Saturday, August 27, 2016


EPA: The Ethanol Protection Agency

Maybe the initials “EPA” should stand for the Ethanol Protection Agency, as environmental protection seems just too costly and time consuming for the agency. The EPA recently admitted that it has not been in compliance with the 2007 law that requires the agency to study the environmental impact of the ethanol mandate and report its findings to Congress every three years. So far, envirofascist bureaucrats have only met the law’s requirements once in 2011. The EPA’s excuse is that it just doesn’t have enough funding or time and therefore has simply ignored the law.

According to the EPA’s inspector general, because the agency hasn’t been conducting the impact study, it hasn’t been able “to identify, consider, mitigate and make policymakers aware of any adverse impacts of renewable fuels.” The EPA now says it won’t have a fully completed study until at least 2024. Well, that’s good news if you’re a corn farmer, but not such good news for the environment or even other corn-dependent industries, as price of corn has increased.

Several recent independent environmental studies conclude that ethanol biofuels have had an overall negative effect on the environment from an increase of smog in cities to the amount of land, water and energy needed to produce ethanol when compared to that of gasoline. Combined with worse mileage and damage to small engines, ethanol has had the exact opposite effect of what it was touted to accomplish when it was initially mandated back in 2005. Yet there is no push by either Congress or the Obama administration to repeal or even question the ethanol mandate. And the agency tasked with protecting the environment seems too busy figuring out how to clean up its own environmental messes to care. Cronyism at its best.

SOURCE  





The few, the loud, the anti-fossil fuel crowd

If you get your news from the mainstream media, you likely think the views expressed by the environmental activists represent the majority of Americans. After all, their highly visible protests against the Keystone pipeline — sit-ins in front of the White House, locking themselves to the White House fence and then being arrested for it, and parading down the National Mall carrying a huge inflated tube emblazoned with the words: “Just say no to Keystone” — were effective. Despite repeated polling that showed a majority of Americans supported the pipeline, with a small minority opposed, the loud theatrics of the anti-fossil fuel crowd eventually won out. After years of stall tactics, President Obama finally bowed to their demands and said no to the job-creating infrastructure project.

Earlier this year, the usual group of suspects, led by well-known anti-fracking activist Bill McKibben, planned a “global wave of resistance” called BreakFree2016 — scheduled to take place from May 3-15  — on six continents. The event’s website announced the various activities, including an appearance and speech by McKibben, a Vermont resident, at the Colorado rally that promised: the “largest mass mobilizations for climate action in the history of Colorado.” It confirmed that there would be “civil disobedience.”

Did you hear about it? Probably not.

A news report of the planned Colorado activities said: “And on May 14, 350 Colorado is planning a day of speeches, live music and activities protesting oil and gas developments close to neighborhoods and schools in Thornton. The goal is to draw 1,000 people to the upcoming events.” The website, post-event, states: “about 800 people joined the action throughout the day” with “about 30-40 people” still there at the end of the day for the dramatic “frack-site” invasion. Yet, as even their own Facebook page photos indicate, not even 100 were present for the big McKibben speech. Without vendors and media, he may have had no audience at all.

After flying in to Denver, and then being driven to the protest site in a limousine, McKibben jetted off to Los Angeles, California, where he was joined by the greens’ “Daddy Warbucks,” billionaire political campaign donor Tom Steyer — with much the same results: a few hundred protesting fossil fuels and, as Energy In Depth reported, “the very social and economic underpinnings of liberal democracy.” The typical anti-everything protestors were present — but only a few.

In Iowa, as I addressed last week, a meeting of the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition — which according to the organizer includes those with “concerns about the impact it could have on the environment, farmers who worry about their cropland and religious groups who view expanding use of fossil fuels as a moral issue because of climate change” — expected a crowd of 200. Instead, according to the Ottumwa Courier, “only 40 or so were seated when the meeting began. Others trickled in as the meeting progressed.”

Now, Colorado is ground zero for “one of the biggest environmental fights in the country this year,” as Lauren Petrie, Rocky Mountain region director for Food and Water Watch, a Washington, D.C.-based group advocating for safety in food production and oil and gas production, called it. Two ballot initiatives, 75 and 78, have the potential to, according to Colorado regulators, “effectively halt new oil and gas development in as much as 90 percent of the state.” In order to get the initiatives on the ballot, 98,492 valid signatures needed to be turned into the Colorado Secretary of State by August 8 — no later than 3:00 p.m.

In June, The Tribune reported that Tricia Olson, who has pumped in most of the funding for a group backing initiatives 75 and 78, hoped to “collect 160,000 signatures to account for the invalid signatures that inevitably pop up.” (Politico just announced: “recent campaign finance reports were filed with the Colorado secretary of state, the Sierra Club gave $150,000, making it the largest single reported contributor to the anti-fracking effort.”)

Because the Colorado Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision on May 2, declared local fracking limits “invalid and unenforceable,” as state law trumps local ordinances, Olson sees the ballot initiatives as their “last ditch effort.”

On Monday, August 8, exercising stagecraft, at 2:30 p.m., dozens of supporters emptied a U-Haul truck and delivered box after box of signatures to the Secretary of State’s office. They celebrated their “victory.” 350 Colorado, one of the groups behind the measures, proclaimed: “We did it! Over 100,000 signatures delivered on initiatives to limit fracking!” — not the 160,000 originally hoped for, and likely not enough to get on the ballot in November.

By CBS Denver’s accounting about 105,000 signatures were turned in — most in half empty boxes. Lynn Bartels, Colorado Secretary of State Communications Director, tweeted: “Proponents of fracking measures turned in lots of boxes with very few petitions in them.” Once the petitions were consolidated, there were roughly 50 empty boxes. Simon Lomax, an associate energy policy analyst with the conservative Independence Institute in Denver and a consultant who advises pro-business groups, said: “To make it look more impressive they added a bunch of empty boxes, or boxes with very few petitions. It just sort of shows, these groups don’t do substance, they just do deceptive publicity stunts.”

On CBS Denver, former Secretary of State Scott Gessler explained that you need about 98,000 signatures to get on the ballot because, for a variety of reasons, at least 30 percent are rejected, you need to submit at least 140,000. He says that for the 105,000 signatures turned in to qualify would be “unprecedented,” something that “has never occurred in Colorado for a ballot initiative.” According to Gessler, the effort is “doomed” — though we will not know for sure until next month when the final counts are released.

Noted election reporter and national affairs columnist for the National Review, John Fund, told me: “If there is enough public support for an issue to get the votes needed to pass, getting a surplus of signatures to get it on the ballot is an easy task.”

Many Democrats, including Governor John Hickenlooper, support hydraulic fracturing and have come out against the ballot initiatives. Politico posits that because mainstream environmentalists “fear that their movement will suffer a demoralizing defeat if the two proposals make it in front of the voters,” they “hope the ballot initiatives will die instead.”  Additionally, “A decisive referendum on oil and gas production would increase calls for [Hillary] Clinton to explicitly take a side.” She’s previously aligned with 75 and 78 — which could spoil her attempts to attract moderate Republicans she’ll need to win the state.

Despite their drama and declared “victory,” it doesn’t seem that the Colorado anti-fossil fuel crowd has enough signatures, or support, to make it onto the November ballot. They may be loud, but, alas, they are few.

SOURCE  





Gov’t Is Moving In on Your Appliances – Expect Higher Prices, Fewer Choices

The Obama administration’s Department of Energy has churned through a list of energy efficiency regulations before the next administration. Just since June, the DOE has set or initiated standards for dehumidifiers, ceiling fans, battery chargers, and wine coolers.

At issue isn’t health or safety, or even unfair business practices. Through the DOE, the federal government is busying itself regulating how much energy the appliances Americans buy are allowed to use. Our recent backgrounder, “The Energy Efficiency Free Market Act: A Step Toward Real Energy Efficiency,” goes into more detail.

Take a look around your kitchen. Many of the appliances are also regulated by the federal government, from the oven and refrigerator, down to the standby light on the microwave. Step outside to other rooms and even outdoors. TVs, showers, air conditioners and heaters, washers and dryers, backyard swimming pools, toilets—these are just some of the other things regulated by the federal government.

Energy efficiency isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s an important factor in many Americans’ purchasing decisions. But there are a number of reasons why the federal government should not be mandating it:

Energy efficiency regulations reduce choices. Regulations prioritize efficiency over other preferences like safety, size, performance, durability, and cost. Americans weren’t without energy-efficient appliances before. The Department of Energy is essentially trying to make “better” decisions for people by limiting their options to “acceptable,” energy-efficient ones.

Regulations have very little impact on greenhouse gas emissions. Regardless of one’s opinion on global warming, these regulations have almost no impact. The DOE’s projected benefits from reducing greenhouse gas emissions total a paltry 1 percent.

Savings benefit the rich, often at the expense of the poor. According to Sofie Miller at the George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center, DOE cost-benefit calculations best describe households making $160,844 or more. In reality, energy-efficiency costs and benefits vary widely depending on income, education, and race. Higher energy costs impact poor families the most.

Mandates hinder innovation. Announcing the Energy Efficiency Free Market Act, Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, explained that “when the government sets the efficiency standard for a product, that often becomes the ceiling … when the market drives the standard, there’s no limit to how fast and how aggressive manufacturers will be when consumers demand more efficient and better made products.”

