Sunday, November 11, 2012
Monckton can't keep a straight face
His sense of humour shows even when he is being serious. The following is an open letter that Monckton and some fellow "conspirators" sent to the Reps recently. It is in part a response to a NYT article that begins: "Climate change is accelerating, and it will place unparalleled strains on American military and intelligence agencies in coming years by causing ever more disruptive events around the globe, the nation's top scientific research group said in a report issued Friday"
The Honorable Fred Upton
Committee on Energy & Commerce
The Honorable Ed Whitfield
Subcommittee on Energy & Power
U.S. House of Representatives
2125 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
11 November 2012
Dear Chairman Upton and Chairman Whitfield:
The recent election should be a time to return to fact-based policy making. This is especially true in energy policy.
Last week, a tropical storm intensified by meeting two other storms struck the East Coast. The storm battered the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states, devastating portions of New York and New Jersey and resulting in more than 8 million homes losing electricity from the Carolinas to Wisconsin. Experts are projecting $10 bn in damages and lost business.
Hurricane Sandy was a freak storm, not the type of extreme weather event that climate scientists have said will become more frequent and more severe if we fail to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (which is not a pollutant). That is why we are writing to request that you do not hold a hearing on the storm and its very limited relation to climate change in the lame duck session.
Some of us have testified before the Energy and Commerce Committee on several occasions to request that the Committee exercise due caution when hearing rent-seeking scientists and other global warming profiteers who try to exploit every extreme-weather event.
After almost 16 years without global warming, there are still a few who implausibly try to blame this non-existent global warming for causing various weather-related disasters in the past two or three years, and who invite you to hold hearings on it. Commendably, you have not once responded to or even acknowledged their requests.
Global warming that has not actually occurred can scarcely have contributed much to the vast devastation wrought by tropical storm Sandy. So there is no need for you reconsider your approach to vested interests asking you to hold pointless hearings.
For two years, the House of Representatives has realized that global warming is not happening and that the consequences of a decade and a half without any warming can be dismissed without concern. With the election behind us, we will have an opportunity to begin again and give this matter the attention it deserves - none at all. We urge you to seize this opportunity not to hold a hearing during the lame duck session.
(Professor) Fred Singer
(Dr.) Bill Gray
(Dr.) Willie Soon
Monckton of Brenchley
Even the White House isn't green enough for its green regulators
This is from a few months ago but still worth reposting
President Obama's regulatory agenda rarely inspires sympathy, but it does have its lighter moments when you have to feel sorry for the guy: No matter how much running room he gives to his crowd at the Environmental Protection Agency, they can never be happy. Read on for the story of the $1 billion rules, the leaked emails and the green bureaucrats who can't keep the White House on message.
It all started in August 2010, when Speaker John Boehner sent Mr. Obama a letter noting that "major rules" are usually defined as costing the private economy more than $100 million annually-but the Administration had been cooking up regulations that cost 10 times more. Maybe he could get a list of the $1 billion-plus rules on the drawing board?
It took another year, and another request from Mr. Boehner, for the White House to respond with a pro forma, 19-sentence letter: "I agree that it is extremely important to minimize regulatory burdens and to avoid unjustified regulatory costs . . ."
We'll spare you the rest of the boilerplate, though an appendix did list seven rules breaking the $1 billion barrier, four of them from EPA. The total cost for EPA hit $104.5 billion, versus $5 billion for the entire rest of the government.
Acknowledging this reality in print was apparently too much for the EPA, which prefers to hide its damage in the arcana of the Federal Register. According to emails obtained by an outfit called the Center for Progressive Reform, the White House hadn't given the agency a "heads up on this letter." Red alert!
Dan Kanninen, then the EPA's White House liaison, called up to complain. "First," as he later described his dressing-down, "we've spent a great deal of time and energy framing these rules with the public health and environmental benefits, and when and how they are driven by statutory, scientific and legal obligations, which this letter and appendix do not."
In other words, the White House forgot to include the EPA's political agitprop when answering a simple query from Congress. Come to think of it, that is a fairly significant oversight for the Chicago crew.
Shale oil will change global supply, Opec admits
Oil cartel Opec acknowledged the growing importance of unconventional 'shale' oil reserves for the first time on Thursday - as it cut its oil demand forecasts on fears over eurozone growth.
In its annual world oil outlook report, Opec - whose 12 members include Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and Venezuela - said: "Shale oil represents a large change to the supply picture."
While in previous reports "no significant shale oil contribution to liquids supply was envisaged," this year "a rise in the importance of shale oil is expected", Opec said.
"Resource development is moving rapidly in the US and production has markedly increased."
Opec cut its forecast for demand for its own crude supplies, while forecasting that non-Opec oil supply would grow significantly.
Between 2011 and 2016 non-Opec liquids supply would be boosted by increased output "mainly from shale oil in the US, Canadian oil sands, and crude oil from the Caspian and Brazil".
With Opec supplies also growing, Opec was expected to have crude oil spare capacity in excess of 5mbpd (million barrels per day) "as early as 2013/14".
However it said that future shale oil production was "likely to be beset by several constraints and challenges, such as environmental concerns, questions over the availability of equipment and skilled labour, rising costs and steep well-production declines".
With the "best shale oil plays tapped first", Opec forecast modest shale oil growth beyond 2020, to 3mbpd by 2035.
Opec also used the report to return to a more bearish stance on the eurozone.
Having revised down its medium-term oil demand projections "as the recession unravelled and GDP forecasts were amended down", it had, for the last two years, taken a more positive view of economic recovery due to the "extraordinary monetary and fiscal stimulus that were put in place".
This year, however, there was "growing concern about immediate prospects for economic growth, particularly in the eurozone", Opec said.
It cut 2012 demand forecasts by 820,000 bpd compared with its 2011 report, and cut its 2016 forecast by more than 1mbpd on last year's prediction.
"Over the period 2011-2016, OECD oil demand declines each year, having peaked in 2005," it said.
British cities resort to incinerating millions of tons of "recycled" household rubbish
Millions of tons of household rubbish was burned instead of recycled by councils last year, new figures revealed yesterday.
The amount sent to incinerators shot up by almost a quarter - while the amount sent for recycling went up by barely a single percentage point.
The burning boom means millions of families who have been forced to cope with fortnightly collections, rubbish rationing and wheelie bin fines in the name of saving the environment now have to live with the pollution risks of incinerators.
A report from the Environment Department admitted the amount of rubbish being recycled by town halls is `levelling off' and that the amount of rubbish kept out of landfill is still far short of targets set by the European Union.
Britain faces large fines from Brussels if councils are burying more than half of all the rubbish they collect in landfill sites by 2020.
The leap in incineration follows the imposition of fortnightly collections - compulsory recycling schemes in which general refuse is collected only once a fortnight and those who break the rules face draconian fines - on half the homes in the country since 2005.
The fortnightly schemes proved highly unpopular, so councils have been attempting to bring in alternatives, including straightforward limits on the amount of non-recycling rubbish they will collect from homes, and complicated `slopbucket' schemes in which food waste is collected separately from other refuse.
But even as the compulsory recycling schemes were brought in, the rate of increase in the amount of rubbish recycled was slowing, DEFRA's figures showed.
But it added that `an increase in incineration may have partly accounted for the change in landfill.'
The amount of rubbish collected by councils in England and sent to incinerators went up in a year by nearly a million metric tonnes, from 3,975,000 tonnes to 4,878,000 - a 22.7 per cent increase.
Waste sent to incinerators has now more than doubled in 10 years.
Confirming the rise in the burning of rubbish in electricity-generating incinerators last year, the report said: `Generating energy from waste is preferable to landfilling, albeit less so than recycling.'
By contrast, the amount of rubbish recycled went up from 10,588,000 tonnes to 10,712,000, a rise of just 124,000 tonnes, or just over one per cent.
In the past five years of voter anger over bin collection cutbacks, the amount of waste recycled has gone up by only just over 10 per cent, the figures showed.
DEFRA's report said of recycling, which now accounts for 43 per cent of household waste: `This year on year increase was the smallest for 10 years; the rate of increase has been slowing since its peak around 2005, which could indicate that local authorities have by now exploited the easiest targets in terms of recycling, and are increasingly facing challenges in influencing behaviour change and identifying new areas and efficiencies in the waste services they provide.'
It added: `Incineration increased by around one quarter from the previous year.
It is difficult to determine if this increase in incineration reflects any long term change in approach local authorities have taken in their choices on waste treatment options.'
The introduction of fortnightly collections and other bin restrictions was introduced in the name of hitting green targets and reducing carbon emissions.
The DEFRA report said that incineration and landfill together were responsible for the emission of 2.7 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent last year.
Critics of compulsory recycling said they feared new and draconian measures to force householders and families to put out less rubbish.
Doretta Cocks of the Campaign for Weekly Waste Collections said: `The whole fortnightly collection exercise has been completely pointless, except as a way for them to save money by cutting back on services to the public.
`The only worry now is what they will do next. There is already talk from some people that fortnightly collections are not enough, and there should be monthly collections.'
Environment Minister Lord de Mauley said: `More still needs to be done and we continue to push towards our aim of a zero waste economy, with businesses, councils and householders all doing their bit.'
Clyde Loakes of the Local Government Association, the umbrella body for councils, said: `Councils will always recycle where they can, but it remains the case that not all black bag rubbish can be recycled or reused in a practical or affordable way.
`Incinerating waste which can't affordably be recycled saves money by avoiding landfill taxes. It also generates energy and produces fewer carbon emissions than sending the equivalent waste to landfill.'
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Posted by JR at 1:55 PM