Warmist crooks above: Keith "One tree" Briffa; Michael "Bristlecone" Mann; James "data distorter" Hansen; Phil "data destroyer" Jones -- Leading members in the cabal of climate quacks

The CO2 that is supposed to warm the earth is mostly in the upper atmosphere, where it is very cold. Yet that CO2 is said to warm the earth. How can heat flow from a cold body to a hot one? Strange thermodynamics!

Against the long history of huge temperature variation in the earth's climate (ice ages etc.), the .6 of one degree average rise reported for the entire 20th century by the United Nations (a rise so small that you would not be able to detect such a difference personally without instruments) shows in fact that the 20th century was a time of exceptional temperature stability.

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

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30 September, 2011

Environmentalists Lose Bid to Preemptively Prevent American Energy Independence

Superior Court Judge Eric Aarseth delivered a major blow to the environmental activists who have been using regulations lawsuits and billions of dollars to prevent the Pebble Mine Project in Alaska from helping to provide American energy independence. Judge Aarseth handed down a 154-page ruling in favor of Alaska in the most recent lawsuit aimed at preventing the Pebble Mine Project from even being able to begin the permit process.

Pebble Mine is one of the largest copper deposits in the world. It is in the United States and could release us from our dependence on buying copper from China, which provides 97% of the copper used in the world.

The environmentalist have argued that the Pebble Mine MIGHT impact salmon in Bristol Bay, Alaska, even though the mine is over 200 miles north of the area.

The judge ruled that evidence “did not support the plaintiffs’ claims that mineral exploration activities in the Pebble Project area were significantly impacting or causing long term harm to concurrent uses.” In his ruling, Judge Aarseth wrote:
“…[T]here is no evidence that Pebble’s exploration activities are now causing or will in the future cause permanent and deleterious changes to the environment. Indeed, Plaintiffs have failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that any long-term and harmful environmental impacts have actually occurred or necessarily will occur at the project site or surrounding environment.

The evidence shows that more than 20 years after minerals were first discovered at Pebble, the site continues to have pristine water and support wildlife and fisheries resources. The harms that Plaintiffs’ witnesses describe are speculative; they are neither harms occurring in fact nor did they show that the harm will necessarily occur.”

In other words, the environmentalists hysterical claims are hogwash.

While this ruling is a significant win for the goal of American energy Independence, it is not the end of the issue. Environmental groups have aggressively fought the Pebble Mine Project for years. This particular lawsuit has been ongoing since 2009. Since Judge Aarseth’s ruling, they say they are taking the case to the Supreme Court.

In order to keep this positive momentum going we must make sure we stay attentive and make sure that our voices continue to get heard. Big green has big bucks and are on a mission to stop the U.S. from extracting the copper in Southwest Alaska. U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell has attempted to preemptively prevent the permit process from moving forward. Federal agencies such as The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have used regulations to stall the Pebble Mine Project from even beginning the permit process for years.

The environmentalists are keeping a close watch on the Twitter hash-tag #GivePebbleAChance and using that to troll sites that refer to this project and leave cut and paste comments promoting their propaganda that has no foundation in scientific evidence.


Most interesting: Temperature rises and falls now "unpredictable"

Is this the new Greenie version of the global warming scare? First they abandoned "global warming" in favour of "climate change". Will it now be "climate unpredictability". I hope it is because that will mean that they have finally got it right

As the climate heats up, scientists expect all sorts of animals to move to cooler places. But that may be easier said than done.

When researchers mapped out the escape routes that a variety of amphibians would need to take in the coming decades to adapt to changing climate conditions, they uncovered some serious trouble.

Because of unpredictable rises and dips in temperature, many salamanders, frogs and newts will get stuck in unfavorable conditions along their travels -- enough to threaten their survival.

The findings are likely to apply not just to amphibians, but also to insects and other types of animals as well as plants. The study adds fire to a longstanding debate among conservation biologists and wildlife managers.

Some experts argue that threatened species need to be bred in captivity or that animals should be moved to places that will foster their survival. Others cite infamous examples like the invasive cane toad in Australia and argue that introducing species to new environments is simply a recipe for disaster.

"What conservationists have been planning for some time is that we might be able to use green habitat corridors so species can jump from place to place quite easily," said Regan Early, a climate change ecologist at the University of Évora, in Portugal. "We're finding it isn't going to be that simple. If we put corridors in place, we are going to have to do a lot of work to help species along."


The Fascist Al Gore

As usual his only argument is the mythical consensus. He mentions not a single scientific fact but relies on authority. And now he doesn't like democracy either. He likes it only if it does what he wants

Al Gore has warned that there is now clear proof that climate change is directly responsible for the extreme and devastating floods, storms and droughts that displaced millions of people this year.

Speaking to an audience of business leaders, political leaders including Scotland's first minister Alex Salmond and green energy entrepreneurs in Edinburgh, Gore said the world was at a "fork in the road".

The former US vice-president and climate campaigner also argued that America has suffered a "breakdown in democratic governance", because members of Congress are obsessed with appeasing special interests in return for campaign funding, rather than confronting climate change.

The former vice president and climate campaigner said that US democracy had been undermined. "In the language of computer culture, our democracy has been hacked," he said.

In a near hour-long speech to the Scottish low-carbon investment conference, Gore said the evidence from the floods in Pakistan, China, South Korea and Columbia was so compelling that the case for urgent action by world leaders to combat carbon emissions was now overwhelming, Gore said.

"Observations in the real world make it clear that it's happening now, it's real, it's with us," he said. Failing to take action meant the world would face a catastrophe.

He added that nearly every climate scientist actively publishing on the subject now agreed there was a causal link between carbon emissions and the sharp increase in intense and extreme weather events seen across the globe.

"Every single national academy of science of every major country on earth agrees with the consensus and the one's that don't agree with it do not exist. This is what they say to governments: 'The need for urgent action is now indisputable'.


And now for the facts that the GoreFraud ignores. China and Pakistan have been having disastrous floods for as long as they have existed

Much more of the same HERE

Obama's Communist-style central planning

The offense here is government picking industries over consumers. Consider the Obama Energy Department’s extraordinary, ChiComm-like announcement this week that it is pushing ahead with its green five-year plan despite the Solyndra scandal:

“There’s one energy challenge that outweighs all the others in terms of economic, military and ecological importance. We’ve got to kick our reliance on oil. And to do this we’ve got to build a lot of electric cars,” writes the administration."

What’s next? Government plans to build TVs? IPads? Washing machines?

“As a result of this Review, we find that DOE is underinvested in the transportation sector relative to the stationary sector (energy efficiency, grid, and electric power),” continues the directive. “Yet, reliance on oil is the greatest immediate threat to U.S. economic and national security, and also contributes to the long-term threat of climate change. Barack Obama’s energy goals include reducing oil imports by one third by 2025 and putting one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. The most important role of the DOE is investing in research to develop hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery-electric, and fuel cell vehicles.”

This Gosplan drivel is also a straw man.

Contrary to Obama’s planners, oil is not a national security threat. Our ally Canada, after all, is America’s largest oil exporter. Where countries pose a security threat — Iran, for example — we simply outlaw trade. In fact, if the administration believed its own con, it would be helping develop — rather than hindering — America’s own bountiful domestic reserves of cheap, efficient, job-producing oil in the West and offshore.

But like China, Obama’s central planners are driven by ideological ends. The problem isn’t GM. Take away the governments of China and Obama, and GM would be producing unsubsidized cars that consumers want.


EPA IG Finds Serious Flaws in Centerpiece of Obama Global Warming Agenda

Report calls the scientific integrity of EPA’s decision-making process into question and undermines the credibility of the endangerment finding

Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today announced that a new government report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reveals that the scientific assessment underpinning the Obama EPA’s endangerment finding for greenhouse gasses was inadequate and in violation of the Agency’s own peer review procedures.

The IG report released today, “Procedural Review of EPA’s Greenhouse Gases Endangerment Finding Data Quality Processes,” was requested by Senator Inhofe in an April 7, 2010 letter to the EPA IG. Senator Inhofe asked that the OIG conduct an investigation into whether EPA followed the Data Quality Act and its own peer review procedures—which are designed to ensure that EPA makes decisions according to the best possible science—when it issued its finding that greenhouse gases harm public health and welfare, otherwise known as the endangerment finding. The EPA OIG Report finds that EPA failed in this respect.

“I appreciate the Inspector General conducting a thorough investigation into the Obama-EPA’s handling of the endangerment finding for greenhouse gases," Senator Inhofe said. “This report confirms that the endangerment finding, the very foundation of President Obama’s job-destroying regulatory agenda, was rushed, biased, and flawed. It calls the scientific integrity of EPA’s decision-making process into question and undermines the credibility of the endangerment finding.

“The Inspector General’s investigation uncovered that EPA failed to engage in the required record-keeping process leading up to the endangerment finding decision, and it also did not follow its own peer review procedures to ensure that the science behind the decision was sound. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson readily admitted in 2009 that EPA had outsourced its scientific review to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This is an institution whose credibility has already been called into question. Even so, EPA still refused to conduct its own independent review of the science. As the EPA Inspector General found, whatever one thinks of the UN science, the EPA is still required - by its own procedures - to conduct an independent review.

“The endangerment finding is no small matter: global warming regulations imposed by the Obama-EPA under the Clean Air Act will cost American consumers $300 to $400 billion a year, significantly raise energy prices, and destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs. This is not to mention the ‘absurd result’ that EPA will need to hire 230,000 additional employees and spend an additional $21 billion to implement its greenhouse gas regime. And all of this economic pain is for nothing: as EPA Administrator Jackson also admitted before the EPW committee, these regulations will have no affect on the climate.

“One asks, what happened to Administrator Jackson’s vow in 2009 that the Agency would commit to high standards of transparency because ‘The success of our environmental efforts depends on earning and maintaining the trust of the public we serve’ or Obama Advisor John Holdren’s promise that the Administration would make decisions based on the best possible science because, as the President said, ‘The public must be able to trust the science and scientific process informing public policy decisions’? Given what has come to light in this repor t, it appears that the Obama EPA cannot be trusted on the most consequential decision the agency has ever made.

“I am calling for the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, the committee of jurisdiction over the EPA, to hold immediate hearings to address EPA’s failure to provide the required documentation and have the science impartially reviewed. EPA needs to explain to the American people why it blatantly circumvented its own procedures to make what appears to be a predetermined endangerment finding.”

Specifically, the EPA IG found that EPA neglected to identify from the outset if the endangerment finding Technical Support Document (TSD) was a Highly Influential Scientific Assessment, (HISA) which, under the Office of Budget and Management’s Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review, requires complete record-keeping of all documents leading up to that decision and a thorough review of the science by an impartial panel.

EPA told the OIG that it did not consider the endangerment finding TSD a HISA, but in the course of its investigation, the OIG determined that the endangerment finding TSD was indeed a HISA and therefore EPA should have engaged in a more rigorous process.

The OIG found that EPA could not produce the required records, and because one of the 12 members of the peer review panel for the endangerment finding TSD was also an EPA employee, OIG also found that the required impartiality of the peer review process under the requirements of a HISA was undermined.


Mr Garnaut, climate policy should be questioned

By Henry Ergas, commenting from Australia

ROSS Garnaut has an unusual concept of democracy. The Prime Minister goes to the country promising "there will be no carbon tax under the government I lead". Once in office, she then proposes to implement one, with the added twist of making repeal by a future government prohibitively costly. Yet, according to Garnaut, rejection of the government's proposed legislation would amount to a failure of Australian democracy on a historical scale, indeed to "a corruption of democracy" caused by "distortion of reality and abuse of truth".

But then again, Garnaut has insights ordinary mortals are denied. Talk about access all areas. For, as he told the the Joint Select Committee on Australia's Clean Energy Future Legislation earlier this week, he was assisted, in his work on the US, "by the top advisers to the President: people who report directly to the President of the United States". And how many of the great unwashed have "joined Jiang Zemin in reciting the Gettysburg Address with the fruit at the end of a meal"?

So it is even more striking that Garnaut accepts that in the US "there will be no carbon price nationwide". As for India, "for quite a while, total emissions will increase". And in China too there will be a "large increase" in emissions, albeit less than without any efforts aimed curbing their growth. Moreover, Garnaut recognises, in reducing global emissions, "there is no chance of success unless all substantial countries do their fair share".

All that, one might have thought, suggests abatement by Australia risks being both futile and costly. And that locking the country into the government's carbon scheme is at best dangerous, at worst reckless. Not so, says Garnaut. Rather, to express that concern is a distortion of reality.

Quite how stating the obvious distorts reality, Garnaut does not explain. Nor does he explain where the risks have been assessed, and shown to be worth bearing, of a scheme whose own proponents boast it would be prohibitively costly to unwind. Not that that worries Garnaut. Rather, he asserts, the government's proposal involves "reasonable economic costs".

As best one can tell, that assertion relies on Treasury's modelling. Yet no scientist would accept that modelling. Not because it is necessarily wrong but because the models and data on which it relies is secret, and hence incapable of being tested.

That is bad enough. But it has also become increasingly clear that Treasury's results depend on assumptions that were not adequately disclosed.

Three such assumptions are at the core of Treasury's recent replies to questions I put to them some time back. A first relates to the global framework for carbon emissions. Treasury, in its modelling report, assumed there would be a harmonised, global carbon price by 2016. But how was such a price established? After all, prices don't fall from the sky; rather, they emerge from the interaction of demand and supply in markets. And usually that requires some form of trading. So how was that trading going to occur, given that many key countries did not have, and would not have, any form of carbon pricing in place?

To this, it appears, the answer is as clear as mud. "The modelling does not rely on an assumption that there is a perfectly harmonised global emission trading scheme", Treasury says. But, it now admits, it does assume that even in countries such as the US, there is "some mechanism" that "allows individual firms or governments themselves to trade abatement with other countries". What mechanism? No one knows. Where is the legislation that would put such a mechanism in place? No one knows. And what happens to the assessed costs if there is no such mechanism? Again, no one knows. And since the models and data are not public, nor will they, least of all the hoi polloi who will pay the price.

In short, Treasury has assumed away the problem. Indeed, it has done so even more starkly than in its work on Rudd's carbon pollution reduction scheme. Then, the base case (against which the costs of the CPRS were assessed) involved a world without abatement targets. This time, however, the modelling starts from the premise that global abatement efforts are in place, even after the commitment period for Cancun pledges ends. So the costs for Australia are only assessed assuming global abatement will occur and persist.

It gets even better. As I suggested on these pages, and at greater length in a post on the Catallaxy website, the modelling involves an extreme assumption: that for all emissions outside Australia (so 98 per cent of emissions worldwide), merely increasing the carbon price costlessly allows emissions reductions, as carbon-saving innovations rain, like manna from heaven, on to carbon emitting processes.

In the Senate Select Committee on Scrutiny of New Taxes, Treasury claimed otherwise, saying the "marginal abatement cost curves" that effect this miracle were "fully costed". Now it accepts my contention was correct. How big an effect would this have? Likely large, as it implies a greater contraction in emissions-intensive industries than Treasury's results suggest. But can we know for sure? Not without the models and the data.

Finally, Treasury constantly repeats the claim that its modelling shows there would be no adverse impact on employment. But it now admits that in the model it uses, it takes employment five to 10 years to recover from a major shock, such as imposing a carbon tax. And here the price rises substantially each year. So how do we get the result that there is no impact on employment? Treasury waves this question away, saying that because employers will foresee carbon price rises, the impacts of continuing increases will be slight. But if anything, the exact opposite is true: because employers will know the price will rise each year, the immediate effects will be far greater than the present modelling suggests.

Extracting even these concessions has been like pulling teeth. Yet it barely scratches the surface of the problems. No wonder Garnaut would rather no questions were asked. And no wonder he feels more comfortable with Jiang than with the local debate.

But silence isn't what Australian democracy is about. Rather, it is about forcing truth from power, however painful that may be. Long may it stay that way.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


29 September, 2011

A naive do-gooder describes how political expediency drove British climate legislation

She is living proof that a wrong initial premise (the effect of CO2 in this case) can led to wrong conclusions. She is clearly not a critical thinker -- just a useful tool for others

Transcript here

"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it"

And the Warmists are repeating it right now, Santayana might be pleased to note. But, unfortunately, most people remember very little of the past and are therefore unaware that the Warmists of today are part of a long line of false prophets.

I therefore greatly applaud Steve Goddard's excavations into the history of climate and climate commentary and reprint them frequently. I reprint three of his recent history lessons below

1957 Shock News : CO2 To Drown Manhattan By 2008

This guy’s grandkids should sue Hansen for plagiarism.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Shock News : German Sea Level Just As High As It Was 60 Years Ago

The graph comes from The Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level. And the comparison is beween two high points at the beginning of the graph and 2010.

There is probably a slight rising trend in the data but the fact that levels can completely revert in the course of the series makes any prediction from that trend worthless.

Established in 1933, the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) has been responsible for the collection, publication, analysis and interpretation of sea level data from the global network of tide gauges. It is based in Liverpool at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), which is a component of the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).


Unanswerable questions?

Steve Goddard sent The Climate Science Rapid Response Team this question over ten months ago"
Global temperature records from HadCRUT and GISS show that the period from 1910 to 1940 warmed nearly as quickly as the period from 1970 to 2000. 1913 set the all time temperature record in North America, and during the 1930s, as much as 80% of the US simultaneously suffered from drought.

1935 saw the most powerful hurricane to ever hit the US, and the 1940s saw the most US hurricane strikes of any decade.

What caused these severe climatic patterns during the first half of the century?

No doubt the "team" would say if pushed that Steve is not "media" so is beneath their notice but that would be a weak cop-out. Clearly, nobody in the team CAN answer Steve's questions.


Dotty British conservatives declare war on plastic bags

So cut down more trees to make paper bags? And Rwanda is the example to follow?

Britain’s biggest supermarkets are today given an ultimatum by the Prime Minister: Radically reduce the number of plastic bags you hand out by choice, or I will force you to by law.

David Cameron warns that unless stores deliver ‘significant falls’ over the next 12 months, they could either be banned outright from giving out single-use bags or be legally required to charge customers for them.

The Prime Minister says it is ‘unacceptable’ that the number of single-use carrier bags rose last year by 333million – a 5 per cent increase from the previous year. Environmental campaigners say the bags, used for only 20 minutes on average, take up to 1,000 years to degrade.

As well as causing serious harm to marine animals and birds, they blight the coastline, with 70 bags littering every mile.

Mr Cameron paid tribute to the Daily Mail’s ‘Banish the Bags’ campaign, which encouraged the previous government to force retailers to pledge to reduce the amount they hand out to customers.

The campaign helped achieve a drop of nearly 14 per cent, but the issue was kicked into the long grass by the Coalition, and last month official figures showed the trend had gone into reverse and numbers of bags had risen for the first time in five years.

Government sources say that major retailers will be expected to cut the number by at least the 333million required to reverse the latest increase, although it is hoped they will go much further.

The Prime Minister told the Mail: ‘I am very concerned about the use of single-use carrier bags and the effect that they have on the environment. ‘The number of bags being used had fallen considerably, partly thanks to public pressure, including in particular the Daily Mail campaign, and due to the efforts of many major retailers.

‘Companies like M&S have considerably reduced the use of bags by charging and then donating the money raised to charity – £4million has already gone to good causes since they started charging in 2008 and they are doing more to clean up beaches over the next few years. ‘But progress overall went backwards last year, and that is unacceptable.

‘Retailers need to do better. I want to see significant falls again. I know that retailers want to do better too but if they don’t I will be asking them to explain why not.

‘Retailers also need to know that the Government has options at its disposal – including regulating as other countries have done. We will continue to look carefully at all options in order to make sure that we further reduce the use of single-use plastic bags.’

Last year, 6.4billion single-use carriers were handed out in the UK. A UK-wide bags charge could raise tens of millions of pounds a year – as much as £50million – for good causes and charities.

Recycling minister Lord Henley has pointed to a ban implemented in Rwanda that has led to the country, one of the world’s poorest, being hailed as the cleanest in Africa.

The European Commission is also investigating controls on plastic bags, including charges or a ban.

Jill Bell, of the Marine Conservation Society, said the Coalition should be ‘ashamed’ that it has not already required stores to charge for bags, as the authorities in Wales have opted to do.


Global warming: New study challenges carbon benchmark

The ability of forests, plants and soil to suck carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air has been under-estimated, according to a study on Wednesday that challenges a benchmark for calculating the greenhouse-gas problem.

Like the sea, the land is a carbon "sink", or sponge, helping to absorb heat-trapping CO2 disgorged by the burning of fossil fuels.

A conventional estimate is that soil and vegetation take in roughly 120 billion tonnes, or gigatonnes, of carbon each year through the natural process of photosynthesis. The new study, published in the science journal Nature, says the uptake could be 25-45 percent higher, to 150-175 gigatonnes per year.

But relatively little of this extra carbon is likely to be stored permanently in the plant, say the researchers. Instead, it is likely to re-enter the atmosphere through plant respiration.

This will be a disappointment for those looking for some good news in the fight against climate change.

The more carbon is sequestered in the land, the less carbon enters the atmosphere, where it helps to trap heat from the Sun.

Lead researcher Lisa Welp, of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in the University of California at San Diego, said figuring out the annual carbon uptake from the terrestrial biosphere had been one of the biggest problems in the emissions equation.

Scientists, though, were confident about current estimates for carbon sequestration in land and this was unlikely to change much in the light of the new findings, she said.

"More CO2 is passing through plants (than thought), not that it actually stays there very long," she said in email exchange with AFP. "The extra CO2 taken up as photosynthesis is most likely returned right back to the atmosphere via respiration." [Guesswork? How predictable from a Warmist]

The research looked at isotopes, or variations, in the oxygen component of CO2, using a databank of atmospheric sampling going back three decades. These isotopes are a chemical tag, indicating the kind of water the molecule has come into contact with. The researchers looked at isotopes whose concentrations are linked to rainfall.

They were struck by a clear association between these isotopes and El Nino, the weather cycle which occurs in pendulum swings every few years or so.

The implication from this is that CO2 is swiftly cycled through land ecosystems, the researchers suggest. From that assumption comes the far higher estimate of annual carbon uptake.


CO2 study reinforces our policy, say Australian conservatives

THE Coalition has seized on a new report showing forests, plants and soil may take more carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere than previously thought.

The new study, published in the science journal Nature overnight, shows that soil and vegetation may absorb 25 to 45 per cent more carbon each year, or between 150 and 175 billion tonnes, compared to previous estimates of 120 billion tonnes.

The study cautions, however, that the extra carbon may not be retained in the soil permanently, limiting the potential for atmospheric carbon reduction.

Opposition climate action spokesman Greg Hunt said the study showed there was “stronger and stronger evidence that the right green carbon measures can reduce the volume of CO2 in the atmosphere”.

“This is another important step in confirming that land-based carbon capture and storage is both measurable and essential as a low-cost, long-term way of reducing the level of CO2 in the atmosphere,” he said.

“From our perspective it reinforces our views, 18 months after we released our policy, the scientific evidence has moved more strongly in favour of the enormous potential of land and agriculture-based emissions reductions.”

The report's lead researcher Lisa Welp, from the University of California's Scripps Institute of Oceanography, said figuring out the annual carbon uptake from the terrestrial biosphere had been one of the biggest problems in the emissions equation....



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


28 September, 2011

Warmist writer is a crook

Most Warmists would appear to be crooks, fools or Leftists (or all three) but Johann Hari has been caught bang to rights as dishonest. See a sampling of his supercilious "wisdom" about global warming here, here or here. Now read on:

The Orwell prize committee has accused Independent columnist Johann Hari of plagiarism over an article that won him the prestigious award in 2008.

Hari earlier this month said he stood by the Orwell prize-winning articles in a lengthy apology published by the Independent, but handed back the award on 14 September "as an act of contrition for errors I made elsewhere".

However, the high-profile columnist has not returned the £2,000 prize money from the 2008 award, the Orwell prize council said on Tuesday.

"The council concluded that the article contained inaccuracies and conflated different parts of someone else's story (specifically, a report in Der Spiegel)," the Orwell prize council said in a statement. "The council ruled that the substantial use of unattributed and unacknowledged material did not meet the standards expected of Orwell prize-winning journalism."

Hari handed back the Orwell prize after an internal investigation by the Independent founder and former editor Andreas Whittam Smith.

He said in his apology a fortnight ago: "Even though I stand by the articles which won the George Orwell prize, I am returning it as an act of contrition for the errors I made elsewhere, in my interviews."

Hari apologised for plagiarising the work of others to improve interviews and for editing the Wikipedia entries of people he had clashed with, using the pseudonym David Rose, "in ways that were juvenile or malicious". He admitted calling "one of them antisemitic and homophobic, and the other a drunk".

He is taking unpaid leave of absence from the paper until 2012 and is to undertake a journalism training course.

The Orwell prize council said it decided to revoke Hari's award in July, but declined to make the decision public because the Independent's investigation was ongoing. The Independent had "prohibited" Hari from responding to claims about his work during the investigation, the council added.

"The council is delighted to be able to put this difficult episode behind it finally, and get on with the important business of running the prizes and promoting the values of George Orwell into the future," said Bill Hamilton, the acting chair of the council of the Orwell prize.


Worth knowing for the next time this guy excoriates sceptics for their dishonesty in denying climate change!

Some strange Warmist logic

Echoing a report from some German scientists, Joe Romm says "Historic Low Arctic Ice is a “Consequence of Man-Made Global Warming with Global Consequences”

But if we look up the original German report we see in their figure 3 that there is a large area that has GAINED ice as well as a fringe that has lost ice. The legend on the figure says: "Differences of ice concentrations of the minima in 2007 and 2011. Green: ice covered in 2011, not in 2007, red vice versa" So the tale is more complicated than it sounds. It is clearly regional fluctuations that are happening rather than some overall change.

But when were the "minima" recorded? The Germans do not say but Romm's comment was on 12th Sept. so it was presumably some time before that. Steve Goddard, on the other hand, has an updated version of their graph which IS dated. See below. Clearly the ice area that has increased is greater than the area that has been lost. The overall ice cover is GREATER in 2011 than in 2007

Dark green is September 26 ice present in 2011 that wasn’t present on the same date in 2007. Red is the opposite. Romm calls this a record low.


Here an Activist, There an Activist

There was a time when I believed the marketing spin. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was comprised of the world’s top scientists. These men and women were providing a service to humanity. Rather than golfing or sailing they were volunteering their weekends. Objectively assessing the available scientific evidence, they were writing careful, impartial reports on whose integrity we could all depend.

But that was before I did some basic fact-checking. Before I discovered that this organization is riddled with activists.

For every circumspect scholar who behaves in an upright and professional manner there’s another whose judgment is impaired. Blatantly and obviously so. Any scientist who gets into bed with lobby groups such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is not a scientist who should expect the public to trust him.

Sorry, folks, but this is too important. We’re being told that, in order to save the planet, we have to restructure our economies, diminish our lifestyles, and even change our values. Well before I do any of those things I need to be assured that the people who’ve arrived at these conclusions are above reproach. I need to know there’s no funny business going on.

People who expect me to trust their judgment on something this momentous should be clean as a whistle. They should conduct themselves in a manner one would expect of genuinely impartial intellects working on concerns this consequential. But that’s not what has been happening.

IPCC assessments are really three smaller reports bundled together. Each is written by a different working group. Here we’ll examine the first five chapters of the Working Group 2 portion of the 2007 Climate Bible.

Three of the lead authors for Chapter 1 are formally affiliated with the WWF. These scientists belong to its Climate Witness Scientific Advisory Panel – which the WWF shortens to SAP.


Expert: Cold winters "a consequence of global warming"

Weather forecastera are predicting another cold winter. But believers in global warming caused by humans need not despair. Physical Oceanographer Tom Rippeth of Bangor University´s School of Ocean Sciences "knows" that it is all "a consequence of global warming":
“Whilst at first sight the recent spate of cold winters might be interpreted as not fitting the picture of a warming planet, they do in fact appear to be a consequence of global warming”

The secrets behind the new findings are - you guessed it - "complex computer models":
“Using complex computer models scientists have found that, as the ice cap over the ocean disappeared, this allows the heat of the relatively warm seawater (0 degrees C) to escape into the much colder atmosphere above, creating an area of high pressure surrounded by clockwise-moving winds that sweep down from the Arctic over northern Europe.”

“The result here in the UK is that instead of our normal winter conditions, which are dominated by warm and wet winds blowing in off the Atlantic, we experience much colder winds coming in from the North and the East.”

The climate alarmists really know how make it easy for themselves: Whatever happens, it is always a result of global warming. No wonder there has been an huge erosion of credibility for the warmist type of climate science.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

"If we stay on with business as usual, the southern U.S. will become almost uninhabitable"

The event featured key members of the environmental advocacy community, including NASA climate scientist Dr. James Hansen, GRITtv founder Laura Flanders and Mohammed Waheed Hassan, vice president of the Maldives.

Hansen, 70, who in 1998 was the first person to testify before Congress about global warming, warned the crowd of the dangers of inaction.
“Climate change - human-made global warming - is happening,” he said. “It is already having noticeable impacts. ... If we stay on with business as usual, the southern U.S. will become almost uninhabitable.”

"When the history of the climate crisis is written, Hansen will be seen as the scientist with the most powerful and consistent voice calling for intelligent action to preserve our planet’s environment" -- Al Gore

Actually here is the annual temperature plot from 1895 to 2010 for the southern US (TX, OK, MS, AR, KS) from NOAA NCDC even after the removed adjustments for urbanization growth which enhanced apparent warming.

[Among other things, the Southern USA is not actually all that hot on a global scale, though it has hot days of course. There have been snowfalls in Florida recently, for instance. The mid-tropics are much warmer. Yet in the tropics life practically leaps out at you from every direction. I know. I was born there. So even if the Southern USA did get hotter, it would still be highly inhabitable. Singapore is slap bang on the equator and there is certainly no shortage of people there -- JR]

SOURCE. Via here

Australia: More Greenie racism

"Coconut" is a very offensive racial slur to blacks. The cause is a dispute between the Greens and the miners, with the Aborigines on the side of the miners

THE first indigenous woman elected to any Australian parliament will today announce her resignation after being vilified as a "toxic coconut" over her support for Woodside's contentious $30 billion gas hub proposal near the West Australian resort town of Broome.

Labor MP Carol Martin, 54, yesterday told the party's West Australian leader, Eric Ripper, she would not contest the next election in March 2013.

She was elected to the seat of Kimberley in 2001 after the resignation of Ernie Bridge, the Labor-turned-independent country music star who was the first indigenous Australian to become a cabinet minister.

Ms Martin has repeatedly urged opponents of the Woodside development to respect the Goolarabooloo Jabirr Jabirr people's right to do a deal with the company for the gas hub. In June, they voted 60-40 in favour.

Ms Martin's position put her at odds with members of her own extended family, and in a town of vociferous anti-gas sentiment it was widely speculated she could lose her seat over her stand.

The dispute over the gas hub has created ugly tensions in a community that prides itself on being laid-back. Ms Martin was named last week in an anonymous 10-page newsletter as "brown on the outside and full of the milk of white man's money" on the inside for not opposing the proposed gas hub.

Her name appeared on a list of nine Kimberley Aborigines, including former Australian of the year Patrick Dodson, under the heading "toxic coconuts".

Ms Martin said it was the worst slur against her in public life, and she would sue the authors if they could be identified.

The Nationals hope to win the seat of Kimberley from Labor at the next election after gaining popularity in the region through the big-spending Royalties for Regions program, under which the government promises to spend 25 per cent of mining and onshore petroleum royalties in the bush. In the Kimberley, that has included $220 million for the expansion of the irrigation area outside Kununurra.

Ms Martin told The Australian yesterday it had been a privilege to serve the people of the Kimberley, but she said she was tired of the travel between Broome and Perth, a distance of almost 2300km, and no longer wanted to be separated from her husband, Brian, for long periods. "I actually like my husband," she said.

Ms Martin said the attacks on her had been wearing. "I feel that after three terms it is time to move on, and things like that shit from last week I just don't want to put up with any more," she said.

Ms Martin is a Noongar, the Aboriginal people of the state's southwest. She lived in foster care from the age of 12 and repeatedly ran away. At 15, she went to live with her mother and siblings in Broome.

In the Kimberley, Ms Martin became a social worker and served in local government.

Her views have sometimes clashed with popular feelings. In 2009, she expressed doubts about alcohol restrictions in the towns of Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek, where fetal alcohol spectrum disorder was rampant. "I'm a social worker in my real life," she said. "I know prohibition doesn't work, has never worked historically, and if you're going to deal with addictions, you deal with addictions."

Ms Martin said she would continue to strongly represent the interests of the Kimberley until the next election.

In her maiden speech, Ms Martin said she hoped she could be an example to others. "I cannot help but feel a slight touch of disbelief it has taken so long for a person like me to get here," she told the parliament.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


27 September, 2011

Numbskull "Chief Scientist" has never heard of Hannibal crossing the Alps with elephants, has never heard of when Greenland was green, has never heard of the days of the dinosaurs and has never heard of vegetation growing in the Antarctic

All of the events above show that the earth has been warmer in the past than it is today. On the last point see here. Yet below is a statement recently made on the record at an official enquiry by Australia's chief scientist, Professor Ian Chubb:

"With respect to this cooling stuff, I have seen the claim, but the evidence that I have seen is that the last decade has been the warmest decade that we have ever had on this planet"

Such profound ignorance as his cannot be mere ignorance, it has to be outright crookedness.


Delaware’s very own Solyndra

Will Delaware and US citizens get stuck with a Bloom Energy fuel cell boondoggle?

By Paul Driessen and John Nichols

Delaware’s political establishment thinks First State electricity consumers should subsidize the manufacturing of super-sized fuel cells, under the auspices of California-based Bloom Energy, to replace natural gas and coal-fired power plants in generating electricity.

The politicos want to build a factory in Newark, where rail service is available to ship Bloom’s 10-ton, 100-kilowatt, “eco-friendly” Energy Servers to presumed eager buyers across America.

Bloom claims its “revolutionary new design” and “breakthroughs in materials science” make its new solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology “clean, reliable and affordable.” Governor Jack Markell, Department of Natural Resources Secretary Colin O’Mara, Department of Economic Development Secretary Alan Levin and assorted legislators insist their plan will create jobs and put Delaware at the forefront of the Green Revolution.

If that’s the case, and if Bloom had a viable business plan, investors would be clamoring to get in on the action. There would be no need to stick Delaware ratepayers with a bloomin’ tariff (“green premium”) that will add at least $600,000,000 to household and business electricity bills over the next 20 years – above what they would pay for electricity generated by combined cycle natural gas plants. There would be no need for the Economic Development Department to contribute another $16,000,000 in startup costs.

Actually, the green premium could be much higher – based on a 2016 “levelized cost” of $215 per megawatt hour for the fuel cell tariff versus $66 for combined-cycle natural gas generators. The $149 difference times 5,200,000 MWh from fuel cells is $774,800,000!

Tariff proponents will likely argue that this cost must be reduced by $426,000,000 in renewable energy certificates (ie, energy taxes) that Delmarva Power is required to purchase under Delaware’s Renewable Portfolio Standards Act. However, this just means the same families and businesses must pay the bill in two ways: as taxpayers and as electricity ratepayers.

In other words, Free State families and businesses will be “free” to pay an extra $600,000,000 to $775,000,000 in any combination of taxes and tariffs they “choose” – for the “privilege” of being able to say part of their electricity comes in a greed or greenbacks shade of green.

Those higher electricity costs translate into higher prices for goods and services. They pull money out of productive sectors of the economy and transfer it to politically connected operators and campaign contributors. In the process, they destroy traditional jobs – as they did in Spain and Scotland, where overpriced “green” energy killed 2.2 to 3.7 jobs for every “green job” created.

Bloom also expects to receive a substantial US Department of Energy grant, if it can get swift approval of the Delaware tariff. That federal grant will come from borrowed money, in the midst of an economic and budgetary crisis, and in the wake of scandalous green energy bankruptcies.

This crony capitalism means Bloom Energy gets risk-free cash, so that it can proceed with an initial public stock offering. As a privately held company, it gets to keep its finances a secret, even as it gets millions in taxpayer aid, with little or no transparency or due diligence in assessing the financial arrangements. That means US and Delaware taxpayers are forced to take another big risk, while families and businesses must pay well above market rates for electricity.

This sweetheart deal is shocking in its audacity. But then, as Green Tech Media reports, “Bloom plays the subsidy game like a pro, receiving more than $218 million in subsidies in 2010 from California’s [Self Generation Incentive Program].” It gets worse.

This time around, Bloom persuaded the Delaware legislature to enact a special provision. If any future legislature ever modifies the Bloom tariff, the company will receive a lump-sum payment of the entire 20-year tariff, which Delmarva Power meantime will tack onto all ratepayers’ utility bills. Without this guarantee, Bloom would have a hard time peddling its IPO.

It’s equally amazing that Bloom can even qualify for renewable energy subsidies. For that it can thank the Delaware legislature, which adopted Markell and O’Mara’s expanded definition of renewable energy, to include Bloom’s natural gas-fueled SOFC Energy Servers.

They pulled this off by enabling only Bloom fuel cells to qualify under the Renewable Portfolio Standard, originally intended for wind and solar facilities, by claiming Bloom’s equipment “could” run on biofuels, like methane from cows or landfills. It never will, but it “could.”

As to being clean and green, Bloom’s Energy Severs require substantial amounts of rare earth elements, like yttrium and cerium. Prices are soaring – by 500-2000% over the past twelve months, according to a recent General Electric report. The United States imports 100% of all the rare earths it uses in countless energy, military, electronics and other applications, with 97% coming from China.

Now the Chinese have restricted rare earth exports, and sell mostly finished products, often using our technology. Worst, the rare earths are mined, processed and turned into these products under health and environmental conditions that severely damage farmland, wildlife habitats, miners and factory workers.

With the shale gas revolution driving natural gas prices down, there should be no need for fuel cells to replace gas-burning generators. With China and India building new coal-fired power plants every week, and emitting far more carbon dioxide than all our job-killing regulations and climate change initiatives can ever offset, even diehards like Al Gore cannot justify Bloom’s systems on global warming grounds.

Then there is Solyndra. One would think that scandalous debacle – $535 million in taxpayer cash blown in two years, and Solyndra executives now pleading Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination – would ensure at least a modicum of sanity, honesty, transparency, accountability, and reluctance to use more taxpayer and consumer dollars to benefit special interests. Apparently not, at least in Delaware and the US Energy Department.

On September 27-29, the Delaware Public Service Commission will conduct public comment sessions on Bloom Energy’s application for special treatment and subsidies. Every American who cares about our economy and unemployment, every citizen who is disgusted with our wasteful, crony-capitalist, bureaucrats-pick-losers system, can send comments to and then let their elected officials know enough is enough.

That may help inoculate America against the risk of the California and Delaware “green disease” becoming an uncontrollable national Contagion. We need to stop these costly bloom-doggles!

Article received direct from Paul Driessen [], who further comments:

One would think the growing Solyndra scandal would make politicians and rent-seeking corporations less inclined toward crony capitalism, picking the next winners and (mostly) losers among “breakthrough” companies, and spending billions of taxpayer and consumer dollars to finance allegedly “green” endeavors via “investors” who are deemed most likely to support political campaigns and ambitions. Such optimism is apparently misplaced, especially in Washington, DC and Dover, DE.

My commentary today, co-authored by financial consultant and citizen activist John Nichols of Delaware, blows the lid off a caper that has national implications. Not only is some serious US taxpayer money involved, via as yet unspecified Department of Energy grants. But both Governor Jack Markell and DNR Secretary Colin O’Mara have national ambitions, and green ideologies that they want to “market” (impose?) nationwide. It is truly a Contagion that will spread, if not quarantined and controlled early on.

Thank you for posting the column as soon as possible, to help educate people before the Delaware Public Service Commission’s hearings get underway September 27-29.

EPA: Fundamental Transformation through Regulation

What happens when the information our government's "specialists" provide becomes driven by agenda rather than fact? We are witnessing the answer writ large as the feds shepherd radical environmentalism into mainstream law and regulation.

The EPA, finding organized resistance to its regulating machine, has turned to offering "guidance," which it then enforces as if said "guidance" were the product of regulatory channels. The big difference, of course, is that "guidance" is not subject to the same rigors of accountability and oversight that regulations must meet. These crone-tended kettles at the EPA are really just an end-run around the law.

A particularly offensive bit of "guidance" is the concept of "navigable waters" as relating to the jurisdictions of the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In the Clean Water Act, and through subsequent court rulings, the word "navigable" has been construed too narrowly for the EPA's liking, so the EPA is working on "guidance" that would redefine "navigable waters" to include any water anywhere, as long as it will eventually reach a navigable waterway or has ever been part of such a waterway. According to Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), this broad construction of terms would allow the EPA to regulate everything from storm water runoff to the water coming out of the end of your hose on car wash day.

Clearly, the Corps of Engineers has no business concerning itself with following EPA "guidance" over my lawn sprinklers. But to understand the thinking behind such ridiculous efforts, one must forget about the environment, and water quality, and shift focus to the amassing of raw regulatory power -- power with which the left will continue their regressionist assault on American business and industry.

It's not the agency alone that creates an untenable situation for our economy; it is the toxic combination of far-left environmental groups and overreaching government that causes many industries to lose market share due to dramatically higher costs not borne by overseas competition. One such left-wing pressure group is the Center for Progressive Reform. Essentially a group of lawyers and college professors specializing in environmental law, the Center concerns itself with the policy and enforcement mechanisms of government. In other words, its members are ambulance-chasers who lobby government to create environmental crimes for themselves to litigate.

They have used a grant from the Public Welfare Foundation to create "economic research on the benefits of regulation and analysis of reports about the costs of regulation." It is important to note that they are to analyze reports about costs. They don't care about the costs per se. They want to develop ways to attack the reports about costs, not the costs themselves. America in the 21st century has professional shills for increasing and propagandizing the regulatory burden on its citizens. For this, we raised the debt ceiling.

They issued a report this year urging President Obama to hurry along nine regulatory initiatives that they fear will be defeated if reviewed by a Republican administration. Among these initiatives are the above-referenced expansion of the Clean Water Act. The other eight are similar in scope and overreach. At the outset of the Obama administration, the Center drafted a paper outlining seven agenda items which could be accomplished by executive order in the first 100 days.

These proposed "strokes of a president's pen" range from requiring all agencies of government to measure, report, and reduce their carbon footprint to establishing rules of "environmental justice" aimed at creating protected classes of people and areas for the purpose of providing some form of "affirmative" remediation for past environmental injustices. They also require all agencies of government to adopt an affirmative action regime for implementation of these orders -- i.e., assuming for the government a collective guilt and forcing the convicted departments to keep doing good works until the self-appointed monitors declare equity achieved.

All this naturally brings us back to the ambulance-chasing nature of the Center for Progressive Reform and organizations like it. They are part of the industry of the professionally aggrieved, and it is up to the citizens of this nation to refuse to heed their perennial demands for tribute.

The left is funded to a great extent by our own government, misusing tax revenues to feed their environmentalist protection racket. This must cease immediately. The rule of experts is no more legitimate than the rule of thugs.

Consider this next election as an opportunity to disinfect the foundation of our Republic. The nation we love is being hollowed out by an enemy within, through unrelenting pressure and deception. The EPA isn't about environmental protection, and the Center for Progressive Reform isn't about progress or reform. They are both about power and control. In November 2012, we have what may well be our last opportunity to deny them their aim -- an America "fundamentally transformed."


EPA: Regulations would require 230,000 new employees, $21 billion

The Environmental Protection Agency has said new greenhouse gas regulations, as proposed, may be “absurd” in application and “impossible to administer” by its self-imposed 2016 deadline. But the agency is still asking for taxpayers to shoulder the burden of up to 230,000 new bureaucrats — at a cost of $21 billion — to attempt to implement the rules.

The EPA aims to regulate greenhouse gas emissions through the Clean Air Act, even though the law doesn’t give the EPA explicit power to do so. The agency’s authority to move forward is being challenged in court by petitioners who argue that such a decision should be left for Congress to make.

The proposed regulations would set greenhouse gas emission thresholds above which businesses must file for an EPA permit and complete extra paperwork in order to continue operating. If the EPA wins its court battle and fully rolls out the greenhouse gas regulations, the number of businesses forced into this regulatory regime would grow tremendously — from approximately 14,000 now to as many as 6.1 million.

These new regulatory efforts are not likely to succeed, the EPA admits, but it has decided to move forward regardless. “While EPA acknowledges that come 2016, the administrative burdens may still be so great that compliance … may still be absurd or impossible to administer at that time, that does not mean that the Agency is not moving toward the statutory thresholds,” the EPA wrote in a September 16 court briefing.

The EPA is asking taxpayers to fund up to 230,000 new government workers to process all the extra paperwork, at an estimated cost of $21 billion. That cost does not include the economic impact of the regulations themselves.

“Hiring the 230,000 full-time employees necessary to produce the 1.4 billion work hours required to address the actual increase in permitting functions would result in an increase in Title V administration costs of $21 billion per year,” the EPA wrote in the court brief.

The petitioner suing the EPA is the Coalition for Responsible Regulation, a trade group reportedly linked to domestic chemical companies.


Thermometer Manufacturer Destroys Key Greenhouse Gas Assumption

An independent climate science think tank produces evidence from a leading infrared thermometer manufacturer proving that climatologists were mistakenly taking incorrect readings of atmospheric temperatures. Latest findings are set to trigger a paradigm shift in climate science.

Researchers from Canada, USA, Mexico and Britain this week announce a startling discovery that destroys 20 years’ of thinking among government climatologists.

Climate scientists had long believed infrared thermometers measured thermal radiation from the atmosphere and assumed it was 'proof' of the greenhouse gas effect (GHE). Their assumption was that infrared thermometers (IRT’s) were measuring ‘back radiated’ heat from greenhouse gases (including water vapor and carbon dioxide). But damning new evidence proves IRT's do no such thing.

Now a world-leading manufacturer of these high-tech instruments, Mikron Instrument Company Inc., has confirmed that IRT’s are deliberately set to AVOID registering any feedback from greenhouse gases. Thus climate scientists were measuring everything but the energy emitted by carbon dioxide and water vapor.

One of the researchers involved, Alan Siddons, has analyzed the GHE for over six years. He has long condemned the practice of using IRT’s as a means of substantiating the increasingly discredited hypothesis.

In 2010 Siddons and his colleagues debated the GHE issue with fellow global warming skeptic, and GHE believer, Dr. Roy Spencer. An unmoved Spencer posted the following on his blog (August 8, 2010 at 6:38 AM): “The IR thermometer DOES see the atmosphere immediately in front of it, as well as most of the rest of the atmosphere along its line of sight… The final calibrated brightness temperature can be roughly considered to be the weighted average temperature of all of those layers.”

But Siddons quashes Spencer's assumptions quoting from manufacturers, Mikron Instrument Company Inc (MIC), who state: “Whereas the early IRT's required a broad spectral band of IR [infrared] to obtain a workable detector output, modern IRT’s routinely have spectral responses of only one micron.” [1.].

The company explains why this is so: “instruments necessarily need to have this selective and narrow spectral response to allows the IR thermometer to see through atmospheric or other interference.”

MIC goes further to advise that IRT’s are routinely calibrated for selective spectral responses of only 8-14 microns [2.]. The company says IRT's are set to evade atmospheric moisture over long path measurements. This, they say, is necessary to “avoid interference from CO2 and H2O.”

Yet on August 7, 2010 at 4:04 AM Dr. Spencer asserts the following on his blog: “For an IR thermometer sensitive to wavelengths from, say, 8 to 14 microns, you could plot a weighting function profile that shows the proportions of IR energy being received from different altitudes.”

Clearly, from the above statement Spencer has identified a spectral range in which his instrument CANNOT detect any IR energy from CO2 or water vapor, thus making any such “plot” pointless and absurd for the purpose he is trying to prove.

Thus Siddons ably demonstrates that when Spencer was pointing his IRT at the sky he was deluding himself that he was measuring the energy of ‘greenhouse gases.’ Thus Spencer’s erroneous assumption that infrared thermometers prove the existence of ‘back radiation’ coming from carbon dioxide (CO2) is refuted.

Mexican Study Shows IRT’s Actually Measuring ‘Rising Hot Air’

Professor Nasif Nahle in his latest report on "back radiation” further exposes the shocking misuse of radiometers and Infrared thermometers by climate scientists. Nahle’s study proves, “they merely detect thermal radiation emitted by relatively small hot globules of air rising vertically in the atmosphere.”


Electric cars still going nowhere

U.S. government incentives to spur a market for battery-powered autos aren’t a cost-effective way to cut oil use and tailpipe emissions compared with boosting sales of hybrids and plug-in cars that go short distances on electricity, a study said.

Battery breakthroughs, more-expensive oil and a more- efficient electric power grid will be needed to justify the expense, weight, and assembly-related costs of “large battery pack” cars, according to the review by Carnegie Mellon University, Arizona State University and Rand Corp., published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Hybrids similar to Toyota Motor Corp. (7203)’s Prius and plug-in hybrids that go about 10 miles on battery power offer fuel-use and carbon-exhaust savings similar to more advanced rechargeable models such as Nissan Motor Co.’s electric Leaf and General Motors Co. (GM)’s Volt, and at lower cost, the study found.

“It’s not that large battery packs are bad, it’s that they are not providing as many benefits per dollar,” Jeremy Michalek, an engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh who led the review, said in an interview. “Ordinary hybrids increase fuel economy substantially, and the incremental cost of those systems is getting relatively small.”

The study did not recommend specific models.
Tax Credits

Congress in 2009 approved tax credits of as much as $7,500 for consumers to buy vehicles powered mainly by electricity to help cut emissions tied to global warming and oil imports, along with low-cost federal loans for carmakers to add or upgrade factories to build them. Nissan, GM and startups Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA) and Fisker Automotive Inc. have received loans they’re using to build rechargeable vehicles.

Nissan’s Leaf hatchback, which goes about 70 miles per charge of its lithium-ion battery pack, costs $35,200 before the credit, and GM’s Volt that goes about 35 miles per charge has a $39,145 starting price without the incentive. Prius, averaging 50 miles per gallon of gasoline, doesn’t qualify for a federal tax credit.

Tesla’s electric Roadster sports car costs more than $100,000 even with the credit and can travel more than 200 miles per charge. Fisker’s Karma plug-in model that’s being delivered to U.S. customers costs more than $80,000.

Toyota, the world’s largest seller of hybrid autos, said this month the plug-in version of Prius that goes on sale early next year will travel 15 miles on electricity before the gasoline engine kicks in, when it averages 49 mpg. The car has a $32,000 base price, prior to a $2,500 federal tax credit, the company said.

“Current subsidies to support plug-in vehicle adoption favor large battery packs,” the report said. Such packs “are expensive and heavy” and “are underutilized when the battery capacity is larger than needed for a typical trip,” it said.

Both Toyota and Ford Motor Co. (F), which are working together to develop a hybrid system for light trucks, provide funding for engineering research at Carnegie Mellon University, Michalek said. Neither company was involved in the report released today, which was funded by the National Science Foundation, he said.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


26 September, 2011

"Godwin's law" revisited?

I do not personally accept the authority of Godwin as a lawgiver any more than I accept the authority of Al Gore, Jesus Christ or Karl Marx -- but Godwin's observation that Hitler comparisons are often the mark of desperation in an argument has some cogency. It lacks cogency only if the comparison is accurate.

So when we find a Warmist who compares a skeptic to Hitler, it is reasonable to ask what accuracy there is in the comparison. A Warmist who rather amusingly calls himself "Science Guy" has replied to a critic who mocks meteorology generally as well as global warming in particular. The critic goes by the nom de guerre of "Cowboy". "Science Guy" says:
I found someone who agrees with Cowboy on the weather

The following quotes come from perhaps the most famous man of the 20th century:

“One can’t put any trust in meteorological forecasts. (Weather men) ought to be separated from the army.

“Weather prediction is not a science that can be learned mechanically. What we need are men gifted with a sixth sense, who live in nature and with nature, whether or not they know anything about isotherms or isobars. As a rule, obviously, these men are not particularly suited to the wearing of a uniform. One of them will have a humped back. Another one of them will be bandy legged. A third paralytic. Similarly one doesn’t expect them to live like bureaucrats.”

The quotes come from … Adolf Hitler

It is certainly clear that Adolf did not think much of the meteorologists of his day but he would not be alone in that. Weather forecasters so often get things wrong that they are widely mocked to this day.

So the issue is not skepticism about meteorology unless "Science Guy" wants to brand all those millions who mock weather forecasters as Nazis.

The issue is whether Cowboy would agree that credibility is to be assigned to shamans and the like. There is no evidence that Cowboy does. His skepticism seems as wide-ranging as mine and I don't even believe that the word "God" is meaningful!

So "Science guy" has indeed fallen foul of Godwin's law and his reply to Cowboy reveals that his argument is one of desperation, not science.

The oceans have suddenly started to absorb more heat???

We read:
The rate of global warming may be kept flat for about a decade, even in the middle of long-term warming, because Earth’s oceans can absorb enough heat to temporarily keep it from skyrocketing, U.S. researchers say.

Researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research say ocean layers below 1,000 feet can hold enough of the “missing heat” to hold global air temperatures steady during these periods, and such intervals can be expected during the next century, even as the trend toward overall warming persists, an NCAR release said Monday.


NCAR’s top climate scientists seem to be unaware that ocean temperatures have already been declining for over a decade. They also seem to be unaware that physical law doesn’t change to meet their own funding needs.


1912 : Global Warming – Ice Caps Shrinking And Thinning – Animals Migrating North – Winters Getting Mild And Short

Some more of the history that the man in the street may be unaware of but which real scientists should know about. By that criterion there are few Warmists who would pass as real scientists
West Gippsland Gazette Warragul, Vic., Tuesday 19 March 1912

GREEN CHRISTMASES By C. Le Lacy Evans, in the”Daily Mail.”)

For many years back we have witnessed a noticeable climatic change in our winters in England, Scotland, and Northern Europe generally, together with reports of a similar character from America. As an instance of the former, during the present December a rare variety of spring sights and sounds are reported. With the thermometer often up to 50 deg., “partridges had practically commenced to pair” and “the rooks wers a busy repairing their old nests.” Fresh and succulent grass has grown as in spring, and cattle have been turned out “to enjoy both the weather and the food.” A second group of flies are seen here and there, and often a cloud of gnats may be witnessed doing their vertical war-dance, while in more than one instance the bees-water scouts have been busy. To the gardener these observations are unnecessary – he sees the facts daily. In New York during the present month the temperature rose to 6Odeg. which is a record, 59deg. being registered in 1873. The underground railways registered 70deg. This heat wave was general throughout the eastern States. “In Boston trees are budding in the parks, and on the Berkshire Hills, with the mercury showing 70deg the maple sap is running as it does in spring-time.” This last phenomenon however, may not be continuous, but these quotations are sufficient to show the climatic state of England and America during the present December.


Zoologically the same change is observed, and it is not long ago since I read a letter from a nephew of Mr George R. Sims giving a list of birds which formerly inhabited the United States only, but have recently migrated northward and are now commonly found in Lower Canada. This shows that the northern climate is becoming warmer, and the statement is con- firmed by the fact that the records of the Hudson Bay Company state that ”the winter on the shores of the Bay has grown shorter, at the rate if of one day in every ten years.” The same change is noticeable In Siberia, Greenland, and Alaska. The northern ice cap is decreasing in area and thickness, and the land, which was tropical and bore the grape-vine the magnolia, and the water-lily before the Great Ice Age, will become habitable again. As an instance In confirmation of this, in 1907 Dr W. S. Bruce’s expedition explored the. whole of Prince Charles Foreland, an island 60 miles long lying to the west of Spitzbergen, and where only ice and snow had previously existed. “brilliant verdant vegetation was found in several places”


It is interesting to glance back even to the recent written period of man, without alluding to a former period during which we can trace the advance and retreat of the pine and the rein- deer with the precision of a mathemati- clan. Snow was well known to the Egyptians., and in Palestine one of David’s officers “slew a lion in a pit at the time of snow.” At the time of the Roman occupation Gaul was semi- Arctic. In A D. 462 Theodomer march- ed his army over the frozen Danube: in A.D. 763′ the Dardanelies was frozen over wiith 5Oft of snow. The River Po was frozen to the bottom in A.D. 1236. In A.D. 1292 the Cattegat was frozen, and travellers crossed between Norway and Jutland. In A.D. 1344 wine distributed to soldiers in Flanders was cut in pieces by hatchets. In A.D. 1571 all the rivers in France were frozen, and the Hellespont in A.D. 1622. In AD. 1658 Charles X. of Sweden crossed the Little Belt from Holstein to Denmark with his whole army. foot, horse, baggage, and artillery. In A.D. 1684 brakes drove along the Thames. In A.D. 1709 the Adriatic and Mediterranean near Genoa were quite frozent over. In A.D. 1716 all the lakes in England were frozen to an enormous thickness, and a whole ox was roasted on the Thames. ’This has occurred since, accompanied by a fair. but is not likely to recur. About every nine to eleven years we -till experience extreme cold, when sunspots decrease the sun’s power.


