Sunday, February 01, 2015


The Earth's crust under Iceland is rising -- but why?

We read below:  "Compton found the onset of rising temperatures and the loss of ice corresponded tightly with her estimates of when uplift began".  But there has been no global  warming for 18 years.  So has the uplift stopped?  Rather to the contrary, it seems.  So it must be local warming at work -- probably due to vulcanism.

Note also below:  "He added there is geological evidence that during the past deglaciation roughly 12,000 years ago, volcanic activity in some regions of Iceland increased thirtyfold".  So if uplift can be related to volcanic activity 12,000 years ago, why not now? QED


A new study has found that as global warming melts the island's great ice caps, the crust is 'rebounding' and rising.

Geologists have long known that as glaciers melt and become lighter, the Earth rebounds as the weight of the ice decreases.

Whether the current rebound geologists detect is related to past deglaciation or modern ice loss has been an open question until now.

Some sites in south-central Iceland are moving upward as much as 1.4 inches per year — a speed that surprised the researchers.

The University of Arizona-led team reports in an upcoming issue of Geophysical Research Letters.

The paper is the first to show the current fast uplift of the Icelandic crust is a result of accelerated melting of the island's glaciers and coincides with the onset of warming that began about 30 years ago, the scientists said.

'Our research makes the connection between recent accelerated uplift and the accelerated melting of the Icelandic ice caps,' said first author Kathleen Compton.

'Iceland is the first place we can say accelerated uplift means accelerated ice mass loss,' Bennett said.

To figure out how fast the crust was moving upward, the team used a network of 62 global positioning satellite receivers fastened to rocks throughout Iceland. By tracking the position of the GPS receivers year after year, the scientists 'watch' the rocks move and can calculate how far they have traveled — a technique called geodesy.

The new work shows that, at least for Iceland, the land's current accelerating uplift is directly related to the thinning of glaciers and to global warming.  'What we're observing is a climatically induced change in the Earth's surface,' Bennett said.

He added there is geological evidence that during the past deglaciation roughly 12,000 years ago, volcanic activity in some regions of Iceland increased thirtyfold.

Others have estimated the Icelandic crust's rebound from warming-induced ice loss could increase the frequency of volcanic eruptions such as the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, which had negative economic consequences worldwide.

The article 'Climate driven vertical acceleration of Icelandic crust measured by CGPS geodesy' by Compton, Bennett and their co-author Sigrun Hreinsdóttir of GNS Science in Avalon, New Zealand, was accepted for publication Jan. 14, 2015, and is soon to be published online. The National Science Foundation and the Icelandic Center for Research funded the research.

The team primarily used the geodesy network to track geological activity such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

In 2013, Bennett noticed one of long-running stations in the centre of the country was showing that site was rebounding at an accelerated rate.

He wondered about it, so he and his colleagues checked the nearby stations to see if they had recorded the same changes.

'The striking answer was, yes, they all do,' he said. 'We wondered what in the world could be causing this?'

The team began systematically analyzing years of signals from the entire network and found the fastest uplift was the region between several large ice caps. The rate of uplift slowed the farther the receiver was from the ice cap region.

Other researchers had been measuring ice loss and observed a notable uptick in the rate of melting since 1995.

Temperature records for Iceland, some of which go back to the 1800s, show temperatures increasing since 1980.

To determine whether the same rate of ice loss year after year could cause such an acceleration in uplift, Compton tested that idea using mathematical models. The answer was no: The glaciers had to be melting faster and faster every year to be causing more and more uplift.

Compton found the onset of rising temperatures and the loss of ice corresponded tightly with her estimates of when uplift began. 'I was surprised how well everything lined up,' she said.  Bennett said, 'There's no way to explain that accelerated uplift unless the glacier is disappearing at an accelerated rate.'

Estimating ice loss is laborious and difficult, he said. 'Our hope is we can use current GPS measurements of uplift to more easily quantify ice loss.'

The team's next step is to analyze the uplift data to reveal the seasonal variation as the ice caps grow during the winter snow season and melt during the summer.

 SOURCE





Senate approves Keystone, Obama veto looms

The Senate voted Thursday to approve the Keystone XL pipeline on a 62-36 vote, setting up a clash with President Barack Obama, who has vowed to kill the bill with just his third veto in six years.
The Keystone bill’s three-week gallop included votes on more than 40 amendments, but the bill still lacks the support in both the Senate and the House to override a presidential veto.
Story Continued Below

Yet the debate drew praise from Democrats and Republicans alike as a sign the Senate had left behind the gridlock that has stymied legislation for years, and it could now pick up its pace while giving the minority a chance to influence policymaking.

But the debate failed to win over any lawmakers from the solid bloc of Democrats who were unwilling to undercut Obama and approve a pipeline that’s long been a top priority for the oil and gas industry.

“Time and time again Republicans pledge their allegiance to foreign special interests above the American middle class,” New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, Democrats’ third-ranked leader, told reporters.

Despite the intensity of the debate in Congress, Keystone is still largely where it began: a symbol to Republicans of the White House’s hostility to fossil fuels, and to Democrats as another effort by GOP to do the bidding of Big Oil.

Senior Republicans have not yet agreed on whether the pipeline bill will head to the House for a second vote, thanks to changes the Senate made this month, or go to bicameral conference talks.
House Speaker John Boehner praised Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “for passing this bill in an open, inclusive, and bipartisan way,” and urged Obama to walk back a threat to veto “this common-sense bill that would strengthen our energy security.”

The White House did not back down, reiterating on Thursday its intention to veto the Keystone bill. Overriding Obama would require four more Democratic votes in the Senate and dozens more in the House, where 28 Democrats joined the GOP in approving the pipeline bill earlier this month.

Obama has not said whether he would approve the permit that would allow TransCanada to build the pipeline that would link Canada’s oil sands to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. The White House has said it opposed the legislation in the Congress because it would remove the decision from the executive branch.

Republicans already are discussing plans to attach the pipeline to upcoming measures that could prove difficult for Obama to reject, such as annual government spending bills.

But the Keystone clock may already be working against them. The State Department has told other federal agencies to weigh in by Monday on its year-old finding that the $8 billion project is unlikely to have a significant environmental impact, an indication that the administration is in the final stages of its six-year Keystone review.

A final recommendation from State on whether Keystone is in the national interest could come as soon as this month. Although there is no binding deadline for Obama to make the final decision on a border-crossing permit for the pipeline, he has repeatedly expressed a dim view of its economic benefits in recent months.
TransCanada CEO Russ Girling praised today’s vote, which he noted was the 10th time the Senate had passed a measure to support the pipeline’s construction.

“Every barrel of Canadian and American oil transported by Keystone XL replaces imports from overseas — and improves U.S. and North American energy independence,” he said in a statement.

American Petroleum Institute CEO Jack Gerard warned that leaving the pipeline in limbo could have a significant impact on oil and gas transportation plans throughout the country.

“The fact is that if all other infrastructure projects are delayed like Keystone XL, we are years away from approving anything that could create jobs and enhance our energy security,” Gerard said in a statement.

Despite the Keystone bill’s poor prospects at becoming law, Senate Republicans welcomed the vote that gave their new majority its first legislative accomplishment and drew three new Democratic supporters — Sens. Michael Bennet (Colo.), Bob Casey (Pa.) and Tom Carper (Del.) — more fully behind their Keystone effort.

In addition to that trio, six Democrats who have previously supported Keystone joined with every Republican to pass the Keystone bill.

Democrats and environmentalists also saw bright spots in the vote: They prevented the GOP from peeling off new Keystone supporters in Obama’s party and opened up some cracks in the Republican’s rhetoric on climate change.

“The only positive aspect of this debate has been that some amendments did put senators on the record on issues that truly matter — starting with climate change,” the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Canada project director, Danielle Droitsch, said in a statement on the Keystone vote.

Tom Steyer, the billionaire environmentalist who poured more than $50 million into Democratic candidates’ campaigns during last year’s midterms, urged Obama to follow up EPA’s carbon regulations and his emissions pact with China by rejecting Keystone to “truly solidify America’s legacy as a global leader on climate.”

SOURCE





New Virginia law protects farmers from meddling local officials

The "Boneta Bill" marks a major victory for grassroots activists over powerful special interests

In a hard-fought and stunning victory for family farmers and property rights throughout the Commonwealth, Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) March 5 signed into law legislation solidifying Virginia’s status as a right-to-farm state by limiting local officials’ ability to interfere with normal agricultural operations.

The governor’s signature marks the latest chapter in a swirling controversy that attracted nationwide attention in 2012 when the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors forced family farmer Martha Boneta to cease selling produce from her own 64-acre farm. No longer allowed to sell the vegetables she had harvested, Boneta donated the food to local charities lest it go to waste.

Fauquier County officials threatened Boneta with $5,000-per-day fines for hosting a birthday party for eight 10-year-old girls without a permit, and advertising pumpkin carvings. Seeing in the county’s action against Boneta as a brazen effort to drive her off her land, Virginians from all walks of life rallied to her defense.  Supporters gathered in Warrenton, the county seat, for a peaceful “pitchfork protest” to vent their anger over what an out-of-control local government had done to a law-abiding citizen.

In the 2013 session of the General Assembly, Rep. Scott Lingamfelter, R-Prince William, spearheaded an effort to undo the injustice inflicted on Boneta, and to protect other small farmers from similar abuse, by strengthening Virginia’s Right to Farm Act.  What became known as the “Boneta Bill” passed the House by an overwhelming margin but was killed in a Senate committee.

Undeterred, Boneta and her supporters came back to the General Assembly in 2014 and won wide bipartisan approval for legislation protecting the rights of family farmers. The bill signed by Gov. McAuliffe grew out of legislation developed by Rep. Bobby Orrick, R-Thornburg, and Richard Stuart, R-Montross, and supported by, among others, Sen. Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax.

Backed by the Virginia Farm Bureau, the new law protects customary activities at agricultural operations from local bans in the absence of substantial impacts on public welfare.  It also prohibits localities from requiring a special-use permit for a host of farm-related activities that are specified in the bill.  The law takes effect on July 1.

“I want to thank Gov. McAuliffe, the members of the General Assembly, and all those who have rallied to the defense of family farmers,” Boneta said.  “After all my family and I have been through, it is gratifying to know that an injustice can be undone, and the rights of farmers as entrepreneurs can be upheld thanks to the work of so many dedicated people.”

Successful grassroots effort citizens

Passage of the Boneta Bill was all the more remarkable, because it was entirely a grassroots effort.  Supporters of the legislation, none of whom received any compensation for the time and effort they devoted to the cause, flooded the state capitol in Richmond with emails, phone calls, and personal visits with lawmakers to ensure enactment of the legislation.

In contrast, opponents of the bill, including well-funded environmental organizations and power-hungry county governments – both determined to preserve strict land-use controls – reportedly employed lobbyists to kill the bill.  In the end, highly-motivated citizens triumphed over highly paid lobbyists.

SOURCE





India unwilling to be treated at par with China on CO2 emissions

India’s resistance to accept a peak year for emissions was a prime reason why US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi failed to strike a climate deal along the lines of a US-China agreement on emission cuts.

