Sunday, November 23, 2014



It had to happen:  A claim that current cold weather proves  global warming

Science dabbler Chris Mooney says that there’s growing evidence that global warming is driving crazy winters.  You can put up a "post hoc" explanation for almost anything but in the end a failed prediction indicates a wrong theory

It may be the timeliest - and most troubling - idea in climate science.

Back in 2012, two researchers with a particular interest in the Arctic, Rutgers' Jennifer Francis and the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Stephen Vavrus, published a paper called "Evidence linking Arctic amplification to extreme weather in mid-latitudes."

In it, they suggested that the fact that the Arctic is warming so rapidly is leading to an unexpected but profound effect on the weather where the vast majority of Americans live - a change that, if their theory is correct, may have something to do with the extreme winter weather the US has seen lately.

In their paper, Francis and Vavrus suggested that a rapidly warming Arctic should interfere with the jet stream, the river of air high above us that flows eastward around the northern hemisphere and brings with it our weather. Sometimes, the jet stream flows relatively directly from west to east; but other times, it takes long, wavy loops, as in the image above. And according to Francis and Vavrus, Arctic warming should make the jet stream more wavy and loopy on average – some have called it "drunk" - with dramatic weather consequences.

Here's the atmospheric physics behind the idea: Warm air expands, and naturally there is much more warm air at the equator than at the poles. Thus, the atmosphere is thicker at the equator, and the jet stream's motion is driven by the decline in atmospheric thickness as one moves in a poleward direction - in effect, its atmospheric river flows "downhill," in Francis's words. However, if the Arctic is warming faster than the mid-latitudes, then the difference in thickness as you move in a poleward direction should decrease. And this should slow the jet stream, leading to more loops and turns - and consequently, weather of all types getting stuck in place for longer. There's a nice video explanation of this by Francis.

According to Francis, the extreme US winter of last year and now, the extremes at the beginning of this season, fit her theory. "This winter looks a whole lot like last winter, it's a very amplified jet stream pattern," she says. "We know that when we get these patterns, it tends to be very persistent. And it is definitely the type of pattern that we expect to see more often as the Artic continues to warm so fast."

To be sure, Francis acknowledges that our recent bout of extreme cold was kickstarted most directly by Typhoon Nuri, which swerved up into the mid-latitudes and exploded into an atmospheric bomb over the Bering Sea. "That had the downstream effect of basically taking the jet stream and giving it a whip, whipping a wave into it," says Francis. But she also suspects that the jet stream is more susceptible to these kinds of dramatic influences because it is weaker now. In general, her theory does not say global warming caused any particular weather event, only that it is shifting the overall pattern of jet stream behaviour, making certain kinds of persistent weather extremes more likely to occur.

Francis isn't the only one to suggest this. The widely read weather blogger Jeff Masters mused yesterday on whether the extreme snowfall in western New York this week might be due to "jet stream weirdness." "We've seen an unusual number of extreme jet stream patterns like this in the past fifteen years, which happens to coincide with the period of time we've been observing record loss of summertime Arctic sea ice and record retreat of springtime snow cover in the Arctic," noted Masters - although he refrained from fully embracing the theory, noting that it still has its detractors. Capital Weather Gang's Jason Samenow also just discussed the evidence behind Francis's idea, which he calls "controversial."

Francis argues, however, that the evidence in her favour is mounting - she cites no fewer than five scientific papers published in the last year or so that she considers supportive, and hints that more are coming. "We've got 5 papers that all look at that particular mechanism in different ways - different analysis, different data sets, observation and models - and they all come to the same conclusion and they all identify this mechanism independently," she says.

You can't call Francis's idea fully established. You can't say there's a "scientific consensus" on it. And you can't say that the august UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change embraces it. Not yet. But it's certainly a very serious idea and one of the most discussed theories in climate science. Call it a contender. And if it's right, well ... then we all know, already, what global warming feels like.  [COLD!]

SOURCE





Cold Breaks Records, Again!  A recap of 2014

During 2014, the U.S. has experienced an unusual amount of record breaking cold weather and weather related phenomena.  In large part due to the polar vortex, hundreds, if not thousands of cities and towns in the United States experienced multiple days of record setting temperatures — both record lows and record low high temperatures.

This continued into the summer.  In July record lows or record low high temperatures were set cities ranging from Atlanta to Baltimore, from Dallas to Pittsburgh, and in states from Minnesota to Alabama and Florida.

Record low temperatures continued into September when 246 record low high temperatures records were broken or tied between September 1 and September 10 alone. Some of the record breaking temperatures were as much as 16 degrees below the previous record low.

In addition to record cold, numerous cities and regions saw record snowfall, and lingering snow in early 2014.

Not to be outdone, late 2014 is already breaking temperature and snowfall records.  South Carolina, experienced its earliest snowfall on record , while other states are experiencing record amounts of early snowfall and/or low temperatures.  Some states and cities are 20 degrees below their normal temperatures for this time of year including Florida and Dallas, where I live. Denver has experienced record breaking low temperatures two days running with temperatures running 34 degrees below average and Maine has experienced its earliest double-digit snowfall.

Not to be outdone, the great lakes region, the Mid-West and the great Northwest, have all experienced either record lows, record low highs or record early snowfall or ice.  Most recently, Casper, Wyoming and Oklahoma are both more then 20 degrees below their average temperatures and while snowfall amounts accumulating in Idaho, Montana, Oregon,  Utah and Washington, are not extraordinary by mid-winter standards, for early fall they are impressive.

I’m sorry folks, but this is not how global warming is supposed to work!

SOURCE




White House #AskDrH Climate Social Media Campaign an #EpicFail

On Thursday afternoon (Nov. 13), the White House’s vaunted social media squad invited Americans to go on Twitter, Facebook, Vine, or Instagram and pose questions about climate change to the president’s science advisor using the hashtag #AskDrH. Said the White House blog:

"Dr. John P. Holdren, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, wants to answer any questions that you have about climate change — what it means, how bad it actually is, and what we can do to fight it."

Wait a minute! Holdren will answer “any questions that you have about climate change” … but only if they conform to the notion that human activity is causing a climate crisis, and restricting human activity by government direction can “fight it.” I think the White House misspelled “any.”

As it turned out, this was not going to be a “live” social media event anyway. At some point in the future, we’re told, someone at the White House is going to hand pick a few questions Holdren to answer “on camera” for YouTube. As of Sunday evening, Holdren has provided no answers. Maybe that’s because the White House social media experts are having a hard time sifting through the wreckage of their ill-conceived campaign and finding the very few that conform to Holdren’s alarmist point of view.

The #AskDrH hashtag was hijacked by folks who had real, pointed, and scientifically based questions for Holdren. They also had a bit of fun at Holdren’s expense. I haven’t counted them all — that’s impossible, because new questions keep coming in, even days later — but it’s safe to say that … um … at least 97 percent of questioners don’t believe in man-caused global warming, and want Holdren to explain some inconvenient truths.

If he’s serious about his mission as “Science Advisor” to the President of the United States, he should address some of the many very serious questions on the science. The Heartland Institute has a long-standing challenge to Dr. Holdren to debate a skeptic climate scientist, and we threw that in to the #AskDrH stream many times.

No answer, so far.

Twitchy on Thursday, just hours after the call for questions went out, reported on the #EpicFail of the White House’s latest effort to rally public support around the climate crisis meme. If they were surprised that the vast majority of questions would be actually challenges on the science — as well as Holdren’s long public record of wildly goofy and wrong predictions about the climate — the person in charge of social media at the White House should consider another line of work. Perhaps barista.

More HERE




Repealing the Ban on DDT is Bigger Than Bed Bugs!

Carbamates and organophosphates will kill bed bugs where DDT will not but onerous EPA  regulations have forced them out of production

By Rich Kozlovich

On November 20, 2014 Samantha Craggs of CBC News posted an article titled, DDT repeal would do nothing to combat bedbugs, stating that experts say 'DDT is going to have zero effect. All it’s going to do is a lot of damage'.

She goes on to state that; “Local bed bug and environmental experts say DDT would do little to curb the infestation.   DDT or no DDT, there is no magic chemical that will rid Hamilton of its bed bug problem.”  And they’re right!  DDT will not do one thing to alleviate the bed bug problem in this city or any other city in Canada, U.S or any other place in the world where DDT was used for this purpose.  But that’s not the real issue here!  Which is what I intend to will explore.

Apparently this article was inspired by the thoughts of a new councillor-elect, Matthew Green, that appeared in an article titled, New councillor wants to look at repealing DDT ban to fight bed bugs, that “says he wants the province to take “a closer look” at repealing the 40-year ban on DDT, or other powerful chemicals on a limited basis if they'll help eradicate bed bugs in Hamilton”.  What triggered his concerns?  Well, I think we can reasonably assume there's nothing like a good epidemic to get things started.

This Canadian city is in the midst of a “bed bug epidemic since 2006, public health officials say, calls to the city have increased about 600 per cent. CityHousing Hamilton will spend $1 million this year alone battling the problem.”  If you read this article will notice there’s an opportunity for their reading public to vote on whether or not the ban on DDT should be lifted in some way asking “Should DDT ban be repealed to fight Hamilton bed bugs?”  In spite of the fact that I absolutely know DDT will not end their bed bug problem I voted yes to lift that ban along with 466 others.  Of that number 238 (50.96%) voted yes, 198 voted no (42.4%) and (31 6.64%) didn’t know.

The number that really strikes out at me is how many who didn’t know whether or not the ban should be lifted.  Remember - this is in Canada - where anti-pesticide activists have dominated the process with legislation and rank propaganda from the media, and yet over 6% “didn’t know”.  I think that’s an important statistic in viewing the public’s concerns about pesticides and the impact they make in the lives of western societies.  Between those who want ban lifted and those who don’t know that number comes to 57.6% of Canada’s population who aren't moved by the anti-pesticide claims of the environmental movement and their minions in the media and government, at least in a Canadian city that’s been so badly plagued.

