian householders would increase by up to 25 per cent immediately after a Hazelwood shut down.

The closure of Hazelwood would cost about 800 jobs in the Latrobe Valley, which already has a high unemployment rate.


Irresponsible peddlers of a Green/Left scare story get their just desserts

Fronted by Maryanne Demasi, the Australian ABC "Catalyst" program aired  a scare story saying that mobile phones and Wi-Fi caused health impacts including brain tumours. That caused an immediate outcry from the scientific community who know the evidence on such a hoary old nonsense.

The Catalyst staff should have known better.  The effect of electromagnetic radiation on health has been a big boogeyman for many years but the contrary evidence is huge. Notably: From the early days of mobile phones until now there has been no upsurge in brain cancer.  Now that mobiles are very widely used, we should be swimming in brain cancer cases by now.  But we are not. High or low levels of mobile phone use and the resultant radiation makes no difference. It's all just attention-seekers big-noting themselves

Staff on the ABC’s Catalyst program staff have been told by the ABC’s director of television Richard Finlayson that they will all be made redundant.

In a meeting at Ultimo attended by TV management and human resources the presenters and producers were told the magazine style program was ending.

A last-minute bid by senior ABC staff on Wednesday to overturn the board’s decision to axe Catalyst failed, sources told Guardian Australia.

The board had been presented with reasons why the ABC should continue to cover science properly with an in-house science unit.

An internal review after Catalyst presenter Maryanne Demasi’s Wi-Fried? program was found to have breached the ABC’s impartiality guidelines recommended the program be axed and Demasi and all the other staff be made redundant.

Finlayson told staff that nine people will lose their jobs and that the changes to Catalyst were not driven by the Demasi incident alone.

"For 2017, Catalyst will move from the current half-hour, magazine-style program structure to a one-hour documentary format, focused on high-impact, single-issue programs or series," he said.

"It will be presented by leading science experts, chosen for the various programs. This shift will align Catalyst with world’s best practice for science programming. An embedded digital capability will deliver short-form content around each program and throughout the year to increase the ABC’s digital science offering on ABC and third party social platforms.

"Finally, we must recognise that Catalyst and its team have served our audiences and the science community well for many years. However, we need to do what we believe is best for audiences, and that means adjusting our approach to best meet their needs and the realities of a changing market. We will work closely with those staff impacted by these changes to ensure they are treated respectfully throughout this transition."

Under the baord’s plan the award-winning program will be replaced by 17 one-hour science specials, mainly from the independent production sector, commissioned by new staff the ABC is going to hire.

The ABC staff union, the Community and Public Sector Union, was holding meetings with management and staff on Thursday morning.

A letter from the ABC section secretary, Sinddy Ealy, to management fell on deaf ears.

"Catalyst fills a unique and important place in Australian science journalism and we share concerns that a longer-format replacement would mean important and exciting scientific work was ignored," Ealy said.

"It would be a huge disservice to the Australian public if the ABC’s strategy is to intentionally dumb down specialist content in favour of ratings.

"The changing media landscape means the importance of ABC’s specialist content has never been greater. We recognise that ABC should review its programs regularly, but they also need to ensure that quality specialist content and the staff behind that content are retained."

Senior ABC program makers warned that ditching the weekly half-hour program and disbanding the science unit would lead to a dumbing down of science programming and in effect kill off Australian science on television.

Demasi has been on leave since a review of her Wi-Fried? program – which linked Wi-Fi and mobile phones with health risks including brain cancer – was found to have breached the ABC’s impartiality guidelines.

The discredited program was the second Catalyst story by Demasi to be found in breach of the ABC’s editorial policies and to be removed from the website. In 2013 Demasi kept her job despite an editorial breach for a program about statins.



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 November, 2016

Sir David Attenborough: ‘Shoot’ Donald Trump and Leave Politics to the Experts

Why not shoot David Attenborough?  If he thinks murder is an appropriate solution to political disagreements he should perhaps be careful that someone does not apply that principle to him.  Looking at his comments below, it's hard to decide whether Sir David is a Fascist or a Communist

UPDATE:  A reader writes:  "Such a pubic declaration in USA would land you in Jail and even now it could lead to a warrant for his arrest. A threat on a Presidential candidate is a serious crime"

Sir David Attenborough, the veteran broadcaster and climate change alarmist, has attacked the involvement of voters in politics beyond elections, suggesting the only way to stop Donald Trump is to "shoot him" and that complex political questions like Brexit should be blocked by "wiser" politicians.

Condemning Mr. Trump’s climate-scepticism, Sir David asked: "Do we [foreigners] have any control or influence over the American election? Of course we don’t. We could shoot him… it’s not a bad idea."

Whilst the Radio Times journalist conducting the interview suggested it was a joke met with "giggles", such violent rhetoric from this liberal establishment figure and cultural icon may bbe seen as hypocritical.

Furthermore, Sir David went on to explain that he was deadly serious about his desire to block popular, elected individuals and decisions via undemocratic means.

"There’s confusion, isn’t there, between populism and parliamentary democracy," he told the Radio Times, one of Britain’s widest-read and oldest magazines. "I mean, that’s why we’re in the mess we are with Brexit, is it not?"

"Do we really want to live by this kind of referendum?" he asked of the European Union (EU) plebiscite.

"What we mean by parliamentary democracy is surely that we find someone we respect who we think is probably wiser than we are, who is prepared to take the responsibility of pondering difficult things and then trust him – or her – to vote on our behalf," Sir David continued.

He said he was concerned by Michael Gove’s EU referendum claims that the British people have had enough of experts. "That’s why politicians getting up and saying, ‘We’ve had enough of experts’ is so catastrophic," he added.

Donald Trump may not be the only person Sir David believes would be better off dead. As a patron of the Population Matters, the veteran climate change alarmist is a subscriber to an organisation which in 2011 stated their goal of reducing the global population to a "sustainable" 5.1 billion. The present population is presently an estimated 7.4 billion.

Speaking in support of the aims of the group in 2012, the television personality said: "I can’t think of a single problem that wouldn’t be easier to solve if there were less people".


Clinton's Environmental Cleanup

This sure won’t silence the chatter from the Bernie Sanders fan club that claims the system is rigged in favor of Hillary Clinton. The unearthing of hacked emails from WikiLeaks appears to reveal evidence of more collusion — this time courtesy of the League of Conservation Voters, which plotted to do whatever it took to rally behind Clinton. That conclusion is supplemented by the fact the group offered her a do-over after she turned in a weak environmental questionnaire.

The findings were dug up by Emily Atkin, who reports, "LCV sent the Clinton campaign a questionnaire in May 2015, asking her position on at least 20 key issues including climate change, Arctic drilling and the Keystone XL pipeline. The Clinton campaign replied to the questionnaire in mid-June. But in July, the Clinton campaign received a response from LCV executive Tiernan Sittenfeld, who said many of the answers on the questionnaire were not good enough."

The biggest sticking point was Clinton’s shifty position on Keystone XL. LCV executive Tiernan Sittenfeld wrote, "It’s good to see her moving in the right direction. But it’s hard to imagine we can move forward until she makes clear she now opposes KXL." Despite the group’s concern, Sanders — the more established ecofascist — was snubbed anyway. In fact, LCV gave Clinton another chance to fortify her environmental credentials.

In addition to demanding she "explicitly oppose Arctic Ocean and mid-Atlantic drilling" and "support regulating existing sources of methane," Sittenfeld said, "We very much hope that the attached questionnaire can be strengthened." And as Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw explains, Clinton pivoted to where the political winds were blowing: "In September of 2015 she released a statement saying that she was against the pipeline (a position she didn’t take as Secretary of State) and that was after this letter was received, but two months before the LCV endorsement. Similarly, they chided her for not opposing Arctic drilling. She turned around in August and dutifully condemned that practice as well."

"She’ll say anything" to get elected. That’s what Barack Obama said of Hillary Clinton in 2008. He was right. So is Sanders when he says the DNC and other leftist groups conspired against him, an assertion also backed up by the WikiLeaks hack. But it certainly doesn’t help Sanders that he endorsed his Wall Street rival anyway.


The Phony War Against CO2

Increased atmospheric carbon dioxide has helped raise global food production and reduce poverty

By Rodney W. Nichols and Harrison H. Schmitt

National polls show that climate change is low on the list of voters' priorities. For good reason: In the U.S., and for much of the world, the most dangerous environmental pollutants have been cleaned up. U.S. emissions of particulates, metals and varied gases-all of these: ozone, lead, carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen and sulfur-fell almost 70% between 1970 and 2014.

Further reductions will come from improved technologies such as catalytic removal of oxides of nitrogen and more-efficient sulfur scrubbers. This is a boon to human health.

But a myth persists that is both unscientific and immoral to perpetuate: that the beneficial gas carbon dioxide ranks among hazardous pollutants. It does not.

Unlike genuine pollutants, carbon dioxide (CO2) is an odorless, colorless gas. Every human being exhales about two pounds of CO2 a day, along with a similar amount of water vapor. CO2 is nontoxic to people and animals and is a vital nutrient to plants. It is also a greenhouse gas which helps maintain earth at a habitable temperature.

Fear of excessive warming from more CO2 in the atmosphere, including that released from human activity, has caused some people to advocate substantial and expensive reductions in CO2 emissions. But observations, such as those on our CO2 Coalition website, show that increased CO2 levels over the next century will cause modest and beneficial warming-perhaps as much as one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit)-and that this will be an even larger benefit to agriculture than it is now. The costs of emissions regulations, which will be paid by everyone, will be punishingly high and will provide no benefits to most people anywhere in the world.

In 2013 the level of U.S. farm output was about 2.7 times its 1948 level, and productivity was growing at an average annual rate of 1.52%. From 2001 to 2013, world-wide, global output of total crop and livestock commodities was expanding at an average rate of 2.52% a year.

