Sunday, August 19, 2018



A Greenie dilemma






‘It’s A Nightmare’: American Indians Blast Western States For Waging A War On Coal

Coastal states are using environmental regulations to destroy American Indians’ ability to produce coal, gas, and forms of energy required to lift communities up and out of poverty, according to one prominent American Indian tribe.

A handful of western states — led by Washington — are using EPA regulations to hamstring coal production and transportation, CJ Stewart, a Crow Tribal member and co-founder of the National Tribe Energy Association, told the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Thursday.

Stewart’s tribe is dependent on coal production for its survival.

“Tribal economies face many obstacles to success, and currently the economy of the Crow Tribe is facing a critical crisis,” Stewart told Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso and others on the panel. “While we are blessed with untold mineral wealth in oil, coal, and gas on the Crow reservation, regulatory roadblocks and political crisis force us to languish in poverty.”

“The tribe currently has an unemployment rate of 70 percent,” he added. “Imagine having a trillion dollars in mineral wealth under your feet and yet your people are starving and destitute before you. It’s a cruel nightmare.”

The Crow Tribe is heavily dependent on energy from coal and gas for its economic well-being. It has about 13,000 members and is the biggest employer on the reservation, which spans three states — Montana, North Dakota, and Wyoming, Barrasso’s state.

Outside of coal revenues, the tribe relies on funding from states and the federal government to employ about 900 people.

Stewart blamed the Section 401 of the EPA’s Clean Water Act, which was intended to provide states with a way to apply key water quality protections to federally permitted activities.

The U.S. holds more of the world’s coal reserves than any other country, Stewart told the panel, adding that the coal “mined by the Crow Nation is preferred by high-efficiency, low-emission power plants” that are in operation and being built around the world.

Washington has come under intense scrutiny in recent months over Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee’s decision in January to deny coal mining company Lighthouse Resources a permit to build an export terminal to ship western coal to Asia.

Lighthouse sued Inslee and the State’s Department of Ecology for allegedly violating the Constitution’s commerce clause in denying the permit for what would be America’s largest coal export terminal.

SOURCE 






Climate Obsession: Blinding Us to Real Environmental Problems

Are there bigger environmental concerns than climate change? Certainly. But we don’t hear that from our daily news anchors and bulletins.

Why are we obsessed with climate change?

Not long ago, our interests were limited only to weather. But in recent decades, climate change has dominated our news columns.

There is not a day without news on the coming climate doomsday. The reason for this is simple — climate change has been sold by the mainstream media as the most disastrous environmental phenomenon at hand.

But we can safely declare that they’re wrong. The world is not in immediate danger of collapsing due to climate change.

Arctic and Antarctic sea ice volume has never been higher in the last 11,700 years (except during the Little Ice Age of the 16th and 17th centuries), there is no dangerous rise in sea levels, polar bears are healthy, global agricultural outputs are at their highest levels, and there are no signs of global temperatures rising to levels we have not witnessed in the past 2,000 years.

But how about the other environmental problems we are currently facing?

Deforestation is a critical problem, and there are ongoing efforts across the globe to plant more trees. The climate alarmists’ propaganda has largely revolved around closing coal plants and implementing renewables, not planting more trees!

If anything, climate change has actually helped us recover our forest areas. Increasing carbon dioxide concentration levels and relatively warmer temperatures have helped plants grow at a much faster pace than before and also helped expand their ranges into high latitudes and high altitudes previously too cold for them.

Another major problem is the mismanagement of solid waste, especially plastic. The billions of dollars that are being currently spent on climate change mitigation policies could actually have been used for research and better solid waste management.

Water crisis is another major issue in tropical countries of Africa and Asia. Climate alarmists unsuccessfully tried to attribute the existing water crisis to man-made climate change despite no conclusive evidence.

Water is a sensitive resource in many parts of Africa and Asia. Rather than investing billions of dollars in substandard, inefficient, and unreliable renewable technology like wind and solar, the money could have been put to use in large-scale micro and macro water conservation projects.
In fact, the climate change empire’s biggest obsession has been wind and solar. Little do the public know that these two sources are environmentally hazardous and already causing a lot of environmental health issues in China and elsewhere.

Climate change is not people’s most pressing concern. Climate alarmists have done injustice to the environment by diverting people away from real environmental issues that need immediate attention.

Even worse, they have been forcing countries to adopt technologies that are harmful to the environment while providing little return.

