Friday, February 08, 2013

The de-published man

Stephan Lewandowski now has the rare "honour" of being twice de-published.  His first lulu of a paper -- designed to tar climate skeptics as maladjusted -- was first accepted for publication (though it has never been printed) but then withdrawn by the journal from its publication queue after many protests over its dubious "science".

Lewandowski seems however to have been rather peeved by that and wrote a second paper doubling down.  He once again slimed climate skeptics using very dubious logic -- as I reported on 6th.  His second paper was however in a very humble journal, where the author has to pay to get published.

Not only his logic in the second paper was faulty, however.  He repeated claims from his first paper that he knew by then to be false.  He lied.  So his second paper has also now been withdrawn by the journal.

What is wrong with the man?  How can he have any respect for his own case when he has to lie to support it?  What he writes sounds sane and logical until you look into it.  Where does he go wrong?

I think there is an obvious answer.  There is a lot of psychopathy on the Left and from what I see Lewandowski is one of them.  The hallmark of psychopathy is that they are plausible but careless liars.  They sound good at the time but the lies shatter under scrutiny.  A classic example is Bill Clinton's claim that Hillary was named after Mt. Everest pioneer Sir Edmund Hillary.  Sir Edmund was just another New Zealand sheep farmer when the future Mrs Clinton was born.  He didn't climb Everest until 7 years later.

One must seriously wonder about Lewandowski's continued employment at the University of Western Australia.  Is such an unreliable character fit to be a teacher at any level?  One expects politicians to lie, but teachers?

IPCC Confirms CO2 Is Not A "Thermostat" & Global Warming Is Not "Dangerous"

The United Nations IPCC climate agency has a gold-standard dataset used since 2007 to make global climate predictions - the HadCRUT3 gold-standard confirms that the predicted dangerous global warming is non-existent, and unequivocally, that CO2 is not the world's thermostat

Black = CO2; Color = Temperature

 Taxpayer-funded climate scientists and ideologue politicians have continuously predicted that the globe will suffer from dangerous global warming; and they claimed that human CO2 emissions acted as the world's climate thermostat.

Fortunately for the world's citizens, the experts and pompous political elites and elected officials have been egregiously wrong.

As the adjacent chart reveals, the IPCC's own temperature gold-standard (HadCRUT3) refutes the "experts" and "elites" hysterical, anti-science prognostications:

#1. The global temperature dataset clearly indicates that the world has exhibited a slight global cooling trend since the spike in temps from the super El Niño of 1997/98. That's 180 months (15 years) of non-dangerous global warming.

#2. The chart's thin black line is a plot of the monthly changes in CO2 levels. The correlation between monthly temperature and CO2 changes ranges from slim to none - this supposed thermostat relation of CO2 to temperatures has a ludicrously low R2 of 0.01. CO2 is not only not a "thermostat," it's likely not even a major climate forcing, per the actual data.

#3. While global temperatures have been slightly cooling, the global changes in monthly CO2 levels have been slightly increasing (note smooth grey curve - a 2nd order fit).

#4. Simply stated, this actual IPCC gold-standard empirical evidence robustly refutes all the anti-science predictions/claims of climate "experts" and alarmist "elites."

And, as we are currently witnessing, the green-sharia, anti-human fanatics are now having to do some serious crawling-back from their previous anti-CO2 agenda and bogus-science blinders to the climate reality.


New study shows cloud formation more complex than thought

The basic finding is that organic particles in the atmosphere speed up cloud formation.  But the important point is that this is not factored into the climate models.  And clouds are the key factor in the proposed global warming.  The upshot is that the models are shown to be based on inadequate assumptions and cannot therefore be relied on:  Warmism relies on something that nobody understands fully.  It is a premature prophecy

"Surfactants from the gas phase may promote cloud droplet formation"

Neha Sareena et al.


Clouds, a key component of the climate system, form when water vapor condenses upon atmospheric particulates termed cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). Variations in CCN concentrations can profoundly impact cloud properties, with important effects on local and global climate. Organic matter constitutes a significant fraction of tropospheric aerosol mass, and can influence CCN activity by depressing surface tension, contributing solute, and influencing droplet activation kinetics by forming a barrier to water uptake.

