Sunday, January 08, 2012

Another Greenie fantasy about species extinctions

I have done a bit of fisking below to show unserious this is as science.
Climate change models may underestimate extinctions

Animals and plants could be on a collision course created by climate change, and our current predictions might be underestimating how many will go extinct

Predictions of the loss of animal and plant diversity around the world are common under models of future climate change. But a new study shows that because these climate models don’t account for species competition and movement, they could grossly underestimate future extinctions.

“We have really sophisticated meteorological models for predicting climate change,” [Except that they have never successfully predicted anything yet and keep getting disproven by events] says ecologist Mark Urban, the study’s lead author. “But in real life, animals move around, they compete, they parasitize each other and they eat each other. The majority of our predictions don’t include these important interactions.”

Plenty of experimental studies have shown that species are already moving in response to climate change [Since there has been no warming for over ten years, this is clearly a false attribution], says Urban, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Connecticut. For example, as temperatures rise over time, animals and plants that can’t take the heat are moving to higher altitudes where temperatures are cooler. [So what would be the problem with that? There are lots of VERY cool places on the earth]

But not all species can disperse fast enough to get to these more suitable places before they die off, Urban says. And if they do make it to these better habitats, they may be outcompeted by the species that are already there – or the ones that got there first.

With coauthors Josh Tewksbury and Kimberly Sheldon of the University of Washington, Urban created a mathematical model [Did they validate the model in any way or is it just a computer game?] that takes into account the varying rates of migration and the different intensities of competition seen in ecological communities. The goal was to predict just how successful species within these communities would be at shifting to completely new habitats.

Their results showed that animals and plants that can adjust to climate change will have a competitive advantage over those that don’t.


New paper: IPCC Warming Claim Is “Erroneous…IPCC Projections For The 21st Century Cannot Be Trusted”

A new paper has been published by the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar Terrestrial Physics, authored by Nicola Scafetta, 2012: "Testing an astronomically based decadal-scale empirical harmonic climate model versus the IPCC (2007) general circulation models".

It’s not a secret that the IPCC models are all rigged to make CO2 look like the culprit for the last 150 years of warming. We say this because we now know their models completely ignore, or selectively distort, the potency of an array of drivers and amplification mechanisms.

In the paper, according to the abstract, Scafetta compares the performance of a recently proposed empirical climate model based on astronomical harmonics against all CMIP3 available general circulation climate models (GCM) used by the IPCC (2007) and finds that the climate appears to be resonating with, or is synchronized to, a set of natural harmonics that have been associated to the solar system planetary motion. According to the abstract:
…the GCMs fail to reproduce the major decadal and multidecadal oscillations found in the global surface temperature record from 1850 to 2011. On the contrary, the proposed harmonic model (which herein uses cycles with 9.1, 10–10.5, 20–21, 60–62 year periods) is found to well reconstruct the observed climate oscillations from 1850 to 2011, and it is shown to be able to forecast the climate oscillations from 1950 to 2011 using the data covering the period 1850–1950, and vice versa.”

What does Scafetta conclude from this?
We show that the IPCC GCM’s claim that all warming observed from 1970 to 2000 has been anthropogenically induced is erroneous because of the GCM failure in reconstructing the quasi 20-year and 60-year climatic cycles.”

In the conclusion of the paper, Scafetta also writes: "Consequently, the IPCC projections for the 21st century cannot be trusted.”

In light of this new information and all the new findings we’ve seen since 2007, the IPCC has no choice but to recognize and admit that their models are totally inadequate and in need of a complete overhaul.

Should the IPCC continue to ignore new findings and claim their models are accurate and correct (when they know they are not), then it will be de facto entering the territory of scientific fraud. The next assessment report, due in 2013 or 2014, must include the new scientific findings. Anything else would be willful fraud. That’s what it is when there’s intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual.

There’s no way the IPCC will be able stick to its current climate models in its next report without opening themselves up to lawsuits for scientific fraud. No more excuses.


