Monday, January 17, 2011

Al Gore makes a fool of himself again

Does he understand ANYTHING about the environment?

Continuing his unbroken record of having his pronouncements on global warming royally mocked by events, Al Gore’s up-coming speech linking the explosion in the tree-munching pine beetle to global warming has been upset by reports of the pine beetle population “crashing”.

As Real Aspen announced only a few days ago, Al Gore was all set to give a landmark speech in Aspen in February in which he was to link global warming to the plague of pine beetles said to be devastating North America’s forests:

"Former Vice President Al Gore will be in Aspen in February to attend what’s believed to be one of the first major public symposiums linking global climate change to the deteriorating health of forestland in the American West due to ongoing insect infestations and the growing threat of wildfire.... Some scientists predict up to half the forests in the American West will be lost to disease and fire during this century."

Unfortunately, the gods of global warming got wind of the planned visit by the Goracle, and struck down the pine beetle population, in readiness for his speech. News reports now state that the population of pine beetles is in freefall:

"After more than a decade of eating through B.C. forests, the mountain pine beetle population has begun to crash in the central Interior, Chief Forester Jim Snetsinger said Friday . . . the beetle population is on the steep downward side of a bell curve.

At the height of the epidemic three to five years ago, billions of beetles had attacked 14.5 million hectares of trees. By March, 2010, beetles had killed the equivalent of 675 million cubic metres of timber, making it one of North America’s worst-ever environmental disasters.

“Now it’s crashing,” Snetsinger said. “The mountain pine beetle population is decreasing.”

Gore will probably carry on regardless and deliver his lecture on how global warming is causing pine beetle population to skyrocket, but even he will be aware that outside in the real world the threat has already vanished.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Temperature changes do NOT track CO2 levels (which have been rising steadily) but they DO track oscillations in ocean currents

ENSO stands for the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, a huge current in the vast Pacific ocean. And that El Niño sure is powerful. I live in a city where it has just caused billions of dollars worth of flood damage -- JR

The graph above plots the five year running mean of ENSO (red/blue) vs. HadCRUT in green.

Temperatures rise when ENSO is positive, and they don’t rise when ENSO is negative. Sea ice increases when ENSO is negative, and it falls when ENSO is positive.

But there is a $2.5 billion industry built up around CO2 – so we can expect the stupidity to go on at least until January 20, 2013.



by Joseph D’Aleo

“The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present - and is gravely to be regarded.” —Dwight Eisenhower, 1961

NOAA and NASA announced this week that 2010 was tied for the warmest year. NOAA’s Dr. Lubchenko, when she was president of AAAS in 1999, urged “Urgent and unprecedented environmental and social changes challenge scientists to define a new social contract … a commitment on the part of all scientists to devote their energies and talents to the most pressing problems of the day, in proportion to their importance, in exchange for public funding.”

NOAA and NASA are receiving big dollars $437M (NOAA) and $438M (NASA) in climate research funding and are expected to provide the information needed to support environmental, social and political agendas. NOAA and NASA also benefited from funding for climate change research from the Recovery Act of 2009 with up to $600 million. You can see how quickly the political operatives and the media enablers respond to those press releases (Hill story here)

The pressure has been mounting. The public doubt about global warming has been increasing in recent years given Climategate, and how promises of warm snowless winters failed. After cold and snowy winters in 2007/08 and 2008/09, the winter of 2009/10 was the coldest ever in parts of the southeast, and in parts of Siberia and the coldest since 1977/78 or 1962/63 in many parts of the United States, Europe and Asia. This past December was the second coldest in the entire Central England Temperature record extending back to 1659. It was the coldest ever December in diverse locations like Ireland, Sweden, and Florida.

Reluctantly, alarmists changed their tune and the promise of warm and snowless winters as recent as 4 years ago morphed into global warming means cold and snowy winters. In Australia they promised major drought and blocked dams and flood mitigation projects, but when devastating floods occurred, they blamed that on global warming and again enviros and government agencies escaped the blame.

In fact environmentalists now attribute all weather to global warming – cold, warm, drought and flood. They call it ‘climate disruption’. But the climate has not been cooperating in a way that is convincing the public they have to sacrifice even more to stop a problem they don’t sense is real.

