Sunday, December 23, 2012

Some reminders about John Kerry

In addition to his being a lying traitor,  Kerry's Poor Understanding of Climate Science Poses Threat to U.S. National Security

Democratic Senator John Kerry is set to become the next U.S. Secretary of State, replacing Sec. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Kerry has declared his intention to treat man-made global warming as a national security threat. See: Sen. John Kerry To Be Nominated As Next Secretary of State: Kerry 'believes climate change is the 'biggest long term threat' to national security' & A Secretary John Kerry Would Elevate Climate Issues: Reaction: 'about as far as 2010′s failed Kerry-Boxer climate bill, which failed to launch'

Climate Depot Statement on Sen. Kerry: “Senator Kerry is on record expressing outlandish climate and national security claims based on his basic misreading of climate science. Having a Secretary of State who views the emission of a trace essential gas in the atmosphere – CO2 – as some sort of monster threat o national security or the equivalent a the 9/11 terror attacks or the equivalent of old Soviet nuclear warheads, is a sad day in American history. Kerry is ignoring a large body of data and research that demolishes his beliefs. (see below) The American people deserve much better.”

See: Sen. John Kerry: Global Warming Is The Next 9/11: Kerry: 'On August 6, 2001, Pres. George W. Bush famously received an intelligence briefing entitled, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." Thirty-six days later, al Qaeda terrorists did just that. Scientists tell us we have a 10-year window -- if even that -- before catastrophic climate change becomes inevitable and irreversible. The threat is real, and time is not on our side... 'Make no mistake: catastrophic climate change represents a threat to human security, global stability, and -- yes -- even to American national security'

2010: Sen. John Kerry: 'Equates nuclear Armageddon with fluctuations in a natural trace atmospheric gas': Kerry: 'The threat from Soviet nuclear warheads was a clear and present danger in our lives. Just as clear and present is the danger climate change poses...'

Sen. Kerry: Climate change 'as dangerous' as Iran's nukes; on the growth of climate skepticism: 'I have to say it's been a remarkably effective campaign, you can't sit here and say it hasn't worked'

'Just When You Thought Global Warming Couldn't Get More Stupid, In Walks John Kerry': 'Of all the ridiculous arguments in support of climate legislation, national security has to be the most idiotic'

Faith Based Science: Dem Sen John Kerry: 'An exceptional country does care about the rise of the oceans and the future of the planet. That is a responsibility from the Scriptures'

Watch Now: Climate Depot's Morano on Fox News rips Sen. John Kerry's global warming claims: Morano: 'The whole movement has collapsed. Sen. Kerry is a desperate man' -- Morano: 'Sen. Kerry once called the UN climate panel the 'gold standard' of science. Well Climategate exposed the IPCC as 'fool's gold.' Kerry would have you believe is that somehow acts of U.S. Congress can control the weather: If we pass a climate bill, we can reduce droughts, hurricanes & tornadoes. This is now akin to medieval witchcraft where we used to blame witches for controlling the weather. Now akin to Nostradamus & the Mayan calendar'

Warmist Sen. John Kerry: 'There's a lot of work that has to be done to revalidate the [global warming] science' -- Climate Depot Response: You are correct, Sen. Kerry. But it was your buffoonery that helped lead to the collapse of the movement. Please, get out front and center and spew more of your inane climate comments for all the world to hear.

Flashback 2007: Sen. John Kerry and Gingrich Hugging Trees -- & (Almost) Each Other -- Gingrich folds like pup tent in alleged 'debate' on AGW -- 'Positions himself as a tree-hugging green' -- 'Before Kerry got a word in, Gingrich conceded that global warming is real, that humans have contributed to it and that 'we should address it very actively.' Gingrich held up Kerry's new book, and called it 'a very interesting read.' -- Kerry gushed: 'I frankly appreciate the candor.'

More HERE  (See the original for links)

The new robber barons

The Obama Gang is stealing our taxes, energy resources, revenues, jobs and economy

An oil and natural gas boom is underway in the United States, born of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” It has created tens of thousands of well-paying jobs directly, and hundreds of thousands more in hundreds of businesses that supply and support the industry and its workers.

In North Dakota, the unemployment rate is 2.4 percent, in large part because of a huge increase in natural gas and crude oil production from deep shale rocks that yielded nothing prior to fracking. The new technology is also driving job growth, higher incomes, and increased tax revenues for hard-pressed state and local governments in Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Texas and other states.

Meanwhile, 350 miles north of Edmonton, Alberta, other innovators are producing billions of barrels from oil sands that stretch across an area the size of Utah. Shallow deposits are accessible via surface mining, while deeper lodes are tapped using in situ drilling and steam injection. As work is completed in an area, the land is restored to woodlands, grasslands, lakes and marshes, and the process moves on.

As with fracking, the oil sands create tens of thousands of high-paying jobs and generate billions in revenue, benefitting people from Fort McMurray, Calgary and Vancouver to Ottawa and Halifax, and throughout the United States. Construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline would multiply these benefits.

And yet, despite ample evidence that responsible development of these enormous energy resources could power a national economic, manufacturing and employment renaissance, the Obama Administration’s environmental ideologies and political debts to radical green groups could delay or stymie progress.

The new robber barons in the Executive Branch and Congress are not content only with taxing job creators and saddling our children and great grandchildren with trillion-dollar IOUs. They are using hard-earned tax money to finance wind, solar, biofuel and other schemes that primarily reward crony capitalist campaign contributors. They’re also locking up centuries’ of oil, gas, coal and uranium that could generate an economic revival, millions of jobs, and many billions in federal, state and local royalty and tax revenues.

Some say the way these robber barons use, abuse and ignore laws to advance this agenda reminds them of the infamous James Gang, which plundered banks and trains until Northfield, Minnesota citizens ended their lawless ways. Others say a better example is the Chicago-based Al Capone mob.

Still others point to the Capitol Hill “fiscal cliff” negotiations, as providing clues as to what lies ahead. President Obama says he favors a “balanced” approach to avoid fiscal calamity, but insists on raising taxes on high-income citizens – and will not discuss reining in entitlement expenditures that are lead life preservers on taxpayers and our economy. His Treasury Secretary tells us, “There are no options.”

The President’s unique concept of “balance” also defines his “all of the above” energy program. Like Humpty Dumpty, his words mean just what he chooses them to mean – as in all of the above-ground projects, but none of the below-ground resources. Perhaps the real question is, who is to be master … of our lives, natural resources, nation and pursuit of happiness?

Thus the Administration banned oil development on 1.6 million more acres of federal lands in the West and millions more on the Outer Continental Shelf, while delaying leasing and drilling in still more areas – on top of vast acreage and resources that Congress placed off limits through legislation. The ruling czars and robber barons also imposed ethanol-in-gasoline requirements that turn 40% of the nation’s corn crop into fuel, converting an area the size of Missouri from growing food crops to producing fuel that we could get by drilling, and driving up the cost of countless food products.

windmill2Their wind and solar programs waste billions of tax dollars on expensive, unreliable electricity projects that blanket habitats and steal our wildlife heritage, in violation of clear environmental laws.

Meanwhile, EPA issued still more hugely expensive rules that effectively ban the use of coal in electricity generation – sending coal’s contribution from 45% a few years ago to 35% today, and killing thousands of mining and utility jobs. Its latest rules demand that the transportation sector slash its soot emissions another 20% – ostensibly to reduce asthma, other illnesses and “thousands” of premature deaths.

In reality, the only health or environmental benefits exist in EPA computer models, press releases and cover-ups of illegal experiments on humans, whose response to being subjected to “dangerous” levels of soot actually disproved EPA’s claim that tougher standards are needed. EPA has also ignored the significant health risks caused by its regulations, especially for now unemployed older workers.

In the midst of all this, at the just concluded United Nations climate change negotiations in Doha, Qatar, Obama Administration representatives entertained brazen proposals to require developed countries to compensate less developed countries for “climate change damages” – under a wealth redistribution scheme that could potentially cost United States taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. Also in the works are EPA rules, laws and treaty agreements to force the US to curb fossil fuel use and CO2 emissions.

Inconvenient facts about these decisions were simply ignored – or treated much the same way as Steven Spielberg handled his powerful and entertaining Lincoln movie. It was released after the 2012 elections, many believe, so that minority and other voters would learn too late that it was our sixteenth president and other Republicans who championed the end of slavery – and northern and southern Democrats who fought to prevent passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, outlawing the heinous practice.

The robber barons say whatever is expedient – and then pursue policies that undermine the overall public welfare, while postponing many costly and politically explosive actions until after elections.

They also ignore and undermine the recent International Energy Agency forecast that, by 2020, the USA could be producing more oil than Saudi Arabia, currently the largest oil producer on the globe, thanks to advances in seismic, fracking, deepwater drilling and other technologies. A March 2012 Citi Global Problems and Solutions report painted a clear picture of the benefits that domestic energy development could bring – if government “public servants” and environmental “public interest” groups would permit it.

Cumulatively, the new production, reduced consumption and numerous activities associated with these technologies “could increase real GDP by an additional 2% to 3%, creating from 2.7 million to as many as 3.6 million net new jobs by 2020,” the Citi report stated. They could also shrink America’s “current account deficit” by 2.4% of GDP (a 60% reduction in the current budget deficit) and cause the dollar to appreciate in real terms by +1.6 to +5.4% – all by 2020.

Pumping gas pickupIn the next few decades, Citi concluded, the energy sector “could drive an extraordinary and timely revitalization and reindustrialization of the U.S. economy, creating jobs and bringing prosperity to millions of Americans, just as the national economy struggles to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.” It would also “improve national energy security and reverse perennial current account deficits” for decades to come.

However, as the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research has made clear, these enormous benefits “are at risk if new restrictions are imposed on the industry, from delays in approval of liquid natural gas exports, to opposition to expanding ports for coal and gas export, to opposition to pipelines and refineries, and to the threat of redundant federal regulations on the technology of hydraulic fracturing.” Worse, foregoing these enormous benefits would bring little or no improvement to the environment or human welfare.

Abundant, reliable, affordable energy is the backbone of the US and global economy. Perhaps one day renewable energy will become a viable alternative to the hydrocarbons that sustain jobs and energize virtually everything we make, ship, eat and do. Until then, America and the world need to promote regulatory sanity and increased production of our enormous base of coal, oil and natural gas resources.


Some classic cherrypicking

“A team of scientists has reaffirmed that Earth’s climate has been warming for the past century, using an analysis of temperature records other than those from instruments. These scientists – including researchers from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), University of South Carolina, University of Colorado, and University of Bern in Switzerland – gathered temperature records from nature to show warming on Earth from at least 1880 to 1995.”

But what about from 1995-present, during which time we’ve added about 35+ ppm of CO2 to the atmosphere?

SOURCE  (See the original for links)

The curious task — natural gas edition

As Hayek wrote in The Fatal Conceit:  "The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design."

Evidently, the US now has lots of natural gas. There is a question of whether we should export some of it. Who knows whether that is good or bad for America? Ron Wyden knows. Or at least he wants to know. The Washington Post reports:
   “We have so much gas we don’t know what to do with it, and it’s unlikely that we can create enough demand for all the gas coming on stream,” said Cherif Souki, chief executive of Cheniere Energy, which is spending $10 billion to add LNG export capability to an idle import facility in Sabine Pass, La.

    Cheniere has its permit, but Dominion is one of 15 companies that have applications pending at the Energy Department to build export facilities.

    Not so fast, Wyden says. He wants to be sure gas exports don’t raise prices and hurt U.S. consumers and manufacturers.

    Under current law, the Energy Department must decide whether an LNG gas export operation safeguards domestic needs and meets the public interest, especially for gas going to countries with which the United States does not have a free-trade agreement. Japan is one of those countries.

    On Wednesday, the Energy Department released a long-awaited study, carried out by NERA Economic Consulting, that acknowledged exports would raise U.S. gas prices. But it said that in all of the scenarios it modeled, “LNG exports have net economic benefits in spite of higher domestic natural gas prices. This is exactly the outcome that economic theory describes when barriers to trade are removed.”
Natural gas is a commodity. Increasing the world supply will lower its price. Discouraging American sources from coming on line because they cannot be exported will raise the price of natural gas world-wide including here. Turning natural gas into a political football is good for Senator Wyden and his friends. Bad for the rest of us

SOURCE  (See the original for link)

Britain's Electricity bills up by 50% in surge to go green

Think-tank blames Government

MILLIONS of households will see electricity bills rise 50 per cent as the Government goes green.

Think-tank experts last night forecast the massive increase by the year 2020.  And they put almost HALF the blame for it on ministers’ own policies.

Financial information provider Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicted bills could soar from £454 to £699.

Around 40 per cent of the increase is due to Government “green charges” such as a new carbon price that takes effect from April. This levy hits operators of coal-fired gas power plants generating the electricity, making it more expensive.

Another 28 per cent of the increase will be down to higher wholesale market prices.

Bloomberg did not give a forecast for gas bills but said it did NOT think “fracking” for underground shale gas would have a significant effect in bringing down prices. The controversial procedure, already widespread in America, got the go-ahead in Britain on Thursday.

Think-tank spokesman Brian Potskowski said: “There are a lot more planning issues here than in the US and there seems to be a lot more local opposition.”

The report comes five days after E.ON became the last of Britain’s Big Six energy suppliers to up residential charges.

Average dual-fuel gas and electricity bills are now at record levels of more than £1,300.


Climate Change, Dark Ages, and Armchair Disaster Prediction

Yes, but.

That may be the best way to describe the position taken by A. Bruce Mainwaring C’47, Robert Giegengack, and Claudio Vita-Finzi on the subject of global warming: Measures to cut carbon dioxide emissions definitely make sense, but science still has a ways to go to when it comes to reliably predicting future climate impacts. Oh, and paying more attention to how human societies in the past responded to severe climate change couldn’t hurt, either.

In the introduction to Climate Crises in Human History, a recently published collection of papers presented at a 2008 conference that they coedited, the three put their purpose this way: “to highlight the uncertainties in both stimulus and response, and in so doing rein in those who think they know what is best for the rest of us.”

At a November symposium at the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Giegengack—emeritus professor of earth and environmental science at Penn and a famously engaging teacher—resorted to a more colorful means to make the point that climate change is not a recent phenomenon and that the Earth’s temperature has been fluctuating for a very, very long time.

Allowing that it was an “outrageous metaphor,” Giegengack took a roll of toilet paper out of his bag. He told the amused audience at Rainey Auditorium that, when measured proportionally, each inch of the 1,000-sheet roll is roughly equivalent to one million years of the Earth’s 4.5-billion-year history. Using those proportions, 1/100 of an inch of the entire roll represents all of recorded human history. And despite there being evidence of “both the lowest temperatures and the lowest concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere” happening within the last million years, he said, today’s scientists are mainly looking at the last 200 years when studying climate change. That’s a lot of unused toilet paper.

“Climatologists … are taking records of those 200 years,” Giegengack said, “subjecting it to very detailed analysis, and projecting it into computer models of what the climate will be like in the future based on this.”

He held up the tiny sliver of one sheet of toilet paper to represent this.

“Those of us who have some experience looking at the longer-term history of climate,” he continued, “would like to think that speculation might benefit quite substantially from learning all we can from the information included in the previous 999 sheets.”

Such was the theme of the entire discussion, which didn’t so much delve into the specific archaeological evidence detailed in Climate Crises, but instead emphasized the necessity, in more general terms, of looking much deeper into the Earth’s history to find patterns of climate change that may very well help with today’s environmental issues. (As it happens, Penn researchers have recently documented sea-level changes, which are linked to climate changes, going back 2,000 years [“Gazetteer,” Sept|Oct 2011].)

In addition to Giegengack, the other panelists were Graeme Barker, the Disney Professor and head of the Department of Archaeology at the University of Cambridge, and Joseph Farrell, professor of classical studies and the Joseph B. Glossberg Term Professor in the Humanities at Penn.

Barker, in the words of Museum director Richard Hodges, “took a romp around the globe” as he reviewed the record of climate changes during different civilizations throughout history, including the ancient Maya, the Saharan ancestors of the ancient Egyptians, ancient Romans, and medieval Europeans.

Farrell’s presentation focused on the treatment of climate change in Rhys Carpenter’s 1968 book Discontinuity in Greek Civilization, which he called “one of those books that actually changes your mind about something—and does so permanently.” Carpenter hypothesized that global warming was the cause of two “Dark Ages”: the famous one that followed the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century; and the period of Greek history between 1200 and 800 BC, for which, Farrell allowed, material evidence is comparatively scant.

But simply knowing that the Greek Dark Ages, as that period is called, existed got Farrell thinking that the “narrative of Western history that considered the later dark ages a kind of unfortunate and even anomalous interruption” was a lazy one. He suggested instead that recurring “dark ages” might even be the norm. He is convinced that global-warming trends led to the fall of the civilizations that preceded both of these dark ages.

“The most important events in history might not have anything to do with great men,” Farrell said, “and might have everything to do with occasional, however minor, fluctuations in climate.”

Farrell ended his presentation on a foreboding note—that the amount of time between Carpenter’s two dark ages is approximately the same amount of time from the end of antiquity to the present day. “In other words,” he said, “if Carpenter’s thesis were correct, and his dark ages were caused by periodic changes in the earth’s climate, then we should be just about ready for the latest installment of a long-running series of disaster movies.” Of course, he quickly added, it’s not quite that simple. We can only make educated guesses as to what the climate will do while taking measures to “at least not make the situation worse.”

What kind of measures can we take to help curb today’s evident global warming? Vita-Finzi, who was not a panelist but discussed some of the issues from the front row of the auditorium, said that two things we obviously should be doing, based on our past knowledge, is economizing on fuel and not polluting the atmosphere with carbon dioxide. “But,” he added, “pretending we know exactly what will happen in five or 10 years is insane.”

Vita-Finzi, who has written books on the sun and other earth-science topics and is affiliated with the Natural History Museum in London, also addressed the rarity of archaeologists studying climate change. Most of them, as he put it, seem to care more about “pots and jewels and swords and wars, and whether that scar was done by sword or axe” than climatic influence—which he admitted is more “indirect and often mysterious.” But books like Climate Crises in Human History are important, he said, even if they show that their authors don’t have all the answers when it comes to future climactic trends.

Giegengack has spoken out in the past about those who think they have all the answers based on so-called “recent” trends [“Gazetteer,” May|June 2007]. In a 2007 Philadelphia magazine story, the Penn professor blasted Al Gore for his global-warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth, which he said was filled with scientific inaccuracies and used “scare tactics” to get his point across.

For Giegengack, it’s difficult to see the global-warming issue being used as a political cudgel knowing that planetary temperatures have gone through regular cycles of rising and falling for the past 650,000 years.

“I think we can say, in the history of the Earth, there has never been a time when … people would not have been at risk to the consequences of climate changes, whether warming or cooling,” Giegengack said. “The problem today is the population pressure and the extraction of resources—because climate change has been with us continuously.”




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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