Wednesday, March 04, 2009


An email from Mark Duchamp []:

Reuter's Alister Doyle wrote: "Unfortunately, more snow might fit projections by the U.N. Climate Panel, which says that northern Europe is likely to get wetter and the south drier as temperatures rise this century."

But southern Europe isn't getting warmer and drier as projected. In Spain, where I live, we've had record snow, and not just over the 2006 levels as in Norway. It's something people hadn't seen in 20 or 30 years. The media were careful not to compare with historical data: it wouldn't have been politically correct to say that records have been broken. But quite a fuss was stirred up when traffic collapsed in snowbound Madrid. The main river (Ebro) went over its banks both in 2008 and in 2009, flooding the countryside. Hydropower reserves in the north have been replenished to such an extent that I heard of a dam that had to open its slush gates to avoid overflowing.

The skiing season in the Pyrenees has been an unprecedented success, and on the French side as well. Indeed, Southern France also experienced unusual snowfalls: like Madrid, traffic in Marseilles was paralysed for a full day. And it's not just the snow: the same may be said about temperatures, which have been remarkably cold all the way down to Southern Spain. The winter of 2007-2008 was also surprisingly severe.

So much for the IPCC predictions of a warmer and dryer Southern Europe! I would tend to agree with the Japanese scientist who recently compared computer climate modelling to... ancient astrology !

Big chill buries global warming protest

There were two storms in the US capital yesterday, and one blew away the other. Global warming activists had stormed Washington for what was billed as the nation's largest act of civil disobedience to fight climate change, only to see the city almost shut down by a major winter storm. As Washington was blasted with its heaviest snowfall of the winter, politicians cancelled appearances and schools and businesses were closed. The storm also buried under 15cm of snow any hope of global warming activism.

Reports said the activists had hoped to swarm Washington in an effort to force the Government to close the Capitol Power Plant, which heats and cools government buildings, including the Supreme Court and the Capitol. Fox News said the scene was reminiscent of a day in January 2004, when Al Gore made an address on global warming in New York -- on one of the coldest days in the city's history.

In a press release supporting the protest against the coal-fired plant, Greenpeace wrote that "coal was the country's biggest source of global warming pollution" and "burning coal cuts short at least 24,000 lives in the US annually". But Fox News said it might be worth noting the US Government's own stark numbers: pneumonia kills twice as many each year.

The storm was more serious elsewhere, paralysing most of the east coast yesterday. For the first time in five years New York City cancelled school for its 1.1 million students.....


The High Cost of Climate Lies

By Alan Caruba

The global warming hoax didn't happen over night. It is generally dated from an appearance before Congress by Dr. James E. Hansen in 1988 predicting a dramatic rise in the Earth's temperature based on the increase of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. At that time, Dr. Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, warned that steps had to be taken quickly to reduce CO2 emissions.

Ever since then, Hansen has been active in his effort to convince everyone that he's right and condemning anyone an opposing point of view. "The science is settled" has been the mantra of men like Hansen and, of course, the bilious Albert Gore of "An Inconvenient Truth" fame.

The background music has been supplied by the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that has merrily falsified alleged scientific data to advance the hoax while the U.N. Kyoto Protocol imposed limits on CO2 emissions. Most of the nations that signed it have largely ignored it, discovering that it harms their economies. The United States avoided signing, but Americans have now elected a president who is utterly devoted to this "solution" to a problem that does not exist.

In "Climate of Extremes: Global Warming Science They Don't Want You to Know", co-authors, Patrick J. Michaels and Robert C. Balling, Jr., the former a professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia and the latter a professor of the climatology program in the School of Geographical Sciences at Arizona State University, lay out just how the actual science has been deliberately distorted and politicized.

Two factors have been at work. One is money. Much of the funding for climate research comes from the U.S. government. To get that funding, the science has to fit the political agenda of whatever administration was in power. The second factor is media coverage of the issue. Journalism thrives on bad news and, after gleefully reporting a coming ice age in the 1970s they embraced an apocalyptic global warming and the vocal environmental movement in the 1980s.

Despite the fact that the Earth, based on weather satellite data, is now ten years into a distinct cooling cycle, the mainstream media continues to embrace global warming as real, along with the cries to end the use of coal for the generation of electricity. Coal, one of the most abundant and inexpensive sources of energy in America, accounts for just over fifty percent of all the electricity Americans use daily.

"Climate of Extremes" points out that "As virtually all global warming science is a publicly funded enterprise, political dynamics must in part be involved. At the simplest level, global warming is just one of many scientific issues competing for funding. AIDS and cancer, for example, are competitors."

