Friday, February 11, 2011

519 Manhattans Of Glacier Ice Broke Away From Greenland In The Year 1816

Warmists always seem to get a horn when a glacier calves, apparently imagining that no such thing has ever happened before. In Aug, 2010 we read, for instance: "A giant iceberg that snapped away from Greenland last week is a signal that global warming is causing the island's continent-sized ice cap to melt faster than expected, scientists say. The 250-square-kilometre (100-square-mile) chunk, four times the size of Manhattan, broke away from the Petermann ice shelf on Greenland's northwestern tip"


That is the equivalent of 130 Petermann icebergs, which our looney left friends got hysterical about last year.


Unfalsifiable Science - Proof Of Climate Change

Reader Jimbo provides us with data sources of why global warming is undeniable. No sense in denying it any longer. AGW warming and its impacts are real. Things caused by global warming:

Warmer Northern Hemisphere winters due to global warming
Colder Northern Hemisphere winters due to global warming

Global warming to slow down the Earth's rotation
Global warming to speed up the Earth's rotation

North Atlantic Ocean has become less salty
North Atlantic Ocean has become more salty

Avalanches may increase
Avalanches may decrease

Plants move uphill due to global warming
Plants move downhill due to global warming

Monsoons to become drier in India
Monsoons to become wetter in India

Plankton blooms
Plankton decline

Reindeer thrive
Reindeer decline

Less snow in Great Lakes
More snow in Great Lakes

Gulf stream slows down
Gulf stream shows "small increase in flow"

San Francisco more foggy
San Francisco less foggy

Less winter snow for Britain
More winter snow for Britain

Africa to get less rain
Africa to get more rain

Winds speed up [USA]
Winds slow down [USA]

Monsoons to become drier in India
Monsoons to become wetter in India

Bird migrations longer
Bird migrations shorter

SOURCE (See the original for links to all of the above assertions)

The children of Wales are paying the price of Greenie fuel fanaticism

Instead of building relatively cheap coal-fired power stations, expensive gas-fired stations are being operated. The people's money has also been squandered on useless windmills -- and power bills have been pumped up to pay for the windmills

THE health and education of children in Wales' poorest areas is suffering because their families can not afford to heat their homes. Posters will be distributed to schools across the nation to help children cope with the challenge of staying warm in 21st century Wales.

But campaigners claim that the necessity of holding such a campaign exposes a huge wealth divide causing "profound" problems for children in Wales' most deprived areas. A major report and short film will be launched today which details the impact of fuel poverty on the lives of young people.

There are deep concerns that children in Wales' poorest families are being kept awake at night because of the cold and their health and grades are suffering.

The poster gives schoolchildren 10 tips for staying warm which include pulling "a blanket over your knees or shoulders when you are sitting still or watching TV". It also recommends electric blankets because "you pay to heat your bed rather than an entire room".

The film and report has been produced by Children in Wales and funded by Consumer Focus Wales.

Sean O'Neill, policy director for Children in Wales, said: "Far too many young people in Wales are living in fuel poverty and cold homes. The impact on them can be profound. "It damages their school grades, their health and wellbeing. And it damages their life chances. "By talking to children in schools across Wales, we have gathered real evidence of how cold homes are affecting children's lives."

Maria Battle, senior director of Consumer Focus Wales, said: "Everyone should be able to live in a warm home, and that is a minimum requirement if we want our children to achieve their full potential."


A Prince of mediocre intelligence but considerable folly and insensitivity

It's unlikely that Prince Charles shivers in his bed at night -- and taking sides in scientific controversies is incredibly foolish. The Queen has always been wise enough to stay above all public controversies

PRINCE Charles was accused of endangering his reputation yesterday after claiming climate change sceptics were "playing a reckless game of roulette" with the world's future. In a speech to Euro MPs and business leaders in Brussels, he lashed out at those urging caution in response to apocalyptic warnings about the effects of global warming.

The Prince suggested climate change sceptics were having a "corrosive effect" on public opinion by saying that hundreds of scientists around the world were somehow conspiring to present a false image of man-made global warming in an attempt to destroy the world economy.

But Dr Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a think-tank concerned about the costs of fashionable green policies, said: "He shouldn't really take such a strong political position on such a contentious issue that divides public opinion, as polls show. "I think he's really risking his reputation. He's not really helping the situation," he said.

In his speech to the Low Carbon Prosperity Summit, Charles said of the sceptics: "I would ask how these people are going to face their grandchildren and admit to them that they actually failed their future; that they ignored all the clear warning signs by passing them off as merely part of a `cyclical process' that had happened many times before and was beyond our control." "I wonder, will such people be held accountable at the end of the day for the absolute refusal to countenance a precautionary approach? For this plays, I would suggest, a most reckless game of roulette with the future inheritance of those who come after us."

