Saturday, November 27, 2010

New book

The book is written by the most skeptical scientists of all: Those who think that the Greenhouse theory runs contrary to basic physics and hence a greenhouse effect CANNOT exist. I agree. The book is called "Slaying the Sky Dragon - Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory". The blurb at Amazon below:

Even before publication, Slaying the Sky Dragon was destined to be the benchmark for future generations of climate researchers. This is the world's first and only full volume refutation of the greenhouse gas theory of man-made global warming.

Nine leading international experts methodically expose how willful fakery and outright incompetence were hidden within the politicized realm of government climatology. Applying a thoughtful and sympathetic writing style, the authors help even the untrained mind to navigate the maze of atmospheric thermodynamics. Step-by-step the reader is shown why the so-called greenhouse effect cannot possibly exist in nature.

By deft statistical analysis the cornerstones of climate equations – incorrectly calculated by an incredible factor of three - are exposed then shattered.

This volume is a scientific tour de force and the game-changer for international environmental policymakers as well as being a joy to read for hard-pressed taxpayers everywhere.

Only the Kindle edition seems to be out so far but a paperback edition is due in a few weeks

Global cooling hits Britain again

The worst November snow for 17 years hit Britain yesterday shutting dozens of schools, ­closing roads and bringing chaos for millions of drivers.

Up to six inches fell in parts of the country as bitter Arctic winds brought an early taste of winter.

Last night forecasters warned the Big Chill could last for at least a fortnight and that more snow and ice were on the way over the next few days. ‘This is the most widespread November snow since 1993,’ said Met Office spokesman Dave Britton. ‘The snow will spread south over the next few days and we could get ten inches on high ground.

‘Next week it’s going to turn colder and it will stay cold. The winds will be picking up and will come from the east so it will feel very raw.’

In icy conditions last night, a plane with 196 passengers overshot its landing position at Newcastle airport. No-one on board the Thomsonfly Boeing 737-800 from Lanzarote was injured, but the airport was closed for a time after the incident.

Temperatures could drop to -6c (21f) over the next few days, far lower than normal for November. The mercury is unlikely to rise much above 2c to 5c (36f to 41f) during the day, and could be lower in exposed areas.

Millions woke to wintry scenes and freezing temperatures yesterday as snow ploughs and gritters were out in force.

Scotland saw the worst of the snow, with six inches falling overnight in Aberdeenshire, while ­Durham and Newcastle had four inches. Although the North and East were worst hit, there were wintery showers as far apart as Cornwall, Wales and the Midlands.

Children in Northumbria and North Yorkshire got an unexpected holiday as 50 schools were forced to shut for the day.

And the ice and snow brought havoc to the roads. The AA said it was called to around 14,000 breakdowns – a 50 per cent increase on a normal November working day. Spokesman Paul Leather said motorists should carry warm clothing and a fully charged mobile phone. He added: ‘Our concern is black ice. If possible, people should stick to the gritted main roads and keep their speed down.’

The charity Living Streets urged councils to use volunteers to keep pavements gritted after last year’s icy conditions caused 7,000 hospital admissions.

Chief executive Tony Armstrong said: ‘We are issuing an ice warning to local authorities to take the needs of people on foot seriously. Last winter, we were shocked to hear a number of stories from older people who did not leave their house for days for fear of slipping.’

Last night, the Met Office issued weather warnings for icy roads and heavy snow across the North-East, Yorkshire, East Midlands, the East and South West of England – as well as parts of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Snow is forecast to spread south by Saturday, when it could reach Kent and London. Higher ground could see ten inches by the weekend.

According to the Met Office, nine of the past 50 Novembers have had snowfall of at least 11.8in. In 1993, the Highlands had around 12in, while North Yorkshire had 10.5in.

The big chill is being caused by a ridge of high pressure over Greenland which has brought cold air down from Scandinavia.

And the Met Office’s long-range forecast says the cold conditions are likely to continue in the run up to Christmas – with a risk of more sleet, snow and hard frosts.


Bubble has burst: 'Carbon jobs are dying': U.S. Carbon Trading Goes Up in Smoke‏

Buying and selling carbon permits in the emerging market designed to control global-warming pollution is no longer a career prospect in the U.S., though California is moving ahead with its own program

Just three years ago, George H. Stein, a managing director at New York-based recruiter Commodity Talent, was seeing a brisk volume in calls from Wall Streeters looking to make a career switch. While oil traders were getting pilloried on Capitol Hill, a new line of work promised to deliver wealth and social benefits: buying and selling carbon permits in the emerging market designed to control global warming pollution. "There was such a great deal of interest in carbon trading," recalls Stein.

U.S. states were uniting to go on low-carbon diets. Companies were stepping up their own with targets. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that under a cap-and-trade plan, the U.S. market for the permits, which companies would need in order to emit CO2, could be worth as much as $300 billion by 2020. Today, with prospects for a federal cap-and-trade program dead and prices in voluntary carbon markets in the U.S. collapsing, "Carbon traders are calling to ask me what they should do now," says Stein.

