Monday, August 05, 2013

Does hot weather cause more conflict?

There is a new paper out of Berkeley which says that it does.  It is an old theory and one I have looked at myself in the past.  The evidence for it is however equivocal.  Singapore, for instance, is right on the equator yet is very law abiding.  Central Africa is very violent (The Democratic Republic of the Congo, for instance) but the murder capital of the world is Johannesburg, which is cool both by reason of its Southern latitude in Africa and its elevation above sea-level.  So, clearly, any influence of climate tends to be swamped by other factors.

A difficulty with the study below is that it is a meta-analysis and you can prove just about anything you want via meta-analyses -- by selecting what you include.  And another meta-analysis out of Berkeley (which omitted half the relevant literature) shows how selective the Left can be when they want to "prove" a point.

Be that as it may, however, the best bet about future temperatures is temperatures of the recent past.  And the 20th century temperature rise of less than one degree Celsius effectively shows that we live in an era of temperature stasis.  So any future increase in violence is likely to be as negligible as the temperature rise

There are some further derisive comments about the study below both here and here -- JR

Quantifying the Influence of Climate on Human Conflict


A rapidly growing body of research examines whether human conflict can be affected by climatic changes. Drawing from archaeology, criminology, economics, geography, history, political science, and psychology, we assemble and analyze the 60 most rigorous quantitative studies and document, for the first time, a remarkable convergence of results. We find strong causal evidence linking climatic events to human conflict across a range of spatial and temporal scales and across all major regions of the world. The magnitude of climate's influence is substantial: for each 1 standard deviation (1σ) change in climate toward warmer temperatures or more extreme rainfall, median estimates indicate that the frequency of interpersonal violence rises 4% and the frequency of intergroup conflict rises 14%. Because locations throughout the inhabited world are expected to warm 2 to 4σ by 2050, amplified rates of human conflict could represent a large and critical impact of anthropogenic climate change.


Arctic Sea Ice Melt Slowdown Begins More Than One Month Early – And Absolute Dead Media Silence On Antarctica!

In the second half of June, global warming catastrophe worshippers were already salivating worse than Pavlov’s dogs when Arctic sea ice melt accelerated at a dizzying rate

Some datasets even show a refreeze occurring in late July! Source:

But in mid July, something happened unexpectedly: the North Pole saw one of its coolest summers since instrumental records have been kept, and sea ice melt also slowed down markedly, proceeding at a rate we normally only see only in the second half of August, see chart that follows:

As the slope lines show, the rate of melting in the second half of July is something we normally see an entire month later, in late August.Source:

Suddenly all the salivating among the alarmists has turned to gloom – no Arctic meltdown on which to feast upon this year.

But hope is still holding out among the alarmists as there is a chance some freak storm or something will scatter the sea ice and send the 2013 curve downwards to a near record low. But if 2013′s current course continues, then it will wind up closer 2005-2006 levels. That of course would be a major setback for the alarmists, who then would have to search elsewhere for disaster stories this fall. The next 10 – 14 days will be decisive.

Already we are getting close to being a solid 1 million sq. km over last year, as to most datasets. The DMI even shows us approaching 1.5 million sq. km over last year. If that keeps up, it’s going to be painful for the alarmists.

As far as Antarctica is concerned, record highs are being recorded daily. Here we have absolute dead silence from the media and purveyors of gloom.

As the chances for an Arctic sea ice melt disaster fade with each passing day, expect the focus of the alarmists to increasingly shift to the hurricane season.


New paper finds the 'fingerprint of man-made global warming' doesn't exist

A new peer-reviewed paper published in Energy & Environment confirms from the latest satellite data that the tropospheric "hot spot" or so-called "fingerprint of man-made global warming" predicted by climate models does not exist. The authors find surface warming exceeds tropospheric warming, the opposite of model predictions, suggesting there are fundamental flaws in the physical assumptions of the models.

