Saturday, March 24, 2012

Medieval warming WAS global – new science contradicts IPCC

Mann's "hockeystick" has now definitely got a big pregnancy bump in the middle of it

More peer-reviewed science contradicting the warming-alarmist "scientific consensus" was announced yesterday, as a new study shows that the well-documented warm period which took place in medieval times was not limited to Europe, or the northern hemisphere: it reached all the way to Antarctica.

The research involved the development of a new means of assessing past temperatures, to add to existing methods such as tree ring analysis and ice cores. In this study, scientists analysed samples of a crystal called ikaite, which forms in cold waters.

“Ikaite is an icy version of limestone,” explains earth-sciences prof Zunli Lu. “The crystals are only stable under cold conditions and actually melt at room temperature.”

Down in the Antarctic peninsula that isn't a problem, and Lu and his colleagues were able to take samples which had been present for hundreds of years and date their formation. The structure of Ikaite, it turns out, varies measurably depending on the temperature when it forms, allowing boffins to construct an accurate past temperature record.

A proper temperature record for Antarctica is particularly interesting, as it illuminates one of the main debates in global-warming/climate-change: namely, were the so-called Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age merely regional, or were they global events? The medieval warmup experienced by northern Europeans from say 900AD to 1250AD seems to have been at least as hot as anything seen in the industrial era. If it was worldwide in extent that would strongly suggest that global warming may just be something that happens from time to time, not something caused by miniscule concentrations of CO2 (the atmosphere is 0.04 per cent CO2 right now; this figure might climb to 0.07 per cent in the medium term).

The oft-mentioned "scientific consensus", based in large part on the work of famous climate-alarmist scientists Michael Mann and Phil Jones and reflected in the statements of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), says that isn't true. The IPCC consensus is that the medieval warming – and the "Little Ice Age" which followed it – only happened in Europe and maybe some other northern areas. They were local events only, and globally the world was cooler than it is now. The temperature increase seen in the latter half of the 20th century is a new thing caused by humanity's carbon emissions.

Lu and his colleagues' new work, however, indicates that in fact the medieval warm period and little ice age were both felt right down to Antarctica.

“We showed that the Northern European climate events influenced climate conditions in Antarctica,” says the prof, who was at Oxford when most of the work was done but now has a position at Syracuse uni in the States. He and his colleagues write:

This ikaite record qualitatively supports that both the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age extended to the Antarctic Peninsula.

In other words, global warming has already occurred in historical, pre-industrial times, and then gone away again. Lu et al's work is published in the peer-reviewed journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters.


The EPA loses another one

Another attempt to ignore the law in Obamaland -- this one reined in

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency exceeded its authority last year in revoking water pollution permits that another agency had issued for one of West Virginia's largest mountaintop removal coal mines, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., ruled Friday.

In siding with St. Louis-based Arch Coal, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson declared the permits were valid. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had issued the permits for the 2,300-acre Spruce No. 1 mine in Logan County.

"This is a huge victory for West Virginia and our coal miners," said Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, who urged EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson "to admit that they have gone too far." "Issue our permits so that we can put our people back to work and provide the resources that will power America," he said.

Arch spokeswoman Kim Link said the company was pleased with the decision. So, too, was the West Virginia Coal Association, which applauded the court "for taking EPA to task for overstepping its authority in order to wage a regulatory war on the West Virginia coal industry."

Vice President Jason Bostic said the EPA "employed magical thinking" to obtain a result the judge declared "illogical and impractical."

"The judge accurately equated EPA's actions to that of a `disappointed player's threat to take his ball and go home when he didn't get to pitch,'" he said.

The EPA said the agency and the Department of Justice are reviewing the decision, which "does not affect the EPA's commitment to protect the health of Appalachian communities who depend on clean water."

The EPA in January 2011 used its veto power for only the 13th time since 1972 to overturn a permit the corps had issued under the federal Clean Water Act. It was the first time the EPA had acted on a previously permitted mine.

The agency said at the time it reserves that power "for only unacceptable cases."

