Friday, July 05, 2013

Polar bear chicanery

Jim Steele, an expert on surveys of animal populations, has applied his knowledge to surveys of polar bear populations, which Warmists are trying to make disappear.  It is a long essay which gives you everything you ought to know about the subject -- but the interesting thing is how much official reports are misleading.  I reproduce just that part below:

The Inuit claim “it is the time of the most polar bears.” By synthesizing their community’s observations they have demonstrated a greater accuracy counting Bowhead whales and polar bears than the models of credentialed scientists. To estimate correctly, it takes a village. In contrast the “mark and recapture” study, which claimed the polar bears along South Beaufort Sea were victims of catastrophic global warming and threatened with extinction, relied on the subjective decisions of a handful of modelers...

Amstrup diligently followed up his earlier study on the apparent survival of South Beaufort Bears using radio-collared bears over a 12-year period. It turned out that his high-end apparent survival estimate of 94% was still too low. If only natural deaths were used, polar bears had a 99.6 % biological survival rate.4 Most bears died at the hands of hunters. If death at the hands of hunters was also considered, then biological survival was still higher than apparent survival, but fell to 96.9%. In 2001 Amstrup concluded that the South Beaufort Sea population was increasing and the current hunting quotas insured a growing population.

Perhaps it was the growing pressure from adversarial lawsuits, and speculation that the polar bears were endangered from CO2 warming, but in a subsequent series of USGS publications coauthored by Amstrup, they suddenly emphasized the illusion of apparent survival and downplayed biological survival to suggest the polar bears were facing extinction. The study was far too short to reliably estimate survival. Still during the first three years of their “extinction” study, the researchers reported apparent survival ranging from 92‑99%574. The higher estimate was the same as the biological survival rates of Amstrup’s radio-collared bears. However apparent survival dropped dramatically for the last two years of the study.

The final years of a study always underestimate survival because newly marked are less likely to be observed a second time relative to bears marked in the first years of a study. Claiming “radiotelemetry captures present methodological difficulties” they oddly excluded radio-collared data from critical statistical tests! Despite knowing that biological survival rates had never rapidly changed before, and despite knowing more collared bears migrated outside their study area in 2004 and 2005, the USGS report argued polar bear survival had abruptly dropped from 96‑99% in 2003, down to 77% in 2004.6

In their first USGS report, the authors demonstrated high integrity in their analyses and were upfront about the problems of their models, writing, “the declines we observed in model-averaged survival rates may reflect an increase in the number of “emigrants” toward the end of the study, and not an actual decrease in biological survival”, and they noted male bears had exhibited unusually high transiency. When apparent survival rates were high, only 24% of the collared females had wandered outside the study area. In contrast during last two years of the study when apparent survival plummeted, the number of collared bears wandering outside the study area had nearly doubled to 47% in 2005 and 36% in 2006, but they never published their biological survival rates.

They chose to dismiss the high percentage of bears migrating out of the study area and subjectively chose to argue fewer captured bears meant more dead bears. The authors oddly argued that using 18 years of data the bears are eventually observed in the study area. In keeping with my human/supermarket analogy, it was the equivalent of labeling all your neighbors dead if you don’t see them in the market over a two year span, because over a ten year period you always see them at least once. We need Steve McIntyre to do a polar bear audit!

The dramatic drop in survival meant 400 bears suddenly died but there were no carcasses. To support their unprecedented claims, one USGS report emphasized in the abstract that subadult males showed reduced body condition and that was evidence of nutritional stress that lowered survival.

However if you read the results section and did some math, you discover that subadult males only represented 5% of all captures. The other 95% were stable or improving. In contrast, adult females represented about 34% of all captures, and despite being under the most stress due to an eight-month fast while giving birth and nursing their cubs, their body condition had improved. That good news wasn’t ever mentioned in the abstract, you had to search the results section: “There was no trend in mass of adult females during the study, but the mean BCI [body condition index] of females increased over time”.

Their abstract also implied “a decline in cub recruitment” to support their model’s uncharacteristic dip in survival rates. But that too was an illusion. Recruitment compares the number of cubs in the spring with the number of cubs in the fall. Using older studies their observed results found that the number of cubs per female had increased between 1982 and 2006 during the spring. This would be expected. When the female body condition increases, they usually produce more cubs. To counteract that good news, the authors then argued there was a decline in cubs during the fall, and thus a decline in recruitment. However they had not surveyed in the fall since 2001. They were using deceptive zombie data to support a bad model.

