Thursday, August 16, 2018

BBC’s Blatant Bias On Ridiculous Global Warming Claims In Full Force

Anyone who thinks that the BBC any longer pays the slightest attention to its statutory obligation to report only with “accuracy and impartiality” should have heard two items on last Tuesday’s Today programme on Radio 4, each so one-sidedly propagandist that they made a complete mockery of the BBC Charter.

It was inevitable in light of the recent heat waves that the BBC would rush to publicise the “Hothouse Earth” report, in which a group of global warming zealots claimed that world temperatures are now on the verge of sending the climate spiraling out of control.

Unless we comply with the 2015 Paris climate accords (or possibly even if we do) and allow an environmentalist world government to bring about a “total re-orientation” of human behavior, an apocalypse is likely.

First interviewed was one of the report’s authors, who made the astonishing claim, completely unchallenged, that, thanks to our burning of fossil fuels, we are now seeing “the highest temperatures on Earth since the last ice age”.

It has long been established by proper science that in the Holocene Optimum, which followed the end of that last glaciation 12,000 years ago, parts of the Earth, for three millennia, were often far hotter than they are today.

But next, we only had a senior official of the UN body which organized the Paris conference to echo this message in spades.

What, of course, we never hear from the BBC is that the Paris accord was no more than empty wishful thinking.

The latest official figures from China show that, as already the world’s greatest CO2 emitter, it is still building evermore coal-fired power stations – exactly as most non-Western countries indicated was their intention just before Paris.

Even the accord conceded that CO2 levels would continue to rise after 2015 to 40 percent above their 2005 level.


Ryan Zinke Torches Climate Change Narrative In Push To Save Forests From Wildfires

Here in the town dubbed the “gateway to the Sierras,” the haze from the Ferguson Fire is fading as Yosemite National Park prepares to reopen, but the debate over how to stop wildfires from razing the state again next year continues to smolder.

California’s catastrophic wildfire season has illuminated the yearslong stalemate between those who want to cut back the overgrown, beetle-infested national forests and environmentalists who have axed efforts to fell more trees, blaming the destructive fires on climate change.

Now the Trump administration is moving to break the logjam. As he tours one California fire site after another this summer, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has pressed for more active forest management while throwing cold water on the climate-first approach.

“I’ve heard the climate change argument back and forth,” Mr. Zinke told KCRA3 in Sacramento on Sunday. “This has nothing to do with climate change. This has to do with active forest management.”

His comments fueled the ire of the environmental movement, including the Center for Western Priorities, which accused him of “either being willfully ignorant or purposely deceptive.”

“Any politician ignoring the role a warming climate plays in record-setting wildfire seasons loses all credibility as an honest broker,” said center deputy director Greg Zimmerman. “Instead, Zinke is in California using an ongoing natural disaster to push an unpopular political agenda.”

Elsewhere, Mr. Zinke has insisted that no matter what your take on global warming, the light-touch approach to thinning the national forests is doing more harm than good.

Wildfires have devastated 695,313 acres in California this year. The Mendocino Complex Fire, the largest in state history and one of nine major blazes still roiling the state, was 70 percent contained Monday after having burned 331,339 acres, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

In West Redding, where the massive Carr Fire was 61 percent contained Monday after having burned 201,680 acres, Mr. Zinke said that “we’re going to actively manage our forests, reduce the fuel load, and make sure that when we do replant, we replant diversity of species.”

“The president’s right. This is an example of, we have to actively manage our forests,” the interior secretary said in a video from The Sacramento Bee. “I’ve heard the argument of climate change. It doesn’t matter whether you believe or don’t believe in climate change. What is important is that we manage our forests.”

In December, the U.S. Forest Service announced that California had set a record with 129 million dead trees on 8.9 million acres, the result of a five-year drought and beetle-kill, but that its tree mortality task force had removed only about 1 million.

Meanwhile, the logging industry has continued its free fall, with timber harvesting dropping by 80 percent in the past 40 years, as projects in the national forests are killed or delayed by “frivolous litigation from radical environmentalists who would rather see forests and communities burn than see a logger in the woods,” as Mr. Zinke put it in a Thursday op-ed.

Environmentalists have swung back by accusing the administration of using the wildfires as a pretext to prop up the ailing timber industry.

Kirin Kennedy, Sierra Club associate legislative director for lands and wildfire, accused the Trump administration of continuing to “exploit wildfires in California for political gain.”

“[I]nstead of addressing or even acknowledging climate change’s role in exacerbating wildfires, the administration is using fire as cover to serve special interests,” Ms. Kennedy said. “Moving to increase logging and weaken protections for endangered species like salmon risks local and outdoor economies and ignores the need to reduce climate pollution, which is absolutely essential to ensuring the long-term safety of our communities.”

The National Resources Defense Council said the massive California wildfires “underscore the need for California to double down on our convictions on climate” by fighting, for example, the Trump administration’s recent move to lower federal fuel-efficiency standards on vehicles.

President Trump took heat last week for conflating the California water shortage and wildfires in a tweet blaming activists for diverting water supplies needed to fight fires. Fire specialists say a lack of water isn’t the problem.

Mr. Trump made it clear he wanted to see more active forest management by saying, “Must also tree clear to stop fire from spreading!”

Rep. Tom McClintock, a California Republican who toured the Ferguson Fire last month with Mr. Zinke, argued that devoted climate change activists should be the first to embrace more timber harvesting in the name of thinning the national forests.

He cited the greenhouse gas emissions from out-of-control wildfires as well as the beneficial carbon-absorbing properties of healthy trees. A well-maintained forest in the Sierras should have 80 to 100 trees per acre, he said, but that figure is closer to 300 per acre in the national forests.

“Accepting their premise for the sake of argument, forest fires and dead trees make a mockery of all the laws aimed at reducing carbon emissions,” said Mr. McClintock. “A burning or decaying forest releases enormous amounts of carbon into the air. A growing forest absorbs enormous amounts of carbon.”

Unfortunately, said Mr. McClintock, environmentalists are “perfectly all right with dead forests that are ultimately consumed by wildfire. That’s what their policies have produced.”

A former congressman from Montana, Mr. Zinke has made forest health a priority. He issued a secretarial order last year directing the department to “adopt more aggressive practices” to head off catastrophic wildfires, including “robust fuels reduction and pre-suppression techniques.”

“We have dead and dying timber,” he said. “The density of our forests is too high. The fuel load is too great.”


UK: Bob Ward Complains To IPSO–And Loses!

IPSO = Independent Press Standards Organisation

Readers will probably recall the following Booker piece from last January:

"One of Shakespeare’s persistent themes in Hamlet is that when people set out to fool others, it will eventually catch up with them. Repeatedly he emphasises that “purposes mistook fall on their inventors’ heads”, that such people end up “hoist with their own petard”, or get caught like a “woodcock” in their own trap.

There was a delightful example of this on our letters page last week, when that well-known propagandist for global warming, Bob Ward, tried to challenge what I had written about the recent series of unusually cold winters in North America.

The winters of 2007-08 and 2013-14, which Mr Booker highlights as particularly cold, were respectively only the 68th and 33rd coldest since records began in 1901. The mean temperature for the US in December 2017 was above average.Bob Ward, letters

Mr Ward is employed by the Grantham Institute at the London School of Economics, sponsored by a climate change-obsessed billionaire, and challenges anyone who publicly questions global warming orthodoxy. His point last week was to claim that, contrary to what I had written, recent US winters have not been unusually cold at all.

But the only evidence he could cite to support his point was the latest figures from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), suggesting that seven out of the past 10 US winters have in fact been “warmer than average”.

What Mr Ward has not said here is that, in a way which has aroused widespread suspicion, NOAA’s figures have lately been significantly “adjusted”, to suggest that several famously severe recent winters, such as those in 2008 and 2014, were not unusually cold by the standards of the 20th century.

Several expert bloggers have been analysing the surprising picture given by NOAA’s new figures, as in a post by Paul Homewood on his blog Notalotofpeopleknowthat headed “US cold winters mysteriously disappear”. Indeed, this is only the latest in a whole series of similarly suspect adjustments made to official US temperature figures in recent years, which I have described as one of the greatest scientific scandals of all time.

Even odder in this instance, however, was the way Mr Ward failed to mention the continuing stream of academic papers and other interventions by scientists on his own side of the argument trying to explain how these freezing US winters are in fact further proof of global warming.