The climate obsession has surely blinded us from focusing our efforts towards finding solutions that address real-world environmental problems. Instead we are stuck with mere hypothetical theories about unproven false forecasts of our climate.

Perhaps it is time individuals and local communities move beyond the climate rhetoric of media and climate alarmists and get involved in real-world environmental causes that will leave a positive impact on the environment.

SOURCE 





Mining Regulations Hamper Access to America’s Own Rare Earth Metals and Minerals

Australia is however developing its rare earth mines rapidly

China is President Trump’s favorite whipping boy when it comes to blaming other nations for our chronic international trade deficits. Good economists – a category that assuredly does not include the president’s trade advisor Peter Navarro – don’t worry at all about the balance of trade with any single trading partner. We look for other logical reasons explaining why the United States buys more goods from one nation than we sell to it.

A case in point: the rare earth minerals purchased by the armed forces and critical to national defense. America’s supplies of those materials depend heavily on imports from China and other unfriendly countries.

As a matter of fact, the U.S. Department of Defense procures 750,000 tons of minerals and metals every year. Many of them are essential for manufacturing armaments ranging from bullets, turbine engines, advanced radar and electronic warfare systems, to missiles.

The United States imports half of 50 critical minerals and 100 percent of 21 of them. The imports are shipped from many countries in various corners of the globe – South America, Australia, Africa and Asia. But the largest share by far originates in China or from mines located elsewhere that are owned by Chinese companies.

You might think that the national defense posture of the United States depends on imports of minerals and metals to such a great extent because we’ve run out of them. But you’d be wrong. There is no domestic shortage. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the United States is home to $6.2 trillion worth of minerals reserves. The problem isn’t a lack of resources, but a rather a burdensome regulatory policy toward mining that has pushed minerals production to other countries, most notably China.

Washington’s knee-jerk reaction to the trade imbalance in so-called rare earth minerals and metals is to amend the National Defense Authorization Act to forbid acquisition from China, Russia, Iran and North Korea of minerals used in the production of three of the most militarily sensitive products – tungsten components, samarium-cobalt magnets, and neodymium-iron-boron magnets.

The House approved the ban in an amendment to the defense measure that’s awaiting action by a House-Senate conference committee. The amendment, sponsored by Rep. Mark Amodei (R-NV), would also prohibit purchases by U.S. defense industries of eight other commodity minerals from adversarial nations. Copper, molybdenum, gold, nickel, lead, silver and certain fertilizer compounds would be added to a list of critical minerals.

Copper is essential in the production of jets, tanks, and warships; beryllium is used to enhance aircraft speeds and is vital for enemy surveillance technologies; rare earth minerals are used to manufacture night-vision goggles. The bill’s aim is to raise domestic prices and thereby stimulate investment in the domestic mining of these and other strategic minerals.

Trade protectionism always is a bad idea, although it would reduce imports and increase the quantities of minerals extracted here at home. But higher minerals prices caused by limiting supplies from overseas mines would add to an already bloated defense budget.

The good news is that Rep. Amodei’s amendment to the defense measure also would streamline the mine-permitting approval process from the 10 years it now takes to just two years, putting U.S. mining operations on the same regulatory footing as the requirements with which Australian and Canadian mines must comply. The Amodei plan includes formal review timelines and schedules for completing the permitting process, the goal being to lower the regulatory barriers that discourage domestic investment in critical minerals production.

Regulatory reform would help offset China’s comparative advantage in mining more effectively than banning imports from there or from any other country. U.S. dependence on imports of militarily critical minerals from unfriendly nations is less a problem of international trade policy than it is of domestic regulations that make it too costly to mine our own abundant domestic supplies.

Over-reliance on imported rare earth minerals, if it worries you, is our own fault. It can be fixed without inviting retaliation from our trading partners.

SOURCE 





Australian PM rolls over on climate nonsense

Australia is doing OK without a free trade agreement with the EU so lacking one is unlikely to be noticed. And it's very unlikely that the EU will tie trade to emissions reduction since they themselves are not meeting emission goals

Malcolm Turnbull's backflip on plans to legislate the Paris emissions reduction target could cost Australia billions.

Faced with the prospect of ten rebel MPs crossing the floor to vote against his National Energy Guarantee and a possible leadership challenge from Peter Dutton, Mr Turnbull capitulated in an attempt to secure his own political future.

But the move could spell the end of a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between Australia and the European Union.

Wine and designer goods from Europe would no longer fall in price, and the current five per cent vehicle tariff and luxury car tax would remain.

Australia's pursuit of a free trade agreement between the two 'like-minded' partners was made on June 18 in response to a successful 2017 when the EU was Australia's largest source of foreign investment.

The agreement is intended to open up the market for any Australian purveyor or business person.

Greater access to the EU market would enable Australian farmers to avoid EU tariff quotas on beef, sheep meat, sugar, cheese and rice.

On Friday Mr Turnbull put the deal at risk by dropping the government's plans to legislate the 26 per cent Paris emissions reduction target.

The prime minister instead proposed setting emissions targets by regulation, The Australian reported.

The plan will formally go to Cabinet on Monday night and will be discussed by the coalition party room on Tuesday.

Advice from the competition regulator that power prices would not increase as a result of the commitment will also be required.

The backflip comes after a group of right-wing MPs - led by Tony Abbott - told Mr Turnbull they would vote against his energy policy.

The heart of the policy was the controversial target to cut emissions by 26 per cent by 2030. The Liberal and Nationals MPs who are against NEG and appear willing to cross the floor include Mr Abbott, Andrew Gee, Andrew Hastie, Barnaby Joyce, Craig Kelly, Kevin Andrews, George Christensen as well as Keith Pitt.

Since then the group have urged Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to mount a leadership challenge following his 38th consecutive Newspoll loss to Bill Shorten's Labor Party.

While Mr Turnbull has the support of Simon Birmingham and Christopher Pyne, Mr Dutton is backed by Barnaby Joyce and Tony Abbott.

Mr Dutton confirmed on Friday he is considering all his options, including resigning his ministry and leading a mass exodus of Coalition MPs across the floor, Nine News reported.

Another Minister told Nine News: 'If the only way this thing gets up is with Labor's support then there is no way it will fly'.

'There are only two good outcomes here - either the energy policy is dead and we can go to the election fighting Labor on it, or Malcolm goes,' an unnamed MP told The Daily Telegraph.

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.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

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Friday, August 17, 2018



Unexpected effects of climate change: worse food safety, more car wrecks

I hate to be cliche but this study is comparing apples and oranges.  It compares unusually hot days with permanently hot weather.

I grew up in tropical Australia where our normal temperature range for most of the year was way higher than what Greenies fear for the rest of the world.

Our tempertures were often in the 90s F.  So were we lazybones who had lots of car crashes?  We would have heard all about it if it were so but we did not and when I moved to more temperate climes people's behaviour seemed no different from what I had been accustomed to. Though I suspect that we drank a bit more cold beer.  And here's the rub:  People MOVE there for the less stressful environment.  Lots of people like it hot.  So it cannot be too bad there can it!

What the Solons below overlook is that the human body has a considerable range of heat adaptation and if you are PERMANENTLY in a hot climate, you will adapt to it and the heat will become hardly noticed.

We always laughed at news of fatal "heat waves" in Britain.  Our WINTER temperatures were similar to British "heatwaves" yet we just went about our business with no accounts of "heatwave" deaths at all.

So the prophecies below can be dismissed as ignorant of human diversity


On excessively hot days, there are more likely to be fatal car accidents and food safety problems, and police officers and government food inspectors tend to do less of their duties, according to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientists, who analyzed data from across the United States, suggest that if the climate continues to change, by 2050 -- and in another 50 or so years beyond that -- our world may be less safe than it is today.

"The crux of the idea -- which is that weather affects how we perform our duties and how we go about our daily lives and the risks that we experience -- is indeed simplistic," said Nick Obradovich, co-author of the study and a research scientist at MIT's Media Lab.

What is not at all simple is that he and his colleagues used a "massive amount of data" to understand how temperature affects crucial government work, and this is the "first time, to our knowledge, that's been done."

"Hot temperatures are basically bad for human functioning," Obradovich said. This is the case across "a broad suite of things" that scientists have studied: Sleep quality, mood, mental health, risk of suicide and work productivity are all "harmed by hot temperatures."

So, do hot temperatures harm government workers' ability to do their jobs?

Obradovich and his colleagues analyzed data from more than 70 million police stops between 2000 and 2017 and more than 500,000 fatal motor vehicle crashes between 2001 and 2015. They also looked at nearly 13 million food safety violations (for restaurants and food production facilities) recorded across more than 4 million inspections between 2012 and 2016.