The article goes on to quote local pest control operator Roger Burley, president of Aanteater Pest Control in Hamilton as saying “going back to old pesticides won’t fix it, particularly DDT”.  He further states that “Bed bugs are resistant to DDT and most other pesticides that used to treat it. “DDT is really dangerous, and it’s really not effective against bed bugs anyway,” he said. “I’d love to have a silver bullet that would wipe them right out, but it’s not DDT.”

The article continues to quote him saying “every chemical that used to kill bed bugs wouldn’t work anymore”, and claims that bed bugs are “immune” to a chemical classification known as organophosphates, which would include Dursban, Diazinon and others.  He continues being quoted saying “Every 10 years, we have to find something new to kill them”, and “they’ve mutated so much. The chemicals we use now are not even related to those chemicals, and we’re actually having some success.”

The only thing Burley said that was correct was that DDT won’t kill bed bugs and we’re having some success - after that he became lost in the green fever swamps.  Resistance isn’t mutation and they are not resistant to organophosphates, and there’s some argument as to whether or not they’ve developed some resistance to carbamates, which are both still used in countries other than the United States.  Those who have studied the efficacy of propoxur (commonly known as Baygon), a carbamate, claim it’s still effective.

In point of fact those two chemical classifications were what replaced DDT in the 1950’s when bed bugs became resistant to DDT. Organophosphates and carbamates were so effective we didn’t have bed bug problems again for almost 60 years.  The reality is this - carbamates and organophosphates were so effective against bed bugs we were protecting society from this plague without even being aware of it. An insect that plagued humanity all through human history until modern pesticide chemistry was introduced in the 1940’s with DDT.

Let’s do a little history here.  This plague DID NOT return until the passage of the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) and the loss of carbamates and organophosphates.  And they were NOT BANNED!

EPA created a whole new set of regulations based on risk “assumptions” and added testing after 15 years of use.  They managed to side step science in order to create de-facto bans through use of economics and unscientific demands, thereby avoiding all the messy legal problems they would encounter if they actually attempted to ban these chemicals. FQPA created such an economic hardship the primary registrants simply refused to meet and made a business decision to pull their registrations.

But environmentalists understand the real issue here, and it isn’t just about bed bugs.  It's all about lifting the ban on DDT that would be far reaching.  The article goes on to say, “a local environmentalist and chemical scientist say thinking about bringing back powerful and banned chemicals is a bad idea.”

There is the real issue in a nut shell.  If DDT’s ban is lifted then there will be serious efforts to do what this newly elected official wants to do when he uttered the most frightening words no green activist ever wants to hear: “I need to take a closer look at the science, but there are chemical solutions and I’d like to revisit that”.

The raw emotion created by Rachel Carson’s fallacious diatribe in her successful "science fiction" book Silent Spring against chemical pesticides is long past, and any honest scientific effort to revisit all these laws and regulations used since 1972 to eliminate these life saving products from the marketplace would devastate their movement.

Of course any article about DDT must include claims that it was banned “because of its impact on wildlife, particularly bird populations”, and that it’s “persistent and it bio-accumulates, and it does some not-so-nice things".  All are either fallacious or misleading.

Bird populations were never so high in North America until the extensive use of DDT, and that includes the Bald Eagle, which increased during the DDT years.  Carson’s claim about how the poor robin was going to disappear was not only wrong she was deliberately lying.   Carson was a science writer for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and absolutely had to know that in 1960 there were “12 times more robins, 21 times more cowbirds, 38 times more blackbirds, 131 times more grackles, etc. compared to 1941 numbers.  The claims about bird shell thinning was a lie based on studies that deliberately eliminated calcium from the test bird’s diets.  Carson had to know all of that and deliberately lied.

 The bio-accumulation argument was a bust.  “The theory is that if a fish eats a large number of crustaceans, the fish will have a higher concentration of DDT than any one crustacean, and the duck that eats many fish, and the hawk that eats many ducks, will have higher and higher concentrations of DDT. To ``prove'' this, propagandists analyzed the DDT levels in hawk brains (where they are highest) and duck fat, which has levels lower than hawk brain but higher than fish muscle. In fact, if one compares the level in muscle from crustacean, fish, duck, and hawk, there is no biomagnification at all. In fact, most of the DDT in fish comes through the gills; most DDT in food passes through the gut and is eliminated.”

As for the persistence argument: “Dr. Edwards can cite more than 140 articles demonstrating breakdown of DDT. In one experiment, a large amount of DDT was added to sea water in a glass container, which was closed and suspended in the ocean. After 38 days, 92% of the DDT and its metabolites was gone. The persistence myth was based partly on inaccurate measurements by gas-liquid chromatography. Many substances interfere with the analysis, including PCBs in fluorescent light ballasts or in the plastic tubing within the instrument. GLC, for example, ``showed'' five kinds of chlorinated hydrocarbon insecticides in soil samples, even though none existed until 30 years after the samples were sealed.

Even if the bioaccumulation argument was valid we have to ask ourselves where was the predicted devastation? Who were devastated?  What animals were devastated?  Since we’re living longer and healthier lives than any time inhuman history we must ask where's the predicted devastation?  We know that DDT did not then, and does not now, cause cancer, nor do the other pesticides that took its place.

Scientists – if that’s what you choose to call them – have been going along with this propaganda for decades because it’s profitable, and as the years have gone by I have discovered these people are incapable of ramping up the moral fiber to be the rock in the current.

What must really concern the greenies is the fact these other council members aren’t taking a strong stand against the new guy’s desire to review the science on pesticide bans saying: “the notion “needs to be assessed by public health officials, who can separate politics from science and conclude the best practices accordingly.  Another member is “open to forwarding a motion to the province” saying “The province needs to understand the severity of this problem, and if we keep hammering away with what we should be doing and what we can try, they might have to take a look at that”.  Even one who is opposed says, “He's not a fan of the DDT option, but he admires Green's commitment to the issue".  He goes further stating “I welcome councillor-elect Green to this very important discussion table.”  "His advocacy is welcomed."

This is after decades of indoctrination by the activists, the media, academia and bureaucrats.   As for claims about DDT being linked to all sorts of afflictions.  "Linked to" is a weasel word for some professional’s opinion when in reality they don’t have a clue….but they make all the right noises.

As for my voting on that poll to restore DDT in spite of knowing it will have no direct positive impact on this city’s bed bug population – we need to understand the ban on DDT is foundational to the green movement.  If that’s overturned their foundation of sand will start to crumble and eventually everything they have promoted will be called into question.

That’s a day that’s long overdue!  The green movement's success has been humanities nightmare.  The socialist and green monsters of the 20th century have left human devastation in their wake.

SOURCE





BIG GREENIE ROUNDUP FROM AUSTRALIA

5 Green-relevant current articles below -- two about  Obama

Good news: Leftist newspaper says the Australian government's climate change credentials have been battered

And see below that it includes some surprising claims, such as:  "The size of the Reef has halved in the past 30 years".  I have been following the barrier reef scares for around 60 years (long before global warming was invented) but that was a newie on me.

But I have traced the claim, and one amusing thing that we read there is:  "The exhaustive AIMS investigation reveals coral loss is uneven along the 2300km-long reef, with the far north still relatively healthy." So the WARMEST parts of the reef are doing best! How pesky can you get?

And what the research showed is NOT that the reef has shrunk by 50% but that the CORAL has shrunk by 50%.  The reef is of course an ancient and relatively permanent structure of dead coral skeletons.

 We also read:  "Storm damage accounted for 48 per cent of the coral loss in the past 27 years, crown-of-thorns starfish were responsible for 42 per cent, and bleaching caused 10 per cent of the coral to die".  No mention of global warming! Though no doubt they would claim that the storms were caused by global warming.  Since severe weather events worldwide  have been FEWER in recent years that however would be a rubbish claim, having no regard to the actual statistics.

Warmists have also been known to link starfish plagues with warming but again we read: "The study says the causes of the plagues were still not fully known".

And I won't mention that the period covered by the research was 27 years, not 30.

And I won't mention that the source paper for the research is no longer where it was.  Has it been taken down due to inaccuracy?

I could go on but the lesson is clear: As soon as we get into the details of the research findings, the sweeping claims made of the research by Warmists are extensively falsified.  So the appeals to authority below are junk.  It is the facts that matter, not authorities, and the facts are very pesky indeed for Warmists.

My habit of going back to the detailed research findings behind Green/Left claims once again shows what crooks and crazies they are




Prime Minister Tony Abbott's apparent, if modest, conversion to the idea that climate change was an "important subject"  following talks with French president Francois Hollande on Wednesday was greeted with no small measure of cynicism.

This was, after all, a politician who had built a political career on climate scepticism, with his famous remark in 2010 that it was "absolute crap" to assert the science was settled.

It took only two days, but the doubters can claim vindication after revelations that the government sent a briefing note to Barack Obama to dissuade him that the Great Barrier Reef was under threat by climate change.

In an interview with Fairfax Media's Latika Bourke in New York, Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop said the Reef was "not under threat from climate change because its biggest threat is the nutrient runoffs agricultural land, the second biggest threat is natural disasters, but this has been for 200 years".

This is disingenuous, and factually wrong.

To be sure, the government believes the world is warming, and that human factors play a part.

But when it comes to acknowledging the urgency of the problem, how climate change will impact on the world, and what must be done to avert a catastrophic four-degree rise in global temperature, the Abbott government offers obfuscation and excuses.

So it was with the response to Obama's speech in Brisbane last week, when the US leader called on Australia's youth to rise up and demand more action to combat climate change, remarking that "incredible natural glory of the Great Barrier Reef is threatened".