Savings promised by standards are misleading. Considering the costs and benefits, Americans are essentially paying to have their choices restricted. There have also been problems with how the DOE estimates upfront costs, payback horizons, overstated energy savings, and future energy prices. For example, the DOE assumed in a washing machine proposed rule that households used washers 392 times per year—more than seven times per week—meaning most families would never reap the benefits of more efficient, but more expensive, washers.

Standards easily play into corporate welfare. Companies lobby for regulations and subsidies that most benefit them, in an attempt to squeeze out competition from smaller companies. If these products save customers as much as advertised, they should not be subsidized by the taxpayer.

But if the government didn’t set mandates, wouldn’t companies stop producing energy-efficient products? Refrigerators, which the DOE points to as a success story, are just one example of why there’s no reason to worry:

“The Standards Program has driven remarkable gains in the energy efficiency of household appliances and equipment, resulting in large energy bill savings. For example, today, the typical new refrigerator uses one-quarter the energy than in 1973—despite offering 20 percent more storage capacity and being available at half the retail cost.”

One problem: The first federal efficiency standards for refrigerators did not go into effect until 1990. Refrigerator manufacturers were improving energy use and design for nearly two decades before the government got involved.

As customers, Americans put importance on energy efficiency without the government nudging. And the free market is only too willing to supply.

Over the years, the DOE—empowered by Congress through the Energy Policy Conservation Act of 1975—has quietly expanded the list of products it regulates for energy efficiency. Congress should eliminate all mandatory efficiency regulations and leave these decisions to state governments and American consumers.

SOURCE  





Supposed ‘Ground Breaking’ Study Only Proves Warming Proponents Have Jumped The Shark

They called it a “ground breaking study,” I call it rubbish. This new study claims that global warming began in 1830 just when the industrial revolution began to pick up steam (no pun intended). What they didn’t take into account was just around the same time the Earth was coming out of an unusually cold 40-year period caused by low sunspot activity called the Dalton Minimum (no relation to Timothy Dalton).

An international team of scientists, led by Associate Professor Nerilie Abram from the Australian National University, have analysed detailed reconstructions of climate going back 500 years. To their surprise, they’ve found that the current global warming trend began in the 1830s, further confirming that it is an anthropogenic, or human-induced, phenomenon. The study was published today in Nature.

Co-researcher Dr Helen McGregor, an earth sciences expert from the University of Wollongong, tells SBS Science the findings have a major impact on our understanding of how climate change works. “If we know when global warming started, we know what the actual rates of warming are and we know when our climate is emerging above natural variability,” McGregor explains.

The scientists go on to explain they created a climate model (which have proven to be very flawed–for example none of these models have figured why the earth hasn’t warmed in over 18 years.).  So to create this model they took into account other account climate model simulations and experiments (that’s right a flawed climate model using data from a flawed climate model–almost like a double negative), major volcanic eruptions and, most importantly, natural markers of climate variation found in places like corals, tree rings, and ice cores obtained from glaciers.

Dr McGregor says the study provides new, independent proof that climate change is indeed caused by human activity.

“One thing that our study provides is that it’s an alternative line of evidence,” she explains. “We’re not using thermometers and satellite records, we’re using natural archives of climate, so it’s a completely independent source of information that shows that climate change and warming is occurring.

“The central tenet of climate change, that the planet is warming, doesn’t change.”

Well not necessarily, because nowhere in their analysis do the scientists take into account sunspot activity.

Note: The sun goes through a natural cycle approximately every 11 years. The greatest number of sunspots in any given solar cycle is designated as the “solar maximum” and the lowest number is referred to as the “solar minimum” phase.

What scientists have observed is that when sun spot activity is low so is the earth’s temperatures. The time period of low sunspot activity below called the Maunder Minimum is also known as “The Little Ice Age.” not because glaciers covered the Earth, but because it was a long period of abnormally cold weather throughout the world. The period of low sunspot activity between 1790-1830 is known as the Dalton Minimum, again the weather was colder than normal.

In the late 1950s sun spot activity peaked at a much higher level than normal and was called the Modern Maxim, this was reflected in the global warming scare show global temperature growth accelerating.

It seems as if the scientists behind this”ground breaking study,” picked the result they wanted and selected the elements that would give them that result.

Now here’s the good news they might have ignored.  It seems that solar activity is slowing down. The in the chart above it seems that activity started to decrease toward the end of the 1990s. Similarly the satellite temperature data shows the Earth hasn’t warmed since 1998.

Vencore Inc.is  a company that has worked closely with a number of government agencies on weather-related projects, including NASA, NOAA, Naval Meteorological and Oceanographic Command, Naval Postgraduate School and the Intelligence Community. It is now suggesting that the extreme lack of sunspot activity now may be an indication of a major cooling period for the Earth.

Not since cycle 14 peaked in February 1906 has there been a solar cycle with fewer sunspots. We are currently more than six years into Solar Cycle 24 and the current nearly blank sun may signal the end of the solar maximum phase. Solar cycle 24 began after an unusually deep solar minimum that lasted from 2007 to 2009 which included more spotless days on the sun compared to any minimum in almost a century.

It’s not just the fewer number of sunspots…its the pattern of their peaks:

The smoothed sunspot number for solar cycle 24 reached a peak of 81.9 in April 2014 and it is looking increasingly likely that this spike will be considered to be the solar maximum for this cycle. This second peak in the cycle surpassed the level of an earlier peak that reached 66.9 in February 2012. Many solar cycles are double peaked; however, this is the first one in which the second peak in sunspot number was larger than the first peak. Going back to 1755, there have been only a few solar cycles in the previous 23 that have had a lower number of sunspots during its maximum phase.

Now that doesn’t mean it’s definitely staying that way..but chances are it will. And here is where it gets interesting:

It is pretty well understood that solar activity has a direct impact on temperatures at very high altitudes in a part of the Earth’s atmosphere called the thermosphere. This is the biggest layer of the Earth’s atmosphere which lies directly above the mesosphere and below the exosphere. Thermospheric temperatures increase with altitude due to absorption of highly energetic solar radiation and are highly dependent on solar activity.

Finally, if history is a guide, it is safe to say that weak solar activity for a prolonged period of time can have a cooling impact on global temperatures in the troposphere which is the bottom-most layer of Earth’s atmosphere – and where we all live.

Vencore’s prediction substantiates paper written by Russian scientists in 2013 who used sunspot activity to predict we are heading for a “Mini Ice Age.”

The German Herald reported on March 31, 2013 regarding Russian scientist Dr Habibullo Abdussamatov from the St. Petersburg Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory, “Talking to German media the scientist who first made his prediction in 2005 said that after studying sunspots and their relationship with climate change on Earth, we are now on an ‘unavoidable advance towards a deep temperature drop.’”

There is a simple reason that the scientists that created the “ground breaking study,” ignored solar activity, it would disprove their hypothesis.  Like many scientists trying to push the global warming/climate change hypothesis, these scientists have jumped the shark..er sunspots

SOURCE  





Ross McKitrick: Wind Power Subsidies Triple Power Prices in Ontario

One of the favourite smoke-and-mirrors lines pulled by the wind industry, its parasites and spruikers is that wind power lowers power prices.

Among the ‘tiny’ little omissions in that pitch are that:

1) they’re only ever talking about spot prices when the wind is blowing; and

2) they skate over the massive subsidies that get tacked on top of the price paid by retailers for the power delivered; and

3) they run a mile from the unnecessary cost of base-load plants holding additional ‘spinning reserve’ and the insane and otherwise unnecessary cost of running highly inefficient Open Cycle Gas Turbines, that are critical to keep a grid up and running when wind power output collapses on a total and totally unpredictable basis.

That little trick lasts about as long as it takes Joe the Power Punter to open his power bill; because all of the above is helpfully collected in the staggering retail cost, as a bottom line that jumps off the page with a heart shuddering reality – crushing households and killing business, growth and employment.

The rocketing bills being dropped on power consumers in Ontario  pick up the price paid for the most bizarre energy policy on the Planet – a power tax called the GA or Global Adjustment levy, used to subsidise wind power. Here’s what it costs and why.

You may be surprised to learn that electricity is now cheaper to generate in Ontario than it has been for decades. The wholesale price, called the Hourly Ontario Electricity Price or HOEP, used to bounce around between five and eight cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), but over the last decade, thanks in large part to the shale gas revolution, it has trended down to below three cents, and on a typical day is now as low as two cents per kWh. Good news, right?

It would be, except that this is Ontario. A hidden tax on Ontario’s electricity has pushed the actual purchase price in the opposite direction, to the highest it’s ever been. The tax, called the Global Adjustment (GA), is levied on electricity purchases to cover a massive provincial slush fund for green energy, conservation programs, nuclear plant repairs and other central planning boondoggles. As these spending commitments soar, so does the GA.

In the latter part of the last decade when the HOEP was around five cents per kWh and the government had not yet begun tinkering, the GA was negligible, so it hardly affected the price. In 2009, when the Green Energy Act kicked in with massive revenue guarantees for wind and solar generators, the GA jumped to about 3.5 cents per kWh, and has been trending up since — now it is regularly above 9.5 cents. In April it even topped 11 cents, triple the average HOEP.

