Monday, May 30, 2016



Trump freaks the Greenies

WHEN you think of saving the planet, Donald Trump probably isn’t exactly the first name to come to mind.

He’s previously described global warming as “an expensive hoax!”, warned Obama that the Environmental Protective Agency is “an impediment to both growth and jobs”, and admitted he’s “not a big believer in man-made climate change”.

But the Republican frontrunner’s latest speech was something next-level. Speaking at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismarck, the capital of oil-rich North Dakota, Trump proudly trumpeted a series of anti-environmental measures to be enforced if he becomes President.

If elected President, Donald Trump said he would pull the United States out of the UN global climate accord, and slash environmental regulations on the energy industry if elected President.

“We’re going to cancel the Paris climate agreement,” he said, vowing to oppose “draconian climate rules”. He also pledged to axe any funding for United Nations programs related to global warming.

The Paris Agreement is basically a big international effort to reduce global warming and move towards more clean sources of energy.  America’s own commitments are to cut emissions by 26 to 28 per cent under 2005 levels by 2025.

But now, Trump has basically dumped all over that, effectively sending a global message that America is not with the rest of the world on this issue.

Less than a fortnight ago, he said he wanted to rewrite the agreement, claiming it wasn’t fair for the US.  “I will be looking at that very, very seriously, and at a minimum I will be renegotiating those agreements, at a minimum,” he said in an interview with Reuters. “And at a maximum I may do something else.”

He also said we should never give “foreign bureaucrats control over how much energy we use”.

But with the pledge to scrap it entirely, Trump has clearly cranked things up a notch. He’s previously stated that he doubts other big emitters — namely China — will actually meet the pledge to scale up its use of renewable energy technologies, thus he believes the US shouldn’t have to.

China signed the Paris Agreement last month, and pledged to honour its commitment. It was the 21st country to do so.

Here’s the thing: the Paris Agreement can’t come into force until at least 55 countries accounting for 55 per cent of global emissions formally agree to “join”. The US is the world’s second biggest emitter (next to China), and biggest historical emitter.

While Trump’s speech was met with loud applause from oil executives, environmental activists have been quick to criticise his comments, deeming his proposals “frightening”.

“Trump’s energy policies would accelerate climate change, protect corporate polluters who profit from poisoning our air and water, and block the transition to clean energy that is necessary to strengthen our economy and protect our climate and health,” said Tom Steyer, a billionaire environmental activist.

In the same speech yesterday, Trump said he wanted to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada.  “I would absolutely approve it, 100 per cent, but I would want a better deal,” he announced. “I want it built, but I want a piece of the profits. That’s how we’re going to make our country rich again.”

The Keystone XL pipeline is a proposed pipe of 1897km, which would run from the oil sands in Alberta, Canada, to Nebraska in the US. It would have the capacity to carry 830,000 barrels of oil each day.  Canada already sends 550,000 barrels of oil per day to the US, so this proposal would heavily increase that, making the US less dependent on the Middle East.

President Obama refused to approve the XL pipeline late last year, on the basis that the consequences for the planet would be too great. For the environmental movement, this decision was a huge symbolic victory.

Environmental experts have cited a number of reasons to oppose the pipeline’s approval. Some say developing the oil sands will make fossil fuels a lot more available, meaning there’ll less likely be a push towards renewable energy.

They’ve said Keystone will multiply emissions and speed up climate change — a view shared by Obama — which will plague Americans with toxic air pollution and have severe consequences for Americans’ health.

But Trump is having none of it. “As bad as President Obama is, Hillary Clinton will be worse,” he warned. “She will escalate the war with the American worker like never before and against American energy.”

He attacked both Clinton and Bernie Sanders, saying their policies would kill jobs and force the US “to be begging for oil again” from Middle Eastern producers.

He was especially hard on Clinton, saying her “agenda is job destruction” and warning that she would put coalminers out of work. “Hillary Clinton will unleash the EPA to control every aspect of our lives, and every aspect of energy,” he said. “They’ll make it impossible for the workers.”

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Democrats urged the Interior Department Friday to reverse four decades of easy lease approvals for coal in favor of clean energy and climate change goals

"The fact that 90 percent of federal lease sales since 1990 had single bidders suggests that Western coal markets are structurally non-competitive," reads a letter sent by 14 Senate Democrats to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Friday.

"Too often the government has been a passive auctioneer, rather than a steward," the letter reads. "Given the diverse sources of electricity generation available today and the high costs of climate change, the current policy is unwise and outdated."

The letter was led by Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington and Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, the top Democrats on the energy and environment committees, respectively.

Jewell enacted a moratorium on new coal leases earlier this year, as the Interior Department re-evaluates how it treats coal under the federal leasing program in light of the social costs of mining and its environmental impacts.

The senators say they want the agency to get the science right, given coal's contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions, blamed by scientists for raising the temperature of the Earth. They also want the agency to address the "huge disparity" between the high cost of burning coal and the "low, short-term return from selling it."

The senators point out that the effects of mining a ton of the public's coal may rebound for centuries and damage other opportunities to use the land for recreation, water supply management and wildfire resilience, as well as for grazing cattle and harvesting timber.

The senators want Jewell to get the leasing policy right, giving it "teeth." They say previous policies have encouraged the government to make obtaining mining leases an easy process due to the energy shortages of the 1970s.

"Given the diverse sources of electricity generation available today and the high costs of climate change, what may have been a wise policy in the context of fuel shortages and disruptions in the 1970s is now unwise and outdated," they write.

In the 1970s, most U.S. power plants were fueled by petroleum. The Arab oil embargo placed electricity supplies in jeopardy, forcing the government to push the industry toward greater coal use. Some power producers from that era, perplexed by the current direction of the administration, readily point out the irony.

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Unprecedented? Central England Warming Of 1692 – 1737 Twice As Fast As Late 20th Century Warming!

The Warmunists are fond of stating that the warming in the late twentieth century was unusual and unprecedented, and could only have been caused by rising CO2. They refuse to recognize that the early twentieth century warming was just as rapid. Of course that statement is also based on the lack of data for earlier times.

But there ARE data for earlier times. The Central England Temperature (CET) data set extends all the way back to 1659 and has been maintained to this day. Here is a window into an early 90-year section of that data set, overlaid with the last 90 years.



Figure 1 is CET and GHCN temperatures from 1925 to the present, compared to CET temperatures from 1660 to 1750. The 45-year span from 1692 to 1737 is highlighted in red.

If the trends for all three 90-year data sets are compared, they are nearly identical, from 0.084 to 0.091°C per decade warming.

But the 45-year span from 1692 to 1737 was warming at nearly five times that rate, 0.4°C per decade. This warming rate is more than twice as fast as the late twentieth century rate, for twice as long.

Central England warmed by two degrees, three degrees if one measures from the coldest year to the warmest in that interval. For comparison, here is the GHCN data for the modern period.



Figure 2 is the modern era from GHCN with the modern warming in red and the early twentieth century warming in green.

Please note that I have picked the time period with the most warming in that interval, including from the bottom of the 1976 La Niña to the top of the 1998 El Niño. The early twentieth century warming began with the 1914-15 El Niño. If the El Niño and La Niña events are removed, both warming periods have a trend of about 0.16°C per decade. The 0.4°C/decade warming period from 1692 to 1737 must have been very scary for the eighteenth century climatologists.

It all came to an abrupt end, however, in 1739 and 1740. The temperature dropped three degrees practically overnight in climate terms. See figure 1. What caused that? A volcano!

On the southern end of Hokkaido, in Japan, there is a large caldera called Shikotsu. It is now filled with a lake. This caldera was formed about 35,000 years ago. On the edge of the caldera three volcanic vents have been intermittently active since then. One of those, Tarumai, (or Tarumae) is active to this day, including four VE5, very large eruptions in 6950 BCE, 800 BCE, 1667, and 1739. Though both the 1667 and 1739 eruptions were classed as VE5, the 1739 event pushed enough gas into the stratosphere to affect global climate.

“In the northern hemisphere density of yearly tree ring [sic] have changed in AD 1740 (Briffa et al., 1998) suggesting the eruption of 1739 affected global climate.”

Sheveluch, on Kamchatka, is also implicated, but that eruption was only a VE3.

The resulting cold caused the “Great Irish Frost” of 1740, where Irish harbors and rivers froze over, preventing import of grain, frost killed the potato crop, and 20 to 30% of the Irish population died of cold and famine. The cold affected all of northern Europe, but was a disaster for Ireland due to the politics of the time. For a scholarly treatise on it see The Irish famine of 1740–1741: famine vulnerability and “climate migration”, here. The implication is that the good years prior to 1740, made Ireland in particular, vulnerable to a cold snap. This is the thing to be feared in our future rather than continued warming.

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British Households could be charged annual ‘insurance premium’ for access to electricity grid

Every UK household could have to pay an annual “insurance premium” for access to the UK electricity grid, under plans to overhaul the way networks are paid for.

Energy regulator Ofgem is worried that people who can afford to install solar panels and generate their own power for much of the day may end up not paying their fair share of the costs of the UK’s electricity pylons and cables.

Dermot Nolan, chief executive, told the Telegraph the question of how to charge for networks in an equitable way a “huge challenge” facing the UK energy system in coming years. Currently, the cost of maintaining and upgrading the networks is factored into the prices energy suppliers charge for electricity, accounting for about £140 a year on a typical household bill.

Households that install their own panels will need to buy less electricity, so will avoid paying as much toward the costs of the network.

“One of the biggest challenges for the country in energy… is how will you charge for the grid in that kind of situation?”

Mr Nolan said the regulator was thinking about the issue “pretty intensively” and had not yet decided the solution. However, he said one option would be for households to “basically pay an insurance premium for access to the grid”.

Mr Nolan said the issue would be “difficult” to resolve as “people might feel ‘I’ll pay it when I need it’” but this would not reflect “the fact there is an infrastructure there and you have to pay for it”.

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Rebutting Climate Alarmism with Simple Facts

The answers below are not necessarily the ones I would give but they should be useful nonetheless -- JR

What to do if you don’t believe that man-made emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are causing a global warming catastrophe? Here are some ready-made responses, the next time someone questions you.

Q. You don’t believe in global warming?

Yes, I do. The earth has warmed by roughly 0.8 degrees Celsius over the past century or so.

Q. You don’t believe in climate change?

Yes, I do. The earth’s climate has changed several times, just in the past 1,000 years.

Q. CO2 levels are rising and the earth is warming.

Carbon dioxide concentrations have risen from roughly 0.028% of the earth’s atmosphere in the late 1800s to the current 0.040%. However, solar output has also increased significantly in that time. If the correlation between solar variability and the climate swings of the past few thousand years is any indication, this rise in solar activity offers a valid explanation for the overall increase in temperatures seen over the past century.

Q. Solar activity and temperature trends don’t match up in recent years.

Solar activity actually peaked somewhere around the middle of the 20th Century, and at elevated levels not seen since the Medieval Warm Period (1,000 years ago) or the Roman Warm Period (1,800 years ago.) Solar activity remained at this high level through the start of the 21st Century, with temperatures rising at the same time. While the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claims that changes in solar “irradiance” have little impact on climate, other research argues that accompanying variations in the solar wind and solar magnetic field contribute significantly to changes in global climate. In fact, Russian scientists studying solar variability now worry that declining solar activity could lead to globally cooler temperatures by 2030.

Q. But CO2 levels are the highest in 800,000 years.

CO2 levels in the atmosphere are currently among the lowest ever recorded in the earth’s long history. The past 800,000 years is a convenient timeframe to cite, however, since the earth has undergone repeated glacial cycles in that time—which has reduced atmospheric CO2.

Q. CO2 is a greenhouse gas. More CO2 means more warming.

CO2 possesses a major limitation as a greenhouse gas, and one that casts doubt on its ability to function as the sole agent of climate change. As demonstrated in laboratory studies, CO2 exponentially loses heat-trapping capacity as its concentration increases. This happens because, even in minuscule quantities, CO2 quickly becomes opaque to a certain spectrum band of infrared radiation. Essentially, CO2 rapidly absorbs all of the infrared radiation it can. Adding additional quantities of CO2 to the atmosphere will not contribute much additional heat-trapping function. CO2 is also a “well-mixed gas,” which means that its concentrations are distributed throughout the atmosphere. Consequently, its heat-trapping function is essentially reaching a saturation point throughout the troposphere and stratosphere.

Q. But higher CO2 levels mean higher temperatures. I saw that graph in “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Al Gore left out a key point when citing the parallel relationship between historical levels of atmospheric CO2 and temperature. Carbon dioxide dissolves in water, with cold water able to hold more CO2 than warm water. When the climate cools, the oceans cool—and draw in more CO2 from the atmosphere. When the climate warms, as seen at the start of the most recent interglacial period (roughly 18,000 years ago), the oceans gradually warm, releasing CO2 into the atmosphere. (A good visualization for this is a bottle of soda kept in hot sunlight. If the temperature rises high enough, the bottle will leak or burst— because the warmer soda water is no longer able to hold all of the dissolved CO2.) The point is, when global temperatures change, atmospheric CO2 inevitably follows along.

Q. Scientists say that CO2 is warming the earth.

Yes, CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and it helps to maintain warmth in the atmosphere. But as noted above, CO2’s heat-trapping function is essentially saturated by the current level of 0.04%. Furthermore, climate models actually project that most of the presumed “man-made” warming will come from an increase in atmospheric water vapor. The principal idea of “anthropogenic global warming” (AGW) is that the small amount of additional warming contributed by CO2 (before it becomes saturated) will cause more water vapor to enter the atmosphere. Since water vapor is the primary greenhouse gas of the atmosphere (and is responsible for roughly 80% of the “greenhouse effect”), this water vapor will create “positive feedback” for further warming. Unfortunately, the AGW theory essentially disregards the cooling feedback caused by clouds (since atmospheric water vapor inevitably transitions to cloud cover.) Clouds provide net cooling by reflecting solar radiation back into space, shading ground surfaces, and producing rain (which not only cools surface temperatures but also scrubs atmospheric CO2.)

Q. But 97% of scientists believe in global warming.

What’s most amusing is that, truthfully, no one really knows how many scientists there are in the world. Or what they all think about global warming. Or how many of them work in relevant scientific disciplines. However, the “97% consensus” is a flawed statement. Only 32.6% of the papers examined in the infamous John Cook study actually stated a position endorsing anthropogenic global warming. However, 97% of those said that “recent warming is mostly man-made.” And so what we have is a misleading statement that has become misrepresented and cited as fact. (Interestingly, there is a website called The Petition Project that lists more than 30,000 scientists who have publicly declared their disagreement with the theory of catastrophic man-made warming.)

Q. 2015 was the hottest year ever, and now 2016 is even hotter.

The warm temperatures experienced in 2015-2016 are the direct result of a strong El Nino.

Q. El Nino is caused by global warming.

El Nino is a naturally occurring phenomenon. It happens when prevailing winds start to fade after several years of progressively “piling up” water in the western Pacific Ocean. This surplus, warm water washes back over the eastern Pacific, releasing tremendous amounts of heat. 2015’s spike in temperatures was due to El Nino. It would be dishonest and inaccurate to claim that 2015’s increase in surface temperatures was simply due to man-made warming. And even climate “alarmists” admit that El Nino is not a manifestation of man-made warming.

Q. The “pause in global temperatures” is just people denying that the earth is getting hotter and hotter.

Satellite measurements from both UAH-Huntsville and RSS clearly show a “pause” in global temperatures (I.e. a net flatlining of temperatures) over the past 15-20 years. As the current El Nino fades, it’s reasonable to expect a resumption of recent global temperatures. More significantly, the “pause” has been the subject of numerous debates and research papers. Climate alarmists don’t deny that it has happened, and instead offer varying explanations. Even Michael Mann, creator of the infamous “Hockey Stick” graph, says that the pause occurred and was not foreseeable.

Q. NOAA says there’s no “pause” in global warming.

There is legitimate concern as to the accuracy and reliability of recent temperature measurements being reported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA.) Last year, NOAA reported adjustments to global temperature records that suddenly “erased” the pause. I.e. Earlier decades were revised to be “cooler,” while recent years were suddenly marked as “warmer” by factoring in measurements that included seawater temperature readings from the engine manifolds of ocean-going vessels. Various academic papers have debunked NOAA’s “new” temperature findings, but NOAA’s revised measurements continue to be used to make claims such as “warmest year ever.” The questionable methods utilized by NOAA to assemble its “pause buster” study are now the subject of a Congressional investigation.

Q. But the oceans are becoming acidic.

The oceans remain comfortably alkaline, as they have for millions of years. As noted above, atmospheric CO2 levels have typically ranged far higher throughout the earth’s history, yet the oceans never became acidic. In fact, if they had, submarine fossil layers would have readily dissolved. Claims of the ocean “becoming acidic” are actually a misrepresentation of variations in the ocean’s pH scale. Seawater has typically measured roughly 8.18 on the pH scale. Recent, pH levels of 8.10 have been noted, which would mean slightly less alkaline oceans. But it’s misleading to say that the oceans are “becoming acidic,” particularly when ocean pH often varies greatly, based on season and location.

Q. But the glaciers are melting.

Even NASA has stated that Antarctica’s ice cover is growing, not shrinking.

Q. But there are more hurricanes and more tornadoes.

The U.S. has reached a record 127 months without a major hurricane. The U.S. is also at its lowest 3-year tornado total since 1950.

Q. But we need to cut dangerous carbon pollution.

The “carbon pollution” you hear so much about is carbon dioxide, also known as CO2. It’s what all animals (including humans) breathe out, and what plants absorb. In fact, rising CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere have led to a progressive “greening” of global plant life in recent decades. Because atmospheric CO2 is at such historically low levels, the world’s plants and oceanic phytoplankton are currently rejoicing in this slightly more abundant supply of nourishment.

To conclude, it’s helpful to study the basic issues involved in the climate debate (as well as recent geologic history) when considering various aspects of global warming.

SOURCE  





Far from bleached, reef’s in the pink

West Australian coral is doing fine while Queensland (Eastern) coral is extensively bleached.  So any pretense that the Queensland situation is part of a global phenomenon is at least dubious.  There's some very confused thinking about El Nino and La Nina below.  The journalist appears to have the two mixed up

Scientists have discovered that the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef off the West Australian coast — the largest fringing reef in Australia — has escaped any recent coral bleaching and that some areas are in the same condition as 30 years ago.

CSIRO ecologist Damian Thomson said yesterday a major study of the reef that ended this month had found that Ningaloo was unaffected by the current bleaching "event” that has hit Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef and other reefs off WA’s northern coast.

He said the research — funded by CSIRO and BHP Billiton through a $5.4 million partnership — showed Ningaloo was more resilient than expected.

"It’s really pleasing that Ningaloo hasn’t undergone any bleaching — it’s fantastic news actually,” Mr Thompson said.

The clean bill of health will be welcomed by the tourism industry around Exmouth, a town ­reliant on thousands of visitors visiting the reef every year ­between April and July to snorkel with migrating whale sharks. Later this year, tourists will also be able to swim with humpback whales, which is expected to double the length of Exmouth’s $6m tourist season.

Conservationists are worried about the human impact on the reef and have also raised concerns in recent years about ­increased oil and gas exploration — including by BHP — close to Ningaloo Marine Park.

Mr Thomson said while coral bleaching remained a possible future threat to the reef, the sheer number of people visiting the area was its major challenge.

"It’s a relatively small tract of reef when you look at the extent of the Australian coastline, but the number of people that love holidaying there or going there for other activities, it is very well used. That is probably the main challenge, managing that.”

Mr Thomson said bleaching tended to occur on Australia’s west coast during La Nina years, when strong currents from ­Indonesia pushed warm water south to Ningaloo. But during the recent El Nino, those strong currents had not ­occurred, ­resulting in cooler waters.

CSIRO research surveyed 70 sites at Ningaloo and found no coral bleached at locations where bleaching was recorded in 2010. At Osprey, on the western part of Ningaloo, results were as good as those taken in 1987. Ningaloo was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2011 for its biological diversity and conservation significance.

The findings are for the first year of field work undertaken by the Ningaloo Outlook project, which aims to increase the ­ecological understanding of the reefs.

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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Sunday, May 29, 2016



Climate change could destroy Statue of Liberty, Venice and many other parts of the world's heritage, UN report warns

And pigs could fly. There is NO evidence for any of the prophecies below.  It is just speculation based on global warming theory -- a theory with so many holes in it, it might as well be a sieve.

