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

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

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31 October, 2016

Global cooling coming

From his study of climate cycles, prominent Russian climatologist Habibullo Abdussamatov can see signs that we are already on a cooling trajectory.  His latest paper below

The New Little Ice Age Has Started

H.I. Abdussamatov


Since 1990, the Sun has been in the declining phase of the quasi-bicentennial variation in total solar irradiance (TSI). The decrease in the portion of TSI absorbed by the Earth since 1990 has remained uncompensated by the Earth's long-wave radiation into space at the previous high level because of the thermal inertia of the world's oceans. As a result, the Earth has, and will continue to have, a negative average annual energy balance and a long-term adverse thermal condition. The quasi-centennial epoch of the new Little Ice Age has started at the end 2015 after the maximum phase of solar cycle 24. The start of a solar grand minimum is anticipated in solar cycle 27 ± 1 in 2043 ± 11 and the beginning of phase of deep cooling in the new Little Ice Age in 2060 ± 11. The gradual weakening of the Gulf Stream leads to stronger cooling in the zone of its action in western Europe and the eastern parts of the United States and Canada. Quasi-bicentennial cyclic variations of TSI together with successive very important influences of the causal feedback effects are the main fundamental causes of corresponding alternations in climate variation from warming to the Little Ice Age.


Conservative groups: GOP must oppose Dems' 11th-hour "clean" energy push

Nearly 50 conservative groups are telling Republican congressional leaders to oppose extending $1.4 billion in clean energy tax credits that the White House and Democratic leaders want to see passed by the end of the year.

The free-market and conservative groups, including Americans for Prosperity, Heritage Action, FreedomWorks, Citizens Against Government Waste and Americans for Tax Reform, began the anti-subsidy push Wednesday with a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., reminding them that the incentives "are a distortion of the tax laws for special interests in the renewable energy industry."

The $1.4 billion in expiring tax provisions include incentives for wind-power technologies, geothermal heat pumps, fuel cells and combined heat and power facilities. The measures also include proposals to extend renewable fuel infrastructure credits to benefit advanced forms of ethanol and other alternatives to gasoline.

Congress extended tax credits for solar and wind less than a year ago at a cost of $23.8 billion over the next decade when it passed a huge omnibus spending package in December. The additional tax credits were "wisely" left out of that package and should not be included in any proposed energy extenders package at the end of the year.

It's not just the expense, it's the consistent failure of the subsidies to achieve their goals, the letter said.

"Government subsidies, loans, mandates and tax policies regarding renewables have consistently failed to deliver on their promises of long-term job creation and economic viability," the letter said. "Americans deserve access to energy solutions that are affordable and reliable — ones that should be able to stand on their own in the marketplace.

"We encourage you to oppose efforts to use unrelated legislation as a vehicle to extend expiring tax provisions for renewable energy," it concluded.

The White House has made extending the left-out subsidies a priority in the lame-duck session of Congress, coordinating with the Democratic leadership for what one senior White House adviser called a clean energy "end game."

Many of the conservative groups signing the letter successfully derailed attempts to pass the additional clean energy provisions earlier this year in an intensive lobbying campaign pushing Republicans to oppose it.

Meanwhile, a coalition of energy efficiency advocates criticized the Environmental Protection Agency for picking winners and losers under a clean energy incentive program developed to augment its landmark climate regulations that are undergoing court review.

The coalition, led by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, "argues that energy efficiency should receive access to the same credits as renewable energy" through the EPA incentive program.

"Simply put, ACEEE and partners are seeking to put energy efficiency on a level playing field with renewable energy."

The program provides full incentives only for solar and renewable energy. The coalition argues that efficiency is much cheaper and more cost-effective than many other resources and would benefit consumers.


‘All the Wild Animals Are Going Extinct’ Says WWF. Yeah, Right. And I’m a Giant Panda

The world is on track to lose two-thirds of wild animals by 2020 says the WWF in a joint report with the Zoological Society of London.  The analysis, the most comprehensive to date, indicates that animal populations plummeted by 58% between 1970 and 2012, with losses on track to reach 67% by 2020.

    The report analysed the changing abundance of more than 14,000 monitored populations of the 3,700 vertebrate species for which good data is available. This produced a measure akin to a stock market index that indicates the state of the world’s 64,000 animal species and is used by scientists to measure the progress of conservation efforts.

    The biggest cause of tumbling animal numbers is the destruction of wild areas for farming and logging: the majority of the Earth’s land area has now been impacted by humans, with just 15% protected for nature. Poaching and exploitation for food is another major factor, due to unsustainable fishing and hunting: more than 300 mammal species are being eaten into extinction, according to recent research.

    Pollution is also a significant problem with, for example, killer whales and dolphins in European seas being seriously harmed by long-lived industrial pollutants. Vultures in south-east Asia have been decimated over the last 20 years, dying after eating the carcasses of cattle dosed with an anti-inflammatory drug. Amphibians have suffered one of the greatest declines of all animals due to a fungal disease thought to be spread around the world by the trade in frogs and newts.

    Rivers and lakes are the hardest hit habitats, with animals populations down by 81% since 1970, due to excessive water extraction, pollution and dams. All the pressures are magnified by global warming, which shifts the ranges in which animals are able to live, said WWF’s director of science, Mike Barrett.

What can we do to prevent this happening?

Well I can think two immediate steps we can all take.

One, whenever a WWF leaflet falls out of a magazine, make sure to rip the photograph of the snow leopard, tiger, panda or whatever into tiny pieces so as not to be taken in by the heartrending, vanishing-species-porn blurb emotionally blackmailing you into giving your hard-earned cash to what is essentially just a rapacious eco-fascist propaganda organisation.

Two, never ever visit London Zoo. Obviously it will be sad never to see the Lubetkin penguin pool again, nor to be able to quote Hamlet at the wolves in honour of Withnail & I. Also, if enough of us do it, I guess all the animals will have to be shot. But here’s the thing: like the WWF, the Zoological Society of London is little more than a front these days for grotesquely right-on, misanthropic, eco freaks who basically think that people like you and me are a cancer on the planet.

Why am I saying this?

Because we’ve been through exactly this “all the wild animals are dying and it’s all our fault” nonsense as recently 2014, when the WWF produced a similarly doom-laden report.

It was bunk then – for reasons I detail here – and it’s bunk now.

Yes, of course habitat loss is a problem for wildlife numbers; and yes, humans have undoubtedly been responsible for a number of species extinctions, especially from hunting animals or from introducing predators (eg cats, rats) to previously protected environments.

But the scary predictions on biodiversity loss and species extinction are in truth about as credible as the scary predictions about man-made climate change: they’re more about grabbing headlines, raising money and provoking action than they are about observed data. They’re just computer projections based on dodgy estimates and unreliable raw data.

Eco-freaks love to talk up extinction stories – even when, as in the case of the Aldabra banded snail the species isn’t actually extinct.

If so many species are really going extinct, where are the bodies?

There aren’t any because – barring recent sad examples like the Golden Toad of Costa Rica, driven to extinction by a chytrid fungus probably spread by wildlife researchers – these animals aren’t actually going extinct.

But of course that’s never going to stop media organisations like the Guardian (and indeed the Telegraph, CNN, the Independent, etc) typing up the WWF’s press releases like the dutiful little eco-warriors they are – and imprinting the lie in the heads of a million and one gullible fluffkins.

The Guardian’s version, alone, has been shared over 111,000 times.

So that’s at least 111,000 shrill, self-righteous eco-twerps bleating on to anyone will listen about how all the wild animals are dying and it’s all our fault based on some undigested propaganda they read in the Guardian. Great.


They told us that global warming would affect rice yields, and they were right!

Thailand: Rice farmers in some provinces have grown increasingly impatient and are imploring the government to help them after prices plunged to a 10-year low.

In Buri Ram, farmers say they are in deep trouble as rice prices have dipped well below cost to five baht a kilogramme. They have asked the government to help prop the prices to at least 10 baht per kg, their break-even level.

Millers are now paying them only 5,000 baht a tonne for the main crop they are harvesting, citing high humidity and impurities.

They claim the price is the lowest in decades, yet they have no choice but to accept it in order to repay debts and have money for daily expenses, harvesting equipment rentals, and school supplies for their children for the coming semester.

"We spent 70,000 to 80,000 baht to farm on our 35 rai this year. Although the output was good, it's questionable whether our income will cover the costs," said Prakong Hoopracone, 49, from Muang district of the northeastern province.

Somyot Singthongprasert shared her view, adding that if the government doesn't help them by propping up prices or controlling millers, he couldn't see how he could repay debts and meet daily expenses.

In Phichit province in the Central region, groups of farmers from three districts -- Muang, Taphan Hin and Bang Moon Nak -- gathered at the provincial hall to submit a complaint to the government's help centre. Deputy governor Piya Wongluacha accepted their letter.

The farmers said they were about to harvest jasmine rice but the price had dropped to 6,000 baht a tonne.

In Chai Nat, some farmers reportedly are putting their land up for sale because they can't bear to lose any more money on their crops.

Government spokesman Lt Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd said on Saturday that the government was speeding up efforts to solve the problem, with the rice policy committee planning to meet on Monday.

But he dismissed some news reports as "half-truths", such as stories linking farmland sales to low rice prices.

"We've checked the facts and found that the people who are selling farmland right now are actually landlords who no longer want to rent it or those with no manpower to work the fields," he said.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha commended farmers who have switched to other crops or joined together to form community milling cooperatives, he added.

The junta's answer to the costly rice-pledging programme of its predecessor is a barn-pledging scheme.

Aimed at slowing down the market supply of jasmine and glutinous rice paddy, the programme involves having the state-owned Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) lend to farmers in the North and Northeast.

Growers are required to keep harvests in their barns and the bank will give them loans equal to 90% of the target prices, plus 1,000 baht a tonne as the storage cost.

In return, the government subsidises the interest for farmers, with a cap of 300,000 baht per household, or 20 tonnes of paddy.

For their part, the farmers keep the paddy until the time is appropriate to sell it. Farmers who don't have barns can join through cooperatives.

The government approved the programme in late October 2015. For 2015, the crops were limited to jasmine and glutinous paddy in the North and Northeast. The maximum pledged amount was 2 million tonnes for a maximum credit line of 26.74 billion baht.

The pledged prices were up to 13,500 baht a tonne for jasmine paddy and 11,300 baht for glutinous paddy, or 90% of the market prices at the time.

Critics said the cap at 2 million tonnes was less than a third of the 7-million-tonne output of the two varieties.

Because of the restrictions and higher rice prices at the time, 80,000 farmers pledged 450,000 tonnes for loans totalling 6.39 billion baht for the 2014-15 crop year, according to BAAC data as of March 31, 2015. 

Rice prices around the world have fallen as a record crop is forecast for the 2016-17 harvest season, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in its latest Rice Price Update.

The FAO’s All Rice Price Index showed international rice prices in the first eight months of 2016 were 9% below the levels of a year earlier

The International Grains Council (IGC) also noted a sharp fall in export prices of Thai rice in August.

“The market in Thailand was weighed down by sluggish international demand and increasing secondary crop arrivals, while additional pressure stemmed from efforts by the government to offload state reserves through a series of auctions,” it said. “At $369 [a tonne], 5% broken rice was down by $43 month-over-month."


Billionaire crony corporatist schemes

Financing “green” companies and pressure groups, to get richer off taxpayers and consumers

Paul Driessen

Shady cash from Vladimir Putin’s Russian energy oligarchs and other rich donors is being laundered through Bermuda-based lawyers and middlemen to “green” pressure groups, lobbyists and spinmeisters – to promote “green energy” schemes that bring billions of dollars from government agencies (and thus from us taxpayers and consumers) to a cabal of billionaires and crony companies. At the epicenter are hedge fund millionaire Nathaniel Simons, his wife Laura and their secretive Sea Change Foundation.

“Investors” become even wealthier, as billions of dollars are transferred annually to environmentalists, scientists, politicians, bureaucrats and crony-corporatists in Renewable Energy & Climate Crisis, Inc. The alleged “urgency” of replacing fossil fuels with “eco-friendly renewable energy” (to prevent catastrophic manmade climate change) drives and excuses operations that define or barely skirt “corrupt practices.”

The arrangements are too convoluted to explain in one article. Even the US Senate’s “Billionaires’ Club” report, Environmental Policy Alliance’s “From Russia with Love” study, and articles by investigative journalists like Ron Arnold and Lachlan Markay (here, here and here) barely scratch the surface.

Washington is out of control. The IRS targeting conservative groups, Clinton Foundation and national security scandals, FBI pseudo-investigations and whitewashing, bureaucrats imposing $1.9 trillion in economy-crushing regulations that ruin families and communities – with virtually no perpetrators ever held accountable.

Here we are talking about radically and fundamentally dismantling the energy system that powers the American free enterprise, transportation, communication and healthcare systems … replacing it with expensive, subsidized, unreliable, land-hungry wind, solar and biofuel energy – and using vindictive government power to bankrupt and impoverish disfavored factions, while enriching favored allies.

Imagine the trillions of dollars required for the USA to accept the wind industry’s “vision” of 4,000,000 megawatts of electricity from 500,000 to 1,250,000 mega turbines in our Great Lakes and along our Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf of Mexico coasts. Picture the multi trillions required to achieve 50% renewable energy by 2027 and a “100% carbon-free economy” by 2050. Envision the potential billionaire profits!

As the investigators reveal, the billionaires’ green network transfers millions of dollars from individual, corporate and “charitable foundation” donors … through tax-exempt “educational” nonprofits that do not have to disclose donor names … to activist and pressure groups that work to influence elections, legislation, regulations, legal actions and public perceptions on energy and environmental issues. A lot of money originates with Russian and other foreign interests that want to protect their monopoly revenues.

Many wealthy donors and foundations that bankroll these operations also have venture capital firms that invest in “green” energy companies which benefit from the laws, policies, regulations and lawsuits – and from government contracts, grants, guaranteed loans, subsidies, feed-in tariffs, and mandates for energy systems, ethanol blends or wind and solar electricity. In turn, US money can end up in the coffers of radical Australian groups that block coal exports to India, thereby keeping its people mired in poverty.

Coal billionaire/climate activist Tom Steyer and other club members invest in for-profit prisons where inmates make ultra-low-cost solar panels. Warren Buffett funneled millions through his family foundation to the secretive Tides Foundation to pressure groups campaigning against the Keystone and Sandpiper Pipelines, thereby benefitting his railroad and tank car companies that haul oil. Others support North Dakota pipeline protesters who destroyed equipment, mutilated cattle and harassed local residents.

One of the most clandestine, devious arrangements involves firms owned or controlled by Nathaniel Simons and Laura Baxter-Simons. Tax records reveal that their Sea Change Foundation gives tens of millions a year to the Natural Resources Defense Council, Food and Water Watch, US Climate Action Network, League of Conservation Voters, Center for American Progress, White House counselor John Podesta’s Progressive Policy Institute – and Sierra Club, which received millions from Sea Change for its “Beyond Natural Gas” campaign, to battle drilling, fracking, pipelines and hydrocarbon use.

The Simons regularly give millions to Sea Change. Other donors include the Gates Foundation, eBay’s Omidyar Network Fund, David Rockefeller’s personal foundation and the Walmart Foundation. Sea Change also gets money from hedge funds incorporated in Bermuda and headed by Simons’ father Jim, a major Democratic donor whose net worth is over $12 billion.
But much of Sea Change’s funding comes through Bermuda-based Klein, Ltd., whose sole purpose is to channel money covertly to Sea Change and thence to environmental advocacy and “educational” groups. Klein is a shell company that exists only on paper. Its only officers are employees of Bermuda law firm Wakefield Quin, its address is the same as WQ’s, and its registered business agents work for Wakefield.

A sizable portion of Klein’s funds come from the IPOC Group, an international growth fund owned by Russian minister of telecommunications and Putin friend Leonid Reiman; Spectrum Partners, a Moscow-based energy investment firm with major assets in Russian oil and gas; Rosneft, the Russian-government-owned oil and gas giant that is one of Wakefield’s largest clients; and other Russian companies.

Their motives are easy to discern. US fracking has battered Russia’s income, economy and ruble. One way to reverse this is to support groups that oppose drilling, fracking and pipelines – and support wind, solar and biofuel projects that Simons views as the foundation of a future “low-carbon US economy.”

That’s why Hillary Clinton told German bankers in 2013 that US energy development is “up against” Russian “oligarchs” who are funding “phony environmental groups.” She supports fracking, she claimed, while publicly saying her regulations won’t leave many places where the practice will be tolerated.

Nat Simons also runs venture capital firms Elan Management and its offshoot Prelude Ventures, which invest in “green energy” companies that benefit from policies that his Sea Change operations promote. At least seven companies in Prelude’s portfolio (including prison-labor solar company Suniva) have received bounteous federal funding from the Energy, Defense, Agriculture and Justice Departments, National Science Foundation and other agencies. Many WQ clients have ties to the Russian government.
Klein, Ltd. director and Wakefield Quin senior counsel Nicholas Hoskins is also a director in the IPOC Group and VP of a London-based investment firm whose president is a member of Putin’s inner circle and used to chair the board of Russia-owned oil company Rosneft. He also serves as director of a holding company with extensive shares in an oil company owned by Russian billionaire Alexander Lebedev.

WQ senior counsel Roderick Forrest operates Medallion Investments and Meritage Investments, hedge funds owned by Nat Simons. Forrest and Hoskins are also tied closely to Spectrum Partners and Marcuard-Spectrum, Moscow-based firms with significant assets in Russian oil and gas.

All these subterranean networks and connections came to light thanks to tax records and the sources cited earlier in this article. It’s no wonder the Senate report called Sea Change “shadowy” and its operations “a deceitful way to hide the source of millions of dollars … attempting to effect political change.”

On the personal front, Simons commutes to work across San Francisco Bay on the “Elan,” a 54-ft, 1,550-HP, gas-guzzling yacht – and manages his household staff and 6,700-sq-ft home via Elan Household LLC. Ms. Baxter-Simons fired their 9-months-pregnant housekeeper after she requested maternity leave. But their planet-focused ethical star shines bright in environmentalist skies.

On this Halloween eve, it is truly frightening to grasp the extent to which America’s politicians, policies, laws, regulations, energy, economy, jobs and future are controlled by a cabal of stealthy billionaires – who receive billions from state and federal government agencies, and use those riches to become even wealthier, more powerful, and more in control of our lives, livelihoods, living standards and liberties.

Via email


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30 October, 2016

Why does our planet experience an ice age every 100,000 years?

More Warmist rubbish -- confusing cause and effect again. Of course there was more CO2 dissolved in the oceans during cooler periods.  That is what cooler water does.  It dissolves more CO2.  Your Coca Cola would not fizz otherwise. So they really have no causal explanation at all for the matter they discuss

I add the journal abstract following the popular summary below.  The opening comments of the abstract indicate that the period of cyclicity was cooler  as a whole.  I quote: "The ~100 k.y. cyclicity of the late Pleistocene ice ages started during the mid-Pleistocene transition (MPT), as ice sheets became larger and persisted for longer"

Only a carefully dated tabulation of temperature and CO2 levels showing which changes came first could establish the theory they offer. They offer nothing of that sort.  They report on CO2 proxies only

Experts from Cardiff University have offered up an explanation as to why our planet began to move in and out of ice ages every 100,000 years.

This mysterious phenomena, dubbed the ‘100,000 year problem’, has been occurring for the past million years or so and leads to vast ice sheets covering North America, Europe and Asia. Up until now, scientists have been unable to explain why this happens.

Our planet’s ice ages used to occur at intervals of every 40,000 years, which made sense to scientists as the Earth’s seasons vary in a predictable way, with colder summers occurring at these intervals.

However there was a point, about a million years ago, called the ‘Mid-Pleistocene Transition’, in which the ice age intervals changed from every 40,000 years to every 100,000 years.

New research published today in the journal Geology has suggested the oceans may be responsible for this change, specifically in the way that they suck carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the atmosphere.

By studying the chemical make-up of tiny fossils on the ocean floor, the team discovered that there was more CO2 stored in the deep ocean during the ice age periods at regular intervals every 100,000 years.

This suggests that extra carbon dioxide was being pulled from the atmosphere and into the oceans at this time, subsequently lowering the temperature on Earth and enabling vast ice sheets to engulf the Northern Hemisphere.

Lead author of the research Professor Carrie Lear, from the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, said: “We can think of the oceans as inhaling and exhaling carbon dioxide, so when the ice sheets are larger, the oceans have inhaled carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, making the planet colder. When the ice sheets are small, the oceans have exhaled carbon dioxide, so there is more in the atmosphere which makes the planet warmer.

“By looking at the fossils of tiny creatures on the ocean floor, we showed that when ice sheets were advancing and retreating every 100,000 years the oceans were inhaling more carbon dioxide in the cold periods, suggesting that there was less left in the atmosphere.”

Marine algae play a key role in removing CO2 from the atmosphere as it is an essential ingredient of photosynthesis.

CO2 is put back into the atmosphere when deep ocean water rises to the surface through a process called upwelling, but when a vast amount of sea ice is present this prevents the CO2 from being exhaled, which could make the ice sheets bigger and prolong the ice age.

“If we think of the oceans inhaling and exhaling carbon dioxide, the presence of vast amounts of ice is like a giant gobstopper. It’s like a lid on the surface of the ocean,” Prof Lear continued.

The Earth’s climate is currently in a warm spell between glacial periods. The last ice age ended about 11,000 years ago. Since then, temperatures and sea levels have risen, and ice caps have retreated back to the poles. In addition to these natural cycles, manmade carbon emissions are also having an effect by warming the climate.


Breathing more deeply: Deep ocean carbon storage during the mid-Pleistocene climate transition

Lear, Caroline et al.


The ~100 k.y. cyclicity of the late Pleistocene ice ages started during the mid-Pleistocene transition (MPT), as ice sheets became larger and persisted for longer. The climate system feedbacks responsible for introducing this nonlinear ice sheet response to orbital variations in insolation remain uncertain. Here we present benthic foraminiferal stable isotope (d18O, d13C) and trace metal records (Cd/Ca, B/Ca, U/Ca) from Deep Sea Drilling Project Site 607 in the North Atlantic. During the onset of the MPT, glacial-interglacial changes in d13C values are associated with changes in nutrient content and carbonate saturation state, consistent with a change in water mass at our site from a nutrient-poor northern source during inter- glacial intervals to a nutrient-rich, corrosive southern source during glacial intervals. The respired carbon content of glacial Atlantic deep water increased across the MPT. Increased dominance of corrosive bottom waters during glacial intervals would have raised mean ocean alkalinity and lowered atmospheric pCO2. The amplitude of glacial-interglacial changes in d13C increased across the MPT, but this was not mirrored by changes in nutrient content. We interpret this in terms of air-sea CO2 exchange effects, which changed the d13C signature of dissolved inorganic carbon in the deep water mass source regions. Increased sea ice cover or ocean strati cation during glacial times may have reduced CO2 outgassing in the Southern Ocean, providing an additional mechanism for reducing glacial atmospheric pCO2. Conversely, following the establishment of the ~100 k.y. glacial cycles, d13C of interglacial northern-sourced waters increased, perhaps re ecting reduced invasion of CO2 into the North Atlantic following the MPT.


How many scientific papers just aren’t true?

Enough that basing government policy on ‘peer-reviewed studies’ isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

We’re continually assured that government policies are grounded in evidence, whether it’s an anti-bullying programme in Finland, an alcohol awareness initiative in Texas or climate change responses around the globe. Science itself, we’re told, is guiding our footsteps.

There’s just one problem: science is in deep trouble. Last year, Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet, admitted that “much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue.” In his words, “science has taken a turn toward darkness.”

Medical research, psychology, and economics are all in the grip of a ‘reproducibility crisis.’ A pharmaceutical company attempting to confirm the findings of 53 landmark cancer studies was successful in only six instances, a failure rate of 89pc. In 2012, a psychology journal devoted an entire issue to reliability problems in that discipline, with one essay titled “Why science is not necessarily self-correcting.” Likewise, a 2015 report prepared for the Board of Governors of the US Federal Reserve concluded that “economics research is usually not replicable.” Its authors were able to verify the findings of only one third of 67 papers published in reputable economics journals. After enlisting the help of the original researchers, the success rate rose to a still dismal 49pc.

Government policies can’t be considered evidence-based if the evidence on which they depend hasn’t been independently verified, yet the vast majority of academic research is never put to this test. Instead, something called peer review takes place. When a research paper is submitted, journals invite a couple of people to evaluate it. Known as referees, these individuals recommend that the paper be published, modified, or rejected.

If one gets what one pays for, it’s worth observing that referees typically work for free. They lack both the time and the resources to perform anything other than a cursory overview. Nothing like an audit occurs. No one examines the raw data for accuracy or the computer code for errors. Peer review doesn’t guarantee that proper statistical analyses were employed, or that lab equipment was used properly.

Referees at the most prestigious of journals have given the green light to research that was later found to be wholly fraudulent. Conversely, they’ve scoffed at work that went on to win Nobel Prizes. Richard Smith, a former editor of the British Medical Journal, describes peer review as a roulette wheel, a lottery, and a black box. He points out that an extensive body of research finds scant evidence that this vetting process accomplishes much at all. On the other hand, a mountain of scholarship has identified profound deficiencies.

Peer review’s random and arbitrary nature was demonstrated as early as 1982. Twelve already published papers were assigned fictitious author and institution names before being resubmitted to the same journal 18-32 months later. The duplication was noticed in three instances, but the remaining nine papers underwent review by two referees each. Only one paper was deemed worthy of seeing the light of day the second time it was examined by the same journal that had already published it. Lack of originality wasn’t among the concerns raised by the second wave of referees.

Anyone can start a scholarly journal and define peer review however they wish. No minimum standards apply and no enforcement mechanisms ensure that a journal’s publicly described policies are actually followed. Some editors admit to writing up fake reviews under the cover of anonymity rather than going to the trouble of recruiting bona fide referees. In 2014, a news story reported that 120 papers containing computer-generated gibberish had nevertheless survived the peer review process of reputable publishers.

Politicians and journalists have long found it convenient to regard peer-reviewed research as de facto sound science. If that were the case, Nature would hardly have subtitled a February 2016 article: “Mistakes in peer-reviewed papers are easy to find but hard to fix.” Over a period of 18 months, a team of researchers attempted to correct dozens of substantial errors in nutrition and obesity research. Among these was the claim that the height change in a group of adults  averaged nearly three inches (7 cm) over eight weeks. The team reported that editors “seemed unprepared or ill-equipped to investigate, take action or even respond.” In Kafkaesque fashion, after months of effort culminated in acknowledgement of a gaffe, journals then demanded that the team pay $1,700 in one instance and $2,100 in another before a letter calling attention to other people’s mistakes could be published.

Which brings us back to the matter of public policy. We’ve long been assured that reports produced by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are authoritative because they rely entirely on peer-reviewed, scientific literature. A 2010 InterAcademy Council investigation found this claim to be false, but that’s another story. Even if all IPCC source material did meet this threshold, the fact that one out of an estimated 25,000 academic journals conducted an unspecified and unregulated peer review ritual is no warranty that a paper isn’t total nonsense.

If half of the scientific literature “may simply be untrue,” then half of the climate research cited by the IPCC may also be untrue. This appalling unreliability extends to work on dietary cholesterol, domestic violence, air pollution – in short, to all research currently being generated by the academy.

The US National Science Foundation recently reminded us that a scientific finding “cannot be regarded as an empirical fact” unless it has been “independently verified.” Peer review does not perform that function. Until governments begin authenticating research prior to using it as the foundation for new laws and huge expenditures, don’t fall for the claim that policy X is evidence-based.


Using pepper spray and bean bags, police clear out N.D. pipeline protesters

Law enforcement officers wearing riot gear and firing bean bags and pepper spray on Thursday ousted protesters from a camp on private land in the path of the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

Hundreds of armed state and local police and National Guard — some on foot and others driving trucks, military Humvees and buses — began the operation at midday and slowly enveloped the camp, arresting more than a dozen protesters who refused to leave.

There were no serious injuries, although one man was hurt in the leg and received treatment from a medic.

Protesters initially set up roadblocks and started some fires to slow the law enforcement advance but eventually retreated.

Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said that the camp had been cleared by nightfall although police were still dealing with protesters on the perimeter, and he said police would stay put for now.

"We’re not leaving the area," Kirchmeier said. "We are just going to make sure that we maintain a presence in the area so the roadway stays open, and to keep individuals from camping on private land."

The confrontation marked a major escalation of a protest that has raged for months. Opponents of the pipeline moved in over the weekend to establish a camp on private land where the developer was working to complete the 1,200-mile pipeline designed to carry oil from western North Dakota to Illinois. The route of the pipeline skirts the Standing Rock Reservation and the tribe says it could endanger water supplies and disturb cultural sites. The state of North Dakota says no sensitive cultural sites have been found in the area.

The tribe sought to block the pipeline in court, challenging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ decision granting permits at more than 200 water crossings. But a federal judge in September denied their request to block construction. Three federal agencies then stepped in and ordered construction to halt on Corps-owned land around Lake Oahe, a wide spot of the Missouri River, while the Corps reviewed its decision-making. Construction was allowed to continue on private land owned by developer Energy Transfer Partners.

The operation to push out the protesters began a day after they had refused to leave voluntarily.

The camp is just to the north of a more permanent and larger encampment on federally-owned land which has been the main staging area for hundreds of protesters, including Native Americans from across North America, environmentalists and some celebrities.

Aaron Johnson, 50, a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux in South Dakota, said he and other protesters weren’t happy with the day’s outcome. "I came here for peace and prayer," he said. "When somebody sets something on fire, that’s not peace and prayer."


Now Greenie laws are wrecking our grass! Cambridge University's perfect lawns are ripped up by crows as bugs thrive after ban on pesticide

The lawns of Cambridge University are being torn apart by crows feasting on bugs after an EU ban on a pesticide.

Lawns at seven colleges have been blighted by birds digging up ground in search of the chafer bug, a beetle that lives in soil and feeds on grass roots.

The population has soared since an EU-wide ban on a spray containing a chemical called imidacloprid, which is harmful to bees.

The problem is so severe at two colleges, Jesus and Pembroke, that the lawn is being replaced.

Gardeners have introduced nematodes, microscopic worms that eat chafer grubs in a bid to combat the problem but the method is not proving entirely successful.

A post on the Jesus College Facebook page said: 'The situation has become quite severe over the last two to three weeks and large areas of lawn have suffered as a result, First Court in particular.

'The use of nematodes has proved unreliable. Our gardeners will apply topsoil and seed along with fertiliser, which the birds dislike, once the destructiveness has ceased.' 

Paul Gallant, head gardener of Selwyn College, said the damage is worse at some colleges than others because the grubs only thrive in some types of soil.

He said: 'The grubs like light sandy soil like the soil at Selwyn. Wolfson and Robinson don't have the problem because they're on clay.'

The chemical imidacloprid was one of three pesticides harmful to bees banned in April 2013.

The law was reviewed this year but in April it was confirmed that imidacloprid is highly toxic to bumblebees and was taken of the market.

The problem could improve over winter as the cold weather will force the grubs deeper into the soil and out of the reach of crows.

Guy Barter, chief horticulturalist for the Royal Horticulturalist Society, said: 'All the pesticides that can be sprayed on to grass to control soil pests have been withdrawn. So there are now no chemicals that can be sprayed on to the grass.

'Imidacloprid has been withdrawn because there are issues with it damaging pollinators such as bees and such like.

'This means that the only thing that can be done is to apply nematodes that infect the soil bugs and kill underground. But they are very expensive and only work on warm soils. It would be very expensive indeed to drench a large area.'


Australia: New photos show worst coral bleaching to date: A third of the Great Barrier Reef is affected

You can of course prove anything with photos. The previous reports from this lot were found to be vastly exaggerated so this report should also be taken with a large grain of salt.  Reading between the lines, I gather that most of the reef has already recovered from the earlier bleaching but the recovery has been uneven so far.

More corals are dying and others are succumbing to disease and predators after the worst-ever bleaching on Australia's iconic Great Barrier Reef.

A swathe of corals bleached in the northern third of the 1,429-mile (2,300-kilometre) long biodiverse site off the Queensland state coast died after an unprecedented bleaching earlier this year as sea temperatures rose.

And researchers who returned to the region to survey the area this month said 'many more have died more slowly'.

On the surface, coral bleaching looks like white, bleached-out coral reefs - quite a departure from the usual colourful structures.

Bleaching occurs when abnormal environmental conditions, such as warmer sea temperatures, cause corals to expel tiny photosynthetic algae, draining them of their colour.

Andrew Hoey, from the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, said: 'In March, we measured a lot of heavily bleached branching corals that were still alive, but we didn't see many survivors this week.

'On top of that, snails that eat live coral are congregating on the survivors, and the weakened corals are more prone to disease. 'A lot of the survivors are in poor shape.'

Greg Torda, whose team recently returned from re-surveying reefs near Lizard Island, said the amount of live coral covering the island fell from about 40 per cent in March to under five per cent.

It is the third time in 18 years that the World Heritage-listed site, which teems with marine life, has experienced mass bleaching after previous events in 1998 and 2002.

The researchers said even though they were still assessing the final death toll from bleaching in the north, 'it is already clear that this event was much more severe than the two previous bleachings'. They expect to complete all their surveys by mid-November.

Bleaching occurs when abnormal environmental conditions, such as warmer sea temperatures, cause corals to expel tiny photosynthetic algae, draining them of their colour

The reef's northern 700-kilometre section bore the brunt of the breaching during March and April, with the southern areas 'only lightly bleached and remain in good condition'

The reef's northern 700-kilometre section bore the brunt of the breaching during March and April, with the southern areas 'only lightly bleached and remain in good condition'

The reef's northern 435-mile (700-kilometre) section bore the brunt of the breaching during March and April, with the southern areas 'only lightly bleached and remain in good condition', the scientists added.

'As we expected from the geographic pattern of bleaching, the reefs further south are in much better shape,' said Andrew Baird, who led the re-surveys of reefs in the central section.

'There is still close to 40 per cent coral cover at most reefs in the central Great Barrier Reef, and the corals that were moderately bleached last summer have nearly all regained their normal colour.'

The reef is already under pressure from farming run-off, development, the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish as well as the impacts of climate change, with a government report last week painting a bleak picture of the natural wonder.



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 October, 2016

Another "suggestion"

Suggest away!  No surprise what they would "suggest".  Kinda sad that suggestions is the best they can do however

An indirect effect of climate change may be causing intensely cold winters in the UK and US, a study suggests

Warming in the Arctic is thought to be influencing the jet stream, a high-altitude corridor of fast-moving air, leading to severe cold snaps.

It may have been responsible for record snowfall in New York during the winter of 2014/15, and unusually cold winters in the UK in 2009/10 and 2010/11.

Previous studies have shown that when the jet stream follows a 'wavy' irregular path there are more cold weather fronts plunging south from the Arctic into mid-latitudes, bringing freezing conditions that persist for weeks at a time.

When the jet stream flows strongly and steadily from west to east, winter weather in the UK and other countries in the temperate belt between the tropics and the Arctic is milder.

Lead researcher Professor Edward Hanna, from the University of Sheffield, said: 'We've always had years with wavy and not so wavy jet stream winds, but in the last one to two decades the warming Arctic could well have been amplifying the effects of the wavy patterns.

'This may have contributed to some recent extreme cold winter spells along the eastern seaboard of the United States, in eastern Asia, and at times over the UK.'

He added: 'Improving our ability to predict how climate change is affecting the jet stream will help to improve our long-term prediction of winter weather in some of the most highly populated regions of the world.

'This would be hugely beneficial for communities, businesses and entire economies in the northern hemisphere.

'The public could better prepare for severe winter weather and have access to extra crucial information that could help make live-saving and cost-saving decisions.'


Previous studies have shown that when the jet stream follows a 'wavy' irregular path there are more cold weather fronts plunging south from the Arctic into mid-latitudes, bringing freezing conditions that persist for weeks at a time.

When the jet stream flows strongly and steadily from west to east, winter weather in the UK and other countries in the temperate belt between the tropics and the Arctic is milder.

It may have been responsible for record snowfall in New York during the winter of 2014/15, and unusually cold winters in the UK in 2009/10 and 2010/11.

Prof Hanna was part of an international team of climate scientists that included experts from the US Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Their findings are reported in the latest issue of the journal Nature Climate Change.

Scientists have been divided over the cause of recent cold winters.

One camp believes they are merely the result of natural jet stream variability, but the other is convinced there is a connection with global warming.

The new study brought together experts from both groups, who for the first time agreed that the evidence implicated climate change.


The lies never stop

CNBC viewers are being snookered.

The business news network featured an article in the “Sustainable Energy” section of its Website that proclaimed: “Renewables surged past coal in 2015 to become world’s biggest source of electricity: IEA.”

In reading that headline, one might get the impression that wind turbines and solar panels produced more electricity last year than coal. But the fine print actually reveals a very different picture.

The opening paragraph of the article by “Freelance digital reporter” Anmar Frangoul gives a clue as to the sleight of hand being used. Frangoul cites the International Energy Agency (IEA) as reporting that “Renewable energy moved past coal in 2015 to become the biggest source of global electricity capacity.” The key word there is “capacity.”

What’s noteworthy is that capacity is far different from actual production. The average wind turbine has a maximum rated capacity of roughly 2 megawatts. That means, if the wind is blowing between 26-56 mph, the turbine can spin up to its peak generating capacity. In such moments, the wind turbine can produce its full 2 megawatts.

However, wind turbines, like solar panels, offer only intermittent power generation. Wind turbines can only produce power when there is sufficient wind—and when they are not shut down due to cold weather, repairs, or high winds. And solar panels only produce electricity during periods of direct sunlight. Thus, while a wind turbine can have a maximum capacity of 2 megawatts, its typical output may often be far less, or even 0 megawatts (on a windless day).

In contrast, and as the IEA itself notes, coal provided 40.8 percent of worldwide power generation in 2014. The renewables that Frangoul crows about—defined by the IEA as “geothermal, solar, wind, heat, etc.”—produced only 6.3 percent of all power.

Thus we see some of the misleading language in the CNBC article.

Frangoul talks about renewables producing 23 percent of world power generation in 2015—which is only possible when hydropower’s robust 16.4 percent is added to renewables’ paltry 6.3 percent share. And while the IEA says that “renewables represented more than half the new power capacity around the world” in 2015, one has to remember their frustrating intermittency. Wind turbines only generate roughly 20 percent of their installed capacity, and solar panels yield an even more meager 10 percent.

So, while Frangoul is happy to tout all of this new power plant construction, one has to consider that it represents investments that will often sit idle.

Such imprudence might seem naive. But the IEA astutely notes that “renewable power expanded at its fastest-ever rate in 2015, thanks to supportive government policies.”

Indeed, it is these very subsidies that have triggered a rush to wind and solar, despite abundant evidence of their limitations. It would be interesting, then, for reporters like Frangoul to further examine these much-touted renewable projects, and see if “capacity” actually meets expectations.


When Asked To Show Evidence Of Man-Made Warming, Scientists Can't Do It

Dr. Patrick Moore, founder of Greenpeace

There's probably not a phrase that the global warming alarmists and dim celebrities trying to play the role of intellectuals use more than some variation of "the science is settled." It's a catchy phrase that's intended to shut down debate and shame skeptics.

And it's simply not true.

The alarmist community has had almost three decades to prove its assumptions, and while it is plausible that there has been a small measure of warming, the disaster many predicted hasn't occurred. Worse for them, it's impossible to say with any degree of certainty that the warming that has happened — and quite possibly there's been none at all — was caused by man. Earth's climate has warmed and cooled throughout its existence. It's part of the natural cycle.

Yet the alarmist community persists and never acknowledges that it might be wrong. At the same time, when its members are pressed to prove that their one-way beliefs are indeed fact, they can't do it.

Consider a recent exchange in Australia, in which a skeptic, parliament member Malcolm Roberts, asked scientists at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization to convince him that there was proof of man-made global warming. With Roberts being a skeptic, the scientists naturally had a high hurdle to clear. But the response Roberts received was not particularly compelling.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Alan Finkel responded with the usual stale answers: Atmospheric carbon dioxide traps heat, CO2 emissions have increased, therefore man must be warming his planet.

Then the Morning Herald noted, in a paraphrase, that Finkel conceded that "the effect of warming on climate wasn't clear." It followed with a direct quotation from Finkel, which was actually an admission.

"We have models to try to predict what that will be and that's difficult," said Finkel.

Difficult. And wrong.

Finkel's failure to complete the task that Roberts put before him is nothing new nor isolated. Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore has said there "is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth's atmosphere over the past 100 years," while science writer Michael Fumento wrote convincingly three years ago that proof of global warming was evaporating.

What the alarmists call "proof" and "evidence" is nothing more than conjecture. They cannot prove that man's activities have warmed the planet, even if the next 100 years are twice as hot as they have predicted. They can lay out their "evidence" as if in a courtroom, and urge the jury to make the connection.

But the fact they can't get around is that there is more than enough reasonable doubt to throw out their prosecution. Carbon dioxide simply isn't the only suspect. Earth's climate system has far too many influences for the inquisitors to settle on just one.


Iowa Wind Project Generates More Tax Credits than Electricity

After reaching a settlement with some of its biggest customers this summer, the Warren Buffett-owned utility company MidAmerican Energy may soon build a massive new wind farm in Iowa. The thing is, electricity is far from the only thing it will generate. Known as “Wind XI,” the proposed 2,000 megawatt wind farm—Iowa’s largest ever—has the potential to produce a lot of electricity, but even more tax credits.

In total, Wind XI could generate up to $1.8 billion in tax credits for its backers over the next decade.

The winners? Warren Buffett; MidAmerican Energy’s other investors; and Facebook, Microsoft, and Google—MidAmerican’s biggest customers, who will receive tax benefits of their own for using wind energy. The losers? Taxpayers and other ratepayers footing the bill.
Unfortunately, this is part of an ongoing trend in wind energy across the country. It’s not the demand for more electricity that’s driving construction, but rather the government’s preferential tax treatment and counterintuitive energy mandates.

The demand for electricity in the U.S. has been nearly flat over past decade, due to slow economic growth and gains in energy efficiency. Despite the lack of new demand, new wind farms are popping up across the country because of the tremendous tax credits they generate for their owners.

Warren Buffett has admitted as much. In 2014 he explained: “I will do anything that is basically covered by the law to reduce Berkshire's tax rate [. . .] We get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That's the only reason to build them. They don't make sense without the tax credit.”

And the tax credits Buffett mentions are substantial. Although MidAmerican Energy likes to note that Wind XI is not receiving any financial incentives from Iowa, that’s only half of the story. The federal government provides $23 in credits for every megawatt hour—the large-scale unit of production for energy-- of electricity produced by wind and other alternative energy sources. Known as the production tax credit (PTC), this government giveaway means that MidAmerican’s new wind farm could generate $180 million in credits each year.

The federal government does even more than that to ensure green energy producers get ample benefits. MidAmerican Energy can use the PTC for up to 10 years, after recent regulatory changes expanding the life of the credit. In addition to the tax credits, government regulators set a fixed rate of return for MidAmerican Energy to charge its customers. MidAmerican will receive a guaranteed 11 percent return on equity for Wind XI, meaning it will rake in $395 million in profit over the roughly 30 year life of the project.

Another set of reasons why new wind farms are in high demand are energy mandates at both the state and federal level. Currently, 29 states have renewable portfolio standards mandating utilities to generate a certain percentage of their electricity from sources such as wind and solar. On the federal level, the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent carbon regulations—if eventually upheld by the Supreme Court—will shutter many traditional power plants, leaving wind farms to take their place.

In other words, government policy is doing everything in its power to set the stage for wind. Those investing in wind stand to reap guaranteed profits, while taxpayers and ratepayers have to pay more in the end. In terms of tax dollars, the production tax credit for wind is estimated to cost taxpayers $13.8 billion between 2014 and 2018. Energy mandates, meanwhile, will drive up electricity prices as traditional energy sources are phased out for costlier power provided by wind and solar. The EPA’s carbon regulations that would potentially go into effect in 2022, for example, could raise electricity bills for the average American family 14 percent higher than they were a decade prior.

Public officials must stop gearing energy policy around the promise of guaranteed profits for well-connected energy investors like Warren Buffett. This hits average Americans once in their taxes and twice in higher electricity bills, which raises the prices on goods and services as well as utilities. If wind farms like the one Iowa will soon get are worthy investments, it should because of the power they generate—not the tax benefits.


Australia's climate heating and drying out: report

The contemptible rubbish below comes from people who pretend that a global temperature rise of a few hundredths of one degree tells us something important.  It does not. Such rises are well within the error of measurement and are not statistically significant for a start.  And they would be trivial even if they were significant.

And when there was a rise of around a degree last year, it was due to El Nino.  El Nino was such a well known natural effect that they had to mention it below but, without mentioning a scrap of evidence, they dismissed it as a minor effect. 

Well let me mention some evidence.  The authors below imply that the temperature rise was part of a continuing warming process due to increased level of CO2 in the atmosphere.  So there must be some sign in the record that CO2 levels have increased recently.  But 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.

The article below is an egregious example of cherry-picking and outright lying

The biannual State of the Climate report from the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO shows the effects of climate change are being felt in Australia.

Australia is becoming an even more sunburnt country with worse droughts and more extreme flooding rains.

The latest State of the Climate report, released on Thursday, shows the trends of climate change in Australia are continuing.

"Climate change is happening now; it's having a tangible impact on Australia," the Bureau of Meteorology's climate monitoring manager Karl Braganza told reporters.

The biannual snapshot, prepared by the bureau and CSIRO, shows the country is experiencing very hot days more frequently and rainfall is reducing across the southern part of the continent.

Between 1910 and 1941 there were 28 days when the national average temperature was in the top extremes recorded. In 2013 alone there were 28 such days.

Dr Braganza predicted the record-breaking extreme heat will be considered normal in 30 years' time.

The report also shows below average rainfall across southern Australian in 16 of the past 20 autumn-winter seasons.

"This decline in rainfall for southern Australia, 10 to 20 per cent might not sound like a lot but it's reducing at a time of year where typically we recharge the soil moisture and vegetation and water storages as well," Dr Braganza said.