So while the marginal production cost for generation is the lowest in decades, electricity bills have never been higher. And the way the system is structured, costs will keep rising.

The province signed long-term contracts with a handful of lucky firms, guaranteeing them 13.5 cents per kWh for electricity produced from wind, and even more from solar. Obviously, if the wholesale price is around 2.5 cents, and the wind turbines are guaranteed 13.5 cents, someone has to kick in 11 cents to make up the difference. That’s where the GA comes in. The more the wind blows, and the more turbines get built, the bigger the losses and the higher the GA.

Just to make the story more exquisitely painful, if the HOEP goes down further, for instance through technological innovation, power rates won’t go down. A drop in the HOEP widens the gap between the market price and the wind farm’s guaranteed price, which means the GA has to go up to cover the losses.

Ontario’s policy disaster goes many layers further. If people conserve power and demand drops, the GA per kWh goes up, so if everyone tries to save money by cutting usage, the price will just increase, defeating the effort. Nor do Ontarians benefit through exports. Because the renewables sector is guaranteed the sale, Ontario often ends up exporting surplus power at a loss.

The story only gets worse if you try to find any benefits from all this spending. Ontario doesn’t get more electricity than before, it gets less.

Despite the hype, all this tinkering produced no special environmental benefits. The province said it needed to close its coal-fired power plants to reduce air pollution. But prior to 2005, these plants were responsible for less than two per cent of annual fine particulate emissions in Ontario, about the same as meat packing plants, and far less than construction or agriculture.

Moreover, engineering studies showed that improvements in air quality equivalent to shutting the plants down could be obtained by simply completing the pollution control retrofit then underway, and at a fraction of the cost. Greenhouse gas emissions could have been netted to zero by purchasing carbon credits on the open market, again at a fraction of the cost. The environmental benefits exist only in provincial propaganda.

SOURCE  





Wind Power Obsession Sends South Australians Back to the Stone Age

Amidst the panic and chaos being experienced by the wind industry, its parasites and spruikers – due to the unfolding and inevitable wind power calamity in South Australia – one of the newly invented catchphrases is “transition”.

It’s a term now employed by wind spinners, dimwitted politicians and gullible journalists; and is often coupled up with lines such as “interconnectors”; “rapidly improving battery technology” and “gas”.  Gas, apparently, is now seen as a “transition” fuel to a … ahem … fossil fuel free future and the interconnectors proposed would connect to coal-fired plant currently chugging away in Victoria and New South Wales [note to Ed is this ‘pure irony’?]

Last time we took a peek at the climate-calamatists’ websites, gas was right up there with coal as the source of all peril and evil on earth, so we’re not sure that the Chicken Littles will buy the line about gas being anything other than a ‘spawn-of-the-Devil’ fossil fuel.

And adding ‘fuel’ to the fire, the gas destined for this “transition” isn’t going to be used in highly efficient Combined Cycle plants, but squandered in gas-thirsty and highly inefficient Open Cycle plants that emit 3-4 times the CO2 per MWh of a modern coal-fired plant.

Open Cycle Gas Turbines (OCGTs) are literally jet engines, run on gas or fuel oil (diesel) or kerosene. The initial capital outlay is low, but their operating costs are exorbitant – depending on the fuel input costs (the gas dispatch price varies with demand, for example) operators need to recoup upwards of $300-400 per MWh before they will even contemplate firing them into action. For a wrap up on “fast-start-peakers” see this paper: Peaker-Case-Histories As to the insane cost of running them, see this article: OPEN GAS CYCLE TURBINES: Between a rock and a hard place

And the line about “transitioning” to a wind powered future with “rapidly improving battery technology” comes sprinkled with a fair dose of pixie dust: nowhere in the world is there an example of grid-scale electricity storage using batteries (of any description); not in Germany; not in Spain; not in Denmark; not in California; not in South Australia – or anywhere else stupid enough to attempt to run on sunshine and breezes.

Now that the mainstream press have caught up with the energy disaster that is South Australia, journos are, for the first time in their lives, starting to grapple with the tricky concept of electricity generation: terms such as “load following”; “frequency control”; and “grid balancing” are starting to find their way into the pages of the Australian Financial Review and The Australian.

These aren’t just fancy nouns and verbs of recent invention, they go right to the heart of whether customers at the thinnest end of an electricity grid get to enjoy electricity on demand, or at all.

What media hacks are starting to understand is that there is a world of difference between the quality of electricity produced by conventional generation sources; and that thrown occasionally into the grid by a wholly weather dependent source, abandoned centuries ago, for pretty obvious reasons – eg, SA’s wind farm’s efforts in April:

It’s not just a question of delivering power when and where it’s needed; frequency control is a matter that determines whether a grid functions at all (see our post here).

Where the chaos and intermittency of wind power destabilises the grid (see our post here), it’s down to conventional generation sources that can ramp up output at the press of a button to keep the grid alive: “reactive power” that allows for the 50Hz frequency of the grid to be controlled and maintained around close tolerances.

In a place like South Australia, where wind power capacity tops 40% of its entire generating capacity, every time a breeze turns to a zephyr, voltage and frequency drops, which requires an instantaneous response from coal or gas-fired generators (hydro is exceptionally good at responding in an instant) – with recent efforts to rely on the chaotic delivery of wind power, those selling power for frequency control and load following now recoup a very solid premium for their service.

Remove that class of generator from the system and the wind cultist and his fellow travelers are soon left tossing chaff about the wonders of wind, while sitting freezing in the dark.

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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Friday, August 26, 2016



Wonder of wonders!  A Greenie tries to debate a skeptic

Professional environmentalist Phil Williamson has responded to  an article by James Delingpole rubbishing the ocean acidification scare.  I reproduce below both the Delingpole article then the Greenie reply.

I would however like to add my comments to the discussion first.

Straight out of the gate Williamson reveals himself as a subscriber to Greenie lies. He accepts recent claims that bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef has been drastic and sweeping and adds that "Population recovery, through re-colonisation and re-growth, typically takes 10-15 years".  Does it now?  Then how come a recent extensive survey of the reef by diving professionals found that less than five per cent of coral has died off — compared to the 50 to 60 per cent estimated by Greenie scientists.  Instead of 10-15 years, recovery happened in a matter of months.  No alarm there!

The article is very long-winded but consists mainly of appeals to authority and "ad hominem" attacks on skeptics.  Rather than addressing the scientific evidence quoted, Williamson disparages the academic qualifications of skeptics.  Such arguments are disreputable and of no logical force.

I can't imagine doing any kind of fisking of such a lot of wind so I will close my comments with what I think is the fatal flaw in Williamson's article.  Delingpole does mention it in passing but makes far too little of it in my opinion.

The point is that ocean acidification and global warming CANNOT occur at the same time.  One is incompatible with the other.  Why?  Because a warmer ocean would OUTGAS CO2, thus reducing the carbonic acid that it forms. A warmer world would have LESS acid oceans.

And if you want to see warm water outgassing CO2 just open a can of Coke without refrigrerating it first.  You will get a gas-powered torrent.

Williamson and his friends carefully talk about CO2 levels but fail to mention their founding gospel -- that CO2 rises pump up the global temperature.  So if Williamson wants to raise concerns about ocean acidification, he has to DENY that a CO2 rise would cause global warming.  I somehow suspect that he is not ready to do that.

So his whole scare is an act of gross hypocrisy and scientific dishonesty. And scientific dishonesty is no science at all.  Those who indulge in it should be totally disregarded -- along with any of the alleged "evidence" for their cause.

I reproduce only the first part of his very long and pointless paper below.  But Delingpole first.  As the third installment below I also add the recent report about the extent of reef bleaching


There was a breathtakingly beautiful BBC series on the Great Barrier Reef recently which my son pronounced himself almost too depressed to watch. ‘What’s the point?’ said Boy. ‘By the time I get to Australia to see it the whole bloody lot will have dissolved.’

The menace Boy was describing is ‘ocean acidification’. It’s no wonder he should find it worrying, for it has been assiduously promoted by environmentalists for more than a decade now as ‘global warming’s evil twin’. Last year, no fewer than 600 academic papers were published on the subject, so it must be serious, right?

First referenced in a peer-reviewed study in Nature in 2003, it has since been endorsed by scientists from numerous learned institutions including the Royal Society, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the IPCC. Even the great David Attenborough — presenter of the Great Barrier Reef series — has vouched for its authenticity: ‘If the temperature rises up by two degrees and the acidity by a measurable amount, lots of species of coral will die out. Quite what happens then is anybody’s guess. But it won’t be good.’

No indeed. Ocean acidification is the terrifying threat whereby all that man-made CO2 we’ve been pumping into the atmosphere may react with the sea to form a sort of giant acid bath. First it will kill off all the calcified marine life, such as shellfish, corals and plankton. Then it will destroy all the species that depend on it — causing an almighty mass extinction which will wipe out the fishing industry and turn our oceans into a barren zone of death.

Or so runs the scaremongering theory. The reality may be rather more prosaic. Ocean acidification — the evidence increasingly suggests — is a trivial, misleadingly named, and not remotely worrying phenomenon which has been hyped up beyond all measure for political, ideological and financial reasons.