This higher food security reduces poverty and increases well being and self-sufficiency everywhere, especially in the poorest parts of the developing countries. Along with better plant varieties, cropping practices and fertilizer, CO2 has contributed to this welcome increase in productivity.

The increase of atmospheric CO2 following the Industrial Revolution also has facilitated the expansion of natural vegetation into what had been barren areas, such as the edges of the Sahara and the Arctic. According to the U.N., the world will add 2.5 billion people over the next 30 years, most of them in developing countries. Feeding these people and assuring them a comfortable living standard should be among our highest moral priorities. With more CO2 in the atmosphere, the challenge can and will be met.

National policies must make economic and environmental sense. When someone says, "climate science is settled," remind them to check the facts. And recall the great physicist Richard Feynman's remark: "No government has the right to decide on the truth of scientific principles."


If experts had been right about sea ice, there would be no polar bears in Churchill

The simple fact is that if polar bear experts had been right about the threat to polar bears from the loss of summer sea ice in the Arctic, there would be no polar bears in Churchill this fall. No bears for tourists to photograph, none for biologists to study, and certainly none for the BBC to film for an upcoming three-part TV special called "Arctic Live."

The low-ice future that biologists said would doom polar bears to extinction by 2050 has already happened in 8 out of the last 10 years. The sea ice future has been realized.

Polar bears have experienced those supposedly deadly low-ice summers for almost a decade but the global population did not drop by 2/3 as predicted and not a single one of the ten subpopulations predicted to be extirpated under those conditions has been wiped out.

How much more wrong can you be than that? Will the BBC mention this conundrum in their show? Will the polar bear experts they consult share this fact with viewers? We’ll all have to watch and see

Yet, almost a decade of polar-bear-destroying sea ice levels did virtually none of the damage predicted to occur – fat polar bears still come ashore in Western Hudson Bay and migrate through Churchill waiting for ice to form, and not a single subpopulation (let alone ten) has been wiped out (Wiig et al. 2015).

Global polar bear numbers have not declined at all, let alone a decline of 67% – in fact, the latest estimate of 22,000-31,000 polar bears worldwide (IUCN Red List, 2015) is the highest it’s ever been.

More HERE 

$1.2bn economic cost of environmental ‘lawfare’ in Australia

Environmental groups’ legal challenges to development projects ranging from dams and roads to coalmines are estimated to have cost the economy up to $1.2 billion — an amount that is rising as more "vexatious and frivolous" claims are made.

The 32 legal challenges under the environment laws that went to court meant developers spent a cumulative 7500 days — or 20 years — in court even though 28 of the environmental cases were defeated and three required only minor technical changes to go ahead.

The Institute of Public Affairs estimates that the delays to the projects "cost the Australian economy as much as $1.2bn".

The conservative think tank’s investigation into challenges to projects under section 487 of the Environment Act, which allows anyone with a "special interest in the environment" the right to challenge, found that environmental groups carried out "an ideological anti-coal, anti-economic development agenda" aimed at holding up projects to reduce profitability and investment.

"Given the high failure rate and frivolous nature of many of the legal challenges, it is clear it hasn’t been applied in the way ­initially intended and rather has been persistently abused by green groups whose primary motivation is an anti-coal agenda," the IPA report says.

Drawing on Productivity Commission calculations, the IPA finds the use of section 487, which was introduced by the Howard government in 2000, "is estim­ated to have cost the economy ­between $534 million and $1.2bn".

"This estimate is likely to underestimate the total cost to Australia, as it doesn’t capture all flow-on effects to employment, investment and higher capital costs," the report says.

"Some projects never go ahead due to heightened risk of legal challenges and consequent higher capital costs."

The Turnbull government is trying to amend the laws to prevent the delaying tactics of "green lawfare" in the courts, after it was revealed a highly orchestrated, ­secretly foreign-funded organisation of environment groups was trying to stop coalmining in Australia using the courts to undermine investor confidence.

The government is also looking at the tax-exempt status of ­environmental groups that are funded from overseas. Leaked emails, passed on to Hillary Clinton’s election campaign chairman, John Podesta, revealed that the groups wanted to hide its foreign funding.

The emails confirmed the co-ordinated campaign to stop the vast Adani coal project at Carmichael in northern Queensland and coalmining in Australia.

Resources Minister Matt Canavan said last night the object of environmental court cases was "not to win, but to delay" and so undermine investor confidence and halt development.

"These activists aren’t playing to win, they are happy to lose as long as it wastes an investor’s time and adds to their costs," Senator Canavan said.

"They seek to subvert our legal system for political ends … If these disruption tactics aren’t stopped they will cause economic damage to our country through lost ­investment and jobs."

Labor environment spokesman Tony Burke said yesterday the laws should not restrict who can launch a challenge because "for the matters that hit national environmental law it’s accepted that every Australian has an ­interest in them".

"Every Australian does have an interest in a World Heritage Area, in the Great Barrier Reef, in a National Heritage Area or whether or not a species is going to be wiped out," Mr Burke said.

He told ABC Radio National in relation to the Adani coal project that, subject to environmental approvals, federal Labor had supported it.

Mr Burke said complaints about foreign-funding of opposition to the Adani project went a bit far when the project was ­Indian and the Liberal Party wouldn’t oppose foreign funding of political parties.

On Sunday Queensland Labor Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk joined the condemnation of US funding of the campaign to block Adani’s project.

The IPA said total projects in the Galilee Basin in central Queensland were expected to ­attract more than $28bn in investment and create more than 15,000 jobs during construction and 13,000 jobs once operational.



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 November, 2016

Warmists spell out the enormity of what they are asking

They say, however, that only "prosperity" is in danger.  Vast sea level rises seem to be off the table now.  We will just be poorer.  Better poor than the upheavals they prescribe.  The upheavals will not of course happen but they have already done a lot to make us poorer

The world's biggest gamble

Johan Rockström et al.


The scale of the decarbonisation challenge to meet the Paris Agreement is underplayed in the public arena. It will require precipitous emissions reductions within 40 years and a new carbon sink on the scale of the ocean sink. Even then, the world is extremely likely to overshoot. A catastrophic failure of policy, for example, waiting another decade for transformative policy and full commitments to fossil-free economies, will have irreversible and deleterious repercussions for humanity's remaining time on Earth. Only a global zero carbon roadmap will put the world on a course to phase-out greenhouse gas emissions and create the essential carbon sinks for Earth-system stability, without which, world prosperity is not possible.


Living near a wind farms can cause sleep loss, stress and anxiety, government review finds

Living near a wind farm can cause sleep loss, stress and anxiety, a government review has found.  

A 'clear link' between the amount of noise emitted by an energy site and irritation experienced by nearby residents was identified in a report commissioned by the Department of Energy and Climate Change last year.

Published this week, the paper said there was an 'increased risk' of suffering from sleep deprivation from turbines exceeding 40 decibels.

But the prospect of a sleepless night was generally an 'indirect' link caused by the frustration evoked from having a loud wind farm in your community, it added.

The review recommended that 'excessive' noise should be clamped down on, citing potential measures such as modifying the turbine blade.

The findings ratcheted up pressure on the Government to be more heavy handed with noisy farms, with one MP calling for them to be 'shut down permanently'.

Complaints about noise disturbance can range from the steady swishing noise from the blade to a louder thump which can sometimes occur, the review said.

But, it added, the annoyance is not just limited to the thunderous sound a wind farm can create.

Flickering shadows created by the swirling blade and its 'appearance in the landscape' can similarly irk those who live near one.

Conservative MP Glyn Davies told the Sunday Telegraph: 'Where there are noisy wind farms they are hugely disruptive.

'Noisy wind farms should be shut down unless they can be changed.

'They would need to be shut down permanently.'

RenewableUK's director of policy for consents and intelligence Gemma Grimes said: 'It's good to see that this official report confirms what every other peer-reviewed study around the world has found - that there's no evidence of any direct link between wind farms and health, stress or sleep issues.

She added: 'On the rare occasions when any questions on acoustic issues come up, our industry always works hard to address them swiftly and effectively as a matter of course, as we're determined to remain good neighbours with local communities. That's why the onshore wind industry took the lead on understanding this issue and addressing it.'



Your Reusable Tote Bag Actually Isn't as Environmentally Friendly as You Think

You’d have to use your beloved cotton tote at least 327 times for it to be more carbon-friendly than plastic

Bring your own bag to the grocery store. We all know this practice is good for the planet, but even the most environmentally minded consumer might come up to the cashier minus a carryall with one perfectly good reason: you forgot.

Faced with this conundrum, should you:

Buy a new canvas tote that you can always reuse?

Ask—just this once!—for a disposable, landfill-clogging plastic bag?

Or, per a classic Portlandia sketch, simply don’t forget?

In a perfect world—or at least in Portlandia—the answer is of course C.

Watch what happens when Jack McBrayer forgets his shopping bag in Portlandia:

But in the real world, where people forget all the time, you’ll want to choose the ol’ standby, B, if you want the least eco-guilt.

Choosing plastic might sound counterintuitive, but as The Atlantic pointed out, canvas bags are actually much worse for the environment compared to their flimsy, single-use counterparts.

In a U.K. Environment Agency study, researchers crunched the environmental tally of various carrier bags such as the standard high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic bag you’d get from the supermarket, as well as paper, cotton and recycled-polypropylene bags.

They found that reusing a HDPE bag once (as a waste bin liner for instance) has the same environmental impact as reusing a cotton tote bags 327 times, a recycled polypropylene plastic 26 times and a paper bag seven times.

All told, as Business Insider noted from the UKEA study, a conventional plastic bag has a total carbon footprint of only 3.48 lbs.—compared to the whopping 598.6 lbs. emitted by a cotton bag.

Here’s the takeaway. Bags that are designed to last longer require more resources—growing, harvesting, manufacturing, transportation—which means they have a greater environmental impact across their entire lifecycle.