EPA To Shut Down 20% of Coal Plants in 2012

This article is a few days old, but it is worth a mention nonetheless. Susan Kraemer at CleanTechnica can barely contain her excitement at the prospect of environmental regulations. In an article titled "Obama's EPA Cues 130 Billion Race to Cut Pollution By 2015", she reports that the EPA will shut down 20 percent of coal plants through the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. She acknowledges the cost of these regulations ($130 billion), but insists that this is actually good for the economy.

How, pray tell, does $130 billion in regulatory expenses transform into a $130 billion boon? Because it will push coal plants out of the way and free up energy production for green technology, of course!
The EPA will shut down an estimated 20% of the nation’s coal plants through the ground-level ozone rule (the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) ) through cap and trade that is about to be implemented in January 2012. Opponents of the Obama administration’s “over-reaching” EPA say these are costly regulations. Financial analysts estimate that the cost of this rule will be $130 billion by 2015. But if that figure is correct, that’s good news for the US economy.

Because there is another way of looking at that $130 billion “expense”. One industry’s expense is another industry’s sales bonanza. For the coal industry’s balance sheet, it is an expense, but think about who is going to perform this $130 billion cleanup – fairies? Hardly. This is a job for real American industries.

In the most depressed economy since the Great Depression, a slew of US companies will be selling the clean energy solutions (and adding employees to manufacture them) as coal companies must begin a race to have the least polluting coal plants. Source: Clean Technica (

Real American industries? Like Solyndra? Given all the green scandals that are coming to light, now might not be the best time to advocate these types of solutions. The kicker, though, comes in the last paragraph of the article:
A hand-full of coal industry plutocrats are simply not able to inject $130 billion into the US economy just taking cruise trips around the Mediterranean or whatever it is that they do with the profits that they don’t spend cleaning up.

If the concern is that coal plants don't put enough money into the economy, then what's going to happen once there are fewer of them? My guess is that we will be left on the hook for more large loans to green technology companies that eventually go bankrupt, and other goodies that could only come about when people like Kraemer decide they know best how companies should spend their profits.


Climate skeptics don't 'deny science'

Jeff Jacoby

BILL CLINTON DECLARED LAST WEEK that Americans "look like a joke" because leading Republican presidential contenders decline to embrace the agenda of the global-warming alarmists. Presumably he had in mind Texas Governor Rick Perry, who says that "global warming has been politicized" and calls claims of a decisive human role in climate change an unproven theory. "You can't win the nomination of a major political party in the US," fumed the former president, "unless you deny science?"

To which Marc Morano, publisher of the irreverently skeptical website Climate Depot, promptly replied: "Bill is correct! No Democratic presidential candidate could get the nomination unless they deny the large role that natural variability plays in climate."

In truth, global-warming alarmism is not science at all -- not in the way that electromagnetic radiation or the laws of planetary motion or molecular biology is science. Catastrophic climate change is an interpretation of certain scientific data, an interpretation based on theories about the causes and effects of growing concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It is not "denying science" to have doubts about the correctness of that interpretation any more than it is "denying economics" to have doubts about the efficacy of Kenyesian pump-priming.

You don't have to look far to see that impeccable scientific standards can go hand-in-hand with skepticism about global warming. Ivar Giaever, a 1973 Nobel laureate in physics, resigned this month as a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) to protest the organization's official position that evidence of manmade climate change is "incontrovertible" and cause for alarm.

In an e-mail explaining his resignation, Giaever challenges the view that any scientific assertion is so sacred that it cannot be contested.

"In the APS it is ok to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves," Giaever writes, incredulous, "but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible?"

Nor does Giaever, a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute faculty member, share the society's view that carbon emissions threaten "significant disruptions in the Earth's physical and ecological systems, social systems, security, and human health." In fact, the very concept of a "global" temperature is one he questions:

"The claim (how can you measure the average temperature of the whole earth for a whole year?) is that the temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degrees Kelvin in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me … that the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this 'warming' period."

By now, only ideologues and political propagandists insist that all reputable scientists agree on the human responsibility for climate change. Even within the American Physical Society, the editor of "Physics and Society" (an APS publication) has acknowledged that "there is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree … that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are … primarily responsible for the global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution."

Giaever is only one of many distinguished scientists who dissent from the alarmist view on climate change. Among the others are Richard Lindzen of MIT and John Christy of the University of Alabama at Huntsville, both noted climatologists; the eminent physicist Freeman Dyson of Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study; and S. Fred Singer, professor emeritus of environmental science at the University of Virginia. Within the population of weather experts best known to the public -- broadcast meteorologists -- The New York Times reported last year that skepticism of the prevailing anthropogenic global-warming theory "appears to be widespread."

Such skepticism is not "anti-science." Everything in science is subject to challenge; innumerable facts about the natural world have been discovered only by poking holes in once-prevailing theories. And if that is true generally, how much more so is it true when it comes to something as vast and complex as climate change? Researchers still have no way "to reliably discriminate between manmade warming and natural warming processes," climate scientist Roy Spencer has written. "We cannot put the Earth in a laboratory and carry out experiments on it. There is only one global warming experiment, and we are all participating in it right now."

Someday the workings of climate change may be as well understood as plate tectonics or photosynthesis. Until then, different theories will compete, assumptions will be fought over, and scientific findings will be overstated by people with political or social agendas. We'll know that the science really is settled when the battles have come to an end.


The not so green side of green energy

You could safely say that the environment and environmental concerns are a priority for this administration.

Agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) see fit to regulate and over-regulate every aspect of the environment including air, water, soil and everything in between. Knowing that your drinking water is safe to drink is a good thing, but over-regulating businesses’ emissions levels to impossible-to-meet standards has hurt production levels of goods and services in the U.S.

Furthermore, the current administration’s push and support towards “green” energy coupled with overbearing environmental regulations has made the cost of manufacturing products like solar panels in the U.S. so expensive that it has forced some companies and jobs overseas. So in an effort to stay green, America then imports solar panels from countries like China.

In fact, expressing concern over the high number of imports of solar panels, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) wrote a letter to the president. Sen. Wyden, a proponent of renewable energies and technologies being manufactured in the U.S., said in his letter, “Chinese imports of solar panels are surging and are on pace to increase 240 percent this year, compared to 2010. Furthermore, imports of Chinese solar panels increased 1,593-percent between 2006 and 2010.”

Chinese producers of solar panels do receive large subsidies from their government allowing them to price the product at a much lower level than market value, thus out-pricing most competitors. But as some Chinese manufacturing plants have learned, the production of these green products isn’t so green at all.

In mid-September, about 500 villagers from an eastern Chinese town protested a solar plant over pollution fears. Water samples taken near the plant tested high for levels of fluoride, which can be toxic in mass amounts, and when fish from a local river showed up dead, villagers were adamant that the plant close.

Now local Chinese government officials say there will be an “overhaul of the production procedures at the plant involving the emission of waste gas and waste water,” states the BBC article.

If China, a country much more lax on environmental regulations than America, is being forced to take more aggressive steps to regulate environmental concerns over solar panel manufacturing, imagine the steps that would have to be taken in America if they were to be mass produced here.

A product that might be “green” in the long run doesn’t make that product green from the start. As this administration and the EPA continue their battle against coal manufacturers and natural gas extracting mechanisms, other forms of energy creation might be worse, and less efficient, than these already proven forms of energy.

It doesn’t make America a very environmentally conscious nation when it imports products from overseas that destroy and pollute the manufacturers’ local communities.

After all, we all drink water from the same sources, eat food grown from the same ground and breathe in the same air.

Despite spending a large amount of government stimulus money and taxpayer handouts, America’s green industry falls flat on its face time and time again. It’s not a viable industry, it can’t stand on its own, and from the sounds of it, doesn’t sound all that environmentally friendly anyways.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


25 September, 2011

Warmist nutjob forgets the dinosaurs

The dinosaurs flourished in a very warm climatic period and were both cold-blooded and VERY large. But you would never guess that from the effusions of the alleged scientist below. According to him they should have been about the size of mice.

And this crap was published in "New Scientist". But "New Warmist" has been a better name for that publication for some time now

It is well established that cold-blooded species get smaller as the climate heats up, says Andrew Hirst of Queen Mary, University of London. Experiments show that, on average, 1 °C of warming reduces their adult body mass by 2.5 per cent. The mystery is why.

To find out, Hirst pulled together data on 15 species of copepod that swim in the open sea, focusing on how they grew at different temperatures. As temperatures rose, the copepods got heavier faster. Hirst thinks that's because physiological reactions accelerate at warmer temperatures, allowing the copepods to bulk up faster.

But they also matured to adulthood faster, so their rapid growth ground to a halt at a young age. The overall effect was such that the warmer copepods wound up smaller.

It's not clear why temperature has such a strong effect on the way these organisms mature, but Hirst suspects evolution favours organisms that are flexible in how fast they mature to adulthood. In a competitive environment, this increases the odds that individuals will reproduce before they are killed.


Another fluff-headed Leftist who wouldn't know science if she fell over it

She saw an iceberg break off a glacier and that confirms global warming for her. The fact that icebergs have ALWAYS broken off glaciers seems unknown to her feeble brain

There's nothing like a glacier crumbling into the sea in front of your eyes to remind you that climate change is more than an abstract reason to recycle egg boxes and wine bottles.

Right now, I'm writing from a small ship's cabin in one of the most isolated, desolate places on earth: the northern tip of Svalbard in the high Arctic, where I have come on an expedition, part of the point of which was to see what I've just seen. Which was a shelf of translucent blue ice the height
of a house falling into the water like wet cake.

It's not that I didn't believe in climate change before this. On the contrary: I am of the background and generation that grew up in the mid-1990s with the notion of environmental destruction as an inevitability.

I was raised on the animation FernGully: the Last Rainforest and traumatic colouring books full of sad baby seals and herons choking on plastic bags. This gentle indoctrination was supposed to motivate us to grow up and save the planet, but by the time we were old enough to object, the forests were disappearing and the oilfields burning fast enough for it all to seem too late.

I now realise that, even before the Copenhagen Summit 2009 put paid to the prospect of a green international deal, I had decided that there was nothing I could do. At some point, I decided that my special fight was simply to make sure, to the best of my limited ability, that whatever society is left after the floodwaters settle is as fair and free as possible. I have this luxury, of course, because I grew up in a hilly place in England and my house is not going to be underwater for a while yet.

This, for the generation that grew up after the collapse of communism, is the way the world ends: not with a bang, but a bonfire.

The greatest threat to the future of humanity is now not political brinkmanship, but paranoid indifference: the certainty that the future is both finite and short and that all we can do is burn what little of the remaining money we have and hope civilisation outlasts us.

More twaddle HERE

Another fluffhead is reviving the old ocean acidification scare

That warming would cause the oceans to outgas CO2 and thus REDUCE acidity seems unknown to her. The studies which have shown that increased acidity does NOT do the harm to marine organisms that she claims also seem unknown to her

Marine chemist Richard Feely, a senior scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration, has been collecting water samples in the North Pacific for over 30 years. He’s observed a decrease in pH at the upper part of the water column, notably the region where carbon dioxide from automobile exhaust, coal-fired power plants, and other human activities has collected. This surface water is now acidic enough to dissolve the shells of some marine animals such as corals, plankton, and mollusks in laboratory experiments. Feely’s findings are just one sign of a troubling global phenomenon called ocean acidification.

We spend a lot of time worrying about carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, as a form of pollution and also as a key greenhouse gas that traps solar heat. But we pay less attention to the effects emissions have in the ocean. There is no debate that rapidly increasing seawater acidity is the result of man-made carbon emissions.

“The chemistry of the uptake of carbon dioxide and its changing pH of seawater is very, very clear,” explains Feely.

The oceans absorb an estimated 22 million tons of CO2 from the atmosphere every day. This buffers the greenhouse effect by drawing the planet-warming gas out of the atmosphere and storing it in water, but at a great cost to ocean life. This carbon mixes with the salt water to create carbonic acid, which immediately breaks down, forming bicarbonate and hydrogen. And this excess hydrogen increases the water’s acidity.

Higher acidity, in turn, makes life difficult for marine animals by hampering their ability to form shells and skeletons. For microscopic plankton and many other species at the base of marine food chains, this means slower growth and potential population decline. These problems trickle up to affect the large fish that depend on smaller organisms for food.

Acidification also causes some coral species to grow more slowly or disappear. Since coral reefs support 25 percent of the ocean’s species of fish, this spells widespread trouble. Marine ecosystems are so interconnected, in fact, that scientists cannot predict the full effects of acidification. They only know that changes in the availability of food and in community structure can scale up quickly.


Warmist Professor Can’t Read Graphs

Gunnar Schade: "Based on current trends, he said, within 50 years, Texas will no longer be able to sustain the growth of cotton or corn and desertification will occur".


There is no trend in Texas temperatures since at least 1895:

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Another Professor Resigns – From The Belgian European Society of Engineers and Industrialists SEII

Yet another professor, Dr. Ir. Henri A. Masson, has resigned from yet another once prestigious organisation, which too has succumbed to the darkness of climate dogmatism and censorship.

In late August the Société Européenne des Ingénieurs et Industriels (European Society of Engineers and Industrialists – abbreviated SEII) had organised a conference where scientists S. Fred Singer and Prof. Claes Johnson, of the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, had been scheduled to speak on climate change.

However this all came to the attention of IPCC Vice Chair Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, who found that skeptic views have no place in the climate religion, and so moved quickly and demanded the SEII disinvite the 2 distinguished speakers. The conference had to be moved.

For SEII event coordinator Dr. Henri A. Masson, this closed-minded attitude by the SEII and van Ypersele became intolerable and so he has submitted his resignation. Google translation from the French below:
Attention: Mr. Philippe Wauters, President

Subject: my resignation from positions held within the SEII and cancellation of my membership of Seiya.

Mr. President,

I just read the official document prepared by the Secretary General of the SEII on the case "Climategate," by which he informed the Executive Directors, an overwhelming majority, you reiterated his confidence, despite the factual evidence that I provided earlier, which establish the reality of their lies you have made.

It appears that, after having denied in writing, you have had to acknowledge that you have acted following an intervention of a "third person", as euphemistically called the Secretary General in his letter to the Directors, the intervention of another person is in fact a protest letter from Professor van Ypersele. For me, that means, it is nothing other than having participated in influence peddling, based on defamatory statements that you do not even bother to check paspris, and you have given to external pressures to SEII to censor players defending an opposing view to that of Mr. Van Ypersele and bodies they represent.

These facts are indisputable, regardless of the casuistic arguments you are trying to develop to evoke a serious procedural error that I committed. In the absence of extremely vague definition of the limits of the mandate entrusted to me in the training activities of Seiya, and more specifically those designed to facilitate a "philosophy café pilot to the controversy on climate", I do not see what is the procedure I would not have followed the simple execution of a recurrent activity of the working group that I run for over a year.

When to send a diary or a record of meeting such a working group of SEII, or try to invite new members to join him, for it is and only what it is in this case, I think it is customary to use a paper headed SEII to this effect, without having to involve the Bureau whenever ; Moreover, without the intervention of Mr. van Ypersele, you would more than likely not find anything to say about it.

But of course there is no requirement the Office to remain consistent and objective in his judgments.

The facts that I reproach you are strategic in nature for Seiya. Try to exonerate them using specious arguments of procedure do not grow. It would have been much wiser to recognize that you have been eroded by Mr. van Ypersele, based on the reputation dontil still enjoys in Belgium, despite its links to the most radical branch of Greenpeace. Supporting evidence, I have provided the occasion for a week to review your position, you would not take it.

So I can only note that neither you nor the Executive will share a number of values ​​that are dear to me and which I have never traded and will not compromise the future.

As a result, I present to you my resignation of all the functions I occupied in the SEII. I also want to be taken off the membership list and stop receiving your mailings.

I reserve, in addition, freedom to plead my good faith, with supporting evidence in the case between us, with people and institutions of my choice.

Please accept my feelings for the occasion.

Prof. Dr. Ir Henry A. Masson


The Decline in Deaths from Extreme Weather, 1900–2010

This does not sit at all well with Warmist claims of increases in extreme weather. But much of the decline is of course due to technological and economic advance. It is precisely technological and economic advance that is the bete noir of the Greens, however -- JR

Aggregate mortality attributed to all extreme weather events globally has declined by 98% since the 1920s

Indur M. Goklany and Julian Morris

Aggregate mortality attributed to all extreme weather events globally has declined by more than 90% since the 1920s, in spite of a four-fold rise in population and much more complete reporting of such events. The aggregate mortality rate declined by 98%, largely due to decreased mortality in three main areas:

Deaths and death rates from droughts, which were responsible for approximately 60% of cumulative deaths due to extreme weather events from 1900–2010, are more than 99.9% lower than in the 1920s.

Deaths and death rates for floods, responsible for over 30% of cumulative extreme weather deaths, have declined by over 98% since the 1930s.

Deaths and death rates for storms (i.e. hurricanes, cyclones, tornados, typhoons), responsible for around 7% of extreme weather deaths from 1900–2008, declined by more than 55% since the 1970s.

To put the public health impact of extreme weather events into context, cumulatively they now contribute only 0.07% to global mortality. Mortality from extreme weather events has declined even as all-cause mortality has increased, indicating that humanity is coping better with extreme weather events than it is with far more important health and safety problems.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


24 September, 2011

Armed Troops Burn Down Homes, Kill Children To Evict Ugandans In Name Of Global Warming

The authoritarian thinking of the Green/Left must have Fascist results wherever they get the power

Armed troops acting on behalf of a British carbon trading company backed by the World Bank burned houses to the ground and killed children to evict Ugandans from their homes in the name of seizing land to protect against “global warming,” a shocking illustration of how the climate change con is a barbarian form of neo-colonialism.

The evictions were ordered by New Forests Company, an outfit that seizes land in Africa to grow trees then sells the “carbon credits” on to transnational corporations. The company is backed by the World Bank and HSBC. Its Board of Directors includes HSBC Managing Director Sajjad Sabur, as well as other former Goldman Sachs investment bankers.

The company claims residents of Kicucula left in a “peaceful” and “voluntary” manner, and yet the people tell a story of terror and bloodshed. Villagers told of how armed “security forces” stormed their village and torched houses, burning an eight-year-child to death as they threatened to murder anyone who resisted while beating others. “We were in church,” recalled Jean-Marie Tushabe, 26, a father of two. “I heard bullets being shot into the air.”

“Cars were coming with police,” Mr. Tushabe said, sitting among the ruins of his old home. “They headed straight to the houses. They took our plates, cups, mattresses, bed, pillows. Then we saw them getting a matchbox out of their pockets.”

“But in this case, the government and the company said the settlers were illegal and evicted for a good cause: to protect the environment and help fight global warming,” reports the New York Times.

An Oxfam report documents how the British outfit has worked with the Ugandan government to forcibly expel over 20,000 people from their homes using terror and violence as part of a lucrative scramble for arable land that can be used to satisfy the multi-billion dollar carbon trading ponzi scheme, which is worth $1.8 million a year to the company.

“I no longer own any land. It’s impossible to feed my children – they have suffered so much. Some days all they eat is porridge from maize flour. When people can’t eat well their bodies become weak – there have been lots of cases of malaria and diarrhoea. Some days we don’t eat anything at all,” said former farmer Francis Longoli, whose land was stolen by New Forests.

As we have previously documented, the manufactured threat of man-made global warming is being used as a tool of neo-colonialism in the third world, not only through the seizure of land and infrastructure, thereby preventing poor nations from using their resources to develop, but by literally starving poverty-stricken people to death.

Climate change alarmism and implementation of global warming policies is a crime of the highest nature, because it is already having a genocidal impact in countries like Haiti, where the doubling of food prices is resulting in a substantial increase in starvation, poverty and death, with the population being forced to live on mud pies.

As a National Geographic Report confirmed, “With food prices rising, Haiti’s poorest can’t afford even a daily plate of rice, and some must take desperate measures to fill their bellies,” by “eating mud,” partly as a consequence of “increasing global demand for biofuels.”

In April 2008, World Bank President Robert Zoellick admitted that biofuels were a “significant contributor” to soaring food prices that have led to poor people dying from starvation as a result of biofuels dominating land that would normally be used to harvest food.

Even man-made global warming advocate George Monbiot admits that promotion of biofuels “is causing starvation in the poor world,” particularly in Swaziland, where the decision to allocate several thousand hectares of farmland to ethanol production despite the country being in the grip of a famine was labeled “a crime against humanity” by Jean Ziegler, the UN’s special rapporteur.

But it’s not just biofuels, a product of global warming alarmism, that are unleashing a genocide against black people in poorer countries, it’s the whole anti-development mantra embraced by climate change activists that is being enforced by supranational organizations like the World Bank and the IMF in the name of reducing carbon dioxide, the evil life-giving gas that plants breathe and humans exhale.

Indeed, poorer countries rejected the 2009 Copenhagen climate agreement precisely because it discriminated against third world nations.

In addition, the Obama administration, firmly supported by Al Gore, last year ordered the World Bank to keep “developing” countries underdeveloped by blocking them from building coal-fired power plants, ensuring that poorer countries remain in poverty as a result of energy demands not being met.

By preventing poor nations from becoming self-sufficient in blocking them from producing their own energy, the Obama administration is ensuring that millions more will die from starvation and lack of access to hospitals and medical treatment.

While ignorant environmentalist leftists preach all day about the effects of global warming having the most impact on poorer countries, it is in fact the poorer countries and their people who are suffering most from global warming alarmism, and predators like the banker-backed New Forests Company.

The seizure of arable land in the name of “global warming” is set to become big business, which is why the United Nations recently announced it is preparing to roll out an army of green helmeted “climate peacekeepers” to intervene in poorer countries to protect “shrinking resources”.

Transnational corporations, in league with western governments and offshore banks, have seized upon the climate change scam to carry out genocidal policies and land grabs in the pursuit of selling carbon credits to other transnational corporations who then merely pass on the cost to the consumer.


High levels of CO2 help corn crops RESIST drought

A recent article in Agricultural and Forest Meteorology gives us a clearer picture of the nature of drought in the corn belt of the United States. The article was produced by six scientists with tree-ring labs at the University of Missouri, the University of Arizona, and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in New York. The Stambaugh et al. team acknowledges that “This research was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation. Previous support was received from the University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry and the USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station.” The goal of the team was to create a record of drought for the corn belt extending back 1,000+ years nearly doubling the length of record currently available.

The group collected tree-ring data from live and subfossil oak trees from northern Missouri and southern Iowa. As is the custom in this type of research, they related the tree rings to climate variables over the period of historical climate records (starting in 1895). They found that the trees grew large rings in periods with cool and wet summers and small rings with conditions were warm and dry. They were able to relatively accurately reconstruct the Palmer Hydrological Drought Index from 1895 to near present for their study area

The climate records do not go back before 1895, but the tree rings extend back to AD 912. With some statistical wizardry, Stambaugh et al. were able to generate a time series of drought for over 1,000 years

In describing their fundamental results, the authors state “Separate reconstructions tailored to emphasize high-frequency and low-frequency variations indicate that drought conditions over the period of instrumental records (since 1895) do not exhibit the full range of variability, severity, or duration of droughts during the last millennium. For example, three years in the last millennium were drier than 1934, a classic Dust-Bowl year and the driest year of the instrumental period. Thirteen decadal to multidecadal droughts (i.e., ≥10 years) occurred during the last millennium – the longest lasting sixty-one years and centered on the late twelfth century.” We also note that no trend exists toward increasing drought during the most recent century when greenhouse gas concentrations increased substantially!

So from this study we definitely learn that droughts in the region naturally occur with relative frequency, and undoubtedly will continue to do so in the future—no need to invoke large-scale human alteration to the atmospheric composition.

In the same volume of Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, a second article appears with fabulous news for corn growers the world over. The article was written by five scientists with the US Department of Agriculture and the University of Maryland. The Chun et al. team notes early in the piece that “There have been many studies on the interaction of CO2 and water on plant growth. Under elevated CO2, less water is used to produce each unit of dry matter by reducing stomatal conductance.” Under elevated CO2 conditions, plants will simply use and need much less water to achieve the same outcome – yet another benefit of increased CO2 concentrations.

But what about corn? To find out, Chun et al. grew corn in chambers with CO2 concentrations at either 400 ppm or 800 ppm, and they varied the amount of water the plants would receive. At the end of the experiment, they concluded “Approximately 13–20% and 35% less water was used under the elevated CO2 conditions than under the ambient CO2 conditions, for the water stressed conditions and for the well-watered conditions, respectively. These results suggest that under increased CO2 concentrations as generally predicted in the future, less water will be required for corn plants than at present.” Their final two sentences are priceless as they tell us that the higher water use efficiency in the elevated CO2 chambers “indicates that less water was used under the elevated CO2 condition to produce similar biomass as that in the ambient CO2 treatment. This study suggests that less water will be required under high-CO2 environment in the future than at present.”

We realize that our future will see droughts in the corn belt – whether these future droughts are related to human activities can be debated forever. The good news is that elevated CO2 will give corn in the future a defense against any droughts that occur – corn will simply require much less water given the biological benefits associated with extra levels of CO2. The goodness will be felt the world over, not just in America’s corn belt.


Ideology Plus Desperation Equals Folly

Rich Kozlovich on the bedbug coverup

Yesterday I received an e-mail from Steve Milloy of about a report released by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) outlining how many people had been made ill by pesticide applications over a seven year period involving treatments for bed bug infestations in seven states.

Over that seven year period there were 111 reported reactions with one fatality. Considering that 93% of these cases were caused by inappropriate applications of pesticides by these people themselves, and literally tens of thousands of applications have been made in the last seven years for bed bugs alone; this is a remarkable safety record for pesticides….after all if any product is misused there will be unhappy consequences.

You will notice that most of these problems have occurred in the last couple of years. Why? Because this plague of bed bugs is expanding at a rate that would have been considered impossible a few years ago. In 1996 the Environmental Protection Agency promoted something called the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA), which was to be a fix for something called the Delaney Clause of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938. For more information on this please go to my article, We Don’t Need No Stinking Badges. As a result whole categories of safe effective chemistry was lost to the structural pest control industry, and to the general public.

It didn’t take long before the impact of that action was felt. There were those in our industry that predicted that one of the first major problems we would encounter as a society from FQPA would be the return of bed bugs. They were right. There were those in our industry who predicted all of these problems involving health problem caused by misapplications. They were right, and all of what has occurred was perfectly predictable.

The one thing we have to come to understand is that the finger of blame needs to be pointed at the right party. The blame must be placed at the feet the ones responsible for this plague overtaking the nation, the pesticide misapplications and the related health problems; The Environmental Protection Agency! Through their irrational anti-pesticide agenda we have lost effective products that would prevented this plague in the first place. As a result people would not have required unending treatments they cannot afford by professionals which has forced them to attempt to eradicate this problem on their own. As a result of the EPA’s actions people, especially the poor, are desperate for relief. This sense of desperation these people feel causes them to act with folly in order to rid their homes of these pests.

Reports such as this from CDC amount to unnecessary scare mongering as they admit themselves that “Although the number of acute illnesses from insecticides used to control bed bugs does not suggest a large public health burden, increases in bed bug populations that are resistant to commonly available insecticides might result in increased misuse of pesticides.” This report is scare mongering with no solution to the problem. They go on to say:
Public health recommendations to prevent illnesses associated with insecticides used to control bed bugs include media campaigns to educate the public about bed bug--related issues, including nonchemical methods to control bed bugs, methods to prevent bed bug infestation (e.g., avoiding the purchase of used mattresses and box springs), and prudent use of effective insecticides. Persons who have a bed bug infestation should be encouraged to seek the services of a certified applicator…If they had stopped there they would have at least offered something of value, but they continue…. who uses an IPM (Integrated Pest Management) approach to avoid pesticide misuse. And finally they supply the answer to these misapplications; “Persons applying insecticides should follow product instructions for safe and appropriate use. Insecticide labels that are easy to read and understand also can help prevent illnesses associated with bed bug control.”

None of this changes the fact that bed bug numbers are expanding at an outrageous rate throughout the nation because of this foolish IPM mentality. In point of fact there is no such thing as IPM in structural pest control. The EPA has an irrational desire to eliminate pesticides, including pyrethrins and pyrethroids, no matter what they say publically, and so they have promoted IPM for years as an alternative. The reality is that IPM is an agricultural concept that is based on a logical foundation of threshold limits. What is the logical foundation for IPM in structural pest control? There isn’t one! Since there is no logical foundation for IPM in structural pest control IPM doesn’t exist in structural pest control except for the fact that the government says it exists. Please see The Pillars of IPM.

This whole report is nothing more than anti-pesticide scaremongering with no solutions, no insights and little value to society. Here is the whole story in a nutshell; the EPA’s ideology created the desperation these people feel and this desperation generated the folly of their actions; and folly has consequences; unfortunately the penalties of green activism is always paid for by an unsuspecting public; it is never paid for by the perpetrators.

The answer to this problem in 1946 was effective, inexpensive, easy to use chemistry that was available to everyone. If that isn't the answer to our current problem there will be no answer.

I have written extensively on this subject. Please read My Bed Bug Series.


Gore lies about his audience

Truth has never been a priority for him

It was called '24 Hours of Reality', but Al Gore's latest climate change campaign appears to have come up against a very inconvenient truth.

The former vice president had said that his day-long online marathon of talks on the environment on Thursday had been watched by as many as 8.6million people. But it has now been claimed that the number of people logging on for the highly publicised presentations that were streamed around the world was closer to 17,000 people.

Despite Gore successfully getting speakers including Renee Zellweger to make appearances, website 'Watts Up With That?' has revealed that internet viewing figures were way below those reported by Gore.

Video highlights of the talks posted on YouTube have also proved to be unpopular, with some films receiving just one or two views.

The internet campaign spearheaded by the former presidential candidate was supposed to raise awareness about climate change. The multimedia presentations showed how extreme weather events, such as floods, fires and storms, are linked to climate change. The hourly broadcasts were filmed from locations across the world including Beijing, New Delhi, Jakarta, London and Rio de Janeiro.

Meanwhile, Eric Young, Deputy Communications Director, The Climate Reality Project, refuted reports numbers were inflated. Mr Young told MailOnline: 'We are thrilled by the vast global attention 24 Hours of Reality received.

'Millions of people around the world watched and engaged online and in person. Our strategy was to bring the event to as many people as possible. We achieved this by partnering with Ustream, whose player was embedded in sites across the web, not just on our homepage. This was in addition to the watch parties in homes, schools and businesses, and the live television broadcast on Current TV.'

The campaign ended at 7pm EDT on Thursday with a final speech from Gore broadcast from New York City.

The claims come as it was revealed that Keith Olbermann's show has seen a big reduction in ratings since it was moved from MSNBC to Gore's cable network Current. 'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' ranked among the top 20 cable news shows when it was host on MSNBC, but it now ranked at 65th, according to the New York Daily News.


U.K. Gets Big Shale Gas Find

An area in northwest England may contain 200 trillion cubic feet of shale gas, putting it in the same league as some of the vast shale-gas plays that have transformed the U.S. energy industry.

The figure for the area near Blackpool, released Wednesday by Cuadrilla Resources, a small oil-and-gas company with operations in England's Bowland Shale, highlights the U.K.'s emerging position as a new frontier for unconventional gas exploration. But it inflamed environmental groups who say the technology used to extract shale gas is environmentally damaging.

"We have as much gas per square mile in Bowland as the successful North American shale plays," said Mark Miller, Cuadrilla's chief executive, in an interview. He said the company found nearly four times more gas than it was expecting to discover.

The discovery of such vast resources—200 trillion cubic feet would be enough to meet U.K. gas demand for 64 years—comes at a time when the U.K.'s conventional gas fields are in steep decline and as it is becoming increasingly dependent on imports such as liquefied natural gas from Qatar and piped gas from Norway.

The exploitation of shale gas has revolutionized American energy markets, helping the U.S. in 2009 to overtake Russia as the world's largest gas producer. Shale now accounts for about 20% of U.S. gas production, but total output is expected to quadruple in coming years. The boom has touched off a scramble for access to acreage in the Barnett, Marcellus and Haynesville shales in the U.S., where much of the new resource is concentrated.

Now the shale boom is beginning to spread to Europe, which also boasts large reserves of unconventional gas. But opposition from environmentalists has been fierce. Shale gas is produced using a technology known as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," which involves injecting huge volumes of water, sand and chemicals deep underground, creating fissures—or fractures— that allow the gas trapped inside the shale rock to flow out. Critics fear that fracking can contaminate ground and surface water or even cause gas to leak into domestic water supplies. In June, France became the first country to ban shale-gas exploration.

In response to Cuadrilla's announcement, the environmental group WWF called Wednesday for a moratorium on shale-gas production in the U.K. and said the country should be more focused on investing in renewables than increasing its reliance on fossil fuels. "The government should at the very least halt shale gas exploration in Britain until more research can be undertaken on both the climate-change impacts and contamination risks associated with shale gas," said Jenny Banks, WWF-UK's energy- and climate-change policy officer.

Cuadrilla said a parliamentary committee had looked into the health and safety issues surrounding fracking and decided not to introduce tough new controls on the practice. Spokesman Paul Kelly said Cuadrillaswas trying to provide a transitional resource that would bridge the gap until renewables could be deployed on a realistic scale.

Cuadrilla had to suspend its fracking operations earlier this year after two small earthquakes shook the Blackpool area in April and May. Critics said they were caused by Cuadrilla's operations. The company commissioned a study by a group of independent experts to determine whether there was a link. They are expected to present their final report in the next few weeks, and Mr. Miller said he was "confident" it would provide a basis for Cuadrilla to resume fracking.

Cuadrilla stressed Wednesday that the 200 trillion cubic feet was "gas in place" and wasn't the same as the recoverable volume of gas in Bowland, which could turn out to be a much smaller figure. The Marcellus Shale has about 84 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable natural gas, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Cuadrilla has so far only drilled two exploration wells, with a third soon to be completed, but in its "high-end" scenario it envisages drilling 800 wells in the area over 16 years. Cuadrilla said it hoped to be able to present the U.K. government with a full-field development plan by the end of 2012 and start commercial production of gas in 2013.

Cuadrilla's announcement could lead to sharp upward revisions in estimates of Britain's shale-gas potential. The country has traditionally ranked low on the list of European shale-gas players, with the U.S. Energy Information Administration saying earlier this year it had only 20 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable shale-gas resources, compared with Poland's 187 trillion cubic feet. That could now change.


Australia: Queensland State Government admits electricity grid failing to cope with solar power systems

Greenie fantasies run into engineering practicalites

THE solar power revolution is in danger of stalling, with the State Government admitting the electricity grid is failing to cope with its green vision.

Energy Minister Stephen Robertson confirmed new applications for rooftop solar systems were being rejected in areas where Queensland's high uptake threatened the safety and reliability of its network.

Thousands of homeowners hoping for promised power savings of up to $540 via a 1.5kW system are in limbo, with those wanting larger systems even being asked to pay more than $20,000 to help cover local upgrades.

Energex said the state's electricity network since the 1950s had been designed to deliver power from the station to the home and the voltage now heading "the other way" was causing a huge dilemma.

Following advice from engineering experts, no more systems will be automatically approved when the penetration of solar photovoltaic systems hits 30 per cent in neighbourhoods.

The penetration refers to the maximum capacity of the transformer supplying the local zone, which can include 50 homes.

In a bid to cut power bills, more than 107,000 Queensland households have jumped at the Solar Bonus Scheme, launched in 2008, exporting 72.5 million kW hours back to the grid.

However, unless significant, costly upgrades are completed, many who might want to add solar panels in the future may not be able to.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


23 September, 2011

Shock News : Alaskan Glacier Melting 500 Million Cubic Feet Of Ice – Every Day!

News from 1892, Yes: 1892, not 1982

The Muir glacier, which is the great wonder of of Alaska, was, says a scientific writer in the Globe, doubtless discovered by Vancouver in 1791, but Professor John Muir was the first to describe it. Muir Inlet, at the head of Glacier Bay, is the termination of this great ”river of ice.”

The wall of blue ice is there a mile long and about 400 feet high. It is worn into towers, castles, and caverns, and is continually discharging fragments, from the size of a paving-stone to that of Cologne Cathedral. These falling into the sea cast up the spray for hundreds of feet into the air, and send forth waves which dash upon the shores and echo like thunder among the mountains.

The Muir glacier is really a sea of ice, with numerous branches in the valleys, any one of which is as large as the Gomer or Aletzch glacier of Switzerland. It is according to Mr. S. P. Baldwin, a recent visitor, as large as all the Alpine glaciers in one, being 1,200 square miles in area. The ice is 1,000 feet thick at the mouth in Muir Inlet, and the glacier, is estimated to comprise as much water as Lake Erie​.

It disharges 77 billion cubic feet of ice as icebergs, and 175 billion cubic feet of water by melting every year. The centre of the glacier, where the motion is quickest, is so rough and broken into crevasses that it is considered impassable. The eastern half, however, can be travelled as far as the névé.

Professor Wright has found the motion at the centre to be as much as 65 feet a day, whereas that of the Alpine glaciers is only 33 inches or so. As much as 90 feet a day has been found in the case of a Greenland glacier. The Muir glacier has once extended much further into the bay, and is now receding every year, while the sources of the ice supply are failing.


The cold hard proof Australia is getting warmer (?)

Contrary to what the author says below, the graph appears to cover just one ski location: Spencer's Creek, which reminds one of Keith Briffa's solitary Siberian tree. None of the other trees fitted Keith's global warming story so he relied on the one tree that did.

And Australia has had unusually early openings to its ski seasons in recent years so why is that not reflected in the graph? It could be that we are getting less extreme weather. The average depth rather than the peak depth would be more informative. The Greenies keep shrieking that were are having MORE extreme weather but a lot of data show the opposite. America has had unusually few major hurricanes in recent years, for instance

But the major point is that snowfall in most locations is more influenced by available atmospheric moisture than by temperature, and Australia DID suffer one of its recurrent droughts up until recently. If there is a real effect there, it's a drought effect

Look at this graph. Each blue bar shows the peak annual snow depth at Snowy Hydro’s five official snow measuring stations at Spencers Creek, about halfway between the NSW ski resorts of Perisher and Thredbo.

The black line shows the downward trend over the last 58 years. Pronounced decline, isn’t it. The consistent big seasons of the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s are a thing of the past. On average, we’re losing three quarters of a centimetre of snow each year. That’s nearly half a metre since records were first kept.

Snowy Hydro has taken these measurements since the 1950s because they like to know how much snowmelt is going to end up in their dams each summer. The information is neutral, reliable, and untainted by ski resort PR. Even more crucially, it relies not on pie-in-the sky computer modelling, but on clinical, unhysterical observation.

And those observations reveal beyond doubt that Australia is getting warmer.

The problem with the climate change debate is that most of us can neither observe, nor feel, the data presented.

We cannot detect small annual changes in temperature, and are no hope of perceiving increases in CO2 or other gases. Moreover, popular graphs like the “hockey stick” championed by Al Gore, are endlessly open to misinterpretation and dispute.

But there’s no arguing with this snow depth graph. It is elegantly simple and best of all, it represents something tangible. The graph clearly shows that less snow is falling, and less snow is sticking around. And that ain’t happening because the world’s getting cooler, as some argue.

A warming globe impacts the Australian snow pack in two simple ways. Firstly, and most obviously, warmer weather means a greater likelihood of rain instead of snow, and quicker melt after snowstorms.

The second effect is a little more technical. Basically, a warmer globe makes it tougher for the snow-bearing cold fronts in the Southern Ocean to push north and make landfall on the Australian continent. Most experts agree that’s why areas like SW Western Australia are drying out so rapidly.

Now, no one’s saying the snow is going to disappear entirely this century, as predicted by a 2003 CSIRO report with a distinctly doomsday tone. But slowly, it’s going.

The $64 million question is why. Is all this part of a natural cycle or is the hand of human activity at work here?


Sea Level: Another Thing The IPCC Got Wrong

Our current rising sea level is often given as evidence of anthropogenic influence on the oceans, though usually when data from only the past decade or two are taken into consideration. An example is frequent comments by the UK government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Sir John Beddington, who has said that global sea level has increased by about 10 cm in the last 50 years and that is evidence of mankind’s influence. At first sight it is a dramatic and compelling statement for mankind’s effects on this parameter. Beddington also said, “the general issues on overall global temperature, on sea level and so on, are all pretty unequivocal”.

To get an idea of what is happening to sea levels it is necessary to take a view that is longer than 50 years. In its influential report the IPCC assumed that global sea level change during the past two thousand years up to the middle of the nineteenth century, was zero.

To my mind this is a puzzling statement. Few parameters of our complex, changing world are actually zero. If it is zero then it is in stark contrast to today’s rising seas, and if one was cynical one could deduce a political motive behind the IPCC’s sweeping statement. Whatever the motivation it is obvious that looking at sea level change over the past two thousand years is essential to put today’s changes into context.

A Complex Mixture

Sea level, at any given location, is a complex mixture of local, regional, and global processes. Information about sea levels prior to the tidal gauge and satellite era is limited although the substantial evidence that glaciers and ice sheets have altered significantly in size over the past two millennia makes the thought that sea levels have remained static a bit strange.

Curiously, the rebound of the Earth following the release of ice overlay after the end of the last glaciation, has caused sea level globally to fall at about 0.3 mm per year.

A crucial point is the effect of global ice melt in the past two millennia is unknown, but is thought by some to be close to zero. The IPCC assumes it is 0.0 – 0.2 mm per year.

However, there is also evidence that Northern hemisphere glaciers grew until the end of the Little Ice Age (1550 – 1850.) Antarctic ice surges have been estimated to be 2,000 and 700 years ago. Ice advances are not consistent, thinning of the Marie Byrd Land in West Antarctica thinning may have contributed 20 – 30 cm to global sea level rise.

In geologically stable areas of the world one can deduce sea levels using proxies such as; salt marsh sediments from Atlantic Canada that show stable sea levels between 0 and 1000 AD, then falling levels until to the mid-19th century, Mollusc distribution, and corals microatols (that occur close to average low water) also show falling levels until the past 200 years or so.

Archeological evidence, especially from the Mediterranean, suggest sea level was at its current level 2000 years ago, possibly higher between 300 and 600 and lower between the 13th century and the 19th, and rising since.

The important point is that all records show a falling sea level in the past thousand years. Another important point is what happened about 1850 when sea levels started to rise consistently?

The IPCC is therefore wrong in saying that prior to 1850 or so global sea levels were unchanging. Adding what we know casts a very different light on the changes we see today. It seems that sea level was rising and falling, due to millennia cycles perhaps, up until about 1850 when it started rising linearly. There was a change of gradient around 1910 when the rate of rise increases, and it has been constant ever since. Claims that sea level is accelerating, and, more recently, that it is slowing down are not statistically significant.

Just like the long term decline in Arctic sea ice we recently discussed, it is obvious that the current observed trend in sea level has its origins in the mid-nineteenth century before man’s influence on the climate became apparent (according IPCC estimates.) the fact that it is a straight line for the past century is also significant as it betrays no imprint of recent warming..

So, the statement by Professor Sir John Beddington, who has said that global sea level has increased by about 10 cm in the last 50 years (and so man must be to blame, unequivocally) is highly misleading, and a partial representation of the data. Whilst it is true that the sea level has increased by 10 cm in the past 50 years (coincident with a period of global warming), it also increased by 10 cm in the previous 50 years when man could not have been to blame!


An inconvenient Gore

Another Warmist who is repelled by Gore's histrionics

Last week I went to the London showing of Vice President Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project - it was one of 24 consecutive presentations held around the world on the 15th of September. There was a lot to look forward to in attending this, particularly to see how Mr Gore would respond to the troubling attacks on the science currently seen in some political debates and the continued challenge to carbon pricing policy in countries like Australia. Some have argued that we are at a crossroads in climate policy, with richer nations seemingly deciding that they will wing it and let the physics play out over the coming century (for a thoughtful piece on this click here).

This time though, I was disappointed and I am even more disappointed that this was the case. The core section of the presentation focused on extreme weather events and pretty much blamed them all on the long term change in the climate that is seemingly underway. By chance that same afternoon, I had listened in to an MIT web cast on exactly the same subject – extreme weather events. For me the contrast between the two was a concern. Although both presentations explained the observable shifts taking place in the global hydrological cycle and both showed the disturbing trend in measurements such as atmospheric humidity, Mr Gore then went straight from that to the remarkable cascade of disasters that have unfolded over the past 12 months. MIT did not, nor would their presenter be drawn on it even when pressed on the subject by one of the listeners. Rather, MIT focused on the rising global temperature and humidity and declining ice coverage and showed real measurements which illustrated how warmer ocean surface temperatures might lead to more intense hurricane activity.

Included within the Climate Reality slideshow were the Pakistan floods, the Australian floods and bush fires, the US floods from North Dakota to Nashville and down the Mississippi / Missouri River system, mud slides in Colombia and the Texas drought. These have been (and continue to be) awful events and they are illustrative of some of the possible impacts of a warmer, moister atmosphere, but they are not necessarily caused by this. In fact, 1974 also suffered a string of such disasters and both it and 2010/11 had another thing in common, an intense La Nina (1973-1975) in the Pacific. Record Australian, Brazilian, Colombian and Bangladeshi floods all featured in 1974, together with a super-outbreak of tornadoes in the United States. Somalia suffered an intense drought in that period as did the central USSR.

I don’t want to undermine the efforts of Mr Gore, but only point out that he is going to have to do better to communicate his important message. In this era of soundbites and media savvy politicians it will be all too easy to take shots at this new work. The much longer but more rigorous MIT approach is where we should be, despite the huge challenge of successfully communicating uncertainty and atmospheric chemistry to a global audience. Let’s not forget that a much more complex atmospheric chemistry issue (CFCs and the ozone layer) was communicated in the 1980’s.

In the last section of the presentation Mr Gore poured scorn on those who have challenged the science. This included special interest lobby groups (oil companies among them) and a number of well known political figures. I can’t agree with the statements made by some leading politicians who dispute the work of the scientific community, but direct attack isn’t the answer here, despite the huge temptation to do so. Nor is it the reality that all industry lobby groups are seeking to undermine the science. While some groups have been less than helpful and others have just displayed ignorance, many, many business groups have positively contributed to the development of a way forward. In the US, USCAP did a remarkable job in helping craft and then supporting the Waxman-Markey bill. Globally, some 150 companies (many of which are Fortune 500) belong to the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) and actively press for cap-and-trade approaches at national and regional level. Similar work is done in the WBCSD, the UK and EU Corporate Leaders Groups on Climate Change, the European Round Table of Industrialists, just to name a few. Sure, the businesses in these groups might fight their corner and will have no qualms about challenging issues such as allowance allocation in trading systems, but that is in the nature of reaching agreement.

The Climate Reality Project is an important next step, but at the moment it feels like a somewhat inconvenient one. The challenge back is the right thing to do, but the debate needs to be moved to a higher level, out of the trenches that currently seem to be occupied by many. This is an issue that will be around for the next 100 years and possibly much longer. We will all be too exhausted to even think about a true response if the current level of rancor is simply maintained.


Victory is sweet, but the war continues

Millions of Americans recently celebrated the demise of the Environmental Protection Agency’s job-killing ground-level ozone regulations. While a toast was appropriate, we shouldn’t drink too much champagne just yet.

As with the Battle of Midway and Lt. Col. James Doolittle’s Tokyo Raid in early 1942, White House action on this single EPA rule is merely a welcome victory in a long struggle. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce may have declared, “Now, at least they’re listening,” but other observers say the EPA and Obama administration are still tone deaf.

Indeed, a major factor in the White House decision on ozone was a map showing that 85 percent of America’s counties would be out of compliance with the Clean Air Act if the new rules were implemented. That would mean no new construction or manufacturing projects could begin — and no jobs “created or saved” — until billions are spent to bring existing facilities into compliance with arbitrary new ozone standards.

Many of those counties are in politically important states like Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia – which better explains the administration’s sudden “conversion,” than does any supposed recognition that its rules are unnecessary and harmful. Moreover, the ozone rule was not killed; it was postponed until after the 2012 elections, to safeguard jobs: White House, administration, Democrat and SEIU jobs.

The administration’s mile-long regulatory freight train merely paused to shunt the ozone boxcar onto a siding, to be retrieved later. The engines and remaining cars are still roaring down the tracks, heading for a collision with a sick economy that has left 14 million Americans jobless, 9 million forced to take part-time work, 2.5 million who have given up looking for jobs, and 46 million on food stamps.

Orchestrated environmentalist outrage over the delayed ozone rule may deflect attention from the rest of the freight train, and make it easier to impose hundreds of other regulations. In fact, reams of complex Dodd-Frank financial rules and Obamacare health sector regulations are still onboard, as are National Labor Relations Board unionizing schemes, Agriculture and Interior Department land use regulations, and many others.

The Energy Department continues to lavish taxpayer dollars on expensive wind and solar projects that provide minimal energy at exorbitant cost, even after two more solar companies went bankrupt, costing Americans another $1 billion and 1,900 jobs. Solyndra alone cost US taxpayers $535 million, to create 1,100 temporary jobs at $485,000 apiece. They’re all gone now.

Citing Energy Department reports, the Washington Post reports that the $39-billion loan guarantee program, which President Obama promised would “create or save” 65,000 jobs, has instead spawned a measly 3,545 new, supposedly permanent jobs — after blowing nearly $18 billion, or $5 million per job.

Green jobs? Greenback jobs is more like it — taxpayer greenbacks for Obama and cronies. Worse, by draining billions from taxpayers, consumers and productive sectors of the American economy, the administration is killing two to three traditional, sustainable jobs for each greenback job it creates.

Then there is EPA, which even in this toxic environment remains the biggest single job-killing agency in government. Its ozone rulemaking is just one of dozens it has planned, finalized, or brought to the brink of sign-off and implementation.

Unable to get cap-tax-and-trade passed in Congress, EPA has its economy-killing carbon dioxide rules waiting on a railway siding, until the November elections spur a regulatory frenzy. It is still preparing coal-fired power plant emission rules to control the 0.5 percent of mercury that actually enters America’s atmosphere from those facilities, as well as expensive regulations on heavy-duty trucks.

“Cross-state” air pollution regulations will force utilities in a few states to install billion-dollar retrofits on coal-fired power plants that EPA computer models say could (minimally) affect air quality hundreds of miles away. EPA claims 20 states affect downwind states during the May-September NOx/ozone season, but demands that Florida shoulder 79 percent of the national responsibility.

It claims seven states affect Houston’s air quality, but wants Florida to provide 94 percent of the alleged benefits for the Texas city, 800 miles away, across the sultry, largely windless summertime Gulf of Mexico — after Florida utilities already reduced their NOx emissions by two-thirds since 2003. EPA also says Texas must retrofit power plants that might affect Illinois communities 400 miles away.

Even crazier, EPA is using outdated air pollution measurements to justify these rules. In reality, data from recent years show the supposedly impacted cities already meet national ambient air quality standards.

EPA’s “maximum achievable control technologies” (MACT) rules will impact power sources in factories and refineries. Its “reciprocating ignition compression engine” (RICE) rules will curtail the availability of thousands of backup, “peaking” and emergency generators at colleges, hospitals, malls, groceries and other facilities. When storms knock out power, or heat waves strain overloaded grids, the dearth of electricity will cause brownouts, blackouts and widespread chaos, especially in hospitals.

Coal ash and water quality rules will raise costs even further for nearly half of America’s power plants — and electricity users — for minimal environmental gain.

For three years EPA has used global warming claims to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline project, which could create hundreds of thousands of American refinery, construction, manufacturing, financial and other jobs — and stymie Shell’s oil drilling plans in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea.

In every instance, EPA claims “the regulatory benefits far exceed the costs.” However, as independent natural scientist Dr. Willie Soon and other analysts have documented, the health, welfare and environmental risks and benefits have frequently been exaggerated or even fabricated.

Worse, EPA steadfastly refuses to consider the significant adverse effects that its rules will have on human health and welfare. The cumulative weight of these rules will send energy costs skyrocketing and kill millions of additional jobs, Affordable Power Alliance co-chair Niger Innis points out.

Poor and newly jobless families will be even less able to afford gasoline, clothing, healthcare, proper nutrition and other basic needs, Innis notes. Many will suffer increased stress, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence and crime rates. Many low income families will be unable to afford proper heating during frigid winter months or air conditioning during summer heat waves. People will die.

Equally outrageous, while it may have shunted its ozone boxcar onto a railway siding, EPA is ramping up its campaign to rally support for its dangerous policies. Under its “Plan EJ 2014” initiative and other programs, the agency is “leading from behind” — funneling millions of taxpayer dollars to minority, low-income and environmentalist groups that will advance EPA’s rulemaking, permitting, compliance, enforcement and other agenda items under guise of “environmental justice” and “civil rights” claims.

The Environmental Protection Agency is setting the stage for a national disaster.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson insists she wants “a real conversation about protecting our health and the environment.” By all means, let’s have that conversation. It’s likely, however, that she and her radical allies will not enjoy it one small bit.


British government's wind farm plans are 'big gamble' and the numbers do not add up, say MPs

The Government’s wind farm plans are a ‘big gamble’ which may not pay off, according to a committee of MPs. They say ministers are banking on the cost of offshore wind going down and major improvements in efficiency to ‘make the numbers add up’.

In a report out today, they say a ‘supergrid’ – costing up to £60billion – may be needed to join Britain’s wind farms to plants in other European countries.

There are more than 500 turbines off the coast of the UK and another 1,000 approved or under construction. But thousands more will be needed to meet the target of generating 15 per cent of energy from renewable sources by 2020.

The Energy and Climate Change Committee report says: ‘Today the national grid is struggling to cope, because so much of our electricity is produced in remote areas, especially the North.

‘Our transmission systems do not always have the capacity to deliver power to where is needed. ‘If the Government hopes to deliver its aspirations at all, let alone in a cost-effective way…a more efficient way of connecting wind needs to be planned.’

It says offshore wind is necessary to reduce Britain’s dependence on oil. But the reports adds that it is ‘a notoriously expensive and intermittent source of electricity supply and imposing an unacceptable cost on consumers’.

It continues: ‘The Government is banking on reductions in the cost of offshore wind and improvements in efficiency to make the numbers add up.’

It was revealed this weekend that £2.6million was paid in compensation to 11 wind farm owners to switch off their plants because the National Grid could not cope with the surge in electricity.

The committee’s chairman, Tim Yeo, said connecting the UK’s electricity network to other countries would make the system cheaper and more efficient. He added: ‘At the moment we are paying some generators to switch off because we haven’t got the wires to deliver electricity from where it is produced to where it is needed. ‘An offshore grid can relieve some of this pressure.’

The cost of reinforcing the existing lines and cables to deliver electricity where it is needed has been put at £32billion by 2020, the committee said.

A spokesman for the Department for Energy and Climate Change said it was in talks with nine countries about the feasibility of a supergrid in the North Sea.

He added: ‘Offshore wind has a crucial role to play in the UK’s future energy mix, with huge potential benefits for our economy and our energy security, but we are clear that increasing offshore wind deployment is dependent on reducing the costs.’



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


22 September, 2011

Got a problem? Invent a new "model". No facts needed

A study from the Boulder, Colo.-based National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) claims to have found all that missing heat from global warming’s “lost decade:” It’s lurking in Davy Jones’s locker.

According to official science, global temperatures were meant to rise this century in line with increasing levels of man-made carbon dioxide, but didn’t. Now the puzzle has allegedly been solved: the heat is more than 300 metres below the world’s oceans, where it appears conveniently safe from physical verification.

According to the study’s official press release, “deep oceans may absorb enough heat at times to flatten the rate of global warming for periods of as long as a decade — even in the midst of longer-term warming.”

Note “may” and “at times.” Note also how “periods as long as a decade” matches nicely with the (most recent) period of no warming that has to be explained (away).

The report, which claims that we should be prepared for several similar periods of non-warming in the coming century, “even as the trend toward overall warming continues,” is revealing on several counts. It amounts to a reluctant admission that global temperatures have indeed stalled. This fact has so far either been denied, ignored or buried beneath the claim that the past decade was still the hottest in the past 100 years (even if not by much).

Also, this newly identified mechanism, or at least hypothesis — by which greater depths heat up faster than the ocean surface — should, whatever its merits, confirm that climate science is far from “settled.” This comes on top of recent intense debate over the role of the Sun and clouds in Earth’s climate.