Their theory, as I mentioned in the item Mr Ward objected to, is that a warming Arctic is pushing the jet stream further south, to grip North America in a swirling “polar vortex” of sub-zero air, snow and ice. All of these papers are predicated on the claim that recent US winters have indeed been exceptionally cold.

Mr Ward may happily ignore all this, preferring to rest his case only on those questionable NOAA figures. But what makes it indeed delightful is that the warmists themselves have now come up with two wholly contradictory ways to explain why the runaway global warming in which they all believe should repeatedly be giving the people of North America such a horribly cold time. Only one of them pretends that this isn’t really happening at all."

Bob Ward took umbrage to this and decided to complain to IPSO, the Press Regulator, firing off a typically long winded, rambling and inchoate multipage letter.

Ward was particularly vexed that Booker should listen to a “mere blogger”, rather than NOAA or the Met Office! But his ramble boiled down to just two simple points, which he claimed had been inaccurately reported:

1) Some recent US winters had been exceptionally cold.

2) NOAA’s official temperature record had been adjusted with the effect of making recent years appear milder than the actual record suggested.

After being requested to help, I strongly advised the Telegraph to ignore most of Ward’s rant, which simply muddied the waters, and instead focus on those two issues.

It was easy to show that both of Booker’s claims were accurate, as I myself had shown in a series of posts around the time. I submitted a suggested a draft response to the Telegraph, based on these posts.

IPSO have subsequently considered Ward’s complaint and firmly rejected it. Below are their findings:

Findings of the Committee

17. Clause 1 does not prevent a newspaper from publishing controversial opinions on topics which continue to be divisive, such as the existence or impact of climate change. Newspapers are entitled to publish opinions on such topics, and communicate this information in an accessible way, provided that it takes care not to do so in an inaccurate or misleading way.

18. The newspaper provided a number of examples of coverage, from both within and outside of the scientific community, which commented on the cold weather which had affected areas of North America over recent winters, including the winters of 2008 and 2014. The columnist was entitled to rely on this coverage to form the basis for their claim that recent winters in North America had been unusually cold and there was no failure to take care over the accuracy by doing so. The complainant had argued that winter temperatures should be determined by considering seasonal mean temperatures over a three month period using data from a specific landmass. However, in the context of an opinion piece within a publication for general public consumption, the Committee did not establish that readers would have been misled in a significant way, where it was a matter of public record that areas of North America had experienced periods of extreme cold weather over recent winter months. There was no breach of Clause 1 on this point.

19. It was a matter of public record that “adjustments” had been made by NOAA on raw climate data to take into account differences in how, when and where these measurements had been taken; it was not in dispute that some of these adjustments had resulted in the temperature measurements from weather stations to increase. The columnist had questioned whether it was appropriate for the adjustments to have been made on the raw data; they did not comment further on why these adjustments had been made, nor did they interrogate the validity of the corrective action which had been taken by NOAA. The columnist had commented that the adjustments were “suspect” and “questionable”. The complainant strongly disagreed. However, this was an opinion which the columnist was entitled to express and he did not state that raw climate data had been tampered with by NOAA, as suggested by the complainant.

20. The columnist was entitled to reflect critically on the corrective adjustments which NOAA had made to raw data records, in circumstances where it was a matter of public record that some of these adjustments had resulted in temperature measurements from some weather stations being increased. The Committee did not establish that the columnist’s discussion of these adjustments represented a failure to take over the accuracy of the article, nor did it establish that the columnist’s discussion of this issue was significantly misleading or inaccurate, such as to require correction. There was no breach of the Code.


21. The complaint was not upheld.

In simple terms, IPSO found that both of Booker’s claims were essentially correct, that there had been some exceptionally cold winters in the US, and that NOAA’s temperature record had been adjusted.

Ward is, of course, paid to clamp down on any dissent from the global warming party line; that is his job. I have now been involved in rebutting at least four of these sort of spurious complaints from Ward, Richard Black and others. On each occasion, they have gone away with their tail between their legs.

However, their objective is to discourage in the first place articles which question global warming dogma. While they are paid to write long rambling complaints, journalists and editors have better things to do.

You may also have noticed how often the likes of Bob Ward get to have letters printed in the press. Editors find it easier to do this than spend time fighting a complaint.

It is worth comparing this situation with the BBC, who regularly and blatantly publish fake climate claims, without fear of any comeback.


WHERE'S THE WARMING IN JAPAN? JMA data for rural stations show NONE!

A blatant case of NASA corruptly ignoring weather stations that don't suit them

An analysis of the rural-sited Japanese weather stations used by the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) shows there’s been no warming at all over the the past 2 decades or more.

Strangely many of these stations, which are practically unimpacted by data-corruptive urban sprawl, are no longer used by NASA.

For example, NASA quit using the rural Fukaura station back in 1990. Up to that point Fukaura was cooling notably. What follows is the NASA chart for Fukaura:

The same, for example, is true for Nikko.

What follows below is a list of the rural stations I examined, which have a Brightness Index (BI) of 10 or less. The far right column shows the period they were used by NASA.

My earlier enquiries about stations sent to NASA via the Internet went without any answer. Perhaps they don’t reply to foreign requests. I don’t know.

The next chart below is the geographical plot of these rural sited stations. As you see they are all well scattered across the country:

JMA data in fact show no warming

What follows below are temperature charts for each station, using the data from the JMA, arranged in more or less alphabetical order. On some charts I plotted more than one station.

Over 90% of rural stations show cooling or no trend

Of the 22 stations plotted, 20 show no change or some modest cooling over the past two or more decades – that’s more than 90%. Only two stations show some warming, but only a very modest amount.

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

Australia: Token battery being installed to back up wind power

This is just a stunt for propaganda purposes.  If the wind stops blowing the battery will be capable of filling in only for a matter of minutes

Wind power producer Infigen Energy will add battery storage to its Lake Bonney wind farm in South Australia to better be able to respond to industrial customers wanting renewable energy but without risks around intermittent supply.

The $38 million project, including $10 million in state and federal funding, will see a 25 megawatt, 52 megawatt-hour Tesla Powerpack battery installed adjacent to the 278.5 MW wind farm in the state's south-east near Mount Gambier.

It follows the landmark 100 MWh Tesla battery, the world's largest lithium battery, installed at the Hornsdale project in SA last year after a bet between billionaire Elon Musk and Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes.

Infigen last year ramped up its efforts to seal electricity sales contracts directly with commercial and industrial (C&I) customers, signing up Adelaide Brighton for supply from Lake Bonney.

Chief executive Ross Rolfe said the battery investment would enable Infigen to expand that side of the business, as well as providing other benefits in cutting costs for frequency control services and for grid stability in the system more broadly.

"We have already contracted a proportion of our Lake Bonney output into the C&I customer market in South Australia and this enables us to contract more of that capacity and manage the intermittency of production risk associated with that," Mr Rolfe said in an interview.

Stabilising the grid

He said that after deciding in 2016 to diversify its products, Infigen had examined alternative options to firm up intermittent wind generation, including pumped hydro storage and accessing fast-start gas generation. It decided that a battery was the best option, at least for South Australia, which is heavily dependent on renewables supply.

Ivor Frischknecht, chief executive of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, which is providing $5 million for the project, said battery storage is becoming a key component of transitioning to a renewables-based energy system. ARENA is also helping fund a battery soon to be brought online in Dalrymple, South Australia, and two grid-scale systems under construction in western Victoria.

"It is clear that grid scale batteries have an important role in stabilising the grid," Dr Frischknecht said.

South Australian energy minister Dan van holst Pellekaan said Infigen's battery project is "welcome news to businesses in the state as it will increase the competitiveness of electricity prices for customers with high energy demand".

Mr Rolfe noted that the project wouldn't have been economic without the $10 million of taxpayer funding.

"The price of batteries still needs to decline, in our view, further before it's possible to look at batteries without some form of support," he said.

"No doubt in due course it will get there, we just don't know when that will be."

Construction is due to start next month on the storage project, which Infigen said would allow it to "firm" at least an additional 18 MW of power.




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


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Greenie fairy tale

A clean and pure pristine primeval planet earth existed for a billion years in natural perfection, wholeness, and wholesomeness – unpolluted, untainted, untarnished and uncorrupted in the perfection of the harmony of nature. The geology, biology, and climatology were in a state of perfection. The climate was stable and unchanging with no extreme weather. Living creatures both plants and animals lived in peace and tranquility as essential elements of nature itself.

