Sunday, November 27, 2011

Warmists muzzle skeptical meteorologists

They fear the facts, as all they have is prophecy. An email from Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics), Corbett, Oregon USA, below. OMSI is the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, henceforth better known as the Oregon Museum for Silencing Inquiry

The Oregon American Meteorological Society's event featuring Meteorologist Chuck Wiese, Climatologist George Taylor, and me on November 29 at OMSI was canceled at the last minute today due to pressure from local universities and others who were apparently upset that our skeptical perspective on Global Warming would interfere with their climate agendas and Federal funding. Details will surely leak out as will whatever reasons they will cite as a cover story.

We suspected this would happen and would happen at the last minute to make it impossible to reschedule the event immediately. But we are grateful to the President of the local AMS chapter (Steve Pierce) and some members of his Board who have expressed a strong determination to reschedule this event in January. Even those Board members who may not support our position on Global Warming seem determined that this event WILL go forward. That should be a warning to those who orchestrated this power play. Most AMS members clearly want to hear both sides, without their organization taking any sides. I applaud their professional behavior. We are not seeking any endorsements, because that is not how science works.

We are seeking the opportunity to present the logic and evidence that are so crucial in objective science. That should not threaten ANYONE who supports real science.

Please be sure to mark your calenders for the January event when we have a specific date and venue that will be more difficult for Alarmists to scuttle.

BANNED BY OMSI, Portland State University, and others - Come and find out what they did not want you to hear!

Received via email

Go green and burn

General Motors Co.'s electric plug- in hybrid Chevrolet Volt is the subject of a US safety probe after its lithium-ion batteries, supplied by LG Chem Ltd., caught fire in crash tests.

A Volt caught fire three weeks after a side-impact crash test May 12 while parked at a testing center in Wisconsin, leading regulators to conduct more tests. Volt battery packs were damaged in three more tests last week, causing two fires, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said yesterday in a statement on its website.

"The agency is concerned that damage to the Volt's batteries as part of three tests that are explicitly designed to replicate real-world crash scenarios have resulted in fire," NHTSA said in the statement.

The US regulator said it doesn't know of any crashes outside of testing that have led to battery-related fires in Volts or other cars powered by lithium-ion batteries. Chevy Volt owners whose vehicles have not been in a serious crash don't need to be concerned, the agency said.

GM maintains that the car is safe. The automaker and NHTSA have been working for months to replicate the fire in the car's lithium-ion battery that occurred three weeks after the May collision test, Greg Martin, a GM spokesman, said by telephone.

The testing, which involved a stand-alone battery assembly, "is part of a broader program over the last six months to induce battery failure under extreme conditions," Martin said.

LG Chem, South Korea's biggest chemical maker, is the Volt's battery vendor. Dick Pacini, a spokesman with the Millerschin Group, which works for LG Chem, said he couldn't immediately provide comment. On Nov. 22, LG Chem said in a statement that it was cooperating with NHTSA and GM.

NHTSA, which said it's working with the US Defense and Energy departments to analyze the fires, conducted its first new test on Nov. 16 without a fire. The second test on Nov. 17 saw an initial temporary increase in battery temperature after the crash, and the battery pack caught fire at the test facility on Nov. 24. In a third test on Nov. 18, the battery was rotated hours after the crash and "began to smoke and emit sparks shortly after," NHTSA said.

At this stage of Volt marketing, the NHTSA investigation will probably not hurt sales, said Jim Hall, principal of 2953 Analytics Inc., a consulting firm in Birmingham, Michigan.

The car has been on sale for a year as the manufacturer ramps up production. Most Volt owners are early adopters with an interest in the technology, and won't be deterred by the post- collision fires, Hall said in a telephone interview.

"If they were selling to the mass market, it would be a bigger problem," he said.

GM started selling the car in seven states and began offering the Volt in all 50 states in October, Martin said.

GM, based in Detroit, sold 5,003 Volts this year through October, according to Autodata Corp., a research firm in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey. GM will push production to a rate of 60,000 a year starting in January. Of the 60,000 GM plans to build next year, 45,000 are earmarked for the US, and the rest will be exported, the company has said.


Emission Controls: The Exodus from Britain Begins

Rio Tinto Alcan is closing its Northumberland aluminium smelting plant in north-east England – a direct result of EU climate legislation. The closure of the decades old smelting plant is devastating for an area with already high unemployment.

Not that the Rio Tinto Alcan plant isn’t making a profit, mind you. Even in an era of spiking energy costs generally, it is. But in 2013 the plant faces a profit-erasing rise of around £56 million to enable it to comply with a further tranche of European and UK carbon legislation. As Rio Tinto’s CEO Jacynthe Côté told the London Financial Times, “It is clear that the smelter is no longer a sustainable business because its energy costs are increasing significantly, due largely to emerging legislation.” Note the sting in the tail. Not, as politicians often like to insist, due to rising energy costs, but “emerging legislation”.

Rio Tinto’s plant closure is just one part of a plan to divest the company of $8 billion of aluminium assets. How much is due to “emerging legislation” on emission controls is impossible to say. But expect more jobs to be shed elsewhere.

Britain’s huge energy-intensive chemical industry contributes £30 million a day to the UK economy. But it is clear already that new green legislation has begun to force early closures and a business exodus to foreign parts. Steve Elliott, chief executive for the Chemical Industries Association, told BBC News in October that he feared more British job losses were imminent, with small and medium companies with narrow profit margins especially vulnerable. “There will come a moment when people say enough is enough,” said Elliot, adding, “And there will only be one direction of travel – out of the UK.” Hardly good news for a country that is consistently top of the European league when it comes to attracting inward investment.

In the English Midlands, a region famed for its pottery manufacture, Dr Laura Cohen of the British Ceramic Confederation told BBC News that high energy costs augmented by anti-carbon costs has forced factory after factory in the pottery industry to close, with one firm recently relocating its operations to China.

Not that UK companies have not done their bit to ‘go green’. Cemex UK operates the country’s largest cement plant. It has already moved away from dependence on coal alone. But Director Andy Spencer estimates incoming carbon legislation will increase his energy costs by £12 million. What concerns Spencer most of all is that he knows other countries will not impose similar taxes on their cement industries. He states that Cemex UK is already considering transferring operations to plants it runs abroad, especially Egypt. “I can see a time when it makes more sense to do that,” Spencer told the BBC, “and that time is not far away.”

Steel giant Tata which employs 21,000 people has warned the British government that its planned £1.2 billion investment program could be put at risk by “over the top” green policies. A study by the UK manufacturer’s association EEF has shown that the introduction of the Carbon Price Floor in 2013 will cost the UK manufacturing industry £250 million a year by 2020. The EEF is demanding compensation to help energy-intensive industries – yet another potential hidden cost of carbon legislation.

In August, a UK Department of Energy and Climate Change study estimated that energy-intensive industries, such as steel and paper mills, would likely have to pay 58 percent more for electricity by 2030 compared to what it would cost them in the absence of current climate policies.

Just last week, GDF Suez SA cited EU regulations as creating an unstable investment environment that was discouraging energy investment. Jean-Francois Cirelli, vice-chair and president of GDF Suez told the European Autumn Gas Conference in Paris, “Governments do not hesitate to take decisions that are not totally based on economic rationale”.

In other words political ideology and sheer wishful-thinking in the war on fossil fuels means that many of those making the political decisions still aren’t “getting it”. Britain’s energy and climate minister Chris Huhne exemplifies the ‘disconnect’ by persistently deeming climate policies sacrosanct while insisting high energy costs alone are to blame. “We’ve had a 27 percent increase in the gas price on world markets over the year to August,” says Huhne. “Now with the best will in the world, I can’t do anything about that.” Huhne is clearly not listening to industry bosses who cite the profit-destroying effect of climate policies, especially the EU-imposed extra green costs currently being factored into budgets from 2013.