Reconciling Observations of Global Temperature Change: 2013

By David H. Douglass & John R. Christy


In 2000 a panel of the U.S. National Research Council in a report with the same title suggested, among other things, that a "substantial disparity remains" between the observed warming rates of the surface and troposphere. Also, in 2000, the climate models showed more warming of the tropical atmosphere than was observed. Many papers have been written since then. We discuss the most recent papers on this subject and using the latest data show that the differences remain unresolved.


Warmist authoritarianism:  Climate skepticism is heresy in the Obama administration

It’s official.  There is no denying climate change at the Department of Interior.  Sally Jewell, the outdoorswoman and new interior secretary schooled in oilfield engineering and molded in her leadership of an adventure-outfitting company, made her debut address at the Department of Interior on Day 111.

“I hope there are no climate change deniers in the Department of Interior,” she told employees yesterday. If there are, she said, they should visit some of the public lands managed by the agency — say the melting permafrost in Alaska or shrinking snow packs in the high Sierras. “If you don’t believe in it, come out into the resources.”

And now the Jewell mission statement:

“You and I can actually do something about it,” she reiterated for the Interior staff. “That’s a privilege, and I would argue it’s a moral imperative.”

This is no James Watt talking.  The interior secretary in the first term of Ronald Reagan’s administration viewed public lands as a commodity with which to make profit. He vastly expanded leases of tracts of public land to coal-miners and opened the outer continental shelf to oil drillers.

Thirty years later, a consciousness about global warming has taken hold — albeit resisted in many political circles. And President Barack Obama has elevated the issue in his second term — indeed hinting that approval of the Keystone XL pipeline could run up against concerns about exacerbating climate change.

Environmentalists are eating this up, casting Jewell as one of two “kickass” women taking the lead on climate change, along with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy.


Greenie groups getting "dark money"

A major left-wing foundation has received tens of millions of dollars from a shadowy Bermudan company with ties to wealthy American hedge fund managers and distributed those funds to prominent liberal nonprofit groups.

A sizable portion of the Sea Change Foundation’s revenue since 2011 has come from a single company, incorporated in Bermuda, called Klein Ltd. The company’s only officers are employees of a Bermuda law firm, and neither provided information on what Klein actually does.

Documents filed with the Bermudan government suggest that the company exists only on paper.

The money Klein has donated to Sea Change has been passed on to some of the largest liberal and environmentalist groups in the United States, including the Sierra Club, the League of Conservation Voters, and the Center for American Progress (CAP).

CAP, which attacked the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 2010 for supposedly using foreign money for political purposes, has also received funds from the Bermuda-based Atlantic Philanthropies, as has its 501(c)(4) arm, the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Speaking at a 2009 event held by the Action Fund, Nathaniel Simons, a foundation manager at and major donor to Sea Change, emphasized the importance of foundations in building a “low-carbon economy” but said that they needed to disburse more money to be effective.

“There does need to be more capital to move in from philanthropy,” Simons said. “There need to be more funders, and I think that foundations are starting to understand that.”

Since Simons made those remarks, Klein Ltd. has donated $23 million to the Sea Change Foundation, according to its 990 filings. The donations comprised more than 40 percent of total contributions to the group during fiscal years 2010 and 2011.

According to company documentation provided by the Bermudan government’s registrar of companies, Klein was incorporated in Hamilton, Bermuda, on March 18, 2011.

Its exclusive purpose, according to the company’s articles of incorporation, is to give money to nonprofit groups and foundations.

“The company will require all of its assets that would otherwise be available to its members generally to be transferred, on its winding up, to another body with objects similar to its own,” those articles state.

A number of left-wing foundations have chosen Bermuda and other offshore destinations to mask the origins of contributions, according to Ron Arnold, author of Undue Influence: Wealthy Foundations, Grant-Driven Green Groups, and Zealous Bureaucrats That Control Your Future.