Some of us have suspected this for some time. According to Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace, long one of ocean acidification theory’s fiercest critics, the term is ‘just short of propaganda’. The pH of the world’s oceans ranges between 7.5 and 8.3 — well above the acid zone (which starts below ‘neutral’ pH7) — so more correctly it should be stated that the seas are becoming slightly less alkaline. ‘Acid’ was chosen, Moore believes, because it has ‘strong negative connotations for most people’.

Matt Ridley, too, has been scathing on the topic. In The Rational Optimist he wrote, ‘Ocean acidification looks suspiciously like a back-up plan by the environmental pressure groups in case the climate fails to warm.’ I agree. That’s why I like to call it the alarmists’ Siegfried Line — their last redoubt should it prove, as looks increasingly to be the case, that the man-made global warming theory is a busted flush.

To the alarmist camp, of course, this is yet further evidence that ‘deniers’ are heartless, anti-scientific conspiracy theorists who don’t read peer-reviewed papers and couldn’t give a toss if the world’s marine life is dissolved in a pool of acid due to man’s selfishness and greed. Unfortunately for the doom-mongers, we sceptics have just received some heavy fire-support from a neutral authority.

Howard Browman, a marine scientist for 35 years, has published a review in the ICES Journal of Marine Science of all the papers published on the subject. His verdict could hardly be more damning. The methodology used by the studies was often flawed; contrary studies suggesting that ocean acidification wasn’t a threat had sometimes had difficulty finding a publisher. There was, he said, an ‘inherent bias’ in scientific journals which predisposed them to publish ‘doom and gloom stories’.

Ocean acidification theory appears to have been fatally flawed almost from the start. In 2004, two NOAA scientists, Richard Feely and Christopher Sabine, produced a chart showing a strong correlation between rising atmospheric CO2 levels and falling oceanic pH levels. But then, just over a year ago, Mike Wallace, a hydrologist with 30 years’ experience, noticed while researching his PhD that they had omitted some key information. Their chart only started in 1988 but, as Wallace knew, there were records dating back to at least 100 years before. So why had they ignored the real-world evidence in favour of computer-modelled projections?

When Wallace plotted a chart of his own, incorporating all the available data, covering the period from 1910 to the present, his results were surprising: there has been no reduction in oceanic pH levels in the last -century.

Even if the oceans were ‘acidifying’, though, it wouldn’t be a disaster for a number of reasons — as recently outlined in a paper by Patrick Moore for the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. First, marine species that calcify have survived through millions of years when CO2 was at much higher levels; second, they are more than capable of adapting — even in the short term — to environmental change; third, seawater has a large buffering capacity which prevents dramatic shifts in pH; fourth, if oceans do become warmer due to ‘climate change’, the effect will be for them to ‘outgas’ CO2, not absorb more of it.

Finally, and perhaps most damningly, Moore quotes a killer analysis conducted by Craig Idso of all the studies which have been done on the effects of reduced pH levels on marine life. The impact on calcification, metabolism, growth, fertility and survival of calcifying marine species when pH is lowered up to 0.3 units (beyond what is considered a plausible reduction this century) is beneficial, not damaging. Marine life has nothing whatsoever to fear from ocean acidification.

Given all this, you might well ask why our learned institutions, government departments and media outlets have put so much effort into pretending otherwise. Why, between 2009 and 2014, did Defra spend a whopping £12.5 million on an ocean acidification research programme when the issue could have been resolved, for next to nothing, after a few hours’ basic research?

To those of us who have been studying the global warming scare in some detail, the answer is depressingly obvious. It’s because in the last decade or so, the climate change industry has become so vast and all encompassing, employing so many people, it simply cannot be allowed to fail.

According to a report last year by Climate Change Business Journal, it’s now worth an astonishing $1.5 trillion — about the same as the online shopping industry. If the scare goes away, then all bets are off, because the entire global decarbonisation business relies on it. The wind parks, the carbon sequestration projects, the solar farms, the biomass plantations — none of these green schemes make any kind of commercial sense unless you buy into the theory that anthropogenic CO2 is catastrophically warming the planet and that radical green measures, enforced by governmental regulation, must be adopted to avert it.

It’s no coincidence that the ocean acidification narrative began in the early 2000s — just as it was beginning to dawn on the climate alarmists that global temperatures weren’t going to plan. While CO2 levels were continuing to rise, temperatures weren’t. Hence the need for a fallback position — an environmental theory which would justify the massively expensive and disruptive ongoing decarbonisation programme so assiduously championed by politicians, scientists, green campaigners and anyone making money out of the renewables business. Ocean acidification fitted the bill perfectly.

Does this prove that global warming is not a problem? No it doesn’t. What it does do is lend credence to something we much-maligned sceptics have long been saying: that in many environmental fields, the science is being abused and distorted to promote a political and financial agenda. Perhaps it’s about time our supposed ‘conspiracy theories’ were taken more seriously.

SOURCE  





The Greenie reply to Delingpole

Summary

James Delingpole considers that ocean acidification is a scare story that is not only ‘fatally flawed’ but also grossly over-hyped by climate alarmists, for political reasons.  To give credibility to these views, information and quotes are given from four scientists (Patrick Moore, Mike Wallace, Matt Ridley and Craig Idso).  However, those sources are unreliable: none has relevant marine expertise, and the evidence they provide is either inaccurate or incorrect.  Three other scientists (Howard Browman, Richard Feely and Christopher Sabine) who do have direct research experience are either mis-quoted or their competence is dismissed.  The wider scientific literature is not considered.  Overall, Delingpole’s arguments are based on exaggeration, false dichotomy, deliberate selectivity and bravado assertion: almost everything that could be factually wrong, is wrong.  Specific errors, with other comments, are identified below for each paragraph of the original text.  Example references are also given, as links; many other supporting sources could also be cited.

Detailed comments

Delingpole’s article text given first, in italics, followed by Williamson’s comments.  Paragraph numbering added by Williamson.  Links within Delingpole text were not originally included, but have been added where the specific references are unambiguous.

1. [Article]  There was a breathtakingly beautiful BBC series on the Great Barrier Reef recently which my son pronounced himself almost too depressed to watch. ‘What’s the point?’ said Boy. ‘By the time I get to Australia to see it the whole bloody lot will have dissolved.’

[Comments]  Concern regarding the future of the Great Barrier Reef is fully justified – but not because the corals will soon dissolve.  Instead, bleaching (loss of algae from the coral) is the most important current threat, due to unusually high seawater temperatures.  Satellite surveys and field observations by the Australian government and independent researchers indicated that 20-50% (and locally up to 90%) of northern areas of the reef was affected by bleachingin late 2015/early 2016.  Individual corals may recover from bleaching if high temperature events are short-lived; however, if the bleaching is permanent, the corals die. Population recovery, through re-colonisation and re-growth, typically takes 10-15 years.

2.  The menace Boy was describing is ‘ocean acidification’. It’s no wonder he should find it worrying, for it has been assiduously promoted by environmentalists for more than a decade now as ‘global warming’s evil twin’. Last year, no fewer than 600 academic papers were published on the subject, so it must be serious, right?

Whilst the dead skeletons of coldwater corals (occurring in deep water, including around the UK) are at increasing risk of dissolving, a key effect of ocean acidification on warm-water corals is slower growth.  Current growth rates are around 10% lower than they were before human activities increased atmospheric carbon dioxide, and reef development ceases at pH below 7.7, the projected end of the century level for high emission scenarios.  Before then, it is near-certain there will be more frequent bleaching, due to further warming, together with even slower re-growth and population recovery due to ocean acidification.  The cumulative effects of temperature change, ocean acidification and other stressors jeopardises the longterm survival of coral reef structures.  The socio-economic consequences of reef loss are substantive, relating to coastal protection and fisheries, as well as tourism.

The scientific literature on ocean acidification covers much more than effects on corals.  Collectively it provides the factual evidence that enables the seriousness of ocean acidification to be dispassionately assessed; for example, by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changeand the Convention on Biological Diversity.

3.  First referenced in a peer-reviewed study in Nature in 2003, it has since been endorsed by scientists from numerous learned institutions including the Royal Society, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the IPCC. Even the great David Attenborough — presenter of the Great Barrier Reef series — has vouched for its authenticity: ‘If the temperature rises up by two degrees and the acidity by a measurable amount, lots of species of coral will die out. Quite what happens then is anybody’s guess. But it won’t be good.’

More than 150 scientific articles on ocean acidification were published before 2003.  Between 1989 and 2003, these averaged 9 per year, including geological, chemical and biological studies. The 2003 Nature study did, however, stimulate wider scientific and political interest in the topic area.

‘Endorsed’ implies approval (for ocean acidification).  It would seem more appropriate to say that many scientists and institutions have recognised that ocean acidification is occurring, is an issue of concern, and is worthy of detailed investigation.

4.  No indeed. Ocean acidification is the terrifying threat whereby all that man-made CO2 we’ve been pumping into the atmosphere may react with the sea to form a sort of giant acid bath. First it will kill off all the calcified marine life, such as shellfish, corals and plankton. Then it will destroy all the species that depend on it — causing an almighty mass extinction which will wipe out the fishing industry and turn our oceans into a barren zone of death.