We present direct evidence that two ubiquitous atmospheric trace gases, methylglyoxal (MG) and acetaldehyde, known to be surface-active, can enhance aerosol CCN activity upon uptake. This effect is demonstrated by exposing acidified ammonium sulfate particles to 250 parts per billion (ppb) or 8 ppb gas-phase MG and/or acetaldehyde in an aerosol reaction chamber for up to 5 h. For the more atmospherically relevant experiments, i.e., the 8-ppb organic precursor concentrations, significant enhancements in CCN activity, up to 7.5% reduction in critical dry diameter for activation, are observed over a timescale of hours, without any detectable limitation in activation kinetics.

This reduction in critical diameter enhances the apparent particle hygroscopicity up to 26%, which for ambient aerosol would lead to cloud droplet number concentration increases of 8–10% on average.

The observed enhancements exceed what would be expected based on Köhler theory and bulk properties. Therefore, the effect may be attributed to the adsorption of MG and acetaldehyde to the gas–aerosol interface, leading to surface tension depression of the aerosol. We conclude that gas-phase surfactants may enhance CCN activity in the atmosphere.


EPA, Court Decisions and Simple Facts

Recently, a federal court sided with the American Petroleum Institute (API) and ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to lower its biofuel volume target. Quite simply, as posed by API, the EPA exceeded their authority and ignored logic to foist a phantom “alternate fuel” onto the American people in quantities far too vast to be considered realistic. Their target production for 2012 was almost 500 times beyond the capability of the fuel “producers.”

Think about that. The US uses about 100 quadrillion British Thermal Units of energy per year. A BTU is the heat of one kitchen match; a quadrillion is 100 followed by 15 zeros. If all those BTUs were a pile of blocks or Legos, they would cover Manhattan Island (12.5 x 2.5 miles), to a depth of 161 feet. World energy demand would be a pile 600 feet high.

As to the US pile’s energy-source components, oil would be 65 feet, and natural gas and coal 36 feet each. They add to 137 feet, or 85% of the US total. Nuclear energy would add 13 feet (with no certainty of more) and hydroelectric, 4 feet (but some dams are being removed). Those energy sources bring the pile to 154 feet, or 93% of the total.

“Green” sources are the remaining 7%. Biomass would add 5 feet, of which cellulosic ethanol (subject of the EPA mandate/court case), comprises less than the thickness of two sheets of paper. In 2012, EPA ordered the use of 10.45 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol in gasoline, despite the fact that the fuel is little more than a lab experiment at this time. Production for the year was 22,069 gallons, less 2/10 of 1% “required” volume, or 8 drops per car per year, at a cost of $400 million!

For the last two feet of the energy pile, geothermal would add 7 inches; wind, 14 inches, and solar, the thickness of 10 sheets of paper. So EPA, which wants to drive coal-fired electric generating plants out of business through one regulation, is forcing US refiners and drivers to pay for a non-existent transportation fuel through another one.

Thank goodness we have three branches of government. The court ruled as it should. Now, if the Executive and Legislative branches would consider logic, facts and arithmetic before enacting “policy,” American consumers, businesses and the entire US economy would be better off.


European carbon price 'inching ever closer to zero'

Meaning that it provides very little incentive to reduce CO2 emissions

"Dramatic", "enduring", "meltdown" – the words used by leading analyst firm Thomson Reuters Point Carbon to describe the continued slump in global carbon prices could not be starker. And according to analysts the chances of prices recovering in the near future remain extremely thin.

The company today released data for 2012 showing that, while the volume of carbon traded globally rose 28 per cent to 10.7Gt, the value of the market fell 35 per cent to €62bn as the price of allowances in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and UN Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) collapsed.

The figures mirror similar data released last month by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which claimed the market value contracted by more than a third to €61bn last year.

"In Europe, prices plunged as it became clear that the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is over-allocated all the way to 2020, mainly due to the impact of Europe's economic troubles on emissions", explained Anders Nordeng, senior carbon analyst at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon and co-editor of the report.

"Unless European policy makers quickly agree to take action, either through backloading or some form of long-term structural change, we are now facing the prospect of the carbon prices in Europe inching ever closer to zero."

Speaking to BusinessGreen, Nordeng said oversupply in the European market was now so severe that the record low carbon prices of under €3 a tonne that have been seen in recent weeks were only stopped from falling further by hopes the EU may eventually reform the market.