Energy trading consultant Peter Fusaro says he recently counseled a college grad looking to get into emissions trading to find a job on an oil and gas desk and bide his time until carbon comes back. "Carbon trading in the U.S.," says Fusaro—"there's no there there."

The European Union's carbon market, which has been operating since 2005, continues to grow. Trading volumes were up 8 percent in the third quarter compared with the same period last year. In the U.S., what activity there was is withering. The Chicago Climate Exchange (CCS), once billed as a Nasdaq for CO2, saw carbon prices drop to a nickel per ton before announcing on Nov. 17 that it would cease operations at the end of the year. CCS was founded in 2003 by Richard L. Sandor, an economist who's been called the father of financial futures. Some 450 companies, including DuPont (DD), Honeywell (HON), and several utilities, signed legally binding contracts to reduce their emissions. Those who succeeded in cutting CO2 could sell their credits to others that were having a harder time complying with CCS emission targets.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance reported on Oct. 1 on the "collapse" of trading in another U.S. market, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a consortium of ten Northeastern states that joined together to cap and trade greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. The RGGI's stated goal: cutting utility emissions by 10 percent by 2018.

Carbon jobs are dying, too: Last year JPMorgan Chase (JPM) acquired carbon brokerage EcoSecurities for $206 million. It has since cut staff and pulled out of projects. "There's not enough clarity to continue to be able to invest in the market robustly," EcoSecurities Chief Executive Officer Paul M. Kelly said at a conference in May.


A carbon tax will be good for you, even if climate change theory is wrong (?)

The arguments for more government control are getting ever more desperate. The claim below that a carbon tax will make "alternative energy more competitive" is the flaw in the argument. It's just pie in the sky. The wind does not always blow and the sun does not always shine

Just because nobody knows the future is no excuse to do nothing in the face of worrisome possibilities, says Dan Gardner, the author of a solidly researched new book that makes it clear just how shaky – if not dead wrong – expert predictions usually are.

Good policy, Gardner writes in Future Babble: Why Expert Predictions Fail – and Why We Believe Them Anyway, stands up as worthwhile even if the forecast that prompted it turns out to be wrong.

He cites as an example “a stiff carbon tax with the revenues returned to the economy in the form of cuts to other taxes” – which is what we have in B.C., except our carbon tax isn’t so stiff.

“Would it deliver even if climate change turns out to be bunk?” he asks.

“Absolutely. Carbon taxes raise the effective cost of fossil fuels, making alternative energy more competitive and spurring research and development. And reducing the use of fossil fuels while increasing the diversity of our energy sources would be wonderful for a whole host of reasons aside from climate change. It would reduce local air pollution, reduce the risk of catastrophic oil spills, buffer economies against the massive shocks inflicted by oil price spikes, and lessen the world’s vulnerability to instability in the Middle East and elsewhere. It would also reduce the torrent of cash flowing from the developed world to the thuggish governments that control most oil-producing nations, including Saudi Arabia, Iran and Russia. And of course there’s peak oil. If the peaksters turn out to be right, finally, how much of our economy is fuelled by oil will determine how badly we will suffer – so carbon taxes would steadily reduce that threat, too.”


Big Brother Is Watching You Recycle

In 2009, after four years of controversial and piecemeal policies intended to enforce recycling, England imposed a complex and compulsory system of garbage-sorting on homeowners.

Citing the British model, Cleveland, Ohio, is taking a giant step toward a similar scheme of compulsory recycling. In 2011 some 25,000 households will be required to use recycling bins fitted with radio-frequency identification tags (RFIDs)—tiny computer chips that can remotely provide information such as the weight of the bin’s contents and that allow passing garbage trucks to verify their presence. If a household does not put its recycle bin out on the curb, an inspector could check its garbage for improperly discarded recyclables and fine the scofflaws $100. Moreover, if a bin is put out in a tardy manner or left out too long, the household could be fined. Cleveland plans to implement the system citywide within six years.

Extreme recycling programs are nothing new, even in American cities. In San Francisco recycling and composting are mandatory; trash is sorted into three different bins with compliance enforced through fines. New York City has a similar program.

Neither are RFID bins new. They were introduced on London streets in 2005 ostensibly to track the amount of trash households produced and to discourage “overproduction,” but they have also had trials in American cities. Earlier this year, Alexandria, Virginia, approved such bins, which were to be placed with households this autumn.

Cleveland is particularly important, however, because of its size. Cash-starved local governments will be watching to see if an American city as big as Cleveland can use RFID bins to increase revenues. The revenues would flow from three basic sources: a trash-collection fee that could be increased, as in Alexandria; the imposition of fines; and the profit, if any, from selling recyclables. The last source should not be dismissed. Recycling programs are not generally cost-efficient, but much of the reason is that collections need to be cleaned and re-sorted at their destination.

If households can be forced to assume these labor-intensive tasks, then selling recyclables—especially such goods as aluminum cans—is more likely to be profitable. (Perversely, the demand for volume recycling may hit the poor the hardest; in the wake of recession, it is becoming increasingly common for people to hoard their aluminum cans in order to turn them in for cash.)

The British Model

Since the British system is praised as a model, it is useful to examine its specifics.