The present day events described are just cherry-picking.  One could easily pick other events leading to the opposite conclusion -- like the fact that the world's biggest body of glacial ice -- Antarctica --  is INCREASING in size, suggesting a future sea-level FALL.  Or how about Munshi's demonstration that the increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere are NOT the result of burning coal and oil?

You cannot prove a generalization by picking a few bits of data here and there.  You need statistics that cover ALL events of the type discussed.  And sea level rise is not ordinarily detectable in most of the world


The Statue of Liberty and many of the world’s most important heritage sites could soon be destroyed by global warming, the UN has warned.

Historic sites including Orkney and the world’s most important coral reefs already feeling the effect of the increasing temperatures and climate disruption that is coming with global warming. But that same trend could completely destroy them and other parts of the world’s heritage, according to a new report.

The danger shows the “urgent and clear” need to address climbing temperatures to protect many parts of the world’s heritage, according to the report, which was compiled by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), UN heritage body Unesco and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The study took in 31 natural and cultural World Heritage sites, spread across 29 countries. It looked at the ways that the effects of climate change – including intense weather and damage to animal’s habitats – would effect them in the future.

Climate change will - or is already - exacerbating problems faced by some of the world's most famous and popular heritage sites, such as the Galapagos Islands, which helped Charles Darwin form his theory of evolution, the study found.

Threats to the unique wildlife caused by 205,000 visitors a year, invasive species and illegal fishing are now being joined by rising seas, warming and more acidic oceans and extreme weather.

In the UK, at Stonehenge, warmer winters are likely to boost populations of burrowing animals that could disturb archaeological deposits and destabilise stonework.

Hotter drier summers could increase visitor numbers and change the plant species which stabilise the chalk downlands, causing more soil erosion, while Stonehenge, Avebury and Silbury Hill face increased rainfall and flash floods.

More severe problems threaten the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage site, where many archaeological sites are on the coast due to the importance of the sea in Stone Age life, and at least half are under threat from coastal erosion

Five-thousand-year-old Skara Brae, the best-preserved Stone Age dwelling complex in Western Europe with houses and stone furniture, is the most high profile site at risk of eventual loss of coastal erosion, the study said.

Lead author of the report and deputy director of the climate and energy programme at UCS, Adam Markham, said: "Orkney and the whole of Scotland is the poster child for eroding archaeology sites.

"There are thousands of them and many of them are being lost to coastal erosion and storms.

"If sea level rise and storms get worse because of global warming then we are going to be losing huge amounts of British heritage directly into the sea," he warned.

Other sites around the world that are at risk from coastal erosion include Easter Island, with its famous head statues, many of which are situated close to the sea, he said.

The Grand Canal in Venice by sunset. © Getty Images The Grand Canal in Venice by sunset. Elsewhere sites which bring in important tourism revenue could be particularly badly hit, such as Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park where rising temperatures could affect the habitat of endangered mountain gorillas.

Mr Markham said: "The report is representative of the kind of threats these iconic places are experiencing, some are in direct and immediate danger.

"At every one of these sites we can see the impacts of climate change already. Not in every place is it threatening it yet but it will threaten it in the future."

New York's Statue of Liberty was badly hit by Hurricane Sandy, with £68 million given for repairs and protection to the area, while more intense hurricanes are expected with climate change and sea level rises likely to cause more significant storm surges.

And Venice, with its extraordinary Byzantine, gothic, renaissance and baroque architecture, is under immediate threat from rising sea levels and work to protect it from flooding has cost £4 billion, the report said.

Mechtild Rossler, director of Unesco's World Heritage Centre, said: "Globally, we need to better understand, monitor and address climate change threats to World Heritage sites.

"As the report's findings underscore, achieving the Paris Agreement's goal of limiting global temperature rise to a level well below 2C is vitally important to protecting our world heritage for current and future generations."

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It takes The Donald

Republican presumptive presidential nominee, Donald Trump, acknowledges love from a fan while speaking to 7,500 people at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismarck on Thursday. Trump, whose support from North Dakota national convention delegates put him over the top for securing the party’s nomination earlier Thursday, told the crowd he’d eliminate regulation he says is killing the fossil fuel industry as well as be favorable to additional pipeline projects and exports of American oil.

Trump, whose support from North Dakota national convention delegates put him over the top for securing the party’s nomination earlier in the day, told the crowd he’d eliminate regulation he says is killing the fossil fuel industry as well as be favorable to additional pipeline projects and exports of American oil.

Thunderous applause greeted Trump’s declaration that in his administration there’d be an “America-first energy plan.”

“We will accomplish a complete American energy independence,” Trump said. “We’re going to turn everything around. We are going to make it right.”

He thanked the North Dakota delegates for putting him over the top. “I will always remember that,” Trump said.

For those hoping to witness a dose of the sharp rhetoric that’s been a staple of his unconventional and eyebrow-raising campaign, he didn’t disappoint.

Trump vowed to reverse the energy policy of President Barack Obama’s administration, which he said has been devastating to industry and inflicted pain on states such as North Dakota that rely heavily on the energy sector.

“If President Obama wanted to weaken America, he couldn’t have done a better job,” Trump said.

Among the policies he’d push to undo is the Environmental Protection Agency’s emissions rules targeting coal-fired power plants. The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year voted 5-4 to halt implementation of the rules governing new and existing power plants for now.

“How stupid is that?” Trump said of the emissions rules.

He also slammed the Environment Protection Agency’s Waters of the United State rule, which he said would cause significant damage to American energy production and kill jobs.

Trump had the crowd in the palm of his hand, a sea of people dotted with Trump hats and shirts with his campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.” He drew wave after wave of raucous applause when outlining how optimistic he is at the prospect of North Dakota and the country’s energy future.

“You’re at the forefront of a new energy revolution,” said Trump, adding that the country has unlocked energy reserves previously unimaginable with new technologies, such as hydraulic fracturing. “We’re loaded. We had no idea how rich we are.”

The first 100 days of a potential Trump administration also riled up the crowd: He said he’d rescind executive orders by Obama that he believes are job killers as well as work to eliminate the emissions and water rules.

When considering any federal regulations, Trump said his litmus test would be simple.

“Is this regulation good for the American worker?” Trump said.

Those who heard Trump speak gave his speech an enthusiastic thumbs-up.

“I think from what we see on TV he had a much more detailed presentation. He was really well-informed on the issues,” Whitney Bell, of New Town, said.

Bell said the crowd was fantastic and responded well to Trump's message, which he reiterated was more detailed than mere sound-bites.

Jason Bohrer, president of the Lignite Energy Council, said he was impressed with Trump’s focus on deregulation.

“I heard what I wanted to hear and more. Trump is a different kind of politician; he communicates in a way that a lot of other people don’t,” Bohrer said.

North Dakota Petroleum Council President Ron Ness said he was thrilled by how the speech went as well as the overwhelming reaction from the crowd.

“I’ve been to a lot of Class B state championships in this building; this was equal to that,” Ness said. “The energy just rolled in.”

Ness said his America-first message resonated with people and he expects it to become a staple of his campaign.

“That speech was loaded with specifics. He backed that up with a lot of numbers. I didn’t hear anything that isn’t achievable,” Ness said.

Trump tapped Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., earlier this month to help in providing him with energy policy advice. Cramer wrote a white paper on energy policy relating to federal regulations, the importance of the fossil fuel industry and other topics, which hasn’t yet been released.

Cramer was one of the first members of Congress to openly endorse Trump prior to his last opponents dropping out of the race.

North Dakota Republican Party chairman Kelly Armstrong said he heard what he needed to hear from Trump on eliminating government regulations, reducing taxes and protecting the energy industry. As chairman, Armstrong is one of North Dakota’s 28 delegates to the national Republican Party convention July 18-21 in Cleveland.

“Tremendously good for the people of North Dakota,” Armstrong said of Trump’s positions.

SOURCE  





Independent Scientists WARN: ‘Most Currently Published Research Findings Are FALSE…’

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of [The New] England Journal of Medicine” — These are the words of Dr. Marcia Angell, a physician and longtime editor-in-chief of The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), which is considered to be one of the most prestigious peer-reviewed science journals in the world.

psi 1The Lancet, another top, well respected peer-reviewed medical journal also publishes research findings that are unreliable and many times false. The current editor-in-chief, Dr. Richard Horton recently spoke out about the fake science often published in the prestigious medical journal. “The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness,” he warns, as reported by Collective-Evolution.com.

Many of the industry-sponsored studies being published today are used to promote new drugs and vaccines. One thing is for sure: Money has its influence on “science.” To make matters worse, what ultimately gets published and promoted is what is ultimately believed by medical professionals.

The most disturbing realization about today’s leading published “science” is that it’s leaving out important information from the public. Dr. Horton points this out, extensively. This scientific fraud exists in the most prestigious peer-reviewed medical journals, and it’s been going on for decades. He has observed instances where data is manipulated to promote a particular theory. He says there’s hardly any accountability when bad practices are used. He even calls himself out for being part of the problem, aiding and abetting some of the worst behaviors.

It’s not just theory. Lucija Tomljenovic, PhD, from the Neural Dynamics Research Group in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of British Columbia, reveals that pharmaceutical companies and vaccine manufacturers explicitly know about multiple dangers with their products but that information is withheld from the public.

In her research paper, “The vaccination policy and the Code of Practice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI): are they at odds?” Tomljenovic reveals eight disturbing assertions obtained from documented meetings between 1983 and 2010 involving the UK Department of Health (DH) and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

For many years, the two health authorities have been engaged in “Deliberately concealing information from the parents for the sole purpose of getting them to comply with an ‘official’ vaccination schedule.” Lucija Tomljenovic points out that this “could thus be considered as a form of ethical violation or misconduct.”

“Instead of reacting appropriately by re-examining existing vaccination policies when safety concerns over specific vaccines were identified by their own investigations,” Tomljenovic points out, the “JCVI either a) took no action, b) skewed or selectively removed unfavourable safety data from public reports and c) made intensive efforts to reassure both the public and the authorities in the safety of respective vaccines.”

The fraudulent methods by which drug and vaccine research is conducted and published is appalling. Peer-reviewed studies consistently downplay safety concerns of new drugs while over-inflating vaccine benefits. Even though many vaccines have “unresolved safety issues,” they are pushed just so health authorities can increase vaccination rates. This is clearly not scientific or in the public interest.

The drug makers would like you to think that you are deficient and in need of their formulations, but you are not their property, and you are not their experiment.

SOURCE




Party of Science?

The argument over Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) has exposed an interesting method of delegitimizing opposing points of view. For many supporters of AGW, “the science is settled” because 97% of scientists have decreed man-caused catastrophic climate change to be stone-cold fact (despite overwhelming evidence of fraud, data manipulation and deceit .)

Yes, they have “SCIENCE!” on their side and only a fool or a Luddite would argue with “SCIENCE!” Therefore, if you disagree with them, you are, by definition, a fool and your argument can simply be ignored.

It’s an incredibly simplistic, yet effective tactic. By assuming the mantle of the “Party of Science”, they attempt to claim the intellectual high-ground , making their beliefs beyond reproach. How could anyone argue against the facts unless they deny “SCIENCE!”?

Lately, however, “SCIENCE!” seems to have taken a back seat to “feelings”, as these “Party of Science” members repeatedly deny honest-to-goodness science in deference to their agenda. A few examples:

Fracking:

For years, we’ve been told that fracking is hazardous to the environment. The process of fracturing shale rock miles below the surface of the earth to increase oil production has driven many of the “Party of Science” into fits. Movies have been made decrying this “evil practice” and professing to show the harm this process does to ground water. Of course, those movies are nothing more than Michael Moore-esque agitprop, virtually devoid of anything that approaches actual facts.

But that does not stop such high-ranking members of the “Party of Science” as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, as he continues to uphold his ban on fracking in his state, to the detriment of his state’s economy and citizens, even in the face of a federal report showing that that it is not harmful.

Recently, the University of Cincinnati completed a three-year study into the potential harm of fracking to local water supplies. The results? There is absolutely no evidence that fracking contaminates local ground water whatsoever. Great news, right? Well, not to those who funded the study.

Under pressure from the backers of the study, the University will not release the results. According to lead researcher Amy Townsend-Small, “our funders, the groups that had given us funding in the past, were a little disappointed in our results. They feel that fracking is scary and so they were hoping our data could point to a reason to ban it.”

SCIENCE!

Women in Combat:

In a move referred to as “another historic step forward”, Defense Secretary Ash Carter ruled that women would now be allowed to serve in all combat roles in the US Military, including front-line roles. The stated reason for this decision was to increase the potential pool of people upon which to draw to fill these roles. The unstated reason, of course, is to increase diversity within our armed forces, whether it makes sense to do so or not.

And, of course, it doesn’t make sense. Recently, both the US Army and the US Marine Corps conducted studies to determine the impact that women serving in front-line combat positions would have on those combat units. The results showed that, while some women can perform at or above the minimally required levels currently in place, the overall effectiveness of the combat unit is dramatically reduced.

Well, to be fair, that was the result of the Marine Corps’ study. It turns out that the Marines, as they tend to do, took their job seriously and actually performed comprehensive and complete testing, in accordance with the Department of Defense’s required methodology. And then released the full and complete report for analysis.

The Marine Corps study has been and continues to be ignored.

The US Army’s study, however, came back with the politically desired results. But soon after that study was released, it was discovered that the women in their tests were given extra training, special treatment, and were held to lower standards. When the details of this now-questionable study were requested by Congressman Steve Russell (R-OK), a former Army Ranger, he was informed, after weeks of delay, that the records had been destroyed. Convenient, don’t you think?

But how old-fashioned to think that facts should mean anything when the “Party of Science” knows what’s best for us. Putting women in front line combat roles is fair and diverse and stuff. So what if it puts all of our military men and women at a greater risk?

Minimum Wage Laws:

The push for a so-called “living wage” has become almost a mantra among the “Party of Science” crowd. Someone, somewhere, somehow decided that $15/hour is a “living wage.” Where that number came from is still a mystery, but who cares? #Fightfor15! #LivingWages!

And as fun as it has been to watch rich, well-positioned politicians and other members of the community formerly known as “reality-based” pretend to live on what they assume to be starvation wages (“oh my, when did the price of dried kiwi and quinoa become so high?”), this fight is causing real harm in the real world.

For example, the city of Seattle, WA recently implemented a $15 minimum wage. The result? Huge job losses inside the Seattle city limits, compared to huge job growth in the surrounding communities. Also, business growth inside Seattle has slowed to a crawl, while it is booming elsewhere. So instead of helping low wage earners, higher minimum wages actually hurts them. Who could have seen that coming?

And it will only get worse. Businesses that normally depend on unskilled and younger workers are looking at automation, in order to reduce their staffing needs. Yes, Virginia, when it costs less to buy a machine to do your job than it does to hire you, business owners will buy the machine.

It is interesting to note that some “Party of Science” members do recognize their cognitive dissonance.  As he signed into law an increase in the California’s minimum wage, Gov. Jerry Brown freely admitted that higher minimum wages are not economically viable. But who cares about that? It makes sense morally and politically! (Try saying that from the unemployment line as opposed to the Governor’s mansion.)

Genetically modified crops are safe. Party of Science doesn’t care. Vaccines do not cause autism. Party of Science doesn’t care. Gender identity is not fluid and transgenderism is a psychological disorder similar to anorexia and should be treated as such. Not so, says the Party of Science, and you shall not only accept, but celebrate the choices made by these brave yet tortured souls.

I could try to analyze why so many people work so hard to make the rest of us reject reality for their fantasies, but I think the motivation behind this effort was explained quite brilliantly many years ago:

“You believe that reality is something objective, external, existing in its own right. You also believe that the nature of reality is self-evident. When you delude yourself into thinking that you see something, you assume that everyone else sees the same thing as you. But I tell you, Winston, that reality is not external. Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else. Not in the individual mind, which can make mistakes, and in any case soon perishes: only in the mind of the Party, which is collective and immortal. Whatever the Party holds to be the truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party. That is the fact that you have got to relearn, Winston. It needs an act of self- destruction, an effort of the will. You must humble yourself before you can become sane.” – O’Brien (George Orwell – ‘1984’)

SOURCE  






Bill Nye the Scientism Guy

Facts don’t support his hypothesis, so he shouts louder, changes subjects and attacks his critics

Willie Soon and István Markó

True science requires that data, observations and other evidence support a hypothesis – and that it can withstand withering analysis and criticism – or the hypothesis is wrong.

That’s why Albert Einstein once joked, “If the facts don’t fit your theory, change the facts.” When informed that scientists who rejected his theory of relativity had published a pamphlet, 100 authors against Einstein, he replied: “Why 100? If I were wrong, one would be enough.”

In the realm of climate scientism, the rule seems to be: If the facts don’t support your argument, talk louder, twist the facts, and insult your opponents. That’s certainly what self-styled global warming “experts” like Al Gore and Bill Nye are doing. Rather than debating scientists who don’t accept false claims that humans are causing dangerous climate change, they just proclaim more loudly:

Our theory explains everything that’s happening. Hotter or colder temperatures, wetter or drier weather, less ice in the Arctic, more ice in Antarctica – it’s all due to fossil fuel use.

Climate scientism aggressively misrepresents facts, refuses to discuss energy and climate issues with anyone who points out massive flaws in the manmade climate chaos hypothesis, bullies anyone who won’t condemn carbon dioxide, and brands them as equivalent to Holocaust Deniers.

In a recent Huffington Post article, Mr. Nye “challenges climate change deniers” by claiming, “The science of global warming is long settled, and one may wonder why the United States, nominally the most technologically advanced country in the world, is not the world leader in addressing the threats.”

Perhaps it’s not so settled. When the Australian government recently shifted funds from studying climate change to addressing threats that might result, 275 research jobs were imperiled. The very scientists who’d been saying there was a 97% consensus howled that there really wasn’t one. Climate change is very complex, they cried (which is true), and much more work must be done if we are to provide more accurate temperature predictions, instead of wild forecasts based on CO2 emissions (also true).

Perhaps Mr. Nye and these Australian researchers should discuss what factors other than carbon dioxide actually cause climate and weather fluctuations. They may also encounter other revelations: that climate science is still young and anything but settled; that we have little understanding of what caused major ice ages, little ice ages, warm periods in between and numerous other events throughout the ages; that computer model predictions thus far have been little better than tarot card divinations.

As for Nye’s assertions that “carbon dioxide has an enormous effect on planetary temperatures” and “climate change was discovered in recent times by comparing the Earth to the planet Venus” – those are truly bizarre, misleading, vacuous claims.

The relatively rapid increase in atmospheric CO2 over the last 30 years has produced only 0.2°C (0.4°F) of global warming – compared to a 1°C (1.8°F) total temperature increase over the past 150 years. That means the planetary temperature increase has slowed down, as carbon dioxide levels rose. In fact, average temperatures have barely budged for nearly 19 years, an inconvenient reality that even the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) now recognizes.

This is an “enormous effect”? By now, it is increasingly clear, the proper scientific conclusion is that the “greenhouse effect” of rising atmospheric carbon dioxide is very minor – as a recent article explains. Mr. Nye and his fans and fellow activists could learn a lot from it.

Objective readers, and even Mr. Nye, would also profit from reading a rather devastating critique of one of The Scientism Guy’s “science-is-easy” demonstrations. It concludes that the greenhouse effect of CO2 molecules is of course real, but Mr. Nye’s clever experiment for Al Gore’s “Climate Reality Project” was the result of “video fakery” and “could never work” as advertised. When will Messrs. Nye and Gore stop peddling their Hollywood special effects?

For that matter, when will they stop playing inter-planetary games? Mr. Nye and the popular media love to tell us that carbon dioxide from oil, gas and coal could soon turn Planet Earth into another Venus: over-heated, barren, rocky and lifeless. Princeton Institute of Advanced Study Professors Freeman Dyson and Will Happer show that this is utter nonsense.

For one thing, Venus is far closer to the sun, so it is subjected to far more solar heat, gravitational pull and surface pressure than Earth is. “If we put a sunshade shielding Venus from sunlight,” Dr. Dyson notes, “it would only take 500 years for its surface to cool down and its atmosphere to condense into a carbon dioxide ocean.” It’s not the high temperature that makes Venus permanently unfriendly to life, he adds; it’s the lack of water.

Second, the amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide are grossly disproportionate. Earth has barely 0.04% carbon dioxide (by volume) in its atmosphere, whereas Venus has 97% and Mars has 95% CO2. Mars much greater distance from the sun also means it has an average surface temperature of -60°C (-80°F) –underscoring yet again how absurd it is to use planetary comparisons to stoke climate change fears.

