Saturday, November 26, 2011

Evidence? Who needs evidence?

Warmists certainly don't. Prophecy is their stock in trade. They're not even good at theory, let alone evidence. One of their more absurd prophecies is that global warming will lead to greater ocean acidity which will dissolve the shells of various marine animals. This is based on the fact that CO2 in water forms carbonic acid. What they fail to mention, however, is that warming REDUCES the ability of water to absorb CO2 -- so warming should in fact make the ocean more alkaline.

Theory is all very well, however. What actually happens in the ocean? Is greater acidity IN FACT fatal for animals living in shells?

Some Russian researchers found out. They were obviously oblivious to global warming. They were in fact looking at concentations of various elements in marine organisms located in proximity to undersea thermal vents (hydrothermal fields). Along the way, however, they did give brief descriptions of the animals they were studying. Below are two such:
The shells of the vesicomyid clam Archivesica gigas are an important target for Ba, Mn, and to a lesser extent of Fe (Figure 3a), however for other metals, they play only a small role. Taking into account the large mass of the shell relative to the soft tissue of clams (in which the former may reach one order of magnitude higher that the latter), we can suggest that shells, which have accumulated trace metals during biomineralization and adsorption, might serve as a great reservoir for many metals. The second abundant bivalve mollusk Leda (Nuculana grasslei) lives on substratum saturated with hydrocarbons (Allen, 1993). Unlike similar species, this animal has an extremely thick periostratum (an exterior part of the shell) that is considered to be an adaptation to functioning in an acidic environment enriched in sulfides. Its nutritional source has not yet been studied completely, but some researchers regard Leda as a symbiotrophic organism containing bacteria in its gills that can combine symbiotrophy with filter-feeding.

So a clam in a very acidic environment was unusually large and had a very THICK shell. The stupid thing obviously can't read what learned Warmists say! Instead of dying, it prospered!

And another mollusk (Leda) also had a very thick shell. Doesn't it know that its shell is supposed to have dissolved away?

What the Warmists overlook is that shell formation is a active process. The shell is not something that just sits there waiting to be eaten away. So even high levels of acidity don't faze the marine animal at all.

Lord Lawson & Lord Turnbull Respond To Britain's climate boss

In a letter sent to Chris Huhne today, Lord Lawson and Lord Turnbull respond to the Secretary of State's letter of 18 November

Dear Secretary of State

We are pleased that you have decided that a public response to growing criticism of your climate policies is now required. We regret, however, that you do not address our main arguments and key concerns. Neither are we impressed by evidently ill-advised assertions.

For a start, you make the mistake of connecting the reality of 20th century global warming, which no one doubts, with the various causes for it. You claim that the evidence for man's influence is getting stronger every year, yet you fail to provide any empirical evidence for this statement.

In reality, over the past few years there has been a growing realisation among scientists that other influences (such as solar, stratospheric water vapour, oceanic cycles, to name but the most dominant) are likely to be more significant than previously thought. These factors have seriously impinged on estimates of the magnitude of mankind's influence.

Your faith in the conclusion of Australia's Garnaut Review - that there has been no change in the rate of global warming in recent years – is wholly at odds with the latest scientific work and even the Government's own Met Office: Most research papers published in the last 12 months confirm that there has been no warming trend in the last 10 years.

It is true that the fundamental greenhouse effect yields only a 1.2°C increase for a doubling of CO2 (so-called climate sensitivity) and that larger increases depend upon various feedback mechanisms. There is no convincing evidence, however, to support your assertion that the increase of the level of water vapour in the atmosphere (as a result of doubling of CO2) would (other things being equal) raise global average temperature by around 3°C.

In reality, the magnitude of water vapor feedbacks, positive as well as negative (such as increased cloud cover and precipitation) remains a poorly understood subject. Do you seriously belief that only 'one or two people' (sic) have published research that shows moderate rather than catastrophic warming in the next 100 years?

You do not seem to appreciate the incomplete state of scientific knowledge regarding these extremely complex feedbacks. In reality, most scientists will tell you that we do not know all of them; and that most of those we do know, we understand only rudimentary.

What is more, estimates for climate sensitivity in the peer reviewed literature have been going down. You and your advisers will no doubt take a look at the latest research findings on this very subject by Schmittner et al. published this week in the journal Science. This is yet another study that corroborates a low estimate of climate sensitivity and concludes that "these results imply a lower probability of imminent extreme climate change than previously thought."

