Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Warmist response to "hide the decline"

Here it is. Rebuttal follows:
What does "hide the decline" refer to?

Phil Jones' email is often cited as evidence of an attempt to "hide the decline in global temperatures". This is incorrect. The decline actually refers to a decline in tree-ring density at certain high-latitude locations since 1960. However, Muller doesn't make this error - he clearly understands that global temperatures have been rising in recent decades as indicated by the instrumental record.

Tree-ring growth has been found to match well with temperature, and hence tree-ring width and density is used to plot temperature going back hundreds of years. However, tree-rings in some high-latitude locations diverge from modern instrumental temperature records after 1960. This is known as the "divergence problem". Consequently, tree-ring data in these high-latitude locations are not considered reliable after 1960 and should not be used to represent temperature in recent decades.

The expected deception above:

1). MOST if not all, the tree ring data used by Briffa and Jones was from "certain high-latitude locations". The impression created above that those records were of minor importance is therefore the reverse of the truth. They were central to the entire temperature reconstruction.

2). If the tree ring data diverge totally from the thermometer data over one time period, how do we know that they are a valid measure of temperature at all? We do not. They could well have diverged in earlier periods too. Yet it is precisely tree rings that Jones & Briffa rely on to portray earlier temperatures.

The "decline" did desperately need to be hidden -- as it shows that the entire temperature record for pre-thermometer days is based on an invalid measuring instrument and may therefore in fact be no record of pre-thermometer temperatures at all. And given the clash between Mann's hockeystick and known history, that doubt firms into a certainty.

Green eggs for Easter?

Sounds nauseating! (As well as pointless)

The White House announced Monday that this year’s Easter Egg Roll will be “more environmentally friendly,” including eggs made with wood certified by an environmental activist organization and packaging “to minimize waste and environmental impact.”

The press release issued by the White House states that the eggs will be produced in the United States from hardwood “certified” by the Forest Stewardship Council, a non-profit organization with a presence in 50 countries and a mission “to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests.”

The “greener” packaging for the eggs – available in purple, pink, green and yellow – is made from paperboard certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. The paperboard “uses no wood fibers from controversial sources” and the printed carton the egg comes in can be recycled. The packaging is also decorated with vegetable oil-based inks and water-based coatings.


Are environmentalists an obstacle to clean energy production?

The Obama administration has set a target of having 80 percent of America’s electricity come from “clean energy sources” by 2035, but ironically one of the biggest obstacles to this goal could come from within the environmental movement itself.

From coast to coast, efforts to build everything from wind farms to solar plants has run afoul of local environmental groups and the “Not In My Backyard” (NIMBY) phenomenon. Pro-environmental journals, such as the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law, as well as business groups, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have each cataloged this trend.

“Often, many of the same groups urging us to think globally about renewable energy are acting locally to stop the very same renewable energy projects that could create jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Bill Kovacs, senior vice president for environment, technology and regulatory affairs with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, wrote in the introduction of the group’s recent “Project, No Project” report. “NIMBY activism has blocked more renewable projects than coal-fired power plants by organizing local opposition, changing zoning laws, opposing permits, filing lawsuits, and using other long delay mechanisms, effectively bleeding projects dry of their financing.”

Recent examples include environmentalist lawsuits seeking to block construction of a solar power plant in California’s Mojave Desert due to threats to the endangered desert tortoise and environmentalists suing to block the construction of a 75-wind turbine project in Nevada due to threats to local wildlife.

Rob Mrowka, an ecologist for Tucson, Ariz.-based Center for Biological Diversity, told The Ely Times of Ely, Nev., that a green energy project’s location sometimes outweighs considerations such as climate change.

“We’ve got environmentalists out there who are fighting with environmentalists over whether or not they want renewable wind power or they want to save the chicken,” Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe told The Daily Caller regarding Oklahoma environmentalists and their effort to block construction of wind farms because of how it could negatively affect prairie chickens.

Inhofe then charged that the environmentalists want to stop all energy production regardless of its source. “They don’t want us to exploit any of our resources, so then we have to go to the Middle East, and that causes the price of oil to go up, supply and demand,” Inhofe said.

The senator believes an apparent hostility to energy production lies behind the effort to push cap and trade through using Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations targeting carbon emissions by farmers, manufacturers and power plants.

Inhofe’s legislation barring the EPA from regulating carbon emissions will come to the floor in the coming week. Similar legislation co-sponsored by House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Rep Fred Upton, Michigan Republican, and Energy & Power subcommittee chairman Rep. Ed Whitfield, Kentucky Republican, passed the House earlier this month.