Third, Earth’s atmosphere used to contain far more carbon dioxide. “For most of the past 550 million years of the Phanerozoic, when multicellular life left a good fossil record, the earth’s CO2 levels were four times, even ten times, higher than now,” Dr. Happer points out. “Yet life flourished on land and in the oceans. Earth never came close to the conditions of Venus.” And it never will.

Fourth, Venus’s much closer proximity to the sun means it receives about twice as much solar flux (radiant energy) as the Earth does: 2637 Watts per square meter versus 1367, Happer explains. The IPCC says doubling atmospheric CO2 concentrations would be equivalent to just 15 W/m2 of additional solar flux. That’s nearly 100 times less than what Venus gets from being closer to the Sun.

Fifth, surface pressure on Venus is about 90 times that of the Earth, and strong convection forces increase the heating of surface air, he continues, making Venus’s surface even hotter. However, dense sulfuric acid clouds prevent most solar heat from ever reaching the planet’s surface. Instead, they reflect most sunlight back into space, which is “one of the reasons Venus is such a lovely morning or evening ‘star.’”

Of course, none of these nerdy details about Earth-Venus differences really matter. We already know plant life on Planet Earth loved the higher CO2 levels that prevailed during the Carboniferous Age and other times when plants enjoyed extraordinary growth.

However, even burning all the economically available fossil fuels would not likely even double current atmospheric CO2 levels – to just 0.08% carbon dioxide, compared to 21% oxygen, 78% nitrogen, 0.9% argon and 0.1% for all other gases except water vapor. And doubling CO2 would get us away from the near-famine levels for plants that have prevailed for the past tens of millions of years.

Carbon dioxide is absolutely essential for plant growth – and for all life on Earth. Volumes of research clearly demonstrate that crop, garden, forest, grassland and ocean plants want more CO2, not less. The increased greening of our Earth over the past 30 years testifies to the desperate need of plants for this most fundamental fertilizer. The more CO2 they get, the better and faster they grow.

More than 70% of the oxygen present in the atmosphere – and without which we could never live – originates from phytoplankton absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Keep this in mind when Bill Nye The Junk Science Guy tells you carbon dioxide is bad for our oceans and climate.

Dr. Willie Soon is an independent scientist who has been studying the Sun and Earth’s climate for 26 years. Dr. István Markó is a professor of chemistry at the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium and director of the Organic and Medicinal Chemistry Laboratory.

Via email




Australia’s secret ETS starts in five weeks

Quietly, surprisingly, Australia’s climate change policy has become a bipartisan emissions trading scheme, or ETS … well, almost. The parties might try to manufacture differences for the election campaign, although they haven’t yet, and anyway they don’t really exist.

From July 1, coincidentally the day before the election, the Coalition’s “safeguard mechanism” within its Direct Action Plan will come into force.

One-hundred and fifty companies, representing about 50 per cent of Australia’s total carbon emissions, will be capped by legislation at their highest level of emissions between 2009-10 and 2013-14.

If they emit less than their caps, they will get credits, called Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs), which were created by the Gillard government’s 2011 legislation; if they emit more, they have to buy ACCUs on the market.

The caps specifically include the electricity sector and the ACCUs are “financial products” under both the Corporations Act and the ASIC Act, and can be traded, so an ETS market will be established from July 1.

It is, in short, a classic cap-and-trade ETS, similar in effect to the one legislated by the ALP in 2011, but which unwisely started with a fixed price that could be labelled a carbon tax, and was repealed on July 17, 2014 by the Abbott government, with high-fives and champagne.

What hasn’t been announced or included in the Coalition’s legislation yet is that the caps will start to be reduced from next year, which will make it even more similar in some ways to the Gillard government’s Clean Energy Act 2011.

The legislation that included the Coalition’s ETS was passed by the Senate — with the support of both the ALP and the Greens — on its last day of sitting in 2015, in December.

As it happens, that was the day before the Paris climate conference, called COP 21, got underway, at which an agreement to keep the global temperature increase to 2 degrees was signed by 189 countries, including Australia.

The emissions caps imposed on 150 companies are described by the government as a “safeguard mechanism” to support the Emissions Reduction Fund that is the centrepiece of the Direct Action Plan, in which companies bid at auction for the right to be paid to reduce their emissions. Those auctions have so far resulted in 143 million tonnes of abatement at an average price of $12.10 per tonne, which is much lower than had been forecast by the scheme’s opponents.

The Department of Environment’s website says: “The safeguard mechanism will protect taxpayers’ funds by ensuring that emissions reductions paid for through the crediting and purchasing elements of the Emissions Reduction Fund are not displaced by significant increases in emissions above business-as-usual levels elsewhere in the economy.”

But depending on the gradient of cap reduction that is decided next year, the safeguard itself could end up becoming the central pillar of Australia’s response to the Paris agreement.

That’s because the government almost certainly can’t afford to pay for enough abatement under the auction system to meet its Paris commitments, given the state of the budget.

In fact, the safeguard mechanism becomes a way for the government — Coalition or Labor — to adjust the budget deficit: reducing the “safeguard” caps faster would reduce the amount that the ERF would have to pay out.

The interesting question is why no one is talking about any of this. Obviously the 150 companies involved know about it, and it’s all described in full on the department website, but the fact that Australia has effectively legislated an emissions trading scheme is virtually a secret.

So far, climate change has been absent from the election campaign and will probably remain so — because fundamentally the parties agree now. The only disagreement is likely to be rate of the reduction in the caps, and no one is ready to talk about that yet.

In fact, the idea of a cap-and-trade scheme has been part of the Coalition’s climate policy since well before Greg Hunt went from shadow minister to Minister for the Environment in 2013. He made it a condition of his appointment by Tony Abbott that the science of climate change would be accepted and the emissions reduction target would not change.

Within that, he and Abbott constructed a policy position that could more or less credibly be argued as achieving the abatement targets, while at the same time satisfying three requirements: differentiating their policy from the ALP, not increasing electricity prices and not upsetting the far right of the Coalition.

When Malcolm Turnbull became leader and Prime Minister last year, amazingly, he did not fully understand his party’s climate policy, and in particular the inclusion of a cap and trade ETS, because Hunt had never discussed it in Cabinet. Apparently, he was pleasantly surprised, but decided to maintain radio silence, as part of his broader efforts to keep the conservatives onside.

The whole process has been a remarkable strategy by Hunt: he has effectively steered an emissions trading scheme into Australia’s response to climate change through a ferociously polarised political debate.

It’s arguably a bit like Nixon in China — only a conservative minister could have done it.

The key has been not talking about the ETS part of the policy and to emphasise the lack of a price on all emissions. He hasn’t exactly kept it secret, since it’s in the legislation, but nor has he talked about it publicly and nor has anyone else.

Both the Greens and the ALP passed the legislation in December, even though they probably could have blocked it. Why? It’s because they basically agree with it and want to use the mechanism if elected.

Will it work? That depends on the gradient of the cap reductions when they start. The key is that an ETS has now been legislated in Australia and can be adjusted to fit requirements, either budgetary or political.

Will it result in higher electricity prices? Almost certainly. Shhh.

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, May 27, 2016



20th century global warming may have been due to decreasing aroma from trees

The finding below are particularly interesting in the aftermath of Munshi's demonstration that the buildup of CO2 in the atmosphere is NOT of anthropogenic origin. So therefore anthropogenic CO2 emissions CANNOT explain the slight degree of global warming seen in C20. So what does explain it? The best explanation so far is Svensmark's theory that variations cosmic rays reaching earth affect cloud formation and that earth was substantially shielded from such rays by enhanced solar activity in C20.

The finding below builds on that and looks at another factor that could affect cloud formation.  It finds that aromatic output from trees can encourage clouds.  So the extensive deforestation that occurred during C20 could have reduced clouds and caused some warming.  Now that deforestation has on a global scale run most of its course, therefore, we should have a C21 temperature stasis -- which is exactly what we do have.  We may have seen the complete end of a warming period

What I say above is just an attempt to put in layman's terms what Lubos Motl says below.  My apologies to Lubos if he thinks he had already done that


CLOUD, the experiment that measures the birth of clouds at CERN, has released new papers:

CLOUD has done lots of measurements of the processes that are needed to create clouds which, as many kids have noticed, usually cool down the weather.

The experiment has been taking place at CERN because the cosmic rays (emulated by the CERN's sources of beams) are important for the creation of the cloud (condensation) nuclei. Even in the new papers, cosmic rays are found to increase the nucleation rate by 1-2 orders of magnitude.

Recall that the Sun's activity may influence the cosmic ray flux, and therefore its variations may be responsible for "climate change". Svensmark's theory generally argues that a stronger solar activity means a more perfect shielding of the cosmic rays, therefore less cloudiness, and therefore warmer weather.

However, the focus of the new papers is on something else than the cosmic rays: the molecules that should be present for the cloud nuclei to emerge and surpass the critical mass.

It's been generally thought that the sulfuric acid was almost necessary. Chimneys (or volcano eruptions etc.) should increase cloudiness. However, there have been inconclusive hints in some papers that some organic molecules are enough. You may have worried: How could have the clouds existed in the past, before the chimneys were built?

Jasper Kirkby and collaborators have found out that the molecules known as "aroma of the trees" may indeed do the same job and that is decisive in the pristine environments without chimneys.

More precisely, the molecules that can do the job are the "highly oxygenated molecules" (HOMs) which are produced by ozonolysis of α-pinene. The lesson for "global warming" seems clear: deforestation may decrease the amount of aroma from the trees, and therefore the amount of clouds, and it may therefore lead to global warming.

This may be the explanation of the changes in the 20th century and because the deforestation is over, so may be "global warming".

SOURCE





Season Approaches: U.S. Hits Record 127 Months Since Major Hurricane Strike

With hurricane season set to start next week, Tuesday marks a record 127 months since a major hurricane has made landfall in the continental United States, according to statistics compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Hurricane Research Division, which keeps data on all the hurricanes that have struck the U.S. since 1851.

The last major hurricane (defined as a Category 3 or above) to hit the U.S. mainland was  Hurricane Wilma, which made landfall in Florida on Oct. 24, 2005.

Although a major hurricane typically strikes the U.S. about once every two years, no major hurricanes have made landfall in the U.S. for more than 10 and a half years.