The researchers established the usual range of temperatures for cities and states and then examined "what happens if you have, all else equal, just an unusually warm day in that range?" Obradovich explained.

"So, let's say it's summer in Columbus, Ohio, and usually that day is, say, 90 degrees Fahrenheit, but today it is 92 degrees Fahrenheit."

Next, the research team asked, "on any given day, is this facility -- is this restaurant or food production facility -- inspected or not? And the probability that a facility is inspected goes down in hot temperatures," Obradovich said. "That's one of the main findings."

A similar picture emerged when the researchers examined traffic accidents and policing.

"What you see is that fatal crash incidence goes up in hot temperatures," Obradovich said. Here, an average temperature range of 30° C to 40° C (or 86° F to 104° F) produces an amplified risk of fatal car crashes of half a percentage point, the study finds.

"It also goes up in particularly cold temperatures, but you see a sharper increase in the hot temperature range," he said.
"So people are more likely to have a fatal crash in hot temperatures, but also, the probability of traffic stops -- the number of traffic stops that are conducted in a county on a given day when it is hot -- goes down," Obradovich said.

SOURCE 





New Docs Suggest EPA Staff Worked With Lobbyists To Thwart Repealing Obama-Era Fuel Regs

New documents show Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) comments critical of the Trump administration’s agenda were sent to the White House by an official whose name appeared in recently revealed emails suggesting agency staff colluded with lobbyists opposed to another deregulatory plan.

William Charmley, the director of the Assessment & Standards division at EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, sent at least two emails to White House officials in recent months with analysis critical of a Trump administration deregulatory effort.

One email sent June 18 included an EPA memo that criticized key aspects of the Trump administration’s plan to roll back Obama-era greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and trucks.

The memo sought “to soften the government’s proposal to ease vehicle emission standards,” according to Bloomberg, which first reported on the document Tuesday. EPA officials also “repeatedly questioned assumptions in NHTSA’s draft of the plan,” Bloomberg reported.

For example, the memo sent by Charmley noted the “proposed standards are detrimental to safety, rather than beneficial,” contradicting EPA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) public claims the rule would save 12,000 lives from fatal accidents.

EPA officials also disagreed with the “changes in prices, fuel economy, and other attributes expected to result” from increased new car sales from rolling back fuel economy rules, the memo noted.

EPA and NHTSA jointly announced a plan in August to roll back Obama-era climate regulations on cars that aimed to achieve an average fuel economy of over 50 miles per gallon by 2025.

The administration said suspending those rules would save money and lives by making safer cars more affordable.

“These emails are but a fraction of the robust dialogue that occurred during interagency deliberations for the proposed rule,” EPA spokesman John Konkus said in an emailed statement.

“EPA is currently soliciting comments on eight different alternative standards and we look forward to reviewing any new data and information,” Konkus said.

However, this is not the first time Charmely has appeared in a public release of documents. His name also came up in emails released earlier in 2018 suggesting Michigan-based EPA officials colluded with trucking lobbyists to undermine the Trump administration’s agenda.

Charmely emailed with Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) lobbyist Matthew Spears about a study used by opponents of EPA plans to repeal Obama-era rules on glider trucks, according to emails obtained by JunkScience.com publisher Steve Milloy.

In the emails, Charmley tells Spears the anti-glider study was nearing completion and laid out positions taken by trucking industry opponents of gliders.

The study was never sanctioned by EPA leadership, was not peer-reviewed and bore no official agency markings, but environmentalists and industry opponents of glider kits — trucks with used engines — used it to bolster their case.

Emails show Volvo lobbyist Steven Berry worked with EPA career officials to procure gliders for the study, and Charmley was also contacted by Volvo lobbyist Susan Alt about opposition letters to glider kit deregulation.

Alt somehow obtained a copy of the EPA’s findings, which she touted during a December 2017 public hearing on EPA’s proposal to repeal regulations on glider kits. It’s unclear how she got the study, which was never publicly released.

Four federal lawmakers asked EPA’s Office of Inspector General to investigate communications Charmley and other officials had with opponents of repealing glider kit regulations put in place by the Obama administration in 2016.

“When EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt repealed the current glider rule, career employees at the EPA communicated with the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) with the intent of eliminating the glider industry,” four GOP lawmakers, led by Rep. Bill Posey of Florida, wrote to EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins in June.

“In our opinion, EPA’s conduct undermines the current Administration’s policies and prevents the repeal of the rule,” Republicans wrote.