The Prince travelled to Brussels by Eurostar after facing accusations of hypocrisy when he flew in a private jet to address the Copenhagen climate change summit in December 2009. He met European dignitaries, including European Council president, Herman Van Rompuy.

In front of a packed European Parliament, he warned against the pursuit of economic growth at the expense of the environment and challenged politicians to break the link between growth and high carbon emissions.

He said a "business as usual" approach to increasing national wealth was just a short-term remedy. "I cannot see how we can possibly maintain the growth of GDP in the long term if we continue to consume our planet as voraciously as we are doing," he added.

But his speech provoked a furious response from critics more concerned with encouraging growth to bring the global economy out of a downturn. Dr Peiser said the Prince was wrong on the key issue that the West's economic model was flawed. "More advanced societies in Europe and North America have a much better track record on environmental policies than other parts of the world," he said. "But also the prescriptons he is promoting, such as biofuels, are part of the problem and have been the cause of food riots around the world."

Charles uses biofuels in his official cars and on the Royal Train, but the race to turn crops into green fuel has caused rainforests to be chopped down, and land formerly used to grow food in the Third World to be switched to its production.

Andrew Montford, author of The Hockey Stick Illusion, which seeks to debunk climate change science, said: "It isn't sceptics who have eroded public opinion - climate scientists have destroyed their own credibility by hyping global warming and cheating the scientific process. More hype from Prince Charles will merely turn people off further."


War on coal? EPA warming plan under fire in House

In the first salvo of a new congressional battle over global warming, House Republicans charged Wednesday that emissions rules sought by the Obama administration would mean "higher prices and fewer jobs." "Let's face it, these regulations and others from EPA amount to a war on domestic coal," Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., said of the Environmental Protection Agency's plan to use the Clean Air Act to curb greenhouse gases tied to warming temperatures.

"Coal is the energy source America possesses in the greatest abundance," Whitfield, chair of the Energy and Power Subcommittee that called Wednesday's hearing, added in his opening statement.
"It provides half the nation's electricity, and 92 percent in my home state of Kentucky," he said of coal, which emits more carbon dioxide than other fuels. "And it does so because it is affordable."

EPA chief Lisa Jackson followed up accusing Republicans of trying to undermine the Clean Air Act with a bill being drafted by Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., to prevent the EPA from using the act to curb greenhouse gases. "The bill appears to be part of a broader effort in this Congress to delay, weaken, or eliminate Clean Air Act protections of the American public," she said in her opening statement.

It was Jackson's first trip to Capitol Hill since Republicans took over the House and gained more seats in the Senate - but not her last. Upton, chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, recently joked she should line up a permanent parking spot at the Capitol.

At the same time, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., proposed a sweeping $1.9 billion cut - about 18 percent - to the amount requested for EPA this year by President Barack Obama. Rogers' proposal would also shave millions from EPA programs to boost energy efficiency in household appliances and to collect data on greenhouse gas emissions.

At the core of the battle is this fact: Having failed last year to enact legislation to reduce greenhouse gases, the Obama administration is trying to now use the existing Clean Air Act to achieve its goals.

Jackson contends the law and compelling scientific evidence on global warming leave her no choice. Moreover, the Supreme Court said in 2007 that the law could be used to fight global warming.

Republicans counter that regulations like those sought by the EPA would penalize industries that otherwise could be creating new jobs, and they've made the agency a central target of their anti-regulatory agenda.

Some longtime observers say the atmosphere for the agency has never been more toxic than it is now. "It's really been quite extreme," said William Ruckelshaus, who was the first EPA administrator under Nixon and later ran the agency under President Ronald Reagan, of the rhetoric. "What are they supposed to do? Sit there and do nothing?"

The latest and perhaps most draconian attack came from former House speaker and possible 2012 GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, who called for abolishing the EPA and replacing it with an organization more friendly to business. That followed Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin's use of a rifle to blast a hole through legislation limiting the gases blamed for global warming in a campaign commercial. The stunt helped him win West Virginia's open Senate seat.

Lawmakers of both parties have already introduced a dozen bills aimed at weakening, delaying or blocking pollution regulations. Business groups invited by congressional Republicans to describe their biggest regulatory burdens singled out EPA rules more than any others.

In 2009, the EPA under Obama put the Clean Air Act in motion when it concluded climate changes being caused by pollution from industries, automobiles and other sources burning fossil fuels are a threat to public health and welfare.

There's also growing resistance to a host of other regulations expected from the agency. Some were initiated by Obama, but others are the result of courts throwing out Bush-era regulations. Still others stem from reviews required by law to update standards to reflect the latest science.

They cover everything from ground-level ozone, the main ingredient in smog, to coal ash disposal, to a rule aimed at reducing pollution blowing into downwind states. "There has been an onslaught of job-crushing regulations emerging from the EPA over the last few years," said Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., at a recent hearing of the Senate Environment Committee.