Mountaintop removal is a highly efficient but particularly destructive form of strip mining that blasts apart mountain ridge tops to expose multiple coal seams. The resulting rock and debris is dumped in streams, creating so-called valley fills.

As Arch envisioned it, the Spruce mine would have buried seven miles of streams. It planned to invest $250 million in the project, creating some 250 jobs, but the mine has been delayed by lawsuits since it was permitted.

EPA ruled that destructive and unsustainable mining practices would cause irreparable environmental damage and threaten the health of communities nearby.

But the EPA's assertion that it has the right "to unilaterally modify or revoke a permit that has been duly issued by the corps" is incorrect and unreasonable, the judge wrote. "This is a stunning power for an agency to arrogate to itself when there is absolutely no mention of it in the statute."

Her ruling said EPA's argument "posits a scenario involving the automatic self-destruction of a written permit issued by an entirely separate federal agency after years of study and consideration."

Jackson said the EPA's logic is not only "logistically complicated" but puts coal companies seeking permits "in the untenable position of being unable to rely upon the sole statutory touchstone" for measuring their compliance with the Clean Water Act- the permit.

It's unreasonable, she wrote, "to sow a lack of certainty into a system that was expressly intended to provide finality."

The National Mining Association agreed.

"The current permitting process is already a protracted and complicated affair," NMA President Hal Quinn said. "If we are to encourage investments, grow our economy and create jobs, companies need the certitude their success in obtaining permits will not be later robbed by the whims of EPA."

Mining already under way in a small portion of the Spruce site wasn't affected by the EPA's ruling, but it prohibited new, large-scale operations in other areas.

The veto move enraged both the coal industry and West Virginia politicians, several of whom have since introduced bills to try rein in the EPA.

U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller said the dispute has always been a simple matter of "basic fairness," and fellow Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin made the issue his first piece of federal legislation. Manchin called the ruling "a damning assessment of what happens when an agency puts personal agendas ahead of the law and the scope of agency authority."


Upcoming United Nations Summit Repackages Global Warming Agenda Under the Guise of “Sustainability”

By Kevin Mooney — Suddenly the concept of “sustainability” is very much in vogue in the run-up to yet another United Nations climate conference scheduled for June. But the idea that life on earth can only be sustained by limiting population growth is not new, it has actually been around for some time.

“The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man,” wrote Thomas Malthus in his famous 1798 treatise An Essay on the Principle of Population. Malthus argued that population growth was harmful to the earth and a threat to human populations. His view continues to resonate today among the academics and political figures who are well-positioned to influence national and international public policies. “Sustainability” began to gain serious traction in America during the Clinton Administration.

Charles Battig, president of the Piedmont Chapter of Virginia Scientists & Engineers for Energy & Environment (VA-SEEE), notes that in the 1990s “sustainability” joined “smart growth,” “comprehensive planning,” and “growth management” as code words cited by local, national and international agencies to justify government regulations and orders. These terms, says Battig, were popularized in a 1999 White House policy document, “Towards a Sustainable America,” released under President Clinton.

The Obama administration is now codifying the concept. In June 2010, President Obama issued an executive order launching the Ocean Policy Initiative. It calls for imposing federal zoning rules on America’s waterways—rivers and bays, the Great Lakes, and ocean coastal waters—in the name of sustainability.

A year later, in June 2011, the President issued another executive order creating the White House Rural Council, which is charged with directing government agencies to “enhance the federal engagement in rural communities.” The order, which no doubt will be used to regulate agriculture and land use, declares “strong sustainable rural communities are essential to winning the future and ensuring American competitiveness in years to come.”

Last August the National Research Council (NRC) placed its seal of approval on the concept of sustainability when it issued a report laying out what it called an “operational framework for integrating sustainability as one of the key drivers within the regulatory responsibilities of the EPA.” (The NRC is administered by the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineers and the Institute for Medicine.)

The NRC report, known as the “Green Book” inside Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), proposes the creation of a “sustainability impact assessment” that EPA regulators can use for rulemaking. NRC cites an Obama executive order (13514) defining sustainability as “to create and maintain conditions, under which humans and nature can exist in harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations.”