Meanwhile the suspicion that politics continues to rule science is aroused by the identity of one of the authors of the NCAR study, Kevin Trenberth. Followers of the Climategate scandal — in which a series of internal emails to and from the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia clearly demonstrated that research results had been falsified and peer-review perverted — may remember Dr. Trenberth’s 2009 lament that: “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.… Our observing system is inadequate.”

Note that Dr. Trenberth doesn’t seem to countenance the possibility that the whole anthropogenic thesis — that the climate is driven by man-made industrial emissions — might be wrong. It is the absence of the real world to follow the models that is the alleged “travesty.”

Dr. Trenberth, it seems, has now found the explanation he needs in the NCAR study, but it doesn’t come from advances in the “observing system.” There is major controversy over measurement of surface temperatures — with monitoring stations being found near heat ducts and on hot tarmac — so you can imagine how difficult it would be to track ocean temperatures below 300 meters. The conclusion that the heat has been deep-sixed comes entirely from computer models.

According to the report, “simulations … indicated that temperatures would rise by several degrees during this century. But each simulation also showed periods in which temperatures would stabilize for about a decade before climbing again.” Apparently, the claim that the deep ocean is warming faster than the upper ocean is explained by the fact that “surface waters converge to push heat into deeper oceanic layers.”

Interesting hypothesis, but it should be remembered that there is another aspect of Dr. Trenberth’s record that casts an even longer shadow not just over his objectivity but that of all official climate science. That revolves around the resignation from the IPCC in 2005 of hurricane expert Chris Landsea. Dr. Landsea quit because of flagrant misrepresentation of hurricane science by Dr. Trenberth, with the apparent backing of the IPCC’s highest authorities.

Dr. Landsea had been asked by Dr. Trenberth, an IPCC “Lead Author,” to write a section on Atlantic hurricanes for the Fourth Assessment Report. Shortly afterwards, Dr. Landsea was “perplexed” to see that Dr. Trenberth was to participate in a press conference to peddle the notion that global warming was “likely to continue spurring more outbreaks of intense hurricane activity.” Dr. Landsea noted that none of those participating were hurricane experts. Moreover, their alarmist conclusions — which were widely reported — clashed with the fact that no reliable, long-term upward trend in hurricane activity had been identified. Nor did Dr. Landsea and other experts project that global warming’s impact on hurricane activity would be significant.

When Dr. Landsea took his concerns to the head of the IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri, Mr. Pachauri tried to brush him off by suggesting that Dr. Trenberth was somehow speaking in a personal capacity, and/or that he had been misquoted by the media. Neither claim was true. Dr. Landsea wrote in his letter of resignation, “It is beyond me why my colleagues would utilize the media to push an unsupported agenda that recent hurricane activity has been due to global warming.” The perception that Dr. Trenberth was speaking for the IPCC could, in Dr. Landsea’s view, only undermine the institution’s credibility. Dr. Landsea concluded that “Because of Dr. Trenberth’s pronouncements, the IPCC process … has been subverted and compromised, its neutrality lost.”

Dr. Landsea’s complaints were swamped by Hurricane Katrina.

This latest study may thus have resolved Dr. Trenberth’s “travesty,” at least to his own satisfaction, but the travesty of the IPCC process — and the economic policy destruction for which it provides the justification — remains outstanding.


Global warming and the twisting of British children's minds

The Times Atlas Of The World, regularly updated since the Victorian age, proudly presents itself as ‘the most authoritative atlas in the world’. But its latest hefty edition, published at the eye-watering price of £150, has become the focus of a bizarre climate change row.

The new atlas shows the ice in Greenland — the northern hemisphere’s largest ice cap — to be melting so fast that, since 1999, nearly a sixth of it has vanished. An area the size of Britain and Ireland combined, once covered in ice and snow, has now become ‘green and ice free’.

The U.S. climate-change sceptic science blog Watts Up With That pointed out that one reason why satellite images might have shown such a huge ice-loss was that a lot of Greenland’s coastal ice sheet has been blackened by soot and volcanic ash, so that it no longer shows up white on photographs from space.

Richard Betts, head of Climate Impact at the UK Met Office — who actually wrote the part of the Times Atlas text which covers climate change — then insisted on another blog that he had not been responsible for ‘any of that Greenland rubbish’.

Britain’s leading polar ice experts at the Scott Polar Research Institute said recent satellite images of Greenland made clear that there are numerous glaciers and permanent ice cover where the Times Atlas shows ice-free conditions and the emergence of land. ‘There is to our knowledge no support for this claim in the published scientific literature,’ they said.

So one of the world’s most respected reference books, it seems, has been caught out perpetrating what amounts to yet more propaganda for the belief in global warming.

One of the most disturbing features of this is that copies of the new atlas may soon be found in school libraries, where it will be cited by teachers as yet more evidence that climate change is now dramatically changing the world we live in.

With active encouragement from the Government, whole generations of school-children have now had the apocalyptic threat of climate change pushed down their throats — not just in science classes, but in almost any subject you can think of (questions on the need to fight global warming have even cropped up in English GCSE papers).

In geography, the present curriculum no longer concentrates on countries, continents, rivers, mountains or cities. Instead, it insists that pupils should learn about global warming and climate change and the likely effects of rising sea levels.

The propaganda is all-encompassing. The Climate Change Schools Project, an outfit that exists in partnership with the Environment Agency and other government-funded bodies, promises on its website ‘to put global warming at the heart of the national curriculum ...... We want schools to become the “hub” of excellence in climate change teaching, learning and positive action in their local communities.’

When David Miliband was Labour’s education minister, he ordered that copies of Al Gore’s propaganda film An Inconvenient Truth should be sent to every school in the country. A High Court judge decided that the ‘apocalyptic vision’ of global warming presented in the film was politically partisan and not an impartial analysis of the science of climate change. Mr Justice Barton ruled that the film contained nine errors so serious that the schools must be issued with corrections.

The Government’s response was to compile a 77-page document so long that scarcely a single school in the country used it and no pupil was any the wiser.

And now the new Times Atlas can be added to the approved propaganda list, to ensure that once again school students are being fed with the right-on, politically correct message — even though in this case it has been so damningly challenged by real scientific experts.

In a wider perspective, this embarrassing blunder by a commercial publishing house might not seem anything like so significant as all those grievous errors identified last year in the latest report of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the body that once prided itself as being the most prestigious source of authority on global warming in the world.

Few predictions of the IPCC’s 2007 report drew more attention, for instance, than its claims that, thanks to global warming, most of the Himalayan glaciers would have disappeared within 30 years; 40 per cent of the Amazon rainforest would similarly have vanished; while Africa could expect mass-famine as its crop yields were halved.

All these claims were eventually revealed as not to have been based on science at all. Like many others in that IPCC report, they were no more than reckless scare stories, dreamed up by environmental activists and pressure groups.

But the fact that responsible scientists who are by no means climate sceptics should have been so anxious to point out the errors in the Times Atlas is perhaps an indication that some of the lessons of those blunders by the IPCC have struck home.

The more responsible members of the ‘warmist’ scientific community seem now rather more on their guard than they were against the peddling of baseless scare stories to promote the case for global warming.

When so much now hangs on whether or not there is genuinely reliable evidence for man-made climate change, it is more vital than ever that the claims made to support that change are grounded in proper science.

The Climate Change Act passed by the Labour government in 2008 threatens to become the most expensive piece of legislation in history as we try to reduce our carbon emissions by 80 per cent, building all-but-useless windmills and trying to find carbon-free energy sources at an unimaginable cost of £18bn every year for the next 50 years.

Our politicians still believe this is the best way to fight the warming threat. But too much evidence has come to light in recent years to suggest that much of their belief in global warming may be little more than a vastly over-blown scare.

If there is cheer to be derived from this story of the Times Atlas error, it might be that the people quickest to knock it on the head were scientists who still believe in proper scientific evidence before trying to scare the world witless. We’re going to need much more of that if the world — and our schoolchildren — are going to be returned to sanity on the matter of climate change.


High Costs of Green Jobs

We are now beginning to grasp the definition and the scope of the words "new world order," an expression inserted into the U.S. political vocabulary by the first President Bush. He never defined it, leaving that task to his successors, and President Barack Obama is only too glad to expand its meaning.

Before Bush Sr. left the White House, however, he attended the 1992 United Nations meeting in Rio de Janeiro, signed the UN Climate Change Treaty and rammed it through the Senate for ratification. It's now available for Obama to use as one engine in his plan to "fundamentally transform the United States."

Of course, the climate changes. Many changes are due to factors over which humans have no control, such as winds, ocean currents and sun activity.

But the liberals want us to believe that climate change is also caused by gases expelled when humans burn so-called fossil fuels. The UN created an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to push the UN's political agenda wrapped up in climate-change ideology.

The first UN Earth Summit was held in Stockholm in 1972. At the second UN Earth Summit in Rio in 1992, the dominant figure was Canadian Maurice Strong, a good friend of Mikhail Gorbachev.

Strong called for social justice, saying, "Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class, involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and work air conditioning, and suburban housing are not sustainable." Sustainable development became the buzzword to require government approval for almost every activity by almost every individual, business and organization.

While President Bush Jr. was more focused on building a North American Union without borders between countries, during his two terms, the two Democratic presidential candidates he defeated, Al Gore and John Kerry, became key players in the UN's climate change politics. It soon became obvious that UN climate change was an attack on the American standard of living as well as on our sovereignty.

Gore and Kerry attended several UN climate change meetings. Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize for his climate change advocacy. Kerry used his wife's mega-wealth to wine and dine university and school officials to get them to skew academic curriculum. This was supposed to make students believe that climate change is a terrible threat, and that we must abandon our current energy sources.

By the time Barack Obama became president, it also became obvious that UN climate change politics are not only a vehicle to serve his goal of "fundamentally transforming the United States," but also his goal of spreading the wealth. Obama seeks to spread the wealth not only from taxpaying to non-taxpaying Americans, but also from America to Third World countries.

Government's entry into the field of trying to control climate by regulations, taxes and handouts is a convenient cover not only for deliberately lowering our U.S. standard of living, but also for imposing socialism on America. So most of the $800 billion Obama stimulus was dedicated to exchanging America's dependable energy sources from coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear to less efficient, less dependable and more expensive green energies such as wind and solar.

A case in point is the scandal of Solyndra Inc. This California-based company is a very politically correct green firm making solar panels.

So Obama, a true believer in green energy, as well as in socialism's fantasy that government can and should pick winners and losers in the economy, gave $535 million dollars of stimulus money to Solyndra. It didn't hurt Solyndra's application that some of its investors were donors to Obama's political campaign.

The trouble with green energy is that it simply can't exist without government subsidies. And Solyndra can't exist, even with this massive government grant.

Just as soon as it received the stimulus money, Solyndra filed for bankruptcy. How could any business think it could survive when it cost Solyndra $4 for every watt of power it produced and China produces panels at 75 cents per watt?

Meanwhile, Obama is working with the UN to fundamentally transform America with a new global tax. His appointee Marisa Lago is attending UN meetings to design a proposed global tax to build a "Green Climate Fund."

This fund is designed to pay for greening the global economy, estimated to cost $1.9 trillion annually for the next 40 years, or $76 trillion.

Initially, it is expected to raise at least $100 billion a year, but if the UN's tax design is approved in December at a UN meeting in Durban, South Africa, it could increase exponentially from $100 billion to $1.9 trillion annually, or more. It will be an indirect tax, making it impossible to opt out, although the UN is planning to reimburse Third World countries in another underhanded device to transfer U.S. wealth to Third World countries.


The Broken Planet Fallacy

When Solyndra went belly up last month, less than a year after it started making solar arrays in Fremont, Calif., an Energy Department spokesman insisted that the $535 million the federal government had loaned the company was well spent. "The project that we supported succeeded," he said. "The facility was producing the product it said it would produce."

That rather short-sighted definition of success exemplifies the loopy logic of President Obama's "green jobs" agenda, which justifies subsidies based on good intentions and employment opportunities rather than profitability or cost-effectiveness.

This policy is rooted in the broken planet fallacy, which treats global warming not as an environmental threat to be handled as expeditiously as possible but as an economic opportunity to be milked for all the jobs it can provide.

When he took office in January 2009, Obama promised to "help create 5 million new jobs by strategically investing $150 billion over the next 10 years to catalyze private efforts to build a clean energy future." The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which he signed the following month, included a down payment on that plan, described by Vice President Joseph Biden as "more than $20 billion for investment in a cleaner, greener economy," aimed at showing "how investing in green jobs will help build a strong middle class."

A month later, Obama put the figure at "$59 billion invested in clean energy and in tax incentives to promote clean energy." By that fall, the number had expanded to "about $80 billion" for "projects related to energy and the environment."

Administration officials may not have been sure how much they were spending on green jobs, but they all agreed it was totally worth it. In fact, according to presidential adviser Van Jones, the administration's designated "green jobs visionary," it was "the most fiscally conservative part" of the stimulus package," since "every dollar spent on green jobs is going to be out there working double time, triple time."

To understand how this works in practice, consider the $5 billion allocated to the Weatherization Assistance Program, which was supposed to create jobs while helping people make their homes more energy-efficient, thereby cutting their utility bills and reducing their "carbon footprint."

The administration was so excited about this program's economy-stimulating potential that in October 2009 it issued a report titled "Recovery Through Retrofit." Explaining why the government needs to subsidize weatherization, the report noted that "homeowners face high upfront costs" for "retrofits that pay off over long periods of time," and they worry about "recouping the value of their investment if they choose to sell." According to (which promotes retrofitting and therefore has an interest in making it seem worthwhile), spending $25,000 to make a pre-1977 home more energy-efficient might save $1,000 a year in fuel costs, meaning it would take a quarter of a century to recover the investment.

Is it any wonder that homeowners are not leaping at this sort of opportunity? While it's true their calculations may not include the environmental impact of the energy they consume, the Obama administration considers that factor in only the most cursory way. Since it makes no effort to weigh the environmental benefit of retrofitting a home against the cost, it has no way of saying whether the investment makes sense, even taking carbon emissions and global warming into account.

To tip the balance in favor of retrofitting, the administration cites the jobs created by such projects. But if work is not worth doing -- whether it's weatherizing homes or making newfangled solar arrays that prove to be uncompetitive -- the money paid for it is an unjustified cost, not an economy-boosting bonus.

Obama, who bragged about the 3,000 workers who built Solyndra's factory and the 1,000 who were employed there, ignores the possibility of alternative, more productive uses for resources squandered on bad government-subsidized investments. Those uses would create jobs, too, although not ones for which he could take credit.


Would You Be Shocked That “Climate Funds” Have Been Abused?

William Teach

Would you be further shocked that the Huffington Post exposes the abuse?
If the World Bank and an Indian power utility have their way, the Rampur hydropower project in Northern India will increase global CO2 emissions by 15 million tons, at a cost of $164 million to unsuspecting energy consumers in Sweden. The project is a textbook example of how hydropower companies and other investors, with support from the World Bank, are gaming the system of climate finance.

Rampur is a 412-megawatts hydropower project on the Satluj River in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVN), an Indian hydropower company originally created by the World Bank, signed an agreement with the local government to implement the project back in 2004. The Indian Prime Minister laid the foundation stone in 2005. The World Bank approved a loan of $400 million for Rampur in 2007. Throughout this process, the hydropower company SJVN assured the public and its lenders that the scheme was a "least cost" project and would remain financially viable even under adverse hydrological conditions. At no time did it indicate that the project depended on carbon credits to go forward.

Several years into project construction, the board of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is now considering an application to award 15 million carbon credits for the Rampur project for the 2012-2022 period. If approved, these credits would currently have a value of $164 million.

The Swedish Energy Agency has offered to buy the credits in a deal that was arranged by the World Bank. Carbon credits from the CDM allow Northern polluters who are obliged to reduce their emissions under the Kyoto Protocol to keep polluting if they fund emission reductions in the global South. A key condition of the CDM is that carbon credits are only awarded if a project would not go forward without them, so that continued pollution in the North is balanced by reduced emissions in the South.

This simply highlights that the whole carbon credits issue is a scam. Oh, and that so-called "green" projects are anything but. It seems that most, if not all, of the green energy projects are actually just as bad for the notion of anthropogenic global warming as oil and coal. So many of the forms of ethanol are worse. Solar creates toxic pollution. Wind turbines need toxic lubricants and massive concrete bases (which puts out CO2). Now we have hydro-electric being shown to be huge producers of CO2. Plus, you end up with environmental destruction in the short term.

This is certainly not the first time there has been fraud and abuse in the carbon credits markets. We see it all the time. And here we see dupes in Sweden paying to offset an Indian project. Of course, those Swedes will, like most Warmists, never change their behavior in the first place and reduce their carbon footprints, meaning we are just shifting money around (and someone is surely getting a cut) and pretending to Do Something about reducing CO2.

And many of the Warmists are simply giving up, such as Simon Kuper at the Financial Times. Not that they ever actually did anything, they simply thought about doing something. Which is why Al Gore's 24 Hours of Climate Reality was an abject failure: the science is ginned up, it's based more on computer models (garbage in, garbage out) than real world data, and relies more on non-scientific consensus than on the scientific method. It's pure politics, and few of the Believers practice what they preach (I've run out of ways to say that.)

PS: I have no problem with hydroelectric dams. I think they are a great way to create energy, and create a nice lake for fishing and recreation.


"Extreme weather" in Australia?

Greenies claim that warming is global and that one of its effects is more extreme weather. So shouldn't we expect all that in Australia too?

Discussing: "Li, F., Roncevich, L., Bicknell, C., Lowry, R. and Ilich, K. 2011. "Interannual variability and trends of storminess, Perth, 1994-2008". Journal of Coastal Research 27: 738-745.


Among the highly publicized changes in weather phenomena that are predicted to attend global warming are increases in the frequency and severity of various types of storms. Storms are a concern of the residents of any coastal city, as high winds, water surges and high-energy waves carry the potential for damage via flooding and erosion.

What was done

Citing "unprecedented public concern" with respect to the impacts of climate change, Li et al. (2011) set out to examine the variability and trends of storminess for the region of the Perth metropolitan coast of Australia. To do so, they conducted an extensive set of analyses using observations of wave, wind, air pressure, and water level over the period 1994-2008. The results of their analysis, in their view, should serve "to validate or invalidate the climate change hypothesis" that rising CO2 concentrations are increasing the frequency and severity of storms.

What was learned

As shown in the figure below, all storm indices showed significant interannual variability over the period of record, but "no evidence of increasing (decreasing) trends in extreme storm power was identified to validate the wave climate change hypotheses for the Perth region."

Annual storm trends defined by (a) stormy hours and (b) number of storm events, as determined by wind speed, significant wave height, non-tidal residual water level, and mean sea level pressure. Adapted from Li et al. (2011).

What it means

As the earth experienced what the IPCC has characterized as unprecedented warming over the past two decades, Perth has not experienced an increase in storm trends. Thus, the results of this study lean toward invalidating the hypothesis of a CO2-induced influence.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


21 September, 2011

Peer review is dead, long live blog review

The title above is meant to be sarcastic but in the course of getting my many papers published in the academic journals, I got a close-up look at peer review and what I saw was not pretty. I often wondered if the reviewer had in fact read my paper, for instance. So I actually agree that review via the many specialized blogs can be much more searching and valuable, whether or not it was in the case under discussion.

Rather amusingly, however, because peer review is so poor many papers published in my field were glaringly bad -- showing no knowledge of the prior literature on the subject, for instance. It was therefore a doddle for me to write a critique tearing the negligent paper to shreds. Journal editors hate publishing critiques but my critiques were often so devastating that they just had to be published. So I got an extra opportunity to put my message across because peer review was so incompetent -- JR

In January 2009, Nature splashed its front cover with the results of a new study titled 'Warming of the Antarctic ice-sheet surface since the 1957 International Geophysical Year'. The article was accompanied by a glowing editorial from Nature and was widely reported on in the media.

A very short time after the paper was published, a number of factual errors were found in the paper, along with significant issues with the methodology used to obtain the surprising results. The errors and the methodological problems were reported and discussed by climate change blogs Watts Up With That, The Air Vent, Climate Audit and Real Climate.

Imagine if at this stage Nature's editor in chief looked at the reported blog commentary and decided the journal had published a paper, which while it had gone through the normal peer review processes, based on some of the blog commentary, was basically fundamentally flawed and should not have been published.

Furthermore, the original reviewers may have shared some of the climate alarm notions of the authors, bringing the veracity of the original review into question. Media coverage also sensationalised aspects of the results. The editor in chief is so embarrassed by the publication of the erroneous paper, he decides to resign.

Sounds farcical? In fact Nature's editor did not resign. Indeed there was no need to resign, there was no expectation on the part of the scientific community that a resignation was called for, regardless of the issues with the paper.

Subsequently Nature published a correction by the authors that dealt with some of the factual errors. And later, the blog commentary dealing with the methodological problems, ended up being published as a peer reviewed paper, by Ryan O'Donnell, Nicolas Lewis, Steve McIntyre and Jeff Condon, in the Journal of Climate.

Unlike the original paper however, this received very little media attention. Perhaps the long time the paper spent in peer review (10 months) and the less sensational results dulled the media's interest.

This is just one example of how the peer review system works. Papers are written, reviewed, rejected accepted, acclaimed, criticised, corrected, refuted and debunked. When they are significantly in error they may even be retracted. The process of science, and the reason why it works so well, is because it is one of continual correction and revision. Theory stands until a better theory comes along to replace it. Peer review acts as a general screening tool, but it is by no means perfect, and it is ridiculous to expect it to work perfectly every time.

A better system involving a combination of anonymous and online reviews is emerging to replace traditional review and is represented by journals such as The Cryosphere. Ideally we would see independent auditing of the results and conclusions of important papers, but as yet there is no funding for such a system, nor much enthusiasm for this among the scientific community. However, blogs such as Climate Audit are picking up the slack in this area with mixed reactions from the scientific community.

In terms of ground-breaking papers, the rate of misses is much greater than the hits. Indeed, for one branch of science, epidemiology, recent research suggests that most published findings are proven false within five years of publication. There is no reason to suggest that other disciplines have better score sheets. If an editor resigned every time a problem was found with a published paper, scientific publishing would quickly grind to a halt.

To some astonishment the scenario outlined above, in which a journal editor resigns over the publication of a controversial paper, has recently occurred. It involves a paper by Roy Spencer and William Braswell published just last month in the journal, Remote Sensing titled 'On the Misdiagnosis of Climate Feedbacks from Variations in Earth's Radiant Energy Balance'. Like the Antarctic paper in Nature, the paper by Spencer and Braswell went through the normal peer review process. It was promoted by the authors' university through a press release and received a few mentions in the media.

Like the Antarctic paper, some of the media coverage sensationalised the results. The paper also came in for favourable and harsh criticism on the internet, and it appears the paper is not free from error, or methodological issues.

However, rather than allow the peer reviewed system to take care of the issues in the normal manner, the journal's editor, Wolfgang Wagner, took the unprecedented step of resigning over it. In his editorial comment in Remote Sensing, Professor Wagner explains how he, remarkably, relied not on the peer reviewed literature to back his decision, but on comments on an internet blog. He states:
Peer-reviewed journals are a pillar of modern science. Their aim is to achieve highest scientific standards by carrying out a rigorous peer review that is, as a minimum requirement, supposed to be able to identify fundamental methodological errors or false claims. Unfortunately, as many climate researchers and engaged observers of the climate change debate pointed out in various internet discussion fora, the paper by Spencer and Braswell that was recently published in Remote Sensing is most likely problematic in both aspects and should therefore not have been published. After having become aware of the situation, and studying the various pro and contra arguments, I agree with the critics of the paper. Therefore, I would like to take the responsibility for this editorial decision and, as a result, step down as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Remote Sensing.

In the process the editor has also broke the trust of the reviewers, deriding them in the process by stating in his editorial:
The editorial team unintentionally selected three reviewers who probably share some climate sceptic notions of the authors.

God forbid that a paper ever be reviewed by scientists who may have similar opinions to the author. On this basis will we now see "sceptical" reviewers invited to provide critical input into the next IPCC report?

Professor Wagner, who has no expertise in the relevant area of climate science and hence cannot judge the value of the paper on his own the merits (that's why expert reviewers are used), relied on the commentary of a non-peer reviewed climate blog in order to justify his resignation. The resignation was not expected, or required and is highly unusual. The paper by Spencer and Braswell has not been retracted, however a number of formal critiques of the paper have very rapidly appeared. One in the journal Geophysical Research Letters and one in Remote Sensing. Commentary about both has also been quick on the internet (eg, at Climate Audit - here and here), but no resignations are expected from the issues uncovered.

The commentary in Remote Sensing was received and accepted at warp speed, all in the space of 24 hours; and oddly, against convention, it does not appear with a reply by the original authors. It is anticipated that this will be published in the near future.

In comparison, criticism of Nature's Antarctic warming paper sat in peer review at the Journal of Climate for an amazing 10 months. It seems an expressway exists through the peer review system for papers and comments that support a particular view, while others are considered and reviewed at a snail's pace. Nevertheless ,the system works in slowly advancing knowledge, even if sometimes we go back a few steps in order to progress further in the future.

Wagner's resignation has unnecessarily prejudiced opinion about Spencer and Braswell's paper, regardless of whether, in the long run, the work gets refuted, or it ends up being confirmed. The peer review system, even when abused, is more than capable of dealing with the scientific debate and makes a mockery of Wagner's immature decision. Based on Wagner's actions, peer review is dead; long live blog review.


It's the Warmists who are the climate deniers

By slicing and dicing the data, the article below tries to persuade you that the last few winters weren't as cold as you know they were. The "researchers" pick out just a few days from each year to generate their conclusions. What happens if we look at ALL the data, however? At the end of the Warmist article below I reproduce a VERY interesting graph. But don't you love their totally self-serving summary of their findings: "The cold weather could be explained by the North Atlantic Oscillation, but the warm weather is part of a long-term warming trend" --JR

Snowstorms have grabbed all the headlines, but it's actually been getting hotter. Is it global warming?


There were actually more extra-warm days in the last two days than extra-cold winter days.

The cold weather could be explained by the North Atlantic Oscillation, but the warm weather is part of a long-term warming trend.

Just in time for winter, new analysis shows that even though headlines in the last two winters might make you think we had intensely cold seasons, the truth is just the opposite. In fact, there were actually more especially warm than especially cold winter days both seasons, new analysis shows.

"In the last couple of winters, there has been an inordinate amount of coverage of cold conditions in many places, and also questions about what these cold extremes mean for climate change," said Alexander Gershunov of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. His team wanted to look at whether the actual temperatures backed up all of these news reports.

"We focused on the last two winters that were notoriously cold in certain places, especially parts of Europe and Siberia and the eastern, especially southeastern, US," Gershunov said.

The team examined temperature records throughout the northern hemisphere going back to 1948 and compared the coldest and warmest five percent of days in each of the last two winters with the long-term trends.

"The strongest extremes of the last two winters were actually not cold, they were warm," he said. "The warm extremes in many places were unprecedented. They were much more widespread, and covered a lot more of the northern hemisphere than the cold extremes did."

While the cold extremes for the northern hemisphere for the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 winters ranked 21st and 34th, respectively, the warm extremes ranked 12th and fourth, according to the findings, which will appear in Geophysical Research Letters. "The cold extremes were prominent, but they were not unprecedented," Gershunov said.

The researchers also found that the cold weather could be explained by the North Atlantic Oscillation, a natural climate cycle like El Ni¤o which produces cycles of warmer or colder weather in North America and Europe. Indeed, were it not for ongoing climate warming, the oscillation would have generated even colder temperatures, Gershunov said.


No. You weren't imagining it. If you look at ALL the data, it really HAS been getting colder:


Chomsky enthusiast praises Nazism and says Republican climate skeptics are insane

Just about what you would expect of a Chomsky admirer. Although Jewish himself, Chomsky gets on well with neo-Nazis

Leftist psychologists have been calling conservatives insane for over 60 years but have never been able to produce proof of it. It's just the usual Leftist abuse

Noam Chomsky stated recently in a Democracy Now! interview that what is currently happening—indeed, what has been happening for years—in the Republican party has “no analogue in American history” and is “just off the international spectrum of sane behavior.”

I agree.

While I’ve been a vocal critic of President Barack Obama generally, as well as in his compromising with the extreme right of the Republican party, I do agree with Chomsky that Obama is grounded in reality, unlike most of the Republican field of candidates.

As Chomsky states in the interview, “I must say that politics in this country now is in a state that I think has no analogue in American history and maybe nowhere in any parliamentary system. It’s astonishing.” Chomsky continued, “I mean, I’m not a great enthusiast for Obama, as you know, from way back, but at least he’s somewhere in the real world. Perry, who’s very likely—very likely to get the—to win the primary and win the nomination, and maybe to win the election, he’s often in outer space. I mean, his views are unbelievable. Bachmann is the same.”

Chomsky noted that he’d just returned from Europe “where people just can’t believe what they’re seeing here, what people are saying.”

He pointed to environmental catastrophe and global warming denial as a prime example of this European disbelief and horror at what’s occurring in American politics.

“[T]ake one of the really crucial issues for the human species: doing something about environmental catastrophe. Well, you know, every single one of the Republican candidates—maybe not Huntsman, but every major one—is a climate change denier. It’s kind of ironic in the case of Perry. He says there’s no global warming, while Texas is burning up with the highest temperatures on record, fire all over the place, and so on.”

He gives Bachmann some credit for admitting that there might be such a thing as global warming, but was shocked that Bachmann would equate this with the Christian god’s punishment for homosexuality.

Chomsky, of course, shouldn’t be so shocked about Bachmann’s point of view—America, more than perhaps any other country on Earth, has a sizable percentage of the population that holds the exact same point of view, and will enthusiastically endorse such candidates; putting men and women like Perry, Bachmann and Palin front and center. These candidates could never have become demagogues if vast numbers of the American citizenry weren’t willing to follow them to such extremes of human thinking.

Democrats may be spineless, contradictory, hypocritical and not a little complicit in the strengthening of the coporocratic American reality; but, the Republicans are quite openly psychotic. And by psychotic, I mean, of course, that they are removed from the fabric of reality.

Walter Sobzchak in The Big Lebowski, said in response to nihilism, “Say what you will about the tenets of National Socialism, at least it’s an ethos.”

Indeed, Republican politics in the form of the current crop of candidates also has an ethos—the ethos of psychosis. As Chomsky notes, “it’s just off the international spectrum of sane behavior.”


Texas A&M's Dessler Confuses Weather & Climate

I found Dr. Andrew Dessler's comments regarding Governor Perry's position on climate change rather impressive. Not for the brilliance of his overall argument unfortunately, but for the speed with which he contradicted himself within a short op-ed.

He begins by suggesting that Governor Perry's remarks were particularly "disturbing" because they were delivered in the middle of a Texas heat wave/drought. Incredibly, a short time later in the same piece, he acknowledges that climate change does not cause specific weather events. If that's the case (and it is), Governor Perry's remarks should have been no more disturbing to Dessler than if they were delivered during a rather calm, unremarkable period of weather.

In Dessler's defense, he does go on to state — as possible justification for his criticism of Perry's position — that the Texas heat wave/drought was made "more extreme" because of global warming than it otherwise would have been.

But how much warming has been observed? Most supporters of AGW (anthropogenic (man-made) global warming) theory believe the Earth's temperature has risen approximately .74 degrees Celsius (1.3 degrees Fahrenheit) because of a group of pesky, irresponsible, easily expendable, surface dwelling bipods collectively known as the human race. I don't know about other Texas residents, but every time my car thermometer hits 105, I say to myself "I sure wish it were only 103.7 degrees."

Dessler alarmingly exclaimed "July was the single hottest month in the observational record, and the 12 months that ended in July were drier than any corresponding period in the record."

In order to verify this, I contacted meteorologist Joseph D'Aleo who was the first Director of Meteorology at the Weather Channel and currently publishes the ICECAP website. D'Aleo was adamant that "the long term temperature trends for summer in Texas show no global warming or increased drought, no matter how many professors at how many universities in Texas opine otherwise."

To prove his point, D'Aleo posted NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) precipitation and temperature graphs dating back to 1895 on his ICECAP website. A review of both graphs would seem to indicate that precipitation and temperature have been rather flat for Texas since NOAA began keeping records.

D'Aleo emphasized that "Texas has seen serious droughts before, most notably in the 1950s." Also according to D'Aleo, who along with Pamela G. Grube co-authored The Oryx Resource Guide to El Nino and La Nina, the recent Texas drought and heat is due to an oceanic-atmospheric phenomenon known as La Nina, that was the strongest by atmospheric measures since 1954-1956 and 1917/18, which were also major drought years in Texas. The simplest, most obvious explanation is often the best, but there is apparently no room for Occam's Razor in a green necessities kit.

Dessler reminded readers that scientists at Texas A&M and other nearby universities agree with him on man-made global warming as if that is somehow important. For the record, there is nothing about the scientific method that would suggest debates are settled by a show of hands. One could have once easily secured a consensus that the Earth is flat or that the Sun revolves around the Earth.

A review of articles that have appeared in the New York Times over the last one hundred and fifty years indicates that the scientific community has flip- flopped on the cooling versus warming debate about a dozen times over the last century and a half. A great way to stop global warming might be to simply wait until scientists change their minds again.

Dessler is quick to imply that those who disagree with AGW theory are conspiracy theorists. Perhaps Dessler was too busy teaching class or writing his next paper to notice Climategate. For anyone who has been living under a rock, Climategate is the name given to the scientific scandal in which climate scientists who support AGW theory were caught "conspiring" to fudge data, bully fellow scientists and blackball scientific journals that dared to print a single opposing viewpoint. The same scientists also "conspired" to avoid complying with FOIA (freedom of information act) requests.

Of course, the House of Commons in Great Britain proclaimed the CRU (Climate Research Unit) at East Anglia University to be innocent of any wrongdoing and Penn State University ruled that Michael Mann did nothing wrong. Both exonerations are about as significant and credible as O.J. Simpson's mother giving Judge Ito a note stating that O.J. hadn't killed anybody.

I'm still waiting for Dr. Dessler or any other warmist for that matter to provide a context within which using "Mike's (Michael Mann's) nature trick ... to 'hide' the decline (in temperatures)" would amount to anything less than felonious, scientific fraud

Dessler speculates that scientists could increase climate research funding by claiming they didn't know what was causing climate change. It's hard to imagine the government wasting even more of our hard-earned tax dollars on resolving this non-issue. According to a paper written by Jo Nova in Australia, the United States Government has spent 79 Billion on climate change research since 1989.

So large is this boondoggle, we now see social scientists and military think tanks trying to get in on the action. As a result, we have to endure ridiculous claims about the impact of global warming on the divorce rate, the number of prostitutes, and national defense. Researchers figured out long ago that they can procure a lot more grant money by screaming the sky is falling than by suggesting a perceived problem might not be a problem at all. Write a grant proposal for a study on the reproductive rate of a particular frog and your odds of obtaining funding might not be so good. Change the study to a study on whether the same frog will soon face extinction due to global warming and the next sound you hear will be cha-ching.

The fact that economists have concluded "the costs of reducing emissions are less than the costs of unchecked climate change" is of absolutely no significance because the economists are relying solely on global warming proponents for predictions of what the long terms consequences of global warming will be. If they relied on AGW skeptics for this information, spending even a penny would be too much as skeptics do not believe there will be any long term consequences. To suggest that the economic models prove we should do something about climate change now is an example of a conclusion based on highly predictable, GIGO (garbage in garbage out) modeling.

The same can be said of computer climate models that can't even predict the past let alone the future of Earth's climate. If economists want to provide something of value to the climate debate, they should devote their time to explaining the connection between the ill-advised pursuit of bio fuels and the tortilla riots that took place in Mexico. If you've never heard of the tortilla riots or the food riots that took place in numerous other poor countries, don't blame yourself. The mainstream media ignored these stories as they have all stories that had the potential to derail any part of the climate change movement.

When they have covered negative stories, it has been from the angle of defending those involved. Examples of this bias can also be seen in the media's handling of a U.K. court's ruling that Al Gore's movie An Inconvenient Truth contained numerous factual errors and in the way Climategate was covered.

The biggest insult of all came at the end of Dessler's piece when he accused Governor Perry of employing a "shoot the messenger" tactic. This is particularly offensive given how often AGW supporters employ this strategy themselves. Consider the following outrageous statements aimed at AGW skeptics.

In his June 23, 2008 testimony before the United States Congress, James Hansen of NASA called for the punishment of climate change skeptics for "crimes against humanity." Then there was Avatar director James Cameron who stated climate skeptics were "swine" and said " I want to call all those deniers out into the streets at high noon and shoot it out with those boneheads." Sydney Morning Herald columnist Richard Glover suggested in a recent column that “Surely it’s time for climate-change deniers to have their opinions forcibly tattooed on their bodies."

A gentleman in Tennessee who dared to publish Al Gore's monthly electric bill received six death threats for exposing Gore's hypocrisy. Al Gore himself has on more than one occasion compared climate change deniers to racists.

These are much better examples of a "shoot the messenger" mentality than anything Governor Perry has ever said. One can only wonder if Dr. Dessler approves of this type of rhetoric and if he's ever called out his own side for their "shoot the messenger" tactics?


It's heating or eating in winter for us, retirees warn London Mayor

British electricity bills are heavily laden with government charges used to support Warmist projects

Pensioners today urged Boris Johnson to tackle fuel poverty as it emerged that more vulnerable people than ever are struggling to pay their energy bills.

More than one in four people in the capital are currently unable to meet their energy bills as rising prices and welfare reforms threaten to send even more into fuel poverty.

A report by London Councils today warns that rising fuel prices means that fuel poverty could be a key issue this winter.

A group of pensioners submitted a petition to City Hall last week calling on the Mayor to do more to assist vulnerable people across the capital who are unable to pay their bills.

Fuel poverty in London is defined as when a household has to spend more than a tenth of its income to "maintain an adequate level of warmth" after housing costs. George Durack, 87, a retired post office worker who chairs the Islington Pensioners' Forum, today warned that elderly people could die if something is not done to combat the problem.

He said: "Something needs to be done about this. They are reducing the fuel poverty allowance and a lot of people are going to struggle. "There are pensioners dying because of fuel poverty. It's horrible. A lot of pensioners are really going to feel it this winter. The cost of living has already gone up so much and this just makes things much worse."

Mr Durack added: "It has got to the point where, for a lot of pensioners, you either heat or you eat. People are going without meals - it is that bad. Something needs to be done and that is why we are taking our petition to City Hall."

Between 2004 and 2009 domestic electricity prices increased by over 75 per cent and gas prices increased by over 122 per cent. A number of suppliers including British Gas and NPower, this year announced further price rises.

Catherine West, chairwoman of London Councils' Transport and Environment Committee, said: "Fuel poverty is a real and growing danger to low-income families in the capital. With rising living costs and fuel bills, more households face a miserable winter fighting off the cold.

"While boroughs will do what they can to support families with advice and through energy efficiency schemes like Re:New, we also need Ofgem to bear down more aggressively on energy companies who are benefiting from lower wholesale prices."


Australia: Racist Greenies

A coconut is brown on the outside but white on the inside. It is a classic slur on blacks who co-operate with whites. For similar reasons Chinese sometimes get called "bananas"

KIMBERLEY Aborigines who support Woodside's $30 billion gas hub are being racially abused as "money-hungry coconuts" in an intensifying campaign involving hateful newsletters and graffiti attacks.

And the Aboriginal leader who helped to secure a 30-year package of indigenous benefits in exchange for a gas hub on Western Australia's far north coast says green groups have betrayed the region's Aborigines.

There is angst and tension in the resort town of Broome, where some of Western Australia's poorest Aborigines live alongside residents who want the hub to go ahead at a different site, preferably 800km south in the industrialised Pilbara.

A newsletter widely distributed in Broome labels Kimberley Land Council chief executive Nolan Hunter as Woodside's "chief coconut" for his role in securing a $1.5bn deal that will bring education, employment and social benefits to the region's indigenous population in return for their support for the gas hub project.

In an exclusive interview with The Australian yesterday, Mr Hunter told how the hate mail came so thick and fast he now instructed staff at the KLC office not to open letters with their bare hands.

Mr Hunter said green groups promised in 2007 to support a single site for a gas hub in the region, but now were campaigning hard against the project. "For them, the environment can stay pristine and the people in it can live in poverty and destitution," he said. "People who oppose the gas have housing, they have income and their kids have good educational opportunities. They want somewhere pristine to come and spend their money on holidays."

The proposed project has been dogged by controversy since April 2009 when Kimberley traditional owners signed a heads of agreement with the state government and Woodside for a gas precinct at James Price Point. In May, the Goolarabooloo Jabbir Jabbir native title claim group voted to support the project. The KLC considers the deal "a landmark exercise in democratic decision making" that will lead directly to hundreds of jobs and guarantee a social justice package of health, education, housing and training.

Protesters have been near the site of survey work since July. "The threatening, offensive and intimidating behaviour that some of our staff, contractors and traditional owners have been subjected to over recent months is unacceptable," a Woodside spokesman said last night.

The region's indigenous Labor MP, Carol Martin, is named along with nine others in the most recent newsletter as "black on the outside, white on the inside and full of the milk of white man's money". She said opponents of the development showed disrespect for Aborigines' rights to make decisions about their land. "I'm shocked at the level of vitriol that's come out . . . this is the worst I've seen it," she said.


Australia: Greenie hypocrisy exposed

The unions have hit the nail on the head with this one. What is the point of destroying Australian jobs only to transfer the "polluting" to China?

UNIONS have gone on the warpath after learning that the new headquarters for the federal Climate Change Department will use cheap Chinese aluminium, which they say is dirtier to produce than the Australian product.

The national secretary of the Australian Workers Union, Paul Howes, raised the matter with Julia Gillard yesterday during a meeting of the unions, industry, the Prime Minister and senior ministers to discuss ways of helping the struggling manufacturing sector.

The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union was not ruling out a green ban on the site if Australian aluminium was not used. The secretary, Dave Noonan, said it was hard to see how the environment was being served by aluminium being produced in a high-carbon environment".

The use of the imported product was a classic example of dumping goods to corner the market and force Australian suppliers out. The union was considering what action to take to draw the issue to public attention.

The department has signed a lease for the Nishi development being constructed in Canberra's central business district.

But a spokesman said neither the department nor the government could be blamed for using the cheap aluminium because it was only a tenant. "The department does not have any input into the awarding of contracts for the base building, which would be a matter for the developer," he said.

Mr Howes said the contract was for 80 tonnes of aluminium extrusions, valued at about $5 million. "Emissions for aluminium made in China are around 50 per cent higher than Australian aluminium," he said. "The irony of the Climate Change Department importing aluminium made from China would be laughable if it wasn't such a slap in the face to Australian manufacturing."

Mr Howes said $5 million might seem like "small fry" to the government "but it's a lot of money to local manufacturers struggling to survive". The manufacturing sector is suffering the pressures of the mining boom, high dollar and cheap imports.

The Treasurer, Wayne Swan, the Industry Minister, Kim Carr, and the Australian Industry Group also attended Ms Gillard's meeting yesterday. Such meetings have become frequent since BlueScope Steel laid off 1000 workers a month ago.

Ms Gillard has put tax breaks for manufacturers on the agenda for the tax forum next month to help keep industries viable as they adapt to structural changes in the economy.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


20 September, 2011

An historian who talks about the significance of extreme weather events

Such an historian would be very valuable but this historian is a Leftist biographer, not a climate historian. So his remarks are just another version of the usual Green/Left boilerplate. Had he been a climate historian he would certainly not have spoken of "unprecedented" weather at the moment.

Instead of making sweeping assertions for which he has no evidence, a mere biographer ought to admit that he’s just operating on blind faith. AGW snobs like to sneer at skeptics, “Oh, are YOU a climatologist?” — never realizing that the question cuts both ways

MSNBC’s Martin Bashir show had a segment a few weeks ago on “The political legacy of Hurricane Irene” with historian Douglas Brinkley, author of “The Great Deluge,” about Katrina and New Orleans.

Bashir asked Brinkley whether Obama’s failure to mention climate change was an opportunity that’s been missed.... After calling on Obama to deliver “a presidential prime time address on global warming,” Brinkley, who has authored and edited books on Ronald Reagan, compares Obama’s inaction on climate to Reagan’s on AIDS. He says “you see President Obama at this juncture needing to lead on the global warming issue.” Brinkley goes on to say:
You know I’m here in Austin right now and it’s 109 degrees. All over the country, in the Great Plains, there’s drought, there’s wildfires that have been going on in New Mexico, there’s a lot of unprecedented weather patterns going on here. We all know the word global warming, but only the president has a security documents.

So I would urge President Obama … sometime within the, say, next half a year, come to the American people and say I came into office giving a lot of speeches about global warming, here’s what we know about it and here’s some of the things we might have to do with the future to make America safe.

If you listen to the entire interview, then you heard Bashir say that when he interviewed Bill Nye the science guy, Nye was supposedly “absolutely clear that hurricanes like this were the result of climate change.” As you can guess, Nye didn’t quite say that.


Times Atlas makes 'absurd' claims about shrinking of Greenland ice sheet

Even the Warmists piss on it

A new map of the world that indicates a huge chunk of the Greenland icesheet has melted due to climate change has been criticised as "ludicrous" by leading polar scientists.

The latest edition of the Times Atlas of the World claimed15 per cent of Greenland's former ice-covered land has turned "ice-free" in the last 12 years. But scientists from the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University say the figures are wrong, and that the ice has melted by less than one per cent during that time.

Professor Liz Morris, a senior associate at the institute, said a “serious error” had been made. She said the cartographers appeared to have muddled satellite data on elevation with ice cover and assumed that below a certain level there was no ice. In fact the ice sheet carries on to the shore in many areas. She feared the “ludicrous claim” could be used as the latest tool to deny climate change, following similar exaggerations about the melting of the Himalayan ice glaciers.

“We are not saying in any way that climate change and the loss of the ice sheet is not going on," she said. "The danger is if people quote these absurd figures the next thing that happens is climate change sceptics say scientists are making daft claims. We are not. It is the publicity people.”

The 13th edition of the "comprehensive" version of the atlas included a number of revisions made for reasons of environmental change since the previous edition was published in 2007. The break-up of some Antarctic ice shelves due to climate change, the shrinking of inland waters such as the Dead and Aral Seas, and the drying up of rivers such as the Colorado River are all documented.

Most strikingly, the publicity claimed that "for the first time, the new edition of the (atlas) has had to erase 15 per cent of Greenland's once permanent ice cover - turning an area the size of the United Kingdom and Ireland 'green' and ice-free. "This is concrete evidence of how climate change is altering the face of the planet forever - and doing so at an alarming and accelerating rate."

Graham Cogley, Professor of Geography at Trent University, Ontario, Canada, said glacier shrinkage happens very slowly - at around 0.2 per cent a year - rather than the 1.5 per cent suggested by the Times Atlas. He explained this is still a serious threat to the planet. “Climate change is real, and Greenland ice cover is shrinking. But the claims here are simply not backed up by science. This pig can’t fly."

The Times Atlas is not owned by The Times newspaper. It is published by Times Books, an imprint of HarperCollins, which is in turn owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.

A spokesman for HarperCollins said its new map was based on information provided by the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). The spokesman said: "Since The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World 10th Edition, in 1999, we have had to erase 15 per cent of Greenland’s once permanent ice sheet. "This is based on information provided by the much respected and widely-cited National Snow and Ice Data Center (Atlas of the Cryosphere, Boulder, Colorado USA).

"While global warming has played a role in this reduction, it is also as a result of the much more accurate data and in-depth research that is now available. Read as a whole, both the press release and the 13th edition of the Atlas make this clear."


Climate 'scientists' arbitrarily increase guesswork about CO2 effects by 25% in latest model

Attention alarmists: the latest version of the world's most widely used climate model arbitrarily increases the fictitious forcing from CO2 'back-radiation' and non-existent positive-feedbacks from clouds by 25%, from a fallacious 3.2C to 4.0C per doubling of CO2.
Journal of Climate 2011 doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00197.1

The Evolution of Climate Sensitivity and Climate Feedbacks in the Community Atmosphere Model

A. Gettelman et al


We use the major evolution of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Community Atmosphere Model (CAM) to diagnose climate feedbacks, understand how climate feedbacks change with different physical parameterizations, and identify the processes and regions that determine climate sensitivity.

In the evolution of CAM from version 4 to version 5, the water vapor, temperature, surface albedo and lapse rate feedbacks are remarkably stable across changes to the physical parameterization suite. However, the climate sensitivity increases from 3.2K in CAM4 to 4.0K in CAM5.

The difference is mostly due to (a) more positive cloud feedbacks and (b) higher CO2 radiative forcing in CAM5. The inter-model differences in cloud feedbacks are largest in the tropical trade cumulus regime and in the mid-latitude storm-tracks. The sub-tropical stratocumulus regions do not contribute strongly to climate feedbacks due to their small area coverage.

A “modified Cess” configuration for atmosphere only model experiments is shown to reproduce slab ocean model results. Several parameterizations contribute to changes in tropical cloud feedbacks between CAM4 and CAM5, but the new shallow convection scheme causes the largest mid-latitude feedback differences and the largest change in climate sensitivity. Simulations with higher cloud forcing in the mean state have lower climate sensitivity.

This work provides a methodology for further analysis of climate sensitivity across models and a framework for targeted comparisons to observations that can help constrain climate sensitivity to radiative forcing.


Oceans Are Now “Hiding” The Effects of Someone Driving an SUV Instead of a Volt

William Teach

See, the reason that the world is not burning to cinders from slightly above 350ppm of CO2 in the's about 387ppm now, a level certainly never seen in the history of the Earth. Doom! because those mean oceans are hiding the effects
New analysis led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) suggests that the relative slowdown in global air temperature rises during the past decade may have been caused in part by the planet’s deep oceans.

Scientists from NCAR and the Bureau of Meteorology in Australia claim that the oceans at times may absorb enough heat to flatten the rate of global warming for periods of as long as a decade even in the midst of longer-term warming.

You see? Anthropogenic global warming is still happening, but is being hidden by a natural process....wait, a natural process is hiding it? Could it possibly be that natural processes have caused the vast majority of perceived warming since the end of the last cool period, the Little Ice Age?
The study, based on computer simulations of global climate, points to ocean layers deeper than 1,000 feet (300 meters) as the main location of the “missing heat” during periods such as the past decade when global air temperatures showed little trend. The findings also suggest that several more intervals like this can be expected over the next century, even as the trend toward overall warming continues.

Uh huh. Computer simulations. How about some hard data?
NCAR’s Gerald Meehl, lead author of the study said: “We will see global warming go through hiatus periods in the future. However, these periods would likely last only about a decade or so, and warming would then resume. This study illustrates one reason why global temperatures do not simply rise in a straight line.”

See? It's so easy: they've found a way to say globull warming is real, it's Mankind's fault, it's just that the oceans are hiding the effects. This way, they can continue pushing their cult (and getting research grants).
To track where the heat was going, Meehl and colleagues used a powerful software tool known as the Community Climate System Model, which was developed by scientists at NCAR and the Department of Energy with colleagues at other organizations. Using the model’s ability to portray complex interactions between the atmosphere, land, oceans, and sea ice, they performed five simulations of global temperatures.

The simulations, which were based on projections of future greenhouse gas emissions from human activities, indicated that temperatures would rise by several degrees during this century. But each simulation also showed periods in which temperatures would stabilize for about a decade before climbing again. For example, one simulation showed the global average rising by about 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit (1.4 degrees Celsius) between 2000 and 2100, but with two decade-long hiatus periods during the century.

So, no actual hard data? No measurements of the deep oceans to see if this is actually happening? You know, I love playing 1st person shooters, but, I am under no illusion that they make me a badass warrior capable of wiping out thousands of enemies a day. I'd actually have to go out and train in the real world. The "science" of climate change seems to always ignore the real world.

This study is simply a follow up to the one by Kevin "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at this moment and it is a travesty that we can't" Trenberth that attempted to say that the warming was playing Where's Waldo and hiding from us. Because it must be hiding! It couldn't possibly be that decades of alarmist hysteria was based on a false notion (stamps foot)!


Warmism drives up housing costs

Comment from Australia but applicable in the USA and UK too

What is causing the housing affordability crisis in Australia? Land restrictions and low interest rates are typical answers. But people forget about the impact of seemingly minor government rules like regulations that stipulate minimum dwelling sizes and quality.

Next year, the National Strategy on Energy Efficiency will require all residential properties, new and existing, to have consistent energy efficiency ratings. The idea is buyers and renters will then make better choices about energy efficiency – thereby mitigating climate change and saving themselves a few dollars to boot.

That sounds nice, but the reality is otherwise. Mandating ratings will impose real costs on sellers, lessors and taxpayers, which will exacerbate the housing affordability crisis. Licensed assessors will require training and charge fees to make assessments; bureaucrats will have to enforce and administer the assessments.

The supposed benefits – lower greenhouse gas emissions and household savings – are tentative at best.

Australian residential buildings emit 10% of Australia’s greenhouse emissions, and Australia as a whole contributes 1.5% of the world’s emissions. Even if slowing the growth of 0.15% of the world’s greenhouse emissions would effectively mitigate global warming, will these measures actually work?

As anyone who’s bought or rented knows, the energy efficiency of a home is a marginal consideration. Location, appearance, size and quality overwhelm any other factors. Indeed, renters tend to care even less about a dwelling’s energy efficiency if they are sharing (household utility bills tend to be split equally).

As for savings, everyone already has the ability to calculate the payoffs from more energy efficient fittings and appliances. And businesses have a natural incentive to advertise any potential savings from such installations. It is not the role of government to nanny how people manage their household utility bills.

The government claims buyers and renters suffer from ‘uneven information’: that owners and sellers have superior information. That might be true at first, but it is no bold feat for prospective buyers and tenants to inspect appliances and fittings. Indeed, inspecting a house is vastly easier than assessing the reliability of a used car’s engine – and the government does not mandate assessments there.

Moreover, the proposed mandatory efficiency standards undermine the role of real estate agents. Agents exist to bridge any knowledge gap between buyer, sellers and renters.

If the government wants to encourage energy-efficient products, it should alter the price of energy directly and make the installation of energy efficiency products more appealing. By contrast, the compulsory efficiency standards impose certain costs only to elicit dubious benefits.


Australia: Electricity bills will soar for decades

VICTORIANS will be $1050 worse off under the looming carbon tax, according to the State Government's controversial modelling.

In a report that was last night dismissed by the [Leftist] Federal Government, Victoria's Coalition predicts electricity bills will soar for decades.

The state figures suggest the typical income in Victoria would be $60,504 by 2015 without a carbon tax and $59,445 with the tax.

There would be 35,000 fewer jobs and investment would be down 6 per cent according to the report, which does not include all federal compensation.

The numbers are contained in the final report by Deliotte Access Economics, which was commissioned by the Department of Premier and Cabinet to assess the impact of the carbon tax on Victoria.

The report provoked outrage inside the Gillard Government, which has previously attacked the integrity of Victoria's modelling.

"Victorians know that the Liberals have repeatedly misrepresented the facts in the climate change debate, and it seems Mr Baillieu's at it again here with this report by a paid consultancy firm," federal Treasurer Wayne Swan said.

The State Government defended the report, which it will release today. "The economic modelling assumptions underpinning the analysis in this report have been aligned, to the extent possible, to the recently-released modelling undertaken by the Commonwealth Treasury," a Coalition spokesman said.

The Deloitte report names Melbourne, Gippsland and Barwon as the Victorian regions hardest hit by the tax and estimates electricity prices will rise 23 per cent by 2030.

Federal modelling predicts a short-term jump of just 10 per cent.

Mr Swan, who will release updated federal modelling this week, said Victoria's modelling was out of step with other states and federal Treasury.

Mr Baillieu was criticised over preliminary Deloitte figures showing 23,000 fewer Victorian jobs in 2015.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


19 September, 2011

Can We Really Call Climate Science A Science?

By Paul Roderick Gregory

1). Soviet Politburo September 8, 1927

“Trotsky: Let us present our platform to the party congress. What are you afraid of?

Stalin: Comrade Trotsky demands equality between the Central Committee and his opposition group. In whose name do you speak so insolently?

Trotsky ally: Why are you trying to hide our platform? What does this say about your courage?

Stalin: We are not prepared to turn the party into a discussion club.”

2). George Orwell, Animal Farm, Chapter 7

“They had come to a time when no one dared speak his mind, when fierce, growling dogs roamed everywhere, and when you had to watch your comrades torn to pieces after confessing to shocking crimes.”

3). E-mails from Phil Jones (East Anglia University)

July 8, 2004

“I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”

March 11, 2003

“I will be emailing the journal to tell them I’m having nothing more to do with it until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor.”

