Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Now Greenies don't like tidal power, either

It might upset the fish, you know. So: Coal, nuclear and hydroelectic are positively EVIL; windmills are no good; tidal power is no good. There's just no such thing as a happy Greenie

Whichever, if any, tidal scheme is built on the Severn, it is sure to anger some environmentalists. Being a renewable source of electricity, tidal generators might be assumed to be popular with the green lobby. Yet there are serious reservations over the environmental costs of a barrage or lagoon in the estuary - and they have split the environmentalist movement.

On the one hand there is the appeal of doing something positive about climate change by turning to a renewable, rather than burnable, source of energy. Environmental activists have been urging governments, power companies and the public to embrace renewable energy because it is cleaner than fossil fuels and nuclear power. On the other hand, thousands of hectares of shoreline will be destroyed as a feeding ground for birds - an internationally important feeding ground, no less. There are also deep concerns about the impact on the fish and invertebrates in the Severn. Barrages and, to a lesser extent, lagoons form a physical barrier to species such as salmon and eels as they migrate. The dilemma is balancing the potential damage to habitat against the gains made in combating climate change.

If measures such as the Cardiff-Weston barrage are not taken, how much of the river will be claimed anyway by sea-level rises from melting ice caps and how many creatures will be forced to find somewhere else to live because temperatures have become unbearable?

Some of the projects that missed the shortlist are regarded as having less of an impact on the environment but they are the most unproven schemes and, however attractive their merits, their effectiveness is questionable. When coming to their decision on tidal schemes for the Severn - and perhaps one day the Mersey, the Wyre and the Thames - ministers will have plenty of factors to weigh up. There will be the jobs created - the bigger the scheme the bigger the job creation prospects - and there will be the economic damage caused by limiting navigation of the Severn and access to upstream ports. There will be the attraction of plumping for a huge barrage that will be a monument to their tenure in office, to be set against the affordability of constructing such an edifice.

But most of all they will have to judge whether the wider environment will best be served by sacrifice or preservation.


James Hansen's Former NASA Supervisor Declares Himself a Skeptic

Says Hansen `Embarrassed NASA' & `Was Never Muzzled'

NASA warming scientist James Hansen, one of former Vice-President Al Gore's closest allies in the promotion of man-made global warming fears, is being publicly rebuked by his former supervisor at NASA. Retired senior NASA atmospheric scientist, Dr. John S. Theon, the former supervisor of James Hansen, NASA's vocal man-made global warming fear soothsayer, has now publicly declared himself a skeptic and declared that Hansen "embarrassed NASA" with his alarming climate claims and said Hansen was "was never muzzled." Theon joins the rapidly growing ranks of international scientists abandoning the promotion of man-made global warming fears.

"I appreciate the opportunity to add my name to those who disagree that global warming is man made," Theon wrote to the Minority Office at the Environment and Public Works Committee on January 15, 2009. "I was, in effect, Hansen's supervisor because I had to justify his funding, allocate his resources, and evaluate his results," Theon, the former Chief of the Climate Processes Research Program at NASA Headquarters and former Chief of the Atmospheric Dynamics & Radiation Branch explained.

"Hansen was never muzzled even though he violated NASA's official agency position on climate forecasting (i.e., we did not know enough to forecast climate change or mankind's effect on it). Hansen thus embarrassed NASA by coming out with his claims of global warming in 1988 in his testimony before Congress," Theon wrote.

Theon declared "climate models are useless." "My own belief concerning anthropogenic climate change is that the models do not realistically simulate the climate system because there are many very important sub-grid scale processes that the models either replicate poorly or completely omit," Theon explained. "Furthermore, some scientists have manipulated the observed data to justify their model results. In doing so, they neither explain what they have modified in the observations, nor explain how they did it. They have resisted making their work transparent so that it can be replicated independently by other scientists. This is clearly contrary to how science should be done. Thus there is no rational justification for using climate model forecasts to determine public policy," he added.

"As Chief of several of NASA Headquarters' programs (1982-94), an SES position, I was responsible for all weather and climate research in the entire agency, including the research work by James Hansen, Roy Spencer, Joanne Simpson, and several hundred other scientists at NASA field centers, in academia, and in the private sector who worked on climate research," Theon wrote of his career. "This required a thorough understanding of the state of the science. I have kept up with climate science since retiring by reading books and journal articles," Theon added.

More here

No Joke! Study predicts sea level rise for year 3000 A.D.! Get your 1000 year forecast!

Their climate models have never predicted anything of substance yet so they must have improved dramatically in recent times. I wonder if the study authors do 1000 year stock market predictions as well? The study would seem to be a classic instance of where faulty assumptions can lead you. It is all based on the CO2 theory of warming with no mention of the sun. But whichever way you look at it, the hubris is amazing

A new scientific study led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reaches a powerful conclusion about the climate change caused by future increases of carbon dioxide: to a large extent, there's no going back. The pioneering study, led by NOAA senior scientist Susan Solomon, shows how changes in surface temperature, rainfall, and sea level are largely irreversible for more than 1,000 years after carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are completely stopped. The findings appear during the week of January 26 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "Our study convinced us that current choices regarding carbon dioxide emissions will have legacies that will irreversibly change the planet," said Solomon, who is based at NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colo.