Look, we all know that plastic bags are an eco-nightmare that harms the environment and kills wildlife. That’s why many cities and even entire states have initiated bans or imposed fees on these non-biodegradable, petroleum-based menaces. If they haven’t crammed up the space under your kitchen sink, they’re getting stuck in storm drains or in the stomachs of any number of marine animals, from fish, dolphins and whales to sea turtles and birds.

But cotton is quite possibly a bigger planetary scourge. According to the World Wildlife Fund, cotton crops account for 24 percent of the global market for insecticides and 11 percent for pesticides. In 1995, contaminated run-off from cotton fields killed more than 240,000 fish in Alabama alone.

Cotton is also incredibly thirsty. "It can take more than 20,000 litres of water to produce 1kg of cotton; equivalent to a single T-shirt and pair of jeans," the WWF says. Cotton isn’t even regularly recycled—at least many grocery stores have plastic bag recycling bins.

Thanks to the green movement, tote bags are now as ubiquitous as the plastic bags they were meant to replace. You’ll find them lining supermarket checkout aisles, given away for free at clothing stores and probably resigned to a sad pile in your closet. I did a rough inventory of how many reuseable totes I’ve accumulated and stopped counting after 13 out of embarrassment. 

So what can you do the next time you forget your bag at the grocery store? Besides "don’t forget," you can keep smaller, foldable bags in your pocket or handbag, or even use the type that can easily hook onto your keychain. As for me, I’ve decided that from now on, my innumerable tote collection will just live in the trunk of my car.


The myth of green jobs

Job creation alone does not equate to a benefit for the economy

One of the claims often advanced for renewable energy is that it will lead to a bonanza of what are called "green jobs". It is a way of justifying the upfront costs involved in switching the nation’s energy production to these low carbon sources. The idea is that Britain will ultimately earn squillions from the exciting new technologies that its green entrepreneurs will forge and sell.

The sting, of course, is that to secure these benefits, the British public must first sluice the industry with buckets of subsidies, expected to reach £9bn a year by 2020. Recent events in the renewables sector — including attempts to reduce the burden of this support — have sparked concern among participants over consumers’ declining willingness to fund this enormous exercise in job creation.

It is why the industry is so keen to insert itself into prime minister Theresa May’s newly proposed — but as yet unexplained — industrial strategy. Promoters see it as a way of ensuring the cash does not dry up.

Ministers should treat these tales of untold industrial benefits with considerable caution.

No one denies that green technologies create employment. Figures from the Renewable Energy Association, a trade body, suggest that 117,000 people are already beavering away in the sector and its supply chain. But job creation alone does not equate to a benefit for the economy. What ultimately matters is the extra output produced by these new workers. For the exercise to be worthwhile, its value must exceed the wider costs, including the impact on alternative production and employment.

But the problem with green jobs is that they are not very valuable. Take the 17,000 people that another trade body, RenewableUK, says were employed in the wind energy business in 2013. These jobs do not exist because the industry is capable of competing on a level playing field with conventional energy suppliers, but because the public has made up for their inability to do so by giving them a large subvention. In effect, each of those wind jobs had a subsidy cost of £98,000 in that year alone, paid in the currency of more expensive electricity. That raises costs for everyone, cutting consumers’ spending power and company profits across the UK.

Of course, employment is not the only claim made by the green proponents. They also argue that environmental policies will promote the development of new industries, which will become steadily more efficient. By being early into the field, Britain can build up technical expertise that will lead to valuable export orders when other slower countries scramble to reduce their own emissions.

But, once again, these claims unravel on closer inspection. They depend heavily on the idea that sales of this kit will be driven by technological innovation, and that countries such as Britain will be able to hang on to high market shares by dint of their know-how. In fact, the available evidence points the other way.

Take the case of the solar panel industry. For all their technical mastery, and the fact that the EU was long the biggest market for installations, European and US manufacturers lost the early lead they established in the supply of photovoltaic cells. Customers turned out to be relatively uninterested in driving operating efficiency. Instead, cheap and technically unsophisticated Chinese cells cleaned up within a few years, crushing the western competition. Of the top 10 solar-panel makers worldwide, no fewer than seven are now Chinese.

What is more, this sort of outcome may not be a bug, but a feature of the subsidy culture. Guaranteed incomes attract rent-seeking behaviour that appears to place a lower premium on efficiency. Rather than wring the maximum from their equipment, renewable investors prefer to fill a field, or cover a roof, with panels of inferior quality, as long as it is at the lowest cost.

This raises serious doubts about the real chance of a green industry pay-off. A European Commission study, EmployRES, concluded in 2011 that economic gains from renewables policies were dependent on the EU maintaining more than a 50 per cent market share of the global green technology market. Attaining, let alone keeping, such a large portion seems unlikely. Europe’s share of solar exports was less than 20 per cent last year.

The truth is that Britain’s decision to reduce emissions should stand on its own merits, bearing in mind the costs and the likely success of the policy given the country’s small contribution to emissions. It cannot be supported by spurious claims about green jobs and the possibility of an industrial renaissance driven by wind, sun and the tides.


Criticism of Svensmark's theory is just more modelling rubbish

Henrik Svensmark

Now and then new results appear that suggest that the idea of cosmic ray influence on clouds and terrestrial climate does not work. "Sun-clouds-climate connection takes a beating from CERN" is the latest news story which is based on a new paper from the CLOUD collaboration at CERN

It is important to note that the new CLOUD paper is not presenting an experimental result, with respect to the effect of cosmic ray generated ions on clouds, but a result of numerical modeling. CLOUD is using their experimental measurements to estimate the typical nucleation of various aerosols of small size (1-3 nm). However, for an aerosol to affect clouds (and climate) it must first grow to 50-100 nm, to become cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). CLOUD then uses a numerical model to estimate the effect of cosmic rays on the growth process, and finds that the response of cosmic rays on the number of CCN over a solar cycle is insignificant.

This type of numerical modeling is by no means new, and neither is the result that ions in these models apparently do not affect cloud formation. We have known this for about 7 years. For example the CLOUD results, with respect to cosmic rays and clouds, are very similar to the conclusions of Pierce and Adams from 2009 [2] where they also use a numerical model to grow small nucleated aerosols to CCN, and also find only a small change in CCN as a function of ion changes.

In fact this result has been found a number of times in similar models. The argument for the lack of response to ions is the following: In the presence of ions additional small aerosols are formed, but with an increase in the number of aerosols, there is less gas to each particle, and they therefore grow slower. This means that the probability of being lost to larger particles increases, and fewer survive.

So why, in contrast to the above, do I think that the cosmic rays cloud idea is still viable? The reason is that we have tried to answer the same question (do ion-nucleated aerosols grow to CCN) without using models — and get very different results.

In 2012 we tested the growth of nucleated aerosols to CCN in our laboratory and found that when no ions were present the response to increased nucleation was severely damped, in accordance with the above mentioned models; but with ions present, all the extra nucleated particles grew to CCN sizes, in contrast to the numerical model results [3]. 

Now it may be that the conditions we have in the experiment are not as in the real atmosphere. There are complex processes in the real atmosphere that that we cannot include, whose effect may change the experimental result, as we have been told many times.

It is therefore fortunate that our Sun makes natural experiments with the whole Earth. On rare occasions "explosions" on the Sun called coronal mass ejections, results in a plasma cloud passing the Earth, with the effect that cosmic rays flux decreases suddenly and stays low for a week or two.

Such events, with a significant reduction in the cosmic rays flux, are called Forbush decreases, and are ideal to test the link between cosmic rays and clouds. Finding the strongest Forbush decreases and using 3 independent cloud satellite data sets (ISCCP, MODIS, and SSM/I) and one dataset for aerosols (AERONET), we clearly see a response to Forbush decreases.

These results suggest that the whole chain from solar activity, to cosmic rays, to aerosols (CCN), to clouds, is active in the Earth's atmosphere. From the MODIS data we even see that the cloud microphysics is changing according to expectations.

Figure 1 display the superposed signal in clouds (blue curve), based on the above three satellite datasets, in the days following the minimum in cosmic rays of the 5 strongest Forbush decreases (red curve). The delay in the minimum of the two curves is due to the time it takes aerosols to grow into CCN. A Monte Carlo simulation was used to estimate the significance of the signal, and none of 104 random realizations gave a signal of similar size. Please see our latest paper from 2016 for further evidence [4].

Figure 1: Statistical common disturbance in clouds (1 Principal component) based on three cloud satellite data sets (ISCCP, MODIS and SSM/I) superposed for the five strongest Forbush decreases (blue) curve. Red curve is the change in (%) of cosmic rays superposed for the same five events. The thin lines are 1-3 standard deviations. Adapted from [4].

Finally, there are a large number of studies showing that past climate changes are closely correlated to variations in cosmic rays. For example, the energy that goes into the oceans over 11 years solar cycle is of the order 1-1.5 W/m2, which is 5-7 times too large to be explained by solar irradiance variations [5].

Therefore something is amplifying the solar cycle, and "cosmic rays and clouds" is a good candidate to explain the observed forcing.

In conclusion, observations and experiments go against the above mentioned numerical model result.



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 November, 2016

Leftist logic

Facts and reason are so regularly subversive to Green/Left  claims that it is always amusing to read the commentaries they put up.  How do they get around  the pesky facts? Mainly by telling just half the truth.  There is a good example below.  The article was headed: "A New American Low: One Rule For The Whites, Another For Its First Peoples".  It's a desperate attempt to connect two totally unconnected things.  The article below is from "New Matilda" but there have been similar articles in "The Guardian" and some other Leftist organs.

The first thing covered below is the dispersal of protesters occupying private land in order to block construction of the Dakota access pipeline.  The pipeline is an important piece of infrastructure that will enable domestically produced crude oil from North Dakota to reach major refining markets in a more direct, cost-effective, safer and environmentally responsible manner. The pipeline will also reduce the current use of rail and truck transportation.  There is of course no mention of the environmental and safety benefits of the pipeline below.