There is no disagreement that the earth’s temperature has always changed over time. There are periods of warming and cooling. It appears we are in a period of warming. The debate between “warmists” and “skeptics” is about whether human Co2 emissions are the cause of warming, whether the relatively small effects of these emissions will compound into larger changes, and, if so, whether, the benefits of remediation outweigh the costs. By “warmists,” I mean Global Warming Alarmists who believe that warming is caused by humans and will have disastrous consequences for humankind if unchecked by remediation, no matter how costly.

The “warmist” consensus view of “climate science” is represented at a popular level by advocates like Al Gore and at the scientific and technical level by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), as supported by researchers at East Anglia (Phil Jones) and Penn State (Michael Mann). This panoply of people and organizations is the equivalent of the Central Committee in my Stalin dialog above. “Skeptics” (the equivalent of Trotsky above) are individual scientists and advocates who stake out positions at odds with the IPCC-Central Committee orthodoxy. They are the ones who “dare to speak when fierce growling dogs roam everywhere.”

Three recent events have brought the controversy over climate science back into the news and onto my radar screen:

First, Ivar Giaever, the 1973 winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, resigned from the American Physical Society over his disagreement with its statement that “the evidence (on warming alarmism) is incontrovertible.” Instead, he writes that the evidence suggests that “the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this ‘warming’ period.”

Second, the editor of Remote Sensing resigned and disassociated himself from a skeptical paper co-authored by University of Alabama Climate Scientist Roy Spencer after an avalanche of criticism by “warmists.” His resignation brings to mind Phil Jones’ threat to “get rid of troublesome editors” (cited above).

Third, the New York Times and other major media are ridiculing Texas Governor Rick Perry for saying that global warming is “not proven.” Their message: Anyone who does not sign on to global warming alarmism is an ignorant hayseed and clearly not presidential material.

What lessons do I, as an economist, draw from these three events?

First: The Giaever story starkly disputes warmist claims of “inconvertible evidence.” Despite the press’s notable silence on such matters, there are a large number of prominent scientists with solid scholarly credentials who disagree with the IPCC-Central Committee. Those who claim “proven science” and “consensus” conveniently ignore such scientists.

With his public resignation, Nobel Laureate Giaever joins a long list of distinguished “skeptics,” which includes Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT and member of the National Academy of Sciences, Hendrik Tennekes, retired Director of Research, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, Sallie Baliunas, astronomer, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Ian Clark, hydrogeologist, professor, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa: William M. Gray, Professor Emeritus and head of The Tropical Meteorology Project, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, William Happer, physicist, Princeton University, Tim Patterson, paleoclimatologist and Professor of Geology at Carleton University in Canada, and Fred Singer, Professor emeritus of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia (just to name a few from a long list).

Second: As someone with forty years experience with peer reviewed journals. I can testify that the Remote Sensing editor’s resignation and public discreditation of Spencer’s skeptical paper would be considered bizarre and unprofessional behavior in any other scholarly discipline.

In all fields of scientific inquiry, journal editors base their publication decisions on reports of referees, who are supposed to be experts in the area. Presumably, in the case of the Spencer paper, referees supported its publication. Even if there had been a negative report, good editors often publish controversial papers to open a scholarly dialog. (Can anyone think of a topic that is more controversial and more in need of open scholarly dialog than global warming?). In the case of controversial papers, the editor gives credible critics space to air their objections, and the author is accorded the opportunity to respond.

In this odd case, the editor did not follow the normal procedure of publishing critical comments by specialists who disagree with the paper. He chose instead to disavow and discredit the paper himself, despite the fact that he is not an expert on the subject. Nor did the editor give Spencer an opportunity to respond to his personal disavowal. Instead, rebuttals of the Spencer paper are scheduled to be published in another journal friendly to the warmist position. Spencer will not be given an opportunity to respond in that journal. (Spencer is like the muzzled Trotsky in my quote above. Stalin will decide what others are allowed to hear).

In my field of economics, such unprofessional behavior would destroy the editor’s professional reputation and make him or her a laughing stock. Not in climate science apparently. We can see Jones’ threat to “redefine peer review” in action. Like Stalin, the climate establishment cannot allow climate science to be turned into a “discussion club.”

Third: The media is tarring and feathering Rick Perry, we now see, for agreeing with Nobel laureate Giaever and a host of other prominent scientists. I guess if Perry is a know-nothing Texas hick (or worse, a pawn of Big Oil) so is every other scientist who dares to disagree with the IPCC Central Committee. Such intimidation chillingly makes politicians, public figures, and scientists fearful of deviating one inch from orthodoxy. They want to avoid Orwell’s “watching their comrades torn to pieces after confessing to shocking crimes.” How many are willing to shoulder that burden?

I do not know whether the warmists or skeptics are right. I do know that the modeling of the climate is among the most complex of scientific tasks. In this regard, climate science and economics have much in common. We both must try to understand complicated systems with intricate feedbacks and uncertain causality. As recent experience shows, we economists have yet to find “incontrovertible truth.” We will never reach a consensus. Nor should we. Why should we expect climate science, unlike other disciplines, to reach a consensus when we do not expect this of other fields of scientific inquiry?

About a year ago, I attended a debate between a noted warmist and skeptic. They agreed only on one thing: Climate science is in its infancy. We are just beginning to understand the climate. When we look back, we will understand how little we really understood and how wrong our first findings were. This is the way science is created.

False claims of consensus and inconvertible truth reveal a political or ideological agenda wrapped in the guise of science. The incontrovertible bad behavior of the warmists has led skeptics to suspect base motives, and who could blame them?


Alarmist claim Amazon will dry up bites the dust: New paper says core of Amazon rainforest will remain stable & rainfall increase

Even the "models" can be pesky

A paper published this week in the journal Earth Interactions counters alarmist claims that 'climate change' will cause the Amazon to dry up and shrink by 85%, finding instead, "Our results suggest that the core of the Amazon rainforest should remain largely stable as rainfall in the core of the basin is projected to increase."
Will Amazonia dry out?: Magnitude and Causes of change from IPCC climate model projections

Brian Cook et al


The Amazon rainforest may undergo significant change in response to future climate change. To determine the likelihood and causes of such changes, we analyzed the output of 24 models from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report (IPCC/AR4) and a dynamic vegetation model Vegetation-Global-Atmosphere-Soil (VEGAS) driven by these climate output.

Our results suggest that the core of the Amazon rainforest should remain largely stable as rainfall in the core of the basin is projected to increase in nearly all models. However, the periphery, notably the southern edge of Amazonia and further south into central Brazil (SAB), are in danger of drying out, driven by two main processes.

Firstly, a decline in precipitation of 11% during the southern Amazonia's dry season (May–September) reduces soil moisture. Two dynamical mechanisms may explain the forecast reduction in dry season rainfall: (1) a general subtropical drying under global warming when the dry season southern Amazon basin is under the control of subtropical high pressure; (2) a stronger north-south tropical Atlantic sea surface temperature gradient, and to a lesser degree, a warmer eastern equatorial Pacific. The drying corresponds to a lengthening of the “dry season” by approximately 10 days.

The decline in soil moisture occurs despite an increase in precipitation during the wet season, due to nonlinear responses in hydrology associated with the decline in dry season precipitation, ecosystem dynamics and an increase in evaporative demand due to the general warming.

In terms of ecosystem response, higher maintenance cost and reduced productivity under warming may also have additional adverse impact. While the IPCC models have substantial inter-model variation in precipitation change, these latter two hydroecological effects are highly robust because of the general warming simulated by all models.

As a result, when forced by these climate projections, a dynamic vegetation model VEGAS projects an enhancement of fire risk by 20–30% in the SAB region. Fire danger reaches its peak in Amazonia during the dry season, and this danger is expected to increase primarily due to the reduction in soil moisture, and the decrease in dry season rainfall.

VEGAS also projects a reduction of about 0.77 in Leaf Area Index (LAI) over the SAB region. The vegetation response may be partially mediated by the CO2 fertilization effect, as a sensitivity experiment without CO2 fertilization shows a higher 0.89 decrease in LAI.

Southern Amazonia is currently under intense human influence as a result of deforestation and land use change. Should this direct human impact continue at present rates, added pressure to the region's ecosystems from climate change may subject the region to profound changes in the 21st century.


Climatic Change and Witch-hunting: the Impact of the Little Ice Age on Mentalities

In addition to objective climatic data, subjective or social reactions can also serve as indicators in the assessment of climatic changes. Concerning the Little Ice Age the conception of witchcraft is of enormous importance. Weather-making counts among the traditional abilities of witches. During the late 14th and 15th centuries the traditional conception of witchcraft was transformed into the idea of a great conspiracy of witches, to explain "unnatural" climatic phenomena.

Because of their dangerous nature, particularly their ability to generate hailstorms, the very idea of witches was the subject of controversial discussion around 1500. The beginnings of meteorology and its emphasis of "natural" reasons in relationship to the development of weather must be seen against the background of this demoniacal discussion. The resurgence of the Little Ice Age revealed the susceptibility of society.

Scapegoat reactions may be observed by the early 1560s even though climatologists, thus far, have been of the opinion that the cooling period did not begin until 1565. Despite attempts of containment, such as the calvinistic doctrine of predestination, extended witch-hunts took place at the various peaks of the Little Ice Age because a part of society held the witches directly responsible for the high frequency of climatic anomalies and the impacts thereof.

The enormous tensions created in society as a result of the persecution of witches demonstrate how dangerous it is to discuss climatic change under the aspects of morality.


Romney blasts 'ballyhooed' wind and solar

If elected US president, Republican candidate Mitt Romney would end federal government support for the solar and wind industries, and curtail the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA's) “reckless regulatory behaviour” and “war on carbon.”

Polls show Romney, 64, running a strong second to Texas Governor Rick Perry among eight declared candidates vying for the opportunity to face President Barack Obama in the November 2012 election.

Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, is touting his 35 years in the public and private sectors as giving him the right background to turn around the country’s stagnant economy and cut its dependence on foreign oil.

In “Believe in America,” his 88-page plan for economic growth and jobs, Romney is critical of Obama’s policies that promote renewable energy and green jobs, claiming they are distorting the free market.

“We should not be in the business of steering investment toward particular politically favoured approaches,” he says in the plan. “That is a recipe for both time and money wasted on projects that do not bring us dividends. The failure of windmills and solar plants to become economically viable or make a significant contribution to our energy supply is a prime example.”

Romney calls solar and wind two of the most “ballyhooed” forms of alternative fuel, saying they remain sharply uncompetitive on their own with conventional resources such as oil and gas in most applications. “Indeed, at current prices, these technologies make little sense for the consuming public but great sense only for the companies reaping profits from taxpayer subsidies,” he claims.

According to Romney, there is a place for government investment to promote innovation in the energy industry when time horizons are too long, risks too high and rewards too uncertain to attract private capital.

“However, much of our existing energy research and development budget has been devoted to loan guarantees, cash grants and tax incentives for projects that might have gone forward anyway, “ he contends, adding as president he will redirect clean energy spending towards basic research.

He argues that government research dollars should be used to develop new energy technologies and on initial demonstration projects that establish the feasibility of discoveries. “This approach offers the best opportunity to promote innovation without distorting the market,” he says.

Romney favors doing this through the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy, or ARPA-E, the US Energy Department arm that began operation in February 2009, which he says will ensure long-term, non-political sources of funding for a wide variety of competing, early-stage technologies.

Ironically, the initial $400m in funding for ARPA-E came from the $775bn American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the economic stimulus bill, drawn up by Obama and his White House advisers. Romney says the record fiscal stimulus programme failed to resuscitate the economy or create the millions of jobs promised by Obama.

“President Obama made much of his commitment to green jobs, and his stimulus legislation was rife with provisions subsidising initiatives in these areas,” Romney says, referring to the $60bn targeted for clean energy initiatives.

He argues that funneling money in that direction was an inefficient instrument for job creation as alternative and renewable energy is capital- not labor-intensive. Federal spending could also have a marginal impact on employment as the baseline of activity in the green jobs sector is relatively low, adds Romney.

Even as Romney is urging more support for ARPA-E, his fellow Republicans in Congress want to cut its funding by half in the 2012-13 (October-September) fiscal year saying that the money could be better spent elsewhere.

Turning to the EPA, Romney accused the Obama administration of using the agency to impose a “costly and ineffective anti-carbon agenda” that failed to win support in Congress in 2009-10.

He vows to eliminate regulations put in place to curb CO2 emissions and slow refinement of technologies that burn coal cleanly, although he does not name them. Romney claims that had Congress passed Obama’s carbon cap-and-trade proposal, it would have been a crippling blow for the US economy.

Romney says that he will make every effort to safeguard the environment, “but he will be mindful at every step of also protecting the jobs of American workers.” He complains that the White House is using the EPA to blanket the US economy with regulations without allowing a proper assessment of their costs.

If there are compelling human health reasons to restrict industrial emissions, regulatory bodies must issue standards that can be achieved over a reasonable period of time, he argues.

This would afford industries fair notice and a significant window in which to invest in the development and installation of new technology that would bring their facilities into compliance.

Romney also pledges to amend the 1970 Clean Air Act to remove carbon dioxide from its purview, even though the law’s wording does not include the heat-trapping greenhouse gas that most scientists say contributes to global warming.

The US Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that EPA must regulate CO2 and other greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act if it determined that they endanger human health and welfare. EPA made its “endangerment finding” in December 2009.


Top Economist Warns Green Jobs 'Creation' Will Undermine British Recovery

One of the UK's leading energy and environment economists warns that the government's promise that green energy policies will create tens of thousands of jobs and stimulate competitive industries is an illusion.

In his report The Myth of Green Jobs, published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, Professor Gordon Hughes (Edinburgh University) dispels this assumption by finding that

* The government target for generating electricity from renewable energy sources will involve a capital cost that is 9-10 times the amount required to meet the same demand by relying upon conventional power plants.

* The extra investment required for renewable energy - about £120 bln - will be diverted from more productive uses in the rest of the economy.

* Increases in the cost of energy together with the diversion of investment funds means that many manufacturing firms will either go bankrupt or relocate.

* It is impossible for the UK to acquire a long-term comparative advantage in the manufacture of renewable energy equipment by any combination of policies that are both feasible and affordable.

* Policies to promote renewable energy could add 0.6-0.7 percentage points per year to core inflation from now to 2020.

* The cumulative impact of these policies could amount to a loss of 2-3% of potential GDP for a period of 20 years or more.

"Claims by politicians and lobbyists that green energy policies will create a few thousand jobs are not supported by the evidence. In terms of the labour market, the gains for a small number of actual or potential employees in businesses specialising in renewable energy has to be weighed against the dismal prospects for a much larger group of workers producing tradable goods in the rest of the manufacturing sector," Professor Hughes said.


Solyndra: a textbook example of green economic insanity

Lubos Motl tries to make sense of a malodorous boondoggle

Solyndra was a solar panel company founded in 2005 which went recently bankrupt, despite half a billion of subsidies from the Obama White House.

In early 2009, they would ask Bush Jr White House for a donation. He told them "wait, I still have to study your proposal" which is a diplomatic version of "f*ck off". It would have been much better if the undiplomatic but much more accurate reaction were used but at least, Bush Jr didn't pay a penny. The pampered parasitic solar as**ole CEOs went ballistic: how arrogant George W. Bush has to be not to simply pour a billion of dollars into their solar throats!?

However, once Obama took the office during the same month, the company whose executives raised $100,000 for the Obama campaign was suddenly bombarded by the taxpayer money. A crony feedback loop. The company was visited by Schwarzenegger as well as Obama and the latter guy gave them half a billion (and it could have been a whole billion or more): that's what you normally do to your friends whom you barely know. Ideologically colored nepotism in action.

This amount of money is insanely high because the whole revenue during 2009 and 2010 was about $100 million per year only. If you realize that there is only a tiny profit margin if any (profit is at most a small fraction of the revenue), you see that you would clearly need many decades to repay the investment. It was never going to be repaid because the company was never competitive.

These days, the media are full of people who are sure that it had always been clear that the company had to go bust, see e.g.:

Forbes: Solyndra: Yes, It Was Possible To See This Failure Coming

Fox News: Why Solyndra Failed

for two examples from recent hours. And I agree with that. But people making huge investments are often optimistic about their future. The easier it is for them to get the money, the more optimistic they may become. They may believe that a billion (which is only spent once) is something that they would easily repay in the future because the company would be producing billions, trillions, or quadrillions, or whatever other numerals these people detached from reality were capable of learning. :-)

Well, instead, reality took over. The products were self-evidently uncompetitive so they couldn't be sold for a price that would generate profit.

It's likely that if you were a careful investor and you were investing your own money, you would be a bit more careful about your billions and you wouldn't pay half a billion for such a bad investment. But Obama et al. don't have to care about details such as a billion of dollars. It's just 1/14,000 of the American GDP so why shouldn't he splash it into the toilet? It creates such a good signal and it makes such a funny sound which is worth paying. ;-)

The world of subsidies and crazy assumptions about totally different prices of things in the near future is an extremely risky world. There will eventually come new revolutions in the energy industry. But they will first take place, and then politicians will know about these revolutions. It can't be the other way around: it can't be that the politicians first know about the breakthrough, and then it inevitably happens.

Also, you may speculate that some subsidies or bans that distort the market in one country or another will help your project to become viable. But such a speculation may turn out to be invalid because the government policy may change and because someone else gets even bigger subsidies (e.g. in China or another country where it's common to subsidize and distort things) and your prices will no longer be competitive, anyway. Including subsidies and distortions of the markets into your calculations is a very risky and very dirty Al Gore rhythm to plan your future profits. People shouldn't include speculations about distortions into their economic planning.

I share the hopes that this scandal may make huge American state-organized "investments" into Al-Gore-like fraudulent industries impossible in the future. Europe and other places are learning their lessons, too. The European lessons may look less concentrated (20% unemployment in solar Spain is just a non-story) but they speak the same overall language.

The U.S. taxpayers may have lost half a billion but this loss may have good consequences, too. Tens of millions of people may finally see the light and realize that everyone who talks about the imminent demise of carbon-based energy is a crackpot who can make you completely broke within a year.

Some politicians such as Obama may think that they are able to pick the ultimate winners even though the whole markets consider them to be the ultimate losers. Obama doesn't even understand that he is 10 times more stupid, and not 10 times brighter, than the venture capitalists of the world (because he has no experience and he has passed on market tests, unlike the naturally rich investors!). And he will probably not be able to learn the lesson. But the American people may learn that they have to be more careful about the choice of politicians who are given the power to make similar decisions. When they choose badly, billions – and because this is just a tip of an iceberg, hundreds of billions – are splashed into the toilet.


Solyndra Not Sole "Green" Firm to Hit Rock Bottom Despite Stimulus Funding

Solyndra, the solar panel company whose highly publicized failure and consequent investigation by federal authorities has flashed across headlines recently, isn't the only business to go belly up after benefiting from a piece of the $800 billion economic stimulus package passed in 2009.

At least four other companies have received stimulus funding only to later file for bankruptcy, and two of those were working on alternative energy.

Evergreen Solar Inc., reportedly received $5.3 million of stimulus cash through a state grant to install 11,000 photovoltaic panels installed at 11 colleges and universities, a recycling facility and an education center in Massachusetts.

The company, once a rock star in the solar industry, filed for bankruptcy protection last month, saying it couldn't compete with Chinese rivals without reorganizing. The company intends to focus on building up its manufacturing facility in China.

SpectraWatt, based in Hopewell Junction, N.Y., is also a solar cell company that was spun out of Intel in 2008. In June 2009, SpectraWatt received a $500,000 grant from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory as part of the stimulus package. SpectraWatt was one of 13 companies to receive the money to help develop ways to improve solar cells without changing current manufacturing processes.

The company filed for bankruptcy last month, saying it could not compete with its Chinese competitors, which receive "considerable government and financial support."

On Tuesday, Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman wrote an editorial for "USA Today" in which he blamed China in part for the failure of U.S. solar energy manufacturers to compete.

"Winning will require substantial investments. Last year, for example, the China Development Bank offered more than $30 billion in financing to Chinese solar manufacturers, about 20 times more than U.S.-backed loans to solar manufacturers," Poneman wrote.

"Unfortunately, expanding production has coincided with short-term softening demand, a product of the banking crisis in Europe and its wider economic effects. The combination has had a dramatic effect on the price of solar cells, which has plummeted 42 percent in the past nine months. This has taken a serious toll on solar manufacturers everywhere, including the U.S," he continued.

On Thursday, White House spokesman Jay Carney noted that the U.S. is on track to double its renewable energy production in 2012, but it will require commitment in the U.S. to grow.

"We have a choice to make as a nation, because we will be buying renewable energy products, you know, whether it's wind, biofuel, solar, whether alternative -- rather, you know, advanced battery technology, we're going to be buying that stuff. Do we want to buy it with a stamp on it that says 'Made in America' or are we going to buy it from the Chinese or from other countries?" Carney asked.

"We have to be aggressive in competing in the global economy. And, you know, high-tech clean-energy industries are going to be key to winning this century economically."

But Republicans balk at claims that the Obama administration can decide which companies are winners or losers, and questioned a plan to approve $10 billion more in loans before the stimulus program expires.

"Solar panels have been subsidized by the federal government. States' governments are also subsidizing or giving taxpayers write-off on their tax return. And yet, these solar panels cannot make it in the competitive world without all these subsidies. And even with them, China is flooding the market with this cheap labor and the solar panels just don't make sense," House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns R-Fla., told Fox News.

"So I think the administration is on this fervent religion of green jobs and clinging to the idea that solar panel is the answer and it is not the answer," he said.

Another winner of stimulus who ultimately lost is Mountain Plaza Inc. Despite declaring bankruptcy in 2003, the company received $424,000 from the Tennessee Department of Transportation as part of a grant aimed at installing "truck stop electrification" systems that allow idling truckers to plug-in during extended stops and turn off their exhaust-belching, environment polluting diesel engines.

Mountain Plaza had filed for bankruptcy protection again in June 2010. TDOT, which received a $2 million stimulus grant from the Environmental Protection Agency for the project, said it didn't learn about the bankruptcy until October, but it is closely monitoring the project.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


18 September, 2011

I told you so

"I told you so" is generally regarded as a mean thing to say but I am human and can't resist.

For years I have had in the sidebar of this blog the statement: "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"

And the header to this blog also asserts effectively zero temperature change.

It now appears that I have very eminent support for that viewpoint. In his letter of resignation from the American Physical Society, Nobel-winning physicist Prof. Ivar Giaever said virtually the same. I quote: "The claim (how can you measure the average temperature of the whole earth for a whole year?) is that the temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degree Kelvin in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me is that the temperature has been amazingly stable"

Note that Giaever endorsed Obama for President so he is no Right-wing fanatic

Another skeptical eye on AGW "science"

I continue to note that while real scientists love learning and improving ideas, that Al Gore and his friends refuse to discuss the major issues on Global Warming. And if anyone disagrees with him, he calls them names. How common.

Here are I think must three that would make a real scientist slow down in Global Warming belief:

1. CO2 is only a bit over 0.03% of the atmosphere, too little to block anything much less stopping heat escaping. Put a strainer with big holes under a faucet. How much water does it stop? Answer: none. Poke huge holes in a dam. Does it still stop water? Of course not least in the area of the holes.

2. In history some times Heat rose before CO2 rose. Saying that CO2 causes global warming is some times therefore like saying a 6 year old girl is the mother of a 40 year old woman. Nope the mother would have to come first ... always. CO2 must always rise before heat rise -always - in order to claim that CO2 causes heat rise. Gore knows this one by the way and ignores it. Of course.

3. The concept of heat being trapped around the earth is a theory. Recent measurements by our satellites by both Richard Lindzen of MIT and also NASA say they are finding that most heat simply escapes and is not trapped. That makes not only global warming odd but also the entire greenhouse theory. This link comes from Yahoo which is usually pro-Democratic:

And if this was really about science, someone would be looking deeply into those three items and even more. And those people who we know lied and cheated would have lost their jobs. I am seeing neither, and so I say, I see no real science here.

Update by JR: Amusingly, Yahoo has pulled the story mentioned in the link but it is still available here. The reference is to Roy Spencer's work reported in Remote Sensing. The Warmists of course attacked Spencer over it -- on very specious grounds but Spencer put up a rather amused reply to that. In his latest post he is doing a bit of fault-finding himself. Pielke senior has also fisked the rubbishy attacks on Spencer from Warmists

The Jim Hansen Tragedy

by Steven Goddard

Nature conspired against him. He started thinking about CO2 around the time of the PDO shift in 1977, coincident with a long period of exceptionally high solar activity, and other warming cycles.

He expected to see warming and he did. He testified before Congress in 1988, at the start of the most positive period in ENSO history.

The coincidence thoroughly confused him, and led him to finish his largely wasted career hanging out with drugged out hippies and occasional stints in jail.

He could make amends by admitting that he was wrong, but I’m not holding my breath.

His temperature forecasts from 1988 show conclusively that he was wrong. Temperatures are below his zero emissions scenario C. See his Fig. 3.


Fifty IPCC Experts Expose Washington Post Global Warming Lies

John O'Sullivan:

Mainstream media mouthpiece left shamefaced as fifty international climate experts break ranks to defy global warming cult and denounce junk science

Washington Post op-ed writer Richard Cohen was last week caught lying while bad mouthing Texas governor, Rick Perry's presidential candidacy. Cohen, who would have his readers believe humans are dangerously warming the planet, jumped the shark to attack skeptic Perry over his stance on the man-made global warming issue (AGW). Cohen spouted the kooky claim that skeptic scientists “could hold their annual meeting in a phone booth, if there are any left.“

Sadly for Cohen the facts below prove he is just another mendacious mainstream propagandist of climate alarmism.

For instance, the shocking truth is that all 5 official data sets show global cooling since 2002 while a third of all stations sustain a long term cooling trend for their entire history.

Indeed, so infuriated over the blatant lies is Nobel Prize winning physicist, Dr. Ivar Giaever, that last week he resigned in disgust from the American Physics Society for their part in sustaining the now utterly debunked AGW propaganda.

The physics professor who scooped the Nobel Science Prize in 1973 sagely notes, "It is amazing how stable temperature has been over the last 150 years."

Professor Giaever and the rank and file of scientists are increasingly aware that the ‘consensus’ Cohen and his collaborators alludes to is little more than 77 of 10,000 scientists polled.

To further llustrate just how off base Cohen’s spin really is just observe the increasing number of experts who actually worked for the IPCC as contributors / editors / reviewers now turning against global warming junk science.

Below, for Cohen and those other mainstream media deniers of climate realism, is a list of just 50 former IPCC experts whose voices your prejudiced ears refuse to hear

More HERE (See the original for the list of scientists)

Another Green/Left attack on the proposed Pebble mine

Greenies loathe mines and miners from somewhere deep in their bones. It scratches the flesh of mother Gaia or something else equally irrational

In a high-stakes battle that pits gold and copper against fish, members of Congress are scrapping over a plan to build one of the world’s largest open pit mines in southwest Alaska.

Fearing that toxic wastes from the mine could hurt the wild salmon population in her home state, Washington Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell intends to enter the fray today. She plans to ask the head of the Environmental Protection Agency to consider using the Clean Water Act — if necessary — to stop the proposed Pebble Mine project in the headwaters of Bristol Bay.

Cantwell, a second-term senator and a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, will become the first senator to issue such a call. She’ll face opposition from Alaska Republican Rep. Don Young, who already has introduced a bill that would strip the EPA of its authority to halt the project.

The Pebble Mine, which is not even proposed yet, will require permits from at least 67 state and federal agencies according to the site owners, yet Sen. Cantwell wants the project spiked before any environmental review is even done.

While unemployment is still above 9% nationally, it’s much higher in Alaska. In 2010 the unemployment rate among Alaska Native Americans was 21.3%, and it has probably not got any better since. Sen. Cantwell isn’t worried about creating jobs for unemployed Alaskans in the natural resource extraction industries; she’s worried about thousands of Washingtonians who make their living extracting another of Alaska’s resources, salmon. The breeding grounds for salmon that Washington fishermen catch there and in Washington are in Bristol Bay, Alaska, over 100 miles from the Pebble Mine site.

Sen. Cantwell and her environmentalist buddies, rather than using their standard practice of using the environmental review process to try and delay a new mining project, in this case want to preempt the environmental process they so love.

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) has commented on the Pebble/Cantwell situation:

“Attempts to prejudge development in the Bristol Bay area before a permit application has even been submitted would make a mockery out of the federal environmental review process. A preemptive veto makes no more sense than a preemptive approval.”

The only logical conclusion that can be drawn is that Sen. Cantwell and her buddies know that the science and facts won’t be on their side, so they’re attempting a time-honored Democratic tradition of moving the goalposts.


Trying to snooker Smucker’s

It’s a common tactic among groups promoting climate alarmism and anti-hydrocarbon policies. As evidence mounts that manmade catastrophic climate change is not imminent, extreme weather events cannot be linked to human activities, and developing nations will not reduce their use of fossil fuels, radical groups have increasingly targeted companies with campaigns based on supposed ethical principles.

A recent target is the J. M. Smucker Company, maker of jams, syrups, and Dunkin’ Donuts, Folgers, Kava and Millstone coffees. Calvert Investment Management and Trillium Asset Management bought enough shares to entitle them to introduce agenda-driving resolutions at shareholder meetings.

The activists’ August 2011 resolution demanded that Smucker explain how climate change will affect temperature and rainfall patterns, the supply and price of coffee, and thus investors. Seventy percent of Smucker voters rejected the resolution, but the activists parlayed the vote into several press releases designed to harass and eventually intimidate the company into complying with their climate change mantra, as well as “sustainability,” “fair trade” and “certification” demands.

Each demand advances similar goals: coerce companies to pressure politicians to adopt the activists’ agenda; silence corporate support for opposing viewpoints; and increase the activists’ revenue stream, by “persuading” the company to pay them hefty fees for “official certifications” that corporate practices and purchases adhere to the activists’ politicized standards on various “ethical” matters.

Climate change.

Calvert and Trillium correctly observe that temperature, rainfall and other climate variability affects changes in coffee yields around the world. Ditto for all crops, one might add.

However, for them to assert that climate changes result primarily from human carbon dioxide emissions is a matter of ideological belief, not scientific fact. Climate changes; it always has and always will — on regional and sometimes global scales. Greenhouse gases exert a warming effect; but how much, especially in the context of countless planetary, solar and other forces, is a matter of intense debate.

Calvert and Trillium can certainly find support for their views among IPCC and Climate Research Unit stalwarts. However, other scientists, books and reports present a far less alarmist, far more nature-driven theory of climate change.

The absence of warming since 1998, despite steadily rising CO2 levels, calls into question the entire manmade global warming/climate change/climate disruption hypothesis — especially the assertion that any changes will be catastrophic and can be prevented by slashing the use of carbon fuels that power the vast majority of what people make, ship, eat and do. Climate models begin by assuming that carbon dioxide drives climate change, input rising atmospheric CO2 projections, and (voila) output a warming planet.

Smucker and its coffee growers should certainly prepare for any adverse impacts on coffee production, including heat waves, cold snaps, downpours, droughts, insects and diseases. Traditional breeding and biotechnology can create new strains that better survive these threats, while sound business management practices can help minimize numerous problems. Smucker is already taking steps like these.

Adopting the Calvert-Trillium agenda would undermine efforts to sustain and improve coffee production and the growers’ and company’s flexibility and profitability. The activists’ prescription would reduce energy supplies and increase energy, fertilizer, processing and shipping prices — while also killing jobs, decreasing customers’ living standards, and making them less able to afford quality coffee.

The Calvert-Trillium thesis also contradicts the recent Securities and Exchange Commission “interpretive guidance,” which says companies should disclose not only potential risks and physical impacts from climate change, but also risks and impacts on business from legislation, regulation and international accords enacted to restrict fossil fuel use, in a quest to control Earth’s ever-changing climate.

* Physical impacts of climate change: Even if carbon dioxide has a greater effect on climate than many scientists think, coffee growers and regions would actually benefit from higher atmospheric CO2 levels. More CO2 stimulates plant growth and increases survival rates under drought and other adverse conditions. Moreover, many asserted manmade climate risks are wildly speculative, generated by computers or based on questionable to fraudulent research (as IPCC and Climategate documents have revealed).

* Impacts of legislation, regulation and international accords: Rules that restrict hydrocarbon use reduce energy reliability and affordability, which hurts growers, processors, sellers and consumers alike.

* Indirect impacts on business trends: Many activist claims about damage to businesses are based on the same speculative risks noted above. Well managed companies will carefully separate fact from fiction.

Volume certified sustainable.

“Sustainability” is a politicized, malleable and ultimately meaningless concept, developed to promote activist agendas. It assumes manmade climate chaos is real. It claims hydrocarbon resource depletion is imminent, which recent shale gas and conventional discoveries show is hardly the case. It never explains how long resources must last to be “sustainable” (ten years? 50? 100? 1000?) or factors in economic and technological changes that revise depletion calculations upward.

In the case of agriculture, “sustainability” advocates often oppose biotechnology, chemical fertilizers, insecticides and mechanized farming — and favor land and labor-intensive organic and subsistence practices, animal manure and naturally occurring (but often toxic) chemicals. These standards may meet ideological tests, but they don’t necessarily meet scientific, practical or best business practice criteria.

Fair trade.

Ethical, socially responsible companies should always be fair to suppliers, customers, employees and everyone else they deal with. “Willing buyer, willing seller” relationships should be based on honesty, transparency and a mutual desire to sustain long-term, mutually beneficial relationships.

However, “fair trade” is really another politicized, malleable, agenda-driven concept. It often demands higher prices for growers, but neglects other important considerations. It can result in coffee that is overpriced in times of high unemployment and economic hardship, when many consumers are looking for affordable beverages on limited budgets — which can ultimately mean less income for growers.


Both sustainability and fair trade certifications mean companies pay activists to put a political stamp of approval on targeted merchandize. The process may generate activist and news media accolades for participating companies, while failing to address the issues raised here. However, it certainly enriches activist groups, enabling them to launch pressure campaigns against other companies.

Calvert, Trillium and other “corporate ethics” and “climate disaster” campaigners are closely allied with and/or support organizations that oppose: hydroelectric, coal, gas and nuclear power generation in coffee-growing and other poor countries where the vast majority of citizens have little or no access to electricity; insecticide use to control malaria and other deadly diseases; biotechnology and other modern agricultural methods to improve human nutrition and replace crops devastated by insects or plant viruses; and progress in general. They are modern-day Luddites, justifying their actions on false ecological grounds.

But still the campaigners say J. M. Smucker should buy coffee “certified” by activists as being green, sustainable and climate-sensitive. Company shareholders should ask: Just because other companies have been conned or pressured into doing so, should Smucker be snookered into following their lead?

Perhaps Smucker Company could test market a little “fair trade” or “sustainable” coffee. It certainly should promote wise use of chemicals, sound business practices, fairness and honesty with all business partners, careful attention to changing climate and rainfall patterns, responsible stewardship of lands, resources and energy, and access by poor families to electricity and other modern technologies.

That would brand the J. M. Smucker Company as a truly ethical and responsible corporation.


Australia: A shot across the bows for anyone who tries to gain from Gillard's carbon tax legislation

Since the Gillard government will almost certainly be turfed out at the next election (a maximum of two years away now), businesspeople would be wise to sit on their hands until then

COMPENSATION given to households and industry under the government's proposed carbon tax would be removed if the coalition wins the next election and unwinds the legislation, the Opposition says.

Debate will resume on the government's carbon price legislative package this week, with the opposition continuing to maintain it will not support it.

Not only has the opposition vowed to remove the legislation if it wins office, it says it will remove various compensation measures attached to it. "Well, we have to," shadow treasurer Joe Hockey told Sky News on Sunday. "We've committed to removing the carbon tax. I don't think it's hard to introduce legislation to abolish the carbon tax."

Further pressed on whether he thought it might be difficult to unwind the tax once it was legalised, he replied "No, I don't."

The government wants a $23-a-tonne fixed price on carbon to start on July 1, 2012, followed by a market-based emissions trading scheme in 2015 - with the aim of cutting 160 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by 2020.

The carbon price will be accompanied by compensation for households and industry, new statutory authorities and extra funding for clean-energy projects, as well as a tender process to close down some of the dirtiest coal-fired power generators.

Mr Hockey said he did not believe it would be a problem removing compensation given to households and industries.

"We have sent a very clear message to business that if you enter into an agreement with the government, do not assume that we will not come along and try to unwind it," he said.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


17 September, 2011

Pathetic defense of climate models

As the observed rate of rise in the global average temperature continues to be much less than climate models project, there are a growing number of knights in shining armor, riding to the rescue of the damsel in distress (the damsel, of course, being the climate models). The rescue attempt generally employs two strategies, namely that 1) there is a bunch of stuff that has going on that the models couldn’t possibly have known about (so it is unfair to hold this against them), and 2) the climate models aren’t really doing that badly anyway.

The list of things proffered that the models couldn’t have known about that have led to slower-than-expected warming over the past 10-15 years includes declines in solar radiation, declines in stratospheric water vapor, increases in stratospheric aerosols, increases in tropospheric aerosols, the timing of El Nino/La Nina cycles, the timing of multi-decadal ocean circulation oscillations, and probably ultimately, the kitchen sink followed by the commode. What’s interesting is that the white knights never really mention these very same influences when they are acting in the opposite sense—that is, when they are acting to speed up the warming (which many were during the 1990s). But now that warming has considerably slowed, these mechanisms seem to have taken on cosmic significance.

What also seems to be conveniently overlooked in the list are changes that the models couldn’t have known about that are currently acting to enhance the observed warming in recent years—these include the recovery from the effects of Pinatubo and the reduction in summer Arctic sea ice (both of these mechanisms are explained in detail in our World Climate Report posts here and here).

But even while raising these excuses, the models’ champions are claiming success nonetheless. Nowhere better is this epitomized than in a forthcoming paper by Ben Santer and a long list of colleagues. Santer et al. have used a familiar procedure (familiar to us at least since we have oft-presented similar work, see here and here for example) to try to demonstrate that the observed trends over different timescales fall comfortably within the range of model expectations. Setting aside some methodological differences of opinion that we have with the analysis, there are still some interesting results to be found.

For instance, Figure 1 (below) taken from the new Santer et al. paper, shows the average of the observed trend set against the distribution of model trends (by the way, this is not really an apples-to-apples comparison; more on this at a later date) for periods of time from 10 to 32 years. The model average projected trend for the lower atmosphere is about 0.25°C/decade over all time scales (from 1979 through 2010) (green line in Figure 1). The 5%-95% spread of model projections is in yellow. The various averages of the observed trends over the different time scale (from several different observational datasets) are in red and blue and range from about 0.14 to 0.21°C/decade. It is obvious that for the longest trends—which is what people should really care about—that observed temperatures are perilously close to falling beneath the 95% confidence limits of the models (right side of the illustration).

Figure 1. A comparison between modeled and observed trends in the average temperature of the lower atmosphere, for periods ranging from 10 to 32 years (during the period 1979 through 2010). The yellow is the 5-95 percentile range of individual model projections, the green is the model average, the red and blue are the average of the observations, as compiled by RSS and UAH respectively (adapted from Santer et al., 2011)

Santer et al. take comfort in this Figure that the average of the observed trends falls within the spread of individual model projected trends of similar length—and are further comforted when considering the myriad influences listed above.

We, however, interpret it to show that over all time-scales from 10 to 32 years, the observed trends in the lower atmosphere consistently fall beneath the model projected trends. And that as the length of the observed trend increases, the consistency with the climate model projections decreases.

Just how much more evidence do you need that climate models are projecting too much warming? Give us all the excuses that you want, but if the excuses are real, then they are important drivers of the climate and need to be considered when offering up future climate projections (and quite possibly have an important impact in climate sensitivity determinations).

The fact of the matter is, that the climate projections offered up thus far, have been, and continue to be, sizeable overestimates of reality. Consequently, we see no compelling reason why we should bank on scenarios for the future that have been produced from the same set of climate models. At some point, chivalry becomes chicanery.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Paging Al Gore-fraud: NOAA Meteorologist says the Texas drought is NOT due to global warming

The good news, [Dr. Robert Hoerling, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research meteorologist, who served as the lead author of the U.S. Climate Change Science Plan Synthesis and Assessment Report] says, is that this isn't global warming. "This is not the new normal in terms of drought. Texas knows drought. Texas has been toughened on the anvil of droughts that have come and gone. This is not a climate change drought. What we do anticipate from climate change is a situation where temperatures progressively increase."

Flashback to Gore: extreme weather shows need for climate change action: "Former Vice President Al Gore is sounding the alarm about climate change and extreme weather, pointing to the recent floods along the Mississippi River, drought in Texas and wildfires in Arizona."

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Maldives confusion

(Or chicanery)

Today's question: Should we transfer billions of your hard-earned dollars to the Maldives as CO2 reparations, so that they can use the money to finance a huge new airport and underwater golf course in an attempt to increase fossil-fueled tourism that will allegedly kill every person in the Maldives?

The Maldives’ $500 Million “Green” Island and Underwater Golf Course: "This golf course will be placed five minutes from Male International Airport, making it a quick trip for those awaiting connecting flights. The Republic of the Maldives hopes that this will increase tourism revenues, which is the biggest contribution to the country’s economy. With an estimated cost of $500 million, it is due to be completed in 2015.

Flashback: Given that the 2009 Copenhagen climate hoax conference failed, trace amounts of CO2 will allegedly kill every single person in the Maldives:

"A journalist asks Nasheed in the film: If the conference doesn’t achieve its goals and sea levels rise, what options are there for the Maldives?

Nasheed is leaning on his elbow, his face in his palm. He looks the journalist square in the eye and says: “None. We will all die.”

They are planning for Drowning By Building their Huge New Airport Next To The Ocean

They are obviously really worried about global warming and sea level rise and any other way to scam money out of stupid bankrupt western governments.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Two good sound-bites from Rush Limbaugh

Story #3: Prize-Winning Physicist Resigns Over Global Warming

RUSH: Ivar Giaever from the American Physical Society has reisgned. Ivar Giaever is a Nobel Prize-winning physicist. He got his Nobel Prize in 1973 for work that he did on tunneling of electrons in superconducting states. He went on from the General Electric R&D center where he did his Nobel Prize-winning work to become a professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic. First of all I was at the R&D center back in '73 when he got his award, and he was a straight-up guy, okay. He's not an activist, he was not a political guy. He's not political at all. That's why what he's done is huge.

Dr. Ivar Giaever has resigned his whole involvement over global warming, the anthropomorphic manmade global warming. He said it's not there. The warming that's happened is minimal, and there's increased happiness and all this. He hadn't used the words "hoax" or "scam" but he wants no part of it. Just quoting one sentence from his resignation e-mail to the American Physical Society. "In the APS it's okay to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multiuniverse behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible?"

What's important to remember about this is that the pro-global warming crowd, they're out there saying, "98% of scientists agree, and these deniers and so forth, they're a bunch of da-da-da..." It's where near a 98% consensus. (We've been through the whole notion of consensus anyway.) But here's a Nobel Prize-winning physicist who has rejected all of it, not being paid to do so, integrity intact, not a kook. Just every day or every week new things happen to confirm what a fraud and hoax this whole manmade global warming effort has been.

Story #5: Enviro-Wackos Worry That Gore's Hurting Movement

RUSH: You remember our man in Washington, Marc Morano. He's now global warming watchdog, and he's got a website called Climate Depot, and he just sent me an e-mail: "Greens give Gore two thumbs down -- Gore's climate reality show faces strongly negative reviews from his fellow global warming activists." Morano's gone out and found a UK Guardian story, and other scientists around the world are dissociating themselves from Algore and his latest PowerPoint demonstration, and what Morano is doing is good because the rest of the Drive-Bys are not covering it, other than the UK Guardian -- and that was a column. That was not a news story. That was a column from a global warming aficionado who is all worried that Gore is becoming a hindrance to the whole movement, that he's so polarizing, he's become a joke.

He's not the same Algore that won the Oscar. He's not the same Algore from the movie. He's hurting the movement. (interruption) Who? Algore depressed they have Low T? We haven't heard anything about that. All we've heard about -- all we've heard about -- is Obama. All we've heard about is the New York Times (this is reported by Gawker) investigating whether or not Obama is clinically depressed. Now, Marc Morano, by the way, got the e-mail of the Nobel Prize guy quitting the global warming moving. That was his scoop. A lot of other agencies have it now, like Fox News has picked that up. That is out there, but it was Morano who got the e-mail on it. And Morano has worked with James Inhofe, senator from Oklahoma.


Coldest British summer in 20 years wipes out two-thirds of the common blue butterfly

Hey! Where did that global warming get to??

Butterfly numbers have fallen after the coldest summer in two decades, a survey shows. In particular, nearly two thirds of the common blue species were wiped out.

Numbers of all butterflies were down 11 per cent on last year as winds and heavy rain devastated their reproductive patterns.

The figures come from more than 34,000 people who joined the Big Butterfly Count, organised by the Butterfly Conservation charity. A spokesman described the results as ‘very worrying’. Butterflies play a key role in pollination. But they are unable to fly, feed, find mates or lay eggs in cold, rainy weather. Almost half of the 59 British species are now under threat.

Experts are concerned about the future of the brightly-coloured species, which was once a regular sight in Britain’s gardens and parks.

The Big Butterfly Count was launched last year by Sir David Attenborough who is president of the charity Butterfly Conservation and has spoken of the ‘catastrophic drop’ in numbers.

‘It used to be that if you had a buddleia in your garden, you couldn’t get to the flowers because of the sheer number of butterflies,' he said. ‘I live in Richmond near the park and river and Kew Gardens but the variety and number I get in my garden has gone down. ‘Walking in the countryside in my youth there were so many butterflies. But I don’t know anywhere where I could match that today.’


Green bullies on the warpath

Comment from Australia

DEEPLY questionable tactics by environmental activists are taking away choices for consumers and business. The coupled collapse of trade barriers in developed countries and the globalisation of supply chains, creating export opportunities for developing countries, has understandably driven consumer awareness of the impact their purchasing has had on the world's poor during the past 20 years.

In response, there has been a push by global activist groups for consumers to voluntarily demand, and business to adopt, "ethical" regulations reflecting the environmental, social and economic impact of producing a product. Consumers can then identify these products through a recognisable logo certifying that from the extraction or production of the basic commodity ingredients through to their final retail sale, they have met non-governmental organisation-defined "ethical" standards.

The first mainstream scheme was the 1980s incarnation of Dutch group Max Havelaar's Fairtrade. The scheme targeted coffee and encouraged consumers to pay voluntarily a few extra cents a cup, on the understanding the mark-up would be passed through to growers in higher commodity prices.

At the time growers faced low prices because of a global oversupply from developing world producers allowed to grow the sought-after commodity following the collapse of international regulation that locked them out.

The merits and efficacy of the scheme continue to be debated. But it wasn't long before Fairtrade's voluntary appeasement of the conscience of coffee aficionados became a political tool.

In 2005 Oxfam International's Mugged: Poverty in Your Coffee Cup report advocated that Fairtrade certification for coffee should become mandatory. It didn't succeed and the market has corrected itself as farm consolidation and increased consumer demand have delivered higher coffee prices.

Oxfam's effort to create NGO-endorsed regulation is being replicated with the Forest Stewardship Council and the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil, using far more subversive tactics.

Allegations of collusion by green activist groups to push businesses into certification schemes have traditionally been a speculative, connect-the-dots exercise. But the recently published book Good Cop/Bad Cop: Environmental NGOs and their Strategies toward Business shows green groups are gloating about their collusive efforts.

The head of research for Greenpeace, Kert Davies, wrote in his chapter about his employer that "Greenpeace is willing to play the role of good cop or bad cop in partnership with organisations". In particular, Davies argues that Greenpeace's "reputation for radical actions positions it particularly well to play the bad cop that can drive organisations to partner with [environmental] groups that seem more middle-of-the-road".

It certainly has been the experience of Australian and US businesses targeted over the products they stock. A report, Empires of Collusion, by a US-based consumer group, last year found bad cop NGOs, including Greenpeace, targeted office-stationery retailers through the media and political action about the paper they stocked for sale and its origins. The bad cops argued that stopping criticism required stocking only Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper products. Faced with sustained attacks, targeted businesses complied by then partnering with middle-of-the-road good cops such as WWF, which signed businesses up to stock only products approved by the certification schemes they founded and effectively own. In the process WWF also regularly licenses its logo's use on products and collects royalties for the honour.

Once a business has been pushed into these schemes, the obligations on it progressively rise, and with them so do costs, with no real avenue to leave.

The strategy works. Another chapter in Good Cop/Bad Cop by one of WWF's senior program managers outlines how in the "uncommon case where [certification] commitments have not been met [WWF has] expelled a company from its programs and publicly shared its concerns".

And the role played by the good cops is no less insidious. According to WWF analysis, it is actively targeting the full supply chain, having identified that "100 companies control 25 per cent of the trade of all commodities . . . affecting around 50 per cent of all production" and it is much easier to target them than to change the habits of six billion consumers. WWF's objective is to have "75 per cent of global purchases of WWF priority commodities sourced from WWF priority places".

And that won't occur voluntarily; government regulation is the next step.

Recent legislative experiences in Australia show progress is already being made. There are two bills before the federal parliament that legally require products be certified to avoid discrimination if imported into Australia.

A bill supported by South Australian independent senator Nick Xenophon, the Greens and, oddly, the opposition, sought to require the commonly used oil from the fruit of the palm tree to be labelled separately from vegetable oils. Before its passage through the Senate, the bill required that ingredients certified by the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil be labelled differently, to shame manufacturers from using the non-certified variant. At least the bill still allows business and consumers choice.

By comparison, the government-sponsored Illegal Logging Prohibition Bill compels the certification of the origin of imported wood into Australia, effectively requiring compliance with Forest Stewardship Council standards.

These examples highlight a worrying trend.

Activist NGOs are targeting the global supply chain and forcing businesses to adopt standards that increase prices to avoid public criticism, taking away both business and consumer choice.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


16 September, 2011

Glacier fraud from "National Geographic" magazine

"When science is not on your side, photo fakery will do." - Nat. Geo's new motto?

The sort of persuasive pretty picture we have come to expect from NG below:


Some notes:

1). We read here that the observed retreat has been going on for 500 years! Since 1500 AD - when the highest technology was black gunpowder firearms: "The glacier has also receded 1.75 miles (2.82 km) since 1958, when Mendenhall Lake was created, and over 2.5 miles (4.0 km) since 1500."

2). Note that the 1894 photo was taken in winter (snow on cliffs) & the 2008 one in summer (lake not frozen)

1937 photo

They conveniently covered up the fact that much of the visible glacier was gone by 1937 (lake not frozen in photo), when the demon CO2 levels were lower.

Current winter photo

The color photo is actually what the glacier really looks like recently - IN WINTER with the lake frozen over - which looks more frozen that the 1894 winter photo....

August 2003 photo

Finally a better 2003 photo showing the enormous mass of the glacier face

Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow sends note to Al Gore: You've jumped the shark

Dear Al,

Is that it? Is that all you've got?

You made the media rounds announcing 24 hours of “climate realism” (You even expropriated the term from those of us who challenge man-made global warming, and who have long preferred to be called “climate realists” rather than “skeptics” or some of the other less-flattering names you've been calling us).

We didn't expect you could persuade us, but we're CFACT, open minds are our business, so naturally we tuned in.

What we found exceeded our worst expectations. Speaker after speaker showed slide after slide of tragedy. Flooded houses, parched crops, starving kids. Shameless.

Don't you know that even if you swallow the whole IPCC report (hook, line and sinker), the tiny amount of warming we may have experienced in the last century cannot account for present weather events?

Could any open-minded observer have concluded that those precious children would have been better fed had mankind never invented fire, driven cars, worked in factories, or generated electricity?

Not only is human progress not responsible for severe weather, it is the best chance we have to meet these children's nutritional needs in the future. Developed societies, with plentiful, affordable energy, are able to aid the flooded homeowner, share their abundance with the victims of drought and nurture the needy child.

Want to create a bright future for the children in your slides? Eradicate energy poverty. Create a developing world of free markets, fair elections and the rule of law. Your sorry prescription Al, is a trap for these kids. We mean to free them.

We tuned into your broadcast, Al, looking for substance. Something to consider and debate. What we saw instead was nothing but propaganda.

Al, you have well and truly jumped the shark. It's time your show was canceled.


Gore’s 24 Hours of Fantasy

Gore is completely wrong when he tells us that the science of climate change is settled. If his “Climate Reality Project” actually did promote climate realism, he would tell us that the science is in a period of negative discovery — the more we learn, the more we realize we do not understand about this, arguably the most complex science ever tackled. Rather than “remove the doubt,” as Gore says, we need to recognize the doubt.

Many of the ideas expressed by climate campaigners such as Gore and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon are the consequence of a belief in what Canadian professors Chris Essex (University of Western Ontario) and Ross McKitrick (University of Guelph) call the “Doctrine of Certainty,” “a collection of now familiar assertions about climate that are to be accepted without question” (Taken by Storm, 2007).

Essex and McKitrick write: "But the Doctrine is not true. Each assertion is either manifestly false or the claim to know is false. Climate is one of the most challenging open problems in modern science. Some knowledgeable scientists believe that the climate problem can never be solved."

Yet, as long ago as 1989, Gore insisted there was “no dispute worthy of recognition” about the dangers of man-made greenhouse gas-driven climate change. Since then his certainty has solidified into dogma.

But that dogma is being contested by more and more reputable scientists who are finally speaking out in an organized fashion. For example, on August 29, a blockbuster science document was published that totally refutes Gore and Ban — the Interim Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC). Coauthored by a team of scientists recruited and led by climate experts Dr. Craig Idso, Professor Robert Carter, and Professor Fred Singer, the NIPCC shows that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has ignored or misinterpreted much of the research that challenges the need for carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas controls. In other words, the science being relied upon by governments worldwide to create multi-billion dollar climate policies is almost certainly wrong.

Consider extreme weather, the main topic of 24 Hours of Reality. Gore promotes the concept that greenhouse gas-induced global warming is leading to increasingly severe weather. But this defies logic. If the world warms due to increasing greenhouse gas emissions, temperatures at high latitudes are forecast to rise most, reducing the difference between arctic and tropical temperatures. Since this differential drives weather, we should see weaker midlatitude cyclones in a warmer world, and so less extremes in weather, not more.

It is also a mistake to blame human activities for current weather extremes. The NIPCC concluded that “the data reveal there have not been any significant warming-induced increases in extreme weather events.” The report’s authors showed that this was the case whether the phenomenon being studied was precipitation, floods, drought, storms, hurricanes, fire, or other weather-related events.

For example, the NIPCC includes a study published this year in Geophysical Research Letters about the causes of the 2010 Russian heat wave. Researchers deduced that it “was due to internal atmospheric dynamical processes” and “it is unlikely that the warming attributable to increasing greenhouse gas concentrations contributed significantly to the magnitude of the heat wave.”

We will probably find the same when most 2011 weather events are analyzed.

Besides increasing extreme weather that people always notice, it is also important to take note of decreasing trends. For example, we are now near a 30 year low in worldwide “accumulated cyclone energy” (hurricanes in the North Atlantic), something that was not supposed to be happening if the forecasts of climate models were correct. This graph shows the trend in worldwide accumulated cyclone energy.

Climate change and extreme weather have always happened and always will no matter what we do. Therefore, instead of futilely trying to stop them from occurring, we need to harden our societies to these inevitable events by burying electrical cables underground, reinforcing buildings and other infrastructure, and ensuring reliable energy sources so that we have the power to heat and cool our dwellings as needed.

Gore tells us that his program will “reveal the deniers.” If by “deniers” he means those of us who do not support his belief in an impending human-caused climate catastrophe, then we certainly hope he does reveal us. Gore and Ban alone have had many times the mainstream media coverage of all the skeptics combined. It is time to listen to reputable experts who understand that predicting, let alone controlling, climate decades from now will remain science fiction for the foreseeable future.

That may not be a comforting thought to climate crusaders, but that, Mr. Gore, is the true “climate reality.”


Warmist asks: Is Al Gore now a help or hindrance to the global warming cause?

Al Gore's Climate Reality Project is broadcasting its message to 24 time zones across 24 hours

Death by Powerpoint. I have suffered this torture too many times over the years. We all probably have. So I was a little nervous this morning logging into Climate Reality – Al Gore's 24-hour global-warming warning – as to what I might discover. And, I have to say, my heart immediately sank.

A no-doubt sincere presenter from the Solomon Islands was showing slide after slide of extreme weather events around the world that have occurred over the past year and linking everyone, it seemed, to the rise in anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. As anyone who follows the climate debate closely knows, that is a very contentious peg on which to hang your hat. That kind of talk traditionally requires lots of caveats and careful explaining. Done with abandon and raw emotion – as this presenter seemed to be doing – and you are quickly labelled in some quarters as a climate "alarmist".