That is how global warming advocates counted bears to refute the claims of the Inuit. That was the driving evidence that led to the uplisting of the polar bear as threatened species. Based on such studies Dr. Derocher, chairman of the IUCN’s Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG) warned, “It’s clear from the research that’s been done by myself and colleagues around the world that we’re projecting that, by the middle of this century, two-thirds of the polar bears will be gone from their current populations”.


Saudi America:  Shale produces OIL too

U.S. producing more petroleum than: a) Saudi Arabia, and b) Europe, Central, and South America combined

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) released new data this week on international energy production for the month of March. For the fifth straight month starting last November, total petroleum production (crude oil and other petroleum products like natural gas plant liquids, leased condensate, and refined petroleum products) in “Saudi America” during the month of March (11.76 million barrels per day) exceeded petroleum production in Saudi Arabia (10.85 million barrels per day). Also for the fifth month in a row starting last November, “Saudi America”: a) took the top spot in March as the No. 1 petroleum producer in the world, and b) produced more petroleum in March than the combined output of all of the countries in Europe, Central America, and South America (11.32 million barrels per day in March), which has never happened in the history of EIA international petroleum data back to 1994.

More evidence that America’s shale energy revolution is taking us from “resource scarcity” to a new era of “resource abundance” as the US now consistently produces more petroleum than Saudi Arabia, has led the world in petroleum production for five straight months, and now produces more petroleum than all of the countries in Europe, Central America, and South America combined. This energy bonanza in the US — described as the “energy equivalent of the Berlin Wall coming down” — would have been largely unthinkable even five years ago. But then thanks to revolutionary drilling techniques developed by America’s “petropreneurs,” we unlocked vast oceans of shale oil and gas across the US and are now the world’s No. 1 producer of petroleum for five months running.



How to Get Rich and Combat Global Warming

In his recent speech on climate change, President Barack Obama warned that "someday, our children and our children's children will look at us in the eye and they'll ask us, did we do all that we could when we had the chance to deal with this problem and leave them a cleaner, safer, more stable world?"

He's probably right. Then they'll say, "Why the heck didn't you pass a carbon tax?" And we won't be able to give them a good reason.

That's because there is no good reason. A carbon tax, done the right way, is the closest thing you can get to a panacea. Refusing to enact it is like throwing out a winning lottery ticket.

By now, most scientists in the field agree that pumping billions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is not a healthy practice for the planet or its inhabitants. In 2010, a report from the National Academy of Sciences asserted, "Climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for -- and in many cases is already affecting -- a broad range of human and natural systems."

The World Meteorological Organization reported this week that 2010 was the hottest year on record. It noted that "nearly 94 percent of reporting countries had their warmest decade in 2001-2010" -- while no country had a cooler-than-average decade. Polar ice is melting; oceans are rising; plants and animals are heading northward in search of cooler temperatures.

Gen. Philip Sheridan, if he were alive today, would have even more reason for his stated preference: "If I owned hell and Texas, I'd rent out Texas and live in hell." Before long, he might prefer the fiery pit to all sorts of places that once had congenial climes.

Although much of the damage is unavoidable, curbing the release of greenhouse gases would limit the severity of the problem. The United States has reduced its carbon dioxide output. But more is needed -- from the rest of the world, as well as from us -- to avert the worst scenario.

Obama paid tribute to the idea of making consumers and businesses pay more for fossil fuels in his 2013 State of the Union address, urging Congress "to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few years ago." That option, "cap and trade," would have functioned like a carbon tax. But it has long since become radioactive among Republicans, who resist doing anything about global warming.

Eventually, they may pay a political price for insisting that atmospheric pollution is nothing to fear. Until then, the most pro-growth, free-market option around is off the table.

So the president will act to curb emissions as best he can through heavy-handed regulation and extravagant subsidies of "clean" energy. The trouble with these clumsy remedies, says economist Adele Morris of The Brookings Institution, is that they often impose higher costs than the benefits they yield.

They would not be needed if the government taxed fuels according to their environmental side effects. Raise the price of gasoline and Americans would buy more efficient cars, drive less and take the occasional bus. Make coal more expensive and businesses would switch to fuels that pollute less. These adjustments would occur through the natural operation of markets, a process that favors the cheapest solutions.

Wouldn't a carbon tax impose a heavy burden on individuals and the economy? Actually, we could cut carbon dioxide emissions by half over the next decade and a half with a tax that would not be onerous -- the equivalent of 16 cents per gallon of gasoline, rising by 4 percent over inflation each year.

This modest impact could be offset with cuts in other levies to keep the total tax load stable. Corporate and personal income taxes, along with payroll taxes, discourage things we want: investment and work. Cutting them would have a positive effect on the economy. A carbon tax, by contrast, would discourage something we don't want: harmful emissions that linger in the atmosphere for centuries.

This approach, concludes Morris, would "promote economic growth, reduce budget deficits, reduce redundant and inefficient regulation, reduce unnecessary subsidies and reduce the costs associated with climate change."

Our kids and grandkids will thank us if we take action against climate change. But if we do it in a way that leaves them richer instead of poorer, their gratitude will be even greater.


EPA Encourages Utility Controlled Refrigerators

At times of peak demand for electricity, do you want your refrigerator to run at the discretion of the power company?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has revised its Energy Star energy-efficiency requirements for residential refrigerators, and it is encouraging the inclusion of “connected” features that respond to utility signals to curb their energy consumption.

The EPA announced the new requirements on June 27. Included is the optional “smart-grid” connection for customers to electronically connect their refrigerator or freezer with a utility provider.

"The updated requirements raise the bar for energy efficiency in these products and, for the first time, encourage manufacturers of Energy Star appliances to include optional 'connected' features," according to the EPA release.

The connection feature allow the utility provider to regulate the appliances' power consumption, “including curtailing operations during more expensive peak demand times.”

Currently, consumers must give permission for their appliances to respond to utility signals.

In an e-mail to, the EPA said, “Today, utility initiatives with connected home appliances are mainly in the pilot stage. Product manufacturers and retailers may offer incentives for refrigerators or freezers with ‘connected’ features.”

“In the future, utilities may choose to offer incentives for customers to purchase products with ‘connected features’ and/or enroll such products in a demand response program,” the EPA says. “For example, one appliance manufacturer offered a limited time rebate for customers when they launched their line of smart appliances this spring.”

Manufacturers are encouraged to produce Energy Star appliances by earning tax credits up to $25 million.

“Manufacturers that build-in and certify optional ‘connected features’ will earn a credit towards meeting the Energy Star efficiency requirements,” according to an EPA e-mail to

The revised Energy Star refrigerator and freezer specifications will go into effect on September 15, 2014.

“We can all do our part in meeting the challenge of climate change,” says Janet McCabe, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “By choosing Energy Star appliances, families can save energy, save money, and reduce carbon pollution.”


Dictates From A Climate Change Alternate Universe

Quote of the Week:  “The influence of mankind on climate is trivially true and numerically insignificant.” Richard Lindzen

By Art Horn

The concept of an alternate universe is familiar to many people, especially those who read or view science fiction books or movies. An example of a storyline in an alternate universe would be the re-booting of the Star Trek franchise. In the production of the 2009 movie “Star Trek” JJ Abrams and company wanted to bring the Star Trek series back into the theaters but they wanted to do it in such a way that they could have the artistic freedom to craft stories that were not confined to the history of all the series and movies of the past several decades. The answer was to find a way to alter the “real” world and place the same characters, Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the others into a new “alternate reality” that in some ways mirrors the familiar, traditional world but in other ways is radically different. There are parallels to this concept today, not in the movies but in the White House.

If the producers of the next Star Trek movie want some ideas as to how to craft a bizarre story that exists in an alternate universe they need look no farther than our own president. On Tuesday, June 25th, 2013 president Obama unwittingly revealed that while he appears to live in our universe, he actually does not. Some of the statement and declarations made in his “Climate Action Plan” are so strange and so out of touch with the reality that you and I live in, I can only conclude that our president is from and lives in an alternate reality.

In his Climate Action Plan the president states over and over again that we must reduce “carbon pollution.” In fact the phrase “carbon pollution” is mentioned 21 times. The term “carbon pollution” is an excellent example of what universe Obama lives in. In an alternate universe white can mean black, good can be bad, up can be down and so on. In Obama’s “reality” carbon is pollution. Carbon is a chemical element and is the fourth most abundant element in the universe. Who knew the universe is full of pollution! It is also present in all known life forms on earth. In the human body carbon is the second most abundant element by mass other than oxygen. We humans are carbon based life. In Obama’s alternate universe, all humans and all life forms are made of pollution. With the large amount of carbon in our bodies, if it were pollution, we would all be dead.

In the alternate universe that president Obama resides, what appears to be something in our reality is something very different in his. For instance, in his Climate Action Plan he states that carbon pollution from power plants, cars, trucks, trains, planes and everything that uses fossil fuels to make energy must be reduced. His reason for this is that the use of these fuels is changing the weather and ultimately the climate. Being that he is speaking to us from an alternate reality means he does not know that in our universe the term carbon pollution, translated into our reality, is actually carbon dioxide pollution. To many people the word carbon conjures up images of black chunks of coal, dirty and full of soot. The imagery of black carbon smoke filling the sky, fouling our water, covering the earth in a dark fog of unbreathable air and causing the seas to rise alarms and scares many people. This is all intentional.

What Obama is actually talking about, from his alternate universe point of view, is carbon dioxide gas, not black carbon. However, in his universe they are the same. Carbon dioxide is a gas, not a chunk of sooty coal. It has no color, no odor and is used by plants, trees and algae as food. The end result of this usage is to produce oxygen. The early plants that evolved in earth’s distant past produced enough oxygen by ingesting carbon dioxide to make our lives and all other living things possible. Life on earth, without carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, would cease to exist if it were eliminated. In Obama’s universe carbon dioxide means death, not life. Do you see what I’m getting at?

President Obama’s alternate universe is so different from our reality that life giving carbon dioxide is the same thing as mercury, arsenic and lead pollution. The very fact that the president insists that carbon (dioxide) is pollution is evidence that he has little concept of the reality you and I live in. Water vapor in the air causes most of the earth’s greenhouse effect. Will he next proclaim the water in the air is pollution? President Obama also appears to have no clue as to what is happening to the earth’s temperature. The president has stated that “temperature around the globe is increasing faster than was predicted even 10 years ago.” In the universe that you and I live in this is obviously not true and is frankly bizarre. There has been no acceleration of any temperature rise and in fact there has been no measured increase in global average surface temperature in at least 15 years and counting. and has clearly fallen since 2002 Apparently things look very different when you live in an alternate reality.

What is especially dangerous about being governed by someone who lives in an alternate reality is that he has the power to dictate what happens in our reality! The use of the word “dictate” is intentional since he has said “ If congress won’t act on climate change I will.” In our universe the founding fathers of the United States wrote the constitution to limit the power of any one branch of government so that the system has a number of checks and balances so that no branch of government becomes too powerful. In Obama’s alternate universe there is no congress or constitution, he is the sole power. Instead of going through congress he will use “executive orders” to bring his alternate universe view of climate change, and what needs to be done about it, to our reality.

In the land of the free and the home of the brave, capitalism has brought about the greatest economy the world has ever known, fueled by our ability to extract the vast natural resources at our disposal. In president Obama’s view from his alternate universe, this is bad and will destroy the earth. With his recent pronouncements it appears likely he will use executive power to impose a tax on everything that uses fossil fuels to increase the cost of using them and in doing so make them more and more expensive. His ultimate goal is to eliminate fossil fuel use.

In the universe you and I live in there is science. In science we have open discussions about theories. If a theory does not stand up to real world observations and experiments it is discarded and replaced with a new theory that must also go through the same evaluation. In Obama’s universe there is no science and no room for discussion. Speaking from is alternate universe pulpit on June 25th, 2013 Obama said “We don’t have time for a meeting of the flat earth society.” He went on to say “Sticking your head in the sand might make you feel safer, but it’s not going to protect you from the coming storm.” He may be correct. The storm is coming but it is not the one he is talking about. It is the storm of economic upheaval and the destruction of industries brought about by his dictates that we must be worried about.

In theory, if alternate universes exist, they are apparently operating independently of each other. In theory, if two universes come in contact with each other there could be severe consequences. President Obama seems determined to make that happen by pushing his alternate reality on all of us no matter what the real world data shows. To him the theory is reality, not the evidence.




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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