Monday, October 22, 2012

"Moms Clean Air Force" –clueless and dangerous

I mentioned the sheep-like bleating of a Ms Dominique Browning here on 21st.  There are few things more absurd than an angry sheep!

Ms Browning is a member of "Moms Clean Air Force" so does rather invite being shot down.  Another volley from another blogger below:

Mom’s Clean Air Force, as reported on the AWEA [wind lobby] site, is calling for an extension of the PTC [wind subsidy] for these reasons:

* Wind is free.

* Wind is clean.

* Wind is renewable.

* Wind is non-polluting.

* Wind doesn’t harm children’s health.

Clueless and dangerous they be for these simple reasons:

Wind is free. Yes, so is gravity. And both are forces in nature, not fuels. You cannot buy or sell forces. They exist.

Wind is clean. Again, wind is a force. It cannot be clean or dirty. Wind energy is clean, maybe? If these moms really believe this, I would hate to see their idea of clean children and clean houses. Wind energy requires mining, refining, manufacturing, transporting and maintenance, none of which is clean.Why do people think wind is clean?

A. The AWEA says it is (you remember those folks who get billions of your tax money?). Just because these people have a huge stake in the business, their words are true and pure. Unlike the money grubbing oil companies. Wait…..the oil business owns a lot of wind “farms”, a very large number of wind “farms”. This is confusing. Oil lies, wind doesn’t, oil owns wind, so wind lies but wind doesn’t lie…..My head hurts.

B. Wind may be considered clean because turbines spring forth from magic seeds. It’s a wind “farm” after all.

C. They want to feel good about themselves by doing something to “save the planet”. Research is not part of that activity in many cases. It’s about feeling good, not knowing good.

Wind is renewable. Seriously? It isn’t even controllable. How can it be renewable? Is there some magic process heretofore kept secret that turns on wind when we need electricity? Can we make the wind blow where the turbines are? If the wind stopped tomorrow, can we restart it?

Wind is non-polluting, wind energy that is. Except for the mining, manufacturing, refining, transportation and maintenance. Maybe the mines for iron ore, bauxite, copper ,etc used in wind turbines have some exemption from the laws of nature and create no pollution? The leaks of hydraulic fluid from the turbine nacelles must evaporate before hitting the ground. The “wind cowboys” (technicians for those who don’t watch The Weather Channel) drive Nissan Leafs or live on site so they create no CO2 emissions. When the turbines no longer produce energy, the turbines turn to dust and return to the earth from which they came.

Wind does not harm children’s health. No, it doesn’t harm these women’s children. This is the most disturbing attitude/belief of all. Mining, refining, and manufacturing of turbines is often done in third world countries with lax or non-existent environmental laws. So sweet Suzy and darling Bobby are safe, while Raja and Pedro die from chemical exposures from the refineries near their homes, or their parents die in mining or manufacturing accidents.

There is an entire valley in China irradiated by rare earth mining, but since Suzy and Bobby are safe, who cares? The utter selfishness and callousness of this attitude is imponderable. How can a mother not care that all the ‘clean wind energy” costs the lives of parent and children in other countries. It’s horrifying.

Jumping on the “wind is perfect” bandwagon may be emotionally satisfying and puff up one’s self-esteem, but doing it blindly and foolishly will cost these Mom’s children and grandchildren far more than the status quo ever could. If the fantasies of these moms are believed and acted upon, the future for their children will quite probably include unreliable, massively expensive power.

The ensuing conflicts over who can use the scarce, expensive electric power will undoubtedly make the hysteria over particulates in the air created by power plants look trivial . But Mom’s Clean Air Force can proudly proclaim they put their children into a world with clean air and that was all that mattered.


"Experts" criticize British conservative skeptic

But the experts failed to explain what is alarming about their own figures -- that temperatures had risen on average by only 0.8C over the last 140 years.  If they had tried to explain, all their unfounded assumptions would have come tumbling out

An eminent scientist has criticised a council chief for denying man’s role in global warming.  Prof Eric Wolff, science leader at the British Antarctic Survey, based in Madingley Road, said Cllr Nick Clarke was wrong to assert that global warming “may not exist” and “is not caused by human activity” if it does.

Cllr Clarke, the leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, was also criticised by Tony Juniper, a former director of Friends of the Earth, who condemned his comments as a “huge embarrassment” and accused the Conservative of cherry-picking data.

However Cllr Clarke has won support from members of his party – who loudly cheered as he defended his position at the authority’s latest meeting.