There was no ozone depletion, no climate change, no skin cancer, no hurricanes and no species extinction from bad weather. Modern day ecofearology is a yearning for this humanless state of nature – a yearning for a return to what the planet was like before humans came along.

Then the devil appeared in the form of humans who came on spaceships from outer space. Humans are not part of nature but an external force alien to nature and an abomination. They will soon turn this heavenly planet into a living hell with human activity because their nature is to consume and destroy.
At first the alien humans were relatively harmless living off the land as hunter gatherers in harmony with nature. But they were just biding their time and waiting for their numbers to grow. When their population reached 6 million, they made their first move for the conquest of the planet. It was a fundamental change in human behavior that has come to be called the Neolithic Revolution.

In the Neolithic Revolution, the humans gave up their eco-friendly hunter-gatherer lifestyle and cleared forests to build homes and farms and to grow crops and raise animals in an extensive and intensive land use change that would forever alter the ecology of the earth. The strategy was immensely successful for the humans who now commanded incredible wealth and power over all other life forms. Their numbers grew rapidly in a population explosion from 6 million to 60 million.

By the year 1750 the population of humans had surged to one billion. Their affluence from agriculture, tool-making, medical care, and new knowledge about the earth had rapidly increased their power against nature. But the greater and more devastating change was yet to come in the form of the Industrial Revolution made possible with the transition in their source of energy from animal power, wind, and running water to machines burning hydrocarbon fuels dug up from under the ground. This new found energy source and the machines gave them immense power. Nature would soon be at their mercy.

By the year 1950, the population of humans had more than doubled to 2.5 billion and more and more machines were invented so that almost everything the humans did was driven by fossil fueled machines. These included cars and trucks for surface transportation, fossil fueled ships for crossing the oceans, and fossil fueled aircraft for their conquest of the atmosphere. Nuclear bombs were invented, tested, and used. Space travel was opening up new tools and ways for humans to conquer nature. The Anthropocene was now in full force. Whereas humans had once been at the mercy of nature, the tables had been turned, and nature and the planet itself were now at the mercy of humans and human activity.

The consequences of these changes and of the implications of the complete capture of nature by humans for the ability of nature to sustain humans in the future are the primary concerns of the new science of Ecofearology. The science involves the study of nature and human activity as a way of protecting nature and managing nature to preserve its ability to sustain humans. It is based on EIGHT PRINCIPLES.

PRINCIPLE#1: There are no natural or cyclical changes on earth. All measured changes in nature are trends and all trends are human caused.

PRINCIPLE#2: The concentration of all chemicals in the atmosphere and oceans is important. If the concentration is going up it’s a bad thing and its accretion is caused by human activity. Higher concentrations of this thing will be the end of the world.

PRINCIPLE#3: If the concentration is going down it’s a bad thing and its depletion is caused by human activity. If we run out of this thing it will be the end of the world.

PRINCIPLE#4: Humans are not part of nature but space aliens that invaded this once pristine planet. The planet was fine until the dreaded humans arrived.

PRINCIPLE#5: All human caused trends lead to catastrophic results for the environment and by extension, the planet itself. It is not possible for a human caused trend to benefit the planet because humans are not part of nature but space aliens and unnatural.

PRINCIPLE#6: Human scientists can save the planet from the other humans because the impact of bad human intervention in nature can be undone only by good human intervention prescribed by human scientists because they know a lot of science and physics and stuff like that. Human intervention is necessary to save the planet from human intervention.

PRINCIPLE#7: Even if deniers find fault with the science of human caused catastrophe, we must ignore the deniers because we can’t take the chance that the scientists could turn out to be right.

PRINCIPLE#8: The human invaders of this once pristine planet are now the managers of nature and the operators of the planet. Therefore we humans must take care of nature and run the planet because nature can no longer take care of itself like it once did now that the human invaders are here.


Study: Climate change could threaten dairy industry in Lancaster County

Lancaster County’s dairy farmers could be facing devastating drops in corn yields by 2050 because of global warming, according to a new research study.

 “If climate projections hold, it will threaten the dairy industry in Lancaster County,” said Heather Karsten, an associate professor of crop production ecology at Penn State.

That’s because extremely high summer temperatures in Lancaster County could mute key reproduction phases in corn plant growth, decreasing yields for a winter feed that is a linchpin in affordable dairy farming, Karsten said in an interview with LNP.

The extreme temperatures — which are projected to be higher in Lancaster County than anywhere else in the Northeast — not only could retard reproduction at a critical time but could result in corn plants that mature faster but grow smaller, she said.

“We need all that biomass because most corn is harvested for silage,” Karsten observed.

Irrigation more common?
It’s also possible that because of more frequent dry periods Lancaster County dairy farmers will have to use irrigation systems for their corn crops to be healthy, as is common in the Midwest, said Karsten, who headed the study’s research team.


Climate change alarmism doesn’t help Lancaster county farmers

As if farmers aren’t already facing problems in the dairy industry, Penn State adds insult to injury by releasing a report stating climate change is going to devastate corn yields in Lancaster County by 2050. (“Study: Dairy in peril from climate shift,” June 27 LNP).

An alarmist study at best, the researchers are reporting a worst-case scenario, which then makes headlines in the local news. There is significant reason to question this study. It reveals, in fact, that this is just one of many possible climate change situations that could happen in Lancaster County over the next several decades, if anything happens at all.

“Depending on which climate scenario occurs,” Penn State associate professor Heather Karsten is quoted in the study, “we could see severe impacts on corn production in that major dairy area. Lancaster County is looking like it is going to experience more days with extreme temperature stress that will reduce corn yields.”

The study goes on to state that climate models show the average ambient temperature in the Northeast is projected to warm by about 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit by 2050, which researchers are predicting will hinder reproduction of the corn plant. However, I do not believe the theory of climate change is settled science.

A 2012 study by Ohio State University pointed out that corn descended from a tropical grass and can tolerate exposures to adverse temperatures as high as 112 degrees for brief periods. Optimal daytime temperatures for corn typically range between 77 and 91 degrees, the study states.

Anyone who knows anything about growing corn knows this versatile crop thrives in long, hot, sun-filled days and moist conditions. In this area, corn is typically planted in late April and early May and then harvested anywhere from mid-August through September. Except for in the month of July, adding 5 degrees doesn’t get the average high temperature above 90 degrees here, according to U.S. climate data for Harrisburg. Of course, there will be swings both ways in temperature and rainfall from year to year, as we just experienced.

There are corn hybrids being used today that are heat- and drought-tolerant. I would expect that by 2050 there will be even more scientific crop improvements to help farmers deal with potential weather changes. The agriculture industry and its farmers have adjusted to many adverse conditions over the years, like insect and weed pressures. If climate change becomes a threat, no doubt the industry will adjust accordingly.

Though corn is widely grown and used as animal feed, there are other foodstuffs that can supplement the crop in a feed ration. For years on my family’s farm, we have been feeding our dairy cattle recycled produce from grocery stores. Who’s to say something else won’t replace the corn plant entirely in our future?

While Lancaster County is known for its rich soils that can tolerate drier conditions, the area doesn’t often disappoint with necessary rain. But irrigation isn’t unheard of here, even though the Penn State study implies that the practice mostly occurs in the Midwest.

In drought years here in the late 1980s, my family irrigated several hundred acres of corn. Many produce farms in this area already currently irrigate their crops. Some farmers have irrigation equipment in place as a way to spread liquid manure. It wouldn’t be a far reach for them to water their crops if needed.

The study continues to propose double cropping with the expected longer growing season brought on by predicted climate change. Guess what? It’s already being done. For years, farmers have planted cover crops after corn to control soil erosion in the winter months and then take advantage of a nutritious feed source in the spring.

While Penn State’s researchers further declare in their study that higher temperatures could adversely affect cows, many barns in our county already are equipped to handle hot summers with tunnel ventilation, sprinkler systems and fans for cow comfort. Though cattle prefer cooler temperatures, any animals faced with extreme temperatures will remain healthy under good management.

As a dairy farmer whose occupation depends on closely following weather forecasts, I find it hard to believe that drastic weather predictions are being made for 34 years from now when meteorologists can’t tell me exactly what the weather will be next week. Developing policies based on varying climate change models that aren’t exact and projecting a “sky is falling” mentality is counterproductive to making sensible and sound policies that can help the agriculture industry feed our population into the future.

The current dairy crisis is significant and exists because of overproduction and lack of consumption. We need to address these economically driven problems in the agriculture industry right now. These overwhelming challenges are driving many farmers to the brink of bankruptcy or causing them to go out of business entirely.

These concerns are paramount compared with Penn State’s nebulous hype about climate change. This study isn’t helping farmers. It makes recommendations about farming practices already being implemented. Penn State needs to work with its food producers to come up with solutions to potential problems rather than promote a fearmongering study and further a misguided agenda.


Tesla cars melt in the rain

A lot of things melt in the rain. Don't leave your cake out in it. But have you ever had a car bumper fall off? No? Two new owners of Tesla Model 3s say it has happened to them.

The rear bumper, or the bumper cover to be more precise, fell off during his inaugural drive home, says momentarily proud but now perturbed new Model 3 owner Rithesh Nair.

Nair says it appears the bumper cover separated from its screws, and the theory on Twitter goes that a piece of shielding was missing, torn or loose. Without it, rainwater got into the bumper cover, and the weight of accumulated water tore the plastic piece away.

There were reports of quality control issues, most notably one from CNBC, during the long, delayed Model 3 production runup, though recently Munro & Associates conducted a teardown of a Model 3 and pronounced it a "symphony of engineering."

No reply yet from Elon Musk. But late in the day, a Tesla official issued a statement: "We're setting an extremely high bar for Model 3, and what happened in this situation is not how we build our cars. We're investigating the issue to understand what caused it, and we are contacting our customers to resolve this and ensure they are satisfied."


Australian Center-Right government still trying to square the circle

They claim they can deliver cheaper elecrity, renewable energy and reliable energy all at once

At last some good news for Malcolm Turnbull. He sure needs it.

So an ebullient Prime Minister and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg are delighted to have seen off the vehement attacks by Tony Abbott & Friends on the national energy guarantee. The Coalition party room debate was hardly a polite affair but the small if noisy minority opposed proved to be no more than that.

Even if much of the support was of the "yes, but ..." variety, as Abbott described it in a terse statement, it was more than enough to get through.

It's still far too early, however, to celebrate Turnbull's declaration of the need to "bring an end to the years of ideology and idiocy".

His ostensible target was Bill Shorten and Federal Labor with the Prime Minister putting public pressure on the Opposition to support the bill. Helpfully, that would also remove the government's need to simultaneously get the backing of all Coalition MPs in the House – which looks unlikely – and the permanently fractious cross bench in the Senate.

Despite the bluster from the Opposition leader about "a Frankenstein's monster of a policy" and the inevitable proposed amendments to increase the emissions reductions target, Labor is expected to finally vote for the government's version.

Labor knows it could always up the 26 per cent target on 2005 levels itself if it wins government. As well as bipartisan support providing greater investment certainty for the industry, the structure of the guarantee also provides a conveniently flexible policy for any new government that would inherit the same problems of permanently higher electricity prices.

There's no quick fix to that issue, of course. That's despite Labor's firm promise that its commitment to more renewable energy will miraculously produce lower prices and the Coalition's equally dubious premise the national energy guarantee will also automatically deliver this.

Yet the power market is so complicated that most voters will really just follow their prejudices while politicians on all sides try to exaggerate the benefits or, alternatively, the disastrous impact of particular policies on prices.

This translates into Abbott's jibe about "merchant banker gobbledygook" versus the magical thinking coming from much of the environmental movement and Labor.

Much simpler for voters to comprehend is the Opposition's ability to mock continued displays of Coalition division to foment public scepticism about what the Turnbull government really stands for.

"While Mr Turnbull goes around attacking Mr Abbott, Mr Turnbull is, in fact, giving in to a lot of Mr Abbott's values when it comes to climate change and energy," Shorten insists.

Hardly. Tony Abbott could hardly have been more passionately vocal about the insanity of the Coalition supporting the guarantee, for example. Yet Turnbull promotes it as the best way to finally resolve a "broken" national electricity market.

"Now is the time to provide the certainty and the investment climate that is going to see more generation and lower prices," according to the Prime Minister.

Actually, the greater political problem for the Coalition is that voters might actually believe this and expect lower power bills in the immediate future, even ahead of the next election. When that doesn't happen, they will be looking for someone to blame. Labor will be pointing the way. Step up the Coalition government, owners of the national energy guarantee.

Selling that as a solution that will work if given time is certainly possible for the Coalition. But the impact will be modest at best. Buyer beware the words: "downwards pressure on prices". The real answer is: "higher otherwise."

It is also a much tougher sell when Labor can just quote so many Coalition opponents deriding even the notion that the guarantee can have any impact whatever on reducing prices.

That's also why the Victorian government would be mad to block its establishment ahead of its own state election in November. Not when it can just keep blaming Coalition policy for not delivering on higher levels of renewables without have to take any of the blame for its own failings, particularly its refusal to allow any onshore gas exploration or development.

Yet the Andrews government seems to be so afraid of losing a few inner city seats to the Greens that nothing can be guaranteed about its willingness to trade off that risk against a national policy backed by almost the entire power industry and business groups.

The meeting of the Council of Australian Governments last week agreed to hold a phone hook-up of state energy ministers Tuesday evening after the policy had gone through the Coalition party room. But Victoria, along with the Labor government in Queensland, are still demanding a delay of several more weeks before they finally have to commit to the policy.

Over that period, Labor will try to embarrass the Coalition and bolster its own supporters by suggesting the price of Turnbull and Frydenberg getting internal agreement will be to use taxpayer funds to build new coal-fired power stations.

The Coalition will keep insisting any policy or support is "technology agnostic". Luckily, it now has the key recommendation from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to back this, suggesting the government can effectively become the buyer of last resort for longer term contracts for electricity in order to encourage private sector financing.

The Business Council of Australia makes the obvious point. Households and businesses will pay the price if political leaders continue to play politics.

"It's up to Victoria and Queensland, along with the other states and territories, to stop playing political games with people's power bills," it noted. That may be the ultimate in magical thinking.




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


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Warming is good for flamingos!

In a feat attributed to the heat wave that swept across Europe, rare Andean flamingos at a wetlands reserve in Britain have laid eggs for the first time in 15 years.

The exotic birds are “fickle breeders” and can go years without nesting successfully, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in Slimbridge, England, said in a statement this past week.

But amid scorching temperatures on the Continent — which have spawned wildfires in England and Wales, melted glaciers in Austria and Sweden, and broken records in Portugal — a surprising thing happened at the reserve.

Six of the flock laid nine eggs, which Mark Roberts, the aviculture manager at the reserve, called “a wonderful and welcome surprise.”

“We’ve been encouraging the flock by helping them to build nests,” he said in the statement, “but there’s no doubt that the recent heat has had the desired effect.”

Unfortunately, the organization said, all the eggs were infertile, so no new Andean flamingos will emerge from this batch.

So in a bit of human meddling, caretakers decided to get the Andean birds in parenting mode: They took a few eggs from Chilean flamingos, “near relatives,” and planted them among the Andean birds, who became foster parents to new chicks, the reserve said.

A spokesman for the organization, which is based in Gloucestershire, said by phone on Saturday that the Andean flamingos were some of the oldest at Slimbridge, which describes itself as the only such reserve where all six flamingo species roam.

A few flamingos arrived in the 1960s, according to the reserve, and some of them have been there longer than staff members.

Both the Andean and Chilean flamingos are considered at risk of extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The Chilean birds are described as “near threatened” because of egg-harvesting, hunting, disturbance, and the loss of habitat, while the Andean ones are called “vulnerable” because of past exploitation that shrank their population.

The heat wave broke in other parts of Europe, meanwhile, unleashing torrents of rain that caused flash flooding in France.


Benefits Of Record CO2 levels: Record Harvests Reported In Numerous Countries

Following recent reports of record coffee harvests comes news that Ukraine, Argentina and the U.S. are expecting record corn and soyabean crops. It would appear that warmer years have been exceptionally good for global agriculture as stocks of cereal, rice and coarse grains all reached record levels.

BUENOS AIRES, Aug 8 (Reuters) – Argentina is expected to produce a record crop of wheat and corn during the 2018-19 season as farmers planted more hectares of both than in previous years, the Rosario grains exchange said on Wednesday.