The US wanted India to make specific commitments including a peak year for a new climate treaty to be signed at Paris later this year. But India refused as it feared it would have resulted in the world putting India in the same bracket as China on carbon emissions.
                                                                               
China is the world’s biggest carbon emitter while India is fourth with per capita emissions one-third those of China’s.

“Having a peaking year was not acceptable to us,” said an environment ministry official.

The officials also said the US was not willing to enhance its commitment to climate finance and reiterated that it had already offered to give $1 billion to the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) for climate finance. India has also been seeking a US commitment to provide adequate funds for adapting to climate change for developing and least developed countries.

Sources said India was also not willing to make any bilateral commitment until India submitted its intended domestically determined contribution (INDCs) to fight climate change to the United Nations by June this year.

India is likely to make its plan of generating 1,00,000 MW of solar power and 55,000 MW of wind power as part of its INDCs, apart from saving upto 20,000 MW of power from introducing energy efficient systems. “We also want to see what other countries will commit in their INDCs,” an official explained.

US Secretary for State John Kerry earlier this month had emphasised that a climate deal with India would be a top priority during Obama’s visit. But the two countries failed to hammer out a deal except for a US commitment to invest in India’s plan to generate 1,00,000 MW of solar power by 2019.

But it is not the end of the road for a Indo-US deal on climate change.  The two countries will hold further negotiations on climate change in a working group in the next few months. A source said many issues are on the table and will be discussed in coming months.

SOURCE





Deflating Climate Change

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is dominating the headlines amid allegations of cheating in his team’s 45-7 playoff win over the Indianapolis Colts last week. At least he was – Boston still is the subject of most newswires, but for the past two days that was thanks to an ironically well-timed blizzard, not Brady.

The real DeflateGate, however, is Barack Obama’s negligence concerning foreign affairs while obsessing over things beyond his control. Last week, Yemen fell hostage to Islamic extremists, the latest in a string of countries whose leadership crumbled to radical uprisings. Nevertheless, terrorism’s expanding influence is not what the president chose to emphasize is civilization’s greatest threat during his State of the Union address. No, that would be a perpetual straw man – global warming.

Shortly after delivering self-congratulatory remarks on his counterterrorism policies, Obama proceeded in his SOTU address to declare, “No challenge – no challenge – poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.” Really, how crazy must one be to worry about getting blown to smithereens or having your throat slit by maniacal fundamentalists when the oceans might rise a bit within the next century? And here we thought the president already had that situation under control. In 2008, the story was that Obama’s inauguration would mark “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” Six years later, the world is going up in flames, and it’s not because of a man-made fever.

“2014 was the planet’s warmest year on record,” said the lecturer in chief, a statistic that was the conclusion of a new report by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. According to NOAA, earth’s average temperature last year was 1.24°F above average – sea surface temperatures were the highest on record (1.03°F above average), while land temperatures came in fourth place (1.80°F above average).

Even if we take the government at its word and assume last year was indeed the warmest – since records began in the late 1800s, it’s important to note – the report lacked two particularly big disclaimers.

For starters, last week the Daily Mail revealed, “The margin of error is said by scientists to be approximately 0.1C. … As a result, GISS’s [Goddard Institute for Space Studies] director Gavin Schmidt has now admitted [government officials believe] the likelihood that 2014 was the warmest year since 1880 is just 38 per cent.” Incredibly, the trumpeted “consensus” appears suddenly irrelevant.

Second, Obama’s ensuing remark is simply unfounded: “Now, one year doesn’t make a trend, but this does: 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have all fallen in the first 15 years of this century.” According to Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) satellite data, the staple of modern temperature recordings, the globe has experienced no observable warming now for more than 18 years. NOAA omitted that inconvenient truth, however, because the nearly two-decade long hiatus doesn’t fit the narrative.

It seems Mother Nature presents a twist every time envirofascists open their petulant mouths – and indeed, drivers on Monday’s snarled I-95 corridor would have enjoyed some global warming. Tom Brady may be tossing under-inflated footballs, but the narcissist in chief has been prematurely spiking the ball ever since he entered the Oval Office, all while destroying our Liberty, one policy at a time. Unless America begins taking seriously the real DeflateGate, the only thing we’ll be left with is a Hail Mary.

SOURCE





Russian sponsorship of Green groups?

A shadowy Bermudan company that has funneled tens of millions of dollars to anti-fracking environmentalist groups in the United States is run by executives with deep ties to Russian oil interests and offshore money laundering schemes involving members of President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.

One of those executives, Nicholas Hoskins, is a director at a hedge fund management firm that has invested heavily in Russian oil and gas. He is also senior counsel at the Bermudan law firm Wakefield Quin and the vice president of a London-based investment firm whose president until recently chaired the board of the state-owned Russian oil company Rosneft.

In addition to those roles, Hoskins is a director at a company called Klein Ltd. No one knows where that firm’s money comes from. Its only publicly documented activities have been transfers of $23 million to U.S. environmentalist groups that push policies that would hamstring surging American oil and gas production, which has hurt Russia’s energy-reliant economy.

With oil prices plunging as a result of a fracking-induced oil glut in the United States, experts say the links between Russian oil interests, secretive foreign political donors, and high-profile American environmentalists suggest Russia may be backing anti-fracking efforts in the United States.

The interest of Russian oil companies and American environmentalist financiers intersect at a Bermuda-based law firm called Wakefield Quin. The firm acts as a corporate registered agent, providing office space for clients, and, for some, “managing the day to day affairs,” according to its website.

As many as 20 companies and investment funds with ties to the Russian government are Wakefield Quin clients. Many list the firm’s address on official documentation.

Klein Ltd. also shares that address. Documents filed with Bermuda’s registrar of companies list just two individuals associated with the company: Hoskins, Wakefield Quin senior counsel and managing director, and Marlies Smith, a corporate administrator at the firm.

According to documents filed with Bermuda’s registrar of companies, Klein Ltd. was incorporated in March 2011 “exclusively for philanthropic purposes,” meaning “no part of the net earnings … inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.”

“The company does not propose to carry on business in Bermuda,” the documents stated.

The only publicly available documentation of any business conducted by Klein Ltd. were two Internal Revenue Service filings by the California-based Sea Change Foundation, which showed that Klein had contributed $23 million to the group in 2010 and 2011. Klein Ltd. was responsible for more than 40 percent of contributions to Sea Change during those years.

The foundation passed those millions along to some of the nation’s most prominent and politically active environmentalist groups. The Sierra Club, the Natural Resource Defense Council, Food and Water Watch, the League of Conservation Voters, and the Center for American Progress were among the recipients of Sea Change’s $100 million in grants in 2010 and 2011.

Neither Wakefield Quin nor Sea Change responded to multiple requests for more information about their relationships with Klein Ltd.

“None of this foreign corporation’s funding is disclosed in any way,” the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee wrote of the company in a report last year. “This is clearly a deceitful way to hide the source of millions of dollars that are active in our system, attempting to effect political change.”

The Sierra Club, which received nearly $8.5 million from Sea Change in 2010 and 2011, launched its “Beyond Natural Gas” campaign the following year. The effort has become one of the largest and best-funded environmentalist campaigns combating fracking and the extraction of natural gas in general.

Sea Change’s “skeletal staff quietly shovels tens of millions of dollars out the door annually to combat climate change. And that’s pretty much all it does,” noted Inside Philanthropy, which awarded the foundation its “sharpest laser focus in grantmaking” award last year.

Nathaniel Simons and his wife run the foundation and are, except for Klein Ltd., its only donors. Simons, a hedge fund millionaire who commutes to work across San Francisco Bay aboard a 50-foot yacht, also runs a venture capital firm that invests in companies that benefit from environmental and energy policies that Sea Change grantees promote.

Simons himself has ties to Klein Ltd. Several Wakefield Quin attorneys are listed as directors of hedge funds that his firm manages, and in which Sea Change has assets.

Senior counsel Rod Forrest was listed on documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission as a director of two investment funds, Medallion International Ltd. and Meritage Holdings Ltd., in which Sea Change had tens of millions invested while it received money from Klein Ltd.

Simons’ company runs the Meritage Fund. The Medallion Fund is run by Renaissance Technologies, the hedge fund management firm run by his father, billionaire and Democratic mega-donor Jim Simons. Both funds listed Wakefield Quin’s Hamilton, Bermuda, address on SEC filings.

Wakefield Quin’s Hoskins and Smith, as well as a number of other employees of Wakefield Quin, have worked in some capacity for companies or investment funds owned by or tied to Russian state-owned corporations and high-level officials in the country.

Hoskins, Forrest, and another Wakefield employee named Penny Cornell were all listed as executives of Spectrum Partners Ltd., a fund with offices in Moscow, Cypress, and Bermuda, Cornell at the address of Wakefield Quin’s offices.

According to a performance report for one of Spectrum Partners’ funds, its portfolio consisted of “Russian and CIS [former Soviet state] securities and securities outside of Russia or CIS but having significant economic or business involvement with Russia and/or CIS.”

As of 2008, more than half of the fund’s holdings were in the oil and gas sectors.

Numerous executives at Wakefield Quin have ties to Russian oil and gas companies, including Rosneft, which is majority-owned by the Russian government and in 2013 became the largest oil company in the world.

Hoskins is the vice president of a London-based company called Marcuard Services Limited, and a member of the firm’s board, according to its website.

The company’s president, and the chairman of its parent company, Bermuda-based Marcuard Holding Limited, is Hans-Joerg Rudloff. Rudloff is also a former vice-chairman of the Rosneft’s board.

Hoskins is also a director at a Bermuda-based subsidiary of Russian investment bank Troika Dialog. That firm organized an initial public offering for Timan Oil & Gas, which is run by Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev.

The Environmental Policy Alliance, which provided the Washington Free Beacon with a copy of an upcoming report on Klein Ltd.’s Kremlin ties, said Wakefield Quin’s ties to environmental financiers and Russian oil barons merit closer scrutiny.

“The American public deserves to know whether environmentalists are attacking US energy companies at the behest of a Russian government that would like nothing more than to see their international competition weakened,” Will Coggin, a senior research analyst at the EPA, said in an emailed statement.

“In the face of mounting evidence, environmental groups are going to have to start answering hard questions about their international funding sources,” Coggin said.

The overlap between executives at firms with ties to Russian oil interests and a multi-million-dollar donor to U.S. environmentalist groups has some experts worried that Russians may be replicating anti-fracking tactics used in Europe to attack the practice in the United States.

“I have met allies who can report that Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organizations—environmental organizations working against shale gas—to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas,” Anders Fogh Rasmussen, formerly NATO’s secretary general, said last year.

It is unlikely that the Kremlin is directly involved in doing so in the United States, according to Ron Arnold of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise.

“If anybody in Russia is behind all the secretive Bermuda investment house and law firm action, it’s most likely some oligarch bidding against U.S. competition,” he said in an email.

Arnold, the author of Undue Influence: Wealthy Foundations, Grant Driven Environmental Groups, and Zealous Bureaucrats That Control Your Future, said that the opacity of Klein Ltd.’s involvement with the Sea Change Foundation exemplifies attempts to shield the source of donations to such groups.

