Wednesday, May 09, 2012

More evidence of crookedness at CRU

Steve McIntyre has just got Britain's freedom of Information authorities to force CRU to release some more of their tree-ring data. Steve wtites in a very technical way so to save trouble for people who are not immersed in the subject, I am going to offer a quick layman's summary of what the new data showed.

In their publications showing a 20th century temperature rise, CRU used a highly selected body of tree ring data from N.W. Russia. They had a lot of data from that region but used only an odd subset of it.

But what happens when you use ALL the data? What if you use all the data available for the whole of the region concerned? You can see that below. There is NO anomalous temperature rise in recent times.

CRU knew that using all the data would destroy their claims of warming so they did a cherry-pick instead. This is plain scientific dishonesty and would normally get an academic fired. But with the whole of the political Left behind the Warmist nonsense you can be sure that the fraud will be excused. We have heard the "fake but accurate" story before (As claimed by the NYT in connection with Dan Rather's attempted defamation of GW Bush).

The Green/Left are vicious

It’s a commonplace of the mainstream media that climate scientists and environmentalists are operating in a “climate of fear” under a barrage of death threats from hardline skeptics, determined to get their way using violence and intimidation. The fact that the threats mentioned turn out to be largely non-existent almost seems neither here nor there for the media. The story is never followed up. But the fact remains that there is a climate of fear. There is a campaign of terror being waged against scientists and technicians. The difference is that this campaign is being waged by environmental extremists and unlike the sceptic “campaign” it is very, very real.

Earlier this week, Roberto Adinolfi, the head of Ansaldo Nucleare an Italian nuclear engineering company, was shot in the leg by gunmen on a motorbike in a commando style “hit”. He was, in other words, literally kneecapped in the street. The Guardian reported:
A source told Reuters two people on a motorbike wearing helmets fired three shots, hitting Adinolfi in the leg. The bullet fractured his right knee.
The article notes that this style of attack is reminiscent of the tactics used by the Red Brigade, a left-wing guerilla movement active in the 1970s, but beyond that doesn’t have much to say about who might be responsible for this act of terrorism. However, other less visible news outlets were less coy:
GENOA, May 8 — Police believe the gunmen who wounded the head of a nuclear engineering company in Italy yesterday could be members of a radical Marxist-Leninist group or anarchists involved in eco-extremism, investigative sources said.

Local media said the attack could also be linked to Ansaldo Nucleare’s dealings in eastern Europe, where the company is selling its know-how on managing toxic waste after a national referendum rejected the use of nuclear power in Italy for the second time last year.

Nor is this at all unlikely. There is a substantial history in Italy of eco-extremist terrorism. As The Independent reported in 2010, when Italian police just managed to foil a terrorist bomb attack by environmental activists on a science facility:
On the night of 15 April [2010] local officers pulled over a car on one of the town’s quiet streets. Inside the vehicle they found a large cache of explosives, primed and ready to detonate. The three people in the car are alleged to have been members of the murky Italian anarchist group Il Silvestre, who were reportedly on a mission to blow up the nearby unfinished £55m IBM nanotechnology facility.

The apparent attack is believed to be part of a new co-ordinated wave of eco-terror on the continent. The IBM site is due to be opened next year and will be the most advanced centre for nano- and biological scientific research in Europe. According to reports, the eco anarchists Il Silvestre are opposed to all forms of nanotechnology. The group was formed in Tuscany and is considered by some to be one of the rising “eco-terror” groups in Europe, with a rigid cell structure, access to explosives, and a membership that supposedly has no qualms about killing to achieve its goals.
Notice that the target is a scientific institution and is targeted for that very reason. The threat here was not imaginary. It wasn’t alluded to in emails, or the result of overheated discussion in internet chat rooms. It was real and it was vicious. This was a planned, deliberate attempt to blow up a scientific institution for which environmental activists with links to international environmental groups like the Earth Liberation Front have been found guilty in a court of law.