The US leader's speech might have been undiplomatic and rude to his hosts - but his analysis of the impact of climate change on the Reef was spot on.

Just ask the federal government agencies charged with monitoring and protecting the Reef.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority said in its 2014: "Climate change remains the most serious threat to the Great Barrier Reef. It is already affecting the reef and is likely to have far-reaching consequences in the decades to come."

Averting further degradation of the Reef can "only be successful if climatic conditions are stabilised" reported the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), another government body.

The size of the Reef has halved in the past 30 years. Outbreaks of crown of thorn starfish which consume soft corals -  along with cyclones -  have contributed to about 90 per cent of that decline, says AIMS.

Coral bleaching is responsible for the remaining 10 per cent.

Coral bleaching is the direct result of rising sea temperatures caused by global warming. The acceleration of crown of thorn starfish infestations - which spawn in warmer months - is also driven, at least in part, by hotter weather.

And, warns the government's marine scientists, cyclone activity will only increase as the planet heats up.  

Bishop's personal political stocks have soared in recent months due to some forceful international diplomacy on the MH17 disaster and the rise of the Islamic State terrorist group.

Her intervention on the Reef is unlikely to faze Obama, or harm relations. But some of the gloss has come of Bishop's credentials as a moderate alternative to Abbott.

And, the government's climate change credentials, once again, have been battered.

SOURCE

US President Barack Obama should look at his own environmental record before lecturing Australia

Those who live in glass houses ....

BARACK Obama won an Olympic gold medal for schmoozing in Brisbane last weekend.

Along the way, the US president exposed the opponents of coal seam gas in Queensland as utter hypocrites.

With China, the US is of course the worst polluter on the planet.

Yet the shale boom sweeping across America is unlocking oceans of underground gas, a cleaner energy gradually replacing coal in US power stations.

Obama knows gas is good. Gas drives his emissions reduction pact with China.

However, the Greenies who swooned over Obama for his environmental crusade are the same snarling, left-of-centre bigots backing sinister groups like Lock the Gate in attempting to sabotage the fledgling gas industry here.

In a week dominated by news about the $7 billion Adani coal deal the importance of gas to our state cannot be overstated.

Gas royalties will deliver rivers of gold to the Queensland treasury as it fights to restore the AAA credit rating trashed by the previous government.

A significant milestone looms. And it may change everything. In three weeks the first ever shipment of liquid natural gas sourced entirely from coal seam gas will be shipped to Asia by QGC. It's not just a Queensland first, it's a world first.

And, surprise, surprise, the gas drawn from beneath our cattle pastures may end up in China.  It will be traded on the open market in Asia so the destination remains unclear.

Following Obama's visit the irony that the Queensland gas is destined for China has not been lost on certain Queensland Cabinet ministers.

While the President discourteously attacked his host's environmental credentials, our gas will eventually assist cutting emissions globally.

Australia's gas exports are set to increase from about 20 billion cubic metres in 2012 to 114 billion cubic metres by 2040 as global demand is forecast to grow more than any other fuel source. So says the International Energy Agency.

And while many newspaper columnists were gushing about Obama's speech and his green advice to Tony Abbott, they neglected to report America's own disgusting record on carbon dioxide.

Why reporters ignored this part of the story is a bit of a mystery to me.  Suffice to say that the media craves celebrity and is often blinded by it. And Obama was certainly a celebrity whose light shone brightly that day.

At the risk of offending the Obama-love media, it has to be said our environmental record is cleaner than his.

So how dare Obama lecture us?

The US didn't sign the 1997 Kyoto agreement. Nevertheless it pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 7 per cent. Instead they soared.

Now we learn that over two decades from 1990 to 2010, US emissions grew by 53 times the actual growth of emissions in Australia.

I'm glad Environment Minister Greg Hunt pointed this out. He also revealed China's sorry record.  In the same two decades China's emissions soared from 3.4 billion tonnes to 9.8 billion tonnes. This is the fastest growth in emissions in human history, Hunt said.

"The increase in Chinese emissions was 640 times, or 64,000 per cent, greater than any change in Australia. Over the same period, Chinese coal consumption increased at the greatest rate in human history."

Of course Australia's footprint is insignificant compared to the superpowers and we shouldn't beat ourselves up about it. In 1990, according to Hunt's office, Australia produced 580 million tonnes of carbon, the US 5.38 billion tonnes and China 3.356 billion tonnes.

By 2010, Australia's emissions had barely increased, to 590 million tonnes. The US, on the other hand, registered a substantial increase to 5.923 billion tonnes and China to a staggering 9.769 billion tonnes.

By 2020, if Australia meets its target, it will produce 555 million tonnes while the US will produce 5.144 billion tonnes and China a truly astonishing 12.4 billion tonnes.

Nevertheless Obama's deal with China, greeted with rapturous approval by the media, deserves closer scrutiny.

China will continue to build a coal-fired power station every 10 days until 2030.

I'm told another 28 nuclear power stations are also in the pipeline. Good. Now we are getting somewhere. The US emissions, too, are staggering and will continue to rise for years.

The other inconvenient truth is that Obama doesn't have congressional backing so is unable to add legal force to the targets proposed with China.

Former Labor state treasurer Keith DeLacy was not blinded by Obama's halo. In an opinion piece in The Australian he said Obama was a "lame duck" president.

DeLacy said Chinese President Xi Jinping admits CO2 emissions will increase until 2030, pact or no pact.  And renewables such as wind and power would produce just 3 per cent of output, said Xi.

Said DeLacy: "China is currently increasing emissions every year by the equivalent of Australia's total emissions, and Xi's statement means this will continue to be the case."

He added: "Lame duck US President Obama signalled the US would not take any leadership role on climate change action.  "While he suggested the US would reduce total emissions by 26-28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2025, everyone knew he could not deliver any legislative backing for measures to do this.

"However, he was confident the shale gas revolution and a spluttering US economy may be sufficient to reach this goal.

"When questioned on the depth of commitment the US had to this target, officials referred to past commitments."

SOURCE

Poll: FOCUS ON JOBS, NOT CLIMATE

RENEE VIELLARIS

MOST Queenslanders believe Tony Abbott was right to ignore international pressure and focus the G20 summit on the economy rather than on Climate change.

Just one-quarter of those surveyed in a new opinion poll said they thought the top priority for G20 nations should be reducing carbon emissions -compared to half who said the focus should on be economic growth and jobs creation.

Both Labor and LNP suppporters rated economic growth higher than action on carbon.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has meanwhile sent a briefing to the White House to allay ' US President Barack Obama's concerns about Australia not working to protect the future of the Great.Barrier Reef.

From p. 31 of the Brisbane "Courier Mail" 22 Nov., 2014

Obama ignored embassy's warnings on climate change speech

BARACK  Obama defied the -advice of his embassy in Canberra to deliver a stinging attack on the Abbott government's climate policies in Brisbane last weekend.

The US embassy, under the leadership of ambassador John Berry, advised the President, through his senior staff, not to couch his climate change comments in a way that would be seen as disobliging to the Abbott government, sources have revealed.

When The Weekend Australian put this information to the US embassy, a spokesman said: "As is the case with all presidential speeches, President Obama's remarks at the University of Queensland in Brisbane were prepared by the White House."

It is normal practice when the US President makes an overseas visit that the ambassador in the country he is visiting is consulted about the contents of major speeches. It is unusual, though not unprecedented, for an embassy's advice to be ignored.

The Obama speech in Brisbane was added to the President's program at the last minute. During his extensive talks with Tony Abbott in Beijing at APEC, Mr Obama did not make any mention of a desire to make a speech, or of any of the contentious climate change content of the speech.

Only in Naypyidaw, in Myanmar, immediately prior to the leaders travelling to Brisbane for the G20 summit, did the US party demand that the President make a speech and that it be to an audience of young people. At the speech, the President did not -acknowledge the presence of Governor-General Peter Cosgrove.

Despite repeated Australian requests, White House officials refused to provide a text of the speech to their Australian hosts in advance, and did not provide a summary of what would be contained in the speech.

Mr Obama's repeated references to the climate change debate in Australia, his accusation that Australia was an inefficient user of energy and his repeated references to the Great Barrier Reef, which has figured heavily in the climate change debate, have led observers to conclude that the speech was a deliberate swipe at the Abbott government.

Historians of the US-Australia relationship are unable to nominate a case of a visiting president making such a hostile speech for the host government.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has accused Mr Obama of speaking in ignorance about the joint plans by the federal and Queensland governments to act to preserve the Great Barrier Reef. She sent a briefing on the reef to the White House after Mr Obama's speech was delivered.

Some days before the speech, at the World Parks Conference, Ms Bishop met US Secretary of the -Interior Sally Jewell and gave her the same briefing.

Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek yesterday accused Ms Bishop of "berating" the President and said Ms Bishop had created an "absurd" situation.

Sources in Washington said the Brisbane speech was a sign of deep divisions within the Obama administration over how to deal with Australia, and over Asian policy generally.

Senior US sources said Mr Obama had inadvertently overshadowed all the elements of his speech, which dealt with regional security and America's position in Asia. When the White House first proposed the speech, its subject was to be US leadership in Asia.

Mr Obama's speech was in marked contrast to the accomplished speeches, with their careful regional agendas, of China's President, Xi Jinping, and India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to the Australian parliament. Senior Washington sources told The Weekend Australian of a malaise in Obama administration policy towards Asia and the lack of influence of Asia experts lower down in the US government.

Since the Abbott government was elected last September, there has been a group within the Obama administration that wants to take a tougher public line against Canberra on differences over climate change, in particular the decision to abolish the carbon tax.

Washington sources say the figure who ultimately adjudicated on this internal debate was Mr Obama, who recognised that Mr Abbott had been elected with a clear mandate to abolish the tax.