The second longest stretch between major hurricane strikes was between the major hurricane that struck in August 1860 and the one that struck in September 1869, NOAA records show. The third longest stretch was between the major hurricane that struck in September 1900 and the one that struck in October 1906.

Wilma was one of four major hurricanes – including Hurricanes Dennis (July 10, 2005), Katrina (Aug. 29, 2005) and Rita (Sept. 24, 2005) - that came ashore in the U.S. during the 2005 hurricane season. (The season starts on June 1 and runs through November 30.)

Hurricanes Wilma, Rita and Katrina killed almost 4,000 people and caused an estimated $160 billion in damage that year, making it “one of the most active hurricane seasons in recorded history,” NOAA said in a statement marking the 10-year anniversary of the 2005 hurricane season.

Because of the massive death and destruction caused by Wilma, Rita, Katrina and Dennis, their names have been retired by the National Weather Service.

“On average, 12 tropical storms, 6 of which become hurricanes, form over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, or Gulf of Mexico during the hurricane season,” according to NOAA.

“Over a typical 2-year period, the U.S. coastline is struck by an average of 3 hurricanes, 1 of which is classified as a major hurricane (winds of 111 mph or greater)” on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Such storms are capable of causing “devastating” or “catastrophic” damage.

The current drought in major hurricane activity is a “rare event” that occurs only once every 177 years, according to a study published last year by researchers at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) entitled The Frequency and Duration of U.S. Hurricane Droughts.

NOAA’s official “2016 hurricane season outlook will be issued on May 27th,” Dr. Gerry Bell, hurricane climate specialist at the agency’s Climate Prediction Center, told CNSNews.com.

However, there is a chance the 127-month record will be broken this year with the decline of the 2015-2016 El Nino, a warming of the ocean surface, that was one of the three strongest on record. There is a 75 percent chance of a transition to La Nina, a cooling of the ocean surface, by this fall, according to NOAA.

Dr. Philip Klotzbach, a meteorologist and hurricane specialist at the University of Colorado, tweeted that based on data going back to 1878, major hurricane activity is more likely to happen during the La Ninas that follow El Ninos.

According to The Weather Channel, last winter’s El Nino “played a significant suppressing role in the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season…. The odds may shift a bit toward a more active Atlantic hurricane season in 2016, but El Nino’s absence doesn’t guarantee that outcome.”

An analysis of five hurricane seasons following strong El Ninos found that the number of Category 3 or above hurricanes ranged from one (1973,1983) to five (1958).

In a statement on its website last year, NOAA expressed concern that the “unprecedented stretch” between major hurricanes could induce Americans living in coastal areas to suffer from “hurricane amnesia” and not be adequately prepared for the next hurricane strike.

“It only takes one storm to change your life and community,” warned a NOAA website for this month’s Hurricane Preparedness Week, which lists seven steps “to prepare for a potential landfalling tropical storm or hurricane” accompanied by storm surges and heavy rainfall.

“Storm surge is the abnormal rise of water generated by a storm’s winds. This hazard is historically the leading cause of hurricane related deaths in the United States,” according to NOAA. “Flooding from heavy rains is the second leading cause of fatalities during landfalling tropical cyclones.”

President Obama, so far, is the only president since Benjamin Harrison not to have a major hurricane make landfall in the U.S. during his term. Harrison, whose term of office did not include a major hurricane strike, served from 1889 to 1893.

SOURCE





'Climate Change Inquisition' Backtracks, but Fight Isn't Over

Some good news, some not-so-good news. The witch hunt launched by “AGs United for Clean Power” against organizations espousing views incredulous toward man-made global warming suffered somewhat of a setback this week after the group rescinded a DC-based subpoena targeting the Competitive Enterprise Institute. That’s the good news.

Unfortunately, the original subpoena has not been dropped, which leaves the possibility of an unconstitutional prosecution of CEI and other like-minded associates still very much in play.

According to the CEI, “Following the pledge in a May 13 letter to CEI’s attorney, U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker (AG Walker) has withdrawn the District of Columbia subpoena action against the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), yet the original Virgin Islands subpoena remains, meaning AG Walker can move at any moment to continue his unconstitutional intimidation campaign against the free market group and others who oppose his view of climate change. CEI’s motion for sanctions against AG Walker is pending in court and the group continues its pushback against the AG’s wrongdoing.”

In April, Heritage Foundation fellows Hans von Spakovsky and Cole Wintheiser astutely branded the anti-free speech assault the “American Climate Change Inquisition” — a harrowing throwback to the Spanish Inquisition that “systematically silenced any citizen who held views that did not align with the king’s.” The rule of law will hopefully quash the modern day Climate Change Inquisition once and for all. But for now, groups like CEI and still being held hostage.

SOURCE





Obama Raided $500M for Zika to Finance UN’s Green Climate Fund

Last week, the Senate passed legislation to address and prevent the spread of the Zika virus. However, the Senate failed to pay for it, and instead approved a $1.1 billion “emergency” spending supplemental bill that is not subject to the budgetary caps that were agreed to last year.

While congressional inattention to the budget crisis is inexcusable, it is even more disturbing that the Obama administration already has the authority to pay for a Zika response from existing agency budgets, but chose not to.

I’ve said several times on the Senate floor, over the last two weeks, that the Zika virus is a serious threat and should be dealt with responsibly by funding immediate vaccine research and aggressive mosquito population control.

The threat to adults from Zika is relatively small, but the threat to pre-born children is very high. Our national priority rightly focuses on protecting the life of these young children in the womb, since each child has value, no matter their age or size.

But an international medical emergency has now become a U.S. budget emergency, a major debt crisis that will impact our children as well.

If there was a way to both respond to Zika and prevent new debt spending, wouldn’t it be reasonable to do that? The Department of Health and Human Services, Department of State, and International Assistance Programs currently have about $80 billion in unobligated funds.

A small fraction of this could be reprogrammed and redirected to respond to the Zika emergency and not add any additional debt to our nation’s children. This is exactly the type of authority the Obama administration asked for in 2009 during the height of the H1N1 virus scare.

This is not a partisan idea, it is a reasonable one in light of the medical emergency and the financial reality of our nation.

In a floor speech last week, I also shed light on the fact that Congress last December provided the Obama administration with authority to pull money from bilateral economic assistance to foreign countries.

You might ask—so what did the administration spend the infectious disease money on earlier this year? You guessed it… climate change.

They can use those funds to combat infectious diseases, if the administration believed there is an infectious disease emergency. In the middle of the Zika epidemic, the administration did use their authority to pull money from foreign aid and spend it, but they didn’t use it for Zika.

You might ask—so what did the administration spend the infectious disease money on earlier this year?

You guessed it… climate change.

In March, President Obama gave the United Nations $500 million out of an account under bilateral economic assistance to fund the U.N.’s Green Climate Fund.

Congress refused to allocate funding for the U.N. Climate Change Fund last year, so the president used this account designated for international infectious diseases to pay for his priority.

While I understand that intelligent people can disagree on the human effects on the global climate, it is hard to imagine a reason why the administration would prioritize the U.N. Green Climate Fund over protecting the American people, especially pregnant women, from the Zika virus.

Unfortunately, it gets worse.

So, the administration found a way to offend our ally Israel, delay the Zika response and, if Congress allows him, add another billion dollars to our national debt.

The U.N. Green Climate Fund is connected to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), an affiliated organization of the United Nations.

The UNFCCC recently accepted the “State of Palestine” as a signatory, which should trigger a U.S. funding prohibition. U.S. law forbids any taxpayer dollars to fund international organizations that recognize “Palestine” as a sovereign state.

So, the administration found a way to offend our ally Israel, delay the Zika response and, if Congress allows him, add another billion dollars to our national debt. That is a busy month.

The White House should not throw money at the U.N. while a vaccine for a virus known to cause severe, debilitating neurological birth defects is put on the back burner.

Zika is an important international crisis, but every crisis does not demand new “emergency funding” that is all debt. If there is a way to avoid more debt, we should take that option, it is what every family and every business does every day.

SOURCE






Canada:Putting the fox in charge of the henhouse

The climate activist group, 350.org, released a video on May 18 which starts:

“The Canadian government has announced it will work with provinces, territories, First Nations, and people across the country to develop a national climate strategy by the end of 2016 to determine how Canada will tackle climate change in the upcoming years.”

That sounds fine, as long as the “people across Canada” includes experts who actually understand the field, namely, scientists, economists, and engineers, regardless of whether they side with political correctness on the issue or not

350.org continues, “During May and June, the government has asked Members of Parliament to hold public consultations for this climate strategy with the constituents in their ridings.”

This is OK as well, as long as the consultations are done in such a way as to encourage a broad range of public input, not just what the government and climate activists find convenient. The recent climate consultation by the Government of Ontario was highly biased and a good example of what the federal government must avoid if their town hall consultations are to be seen as anything other than pep rallies.

“This process will offer a one in a generation opportunity for people to call for an ambitious national climate strategy,” continues 350.org.

Well, yes, if people think Canada actually needs a national strategy. Since different regions may be affected by climate change in quite different ways, strategies specific to one region may make no sense in other regions. It is only if one accepts the need for national greenhouse gas emission reductions that a national strategy would seem to make sense, and, of course, such an idea is not shared by many Canadians.

350.org then says that they will be speaking out at the town halls in favour of the “People’s Climate Plan,” which aims to keep the majority of fossil fuel reserves in the ground and “builds a 21st century economy run 100% on renewable energy by 2050.”

Again, in a free society, 350.org is entitled to promote their viewpoints, regardless of whether it makes sense, or as many engineers and scientists maintain, is dangerously irrational. So, it is important that those of us who do not support the climate change plans of 350.org and their fellow climate activists attend and speak out at climate change public consultations.

In asking for public input on the government’s plans, Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna said, “The climate challenge cannot be resolved by government alone. That is why we need your help. We need your ideas and solutions. And we need everyone to be engaged in this national effort. Thank you for participating. I look forward to your ideas.”

This sounds encouraging. Indeed, even 350.org says in their video, “We’ll organize to demand that our MPs hold fair and inclusive consultations in our ridings.”

But then 350.org warns, “Next, we’ll fill up the room during government consultations with people from our local communities in support of the ‘People’s Climate Plan.’”

“And then, before the climate strategy is unveiled in the Fall, we’ll mobilize en-mass to hold the government accountable for taking bold, and ambitious, climate action.”