A 10-15 per cent reduction in rainfall over winter can lead to a 60 per cent reduction in stream flow into water storages.

"That's what we're seeing in southwest WA where their water storages from essentially rainfall (dropped) in 2015 and they're using desal and groundwater to make up the difference," he said.

This combination of drying out and warmer weather increases fire danger, with the fire season already routinely extending into spring and autumn.

The report also shows 15 of the 16 hottest years on record were the past 15 years.

"The earth is warming," CSIRO climate science centre interim director Steve Rintoul said.

While there was some natural variability in temperature caused by effects such as El Nino and La Nina, it was not sufficient to drown out the overall trend towards increasing temperatures, he said.



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

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


27 October, 2016

Judge Rules That EPA Must Account for Job Losses of Its Regulations

In a 17th October ruling, U.S. District Court Judge John Bailey sided with Murray Energy and held that the Clean Air Act requires the EPA to perform continuing evaluations of job losses due to the agency's regulations.

To date, the agency has estimated the employment impacts of its rules by using a model that assumes 1.5 jobs are created for every $1 million spent on regulatory compliance. The underlying premise of this model is that jobs created in pollution control will always outpace job losses in the regulated industry. Of course, this is a ridiculous assumption. For starters, it sheds no light on actual job losses caused by EPA rules; rather, job losses are merely assumed to be less than job gains. More broadly, EPA’s employment model fails to pass the sniff test: it is absurd to think that spending infinite resources on regulatory compliance will forever lead to job gains.

If it stands, Judge Bailey’s ruling means that the agency has a responsibility to actually tally job losses caused by its regulations (rather than relying on dubious economic modeling to wish away the actual job losses). Importantly, these analyses must occur on a sector-by-sector basis, so every industry subject to a rulemaking may compel the agency to estimate the impact of the rule on employment.

EPA has not yet decided whether it will try to appeal Judge Bailey’s ruling before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.


Warming is mild and manageable

Should Chris Wallace ask our presidential candidates about climate change? Absolutely, but only as part of a broader discussion of the role of fossil fuels in America’s energy future.

“Climate change” — more precisely, man-made warming — is a side effect of using fossil fuels for cheap, plentiful, reliable energy. To ask candidates to address climate change without addressing the unique benefits of fossil fuels is like asking the candidates to address vaccine side effects without addressing the unique benefits of vaccines.

The question Wallace should ask is: “Given your assessment of the benefits and risks of fossil fuels, including the effects of warming, what is the right energy policy for America?”

Energy is the industry that powers every other industry. Cheap, plentiful, reliable energy makes possible cheap, plentiful, reliable food, drinking water, sanitation, transportation and housing.

In a world where more than 1 billion people have no electricity and a much larger number live in deep “energy poverty,” only the fossil fuel industry has developed the ability to produce energy for electricity, fuel and heat on a scale of billions. The politically popular alternatives, solar and wind, are expensive “unreliables” that depend on reliable sources, mostly fossil fuels, for life support.

In America, the fossil fuel industry has been the indispensable supporter of our economy for the past decade, as the shale energy revolution has made the U.S. the world’s energy superpower. We can do much more.

But should we? To answer that, we have to reject the false alternative of “climate change believer” or “climate change denier” and become “climate thinkers” — people who think carefully about the magnitude of man-made warming and compare it with the unique benefits of fossil fuels.

Candidates who are climate thinkers will conclude that man-made warming is mild and manageable, not runaway and catastrophic. And thus they will conclude that fossil fuels should be liberated, not restricted.


BOOK REVIEW of "Hubris: The Troubling Science, Economics and Politics of Climate Change" by Michael Hart

Review by Michael Kelly FRS FREng, Emeritus Prince Philip Professor of Technology, University of Cambridge

Let us be clear at the outset: the global climate is changing, and has always been changing. The earth has warmed by 1C over the last 150 years. That is not the issue. The issue is whether the human emissions of carbon dioxide since 1850 are heralding an imminent and certain global climate catastrophe that could be averted by engineering projects.

This is the most complete book to date that takes a critical look across the whole of the recent history of climate change as science, as input to policy, and as a driver of far-reaching societal change. My own interest in the subject starts from the totally unrealistic engineering outcomes being assumed and implied by a decarbonisation of the world economy by 2050, and even a simplistic attempt to undertake a cost-benefit analysis of the decarbonisation project as far as engineering and technology will make a difference. The scale of the investment for the unknowability of the measureable outcomes implied by ‘solving the climate change problem’ represents hubris of the grandest order.

The opportunity costs dwarf any possible outcomes. If one then goes back into the ‘post-modern science’ from which the imperative to decarbonise originates, several cans of worms are waiting. I fear that when this whole enterprise collapses, as certainly as the tulip bubble evaporated in 1637, there will be a backlash against trust in science that will herald a dark age in which scientists are routinely regarded as untrustworthy shamans. My concern is that the integrity of science is under great threat and that my own subject, engineering, will get caught in the backlash, even though engineers have been among the most vociferous critics of the projects of imminent global catastrophe caused by humans. It is the human desires for comfort, secure and variable food, health, education, mobility, communications, defence and other fruits of the industrial revolution that lead to the scale of human emissions of carbon dioxide, and only a deep and dramatic curtailment of these desires by everyone, but especially those living in the developed countries, will reduce carbon emissions in the next 30 years.

Michael Hart, who has spent the last decade working on this book, has produced a scholarly and accessible analysis of this saga. The first third of the book talks about the nature of science and current pathologies in the practice of science that would have Newton, Einstein and even Feynman spinning in their graves. There is a core of robust but uncertain science undertaken by humble and true scientists, but this is overwhelmed by second rate and rampant speculation passed off as gospel: the humble and true do not protest against the accretions, and their silence is held against them. The science of climate change is not settled insofar as it is used to inform policy, with wide and intrinsic uncertainties not noticeably narrowing over the last 25 years, and with mainstream predictions of global warming running 2-3 times faster than the real-world data over that period. How are we to trust the long term predictions if the short term ones are so much at odds with reality?

The second part of the book deals with the politicisation of the science, and especially the studies of future impacts and possible measures by way of mitigation and adaptation under the aegis of the United Nations. This is where we see evidence of serious malpractice in continuous post-hoc modification of historical data, exaggeration of claims, the collusion of the premier journals and the reports of the academies that report upper extremes as expectations by the simple expedient of  repeating the extremes without qualification, and sedulously avoiding any mention of the proven upsides of the last century of global warming. One chapter entitled ‘Baptists, Bootleggers and Opportunists’ draws some interesting comparisons of the contemporary climate change movement (for that is what it is) with the temperance movement a century ago.

The titles of the last two chapters speak for themselves: ‘Rhetoric vs Reality’ and ‘Immorality Pretending to Virtue’.

This book should leave any dispassionate reader deeply disturbed. It should be required reading for people in policy and politics who deal with these matters. No thought leader should be ignorant of the contents.

How will humanity extricate itself? One can hope that the accumulation of failed predictions over the next two decades will burst the bubble. The world academies cannot be asked to sit in judgment on the misconduct, as they will be in the dock. The UN is also hopelessly compromised. Perhaps this might be the subject of a follow-on study?


Renewable Energy Cost Explosion: €25,000 Euros For Each German Family Of Four

The Institute for Competition Economics at the University of Dusseldorf has calculated the total cost of Germany’s Green Energy Transition. The result: By 2025, an estimated €520 billion euros will be spent. A family of four will pay more than 25,000 euros for the Energiewende.

Seldom was a German environment minister more ridiculed and mocked than Peter Altmaier (CDU): Three years ago, the current Chancellery Minister warned that the cost of the Energiewende could, if nothing were done, “cost the country around one trillion euros by the 2030.”

Major magazines and weekly newspapers from Wirtschaftswoche to Die Zeit immediately snapped that the environment minister must have got it wrong. “Don’t scare the living daylights out of people with horror figures,” Baden-Württemberg’s Prime Minister and Green Party star Winfried Kretschmann demanded.

Perhaps the time has come to rehabilitate Peter Altmaier. That’s because the Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) at the University of Dusseldorf has calculated the direct and indirect total cost of the energy transition up to 2015 and estimated the additional cost by 2025. The result shows that the one trillion Euro threshold might be reached earlier than even Altmaier had believed.

According to the institute’s calculations, the Energy Transition has already cost some €150 billion euros for the period 2000-2015. “For the years 2000 to 2025 it is estimated that some €520 billion euros (nominal, including network expansion costs) will be spent for the transformation of power generation.” Based on the 150 billion euros already spent, an additional 370 billion euros will be spent in the coming decade.

“Per capita, from newborns to the elderly, this amounts in total of more than €6300 euros, which accumulates in the period from 2000 to the end of the year 2025?, says DICE director Justus Haucap: “A family of four thus pays over €25,000 euros, directly and indirectly, for the Energiewende.” The bulk of the cost is not incurred yet, but awaits the consumer in coming years,” said Haucap:” In the next ten years it will be 18,000 euros for a family of four.”

By comparison, 40 percent of German households have net assets of less than €27,000 euros according to figures by the Deutsche Bundesbank.

The Institute carried out the calculations on behalf of the Initiative New Social Market Economy (INSM). The institute is funded by employers associations and campaigns for less government regulation and a social market economy. In the past few years the institute has called for the promotion of renewable energies to be more aligned along market principles.

The study is unlikely to be a report that panders to the client: For four years, competition economist Haucap was chairman of the Federal President German Monopolies Commission appointed by the German President and is co-editor of numerous international economics journals.

In addition, the prognosis on the future cost of renewable energy subsidies are based on data from the Öko-Instituts and therefore from an institution that, says Haucap, “is not suspected of exaggerating the costs of this energy revolution”.
Biggest cost: the Renewable Energy Levy (EEG)

According to the study, most of the direct cost of the energy transition are due to the EEG surcharge to subsidise green electricity production and the so-called cogeneration levy to subsidise combined electricity-heat (CHP) producers.

The EEG surcharge has already cost €125 billion euros by the end of last year. By 2025 this figure is expected to rise to 408 billion euros due to the rapidly growing number of renewable energy projects. Including the CHP allocation this will rise to €425 billion euros.

On top of that there are additional indirect costs of the energy transition. The DICE Institute expects the cost for expanding network transmission and distribution to be around €56 billion euros, plus costs for the offshore liability levy to protect offshore wind power, as well as the cost of feed-in management, “Re-Dispatch” and reserve capacity.

Finally, the Institute also includes low-interest loans from the KfW banking group, research expenses and the impairment of conventional power plants as well as the negative electricity prices to the overall costs. All in all, the total cost of Germany’s energy transition amounts to just over €520 billion euros of which 80% is due to the Renewable Energy Surcharge (EEG).

Assertions that the energy transition also has cost-saving effects for consumers are rejected by Haucap. Representatives of the renewable energy industry often argue that the expansion of renewables had led to falling electricity prices on the wholesale market; they also claim that thanks to renewables there are lower import costs for fuels such as coal, gas and uranium.

According Haucap, however, these price effects have already been taken into account in the calculations. The report is based on the EEG’s pure differential costs that are the direct result of wholesale prices. Therefore, one should “not deduct twice” these price-reducing effects.

The energy transition is “not only a problem for convinced social marketeers like us,” said Hubertus Pellengahr, CEO of the Initiative New Social Market Economy: “The reason has twelve digits and a currency symbol. €520 billion euros.”

The energy transition “is out of control and will remain out of control”, Pellengahr said, pointing to the continued rise in the Renewable Energy Surcharge (EEG) in coming years. “At the end of the day, this chaos is being pay for by the energy consumers.”
Extremely poor cost-benefit ratio

On Friday, the Federal Network Agency will publish the official amount of the renewable energy levy every energy consumer will have to pay next year to subsidise green energy producers. First estimates suggest an increase from 6.35 cents to 7.1 cents per kilowatt hour. “This would represent approximately a doubling of the cost in five years,” said Pellengahr.

Back in 2003 the then Federal Environment Minister Jürgen Trittin (Green Party) had assured Germans that the energy transition would cost consumers “no more than a scoop of ice cream per month free.” Since then the Renewable Energy Levy (EEG) has risen seventeen-fold.

DICE-director and study author Haucap stressed that the 520 billion euro cost was far from over-all. That’s because the sum only refers to the period up to 2025 and the only covers the electricity sector. In the meantime, “sector coupling” has become the official goal of German energy policy and thus the decarbonisation of transport, the heating sector and agriculture.

“After 2025, the energy transition won’t be cost free” Haucap said. In fact, the current policy’s cost-benefit ratio is extremely poor: Germany’s CO2 emissions today are the same as in 2009. Thus, Germany’s energy transition policy has “saved zero tons of CO2 – for a lot of money.”
More market economy in climate protection

Pellengahr and Haucap argued for a future climate policy based on market instruments. In their view, the best option would be strengthening of the EU’s emissions trading scheme. The second best option would be the introduction of a quota model along the Swedish model. Utilities would be required to deliver a certain proportion of renewable energy. This would create a price-lowering competition between different types of renewable energy.

The Federal Association of Renewable Energies (BEE) said that Haucap’s calculations of the renewable energy surcharge “is not suitable as a cost indicator for the energy transition.” Haucap’s proposed quota system would also be “significantly more expensive than the EEG.”

Meanwhile, the Federal Association of New Energy Suppliers (bne) has presented a proposal according to which the Renewable Energy Surcharge should in future be extended to the use of fossil fuels. If, in future, green energy levies would also have to be paid for the consumption of natural gas, oil, petrol and diesel, the Renewables Energy Surcharge on electricity could be almost halved. Moreover, it would offer incentives for carbon-free heaters and electric cars, enhancing the planned “sector coupling” of Germany’s energy revolution.


Vermont Wind Project Needs Support, So Company Offers to Pay Voters

And even the NYT is perturbed

To many residents in this tiny town in southern Vermont, the last-minute offer of cash was a blatant attempt to buy their votes.

To the developer that offered the money, it was simply a sign of how attentively the company had been listening to voters’ concerns.

The company, Iberdrola Renewables, a Spanish energy developer, wants to build Vermont’s largest wind project on a private forest tract that spans Windham and the adjacent town of Grafton. The project would consist of 24 turbines, each nearly 500 feet tall, and generate 82.8 megawatts of power, enough to light 42,000 homes for a year if the wind kept blowing, though the houses could be in Connecticut or Massachusetts.

Residents of the two towns will vote Nov. 8 on whether to approve the project, which has pitted neighbor against neighbor. No one knows which way the vote will go.

That same day, residents statewide will be voting for governor. Wind development has become an issue in that race, which The Cook Political Report rates a tossup, and sentiment here could be decisive in the outcome.

Facing the possibility that voters here may reject the proposal, putting a damper on large-scale wind development in Vermont, Iberdrola last week put cash on the table for individual voters.

Windham residents at an informational meeting hosted last week by Iberdrola, an energy company that wants to put a wind farm there. Credit Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times
Many residents called the offer an attempt at undue influence, if not an outright bribe. But after a review, the state attorney general’s office said that the offer did not appear to violate state law.

Still, the individual payments — a total of $565,000 a year to 815 registered voters in both towns, or $14.1 million over 25 years — on top of millions more to the towns, suggest how much is at stake for the company. Iberdrola has been trying to persuade voters here for more than four years to approve the project, in a state that is actively seeking clean-energy development.

Vermont’s energy goals are among the most ambitious in the country: to derive 90 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2050.

Gov. Peter Shumlin, a Democrat who is not seeking re-election after nearly six years in office, has been the state’s chief proponent of clean energy.

“There’s nothing I’m more proud of than my legacy of having helped to get Vermont off of oil and coal and moved us more aggressively than any other state in the nation to renewables,” he said.

The state has 20 times as much wind power as it had when he took office and 11 times the number of solar panels. Electricity rates in Vermont have dropped while soaring in the rest of New England.

Critics of commercial wind power consider themselves every bit as environmentally conscious as the governor. They say he is doing more harm than good by promoting developments on the state’s ridgelines, among Vermont’s most important assets, where turbines, roadways and infrastructure are destroying habitats, increasing flood risks and scarring the landscape much the way mountaintop mining has scarred West Virginia. They also complain about noise, lower property values and blighted views.

Critics are appalled that Mr. Shumlin is backing another Iberdrola project, a 15-turbine development under construction on two ridgelines in the Green Mountain National Forest that would be the first commercial wind project in a national forest.

All of this development, they say, is doing little to stave off climate change. “These handful of turbines won’t do anything to offset the documented scampering increase in the mining and use of coal in India and China,” said Frank Seawright, the chairman of the Windham Selectboard and an opponent of the project.

Mr. Shumlin counters by saying that climate change is easily the most important issue facing the planet and that everyone has a responsibility to curb it. While he says he would never favor turbines on Vermont’s most iconic mountains, naming Mansfield and Camel’s Hump, he adds that they have to go on ridgelines because that is where the wind is.

The state’s environmental groups are with him. Paul Burns, the executive director of the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, said that a vote against the wind project here “would demonstrate an unwillingness to be part of a solution to what is recognized as an incredibly serious problem.”

Vermont’s battle over wind has been brewing for years, and is playing a role in the race to succeed Mr. Shumlin. Phil Scott, the Republican nominee, who opposes further industrial wind development, faces Sue Minter, the Democratic nominee, who is backed by the wind industry and favors it. The issue was a factor in her winning the Democratic nomination.

Statewide support for wind turbines has been relatively high, but appears to have ebbed in recent years, according to polling by Castleton University, dropping to 56 percent this year from 69 percent in 2013.

Windham and Grafton generally vote Democratic, but most lawn signs here proclaim support for Mr. Scott and are paired with signs against the wind turbines.

“A lot of Democrats in this room will be voting for a Republican governor for the first time,” Sally Hoover, 72, a retired accountant in Windham, said last week as Iberdrola hosted a meeting, where residents first learned of the cash offer.

At the meeting, which drew more than 100 residents, the developer shared its new plan. It reduced the number of turbines to 24 from 28 and increased the money paid to Windham to $1 million from $715,000 a year for the 25 years. The payments would cut property taxes in half and provide $150,000 a year for charities, fire departments and educational scholarships.

The company said it would also set aside $350,000 each year for direct payments to Windham’s 311 registered voters — $1,125 apiece annually, or $28,135 over 25 years, which a voter could accept or not.

In Grafton, the company set aside $215,000 for voter payments. The town’s 504 registered voters would each receive $427 a year, or $10,665 over 25 years. (Windham would have 16 turbines and Grafton eight.)

Asked if the company was trying to buy votes, a spokesman, Paul Copleman, said that Iberdrola was merely responding to what residents had said they would need to win approval, and that the developer would abide by the result.

In an email later, he added, “Our current proposal is based on feedback from community members who are frustrated that the tax relief from the project would give a larger break to those with more expensive properties.”

Kathy Scott, 74, a retired bookkeeper and one of the Windham residents who negotiated the package, said residents, not the company, came up with the idea of payments.

She said her group saw them as a way to “level the playing field” with second-home owners, many of whose homes have high assessments and who would benefit more from the tax cuts. (Although second-home owners pay 60 percent of the town’s taxes, they cannot vote here, a sore point for them.)

Opponents were outraged at the payments, perceiving them as an attempt to buy votes, and complained to state officials.

But Michael O. Duane, senior assistant attorney general, said the payments did not violate state law. The proposal “doesn’t say that the funds go only to those people who signed a sworn statement that they had voted for it,” he said.

Still, the payment proposal has left a sour taste. As The Rutland Herald put it in an editorial on Sunday, “The naked offer of money to individual citizens may be even more corrosive to the civic life of the town than the potential environmental effects of the wind turbines.”



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

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


26 October, 2016

Species may be listed as threatened based on climate change projections, court says

A court equates a prophecy with fact??  Back to the Middle Ages! This could open floodgates

Federal authorities may list a species as “threatened” based on climate models that show habitat loss in the coming decades, an appeals court decided Monday.

Oil company groups and Alaskan natives had challenged a decision by the federal government to list a sea ice seal subspecies as threatened and deserving of protection.

The groups maintained the subspecies’ population was currently healthy and the climate projections were speculative.

 A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed. The ruling would allow government protection of all sorts of wildlife likely to be affected by climate change in the decades ahead.

The panel decided unanimously that the National Marine Fisheries Services reasonably determined that loss of Arctic sea ice over shallow waters would “almost certainly” threaten the survival of a Pacific bearded seal subspecies by the end of the century.

“The service need not wait until a species’ habitat is destroyed to determine that habitat loss may facilitate extinction,” Judge Richard A. Paez, a Clinton appointee, wrote for the court.

The bearded seals congregate on ice floes over shallow waters, where they give birth to pups and nurse. The floes give the nursing mothers close access to food sources — organisms on the ocean floor — and enable the pubs to learn to dive, swim and hunt away from their predators, the court said.

Climate models show that the ice floes would disappear during breeding times, and mother seals would have to nurse their young on shore, where they would be vulnerable to predators such as polar bears and walruses.

A lack of ice floes in shallow waters also would force the seals to forage in the deeper ocean, which contains fewer of the organisms they depend on for survival, the government found.

One peer reviewer said the 80-year prediction was more likely than not to “greatly” underestimate the impact of climate change on the seals.

“All parties agree that there will be sea ice melt,” the court said. “The only uncertainty is the magnitude of warming, the speed with which warming will take place, and the severity of its effect.” Is that all?]

 Although climate projections for 2050 through 2100 may be volatile, they remain valuable in the government rule-making process, the court found.

The Endangered Species Act does not say a species can be listed “only if the underlying research is ironclad and absolute,” Paez wrote.

“It simply requires the agency to consider the best and most reliable scientific and commercial data and to identify the limits of that data when making a listing determination,” the court concluded.


Report: Justice Department told feds to “stand down” on Dakota Access Pipeline protests

A mystery may have been solved in terms of the ongoing protests surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. Throughout these demonstrations and incidents of violence centered on the makeshift camps set up on federal land, we’ve been wondering why the federal response has been so muted. In fact, fairly early on I pointed out that there seemed to be something of a double standard between this confrontation and the showdown with the Oregon protesters last year. Given the amount of damage taking place and recorded incidents of violence, why weren’t federal agents moving in to keep more order and support local law enforcement?

A new revelation this week may provide the answer. According to at least one report, the Department of Justice under Attorney General Loretta Lynch passed the word to “stand down” and not get too involved. (Daily Caller)

Attorney General Loretta Lynch refused to meet with National Sheriff’s Association (NSA) Executive Director Jonathan Thompson about the law enforcement issues facing communities in North Dakota as a result of protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the DOJ wants the ND U.S. Attorney to stay away from the situation.

Protesters trying to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline are threatening and intimidating nearby residents, commuters, and press as well as threatening the lives of law enforcement officers…

According to an email obtained by the Daily Caller, Thompson told NSA personnel, that DOJ refused to deploy federal resources in support of local Morton County, North Dakota Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier in an effort to fend off what the NSA and local officials called, “unlawful protests, threats of community intimidation and interfering with lawful commerce.”

One source close to the situation told TheDC that “the DOJ told the US attorney to stand down on help. North Dakota’s attorney general is not engaged either. Sheriffs are in the middle of the storm with limited help.”
This is a disturbing turn in the story to say the least. It’s one thing to adopt a bit more of a hands off approach in general… providing things aren’t getting out of hand. It’s another matter entirely to refuse the requests of state and local officials for help when there’s legitimate violence taking place. In addition to the violent encounters referenced in the linked article, the protesters have already engaged in arson which destroyed millions of dollars of equipment which was lawfully situated and in use. Refusing such a request is just leaving the sheriffs and state police high and dry.

Another aspect of these protests is cleared up by The Daily Caller’s research as well. You’ll recall that we previously highlighted the dual nature of the protest camps. Some of those engaged in demonstrations are locals and members of the Native American tribes in the area. But a second group is composed of outsiders who were brought in to fight any and all fossil fuel activity. The DC points us to a record of arrests thus far from the Dickinson Press. Out of 123 arrests as of earlier this week, less than twenty of them were locals or members of the tribes. The other 106 were all imports from out of state.

One could understand if the Department of Justice was reluctant to go in and start busting heads among the tribe members. Not only do they have legitimate claims to the land and their heritage, but the optics would be horrible. But that’s not who is causing the problems here for the most part. Loretta Lynch could send in the cavalry to drag out the anti-energy, green warriors who are burning the place down with no such complications. Unfortunately, those interlopers are very big with the Democratic base and there’s an election coming up, so I suppose the local cops are on their own.


Exxon Mobil Fights the Abusive Behavior of Democrat Attorney General’s Climate Inquisition

Exxon Mobil Corp. is fighting back against New York’s Democrat attorney general who is demanding decades’ worth of documents about the company’s position on global warming and climate change.

On Oct. 17, Exxon asked a federal judge in Texas, Ed Kinkeade, to stop the abusive behavior of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman by tossing out the subpoena that Schneiderman served on Exxon as part of a investigation of the company for supposedly lying to the public about catastrophic, man-induced climate change.

This is part of the effort of state attorneys general like Schneiderman to criminalize scientific dissent and punish heretics who question the validity of this unproven theory.

Exxon had already filed a lawsuit in federal court to stop a similar investigation being waged by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, also a Democrat. Exxon’s Oct. 17 motion asked the same federal court to allow it to amend its original complaint to add Schneiderman to its lawsuit.

Schneiderman’s subpoena demanded the production of essentially every document in the company’s possession concerning global warming or climate change for the last 40 years, including not just its internal research but any interactions with any other entities such as universities, researchers, and scientists that Schneiderman calls “aggressive climate deniers.”

Schneiderman has accused conservative groups—including The Heritage Foundation—of being part of a “dark money empire” that is supposedly directing a disinformation campaign on climate change and Exxon.

As Exxon points out in its brief, it is politics that is behind what the New York attorney general is doing, not enforcement of the law.

The brief summarizes in great detail the political motivations driving not only Schneiderman and Healey, but all of the other state attorneys general who held a press conference in March pledging themselves to use whatever means necessary to “deal with the problem of climate change” and force energy companies to support the preferred public policy on climate change of their coalition, which calls itself the Green 20.

That includes their secret, closed-door meetings and coordination with climate activists who made it explicit that their goal was to use law enforcement tools to “delegitimize” Exxon.

What is abundantly clear is that Schneiderman, Healey, and the other attorneys general who are part of the Green 20 are abusing their authority and power as governmental prosecutors to engage in a political witch hunt.

The true purpose of these investigations, according to Exxon, is to “suppress speech with which the Green 20 disagrees” on climate change. And the public statements made by Schneiderman and Healey make it clear that their “improper bias” disqualifies them from serving as the disinterested prosecutors required under the Constitution.

Interestingly, Exxon points out that the original fishing expedition engaged in by Schneiderman over its “historic climate change research” has changed. Less than a month ago, Schneiderman’s official press spokesman said that the attorney general was changing the focus of his investigation to Exxon’s estimation of its oil and gas reserves for the purposes of claiming that the company has engaged in “massive securities fraud.”

The attorney general is apparently now asserting that Exxon has overstated its reserves because he believes that “future global efforts to address climate change” will force the company “to leave enormous amounts of oil reserves in the ground.”

But, as Exxon points out, that theory conflicts not only with standard accounting procedures, but also with the regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The SEC prohibits energy companies from considering the impact of future regulations when estimating oil reserves. As Exxon says in its brief, “to the contrary, they require Exxon Mobil to calculate its proved reserves in light of ‘existing economic conditions, operating methods, and government regulations.’”

In other words, the SEC “requires Exxon Mobil to ignore Attorney General Schneiderman’s assumptions about future regulations when estimating reserves.”  The fact that the Massachusetts attorney general has now adopted the same mistaken legal theory “speaks volumes about the pretextual nature of the litigation.”

According to Exxon, the “true objectives are clear: to fish indiscriminately through Exxon Mobil’s records with the hope of finding some violation of some law that one of them might be empowered to enforce, or otherwise to harass Exxon Mobil into endorsing the Green 20’s policy views regarding how the United States should respond to climate change.”

This action to add the New York attorney general to the Texas lawsuit was the result of an order issued by Kinkeade on Oct. 13 that should fill both Schneiderman and Healey with foreboding.

Normally, a federal lawsuit filed to try to stop a state lawsuit would be dismissed under the Younger abstention rule. The Supreme Court held in Younger v. Harris in 1971 that there is a strong federal policy against federal court interference with pending state judicial proceedings.  However, one of the exceptions to that rule is a state proceeding filed in bad faith.

Kinkeade stated that Healey’s actions “causes the court concern” and presents the question of whether she is pursuing this claim “with bias or prejudgment about what the investigation of Exxon would discover.”

If the allegations about Healey are true, then her actions “may constitute bad faith” that “would preclude Younger abstention.” As a result, he ordered discovery by both parties “to aid the court in deciding” whether Healey committed bad faith or whether this lawsuit should be dismissed.

What is abundantly clear is that Schneiderman, Healey, and the other attorneys general who are part of the Green 20 are abusing their authority and power as governmental prosecutors to engage in a political witch hunt that violates basic constitutional rights of due process and most importantly, the First Amendment.

Their intention is to chill speech and silence anyone who disagrees with them about a disputed scientific theory and public policy issue that is the subject of great debate.

That is how government prosecutors operate in the Third World and in banana republics—not the United States of America.


Once Overwhelming Support For German ‘Energiewende’ Fades, Study Finds

It used to be that the German Energiewende (transition to renewable energies) once enjoyed overwhelming support among the population. However, a recent national survey conducted by Germany’s University of Stuttgart, in cooperation with the University of Münster and two Fraunhofer institutes, shows a nation that has become split over the bold project.

Only 29% of those surveyed now see themselves as supporters of the Energiewende.

A total of 2009 persons were surveyed by telephone on a variety of aspects concerning perception of the Energiewende, e.g. wind parks in the countryside, in coastal areas and offshore, solar energy and grid revamping. Scientists at the Zentrum für Interdisziplinäre Risiko- und Innovationsforschung (Center for Interdisciplenary Risks and Innovation Research) at the University of Stuttgart (ZIRIUS), the University of Münster and two Fraunhofer institutes for System and Innovation Research (ISI) and for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) reached the following results:

29 percent of the German population are classified as supporters of the Energiewende. Another 29 percent are ambivalent with regards to the Energiewende and the related technologies, and thus are viewed as being undecided, while 27 percent can be classified as critics of the Energiewende.

This is a far cry from overwhelming support and shows growing disenchantment with the transformation. What should be worrisome is that the big brunt of the costs have yet to hit.

Already 29 percent of those surveyed said that they are no longer willing to accept to pay more for electricity in order contribute to the success of the Energiewende, the survey found. Less than half, 47 percent, of German citizens say they are willing to pay 50 euros per year more for helping the Energiewende to succeed. That figure, the study notes,  is only under the condition that the total costs of the Energiewende get shared fairly between industry and the citizenry, and among the citizenry itself.

Trust in the main players of the Energiewende (large energy companies and utilities) and fairness are the most important factors in realizing acceptance. Refusal to pay or non-acceptance are not irrational defensive reactions, the study finds, but rather are based on sound reasons.


Green activist ban on Australian government agenda

Malcolm Turnbull has flagged a fresh attempt at passing laws to prevent environmentalists using the courts to block major projects, before his week-long visit to Queensland.

Labor and the Greens blocked a previous attempt by the Abbott government to prevent people with political agendas from using the courts to disrupt and delay projects such as coal mines.

The prime minister told reporters in Sydney, on the eve of a Brisbane cabinet meeting, he appreciated the value of a "robust democracy".

"People are entitled to bring their cases before the court, but there is no doubt there has been very systematic, very well funded campaigns against major projects," Mr Turnbull said.

"It's right to express concern about that."

He said the government would test whether the new Senate - which has nine Greens and 11 minor party members on the crossbench - has the "appetite" to reconsider the Abbott government bill.

Queensland Resources Council chief Michael Roche said such laws were important, especially given the increasing role of foreign interests in lobbying against resources projects.

But he said the federal government should go further and reassess taxpayer subsidies for "green activist" groups.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said he was concerned environmental activism and poor management by the Queensland Labor government were holding back major projects.

"I certainly don't take this place for granted, Malcolm doesn't take it for granted and we want to make sure we drag other people along with us on this path of making Queensland a stronger place," he told reporters in Brisbane.

The Greens want a ban on fracking and all coal seam gas and shale development.



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 October, 2016

CO2 levels mark 'new era' in the world's changing climate

Only because Greenies say so.  CO2 levels have been rising fairly streadily for a long time.  They will presumably continue to do so.  The 400ppm level was just another step on the way. The only interesting question is whether they had any effect on global temperature.  There was an abrupt temperature rise in late 2015/early 2016 but there was no abrupt CO2 rise at that time. Rather amusingly, 2015 was one year in which CO2 levels did NOT rise.  So the culprit for that rise was clearly the long awaited El Nino effect, a natural weather fluctuation

Levels of CO2 in the atmosphere have surged past an important threshold and may not dip below it for "many generations".

The 400 parts per million benchmark was broken globally for the first time in recorded history in 2015.

But according to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), 2016 will likely be the first full year to exceed the mark.

The high levels can be partly attributed to a strong El Niño event.
Gas spike

While human emissions of CO2 remained fairly static between 2014 and 2015, the onset of a strong El Niño weather phenomenon caused a spike in levels of the gas in the atmosphere.

That's because the drought conditions in tropical regions produced by El Niño meant that vegetation was less able to absorb CO2. There were also extra emissions from fires, sparked by the drier conditions.

In their annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, the World Meteorological Organisation says the conditions helped push the growth in the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere above the average for the last ten years.

At the atmospheric monitoring station in Mauna Loa, Hawaii, levels of CO2 broke through 400 parts per million (ppm), meaning 400 molecules of CO2 for every one million molecules in the atmosphere.

The last time CO2 was regularly above 400ppm was three to five million years ago, say experts.

Prior to 1800 atmospheric levels were around 280ppm, according to the US National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration (Noaa).

The WMO says that the rise through the 400ppm barrier has persisted and it's likely that 2016 will be the first full year when the measurements show CO2 above that benchmark, and "hence for many generations".

While the El Niño factor has now disappeared, the human impact on climate change has not, the WMO argue.

"The year 2015 ushered in a new era of optimism and climate action with the Paris climate change agreement," said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.

"But it will also make history as marking a new era of climate change reality with record high greenhouse gas concentrations."

The report also details the growth in other greenhouse gases, including methane and nitrous oxide.

In 2015, levels of methane were 2.5 times greater than in the pre-industrial era, while nitrous oxide was 1.2 times above the historic measure.


Global Warming Versus Global Greening

Matt Ridley finds that the slightest deviation from Green dogma is an unforgiveable sin

I am a passionate champion of science. I have devoted most of my career to celebrating and chronicling scientific discovery. I think the scientific method is humankind’s greatest achievement, and that there is no higher calling.

So what I am about to say this evening about the state of climate science is not in any sense anti-science. It is anti the distortion and betrayal of science.

I am still in love with science as a philosophy; I greatly admire and like the vast majority of scientists I meet; but I am increasingly disaffected from science as an institution.

The way it handles climate change is a big part of the reason.

After covering global warming debates as a journalist on and off for almost 30 years, with initial credulity, then growing skepticism, I have come to the conclusion that the risk of dangerous global warming, now and in the future, has been greatly exaggerated while the policies enacted to mitigate the risk have done more harm than good, both economically and environmentally, and will continue to do so.

And I am treated as some kind of pariah for coming to this conclusion.

Why do I think the risk from global warming is being exaggerated? For four principal reasons.

1. All environmental predictions of doom always are;

2. the models have been consistently wrong for more than 30 years;

3. the best evidence indicates that climate sensitivity is relatively low;

4. the climate science establishment has a vested interest in alarm.

Global greening

I will come to those four points in a moment. But first I want to talk about global greening, the gradual, but large, increase in green vegetation on the planet.

I think this is one of the most momentous discoveries of recent years and one that transforms the scientific background to climate policy, though you would never know it from the way it has been reported. And it is a story in which I have been both vilified and vindicated.

In December 2012, the environmental scientist Jesse Ausubel of Rockefeller University drew my attention to a video online of a lecture given by Ranga Myneni of Boston University.

In this lecture Myneni presented ingenious analysis of data from satellites proving that much of the vegetated area of the planet was getting greener, only a little bit was getting browner, and that overall in 30 years there had been a roughly 14% increase in green vegetation on planet Earth.

He argued that this was occurring in all vegetation types – tropical rain forests, subarctic taiga, grasslands, semi-deserts, farmland, everywhere.

What is more, Myneni argued that by various means he could calculate that about half of this greening was a direct result of rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, rather than the application of agricultural fertiliser, irrigation, warmer temperatures or increased rainfall.

Carbon dioxide, along with water, is the raw material that plants use to make carbohydrates, with the help of sunlight, so it stands to reason that raising its concentration should help plants grow.

I was startled by Myneni’s data. I knew that there had been thousands of so-called free-air concentration (FACE) experiments, in which levels of CO2 had been increased over crops or wild ecosystems to find out if it boosted their growth (it did), and that commercial greenhouse owners now routinely maintain CO2 levels in their greenhouses at more than double ambient levels – because it makes their tomatoes grow faster.

But the global effect of CO2 levels on the quantity of vegetation had not, as far as I could tell, been measured till now.

Other lines of evidence also pointed to this global greening:

the increased rate of growth of forest trees,

the increased amplitude of seasonal carbon dioxide variation measured in Hawaii and elsewhere,

photographic surveys of vegetation,

the increased growth rate of phytoplankton, marine plants and some corals, and so on.

I published an article in the Wall Street Journal in January 2013 on these various lines of evidence, including Myneni’s satellite analysis, pointing to the increase in green vegetation.

This was probably the very first article in the mainstream media on the satellite evidence for global greening.

For this I was subjected online to withering scorn by the usual climate spin doctors, but even they had to admit I was “factually accurate”.

Six months later  Randall Donohue and colleagues in Australia published a paper using satellite data to conclude that the arid parts of the planet, such as western Australia and the Sahel region, had seen a net greening of 11% over 30 years – similar results to Myneni’s.

Myneni’s results were eventually published three years later in April 2016 in a paper in Nature Climate Change, with 32 authors from 24 institutions in eight countries – when the IPCC report was safely in the public domain and the great Paris climate jamboree was over.

His results were now even stronger than he had concluded in his 2012 lecture. Now he said that 70% of the cause of greening was carbon dioxide – up from half.

As Myneni’s co-author Zaichun Zhu, of Beijing University, puts it, it’s equivalent to adding a green continent twice the size of mainland USA.

Frankly, I think this is big news. A new continent’s worth of green vegetation in a single human generation.

At the end of 2015, when his paper had been under peer review for eight months so he knew these results were coming, Dr Myneni, criticized me specifically, saying on a green blog that “[Ridley] falsely claims that CO2 fertilisation is responsible for the greening of the earth”. Yet a few months later he himself published evidence that “CO2 fertilisation explains 70% of the greening trend”.

In the press release accompanying the article in April 2016 he once again referred to me by name:

[“The beneficial aspect of CO2 fertilization in promoting plant growth has been used by contrarians, notably Lord Ridley…to argue against cuts in carbon emissions to mitigate climate change…"]

As Richard Tol commented: “The new paper vindicates what Matt Ridley and others have been saying all along — yet they apparently deserve to be kicked nonetheless.”

I wrote to Dr Myneni politely asking him to justify his criticism of me with specific examples. He was unable to do so. “There are no ‘up-sides’ to having too much CO2 in the air,” was all he said.

In the very same issue of the same journal was another paper from an international team about a further benefit of global greening, which concluded that CO2 fertilisation is likely to increase crop water productivity throughout the world, for example by up to 48% for rain-fed wheat in arid areas, and that “If realized in the fields, the effects of elevated [CO2] could considerably mitigate global yield losses whilst reducing agricultural consumptive water use (4–17%).”

Their chart shows that without CO2 fertilisation, crops will become more water-stressed during the current century; with it they will become LESS water-stressed.

These are huge benefits for the earth and for people. The CO2 fertilisation effect is already worth trillions of dollars, according to detailed calculations by Craig Idso.

At this point Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit drew attention to my vindication on twitter. Richard Betts, the Met Office’s twitter frequenter, protested that global greening was well known and had been referred to in the IPCC’s report.

This was misleading at best and false at worst. The Summary for Policy Makers of Working Group 2 refers to global greening not at all. The full report of WG2 does very gently hint at there being some evidence of greening, but in a dismissive way. These are the only mentions I could find:

[“Satellite observations from 1982–2010 show an 11% increase in green foliage cover in warm, arid environments…Higher CO2 concentrations enhance photosynthesis and growth (up to a point) and reduce water use by the plant…these effects are mostly beneficial; however, high CO2 also has negative effects.”

“In summary, there is high confidence that net terrestrial ecosystem productivity at the global scale has increased relative to the preindustrial era. There is low confidence in attribution of these trends to climate change. Most studies speculate that rising CO2 concentrations are contributing to this trend through stimulation of photosynthesis but there is no clear, consistent signal of a climate change contribution.”]

If that’s a clear and prominent statement that carbon dioxide emissions have increased green vegetation on the planet by 14% and are significantly reducing the water requirements of agriculture, then I’m the Queen of Sheba.

Back in 1908 Svante Arrhenius, the father of the greenhouse theory, said the following: “By the influence of the increasing percentage of carbonic acid in the atmosphere, we may hope to enjoy ages with more equable and better climates.” It appears he was not wrong.

The consensus

Now let me back to global warming. Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway and UN Special representative on Climate Change, said in a speech in 2007 that “it is irresponsible, reckless and deeply immoral to question the seriousness of the situation. The time for diagnosis is over. Now it is time to act”.

I disagree. It is irresponsible not to challenge the evidence properly, especially if the policies pursued in its name are causing suffering.

Increasingly, many people would like to outlaw, suppress, prosecute and censor all discussion of what they call “the science” rather than engage in debate.

“We will not, at any time, debate the science of climate change,” said three professors at the University of Colorado in anemail to their students recently.

Shamefully, much of the scientific establishment and the media are prepared to go along with that program. And to bully any academic or journalist who steps out of line.

This coercion was displayed all too vividly when the distinguished scientist Lennart Bengtsson was bullied into resigning from the academic advisory council of GWPF in 2014 by colleagues’ threats. He even began to “worry about my health and safety…”

And when Philippe Verdier was sacked as weather forecaster in France for writing an honest book. And when Roger Pielke was dropped by the 538 website for telling the truth about storms.

No wonder that I talk frequently to scientists who are skeptical, but dare not say so openly. That is a ridiculous state of affairs.

We’re told that it’s impertinent to question “the science” and that we must think as we are told. But arguments from authority are the refuge of priests.

Thomas Henry Huxley put it this way: “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.”

What keeps science honest, what stops it from succumbing entirely to confirmation bias, is that it is decentralized, allowing one lab to challenge another.

That’s how truth is arrived at in science, not by scientists challenging their own theories (that’s a myth), but by scientists disputing each other’s theories.

These days there is a legion of well paid climate spin doctors. Their job is to keep the debate binary: either you believe climate change is real and dangerous or you’re a denier who thinks it’s a hoax.

But there’s a third possibility they refuse to acknowledge: that it’s real but not dangerous. That’s what I mean by lukewarming, and I think it is by far the most likely prognosis.

I am not claiming that carbon dioxide is not a greenhouse gas; it is.

I am not saying that its concentration in the atmosphere is not increasing; it is.

I am not saying the main cause of that increase is not the burning of fossil fuels; it is.

I am not saying the climate does not change; it does.

I am not saying that the atmosphere is not warmer today than it was 50 or 100 years ago; it is.

And I am not saying that carbon dioxide emissions are not likely to have caused some (probably more than half) of the warming since 1950.

I agree with the consensus on all these points.

I am not in any sense a “denier”, that unpleasant, modern term of abuse for blasphemers against the climate dogma, though the Guardian and New Scientist never let the facts get in the way of their prejudices on such matters.

I am a lukewarmer.

There is no consensus that climate change is going to be dangerous. Even the IPCC says there is a range of possible outcomes, from harmless to catastrophic. I’m in that range: I think the top of that range is very unlikely. But the IPCC also thinks the top of its range is very unlikely.

The supposed 97% consensus, based on a hilariously bogus study by John Cook, refers only to the proposition that climate change is real and partly man-made. Nobody has ever shown anything like a consensus among scientists for the proposition that climate change is going to be dangerous.

Professor Daniel Sarewitz put it well recently: “Even the vaunted scientific consensus around climate change…applies only to a narrow claim about the discernible human impact on global warming. The minute you get into questions about the rate and severity of future impacts, or the costs of and best pathways for addressing them, no semblance of consensus among experts remains.”

Besides, consensus is a reasonable guide to data about the past but is no guide to the future and never has been. In non-linear systems with feedbacks, like economies or atmospheres, experts are notoriously bad at forecasting events. There is no such thing as an expert on the future.

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

Global Warming Concerns 'Not a Blank Check' for Clean Power Plan

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals last week released a 320-page transcript of the September 27th oral argument on the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emission standards for existing fossil-fuel power plants, the agency’s so-called Clean Power Plan (CPP). From a constitutional perspective, the best moment of the marathon proceeding was Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s reminder to his colleagues that “global warming is not a [regulatory] blank check.”

The fun part of it is that Kavanaugh, a conservative judge appointed by President George W. Bush, invoked liberal Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s concurrence in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, a case invalidating the Bush administration’s use of special commissions to try detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

In Hamdan, Justice Breyer wrote (citations omitted):

The dissenters [Justices Thomas, Scalia, and Alito] say that today’s decision would “sorely hamper the President’s ability to confront and defeat a new and deadly enemy.” They suggest that it undermines our Nation’s ability to “preven[t] future attacks” of the grievous sort that we have already suffered. That claim leads me to state briefly what I believe the majority sets forth both explicitly and implicitly at greater length. The Court’s conclusion ultimately rests upon a single ground: Congress has not issued the Executive a “blank check.” Indeed, Congress has denied the President the legislative authority to create military commissions of the kind at issue here. Nothing prevents the President from returning to Congress to seek the authority he believes necessary.