The key claim, however, is that the removal of the "Sioux" protesters shows bias against these wonderful native people who mainly live on the taxpayer these days.  Whites would have been treated better, is the claim.  Again something is not mentioned -- something that completely blows apart the accusation of bias:  Most of the protesters were white, not Sioux!  And exactly the same methods were used to disperse both groups.  Both Sioux and whites were treated equally!  What a laugh!  Leftists quite cheerfully lie in their teeth.

The second event covered below is the exoneration of the Bundy brothers.  Sit-ins and protests are fine if you are black, Leftist or some other favoured group but sit-ins and protests by white ranchers protesting government oppression get absolutely NO sympathy below.  That good ol' double standard again. Apparently, the wrongness of what the Bundys did arises solely from their whiteness!  Just the usual Leftist obsession with race

Forget the US presidential race. Over the weekend, two things happened in the USA that define the nation better than a sexual assaulting Republican candidate and a deeply corrupt Democrat ever could.

The story goes like this: Protestors from the Sioux Nation, along with a growing band of supporters, have been facing off with state police against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in Standing Rock, North Dakota.

The pipeline is to carry oil, and traditional owners say it threatens lives and livelihoods, because of its proximity to the Missouri River, the life blood of a huge section of north and central America and the major river system that feeds into the Mississippi.

Over the weekend, about 250 protestors were outnumbered by more than 300 police, armed to teeth and driving armoured cars, Humvees and helicopters.

The police moved in – dozens of protestors were arrested, and some of them shot with rubber bullets, including this guy, who copped one in the face.

The situation is so grave, that Amnesty International has committed to sending impartial observers.

At the same time, a Portland (Oregon) jury came in with a verdict on the armed occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Reserve, which took place in January this year.

On January 2, dozens of heavily armed (predominantly white) ‘ranchers’ overran the government compound, and seized it in a coup that eventually led to one man being shot by police, and dozens arrested.

On Friday, seven of the white nationalist extremists, led by Ammon and Ryan Bundy, were acquitted of all charges of impeding federal officers in their duties. The jury was all white.

This despite an armed stand-off that lasted weeks, and included a call out from the terrorists for people to send "snacks".

It’s not clear what, if any, effect the two incidents will have on the US presidential election. But more than likely, it’ll be none. Business as usual.


Environmental laws are for little people only

Someone aboard a bus chartered by the Democratic National Committee, which depicted the Democratic presidential and vice presidential candidates, reportedly dumped sewage into a storm drain in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

A DNC spokesperson described the sewage dump as "an honest mistake," but it is actually a crime, and individuals have been criminally prosecuted for similar "honest mistakes" in the past.

This incident presents a familiar problem (one raised by the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2015 Animas River spill), that the government must choose: either stop prosecuting ordinary citizens for "criminal negligence" or enforce the same laws against more powerful or well-known parties.

At around 9:30 a.m., a man reported seeing someone get out of a DNC-chartered bus "and dump ‘it’s sewage into the storm drain.’"

The witness told Fox 5, "You don’t pull up and dump raw sewage on the street and in the storm drain. You just don’t do that." In fact, if you do, it is a crime.

Police Capt. Jeff Smith told Fox 5, "There is a city violation for dumping materials into the storm drain system, obviously this feeds into streams." The Lawrenceville ordinance prohibits dumping pollutants into the storm sewer system.

These discharges, according to city officials, "impact waterways individually" and "can have cumulative impacts on receiving waters. The impacts of these discharges adversely affect public health and safety, drinking water supplies, recreation, fish and other aquatic life, property values, and other uses of lands and waters."

Unsurprisingly, the discharge from the DNC bus may also be a federal crime, depending on where that particular drain leads. Just ask Lawrence Lewis.


Lawrence Lewis escaped the projects of the District of Columbia, whereas his three older brothers were caught up in our criminal justice system and eventually murdered. Lewis worked for the District school system as a janitor while taking night classes, eventually becoming chief engineer for the Knollwood military retirement center. He was also a caretaker for his elderly mother and a role model for his two daughters.

Unfortunately for Lewis, the retirement home had recurring problems with sewage backup. After one backup, trying to protect the home’s patients from harm, Lewis did what his predecessors had often done and rerouted backed-up sewage into a storm drain. Lewis believed that the storm drain flowed into city sewage treatment facilities, but unbeknownst to him, the storm drain runs into Rock Creek, which flows into the Potomac River.

The Clean Water Act makes it a federal crime to negligently discharge sewage without a permit into "waters of the United States," including Rock Creek and the Potomac River.

Lewis avoided a felony conviction and a long-term jail sentence by pleading guilty to a misdemeanor, for which he was sentenced to one year of probation.

The Democratic National Committee says that dumping sewage into a storm drain "was an honest mistake and we apologize … We were unaware of any possible violations."

‘Honest Mistake’

Now, the DNC seeks to use an "honest mistake" defense that was unavailable to Lewis, because it is not a recognized defense under the Clean Water Act.

It did not work for Edward Hanousek either, who was also criminally prosecuted under the Clean Water Act for negligent discharge without a permit after employees he supervised accidentally spilled 1,000 to 5,000 gallons of oil into Alaska’s Skagway River.

Hanousek was off-duty and at home when the accidental spill occurred. Nonetheless, a district court "sentenced him to six months in prison, another six months in a halfway house, another six months on supervised release, and imposed a $5,000 fine."

The man who reportedly saw someone dump waste into a Lawrenceville storm drain said, "It’s wrong, it’s absolutely wrong. I don’t care whose name is on the bus." But as Lewis, Hanousek, and many others know, it is also a federal crime, regardless of who is responsible for the discharge.

Federal courts have held—as the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in West Virginia Highlands Conservancy v. Huffman (2010)—that the provisions of the Clean Water Act "apply to anyone who discharges pollutants into the waters of the United States," including the folks on the DNC-chartered bus.

As Heritage Foundation scholars have argued elsewhere, "the government should be put to a choice: either abandon criminal liability based on negligence," or bring charges against powerful parties "at the scene and up through the responsible chain of command. Sauce for the goose ought to be sauce for the gander."

Already, however, The Washington Post reports that "Lawrenceville police told Fox 5 that they are not filing charges, but opted to hand over the investigation to the state’s Environmental Protection Agency."


The Buzz: Six Reasons Not To Worry About The Bees

Bees are in the news, but for all the wrong reasons—mainly, dire tales of disappearing bees threatening a third of our food supply. Time Magazine, opting for sensationalism over accuracy, said we were headed toward "A world without bees," with an online video explaining, "Why bees are going extinct." They called it the "beepocalypse" and blamed it all on modern agricultural technologies, urging immediate and aggressive action before it’s too late.

This would be scary stuff indeed—if it were true. But like so many overly simplistic, sky-is-falling claims, these predictions are misleading and false. Activist groups like Loonies of the Earth—sorry, I mean Friends of the Earth—and the Pesticide Action Network work tirelessly to provide the media a steady stream of suitable doom-and-gloom material that they and other groups then use for "save the bees" fundraising opportunities.

Bees are popular, even iconic. The public naturally wants them to survive, but it simply isn’t true that honeybees are about to disappear–so they don’t need "saving." The truth about the bees turns out to be far more complex, and far more interesting, than the alarmist headlines suggest.

1. There are billions more bees than a decade ago

In 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture counted 2,660,000 million honeybee colonies across the United States. A decade earlier, in 2004, there were 2,556,000 honeybee colonies. That’s a gain of 104,000 colonies, not a loss. At around 50,000 bees per colony, that’s an increase of five billion honeybees in the United States.

The overall honeybee numbers in the United States have stayed steady at about 2.5 million colonies for the last two decades, dipping slightly when the mysterious "colony collapse disorder" (CCD) hit in 2006, then rebounded at a healthy clip and actually reached a 20-year high in 2014. Europe and Canada have experienced significant increases in their honeybee populations as well, and worldwide, there are 30 million more hives today than in 1961, an increase of about 60%. That means there about 1.5 trillion more bees buzzing around today than there were 50 years ago. There simply is no bee-pocalypse and never was.

The way thousands of reporters and editors of supposedly serious publications were able to turn a massive expansion of bee populations into a cataclysmic near-extinction event is, well, beyond bee-lief.

2. Bees are always dying–and reproducing–at an "alarming" rate

Not so long ago, amusing photos spread across the Internet adorned with the phrase, "bees are dying globally at an alarming rate." The first of these memes depicted Eli Manning, the New York Giants quarterback, purportedly pondering unhappily the fate of the pollinators. While it’s true that beekeepers in the U.S. are having increasing trouble keeping their hives healthy, and that hive losses have been elevated in recent years, if it weren’t a spoof, I’d suggest that Manning should worry less about bees being blitzed and more about the adequacy of his own offensive line. High losses, while they may create economic hardship for some beekeepers, don’t spell catastrophe. That’s because bees also reproduce "at an alarming rate," or at least, very, very quickly.

Unlike the animals we tend to be more familiar with, honeybees have an exceptionally short lifespan–about six weeks. It is shorter during warm weather months and in perennially warm climates where honeybees never go into winter hibernation, or "cluster." Many generations of honeybees are born and die within any given year, so rapid rises and falls in population numbers within any given year are common.

Recently, the Bee Informed Partnership–which conducts an annual survey of U.S. beekeepers–decided to add the warm weather losses to the traditional count of overwinter losses to come up with the startling announcement that, "Beekeepers lost 41 percent of Bees in 2015-2016."

Bee Informed is funded by USDA, and this change in reporting was a sure-fire way to heighten concern and therefore increase funding dollars for the U.S. government (pardon my cynicism), but it did little to enlighten anyone as to what was really going on with bees. Not surprisingly, most journalists reported this as if our entire bee population was on the verge of being wiped out in the space of a few years. A May CBS News headline, for example, read, "Death rate for honeybees takes turn for the worse." As usual in "if it bleeds, it leads" journalism, there was no mention that even with these cataclysmic-sounding losses, the U.S. bee population was still very near a two-decade high.

