Thursday, September 09, 2010

Nasty one for the Warmists: South Pacific sea levels stable

According to an instrumentality of the government of the State of Queensland (Australia)

Actual sea level rise measured by Maritime Safety Queensland = 0.0003m per year. Projecting over a century that would be 3 centimetres - just over an inch.

MSQ is responsible for people's lives and so highly unlikely to fudge numbers to obtain research grants. The actual measured annual rate of sea level change (0.3 mm) is less than the error involved in measuring. It's well below actual peak rates of natural sea level rises and falls experienced in the last 18,000 years.

Such reporters of weather, climate and sea level on which people's lives depend show there are no human induced changes occurring globally in climate as screamed by alarmists seeking political or financial gain.

Excerpt from the report:
Tidal Reference Frame For Queensland

Because the sea level rise is very low, averaging 0.0003 metres per annum for the Australian continent (Mitchell, 2002), the 15 to 19 years of readings available from Queensland tidal stations is not sufficient to calculate a reasonable estimate of sea level change. Accordingly an adjustment of 0.0003 metres per annum is made to the mean sea level within the tidal reference frame.

The allowance is been calculated from the central date of the observation period at each station to the central date of the tidal datum epoch (31 December 2001).

In time, it is expected that there will a sufficiently long span of readings and that it will be possible to obtain a refined estimate of the sea level rise at individual stations. The sea level change observed at each place can be incorporated into future primary determinations in lieu of the Australia wide rise incorporated at present.


Natural Resources Defense Council writer gets an erection about something that didn't happen

He sees a summer in one swallow -- the "defection" of Bjorn Lomborg. A classical example of Green/Left flawed logic and statistical ignorance.

But Lomborg did not defect from the skeptics camp because he was never in it. He has ALWAYS been an AGW believer. He has just had unorthodox views about how to deal with it -- and still does

Just as the science of climate change became more conclusive, the media became more fragmented. In order to compete against blogs and cable news, papers turned to more sensational, polarized coverage. “Thanks to pressure from climate skeptics,” Lemonick writes, “Some journalists started adding dissenting voices in an attempt to add "balance" to their stories.

But then something interesting happened. It became harder and harder to find quotable skeptics, because, “scientific skepticism about climate change has largely vanished among true experts. It now lies with nonexperts like Freeman Dyson -- scientists from unrelated fields who don't know much about climate science but weigh in anyway.”

Lemonick’s view about the shrinking number of skeptics was confirmed a few days ago when an article in The Week listed six influential climate skeptics who recently changed their minds, including Bjorn Lomborg, the Danish academic who wrote the 2001 book, The Skeptical Environmentalist. The book he published in 2010 is called Smart Solutions to Climate Change.

If the science is so unassailable that the last few hold outs are giving up their skeptical stands, isn’t it time for the media to stop trying to “balance” climate articles? The press doesn’t cover evolution or the physics of a hurricane’s path as if it were up for debate. Why should it persist in treating climate change like an open question.


Another example of a Warmist deriving generalizations from a single instance

I guess he missed the first lesson of Statistics 101. Warmism sure does seem to corrode the brain. He puts in some "Ifs" initially but proceeds to generalize anyway

Earlier this summer, a group of scientists spent two weeks in Indonesia atop a glacier called Puncak Jaya, one of the few remaining tropical glaciers in the world. They were taking samples of ice cores to study the impacts of climate change on the glacier.

Lonnie Thompson, a professor of earth sciences at Ohio State University, led the team and what he witnessed shocked him: The glacier was literally melting under their feet.

Thompson tells NPR's Guy Raz he has conducted 57 expeditions around the world, but this trip was unusual. It was the first one where he experienced rain on the glacier every day. "Rain is probably the most effective way to ... cause the ice to melt," Thompson says. "So this was the first time you could see the surface actually lowering around you."

While Thompson and his team were there drilling cores, he says, they witnessed the glacier drop 12 inches in just two weeks. "If that's representative of the annual ice loss on these glaciers," he says, "you're looking at losing over seven meters of ice in a year. Unfortunately, that glacier's going to disappear in as little as five years if that rate continues."

Just because the melting of the glacier won't have a devastating impact on Indonesia doesn't mean it should be ignored, Thompson says. Rather, it's like the canary in the coal mine — an indicator of changes in the planet's warming trends. And one that should be seen with boots on.

"When we look at what's happening to the ice on the planet, we use satellites. The problem with the satellite or aerial photography is you don't see the vertical thinning that's taking place," Thompson says. "Consequently there'll come a year in the future that there'll appear to be a glacier but it will disappear the next year because of the thinning from the top down. And to me, that's very sobering."


Chris Dodd's last act: 'Control the people'

Alarms raised over Democrat senator's likely final major piece of legislation

Alarms are being raised over what probably is retiring Sen. Christopher Dodd's last major piece of legislation – the Livable Communities Act, which has been approved by the Senate Banking Committee and now is heading to the Senate floor – for its likely U.N. inspiration and goal of controlling people.

The plan would create a new federal bureaucracy, the Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities, armed with some $4 billion in federal grants, to pressure local communities into a more "green" development agenda.

Detractors say its priorities can be traced back to the U.N., which at an Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 adopted Agenda 21, outlining the goal of having government control over people.

On its face, the program would have grants to underwrite local community planning efforts that direct actions toward a "sustainable development."

Dodd, a scandal-plagued Connecticut Democrat, decided last year not to run for re-election in 2010.

The law is promoted as an effort to fight traffic congestion, strip malls and ugly urban sprawl. It would "encourage" local communities to create high-density population centers linked by mass transit networks.

Michael Shaw of Freedom Advocates, a pro-constitutional rights group, told WND, "They call it 'smart growth.' It literally means they draw a circle around the community and say nothing will be developed outside of this wall. Land inside the wall goes up in price as shortages develop. You end up with highrises, with people living on the top floors, stores on bottom floors and offices in the middle. Humans wind up living in the sky. They never touch the ground or leave the building."

The bill, approved by the Senate Banking Committee on a party-line vote in August, "is on a fast track," said Tom DeWeese, president of the American Policy Center, a grassroots group promoting free markets and limited government. "The Democrats are doing everything they can before they lose power in the next election. They're working on a plethora of environmental bills we've been fighting for years, things that we thought were dead," he said.

DeWeese added, "What makes the Dodd bill unique is they've mostly done this through executive orders or grant programs, but now this is the first time they've put together a federal bill to put this stuff in place."

Shaw and DeWeese warn of numerous unpublicized consequences of the Livable Communities Act and similar "sustainable development" legislation.

It's a "socialist trap," DeWeese said. "The Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities would end up overseeing development in every community," he said. "They say it's voluntary, but it really isn't. The $4 billion in grants will be used by radical green groups, who helped write it, to force your city council to comply. If your city says no to the pressure to take the grant money, the radical greens will tell your citizens that their city officials are losing them millions of dollars that is owed to the community. Then, when the council caves into the pressure and takes the money, it will force compliance. That is not voluntary, it is blackmail."

Homeowners would end up paying exorbitant costs and losing control over their own homes, according to DeWeese.

"To get the money, a community must meet environmental standards," he said. "That requires houses to be equipped with new roofs, new windows, and efficient appliances. They did this last year in Oakland. It costs an estimated $35,000 to make a house comply with the environmental regulations. They say homeowners can't sell their houses if they don't meet these standards."

Shaw warned of its Big Brother-type impact. "It's the application of new technological breakthroughs to control people," he said. "Look at the new smart meters sweeping the nation."

The devices are being marketed as methods for reducing electricity expenses, but Shaw points out that energy companies and bureaucrats end up controlling the temperature in private homes.

Shaw believes the legislation traces back to Agenda 21, the U.N.-sponsored environmental initiative revealed at the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit in 1992. According to Shaw, Agenda 21 has three main goals: "1. Abolition of private property. 2. Education for global citizenship. 3. Control over human action."

Shaw, whose organization was created to inform the public about Agenda 21, said, "It originated in the U.N. 178 nations have signed onto it, including the U.S. in 1992. It's not a treaty, it's a soft law agreement, so it doesn't require treaty ratification. George H.W. Bush infused every federal department with sustainable development principles, and they've been followed by all three presidents since."


The Face of Eco-Terrorism

There’s no doubt that Discovery Channel gunman James Jay Lee was mentally unstable, but it should be equally clear that Lee is far from the first person – and surely not the last – to take their cues from an environmental movement that grows more delusional with each passing day.

Does that mean that we should blame Al Gore for Lee’s actions and death? No. Gore is far too savvy a huckster to endanger the green gold-mine that he helped create by encouraging violence among his followers. He would much prefer that the James Jay Lees of the world save the planet by making a substantial purchase of carbon credits on the CCX.