An estimated 2.6 million Britons now have RFID bins monitoring how and when they sort garbage from recyclables. Implementation varies from borough to borough since trash collection, as in America, is under local jurisdiction. But the basics of the scheme are the same, with fines for noncompliance ranging up to £1,000 (over $1,500).

Councils routinely employ “rubbish police,” who fine households that commit offenses such as producing “excessive” trash. For example, Oxford employs “waste education officers” who go through household bins and instruct the owners on proper sorting and disposal; the officers also fine residents 80 pounds if the trash overflows the 240-litre bin, which is emptied fortnightly. Of course, this makes trash from a large party or other events like Christmas problematic. (Such a fine differs from a fee for additional service in at least two ways. The “customer” is unable to cancel the service and go to a competitor, and the fine is absurdly high, especially given the extremely low service provided.)

The policing of trash bins is also enforced by surveillance cameras; this practice became evident in a recent controversy when a Coventry woman was captured on video throwing a cat in a trash bin.

The British system also mandates how trash is to be sorted. The U.K. website Green Launches explained gleefully:

"The next time you dump your garbage in a bin, make sure you have it sorted well and dropped in the correct bin. Or else, you’ll probably burn a £1,000 fine in your pocket. Household waste like food scraps, tea bags etc in the wrong bin will have the family penalized. This forces families to use up to five different types of bins for waste separation and encourages picking up of recyclable products. This will also include the compulsory use of slop buckets to get rid of food waste".

The Orwellian intrusion into the lives of peaceful Britons is justified primarily on the same grounds used by Cleveland: It is a “green” measure to preserve the environment. Green Launches continued, “Environment secretary, Hilary Benn came up with this idea that will help reduce green house gas emissions. These strict and hefty rules are sure to raise a cry amongst taxpayers and residents. But these rules will also help increase the production and use of greener energy resources and at the same time, decrease those mounting piles in landfills.”

Cleveland echoes the environmental justification.

In It for the Money

The British also justify the draconian trash system on financial grounds. Benn once exclaimed to the press, “What sort of a society would throw away aluminium cans worth £500 a ton when producers are crying out for the raw material?” Generally speaking, however, the Brits downplay the government’s financial motives.

Here Cleveland parts company with its British counterparts and makes it abundantly clear that money is a driving factor. City waste-collection commissioner Ronnie Owens, who perhaps remembers the municipal bankruptcy of the 1980s, says, “The Division of Waste Collection is on track to meet its goal of issuing 4,000 citations this year.” In short the goal is revenue enhancement not perfect compliance. Indeed, the two stand in conflict with each other. Bloggers have widely speculated that the recycling scheme is an excuse to create noncompliance and thus maximize the payment of fines.

Bankrupt cities across North America will be watching the Cleveland experiment. At the first indication of success—that is, of revenue enhancement—debates on mandatory recycling will break out in a multitude of city council chambers. It is not enough to hope that the Cleveland experiment will be a debacle; it almost certainly will be one but, nonetheless, debacles are often profitable to those who conduct them.

Perhaps, unlike the British, Americans will object to an RFID chip monitoring their garbage on privacy grounds. This objection may well be valid but it does not touch on the motives of local governments that consider mandatory recycling schemes. Nevertheless, it may well be the strongest defense that can be mounted.


Australia: No one fired or demoted over disastrous Greenie scheme

Isn't it grand to be a bureaucrat or a politician?

NO POLITICIAN, nor any bureaucrat, has been held responsible for Kevin Rudd's disastrous home insulation scheme.

Even as police continue to investigate whether a series of house fires, some involving fatalities, were linked to the scheme, the Government admitted no one had been sacked or demoted over the program, under which taxpayers funded the installation of insulation material in tens of thousands of homes.

Earlier this year, Julia Gillard described the home insulation scheme as "a mess" after confirmation that shoddy installers attracted to the subsidies had improperly installed the insulation, leaving some homes live with electricity.

Despite this, the Prime Minister defied opposition demands that she sack former environment minister Peter Garrett, arguing he had been poorly served by his department and reappointing him to cabinet as Schools Minister.

However, despite Ms Gillard blaming the department, no one has been held accountable in the bureaucracy.

When The Australian recently asked Climate Change Minister Greg Combet where the buck had stopped, he referred the inquiry to his parliamentary secretary, Mark Dreyfus.

Yesterday Mr Dreyfus produced a short statement suggesting no one had been sacked or demoted but insisting the government had "learnt the lessons" of the program.

Opposition climate action spokesman Greg Hunt said Ms Gillard had attempted to blame the bureaucracy when she should have simply sacked Mr Garrett. "The department from the outset recognised the risk, warned about the risk and was overridden for political reasons," Mr Hunt said. "Responsibility rests with the then minister and the current prime minister."

Mr Hunt said the government had whitewashed what was "arguably the greatest failing of ministerial accountability" since World War II. "Peter Garrett should not be a minister," he said. "The Prime Minister owns this issue now because she was part of the gang of four that overrode the department's advice. She promoted Peter Garrett and she is complicit."



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, 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 are mirrors of this site here and here


No comments: