Friday, September 14, 2012

A psychologist who appears to know nothing about science

I spent 20 years getting 200+ papers published in the academic journals which pointed out how unscientific existing psychological research was so I am not too surprised by Stephan Lewandowsky -- who as well as being an academic psychologist is also a frantic Warmist.

He has a track record of "psychologizing" climate skeptics. That you have to be psychologically defective to reject warming is his theme. Leftist psychologists have been doing much the same for at least 6 decades to my knowledge but their only real success would appear to have been in convincing one-another. It makes their little bubble-world more comfortable to believe such things. My comment on the earlier efforts is here.

I pointed out last month how scientifically ludicrous was Lewandowsky's latest paper in alleged proof of his contentions but his conclusions are nonetheless popular. So a couple of skeptics have recently had a few more comments on the paper.

One of Lewandowsky's claims is that climate skeptics also think the landings on the moon were faked. In reponse Marc Morano points out that, far from thinking the moon landing to be faked, some skeptics were actually among those who walked on the moon! They sure don't think that what they did never happened!
The Lewandowsky conspiracy paper reveals how the promoters of man-made global warming are desperate. This latest study fails just by a reading of the title: 'NASA faked the moon landing - Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax'

But if the moonwalkers themselves are global warming skeptics, how can Lewandowsky claim that skeptics believe the moon landing was staged?!

Sorry Professor Stephan Lewandowsky, but have you heard about the moonwalkers themselves? They are some of the most outspoken climate skeptics. How does Lewandowsky explain the fact that the NASA moonwalkers themselves are climate skeptics!? What a silly paper.

See Climate Depot's 2009 special report: Climate Skeptic Moonwalkers Defy Gore's Claim That Climate Skeptics Are Akin To Those Who Believe Moon Landing was 'Staged': Moonwalker and Award-Winning NASA Astronaut/Geologist Jack Schmitt – who recently declared he was a global warming skeptic and now, Award-Winning NASA Astronaut and Moonwalker Dr. Buzz Aldrin. [End excerpt]

The views of the NASA moonwalkers themselves have made a mockery of Lewandowsky's "study.” It appears climate skeptics and moonwalkers share the same views on man-made global warming.

There is also ample evidence that the promoters of man-made climate doom who are the true conspiracy aficionados. Prominent global warming promoters appear to believe in 9/11 conspiracies.
See: Report: Pieter Tans, keeper of the CO2 records for Mauna Loa, is a declared '911 Truther' -- Tans co-signed letter claiming 'a few people in our government allowed or caused the 9/11 attacks'

Much more HERE (See the original for links)

A classic case of Leftist "projecting" (Seeing in others what is really true of themselves).

Jo Nova has also pointed out (as I did) that Lewandowski's strange "sampling" entirely vitiates his generalizations -- JR

Greenies frantic over Britain's “dash for gas”

And the government is "fudging" in the best British style

The independent Climate Change Committee (CCC) has today warned unequivocally that the government would breach the Climate Change Act if it pursues Chancellor George Osborne's plans for a surge in new gas investment.

In what will be seen as an explosive intervention in the simmering row between the Liberal Democrats and the Chancellor over whether to include a target to decarbonise the electricity sector by 2030 in the upcoming Energy Bill, the CCC today stated categorically that "extensive use of unabated gas-fired capacity (i.e. without carbon capture and storage technology (CCS)) in 2030 and beyond would be incompatible with meeting legislated carbon budgets".

In an open letter to Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey, signed by the CCC board including new chair Conservative Peer Lord Deben, the group criticises the "apparently ambivalent position of the government about whether it is trying to build a low-carbon or a gas-based power system", warning that after extensive discussions with investors and energy companies it has become clear current policy uncertainty has created a "very poor" investment climate.

The letter also criticises recent statements from the DECC in support of increased gas investment, which were wrung out of the department by Osborne during long-running negotiations over the future of renewable energy subsidies.

"We are writing to express the great concern of the Committee on Climate Change about the recent government statement "that it sees gas as continuing to play an important role in the energy mix well into and beyond 2030...[not] restricted to providing back up to renewables"," the letter states, adding that while there is an important medium-term role for gas that has already been factored into the UK's carbon budgets, "unabated gas-fired generation could therefore not form the basis for government policy, given the need under the Climate Change Act to set policies to meet carbon budgets and the 2050 target".