Many Canadians will find it intimidating to speak out in opposition to such organized and aggressive activism. Yet, the 350.org approach is still acceptable in a free society, provided the government controls the agenda and McKenna’s apparently welcoming approach is actually carried out in practice at public consultations.

But there’s the rub. Many of town halls appear unlikely to welcome anything aside from the point of view climate activists hold dear.

The list of climate change town halls across Canada shows that they fall into three categories.

I. Those organized and run by government alone

Provided meeting coordinators respect alternative perspectives and sanction activists who attempt to restrict free speech, these consultations can provide meaningful input to government climate plans.

The town hall to be held on July 5 in North Vancouver by MP John Wilkinson appears to fall into this category. As does the town hall being led by McKenna and MP for Winnipeg South Terry Duguid in Winnipeg tonight. In both cases, prospective attendees are directed to RSVP to government representatives.

II. Those organized and run by eco-activists alone

These should be allowed, of course, but the results of such town halls should not be considered representative of general public opinion since people who disagree with climate activists are unlikely to attend. Eco-activists can be highly abusive at times to anyone who does not agree with them.

The town hall meeting to be held this evening in Ottawa South falls into this category. To RSVP for the meeting, the public are directed to complete a 350.org online form, something few people will do if they do not agree with activists. MP David McGuinty stated in personal communications that his office is not organizing the event; he is simply a guest speaker. McGuinty said he does not foresee holding a public climate change town hall in his riding.

III. Those run by climate activists and government working together

These are inappropriate. MPs are elected to represent all of their constituents, and no group—not industry, not eco-activists and not even groups like ours, the International Climate Science Coalition—should have privileged access or control over public consultations.

The town hall being held tonight in Saskatoon is an example of this apparently unacceptable cooperation between government and eco-activists. On the Facebook page dedicated to the event, it could not be clearer: “The Saskatoon-West riding office in conjunction with Climate Justice Saskatoon has organized this event for the Saskatoon community at large.” Saskatoon West MP Sheri Benson should consider withdrawing from, or taking sole control of, the meeting.

Similarly, on the Facebook page for the “Climate Action Town Hall - Nelson,” (being held this evening in British Columbia), it is stated, “Conversation will be facilitated by community members representing the West Kootenay EcoSociety, Citizens Climate Lobby and the Nelson Interfaith Climate Action Collaborative.” Imagine how receptive these groups will be to public input that does not conform to their views. Again, Kootenay-Columbia MP Wayne Stetski should distance himself from the meeting, or take sole control of it and appoint neutral facilitators.

The goal of public consultations should be to help government determine real public opinion about issues of national importance. This cannot happen as long as parties with such clear agendas are organizers of the hearings. The fox must never be in charge of the henhouse.

SOURCE






Australia:  El Nino over, BoM says, so winter rain could be on the way

A miracle has occurred.  The BoM has not blamed anything below on global warming

The latest El Nino cycle is over, which could lead to a wet winter, according to the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM).

The bureau's modelling shows ocean surface temperatures across the tropical Pacific have cooled to neutral levels over the past fortnight.  Waters beneath the surface have also cooled.

Forecaster Michael Knepp said conditions were back to neutral and the bureau was now on La Nina watch. During La Nina events, rainfall in winter and spring is above average over northern, central and eastern Australia.

"[There's] a greater than 50 per cent chance that we might be in La Nina conditions later in the year," Mr Knepp said. "That's not a certain thing, just something to keep an eye on over the next few months."

International climate models indicate the tropical Pacific Ocean will continue to cool. Six of eight models suggest La Nina is likely to form during winter.

Mr Knepp said more rainfall could be expected across the region if predictions were correct, but the outlook accuracy at this time of year was low.

El Nino has contributed to drought conditions over the majority of Queensland. Currently, 85 per cent of Queensland is drought declared.

The bureau said almost the entire western half of Victoria was experiencing severe rainfall deficiency.  The rainfall deficiency in Tasmania covers much of the state.

Areas of serious to severe deficiency remain through inland Queensland and into northern New South Wales.

Large areas of South Australia and Western Australia are also experiencing serious rainfall deficiency.

SOURCE

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

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

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Thursday, May 26, 2016


Trump executive proposes a wall to protect Irish golf resort from coastal erosion

This has got nothing to do with global warming.  Sea level rises in Ireland are in fact on the low side.  What IS true is that Western Ireland is exposed to the full force of big Atlantic storms -- and they do cause coastal erosion.  And it is common to put in place structures designed to halt such erosion.

To do so in politically correct Ireland does however require a permit and that permit is required under legislation enacted out of global warming fears.  It is not Trump who fears the effects of global  warming in Western Ireland.  It is the Dáil Éireann (Irish Parliament)

That Trump seeks a permit to build a wall does not mean that he agrees with being required to seek such a permit


Donald Trump wants to build another huge wall, this time to keep out the rising seas threatening to swamp his luxury golf resort in Ireland.

The Republican presidential candidate has called climate change a "con job" and a "hoax." But in an application filed this month in County Clare, Ireland, the Trump International Golf Links and Hotel cites the threat of global warming in seeking a permit to build a nearly two-mile-long stone wall between it and the Atlantic Ocean. The beach in front of the 18th green is disappearing at a rate of about a yard each year.

Trump's application, first reported Monday by Politico, cites local regulations pertaining to "rising sea levels and increased storm frequency and wave energy associated with global warming." An attached environmental impact statement says that almost all the dunes in western Ireland are retreating "due to sea level rise and increased Atlantic storminess."

Trump campaign spokesman Alan Garten did not respond Monday to messages from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Trump, who has roiled the immigration debate by proposing to build a massive wall along the Mexican border, has repeatedly taken to Twitter to express skepticism that human activity is causing the world to warm, raising sea levels as the polar ice caps melt. He has also said he would seek to "renegotiate" the global accord to cut climate-warming carbon emissions agreed to by President Barack Obama in December.

"The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive," Trump tweeted in 2012.

"The entire country is FREEZING - we desperately need a heavy dose of global warming, and fast! Ice caps size reaches all time high," Trump tweeted in 2014.

Environmental groups pounced on the application as evidence of hypocrisy.

"Donald Trump clearly cares more about the fate of his golf courses than the health of the millions of families already affected by the climate crisis," said Adam Beitman, a spokesman for the Sierra Club.

SOURCE  





Study finds that warming INCREASES Greenland snowfall

They think their models can explain it but models can explain anything.  The truth is that nobody knows exactly how or why.  The 2 degrees of Global Warming predicted may not, on balance,  melt ANY Greenland ice -- so no sea level rise!  Tragic!

The history of Greenland’s snowfall is chronicled in an unlikely place: the remains of aquatic plants that died long ago, collecting at the bottom of lakes in horizontal layers that document the passing years.

Using this ancient record, scientists are attempting to reconstruct how Arctic precipitation fluctuated over the past several millennia, potentially influencing the size of the Greenland Ice Sheet as the Earth warmed and cooled.

An early study in this field finds that snowfall at one key location in western Greenland may have intensified from 6,000 to 4,000 years ago, a period when the planet’s Northern Hemisphere was warmer than it is today.

While more research needs to be done to draw conclusions about ancient precipitation patterns across Greenland, the new results are consistent with the hypothesis that global warming could drive increasing Arctic snowfall — a trend that would slow the shrinkage of the Greenland Ice Sheet and, ultimately, affect the pace at which sea levels rise.

“As the Arctic gets warmer, there is a vigorous scientific debate about how stable the Greenland Ice Sheet will be. How quickly will it lose mass?” says lead researcher Elizabeth Thomas, PhD, an assistant professor of geology in the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences who completed much of the study as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Abstract

Precipitation is predicted to increase in the Arctic as temperature increases and sea ice retreats. Yet the mechanisms controlling precipitation in the Arctic are poorly understood and quantified only by the short, sparse instrumental record. We use hydrogen isotope ratios (δ2H) of lipid biomarkers in lake sediments from western Greenland to reconstruct precipitation seasonality and summer temperature during the past 8 kyr. Aquatic biomarker δ2H was 100‰ more negative from 6 to 4 ka than during the early and late Holocene, which we interpret to reflect increased winter snowfall. The middle Holocene also had high summer air temperature, decreased early winter sea ice in Baffin Bay and the Labrador Sea, and a strong, warm West Greenland Current. These results corroborate model predictions of winter snowfall increases caused by sea ice retreat and furthermore suggest that warm currents advecting more heat into the polar seas may enhance Arctic evaporation and snowfall.

Citation

Thomas, E. K., J. P. Briner, J. J. Ryan-Henry, and Y. Huang (2016); A major increase in winter snowfall during the middle Holocene on western Greenland caused by reduced sea ice in Baffin Bay and the Labrador Sea; Geophysical Research Letters, 43, doi:10.1002/2016GL068513.

SOURCE  





More Greenie greed

A French logging company and official partner of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is deforesting a huge area of rainforest in southeast Cameroon without the consent of local Baka “Pygmies” who have lived there and managed the land for generations, Survival International has learned.

Rougier is described as an “integrated forest & trade company” and a large “forest operator” in a WWF press release and report. It is felling trees in an estimated 600,000 hectare area, which is more than is permitted under Cameroonian law.

Rougier has also been denounced by Friends of the Earth for its activities in Cameroon, which have included illegal price-fixing, illegal logging outside a concession, felling more trees than authorized, and illegally exporting rare timber.

WWF has stated that it would never partner with a company operating on indigenous land without the consent of the indigenous people. In entering this partnership with Rougier, it has violated its own policies on indigenous peoples.

Survival recently wrote to the CEO of Rougier asking whether he believed his company had acquired the Baka’s consent for the logging. In response Rougier simply said that: “Baka communities are aware of our existence and operation.”

Under Cameroonian law, the Baka are often criminalized as “poachers” when they hunt to feed their families. In a map produced by Rougier, all Baka forest camps within one concession are labelled as “poachers’ camps.”

In February, Survival filed an OECD complaint against WWF for funding abusive anti-poaching squads in Cameroon, who have used violence and intimidation to deny tribespeople access to their land.

According to a recent report produced by the EU, not a single logging company is operating legally in Cameroon. Experts say that no logging activities are being carried out at sustainable levels.