Just imagine if they knew how much they really would cost and how little these deep sacrifices would change the climate. In recent years, temperatures stopped warming (even Phil Jones of the UK Climate Research Unit after Climategate admitted there has been no statistically significant warming since 1995 (15 years) and between 2002 and 2009, the global temperatures had declined 0.12C (0.22F).

NOAA is on record declaring that: “The [computer model] simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends [in global temperatures] for intervals of 15 yr or more, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate.”

To try and stop the bleeding, NOAA and NASA took steps to reduce or eliminate the cooling. This aggravated what already was an already a bad situation. Remember CRU programmer’s Ian ‘Harry’ Harris’s frustrated rants in his log as revealed in Climategate:

“[The] hopeless state of their (CRU) data base. No uniform data integrity, it’s just a catalogue of issues that continues to grow as they’re found...I am very sorry to report that the rest of the databases seem to be in nearly as poor a state as Australia was. There are hundreds if not thousands of pairs of dummy stations…and duplicates… Aarrggghhh! There truly is no end in sight. This whole project is SUCH A MESS. No wonder I needed therapy!!”

In an email, CRU’s Director at the time Phil Jones acknowledges that CRU mirrors the NOAA data. “Almost all the data we have in the CRU archive is exactly the same as in the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) archive used by the NOAA National Climatic Data Center. “And NASA uses NOAA data applying their own adjustments as they note in their documentation here.

“The current analysis uses surface air temperatures measurements from the following data sets: the unadjusted data of the Global Historical Climatology Network (NOAA NCDC GHCN), United States Historical Climatology Network (NOAA NCDC USHCN) data, and SCAR (Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research) data from Antarctic stations.”

See the detailed working paper I coauthored with Anthony Watts and others in which we concluded: “There has clearly been evidence of some cyclical warming in recent decades, most notably 1979 to 1998. However, the global surface-station data is seriously compromised. The data suffers significant contamination by urbanization and other local factors such as land-use/land-cover changes.

There was a major station dropout, which occurred suddenly around 1990 and a significant increase in missing monthly data in the stations that remained. (Note: This increases uncertainty – greatest in regions where they claim the warming is the greatest).

There are uncertainties in ocean temperatures; no small issue, as oceans cover 71% of the earth's surface. These factors lead to significant uncertainty and a tendency for over-estimation of century-scale temperature trends.

A conclusion from all findings suggests that global data bases are seriously flawed and can no longer be trusted to assess climate trends or rankings or validate model forecasts. And, consequently, such surface data should be ignored for decision making”. Numerous peer-reviewed papers have estimated that these local issues with the observing networks may account for 30%, 50% or more of the warming shown since 1880.

More HERE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

Carbon from the Deeps poorly understood

Three new research papers find things on the ocean floor are not as previously believed when it comes to the carbon cycle. What's more, the scientists admit that their research only covers the smallest fraction of the ocean deeps

Scientists believe that carbon released from the ocean floor played a key role in past episodes of climate change. Around 55 million years ago, the break-up of the northeast Atlantic continents was associated with the injection of large amounts of molten magma into seafloor sediments. Formation of the North Atlantic basalts heated the carbon-rich sediments, triggering the release of large quantities of methane and carbon dioxide into the ocean and atmosphere.

It has been suggested that this release of previously sequestered carbon was responsible for a 100,000 year period of rapid temperature rise known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum or PETM. Three letters published in Nature Geoscience suggest that carbon trapped beneath the seabed continues to influence carbon dynamics, at least in the deep ocean.

In an accompanying Nature Geoscience editorial, three types of sea floor carbon release are identified: seafloor spreading centers, where two or more oceanic plates pull apart, releasing molten magma from below that heats organic sediments; hydrothermal fluids circulate through the ocean crust converting ancient inorganic carbon into dissolved organic matter, which is subsequently vented to the overlying ocean; and gas hydrates—ice-like mixtures of methane and water that form under low temperature and high pressure on the seafloor—also serve as a source of dissolved organic carbon.

“Despite the potential importance of seafloor carbon sources in shaping past climate, little is known about their involvement in the present day carbon cycle,” the editorial states....