In the Americas, similar terrorist attacks by environmental extremists have been carried out, largely unreported in the English-speaking media. Letterbombs have been sent to the science departments of Mexican universities engaged in research into nanotechnology, a technology which has the potential to revolutionise the treatment of cancer and other illnesses. The report on the Earth First! website quotes the perpetrator’s communique arguing an environmental justification for the attacks on scientists:
But what’s wrong with creating solar energy through modified nanoparticles? some will say. ITS answer: When these modified viruses affect the way we develop as the result of a nanobacteriological war, by some laboratory error, or by the explosion of nanocontamination that compromises the air, food, transportation, water, in short, the entire world . . . It is logical we will continue with these acts, and other scientists and the rest of technoswillology [sic] must pay the consequences of their actions.
If there was any doubt remaining that the real danger to scientists and the public at large comes not from irked sceptics, but from eco-extremists, the FBI themselves have declared that eco-terrorism and animal rights activism are the “number one threat”. Nothing else, according to the FBI’s top man on domestic terrorism, compares to the threat posed by eco-extremism:

More HERE (See the original for links)

No agreement in sight at next big climate gala

Representatives from governments negotiating the outcome document for the United Nations Sustainable Development Conference (Rio+20) today agreed to add five more days of deliberations to bridge differences that have kept them from making further progress in negotiations.

“The present negotiation approach has run its course,” said Rio+20 Secretary-General Sha Zukang, adding that there is a need to proceed with a sense of urgency.

The negotiated document, along with voluntary commitments by governments, businesses and civil society, is meant to set the stage for the global community to recommit to sustainable development and agree to concrete actions when they gather at the Rio+20 Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 20 to 22 June.

Mr. Sha called for greater political will and agreement on all sides and underlined that the main objective is to get to Rio de Janeiro with at least 90 per cent of the text ready and only the most difficult 10 per cent left to be negotiated there.

“We can have an outcome document which builds upon earlier agreements – an outcome document which is action-oriented in spelling out the future we want,” he said.

Mr. Sha stressed that the present document, despite having been reduced by about 100 pages, still has too many paragraphs and contains too much repetition. “Currently, the negotiating text is a far cry from the 'focused political document' called for by the General Assembly,” he said.

Countries have voiced concern over accountability and implementation of the commitments made, as well as over the theme of the green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty, with some developing countries asserting that a green economy approach should not lead to green protectionism or limit growth and poverty eradication.

“Delegates have expressed disappointment and frustration at the lack of progress,” Rio+20 Preparatory Committee co-chair Kim Sook told participants at the concluding meeting of the latest round of talks yesterday.

Mr. Kim emphasized that there will be a change in working methods when negotiations resume that will include working from a new text prepared by the co-chairs, as well as other changes in the negotiating procedures.

The five added negotiating days have been set for 29 May to 2 June and will take place in New York.

More than 120 Heads of State have registered to attend Rio+20, and some 50,000 people, including business executives, mayors, representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), youth and indigenous people, among others, are expected to participate in both official and informal events during the Conference.

Love Of Theory Is The Root Of All Evil

Love of truth, on the other hand, is the root of all that is good

Bill Whittle at PJTV very kindly produced a video entitled “Best. Sentence. Ever.” (it does not embed) by which he meant the title sentence of this post, and the motto I have plastered on the leftmost portion of the screen. Please watch—he even quotes Patton.

When and if a theory describes reality without error it is no longer a theory but truth. If a theory does not describe reality perfectly, then it is not true. To love a theory over truth is the mark of madness. Or of Enlightenment. Or, nowadays often, of tenure.

Everybody knows the hoary old joke about the academic who says, “That works fine in reality, but does it work in theory?” Only it isn’t a joke. Many cannot think of truth except in the framework of theory. Just bring to mind the standard issue (media) climatologist and you’ll have the idea. And then recall literary “theorists”, the field of art “theory”, and so on ad infinitum.

