Saturday, December 24, 2011

Glacier lies exposed

One of the most flagrant lies from the IPCC, the EPA, and the Hey-Ho, is that glacial retreat is due to postwar emissions of CO2. But that is not what history shows:
Sydney Morning Herald: January 13, 1939

One of the riddles which is puzzling geologists all over the world is the continuous retreat of the ice glaciers. Does this phenomenon indicate that the sun is getting hotter as some astronomers believe or is it dependent upon comparatively unimportant changes in the earth’s atmosphere?

Consideration such as these were discussed by Professor R. Speight, formerly professor of geology at Canterbury College, Christchurch, New Zealand and now curator of the Canterbury Museum. In his presidential address to the geology section of the Science Congress to-day. His subject was “Some Aspects of Glaciation in New Zealand.”

The steady retreat of the glaciers in New Zealand he said had been observed during the last 70 years. Photographs taken in 1896 and 1935 showed that several glaciers had retreated distances varying from 100 yards to half a mile in 40 years.


The phenomenon, however, was world-wide. Equally impressive records were obtainable from Switzerland, Scandinavia, Iceland and the United States. Attempts had been made to reconcile these observations with the Bruckner cycle of climate change every 16 years. Professor Speight said, but so many discrepancies occurred that in his opinion precise synchronisation with that period could not be accepted.

In Alaska glaciers had been retreating from 100 to 200 years, the average rate of recession being about 50 feet a year. The Antarctic ice-sheet also showed signs of recent retreat.

“In fact,” said Professor Speight, “no case is recorded of a region of the world in which there are present signs of an advance. This is quite apart from the general retreat since the pleistocene age and may be merely a pacing phase. Its precise significance can only be determined by continued observation.”

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Climate crook Tim Wirth: 2012 is Obama’s ‘last window of opportunity’ to get it right on climate change

Wirth is still “riding the global warming issue.” Climatewire reports,
President Obama has a “last window of opportunity” to get it right on climate change, U.N. Foundation President Tim Wirth warned this week…

“I can’t blame these guys,” Wirth said of Pershing and Stern. “I don’t know what they could have done to do any better without a different political dynamic. They were under very tight instruction.”

But in a lengthy interview with ClimateWire, Wirth went on to skewer what he described as the Obama administration’s lack of focus on climate change, and outline a comprehensive vision for the coming year.

“I don’t know who and where the climate leadership in the administration is. It doesn’t exist. There is no resolve in the Obama administration to do anything, and I think they look at Congress and say, ‘We can’t do anything, so why break our pick now?’” Wirth said.

He argued that the administration and environmental groups alike must “spend the year 2012 setting the table for the next four years.” Dismissing the possibility of a Republican win in November, Wirth called a second Obama administration term “the last window of opportunity” to enact policies that can avert a catastrophic rise in global temperatures.

“It’s the last chance we have to get anything approaching 2 degrees Centigrade,” he said. “If we don’t do it now, we are committing the world to a drastically different place”…

Topping the list, he said, was “clarifying” public opinion on climate change and identifying different political constituencies on climate action — ones he delineated as: “big committed,” “probably,” “not really paying attention,” “couldn’t care less” and “it’s all a big fraud.” He called for a series of strategies related to climate science as well as finding new ways to energize the 60 to 65 percent of Americans he claimed are in favor of taking significant steps to address climate change.


Global warming aficionados will remember this infamous Tim Wirth quote from the 1990s:
“We’ve got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing, in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.”


Obama is achieving his goal of higher energy costs

CNBC reported earlier this week that the typical American family will spend the largest portion ever of its budget — 8.4 percent — on gasoline this year.

With 14 million Americans either out of work or underemployed, a lot of folks aren't buying Christmas gifts or celebrating with a little holiday cheer this year. As Washington Examiner columnist John Stossel makes clear elsewhere in today's edition, a major reason for the continued high and underemployment is found in the massive economic uncertainties that will result if the U.S. Supreme Court allows Obamacare to go forward. Businesses aren't replacing current workers or adding new ones in great part because they simply cannot know how much doing so would cost them until the future of Obamacare is decided. This is a textbook case of the unintended consequences that inevitably accompany grand Big Government programs.

But there is another factor behind the economic stagnation produced by President Obama's policies -- soaring energy costs -- that hurt all Americans, not just those without jobs or who are trapped in lower-paying positions. As CNBC reported earlier this week, the typical American family will spend the largest portion ever of its budget -- 8.4 percent -- on gasoline this year. Economists expect the average price of a gallon of gas to be $3.53, a 76-cent increase over 2010.