This has resulted, in part, in differing accounts of the first meeting between Mr Abbott as Prime Minister and Mr Obama in Washington in June.  After the meeting, Australian officials briefed to the effect that climate change was raised with Mr Abbott only briefly by Mr Obama and in a non-contentious way.  This version was confirmed by senior US officials who offered the same account of the meeting.

US officials added that the Obama administration was acutely aware that the US had no national carbon tax itself and that the administration had been unable to get congress to agree to an emissions trading scheme, which the Americans call a cap-and-trade scheme.

They said the US was keen merely to confirm that the Abbott government was carrying out the commitments it had made on climate change, in particular to reach the target of 5 per cent reductions on 2000 levels of emissions by 2020.

At the same time, another account of the meeting was circulating through Washington to the effect that Mr Obama had been much more insistent on the issue with Mr Abbott. In this account, Mr Obama had repeatedly referred to the Sydney Opera House sinking as a result of global warming.

At the time Washington sources said this was an erroneous account of the meeting, which reflected the great hostility over the carbon tax issue that some of Mr Obama's domestic advisers felt.

Several former senior US officials characterise the White House as introverted and not inclined to pay too much attention to officials, either in the State Department or the Pentagon, who deal with Asia full time. Others suggest senior figures in the White House, when they think of Asia, tend to focus only on China.

Mr Obama has previously had a warm personal relationship with Mr Abbott. The President has been a frequent telephone caller to Mr Abbott, almost always with a request for Australian support for a US policy or initiative, from troops for the Middle East, US trade initiatives in Asia, or important regional diplomatic matters, especially those involving security. On every occasion the US President has asked for help, the Australian Prime Minister has provided it.

SOURCE

NSW conservative government cracks down on protesters, fast-tracks mining

The "close" relationship between the state government and the mining industry has come under renewed scrutiny after Premier Mike Baird announced faster mining approvals and harsher fines for protesters who illegally enter mining sites.

The announcement, at a dinner for mining heavyweights on Thursday night, came just hours after it was revealed that corrupt former Labor minister Ian Macdonald will face criminal charges over a mining deal.

Critics have accused the government of cutting "special deals" with the mining industry, and failing to follow advice by the corruption watchdog to safeguard the planning system.

Lock the Gate Alliance said protesters already face heavy penalties, citing farmer Ted Borowski, who was fined about $3000 for protesting against Santos' coal seam gas operation earlier this year.  By comparison, the company was fined $1500 for contaminating an aquifer with uranium.

The government says protesters do not have the right to act unlawfully, and industry and the community should not wait years for mining applications to be decided.

Mr Baird told a NSW Minerals Council event that his government will halve assessment times for so-called "state significant" proposals, such as mines and manufacturing plants. He said assessment times for mining projects had jumped from 500 to more than 1000 days in the past six years.

On Friday, Planning Minister Pru Goward said the government intends to slash 170 days from the average time it takes to assess major applications by introducing new timeframes and ensuring timely advice from government agencies.

New timeframes would also be applied to the Planning Assessment Commission, the independent body that decides some of the state's most controversial proposals.

The government has been under pressure to streamline the mining approvals process after its maligned planning reforms stalled in the upper house.

Fairfax Media has reported that 13 mining industry leaders met Mr Baird two weeks ago for a "crisis meeting" after Anglo American's application to extend the Drayton South coal mine project was rejected.

The industry has also called for stronger penalties for trespassers, following heated protests over projects such as Whitehaven Coal's Maules Creek mine and Santos' coal seam gas venture in north-west NSW.

Mr Baird said it was "galling" that the mining industry was responsible for the safety of trespassers. The government will seek changes to workplace health and safety laws, and increase penalties for protesters who break into mining operations, damage equipment or disrupt work.

Lock the Gate Alliance spokesman Phil Laird, whose organisation campaigns against coal and gas mining, said the announcement highlights the "close relationship and special treatment given to industry over the interests of communities".

He said the government had ignored advice by the Independent Commission Against Corruption to expand community appeal rights on planning decisions. A spokesman for Ms Goward said independent scrutiny of decisions already exists.

The NSW Minerals Council said the planning changes would "help attract investment and create jobs in our state".

Labor's environment spokesman Luke Foley welcomed the move towards faster approvals, but said it should not come at the expense of proper environmental, social and economic assessment.

Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham claimed the Liberal and National parties were "essentially just the political arm of the mining industry".

SOURCE

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

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

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

Friday, November 21, 2014


Some comments on the latest Warmist shriek from Norm Kalmanovich

A summary of the latest IPCC emission is here.  It claims that the climate change "fight" is affordable and that we must cut emissions to zero by 2100.  That would mean putting all gasoline and diesel-fueled vehicles off the road and closing around 95% of America's electricity generators so is basically off with the fairies.  Facts don't matter to the insane, of course, but Norm Kalmanovich points us to the the basic facts anyway:

This latest HadCRUT4 global temperature data shows that the increase in CO2 emissions since 1850 has not resulted in detectable increase in global temperature above the natural warming of 0.5°C /century as the world recovered from the Little Ice Age.



A total of 0.79°C in 164 years is just 0.48°C/century and below the accepted natural warming rate of 0.5°C/century.

In 1850 CO2 emissions were under 0.5 gigatonne and today emissions are in excess of 35 gigatonnes, so even if this 0.79°C of net global warming since 1850 was entirely due to human sourced CO2 emissions; at this rate we would only be at  1.58°C in year 2178 (2014 + 164)!




Two graphs showing the slight temperature decline since 2002

Origin of the graphs

Before any further global warming can take place the world first has to stop cooling. TSI data from the World Radiation Centre in Davos Switzerland shows that there has been a decrease in total solar irradiance (solar output) of 0.8W/m2 since 2002 and with all five global temperature datasets showing global cooling since 2002; someone would have to be rather ignorant to claim that we need to reduce emissions to stop global warming when reduced output from the sun is currently causing the Earth to cool (albeit very slightly). Since 2002 there has been a 34% increase in CO2 emissions but with the world cooling as these emissions continue to increase there is no amount of peer reviewed articles, not even the 30,000 which claim support for AGW, that can alter the fact that CO2 emissions are not causing global warming and won’t be able to any time in the future; so why would anyone in their right mind

Cripple the US economy by cutting back its fossil fuel energy supply!

Since we are only 0.79°C above the temperature prior to industrialization and with the world currently cooling; Obama needs to be challenged to first of all state when current global cooling will end and once (and if) it ends how is reducing emissions to zero going to be of any benefit in preventing the global temperature from warming a further 1.21°C when increased emissions over the past 164 years could only (and falsely) be attributed to just 0.79°C of warming!!

Via email





Historic snowfall buries a city that is no stranger to the cold

That global warming sure is pesky stuff!



For the hardy residents of Buffalo in northern New York state, digging out from deep snows dumped by biting winds sweeping across from Lake Erie is nothing new.

But even this industrial city near Niagara Falls was reeling after the largest one-day snowfall ever recorded in the United States more than a month before the official start of winter.

Some six feet of snow buried whole neighbourhoods in less than 24 hours, while drifts churned up by biting winds reached 20 feet high, crushing through doors and roofs and trapping motorists.

Dramatic walls of snow-clouds pummelled the city and “thunder snow” lit up the skies.

Across the US, temperatures plunged below zero in all 50 states, including Hawaii. The unseasonally early cold snap evoked bone-chilling memories of the “polar vortex” deep freeze that engulfed much of the country at the start of this year.

Buffalo bore the brunt as the monster snow-storm claimed at least five lives. A 46-year-old man was discovered dead in a car buried in snow, three victims suffered heart attacks while trying to shovel through the drifts and another was killed in a road crash.

Highway troopers rescued motorists and passengers from hundreds of stranded vehicles, including a women’s college basketball team who chronicled their 26 hours trapped inside a coach via social media after running out of food and water.

And a nurse delivered a baby in a fire station after her pregnant mother failed to make it to hospital, although the parents said they would spurn calls to name their child “Stormy”.

The southern side of Buffalo bore the brunt of the historic snowfall while districts just a few miles away experienced only a coating as the sun shone.

The cold blast across North America is the result of an extreme jet stream pattern funelling Arctic air directly into the US.

But Buffalo took a particular pounding as those cold winds moved across the warmer expanses of Lake Erie, picking up water vapour which froze and turned into walls of snow-clouds.

This phenomenon of “lake-effect snow” created blizzards and white-outs conditions on the southern side of the city while neighbourhoods just a few miles away experienced only inches of show and blue sunny skies.

The city authorities deployed bulldozers owned by private businesses to scoop up snow as many their regular snow-ploughs were trapped inside compounds by the drifts.

Elsewhere, paramedics ditched their ambulances in favor of snowmobiles to reach emergencies.

Another heavy of night of snow was forecast on Wednesday evening.

The good and bad news is that temperatures in Buffalo are predicted to rise to 13C within a few days, delivering a thaw that could produce flooding and water damage.

SOURCE





Weather Channel Co-Founder Predicting Snowier, Bitterly Colder Winter Ahead

The pre-Thanksgiving cold snap and a monster storm forecast to dump five feet of snow on Buffalo, N.Y. Tuesday are just “a preview” of the coming winter, which will be much colder and snowier than normal,  predicts Joseph D’Aleo, co-founder and first director of meteorology at the Weather Channel.

D’Aleo, now chief forecaster at WeatherBell Analytics, was one of the few meteorologists to accurately predict a colder-than-normal November.

He expects several major East Coast snowstorms and “widespread below-zero temperatures” that will plunge much of the nation into a deep freeze for as long as six weeks this winter.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if it snows in Atlanta, Dallas, and Birmingham,” he told CNSNews.com.