Where, as here, no emergency prevents consultation with Congress, judicial insistence upon that consultation does not weaken our Nation’s ability to deal with danger. To the contrary, that insistence strengthens the Nation’s ability to determine—through democratic means—how best to do so. The Constitution places its faith in those democratic means. Our Court today simply does the same.

Kananaugh applied Breyer’s reasoning as follows (p. 100):

The larger point is that it’s up to Congress to decide. And it seems . . . and I’ll just throw this out, I’m concerned about making sure our decision, in the grand sweep of separation of powers, is consistent with the past, and consistent with the future. And it seems like what we have here is a thin—people disagree with the adjective—but a thin statute [i.e. Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act]. It wasn’t designed with this specifically in mind, but it can be kind of moved around to get here, for some really urgent problem.

And thinking in the past, I mean, the prior administration in the national security realm went through the same thing, and thin statutes trying to defeat an enemy, and the Supreme Court said no in the Hamdan case, which I think is highly relevant. Justice Breyer said the dissenters say that today’s decision would sorely hamper the President’s ability to confront and defeat a new and deadly enemy; the Court’s conclusion ultimately rests upon a single ground: Congress has not issued the Executive a blank check; no emergency prevents consultation with Congress; judicial insistence upon that consultation does not weaken our nation’s ability to deal with danger; strengthens the nation’s ability to determine through democratic means how best to do so; the Constitution places its faith in those democratic means.

And it seems like we’ve lived this issue where the most urgent need of our country was identified as a reason to use old statutes that weren’t squarely on point to jam new urgent needs into those. And the Supreme Court, Justice Breyer speaking directly to it, war is not a blank check. Global warming is not a blank check either for the President.

Distilling Kavanaugh’s riff on Breyer down to a soundbite, we get the following: Where, as here, no emergency prevents consultation with Congress, neither war nor climate change justify executive lawmaking.


Another Greenie fraud

Lies come naturally to the Green/Left.  It's all they've got

One of the world's leading institutes for researching the impact of global warming has repeatedly claimed credit for work done by rivals – and used it to win millions from the taxpayer.

An investigation by The Mail on Sunday also reveals that when the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (CCCEP) made a bid for more Government funds, it claimed it was responsible for work that was published before the organisation even existed.

Last night, our evidence was described by one leading professor whose work was misrepresented as 'a clear case of fraud – using deception for financial gain'. The chairman of the CCCEP since 2008 has been Nick Stern, a renowned global advocate for drastic action to combat climate change.

He is also the president of the British Academy, an invitation-only society reserved for the academic elite. It disburses grants worth millions to researchers – and to Lord Stern's own organisation.

On Friday, the CCCEP – based jointly at the London School of Economics and the University of Leeds – will host a gala at the Royal Society in London in the peer's honour. Attended by experts and officials from around the world, it is to mark the tenth anniversary of the blockbuster Stern Review, a 700-page report on the economic impact of climate change. The review was commissioned by Tony Blair's Government.

The review argued that the world had to take immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or face much higher future costs. It has exerted a powerful influence on successive British governments and international bodies.

Part of the CCCEP's official mission, which it often boasts about in its public reports, is to lobby for the policies Lord Stern advocates by presenting the case for them with British and foreign governments and at UN climate talks.

Last night, CCCEP spokesman Bob Ward admitted it had 'made mistakes', both in claiming credit for studies which it had not funded and for papers published by rival academics. 'This is regrettable, but mistakes can happen… We will take steps over the next week to amend these mistakes,' he said.

The Mail on Sunday investigation reveals today that:

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), which has given the CCCEP £9 million from taxpayers since 2008, has never checked the organisation's supposed publication lists, saying they were 'taken on trust';

Some of the papers the CCCEP listed have nothing to do with climate change – such as the reasons why people buy particular items in supermarkets and why middle class people 'respond more favourably' to the scenery of the Peak District than their working class counterparts;

Papers submitted in an explicit bid to secure further ESRC funding not only had nothing to do with the CCCEP, they were published before it was founded;

The publication dates of some of these papers on the list are incorrect – giving the mistaken impression that they had been completed after the CCCEP came into existence.

Academics whose work was misrepresented reacted with fury. Professor Richard Tol, a climate change economics expert from Sussex University, said: 'It is serious misconduct to claim credit for a paper you haven't supported, and it's fraud to use that in a bid to renew a grant. I've never come across anything like it before. It stinks.'

The paper cited by the CCCEP of which Prof Tol is a co-author was published online by the Ecological Economics journal on July 31, 2008. At the time, he and the lead author, David Anthoff, were on the staff of the Economic and Social Research Institute in Dublin. Their co-author, Cameron Hepburn, was at Oxford University. The research on 'the marginal costs of climate change' was funded by the European Commission and the Stockholm Environment Institute.

Prof Tol said: 'Our paper had no relationship to the CCCEP. It came out of David Anthoff's masters thesis. At the time, the CCCEP did not exist, and it only came into existence after the paper was published. Fraud means deception for financial gain. That is what this is.'

Confusingly, the CCCEP sent data to the ESRC for two separate lists of the publications that should be 'attributed' to it, and although they mostly overlap, they are not identical. Both, however, are misleading.

The first list is a compilation of 276 journal articles submitted in late 2012, headed 'CCCEP publications October 2008 – August 2012'. The submission also includes dozens of works of journalism. Many of these were written by CCCEP spokesman Mr Ward on subjects such as the Scottish golf course owned by Donald Trump and vehement attacks on climate change sceptics.

When it submitted this list, which includes the paper co-authored by Prof Tol, the CCCEP had already been awarded £4.7 million by the ESRC and was asking for another £4.4 million. It received this amount to cover the period 2013 to 2018.

The centre also gets generous funds from other government and private sources, such as American green billionaire Jeremy Grantham. This year, it was awarded a £374,000 grant to pay for a three-year CCCEP fellowship by the British Academy, presided over by Lord Stern. These grants make it one of the most lavishly funded institutions of its kind in the world, with an income since 2008 of more than £30 million.

Lord Stern has also become personally wealthy through his climate change work. When it last filed accounts a year ago, his company, NS Economics Ltd, set up to handle his public speaking income, had a bank balance of £349,000. He is also paid as an advisory director of the giant Spanish solar energy firm Abengoa SA.

This newspaper has found further papers on the 2008 to 2012 list sent to the ESRC which were in fact completed before the CCCEP came into existence. One of them, jointly authored with CCCEP co-director Simon Dietz, is by Lord Stern himself – and first published on April 23, 2008, six months before the CCCEP opened.

Another paper, a study led by Natalie Suckall, now at Southampton University, dealt with 'cultural identity' in the Peak District National Park. Ms Suckall and her colleagues found that white, middle class people liked the scenery more than working class or ethnic minority visitors – a topic not obviously related to climate change.

This paper was first sent to the Journal of Environmental Management in March 2007, accepted in revised form in June the following year, and published on July 30, 2008, more than two months before the CCCEP existed.

Another example was a study led by Prof Tol's co-author, Prof Cameron Hepburn. Since 2010, he has had a part-time post at the LSE, in addition to his position at Oxford. But his paper on 'social discounting under uncertainty' was first submitted in 2006, and published online on September 5, 2008 – when there were still four weeks to go before the CCCEP began operating.

Mr Ward admitted that to tell the ESRC that a total of seven studies identified by the MoS had been funded by the CCCEP was a 'mistake'. But he insisted it was not misleading that the list claimed some of them had been published in 2009, because that was when they appeared on paper.

Dr Elizabeth Wager, editor of the journal Research Integrity and Peer Review and the former head of the international watchdog the Committee on Publication Ethics, disputed this. She said: 'Everyone regards the online date as the actual publication date. It is considered published the day it goes online.'

These and other papers clearly played a direct role in the ESRC's decision to award the second, £4.4 million grant. But the second list, an online record of CCCEP publications updated monthly and published on the government's research funding website, Gateway To Research, is equally questionable – suggesting the CCCEP has for years been inflating its reputation and the scale of its activity unjustifiably.

Some of the items on this list amount to blatant theft of credit which is due to others. For example, in 2011 Kersty Hobson, then at Oxford and now a professor at Cardiff, was lead author of a paper entitled Public Responses to Climate Change. Her co-author Simon Niemeyer was at the Australian National University in Canberra.

She told The Mail on Sunday: 'This paper had nothing whatsoever to do with the CCCEP. It was completely funded by the Australian Research Council.' Another case is a study led by Oxford's Prof Stephen Duncan on 'optimal harvesting of fish stocks under a time-varying discount rate', a highly technical paper based on data from the Peruvian anchovy industry in the 1970s. Prof Duncan said: 'This piece of research was not funded by the CCCEP. It came out of ideas three of us had at Oxford when we were all based here.'

Mr Ward disputed this, claiming that the CCCEP should have been 'properly acknowledged' because Prof Hepburn was a co-author.

Other papers on the Gateway To Research list bear no relation to climate change and the CCCEP's goals. One is called 'Traffic lights and food choice: a choice experiment examining the relationship between nutritional food labels and price.'

Lead author Prof Kelvin Balcombe, of Reading University, said: 'I certainly wouldn't think it appropriate to claim this as a CCCEP output. It's not about climate change. And they had nothing to do with it.'

Mr Ward admitted including this on the list was a mistake, as was a paper on noise pollution and its effect on human happiness by the LSE's Diana Weinhold. He said: 'Some publications have been mistakenly uploaded.' It would take steps to put this right.

Academic funding experts reacted with astonishment to our investigation. Lord Willetts, the Universities Minister from 2010 to 2014, said: 'There is an assumption that academics are bound by ethical principles. The system relies on trust as well as policing by administrators.'

Dr Wager said: 'It's troubling the funder has not spotted this. If you're claiming credit for work when you shouldn't, that is not fair to other institutions who play by the rules.'

Former Labour Minister Lord Donaghue, a governor of the LSE for 25 years, called for an inquiry, saying: 'To preserve the academic integrity of the LSE, it is necessary that the relevant funding authorities launch a full investigation.'

The ESRC said the second phase of the CCCEP's grant was paid because the council concluded that 'the work of the centre had been excellent'.

Mr Ward said the CCCEP is a 'world class university research centre', and when it asked for the second slice of funding from the ESRC, it submitted in all '520 research and policy outputs' and 139 media articles. He added: 'We reject any suggestion that we misrepresented the outputs of the Centre in our submission to the mid-term review.' He claimed our investigation was an attempt to 'promote climate change denial'.


Australia: Slow and steady on climate policy

The Turnbull government will ensure the next phase of its climate policy meets Australia's obligations under the Paris deal but isn't "messianic", Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce says.

The government will review its full suite of climate policies in 2017, as the emissions reduction fund exhausts its $2.55 billion budget and the coalition looks to other methods to cut carbon pollution.

Environmental groups have concerns the review will provide a smokescreen to drop climate action and respond to sceptics within the government and on the Senate crossbench who see it as a waste of taxpayers' money.

Mr Joyce told reporters in Brisbane on Monday the government would ensure it met its Paris target - to reduce emissions by 26-28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 - which builds on its 2020 target of reducing emissions by five per cent below 2000 levels.

"We believe in our obligations as signed off by an international treaty in Paris and we'll make sure we meet them," Mr Joyce said.

"We are on target to meet them at the moment and we are doing it at a vastly more affordable way than the Labor party ever was."

But he said the government would not achieve the target "by changing the whole world, like the ACT, to 100 per cent renewables - what a load of crock".

"We are not going be a messianic figure out there by ourselves," he said.

Labor leader Bill Shorten said he would like the review to be conducted in a bipartisan way.

"(But) we're not going to get bipartisanship while Malcolm Turnbull has lost his spine on climate change," Mr Shorten told reporters in Perth.

"He did have it once, no questioning that, but now he's so keen to keep his job he'll swap climate change policy for climate scepticism ... he won't take any real action in terms of the fundamental issues including standing up for renewable energy."

Mr Turnbull's deal with the Rudd Labor government on a carbon pollution reduction scheme ended with his own party dumping him in favour of Tony Abbott.



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

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24 October, 2016

Memo to Florida Voters: Your AC Bill Just Went Up

I have just been talking to a refrigeration expert who for his own reasons supports the ban on HFCs as refrigerants.  I put it to him that all the possible replacement gases have problems with toxicity, flammability etc.  We agreed that flammability is going to be the most likely problem to arise but he said that the probability of the gases igniting is very low.  He made the point that we often do things that have a much higher likelihood of harming us  -- driving a car, for instance.

While that is an intelligible argument, it ignores the reality that what we are moving away from is a zero-risk situation.  Say that there will in future be only three occasions worldwide where an AC unit explodes and kills someone.  ALL THREE of those occasions were fully avoidable by retaining HFCs. We may ordinarily take risks but how often do we deliberately heighten our risks?  Sensation-seekers aside, I think we do not.  So the latest Greenie mandate will kill some people -- entirely as a result of that mandate

We’ve warned for some time that Big Government is coming for your air conditioner in the name of saving the planet. Well, on Saturday, nearly 200 countries, including China, agreed to take action in the next eight years on reducing the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are used in AC units and refrigerators. The legally binding deal was spearheaded by John Kerry, who thinks HFCs pose as great a threat to national security as jihadis do. But EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy was equally involved. “In a nutshell, these HFCs cool our homes and chill our food, but they are turning up the temperature of our planet,” lectured McCarthy. “World leaders took a giant leap forward by agreeing to a global phase-down of these harmful gases.”

What do we get in exchange for this regulatory bonanza? The Washington Examiner reports, “Secretary of State John Kerry said the deal … would put the planet on track to stop the Earth’s temperature from rising a half of a degree Celsius over the next two decades.” That goal is unprovable. No matter how much the temperature changes, these folks will say it would be half a degree Celsius worse had it not been for their intrepid work.

Furthermore, air conditioners were more efficient with the already-banned CFCs than they are with HFCs, and these regulations threaten to make that even worse. Stephen Yurek, the head of the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute, says, “After two phases of research, the most promising alternatives are currently classified as mildly flammable or flammable.” That sounds fun. So when our AC doesn’t work as well without HFCs, we’ll all be hotter, which has the advantage of “proving” the alarmists right about global warming.

McCarthy also crowed, “While we have seen many significant successes under President Obama’s leadership in fighting climate change, this day will unquestionably be remembered as one of the most important in our effort to save the one planet we have.” And you can bet that “important effort” — just like every other Obama regulation to that end — is going to cost you dearly


Solar panels ineffective in UK’s climate, says report from Adam Smith Institute

SOLAR panels are “highly ineffective” in the UK climate and although solar power produced more energy than coal between April and September, a free market think-tank claims we should not expect that to last.

In a paper published today called Solar Power in Britain, the Adam Smith Institute and the Scientific Alliance use 10 years’ worth of weather data to analyse the technology’s capabilities – and find it wanting.

It says solar panels are highly ineffective in UK climates and generate less than a tenth of their possible output annually – producing nothing for more than 30 weeks of the year, and only managing 50 per cent of their generation capability for eight days.

On claims that a combination of wind and solar power could smooth out this seasonal intermittency, the report says that even combined they would only exceed 60 per cent of their capability for a day-and-a-half each year, and would be below 20 per cent for more than half of the year – meaning they would have to be supplemented by more reliable sources.

The solar fleet produces less than 2.5 per cent of UK electricity generation says the report, the problem being that there is insufficient storage for energy generated in the summer to provide in winter. It adds the lifetime output of a 5MW solar park could be matched in 36 hours by a nuclear power plant taking up 50 times less ground space.

Two effective storage options that could make solar power feasible are addressed – pumped storage and battery storage, but it says these “highly expensive and environmentally damaging solutions are unworkable”. Instead, solar energy should focus on providing for local customers’ domestic water and heating until a more realistic storage system can be manufactured.

Ben Southwood, head of research at the Adam Smith Institute, said: “We know that UK solar panels only generate electricity at nine per cent of capacity, but our paper shows that even this average level is a mirage. Power comes in stops and spurts and not when we want it.

“If we had ways to store large amounts of energy cheaply then it wouldn’t matter when the sun shines, we could just save up what we’ve generated in batteries.

“In the future, cheaper and more efficient generation and storage will solve the problem, but for now there is no way of squaring the circle. Relying on solar and wind will force us to back up the supply with dirty fossil fuels, or the lights will go out.”


Court rules against EPA in case over coal job losses

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not properly estimated the potential job losses in the coal and other industries affected by its regulations, a federal judge ruled Monday.

Judge John Preston Bailey of the District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia ruled in favor of coal mining company Murray Energy Corp. saying the Clean Air Act gives the EPA administrator a “non-discretionary duty” to track the potential job losses and shifts in employment from regulations written under the act.

The decision is a largely symbolic win for energy sectors hurt by EPA regulations, however, because there is no guarantee that job loss analyses would change the policies at issue.
Bailey, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, used his ruling to repeatedly admonish the EPA for arguing that its duty to track job losses is “discretionary" and that its current reviews are sufficient.

“With specific statutory provisions like Section 321(a), Congress unmistakably intended to track and monitor the effects of the Clean Air Act and its implementing regulations on employment in order to improve the legislative and regulatory processes,” Bailey wrote.

“The most EPA does is ‘conduct proactive analysis of the employment effects of our rulemaking actions,’ which is simply not what S 321(a) is about,” he said, quoting the agency’s argument.

“EPA cannot redefine statutes to avoid complying with them. Nor can EPA render them superfluous or contrary to their original purpose by simply defining them to be,” Bailey concluded.

Murray and the coal industry cheered the ruling.

“This is a great day for coal miners in the United States, and for all citizens who rely on low-cost electricity in America,” Bob Murray, the company’s president and an outspoken opponent of President Obama, said in a statement.

“We will continue to vigorously pursue this lawsuit, and all of our litigation initiatives, in order to protect the lives and livelihoods of coal miners and their families, to defend the rule of law, and to preserve reliable and low cost electricity in our country.”

The National Mining Association called it a major rebuke of the EPA.

“America’s coal miners scored an important victory today when a federal court told EPA that it could no longer ignore its ongoing responsibility under the Clean Air Act to evaluate the job losses arising from its stream of regulatory actions,” Hal Quinn, the group’s president, said in a statement.

The legal provision at issue states that the EPA “shall conduct continuing evaluations of potential loss or shifts of employment which may result from the administration or enforcement of the provision of this chapter.”

It was enacted out of concern for industries like coal that could be hurt by environmental rules, with the expectation that lawmakers or regulators might use the data to inform their decisions. The court found that for at least 10 years after the 1977 law was passed, the EPA did conduct specific research to comply.

Job losses are usually part of the EPA’s normal rulemaking process. But Bailey found that to be insufficient.

Bailey ordered the EPA to prepare a timetable for the court in which it could write the job-loss predictions it should have completed under the law.

The litigation proceedings took about two and a half years.

Last year, Bailey granted Murray’s request to sit EPA head Gina McCarthy down for a sworn deposition as part of the lawsuit. But the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit overturned the decision.

The EPA can appeal Bailey’s ruling to the federal 4th Circuit.


The chemicals anxiety machine

Candidates, Civil Rights Commission and greens use phony health threats to scare voters

Paul Driessen

Rank politics and baseless health scares are driving anxiety, North Carolina election campaigns, civil rights claims and plans for class action lawsuits, all of which could bring electricity rate hikes that will cause real job, health and civil rights problems for families – for no health or environmental benefits.

As I noted in an earlier article, North Carolina state toxicologist Ken Rudo has publicly disagreed with the US Environmental Protection Agency and other NC “tox” experts, who say levels of chromium-6 detected in some NC waters are safe. The contaminant comes from coal ash deposits and other sources.

Not surprisingly, Erin Brockovich has sided with Dr. Rudo. She became rich and famous by promoting “toxic chromium” scares, co-authored a recent letter with the radical Environmental Working Group raising Cr-6 alarms, and will speak on election eve at Catawba College in NC to stir things up still further.

The issue is also playing prominently in the NC gubernatorial campaign. Democrat candidate Roy Cooper says well water is unsafe and is hammering the Duke Energy power company for creating the deposits and sitting Governor Pat McCrory (who once worked for Duke) for rescinding a “do not drink” order.

Not to be outdone, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) claims chromium-6 is seeping out of ash deposits, contaminating drinking water supplies and “disproportionately affecting” minority families. Communities near “waste disposal” and “industrial” facilities have “extremely high” rates of cancer, heart and other health issues, a Commission report asserts, lumping those facilities in with coal ash sites.

The contaminants get into well water, drinking water, and even “recreational waters” that are “heavily used for fishing, boating and swimming,” the Commission report states. The problem “extends for miles” around communities near coal ash deposits, which are “disproportionately located in low-income and minority communities,” making this a civil rights issue that government must address.

The USCCR wants the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and NC Department of Environmental Quality to examine the civil rights implications, classify coal ash as a “hazardous waste,” force utility companies to relocate deposits, and compensate people for healthcare expenses and land devaluations.

A persuasive and well-documented dissent by Commissioner Gail Heriot (pages 113-142 of the report) demolishes the USCCR assertions. Her analysis deserves widespread attention both on environmental and civil rights matters, and on how some people deliberately use these issues to generate racial animosity.

No one on the Commission, she notes, has any expertise in waste disposal, toxicology, epidemiology or medicine, and thus had no business issuing pronouncements on coal ash toxicity. There is “strong” evidence that coal ash facilities “are not disproportionately located” near racial minorities. Lumping coal ash together with other facilities that involve dangerous chemicals, and then blaming coal ash, is invalid.

Ms. Heriot is also perturbed that USCCR Chairman Martin Castro suggested that NC communities are bring “victimized by environmental racism.” These kinds of “incendiary allegations” are inappropriate, she says; they “fan the flames of racial resentment” based on insufficient or false information.

Interestingly, tests in 2014 consistently found Cr-6 in city water supplies above 0.07 parts per billion, unnecessarily triggering “do not drink” advisories to some well water users, the Greensboro News & Record reported. However, May 2016 tests could not even detect the chemical, the paper noted.

The 0.07 ppb standard is equivalent to 7 seconds in 3,300 years. The EPA and NCDEQ safety standard for Cr-6 in drinking water is 100 ppb, and a 2012 scientific paper in the Journal of Applied Toxicology concluded that regularly drinking water with 210 ppb poses no health or cancer risks. That safe, non-carcinogenic 210 ppb level is 3,000 times higher than the 0.07 ppb “trigger warning” level.

There is no evidence that Cr-6 levels found in U.S. drinking water cause any of the laundry list of health problems presented by the USCCR. For the EWG to say barely detectable 0.02 ppb levels are dangerous and carcinogenic in water that 218 million Americans drink every day is disingenuous and incendiary. Moreover, coal ash is mostly inert, with most metallic components in tiny amounts and/or bonded tightly in crystalline (glassy) sand particles. Very little leaches out. Moreover, chromium-6 occurs naturally in rocks and soils throughout the USA. It is not solely a byproduct of coal burning or industrial processes.

Saying grave health concerns arise from such minimal Cr-6 levels as 0.02 or 0.07 ppb in drinking water is groundless; saying health impacts arise from its its presence in recreational waters is absurd. Indeed, Ohio’s EPA director dismisses the EWG claims as “scare tactics” to raise money.

All this suggests that the USCCR and EWG claims are just part of the campaign to eliminate coal-fired power plants and the reliable, affordable electricity they generate. The claims could also be setting the stage for more collusive sue-and-settle lawsuits between the USEPA and environmentalist groups – with those who will be most affected having no opportunity to testify and no voice in the outcome.

Forcing utility companies to spend billions relocating huge ash deposits to “lined, watertight landfills” (in someone else’s backyard) will bring no health or environmental benefits. But it will bankrupt companies, send electricity prices soaring, reverberate through our economy, and raise true civil rights issues. As Ms. Heriot notes, “driving up the cost of power has its own disparate impact” on minority families.

Black and Hispanic families spend a 10-50% greater share of their income than white families on heating, air conditioning, lights and other electrical costs, National Black Chamber of Commerce president Harry Alford points out. They are also more likely to suffer still lower living standards and even lose their jobs, as employers respond to higher electricity prices by laying more people off.

If rates nearly double from current costs in coal-reliant states like North Carolina and Virginia (9 cents per kilowatt-hour) to those in anti-coal New York (16 cents) or Connecticut (17 cents), poor families will have to pay $500-1,000 more annually for electricity. Hospitals, school districts, factories and businesses will have to spend additional thousands, tens of thousands or millions. Where will that cash come from?

Will businesses have to lay off dozens or hundreds of employees, or close their doors? If they pass costs on to customers, where will families find that extra cash? If hospitals cut services or raise fees, how will that affect patient costs and care? Might the EWG and USCCR provide financial assistance? Fat chance.

By necessity, hospitals are energy intensive. The average U.S. hospital uses 31 kilowatt-hours of electricity per square foot per year. For facilities like the 665,000-square-foot Inova Fairfax Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Northern Virginia, that translates into $1,855,000 per year at 9 cents/kWh, but $3,505,000 at 17 cents. That’s a $1.6-million difference.

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Comprehensive Cancer Center in Winston-Salem, NC is 530,600 square feet. That’s $1,480,000/year at 9 cents/kWh or $2,796,000/year at 17 cents: a $1.5-million gap.

Ohio State University’s James Cancer Center and Solove Research Institute in Columbus is1.1 million square feet. That’s $3,069,000/year at 9¢/kWh versus $5,797,000 at 17 cents: a $2.7 million shortfall! 

Those cost increases would result in lost jobs and reduced patient care. Now try to imagine the impacts on schools, factories, churches, grocery stores, malls and thousands of other major electricity users – to address health problems that exist only in the fertile minds of a few activists and regulators.

The war on coal, petroleum, nuclear and hydroelectric power is an eco-imperialist war on reliable, affordable electricity – and on poor and minority families. Policies that drive energy prices up drive people out of jobs, drive companies out of business, drive families into green energy poverty.

An yet these fundamental “civil rights” and “environmental justice” issues are rarely mentioned by the USCCR, EWG, EPA, NAACP, Democratic Party or self-appointed “civil rights leaders.” Too many of them also oppose charter schools for minority kids who are getting shortchanged by public schools, and regulatory reforms to spur job creation in minority communities. Will common sense ever prevail?

Via email

"Green" power company to get a NY State bailout

Exelon was just on the wrong end of a U.S. tax court decision – and has been ordered to pay the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) $1.45 billion in back taxes, penalties, and interest.

What is Exelon? A New York state power company. A very successful New York state power company. Net profits in 2015? $2.2 billion. And they’ve been solidly profitable for years. $1.72 billion in 2013, $1.16 billion in 2012. And $2.7 billion each year all the way back in 2008 and 2009.

So they should have no problem paying their (back) taxes. We should all have a problem with New York’s state government writing them a check – for possibly up to $7 billion.

As with all things government, the big corporation gets a check – and we little people pick up the tab. The bailout will add $2.3 billion to the energy bills of New York residents – many of whom are Exelon customers.

Get that? Exelon gets government money – Exelon customers get higher energy bills.

Exelon has spent nearly $300,000 on lobbying and lobbying-esque activities in Albany since 2014. It has obviously paid quick, exponentially inflated dividends. Hillary Clinton’s cattle futures are jealous.

This Exelon nonsense is a small part of Governor Cuomo’s huge “green energy” nonsense. Without benefit of the state legislature, Governor Cuomo’s Public Service Commission (PSC) in late July issued a fiat mandating that by 2030 half of New York’s energy needs must be met by renewable methods.

Small problem: “As of 2015, New York only generated 11% of its energy via renewables. A tally it has taken them decades – and tens of billions of subsidy dollars – to attain. And now they have mandated a nearly 500% increase – in only fifteen years. Predicated, again, upon energy sources that require massive, ongoing government cash infusions – and in most instances take more energy to produce than they provide. The New York State mandate is a VERY expensive proposition.…”

For which New Yorkers will be paying. And paying. And….

It can not be said enough: most “green energy” is neither green nor energy. Wind, solar and biofuels are actually awful for the environment – not at all green. And they are so prohibitively expensive – they make zero sense as energy.

New York’s government can’t pay for its huge new mandate – without first taking it from New Yorkers. Who will be paying, and paying, and….

Nuclear is actually a clean, viable energy source. As demonstrated by Exelon’s very tidy profits each and every year for at least a decade.

So why on Earth are they too set to get a multi-billion-dollar government check?

It makes zero sense – in a Governor Cuomo plan filled to the brim with things that make zero sense.



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

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


23 October, 2016

Another take on the September temperature figures

I don't have great issues with Seth Borenstein below.  He arrives at much the same conclusion I did, albeit via a different route

Earth's 16-month sizzling streak of record high temperatures is finally over, according to one group of federal meteorologists.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said last month's 60.6 degrees (15.9 Celsius) was merely the second hottest September on record for the globe. That's ever so slightly cooler — a few hundredths of a degree — than the record set in 2015. But it was quite a bit warmer — 1.6 degrees (0.9 Celsius) — than the 20th century average.

Global average temperatures include both land and sea surface readings. And while oceans were cooling off a tad, global land temperatures in September still set a record high, NOAA climate scientist Jessica Blunden said. It was an unusually hot month in much of Europe, Asia, Africa and North America.

NASA, which averages global temperature differently, considers last month as record hot . But the space agency didn't have a big consecutive hot streak because it didn't consider last June as record hot.

"It's kind of nice to see it cool down a little bit even though it will go back up again," Blunden said. "It may not be a record now because we have natural variations in weather and climate. There's always going to be ups and downs but that doesn't mean global warming isn't happening."


 More crooked ad hominem attacks from the Green Left

The message rattles them so they shoot the messenger

ThinkProgress Editor in Chief Judd Legum sent an email to a billionaire donor bragging how the liberal blog’s environmental writer targeted a climate researcher who challenged a major Democratic talking point on global warming, according to leaked emails.

The blog’s environmental arm, ClimateProgress, took issue with pollster Nate Silver’s 538 website, hiring Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr. to write about global warming issues. Pielke is no skeptic of man-made warming, but he challenged a Democratic talking point that global warming was making extreme weather more severe.

ClimateProgress immediately embarked on a crusade to discredit him “[p]rior to Pielke writing anything” for 538 — based solely on the fact they didn’t like his research on extreme weather.

“Pielke basically has made a career of ‘accepting’ climate change but disputing that we can really do anything about it or that it has much of an impact,” Legum wrote in a July 2014 email to hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer thanking him for his “support.”

Steyer is a major supporter of environmentalists and Democratic politicians. Steyer is a donor and bundler for the Clinton campaign, raising more than $100,000 for her campaign since 2015. He spent $73 million during the 2014 midterm elections.

ClimateProgress is part of the Center for American Progress Action Fund (CAPAF), which was created by Clinton’s presidential campaign chair John Podesta. Podesta also created the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, which gave CAPAF at least $1 million in 2015.

Legum’s email to Steyer was release by WikiLeaks from Podesta’s hacked Gmail account. It’s one of several emails involving the ThinkProgress blog.

ClimateProgress put out two articles attacking Pielke the same day he published a post on 538 headlined “Disasters Cost More Than Ever — But Not Because of Climate Change.” Pielke’s point was that extreme weather only does more damage today because there’s more wealth to destroy when hitting shore.

When economic growth is taken into account, “the overall trend in disaster costs proportional to GDP since 1990 has stayed fairly level,” Pielke wrote.

“Within hours, ClimateProgress published a comprehensive debunk, with quotes from many prominent climate scientists,” Legum wrote, chronicling Pielke’s eventual being forced to leave 538.

“Pielke was so upset with our piece, he called the scientists we quoted and threatened to sue them. Silver was forced to apologize,” Legum wrote. “Embarrassed, Silver was forced to publish a rebuttal to Pielke piece by an actual climate scientist, which was also devastating.”

Silver asked climate scientist Kerry Emanuel to rebut Pielke’s article. Emanuel wrote that he’s “not comfortable with Pielke’s assertion that climate change has played no role in the observed increase in damages from natural hazards.”

Silver never let Pielke publish any piece on global warming on 538 again — a fact Legum bragged to Steyer about in his email.

“I think it’s fair say that, without Climate Progress, Pielke would still be writing on climate change for 538,” Legum wrote.

“He would be providing important cover for climate deniers backed by Silver’s very respected brand,” he wrote. “But because of our work, he is not. I don’t think there is another site on the internet having this kind of impact on the climate debate.”

“Thanks for your support of this work. Looking forward to doing even more in the coming months,” Legum wrote to Steyer.

Update: Pielke told The Daily Caller News Foundation claims he threatened to sue his detractors was “a lie.” Reports that Pielke threatened legal action against two climate scientists came from The Huffington Post. Pielke says that’s false.

In fact, it was Legum who contacted 538 claiming Pielke had made legal threats against two scientists, according to HuffPo.


A skeptic fires back

Matt Ridley

RESPONSE TO BOB WARD'S LETTER, An attack that confirms the accuracy of my lecture

I have sent the following letter to the president of the Royal Society and the Chairman and director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation in response to a highly misleading letter to me that was copied to them.

To Sir Venki Ramakrishnan FRS, Lord Lawson and Dr Benny Peiser

You have been sent a letter by Bob Ward of the Grantham Institute at the London School of Economics complaining about what I said about Dr Ranga Myneni in my lecture at the Royal Sociey.

Dr Ranga Myneni has already responded to my lecture and does not make the same complaints about misrepresentation made by Mr Ward.

Dr Myneni does, however, in his response, make two entirely false accusations against me, saying that I go “on to ignore 30+ years of IPCC assessments!”, when in fact I discussed several such assessments and quoted verbatim from two, one in 1990 and one in 2014; and that I “argue that thousands and thousands of scientists are somehow in cahoots to push the global warming hoax on innocent people of the world …”, when I made no such argument and specifically detailed how my position was different from those who think global warming is a hoax.

Turning to Mr Ward’s own complaints, he correctly notes that I explained that I became aware of Dr Myneni’s work from a 2012 talk, but that I quote from one delivered in 2013. I may not have made this fact very clear in my spoken remarks, but everything I said was properly sourced (including on my slides) and correctly quoted, and in any case the use of the later talk is entirely appropriate since, as Mr Ward also notes, Dr Myneni’s estimates of the amount and attribution of greening changed between late 2012 and mid 2013. This is something I was well aware of, but the change in no way contradicts anything I said. Indeed, it reinforces it. The 2012 version of the talk was based on data suggesting a greening of 20.5% of the land, which Mr Ward quotes; while the equivalent slides in the 2013 version, one of which I reproduced, supports a greening of 30.87% of the land area, which was the estimate to which I referred.

Mr Ward’s letter specifically confirms the accuracy of my claim that at various times Dr Myneni said 31% of the land area has greened, the planet had greened by 14%, and that 70% of the greening can be attributed to carbon dioxide fertilization. Dr Myneni has not claimed he was misquoted on these points.

As I stated in my lecture, Dr Myneni stated in 2015 that “[Ridley] falsely claims that CO2 fertilisation is responsible for the greening of the earth”. Yet a few months later he himself published evidence that “CO2 fertilisation explains 70% of the greening trend”.

I used the word “might” in my suggestion that the publication of these results might have been delayed lest they give sceptics a field day, so there was no accusation, as Mr Ward claims. Dr Myneni says the delay was mainly due to the senior author on the paper returning to China. I remain doubtful that these data would have taken so long to publish if they had shown bad news.

As for Mr Ward’s complaint that I misrepresented Dr Richard Betts, he destroys his own case by quoting another part of the IPCC assessment report where greening is very briefly mentioned, and which I confess I missed because it was so brief and dismissive:

“Warming (and possibly the CO2 fertilisation effect) has also been correlated with global trends in satellite greenness observations, which resulted in an estimated 6% increase of global NPP, or the accumulation of 3.4 PgC on land over the period 1982–1999 (Nemani et al., 2003).”

Since published data (Donohue et al 2013) already pointed to a larger greening over a longer period, and my point was that the mentions of global greening were brief, doubtful and downplayed the effect, this extra quote beautifully illustrates my point. As I put it,

“If that’s a clear and prominent statement that carbon dioxide emissions have increased green vegetation on the planet by 14% and are significantly reducing the water requirements of agriculture, then I’m the Queen of Sheba.”

I will happily add this extra quotation to the written version of my lecture on line since it illustrates my point even better.

I stand by my lecture. Mr Ward is confirming the accuracy of my work while continuing to try to smear my name.

In my lecture I stated that “These days there is a legion of well paid climate spin doctors. Their job is to keep the debate binary: either you believe climate change is real and dangerous or you’re a denier who thinks it’s a hoax. But there’s a third possibility they refuse to acknowledge: that it’s real but not dangerous.”


The real reason a UN censor blacklisted Rebel reporters — and why we’re STILL going to Marrakech


As we reported earlier this week, a censor at the UN named Nick Nuttall has refused The Rebel's request for official media accreditation, so we can cover the climate summit in Marrakech, Morocco.

Three thousand other journalists have been approved, but we've been blacklisted.

WATCH as Nick Nuttall explains why -- not to us and our lawyers or Canada's professional journalist associations, all of whom have written him formal letters in protest.

No, Nuttall went on the CBC to make his case that The Rebel is a "one person" enterprise, and furthermore, we're "extremist."

Even the CBC host wasn't buying it!

I'll play you clips from his trainwreck interview, then talk to my guests Lorne Hunter and Sheila Gunn Reid about the UN's refusal to allow any dissent from its "global warming" talking points.


Journalists were assaulted, threatened and imprisoned in their  car by the "tolerant" and "peace loving" protesters at the Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp.

JOURNALISTS Phelim McAleer and Magdalena Segieda were subjected to a terrifying 30 minute ordeal after being attacked by Dakota Access Pipeline Protestors whilst conducting interviews at the Sacred Stone Camp.

It started with one protestor grabbing McAleer's microphone mid-question and physically assaulting him.

Others joined the attack forcing McAleer and his colleagues to flee to their car intending to leave the protest camp.

However the car quickly became surrounded by a mob with a pack of dogs and sticks who also used three vehicles to block in the journalists preventing them from leaving the camp.

The mob became increasingly violent ordering the journalists out of their car warning of the consequences of refusing to get out.

At one point protestors started to shake the car and punched the windows. They also stated they were going to destroy the film equipment and any footage gathered.

"It was a terrifying 30 minutes." McAleer.

"There is a lot of talk about love and peace at the camp but yesterday we got a look at the reality behind the talk and it was an ugly violent reality," he added.

Not being able to escape, the journalists feared for their lives and called the police.

The police deployed several police cars as well as air support and a SWAT team and only after their arrival did the protesters allow the journalist to drive out of the camp.

McAleer said the situation turned violent after he started asking difficult questions about how the protestors were against oil and pipelines but used oil based products (cars & plastic) in their campaign.

"This sends a chilling message to journalists covering the Dakota Access Pipeline story. The message is you can only ask softball questions if you ask difficult questions you will be met with violence and intimidation."

"My fellow journalists need to report this and call them out on this intimidation of journalists just trying to do their job."

Segieda said "We were just doing our job and met with incredible aggression. It was the scariest 30 minutes of my life. If the police didn't arrive I'm not sure if we would have make it out of there and certainly not with our footage".

McAleer, a veteran journalist who covered The Troubles in Northern Ireland said this was one of the most terrifying situations he's ever been in during his long career.

McAleer and Segieda will release footage shortly.

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


20 October, 2016

Your monthly scare story below

As always, you have to look at what the Greenies and Leftists do NOT say. So here it comes. The news is that the global temperature for last month has just been promulgated by GISS.  So that has to be scary, right?  Problem: The temperature actually DECLINED last month.  September was COOLER than August.  The anomaly went down from .98 of a degree to .91 of a degree.  But nowhere below will you see any mention of that. 

No-one in his right mind would take any notice of  such tiny fluctuations but the Warmists do. Their whole story consists of taking hundredths of one degree seriously.  So all they tell us this time is that September 2015 was warmer than September 2016.  The anomaly was .81 last year.

Note that seasonal influences should normally cancel out in the global figures because while it is summer in the Northern hemisphere, it is winter in the Southern hemisphere.

So the real story this year is one of temperature stasis:  changes too small to mean anything. But if we wanted to play the Warmist game we could see a coming-down off an El Nino high. The anomalies from January to April were all a touch above one degree whereas the May to September anomalies were all below one degree.

So what to do with such frustrating figures?  You see the result below.  They have picked out all the weather events that suit them and presented them as if they proved something global.  As proof of the cherry-picking, note that no "coldest" events anywhere are mentioned.  They are such crooks!

As the Philippines braces for its second major typhoon in just five days, a Canadian glacier spawns a giant iceberg and eastern Australia mops up from a record wet spell, climate scientists can pick from a world of weird weather to highlight evidence of global warming under way.

Just days after nations agreed to curb production of greenhouse gases 10,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide and a fortnight before the Paris climate agreement comes into force on November 4, many regions are experiencing bizarre conditions.

September continued the run of exceptional global warmth, with last month narrowly edging last year as the hottest September on record, NASA, the US space agency, said overnight.

Typhoon Haima is expected to reach category 5 strength by Wednesday. After data adjustments, NASA said 11 of the past 12 months had set monthly high-temperature records. This year is on course to smash previous records for annual heat set in 2015 and in the year before that.

Climate scientists, such as NASA's Gavin Schmidt, emphasise that while individual weather events and even monthly rankings may be newsworthy, "they are not nearly as important as long-term trends".

Here, though, there are many worrying pointers.

The Philippines is facing the potential for a category 5-strength typhoon Haima just days after typhoon Sarika blew through, leaving a trial of death and destruction that has now extended to neighbours Vietnam and China.

Recent research indicates the western Pacific is experiencing stronger cyclones with the frequency increasing as much as four-fold.

In Canada, the Porcupine Glacier in British Columbia retreated more than two kilometres "in one leap", when a major iceberg broke off during the summer, The Globe and Mail reported recently.

Mauri Pelto, professor of environmental science at Nichols College in Massachusetts, said he couldn't identify a bigger iceberg carved from a Canadian glacier in a quarter century of work.

"It's just a highlight example of what's happening [from climate change]," Dr. Pelto was quoted as saying. "I have worked on over 200 glaciers just in that area, and all but one have been retreating."

The behaviour of ice of a different kind caught the attention of  Andy Pitman, director of the ARC Excellence for Climate System Science at the University of NSW.

After rivalling previously lows in 2007 and 2012, this year's recovery of Arctic sea ice as winter approaches has slowed sharply, placing it again at record low levels.

With less sea ice, more of the sun's energy is absorbed by the Arctic seas rather than reflected back to space, accelerating the pace of warming in an area that's warming faster than almost anywhere else.

"It's moving outside it's normal operating range," Professor Pitman said of the sea ice trend. "Climate extremes are emerging much faster than climate scientists thought."
Rain extremes

While major weather events can't all be attributed to climate change rather than natural variability, a warming world makes them more likely.

Scientists, for instance, estimate that the atmosphere can hold 7 per cent more moisture for each degree of warming - and we've had at least that since the Industrial Revolution triggered a rapid increase in greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels and land-clearing for agriculture.

Hurricane Matthew, which scraped along the east coast of the US earlier this month, is estimated to have dumped as much 52 trillion litres on the US, triggering widespread flooding, according to Ryan Maue, a US-based meteorologist.

Typhoon Sarika, which left at least 25 dead in the Philippines last week, is now expected to bring flooding rains to south-east China.

Behind Sarika, though, looms a more powerful storm, super typhoon Haima, which is likely to generate peak gusts of more than 300 km/h by Wednesday as it nears the northern Philippine island of Luzon.

"[A]long with the dangers of storm surge flooding and damaging winds, rainfall flooding and landslides would also be major threats in Luzon, given saturated ground from Sarika," the website said in a report. "More than a foot of rain could fall over northern portions of Luzon as Haima moves through."

Much of eastern Australia has copped its drenching in recent weeks, although the rains have fortunately been more spread out.

As the Bureau of Meteorology said in a special climate statement last week, the Murray Darling Basin had its wettest September on record, continuing a string of wet months.

"The May to September period was Australia's wettest on record, with each of the five individual months ranking in the 10 wettest in the last 117 years," the report said.
'Off the charts'

"You're seeing more extreme events and in most of the parts of climate that affect people," Professor Pitman said.

Heatwaves, for instance, that used to last typically three days, might be stretching in some places out to 10 days.

"It's like Usain Bolt doing a 4-second,100-metre run," he said. "It's completely off the charts."

Professor Pitman's centre will shift more of its focus to the study of climate extremes after securing funds from the Australian Research Council last month.

"There is some emerging evidence that the system is redefining itself," Professor Pitman said.



APOLOGY: I have undergone surgery and experienced a prolonged cable service outage within the last 24 hours so I am putting up less than I usually would -- JR


19 October, 2016

Greenland Temperature Trends 1873 – 2015

You would be forgiven for thinking that Greenland is burning up. But you would be wrong!

DMI have published their Historical Climate Data Collection 1768-2015 for Greenland, and figures for last year continue to show temperatures in the 1930s and 40s were as warm as in recent years.

The only exception to this trend was the anomalously warm year of 2010, which created a lot of excitement in alarmist circles. Numbers since then, however, show that this was no more than an outlier, a weather event. Since then, temperatures have returned to previous levels. Indeed, last year was a particularly cold one, especially in the west.

In Nuuk, for instance, last year was the coldest since 1993. Incredible though it may sound, it was actually colder there than any year between 1922 and 1971.

You will none of this from our supposedly objective media, who would much rather feed you with myths about the Greenland ice sheet melting away.

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


How my factual statement on Fox News about global warming became a Media Matters outrage


Media Matters is a left-wing propaganda machine created by Clinton sycophant David Brock. Positioned as a non-profit organization designed to target “dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.” So, imagine my surprise when my appearance on Fox News Tuesday became one of their multitudes of “outrages” posted and distributed to their legion of followers in the mainstream media.

Media Matters took my factual statement that we have just experienced the longest drought of hurricanes in the past decade in American history and my belief that it was unseemly for Clinton to campaign in Florida by linking hurricanes with global warming considering that state is still cleaning up from Hurricane Matthew from 3 days ago, and turned it into this sub-headline:’s Larry O’Connor Calls It “Politically Gross” That Clinton Is Making The Case For Climate Action In Florida

Beyond spelling my name correctly (which I really appreciate, I hate “O’Conner“) they completely misrepresent what I explicitly said and repeated in the interview:

I just find it a little distasteful, just a couple of days after Hurricane Matthew hit Florida, and I think the death toll in that state was five, that we’ve got Al Gore making the case, the false claim that global warming is the cause of hurricanes considering we just had the longest drought of hurricanes. Isn’t that a little politically gross to be going down there and making that case right after the hurricane hit the state? I don’t like it, I don’t think Floridians will like it.
After host Melissa Francis re-directed my statement on air and re-phrased it, I interrupted (something I rarely do on television) and made it clear that I was specifically talking about the false predictions that global warming would make hurricanes like Katrina “the new normal.”

