Thursday, July 26, 2012

Transient Greenland warming excites Warmists

Yep! FOUR WHOLE DAYS days that were warmer than anything else in 30 years. They tell us that 10 years is too short a period upon which to base generalizations but for them just 4 days is enough! Anthony Watts has a more detailed assault on this latest bit of malarkey

The Greenland ice sheet is melting at an "unprecedented" rate, according to NASA satellite data that shows 97 per cent of the vast mass is undergoing some form of melting.

"This was so extraordinary that at first I questioned the result: Was this real or was it due to a data error?" a NASA researcher, Son Nghiem, said.

About half of the ice sheet usually shows signs of melting in a northern hemisphere summer, but the satellite data shows that between July 8 and July 12 the melt extended to cover almost all of Greenland.

It follows the breaking off this month of a giant chunk of ice from Greenland's Petermann Glacier. This formed an iceberg about twice the size of Manhattan, about 120 square kilometres in area.

"For several days this month, Greenland's surface ice cover melted over a larger area than at any time in more than 30 years of satellite observations," NASA researchers said in a statement.

"Nearly the entire ice cover of Greenland, from its thin, low-lying coastal edges to its two-mile [3.2-kilometre] thick centre, experienced some degree of melting at its surface, according to measurements from three independent satellites analysed by NASA and university scientists."

They described the event as being without precedent, because such a massive loss of ice has not been observed by humans, although estimates derived from studying old, compressed ice suggest that melts on this scale happen about once every 150 years....

The NASA statement said the huge melt had been driven by an unusual "heat dome" of relatively warm air that travelled across Greenland this month. The warm patch spiked just before July 18, and has now dissipated, they said.


Hilarious logic

They conceded that Arctic warming and cooling is cyclic and then ran some computer simulations to figure how much warming was due to the cycle. The found only 30% and then concluded that the other 70% must be due to "something else". And, Hey Presto! that has to be CO2. No thought that the influence might be solar or that their models might be a poor reflection of the great complexity of Arctic temperatures

The radical decline in sea ice around the Arctic is at least 70% due to human-induced climate change, according to a new study, and may even be up to 95% down to humans – rather higher than scientists had previously thought.

The loss of ice around the Arctic has adverse effects on wildlife and also opens up new northern sea routes and opportunities to drill for oil and gas under the newly accessible sea bed.

The reduction has been accelerating since the 1990s and many scientists believe the Arctic may become ice-free in the summers later this century, possibly as early as the late 2020s.

"Since the 1970s, there's been a 40% decrease in the summer sea ice extent," said Jonny Day, a climate scientist at the National Centre for Atmospheric Science at the University of Reading, who led the latest study.

"We were trying to determine how much of this was due to natural variability and therefore imply what aspect is due to man-made climate change as well."

To test the ideas, Day carried out several computer-based simulations of how the climate around the Arctic might have fluctuated since 1979 without the input of greenhouse gases from human activity.

He found that a climate system called the Atlantic multi-decadal oscillation (AMO) was a dominant source of variability in ice extent. The AMO is a cycle of warming and cooling in the North Atlantic that repeats every 65 to 80 years – it has been in a warming phase since the mid-1970s.

Comparing the models with actual observations, Day was able to work out what contribution the natural systems had made to what researchers have observed from satellite data.

"We could only attribute as much as 30% [of the Arctic ice loss] to the AMO," he said. "Which implies that the rest is due to something else, and this is most likely going to be man-made global change."

Previous studies had indicated that around half of the loss was due to man-made climate change and that the other half was due to natural variability.

Looking across all his simulations, Day found that the 30% figure was an upper limit – the AMO could have contributed as little as 5% to the overall loss of Arctic ice in recent decades.

The research is published online in the journal Environmental Research Letters.


British government backs 10pc cut in wind farm aid and says gas is the future

Conservative ministers have backed down on big cuts in subsidies for wind farms in exchange for another review next year and the prospect of a bigger role for gas in Britain’s future energy mix.

The Coalition will today announce that subsidies for onshore wind turbines will be cut by 10 per cent this year, as proposed by Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary. That will disappoint Conservative backbenchers, many of whom had called for much larger cuts in subsidy, with some Tories backing a 25 per cent reduction.

Today’s announcement, which follows negotiations between the Coalition parties, will be some relief to the renewable energy industry, which has warned that uncertainty about government support has been putting off investors.

However, more cuts could yet be made following a formal review of the costs of renewable energy to be held in the financial year 2013-14.

In another concession to George Osborne, the Chancellor, today’s statement will contain a clear commitment that “unabated” gas supplies will form a major part of Britain’s energy mix.