There is an additional factor that cannot be ignored. "The reward structure in academia--promotion, tenure, and salary--is based on the quality and quantity of peer-reviewed research. The requisite level and number of publications for tenure is virtually impossible to achieve without substantial public funding." In short, environmental extremism was very good for the careers of those who kept attributing everything from allegedly endangered polar bears to the shrinking snow cover on Mount Kilimanjaro to global warming while warning against it.

While Al Gore grew rich and famous working the global warming hoax, it seemed like everyone, including prestigious organizations like the American Association for the Advancement of Science wanted to get in on the act. On June 15, 2004 they put together a panel of U.S. climate scientists to discuss global warming, but the panel was totally composed of its advocates and no dissenters. By that time, however, a Gallup poll revealed that a plurality of Americans had concluded that the news reports were exaggerations.

By then, even prestigious journals such as Science and Nature had totally disgraced themselves by publishing allegedly peer-reviewed articles about global warming. National Geographic continues to publish comparable nonsense.

Thanks to the ardent efforts of countless environmental organizations, global warming had been totally integrated into the thinking of those inside the Beltway so that millions of taxpayer dollars, then and now as part of the stimulus package have been spent to prove what the actual science demonstrates is bogus.

Indeed, on March 8-10, the second annual International Conference on Climate Change will take place in New York, bringing together several hundred climatologists, meteorologists, economists, and others to further dismember the hoax.

Meanwhile, the true cost of the global warming hoax lives on in idiotic government mandates for blending ethanol with gasoline or demands for "alternative energy" (wind and solar) unsuited to providing anywhere near the billions of megawatts the U.S. requires to function. If a "cap and trade" proposal regarding greenhouse gas emissions passes Congress, an invisible, baseless tax on energy will be imposed on all Americans.

We have all been lied to by a shameless confederation of scientists, their professional publications, their formal organizations, and politicians seeking to use this big scare to advance their careers and agendas. The problem for all of them is that the real science does not support global warming and never did. Real scientists, branded dissenters, skeptics, and deniers, held true to the principles of science, knowing that it would eventually end this vast and terrible hoax.


The Cost of Climate Regulation for American Households

On March 2, 2009, the George C. Marshall Institute released The Cost of Climate Regulation for American Households which documents the economic burdens a cap-and-trade program to control greenhouse gas emissions will impose on American households.

"As the nation's policy makers consider caps on greenhouse gas emissions, taxes on carbon dioxide, or other measures to control greenhouse gas emissions, namely energy use, they will regulate economic activity and personal behavior with the real costs being borne by the already stressed families of the United States," Institute President Jeff Kueter said. "Policy proposals that would drastically alter our energy system or confront the climate change risk must be considered in light of turbulent and uncertain economic circumstances. President Obama and the Congressional leadership have signaled their support for cap-and-trade. The Cost of Climate Regulation for American Households ought to temper the enthusiasm for this approach and encourage our leaders to examine other alternatives."

Authored by Bryan Buckley and Sergey Mityakov of Clemson University, the study discusses the burdens that could be placed on families throughout the United States. Using the popular cap-and-trade proposal discussed in the U.S. Senate last year as a point of reference, the study examines the likely impact of that system on personal consumption and welfare, national economic growth, employment, and the price paid for energy (electricity, natural gas, and gasoline).

The authors find that the constraints posed by the Lieberman-Warner cap-and-trade approach is equivalent to a constant (in percentage terms) consumption decrease of about 1% each year, continuing to 2050. Put another way, the cap-and-trade approach is the equivalent of a permanent tax increase for the average American household, which was estimated to be $1,100 in 2008, would rise to $1,437 by 2015, to $1,979 in 2030, and $2,979 in 2050.

Reviewing a host of recent studies, Buckley and Mityakov show that estimates of job losses attributable to cap-and-trade range in the hundreds of thousands.

The price for energy paid by the American consumer also will rise. The studies reviewed showed electricity prices jumping 5-15% by 2015, natural gas prices up 12-50% by 2015, and gasoline prices up 9-145% by 2015. As an illustration, gasoline would suffer a 16 cent price increase per gallon at the low end of the estimates to a $2.58 penalty at the high end (using the January 2009 reported retail price of $1.78 per gallon).



For those who have endured this winter's frigid temperatures and today's heavy snowstorm in the Northeast, the concept of global warming may seem, well, almost wishful. But climate is known to be variable -- a cold winter, or a few strung together doesn't mean the planet is cooling. Still, according to a new study, global warming may have hit a speed bump and could go into hiding for decades.