FRANCIS: There are people out there who believe in that theory, right, Simon? There are people in southern Florida who feel like the reason why a lot of their beaches are disappearing and things are happening and you’re seeing this sort of dramatic weather —

O’CONNOR: I’m talking specifically about hurricanes. We had the longest drought in American history.

But, that was all ignored to serve Media Matters and their intimidation techniques. Pundits beware! If you deviate from the prescribed talking points on issues like global warming you will be outed as a denier.

By the way, this exchange on Fox News took place about an hour before Mrs. Clinton appeared with Gore in Miami. I was merely speculating that she would falsely link Hurricane Matthew with global warming. However, she didn’t let any of us down. With Gore, the man who has made hundreds of millions of dollars on the global warming industry sitting behind her, she directly linked the five people killed by Matthew in the panhandle state and the 21 people killed elsewhere in the Southeast, to “climate change.”

MIT meteorology professor Kerry Emanuel, an expert on hurricanes and climate, called Clinton’s assessment “a simplification of the truth.”

Brian McNoldy, a hurricane researcher at the University of Miami, said the signs of climate change are only seen in “the long-term average.” Clinton’s statement, he said, was “a little bit strongly worded for a single event.”


Why Santa Barbara Verdict Could Make All Californians the Winners

The Goleta Water District has taken a rancher to Santa Barbara Superior Court over his water sales to nearby Montecito. If the rancher prevails, all Californians could emerge the winners. The case has already showcased a key reality: in the Golden State, water is not evenly distributed.

The 725-acre Slippery Rock Ranch near Santa Barbara sits above 200,000 acre-feet of water, a lake-size supply well beyond the needs of the ranch’s avocado trees. Owner Dick Wolf, who produced “Miami Vice” before creating the popular “Law & Order” television franchise, sought to sell some of the excess water to Montecito, which lacks groundwater resources and relies on surface supplies.

The GWD sued to stop the sales even though in late 2015 it had itself purchased 2,500 acre-feet of California Aqueduct water from the Antelope Valley and East Kern Water Agency for $1.2 million. Water districts in Santa Clara were also in the running, but Goleta needed the water more. The districts that lost out, however, did not respond with a lawsuit to block further sales.

The GWD claims that the lake-size reservoir under the ranch is connected to Goleta’s underground basin, a contention the ranch denies. The ranch’s Cory Black told reporters that the assertion that water on private property belongs to the GWD is “not grounded in fact or law.”

The GWD had purchased water from the ranch in the past and, Black said, “only initiated litigation after negotiations for purchasing more water broke down. How did water that they had been negotiating to buy suddenly become theirs?”

Black also charged that the GWD is squandering ratepayers’ money on frivolous litigation. The court will decide whether the action is frivolous, but Black seems to have a case regarding the wasteful spending.

GWD water supply and conservation manager Ryan Drake told the Santa Barbara News-Press that the cost of the action against the ranch has increased the district’s legal budget by more than $300,000, or 32 percent. According to the report, “Ratepayers are picking up the tab.” The GWD’s budgeted legal costs for the year are $1.3 million, considerably higher than the other three South Coast water agencies.

Drought conditions prompted the GWD to impose restrictions but also to slap farmers with a surcharge that doubled their water bills. Some accused district bosses of poor planning and overstating the water supply.

Meanwhile the ranch seeks a judgment establishing its private water rights.

This is more than a local issue between two parties.

Private tradable water rights empowered arid Australia to make the best use of its existing resources. As the country’s National Water Commission explains: “Water markets and trading were the primary means to achieve this.”

Today, according to the commission, Australia’s water markets are internationally recognized as a success story, “allowing water to be put to its most productive uses, for a price determined by water users” and generating “economic benefits valued in hundreds of millions of dollars annually.”

In arid, drought-ridden California the biggest obstacle for water-starved areas is not private landowners such as the ranch, who are willing to sell the supplies they own. The obstacle proceeds from top-heavy, litigious bureaucracies that seek to prevent such sales.

A verdict in favor of private tradable water rights would make all Californians the winners.


Global Warming would produce a "lush oasis".  Is that bad?

The United Kingdom was once a lush oasis. That can be read from sediments within the Kimmeridge Clay Formation, which were deposited around 160 to 145 million years ago on Dorset’s “Jurassic Coast.” A favorite stomping ground for fossil hunters and the source rock for North Sea oil, the formation is rich in organic matter, which suggests that it likely formed when global greenhouse conditions were at least 4 times higher than present levels.

Normally, organic matter disappears rapidly after an organism dies, as the nutrients are consumed by other life forms and the carbon decays. However, when the seas are starved of oxygen, which occurs when plankton numbers swell owing to increasing levels of carbon dioxide, then organic matter is preserved. An abundance of so-called black shales, or organic-rich muds, within the Kimmeridge Clay Formation points to this past.

Here Armstrong et al. used those black shales to build new climate simulations that better approximate the climate toward the end of the Jurassic period. The model simulated 1422 years of time that suggested a radically different Intertropical Convergence Zone—the region where the Northern and Southern Hemisphere trade winds meet—than the one today. The convergence of these trade winds produces a global belt of clouds near the equator and is responsible for most of the precipitation on Earth.

Not only were the researchers able to verify that the United Kingdom was once a tropical oasis, but they were also able to simulate and map the climate 145 million years ago


Australia: Climate change gloom lessons for kids

Students are being led to believe that global warming will destroy sunsets.  The course materials are clearly far-Left  rather than scientific

DOOMSDAY climate change lessons are being taught to children as young as eight who are concluding that human activity threatens to destroy beautiful sunsets and ­waterways.

Six schools in the state’s north are trialling a “world first” curriculum that is expected to be adopted across the state, if successful.

The NSW Education Department-approved trial is being run by Southern Cross University’s Lismore campus and proposes to give students from Year 3 to Year 8 “political agency” and allow them to be “experts in their own lives”.

Running in tandem with the curriculum is a challenge project in which students form their own response to climate change and how they can personally prevent mass extinctions of animals, plants and their habitats.

Some children have concluded that humans have “succeeded in destroying much of the physical world”.

One student researcher in northern NSW said: “It is selfish and horrible how humans are causing animal and plant species to die.”

Another said: “We must band together to reverse the effects of climate change.”

Organiser and Southern Cross University education lecturer David Rousell said schools in Bexhill, Mullumbimby and Alstonville had taken on the interdisciplinary model, which could be taught in English, creative arts, science and history classes.

“This challenge is about bringing schools together to embark on projects that have a public outcome and can create real change,” he said.

“Kids are doing amazing work where they take a photo which represents some aspect of climate change and they write about it. Some students take photos of beautiful things such as sunsets or waterways and then write about how it could be lost or destroyed because of climate change.”

An Education Department spokesman referred Telegraph inquiries on the new curriculum to the Board of Studies Teaching and Educational Standards, which said the program was being trialled but was not formally endorsed.

Last week more than 300 students came together in a Climate Change Challenge at the uni’s Lismore campus. One student said: “We were not placed on this Earth to make an acquisitive and ideal life that supports the human race only.”



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 October, 2016

Warmists hit airlines

Higher airfares coming

Efforts to fight global warming reached a milestone on Thursday as countries sealed the first international aviation climate deal, the latest in a flurry of moves to cut fossil fuel pollution this week.

Delegates from nearly 200 nations approved the accord at the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization in Montreal in a step the agency’s head, Fang Liu, described as a “historic first”.

The move came a day after the UN said enough countries had ratified the Paris climate agreement to bring it into effect on November 4, only 11 months after its adoption.

One of the countries that helped push the Paris deal over the line was Canada, where the centre-left government of prime minister Justin Trudeau announced a carbon-pricing plan on Monday that could lead to a tax of C$50 a tonne by 2022.

That is more than five times the current price of carbon permits in the EU’s emissions trading system, the world’s largest carbon market. The EU scheme is likely to be dwarfed next year when China is set to launch a national plan to put a price on greenhouse gas pollution.

The rise in national carbon-pricing systems is one reason many international airlines have been pushing for the ICAO to deliver a uniform global climate agreement.

Instead of facing a patchwork of measures worldwide, airlines have backed a plan that will see them offset their emissions growth by funding projects that cut carbon pollution, such as wind farms or solar-power plants.

The scheme will be phased in over several years from the early 2020s and cost the aviation industry as much as $24bn by 2035, according to estimates from the UN agency.

Nations such as India had been worried about its effect on fast-growing emerging economies, but some environmental campaigners in Europe said the proposal did not go far enough.

“Airline claims that flying will now be green are a myth,” said Bill Hemmings of the Transport & Environment lobby group. “This deal won’t reduce demand for jet fuel one drop. Instead, offsetting aims to cut emissions in other industries.”

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions in the US was more positive, hailing what it said was a practical framework for harnessing market forces to limit growth in airline emissions, which are expected to triple by 2050.

The International Air Transport Association (Iata) also welcomed the deal. It said: “The historic significance of this agreement cannot be overestimated. It is the first global scheme covering an entire industrial sector. The agreement has turned years of preparation into an effective solution for airlines to manage their carbon footprint.”

Boeing said it commended “the International Civil Aviation Organisation for adopting a carbon-offset system for international aviation that will help the industry achieve its goal of reducing emissions”.

Fabrice Brégier, chief executive of Airbus. said the plan was “another key milestone in supporting the aviation industry’s commitment in reducing CO2 emissions”.


Alarmist Hypocrisy On Linking Hurricanes To Global Warming

When the inevitable blizzard strikes the East Coast, scientists and environmentalists pop up to warn the public against skeptics who argue winter storms disprove global warming.

But when a hurricane rolls around, those same folks come out of the woodwork to claim such storms are harbingers of of things to come as the world warms from human activities.

Hurricane Matthew is no exception.

“Hurricane Matthew is super strong?—?because of climate change,” Joe Romm, the climate editor at ThinkProgress, recently wrote.

The Huffington Post claimed Matthew “is a reminder of climate change’s potential to turn seasonal weather events into extreme, year-round threats.”

Liberal blogs Slate and Grist have run pieces claiming major hurricanes, like Matthew, shouldn’t be appearing in October. Global warming is the only explanation for it, they claim.

These same publications attacked Republicans who cited winter 2014’s “Polar Vortex” as a major hole in predictions of catastrophic global warming. ThinkProgress, for example, hit Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe for arguing “freezing temperatures across the country to explain climate change science is both ‘laughable’ and rigged.”

The White House even got involved. President Obama’s science czar John Holdren put out a video arguing the “polar vortex” didn’t disprove global warming — in fact, the freezing winter was caused by global warming, he argued.

“If you’ve been hearing that extreme cold spells like the one we’re having in the United States now disprove global warming, don’t believe it,” Holdren said in a 2014 White House video. “The fact is that no single weather episode can either prove or disprove global climate change.”

“On our current path of unrestricted carbon pollution, NOAA researchers have determined that parts of the East Coast would see Sandy-level storm surges every year by mid-century,” Romm wrote.

“[W]e’re fairly certain that, whether we see more or fewer tropical cyclones, we will see more intense hurricanes and super-typhoons, like Katrina, and Sandy and Haiyan and Patricia and now Matthew,” Penn State University climate scientist Michael Mann told HuffPo.

Such claims are especially interesting because they are just that: claims. It will be decades before scientists can verify if global warming has, or will continue to, make storms more powerful.

So what’s the actual evidence on global warming’s impact on extreme weather? Not much.

“Current datasets indicate no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century,” the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) found in 2013. “No robust trends in annual numbers of tropical storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes counts have been identified over the past 100 years in the North Atlantic basin”

“In summary, confidence in large scale changes in the intensity of extreme extratropical cyclones since 1900 is low,” the IPCC found.

The Washington Post’s Chris Mooney — no skeptic of global warming — wrote “the science isn’t settled on precisely what is happening with hurricanes in the Atlantic.” He cited a recent scientific review on what we can say about hurricanes and climate.

“While no significant trends have been identified in the Atlantic since the late 19th century, significant observed trends in [tropical cyclone] numbers and intensities have occurred in this basin over the past few decades, and trends in other basins are increasingly being identified,” reads the 2016 science review.

“However, understanding of the causes of these trends is incomplete, and confidence in these trends continues to be hampered by a lack of consistent observations in some basins,” the review reads.


As we've been saying the solution to British housing costs is to blow up the Town and Country Planning Acts

Tim Worstall

Britain does not have any shortage of land upon which houses could be built. Britain does have a shortage of land upon which houses are allowed to be built. The solution to ever rising prices for land upon which houses may be allowed to be built is therefore to allow more land to have houses built upon it.

But this is not just a matter of house prices. The problem is sufficiently severe that it is distorting the capital allocation process, even what income is available and who is getting it. We're all aware of Piketty's point that capital is both becoming a higher multiple of GDP and also that capital income is becoming a larger share of national income.

These are the same problem in fact. For the rise in capital income, the rise in capital compared to GDP, is almost entirely a function of the rise in the price of land which may be built upon. As a new paper points out:

This investigation reveals three things about the rise in the US housing capital income share in recent decades. First, it has occurred due to an increasing share of income accruing to owner-occupiers through imputed rent. Second, it is concentrated in states that are constrained in terms of new housing supply. Finally, it is closely associated with the long-run decline in real interest rates and inflation.

My results suggest that the ‘rise of housing’ is intimately linked to the same factors that underpin ‘secular stagnation’ (Summers 2014) – that is, the gradual decline in real (and nominal) interest rates since the 1980s has contributed to a gradual run-up in housing prices, and led to household wealth and income being increasingly concentrated in the hands of landowners. This in turn may have implications for intergenerational inequality, given that the home is a key mechanism through which wealth and income are transferred across generations.

The paper does indeed note that this is not restricted to the US - it is happening wherever there are those restrictions on land being built upon. It is almost entirely about imputed rent to owner occupiers - the cries about it being the finance capitalists who are getting more of the money are simply not true.

The answer is also obvious. Do away with the constraints upon building land and all of these problems solve themselves.

That is, as we've been saying for some time now, we should blow up the Town and Country Planning Acts.


The world’s favorite disaster story

One of the most repeated facts about Haiti is a lie

When the geologist Peter Wampler first went to Haiti, in 2007, he didn’t expect to see many trees. He had heard that the country had as little as 2 percent tree cover, a problem that exacerbated drought, flooding and erosion. As a specialist in groundwater issues, Wampler knew that deforestation also contributed to poor water quality; trees help to lock in rich topsoil and act as a purifying filter, especially important in a country where about half of rural people do not have access to clean drinking water.

Haiti is frequently cited by the media, foreign governments and NGOs as one of the worst cases of deforestation in the world. Journalists describe the Caribbean nation’s landscape as “a moonscape,” “ravaged,” “naked,” “stripped” and “a man-made ecological disaster.” Deforestation has been relentlessly linked to Haiti’s entrenched poverty and political instability. David Brooks, the conservative New York Times columnist, once cited Haiti’s lack of trees as proof of a “complex web of progress-resistant cultural influences.” More recently, a Weather Channel meteorologist reporting on the advance of Hurricane Matthew made the absurd claim that Haiti’s deforestation was partly due to children eating the trees.

Few places in the world have as dismal a reputation. And as the recent destruction wrought by Hurricane Matthew shows, Haiti is tragically vulnerable to natural disasters. But as Wampler would discover, Haiti’s reputation as a deforested wasteland is based on myth more than fact — an example of how conservation and environmental agendas, often assumed to be rooted in science, can become entangled with narratives about race and culture that the powerful tell about the third world.

Over the next five years, as Wampler crisscrossed the country for his research, he began to undergo a cognitive dissonance. “I heard that 2 percent number quoted everywhere,” he said. “All the news outlets had this narrative that it’s the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and has 2 percent forest cover. But I’d been to these mountainous areas and seen forest cover that was more than 2 percent. I could see it with my own eyes.”

He began searching for the original source of the forest-cover statistic. To his surprise, he couldn’t find one. The few citations he discovered in scientific studies couldn’t be substantiated. Some scientific and development literature used a 4 percent estimate that came from the Food and Agriculture Organization, a United Nations agency. That number also struck him as too low.

Wampler, a professor at Michigan’s Grand Valley State University, uses geographic information systems and satellite imagery frequently in his work, and he decided to employ them to satisfy his curiosity about the trees in Haiti. He enlisted several students and began gathering high-resolution imagery of the island from LandSat, the database operated by the United States Geological Survey. Stitching together images from 2010 and 2011, he formed a mosaic that covered the entire country. He combined the images in three wavelengths to highlight vegetation and then trained a computer to spot trees in the images. To check the accuracy, he manually compared the computer’s automated analysis to random samples chosen from Google Earth.

When the results came back, his first thought was that he had to do the whole process again. “Let’s check this 10 times to make sure it’s right,” he told his colleagues. According to their analysis, Haiti’s forest cover was more than 32 percent.

Wampler wondered whether they had set a sufficient minimum area for tree cover. So they used the FAO’s definition of a “forest,” which includes trees higher than 5 meters (about 16 feet) covering at least half a hectare. He ran the analysis again. The computer estimated Haiti’s forest coverage at nearly 30 percent, a number similar to the coverage in the United States, France, and Germany, and far higher than in Ireland and England. Wampler had discovered a rarity in today’s world: a good-news environmental story in one of the planet’s poorest countries. But then he had a troubling thought: “People won’t like this.”

“It doesn’t fit the narrative” that poverty causes deforestation and deforestation exacerbates poverty, he said. Foreign governments, charities, development banks, and the foreign media tend to present this relationship as an indisputable fact. “Organizations use this statistic as a lever to get funding and help. For them, it’s a lot more convenient to have a narrative that works.”

He had discovered a rarity in today’s world: a good-news environmental story in one of the planet’s poorest countries. But then he had a troubling thought: “People won’t like this.”

Environmentalists and development experts have drawn a connection between overpopulation, ecological devastation and poverty for decades. “The narrative about overpopulation — and deforestation is usually not far behind — is what’s called a blueprint narrative,” said Jade Sasser, a professor of gender and sexuality studies at the University of California, Riverside. “It gets applied in a variety of different development settings regardless of local history and situations.” Blueprint narratives, first described by policy analyst Emery Roe in 1991, proffer ready-made diagnoses of environmental problems — overgrazing by cattle in Africa leads to desertification, for instance — but the solutions are often unsuited to local contexts and conditions.

Such narratives can also dehumanize. One area of Sasser’s research looks at how Western NGOs portray the poor, often communities of color, as environmentally unaware and in need of outside intervention. In reality, she said, local communities often use “nature” in ways that just don’t fit the notions of pristine wilderness at the heart of many conservation policies.

Paul Robbins, a political ecologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, called the environmental movement’s blaming of the poor for deforestation an “obsession” that is both “ironic” and “empirically questionable.” In West Africa, for example, the idea that local communities have caused deforestation is orthodoxy among development and environmental policymakers, but analysis of historical data and first-person accounts rarely support it.

Wampler had debunked the myth of how many trees were in Haiti, but his findings, published in the International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation in 2014, didn’t gain much traction among environmentalists or development agencies. The World Bank, USAID, Oxfam America and multiple United Nations agencies still cite a stat of 1 to 4 percent for forest cover in Haiti. (A USAID spokesperson who was aware of Wampler’s study agreed that the correct figure for tree cover is likely between 32 and 40 percent but defended the 2 percent statistic as referring to “original forest cover,” meaning before European contact.)

“It’s been controversial in some circles,” Wampler said. “Some people don’t want to talk about it. It’s not the story that they want to tell about Haiti.”


No, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia is NOT dead. But it is in trouble

The writer makes only a small obeisance to Warmism below.  He says that the ocean is warming overall.  He does not mention that such warming is only in hundredths of a degree

Perhaps you’ve heard that the epic, 1,400-mile-long Great Barrier Reef in Australia has died.

Perhaps you have read its obituary by writer Rowan Jacobsen on the website Outside Online.

But before you start mourning the loss of what Jacobsen calls “one of the most spectacular features on the planet,” the community of scientists that study coral reefs in the Pacific ocean would like you to hold up, slow down, and take a deep breath.

The news isn’t good, but it may not be as dire as the obituary may have you believe.

“For those of us in the business of studying and understanding what coral resilience means, the article very much misses the mark,” said Kim Cobb, a professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. “It’s not too late for the Great Barrier Reef, and people who think that have a really profound misconception about what we know and don’t know about coral resilience.”

Cobb spoke to the LA Times about the state of the world’s largest reef system, and why there is reason for both concern and hope.
It’s not too late for the Great Barrier Reef, and people who think that have a really profound misconception about what we know ... about coral resilience. — Kim Cobb

Is the Great Barrier Reef dead? No. It’s not. We just had a massive bleaching event, but we know from past research that corals are able to recover from the brink of death.

So bleached corals aren’t dead corals? That’s right. There’s lots of confusion about what bleaching means.

Coral is an animal, and the animal exists in symbiosis with photosynthetic algae. The algae provides food for the coral in exchange for a great home. But when the water gets too warm, the algae become chemically destructive to the coral.

When that happens, the coral convulses and spits out puffs of algae to protect itself. That removes all the color from the coral tissue which is transparent, allowing you to see right through to the underlying skeleton. So you are not necessarily seeing dead coral, you’re really just seeing clear coral without its algae.

But bleaching is still bad, right?

Bleaching events are worrisome because if the coral misses this key food source from the algae for too long it will literally starve to death. But, if the water temperature comes back down, it will welcome the algae back. The key is that the water temperature change has to be relatively quick.

When was the massive bleaching event?

It started with the Hawaiian islands bleaching in the early part of 2015 due to a moderate El Nino event in 2014-2015. After that there was the build up to the massive El Nino that culminated in the warmest ocean waters during the November 2015 time frame.

Unfortunately, these warm waters didn’t release their grip on many of the Pacific reefs until the spring of 2016, so that’s nine months of pretty consistently high temperatures. That is a long time for a coral to be in a mode of starvation.

Has the Great Barrier Reef been through anything like this before?

It has had very severe bleaching events associated with large El Ninos like we had last year, but the problem is we are seeing baseline ocean temperatures getting warmer every year. When you pile a strong El Nino on top of this ever warming trend, you get more extreme and more prolonged bleaching episodes.

What was striking about this year was the extent of the damage. It was staggering. By important metrics the ’97-’98 El Nino was bigger,  but the damage from this last one was far more extensive.

So how can you remain hopeful about the fate of Great Barrier Reef and other reefs in the Pacific?

I work on a research site in the Christmas Islands that is literally smack in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and which was much more devastated than the Great Barrier Reef. It was worse off than any reef in the world with up to 85% mortality. But even in the face of that whole-scale destruction, we saw individual corals that were still alive, looking like nothing had happened.

I cling to that. I know from my own site that there is a lot more resilience baked into the system then we can hope to understand right now and that out of the rubble will come a reef that may not look exactly like it looked before, but may be better adapted for future temperature change



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 October, 2016

HFCs: Mistaking theory for achievement

CFCs and HFCs are the safest gases for use in refrigeration. But in accord with their unfailing agenda of destruction, Greenies have now got both banned.  So more dangerous gases will have to be used. Air conditioners that explode or burst into flames coming to a place near you shortly.

And for what? Because HFCs absorb some frequencies of electromagnetic radiation in the laboratory.  So the Greenies assume that HFCs warm the earth.  But HFCs break down rapidly once they get into the atmosphere so the amount resident at any one point in time in much lower than the amount released.  So the calculations of the effect of a ban on HFcs are undoubtedly well wide of the mark.

But the warmists are so caught up the ecstasy of banning something that they even talk of the recent agreement as already working:  "this is the largest temperature reduction ever achieved by a single agreement".  Whether it achieves ANY effect on temperature remains to be seen, if it can be seen. 

The ban on CFCs was driven by similar theory.  Banning them was supposed to heal the hole in the ozone layer. It didn't.  The hole was bigger than ever late last year.  So much for theory.

Nearly 200 nations have reached a deal, announced Saturday morning after all-night negotiations, to limit the use of greenhouse gases far more powerful than carbon dioxide in a major effort to fight climate change.

The talks on hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, were called the first test of global will since the historic Paris Agreement to cut carbon emissions was reached last year. HFCs are described as the world's fastest-growing climate pollutant and are used in air conditioners and refrigerators. Experts say cutting them is the fastest way to reduce global warming.

President Barack Obama, in a statement Saturday, called the new deal "an ambitious and far-reaching solution to this looming crisis." The spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called it "critically important."

The agreement, unlike the broader Paris one, is legally binding. It caps and reduces the use of HFCs in a gradual process beginning by 2019 with action by developed countries including the United States, the world's second-worst polluter. More than 100 developing countries, including China, the world's top carbon emitter, will start taking action by 2024, when HFC consumption levels should peak.

A small group of countries including India, Pakistan and some Gulf states pushed for and secured a later start in 2028, saying their economies need more time to grow. That's three years earlier than India, the world's third-worst polluter, had first proposed.

"It's a very historic moment, and we are all very delighted that we have come to this point where we can reach a consensus and agree to most of the issues that were on the table," said India's chief delegate, Ajay Narayan Jha.

Environmental groups had hoped that the deal could reduce global warming by a half-degree Celsius by the end of this century. This agreement gets about 90 percent of the way there, said Durwood Zaelke, president of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development.

Zaelke's group said this is the "largest temperature reduction ever achieved by a single agreement."

The new agreement is "equal to stopping the entire world's fossil-fuel CO2 emissions for more than two years," David Doniger, climate and clean air program director with the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement.

It is estimated that the agreement will cut the global levels of HFCs by 80 to 85 percent by 2047, the World Resources Institute said in a statement.

Experts said they hope that market forces will help speed up the limits agreed to in the deal.

HFCs were introduced in the 1980s as a substitute for ozone-depleting gases. But their danger has grown as air conditioner and refrigerator sales have soared in emerging economies like China and India. HFCs are also found in inhalers and insulating foams.

Major economies have debated how quickly to phase out HFCs. The United States, whose delegation was led by Secretary of State John Kerry, and Western countries want quick action. Nations such as India want to give their industries more time to adjust.

"Thank God we got to this agreement that is good for all nations, that takes into consideration all regional and national issues," said Taha Mohamed Zatari, the head of Saudi Arabia's negotiating team.


Simplistic ocean acidification scare

Although some researchers have raised concerns about possible negative effects of rising CO2 on ocean surface pH, there are several lines of evidence demonstrating marine ecosystems are far more sensitive to fluxes of carbon dioxide from ocean depths and the biosphere’s response than from invasions of atmospheric CO2. There is also ample evidence that lower pH does not inhibit photosynthesis or lower ocean productivity (Mackey 2015). On the contrary, rising CO2 makes photosynthesis less costly.

Furthermore in contrast to researchers arguing rising atmospheric CO2 will inhibit calcification, increased photosynthesis not only increases calcification, paradoxically the process of calcification produces CO2 and drops pH to levels lower than predicted by climate change models. A combination of warmer tropical waters and coral reef biology results in out-gassing of CO2 from the ocean to the atmosphere, making coral reefs relatively insensitive to the effects of atmospheric CO2 on ocean pH.

Sixty million years ago proxy evidence indicates ocean surface pH hovered around 7.4. If surface pH was in equilibrium with the atmosphere, then CO2 concentrations would have hovered around 2000 ppm, but there is no consensus that CO2 reached those levels. However as will be discussed, there are biological processes that do lower surface pH to that extent, despite much lower atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

Over the next 40 million years corresponding with the rearrangement of the continents and ocean currents, the formation of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and initiation of Antarctic glaciers, the evolutionary expansion of diatoms and their increasing abundance (diatoms are the most efficient algae for exporting carbon to ocean depths), ocean carbonate chemistry was greatly altered. As a result ocean surface pH gradually rose above pH 8. Then for our last 20 million years, ocean surface pH has fluctuated within this new equilibrium between 8.4 and 8.1, as seen in Figure 1 below (Pearson and Palmer 2000). For the past 400,000 years, pH rose to about 8.35 during the depths of each ice age. Then during each warm interglacial period, when both land and marine productivity increased, pH fell to ~8.1 (Honisch 2005).slide1Although it is commonly assumed atmospheric CO2 and ocean surface pH are in equilibrium, studies examining various time frames from daily and seasonal pH fluctuations (Kline 2015) to the millennial scale transitions from the last ice age to our warm interglacial (Martinez-Boti 2015), demonstrate surface ocean pH has rarely been in chemical equilibrium with atmospheric CO2. Because oceans contain over 50 times as much CO2 as the atmosphere, surface pH is more sensitive to changes in the rates of upwelling of low-pH, carbon-rich deep waters. It is the response of photosynthesizing organisms and the food webs they support that largely determines how much carbon is sequestered in the surface layers and then sent to deeper waters (the biological pump).

As discussed in an earlier essay, the “biological pump” modulates how much CO2 is sequestered and how much CO2 will out-gas to the atmosphere. It has been estimated that without the biological pump, pre-industrial atmospheric CO2 would have out gassed and raised atmospheric CO2 to 500 ppm, instead of the observed 280 ppm. Ironically the processes that build coral reefs also increase surface CO2 concentrations and lower regional pH to levels lower than expected by equilibrium with atmospheric CO2.


World’s Oldest Scientific Academy, the Royal Society, to Allow Climate Skeptical GWPF Lecture to Go Ahead Despite Internal Opposition

The Royal Society will be going ahead with the controversial Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) annual lecture next week despite internal pressure to cancel the event, DeSmog UK has learned.

The decision to allow the lecture to go forward was made during the Royal Society’s governing council meeting last week where several fellows and associates of the society raised concern over the climate science denying GWPF’s 17 October event.

As DeSmog UK understands, there was a strong sense among many at the meeting that the Royal Society – the world’s oldest scientific academy, founded in 1660 – had made a mistake in accepting the booking for the GWPF’s ‘by invitation only’ lecture to be delivered by Matt Ridley.

However, there was a divergence in opinion on what should be done in response – for example, cancel it or allow it to continue.

Joanna Haigh, Royal Society fellow and council member who attended the meeting, told DeSmog UK: “The Royal Society has decided that cancelling the booking would give the event an unwarranted higher profile.”

She added that “some scientist experts will attend the meeting and keep check on the accuracy of the statements.”

According to a spokesperson for the Royal Society, a range of views were expressed during the meeting, but their position remains unchanged: “The GWPF is one of many organisations who hire space to hold its own events at the Royal Society.  There is no suggestion of endorsement by the Royal Society for the views expressed at these events.”

They continued: “The evidence shows us that the earth is warming and that recent warming is largely caused by human activities. Once that is accepted, there is scope for debate on the policy responses and that is the area that the GWPF claims to be interested in. 

“If the GWPF uses this opportunity to misrepresent the scientific evidence it would undermine the legitimacy of its views on policy responses to climate change.”

The GWPF, founded by former chancellor and Conservative peer Lord Nigel Lawson, was forced to split its operations in 2014 after a Charity Commission report found its materials lacked balance and “promoted a particular position on global warming.”

And as DeSmog UK understands, it was a commonly held view by everyone who spoke up during last week’s meeting – which was the majority of those who attended – that the GWPF’s activities are reprehensible.

The fact that the climate denial think tank has a few Royal Society fellows in its ranks was also noted.

As Professor Andrew Watson, a Royal Society Fellow and Royal Society Research Professor at the University of Exeter, who is not on the council, previously told DeSmogUK: “I expect the RS agreed to this [booking] because they didn't want to be accused of censorship, but the GWPF is not just interested in hiring a lecture theatre — they are also hiring the brand.”

This isn’t the first time either that a GWPF event has been held at the Royal Society. In 2012, the group’s annual lecture was delivered at the venue by the climate science denying German electric utility executive Fritz Vahrenholt, where he dismissed the role of CO2 in climate change.


Canada still likes nukes

Today, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) starts Canada's largest clean energy project, the refurbishment of the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station east of Toronto.

"Refurbishment of Darlington will ensure emissions-free nuclear continues to be Ontario's single largest source of power. The project will create up to 11,800 jobs annually and contribute nearly $15 billion to Ontario's economy." said Glenn Thibeault, Ontario Minister of Energy.

"This project is an investment in Ontario's future. It benefits communities across the province, it provides clean, safe and reliable power and will help moderate customer prices," said Jeff Lyash, OPG's President and CEO. "I've been involved in a lot of major projects over the years and I can confidently say, I've never seen one that has had this amount of rigorous preparation and is this poised for success," Lyash added.

The Darlington Nuclear Generating Station is a mainstay of the Ontario economy and its refurbishment will permanently boost the Ontario economy, according to the results of research conducted by the Conference Board of Canada and presented to Ontario Power Generation.

"The boost to economic activity would have far-reaching and long-term stimulative effects on the Ontario economy," said Pedro Antunes, Executive Director and Deputy Chief Economist, the Conference Board of Canada. "The operational expenditures associated with Darlington through 2055 will lift employment by roughly 555,000 person-years in Ontario over the life of the station, with Darlington serving as a critical source of job creation for Ontarians, both within and outside the utilities industry."

A report released last week by Intrinsik Environmental Sciences, Inc. says "continued operations of the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station will remove the equivalent of two million cars a year from Ontario's roads."
"These reports clearly show that Darlington will continue to play a major role in Ontario's future economic and environmental success," Lyash said.

OPG is also planning to continue to operate its Pickering Nuclear Generating Station until 2024. The recent "Speech from the Throne" indicated this will save Ontario's electricity customers $600 million, and provide a clean energy source of electricity when Darlington and Bruce Power units are offline for refurbishment. 


OPG generates safe, clean, reliable, low cost power for the province. More than 99 per cent of this power has no greenhouse gas or smog causing emissions. OPG's power is priced 40 per cent lower than other generators, which helps moderate customer bills.


The Darlington Nuclear Generating Station is an essential source of electricity in Ontario. It produces 20 per cent of the province's generation. This output is baseload generation, flowing into the electricity system 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Operating Darlington until 2055 will be the equivalent of removing two million cars from Ontario's roads each year.

In 2014, OPG stopped burning coal to create electricity. It was North America's largest climate change action to date.

The price for the electricity from the refurbished station is projected to cost about 8 cents a kilowatt hour. This is below prices for power from alternate sources of baseload power. The final price will be set by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) after a full public process.

The ongoing operation of Darlington is expected to boost personal income in Ontario by an average of $1.6 billion per year from 2017 to 2055, or by a total of $61.4 billion. Corporate profits before tax will increase by $7 billion over the same period.

The continued operation of Darlington is projected to result in a $9.3 billion increase in Ontario provincial government revenues. The federal government will collect $13.8 billion in revenue, while local municipalities in Ontario will collect $356 million.

OPG will work with the Ministry of Energy, the Independent Electricity System Operator and the OEB to pursue continued operation of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station to 2024. All six units would operate until 2022; two units would then shut down and four units would operate to 2024. Extending Pickering's operation will ensure a reliable, clean source of base load electricity during the Darlington and initial Bruce refurbishments.

Technical studies show that Pickering Nuclear Generating Station can be safely operated to 2024. Extending its operating life will save Ontario electricity customers up to $600 million, avoid eight million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and protect 4,500 jobs across Durham Region.


Stormy climate deception

Continued hype and deceit drive climate, energy agenda – clobbering poor families

Paul Driessen

Despite constant claims to the contrary, the issue is not whether greenhouse gas emissions affect Earth’s climate. The questions are whether those emissions are overwhelming the powerful natural forces that have always driven climate fluctuations, and whether humans are causing dangerous climate change.

No Real-World evidence supports a “dangerous manmade climate change” thesis. In fact, a moderately warmer planet with more atmospheric carbon dioxide would hugely benefit crop, forest and other plant growth, wildlife and humans – with no or minimal climate effect. A colder planet with less CO2 would punish them. And a chillier CO2-deprived planet with less reliable, less affordable energy (from massive wind, solar and biofuel projects) would threaten habitats, species, nutrition and the poorest among us.

And yet, as Hurricane Matthew neared Florida on the very day the Paris climate accord secured enough signatures to bring it into force, politicians, activists and reporters refused to let that crisis go to waste.

Matthew is the kind of “planetary threat” the Paris agreement “is designed to stop,” said one journalist-activist. This hurricane is a “record-shattering storm that is unusual for October,” said another; it underscores how climate change could “turn seasonal weather events into year-round threats.”

What nonsense. What hubris. Suggesting that humans can control planetary temperatures and prevent hurricanes, tornadoes and other severe weather is absurd. Saying an October hurricane augurs year-long chaos is either grossly ill-informed or deliberately disingenuous.

Matthew was a powerful storm that left destruction and death in its wake, especially in impoverished Haiti. Its slow track up the southeastern US coastline pummeled the region with rain, flooding and more deaths. But it was a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds when it made landfall in South Carolina October 8, and a post-tropical storm as it moved offshore from North Carolina a day later.

Despite the rain and floods, that makes a record eleven years since a major (Category 3-5) hurricane last made landfall in the United States (Wilma in October 2005). The previous record major hurricane hiatus was nine years, 1860-1869, according to NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division.

Only a charlatan would suggest that this record lull is due to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. But plenty of alarmist charlatans claim that any violent or “unseasonal” storms are due to “too much” CO2.

Since recordkeeping began in 1851, the US has been hit by 63 Category 3 hurricanes, 21 Cat 4 storms and three Category 5s (1935, 1969 and 1995). Of 51 hurricanes that struck in October, 15 were Category 3-4. Other significant gaps in major hurricane strikes on US coasts occurred in 1882-86, 1910-15 and 1921-26.

The worst periods were 1893-1900 (8 Category 3-5 ‘canes), 1915-21 (8 Cat 3-4), 1926-35 (8 Cat 3-5), 1944-50 (8 Cat 3-4), 1959-69 (7 Cat 3-5), and 2004-05 (7 Category 3-4 hurricanes in just two years).

There is no pattern or trend in this record, and certainly no link to carbon dioxide levels.

Even more obscene than the CO2-climate deception is the response to Matthew’s devastation. More than a week after the Category 4 version of this hurricane struck Haiti’s unprepared shanty towns, hundreds of thousands still had not received food, water, medicine or clothing.

Just as intolerable, United Nations “humanitarian and disaster relief” agencies were issuing “emergency appeals” for $120 million in “life-saving assistance” funds for the desperate Haitians. This after President Obama improperly diverted $500 million from an economic aid program set up to address disease epidemics – like the Zika and cholera cases that are rapidly rising in Haiti – to the UN’s Climate Action Fund. So Obama and the UN blame hurricanes and diseases on manmade climate change, but refuse to spend money they already have on a hurricane disaster, and instead beg for more money. Incredible!

It is clearly not climate change that threatens the poor. It is policies imposed in the name of preventing climate change that imperil poor, minority, blue-collar, farm and factory families.

A new study by the Institute for Competition Economics concludes that Germany’s “green energy transition” will cost €520 billion ($572 billion) by 2025 – just to switch from gas and coal to renewable electricity generation. These costs will keep accumulating long after 2025, and do not cover “decarbonizing” the country’s transportation, heating and agriculture sectors, the study points out.

This €520-billion bill amounts to a €25,000 ($27,500) surcharge for every German family – and 70% of it will come due over the next nine years. That bill is nearly equal to the average German family’s total net worth: €27,000. It is a massive regressive tax that will disproportionately impact low-income families, which already spend a far higher portion of their annual incomes on energy, and rarely have air conditioning.

Germany is slightly smaller than Montana, which is 4% of the USA, and has just 25% of the US population and 22% of the US gross domestic product. (One-fifth of US families have no or negative net worth.)

All of this strongly suggests that a forced transition from fossil fuels to wind, solar and biofuel energy would cost the United States tens of trillions of dollars – hundreds of thousands per American family.

The impacts of climate change obsession on developing nations would be far worse, if they bowed to President Obama’s suggestions and agendas. African nations, he has said, should “leapfrog” “dirty” fossil fuels and instead utilize their “bountiful” wind, solar, geothermal and biofuel resources. In practice, that would mean having expensive, intermittent electricity and growing biofuel crops on Africa’s nutrient-depleted, drought-stricken lands, with no fertilizer, mechanized farming equipment or GMO seeds.

That is racist. It reflects an elitist preference that the world’s poor should die, rather than emit carbon dioxide “pollution,” drive cars, build modern homes, or engage in other “unsustainable” practices.

Thankfully, few developing countries are listening to such nonsense. Instead, they are using oil, natural gas and especially coal, in ever-increasing amounts, to lift their people out of abject poverty – because the “climate-saving” Paris non-treaty imposes no restrictions on their use of fossil fuels.

But meanwhile, “keep it in the ground” pressure groups are redoubling their efforts to prevent Americans from using their own bountiful fossil fuels to create jobs and prosperity. Even though a new NOAA study confirms that rice growing and meat production generate far more methane than do oil, natural gas and coal production and use – with US operations contributing a tiny fraction of that – these groups use every legal and illegal tactic to block drilling, fracking and pipelines. (Methane is 0.00017% of the atmosphere.)

The dictatorial USEPA nevertheless stands ready to issue tough new methane rules for oil and gas operations, while Al Gore and assorted regulators advocate forcing farmers to control cow flatulence “to combat climate change.” Meanwhile, even Hillary Clinton has recognized that Russia provides millions of dollars in support for anti-fracking and anti-pipeline agitators in Europe and the United States.

Keeping fossil fuels in the ground really means depriving people of reliable, affordable electricity; prolonging unemployment and poverty; having no feed stocks for plastics and petrochemicals, except what might come from biofuels; and blanketing hundreds of millions of acres of farm, scenic and habitat land with biofuel crops, 400-foot-tall wind turbines, vast solar arrays and new transmission lines.

And as the UN’s top climate officials have proudly affirmed, “preventing climate change” is really about replacing free enterprise capitalism with “a new economic development model” and having an excuse to “distribute the world’s wealth” to crony corporatists and other “more deserving” parties.

When taxpayers, consumers, unemployed workers and poor families finally recognize these inconvenient truths, the world will be a far better place – with true freedom, justice and opportunity for all.

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

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16 October, 2016

Can the Great Barrier Reef be saved? Uproar as writer claims world’s largest living structure is DEAD

We went through all this a few months ago.  The galoots below are just catching up. To summarize:  The tourism operators in Far North Queensland  -- who go to the reef daily -- were all amazed to hear this guff.  The reef does undergo bleaching (which in NOT "death") from time to time but not all parts are affected.  So they did their own survey and found that only a relatively small part of the reef was bleached at the time:  A MUCH smaller part than what the Greenies claim.

They have NO difficulty in finding parts of the reef where they can take their tourist boats and show visitors the reef in all its glory. The main departure point for the reef is the city of Cairns and the tourism industry there at the moment is booming.

The Greenie claim is that agricultural runoff is killing the reef but the main area of coral bleaching at the moment is parallel with the Northern half on Cape York peninsula, where there are essentially NO farms -- So it's ideology, not reality speaking

The Great Barrier Reef was once a scene of thriving coral, but one environmental writer has claimed it is now beyond help.

'The Great Barrier Reef of Australia passed away in 2016 after a long illness. It was 25 million years old,' wrote Rowan Jacobsen in Outside magazine.

Recent pictures show many parts of the reef appear full of swampy algae, brown sludge and rubble, and it is estimated 93 per cent of Great Barrier Reef has been affected by bleaching, which can kill corals.

In his 'obituary', Jacobson wrote 'The Great Barrier Reef was predeceased by the South Pacific’s Coral Triangle, the Florida Reef off the Florida Keys, and most other coral reefs on earth.

'It is survived by the remnants of the Belize Barrier Reef and some deepwater corals.'

However, a Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority report released this week said its preliminary findings show 22 per cent of coral on the Reef died due to the worst mass bleaching event on record.

However, that's not to say the remaining coral is not in dire trouble.

A destructive bleaching process has already affected about 93 per cent of the Great Barrier Reef as of April this year, according to scientists at James Cook University.

The latest before and after shots of the devastating effect of coral loss in the tropical far north Queensland in recent years.

With the December 1 deadline looming, Australia must report to the UNESCO to demonstrate an investment strategy to save the Reef.

WWF-Australia spokesman Sean Hoobin said while there was no scientific study on what killed coral in this specific area, the pictures were indicative of what was happening along the Reef's coast.

'Inshore reefs along the coast are deteriorating and studies say sediment, fertiliser and pesticide run off are taking a toll on coral,' Mr Hoobin said.

An independent report estimated it would cost $8.2 billion to achieve most of the water quality targets for the Reef that governments have committed to deliver by 2025.

'Stopping water pollution will help restore the beautiful coral gardens choked by runoff. This image drives home what a big job we face,' Mr Hoobin said.

'Australia must commit the $8.2 billion as a national priority to protect the Reef and the tourism jobs that rely on it.

This comes as coral samples dating back thousands of years show evidence of the human impact on the Reef, researchers have claimed.

University of Queensland Professor Gregg Webb said coral 'cores' taken from along the Queensland coastline showed definable difference in trace element chemistry, including those linked to European arrival in Australia.

'We can look at ancient events where they're been stressed by bad water, high nutrients, but also just sediment load and see what killed them, what was sub-lethal, how common events are, and just get an idea of what the reef can handle,' he said

More HERE 

Gore Ties Global Warming to the Zika Virus

He would, wouldn't he?  The vector for Zika is the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which is endemic in the Queensland tropics, where I come from.  And it does carry nasties like Dengue and Ross River virus.  So modern public health measures have been taken in Queensland which nearly eliminate the mozzie concerned -- and it is now rare for people to get ill from those viruses.  So areas troubled by Zika in a warmer world could be similarly protected 

During a campaign rally for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in Miami, Fla., on Tuesday, former Vice President Al Gore warned of the dangers of global warming on mosquitos, specifically as it pertains to the Zika virus.