"Everything depends on the political signals, but whenever they come up with a new plan to tackle the problem it gets stuck in endless negotiations," he said. "There is not the political will to tackle the problem, and until that political will is there it will continue."

The report confirmed similar woes afflicting the CDM offset market, where the value of the market "crashed" from €17.8bn in 2011 to just €6.1bn, despite an increase in traded volumes from 2,012 to 2,408Mt.

The price of the CER offsets traded in the CDM have dropped below €0.50 in recent months, and Nordeng warned that until a new source of demand emerges for the credits prices will remain in the doldrums.



Conservatives often point out that laws, no matter how benign they may appear, have unintended consequences. They can reverberate in ways that not many people foresaw and nobody wanted: Raising the minimum wage can increase unemployment; prohibition can create black markets.

The efforts in many cities to discourage the use of plastic bags demonstrate that such unintended consequences can be, among other things, kind of gross.

San Francisco has been discouraging plastic bags since 2007, saying that it takes too much oil to make them and that used bags pollute waterways and kill marine animals. In 2012, it strengthened its law. Several West Coast cities, including Seattle and Los Angeles, have also adopted bans for environmental reasons. The government of Washington, D.C., imposes a 5-cent plastic-bag tax. (Advocates prefer to call it a "fee" because taxes are unpopular.) Environmental groups and celebrity activists, including Eva Longoria and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, support these laws.

The plastic-bag industry, predictably, wants to throw them away. It says that the making of plastic bags supplies a livelihood to 30,000 hard-working, law-abiding, patriotic Americans, many of whom have adorable children to support. It cites a 2007 report by San Francisco's Environment Department that said plastic bags from retail establishments, the target of the ban, accounted for only 0.6 percent of litter.

Most alarmingly, the industry has highlighted news reports linking reusable shopping bags to the spread of disease. Like this one, from the Los Angeles Times last May: "A reusable grocery bag left in a hotel bathroom caused an outbreak of norovirus-induced diarrhea and nausea that struck nine of 13 members of a girls' soccer team in October, Oregon researchers reported Wednesday." The norovirus may not have political clout, but evidently it, too, is rooting against plastic bags.

Warning of disease may seem like an over-the-top scare tactic, but research suggests there's more than anecdote behind this industry talking point.

In a 2011 study, four researchers examined reusable bags in California and Arizona and found that 51 percent of them contained coliform bacteria. The problem appears to be the habits of the reusers. Seventy-five percent said they keep meat and vegetables in the same bag. When bags were stored in hot car trunks for two hours, the bacteria grew tenfold.

That study also found, happily, that washing the bags eliminated 99.9 percent of the bacteria. It undercut even that good news, though, by finding that 97 percent of people reported that they never wash their bags.

Jonathan Klick and Joshua Wright, who are law professors at the University of Pennsylvania and George Mason University, respectively, have done a more recent study on the public health impact of plastic-bag bans. They find that emergency room admissions related to E. coli infections increased in San Francisco after the ban. (Nearby counties did not show this increase.) And this effect showed up as soon as the ban was implemented. ("There is a clear discontinuity at the time of adoption.")

The San Francisco ban was also associated with increases in salmonella and other bacterial infections. Similar effects were found in other California towns that adopted such laws.

Klick and Wright estimate that the San Francisco ban results in a 46 percent increase in deaths from food-borne illnesses, or 5.5 more of them each year. They then run through a cost-benefit analysis employing the same estimate of the value of a human life that the Environmental Protection Agency uses when evaluating regulations that are supposed to save lives. They conclude that the anti-plastic-bag policies can't pass the test — and that's before counting the higher health care costs they generate.

The authors argue, not completely convincingly, against the idea that regular washing and drying of reusable bags would solve the problem. They point out that the use of hot water and detergent imposes environmental costs, too. And reusable bags require more energy to make than plastic ones. The stronger argument, it seems to me, is that 97 percent figure: Whatever the merits of regularly cleaning the bags, it doesn't appear likely to happen.

The best course for government, then, is probably to encourage people to recycle their plastic bags — or, maybe, just let people make their own decisions. Plastic-bag bans are another on a distressingly long list of political issues where I cannot see eye to eye with Eva Longoria.




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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