The EU Climate Commissar is Connie Hedegaard. She was voted in by nobody yet this unelected official is behind the new EU directive on fuel quality. This measure sets minimum standards for a range of fuels. It is this directive which threatens to label Canada’s oil sands as “dirty” and threaten the future of Europe-wide shale gas development.

Hedegaard says, “With this measure, we are sending a clear signal to fossil fuel suppliers. As fossil fuels will be a reality in the foreseeable future, it’s important to give them the right value.” De-coding Euro-speak, Hedegaard wants fossil fuels made as expensive as renewables.

A plague of profit-busting climate policies is indeed sending a “clear signal” to energy-intensive industries: divest yourself of assets, shed jobs – or just plain ship out. Cocooned in ideological green protectionism, however, don’t expect Hedegaard and Huhne to “get” it.


The Non-Green Jobs Boom

Forget 'clean energy.' Oil and gas are boosting U.S. employment

So President Obama was right all along. Domestic energy production really is a path to prosperity and new job creation. His mistake was predicting that those new jobs would be "green," when the real employment boom is taking place in oil and gas.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported recently that the U.S. jobless rate remains a dreadful 9%. But look more closely at the data and you can see which industries are bucking the jobless trend. One is oil and gas production, which now employs some 440,000 workers, an 80% increase, or 200,000 more jobs, since 2003. Oil and gas jobs account for more than one in five of all net new private jobs in that period.

The ironies here are richer than the shale deposits in North Dakota's Bakken formation. While Washington has tried to force-feed renewable energy with tens of billions in special subsidies, oil and gas production has boomed thanks to private investment. And while renewable technology breakthroughs never seem to arrive, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have revolutionized oil and gas extraction—with no Energy Department loan guarantees needed.

The oil and gas rush has led to a jobs boom. North Dakota has the nation's lowest jobless rate, at 3.5%, and the state now has some 200 rigs pumping 440,000 barrels of oil a day, four times the amount in 2006. The state reports more than 16,000 current job openings, and places like Williston have become meccas for workers seeking jobs that often pay more than $100,000 a year.

Or take production in Pennsylvania's Marcellus shale formation, which the state Department of Labor and Industry says created 18,000 new jobs in the first half of 2011. Some 214,000 jobs are now tied to a natural gas industry that barely existed in the Keystone State a decade ago. Energy firms are also rushing to develop the Utica shale in eastern Ohio, and they are expanding operations in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, among other places.

Good news? You'd think so, but liberals can't seem to handle this truth so they are now trying to discredit the jobs that accompany it. The American Petroleum Institute recently commissioned a study by the Wood Mackenzie consulting firm, which estimated that better federal energy policy would create an additional 1.4 million jobs by 2030.

This has caused a fury on the political left, which complains that the study included estimates of direct and indirect jobs (such as equipment suppliers) but also "induced" jobs, or jobs created when oil workers spend their salaries at, say, hotels, restaurants or bowling alleys. It seems these claims rely on—drum roll, please—"multipliers" to produce estimates of knock-on jobs.

Liberals know all about multipliers, which are the central operating conceit of modern Keynesian economics. The entire public justification for the $820 billion Obama stimulus was the claim that every $1 of spending would have a multiplier effect of 1.5 or more and thus create millions of new jobs.

That looks like a joke now. But Democrats and liberals continue to cite the black-box multiplier claims of Moody's Mark Zandi, who says the latest Obama jobs bill will create 1.9 million jobs. Some 750,000 of those jobs are supposed to appear merely from extending the payroll tax holiday for workers, giving them more money to spend on, say, hotels or restaurants or bowling alleys. All such multipliers are suspect, but the liberals can't have it both ways and invoke them to justify government spending but then repudiate them for private business.

In any case the beauty of the oil and gas boom is that multipliers aren't needed to predict job growth. It's happening right before our eyes. And it stands to reason that if the Obama Administration dropped its hostility to oil and gas energy, even more jobs would be created as the industry invested to exploit other areas with new technology and production methods.

Yet earlier this month the Interior Department released a new five-year plan that puts most of the Outer Continental Shelf off-limits for oil drilling. And the Administration has delayed for at least another year the Keystone XL pipeline that is shovel-ready to create 20,000 new direct, pipeline-related jobs.