Australia: Climate adviser Garnaut misses the point

Henry Ergas points out the incompetent economic reasoning behind the claim that a carbon tax would be beneficial

IN his recent report on Weighing the Costs and Benefits of Climate Change Action, Ross Garnaut argues that urgent action to reduce emissions by setting a carbon price would be in Australia's national interests.

To reach this conclusion, the report considers the costs and benefits to Australia of emissions reduction. It should be commended for doing so, as that brings vital discipline to the debate. Yet even accepting the report's account of the science, its assessment overstates the benefits of immediate action and understates its costs and risks.

The difficulties arise even if one assumes that effective international agreement on mitigation is reached, allowing Australia to reap long-term benefits from mitigation efforts. As the report recognises, it would still need to be established that those benefits outweighed costs.

Whether that test is met is affected by how costs, incurred now, and benefits, decades away, are converted into a comparable measure in the present. There are no easy answers as to how this should be done. It is obvious, however, that no one would accept an offer to invest $1 today in a project that would return only $1 in 70 years from now.

The compelling reason for rejecting that offer is its opportunity cost: were that $1 invested in government bonds, its value in 70 years (assuming, as per Australian experience, inflation-adjusted annual returns of 3.5 per cent) would exceed $11.

As a result, $1 in 70 years is only worth some 9c today: because a sacrifice of merely 9c can secure a riskless claim on $1 in the distant future. And if the relevant alternative yields higher risk-adjusted returns than government bonds, the offer is worth even less.

Future benefits must therefore be discounted in line with returns on alternative investments. Doing so need not involve placing less weight on future generations' welfare than on our own. Even if equal weight were placed on the welfare of all generations, opportunity costs would still be crucial.

Consider mitigation action costing $1 billion today but yielding an environmental benefit valued in 2111 at $50bn. Assume also the $1bn could instead be invested at an expected annual return of 6 per cent. Future generations would not want us to undertake that mitigation, as the alternative would yield over $300bn, compensating them six-fold for the foregone environmental gain. Choosing the mitigation investment would therefore be unethical and irrational.

This is not to deny it can be appropriate to discount long-term net benefits at a lower rate than net benefits next year. For example, future returns may be uncertain: the alternative might yield not 6 per cent but only 2 per cent. If the 6 and 2 per cent outcomes are equally probable, the correct discount rate gets closer to the lower value the further in the future one goes.

But even taking that into account, the report's discount rates are far below opportunity costs, especially if mitigation diverts resources from other investments. The effect is to greatly overstate the value today of mitigation's future benefits.

The report tries to justify this by reference to what it calls a normative approach to the discount rate. But there is nothing particularly normative about ignoring opportunity costs; nor does the report address the many distortions ignoring opportunity costs creates.

Rather, the report suggests that even if higher discount rates were used, mitigation could still be worthwhile if it reduced the likelihood of catastrophic outcomes. True, the possibility of catastrophic outcomes creates a case for insurance. But the question remains whether unilateral mitigation in fact provides that insurance.

This question is especially acute if two points are accepted: first, that it is uncertain whether effective international agreement will be reached; and second, that whether Australia imposes a carbon price may have some impact on prospects for international agreement but that impact is hardly decisive.

A scenario must therefore be considered in which we engage in unilateral mitigation, as the report recommends, but international agreement is not reached, and the catastrophic outcome it fears eventuates.

In that scenario, unilateral mitigation would certainly make us poorer. That is undesirable in itself. Additionally, by impoverishing us, it would diminish the resource pool on which we could draw in responding to the catastrophic outcome and increase the welfare cost of adjustment.

Unilateral mitigation would, in other words, be anti-insurance: it would increase the cost of the very risks the report paints. Faced with that possibility, the report's own logic, of maximising net benefits to Australia taking account of uncertainties, would command a prudent decision-maker not to undertake unilateral mitigation.

This is all the more the case as postponing mitigation allows costs to be avoided, but will have little effect on benefits.

That is obviously true in the scenario in which mitigation is and would remain unilateral, as in that scenario, mitigation cannot yield benefits. However, even in the alternative scenario, in which there is eventual agreement, delay will be worthwhile so long as the costs of mitigation do not increase more rapidly than the return on alternative investments.

Historically, annual returns on capital in Australia have been around 8 per cent real. Given continued rapid progress in low emissions technologies, delay is unlikely to cause Australia's mitigation costs to rise more quickly than that, particularly if the delay is relatively short.

Taking into account these benefits of postponement both in the scenario in which agreement is reached and in that in which it is not, the report's logic would again tell against unilateral action.

The report avoids this conclusion by not modelling costs and benefits in the scenario in which we abate but the world as a whole does not. It ignores that scenario altogether.

This is inconsistent with the risk assessment framework it rightly recommends.

The report's conclusions are therefore not properly made out. Until they are, its calls for immediate unilateral action, with all its costs, remain unconvincing.



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