Thursday, February 10, 2011

Climate disasters all blamed on global warming, as usual

You would think that there had never been any such problems in the past. If there were any kind of science behind this, they would have totted up the losses in recent years and subtracted from that (in constant dollars) the losses in some pre-warming period. Doing that, they could well have come up with zero dollars as the effect of warming. The dishonesty is profound

AboutT $350 billion has been lost to climate change, also known as global warming in the last five years, it was learnt yesterday. An expert on Sustainable Environmental Finance, Dr. Kenny Tang, said the world lost $240 billion in 2005.

Tang spoke at the third International Summit tagged: “Charting A Road Map For Combating Climate Change in Nigeria,” organised by the Lagos State Government. He said $110 billion was also lost last year to global warming.

Tang said 373 people were killed and about 250 million affected. He said 220,000 died in Haiti.

According to him, a fraction of the losses was insured but the largest proportion remained uninsured. He said the losses that were non-insured have adverse effect on global economy, urging Nigeria’s leaders to mitigate its effects.

Tang added that the calamities, in form of mudslide, flooding, desertification and other harsh weather conditions the world witnessed in recent times were caused by man’s activities, saying, ”Climate is what you expect , while weather is what you get “.

The Deputy British High Commissioner in Lagos, Mr. Robin Gwynn stressed the need to mitigate the impact on climate change. He said the government of the United Kingdom would back any effort to address the scourge globally....

Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Muiz Banire noted that though the theme for the year is ‘charting a new course for combating climate change in Nigeria’, he stressed that there was a dearth of blueprint for combating climate disasters ravaging the world, noting however that there is the need to continually reinvent strategies for better results.


The latest Catholic compromise with "The world"

Christ said "My kingdom is not of this world" but the Catholic church certainly is. From earliest times, their compromises with "the world" have been huge. It is their legacy that causes us still to celebrate pagan holy days such as Sunday, Easter and Christmas. We even still feature the original pagan fertility symbols that go with Easter: eggs and rabbits. The one commemoration that Christ commanded of his followers -- the Passover -- they ignore.

Now among some Catholics, the adoption of the green religion is going on apace. See below

When I was a kid in Catholic school I memorized a list of virtues out of the Baltimore Catechism. The three theological virtues roll right off the tip of my tongue still -- faith, hope and charity. These three were followed by the cardinal virtues -- prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude -- that when cultivated led to a moral stalwartness fortified by the gifts of the Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, courage, knowledge, and fear of God.
These virtues were the goal and focus of our spirituality. They were resources to not only get us through life, but to enable us to flourish as citizens, as workers, as parents. Above all, they planted in our hearts dispositions to resist temptations and to do good.

Those afternoons memorizing the catechism took place, for me, in the late 1950s, while the Cold War was raging. Now it’s early in the 21st century.

Though these older virtues still abide, perhaps we need resources, vision and strength for completely new challenges, for the world is a very different place now.

Then the Cold War loomed and the battleground for the future of all that was good seemed located in remote lands, far off from me and my catechism. Now the struggle for the future seems as near as my own backyard. It will be fought in the ways we shop and travel and recreate, in adjusting our wants and needs to fit within Earth’s limits, even in the ways we imagine God and God’s connections with us.

Our task in the years ahead will be healing a world that is badly out of balance. What will help us to live and flourish as citizens, workers, parents, seekers after God in this new context? Recently I ran across a list of nine ecological virtues, suggested by Christian ecologist James Nash. One by one, I will describe each virtue.

Adaptability: My stepson when he was a teenager wanted a car. His request for help put me in a bind. Though convinced excessive driving is environmentally destructive, I knew that he needed some breaks in a life filled with mishaps and trials. I decided to give him a loan. Though I’d like to report that this deliberation proceeded with great-souled equanimity and grace on my part, alas, that was not the case.

“Life is the great balancing act,” said the late Dr. Seuss. Sorting through these difficult dilemmas, working out the necessary compromises and finding practical solutions to knotty problems is true prayer, encounters with God working in our lives. It is unheroic, not glamorous, and very holy.