And, for me, this is one of the key challenges the Climate Reality project faces. Who exactly is it trying to convince with its urgent, sometimes breathless campaign? Is it preaching to the converted? If so, it is doing a good job.

Or is it trying to win over climate sceptics? I suspect not. I get the sense from Climate Reality's tone and focus that it believes sceptics are a lost cause who are beyond redemption or reason.

That leaves the middle ground – the unconverted. Al Gore did a tremendous job connecting with this constituency in his hugely successful, Oscar-winning An Inconvenient Truth in 2006. No single person has ever done as much as Gore to raise global comprehension of both the causes and dangers of climate change.

But that was a long time ago now. The politics of climate change is much more polarised and fraught now than back then – even if the science is, it would seem, hardening – and, for right or wrong, Al Gore is a hugely polarising figure, particularly in his homeland. Whatever he does or says in this arena – no matter how cogent or sensible - will attract scorn and derision from those that just can't see past the man. And that is a huge problem for those who still want to see the world urgently address, as Gore says, the reality of climate change.

However, I still think there is an important, if difficult, question to be asked: despite all his efforts over the past three decades to raise awareness on this issue, is Gore now a help or a hindrance to the cause he cares so passionately about?


Warmist blogger openly misanthropic - world needs to rid itself of human virus‏

"Albedo increases when an area once covered by reflective snow or ice -- which bounces 80 percent of the Sun's radiative force back into space -- is replaced by deep blue sea, which absorbs the heat instead."

It goes from being an almost perfect reflector to being an almost perfect absorber.

Many have a hard time believing all this because they have not noticed it is hotter at the spot on the Earth where they live and work. And that might be. We are talking about global averages; adding up the highs and lows to determine whether the entire Earth's "fever" is steadily climbing or not.

And while it is getting hotter overall, in some places it is more than others. Where is it getting hotter faster? Way up there at the top of the world. "Temperatures in the Arctic region have risen more than twice as fast as the global average over the last half century." That is why the ice is melting so fast and furious.

It "has also become significantly thinner in recent decades, though it is not possible to measure the shrinkage in thickness as precisely as for surface area."

The Arctic sea ice extent "is dropping at about 11 percent per decade, which means the "summer ice cover could disappear entirely by 2030, leaving nothing but heat-trapping 'blue ocean.'"

Which is bad news. The world is dying. Or changing. Transforming. But the Earth will be fine as soon as she rids herself of this human virus. A little heat should take care of that, in a century or two. If we are foolish enough to let her.


Australian Labor Party plants poison pills in carbon tax legislation

Henry Ergas

IT was Mark Dreyfus QC, Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change, who let the cat out of the bag.

Once the carbon change legislation is in place, he said, repeal would amount to an acquisition of property by the commonwealth, as holders of emissions permits would be deprived of a valuable asset. As a result, the commonwealth would be liable, under s.51(xxxi) of the Australian Constitution, to pay compensation, potentially in the billions of dollars. A future government would therefore find repeal prohibitively costly.

That consequence is anything but unintended. The clean energy legislation, released this week, specifically provides that "a carbon unit (its generic term for a right to emit) is personal property".

This, the government says, is needed to give certainty to long-term trades. But that claim makes little sense, for even without such protections there are flourishing markets for fishing quotas and other tradeable entitlements.

And internationally, governments have generally ensured pollution permits are not treated as conventional property rights, precisely so as to be able to revise environmental controls as circumstances change. Rather, this provision serves one purpose only: to guarantee any attempt at repeal triggers constitutional requirements to pay compensation, shackling future governments.

Nor is it the only poison pill built into the legislation. Also crucial is what happens if a new government rejects the emissions reductions recommendations made by the carbon regulator, the Climate Change Authority.

In that event, unless the government can secure a majority for an alternative target, permitted emissions are automatically cut by up to 10 per cent in a single year, crippling economic activity.

A Coalition government, or even a Labor government less wedded to the Greens, would therefore find itself trapped.

To describe such poison pills as unusual would be an understatement. Provisions that merely hinder future parliaments have long been viewed as abhorrent, as they undermine the democratic process. But they are especially harmful where uncertainties abound, as is surely the case for climate change. With the Kyoto protocol dead, and complete uncertainty as to any successor, a government focused on the public interest would seek flexibility, not a straitjacket.

That is all the more so as the costs of that straitjacket could be so great. Global warming is a global problem. Unless major emitters engage comprehensive abatement efforts, action by Australia would not only be futile but also extraordinarily expensive.

After all, unless it lowers the risk of global warming, the only benefit of a carbon tax is that it raises government revenues. But like all taxes, it distorts economic behaviour, reducing national income. Its economic cost can therefore be measured by how much income loss it causes per dollar of revenue raised. Going by Treasury's modelling, that ratio is 2: for each $1 of government revenue the carbon tax secures, incomes decline by about $2. By comparison, the Henry review estimated that for each dollar of revenue raised, mining royalties cause an income loss of about 50c.

A unilateral carbon tax is therefore four times more inefficient than the royalties the Henry review excoriated as the most distorting tax on our books.

And it may be even worse than that. Treasury's estimates assume international agreement on emissions reduction is reached relatively soon. Were agreement not reached, the cost could be two to three times greater.

That is because unilateral action would undermine our international competitiveness. But it is also because Treasury expects massive purchases of abatement from overseas. By 2018, it says, those purchases will account for 60 per cent of Australia's total abatement, and they remain above 50 per cent right through to 2045.

So if we are creating a "clean, green future", as the Prime Minister asserts, it is not in Australia. Where then do all those low-cost emissions reductions come from? According to Treasury, well over half will come from the former Soviet Union and from "Other Asia". But many of these countries lack any ability to monitor carbon abatement, with corruption so pervasive they are at the top of Transparency International's list of offenders. To assume they will provide a credible source of abatement is wildly optimistic; to think they will do so absent a comprehensive international framework is fanciful.

Abatement costs could therefore prove far higher than Treasury's numbers suggest. But a precise estimate would require access to Treasury's models. And here Treasury's performance has been disappointing. Appearing before the Senate Select Committee on Scrutiny of New Taxes, Treasury said its models were "publicly available" and that anyone willing to pay for those models could obtain them.

That evidence was misleading. For Treasury relied on a model developed by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics. And ABARE has now confirmed it will not make available the model Treasury used.

Moreover, Treasury blended the ABARE model with other models and data sets. Given that, only Treasury can provide users with the capacity to test its modelling: and the government clearly does not intend it to do so.

The Regulation Impact Statement released with the draft legislation does nothing to fill the gap that leaves. Indeed, it does not even meet the government's own guidelines for such RISs: it is strikingly superficial, given what is at stake; it is vague and qualitative; and it completely ignores the risks created by locking in future governments. That it was approved by the Department of Finance merely highlights how flawed the RIS process now is. Decisions about this legislation will therefore be based on assertions, not evidence tested in the light of day. And that is a disgrace. Not only because it makes a mockery of the government's claims about transparency. But also because the consequences of those decisions could be so great. And the poison pills built into the legislation would ensure those consequences were felt for decades to come.

Dreyfus is to be commended for stating that frankly. But whatever one may think of the carbon tax, those poison pills are public policy at its worst. If parliament had any decency, it would throw them out. That it won't says it all.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


15 September, 2011

Gore spokesperson ducks debate at last minute

A message from Steve Goreham, Executive Director, Climate Science Coalition of America ( The fact that Gore and his aides dodge debate like the plague speaks for itself. They know that their claims will not withstand critical scutiny and that any factual debate will be a disaster for them. Message below -- JR

I had a climate change discussion set up tonight at 10 PM EST on Jim Bohannon radio with Maggie Fox, President of Al Gore’s “Climate Reality” initiative. I was looking forward to great fun in countering Ms. Fox’s alarmist assertions.

Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, Ms. Fox just called and cancelled with Bohannon’s producer. She wanted a “free shot” and did not want any debate on the issue, and therefore withdrew.

Al Gore's "Climate Reality" vs. Reality

Al Gore is launching a day-long live broadcast called 24 Hours of Reality to promote his global-warming message of manmade climate crisis. It begins Wednesday at 7 p.m. Central Time. His non-profit group, The Climate Reality Project (TCRP), is sponsoring the event. The same hour-long presentation will be repeated 24 times by different hosts in each time zone around the globe.

Each presentation will feature local footage from its respective time zone and will be delivered in one of 13 languages. Participants in each video are touted by TCRP as "more than 3,000 activitists of The Climate Project who have been personally trained by Vice President Gore to deliver his slide show around the world."

Gore took time from personally training those 3,000-plus activists for an interview with the Washington Post about the upcoming broadcast. In it he claims climate scientists are in agreement that human-caused global warming is to blame "whenever a natural disaster happens." But he only cites two scientists without actually quoting either. They are James Hansen of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, two of the scientists implicated in the Climategate scandal of late 2009.

Yet in making the claim of consensus on the issue, Gore ignores the growing number of scientists who are consistently and publically refuting his assertions of eco-catastrophe. A report compiled by the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and presented to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun last December quotes more than 1,000 scientists refuting the idea of anthropogenic (human–caused) global warming (AGW) and specifically contesting what they call Gore's scientifically unsound allegations. "Al Gore has taken a role corresponding to that of St. Paul in proselytizing the new faith," said atmospheric physicist Dr. John Reid. "The quasi-religious nature of AGW is evidenced by the rancor which is generated when people like me express skepticism about the theory."

"The whole idea of anthropogenic global warming is completely unfounded," said astrophysicist Hilton Ratcliffe, a fellow of the British Institute of Physics. "There appears to have been money gained by ... Al Gore ... as a consequence of this deception, so it's fraud."

"Gore prompted me to start delving into the science again," said meteorologist Hajo Smit, who is a former member of the Dutch UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change committee. "I quickly found myself solidly in the skeptic camp."

Another award-winning meteorologist, J.R. Kirtek, ridiculed Gore's 2006 film An Inconvenient Truth. "If the definition for a documentary is 'presenting facts objectively without editorializing or inserting fictional matter, as in a book or film,' then I am confident that Al Gore's movie was not a documentary," he said. Indeed, in 2007 the High Court in London identified nine errors in the film, and Ratcliffe said he found 35 fundamental errors "without trying too hard."

But Gore assures us 24 Hours of Reality "will focus the world's attention on the full truth, scope, scale and impact of the climate crisis." His guns are clearly aimed at the oil and coal industries. TCRP blames them for trying "to sow denial and confusion about the science of climate change, ignore its impacts and create apathy among our leaders."

"Fossil fuel companies and their allies will go to great lengths to deny the fact that climate change is happening now," said Maggie L. Fox, TCRP president and CEO. However, none of the 1,000 scientists quoted in the Senate report are affiliated with so-called fossil-fuel interests, nor is the British High Court. Gore apparently chooses to ignore these inconvenient climate-science authorities.

In fact, when the Washington Post asked Gore if he believes scientists "need to get more active in the debate, to stop being so reticent," the former Vice President made this remarkable reply: "That's solely within their discretion." This harbinger of climate woe, who is trying to convince the world the issue is settled and all scientists are in agreement, excused those scientists from speaking out, even though they supposedly have irrefutable proof that AGW means Earth is headed for certain destruction. He said many of them "are constitutionally uncomfortable with such a role" or "it's not what they trained themselves and educated themselves to do." He went on to say, "But it can't just be up to scientists. The rest of us have to pitch in and given (sic) them a hand."

In other words, the science is settled, take Gore's word for it, don't pester any scientists since they might be uncomfortable talking about the topic, and take action now!


Distinguished physicist William Happer: CO2 is a nonproblem

A letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal from distinguished Professor of Physics at Princeton University William Happer is published today in which he states, "Even if we could hold CO2 levels fixed, the climate would continue to change because of other influences. In a time of serious world problems, wasteful expenditures justified by nonproblems like CO2 make no sense." The letter:

Anne Jolis's "The Other Climate Theory" (op-ed, Sept. 7) is a welcome message of realism on climate. Painful changes in the U.S. economy are being justified by the mantra that the earth's climate is dictated by CO2 in the atmosphere; elaborate computer models assert that doubling CO2 concentrations will warm the earth by an intolerable three or four degrees Celsius, or even more. This is contrary to straightforward theoretical estimates and empirical observations, indicating that the direct warming potential of CO2 is only about one degree Celsius, which would most likely be a benefit to world. The recent European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) experiments, discussed by Ms. Jolis, support extensive observational evidence that cosmic rays reaching the earth's surface have a large influence on climate.

Additional important climate drivers include complicated fluctuations of major oceanic currents and volcanic eruptions. Even if we could hold CO2 levels fixed, the climate would continue to change because of other influences. In a time of serious world problems, wasteful expenditures justified by nonproblems like CO2 make no sense.

William Happer
Professor of Physics
Princeton University
Princeton, N.J.


25 Years Have Been Hotter than 2011 In The US

Since 1910

NOAA data

Including 1925 1931 1934 1938 1946 1953 and 1954 – even with USHCN adding 0.6 degrees on to 2011 temperatures.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Green Smoke and Mirrors? Vatican Weighs in on Climate Change

A scientific branch of the Vatican is touting a climate-change report that fears for the fate of the world's glaciers, appearing to support an erroneous conclusion from the United Nations' climate panel that skeptics have loudly debunked.

But the Vatican's authors are some of the same people responsible for the U.N. error, even including Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of the U.N.'s climate group and the man behind the 2007 report that feared "the likelihood of [the Himalayan glaciers] disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner."

The facts behind that assertion quickly melted away, with Pachauri himself admitting that "poorly substantiated estimates" had made it into print. But like his 2007 U.N. study, Pachauri's 2011 Vatican report, titled "Fate of Mountain Glaciers in the Anthropocene," again frets over the fate of the glaciers -- and it cites his U.N. report as evidence.

The new report, commissioned by the Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Sciences, notes that "thousands of small glaciers in the Hindukush-Himalayan-Tibetan region continue to disintegrate," and states that "robust scenario calculations clearly indicate that many mountain ranges worldwide could lose major parts of their glaciers within the coming decades."

Noted climate skeptic Don Easterbrook, an emeritus professor of geology at Western Washington University, is one vocal critic of these and other conclusions on the fate of the world's glaciers.

"The [U.N.]-predicted warming of 1 degree between 2000 and the present has not happened -- instead it's gotten cooler!" he told "As a result, some glaciers in the Himalayas have begun advancing, and glaciers in Alaska, Norway, and South America have also begun to re-advance."

"Pachauri is very intolerant of any point on climate change that isn't his," Patrick J. Michaels, a contributing author on the U.N. report and a senior fellow with the conservative CATO Institute, told "He makes statements that are just wrong, because he's not a climate scientist," he said.

Pachauri did not respond to requests for more information, sent through his U.N. climate group. Neither did the climate group itself nor the Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Sciences return requests. But a Vatican spokesman, Rev. Federico Lombardi, did tell the Associated Press that the document was "important," although it was not a piece of the church's key teachings.

Other climate scientists agreed with the new report. Graham Cogley, geography professor with Trent University, agreed that the 2007 prediction that Himalayan glaciers might disappear by 2035 was flat wrong -- but not the current claims.

"It is a dire prediction to say that mountain glaciers are 'lethally vulnerable' to climatic change, but it is literally and unquestionably correct," he told Michaels was more skeptical.

"Why resources collected from parishioners were used for this is beyond me," Michaels told "There has been an increasing tendency over the years for churches to insert themselves into the global warming thing," he added.

Well-known climate scientist Michael Mann thought the report may indicate shifting beliefs within the church.

I actually attended a meeting of the Pontifical Academy (World Federation of Scientists) in Erice, Sicily, back in late August 2003," Mann told "At the time, the president of the organization, Antonio Zichichi, was a climate-change skeptic."

"Zichichi has the ear of the Vatican on all matters of science and science policy. So I interpret this as, perhaps, a change of heart on his part," Mann told "In any case, this is indeed a significant (and in my view auspicious) development."

The Pontifical Academy of Sciences, a Vatican advisory panel, was founded under a different name in Rome in 1603, and claims to be the first exclusively scientific academy in the world. The Pontifical Academicians are eighty women and men from various countries nominated by the Supreme Pontiff. (The exact relation between the World Federation of Scientists and the Pontifical Academy was unclear.)

The Academy hosted the conference last month on the causes and consequences of retreating mountain glaciers. Its final report, dated May 5 and signed by a group of climate scientists, hydrologists, chemists, lawyers and mountaineers, was posted on the Vatican website Tuesday.

The group also noted that another major risk to glaciers is the threat of nuclear war, and advocated a reduction in nuclear arsenals.


Obama's Big Green Boondoggles

With the scandalous bankruptcy of Solyndra (a shady California solar power company that received $535 million in stimulus funds and is now under investigation by the FBI) hanging overhead, President Obama wisely whitewashed any mention of "green jobs" out of his latest address to Congress.
But buried in the details of his latest government jobs bill released this week -- Spawn of the Spendulus, Porky's II, Night of the Keynesian Dead -- are yet more big green boondoggles that will reward cronies, waste taxpayer dollars and make no dent in the jobless rate.

After pouring half a billion bucks into Solyndra, the company filed for Chapter 11 last month and laid off 1,110 employees. Obama administration officials met with Solyndra execs at least 20 times; the green cheerleader-in-chief personally visited and promoted the company in 2009 before his administration fast-tracked approval for the loans.

Solyndra is now the third solar company to go belly-up this year. Yet the Energy Department is doubling down on failure. As the FBI and House GOP investigators launch a probe into Enron-style accounting problems with Solyndra's books, DOE is doling out more than $850 million in new loan guarantees for another California solar firm sponsored by NextEra Energy, along with nearly $200 million more for separate solar manufacturing facilities on the West Coast.

Obama claims new "investments" in environmentally friendly school construction projects will put thousands of Americans back to work immediately. (Never mind that Big Labor-backed rules and executive orders will raise the cost of the projects, slow their implementation and freeze out the vast majority of non-union contractors.) Among the new green pork initiatives: $25 billion for green roofs, green cleaning, installation of renewable energy generation and heating systems, and "modernization, renovation, or repair activities related to energy efficiency and renewable energy."

But how are existing green construction spending programs working in practice?

A brand-new report from Texas Watchdog, a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative group, sheds inconvenient light on Obama's $5 billion stimulus-funded Weatherization Assistance Program. In Texas alone, the $327 million program has spent more than $226,000 on each of the 1,041 jobs the program is claimed to have created or saved.

Intended to "green" low-income homes, at least three of the original participating organizations have been shut down due to chronic mismanagement, fraud allegations and shoddy workmanship. Baylor University economist Earl Grinols summed up: "First, it is not an appropriate government function to provide weatherization of private homes. Second, even viewed as a stimulus measure, it is not very effective as a stimulus based on cost-per-job, and third, it appears not to be well-managed."

Nearly 31 months after Porkulus One was signed, the Texas housing agency still hasn't spent $91.6 million in allocated weatherization/green construction funds. Millions cannot be accounted for by auditors and inspectors.

Now, multiply that by 49 other states. A review of the weatherization boondoggle last year revealed state-trained workers were flubbing insulation jobs in Indiana, according to the Associated Press. In "Alaska, Wyoming and the District of Columbia, the program (had) yet to produce a single job or retrofit one home. And in California, a state with nearly 37 million residents, the program at last count had created 84 jobs."

The Washington Examiner's Tim Carney, a vigilant chronicler of green subsidies, notes that time and again, it's Obama insiders and Democratic operatives pocketing all the green while the unemployment hovers at double-digits. To wit: "Al Gore acolyte Cathy Zoi was Obama's assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy while her husband was an executive at a company that received direct subsidies from the Obama administration and profited from the Cash-for-Caulkers bill Zoi's division implemented." Treasury Department Chief of Staff Mark Patterson lobbied for Goldman Sachs on ethanol subsidies while holding down his job in the administration. And last year, another Obama pet project -- Illinois-based FutureGen, a near-zero emissions coal power plant -- received a $1 billion stimulus earmark despite having been previously defunded over doubts about the feasibility and efficiency of the project.

An Obama green job trainee with seven certificates, Carlos Arandia, spoke for all non-crony Americans when he asked last fall: "What is the point of giving somebody the tools to do something but to have nowhere to use them?" Perhaps the White House can find a way to weatherize all the Grand Canyon-sized taxpayer sinkholes that "green job" spending has created.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


14 September, 2011

Britons Question Global Warming More Than Americans and Canadians

Half of respondents in the two North American countries think climate change is a fact and is caused by emissions—fewer Britons concur.

While Canadians continue to be more likely than Americans and Britons to blame global warming on man-made emissions, they are not as unwavering about it as they were last year, a new three-country Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

The online survey of representative national samples also shows that belief in man-made climate change has reached the highest level in the United States since 2009, and has fallen considerably in Britain.

Overall, half of Canadians (52%, -8 since October) and Americans (49%, +7) say that that global warming is a fact and is mostly caused by emissions from vehicles and industrial facilities. Only 43 per cent of Britons (-4) agree with this assessment.

In the United States, one-in-five respondents (20%, -5) think that global warming is a theory that has not yet been proven, along with 20 per cent of Britons (+2) and 14 per cent of Canadians (=).

More than half of Canadians (55%, -6) believe it is more important to protect the environment, even at the risk of hampering economic growth, while 22 per cent (+4) would prefer to foster economic growth, even at the risk of damaging the environment.

In the United States, 47 per cent of respondents (+2) would emphasize protecting the environment, while 26 per cent (-4) would foster economic growth. The biggest change since last year comes in Britain, where only 40 per cent of respondents would protect the environment (-11) and 33 per cent would prefer to foster economic growth (+11).


Since 2009, Angus Reid Public Opinion has conducted five three-country surveys on global warming. The latest poll outlines one of the lowest proportions of believers in man-made climate change ever recorded in Canada (52%). Still, Canadians are more likely than Americans or Britons to both believe in emissions as the primary source of global warming and to choose environmental protection over economic growth.

In the United States, despite the economic crisis, belief in man-made global warming has reached the high level that was observed before the so-called “climate-gate” controversy. In addition, the proportion of Americans who brand climate change as an unproven theory fell by five points, the biggest fluctuation observed in the past three years.

Britain has become the main source of skepticism, with the lowest proportion of believers in man-made global warming, and with a third of Britons acknowledging that they would foster economic growth even at the risk of damaging the environment—the largest proportion observed in all three countries.


Last ditch Goreathon: Scare, smear and slur

No one from the big scare campaign is even pretending that this is about the science anymore. It’s just tribal name-calling, voo-doo dolls and poo jokes from preschool.

Al Gore hopes he has reality on his side. But the reality is the relentless slide of the polls. It’s the crashed Chicago Climate Exchange, the kaput green jobs. It’s the long list of countries who are are shaking themselves free of the eco-shackles. The apostles of a bygone cult are reduced to saying that warming causes cooling, death, disease and even prostitution in Ghana. The babbling last players standing are talking about saving the world from aliens. Sadly, those are not the nutters, no, they’re the ones from NASA.

The NASA crew worry that the aliens who have been blind to the last 60 years of I love Lucy beamed out to space, have instead been transfixed by a trace gas composition change from 0.028% to 0.039% on the third rock from the sun in a distant galaxy. I’m scared now, not of the aliens, but of our collapsing collective IQ. This is modern public debate (and from the team that got the man on the moon.)

Gore’s seedy scare will be viewed in history books as we marvel at Fowlers Arsenic Cure now.

Gore is the modern witchdoctor incarnate, armed with special effects, no scruples and buckets of money. He knows he’s losing the war with the thinkers, he’s given up even trying to win the educated. Now it’s straight from the Saul Alinsky playbook of personal smear.

Fossil Fuel interests have money, influence, control…

“Deniers will be revealed”

So lets send it back to him ten-fold and more. Reality!

Tell him fossil fuel interests only dream of the kind of power that the real vested interests in this policy have.

Major financial houses have more money, more influence and more control. When the GFC hit the fan, who got bailed out? Who got the blank cheques for trillions with a T?

It wasn’t BP.

Last year $144 billion turned over in carbon markets worldwide, and $243 billion was invested in renewable energy. And the market doesn’t include mandatory action in … most of the world. The dollar signs are a calling, but it’s not from coal or oil – they know they’re in no danger of being replaced by whale-killing windmills, and symbolic solar panels. The bald truth is that nuclear could be a threat, but no one’s rushing to replace the Prius with hybrid fission hatchback. (For renewables though, the carbon scare is life and death for an industry that can’t come close to competing without bubbly subsidies.What renewables lack in financial clout, they make up for in motivation.)

But at the end of the day, the bankers* win, rain, hail or shine, no matter who buys, who sells or what the price is, as long as there is a carbon-credit fiat currency, they stand to make a fortune, and you can hardly blame them for holding their hands out and saying Yes Please.

Deniers will be revealed! We can’t wait!

The deniers are the ones who ignore millions of weather-balloons and thousands of ARGO buoys; who insist that yellow is really red; who tell us there will be endless droughts, then when people drown in floods, they say “we told you it would rain”. Spot the denier indeed.

The most hilarious video of the Gore-rama event is the “Making Of” compilation (if you can bear to watch it). It’s positively oozing self-anointed importance: They think their ten seconds of toilet-humour and baseless smear was worthy of being analyzed or recorded for posterity?

*No I don’t hold anything against the hundreds of thousands of honest bank workers, shareholders, and decent managers.


BOMBSHELL: Solar and Wind Power Would Speed Up, Not Reduce, Global Warming

I had a tough time picking a good hyperbolic title for this one, because I had my choice of so many good ones. Last week a new study reported that replacing coal with natural gas might actually worsen climate change in the short term. The study was done by Tom Wigley, who is a senior research associate at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The title of the study is Coal to gas: The influence of methane leakage and will be published in next month’s Climatic Change Letters.

What the study projects is that the amount of methane leaking from gas wells will influence the future temperature rise from climate change: The higher the methane leakage, the higher the future temperature.

Since there is always some methane leakage, and because methane is a very strong greenhouse gas, it was widely reported that the predicted poor showing of natural gas in the short term was due to the gas leakage. More importantly, the widely-reported message relayed by the media is that this study shows that natural gas can’t do much to mitigate climate change.

Ah, but there is a catch that hasn’t gotten much attention (and has been in some cases purposely suppressed).

Notice that the projected temperature increases in every case — even when there is no methane leakage. That indicates that something else is going on here, which is explained in the following story (which is where I got my headline):

Natural Gas Would Speed Up, Not Reduce, Global Warming: Study

Advocates for natural gas drilling have trumpeted its environmental benefits as an alternative to the coal that produces most of America’s electricity, noting that natural gas emits about half the amount of carbon dioxide when burned as coal does.

But a new study sheds doubt on that claim, finding that a shift from coal to natural gas would in fact accelerate the planet’s rising temperatures before slightly reducing them. Tom Wigley of the National Center on Atmospheric Research found that swapping the two fuels would increase global temperatures over the next four decades by about a tenth of a degree.

Wigley’s study does not dispute the fact that natural gas produces far less carbon dioxide, a key culprit in pushing temperatures steadily upwards. But coal also gives off sulfates and other particles that dissipate more quickly than coal fumes and effectively reflect sunlight away from the earth, cooling rather than warming. Those particles do increase air pollution and the likelihood of acid rain, but from a global warming perspective they are a source of relief.

Did you follow that? Coal has higher particulate emissions that increase air pollution, but they help reflect the sun away from the earth. Thus, cities like Linfen, China, pictured below, are sitting in the catbird seat as far as global warming goes. As you can see, no global warming concerns for them as the particulate emissions are quite effectively preventing sunlight from reaching the surface:

So as Linfen, China switches to natural gas (which they have in fact been doing), it will simply speed up global warming. Now I suspect you are beginning to see that this story may be more complex than the refutation of natural gas that the media headlines have indicated.

Since the graphic shows that even zero leakage of methane caused the projected temperature to rise, I was curious as to just how much of the effect was due to the emissions of the coal plants themselves. So I contacted Tom Wigley, the author of the paper, and posed the following question: “Is it true per your models that if we switched from coal to a zero emissions source of electricity that the short-term climate change impact would also be negative due to the loss of the cooling effect from coal’s particulate emissions?”

He replied to my e-mail fairly quickly: “Yes. This “problem” was first pointed out by me in 1991. I’ll attach this paper, plus the coal-to-gas paper. In 1991 I did not consider carbonaceous aerosols. The issue of balancing the disbenefit of less aerosols implies warming vs the benefit of less SO2 emissions implies pollution benefits is a tricky one.” (The 1991 paper he referred to was “Could Reducing Fossil-Fuel Emissions Cause Global Warming?” — published in Nature).

So there you have it. Per this study, shutting down all coal-fired power plants and not even replacing them would cause the temperature to increase in the short term because of the loss of sunlight-reflecting pollutants. Thus, the real story here is about the secondary effect of coal-fired power plants and not about any deficiencies of natural gas.

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

The hubris of an Australian Warmist professor: "We put the physics in and then the answer pops out"

The Australian global warming lobby is desperately trying to convince an increasingly sceptical audience about the blessings of their climate models Dr. Dave Griggs, from the Monash Sustainability Institute and Dr. John Church of the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research made the following claims at an online briefing organised by the Australian Science Media Centre:
"models were getting more accurate as scientists incorporated data from more areas. Scientists were often surprised by their results because the climate system was so complicated, Prof Griggs said. "We don't tune these models to get the answer we want. "We put the physics in and then the answer pops out - so yes, you can be surprised."

The Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research's John Church says virtually all climate data is shared among scientists worldwide. While there is a variety of models in his study area of sea levels all show the same trend

Reality check:

There is a multitude of evidence about the total failure of the warmist climate change models. The fact is that the warmists are doing exactly what Dr. Griggs says they are not doing. Warren Myer, writing in Forbes magazine, summarizes what´s wrong with the models:
"a lot climate experimentation occurs within computers, rather than via direct observation of natural phenomena. For example, in the last IPCC report, their conclusion that most of the recent warming had probably been man-made was based mainly on computer study of the period between 1978 and 1998. They ran their models for this period both with and without manmade CO2, and determined that they could only replicate the temperature rise in this period with by including manmade CO2 in their models.

Believe it or not, that is the main evidence that global warming catastrophism is based on. Yes, I am sure you can raise all the concerns I have — what if the computer models don’t adequately model the climate? What if they leave out key factors or over-emphasize certain dynamics? Drawing firm conclusions from these models is like assuming you can be a rock star after winning a game of Guitar Hero.

But it is when these models are used to project catastrophic outcomes in the future that they are perhaps the most suspect. Scientists often act as if the projected warming from various CO2 forecasts is just an output of the models — in other words, “we built in a sophisticated understanding of how the climate works and out pops a lot of warming.” (exactly what Dr. Griggs is doing! NNoN) And in the details this is true. The timing and regional distribution of the warming tends to be a fairly unpredictable product of the model. But the approximate magnitude of the warming is virtually pre-determined. It turns out that climate sensitivity, the overall amount of warming we can expect from a certain rise in CO2 concentrations, is really an input to most models.

This means that the inputs of the model are set such that a climate sensitivity of, say, 4 degrees per doubling is inevitable. The model might come up with 4.1 or 3.9, but one could have performed a quick calculation on the inputs and found that, even without the model, the answer was already programmed to be close to 4. Rather than real science, the climate models are in some sense an elaborate methodology for disguising our uncertainty. They take guesses at the front-end and spit them out at the back-end with three-decimal precision. In this sense, the models are closer in function to the light and sound show the Wizard of Oz uses to make himself seem more impressive, and that he uses to hide from the audience his shortcomings.

And if you want the opinion of a real scientific heavyweight, here is what Dr. Freeman Dyson thinks about the climate models:
The models solve the equations of fluid dynamics, and they do a very good job of describing the fluid motions of the atmosphere and the oceans. They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests. They do not begin to describe the real world we live in ...

John Church is partially right when he claims that virtually all climate data is shared among scientists worldwide. The truth is, of course, that all the warmists share the same false data (obtained from the false models) worldwide.

It may very well be true that all the warmist sea level models show the same trend , as Church claims, but studies based on real observations tell another story: Reality check:
AGAINST all the odds, a number of shape-shifting islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean are standing up to the effects of climate change.

For years, people have warned that the smallest nations on the planet - island states that barely rise out of the ocean - face being wiped off the map by rising sea levels. Now the first analysis of the data broadly suggests the opposite: most have remained stable over the last 60 years, while some have even grown.

Paul Kench at the University of Auckland in New Zealand and Arthur Webb at the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission in Fiji used historical aerial photos and high-resolution satellite images to study changes in the land surface of 27 Pacific islands over the last 60 years. During that time, local sea levels have risen by 120 millimetres, or 2 millimetres per year on ...


Memorandum by Professor Nils-Axel Mörner, Head of Paleogeophysics & Geodynamics, Stockholm University, Sweden President, (1999-2003) of the INQUA Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution, Leader of the Maldives Sea Level Project:
It is true that sea level rose in the order of 10-11 cm from 1850 to 1940 as a function of Solar variability and related changes in global temperature and glacial volume. From 1940 to 1970, it stopped rising, maybe even fell a little. In the last 10-15 years, we see no true signs of any rise or, especially, accelerating rise (as claimed by IPCC), only a variability around zero. This is illustrated in Fig 3. ...

In conclusion; observational data do not support the sea level rise scenario. On the contrary, they seriously contradict it. Therefore, we should free the world from the condemnation of becoming extensively flooded in the near future.
There are more urgent natural problems to consider on Planet Earth like tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, etc.


It is not surprising that Dave Griggs and John Church are so busy promoting climate alarmism, when one considers their background:
in 1996 he was appointed Head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientific assessment unit. IPCC shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. In 2001 he became Deputy Chief Scientist and Director of the Hadley Centre for Climate Change, widely acknowledged as the world's leading centre for climate change research. After a brief spell as Met Office Director of Government Business, in September 2007 he moved to Australia to become Director of the Monash Sustainability Institute (MSI). Dave is also CEO of ClimateWorks Australia.

Dr Church has recently accepted a position as coordinating lead author of the Sea Level Change chapter for the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, to be completed in 2013.
He was co-convening lead author for the Chapter on Sea Level in the IPCC Third Assessment Report.


A lamebrain speaks

You need a Ph.D. to be skeptical about Warmism? Simple facts like the minuscule amount of 20th century warming (See the header on this blog) should sow doubts in anyone able to understand numbers

As one of the more than 1,200 people arrested outside the White House during the recent tar sands action protesting plans to build a crude oil pipeline from Canada through the American heartland, I'm always amused by the Republican claim that climate change is just a theory, or worse, a hoax.

Unless we all get PhDs in climate science, we have to accept the opinion of experts in the field who overwhelmingly endorse global climate change as both a reality and as something influenced by human activity.

Does anyone doubt that if another scientific theory with exactly the same empirical support turned out to be good for corporate profits, these same round-earth deniers would be touting the theory as scientific truth?


Australian conservative leader launches stinging attack on Leftist Prime Minister Julia Gillard over carbon tax

THE parliamentary battle over the Government's carbon price scheme has begun with Opposition Leader Tony Abbott launching a ferocious attack on the Prime Minister.

Mr Abbott opened his 30-minute speech by declaring the package of clean energy bills amounted to a bad tax, based on a lie, that should be rejected.

He finished by declaring it "the longest suicide note in Australian history".

Julia Gillard sat stony-faced opposite him throughout the speech, which was delivered to a nearly full chamber.

But the chamber emptied when parliamentary secretary for climate change Mark Dreyfus started the Government's counterattack in a debate that will dominate today's proceedings. Mr Dreyfus accused the opposition of "being in hysterics" over a policy that was essential to save the world from catastrophic climate change.

Mr Abbott began with a sustained attack on Ms Gillard, calling her claim to be on the side of history "arrogant presumption". In fact, she was on "the wrong side of truth".

He said she'd sabotaged Kevin Rudd on the issue, had a variety of positions herself and finally said there'd be no carbon tax, a promise that haunts the Government and makes the debate "fundamentally illegitimate".

The Opposition Leader moved on to say the scheme would make the essentials of modern life, like power and fuel, more expensive. Now, when the world economy was so fragile, was not the time to add to the burdens of business and families.

Mr Abbott jeered at the Government's claim the policy would create jobs, calling it "nonsense on stilts".

However at the heart of his objections was that the scheme wouldn't reduce emissions. All the bold claims about emissions cuts were disproved by the government's own figures, he said.

Mr Abbott finally turned to a "much better way" - the Opposition's direct action plan which encourages Australians to do intelligent, sensible things like plant trees. Businesses were reducing their power and fuel bills.

Mr Abbott said part of the Government's motivation was to satisfy the Greens.

"Also, deep in the DNA of every Labor member there is an instinct for higher taxes and more regulation and that's exactly what we're getting," he said.

Mr Dreyfus said the scheme would curb pollution and increase investment in clean energy. It would mean a better, cleaner place for our children's children. Mr Dreyfus said carbon pollution could no longer be free and the Government had to act to correct "the greatest market failure the world has seen". A carbon price would "break the link between pollution and economic growth".

"If we don't reduce emissions, the world risks catastrophic climate change," he said.

Mr Dreyfus said the Opposition was pandering to climate change deniers while attacking scientists and economists.


Australia: Tiny crab v $900m mine - the money's on the crab

A NEWLY-discovered crab about the size of a 10c piece might stop mining giant Rio Tinto's new $900 million Cape York bauxite mine.

Scientists contracted by Rio to prepare an environmental impact statement on the project 50km south of Weipa have found what is thought to be a new species of freshwater crab.

They have also discovered a shrimp not previously recorded in Australia, prompting conservationists to call on federal Environment Minister Tony Burke to immediately halt the project.

The Wilderness Society's Glenn Walker said yesterday the crab would be threatened, nearly 30,000ha of bush cleared and a river destroyed if the big mine was approved.

"Incredibly, Rio Tinto still plans to mine in this area and threaten this new species, so greedy are they to make an extra buck," he said.

"The crab hasn't even yet been assessed for protection under federal environment laws, which would likely list the species as endangered and potentially stall approval of the mine."

The find has been referred to Peter Davie, Queensland Museum senior curator of crustacea.

Mr Davie said he believed it was a new species, although it would be about two years before this would be confirmed.

"We have very little information for (about 20 species of) freshwater crabs but they are all potentially endangered or vulnerable," he said. "There's a bit of detective work to go but many are restricted to single catchments. They may well be vulnerable to climate change and all sorts of things."

A Rio Tinto Alcan spokesman said it was now up to the State and Federal governments to assess the findings. "We've had the best experts out there studying the area ... and we're pleased to have been able to make a contribution to understanding the ecology of the cape," the spokesman said. "We're being quite open about this. It was our people that turned this up."

Rio's EIS said a total of six species of crustacean were found. "These species are unlikely to be significantly impacted by the project," it says. If any species are found to be which the crab could be Mr Burke will have to rule on whether the project can proceed. A comment has been sought from Mr Burke.

Rio Tinto Alcan Weipa employs about 870 staff and wants to begin what is known as the South of Embley mine in about two years.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


13 September, 2011

Snappy Comebacks For Candidates

In order to win an election, a candidate needs to have carefully thought out, well-rehearsed one-liners to respond to difficult questions. Obama was very good at that in the 2008 elections - "I don't feel responsible for what Bill Ayers did when I was seven." "They call me a socialist because I shared my sandwich in elementary school." Completely irrelevant non-sequiturs, but they did the trick.

Suppose you are a candidate and are asked "which climate scientists don't believe in global warming?"

All scientists believe that the climate changes and that man has some effect on the climate. But how much? Richard Lindzen is MIT's top climatologist, and he doesn't believe that humans are having a catastrophic impact on the climate. Same for Freeman Dyson, the world's most brilliant living physicist. There are tens of thousands of others who do not believe that we are having a catastrophic effect on the climate.

Hurricanes are getting worse, how do explain that?

In the year 1900, the city of Galveston was flattened by a hurricane, and 8,000 people died. Do you think that Hurricane Irene was worse than that?

The US has been hit by only one hurricane during the last 36 months - one of the quietest three year periods in history. It has been six years since a major hurricane hit the US. But in the year 1888, the US was hit by seven hurricanes - including two majors. Why do you think hurricanes are getting worse? Did Al Gore tell you that?

Fires are getting worse, how do you explain that?

In the year 1871, dozens of cities around the Great Lakes burned to the ground along with millions of acres of forest. Thousands of people burned to death in Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan. Chicago burned to the ground. Do you think the fires in Texas this year were worse than that?

Heatwaves and droughts are getting worse, how do you explain that?

In June 1934, every region of the country was over 100 degrees, and 80% of the country was suffering drought. Do you read your Steinbeck in high school? You should know this already.

Floods are getting worse, how do you explain that?

In 1927, Vermont had their worst flood on record. That same year, the Mississippi River had it's worst flood in history. In 1931, three million people died in a flood in China. Do you think this year's floods were worse?

Tornadoes are getting worse, how do explain that?

NOAA data shows that severe tornadoes have declined since April 1974, which was the worst month in history for severe tornadoes. 24 of the 25 deadliest US tornadoes occurred prior to 1956. Tornadoes are certainly not getting worse.

What about other countries?

Australia has been having severe droughts and floods for as long as people have lived there. Pakistan had much worse floods in the 1970s. They blamed it on global cooling at the time.

Is this the worst year in history?

There have been many years with comparable or worse weather in the 1880s, 1900s, 1910s, 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s and 1970s. We have recently been blessed with a long spell of mild weather, and just don't remember.


Sampling of Inconvenient Questions for Climate Fear Promoters

This list is from 2008 but should still be useful

How do you explain that global temperatures according to UN data have not increased since 1998 and there has been no significant warming since 1995?

(See: MIT Climate Scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen’s March 2008 presentation of data from the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office found the Earth has had “no statistically significant warming since 1995.”- (LINK Here and Here)

Are you aware that even the UN IPCC does not consider climate models to be “predictions” or “forecasts” but merely emission scenarios?

(See high-profile UN IPCC lead author, Dr. Kevin Trenberth, referred to climate models as “story lines.” “In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been. The IPCC instead proffers ‘what if’ projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios,” Trenberth wrote in journal Nature’s blog on June 4, 2007. He also admitted that the climate models have major shortcomings because “they do not consider many things like the recovery of the ozone layer, for instance, or observed trends in forcing agents. There is no estimate, even probabilistically, as to the likelihood of any emissions scenario and no best guess.” (LINK)

Are you aware of multiple scientific studies showing the medieval warm period (before SUV’s and human emissions) to be warmer than current temps?

See: 1) A November 2007 study published in Energy & Environment found the Medieval Warm Period “0.3C warmer than 20th century” The study was authored by C. Loehle and titled “A 2000-year global temperature reconstruction based on non-treering proxies.”  -

2) A June 29, 2007 scientific analysis by Gerd Burger of Berlin’s Institute of Meteorology in the peer-reviewed Science Magazine challenged a previously touted study claiming the 20th century had been unusually warm. Excerpt: “Burger argues that [the 2006 temperature analysis by] Osborn and Briffa did not apply the appropriate statistical tests that link the proxy records to observational data, and as such, Osborn and Briffa did not properly quantify the statistical uncertainties in their analyses. Burger repeated all analyses with the appropriate adjustments and concluded “As a result, the ‘highly significant’ occurrences of positive anomalies during the 20th century disappear.” (LINK)

How do you explain that CO2 levels have been much higher in the Earth’s history, but have not coincided with human or animal extinction?

(See: Ivy League Geologist Dr. Robert Giegengack of U of Pennsylvania: “There have been times in Earth history when atmospheric CO2 concentrations were 5, 10, even 15 TIMES the present concentration, and the climate of Earth still supported animals not unlike ourselves.” (Link)

Can you explain why Greenland has cooled since the late 1930’s and 1940’s?

See: (See: Latest Scientific Studies Refute Fears of Greenland Melt – July 2007 - Link)

Can you explain why Antarctic sea ice has expanded to record levels in recent years?

(See: Peer-reviewed study finds Antarctic fails to warm as climate models predicted – May 7, 2008 – (LINK)  & Media Hype on ‘Melting’ Antarctic Ignores Record Ice Growth – March 27, 2008 – (LINK))

Are you aware that Arctic Sea ice has EXPANDED in 2008?

(See: Arctic ice INCREASES by nearly a half million square miles over same time period in 2007 - July 18, 2008 – (LINK) )

Are you aware of the multiple peer-reviewed studies blaming Arctic sea ice reductions on many factors not related to man-made carbon emissions?

(See: Numerous Peer-Reviewed Studies Show Natural Causes of Arctic Warming and Ice Reduction - Jan. 2008 – (LINK))

Are you aware that the Earth is currently in one of the coolest periods in its geologic history?

(See: Ivy League geologist Dr. Robert Giegengack is a professor of earth and environmental science at the University of Pennsylvania. Giegengack noted that the history the last one billion years on the planet reveals “only about 5% of that time has been characterized by conditions on Earth that were so cold that the poles could support masses of permanent ice.” Giegengack also noted “for most of Earth’s history, the globe has been warmer than it has been for the last 200 years. It has rarely been cooler.” - (Link Here & Here)

Are you aware that a recent U.S. Senate report features more than 500 scientists dissenting from man-made climate fears—more than 10 times the number (52) of UN IPCC scientists who signed off on alarmist (and media hyped) Summary for PolicyMakers in 2007.

(See: U.S. Senate Report of over 400 (now 500 dissenting scientists and growing) (For Full Senate Report) See also U.S. Senate Report released in July 2008: ‘Consensus’ On Man-Made Global Warming Collapses in 2008 (Link))

Are you aware that many solar scientists and geologists are now warning of a possible coming global cooling?

( See comprehensive report: Global COOLING: 2008 So Far Coolest For at Least 5 Years Says - Plus: Geologist: ‘Global warming of the past 30 years is over’  - Part 1)

How do you explain that an analysis in peer-reviewed journal found COLD PERIODS – not warm periods

– (See INCREASES in floods, droughts, storms, famine – Quaternary Science Reviews April 24, 2008 - (LINK))

How do you explain the recent U.S. government report which found Hurricanes declining, NO increases in drought, tornados, thunderstorms, heat-waves?

The only increases were in computer model scenarios of the future (See: U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) report shows Hurricanes declining, NO increases in drought, tornados, thunderstorms, heat-waves – June 20, 2008 – (LINK)


Even warmist Revkin doesn't sound completely convinced that CO2 is driving fluctuations in Arctic sea ice

Q. Ignatius Rigor was among those who pointed me to a particularly important one-time "flush" (my term) of thick old ice around 1989-90 that had an enduring impact on the proportion of older ice from then on. See this animation by Rigor:

... Is that kind of non-linear event replicated much by models?

Also, given the short time scale of satellite observations, does such pulse-style ice behavior add uncertainty to efforts to link greenhouse-driven warming to recent (post 2000) sea-ice behavior?

... [A] 2. Regarding the attribution: As shown in Fig. 1 of my 2009 PNAS paper, sea ice usually recovers within one year or so from extreme loss events [but if the feedbacks are so positive, why would this happen?] (same conclusion can be drawn from figure 3 of the RealClimate post).


New paper suggests current warm period is natural & shows warming decreases storms

Added this week to The NIPCC Report, a new paper bears "witness to the millennial-scale climate oscillation that has sequentially brought the world the Roman Warm Period, the Dark Ages Cold Period, the Medieval Warm Period, the Little Ice Age and the Current Warm Period naturally, without any need to invoke a similarly oscillating atmospheric CO2 concentration, which further suggests that the Current Warm Period would likely have developed as it has even if the Industrial Revolution and its associated anthropogenic CO2 emissions had never occurred."

The paper also shows global warming results in "less storminess, in contradiction of the common climate-alarmist claim that it typically does just the opposite." In addition, the paper shows sea level rise in the Baltic Sea has greatly decelerated over the past 8000 years.

Reference: Reimann, T., Tsukamoto, S., Harff, J., Osadczuk, K. and Frechen, M. 2011. "Reconstruction of Holocene coastal foredune progradation using luminescence dating -- An example from the Swina barrier (southern Baltic Sea, NW Poland)". Geomorphology 132: 1-16.

Working on the Swina barrier at the southern end of the Baltic Sea, which consists of two sandy spits or depositional landforms (Wolin and Uznam) that extend outward from the seacoast, Riemann et al. (2011)established what they describe as "a detailed and reliable chronology" of these landforms, based on optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating of the coastal sediment succession, where the sediment history was derived from the degree of podzolisation, which is based on the much earlier work of Keilhack (1912), who "sub-divided these dunes into three generations (brown, yellow and white) and established a 'classic' dune classification system for the southern Baltic Sea coast." And this sediment history reveals much about the climate history of the region.

The five researchers report that following the Roman Warm Period, which they say "is known for a moderate and mild climate in Europe" that produced brown foredunes, there is a hiatus between the brown and yellow dunes from 470 AD to 760 AD that "correlates with a cold and stormy period that is known as the Dark Ages Cold Period," which they say "is well known as a cooling event in the climatic records of the North Atlantic (Bond et al., 1997; McDermott et al., 2001) and in marine sediment cores from Skagerrak (Hass, 1996)," and which is also associated with a phase of increased aeolian activity in northeast England reported by Wilson et al. (2001).

Next, as expected, comes the Medieval Warm Period. And last of all, Riemann et al. write that "the cold and stormy Little Ice Age (Hass, 1996) correlates to the formation of the transgressive white dune I in the sediment successions, which were dated to between 1540 and 1660 AD," adding that "the Little Ice Age is documented in North and West Europe in plenty of coastal dunefields, and resulted in sand mobilisation and development of transgressive dunes (e.g., Clemmensen et al., 2001a,b, 2009; Wilson et al., 2001, 2004; Clarke et al., 2002; Ballarini et al., 2003; Clemmensen and Murray, 2006; Aagaard et al., 2007; Sommerville et al., 2007; Clarke and Rendell, 2009)," due to a colder climate and increased storminess related to periodic shifts of the North Atlantic Oscillation (Dawson et al., 2002).

Noting that "the systematic accretion of foredunes is accompanied by a moderate climate and a progressive plant cover," the German and Polish scientists go on to say that foredune instability is "related to aeolian sand mobilisation within phases of a decreased plant cover caused by colder and stormier conditions."

And thus it is that numerous sets of dune-derived data bear witness to the millennial-scale climate oscillation that has sequentially brought the world the Roman Warm Period, the Dark Ages Cold Period, the Medieval Warm Period, the Little Ice Age and the Current Warm Period naturally, without any need to invoke a similarly oscillating atmospheric CO2 concentration, which further suggests that the Current Warm Period would likely have developed as it has even if the Industrial Revolution and its associated anthropogenic CO2 emissions had never occurred.

And on another note, the results of Reimann et al., together with those of the many other researchers they cite, clearly demonstrate that in this particular part of the world warming brings less storminess, in contradiction of the common climate-alarmist claim that it typically does just the opposite.


Call to abolish British carbon floor price

This sounds very similar to Luther's attack on the sale of indulgences

Ministers should abandon a central pillar of their energy policy and abolish a carbon floor price that amounts to a "tax" on British industry, according to the head of the manufacturers' association.

Terry Scuoler, chief executive of the EEF, told the Financial Times that UK companies were deeply concerned by the cost of the government's ambition to cut carbon dioxide emissions and expand renewable energy.

"There's a fundamental view that the direction of travel, in terms of particularly the renewables targets and the taxation, is wrong," he said.

The last Budget announced a floor price on carbon emissions from 2013 onwards. The aim is to tip the balance of the UK energy mix in favour of nuclear power and renewable technologies by making it more expensive to generate electricity using coal or gas.

But one consequence will be rising electricity bills across the board, with energy-intensive manufacturing particularly exposed. The EEF calculates the floor price will cost British industry œ250m when it begins in 2013 at a rate of œ16 per ton of carbon. The price will then rise each year to reach œ30 per ton by 2020, which would cost industry œ1.2bn.

Business groups have previously urged the government to provide compensation for the extra cost or delay the policy's introduction. But Mr Scuoler said: "We are calling for its abolition." The measure was, he added, "not in line with the government's stated policy of rebalancing the economy, regenerating the British manufacturing sector, encouraging exports".
Chart: carbon floor price

Mr Scuoler described the floor price as "clearly a tax on business", pointing out that no other European Union country is planning a similar measure. This unilateral decision would damage Britain's competitive position.

"Perhaps we in the UK, an advanced economy, should accept - maybe - that our electricity prices will be more expensive than China, India, perhaps even North America," said Mr Scuoler.

"But why on a unilateral basis would you wish to push us into a situation where our cost of energy is more expensive than even our EU partners? There's a non-sequitur there that lies uncomfortably on our shoulders."

The coalition has adopted the toughest carbon reduction targets in the developed world, promising to cut British emissions by 50 per cent by 2025. To achieve this, it aims to generate 30 per cent of the country's electricity from renewable sources by 2020, compared with 7 per cent today.

Such ambitions require investment of œ200bn in new energy infrastructure by 2020, a burden that would inevitably cause electricity bills to rise. Mr Scuoler said: "British manufacturing has a right to be somewhat disappointed."

"Given the rhetoric and some very positive messages from the coalition government post-recession about the importance of British manufacturing, the importance of exporting and the importance of the sector in general, many of these policies are not matched up to that rhetoric," he added.

The government has promised a compensation package before the end of this year to help companies affected by its energy policies. Chris Huhne, the energy secretary, argues that his reforms will cut bills in the long term by reducing the UK's exposure to volatile oil prices. "Getting off the oil hook will make our economy more independent, more secure and more stable," he said earlier this year.

Mr Huhne has argued that his policies will save consumers money whenever oil prices exceed $100 per barrel.

But his analysis is controversial, with experts pointing out that gas prices are the key determinant of electricity bills - and they are becoming less dependent on oil.

Mr Scuoler said: "I'm fearful that some elements of government could be viewing environmental and climate change policy as an article of faith and not adequately using analytical and empirical evidence to support informed decision-making".


Switch to natural gas underway in N. America

Particularly for big trucks

It used to be that natural gas producers holding onto a limited supply of coveted product didn't need to spend time and money on marketing. But with a recent push by energy firms to furiously tap vast shale deposits across North America for the fossil fuel, those days are over.

An abundance of cheap natural gas has industry players the continent over clamouring to advertise the fuel's use for anything from power generation and home heating to the latest craze - transportation.

Espousing the virtues of the cleaner-burning fuel - which produces one-fifth less carbon dioxide than diesel when burned in the engines of heavy trucks, according to Shell Canada - the Canadian arm of Royal Dutch Shell PLC revealed this week its big plans to develop infrastructure and promote liquefied natural gas for transportation.

Shell Canada is the most recent to get in the game, joining Encana Corp., Talisman Energy Inc. and other competitors in doing its part to get North America running on natural gas.

The Dutch energy giant's Calgary subsidiary is spearheading the effort by the global firm by promising to supply heavy-duty trucks starting next year with liquefied natural gas (LNG) at its Shell Flying J truckstops across Alberta.

At first, the firm will source LNG from a third party while it builds a liquefaction facility to cool gas into a liquid that can power trucks, at its Jumping Pound gas processing facility about 30 kilometres west of Calgary - to be ready by 2013.

Shell won't reveal how much it intends to spend on the effort or its broader push to develop new markets for LNG in transportation, including partnerships announced this week with marine transportation company Wartsila North America, gas-powered engine manufacturer Westport Innovations, General Electric's transportation division and its plans to develop LNG solutions for the mining industry.

"Globally, Shell has been in the LNG business for about 45 years," says Bob Taylor, Shell Canada manager for commercial fuels, business development and marketing.

"Over the past couple of years we've looked at how we can produce LNG in smaller units for things like this, which are really inland applications and transport."

Taylor couldn't offer up how much it would cost trucking companies to refuel but Encana, which is working on a similar project, gave its take.

Eric Marsh, executive vice-president of Canada's top natural gas producer, said depending on the location in North America, LNG for trucks could be 25 to 40 per cent cheaper than diesel and truck companies could pay off the larger price tag of the vehicles in one to four years. "The fuel savings pays off that additional expense," Marsh said.

Encana is building its own liquefaction facility in Strathmore, AB, and hopes to have it done later this year, he noted, pointing to existing projects to build LNG gas stations to fuel trucks operating in the Haynesville shale play in the southern United States with Atlanta Gas and Light committing to supply the product long term - and a potential future plant between Texas and Louisiana.

Encana has 15 drill rigs in Canada running on natural gas, there are other efforts underway to have LNG trucks built for and supplied by Encana as well as compressed natural gas (CNG) projects, including the company's plan to have all its vehicles run on CNG, targeting 200 by the end of 2011.

"It's a new market for Encana and just another great opportunity for us to utilize our vast natural gas resource to create additional markets for us," Marsh said.

Meanwhile Talisman, to find buyers for its British Columbia shale resources, has a deal with South African petrochemical giant Sasol Ltd. to look at building a gas-to-liquids facility in the province that would churn out transportation fuels such as jet fuel and diesel, which fetch far higher prices than natural gas.