“In my experience of trying to penetrate offshore money funnels for U.S. leftist foundations and green groups, I have found that Liechtenstein, Panama and Bermuda are the Big Three green equivalents of the Cayman Islands for hedge fund managers—totally opaque and impervious to my specially designed research tools,” Arnold said.

SOURCE

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

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Friday, January 30, 2015



Joe Romm assumes what he has to prove -- and his assumption is wrong

As we all know, ANY weather event proves global warming.  Global warming is unfalsifiable and is, as such, a religious faith, not a scientific finding. So it is no surprise that Joe Romm, the professional Warmist, has put up an argument  -- excerpt below -- to say that the recent winter storms in the N.E. USA are caused by global warming.  But how can they be?  There has been no statistically significant global warming for 18 years or thereabouts.  But Romm writes as if warming were happening.  He assumes what he has to prove. Clearly, all the events he describes are natural and nothing to do with our static climate

Warming-fueled sea surface temperatures provide a boost of moisture for the forecast New England blizzard, just as it has for previous monster East Coast snow storms. Via NOAA.

Another epic blizzard is bearing down on New England. There is a “big part” played by “human-induced climate change,” especially warming-fueled ocean temperatures, according to Dr. Kevin Trenberth, former head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

I asked Dr. Trenberth to comment on the role climate change has on this latest storm, which is forecast to set records. He explained:

    "The number 1 cause of this is that it is winter. In winter it is cold over the continent. But it is warm over the oceans and the contrast between the cold continent and the warm Gulf Stream and surrounding waters is increasing. At present sea surface temperatures are more the 2F above normal over huge expanses (1000 miles) off the east coast and water vapor in the atmosphere is about 10% higher as a result. About half of this can be attributed to climate change".

Before this latest storm, we’ve seen a long-term pattern of more extreme precipitation, particularly in New England winters. Climate scientists had long predicted this would happen in a warming world.

Like a baseball player on steroids, our climate system is breaking records at an unnatural pace. And like a baseball player on steroids, it’s the wrong question to ask whether a given home run is “caused” by steroids. As Trenberth wrote in his must-read analysis, “How To Relate Climate Extremes to Climate Change,” the “answer to the oft-asked question of whether an event is caused by climate change is that it is the wrong question. All weather events are affected by climate change because the environment in which they occur is warmer and moister than it used to be.”

One of the most robust scientific findings is the direct connection between global warming and more extreme precipitation or deluges. “Basic physics tells us that a warmer atmosphere is able to hold more moisture — at a rate of approximately 7 per cent increase per degree [Celsius] warming,” as the U.K. Met Office explained in its 2014 update on climate science. “This is expected to lead to similar percentage increases in heavy rainfall, which has generally been borne out by models and observed changes in daily rainfall.”

This means that when it is cold enough to snow, snow storms will be fueled by more water vapor and thus be more intense themselves. So we expect fewer snowstorms in regions close to the rain-snow line, such as the central United States, though the snowstorms that do occur in those areas are still likely to be more intense. It also means we expect more intense snowstorms in generally cold regions. This may appear to be counterintuitive — and certainly climate science deniers like to play up big snowstorms for that reason. But the fact is that the warming to date is not close to that needed to end below-freezing temperatures during midwinter over parts of the globe like New England, while it is large enough to put measurably more water vapor into the air.

SOURCE






No lamb cutlets for you!  Greenies really hate everything about us -- including our love of good food

The basic Greenie theory behind the assertions below is false.  There is no tendency for  trees to be chopped down to provide more farmland.  Energy-intensive farming methods in countries like the USA have provided huge gains in food production, allowing land to be returned to forest.  The area covered by forest in the USA INCREASED during the 20th century.  The characteristic state of food production in advanced countries is of course glut, not shortage  -- which is why food prices have come way down in real terms. Under capitalism, even China is now a net food exporter

Beef and lamb should be given the chop to help save the planet, the government has warned.

Cutting down on eating red meat in favour of more fruit and vegetables will free up land for forests to absorb greenhouse gases, a new study for the Department for Energy and Climate Change says.

People in Britain must curb their meat intake and travel less to meet emissions targets which would then allow them to have larger, warmer homes.

Ministers claim the report 'Prosperous living for the world in 2050' shows that limiting global temperatures to a 2°C rise can be achieved while improving living standards.

It looks at changes which can be easily made to lifestyles to reduce environmental impacts, allowing other behaviour which is less damaging.

It is claimed the Global Calculator tool will allow to world to 'eat well, travel more, live in more comfortable homes, and meet international carbon reduction commitments'.

But it urges people to reduce beef and lamb consumption, as a key way to prevent deforestation.

In the last decade almost 200 million hectares of native forest land has been cut down, the report says, partly driven by increased demand for agricultural land.

Demand for food around the world is expected to rise by up to 45 per cent by 2050, but forests need to expand by 5-15 per cent to absorb enough carbon dioxide from the atmoshphere.

The report suggests the number of cows grazing on grassland to increase from 0.6 per hectare today to up to 1 per hectare by 2050.

'For example, currently an area the size of a football pitch can be used to produce 250 kg of beef, 1,000 kg of poultry (both fed on grains and residues) or 15,000 kg of fruit and vegetables.

'Decreasing the amount of meat in the global average diet would also have benefits for our climate and human health.'

Swapping from beef and lamb for poultry and pork would require much less land to produce per kilogram.

'This change in the type of meat we eat could free up 290 million hectares of land, otherwise used for animal feed and pasture, to ultimately become land for forests, which acts a carbon sink and reduces the need for abatement elsewhere.'

The World Health Organisation's definition of a healthy diet includes 2,100 calories on average, of which 160 calories is meat.

If everyone stuck to these limits it could reduce emissions by the euiavalenet of a third of total global CO2 emissions in 2011.

'Smart use of our land could ensure we can protect or even expand our forests, produce all the food we need, and increase land for bioenergy from 98 million hectares today to up to 350 million hectares by 2050.'

Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: 'For the first time this Global Calculator shows that everyone in the world can prosper while limiting global temperature rises to 2°C, preventing the most serious impacts of climate change.

'Yet the calculator is also very clear that we must act now to change how we use and generate energy and how we use our land if we are going to achieve this green growth.

'The UK is leading on climate change both at home and abroad. Britain's global calculator can help the world's crucial climate debate this year. Along with the many country-based 2050 calculators we pioneered, we are working hard to demonstrate to the global family that climate action benefits people.'

SOURCE





UK: Eco-warrior planted homemade 'stingers' that took out THREE police cars as they answered emergency calls on New Year's Eve

An environmental activist who used nail-filled pieces of plywood to put three police cars responding to emergency calls out of action is likely to be jailed.

Emma Sheppard positioned three of the homemade traps outside a police station near Bristol on New Year's Eve, which led to the police vehicles' tyres being punctured. The devices were similar to those used by police to stop suspect's cars.

The 33-year-old appeared at the Bristol Crown Court yesterday via video-link from Eastwood Park prison in Gloucestershire and admitted damaging the vehicles.

Judge Martin Piction told Sheppard she would inevitably be jailed and said he would consider public protection issues when sentencing her next month. He then remanded her in custody.

Sheppard, who is from Easton, in Bristol, is well known within green activist circles.

In 2009 she was among a group of 18 activists who were found guilty of trying to shut down the Ratcliffe power station in Nottinghamshire. Her conviction and those of her co-accused were later quashed following revelations the group had been infiltrated by undercover police officer Mark Kennedy.

The court heard that Sheppard, of no fixed abode, put the devices outside a police divisional HQ in Emersons Green, Bristol.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Bevan said the 'stinger' devices rendered the police vehicles 'unusable on what is traditionally one of the busiest nights of the year'.

He said Sheppard placed the devices on the road, 'knowing full well what the consequences could be'.

Det. Insp. Bevan said: 'They posed a serious risk to our police officers as well as other road users and formed part of a reckless and dangerous plan.'

Sheppard’s conviction is the first by detectives from Avon and Somerset's police's Operation Rhone. A squad was formed in December after police linked more than 100 arson and vandalism attacks on establishment targets that had occurred in and around Bristol and Bath during the last four years.

The attacks, on police stations, banks and politician's cars, were suspected to have been carried out by anarchists.

SOURCE





Seattle to Fine Residents for Throwing Food in the Garbage

In an attempt to shame residents of their city, a new Seattle law will levy a fine on homes that do not properly sort food out of their garbage.

Emblazoned with a red citation tag, violators will start to be fined anywhere from $1-$50 in July. For now, Seattle residents will be publicly shamed by the ‘Scarlet Letter’-like tags.

"I'm sure neighbors are going to see these on their other neighbors' cans," says Rodney Watkins, a lead driver for Recology CleanScapes, a waste contractor for the city. He's on the front lines of enforcing these rules.  The tags are part of, what the city calls, a “public education campaign.”

In an interview with NPR, Watkins details how he goes about enforcing the draconian statute:  "You can see all the oranges and coffee grounds," he says, raising one lid.” All that makes great compost. You can put that in your compost bin and buy it back next year in a bag and put it in your garden."

The ultimate goal of the law is to boost composting while reducing greenhouse gasses:

Food waste is both an economic and environmental burden. Transporting the waste, especially for distances as far as Seattle does, is costly. So too is allowing it to sit out in the open, where it produces methane, one of the most harmful greenhouses gases, as it rots. The second largest component of landfills in the United States is organic waste, and landfills are the single largest source of methane gas.

The EPA has already begun a campaign to achieve laws similar to Seattle’s.

The outstanding question remains: what purview is it of government to act as people’s trash nanny?

SOURCE





Drilling in the Atlantic? Not So Fast

The Obama administration announced Tuesday that, while it would move to block drilling in significant portions of Alaska, it would seek to open some of the Atlantic Coast to drilling. But lest you celebrate a sane policy shift, The Washington Post reports, “Any drilling would be at least a decade away and likely subject to intense political and legal battles between industry backers and environmentalists worried about the risk of oil spills.”

Furthermore, explained Amy Harder of the Wall Street Journal, “Secretary Sally Jewell of the Interior Department stressed that this is the broadest plan that they’re going to consider. When it goes final in the next couple of years, they may whittle it down to something smaller than what they proposed today. … So I think the plan can only get narrower and given the president’s commitment to climate change,

I wouldn’t be surprised if they ultimately took it out of the final plan, though at this point it’s far to early to say.” Indeed, the Left’s dedication to fighting climate change will derail many economically sound plans in the coming years.

SOURCE





GREENIE ROUNDUP FROM AUSTRALIA

Three current articles below

How a garden pest is slowing Sydney’s progress: Projects stymied by green tape protecting frogs, bats and snails

GREEN tape protecting endangered plants and animals is delaying projects worth billions across the state, with contractors forced to search for snails, count bat colonies and protect pygmy fish.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal green tape delays will impact the north coast’s Pacific Hwy upgrade, while preparations of the Badgerys Creek airport site are likely to be affected by a list of 45 threatened species ranging from eastern bent-wing bat to the red crowned toadlet.