“A number of Big Green donors have chosen offshore foundations for government-guaranteed anonymity,” Arnold said in an email. “Several countries have become favorites in the no-disclosure-required industry, notably Bermuda, Panama, and Liechtenstein.”

“Bermuda boasts an entire building devoted to plagues of lawyers handling secret trusts that funnel personal wealth into foundations which fund non-profit operations in the United States,” he noted.

The documents provided by the Bermudan government list two registered business agents, Nicholas Hoskins and Marlies Smith, both of whom work at the Bermuda-based corporate law firm Wakefield Quin.

The address for Klein Ltd. on file with the registrar of companies is the address of Wakefield Quin’s Hamilton, Bermuda, offices.

Hoskins did not respond to requests for comment. Smith confirmed that Klein is a Wakefield client. She would not say exactly what Klein does or from where it derives its revenue.

The only other donors to the foundation during the two years in which it received contributions from Klein were Nathaniel Simons, a trust bearing his name, and his wife, Laura Baxter-Simons, also a foundation manager at Sea Change.

While the connections between the Simons’ and Klein are not clear, they both have ties to Wakefield Quin through a pair of hedge funds.

Rod Forrest, senior counsel at Wakefield Quin, is listed as a director of Medallion International Ltd. and Meritage Holdings Ltd., two hedge funds incorporated in Bermuda with ties to the Simons family.

Sea Change had $63.9 million invested in Medallion and $16.3 million invested in Meritage in 2011, according to its latest 990 filing. It had sold stakes in both by July 2012, earning the foundation more than $67 million in net capital gains.

Medallion is a fund run by Renaissance Technologies, which was founded by Simons’ father Jim.

Simons was identified as a principal at Renaissance in his 2009 CAP speech on the need for additional foundation funding. A spokesperson at the firm’s New York office said he does not currently work there.

Baxter-Simons was Renaissance’s associate counsel until 2011. She is currently the general counsel and chief compliance officer at Meritage Group L.P., which owns the Meritage Holdings fund.

According to a March 8 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Simons is the chief executive of Meritage Holdings.


EPA to Spend $6 Million for ‘Sustainable and Healthy Tribes’

The Environmental Protection Agency is spending $6 million to “develop sustainable solutions to environmental problems that affect tribes.”

According to the grant announcement, the objectives are to improve understanding of “the health impacts of climate change on tribal populations and the health impacts of indoor pollution exposures that derive from or are directly affecting traditional tribal life-ways and cultural practices.”

“Age and health status of American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) individuals may increase the risk of adverse effects of poor indoor air quality, including factors exacerbated by climate change impacts,” the grant said.

Children and the elderly are “particularly vulnerable,” according to the EPA grant.

“Growing children are particularly vulnerable; their physical characteristics, childhood activities and natural curiosity put them at greater risk from environmental hazards. Similarly, older people may be particularly vulnerable because the ability to eliminate chemicals from the body decreases with age,” the grant said.

Also, the American Indian/Alaskan Native population is at increased risk of death from smoking, obesity, heart attacks, and asthma, the EPA grant said.

“The prevalence of, and associated morbidity from, smoking, unhealthy weight, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory conditions, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is higher among AI/AN populations,” the grant said.

“Tribes are disproportionately impacted by a number of environmental and health challenges that work against the safe practice of their traditional life-ways and achieving their sustainability goals,” the grant said.

Some examples of these challenges are: “water division, lands not suitable for agriculture, dumping of food commodities on reservations and the creation of substandard housing that exposes occupants to increased issues with indoor air quality.”

The grant was posted on Feb. 25, and the closing date for applications was June 25, 2013.

The total anticipated program funding is $6 million. Each regular grant award goes up to $920,000, including direct and indirect costs, with a maximum duration of three years. Early career awards are limited to up to $700,000, including direct and indirect costs, with a maximum duration of three years.

There are approximately five regular awards and two early career awards, and the EPA anticipates making at least one award to a Minority Academic Institution.




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 or here


No comments: