Holdren 'appears to have less scientific competence than most 1st graders' He must live in a dream
John Holdren holds the highest position of scientific authority in the country. He was hand chosen by President Obama. He also appears to have less scientific competence than most first graders:
"...if you lose the summer sea ice, there are phenomena that could lead you not so very long thereafter to lose the winter sea ice as well. And if you lose that sea ice year round, it’s going to mean drastic climatic change all over the hemisphere" - John Holdren, 2009.
Temperatures are well below freezing across the Arctic now, and about -20C near Greenland. they will continue to get colder for the next few months. New ice is forming at the rate of one Manhattan every minute and a half, in areas that were previously ice free.
The North Pole has gone completely dark. There is no SW radiation to warm things up. Temperatures are too cold to hold much water vapour, so there is almost no greenhouse effect. It is butt cold in the Arctic, and only a scientific illiterate would think otherwise.
Monday, March 9, 2009
When President Obama lifts restrictions on funding for human embryonic stem cell research today, he will also issue a presidential memorandum aimed at insulating scientific decisions across the federal government from political influence, officials said yesterday.
Does Obama ever tell the truth about anything?
Geologist says there's no need to fight over mineral resources
It's easy to be a pessimist in a world full of calamities. But for those worried about the continuing availability of natural resources, data from the ocean makes a good case for optimism, says economic geologist Lawrence Cathles.
In a review paper published June 23 online in the journal Mineralium Deposita, Cathles, Cornell professor of earth and atmospheric sciences, writes that while land-based deposits may be a dwindling source of valuable minerals, deposits on the ocean floor could power humanity for centuries.
The minerals, including sulfur, copper, zinc, iron and precious metals, are contained in volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) deposits that form on the ocean floor where tectonic plates pull apart and allow magma (molten rock) to invade the Earth's 3.7-mile- (6 kilometer-) thick crust. The magma heats seawater to 662 degrees Fahrenheit (350 degrees Celsius) and moves it through the ocean crust via convection; and the seawater deposits the minerals where it discharges along the ridge axis.
According to model simulations by Cathles and colleagues combined with heat flow measurements from the 1980s around the Galapagos Islands, the seawater convection cools the entire crust -- "like a homeowner who lights a fire in his fireplace for the express purpose of cooling his house," said Cathles.
That knowledge, along with the known thickness of the ocean crust, allows researchers to calculate the quantity of dissolved minerals that could be transported over each square meter of ocean floor.
If just 3 percent of the dissolved minerals precipitate -- an estimate based on earlier studies -- the ocean floor would hold reserves vastly greater than those on land, Cathles said.
In the case of copper -- a key component in construction, power generation and transmission, industrial machinery, transportation, electronics, plumbing, heating and cooling systems, telecommunications and more -- calculations show that just half of the total accumulated amount could be enough to bring the world's growing population up to a modern standard of living and maintain it for centuries.
"I think there's a good chance that it's a lot more than 3 percent," Cathles said. "But even just taking 3 percent, if you calculate how long the copper on the ocean floor would last, just half of it could last humanity 50 centuries or more.
"You go back to Christ, and then you go twice as far again, and you've got that much copper," he said. "That's everyone living at a European standard of living, essentially forever." Equally large quantities of uranium, lithium, phosphate, potash and other minerals are dissolved in ocean water and could be extracted, he added.
With the necessary precautions, extracting the underwater deposits may also be a more environmentally friendly process than mining on land, Cathles said.
And it could provide other benefits, both scientific and psychological. Undersea exploration around ocean ridges could open doors to new research on the fundamental processes behind the formation of Earth's crust, he noted; and a more positive outlook on the future could lead to fewer wars and more positive engagement.
"We are not resource limited on planet Earth. For a human on Earth to complain about resources is like a trillionaire's child complaining about his allowance or inheritance. It just doesn't have much credibility in my view," he said.
"I think there's real risk if we don't really carefully, and in a credible way, articulate that there are enough resources for everybody," he added. "We don't have to fight over these things."
Pollution overestimate fueled California's landmark diesel law
Too high - by 340 percent! Odd how the "mistakes" are always in the same direction: The Green/Left direction
California grossly miscalculated pollution levels in a scientific analysis used to toughen the state's clean-air standards, and scientists have spent the past several months revising data and planning a significant weakening of the landmark regulation, The Chronicle has found.