Whitfield told TheDC that using the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon emissions only serves to encourage environmental lawsuits and aid environmental groups with fundraising. “I don’t believe they are being consistent when it comes down to reality,” Whitfield said.

The Environmental Defense Fund sought to rebut accusations that environmentalists have been hypocritical on green energy and sought to push the focus back on Inhofe and Whitfield.

EDF spokesman Tony Kreindler told TheDC that groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and individuals such as Inhofe have little credibility in criticizing environmentalists for being “hypocrites” on green energy.

“Every year they do what they can to hold up legislation that would make green energy more economical,” Kreindler said. “For one, the Waxman-Markey cap and trade bill in the Congress last year that would have leveled the playing field between fossil fuels and cleaner fuels, and any attempt to put together similar legislation along those lines in the Senate. “To my knowledge, they have never supported any green energy bill in the Congress.”


Climate alarm is mass hysteria

The most vexing barrier to engaging in honest debate about climate change is that most climate change zealots have embraced their ideology absent any research that questions the one-sided dogma of Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth" in all its incomprehensible glory.

Al Gore says the world is doomed because of man-made global warming. Then, with like-minded grant-hungry climatologists (including chief cheerleader Dr. James Hansen of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies) and social-engineering, left-wing politicians shilling for the cause, the lockstep media pushes this agenda down the throats of mankind, ever mindless of even one iota of contrary fact or opinion.

While our planet undeniably heats and cools in periods of fluctuation ---- think 9th century Medieval Warm Period and 17th century Little Ice Age, for example ---- there is absolutely no scientific evidence that any of history's climate fluctuations have been due to man's influence.

In fact, scientists can no more accurately predict long-range future climate shifts than they can predict earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or drought; in the same way science cannot definitively account for past ice ages, meteor strikes or the Big Bang. Theories, yes; facts, no.

I have tried to learn both sides of the argument and am convinced beyond a doubt that Gore and his ilk are foisting history's greatest fraud upon mankind.

I'm not alone. There are countless highly respected scientists and climatologists who refute the "findings" of the climate change lobby. One, Dr. Roy Spencer, is an undisputed expert in climate research, a former senior scientist for climate studies at NASA and co-developer of the original satellite method for monitoring global temperatures.

In his book, "The Great Global Warming Blunder," Spencer writes, "… at some point in the future we will realize that the fear of catastrophic climate change was the worst case of mass hysteria the world has ever known."

When a climate change zealot embraces an ideology without performing even a minuscule amount of counter investigation, the value of his or her opinion is worthless


Former Leftist voters in the Australian State of NSW 'spooked' by carbon tax

Leading to a landslide loss for the Left in the recent election

JULIA Gillard's carbon tax may have saved two high-profile NSW ministers from a Greens' assault in inner Sydney, but the move exacerbated the revolt against the 16-year-old Labor regime in its own heartland.

In western and southern Sydney, mining areas and long-established industrial towns, factory workers, two-car families and low-income households swung more heavily against Labor than the NSW average.

Echoing their federal leader Tony Abbott, incoming Coalition MPs in NSW argue that traditional Labor voters were spooked by the prospect of job losses, higher petrol prices and rising household power bills from a carbon tax.

"The people of Bathurst sent the federal Labor government a strong message on Saturday: they are opposed to a carbon tax," victorious Nationals Paul Toole told The Australian.

Mr Toole secured a 36.6 per cent swing, the state's highest, to win the seat, three hours' drive west of Sydney. The electorate is home to coalminers, factory hands, power workers and farmers, and takes in regional towns such as Bathurst and Lithgow.

"An electorate dependent on mining and manufacturing was worried about job losses and that a rise in petrol and electricity costs would severely affect their quality of life," he said. "There are many rural communities in Bathurst, too, fearing a threat of higher fuel prices under a carbon tax."

The swing in 14 manufacturing seats lost by the ALP on Saturday was 21.4 per cent, compared with the state-wide movement of 17 per cent, with some of the highest voter shifts recorded in outer-Sydney factory hubs such as Smithfield, Riverstone, Mulgoa and Camden.

After the 2007 NSW poll, Labor held 27 of the top 30 seats ranked by proportion of manufacturing workers; that number is now 13, with Labor seats such as Wollongong, south of Sydney, and Toongabbie, in the city's northwest, now on tiny margins.