“These tropical diseases have spread so quickly, partly because of airline travel and the transportation revolution, but the changing climate conditions change the places where these tropical diseases become endemic and put down roots,” Gore said.

Gore noted that there were six more cases of the Zika virus in Dade County.

“The mosquitos mature faster, and then the virus in the mosquito incubates much faster, and they bite more often, because they’re cold-blooded, and when the temperature goes up, their metabolism goes up, and they spread the disease way more quickly,” he said.

“So these and many other consequences, including the fires out West that Secretary Clinton talked about, are really wake-up calls for us,” Gore added.

“Mother Nature is giving us a very clear and powerful message,” he said.

“We cannot continue putting 110 million tons of global warming pollution into the atmosphere everyday as if it’s an open sewer. We’ve got to stop that. We’ve got to wake up and recognize the need for change,” Gore added.

“So most people know that we have to change this, but here’s the really good news that more people should know: We can change this. We now have the ability to change this,” he said. “It’s going to be a long, hard fight.

“We’ve got a long way to go, but we now have the renewable energy technologies and the efficiency improvements and electric vehicles and sustainable and organic agriculture and sustainable forestry and the other ways of changing our lives for the better that can sharply diminish the amount of global warming pollution that we’re putting up there,” Gore said.

“Secretary Clinton is exactly right, that we can create good jobs in the process - jobs that can be outsourced,” he said.


No Slowdown In Temperature Hiatus Research

A small sample of new research papers in scientific journals shows that the global temperature hiatus is widely accepted in the scientific community.

“There was no global hiatus,” said Hansen et al. in a review of the global temperature of 2015. Last year, of course, like the year before and this year, had global temperatures elevated by a very strong El Nino – a short-term weather event.

The so-called pause or hiatus in average annual global surface temperature has been the most talked about aspect of climate science for some years now. To those who only pay attention to the most vocal scientists, campaigners and activists the situation is now clear. The hiatus either never existed, or it is now over.

For some the proof of this viewpoint is easy. To prove it one has to draw a straight line through all of the available data and say that anything else is cherry-picking the data, or hold up a particular graph on a chat show and ridicule any opposition, or seek the opinion of those selected to agree.

There is however a better way to judge what is going on and that is to look at the peer-reviewed scientific literature. What questions are being asked and what research is being done away from the partisan blogs, the TV studios, the twitter put-downs and the soundbites?

Nobody would say that the Geophysical Research Letters is a fringe journal. In it Sevellec at al discuss the nature of hiatus’ in global warming saying that there has been a “recent unprecedented decade-long slowdown in surface warming.”

They write that the global surface temperature was never expected to increase monotonically with increasing radiative forcing because of decadal variations. To my mind, this is rewriting history somewhat. A decade ago there was hardly any discussion of decadal variability in the climate record and it was held that the anthropogenic signal was strong. It was only when surface temperatures did not increase by the 0.3°C per decade that some had predicted that qualifications were made.

Slowly decadal variability was brought in to explain the lack of temperature rise which led to a complete change of view. Now the anthropogenic signal was being obscured by decadal climatic variability and it would be several decades before it emerged and exceeded it, as Meehl et al said recently in Nature Climate Change, “Longer-term externally forced trends in global mean surface temperatures are embedded in the background noise of internally generated multidecadal variability.”

Sevellec et al use a model and they it say demonstrates that hiatus periods are extremely unlikely using the term “rogue event.” They add that hiatus periods will vanish by 2100 and surges in global temperature, greater than that expected due to radiative forcing alone, will take over.

Shi et al in the Journal of Meteorological Research disagree. They analyse what they describe as “the so-called global warming hiatus 1998 – 2012.” They say such a hiatus period has occurred many times in the past and it is likely to be a “periodical feature” of long-term temperature change. Exactly the opposite of Sevellec et al.

Environmental Research Letters contains a paper by Checa-Garcia et al on the “contribution of greenhouse gasses to the recent slowdown in global mean temperature trends.” They say the slowdown has generated “extensive discussion.” They suggest that the hiatus is in part due to variations in ozone-destroying chemicals and the stratosphere’s response – a non CO2 effect.

Middlemas and Clement writing in the Journal of Climate say that “the causes of decadal time-scale variations are currently under debate” and propose that the hiatus is due to atmospheric air interactions with the upper ocean.

Challenging Understanding

Talking to the European Geophysical Union assembly in Vienna in April, Tao and Yunfei state that, “global temperature has not risen in the 21st century, termed a hiatus.”

They think its due to variations in the thickness of the tropopause. According to Gu et al in Climate Dynamics, “global mean surface temperature rapidly increased up to the late 1990s.” They maintain the influence of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation on this hiatus is strong.

And in Nature Geoscience Xie et al say that the earth’s energy budget for the past four decades can now be closed, albeit with a few unrealistic assumptions. In doing so they mention, “the so-called global warming hiatus since the late 1990s.”

Song et al in Scientific Reports say, “the rate at which global average surface temperature has slowed down since the end of the last century.” They think it is due to a downward tendency in cloud activity which started in the early 1990s adding, “it is now accepted that a recent warming deceleration can be clearly observed.”

Yao et al in Theoretical and Applied Climatology say that the globally-averaged annual combined land and ocean surface temperature (GST) anomaly change features a slowdown in the rate of global warming in the mid-twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first century.

“Here, it is shown that the hiatus in the rate of global warming typically occurs when the internally generated cooling associated with the cool phase of the multi-decadal variability overcomes the secular warming from human-induced forcing.”

“We provide compelling evidence that the global warming hiatus is a natural product of the interplays between a secular warming tendency due in a large part to the buildup of anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations, in particular CO2 concentration, and internally generated cooling by a cool phase of a quasi-60-year oscillatory variability that is closely associated with the Atlantic multi-decadal oscillation (AMO) and the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO).”

The hiatus is being found in new areas. An et al report that it has been detected in ice-core records from the Tibetian plateau.

The cores were taken from the Chongce glacier in 2012 and show a warming trend between 1970 – 2000 and a cooling between 2001 – 2012 which they say has contributed to the relatively stable status of the glaciers in the north western Tibetian plateau.

It has also been found in neighbouring China by Xie et al reporting in the International Journal of Climatology, “As the recent global warming hiatus has attracted worldwide attention, we examined the robustness of the warming hiatus in China. Based on the results confirmed by the multiple data and trend analysis methods, we found that the annual mean temperature in China had a cooling trend during the recent global warming hiatus period, which suggested a robust warming hiatus in China.’

When looking at this small sample of peer-reviewed literature it is clear that there is acceptance of the hiatus among many in the scientific community, and much research being carried out into its nature and causes. Xie et al in Nature Climate Change say that the “recent slowdown in global warming challenged our understanding of climate dynamics and anthropogenic forcing.”

Such a body of peer-reviewed literature cannot be ignored or deleted from soundbyte debates without demonstrating a lack of understanding or interest of what is actually going on in the scientific community. Denial and ridicule of such work is disappointing, and anti-scientific.


UK Falls Back On Coal And Gas Plants To Keep The Lights On

Contracts worth £122m to keep coal and gas-fired power stations on standby will help Britain avoid electricity blackouts this winter, National Grid has forecast, highlighting the difficulties facing the UK as it attempts to wean its power sector off fossil fuels.

The UK’s electricity system operator forecast that the margin between supply and demand over the course of the winter would be 6.6 per cent, an increase of almost 30 per cent on last year’s cushion and wider than a provisional forecast made in July.

However, without measures to ensure the availability of back-up generating capacity when regular supplies run low, the margin this winter would be close to record lows at 1.1 per cent, according to National Grid’s annual Winter Outlook.

National Grid will pay for 10 coal and gas-fired plants to keep spare capacity on standby, with further sums to be paid if they are called into action. These include coal plants at Eggborough in Yorkshire and Fiddlers Ferry in Cheshire that had previously been earmarked for closure.

The dependence on fossil fuels to guarantee energy security during the winter months highlights the challenge facing the UK government as it seeks to phase out coal-fired power by 2025 in pursuit of aggressive carbon reduction goals.


Australia: Huge potential oilfield will not now be exploited

So now Australia will have to continue as an importer.  Despite denials, the decision was undoutedly influenced by the prospect of a big battle with the Greens

The minister for resources, Matt Canavan, says he is “bitterly disappointed” by BP’s decision to not proceed with its controversial plan to drill for oil in the commonwealth marine reserve in the Great Australian Bight.

He said the Turnbull government was still confident the region could be developed, and he would be speaking to other oil and gas companies in coming days.

He criticised environmental groups that have campaigned against BP’s project, saying their celebratory response to the decision showed the “ugly side of green activism”.

“We think up to 100 workers will be impacted, and those workers I’m sure went to bed last night a little restless ... but we had other people in this country popping the champagne corks and celebrating that fact,” Canavan said on Wednesday.

BP announced on Tuesday it would scrap its $1.4bn drilling program in the Great Australian Bight, off South Australia, citing commercial reasons.

The announcement was applauded by green groups, coming after repeated requests for more information from the Australian regulator, the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority, and mounting public concerns about the impact the drilling and any potential oil spill would have on the pristine waters of the bight.

BP had previously boasted the bight had the potential to be as big an oilfield as the Gulf of Mexico, where there are now more than 4,000 oil rigs.

Karoon Gas Australia, which announced its plans to explore for oil last week, has said the bight holds “the world’s last underexplored Cretaceous basins”.

Canavan told ABC radio on Wednesday he was bitterly disappointed . He said BP had been allowed to explore for oil in the marine reserve after making almost half a billion dollars worth of commitments to do work in the area, and now it was walking away from them.

He said he now expected BP to “make good” some of those commitments in other ways. “I’ll be very interested in discussing with them in coming days what those plans might be,” he said.

He criticised environmental groups that campaigned against the project. “What does frustrate me is sometimes the workers in these industries, who tend to be fairly quiet, reticent types of people, aren’t the ones on the radio or in the media telling their stories,” he said.

The government still believed the region could produce large amounts of oil and gas, he said. “Obviously there is still a lot of uncertainty about the area, but we remain confident of its long-term prospectivity and I’ll be talking to some of those other companies about their plans in coming days,” he said.

Canavan was also asked about the effectiveness of the petroleum resource rent tax, after reports that just 5% of oil and gas projects operating in Australia are paying the tax.

The Tax Justice Network has warned that Australia is set to blow another resources boom, forgoing billions of dollars in potential tax revenue, because the PRRT is failing to collect adequate revenue from the explosion in liquefied natural gas exports.

“[The PRRT] is a profits-based tax and what happens, of course, is that resource developments take large upfront costs, particularly some of these LNG developments … that take some time before profits are realised,” Canavan said.

“This tax has delivered billions to the federal government over a number of decades, and it has underpinned the development of a massive industry in this country.

“So we’ve got to be very careful about making any changes, particularly to people that make massive investments. We’ve got to attract this investment to our country.”



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 October, 2016

New book: Twenty-five Myths That Are Destroying the Environment: What Many Environmentalists Believe and Why They Are Wrong

Written by Daniel Botkin. Published by Rowman & Littlefield Lanham, MD 20706. $12.71 from Amazon

The Introduction discusses the distinctions between myths, folktales, and science, and the chapters discuss which generalizations about environment are which of these.


Myth 1 We Are the Only Species That Has Had Global Effects on Environment
Myth 2 Life Is Fragile and Can't Adjust Easily to Change
Myth 3 Extinction Is Unnatural and Bad, but Easy to Accomplish
Myth 6 Beauty in Nature Happens Only in Areas Completely Undisturbed by Us
Myth 10 People Have Changed Environment Only Since the Industrial Age
Myth 11 Without Human Interference, Earth's Climate Is Stable
Myth 13 Climate Change Will Lead to Huge Numbers of Extinctions
Myth 20 We Can't Do Much about Environmental Risks
Myth 21 Smokey Bear Is Right: Only You Can Prevent Wildfires
Myth 23 Solar and Wind Energy Require Huge Areas
Myth 24 Large-Scale Solar Energy Projects RequireVery Hot Climates
Myth 25 Compared to Climate Change, All Other Environmental Issues Are Minor

Clinton pumps out mainstream climate BS

Of all the problems facing this nation, climate change is at the top, Democrat Hillary Clinton told a campaign rally in Miami, Florida on Tuesday.

"And I will tell you this -- it is one of the most important issues at stake in this election," she said.

Appearing with climate change activisit Al Gore -- her husband's vice president -- Clinton capitalized on Florida's recent brush with Hurricane Matthew, saying the storm was "likely more destructive because of climate change."

She painted a doom-and-gloom scenario of rising oceans, Zika-spreading mosquitoes, and a rise in asthma and allergy cases due to longer pollen seasons.

"Look at it this way," Clinton said. "Our next president will either step up our efforts to address climate change to protect our planet, to protect our health, and to create good jobs that cannot be outsourced, by growing our clean energy economy -- or, in the alternative, we will be dragged backwards, and our whole future will be put at risk. So we've really got to get this right.

"And if you need additional convincing, just remember what happened this week. Hurricane Matthew killed at least 26 people in our country, more than 1,000 as far as we know right now in Haiti. North Carolina is still dealing with serious flooding...Now some will say, we've always had hurricanes. They've always been destructive. And that's true.

"But Hurricane Matthew was likely more destructive because of climate change. Right now, the ocean is at or near record high temperatures, and that contributed to the torrential rainfall and the flash flooding that we saw in the Carolinas. Sea levels have already risen about a foot -- one foot -- in much of the Southeast, which means that Matthew's storm surge was higher and the flooding was more severe.

"Plus, as you know, the impact of climate change goes beyond extreme events like hurricanes. It's become a daily reality here in Miami." Clinton noted that streets in Miami Beach are now flooding at high tide. "The ocean is bubbling up through the sewer system. Sometimes, people call 311 because they assume a water main must have broken when actually, it is the sea rising around them. So if you need proof that climate change is real and that it's costly, there you go."

Clinton predicted that one in eight homes in Florida could be underwater by the end of the century.

And she slammed "climate change deniers," including her rival Donald Trump: "Please, let's come together as a country and do something about it. We cannot risk putting a climate denier in the White House."

As president, Clinton said she wants to "have 500 million more solar panels installed across America by the end of my first term." She said she plans to "transform our economy" with "new clean energy solutions."


Improper Recycling Could Land You in Jail: How Overcriminalization Threatens Everyone

Criminal laws and regulations in the United States have increased to absurd proportions in the past few decades, posing a growing threat to our constitutional liberties.

There are nearly 5,000 criminal laws and an estimated 300,000 or more criminal regulations at the federal level alone. In fact, there are so many possible criminal offenses that Harvey Silverglate, a civil liberties attorney, contends the average American probably commits at least three felonies a day, most without knowing it.

In April, the perils of overcriminalization were on full display when Brian Everidge traveled to Michigan with more than 10,000 bottles and cans, seeking to capitalize on Michigan’s generous 10 cents-per-bottle refund program. He stood to make $1,000.

Everidge was pulled over for speeding and found himself facing a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison after the state trooper discovered his cargo. As it turned out, transporting more than 10,000 bottles into Michigan with the intent to collect a deposit is a felony.

The average American probably commits at least three felonies a day, most without knowing it.

Besides Michigan, nine other states have bottle deposit laws—California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maine, New York, Oregon, and Vermont. Though each state law varies slightly from the others, each law operates on the same basic premise: Consumers pay a deposit on specified beverage containers and get reimbursed upon returning the emptied container.

Deposits vary from 5 cents to 15 cents by state and container size. When a person knowingly brings in containers sold outside the state, they are deceiving state officials by seeking the return of a deposit they never paid.

Surprisingly, interstate bottle fraud can be big business. In 2015, California officials uncovered a recycling ring that raked in $14 million from 2012 to 2014 on approximately 250 million containers brought from Arizona to California recycling centers.

The Michigan Treasury Department reported that interstate bottle fraud costs the state $10 to $13 million every year. Michigan state Rep. Kenneth Kurtz, a Republican, said of repeat “scammers who drive car and truck loads of cans from Indiana, Wisconsin, and Ohio,” that “If you are intending to defraud … then you should be held accountable for it.”

Six of the 10 bottle bill states—California, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, and Vermont—have codified penalties specifically for cashing in on out-of-state bottles, or attempting to. Only Michigan and California, however, make it a crime.

Michigan’s penalties work on a sliding scale. Attempt to return up to 99 containers, you’ll get off with a civil fine; attempt to return 100 to 9,999 containers, you’re guilty of a misdemeanor; and if you attempt to return 10,000 or more, you’re now a felon and subject to up to five years in prison, a $5,000 fine or both.

Other types of fraud, such as dishonest practices in connection with official records on milk and butter production or failing to label imitation leather boots as such, are misdemeanors—no matter how much butter is produced or how expensive the boots are.

In California, trading in out-of-state recyclable containers is also a felony if the redemption value is more than $400. One truck driver faced criminal charges for smuggling 7,000 pounds of containers worth more than $7,100 in redemptions, with possible jail time of six months to three years.

The United States Supreme Court stated recently, in Bond v. U.S. (2014), that states “have broad authority to enact legislation for the public good—what we have often called a ‘police power.’” It also ruled in Minnesota v. Clover Leaf Creamery (1981) that a state can outright ban the sale of retail goods in a “plastic nonreturnable, nonrefillable container” if it so chooses, respecting the states’ broad discretion to implement environmental policies.

Heritage Foundation scholars have argued, however, that “the most successful environmental policies emanate from liberty.”

Lawmakers must reassess current laws and scrutinize any new laws that use criminal instead of civil penalties.

Criminal laws and penalties, writes John Malcolm, director of Heritage’s Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, are “meant to enforce a commonly accepted moral code that is set forth in language the average person can readily understand and that clearly identifies the prohibited conduct.”

Administrative schemes like state bottle recycling programs, Malcolm writes, should “establish rules of the road (with penalties attached for violations of those rules) to curb excesses and address consequences in a complex, rapidly evolving, highly industrialized society.”

Maine’s bottle fraud rules exemplify a proper understanding of how law ought to work. Maine imposes civil fines whenever a person attempts to deposit more than 48 containers not sold in the state, with the penalty being the greater of a $100 fine for each container or $25,000 fine for each attempted transaction.

This creates a disincentive for cashing in on out-of-state containers and more than compensates the state for its losses without branding every person who violates the scheme as a criminal.

Moreover, Maine requires all recycling centers to post a sign that clearly defines “bottle fraud” and warns customers of its penalties, so anyone who unlawfully takes advantage of Maine’s incentive structure does so with a full understanding of the consequences.

Heritage scholars have identified ways to address the overcriminalization crisis. Lawmakers must reassess current laws and scrutinize any new laws that use criminal instead of civil penalties, incorporating safeguards to ensure that the criminal code is not a trap for the unwary. Everidge and the many others caught up in cases of overcriminalization deserve better from our justice system.


First US Offshore Wind Plant Costs $17,600 Per Home Powered

America’s first offshore wind power plant will cost about $17,600 dollars to build per home it will power. Three miles off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island, the wind farm is supposed to generate enough energy to power 17,000 homes, but will cost $300 million to build five turbines. This cost is just to build the turbines, not to operate them.

The extremely high cost of offshore wind doesn’t worry environmentalists and progressives, however, because, as says about the project, “it’s the precedent that counts.”

Despite the extremely high cost, federal officials want to power a whopping 23 million homes with offshore wind by the year 2050.

Offshore wind power is so expensive because installing and maintaining any kind of infrastructure underwater is extremely difficult. The salt water of the ocean is incredibly corrosive and makes operating such facilities difficult and expensive. Electricity is so comparatively cheap in most parts of the country that offshore wind isn’t generally necessary.

Offshore wind is so pricey that early investors in it, like Germany, plan to stop building new turbines to lower the costs of electricity and prop up its ailing power grid.

However, the average American’s electric bill has gone up 10 percent since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009, due to regulations imposed by government officials and taxpayer support for green energy.

Most analysts agree rising residential electricity prices are also harmful to American households. Pricey power disproportionately hurts poorer families and other lower-income groups as the poor tend to spend a higher proportion of their incomes on “basic needs” like power, so any increase in prices hits them the hardest.

As essential goods like electricity become more expensive, the cost of producing goods and services that use electricity increases, effectively raising the price of almost everything. The higher prices are ultimately paid for by consumers, not industries.


Power fully restored across South Australia -- after two weeks

So who in their right mind would want to set up a business there? Greenie craziness will have done huge damage to employment in S.A.

Big industrial companies in South Australia finally have full loads of electricity two weeks after extreme weather damaged transmission towers and plunged the state into darkness.

ElectraNet, which provides electricity infrastructure across Australia, has announced the third damaged circuit was back in action ahead of schedule and was energised, returning full access to the transmission network.

The company has built five temporary transmission towers near Melrose in regional South Australia after three transmission lines and 22 towers were damaged in the September 28 storm.

The damage led to a statewide blackout and several regional communities were left without power for days.

ElectraNet has previously described the damage to the lattice steel towers, which were made in the 1980s, as unprecedented.

ElectraNet chief executive Steve Masters said in a statement that "full access to the South Australian transmission network has been restored to all our customers across the state".

"This is a significant achievement that will allow work to begin on permanent repairs," Mr Masters said.

"While the design and scheduling details are still being confirmed, we expect permanent towers to be in place over the coming months, provided weather conditions remain stable."

South Australian Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis tweeted that large companies like BHP would have a "full load" with the system "effectively" back on.

Large industrial sites in the days since the storm had access to some power but not normal loads.

Power was urgently restored to Whyalla's Arrium steelworks which minimised its loss to about $10 million, while the furnace at Port Pirie's Nyrstar smelter was damaged during the outage which is expected to cost the company millions of dollars.



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

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


13 October, 2016

Global warming doubles size of forest fires in US West, study finds

This is just more rubbishy modelling.  They have got no way of knowing what part of forest fire activity is attributable to anthropogenic global warming -- unless they use the old formula "post hoc ergo propter hoc" -- which is both a scientific and a logical fallacy.  It does appear that there is some correlation between fire incidence and global temperature but we must remember what is just about the first law of statistics:  Correlation is not causation.  I would think the correlation could be amply explained by the steadily increasing Greenie influence on forestry.  Greenie resistance to back-burning is by far the biggest producer of catastrophic fires.  I append the journal abstract to the summary below

Global warming has caused the area affected by forest fires in the western United States to double over the last 30 years – and the problem will continue to get worse until the trees start to run out, according to new research.

Higher air temperatures dry out vegetation, making it more prone to combust, as witnessed with increasing ferocity in states like California and Oregon.

While some parts of the world will get wetter as the climate warms, fires have been increasing in places like the Amazon, Indonesia and Canada's boreal forests.

Climate scientists had predicted wildfires would increase in places, but the new study, funded in part by Nasa, is one of the first to quantify the effect.

One of the researchers, Professor Park Williams, a bio-climatologist at Columbia University, said: “No matter how hard we try, the fires are going to keep getting bigger, and the reason is really clear.

“Climate is really running the show in terms of what burns. We should be getting ready for bigger fire years than those familiar to previous generations.”

An extra 4.2 million hectares of forest fires – about 16,000 square miles, the same area as Denmark – were estimated to have been caused by human-induced climate change between 1984 and 2015, according to a paper in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

This increase nearly doubled the area that would have burned if the temperature had not risen, the researchers found.

Eventually the fires will be so extreme that the remaining forests are too fragmented for flames to spread easily between them.

“There's no hint we're even getting close to that yet. I'd expect increases to proceed exponentially for at least the next few decades,” Professor Williams said.

While the world’s average temperature has risen by one degree Celsius since pre-industrial times, the increase within forests in the US West has been sharper. Since 1970, temperatures have gone up there by 1.5C – and this increase is expected to continue.

Warmer air can hold more moisture, so water is sucked out of plants, dead vegetation and the soil, creating tinder dry conditions.


Impact of anthropogenic climate change on wildfire across western US forests

By John T. Abatzoglou and A. Park Williams


Increased forest fire activity across the western continental United States (US) in recent decades has likely been enabled by a number of factors, including the legacy of fire suppression and human settlement, natural climate variability, and human-caused climate change. We use modeled climate projections to estimate the contribution of anthropogenic climate change to observed increases in eight fuel aridity metrics and forest fire area across the western United States. Anthropogenic increases in temperature and vapor pressure deficit significantly enhanced fuel aridity across western US forests over the past several decades and, during 2000–2015, contributed to 75% more forested area experiencing high (>1 ?) fire-season fuel aridity and an average of nine additional days per year of high fire potential. Anthropogenic climate change accounted for ?55% of observed increases in fuel aridity from 1979 to 2015 across western US forests, highlighting both anthropogenic climate change and natural climate variability as important contributors to increased wildfire potential in recent decades. We estimate that human-caused climate change contributed to an additional 4.2 million ha of forest fire area during 1984–2015, nearly doubling the forest fire area expected in its absence. Natural climate variability will continue to alternate between modulating and compounding anthropogenic increases in fuel aridity, but anthropogenic climate change has emerged as a driver of increased forest fire activity and should continue to do so while fuels are not limiting.


Pretty boy is an idiot

Excerpt below from a speech by Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau.  He calls carbon pollution. Does he realize that he himself is made of carbon, water and a few other odds and ends?  Carbon is the building block of life.  To call it pollution is  scientific ignorance of the highest order

I have had many opportunities over the past year – over the past number of years, really – to reflect on Canada’s success.

And every time we have done something well, whether it was decades ago with Medicare and CPP, or more recently getting our national debt under control in the 1990s, taking steps to ensure the stability of our banking system, or responding to a global refugee crisis, our success has been rooted in two things.

First, that when we see a problem, we don’t walk away from it, or deny that it exists. Instead, we lean in. We work hard – and we work together – to solve the problems that come our way.

And second, when we say we’re going to do something, we follow through. We live up to our commitments. The world expects that of us. So do the markets. And so do our fellow Canadians.

It is in that very Canadian spirit of solving problems and keeping promises that I address the House today, and share the government’s plan for pricing carbon pollution.

After decades of inaction, after years of missed opportunities, we will finally take real and concrete measures to build a clean economy, create more opportunities for Canadians, and make our world better for our children and grandchildren.

Mr. Speaker, we will not walk away from science, and we will not deny the unavoidable.

With the plan put forward by the government, all Canadian jurisdictions will have put a price on carbon pollution by 2018.

To do that, the government will set a floor price for carbon pollution.

The price will be set at a level that will help Canada reach its targets for greenhouse gas emissions, while providing businesses with greater stability and improved predictability.

Provinces and territories will have a choice in how they implement this pricing. They can put a direct price on carbon pollution, or they can adopt a cap-and-trade system, with the expectation that it be stringent enough to meet or exceed the federal benchmark.

The government proposes that the price on carbon pollution should start at a minimum of $10 per tonne in 2018, rising by $10 each year to $50 per tonne in 2022.


Another prophecy of doom that did not come to pass

A report from 1947 said:

"A mysterious warming of the climate is slowly manifesting itself in the Arctic, and if the Antarctica ice regions and the major Greenland ice caps should reduce at the same rate as the present rate of melting should reduce at the same rate as the present rate of melting oceanic surfaces would rise in catastrophic proportions and people living in lowlands along the shores would be inundated, said Dr. Hans Ahlmann, noted Swedish geophysicist, in a speech at the University of California Geophysical Institute.

Dr. Ahlmann added that temperatures in the Arctic had increased 10 degrees F since 1900, an 'enormous' rise from a scientific standpoint...The Arctic change is so serious that I hope an international agency can speedily be formed to study conditions on a global basis," he said.

Dr. Ahlmann pointed out that in 1910 the navigable season along western Spitzbergen lasted three months. It now lasted eight months."


Hillary Clinton’s solar energy baloney

One of Hillary Clinton’s wackier ideas is to build half a billion solar panels — at taxpayer expense. It would be one of the largest corporate welfare giveaways in American history. The Institute for Energy Research (IER) estimates that the cost of the plan will reach $205 billion. That’s a lot of money to throw at Elon Musk and all of Hillary’s high-powered green energy friends.

By the way, there are only 320 million people in the country so her plan would mean more solar panels than people. If Hillary has her way, the entire landscape in America will be blighted by windmills and solar panels. How is this green?

The economics here are even worse. Back in the 1970s Washington made a big bet on green energy with synthetic fuels and renewable fuels. The programs crashed and were all mercifully killed off during the Reagan years. Billions of dollars went down the drain. George W. Bush made a big bet on switch grass and wood chips to produce energy. President Obama has spent more than $100 billion on wind and solar subsidies. Instead of energy independence, we got bankruptcies like Solyndra.

A lesson of the last several decades is that the government has a horrible record of intervening in energy markets. Mr. Obama was running around the country in his first term warning that America was running out of oil. He wasn’t paying attention to the shale oil and gas revolution and the advent of clean coal technology that overnight doubled our fossil fuel resources. At the very time that natural gas prices were falling to $2 per cubic million feet, the government was trying to force feed the nation on wind and solar power which costs three to five times more per kilowatt hour of electricity.


All of this is supposed to save the planet from greenhouse gases and catastrophic planetary warming, but then why not use our cheap, clean and super abundant natural gas? Mr. Obama’s own Department of Energy (DOE) notes that natural gas has been the main factor contributing to the big reduction in U.S. carbon emissions. Natural gas has arguably done more to reduce pollution than virtually all the green energy programs in history. Yet the left is against natural gas production. Nuclear power would also be an obvious and easily achievable form of clean and reliable electric power but the greens hate nukes too. They want to go with the energy sources that are least reliable and in need of the most taxpayer assistance.

The DOE has also admitted that the dollar subsidy per kilowatt of electricity generated is at least 10 times higher than from coal or natural gas. Solar is a very expensive way to produce electricity — as is wind power.

The final irony of the Clinton plan is that as the IER points out, the solar industry is “completely dominated by the Chinese. So $200 billion of American tax dollars will be used to subsidize extraordinarily expensive solar power panels that are mostly made in China and we will stop producing the cleanest fuel of all, natural gas, which is made in America. We could be shipping America’a oil and gas around the world, but we can’t because Hillary Clinton’s State Department wouldn’t allow the pipelines to be built.

And to think Hillary Clinton is accusing Donald Trump of being crazy.


Legal Vulnerabilities of EPA Power Plan's Prerequisite Regulation

Washington is still abuzz about the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals oral argument last week on the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emission standards for existing fossil-fuel power plants, the so-called Clean Power Plan. Almost forgotten in the hubbub is the fact that the Power Plan depends upon a prerequisite rulemaking, the agency’s CO2 standards for new fossil-fuel power plants, which has legal vulnerabilities of its own.

The new source rule’s standard for coal power plants—1,400 lbs. CO2/MWh—is based on EPA’s determination that “partial” carbon capture and storage (CCS) is the “adequately demonstrated” “best system of emission reduction” (BSER). That is highly dubious. CCS is not economical and, in actual commercial practice, increases rather than reduces emissions.

Despite billions in government R&D, there is still no utility-scale CCS power plant reliably delivering power anywhere in the world. CCS can dramatically increase the cost of new coal power plants. For example, Mississippi Power’s Kemper CCS Project, cited repeatedly in EPA's proposed new source rule as evidence CCS is adequately demonstrated, was originally supposed to cost $2.2 billion. Now more than two years behind schedule, Kemper is projected to cost $6.6 billion. Similarly, Canada’s flagship CCS power plant, Boundary Dam in Saskatchewan, has been plagued by delays, poor performance, and rising costs.

Another problem: No CCS power plant is being built and operated without taxpayer and/or ratepayer subsidies. How can a system of emission reduction be “adequately demonstrated”—commercially viable as well as technically feasible—if it depends on subsidies?

EPA assumes the need for subsidies will decline along with costs, especially if CCS plants offset expenses by selling the captured CO2 for use in enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Quick background: Injecting CO2 into an oil field both increases pressure within the field and reduces the oil’s viscosity, coaxing more black gold to the surface. Kemper, Boundary Dam, and most other CCS projects EPA cites are located near oil fields and include EOR in their business plans (80 FR 64551-64556).

But—and here’s the kicker—to the extent EOR makes CCS commercially viable, it also makes CCS unfit as a climate change mitigation technology (h/t William Yeatman). Simply put, EPA’s new source rule does not take into account the CO2 emitted when the recovered oil is combusted.

Based on EPA emission factors (tons of CO2 emitted per barrel of oil combusted) and Department of Energy EOR data (barrels of oil produced per ton of CO2 injected), I calculate CCS combined with EOR emits 1.41-2.6 tons of CO2 for every ton injected underground. That means the “life-cycle” CO2 emissions of a CCS power plant exceeds those of a conventional coal power plant by 40 percent or more. Far from being the “best system of emission reduction” required by the Clean Air Act, CCS in commercial practice—i.e., CCS combined with EOR—increases overall CO2 emissions.

And this just in. EPA gives the impression selling CO2 to EOR companies will make CCS profitable without subsidies. Turns out, the EOR side of business is also subsidized. Internal Revenue Service regulation 45Q awards a $10 tax credit for every metric ton of CO2 sold for use in EOR. According to the online news service Greenwire, “Advocates say it [the tax credit] is critical in funding CCS operations.”



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

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


12 October, 2016

The latest Greenie fad

All set out in gruesome detail below, complete with some familiar myths.  Not mentioned is that the ozone hole was at its biggest LAST YEAR, showing the the CFC  ban has had no effect and was therefore totally misconceived.  So what chance for the HFC scare?  Not much, one would think. 

The whole story is one of exaggeration. We read: "carbon dioxide can stay in the atmosphere for more than five centuries".  I suppose the let-out there is "can".  If they had said "does", they  would be plainly wrong. 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%.  And so we go on ...

IN 1985 a gaping hole was found in the ozone layer above Antarctica. Two years later leaders from around the world signed the Montreal Protocol, a treaty to phase out the substances causing it, known as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which were used in refrigeration and as propellants in products such as hairsprays and deodorants. Scientists had discovered more than a decade earlier that CFCs release chlorine into the stratosphere as they decompose—depleting ozone—and are also powerful greenhouse gases. Thanks to the treaty, the equivalent of some 135 billion tonnes of carbon-dioxide emissions were avoided, saving the ozone layer from complete collapse by the middle of this century. This week officials from around the world, led by America and China, are meeting in Rwanda to make a deal that would extend the Montreal Protocol to cover hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which were introduced to replace CFCs. Why?

HFCs don’t deplete the ozone layer but they still contribute hugely to global warming, as scientists discovered in the decades after their introduction. The average atmospheric lifetime for most commercially used HFCs is 15 years or less whereas carbon dioxide can stay in the atmosphere for more than five centuries. But, like CFCs, HFCs cause a greenhouse effect between hundreds and thousands of times as powerful as carbon dioxide. Total emissions of HFCs are still relatively low. But they are rising by 7-15% a year as people in hot countries, such as Brazil and India, become richer and buy air-conditioning units.

Small island nations, which are most susceptible to the effects of climate change, have been discussing the need to control HFC emissions for a decade. China and America promised to do something about them in 2013. America wants action to be speedy enough for global emissions to reach their peak by 2021, then to start falling; China may be keener to postpone that point until 2023. Brazil, Indonesia and Malaysia lean towards 2025. India has lobbied for an even later date, closer to 2030. But many African countries and low-lying island states, already concerned by global warming, are pushing for a tighter timetable. Whatever the deadline, and however steep the cuts, the plan is to require rich countries to act faster while allowing poorer ones more time to adjust.

A deal on HFCs would quickly benefit the climate—and not just by obliging countries to cut emissions of these powerful greenhouse gases. On its own this direct effect could make a real difference. An ambitious deal, for example one demanding that they start to be phased out by 2020, would cut the equivalent of between 100 billion and 200 billion tonnes of carbon-dioxide emissions by 2050, enough to chop 0.5°C from the rise in average global temperatures by 2100. But, as the history of CFCs suggests, extending the Montreal Protocol to include HFCs could also benefit the climate by boosting the efficiency of air-conditioning units. After the original deal some coolers were 60% more efficient than the ones they replaced. Similar adjustments to an expanded agreement could make such technologies more environmentally friendly overall. This is particularly important because they happen to be both a cause of global warming, and an important means of adapting to it.


Cold waves and the jump in European temperatures

An excerpt below of a study based on long records of temperature held in various European cities.  The analysis showed 8 "cold waves" from 1750 to 2000 and explained these as incursions of Arctic air.  So the record is one of alternating cooling and warming, not the climate stability preached by Warmists such as Michael Mann.  Climate change is natural and cyclic, in other words.

Another finding, however, was of a temperature "jump" of a full degree in one recent 3 year period.  There was however no corresponding jump in CO2 so once again we see a disjunction between CO2 and temperature. It is oscillations in Arctic air currents that cause European temperature change, not CO2

Much of European history has been marked by the effects of such irruptions of arctic air into a region that is habitually under the influence of warm Atlantic air – to which, consequently, European agriculture and economy has been adapted. But at the end of the 20th century, an anomalous and very rapid warm shift in surface temperatures occurred that has been described as a “jump” in the temperature record. Over just a 3-year period from 1987-1990, SAT anomalies inceased rapidly over about a full degree.

Regional SAT was maintained through to the end of the record in 2014 at a higher mean temperature than had been recorded during the previous century. One may choose to ignore it and simply draw a trend line from 1890 to 2015 – or one may choose to interpret the record differently, as here: both positions are valid and in the present state of climate science your choice will largely depend on your confidence in the reliability of simulation modelling of complex Earth systems.

The flowering dates of plant communities in Britan, analysed for their response to long-term change in the Central England surface air temperature record, responded closely to this regime shift.  The fit between ambient temperature and flowering dates (both at community level and for individual species) is excellent over each 25-year segment of the entire record back to the 1750s. The series terminates in a very clear 15-day advance in the dates of community flowering after 1985 that was maintained to the end of the record in 2008.

Such a rapid change in surface air temperature over this large region is compatible neither with anthropogenic nor with volcanic forcing, but is consistent with the expected result of an equally major and rapid change in the distribution of atmospheric pressure over the entire North Atlantic-Arctic region.

This is indicated by change in the values of both the wintertime NAO and the Arctic Oscillation (northern annular mode of Hurrell) which together describe the state of the polar vortex north of the mid-latitude jet stream; when polar surface pressure is low (positive AO index) this flows strongly and consistently, with relatively weak meanders, so that cold polar air tends not to intrude down into mid-latitude Europe. But when polar surface pressure is high (negative AO index) the jet stream weakens and meanders more strongly, so that cold polar air is routinely carried down into mid-latitudes. Because of the existence of the western mountain ranges in North America that perturb its flow, the jet stream has a preferred number and location of southerly waves appropriate to each state of the AO. Periods of strongly negative AO are, in western Europe, associated with irruptions of cold polar air, as occurred rather commonly in the period 1935-45, discussed above.

Major warm excursions in surface air temperatures on the Japanese islands have already been noted for these same years (see plots for two rural stations on p. NN) and although these excursions were brief and cooling set in after only a single peak warm year, they were peraps related to the same rapid change in the value of the Arctic Oscillation after 1985. Changes in the AO has consequences for the strength of the winter westerlies that bring cold air from central Asia down across the Japanese islands, affecting winter temperatures generally in East Asia; this effect is modified by the strength of western Pacific cyclonic activity, and the 1985-1990 warm event over Japan (see p. NN) appears to have been the result of complex interaction between these two processes.


Lies, Damn Lies, and Soda Taxes

“It’s not a grocery tax, it’s a soda tax,” say television ads promoting excise taxes whose fate Bay Area voters will decide next month. Proponents of two soda-tax initiatives—Measure V in San Francisco and Measure HH in Oakland—have claimed that their taxes would hit only sugary drinks. But as Independent Institute Senior Fellow Lawrence J. McQuillan notes, the assertion is erroneous for reasons that every student of economics is taught.

From an economics perspective—and this is stressed in every basic microeconomics class—what matters is who ultimately pays the tax, not which party collects it. Beverage distributors required to pay a levy on soda pop may succeed in passing the tax to grocers who, in turn, may respond by raising the price of any of their products. Soda drinkers may not face higher prices after all, and soda consumption may not fall by a single drop.

Writes McQuillan. “The ad ends with: ‘Didn’t anyone tell big soda it’s not nice to lie?’ But it’s Michael Bloomberg and soda-tax proponents that are not telling the whole truth: grocery customers will face higher grocery bills as a result of the soda tax.”


Shameless Jim

In two quotes:

“We have at most ten years—not ten years to decide upon action, but ten years to alter fundamentally the trajectory of global greenhouse emissions.” – James Hansen, “The Threat to the Planet.” The New York Times Review of Books (2006).

“Contrary to the impression favored by governments, the corner has not been turned toward declining emissions and GHG amounts…. Negative CO2 emissions, i. e., extraction of CO2 from the air, is now required.”  – James Hansen, “Young People’s Burden.” October 4, 2016.

Ten years ago, James Hansen predicted doom if mankind did not “fundamentally” reduce global greenhouse gas emissions in ten years. This ultimatum to the world came due this summer.

But far from raising the white flag, the father of the modern climate alarm now demands via legal action that CO2 and other GHG emissions go negative “if climate is to be stabilized on the century time scale, as a result of past failure to reduce emissions.”

He continues: “If rapid phasedown of fossil fuel emissions begins soon, most of the necessary CO2 can take place via improved agricultural and forestry practices, including reforestation and steps to improve soil fertility and increase its carbon content.”


Greenie pride: Airlift of generators rejected by South Australia

The Leftist government refuses to believe that their reliance on windmills is misplaced.  And the thought of relying on DIESEL generators for anything is anathema to them.  Report below dated Oct. 11

The Turnbull government has prepared an emergency plan to fly generators into South Australia to help major employers keep operating after the statewide blackout, mapping out a back-up plan as key industries wait for full power to be restored.

The Royal Australian Air Force is ready to fly the generators into key industrial areas such as Port Augusta or to major manufacturers like troubled steel­maker Arrium.

The “standing offer” remains on the table after being drafted two days after the September 28 blackout, but the South Aus­tralian government has decided it can get its electricity grid up and running without federal help.

The federal authorities prepared the plan behind the scenes on the Friday following the Wednesday outage after officials identified four large generators in Tasmania that could be flown to Port Augusta by RAAF transport planes at short notice.

Amid a furious row over how the state grid went black, the federal proposal highlights the divide between Canberra and South Australia and raises questions about the judgments made on whether to use the back-up power at a time when the state grid is yet to return to full capacity.

Arrium administrator Mark Mentha confirmed to The Aus­tralian that the offer was put to the company more than a week ago as an emergency measure to prevent the company’s furnaces “going cold” and wrecking its steel.

The plan involves four mobile generators capable of supplying a combined 100 megawatts of electricity, enough to run all of Arrium’s steel and mining operations and provide power for others.

The generators were sent to Tasmania earlier this year to help Hydro Tasmania provide power after the failure of the Basslink connection to Victoria, but they had served their purpose and were available to be taken to South Australia.

Industry Minister Greg Hunt helped prepare the plan in talks with Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg and Resources Minister Matt Canavan.

Mr Mentha, whose firm Korda­Mentha is overseeing Arrium after the company went into administration in April, was interested in the proposal but BHP Billiton, which runs the Olympic Dam mine in the north of the state, was planning to bring in its own generators.

The proposal could not proceed without formal approval from the South Australian government, which had to request the assistance under standing agreements between Canberra and the states. South Australian Treasurer and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said officials assured him there was no need for the federal help.

“We could get the grid up ­before the back-up generators were operational,” he said. “If we’d needed the generators, I would have done it but all the ­advice was that we would have the network up in time.”

Mr Mentha said he had been impressed with the help from governments and power suppliers in the wake of the storm.

“The South Australian government and Tom Koutsantonis and SA Power Networks and ElectraNet have done everything possible for us — I couldn’t fault them,” he said.

But power remains out in key areas, with SA Power Networks warning of shortages in the north of the state and ElectraNet still working to restore all the transmission lines.

ElectraNet said late yesterday that repairs to transmission lines in the state’s Mid North had got one of the damaged lines back up and energised. “Another circuit will follow in a few days, provided weather conditions remain stable,” it said.



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

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


11 October, 2016

Climate is a chaotic system and as such cannot be accurately modelled

In her latest Week in review – science edition, Judith Curry gave us a link to a press release from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (which is managed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research under the sponsorship of the National Science Foundation – often written NCAR/UCAR) titled “40 Earths: NCAR’s Large Ensemble reveals staggering climate variability”.

What is this? UCAR’s Large Ensemble Community Project has built a data base of “30 simulations with the Community Earth System Model (CESM) at 1° latitude/longitude resolution, each of which is subject to an identical scenario of historical radiative forcing but starts from a slightly different atmospheric state.” Exactly what kind of “different atmospheric state”? How different were the starting conditions? “[T]he scientists modified the model’s starting conditions ever so slightly by adjusting the global atmospheric temperature by less than one-trillionth of one degree”.

The images, numbers 1 through 30, each represent the results of a single run of the CESM starting from a unique, one/one-trillionth degree difference in global temperature – each a projection of North American Winter temperature trends for 1963-2012.   The right-bottom image, labeled OBS, is the actual observed trends.

There is a paper from which this image of taken: Forced and Internal Components of Winter Air Temperature Trends over North America during the past 50 Years: Mechanisms and Implications, the paper representing just one of the “about 100 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles [that] have used data from the CESM Large Ensemble.” I will not comment on this paper, other than my comments here about the image, its caption, and the statements made in the press release itself.

I admit to being flummoxed — not by the fact that 30 runs of the CESM produced 30 entirely different 50-year climate projections from near-identical initial conditions. That is entirely expected. In fact, Edward Lorenz showed this with his toy weather models on his “toy” (by today’s standards) computer back in the 1960s. His discovery led to the field of study known today as Chaos Theory, the study of non-linear dynamical systems, particularly those that are highly sensitive to initial conditions. Our 30 CESM runs were initialized with a difference of what?   One/one-trillionth of a degree in the initial global atmospheric temperature input value – an amount so small as to be literally undetectable by modern instruments used to measure air temperatures. Running the simulations for just 50 years – from starting time of 1963 to 2012 – gives results entirely in keeping with Lorenz’ findings: “Two states differing by imperceptible amounts may eventually evolve into two considerably different states … If, then, there is any error whatever in observing the present state—and in any real system such errors seem inevitable—an acceptable prediction of an instantaneous state in the distant future may well be impossible….In view of the inevitable inaccuracy and incompleteness of weather observations, precise very-long-range forecasting would seem to be nonexistent.”

