Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Warmist pomposity punctured by a simple question

Warmist Chris Mooney writes, inter alia:

"As Emanuel explained in his written testimony, today’s MIT atmospheric-sciences students can do “hand calculations or use simple models” to show why global warming is a serious concern. Such calculations show that the planet will warm somewhere between 2.7 and 8.1 degrees Fahrenheit if we allow carbon-dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere to double. It’s a result, Emanuel observed, that scientists have understood at least since 1979, when the U.S. National Academy of Sciences released the first in what are now shelves of studies of the subject. You don’t get an atmospheric-sciences degree at MIT–with a climate focus, anyway–if you can’t show on the back of an envelope what much of Congress now calls into question."

Commenter Nullius in Verba Says:

"Can you show us this “back of an envelope” calculation, please?"

Mooney replies:

"Nullius, this is a warning. Your comments are verging on hectoring at this point."

Clearly, Warmists must not be questioned. They apparently have "Papal" infallibility. It couldn't be that their assertions are empty ones, could it?

BTW: "Nullius in Verba" is the motto of Britain's Royal Society -- meaning "Words are proof of nothing"


Another disciple of Hitler and Stalin

He admits that he can't convince people who know something about the subject so he is propagandizing kids instead. I wonder what songs he is composing for "The Warmist Youth" to sing? Let me suggest an opening line: "Forwards, forwards, loudly sounds the planet". Tune here.

They will undoubtedly have lots of campfires and outdoors activities, just as the Hitler Youth did. And maybe weapons training too?

Andrew Weaver apologizes for being late for the interview but explains he was giving a lecture to his daughter’s class at Lambrick Park secondary school in Victoria.

“It may be a provocative statement, but I’ll say it anyways: I’m fed up speaking with the stereotypical angry, retired, grey-haired engineer,” explained the University of Victoria professor and global warming guru.

“They’re stuck in their ways and think everything can be fixed and that this is not a big problem.”

Since 1989 Weaver has been studying climate issues and, more recently, trying to get governments to act decisively to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, largely from burning of fossil fuels. He’s now come to the conclusion that the federal government isn’t interested, and that it’s time to concentrate on Canada’s youth — the next generation of leaders.

“Leadership will have to be grassroots, starting with the consumer and the youth of today,” he said, citing public demand for organic food and fuel-efficient vehicles as two encouraging examples. “I have absolutely given up on Ottawa ever showing any leadership on this.”

Weaver, a research chair in climate modelling and analysis, was a lead author in the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and, as such, a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

He’s now the author of Generation Us: The Challenge of Global Warming, a compact easy-to-understand book by Raven Books aimed at Grade 10 students and selling in Canada, the U.S., United Kingdom, and Australia.

Weaver says that global warming is a problem created by the current generation but foisted on the next — a youthful generation that’s been slow to engage in the democratic process and elect politicians at all levels who take progressive positions on environmental sustainability.

“If you want change, you have to be part of our democracy,” he said.

Weaver believes that if youths understand the science behind the problem, they are more likely to take an interest in affecting change, and stop using the planet as a dumping ground to everyone’s detriment. “This is one of the most exciting self-empowering issues of our time,” he concluded.


The Black Hole of Global Warming Spending

In 2011, your federal government will spend $10.6 million a day on climate change. Annual expenditures will be about $4 billion on global warming research—now called climate change–despite the fact that there has been no global warming since 1998, says the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), a British educational think tank.

Billions have been wasted so far, although periods of cooling and warming have occurred naturally throughout history. Fossil fuels—Petroleum, natural gas and coal are the assigned “villains.” Yet, “no conclusive evidence shows that fossil fuels to produce energy have had any significant effect on the earth’s temperature,” GWPF concludes. In December 2010, more than 1,000 international scientists challenged man-made global warming claims made by the United Nations Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

What is inexplicable and inexcusable is the amount of our nation’s money that has been spent on climate change since that UN Panel, composed mainly of research-money-seeking scientists, invented global warming. Al Gore helped dramatize it with dire warnings that terrorized school children, to his mega-million-dollar benefit. Even more confounding is that added U.S. dollars will be poured into continuing research in 2011.