3. Bees are livestock, just like cattle

Activists spread hysteria about dying honeybees because it advances their political aims. They want the public to think the happy little bees we see buzzing about our gardens are about to draw their final breath, and that their imminent disappearance will threaten the world’s ability to feed itself. The exact opposite of this apocalyptic theory is true: Agricultural production guarantees steady honeybee numbers because of the potent effects of market forces.

The honeybee is a domesticated species, imported from Europe. Like cattle and other livestock, bees are raised in the numbers needed, in this case to pollinate agricultural crops. Human intervention is the driving force underlying their population numbers. Certainly, hives can experience severe health problems, usually driven by disease caused by mites and viruses, and those hives can collapse or die.

The rest of the story, however, is that given the demand for bees, beekeepers adapt to losses by "splitting" a healthy hive to grow more bees to suit their needs. One of the most basic beekeeping skills is to divide an existing colony and introduce (or grow) a new queen for the "new" hive. The new queen, which can be ordered online for as little as $25, will lay enough eggs—about 2,000 a day—so that what was once a single hive becomes two hives. With a little help from its human friends, nature is resilient.

Honeybee numbers fluctuate with beekeepers’ expectations about market conditions, including domestic and overseas demand for specific types of honey or other bee byproducts.

4. Crop pesticides aren’t killing honeybees

Activists’ political goal  is to convince regulators and lawmakers to ban the most popular agricultural chemicals, especially a class of insecticides called neonicotinoids, or neonics for short. They have had some success in doing so by blaming the disappearance of honeybees, which isn’t actually happening, on neonics. This is a particularly obnoxious attack since modern crop protection products such as neonics are actually designed to target harmful pests while, when used according to the instructions on the label, keeping beneficial insects like honeybees as safe as possible. There are several ways we know neonicotinoids aren’t killing bees.

First of all, bees aren’t attracted to the most popular U.S. crops like corn, rice, soybean and wheat, which account for the majority of neonic usage. Honeybees would come into contact with neonics used on these crops only if beekeepers place their colonies close to fields that are about to be planted so that dust from the planting machines might drift and spread to the hive. This is a rather simple problem to fix, by ensuring beekeepers and farmers talk to one another so they know when to keep the bees away.

Second, 98% of the time, neonics aren’t sprayed on crops at all but are used as seed treatments. This high-tech approach is what makes the product friendly to bees and other non-target organisms while still being lethal to biting insects that attack plants at the earliest stage, when they are most vulnerable. Bees forage much later, on nectar and pollen from flowers. By the time bee-attracting, neonic- seed-treated crops reach the flowering stage, the amount of neonics expressed in crop pollen (and, for crops that produce it, nectar) is extremely low. A small amount of the pesticide is applied to the seed, and as the plant grows, the chemical becomes more and more diluted, to the point that it has no significant effect on bees.

That’s why bees positively thrive in Canada’s extensive canola fields, which are almost 100% grown from seeds treated with neonicotinoids. A good account of the Canadian experience can be found in the blog, "Alberta Buzzing," by Lee Townsend, one of Alberta’s most successful beekeepers. Like other beekeepers in Alberta, he loves neonics because they keep the canola healthy, and canola produces a particularly tasty brand of honey.

There’s more evidence. Since neonics arrived on the scene in the mid-1990?s, honeybee hive numbers have climbed. Bee populations fell before neonics were introduced. That was due in large part to the loss of small farms, with their individual beehives, after World War II, and the devastation wrought by the Varroa destructor mite, which hit the U.S. in the mid-1980?s and which bee scientists recognize is the chief cause of bee health problems.

More HERE 

Vitamin A rice coming to Bangladesh

The first field trial of the Golden Rice in Bangladesh has yielded promising results, triggering prospect of the vitamin A-rich grain's release as early as 2018.

Two months after harvesting the Bangladeshi version of Golden Rice line, GR2E BRRI dhan29, scientists at Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) found that rice grains retained 10 ?g/g (micrograms/gram) beta carotene which is good enough to address vitamin-A deficiency (VAD).

Beta carotene, also known as pro-vitamin A, is a substance that the human body can convert to vitamin A.

With this development, a long wait is nearly over for rice breeders who have been trying since 1999 for a varietal development and release of Golden Rice, long being touted by the scientist fraternity as a key remedy to acute VAD problem.

According to the World Health Organization's global VAD database, one in every five pre-school children in Bangladesh is vitamin A-deficient. Among the pregnant women, 23.7 percent suffer from VAD.

BRRI scientists analysed the post-harvest data collected from the first field test conducted on GR2E BRRI dhan29 during the last Boro season (November 2015 - May 2016) and drew the conclusion just recently that the results are positive.

"Two months after harvest, we've found an average of over 10 ?g/g beta carotene in GR2E BRRI dhan29. The amount is good enough to meet 50 percent of vitamin-A needs of people consuming rice in their daily diet," Dr Partha S Biswas, project leader of Golden Rice Project at BRRI, told The Daily Star.

The vitamin A-rich rice, named Golden Rice for its golden colour, was first developed by splicing three foreign genes -- two from daffodil and one from a bacterium -- into japonica rice, a variety adapted to temperate climates. It is capable of producing beta carotene. But for a better beta carotene expression in rice, the daffodil genes were replaced by maize genes later in 2005.

The BRRI carried out the field trial on the campus of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) in Gazipur to keep Golden Rice segregated from other rice varieties grown in BRRI fields.

Provided the BRRI gets the necessary regulatory approval, the organisation would go for multi-location field trials of GR2E BRRI dhan29 in Boro seasons in next two years to set off the process of its commercial release, said Partha.

None of the major diseases like blast, sheath blight, bacterial blight and tungro was observed in the transgenic GR2E BRRI dhan29 and the yield was as good as that of the BRRI dhan29 (check variety) with good expression of beta carotene, according to a paper titled "Recent Advances in Breeding Golden Rice in Bangladesh".

The paper coauthored by Dr Partha, and the IRRI's Golden Rice Project Coordinator Dr Violeta Villegas, and Regulatory Affairs head Dr Donald J Mackenzie, was presented at the 4th Annual South Asia Biosafety Conference in Hyderabad, India in late September.

The Philippines is the only other country that is carrying out a multi-location field trial now on their homegrown Golden Rice line while the process of Golden Rice research remained at laboratory and greenhouse stages in Indonesia, India and Vietnam.

Although Bangladeshi rice scientists have been at the forefront of Golden Rice research since the development of this transgenic rice by Swiss and German scientists in 1999, the process gathered momentum only when then IRRI (International Rice Research Institute) plant biotechnologist, Dr Swapan K Datta, infused the genes responsible for beta carotene into BRRI dhan29 in 2002-03.

The genetic engineering technology to derive vitamin A in rice was first applied by Prof Ingo Potrykus of Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, and Prof Peter Beyer of the University of Freiburg, Germany back in 1999. All renowned journals and news magazines, including the Nature, the Science and the Time, covered the breakthrough in 2000.

The first generation Golden Rice (known as GR1) was developed through infusing genes from daffodil, but later the second generation variety (known as GR2) was developed by taking a maize from corn as it gave much better output of pro-vitamin A.

Some six lines of GR2 (scientifically called "events") were developed and the IRRI chose to work on one called GR2R, which it developed and subsequently infused in Filipino and Bangladeshi rice varieties.

After years of lab and greenhouse tests on GR2R, the Philippines and Bangladesh eventually stopped upon an IRRI advice that Event GR2E would work better.

Golden Rice co-inventor Prof Peter Beyer told this newspaper that there were some problems with the Event GR2R. He said the new Event should work well.

Swapan K Datta, ex-IRRI scientist who infused beta carotene-producing genes into Bangladesh's best performing rice variety, BRRI dhan29, said he was looking forward to see Golden Rice goes to farmers' fields.

The BRRI dhan29, developed by BRRI in 1994, is the most productive dry season rice variety of Bangladesh that has gone beyond national boundaries to be grown in many other countries including India, China, Vietnam, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar.

Rice does not contain beta carotene. Therefore, dependence on rice as the predominant food source necessarily leads to vitamin-A deficiency, most severely affecting small children and pregnant women.

Consumption of only 150 gram of Golden Rice a day is expected to supply half of the recommended daily intake (RDA) of vitamin A for an adult. People in Bangladesh depend on rice for 70 percent of their daily calorie intakes.

The IRRI says VAD is the main cause of preventable blindness in children and globally, some 6.7 million children die every year and another 3,50,000 go blind because they are vitamin-A deficient.

In April 2011, Seattle-based Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sanctioned a grant of over $10 million to IRRI to fund, develop and evaluate Golden Rice varieties for Bangladesh and the Philippines.

Officials concerned at IRRI and Gates Foundation said as the Golden Rice inventors and subsequent technology developer Syngenta allowed a royalty-free access to the patents, the new rice would be of the same price as other rice varieties once released for commercial farming in Bangladesh, and farmers would be able to share and replant the seeds as they wish. 


Foreign-funded green groups could take whole swathes of Australia out of the productive economy

Hillary Clinton and Julia Gillard have a lot in common — and it’s not just the ladylike shoes and matching pearl earrings.   

They both love to play the gender card, turning their immense privilege into victim status and ­dividing the electorate by sex.

Thus, Gillard nobbled Tony ­Abbott with her fabled misogyny speech and Clinton’s machine manages to drown out every Wikileaks embarrassment with a new Donald Trump bimbo eruption.

The other thing the two ladies have in common is the Clinton Foundation, which Wikileaks emails now show is an influence-peddling political slush fund.

And guess which country was one of its biggest donors? Australia. Yep, we’re up there with Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The Australian taxpayer shovelled at least $88 million into the Clinton Foundation and associated entities from 2006 to 2014, reaching a peak of $10.3 million in 2012-13, Gillard’s last year in office.

On the Clinton Foundation website, AusAID and the Commonwealth of Australia score separate entries in the $10 million-plus group of donors, one rung up from American teacher unions.