What is the import of Lorenz? Literally ALL of our collective data on historic “global atmospheric temperature” are known to be inaccurate to at least +/- 0.1 degrees C. No matter what initial value the dedicated people at NCAR/UCAR enter into the CESM for global atmospheric temperature, it will differ from reality (from actuality – the number that would be correct if it were possible to produce such a number) by many, many orders of magnitude greater than the one/one-trillionth of a degree difference used to initialize these 30 runs in the CESM-Large Ensemble. Does this really matter? In my opinion, it does not matter. It is easy to see that the tiniest of differences, even in a just one single initial value, produce 50-year projections that are as different from one another as is possible(see endnote 1).   I do not know how many initial conditions values have to be entered to initialize the CESM – but certainly it is more than one. How much more different would the projections be if each of the initial values were altered, even just slightly?


The Guardian’s ’100 Months To Save The Planet’ Was Always Just Bunk

100 months ago, The Guardian proclaimed that we have only “100 months” left to save the world from “irreversible climate change”: soaring temperatures, melting ice caps, dangerously rising sea levels, more hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, and all the other familiar harbingers of catastrophe. Now those “100 months” are up and not one of these predictions has come true.

You may not have noticed, but 2016 was the hottest year for over 100,000 years. At least this was the claim reported last week by The Guardian, under the headline “Planet at its hottest for 115,000 years thanks fo climate change, experts say”.

The “experts” in question are a bunch of US scientists led by James Hansen, the former Nasa employee who did so much to set the great global warming scare on its way in 1988. And of course such a claim could only be made by ignoring all the evidence that the earth was actually hotter than today during the Mediaeval Warm Period, less than 1,000 years ago, and even more so during the thousands of years of the Holocene Optimum, following its emergence from the last ice age 10,000 years ago.

But Hansen and his gang do not stop there. They argue that we can only hope to save the planet by finding ways to suck vast quantities of CO2 out of the atmosphere, at a cost, they estimate, of up to $570 trillion. That figure which may trip off the tongue, but it equates to seven times the world’s entire current annual GDP, or $77,000 for every human being now alive.

If this only shows how dottily desperate some of our wilder climate alarmists have become, we may come back to earth a little by focusing on another version of the great climate scare which also got The Guardian very excited eight years ago, when it launched a campaign under the heading “The final countdown”. This proclaimed that we then had only “100 months” left to save the world from “irreversible climate change”: soaring temperatures, melting ice caps, dangerously rising sea levels, more hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, and all the other familiar harbingers of catastrophe.

Now those “100 months” are up, it has prompted the diligent Paul Homewood to publish on his website, Not A Lot of People Know That, a set of graphs meticulously compiled from official data. The show what has actually happened to the earth’s climate in these past eight years. Despite the 2016 El Nino spike, now rapidly declining, satellite measurements still show that the trend in global temperatures has not risen for 18 years.

Far from the ice caps melting, the total amount of polar ice in the world is almost exactly the same in today’s Arctic and Antarctic as it was when satellite records began in 1979. Despite all those computer models predicting otherwise, the rise in global sea levels has been barely detectible, not having accelerated in more than a century.

Despite Hurricane Matthew, there has been no increase in the incidence or power of tropical cyclones. Tornadoes in the US have been at a historic low level. The number of severe droughts across the world since the first half of the 20th century has actually declined.

All the computer models which predicted these horrors were programmed to assume that they would be the inevitable result of that increase of CO2 in the atmosphere which has steadily continued all through these past 100 months. Yet not one of their predictions has come true. Indeed the most startling of Homewood’s charts (taken from the BBC website, no less) shows that the most obvious consequence of the rise in CO2 has been its effect, as plant food, on the “greening” of the planet, helping to boost a dramatic rise in crop yields across the world.

Yet to all this our politicians remain wholly oblivious. The irony is that 2008, when global warming hysteria was still at its height, was the very year when they landed us with the Climate Change Act, committing us to spending hundreds of billions of pounds on “decarbonising” our economy, at a time when other countries, led by China and India, are planning to increase their own “carbon” emissions by far more each year than the UK’s entire annual contribution to the global total.


After Paris: Investment in Green energy declining

Global investment in clean energy fell to the lowest in more than three years as demand for new renewable energy sources slumped in China, Japan and Europe. Third-quarter spending was $42.4 billion, down 43 percent from the same period last year and the lowest since the $41.8 billion reported in the first quarter of 2013, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said in a report Monday.

Financing for large solar and wind energy plants sank as governments cut incentives for clean energy and costs declined, said Michael Liebreich, founder and chairman of the advisory board of the London-based research company, a unit of Bloomberg LP. Total investment for this year is on track to be “well below” last year’s record of $348.5 billion, according to New Energy Finance.

The third-quarter numbers “are worryingly low even compared to the subdued trend we saw” in the first two quarters, Liebreich said in a statement. “Key markets such as China and Japan are pausing for a deep breath.”

Part of the reason for the steep decline in the quarter was a slowdown following strong spending in the first half of the year on offshore wind. Investors poured $20.1 billion into European offshore wind farms in the first and second quarters, “a runaway record,” according to Abraham Louw, an analyst for energy economics with New Energy Finance. That was followed by a “summer lull,” with $2.4 billion in spending in the third quarter.


Coffee shortfall blamed on global warming

Which is utter nonsense.  The problems go back some years and it was only last year that there was any significant global warming

Three decades ago, Costa Rica outlawed cultivation of the robusta coffee bean in order to promote production of arabica, the variety prized by high-end roasters around the world.

Now, however, with warmer temperatures and disease threatening arabica production, the world's 14th-largest coffee producer is looking back to robusta — just as the more bitter, higher-caffeinated bean is gaining favor around the world.

The National Coffee Congress for Costa Rica, a group of industry and government representatives that sets national coffee policy, is set to gather in an extraordinary session Saturday to consider whether the 1988 decree against robusta should be dropped. Its decision is binding on the government, said Luis Zamora, the agriculture ministry's national manager for coffee.

Zamora said the meeting shows that the calculus around robusta is changing. "In the case of the quality and the price, robusta coffee, as a result of free trade deals, has demand," he said.

Costa Rica's reconsideration of the once-taboo bean also illustrates how climate change is affecting crop production.

Long-term problems

While global demand for coffee is rising, both main species, arabica and robusta, are climate-sensitive and under threat over the long term.

By 2050, the area suitable for growing coffee worldwide is expected to shrink by as much as 50 percent, with arabica endangered by rising temperatures and robusta by increasing climate variability, according to a study published last year in the journal Climate Change.

In Guatemala, some growers have planted robusta trees in place of arabica that was stricken by roya, a leaf rust disease made more virulent by heat.

In Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador, arabica farmers, particularly at lower altitudes, have switched to warm-weather crops, including cocoa, tomatoes and chilies.

Adolfo Martinez walks at a experimental plantation of robusta coffee in Turrialba, Costa Rica, Aug. 16, 2016.
Adolfo Martinez walks at a experimental plantation of robusta coffee in Turrialba, Costa Rica, Aug. 16, 2016.
In Costa Rica, the turn toward robusta is not without controversy. In spite of a nascent robusta makeover, some fear it would dilute Costa Rica's reputation as a producer of premium arabica.

"The great name is one of the concerns," said Ronald Peters, president of Costa Rica's largest trade group, the Coffee Institute (ICAFE).

Despite the worries, ICAFE last month recommended that robusta no longer be considered an agricultural outlaw. It also forecast a 7 percent decline this year in production of arabica, a prestigious but small part of the country's economy, involving more than 47,182 registered producers.

Allowing robusta production would reduce the need to import the bean for domestic consumption, a practice that picked up as arabica production declined. It also could improve the livelihoods of farmers outside the country's arabica-suited highlands.

To avoid tainting Costa Rica's premium arabica beans, ICAFE recommended robusta be cultivated in separate zones. Still, a decision in favor of robusta is anything but certain, Peters said.

"There are voices in favor and against," he said.

Growing appetite

A growing taste for coffeehouse brews, as well as instant, among the emerging middle class in the developing world is driving up global coffee consumption. That appetite can't be met by arabica alone, said Andrew Hetzel, a consultant with Coffee Strategies in Hawaii.

"There is no way," he said, "we as an industry can produce enough arabica coffee to satisfy their demands."

Discovered in Ethiopia and now grown largely in Latin America, Africa and Asia, arabica has long dominated production and commands about 60 percent of the world's coffee output.

But its susceptibility to frosts, droughts and warmer temperatures has caused supply shocks and volatile prices. In 2014, for instance, a drought and high temperatures struck Brazil, the world's biggest coffee grower, when the arabica cherries were developing, a potentially devastating time.

Supply fears caused futures prices to nearly double within four months to around $2.15 per lb.

Robusta — grown mostly in Vietnam, Brazil, Indonesia and Uganda — has higher yields, lower input costs and is more resistant to roya. Some roasters have looked to robusta as a more reliable and less expensive bean, helping to double its share of global output over the past 50 years to 40 percent. Robusta also has begun attracting some interest from the specialty coffee market as producers improve cultivation and processing techniques.

One new niche application is high-end Nespresso's roasted blend launched with robusta from South Sudan.

Climate change

Central America's arabica crops are on the front lines of climate change. The tree had long thrived in the relatively cool temperatures and rich volcanic soil of the region's mountain slopes.

But, in 2012, an outbreak of roya began spreading — aided by warmer temperatures — to elevations that had previously not been susceptible to the airborne fungus. Growers pruned trees and replanted with rust-resistant varietals where they could.

Some growers abandoned farms and migrated to cities and to the United States, said Rene Leon-Gomez, executive secretary of Central American coffee industry group Promecafe.

Almost a fifth of Central America's coffee workforce, about 374,000 people, lost jobs amid the roya crisis in 2012 and 2013, according to the Inter-American Institute for Agricultural Cooperation.

In Costa Rica, roya contributed to the decline in area planted with arabica to 84,000 hectares this year, down from 98,000 in 2011 before the outbreak, according to reports by an agricultural specialist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's foreign service.

Production fell to 1.4 million 60-kilogram bags last crop year, down from 1.9 million in the crop year that ended in 2008.

The Costa Rican government responded by making $42 million available to help growers rehabilitate farms with fungicides and technical assistance.

Roya was a climate change wakeup call. Even as growers work to recover from the immediate crisis, experts say other climate-driven threats loom, including the coffee berry borer, an endemic beetle that is more active — and destructive — in warmer temperatures.

Earlier this year after a small farmer asked permission to grow robusta, the agriculture ministry decided to look more broadly at whether the ban on the bean still made sense in light of market and climate changes.

Jose Manuel Hernando, who heads the Chamber of Costa Rican Coffee Roasters and participated in the study committee, said robusta now represents a "great opportunity" and should no longer be treated as an outlaw.

"The taboo is falling down," Hernando said.


Australia: Qld govt invokes special power for new coal mine.  Greenies wail

Qld has long been a pro-mining State so it is interesting that that continues under a Labor government

The Queensland government has invoked special powers to ensure the controversial Carmichael coal and rail project starts next year.

The combined mine, rail and associated water infrastructure have all been declared critical infrastructure - the first time this has happened in seven years.

As well, the development's special "prescribed project" status has been renewed and expanded to include its water infrastructure.

State Development Minister Anthony Lynham says the decision will mean less red tape for the proposed $21.7 billion Adani venture.

"This step bundles together major elements of the project for the first time - the mine, the 389 kilometre rail line and the water infrastructure, including a pipeline, pumping stations and a dam upgrade," he said.

Adani now has the 22 commonwealth, state and local approvals for its project.

However Whitsunday residents are taking court action in a bid to show the Queensland government failed the environment when it approved a port expansion for the mine.

Whitsunday Residents Against Dumping said last week dredging required for Adani's expansion of the Abbot Point coal terminal, north of Bowen, could do untold environmental harm and the mine itself will fuel global warming and endanger the reef.

Dr Lynham said in a statement on Sunday the critical infrastructure declaration was based on advice from the independent co-ordinator-general.



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 October, 2016

Climate change "scientist" who said Arctic would be free of sea ice by last month eats humble pie as data show there's MORE there now than there was four years ago

But he is still making his nutty prophecies

A prominent climate change scientist has been forced to backtrack on his prediction that the Arctic would be free of sea ice by September this year - after data showed there is more now than four years ago.

Professor Peter Wadhams, from the University of Cambridge, predicted in 2012 that the Arctic would be ice-free by September this year.

However, figures show there was 1.6 million square miles of sea ice last month - which is actually 20 per cent more than the figure recorded in 2012.

Professor Wadhams told The Telegraph that he still expected the disappearance of Arctic sea ice in 'a very small number of years', but admitted it had not happened as quickly as he had forecast.

He said: 'My view is that the trend of summer sea ice volume is relentlessly downward, such that the volume (and thus area) will come to a low value very soon - in a very small number of years.

'This is to be contrasted with some of the bizarre predictions made by computer modellers, who have the summer sea ice remaining until late this century, which is quite impossible.'

However, Professor Wadhams has been criticised by other scientists for making 'dramatic' predictions that are 'incorrect'.

 Dr Ed Hawkins, from the University of Reading, wrote on the blog Climate Lab Book: 'There are very serious risks from continued climatic changes and a melting Arctic but we do not serve the public and policy-makers well by exaggerating those risks.

'We will soon see an ice-free summer in the Arctic but there is a real danger of "crying wolf" and that does not help anyone.'

In September, figures from The National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado showed there was 1.6 million square miles (4.14 million square kilometers) of Arctic sea ice at its summer low point

In 2012, Arctic sea ice shrank to its lowest level on record at 1.31 million square miles (3.39 million square kilometers).

However, this year's figure remains the second lowest level since scientists started to monitor it by satellite. [i.e. since 1979 -- far too short a period to identify a trend, given what we know of low ice levels around the beginning of C20]



President Obama’s flagship policy on climate change had its day in court on Tuesday, September 27 in the U.S. court of appeals for the District of Columbia. The international community is closely watching; most Americans, however, are unaware of the historic case known as the Clean Power Plan (CPP) — which according to David Rivkin, one of the attorneys arguing against the plan: “is not just to reduce emissions, but to create a new electrical system.”

For those who haven’t followed the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rule, here’s a brief history that brings us to up to date:

EPA published the final CPP rule in the Federal Register on October 2015.

More than two dozen states and a variety of industry groups and businesses immediately filed challenges against it — with a final bipartisan coalition of more than 150 entities including 27 states, 24 trade associations, 37 electric coops, 3 labor unions, and about a half dozen nonprofits.

On January 21, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia denied a request for a stay that would have prevented implementation of the rule until the court challenges were resolved.

On February 9, the Supreme Court of the U.S. (SCOTUS), in an unprecedented action, before the case was heard by the lower court, overruled, and issued a stay that delays enforcement of CPP.

The Court of Appeals was scheduled to hear oral arguments before a three-judge panel on June 2, but pushed them to September 27 to be heard by the full court — something the court almost never does (though for issues involving “a question of exceptional importance” procedural rules allow for the case to proceed directly to a hearing before the full appeals court).

The court, which is already fully briefed on a case before hearing the oral arguments, typically allows a maximum 60-90 minutes to hear both sides and occasionally, with an extremely complex case, will allow two hours. The oral argument phase allows the judges to interact with lawyers from both sides and with each other. However, for the CPP, the court scheduled a morning session focusing on the EPA’s authority to promulgate the rule and an afternoon session on the constitutional claims against the rule — which ended up totaling nearly 7 hours. Jeff Holmstead, a partner with Bracewell Law, representing one of the lead challengers, told me this was the only time the full court has sat all day to hear a case.

One of the issues addressed was whether or not the EPA could “exercise major transformative power without a clear statement from Congress on the issue” — with the 2014 Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG) v. EPA determining it could not. Republican appointee Judge Brett Kavanaugh noted that the UARG scenario “sounds exactly like this one.”

Judge Thomas Griffith, a Bush appointee, questioned: “Why isn’t this debate going on in the floor of the Senate?” In a post-oral argument press conference, Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) pointed out that the debate has been held on the Senate floor in the form of cap-and-trade legislation — which has failed repeatedly over a 15-year period. Therefore, he said, the Obama administration has tried to do through regulation what the Senate wouldn’t do through legislation.

“Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe, one of Obama’s mentors,” writes the Dallas Morning News: “made a star appearance to argue that the Clean Power Plan is unconstitutional.”

Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson, a Bush appointee, concluded: “You have given us all we need and more, perhaps, to work on it.”

The day in court featured many of the nation’s best oral advocates and both sides feel good about how the case was presented.

For the challengers (who call CPP “an unlawful power grab”), West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who along with Texas AG Ken Paxton, co-lead the case, reported: “We said (then) that we were looking forward to having our day in court on the merits. Today was that day. I think that the collective coalition was able to put very strong legal arguments forward, as to why this regulation is unlawful, and why it should be set aside.”

But the case has its proponents, too, and they, also, left feeling optimistic. In a blog post for the Environmental Defense Fund, Martha Roberts wrote about what she observed in the courtroom: “The judges today were prepared and engaged. They asked sharply probing questions of all sides. But the big news is that a majority of judges appeared receptive to arguments in support of the Clean Power Plan.” She concluded that she’s confident “that climate protection can win the day.”

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) summarized the session saying that stakeholders on all sides were left “parsing questions and reactions, and searching for signs of which way the judges are leaning.” U.S. News reported: “The judges repeatedly interrupted the lawyers for both sides to ask pointed questions about the legal underpinnings of their positions.”

The decision, which is not expected for several months, may come down to the ideological make-up of the court: 6 of the judges were appointed by Democrat presidents and 4 by Republicans. Though, according to WSJ, Obama appointee Judge Patricia Millet “expressed concern that the administration was in effect requiring power plants to subsidize companies competing with them for electricity demand.” She offered hope to the challengers when she said: “That seems to be quite different from traditional regulation.” Additionally, in his opinion published in the Washington Post, Constitutional law professor Jonathan Adler, stated: “Some of the early reports indicate that several Democratic nominees posed tough questions to the attorney defending the EPA.”

Now, the judges will deliberate and discuss. Whatever decision they come to, experts agree that the losing side will appeal and that the case will end up in front of the Supreme Court — most likely in the 2017/2018 session with a decision possible as late as June 2018. There, the ultimate result really rests in the presidential election, as the current SCOTUS make up will be changed with the addition of the ninth Justice, who will be appointed by the November 8 winner — and that Justice will reflect the new president’s ideology.

Hillary Clinton has promised to continue Obama’s climate change policies while Donald Trump has announced he’ll rescind the CPP and cancel the Paris Climate Agreement.

The CPP is about more than the higher electricity costs and decreased grid reliability, which results from heavy reliance on wind and solar energy as CPP requires, and, as the South Australian experiment proves, doesn’t work. It has far-reaching impacts. WSJ states: “Even a partial rebuke of the Clean Power Plan could make it impossible for the U.S. to hit the goals Mr. Obama pledged in the Paris climate deal.” With Obama’s climate legacy at stake, the international community is paying close attention.

And Americans should be. Our energy stability hangs in the balance.


World's Largest Carbon-Capture Plant to Open Soon

So stupid & so expensive. CO2 is what plants need to grow. And we want to bury it? Misguided idiots

On schedule, on budget. It’s a tall order for any new technology, but for a commercial carbon capture and storage (CCS) system, it might be the start of a revolution.

The Petra Nova carbon capture system under construction at the W.A. Parish Generating Station, a coal-fired power plant southwest of Houston, is slated to go online before the end of the year. The billion-dollar facility will become the largest post-combustion carbon capture system installed on an existing power plant in the world.

Systems like Petra Nova that keep carbon dioxide from reaching the atmosphere may become a necessary means to mitigate climate change, and for some utilities, they could offer a lifeline to beleaguered fossil fuel plants.

“We believe that coal plants are an important part of the energy mix of the United States,” said David Greeson, vice president for development at NRG Energy Inc.. “Our challenge, then, is to mitigate the environmental impacts.”

NRG Energy and JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corp., Japan’s largest oil producer, are running the Petra Nova project as a 50-50 joint venture under the umbrella of Petra Nova Parish Holdings LLC.

The project received $300 million each from NRG and JX Nippon. NRG also received $167 million from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Coal Power Initiative, plus another $23 million from DOE under Section 313 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 for the carbon capture system.

The Japan Bank for International Cooperation and Mizuho Bank Ltd. are also providing loans totaling $250 million.

Greeson said Petra Nova is on track in large part due to planning and constraints. The development team worked to iron out the technical issues as much as possible before construction began, using components that were already proven to some extent.

In addition, since NRG is an independent power producer, they have bid into a competitive market. That means they don’t have a captive base of ratepayers, so if the price of power jumps too high, their customers have the option of going elsewhere.

“The technology we’re using is definitely evolutionary, not revolutionary,” Greeson said. “We had to execute and know what the deal was going to be before we started.”
An example of widespread CCS?

At the plant, a 240-megawatt slipstream of exhaust flue gas flows into the capture system, which will filter out 90 percent of the carbon dioxide, along with particulates, sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides.

Petra Nova deploys a commercial amine-based carbon dioxide scrubber developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. used to capture carbon dioxide in industrial applications.

The captured carbon dioxide is pumped 82 miles to the West Ranch oil field in Jackson County, Texas, where drillers inject it into depleted wells, squeezing out the stubborn bits of crude oil that remain after the reservoir is tapped, in a process called enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Drillers estimate that the field holds 60 million barrels that could be recovered with EOR.

The EOR operations will generate the revenue that pays for the CCS system. “We have not impacted the cost of electricity from the plant,” Greeson said.


Blood cell phones and Teslas

Too many “green” policies bleed red, hurting the environment and killing people

Paul Driessen

Leonardo DiCaprio made millions for portraying smuggler Danny Archer in the film “Blood Diamond,” which supported mostly unworkable and now defunct efforts to certify that diamonds did not come from “conflict” areas. He loves modern gadgets and takes great pride in being able to lecture “commoners” about safeguarding Earth’s climate – while flying to Earth Day events on private jets, getting chauffeured in limousines, and being driven to Oscar ceremonies in a heavily subsidized Prius.

It turns out, hybrid and electric vehicles are not so “green” and “eco-friendly,” after all. Ditto for cell phones, laptops, wind turbines, solar panels and a plethora of technologies that utilize batteries, magnets and other components which require cobalt, lithium, rare earths and other metals.

Many of those technologies trace their ancestry to mines, mining and processing methods, and countries that don’t come close to meeting modern standards for environmental protection, child labor or “corporate social responsibility.” You could call them “blood technologies” and “conflict metals.”

A recent Washington Post article, “The cobalt pipeline,” attempted to trace the origins of that essential metal from environmentally destructive, even deadly hand-dug mines in the Congo to multiple consumer products. While Todd Frankel’s eye-opening expos left out many important issues, and addressed others from a simplistic developed-nation perspective, it is a “must read” on modern technologies.

Lithium-ion battery products for which cobalt is indispensable include Post owner Jeff Bezos’ Amazon Kindle, Apple and other cell phones and laptop computers, and BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, Tesla and Toyota hybrid and electric vehicles. Amounts range from 10 grams in smart phones to 28 g (1 ounce) in laptops to as much as 15,000 g (33 pounds) in electric cars, the article points out.

Some 60% of the world’s entire supply comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Frankel notes, and the vast majority of that (72,000 tons of ore in 2015) moves through one Chinese company (Congo DongFang International Mining) to the world’s largest battery manufacturers and users.

Global cobalt demand has tripled since 2010. But in 2015, US dealers sold only 115,000 electric cars – a 4% decline from the previous year, and a mere 0.7% of the 17.5 million cars and light trucks sold in America. Just imagine how much cobalt ore would be required if all US cars had to be electric, as many politicians and environmentalists demand.

Then imagine the millions of tons of cobalt, lithium, rare earth and other metal ores that would have to be mined – often under similarly unsafe, polluting, environmentally destructive conditions in places like the DRC or Baotou, Inner Mongolia – to manufacture the millions of wind turbines and billions of solar panels that would be required to replace fossil fuels with “eco-friendly renewable” electricity generation in the USA, Europe and elsewhere. Try to envision the vast landscapes that would be impacted.

I estimated that generating intermittent US power would require an area the size of Montana swarming with 400-foot-tall onshore wind turbines. Another analyst calculates that it would affect more land than Montana and North Dakota combined: 141,000,000 acres. Bird and bat-butchering wind turbines would leave some open space in between, but bird-roasting and other solar facilities would blanket vast areas.

 And if we eliminate fossil fuel primary and backup power plants, we must store the wind and solar electricity – which means massive battery arrays, which means millions more tons of cobalt and lithium.

Mining experts tell me known locations in the United States contain commercially viable cobalt deposits. My own research (in 1994, before new withdrawals; see pgs 12-17) concluded that virtually all the metals for these and other technologies could be found in US locations that are off limits to exploration and development, under dozens of scenic and environmental categories. We cannot even assess what is there, to make sound policy decisions about whether the full range of technological, ethical, environmental and economic considerations argues for developing them, using modern methods under today’s rigorous regulatory regimes. In fact, even when deposits are still legally accessible, getting permits to evaluate and mine them is increasingly impossible. Mining thus heads overseas, because even the most ardent environmentalists, regulators and politicians refuse to live without their technological marvels.

Western mining companies could mine those overseas deposits under rules and processes that safeguard worker health and environmental values. But they are too often vilified, harassed and kept out, by ardent environmentalists, regulators and politicians. The vacuum is filled by Chinese and other companies, under far less rigorous health, safety and environmental standards.

Or worse, it is filled by tens of thousands of poor “artisanal” miners, who dig holes and mine shafts with hand tools – under few or no health, safety or environmental standards or precautions, and often without permits – to eke out a few dollars a day, to feed and clothe their families. The dangerous, back-breaking work often becomes a family enterprise – with wives and children laboring alongside fathers, and all of them getting covered in heavy metal dust, even bringing it home to infect babies and young children.

The result is high levels of cobalt, lead and uranium in their blood, urine and organs – and multiple blood and respiratory diseases, as well as birth defects. The risk of serious accidents and death in the mines is acute and constant. Frankel and others rightly bemoan the situation. However, the all too real alternatives are prostitution for mothers and daughters, thievery for fathers and sons, or starvation and death for all.

Near and mid-term solutions are elusive in countries as destitute and dysfunctional as the DRC. They are made even more distant by the same “social responsibility” and “environmental” activists who gain fame and fortune by battling Western mining companies.

When Doe Run launched extensive projects to modernize and clean up a decades-long heritage of horrendous state-run lead and silver mines and smelters in Peru, those activists finally spoke up – to denounce the company for not eliminating the problems overnight. In the same vein, Chinese-run mining operations are an improvement over artisanal mines, but China’s health, environmental and human rights record in Baotou, Beijing, Guangdong and elsewhere presents little reason for optimism.

Moreover, the 100,000 or so artisanal miners in Congo mean the companies don’t have to pay wages or worry about health-safety-pollution compliance. That brings cheaper cobalt, which benefits mining, processing, battery, computer and car companies – and the labyrinthine acquisition process makes it all but impossible to trace the origins of a particular pound of chromium.

Artisanal and even modern corporate underground mines are inherently dangerous and deadly. However, global greens detest open pit mining, despite its far lower risks. Forced relocations of families and communities are always wrenching, as Frankel observes – whether for cobalt mines or for TVA projects, China’s Three Gorges Dam, Ugandan climate programs, or anti-logging campaigns that closed down many communities’ economic foundations.

The questions now are: Where and how to begin cleaning up the mess, with what money in this destitute and often war-torn region, and how to replace or improve DongFang, or attract Western companies that can weather callous, hypocritical vilification campaigns by the $15-billion-a year Big Green cabal?

These are the same eco-imperialist pressure groups that oppose drilling, fracking, and fossil fuels, even if they would lift families out of abject poverty; pipelines and train lines to carry oil, because they demand a hydrocarbon-free future; DDT and pesticides to prevent malaria; and Golden Rice and other GMO crops to reduce malnutrition, starvation, poverty, blindness and death. They support only minimal economic development in Third World countries, and only what can be supported by wind and solar power.

Above all, they ensure unsustainable, unconscionable poverty, disease and death in poor nations.

All of this should begin to open people’s eyes, redefine what is “green” energy and technology, and engender robust debate over what really is ethical, Earth-friendly, socially responsible, environmental justice and eco-racism. Whether that will actually happen remains to be seen.

Via email

Australia: An admission from the Left that "Renewable" energy was responsible for SA’s Power Outage

By Geoff Russell, writing in "New Matilda"

South Australia has just had some bad weather. Not bad like hurricane Matthew’s trail of destruction in the Caribbean, but bad enough to destroy livelihoods and put lives at risk.

The impacts of bad weather anywhere extend over years. The flooded market gardens will mean increased food prices in the short term and strengthen calls for more money to be spent on flood prevention and mitigation in the long run.

Underinsured businesses may fail and there will be hardship and perhaps even suicide.

The storms toppled power transmission towers and the entire state was blacked out. Large sections of roads in the Adelaide hills fell away as if hit by an earth quake. Backup generators failed in hospitals and businesses. At Whyalla’s steelworks, slabs of steel cooled prematurely and will have to be removed by welding teams in coming weeks.

Medications and much else needing refrigeration had to be dumped and generator sales soared as tens of thousands of households endured not just the initial hours felt by the entire state, but a day or two without power.

Given our propensity for self-interest, I’d expect sales of big battery banks will also boom over the next year or two. If you are into shares, then I’d suggest lead, zinc, cobalt and lithium. One of my UPS units lasted barely 60 seconds instead of the half hour I’d expected, so I’ll certainly be calling for a Royal Commission into UPS standards!

So what went wrong?

Here’s what didn’t happen… a massive storm knocked over huge transmission towers and a grid collapse was the inevitable outcome; the first bit is true and the second is bollocks.

In 2012 a study by Ben Heard and James Brown into a nuclear power option for SA looked at the failure parameters for the South Australian grid.

Grid operators always know how big a generator can fail without bringing down the grid. As a rule of thumb, they want the system to stay up even if their biggest generator fails.

In 2012, Electranet estimated that the grid could handle a 450 mega watt (MW) loss without crashing.

But it’s not just the amount of power that is important. Traditional generators are large lumps of spinning metal which have considerable inertia. Solar doesn’t work like this, and nor, a little surprisingly, do wind turbines. A heavy vehicle has inertia which keeps it moving when it hits a hill. So it is with traditional baseload turbines: they resist slowing down.

If your electricity network has lots of these then it has considerable inertia in the face of sudden losses… it will fail slowly and give you time to respond, typically by load shedding… meaning selectively cutting power to small areas. But the SA network has been radically transformed in recent years and has lost significant capacity to withstand failure.

So how much power did SA lose when those big towers collapsed? A mere 315 MW. The grid should have stayed up and would have stayed up in times past.

At the time of the blackout, the Heywood interconnector was the main source of high inertia power on our grid, and it was running near capacity; shipping in coal power from Victoria.

When the towers collapsed there wasn’t enough capacity in that connector so it was overloaded and turned itself off to avoid damage.

If you want the full blow-by-blow story of what happened, then read the official AEMO report or head over to Ben Heard’s blog for a readable explanation.

The Greens responded locally by making a video reminding people that the storms should be viewed as a powerful portent of our coming destabilised climate. Quite right. Warning people of impending doom soon loses it’s power in the face of continued unruffled contentment amid an almost infinite supply of football finals and cooking programs.

But because their renewable energy policy is rooted in slogans rather than science, they also mounted a robust defence of their renewable energy champion despite him presently spewing blood and thrashing around like the Monty Python Black Knight.

I had a meeting with a senior Greens figure before the recent Federal Election to talk about nuclear power. I was accused of bombarding them with facts. Silly me, I should have arrived with a guitar and a couple of evocative ballads.

“I’m not a scientist” he kept saying, “but I’ve been told” … he went on. “By whom?” By someone else who wasn’t a scientist and doesn’t seem to know any.



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

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9 October, 2016

Hurricanes and Chicken Little Syndrome

Seemingly with every major weather-related event the “man-made” climate change alarmists come rushing forward exclaiming that the event is yet more “evidence” supporting their “settled science” claims. Hurricanes, tornados, lots of rain, droughts, you name it. Like clockwork, the media jumped on Hurricane Matthew and pushed the climate alarmists narrative while marveling at how “timely” the Paris Climate Agreement is. As NBC News' Ron Allen reported, “[Barack Obama] has done something that unites the world around the goal of saving the planet.” We have seemingly entered a comic book universe with fitting titles such as, “Super Hero Obama Saves Earth From Villain Climate Change.”

But the planet has a long history of major weather-related events. This reality has been confirmed time and again by sound scientific data, not questionable “scientific” models that have proven to be rather poor predictors of climate and weather. Back in 2005 when the U.S. experienced an increased number of hurricanes the climate alarmist predicted this to be the start of more frequent and intense storms. What followed was 11 years of low storm activity with no hurricanes hitting the U.S. mainland.

With the Left everything is political, and therefore an excuse to seek greater control over private citizens' lives. The reality is that when people stop believing in God, then they look to some other source of power to solve their problems and protect them. The Left not only accepts this role, they gladly preach it, to the point where they make the ridiculous claim of even being able to control the weather.


The Paris Climate Deal Is About Acquiring Power -- And it will take effect just ahead of the U.S. election

When Friday, Nov. 4 hits in a few weeks, headlines may be so hijacked by the impending presidential election that they miss the other news set to happen that day — the UN’s Paris Climate Agreement will take effect. Or, if you’re Barack Obama, the world will embark on the “best possible shot” at saving the planet. Because planetary survival has always hinged on UN-dictated meteorological engineering.

The Paris Agreement is the UN scheme under which participating countries must work to cut greenhouse gas emissions to keep global temperatures increases “well-below” two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times. By comparison, the UN has predicted that based on current trends, temperatures will rise by at least three degrees by 2100. In other words, the UN is hamstringing the global economy for the sake of one degree.

One can only hope the UN already has a pledge of cooperation from the sun for the next 84 years since evidence suggests sunspot activity may actually impact earth’s temperature more than human industry. Shocking, we know.

To go into effect, the agreement requires sign-on by 55 countries representing at least 55% of global emissions. The deal becomes effective 30 days from the date this threshold is reached. The U.S. and China, which together account for about 38% of the world’s emissions, had already signed onto the deal, with dozens of other countries doing the same. On Tuesday, the EU gave its assent, bringing 28 nations and pushing the tally above the deal’s requirement.

As we noted before, the Paris agreement is merely one part — albeit a big one — of Obama’s effort to centralize control. A side benefit is that it will obliterate the coal industry via death by regulation. Of course, with the Paris deal, he’s gone global with his regulatory fanaticism. Sure, environmental scaremongers à la Al Gore may paint the issue as one of survival — after all, if John Kerry is to be believed, battling climate change is equivalent to fighting the Islamic State — but the real issue is power. Why else would global leaders trip over themselves in a mad dash to implement a deal that will save a measly degree in temperature?

But fabricate a crisis of cosmic proportions, identify government mandates as the only solution, and voila: power.

And that’s not the half of it.

In typical “I have a pen” fashion, Obama specifically avoided the Senate while climate cavorting with the UN. He never gained Senate approval for the deal, giving a thumbs up to the agreement with one hand while flipping the bird to the Constitution with the other. Not quite tickled at Congress being cut out of international treaties, some Republican leaders challenged Obama. But the White House of course claims the agreement isn’t a treaty so Obama can assent via executive action. A fast way to get around that pesky supreme law of the land.

Of course, since it’s “not a treaty,” the Paris agreement carries little enforcement mechanism in the U.S., the one bright spot if there is one.

Still, fast-tracking the deal to make sure it goes into effect before POTUS #45 takes office and possibly blocks it was, undoubtedly, intentional.

With Obama exiting the White House soon (but not soon enough), his successor could technically withdraw from the deal, since it was approved via presidential pen stroke rather than Senate ratification. Hillary Clinton, of course, wouldn’t pull out, but Donald Trump has said he would. But this might be easier said than done. Per the agreement, signatory nations can withdraw with one year’s notice only after three years from the deal’s effective date. Fortune reports that Trump could bypass this requirement by pulling out of the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, thereby withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris deal as well. Yet even this underscores the ridiculousness of pledging allegiance to the UN in the first place.

For now, suffice it to say that if a one-degree mark on a thermostat can trigger global mandates that kill industries and drive people out of work, it’s a clear sign the Left will use anything as an excuse to seize power.


UK: Fracking revolution! Ministers overrule locals to approve shale gas sites

Ministers have defied a welter of opposition to give the go-ahead for fracking plans.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid today approved proposals for using the controversial mining technique at a site in Lancashire known as Preston New Road - but refused permission for another project nearby.

Opponents fear the technique can cause earthquakes, pollute water, lead to damaging development in the countryside and hit house prices.

The deeply controversial process involves drilling horizontally under ground before using explosive charge and high water pressure to extract gas.

The landmark ruling means shale rock gas can be 'fracked' horizontally for the first time - potentially paving the way for a rich new source of energy for the UK.

Lancashire County Council turned down planning applications for fracking for shale gas at Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood, even though its officials had recommended one of the schemes.

Cuadrilla appealed against against the decision and it went to a public inquiry which was heard earlier this year. Mr Javid has now approved the Preston New Road site.

Only one other fracking licence has been granted – for the firm Third Energy at Kirby Misperton in Ryedale, North Yorkshire.

However, there are scores of other sites where there may be fracking potential. Other potential sites include Bassetlaw in Nottinghamshire and Broadford Bridge in Sussex.

Britain imports about half the gas it uses. The National Grid calculates this could rise to 93 per cent by 2040.

Mr Javid said the decision to pursue fracking would boost the UK economy, adding: ‘Shale gas has the potential to power economic growth, support 64,000 jobs, and provide a new domestic energy source, making us less reliant on imports.

‘When it comes to the financial benefits of shale, our plans mean local communities benefit first.’

Under the Government’s shale wealth fund, it could pay up to £10million per community affected by a fracking site.

These would be drawn from business rates on the sites. Some industry sources warn that communities might have a long wait as significant revenues are unlikely before 2025.

Mr Javid did not grant approval for drilling at Roseacre Wood but said he was ‘minded’ to allow it.

Last night, Preston New Road Action Group chairman Pat Davies said: ‘This is a sad day as it is clear to all that this government neither listens nor can it be trusted to do the right thing for local communities.’

Barry Gardiner, Labour’s shadow minister for energy, said: ‘Tory ministers pay lip service to tackling climate change but are bending over backwards to force through new fossil fuel infrastructure, with divisive bribes, tax breaks and ministerial powers that over-ride the wishes of local communities.

‘The next Labour government will ban fracking and focus on unlocking the jobs and growth that a new clean low-carbon energy infrastructure can provide for our industry, workforce and communities.’

Greenpeace campaigner Hannah Martin said: ‘Fracking will put our countryside and air quality at risk. Digging up more fossil fuels that we can’t burn if we are to honour the international agreement we signed in Paris and is coming into force next month makes little economic or environmental sense.’

But the move was welcomed by unions. Stuart Fegan, of the GMB, said: ‘The go-ahead will reduce the gas we will need to import from regimes fronted by henchmen, hangmen and head-choppers as the UK will need to use gas for years to come to heat our homes and generate electricity on the 60 days each year when there is no wind.’

When David Cameron was prime minister, he said the Government was going 'all out for shale' to boost the economy, jobs and energy security.

Soon after she took over as PM, Theresa May launched a consultation which could see home owners receive individual payments for fracking wells drilled nearby.

But the process - in which liquid is pumped deep underground at high pressure to fracture shale rock and release gas - remains highly controversial, with many protesters turning out for the public inquiry.

Fracking has been mired in controversy since it hit the headlines in 2011 for causing two minor earthquakes in Lancashire, prompting a temporary ban.

The moratorium was later lifted, with controls put in place to prevent tremors, but fracking continues to attract opposition over fears it can also cause water contamination, noise and traffic pollution.

With the Government set to ratify the global Paris Agreement on cutting greenhouse gases before the end of the year, environmentalists argue fracking for fossil fuels is not compatible with tackling climate change and the focus should be on renewables.

Liberal Democrat climate spokeswoman Lynne Featherstone said: 'This decision sets a very dangerous precedent, with the government riding roughshod over the will of the local people.

'Fracking poses a huge risk to our countryside, environment and efforts to tackle climate change, we must continue to fight it at every turn.

'At a time when the rest of the world is moving towards low carbon, this Conservative government is taking us in completely the wrong direction.'

A fracking boss insisted today that drilling for gas is better than importing it.

Francis Egan, chief executive of Cuadrilla, the company behind the plans in Fylde, said the controversial process is the best solution for the UK's fuel shortage.

He told Good Morning Britain: 'The country needs gas. The country is running out of gas, and without some form of energy development, we're going to end up importing all of our fuel from overseas, and we've seen that just last week with the ridiculous situation where Scotland is importing shale gas from America, which frankly is crazy.'

Addressing local concerns about traffic, Mr Egan said that after an initial construction and drilling period the traffic would be 'down to three or four trucks a week'.

He said the impact of a producing site is 'far less, frankly, than a wind farm'.

He added: 'The fact is that this is a temporary development. There is traffic, obviously, you can't do this without it, but we're talking about 25 trucks a day at peak. 'That's for a maximum of six weeks spread out over a two-year period.'

MPs last year gave approval for fracking under National Parks but the wells themselves must be outside – so the companies must drill sideways to get to the shale reserves. In the latest round, licences were granted for exploratory drilling at 53 sites of special scientific interest and three RSPB nature reserves.

What will happen next? Britain has changed its planning rules to allow government intervention to approve or reject shale gas drilling permits and it is thought this could lead to a boom in fracking operations, with the first gas expected to come on to the market next year. Many applications have already led to protests.


Climatologist: Despite the Hype, Paris Climate Accord ‘Doesn’t Really Do Anything’ to Reduce Global Warming

President Obama hailed the European Parliament’s ratification of the Paris Climate Accord on Wednesday as “a turning point for our planet”, but climatologist Patrick Michaels says despite the presidential hype, the international climate change agreement, which goes into effect on November 4th,  “doesn’t really do anything” to reduce global warming.

"The truth is that the Paris Climate Accord doesn't really do anything," Michaels, director of the Cato Institute’s Center for the Study of Science, said of the international agreement, which attempts to prevent average global temperatures from rising more than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2100 by drastically reducing the carbon dioxide emissions of its 191 signatory nations.

“If you take a hard look at the numbers, if every nation did what they said they will do, and they won’t, it would reduce warming between now and the year 2100 by between 0.1 and 0.2 degrees C[elsius]. That is an amount that is too small to measure,” Michaels told

“I think it’s quite remarkable that people go around clapping each on the back and congratulating each other when they know that they didn’t agree to do very much at all,” he noted.

Michaels pointed out that even if all the pledges to reduce CO2 emissions are kept, the agreement would have a negligble effect on global warming.

“The Chinese, for all of President Obama’s praise, only agreed to do what Obama’s own economists told him they would do with business as usual," Michaels continued."They said, in 2011, given the development of the Chinese economy, it’s going to be mature around 2030 and that means their carbon dioxide emissions will stabilize. And that’s what they said they would do. They said we intend to stabilize our emissions around 2030.

“India, by the way, in Paris agreed to do less than business as usual. Their emissions per capita were dropping, I don’t know, about 20 percent or something like that, and they said we are going to have our emissions per capita not drop as much by 2030. And everybody claps their hands, like they’ve done something. …

“Only the United States and the EU [European Union] are the ones that are going to cost themselves a lot of money for this Paris Agreement. Go figure.”

Obama officially joined the Paris Climate Accord when he signed an executive order on September 3rd, stating at the time that “someday we may see this as the moment that we finally decided to save our planet.”

The president agreed to reduce U.S. carbon dioxide emissions 28 percent by 2030, a goal he intends to reach by implementing his controversial Clean Power Plan, which was recently put on hold by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Under the U.S. Constitution, treaties with other nations must be ratified by the Senate. In light of this, CNSNews asked Michaels for his thoughts on the current status of the international climate change agreement in the U.S.

 “It’s very unclear,” he replied. “Judging from the Supreme Court’s statement a little bit over a year ago in one of the power plant cases, and this was when [Justice Antonin] Scalia was still there, something of this magnitude, the court feels, probably should be legislated.

“Also, the Paris Agreement contains the words ‘we shall’ do this, ‘we shall’ do that as opposed to ‘we should’ do this, ‘we should’ do that. And even according to Secretary of State John Kerry, the word ‘shall’ makes it much closer to a treaty.

“And I think the Congress, when it gets back in session next January, ought to decide whether this is a treaty. And say to the president: ‘If we think it’s a treaty, you send it to the Senate for ratification. If you act on it otherwise, there’s going to be major legal problems’.”

Michaels added that the best course of action for the United States is to “do nothing” on climate change.

“Temperatures warmed between the late 1970s and the late 1990s, and depending upon what record you look at – whether you look at a satellite record, whether you look at a surface record – the warming either slowed down beginning in the late 1990s or in the case of the satellite record, stopped.

“Now that’s not predicted to have happened. But on the other hand, remember that it warmed up until the late 1990s, so that got us to a very high stand of temperatures. So even if the temperature remains constant, when you get something like an El Nino which induces an annual temperature spike, one for a year or two, you’re going to get record-high temperatures. And that’s where we are right now,” he told CNSNews.

“What’s going to happen in the next year after that El Nino is completely gone and the cold water that is suppressed comes back up, who knows where that temperature’s going to be a year or two from now, but it’s certainly not going to be as high as it was this year or last year.”

But even the current El Nino-driven warming is not nearly as high as computer models predicted, he pointed out.

“The hallmark of this issue from the get-go has been exaggeration,” Michaels told CNSNews. “Yes, if you put more carbon dioxide in the air, you will get a warming pressure on temperatures in the lower atmosphere and near the surface. That is true. And it’s warmer than it was a 100 years ago.

“But not all of that warming has been caused by carbon dioxide. Much of it occurred before we ever put much carbon dioxide in the air.

“And so the logical conclusion, if you compare what computer models say should be happening and what is happening, is that those models dramatically overforecast the amount of warming.