Sustainability: A TV comedienne talks of visiting the mall to buy a wastebasket for her new apartment. The clerk put her wastebasket into a sack. She carried the sack home, then threw it into the wastebasket she’d just bought. “What am I doing?” she yelped. Convenient, yes, but is it not an unnecessary waste of resources and an insult to the Creator to behave in such a way? Her story is an apt parable for the wastefulness that characterizes so much of our living today.

Much more boring old crap HERE

EPA under fire — if only the 'E' stood for jobs

Republicans, and some Democrats, push back hard on clean-air regulations

In the new political order of Washington, D.C. — with Republicans running the House — the Environmental Protection Agency has become a punching bag. Newt Gingrich wants it renamed the Environmental Solution Agency, while businesses surveyed recently by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said the agency is the No. 1 obstacle in their path.

And come Wednesday, EPA chief Lisa Jackson likely will face tough questioning when she testifies before the Republican-led House Energy and Commerce Committee on why the EPA thinks it has the authority to regulate greenhouse gases via the Clean Air Act.

The chair of that committee, Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., last week drafted legislation — called the Energy Tax Prevention Act — to tie the EPA's hands, saying regulation of greenhouse gases would cost jobs and raise prices on consumer goods. The committee is overwhelmingly Republican, and Upton has called 10 others to testify — all against the EPA strategy.

No one is expecting the EPA to go away — or be renamed for that matter. "But pinning the agency's ears back with legislation that prevents them from regulating greenhouse gases is a real possibility," says Congress watcher Frank Maisano, an energy specialist at Bracewell & Giuliani, an international law and lobbying firm.

Such action would also require the support of the Senate, which is still majority Democrat, but Maisano doesn't see that as an obstacle — noting plenty of Democrats "of like minds" with Republicans on this.

Case in point: Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a Democrat from coal-rich West Virginia, last week reintroduced legislation that would delay the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases for two years. Several Senate Democrats from states that rely heavily on fossil fuels — such as Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Ben Nelson of Nebraska, all three up for re-election in 2012 — are cosponsoring Rockefeller's bill.

To be sure, the EPA still has supporters: the more liberal Democrats in Congress and folks like David Donniger, climate policy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council. "The House Republicans pushing this legislation are overreaching, just as they did in the Gingrich Congress in 1995, when they drastically misgauged the depth of public support for protecting health and curbing dangerous pollution," says Doniger, who was the EPA's climate director during the Clinton administration.

But a key difference this time around, and a key weapon for Republicans, is the jobs card. The GOP has made it clear that job creation is its top policy goal and that legislation will be measured by its potential to boost growth.

President Barack Obama knows this, and any environmental rhetoric these days from the White House is dressed up as the opportunity to create new jobs in green industries.

Moreover, while White House officials have insisted over recent months that Obama will veto any legislation limiting the EPA, two recent events have led some to question that.

First, in his State of the Union address last month, Obama stressed a vision for a clean energy economy that includes nuclear energy and the still unproven idea of "clean coal" — two types that appeal to Republicans and those Democrats in coal-reliant states.

"If the Obama administration wants to get legislation done this year on energy that would support his clean-energy goals, one of the things he is going to have to consider compromising on is the EPA and greenhouse gas emissions," Whitney Stanco, an energy policy analyst at the brokerage MF Global, recently told Reuters.

Then, last week the EPA gave notice that it was changing course in a court case involving a long-delayed California power plant. The applicant should not have to comply with tougher pollution standards since the application came in before those new rules, the EPA said. The move could affect up to 20 similar facilities, the EPA noted, although it insisted the decision had no bearing on EPA's stance to regulate pollution blamed for global warming.