“We’ve been talking about this being another one of those historic winters since the spring. The summer before last, we had seen last winter as being one that people near the Great Lakes would remember for a long time, and it turned out to be the coldest December to March on record in Chicago, and the snowiest in Detroit, and top five coldest in many places in the central [part of the U.S.]

“And we saw the same kind of extreme this winter, not exactly in the same place, but another winter that’s going to stress our electric grid and also the energy sources that we have, “D’Aleo told CNSNews.com.

“We were not surprised at the cold coming. We had a cold forecast in November even though all the tools that are used by forecasters to look ahead, even two weeks, right up to the end of October, [were] not seeing the cold. And then suddenly they caught on.

“But we use another approach where we look at all the factors globally: the oceans and the sun and winds in the upper atmosphere over the tropics, and we find years in the past when conditions were most similar. We call it an analog approach. Other people do analogs, too. And it was telling us that it would be a lot like last year in terms of cold. It told us November would be cold, so we were swimming against the strong current.”

D’Aleo noted that the unseasonably cold weather, which is being blamed for 17 deaths since Saturday, is just “a preview” of the coming months and years ahead, when he predicts that temperatures will be up to 20 degrees lower than normal.

“And then we think this winter will be another strong one. It may end early in some parts of the country, like the Northeast, but it will be very hard, especially in mid-winter. We’ll get a break after this [current] assault, it may ease a little bit, but we think there’ll be an extended period in mid-winter that will really be harsh all over the nation.”

The worst of the frigid winter weather will likely hit right around Christmas and last until the first week of February, he told CNSNews.com.

“Everything we look at suggest that January will be the hardest of the winter months. This is sort of a preview of that. Not to say there won’t be snow and cold in December. In February, it’ll be cold, but more from the snow on the ground than a continual feed of Arctic air.

“The snow will just make the cold worse,” he added. “It keeps temperatures in daytime down and makes it colder at night in between storms, so it’s going to be a very rough one for a lot of folks.”

“We might get a break next year,” the forecaster added on a hopeful note. “Often these cold winters come in two-year periods and then you get a break for a year as the oceans readjust. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a milder winter next year.”

CNSNews.com asked D’Aleo, who lives in New Hampshire and says he ran out of heating oil last winter due to the sub-normal temperatures, his reaction to last week’s agreement between President Obama  and Chinese President Xi Jinping to fight global warming by drastically reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

“From the government’s own data, there has been no warming in winter for 25 years,” D’Aleo replied. “In fact, there’s been cooling for 20 years. All nine climate regions have cooled in winter for 20 years.”

”This decade is just four years old, and we’ve already had 12 major impact East Coast snowstorms out of close to 50 since the 1950s, which they call NESIS (Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale) storms,” he continued. “This is the most active [snowiest] decade on record. The last decade, the 2000s, had 10. The 1960s had 10. This decade has 12 and we’re only four years into it…. We could really be creating an historic decade when all is said and done.”

“The major drivers [of the cold weather] are the oceans and the sun. The Pacific has turned cold and the Atlantic is scheduled to go into its cold mode within five years. And the sun is heading into a 200-year minimum. The last time it was this quiet, and it will likely be this quiet for two decades or so, was the early 1800s. That was called the Dalton Minimum,” D’Aleo pointed out, which was a period of low temperatures that corresponded with low solar activity between 1780 and 1840.

“That was the time of [Charles] Dickens. If you remember Dickens’ novels, the children always played in the snow in London. That’s what they’re doing again… And there’ll be more winters like the Dickens years in the years to come [because] we’re headed into a colder period that will likely last decades…

“That doesn’t mean we won’t have a hot summer or that next winter won’t be warmer, but on average we will experience more and more extreme cold winters and cool summers. It’s part of a trend, and like I said, it’s been cooling for 20 years, erratically but down.”

SOURCE




EPA’s next regulatory tsunami

Trillions of dollars in ozone compliance and economic stagnation costs, for fabricated benefits

Paul Driessen

Looming Environmental Protection Agency ozone regulations personify the Obama administration’s secrecy, collusion, fraud, and disdain for concerns about the effects that its tsunami of regulations is having on the livelihoods, living standards, health and welfare of millions of American families.

Virtually every EPA announcement of new regulations asserts that they will improve human health. Draconian carbon dioxide standards, for example, won’t just prevent climate change, even if rapidly developing countries continue emitting vast volumes of this plant-fertilizing gas. The rules will somehow reduce the spread of ticks and Lyme disease, and protect “our most vulnerable citizens.” It’s hogwash.

But Americans naturally worry about pollution harming children and the poor. That makes it easy for EPA to promulgate regulations based on false assumptions and linkages, black-box computer models, secretive collusion with activist groups, outright deception, and supposedly “scientific” reports whose shady data and methodologies the agency refuses to share with industries, citizens or even Congress.

It was only in May 2012 that EPA decided which US counties met new 2008 ozone standards that cut allowable ground-level ozone levels from 80 parts per billion to 75 ppb. Now EPA wants to slash allowable levels even further: to 70 or even 60 ppb, equivalent to 70 or 60 seconds in 32 years.

The lower limits are essential, it claims, to reduce smog, human respiratory problems and damage to vegetation. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says a 600-page agency staff report strongly recommends this reduction, and her Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee agrees. They all say the lower limits are vital for protecting public health, especially “at-risk populations and life stages.” Her decision will ultimately involve “a scientific judgment” and will “keep people safe,” Ms. McCarthy assures us.

Under terms of a convenient federal court settlement, EPA must issue its proposed new standards by December 1 of this year, and make a final decision by October 2015. The process will be “open and transparent,” with “multiple opportunities” for public hearings and comment throughout, she promised.

EPA has offered little transparency, honesty or opportunity for fair hearings and input by impacted parties thus far, and we should expect none here. But other problems with this proposal are much more serious.

If the 60 ppb standard is adopted, 85% of all US counties would likely become “non-attainment” areas, making it difficult to establish new industrial facilities or expand existing plants. Even in Big Sky, clean-air Wyoming, Teton County could be out of compliance – mostly due to emissions from pine trees!

A Manufacturers’ Alliance/MAPI study calculated that a 60 ppb ozone standard would cost the US economy a whopping $1 trillion per year and kill 7.3 million jobs by 2020. A Louisiana Association of Business and Industry and National Association of Manufacturers study concluded that a 60 ppb rule would penalize the state $189 billion for compliance and $53 billion in lost gross domestic product between 2017 and 2040. That’s $10 billion per year in just one state.

But the standard would save lives, EPA predictably claimed, citing 2009 research directed by University of California-Berkeley School of Public Health Professor Michael Jerrett. The study purportedly tracked 448,000 people and claimed to find a connection between long-term ozone exposure and death.

Other researchers sharply criticized Jerrett’s work. His study made questionable assumptions about ozone concentrations, did not rely on clinical tests, ignored the findings of other studies that found no significant link between ground-level ozone and health effects, and failed to gather critically important information on the subjects’ smoking patterns, they pointed out. When they asked to examine his data, Jerrett refused.

Michael Honeycutt, chief toxicologist for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, says Jerrett and EPA exaggerate health risks from ozone. The Texas Public Policy Foundation told EPA the agency needs to consider “the totality of studies on this issue, rather than giving exclusive weight to a single study,” the foundation emphasized. Unfortunately, EPA almost always focuses on one or two analyses that support its regulatory agenda – and ignores any that might slow or derail its onrushing freight train.

Even worse, those lost jobs and GDP result in major impacts on the lives, livelihoods, liberties, living standards, health, welfare and life spans of millions of Americans. And yet, EPA steadfastly refuses to consider these regulatory impacts: for ozone, carbon dioxide, soot, mercury and other rules.

Then there is the matter of outright deception, collusion and fraud at EPA, via these and other tactics.

One such tactic is sue-and-settle lawsuits. Agitator groups meet with EPA officials behind closed doors and agree on new rules or standards. The agency then conveniently misses a deadline, “forcing” the activists to sue. That leads to a court hearing (from which impacted parties are excluded), and a judgment “forcing” the agency to issue new regulations – and even pay the agitators’ attorney fees! American Lung Association, NRDC, Sierra Club and EPA sue-and-settle collusion resulted in the new ozone proposal.

This clever sue-and-settle tactic was devised by none other than John Beale – the con artist who’s now in prison for bilking taxpayers out of $1 million in salary and travel expenses for his mythical second job as a CIA agent. It defies belief to assume his fraudulent propensities did not extend to his official EPA duties as senior policy advisor with his boss and buddy Robert Brenner, helping Ms. McCarthy and her Office of Air and Radiation develop and implement oppressive regulations. Indeed, his own attorney says he had a “dysfunctional need to engage in excessively reckless, risky behavior” and “manipulate those around him through the fabrication of grandiose narratives.” A US Senate report details the sleazy practice.

As to the “experts” who claim lower ozone limits are vital for protecting public health, there’s this.

The American Lung Association supports the EPA health claims – but neglects to mention that EPA has given the ALA $24.7 million over the past 15 years. Overall, during this period, the ALA received $43 million via 591 federal grants, and Big Green foundations bankrolled it with an additional $76 million. But no one is supposed to question the ALA’s credibility, integrity or support for EPA “science.”

EPA also channels vast sums to its “independent” Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, which likewise rubberstamps the agency’s pollution claims and regulations. Fifteen CASAC members received over $181 million since 2000. CASAC excludes from its ranks industry and other experts who might question EPA findings. Both EPA and CASAC stonewall and slow-walk FOIA requests and deny requests for correction and reconsideration. Even congressional committees get nowhere.

As Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chairman of the House on Science, Space and Technology Committee, noted in a letter, 16 of the 20 CASAC members who “peer-reviewed” the ozone studies also helped to write the studies. That makes it even less likely that their reviews were “independent.”