The EPA is doing its part to continue the myth of worldwide disaster. On Jan. 21, the EPA announced it was awarding $25 million to the Health Effects Institute to help the agency study air pollution and climate change. The $25 million is pocket change by Washington standards. It just happens to be the most recent agency outlay. It plans to spend $169 million this whole fiscal year on climate change.

But the destructive consequences of the EPA’s actions are its regulations involving greenhouse gases (GHGs) because its rules are many and widespread. They involve everything from power plants to electric generating units and petroleum refineries, to natural gas, oil and coal-fired electric generating units and refineries. Climate change, brought about by greenhouse gases, seems to continue to intrigue our government—from President Obama on down.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) reports on federal spending on research, including budgets for 2011 and how these figures compare with previous years. It shows the stunning fact that all agencies that conduct climate change research expect to have bigger budgets for 2011. AAAS Chapter 15 of its recent report deals specifically with climate change.

At a time when we bear the burden of a $14 trillion debt, and both the Congress and the administration talk of spending restrains, the AAAS reports 13 executive branch departments and agencies will “increase climate research 21 percent to $2.6 billion.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) requests $2.2 billion, an increase of 58 percent to restore climate sensors, advance sea height monitoring, and fund a polar satellite system. NASA wants a 27 percent increase, partly to initiate a new climate related mission and re-launch the Orbiting Carbon Observatory to monitor carbon sources throughout the world. Satellites are important for other purposes, but climate warming research is a stretch.

The Energy Department asks for increased funding for renewable energy (up 37 percent) and energy efficiency. And it wants to “eliminate $2.7 billion in subsidies to high emitting industries.” Its total budget would be $2.4 billion for energy R&D spending.

The Interior Department would increase its money for its Climate Change Adaptation initiative (up 26 percent) and renewable energy programs (up 24 percent). Interior wants to “identify areas and species most vulnerable to climate change and implement coping strategies.” The Agriculture Department money for climate change would be up 42 percent to $159 million. Funny to think that CO2 actually helps crops grow.

The AAAS maintains that past scientific research demonstrates that the earth’s climate is changing, that humans are likely responsible for most of the “increase in global average surface temperatures over the last half century, and that further greenhouse gas emissions, particularly of carbon dioxide, from burning fossil fuels, will almost certainly contribute to additional widespread climate disruption.”

But EPA’s researchers have found that the tough new rules it plans to impose on industry gas emissions would reduce the global temperature by only 0.006 to 0.0015 degrees Celsius by the year 2100, CNSNews.com reported in October. Hardly a cause for panic about global warming.

Still, even the respected National Science Foundation is looking for $10 million for climate change education for the “understanding of climate among the next generation of Americans.” One hopes the truth will be told.

Nobody wants dirty air. In October of 1948, a cloud of air pollution hung over the industrial town of Donora, PA, for five days. Some 6,000 people got sick. Illness was attributed to the pollution. Apparently, there was not enough worry for the next 16 years to create any need for legislating that our air had to be clean. Then, the original Clean Air Act was passed. It provided funding for the study and clean up of air pollution. But it was not comprehensive enough for the politicians. So, a much stronger Clean Air Act of 1970 became the law of the land.

In 1990, Congress dramatically revised and expanded the Clean Air Act, providing the EPA with much broader authority to implement and enforce regulations reducing air pollutant emissions. You would think after 48 years of study, the EPA would have found out all there is to know about air pollution and so-called global warming, or climate change if you prefer. But, no. The agency was given more than $1 billion in fiscal year 2010 to try to make the air cleaner.

the EPA is 40 years old this year and is feeling its oats. Under the Clean Air Act, it has the power to do what the Congress couldn’t do with the cap-and-trade bill and what Americans don’t want done. It is moving ahead with regulations that will destroy jobs and make everything more expensive. But the new Republican majority in the House is determined to have intensive oversight of EPA’s regulations. This may save the day for Americans.


Killing people with “concern”? Biofuels lead to nearly 200,000 deaths (est) in 2010

The precautionary principle is exposed again for the insidious mindless posturing that it is

Biofuel policies push more people into poverty as food prices rise and the poor are forced to spend more of their income on food. In a study published in Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, Indur Goklany calculated the additional mortality burden of biofuels policies and found that nearly 200,000 people died in 2010 alone, because of efforts to use biofuels to reduce CO2 emissions. Bad Government is a killer.