What is the source of these statements?  They have not been made by scientists studying ocean acidification, nor (as far as I am aware) by environmental NGOs.  But maybe by sensation-seeking journalists? Or are they satirical exaggerations by Delingpole?  If – as it seems – they are deliberate mis-representations for polemic effect, the ‘climate alarmism’ of the title is spurious.  The rest of the article then has questionable credibility, whilst becoming logically fallacious.

5.  Or so runs the scaremongering theory. The reality may be rather more prosaic. Ocean acidification — the evidence increasingly suggests — is a trivial, misleadingly named, and not remotely worrying phenomenon which has been hyped up beyond all measure for political, ideological and financial reasons.

The alternative to ‘scaremongering theory’ is not to dismiss ocean acidification as nothing at all to worry about.  That assertion is equally incorrect, providing a false dichotomy ‒ that is not increasingly supported by factual evidence, as discussed below.

6.  Some of us have suspected this for some time. According to Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace, long one of ocean acidification theory’s fiercest critics, the term is ‘just short of propaganda’. The pH of the world’s oceans ranges between 7.5 and 8.3 — well above the acid zone (which starts below ‘neutral’ pH7) — so more correctly it should be stated that the seas are becoming slightly less alkaline. ‘Acid’ was chosen, Moore believes, because it has ‘strong negative connotations for most people’.

Patrick Moore’s linkage with Greenpeace is controversial: the organisation does not recognise him as a co-founder although Moore continues to make that claim.  What is indisputable is that Moore has only very limited, if any, expertise in marine science.

The term ocean acidification is scientifically correct: it is used for technical reasons, not for any connotations it might or might not have for non-scientists.  Thus ‘acidification’ is the process of decreasing pH (increasing acidity), wherever on the pH scale that occurs.  In the same way, ‘warming’ is the process of increasing temperature, wherever that occurs – including rather cold parts of the world, e.g. polar regions.

The range of pH naturally occurring in the ocean is much wider than stated.  Values as low as pH 5.4 – undoubtedly acid – have been recorded at deep sea vents (that do support life, adapted to such conditions).

7.  Matt Ridley, too, has been scathing on the topic. In The Rational Optimist he wrote, ‘Ocean acidification looks suspiciously like a back-up plan by the environmental pressure groups in case the climate fails to warm.’ I agree. That’s why I like to call it the alarmists’ Siegfried Line — their last redoubt should it prove, as looks increasingly to be the case, that the man-made global warming theory is a busted flush.

Matt Ridley also has only limited, if any, expertise in marine science.  An opinion article he wrote in The Times in 2010 on ocean acidification contained many errors.  What he shares with Moore (and Delingpole) is climate scepticism, with an unscientific approach to evidence evaluation.

The sceptical view that man-made global warming is a ‘busted flush’ does not look increasingly to be the case; instead it is increasingly hard to challenge in a rational way the accumulating evidence of human influence on the climate.  In addition to the extremely thorough IPCC analyses of such issues, recent climate record-breaking is incontestable. For example: 2015 was the warmest year on record (mean surface temperature 1⁰C higher than in pre-industrial times), and that year included the lowest ever winter ice cover in the Arctic.  2016 is on course to beat those records – all months so far have been seasonally warmer than ever beforewith July 2016 being the hottest single month.  Whilst there has been a significant contribution from the 2015-16 El NiƱo, that ended earlier this year – and the increase in total ocean heat content has been inexorable since 1970.

8.  To the alarmist camp, of course, this is yet further evidence that ‘deniers’ are heartless, anti-scientific conspiracy theorists who don’t read peer-reviewed papers and couldn’t give a toss if the world’s marine life is dissolved in a pool of acid due to man’s selfishness and greed. Unfortunately for the doom-mongers, we sceptics have just received some heavy fire-support from a neutral authority.

Who exactly is the ‘alarmist camp’?  The failure to identify the source of these assertions is telling.  If, as seems likely, they are imaginary and provided for rhetorical purposes, Delingpole is a double extremist ‒ arguing against himself.

9.  Howard Browman, a marine scientist for 35 years, has published a review in the ICES Journal of Marine Science of all the papers published on the subject. His verdict could hardly be more damning. The methodology used by the studies was often flawed; contrary studies suggesting that ocean acidification wasn’t a threat had sometimes had difficulty finding a publisher. There was, he said, an ‘inherent bias’ in scientific journals which predisposed them to publish ‘doom and gloom stories’.

Browman’s article does not claim to be a ‘review of all the papers published on the subject’; it is an Introduction to a Special Issue.  Has Delingpole read it, or just the imbalanced and inaccurate accounts of it that were in the media (e.g. The Times, 1 March 2016), as challenged by Browman?

The words ‘flawed’, ‘inherent bias’ and ‘doom and gloom’ do not appear in Browman’s article.  Whilst its text does state “studies that report no effect of OA [ocean acidification] are typically more difficult to publish”, those words are preceded by a crucial qualifier: “As is true across all of science”.

Furthermore, Browman does consider ocean acidification to be a serious problem, warranting research attention: “Although I call for a more sceptical scrutiny and balanced interpretation of the body of research on OA, it must be emphasized that OA is happening and it will have effects on some marine organisms and ecosystem processes.”

10.  Ocean acidification theory appears to have been fatally flawed almost from the start. In 2004, two NOAA scientists, Richard Feely and Christopher Sabine, produced a chart showing a strong correlation between rising atmospheric CO2 levels and falling oceanic pH levels. But then, just over a year ago, Mike Wallace, a hydrologist with 30 years’ experience, noticed while researching his PhD that they had omitted some key information. Their chart only started in 1988 but, as Wallace knew, there were records dating back to at least 100 years before. So why had they ignored the real-world evidence in favour of computer-modelled projections?

The ‘Feeley and Sabine chart’ criticised by Wallace was not included in their seminal 2004 paper, but was first published in 2008 (authorship Richard Feely, Victoria Fabry and John Guinotte, giving data credit to Pieter Tans and David Karl).  Mike Wallace’s hydrological expertise is in groundwater pollution, particularly minewater management.  He has not published any peer-reviewed papers on ocean acidification, nor marine chemistry.  By contrast, Richard Feely and Christopher Sabine are both oceanographers; their combined total is around 70 years of relevant experience, with around 500 relevant publications.

SOURCE  




Lying Greenie alarmists found out:  Reef tourism operators find less than five per cent of coral dead under ‘extreme’ bleaching

REEF tourism operators have found less than five per cent of coral has died off — compared to the 50 to 60 per cent estimated by scientists — under “extreme” mass coral bleaching on the northern Great Barrier Reef.

Latest findings exclusively obtained by The Courier-Mail show coral mortality in the outer shelf reefs north of Lizard Island was between one and five per cent with “spectacular” fish life and coral coverage.

Teams of divers in a joint two-week expedition sponsored by Mike Ball Dive and Spirit of Freedom surveyed 28 sites on 24 outer shelf reefs along a 300km section of the hardest-hit part of the reef from Bathurst Head to Raine Island.

Spirit of Freedom owner Chris Eade said reports of 93 per cent bleaching on the 2300km long Great Barrier Reef had made global headlines and damaged the reputation of the $5 billion reef tourism industry.

“Scientists had written off that entire northern section as a complete white-out,’’ Mr Eade said.  “We expected the worst. But it is tremendous condition, most of it is pristine, the rest is in full recovery.  “It shows the resilience of the reef.’’

Mike Ball Dive Expeditions operations manager Craig Stephen, who conducted a similar survey on the remote reefs 20 years ago, said there had been almost no change in two decades despite the latest coral bleaching event.

“It wasn’t until we got underwater that we could get a true picture of what percentage of reef was bleached,’’ Mr Stephen said. “The discrepancy is phenomenal. It is so wrong. Everywhere we have been we have found healthy reefs. “There has been a great disservice to the Great Barrier Reef and tourism and it has not been good for our industry.”

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority estimated a mass coral white-out of between 50 to 60 per cent, on average, for reefs off Cape York under the world’s biggest-ever mass coral bleaching event.

Scientists with the Townsville-based ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies reported about 35 per cent mortality but warned “the final death toll” on some reefs may exceed 90 per cent.

In April, aerial and underwater surveys of 522 reefs in the northern sector showed 81 per cent had been severely bleached and one per cent not bleached.

Professor Terry Hughes, convener of the National Coral Bleaching Taskforce, at the time said “it’s like 10 cyclones have come ashore all at once.”

Professor Hughes yesterday welcomed the positive news but had not yet seen the latest survey findings. “We won’t know the true coral mortality until we can get back up there in October and compare before and after impacts from our March survey,’’ Prof Hughes said.

“Those coral will either survive or more will die.’’

A GBRMPA spokeswoman said they would closely examine the findings of the first independent expedition into the isolated region.  “Obviously if they’ve found reefs with a lower than expected mortality rate that is fabulous news,’’ she said.

“Our initial findings noted that the level of bleaching and mortality was expected to be very variable across the entire reef system.’’

SOURCE






Obama Energy Czar: Actually, Fracking Is Pretty Good For The Environment

Hydraulic fracturing, a process more commonly referred to as fracking, is actually good for the environment, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said at a field hearing in Seattle last week, according to the Washington Examiner.

