Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Snow kicks off Earth Week

God has a sense of humor. Earth Week kicked off in the Midwest with temperatures plunging 20 degrees below normal, record snowfalls in Chicago and two to four inches here in Metro Detroit.

While their reporters shivered through “winter is back” reports, MSM outlets from NBC (“Green Week”) to the Detroit Free Press (“Green Leaders Awards”) launched a week of green propaganda leading up to Earth Day on Friday with scare stores about melting snow, drought, and tips for how to live a moral green life and prevent Armageddon.

Local Detroit communities scrambled to send out salt trucks while warning that carbon-spewing trucks are destroying the planet, and local schools prepared to scare the kiddies with the movie Carbon Nation — assuming schools didn’t have a snow day.

Temperatures are expected to remain below normal this week — as is enthusiasm for the Left’s plans to remake the economy to prevent catastrophic warming.


A Decrease in Floods Around the World?

A new analysis of floods around the world has been called to my attention. The new analysis is contrary to conventional wisdom but consistent with the scientific literature on global trends in peak streamflows. Is it possible that floods are not increasing or even in decline while most people have come to believe the opposite?

Bouziotas et al. presented a paper at the EGU a few weeks ago (PDF) and concluded: "Analysis of trends and of aggregated time series on climatic (30-year) scale does not indicate consistent trends worldwide. Despite common perception, in general, the detected trends are more negative (less intense floods in most recent years) than positive. Similarly, Svensson et al. (2005) and Di Baldassarre et al. (2010) did not find systematical change neither in flood increasing or decreasing numbers nor change in flood magnitudes in their analysis."

This finding is largely consistent with Kundzewicz et al. (2005) who find: "Out of more than a thousand long time series made available by the Global Runoff Data Centre (GRDC) in Koblenz, Germany, a worldwide data set consisting of 195 long series of daily mean flow records was selected, based on such criteria as length of series, currency, lack of gaps and missing values, adequate geographical distribution, and priority to smaller catchments. The analysis of annual maximum flows does not support the hypothesis of ubiquitous growth of high flows. Although 27 cases of strong, statistically significant increase were identified by the Mann-Kendall test, there are 31 decreases as well, and most (137) time series do not show any significant changes (at the 10% level). Caution is advised in interpreting these results as flooding is a complex phenomenon, caused by a number of factors that can be associated with local, regional, and hemispheric climatic processes. Moreover, river flow has strong natural variability and exhibits long-term persistence which can confound the results of trend and significance tests."

They conclude (emphasis added): "Destructive floods observed in the last decade all over the world have led to record high material damage. The conventional belief is that the increasing cost of floods is associated with increasing human development on flood plains (Pielke & Downton, 2000). However, the question remains as to whether or not the frequency and/or magnitude of flooding is also increasing and, if so, whether it is in response to climate variability and change. Several scenarios of future climate indicate a likelihood of increased intense precipitation and flood hazard. However, observations to date provide no conclusive and general proof as to how climate change affects flood behaviour."

SOURCE (See the original for references)

Defending nature via property rights

Elizabeth Brubaker describes why the institutions of private property are needed to defend nature, and why modern control policies that undermine them contribute to pollution and environmental destruction.

Our policy task today is to discover, legitimize and extend those private property institutions that can achieve and heighten environmental progress and expand environmental amenities. Today’s policies, in contrast, demean and abandon those essential institutions and traditions, and make enemies out of those who otherwise would be enlisted in the goals of ecological improvement. The entire book Property Rights in the Defence of Nature is available online.


Hansen Discusses The Magical Properties Of CO2

Hansen demonstrates that his stance on CO2 is irrational, and that climate science peer-review is complete crap. How does this garbage get published?

Hansen 2003 :

"The soot albedo effect operates in concert with regional warming in most of the world, hindering empirical distinction of climate and soot contributions. However, there has been little warming in China, including Tibet, over the past 120 years (Fig. 3), yet glaciers there are retreating rapidly"

Hansen 2009 :

“Tibet’s glaciers are retreating at an alarming rate,” said James Hansen, coauthor of the study and director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City. “Black soot is probably responsible for as much as half of the glacial melt, and greenhouse gases are responsible for the rest.”

If Hansen believes that there has been little warming in Tibet, how exactly is CO2 responsible for half the melt? His stance is completely irrational.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Debunking the Greenhouse Gas Theory in Three Simple Steps

John O'Sullivan

A group of international scientists find that carbon dioxide is a coolant, the calculations in the greenhouse gas theory are wrong and humans are not killing the planet.

It may have taken the Climategate controversy to prompt a growing band of specialist scientists to come forward and work together to help climatologists get themselves out of an almighty mess. But at last we know for sure that the doomsaying equations behind the man-made global warming new research shows the numbers were fudged, the physics was misapplied and group thinking perpetuated gross errors.