Mr Osborne has angered environmentalists by pushing for gas-fired power stations to produce more of Britain’s electricity. Advocates of gas say it is more reliable and cost-effective than renewable sources, but critics say it could leave the UK dangerously dependent on an imported energy source.

Mr Osborne has also opposed the imposition of any new targets for reductions in Britain’s carbon emissions, which he says are “inefficient.”

New planning laws could also make it easier for residents to oppose new wind turbines, and to receive a financial benefit from those that are built.

Because the cuts in subsidy will not exceed 10 per cent, Lib Dem ministers are likely to present the announcement as a victory for their party.

The deal has emerged as Conservative ministers look for ways to shore up the position of Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister. Senior Tories are worried that Mr Clegg could yet be toppled as party leader, threatening the Coalition.

Tim Yeo, the Tory chairman of the Commons energy committee, said a 10 per cent cut was a sensible reduction in subsidies for now.

“There is general agreement that 10 per cent is perfectly acceptable to reflect growing efficiency and falling costs of turbines,” he said. “In the long term a signal for sharper cuts post-2017 will give the industry time to adapt.”

Renewable UK, the trade group for “green” energy companies, warned that under the Electricity Act the Secretary of State was obliged to justify cuts in aid for renewable energy with economic evidence. Otherwise the Government could be open to legal action, it said.


Michael Mann's recourse to SLAAP lawsuits seems to be coming unglued

A SLAAP lawsuit is designed to silence critics by the threat of legal costs. Tim Ball has however answered the call to legal arms and insists that Mann disclose the data that lie at the heart of the case -- something that Mann cannot afford to do

Last week Pennsylvania State University (PSU) popped back up on the notoriety radar thanks to lingering fallout over their jailed child sex felon, football coach Jerry Sandusky. PSU’s other alleged bad boy, climatologist Michael Mann, came out with all legal guns blazing after popular right-wing writer, Mark Steyn and the National Review wrote of the parallels in the “whitewashes” PSU investigations performed separately on Sandusky and Mann. The recent and hard-hitting Freeh Report is damning of PSU’s hierarchy.

With talk of more lawsuits flying, observers are now wondering how an earlier Michael Mann face off with Tim Ball is shaping up one year on. Readers may recall that Ball’s whimsy that Mann belongs in “the State Pen., not Penn. State” triggered the first of what now may become a series of desperate SLAAP lawsuits.

You might imagine plenty must have transpired by now up there in the British Columbia Supreme Court. But you would be wrong. Mann’s zeal for pressing home his action against his fellow climatologist appears to have waned. Some observers are even of the opinion that Mann is delaying the inevitable until Ball slaps one home between the pipes.

Today – despite being duly served with legal notices – Steyn and the National Review are taking a leaf from Ball’s book and not caving over their “Football and Hockey” article. Steyn has a reputation for being a tough enforcer capable of lighting the lamp in any SLAAP face off. So is Mann skating on thin ice with more time wasting dangles and dekes?

Steyn and others will no doubt take note of how Mann’s prevarications over Ball suggest he has finally realized he’s dug himself a humungous hole. I’m one of many who believes the Mann-v- Ball case will turn out to be a watershed moment for Mann. It’s most likely he will be compelled by the court to disclose his “dirty laundry” (as Mann, himself, refers to his hidden data in his Climategate email). If the hidden numbers are as bad as skeptics suggest then none of his friends in high places can save him.

So Steyn should take with a pinch of salt the “warning shot” from Mann’s lawyer claiming that a slew of official investigations “cleared” Mann of any wrongdoing in the 2009 Climategate scandal. Such claims are not what they seem.

Andrew Montford (read his ‘Caspar and Jesus’ paper) is one such expert who deftly explains that those (non-judicial) “Climategate” inquiries fell well short of robust exoneration. This is because they all skirted around the unscientific behavior concerning Mann’s key hidden data. Unfortunately, for Mann he has made himself the plaintiff in this Canadian libel suit and cannot now duck the issue.

In the B.C. Supreme Court Ball’s attorney, Michael Scherr, has a clear run to perfectly demonstrate how climate “scientists” have been (and still are) withholding data that would help to resolve the climate controversy; we may say unscientific behavior, because hiding data makes it difficult or impossible for independent scientists/statisticians to replicate the claimed results.

As we know, Mann’s “dirty laundry” is the withheld r-squared correlation coefficient numbers for the “hockey stick” graph which McIntyre, Wegman, Cuccinelli and others have been desperate to see publicly examined but which Mann (and his university employers) have always kept under wraps. It’s not just the key evidence, but also Mann’s days that are numbered.


