Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Kiwi scientists rally against climate change sceptic

But it's all abuse and appeals to authority.  They mention not one scientific fact

New Zealand's top climate change scientists have rallied together to slam a visiting sceptic who is touring the country to proclaim global warming as a myth that should be ignored.

Lord Christopher Monckton, a former advisor to Margaret Thatcher, says human-induced climate change is not happening.

The British aristocrat, the 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, is on a 16-venue nationwide speaking tour telling New Zealanders they shouldn't be worried about rising temperatures or sea levels.

Carbon taxes and emissions-trading schemes should also be scrapped because they are too expensive, he believes.

But government scientists and academics have warned that Lord Monckton's views are not based on science, and go against all the research they have done and read.

Dr James Renwick, associate professor of physical geography at Victoria University, dismissed Lord Monckton's views as "rubbish".

"He's a great showman and speaker, and climate change is a vehicle to self-publicise.

"But he has no training and has studiously avoided learning anything about science, I would say."

Niwa principal scientist Brett Mullan said Lord Monckton's views were "very damaging" for public perception.

Professor Dave Frame, director of the Climate Change Research Institute at Victoria University, described him as a "vaudeville act" to be ignored.

"Someone who goes around saying things we know are not true can actually be quite harmful."


Monckton replies

"Kiwi scientists rally against climate change sceptic" (April 2) twice describes me as a climate change “denier”. That hate speech is inaccurate. I do not deny we can change the climate: I question how much we do.

The statement that “New Zealand’s top climate change scientists have rallied together to slam” me is inaccurate. A news agency reporter incited several scientists to comment. He did not let me reply.

The statement that I say “New Zealanders … shouldn’t be worried about rising temperatures or sea levels” inaccurately implies they are rising worryingly. Yet the IPCC’s climate-science head says warming has paused for 17 years. Sea level has risen for eight years at just 3.2 cm/century.

The statement that I oppose emissions trading because it is “too expensive” is inaccurate. I oppose it because it is cost-ineffective.

The statements that I have “no training” and “no scientific training” and have “studiously avoided learning anything about science” are inaccurate. I studied mathematics during my Cambridge degree course, have published several scientific and economic papers on climate change in learned journals, have lectured on climate at faculty level, and was last year’s Nerenberg Lecturer in Mathematics at the University of Western Ontario.

The unevidenced statements that I say things scientists “know are not true” and “pick data and statistics to suit [my] argument” are inaccurate.

The statement that I once argued for the quarantine of AIDS patients “in internment camp-like facilities” is inaccurate. I argued that, though quarantine (with no mention of internment camps) is the standard public-health response to a new, incurable and fatal infection, Western sensibilities would make it impossible. Tens of millions would die. Sadly, they did.

The statement that “the world’s leading scientists” predict the world will “heat up by 3% this century” is inaccurate. They predict 3 Cº warming, up 1%. Their predictions in all four IPCC Assessment Reports have proven exaggerated.

The implication that I deny any increase in greenhouse gases is inaccurate. I do not deny it: I question whether it matters.

The statement that I “promote [my]self as an ‘expert reviewer’ for the IPCC’s forthcoming Fifth Assessment Report”, implying I am not one, is inaccurate. I satisfied the IPCC that my publication record justified my appointment.

Via email

Arctic to experience explosive “greening” while Antarctic sea ice grows to record levels – both due to global warming

Both assertions in the SAME article! Talk about having it both ways!

Land within the Arctic circle is likely to experience explosive “greening” in the next few decades due to global warming, says a new study.

“Wooded areas in the Arctic could increase by as much as 52 per cent by the 2050s as the so-called tree line– the maximum latitude at which trees can grow – shifts hundreds of kilometres north, according to computer simulations published in the journal Nature Climate Change.”

[Note that this is a computer “simulation.”]

Meanwhile, a separate study by Dutch scientists says that ice shelves in Antarctica have in fact been growing thanks to global warming.