“And if, say, only half as much warming is going to occur as is being predicted, this turns into a non-problem because technology and society changes so much. Energy technology, just think 100 years ago," Michaels said.

“And if you have a gradual warming and you’re concerned about carbon dioxide, you’re going to be using different technologies 100 years from now. I don’t know what they’re going to be. I’m pretty darn sure they’re not going to be solar energy and windmills. We need good, dense energy that’s reliable. But it’s gonna be very different,” he added.

“So if the warming rate is modest, probably the best thing to do is to do nothing, because doing nothing is really actually doing something. It’s allowing yourself to generate the capital to produce new energy.”


Renewable energy faces stormy weather in Australia

Could Australian politics sink to a more juvenile level than it did last week after an entire state was hurled back into the dark ages by a freak storm?

Malcolm Turnbull, quite rightly, seized the opportunity to tell the states they had to sharpen up on energy security and consider an achievable single renewable energy target.

It wasn’t simply a case of a politician not wasting a crisis, it was a case of a leader reacting immediately to an unprecedented crisis with the potential to recur with even more devastating consequences rather than simply emoting in front of the media.

Instead of addressing the issue at hand, state and federal Labor leaders, clutching hymn sheets from central command, fell over each other to get to the cameras to express their outrage that the Prime Minister dared suggest their policies were inappropriate or unworkable.

It was as predictable as it was pathetic. Turnbull had, according to everyone from Bill Shorten down, turned into Tony Abbott — who, it has to be said, deserves 10 out of 10 for consistency since he lost the leadership by saying one thing publicly on the leadership and something else privately. But I digress.

Neither Turnbull nor federal Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg questioned that the blackout was caused by the weather. What they questioned was the reliability of the state’s power sources in the face of such an event.

Yesterday’s interim report by the Australian Energy Market Operator suggesting wind power was the root cause of the blackout showed they were spot-on to do so. Rule one, as Turnbull put it yesterday, was to keep the lights on, and again urged South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill to own up to his responsibilities.

The South Australian experience has highlighted the possible disastrous consequences of the political one-upmanship on renewable energy targets (which peaks in the ACT, where it has been set at 100 per cent by 2020) yet the response of premiers and their energy ministers has been to accuse Turnbull of “politicking” or morphing into a climate change denier a la Abbott.

Even if he has morphed (and he hasn’t) they, as climate change believers, are the ones preaching catastrophic weather events will become more frequent. If they are right, we can expect more freakish storms more often, wreaking the kind of havoc witnessed in South Australia.

Surely, then, their immediate duty is to ensure they have the capacity to protect their citizens instead of responding with mantra or ideology or insult.

At the meeting of energy ministers in August, Frydenberg had already proposed they should look at the impact on the stability of the system and energy prices of state-based renewable targets. Unsurprisingly, the two most ideolog­ically driven states, Victoria and the ACT, opposed the idea. Queensland was sceptical and NSW strongly supportive.

To his credit, South Australian Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis was constructive. Koutsantonis could not be anything else given only weeks earlier he had written to the chairman of the Energy Market Commission, John Pierce, conceding the high uptake of wind and solar had made electricity security a “complex matter”.

Eventually, after a tense stand-off, ministers agreed the review should proceed and it was announced in the post-meeting communique.

Victoria’s opposition to the review is consistent with its ostrich-like approach to the possible closure of the Hazelwood power plant in the Latrobe Valley, which supplies 20 per cent of the state’s energy needs.

Victorian Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio responded to the news of a possible closure by saying the state had the lowest prices in Australia and there was an oversupply of electricity. She insists the state would be able to cope, and does not expect it to affect the state’s energy supply.

D’Ambrosio continued her tedious recital from the hymn sheet on Tuesday, saying Turnbull was being hypocritical and clearly hadn’t done enough hand-wringing over the plight of South Australians. As if that would help.

While condemning the Prime Minister for playing politics rather than showing more empathy, D’Ambrosio showed herself to be a dab hand at politics: “At least with Tony Abbott, the people of Australia knew where they stood on climate policy, we don’t have that when it comes to Malcolm Turnbull.”

Because of the complexity of the issue, the review commissioned at the August meeting will not be ready until the end of the year, so Frydenberg tells me his primary goal at tomorrow’s meeting is to actually get the states to confront the issue. First they have to acknowledge a problem exists.

“What is the goal?” Frydenberg asks. “It is to reduce emissions, but the renewable energy target is a means to an end. If you haven’t got the best systems in place, you increase the costs to consumers or you undermine energy security. Then we are all stuffed.”

Meanwhile Labor glides over its policy of 50 per cent renewables by 2030, with not one detail about how to get there. We were told we had to wait until October next year for an answer to that (pending an election win by Labor), although Frydenberg helpfully has suggested that installing 10,000 wind turbines at a cost of $48 billion may be one option.

When opposition environment spokesman Mark Butler was asked on Sunday on Sky News when we could expect to see the modelling or consequences of its target, Butler confessed it couldn’t be done from opposition, only from government, so an answer could be a long time coming.



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 October, 2016

The bits of Greenland that melted 20,000 years ago are the same bits that are melting today

My rather unsurprising heading above summarizes the findings reported in confusing detail below.  So the effort below to make the findings alarming falls rather flat.  It in fact draws attention to the lively possibility that present changes are as natural as the changes of 20,000 years ago. 

I also append the Abstract of the underlying academic journal article, which is rather fun in its own way. I quote: "We reevaluate the evolution of the GrIS since LGM and obtain a loss of 1.5-m sea-level equivalent from the northwest and southeast"

In other words, they estimate that Greenland melting made sea levels rise by 1.5 meters over the last 20,000 years.  That amounts to less than one ten thousandth of a meter per year.  How worrying is that?  You would need a microscope to see anything that small

The latest observations, reported in the journal Science Advances today, reveal that the entirety of Greenland is rising in response to a combination of Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (that is the rise of land due to ice mass loss over the last ~23 thousands years) and the Earth’s immediate elastic response to present-day ice-mass loss.

Mass loss of the Greenland Ice Sheet, the world’s second largest ice sheet, has increased dramatically over the last two decades, due to accelerated glacier flow and enhanced surface melting.

Scientists have historically found it hard to provide precise measurements of exactly how much the ice sheet has melted over a millennial time scale, and therefore how much it was contributing to global sea level rise over those time scales.

Earlier studies suggest that the basins of the southeast, east and northwest of the ice sheet have undergone profound change, contributing more than 77 per cent of the total ice loss to the ocean over the last century, specifically between 1900 and 1981.

Using data from the Greenland GPS Network, a team of researchers including scientists from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and the University of Bristol, recently found that these regions actually contributed about 40 per cent to ice mass loss over thousands of years.

Lead author Professor Shfaqat Abbas Khan from DTU, and colleagues, measured the rise of land masses that were once weighed down by ice sheets, known as Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA).  They found large GIA uplift rates of over 12 millimeters per year in southeast Greenland.

The results indicate that these basins alone have contributed to an ice mass loss corresponding to global sea level rise of 1.5 m.

Co-author Professor Jonathan Bamber from the University of Bristol’s School of Geographical Sciences, said: “It’s notoriously difficult to estimate the long term past contribution of Greenland to sea level rise. Our new results provide a unique insight into the millennial timescale contribution of the ice sheet. We find a remarkable similarity between how the ice sheet behaved in the past and what it is doing now, with potential implications for future mass loss trends.”

Professor Khan added: “It seems likely, therefore, that further destabilization of these ice sheet regions will continue to be the source of Greenland’s contribution to sea-level rise in the future.”


Geodetic measurements reveal similarities between post–Last Glacial Maximum and present-day mass loss from the Greenland ice sheet

Shfaqat A. Khan


Accurate quantification of the millennial-scale mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) and its contribution to global sea-level rise remain challenging because of sparse in situ observations in key regions. Glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) is the ongoing response of the solid Earth to ice and ocean load changes occurring since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; ~21 thousand years ago) and may be used to constrain the GrIS deglaciation history. We use data from the Greenland Global Positioning System network to directly measure GIA and estimate basin-wide mass changes since the LGM. Unpredicted, large GIA uplift rates of +12 mm/year are found in southeast Greenland. These rates are due to low upper mantle viscosity in the region, from when Greenland passed over the Iceland hot spot about 40 million years ago. This region of concentrated soft rheology has a profound influence on reconstructing the deglaciation history of Greenland. We reevaluate the evolution of the GrIS since LGM and obtain a loss of 1.5-m sea-level equivalent from the northwest and southeast. These same sectors are dominating modern mass loss. We suggest that the present destabilization of these marine-based sectors may increase sea level for centuries to come. Our new deglaciation history and GIA uplift estimates suggest that studies that use the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment satellite mission to infer present-day changes in the GrIS may have erroneously corrected for GIA and underestimated the mass loss by about 20 gigatons/year.

Science Advances  21 Sep 2016: Vol. 2, no. 9, e1600931. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1600931

Pew: Most Americans Don’t Believe in ‘Scientific Consensus’ on Climate Change

Nearly three-quarters of Americans don’t trust that there is a large “scientific consensus” amongst climate scientists on human behavior being the cause of climate change, according to an in-depth survey on “the politics of climate” released Tuesday by Pew Research Center.

According to the survey, only 27 percent of Americans agree that “almost all” climate scientists say that human behavior is mostly responsible for climate change, while 35 percent say that “more than half” of climate scientists agree on this. An additional 35 percent of those surveyed say that fewer than half (20%) or almost no (15%) climate scientists believe that human behavior is the main contributing factor in climate change.

Pew contrasted this to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which “stated in the forward to its 2013 report, ‘the science now shows with 95 percent certainty that human activity is the dominant cause of observed warming since the mid-20th century.’”

Additionally, Americans were skeptical about the expertise of climate scientists.

Just 33 percent of those surveyed said that climate scientists understand “very well” whether global climate change is happening, another 39 percent said climate scientists understand this “fairly well.” Twenty-seven percent of those surveyed say climate scientists don’t understand this “too well” or don’t understand it at all.

When it comes to the causes of global climate change only 28 percent say climate scientists understand them “very well” while 31 percent say the scientists understand them “not too well” or “not at all.”

Additionally, Americans seemed to lack trust in climate scientists’ solutions to climate change. Only 19 percent say climate scientists understand very well the best ways to address climate change, and 35 percent say the scientists understand this not too well or not at all.

Americans also don’t trust the news media’s coverage of climate change. Forty-seven percent of those surveyed say the media does a “good job” covering global climate change, while 51% say they do a “bad job.”

Thirty-five percent of Americans say the media “exaggerate the threat of climate change,” and 42 percent say the media “don’t take the threat of climate change seriously enough.” Just 20 percent say the media are “about right in their reporting.”

Overall, Pew noted that few Americans - only 11 percent - follow news about climate change “very closely.”

The findings in the Pew report are “based on a nationally representative survey of 1,534 U.S. adults conducted May 10 - June 6, 2016.”


U.S. Intel Alert: Climate Change Aids Terrorists, Destabilizes Entire World, Stresses Military

Climate change poses significant national security challenges for the United States and will create large-scale political instability, social disruption and food shortages, according to the nation's intelligence agency. It marks the latest of many dire government warnings under President Obama about the ills of global warming and this one comes from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), though the agency concedes it's based on information provided by the famously corrupt United Nations (UN).

That the nation's intelligence agency has blindly adopted the information as fact is almost more alarming than the warnings outlined in its 13-page report. The ODNI is the broad agency that serves as an umbrella for the intelligence community and advises the president so its assessments carry a lot of weight. The ODNI is composed of more than a dozen spy agencies, including Air Force, Army, Navy, Treasury and Coast Guard intelligence as well as the CIA and FBI. This gives it tremendous credibility, which is probably why the UN-created Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is having the ODNI promote its seemingly outlandish findings. Like a good lapdog the ODNI obliged, promoting the questionable information of radical leftwing groups in the process.

The report even suggests that climate change can fuel terrorism by including these nuggets: "In 2015, insurgent groups in northern Mali exploited deepening desertification, worsened by persistent drought, to enlist locals in a "food for jihad" arrangement." Here's another example that illustrates how terrorists benefit from climate change, according to the new intel report. "The terrorist group Al-Shabaab exploited the 2011-13 famine in Somalia to coerce and tax international aid agencies, and it withheld food from those it deemed uncooperative, according to Human Rights Watch." For the record, Human Rights Watch is a leftist group with questionable credibility when it comes to security matters so citing it as a source tying terrorism to global warming is almost comical.

As if the assertion that climate change enables terrorists wasn't far-fetched enough, the ODNI also claims it will destabilize the entire world by risking human health, putting stress on military operations and negatively impacting investments and economic competitiveness. Meat and dairy lovers beware; "Heatwaves threaten livestock directly and also reduce fertility, decrease milk production, and make them more vulnerable to disease," the ODNI writes, citing UN science. "Droughts, wildfires, and extended periods of reduced precipitation threaten pasture and food supplies, indirectly threatening livestock."

As for health, extreme heat will contribute directly to deaths from cardiovascular and respiratory disease across the globe, particularly among the elderly, the report states. Military operations worldwide will be negatively impacted because more frequent and intense natural disasters will strain the capacity of U.S. and allied armed forces to deliver humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, according to the ODNI. As is the case in all global matters, the U.S. will carry most of the burden. "The US military may be called upon more frequently to respond to foreign crises if its counterparts in affected countries are overstretched, unable to handle their own crises or those in their neighborhood," the report says.

Investments will be affected because "extreme weather events" will discourage investment in regions deemed vulnerable. "Infrastructure will be increasingly threatened by more extreme conditions in the near future, and freshwater from aquifers will be increasingly jeopardized by saltwater intrusion," the ODNI writes. "Expectations of future losses will almost certainly increase insurance premiums and payouts, and insurance rates may increase well before real effects are felt in regions deemed vulnerable." Additionally, the financial burden of responding to emergent climate trends and severe weather events, including the cost of efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, will reduce financing available for other investments. "Increasing heat stress is likely to adversely affect agriculture, manufacturing, and other sectors requiring physical labor and could significantly contribute to GDP loss." The Grim Reaper has come to town!

In the last few years President Obama has committed tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to combat climate change-especially in developing countries-through programs operated by the World Bank, the UN and a global initiative called Green Growth Action Alliance headed by a former Mexican president. To justify the investment, the administration has created hysteria with a number of government-funded studies warning about the dangers of climate change. Among them are reports claiming that global warming will make food and water dangerous, cause mental illness, cancer and threaten national security. In fact, a consortium of Obama administration scientists from several government agencies-including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the State Department and National Institute of Environmental Health Science-have confirmed that global warming is one of the "most visible environmental concerns of the 21st century." One publicly-funded study claimed that the Washington D.C. area and surrounding government infrastructure will be virtually destroyed by global warming over the next century.


Warmists scared of Trump

A picture of five prominent people looking pleased with themselves for just having done something stupid.  It will embarrass their grandchildren

The U.N.-sponsored climate pact to limit greenhouse gases crossed a critical threshold far ahead of schedule Tuesday with the approval of the European Union, as world leaders raced to cement the deal amid fears that Donald Trump would make good on his vow to end U.S. participation if elected president.

With the addition of the 28 European Union nations, the agreement cleared the hurdle of 55 countries representing 55 percent of global emissions required for the accord to enter into effect — less than a year after being negotiated by the Obama administration and more than 190 countries in December.

With the approval by the EU parliament needing a month to officially take effect, the accord could start to come into force on Nov. 7 — one day before the presidential election in the U.S.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest praised the speed at which the deal was ratified even as critics attributed the flurry of approvals to the possibility of a November victory by Mr. Trump, who vowed in May to “cancel” the accord.

Mr. Earnest said that multilateral, U.N.-backed agreements “typically take multiple years, if not decades, to enter into force.”

“And the fact that this agreement will take effect in less than a year is not just a historic accomplishment, it’s a historic commitment to fulfilling the terms of the deal in a way that will have enormous positive benefits for the planet,” he said.

“The entry into force of the Paris agreement less than one year after its signature is a massive achievement, given that it took eight years for the [Kyoto climate agreement],” European Parliament President Martin Schulz noted in a statement.

Given that Mr. Obama entered into the agreement by executive action, critics have argued a future president could take the U.S. out of the agreement with the stroke of a pen. Even so, supporters have pushed for quick approval on the theory that withdrawing from the pact would become trickier once ratification is in place.

Negotiated at the 21st Conference of the Parties in Paris, the nonbinding accord appeared to stall until U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged countries in July to accelerate their ratification process.

President Obama heeded the call by entering into the accord a month ago at a joint ceremony with Chinese President Xi Jinping, despite objections from congressional Republicans, who have insisted that the agreement is a treaty and therefore must be ratified by the Senate. China and the U.S. are the world’s two biggest producers of greenhouse gases.

Climate Depot’s Marc Morano compared the push to the sudden release of U.S. hostages by Iran in 1981 shortly after Republican Ronald Reagan was elected president.

“The international climate community is terrified of the prospect of a Trump presidency, and with good reason,” said Mr. Morano. “Trump has pledged to do a full ‘Clexit’ and pull out of the U.N.Paris Agreement, overturn the EPA executive orders on climate and defund” the U.N. expert panel that has strongly pressed the case for man-made global warming.

The European Parliament vote on ratification, which passed overwhelmingly with 610 in favor, 38 against and 31 abstaining, came two days after India, one of the world’s leading carbon emitters, submitted its ratification document to the U.N.

That still left the accord about 3 percentage points shy of the 55 percent emissions goal until the EU weighed in with its Tuesday vote. The Canadian House of Commons is expected to ratify the agreement Wednesday, adding another 2 percent to the emissions percentage.

The accord is scheduled to enter into force 30 days after the EU ratification is delivered Friday to the U.N., coinciding with the next major international climate change meeting in Marrakech, Morocco.

The debate goes on

But the rush of national endorsements is hardly expected to end the debate over the accord, which calls for a cooperative global effort to hold global temperature increases to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels by limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

Congressional Republicans have challenged President Obama’s decision to enter into the agreement without Senate ratification, while the White House has said that the nonbinding pact is not a treaty and may be ratified by executive action.

“The Paris climate deal is a legally non-binding deal that the president forced on taxpayers,” said the GOP majority of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology in a Monday post on Twitter. “It is all pain & no gain.”

Critics have also blasted the agreement as political theater that will place Western nations at a competitive disadvantage with countries such as China and India, both of which are expected to increase their carbon dioxide emissions in the short term.

“The Paris agreement is a grand theater designed to convince Western taxpayers to cough up more money,” said Australian climate skeptic Joanne Nova. “China and India are part of the show, putting on their best environmental faces while they do nothing green — or even less.”

Meanwhile, climate change activists wasted no time cheering the EU’s milestone vote.

“Today is a historic day, and we applaud the international community for setting the foundation for global action to avoid the worst impacts of climate change,” said BlueGreen Alliance executive director Kim Glas.

Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said that although the vote is “certainly a cause for celebration — perhaps with a glass or two of French wine — much hard work lies ahead.”

“Countries must now move aggressively to implement and strengthen their emissions reduction commitments under the agreement if we are to have any chance of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change,” Mr. Meyer said.

Mixed reception

Even within the climate change movement, however, opinions on the Paris accord are mixed. Climatologist James Hansen, a former NASA director and a leading critic of global warming, described the agreement as too little too late.

“There’s a misconception that we’ve begun to address the climate problem,” Mr. Hansen told reporters Monday. “The misapprehension is based on the Paris climate summit, where all the government leaders clapped each other on the back as if some great progress has been made, but you look at the science and it doesn’t compute. We are not doing what is needed.”

After the vote, the European Commission announced that it had already brought forward legislative proposals “to deliver on the EU’s commitment to reduce emissions in the European Union by at least 40 percent by 2030.”

“Today the European Union turned climate ambition into climate action,” European Parliament President Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters in Brussels. “The Paris Agreement is the first of its kind, and it would not have been possible were it not for the European Union.”

Mr. Morano described the EU’s action as lip service, saying that “the climate campaigners can now declare victory and herald this climatically meaningless U.N. agreement as some kind of milestone.”

“But the reality is, this treaty is about forcing the U.S. and Europe to redistribute wealth, and it’s about enriching the U.N.,” he said. “You may as well believe in witchcraft if you actually believe that the U.N. can control the Earth’s temperature and manage storminess.”


A dramatic, sudden loss of wind power generation was the root cause of South Australia’s state wide blackout last week

And no mystery about why the windmills failed.  They HAD to be shut down in high winds or they would have flown apart.  The report below corresponds exactly with my earlier diagnosis of the problem.  It was precisely the heavy reliance on unstable wind power that blacked out the entire state -- with many grievous consequences

And the bulk of damage to high voltage transmission lines that was caused by high winds and paraded as evidence to defend renewables most likely took place after the power had been lost.

These are the major facts contained in the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) preliminary report:

Preliminary Report – Black System Event In South Australia On 28 September 2016 — Australian Energy Market Operator

More work is needed to flesh out the forensic, time sequenced analysis that has already been conducted.

But there is enough in the interim report to make the rush to defence of renewables mounted by special interest groups and conflicted state governments since the lights went look foolish.

Certainly, the power would not have been lost were it not for the big storm.

And seven big towers were damaged in the lead up to the blackout.

But AEMO said data currently available indicates that the damage to the Davenport to Brinkworth 275 kV line on which 14 towers were damaged “occurred following the SA Black System”.

The big event was a 123 MW reduction in output from North Brown Hill Wind Farm, Bluff Wind Farm, Hallett Wind Farm and Hallett Hill Wind Farm at 16.18.09.

Seconds later there was an 86 MW reduction in output from Hornsdale wind farm and a 106 MW reduction in output from Snowtown Two wind farm.

No explanation was given for the reduction in wind farm output.

But the loss of wind farm production put too much pressure on the electricity interconnector with Victoria which cut off supply.

This in turn led to a shut down at the Torrens Island power station, Ladbroke Grove power station, all remaining wind farms and the Murraylink interconnector.

AEMO says a lot of work is needed to fully explore what happened.



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

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


6 October, 2016

An insight into the intellectual quality of Warmist believers

Marc Morano received the following barely literate email:

Although it is my belief that you and your children should be burned in public. Not be cause you are " a skeptic", I honestly believe that you know the science is true, but because you are to cowardly to engage in a real dialog. Since I already know your a coward, I expect this to be declined. I challenge you to debate me on climate change an average citizen with no connection to anyone. The last time I dealt with a door to door salesman, which is really all you'll ever be, I sent away with his tale between his legs. If you don't want to debate then let's meet man to man and I'll rip that stupid smile off your face. Again I know your cowardice runs deep, I am sure it runs in your family, so I know you won't accept.


A question that I know you can answer. Ho long is Limbaugh's cock since you have had it your mouth so many times ?

The sender appears to be Douglas Trolian [].  He appears to live at 573 West Park Ave Oakhurst, New Jersey.  The email is clearly threatening so is probably a crime under both State and Federal law.  Morano has been advised to report the threat to the police

UPDATE:  Mr Trolian certainly is a lively lad.  I have now had two aggressive emails and one aggressive phone call from him. He definitely has an anger problem.  I predict that he will end up in jail or die of a heart attack in the not too distant future

Judging Obama's Clean Power Grab

The DC Circuit Court hears oral arguments on the regulatory climate agenda

After the U.S. Supreme Court stayed implementation of the Clean Power Plan (CPP) on Feb. 9, pending judicial review, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia has begun hearings to resolve the issue. The CPP is the Obama administration’s next step to impose severe restrictions on burning fossil fuels to save the world from supposed climate change from carbon emissions. The agenda is control.

Barack Obama’s EPA explains the regulation this way: “On August 3, 2015, President Obama and EPA announced the Clean Power Plan — a historic and important step in reducing carbon pollution from power plants that takes real action on climate change. Shaped by years of unprecedented outreach and public engagement, the final Clean Power Plan is fair, flexible and designed to strengthen the fast-growing trend toward cleaner and lower-polluting American energy. With strong but achievable standards for power plants, and customized goals for states to cut the carbon pollution that is driving climate change, the Clean Power Plan provides national consistency, accountability and a level playing field while reflecting each state’s energy mix. It also shows the world that the United States is committed to leading global efforts to address climate change.”

That garbage notwithstanding, 27 states and a group of private companies and trade associations challenged the CPP on grounds that it’s exceedingly costly executive overreach. The regulation seeks to cut carbon dioxide emissions in the energy industry by over 30% and to effectively nationalize the country’s electric power grid. The regulation, which runs 1,500 pages, gives the federal government authority over how states use their natural resources.

There are significant problems with the CPP. For starters, it’s another example of what is effectively the executive branch making law, a function plainly reserved for the legislative branch by the U.S. Constitution. However, Congress frequently abdicates this responsibility, and effectively and unconstitutionally transfers it to the executive branch. The CPP also breaches the Tenth Amendment protections of the states against improper encroachment by the federal government, and it was this aspect of the CPP that prompted the Supreme Court to call a timeout.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, challenging the CPP on Tenth Amendment grounds (State of West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency), said after the court session that the way EPA set its goals is key to the case. The Daily Signal notes that “the Clean Power Plan seeks to reverse what may be natural climate fluctuation at the cost of creating power blackouts, higher energy costs, job losses in the energy sector, and price spikes throughout the nation’s economy, including for necessities such as food and water.”

The Heritage Foundation predicts the following effects of the CPP:

An average annual employment shortfall of nearly 300,000 jobs;

A peak employment shortfall of more than one million jobs;

A loss of more than $2.5 trillion (inflation-adjusted) in aggregate GDP; and

A total income loss of more than $7,000 (inflation-adjusted) per person.

And for what great and noble end would the EPA impose this misery on the nation?

Heritage cites climatologists Paul Knappenberger and Patrick Michaels, who used the “Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Induced Climate Change” developed with support from the EPA, and estimate that the climate regulations will reduce warming by a meager 0.018 degree Celsius by 2100.

Oral arguments began last Wednesday, and Scientific American magazine reports that both sides in the case thought the EPA arguments had the edge in the nearly seven-hour court session that involved 10 of the Circuit’s 11 judges, rather than just the normal three-judge panel. Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland recused himself from the proceedings.

“The most contentious questions focused on a big issue: how the regulation set state-specific carbon levels for power plants,” the magazine noted. “Rather than looking at what individual coal plants could do to limit greenhouse gas emissions, EPA assumed the industry as a whole could accelerate a trend away from coal and toward cleaner natural gas and renewable power.”

The EPA’s arguments predictably did not sit well with the CPP’s challengers. Lawyers representing the 27 states and the private companies allied with them “argued that EPA overstepped its authority under the Clean Air Act, moving into Congress' turf and violating a separation of powers.”

Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a George W. Bush appointee, said that while curbing greenhouse gas emissions is a “laudable” goal, “global warming isn’t a blank check” for the administration. “I understand the frustration with Congress,” he said, but the rule is “fundamentally transforming an industry.” The executive branch does not have that authority.

The outcome is definitely uncertain, with judges expressing both support and opposition to the CPP. A decision from the DC Circuit might not come until early next year, and the Supreme Court’s final action might be delayed until 2018.

The administration’s manic, emotional and weak theory about carbon emissions threatening life as we know it brought forth a question from authors Stephen Moore and Kathleen Hartnett White in their excellent new book, “Fueling Freedom: Exposing the Mad War on Energy” — “How can carbon be a weapon of mass destruction and the basis of all known life” at the same time?


DiCaprio: ‘If You Do Not Believe in Climate Change, You…Should Not be Allowed to Hold Public Office’

And know-nothing actors should not be allowed to speak on politics

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio said at the White House yesterday--at President Barack Obama's "South by South Lawn" festival of "Ideas, Art and Action"--that if you do not believe in climate change you “should not be allowed to hold public office.”

DiCaprio made the statement while introducing President Obama at the event, where they discussed a new "climate change" documentary DiCaprio made with filmmaker Fisher Stevens. The documentary, entitled “Before the Flood," premiered at the White House event and will be featured on the National Geographic Channel.

“If you do not believe in climate change, you do not believe in facts or in science, or empirical truths, and therefore, in my humble opinion, should not be allowed to hold public office,” DiCaprio said while introducing the president.

DiCaprio said his documentary was designed to be released before the election.

“This film was developed to show the devastating impacts that climate change is having on our planet, and more importantly, what can be done,” DiCaprio said. “Our intention for the film was to be released before this upcoming election.”

"The film follows DiCaprio as he travels to five continents and the Arctic speaking to scientists, world leaders, activists and local residents to gain a deeper understanding of this complex issue and investigate concrete solutions to the most pressing environmental challenge of our time," says a synpsis of the documentary posted by the National Geographic Channel.

Here is an excerpt from DiCaprio’s remarks:

Leonardo DiCaprio: "Tonight I am pleased to present the U.S. premier of my new documentary, “Before the Flood.”  This was a three-year endeavor on the part of myself and my director, Fisher Stevens.  Together we traveled from China to India, to Greenland to the Arctic, Indonesia to Micronesia, to Miami to learn more about the effects of climate change on our planet and highlight the message from the scientific community and leaders worldwide on the urgency of the issue.

"This film was developed to show the devastating impacts that climate change is having on our planet, and more importantly, what can be done.  Our intention for the film was to be released before this upcoming election.  It was after experiencing firsthand the devastating impacts of climate change worldwide, we, like many of you here today, realize that urgent action must be taken.

"This moment is more important than ever where some power leaders who not only believe in climate change but are willing to do something about it.  The scientific consensus is in, and the argument is now over.  If you do not believe in climate change, you do not believe in facts or in science, or empirical truths, and therefore, in my humble opinion, should not be allowed to hold public office.

"So, with that, I'm so very honored and pleased to be joined onstage with one of those leaders -- a President who has done more to create solutions for the climate change crisis than any other in history -- President Barack Obama."

President Barack Obama:  "Thank you."


Double standards at the  NYT

Or no standards, more like it

In reaction to the New York Times publishing a story on Oct. 1 about a 1995 Trump tax return the newspaper may have obtained and published illegally, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell said The Times was hypocritical and duplicitous because, in 2009, it refused to publish ClimateGate emails, stating they were "acquired illegally" and "never intended for the public eye."

“The duplicity of the Times publishing private tax information about a Republican presidential candidate is blatantly obvious when you consider that they refused to publish the ClimateGate emails," said Bozell in an Oct. 3 statement.

"The Times made a public editorial decision not to publish private emails exposing the ClimateGate lies because they damaged their leftwing political agenda," he said. "But here they are all too happy to publish private tax return information of a GOP candidate – in possible violation of state and/or federal law – because it advances their leftwing political agenda."

“The New York Times laid bare its hypocrisy on their Trump tax story and now they must explain themselves," said Bozell.  "If they remain silent, this will be just another example of The Times conveniently jettisoning journalistic standards when doing so would harm Republicans."

"If The Times is to retain any integrity in its newsroom, they must stop aiding and abetting the Clinton campaign," said Bozell.  "Sadly, no one expects that to happen.”

The MRC statement also says, "In 2009, The Times refused to report the leaked ClimateGate emails that showed how the left was lying to the public about climate change. At the time, the paper explained its refusal to report this story because the ClimateGate emails were ‘acquired illegally and contain all manner of private information and statements that were never intended for the public eye, so they won’t be posted here.’"

"Over the weekend, the New York Times reported a story about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s tax returns," reads the statement.  "The returns may have been obtained and published illegally. This comes just weeks after the top editor at the New York Times, Dean Baquet, said he would risk jail time to obtain Trump’s tax returns."


Australian Resources Minister Matt Canavan says the abuse of Australia's legal system by green groups seeking to delay mining projects warrants a "fundamental" review of environmental law.

Senator Canavan on Wednesday used a Queensland Media Club luncheon speech to take aim at activists who harbour an anti-development ideology.

He said a leaked document from a NSW green group in 2011 laid bare their "disrupt and delay" strategy, calling for significant investment in legal challenges.

"We have to be very clear that this is an abuse of our legal system," Senator Canavan said.

"Our legal system is there to provide legitimate avenues for people of that view that government decisions, that industry decisions are harming them or are not taking into account proper environmental needs."

Senator Canavan said recent court decisions had dismissed conservationists' concerns about negative impacts on the environment or projects not stacking up economically.

"We still believe fundamentally as a government that our environmental laws need reform," he said.

It was only last week that Queensland's highest court dismissed a conservationist group's latest appeal against Hancock Coal's proposed Alpha coalmine.

Coast and Country has been fighting the Gina Rinehart and GVK mine in court since 2013 and may consider a high court challenge against the last week's ruling.

Adani's Carmichael coal mine has also faced a long string of legal challenges from green groups, while a legal challenge to New Hope's Acland expansion is currently winding up after seven months in the Land Court.

Senator Canavan argued that if governments did not open up resources-rich areas, other competitors would supply products to developing countries.



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

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


5 October, 2016

Seven bee species are placed on the endangered species list

There are around 20,000 species of bee so the scare about crops not being pollinated is just the usual Greenie dishonesty

Wildlife authorities in the US have added bees to its list of endangered and threatened species, a first time for any bee.

Among those insects in trouble are seven species of yellow-faced bee, Hawaii's only native bees.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service announced the listing last week after years of study by the conservation group Xerces Society, state government officials and independent researchers.

The threatened insects play a crucial role in pollinating plants on the island chain, but their numbers have been in decline due to loss of native plant species from development, wildfires and destructive species such as pigs.

'Because remnant populations of many species of Hawaiian yellow-faced bees are small and isolated, they are especially vulnerable to habitat loss, predation, stochastic events, and other changes to their habitat,' the Xerces Society said in a statement.

It added: 'Conservation of these important pollinators will require the active management of natural areas where populations are known to exist.'

The nonprofit organisation was involved in the initial petitions to protect the bee species, said Sarina Jepson, director of endangered species and aquatic programmes for the Portland, Oregon-based group.

Yellow-faced bees can be found elsewhere in the world, including Europe, but the listed species are native only to Hawaii and pollinate plant species indigenous to the islands.

The addition of the seven species of yellow-faced bee to the endangered and threatened list is reported to be a first for any bee species.

Although the bees are found around the world, including Europe, those Hylaeus species listed are only found on the islands of Hawaii.

Environmentalists say the bees are under threat from habitat loss, with Hawaii's unique native flora being lost to development, wildfires and destructive species such as pigs.

The bees are critical for maintaining the health of plants and other animals across the islands, say wildlife experts.

The bees face a variety of threats including 'feral pigs, invasive ants, loss of native habitat due to invasive plants, fire, as well as development, especially in some for the coastal areas,' she told The Associated Press.

The bees can be found in a wide variety of habitats in Hawaii, from coastal environments to high-elevation shrub lands, she said.

The yellow-faced bees pollinate some of Hawaii's endangered native plant species.

While other bees could potentially pollinate those species, many could become extinct if these bees were to die off entirely.

Hawaii-based entomologist Karl Magnacca worked with Xerces on much of the initial research. It has taken almost 10 years to get to this point, he told the AP. 'It's good to see it to finally come to fruition,' he said.

The bees 'tend to favor the more dominant trees and shrubs we have here,' he said.

'People tend to focus on the rare plants, and those are important, that's a big part of the diversity. But the other side is maintaining the common ones as common. '(The bees) help maintain the structure of the whole forest.'

Magnacca added that there are a lot more rare insects that deserve protection. 'It may not necessarily be appropriate to list them as endangered, but we have this huge diversity that we need to work on and protect here in Hawaii,' he said.

The bees are critical for maintaining the health of plants and other animals across the islands, said Gregory Koob, conservation and restoration team manager for the Fish and Wildlife Service in Honolulu.

There is no designated critical habitat attached to the listing, he said, but the protection will allow authorities to implement recovery programs, access funding and limit their harm from outside sources. All federal agencies must consult with the Fish and Wildlife service when interacting with endangered species.

'As an animal, it can't be taken or harmed or killed by individuals,' Koob said. 'Any research that is done needs a permit from Fish and Wildlife Service unless it's done by a state agency.'

Koob said that if the bees were removed from ecosystem, the plants that they pollinate would likely not survive.

'Those plants are not only food and nesting habitat for the bees, but they also provide habitat for other animals,' he said. 'It's the web of life.'

Friday's listing finalised the protection of 10 animal species in Hawaii, the seven bees along with the band-rumped storm-petrel, the orangeblack Hawaiian damselfly and the anchialine pool shrimp. It also added 39 species of plants native to Hawaii.

The rusty-patched bumble bee, found widely across the continental United States, is also being considered for protection. 


Bureaucratic Flimflam: Environmental Edition

Like a stage magician performing sleight of hand before an unsuspecting audience, politicians and bureaucrats frequently engage in misdirection. Case in point: the federal Environmental Protection Agency. As Independent Senior Fellow William F. Shughart II and Utah State University colleague Michael Jensen reveal in the Detroit News, the EPA touts its proposed Clean Power Plan as a flexible and fair tool for dealing with climate change. Pull back the curtain, however, and you’ll see that the EPA’s publicists slyly direct the public’s attention away from two essentials: the exceedingly high cost of the coal regulation and the exceedingly low benefit.

One year after it goes into effect, the Clean Power Plan would result in the closure of enough coal-fired power plants to supply electricity to 2.5 million homes, according to Shughart and Jensen. As for its alleged climate-change benefit, an economist with the American Enterprise Institute estimated that the EPA plan “amounts to a temperature reduction of 0.0015 of one degree by the year 2100,” Shughart and Jensen write.

The Department of Interior performs similar tricks. Its proposed Stream Protection Rule would leave $14 billion to $29 billion worth of coal in the ground and kill 100,000 to 300,000 jobs, disproportionately harming low-income people in Appalachia. “The ‘look over there!’ trick of environmental regulation is class warfare at its finest, as lower-income earners are forced to carry the burden of achieving the environmental goals of the political elite,” Shughart and Jensen write. “We must always ask ourselves whom we are willing to harm in order to achieve our supposed ‘green’ dreams.”


James Lovelock, inventor of Gaia Theory and godfather of the modern environmental movement, has finally renounced the green religion

Climate alarmism, he says, is not “remotely scientific”; one volcano could make more difference to global warming than humans ever could; the computer models are “unreliable”; greens have behaved “deplorably”; and anyone who tries to “predict more than five to ten years is a bit of an idiot.”

Though this is not the first time Lovelock has rowed back on his earlier climate catastrophism – in 2012 he was already admitting “I made a mistake” – it’s his most emphatic rejection yet of the green litany.

Lovelock, 97, ascribes the dramatic change in his once fervently alarmist beliefs to the fact that he has “grown up.”

Only ten years ago – when the inventor, scientist and environmentalist was a mere spring chicken of 87 – Lovelock argued in his book The Revenge of Gaia that mankind was doomed.

Because of global warming, he predicted, “billions will die” and the few survivors would have to retreat to the Arctic which would be one of the few habitable places left on earth.

But now he admits to being “laid back about climate change.”

    “CO2 is going up, but nowhere near as fast as they thought it would. The computer models just weren’t reliable. In fact I’m not sure the whole thing isn’t crazy, this climate change. You’ve only got to look at Singapore. It’s two-and-a-half times higher than the worst-case scenario for climate change, and it’s one of the most desirable cities in the world to live in.”

Besides, he says, nature is more powerful than the computer models:

    It’s only got to take one sizable volcano to erupt and all the models, everything else, is right off the board.

Lovelock was speaking in an interview with the fervently alarmist Guardian whose interviewer Decca Aitkenhead was naturally somewhat taken aback by his views which she ascribed in part to his temperament as an “incorrigible subversive.”

But Lovelock himself insists that it is simply a question of looking at the evidence.

One experience that has sharply concentrated his thoughts is the cost of heating his home, an old mill in Devon. When the heating bills rose to £6,000 for just six months, he realised that he would have to downsize and has now moved to a smaller cottage on Chesil Beach in Dorset. This claim has brought him into conflict with another green guru, the chunky knit Guardianista George Monbiot.

    “I remember George Monbiot took me up on it and wrote that it was impossible, that I had to be lying. But I wasn’t lying, I’ve got the figures.” Monbiot doesn’t quite accuse him of lying, in fairness; just of “talking rubbish” and “making wild statements”. In any case, he says that in the US he found he could heat a house for six months, in temperatures of -20C (-4F), for just £60. As a result, he has withering contempt for environmentalists’ opposition to fracking. “You see, gas in America is incredibly cheap, because of fracking,” he says. But what about the risk of triggering earthquakes? He rolls his eyes.

    “Sure enough, that’s true, there will be an increase. But they’re tiny little tremors, they would be imperceptible. The only trouble is that you can detect them. The curse of my life has been that I’ve spent a lot of time inventing devices that are exceedingly sensitive. And the moment somebody can detect something, they’re going to attach a number to it, and then they make a fuss about it.” He chuckles, then pauses. “I’m not anti-green in the sense that I’m in favour of polluting the world with every damn thing we make. I think we’ve got to be careful. But I’m afraid, human nature being what it is, the thing gets exaggerated out of all proportion, and the greens have behaved deplorably instead of being reasonably sensible.”

Besides Monbiot, Lovelock finds time for a little dig at yet another fervent green catastrophist the Prince of Wales:

    He was once invited to Buckingham Palace, where he told Princess Anne: “Your brother nearly killed me.” Having read that Prince Charles had installed grass-burning boilers at Highgrove, Lovelock had tried one in his house. “It’s supposed to smoulder and keep the place warm; but it doesn’t, because it goes out, and clouds and clouds of smoke come out.” He giggles. “Princess Anne thought this was hilariously funny.”

His heretical stance on nuclear energy too is likely to alienate many of his former admirers in the green movement:

    Even more heretical than his enthusiasm for fracking is Lovelock’s passionate support for nuclear power. But, like fracking, he says, it offers only “a stopgap” solution. “Because in the long term, they’ll use up all the uranium.” How long would that take? He pauses to do some quick mental arithmetic, as casually as I might tot up how many pints of milk to grab from Sainsburys.

    “Let’s see … I think uranium that is affordable to extract would last about 50 years, something in that range. It might be 100. When you’ve used all that up, you go to thorium, and that would last you three times as long as uranium – so, shall we say, about 200 years?” The most sensible energy solution would be to cover 100 sq miles of the Sahara in solar panels. “It would supply the whole of Europe with all the energy they needed,” but it won’t happen “because it would be so easy for terrorists to go and bugger it up”. So for now, nuclear energy is the only viable option.

Not that any of this matters much anyway, Lovelock suggests, because by the end of the century robots will have taken over and they probably won’t find much use for us.

    The implications for climate change are obvious. “The world that they’re going to be comfortable in is wildly different from the one that we feel comfortable in. So once they really get established, they will – with regret – start losing organic life.” Will they care about rising temperatures? “They won’t give a fourpenny fuck about the temperature, because to them the change will be slow, and they can stand quite a big change without any fuss. They could accommodate infinitely greater change through climate change than we can, before things get tricky for them. It’s what the world can stand that is the important thing. They’re going to have a safe platform to live in, so they don’t want Gaia messed about too much.”


Saskatchewan rejects proposed wind farm to protect birds

177 megawatt SaskPower site would have included up to 79 turbines, but an environmental review found potential risks to migratory birds

A proposed project that would have generated electricity from wind energy in southwestern Saskatchewan has been denied over concerns about birds.

Environment Minister Scott Moe says an environmental review of the proposal for Chaplin identified potential risks to migratory bird activity in the area.

Algonquin Power wanted to build a 177 megawatt facility on behalf of SaskPower that would have included a maximum of 79 wind turbines, 50 to 70 kilometres of access roads and 110 kilometres of trenched transmission lines.

Moe says the government will continue to work towards its goal of 50 per cent of power generation from renewable energy sources by 2030.

To that end, it has released new guidelines for proposed wind energy sites that include a five-kilometre buffer zone around environmentally sensitive area such as national and provincial parks, ecological reserves, important bird areas and key Saskatchewan rivers.

Moe says the guidelines are designed to enhance environmental protection and provide more certainty to future wind energy developments.

“By clearly identifying avoidance areas for wind energy developers, our government is demonstrating our commitment to make decisions that balance environmental responsibility with economic needs,” Moe said in a release Sept. 19.

Proponents will still be required to evaluate proposed sites outside the buffer zone for potential impacts on the environment and wildlife.

The guidelines were developed with industry and environmental stakeholders, Moe said.

The Chaplin proposal was the first wind electricity project to undergo an environmental impact assessment. Moe said the experience helped in the development of the guidelines for future wind and other renewable energy generation projects.


Australian Greens propose new burden for taxpayers

They really do seem to think money grows on trees

Battery storage systems fitted to homes and businesses would have helped South Australians who lost power during the severe storms, the Greens say.

The Greens are pushing for a national policy that would give Australians a tax credit of up to $5000 to help with the cost of battery storage for solar energy systems.

"Bringing a battery boom to South Australia will give households and small businesses the energy security that they need," SA Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said in a statement.

"Renewable energy coupled with battery storage is the future and will help to keep energy demand sustainable while bringing much needed jobs to our state."

The policy also includes a grant scheme for low-income earners, with the grants capped at $5000 per household in the first year of the policy.

The Greens estimate that if the policy were enacted, up to 1.2 million homes across Australia would take up the scheme.

"Battery storage technology is on the verge of major breakthroughs when it comes to capacity and cost," she said.

"This scheme would help South Australian households adopt an emerging technology while also supporting innovation in Australia."

It comes in the aftermath of storms that caused state-wide blackouts across South Australia, sparking a political debate over energy security.

Senator Hanson-Young said it's time for action, not cheap talk and political point-scoring.

"No amount of hot air from blowhard politicians in Canberra will power our state into the future," she said.

"It's time we got real about tackling dangerous global warming and giving South Australians the energy security that they need."



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 October, 2016

Reservoirs play substantial role in global warming because of methane release (?)

This is a totally dishonest piece of work.  In the laboratory, methane (CH4) does indeed absorb a lot of  wavelengths.  But in the atmosphere, water vapour absorbs the same solar wavelengths.  And water vapour is many time more frequent than CH4.  So there is little or nothing left for CH4 to absorb after water vapour has done its work.  In real life its presence or absence in the air has virtually no effect at all

Washington State University researchers say the world's reservoirs are an underappreciated source of greenhouse gases, producing the equivalent of roughly 1 gigaton of carbon dioxide a year, or 1.3 percent of all greenhouse gases produced by humans.