Gordon Currie, Calgary-based oil and gas research analyst with Salman Partners Inc., said he's watched Encana and Talisman both look for ways to market gas, a switch from when firms used to have no trouble selling all they could produce.

And chairman and CEO Jeff Boyce of junior producer Sure Energy Inc., a company Currie covers, recently donated $1.5 million of his own money to an Ontario university to fund research into using natural gas in vehicles.

"I think this is a reflection of the fact that we have, now, more natural gas than we know what to do with," Currie said, noting his view "big" infrastructure investment will have to be made before the average car on the road runs on gas.

Damon Fordham, leader for U.S. transportation practice for energy consultancy Project Performance Corp., noted there's been good uptake for natural gas use in urban transit vehicles such as buses, which typically come back and park in the same place to refuel. "The fuelling infrastructure can be controlled more than in public passenger cars," Fordham said.

Alicia Milner, president of Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance, admits there are uptake challenges with natural gas for transportation, but a Natural Resources Canada report earlier this year offers a consensus view: start with medium and heavy vehicles that return to base to refuel then focus on major trucking corridors. "To see a major like Shell invest to create corridors, is an early-stage movement but very encouraging."

Truck operators are worried about the higher price of LNG-powered trucks and lack of resale market, as well whether vehicles will perform, Milner admitted.

Two deployments of LNG vehicles over the next couple of months - 50 trucks by Vedder Transport in British Columbia and 180 from Robert Transport in Quebec and Ontario - are key, she said. "These early projects will be great in creating market confidence in Canada," Milner said.

Todd Thurlow, a senior vice-president at Pace Global energy consultants, said the "tremendous" opportunity he foresees for growth in LNG as a fuel for heavy-duty trucks comes with a front-end cost, though.

"There's something in the order of a $2-billion investment in infrastructure (in the United States) required to make this fuel widely available to heavy-duty trucks," Thurlow said.



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12 September, 2011

Greenland Temperatures DECLINING For 70 Years

See what happens when you take a longer timescale than "Since 1972" -- which was the basis for the claim I covered in my leading post yesterday -- JR

NASA data

Nuuk, Greenland temperatures rose from 1900 to 1940, and have since been declining.

2010 is shaping up to be Greenland’s second coldest year of the current millennium, which could be one reason why the sea level seems to have been falling lately.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Extortion Funds Green/Left Through Taxpayer Settlements

I’d never heard of the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) until five years ago. Likewise, I’d never given environmental groups much thought. Like most Americans, I knew groups like the Sierra Club existed and I assumed they did nature hikes or watched birds—or something.

When I accepted a position at the organization I now head up, my eyes were opened and my view changed. I met Jim Chilton, a rancher and a businessman. He served on the board. His story was one of the first articles I ever wrote.

Jim Chilton is a fifth generation rancher—a cowboy. His ranch includes a grazing permit for 21,500 acres of Federal Forest Service lands south of Tucson, AZ. In 2002, when the USFS renewed his permit for another ten years, CBD went on the attack. The group published a news release and photographs online, alleging that Chilton was mismanaging his allotment. This was not Chilton’s first altercation with CBD. He’d been a victim of previous unfounded attacks and allegations and was not surprised when they refused to take down the libelous and defamatory post and photos.

As a “cowboy,” Chilton says, “You stand up and fight for truth, justice, integrity, and honor.”

In June of 2003, Chilton filed suit against the CBD. With numerous rulings back and forth, a decision was reached in January 2005 that awarded $600,000 in favor of Chilton in a defamation lawsuit—allowing him to recoup a portion of monies spent in the battle.

CBD had distorted the facts and claimed photos were from the Chilton ranch—when in fact they were not. Referencing the CBD, the jury foreman said: “They acted irresponsibly, and they should have tried to work it out instead of wasting everybody’s time.” In May 2005, CBD asked the judge to throw out the verdict. Finally, on December 6, 2006, an Arizona District Court of Appeals upheld the decision in favor of Chilton—validating the rulings of the lower court.

Addressing the experience, Chilton says, “They lie and distort. They are not on the side of truth. The jury agreed because they voted 10 to 0 that the CBD had defamed me intentionally and with malice.”

The CBD has a record of winning lawsuits, however.

Faced with their record, Chilton viewed them as a “school-yard bully.” The CBD financial records indicate that a substantial portion of their operating costs comes from settlements with the Federal Government. A Government Accountability Office report released on August 31 affirms that environmental groups profit from millions of taxpayer dollars gained through litigation.

CBD has recently beefed up its coffers using federal funds—which ultimately come from the taxpayer. This time the attack was not against a rancher, but against a renewable energy project: BrightSource Energy’s enormous, $2 billion, utility-scale solar project. In February of 2010, BrightSource received $1.37 billion in loan guarantees from the US Department of Energy for the project near the California/Nevada border. Saying the BrightSource project would eliminate tortoise habitat, environmental groups have objected to its location and filed lawsuits to prevent it from going forward. CBD threatened to sue BrightSource. Unlike Chilton, BrightSource settled—believing that the bad press could have a “material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.”

BrightSource’s Media department told me that the specifics of the agreement are confidential, so we do not know how much the settlement was, and, in fact, little news can be found on the deal, but we can assume that a tidy sum was involved to get CBD to walk away from their preferred litigation posture. An AP article on the subject quotes Richard Frank, head of the University of California Davis Law School’s California Law and Policy Center: “I do believe a number of environmental groups have gotten more savvy and politically sophisticated and have become less ideological and are interested in getting the best deal they can.” Was it ever really about the tortoises?

“The act of securing money, favors, etc. by intimidation” is the definition of extortion. No wonder BrightSource won’t talk about it.

This group of lawyers with a history of questionable tactics such as distortion and extortion is who pushed for the Endangered Species Act listing of the sand dune lizard. When a group of scientists investigated the science behind the listing proposal, CBD could not defend the science so they aimed for distraction—calling the release of the report a “public relations stunt, not a science review.”

In the CBD press release titled “New Mexico Politician Leads Farce ‘science’ Panel on Endangered Species Act Protection for Rare Lizard,” they do not take the report’s accusations apart one-by-one, instead they attack the messengers—specifically NM State Rep. Dennis Kintigh and Congressman Steve Pearce (both vocal opponents of the lizard listing). Jay Lininger, the only ecologist on a staff weighted with attorneys, accused Kintigh and Pearce of making “outlandish claims,” but fails to delineate and prove wrong the specifics of the report. Instead, Lininger makes a sweeping statement claiming that, “the decision to list should be based on science, not baseless rhetoric”—which is exactly why Kintigh led an investigation into the science. Lininger does reference the group’s own “study” to debunk the elected officials’ claims that the ESA listing would be detrimental to the region’s economy.

Instead of blindly believing environmental groups positions, the public needs to look for distortion, extortion, and distraction. As the GAO report found, massive amounts of taxpayer monies are going to these groups through litigation and settlements—leaving one to wonder if it was every really about the critters. Are they really law firms masquerading as zoological societies?


Greenie versus Greenie again

Biomass schemes will boost destructive timber imports, claims wood industry. Wood companies and green campaigners say subsidies to power companies threaten both jobs and rainforests

Big wood companies are trying to halt Drax, RWE and others pressing ahead with a raft of lower-carbon energy schemes which would see large power stations switch from burning coal to timber.

The wood industry fears thousands of jobs in its factories will be threatened by the "green" power plans and wants government to remove the subsidies facilitating them.

Wildlife and environmental groups are also alarmed that the new biomass schemes could trigger a huge escalation in wood imports and threaten rainforests.

The Wood Panel Industries Association said: "We have already seen a 50% increase in wood prices over the last three years because of these kinds of energy developments and we do not think they should be receiving subsidies for schemes which we believe are not carbon-friendly and which will require a huge amount of imported wood to support a tenfold increase in planned capacity."

The lobbying has started ahead of a planned consultation by the Department of Energy and Climate Change into the future level of subsidy through the renewable obligation certificate (ROC) system.

The current subsidy regime for biomass and other clean technology such as wind power runs until 2013. New "banding" is being considered that will run until 2017.

A DECC spokesman said the department was aware of concerns from interest groups about a major escalation in biomass but said it had safeguards in place. "The very clear sustainability criteria we now have in place under the renewables obligation will mean we know where biomass has come from and how it has been grown.

"The UK criteria also include a minimum greenhouse gas emission saving of 60% compared with EU average fossil-fuel use, and restrictions to prevent use of land, such a primary forest and other land important on carbon or biodiversity grounds, from being converted to grow biomass. These criteria apply to both imported and UK biomass."

It is not just companies such as Canada's Norbord and Austria's Egger which are worried about the future of the British factories they run to supply the construction industry and others with wood.

The RSPB wildlife campaign group also says it is "by no means certain" biomass is a low-carbon energy source. Its new report , Bioenergy: a burning issue, says the power companies will move from a 74% dependency on British wood to an 80% dependency on imports where sustainability will be far harder to verify.

Friends of the Earth says it is also concerned about the large-scale imports of biomass wood from overseas which would be "impossible" to control and could create terrible damage through deforestation in the developing world.

The RSPB claims there are 31 biomass plants in operation but 14 more have been approved, 16 are in the planning stage and a further nine have been proposed.

Drax has been co-firing its main 4,000-megawatt plant using coal and a small amount of biomass but has talked about introducing three standalone biomass plants on the same Yorkshire site if the right subsidy regime is in place.

RWE has plans to convert its 1,050-megawatt coal-fired power station at Tilbury in Essex to run entirely on wood pellets, which would make it the UK's largest biomass plant. The German company has made clear it will import most of the wood supplies from the US.

The Biomass Energy Centre, run by the UK Forestry Commission, argues that wood derived from sustainable forests, where new trees are planted when others are cut down, releases far less carbon than traditional fossil fuels.

"The critical difference between biomass fuels and fossil fuel is that of fossil and contemporary carbon," it says. "Burning fossil fuels results in converting stable carbon sequestered millions of years ago into atmospheric carbon dioxide when the global environment has adapted to current levels.

"Burning biomass fuels, however, returns to the atmosphere contemporary carbon recently taken up by the growing plant, and currently being taken up by replacement growth."


Wind farms: the monuments to lunacy that will be left to blot the British landscape

Three separate news items on the same day last week reflected three different aspects of what is fast becoming a full-scale disaster bearing down on Britain. The first item was a picture in The Daily Telegraph showing two little children forlornly holding a banner reading “E.On Hands Off Winwick”.

This concerned a battle to prevent a tiny Northamptonshire village from being dwarfed by seven 410-foot wind turbines, each higher than Salisbury Cathedral, to be built nearby by a giant German-owned electricity firm. The 40 residents, it was reported, have raised £50,0000 from their savings to pay lawyers to argue their case when their village’s fate is decided at an inquiry by a Government inspector.

In the nine years since I began writing here about wind turbines, I have been approached by more than 100 such local campaigns in every part of Britain, trying to fight the rich and powerful companies that have been queuing up to cash in on the vast subsidy bonanza available to developers of wind farms. Having been the chairman of one such group myself, I know just how time-consuming and costly such battles can be. The campaigners are up against a system horribly rigged against them, because all too often – although they may win every battle locally (in our case we won unanimous support from our local council) – in the end an inspector may come down from London to rule that the wind farm must go ahead because it is “government policy”.

I long ago decided that there was little point reporting on most of these individual campaigns, because the only way this battle was going to be won was by exposing the futility of the national policy they were up against. My main aim had to be to bring home to people just how grotesquely inefficient and costly wind turbines are as a way to make electricity – without even fulfilling their declared purpose of reducing CO2 emissions.

Alas, despite all the practical evidence to show why wind power is one of the greatest follies of our age, those who rule our lives, from our own politicians and officials here in Britain to those above them in Brussels, seem quite impervious to the facts.

Hence the two other items reported last week, one being the Government’s proposed changes to our planning rules (already being implemented, even though the “consultation” has scarcely begun) which are drawing fire from all directions. The particular point here, on page 43 of the Government’s document, is a proposal that local planning authorities must “apply a presumption in favour” of “renewable and low-carbon energy sources”.

What this means in plain English is that we can forget any last vestiges of local democracy. Our planning system is to be rigged even more shamelessly than before, to allow pretty well every application to cover our countryside with wind turbines – along with thousands of monster pylons, themselves up to 400 feet high, marching across Scotland, Wales, Suffolk, Somerset and elsewhere to connect them to the grid.

All this is deemed necessary to meet our EU-agreed target to generate nearly a third of our electricity from “renewables” – six times more than we do now – by 2020. This would require building at least 10,000 more turbines, in addition to the 3,500 we already have – which last year supplied only 2.7 per cent of our electricity.

Obviously this is impossible, but our Government will nevertheless do all it can to meet its unreachable target and force through the building of thousands of turbines, capable of producing a derisory amount of electricity at a cost estimated, on its own figures, at £140 billion (equating to £5,600 for every household in the land).

Which brings us to the third of last week’s news items, a prediction by energy consultants Ulyx that a further avalanche of “green” measures will alone raise Britain’s already soaring energy bills in the same nine years by a further 58 per cent.

A significant part of this crippling increase, helping to drive more than half Britain’s households into “fuel poverty”, will be the costs involved in covering thousands of square miles of our countryside and seas with wind turbines. The sole beneficiaries will be the energy companies, which are allowed to charge us double or treble the normal cost of our electricity, through the subsidies hidden in our energy bills; and landowners such as Sir Reginald Sheffield, the Prime Minister’s father-in-law, who on his own admission stands to earn nearly £1,000 a day at the expense of the rest of us, for allowing a wind farm to be built on his Lincolnshire estate.

Even more damaging, however, will be the way this massive investment diverts resources away from the replacement of the coal-fired and nuclear power stations which are due for closure in coming years, threatening to leave a shortfall in our national electricity supply of nearly 40 per cent. If we are to keep our lights on and our economy running, we need – as the CBI warned in a damning report on Friday – urgently to spend some £200 billion on power supply,

But our politicians have been so carried away into their greenie never-never land that they seem to have lost any sight of this disaster bearing down on us. Instead of putting up turbines on the fields of Northants, E.On should be building the grown-up power stations we desperately need. But government energy policy has so skewed the financial incentives of the system that the real money is to made from building useless wind farms.

Sooner or later, this weird policy will be recognised as such a catastrophic blunder that it, and the colossal subsidies that made it possible, will be abandoned. That will leave vast areas of our once green and pleasant land littered with useless piles of steel and concrete, which it will be no one’s responsibility to cart away.

If the Government really wishes to make a useful change to our planning laws, it should insist that every planning permission to build wind turbines should include a requirement that, after their 25-year life, they must be removed at their owners’ expense. Alas, by that time the companies will all have gone bankrupt, and we shall be left with a hideous legacy as a monument to one of the greatest lunacies of our time.


Obama energy policy raises costs, limits jobs

For decades, political commentators have been lamenting America's lack of an energy policy. That's no longer true. Under Barack Obama, the U.S. has adopted a very clear energy policy: obstruct and even vilify the coal, oil and natural gas industries while lavishing subsidies on unreliable and expensive sources like solar, biofuels and wind energy.

The events of the past few weeks provide plenty of examples. The most recent: the bankruptcy of solar-panel-maker Solyndra, which despite a $527 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy could not compete with overseas producers.

Two weeks before Solyndra's bankruptcy, the White House announced that the Departments of Agriculture, Energy and Navy will "invest up to $510 million during the next three years" to develop "advanced drop-in aviation and marine biofuels to power military and commercial transportation."

Never mind that the entire notion of "advanced biofuels" has been a colossal failure. Despite decades of hype and tens of millions of dollars in subsidies, the U.S. still doesn't have any substantive biofuel production other than the corn ethanol boondoggle, which is now consuming about 40% of all U.S. corn production, and soy-based diesel.

About the same time the White House unveiled the latest biofuel initiative, several news outlets reported on a lawsuit filed by Exxon Mobil Corp. against Obama's Interior Department in which the energy giant claims it has been "singled out" for "unprecedented adverse treatment." At issue: Exxon's lease on offshore acreage that contains the Julia Field, a discovery that may hold 1 billion barrels of recoverable oil, making it one of the biggest finds ever made in the Gulf of Mexico.

Between 2006 and 2008, Exxon spent about $230 million drilling a pair of wells -- each of them to depths exceeding 31,000 feet -- that delineated the giant oil deposit. In late 2008, it applied for an extension of its lease, a process that had been routinely done many times before. But federal officials refused, saying the company hadn't proved a "commitment to production."

Unless the Interior Department changes its position, years of litigation will delay the production of millions of barrels of domestic oil and, with that delay, a postponement of what could be $11 billion in royalties payable to the federal government over the life of the field.

Obama regularly includes anti-oil-industry rhetoric in his speeches. Thursday night, during his speech on jobs, he nearly ignored the issue of energy policy altogether -- no mention of "green jobs," wind, solar or "clean energy" -- but he did manage to squeeze in a condemnation of "tax loopholes for oil companies." The president said the tax preferences for oil companies should be eliminated so that small business owners could get a tax credit for hiring workers.

Obama may not know it, but the domestic oil and gas industry is creating jobs, lots of them. Over the past 18 months or so, 48,000 people were hired in Pennsylvania by companies drilling in the Marcellus Shale. Last month, Halliburton announced that it would hire 11,000 workers this year, most of them to work on shale oil and shale gas projects in North America.

And this week, the American Petroleum Institute, perhaps the most powerful member of the oil lobby, sent a letter to Obama saying that if the industry were allowed to drill in more areas, it could create more than 1 million jobs.

In January, during his State of the Union speech, Obama called oil "yesterday's energy." Since then, he's repeatedly said Congress should repeal the $4 billion worth of annual tax preferences used by the oil and gas industry because, as he said in May, the biggest oil companies are making "about $4 billion in profits each week."

Never mind that during the second quarter, the average member of Big Oil had a profit margin of 7.9%. Last year, Exxon Mobil, the biggest U.S.-based member of Big Oil, had a profit margin of 8.6%. That's only slightly higher than the average profit margin of 214 other sectors tracked by Yahoo Finance. By comparison, Apple's profit margin was 21.5%.

While Obama vilifies the oil industry's profits, his appointees at the EPA are pushing regulations that may force the shuttering of as much as 80,000 megawatts of coal-fired generation capacity because the companies who own those plants cannot comply with the proposed rules.

The closure of the coal-fired plants, which could begin in January, will probably mean even higher electricity costs for cash-strapped consumers. Since 2005, the average cost of residential electricity has increased by about 30% and now stands at 12 cents per kilowatt-hour.

While it hammers the coal sector, the Obama administration is showering the wind energy business with what can only be described as corporate welfare. Consider the Shepherds Flat wind project in Oregon. Not only is the Energy Department giving General Electric and its partners a $1.06 billion loan guarantee on the $1.9 billion project, but as soon as GE's 338 wind turbines start turning at Shepherds Flat, the project owners will get a cash grant of $490 million from the federal government.

The deal has so much "green" for the project developers that last fall, some of Obama's top advisers objected, saying that its backers had "little skin in the game" while the government would be providing "a significant subsidy (65+ percent)." The advisers' memo points out that the subsidies could allow GE and its partners, which include Google and Japan's Sumitomo Corp., to reap an "estimated return on equity of 30 percent."

Over the past year, the average electric utility's return on equity has been 7.2%. Thus, taxpayers' money is helping GE and its partners earn more than four times the average return on equity in the electricity business, but Obama hasn't uttered a negative word about GE, which paid little or no federal income taxes last year even though it generated $5.1 billion in profits from its U.S. operations.

While campaigning last month, Obama repeatedly decried America's need for "foreign oil." In Minnesota, he talked about the need to "win back energy independence," and then, in nearly the same breath, he denounced the tax breaks that encourage domestic drilling for oil and gas. The solution in Obama's math- and physics-free view of the world: more solar, more wind energy and yes, of course, more electric cars.

Never mind that in 2010, oil and natural gas provided nearly 200 times as much energy to the U.S. economy as all solar and wind energy production combined. Never mind that the Energy Information Administration recently estimated that wind-generated electricity costs about 50% more than that produced by natural gas-fired generators while solar-generated electricity costs at least 200% more.

The latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that 16.3% of U.S. workers are either unemployed or underemployed. In addition, about 14% of the US population, 45.1 million Americans, are now relying on federal food stamps. Given those numbers, the federal government should be doing all it can to keep energy as cheap, abundant and reliable as possible. Unfortunately, on nearly every front, the Obama administration is taking actions that will achieve the exact opposite. And with numerous analysts -- as well as the Federal Reserve -- predicting a prolonged recession, it is doing so at the worst possible time.

That's not good energy policy, but it is, nonetheless, a policy.


From Brisbane to Brussels – ‘Why should we listen to you?’

Senior Australian Senator Ron Boswell takes a dim view of advice from Europe, given their much poorer economic performance than Australia, and says that Australian farmers already suffer enough from European policies without adding a carbon tax

As European stocks fell another 3% in the last week of August on the back of the basket case economies of Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain, it seems absurd the President of European Union Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, should be offering Australia economic advice, Senator Boswell said.

On the Sunday before last, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso stressed the European Union’s desire to see Australia join the “business case for fighting climate change”.

On the back of Mr Barroso’s comments the Prime Minister stated that the Federal Government wanted to make “sure that the world doesn’t take a step backwards towards protectionist measures, which ultimately destroy jobs”.

Senator Boswell said “Perhaps I could offer the President of the European Union Commission some advice, his carbon pricing remarks would be taken seriously if he would allow for Australian products to fairly enter the European market”. Currently, the European system of agricultural subsidies and programmes, or its technical name, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), represents 48% of the European Union’s budget.

The hypocrisy is Ancient Romanesque. “Why should we listen to the president of a body that cannot even effectively command the European economy?” Senator Boswell said.

As the economies of Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain continue to cause volatility in domestic and international markets, there is wide criticism of economically vulnerable schemes such as the EU CAP. The scheme artificially inflates food prices through high import tariffs (estimated to be between 18-28%) that lock out non-EU producers.

Australian National Farmers Federation economics committee chair John McKillop notes that Australian primary producers “compete on an entirely unlevel playing field”. There is 19% discrepancy between EU and Australian farm income subsidies - a potentially multi-million dollar loss in income.

President Barroso said that Europe wanted a global emissions trading agreement but “unfortunately we have not seen the same commitment from other parties, namely some of the major emitters”.

Senator Boswell said that “Australia also wants a global trading scheme where it can get access to European markets. Australian primary industry is already handicapped by the EU freezing Australian products out of their markets”. “We don’t want to put more lead in our saddle by further handicapping our primary and secondary industry with a Carbon Tax”.

“As Mr Barroso points out, the reality is a global emissions trading agreement will not happen anytime soon. Why should Australians suffer Carbon Tax pain for no environmental gain?”

Press release from Senator Boswell, Senator for Queensland. Email:


For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


11 September, 2011

Arctic sea ice cover lowest since 1972

Ya gotta laugh! Compare my more objective headline above with the "spinning like a top" original headline: "Arctic ice cover hits historic low, due to global warming says scientists".

Aside from the grammatical solecism, the omission of mention that only sea-ice is involved and the tendentious "explanation" might be noted.

And the "explanation" CANNOT be true as there has been NO global warming for over 10 years now. What a crock!

It's getting a bit tedious but I suppose I should also mention that melting sea ice does NOT raise the water level. Warmists seem not even up-to-date with Archimedes on that!

Finally, the 1972 starting point for the comparison is not exactly ancient history. There were disappearances of sea ice in the early 20th century too -- but we must not mention that, apparently

It all sounds so scientific below but as any logician will tell you, just one false premise can enable you to draw the most amazing conclusions with perfect logic

THE area covered by Arctic sea ice reached its lowest point this week since the start of satellite observations in 1972, German researchers announced.

"On September 8, the extent of the Arctic sea ice was 4.240 million square kilometres. This is a new historic minimum," said Georg Heygster, head of the Physical Analysis of Remote Sensing Images unit at the University of Bremen's Institute of Environmental Physics.

The new mark is about half-a-per cent under his team's measurements of the previous record, which occurred on September 16, 2007, he said.

According to the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), the record set on that date was 4.1 million sq km. The discrepancy, Heygster explained by phone, was due to slightly different data sets and algorithms. "But the results are internally consistent in both cases," he said.

Arctic ice cover plays a critical role in regulating Earth's climate by reflecting sunlight and keeping the polar region cool.

Retreating summer sea ice - 50 per cent smaller in area than four decades ago - is described by scientists as both a measure and a driver of global warming, with negative impacts on a local and planetary scale.

It is also further evidence of a strong human imprint on climate patterns in recent decades, the researchers said.

"The sea ice retreat can no more be explained with the natural variability from one year to the next, caused by weather influence," Heygster said in an statement released by the university.

"Climate models show, rather, that the reduction is related to the man-made global warming which, due to the albedo effect, is particularly pronounced in the Arctic."

Albedo increases when an area once covered by reflective snow or ice - which bounces 80 per cent of the Sun's radiative force back into space - is replaced by deep blue sea, which absorbs the heat instead.

Temperatures in the Arctic region have risen more than twice as fast as the global average over the last half century.

The Arctic ice cover has also become significantly thinner in recent decades, though it is not possible to measure the shrinkage in thickness as precisely as for surface area, the statement said.

Satellite tracking since 1972 shows that the extent of Arctic sea ice is dropping at about 11 per cent per decade.

NSIDC director Mark Serreze has said that summer ice cover could disappear entirely by 2030, leaving nothing but heat-trapping "blue ocean."

The NSIDC likewise monitors Arctic ice cover on a daily basis, but has not announced record-low ice cover. Data posted on its website as of Saturday only covered the period through September 6.

By last week, it said, sea ice is almost completely gone from the channels of the Northwest Passage. The southern route - also known as Amunden's Route - was also ice free, as was the Northern Sea Route along Siberia.

But even as the thaw opens shipping lanes, it disrupts the lives and livelihoods of indigenous peoples, and poses a severe threat to fauna, including polar bears, ice seals and walruses, conservation groups say.

"This stunning loss of Arctic sea ice is yet another wake-up call that climate change is here now and is having devastating effects around the world," said Shaye Wolf, climate science director at the Center for Biological Diversity in San Francisco.

The last time the Arctic was incontestably free of summertime ice was 125,000 years ago, during the height of the last major interglacial period, known as the Eemian.

Air temperatures in the Arctic were warmer than today, and sea level was also four to six metres higher because the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets had partly melted.

Global average temperatures today are close to the maximum warmth seen during the Eemian.


Another iteration of some old nonsense
Coral reefs 'will be gone by end of the century'. They will be the first entire ecosystem to be destroyed by human activity, says top UN scientist...

Coral reefs are on course to become the first ecosystem that human activity will eliminate entirely from the Earth, a leading United Nations scientist claims. He says this event will occur before the end of the present century, which means that there are children already born who will live to see a world without coral.

In fact, the scleractinian corals, which are the major builders of the reefs of today, have been around some 200 million years, during most of which time both the atmosphere's CO2 concentration and its temperature were much greater than they are today, which should immediately raise a red flag about the proffered cause of the recent decline in reef growth.

As Australia has by far the largest coral reef, The Great Barrier Reef, Australians are well used to these sensationalist cries. But Hoagy, the chief Australian crier of recent years has gone silent for a while now. Why? Because some of his own research showed that coral is very resilient to any setbacks. See here, here, here and here for the evidence against Hoagy and his ilk.

It is a testimony to Hoagy's sheer mental constipation that he needed research to find that out, however. The Great Barrier Reef extends for 1,600 miles in a roughly North to South direction and as the waters it occupies become warmer, so does its diversity and extent grow. That simple fact should have told him that warming would be a BENEFIT rather than a hindrance to coral growth.

It's truly amazing that anybody still has the brass to trot out this old scare. It's yet more evidence that Warmists are only pseudo-scientists.

It is interesting how the same people who claim evolution as their most cherished belief, have zero understanding of the principles behind it - environmental stress, natural selection, adaption and migration.

See Tom Nelson for links

350: The most brain-dead campaign of your life

The stupidity in the campaign mentioned here is absolutely breathtaking. Excerpt:
The most recent science tells us that unless we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, we will cause huge and irreversible damage to the earth.

Black line shows a notable long-term decline in CO2 while the blue line shows a virtually trend-free temperature. Note the hugely high levels of CO2 in the Cambrian era

Take a careful look at the black line in this graph. If you see any reason to panic when CO2 is over 350 ppm, please let me know immediately...


New research supports Svensmark explanation of temperature variability

The paper uses daily temperature range as an index of cloudiness and finds that it is in fact related to cosmic ray input. Some excerpts below. For more on temperature range and clouds, see here.
Forbush decreases - clouds relation in the neutron monitor era

By A. Dragic et al.


The proposed influence of cosmic rays on cloud formation is tested for the effect of sudden intensity changes of CR (Forbush decreases) on cloudiness. An attempt is made to widen the investigated period covered by satellite observation of cloudiness. As an indicator of cloud cover, the diurnal temperature range (DTR - a quantity anticorrelated with cloudiness) is used. The superposed epoch analysis on a set of isolated Forbush decreases is conducted and the results for a region of Europe are presented. The effect of Forbush decrease on DTR is statistically significant only if the analysis is restricted to high amplitude FDs (above the threshold value of 7% with the respect to undisturbed CR intensity). The magnitude of the effect on DTR is estimated to be (0.38ñ0.06)


If CR influence cloud cover, changes in CR intensity should reflect on cloudiness. One remarkable change in CR intensity is the Forbush decrease (FD), a sudden drop of CR intensity with slow recovery lasting typically several days. We conducted the superposed epoch analysis of DTR deviation vs. epochs around FD. The analysis is restricted to the region of Europe. Only FDs with amplitudes higher than some predefined level are taken into account.


The superposed epoch analysis confirmed the statistically significant influence of CR intensity decrease on the state of the atmosphere. The effect is visible only if FDs exceeding the threshold (7% amplitude with the Mt. Washington data) are considered. The result strongly supports the idea that cosmic rays influence the atmospheric processes and climate. The natural variability of atmospheric parameters makes the CR contribution difficult to detect. The DTR appears to be a useful quantity to consider in connection with CR intensity, avoiding some of the difficulties associated with satellite measurements of cloudiness. The present study should be considered as a preliminary one.


Labor complains to Obama about job-killing EPA

As 9 percent unemployment plagues America this Labor Day, major unions are clashing with a Democratic administration with which they normally would march in lock step. Echoing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, at least seven unions are begging the Obama administration to abandon regulations, statements and procedures that prevent jobs from being created or saved.

Several labor unions decry the Environmental Protection Agency's existing and prospective rules, mainly designed to reduce coal emissions. These stalwarts of the liberal Left resemble capitalists who now call the EPA the Employment Prevention Agency.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers' Texas unit wrote the EPA June 16 on behalf of its 23,000 members. IBEW executive Jonathan Gardner warned that EPA red tape “directly would jeopardize the jobs of approximately 1,500 IBEW members working at six different power plants across the state of Texas.” Gardner argued, “The shutdown of coal-fired units without any meaningful benefit to the environment is not justified.”

This catastrophe unfolds well beyond the Lone Star state.

The 76,000-member United Mine Workers estimates that EPA-fueled power-plant closures directly could kill 54,151 jobs and indirectly destroy 197,140 others.

In an Aug. 1 letter to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Jon Wellinghoff and Commissioners John Norris and Cheryl LaFleur wrote that FERC examined “how coal-fired generating units could be impacted (sic) by EPA rules.” FERC explained that this, “informal, preliminary assessment showed 40 GW of coal-fired generating capacity ‘likely' to retire, with another 41 GW ‘very likely' to retire.”

If the EPA unplugs 81 gigawatts, it would dim America's electrical capacity 8.1 percent. American Electric Power, Duke Energy and the Southern Co. – among other utilities – said these rules would force them to close coal-fired generating stations. Padlocked power plants and scarcer electricity would debilitate America's feeble economy and further imperil workers.

R. Thomas Buffenbarger, president of the 720,000-member International Association of Machinists, penned a June 29 letter with Peter J. Bunce, CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, pleading with President Obama to stop slamming corporate jets.

“During the severe economic downturn in 2008, ill-informed criticism of corporate jets and business aviation exacerbated the challenges facing our industry, which led to depressed new aircraft sales and jeopardized very good, high-paying jobs throughout the United States. More than 20,000 highly skilled IAM members were laid off in this industry.”

Buffenbarger and Bunce continued: “We are very concerned that the rhetoric coming from some in your administration will lead to similar economic difficulties.”

The Obama administration has not opposed the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would transport petroleum from Canada's oil sands to Texas' refineries. Instead, it has studied this project into paralysis. The State Department favors it, while the EPA frowns – “a process that has gone on for more than two years,” the presidents of the Plumbing and Pipefitters, Operating Engineers, Laborers International and Teamsters unions (with 2.6 million members among all four) complained last October. These labor leaders denounce this “lost ground for thousands of workers who are sitting on the sidelines of our ailing national economy.”

Do these deregulatory rumblings foreshadow the AFL-CIO's endorsement of Rick Perry for president? Unlikely. Union officials will stick overwhelmingly with the incumbent.

Still, while 14 million Americans wish they were workers, some in Big Labor now cry “Uncle!” at Big Government.


Australia: Fallout from Greenie dam-hatred is expensive

Desalination is the crazy alternative that Greenies have forced on governments around Australia, even though there is plenty of potential for more dams to serve the growing population

Fifteen months ago workers at a dam 200 kilometres south of Sydney switched off a set of high-pressure pumps that have played a critical role in safeguarding Sydney's precarious water supply.

Transfers from Tallowa Dam, on the upper Shoalhaven River, had added more than a trillion litres to Warragamba Dam over the past decade before the taps were turned off.

The absence of that extra water, which fell from 152 billion litres in 2008 to zero this year, has been crucial to Warragamba remaining below 80 per cent full - the trigger point at which the Kurnell desalination plant must be shut down.

Had those Sydney Catchment Authority engineers - acting on the instruction of the state government - kept the pumps running, Sydney's water supply would today stand at 94.6 per cent, according to expert projections supplied to The Sun-Herald.

With the Warragamba catchment at 78.9 per cent in reality, experts say the government is clinging to a reason to push ahead with the $1.5 billion sale of the desalination plant. While it is running, the cost of the electricity-guzzling plant adds $96 a year to Sydney water bills.

"The state government has an incentive to keep the Warragamba Dam below full," says Professor Stuart White, of the University of Technology, Sydney, who helped write the current Metropolitan Water Plan.

"When we're paying 70¢ per cubic metre of desalinated water, it would not be a good look to have it spilling over the top of Warragamba for free."

It is also arguably not in the government's interests for consumers to be aware of pure water flushing out to sea from Tallowa while they are paying for seawater to be transformed into drinking water.

White is one of a number of experts who believe the O'Farrell government will go through with the privatisation against the best interests of the populace.

"The government has the opportunity to pursue a sale for a one-off capital win or take a one-off hit - but do the right thing by the consumer and shut the plant down. It's a radical step to shut it down but that's what should be contemplated to save this needless waste of energy."

White describes the planned sale as a "win, win, lose" situation in which consumers are the losers. "The state government wins with a capital windfall and an investor locks in to a long-term, guaranteed return," he says.

For the past two years Tallowa Dam has been full and is currently allowing excess "environmental flows" to flush through the Shoalhaven and out to sea.

The Greens, who support environmental flows for the Shoalhaven, nonetheless believe the switch-off at Tallowa is part a strategy to justify the existence of the desalination plant. They have accused the government of scrapping a range of water recycling schemes for the same reason.

"Tallowa has been ramped back to make the desalination plant look like a much more attractive investment when it is privatised," the Greens MP Dr John Kaye says. "It's a much cleaner deal if there looks like there is at least a need for the desalination plant. It's all about appearances."

The government recently appointed the investment bank Goldman Sachs to run the sale.

Bankers familiar with the tender process told The Sun-Herald that investors, probably from overseas, would line up to buy the plant because the contract would stipulate a return whether it was operational or not.

The government has established a taskforce consisting of representatives of Sydney Water, Treasury and the Finance and Premier and Cabinet departments to establish the guidelines for privatisation.

A spokeswoman for Sydney Water, Emma Whale, confirmed the 80 per cent threshold for switching off the plant remained under the O'Farrell government. "The dam levels should not have bearing on the sale or the contract. IPART is currently determining both a water usage and availability charge," she said.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


10 September, 2011

Is Gov. Perry ‘Anti-Science’?

During this week’s GOP presidential candidates debate in California, Texas Gov. Rick Perry made a statement about global warming that Mother Jones, the Huffington Post, the UK Guardian, and others condemn as “anti-science.” Asked by moderator John Harris of Politico “which scientists” are “most credible” in questioning “the idea that human activity is behind climate change,” Perry replied:
Well, I do agree that there is – the science is – is not settled on this. The idea that we would put Americans’ economy at – at- at jeopardy based on scientific theory that’s not settled yet, to me, is just – is nonsense. I mean, it – I mean – and I tell somebody, I said, just because you have a group of scientists that have stood up and said here is the fact, Galileo got outvoted for a spell. But the fact is, to put America’s economic future in jeopardy, asking us to cut back in areas that would have monstrous economic impact on this country is not good economics and I will suggest to you is not necessarily good science. Find out what the science truly is before you start putting the American economy in jeopardy.

The UK Guardian was quick to denigrate Perry’s answer:
It’s one thing to question the economic impact and legacy of current climate policy proposals – you would expect and wish for politicians to debate this – but for a politician to question the science in this way is striking. . . .Note how he studiously ignored the moderator’s well-crafted question: who exactly are these “Galileos” that you believe have so comprehensively cast doubt on the canon of climate science? Perry couldn’t – or wouldn’t – name them.

The Guardian makes a mountain out of a molehill. If Harris was so keen to know which climate scientists Perry finds most credible, he could have just restated the question. Perry was apparently more interested in making two basic points: (1) he does not view global warming as a warrant for imposing massive new regulatory burdens on the U.S. economy; (2) he is not impressed by appeals to an alleged “scientific consensus” because, after all, scientific issues not settled by counting heads.

The question Harris asked is bound to come up again and again in candidate forums, and it’s a bit of a loaded question at that. Alarmists would like us to believe that any human contribution to climate change constitutes a “planetary emergency” (Al Gore’s phrase) and, as such, justifies the imposition of cap-and-trade and other assaults on affordable energy. Hence, they would like nothing better than to trick opponents into arguing as if the case against cap-and-trade, or against EPA’s hijacking of climate policy, hinges on the implausible thesis that greenhouse gases do not have a greenhouse (warming) effect.

How then should presidential contenders respond to such questions? Here’s how I would answer Harris’s question:
The premise of your question, If I’m not mistaken, is the notion, popularized by Al Gore, that any human contribution to climate change by definition constitutes a “planetary emergency” demanding urgent regulatory action. This is ideology, not science. The key scientific issue is not whether greenhouse gas emissions have a greenhouse effect but how sensitive Earth’s climate is to the ongoing rise in greenhouse gas concentrations. The sensitivity issue is far from being “settled.” You asked for names of credible scientists. Three who raise fundamental questions about the sensitivity assumptions driving the big, scary global warming forecasts are Richard Lindzen, Patrick Michaels, and Roy Spencer. The debate on climate sensitivity will likely be with us for some time. At this point, all I can say is that those who assume a highly sensitive climate have a hard time explaining why there’s been no net global warming over the past 14 years.

Much of what we hear about global warming is hype and scaremongering. If climate change is the dire peril some people claim it is, then why has there been no acceleration in sea-level rise over the past five decades? Why did heat-related mortality in the USA decline, decade-by-decade, from the mid-1960s to the late 1990s? Why has there been no long-term increase in hurricane-related economic damages once you adjust for increases in wealth, the consumer price index, and population? Why have total deaths and death rates related to extreme weather events declined by 93% and 98%, respectively, since the 1920s? Why has U.S. farm output increased dramatically over the past half century?

For more than two decades, the environmental movement has been pushing an ideology that might be called Kyotoism or, alternatively, Gorethodoxy. This is the view that global warming is a catastrophe in the making from which we can save ourselves only by waging the moral equivalent of war on affordable energy. The real catastrophe would be in enacting their agenda of cap-and-trade, energy taxes, and more subsidies for companies like Solyndra. Not even a prosperous America could afford to replace coal, oil, and natural gas with wind turbines, solar panels, and biofuel. We certainly cannot afford to do so in the current economic crisis.


A PERSPECTIVE ON CLIMATE CHANGE, a primer for politicians

Climate change is a major issue of our times. Concern is affecting environmental, energy, and economic policy decisions. Many politicians are under the mistaken belief that legislation and regulation can significantly mold our climate to forestall any deviation from “normal” and save us from a perceived crisis. This post is intended as a primer for politicians so they can cut through the hype and compare real observational data against the flawed model prognostications.

The information below is gleaned from the scientific literature. The data show that the current warming is not unusual, but part of a natural cycle; that greenhouse gases, other than water vapor, are not significant drivers of climate; that human emissions of carbon dioxide are insignificant when compared to natural emissions of greenhouse gases; and that many predictions by climate modelers and hyped by the media are simply wrong. There is no physical evidence showing that human carbon dioxide emissions have a significant effect on global temperature. Carbon dioxide is vital to life on earth and current atmospheric levels are dangerously low. Political schemes to cut greenhouse gases will have no measurable effect on temperature but will greatly harm the economy by impeding energy production and use.


The graph below, based on reconstruction from the geologic and historical records, shows that there have been several warm/cold cycles since the end of the last glacial epoch. The temperature during the Holocene Climate Optimum was 3ºF to 10ºF warmer than today in many areas. This is warmer than the extreme scenarios of the IPCC. Clearly, current temperatures are neither unprecedented nor unusually warm.

Looking at the broader geologic record, we see that there is little correlation between temperature and carbon dioxide.

Note that there was an ice age at the end of the Ordovician Period when atmospheric CO2 was approximately 4,500 ppm or more than 11 times the current level. Notice also that the “normal” temperature of this planet is 22 C, or about 18 F warmer than it is now.

For more details and references see: Natural Climate Cycles

But what about the ice core graphs?

These show a correlation between temperature and carbon dioxide. But what isn’t usually mentioned is that temperature changes PRECEDED changes in CO2 concentration by about 800 years. That’s because temperature controls carbon dioxide solubility in the oceans. Notice that the temperature cycles occur in approximately 100,000-year intervals. This coincides with the precession of the Earth’s elliptical orbit around the Sun. (Can you think of anything that would make CO2 cycle this way if it were the driver rather than temperature?)

For more information and references see: Al Gore’s Favorite Graph

Carbon Dioxide and the Greenhouse Effect

The “greenhouse effect,” very simplified, is this: solar radiation penetrates the atmosphere and warms the surface of the earth. The earth’s surface radiates thermal energy (infrared radiation) back into space. Some of this radiation is absorbed and re-radiated back to the surface and into space by clouds, water vapor, methane, carbon dioxide, and other gases. Water vapor is the principle greenhouse gas; the others are minor players. Without the greenhouse effect the planet would be an iceball, about 34 C colder than it is. The term “greenhouse effect” with respect to the atmosphere is an unfortunate usage because it is misleading. The interior of a real greenhouse (or your automobile parked with windows closed and left in the sun) heats up because there is a physical barrier to convective heat loss. There is no such physical barrier in the atmosphere.

Carbon dioxide is a “greenhouse” gas, but its theoretical ability to warm the atmosphere (as shown on the graph) diminishes with increasing concentration. For instance, if a certain amount of carbon dioxide can cause a 1 degree temperature rise, it will take twice that amount to warm the next degree.

The reason it works this way is because carbon dioxide can absorb only a few specific wavelengths of thermal radiation. The current concentration of carbon dioxide has absorbed almost all available radiation in those wavelengths so there is little left for additional carbon dioxide to absorb. Water vapor absorbs many of the same wavelengths of thermal radiation decreasing the effect of carbon dioxide even more. That is why our proposed attempts to decrease atmospheric carbon dioxide will have almost no effect on temperature.

For more details see: Carbon Dioxide and the Greenhouse Effect and Humans and the Carbon Cycle


The IPCC says that warming will produce more water vapor which will enhance greenhouse warming, a positive feedback. All their climate models are based on this assumption. Sounds reasonable, except in the real world it doesn’t happen. Increased water vapor produces more clouds which block the sun thereby inducing cooling, a negative feedback.

According to climate models, the rate of warming should increase by 200-300% with altitude in the tropics, peaking at around 10 kilometers – a characteristic “fingerprint” for greenhouse warming. However, measurements by weather balloons and satellites show the opposite result: no increasing temperature trend with altitude. In other words, the model-predicted “fingerprint” of anthropogenic, greenhouse warming is absent in nature. The computer-predicted signature of greenhouse warming trends should look like the graph on the left below, but according to measurements from satellites and radiosondes, the actual temperature trend is as depicted in the graph on the right

The atmosphere is not static; we have weather which tends to dissipate heat into space. According to real world measurements, the negative feedbacks overwhelm the theoretical positive feedback posed by the IPCC.

The greenhouse model is a simplified story that helps explain how our atmosphere works. However, the real world is very complicated and still not fully understood. Even global warming alarmist James Hansen of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, had this to say: “The forcings that drive long-term climate change are not known with an accuracy sufficient to define future climate change.” — James Hansen, “Climate forcings in the Industrial era”, PNAS, Vol. 95, Issue 22, 12753-12758, October 27, 1998.

And even the IPCC once admitted, “In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the prediction of a specific future climate state is not possible.” — Final chapter, Draft TAR 2000 (Third Assessment Report), IPCC.

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

US Summers Warmed Faster In The Early 20th Century

From 1900 to 1940, US summers warmed at a rate of 5F per century. Then they cooled until 1960. Since 1960, they have been warming at a rate of 3F per century.

1936 is still officially the hottest summer, even though USHCN adds 0.6F on to all recent US temperatures.


So-Called “Climate-Sensitivity” – A Dance On The Head Of A Pin

The highly critical weblog and media posts on the Spencer and Braswell (2011) and Dessler (2011) papers reminds me of the medieval question “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin“.

The question the scientists, bloggers and media are asking is what is the magnitude of a so-called “climate sensitivity” to the human input of CO2 and a few other greenhouse gases? The more appropriate question, is why do we care?

What they are calling “climate sensitivity” is in fact the resultant change in the global average surface temperature anomaly to a change in the global average radiative forcing (e.g. see). Climate is so much more than this, as is documented in the figure below from NRC (2005) which I have presented on my weblog numerous times before.

The problem with focusing on the use of a so-called “climate sensitivity” as the holy grail of climate to communicate to policymakers is that it has essentially frozen the adoption of effective adaptation and mitigation responses to the real climate issues.

The real climate issues should be on how climate variability and longer term climate change (from both human and natural forcings) affect risks to our key resources of water, food, energy, human health and ecosystem function. The narrow definition of the so-called ”climate sensitivity”, while of interest as a science question, is essentially worthless as a metric to use in order to reduce the threats faced by these key resources.

Instead of the vitriolic debates on weblogs and media on the Spencer and Braswell (2011) and Dessler (2011) papers, lets move towards a bottom-up, resource-based perspective such as we have proposed in our paper

Pielke Sr., R.A., R. Wilby, D. Niyogi, F. Hossain, K. Dairuku, J. Adegoke, G. Kallos, T. Seastedt, and K. Suding, 2011: "Dealing with complexity and extreme events using a bottom-up, resource-based vulnerability perspective". AGU Monograph on Complexity and Extreme Events in Geosciences, in press.

The bottom line conclusion is that the assessment of risks to key resources, including threats from climate variability and climate change, based on the magnitude of a so-called “climate sensitivity“, is a fatally flawed framework for developing effective adaptation and mitigation policies to reduce those risks.

The reduction of risks using the bottom-up, resource-based framework, in contrast, is a much more valuable and inclusive approach. With this perspective policymakers can adopt effective mitigation and adaptation methodologies to deal with the diversity of complex threats to society and the environment that will occur in the coming decades, regardless of the extent that humans are altering the global average surface temperature.

SOURCE (See the original for links and graphics)

More settled science: Earth's climate has been abruptly changing over past 800,000 years with 'safe' levels of CO2

An international team of scientists, led by Dr Stephen Barker of Cardiff University, has produced a prediction of what climate records from Greenland might look like over the last 800,000 years.

Drill cores taken from Greenland's vast ice sheets provided the first clue that Earth's climate is capable of very rapid transitions and have led to vigorous scientific investigation into the possible causes of abrupt climate change.

Such evidence comes from the accumulation of layers of ancient snow, which compact to form the ice-sheets we see today. Each layer of ice can reveal past temperatures and even evidence for the timing and magnitude of distant storms or volcanic eruptions. By drilling cores in the ice scientists have reconstructed an incredible record of past climates. Until now such temperature records from Greenland have covered only the last 100,000 years or so.

The team's reconstruction is based on the much longer ice core temperature record retrieved from Antarctica and uses a mathematical formulation to extend the Greenland record beyond its current limit.

Dr Barker, Cardiff School of Earth and Ocean Sciences said: "Our approach is based on an earlier suggestion that the record of Antarctic temperature variability could be derived from the Greenland record. "However, we turned this idea on its head to derive a much longer record for Greenland using the available records from Antarctica."

The research published in the journal Science (Sept. 8) demonstrates that abrupt climate change has been a systemic feature of Earth's climate for hundreds of thousands of years and may play an active role in longer term climate variability through its influence on ice age terminations.

Dr Barker added: "It is intriguing to get an insight into what abrupt climate variability may have looked like before the Greenland records begin. We now have to wait until longer Greenland records are produced so that we can see how successful our prediction is."

The new predictions provide an extended testing bed for the climate models that are used to predict future climate variability.


Obama Proclaims: Stimulus Forever

Bet you didn’t know that cement was really, really bad for you. It’s not actually bad for you, but that isn’t stopping the EPA from imposing more ridiculous rules, known as MACT, that will require the cement industry to invest billions in new technology over the next two years in order to improve air quality.

Hey: We may not have jobs, but take a deep breath. Can't you breath easier knowing that you'll breath easier in the unemployment line now that Obama's extending the dole?

All this as Obama calls on Congress to give him more money to create more unionized government workers, more buildings to house them, more unionized workers to build bridges to ANYWHERE.

I don't know about you, but the streets in my town don't need another layer of asphalt. It didn't work out so great the last time we tried this.

What we need is for government to stop genuflecting to enviros and unions while kneeling on the backs of Main Street and industry.

The cement industry is just another victim in Obama’s serial job-killing spree that includes banking, investment, construction, home building, energy, defense and autos. At least we still have a thriving green job industry that requires billions in federal subsidies.

Ok. Maybe not thriving, by they do require the subsidies. Hence Obama's brave call for more spending to support failing industries and government in the guise of job creation.

Obama’s top job-assassins at the EPA plan on killing another 25,000 current jobs in the cement industry- you know, jobs employing real people who have kids and up-to-date mortgages and don’t need food stamps or unemployment or subsidies- even while Obama is calling for $450 billion in new federal spending to create new government jobs to replace the old private sector jobs he killed.

With plans like this, we could be spending federal stimulus money f-o-r-e-v-e-r.

Get it? Or do I have to spell it out for you again?

Estimates for complying with the new cement mandates, according to the EPA and the House Energy Committee, are between $2.5 and $3.5 billion 2013 for an industry that generates $6.5 billion in sales annually.

Remember the last trillion dollar stimulus bill that failed?

It didn’t work because the government really sucks at making investment choices for the rest of us- see Security, Social for an example. All governments suck at it- see Greece, France, Italy, Portugal, etc. Asking the government to make investment decisions for the economy is like asking an alcoholic to make up a wine menu at a rehab facility.

It’s just something that common sense tells you shouldn’t be done. Of course that presupposes one possesses common sense in the first place.

Maybe that’s why Obama’s so bad at investment choices. Obama’s spending money on investments in more stuff that doesn’t work with one hand- see energy, solar- while he’s killing jobs with regulations that don’t work in the other- see cement.

He should really just try stopping both. Or alternately someone could stop him.

In one of the signs that Obama may have more trouble inside his own party than with the loyal opposition heading in to the 'Ought-Twelve election cycle, Democrats and Republicans are teaming up for an 11th hour effort to stop the EPA from putting the sea-ment shoes on the cement industry.

The House Energy Panel is currently holding hearings on a bill designed to preserve jobs and manufacturing capacity for cement manufacturers impacted by new regulatory clutter imposed by Obama’s EPA.

Known as the Sullivan bill after prime sponsor Rep John Sullivan (R-OK), the bill seeks to prevent more jobs from fleeing overseas. It's designed to reign-in the regulatory and financial burdens that Obama has put on private industry as the economy teeters on the brink of a double-secret depression.

“The President is talking about jobs tonight and I want to be clear - this bill is jobs,” said Sullivan yesterday in hearings on the bill. “If the EPA rules go into effect – nearly 20,000 jobs will be lost due to plant closures and inflated construction costs.”

Sullivan says that the EPA’s current rules threaten to shut down 20 percent of the nation’s cement manufacturing plants in the next two years, sending thousands of jobs permanently overseas and driving up cement and construction costs across the country.

The bill is sponsored jointly by both Republicans and Democrats including Reps. John Sullivan(R-OK) and Mike Ross (D-AR), together with Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Bob Latta (R-Ohio), Greg Walden (R-OR), Joe Barton (R-TX), John Carter (R-TX), Charles Dent (R-PA), Dan Boren (D-OK), and Jason Altmire (D-PA).

After the president's speech last night Sullivan said "I am glad the President is bringing his ideas to the table, but American people are tired of speeches and costly stimulus bills that fail to create jobs...It is my hope the President will take a long hard look at our efforts to reign in job crushing federal regulations, maximize American energy production and to pay down our massive debt – if passed by the Senate and signed by the President, these simple actions will grow our economy and create American jobs right now.”

But don't breathe easier quite yet.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


9 September, 2011

Damn! U.S. has just had only the SECOND warmest summer in 75 years

Those pesky 1930s, when industrial activity was at a minimum (remember the great Depression?), spoil the story again

The USA just endured its hottest summer in 75 years and the second-hottest summer on record, according to data released Thursday afternoon by the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C.

The average U.S. temperature during the summer of 2011 was 74.5 degrees, which was 2.4 degrees above the long-term (1901-2000) average. Only the Dust Bowl year of 1936, at 74.6 degrees, was warmer.

Texas also suffered through its driest summer on record. The state is in the midst of its worst drought since the 1950s.

[So what was happening in the 1950s? They didn't have SUVs then and power usage was a fraction of what it is now]

On the flip side, two states — Oregon and Washington — had a cooler than average summer, while California had its wettest summer on record. [So the anomalies weren't even national, let alone global]

U.S. climate data go back to 1895. The climate center defines summer as June 1-Aug. 31. It will release global temperature data for the summer of 2011 next week.


Howard Fineman Smears Climate Skeptics and Their 'New Ten Commandments'

This blog is a pretty well-known skeptical blog and yet I am an atheist -- but facts never upset Leftists, of course. Warmism is itself a religion, totally dependent on prophecies -- JR

Former Newsweek editor Howard Fineman appeared on Hardball, Thursday, to attack Rick Perry's climate change skepticism as a "war of the worlds between science and faith." Dismissing anyone who isn't sold on global warming as not logical, Fineman scoffed, "It's part of their new Ten Commandments."

Both Matthews and the Huffington Post contributor offered condescending takes on the Tea Party movement. Comparing Perry to a student, Fineman derided, "And he's not just the kid who didn't read the assignment. He's questioning the right of the teacher to make the assignment in the first place."

He added, "It's an article of faith with the Tea Party people and Perry is going right at every Tea Party voter he can."

Matthews argued that only those who accept climate change could have reasoned beliefs: "Why is [global warming skepticism] so theocratic? Why is it so close to their religious beliefs?"

Fineman, who was the senior editor at Newsweek until October of 2010, has previously attacked Perry. On August 14, 2011, he dismissed, "And you know when proponents of George Bush...are accusing Rick Perry of being shallow, you've got some questions to ask, okay?"

More HERE (See the original for links)

The Dessler 2010 Travesty: It's Now Obvious Why He Avoided Using HadCRUT Data, The Gold-Standard

Read here. Climate scientist Andy Dessler produced research that was a supposed refutation of the Spencer and Braswell research. It was pointed out previously that Dessler chose not to use the same HadCRUT data as Spencer, which smacks one as an extreme form of cherry-picking.

If one is to challenge another scientist's research, should they not be held to the standard of using the same data to make their case? Well....apparently not in Dessler's case since he obviously is driven by a political agenda, not a scientific one.

So, what happens when the Dessler methodology uses the gold-standard HadCRUT data that Spencer used? As Steve McIntyre discovers, the new results actually resemble Spencer's output suggesting that clouds provide a negative feedback.