In 2009-10 Kevin Rudd handed over another $10 million to the foundation for climate research, part of $300 million he squandered on a Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute.

Gillard also donated $300 million of our money to the Clinton-affiliated Global Partnership for Education.

Lo and behold, she became chairman in 2014 and has been ­actively promoting Clinton as president ever since — in a campaign video last December slamming Trump, in opeds trumpeting the next woman president and in appearances with Clinton spruiking girls’ education.

The Abbott government topped up the left-wing organisation’s coffers with another $140 million in 2014, bringing total Australian largesse to $460 million, according to a press release from Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

And yet, apart from the beautiful friendship with Gillard, what did Australia get from the Clintons for all that cash? A whole lot of trouble is what.

The latest treasure trove of Wikileaks emails released last week shows that Australian green groups have been secretly funded to destroy our coal industry by environmental activists connected to the Clinton campaign.

The email account of Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta reveals extraordinary details of the sabotage of the $16 billion Adani coalmine in Queensland, which has damaged Australia’s national interest and denied cheap electricity to millions of poor Indians.

Last August John Hepburn, former Greenpeace activist and founder of Australian anti-coal group the Sunrise Project, sent a crowing email to his American paymasters, the Sandler Foundation, which is also a major donor to the Clinton Foundation. (Founder Herb Sandler and mate George Soros funded another Clinton-aligned progressive group, the Centre for American Progress, previously chaired by Podesta.)

"The Adani Carmichael mine and the whole Galilee Basin fossil fuel industrial complex is in its death throes," Hepburn wrote in the email forwarded to Podesta.

"I am going to buy a few bottles of bubbly for a celebration with the (Environmental ­Defenders Office) legal team, our colleagues at GetUp, Greenpeace,, ECF, Australian Youth Climate Coalition, Mackay Conservation Group, Market Forces and the brilliant and tireless Sunrise team."

In another email forwarded to Podesta, Hepburn panics about an Abbott government inquiry into environmental charities and discusses hiding Sunrise’s sources of funding to safeguard its charitable tax status.

Hepburn boasts about the latest legal blow to Adani, when the Federal Court overturned its approval and the Commonwealth Bank quit the project. In it he now wants to "escalate the campaign ­towards the other 3 big Australian banks".

And he mocks miners who "try to claim that there is some kind of foreign-funded and tightly orchestrated conspiracy to systematically ­destroy the Australian coal industry. (I seriously don’t know where they get these wacky ideas from!)"

As if it’s not bad enough that foreign-funded activists are meddling with our largest export earner, Podesta’s emails also detail their insidious influence on indigenous land owners who blocked the Adani mine using powerful native title rights.

This alliance of green groups with native title owners is a frightening development detailed in a new book by historian Keith Windschuttle, The Break-up of Australia: The Real Agenda behind Aboriginal Recognition.

He reveals the imminent expansion of native title claims, either ­approved or quietly being processed, stretch across a whopping 60 per cent of the Australian continent, an area twice the size of Western Europe.

Already 6000sq km of the Kidman cattle empire in the Kimberley has been given, via native title, to green activists to be converted from productive cattle country to a wildlife conservation area.

"In return, the Yulumbu people get a paltry $50,000 a year royalty," Windschuttle writes. "As a flora and fauna sanctuary it is economically defunct for the foreseeable future."

At worst, writes Windschuttle, the upcoming referendum for indigenous constitutional recognition, proposed by Gillard in 2012, could pave the way for a separate Aboriginal state on native title land, funded by taxation, royalties and lease payments — passive welfare in another guise.

At the very least, the ­alliance between foreign-­funded green groups and ­indigenous owners gives ­environmentalists the opportunity to take whole swathes of Australia out of the productive economy and shut down industries they don’t like, from coal mines in Queensland to cattle farms in Western Australia.

Thanks for nothing, Hillary and Julia.



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



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Context for the minute average temperature change recorded: At any given time surface air temperatures around the world range over about 100°C. Even in the same place they can vary by nearly that much seasonally and as much as 30°C or more in a day. A minute rise in average temperature in that context is trivial if it is not meaningless altogether. Scientists are Warmists for the money it brings in, not because of the facts

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

This Blog by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.), writing from Brisbane, Australia.

I am the most complete atheist you can imagine. I don't believe in Karl Marx, Jesus Christ or global warming. And I also don't believe in the unhealthiness of salt, sugar and fat. How skeptical can you get? If sugar is bad we are all dead

And when it comes to "climate change", I know where the skeletons are buried

Antarctica is GAINING mass

Warmists depend heavily on ice cores for their figures about the atmosphere of the past. But measuring the deep past through ice cores is a very shaky enterprise, which almost certainly takes insufficient account of compression effects. The apparently stable CO2 level of 280ppm during the Holocene could in fact be entirely an artifact of compression at the deeper levels of the ice cores. . Perhaps the gas content of an ice layer approaches a low asymptote under pressure. Dr Zbigniew Jaworowski's criticisms of the assumed reliability of ice core measurements are of course well known. And he studied them for over 30 years.

The world's first "Green" party was the Nazi party -- and Greenies are just as Fascist today in their endeavours to dictate to us all and in their attempts to suppress dissent from their claims.

Was Pope Urban VIII the first Warmist? Below we see him refusing to look through Galileo's telescope. People tend to refuse to consider evidence— if what they might discover contradicts what they believe.

Warmism is a powerful religion that aims to control most of our lives. It is nearly as powerful as the Catholic Church once was

Believing in global warming has become a sign of virtue. Strange in a skeptical era. There is clearly a need for faith

Climate change is the religion of people who think they're too smart for religion

Some advice from the Buddha that the Green/Left would do well to think about: "Three things cannot be long hidden: The Sun, The Moon and The Truth"

Leftists have faith that warming will come back some day. And they mock Christians for believing in the second coming of Christ! They obviously need religion

Global warming has in fact been a religious doctrine for over a century. Even Charles Taze Russell, the founder of Jehovah's Witnesses, believed in it

A rosary for the church of global warming (Formerly the Catholic church): "Hail warming, full of grace, blessed art thou among climates and blessed is the fruit of thy womb panic"

Pope Francis is to the Catholic church what Obama is to America -- a mistake, a fool and a wrecker

Global warming is the predominant Leftist lie of the 21st century. No other lie is so influential. The runner up lie is: "Islam is a religion of peace". Both are rankly absurd.

"When it comes to alarmism, we’re all deniers; when it comes to climate change, none of us are" -- Dick Lindzen

The EPA does everything it can get away with to shaft America and Americans

Cromwell's famous plea: "I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken" was ignored by those to whom it was addressed -- to their great woe. Warmists too will not consider that they may be wrong ..... "Bowels" was a metaphor for compassion in those days

The plight of the bumblebee -- an egregious example of crooked "science"

Inorganic Origin of Petroleum: "The theory of Inorganic Origin of Petroleum (synonyms: abiogenic, abiotic, abyssal, endogenous, juvenile, mineral, primordial) states that petroleum and natural gas was formed by non-biological processes deep in the Earth, crust and mantle. This contradicts the traditional view that the oil would be a "fossil fuel" produced by remnants of ancient organisms. Oil is a hydrocarbon mixture in which a major constituent is methane CH4 (a molecule composed of one carbon atom bonded to four hydrogen atoms). Occurrence of methane is common in Earth's interior and in space. The inorganic theory contrasts with the ideas that posit exhaustion of oil (Peak Oil), which assumes that the oil would be formed from biological processes and thus would occur only in small quantities and sets, tending to exhaust. Some oil drilling now goes 7 miles down, miles below any fossil layers

As the Italian chemist Primo Levi reflected in Auschwitz, carbon is ‘the only element that can bind itself in long stable chains without a great expense of energy, and for life on Earth (the only one we know so far) precisely long chains are required. Therefore carbon is the key element of living substance.’ The chemistry of carbon (2) gives it a unique versatility, not just in the artificial world, but also, and above all, in the animal, vegetable and – speak it loud! – human kingdoms.

David Archibald: "The more carbon dioxide we can put into the atmosphere, the better life on Earth will be for human beings and all other living things."


"It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." --- Richard P. Feynman. Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough - Michael Crichton

"The growth of knowledge depends entirely on disagreement" -- Karl Popper

"Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts" – Richard Feynman

"The desire to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it" -- H L Mencken

'Nothing is more terrible than ignorance in action' -- Goethe

“Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.” -- Voltaire

Lord Salisbury: "No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome; if you believe theologians, nothing is innocent; if you believe soldiers, nothing is safe."

Calvin Coolidge said, "If you see 10 troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you." He could have been talking about Warmists.

Some advice from long ago for Warmists: "If ifs and ans were pots and pans,there'd be no room for tinkers". It's a nursery rhyme harking back to Middle English times when "an" could mean "if". Tinkers were semi-skilled itinerant workers who fixed holes and handles in pots and pans -- which were valuable household items for most of our history. Warmists are very big on "ifs", mays", "might" etc. But all sorts of things "may" happen, including global cooling

Bertrand Russell knew about consensus: "The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.”

There goes another beautiful theory about to be murdered by a brutal gang of facts. - Duc de La Rochefoucauld, French writer and moralist (1613-1680)

"Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate" -- William of Occam

Was Paracelsus a 16th century libertarian? His motto was: "Alterius non sit qui suus esse potest" which means "Let no man belong to another who can belong to himself." He was certainly a rebel in his rejection of authority and his reliance on observable facts and is as such one of the founders of modern medicine

"In science, refuting an accepted belief is celebrated as an advance in knowledge; in religion it is condemned as heresy". (Bob Parks, Physics, U of Maryland). No prizes for guessing how global warming skepticism is normally responded to.

"Almost all professors of the arts and sciences are egregiously conceited, and derive their happiness from their conceit" -- Erasmus

"The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin." -- Thomas H. Huxley

Time was, people warning the world "Repent - the end is nigh!" were snickered at as fruitcakes. Now they own the media and run the schools.

"One of the sources of the Fascist movement is the desire to avoid a too-rational and too-comfortable world" -- George Orwell, 1943 in Can Socialists Be Happy?

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts -- Bertrand Russell

“Affordable energy in ample quantities is the lifeblood of the industrial societies and a prerequisite for the economic development of the others.” -- John P. Holdren, Science Adviser to President Obama. Published in Science 9 February 2001

The closer science looks at the real world processes involved in climate regulation the more absurd the IPCC's computer driven fairy tale appears. Instead of blithely modeling climate based on hunches and suppositions, climate scientists would be better off abandoning their ivory towers and actually measuring what happens in the real world.' -- Doug L Hoffman

Something no Warmist could take on board: "Knuth once warned a correspondent, "Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it." -- Prof. Donald Knuth, whom some regard as the world's smartest man

"To be green is to be irrational, misanthropic and morally defective. They are the barbarians at the gate we have to stand against" -- Rich Kozlovich

“We’ve got to ride this global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy.“ – Timothy Wirth, President of the UN Foundation

“Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?” – Maurice Strong, founder of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

Leftists generally and Warmists in particular very commonly ascribe disagreement with their ideas to their opponent being "in the pay" of someone else, usually "Big Oil", without troubling themselves to provide any proof of that assertion. They are so certain that they are right that that seems to be the only reasonable explanation for opposition to them. They thus reveal themselves as the ultimate bigots -- people with fixed and rigid ideas.


This is one of TWO skeptical blogs that I update daily. During my research career as a social scientist, I was appalled at how much writing in my field was scientifically lacking -- and I often said so in detail in the many academic journal articles I had published in that field. I eventually gave up social science research, however, because no data ever seemed to change the views of its practitioners. I hoped that such obtuseness was confined to the social scientists but now that I have shifted my attention to health related science and climate related science, I find the same impermeability to facts and logic. Hence this blog and my FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC blog. I may add that I did not come to either health or environmental research entirely without credentials. I had several academic papers published in both fields during my social science research career

Update: After 8 years of confronting the frankly childish standard of reasoning that pervades the medical journals, I have given up. I have put the blog into hibernation. In extreme cases I may put up here some of the more egregious examples of medical "wisdom" that I encounter. Greenies and food freaks seem to be largely coterminous. My regular bacon & egg breakfasts would certainly offend both -- if only because of the resultant methane output

Since my academic background is in the social sciences, it is reasonable to ask what a social scientist is doing talking about global warming. My view is that my expertise is the most relevant of all. It seems clear to me from what you will see on this blog that belief in global warming is very poorly explained by history, chemistry, physics or statistics.

Warmism is prophecy, not science. Science cannot foretell the future. Science can make very accurate predictions based on known regularities in nature (e.g. predicting the orbits of the inner planets) but Warmism is the exact opposite of that. It predicts a DEPARTURE from the known regularities of nature. If we go by the regularities of nature, we are on the brink of an ice age.

And from a philosophy of science viewpoint, far from being "the science", Warmism is not even an attempt at a factual statement, let alone being science. It is not a meaningful statement about the world. Why? Because it is unfalsifiable -- making it a religious, not a scientific statement. To be a scientific statement, there would have to be some conceivable event that disproved it -- but there appears to be none. ANY event is hailed by Warmists as proving their contentions. Only if Warmists were able to specify some fact or event that would disprove their theory would it have any claim to being a scientific statement. So the explanation for Warmist beliefs has to be primarily a psychological and political one -- which makes it my field

And, after all, Al Gore's academic qualifications are in social science also -- albeit very pissant qualifications.

A "geriatric" revolt: The scientists who reject Warmism tend to be OLD! Your present blogger is one of those. There are tremendous pressures to conformity in academe and the generally Leftist orientation of academe tends to pressure everyone within it to agree to ideas that suit the Left. And Warmism is certainly one of those ideas. So old guys are the only ones who can AFFORD to declare the Warmists to be unclothed. They either have their careers well-established (with tenure) or have reached financial independence (retirement) and so can afford to call it like they see it. In general, seniors in society today are not remotely as helpful to younger people as they once were. But their opposition to the Warmist hysteria will one day show that seniors are not completely irrelevant after all. Experience does count (we have seen many such hysterias in the past and we have a broader base of knowledge to call on) and our independence is certainly an enormous strength. Some of us are already dead. (Reid Bryson and John Daly are particularly mourned) and some of us are very senior indeed (e.g. Bill Gray and Vince Gray) but the revolt we have fostered is ever growing so we have not labored in vain.

A Warmist backs down: "No one knows exactly how far rising carbon concentrations affect temperatures" -- Stefan Rahmstorf, a scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

Jimmy Carter Classic Quote from 1977: "Because we are now running out of gas and oil, we must prepare quickly for a third change, to strict conservation and to the use of coal and permanent renewable energy sources, like solar power.


Today’s environmental movement is the current manifestation of the totalitarian impulse. It is ironic that the same people who condemn the black or brown shirts of the pre WW2 period are blind to the current manifestation simply because the shirts are green.

Climate is just the sum of weather. So if you cannot forecast the weather a month in advance, you will not be able to forecast the climate 50 years in advance. And official meteorologists such as Britain's Met Office and Australia's BOM, are very poor forecasters of weather. The Met office has in fact given up on making seasonal forecasts because they have so often got such forecasts embarrassingly wrong. Their global-warming-powered "models" just did not deliver

Here's how that "97% consensus" figure was arrived at

97% of scientists want to get another research grant

Hearing a Government Funded Scientist say let me tell you the truth, is like hearing a Used Car Salesman saying let me tell you the truth.

A strange Green/Left conceit: They seem to think (e.g. here) that no-one should spend money opposing them and that conservative donors must not support the election campaigns of Congressmen they agree with

David Brower, founder Sierra Club: “Childbearing should be a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license"

To Greenies, Genghis Khan was a good guy, believe it or not. They love that he killed so many people.

Greenie antisemitism

After three exceptionally cold winters in the Northern hemisphere, the Warmists are chanting: "Warming causes cold". Even if we give that a pass for logic, it still inspires the question: "Well, what are we worried about"? Cold is not going to melt the icecaps is it?"

It's a central (but unproven) assumption of the Warmist "models" that clouds cause warming. Odd that it seems to cool the temperature down when clouds appear overhead!

To make out that the essentially trivial warming of the last 150 years poses some sort of threat, Warmists postulate positive feedbacks that might cut in to make the warming accelerate in the near future. Amid their theories about feedbacks, however, they ignore the one feedback that is no theory: The reaction of plants to CO2. Plants gobble up CO2 and the more CO2 there is the more plants will flourish and hence gobble up yet more CO2. And the increasing crop yields of recent years show that plantlife is already flourishing more. The recent rise in CO2 will therefore soon be gobbled up and will no longer be around to bother anyone. Plants provide a huge NEGATIVE feedback in response to increases in atmospheric CO2

Every green plant around us is made out of carbon dioxide that the plant has grabbed out of the atmosphere. That the plant can get its carbon from such a trace gas is one of the miracles of life. It admittedly uses the huge power of the sun to accomplish such a vast filtrative task but the fact that a dumb plant can harness the power of the sun so effectively is also a wonder. We live on a rather improbable planet. If a science fiction writer elsewhere in the universe described a world like ours he might well be ridiculed for making up such an implausible tale.

Greenies are the sand in the gears of modern civilization -- and they intend to be.

The Greenie message is entirely emotional and devoid of all logic. They say that polar ice will melt and cause a big sea-level rise. Yet 91% of the world's glacial ice is in Antarctica, where the average temperature is around minus 40 degrees Celsius. The melting point of ice is zero degrees. So for the ice to melt on any scale the Antarctic temperature would need to rise by around 40 degrees, which NOBODY is predicting. The median Greenie prediction is about 4 degrees. So where is the huge sea level rise going to come from? Mars? And the North polar area is mostly sea ice and melting sea ice does not raise the sea level at all. Yet Warmists constantly hail any sign of Arctic melting. That the melting of floating ice does not raise the water level is known as Archimedes' principle. Archimedes demonstrated it around 2,500 years ago. That Warmists have not yet caught up with that must be just about the most inspissated ignorance imaginable. The whole Warmist scare defies the most basic physics. Yet at the opening of 2011 we find the following unashamed lying by James Hansen: "We will lose all the ice in the polar ice cap in a couple of decades". Sadly, what the Vulgate says in John 1:5 is still only very partially true: "Lux in tenebris lucet". There is still much darkness in the minds of men.

The repeated refusal of Warmist "scientists" to make their raw data available to critics is such a breach of scientific protocol that it amounts to a confession in itself. Note, for instance Phil Jones' Feb 21, 2005 response to Warwick Hughes' request for his raw climate data: "We have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?" Looking for things that might be wrong with a given conclusion is of course central to science. But Warmism cannot survive such scrutiny. So even after "Climategate", the secrecy goes on.

Most Greenie causes are at best distractions from real environmental concerns (such as land degradation) and are more motivated by a hatred of people than by any care for the environment

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

‘Global warming’ has become the grand political narrative of the age, replacing Marxism as a dominant force for controlling liberty and human choices. -- Prof. P. Stott

Comparing climate alarmist Hansen to Cassandra is WRONG. Cassandra's (Greek mythology) dire prophecies were never believed but were always right. Hansen's dire prophecies are usually believed but are always wrong (Prof. Laurence Gould, U of Hartford, CT)

The modern environmental movement arose out of the wreckage of the New Left. They call themselves Green because they're too yellow to admit they're really Reds. So Lenin's birthday was chosen to be the date of Earth Day. Even a moderate politician like Al Gore has been clear as to what is needed. In "Earth in the Balance", he wrote that saving the planet would require a "wrenching transformation of society".