Your faith in the integrity of the IPCC process is no less ill-advised. There have been three reports on the IPCC - by the InterAcademy Council in 2010; the recent book by Donna Laframboise; and the report by Professor Ross McKitrick published recently by the GWPF (a copy of which is attached). You and your advisers need to study all three as they all identify a common set shortcomings in the IPCC's scientific approach and its working methods.

The IPCC seeks to present itself as embodying the independent, impartial advice of the world's best scientists in the field. All three reports reveal serious flaws in this claim - its lack of transparency in how the so-called experts are chosen, its resistance to views challenging its orthodoxy, its lack of proper governance to deal with conflicts of interest, its excessive use of non-peer reviewed (grey literature), and its infiltration by activists from environmental pressure groups.

We are surprised that you have been so slow to recognise that the IPCC, which has influenced a great deal of UK policy, no longer carries the credibility necessary to persuade society of the massive changes it is advocating. It should be drastically reformed or wound up and replaced.

We note that you appear to be denying the charge on unilateralism in UK policy. This is curious as you and your predecessors were keen to boast that the Climate Change Act made Britain a world leader in decarbonisation. And you personally have been urging the EU to adopt even more ambitious targets, fortunately unsuccessfully.

Admittedly, you limit your claim that Britain has not adopted unilateral policies to "until 2020," but even this ceiling is at odds with the introduction of the carbon floor price which you wish to introduce in the next couple of years. This scheme most certainly is a unilateral folly which is already having a devastating effect on manufacturing and energy-intensive industries - which, of course, are also concerned about what is planned for after 2020.

In reality, the UK stands alone as the only country in the world to impose long-term legally binding CO2 emissions targets. No other country in the world is willing to inflict such unilateral burden on its business sector and economy.

Even within the EU Commission major concerns about its unilateral targets have begun to surface. The EU is now seriously considering to discontinue its unilateral decarbonisation in the absence of a global agreement.

Whether you like it or not, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has pledged that the government will no longer be bound by unilateral decarbonisation targets that cut CO2 emissions in Britain faster and deeper than other countries in Europe. We trust that his promise to abandon the path of green unilateralism will be followed, sooner rather than later, by a less extreme and more pragmatic policy.

Received via email

According to a report in The Economist, the Isle of Wight has been designated as Britain’s first ‘eco’ island

The plan is to make the island self-sufficient in energy by smothering it with wind farms and solar panels. It’s the brainchild of an outfit called Ecoisland (geddit?), which is described as ‘so green that the invitations it sent to an event at Britain’s House of Commons were printed on recycled paper embedded with meadow-flower seeds (just plant, water and watch them grow)’.

The report continues: ‘Ecoisland plans to . . . insulate houses better, make greater use of geothermal, wind and tidal energy, and generate power from waste. There are also plans for electric vehicles that residents and visitors alike can hire.

‘Locally grown food would be delivered through island-wide supply hubs. A concerted effort is under way to reduce water use and capture more rainwater (about one-third of the island’s fresh water at present is pumped from the mainland).’

All very commendable, you might think. But they’re not doing this simply for the sake of saving the polar bears.

Someone has worked out there’s a nice drink in it for them — which is why the project is being sponsored by multi-national companies such as IBM and Toshiba. While the idea of generating all our energy supplies from natural, sustainable sources is hugely attractive in theory — and would certainly have found favour with the 1970 Isle of Wight pop festival crowd — the problem is that it doesn’t work in practice and is hideously expensive.

Already, every household in Britain is set to pay £280 a year over the odds for gas and electricity to fund the Government’s ‘green’ agenda, which amounts to little more than bunging foreign firms billions of pounds to clutter up our beautiful, world-heritage site countryside and our outstanding natural coastline with utterly useless War of the Worlds windmills.

I wonder if anyone has bothered to ask the inhabitants of the Isle of Wight if they want to be forced to drive rented electric cars, knit their own toilet paper and have their scenery desecrated by hopelessly inefficient solar panels and wind turbines sprouting like triffids. And having to pay through the nose for the privilege.

What have they done to deserve being singled out for a expensive eco-experiment?

In future, the only tourists prepared to travel to the island will be woolly-headed Guardian readers posing for pictures in front of an artificial forest of aluminium windmills before retreating to their over-priced, wood-fired Stoke Newington slums, where they can revel in the snapshots of their eco-friendly vacation on their nuclear-powered iPads over bowls of meadow-flower muesli.


New Revelations Cast Doubt On Climategate Inquiries

The head of a key British climate lab, a central figure in the 2009 "Climategate" scandal, thought requests made under Great Britain's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) were a nuisance that should be stonewalled while crucial correspondence is deleted -- unless someone pays up first, that is.