Brazil Soyabean Production To Touch Record Levels In 2018/19
US forecasts record soyabean crop

The US government has forecast the largest soyabean crop in history thanks to a favourable growing season, putting more pressure on prices for a commodity that has already been hit by Chinese tariffs.

The US Department of Agriculture said the 2018 US soyabean crop would total 4.59bn bushels this autumn, up 4 per cent from last year’s record 4.39bn bushels. The forecast reflected a bumper yield of 51.6 bushels per acre and widespread plantings across the Midwest.

The estimate suggests that farmers will have plenty of soyabeans to sell, albeit at lower prices. The department said the US would still be storing 785m bushels of leftover soyabeans next summer, a forecast up 205m from last month…. The USDA also forecast a larger-than-expected corn crop of 14.6bn bushels, thanks in part to a record yield of 178.4 bushels per acre.

But harvests in Western Europe have been hit by drought conditions this year.

Southern Europe may salvage EU maize harvest but huge imports loom

Favourable prospects for maize in southern Europe could help offset damage from drought and heatwaves further north, but the EU is still expected to import a record amount to feed livestock following a poor wheat harvest, analysts said.

Widely followed analysts Strategie Grains on Thursday increased slightly their European Union grain maize crop forecast, as upgrades for countries like Romania balanced cuts in Germany or France.


Welcome to Dark Age Britain: Anti-Frackers Demand Research Ban On Shale Gas

It was just a question of time before radical greens would demand an end to scientific research into fields and areas they categorically oppose. In the latest show of dark age mentalities in Green Britain, anti-fracking campaigners are demanding that a new scientific research centre in the North West of England should be banned from researching any issue that deals with shale gas. Welcome to the New Age of unreason and extremism.

Anti-frackers demand a proposed energy research centre near Chester concentrates on renewables but avoids investigations perceived as supporting the shale gas industry.

Government-funded plans envisage a site at Ince Marshes looking at shale gas as well as carbon capture and storage with a sister site in Glasgow focused on geothermal energy.

But Frack Free Dee want British Geological Survey (BGS), who will deliver the project, to drop the shale gas research element fearing its data will be used to support the fracking industry.

Hydraulic fracturing or fracking is the controversial method used to extract the gas from the shale layer with associated concerns around water and air contamination as well as earthquakes. And the government has made no secret of its intention to convince the public that fracking can be safe using independent research.

In a statement, Frack Free Dee said: “We do not support publicly-funded research into an already failed and discredited industry and call on the British Geological Survey to remove this aspect of their research programme at Ince Marshes. There are significant issues with BGS being seen to promote this industry, including loss of professional reputation as identified in their own strategy.

“Frack Free Dee would be supportive of those aspects of research which would remove our dependence upon fossil fuels, have a positive effect on our communities, and help our nation meet its climate change responsibilities.”


George Soros Pushes for Facebook To 'Ban Anyone' Who Denies Global Warming

The infamous George Soros-funded Media Matters activist group has taken it upon themselves to push Facebook to ban anyone who dares to question global warming.

Following Facebook's recent purge of alternative media pages, and now most recently Alex Jones, the fact that an outlet like Media Matter's is pushing for more censorship on free speech is quite worrying.

Last week, Neon Nettle reported that National Geographic photographer openly admitted that  'viral image' of a polar bear starving to death was fabricated fake news, saying, “We had lost control of the narrative."

It seems most social media platforms becoming a censorship farm, and if you run the risk of being banned from having an opinion on Climate Change, is it even worth being on the platform at all?


Paris Agreement To Cost Australia $52 Billion

“Following the emissions reduction requirements of the Paris Climate Agreement will impose significant and irreparable economic damage without delivering an environmental dividend,” said Daniel Wild, Research Fellow at the free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs.

Today the IPA released a research report Why Australia must exit the Paris Climate Agreement. The report estimates that the Paris Climate Agreement emissions targets will impose a $52 billion economic cost, over 2018-2030. This equates to $8,566 per family.

“The immutable law of energy policy is this: lower emissions mean higher prices.”

“Each family in Australia will be at least $8,566 worse off under the Paris Climate Agreement, on average. This is at a time when wages are stagnating and the cost of living is rising.”

“$52 billion could purchase 22 new hospitals or pay for 20 years’ worth of the Gonski 2.0 education funding.”

“For families, $8,566 could be used to pay off credit card debt, pay the school fees for a few years, or pay four years’ worth of electricity bills.”

The report finds the Agreement which Australia signed is much different to how it is currently operating. The United States has exited the Agreement. China is unconstrained by the Agreement. And none of the European Union nations are on track to meet their targets.

“The time to exit the Agreement is now. The government must put lower prices and improved reliability ahead of emissions reductions.”

The report finds that the cost of the Paris Agreement more than twice cancels out the benefits of the government’s tax relief, put forward in the 2018-19 Budget.

“The National Energy Guarantee and the Paris Agreement will lead to higher electricity prices. This will damage business investment, jobs growth, and wages growth, and put upward pressure on everyday goods and services,” said Mr Wild.




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


Monday, August 13, 2018

Despite climate hype and green hysteria, Britain's heatwave failed to break temperature record

75F (23C) is hot???  That's a winter temperature where I live!  It is actually 24C as I write this -- in an Australian midwinter, with no heating on

How Britain's temperatures got above 75F for 47 days in a row during the prolonged heatwave

The top temperature somewhere in Britain reached over 75F (24C) for 47 days in a row during the prolonged heatwave.

Of those 47 days, some 29 saw temperatures of at least 85F (29.4C), while ten got all the way to at least 90F (32C).

However, the record ended yesterday when Plymouth in Devon was the hotspot, but only made it up to 74.1F (23.4C).

The hottest day of 2018 was broken six times within the period - including on four days in a row in June.

The lowest reading in the 47-day period was 75.2F (24C) on July 28, while the highest was 95.2F (35.1C) two days earlier.

This year's run of 47 days with temperatures over 75F (24C) was unusual for Britain - but just missed out on the record.

That is held by 1995 which saw a 53-day period from July 5 to August 26 when the mercury hit at least 75F (24C).

In comparison, the famous heatwave summer of 1976 saw 15 days in a row when temperatures hit at least 89.7F (32C).


An academic conference for climate skeptics

Designed to look at the REAL causes of climate change,  it will be from 7 September 2018 and takes place in the Portuguese city of Porto (also known as Oporto in English).  Porto is the second-largest city in Portugal after Lisbon and is located along the Douro river estuary in Northern Portugal.  Below is the conference programme

Day 1: Friday, 7 September 2018

09.00         Opening ceremony

09.30         Session 1: Changes in Climate and Weather

                    Chair: Pamela Matlack-Klein

09.30         Christopher Essex: Climate: like atomic physics where we are the atoms

10.20         Coffee break – with posters

11.00         Piers Corbyn: European weather in the last years – extreme or normal?

11.20         Nils-Axel Mörner: Atlantic Ocean circulation and Gulf Stream beat

11.40         Maria da Assunção Araújo & Pamela Matlack-Klein: Note on the Portuguese Sea Level Project

12.00         Michael Limburg: Can we trust time series of historical climate data?

12.20         Karl Zeller & Ned Nikolov: Earth + Solar system data and scientific method = New climate science

12.40         Ned Nikolov & Karl Zeller: Implications of semi-empirical planetary temperature model for a new
                      understanding of Earth’s climate history

13.00         Lunch: break for 1.5 hour

14.30         Session 2: CO2, Climate Sensitivity and Greenhouse Effects

                    Chair: Jan-Erik Solheim

14.30         Francois Gervais: Cooling of climate sensitivity

14.50         Christopher Monckton: On an error in defining temperature feedback

15.10         Camille Veyres: Eleven facts you must know to avoid being deceived by the AGW

15.30         Edwin Berry: A fatal flaw in global warming science

15.50         Hermann Harde: How much CO2 and also the Sun contribute to global warming

16.10         Hans Jelbring: Regional greenhouse effects – based on observational evidence

16.30         Coffee break – with posters

17.00         Ray Garnett & Madhav Khandekar: Increasing cold weather extremes since the new
                      millennium: an assessment with a focus on worldwide economic impact