David Stove (as usual) said it best. He was speaking of the probability and logic and the attempts to turn them into “theory”, but sharp readers will be able to fill in the probability terms and personalities with nomenclature and names from their own favorite fields:
It is true, as I know from exp√©riences nombreuses et funestes, that you cannot make the simplest and most specific assessment of logical probability, without some people supposing that you are hereby committed to so-and-so’s system of logical probability, with all the attendant difficulties, however peculiar to it. You need only say that ‘Abe is black’ has probability 0.9 in relation to ‘Abe is a raven and just 90 percent of ravens are black,’ and some philosophers will at once start talking to you about… Carnap! About Carnap and ‘the zero-probability of laws’; Carnap and ‘grue’; Carnap and ‘c-star’ versus ‘c-dagger’; and so on, and on. But this is no less ridiculous than it is vexatious. You might as well suppose that a man cannot say that ‘All ravens are black and Abe is a raven’ entails ‘Abe is black’, without his being thereby obliged to defend Aristotelian logic, or the system of Principia Mathematica, or Quine.
It is truth which gives weight to a theory, it is not so that theory gives weight to truth. What is true just is true, regardless whether it can be shoehorned into some theory. Truth cannot be rejected because it does not fit a theory. Just to poke fun and for an example: frequentist theory rejects the truth “‘Abe is black’ has probability 0.9 in relation to ‘Abe is a raven and just 90 percent of ravens are black,’” because this truth doesn’t fit into the formal theoretical framework, which is too beautiful to abandon.

A climatological version of Stove’s quotation: “Sure, Alaska had one of the coldest and snowiest winters on record, but theory warns us that ________” Fill in the blank yourself: or change the particular weather event with any other.

If I had more time, I could give dozens of examples from as many fields. But I’m running behind my time. We’ll surely revisit this material later.

Time To Terminate Big Wind Subsidies

And Protect Environmental Values, Endangered Species, Jobs And Human Welfare

By Paul Driessen

Unprecedented! As bills to extend seemingly perpetual wind energy subsidies were again introduced by industry lobbyists late last year, taxpayers finally decided they’d had enough.

Informed and inspired by a loose but growing national coalition of groups opposed to more giveaways with no scientifically proven net benefits, thousands of citizens called their senators and representatives – and rounded up enough Nay votes to run four different bills aground. For once, democracy worked.

A shocked American Wind Energy Association and its allies began even more aggressive recruiting of well-connected Democrat and Republican political operatives and cosponsors – and introducing more proposals like HR 3307 to extend the Production Tax Credit (PTC). Parallel efforts were launched in state legislatures, to maintain mandates, subsidies, feed-in tariffs, renewable energy credits, and other “temporary” ratepayer and taxpayer obligations.

This “emerging industry” is “vitally important” to our energy future, supporters insisted. It provides “clean energy” and “over 37,000” jobs that “states can’t afford to lose.” It helps prevent global warming.

None of these sales pitches holds up under objective scrutiny, and their growing awareness of this basic reality has finally made many in Congress inclined to eliminate this wasteful spending on wind power.

Entitlement advocates are petrified at that possibility. Crony corporatist lobbyists and politicians have built a small army to take on beleaguered taxpayers, rate payers and business owners who say America can no longer afford to spend more borrowed money, to prop up energy policies that drive up electricity costs, damage the environment, and primarily benefit foreign conglomerates and a privileged few.

To confront the growing onslaught of wind industry pressure and propaganda, citizens should understand the fundamental facts about wind energy. Here are some of the top reasons for opposing further handouts.

Energy 101. It is impossible to have wind turbines without fossil fuels, especially natural gas. Turbines average only 30% of their “rated capacity” – and less than 5% on the hottest and coldest days, when electricity is needed most. They produce excessive electricity when it is least needed, and electricity cannot be stored for later use. Hydrocarbon-fired backup generators must run constantly, to fill the gap and avoid brownouts, blackouts, and grid destabilization due to constant surges and falloffs in electricity to the grid. Wind turbines frequently draw electricity from the grid, to keep blades turning when the wind is not blowing, reduce strain on turbine gears, and prevent icing during periods of winter calm.

Energy 201. Despite tens of billions in subsidies, wind turbines still generate less than 3% of US electricity. Thankfully, conventional sources keep our country running – and America still has centuries of hydrocarbon resources. It’s time our government allowed us to develop and use those resources.

Economics 101. It is likewise impossible to have wind turbines without perpetual subsidies – mostly money borrowed from Chinese banks and future generations. Wind has never been able to compete economically with traditional energy, and there is no credible evidence that it will be able to in the foreseeable future, especially with abundant natural gas costing one-fourth what it did just a few years ago. It thus makes far more sense to rely on the plentiful, reliable, affordable electricity sources that have powered our economy for decades, build more gas-fired generators – and recycle wind turbines into useful products (while preserving a few as museum exhibits).