That said, Gore, the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and all the rest of today’s self-proclaimed environmental champions surely share the blame for creating the atmosphere of fear and dread that permeates America’s attitude about our relationship with nature. It is the misguided notion that human beings are an infection on planet Earth, a feeling shared by millions of Americans, that provided James Jay Lee with an outlet for his paranoid delusions, just as it did for Ted Kaczynski thirty years ago.

Environmental advocates have continually upped the ante when it comes to doomsday rhetoric, to the point that they are now “all in.” They have progressed from the bird extinction delusions that Rachel Carson chronicled in Silent Spring to a crisis they claim is so acute, so immediate, that all forms of life on earth are in grave danger. Is it any wonder that some people might take them at their word and act accordingly? A mentally unstable man like James Jay Lee wielding a bomb might grab the spotlight for a few days, but he is hardly the only example of someone taking the Green movement’s message to its logical and extreme conclusions.

Consider the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement for example. Proudly proclaiming “may we all live long and die out,” VHEMT says that “phasing out the human race by voluntarily ceasing to breed will allow Earth’s biosphere to return to good health. Crowded conditions and resource shortages will improve as we become less dense.” Members aren’t inclined to hasten the process along by blowing fellow human beings up, but their goal is indistinguishable from James Jay Lee’s: once humans stop procreating, the world returns to pristine purity.

Less subtly, the Church of Euthanasia asks visitors to “Save the Plant: Kill Yourself” and instructs followers to abide by its “four pillars” of faith: suicide, abortion, cannibalism and sodomy. Are these two extreme examples? Sure, but theirs are hardly isolated points of view. A James Jay Lee would feel right at home commiserating with like-minded souls who belong to organizations like VHEMT or the Church of Euthanasia. Such organizations may have counseled Lee against violent means, but they surely would have sympathized with his ends.

The Earth First! movement proudly proclaims that it’s growing in size and importance. The radical organization urges people concerned with the fate of the planet to use any tactic, legal or illegal, to save the planet. The Earth First! Journal describes their mission thus: “Earth First! formed in 1979, in response to an increasingly corporate, compromising and ineffective environmental community. It is not an organization, but a movement. There are no “members” of EF!, only Earth First!ers.

We believe in using all of the tools in the toolbox, from grassroots and legal organizing to civil disobedience and monkeywrenching. When the law won’t fix the problem, we put our bodies on the line to stop the destruction.” The term “monkeywrenching” is of course code that covers a variety of offenses, from spiking trees to burning down subdivisions, all in the name of making the earth a better place in which to live.

At first blush it may seem ironic that radical groups and ideas like these could sprout up in a nation that has made such incredible strides in cleaning up the environment over the last forty years. Yet, upon closer inspection, it makes sense. America has dedicated billions and billions of dollars in both the public and private sector toward environmental protection and restoration. Congress has passed law after law that requires cleaner air, water and soil.

No matter. The tenor and substance of the message that people like Al Gore and organizations like the Sierra Club has not changed, no matter how much time and money we invest and how much progress me make. In fact, they never admit that we have made any progress all. In this circumstance, a committed environmentalist can only conclude that government is incapable of fixing the problem, either because politicians are incompetent, or because corporations are too powerful, or both.

The people that ardent environmentalists trust – like Gore and the Sierra Club – assure them that the planet is in worse danger than ever today. Government solutions have failed. So what’s left? Clearly, for folks like those represented by VHEMT, the Church of Euthanasia and Earth First! radical solutions are the only thing left. Nothing else has worked.

James Jay Lee is an extreme example of an illness that permeates American culture. While “mainstream” environmentalists and environmental groups may not condone his methods or his words, most are wholly committed to his goals. Environmentalists worry about over-population and civilization encroaching on wildlife habitats. James Jay Lee translated that into: “Saving the Planet means saving what’s left of the non-human Wildlife by decreasing the Human population. That means stopping the human race from breeding any more disgusting human babies!”

Environmentalists wag their fingers and lecture that humans are responsible for pollution and so we must do more to clean up this dirty planet. James Jay Lee expressed that idea more succinctly: “Humans are the most destructive, filthy, pollutive creatures around and are wrecking what’s left of the planet…”

Environmentalists wring their hands about endangered species and supposedly-endangered species (like polar bears). James Jay Lee took that message to heart: “Nothing is more important than saving them. The Lions, Tigers, Giraffes, Elephants, Froggies, Turtles, Apes, Raccoons, Beetles, Ants, Sharks, Bears, and, of course, the Squirrels.”