North West Rail Link contractors were told to search for the cumberland plain land snail before construction on the $8.3 billion rail link began.

The snail — which looks similar to the exotic garden snail — has already been identified as a “high risk” threatened species on the Badgerys airport site.

Endangered plants are also afforded high priority on major road and rail projects, with buffer zones put in place, while seeds are being collected on the North West Rail Link for replanting.

Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt last year slapped 26 conditions on the 155km Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Hwy upgrade that’s already four years behind schedule. Mr Hunt imposed strict conditions to protect the pygmy perch and giant barred frog.

He also ordered the RMS to implement a Ballina Koala Plan despite three separate reports already compiled by experts on fauna, fish and flora. Mr Hunt said the Abbott government was working with NSW to deliver a “one-stop shop for environmental approvals”.

Under the proposed new structure, duplication and red tape would be phased out, but as the months drag on and with no timeline on when the streamlined process will be in place, major projects are expected to be delayed under the old system.

Mr Hunt’s spokesman confirmed the Badgerys Creek Environmental Impact Statement would include threatened species such as birds and bats, which have already been identified as being vulnerable to plane strikes.

NSW Planning Minister Pru Goward said the government was frustrated efforts to “streamline approvals” had been blocked in the Senate.

National Roads & Motorists’ Association president Kyle Loades said the group was concerned the highway upgrade’s 2020 deadline would not be met.

Mr Loades said protecting the environment was important but there was a community “expectation that it is done within reason”. He highlighted the danger of delays to key road projects surrounding Badgerys Creek, saying while it was appropriate to investigate the impact the roads may have on “local colonies of bats and birds”, western Sydney residents should not have to experience the same delays that has slowed down the Pacific Hwy upgrade.

Business Council of Australia CEO Jennifer Westacott said high environmental standards were important but should not “unnecessarily hold up major projects”.

“Governments at all levels need to redouble efforts to reduce overlap and inefficiency in planning approvals laws, including environmental approvals,” Ms Westacott said.

A Transport for NSW spokesman said three North West Rail Link environmental impact statements were approved between 2012 and 2014 and as part of that process there was no change to the route alignment and construction of the rail project was “ahead of schedule”.

A WestConnex spokeswoman said EIS documents for the M4 widening and M5 interchange pledged to conduct “pre-clearing surveys” prior to construction.

The WestConnex project had searched for threatened species including bats and the green and golden bell frog.

SOURCE

Greens slam conservative Qld government's  casino plan

One wonders what this has got to do with the environment.  Just another anti-people push

THE Newman government's decision to green-light three new casinos for Queensland reeks of backward thinking and a "third world" approach to development.  THAT'S according to the Greens, who have slammed the Liberal National Party on the scheme, two days out from Saturday's election.

The state government is fielding expressions of interest from parties interested in securing approval for one of three new integrated resort developments.  One site is slated for the Queen's Wharf precinct in Brisbane, with two more proposed for regional Queensland.  The government announced last year these approvals would come with casino licences.

Queensland Greens Senator Larissa Waters said extra casinos would turn Queensland into "the problem gambling state" of Australia, and instead the government should look at creating jobs in fields like renewable energy and eco-tourism. "Let's actually invest in Queensland's brains and capitalise on our natural beauty," Ms Waters said.

She says if Queenslanders want to gamble they are more than welcome to do so at the state's four existing venues.

Ms Waters' federal colleague Richard Di Natale says the Newman government's commitment to casinos and coal industries, rather than new sectors and technologies, has hallmarks of a "third-world dictatorship".

Local candidate Kirsten Lovejoy says art shows, festivals and new parklands - not poker machines - should be brought in to revamp the Queens Wharf entertainment zone.

Expressions of interest for the Integrated Resort Developments close on March 31.

SOURCE

Peer-reviewed study shatters claims that wind turbines are “safe”

Australia’s leading acoustical engineer Steven Cooper found that a unique infrasound pattern, which he had labelled “Wind Turbine Signature” in previous studies, correlates (through a “trend line”) with the occurrence and severity of symptoms of residents who had complained of often-unbearable “sensations”.

These include sleep disturbance, headaches, heart racing, pressure in the head, ears or chest, etc. as described by the residents (symptoms generally known as Wind Turbine Syndrome (WTS), or the euphemism “noise annoyance” – ed). (1)

The acoustician also identified “discrete low frequency amplitude modulated signals” emitted by wind turbines, and found the windfarm victims were also reacting to those.

The Wind Turbine Signature cannot be detected using traditional measuring indexes such as dB(A) or dB(C) and 1/3 Octave bands, concludes his study. Narrowband analysis must be used instead, with results expressed in dB(WTS).

He suggests medical studies be conducted using infrasound measurements in dB(WTS) in order to determine the threshold of what is unacceptable in terms of sound pressure level.

The findings are consistent with the official Kelley studies published in the US more than 30 years ago, which showed that infrasound emitted by early, downwind turbines caused sleep disturbance and other WTS symptoms (2). These studies were shelved, upwind turbines were designed, and the regulatory authorities simply trusted the wind industry’s assertion that the new models did not emit dangerous infrasound. The Cooper study now proves they were wrong.

Another conclusion of his study is that the Danish method used for measuring low-frequency “noise annoyance” near wind farms is inadequate. So are the wind turbine noise standards applied to wind farms in Victoria, Australia and New Zealand, known as New Zealand Standard 6808. Just as inadequate are all other standards regulating “annoyance” near wind farms around the world. They simply don’t take infrasound into account.

The Waubra Foundation, Dr Sarah Laurie, Dr Nina Pierpont, Dr Robert McMurtry, Ms Carmen Krogh, Dr Michael Nissenbaum, Dr Chris Hanning, Dr Jay Tibbetts, Dr Sandy Reider, Dr David Iser, Dr Amanda Harry and scores of other medical practitioners and researchers from around the world are vindicated by this benchmark study, as are the residents reporting WTS symptoms themselves, many of whom have had to regularly or permanently abandon their homes.

Regarding the future, Steven Cooper recommends that further studies be conducted in order to establish “a threshold to protect against adverse impacts.” (1)

He also writes: “the vibration surges described by some residents as disturbance during the shutdown could be attributed to wind gusts exciting resonances of the blades/towers and requires further investigation“. (1)

This is a turning point. The wind industry can no longer claim that their machines do not emit enough infrasound to affect residents, nor that health professionals publicising the problems and calling for further research are causing the suffering, nor that wind farm victims are causing their own woes (the often-used argument that “it’s all in their heads” – i.e. the “nocebo effect”). Yet the wind industry and its abettors had clung to that straw despite the numerous accounts of ill-effects on animals. (3)

SOURCE

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

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

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Thursday, January 29, 2015



Obama Administration Moves to Block Drilling in Parts of Alaska

Interior Department Plans to Designate Nearly 13 Million Acres in Refuge as Wilderness

The Obama administration is moving this week to designate areas of Alaska off limits to oil and natural gas drilling in its latest effort to bolster its environmental legacy.

The Interior Department announced on Sunday that it was proposing to preserve as wilderness nearly 13 million acres of land in the 19.8 million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, including 1.5 million acres of coastal plains that is believed to have rich oil and natural gas resources.

Later this week, the department also is slated to propose a draft offshore leasing plan that is expected to include more limits on future oil and gas production in Alaska.

The efforts are drawing a strong rebuke from congressional Republicans.  Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) vowed to fight the administration’s moves from her positions heading both the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the appropriations subcommittee responsible for funding the Interior Department.

“It’s clear this administration does not care about us, and sees us as nothing but a territory,” Ms. Murkowski said in a statement Sunday after speaking by phone with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Friday. “But we will not be run over like this. We will fight back with every resource at our disposal.”

While setting aside lands as wilderness requires congressional approval—something this administration is unlikely to get with both chambers controlled by Republicans—the proposed move puts the area into a state of de facto designation as wilderness and would prevent drilling, an Interior Department spokeswoman said.

Alaska’s oil and gas production has dropped nearly 75% since its peak in the 1980s. North Dakota surpassed Alaska two years ago as the nation’s second-largest oil producer, behind Texas.

The Interior Department is expected to block parts of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas off the coast of Alaska for oil and gas development as part of the offshore leasing plan it releases every five years, said Robert Dillon, a spokesman for Ms. Murkowski.

This proposal, to be presented this week, isn’t expected to affect current plans to drill in the region by Statoil , Shell Oil Co. and ConocoPhillips , though the long-term impacts are unclear, Mr. Dillon said.

According to the Interior Department, more than seven million acres of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge are listed as wilderness, which is the federal government’s highest designation of protection. Oil and gas drilling is prohibited in the refuge based on a law passed in 1980, and Sunday’s announcement would provide another layer of protection.

“Pristine, undisturbed, it supports caribou and polar bears, all matter of marine life, countless species of birds and fish,” President Barack Obama said in a video message Sunday. ”And for centuries it’s supported many Alaskan native communities, but it’s very fragile.”

Sunday’s announcement is the latest in a series of steps the Obama administration has taken in the last couple of months to protect the environment, address climate change and regulate the nation’s oil and natural gas industry, particularly in and around Alaska.

In another video message posted in December, Mr. Obama said he was indefinitely blocking any oil and gas drilling in Bristol Bay, in Southwestern Alaska. That announcement was relatively noncontroversial compared with the news this week. Companies aren’t currently drilling in the 32.5-million acre region and don’t have a lot of interest in doing so.

The Interior Department also is expected to propose in the coming weeks new drilling regulations tailored to the harsh weather conditions of the Arctic.

On a broader front, the Interior Department’s five-year plan is expected to offer a window into how supportive the Obama administration will be of new offshore drilling.

The last time the administration issued such a plan, the onshore boom of shale oil and natural gas hadn’t yet fully developed. Experts and lobbyists following the proposal say the administration could open up areas along the East Coast because policy makers from those states, such as Virginia, support such a move.

Also, earlier this month, the Environmental Protection Agency announced plans to regulate for the first time methane emissions from the oil and gas sector.

SOURCE





Al Gore: Spend $90 Trillion To Ban Cars From Every Major City In The World

Former Vice President Al Gore and former Mexican President Felipe Calderon are pushing for $90 trillion in spending to ban cars from every major city in the world and make them more dense.

Gore and Calderon presented a report from the Global Commission on the Economy & Climate (GCEC) and argued that fighting global warming will require making cities more compact and wholly reliant on public transit. This is the only way to make sure urban areas don’t contribute to global warming, the two politicians argued.

Calderon and Gore argued that $90 trillion is going to be spent anyways in the coming decades upgrading cities around the world. They argue that it should be spent on making cities more climate friendly.

“The mistake we made in Mexico was to let cities develop however they want, and it’s a mess,” Calderon told Business Insider.

GCEC’s study says that “more compact, better-connected cities with strong mass transit systems will help policy-makers tackle these pressing challenges. Such cities are more productive, socially inclusive, resilient, cleaner, quieter and safer.”

The study says that 70 percent of the world’s energy-use and greenhouse-gas emissions come from cities. Reducing emissions from ever-growing urban areas will show “that the goals of economic growth and climate change can work together,” according to GCEC.