The Office of Natural Resources Revenue recently noted that federal revenue from offshore bonus bids (from lease sales) in fiscal 2011 was merely $36 million—down from $9.5 billion in fiscal 2008. The Obama Administration has managed the nearly impossible feat of turning energy policy into a money loser, pouring taxpayer dollars into green-energy busts like Solyndra. The Washington Post reported in September that Mr. Obama's $38.6 billion green loan program had created a mere 3,500 jobs over two years. He had predicted it would "save or create" 65,000.

Mr. Obama nonetheless keeps talking about "green jobs" as if repetition will conjure them. He'd do more for the economy if he dropped the ideological illusions and embraced the job-creating, wealth-producing reality of domestic fossil fuels.


"Green jobs" are in trouble in China too

Losses for China’s largest solar manufacturers, including Suntech Power Holdings Co. and JA Solar Holdings Co. may continue through next year as declining shipments prompt them to slash prices and liquidate inventory.

Shipments at Suntech will fall about 20 percent in the fourth quarter from the third, the world’s largest panel maker said today in its third-quarter earnings report. JA Solar, the country’s biggest cell producer, also said shipments will fall sequentially, and it wrote off inventory in response to falling prices, driving down gross margins.

Cell prices have fallen 59 percent since Dec. 27, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Seven Chinese companies reported lower gross margins since yesterday and three said margins have moved into negative territory, an unsustainable level, said Hari Chandra Polavarapu, an analyst at Auriga USA in New York.

“Liquidation is leading to suicidal pricing.” Polavarapu said in an interview today. There are too many solar companies in China, he said, and they are cutting prices to maintain share. “China’s strongest manufacturers are sacrificing profitability because the weakest players still exist.”

Chinese solar manufacturers expanded capacity faster this year while demand growth slowed in Europe, the top regional market.

“We are seeing a softening in the European market continue into the fourth quarter,” Suntech Chief Executive Officer Zhengrong Shi said today on a conference call. “We expect that the fourth quarter of 2011 and the first half of 2012 will be a challenge for all solar companies.” Panel shipments for 2011 will be about 2,000 megawatts, down from an Aug. 22 forecast of 2,200 megawatts, Suntech said.

‘Pricing Has Collapsed’

JA Solar said it expects shipments of solar cells and modules of 310 megawatts to 330 megawatts in the fourth quarter, compared with 445 megawatts last quarter. Neither gave a forecast for next year.

“Demand has not lived up to expectations and pricing has collapsed over the last three quarters,” Aaron Chew, an analyst at Maxim Group LLC in New York, said today in an interview. “Most of the major cell, wafer and module manufacturers are poised to report four quarters in a row of losses and this is just the first one.”

Suntech reported a net loss of $116 million for the third quarter, or 64 cents an American depositary receipt, on sales of $809.8 million. JA Solar posted a net loss of $59 million, or 36 cents an ADR, on sales of $388 million.


Warmist Mike Hulme: "Sexing-up evidence is so easy to do, isn't it?"

Email 3895 below. I assume that the EDP is This

Sexing-up evidence is so easy to do, isn't it?

Reading your letter in the EDP today makes me wonder who your source inside the Tyndall Centre was supplying you with such exaggerated evidence?

Surely it wasn't me, was it? Treating Dick Lindzen with the esteem of flat-earthers; could this claim have been inserted by politicians seeking to make a dramatic point to their audience? Or was it really what the experts in the Tyndall Centre think? Perhaps we need an enquiry.

Don't worry - I'm not thinking of committing suicide should I be exposed as the source of this story; but then again, it couldn't have been me, could it?

I didn't say that after all; all I said was that we are well aware of Dick Lindzen and his arguments (in fact, Dick Lindzen is a pretty smart meteorologist who just takes a more cautious view of the scientific evidence for human causes of global warming; similar in caution in some ways to David Kelly even).

Yes, sexing-up is so easy to do. Be warned.




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