Yes, the greenhouse effect has now been proven to be a fabrication. That mythical concept called ‘back radiation’ whereby heat was supposed to be recycled in the atmosphere and worsened by the dreaded burning of fossil fuels is contradicted. In reality it’s now been shown that the atmosphere acts like a coolant of Earth’s surface, which, otherwise, would have a temperature of 121 Degrees Celsius, or 394 Kelvin (K).

A team of dedicated international experts, known as the ‘Slayers,’ all highly qualified in their respective fields, spent the past year deliberating over the deep-rooted errors in the calculations employed in the greenhouse gas theory. Their findings are devastating to all those who claim carbon dioxide and the ‘greenhouse effect’ heats our atmosphere.

The standard argument of a clique of climatologists associated with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is as follows:

* A warm body (the earth) radiates heat to a cool body (the atmosphere)

* The cool body “back-radiates” (IPCC term) heat to the warm body.

* This process continues perpetually, with heat flowing round and round in a continuous cycle.

* The result of this perpetual process is that the warm body becomes warmer.

This is the so-called greenhouse effect (GHE) examined closely by a team of professors of physics, mathematics, astrophysics, chemistry and biology who joined forces to put the numbers under a fresh microscope.

This group of 20+ specialist scientists has given the infant (and generalist) science of climatology a much-need shake up. Indeed, the ‘Slayers’ say a monumental paradigm shift is now very much under way.

Below, in simplified form, we examine in three parts how their brilliant analysis has eviscerated one of the most costly and mistaken theories of modern science, man made global warming.

Part One: Coolant Carbon Dioxide

In a recent ground breaking paper Professor Nasif Nahle proved that carbon dioxide (CO2) actually works as a coolant when it interacts with water vapor in the atmosphere to induce the air temperature to cool not a warm.

Physicist, Joe Postma, in this epic debunk further describes the correct application of the laws of thermodynamics to address how the thermal capacity (or conductivity) works with the ‘coolant’ CO2. As Postma tells us,

“Carbon dioxide and other atmospheric gases merely serve to make the atmosphere cooler in daytime, warmer at nighttime. This is what empirical evidence tells us. ”

He asks us to think of how this interpretation differs from what the uneducated and pseudo scientists say that is "the greenhouse effect makes the planet warmer than it should be.” But we know that in truth what we actually observe is somewhat entirely different.

In the future, says Joe, people will declare: "The atmosphere keeps the planet from getting too hot in the daytime, and too cold at night time".

Just that simple realization alone kills the so-called ‘blanket’ analogy of greenhouse gas theorists stone dead.


We can't afford to kill off reactors

Bjorn Lomborg

WHEN parts of Japan were devastated recently by an earthquake and subsequent tsunami, news of the human toll was quickly overshadowed by global fears of radioactive fallout from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The concern was understandable: radiation is very frightening. I grew up in Denmark when fear of nuclear power was pervasive.

But our latest nuclear fears have broader implications, especially for energy supply and our desire to shift away from reliance on fossil fuels.

It is difficult to step back at the time of a natural disaster to gain a broader perspective; even attempting to do so can feel crass. But there are some facts we should not overlook.

During the round-the-clock coverage of the nuclear drama, the spectre of Chernobyl has been raised repeatedly. It is worth noting that the worst nuclear disaster in history directly caused only 31 fatalities. The World Health Organisation estimates that 4000 deaths could be linked to the disaster in 70 years, whereas the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development projects a range of 9000 to 33,000 deaths during this period.

That is substantial. But consider that, according to the OECD, every year nearly one million people die from fine-particle outdoor air pollution. Yet this death toll provokes no discernible fear in the developed world.

Of course, every country with nuclear power facilities should revise its safety measures in light of the Japanese disaster, which raised obvious questions about the sites chosen for such facilities. Clearly, plants located near tsunami-prone areas need to be reconsidered, and some countries have power plants in disturbingly close proximity to seismic faults and to large cities.

But while the US's commitment to nuclear power was quickly reaffirmed by Barack Obama, some European governments took the knee-jerk decision to freeze all new nuclear-energy projects immediately and, in the case of Germany, not to extend the life of existing reactors. This will leave a gap Germany cannot fill with alternative energy sources, leaving it little choice but to rely further on coal power.

We see coal as a polluting but reasonably safe energy source compared with nuclear energy. Yet, in China alone, coalmining accidents kill more than 2000 people each year and coal is a leading cause of smog, acid rain, global warming and air toxicity.

As a result of Germany's decision, its annual carbon emissions are expected to rise by as much as 10 per cent when European Union emissions are rising as the continent shakes off the effects of the financial crisis.