Environmental apologists on the left have attempted to condemn any attempt to link Lee to their movement, claiming that doing so exposes the hypocrisy of conservatives who complain about attempts to link violence and racism to the tea party movement. These two examples bear no practical resemblance to each other. The tea party movement’s focus is overwhelmingly on making a difference by working legally within our system of government. To wit: by exercising the movement’s power at the ballot box. The environmental movement has continually sent its followers the message that government has not and, by inference, cannot solve the global ecological “crisis”.

Additionally, while there are incidents of politically-motivated violence on the right, it would be very surprising to learn that such incidents outnumber those involving leftist-inspired violence. In the case of political causes, in other words, both sides are equally infected by extremists. But, when it comes to the environment however, extremism and violence is a one way affair. There is no group analogous to Earth First!, VHEMT or the Church of Euthanasia on the skeptical side of the environmental movement. There is no one analogous to James Jay Lee or Ted Kaczynski.

The strongest voices aligned against green extremists are lawful, non-violent think tanks like the Cato Institute and the Heartland Institute. While organizations like Heartland receive death threats from time to time, they don’t issue them and, more important, nothing they say or do would inspire their followers to believe that such violent measures are necessary.

Environmental groups can’t come close to making the same claims after decades of overblown hyperbole and scare-mongering. Al Gore and his cohorts, in other words, may not have pushed James Jay Lee over the edge, but there is no way that troubled man would have gotten close to his particular precipice but for Gore and his disciples.


Tax versus Trade

I feel like I keep stating the obvious. A carbon tax is bad because it’s unnecessary and nobody wastes money better than big government, but a carbon trading scheme is worse. The latter is a fake market that feeds corruption and creates it’s own vested industry of financial brokers who profit no matter what the price and no matter who buys or sells (they just need a government mandated scheme that forces businesses to buy and sell), and no matter whether anything useful happens to the environment. Once the financial houses are set (and they are already well advanced) how could this policy ever be unwound?

Carbon Tax = bad; Carbon Trade = sew raw steaks to your shirt and swim with sharks

So everyone has a handy pocket list as a reference:

1. Carbon trading is NOT a free market. (In a free market, no one would pay for an atmospheric nullity they can’t use. A carbon trading market is one where the government compels some parties to buy, so it is not free.)

2. It feeds the financial sharks. (Think “ENRON” x 100).

3. Its a magnet for corruption. (It’s easy to cheat in a fake market selling hard-to-verify nothings.)

4. Its permanent. (How do you ask a two trillion dollar industry to shut up and die once it’s protected by phalanxes of lobbyists and easy-cash to donate to “worthy causes”?)

The trading scheme needs brokers, auditors, assessors, marketers, lawyers, insurers and accountants, not to mention speculators, derivative traders, ratings agencies, specialist software, and a fleet of sales reps. A carbon tax needs none of these, just application at a few crucial points of sale of oil, coal etc like the current petrol tax.

Both the trading scheme and a tax would need technicians (to get that aerial fertilizer stuffed in a hole underground) and an entirely new source of global industrial and domestic energy. Once all these people are trained, employed, committed, and have their superannuation at risk, we have the Golden Gravy Express Train from Hell. Fifty million people to yell, scream and wail should the train slow down. It’s a massive industrial dead-end, all based on computer models that assumed things that have been shown to be wrong.

So “Why don’t we take insurance? What’s the harm?”

The harm? Every dollar we spend on a fake problem is a dollar we can’t spend on a real one. Worse, it’s a dollar that might be giving power and strength to frauds and parasites. Honest conscientious souls won’t screw the rules to their advantage, but unscrupulous overlords will be happy to push the envelope and use their extra power to crush a few more peasants. In a third world country, who will protect those victims?

Markets and currencies are powerful tools which have transformed civilization. But any tool can be used like a weapon.



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1 comment:

John A said...

Indonesian glacier -
"When we look at what's happening to the ice on the planet, we use satellites. The problem with the satellite or aerial photography is you don't see the vertical thinning that's taking place," Thompson says.

Huh? I admit to huge ignorance, but I do know that even photography (let be radar and non-photographic measurements) can be analysed to measure the "vertical." Perhaps he is unaware that that it has been done since roughly the mid-nineteenth century, notably [to the general public, such as I] by military analysis groups.

Livable Communities Act -
heh, sounds designed to destroy Los Angeles California and replace it with New York City New York. I have been seeing the concept, sometimes an extreme called "arcology," in Science Fiction for over five decades, and even when the author obviously approved I never found such "liveable" as a forced preference. Yes, it is possible to live in a submerged nuclear submarine for more than a year, just as it was possible to live for years at a time on a wooden whaling ship - but "Liveable?"