[Note that it is a fact that the ice shelves have been growing, not a simulation]

Meltwater from the Antarctic mainland provides a cold, protective “cap” for ice shelves because it comes from freshwater, which is denser than seawater, the team from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute said.

This would explain why sea ice around Antarctica has been growing, reaching the greatest-ever recorded extent in 2010, it suggested.

“This is a major, new piece of work with wide implications for assessing Antarctica’s ice mass in the coming decades,” said palaeo-climatologist Valerie Masson-Delmotte of France’s Laboratory for Climate and Environmental Science (LCSE).

She pointed to a worrying rise in sea levels in 2011 and 2012 … coming from mountains and also from Greenland and Antarctica, the two biggest sources of land ice on the planet."

[Really? Valerie thinks sea levels rose in 2011?  Then why do Envisat satellite measurements show a decline?]


 The above refers to an article in "The Australian".  There is a similar article in The Daily Mail --  and no doubt elsewhere as well.

Combat Global Warming: Be Gay for a Day

A long last, scientists have revealed the single most important document ever.  It’s a crayon-colored map showing how “trees” could grow in the arctic.

If finally, mercifully, any one of the so-called “climate models” that so far have failed to “model” climate accurately, suddenly and then accurately begin to “model” climate in real time, then, well, WOW!

“Experts say the wooded areas in the region could increase by 50% over the coming decades,” writes the UK’s Daily Mail, “and accelerate global warming in the process. Researchers have unveiled the most accurate map ever (!) of how vegetation could change in the region.”

THE MOST ACCURATE MAP EVER* is detailed in the latest issue of Nature Climate Change, a trade rag that panders to the climate racket.

Oh and you just wait until the United Nations gets a hold of this.

Maybe next year The Nature Group can start Nature Arctic Real Estate.  With the housing bubble reflating thanks to more government money-that-never-has-to-be-paid, think of the fortunes government scientists, economists and well-connected social policy guys like ALGORE, Inc. can make selling icehouses to us Eskimos, er Inuits.

“It shows the potential for massive redistribution of vegetation across the Arctic,” continues the Mail, “with about half of all vegetation switching to a different class and a massive increase in tree cover. Experts say in Siberia, for instance, trees could grow hundreds of miles north of the present tree line.”

See? If redistribution of ANYTHING is involved, you know ALGORE, Inc. will find a way to cash in.

The new MOST ACCURATE MAP EVER (!) is one of those wonderful occurrences that demonstrates that the most frightening words in the English language have gone from “I’m from the government and I’m here to help” to “I’m a government-funded scientist, and I’m here to lecture.”

In the meantime, ThinkProgress has published a remarkable paper called Arctic Sea Ice Death Spiral And Cold Weather that proves, or at least, says - same thing if you are a liberal - that global warming is to blame for …cold weather in Germany.

Stumped by the fact that temperatures are not accurately reflecting current climate “models”- in fact temperatures have remained stable for 15 years- scientists on the government gravy train are trying to tie any weather event to so-called climate change.

Hurricanes? Global warming. Tornadoes? Global warming? Drought? Global warming? Blizzards, dropping temperatures, meteorites, Big Gulps? Global warming.

Even homosexuality has been tied to global warming via population control.

“With the natural world on the brink of demise largely because of overpopulation,” G. Roger Denson, a self-appointed social theoretician wrote on the Huffington Post,   “unrestrained homosexuality, as one of a variety of ethical and democratic measures available to us today, offers perhaps the most natural option to be enjoined.”

Carbon credits for being gay? Anyone? We could funds it with a tax on NOT being gay.

If only everyone would be gay for a few days per year, or a few years per lifetime, it seems G. Roger is saying, we could be more ethical, unrestrained, under-populated, democratic and - most importantly - a lot colder.  Or warmer if you live in one of those places that is unfortunate enough to be colder as a result of global “warming.”

But I do agree with the Democrat part if you capitalize the “d”.

As to the rest, please read fine print* carefully.

*Claims to accuracy, changes in maps, vegetation, flooding, gender attraction and increases or decreases in flora or fauna in any scenario are made for entertainment purposes only and are not to be relied on in any true and scientific sense, except as it applies to government funding.  Please see the terms and conditions of all climate models before planting small shrubs, grasses, cereals or kisses on same sex, heterosexual friends.


Ernest Moniz and Fracking Drive Environmentalists crazy

Many environmentalists are unhappy about President Barack Obama’s nomination of Ernest Moniz, a professor of physics and engineering at MIT, to be Secretary of Energy.

As Director of the MIT Energy Initiative, Moniz assembled an all-star cast of MIT physical and social scientists to produce a June 2011 report that pointed to natural gas as an abundant, low-cost energy source that could sustain much of the world’s energy needs over the next several decades while we transition to wind, solar, tidal, geothermal and other carbon-free energy sources. It would also offer large environmental benefits because gas emits few conventional pollutants, and only about half as much carbon dioxide as the main transitional alternative: continued coal burning.

Implicit in the MIT vision was an understanding that shale gas development, using the technology known as “fracking,” should and will occur on a global scale. While a few groups such as the Environmental Defense Fund have been supportive, this is unacceptable to many others in the environmental movement. So they are striking out to discredit Professor Moniz, his views, and the additional large body of academic research and practical experience proving the efficacy and safety of fracking.

In the environmentalist blogosphere, for example, the discussions of natural gas and fracking take on a decidedly hostile tone. “Fracking is madness, a sign of a society gone completely insane and bent on self-destruction,” one blogger wrote recently. Said another: “The more we learn about a gas-drilling practice called hydraulic fracturing—or ‘fracking’—the more we see it as a zenith of violence and disconnect” in our world.

Although not nearly as extreme, related sentiments also are being expressed by many “mainstream” environmentalists. At a July 2012 “Stop the Frack Attack” rally, Sierra Club president Allison Chin described the thinking behind her organization’s new “Beyond Gas” campaign, warning against the “out-of-control rush to drill [that] has put oil and gas industry profits ahead of our health, our families, our property, our communities, and our futures. If drillers can’t extract natural gas without destroying landscapes and endangering the health of families, then we should not drill for natural gas.”

The movie Gasland put the skills of Hollywood to work in spreading a similar dire message.

The result of such environmental fear mongering—often covered uncritically in the media—has been to convince a surprisingly large number of people that fracking is dangerous, to people and the environment alike. As a result, New York State and Maryland have thus far refused to allow fracking within their borders; a Maryland legislative committee recently defeated a proposal for a legal ban, but just narrowly.

One agency missing in action has been the Environmental Protection Agency. In 2009 the U.S House of Representatives asked EPA to study the impact of fracking on drinking water. EPA agreed, but took two years to begin the research. Then, in December 2012 EPA issued a progress report that managed not to answer any of the key questions, promising continued research.

EPA seems paralyzed, recognizing the significant environmental benefits of natural gas, but fearful of challenging the fracking orthodoxies of its longtime environmental “movement” supporters.

Despite their strong opposition to fracking, few environmentalists seem to understand very well how the process actually works.

First, what is essentially a conventional oil and gas well is drilled vertically, typically to several thousand feet or more below the surface. When this is completed the more novel part of the fracking extraction process comes into play, applying techniques innovated in Texas in the 1990s. The well shaft previously drilled vertically is redirected to become horizontal, with the drilling continuing until the shaft stretches out horizontally about half a mile to a mile. When the drilling is finished, water, combined with chemicals designed to reduce friction and serve other purposes, is injected from the surface into the well shaft at very high pressures, thereby fracturing the shale rock formations far below, and making it possible to extract economically the natural gas embedded in the shale.

Occurring far underground (often 5,000 feet below the surface, for example, in the Marcellus formation in Pennsylvania), it is implausible that the shale fracturing—the “fracking”—could have any direct impacts on the land surface above or on the water aquifers that are typically located much closer to the surface. Indeed, some geologists think it is physically impossible.

There is, however, one new element to the fracking process that is not encountered in traditional oil and gas drilling. When the high water pressure is released after the fracturing of the shale, some 10 percent to 30 percent of the water comes back to the surface. This “flowback water” contains both natural contaminants picked up underground during the fracturing process and the chemicals used by the driller to facilitate the fracturing. The water must therefore be disposed of safely or—as is increasingly the case—be cleaned up and recycled for use in the next well.

This has proved to be the most environmentally challenging part of the fracking process. And abuses, such as dumping flowback water into rivers and streams, have occurred. As a result of increasing regulation, however, and growing recognition within the gas industry that its future depends on public acceptance, the treatment of flowback water has improved greatly. As the 2011 MIT report concluded, “the environmental impacts of shale development are challenging but manageable.”

The environmental movement is of course entirely correct to insist that natural gas be extracted from shale in an environmentally responsible way, and that local socio-economic disruptions be minimized so far as possible. With substantial progress already having been made and continuing in these areas, and with further delays having large environmental and economic costs of their own, the fracking controversy has become a very expensive distraction for our nation and the world.


Al Gore's Irish sparring partners

Seven years after Al Gore won an Oscar for An Inconvenient Truth, the former US presidential candidate is back on the media trail, this time with a book of doomsday environmental predictions called The Future. And, as sure as oceans rising follows glaciers melting, his foils – a redoubtable Irish husband-and-wife team called Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer – are hot on his heels.

"For a man who believes that fossil fuels will mean an end of all life on earth, it's odd that he chose to sell his Current TV (network) to oil funded Al Jazeera," Ann tells me. "It's odd too that he says that a large carbon-footprint, large homes and large cars will hasten that apocalypse, but he has all of them."

As producers of anti-environmentalism films such as Not Evil Just Wrong – made as a challenge to An Inconvenient Truth – and Mine Your Own Business, McAleer and McElhinney have long been sparring partners of Gore. In 2009, Phelim challenged the losing presidential candidate at a public meeting of environmental journalists and was shouted down and escorted out of the room by fellow hacks. Since then he and his Donegal-born wife Ann have continued to build their profile in the US, regularly appearing on networks such as CNN and Fox News. This year saw the release of Fracknation, a documentary about "the truth behind the search for natural gas", which has again raised the hackles of film critics and environmentalists stateside.

Following its release, The New York Post called McAleer "an expert practitioner of cinematic jujitsu." Others have been less charitable and the couple have been physically threatened by opponents of their work and have been called "Hitler's henchmen" by another irate viewer. "Although to be fair," Ann pipes up, "a comment we also hear a lot from Americans is 'aw, your accents are lovely'."

The first story they worked on together concerned Mihaela Porumbaru – the Romanian child, paralysed from the waist down, who was handed back to her Romanian foster parents, despite every effort on the part of her Irish carers to keep her here.

They subsequently worked on a documentary about foreign adoptions for the BBC.

"It concerned two children who had been adopted by evangelical Christians in Northern Ireland," Ann tells me. Over the following years they would research a number of adoption stories, and the work would take them to Indonesia, Vietnam, Romania and Bulgaria.

They would eventually move to America, where they would take an axe to the global warming hysteria, which had swept much of the country. Not Evil Just Wrong, their Michael Moore-esque riposte to Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, caused a huge splash upon its release in 2009 and saw them become in-demand public speakers. Over the following years, they were featured on virtually every mainstream US television network and featured in publications like Variety and The New York Times.

The film broadly argues that the global warming measures that have been implemented by many governments are not justified by science and will in fact impoverish many Third World countries.

Their latest film, Fracknation, has been just as controversial and Ann has some choice words on the natural gas-tapping situation back home: "It's astounding to me that Leitrim, one of the most economically depressed counties in Ireland, has this amazing opportunity and that is being squandered based on inaccurate information. It's a real shame in Ireland that the coverage of the fracking story, from what I've seen at least, is very anti-fracking."

Learn more about Fracknation at




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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