Calderon and Gore made their presentation at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland where, ironically (or maybe not, at this point), some 1,700 private jets — which use petroleum — were used to shuttle in conference participants and others to discuss global warming and other pressing global issues.

There was such a big influx of air traffic, reports Newsweek, that the Swiss military had to open an air base for the private jets to land. At last year’s meeting in Davos, some 200 helicopters were used to bring in conference-goers.

Gore also used the conference to announce a massive concert to raise awareness about global warming. He and pop star Pharrell Williams are calling it “Live Earth” and it will be staged in six cities across the globe — not exactly a small carbon footprint.

The concert is supposed to build up support for an international climate treaty ahead of the United Nations summit in Paris later this year. Pharrell says he wants to “have humanity harmonize all at once.”

“It is absolutely crucial that we build public will for an agreement,” Gore told World Economic Forum participants. “The purpose is to have a billion voices with one message, to demand climate action now.”

SOURCE





The EPA's Newest Strategy to Sneakily Restrict Fracking, Drilling

Recently the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced major new regulations on the emissions of methane into the air from oil and gas production. It calls methane a “potent” pollutant and its new rules would require a 45 percent reduction by 2025 from 2012 levels. Most Americans support these new rules, according to polling from environmental groups. This isn’t surprising. Methane sounds like a dirty and dangerous pollutant and even deadly if leaked into water or the air.

However, methane is just another term for the main component of natural gas. Drillers have a powerful motive to stop leakage on their own, because they want to sell it, not spill it.

How much of a menace is methane from the oil and gas industry? The amount of leakage into the atmosphere is minuscule, says Dan Kish of the Energy Research Institute. “Cows emit more methane when they pass gas than the natural gas industry,” he notes. Look for the EPA to start regulating cattle.

Green groups such as the Environmental Defense Fund warn that emissions will increase through 2018 and have been claiming that drillers spew more methane into the atmosphere than ever before, that it is “84 times more potent” a pollutant than carbon dioxide, and new regulations are overdue.

Actually, these claims are blatantly false. Not only is methane nontoxic (propaganda notwithstanding), but methane emissions are way down over the last seven years without these new regulations. Furthermore, the reductions correspond with a major increase in oil and gas drilling and increased use of fracking technologies.

The EPA’s own data confirm this. From 2005 to 2012, methane emissions from natural gas systems have fallen by 15 percent while natural gas marketed production from drilling is up by more than 33 percent.

An analysis of EPA data from the energy analytic group Energy In Depth found that in virtually all of the major drilling locations, including the Marcellus Shale and the Permian Basin, emissions continued to fall in 2013, the last year for which solid data is available.

Let me say that again: More fracking has meant lower methane emissions. The methane alarm is a false alarm.

So why is the methane scare so elevated now by Big Green? One reason might be that almost all of the major air pollutants have declined markedly over the last several decades, so environmental groups need to invent new scare tactics to fill up their coffers.

The emissions of lead, sulfur and smog have all fallen by at least half since 1970. The air in major American cities such as Pittsburgh, Los Angeles and Chicago are as clean as they’ve been in many decades. Big Green is running out of things to complain about.

A few years ago they decided that carbon dioxide was going to roast the world in heat. But carbon dioxide emissions, as President Obama recently acknowledged, have been falling in the United States and much more than anyone predicted. The U.S. has also reduced its carbon dioxide emissions more than any other nation, despite that we haven’t passed a carbon tax or enacted cap-and-trade policies.

I pointed out this inconvenient truth in recent testimony in one of Sen. Barbara Boxer’s last hearings as chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. I noted that, “The green protesters have it all wrong on fracking and horizontal drilling. These technologies greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make climate change, less, not more probable in the future.” Especially if one considers reducing greenhouse gas emissions a worthy goal, these new regulations are off-base. Still, the liberals on the panel changed the subject to methane emissions — the new bogeyman.

The hidden agenda here is to restrict shale oil and gas drilling, and fracking. This anti-fracking obsession is strange because even EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy acknowledged that natural gas is a clean substitute for coal and thus lowers greenhouse gases. The Obama administration’s regulatory assault on methane natural gas — at a time when the industry is already struggling with thin profit margins due to the collapse in the global petroleum price — will harm the environment, not save it.

The shale oil and gas revolution imperils the renewable energy industry. Over the last seven years, the price for natural gas has fallen to $4 per thousand cubic feet, down from $12 only a few years ago. Electric cars, solar paneling on rooftops, and windmills have taken a pounding as oil and gas prices have plummeted. Spending $75,000 for a Tesla may have made sense when the price of gas was nearly $4 a gallon, but at close to $2 a gallon in many markets, all of the alternative fads are financially gone with the wind.

The only way that liberal financier Tom Steyer of California can possibly prevent green energy projects from going the way of Solyndra is by pumping back up the price of gas at the pump. The new methane regulations, which may force oil and gas producers to purchase methane credits, are designed to achieve that goal.

Meanwhile, domestic drillers in Texas, Alaska and North Dakota are already starting to lay off workers as the world price of oil falls. The methane regulations — under the guise of averting climate change rather than addressing any direct adverse health effects — will be imposed on these American producers, but not OPEC, Iran or Russia. It’s a policy that empowers our enemies abroad, costs Americans jobs, raises gas prices, and has almost no impact on the quality of the air we breathe. The White House actions remind me of the classic line by Harry in “Dumb and Dumber”: “Just when I thought you couldn’t possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this.”

SOURCE





Methane deceptions

Deception, agenda and folly drive latest Obama EPA anti-hydrocarbon rules. Are farmers next?

Paul Driessen

First they came for the coal mining and power plant industry, and most people did not speak out because they didn’t rely on coal, accepted Environmental Protection Agency justifications at face value, or thought EPA’s war on coal would benefit them.

In fact, Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon gave the Sierra Club $26 million, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave the Club $50 million, to help it wage a Beyond Coal campaign. The Sierra Club later claimed its efforts forced 142 U.S. coal-fired power plants to close, raising electricity rates, threatening grid reliability, and costing thousands of jobs in dozens of states.

Mr. McClendon apparently figured eliminating coal from America’s energy mix would improve his natural gas business. The mayor likes renewable energy and detests fossil fuels, which he blames for climate change that he tried to finger for the damages “Superstorm” Sandy inflicted on his city.

Now the Obama EPA is coming after the natural gas industry. Hopefully many will speak out this time, before more costly rules kill more jobs and damage the health and welfare of more middle class Americans. The war on coal, after all, is really a war on fossil fuels and affordable energy, and an integral component of President Obama’s determination to “fundamentally transform” the United States.

Proposed EPA regulations would compel drilling and fracking companies to reduce methane (natural gas or CH4) emissions by 40-45% by 2025, compared to 2012. Companies would have to install technologies that monitor operations and prevent inadvertent leaks. The rules would apply only to new or modified sites, not existing operations. However, Big Green activist groups are already campaigning to have EPA expand the rule to cover existing gas wells, fracking operations, gas processing facilities and pipelines.

But companies already control their emissions, to avoid polluting the air, and because natural gas is a valuable resource that they would much rather sell than waste. That’s why EPA data show methane emissions falling 17% even as gas production increased by 37% between 1990 and 2014, and why natural gas operations employing hydraulic fracturing reduced their methane emissions by 73% from 2011 to 2013. The rules are costly and unnecessary, and would bring few benefits.

The Obama Administration thus justifies them by claiming they will help prevent “dangerous manmade climate change.” Methane, EPA says, has a warming effect 50 times greater than carbon dioxide. This assertion is wildly inflated, by as much as a factor of 100, Dr. Fred Singer says. Atmospheric water vapor already absorbs nearly all the infrared radiation (heat) that methane could, and the same radiation cannot be absorbed twice. The physics of Earth’s surface infrared emission spectrum are also important.

More importantly, to borrow a favorite Obama phrase, let me make one thing perfectly clear. There is no dangerous manmade climate change, now or on the horizon. There is no evidence that methane or carbon dioxide emissions have replaced the complex, powerful, interconnected natural forces that have driven warming, cooling, climate and weather fluctuations throughout Earth and human history. There is no evidence that recent extreme weather events are more frequent or severe than over the previous 100 years.

Indeed, planetary temperatures have not budged for more than 18 years, and we are amid the longest stretch since at least 1900 (more than nine years) without a Category 3-5 hurricane hitting the United States. If CO2 and CH4 are to be blamed for every temperature change or extreme weather event, then shouldn’t they also be credited for this lack of warming and deadly storms? But climate hype continues.

We are repeatedly told, “Climate change is real, and humans are partly to blame.” The statement is utterly meaningless. Earth’s climate fluctuates frequently, and human activities undoubtedly have some influences, at least on local (especially urban) temperatures. The question is, How much of an effect?  Are the temperature and other effects harmful or beneficial, especially when carbon dioxide’s enormous role in improved plant growth is factored in? Would slashing U.S. CO2 and CH4 emissions mean one iota of difference, when China, India and other countries are doing nothing to reduce their emissions?

Nevertheless, the latest NASA press release asserts that 2014 was “the hottest since the modern instrumental record began,” and again blames mankind’s carbon dioxide emissions. This deliberately deceptive, fear-inducing claim was quickly retracted, but not before it got extensive front-page coverage.

Let me make another fact perfectly clear. The alleged global temperature increase was 0.02 degrees C (0.04 degrees F). It is not even measurable by our most sensitive instruments. It is one-fifth the margin of error in these measurements. It ignores satellite data and is based on ground-level instruments that are contaminated by urban heat and cover less than 15% of Earth’s surface. Even NASA admitted it was only 38% confident of being correct – and 62% certain that it was wrong. Analyses by Dr. Tim Ball, Marc Morano, Anthony Watts and other experts provide more details eviscerating this bogus claim.

In the end, though, all these real-world facts are irrelevant. We are dealing with a catechism of climate cataclysm: near-religious zealotry by a scientific-industrial-government-activist alliance that has built a financial, political and regulatory empire. They are not about to renounce any claims of climate catastrophe, no matter how much actual evidence debunks their far-fetched computer model scenarios.

Their EPA-IPCC “science” is actively supported by most of the “mainstream media” and by the World Bank, universities, renewable energy companies and even some churches. They will never willingly surrender the political influence and billions of dollars that CAGW claims bring them. They won’t even admit that wind and solar facilities butcher birds and bats by the millions, scar landscapes, impair human health, cannot exist without coal and natural gas, and are probably our least sustainable energy option. They want gas prices to rise again, so that heavily subsidized renewable energy is competitive once more.

Meanwhile, polls reveal that regular, hard-working, middle-income Americans care most about terrorism, the economy, jobs, healthcare costs, education and job opportunities after graduation; climate change is always dead last on any list. Regular Europeans want to end the “energy poverty” that has killed countless jobs, and each winter kills thousands of elderly people who can no longer afford to eat their homes properly. The world’s poorest citizens want affordable electricity, higher living standards, and an end to the lung infections, severe diarrhea, malaria and other diseases of poverty that kill millions of children and parents year after year – largely because alarmists oppose nuclear, coal and gas-fired power plants.