“The increased production of oil and natural gas in the United States has, obviously, been a major story in terms of our economy, and also our environment,” said Moniz, who previously served as the head of the Physics department at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology, earned a doctorate degree in physics from Stanford University.

“The natural gas boom, in particular, has led to the displacement of high-carbon coal with low-carbon natural gas producing fewer emissions,” Moniz reportedly said during the Seattle field hearing.

Since the Environmental Protection Agency’s advisory board published a study earlier this month debunking the widespread claim that fracking contaminates drinking water, environmentalists have attempted to double down — claiming that the study didn’t have enough scientific evidence in it to back up its findings. Moniz’s testimony at last week’s hearing was meant to dispel these criticisms and confirm to the public that fracking doesn’t just drastically reduce the cost of energy, it also helps the environment.

In the past five years, there have been at least 75 scientific studies that all reach the same conclusion: methane emissions are falling — despite a huge increase in the level of natural gas, The Daily Caller’s Andrew Follett reported.

A recent study found that fracking has reduced carbon emissions by 20 percent, whereas the costly and heavily subsidized development of solar and wind energy has only reduced these same emissions by roughly 1 percent.

SOURCE  




Global Warming Alarmists Plead: Save the Children By Not Having Them

William M Briggs

Global warming will, of course, doom us all. That is, if the models created by scientists are any guide. Which they aren’t, since these models have for decades predicted temperatures far greater than what we actually see.

Too, our greatest natural disasters occurred long ago before global warming loomed, (as this site documents). In 1931, a flood killed perhaps two million Chinese. Forest fires in the USA are far, far below their destructive peak in the late 1920s. An awful flood happened in 1936, the same year a heat-wave killed some 12,000 Americans, which again was the same year of the highest maximum temperature.

Still, even though tornadoes, floods, fires and hurricanes are way down, the consensus is that global warming will kill us all. A hundredth of a degree increase in temperature is nothing to sneeze at, you know.

Who will fare worst in our coming climate apocalypse? That’s right! The children! The promised destruction of our littlest ones is why NPR and a group of academic philosophers say we should “protect our kids by not having them.”

Protect our kids by not having them? That’s like saying the way to protect your house from fire is by not building it, or that the way to protect against crop failure is to cease farming.

Barren wombs as cure for our climate “catastrophe” makes sense to philosophers Colin Hickey, Travis N. Rieder and Jake Earl, who defend the idea in “Population Engineering and the Fight against Climate Change,” which will appear in the journal Social Theory and Practice (PDF). They say that “threats posed by climate change justify population engineering, the intentional manipulation of the size and structure of human populations” (emphasis in original).

Now all philosophical arguments start with premises, the assumptions which must be accepted to get the argument going. Here are theirs:

Two uncontroversial ideas set the stage for this article. First, climate change is among the most significant moral problems contemporary societies face, in terms of its urgency, global expanse and the magnitude of its attending harms. Second, population plays an important role in determining just how bad climate change will be.
Balderdash: both ideas are controversial and, as shown above, both are far from the truth. This is not a good beginning to their argument. As Aristotle noted, “The least degree of deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold.” Let’s see if that prophecy holds here.

From their premises, the authors derive this:

In procreating one makes a whole new person who will emit [greenhouse gases]. But in fact, it is more than that. By creating a new person, one makes it possible that he or she will go on to create more people, who are then able to go and create even more people.
Who knew?

This radical deduction led to this conclusion: “The question, it seems, is not whether we should implement some sort of fertility-reducing population engineering program, but rather which interventions such a program should include.”

From there it was a short hop to the heading “Population Engineering Policies: Coercion and Choice Enhancement.”

Did somebody say coercion?

Somebody did. “This includes policies that involve straightforward violations of citizens’ autonomy or bodily integrity.” Not to worry. “Straightforwardly coercive interventions to reduce human population growth are almost always wrong.”

Almost always.

The other end of the scale of “total coercion” is pestering the population with putrid propaganda: e.g., “Poster campaigns featuring images of small, happy families and national slogans have been used widely” in other countries. While finding it distasteful, they don’t outright reject “outright misinformation, deception or manipulation,” and assure us they “would not endorse just any token preference-adjusting intervention to reduce fertility.” Grand of them.

They also put forward “women’s education and improved access to reproductive health care.” Now these are philosophers and you’d think they’d know better than to employ cheap euphemism. Reproductive health care means abortion and contraception, where there is no reproduction and where the health of any child “accidentally” conceived is permanently removed, and the would-be mothers endangered into the bargain.

Stripped of euphemism, the authors recommend active killing to reduce the population.

And if you’re “rich,” look out:

Our outline for a global population engineering program suggests that the greater a would-be procreator’s wealth, the more appropriate it will be to target that person with interventions to the right on the coercion spectrum. This is justifiable not only pragmatically, but also morally: since wealth is a fairly reliable proxy for individuals’ GHG emissions, and so for their carbon legacy, it is morally justifiable to exert greater pressure on wealthy people’s procreative behaviors.
Some people would still be allowed to have babies. Who decides who should procreate future GHG generators? Well, folks like author Travis Rieder, who is bravely passing on his genes (he has a daughter).

There isn’t a scintilla of a hint of a whisper of a ghost of a figment of an idea from these men that they might be wrong. But Aristotle was right. Start with silliness, end in lunacy.

SOURCE  




Have more kids; save the world

Jeff Jacoby

FROM TIME IMMEMORIAL, humankind has regarded it as a blessing to be fruitful and multiply.

Not Travis Rieder. A philosopher and bioethics instructor at Johns Hopkins University, Rieder was the focus of a recent NPR story, in which he argued that having children is immoral and should be discouraged with government penalties. It’s not that Rieder dislikes children — in fact, he has a 2-year-old daughter of whom he’s quite fond. But with “dangerous climate change” approaching a tipping point “very, very soon,” he says, bringing more children into the world is unethical. After all, every additional baby means additional carbon emissions, and more carbon emissions mean rising global temperatures. Without drastic change, the planet will soon be “largely uninhabitable for humans.” So the natural human urge to procreate, Rieder insists, must be suppressed.

“It’s not the childless who must justify their lifestyle,” he tells NPR. “It’s the rest of us.” And no, it’s not enough for would-be parents to adopt a rigorously “green” lifestyle. Rieder says that no amount of conservation — driving less, recycling faithfully, using energy-efficient light bulbs and appliances — comes remotely close to the level of CO2 reduction achieved by having one fewer child. (On its website, NPR helpfully supplies a sidebar with statistics confirming the point.)

Curiously, Rieder seems to believe he is saying something fresh and unusual. “Here’s a provocative thought,” he announces. “Maybe we should protect our kids by not having them.”

Provocative? The notion that too many people are having kids, and that “overpopulation” spells doom for life on Earth, has been an article of faith among environmental extremists since at least the 1960s.

David Brower, the longtime executive director of the Sierra Club, insisted decades ago that childbearing should be “a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license.” The current White House science adviser, physicist John Holdren, was writing in the 1970s about the catastrophe that would result if governments didn’t turn to forcible sterilization, compulsory abortion, or antifertility drugs in the water supply to shrink the population. “If the population control measures are not initiated immediately and effectively,” wrote Holdren in a book coauthored with ecologist/alarmist Paul Ehrlich, “all the technology man can bring to bear will not fend off the misery to come.”

Population misanthropes were freaking out about the disasters sure to come from making too many babies as far back as ancient Greece. But though babies keep being made — at present, some 130 million of them every year — the disaster never comes. The number of men, women, and children on the planet has exploded from 2.5 billion in 1950 to 7.4 billion today, yet humanity is better off than ever. People live longer, healthier, and more comfortable lives than at any time in human history. By and large, they have more wealth, more education, more food, more medical care, more energy, and more natural resources than their forbears could have dreamed of.

Never have there been so many people in the world. Never have the world’s people been so well off. Coincidence? Not at all. When people are fruitful and multiply, they tend to make the world better, not worse.

Population doomsayers get lots of attention, but the doom they predict invariably fails to materialize. That is because babies are more than carbon footprints. They grow up not merely to consume, but to produce. They think and create and explore and imagine — and they inspire others to do so as well. With more people a society gets more innovation, more acts of kindness, more social welfare, more enterprise, more caregiving, more discovery, more growth, more prosperity.

When parents bring a baby into the world, they do a wonderful thing — both for the baby and for the world. You really want to save the planet? Ignore the gloom-and-doomers, and have more children.

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.  

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016



UPDATE 2

I have a lot of facial swelling this morning
I have taken Clindamycin for it so that may help
But if it is no better tomorrow morning I will have to go into hospital and be put on a Vancomycin drip
I have been through all this before so I now expect to be up and running again early next week




UPDATE

I had my surgical procedure today and it was as bad as I thought it was going to be.  I went to a good public hospital so I was treated as well as they reasonably could in the circumstances.I ended up with a piece the size of a quarter chopped out of my right cheek near my  nose. Fortunately my plastic surgeon is brilliant and managed to put my face back together again.  I am now out of hospital but am experiencing some pain and discomfort.  So I would  not be clear enough in mind to attempt much in the way of blogging today

Tuesday, August 23, 2016



NOTE:  I am going into hospital later today for a rather complex procedure -- so I may not be blogging for a couple of days -- JR



I don’t need air conditioning, and neither do you

What the writer below says is perfectly correct.  I have lived almost all my life in the tropics and subtropics but it is only recently that I have got AC.  And to this day it is relatively unusual for Australian homes to have AC.