Scientists Set the Alarmists Straight

On January 28, eighteen climate alarmists sent an open letter to the U.S. Congress. It contained the usual hysterical and unscientific predictions of doom--doom which ostensibly can be averted only by a government takeover of the economy, accompanied by shoveling billions, if not trillions, of dollars in the direction of politically connected groups--including, of course, them. How convenient! Today, thirty-six more sober scientists sent this letter to Congress, responding to the alarmists:
On 28 January 2011, eighteen scientists sent a letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate urging them to "take a fresh look at climate change." Their intent, apparently, was to disparage the views of scientists who disagree with their contention that continued business-as-usual increases in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions produced from the burning of coal, gas, and oil will lead to a host of cataclysmic climate-related problems.

We, the undersigned, totally disagree with them and would like to take this opportunity to briefly state our side of the story.

The eighteen climate alarmists (as we refer to them, not derogatorily, but simply because they view themselves as "sounding the alarm" about so many things climatic) state that the people of the world "need to prepare for massive flooding from the extreme storms of the sort being experienced with increasing frequency," as well as the "direct health impacts from heat waves" and "climate-sensitive infectious diseases," among a number of other devastating phenomena. And they say that "no research results have produced any evidence that challenges the overall scientific understanding of what is happening to our planet's climate," which is understood to mean their view of what is happening to Earth's climate.

To these statements, however, we take great exception. It is the eighteen climate alarmists who appear to be unaware of "what is happening to our planet's climate," as well as the vast amount of research that has produced that knowledge.

For example, a lengthy review of their claims and others that climate alarmists frequently make can be found on the Web site of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change (see here). That report offers a point-by-point rebuttal of all of the claims of the "group of eighteen," citing in every case peer-reviewed scientific research on the actual effects of climate change during the past several decades.

If the "group of eighteen" pleads ignorance of this information due to its very recent posting, then we call their attention to an even larger and more comprehensive report published in 2009, "Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC)". That document has been posted for more than a year in its entirety at

These are just two recent compilations of scientific research among many we could cite. Do the 678 scientific studies referenced in the CO2 Science document, or the thousands of studies cited in the NIPCC report, provide real-world evidence (as opposed to theoretical climate model predictions) for global warming-induced increases in the worldwide number and severity of floods? No. In the global number and severity of droughts? No. In the number and severity of hurricanes and other storms? No.

Do they provide any real-world evidence of Earth's seas inundating coastal lowlands around the globe? No. Increased human mortality? No. Plant and animal extinctions? No. Declining vegetative productivity? No. More frequent and deadly coral bleaching? No. Marine life dissolving away in acidified oceans? No.

Quite to the contrary, in fact, these reports provide extensive empirical evidence that these things are not happening. And in many of these areas, the referenced papers report finding just the opposite response to global warming, i.e., biosphere-friendly effects of rising temperatures and rising CO2 levels.

In light of the profusion of actual observations of the workings of the real world showing little or no negative effects of the modest warming of the second half of the twentieth century, and indeed growing evidence of positive effects, we find it incomprehensible that the eighteen climate alarmists could suggest something so far removed from the truth as their claim that no research results have produced any evidence that challenges their view of what is happening to Earth's climate and weather.

But don't take our word for it. Read the two reports yourselves. And then make up your own minds about the matter. Don't be intimidated by false claims of "scientific consensus" or "overwhelming proof." These are not scientific arguments and they are simply not true.

Like the eighteen climate alarmists, we urge you to take a fresh look at climate change. We believe you will find that it is not the horrendous environmental threat they and others have made it out to be, and that they have consistently exaggerated the negative effects of global warming on the U.S. economy, national security, and public health, when such effects may well be small to negligible.

I would second the recommendation that you, as well as members of Congress, read the linked reports. The global warming hoax survives only because most people do not take the trouble to learn the facts for themselves.


Deepwater Spill Was Just an Excuse

We have to get our priorities straight. When even Cuba, which minus Chinese assistance lacks the technological capability to do so, is looking to drill for oil in the deep waters just 50 miles off the coast of the U.S., but we refuse to do so, clearly the nation is falling behind in the global energy race.

Writing for Politico, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) raises the alarm bells: “We cannot allow this project to move forward.” Buchanan has introduced legislation that would deny oil permits to any company that does business with Cuba.