Wrecked by gales again as British windfarms get £300,000 to switch high winds

First there were the wind farms that had to be shut down if it got a bit blowy. Then there was the turbine that burst into flames in a gale a month ago. And now three turbines have been wrecked in the latest bout of rough weather – sweeping away any remaining illusions that strong winds simply mean more electricity being generated.

The damage raises yet more questions about the ability of such machines to cope with serious weather, let alone produce very much electricity. Adding to such concerns will be the revelation yesterday that wind farms in Scotland were paid nearly £300,000 in the first five days of this year to close down because it was too windy.

The three damaged turbines all stand within a mile of one another in the countryside around Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. The one in Windmill Lane in the village of Upper Cumberworth lost one of its three blades, and another in the same village lost two. A third, in nearby Hepworth, lost all three, with debris blown across a road into a neighbouring property.

The damage occurred on Thursday night when, according to the Met Office wind speeds near Huddersfield peaked at 77mph during fierce storms which felled trees, tore off roof tiles and damaged power cables.

Local residents say the falling blades could have injured or killed someone as they were flung to the ground. Frances Barnes, who has ten acres of grazing land for horses nearby, said: ‘It is worrying. People objected to the plans when they first went in – not because it is a windmill but because it is so close to a busy road.

‘It is frightening to think what may have happened had one of the blades flown into the road and hit a car, or indeed if the wind turbine had come down.’

The 10kw turbines were made by Evoco, which says they have been through a ‘four-year period of in-house testing’. The company, which claimed on its website they could ‘withstand harsh winters and wind speeds in excess of 90mph’ has begun an investigation.

The turbines are not part of a wind farm but sold individually to landowners to generate their own electricity and sell any excess back to the National Grid. The company said it had installed 100 turbines in the area and all have been ‘braked’ so that they stop spinning until modifications are made.

A spokesman said: ‘We have recently experienced a series of turbine faults in a localised area of rural West Yorkshire area during record-breaking high winds.

‘Evoco turbines have recently weathered three lots of hurricane force winds, in which the overwhelming majority of our turbines have operated without any problems.

‘No one was hurt in the incidents, which are being investigated thoroughly. Health and safety issues are of primary importance to us, and we work to rigorous standards to maintain our excellent record.’

Christine Smith, a local Conservative councillor said: ‘This shows they can be very dangerous, these blades could have fallen on someone’s car or home. They are lucky someone was not walking nearby.

‘Wind turbines are flawed, they don’t work when it’s too windy, and don’t work when it’s not windy enough. There are much better alternatives to use less energy such as under-floor heating and insulation.

‘These companies are putting in applications left, right and centre, and telling people they can make a lot of money out of them, but I think we need to look at some of these concerns before allowing any more to be built.’

Last month a 300ft turbine in Ardrossan, North Ayrshire, erupted in flames during gales of 165mph. It was said to have been switched off, but had a ‘brake system failure’.

In Scotland the £300,000 payments over the first five days of this year were shared by four turbine operators. The controversial ‘constraint payments’ were made because they produced more energy than the National Grid could handle and had to shut down.

Up to 32,000 wind turbines could be built in England and Wales over the next 40 years to meet government targets. Last year 17 wind farm operators were paid £7million to shut down on 40 occasions between January and September.


EPA Attacks on Mercury Will Kill Jobs

Alan Caruba

To understand how the Environmental Protection Agency operates, one must first understand that it lies all the time. Its “estimates” are bogus. Its claims of lives saved are bogus.

It thrives on scare-mongering to a public that is science-challenged, but the science remains and the EPA must be challenged to save the nation from the loss of the energy it needs to function. It must be challenged to unleash the huge economic benefits of energy resources—coal, oil, and natural gas—that can reverse our present economic decline.

The latest outrage is the MACT rule—an acronym for “maximum achievable control technology” intended to reduce mercury emissions and other trace gases. The rule is 1,117 pages long. Its purpose is to shut down coal-fired power plants that generate over fifty percent of all the electricity used daily in the United States of America.