But it is not for others to tell us what we need. That is a personal decision.  In my case, my advancing years made me less able to cope happily with temperature extremes so I had an inverter installed in my bedroom/study.

Leftists always think that they can dictate what people need but that is just their usual Fascistic arrogance.  In the case below the subtext is is that we should not use AC because it consumes electricity, which in turn causes global warming.  The fact that there has been no anthropogenic global warming for nearly 20 years is not considered.

The reality is that we live in an age of unprecedented abundance in all sorts of ways and the Greenies for their own misanthropic reasons have been trying to stop that.

Below is a picture of Bill McKibben, a prominent Warmist.  To me he looks batshit crazy, a man obsessed.  Would you want him telling you what you need?




It’s time to come out of the closet. Or, more precisely, the sweat lodge.

My family lives without air con­ditioning, except for one antique, ­semi-comatose window unit that “cools” the bedroom to approximately the same temperature as Dallas at dusk.

Our house in Philadelphia was built in the 1920s, when people were tough and resourceful. For most of the year, the house is cool and pleasant, as long as there isn’t a mash-up of continuously scorching days and epic humidity, when the air is putrid, stagnant and, if it were a color, would definitely be mustard.

Which would be this summer. Which, so far, is the fourth-hottest summer on record in the Washington area. Emphasis on so far. NASA reports that July was the Earth’s hottest in recorded history. Cheer up, people say to those of us without air conditioning, September’s coming. Except people forget that most of September is still summer.

There are people among you, friends even, who live without artificial cooling during what are affectionately known as the dog days of summer. One-third of American households don’t have air conditioning, according to the Energy Department. Many of those, of course, can’t afford it, but people don’t like AC for a variety of reasons beyond cost: environmental, aesthetic, nostalgic, social and cultural.

And, yes, to humble-brag, which I may be doing right now, about our greater tolerance, lower carbon footprint and puny electric bills, which are half the temperature outside.

Clinical social worker Olivia Snyder lives on the fifth floor of a Philadelphia apartment building with southern exposure and no air conditioning. It gets so hot, she says, “I don’t want to turn on the burners, let alone the oven.”

But window units offend her. “Air conditioners are ugly. I really like the view,” she says. Also, “I hate sleeping with the noise. I’m super-weird about noise.”

There are people who are living without air conditioning in places far hotter than the East Coast. In 2009, Chris George, now a Washington Post digital editor, voluntarily gave up air conditioning for a year while living in the inhumane heat of Tempe, Ariz., mostly out of environmental concern. “I’ve been called many variations of the word ‘insane,’ ” George wrote in the Arizona Republic of the experiment, during which temperatures reached 103 degrees inside his home. But he also learned that “comfort is really just what you’re used to.”

There are a thousand reasons my family does without central air. Actually, several thousand.

Installing central air would be a profoundly expensive enterprise, involving a cavalcade of zeros and most likely new, less-beautiful windows. When our children ask why we’re still sweating it analog-style, and our house feels like a Tennessee Williams stage set but without the fetching undergarments and crippling dysfunction, we answer, “College tuition, vacations, cheese. You know, things like that.”

Also, I don’t like the hermetic feel of central air, the way it reduces everything to an artificial hum and makes you feel isolated from the environment, your body’s natural responses and, depending on your age, all the summers of your youth.

Air conditioning is not sultry or mysterious. It has no place in pulp fiction or film noir. The movie “Body Heat” is set in a small Florida town in 1981 yet is completely devoid of central air, which manages to make absolutely everything seem sexy — ice cubes, sweat, even wind chimes, which are generally just annoying.

There are positive aspects of going without. Fewer house guests. More dinner invitations. That humble-bragging business. Showers. I can’t tell you how rewarding showers feel. And ice cream tastes way better.

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EPA lies by omission

Below is a screed about huricanes that the EPA puts out for students.  Most of it is fair enough but, as with all Green/Left writing, what is left out is the key to seeing how you are being misled.  It may be true that hurricanes have become more powerful in some recent period. What is not mentionred, however, is that hurricanes have become much RARER  -- which is actually in line with the absence of any recent global warming.  Taken as a whole, the hurricane data suggest temprerasture STASIS, not global warming


Hurricane in suburban neighborhoodHurricanes and other tropical storms get their energy from warm ocean water. As the top layer of the ocean gets warmer, hurricanes and other tropical storms grow stronger, with faster winds and heavier rain. Because of higher temperatures and increased evaporation, climate change causes other types of storms to get stronger, too.

What's happening now?

This graph shows two lines. One is an index that measures the strength of hurricanes, and the other shows the temperature of the ocean surface. The two lines show a similar pattern.

Hurricanes in the northern half of the Atlantic Ocean have become stronger over the last few decades. This graph shows the Power Dissipation Index, which measures total hurricane power each year based on the number of hurricanes and their wind speed. The graph also shows how hurricane strength is related to water temperature.

Over the past 20 years, hurricanes and other tropical storms in the Atlantic Ocean have become stronger. Since the 1980s, the United States has also experienced more intense single-day storms that are dumping a lot more rain or snow than usual.

What will happen in the future?

As the climate gets warmer, heavier rainstorms and snowstorms (with more precipitation than normal) are expected to happen more often, and hurricanes around the world could keep getting stronger.

Why does it matter?

Hurricanes and other storms can cause flooding; damage buildings, roads, and other structures; harm crops; and put people's lives in danger.

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If you don't believe in global warming, you're too 'mentally ill' to be allowed to buy a gun?

In recent days, President Obama announced new "executive actions" on guns, that included language to shore up current federal law aimed at keeping mentally ill Americans from buying guns. Some skeptics of the president's actions believe that, as is usually the case, there are ulterior motives behind his actions.

For example, some believe that the president's order may include guidance on declaring people who disagree with Obama's policies – like those regarding so-called "global warming" and "climate change" – as mentally unstable.

It's not too far out of the realm of possibility, given this president's narcissism, anti-gun demeanor and ideological, cult-like adherence to the concept of man-caused climate phenomena.

As noted by the Media Research Center, anyone designated as "mentally ill" by doctors – who now have been empowered to report patients they deem to be unfit to the FBI – can be denied the right to keep and bear arms.

The official White House fact sheet on Obama's new regulations states:

"Current law prohibits individuals from buying a gun if, because of a mental health issue, they are either a danger to themselves or others or are unable to manage their own affairs. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has indicated that it will begin the rulemaking process to ensure that appropriate information in its records is reported to NICS."

'Climate denial' is a 'mental disorder'

Obama has repeatedly claimed that the threat of climate change is a greater one than that of terrorism; so, aren't people who deny that climate change is real, a danger to themselves or others and, thus, unfit to own firearms?

The notion that climate skeptics are not mentally capable people is not a new concept employed by the radical Left. Consider:

-- Oregon-based "sociology and environmental studies" Prof. Kari Norgaard has publicly stated that skepticism of climate change is a mental problem that must be "treated." (To show what a fruit loop this woman is, she also compared acceptance of the reality that climate change is bogus, to the "struggle" against racism and slavery.)

-- The journal Psychology Today published an article that listed a trio of warning signs that you are living a life of "climate change denial:"

* You think climate change is bad, but not that bad.
* You don't have an emotional reaction to climate change.
* You aren't getting political.

So, if you're one of those people who have come to understand that the climate change agenda is really about control, not "saving the planet," or you're not mad enough about it, or you've opted out of the political fight over it, you're mental.

-- As noted by The Telegraph's Christopher Booker (one of those mentally ill deniers), in a piece entitled, Climate 'denial' is now a mental disorder, says so-called "eco-psychologists" convened recently at the University of the West of England in Bristol, to examine the notion of classifying climate change denial as a "mental disorder."

-- And who could forget that Obama's EPA chief, Gina McCarthy, said that deniers are not "normal" people?

Believe it – or else

Those crazy Leftists – they create their own narrative and then, when the majority of people catch onto them, they change the rules of the game back into their favor.

Can't convince people to believe in the man-caused global warming hoax on their own? Fine – we'll just label them crazy, and for extra measure, we'll see to it that they are denied their constitutional rights in the process.

Speaking of bat-stuffing crazy regarding this issue, how about Robert Kennedy, Jr., calling for a law that punishes people who don't buy the warming globaloney? That's no different than a dictator requiring his people to believe in his edicts, no matter how obviously flawed they are, or risk losing their freedom (or lives).

It's not clear that Obama's order will affect global warming – let's call them realists – but you can certainly see where this "you're crazy if you don't believe it" attitude could go.

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More idiocy from John Vidal and Peter Wadhams

Warmist predicted 4 of the last 0 ice-free summers

John Vidal is probably the stupidest journalist reporting on climate change for the Guardian, which is quite an achievement given the stiff competition. It was Vidal, you may recall, who claimed that the sexual harassment allegations against Pachauri were part of a conspiracy cooked up by climate sceptics.

