This newest tree ring study completely refutes Mann’s bogus hockey stick. That question is now forever resolved.
Der Spiegel reports on a new study put out by Science where scientists gathered data from a large set of tree rings from the Alps and used them to reconstruct 2500 years of climate in fine detail. The scientists were able to reconstruct past climate with unprecedented precision and found some significant results.
The press here is acting like these results are new. But to skeptics, it only confirms what they’ve been saying all along.
It turns out that Hannibal indeed most likely did cross the Alps with elephants way back in the year 218 BC, at a time when Europe was in a warm optimum. The study shows that weather and climate events triggered human and cultural shifts and events like wars, famine, disease – or prosperity and growth, depending on whether it was warm or cold.
Der Spiegel writes: "From 9000 pieces of wood from old post and beam homes and trees, scientists Ulf Büntgen of the Swiss WSL Environmental Research Institute and Jan Esper of the University of Mainz read off the climate story – a unique global historical archive was created.”
Der Spiegel presents the most important results, which I myself think are not a surprise. The bulk of the Der Spiegel piece focuses on the hunger and misery precipitated by the climatic cold periods throughout the 2500-year period. One really gets a sense of how temperatures in Europe by no means followed the hockey stick shape proposed by Mann, and went from cold to warm, and vice versa. Numerous other proxies show the same applies globally.
2500 years ago Europe was gripped by a cold period and temperatures were 2°C below today’s levels. Wars raged and societies collapsed. In the 4th century AD, after the Roman Warm Period, the climate again went downhill. It got cold and dry in central and southern Europe. The Huns invaded, and the Roman Empire collapsed. The temperature continued to drop through the 6th, 7th and 8thcenturies - and with catastrophic consequences.
Der Spiegel writes: "In the famine year of 784, one third of Europe’s population died. ’It was a cool summer’, says Büntgen’s sober diagnosis, looking at the data. ‘With the worsening climate, not only did harvests in Europe go bad, but livestock also shriveled away’, reports historian Berninger.”
These cool times continued into the 10th century. Crops continued to fail, famine, unrest, war, disease and misery spread – all because of the cold climate.
Finally, by the 11th century, the climate turned the corner and warm times started up again (all naturally, without man-made CO2). Europe prospered again, cathedrals were built and society advanced until the 14th century.
In the early 14th century, climate-related hunger and famine began to spread again. From 1346 to 1352, half of Europe’s population was killed off by the Black Plague. As the temperature dropped, starvation and misery continued, all blamed on witches, who were burned. Sound familiar?
Europe had plunged into madness. The 30-year war raged across Germany from 1618 to 1648. At this point Europe was in the middle of the Little Ice Age. Der Spiegel writes: "In 1709 the weather in Europe rendered one of the worst natural catastrophes in Europe: In the grisly cold of 1709, rivers in Portugal froze, palm trees were buried in snow. All over Europe rivers had frozen fish, livestock froze in the stables.”
Heydays of the Roman Empire and the German Empire coincided with warm times. For example, by 300 BC, the climate again got warmer, and with rains. It got so warm in fact, that the Alps became passable. The Roman Empire emerged – all helped along by the climate. Harvests were bountiful, and England had vineyards and made wine. The MWP was similarly warm, read above. There’s ample evidence showing that the Roman Period and the MWP were warmer than today.
Weather extremes were greater in the past than today
Büntgen and Esper’s ring studies also show that rainfall amounts in Central Europe fluctuated much more year-to-year in ancient times and in the Dark Ages than in recent times, and also weather extremes were greater. In the year 1135, very little rain fell and the Danube River almost dried up. Regensburg used the opportunity to build its landmrk Steinernen bridge. The historical records also show a number of great floods, storms and periods of drought during Europe’s history.
That was climate and it was all natural. It was not caused by witches and bad behaviour. This study clearly shows that warm times are good, cold times are bad, and that the past had more extremes than today. Not only is it more nails for the hockey stick’s coffin, but also nails for the AGW theory.
Meteorologist Joe Bastardi gives the Warmists a different prediction
He predicted the present cooling and says were are going to get more of it
Here is my soundbite quote, as everyone wants nowadays.
You wanna say 2010 was the warmest year ever... well, get ready for 2011 being the biggest drop ever.
There, hows that? Two can play this game, except 2010 may not have been what it's been claimed to be. However, I have the chance to be right, and the data will prove it!
The year to beat is the 98 collapse.. game on!!!
So let's see how close I am a year from now.
You folks who are screaming and yelling global warming is causing all this mayhem had better look at what has been going on for the PAST SIX MONTHS when all this has been breaking loose. The global temperature is dropping like a rock, the running 30-day mean is down to normal, the January temperature so far is now down to -.1 C, which if it continues at this pace means we have dropped off .7 C since the summer.
Now what do you think is going to happen when there is COOLING like that?
Now, you may have this argument, and I will give it to you. That the PREEXISTING warmth set up the kind of environment for such a rapid drop-off to cause such things. But the dirty little secret about climate, and something you don't seem to get, is that the Earth tends to cool much more suddenly than warm!
If you go back and look at climate... you see warm periods have a gradual run-up (hence the absurdity of the tipping point, and calls into question the hockey stick, simply from common sense and history, but perhaps it was designed that way), but the cold periods, when there is no hiding (okay, how about smoothing out, rounding off, etc.?), tend to happen much more quickly... sharply.
But I, and my colleagues agreeing on the idea the Earth may start to cool in a longer-term manner, are not going to let you have every answer as being your own. The facts are clear, it's CLASHES in the atmosphere that produce extreme events. The facts are clear from three years ago that this forecaster warned of the events with the triple crown of cooling that we are starting to see now.
The facts are clear that a rapid global temperature drop was forecast from this forecaster from back before summer, for 2011. How is it that all those things are said beforehand, and the hysteria now is blamed on THE EXACT OPPOSITE CAUSE, a cause that was being touted a few years ago as leading to, for instance, less snow and less cold?
Three strikes and you are out
Note the change to skepticism in the third article below
When the Green river runs dry
Jobs created become jobs destroyed.
Two recent articles highlight the struggle that renewable energy companies run into when taxpayer subsidies are tightened.
The first, a solar panel company in Massachusetts, having received over $50 million in subsidies, is cutting 800 jobs as it struggles to compete with Chinese solar panel production.
Evergreen Solar Inc. will eliminate 800 jobs in Massachusetts and shut its new factory at the former military base in Devens, just two years after it opened the massive facility to great fanfare and with about $58 million in taxpayer subsidies.
The company announced yesterday that it will close the plant by the end of March, calling itself a victim of weak demand and competition from cheaper suppliers in China, where the government provides solar companies with generous subsidies.
Fortunately, in the private sector, taxpayers don’t suffer when their investments don’t come to fruition. China has a distinct advantage in producing solar powers because the cost of labor in China is much lower, and their government has less opposition to producing energy that isn’t cost competitive. The company, a victim of Chinese subsidies, received generous subsidies as well — perhaps not to the extent of Chinese subsidies, but that uncertainty is something that must be taken into account when business decisions are made.
The second story, comes from Georgia, where a cellulosic ethanol plant is closing down after its first batch of production. Range Fuels is said to have received $320 million in federal, state, and private money — the article doesn’t clarify the extent of each source. There also is no information on the amount of cellulosic ethanol produced, though it appears to be more of a test run rather than actual production, so likely a very small amount.
Given the federal “mandate” on cellulosic ethanol and continued support for it from the Obama administration, its quite possible that Range Fuels will find private funding to continue future production.
WV: EPA vetoes “mountaintop removal” mining operation
In a decision that could have a major impact on both the mining industry and the Obama Administration's relationship with conservatives, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that it was vetoing the largest single mountaintop mining removal permit in West Virginia history.
In using its authority under the Clean Water Act to block approval of the proposed 2,300-acre Spruce No. 1 Mine in Logan County, West Virginia, the EPA will earn praise from greens—including some from the Appalachians—who have long fought mountaintop mining as a destructive practice that ruins the environment and the health of those who live near the mines.
But the agency will undoubtedly face a backlash from the mining industry and the West Virginia politicians—both Republican and Democrat—who defend it, at a time when the EPA is already on a collision course with business and conservatives over proposed greenhouse gas regulations.
From the EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Peter S. Silva:
The proposed Spruce No. 1 Mine would use destructive and unsustainable mining practices that jeopardize the health of Appalachian communities and clean water on which they depend. Coal and coal mining are part of our nation's energy future and EPA has worked with companies to design mining operations that adequately protect our nation's waters. We have a responsibility under the law to protect water quality and safeguard the people who rely on clean water.
To understand why the EPA made this decision—only the 12th time the agency has ever used its Clean Water Act authority in this fashion—it's important to understand what happens in mountaintop removal mining (MTR).
To get at seams of coal buried beneath the surface of hills, mining companies essentially cut off the top of mountains to get at the coal underneath. That leaves a lot of rock waste—known as "mining overburden"—to be filled into nearby valleys. Those "valley fills" are what particularly worry the EPA because of the way they can spread pollution to the surrounding mountain areas and waterways. According to the EPA the Spruce Mine would:
* Deposit 110 million cubic years of coal mine waste into streams
* Fully bury more than six miles of high-quality streams in Logan County in millions of tons of mining waste resulting from the dynamiting of more than 2,200 acres of mountains and forests
* Eliminate all fish, salamanders and other wildlife that live in those streams
* Pollute waters downstream from those buried streams, leading to unhealthy levels of salinity and toxic levels of selenium, turning fresh water into salt water.
* Cause downstream watershed degradation that will kill wildlife and increase susceptibility to toxic algal blooms.
You can read the EPA's full decision here. The veto, which came after a major public hearing in West Virginia and a review of nearly 50,000 public comments, caps a decade-plus battle over the Spruce Mine, which was first proposed in the 1990s and which has been tied up in courts ever since.
The Army Corps of Engineers actually approved the design for the mine in 2007, under the Bush Administration, but the Obama EPA has put up a much stronger fight against MTR.