Sustainability has become the latest slippery standard for letting government agencies monitor and regulate private sector decision-making.

Throughout American history, land use questions fell into purview of localities. This has changed in the past few decades as federal agencies have greatly expanded their reach. The idea now is for trans-nationalists within the United Nations operating in cooperation with U.S. federal agencies to seize control away from American property owners.

Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson is concerned, “Obama’s thrust has been a direct assault on private property owners and those who use the land, this is just one more giant step away from freedom.”

The overarching concept of sustainability was first outlined in UN Agenda 21, which was adapted during the Rio de Janeiro conference in 1992.

This coming June, twenty years after the 1992 UN conference, Rio de Janeiro will again host thousands of UN delegates and activists who will come together over the issue of global warming. However, the participants at the “United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development” (informally called “Rio + 20”) will be couching their alarmist concerns in the vocabulary of sustainability.

The change in terminology is significant, and it was signaled by none other than President Obama. After his party took a beating in the 2010 mid-term elections, Obama told reporters, “There’s more than one way to skin the cat.”

The remark was sparked by Obama’s failure to get Congress to pass a cap-and-trade law regulating the production and use of fossil fuels. Instead, the President argued that emissions from greenhouse gases were so endangering the public health that the EPA must regulate them. As we now know, that conclusion is unwarranted.

The EPA review process reaching this conclusion relied on a UN study whose findings were fabricated. And the evidence for this came from the release of emails from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia in Great Britain that showed politically motivated researchers gloating over how they had manipulated data to justify their global warming alarmism.

As the “climate scandal” unfolded in the news, opinion polls registered a rising skepticism about claims that human activity is responsible for climate change. A 2010 Gallup poll showed 48 percent of Americans believed the seriousness of global warming was exaggerated, up from 31 percent in 1997. Forty-two percent of Germans feared catastrophic warming, down 20 points from 2006. Only twenty-six percent of Britons believed in man-made climate change. Figures like these are the likely reason why global warming alarmists have become so eager to change the terms of debate and discuss sustainability instead.

In a revealing interview with Reuters, Ambassador Andre Correa do Lago, Brazil’s top negotiator at the Rio+20 conference, has admitted that it is easier to promote environmentalist policies under the banner of sustainability.

“Climate change is an issue that has very strong resistance from sectors that are going to be substantially altered, like the oil industry,” do Lago said. “Sustainable development is something that is as simple as looking at how we would like to be in 10 or 20 years.”

At least he’s not pretending.


TransCanada moves forward to build the southern half of Keystone XL pipeline…Obama says “OK”

In Jan., Obama made a big show of vehemently denying requests to build a Keystone XL pipeline, which would have created thousands of jobs and helped restore to the sluggish economy.

The funny thing is, Obama only controls three inches of the Keystone pipeline — the three inches that cross the US/Canada border. The majority of the pipeline, existing from the border to Alberta and from Cushing, OK to Port Arthur, TX is out of his jurisdiction.

However despite that fact, he vetoed the entire project because he (and his environmental supporters) believe that those jobs, since they are going to support oil instead of his preferred “green” energy, the jobs are now “dirty”. He refused to even consider it, and even lobbied the Senate against it.

Last month TransCanada, the company behind the project revealed plans to move forward with the southern half of the Keystone pipeline without Obama’s permission. They don’t need his approval to start building in Cushing, which just so happens to be the president’s third stop on his two day energy tour.


On Thursday, President Obama has decided to “approve” the move, and release plans to supposedly cut the red tape and expedite construction of the pipeline. What a sudden change of heart from our illustrious president, especially because of the ardent public outrage he originally displayed for the issue.

As recently as Mar. 8, the president was lobbying against the GOP fast track bill for the Keystone XL pipeline and now, a mere 22 days later, he is giving the green light to the southern portion of the exact same project. One that, as we’ve already established, doesn’t need his approval to proceed.