At this time we do not know whether processes similar to the ones described above operate in other hydrothermal and gas hydrate systems, or how much carbon is being emitted. And in the case of the dissolved organic carbon released from ocean ridges and hydrates, oceanographers are unsure of how reactive the released carbon is. One thing is certain, the seeping, circulating and other forms of seafloor carbon release have been going on long before oceanographers recently discovered them. Scientists suspect that one or more of these processes have been responsible for sudden climatic and environmental changes in the past.

The impact of all these scientific discoveries on everyday people is minimal, so far. Only a dramatic event like the PETM would upset our daily lives. The PETM is only the most recent example of rapid global warming thought to have been caused by a rapid release of carbon. Other, older events involving the motion of Earth's tectonic plates have had more dramatic impact on the planet's biota.

Natural events of various kinds in the real world tend to follow an inverse-power law relationship between frequency F and magnitude M so that F = 1/MD, where D is positive. Thus, small-magnitude events (e.g., earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, impacts) tend to happen much more frequently than potentially catastrophic large-magnitude events. The reasons are variable, but in general, a probabilistic relationship exists between the magnitude and frequency of events.

Of course, improbable events do happen. Mankind does not need to tempt fate by prodding sea floor deposits of methane clathrates or trying to pump massive quantities of CO2 into the ocean depths. The Nature Geoscience editorial commented specifically on efforts to mitigate anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions using the deep ocean:

To mitigate such effects, the sea floor—where natural sources of carbon are just being discovered—has been proposed as a potential site for carbon sequestration (Nature Geosci. 2, 815–818; 2009; Nature Geosci. 2, 820–822; 2009). As long as the natural carbon cycle in the deep ocean continues to surprise us, it would probably be unwise to go ahead and disturb it with the deposition of carbon captured from the use of fossil fuels.

Once again, science is giving the public mixed messages. Researchers in one area propose “solutions” to global warming that ignore the dangers uncovered by other scientists. As Richard Feynman noted: “In this age of specialization men who thoroughly know one field are often incompetent to discuss another.”

Nonetheless, governments are urged to charge ahead with “clean coal” and other carbon sequestration schemes.

Climate scientists and eco-activists, out to rein in human activity and make their personal reputations, form a collection of carbon cycle Don Quixotes. Tilting at global warming windmills, each of them, as Cervantes might have put it, is “spurred on by the conviction that the world needs his immediate presence.” None are more dangerous than the energetically ignorant.

Despite efforts to the contrary, more settled science has been unsettled, more consensus opinion overturned and our ignorance of the world around us revealed for all to see. Some scientists accept the truth—little is know about carbon from the deeps and its involvement in the present day carbon cycle. Being innocent of real understanding, we should look before we leap, rather than risk a major ecological or economic catastrophe in hopes of avoiding the unproven and ill-defined effects of anthropogenic global warming.

More HERE (See the original for links)

The Great 'Climate Change' 2011 Taxpayer Rip-Off

By Alan Caruba

Unless I am seriously mistaken or misinformed, the rate of unemployment in the U.S. remains high and the foreclosure rate on homes is approaching the level of the Depression years. Two major bond rating companies, Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s just warned that, if the federal government doesn’t stop spending and borrowing, America’s Triple-A highest ranking will be down-graded.

Along with all the other things in the federal budget wish list for 2011 are millions to be spent on climate change.

It helps to understand how obscene this is if you pause to consider (1) there is not one damn thing anyone can do about climate change, (2) climate change has been researched and studied since the late 1980s, enough to fill an entire wing of the Congressional Library to hold all the reports, and (3) the only climate change Americans really need to know about is what the weather will be tomorrow.

With a tip of the hat to and the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) report on “research development, fiscal year 2011”, let me share just a few of the ways the Obama administration intends to squander your money.

The magic number is $2,481,000 and it represents specific amounts devoted to "climate change" research or other programs requested for the 2011 budgets by an alphabet soup of federal agencies that include the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA, Department of Energy (DOE), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of the Interior (DOI), and the Department of Agriculture (DOA).

The figures cited all come from chapter 15 of the AAAS report and you can access it via

NOAA’s total budget request is for $5.6 billion, an increase of 17%. It intends to devote $437 million for climate research funding, an increase of $77 million over last year.