That’s a start, and if Republicans can force votes in both houses of Congress, the American people may gain some insight into the Obama Administration’s intentions. Is the White House going to block U.S. domestic energy production and then allow the communist thugs in Cuba to do it?

This could be one of the most telling decisions Barack Obama will make. It will show clearly what side he is on.

The problem the U.S. faces, of course, is not too much overseas competition per se from adversaries like Cuba or China. It is domestic restrictions and regulations that restrict the nation’s ability to drill for its own oil and natural gas. This has been a long time coming.

According to data collected by the Energy Information Agency (EIA), in 1970 the U.S. produced 9.6 million barrels of oil every day. Now only 5.5 million barrels are produced a day, a 42 percent decrease. So precipitous has this decline been that the U.S., which was once energy independent, now imports more than half of its energy.

Making matters worse, since the deepwater Gulf oil spill of 2010, government’s iron grip around drilling has only tightened.

“[N]ot a single deepwater permit has been issued in nine months,” said Offshore Marine Service Association President Jim Adams in a report by Bloomberg News. The association is calling it an informal moratorium, even though Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar supposedly lifted a second government moratorium on deepwater drilling.

In fact, so rampant has the Obama Administration’s obstruction of U.S. drilling been that federal Judge Martin Feldman blocked Salazar’s first moratorium from being implemented, and then found the government in contempt of court because it refused to follow the order.

But it’s even worse than that. As noted by the editorial board of Investor’s Business Daily, “The moratorium is driven by ideology and not safety. Its purpose was to further the administration's war on domestic energy production, including a seven-year ban on offshore drilling off both coasts and the eastern Gulf.”

In other words, the Obama Administration is exploiting the oil spill as an excuse to shut down domestic oil production, something the Hard Left has sought for decades.

These restrictions will mean thousands of lost jobs and billions of dollars in lost revenue for American companies, and have the unfortunate added effect of increasing the nation’s dependence on foreign sources of energy. The effects are already being seen in EIA’s data, which projects that domestic crude oil production “declines by 20,000 bbl/d in 2011 and by a further 130,000 bbl/d in 2012 (U.S. Crude Oil Production Chart)”.

How does this advance American interests?

As the nation is learning by the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East, the U.S. cannot afford to be dependent on foreign sources of fuel. Today, we are at the mercy of hostile regimes in Venezuela and the Middle East, and unstable nations like Nigeria, Mexico and in others in Central and South America.

The shame is that we have enough energy and other resources in America to provide for our own needs as a nation, but we choose not to. Federal restrictions are in the way. Those restrictions should be lifted to open 650 million acres of federal lands and to dramatically expand oil, mineral, rare earth metals, and nuclear leasing and permitting.

The Obama Administration could do this immediately, for example by reopening the Gulf to drilling, expanding drilling leases in Alaska, rescinding the EPA’s endangerment finding, and allowing Texas refining to go forward unhindered. Additionally, we must begin exploiting our oil shale, coal, and nuclear capabilities.

A rapid expansion of the nation’s natural resources production would create tens of thousands of jobs and investment opportunities, increase revenues through economic growth, and reduce our dependency on foreign natural resources.

Instead, Cuba and China are drilling for those resources right in our backyard, and Obama is busy making sure that we can’t. It compels one to question just why it is this Administration and the leftists that support it are so opposed to America being energy independent and able to produce its own resources. Whose side are they really on?


Big retreat from Green schemes by the Australian Labor Party

THE Gillard government's $1.5 billion slashing of green schemes is a turning point in Labor's political maturity; it signals a re-think about green programs, a scepticism about "feel good" environmental gestures and a tougher line on industry protection disguised as clean energy.

The spending cuts send several messages: Labor is serious about bringing a new realism to its green programs; Gillard is betting the house on the main game of getting a carbon price and beating Tony Abbott on this front; as PM Gillard has less interest than Kevin Rudd in industry intervention policy; and the savings signal a leadership team ready to make more cuts to underwrite the 2012-13 budget surplus goal. Gillard was blunt: "Some of these [green] policies are less efficient than a carbon price and will no longer be necessary." Yes, that means a new direction.