The pollution estimate in question was too high - by 340 percent, according to the California Air Resources Board, the state agency charged with researching and adopting air quality standards. The estimate was a key part in the creation of a regulation adopted by the Air Resources Board in 2007, a rule that forces businesses to cut diesel emissions by replacing or making costly upgrades to heavy-duty, diesel-fueled off-road vehicles used in construction and other industries.
The staff of the powerful and widely respected Air Resources Board said the overestimate is largely due to the board calculating emissions before the economy slumped, which halted the use of many of the 150,000 diesel-exhaust-spewing vehicles in California. Independent researchers, however, found huge overestimates in the air board's work on diesel emissions and attributed the flawed work to a faulty method of calculation - not the economic downturn.
The overestimate, which comes after another bad calculation by the air board on diesel-related deaths that made headlines in 2009, prompted the board to suspend the regulation this year while officials decided whether to weaken the rule.
On Thursday, after months of work, the air board and construction industry officials announced a proposal that includes delaying the start of the requirements until 2014 and exempting more vehicles from the rule. It would be a major scaling back of the rule if the air board approves it in a vote scheduled for December. The announcement was made as The Chronicle was preparing to publish this report, which had been in the works for several weeks.
The setbacks in the air board's research - and the proposed softening of a landmark regulation - raise questions about the performance of the agency as it is in the midst of implementing the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 - or AB32 as it is commonly called, one of the state's and the nation's most ambitious environmental policies to date.
AB32, which aims to reduce carbon emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020, has come under intense political attack this year as the state prepares to elect a new governor. Critics cast the law as a jobs killer because of the expenses to industry and businesses in conforming to new pollution regulations. Supporters say it will reinvigorate the state's economy and create thousands of new jobs in the emerging green sector.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman has promised to suspend the law for at least a year, while Democrat Jerry Brown supports the law. California voters, meanwhile, will vote on Proposition 23, a November initiative to suspend AB32 until the unemployment rate - now at 12.4 percent in California - falls to 5.5 percent or less for a year.
Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, offered no explanation when The Chronicle questioned her about the diesel emissions miscalculation. She was recently asked why the air board estimate of a nitrous oxide source was off by at least a factor of two - air board scientists have since revised their numbers, and data show the estimate was off by 340 percent. Nichols' response: "I can't answer that for you."
Nichols was emphatic, though, when asked whether she has concerns about other scientific calculations made by air board scientists. "No, no, no, no, no, no, no and no," she said.
Members of Nichols' board don't have an answer for the overestimate either, said Ron Roberts, an air board member who is a Republican supervisor in San Diego County and who voted in favor of the diesel regulation. "One of the hardest things about being on the board is separating fact from political fancy," Roberts said.
Dangerous Carbon Pollution: Propaganda from Climatism
by Steve Goreham
In an address to Green Mountain College on May 15, Carol Browner, Director of Energy and Climate Change Policy, stated “The sooner the U.S. puts a cap on our dangerous carbon pollution, the sooner we can create a new generation of clean energy jobs here in America…” In July, 2009, President Obama lauded the “Cash for Clunkers” program, stating that the initiative “gives consumers a break, reduces dangerous carbon pollution, and our dependence on foreign oil…” Unfortunately, our President is misinformed about carbon pollution.
The phrase “dangerous carbon pollution” has become standard propaganda from environmental groups. An example is a May, 2010 press release from the World Wildlife Fund that called for “a science-based limit on dangerous carbon pollution that will send a strong signal to the private sector.” Environmentalists have successfully painted a picture of black particle emissions into the atmosphere. This misconception is being used to drive efforts for Cap & Trade legislation, renewable energy, and every sort of restriction on our light bulbs, vehicles, and houses—all in the misguided attempt to stop climate change.
Carbon is integral to our skin, our muscles, our bones, and throughout the body of each person. Carbon forms more than 20% of the human body by weight. We are full of this “dangerous carbon pollution” by natural metabolic processes.
It’s true that incomplete combustion emits carbon particles that can cause smoke and smog. But this particulate carbon pollution is well controlled by the Clean Air Act of 1970 and many other federal and state statutes.