Growing world demand for gas caused by economic expansion in China and India only partially explains this increase. Obama's environmental and energy policies are also a key reason why prices are constantly heading higher. The American oil and gas industry is producing record domestic yields these days, thanks to the vastly increased efficiency made possible by technological advances like horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.

That ought to be good news because increased supply normally means lower prices. But the energy industry's ability to process oil into gasoline is greatly handicapped by environmental regulations that are so stringent that it's been nearly four decades since a new refinery was built in this country. Plus, existing refineries face a complicated web of government-mandated blends of gas with additives like ethanol that are designed to reduce emissions and that vary by geographical region and seasons of the year. That means refineries frequently must stop producing one blend to change to production of a different one.

Add to these factors the dramatic decrease in the number of new drilling permits issued by the government under Obama, longer waiting times for those that are issued, and the president's success in barring expansion of oil and gas exploration and production to federal lands known to be rich in untapped resources. The result is constant upward pressure on the price consumers must pay at the pump.

Not only is the cost paid by families every time they fill up at the local gas station, the economy takes a hit as well. James Hamilton, an economics professor at the University of California at San Diego, who studies energy prices, told CNBC that high gasoline prices reduce economic growth by about 0.5 percent for the year. In a $14 trillion economy, half a percent is a big deal, especially when growth is about 2 percent a year. And we haven't even mentioned Solyndra.


Greenies may cause the U.S. to lose Canadian oil supplies

Adding up to yet more support for the Islamists from the Green/Left. How unsurprising!

Canada could sell its oil to China and other overseas markets with or without approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline in the United States, says Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

In a year-end television interview, Harper indicated he had doubts the $7-billion pipeline would receive political approval from U.S. President Barack Obama, and that Canada should be looking outside the United States for markets.

“I am very serious about selling our oil off this continent, selling our energy products off to Asia. I think we have to do that,” Harper said in the Monday interview with CTV National News.

Harper’s comments were released a day after the White House sent signals it might kill TransCanada’s oil sands pipeline if it is forced to make a decision on the project in 60 days, saying there wasn’t sufficient time to complete a new environmental review.

Even though the project could still win approval from the Obama administration, Harper appeared to believe that the pipeline would not be completed, meaning Canada would have to look elsewhere to trade its oil.

“When I was down in the United States recently it was interesting. I ran into several senior Americans who all said, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll get Keystone done. You can sell all of your oil to us.’ I said, ‘Yeah we’d love to,’ but I think the problem is now that we’re on a different track,” Harper said.

Environmental activists fear an accident along the 1,700-mile (2,700-kilometer) pipeline extension would be potentially disastrous for aquifers in central U.S. Great Plains states.

Others oppose the multibillion-dollar project because exploiting the tar sands requires energy that generates a large volume of greenhouse gases that scientists blame for global warming.

The Obama administration has ordered an extra environmental assessment of a possible new route through Nebraska, which could delay a final decision until after next November’s election.

That move prompted Obama’s opponents to accuse him of dodging a difficult issue to avoid angering sections of his Democratic political base vote.


Chevy Volt Costing Taxpayers Up to $250K Per Vehicle

Analyst: 'This might be the most government-supported car since the Trabant'

Each Chevy Volt sold thus far may have as much as $250,000 in state and federal dollars in incentives behind it – a total of $3 billion altogether, according to an analysis by James Hohman, assistant director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

Hohman looked at total state and federal assistance offered for the development and production of the Chevy Volt, General Motors’ plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. His analysis included 18 government deals that included loans, rebates, grants and tax credits. The amount of government assistance does not include the fact that General Motors is currently 26 percent owned by the federal government.

The Volt subsidies flow through multiple companies involved in production. The analysis includes adding up the amount of government subsidies via tax credits and direct funding for not only General Motors, but other companies supplying parts for the vehicle. For example, the Department of Energy awarded a $105.9 million grant to the GM Brownstown plant that assembles the batteries. The company was also awarded approximately $106 million for its Hamtramck assembly plant in state credits to retain jobs. The company that supplies the Volt’s batteries, Compact Power, was awarded up to $100 million in refundable battery credits (combination tax breaks and cash subsidies). These are among many of the subsidies and tax credits for the vehicle.

It’s unlikely that all the companies involved in Volt production will ever receive all the $3 billion in incentives, Hohman said, because many of them are linked to meeting various employment and other milestones. But the analysis looks at the total value that has been offered to the Volt in different aspects of production – from the assembly line to the dealerships to the battery manufacturers. Some tax credits and subsidies are offered for periods up to 20 years, though most have a much shorter time frame.