Last week, BlueScope Steel chairman Graham Kraehe warned that a carbon price could be a "tipping point" for the steel industry, which could fail to survive in Australia in 20 years under the wrong carbon pricing plan. In the NSW steel-belt, the swing against Labor was 24.5 per cent in Wollongong and 17.3 per cent in nearby Keira.

During the campaign, Barry O'Farrell was aided by Mr Abbott and drive-time radio announcers in raising the prospect of higher petrol prices and inadequate compensation for families from the Prime Minister's carbon tax, which is scheduled to begin in July next year.

The anti-Labor swing was even higher in the 20 seats that have the highest proportion of households with two or more cars. Labor lost 10 seats in these car-dependent electorates, with an average swing of 22 per cent.

Commuter electorates far from Sydney's CBD, such as Riverstone (30 per cent) in the north and Menai (27.5 per cent) in the south, recorded particularly large swings against Labor.

But in inner-west electorates, Labor sources say the carbon tax played a significant role in shoring up support among progressive voters who had lost heart with the party's inaction on climate change.

In Marrickville, retained by Labor's Carmel Tebbutt, the swing against the outgoing health minister was only 5.3 per cent.

"Hard-core Labor voters were looking for a reason to stick with Labor and Carmel's personal appeal and Gillard's carbon tax certainly helped," says a Labor insider. "As did the Greens candidate's mistakes."

In Balmain, the voter shift away from Verity Firth appeared to be even less than in neighbouring Marrickville, but it may not be enough to stave off defeat for the former education minister in a seat with a 3.5 per cent margin that has become a three-horse race in a tricky count.

These inner-urban voters, who have the highest rates of public transport use in NSW and very low levels of car ownership, and tend to live in smaller homes, seemed less perturbed about the threat of higher petrol and power costs.

The federal Opposition Leader told a special sitting of parliament yesterday that Labor's "toxic carbon tax" would add $500 to household power bills.

"Nothing could be more calculated to have sabotaged the NSW Labor government's re-election campaign than this utterly maladroit intervention by . . . a Prime Minister who wants to inflict a toxic tax on the people of Australia - a tax which is not only toxic to families' standard of living and not only toxic to jobs in manufacturing industries but utterly toxic to the re-election campaign."

Ms Gillard yesterday rejected the idea that Labor's heavy defeat in NSW was due to a backlash against the looming carbon tax.

"Let's just be a little bit practical about this; we're talking about a state election after 16 years," she said. "I think NSW voters had made up their mind a long time ago and I don't think that they made up their mind on the basis of events in the last few weeks."


Australian Climate Commission shirks debate

Bob Carter reports on the expected wriggling

Last Friday night, five of Australia’s six Climate Commissioners participated in the Commission’s first public consultation meeting in Geelong. They were Tim Flannery, Will Steffen, Lesley Hughes (all scientists), Roger Beale (environmental policy analyst) and Gerry Hueston (businessman); Commissioner Susannah Elliott (science communication) was not in attendance.

Australia already has an expensive federal Ministry of Climate Change, so why do we also need a new Climate Commission? Good question. The terms of reference of the Climate Commission are to:

* Explain the science of climate change and the impacts on Australia.

* Report on the progress of international action dealing with climate change.

Explain the purpose and operation of a carbon price and how it may interact with the Australian economy and communities.
Interestingly, only one of these terms of reference concerns science. Of course, if there is no science problem then by definition there is no economic or political problem. So the inclusion of two economic and political terms of reference indicates that the government’s view is that “the science is settled” – which won’t surprise anyone.

Similarly unsurprising, but nonetheless disappointing, is that all five of the Commissioners who attended the Geelong meeting manifested an alarmist view of global warming and its speculated human cause – industrial carbon dioxide emissions --- rather than presenting as even-handed dispensers of scientific and technical truth.

The scientific background to the Geelong meeting is this. Within the bounds of error, average global temperature hasn’t increased since 1995 (15 years) and temperature has actually been falling slightly since 2001 (10 years). Meanwhile, over the last ten years atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have increased by 5%.

The conclusion is obvious. More carbon dioxide is not causing dangerous warming. Indeed, and despite it being an undoubted greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide emissions are not currently producing any measurable (as opposed to theoretical) warming at all.

There thus being no established scientific problem, about half of what the Climate Commissioners had to say in Geelong (about carbon dioxide taxes and related industry, employment and social issues) can be put aside – for it concerned non-solutions to a non-problem in aid of which has been proposed a non-justifiable new tax.