17.20           Albrecht Glatzle: Livestock’s role in climate change: Do we need a shift of paradigm? (poster)​

17:30         Philip Foster: Being wrong can have serious consequences /The Nile Climate Engine​

17.40         General discussion-1 including: Student's ask questions
                     Moderators: Nils-Axel Mörner, Pamela Matlack-Klein & Maria da Assunção Araújo 

19.00          End of Day-1

Day 2: Saturday, 8 September 2018

09.30         Session 3: Forcing functions in Climate Change
                     Chair: Thomas Wysmuller

09.30         Piers Corbyn: Mechanisms of weather extremes and climate changes (including long range forecasting)

09.50         Henri Masson: Complexity, causality and dynamics inside the climate system

10.10         Pavel Kalenda et al.: Calculation of solar energy, accumulated in the continental rocks

10.30         Don Easterbrook (ppt submission): The cause of Little Ice Ages and climate change

10.50         Roger Tattersall & Stuart Graham: Climate change: solar-interplanetary forces – not human activity

11.10         Coffee break – with posters

11.40         Jan-Erik Solheim: The length of solar cycle as predictor for local climate

11.00         Harald Yndestad: The climate clock

11.20         Nils-Axel Mörner: Planetary beat and sea level changes

11.40         Nicola Scafetta: Toward a better understanding of natural climate variability

13.00         Lunch: break for 1.5 hour

14.30         Session 4: Further observational facts, interpretations and geoethics
                    Chair: Karl Zeller

14.30         Thomas Wysmuller: The fall of IGCP’s sea-level rise

14.50         Antonio Silva: Relevance of present sea-level changes to coastal risk

15.10         Maria da Assunção Araújo: Greenland: some simple observations on ice retreat and climate evolution ​

15.30         Cliff Ollier (ppt submission): Ocean acidification is a myth

15.50         Peter Ridd (ppt submission): The Great Barrier Reef, climate change and science

16.00         David Block: Salt and albedo

16.20         Conor McMenemie: The Nile Climate Engine

16.40         Coffee break – with posters

17.10         Howard Dewhirst and Robert Heath: Letter to the Geological Society of London

17.30         Aziz Adam (ppt submission): The politics of global change

17.40         Benoit Rittaud: Some historical cases of erroneous scientific consensus

18.00         General discussion-2

                    Moderators: Nils-Axel Mörner & Pamela Matlack-Klein
​                    Jim O’Brien: Announcement

19.00         Closing: Christopher Essex & Maria da Assunção Araújo

                     Postlude: Christopher Monckton

​19.30         Cheese & Port Mingle


The global temperature is NOT sensitive to CO2 variations

Thai mathematician, Cha-am Jamal, reports a rigorous test of the CO2 theory.  Some focused excerpts below.  See the original for graphs and workings

Climate sensitivity described by Jule Charney as the expected temperature increase for a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide assumes that surface temperature is responsive to atmospheric CO2 concentration in accordance with the so called “greenhouse effect”. Such responsiveness implies a linear relationship between surface temperature and the logarithm of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration.

In theory the Charney climate sensitivity, also called the Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity or ECS, is a universal constant. In the ideal scientific process, climate models would use the radiative forcing computations to predict the theoretical value of ECS (as Charney has done) and the testable implication of theory, that surface temperature is responsive to the logarithm of the logarithm of atmospheric CO2 concentration in the observational data at an annual time scale, should yield a value that is in agreement with the theoretical prediction of the climate model.

This procedure has not worked out very well for the ECS because of a wide range of ECS values both for theoretical predictions by climate models and for empirical tests with the observational data of global warming.....

 The ECS value estimates in the 60-year moving window vary from ECS<0 ecs="" to="">6, a much larger range than and inconsistent with the Charney/IPCC standard. The observed variance implies that empirical ECS estimates are unstable and a function of location within the data time series.

This intuition is confirmed in Figure 3 where the three columns marked BOTH are of interest in this discussion because they relate to global temperature. They display the results of a split half test for regression stability which compares ECS values for the full span, the first half of the span, and the second half of the span. The observed values are ECS=0.54 for the first half 1850-1933, and ECS=2.71 for the second half 1934-2017. From the results in Figures 2&3, taken together we may conclude that the OLS linear regression coefficient for temperature against atmospheric CO2 concentration is unstable.

Such instability implies an insufficient correlation exists at the time scale of interest for the further interpretation of the coefficient in terms of its information content. In other words, the regression coefficient does not contain useful information because an insufficient correlation exists between surface temperature and log(atmospheric CO2) at an annual time scale.

In a related study, the satellite temperature measurement era 1979-2017 are used in conjunction with Mauna Loa CO2 data. These data sources are considered to be the most reliable. The results show that the correlation in the observational data between surface temperature and the logarithm of atmospheric CO2 is spurious and an artifact of shared long term trends. 

When detrended, no evidence is found that surface temperature is responsive to atmospheric CO2 concentration at an annual time scale. The full text of this study may be downloaded from SSRN.COM  or from ACADEMIA.EDU. These results suggest that there is no empirical basis for the existence of an ECS climate sensitivity parameter that determines surface temperature according to atmospheric CO2 concentration.

That spurious correlations can lead to false causation conclusions is demonstrated in a parody of the ECS using data for homicides in England and Wales. The full text of this study may be downloaded from SSRN.COM or ACADEMIA.EDU


The Nazi Roots of Environmentalism and the Climate Change Fraud

With Rupert Darwall

Whose bright idea was that? EU will ban halogen bulbs at the end of the month - after encouraging us to buy them - making lighting our homes TWICE as expensive

Is there nothing so trivial that the pettifogging jobsworth Brussels Bastards don't want to stick their long interfering noses into it?

First, the EU controversially banned our traditional incandescent light bulbs and encouraged us to buy halogen bulbs.

Now, they're banning halogen bulbs and doubling the cost of lighting a home.

The European Union-driven ban on halogen lightbulbs comes into effect at the end of the month.

Householders will have to buy more expensive LED lights under measures designed to cut energy use.

The LED bulbs are at least twice as expensive as halogen lights, but advocates argue they are better value because the LED versions use a fraction of the electricity and have a much longer lifespan, potentially 15 years.

The new ban has gone under the radar in Britain, with a recent survey by lighting product company LEDvance finding that two in three Britons had no idea halogen bulbs were on the way out.

Despite the benefits of LEDs, even some supporters of the switch are questioning whether the EU should be forcing the change, warning it could lead to resentment against green policies.

Supermarkets sell halogens for about £2 each, while the equivalent LED versions are about £4 and can be as much as £7.

Buying new bulbs for the 34 lights found in a typical home would cost £68 if they were halogen, but doing the same with the LED versions is likely to be closer to £150.

The ban on the halogen lights has been driven by the EU, and backed by successive UK governments – and seems certain to come in despite Brexit.

The policy initially resulted in the ban on the import and manufacture of high-power traditional incandescent bulbs in 2009.

This was then expanded to other lower-power versions.

Families were encouraged to switch to alternatives, specifically halogens, which were promoted as green, but these will become obsolete with the adoption of the LED lights commonly used in offices, shops and lamp posts.

Historically, consumers have rejected LED lights because they were expensive and gave off a harsh, bright light.

There were also concerns they may not work in dimmer light fittings, which means they create a constant flickering or buzzing noise.

But prices have fallen significantly recently and it is now possible to produce warmer tones in more expensive LEDs.

At the same time, new lighting systems offer different levels of brightness and colours.

London's Conservative MEP Syed Kamall is positive about benefits of LED bulbs, but said: 'Forcing them on consumers and banning cheaper alternative lightbulbs will come across as heavy-handed and could lead to resentment over 'green' policies.'

The Energy Saving Trust says the move will help homes cut bills because the LED bulbs use about a fifth of the energy burned by halogens.

Stewart Muir, of consumer website, said: 'Lighting is an essential, and it tends to be one of the biggest consumers of energy, so the move to end the sale of the expensive halogens will be hugely beneficial.'




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


Sunday, August 12, 2018

Report: Trump Admin Mulling Idea To Scrap Obama-Era Lightbulb Regulations

The Trump administration is preparing to repeal an Obama-era rule effectively outlawing a wide swath of popular lightbulbs, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

The Department of Energy is ready to scrap a rule broadening the number of lightbulbs that must meet strict energy efficiency standards set to take effect in 2020, according to a document the agency published on its website.