I suppose in this pre-election time, Obama wants all the attention he can get, and this stunt is surely an attempt to win him favor with some on-the-fence Democrats. By giving a very public thumbs up to this project, he hopes that when it is finalized, he will get credit for making good on one of his promises. As if his too-little-too-late announcement is going to allow everyone to forget how much time and money he spent arguing for this project’s dismissal.

All ploys aside, this is a low move, even for him. President Obama’s seeming endorsement of TransCanada’s decision was summarized best by Brendan Buck, Press Secretary to Speaker John Boehner, who said: “This is like a governor personally issuing a fishing license.” Or a mother telling her adult son not to get a tattoo, only to give her approval when he comes home with one.

Neither has the right to issue such an approval, and knows it, but feels the need to assert dominance anyway, as if to say “I see what you’re doing over there. No, I don’t like it. But hey, since you’re doing it anyway, who am I to stop you?”

The president just wants to focus attention on him, especially in the wake of the primaries, and he figured the best way to do it was to ride TransCanada’s bandwagon all the way to the polls. However this does pose one problem, he has become that which he has always aspired not to be: a flip-flopper.

Sure, he’s gone back and forth on issues before, all politicians do. But never before in his presidency has he gone on such a direct public tirade against an issue, only to give it credence once he realized he couldn’t stop it from being done.

He cannot stand to not have control of every aspect of America, and when TransCanada announced their plans to trudge into Oklahoma without him, waving their tails in his face as he visited the state, he had to fight back. He knew they didn’t need him, and feeling left out he gave them his “blessing”, framed by his ever-present Cheshire cat grin.

After all, in this administration, everyone’s mad here.


The Warmist elite

For the most part, the leaders of the global warming movement are cultural elites and technocrats who, having failed to save the world through socialism, turned to environmentalism. They are from the ranks of the world's most earth-caring organizations (Friends of the Earth, World Wildlife Fund, Greenpeace, Rainforest Action, Environmental Defense, etc.) and,because of their ecclesiastical benevolence and dedication, have formed a global clerisy to which our planet's salvation is entrusted.

This cabal has acquired immense political power through incessant planet alarms of ever-increasing magnitude and variety. The cabal gathers privately from time to time in ritualistic séance. Under subdued lighting and the influence of whale songs, Gregorian chants, and Halloween music, members tell one another climate monster-under-the-bed stories until they are frightened to exhaustion. The most astounding stories are then expressed, publicly, through cries of wolf:

* Staggeringly high temperature rise, especially over land — some 10°F over much of the United States

* Sea level rise of 3 to 7 feet, increasing some 6 to 12 inches (or more) each decade thereafter

* Dust bowls over the US SW and many other heavily populated regions around the globe

* Massive species loss on land and sea — 50% or more of all life

* More severe hurricanes, especially in the Gulf of Mexico, proximate to the United States

* Unexpected impacts — the fearsome “unknown unknowns”

One of the latest cry wolf announcements is that the worst of these incomprehensible impacts will be “largely irreversible for 1000 years.” Holy shit! Now we're talking LIICAGW.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that industrialized countries must spend $45 trillion over the next 40 years to be Kyoto-compliant. Make that $101 trillion to get us to 2100. And God only knows the cost of those fearsome "unknown unknowns." But a 1998 US Energy Information Administration (EIA) study found that the Kyoto treaty would cost the US economy $400 billion per year — roughly $570 billion annually today. Thus, the US tab for the next 90 years would be about $51.3 trillion. That George Bush would have none of this, angered the cabal.

The anger festered. When we (the only fully industrialized country smart enough to pass on the frantic planet decarbonization race) became skeptical about the AGW hypothesis itself, anger became ridicule. We became ignorant climate deniers. The Economist admonished us that "America needs to build some ladders to help everyone climb out [of the denial]." And lastSeptember, former president and standing joke Bill Clinton said that such skepticism makes us look like "a joke."

A humorless President Obama wants to be the ladder builder. After all, Americans should pay their fair share. At the Copenhagen climate conference in 2009, he promised that US emissions in 2050 will be 83% below 2005 levels. Many Americans cheered, possibly believing that Mr. Obama's soaring rhetoric had a modicum of substance behind it — perhaps a study showing that we can achieve his goal by tweaking our standard of living with Chevy Volts (tires fully inflated), GE Compact Fluorescents, and a few Solyndra solar panels.