This leaves as the key issue the matter of what the Commissioners had to say about the scientific evidence for dangerous global warming. Perhaps they were going to share with us some new evidence or insights?

No such luck. What the audience got instead was a mish-mash of misinformation, much of it derived from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and discussion of which signally failed to distinguish between the undoubtedly real problems associated with natural climate change and the hypothetical problems that might or might not result from human-caused warming - should such ever manifest itself.

To begin with, the Commissioners consistent use of the word “carbon” when “carbon dioxide” was meant, and “climate change” when “dangerous global warming caused by human-carbon dioxide emissions” was meant, indicated the degree to which their views are aligned with the Greens’ carefully honed propaganda view of the world. Using this type of prejudicial language in any discussion on global warming is a litmus test for a lack of balance and perspective by the perpetrators.

Here is a small selection of some of the other incorrect technical statements, and their implications, that were made by the commissioners.

Assertion: Human-caused global warming is continuing, and we are in danger of seeing it augmented by positive feedback loops.

Reality: There is no direct evidence that the mild warming that occurred between 1979 and 1998 was mostly, or even measurably, a result of human carbon dioxide emissions, despite the pseudo-scientific assertion to that effect by the IPCC.

Second, there has been no global warming at all for the last 15 years despite, the operation throughout of the self-same feedback loops.

Assertion: Industrial carbon dioxide emissions are currently ~300 billion tonnes annually and they need to be limited to ~700 billion tonnes in future to stabilize the temperature at no more than 2 deg. C above the pre-industrial temperature.

Reality: There is no evidence that a 2 deg. C warming (which would take the planet back to about the temperature levels of the Climatic Optimum that occurred about 10,000 years ago) would be damaging for the environment, or for human activities in any substantial way that we couldn’t adapt to.

And, even should natural global warming resume in the future, as it very well may as part of a continuing bounce back from the hostile conditions of the Little Ice Age, there is no certainty that restricting carbon dioxide emissions will do anything to halt the rise. First, because of the diminishing warming effectiveness of every increment of carbon dioxide that is added to the atmosphere, and second because the assumed efficacy of limiting emissions to 700 billion tonnes is a projection of computer models that are known to be faulty.

Assertion: The Great Barrier Reef has experienced about 7-10 bleaching events since 1979. No bleaching events are known before this, and the events result when the ocean temperature SST rises about 1 deg. above the summer long term temperature. If we keep going, the reef will bleach every year by 2030.

Reality: Bleaching events on coral reefs are caused less by regional ocean warming per se than they are by the localised warming that occurs in areas and times of low wind conditions.

Bleaching events have been reported since 1979 because it is only after that date that a network of scientific observers was established on the reef. There is no evidence that any of these events was due to human activity, and to suggest that no similar natural events occurred before 1979 is silly.

In any case, the sea surface temperature of the Great Barrier Reef shows no change over the last 30 years, and the speculation that the reef will bleach every year by 2030 doubtless represents the projection of another of those legendary, and legendarily wrong, computer models.

In his introductory remarks to the Geelong meeting, Commission Chairman Tim Flannery stressed that his commission was independent from government direction, and was “determined not to deliver political spin”. Professor Flannery added that Australia “needs a clear, level-headed debate on the core issues” of the global warming matter.

Using those statements as criteria, how well did the Commission’s performance at Geelong stack up? Readers have probably instantly judged the answer to that question for themselves, but here’s my take.

First, and remembering that THE core issue is the scientific evidence regarding global warming, while Professor Flannery may want a clear debate, some of his commissioners deny that any debate exists, or has for 20 years; collectively, their attitudes also seem aimed at continuing to prevent one. Second, most of the examples of commissioners’ arguments discussed above may not represent “political spin” but they most certainly represent “scientific spin” of the most egregious type.

In essence, Australia’s new Climate Commissioners are simply peddling long discredited arguments about global warming that have been made for 15 years by the IPCC, all of which are carefully crafted to demonize human carbon dioxide emissions. Most of these arguments carry a political overtone, and most are espoused also by Australia’s current government, which makes it a little difficult to see how Professor Flannery is going to be able to exercise his Commission’s claimed independence.



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 blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


1 comment:

C. S. P. Schofield said...

As long as I have been politically aware (since the mid-1970's) Environmentalist passion for any source of energy was inversely proportional to the possibility of it actually being implemented on any useful scale. In fact, that could be taken as a political definition of "Green" energy; any energy source so impractical that it is in no danger of actually being adopted.