His blog posting on the subject drew on Met Office figures which showed there had been no discernible rise in global temperatures in the last 16 years.

Pinned down at the meeting on whether he believed that man-made climate change existed, Cllr Clarke said he had “no idea”.

Prof Wolff said global temperatures could only be analysed over lengthy periods, and that they had risen on average by 0.8C over the last 140 years.

He said it was natural to expect variability from this trend – but that the world “really is warm”, with eight of the 10 warmest years on record occurring in the last decade.

Prof Wolff said: “There is no doubt that carbon dioxide concentrations have been increasing, and basic physics tells us that extra carbon dioxide causes warming – exactly what we have been seeing in recent decades.

“Climate science shows the complex ways in which natural factors add noise to the warming trend, but it is not helpful to pretend it isn’t there.”

Dr David Reiner, an expert on the politics of climate change at the Cambridge Judge Business School, said it was a “shame” that Cllr Clarke had “spouted off” and not drawn on the city’s scientific expertise.

Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Clarke said the point of his blog posting on the subject had not been scientific, but to demonstrate that anyone who spoke out against the established orthodoxy was condemned as a “heretic who will bring about the demise of mankind”.

He said the council needed to reduce its energy consumption, but argued subsidies to tackle climate change were hurting Cambridgeshire’s economy.


World Food Prize winner says climate change impacts everything

I think he is saying rather less than some think:  "The impact of climate change includes both drought and floods" is so vague as to be meaningless

The Israeli scientist being honored in Des Moines this week with the 2012 World Food Prize is warning that climate change will make a difference in food production worldwide. Daniel Hillel pioneered innovative irrigation techniques which helped improve the growth of crops in arid regions around the world.

More recently, Hillel has been researching ways for agriculture to adjust to a changing climate. “Altogether the climate will change. Its bound to change. It’s already begun to change and agriculture will be affected. All phenomena will become more intensive in a warmer world,” Hillel explains.

Hillel discounts those who question whether human activity is affecting temperatures around the world. “There is no doubt in the minds of the sound scientific community that we are changing the climate and there will be consequences,” Hillel says.

“It is for us to convince policymakers that it is a real phenomenon.” Hillel says the impact of climate change includes both drought and floods. Hillel will be officially honored at a ceremony at the statehouse on Thursday.


Another way of stopping the windmill madness

Some Benzie County residents launched a new weapon in their efforts to block rural wind turbine development: helicopters.

Turbines can't be built near heliports — lift-off and landing pads for helicopters — and experts believe turbine opponents' tactic could reverberate statewide, just as Michigan's alternative energy debate intensifies.

Benzie's Joyfield Township — once considered part of a four-township site for an industrial wind farm — could soon have up to eight licensed, stand-alone public heliports. It would give the rural farming township of 800 souls south of Benzonia more heliports than the rest of Michigan combined.

Joyfield's sudden emergence as a would-be heliport epi-center raised the level of skepticism among some township residents.

"It seems pretty fishy to me," said Susan Zenker, who lives near one of the proposed heliports. "I know all of the people who have applied, and as far as I know not one of them has a helicopter."

Zenker said she's not sure if she should worry that helicopters could soon spook her horses, or if she should be angry about an "unethical" sham designed to prevent her from leasing land for a wind turbine.

State officials acknowledge the heliports could prevent construction of wind turbines or any structure taller than 200 feet within almost a one-mile radius of the landing pads.


Why is the earth's surface warmer than the radiation it receives would suggest?

I think it is because of adiabatics -- the straightforward heating effect of atmospheric pressure -- but everybody else seems to prefer complex theories -- JR

John O'Sullivan

Leading Aussie skeptic blogger, Jo Nova, is currently holding the second compelling debate about the validity of disputed numbers woven into the cornerstone of global warming science: the so-called greenhouse gas effect theory (GHE).

Now that even the U.S. presidential contest is a “global warming free zone”  it is becoming clear that not just the political, but the scientific edifice of this international scam is collapsing. The biggest remaining obstacle is vested interest scientists who are either incapable or refuse to examine a very simple element of the GHE: the supposed “33 degrees” of measured warming that makes our planet “warmer than it would otherwise be.”

In a spirit of refreshing openness, Jo Nova has recently been leading the way on this matter. In September she hosted the superb paper by Dr Jinan Cao that questioned the applicability of the Stefan-Boltzmann equation in the formation of the “33 degrees” number.