That Senate report, The Chains of Environmental Command, also notes that the Obama EPA has been deliberately packed with far-left environmental activists who work with their former Big Green colleagues to shape policy. They give radical groups critical insider access and also funnel millions of taxpayer dollars through grants to their former organizations, often in violation of agency ethics rules.

These arrogant, unelected, unaccountable, deceitful, dictatorial elites think they have a right to impose ozone, carbon dioxide, ObamaCare and other diktats on us, “for our own good.” They are a primary reason American businesses and families are already paying $1.9 trillion per year to comply with mountains of federal regulations – $353 billion of these costs from EPA alone. The damage to jobs, livelihoods, liberties, living standards, health and welfare is incalculable.

The next Congress should review all EPA data, documents and decisions, root out the fraud and collusion, and defund and ultimately reverse all regulations that do not pass muster. The principle is simple: No data, honesty, transparency or integrity – no regulation, and no taxpayer money to impose it.

Via email




Time is up for wind production tax credits

“The private sector can be expected to develop improved solar and wind technologies which will begin to become competitive and self-supporting on a national level by the end of the decade if assisted by tax credits and augmented by federally sponsored R&D,” testimony before the House of Representatives Subcommittees on Energy and Commerce offered by the American Wind Energy Association and others.

A reasonable statement of belief that wind energy just needs a little help to get off the ground and become financially viable.  And it was reasonable, in 1983, when it was made.

Now, thirty one years later, the powerful Big Wind lobbyists are at the trough once again asking for another extension of tax breaks.  Wind Production Tax Credits that distort the electricity market harming the ability of their competitors to invest profitably in alternative, competing electric generation sources.

Yet, those who promote this 21st century upgrade of 15th century technology continue to claim that if Congress just gives them one more fix they will be able to compete.

In the immortal words of Nancy Reagan, the lame duck Congress should just say no.

They should say no, because investment in wind energy production needs to stand on its own feet with the best technology emerging, and those that lag being left behind.  The natural selection of the marketplace needs to hone the industry so the most efficient, productive technologies can thrive and help meet our nation’s energy needs.

The lazy way is to get the government to provide the competitive difference allowing even poor performers to thrive.

Wind, and every other energy source, should compete on the level field of the marketplace without the corrosive effects of government tainting the game.

While others worry about the dangers that expanded wind energy pose to bird life as subsidized projects are being placed in some of nature’s most important flyways, and others express concern about the decimation of the bat population in some agriculture dependent areas, ultimately the question for Congress has to be – Is wind energy sustainable, or is it a permanent government dependent?

After more than 30 years living in Uncle Sam’s basement playing video games and eating Cheetos, its time for this industry to be kicked out of the nest.  It’s time for wind to fly.

Congress will be deciding whether to extend Wind Production Tax Credits in the weeks ahead, and for wind’s own sake, it is time allow them to die.  It is time for this industry to compete, for better or worse.

It’s time for Congress to mercifully end the Wind Production Tax Credit once and for all.

SOURCE





Severe bird population declines in Europe.  Windfarms the probable culprit

In an article published in The Guardian on November 7th, the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) is quoted saying that since 1980, across 25 European countries, house sparrow numbers have declined by 147 million, a 62% drop to 90 million. wind turbine bird kill According to the same report, starlings have fallen by 45 million, down to 40 million. As for Skylarks, their population went down by 37 million, to 43 million today. Says the author of the article, “It’s principally agricultural intensification that is behind the crisis.” (1)

Populations ranging from 40 to 90 million birds, for the most common of passerine species, are surprisingly small, spread as they are over 25 countries. Thus, if the researchers quoted by the RSPB are correct in their estimates, we are entitled to conclude that wind turbines and their power lines will have a significant impact on the number of all passerines flying our skies, eating our insects etc. Indeed, we know for instance that, in Spain alone, wind turbines kill 6 to 18 million birds and bats a year (2). Supposing that Europe has about 5 times as many wind turbines as Spain, the death toll for Europe would be 30 to 90 million birds and bats per annum – i.e. roughly 10 to 30 million birds a year, given that bats are attracted to wind turbines and killed about twice as often as birds. Comparing the numbers, and all things being equal, it is obvious that bird populations will erode further on account of wind farms, much faster than previously thought.

But no mention is made of this in the article. It’s not surprising, as both the RSPB and The Guardian are promoting the installation of ever more wind farms across Europe.

We also learn from The Guardian that the population of some raptors “is on the up in Britain”.  This assertion sounds suspicious to us at Save the Eagles International, for two main reasons:

A) - the article quotes no figures, no studies and no dates, and

B) - we know that raptors are attracted to windfarms (2), and killed in significant numbers (3).

The truth is that raptors have been recuperating in the UK since a very low point reached after two centuries of persecution.  Some species were wiped out. Then, a law was enacted to protect birds of prey, and reintroduction programmes were launched, e.g. for the Red Kite and the White-tailed Eagle.

Protection and reintroduction caused raptors' numbers to go up. But the question is: until when? We suspect that the recuperation of raptors in Britain has stopped with the advent of wind turbines, which attract and kill them. Actually, judging from the high mortality of raptors in other countries' windfarms, their UK population is most likely to be on the decline as well. But Britons are not being kept informed of these things.  To wit: in 2013 came due the decadal census of golden eagles. But nothing happened, and to those who inquired it was replied that the interval between these surveys had been changed from 10 years to 12. This does nothing to allay our fears that Scottish golden eagles are being decimated by wind turbines, many of which are spinning their deadly blades in their habitat.

SOURCE

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

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

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

Thursday, November 20, 2014



Another blast on the trans-fat trumpet

For many years, the received wisdom in the medical literature was that eating saturated fat was bad for you and likely to give you heart attacks.  That was always nonsense and, in one of those 180 degree turns so common in the medical literature, has recently been abandoned.  Such fats are good for you these days.

Greenies and food freaks (largely overlapping categories, it would seem) hopped on the bandwagon a decade or so ago and began their usual coercive strategies.  They pressured food manufacturers to stop using such fats.  Vegetable oils were the thing.  And, like a lot of their products, the food manufacturers crumbled.

But vegetable oils were not really very suitable for making cakes and cookies.  But if you added some extra hydrogen atoms to the vegetable oils, you could get a suitable result.  The hydrogenated oils became known as trans fats.

But just as there is no such thing as a happy Greenie so there is no such thing as a happy food freak.  Various claims supported by problematical research appeared which said that trans fats were bad for you too.  They also could damage your heart.

So the food manufacturers again mostly crumbled and now use a lot of palm oil instead of saturated fats and trans fats. The cake you buy has had an adventurous past.

So now palm oils are under attack.  To produce enough palm oil, lots of new trees have to be planted and to plant those trees you have to chop down lots of other trees that were already there --  and that will not do at all!  So the limited supply of palm oil drives up its price and makes it too expensive for some food manufacturers -- who have therefore stuck with their good ol' trans fats.  So the shriekers still have a satisfying campaign to wage.  And below (below the chevrons) is the latest shot in the war.

It features work by the hyperactive and normally skeptical Beatrice Golomb but does her no credit.  The research has not yet been published in the journals so I have not been able to look closely at it but it clearly has one large problem:  It is based on self-reports, which are very susceptible to biases of various sorts.  In particular, self-reporters tend to tell you either what they think you want to hear or what they think will make themselves look good.

And that is a very obvious contaminant in the research below.  Because people are always being told how evil cakes and cookies are, consumption of them is unprestigious so many of those answering a self-report questionnaire will under-report how many of such evil products that they consume -- while people less influenced by popular fads will be little bothered by admitting to their actual diets.  So who are the cake and biscuit gourmands?  Fatties and the poor most likely.  And what do we know about the poor?  As Charles Murray showed long ago, they have lower IQs.  Shocking of me to mention it, I know, but facts are chiels that winna ding, as the Scots say.

And the memory task used by the gorgeous Dr Golomb (pic below) is IQ-related.  So the wicked eaters probably had lower IQs.   So it seems likely that Dr Golomb's finding is entirely artifactual  -- a product of her research methodology rather than information about the world.



I note that she did control for education but education and income are only weakly correlated, as many recent college graduates have found to their dismay.

Other research:  For one summary of the weak science behind the "trans-fat" hysteria, see here. Trans fats have only a temporary effect on blood chemistry and the evidence of lasting harm from them is dubious. By taking extreme groups in trans fats intake, some weak association with coronary heart disease has at times been shown in some sub-populations but extreme group studies are inherently at risk of confounding with other factors and are intrinsically of little interest to the average person.

Food manufacturers should of course revert to using saturated fats, now that medical opinion is in their favour -- JR

UPDATE

I was pleased to receive a prompt and scholarly reply from Dr Golomb about my post.  Some scientists can get very defensive and snarky if their work is criticized but she did not. It says much for her character. I reproduce the reply below:

Dear John Ray,

 It is true that the findings are based on a food frequency questionnaire, and observational data are *always* subject to potential unmeasured confounding. That is why we never use(d) the word "cause" but only describe higher trans fat consumption as "associated" with worse memory. (I can't exactly say higher "reported" trans fat consumption because it wasn't actually trans fat consumption they reported.)

On the plus side, though, the data from which the analysis was done were collected in 1999-2004, a privileged time window vis a vis trans fat assessment --  after trans fat abstraction from foods was added to analysis of the Fred Hutchinson Food Frequency Questionnaire, but before the FDA trans fat labeling requirement that made it easy for people who were health conscious to more readily limit trans fats.