But federal regulators, climate chaos “ethicists” and “progressives” who loudly profess they care deeply about the poor and middle classes – all ignore these realities. They focus on methane, because they view it as a clever way to inject federal oversight and control into an energy sector that had been largely free of such interference, because the fracking revolution has thus far taken place mostly on state and private lands governed effectively by state and local regulators. (Federal lands are mostly off limits.)

The proposed methane rules would generate more delays, paperwork, costs and job losses, to comply with more federal regulations that will bring no detectable benefits – and much harm, at a time when plunging oil and gas prices are forcing drillers to reduce operations and lay people off.

President Obama devoted 15 lines of his 2015 State of the Union speech to climate fables and propaganda. His goal is steadily greater control over our lives, livelihoods, living standards and liberties, with little or no transparency or accountability for regulators, pseudo-scientists or activists.

It won’t be long before EPA and Big Green come for farmers and ranchers – to curtail “climate-wrecking” methane emissions from cattle, pig and sheep flatulence and dung, and exert greater control over agricultural water, dust and carbon dioxide. By then, there may be no one left to speak out.

SOURCE




Australia: Wild speculation masquerading as research

No regard for the facts  at all below

AUSTRALIA’s two biggest science and weather bodies, CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology have released new climate change data and information on how it will affect Australia.

“There is very high confidence that hot days will become more frequent and hotter,” CSIRO principal research scientist, Kevin Hennessy said.

“We also have very high confidence that sea levels will rise, oceans will become more acidic, and snow depths will decline.

“We expect that extreme rainfall events across the nation are likely to become more intense, even where annual-average rainfall is projected to decline.”

According to the CSIRO report, in Australia specifically, oceans will become much warmer and more acidic [Impossible.  It's one or the other]. Cyclones will decrease, but when they do occur they will be significantly fiercer and occur further south.  Droughts will become more intense and ‘severe’ bushfire ratings will become more common.

Water temperatures will also continue to rise, which means storms can suck up more moisture resulting in heavier rain and snow fall.

Dr Karl believes there are also two lesser-known phenomenons that we should all get our heads around because of their impact on the future: permafrost and arctic meltdown.

“Permafrost is defined as any ground that has been frozen for at least two years, with one quarter of all the land mass in the northern hemisphere being permafrost,” he says.

The problem with permafrost is that with temperatures rising and more permafrost thawing, enormous amounts of harmful [??] carbon contained within the ice are being released into the atmosphere. About 1.7 trillion tonnes of organic carbon, or four times the amount humans have dumped in modern times, could be released, says Dr Karl.

Since 1980, 80 per cent of the Arctic summer ice has been lost which is resulting in more extreme weather across the world and new areas for oil and gas companies to drill.

How will this affect us?  Homes will be destroyed, food will become more expensive and lives will be lost.

According to the National Climate Council, hundreds of thousands of coastal homes are at risk, with 80 per cent of the Victorian coast and 62 per cent of the Queensland coast at risk of being wiped out by 2100.

One of the hardest hit areas could be the Gold Coast, a massive tourist drawcard and an economy worth $1.5 billion per year.

With droughts intensified, farmers will struggle to grow crops, resulting in them losing their livelihoods. But on top of that, our food will become much more expensive, for everything from meat to Weet-Bix.

The government’s Australian Climate Change Program warns that an increased number of bushfire days could result in more homes and lives lost as they become harder to fight.

Dr Karl points out that in Australia, our biggest issue will come from heatwaves caused by rising temperatures.  “Heatwaves have killed more Australians than all other natural hazards combined,” he says.

“In the European heatwave of 2003, some 70,000 people died. The Russian heatwave of 2010 killed around 55,000 people.”

“Back in 1961, heatwaves with temperatures significantly above average covered 1 per cent of our planet’s land area. By 2010, this had risen to about 5 per cent. By 2020, it’s expected to rise to 10 per cent — and for 2040, to 20 per cent.”

What can we do about it?

“We have to move to a 100% renewable energy based country,” says Matthew Wright, the Executive Director of Zero Carbon Australia and 2010’s Young Environmentalist of the Year.

“We need more resilience on our buildings so they consume energy more efficiently and also move towards using electricity in its place.”

Our government also has more work to do. “We need to make sure governments put in legislation that make sure energy companies don’t block people from installing solar panels,” says Mr Wright.

“It’s also risky for the Australian people that our government has clearly steered towards an economy for coal producers.”

SOURCE





British Greens are crazy Leftists

Drugs, brothels, al-Qaeda and the Beyonce tax: the Green Party plan for Britain

They are on the cusp of an electoral breakthrough - and an examination of Green Party policy reveals a extraordinary list of demands

Six months ago, they were on the very edges of British politics. Now, they are within touching distance of dictating terms to the future government.

A surge in support has seen the Green Party overtake the Liberal Democrats in the polls, with support at 11 per cent. Membership is now greater than Ukip's.

And, with hopes of winning three seats in the general election, Natalie Bennett believes her party will take part in a "confidence and supply" arrangement, propping up a fragile minority administration in exchange for key policies.

What might they demand?

The party is often dubbed the "Ukip of the left". But an examination of the party's core priorities - in a document called Policies for a Sustainable Society, set at the party's annual conference - reveals they are far more radical in their aims than Nigel Farage's outfit.

In the short term, a Green administration would impose a string of new taxes, ramp up public spending to unprecedented levels and decriminalise drugs, brothels and membership of terrorist groups.

In the long term, they want to fundamentally change life as we know it.

ZERO GROWTH ECONOMY

Critics call the party's adherents "watermelons" - green on the outside, deepest red on the inside.

It's not quite right. Karl Marx and his pupils championed economic growth and personal consumption: five year plans, tractor factories and fridges for all. The row, for them, was whether the planned economy was a stronger engine than the free market.

The Greens want something very different.  Caroline Lucas and colleagues regard economic growth as incompatible with protecting the planet and a fulfilling personal life.

While their rivals recognise more trade, more innovation, more competition and more globalisation as an engine for prosperity for everyone on the planet, the Greens argue it is nothing more than a race to the bottom that has made the poor poorer, the rich richer, and pillaged the environment.

The party's manifesto argues for zero, or even negative growth and falling levels of personal consumption. Britain would be in permanent recession; families would become materially poorer each year. After centuries of growing global connectivity, the Greens want to see greater national self-reliance.

Cottage industries, allotments and co-operatives are good. Banks, supermarkets, multi-national companies and resource extraction are very, very bad.

And while Labour and the Tories compete on job creation, the Greens argue that government policy should make paid work "less necessary", with people making their living from the home-based "informal economy".

THE CITIZENS' INCOME

The flagship policy is an unconditional, non-withdrawable income of £71 a week for everyone living in Britain "as a right of citizenship", regardless of wealth or whether they are seeking work.

Benefits and the tax-free personal allowance will be abolished, and top-ups given for people with children or disabilities, or to pay rent and mortgages. No-one will see a reduction in benefits, and most will see a substantial increase. Parents will be entitled to two years' paid leave from work.

The policy will enable people to "choose their own types and patterns of work", and will allow people to take up "personally satisfying and socially useful work".

It will cost somewhere between £240-280 billion a year - more than double the current health budget, and ten times the defence budget. Those costs will be off-set by some reduction to the welfare bill, through the replacement of jobseekers' allowance.

TAX ON PRESENTS

Under Green plans, inheritance tax - "to prevent the accumulation of wealth and power by a privileged class" - will no longer just tax the dead.

Under radical reforms, it will cover gifts made while the giver is still alive - raising the prospect of levies on cars, jewellery or furniture given by parents to their children. There will be exemptions for some large gifts, "such as those received on marriage".

There will be a threshold for the tax, with receipts calculated over five years - but the party does not set out at what point the levy kicks in. New, higher rates of income tax will be imposed.

GREEN TAXES

VAT will be abolished - and replaced with new levies based on how much environmental damage a product causes. New resource taxes would apply to wood, metal and minerals, and steeper levies imposed on cars.

Crucially, import taxes will be levied on goods brought to Britain reflecting the "ecological impact" of making them - with tariffs reintroduced for trade between Britain and the rest of Europe, ending the free trade bloc.

DRUGS AND BROTHELS

The trade and cultivation of cannabis will be decriminalised under Green policy, along with possession of Class A and B drugs for personal use. Anti-rave laws would be scrapped.

Higher taxes will be brought in on alcohol and tobacco, and a complete alcohol advertising ban imposed.

All elements of the sex industry will be decriminalised, and prostitutes could no longer be discriminated against in child custody cases.

The Greens also want to see "significantly reduced" levels of imprisonment, with jail only used when there is a "substantial risk of a further grave crime" or in cases where offences are so horrific that offenders would be at risk of vigilantes. Prisoners will be given the vote.

ETON MESS

Large schools will be broken up, to have no more than 700 pupils. SATS, early years tests and league tables will be abolished, and "creative" subjects given equal parity to the "academic".

Independent schools will lose their charitable status and pay corporation tax, while church schools will be stripped of taxpayer funding. Religious instruction will be banned in school hours.

Tuition fees will be abolished - but state research funding for universities will increase to reduce a reliance on "biased" commercial research.

THE BEYONCE TAX

Under cultural reforms, the Greens will explore a "a tax on superstar performances" to support "local cultural enterprises".

The BBC will be forced to show educational programming during prime time, giving it "equal precedence" to entertainment shows and not "ghettoised at inconvenient times".

Foreign companies will be stripped of newspapers and television shows if they control too much of the market. The "overall volume" of advertising on TV and newspapers will be controlled and cut, as part of a war on the "materialist and consumption driven culture which is not sustainable".

The England football, rugby and cricket teams would no longer play against countries where "normal, friendly, respectful or diplomatic relations are not possible." Football clubs would be owned by co-operatives and not traded on the stock markets.

DEATH OF DUTY FREE

The Greens will aim for all energy to be supplied from renewables, with wind the main source of power by 2030.

Under a new hierarchy for transport, pedestrians and bikes come first - and aeroplanes last.

Buses and trains will be electric by 2030, while taxes and regulations will be imposed to force people to buy smaller, lighter and less-powerful cars.

No more new airports or runways will be built, and existing ones nationalised. All new homes and businesses must by law provide bicycle parking. Helicopter travel would be regulated "more strictly". The sale of alcohol on planes and airports will be tightly restricted to prevent air-rage, and the air on inbound flights tested for disease.

Advertising of holiday flights will be controlled by law to halt the "promotion of a high-carbon lifestyle". New taxes would be imposed on carriers to reduce passenger numbers.

THE NHS TAX

Foundation hospitals and internal markets will be abolished, PFI abandoned and prescription charges abolished. A new NHS Tax will be introduced specifically to fund the health service.

Assisted dying will be legalised, and the law on abortion liberalised to allow nurses to carry it out. "Alternative" medicine will be promoted. Private healthcare will be more heavily taxed, with special levies on private hospitals that employ staff who were trained on the NHS.