For centuries there was a scientific consensus which said that fire was explained by the release of an invisible element called phlogiston. That theory is universally ridiculed today. Global warming is the new phlogiston. Though, now that we know how deliberate the hoax has been, it might be more accurate to call global warming the New Piltdown Man. The Piltdown hoax took 40 years to unwind. I wonder....

Motives: Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is generally to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Policies: The only underlying theme that makes sense of all Greenie policies is hatred of people. Hatred of other people has been a Greenie theme from way back. In a report titled "The First Global Revolution" (1991, p. 104) published by the "Club of Rome", a Greenie panic outfit, we find the following statement: "In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill.... All these dangers are caused by human intervention... The real enemy, then, is humanity itself." See here for many more examples of prominent Greenies saying how much and how furiously they hate you.

After fighting a 70 year war to destroy red communism we face another life-or-death struggle in the 21st century against green communism.

The conventional wisdom of the day is often spectacularly wrong. The most popular and successful opera of all time is undoubtedly "Carmen" by Georges Bizet. Yet it was much criticized when first performed and the unfortunate Bizet died believing that it was a flop. Similarly, when the most iconic piece of 20th century music was first performed in 1913-- Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" -- half the audience walked out. Those of us who defy the conventional wisdom about climate are actually better off than that. Unlike Bizet and Stravinsky in 1913, we KNOW that we will eventually be vindicated -- because all that supports Warmism is a crumbling edifice of guesswork ("models").

Al Gore won a political prize for an alleged work of science. That rather speaks for itself, doesn't it?

Jim Hansen and his twin

Getting rich and famous through alarmism: Al Gore is well-known but note also James Hansen. He has for decades been a senior, presumably well-paid, employee at NASA. In 2001 he was the recipient of a $250,000 Heinz Award. In 2007 Time magazine designated him a Hero of the Environment. That same year he pocketed one-third of a $1 million Dan David Prize. In 2008, the American Association for the Advancement of Science presented him with its Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award. In 2010 he landed a $100,000 Sophie Prize. He pulled in a total of $1.2 million in 2010. Not bad for a government bureaucrat.

See the original global Warmist in action here: "The icecaps are melting and all world is drowning to wash away the sin"

I am not a global warming skeptic nor am I a global warming denier. I am a global warming atheist. I don't believe one bit of it. That the earth's climate changes is undeniable. Only ignoramuses believe that climate stability is normal. But I see NO evidence to say that mankind has had anything to do with any of the changes observed -- and much evidence against that claim.

Seeing that we are all made of carbon, the time will come when people will look back on the carbon phobia of the early 21st century as too incredible to be believed

Meanwhile, however, let me venture a tentative prophecy. Prophecies are almost always wrong but here goes: Given the common hatred of carbon (Warmists) and salt (Food freaks) and given the fact that we are all made of carbon, salt, water and calcium (with a few additives), I am going to prophecy that at some time in the future a hatred of nitrogen will emerge. Why? Because most of the air that we breathe is nitrogen. We live at the bottom of a nitrogen sea. Logical to hate nitrogen? NO. But probable: Maybe. The Green/Left is mad enough. After all, nitrogen is a CHEMICAL -- and we can't have that!

UPDATE to the above: It seems that I am a true prophet

The intellectual Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180) must have foreseen Global Warmism. He said: "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane."

The Holy Grail for most scientists is not truth but research grants. And the global warming scare has produced a huge downpour of money for research. Any mystery why so many scientists claim some belief in global warming?

For many people, global warming seems to have taken the place of "The Jews" -- a convenient but false explanation for any disliked event. Prof. Brignell has some examples.

Global warming skeptics are real party-poopers. It's so wonderful to believe that you have a mission to save the world.

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

The claim that oil is a fossil fuel is another great myth and folly of the age. They are now finding oil at around seven MILES beneath the sea bed -- which is incomparably further down than any known fossil. The abiotic oil theory is not as yet well enough developed to generate useful predictions but that is also true of fossil fuel theory

Help keep the planet Green! Maximize your CO2 and CH4 output!

Global Warming=More Life; Global Cooling=More Death.

The inconvenient truth about biological effects of "Ocean Acidification"

Medieval Warm Period: Recent climatological data assembled from around the world using different proxies attest to the presence of both the MWP and the LIA in the following locations: the Sargasso Sea, West Africa, Kenya, Peru, Japan, Tasmania, South Africa, Idaho, Argentina, and California. These events were clearly world-wide and in most locations the peak temperatures during the MWP were higher than current temperatures.

Both radioactive and stable carbon isotopes show that the real atmospheric CO2 residence time (lifetime) is only about 5 years, and that the amount of fossil-fuel CO2 in the atmosphere is maximum 4%.

Cook the crook who cooks the books

The great and fraudulent scare about lead

Green/Left denial of the facts explained: "Rejection lies in this, that when the light came into the world men preferred darkness to light; preferred it, because their doings were evil. Anyone who acts shamefully hates the light, will not come into the light, for fear that his doings will be found out. Whereas the man whose life is true comes to the light" John 3:19-21 (Knox)

Against the long history of huge temperature variation in the earth's climate (ice ages etc.), the .6 of one degree average rise reported by the U.N. "experts" for the entire 20th century (a rise so small that you would not be able to detect such a difference personally without instruments) shows, if anything, that the 20th century was a time of exceptional temperature stability.

Recent NASA figures tell us that there was NO warming trend in the USA during the 20th century. If global warming is occurring, how come it forgot the USA?

Warmists say that the revised NASA figures do not matter because they cover only the USA -- and the rest of the world is warming nicely. But it is not. There has NEVER been any evidence that the Southern hemisphere is warming. See here. So the warming pattern sure is looking moth-eaten.

The latest scare is the possible effect of extra CO2 on the world’s oceans, because more CO2 lowers the pH of seawater. While it is claimed that this makes the water more acidic, this is misleading. Since seawater has a pH around 8.1, it will take an awful lot of CO2 it to even make the water neutral (pH=7), let alone acidic (pH less than 7).

In fact, ocean acidification is a scientific impossibility. Henry's Law mandates that warming oceans will outgas CO2 to the atmosphere (as the UN's own documents predict it will), making the oceans less acid. Also, more CO2 would increase calcification rates. No comprehensive, reliable measurement of worldwide oceanic acid/base balance has ever been carried out: therefore, there is no observational basis for the computer models' guess that acidification of 0.1 pH units has occurred in recent decades.

The chaos theory people have told us for years that the air movement from a single butterfly's wing in Brazil can cause an unforeseen change in our weather here. Now we are told that climate experts can "model" the input of zillions of such incalculable variables over periods of decades to accurately forecast global warming 50 years hence. Give us all a break!

If you doubt the arrogance [of the global warming crowd, you haven't seen that Newsweek cover story that declared the global warming debate over. Consider: If Newton's laws of motion could, after 200 years of unfailing experimental and experiential confirmation, be overthrown, it requires religious fervor to believe that global warming -- infinitely more untested, complex and speculative -- is a closed issue

Scientists have politics too -- sometimes extreme politics. Read this: "This crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism... I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals. In such an economy, the means of production are owned by society itself and are utilized in a planned fashion. A planned economy, which adjusts production to the needs of the community, would distribute the work to be done among all those able to work and would guarantee a livelihood to every man, woman, and child." -- Albert Einstein

The "precautionary principle" is a favourite Greenie idea -- but isn't that what George Bush was doing when he invaded Iraq? Wasn't that a precaution against Saddam getting or having any WMDs? So Greenies all agree with the Iraq intervention? If not, why not?

A classic example of how the sensationalist media distort science to create climate panic is here.

There is a very readable summary of the "Hockey Stick" fraud here

The Lockwood & Froehlich paper was designed to rebut Durkin's "Great Global Warming Swindle" film. It is a rather confused paper -- acknowledging yet failing to account fully for the damping effect of the oceans, for instance -- but it is nonetheless valuable to climate atheists. The concession from a Greenie source that fluctuations in the output of the sun have driven climate change for all but the last 20 years (See the first sentence of the paper) really is invaluable. And the basic fact presented in the paper -- that solar output has in general been on the downturn in recent years -- is also amusing to see. Surely even a crazed Greenie mind must see that the sun's influence has not stopped and that reduced solar output will soon start COOLING the earth! Unprecedented July 2007 cold weather throughout the Southern hemisphere might even have been the first sign that the cooling is happening. And the fact that warming plateaued in 1998 is also a good sign that we are moving into a cooling phase. As is so often the case, the Greenies have got the danger exactly backwards. See my post of 7.14.07 and very detailed critiques here and here and here for more on the Lockwood paper and its weaknesses.

As the Greenies are now learning, even strong statistical correlations may disappear if a longer time series is used. A remarkable example from Sociology: "The modern literature on hate crimes began with a remarkable 1933 book by Arthur Raper titled The Tragedy of Lynching. Raper assembled data on the number of lynchings each year in the South and on the price of an acre’s yield of cotton. He calculated the correla­tion coefficient between the two series at –0.532. In other words, when the economy was doing well, the number of lynchings was lower.... In 2001, Donald Green, Laurence McFalls, and Jennifer Smith published a paper that demolished the alleged connection between economic condi­tions and lynchings in Raper’s data. Raper had the misfortune of stopping his anal­ysis in 1929. After the Great Depression hit, the price of cotton plummeted and economic condi­tions deteriorated, yet lynchings continued to fall. The correlation disappeared altogether when more years of data were added." So we must be sure to base our conclusions on ALL the data. In the Greenie case, the correlation between CO2 rise and global temperature rise stopped in 1998 -- but that could have been foreseen if measurements taken in the first half of the 20th century had been considered.

Relying on the popular wisdom can even hurt you personally: "The scientific consensus of a quarter-century ago turned into the arthritic nightmare of today."

Greenie-approved sources of electricity (windmills and solar cells) require heavy government subsidies to be competitive with normal electricity generators so a Dutch word for Greenie power seems graphic to me: "subsidieslurpers" (subsidy gobblers)

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