SOURCE 





Nir Shaviv: The missing link between exploding stars, clouds and climate on Earth

Nir Shaviv is co-author along with Henrik Svensmark and others of a major new paper in Nature Communications titled Increased ionization supports growth of aerosols into cloud condensation nuclei. He has a write up at his Sciencebits blog. Here’s the introduction:

Our new results published today in nature communications provide the last piece of a long studied puzzle. We finally found the actual physical mechanism linking between atmospheric ionization and the formation of cloud condensation nuclei. Thus, we now understand the complete physical picture linking solar activity and our galactic environment (which govern the flux of cosmic rays ionizing the atmosphere) to climate here on Earth though changes in the cloud characteristics. In short, as small aerosols grow to become cloud condensation nuclei, they grow faster under higher background ionization rates. Consequently, they have a higher chance of surviving the growth without being eaten by larger aerosols. This effect was calculated theoretically and measured in a specially designed experiment conducted at the Danish Space Research Institute at the Danish Technical University, together with our colleagues Martin Andreas Bødker Enghoff and Jacob Svensmark.

Background:

It has long been known that solar variations appear to have a large effect on climate. This was already suggested by William Herschel over 200 years ago. Over the past several decades, more empirical evidence have unequivocally demonstrated the existence of such a link, as exemplified in the examples in the box below.

The fact that the ocean sea level changes with solar activity (see Box 1 above) clearly demonstrates that there is a link between solar activity climate, but it can be used to quantify the solar climate link and show that it is very large. In fact, this “calorimetric” measurement of the solar radiative forcing is about 1 to 1.5 W/m2 over the solar cycle, compared with the 0.1-0.2 W/m2 change expected from just changes in the solar irradiance. This means that a mechanism amplifying solar activity should be operating—the sun has a much larger effect on climate than can be naively expected from just changes in the solar output.

Over the years, a couple of mechanisms were suggested to explain the large solar climate link. However, one particular mechanism has accumulated a significant amount of evidence in its support. The mechanism is that of solar wind modulation of the cosmic rays, which govern the amount of atmospheric ionization, and which in turn affect the formation of cloud condensation nuclei and therefore how much light do the clouds reflect back to space, as we now explain.

Cosmic Rays are high energy particles originating from supernova remnants. These particles diffuse through the Milky Way. When they reach the solar system they can diffuse into the inner parts (where Earth is) but lose some energy along the way as they interact with the solar wind. Here on Earth they are responsible for most of the ionization in the Troposphere (the lower 10-20 km of the atmosphere where most of the “weather” takes place). We now know that this ionization plays a role in the formation of cloud condensation nuclei (CCNs). The latter are small (typically 50nm or larger) aerosols upon which water vapor can condense when saturation (i.e., 100% humidity) is reached in the atmosphere. Since the properties of clouds, such as their lifetime and reflectivity, depends on the number of CCNs, changing the CCNs formation rate will impact Earth’s energy balance.

The full link is therefore as follows: A more active sun implies a lower CR flux reaching Earth and with it, lower ionization. This in turn implies that fewer cloud condensation nuclei are produced such that the clouds that later form live shorter lives and are less white, thereby allowing more solar radiation to pass through and warm our planet.

SOURCE 




Germany’s Failed Climate Goals. A Wake-Up Call for Governments Everywhere

Germany, the nation that did more than any other to unleash the modern renewable-energy industry, is likely to fall short of its goals for reducing harmful carbon-dioxide emissions even after spending over 500 billion euros ($580 billion) by 2025 to overhaul its energy system.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government is grappling with the implications of failing to sufficiently raise the renewable share. Those may include extending the life of the most polluting fossil-fuel plants and scaling back future climate pledges under the landmark Paris Agreement, negotiated by more than 190 countries in 2015.

A shortfall in Germany is an ominous signal for other nations struggling to reach their own targets. Emboldened by its prowess in engineering and a consensus across all political parties in favoring green energy, Germany was the first major economy to make a big shift in its energy mix toward low-carbon sources.

Germany’s emissions miss should act as a “wake-up” call to all countries, said Gail Whiteman, professor of environment sustainability at the U.K.’s Lancaster University. “It does not necessarily mean that China or India or even the U.S.A. can’t cut their emissions. The key point is that we need a new kind of climate leadership, both at the nation-state level and across all other actors including companies and mayors.”

