Friday, August 24, 2012

Credulous young fluff-head thinks the only history is recent history

To give her a bit of credit, however, she does cite SOME facts (rare among Warmists). A pity that she was too lazy to check up the record for (say) the whole of C20, though. Still, she's on staff with the activist Natural Resources Defense Council, so I guess we can't expect an enquiring mind from her: Mental lockstep would be needed for a job there

Kelly Henderson

In 1988 (the year I was born) James Hansen, Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, testified before the U.S. Senate on the destruction climate change would bring to Earth in the coming years if something were not done to start curbing dangerous carbon pollution. In his Washington Post opinion piece published earlier this month, Hansen reveals that the bleak forecast he predicted for our planet 24 years ago was far too optimistic:

“My projections about increasing global temperature have been proved true. But I failed to fully explore how quickly that average rise would drive an increase in extreme weather.”

Hansen and his team of scientists have looked at extreme weather patterns over the last six decades and have seen how much more frequent these patterns have become. The most universal observation is the increase in the number of extremely hot and dry summer days across the county. This summer was no exception. The intense heat over the past few summers has become the most recognizable form of climate change to many Americans. This summer’s droughts and wildfires across the Midwest have only confirmed the fact that climate change is here and happening now. Perhaps it is finally starting to hit home to some former skeptics.

It’s incredible to chart the drastic climate change-related events that have happened just over my lifetime, and from the time Hansen first testified before Congress. Below is a snapshot of some of the most notable events global climate change has brought on the Earth just in the last quarter of a century.

1. 1988- Severe Heat-wave and Drought across the U.S.

The summer of 1988 brought an intense drought in central and eastern U.S. with very severe losses to agriculture and related industries. There was an estimated $71 billion damage/costs and an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 deaths (including heat stress-related).

2. 1991- The Perfect Storm (Halloween Nor'easter of 1991) Hits New England

The so-called "perfect storm" hit the North Atlantic producing large waves along the New England and Canadian coasts. Total damage to Massachusetts alone topped $100 million.

3. 1995- The Disintegration of the Larsen A Ice Shelf

The northernmost Larsen Ice Shelf, located near the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, has been in retreat for the last few decades, and much of it is now gone. In late January of 1995, about 2000 square kilometers (770 square miles) disintegrated into small icebergs during a storm. Later in 2002, the Larsen B Ice Shelf, a 3,250-square-kilometer (1,255 square-miles) collapsed as well leaving the entire shelf at 25% of its former state.

4. 1998- Hurricane Madeline Flooded Texas

Massive flooding hit the south central region of Texas from October 18–19th, dumping approximately 30 inches of rainfall in that 48 hour time period and causing 31 deaths and $1.5 billion in damage.

5. 2005- Hurricane Katrina Hits Louisiana

Katrina hit the Louisiana coast with 125 mph sustained winds, causing a storm surge that broke levees that shielded New Orleans from surrounding, higher coastal waters, and leaving 80 percent of the city under water. The hurricane killed at least 1,836 people and inflicted damages estimated at around $125 billion.

6. 2006- Deadly Tornadoes Touched Down in Missouri

Missouri had a record-breaking 102 documented tornadoes in 2006 causing 13 deaths and 273 injuries. The largest two-day tornado outbreak in history happened in Missouri on March 11-12th killing 12 people and injuring more than 100.

7. 2008- Typhoon Fengshen Hit the Philippines

This deadly typhoon killed almost 1,400 people in the Philippines, nearly 800 of which were killed after a ferry capsized near the center of the typhoon. $480 million in damages were caused.

8. 2010- Extremely Cold and Wet Winter Weather on the East Coast of the U.S.

In February 2010, a massive blizzard dubbed "Snowmageddon" by president Obama caused chaos in the eastern US, with parts of the region buried under more than 20 inches of snow.

9. 2011- Reckless Tornado Hit Joplin, Missouri

The tornado that hit the city of 50,000 was the deadliest single tornado in the country since 1947 and the ninth-deadliest tornado of all time. Emergency officials said that 116 people were killed and about 400 were injured.

10. 2012- Super Derecho Storms Hit Middle and Eastern United States

In July, a "super derecho" of violent thunderstorms left a more than a 700-mile trail of destruction across the Midwest and mid-Atlantic, cutting power to millions and killing 13 people. States of emergencies were declared in Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio. With 2.5 million in the dark, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell stated that “Virginia experienced its largest non-hurricane power outage in history.”

These are just 10 examples of some of the most recognizable faces of climate change over the past 24 years – which is basically my whole lifetime. As Hansen explains in his article, extreme weather patterns will continue to worsen if we do not do something to curb pollution. While these incidents span my lifetime, I hope that the next time Hansen testifies, he will be able to illuminate the strides people have taken to lessen the effects of global climate change. Let’s join together to blaze the new path forward for a cleaner, healthier environment.


Foolish bluff from Michael Mann

Oh this is going to be fun. Michael Mann—he of the iconic climate change “hockey stick” that purports to prove man-made climate change by displaying how global temperature is at its highest level in 2000 years (somehow making the Medieval warm period disappear)—is threatening to sue National Review and Mark Steyn (and perhaps Peter Wood of the National Association of Scholars) for libel for questioning whether Penn State’s exoneration of Mann over the “Climategate” scandal was as self-serving as their investigation of Jerry Sandusky. Rand Simberg wrote in a blogpost post that “Mann could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data in the service of politicized science that could have dire economic consequences for the nation and planet.”

The editor of Simberg’s blog subsequently removed this sentence from the post, but it lives on in a post of Steyn’s, to which Steyn added:

Not sure I’d have extended that metaphor all the way into the locker-room showers with quite the zeal Mr Simberg does, but he has a point. Michael Mann was the man behind the fraudulent climate-change “hockey-stick” graph, the very ringmaster of the tree-ring circus. And, when the East Anglia emails came out, Penn State felt obliged to “investigate” Professor Mann. Graham Spanier, the Penn State president forced to resign over Sandusky, was the same cove who investigated Mann. And, as with Sandusky and Paterno, the college declined to find one of its star names guilty of any wrongdoing.

If an institution is prepared to cover up systemic statutory rape of minors, what won’t it cover up? Whether or not he’s “the Jerry Sandusky of climate change”, he remains the Michael Mann of climate change, in part because his “investigation” by a deeply corrupt administration was a joke.

Now, Mann claims that Steyn’s use of the term “fraudulent” is libelous. I’m not a libel lawyer, but I strongly doubt it. But even without getting into the legal fine points of whether opinion about a public figure can be libelous, I want to note the irony of the situation. Cast your mind back to 2002, when the environmental left (but I repeat. . . oh, never mind—you know the rest) was in a snit about Bjorn Lomborg. An official government body in Denmark with the Orwellian title Committees on Scientific Dishonesty (I’m sure it sounds better in the original German Danish) found that Lomborg was guilty of “scientific dishonesty,” though they never correctly cited a single fact (or alleged error or distortion) in support of this conclusion, which was, incidentally, subsequently overturned after everybody recognized it as a purely political hatchet job.

Other scientists used the word “scam” (a synonym for “fraud,” no?) in describing Lomborg’s findings in his book The Skeptical Environmentalist. There was never a hint from Lomborg or anyone that such language was libelous. (Nor did he press charges after being assaulted more than once.) As I wrote about the persecution of Lomborg ten years ago, “The level of vituperation directed at Lomborg belies either a disturbing self-righteousness that brooks no criticism or a lack of confidence that supposedly superior science can win out in a sustained debate.”

As we see now with Mann, people from his scientific circle can dish it out to people like Lomborg, but can’t take it.

National Review’s editor, Rich Lowry, has today posted a public answer to Mann: “Get lost.” Here’s the most relevant paragraph of the piece in my mind:

Usually, you don’t welcome a nuisance lawsuit, because it’s a nuisance. It consumes time. It costs money. But this is a different matter in light of one word: discovery. If Mann sues us, the materials we will need to mount a full defense will be extremely wide-ranging. So if he files a complaint, we will be doing more than fighting a nuisance lawsuit; we will be embarking on a journalistic project of great interest to us and our readers.

This is where the fun will begin. First off, Mann has been stonewalling on legal requests to turn over his own emails and other private documents in suits against his former employer, the University of Virginia. Now he’ll have to cough those up. But second, I’ll enjoy reading depositions of some of his scientific colleagues, many of whom, while agreeing with Mann generally about climate change, nonetheless find Mann to be an insufferable jerk. In my long review of the “Climategate” email cache, I came across repeated complaints about Mann’s ego, along with doubts about his hockey stick. (So much for an iron-clad “consensus.’) Here’s the relevant part of my long Weekly Standard article about Climategate in 2009 that deals with Mann:

CRU scientist Keith Briffa, whose work on tree rings in Siberia has been subject to its own controversies, emailed Edward Cook of Columbia University: “I am sick to death of Mann stating his reconstruction represents the tropical area just because it contains a few (poorly temperature representative) tropical series,” adding that he was tired of “the increasing trend of self-opinionated verbiage [Mann] has produced over the last few years .  .  . and (better say no more).”

Cook replied: “I agree with you. We both know the probable flaws in Mike’s recon[struction], particularly as it relates to the tropical stuff. Your response is also why I chose not to read the published version of his letter. It would be too aggravating. .  .  . It is puzzling to me that a guy as bright as Mike would be so unwilling to evaluate his own work a bit more objectively.”

In yet another revealing email, Cook told Briffa: “Of course [Bradley] and other members of the MBH [Mann, Bradley, Hughes] camp have a fundamental dislike for the very concept of the MWP, so I tend to view their evaluations as starting out from a somewhat biased perspective, i.e. the cup is not only ‘half-empty’; it is demonstrably ‘broken’. I come more from the ‘cup half-full’ camp when it comes to the MWP, maybe yes, maybe no, but it is too early to say what it is.”

Even as the IPCC was picking up Mann’s hockey stick with enthusiasm, Briffa sent Mann a note of caution about “the possibility of expressing an impression of more consensus than might actually exist. I suppose the earlier talk implying that we should not ‘muddy the waters’ by including contradictory evidence worried me. IPCC is supposed to represent consensus but also areas of uncertainty in the evidence.” Briffa had previously dissented from the hockey stick reconstruction in a 1999 email to Mann and Phil Jones: “I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1000 years ago.” Even Malcolm Hughes, one of the original hockey stick coauthors, privately expressed reservations about overreliance on their invention, writing to Cook, Mann and others in 2002:

“All of our attempts, so far, to estimate hemisphere-scale temperatures for the period around 1000 years ago are based on far fewer data than any of us would like. None of the datasets used so far has anything like the geographical distribution that experience with recent centuries indicates we need, and no one has yet found a convincing way of validating the lower-frequency components of them against independent data. As Ed [Cook] wrote, in the tree-ring records that form the backbone of most of the published estimates, the problem of poor replication near the beginnings of records is particularly acute, and ubiquitous. .  .  . Therefore, I accept that everything we are doing is preliminary, and should be treated with considerable caution.”

Mann didn’t react well to these hesitations from his colleagues. Even Ray Bradley, a coauthor of the hockey stick article, felt compelled to send a message to Briffa after one of Mann’s self-serving emails with the single line: “Excuse me while I puke.” One extended thread grew increasingly acrimonious as Mann lashed out at his colleagues. He wrote to Briffa, Jones, and seven others in a fury over their favorable remarks about a Science magazine article that offered a temperature history that differed from the hockey stick: “Sadly, your piece on the Esper et al paper is more flawed than even the paper itself. .  .  . There is a lot of damage control that needs to be done and, in my opinion, you’ve done a disservice to the honest discussions we had all had in the past, because you’ve misrepresented the evidence.”

To Briffa in particular Mann wrote: “Hopefully, you know that I respect you quite a bit as a scientist! But in this case, I think you were sloppy. And the sloppiness had a real cost.” Mann’s bad manners prompted Bradley to reply: “I wish to disassociate myself with Mike’s comments, or at least the tone of them. I do not consider myself the final arbiter of what Science should publish, nor do I consider what you did to signify the end of civilization as we know it.” Tempers got so out of hand that Tom Crowley of Duke University intervened: “I am concerned about the stressed tone of some of the words being circulated lately. ..... I think you are all fine fellows and very good scientists and that it is time to smoke the peace pipe on all this and put a temporary moratorium on more email messages until tempers cool down a bit.” Mann responded with his best imitation of Don Corleone: “This is ultimately about the science, it’s not personal.” If the CRU circle treat each other this way, it is no wonder they treat skeptics even more rudely.

As I say, deposing this entire happy band of climateers will be great fun.

Mann has a history of running to the courtroom. He sued Canada’s Tim Ball for saying that Mann belongs in the state pen rather than Penn State. Methinks maybe Ball got it wrong. Mann may be headed for a padded cell somewhere. By the way, hasn’t Mann heard of the track record of people who haul Mark Steyn into court? It isn’t pretty.


Stick It Where the Global Warming Don't Shine

By Mark Steyn

When last we heard from Michael Mann, his chest-thumping lawyer was bellowing, "I don't bluff." As Jonathan Adler writes today at the Volokh Conspiracy lawyers' blog: "I think the folks at NR just called it."

Indeed. You can get the general line of NR's response to Dr Mann from the headline: "Get Lost."

Watts Up With That calls it "the best Michael Mann headline evah". But read the rest of Rich Lowry's reply, too - especially the bits related to discovery, or, as Aussie Climate Madness calls it, "Mann's risky path". Red State also weighs in, and a sharp post by Powerline's Steven Hayward [above] concludes: "By the way, hasn't Mann heard of the track record of people who haul Mark Steyn into court? It isn't pretty."

Actually, I'll bet Michael Mann had never heard of me when he blew his gasket, and I'll wager his high-priced counsel never bothered doing two minutes of Googling. If they had, they'd have known that once they start this thing they'd better be prepared to go the distance.

For my part, although I've been dismissive of Mann's "hockey stick" for over a decade, I'd never paid much attention to him personally. All I'd say is he seems strangely insecure for a person of such eminence. I wonder what he'll be like on the witness stand. And I'll be interested to see whether his page links to NR's lawyer's letter the way my page linked to his lawyer's.

Hockey sticks akimbo, baby!

By the way, if you've ever thought of donating to National Review, or better yet subscribing, there's never been a better time.

In a related development, a big pile of documents were very belatedly released yesterday under the Freedom of Information Act. Among them, an email from one of Dr Mann's fellow scientists complaining about being "hit on the head with a hockey stick".


New paper finds no evidence of increased humidity in US, contradicts global warming theory

A paper published today in the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology finds, contrary to global warming theory, that "little change has occurred in dewpoint and specific humidity" in the U.S. over the 80 year period from 1930 to 2010. The paper also finds "trends in relative humidity show little change for the period 1947 – 2010." Thus, the paper contradicts the theory of a runaway greenhouse effect allegedly due to positive feedback from increased atmospheric water vapor and specific humidity.
Trends in U.S. surface humidity, 1930 – 2010

By Paula J. Brown et al.


U.S. hourly surface observations are examined at 145 stations to identify annual and seasonal changes in temperature, dewpoint, relative humidity and specific humidity since 1930. Due to numerous systematic instrument changes that have occurred, a homogeneity assessment was performed on temperatures and dewpoints. Dewpoints contained higher breakpoint detection rates associated with instrumentation changes than temperatures. Temperature trends were tempered by adjusting the data, while dewpoints were unaffected. The effects were the same whether the adjustments were based on statistically-detected or fixed-year breakpoints. Average long-term trends (1930 – 2010) indicate that temperature has warmed, but little change has occurred in dewpoint and specific humidity. Warming is strongest in spring. There is evidence of inhomogeneity in the relative humidity record that primarily affects data prior to 1950. Therefore long-term decreases in relative humidity, that are strongest in winter, need to be viewed with caution.

Trends since 1947 indicate that the warming of temperatures has coincided with increases in dewpoints and a moistening of specific humidity. This moistening is especially pronounced during the summer in the Midwest. Nationally, trends in relative humidity show little change for the period 1947 – 2010 during which these data are more homogeneous. However, moistening has occurred throughout the central U.S. while other regions have seen drying. Urban-related warming and drying trends are present in the data but their effect is minimal. Regional changes in landuse and moisture availability are likely influencing trends in atmospheric moisture.


Unclear on the concept: PBS tries to sell the climate hoax by quoting farmers who spend a lot of time complaining about cool weather

"Mother Nature been unkind to farmers this year....

These are just some of the new normals for farmers around the world, said Jonathan Foley, director of the Institute for the Environment at the University of Minnesota. ....

The weather has become completely erratic: late frosts, cold summer nights (10 degrees colder than in the past), cool summer days, warm winters, rain in late spring and not in the heart of winter, early rain, wind all the time, more weather disturbances in the summer. The high-value, summer season crops that comprise the bulk of our income simply don't grow consistently or healthily. Throughout the last three years, we have seen a marked increase in blights and fungus due to cold, damp weather and have lost entire crops of tomatoes, peppers, melons and squash. The weather has shortened our productive season so much that we don't know how much longer we can afford to farm. ....

...the only "classic Sonoma County" summer we've had was our first one five seasons ago. Since then, late, cool, wet springs and foggy midsummer mornings have prevailed. Then again, this summer has been essentially horrible for growing crops of any variety. It has swung between extremes of cold and hot -- within the course of one week, we experienced a temperature spike to 107 and then a cool, drizzly day in the 50s and 60s. Our brassica crops (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage) have been 1/3 the size they normally would be. Instead of nice, big heads of broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, we have miniatures -- meaning our yield is down considerably. And yet, due to the cool weather, we're not as far along as we would have been (with respect to ripening) had we experienced a simply hot summer. ...

Earlier warm weather has pushed harvest up into the late summer instead of fall, [which can] really affect the wines we produce from those grapes. We have also had some unseasonably warm temperatures cause blossoming only to have the blossoms destroyed by a return to deep cold. In 2007 we lost our entire crop to that sort of phenomena. With grapes our biggest problem is mold and fungus. Cool wet springs with wildly varying temperatures have placed bigger than ever demands on growers to use spray fungicides in order to keep the grapes from being affected. ...

[In 2011] we had record snow that caused a barn to collapse. Then we had record rain that decreased our potato crop and tomato crop by half. This year has now started with a dry spell and up until last week [we] were watering every day."


Romney Energy Plan Touts Drilling, Keystone Pipeline

Mitt Romney said Thursday that the U.S. can achieve energy independence by 2020 and create millions of jobs with more drilling on federal lands and offshore.

His proposal, which took immediate fire from environmentalists, moves more in the direction of free markets than any presidential aspirant has offered in a while.

"I give him some credit for putting forward some rather bold proposals that differ from current policy," said Myron Ebell, an energy expert and president of the conservative Freedom Action.

Romney aims for energy self-reliance by the end of the decade, something his plan claims would create up to 3.6 million new jobs and add $500 billion to GDP.

"This is not some pie-in-the-sky kind of thing," he said in energy-rich Hobbs, N.M. "This is a real achievable objective."

America's natural gas and crude oil production has soared in recent years, pushing U.S. natgas prices to long-term lows. But the boom largely reflects output on private and state lands. Natgas production fell 11% in federal lands and waters in fiscal 2011, according to Interior Department data, while oil sank 14%.

Romney would establish a five-year leasing plan to open new areas for offshore drilling and reform the complex permitting process. And he would let state governments handle the drilling permit process for federal lands within their borders.

It takes an average of 307 days to receive a permit to drill on federal lands, according to the Romney campaign. State approval usually takes only a few weeks.

"There is oil and gas on federal lands that is not being produced that would be produced on private land, given current prices," said Jerry Taylor, senior fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute. "Producing things that are valuable and profitable are good for economic growth."

Environmentalists said Romney's plan would gut protective federal regulations.

"This is Romney ... handing the keys to America's public lands over to the oil and gas industry and it's not going to speed up anything," Christy Goldfuss, director of the Public Lands Project at the liberal Center for American Progress.

Backs Keystone

Romney also would OK construction of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada's oil sands to Gulf of Mexico refineries. President Obama this year delayed a decision until 2013, siding with environmentalists over energy producers and private labor unions.

Although it is not in the proposal, Romney had earlier opposed the wind production tax credit, set to expire on Dec. 31.

"Romney has really stuck his neck out on that one," said Ebell. "That could hurt him in states like Iowa and Colorado that have a lot of wind industry jobs there, and farmers and ranchers who are benefiting from the windmill rental fees."

But he does keep the ethanol mandate — currently 13 billion gallons — that must be mixed into gasoline supplies.

"It's clearly not working out," said Ebell. "It's having a terrible effect on our food sector. It's too bad Romney has signed on to it, but he needs to with the corn states and doesn't want to alienate rural conservative Republicans in those states."

More than 150 House members and 25 Senators are calling on Obama to suspend the mandate.



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1 comment:

TACslk said...

A couple of observations:
1. Farmers have very poor memories and do not understand the nature of their occupation. At one point in history, farmers understood they were at the mercy of nature and dealt with it or quit farming. Now they complain until the Feds send money. They also have "selective" memory for bad weather and forget good weather.
2. If Romney keeps the ethanol mandate, he may not lose Iowa. It's probably cheaper than wind and people are more apt to understand it's bad and ask to get rid of it when Taco Bell raises the prices of tacos to $10 and posts a sign that corn in gasoline was more important than corn for tacos. It's the lesser of the multitude of evils in the Federal budget concerning energy and may be self-correcting.