Well, everyone now knows why Dessler avoided the HadCRUT data. His refutation of the Spencer study was literally a sham.
"Having exactly replicated Dessler’s regression results and Figure 2a, I’ve repeated the exercise with CERES clear sky in combination with CERES all sky, and with the widely used HadCRUT3 series and got surprising results...The supposed relationship between CLD forcing and temperature is reversed: the slope is -0.96 w/m2/K rather than 0.54 (and with somewhat higher though still low significance)."

More HERE (See the original for links)

More Evidence That Models Continue To Show Too Much Recent Warming

In our last World Climate Report article, we detailed a recent paper that showed that climate models which fail to account for the evolution of stratospheric aerosols (that is, reflective particles in the earth’s upper atmospheric) during the past decade or two project less warming than they would have had they included the influence of stratospheric aerosols in their calculations. This means that the discrepancy between the observed warming trend during the past 10-15 years (which is near zero) and climate model projections should be even larger than it appears (and it is already quite large).

Now comes along a new paper which hints at another reason why the climate models should actually be projecting more warming than they currently do—again, meaning that the models are faring even worse than it appears.

The new paper is by Stephen Hudson of the Norwegian Science Institute, is soon to be published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, and deals with the impact of Arctic ice loss on global temperatures.

Hudson points out that this topic is significant because it seems to be a pretty straightforward demonstration of a positive feedback resulting from global warming, going something like this: atmospheric carbon dioxide increases lead to higher temperatures which lead to the melting of the highly reflective Arctic sea ice which leads to more sunlight being absorbed which leads to higher temperatures, and so on.

In fact, this example is a favorite of Al Gore. Hudson explains:
In general introductions to the topic of climate change, the sea ice–albedo feedback (SIAF) is often singled out for use in explaining the concept of climate feedbacks (e.g., it is the only feedback mentioned by Gore [2006]), something that can give the impression to the interested public that it is the most important feedback process, while its popularity likely stems from the relative ease with which it can be explained and grasped.

Hudson’s intent is to find out just how much of an influence Arctic sea ice really has on the earth’s temperature (or at least its radiative effect, which is directly related to temperature). And he is intent on doing so without overly involving climate models. He describes his motivation:
This study focuses directly on the changes in the amount of solar radiation absorbed by Earth due to the loss of Arctic sea ice. It focuses only on the Arctic because that is where significant changes have been observed in recent decades. The estimates here are based mostly on observations, rather than on the results of climate models. Furthermore, they are kept relatively simple, to make the uncertainties and assumptions that go into the calculation of the increased absorption of solar radiation as clear as possible.

Included in Hudson’s calculations are the observed sea ice values from 1979 through 2007, the climatological cloud cover over the sea ice regions, various characteristics of ice and cloud reflectivity, and the changing angle of the sun over the seasons. Using these factors, Hudson calculated the total global radiative forcing anomaly for each year based on the amount of sea ice that year (Figure 1). The radiative forcing anomaly is basically the change in radiation that is absorbed at the surface and goes into heating the earth—positive forcing anomalies indicate a tendency towards higher temperatures. Plotted along side the radiative forcing anomaly iin Figure 1 is the observed Arctic sea ice extent in September of each year from 1979 to 2007 (the left-hand axis flipped so less ice is upwards), which shows that September sea ice is a pretty good indicator of the radiative forcing changes—the less September sea ice cover in the Arctic, the greater the radiative forcing anomaly and the greater the pressure imparted to raise the earth’s average temperature.

In order to convert radiative forcing changes into actual global temperature changes, we need to use some value for the “climate sensitivity”—that is, how much the earth’s average surface temperature changes for a given forcing change. In general, the climate sensitivity that climate models spit out is about 0.75°C per Watts per square meter. We, along with a growing number others, think that climate models overestimate the climate sensitivity, and that in fact, it is probably less than half of this value. But for the sake of this article in which our goal is to assess climate model performance, we will use the model estimate of climate sensitivity. So to convert the radiative forcing changes in Figure 1 to global temperature changes, we multiply by 0.75°C/W/m2. In Figure 2, we show this result (updated with our best guess at the values through 2011) and add a trend line through the temperature change. The magnitude of this trend, which represents the rate of global warming that climate models would likely project from the decline in Arctic sea ice is 0.034°C/decade (from 1979-2011). If we only look at the last 10-15 years of the record, a period of time in which sea ice decline has hastened, the trend increases to about 0.06°C/decade.

So what does this have to do with climate models and their projections? We are glad you ask!

A couple of years ago, Julienne Stroeve and colleagues from the National Snow and Ice Data Center analyzed the rate of Arctic sea ice loss projected by a host of climate models used by the IPCC and then compared the model projections against the observations. In Figure 3, we reproduce the major finding from Stroeve et al.’s study (including updating the September sea ice extents through (an estimated value for) 2011). Figure 3 demonstrates that the observed sea ice is declining at a rate about twice as fast as climate models projected. A fairly larger body of scientific work has been focused on explaining why this is the case, with most studies concluding that natural variability (in such factors as wind and ocean circulation patterns) has been responsible for the extra amount of ice loss over the past several decades.

But regardless of the cause, it means than only about 50% of the warming from the loss of Arctic sea ice has been correctly captured by the climate models.

In other words, over the past 10-15 years, about 0.03°C/decade of warming has been missed by the models. Had they correctly captured it, the model-projected warming rate for the past decade or more would have been even greater than it is now, and the resulting discrepancy between model projections and the observed rate of global warming would have been even larger than it is currently.

In other words, the models are doing worse than we realize.

Currently, a bevy of researchers are furiously scrambling to make excuses why the models aren’t working so well by pointing out potential influences such as a slight decline in solar radiation (Lean and Rind, 2007), and a decrease in upper atmospheric water vapor (Solomon et al., 2010) which may be acting to impart a cooling pressure on surface temperatures and thus offset some warming from increasing greenhouse gas concentrations. Others are contending that the observed lack of warming is perfectly consistent with model projections (e.g. Santer et al., 2011).

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

EPA Declares war on farmers: Hay now a ‘Pollutant’

During his presentation on the status of the nation’s new country-of-origin labeling (COOL) law, and on behalf of the R-CALF USA COOL Committee, R-CALF USA member and Kansas cattle feeder Mike Callicrate was asked a non-COOL question that set convention goers on their heels during the 12th Annual R-CALF USA Convention held August 26-27 in Rapid City, S.D.

“Has the Environmental Protection Agency declared hay a pollutant?” an audience member asked. Callicrate responded affirmatively and explained that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently initiated a formal enforcement action against his Kansas feedlot for, among other things, failure to store his hay in a pollution containment zone. “Now that EPA has declared hay a pollutant, every farmer and rancher that stores hay, or that leaves a broken hay bale in the field is potentially violating EPA rules and subject to an EPA enforcement action,” Callicrate said. “How far are we going to let this agency go before we stand up and do something about it?”

Callicrate is permitted to handle 12,000 cattle at a time in his feedlot, which is considered a small to mid-sized feedlot in an industry now dominated by mega-feedlots such as those owned by the world’s largest beef packer – JBS-Brazil – with a one-time capacity of over 900,000 cattle; or the other mega-feedlot that also feeds hundreds of thousands of cattle at a time and is owned by the nation’s second-largest beef packer – Cargill; or the other handful of mega feedlots with capacities of hundreds of thousands of cattle such as those owned by Cactus Feeders, Inc. and Friona Industries.

In comments submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice, R-CALF USA estimated the above named mega-feedlots feed 18 percent of the nation’s fed cattle each year while one-fourth of the nation’s cattle are fed in feedlots with a one time capacity of 50,000 head or more. The largest of feedlots are getting larger and Callicrate’s feedlot is among the group of small to mid-sized feedlots that are being pressured to exit the industry so beef packers and corporate feedlot owners can increase their respective capacities. Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) show that 45 feedlots with one-time capacities of between 1,000 or more cattle but less than 16,000 cattle have exited the industry from 2008 to 2010.

R-CALF USA contents beef packers are deliberately forcing small to mid-sized feedlots out of business through unfair and abusive cattle-buying practices that effectively restrict market access for all but the largest of feedlots. “The proposed GIPSA rule (USDA Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration rule) will put a stop to such unfair and abusive practices, but only if USDA issues a final rule,” said Callicrate.

Callicrate’s feedlot is the perfect example. In late 1998, the nation’s largest beef packers blackballed Callicrate because he called attention to the unfair buying practices of the corporate meatpackers. Callicrate was forced to cease his feedlot operations until 2000 when he opened Ranch Foods Direct, a meat processing and distribution company in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and began marketing his own beef more directly to consumers.

“I believe the EPA’s enforcement action is a premeditated effort by EPA to partner with the beef packers to finish the job the beef packer’s couldn’t do alone,” said Callicrate adding, “along with my feedlot, the EPA has filed enforcement actions against five other smaller feedlots, including one with only 400 cattle.

Callicrate said the EPA does not appear to be going after the corporate feedlots. “EPA is turning a blind eye toward the mega-feedlots that are a real risk for pollution and, instead, is antagonizing small to mid-sized family operations in an effort to help their packer-partners capture the entire live cattle supply chain away from family farm and ranch operations.”

We thought the Obama Administration was going to bring about a change to the ongoing corporate control and corporate dominance that has been decimating the U.S. cattle industry. I guess we’re seeing that change right now. Rather than reduce corporate control and dominance the EPA is overtly partnering with the corporate beef packers to accelerate the exodus of sustainable, independent family operations. This really smells,” Callicrate concluded.


Unclogging America’s oil pipeline system

Two proposed pipelines that together have the potential to unclog the overburdened pipes from the oil sands – and in doing so provide America with a friendly, stable, and growing source of oil – took significant steps forward last week.

The State Department gave a crucial green light to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry heavy oil from Canada’s oil sands across the Great Plains to terminals in Oklahoma and the Gulf Coast. And Calgary-based Enbridge announced that it has lined up enough shippers to fill its proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, which would move bitumen from Canada’s oil sands to the west coast for transport to Asian markets.

Together, Keystone XL and Northern Gateway would alleviate the mounting issue of how to get crude oil from the oil sands out to market. Oil sands production is very much on the rise: Canada produced 1.5 million barrels of crude a day from the oil sands in 2010 and plans to expand that total to 2.2 million barrels a day in 2015 and 3.7 million barrels a day by 2025.

The crude oil extracted from the sands is thick and heavy. Refining this bitumen (as it is known) requires heavy oil facilities, of which there are none in Canada. At present bitumen is sent to heavy oil refineries in America’s Midwest, but the pipelines that run from the oil sands to Oklahoma will reach maximum capacity in as little as four years. At that point oil sands producers will be stuck with increasing volumes of bitumen and no way to get it to market… that is, unless another pipeline or two gets built.

The Northern Gateway pipeline would bypass refining altogether, sending crude bitumen to the west coast to be loaded onto tankers and taken across the Pacific to Asian markets. The company looking to build the line – Enbridge – says companies have fully subscribed to long-term service on both the main line (a 525,000-barrel-per-day pipe running from Alberta to the west coast town of Kitimat) as well as on the subsidiary (a smaller line that would bring imported condensates inland). In its announcement, Enbridge did not identify which companies signed on to use the C$5.5-billion facility, but Chinese refining giant Sinopec says it is on board with the project.

Enbridge called the shipper agreements a “major step forward” for the project. The company says the option of selling crude oil to Asia, instead of only selling to the United States, will enable Canadian producers to command a better price for their product.

Then there’s Keystone XL. The Keystone pipeline, which started operations in mid-2010, crosses the border from Manitoba into North Dakota, then traverses South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri to terminate in Illinois. In February of this year another terminus was added in Cushing, Oklahoma. But even with two end points, the line can still carry only 591,000 barrels of oil a day.

Owner TransCanada wants to expand the pipeline in two steps. Phase I would see a new, 2,700-kilometer line run from Alberta through Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska, meeting up with the current line in Steele City. The second phase would connect the entire system to the Gulf Coast by adding a line from Cushing, Oklahoma, to Houston.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


8 September, 2011

New methane discovery: They didn't predict it and don't understand it but are sure it's due to global warming!

Since there has been NO global warming over the period concerned, global warming is in fact the one cause we can rule out!

Scientists who have just completed several years of pole-to-pole flights have uncovered data that confirms some of the deep worries about human-generated global warming that had been predicted by computer-based mathematical models.

The flights offered the most comprehensive look to date at greenhouse gases accumulating in the atmosphere, warming the planet and setting off chains of effects on climate.

The data mined by the National Center for Atmospheric Research team will take years to analyze. Asked about his first overall impression, however, the project's chief investigator, Steven Wofsy, a professor of Atmospheric and Environmental Science at Harvard University, said, "It certainly doesn’t make me feel more relaxed" about human-induced climate change.

Unlike satellite or ground-based data, the information gleaned on flights that dipped from as high as 40,000 feet to below 500 feet recorded and demonstrated some of the mechanisms that put additional greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, adding a level of precision that mathematical models and satellite observation often lack.

"It's like looking at an X-ray from the '60s versus a CAT scan today," Wofsy said of the difference in the data.

Scientists were surprised to find strong evidence that ocean surfaces laid bare by melting ice are emitting methane at a "significant" rate likely to have "global impact," Wofsy said.

"It confirms a concern that’s been raised about the removal of ice from the arctic." Wofsy said. "It does look to be significant, and that’s a new result there."

The process by which the open ocean surface is emitting methane, a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, is uncertain, Wofsy said, adding that it likely is not from frozen masses of methane known to be in deep oceans, nor from methane being exhaled from newly thawed tundra.

The discovery of this net addition to the atmosphere confirms a "feedback" mechanism by which one phenomenon has a multiplier effect on the contents of Earth's atmosphere, where greenhouse gases have been accumulating at a rapid rate in modern industrial crimes.

Here, not only does the white ice stop reflecting the sun's energy into the atmosphere (the albedo effect), but its absence also adds more blanketing gases that trap reflected heat.

"It had not been forecast that we would see evidence of methane coming from the deep ocean regions," Wofsy said. "Maybe we should’ve known, but that was a surprise."

In the tropics, the flight teams were able to see and measure how nitrogen oxide and nitrogen dioxide accumulate in the upper atmosphere. In addition, the flights more closely observed the interchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the ocean, a product of photosynthesis by algae and die-offs of that algae, among other processes.

The flights not only allowed researchers to chronicle the distribution of CO2 but count the molecules and use the data to test mathematical models' predictions.

The research was conducted jointly by the atmospheric center and the National Science Foundation, which along with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, provided funding.

Known by its acronym, HIPPO, the effort used an advanced aircraft that would dip down to 500 feet or lower at every two degrees of latitude, collecting data throughout the air column in an effort to determine where and when planet-warming particles enter the atmosphere.

At a time when partisan politicians and climate skeptics have whittled away at uncertainties in models and studies, the data have the potential to be a trove of factual rebuttal. Two peer-reviewed papers already have been produced from the data, and more are expected.


Neither paper NOR plastic? California keeps its lead in nuttiness

An effort to allow only reusable bags at Los Angeles grocery stores may sound like a political long-shot, but one city councilman thinks the public will eventually warm up to the initiative.

KNX 1070′s Pete Demetriou reports just the suggestion of such a ban raised the eyebrows of several Southland shoppers.

The measure introduced by City Councilman Paul Koretz would prohibit all single-use plastic and paper bags in L.A. supermarkets and would require stores to sell or provide complimentary reusable or fiber bags only or risk a fine.

Koretz said that while banning plastic bags helps reduce land and ocean pollution, the single-use paper bag still contributes significantly to the local waste stream.

Some local shoppers, however, were less than enthused about the proposal. “I think they can find a different way to make improvements to the city,” one man said. “It’d probably be good for the planet in the long run, but short-term I could see it being a nightmare,” another shopper said.

The measure still has to clear the Energy and Environment Committee, but proponents believe the waste reduction aspect of the bill will be a strong selling point that would leapfrog L.A. ahead of cities like San Francisco and Santa Monica in the battle against bag pollution.


Low-lying islands endangered by sea-level rise?

Whether or not an overall sea level for the whole earth can be meaningfully calculated, the sea level in some contentious particular places can be clearly documented from tide-gauge records

Nils Axel Mörner

Ban Ki Moon and the Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum have recently claimed that serious sea level rise problems occur both in Tuvalu and Kiribati.

This is what two misguided politicians may say. But what is the reality, we must ask. The answer is clear and straight forward: There the is no sea level rise going on – at least for the last 18 years – either in Tuvalu or in Kiribati.

Over and over again, have I tried to demonstrate (Mörner, 2007; 2010, 2011) that sea is not at all in a rising mode in Tuvalu judging from the only information there is; i.e. the tide gauge records. The same has been done by others, especially Gray (2010).

Since 1985 there are no signs of any sea level rise. Three major ENSO events with significant drops in sea level are recorded in 1983, 1992 and 1998. with no sign of any ongoing sea level rise

So, if our observational facts say: no rise in sea level, why are people continuing to drive the sea level rise illusion. It doesn’t become better (rather the opposite) if you are the Secretary- General for the United Nation or Pacific Island Forum. It is simply wrong. But what it is worth: It steals the limelight from real problems in the real world.

The same is true for Kiribati. It lies in an area of the SW Pacific where satellite altimetry proposes a sea level rise in the order of 5 mm/year. Gray (2010) showed that this does indeed not concur with the last SEAFRAME tide gauge record from Kiribati. The record spans 17 years. Still, it does not record any long-term sea level rise; just a stability.

The SEAFRAME tide-gauge record from Kiribati (redrawn from Grav, 2010) provides no documentation of any long-tern sea level rise; just a stability of the past 17 years.

Vanuatu is another famous site in the sea level debate. Here, too, there is a total absence of indications of any sea level rise over the past 17-18 years (Mörner, 2007, 2011; Gray, 2010).

The list can be enlarged over wider (the Indian Ocean with places like the Maldives and Bangladesh) and wider (spots all over the globe; not least northwestern Europe where it all can be put at a test; even so in Venice).

Obviously, there is a major clash between scenario based computer simulations and reality in the form of observational based facts and observations in nature itself. Therefore, there are all logical reasons to turn away from the propaganda information and concentrate all attention and interest on observational facts.

In this case, those facts give a very clear and irrefutable message; there is no alarming sea level rise either in Tuvalu or Kiribati. Ban Ki Moon and his friend from the Pacific Islands Forum should both feel ashamed of their claims and statements with respect to Tuvalu and Kiribati.

More HERE (See the original for graphics)

New Santer et al. Paper Totally Discredited - Santer Ignores Prior, Pivotal Peer Reviewed Research

The violence-prone and globally discredited Ben Santer has Climategate friends (Kevin Trenberth and Andy Dessler) who recently claimed that the Spencer and Braswell 2011 study is invalid because it did not include prior research to their liking.

Now we have Ben Santer, Carl A. Mears, C. Doutriaux, Peter Martin Caldwell, Peter J. Gleckler, Tom M.L. Wigley, Susan Solomon, Nathan Gillett, Detelina P. Ivanova, Thomas R. Karl, John R. Lanzante, Gerald A. Meehl, Peter A. Stott, Karl E Taylor, Peter Thorne, Michael F. Wehner, Frank J. Wentz publishing a study that totally ignores the challenge of previous, pivotal research by Christy, J.R., B. Herman, R. Pielke, Sr., P. Klotzbach, R.T. McNider, J.J. Hnilo, R.W. Spencer, T. Chase and D. Douglass, 2010.

Hmmmm.....pot meet kettle, eh?
"Santer et al ignored an important paper...Trends are computed for different time periods (e.g. see figure 2 in Christy et al 2010), and should have been compared with the model predictions... The failure of Santer et al to include a very relevant paper with respect to their analysis is one of the justifications for Wolfgang Wagner to resign from Remote Sensing in response to claims that Spencer and Braswell (S&B) ignored relevant papers that disagreed with S&B."

Fair is fair.....Santer et al. is simply discredited due to this lack of respect for the new era of Climategate-style research. Santer needs to apologize to the previous research authors for this gross lack of scientific research rigor, and he could also finally apologize for threatening another climate scientist with violent harm while off his meds.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Renewable Energy Credits Called Out as “The Ultimate Greenwash”

The Corporate Renewable Energy Index (CREX), a product of Bloomberg New Energy Finance and Vestas Wind Systems, provides some insight. For the moment, News Corp. appears to be outpacing Starbucks in its commitment to renewables, according to the index. News Corp. purchases 67 percent of its electricity from renewable in comparison to 58 percent by Starbucks.

Researchers with the Cascade Policy Institute, based in Oregon, surmise that public relations schemes are at work. News Corp. is not exactly a media darling, while Starbucks has been winning points in recent years for its environmental posturing. In any event, neither company sits at top of the index. Whole Foods, Intel Corp. and Kohl’s are the leading purchasers, the latest survey shows.

But a significant percentage of the companies listed on CREX did not actually make purchases of renewable energy, the Cascade Policy Institute has revealed. In reality, they are purchasing renewable energy credits (RECs), which Cascade describes as a “fabricated commodity.”

“A REC represents the alleged ‘environmental amenities’ associated with certain forms of electrical power production such as wind or solar,” Cascade reports. “For those in the trade, one REC is created every time one megawatt-hour (MWh) or renewable energy is generated. Two distinct commodities are associated with renewable energy, Cascade explains. First, there is the actual electric output, and second, there is the illusive environmental benefit.

In the aftermath of the climategate scandal involving “scientists” at University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) in Great Britain, there is ample room to raise serious questions about the premise of man-made global warming theories that the United Nations continues to peddle. But even if companies do accept this premise they should know that purchasing RECs do little if anything to reduce total carbon dioxide emissions.

A company that buys green power can make the claim that it is alleviating its carbon footprint, but it cannot argue that it is curtailing its total emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Even so, Bloomberg touts the index as a meaningful environmental exercise.

For years, we at Bloomberg New Energy Finance have focused so much of our attention on the generators of clean energy”, said Michael Liebreich, CEO of Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “For this report, we shift the lens just a bit to look at who is buying this electricity. The CREX brings transparency to the renewable energy use of major global corporations, and will be a useful tool for energy investors.”

But where Bloomberg sees transparency, Cascade sees duplicity.

For starters, the price for RECs is too low to spur any meaningful investment into clean energy, the institute points out. The average price is less than $1 per REC. Furthermore, it is very clear that corporate America is using REC as a “marketing gimmick” to bolster its environmental credentials.

“RECs are little more than a waste of other people’s money,” Cascade argues. “As a fabricated commodity, RECs are little more than the ultimate greenwash.”


Our least sustainable energy option

By Paul Driessen — President Obama and a chorus of environmentalists, politicians, corporate executives and bureaucrats are perennially bullish on wind power as the bellwether of our “clean energy economy of the future.”

In reality, wind energy may well be the least sustainable and least eco-friendly of all electricity options. Its shortcomings are legion, but the biggest ones can be grouped into eight categories.

Land. As American humorist and philosopher Will Rogers observed, “They ain’t making any more of it.” Wind turbine installations impact vast amounts of land, far more than traditional power plants.

Arizona’s Palo Verde nuclear plant generates 3,750 megwatts of electricity from a 4,000-acre site. The 600-MW John Turk ultra-supercritical coal-fired power plant in Arkansas covers part of 2,900 acres; two 600-MW coal-fired units in India use just 600 acres. Gas-fired units like Calpine’s 560-MW Fox Energy Center in Wisconsin require several hundred acres. All generate reliable power 90-95 percent of the year.

By contrast, the 600-MW Fowler Ridge wind installation (355 turbines) spans 50,000 acres of farm country along Indiana’s I-65 corridor. The 782-MW Roscoe project in Texas (627 turbines) sprawls across 100,000 acres. Oregon’s Shepherds Flat project (338 gigantic 2.5 MW turbines) covers nearly 80,000 wildlife and scenic acres along the Columbia River Gorge, for a “rated capacity” of 845 MW.

The Chokecherry-Sierra Madre project will blanket some 320,000 acres of sage grouse habitat and BLM land in Wyoming with 1,000 monstrous 3-MW turbines, to generate zero to 3,000 MW of intermittent power. That’s eight times the size of Washington, DC, to get an average annual output one-fourth of what Palo Verde generates 90 percent of the time. But C-SM has already received preliminary approval from BLM.

To replace just 20 percent of the United States’ 995,000 MW of total installed generating capacity, we would need to blanket an area the size of Kansas with wind turbines, and then add nearly a thousand 600-MW gas-fired backup generators … and thousands of miles of new high voltage transmission lines.

Raw materials. Wind turbine installations require vast amounts of steel, copper, rare earth metals, fiberglass, concrete, rebar and other materials for the turbines, towers and bases.

A single 1.7 MW wind turbine, like 315 of the Fowler Ridge units, involves some 365 tons of materials for the turbine assembly and tower, plus nearly 1100 tons of concrete and rebar for the foundation. Bigger units require substantially more materials. Grand total for the entire Fowler wind installation: some 515,000 tons; for Roscoe, 752,000 tons; for Shepherds Flat, 575,000 tons; for Chokecherry, perhaps 2,000,000 tons. Offshore installations need far more raw materials.

To all that must be added millions of tons of steel, copper, concrete and rebar for thousands of miles of transmission lines — and still more for mostly gas-fired generators to back up every megawatt of wind power and generate electricity the 17 hours of each average day that the wind doesn’t blow.

Money. Taxpayers and consumers must provide perpetual subsidies to prop up wind projects, which cannot survive without steady infusions of cash via feed-in tariffs, tax breaks and direct payments.

Transmission lines cost $1.0 million to $2.5 million per mile. Landowners get $5,000+ per turbine, plus royalties on all energy produced from the turbine, plus payments for every foot of access road and transmission lines. However, taxpayers pay more, while the landowners’ neighbors suffer property devaluation, scenic disruption, noise, health problems and interference with crop spraying, but no monetary compensation. Direct federal wind energy subsidies to help cover this totaled $5 billion in FY 2010; state support added billions more; still more billions were added to consumers’ electric bills.

The Other People’s Money well is running dry. The “manmade catastrophic climate change” thesis behind the wind energy campaign is in shambles. Voters and consumers are understandably fed up.

Energy. Mining, quarrying, drilling, milling, refining, smelting and manufacturing operations make the production of metals, concrete, fiberglass and resins, turbines, and heavy equipment to do all of the above very energy-intensive. Ditto for transporting and installing turbines, towers, backups and transmission lines. That takes real energy: abundant, reliable, affordable — not what comes from wind turbines.

In fact, it probably requires more energy to manufacture, haul and install these monstrous Cuisinarts of the air and their transmission systems than they will generate in their lifetimes. However, no cradle-to-grave analysis has ever been conducted, for the energy inputs or pollution outputs. We need one now.

Health. Whereas environmentalists garner scary headlines over wildly speculative claims about health dangers from hydraulic fracturing (to extract abundant natural gas for wind turbine backup generators), they ignore and dismiss a growing body of evidence that wind turbines cause significant health problems.

Principal health issues are associated with noise — not just annoying audible noise, but inaudible, low-frequency “infrasound” that causes headache, dizziness, “deep nervous fatigue” and symptoms akin to seasickness. “Wind turbine syndrome” also includes irritability, depression, and concentration and sleep problems. Others include “shadow flicker” or “strobe effect” from whirling blades, which can trigger seizures in epileptics, “vibroacoustic” effects on the heart and lungs, and non-lethal harm to animals. Serious lung, heart, cancer and other problems have been documented from rare earth mining, smelting and manufacturing in China, under its less rigorous health, workplace and environmental regulations.

To date, however, very few health assessments have been required or conducted prior to permit approval, even for major wind turbine installations. Perhaps the trial lawyers’ guild could redress that oversight.

Environment. Raptors, bats and other beautiful flying creatures continue to be sliced and diced by wind turbines. Thankfully, the Bureau of Land Management has included an “avian radar system” to track the slaughter within its 500-square-mile Chokecherry region — and banned mining among the turbines.

Wind turbines are supposed to reduce pollution and carbon dioxide emissions. But because backup generators must repeatedly surge to full power and back to standby, as wind speed rises and falls, they operate inefficiently, use more fuel and emit more — much like cars forced to stop repeatedly on freeways.

Jobs. The myth of “green jobs” is hitting the brick wall of reality. While the turbines are installed in the USA and EU, far more numerous mining and manufacturing jobs are in China, where they are hardly “green.” As Spanish and Scottish analysts have documented, the “green” installer and maintenance jobs cost up to $750,000 apiece — and kill 2.2 to 3.7 traditional jobs for every “eco-friendly” job created.

Electricity costs and reliability. Even huge subsidies cannot cure wind power’s biggest defects: its electricity costs far more than coal, gas or nuclear alternatives — and its intermittent nature wreaks havoc on power grids and consumers. The problem is worst on hot summer afternoons, when demand is highest and breezes are minimal. Unable to compete against cheap Chinese and Indian electricity and labor, energy-intensive industries increasingly face the prospect of sending operations and jobs overseas. Bayer Chemical’s warning that it may have to close its German facilities is just the tip of the iceberg.

When it comes to wind, Nat King Cole might have sung: “Unsustainable that’s what you are, unsustainable though near or far. Unsustainable in every way, and forever more that’s how you’ll stay.” Maybe not forever, but certainly for the foreseeable future, especially compared to increasingly abundant natural gas.

So take a hint from Spoon’s lively tune and “cut out the middleman.” Forge a direct relationship with energy you can afford, energy that works nearly 24/7/365, energy that causes the least ecological damage and is far more sustainable than wind power: the hydrocarbon, hydroelectric and nuclear power that have sustained our society and brought unprecedented health, prosperity and living standards to billions.

Then help the planet’s least fortunate people to do likewise.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


7 September, 2011

Don Quixote coming

Physicists have taken the climatologists' ball away from them

Question: What could a climate scientist bring to the debate among physicists over the interaction of cosmic rays with the Earth’s atmosphere?

Answer: the coffee.

Physicists have long maintained that the question of climate change was properly within the realm of physics rather than that of those glorified weathermen who call themselves “climatologists.” Last week we got confirmation of that. It came in the form of a study by physicists in Switzerland.

The study, which was published in the prestigious peer-reviewed science publication Nature, gave support to an alternative theory of climate change first proposed in the late 1990s by a Danish physicist named Henrik Svensmark.

Svensmark proposed that the wild swings in climate over the eons could not be attributed to a cause as minor as slight increases in gases such as carbon dioxide. Instead, he theorized, those swings could be caused by solar activity. Cosmic rays from the sun might play a key role in cloud formation in the Earth’s atmosphere. Clouds can trap heat.

That was the theory. But like all theories, it had to be tested in the lab. The lab in question was the CERN particle accelerator in Geneva. And sure enough, the study showed that ionization increases the nucleation rate of condensation nuclei.

In other words, cosmic rays can have an effect on climate. Meanwhile, atmospheric gases don’t seem to play that big a role in cloud formation, the study concluded.

Physicists have suspected this is the case ever since Svensmark advanced the theory. One such physicist with whom I’ve discussed it at length is William Happer, who runs a physics lab that is named after him at Princeton University. The primary source of confusion for the layman, said Happer, is the supposed consensus among scientists that greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide raise the temperature of the planet.

There is indeed such a consensus, he said, but it goes only as far as the effect of the CO2 itself. And the recent rise in CO2 could account for an increase of, at most, a 10th of degree, he believes.

To get to the massive temperature spikes predicted by Al Gore et al., you need what’s known as “forcing.” That’s the theory that a relatively small increase in man-made greenhouse gases, such as CO2, will have a large effect on water vapor, which is by far the most prevalent greenhouse gas.

When I e-mailed Happer asking if we could chat about this, he informed me he was about to take a trip on the Trans-Siberian Railway and would be out of touch for a week. That’s why physicists are fun to talk to, by the way. They do lots of cool stuff. If you doubt that, read “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynmann,” in which the late Richard Feynmann describes applying his talents to safe-cracking and gambling.

Anyway, I called another scientist skeptical of the climatology crowd, Don Easterbrook. Easterbrook is a professor of geology at Western Washington University who is an expert on the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, a wind-flow system over the Pacific Ocean that has a huge influence on the Earth’s climate.

It’s back to the drawing board for the climatologists, he told me. Their models need to change to incorporate the new data.

“They couldn’t even predict 10 years ahead,” said Easterbrook. “The bottom line is their modeling results have been a dismal failure.”

The reason is not far to seek, he said. When it comes to the sun, those models took into account only the amount of heat being directed toward the Earth. They didn’t take into account the effect solar activity has on cloud formation. That’s where the physics comes in.

“Unfortunately, you do have to be a rocket scientist to understand this,” said Easterbrook. “But those climate scientists are virtually all computer modelers.”

They’ve now got something new to put into their models, he said. The CERN study doesn’t necessarily show, as some have claimed, that we’ll soon be entering an ice age or that greenhouse gases have no influence whatsoever. But it does show that computer models are only as good as the data they’re based on.

And when it comes to what could be the key piece of data needed to model the climate, the climatologists are now at the mercy of the physicists. That area of research is far above the climatologists’ heads — literally and figuratively.

ALSO: Who's in denial now? In this piece, Svensmark makes a compelling argument that climate scientists need to rework their models to include the effect of solar activity:
Ever since we put forward our theory in 1996, it has been subjected to very sharp criticism, which is normal in science.

First it was said that a link between clouds and solar activity could not be correct, because no physical mechanism was known. But in 2006, after many years of work, we completed experiments at DTU Space that demonstrated the existence of a physical mechanism. The cosmic rays help to form aerosols, which are the seeds for cloud formation.

Then came the criticism that the mechanism we found in the laboratory could not work in the real atmosphere, and therefore had no practical significance. We have just rejected that criticism emphatically.

It turns out that the Sun itself performs what might be called natural experiments. Giant solar eruptions can cause the cosmic ray intensity on earth to dive suddenly over a few days. In the days following an eruption, cloud cover can fall by about 4 per cent. And the amount of liquid water in cloud droplets is reduced by almost 7 per cent. Here is a very large effect – indeed so great that in popular terms the Earth’s clouds originate in space.


Spencer Cloud Research Uses IPCC Gold-Standard HadCRUT Data, But New Dessler Study Avoids Gold-Standard Benchmark

New research published today by Andy Dessler, an IPCC Climategate scientist, appears to have major shortcomings. His new study was greased, like goose leavings, through the peer reviewed process in just a few weeks, which may have contributed to the work's shoddiness.

Supposedly, Dessler's new research was to be a refutation of the Spencer and Braswell 2011 study that revealed clouds were likely to be a negative climate feedback. Instead of doing an apple-to-apple comparison though, Dessler chose a different temperature dataset (a non-consensus dataset avoided by the IPCC) than the Spencer research.

Unfortunately, the choice of non-HadCRUT, non-IPCC dataset, reflects the unbridled cherry-picking temptation that the Dessler research fell victim to. If the HadCRUT dataset is the IPCC benchmark that Spencer research followed, then Dessler should have met the scientific challenge by using the same best-of-breed data that the IPCC demands.

It now seems obvious that Dessler knew his research would falter if based on the gold-standard of the IPCC. If this wasn't the case, why not use the gold-standard?

Even with his cherry-picking of the dataset, Dessler research does not hold up to the statistical scrutiny that Steve McIntyre brings to the table. It didn't take long for Steve to ascertain that the positive cloud feedback that Dessler claims might not be so "positive."

"Doing the same regression with 4-month lagged relationships (which both Dessler and SB agree to be more significant than the instantaneous relationship), the sign of the slope is reversed. Whereas Dessler 2010 had reported a slope of 0.54 +- 0.72 (2?) W/m2/K, the regression with lagged variables is -0.90 +- 0.95 w/m2/K and has better diagnostics...Given that the even the lagged relationship is weak, I’m reluctant to say that analysis using the methods of Dessler 2010 established a negative feedback, but it does seem to me that they cannot be said to have established the claimed positive feedback...Perhaps the editor of Science will send a written apology to Kevin Trenberth."

Objectively, if the Dessler rushed peer reviewed research is the best that mainstream climate scientists can deliver against the Spencer and Braswell study, then it's a case closed. Clouds do appear to be a negative feedback mechanism within the climate system as the Spencer 2011 work suggests.


Models only touch on the complexity of the climate -- so inevitably get it wrong

The claims of those who worry about human damage to the climate become ever more strident despite, or perhaps because of, the real world data rapidly diverging from that which they anticipated.

It is now 13 years since the 1998 culmination of a period of thirty years of unusual ocean surface warmth that resulted in the atmospheric temperature peak of that year. Additionally during that period the sun was more active than ever previously recorded.

AGW proponents accept that the virtual cessation of warming over the past 13 years is a result of cooler ocean surfaces but refuse to accept the corollary that the primary cause of the warmer period was warmer ocean surfaces. Warmer oceans also expand. and release natural CO2. The apparent levelling off in the sea level rise is coincident with recent cooler ocean surfaces.

It is a recent discovery that the oceans can act for decades at a time as net absorbers OR net emitters of previously accumulated solar energy on a vast and highly variable scale yet AGW proponents still ignore the overwhelming evidence because to acknowledge it would destroy years of fond memories of a publicly funded gold rush encouraged by their fanciful claims to understand climate and be in a position to influence it.

They ask us to believe many impossible things:

a) That despite a historically very active sun there was no solar warming in the latter half of the 20th Century.

b) That despite 30 years of anomalous ocean surface warmth the oceans were not the cause (but it is accepted that recent ocean cooling is the cause of recent atmospheric cooling).

c) That the Arctic has only warmed because of AGW and not as a side effect of warmer ocean water flowing into the Arctic Circle.

d) That although warmer ocean surfaces absorb less CO2 the observed increase in CO2 in the air is all or mostly our fault.

e) That a warmer ocean surface increases the surface/space temperature differential yet does not give rise to a significant increase in loss of energy to space.

f) That models which are abject failures in predicting changes in global temperature trend should be used to inform policy decisions up to 100 years hence.

g) That the current cooling is weather but the earlier warming was climate.

I could go one but readers will get the picture.

After ten years the assertions that everything since 1998 is ‘just weather’, ‘internal variability’ or ‘masking the underlying trend’, become ever more tiresome and unreasonable to expect us to believe.

The latest diversion is to announce that recent years are still in the top ten or top twenty warmest. Of course they will be until any new trend becomes longer established because all the warmest years will cluster around a peak both on the way up and on the way down. The same phenomenon would be observed at the bottom of a cooling trough.

How much longer do we have to wait to be given an honest admission that all is not well with the understanding of climate and an acknowledgement that by now there is legitimacy in calls for caution in the light of the potentially disastrous consequences of the ‘solutions’ that they have been proposing?

Solutions can be worse than problems but some seem oblivious to that. A fine and well informed judgement is required rather than emotional commitment to the cause.

For confirmation that current events are validating ideas which I presented earlier this year see here:

and for confirmation that the scientific establishment is now coming into line see the excellent recent paper from Don Easterbrook here:

The AGW proponents must now pause, take stock and immediately advise the policy makers that the levels of confidence expressed in the IPCC reports are grossly overstated and now under serious question.

The attempts to dismiss all the accumulating real world evidence are perverse. Any suggestion that recent and current events represent merely a temporary cessation of CO2 induced warming must now stop. From the speed of recent climate responses to the quiet sun and negative oceans (the observed cessation of warming) it must be apparent that the link is direct, rapid and potentially dangerous for global food production. On any view the human CO2 contribution must be powerless to drive anything on a time scale of less than a thousand years. If there is a long term problem we have plenty of time to deal with it and will probably destroy ourselves by some other means well beforehand.

AGW proponents have for long enough been demonising so called ‘deniers’ over climate issues yet we are now on the cusp of a complete reversal whereby AGW proponents should now be proclaimed as the deniers of reality.

Cold is so much more dangerous than warmth that they are now likely to become responsible for far more damage to humanity than would have been possible through the actions of AGW sceptics.

By all means do our best to minimise real pollution, reduce the speed of depletion of natural resources and whatever else can be done reasonably and economically to protect the environment but do not waste time, money and a vast number of lives in the poorer nations by starting an energy rationing and redistribution programme on the basis of a potentially false premise concerning CO2

Energy rationing is an express route to resource wars, poverty and deprivation and thus even greater damage to the planet than might otherwise occur. It is a way of bringing forward that which we fear and denies us the opportunity to take time to get the solutions to the real problems right.

The Critical Omission:

If global warming alarmists wish to persuade us and lead us they first have to convince us and furthermore earn their status by openness, clarity and honesty.

Behind their contentions they should have a clear unified idea as to how the overall global climate actually operates in the real world from start to finish. It is transparent that they have no such idea.

The Earth is just a short term way station receiving solar energy, processing it in various ways and then releasing it to space. There is currently no overarching conceptual picture of the entire process into which can be fitted all the myriad details which the ‘experts’ are arguing about.

Consequently there are no real climate experts. All we have is a wide variety of specialists in other fields that have a bearing on one aspect or another of climate related issues. The number of individuals who could be genuinely regarded as climate specialists is very limited and they are hampered by not being specialists in all the linked areas of science. Indeed the matter of climate is so all encompassing that it would be impossible anyway.

There are many sophisticated models that purport to mimic real world climate but to my mind they seem to be built upwards from innumerable details rather than downwards from a verifiable overarching concept.

No one knows how to attach due weight to each component so ‘progress’ is attempted by altering components by guesswork and then seeing whether the models will produce results something like the real world. That is referred to as ‘hind casting’ and it can be made to work but it is not possible to verify whether or not the hind cast represents truth unless the revised model can exhibit predictive skill.

In some limited respects models can be used to anticipate the future behaviour of individual components of the system for short periods. However the only thing that really matters as regards climate change is the ability to accurately predict changes in global temperature trend and to anticipate their speed and depth/height. It is not good enough to disingenuously assert, after a failure to predict a change in trend, that nevertheless they are right and it is just a temporary diversion to be expected from ‘natural variability’.

Models have no policy making value unless they correctly anticipate the scale and timing of the effect from ‘natural’ climate drivers as against ‘human’ influences Currently the models are incapable of being objectively verified as to the balance which they allocate between the two. When it was found that the models were failing to reflect reality all the difference was attributed to CO2 and the appropriate weighting inserted to ‘remove’ the problem.

The current and continuing divergence from reality is proof that the weighting for CO2 was wrong.

Every prediction or projection made so far has immediately begun to diverge from reality and the expectations of thirteen years ago now lie in tatters. Truly the blind are leading the blind.

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

The new Salem trials

Before the Salem witchcraft skeptic persecutions, the supernatural junk science was part of everyday life, for there was a strong belief that Satan title="See also Global Warming Researchers Looking To Sacrifice Animals In Order To Obtain Funding" href="">global warming was present and active on earth.

Joseph Glanvill Joe Romm claimed that he could prove the existence of witches and ghosts greenhouse gases of the supernatural superpowerful realm. Glanvill Romm wrote about the “denial of the bodily resurrection global warming. In his treatise, he claimed that ingenious men should believe in witches and apparitions runaway greenhouse gases; if they doubted the reality of spirits global warming, they not only denied demons CO2, but also the almighty God. Glanvill Romm wanted to prove that the supernatural climate change could not be denied; those who did deny apparitions CO2 were considered heretics for it also disproved their beliefs in angels government funding for junk science.




Report finds that taxpayer dollars support the ‘Big Green’ agenda

Lawsuits against a power-hungry government agency like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are inevitable.

The lawsuits come from all sides and all entities. For example, citizens and states might sue the EPA for overregulation of an industry that could lead to lost jobs and revenues. Green groups might sue the EPA because they feel it hasn’t done enough to over-regulate businesses or to expand enforcement of current environmental laws.

But it is important to note that in many cases the EPA and Treasury Department are required to award attorney’s fees to those plaintiffs that successfully dispute the EPA. And because the Justice Department is what defends the EPA in court cases, your tax dollars are what are used to pay the opposing sides’ attorneys.

It just so happens that with some thorough research by Senators Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., and David Vitter, R-La., and a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), some light was shed on just how much taxpayer money is spent on these environmental court cases and who benefits.

What was discovered is jaw-dropping. The GAO report found that in addition to attorney’s fees awarded, the Justice Department spent at least $43 million in taxpayer dollars defending EPA in court from 1998 to 2010. That doesn’t include the fact that Treasury paid about $14.2 million from fiscal year 2003 through 2010 and the EPA paid approximately $1.4 million from fiscal year 2006 through 2010.

Because most people don’t have millions of dollars on hand to sue the EPA if need be, these statutes were put into place so citizens and industries could afford to bring charges against the federal government. However, less than 20 percent of awarded money has been given to private industries, citizens, state agencies and associations combined. This begs the question, what were the largest beneficiaries of these payouts?

The three primary beneficiaries from 1998 to 2010 were: Sierra Club, Earthjustice and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Total amounts these organizations received from all attorney fees paid to EPA litigants combined was at least 41 percent of the total payouts. Earthjustice alone received 32 percent, as indicated by this report.

Go figure that the primary beneficiaries of statutes set to protect citizens and private industries would instead be awarded to environmental groups that want nothing more than to extend the power and grasp of the federal government’s EPA.

Even more striking was the payout to all environmental groups (ENGOs), which in total was 82 percent.

“This fund has turned into nothing more than a taxpayer slush fund designed to pay environmental attorneys whose sole function is to further the scope and power of environmental laws, which kill industries and those jobs vital to America,” says Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government (ALG).

Further proving Wilson’s point is a press release from Sen. Vitter’s office. It claims that in 2008 alone, the NRDC received $3.5 million in taxpayer money “as it pursued litigation that would imperil the jobs of tens of thousands of energy industry employees in Louisiana alone.”

What may be worse is there is almost no accountability or transparency in how the judgment funds are dispersed. For example, the GAO could only provide the Senators with data from recent years, rather than the past 15 years, as they requested.

Also, the GAO report stated that the government may also incur other costs associated with litigation, including the costs of revising regulations in response to lawsuits, EPA overhead costs, and costs associated with delays in EPA permitting, but did not have reliable data to quantify these costs.

Sen. Vitter responded to the report in his press release stating, “The GAO report shows that taxpayers have been on the hook for years while ‘Big Green’ trial lawyers have raked in millions of dollars suing the government. Even worse, because of sloppy record keeping by the EPA and other agencies and a lack of cooperation by the Justice Department, we’re not even sure how bad the problem really is.”

Taxpayer money has no business going towards furthering the goals of environmental groups, and unfortunately, even in light of this report, Justice Department officials have no plans to make the payout process more transparent or responsible.

If organizations like NRDC, which had a reported $181,427,464 in net assets in 2009, want to sue the EPA, it should do so with its own funds, not those of the taxpayer. It makes little sense to reward environmental groups with taxpayer money to file lawsuits directed at putting taxpayers out of work.

Besides, in this administration these environmental groups and the EPA have too much power as it is.


President Obama's Green Jobs Pretense Is An Unmitigated Fiasco

The Obama green jobs stimulus program has proved to be such an unmitigated fiasco that even the administration’s mainstream loyalist New York Times has given notice. A recent article, “Number of Green Jobs Fails to Live Up to Promises,” characterized the administration’s goal of creating 5 million new green jobs in 10 years as a “pipe dream.” The article notes, for example, that a much- heralded weatherization program “never caught on.”

About half of the $186 million of federal weatherization funds California has spent so far produced a total of 538 full-time jobs during the last quarter. Another $59 million in state, federal and private money spent there for green job training resulted in only 710 placements, equivalent to an $82,000 subsidy for each.

Just before Earth Day last year, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn went to the White House to announce a $20 million grant that would create 2,000 home insulation weatherization industry jobs and reduce the city’s climate-threatening carbon footprint. It later became apparent that that the primary footprint would be left in the mayor’s mouth.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported in August that “As of last week, only three homes have been retrofitted and just 14 jobs have emerged from the program. Many of the jobs are administrative, and not the entry-level pathways once dreamed of for low-income workers.” Michael Woo, director of Got Green, a Seattle community organizing group focused on environmental and social justice commented: “It’s been a very slow and tedious process. It’s almost painful, the number of meetings people have gone to. Those are the people who got jobs. There’s been no investment for the broader public.”

A report issued by the Government Accountability Office, the investigatory arm of Congress, raised concerns last year about favoritism in awarding some stimulus loan guarantees. The Energy Department’s inspector general admitted to Congress that there might be reasons for such suspicion — that some contracts may have been steered to “friends and family.”

Some scrutiny is being directed to Solyndra, the administration’s chosen recipient of a much ballyhooed $535 million loan guarantee in 2009 to finance the first phase of an expansion plan to create a new photovoltaic solar panel manufacturing facility. An Energy Department press release estimated that the guarantee would create 3,000 construction jobs to build the plant, and 1,000 more after it opened.

President Obama repeated the projected 1,000 job creation benefit in a May 2009 speech at the plant. On the occasion of the groundbreaking event with Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and former California Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger in attendance, Vice President Biden lauded the venture as one which would “serve as a foundation for a stronger American economy.” He went on to say: “These jobs are the ones that are going to define the 21st century that will allow America to compete and lead like we did in the 20th century.”

Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked out quite that way. About six months later, Solyndra announced plans to postpone the expansion, putting taxpayers on the hook to the tune of $390.5 million, 75% of the loan guarantee. And instead of hiring 1,000 workers, they intended to close one of its older facilities and lay-off 135 temporary or contract workers along with 40 full-time employees. As for any hope for taxpayer reimbursement, forget about it. The company has filed for bankruptcy.

Was this an unpredictable business reversal? Not really. According to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, the company had never turned a profit since the time it was founded in 2005. Solyndra’s auditor declared in a March 2010 amendment to its SEC registration statement: “…the company has suffered recurring losses, negative cash flows since inception and has a net stockholder’s deficit, among other factors, [that] raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a growing concern.”



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


6 September, 2011

How the Warmist reaction to the Spencer & Braswell paper underlines the corruption and politicisation of science

The real story is carried in the words of the sceptical scientist, Dr Roy Spencer on the excellent Watts Up With That? blog. The media hatchet job is most prevalent in the Guardian and on its broadcast arm, the BBC. Dr Spencer goes on to explain the findings in layman’s terms on his own website. In response to the resignation of Wolfgang Wagner, Dr Roger Pielke Snr puts the politicisation of science into context. And the ludicrous position on observations having to fit in with computer models as advanced by Dr Pete Gleick, and Dr Phil Jones’ comment about keeping sceptical papers out of the public domain, are both covered by Indur Goklany on WUWT.

What we are seeing is anti-science. We are experiencing pseudo science that aims not to question or challenge, but to reinforce the validity of a body of opinion that is yet to make the jump from theory to fact. It is being done to fit a political agenda. It is a corruption of science and the latest example of why people should be sceptical of the claims made about climate change and its causes and effects

In closing, one comment left on Watts Up With That? sums up the situation superbly and deserves to be repeated widely to help others understand what really is going on:

This is all part of the same pattern that has characterized the warmists’ approach to climate “science” since the last century. They come up with models and use these to produce predictions which are then baptized as sovereign truth. In real science, they would have been required to demonstrate the predictive validity of their models before their predictions would be granted any confidence – and when observations contradicted predictions, they would have been expected to revise their models instead of beating the data until it fit the model outputs. Instead, thanks to Algore, Hansen, left-wing politicians looking for regulatory and legislative mechanisms to control the polity and extract more tax dollars, and a compliant left-leaning media hungry for “imminent disaster” headlines, the burden of proof has been shifted to those who challenge the modellers instead of being left where it belongs: with the modellers who still have not demonstrated the validity of their models. I simply cannot believe we are still discussing a theory that, 20 years after it went mainstream, has yet to produce a single scrap of confirmatory empirical evidence.

The extent to which the AGW true believers have warped the scientific method to serve their pecuniary and political ends is simply breathtaking. Climate science represents the greatest perversion of the scientific method since the Enlightenment. It is phlogiston, phrenology and Lysenkoism all rolled up into one big, fat, corrupt boil desperately in need of lancing.


Keep a note of this "17 years" prophecy

The hottest year since WWII was 1998 so by 2015 we will know there is no global warming. The date-setting folly of Warmists never ceases to amaze me. They always get it wrong. They are not even clever false prophets

Santer et al have a new paper out on trends in the tropospheric temperature.


We compare global-scale changes in satellite estimates of the temperature of the lower troposphere (TLT) with model simulations of forced and unforced TLT changes. While previous work has focused on a single period of record, we select analysis timescales ranging from 10 to 32 years, and then compare all possible observed TLT trends on each timescale with corresponding multi-model distributions of forced and unforced trends. We use observed estimates of the signal component of TLT changes and model estimates of climate noise to calculate timescale-dependent signal-to-noise ratios (S/N). These ratios are small (less than 1) on the 10-year timescale, increasing to more than 3.9 for 32-year trends. This large change in S/N is primarily due to a decrease in the amplitude of internally generated variability with increasing trend length. Because of the pronounced effect of interannual noise on decadal trends, a multi-model ensemble of anthropogenically-forced simulations displays many 10-year periods with little warming. A single decade of observational TLT data is therefore inadequate for identifying a slowly evolving anthropogenic warming signal. Our results show that temperature records of at least 17 years in length are required for identifying human effects on global-mean tropospheric temperature.


Global Mean Sea Level Determination: An Ocean Of Uncertainty

What follows is a good overview explaining why the measurement of Global Mean Sea Level (GMSL) is fraught with much uncertainty and so subject to substantial error. Michael Limburg of the European Institute for Climate and Energy tells us why.

An exact determination of GMSL is a very difficult if not a fundamentally impossible task. Even more difficult is determining sea level rise (or drop) over time. Different authors using the same datasets arrive at completely different results. It’s little wonder sea level expert W. Siefert in Hamburg recently said in an interview: “When examined closely, sea level is being exposed more and more as a pure mathematical prop, inadequate and, foremost, not very meaningful. Especially when it is to be used as a sole standard of measure, or used to derive horror scenarios…(1)“

This is also confirmed by researchers like Douglas [Douglas, 1994], who illustrated in great detail why e.g. Barnett (1984), Emery and Aubry (1991) Pirazzoli (1993) concluded: "…the determination of a single sea-level curve of global applicability is an illusory task.”

Douglas hoped that improved research instruments would bring better and more reliable results in the years ahead. And with the possibilities presented by satellite altimetry, these results may now be at hand. But so far mostly controversial results have been produced and no really reliable findings have been gained.

And later, in spite of the many new instruments and techniques that can now be used to find the much sought signal of global warming on GMSL, they say… "…these tools seem to have raised more questions than they have answered.”

Obtainable accuracy

It must also be allowed to say that a claimed measurement accuracy of a few tenths of a millimetre per year for the (only measurable) Relative Sea Level (RSL) and the GMSL are not possible with the available historical data. Only the newest satellite altimetry tools may allow this in principle. Therefore using the unit of measure “mm” is grossly misleading. The IPCC, many experts, publicly informed media, and laymen are hence falsely claiming an accuracy that simply cannot be reached. These figures are computed values only.

In reality sea level changes can be measured accurately only to centimetres, and often only to within several centimetres – and very often not even that. Munk [Munk, 2003] (3) confirms this writing that…: “…the jury is still out on the interpretation of the tide gauge records.”

For sea level and for trends from global historical temperature data, the old saying of Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855) – known as a great inventor of many basic statistical principles and algorithm - remains true: "Nothing shows a lack of mathematical understanding more than an exaggeratedly accurate calculation.”

Therefore the only thing certain is that the statistical construct of GMSL over the last 120 years indicates a rise of between 10 and 20 cm/century. The error lies in the scale of the calculated value, and likely may be even higher. While Mörner expects a mean rise of 10 cm/century, the IPCC (AR4) sees approx. 19 cm/century. Today IPCC experts see an increase in the rate of rise over the last 20 years, while others explicitly exclude such a rate increase.

Why all the uncetrtainty?

It is due to built-in systematc errors. Many of these errors are widely unknown in their historical size, appearance and direction. They are included in the data and they involve an array of factors such as: dtermination of sea level measurement reference points, datasets of various lengths, contaminated datasets, rapid shifting of tectonic plates and their vertical components, barometric pressure, density of water, etc, etc.

A close analysis of all these error factors indicate that the errors are of a systematic nature and, because they are mostly subtle, they cannot be determined on the scale of the sought local sea level rise. Therefore they have to be indicated using error bars in accordance with good scientific practice. But this has very rarely been done. Credible figures regarding the attainable accuracy are as a rule the exception, e.g. Mörner +10 ± 10 cm by the year 2100 (or + 5 ± 15 cm) [Mörner, 2004] (2). Anything else has to be taken with much caution.

Assigning the causes of sea level rise

Detailed attempts to determine GMSLR are made by authors of the IPCC and others by breaking it down into various components. But one has to keep in mind that that this approach is prone to failure. Cazenave et al [Cazenave, 2004] is quoted on this: "…for the past 50 years, sea-level trends caused by change in ocean heat storage also show high regional variability,” ´


"..has led to questions about whether the rate of 20th-century sea-level rise, based on poorly distributed historical tide gauges, is really representative of the true global mean.”