The value of the total benefits asserted by the EPA is alleged to be $6 million. Not billion, but million. The MACT rule would force 14.7 gigawatts—enough power for more than eleven million households—to be “retired” from the power grip in the 2014-15 period when the rules take effect.

Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works says, “The economic analysis of the Obama EPA’s MACT paints a bleak picture for economic recovery as it will cost $11 billion to implement, increase electricity rates for every American, and, along with the Cross-State rule, destroy nearly 1.4 million jobs.”

MACT is all about mercury in the environment of the nation. On May 25, 2011, the Wall Street Journal published a brief opinion piece by Willie Soon, a natural scientist at Harvard, co-authored by Paul Driessen, a senior policy advisor for the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow. It was titled “The Myth of Killer Mercury.”

Here are a few of the facts it offered.

“Mercury has always existed naturally in the Earth’s environment. A 2009 study found mercury deposits in Antarctic ice across 650,000 years.”

“Mercury is found in air, water, rocks, soil and trees, which absorb it from the environment.”

There is “200,000,000 tons of mercury naturally present in seawater” that “has never posed a danger to any living thing.”

“U.S. forest fires emit at least 44 tons (of mercury) per year; cremation of human remains discharges 26 tons; Chinese power plants eject 400 tons; and volcanoes, subsea vents, geysers and other sources spew out 9,000-10,000 additional tons per year.”

“Since our power plants account for less than 0.5% of all the mercury in the air we breathe, eliminating every milligram of it will do nothing about the other 99.5% in our atmosphere.”

This is the same EPA “logic” that insists on reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere when all life on Earth depends on it as plant food for all vegetation. More CO2 mean more crops for humans and livestock, healthier forests and jungles, and food for the Earth’s wildlife population.

In a foreword to “Regulators Gone Wild: How the EPA is Ruining American Industry”, Dr. Jay Lehr, the Science Director of The Heartland Institute, wrote, “This administration is pushing an unprecedented radical environmental agenda.”

The EPA, along with major environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, and others, have engaged for decades in a massive propaganda effort to convince Americans they are imperiled by the nation’s air and water. It is a lie. As the author of “Regulators Gone Wild”, Rich Trzupeck notes, “Though our world is actually cleaner than ever, most Americans are convinced it is dirtier.”

“Toxicity,” wrote Trzupeck, “is a matter of dose, as sober scientists have observed since ancient times. A particular compound may kill you if you drink it, but a few parts per billion of the same compound can have no effect at all…one can find toxic air pollutants in the parts-per-billion level in human breath.”

The EPA’s latest rule, which will no doubt be subject to lawsuits, is a killer MACT. It is not about mercury or other trace gases. It is about deliberately depriving the nation of energy which in turn means less jobs, less growth, and a third world lifestyle being imposed on Americans by the radical environmentalists inside the Obama administration.


Shale Gas Abundance Turns the Tables on Petroleum Powers

And undermines Greenie shrieks about future resource shortages

Countries that have always depended on imported oil and gas, like Chile, Paraguay, Poland or Ukraine, and especially heavy consumers such as the United States and China, could become self-sufficient in natural gas in the near future and even start exporting it.

Shale gas - natural gas extracted from shale rock - may well be several times more abundant than the proven reserves of conventional natural gas on the planet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Moreover there are large volumes of natural gas in sandstones, and other non-conventional sources.

But the real news from EIA studies is that shale gas is abundant in territories previously regarded as poor in fossil fuels or dependent on imports: China, the United States and Argentina head the list, but large reserves are also found in South Africa, Australia, Poland, France, Chile, Sweden, Paraguay, Pakistan and India.

"The global energy chessboard is changing, and markets will be realigned. Countries that have never had so much available energy will become self-sufficient, and perhaps even exporters," Luis Alberto Terrero, head of the Venezuelan Gas Processors Association (AVPG), told IPS.

As gas supplies grow, "fossil fuels may become cheaper, the growth of alternative energies will slow down, and new alliances, investments and trade networks will be established," Terrero said.

Global proven reserves of conventional gas total 6,608 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), according to statistics from British-based oil giant BP, and the largest deposits are in Russia (1,580 Tcf), Irán (1,045 Tcf), Qatar (894 Tcf) and Saudi Arabia and Turkmenistan (283 Tcf each).

An EIA study published in April 2011 found practically the same volume (6,620 Tcf) of shale gas deemed recoverable in just 32 countries, and the reserves are differently distributed, with China possessing 1,275 Tcf, the United States 862, Argentina 774, Mexico 681, South Africa 485 and Australia 396 Tcf.

Furthermore, some countries long dependent on foreign suppliers would have a huge resource base compared with their consumption: for example France and Poland, which import 98 and 64 percent, respectively, of the gas they consume, are in possession of shale gas reserves estimated at over 180 Tcf each.

In South America, giant oil producer Venezuela is estimated to have only 11 Tcf of shale gas, barely one-twentieth of its conventional gas reserves, while Brazil and Chile, which currently import about half the gas they consume, possess estimated shale gas deposits of 226 and 64 Tcf, respectively.

Paraguay has an estimated 62 Tcf of shale gas, nearly three times the conventional gas reserves of Bolivia, the top exporter of natural gas in South America. Uruguay, which imports all of its oil and gas as it lacks both, has at least 21 Tcf of shale gas.

"So far this century, this is the biggest innovation in energy, in terms of scale and impact," according to U.S. analyst Daniel Yergin, author of a classic history of the oil industry, "The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power", who emphasised that one-third of all the gas produced in the United States is already extracted from shale gas reserves.

High volumes of water are used for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the method of extracting shale gas, which can also cause seismic activity. Disposal of the waste water may cause pollution of surface and groundwater. Extracting shale gas from a platform with six wells can use 170,000 cubic metres of water.

Therefore exploration for non-conventional gas must go hand-in-hand with technologies to reduce water consumption and the other harmful effects, including destruction of the landscape.

Terrero noted, for example, that exploitation of extra-heavy crude in Venezuela's Orinoco Belt or under the North Sea used to be regarded as technologically non-viable, yet today production is going full steam ahead, while drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic will proliferate from 2012 onward.

Furthermore, high oil prices of over 100 dollars a barrel encourage operators to explore for, produce and sell not only shale gas but also "tight gas" (trapped in impermeable, non-porous sandstone or other rock formations) as well as shale oil and "tight oil", similarly locked underground.

"We're heading toward greater availability of fossil fuels. Oil, gas and coal represent 80 percent of the global energy mix, and will continue to predominate for decades," Kenneth Ramírez, a professor of geopolitics and energy at the Central University of Venezuela, told IPS.

In 2010, world consumption was 12 billion tonnes of oil-equivalent, including 4.03 billion tonnes of oil (up from 3.57 billion in 2000), 3.56 billion tonnes of coal (2.4 in 2000), 2.86 billion tonnes of gas (2.17), 776 million tonnes of oil-equivalent in hydroelectricity (600), 626 million in nuclear energy (584) and only 159 million in renewable energies (51 million in 2000), according to BP.

In Ramírez's view, "the abundance and new distribution of reserves of shale gas and other non-conventional fossil fuels will affect predictions about the relationship between energy and the economy, and will have major geopolitical effects.

"An initial effect is that the largest and best discoveries are outside the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)," which will see its influence on the global energy market diminish in the long run, the expert said.

At the same time, Ramírez said, Russia will embark on the race to consolidate its position as a major global actor on the basis of its energy resources; Canada will emerge as a world oil power; and the United States, its supply secure, could feel freer from the vagaries of Middle East conflicts.

The same could be said for emerging nations of the global South, such as China, India, South Africa and Brazil, which will be able to avail themselves of abundant non-conventional gas.

In Latin America, production in Bolivia or Trinidad and Tobago, or the offshore projects in Venezuela, no longer appears so essential for the long term, while in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila and the southern Argentine province of Neuquén, drilling is under way for the first shale oil and gas extractions.

The big disadvantage of shale gas, despite the industry's hopes for developing more eco-friendly technologies, is its impact on the environment during production and transport.

The extraction of shale gas requires large quantities of water mixed with sand and chemical additives. The carbon footprint - the amount of carbon dioxide-equivalent greenhouse gases emitted by the process - is much greater than for conventional gas production.

Fracking involves injecting this fluid under pressure into drill holes deep in the earth's crust, to create fractures in the rock that increase the rate of recovery of shale gas. This process runs the risk of damaging the subsoil, soils, surface and underground water tables, the landscape and communication routes if the arrangements for extracting and transporting the material are defective or mishandled.

More methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is released during shale gas extraction and use than with conventional methods, and this adds to global warming. But so far, environmental concerns have not abated the global thirst for energy resources like those trapped in shale formations.


Australia: Greenies don't like being watched

Greens leader Bob Brown has accused Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson of turning Australia into a police state, after reports he pushed for increased surveillance of environmental activists.

A report in Fairfax newspapers details documents, obtained under Freedom of Information laws, that show Mr Ferguson requested additional monitoring of anti-coal mining groups and other environmental groups.

Senator Brown claims coal and fossil fuel companies pressured Mr Ferguson into having the federal police spy on environment groups who protest against energy companies.

Senator Brown says tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayers' money is being spent having private contractors monitor activists.

"That paying of private corporations to spy on community groups is an abuse of taxpayers' money," he said. "Martin Ferguson should never have been allowed to promote that and it should be stopped. "The Attorney-General, if not the Prime Minister, should see that it stops immediately."

A spokeswoman for Mr Ferguson says governments are concerned with maintaining energy security. She says this includes maintaining the rule of law and energy supply, where issues-motivated groups seek to engage in unlawful activity.


Australia: CO2 shortage may flatten soft drink supplies

Perhaps they should attach a pipe to Al Gore. He seems to have a huge supply of the stuff

The temporary closure of two key sources of carbon dioxide gas, including Orica's controversial explosives plant near Newcastle, is causing supply shortages of the essential ingredient that makes soft drinks bubble.

The major supermarkets say supply disruptions have been minimal so far, but there could be shortages of soft drink if carbon dioxide production does not return to normal soon.

Orica's Kooragang Island explosives plant, which produces ammonia, makes carbon dioxide as a by-product. The plant has been closed since August following an accident and is only now in the process of slowly being brought back online.

Gas supplier BOC runs a carbon dioxide production facility at Kooragang Island which remains out of action until the explosives plant resumes feeding it raw gas for processing. BOC says it is sourcing alternative supplies from Queensland and Victoria to maintain supply in New South Wales. "BOC is currently maintaining normal CO2 supply in other Australian states," the company said in a statement.

Another major source of CO2, Origin and AWE's Lang Lang processing plant in Victoria, is closed for upgrades for about four months.

The production disruptions are starting to hurt supply to Australia's major soft-drink makers. Schweppes says it has experienced a shortage of CO2 at its largest east coast facilities over the past two months.

"As a consequence of this shortage, we have not been able to produce the volume of soft drinks that we normally would be producing at this time of the year, particularly at our factory in Victoria," the company said in a statement. "This has resulted in product shortages, largely in Victoria. We have put several workarounds in place to minimise the impact to customers."

Schweppes's production is also being cut by a lockout of about 150 staff at a factory in Victoria.

A Coles spokesman says the supermarket giant has seen an impact on the availability of some Schweppes products, but has so far still been able to cover that with supplies from other providers.

A Woolworths spokeswoman says the company is watching the situation closely. "We've not yet experienced notable supply shortages of carbonated products. Having said that, we would be concerned about supply if the CO2 shortage was not rectified very soon," the company said.

Schweppes says its carbon dioxide supplier has advised it will be increasing supplies from the end of next week, allowing full soft drink production to resume.

But Orica says the restart of Kooragang Island is a complex process and there is no firm timeline for the resumption of full production.



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