GM has estimated they’ve sold 6,000 Volts so far. That would mean each of the 6,000 Volts sold would be subsidized between $50,000 and $250,000, depending on how many government subsidy milestones are realized.

If those manufacturers awarded incentives to produce batteries the Volt may use are included in the analysis, the potential government subsidy per Volt increases to $256,824. For example, A123 Systems has received extensive state and federal support, and bid to be a supplier to the Volt, but the deal instead went to Compact Power. The $256,824 figure includes adding up the subsidies to both companies.

The $3 billion total subsidy figure includes $690.4 million offered by the state of Michigan and $2.3 billion in federal money. That’s enough to purchase 75,222 Volts with a sticker price of $39,828.

Additional state and local support provided to Volt suppliers was not included in the analysis, Hohman said, and could increase the level of government aid. For instance, the Volt is being assembled at the Poletown plant in Detroit/Hamtramck, which was built on land acquired by General Motors through eminent domain.

“It just goes to show there are certain folks that will spend anything to get their vision of what people should do,” said State Representative Tom McMillin, R-Rochester Hills. “It’s a glaring example of the failure of central planning trying to force citizens to purchase something they may not want. … They should let the free market make those decisions.”

“This might be the most government-supported car since the Trabant,” said Hohman, referring to the car produced by the former Communist state of East Germany.

According to GM CEO Dan Akerson, the average Volt owner makes $170,000 per year.


Australia: One "habitat" versus another

THE federal and NSW governments are facing claims their $24 million purchase of the historic Toorale Station near Bourke in 2008 to help the Murray-Darling river system was a waste of money that has harmed the local economy while delivering scant environmental benefit.

Three years after the federal government led the purchase of the 91,000-hectare property to release its irrigated water back to the river system, the dams and irrigation channels are still in place - though their decommissioning was a key part of the environmental plan - the Herald has confirmed.

An "infrastructure decommissioning plan" drawn up by engineering consultants Aurecon in 2009 found there were environmental obstacles to scrapping the dams and channels because a new ecology has grown in the 150 years since the station was established. Also, a complete decommissioning would cost $79 million.

Angry locals have told the Herald their economy has been battered without much gain.

"It's very hard to see that there's been any environmental benefit whatsoever from the $23.75 million that was spent," Geoff Wise, general manager of Bourke Shire, said. "But there's been millions and millions of dollars of lost productivity that would have flowed had it remained a viable property."

He said Toorale Station had provided about 10 per cent of Bourke's business and 4 per cent of the shire rates. "Overnight, we lost that."

The property on the confluence of the Darling and Warrego rivers was bought by the NSW government, though the Commonwealth paid the bulk of the purchase price with nearly $20 million and in return got the water rights.

The then water minister Penny Wong said at the time the infrastructure decommissioning plan would be "implemented as soon as possible". The Aurecon report in August 2009 advised "partial decommissioning".

The federal Environment Department said in a statement to the Herald the purchase had delivered an extra 56 billion litres of water to the environment by releasing water out of the dams. This falls short of the average 20 billion litres a year - peaking at 80 billion in flood years - Senator Wong promised in 2009, despite the heavy rains and flooding of recent years.

In the 2010-11 financial year, 7.6 billion litres were returned to the river system - just 0.01 per cent of the total flow of water through the Darling River at the Louth gauge, downstream.

The Water Minister, Tony Burke, acknowledged decommissioning had "taken longer than originally expected" and added "we're still working through the technical details with NSW as to which is the best pathway".

He said the water already recovered had helped the Darling River, the Warrego River, the Great Darling Anabranch and the River Murray wetlands.

Even supporters of the purchase are disappointed by the lack of progress. Justin McClure, the owner of Kallara Station, a flood plain grazing property south-west of Bourke on the Darling River, said it had always been the understanding the dams would be removed.

"I'm disappointed that the infrastructure hasn't been decommissioned," he said."I'm disappointed that more water hasn't been returned to the river, although I understand the issues the government is facing."

Mr McClure said there had been environmental gains downstream and he still believed the purchase had been worth the money. But he added: "The fact there's no information on what they're actually doing is what upsets me the most … I don't think it's a transparent process."

The opposition water spokesman, Barnaby Joyce, said the Toorale situation boded ill for Murray-Darling Basin reform.

"When the nation pays for a property that doesn't actually deliver much water into the Darling River and now they are reorganising the nation's food bowl and how we feed ourselves, I get very worried."



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