The document was later removed from the site, WaPo noted.

Former President Barack Obama’s DOE expanded the class of bulbs covered by a 2007 lightbulb ban to include bug lights, three-way bulbs, “rough service lamps,” and some decorative bulbs, such as globe-shaped bulbs.

Obama’s decision came in January 2017 and roped in bulbs that had previously been exempt from the ban.

Obama officials argued the expansion was needed because consumers might use the unregulated bulbs to replace regulated ones. “DOE expects these sales will likely increase since these lamps could be used as replacements for other regulated lamp types,” the law notes.

The Trump administration is clamming up about the change.

“The Department does not comment on ongoing rulemakings beyond what is publicly available in the Unified Agenda published twice a year,” spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes told reporters when asked if the DOE is preparing to ding the regulation.

Eliminating the regulation is potentially as groundbreaking as President Donald Trump’s move to roll back fuel emission rules, according to some experts.

“It’s certainly one of the biggest for energy efficiency standards, setting aside the clean-car standards,” Andrew deLaski, executive director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, which discovered and saved the document before it was removed from the DOE’s website, said in an interview with reporters.

Congress passed into law in 2007 new efficiency requirements for general lightbulbs, with strict requirements set to take effect in 2020. LED bulbs and compact fluorescent lamps can easily meet the 2020 standard of 45 lumens per watt, according to deLaski.

But the traditional incandescent bulbs on the market cannot.

Obama also banned sales of the 100-watt incandescent lightbulb in 2012 as part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 was taking hold.

Conservatives complained at the time, calling the bans an infringement on consumers’ rights to choose how they light their homes.

“Congress should not be picking winners and losers, allowing big corporate donors to dictate what consumer products we can and can’t buy!” the conservative Eagle Forum wrote in 2012. “If we don’t take a stand to save our light bulbs, what will they go after next?”


Make Socialism Scientific Again!

I mentionerd the pseudo-academic article this refers to on 8/8/18 -- JR

Remember the good old days when socialism was “scientific”? Keep in mind that the orthodox Marxism of “dialectical materialism” was understood as a scientific doctrine of history, not advocacy based on the abstract principles of egalitarianism. But then socialism crashed and burned everywhere (except on college campuses), which is why today socialism comes to sight as a religious faith, a trait it always had from the beginning, which is why you often found cleric-scientists among the ranks of its enthusiasts in the 19th century. Today I think socialism is more akin to witchcraft. In fact, hold on to that image for a bit.

Meanwhile, I have been dining out for years on the highly revealing statement made back in 2004 by Harvard’s renowned geneticist Richard Lewontin, who told the New York Review of Books that year:

Most scientists are, at a minimum, liberals, although it is by no means obvious why this should be so. Despite the fact that all of the molecular biologists of my acquaintance are shareholders in or advisers to biotechnology firms, the chief political controversy in the scientific community seems to be whether it is wise to vote for Ralph Nader this time.

This time? How about any time? It’s one thing for academic scientists to lean left (though many I know emphatically do not), but this is the kind of statement that makes you wonder. Lewontin deserves his scientific reputation; his political judgment is clearly juvenile.

This is preface for noting the release of a new article from PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), which usually publishes serious and sober work. But I think the fumes in the editorial lab must have been strong the day this article was accepted:

Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene

Will Steffen, Johan Rockström, Katherine Richardson, Timothy M. Lenton, Carl Folke, Diana Liverman, Colin P. Summerhayes, Anthony D. Barnosky, Sarah E. Cornell, Michel Crucifix, Jonathan F. Donges, Ingo Fetzer, Steven J. Lade, Marten Scheffer, Ricarda Winkelmann, and Hans Joachim Schellnhuber


We explore the risk that self-reinforcing feedbacks could push the Earth System toward a planetary threshold that, if crossed, could prevent stabilization of the climate at intermediate temperature rises and cause continued warming on a “Hothouse Earth” pathway even as human emissions are reduced. Crossing the threshold would lead to a much higher global average temperature than any interglacial in the past 1.2 million years and to sea levels significantly higher than at any time in the Holocene. We examine the evidence that such a threshold might exist and where it might be. If the threshold is crossed, the resulting trajectory would likely cause serious disruptions to ecosystems, society, and economies. Collective human action is required to steer the Earth System away from a potential threshold and stabilize it in a habitable interglacial-like state. Such action entails stewardship of the entire Earth System—biosphere, climate, and societies—and could include decarbonization of the global economy, enhancement of biosphere carbon sinks, behavioral changes, technological innovations, new governance arrangements, and transformed social values.

In other words, another typical Malthusian callback to how the world is doomed if we don’t hand over power to an enlightened elite. I’ve highlighted the key part of the last sentence, because those judgments cannot be called “scientific” in any way whatsoever. The complete text of the article is even worse:

We suggest that a deep transformation based on a fundamental reorientation of human values, equity, behavior, institutions, economies, and technologies is required. . .

In other words, we have to change everything. Although the authors won’t say so directly, the implication is global governance of some kind, which by definition will have to be undemocratic. (Which for many people on the left is a feature, not a bug.)

Perhaps this is an entirely unremarkable restatement of a common view that is probably published in an academic journal a dozen times every day, but there is one interesting irony of this particular article. If you look at the fine print, you find this acknowledgement: “Edited by William C. Clark, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, and approved July 6, 2018 (received for review June 19, 2018).”

I’ve never met Prof. Clark, and don’t know him at all, but he is the author of one of my very favorite articles about the institutional problems of science and politics way back in 1980: “Witches, Floods, and Wonder Drugs: Historical Perspectives on Risk Management.” It’s a terrific article. It was the late columnist Warren Brookes who first brought it to my attention. Clark’s comparison of the institutional incentives for witch-hunting with contemporary risk assessment (built partially on the terrific work of the late Aaron Wildavsky) has a perfect application to today’s Malthusian environmentalism and especially climate change thermaggeddonism—especially apt for the Inquisition-like treatment of dissent from climate change orthodoxy.

Some samples from the article:

Collective action by the central authority was henceforth required, and any action taken against a particular individual was justified in the name of the common good. In the case of the witch hunts, this “common good” justified the carbonization of five hundred thousand individuals, the infliction of untold suffering, and the generation of a climate of fear and distrust—all in the name of the most elite and educated institution of the day. . .

The institutionalized efforts of the Church to control witches can be seen, in retrospect, to have led to witch proliferation. Early preaching against witchcraft and its evils almost certainly put the idea of witches into many a head which never would have imagined such things if left to its own devices. The harder the Inquisition looked, the bigger its staff, the stronger its motivation, the more witches it discovered. . .

Since the resulting higher discovery rate of witch risks obviously justifies more search effort, the whole process becomes self-contained and self-amplifying, with no prospect of natural limitation based on some externally determined “objective” frequency of witch risks in the environment. . .

In witch hunting, accusation was tantamount to conviction. Acquittal was arbitrary, dependent on the flagging zeal of the prosecutor. It was always reversible if new evidence appeared. You couldn’t win, and you could only leave the game by losing. The Inquisition’s principal tool for identifying witches was torture. The accused was asked if she was a witch. If she said no, what else would you expect of a witch? So she was tortured until she confessed the truth. The Inquisitors justified ever more stringent tortures on the grounds that it would be prohibitively dangerous for a real witch to escape detection. Of course an innocent person would never confess to being a witch (a heretic with no prospects of salvation) under mere physical suffering. The few who lived through such tests were likely to spend the rest of their lives as physical or mental cripples. Most found it easier to give up and burn.

You can see here an early version of the “precautionary principle” (“The Inquisitors justified ever more stringent tortures on the grounds that it would be prohibitively dangerous for a real witch to escape detection”) and many other prominent traits of the climate campaign.

Here is Clark’s killer sentence:

Many of the risk assessment procedures used today are logically indistinguishable from those used by the Inquisition.

And this coda, for which you should swap out “risk assessors” with “climate change advocates”:

Today, anyone querying the zeal of the risk assessors is accused at least of callousness, in words almost identical to those used by the Malleusfive hundred years ago. The accused’s league with the devil against society is taken for granted. Persecution in the press, courts, and hearing rooms is unremitting, and even the weak rules of evidence advanced by the “science” of risk assessment are swept away in the heat of the chase. This is not to say that risks don’t exist, or that assessors are venal. It is to insist that skeptical, open inquiry remains theory rather than practice in the majority of today’s risk debates. That those debates are so often little more than self-deluding recitations of personal faith should not be surprising.