According to Environmental Protection Agency data, U.S. air quality today is significantly better than it was in 1980. Since 1980, airborne concentration of carbon monoxide is down 79%, lead is down 92%, nitrogen dioxide is down 46%, ozone is down 25%, and sulfur dioxide is down 71%. Carbon particulates have been tracked for fewer years, but PM10 particulates are down 31% since 1990 and PM2.5 particulates are down 19% since 2000. Over the same period, electricity consumption from coal-fired power plants rose 72% and vehicle miles driven are up 91%. We do not need Cap & Trade, Renewable Portfolio Standards, or the California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32), to reduce carbon particulates.
Climatism! Science, Common Sense, and the 21st Century’s Hottest Topic, Figure 78, data from EPA, 2006
The target of “dirty carbon pollution” propaganda is carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is an invisible, odorless, harmless gas. It does not cause smog or smoke. Humans breathe out 100 times the CO2 we breathe in, created as our body uses sugars. But since it’s tough to call an invisible gas “dirty,” Climatists use “carbon” instead. It’s as wrong as calling water “hydrogen” or salt “chlorine.” Compounds have totally different properties than their composing elements.
Not only is carbon dioxide not a pollutant, it’s essential for life. As pointed out by geologist Leighton Steward, carbon dioxide is green! Carbon dioxide is plant food. Increased atmospheric CO2 causes plants and trees to grow faster and larger, increase their root systems, and improve their resistance to drought, as documented by hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific papers. Carbon dioxide is the best compound that mankind could put into the atmosphere to grow the biosphere.
This “carbon pollution” nonsense is driven by Climatism, the belief that man-made greenhouse gases are destroying Earth’s climate. In a debate at the Global Warming Forum at Purdue University on September 27, Dr. Susan Avery, President of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, was asked “What is the strongest empirical evidence that global warming is caused by man-made greenhouse gas emissions rather than natural causes?”
Neither Dr. Avery nor Dr. Robert Socolow of Princeton, who also presented, could provide an answer, except the ambiguous “There is lots of evidence.” In fact, Climatism is based largely on computer model projections. There is no empirical evidence that man-made greenhouse gases are the primary cause of global warming. According to Dr. Frederick Seitz, past President of the National Academy of Sciences, “Research data on climate change do not show that human use of hydrocarbons is harmful. To the contrary, there is good evidence that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is environmentally helpful.”
As Joanne Nova, Australian author, points out: “Everything on your dinner table—the meat, cheese, salad, bread, and soft drink—requires carbon dioxide to be there. For those of you who believe carbon dioxide is a pollutant, we have a special diet: water and salt.” So the next time you drink a beer or eat a meal, beware of that “dangerous carbon pollution.”
Measuring Ocean Temperatures Properly
Measuring ocean temperature globally is harder than it sounds. But it is crucial to understanding climate, because most of the heat in the climate system (water, air, ice, and snow) is stored in the oceans. Ocean temperature is a better indicator of global warming than air temperature, but we care more immediately about air temperature because we live on land.
Figure 15: The Argo network has over 3,000 floats measuring temperature in all of the oceans
The Argo network of over 3,000 duck diving floats has finally overcome many of the problems, but only became operational in mid-2003.
Ocean temperature data before Argo is nearly worthless. Before Argo, starting in the early 1960s, ocean temperatures were measured with bathythermographs (XBTs). They are expendable probes lowered into the water, that measure temperature and pressure, and transmit data back along a pair of thin wires. They were nearly all launched from ships along the main commercial shipping lanes, so geographical coverage of the world’s oceans was poor—for example the huge southern oceans were not monitored. XBTs do not go as deep as Argo floats, and their data is much less accurate (they move too quickly through the water).
Oceans Are Cooling
Argo found that the oceans have been in a slight cooling trend since at least late-2004. Josh Willis of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in charge of the Argo data, said in March 2008 on NPR: “There has been a very slight cooling, but not anything really significant”.
The Argo data originally showed a strong cooling trend. Josh Willis was surprised at the results: “every body was telling me I was wrong”, because it didn’t agree with the climate models or satellite observations of net radiation flux. (Willis, who has written a paper with the father of alarmism James Hansen, had an “eye-opening” brush with Rush Limbaugh over the original data.) Willis decided to recalibrate the Argo data by omitting readings from some floats that seemed to be giving readings that were too cold.