Today, Vidal says that it is Time to listen to the ice scientists about the Arctic death spiral. Who are the scientists Vidal says we should listen to? Well, it turns out there’s only one quoted (distinguishing between singular and plural doesn’t seem to be one of John’s areas of expertise), and guess what, it’s Peter Wadhams again.

Wadhams is of course notorious for his failed predictions of Arctic ice disappearance.

In the Telegraph in 2011 Wadhams declared that “It is really showing the fall-off in ice volume is so fast that it is going to bring us to zero very quickly. 2015 is a very serious prediction and I think I am pretty much persuaded that that’s when it will happen.” This was unchallenged by the journalist, showing that unquestioning promotion of climate hype crosses the political spectrum in the media.

The BBC told us that Arctic summers would be ice-free by 2013, quoting both Wadhams and Maslowski.

But most remarkable is this article by John Vidal himself, Arctic expert predicts final collapse of sea ice within four years, published in 2012.  I wonder whether John Vidal’s science skills extend as far as adding 2012 and four. If so, this might help him understand why he’s not taken seriously.

But Vidal isn’t just a gullible idiot, he’s misleading readers with falsehoods. In his article today he claims that “Wadhams says what other scientists will not”, implying that other climate scientists agree with him but don’t want to speak out. Nothing could be further from the truth. Other climate scientists have publicly ridiculed Wadhams for his extreme views, with comments such as “ridiculous projections with no basis in physics”,  “Entertaining break with Wadhams. Back to science now” and “Hasn’t Wadhams already predicted 4 of the last 0 ice-free summers?”  Yet Vidal describes Wadhams as an “experienced and rational scientist”.

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Rising sea levels caused by global warming could be GOOD news for coral reefs

It all depends on your modelling

Global warming could do at least as much to protect the world’s coral reefs as it will to damage them, new research from Australia suggests.

Climate change has long been believed to be disastrous for the fragile marine environments, but fresh modelling has predicted that oceanic changes caused by the phenomenon will also work to the reefs’ advantage.

Rising sea levels, caused by melting polar ice caps, could help moderate the extreme and often damaging conditions found in many reef habitats, according to scientists at the University of Western Australia.

By studying reef systems off the coast of north-western Australia, they showed how rapid sea level rise could substantially reduce the volatile daily extremes of water temperatures in the shallow reef habitats over the next century.

The resulting changes, they say, may potentially ameliorate the other effects of global ocean warming.

Mounting levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide are predicted to cause substantial changes to ocean temperature over the next 100 years, increasing the frequency and severity of mass bleaching, where corals expel the symbiotic algae living in their tissues, turning them completely white.

In April scientists announced that 93 per cent of the famous 1,500 mile Great Barrier Reef, on Australia’s East Coast, had now been bleached as a result of an underwater heatwave caused by global warming.

The situation caused some scientists to urge the Australian government to decide which parts of the reef it wanted to save.

Reefs in the Caribbean and in other regions such as the Maldives have also been badly affected by bleaching.

Warming seas are part of a “triple punch” said to be hitting coral reefs as a result of global warming, along with ocean acidification, which makes it more difficult for corals to build and maintain their skeletons, and more frequent and powerful reef-wrecking storms.

The new research by Professor Ryan Lowe and his team is the first to attempt to predict in detail the positive effects rising surface levels on reef environments.

Temperatures within shallow reefs often differ substantially from the surrounding ocean, so predicting future patterns of bleaching and other stresses is difficult.

However, recent science has focused on trying to improve predictions of regional ocean warming patterns driven by long-term climate change, as well as by the intensification of short-term climate patterns such as El Nino.

Using a collection of detailed field measurements, Prof Lowe and his team developed a modelling framework for predicting how local temperature extremes in shallow reefs will change in the future as a result of rising sea levels.

They found that even a modest sea level rise could substantially reduce local reef water temperatures in the future, meaning the change may partially contribute to limiting reef heat extremes in an overall warming ocean.

Despite the international carbon emissions caps agreed at the Paris climate talks last year, atmospheric warming is still expected to rise to between 2.7 and 3C above pre-industrial levels, breaching the 2C threshold beyond which many scientists say heatwaves and significant sea level rises are inevitable.

In 2015 the United Nations World Heritage Committee agreed not to list the Great Barrier Reef as an “in danger” site, providing Australia reports back to the committee in December this year with an adequate account of what is being done to preserve the reef.

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Beyond The Spin: Alaska Village’s Demise Is More Complicated Than Yelling ‘Global Warming’

The Alaskan village of Shishmaref has voted to relocate because global warming puts its residents at risk of being washed away — or at least that’s the simplified narrative environmentalists and the media peddle.

Shishmaref, a small town of nearly 600 people just north of the Bering Strait, has become a poster child for global warming. It’s threatened by erosion and storm surge due to shrinking Arctic sea ice, and on Tuesday, its residents voted to relocate — they just don’t know where they’re going or how they’ll pay for it.

Shishmaref’s story, however, is much more complicated than news headlines suggest. A look back at the settlement’s history shows life there has always been precarious and always been at the mercy of nature.

“Within the next two decades, the whole island will erode away completely,” Esau Sinnok, a Shishmaref native and environmentalist, wrote to the U.S. Interior Department in 2015.

“To put this in perspective: I was born in 1997, and since then, Shishmaref has lost about 100 feet,” he wrote in his highly publicized essay. “In the past 15 years, we had to move 13 houses – including my dear grandma Edna’s house – from one end of the island to the other because of this loss of land.”

Sinnok’s essay is emblematic of how many understand the situation for Native American coastal villages across Alaska. The spectre of global warming is seen from Shishmaref to Newtok to Kivalina, and even the Isle de Jean Charles in Louisiana.

Read the news and you’ll hear the story of a people being forced out of their homes by erosion after 400 years. But that’s not the whole truth.

Take Shishmaref. People have been there for about 400 years, but only on a seasonal basis. Native Alaskans would traverse the the region looking for the best places to find food, and for part of the year, Sarichef Island had what people needed.

Oregon State University anthropologist Elizabeth Marino is one of the few scholars to really dig into Shishmaref’s history and why the settlement is located where it is today. Marino notes how Shishmaref didn’t become a permanent settlement until the 20th century after the “U.S. government pursued a deliberate policy of ending all nomadic lifestyles among Native Americans,” according to a review of her book by Alaska Dispatch News (ADN).

“The people of Shishmaref weren’t forcibly collectivized in the way that Natives were elsewhere in the country in the 19th century, but the government’s opening of a school in Shishmaref, coupled with the onset of compulsory education, had the same effect,” ADN wrote of Marino’s book.

In fact, Shishmaref isn’t even a native Alaskan name. The settlement is named after a Russian explorer who traversed the Alaskan coast in 1821.

At first, settling on Shishmaref made sense, but it was “always tenuous ground to build on,” ADN reported. Natives cobbled together homes on Sarichef Island out of whatever they could, so their kids could go to school.

But they built on permafrost, and that’s a risky bet without modern techniques and equipment to keep the sensitive frost from melting. Human settlement and rising temperatures melted the permafrost Shishmaref’s homes were built on, meaning basically sand was exposed and was washed away by storm surge. Combine that with shrinking Arctic sea ice levels, and you’ve got a big problem.

“They didn’t think about infrastructure or any of that because there was no such thing,” Dan Kish, the senior vice president for policy of the free market Institute for Energy Research, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“It wasn’t until the government came along and started handing out checks and delivering things that you needed to settle down so you could get it,” said Kish, who spent years traveling Alaska while working for the House committee overseeing U.S. natural resources.

But don’t think it’s just recent temperature rise that’s harmed Shismaref. Storm surge and erosion has been a problem for decades before scientists and activist began worrying about global warming.

Shishmaref is part of a chain of barrier islands — sand islands that are formed by storm surges and separated from the mainland by shallow bays. The Shishmaref barrier islands likely formed about 1,700 years ago, during a period of increased storminess, according to a 1999 study.

Storminess subsided after that until about 1,200 years ago, when they began to get fiercer again. The study suggests the Bering Strait region sea level has risen nearly five feet over the last 5,000 years.

“They built in a bad place,” said Kish. Even Marino noted Shishmaref residents had discussed relocating to mainland Alaska as early as the 1970s. Sea levels and erosion have been impacting the island for thousands of years.

An Uncertain Future

The U.S. government basically forced Shishmaref into existence and now the village is trying to get the feds to pay for their removal.

Shishmaref is at a breaking point. The town voted Tuesday to relocate, but the Army Corps of Engineers estimated in 2004 the removal could cost $180 million — that’s $320,000 per resident.

Federal officials have already given the town $27 million between 2005 and 2009 to stem erosion. Those measures only bought the town 15 years, according to The New York Times.

Some aren’t convinced the relocation will happen — two previous efforts to relocate were defeated over worries about leaving the town’s school behind. Opponents of moving don’t like the potential relocation sites on the mainland because they lack barge access.

It’s also unclear how they’ll pay for it all. Shishmaref is poor and would need millions from taxpayers.

Supporters of moving are somewhat optimistic since the Obama administration natives on the Isla de Jean Charles $48 million in January to relocate.

“I’m going to have to wait to see how all of this shakes down,” a Shishmaref resident told NYT over the phone. “There’s a number of questions to be answered before we can make a very serious attempt at moving.”

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