It will be a criminal offence, with "significant fines", to stop a woman from breastfeeding in a restaurant or shop, and formula milk will be more tightly regulated.

In order to prevent "overpopulation" burdening the earth, the state will provide free condoms and fund research for new contraceptives.

VEGETARIANISM FOR ALL

A Green party would impose "research, education and economic measures" to drive a "transition from diets dominated by meat". Factory farming would be abolished, and the sale of fur criminalised and shooting banned. Whips and jumps would be banned from horse racing.

SIGN UP TO AL-QAEDA

International aid should be increased by nearly 50 per cent to one per cent of GDP under Green Policy.

Merely being a member of al-Qaeda, the IRA and other currently proscribed terrorist groups will no longer be a criminal offence under Green plans, and instead a Green Government should seek to "address desperate motivations that lie behind many atrocities labelled `terrorist'," the policy book states.

Terrorism, it adds, "is an extremely loaded term. Sometimes governments justify their own terrorist acts by labelling any groups that resist their monopoly of violence 'terrorist'."

Britain will leave NATO, end the special relationship with the US, and unilaterally abandon nuclear weapons. A standing army, navy and airforce is "unnecessary". Bases will be turned into nature reserves and the arms industry "converted" to producing windturbines.

OPEN DOORS

"Richer regions do not have the right to use migration controls to protect their privileges from others in the long term," the party's policy book states.

A Green Government will "progressively reduce" border controls, including an amnesty for illegal immigrants after five years.

Access to benefits, the right to vote and tax obligations will apply to everyone living on British soil, regardless of passport. The policy book states: "We will work to create a world of global inter-responsibility in which the concept of a 'British national' is irrelevant and outdated."

Political parties will be funded by the state, and the electoral system changed. The monarchy will be abolished.

SOURCE

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

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

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Giant East Antarctic glacier melting with warmer oceans

I have no reason to doubt that the glacier concerned is melting somewhat.  Glaciers do that from time to time.  They also expand from time to time.  And I don't doubt that there is warmer water in its vicinity.  But what is causing the warmer water?  They offer only assertion about that.  No data. No evidence. No survey of the possibilities.  And, since there has been no statistically significant climate change for 18 years, the cause cannot in fact be climate change.  Sub-sea volcanoes have recently been detected in West Antarctica so I suggest that sub-sea volcanoes will also be found in East Antarctica.  And having a volcano under you definitely warms you up!

Warming ocean water is said to be melting the largest glacier in east Antarctica, underscoring climate change's assault on the continent's ice cover.

Australians scientists returning with the first direct measurements of seawater from the Totten Glacier confirm it ranks alongside others in west Antarctica as a climate trouble spot.

Dr Rintoul said it became a focus of concern after satellite measurements showed it was thinning faster than other glaciers in East Antarctica, losing around 14 gigatonnes each year.

"What we have found is that warm water reaches the base of the Totten," voyage chief scientist Steve Rintoul, of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems CRC said in Hobart on Monday.

The Totten has a 538,000 square kilometre drainage system, more than twice the size of Victoria, and its 70 billion tonne yearly outflow would top out Sydney Harbour every two and a half days.

Dr Rintoul said it became a focus of concern after satellite measurements showed it was thinning faster than other glaciers in east Antarctica, losing around 14 gigatonnes each year.

"It was thought that the glaciers on the east Antarctic ice sheet were relatively immune to the kind of melting taking place on the much smaller West Antarctic ice sheet," he said.

A recent benchmark study by University of California glaciologist Eric Rignot found the west Antarctic ice sheet had gone into an irreversible retreat, and melting would raise sea level by 1.2 metres.

But Dr Rintoul said the Totten system, east Antarctica's largest, contained ice equivalent to a six-metre sea level rise, making understanding of its behaviour critical.

Like the west Antarctic's Pine Island and Thwaites Glaciers, the Totten was found to be grounded on bedrock below sea level.

"We didn't know until recently that inland, it sloped downwards, and so was susceptible to melting," Dr Rintoul said.

"Pine Island is melting and thinning more rapidly, but Totten is not too far behind," he said.

"This is a surprise because the warm waters of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current get much closer to the Pine Island Glacier in the south-east Pacific."

Earlier this month Australian scientists on Aurora Australis pushed through a narrow sea ice lead to spend three days taking direct measurements of the water below the Totten's ice cliffs.

They also retrieved moored instruments deployed two years ago by US researchers.

"It will take some time to work out exactly how much the water is warming,  but we can say it is sufficient cause the glacier to melt from below," Dr Rintoul said.

Dr Rintoul said the next step would be to send robotic instruments into the water below the glacier front, to find out how far, and how rapidly, it was melting back.

SOURCE





Climategate, the sequel: How we are STILL being tricked with flawed data on global warming

Something very odd has been going on with the temperature data relied on by the world's scientists, writes Christopher Booker

Although it has been emerging for seven years or more, one of the most extraordinary scandals of our time has never hit the headlines. Yet another little example of it lately caught my eye when, in the wake of those excited claims that 2014 was “the hottest year on record”, I saw the headline on a climate blog: “Massive tampering with temperatures in South America”. The evidence on Notalotofpeopleknowthat, uncovered by Paul Homewood, was indeed striking.

Puzzled by those “2014 hottest ever” claims, which were led by the most quoted of all the five official global temperature records – Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (Giss) – Homewood examined a place in the world where Giss was showing temperatures to have risen faster than almost anywhere else: a large chunk of South America stretching from Brazil to Paraguay.

Noting that weather stations there were thin on the ground, he decided to focus on three rural stations covering a huge area of Paraguay. Giss showed it as having recorded, between 1950 and 2014, a particularly steep temperature rise of more than 1.5C: twice the accepted global increase for the whole of the 20th century.

But when Homewood was then able to check Giss’s figures against the original data from which they were derived, he found that they had been altered. Far from the new graph showing any rise, it showed temperatures in fact having declined over those 65 years by a full degree. When he did the same for the other two stations, he found the same. In each case, the original data showed not a rise but a decline.

Homewood had in fact uncovered yet another example of the thousands of pieces of evidence coming to light in recent years that show that something very odd has been going on with the temperature data relied on by the world's scientists. And in particular by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has driven the greatest and most costly scare in history: the belief that the world is in the grip of an unprecedented warming.

How have we come to be told that global temperatures have suddenly taken a great leap upwards to their highest level in 1,000 years? In fact, it has been no greater than their upward leaps between 1860 and 1880, and 1910 and 1940, as part of that gradual natural warming since the world emerged from its centuries-long “Little Ice Age” around 200 years ago.

This belief has rested entirely on five official data records. Three of these are based on measurements taken on the Earth’s surface, versions of which are then compiled by Giss, by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and by the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit working with the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction, part of the UK Met Office. The other two records are derived from measurements made by satellites, and then compiled by Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) in California and the University of Alabama, Huntsville (UAH).

The adjusted graph from the Goddard Institute for Space Studies



In recent years, these two very different ways of measuring global temperature have increasingly been showing quite different results. The surface-based record has shown a temperature trend rising up to 2014 as “the hottest years since records began”. RSS and UAH have, meanwhile, for 18 years been recording no rise in the trend, with 2014 ranking as low as only the sixth warmest since 1997.

One surprise is that the three surface records, all run by passionate believers in man-made warming, in fact derive most of their land surface data from a single source. This is the Global Historical Climate Network (GHCN), managed by the US National Climate Data Center under NOAA, which in turn comes under the US Department of Commerce.

But two aspects of this system for measuring surface temperatures have long been worrying a growing array of statisticians, meteorologists and expert science bloggers. One is that the supposedly worldwide network of stations from which GHCN draws its data is flawed. Up to 80 per cent or more of the Earth’s surface is not reliably covered at all. Furthermore, around 1990, the number of stations more than halved, from 12,000 to less than 6,000 – and most of those remaining are concentrated in urban areas or places where studies have shown that, thanks to the “urban heat island effect”, readings can be up to 2 degrees higher than in those rural areas where thousands of stations were lost.

Below, the raw data in graph form



To fill in the huge gaps, those compiling the records have resorted to computerised “infilling” or “homogenising”, whereby the higher temperatures recorded by the remaining stations are projected out to vast surrounding areas (Giss allows single stations to give a reading covering 1.6 million square miles). This alone contributed to the sharp temperature rise shown in the years after 1990.

But still more worrying has been the evidence that even this data has then been subjected to continual “adjustments”, invariably in only one direction. Earlier temperatures are adjusted downwards, more recent temperatures upwards, thus giving the impression that they have risen much more sharply than was shown by the original data.

An early glaring instance of this was spotted by Steve McIntyre, the statistician who exposed the computer trickery behind that famous “hockey stick” graph, beloved by the IPCC, which purported to show that, contrary to previous evidence, 1998 had been the hottest year for 1,000 years. It was McIntyre who, in 2007, uncovered the wholesale retrospective adjustments made to US surface records between 1920 and 1999 compiled by Giss (then run by the outspoken climate activist James Hansen). These reversed an overall cooling trend into an 80-year upward trend. Even Hansen had previously accepted that the “dust bowl” 1930s was the hottest US decade of the entire 20th century.

Assiduous researchers have since unearthed countless similar examples across the world, from the US and Russia to Australia and New Zealand. In Australia, an 80-year cooling of 1 degree per century was turned into a warming trend of 2.3 degrees. In New Zealand, there was a major academic row when “unadjusted” data showing no trend between 1850 and 1998 was shown to have been “adjusted” to give a warming trend of 0.9 degrees per century. This falsified new version was naturally cited in an IPCC report (see “New Zealand NIWA temperature train wreck” on the Watts Up With That science blog, WUWT, which has played a leading role in exposing such fiddling of the figures).

By far the most comprehensive account of this wholesale corruption of proper science is a paper written for the Science and Public Policy Institute, “Surface Temperature Records: Policy-Driven Deception?”, by two veteran US meteorologists, Joseph D’Aleo and WUWT’s Anthony Watts (and if warmists are tempted to comment below this article online, it would be welcome if they could address their criticisms to the evidence, rather than just resorting to personal attacks on the scientists who, after actually examining the evidence, have come to a view different from their own).

One of the more provocative points arising from the debate over those claims that 2014 was “the hottest year evah” came from the Canadian academic Dr Timothy Ball when, in a recent post on WUWT, he used the evidence of ice-core data to argue that the Earth’s recent temperatures rank in the lowest 3 per cent of all those recorded since the end of the last ice age, 10,000 years ago.

In reality, the implications of such distortions of the data go much further than just representing one of the most bizarre aberrations in the history of science. The fact that our politicians have fallen for all this scary chicanery has given Britain the most suicidally crazy energy policy (useless windmills and all) of any country in the world.

But at least, if they’re hoping to see that “universal climate treaty” signed in Paris next December, we can be pretty sure that it is no more going to happen than that 2014 was the hottest year in history.

SOURCE





The Blizzard That Wasn't

Another failure of prediction.  Those models are just no good

There was no climate change where I live in a suburb of Newark, N.J. if by “climate change” you meant a dramatic blizzard with high winds and several feet of snow. It’s winter and you get the occasional, rare blizzard every few years, but more often you get snowstorms. That’s not “change” by any definition.