Now Nova’s blog is running a welcome critique of ‘Slaying the Sky Dragon’ the book that first propelled discussion of the GHE center-stage. Already the comments are lively. Sadly there exists an element that prefers name-calling over civilized debate and my co-authors and colleagues who support the  book are being labeled “dunderheads,” “cranks,” and “deniers.” Ok, so let’s do simple analysis even a dunderhead can fathom. Take, for instance, the claimed “33 degrees” of so-called greenhouse gas warming cited as “fact” proving the “theory.”

Contrary to popular myth this “33 degrees” is not observed, empirical fact at all. The book’s authors and converts to our science say it is the product of a botched equation by NASA’s Dr. James E. Hansen from the 1980′s. Currently, my article on this is doing the rounds.

Dr. Pierre Latour earlier this year proved that Hansen’s “33 degrees” is the result of a fatal mixing of a scalar temperature value with a vector temperature value (not permitted in either math or physics).  That no one questioned this till we ‘Slayers’ did suggests it is perhaps among the most successful elements of the GHE fraud. Pointedly, it duped two top skeptic climatologists, Dick Lindzen and Roy Spencer, among other leading skeptics, who never questioned its validity and when challenged opted to play “follow my leader.”

It appears Lindzen first swallowed the bogus “33 degrees” number at least since March 1990, as proven by his paper ‘Some Coolness Concerning Global Warming’ AMS, Vol 71. In September 2010 on his blog Spencer admitted he merely followed Lindzen’s lead. But Spencer went further and actually asserted (crassly) that  Hansen’s  “33 degrees” number offers a “real-world observed radiative-convective equilibrium.”

But both Spencer and Lindzen are shown, since March 2012, to have circled the wagons obstinately avoiding the issue. Despite our urging neither will apply due diligence to verify the providence of the number. But if they had looked more closely at the “33 degrees” from the outset they would have seen that the first value Hansen used to obtain it is a 3-D measure (a vector) of the infrared radiation emitted by Earth back into outer space (255K). Hansen then put that alongside a 2-D measure (288K), which is an average of surface weather stations (a scalar). That’s how Hansen and government climate science “got” it’s 33 degrees greenhouse gas effect.

But anyone trained in higher math or physics knows this is not a permissible procedure as it’s the equivalent of adding apples to oranges. Earlier this year Latour and others on our team had a good-natured, but vigorous private email discussion with Lindzen, Spencer and other leading lights. Despite our insistence neither would address the matter. In fact, despite engaging with us on other issues they obstinately pretended we never raised the “33 degrees” problem even though we referred them to our articles on it. Nonetheless, Spencer thereafter blogged an attack piece against me; is this the real measure of a “leading skeptic scientist?” Not only that, it seems Fred Singer was then recruited and he, too, joined the name-calling fraternity labeling us “deniers.”

In his attack piece Singer laments, “One can show them  [the 'Slayers'] data of downwelling infrared radiation from CO2, water vapor, and clouds, which clearly impinge on the surface. [My emphasis]

Contemplate closely the emphasis on the vague “clearly impinge” as it seems even Fred is having doubts here because he balks at asserting any actual energy is being transferred.  He then writes, “But their minds are closed to any such evidence.” Oh, come on, Fred.  Does “clearly impinge” mean you are claiming carbon dioxide adds/delays  heat  loss or not? This is why Fred, Roy and Dick need to come out and be less mealy-mouthed.

As such we are regrettably forced to conclude that leading skeptic climatologists are disinclined to own up to their gaffe probably because they have decades invested in this junk science – quite simply it’s too shaming for them. Indeed, if Spencer, Lindzen and Singer were true skeptics they would meet us in open debate and resolve this “33 degrees” issue once and for all.

But because the better part of a year has elapsed and they won’t man up, I’ve now emailed Jo to ask she show some leadership on this Down Under. I await her reply and hope she will host an open debate on our readily proved/disproved contention. Be assured, if the “33 degrees” number is proven bogus there is nothing left of substance (ie. as measured in our atmosphere) to sustain this collapsing “theory.”


The (metaphorical) tap filling up the oceans sometimes just turns off

Ice sheets retreating due to global warming often suddenly stabilise for "decades to centuries" no matter that the warming is still going on, scientists have found. The new research would seem likely to have an impact on forecasts seeking to predict sea-level rise in coming times.