Falling short on greenhouse-gas goals has implications for the planet. Scientists have linked the heatwave in the Northern Hemisphere this season to climate change. Higher temperatures shut down power plants across Europe, ignited forest fires in California and shrank glaciers atop Sweden’s highest mountain.

That’s worried scientists, who fear they may have underestimated the impact of rising carbon emissions. “The human fingerprint on rising temperatures was clear in the heatwave this year,” said Michael Mann, a professor of atmospheric science at Penn State University.

“Stalled weather systems caused by a weakening and changing jet stream are probably playing with the unprecedented weather extremes we’re seeing around the world, with human-caused climate change playing a likely role here,” Mann said.

Germany stepped up as a leader on climate change at the start of the century, pioneering a system of subsidies for wind and solar farms that sparked a global boom in manufacturing the technologies.

Merkel, who as environment minister in the 1990s sketched some of the first international climate deals organized by the United Nations, in 2007 pledged to slash emissions by 40 percent by 2020 compared to 1990 levels. She backed that up with more than 100 measures in order to meet that goal. The reductions Germany achieved didn’t have a big impact on the picture for global emissions because of an increase in emissions from developing nations.

“At the time they set their goals, they were very ambitious,” recalled Patricia Espinosa, the lead United Nations envoy on climate change. “It was a political statement that the chancellor was trying to make. What happened was that the industry—particularly the car industry—didn’t come along. Technically they can do it. Economically they can do it. But it’s political.”

Even without hitting the targets, Germany’s energy agenda is having a big impact on the mix of fuels used to generate electricity. Renewables are close to replacing coal as the primary source, and natural gas use is declining. The real problem is that Germany is also also trying to phase out nuclear reactors, a response to the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi meltdown in Japan. And with the 2020 goals looking like a stretch, there’s increasing concern that tighter goals the country is planning for 2030 will be completely out of reach.

“The challenge looks really difficult,” said Andreas Loeschel, head of the government commission monitoring Germany’s energy transition. “There was too much confidence that renewables would do the trick. It’s about getting dirty energy out of the mix.”

Shutting down nuclear plants is leaving Germany short of generation plants that can work on the breezeless dark days in winter when wind farms and solar plants won’t provide much to the grid—and demand is at its peak. Another problem: When it’s windy and bright, the grid is so flooded with power that prices in the wholesale market sometimes drop below zero.

The result is a puzzle for politicians. The Bundestag enacted legislation to make sure climate targets are hit, including stringent rules governing energy use, a new building code to make buildings carbon neutral and a utility bill charge that would subsidize investment in green energy.

But grid managers need to keep the lights on. To do that, some big generators like RWE AG are anticipating the government may have to allow some coal plants to remain working longer than ministers would like.

Other nations are looking at how Germany acts if only because many other big polluters have a bigger problem in making reductions. Germany’s economy is dominated by services that require less energy and produce less carbon than places tilted toward industry and manufacturing. China, which is the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions, has a larger share of its economy tied to factories and therefore will find it harder to make reductions.

SOURCE 





Sydney rock oysters getting smaller as oceans become more acidic due to climate change

EVERYTHING is caused by climate change!  The study behind the article below does not yet appear to be online. None of my usual search techniques located it anyway.  So I am a bit handicapped in commenting on it.

I would for instance like to know details of the survey technique they used to arrive at their conclusion that Sydney oysters are  shrinking.  Without representative sampling no generalizations are possible.  My bet is that they did not do comprehensive and representative sampling.

But in the absence of that information, we can still detect some dubious conclusions.  If there has been a decline, how do we know it is due to global warming?  We do not know.  There could be many other causes of the effect.  The most obvious alternative cause would be disease.  Oysters are prone to all sorts of disease stressors: QX disease, POMS disease and many more.  And given the frequency of such attacks there are probably some as yet undetected diseases at work.

Oyster farmers believe that acidic runoff from the land adversely affect oysters.  Susan Fitzer says that has recently been reduced but again I would like details of that assertion and the surveys on which it is based.

And sewage runoff is known to affect oysters.  And there seems little doubt that the breakneck expansion of the Sydney population is putting a lot more sewage into the ocean. (Yes. Sydney does do that).  Could that adversely affect oysters?

And the alleged acidity is in fact reduced alkalinity. Does any level of alkalinity affect oysters?  I can't see why it should.

And the "acidity" is said to be a result of increased global warming.  But, according to the satellites,  global temperatures have been  falling for the last couple of years.