{Of note, this was also before most of the positive press about chocolate, when chocolate consumption was still widely viewed as a vice (hard to imagine that time was so recent). Yet, despite this, more frequent chocolate consumption was linked favorably to memory, and to body mass index. (We presented the former finding a couple years ago -- someone else's findings connecting the two got a lot of attention in the NY Times, I understand, last week; the latter finding has been replicated, e.g.,  in a study of European adolescents, and according to a Principal Investigator who contacted us, was also found in a randomized study, supporting causality; and a study in rodents found that cocoa-derived epicatechin led to reduced fat mass with calorie consumption unchanged). Meanwhile, trans fats emerged as adversely associated with both outcomes. This makes sense given that chocolate is rich in antioxidants and has compounds that support cell energy (e.g. via mitochondrial biogenesis and vascularity), while trans fats are prooxidant (and proinflammatory), and adverse to cell energy.  (The hippocampus, a brain area important in memory, is especially vulnerable to cell death in settings of inadequate energy.)

We are encouraged by the fact that, so far, our findings based on the dietary data have almost to a one been replicated, and/or have experimental support from animal research (adding the element of causality). For instance we previously found that, even adjusted for calories and exercise, trans fat consumption was linked to higher BMI and waist circumference. (By the way, I will mention since we have discovered that some scientists -- i.e. peer reviewers! -- are confused on this point, there is no violation of the second law of thermodynamics in that statement. Calories are disposed of in a range of ways -- heat generation, fat deposition, creating blood vessels and mitochondria -- and just what is done with them is subject to modulation by signaling pathways, in turn influenced by dietary factors.) Consistent with this, primate data show that incorporating trans fats, without changing calories, leads to increased deposition of abdominal/visceral fat.

Anyhow, thanks for sending, and thanks for your interest!

Cheers,

Beatrice

I replied:

Beatrice

Thank you for that interesting reply

I think you should have a closer look at the recent literature on anti-oxidants.  I think we are midway through an 180 degree turn there.  The latest thinking is that antioxidants are actually bad for us.  The body needs plenty of oxidants. So pro-oxidants could be a GOOD thing!

Cheers
JR

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Eating cookies and cakes could damage your memory -  regardless of your age



Fats found in some biscuits, cakes and processed foods could have a harmful effect on memory, researchers have warned.

The fats, known as trans fats, are used both in processed food and in restaurants, often to improve the texture, shelf life or flavour.

They are created when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil to make it more solid, which is why they are often called partially hydrogenated oils.

Now, a study of 1,000 healthy men aged under 45 found those who ate the most trans fat had worse scores in a word memory test.

The link remained after taking account of age, education and depression.

Study leader Dr Beatrice Golomb, of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, said: ‘Trans fats were most strongly linked to worse memory, in young and middle-aged men, during their working and career building years.

‘From a health standpoint, trans fat consumption has been linked to higher body weight, more aggression and heart disease.

‘As I tell my patients, while trans fats increase the shelf life of foods, they reduce the shelf life of people.’

The research team studied adults who had not been diagnosed with heart disease.  They were asked to complete a dietary questionnaire, from which the researchers estimated participants' trans fat consumption.

To assess memory, researchers presented participants with a series of 104 cards showing words.  Each person had to state whether each word was new or a word duplicated from a previously seen card.

Each additional gram a day of trans fats consumed was associated with an estimated 0.76 fewer words correctly recalled.

For those eating the highest amounts of trans fats, this translated to an estimated 11 fewer words – a reduction of 10 per cent in words recalled compared to adults who ate the least trans fat.

The average number of words correctly recalled was 86, according to research presented at the American heart Association’s Scientific sessions 2014 in Chicago.

Trans fat is widely considered the worst kind for your heart, even worse than saturated fat, which can also contribute to heart disease.

The UK food industry in recent years has reduced or eliminated industrially produced trans fat in foods.

Current dietary surveys suggest consumption levels provide less than one per cent of food energy, below the recommended two per cent maximum – about 5g a day.

The Food and Drug Administration is taking further steps to reduce the amount of artificial trans fats in the US food supply.

SOURCE





‘Thunder snow’ freezes all of USA

Which proves global warming, of course

IT is called a ‘lake-effect’ snowstorm — and it has paralysed cities across the US, with temperatures falling to freezing in all 50 states, including Hawaii.

Lake-effect snow is produced during cooler atmospheric conditions when cold winds move across long expanses of warmer lake water, providing energy and picking up water vapour, which freezes and is deposited on the leeward shores.

CNN meteorologist Chad Myers calls it ‘thunder snow’.  “The steam from the lake ... (is) still much warmer than the air,” he said. “The air is in the teens and the water in the 40s. That steam comes up and wants to rise. That rise ... creates a thunder storm but it’s so cold it doesn’t rain. It just snows.”

The phenomenon paralysed the upstate New York city of Buffalo yesterday, forcing state police on snowmobiles to deliver blankets to stranded motorists on the main highway across New York State.

At least four people were killed in the storm, CNN reports.

One of the storm-related deaths was a vehicle accident, said Peter Anderson, a spokesman for the county executive. Three others were cardiac arrests as a result of shovelling.

In a region accustomed to highway-choking snowstorms, this one is being called one of the worst in memory.  “This storm is basically a knife that went right through the heart of Erie County,” said Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.  “I can’t remember and I don’t think anyone else can remember this much snow falling in this short a period.”

The equivalent of a year’s worth of snow is going to pound some areas over a three-day period, Poloncarz said.

Meteorologists say temperatures in all 50 states fell to freezing or below on Tuesday.

That included Hawaii, where the temperature at Mauna Kea on the Big Island dropped to -0.5 degrees Celsius (31 Fahrenheit).

They say the low temperatures were more reminiscent of January than November.

The southeast wasn’t spared.  Schools closed in the North Carolina mountains amid blustery winds and ice-coated roads.  In Atlanta, tourists Morten and Annette Larsen from Copenhagen were caught off-guard by the sub-freezing weather as they took photos of a monument to the 1996 summer Olympics at Centennial Olympic Park.

“It’s as cold here as it is in Denmark right now. We didn’t expect that,” Larsen said, waving a hand over his denim jacket, buttoned tightly over a hooded sweatshirt.

The National Weather Service warned that the snow, generated by cold air blowing over the warmer Great Lakes, would continue through Wednesday and could eventually total 1.8 metres in places.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo deployed 150 member of the National Guard state militia to help clear snow-clogged roads and remove abandoned vehicles.

SOURCE






White House taunts GOP on climate change: ‘I don’t believe they can stop us’

The White House forged ahead Monday with yet another piece of its climate change agenda and bragged that Republicans are powerless to stop it.

A presidential task force unveiled a report on how communities across the country can prepare for the effects of global warming. In all, the recommendations on “climate preparedness and resilience” could cost the federal government more than $100 billion to protect drinking water supplies, shore up coastlines against rising sea levels and take other preventive measures.

The recommendations and subsequent expenses are just two pieces of an ever-expanding slate of global-warming that is sure to come under the microscope when Republicans assume control of the Senate in January.

But legal analysts say the Republicans have little ammunition to fight back, short of shutting down the federal government to stop Environmental Protection Agency funding.

White House officials, keenly aware of the executive power Mr. Obama holds on the issue of climate change, openly mocked incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Republican colleagues.

“I believe the president will complete actions. It is a top priority of his and I don’t believe they can stop us,” White House counselor John Podesta told reporters on a conference call Monday. “Not withstanding Sen. McConnell making this a top priority to leave the status quo, to leave the air dirtier.”

White House officials on Monday also detailed some the expenses associated with the task force recommendations, including $88 billion for North Atlantic states to protect against rising sea levels, $6 billion for Midwestern states to combat rising temperatures and $40 billion to improve California’s drinking water systems.

The report comes on the heels of other recent steps, including Mr. Obama’s greenhouse gas emissions deal with China. Under that agreement, the U.S. pledged to cut its emissions by at least 26 percent by 2025, while China merely said it will cap emissions no later than 2030.

To meet that goal, the administration is relying on its unprecedented restrictions on power plant pollution — regulations that have led to accusations of a “war on coal” — and new auto fuel-efficiency standards, among other steps.

Mr. Obama also is seeking $3 billion in taxpayer money to go toward a global climate fund aimed at helping developing nations boost their infrastructure.

Republicans appear ready to fight the president’s climate change agenda tooth and nail. After the GOP captured the Senate, Mr. McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said reining in the EPA would be a “top priority.”

He reiterated those comments over the weekend. “They’ve been on a rampage all across the country. And I think coal is the most conspicuous example, but it’s happening in a lot of other areas and I think you’re going to see bipartisan support for trying to rein them in,” he told an audience in Frankfort, Kentucky.

The larger climate change debate is intertwined with the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline, the approval of which could come up for a Senate vote as early as Tuesday. The House already has passed legislation deeming the pipeline approved.

The White House, however, has hinted the president will veto the bill.

SOURCE





The Moral Case Against Fossil Fuels Matters. But It’s Absurd

Alex Epstein

Imagine you are talking to a tobacco advocate who claims that he has a new strategy for winning the hearts and minds of the public:

“We will explain to the public that we contribute to economic growth.”

“We will explain to the public that we create a lot of jobs.”

“We will link our industry to our national identity.”

“We will stress to the public that we are addressing our
attackers’ concerns—by lowering the emissions of our product.”

Would you be convinced? I doubt it, because none of these strategies does anything to address the industry’s fundamental problem—that the industry’s core product, tobacco, is viewed as a self-destructive addiction. So long as that is true, the industry will be viewed as an inherently immoral industry. And so long as that is true, no matter what the industry does, its critics will always have the moral high ground.

Sound familiar? Substitute “fossil fuels” for “tobacco” and you have the fundamental communications problem the fossil fuel industry–and anyone who supports fossil fuels–faces.

Opponents of coal, oil and natural gas have successfully portrayed fossil fuel energy as a self-destructive addiction that is destroying our planet and the energy industry as fundamentally immoral.