The biggest saving is $429 million across the forward estimates from killing the Cleaner Car Rebate Scheme, known as cash for clunkers. To call this scheme a shocker is too polite. Announced last July, Gillard pledged a $2000 rebate for owners of pre-1995 cars who purchased a new, low-emission, fuel-efficient vehicle, hoping to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by one million tonnes.

In short, spending more than $400m to reduce emissions by one million tonnes would cost taxpayers more than $400 a tonne, about 40 times the initially proposed carbon price a tonne under Labor's emission trading scheme. It was an idea so bad it could not survive, yet testimony to what politicians will do under green mania. Gillard is sensible to put it behind her.

The next main green saving is $234m across the forward estimates and $401m over the program life from winding up the Green Car Innovation Fund. This was Rudd's baby and his dream. It was part of his new car plan with Rudd telling parliament on World Environment Day, 2008: "We do not just want a green car; we want a green car industry."

For Rudd, it began as a $500m fusion to retain automotive industry jobs and meet the climate change challenge. The industry was to match the government's contribution on a three-to-one dollar basis. Climate change action would become a core task for manufacturing industry. In the end it was a huge $1.3bn fund bid up by Rudd and administered by Industry Minister Kim Carr.

The industry entered into commitments but would have preferred more of the funds as direct support rather than under the "green car" banner.

Gillard's winding up of the fund defies both the car industry and the trade unions. It will be cheered in the Treasury and Productivity Commission. In August 2008 Productivity Commission chairman, Gary Banks, attacked Rudd's initiative, in effect, as a fraud. He said the fund "would be unlikely to yield significant innovation or greenhouse benefits if it were all allocated on a similar basis to the first $35 million instalment."

This was a reference to Rudd's Tokyo announcement to subsidise Toyota on the hybrid Camry out of Altona in Melbourne. Critically, Banks said an effective ETS should render "many pre-existing emission-reduction schemes redundant." Guess what? Gillard has started to accept this argument.

The car industry chiefs from Toyota, Holden and Ford wrote to Gillard on Monday evening accusing Labor of broken commitments. But Labor's power centre has moved from Rudd to Gillard. Have no doubt, this reflects a sharp Gillard-Rudd difference on both industry and climate change that could become more significant down the track. Head of the Chamber of Automotive Industries, Andrew McKellar, says abolition of the fund is an "unwelcome surprise" and accuses public servants of misleading their ministers on the issue. But the mood within cabinet at this decision was for a discipline not apparent during the Rudd era.

The Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute, another ambitious Rudd idea, loses $55m over the forward estimates but stays alive with strong ongoing funds. Another theme behind the savings is practicality, witness $500m saved across the forward estimates (though much of this is available later) by cutting back on support for large solar projects and carbon capture and storage projects.

The conclusion is manifest: the value here is not yet available. One cabinet minister said: "What's more important: helping rebuild after the floods or backing a solar hot water rebate?" Such decisions reflect the "cleaning up" strategy already being implemented by Climate Change Minister Greg Combet and his parliamentary secretary, Mark Dreyfus.

Last April Combet announced the termination of the $2.4bn home insulation scheme debacle. Under Combet and Dreyfus both the green loans and green start schemes (offering energy assessments to households) are terminated at a saving of $129m. This followed the Auditor-General's September 2010 report that the green start program could not be implemented without acceptable control of risks.

In short, the failure of multiple green schemes since Labor came to power in 2007 constitutes a stunning story of public administration and policy failure.

Senior ministers say the principles guiding future green policy must be the allocative efficiency of markets, attention to equity and proper service delivery. But the big play is pricing carbon. No final decisions are taken but Combet's December 17 speech gave the critical clues. Labor is looking at a fixed carbon price in the short-term evolving into an ETS with a market price down the track with more ambitious targets decided not at the start but only at this transition point.



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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