In science, numbers are everything. If you can't put a number on the things you are describing you are just telling stories. So when veteran Warmist journalist Seth Borenstein asked for numbers, he inadvertently exposed the hollowness of the Warmist assertions about global warming being the cause of recent climate extremes in parts of the USA. Background:
Press Conference & Report on Heat Waves and Climate Change
On June 28, 2012, Climate Communication hosted a telephone press conference on the connections between heat waves and climate change. The press conference was accompanied by the release of a new science update from Climate Communication, Heat Waves and Climate Change, a summary of the latest peer-reviewed literature on climate change and the recent increase in temperatures — a contributing factor to wildfires. The report can be read and downloaded on our website.
Moderated by Director Susan Hassol, the press conference featured a panel of scientists who discussed how climate change contributes to the extreme weather events unfolding now, their public health impacts, and how similar risks could multiply in the future. The expert panelists were Dr. Steven Running, Dr. Howard Frumkin, and Dr. Michael Oppenheimer.
Download and listen to the full recording of the press conference
From the transcript:
Seth: Okay, can you hear me? In terms of – let me try and put you more on the spot, Mike and Steve, I know there’s no attribution - you haven’t done attribution studies, but if you ballparked it right now and had to put a percentage number on this, on the percentage that the heat wave, the percentage of blame you can put on anthropogenic climate change, on this current heat wave and on the fires, what percentage would the two of you use? Aren’t you lucky, Howard, this isn’t part of your question?
Dr. Michael Oppenheimer: Come on, I’m not going to answer that. Yes I will answer it, and my answer is: I won’t do it. You know, we have to do these things carefully, because if you don’t, you’re going to end up with bogus information out there. People will start disbelieving because you’ll be more wrong, more often. This is not the kind of thing I want to do off the top of my head. Nor do I think it can be done, you know, convincingly, without really taking - doing careful analysis, so I’ll pass on this one and see if Steve has a different view.
Dr. Steven Running: (Laughter) Well, I already got way too hypothetical in my last answer. Yeah, it’s… it’s probably really dangerous for us to just lob out a number. I - We could certainly lob out some guess, but it wouldn’t be based on the kind of analysis and statistical rigor that we want to put out into the public arena.
Seth Borenstein: Okay let’s make it easier. 50% line…how about 50% line: Is it more than 50%, do you think, or less? Just, you know, on one end. More or less?
Susan Hassol: Seth, most of the scientists I talk to say it’s a contributing factor and that’s what we can say and that it’s really not even really a well-posed question, to ask for a percentage, because it just - what you’re asking really is for a model to determine the chances of this happening without climate change or with climate change and models are not very good at that. And so –
Seth: I understand, I’ve been covering this for 20 years, I understand. I don’t need a lecture, thank you very much. What I’m asking for is when the fingerprint – when the attribution studies are done, two or three years later, it’s already beyond people’s memory. I’m just looking for whether you could say this is - global warming was the biggest factor, more than 50 – most of the factor, you know, either more or less than 50%...
Dr. Michael Oppenheimer: I honestly don’t think you can really put a number right on it. what I honestly think is global warming has in general made this part - that part of the world - warmer and drier than it otherwise would be, and that makes it fertile ground for fire events like the one we’re seeing. So did global warming contribute? Yes. Can I really make any sort of estimate – numerical estimate- about how much? Not really sitting here on a telephone at my desk, and maybe not even if I had six months.
Three “Geniuses” Insist Reducing CO2 Will Magically Tame Future Weather Events
Pierre Gosselin also comments on the nonsense above:
It’s been a long time since I’ve heard such high-grade rubbish. At least not since Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. Here’s an audio readers really need to listen to.
Here we have three scientists doing their darnedest to whip up public fear and panic. Do they realize how they’ve just set themselves up to be classic, textbook science charlatans for future generations to look back at? Can’t they see what laughing stocks they’ve made themselves into? I’m sure we will be playing excerpts of that conference, again and again, for years to come.
I guess they’ve all forgotten the dust bowl of the 1930s, a time when things were a lot worse in North America, and that these things are natural weather occurrences.
Years ago I remember my dad telling us how one winter morning in Vermont in the 1930s he woke up and saw that the snow on the ground was red. Dust had blown all the way to the Northeast. That’s how bad it was. That was when CO2 was below 350 ppm. Forests, etc. weren’t tinder dry back then?
According to the 3 quacks in the audio, the weather problems can be solved simply by stopping CO2 emissions. Boy, what geniuses. It’s that simple and elegant, is it?
And notice how they’re playing the public health card now, their latest mind-job scheme I wrote about a while back.
This press conference is nothing but an irresponsible state-sponsored public mind-job, all aimed to fan the flames of public hysteria. I’m now convinced these three men are complete bozos and need to be discharged from their duties immediately.