Boffins at Cambridge, Durham and Sheffield universities and others at the British Antarctic Survey came together to produce the new investigation, which sought to examine the way in which fast-moving "ice streams" move from major ice sheets - such as the Greenland and Western Antarctic ones - to the sea. The streams are very important, as they carry 90 per cent of the ice moving into the ocean.

“Ice streams are like taps filling a bath," explains Dr Chris Stokes of Durham uni - in this case the bath being the world's oceans.

"The problem here is that we do not know if something is suddenly going to turn them up or even turn them off," he adds.

In this case Stokes and his colleagues didn't find anything which would open up the taps: but they did find something which turns them off, often for lengthy periods.

"Our research shows that the physical shape of the channels is a more important factor in controlling ice stability than was previously realised," says Dr Stewart Jamieson.

The boffins found this out by developing a simulation which matched what actually happened to a particular ice sheet as it retreated at the end of the last Ice Age:

The researchers looked at the landscape of the seafloor in Marguerite Bay, in the Antarctic Peninsula, and saw that during a rapid phase of recession 13,000 years ago, retreat paused many times. Using a computer model designed to work in situations of rapid change, they found they could reproduce the same pattern in a series of simulations. These showed that ice dragged on the sides of the channel more where it was narrow, causing retreat to slow and in places temporarily stop for decades to centuries before retreat continued.

"We find that retreat of the Marguerite Bay Ice Stream following the [Last Glacial Maximum] was highly nonlinear and was interrupted by stabilizations on a reverse-sloping bed, where theory predicts rapid unstable retreat," the researchers wrote in their new paper, published in Nature Geoscience.


It would seem that current predictions of sea level rises to be expected on a given timescale with a given amount of global warming will need to be revised - downwards.

As the most up-to-date predictions are not very alarming anyway, it could be that sea level rises just aren't that big a worry, over say the next century anyway.


Australia: Green/Left alliance on the nose in a Leftist stronghold

ACT is Australia's version of DC

TRIUMPHANT Liberal leader Zed Seselja says ACT voters have rejected a Labor-Greens alliance in Saturday's election.

But he's stopped short of claiming victory, with the opposition falling one seat short of majority government in the 17-seat legislative assembly.

It will take days of negotiation with the Greens before a new minority government can be formed in the territory.

The Liberals, on the back of their biggest-ever primary vote, are on track to take eight seats to Labor's seven giving them their highest representation in the 23-year history of self-government.

With more than 70 per cent of the vote counted at 10.50pm (AEST), Labor had 39.1 per cent of the overall vote (up 1.7pc on 2008), to the Liberals 38 per cent (up 6.4pc) and the Greens 11 per cent (down 4.6pc)

A surprise Labor casualty could be Attorney-General Simon Corbell who might lose his seat to fellow Labor candidate Meegan Fitzharris.

The Greens drop from four seats to two with their leader Meredith Hunter still in a tight race with Summernats car festival founder Chic Henry, running for the Australian Motorists Party.  If she loses, the Greens would have only one seat in the assembly.

Mr Seselja said the election result was a rejection of both Labor and the Greens.  "Most importantly it is a rejection of their alliance," he told the party faithful.  "It would be a rejection of the verdict of the people if the Labor Party and the Greens were to now forge a closer alliance.  "We are ready to deliver the kind of government the ACT deserves."

Labor leader Katy Gallagher said it was not the night for victory speeches from any party.  "We're not arrogant, we're not coming out saying we have won this election," she told supporters.  "We've won the highest primary vote, we've increased our vote, we've held our seats and we've seen a swing towards us."

Ms Gallagher noted more than half the electorate voted for "a progressive government", referring to the combined Labor-Greens vote of 50.1 per cent.

Mr Seselja reiterated earlier pledges that he wouldn't offer the Greens a ministry as part of any negotiations, unlike in 2008.

But he shied away from questions on whether or not he would negotiate with them at all.

Liberal MLA Jeremy Hanson said: "Should we get eight seats we have a very strong case for government."

However, Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury said the minor party would not be taking the number of seats won into account.

"We want to make sure there's a stable government for four years," he told AAP.  "We delivered that this term, we expect to deliver it in the coming term."

The Greens had a duty to the one-in-eight Canberrans who voted for the party to deliver on as many of their policies as possible, Mr Rattenbury said.

"We're quite open to talking to both of them (major parties) and that's something we will start in the next few days," he said. "We won't see an agreement to form a government, one way or the other, for quite some days yet."

Labor MLA Andrew Barr said a Liberal-Greens alliance would be "extraordinary" since "they are just a world apart".




Preserving the graphics:  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


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