"It has long been known that some of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activities stays in the atmosphere for thousands of years," Solomon said. "But the new study advances the understanding of how this affects the climate system." The study examines the consequences of allowing CO2 to build up to several different peak levels beyond present-day concentrations of 385 parts per million and then completely halting the emissions after the peak. The authors found that the scientific evidence is strong enough to quantify some irreversible climate impacts, including rainfall changes in certain key regions, and global sea level rise. If CO2 is allowed to peak at 450-600 parts per million, the results would include persistent decreases in dry-season rainfall that are comparable to the 1930s North American Dust Bowl in zones including southern Europe, northern Africa, southwestern North America, southern Africa and western Australia.....

The scientists emphasize that increases in CO2 that occur in this century "lock in" sea level rise that would slowly follow in the next 1,000 years. Considering just the expansion of warming ocean waters-without melting glaciers and polar ice sheets-the authors find that the irreversible global average sea level rise by the year 3000 would be at least 1.3-3.2 feet (0.4-1.0 meter) if CO2 peaks at 600 parts per million, and double that amount if CO2 peaks at 1,000 parts per million....

More here

Romm's rants

Maybe Joe Romm’s employers over at the Center for American Progress have a vision for how his tantrums and fits serve their interests on advancing climate policy. I certainly can’t see how his antics do anything more than paint the CAP as a hotbed for intolerance and ignorance. In Joe’s latest rant he calls the NYTs Andy Revkin a climate denier, or I think he does, as Joe speaks a language unto himself. Here is an excerpt (emphasis added):
Andy asserts:

I've been the most prominent communicator out there saying the most established aspects of the issue of human-driven climate change lie between the poles of catastrophe and hoax.

Following that shockingly un-scientific statement, he includes the link to his 2007 piece, "A New Middle Stance Emerges in Debate over Climate," that touts the views of Roger A. Pielke Jr., of all people! The "middle stance" is apparently just the old denier do-nothing stance with a smile, a token nod to science, and a $5 a ton CO2 tax [which is why I call them denier-eq's]

Joe’s strategy of tarring those who hold reasonable views as deniers is re-enforced when he takes Revkin to task for having the gall to discuss climate politics in his reporting:

Uhh, Andy, you're the science reporter, not the political reporter.

Joe’s strategy is one that I explain in The Honest Broker: by collapsing political debates onto science one can then try to impeach the political views in terms of science. This explains Joe’s constant use of the term “denier” which is usually a term used to impeach via Holocaust symbolism those who don’t accept the consensus views on climate science.

Of course the problem for Joe is that Revkin (as well as me) have always accepted the consensus views on science. More than anyone else Revkin is probably responsible for broadly disseminating those views via his reporting, and has been routinely criticized by those skeptical for not taking a more skeptical view himself.

So Romm’s attacks collapse in a heap of intellectual incoherence. A “denier” is thus anyone whose views on the science differ from Joe’s views (whose views on climate science are indeed unique) and thus because his opponent’s views on science are wrong, he can then dismiss their political views with the sweeping contempt of “denier.” Thus, because Revkin works from the scientific consensus on climate change he is thus a “denier” or in Joe’s special language a “denier-eq.” Thus, Joe can them proceed to impeach Andy’s identification of a wide-ranging debate on climate policy among people who want action. Joe would prefer that no views other than his own receive attention, thus the frequent juvenile blog tantrums and fits.

So if the Center for American Progress envisions Joe painting their organization into a small corner where nuance, debate, and above all a range of views of climate policy are not allowed, then they are succeeding beyond wildest expectations, and Romm is not only marginalizing himself, but the institution that pays his salary.


No global warming in Canada

Ice in Canada's St. Lawrence River traps ships carrying 500, including icebreaker

Ice in the St. Lawrence River has trapped three ships carrying a total of about 500 passengers - including an icebreaker sent in to unblock the waterway. A cruise ship with about 300 people on board is among the three stuck since Monday at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River near Matane, Quebec.

Leonard Arsenault, a spokesman for the cruise ship CTMA-Vacancier, says passengers were being transported to the Gaspe Peninsula from Montreal for a week-long ski trip in the Chic-Choc mountains.

A coast guard icebreaker was sent to free the cruise ship and a freighter that was also trapped, but it got stuck in the ice. There are about 500 people aboard the three vessels, says Arsenault.


Australian university Dismisses Climate Change Sceptic

You see why most academics fear to identify themselves as climate realists

It is common for Australian academics to publicly express an opinion on climate change including in our newspapers; think Tim Flannery, Ian Lowe and more recently Barry Brook. A couple of weeks ago Jon Jenkins, an Adjunct Professor at Bond University, had an opinion piece published by The Australian newspaper. The piece was critical of the accepted dogma on anthropogenic global warming with a focus on how global temperatures are recorded and ended with a comment on sustainable development:
"Science is only about certainty and facts. The real question is in acknowledging the end of fossil fuels within the next 200 years or so: how do we spend our research time and dollars? Do we spend it on ideologically green-inspired publicity campaigns such as emissions-trading schemes based on the fraud of the IPCC, or do we spend it on basic science that could lead us to energy self-sufficiency based on some combination of solar, geothermal, nuclear and renewable sources? The alternative is to go back to the stone age."

Interestingly Bond University has a new name for its business and IT faculties, The Faculty of Business, Technology & Sustainable Development, but apparently didn't like Professor Jenkins' very public opinion on the subject of sustainable development. For his opinion, Professor Jenkins received an official reprimand from the Bond University Registrar and then was informed last Friday that his adjunct status had been revoked. No doubt he has contravened some rule or other at the University and no doubt this would have gone unnoticed if Professor Jenkins had a more popular opinion on these most politically charged subjects.



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