Listening to WABC radio follow events with callers from around the Tri-State area calling in with far more accurate reports than the meteorologists was an education in the way those trained in meteorology and the rest of us have been conditioned to believe that something is happening to planet Earth that, quite simply, is not happening.

The meteorologists spent their time trying to figure out the difference between a European computer model and one generated here in the U.S. The former predicted far worse conditions. The latter fell victim, along with the rest of us, to the mindset that the conditions the computers were interpreting did not reflect what was actually happening.

At this early morning hour, it is clear that Long Island, parts of Connecticut, and generally along the coastlines, there has been a heavier snowfall. A few miles inland however it is a far different story. Callers who had been out in the midst of the storm described light, powdery snow and perhaps two to four inches at most.

Why, they asked, did the Governors of New York and New Jersey, along with the Mayor of New York City close down the metropolitan area? They speculated on the millions of lost income for everyone involved in a storm that was not posing a significant traffic or other problems, but who had seen businesses, schools, bus lines, and other public facilities shut down. When a significantly incorrect weather prediction does that, it demonstrates how important it is to correctly interpret the data being provided by the satellites—the best source.

When, earlier in January, NOAA and NASA reported that 2014 had been "the warmest year" it should have raised far more questions and media coverage given the sheer absurdity of such a report. Remember, though, these are two federal government agencies we expect to get it right. They didn’t just get it wrong, skeptical scientists were quick to note how they had deliberately distorted the data on which they based the claim.

That is the heart of the issue surrounding the endless claims of “global warming” or “climate change.”  The planet has not been warming for 19 years at this point because the sun has been in a perfectly natural cycle of low radiation.

Centuries ago, it was noticed that when there are few sunspots, magnetic storms, the Earth got colder. Thus, “climate change” is not an unusual event, but rather a reflection of the well-known cycles of warmth or cold that the planet has passed through for billions of years.

At this writing it is too early in the morning hours to know what the rest of the East Coast looks like, but the indications are that, as one moves westward the “blizzard” has been far less than the one predicted and will likely be downgraded to a standard winter snowstorm.

That’s the good news. The bad news was the over-reaction of meteorologists and politicians. No doubt they wanted to be “safe than sorry” but they inadvertently taught us all a lesson about the way environmental organizations and a government led by a President telling us that “climate change” is the most dangerous challenge facing us have been deliberately lying about the true meteorological record in order to drag us all back to a time in which we burned wood for heat and rode horses for transportation.

The Greens don’t like humans much and that is why they have been lying about “man-made” climate change when the climate has nothing to do with human activities.

Listen to the skeptics, often maliciously called “deniers”, when they tell you the truth about the meteorological science that has been deliberately distorted since the United Nations established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 1988. It has been lying to us ever since.

Depending on where you live in the area in which the snow fell and the winds blew, trust your eyes. Trust your commonsense. Be more skeptical because the blizzard that wasn’t is not a lesson you want to forget anytime soon.

SOURCE  





HOW NYC HAS BEEN BURIED IN SNOW IN THE PAST

No obvious trend

In more than a hundred years of record-keeping, snowfall in New York City has only cleared the 20-inch mark a handful of times.  Below are the top five recorded snowfall figures for a single storm:

1. February 11-12, 2006:    26.9inches

2. December 26-27, 1947:  25.8inches

3. March 12-14, 1888:         21.0inches

4. February 25.26, 2010:    20.9inches

5. January 7-8, 1996:          20.2inches

The older storms, from 1888 and 1947, were deadly for many and are remembered as disasters in the city, while later storms made less of a dent because of modern technology and greater preparedness.

The 1888 blast coated the boroughs, and caused chaos by disrupting power lines and other utilities, which were later moved underground as a response.

In 1947, the storm came by surprise as it approached from the sea, where there was little infrastructure for weather warnings. Snow was piled up and dumped in the sewers or rivers from Manhattan, but districts further from water struggled for days with the huge pileups.

Storms in the 1990s and 2000s still caused widespread chaos but were handled more deftly. The 2010 storm canceled a third of all flights from New York City. Costs associated with cleaning up after the 2006 storm reportedly hit the tens of millions.

SOURCE





Climate alarmists all choked up without reading the fine print

By MICHAEL ASTEN (Michael Asten is a professor of geophysics at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)

LAST week delivered for the global warming debate, the most anticipated data point of the decade. The year 2014 was declared the hottest of the past century, by a margin of 0.04 degC. The news has been greeted with enthusiasm by those who attribute all warming to man-made influences, (notably in the Fairfax press in Australia), but few commentators have qualified their comment with the observation that NASA put an error margin of +-0.05 C on their result.

The figure below shows global surface temperature as compiled by NASA for the past 134 years. Single data points (years) are unimportant. The 5-year moving average in red is a more useful indicator of temperature trends, and its slope shows clearly the steady rising trend from 1980 to 2000, and the temperature pause from 2000 to present. Anyone with a high-school science education can look at such a graph and form their own conclusions, but four of the most important are that

 *  The slope of the rise from 1980 to 2000 is about 0.19 degC per decade (the rate consistent with current warming models for “business as usual” CO2 emissions)

 *  A closely similar rate of rise in global temperature occurred from 1910 to 1940, pre-dating current high CO2 emissions

 *  Pauses in the rate of rise occurred from 1880 to 1910, from 1940 to 1970, and from 2000 to present.

 *  The model trend as computed by the IPCC continues upwards from 2000, but the pause is a clear break of observed earth behaviour away from the models.



The pauses are regarded by the majority of scientists (both within and outside the conventional anthropogenic global warming camps) as being attributable to natural cycles in global climate, although the two groups favour different causative mechanisms.

What is surprising is that, instead of reading the multiple patterns in such a graph, enormous global publicity has followed on that single point of 2014 — even though we won’t know for a decade whether it represents a break from the current “pause” trend. Thus John Connor, CEO of The Climate Institute, greeted the 2014 result with the comment “This data shows not only a series of alarming years but decades of warming to make an undisputable trend”, which suggests a lack of awareness on his part of the steep warming trend which occurred from 1910-1940 without significant man-made assistance, and the pause from 2000 which occurred despite current CO2 emissions.

Will Steffen of the Climate Council also finds cause for alarm in the 2014 data point, using the occasion to release a document titled “Off the charts: 2014 was the world’s hottest year on record” in which objective graphical analysis as we teach in high schools is replaced with poetic subheadings personifying the climate as “Angry Summer”, Abnormal Autumn” and “Scorching Spring”.

We can also look back to 2007 for a fascinating morsel of history; the figure shows at that year there is a clear hint of the start of the pause, although not statistically significant at that time. When Bob Carter, a former head of the Department of Earth Sciences at James Cook University, called attention to the discrepancy between the changed temperature trend versus the modelling predictions, Andrew Ash (then acting director of the CSIRO Climate Adaption Flagship), stated “Professor Bob Carter claims that ‘no ground-based warming has occurred since 1998’. This is an unethical misrepresentation of the facts”.

I suggest this is an incredible accusation to make against a scientist who has read (correctly, as history shows) a trend in a global temperature data set. When comparing Carter’s observation with pronouncements prompted by the single 2014 warm temperature point, we see a disturbing double standard in how scientific commentary is received. (In defence of the management of CSIRO I note that CSIRO has not issued a media release related to the 2014 temperature data point).

Some climate scientists will counter my views with claims that 21st century temperatures are cause for great concern because they are “the hottest ever”. Multiple lines of geological and historical data show they are not. Observations of past surface temperatures constructed from chemical composition of clam shells as far apart as Iceland and the south China Sea point to global temperatures of medieval times (800-1300AD) being warmer than those of today, and those of Roman times even warmer. The message is, the Earth can and does cool and warm on time scales of decades to millennia, and CO2 emissions are not the dominant driver. Our grandchildren will be best served if we devote our Direct Action strategies towards robust protection of communities from effects of drought, fire and floods. All have been a part of our history. And history guarantees all will be a part of our future.

SOURCE

Jo Nova comments:

"We skeptics get excited about unusual things. The Australian published Michael Asten today in the Op-Ed pages, and took the extremely rare step of publishing a scientific graph (!) with a few error bars and everything. Newspapers publish economic graphs all the time, so it’s nice to see the scientific debate getting a bit more sophisticated than just the usual “deniers are evil, government climate scientists speak the word of God” type of stuff. (In the Enlightenment, data was a greater source of authority than any human; how we pine for those days.) The only thing the story should have added was a note that reminds us that the not only was the “hottest” record not beyond the error bars but that it did not occur in satellite measurements. I’m sure a lot of people mistakenly think that NASA might use satellites, but they prefer highly adjusted ground thermometers next to airport tarmac instead.

The headline on that graph could have been “Climate scientists don’t know what caused most of the big moves on this graph”. Some mystery effect caused the warming from 1910-1940. In ClimateScienceTM it is OK to call that “natural variability” and pretend to be 95% sure whatever it was has now stopped.




Parliament bid to block fracking in Britain fails

A group of British lawmakers failed Monday to block plans for shale gas fracking in Britain, but the government agreed to tougher regulation and a ban on fracking in national parks.

Some 200 protesters including the designer Vivienne Westwood rallied outside parliament as the vote was taking place, holding up placards and shouting slogans.

One sign read "Shut the Frack Up" and a colourful knitted banner read "No to Fracking", an extraction process in which water, sand and chemicals are pumped at high pressure underground to access natural gas reserves.

A committee of lawmakers had demanded a moratorium on fracking, arguing that it would endanger a pledge to cut climate change emissions.

The moratorium was rejected by 308 votes to 52 after the opposition Labour party did not take part.

However, the Conservative-led coalition government of Prime Minister David Cameron accepted more regulation and agreed to ban the highly productive, but environmentally controversial technique in protected areas.

The regulations were added in an amendment to the Infrastructure Bill, a broad package that includes legislation intended to boost the fledgling shale gas and oil industry that still faces a final vote to become law.

Amber Rudd, junior minister for energy and climate change, argued that a moratorium would be "disproportionate" to the risks of fracking, which opponents fear can cause earthquakes and pollute water supplies.

"We have agreed an outright ban on fracking in national parks, sites of special interest and areas of national beauty," Rudd told parliament during the debate.

Previously, the government had planned to allow shale gas exploration in national parks in exceptional circumstances.

The opposition Labour party said it was "a huge u-turn by the government."

"Thanks to Labour's amendment, the government has been forced to accept that tough protections and proper safeguards must be in place before fracking can go ahead," Labour's shadow energy and climate change secretary Caroline Flint said in a statement.

However, Green party lawmaker Caroline Lucas, who had pushed for a freeze on fracking, criticised Labour's abstention from the vote on a moratorium as a "farce".

The government has pledged to go "all out" on developing the shale gas and oil industry, which it argues will create jobs, boost the economy and help Britain rely less on energy imports.

The drive received a blow this month when a council recommended plans by British energy firm Cuadrilla to start fracking in two sites in Lancashire in north-west England should be rejected.

A final decision on permission is expected in the coming weeks.

SOURCE

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