Next month it’ll be hurricanes. And given their current level of hysteria, I can assure you they’re going to make the first hurricane into the end of the world. Is this surreal, or what?
EPA attacking Arizona power station
The federal government is a bull that has found yet another china shop, this time in Arizona. It seems determined to inflict, for angelic motives and progressive goals, economic damage on this state. And economic and social damage on Native Americans, who over the years have experienced quite enough of that at Washington’s hands.
The gain from this pain? The most frequently cited study says “research to date .... is inconclusive as to whether” there would be “any perceptible improvement in visibility at the Grand Canyon and other areas of concern.” The Environmental Protection Agency says that the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) is “near” 11 national parks, several of which are 175 miles distant.
The NGS on Navajo land in northern Arizona burns coal from the Kayenta Mine, which is co-owned by the Navajo and Hopi nations. The EPA is pondering whether all three units of the NGS should be required to install the “best available” emission-control technologies, perhaps costing more than $1.1 billion. More than 80 percent of the power plant’s employees are Navajo, many of whom speak Navajo to help preserve the nation’s culture. In 2007, the percentage of the Navajo Nation’s population living in poverty was 36.8.
But the Navajos, the plant and the mine that powers it may be sacrificed to this dubious environmental crusade. The new technology would reduce nitrate aerosols. They, however, are responsible for just 4 percent of what is called “light extinction” over the Grand Canyon.
Water falls unbidden from the sky but must be pumped to Arizonans — Tucson is 2,500 feet above sea level. The NGS provides 95 percent of the power for the pumps of the Central Arizona Project (CAP), which made Phoenix and most of modern Arizona possible. A study sponsored by the Interior Department estimates that the EPA’s mandate might increase the cost of water by as much as 32 percent, hitting agriculture users especially hard. They might be driven back to using scarce groundwater — which was supposed to be protected by the CAP. That is why many environmentalists supported the CAP, one of the largest reclamation projects in U.S. history.
An Arizona State University study estimates that between now and 2044, the NGS and the mine will contribute $20 billion to the state’s economy and provide 3,000 jobs each year. If there is an NGS. Its site lease expires in 2019. If the EPA mandates the most expensive technologies, each of the NGS owners would have to weigh whether it is sensible to make large capital investments in a plant that might not operate after that. Furthermore, one of the six owners of the NGS is the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, which may be prohibited by California law — the state may be destitute, but it is determined to fix the climate — from making investments that will extend the life of coal-fired plants.
Testifying to Congress last February, an EPA official uttered the six-word incantation that summarizes Obama administration policies and progressivism generally: “We do not have to choose.” It is, the official said, quoting President Obama, a “false debate” that we have to choose between the “public health benefits from reducing air pollution from power plants” and “growing this economy in a robust way.”
But benefits usually have costs. And in reality — which is the region contiguous to Washington — two pertinent questions usually are: How much government do you want, and how much are you willing to pay for it in diminished economic growth? The Obama administration consistently favors more government and, believing that “we do not have to choose,” is mystified by stubbornly sluggish growth.
In 1990, Congress passed the Clean Air Act amendments, which high-mindedly mandated restoration of visibility in parks and wilderness areas to natural conditions. “Natural” meaning what? Before humanity? Anyway, the EPA is empowered to make this happen, so it empowers its professional writers of regulations — sometimes 26-year-olds fresh from law school — to maximize regulations to that end. These are regulations that others must live with while minimizing the damage the regulations cause.
The Navajo have been here before. EPA regulations caused the closure of the Mohave Generating Station near Laughlin, Nev., which was the sole buyer of coal from the Black Mesa Mine, leading it to cease operations. The mine’s land is co-owned by the Navajo and Hopi nations.
This story has become as American as “The Great Gatsby,” wherein Tom and Daisy Buchanan “smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness . . . and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”
EPA rules will hike electricity costs as many coal-fired generators close down
On Jan. 17, 2008, President Obama revealed to the San Francisco Chronicle what is finally becoming reality for America’s main energy producers. He said, “So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has followed the president’s agenda and is nearing its goal of bankrupting many coal-fired power plants. By hyper-regulating air pollutions, carbon dioxide, mercury and other air emissions, if government policies stay on the same course, the coal industry is facing a losing battle.
However, it won’t just be coal miners and power plant workers who lose should the EPA continue to get its way. Every American that flips on a light switch or likes their air conditioning loses this battle. If you are of the thinking that these overreaching regulations on coal aren’t so bad, you better not complain about a much higher electricity bill.
Institute for Energy Research data shows that 34.7 gigawatts (GW) of electrical generating capacity will close as a result of the Mercury and Air Toxics Rule (Utility MACT) and the Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) regulations—nearly 10 percent of our coal energy capacity. And that’s just the result of two rules placed on coal by the EPA.