"I wasted a part of a day deleting numerous emails and exchanges with almost all the skeptics. So I have virtually nothing. I even deleted the email that I inadvertently sent," wrote Phil Jones, the head of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, according to a December 2008 email leaked to a Russian website Tuesday.

"There might be some bits of pieces of paper, but I'm not wasting my time going through these," the email reads.

The correspondence was one of 5,000 emails stolen from the servers at the University of East Anglia's climate research facility in England and posted online Tuesday. Along with the day-to-day work of science, the emails reveal internal debates, anger at skeptics and even deception from scientists investigation whether man's actions are warming the planet.

The newly leaked emails span from 2000 to 2009 and fill in correspondence first seen in December 2009, when a batch of emails from the data breach dubbed "Climategate" turned the world's attention to East Anglia. University spokesman Simon Dunford told the Associated Press that a small sample examined by the university "appears to be genuine."

According to the December 2008 email exchange, Jones wrote to David Palmer, the information policy and compliance manager for East Anglia's research unit at the time, arguing that unless a fee accompanied a FOIA request for information, he didn't need to bother going to the trouble of replying.

"Dave, do I understand it correctly -- if he doesn't pay the £10 we don't have to respond?" Jones asked. The sum he requested, £10, is worth about $16 U.S. dollars.

"No, we don't have to respond unless we get the £10," Palmer told Jones -- before reading him the riot act over deleting emails, a direct violation of Britain's Data Protection Act of 1998, he said.

Neither Jones nor Palmer responded to requests to confirm the validity of the email correspondence, although Jones said Wednesday morning in a press conference that the emails were being "cherry-picked" and explained away many of the messages.

The email echoes other correspondence from Jones discovered in 2009. Jones admitted to the House of Commons in 2010 that he had "written some very awful emails," including one in which he rejected a request for information on the ground that the person receiving it might criticize his work.

Lisa Horton, a spokeswoman with the university, pointed to a website statement attacking the timing of the release.

"This appears to be a carefully-timed attempt to reignite controversy over the science behind climate change when that science has been vindicated by three separate independent inquiries and [a] number of studies – including, most recently, the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature group."

Steven McIntyre, a noted climate skeptic and author of the blog Climate Audit, disputed those vindications vehemently.

"Unfortunately none of the 'inquiries' did even a reasonable job," he told "None of them interviewed any of the critics … there were no transcripts. The inquiries made erroneous findings on facts known to thousands." "In my opinion, the 'inquiries' have actually made matters worse," McIntyre told

The newly released emails come less than a week before the Nov. 28 opening of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 17) in Durban, South Africa, which is intended to control carbon emissions and monitor the world's climate -- a fact underscored in a document that accompanied the leaked emails.


At least some members of "The Team" conceded that the MWP was real and not merely local

Email 466:

[Ed Cook] So, at this stage I would argue that the Medieval Warm Period was probably a global extra-tropical event, at the very least, with warmth that was persistent and probably comparable to much of what we have experienced in the 20th century.

However, I would not claim (and nor would Jan) that it exceeded the warmth of the late 20th century. We simply do not have the precision or the proxy replication to say that yet.

This being said, I do find the dismissal of the Medieval Warm Period as a meaningful global event to be grossly premature and probably wrong. Kind of like Mark Twain's commment that accounts of his death were greatly exaggerated.

If, as some people believe, a degree of symmetry in climate exists between the hemispheres, which would appear to arise from the tropics, then the existence of a Medieval Warm Period in the extra-tropics of the NH and SH argues for its existence in the tropics as well. Only time and an enlarged suite of proxies that extend into the tropics will tell if this is true.


EU carbon emissions trading scheme is a waste - UBS Report

The Australian reported that Swiss banking giant UBS said that the European Union's emissions trading scheme has cost the continent's consumers USD 287 billion for almost zero impact on cutting carbon emissions, and has warned that the EU's carbon pricing market is on the verge of a crash in 2012.

In a damning report to clients, UBS Investment Research said that had the EUR 210 billion the European ETS had cost consumers been used in a targeted approach to replace the EU's dirtiest power plants, emissions could have been reduced by 43% instead of almost zero impact on the back of emissions trading.

Describing the EU's ETS as having limited benefits and embarrassing consequences, the report said there was fading political support for the scheme, the price was too low to have any significant environmental impact and it had provided windfall profits to market participants, paid for by electricity customers.

The report's criticism of the EU's ETS follows Mr Barack Obama's confirmation last week that the US would not have a cap and trade scheme and Canada's refusal to implement an ETS.

In the November 17th 2011 report, UBS forecast the EU carbon price would average EUR 5 a tonne for 2012-13 with a floor of EUR 3, attributing the slump to a large surplus of permits. The report added that "We see few buyers of the surplus until after a crash."

It argued the surplus could continue until 2025 when the ETS would work as it was supposed to.

European carbon prices have already been under pressure as part of the market turbulence triggered by the European debt crisis. Analysts are predicting EU carbon permits may fall to a record low EUR 8.60 this week on a future supply glut.

UBS said sources of the oversupply of permits include the European Investment Bank, EU governments, Russia and Ukraine.


Win for the Greens, but a loss for Australia

Huge fishery locked away

The Government’s decision to release the proposed maps of the million square kilometre Coral Sea Marine Reserve was a great victory for the American environmental group, PEW foundation, and their public relations tactics. But it has been a huge loss to the Australian fishing charter boat industry and will have an effect on recreational fishing, Queensland Senator Ron Boswell said today. “Charter boats, trawlers, fishermen, are going to bear a very heavy cost for the government and the 'green movements' decision.

And the processors, slip ways, refrigeration operations industry and all other supporting industries, are going to take a huge hit." “There is a thirty boat, charter industry that operates out of Cairns. It pumps about sixty million dollars into the local economy every year. It brings wealthy international travellers in to enjoy the North Queensland Marlin fishery. It is tag and release fishing, and is one of the most sustainable in the world," Senator Boswell said. “The charter boats, and the small number of fisherman, will be excluded from the massive green zone."

Both the Greens and the Minister recognise that the Coral Sea is in a pristine condition. This is due to the charter boats and fishermen who fish in the green zone and monitor any illegal fishing methods, such as drift nets, super seiners, and long liners mass destructive methods, and report any illegal fishing in the area. They also monitor catches and pass that information on to government.

Senator Boswell also said that, “this decision will leave the Coral Sea with no monitoring, there will be no observation of illegal fishing, and if the Coral Sea is in pristine condition, the Greens can thank the charter boat and fishermen who work the area for keeping it so."

“There will be no activity out there in the Coral Sea to observe, it will be an open invite to illegal fishing in the Coral Sea."

“Trawlers will also be completely excluded from the marine park. Forty deep sea trawlers that work in the southern end of the marine park, and a hundred other east coast licences that work on an irregular basis will be excluded."

Press release dated 25 Nov. from Queensland Senator Boswell above

Australia: New twist on a stupid Greenie scheme

These "public bicycle" schemes usually suffer from a low uptake and theft of the bicycles. Brisbane's council has increased the uptake only at the expense of another loss

THE CityCycle trial of free helmets and more flexible subscription packages has been a success with a 72 per cent increase in the number of weekly trips since the changes were made by Lord Mayor Graham Quirk three months ago.

But council audits have found about 250 of the initial 400 courtesy helmets had been "misplaced" during the trial.

The loss of 250 helmets is the latest issue to plague CityCycle, which has faced a host of problems since its conception. Originally planned to be launched in 2009, the initiative was delayed a year when the operator couldn’t find enough free space around town to install the cycle stations.

Within three months of its launch in 2010, the amount of annual subscribers plummeted dramatically from 1251 when it started in October to just 131 in January 2011.

With less and less people subscribing, the Council dropped the daily charges from $11 to just $2 in August and offered free helmets as an incentive. The helmets cost around $10 each for the Council to replace.

The CityScycle scheme has cost ratepayers around $300,000 as of August.

Public and Active Transport Chairman Julian Simmonds said the weekly average of the scheme during its first 10 months was 1,470 trips. During the past three months the average had jumped to 2,530 trips per week.

CityCycle last week celebrated its 100,000th trip since its launch in October last year and often reaches 500 trips a day.

“Every CityCycle trip is potentially one less vehicle on the road and it is part of Brisbane’s overall public transport infrastructure and offering residents and visitors an alternative, sustainable mode of travel in the inner-city," Cr Simmonds said.

“Courtesy helmets and cheaper subscriptions have clearly made it easier for people to hop on a bike so we’re going to distribute an extra 500 free helmets at no additional cost to ratepayers and also introduce a more affordable package for students.”

Cr Simmonds said the 500 new helmets would be jointly provided with operator JC Decaux. Council’s $2,500 share of the cost would come from the existing CityCycle marketing budget.

Construction has commenced on stage two of CityCycle which will see a further 46 stations rolled out across Milton, Auchenflower, Toowong, St Lucia and Dutton Park.

Six new stations have already opened, including new stations at South Bank’s Maritime Museum, at the popular cafĂ© precinct in Park Road at Milton, as well as a new station on the Bicentennial Bikeway.



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