That hasn't been missed by the mining industry, which has clashed repeatedly with the EPA. Kim Link—a spokesman for Arch Coal, the company that owns the proposed mine—told the New York Times:
We remain shocked and dismayed at E.P.A.'s continued onslaught with respect to this validly issued permit. Absent court intervention, E.P.A.'s final determination to veto the Spruce permit blocks an additional $250 million investment and 250 well-paying American jobs. Furthermore, we believe this decision will have a chilling effect on future U.S. investment because every business possessing or requiring a permit under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act will fear similar overreaching by the E.P.A. It's a risk many businesses cannot afford to take.
It didn't take long for West Virginia politicians to fire back. New Democratic West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin—the guy who shot a bullet through the cap-and-trade bill in an ad for his campaign—harshly criticized the EPA:
It goes without saying, such an irresponsible regulatory step is not only a shocking display of overreach, it will have a chilling effect on investments and our economic recovery. I plan to do everything in my power to fight this decision.
The ramifications could go beyond the mining and coal industry. Last week a diverse coalition of industry groups—ranging from the National Realtors Association to the United Egg Producers—wrote to Nancy Sutley, chairwoman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, urging the White House to stop the EPA from blocking the permit for the Spruce Mine:
The implications could be staggering, reaching all areas of the U.S. economy including but not limited to the agriculture, home building, mining, transportation and energy sectors.
The business groups noted that clean water permits like the one at issue at the Spruce Mine support $220 billion worth of economic activity each year. The implications were clear: if the EPA was deciding to crack down on water pollution, business (and its political allies) would fight back.
It's a battle that is just beginning for the EPA and the White House, and it's one that will drag on for at least the next two years. For now, though, environmentalists can savor a major victory, after a year when they were dealt defeat after defeat. As Joe Lovett—a lawyer and the executive director of the Appalachian Center for the Economy and the Environment, who has been fighting the mine for 12 years—said in statement:
It is a relief after all of these years that at least one agency has shown the will to follow the law and the science by stopping the destruction of Pigeonroost Hollow and Oldhouse Branch. Today, the EPA has helped to save these beautiful hollows for future generations.
But as Lovett and his green allies know, the fight isn't over yet.
Australia: Greenie Boycott of Israel is beyond the pale
AS part of Leonard Cohen's successful world comeback tour in 2009 he included a concert at Ramat Gan stadium near Tel Aviv in his itinerary.
For that he was condemned by some activists for promoting a cultural exchange in Israel. Never mind the fact that proceeds from this concert were directed to the Fund for Reconciliation, Tolerance and Peace. Groups which directly benefited included the Parents Circle, made up of both Palestinian and Israeli parents who have lost children in the Middle East conflict with the aim of promoting peace and reconciliation. Cohen described the concert as "representing a triumph over the inclination of the heart to despair, revenge and hatred".
The decision of the Greens Party-controlled Marrickville Council to "boycott all goods made in Israel and any sporting, academic, government or cultural exchanges", is unfortunate and misguided at best.
The council goes even further and suggests that any organisation or company with links to Israel should be boycotted also. It is not clear how much of ratepayer funds will be expended on this research.
It is doubtful how fair dinkum [genuine] the Greens Party councillors are, given that the resolution carried a month ago included a third point, that they would write to local parliamentary representatives "seeking their support at the state and federal level" and Greens mayor Fiona Byrne has not actually sent the correspondence.
It's not as if there are no policy challenges or local issues facing the mayor of Marrickville. The council is in the process of laying off staff, the mayor votes to close down Marrickville West Public School's childcare centre which provides vital support to disadvantaged families and the Greens have opposed a series of modest affordable housing proposals.
This ill thought-out attempt to challenge the state of Israel through a single local council in the inner west of Sydney is clumsy and counterproductive. I believe that engagement between peoples promotes understanding and tolerance and is worthwhile whether it be between national leaders or student exchanges.
Progressives have long argued for multilateral solutions to foreign policy issues and have therefore emphasised the role of the UN and other institutions. The Marrickville Council resolution contradicts this with its unilateral declaration that sanctions will be imposed and funded by ratepayers.
As Local Government Minister during Labor's first term I saw many examples of how local government has moved beyond rates, roads and rubbish, particularly in service delivery and community engagement.
International engagement through the development of sister cities programs is, in my view, positive as it promotes understanding and tolerance across geographic distances and cultural divides.
As a strong advocate of justice for Palestinians I, along with Joe Hockey, established the parliamentary Friends of Palestine group and was its founding secretary. Any lasting resolution to the Middle East conflict cannot be at the expense of either Palestinians or Israelis. Surely contact and engagement between Palestinians and Israelis is a precondition for a peaceful settlement.
If simplistic slogans were enough to resolve this issue it would have become a historical footnote of the last century.
Australians are making a contribution to global tolerance by the way that we have developed as a multicultural society. The inner west of Sydney is a microcosm of what is desirable in the international community, a place where neighbours live in harmony regardless of religion or race.
As it stands all those who attended the recent concerts of Leonard Cohen are in violation of the decree from the Marrickville mayor made on their behalf; lucky Cohen didn't try to perform at the Enmore Theatre!
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