Obama’s green "investments" drown in red ink

He's undobtedly the worst investment manager in history -- and all on YOUR dime

‘We’ll invest $15 billion a year over the next decade in renewable energy, creating five million new green jobs that pay well, can’t be outsourced, and help end our dependence on foreign oil,” candidate Barack Obama pledged in a radio address on November 1, 2008.

Three years and eight months later, as unemployment has exceeded 8 percent for 41 straight months, Obama seems incapable of keeping this promise. With the worst employment figures since at least 1948, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics started measuring them, Obama has made a dog’s breakfast of jobs — green and otherwise.

Consider three key Department of Energy programs. DOE’s website boasts that its “clean energy” initiatives — dubbed 1703, 1705, and Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) — loaned $34.7 billion and launched “nearly 60,000” jobs. This totals a staggering $578,333 per position.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, private employers pay workers, on average, $62,757 annually in wages and benefits. So, Obama is “creating jobs” at 922 percent of the private sector’s cost of employing workers for a year. For every green job that Obama supposedly spawns with taxpayer dollars and borrowed Chinese money, private enterprises could hire nine people.

Obama touts green-energy “investments,” even though this is not Obama’s money to invest. Rather than choose winners and losers, which would be bad enough, Team Obama picks losers. It subsidized at least 10 “clean” companies that went kaput.

* Abound Solar consumed $70 million of its $400 million Energy Department loan guarantee. The company, based in Loveland, Colo., blamed Chinese subsidy payments and European subsidy cuts for falling prices in its thin-film-panel sector. On July 2, Abound Solar filed for Chapter 7 liquidation and prepared to lock shop and fire its 125 employees.

* Solar Trust envisioned Earth’s largest solar-power plant. DOE enthusiastically offered it a $2.1 billion loan guarantee in April 2011, provided that it raised private capital. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar attended the company’s groundbreaking in Blythe, Calif., and hailed “a historic moment in America’s new energy frontier.” Solar Trust missed DOE’s benchmarks, however, and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on April 2.

* Energy Conversion Devices, a solar-laminate supplier, received a $13.3 million stimulus tax credit in January 2010 to update its factory in Auburn Hills, Mich., and to hire some 600 people. ECD pleaded Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Valentine’s Day.

* Ener1 received a $118.5 million DOE stimulus grant in August 2009. Vice President Joe Biden traveled to Greenfield, Ind., to tour Ener1 on January 26, 2011. “Here at Ener1,” Biden said, “we’re going to harness electricity and bring it to the world, like Edison did more than a century ago.” The electric-car-battery company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on January 26, 2012, exactly one year after Biden’s visit.

* Aptera Motors aspired to build three-wheel electric cars. DOE offered it a $150 million ATVM loan, conditioned on Aptera’s raising $150 million in non-government capital. Aptera never convinced private investors to finance glorified tricycles. So, on December 2, CEO Paul Wilber announced that “after years of focused effort to bring our products to the market, Aptera Motors is closing its doors, effective today.”

* Massachusetts-based Beacon Power Corp. received a $43 million loan guarantee in October 2010 — DOE’s second such subsidy. The energy-storage concern declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy on October 30, 2011.

* Solyndra, the most notorious of Obama’s green-energy baubles, filed for bankruptcy on August 31, 2011. Taxpayers are liable for this solar-panel maker’s $535 million in loan guarantees — the first that DOE made under Obama.

In death, Solyndra has proved anything but green. As San Francisco’s KCBS-TV reported in April, Solyndra’s facility in Milpitas, Calif., features metal drums marked “hazardous waste.” Cadmium, lead, unidentified black chemicals, and other toxins haunt the premises. A company called iStar said it would remove these poisons — as soon as Solyndra pays its bills.

Solyndra also discarded still-valuable solar-panel components, even though selling them could have generated capital to reimburse its creditors, including America’s taxpayers.

* In June 2009, SpectraWatt scored a $500,000 grant from the PV Technology Pre-Incubator project of DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. In June 2010, it received $150,000 from the National Science Foundation. Facing stiff Chinese competition, this solar-cell manufacturer closed its factory in Hopewell Junction, N.Y., and dismissed all of its 117 workers in April 2011. SpectraWatt filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on August 19, 2011.

* Raser Technologies received a $33 million Treasury Department stimulus grant in February 2010. As its dreams of a geothermal plant in Beaver County, Utah, turned to steam, its payroll subsequently evaporated from 42 workers to 27 to 10. Raser declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April 2011.

* Despite the bankruptcy of Mountain Plaza, Inc., in 2003, the EPA decided to inject $424,000 in stimulus funds for that Tennessee company’s “truck-stop electrification” technology. Nonetheless, Mountain Plaza again went bankrupt, on June 3, 2010. EPA officially awarded those funds twelve days later, despite Mountain Plaza’s insolvency and a related lawsuit.
These doomed projects alone devoured $3.4 billion in taxpayer funds and commitments.