Over at the National Science Foundation (NSF), its budget of $7.4 billion (that’s a lot of science!) includes a request for $480 million for Atmospheric and Earth Sciences, $765.5 million for NSF’s Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability program and $19 million for a joint program with DOE “to promote education in clean energy research. An additional $10 million would fund “Climate Change Education” in the nation’s schools. It’s not education, it’s indoctrination.

The Department of Energy which currently is projecting that permits for deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico won’t be forthcoming until, maybe, June. DOE seems oblivious to the fact that the price of oil is set to hit $100 a barrel and higher costs will hit everyone driving anything using gasoline or diesel fuel. Fuel oil prices will rise and any business that uses oil or anything made with oil will be forced to raise its prices. In short, everything.

DOE, however, is in no hurry and, of course, the Obama administration is dead set against ANWR or off-shore exploration and extraction of the BILLIONS of barrels of crude oil projected to exist.

However, DOE is set to receive $28.4 billion in 2011 and that includes $4.6 billion for research and development in its Office of Science and $2.4 billion for energy research and development. Its Office of Biological and Environmental Research is devoted to atmospheric science, including “climate modeling”, which would be allocated $627 million. Last time I checked, oil, coal, and natural gas were not found in the “atmosphere”, but rather were extracted from deep within the Earth.

The entire global warming hoax was and is based on “climate modeling”, all of which consistently found that the Earth was warming at an alarming rate. Except that the Earth is NOT warming. It has been cooling since 1998. And DOE intends to waste $627 million on more modeling. It is worth noting that the most sophisticated models of the National Weather Bureau still cannot predict with any confidence what the weather—not the climate—will be next week.

The Environmental Protection Agency, gearing up to regulate all utilities that produce carbon dioxide and all other industries that do the same, has zero authorization to do so under the Clean Air Act. It is CO2 that is designated by the warmists as the chief culprit for the global warming that is NOT happening.

Despite this, EPA has requested $169 million “to reduce greenhouse gas emissions”, with $43.5 million in new funding for “regulatory efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions” through the Clean Air Act. And it wants $22 million for its Global Change Research Program. It is time to shut down this rogue agency before it totally destroys the economy.

Even the Department of Agriculture wants $159 million for “climate change research”, an increase of 42% and $179 million for renewable energy, to “help farmers.” Farmers are heavy users of fossil fuels to operate the machinery needed to till, plant, and harvest crops. They need reliable energy, not "renewable" energy.

The Recovery Act of 2009 has managed to blow more than $600 million on climate change research and billions on greenhouse gas mitigation.

This is just the tip of the ‘climate change’ rip-off in terms of billions wasted or soon to be wasted on “research” that can only be deemed an obscene diversion of taxpayer money that will not benefit a single taxpayer, generate any new jobs except for those in government agencies, and further bankrupt a bankrupted nation about to have its credit rating reduced.

The “scientists”, “regulators”, and “administrators” feasting off this federal largess should be handed a shovel to earn a living on one of those “shovel ready” projects we were told about.

Beyond that, if Congress was really intent on cutting back on spending, they could begin by defunding or shutting down the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, and all the other federal grifters with their snouts rooting around in the climate change trough.


Coal miners to blame for Queensland floods, says Australian Greens leader Bob Brown

Far-fetched as it is, what Brown says is consistent with his Warmist assumptions. It is the assumptions that are far-fetched. As Senator Joyce said, it was absurd for Senator Brown to blame the coal industry for floods, which had been a reality in Queensland throughout its history. “In 1893, the flood gauge on the Brisbane River reached 8.35m, so was the coal industry responsible for that as well?” he asked.

GREENS leader Bob Brown says the coal mining industry should foot the bill for the Queensland floods because it helped cause them.

The floods are Queensland's worst for nearly 40 years, with more than 26,000 homes affected and at least 16 people killed.

Senator Brown said the Federal Government should impose the original version of the Resources Super Profits Tax, and use the funds to pay for the clean-up.

"It's the single biggest cause - burning coal - for climate change and it must take its major share of responsibility for the weather events we are seeing unfolding now," he said in Hobart today.

"We know that the oceans around Australia are at record high temperatures, and that's causing the moisture in the air which is leading to these catastrophic floods.

"It is costing billions of dollars, besides the pain, the anguish, the loss of life, the destruction and it should not be left to ordinary taxpayers to bear the full brunt of that."



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


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