Lewandowski loves Sandy
Lugubrious Australian-based American psychologist Stephan Lewandowski keeps making attempts to brand climate skeptics as psychologically deficient. And in his latest effusion he thinks big storm Sandy helps make his case. Everything he says however is vitiated by his failure to get his basic climate facts right. He puts up a list of "extreme" and "record" weather events which he says prove global warming. But direct measures of temperature show no warming for around 16 years so he MUST be wrong. If warming does not exist, it cannot explain ANYTHING, let alone Sandy. What a laugh! Lewandowski is a strange psychological specimen himself
But is it really a matter of mere “stupidity” to deny the link between climate change and Sandy’s fury — a link that has been drawn carefully but quite explicitly by scientists around the world, including in Australia?
No, it is not a matter of stupidity.
On the contrary, it takes considerable, if ethically disembodied, intelligence to mislead the public about the link between climate change and Sandy as thoroughly as our national “news”paper has done for the umpteenth time.
It is not a matter of stupidity. It is a matter of ideology.
People who subscribe to a fundamentalist conception of the free market will deny climate change irrespective of the overwhelming strength of the scientific evidence. They will deny any link between climate change and events such as the unprecedented Frankenstorm Sandy, or the unprecedented Texas drought, or the unprecedented series of Derechos, or the unprecedented flooding in Tennessee, or the unprecedented Arctic melt, or the unprecedented retreat of Alpine glaciers, or the unprecedented tripling of extreme weather events during the last 30 years.
There is no longer any reasonable doubt that climate change is happening all around us. There is also no doubt that ideology is the principal driver of climate denial.
So what effect will Sandy have on public opinion?
On the one hand, the deniers will likely double down and their claims will become ever more discordant with the reality on this planet. Their denial will continue even if palm trees grow in Alaska and if storms such as Sandy — or far worse — have become commonplace.
On the other hand, the vast majority of people who are not in the clutches of a self-destructive ideology will likely wake up and smell the science. Even before Sandy, a recent Pew poll (PDF) revealed that acceptance of climate change among the American public rebounded by 10 percentage points in the last few years. There is every reason to expect that Sandy will accelerate this trend towards acceptance of the dramatic changes our planet is undergoing.
Much research has shown that people’s attitude towards climate change depends on specific events and anecdotal evidence. For example, people are more likely to endorse the science on a hot day than on a cool day, all other things being equal. Even a seemingly trivial stimulus such as a dead plant in an office can enhance people’s acceptance of the science (three dead plants are even better). This human tendency to focus on scientifically irrelevant anecdotes rather than on data can be unfortunate, especially because it lends itself to exploitation by propagandists who haul out every cool day in Wagga Wagga as “evidence” that climate change is a hoax.
Natural variability makes accurate climate predictions for America impossible
Or so the latest paper shows:. But never fear. In the absence of data, the Warmists have always got their toy "models"
Communication of the role of natural variability in future North American climate
By Clara Deser et al.
As climate models improve, decision-makers' expectations for accurate climate predictions are growing. Natural climate variability, however, poses inherent limits to climate predictability and the related goal of adaptation guidance in many places, as illustrated here for North America. Other locations with low natural variability show a more predictable future in which anthropogenic forcing can be more readily identified, even on small scales. We call for a more focused dialogue between scientists, policymakers and the public to improve communication and avoid raising expectations for accurate regional predictions everywhere.
Nature Climate Change, 2, 775–779 (2012)
Warmists scrambling to explain lack of warming
The prolonged temperature plateau is getting a bit much for even Wamists to ignore. But never fear! They have plenty of theories -- just not ones with any predictive power. And predictive power is the test of a theory. There will still be some believers preaching warming when the next ice-age hits
Sun-dimming industrial pollution in China or signs that greenhouse gases trap less heat in the atmosphere than expected may help explain an apparent slowdown in global warming since 2000, experts say.
Most climate scientists acknowledge an "apparent slowdown" since 2000, after fast warming in the 1990s, but say the long-term trend is up. So far, 2012 is the eighth warmest year in records back to the mid-19th century, according to U.S. data.
"The simplest explanation is that China's sulphate emissions did not go down as they suggested they would," said Myles Allen, a professor of geosystem science at Oxford University, who also pointed to rising pollution in many emerging nations.
Coal-fired power plants emit sulphate pollution that dims sunlight and so offsets warming. Allen said a decade was too short to measure long-term trends for climate change.
According to the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization, the decade 2001-10 was the warmest on record. The years 2010 and 2005 were warmest, just above the third warmest, 1998.
A yet-to-be-published study says that the atmosphere may be less affected by rising concentrations of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas from burning fossil fuels, than expected.
"If we're correct it will make it easier (to slow global warming) but it will still require dramatic reductions in emissions," said Terje Berntsen, a professor at the University of Oslo and an author of the report.
Temperatures are now about 0.8 degree C (1.4 F) above pre-industrial times. Two degrees is viewed as a threshold to dangerous change including more powerful storms like Sandy that struck the United States last week, more heatwaves, droughts and rising sea levels.
A minority of scientists who doubt that mankind's emissions have much impact say that natural swings are the main cause of rising temperatures in recent decades. If true, that would make it less urgent to invest in measures to cut emissions.
"Natural internal variability due to heat exchanges between the ocean and the surface" account for the apparent slowdown since 2000, said Richard Lindzen, a professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He said the IPCC exaggerated the risks.
Another study last year, based on a reconstruction of temperatures back 21,000 years, also showed that the climate's sensitivity to a doubling of carbon dioxide concentrations was a median 2.3 degrees C (4.1 F), less than the IPCC estimate.
"If true it would be good news" for efforts to rein in climate change, lead author Andreas Schmittner at Oregon State University, said of his findings.
"Clouds are still a big wild card. Other uncertainties are possible release of carbon dioxide and methane from melting of permafrost in the Arctic," he said. Clouds at low levels reflect heat back into space - high clouds tend to trap heat.
Yvo deBoer is still singing the same old boering tune. 16 years of no warming have not dented HIM
He would be a nobody without global warming so why should he quit now?
THE next United Nations climate report will ''scare the wits out of everyone'' and should provide the impetus needed for the world to finally sign an agreement to tackle global warming, the former head of the UN negotiations said.
Yvo de Boer, the UN climate chief during the 2009 Copenhagen climate change talks, said his conversations with scientists working on the next report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggested the findings would be shocking.
"That report is going to scare the wits out of everyone,'' Mr de Boer said in the only scheduled interview of his visit to Australia. "I'm confident those scientific findings will create new political momentum.''
The IPCC's fifth assessment report is due to be published in late 2013 and early 2014.
Before then is the next end-of-year UN climate meeting in Doha, Qatar. Delegates will discuss a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol, the only legally binding accord to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Last December nations agreed in South Africa to work on a binding agreement that would cover all countries. That work is expected to continue until 2015.
Mr de Boer, who is now special global advisor on climate change for KPMG, said the best prospect may be for nations to settle on targets that they write into their national laws, rather than a binding international deal.
The latter would be "almost impossible to get through the US Senate", he said, no matter whether incumbent Barack Obama or challenger Mitt Romney wins the US presidential election.
Three years on from Copenhagen, Mr de Boer said he has neither nightmares nor withdrawal symptoms from those failed talks, which included a final 12-hour marathon of discussions behind closed doors with Mr Obama, former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd and 23 other global leaders.
"That was such a fantastic opportunity and it slipped between our fingers," said Mr de Boer. "That's my big frustration."
He said Copenhagen's legacy had changed political attitudes to climate talks.
"Most politicians will think twice about going to a climate event, and if they go again, they will be damned sure that they'll be celebrating success rather than be associated with failure,'' he said.
Expectations of global action on climate change have diminished, but Mr de Boer said it would still be "a very, very difficult conference" for his successor, Christiana Figueres.
He said the mandate for 2015 remained ambiguous and nations would be reluctant to sign up before they know what they were getting into.
The Kyoto Protocol has not been ratified by the US, and Canada, Japan and Russia have said they would not sign up to a second round when the current commitment lapses at the end of the year. Australia is yet to announce whether it will commit. Developing nations are holding back until they can see the rich acting.
They also want proof the UN's Green Climate Fund - aimed at supporting efforts to counter climate change - will get the $US100 billion in government and private funding promised.
He said superstorm Sandy may spur more Americans, and people elsewhere, to consider the risks of climate change, but warned: "It's a bit like being shocked into stopping smoking when you've been told you've got terminal cancer."
The huge Greenie shakedown of the American taxpayer
For mostly destructive ends
If you were looking for that last-minute pre-poll pitch to that favorite undecided voter in your life, you are done shopping. If any fence sitters needed convincing that the liberal agenda is costly, and hypocritical, let them feast their eyes on the following.
David Williams of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance has uncovered a history of abuse of your tax dollars to fund “environmentally responsible” projects across the globe that have done little but fatten wallets and in at lest one case has resulted in the destruction of a village. The TPA is calling it “The Environmental Shakedown of American Taxpayers” which is about as accurate description as one could ask for.
The report highlights the startling amount of your money that has gone to environmental non-governmental agencies or NGOs, and the uses to which that money is put. In some the funding and expenditures will boggle the mind of even the most hardened of news junkies.
Of note, the report talks about the World Wildlife Federation which forced more than a million people in India and thousands in Indonesia, to leave their homes to make room for the local tiger populations. Never mind that these people have lived alongside the tigers for thousands of years, they needed to be uprooted and sent to the cities so the WWF could create tiger preserves.
It’s a nice thought, acre upon acre of pristine land left for the tigers in Indonesia to eat, sleep play and make little tigers. But according to the report, while the natives have had to seek their fortune elsewhere, the WWF’s travel company charges tourists 10 grand a head to drive through the preserve on eco-adventures. While this certainly helps to bolster the coffers of the WWF, local environmentalists are more than somewhat put off, claiming that the WWF is exploiting the area for profit and in the process destroying the ecosystem.
Earlier this year, the WWF employees were discovered embezzling hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars, but not before an event in 2011 in which thousands of villagers were evicted from the Tanzanian forest, their homes and rice paddies burned in preparation for a visit from Prince Charles who was coming to present the “Living Planet” award to local leaders for preserving the world’s largest mangrove forest. This was done by local authorities who were working closely with the WWF.
According to the report, since 2000, the World Wildlife Fund has received 497 million in federal funding, including $7.3 in taxpayer money this fiscal year. In 2009, the president of the WWF made $425,000 in salary and $30,147 in benefits. Of note: in 2006 members of the Foundation board of directors paid $347,891 in campaign money to the Democratic Party. And the report states that in 2011, the Foundation paid for a 10 day trip to Botswana and South Africa for four members of Congress and their wives at a cost of around $30,000 per legislator.
Wetlands International was also the recipient of your largesse-by-proxy. According to the report, some of the handouts that came to the organization via the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service include $15,000 for a neotropical waterbird monitoring program; $6,000 for a coastal wetlands conservation and agriculture program and $5,000 for professional services in India.
In Indonesia and Malaysia, Wetlands International is stopping the natives from draining peat swamps, as they have for centuries to use the peat for fuel and the land for farming. Wetlands International has determined that the natives using the peat bogs for these purposes releases dangerous CO2 into the air, causing havoc in the atmosphere. But then, somehow it always comes down the ozone layer doesn’t it? Whether it is oil, gas, coal, asthma inhalers, or swamps in Asia, it always manages to come down to that old devil Greenhouse Gas.
I have seen in my travels some great NGOs that have done some fantastic work in the Third World. And having sacrificed a knee in my short stint as a wildland firefighter, I appreciate the beauty and importance of the natural world. I walk with a limp because of that appreciation; believe me, the money wasn’t the motivation. And with that in mind, it seems to me that you are the best steward of your finances, and that you are the best judge of which charities deserve your donations.
Siemens to take further writedown on solar business
German engineering conglomerate Siemens (SIE.DE) will have to take additional gross writedowns of more than 250 million euros ($321.13 million) on the solar business that it is exiting, a German paper reported.
The additional amount is made up of writedowns on the value of company units, operational losses and writedowns on solar projects that have already been started, Financial Times Deutschland reported in a story to be published on Monday, citing company sources.
In total, the company is booking losses of 800 million euros on its solar business, which it started in 2009, the paper added.
Siemens announced last month it was pulling the plug on its loss-making solar business as part of plans to improve profitability.
Siemens was not immediately available for comment.
As part of its plans to quit solar, Siemens is exiting the Desertec project, which envisages Europe will import up to a fifth of its electricity from solar and wind parks in North Africa and the Middle East by 2050.
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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