Evidence shows that tribal peoples are the best conservationists and guardians of the natural world. Despite this, WWF has preferred to partner with international corporations that destroy the environment’s best allies – tribal peoples.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said: “If further proof were needed that WWF is more interested in securing corporate cash than really looking out for the environment, here it is. The absurd language it has used to try and hide this partnership with a logging firm – calling Rougier a “leading producer of certified African tropical timber” – should fool no-one, and reveals a lot about the nature of this partnership. It’s a con. And it’s harming conservation. Survival is fighting these abuses, for tribes, for nature, for all humanity. Conservation organizations should be partnering with tribal peoples to protect the environment, not the companies destroying it to make a quick buck.”

SOURCE  





EPA Conducts Two Secret Meetings A Year To Decide How To Dole Out BILLIONS In Slush Fund Money

Two internal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) committees secretly control how billions of dollars are spent, a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation has found.

Congress appropriates about $1 billion annually for EPA’s Superfund program, and the agency has accumulated nearly $6.8 billion in more than 1,300 slush fund-like accounts since 1990.

Two committees consisting entirely of EPA officials meet behind closed doors twice annually to decide how the agency spends those funds on highly polluted – and often dangerous – Superfund sites. All reports to and from the groups, as well as the minutes of their meetings and all other details, are kept behind closed doors.

“The National Risk-Based Priority Panel and the Superfund Special Accounts Senior Management Committee engage in pre-decisional deliberations which are internal to the agency and not open to the public,” an EPA spokeswoman who requested anonymity told TheDCNF.

She was referring to Exemption Five of the Freedom of Information Act, which is the most often abused exemption federal officials cite to justify withholding information about government activities and programs.

“The public is given ample time to weigh in on during the public comment period once the site is proposed for [National Priorities List (NPL)] addition,” the spokeswoman continued. “EPA considers those comments before making a final decision.” (RELATED: Colorado Town Finally Succumbs To EPA Control After Resisting For Decades)

These committees, however, are involved in financial decisions, rather than adding a site to the NPL – how the EPA finalizes a Superfund designation, so the comment period does nothing to advance public understanding of how the two committees spend billions of tax dollars every year.

“Established in January 2009, the Special Accounts Senior Management Committee … is responsible for EPA’s national oversight and management of special accounts,” the agency’s website says. The committee “ensures appropriate management, transparency, and accountability … with special accounts.”

Meanwhile, the agency has collected $6.3 billion in approximately 1,308 special accounts from lawsuits and settlements with parties responsible for polluting superfund sites, but details beyond regional balances are withheld from the public, TheDCNF previously reported.

It’s nearly impossible to determine where the estimated $3.3 billion spent so far went, or who will get the remaining $3.5 billion (after adding interest). The EPA will also continue collecting funds from new superfund sites, such as the recently proposed Gold King Mine, where the agency spilled 880,000 pounds of dangerous metals into drinking water.

Additionally, the EPA’s Inspector General has criticized numerous aspects of the special accounts, including the agency’s overall bookkeeping. The watchdog previously recommended transferring $65 million out of special accounts, for example.

The second group – the Superfund National Risk-Based Priority Panel – determines which unfunded sites require immediate attention based on several factors, such as the risk to the nearby community.

But the panel’s secrecy prevents residents from knowing where nearby hazardous places stand as an agency priority. This is particularly important, since 329 Superfund sites could expose dangerous contaminants to humans, according to EPA.

This confidentiality is necessary “to prevent polluters from taking advantage of the EPA’s funding decisions,” the EPA told the Center for Public Integrity in 2007. “Agency insiders,” however, told the center the real reason was to avoid congressional scrutiny.

That revelation is crucial, considering EPA withholds details about the special accounts, as well as sites endangering humans, from Congress. Not having such information effectively prevents Congress from exercising its constitutionally mandated oversight of executive branch agencies like EPA.

The EPA, for example, refused to divulge information about the sites exposing humans to dangerous contaminants to Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works democrats – including then-Sen. Barack Obama and Ranking Member Barbara Boxer of California, CPI reported. Some of the documents were eventually obtained, but were marked “privileged,” and could only be reviewed under EPA supervision.

Boxer’s spokeswoman did not respond to repeated DCNF requests for comment.

SOURCE  





EPA’s move to raise ethanol mix in gasoline fuels alarm over engine damage

The Environmental Protection Agency’s move to add more ethanol to gasoline will wreak havoc on lawn mowers, snow blowers, boats and even cars, say critics.

Mixing an additional 700 million gallons of ethanol and other biofuels into the nation’s fuel supply to meet a goal of 18.8 billion gallons in 2017 will raise the biofuel percentage to 10.44 percent, or past the “blend wall” after which car engines can be damaged, said Heartland Institute research fellow Isaac Orr.

“It’s hard for anyone to argue that the renewable fuel standard has been a good policy, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to increase the amount of ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply means this train wreck of a policy will continue for at least another year,” Mr. Orr said in a Thursday statement.

“Owners of small engines like lawn mowers, snow blowers, and boats are hurt by ethanol mandates because ethanol is hard on these engines,” he said.

Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, called the 2005 Renewable Fuel Standard “a success story that has driven biofuel production and use in the U.S. to levels higher than any other nation.”

“This administration is committed to keeping the RFS program on track, spurring continued growth in biofuel production and use, and achieving the climate and energy independence benefits that Congress envisioned from this program,” she said in a Wednesday statement.

Ethanol is popular with lawmakers in farming states like Iowa, but the mandate faces increasing opposition from others, including some environmentalists, who object to clearing more land for farming in order to grow the corn-based fuel.

Free-market champions say the standard no longer makes sense because oil and natural gas have become so plentiful thanks to advances in extraction technology, starting with hydraulic fracturing. The ethanol mandate also raises the cost of fuel.

At the time, Congress was attempting to reduce emissions as well as U.S. dependence on foreign oil. Since then, the United States has become the world’s largest producer of natural gas and doubled its oil production, sending prices plummeting.

The EPA’s proposed increase is lower than the statutory volume imposed by Congress in 2007, but the amount is still too high

SOURCE  




Don’t blame global warming for sizzling temperature, it’s your fault

A message from India to Indians

Sizzling at 51 degrees celsius, Phalodi, a small town in Rajasthan, has set the country’s new all-time record for hottest temperature. In any case April turns out to be the hottest month ever, 7th month in a row when temperatures have exceeded what had been the highest recorded so far. This is not a record to be proud of but is an indication of how economic growth has created an atmosphere where chopping a tree does not evoke any concern.

The rise in temperatures is indirectly proportionate to the decimation of green cover. The more the chopping of trees, the higher is the temperature.

I have never felt what it is like to be in 51 degrees but have lived in northwest areas which have often exceeded temperature hikes of 47 degrees. Even in such temperature extremes, the moment I pass through a cluster of trees a wave of relatively cold breeze is such a great feeling.  The temperature difference is striking. At least, a difference of 2 to 3 degrees between a dense tree shade and what you feel when you are on a highway. Even in a concrete jungle like New Delhi, where the scorching temperature exceeding 47 degrees is biting enough, imagine the soothing effect if an increased green cover had brought the average temperature down by 3 to 4 degrees.

Don’t blame it on global warming; blame yourself for the rising heat. You kept quiet when trees were being chopped mercilessly.

In a desperate race to achieve a higher growth rate, chopping a tree does not anymore evoke any reaction. It is considered an inevitable price that has to be paid for development. Ruthless chopping of trees in metros and elsewhere to pave way for infrastructure projects, expansion of highways from two-lane to four lane, and from four-lane to six-lane, and the disappearing of water bodies and cutting down of trees for residential complexes has led to what is called as urban ‘heat island’ effect. Cities and towns are increasingly becoming ‘heat islands’. The higher the concentration of concrete buildings/structures, the more is the ability to absorb solar radiation.

The National Green Tribunal has recently served a notice to Punjab government for the axing of 96,000 trees to widen a 200-km long road stretch between Zirakpur and Bathinda. But to my dismay I haven’t seen any form of public protests or citizens’ reaction to such a large scale chopping of trees. We have quietly accepted that trees have to be axed for the sake of development. As I have often said that if a tree is standing, the GDP does not go up but if you chop down a tree, the GDP goes up. Now it is our choice whether you want a higher GDP by cutting down trees or you want a kind of development where trees become part of sustainable living.

The Neem Foundation tells us that temperature below a fully grown neem tree is often 10 degrees less. I read an interesting article in The New Indian Express (April 24, 2016) where the author tells us the difference in temperature between green patches and the city centre in several cities. In Bangalore for instance the difference in temperature prevailing at the GKVK Agricultural University and just outside the campus is four degrees. Even when the temperature in the Majestic bus stand was 35 to 36 degrees, it was around 32 degrees in a nearby park.

According to a study by Prof T V Ramchandra and his team of the Energy & Wetlands Research Group Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore city has seen a rapid expansion in urban growth. In 2012, the researchers estimated that the built-up area had grown by a whopping 584 per cent over the preceding four decades. This obviously came at a heavy price. Vegetation cover declined by 66 per cent and 74 per cent of the water bodies disappeared. Bangalore no longer carries the same charm as it used to earlier. I have heard many residents complain of the haphazard growth. But then who cares. After all, it is urbanization that the mainline economists and planners are always pushing for. People are being made to believe that concrete jungles are the future, if they have to develop.

IndiaSpend, a data-driven and public-interest journalism group, has analysed the IISc study in a form that can be easily understood. Accordingly, four major cities in the country have seen a rapid decimation of its green cover. Bhopal tree cover fell from 66 per cent to 22 per cent in the past 22 years. Now this is something too serious to worry about. Instead, by 2018, which means another three years, the green cover in Bhopal will come down to 11 per cent. You can surely call it a sign of growth but don’t complain when the temperatures soar to record breaking levels.

Ahmedabad has only 24 per cent of its green cover left, coming down from 46 per cent in the past two decades. But hold your breath. If you are living in Ahmedabad or plan to translocate to this city, think again. By 2030, Ahmedabad will be left with only 3 per cent of its green cover. Kolkata too will be left with a green cover of 3.7 per cent by the year 2030, and Hyderabad will have only 1.84 per cent of its tree cover left by the year 2024, which is not far away. The rate of speedy urbanization is clearly leading to a massive erosion of what is called as green lungs of a city. The rise in temperature is therefore a natural outcome.

The combined effect of urbanization is what is leading to soaring temperatures. Considering that urbanization is the easiest way to enhance GDP growth, I see no reason why people should be complaining. You asked for it.

 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

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