Furthermore the entire prediction that acidity will increase in the oceans is deliberately dishonest. If, as Warmists predict, the world will warm, that will make the oceans warmer too. And as water warms it OUTGASES CO2, as every drinker of coca cola can observe. Those bubbles in your coke are outgassed bubbles of CO2, outgassed as the drink warms. And less CO2 means less carbonic acid. So a warming ocean will become more ALKALINE.

The Warmists try to have it both ways, saying the oceans will be both warmer and more acidic.  But that flies in the face of basic and easily demonstrable physics.  But they are only pretend scientists so I guess that is OK

And we read here that  ancient planktonic foraminifer shells were still going strong at CO2 levels 5 times higher than today. That sounds like a good augury for oyster shells.

So I think we can say with some confidence that the causal chain suggested by Susan Fitzer is rubbish on a number of counts


The famous Sydney rock oyster is shrinking as oceans become more acidic, new research has found.

In news that will rock seafood lovers, a study released overnight by academics in the UK found oysters in New South Wales have become smaller and fewer in number because of coastal acidification.

It’s part of what researchers fear is a worldwide trend driven by climate change and coastal runoff.

Headed by University of Stirling academic Susan Fitzer, the study looked at oyster leases at Wallis Lake and Port Stephens, both on the NSW coast north of Sydney.

They make up the two largest Sydney rock oyster production areas in NSW.

The study found the oysters’ diminishing size and falling population is due to acidification from land and sea sources, part of a global trend.

“Sydney rock oysters are becoming smaller and their population is decreasing as a result of coastal acidification,” Fitzer said.

“The first thing consumers will notice is smaller oysters, mussels and other molluscs on their plates, but if ocean acidification and coastal acidification are exacerbated by future climate change and sea level rise, this could have a huge impact on commercial aquaculture and populations around the world.”

The risk to oyster populations around the globe from soil runoff has long been recognised.

In 2014 oyster farmers in Port Stephens released an industry-driven environmental management policy which recognised that damage to oyster leases from the drainage from acid-sulphate soils was both “likely” to occur and “severe” in consequence.

But Fitzer’s research argues that run-off is not caused by agricultural activity and is rather the consequence of the impacts of climate change.

“A lot of work has been done near to Australia’s oyster fisheries to mitigate the impact of sulphate soils causing acidification, and there has been a marked decline in levels,” she said.

“The run-off from sulfate soils aren’t produced by agricultural activity, they occur as a natural result of climate change-driven increases in rainfall and sea-level rise.

“But the trend persists and small changes in pH are having a huge impact on these molluscs.”

Increased acidification affects oyster growth by limiting the amount of carbonate in the water.

“Acidic water is damaging oysters’ ability to grow their shells. We see lots of disorder in the calcite layers, because there isn’t enough carbonate in the water for the oysters to draw on for optimal shell formation and growth,” Fitzer said.

“This is the first time that the Sydney rock oysters’ shell crystallography has been studied, and we now know disruption to this process could have a significant impact on Australian aquaculture,” she said.

Fitzer’s research was published in the Journal of Ecology and Environment.

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.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

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

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Thursday, August 16, 2018


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE 






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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE 





UK: Bob Ward Complains To IPSO–And Loses!

IPSO = Independent Press Standards Organisation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2018/01/20/global-warming-theorists-tripping-explain-americas-cold-winters/

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

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

1) Some recent US winters had been exceptionally cold.

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

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

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

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

Findings of the Committee

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

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

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

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

Conclusions

21. The complaint was not upheld.

https://www.ipso.co.uk/rulings-and-resolution-statements/ruling/?id=01570-18

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE 





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

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



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

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

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

The same, for example, is true for Nikko.

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

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

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

JMA data in fact show no warming

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

Over 90% of rural stations show cooling or no trend

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

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




Australia: Token battery being installed to back up wind power

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stabilising the grid

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.  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

*****************************************

Wednesday, August 15, 2018



The Greenie fairy tale

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE 






Study: Climate change could threaten dairy industry in Lancaster County

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE 





Climate change alarmism doesn’t help Lancaster county farmers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE 




Tesla cars melt in the rain

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE 




Australian Center-Right government still trying to square the circle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.  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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Tuesday, August 14, 2018



Warming is good for flamingos!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE 





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Southern Europe may salvage EU maize harvest but huge imports loom

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

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

SOURCE 




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE 





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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE 





Paris Agreement To Cost Australia $52 Billion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.  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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