Germany doesn't have a low-carbon alternative if it shutters its nuclear plants and the same is true of most other countries. Alternative energy sources are too expensive and not reliable enough to replace fossil fuels.

Although safety concerns are paramount right now, the construction of new nuclear plants faces another hurdle: they are very expensive. New nuclear power plants have high upfront costs (which can be politically challenging), including a very complicated, slow and fraught planning process. When completed, the total cost of nuclear power is significantly higher than the cheapest fossil-fuel source.

And society must bear additional costs in terms of the risks of spent-fuel storage and large-scale accidents. Moreover, in most parts of the world where energy consumption is expanding, nuclear proliferation is an issue.

Then there is the question of maintaining existing plants. Decommissioning nuclear reactors may make us feel safer, but we should acknowledge that this will often mean compensating for the lost output with more reliance on coal, meaning more emissions that contribute to global warming, and more deaths, both from coal extraction and air pollution.

Moreover, given that the plants are already paid for, waste facilities are already in place and the high decommissioning cost will have to be paid regardless of timing, the actual operating costs are very low: half or lower per kilowatt-hour than the cost of the cheapest fossil fuels.

The answer is more research and development, not only into next-generation, safer nuclear energy but also into energy sources such as solar and wind, which provide well below 1 per cent of the planet's energy. Alarmingly, this research has fallen off during the past three decades.

At protests calling on politicians to respond to climate change, a cry has rung out: "No coal, no gas, no nukes, no kidding!" The harsh reality is that we do not yet have the luxury of dumping coal, gas and nuclear power. Until we can find an alternative, reducing reliance on one of them means that another must take its place.


Australia: Huge opposition to a carbon tax

Will destroy industrial cities

THE state's two key industrial cities will be "wiped off the map" by a carbon tax, a major union warns. The tax would strip thousands of jobs from Whyalla and Port Pirie, the Australian Workers Union state secretary Wayne Hanson said.

The internal revolt from Labor's industrial heartland threatens not just the reform but the Government's survival.

Mr Hanson yesterday stepped up his union's opposition to the tax, claiming the future of both cities would be in serious doubt because both had economies based on the high-emission production of steel, iron ore and zinc. "Goodbye. They will be off the map," he said.

His opposition to the tax appears to be a calculated manoeuvre by the AWU and follows last week's surprise about-face by the union's national secretary, Paul Howes, who declared the AWU's support would be conditional on absolutely no jobs being put at risk in the steel sector.

The Gillard Government's support base now appears to be fracturing, threatening the future of the Prime Minister's signature reform for this term.

With Whyalla's main employer, OneSteel, and fellow steelmaker BlueScope in Canberra today for talks with the Federal Government over the proposed tax, the fact that such an important union has broken ranks and is openly campaigning against the Government is highly significant.

The AWU, the oldest and most influential union in the ALP, is demanding either an outright exemption for the steel industry or a 100 per cent compensation package.

An estimated 3000 to 4000 jobs are dependent on OneSteel's Whyalla operations alone. The company produces some 1.3 million tonnes of steel per year from its operation there, accounting for around 20 per cent of the national industry.

Adding to Ms Gillard's woes, food manufacturers are now also seeking special treatment. "We don't oppose a price on carbon, but industry is opposed to a tax that will increase the cost of food and grocery manufacturing in Australia, which is already under intense pressure," the Australian Food and Grocery Council's Kate Carnell said in a statement yesterday. "Whatever decision is made, the Government must ensure that Australian-manufactured food and groceries will not be made less competitive."

The Government now faces a wall of opponents as groups across the political spectrum from employers and industry bodies, to unions and the welfare sector, seek exemptions or more compensation.

The unpopular tax, which the Government is struggling to sell - not least because it has not designed it yet - is also a factor driving Labor's support into the basement. The latest Neilsen poll showed Labor at its lowest level in 15 years.

Mr Hanson said union members at Whyalla's OneSteel plant, and at Nyrstar's lead and zinc smelter at Port Pirie were rightly worried. "It's ridiculous to consider (a carbon tax) when you don't have other countries that are prepared to adopt a common approach," he said. "To allow your steel industry to disintegrate is just reckless. Should we be the trail-blazer?"

That argument appears to be straight out of Tony Abbott's anti-carbon tax playbook after he called for a people's revolt on the tax on the grounds it would destroy jobs and send investment off-shore.

However, the state Labor MP for Giles, Lyn Breuer, said the Federal Government understood what was at stake. "Why would the Federal Government send an industry broke, put in jeopardy the jobs of thousands of workers, particularly in my area in Whyalla? ... I'm confident that we'll be able to make some sort of arrangement that will satisfy everyone," she said before acknowledging: "without the steel making operations at OneSteel, the town (Whyalla) would not have a future."



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


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