That's more greenhouse gas production than all of Canada.

Writing in next week's journal BioScience, the WSU researchers say reservoirs are a particularly important source of methane, a greenhouse gas that is 34 times more potent than carbon dioxide over the course of a century. Reservoir methane production is comparable to rice paddies or biomass burning, both of which are included in emission estimates of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the leading international authority on the subject.

John Harrison, co-author and associate professor in the WSU Vancouver School of the Environment, last month attended a meeting in Minsk, Belarus, to discuss including reservoir emissions in a planned 2019 IPCC update of how countries report their greenhouse gas inventories.

Methane accounts for 80 percent

"We had a sense that methane might be pretty important but we were surprised that it was as important as it was," said Bridget Deemer, WSU research associate and lead author. "It's contributing right around 80 percent of the total global warming impact of all those gases from reservoirs. It's a pretty important piece of the budget."

The BioScience analysis, which drew on scores of other studies, is the largest and most comprehensive look to date at the link between reservoirs and greenhouse gases, Harrison said.

"Not only does it incorporate the largest number of studies," he said. "It also looks at more types of greenhouse gases than past studies."

Acre per acre, reservoirs emit 25 percent more methane than previously thought, he said.

The researchers acknowledge that reservoirs provide important services like electrical power, flood control, navigation and water. But reservoirs have also altered the dynamics of river ecosystems, impacting fish and other life forms. Only lately have researchers started to look at reservoirs' impact on greenhouse gases.

"While reservoirs are often thought of as 'green' or carbon neutral sources of energy, a growing body of work has documented their role as greenhouse gas sources," Deemer, Harrison and their colleagues write.

Gases from decomposing organic matter

Unlike natural water bodies, reservoirs tend to have flooded large amounts of organic matter that produce carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide as they decompose. Reservoirs also receive a lot of organic matter and "nutrients" like nitrogen and phosphorous from upstream rivers, which can further stimulate greenhouse gas production

In 2000, BioScience published one of the first papers to assert that reservoir greenhouse gases contribute substantially to global warming. Since then, there has been a nine-fold increase in studies of reservoirs and greenhouse gases. Where earlier studies tended to be confined to reservoirs behind power stations, the newer studies also looked at reservoirs used for flood control, water storage, navigation and irrigation.

The WSU researchers are the first to consider methane bubbling in models of reservoir greenhouse gas emissions. Also, while previous papers have found that young, tropical reservoirs emit more methane than older, more northern systems, this study finds that the total global warming effect of a reservoir is best predicted by how biologically productive it is, with more algae and nutrient rich systems producing more methane.

The authors also report higher per-area rates of methane emission from reservoirs than have been reported previously. This means that acre-for-acre the net effect of new reservoirs on atmospheric greenhouse gases will be greater than previously thought. Reservoir construction around the globe is expected to proceed rapidly in coming decades.


Fun!  Electric cars are polluters too!

Non-exhaust PM emissions from electric vehicles

Victor R.J.H. et al.


Particulate matter (PM) exposure has been linked to adverse health effects by numerous studies. Therefore, governments have been heavily incentivising the market to switch to electric passenger cars in order to reduce air pollution. However, this literature review suggests that electric vehicles may not reduce levels of PM as much as expected, because of their relatively high weight. By analysing the existing literature on non-exhaust emissions of different vehicle categories, this review found that there is a positive relationship between weight and non-exhaust PM emission factors. In addition, electric vehicles (EVs) were found to be 24% heavier than equivalent internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs). As a result, total PM10 emissions from EVs were found to be equal to those of modern ICEVs. PM2.5 emissions were only 1–3% lower for EVs compared to modern ICEVs. Therefore, it could be concluded that the increased popularity of electric vehicles will likely not have a great effect on PM levels. Non-exhaust emissions already account for over 90% of PM10 and 85% of PM2.5 emissions from traffic. These proportions will continue to increase as exhaust standards improve and average vehicle weight increases. Future policy should consequently focus on setting standards for non-exhaust emissions and encouraging weight reduction of all vehicles to significantly reduce PM emissions from traffic.

Atmospheric Environment, Volume 134, June 2016, Pages 10–17

Climate zealots exposed as the Arctic ice fails to melt away

I know it is only two weeks since I last reported on Arctic ice, but the latest news from that front is even more remarkable. My theme then was those sad climate activists who regularly venture into the polar regions because they have been fooled into thinking that the ice is vanishing but find it so thick that they have to be rushed back to safety. But this week’s focus is on those responsible for fooling them.

For nine years, two professors – Wieslaw Maslowski from California and Peter Wadhams from Cambridge – have been in the forefront of warning that, thanks to runaway global warming, the Arctic will soon be “ice-free”. Their every dire prediction has been eagerly reported by the warmist media, led by the BBC, In 2007 they said this would happen “by 2013”.

In July 2008 The Independent even devoted its entire front page to announcing that the ice could have gone by that September, only to find that it had by then begun a marked recovery. By 2012, when this dreadful event still hadn’t happened, Wadhams was making headlines by predicting that it would all be gone “by 2016” (only for its thickness to increase in 2013 and 2014 by 33 per cent). By June 2016, with Wadhams due to publish a book called Farewell To Ice, he was being quoted, under such headlines as “Arctic could be ice-free for first time in 100,000 years claims leading scientist”, again predicting that by this September it could have shrunk to “an area less than one million square kilometres” and by next year could be all gone.

So, with September now over, what happened? By Sept 10 the ice had reached its lowest extent, 4.1 million sq km, four times more than Wadhams predicted. But this was its earliest date of refreezing for 19 years. And what has happened since, is even more startling, The Danish Meteorological Institute reports that, since that date, it has been refreezing at its fastest rate since daily records began in 1987.

In a note for the Global Warming Policy Forum, Dr David Whitehouse, formerly science editor for the BBC website, shows how,  ever since  those scary predictions began in  2007, the trend of summer melting has been completely flat. Shouldn’t all those climate zealots be wondering whether Prof Wadhams is really the most reliable “leading scientist” they should be quoting on this particular story?



World Bank secretly finances Asian 'coal boom,' group says

Good to hear that the Greenie grip is being escaped to some extent

The World Bank is indirectly financing a boom in some of Asia's dirtiest coal-fired power generation despite commitments to end most funding for the sector, a development advocacy group charged on Monday.

The power plants, which contribute to climate change and deforestation as well as premature deaths due to illness, are cropping up from Bangladesh to the Philippines, all with financing provided by financial intermediaries supported by the Bank, said a report produced by the organization Inclusive Development International.

In a policy shift in 2013, the Bank said it would end virtually all support for the creation of coal-burning power plants, supporting them only in "rare circumstances" where there are no viable alternatives.

However, since that pledge, 41 coal projects have received funding from banks and investment funds supported by the World Bank's private-sector arm, the International Finance Corporation, according to the report.


Canadian farmers expected to benefit from global warming by growing corn, soy

A reluctant admission from a Greenie

Lutz Goedde, a partner with McKinsey and Co. in Denver, told the Global Business Forum in Banff on Friday that rising temperatures and longer growing seasons mean that ever-increasing areas of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba will be able to switch to corn and soybeans from wheat and canola.

"I think Canada is in a unique situation with the corn and soy belt basically moving north," he told reporters after his speech.

"The planet is heating up and there is an opportunity for Canadian farmers — and they have been executing on it — to convert wheat land to corn and soy production."

Peas and lentils for export. He said warmer weather is also allowing prairie farmers to grow more pulse crops such as peas and lentils to export to emerging markets such as India.

On its website, Agriculture Canada cites studies that suggest the Prairies will experience more pronounced warming due to climate change than the rest of the world and the milder, shorter winters will allow increased farm productivity and new crops.

It also warns that warming could increase the frequency of extreme weather events like droughts and floods and could aid in the growth of weeds, pests and diseases in livestock and crops.



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 October, 2016

Greenie study comes to some awkward conclusions

Some amusing stuff here.  Ozone depletion is doing something new and nasty?  What about the 1989 Montreal Protocol and the ozone hole?  Hasn't the ozone hole mostly healed up by now?  Instead of depleting, shouldn't the ozone be increasing?  Is this report undermining the ozone hole story? It would appear that it is. 

And in one way, that's reasonable.  The ozone hole waxes and wanes as it always has and its greatest extent was in fact in September last year.  So the Montreal convention of which Greenies are so proud has in fact achieved exactly nothing. But by the same token ANY systematic change in the ozone levels is a fiction, including ozone depletion.  So the claims below are  rubbish.

I could go on but I like a sentence from the Abstract too much to quarrel further with it:  "climate model simulations that include anthropogenic forcing are not compatible with the observed trends"

Translating that into plain English:  "The global warming theory is wrong.  It does not predict reality".  How's that for today? 

Journal abstract follows the summary below

Rising greenhouse gases and ozone depletion over the Antarctic are increasingly pushing rain-bearing storm fronts away from Australia's west and south, according to a new international study.

The research, which involved the Australian National University and 16 other institutions from around the world, has just been published in the Nature Climate Change journal.

It found Southern Ocean westerly winds and associated storms were shifting south, down towards Antarctica, and robbing southern parts of Australia of rain.

ANU Associate Professor Nerilie Abram, the lead Australian researcher, said this had contributed to a decline of more than 20 per cent in winter rainfall in southwestern Australia since the 1970s.

"That band of rainfall that comes in those westerly winds is shifting further south, so closer towards Antarctica," Dr Abram, from the ANU's Research School of Earth Sciences and ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, said.

The study attributed this shift directly to human-induced climate change, primarily from rising greenhouse gases and ozone depletion.

Dr Abram said the loss of rain combined with "2016 being on track to smash the hottest-year record was ominous for communities and the environment".

"Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are remote but this region influences Australia's heatwaves, affects whether our crops get the winter rainfall they need and determines how quickly our ocean levels rise," she said.

The international research team examined how recent Antarctic climate trends compared to past climate fluctuations using natural archives such as ice cores drilled into the Antarctic ice sheet.

They found the bigger picture of the region's climate trends remained unclear because of Antarctica and the Southern ocean's "extreme fluctuations in climate year to year".

Dr Abram explained the climate measurements were not yet long enough "for the signal of anthropogenic climate change to be clearly separated from this large natural variability".

Lead author Dr Julie Jones, from the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, said there was still an enormous amount to learn about the Antarctic climate.

"At face value, many of the climate trends in Antarctica seem counter-intuitive for a warming world," Dr Jones said.

"Scientists have good theories for why, but these ideas are still difficult to prove with the short records we are working with."


Assessing recent trends in high-latitude Southern Hemisphere surface climate

Julie M. Jones et al.


Understanding the causes of recent climatic trends and variability in the high-latitude Southern Hemisphere is hampered by a short instrumental record. Here, we analyse recent atmosphere, surface ocean and sea-ice observations in this region and assess their trends in the context of palaeoclimate records and climate model simulations. Over the 36-year satellite era, significant linear trends in annual mean sea-ice extent, surface temperature and sea-level pressure are superimposed on large interannual to decadal variability. Most observed trends, however, are not unusual when compared with Antarctic palaeoclimate records of the past two centuries. With the exception of the positive trend in the Southern Annular Mode, climate model simulations that include anthropogenic forcing are not compatible with the observed trends. This suggests that natural variability overwhelms the forced response in the observations, but the models may not fully represent this natural variability or may overestimate the magnitude of the forced response.

Nature Climate Change 6, 917–926 (2016) doi:10.1038/nclimate3103

How can we call something a thousand-year storm if we don’t have a thousand years of climate observations?

The article below gives the official NOAA answer to that question.  It is a bit heavy with statistics but it makes a fair point given its assumptions.  And the main assumptions is that the recent record is representative of the longer record.

And that assumption is wrong.  We know that the longer climate record had much more extreme events than the recent record has.  There were warm periods, little ice ages etc.  The recent record CANNOT be used as an estimate of the longer record because it is not representative of the longer record.

What they say is not guesswork. They are not just making things up. It is conventional extrapolation but the conditions for accurate extrapolation are not met. 

I give the text minus graphs below just to give readers an idea of the argument.  It is a well set-out and respectable argument but it relies on a false premise.  And, sadly, they must know it is a false premise.  The writer is capable of good academic work but has prostituted his work to prove a falsehood.  We CANNOT accurately know things about the climate of the past for which we have no historic data

The summer of 2016 overflowed with extreme rain events. Here at, we’ve written about two of them: the June floods in southern West Virginia and the mid-August floods in Louisiana.

After the historic flooding in West Virginia in June, the National Weather Service said that in parts of West Virginia, 24-hour rainfall amount—more than 10 inches in some places—were a thousand-year event. We often do not have observations that go back 100 years, let alone 1,000. So how do scientists figure that out?  The answer lies in statistics.

Precipitation, rain, West Virginia, flooding
An "early glimpse" of 24-hour rainfall totals from storms over West Virginia on June 23, 2016, based on PRISM data from Oregon State University. "Early glimpse" data may not include data from all stations in the reporting network, and totals should be considered preliminary. Even the preliminary totals are enormous, however, with up to 8 inches of rain in many areas of southeastern West Virginia. Map by NOAA

Dinosaurs and data

Estimating the size of a thousand-year event using a much shorter history of observations is like how paleontologists can take an incomplete collection of fossilized Tyrannosaurus Rex bones and turn them into a picture of what T-rex  probably looked like when alive. The climate “bones” are all the observations we have. Since we have an admittedly incomplete set of weather observations, we have to use what we’ve got to create an image of the actual climate “dinosaur.”

Let’s work through it with a real-life example. I have compiled over 80 years’ worth of daily rainfall observations from the Beckley VA Hospital in West Virginia, near where June rains were so extraordinary. First, I eliminated any year with more than 10 day of missing data. Next, I pulled the highest daily rainfall amount that occurred in each year (1). Some years clearly have larger daily rainfall maximums than others.

Annual maximum precipitation, rain, bar graph
Annual maximum daily precipitation totals from 1909 to 2015 at a weather station located at Beckley VA Hospital in West Virginia. Years where more than 10 days of precipitation data were missing are excluded. NOAA based on data from the National Centers for Environmental Information.

To figure out how rare a particular rainfall event was, we need to understand the range of the data. We’ll start by putting the values in order from smallest to largest.

Annual maximum precipitation totals (inches) sorted from smallest to largest for 82 years at Beckley VA hospital in Beckley, West Virginia. The annual maximum precipitation total exceeded 4 inches in only two of the 82 years. NOAA map based on station data from the National Centers for Environmental Information.

Ordering the data from lowest to highest allows us to see the spread in totals but doesn’t help us figure out what is the most common daily rainfall maximum. For that, we need to sort the values into bins defined by rainfall amount (a bin for 0 inches, 0-0.25, 0.25-0.5 inches etc), like sorting clothes into piles based on size. It is at this step, that we can begin to see if there is a pattern.

histogram, precipitation frequency, heavy rain, extreme, West Virginia

A histogram of annual daily maximum precipitation totals for Beckley, West Virginia. There are 82 years in total. Precipitation totals are sorted into 0.25-inch bins. The most common bin, with 18 events, represented daily precipitation totals between 2 and 2.25 inches. 80 of the 82 years had precipitation amounts less than 4 inches. NOAA figure based on data from the National Centers for Environmental Information.

Certain piles have more items of clothing in them than others: we have more mediums than extra-larges so to speak. It is clear that some yearly 24-hour rainfall maximums occur more often than others. In 18 of 80 years, the highest 24-hour rainfall was between 2 and 2.25 inches. In 15 years, the highest daily rainfall total was between 1.75 and 2.0 inches. Only one time in 80 years was there a daily record above 5 inches.

However, the other thing that is clear is that the spread is incomplete. In this example, there are no years in which the highest daily rainfall total was between 4 and 4.5 inches, but there are some cases between 4.75-5 inches and 5.25-5.5 inches. It’s not physically plausible that the atmosphere would just never produce those rain amounts. It’s more logical to assume that if we had enough data going far enough back or forward in time, that there would eventually be a daily event filling in the gaps.

This is where statistics come in. Scientists apply what they call a “distribution” (the dark line in the figure below), a relationship of the magnitude of the rainfall to how often that rainfall amounts occurs (2). The distribution line is like the final picture of the dinosaur. It uses the observations (bones) as the input for a reconstruction of the whole climate picture.

The observations from Beckley, WV, of the frequency of rain events of different sizes (dots inside bars) can be used to estimate the full range of likely events and their frequency (dark line). This statistical estimate is called the probability density function, and it's like the process of using the bones from an incomplete dinosaur skeleton to describe what the complete creature probably looked like. Graph by NOAA, based on data from NCEI.

And now, researchers can see how often an event of any rainfall amount is likely to occur. In fact, if we consider the total area under the curve (dark line) and recognize that it must equal 1.0 (100%), then the probability of a single event of a given size occurring at some point is simply the area under that portion of curve (dark line). The probability of a yearly daily maximum rainfall event greater than 4 inches, for example, is just the area from 4 on the x-axis to the right, bounded by the distribution line.

In this type of graph, the curved line marks a hypothetical list of all possible extreme rainfall events, with the caveat that the total area under the curved line must equal 1.0 or 100%. The percent chance of any single rain event being more than a specific amount is the percent of the total area to the right of that rainfall amount. The percent chance of a rain event less than or equal to that threshold can be found by subtracting the area to the right of the threshold from 100. Graph by NOAA

Since we can figure out the probability for a given rainfall amount, we can also figure out what rainfall amounts correspond to specific probabilities like 0.1%, or said another way, a 1-in-1,000 year event (1/1000).


Green pixie dust energy policies

Democrats fight climate change with renewable pixie dust, while rest of world burns fossil fuels

Paul Driessen

“There’s been a record six straight years of job growth, and new Census numbers show incomes have increased at a record rate after years of stagnation,” NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt misinformed Americans, as he launched the first Trump-Clinton presidential debate September 26.

In reality, Obama era economic growth has been an anemic 1-2% annually. More than 93 million working-age Americans are still not working, and over 6 million are working part-time, because their hours have been cut back or they cannot find full-time positions. We’re creating private sector jobs by turning four high-pay full-time jobs with good benefits into six lower-pay part-time positions with few or no benefits. Average middle class family incomes are still lower than in 2007.

The primary reasons: the world’s third highest top marginal corporate income tax rate (38.9%); a $1.9-trillion-per-year federal regulatory burden, equal to all individual and corporate taxes collected by the federal government in 2015; and an administration obsessed with “dangerous manmade climate change” and replacing reliable, affordable fossil fuels with expensive, mandated, subsidized “green” energy.

Hillary Clinton and the Democrats would expand these policies and the harm they cause.

America could become “the clean-energy superpower of the twenty-first century,” Mrs. Clinton said during the debate. “We can deploy a half-billion more solar panels. We can have enough clean energy to power every home. That’s a lot of jobs, a lot of new economic activity.”

The “climate emergency,” the Democratic Party Platform (DPP) proclaims, is an “urgent threat” that demands immediate “ambitious investments” in new “green” energy systems. America must slash greenhouse gas emissions by 80% below 2005 levels by 2050; get half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2027; and ensure that the nation runs “entirely on clean energy by mid-century.”

The DPP also supports impeding or rejecting oil and gas leasing, drilling, fracking and pipelines, as well as gas-fired power plants – while accelerating and incentivizing wind and solar installations and transmission lines. It says America should “lead the fight against climate change,” locally and globally.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Clinton has said she would stringently regulate hydraulic fracturing, banning oil and gas extraction from public lands is a “done deal,” and her party is “going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” (But it will re-train miners and fund their pensions with taxes and red ink.)

In short, Democrats support a government mandated and regulated energy system that would require constant infusions of taxpayer and consumer subsidies via grants, loans, feed-in tariffs and crony-corporatist arrangements. It will oppose fossil fuels that provide reliable, affordable energy – and generate tens of billions of dollars a year in lease bonuses, royalties, and corporate and personal taxes.

The Democrat policies are green pixie dust. They will never generate the energy and revenues required to put America back to work and rebuild our aging, broken infrastructure. And they ignore what developing countries are doing at a feverish pace: producing, buying and burning coal, oil and natural gas, to lift billions out of poverty and bring them modern living standards. But the Democrat Party faithful apparently believe chanting DPP mantras often enough will make them come true.

(By contrast, the Republican Party Platform supports free enterprise innovation and policies that increase domestic fossil fuel production on public and private lands, to create jobs, generate revenues, reinvigorate the economy, and “reduce America’s vulnerability” to foreign suppliers and price volatility.)

Many poor countries signed the Paris climate treaty. But they did so (a) to share in the trillions of dollars they expect currently rich nations to give them for climate change adaptation, mitigation and reparation; and (b) because developing nations are not required to reduce fossil fuel use or greenhouse gas emissions.

That means America may slash its plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide emissions, make its energy costs skyrocket and become uncompetitive in the international arena – but developing countries will emit 100 times what we painfully reduce. It is not the “leadership” that any sane country would provide.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Obama unilaterally ratified the Paris climate treaty on September 3. Barely three weeks later, China said it can no longer afford current levels of wind and solar subsidies, and so is sharply reducing renewable power generation. Instead, it plans to increase its thermal coal production by 182 million tons per year. Meanwhile, Chinese banks and construction companies are financing and building hundreds of new coal-fired generating units in Indonesia, Pakistan, Turkey, Africa, Latin America and beyond – including nearly two dozen in the Balkan countries.

India has become “the center of the world’s oil demand growth,” says Citigroup. Its economy will likely expand by 8% per year through 2021, its domestic coal production even faster, and coal demand for factories and electricity generation is rising so rapidly that India is financing a major coal mining operation in Mozambique.

Southeast Asian fossil fuel consumption is expected to double by 2040, to 1,070 million tons of oil equivalent per year. Oil, gas and coal will then represent 78% of the region’s energy mix, up from 74% today. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte again criticized Western powers for their “hypocrisy” in trying to restrict poor country development on the grounds of CO2 emissions and climate change.

Japan has joined this Asian bloc. Instead of reopening nuclear power plants or expanding renewable power generation, it is using coal and natural gas for 75% of its power, compared to 54% in 2011.

Meanwhile, Mr. Obama’s “Power Africa” initiative has been a dismal failure. In 2013 he promised that the USA would bring the continent “more than 10,000 megawatts of cleaner, more efficient” renewable electricity. (By comparison, total US generating capacity is 1,069,000 MW.) So far, the project has provided less than 400 MW – 4% of what was promised, and 0.04% of US capacity.

As to getting all US energy from “clean, renewable” sources by 2050, that is a ridiculous pipe dream.

The United States currently plants corn on an area the size of Iowa, to produce ethanol that accounts for 10% of its gasoline fuel blend. Replacing 100% of US gasoline and diesel with corn ethanol would require cropland the size of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico combined! Plus massive amounts of water, fertilizer, pesticides, tractor and truck fuel, and electricity for distilleries.

The USA now generates a measly 4% of its electricity from 49,000 wind turbines. Assuming 75 acres per megawatt, those turbines tower over lands the size of Connecticut. Generating all US electricity with wind would require more than 710,000 monstrous 400-foot-tall 1.5- to 2.0-MW turbines across 93 million acres – an area the size of Montana – costing over $3 trillion! (The same issues imperil solar power.)

It would also require thousands of miles of new transmission lines – crossing state and private lands via eminent domain and a “streamlined” federal permitting process. Of course, all those turbines and lines would require billions of tons of concrete, steel, copper, fiberglass, rare earth metals and other raw materials … plus land and energy for mining, production and installation … to produce electricity 15-20% of the time, so we end up with electrical power when it’s available, instead of when we need it.

Meanwhile turbine blades moving 180 mph at their tips will slice and dice millions of eagles, hawks and other birds and bats, from local habitats and even from nesting areas 100 miles from the turbines.

Put bluntly, Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party are trying to impose an energy – and economic – system that is totally, utterly unsustainable. It would bankrupt the nation, leave millions more jobless and homeless, impair human health and environmental quality, and bring no global CO2 reductions.

It’s time we had some grownup thinking and policies, instead of green pixie dust.

Via email

Dr. Fauci: Eliminating Zika-Carrying Mosquito Would Not Cause Profound Environmental Impact ‘At All’

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, spoke Wednesday of the possibility of eliminating the Zika-carrying Aedes Aegypti mosquito through genetic modifications.

“You will never completely, nor should you, eliminate the mosquito, but there’s a certain subset,” he argued. “The Aedes Aegypti mosquito is a bad actor, so if we were able to suppress, if not eliminate, Aedes Aegypti, I don’t think there’s going to be an environmental impact that’s profound at all.”

Fauci joined Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Wednesday to speak with the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg on the threat of the Zika virus and ways to combat it.

“Why doesn’t our species eliminate that species, Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes?” Goldberg asked. “I want to just hear you out on the efficacy of that idea, of genetically engineering them out of existence, and what are the environmental and ethical consequences of doing that?”

“The Aedes Aegypti mosquito, people call it the cockroach of mosquitoes,” Schuchat replied. “It’s really hard to get rid of.”

Schuchat noted the recent success in Miami’s Wynwood area, where the CDC lifted a travel warning for pregnant woman, saying it was no longer an active transmission zone.

“Aggressive integrated mosquito control was able - we believe - to stop, to really bring down the numbers in the Wynwood area and to stop local transmission,” she said. “This was with a combination of factors, but we think this one-two punch of area spraying with Naled insecticide to kill the adult mosquitoes and with BTI to kill the baby mosquitoes or the mosquito youth, that one-two punch really helped in an unprecedented way.”

“Whenever people talk about genetically modified anything, there’s always a segment of the population that pushes back understandably,” Fauci said of the possibility of genetically engineering the Zika-carrying mosquitoes out of existence. “You don’t want to perturb the environment in an irreversible way that might have unintended consequences.

“If you’re going to do that, you’ve got to do a test and an environmental impact to show that you’re not going to have deleterious consequences, and the FDA has already given permission for in a controlled way to take a look at whether or not that would be effective and what the impact would be, so I think there is a future to genetically modifying,” he concluded.

Fauci added that he personally thinks “we should try whatever we have at our armament tools to suppress mosquitoes that are the cause of disease such as Zika and other diseases. You will never completely, nor should you, eliminate the mosquito, but there’s a certain subset, as Ann said, the Aedes Aegypti mosquito is a bad actor, so if we were able to suppress - if not eliminate - Aedes Aegypti, I don’t think there’s going to be an environmental impact that’s profound at all.”

“I think there’s so many different mosquitoes that could take their place that you won’t have to worry about that,” he explained, “but that particular mosquito is terrible. It bites indoors. It bites outdoors, and the other thing about it is that unlike other mosquitoes, it just loves humans. It doesn’t like any, it doesn’t get distracted. It’s not a promiscuous mosquito. It only bites humans, and that’s a bad thing.”

Schuchat agreed that “we really need research and careful studies on all of these promising approaches to mosquito control, and we need better repellants and better pesticides.”

“I think the idea that we’ve neglected this area, there’s lots of room for evaluation and exploring, and we really want to see the data, so I think there are promising approaches,” she concluded.


A Greenie tool hits blowback

I have no sympathy at all with the dead Greenie described below.  He was the tool of oppressive Greenie regulations that were interfering with a farmer's livelihood.  He knew that the regulations he was enforcing were causing great grief in the farming community but he continued being at the cutting edge of those regulations.  One hopes that a decent man would have resigned instead of continuing as an instument of tyranny.  But he continued in his role and paid a just price for it.

And there was no need for the heartburn.  If Greenies and their representatives had always insisted that farmers be compensated for financial losses inflicted on them by new regulations, there would have been very little anger.  But Greenies hate people and treated farmers as if they were cockroaches to be trodden on.  In their great arrogance they were as contemptous of farmers as they are of people generally.  To them, farmers were not people with feelings and interests but noxious pests interfering with their dreams of a new Eden.

Greenies depend on the peacable nature of ordinary decent people to get their regulations obeyed but on this occasion one elderly farmer cracked.  I would be delighted if there were more incidents like it.  We had enough Fascism in the 20th century to put us off all Fascism forever, including Ecofascism

ROBERT Strange is a haunted man. Hunted like an animal for 20 minutes by a man hellbent on killing, as his mate and colleague slowly bled out through three gunshot wounds, he lived a nightmare which still shocks him from his sleep.

It’s two years since Rob cradled dying environment protection officer Glen Turner in his arms in the dark on the dirt of a remote road outside a property at Croppa Creek, near Moree.

Glen had been shot three times by 78-year-old farmer Ian Turnbull: a man hellbent on revenge, and who will die in prison.

“He shot an innocent man, twice,” Robert, the only witness to the murderous 20-minute game of cat-and-mouse Turnbull played with the pair, tells Sunday Night journalist Steve Pennells, who has also gained the first interview with Glen’s wife, Alison.

“He went there with the sole intention of killing Glen.”
Glen Turner died in his colleague’s arms, survived by wife Alison, and two children. Picture: Channel 7

Glen Turner died in his colleague’s arms, survived by wife Alison, and two children. Picture: Channel 7Source:Supplied

In his first media interview since the murder, Robert fights tears as he reveals in chilling detail the panicked, macabre cat-and-mouse chase as Turnbull took down the man he had been fixated on after a long-running dispute with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Glen’s employer, over illegal landclearing.

Land was a valuable commodity to Turnbull, the patriarch of a rich and powerful farming family in an area which boasts some of the most fertile land in Australia.

It was Glen’s job to police the clearing of native forest the area. Turnbull had done just that, illegally, and wound up in court.

By the time Turnbull had been fined $140,000 plus costs over the illegal clearing in 2011, Glen had become, in his mind, his nemesis, the focus of a hate bordering on obsession.

And Turnbull was to prove a merciless, and deadly enemy.

The pair hadn’t seen each other for almost two years until that fateful day on July 29, 2014, when Glen and Rob headed to Croppa Creek to take pictures of stacks of burning vegetation, evidence of fresh land clearing.

Late afternoon, Turner got wind they were there, picked up a pump action shotgun and got in his ute.

And the bloody nightmare began.

Rob fights tears recounting the horror as Turnbull got out of the ute, shotgun pointed, and advanced on them wordlessly.

He was 15 metres away when he fired. The first shot struck Glen’s cheek. The second hit high in his left shoulder. First the head, then the heart.

The gun swung towards Rob. Turnbull told him to get back, and drop his camera.

Cowering with his stricken mate behind their own vehicle, Rob pleaded they were unarmed. “I need to get him help, I need to get him out,” Rob begged.

Turnbull replied the only way Glen was leaving was in a body bag.

And the stalking began. Rob would encourage a heavily-bleeding Glen forward or back behind the vehicle to shield them. Turnbull would follow.

At one point Rob felt the gunshots whistle past his ears ands the words: “I told you to f****g get back. I will kill you.”

It went on for 20 minutes as the life sapped from Glen. “He was croaky, but still doing everything I told him to. Every time I told him to move forward or back and crouch, he did,” says Rob.

As darkness closed in, Turnbull seemed “frustrated” he hadn’t “done what he wanted to do”, Rob says.

“If he’d any sense of compassion he would have let us go,” he says. “He went there with the sole intention of killing Glen Turner, and he wasn’t leaving until he did.”

As the light slipped away, Glen knew he was dying, and made a break for it. Turnbull raised the gun. “I just said ‘oh no’,” Rob says, as Turnbull shot Glen in the back as he ran towards a line of trees.

He lowered the gun, looked at Rob and said: “I’m going home to wait for the police. You can go now.”

In the darkness, Rob turned the vehicle lights on Glen. “I sat down with him, poured some water over him and said “come on, we’ve got to get home’,” he tells Pennells.

“I knew he was dying.”  Hearing a car on the road, convinced it was Turnbull coming back to finish them both, Rob stood in the glare of the headlights, arms raised, eyes closed.

It wasn’t a shot that came. It was help.  As Rob cradled Glen in his arms, a neighbour gently told him his mate was gone.



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 October, 2016

Energy Secretary Urges Congress To Pass Sweeping Climate Policy ...Before it's too late

A rather amusing article below by Mr Obama's remarkably hirsute Energy Secretary, Ernest Moniz.  Is the implied message that real scientists have lots of hair? 

Be that as it may, he is a good propagandist. Note the dramatic language in the highlighted paragraph: Drastic, belched, surge, dramatically, breakneck, violent, devastasting, ferocity. 

It all reminds me of that classic introduction to a novel:  "It was a dark and stormy night".  As Wikipedia says of it: "an often-mocked and parodied phrase  written by English novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton in the opening sentence of his 1830 novel Paul Clifford. The phrase is considered to represent "the archetypal example of a florid, melodramatic style of fiction writing."

And what Moniz writes certainly is fiction. Most of what he says would be reasonable if Warmist theory were correct but Moniz wisely does not address that.  He would be in a big pickle if he attempted it.  So instead he simply ends by saying "Trust me", in a complete parody of science

United States Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz on Monday slammed Congress for failing to pass the kind of sweeping climate legislation needed to transform an economy heavily addicted to planet-warming fossil fuels.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of New York City’s annual Climate Week, Moniz said the country needs a wide-ranging policy aimed at slashing carbon emissions across the whole economy.

“In the United States, we need Congress to step up and give a legislative underpinning,” Moniz said at the event, hosted at the TimesCenter in Midtown Manhattan. “I really believe economy-wide climate legislation is coming this decade.”

Also during his speech, Moniz hailed President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which targets carbon emissions from utility companies, as a positive step. The Environmental Protection Agency finalized the plan last August, but the Supreme Court in February blocked the regulation from moving forward.

Moniz warned, however, that a more holistic policy, with a clearer mandate from Congress, was needed to spur investors to tap a clean energy market that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said could be worth trillions.

“Electricity is the first sector we see being decarbonized,” Moniz said. “But we also have to do transportation. And we have to do industry.”

Without drastic cuts to carbon emissions belched by power plants, automobile tailpipes and farms, the world risks warming past 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, above pre-industrial levels. At that point, scientists predict polar ice will melt at a breakneck pace, causing sea levels to surge and climate patterns to change dramatically. Violent, unpredictable weather, devastating droughts and wildfires are expected to increase in frequency and ferocity.

But making those carbon cuts needs to factor in the people who depend on fossil fuel industries for employment. Ignoring the economic plight of coal communities, for instance, could become politically disastrous, Moniz said.

Already, Donald Trump ? the climate change-denying Republican presidential nominee, who has threatened to shut down the EPA and pull out of the historic global climate treaty signed in Paris earlier this year ? has made strong appeals to out-of-work miners, promising to scrap environmental regulations, like Obama’s Clean Power Plan, that make coal, by far the dirtiest fuel, too expensive.

“We cannot ignore the distributional issues,” Moniz said. “In this transformation, some lose jobs and some gain jobs. More jobs are being created, but not in the same place and not with the same people.”

Failing to provide new pathways to prosperity, such as the job-training programs proposed by Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, could dim the prospects for any wide-ranging climate policy, he added.

“Not only is it the right thing to do to address these issues, I think it’s a must-do for accelerating the transformation,” Moniz said. “Bluntly, the political headwinds will be much greater if we do not address these distributional issues of energy access and jobs in this country.”

Despite opposition from the Republican Party, the 71-year-old nuclear physicist said he remains hopeful that logic will prevail.

“We have to get there. I think we will get there,” he said. “I’m a physicist, so I’m optimistic it’ll happen. I believe in rationality. I believe in the laws of physics. Therefore, it’ll have to happen fairly soon. Trust me.”


Earth CO2 levels: Have we crossed a point of no return?

The article below is singularly brainless.  It can be summed up in one sentence:  "CO2 levels have been rising steadily so will probably continue to rise".  To which the obvious rejoinder is "So what?"  The only obvious effect of the rise so far is bigger crop yields and the greening of some desert areas -- hardly something to worry about.  CO2 has certainly had no effect on global temperature.  CO2 levels rose steadily throughout this century but temperatures remained flat until 2015.  They bobbed up and down but only by hundredths of one degree, which is insignificant by any criterion

Usually, September marks a low in the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. This concentration sets the bar over which levels of the greenhouse gas will fluctuate throughout the next year. But this September, CO2 levels are staying high, at around 400 parts per million, and many scientists think that we will not see levels of the greenhouse gas drop below that threshold within our lifetimes.

Earth has been steadily building up CO2 in the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution, but the 400 ppm landmark is creating a new normal that hasn't been seen on this planet for millions of years.

"The last time our planet saw 400 ppm carbon dioxide in our atmosphere was about 3.5 million years ago, and global climate was distinctly different than today," David Black, associate professor in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University in New York, tells The Christian Science Monitor in an email.

"In particular, the Arctic (north of 60°) was substantially warmer than present, and global sea level was anywhere between 15 and 90 feet higher than today," Professor Black says.

"It took millions of years for the atmosphere to reach 400 ppm CO2 back then, and it took millions of years for the atmospheric CO2 to drop to 280 ppm right before the industrial revolution. One of the things that really concerns climate scientists is we as humans have taken only a few centuries to do what nature took millions of years, and most of that change was just in the last 50-60 years."

While global concentrations have spiked above the 400 ppm level for several years, the summer growing season has always absorbed enough atmospheric CO2 through photosynthesis to keep concentrations below that mark for the bulk of the year.

As human activities – mainly the burning of fossil fuels – have flooded more CO2 into the atmosphere, however, the annual low point has inched closer and closer to that 400 ppm mark. This year, scientists fear that the planet may have reached a point of no return.

"Is it possible that October 2016 will yield a lower monthly value than September and dip below 400 ppm? Almost impossible," wrote Ralph Keeling, director of the program at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, in a blog post last week.

While CO2 levels have dipped below the previous September's benchmark in the past, such an occurrence is rare. Even if the world stopped producing carbon dioxide completely tomorrow, the gas would likely linger above the 400 ppm mark for years, scientists say.

"At best (in that scenario), one might expect a balance in the near term and so CO2 levels probably wouldn't change much — but would start to fall off in a decade or so," Gavin Schmidt, NASA’s chief climate scientist, told Climate Central. "In my opinion, we won’t ever see a month below 400 ppm."

While the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is cause for concern, it should be noted that the 400 ppm mark itself is more of a waypoint, rather than a hard line spelling doom for the global climate.

"It's a round number that people recognize," says Damon Matthews, environment professor at Concordia University in Montreal. "Also symbolic is that, in parallel with this increase in CO2, global temperatures have exceeded one degree above pre-industrial temperatures."

While these milestones are largely symbolic, they represent tangible illustrations of the trajectory the Earth's climate is following.


Green Bullies' Distortions Are Putting Businesses In The Red: A Call For Accountability

For too long, environmental activist organizations have unfairly inflicted huge economic harm on businesses by spreading misinformation and unfounded fearmongering. They are engaging in economic warfare on an international scale.

Alas, too often businesses have made the strategic mistake of avoiding engagement to limit the damage of the attacks. It is time businesses go on the offensive and use every lever available to expose and stop this massive, well-coordinated and dangerous fraud.

An outstanding example of how unfairly-attacked companies should respond is Resolute Forest Products, the world's largest producer of newsprint. It has courageously and boldly led the charge in fighting back through the courts. Others should follow suit.

In 2013, Resolute filed a defamation suit against Greenpeace in Ontario, Canada Superior Court which is still making its way through the court system there. Then this May the company filed a federal racketeering suit against Greenpeace in the United States.

According to the U.S. lawsuit, "Greenpeace and others working with it have aggressively targeted Resolute's customers with extortive threats and other illegal conduct. To identify those customers, Greenpeace employees and agents have impersonated Resolute employees, its customers, and others to illegally misappropriate proprietary customer and supply chain information."

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The damage Greenpeace has done to Resolute is undeniable. After a Greenpeace intimidation campaign, Best Buy dropped the company as its paper supplier. Greenpeace had gone so far as to tell its activists to write a "false product review on Best Buy's website. Be creative and make sure to weave in campaign issues!"

Greenpeace's own numbers estimated that it has done at least $100 million (Canadian) in damage to Resolute's bottom line.

"We have an obligation to our business ethics, and our many shareholders, customers, partners and stakeholders to draw the line after all other means have been exhausted," Resolute President and CEO Richard Garneau said when the company filed the racketeering lawsuit.

Bravo! All other companies should take the same stance. To ignore or accommodate these extremist organizations is to surrender to them. Companies owe it to their shareholders, their employees — and indeed to civilized society — to stop these malicious economic attacks. And the sad reality is that for far too long businesses have ceded the battle in the so-called court of public opinion and allowed the activists to frame the debate.

Take the extremist greens' completely unscientific crusade against genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Both the National Academy of Sciences and the World Health Organization have stated unequivocally that foods containing GMOs have never been found unsafe for human consumption. In June, more than 100 Nobel laureates signed a letter urging Greenpeace to drop its anti-GMO campaign because the scientific research proves beyond a doubt that GMOs are not harmful.

Yet despite the mountain of evidence which absolutely prove GMOs are safe, Greenpeace and other groups continue to convince the public that GMOs are a threat. A recent ABC News survey showed that only a third of Americans believed foods containing GMOs were safe.

It is even harder to win over the public when governments cowardly collude with activists. On the very day in March when more than a dozen state attorneys general accused Exxon-Mobil of "fraud" and "deceiving the American people" on climate change, New York's attorney general, who led that news conference, met secretly with environmental activist organizations to discuss how they could attack oil companies.

Email records show the New York AG's office urging activists "to not confirm that you attended or otherwise discuss the event" if reporters come calling.

Exxon-Mobil won the first round in its fight against these coordinated state attorneys general in getting the truth-ignoring ringleader of this assault, who hails from the U.S. Virgin Islands, to withdraw his unreasonable subpoena. It should continue to take the fight to the other states that are coordinating with the green activists.

Resolute Forest Products is awaiting the response to its racketeering suit against Greenpeace before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, but has already shifted the debate away from the Greenpeace messages against it to focus on the illegal activities being undertaken for the primary purpose of harming its bottom line.

Unfortunately, there are many other examples of environmental activists putting this same playbook to work.  Whether it's their "Our Forests Aren't Fuel" campaign against the wood pellet industry "in spite of the fact that (the industry) is helping the EU and UK meet their carbon reduction standards" or the coordinated efforts to force public institutions and pension funds to divest their fossil fuel related stocks "even though many of those investments have historically enjoyed among the biggest returns for their investors and their beneficiaries."

Sometimes, even the cover of the playbook can be tainted. That was the case when Al Gore was criticized for including a doctored photo of the globe on the cover of his book, "Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis." The cover incorporated an image with a reduction in the amount of visible polar ice as well as some artificial hurricanes pasted in, just to be sure readers were adequately alarmed.

In the court of public opinion, businesses often tend to make decisions based on ethical considerations and codes of conduct, as well as legal limits to which the activists do not feel the same obligation. The activists will say and do almost anything to inflict economic harm on their targets. The legal system remains the ultimate venue to address these attacks.

But companies should also be more aggressive in pushing the truth with the court of public opinion. I am encouraged by Resolute and Exxon-Mobil drawing the line and taking the fight to the environmental extremists. It is time more businesses stand up for themselves and their shareholders, fight back and force the activist environmental groups to pay a price for their corrupt behavior.


Solar Generated Less Than 1% of U.S. Electricity in First Half of 2016

Solar energy accounted for less than one percent of the total electricity generated in the U.S. during the first six months of 2016, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest Monthly Energy Review.

Table 7.2a of the report shows that the U.S. generated a total of 1,951,350 million kilowatthours (kWh) of electricity from January through June of this year. But solar-generated electricity made up only a small fraction of the total.

Natural gas accounted for the most electricity generated (655,490 million kWh), followed by coal (549,441 million kWh), nuclear (400,425 million kWh), conventional hydroelectric power (151,064 million kWh), wind (116,220 million kWh), and wood (19,712 million kWh).

Despite the falling costs and rising efficiency of solar panels, just 16,906 million kWh of electricity was generated by solar power during the first half of 2016, according to the EIA. That equals about 0.866 percent of the total of 1,951,350 million kWh generated during the period.


Greenie fantasies about power kill babies

Let's not beat about the bush.  The lost embryos were babies ready to go. They were just awaiting implantation into their mothers. And the cause of the blackout is equally clear.  Politicians blame the big storm but HOW did the storm cut all power? Easy and obvious: 

South Australia gets 40% of its power from wind turbines -- but  wind turbines have to be turned off in high winds or they will fly to pieces.  So they were turned off.  But when you lose 40% of your power suddenly, there is no way out of disaster. 

Had they kept their coal-fired generators going, they might have had a chance.  When they saw the storm coming -- and it was heavily predicted -- they could have spun up their coal generators and then turned the windmills off

SOUTH Australia’s power blackouts have destroyed embryos at Flinders Fertility leaving families heartbroken and medics distressed by their loss.

The Advertiser understands more than a handful of potential children became “unviable” because incubators at Flinders Fertility — which is based at Flinders Medical Centre — failed when the entire state’s power went down.

Health Minister Jack Snelling revealed on ABC 891 radio this morning “about 12 patients were affected”. It was also suggested up to 25 embryos were lost per patient.

Hospitals all have emergency generators, but the one at Flinders did not work for some minutes. A short but crucial period without power means those embryos, which were ready to be implanted, are no longer able to be used.

Flinders Fertility called it a “devastating” and “distressing” situation. There will be a review. Flinders Fertility assured families and patients that “cryopreserved material” – waiting for a later implantation date – was not affected.

In a statement they expressed their deepest sympathies to the families and said the loss of power compromised incubators, affecting a small number of patients.

“Despite every effort by our scientists, the embryos are no longer viable,” they said in a statement.

“This is a devastating situation for our patients, and very distressing for our staff.

“Flinders Fertility doctors have contacted patients directly, and individual support and counselling is being provided.”
SA Health Interim Chief Executive Vickie Kaminski.

Families will be given priority for further treatment and there will be no further costs to repeat fertility cycles.

SA Health Interim Chief Executive Vickie Kaminski said there was “an issue” with the generator, leading to battery-powered back-up; that meant that on Wednesday night 17 patients were transferred to Flinders Private Hospital.

Flinders Medical Centre expressed their sincerest condolences.  “We’re currently reviewing the circumstances that led to the Flinders Fertility laboratory being without power during part of Wednesday’s extreme weather event, a spokeswoman said.



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

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


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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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