Earth's climate continues to confound scientists. Following a 30-year trend of warming, global temperatures have flatlined since 2001 despite rising greenhouse gas concentrations, and a heat surplus that should have cranked up the planetary thermostat. "This is nothing like anything we've seen since 1950," Kyle Swanson of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee said. "Cooling events since then had firm causes, like eruptions or large-magnitude La Ninas. This current cooling doesn't have one."

Instead, Swanson and colleague Anastasios Tsonis think a series of climate processes have aligned, conspiring to chill the climate. In 1997 and 1998, the tropical Pacific Ocean warmed rapidly in what Swanson called a "super El Nino event." It sent a shock wave through the oceans and atmosphere, jarring their circulation patterns into unison.

How does this square with temperature records from 2005-2007, by some measurements among the warmest years on record? When added up with the other four years since 2001, Swanson said the overall trend is flat, even though temperatures should have gone up by 0.2 degrees Centigrade (0.36 degrees Fahrenheit) during that time.

The discrepancy gets to the heart of one of the toughest problems in climate science -- identifying the difference between natural variability (like the occasional March snowstorm) from human-induced change. But just what's causing the cooling is a mystery. Sinking water currents in the north Atlantic Ocean could be sucking heat down into the depths. Or an overabundance of tropical clouds may be reflecting more of the sun's energy than usual back out into space.

"It is possible that a fraction of the most recent rapid warming since the 1970s was due to a free variation in climate," Isaac Held of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Princeton, New Jersey wrote in an email to Discovery News. "Suggesting that the warming might possibly slow down or even stagnate for a few years before rapid warming commences again."

Swanson thinks the trend could continue for up to 30 years. But he warned that it's just a hiccup, and that humans' penchant for spewing greenhouse gases will certainly come back to haunt us. "When the climate kicks back out of this state, we'll have explosive warming," Swanson said. "Thirty years of greenhouse gas radiative forcing will still be there and then bang, the warming will return and be very aggressive." [Thus speaks a man with great faith in theory]


Australian miners' message against Warmist laws comes with teeth

The hiccups the Rudd government is having over its emissions trading scheme will not be soothed by the messages it is getting from the black coal industry. The miners are Australia's biggest commodity exporters, earning around $45 billion last year, and they supply 57 per cent of domestic electricity. They employ 30,000 people and another 100,000 indirectly. They feed $15 billion a year in to the nation's pockets through remuneration, hiring contractors and buying goods and services.

And they hand over $4 billion in royalties to state governments while paying another $2.5 billion in direct and indirect taxes. In the context of the current Queensland election, they are the largest single contributor to the Bligh government's budget.

Against this background, they are out and about via the Australian Coal Association at present making it very clear that, as the global commodity boom slides in to history, they are less than happy at the way they are being treated in the emissions trading process.

The message comes with teeth - the black coal miners have so far retrenched 2,000 workers as they wrestle a big downturn and there will be more job losses, they warn. For every job lost at the mines, ACA adds pointedly, three more are lost elsewhere in the service chain. Substantial investment in coal mining is now under review or deferred, says the ACA, and equipment orders associated with mine expansions are being cancelled.

The black coal miners' gripe with ETS is based on their belief that they are one of the most trade-exposed industries in the country, as well as being emissions intensive. Their key rivals overseas - Indonesia, South Africa and Colombia among them - don't face carbon charges and, in fact, Australia is the only developed country to include "fugitive emissions" from coal mining and petroleum production in an emissions trading scheme. The major source of the miners' greenhouse gases - 22 million tonnes a year or about four per cent of the national total - are "fugitive emissions."

The miners' point to a set of numbers as the basis for their unhappiness. At $25 per permit, the Rudd ETS is going to cost them $4 billion over five years. The government is offering them assistance amounting to $500 million over five years for "gassy" mines and $250 million over five years, providing they spend the same amount as well, for abatement activity. The grants are subject to 30 per cent company tax.

If black coal had been included in the EITE - for emissions-intensive, trade-exposed - list of industries, miners would receive $500 million, or more, per year for 10 years in permit allocations. This would not be taxable. By comparison, the export LNG industry, included in the government's EITE list, will receive assistance amounting to 60 per cent of its emissions trading costs.

The coal miners reject the government assertions that they should be excluded from the EITE list because they can achieve abatement through taking up relatively low-cost technologies. "Fundamentally incorrect," says the ACA. And the association says the government concern that some mines make windfall gains could be addressed simply by an allocation rule that directed permits to mines with high "fugitive emissions."

It will be interesting to see how all this plays in the Queensland election.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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