Cue the refrain that “97 percent of scientists believe in climate change.” Believe? It would seem the Inquisition never really went away: it just changed institutions and identified a different class of witches to hunt down.

Clark’s entire paper, with interesting case histories of flood control and drug approval (hence the full title of the paper) is worth reading, even if some of the analysis is now dated and obsolete. But I am begged to ask the question: what happened to that Clark? Or perhaps he cleverly thinks that the best way to chastise politicized scientists is simply to publish their tendentious work?

NB: Scientists are the equal of any other citizens, and are perfectly entitled to their political opinions. But to represent their opinions with the veneer of scientific authority, as is done here, degrades science, and contributes to the decline in public regard for the scientific community. Prof. Kerry Emanuel of MIT, a “mainstream” climate scientist, put the matter well a few years back:

Scientists are most effective when they provide sound, impartial advice, but their reputation for impartiality is severely compromised by the shocking lack of political diversity among American academics, who suffer from the kind of group-think that develops in cloistered cultures. Until this profound and well-documented intellectual homogeneity changes, scientists will be suspected of constituting a leftist think tank.

Instead of offering vague political nostrums like this article, scientists who are sincerely convinced of the high probability of doom from climate change ought to be offering the specs for the technical changes that need to be made to energy supply (i.e., what carbon intensities, what kind of pollution mitigation, what kind of “geoengineering” strategies, etc). To their credit, many scientists do just this. This group of authors clearly want to be in a different line of work—or at least ought to be.


The Guaranteed-to-Fail Climate Solution: Behavioral Change

BIG PICTURE: The media is in a tizzy this week over the latest climate change research published in America’s PNAS, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal.

The paper is titled “Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene.” Once again we see what is supposed to be a reputable organization – the National Academy – misleading the public into believing that the Anthropocene is an official geological epoch rather than a figment of the activist imagination.

But putting that aside, the abstract ends this way:

Collective human action is required to steer the Earth System away from a potential threshold and stabilize it in a habitable interglacial-like state. Such action entails stewardship of the entire Earth System—biosphere, climate, and societies—and could include decarbonization of the global economy, enhancement of biosphere carbon sinks, behavioral changes, technological innovations, new governance arrangements, and transformed social values.

Behavioral changes. Transformed social values. Only academics who haven’t the first foggy clue how the real world works, could write such impractical nonsense.

Widespread behavioral change is simply not possible. Not without turning the entire planet into a police state.

Persuading medical doctors – highly educated, professionally motivated individuals – to wash their hands thoroughly enough to remove harmful bacteria before they move on to the next patient is notoriously difficult. It was difficult in the mid-1800s and it remains difficult today.

The reasons are simple. Doctors are human beings. They’re often rushed. Their minds are often distracted. They’re impatient. Fully aware of what constitutes correct behavior, they nevertheless fail this test on a regular basis.

You can read all about this phenomenon in the 2011 book SuperFreakonomics. Or in this online transcript of a 2012 radio show featuring Stephen Dubner, one of the book’s co-authors. Toward the end, he says:

It’s humbling, isn’t it? To think that the best-educated people in the hospital need to be tricked and shamed and even frightened into washing their hands. It shows just how hard behavior change can be…

Parents, teachers, coaches, workplace supervisors, religious leaders, police officers, and certain other government officials spend a great deal of time telling people not to do all manner of things. If behavior change were easy, there’d be no more lying, cheating, stealing, back-stabbing, substance abuse, unprotected sex, and so on.

But even threats of serious consequences such as disease, job loss, incarceration, and eternal damnation are insufficient. We’re no closer to eliminating those behaviors than the Ancient Romans were.

TOP TAKEAWAY: Whatever the future may hold, we’ll need all the technological fixes we can muster. Billions of people aren’t going to just fall into line. We won’t be voluntary, en masse and in a timely manner, altering our behavior because ivory tower academics think we should.


EPA study shows it is time to repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard

By Printus LeBlanc

This week the corn lobby celebrated thirteen years since the establishment of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Thirteen years of the government mandating the public buy an inferior product from well-connected lobbyists in Washington, D.C., and we wonder where they got the idea for the Obamacare individual mandate. There is good news on the horizon though. There is now evidence the RFS isn’t even as good for the environment as originally thought.

The RFS had two goals upon implementation in 2005. The first was to reduce the amount of petroleum the U.S. imports, specifically from the Middle East. This reason as already been refuted. Fracking reduced the amount of foreign imported oil, not ethanol.

The second reason was environmental. It was believed the RFS was more environmentally friendly because it is renewable. The mountains of evidence proving otherwise have been ignored, now a recently released report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will finally prove the RFS does more harm to the environment than good.

When the RFS was instituted, it was only a matter of time before the law of unintended consequences reared its head. With the government mandating biofuels, it is no surprise more corn and soybeans would be grown. The extra fertilizers and run off lead to algae blooms. The blooms deplete oxygen in the water killing marine life. The report stated, “modeling studies since the 2011 Report suggest that demand for biofuel feedstocks, particularly corn grain, may contribute to harmful algal blooms, as recently observed in western Lake Erie, and to hypoxia, as observed in the northern Gulf of Mexico.”

Causing more fertilizer to be spread which leads to algae blooms killing marine life does not sound environmentally sound.

Not only does the RFS do more harm than good to the soil and water, the program is no friend to the air. The proponents of ethanol like to laud the environmental impacts of the fuel versus gasoline. The problem with the analysis is it looks at the burning of ethanol as a fuel and does not examine what it takes to produce ethanol. Producing ethanol takes farmland that must be tended to, usually with diesel-powered vehicles. The harvest must then be transported to a facility to manufacture the ethanol, once again usually with diesel-powered vehicles. Finally, turning the feedstock into ethanol is an energy-intensive operation.

According to the EPA report, the production facilities are no better than refineries producing gasoline. The report states, “as of mid-2017, there are approximately 200 ethanol production facilities in the U.S. Over 90 percent of these facilities are dry mill facilities processing corn. Facilities producing ethanol from corn and cellulosic feedstocks tend to have greater air pollutant emissions relative to petroleum refineries on a per-BTU of fuel produced basis.”

The final verdict on the report shows what happens whenever the government gets involved. It doesn’t matter if it is healthcare, college, or in this case energy, government interference drives up the cost and makes the problem worse.

It is time to end the RFS. The program does nothing it was supposed to do. It did not reduce the U.S. reliance on petroleum imports, fracking did. It is not good for the environment, multiple studies have shown that, including this latest one. It has bankrupted refineries and finally put undue financial burdens on taxpayers with extra costs. The RFS does do one thing; it pours millions of dollars into the pockets of K Street lobbyists and a few select farmers.


Now global warming misses Melbourne

Australia's wimpy Prime minister recently declared that the drought -- mainly affecting outback NSW -- was caused by Global Warming.  Shortly after that declaration Western Australia got huge rainfall.  Now Melbourne has been swamped too.  Australia is  a big place so "Global" effects that miss out both Western and Southern Australia are not very global are they?  PM Turnbull needs to grow a pair and stop trying to pander to Greenie absurdities

WILD weather has lashed Melbourne this afternoon with hail and heavy rain falling across the city.

Hail pelted suburbs including Yarraville, Kingsville, Footscray and Montrose this afternoon as temperatures plummeted to just 7C in the city.

It was a dramatic drop from the “spring-like” conditions yesterday, with temperatures reaching 20C.

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Richard Carlyon said earlier today it had been “the wettest” since June 17. “The cold front moved through Melbourne and delivered up to 10mm of rain,” he said. “Almost two months ago we saw 16mm.”

Heavy snow has begun falling at Victoria’s alpine resorts with 20cm expected over the weekend.

Snow lovers shivered through a chilly morning, with the mercury languishing in the negatives. The apparent temperature at Mt Buller was -11.2C at 10.30am.

Mt Hotham Alpine Resort general manager Belinda Trembath said the mountain would a snow base of about 180cm by the end of the day.

“We’re very fortunate here in the mountains that we are getting some fantastic snow events, it seems to be successive week after week, consistent snow falls and certainly fantastic conditions for skiers and boarders,” she said.

“It started snow about 8.30am and we’re expecting up to 20cm today.”




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