The estimates for eustatic and steric components cannot be brought in agreement with the observed data. The movement of single tectonic plates with speeds in the range of more than 15 cm/year, the vertical components therein, which can decisively impact the volume of the ocean above it, is certainly a cause of the observed changes in RSL and thus GMSL. But recording these changes and quantitively attributing them to a source has been impossible up to now.

Also a potential temperature-dependency is not detectable over the last 1000 years, as clearly shown by Storch et. al [Storch, 2008] (5). In their model that looks back, they did not find any correlation between sea level trend and temperature.

For all measurement locations, sea level changes can be more easily attributed to natural changes (glacial isostatic adjustment GIA / post glacial rebound PGR or other tectonic shifts) or, similar to the UHI for temperature, attributed indeed to man-made social-economic factors, e.g. urban growth and thus sinking. A greenhouse effect is not necessarily needed to explain it. This means future projections of the GMSL are purely speculative because of the great lack of understanding of the involved processes and the lack of data.

Nothing makes this more explicit than the wide range of estimates among IPCC lead authors (e.g. Rahmstorf) and other specialists: Jevreva, Mörner or Singer. Rahmstorf [Rahmstorf, 2007a](4) believes a maximum of 140 cm is possible by the end of the century, James Hansen estimates up to 600 cm under certain conditions, the IPCC shows estimates between 14 to 59 cm (final), Singer only 18-20 cm, and Mörner [Mörner, 2004] a mere 10 cm. This might be the reason why the IPCC authors are unusually cautious ( see for reference AR4 of WG I Observations: Oceanic Climate Change and Sea Level on page 410 Chapter 5.5.2.): "…there is an increasing opinion that the best estimate lies closer to 2 mm/yr than to 1 mm/yr…”


When basing conclusions solely on the ever-escalating opinions of a few scientists – some of them well known for blowing the horn of alarmism – political leaders should not decide on extremely costly measures to curb completely doubtful global sea leve rise, which is a mere statistical construct from the very beginning.

The only rational conclusion one can draw is: All global mean sea level rise claims with an accuracy of better than ± 10 cm/century have to be taken with great caution. Breaking down the rise into components and attributing a respective rise to each, especially to temperature rise, is not possible with today’s level of knowledge. Each assignment of factors is simply too speculative.

SOURCE (See the original for references and graphics)

Carbon Dioxide Not a Well Mixed Gas and Can’t Cause Global Warming

One of the least challenged claims of global warming science is that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a “well-mixed gas.” A new scientific analysis not only debunks this assertion but also shows that standard climatology calculations, applicable only to temperature changes of the minor gas, carbon dioxide were fraudulently applied to the entire atmosphere to inflate alleged global temperature rises.

Acceptance of the “well-mixed gas” concept is a key requirement for those who choose to believe in the so-called greenhouse gas effect. A rising group of skeptic scientists have put the “well-mixed gas” hypothesis under the microscope and shown it contradicts not only satellite data by also measurements obtained in standard laboratory experiments.

Canadian climate scientist, Dr Tim Ball, is a veteran critic of the “junk science” of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and no stranger to controversy.

Ball is prominent among the “Slayers” group of skeptics and has been forthright in denouncing the IPCC claims: “I think a major false assumption is that CO2 is evenly distributed regardless of its function.“

School Children Prove Carbon Dioxide is Heavier than Air

Dr. Ball and his colleagues appear to be winning converts with their hard-nosed re-examination of the standard myths of climate science and this latest issue is probably one of the easiest for non-scientists to comprehend.

Indeed, even high school children are taught the basic fact that gravity causes objects heavier than air to fall to the ground. And that is precisely what CO2 is – this miniscule trace gas (just a very tiny 0.04% of atmosphere) is heavy and is soon down and out as shown by a simple school lab experiment.

Or we can look at it another way to make these technical Physics relationships easy. This is because scientists refer to ratios based on common standards. Rather than refer to unit volumes and masses, scientists use the concept of Specific Gravity (SG). Giving standard air a value of 1.0 then the measured SG of CO2 is 1.5 (considerably heavier). [1.]

CO2: The Heavy Gas that Heats then Cools Faster!

The same principle is applied to heat transfer, the Specific Heat (SH) of air is 1.0 and the SH of CO2 is 0.8 (heats and cools faster). Combining these properties allows for thermal mixing. Heavy CO2 warms faster and rises, as in a hot air balloon. It then rapidly cools and falls.

This 'thermal' mixing is aided by wind flow patterns, but the ratios of gases in the atmosphere are never static or uniform anywhere on Earth. Without these properties CO2 would fill every low area to dangerously high levels. Not 'high' in a toxic sense, only that CO2 would displace enough Oxygen that you could not have proper respiration. Nitrogen is 78% of the atmosphere and totally non-toxic, but if you continue to increase Nitrogen and reduce Oxygen the mixture becomes 'unbreathable.’

It is only if we buy into the IPCC’s “well mixed gas” fallacy that climate extremists can then proceed to dupe us further with their next claim; that this so-called “well mixed” CO2 then acts as a “blanket” to “trap” the heat our planet receives from the sun.


Affordable energy is essential for jobs, justice – and better health

Amid mounting criticism of its voluminous rulemaking proposals, EPA continues to insist that its new rules for coal-fired power plant emissions will generate benefits far in excess of their costs. Those claims are have no basis in fact, as this article by Affordable Power Alliance co-chair Niger Innis emphasizes.

EPA is able to make these assertions only by cherry-picking data and studies – and, more significantly, by failing to address the serious adverse effects that its proposed rules will have on electricity prices, jobs, affordable heating and air conditioning, and other essential foundations of “human health,” “public welfare” and “environmental justice. Any proper analysis would fully consider these impacts. EPA’s analysis ignores them.

The Environmental Protection Agency insists that its recent air quality initiatives will protect minority and poor Americans from pollution that “disproportionately affects” their health and impairs “environmental justice.” The Affordable Power Alliance is not convinced.

We believe EPA needs to reexamine its entire air pollution regulatory program and carefully consider all aspects of health, welfare and justice, especially those it has failed to address thus far.

As a coalition of minority, civil rights, religious, elderly and small business groups, the APA strongly supports public health, pollution control and justice. However, we are deeply concerned that EPA’s proposed rules actually undermine those objectives, by impairing access to affordable, reliable energy – and thus people’s health and welfare.

EPA’s health claims about mercury, soot, ozone, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and other pollutants are speculative and based on selective literature searches, according to an extensive analysis by natural scientist Dr. Willie Soon (posted at The agency failed to consider studies that contradict its claims that poor and minority communities face serious, immediate health risks from power plant emissions, say Soon and scientists cited in his report.

These emissions have been declining for decades and are not related to asthma rates – which have been rising for reasons unrelated to outdoor air pollution, say air pollution consultant Joel Schwartz and other experts. Indeed, it defies logic to suppose that power plant emissions are causing increased asthma, if asthma rates are rising while pollution is declining. Rapid power plant emission reductions of the magnitude contemplated by EPA would thus not seem necessary.

Worse, EPA’s pollution rules will impair access to affordable electricity. They will force the closure of multiple power plants, send electricity prices soaring 12-60 percent, and severely impact business and family budgets, according to studies by Management Information Services (MIS), utility associations and other experts.

Especially in the 26 states that rely on coal for 48-98% of their electricity, EPA’s actions will raise family electricity costs by hundreds of dollars a year. They will increase factory, hospital, office, hotel, school, church, charity and other business electricity costs by thousands to millions of dollars annually.

Because every $30,000 in increased energy costs could mean the elimination of another entry-level job, EPA’s rules will cause further job losses. MIS predicts that 3.5 million jobs and up to $82 billion in annual economic production will be lost in just six Midwestern manufacturing states.

Chicago public schools alone will face an extra $2.7 million a year for electricity costs by 2014, notes the Chicago Tribune. These increases will mean reductions in school employment, salaries, and academic, sports and music programs.

Unemployment is already 9.1% nationally and over 17% in black communities. EPA’s plans will worsen these rates, significantly increase household energy costs, and make poor, minority and elderly families even less able to afford gasoline, food, clothing, healthcare and other basic needs.

Many families will suffer increased stress, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence and crime rates. Unable to afford proper heating and air conditioning, disproportionate numbers of people in low income communities will face hypothermia during frigid winter months and heat prostration during summer heat waves. People will die, as cash-strapped states run out of money for heating and AC assistance, even more rapidly than they did last year.

Retrofitting older power plants is often too costly to justify and, in today’s regulatory and litigious environment, replacing them will be extremely difficult, especially under EPA’s short timeframe for further cleaning up … or simply closing down … the older plants.

Analysts project that EPA’s rules could cost Illinois 3,500 megawatts of electricity generation by 2014 – enough to power 3,500,000 homes and small businesses. The United States could lose 17,000 to 81,000 megawatts of capacity by 2017, industry and independent experts forecast. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission estimates up to 81,000 megawatts of capacity could be lost by 2018.

That means further impaired electricity availability and reliability during peak use periods. It will likely result in brownouts and blackouts, further harming businesses, schools, families, jobs and health.

EPA says the benefits of its new rules “far exceed” their costs. However, the agency’s analyses and definitions of “human health,” “public welfare” and “environmental justice” fail to consider the vital factors presented here. The fact is, the adverse effects of unemployment, sharply higher energy costs and generally lower socio-economic conditions far outweigh asserted benefits of improved air quality.

“Even when properly done, science can only provide the analytical and factual basis for public policy decisions,” says Dr. Roger McClellan, former chair of EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee. “It cannot and should not dictate a particular policy choice in setting and implementing standards.”

Those decisions must consider the full spectrum of energy, employment, economic, health, welfare and justice issues presented here and by other analysts. So far, EPA has failed to do this and has relied on biased analyses in setting its unscientific pollution standards.

McClellan also agrees with Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, whose commonsense, comparative health approach recognizes the detrimental impacts that unemployment and reduced living standards have on people’s health and welfare. “Those impacts far outweigh benefits from further improvements in already good air quality,” especially as calculated using EPA’s computer models and linear extrapolations from limited health and air quality data, McClellan explains.

EPA says it cannot consider the economic effects of its regulations. However, if the regulations also affect human health and welfare, EPA needs to consider those impacts fully and carefully.

EPA’s mission is to protect Americans from real health risks – not from speculative dangers based on cherry-picked data and extrapolations, McClellan, Schwartz, Soon and other experts emphasize. The agency must refrain from implementing rules that adversely affect vital components of “public health and welfare,” like those discussed here, until all these factors are examined fully and carefully.

Abundant, reliable, affordable energy is the foundation for everything we eat, make, ship and do – and for jobs, human health, environmental quality, civil rights progress and environmental justice.

America needs a full national and congressional debate on EPA’s rules, before they cause serious damage that many experts fear is inevitable if the regulations are implemented.


British green energy reforms ‘to put £300 on household energy bills'

Green energy policies are set to add more than £300 a year to the average household energy bill, according to Downing Street calculations. David Cameron has been warned that there will be a 30 per cent rise in consumer bills by 2020 as a direct result of the Coalition’s policies.

The note from the Prime Minister’s senior policy adviser Ben Moxham also labels as ‘unconvincing’ Energy Secretary Chris Huhne’s claims that price increases would be offset by lower consumption due to energy efficiency measures.

The projected rise of nearly a third in the average household energy bill of £1,059 is blamed on policies designed to promote the use of renewables and nuclear power sources.

New obligations on energy firms to use increasing amounts of electricity from renewable sources and to help low-income homes become energy-efficient are also major factors.

Worryingly, the 30 per cent rise is not described as a worst-case scenario, merely a ‘mid-case’ projection.

‘Over time it is clear that the impact of our policies on consumer bills will become significantly greater,’ Mr Moxham states.

He adds: ‘DECC’s (Department of Energy and Climate Change) mid-case gas price scenario sees policies adding 30 per cent to consumer energy bills by 2020 compared to a world without policies.’

The note is dated July 29, 2011, and is copied to senior Downing Street advisers including Mr Cameron’s chief of staff Ed Llewellyn, permanent secretary Jeremy Heywood and policy chief Steve Hilton.

Mr Moxham also warns: ‘We find the scale of household energy consumption savings calculated by DECC to be unconvincing’.

The projected rise in energy bills is a major headache for Mr Cameron, who promised before last year’s general election to tackle soaring prices by giving regulators more powers.

Mr Huhne has repeatedly dismissed claims that fuel bills will rise by hundreds of pounds as ‘absolute nonsense’ and ‘rubbish calculations’.

The rise projected by No 10 is still far lower than that made by independent experts.

Earlier this year, experts at Unicredit banks said that a raft of green measures could mean energy bills double within just four years. Their report said: ‘According to our analysis, a typical UK energy bill could rise from the current level of £1,000 per year to over £2,000 per year by 2015. ‘As investment occurs, bills could double every five years until 2020, in our view.’



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


5 September, 2011


I seem to be over my vision problems now so many thanks for all the very kind wishes I received from readers.

I have put up a few paragraphs on my personal blog to describe exactly what happened to me in case anyone is interested in that.

Obama running scared: Halts a damaging EPA regulation

President Barack Obama on Friday scrapped his administration's controversial plans to tighten smog rules, bowing to the demands of congressional Republicans and some business leaders.

Obama overruled the Environmental Protection Agency — and the unanimous opinion of its independent panel of scientific advisers — and directed administrator Lisa Jackson to withdraw the proposed regulation to reduce concentrations of ground-level ozone, smog's main ingredient. The decision rests in part on reducing regulatory burdens and uncertainty for businesses at a time of rampant uncertainty about an unsteady economy.

The announcement came shortly after a new government report on private sector employment showed that businesses essentially added no new jobs last month — and that the jobless rate remained stuck at a historically high 9.1 percent.

The withdrawal of the proposed regulation marks the latest in a string of retreats by Obama in the face of Republican opposition. Last December, he shelved, at least until the end of 2012, his insistence that Bush-era tax cuts should no longer apply to the wealthy. Earlier this year he avoided a government shutdown by agreeing to Republican demands for budget cuts. And this summer he acceded to more than a $1 trillion in spending reductions, with more to come, as the price for an agreement to raise the nation's debt ceiling.

A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, had muted praise for the White House, saying that withdrawal of the smog regulation was a good first step toward removing obstacles that are blocking business growth.

"But it is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to stopping Washington Democrats' agenda of tax hikes, more government 'stimulus' spending, and increased regulations, which are all making it harder to create more American jobs," Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said.

Obama had initially set out to correct a weaker standard set by President George W. Bush. Jackson had said in July that the standard would not survive a legal challenge because it did not follow the recommendations of the agency's scientific advisers.

In March, the independent panel said in a letter to Jackson that it was unanimous in its recommendation to make the smog standard stronger and that the evidence was "sufficiently certain" that a range proposed in January 2010 under Obama would benefit public health.

The White House, which has pledged to base decisions on science, said Friday that the science behind its initial decision needed to be updated, and a new standard would be issued in 2013.

Major industry groups had lobbied hard for the White House to abandon the smog regulation, and applauded Friday's decision.

"The president's decision is good news for the economy and Americans looking for work. EPA's proposal would have prevented the very job creation that President Obama has identified as his top priority," said Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute.

The withdrawal of the proposed EPA rule comes three days after the White House identified seven such regulations that it said would cost private business at least $1 billion each. The proposed smog standard was estimated to cost anywhere between $19 billion and $90 billion, depending on how strict it would be.

However, the Clean Air Act does not allow the EPA to consider how much it will cost to comply when picking a new standard.

Republican lawmakers have blamed what they see as excessive regulations backed by the Obama administration for some of the country's economic woes, and House Republicans pledged this week to try to block four environmental regulations, including the one on some pollution standards, when they return after Labor Day.

But perhaps more than some of the other regulations under attack, the ground-level ozone standard is most closely associated with public health — something the president said he wouldn't compromise in his regulatory review. Ozone is the main ingredient in smog, which is a powerful lung irritant that occasionally forces cancellation of school recesses, and causes asthma and other lung ailments.

A stronger standard, while it would cost billions, would also save billions in avoided health care costs and hospital visits.

Criticism from environmentalists, a core Obama constituency already battling him over a planned oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast, was swift following the White House announcement.

"The Obama administration is caving to big polluters at the expense of protecting the air we breathe," said Gene Karpinski, the president of the League of Conservation Voters. "This is a huge win for corporate polluters and huge loss for public health."

In his statement, the president said that withdrawing the regulation did not reflect a weakening of his commitment to protecting public health and the environment.

"I will continue to stand with the hardworking men and women at the EPA as they strive every day to hold polluters accountable and protect our families from harmful pollution," he said.

The decision mirrors one made by Obama's predecessor, President George W. Bush. EPA scientists had recommended a stricter standard to better protect public health. Bush personally intervened after hearing complaints from electric utilities and other affected industries. His EPA set a standard of 75 parts per billion, stricter than one adopted in 1997, but not as strong as federal scientists said was needed to protect public health.

The EPA under Obama proposed in January 2010 a range for the concentration of ground-level ozone allowed in the air — from 60 parts per billion to 70 parts per billion. That's about equal to a single tennis ball in an Olympic-size swimming pool full of tennis balls.

Jackson, Obama's environmental chief, said at the time that "using the best science to strengthen these standards is a long overdue action that will help millions of Americans breathe easier and live healthier."

The American Lung Association, which sued the EPA over the Bush standard, said it would continue its legal fight now that Obama is essentially endorsing the weaker limit. The group had suspended its lawsuit after the Obama administration vowed to correct it.


New paper on Solar-climate connection just published‏
A. Mazzarella and N. Scafetta, "Evidences for a quasi 60-year North Atlantic Oscillation since 1700 and its meaning for global climate change", Theor. Appl. Climatol. (2011) DOI 10.1007/s00704-011-0499-4


The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) obtained using instrumental and documentary proxy predictors from Eurasia is found to be characterized by a quasi 60-year dominant oscillation since 1650. This pattern emerges clearly once the NAO record is time integrated to stress its comparison with the temperature record.

The integrated NAO (INAO) is found to well correlate with the length of the day (since 1650) and the global surface sea temperature record HadSST2 and HadSST3 (since 1850). These findings suggest that INAO can be used as a good proxy for global climate change, and that a ~60-year cycle exists in the global climate since at least 1700.

Finally, the INAO ~60-year oscillation well correlates with the ~60-year oscillations found in the historical European aurora record since 1700, which suggests that this ~60-year dominant climatic cycle has a solar–astronomical origin.

Further comment from Prof. Scafetta:

In this paper we use a climate record made of several instrumental European records that date back since at least 1700. And other climatic and astronomical records based on actual direct observations.

Note also, that the cosmic ray-cloud mechanism is just part of the story. In fact, by itself it does not say anything about the observed cycles and there would still be the necessity to investigate the physical conditions that originate and make this cycles possible. The paper just published suggests that by linking the 60 year climatic cycle to a particular kind of 60-year aurora cycle, the evidences for an astronomical-induced 60-year climate cycle are clearly growing.

"Science writer" for AP Displays His Spectacular Ignorance Once Again

Disasters in US: An extreme and exhausting year
By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer – 16 hours ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — Nature is pummeling the United States this year with extremes.

Unprecedented triple-digit heat and devastating drought. Deadly tornadoes leveling towns. Massive rivers overflowing. A billion-dollar blizzard. And now, unusual hurricane-caused flooding in Vermont.

Borenstein has no idea what he is talking about.

In June, 1934 the entire country had triple digit heat. We didn’t come anywhere close to that this summer.

Severe drought in 1934 covered 80% of the country, compared with 25% in 2011

Flooding in 1927 was worse. Are these reporters too lazy or too dumb to do any research?


Shortest Arctic Melt Season On Record?

New ice is starting to form in the Arctic, and it looks like 2011 has a possibility of becoming the shortest melt season (time from peak to minimum) on record. Longer polar melt seasons are a fundamental tenet of global warming theory.


Fred Singer At Suppressed SEII Presentation: 1976 To 2000 Warming – “That’s Fake, It Doesn’t Exist”…

We recall the climate discussion that had been planned to take place at the European Society of Engineers and Industrialists (SEII) in Brussels on September 1-2, 2011, and how IPCC vice president Jean-Pascal van Ypersele attempted to suppress it. Eventually it was relocated and took place somewhere else not far away.

The following is an uneditted raw clip of the discussion (sorry, not a professionally made film). It features distinguished scientists S. Fred Singer and Claes Johnson (see outline below in case you wish to skip to other parts).

First, before discussing the above clip, I’d like to point out that Francis Massen, coordinator of the discussion, sent a letter to the SEII to express his dismay that it had bowed to van Ypersele’s pressure and prevented the discussion from taking place at the SEII location. Here’s the letter he sent:
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am very disappointed about your decision to cancel the discussion (in response to the intervention by Prof. Jean-Pascal Van Ypersele) on the questions of climate change where presentations by professors Fred Singer and Claes Johnson had been planned. It is shocking to watch a respectable society like SEII fold before an authority of censorship, one that cannot accept opinions that diverge from its own, and for whom scientific integrity and openness appear to be obselete qualities.

With deep regrets, Francis Massen

Indeed under van Ypersele and the IPCC, climate science has been catapulted back to the Dark Ages.

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

Intensive farming is found to be better than organic methods for protecting the environment

ORGANIC farming can be less effective at protecting wildlife than intensive methods, according to research that undermines its claim to be the most environmentally friendly form of agriculture.

Farming systems such as organic that seek to share land between crops and wildlife inflict greater damage on biodiversity than conventional approaches that maximise crop yields, a major study has revealed.

Such "land-sharing" methods typically deliver lower yields than intensive farming and they require much more land to produce the same amount of food, scientists at the University of Cambridge and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds found. This means that important wilderness habitats must be destroyed to create extra farmland, which easily outweighs any small benefits of making fields friendlier to wildlife.

The research, conducted in Ghana and India, found that most species of birds and trees, common or rare, would have higher populations if farms were kept as small as possible and managed to produce maximum yields. This strategy must be combined with measures to protect wilderness habitats.

Scientists behind the study, which is published in the journal Science, said that organic farming can play a part in land-sparing, provided it generates high yields. They also warned that the findings may not apply to different parts of the world, and they have begun new research in Poland to evaluate European conditions.

The findings, however, question claims that the organic method is the most sustainable approach to farming, and that intensive systems are bad for biodiversity.

"Environmental benefit has been one of the selling points of organic farming, but frequently what we see is lower yields, and benefits for wildlife that are not that great," said Ben Phalan, who led the Ghanaian study.

"It sells the message that you can do both conservation and food production together, that they can co-exist. But our research would suggest that this is probably optimistic and might be wishful thinking."

His colleague Malvika Onial, who led the Indian research, said: "It would be nice to think that we could conserve species and produce lots of food, all on the same land. But our data from Ghana and India show that's not the best option for most species."

The findings could also have implications for European Union agricultural policies.

Martin Harper, conservation director of the RSPB, said: "The European Commission is proposing to rebrand a third of farm subsidies in Europe as green payments. This paper in Science suggests that unless the proposed green measures really deliver significant and lasting environmental benefits it would be better to use this money directly on nature reserves and saving threatened species."

He added, however, that there was still a strong case that resources should be used to help farmers make space for wildlife in all farmed countryside: "Agri-environment schemes have a good track record in saving farmland birds like the corncrake and cirl bunting and have the potential to reverse the decline of the skylark."


Australia: renewable schemes face axe

THE state government has flagged the winding up of renewable energy schemes in NSW if the federal government introduces a carbon tax, which it concedes is all but inevitable.

It also warned the state relies too heavily on electricity and gas from other states. The Energy Minister, Chris Hartcher, is keen to boost gas supplies in NSW.

The government is also studying a report outlining how to merge the three state-owned distribution companies - Ausgrid, Endeavour Energy and Essential Energy - into two, which is expected to result in the loss of hundreds of jobs. This merger is to be in place by the middle of next year.

An inquiry into the electricity industry being undertaken by Justice Brian Tamberlin is expected to recommend the sale of the distributors when it reports to the government next month.

While warning about over-reliance on renewable energy, Mr Hartcher indicated existing programs will need to be reviewed.

"Once the carbon tax comes into force, it's certainly going to come into force, I don't think there is any doubt about that, there's going to be a need for a reassessment of the various programs," he told a business lunch yesterday.

"The carbon tax is designed to do only one thing . to force up the price of electricity from coal-fired power and, if that's the case, how you implement other renewable energy targets needs to be subordinated to it."

Buying too much energy from interstate is leaving NSW exposed to disruptions, he said, referring to the period in February when electricity demand peaked at 14,820 megawatts, and NSW was forced to import 12 per cent of the total from other states.

"What happens when there are simultaneous midsummer heatwave demands in the eastern states, and what may that mean for NSW businesses and households?" he said. "The impact could be exacerbated by unplanned generation outages or transmission failure. This would see us managing blackouts."

Gas-fired power generation in NSW is forecast to triple over the next two decades with around 7000 megawatts of new peaking gas generation, 700 megawatts of new baseload gas generation and 400 megawatts of renewable generation to come on line, he said.

This will occur as gas supplies from both the Cooper Basin and Bass Strait are in decline. "It is prudent NSW develop a gas industry to support its needs locally - both for energy generation - and for household use," Mr Hartcher said.

As a result, the state government was to launch a gas industry development plan to ensure its evolution, both as a fuel source for electricity generation, as well as industrial and residential uses, he said.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


4 September, 2011

There are SOME things that can get a good blogger down

Try blindness for instance. A complication of my recent surgery meant that I went nearly blind. So I had to go to hospital for a couple of days to put that in reverse. I am now just back from there and seem to be as good as ever. So I will be doing a bit of reading now and should be back to full-strength blogging tomorrow.

2 September, 2011

Sea level DROPS

Global sea level dropped six millimeters in 2010 and has continued to drop in 2011, NASA satellite instruments report. The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory reports “the rise of the global ocean has been remarkably steady” since satellite instruments began measuring sea level in 1993, which counters alarmist assertions of an acceleration in sea-level rise. While the 2010–2011 decline in global sea level is most likely temporary, it may force a downward revision of the long-term pace of sea-level rise.

Note: 6 millimeters is twice the rate at which the sea level had been rising. Amusing how NASA "spins" its own data. They describe their finding as a "Pothole on Road to Higher Seas". How do they know its a "pothole"? They don't. They're just desperate to preach their theory. Objective, they're not.


Greenpeace man struck dumb

No such luck, apparently. He just SAYS he was speechless. Just a few notes why the changes observed, if genuine, have no large implications: Arctic temperatures are very uneven, partly due to varying winds and ocean currents. During recent Arctic warming episodes, the Antarctic was gaining ice-mass, thus demonstrating that there is no global change going on -- just local processes. And glacier calving is more likely if the glacier is GROWING

New photographs taken of a vast glacier in northern Greenland have revealed the astonishing rate of its breakup, with one scientist saying he was rendered "speechless."

In August 2010, part of the Petermann Glacier about four times the size of Manhattan island broke off , prompting a hearing in Congress.

Researcher Alun Hubbard, of the Centre for Glaciology at Aberystwyth University, U.K. [and Greenpeace], told by phone that another section, about twice the size of Manhattan, appeared close to breaking off.

In 2009, scientists installed GPS masts on the glacier to track its movement. But when they returned in July this year, they found the ice had been melting so quickly — at an unexpected 16-and-a-half feet in two years — that some of the masts stuck into the glacier were no longer in position.

Hubbard, who has been working with Jason Box, of Ohio State University, and others, said in a statement issued by the Byrd Polar Research Center that scientists were still trying to work out how fast the glacier was moving and the effect on the ice sheet feeding the glacier.

But he said he was taken aback by the difference between 2009 and 2011 when he visited the glacier in late July. "Although I knew what to expect in terms of ice loss from satellite imagery, I was still completely unprepared for the gob-smacking scale of the break-up, which rendered me speechless," he said in the statement.


The IAC Report One Year Later

A year ago today I blogged about a historic report. In late August last year a committee established by the InterAcademy Council delivered 100+ pages of findings regarding the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

IPCC officials and supporters have long advanced an outrageously misleading marketing message. We’ve been told this UN body is in a class of its own with respect to its thoroughness and transparency – that there is no “parallel on the planet.”

We’ve been told it is “one of the most rigorous scientific review bodies in existence.” Words like authoritative, gold-standard, and eminent are routinely uttered by those describing the IPCC (see a hyperlinked list of quotes here).

But the first time a group of outsiders took a close look at how the IPCC actually behaves it identified “significant shortcomings in each major step of the IPCC’s assessment process” (see the first paragraph here – the entire report is available here).

The first time anyone bothered to look past the highfalutin rhetoric at IPCC reality they noticed that the IPCC claims to have high confidence in “statements for which there is little evidence” (see p. 4 here). They also concluded that “procedures are not always followed” (see p. 5 here).

In the UK, the media characterized this report as damning (see here and here). A year later, therefore, a few questions are worth asking: How much progress has been made? In there any evidence the IPCC has turned over a new leaf?

Ever-so-diplomatically, the committee said the IPCC’s chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, should go. Rather than enumerating his many faults (see here, here, here, here, and here), the committee instead presented this 71-year-old with a face-saving exit.

“A 12-year appointment (two terms),” said the committee, “is too long for a field as dynamic and contested as climate change.” The IPCC would, it said, benefit from “a greater variety of perspectives and approaches” at its most senior level.

Yet not only did Pachauri – who is well into his second term – not take the hint, the IPCC’s major funders (currently the German, Japanese, Swiss, and US governments) failed to insist on his departure.

A year later, therefore, the IPCC continues to be headed by a person whom it is impossible to trust or respect. That’s strike one.

Strikes two and three unfolded quietly a few months back, in the total absence of any media coverage. Among the IAC committee’s explicit recommendations was one that said (see the coloured box on p. 5 here):
The IPCC should strengthen and enforce its procedure for the use of unpublished and non-peer-reviewed literature…ensuring [that such literature] is appropriately flagged in the report.

(By way of background, despite Pachauri’s frequent claims that IPCC reports rely solely on peer-reviewed literature this is not the case. Moreover, the IPCC has long had a policy that said non-peer-reviewed material should be clearly identified as such when listed by the IPCC in its references. But that rule was ignored 99.9 percent of the time.)

In April Canadian blogger Hilary Ostrov noticed that an internal IPCC document was suggesting that the flagging rule be abandoned altogether since the IPCC’s clerical and technical employees felt it “would not be practical” to identify grey literature in reference lists.

A month later a new policy for dealing with grey literature was adopted at an IPCC meeting. All mention of flagging non-peer-reviewed literature has now vanished. The desires of IPCC bureaucrats – not the clear recommendation of the committee – prevailed.

Then there was Steve McIntyre’s discovery in June. Another report recommendation involved the establishment of an IPCC Executive Committee. This new body should, in the words of the report, include “three independent members who include individuals from outside of the climate community” (see p. 2 here).

So what did the IPCC do? It set up this new committee all right, but in lieu of three independent members it appointed four IPCC staff members instead. Really.

So let’s repeat those crucial questions: How much progress has been made? In there any evidence the IPCC has turned over a new leaf?

The damaged-goods chairman remains. The flagging rule, rather than being strengthened, has been ‘disappeared.’ A committee with new powers that was supposed to include outsiders has instead been stacked with consummate insiders.

It’s now quite clear that IPCC movers and shakers have no intention of complying with either the spirit or the letter of the IAC committee’s recommendations. That this is a thoroughly unaccountable organization could not be any plainer.


Solar Company Goes Belly Up - Despite $535 Million From Feds

Solyndra, a major manufacturer of solar technology in Fremont, has shut its doors, according to employees at the campus. "I was told by a security guard to get my [stuff] and leave," one employee said. The company employs a little more than 1,000 employees worldwide, according to its website.

Shortly after it opened a massive $700 million facility, it canceled plans for a public stock offering earlier this year and warned it would be in significant trouble if federal loan guarantees did not go through.

The company has said it will make a statement at 9am California time, though it's not clear what that statement will be. An NBC Bay Area photographer on the scene reports security guards are not letting visitors on campus. He says "people are standing around in disbelief." The employees have been given yellow envelopes with instructions on how to get their last checks.

Solyndra was touted by the Obama administration as a prime example of how green technology could deliver jobs. The President visited the facility in May of last year and said "it is just a testament to American ingenuity and dynamism and the fact that we continue to have the best universities in the world, the best technology in the world, and most importantly the best workers in the world. And you guys all represent that. "

The federal government offered $535 million in low cost loan guarantees from the Department of Energy. NBC Bay Area has contacted the White House asking for a statement.

Some Republicans have been very critical of the loans. "I am concerned that the DOE is providing loans and loan guarantees to firms that aren't capable of competing in the global market, even with government subsidies" Florida Congressman Cliff Stearns told the New York Times.


A huge waste of the people's money

The U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) can’t figure out what benefits taxpayers are getting from the many billions of dollars spent each year on policies that are purportedly aimed at addressing climate change.

A May 20 report noted that while annual federal funding for such activities has been increasing substantially, there is a lack of shared understanding of strategic priorities among the various responsible agency officials. This assessment agrees with the conclusions of a 2008 Congressional Research Service analysis which found no “overarching policy goal for climate change that guides the programs funded or the priorities among programs.”

According to the GAO, annual federal climate spending has increased from $4.6 billion in 2003 to $8.8 billion in 2010, amounting to $106.7 billion over that period. The money was spent in four general categories: technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, science to understand climate changes, international assistance for developing countries, and wildlife adaptation to respond to actual or expected changes. Technology spending, the largest category, grew from $2.56 billion to $5.5 billion over this period, increasingly advancing over others in total share. Data compiled by Joanne Nova at the Science and Policy Institute indicates that the U.S. Government spent more than $32.5 billion on climate studies between 1989 and 2009. This doesn’t count about $79 billion more spent for climate change technology research, foreign aid and tax breaks for “green energy.”

OMB pointed out that their previously noted agency budget compilations didn’t include revenues lost for the special deductions and tax credits intended to encourage greenhouse gas emission reductions. They attributed to those subsidies a cost of $7.2 billion in federal revenue losses during 2010 alone, ($16.1 billion since 1993), bringing the total since 2003 to $122.8 billion. Then there’s still another $26.1 billion earmarked for climate change programs and related activities within the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (or “Stimulus Bill”).

Climate change spending won’t slow any time soon…not so long as current Obama policies prevail. A proposed $1,328 million FY 2012 budget for its Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI) aimed at helping developing countries address man-made global warming problems that we’ve allegedly caused represents a 557% increase since FY 2008 (then $202 million). Implemented through programs sponsored by the Department of State, Treasury, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), it is funded by the administration’s executive budget. As stated, “The President’s FY2012 budget request follows on the December 2010 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) negotiations in Cancun, Mexico, which formulated a package of ‘nationally appropriate’ measures toward the goal of avoiding dangerous climate change.” This is part of “…a commitment to near-term and long-term climate financing for the least developed countries amounting to near $30 billion for the period 2010-2012, and $100 billion annually by 2020.”

Then there’s the matter of those escalating climate-premised EPA regulation costs that are killing businesses and jobs under cover of the Clean Air Act. These rampant overreaches are being justified by the agency’s Endangerment Finding proclaiming CO2 to be a pollutant. The finding ignored a contrary conclusion in EPA’s own “Internal Study on Climate” that: “Given the downward trend in temperatures since 1998 (which some think will continue until at least 2030), there is no particular reason to rush into decisions based upon a scientific hypothesis that does not appear to explain most of the available data.”

The Small Business Administration estimates that compliance with such regulations costs the U.S. economy more than $1.75 trillion per year — about 12%-14% of GDP, and half of the $3.456 trillion Washington is currently spending. The Competitive Enterprise Institute believes the annual cost is closer to $1.8 trillion when an estimated $55.4 billion regulatory administration and policing budget is included. CEI further observes that those regulation costs exceed 2008 corporate pretax profits of $1.436 trillion; tower over estimated individual income taxes of $936 billion by 87%; and reveal a federal government whose share of the entire economy reaches 35.5% when combined with federal 2010 spending outlays.

A U.S. Energy Information Administration economic forecasting model indicates that a proposed 70% cut in CO2 emissions will cause gasoline prices to rise 77% over baseline projections, kill more than 3 million jobs, and reduce average household income by more than $4,000 each year.


What's wrong with "urban sprawl"?

The fact that people choose free-standing houses just arouses Greenie contempt. They want us all back in tenements. Comment from Australia below

Recently, self-appointed planning "experts" have criticised the performance of planning systems that have shaped suburbs and cities, denigrating governments that delivered the homes of millions of Australians.

The critics say such communities and suburban development are unsustainable and have called for government, in the name of sustainability, to choose high-density development over greenfield development, often labelled "sprawl". To them, density is good and suburban development is bad.

But the simple fact is we need to meet dwelling demand, achieve housing affordability and provide much-needed community services and infrastructure.

Across the country, notwithstanding the growing trend to inner-city living and more infill development, demand continues to be for detached houses in greenfield locations, and the strongest population growth continues to be in outer suburbs.

Bear in mind those suburbs will become tomorrow's middle or inner-ring suburbs of emerging cities - Logan, Ipswich and the new cities of Ripley, Yarrabilba and Caloundra South.

While dwellings produced through options such as infill and redevelopment do meet a need for housing in particular urban locations, such consolidation will not, in reality, preclude the need for continuing greenfield development to meet the overwhelming bulk of dwelling demand. Detached housing, typical of greenfield developments, remains the preferred housing type across households and age demographics.

Infill development is popular for many because of reduced travel times and better access to public transport and employment.

However, in southeast Queensland, many master-planned communities, particularly on Brisbane's northern and western outskirts and on the Gold Coast, are also achieving high employment generation targets.

Elsewhere, there are other examples of employment self-sufficiency in outer-urban master-planned developments.

This strategy overcomes the primary complaint of heavy vehicle usage and travel times.

Well-planned suburban and master-planned communities are also designed to be rich in social capital, with high levels of engagement by residents in their local community and with significant participation in local sporting, cultural and social activities and events, often using local parks and recreational facilities.

Typically, in suburban locations there is a net density of eight dwellings per hectare.

Recently, many major developers have achieved between 11 and 13 dwellings per hectare on a net basis in master-planned communities such as Forest Lake, Springfield and North Lakes.

Densities in these locations can only increase incrementally over time, with smaller lots becoming increasingly popular due to affordability.

The next generation of major greenfield development is looking to achieve a net density of at least 15 dwellings per hectare, with a diversity of housing products to meet a wide range of target markets, including more affordable housing options. These would represent twice the density of previous years.

As such, there is a compelling argument that it is sound planning to build communities to these incrementally higher densities at the urban fringe, as well as commit to redevelopment and urban renewal. This is because of two primary factors.

First, upgrading and augmentation of infrastructure in existing areas can be expensive and disruptive and is not an acceptable stand alone solution. Major road works and sewerage and storm water upgrades on busy suburban roads are the bane of economic efficiency and sustainability as they become "crawling car parks".

Second, the creation of cities in growth areas not only provides new sustainable communities, it also creates urban hubs for existing fringe suburbs, adding to life quality.

The answer then is to be inclusive, not exclusive. To provide adequate supplies of both greenfield and infill development under a realistic planning framework based on sustainability performance, infrastructure planning, social preference and market demand realities.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


1 September, 2011


I had two surgical procedures on my face this morning and my right eye is now completely bunged up due to swelling around it. So it may be a couple of days before I can post much more -- JR

German logic: Shut down German nuclear reactors and then import nuclear power from France

"Back to nature" feelings have always been strong in Germany. Hitler made it his ideal

Germany is importing massive amounts of nuclear-generated electricity from France following its decision to abandon atomic power in the wake of Japan's Fukushima disaster.

But it is still bracing for blackouts of the kind not seen since the Second World War as eight of the 17 reactors were switched off overnight in a populist move that is now seen as a rash decision.

Nuclear plants generated nearly a quarter of Germany's electricity. But after the tsunami and earthquake that sent radiation spewing from Fukushima in March, the government disconnected the eight oldest of Germany's 17 reactors. Three months later parliament voted to scrap nuclear power altogether, pledging a growing reliance on renewables.

The remaining nine reactors will close by 2019 - but experts predict a shortfall that will see the lights going out in power cuts across the continent's biggest economy before then.

Energy producers are scrambling to ensure an adequate supply while consumers fret about the costs.

Joachim Knebel, chief scientist at Germany's prestigious Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, said: 'It's easy to say, "Let's just go for renewables", and I'm quite sure we can someday do without nuclear, but this is too abrupt.'

Power producers have also warned that they cannot guarantee that the lights might not go out, especially if harsh winters are on the way.

Mr Knebel characterised the government's shutdown decision as 'emotional', and pointed out that, on most days, Germany had survived this experiment only by importing nuclear-generated electricity from France and also Czech Republic.

Fears are growing that the German plan will torpedo efforts to rein in man-made global warming as it might have to resort to burning coal or oil, or become reliant on natural gas supplies from Russia.

Laszlo Varro, head of the International Energy Agency's gas, coal and power markets division, called the plan 'very, very ambitious'.

But he added: 'It is not impossible, since Germany is rich and technically sophisticated. But the nuclear moratorium is very bad news in terms of climate policy. We are not far from losing that battle, and losing nuclear makes that unnecessarily difficult.'

The government counters that it is prepared to make huge investments in improving energy efficiency in homes and factories, as well as in new clean power sources and transmission lines. So far, there have been no blackouts.

Juergen Grossmann, chief executive of the German energy giant RWE, which owns two closed reactors here in Biblis, about 40 miles south of Frankfurt, said; 'Germany, in a very rash decision, decided to experiment on ourselves. 'The politics are overruling the technical arguments.'

Some 17 per cent of its electricity output is now renewable, a figure the government estimates will double in 10 years. On days when the offshore wind turbines spin full tilt, Germany produces more electricity from renewable sources than it uses, according to European energy monitors.

In Biblis, where two nuclear plants were shut down, the mayor thinks that popular support for a nuclear power-free Germany would have been far different if the electorate knew that power cuts might be the price to be paid.

He said: 'Yes, there is German angst about nuclear power. But if you phrased the question, "Would you want to phase out nuclear energy if it cost massively more and you risk blackouts?', the answer would be very different.'


WA: Green jobs program gets $20 million, creates 14 jobs

A green jobs program in one of America's greenest cities is being called a bust 16 months after a $20 million federal grant to weatherize homes in Seattle ended up putting just 14 people to work in mostly administrative jobs and upgrading only three homes in the area. "The jobs are not there," Todd Myers, who wrote the book "Eco Fads," told Fox News. "So we're training people for jobs that don't exist."

Seattle is not alone. The Department of Energy has allocated $508 million to 41 states for its Better Buildings Neighborhood Program and 600 jobs have been created or retained.

"While communities are advancing their programs at different rates, we are pleased with the progress," the agency wrote in a recent statement.

One year into the three-year program, 9,000 homes have had energy audits and received some kind of upgrade. The goal is to weatherize 150,000 homes by 2013 and save consumers $65 million annually on energy bills.

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn says it's too early to declare the program a failure.

"We may have to adjust how we market it and the incentives we provide," McGinn said. "Nobody has really cracked the green jobs code."

Contractors who do the energy audits and home retrofits blame government for getting in the way. To be a participating business in Seattle, the contractor is required to pay workers $21 an hour with full benefits, including retirement pay. But according to several small business owners in the area, the prevailing wage for new workers who lay insulation is $12. per hour.

McGinn, however, insisted that allowing contractors to pay anything less than what the city has declared a ‘living wage', amounts to a 'race to the bottom' for jobs.

"The workforce agreements that were negotiated with contractors at the table made sure that some benefits of this work is going to local workers, and we're going to pay fair wages for it," he said.

But Myers and others say the biggest problem with the program is government is trying to create a market that consumers don't want. The average homeowner in the U.S. pays about $2,000 a year for energy.

The weatherization upgrades are aimed at saving 15 percent on energy consumption. If the retrofit costs $10,000 even with all the government incentives, it will take over 30 years to pay off through lower energy bills.

"The problem is the policies the politicians choose, whether green jobs or retrofits, are based on appearance," Myers said. "They choose things that look good, rather than what's best for the environment."

Among the other cities having trouble fulfilling the green jobs promise are Toledo, Kansas City and Phoenix. So far, those cities have created a combined 72 jobs with $65 million in grants.

The difficulty is magnified on the federal level. President Obama once said he wanted to create 5 million green jobs over 10 years. The 2009 stimulus package included $5 billion toward that goal.

A chunk of that money went for weatherization programs, but according to a Department of Energy inspector general report one year later, "only two of the 10 highest-funded recipients completed more than 2 percent of planned units."


Agitator Hansen arrested at White House

One of the nation's foremost experts on climate change was arrested outside the White House on Monday morning after he joined a protest against a planned Canadian tar sands pipeline.

Dr. James Hansen (pictured), who runs NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, was arrested along with 139 other protesters taking part in a series of demonstrations against the planned $7-billion Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport 500,000 barrels of crude per day from America's neighbor to the north all the way to the Gulf coast of Texas.

So far, 521 activists have been arrested since their first protest on Saturday, Aug. 21. Also included in Monday's arrests were Greenpeace Executive Director Phil Radford, president of CREDO Mobile Michael Kieschnick, Executive Director May Boeve and many others.

Hansen, a 44-year veteran of the nation's space agency, is perhaps the best-known climate scientist in the world. He was the center of a years-long controversy in the last decade, after he claimed that NASA had tried to censor his findings about earth's climate on behalf of the Bush administration. He's also the author of "Storms of My Grandchildren," a book that calls for radical action to combat climate change. He's also been arrested before, protesting against mountaintop mining.

A U.S. State Department environmental impact study released last week claimed the pipeline would have a minimal effect on the environment, and officials maintained that even if the U.S. refuses the pipeline, Canada will just sell their oil elsewhere.

Climate protesters preparing to be arrested on Monday. Photo credit: Josh Lopez, Tar Sands Action

Canadian tar sand is seen as a horribly inefficient form of hydrocarbon energy due to the separation process, which requires more energy than the finished product puts out. Production methods also put off 3-5 times more greenhouse emissions than typical oil production.

"If Obama chooses the dirty needle it will confirm that the President was just green-washing all along, like the other well-oiled coal-fired politicians, with no real intention of solving the addiction," Hansen said, according to an advisory.

Proponents argue that the pipeline would bring hundreds of new jobs to the U.S. and help the nation achieve greater energy independence.

President Obama has not issued a decision on the pipeline, but one is expected before the end of this year.


Green jobs' promise something for nothing

Spanish economist Gabriel Calzada caused the central economic planners' heads to explode in March 2009 when he released a study showing every "green job" the Spanish government was creating with its regime of open-ended subsidies was simultaneously devouring enough resources to create 2.2 jobs in Spain's private sector.
"Green jobs," the professor concluded, were economic losers, destroyers of wealth and productivity. What's worse, 70 percent of them were short-lived installation gigs, not long-term jobs at all.

Spain's socialist government, which had presented "green jobs" as the way out of the country's economic problems (perhaps that sounds familiar), reacted to Calzada's study with fury. The Industrial Ministry took the incredible step of trying to make his university disavow his work. But behind the scenes, the same government officials were quietly coming to the same conclusions as Calzada.

In the United States, Calzada's study upset the wind power lobby, environmentalists, and the Obama administration. American liberals tried to argue that Calzada had erred by doing what is obvious to everyone outside of government who uses money -- he accounted for the opportunity costs of government spending.

Imagine that -- an economist who doesn't assume that you can get something for nothing.

Since then, Calzada has been proven right in nearly every metric. Spain has a serious sovereign debt crisis -- not helped much by its commitment of 11 percent of Spain's gross domestic product to subsidize renewable energy. The renewables program will cost the Spanish crown four times what it had originally budgeted.

The government is trying to wiggle out of its already-promised subsidies, which could generate legal problems or else a banking collapse. Unemployment in Spain exceeds 20 percent. Spanish industry is paying inflated prices for energy -- causing greater inefficiency and more job losses.

Speaking with me this week, Calzada expressed amazement that in the wake of his own nation's failure in this area, a few progressive members of Congress still want to drive the United States off the same cliff.

"How is it possible, having the example of Spain. ... Why would you like to repeat the same story?" It's a great question.

In reality, Calzada wasn't nearly bearish enough on green energy welfare. His study did not explore the consequences of the artificially high electricity prices the Spanish scheme has created for industry and residential customers.

He didn't try to measure the economic damage caused by misallocation of private investment. After all, thousands of Spaniards withdrew good investments and borrowed against home equity to install potentially worthless solar panels -- what if their capital had been invested to create real jobs instead of simply chasing government subsidies?

The central planners in Spain, much like President Obama with his stimulus package, assumed that they could get something -- a lot of really good jobs -- for nothing. They were wrong. People who think that way are always wrong.


How could a magnetic reversal trigger an ice age?

“New findings point to cosmic rays and the sun — not human activities — as the dominant controller of climate on Earth,” says this article by Lawrence Solomon.

“The research, published with little fanfare this week in the prestigious journal Nature, comes from über-prestigious CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, one of the world’s largest centres for scientific research involving 60 countries and 8,000 scientists at more than 600 universities and national laboratories,” Solomon continues.

CERN built the Large Hadron Collider

“CERN is the organization that invented the World Wide Web, that built the multi-billion dollar Large Hadron Collider, and that has now built a pristinely clean stainless steel chamber that precisely recreated the Earth’s atmosphere.”

In this stainless steel chamber, 63 CERN scientists from 17 European and American institutes have demonstrated that “cosmic rays promote the formation of molecules that in Earth’s atmosphere can grow and seed clouds, the cloudier and thus cooler it will be.”

Cosmic rays seed cloud formation

In other words, cosmic rays seed cloud formation, just as the Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark has long postulated.

“Because the sun’s magnetic field controls how many cosmic rays reach Earth’s atmosphere (the stronger the sun’s magnetic field, the more it shields Earth from incoming cosmic rays from space, the sun determines the temperature on Earth,” Solomon explains.

And here’s where magnetic reversals come into the picture.

You see, not only does the sun’s magnetic field shield us from cosmic rays; the earth’s magnetic field – the magnetosphere – also shields us from these energetic subatomic particles. The stronger the earth’s magnetic field, the greater the protection. The weaker the field, the less protection.

During a magnetic reversal our magnetosphere disappears

Prior to previous geomagnetic reversals, the earth’s magnetic field strength declined to about 15 percent of normal before suddenly reversing. During the reversal, scientists believe that magnetic field strength dropped to zero, thus disabling our protective shield.

With no shield, huge amounts of cosmic rays would have have rained down on our planet, thereby seeding the clouds (just as CERN suggests), leading to vast amounts of precipitation, cooler temperatures, and thence to an ice age.

Magnetic field strength is declining rapidly

The earth’s magnetic field strength has declined by about two thirds during the past 2,000 years. Unfortunately, the rate of decline is picking up. Magnetic field strength has declined about five percent in the past 100 years alone. (Not by Fire but by Ice, p 190.)

This increase in the speed of the decline is worrisome enough. But just this year, the British Geological Survey (BGS) admitted that we may now be headed for a magnetic reversal.

The South Atlantic Anomaly is growing and spreading westwards from South Africa as the Earth’s internal magnetic field rapidly weakens in this region, says the BGS. “This may be early evidence of a forthcoming reversal in the direction of the Earth’s internal magnetic field.”

The BGS is so concerned about our weakening magnetic field that they have opened an observatory on South Georgia Island to track the latest developments.

If CERN and the BGS are correct – and I think they are – then we’re in for some tough times ahead.

We need to prepare for an ice age

At least seven magnetic reversals during the past 400,000 years can be correlated with glaciation. (Not by Fire but by Ice, p 198) To think it won’t happen again just because we humans now inhabit the planet would be wishful thinking.

Forget all this talk about global warming. We need to prepare for an ice age.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


"The growth of knowledge depends entirely on disagreement" -- Karl Popper

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.

By John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.), writing from Brisbane, Australia.

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

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.

Climate is 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

A strange Green/Left conceit: They seem to think (e.g. here) that no-one should spend money opposing them and that conservative donors must not support the election campaigns of Congressmen they agree with

To Greenies, Genghis Khan was a good guy, believe it or not. They love that he killed so many people.

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 pass 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


After much reading in the relevant literature, the following conclusions seem warranted to me. You should find evidence for all of them appearing on this blog from time to time:

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A "HEAT TRAPPING GAS". A gas can become warmer by contact with something warmer or by infrared radiation shining on it or by adiabatic (pressure) effects but it cannot trap anything. Air is a gas. Try trapping something with it!

Greenies are the sand in the gears of modern civilization -- and they intend to be.

The Greenie message is entirely emotional and devoid of all logic. They say that polar ice will melt and cause a big sea-level rise. Yet 91% of the world's glacial ice is in Antarctica, where the average temperature is around minus 40 degrees Celsius. The melting point of ice is zero degrees. So for the ice to melt on any scale the Antarctic temperature would need to rise by around 40 degrees, which NOBODY is predicting. The median Greenie prediction is about 4 degrees. So where is the huge sea level rise going to come from? Mars? And the North polar area is mostly sea ice and melting sea ice does not raise the sea level at all. Yet Warmists constantly hail any sign of Arctic melting. That the melting of floating ice does not raise the water level is known as Archimedes' principle. Archimedes demonstrated it around 2,500 years ago. That Warmists have not yet caught up with that must be just about the most inspissated ignorance imaginable. The whole Warmist scare defies the most basic physics. Yet at the opening of 2011 we find the following unashamed lying by James Hansen: "We will lose all the ice in the polar ice cap in a couple of decades". Sadly, what the Vulgate says in John 1:5 is still only very partially true: "Lux in tenebris lucet". There is still much darkness in the minds of men.

The repeated refusal of Warmist "scientists" to make their raw data available to critics is such a breach of scientific protocol that it amounts to a confession in itself. Note, for instance Phil Jones' Feb 21, 2005 response to Warwick Hughes' request for his raw climate data: "We have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?" Looking for things that might be wrong with a given conclusion is of course central to science. But Warmism cannot survive such scrutiny. So even after "Climategate", the secrecy goes on.

Most Greenie causes are at best distractions from real environmental concerns (such as land degradation) and are more motivated by a hatred of people than by any care for the environment

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

‘Global warming’ has become the grand political narrative of the age, replacing Marxism as a dominant force for controlling liberty and human choices. -- Prof. P. Stott

Comparing climate alarmist Hansen to Cassandra is WRONG. Cassandra's (Greek mythology) dire prophecies were never believed but were always right. Hansen's dire prophecies are usually believed but are always wrong (Prof. Laurence Gould, U of Hartford, CT)

The modern environmental movement arose out of the wreckage of the New Left. They call themselves Green because they're too yellow to admit they're really Reds. So Lenin's birthday was chosen to be the date of Earth Day. Even a moderate politician like Al Gore has been clear as to what is needed. In "Earth in the Balance", he wrote that saving the planet would require a "wrenching transformation of society".

For centuries there was a scientific consensus which said that fire was explained by the release of an invisible element called phlogiston. That theory is universally ridiculed today. Global warming is the new phlogiston. Though, now that we know how deliberate the hoax has been, it might be more accurate to call global warming the New Piltdown Man. The Piltdown hoax took 40 years to unwind. I wonder....

Motives: Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is generally to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Policies: The only underlying theme that makes sense of all Greenie policies is hatred of people. Hatred of other people has been a Greenie theme from way back. In a report titled "The First Global Revolution" (1991, p. 104) published by the "Club of Rome", a Greenie panic outfit, we find the following statement: "In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill.... All these dangers are caused by human intervention... The real enemy, then, is humanity itself." See here for many more examples of prominent Greenies saying how much and how furiously they hate you.

The conventional wisdom of the day is often spectacularly wrong. The most popular and successful opera of all time is undoubtedly "Carmen" by Georges Bizet. Yet it was much criticized when first performed and the unfortunate Bizet died believing that it was a flop. Similarly, when the most iconic piece of 20th century music was first performed in 1913-- Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" -- half the audience walked out. Those of us who defy the conventional wisdom about climate are actually better off than that. Unlike Bizet and Stravinsky in 1913, we KNOW that we will eventually be vindicated -- because all that supports Warmism is a crumbling edifice of guesswork ("models").

Al Gore won a political prize for an alleged work of science. That rather speaks for itself, doesn't it?

Jim Hansen and his twin

Getting rich and famous through alarmism: Al Gore is well-known but note also James Hansen. He has for decades been a senior, presumably well-paid, employee at NASA. In 2001 he was the recipient of a $250,000 Heinz Award. In 2007 Time magazine designated him a Hero of the Environment. That same year he pocketed one-third of a $1 million Dan David Prize. In 2008, the American Association for the Advancement of Science presented him with its Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award. In 2010 he landed a $100,000 Sophie Prize.

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!

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"


"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."

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)

"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

“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

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

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

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.

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)