“Could Biofuel Policies Increase Death and Disease in Developing Countries?

Goklany (2011) estimated that the increase in the poverty headcount due to higher biofuel production between 2010 and 2004 implies 192,000 additional deaths and 6.7 million additional lost DALYs in 2010 alone.

He compared this death tally to the WHO figures for deaths attributed to global warming and finds that the biofuels policies are more deadly. (And he is not including any increase in poverty due to other anti-global warming practices).

1. Biofuel policies are retarding humanity’s age-old battle against poverty.

2. Since according to the World Health Organization’s latest estimates, 141,000 deaths and 5.4 million lost DALYs in 2004 could be attributed to global warming (WHO 2009), biofuel policies may currently be deadlier than global warming, especially since the inertia of the climate system means little or no reduction in these numbers from any slowing of global warming due to any increase in biofuel production from 2004 to 2010.
How many times do we hear that “it can’t hurt to reduce ‘pollution’ (sic)”?

Even if CO2 was a form of pollution there is little justification for trying to reduce it.

There are many ways that poverty kills:

In order to identify diseases of poverty, Goklany calculated for each risk factor, the ratio of its burden of disease per capita for low-income countries compared to that of lower-middle-income countries. In order to develop a conservative (lower bound) estimate for the effect of biofuel production on death and disease, it was assumed that if the ratio exceeded 5, then the risk factor was poverty dominated. Six risk factors met this criterion: global warming; underweight (largely synonymous with chronic hunger); zinc deficiency; Vitamin A deficiency; unsafe sex; and unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene. These six factors accounted for 7.7 million deaths and 268 million lost DALYs (Disability-Adjusted Life Years) worldwide for 2004. Of these, more than 99.3% of the deaths and lost DALYs were in developing countries.

Using a less restrictive criterion for the ratio of 2 would have added four more risk factors to the above list, namely: unmet contraceptive needs, indoor smoke from solid fuels, sub-optimal breast feeding and iron deficiency. Many consider these to be poverty-related (Brundtland, 2003). Including these in the list would increase their cumulative toll of poverty-dominated risks in 2004 to 11.3 million deaths and 384 million lost DALYs. However, to err on the side of conservatism, the more restrictive definition of “poverty-dominated” was used.


The methodology used by Goklany (2011) is as follows:
Obtain estimates of the increase in the current headcount for absolute poverty in the developing world due to increased biofuel production.

Develop the relationships (or “coefficients of proportionality”) between the poverty headcount on the one hand, and the global burden of death and disease attributable to “diseases of poverty” on the other hand. The headcount and the burdens of death and disease should be for the same time period.

Apply the coefficients developed in step 2 to the increase in poverty from step 1 to estimate the increases in death and disease from the increase in biofuel production.

For more information see NIPCC

REFERENCE: Goklany, I.M. 2011. Could Biofuel Policies Increase Death and Disease in Developing Countries? Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons 16: 9-13.


New Study Throws Water on Obama Fuel-Economy Goals

A new report says the Obama Admin.’s proposed 62 mpg (3.8 L/100 km) fuel-economy target for 2025 could kill hundreds of thousands of jobs, put a $55,000 sticker on an ordinary family car and deliver only minor savings to consumers.

The study was produced by the Ann Arbor, MI-based Center for Automotive Research, which has been a darling of the White House in recent months.

The automotive think tank has supplied much of the data that support government claims the bailouts of General Motors and Chrysler saved 1.2 million jobs, billions in tax revenues and billions more in welfare and unemployment checks that never had to be paid out.

But it’s unlikely the White House will be touting CAR’s new study on proposed corporate average fuel economy standards. The paper, which forecasts what the U.S. vehicle market will look like in 2025, is expected to officially be released in the next few days.

“These mandates are so tough, why would (the White House) be interested in destroying an industry they just saved?” one of the study’s authors, Sean McAlinden, CAR chief economist and vice president of research, tells Ward’s.

Currently, auto makers must meet a U.S. fleet average fuel economy of 35.5 mpg (6.6 L/100 km) by 2016. Beginning this year with ’12 vehicles, fleet-fuel economy will increase an average 4%.

Last year, the Obama Admin. proposed new CAFE rules beginning in 2017 that would require average increases of 3% to 6% per year, achieving 47 mpg (5 L/100 km) by 2025 at the low end and 62 mpg at the high end.

Obama has been favoring standards at the high end of the scale, and some environmental groups are pressing for faster increases of 7% or more annually beginning in 2017.

If gasoline prices are $6.00 per gallon in 2025, a case can be made for continued 3% annual improvements in fuel economy beginning in 2017.

But more dramatic increases would prove catastrophic to the U.S. auto industry, says Jay Baron, president and director-manufacturing systems at CAR and a co-author of the study.

“The changes are so radical for the vehicle to make these (2025) standards, we will have to completely and utterly redesign the body and chassis, supply chain and fabrication,” he says.

The new rules would require “huge changes” in powertrains, Baron says.

“When you go to 4%, 5%, 6% and even 7% reductions, there will be hundreds of thousands of job losses per year. What we’re arguing against is extremism,” says McAlinden, pointing out a 62-mpg fleet average translates into a 71-mpg (3.3 L/100-km) average for cars and 41-mpg (5.7 L/100-km) average for trucks.

CAR says the study was completely self-funded.


Overheated planet update, June 13 edition

MOUNT SHASTA, Calif. -- Northern California search and rescue teams have recovered five people reported missing on and around Mount Shasta after a weekend snow storm.

Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey says two men became separated from their climbing partners Saturday at different locations on the upper slopes of the mountain, where an afternoon storm had created whiteout conditions.

While searching for the climbers, authorities received reports of two other individuals who went missing while snowshoeing and a motorist who was immobilized in deep snow in an area northeast of the mountain.


Top Australian miner likely to go to court over carbon tax

FORTESCUE Metals Group chief executive Andrew Forrest reckons legislating the latest mining tax draft would be "economic vandalism". Mr Forrest hit out at the proposed mineral resource rent tax on Monday, claiming the draft released late on Friday gave multinationals such as BHP, Rio and Xstrata a huge advantage over Australian home-grown companies.

"I have no issue paying the taxes which elected representatives of our great country levy against me," Mr Forrest said during a conference call. "What I have enormous issue with is this tax, because it creates a huge precedent - a tax which penalises me for being an Australian developer and protects the multinationals."

He said the MRRT legislation allows companies to uplift the market value of their assets, which they can use to make depreciation claims. "So that means if you don't have this large market value, like developers don't, then you start paying the tax immediately whereas the multinationals don't start to pay it for decades, if at all," Mr Forrest said.

He said he would seek amendments at meetings on Tuesday with the Government, Independent MPs and the Opposition in Canberra.

Fortescue described the draft legislation, which was released on Friday, as "disappointing and economic vandalism".

The MRRT will apply only to coal producers and iron ore miners, of which Fortescue is one, meaning reaction to the draft has been muted, though smaller coal and iron ore hopefuls in Queensland and Western Australia are examining their options.

Submissions on the draft will not close until July 14.

Treasurer Wayne Swan and Resources Minister Martin Ferguson said on Friday: "The draft is not exhaustive and is intended to provide stakeholders with an early overview of the legislation. We encourage stakeholders to make submissions on the preliminary draft."

Asked about the likelihood of Fortescue supporting a High Court challenge to the proposed MRRT, Mr Forrest said it was not possible to say at this stage given the legislation was in draft form and "totally unfinished".

Should the draft legislation remain unchanged, Mr Forrest said he was keen to test the constitutionality of the proposed tax. "As it stands now, any Australian who has a tax which allows multinationals to pay less per dollar of profit than what they do, that should be challenged, that is totally against the Constitution," Mr Forrest said.

"If that is what finally appears, you may be assured that Fortescue and others will challenge a precedent so dangerous that it gives multinationals a major advantage over Australia home-grown companies."

They may challenge for entirely different reasons, however. If the MRRT is challengeable it will be because the Constitution says the states own Australia's mineral wealth, while it's in the ground and therefore might have an exclusive right to tax it. Not an easy case to prosecute considering mining companies have been paying tax, like anyone else, for a very long time now.



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