Why is the industry viewed as immoral? Because for decades, environmentalist leaders have made a false but unanswered moral case against the fossil fuel industry—by arguing that it inherently destroys our planet and should be replaced with environmentally beneficial solar, wind and biofuels.

According to this argument, it destroys our planet in two basic ways: by increasing environmental dangers (most notably through catastrophic global warming) and depleting environmental resources (through using fossil fuels and other resources at a rapid, “unsustainable” pace).

There is only one way to defeat the environmentalists’ moral case against fossil fuels—refute its central idea that fossil fuels destroy the planet. Because if we don’t refute that idea, we accept it, and if we accept that fossil fuels are destroying the planet, the only logical conclusion is to cease new development and slow down existing development as much as possible. That’s what gives moral standing to something like U.S.-China carbon emissions agreement, which deserves to be seen as an immoral cap on human progress.

I have come to believe that the moral case against fossil fuels is not only false, but is the exact opposite of the truth. Fossil fuels don’t take a clean environment and make it dirty, they take a dirty environment and make it clean. They don’t take a safe climate and make it dangerous, they take a dangerous climate and make it safe. The industry doesn’t deplete resources, it creates resources out of once-useless raw materials.

This is the moral case for fossil fuels. It will give us the moral high ground in the debate over fossil fuels. It is the subject of my new book.

SOURCE





Obama Says Keystone Won’t Benefit Americans, Contrary to Assessments by Dep’ts of State, Energy

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline to carry crude oil from Canada will only benefit our northern ally, and will neither lower gas prices in the U.S. nor entail a “massive jobs bill for the United States,” President Obama said while traveling in Asia last week.

During a press conference Friday in Yangon, Burma, Obama was asked about the project, which has been under review by the State Department for six years and faces a Senate vote on Tuesday.

“Understand what this project is,” he replied. “It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land, down to the Gulf, where it will be sold everywhere else.”  “It doesn’t have an impact on U.S. gas prices,” he added.

Obama’s remarks contradict other assessments – including those of the Departments of State and Energy – that the 1,179-mile pipeline could not only create thousands of American jobs and pump billions of dollars into the U.S. economy but also increase the nation’s energy security.

The American Petroleum Institute, the trade association that advocates on behalf of the U.S. oil and gas industry, on Monday issued a plea to Obama about the pipeline and its benefits.

“Mr. President, do not outsource the 42,000 American jobs this pipeline represents, to move Canadian and U.S. energy resources from North Dakota and Montana, to U.S. refineries on the Gulf Coast,” API President and CEO Jack Gerard said in a statement.

“Americans are embracing our domestic energy renaissance but they can’t fully benefit from it unless there is a robust infrastructure system to transport the fuels they demand,” he added.

In a commentary on Friday the Wall Street Journal questioned Obama's understanding of global economics and the oil trade.  “Someone should tell the President that oil markets are global and adding to global supply might well reduce U.S. gas prices, other things being equal,” it said. “A tutor could add that Keystone XL will also carry U.S. light oil from North Dakota’s Bakken Shale.  “So even if he thinks that bilateral trade only helps Canada, he’s still wrong about Keystone.”

TransCanada, the company in charge of the Keystone XL pipeline construction, calls it “the definition of shovel-ready infrastructure project,” and cites the State Department’s own findings. (The department is in control of the project’s destiny because of its “international” element.)

“Almost overnight, Keystone XL could put 9,000 hard-working American men and women directly to work,” TransCanada says on its website. “The U.S. State Department’s Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement found that the project would support more than 42,000 direct and indirect jobs nationwide.”

“In addition to construction jobs, an estimated 7,000 U.S. jobs are being supported in manufacturing the steel pipe and the thousands of fittings, valves, pumps and control devices required for a major oil pipeline,” it states.

“TransCanada has contracts with more than 50 suppliers across the U.S., including companies in Texas, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Indiana, Georgia, Maryland, New York, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Ohio, Arkansas, Kansas, California and Pennsylvania.”

TransCanada also cites a Canadian Energy Research Institute prediction that Keystone XL will add $172 billion to America’s gross domestic product by 2035 and will create an additional 1.8 million person-years of employment in the United States over the next 22 years.

The pipeline will also make the U.S. less dependent on foreign oil, thus increasing energy security, it says, citing a Department of Energy study.

“Keystone XL Pipeline will have the capacity to transport 830,000 barrels per day of crude oil from Canada and the continental United States to refineries on the Gulf Coast, where it can displace much of the higher-priced oil those refineries currently import from overseas,” TransCanada says.

“This view is backed up by a December, 2010 U.S. Department of Energy study which states: ‘Increased Canadian oil imports will help reduce U.S. imports of foreign oil from sources outside of North America.’”

In a move seemingly unheard of just weeks ago, the U.S. Senate is set to vote on Tuesday on legislation that would approve the Keystone project, a bill passed by the House of Representatives last week.

Obama has said he has not changed his position on the pipeline but has not specifically said he would veto the bill if it reaches his desk.

Asked again about the project at the end of a G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia on Sunday, Obama raised another potential objection – climate change.

“We’re going to let the process play itself out,” he told reporters. “And the determination will be made in the first instance by the Secretary of State. But I won’t hide my opinion about this, which is that one major determinant of whether we should approve a pipeline shipping Canadian oil to world markets, not to the United States, is: does it contribute to the greenhouse gases that are causing climate change?”

SOURCE  





Australian PM will soon look like a genius for refusing to drag Australia to yet another climate fiasco

Even as he continues to win plaudits from visiting Chinese and Indian leaders, the high priests and priestesses of the fourth estate are in full-throated rebellion against Tony Abbott. Defensive, embarrassing, timid, insular, clumsy, flawed, weird, cringeworthy – this is just a sampler of media comment on Abbott’s performance at the G20 in Brisbane.

But it is perhaps better to see Abbott as someone who refuses to agree at all times with outspoken, self-appointed pressure groups that breed around controversial questions. He makes an inviting rhetorical target precisely because he embodies that down-to-earth quality in our national spirit that has been all but obliterated by the modern obsession with courting fashionable opinion. His bluntness – such as his defence of Big Coal or his threat to “shirtfront” Putin – takes him where mealy-mouthed politicians fear to tread.

I say this as someone who disagrees with his stance on Ukraine. It is one thing to try to subject the Russian-backed rebels to some scrutiny for 17 July; it is another thing for the leader of a middle power to issue dire threats and warnings to a nuclear power with vital strategic interests at stake in a region that has been in its sphere of influence for centuries.

All things considered, however, Abbott’s diplomatic conduct in recent days has been defensible.

Start with the China trade deal, a major victory for our exporters that will add tens of billions of dollars to the economy. The prime minister promised to clinch unprecedented and lucrative agreements with Japan, South Korea and China by the end of the year. His foreign affairs and trade team have achieved this goal with aplomb. The three nations account for about half of all our exports.

The critics were having a field day feasting on Abbott for daring to talk about his government’s domestic policy challenges; never mind that the leaders were invited to the G20 opening session to discuss how domestic politics impede a pro-growth reform agenda.

Then there is the G20 growth agreement itself, which will dramatically improve the lives of people all around the world, so long as nations deliver on their promises. Even Michael Gordon, one of Fairfax Media’s many Abbott critics, has conceded that for the first time the world’s richest economies have committed themselves to a specific (and ambitious) growth target and they have been prepared to allow independent bodies to scrutinise their approaches.

We are told that on climate change, the G20 leaders spectacularly wrong-footed Abbott. Yet he has merely defended the national interest and kept faith with the Australian people who gave him an electoral mandate to abolish Julia Gillard’s widely unpopular carbon tax. We are also told that Paris is the moment when the world will come together to save us from an excess of greenhouse gas emissions. It’s a fair bet Abbott’s position will be vindicated at the United Nations climate talks next year.

Shortly before Brisbane, Beijing concluded a bilateral accord with Washington in which they agreed (on a non-binding basis) to begin reducing their annual emissions by 2030. The understanding is clearly that, since Obama signed up to this deal (and indeed presented it as a triumph), he will not push the Chinese any further at next year’s meeting in Paris.

Meanwhile, Obama needs to ask the US Congress to appropriate $3bn for the global climate fund. Republicans will oppose it, and many Democrats repudiated Obama’s energy agenda in the recent midterm elections. No member of the visiting Washington press corps, judging from the press conference on Sunday, evidently thinks the issue is an American priority. Congress won’t legislate a carbon tax or a national emissions trading scheme.

As for China, their leaders’ priority is to grow their economy at 7-8% annually and to reduce poverty; and the cheapest way of doing so is via carbon energy (president Xi did not even mention climate change in his address to parliament yesterday.) True, Beijing is investing in renewable energy projects and piloting cap and trade schemes in some provinces. But China is also building a coal-fired power plant every 8-10 days and its net emissions continue to escalate steadily (on 1990 levels, Australia is set to cut its greenhouse gas emission by 4% by 2020.)

Any “deal” at Paris will merely give China and India a free rein until the 2030s without any binding obligation to be monitored and scrutinised by the west on their actual behaviour. That is why Abbott is wise to make any Australian climate policies conditional on a legally binding, verifiable, enforceable and genuinely global agreement to replace the Kyoto protocol. Even the Germans have essentially done that.

What is shaping up now, as Benny Peiser of the London-based Global Warming Policy Forum predicts, is a huge blame game over the likely failure to agree to a post-Kyoto treaty. China and India will blame the west for its failure to deliver $100 bn per annum – yes, $100bn – that was promised at Copenhagen. Obama and the left will blame the Republicans. The EU will blame the Americans. Climate enthusiasts and developing nations will blame all and sundry.

And Abbott will look like a genius for keeping Australia on the margins of yet another climate summit fiasco.

SOURCE

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

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

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