The letter represents a major blow to Osborne, who has been campaigning for the Energy Bill to increase support for gas investment. A leaked letter from Osborne to Davey in July revealed the Chancellor wants to ignore CCC recommendations for the Energy Bill to include a target requiring the electricity sector to decarbonise by 2030 as part of wider efforts to turn the UK into a "gas hub".

The CCC argues this approach would be in breach of the Climate Change Act, and reiterates its recommendation that the Energy Bill use secondary legislation to include a carbon target for the electricity sector of 50gCO2/kWh, which would come into place from 2030 and effectively ban the use of both coal and gas-fired power plants without CCS technology.

It argued such a target would provide investor certainty while also allowing "flexibility for periodic review (e.g. prior to drafting a Delivery Plan) and possible modification based on new information about technology costs, gas prices, carbon prices and feasible build rates".

Responding to the CCC's letter, Davey stressed that the government was still considering the CCC's proposed 2030 electricity decarbonisation target, but added that "our existing plans are consistent with significant decarbonisation of the power sector".

"We are absolutely committed to meeting our statutory carbon budgets," he said. "That is why we are pushing through ambitious reforms to overhaul existing old fossil fuel power plants, replacing them with new low-carbon forms of power generation.

"A fifth of our power stations are closing over the next decade, and we need to build a diverse mix of all the technologies to keep the lights on and lower our emissions."

However, he again reiterated that new gas capacity would have a role in the UK's energy mix. "After 2030 we expect that gas will only be used as back up, or fitted with Carbon Capture and Storage technology," he said. "But, alongside upscaling of renewables, nuclear new build, and eventually with carbon capture and storage, gas has an important role to play in the transition to a low-carbon grid.‪

"Our gas generation strategy work is about providing certainty to investors to ensure sufficient investment comes forward, while also living within our legally binding carbon budgets."


Both the Greenies and Russia are trying to block shale gas in Europe

The bottom line is that the same natural gas revolution in the US, which was enabled by hydraulic fracturing (fracking), is now threatening to loosen Gazprom’s noose on the EU, and Gazprom simply won’t have it.

To head off a potential natural gas revolution in the EU, Gazprom is pulling out all the stops, and EU officials say that the company has been illegally throwing obstacles in the way of European gas diversification.

Poland’s situation is a case in point. Last year, a US Department of Energy report estimated Poland’s shale gas reserves at 171 trillion cubic feet. Gazprom got nervous. In March this year, the Polish Geological Institute suddenly felt compelled to contradict that report, saying reserves were only around 24.8 trillion cubic feet. In June, Exxon announced it would pull out of its shale gas projects in Poland. Investors started getting cold feet and shares began to drop. Chevron and ConocoPhillips are plodding along with their shale gas operations, for now.

Still, 24.8 trillion cubic feet is no paltry volume and enough to ensure that Gazprom remains nervous. And then there is Ukraine, which also has sizable shale gas reserves and where the Russian noose is even tighter.

Right now, the only thing keeping the shale gas revolution from hitting Europe as it has in the US is technology: the shale reserves in Europe are on land that is more inaccessible, there is a lack of necessary infrastructure and fracking equipment, and protests against the environmental impact of fracking are more serious. But the biggest problem is Gazprom.

EU governments are both desperate to break the Russian stranglehold by developing shale gas reserves and wary of going up against a gas giant on whom they depend for supplies. It’s a tough position and the outcome will depend on how the EU hedges its bets: Can it develop enough shale gas reserves quickly enough to take on Gazprom?

Poland is still a long way off from being able to fully develop its shale gas reserves. It will take time to conduct the necessary environmental impact studies and infrastructure would require a major overhaul.

The EU publics are divided between those who fear fracking and those who fear Gazprom and so far, the former fear is trumping the latter. France and Bulgaria have both banned fracking under pressure from the public, but Poland is marching on, its officials relentlessly insisting that fracking is safe.

Earlier this week, Germany’s Environmental Ministry urged a ban on fracking near drinking water reservoirs and mineral springs and called for environmental impact studies from developers, prompting concerns that Germany will tighten fracking regulations. Germany has massive natural gas potential, but environmental concerns are keeping a tight rein on development for now.

The end victory for Gazprom would come in the form of a European Commission ruling banning fracking—a ruling which would be applied to all EU countries, including Poland which has shown more political will to stand up to the Gazprom boogey man than others.

In the meantime, the EU is investigating Gazprom’s actions in eight countries—Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. In Bulgaria, where fracking has been banned, Gazprom is the only supplier of gas. It is also the sole supplier to the Baltic states and Slovenia. It supplies over 80% of gas needs to Poland and Hungary, and nearly 70% of the Czech Republic’s.

It has strengthened its grip on Europe further due to the fact that it owns the one-way gas pipelines into the region and forces buyers into long-term contracts in which prices are tied to oil.

The EU has tried numerous tactics to loosen the Gazprom grip, including the implementation of new energy policies designed to separate supply from delivery and by seeking new pipelines that could deliver gas from elsewhere. While the EU’s alternative pipeline dreams have largely failed so far, it is eyeing developments now in Northern Iraq, where Turkey is courting the Kurds to build a new pipeline that could eventually deliver gas to EU markets. But this is a long way, and possibly a war, off.

Having failed so far in the area of alternative suppliers, the EU is now moving the front lines of the battle to the legal field, targeting unfair competition, which it stands a better, but still only minimal, chance of changing the rules of the game. The probe into Gazprom is looking at three things: Gazprom’s attempts to hinder the free flow of gas across the EU; its purposeful blocking of diversification efforts; unfair pricing and contractual arrangements.

Specifically, the EU says Gazprom has implemented a strategy to segment national markets by preventing gas exports and limiting delivery options, as well as by obligating buyers to use Gazprom infrastructure. Most significantly to the consumer, Gazprom’s pricing policies, which fix gas prices to oil prices, mean that European consumers see no benefit from the natural gas revolution in the US, which has increased global supplies and reduced prices on the open market.

Will the EU be able to actually levy fines for unfair competition and unravel the monopoly? Not unless it plays as dirty as Gazprom, which will simply cut off supplies and the circulation of those European countries that used to be in its back yard. Eastern and Central Europe will be the ones to pay the price for the European Union’s battle.


German Academy Of Sciences And Engineering Calls Off Climate Catastrophe – Coping Will Not Be A Problem

The print edition of Der Spiegel this week has a short article that tells us what every sober person in Germany already knows: coping with climate change here will not pose any difficult challenges.

In fact we know this to be the case for the rest of the world, unless of course the climate veers into another ice age like situation. The above conclusion was reached by the German Academy of Sciences and Engineering (Acatech) in a study commissioned by the German Federal government. According to Acatech President Reinhard Hüttl:

"No climate conditions are going to occur here that already do not exist on the globe elsewhere and that we cannot cope with.”

Worse for the climate alarmists, the report goes on to say that warming will even bring benefits along with it, such as longer growing seasons and reduced wintertime heating costs. Readers should note that typical Germans heat their homes about 8 months per year.

Now we know that for some people bedwetting is a tough habit to break, and so we hope this latest news will help put some of the less chronic among us on the path to recovery.

Concerning rising sea levels, the scientists say that this ought to be an important concern, but “the scientists reject horror scenarios”. The scientists add:

"A climate-related mass migration to Germany appears improbable.”

People of normal psychological balance would of course be relieved to hear this good news. But in catastrophe-obsessed Germany, this is unfortunately not the norm, rather it’s the exception. A number of scientists, bent on spreading fear, are angered by this good-news conclusion. Spiegel writes:

"There was a dispute about the reliability of climate prognoses. Because of the involvement of RWE Innogy supervisory board chairman Fritz Vahrenholt (Social Democrat Party), four scientists resigned from the Committee. The former Senator of Environment of Hamburg accused established climate science of exaggerating man’s share in causing climate change.”

Fritz Vahrenholt is a professor of chemistry and co-author of the controversial skeptic book Die kalte Sonne. It’s tough when people no longer want to play along with the alarmist hoax.


Global carbon trading system has 'essentially collapsed'

A cry of woe from the Leftist "Guardian" below

The world's only global system of carbon trading, designed to give poor countries access to new green technologies, has "essentially collapsed", jeopardising future flows of finance to the developing world.

Billions of dollars have been raised in the past seven years through the United Nations' system to set up greenhouse gas-cutting projects, such as windfarms and solar panels, in poor nations. But the failure of governments to provide firm guarantees to continue with the system beyond this year has raised serious concerns over whether it can survive.

A panel convened by the UN reported on Monday at a meeting in Bangkok that the system, known as the clean development mechanism (CDM), was in dire need of rescue. The panel warned that allowing the CDM to collapse would make it harder in future to raise finance to help developing countries cut carbon.

Joan MacNaughton, a former top UK civil servant and vice chair of the high level panel, told the Guardian: "The carbon market is profoundly weak, and the CDM has essentially collapsed. It's extremely worrying that governments are not taking this seriously."

The panel said that governments needed to reassure investors, who have poured tens of billions into the market, by pledging a continuation of the system, and propping up the market by toughening their targets on cutting emissions, and perhaps buying carbon credits themselves.

Governments have a last chance to restore confidence in the system when they meet in Qatar this December to discuss climate change. But few participants hold out any hope that they will agree to toughen their 2020 emissions targets, which are scarcely even on the agenda. Instead, governments are focusing on drawing up a new climate change treaty by the end of 2015, which would stipulate emissions cuts for the period after 2020.

Under the CDM, developers of projects to cut carbon emissions in developing countries receive a UN-issued carbon credit for every tonne of carbon dioxide the project avoids. This applies to a wide range of activities, from building new windfarms and solar panels, and distributing more efficient cook stoves and lights, to the installation of technology on factories to prevent the release of certain industrial gases.

The system was set up under the 1997 Kyoto protocol, after years of debate, but no credits could be issued until that treaty finally came into force in 2005. Since then, just over 1bn CDM credits have been issued.

These carbon credits can in theory be bought by the governments which are obliged by the Kyoto protocol to cut their emissions, to count against their targets. In practice, however, with the US refusing to ratify Kyoto and big emerging economies such as China, India and Mexico carrying no emissions-cutting obligations under the treaty, Europe is the only market of any size. The EU has its own cap-and-trade emissions scheme, under which heavy industries are awarded a quota of carbon they can emit, which they can top up by buying the UN credits.

But the recession and Eurozone crisis have whipped the rug from under this market. As industrial activity has declined, and the after effects of too-generous carbon quotas early on work themselves through, few EU companies now need to top up their carbon quotas. To make matters worse, the current phase of the Kyoto protocol ends this year, and of the world's major economies only the EU has pledged to continue it.


Why do we burn our food?

Out of curiosity I ran some numbers related to ethanol production, which turns food into fuel. To produce one gallon of ethanol about 22 pounds of corn (1) needs to be sacrificed. 22 lbs of corn contains about 10,560 calories, (2) which is enough calories to feed one person for about four days. (3) Therefore the calories sacrificed to make 90 gallons of ethanol could sustain one person for an entire year. Since the US currently produces 10.6 billion gallons (4) of ethanol yearly, enough corn is being sacrificed each year for ethanol production in the United States to feed 117 million people. This is occurring at the same time that the United States Department of Agriculture is reporting that over 50,000,000 people living in the United States are in "food-insecure households" (5) because their families do not have sufficient funds to purchase adequate amounts of food.

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 mandates that by 2022 36 billion gallons of biofuels will be produced in the United States. 15 billion gallons of this biofuel is expected to come from corn. (6) This will require the sacrifice of enough food to feed 166,000,000 people--over half the current population of the United States. This doesn't even take into consideration that it takes at least 2/3 gallon of fossil fuel, by the US Department of Energy's own figures, to produce one gallon of ethanol. (7) (Ethanol producers do not use ethanol to produce ethanol because it is too expensive.)

Why do we do this? Because our policy makers have come to believe that the air-born plant food carbon dioxide is a “pollutant” (8) that must be reduced or severe damage will be done to the biosphere. Acting on this belief the US government is planning on turning enough food into fuel by 2022 that could feed half the population of the United States! Even if carbon dioxide were a “pollutant” the use of biofuels produces little or no net reduction in carbon emissions since by some estimates it takes more energy to produce a gallon of ethanol than what one gets back from it when it is burned. "Adding up the energy costs of corn production and its conversion to ethanol, 131,000 BTUs are needed to make 1 gallon of ethanol. One gallon of ethanol has an energy value of only 77,000 BTU." (9)

One might protest these figures saying that not all ethanol is made from corn, because there is also "cellulosic ethanol," which is made from the non-edible parts of plants. The problem is that there is "currently, no large-scale cellulosic ethanol production facilities . . . operating or under construction." (10) This is because "cellulosic ethanol" is much more expensive to produce than corn ethanol. For example, it is estimated that a large-scale "cellulosic ethanol" production facility would cost in the neighborhood of $300 million dollars to build (11) vs. $67 million for a corn-based plant of similar size and a number of "cellulosic ethanol" production hurdles have yet to be overcome. (12)

So, why has carbon dioxide become a “pollutant” when throughout the known geological history of our planet it has been nothing more than air-born plant food? Three words—“the greenhouse effect.” In spite of what one might hear, “the greenhouse effect” is a highly controversial, scientific hypothesis that asserts that carbon dioxide, along with other “greenhouse gases,” is the Earth’s thermostat. That is, humanity can control the temperature of the Earth by controlling the amount of carbon dioxide that it puts into the air mostly through the burning of “fossil” fuels, i.e., coal, natural gas, and oil. Here are some scientists who contest that hypothesis (13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18,19). Read what they have to say and make up your own mind.

Apart from the highly controversial notion that carbon dioxide has the power to regulate the Earth’s temperature, what is it? In one word “food”—food for plants, which becomes food for animals, including human beings. Carbon dioxide is food because carbon is one of the essential building blocks of organic life (Organic - “Belonging to a family of compounds characterized by chains or rings of carbon atoms.”[20]) and most life on earth is organic life. Also, plants thrive in a carbon dioxide rich environment and along with water, nitrogen from the air and minerals from the soil, powered by sunlight, through the process of photosynthesis make food for animals to eat and oxygen for animals to breathe.

Did you know that gardeners actually pump up to four times the current atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide into greenhouses to promote plant growth? So, even at current emission levels from the use of fossil fuels the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will not reach a level for optimal plant growth for at least 200 years and CO2 levels will not become toxic until well into the next ice age >10,000 years from now. That is, of course, if the Earth’s natural processes of limiting atmospheric carbon dioxide levels cease to operate.

You see, since carbon dioxide is constantly being cycled through the natural “carbon cycle” much of the carbon dioxide that humanity has produced since the beginning of the industrial revolution has already been removed from the atmosphere. In fact only 4% of the carbon dioxide currently in the atmosphere is from the burning of fossil fuels. (21) So, if carbon dioxide is, indeed, a pollutant than the Earth is polluting itself since 96% of the air's carbon dioxide content has come from natural sources.

Beyond these points, global warming is a good thing that promotes life, e.g., human civilizations have always faired better during warm periods in history than during cold periods; more people die from cold every year than from heat; many plants die or go dormant in the winter and come to life in the spring and summer; the warm equator is teaming with life while the cold poles have sparse life.




The graphics problem: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here and here


1 comment:

OBloodyHell said...

>>> the United States Department of Agriculture is reporting that over 50,000,000 people living in the United States are in "food-insecure households" (5) because their families do not have sufficient funds to purchase adequate amounts of food."

This is just such an absolutely RETARDED number it's not even funny.

By my count, there are 11,302,493 Federal bureaucrats that are vastly overpaid for work which no one needs.

Yeah, see, I can make up numbers, too.

This is like the new "poverty" definition that is based on a percentage of median income rather than on what someone actually needs to survive.

Sorry, if you can afford a new, 42" flat screen TV, 90 cable channels, and $200 Nike shoes, you AREN'T "living in poverty"