Rather than slam Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital — which deployed private capital behind Staples, Sports Authority, and other still-thriving corporations — President Obama should beg taxpayers’ forgiveness for pouring their hard-earned cash down at least ten green rat holes.


Watching the Greens Kill Australia

By Alan Caruba

Fortunately for America, President Obama’s effort to impose a cap-and-trade law on carbon dioxide emission failed in a Democrat controlled Congress that saw how disastrous its impact would have been in a time of economic distress.

It would have imposed higher costs on everything involving the use of energy and would have done so on the basis of the all the lies about global warming, greenhouse gases, and Obama’s anti-energy policies. Using the Environmental Protection Agency, he has been bludgeoning the coal industry and, via the Department of the Interior, thwarting the exploration and extraction of oil on all of the vast land holdings of the federal government.

As I have often noted, there hasn’t been any planetary warming since 1998 when Earth began a normal cycle of cooling and carbon dioxide plays no role whatever in either warming or cooling. It is a mere 0.038 percent of the atmosphere.

For several years now I have been watching the destruction of the Australian economy by its elected leaders. David Archibold, a climate scientists and energy analyst based in Perth is a visiting fellow of the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C. where he teaches a course in strategic energy policy. On July 1, he gave a speech at an anti-carbon tax rally in Sydney.

“There is no doubt that we are ruled by evil men and evil women who are fully aware of the damage they are doing to our economy, and to the warp and weft of our society, and who seem to be in a manic rush to do as much damage as possible in the time left to them,” Archibold told those attending the rally. Sadly, they already knew the truth of this.

An Australia friend of mine recently wrote to say “the Australian carbon dioxide tax—or as our lying government calls it ‘price on carbon’—came into effect on July 1, 2012. Already our electricity prices have risen by up to 20%, refrigerant gas gone up 300%. Landfill and tip fees have increased by 30%, food is up. The tax has been imposed on EVERY item we buy in some form or other”, adding that “I wouldn’t be surprised if you get a similar tax if Obama wins in November. We are slowly destroying our economy.”

A word about refrigerant gases; these are required for your home and car air conditioning, your refrigerator, and for a stand alone freezer. Most food items, liquid or solid—particularly meats, poultry and fish—require refrigerated transport. The Australian carbon tax adds thousands of dollars to these costs of operation and affects everyone.

The Greens, whether as part of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) or as groups in various nations, have done everything they can to thwart energy use, to replace oil, coal and natural gas with the useless, costly “renewable energies” of wind, solar, and biofuels. Humans, they insist, are destroying the Earth, but it is the Greens who are destroy Australia these days.

Australia is a case history of what happens when Greens and those in power join hands to use the instrument of government to destroy a successful nation. As Sam Fielding recently reported in an article on, Australia went from a thriving economy under former Prime Minister John Howard who served from 1996 to 2007, only to elect Kevin Rudd’s left-wing Labor Party in 2007. By 2009 “a six year run of budget surpluses gave way to the largest deficits in modern (Australian) politics. His deputy was Julia Gillard who challenged him and won election, promised that “there will be no carbon tax under the government I lead.”

If this reminds you of all the promises President Obama made prior to taking office and plunging the U.S. into $17 trillion of debt, it is exactly the kind of duplicity that has ruined Australia when Gillard engineered the controversial tax.

Obama visited Australia in November 2011 and expressed support for the carbon tax saying, “I think that’s good for the world…I actually think, over the long term, it’s good for our economics as well, because it is my strong belief that industries, utilities, individual consumers—we’re all going to have to adapt how we use energy and how we think about carbon.”

As is the case of the IPCC, many of Australia’s scientists were corrupted. Archibold said, “As a scientist, what saddens me is that most of our scientific institutions have failed in their duty to serve and protect the Australian people” referring to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, government bureaus, and the universities—“these have all failed us and sold their souls for a handful of silver.”

“The notion of global warming,” said Archibold, “was concocted to provide a cloak of scientific respectability for a massive socialist redistribution of wealth.” If that sounds like what is happening in America today, you’re right.

My Australian friend also took note of a mining tax that has been imposed, not unlike Obama’s attacks on the U.S. mining industry. America sits atop enough coal to provide electricity for hundreds of years to come, but it is being systematically destroyed. “Australia is in a world of hurt and all so unnecessary. See what socialist, radical, green, lefty governments bring us?”

Yes, look at Australia and see what lies ahead if Obama is given four more years to complete his destruction of America.



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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