Economics 201. As Spain, Germany, Britain and other countries have learned, wind energy mandates and subsidies drive up the price of electricity – for families, factories, hospitals, schools, offices and shops. They squeeze budgets and cost jobs. Indeed, studies have found that two to four traditional jobs are lost for every wind or other “green” job created. That means the supposed 37,000 jobs (perpetuated by $5 billion to $10 billion in combined annual subsidies, or $135,000 to $270,000 per wind job) are likely costing the United States 74,000 to 158,000 traditional jobs, while diverting billions from far more productive uses.

Environment 101. Industrial wind turbine projects require enormous quantities of rare earth metals, concrete, steel, copper, fiberglass and other raw materials, for highly inefficient turbines, multiple backup generators and thousands of miles of high-voltage transmission lines. Extracting and processing these materials, turning them into finished components, and shipping and installing the turbines and power lines involve enormous amounts of fossil fuel and extensive environmental damage. Offshore wind turbine projects are even more expensive, resource intensive and indefensible. Calling wind energy “clean” or “eco-friendly” is an extraordinary distortion of the facts.

Environment 201. Wind turbines, transmission lines and backup generators also require vast amounts of crop, scenic and wildlife habitat land. Where a typical 600-megawatt coal or gas-fired power plant requires 250-750 acres, to generate power 90-95% of the year, a 600-MW wind installation needs 40,000 to 50,000 acres (or more), to deliver 30% performance. And while gas, coal and nuclear plants can be built close to cities, wind installations must go where the wind blows, typically hundreds of miles away – adding thousands of additional acres to every project for transmission lines.

Environment 301. Sometimes referred to as “Cuisinarts of the air,” US wind turbines also slaughter nearly half a million eagles, hawks, falcons, vultures, ducks, geese, bats and other rare, threatened, endangered and otherwise protected flying creatures every year. (Those aren’t song birds killed by house cats, and this may be a conservative number, as coyotes and turbine operator cleanup crews remove much of the evidence.) But while oil companies are prosecuted for the deaths of even a dozen common ducks, turbine operators have been granted a blanket exemption from endangered and migratory species laws and penalties. Now the US Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing a formal rule to allow repeated “takings” (killings) of bald and golden eagles by wind turbines – in effect granting operators a 007 license to kill.

Environment 401. Scientific support for CO2-driven catastrophic manmade global warming continues to diminish. Even if carbon dioxide does contribute to climate change, there is no evidence that even thousands of US wind turbines will affect future global temperatures by more than a few hundredths of a degree. Not only do CO2 emissions from backup generators (and wind turbine manufacturing) offset any reductions by the turbines, but rapidly increasing emissions from Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and other rapidly developing countries dwarf any possible US wind-related CO2 reductions.

Human Health and Welfare 101. Skyrocketing electricity prices due to “renewable portfolio standards” raise heating and air conditioning costs; drive families into fuel poverty; increase food, medical, school and other costs; and force companies to lay off workers, further impairing their families’ health and welfare. The strobe-light effect, annoying audible noise, and inaudible low-frequency sound from whirling blades result in nervous fatigue, headaches, dizziness, irritability, sleep problems, and vibro-acoustic effects on people’s hearts and lungs. Land owners receive royalties for having turbines on their property, but neighbors receive no income and face adverse health effects, decreased property values and difficulty selling their homes. Formerly close-knit communities are torn apart.

Real World Civics 101. Politicians take billions from taxpayers, ratepayers and profitable businesses, to provide subsidies to Big Wind companies, who buy mostly Made Somewhere Else turbines – and then contribute millions to the politicians’ reelection campaigns, to keep the incestuous cycle going.

It is truly government gone wild – GSA on steroids. It is unsustainable. It is a classic sWINDle.

SOURCE (See the original for links)


MostlyHarmless said...

Glad to see you back. I hope you're well. Keep taking the tablets (but not the Kool-ade).

Pops said...

Glad to see you're still with us.

Anonymous said...

A warm welcome back. You have been sorely missed. Best wishes from New Zealand. Tony.