But a more thoughtful examination indicates that Americans, especially children and grandchildren, may find the adjustment very arduous. For example, to reduce 2050 emissions to 83% below 2005 levels, George Will pointed out, "2050 emissions will [need to] equal those in 1910, when there were 92 million Americans. But there will be 420 million Americans in 2050, so Obama's promise means that per capita emissions then will be about what they were in 1875. That. Will. Not. Happen."


Hysterical hunt for evil masterminds stifles sober debate

"FOLLOW the money." That is the rallying cry of radical activists and respectable commentators alike, who now spend more time investigating their opponents' bank balances than they do challenging their arguments.

It's considered terribly old-fashioned to take a public figure at face value, to listen to what he has to say and agree with it or disagree with it. Instead we are encouraged to ask what this public figure's "real motives" are and specifically who is funding him.

The old world of rigorous debate about issues has been replaced by the modern insatiable search for "hidden agendas".

This can be seen most clearly in discussions about climate change. Greens have become obsessed with discovering that sceptics are in the pay of Big Oil or some other evil entity.

They genuinely believe that proving an individual was once paid by a company or think tank to do some research is enough to rubbish everything he says.

For example, Bob Carter, a professor of geology at James Cook University, has found himself pilloried following revelations that the climate-sceptical Heartland Institute paid him a fee.

This came to light as part of "Fakegate", the name given to Peter Gleick's dishonest appropriation of internal Heartland documents, at least one of which is now suspected of being a fake.

Greens are cock-a-hoop over the Heartland-Carter revelation, believing it demolishes Carter's arguments and reputation. A professor of philosophy from Monash University told The Age, "We are well justified in dismissing his comments as cash for climate scepticism."

One climate activist, sounding like a 1930s conspiracy theorist, said Carter was part of a "co-ordinated attack on science", part of a system of "PR pollution".

There are at least three things wrong with today's hysterical hunt for evil masterminds funding climate-change scepticism.

The first is that it stinks of intellectual cowardice. Instead of taking sceptics up on what they say in public, campaigners dig for dirt behind the scenes. It's the old lowdown tactic of trying to contaminate the witness rather than grapple with his evidence.

It is striking that greens refer to the ideas of Carter and others as a kind of "pollution", as if, having been allegedly infected by cash, these ideas have no merit. Every censoriously minded person in history, from Torquemada to Joseph McCarthy, played the same trick of depicting certain ideas as so toxic that they must not be embraced by the public.

But where the Spanish Inquisition blamed bad ideas on the Devil, and McCarthy said rotten thinking spread from the Evil Empire, greens claim it is Big Oil that secretly foists wicked beliefs upon the unwitting public.

The second problem with the "follow the money" outlook is that it has a corrosive impact on public debate. Modern campaigners' obsession with uncovering hidden networks invites us to imagine that every public figure is really just a puppet of dark forces.

It encourages an unhealthy climate of conspiracy theorising, where the knee-jerk response to every political utterance is: "Who is paying you to say that?"

In such a climate, what we can't see becomes more important than what we can see; "hidden actors" become more important than publicly stated words and ideas. And of course this obsession with what takes place behind closed doors allows campaigners to indulge their wildest fantasies, to imagine that faceless nutters control public life.

And the third bad thing about funder-hunting is that it disempowers ordinary people. The reason every serious democratic thinker in modern history celebrated the realm of free public debate is because it is there that all of us can hear ideas, assess their worth and accept or reject them.

According to modern campaigners, however, this public realm has become horribly contaminated, and so, by extension, have the tiny minds of its gullible inhabitants, those wide-eyed everyday folk who just don't understand "the truth" about Big Oil's control of political debate.

And so it falls to brave greens to open our eyes to this truth and raise us up from our mental squalor. Thanks, but I'd rather take my chances in the "contaminated" public square than be saved by demented do-gooders.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


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