A Sierra Club estimate is even more generous, expecting the closings of 319 coal-fueled generating units totaling 42,895 megawatts or 42.9 gigawatts—about 13 percent of the nation’s coal fleet as a result of these overbearing rules on the coal industry.
However, these rules are having no impact on the demand for coal. Despite the EPA restricting coal production there is still a constant worldwide demand for the resource. Therefore, energy prices have nowhere to go but up.
By 2015, when coal power plants must abide by environmental rules or shutdown, residential customers can expect to pay 10 percent higher electricity costs, or between $150 and $330 a year more than what they are paying now.
But some states can expect to see even higher prices. For example, families and businesses in Illinois could pay 20 percent more for electricity by 2014. In fact, Chicago public schools may have to find an extra $2.7 million a year to keep the lights and heat on and computers running.
Is shutting down a cost-efficient, productive industry worth all this additional cost?
A new power plant in Indiana, costing a total of $3.3 billion due to the need for special outfitting to comply with environmental rules, will cost its customers a 15 percent rate hike for the next two years.
The list of costs as a result of hyper-regulation by the EPA goes on and on. Energy consumers nationwide will be affected by these rules and regulations.
Not surprisingly, the EPA doesn’t have a plausible plan B that it deems to be environmentally acceptable. Once the coal industry is pushed out of business, there is no other energy producer to make up for the 45 percent loss of energy production. It won’t come from wind, solar, hydro or any other “green” energy source. Even combined these sources don’t make up even close to the amount of electricity America demands.
As Americans across the country face electricity outages and no air conditioning, it might be a good time to reevaluate our president’s agenda of bankrupting our main electricity providers. Fewer coal plants generating electricity could quite possible mean more days of blackouts.
Unfortunately this is one promise President Obama has not broken.
Which is the fairest Chevy of them all?
The automotive press thrilled this week over June sales numbers that showed Chevy Volt sales tripling to 1,760 units sold. Not bad for Obama’s Car of the Future . . . until you look at the sales numbers for other Chevy vehicles.
For example, the giant, gas-guzzling Chevy Suburban—the planet-destroying, SUV dinosaur thought extinct in the enlightened age of Obama and $4 gas—sold 5,136 units, a 53 percent increase over June 2011.
That is, GM sold three times as many Suburbans as Volts without the federal government having to throw in a $7,500 tax credit to buy one. Nor did California have to offer emissions-based state rebates or extend carpool-lane privileges to Suburban owners—both big factors in Volt sales increases in California.
And good news for American taxpayers who own GM stock: The Suburban makes an estimated $5,000-plus per sale. The Volt? Nada.
Australia: Hoagy is back! With straight-out, unproven Warmist propaganda
Danish Prof. Ove Hoegh-Guldberg was a great prophet of doom about the Great Barrier Reef until his own research showed the reef was in no danger. He fell silent for a few years after that. But we see below that he has now managed the usual Greenie trick of ignoring the facts and is back at his old stall
For the record, the ocean is very alkaline. There would have to be huge changes for it to become acidic. And the claim that warming would cause acidity goes against Henry's law, anyway. A warmer ocean would outgas CO2 and hence reduce the incidence of carbonic acid. The laboratory studies reported below therefore have no real-world significance
NEMO the clown fish, high on "acid", heads from the safety of home with no fear and no sense of smell, straight into the jaws of a predator.
No, it's not a dark sequel to the Pixar animated movie hit, but a reality facing one of the Great Barrier Reef's signature species clown fish.
The International Coral Reef symposium in Cairns yesterday heard disturbing new evidence that burning fossil fuels was not only pushing up global temperatures, but also ocean acidity that in turn could send the brains of some fish species haywire.
"It shows the next Hollywood release will not be so pretty," University of Queensland's Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg said. "Nemo does not get so lucky next time."
About 2500 of the world's top reef scientists yesterday shared the latest research into coral growth and fish behaviour under climate change.
Townsville-based James Cook University researcher Phillip Munday and his team found clown fish, made famous in the movie Finding Nemo, as well as damsel fish and open-water predators like tuna and spanish mackerel, suffered adverse effects under high acidity.
They said laboratory studies showed increased acid levels affected the main neuro-transmitters in fish brains, causing a malfunction in the sense of smell, hearing and perception of risk, and an increased tendency to stray from safe reef areas.
"We're not talking about extinction (if acidity continues to rise) but changes in abundance," Mr Munday said.
Other dire predictions yesterday included a warning that bleaching could leave many reefs a white "stumpy" mass dominated by only a few coral species covered in a "brown scuzz" or "green, slimy sludge".
"Within 20 years, some coral species will have been nailed into the coffin," Prof Hoegh-Guldberg said. "It sounds like alarmism, but that is what the biology tells us."
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