(This is an example of a general problem with data in climate science: believers hold all the authority positions in climate science and own (manage) all the datasets. Datasets that contradict their theory have a habit of being recalibrated or otherwise adjusted for technical reasons, and the changes to the datasets always make them more supportive of the theory of man-made global warming. It has happened several times now—but by chance alone you would expect technical adjustments to make the data less supportive of any given position about half the time. Don’t be surprised if the Argo data for the last few years is “revised” at some stage to show warming instead of slight cooling.)
The Argo results shown here are the new data, after those omissions were made:
Figure 16: The ocean heat content from mid 2003 to early 2008, as measured by the Argo network, for 0 – 700 meters in depth. The vertical axis measures changes in units of 1022 Joules (about 0.01°C). There is seasonal fluctuation because the oceans are mainly in the southern hemisphere
They Keep Quiet About The Results
The western climate establishment run the Argo network, but they have made it extraordinarily difficult to obtain the ocean temperature from the Argo data. (On the Internet there is raw Argo data, related results like some Pacific temperatures or temperature by depth at some locations, and float positions. But the computations to move from there to the global ocean temperature are prohibitively complex.) There is no graph of global ocean temperature from up-to-date Argo data on the public web; in contrast, there are several for air temperature.
Basically the only way to get Argo’s global ocean temperatures is to ask Josh Willis (above) and get lucky. The graph here comes from Craig Loehle, who got the data from Willis a couple of years ago, analyzed it, and put the results in a peer reviewed paper available on the Internet. Willis now won’t give out the data (maybe it undermines the establishment?): here he turns down non-establishment climate scientist Roger Pielke Sr (Sept 2010).
Why is there no website showing the latest global ocean temperature as measured by Argo? The western public have paid for this data and it is crucial to the climate debate, so why isn’t it freely available?
If the Argo data showed a warming trend, don’t you suppose it would be publicized endlessly? The climate establishment and the mainstream media are keen to trumpet any evidence of warming. Good news! From the silence we can only conclude that Argo is not showing any ocean warming.
In science, data is supposed to be shared. The climate establishment’s behavior over ocean temperatures shows they are more interested in shaping the public’s perception than finding the truth.
More HERE (See the original for links)
Australian Greenies to push up the price of food
AUSTRALIAN households are already pay the highest ever rates for electricity. Now get ready to start doing the same for food and clothing. Proposed drastic cuts to water allocations in the Murray-Darling Basin will hit farmers from Griffith to Narrabri and send supermarket prices soaring, industry experts said.
The Murray-Darling Basin Authority - an independent body charged with "restoring balance" in some of the country's most productive agricultural areas - released a proposal yesterday to cut up to 37 per cent from irrigators' water allotments.
The full cost is expected to be at least $1.1 billion in lost agricultural production, while some regional towns relying on irrigation farming may become ghost towns. The authority believes just 800 jobs will be lost, but the NSW Irrigators Council reckons that figure will be more like 17,000.
Regional Australia isn't happy but the flow-on effect will be felt as keenly in the city with more costly food and clothing, to go with already high cost-of-living pressure. "There will be riots in the streets, which is a colourful statement but this is clearly a plan to not only hurt our farmers but to depopulate regional Australia," Murrumbidgee Irrigation chairwoman Gillian Kirkup said.
In NSW, the report recommends cuts of up to 43 per cent in the Murrumbidgee and up to 37 per cent in the Murray and Gwydir as part of a plan to direct more water toward environmental purposes, such as desalination.
Farmers Association vice-president Peter Darley said the report could spell the end of farming as we know it. "They have put environmental flows ahead of food security, which is disgusting," Mr Darley said. "The cuts will push the price of food up but by how much only time will tell. But retailers will certainly capitalise on this."
The report also warns that tough restrictions on the use of Australia's most productive river network - the source of 40 per cent of our food - could push cotton farmers in the state's north to alternative crops, or right off the land. "Some service centres may become more welfare dependent," the Murray-Darling Basin Authority report [smugly] said.
The authority wants to raise environmental water flow [i.e. let the water run straight out to sea] from 58 per cent to 67-70 per cent in a bid to save native birds, fish and trees. The study is a "guide" for a draft report which will lead to a final document not expected before the end of 2011.
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 blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here