Monday, August 12, 2013

Dotty Warmist aiming for the minds of children

Who are less likely to be critical thinkers.  Hitler had the same idea.  Dr Gideon Polya recommends the steps below.  Dr Polya is a "Anti-racist, humanitarian, agnostic, humanist, scientist, artist, writer, pro-peace advocate" and chemist. What a wonderful person!   In Polya logic, Zionists are guilty of ignoring the Holocaust!  I kid you not.  See the third and fourth paragraph here.  He prefaces his recommendations below  with: "The acute seriousness of the present situation is revealed by the following dire estimations".  No facts, just guesses

Hundreds of millions of children are already the victims of the worsening climate crisis and it is estimated that 6 billion under-5 year old infants will die avoidably this century due to unaddressed climate change. All children are acutely threatened by man-made climate change. Some ideas for climate action re children:

5.1 Carefully-designed, ethical, science-informed (e.g. Climate Commission-informed), clear summaries of the climate crisis and solutions should be provided to all primary school children as a booklet, book mark, and refrigerator magnet.

5.2 Carefully-designed, ethical, science-informed, clear summaries of the climate crisis and solutions should be provided to all secondary school children as a booklet, book mark, and refrigerator magnet.

5.3 Green apparel as a badge of environmental concern (children can declare themselves for their future; make every day St Patrick’s Day).

5.4 Carefully-designed, ethical, science-informed, clear summaries of the climate crisis and solutions should be provided to all parents, school teachers, clergy, sports coaches, music teachers and indeed all those involved with children activities.

5.5 Smart ways of explaining to children that we have just One Planet and that any species extinction is unacceptable.

5.6 Awards to children (from badges to books) for good works for the Biosphere.

5.7. Local, state, national and global awards for outstanding environmentalism by children.

5.8 Children must be ethically encouraged to boycott ecocidal and terracidal products and services.

5.9 Children should be ethically encouraged to ask what their elders are doing in the War on the Planet. and instructed about the terms intergenerational equity, intergenerational justice, intergenerational inequity and intergenerational injustice.

5.10 Climate activists must educate and mobilize children who have the time and energy to help save their world.

5.11 Children and young people in general instructed about intergenerational equity, intergenerational justice, intergenerational inequity and intergenerational injustice.

5.12 Just as a children were ethically instructed about the consequences of nuclear war in “When the wind blows” by Raymond Briggs (1982), so they should be similarly made aware of the consequences of climate change inaction.


The Impacts of Warming on Myocardial Infarctions and Acute Coronary Angiographies. (Warming prevents heart attacks)

Discussing:  Wanitschek, M., Ulmer, H., Sussenbacher, A., Dorler, J., Pachinger, O. and Alber, H.F. 2013. "Warm winter is associated with low incidence of ST elevation myocardial infarctions and less frequent acute coronary angiographies in an alpine country". Herz 38: 163-170.

Wanitschek et al. (2013) write that "previous studies reported an association of cold weather conditions with an excess incidence of acute coronary syndromes (ACS) according to hospital discharge reports (Eurowinter Group, 1997; Spencer et al., 1998; Danet et al., 1999; Kloner et al., 1999; Dilaveris et al., 2006 )." But they go on to say that "whether these epidemiologic facts also translate into a significantly different rate of acute coronary angiographies between two consecutive winters characterized by a dramatic temperature increase is less clear." So they thus decided to attempt a clarification of the situation.

Noting that the 2005/2006 winter was very cold, while the 2006/2007 winter was extraordinarily warm, Wanitschek et al. studied the cases of patients who were suffering acute myocardial infarctions and had been referred to the University Clinic of Internal Medicine III (Cardiology) at Innsbruck Medical University, Tyrol, Austria, for coronary angiography (CA), comparing their risk factors and in-hospital mortality rates between these two consecutive winters, the latter of which was 7.5°C warmer than the former.

According to the six Austrian researchers, in terms of the colder winter vs. the warmer winter, the percentages of an essentially identical total CA in each winter (987 vs. 983) that were acute CA were 12.9 vs. 10.4%, while diagnoses of STEMI (ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction) as an indication of acute CA were 74.0 vs. 62.7%.

In the words of Wanitschek et al., "the average temperature increase of 7.5°C from the cold to the warm winter was associated with a decrease in acute coronary angiographies, in particular due to a lower incidence of STEMI referred for primary percutaneous intervention." And that is one great benefit


Reason for China's dynastic changes

Warm periods were good for China too

An interesting study was released two days ago which showed a direct connection between China's wars, rebellion and foreign invasion over the last two millenniums,

Food shortages severe enough to spark civil turmoil or force hordes of starving momads to swoop down from the northern steppes were consistently linked to long periods of colder weather, the study found.

In contrast, China's periods of stability and prosperity occured during sustained warm spells, the researchers said. Theories that weather related calamities such as drought, floods and locust plagues steered the unrevelling or creation of Chinese dynasties are not new but until now, no one had systematically scanned the long sweep of China's tumultous history to see exactly how climate and Chinese history intertwined.

Chinese and European scientists led by Zhang Zhi Bin of the Chinese Academy of Science in Beijing decided to compare two sets of data over a period of 1,900 years. Digging into historical archives, they looked at the frequency of wars, price hikes of rice, locust plagues, droughts and floods. For conflicts, they distinguished between internal strife and external wars. At the same time they reconstructed climate patterns over the period under review. The collapse of the agricultural dynasties of the Han, T'ang, Northern Song, Southern Song and Ming are all closely associated with low temperature or the rapid decline of temperature, they concluded.

Shortage of food weakened these dynasties and pushed nomads in the north - even more vulnerable to falling temperatures - to invade their southern neighbors.

A drop of two degrees in average annual air temperature can shorten the growing season for steppe grasses, which are critical for livestock, up to forty days. When the climate worsens beyond what the available technology and economic system can compensate for, people are forced to move or starve.

The study found more droughts and floods during cold periods, but the factors that contributed most directly to wars and dynastic breakups were soaring rice prices and locust infestation. The Roman and Mayan empires, they noted, also fell during cold periods.

Zhang and his colleagues speculated that periodic temperature shifts roughly every 160 or 320 years were related to natural climate changes, namely fluctuations in solar activity and in Earth's orbit and axial spin. The team concluded that climate change can lead to unrest and warfare.

The historical evidence the team found points to global cooling - not global warming - as the culprit for dynastic transitions


Swedish historian: "climate alarms of the early 21st century resemble pre-modern ideas about divine punishment"

The Swedish historian David Larsson Heidenblad has published a study in which he shows the striking similarities between late modern notions of anthropogenic climate change and premodern ideas about divine punishment.

Below are a few excerpts from summary of Heidenblad's interesting thesis "Our own fault":

In the late autumn of 2006 the topic of climate change had its major breakthrough in Western media. The impending threat of global warming was transferred from the cultural sidelines to the newspapers headlines. Throughout the public sphere the same basic message was, almost unanimously, carried out: ”Humanity is in grave danger, and it is our own fault”. Everyday practices, such as driving and meat-eating, were depicted as direct causes to the crisis. Urgent calls were made for individuals to alter their energy-intensive lifestyles.

The future of mankind depended on our everyday choices, on our moral behavior. From a historical standpoint neither the threat of climate change nor the urgent calls for individual change were new. Rather, they had been put forward in the public sphere since the late 1980s. But in the autumn of 2006 the calls were more frequent and the public at large was markedly more responsive. Climate change was no longer considered a green issue in the margins of high politics. It was increasingly becoming an everyday concern.

From a cultural historian’s viewpoint the calls for individuals to alter their way of living in order to avoid future catastrophes is a distinctly familiar pattern. The theme was an ever-recurring feature of the pre-modern Judeo-Christian World where wars, famines, and epidemics were repeatedly depicted as God´s punishment for the sins of man. According to this biblical explanatory model man was habitually seen as responsible for his own misfortunes. Calls for individuals to change their sinful ways and do penance was hence repeatedly decreed as a means to avoid future calamities.

Divine punishments was, in much the same way as anthropogenic climate change, considered to be our own fault. The striking similarities between the near present and the distant past begs the question if history is repeating itself. Have men throughout the ages continuously envisaged connections between collective moral behavior and looming disasters? Can these ideas be seen as a deeply entrenched cultural pattern in the Judeo-Christian World? Is the threat of climate change a late modern variation on an ancient mythological understanding of man’s relation to his surroundings?  --

 Why do the climate alarms of the early 21st century resemble pre-modern ideas about divine punishment? The line of argument advocated in the study is that there are four points of structural similarities which, when taken together can provide an explanation for the remarkable cultural parallels. All four points exist in both the pre-modern setting and in its late modern ecological counterpart, but not in the historical time periods in between.

The first point is that man is seen as having a moral responsibility to his surroundings. Some courses of actions are deemed detrimental while others are deemed beneficial. Everything man does affects his surroundings, which in turn affect man. The abstract greatness which man stands in a direct relation to – Nature and God respectively – is not the same. But structurally there is an overall similarity in that man is not deemed to be self-sufficient.

The second point concerns how the individual’s everyday actions are thought of as relating to the well-being of the collective. This is in both cases a fundamental point of departure. No man is an island. Everyone is linked together in the great chain of being.

The third point is that both late modern ideas about anthropogenic climate change and pre-modern ideas about divine punishment are based on the strongest knowledge authority of their time – the natural sciences and theology respectively. Both these fields share pretensions of universal validity for their knowledge. Hence neither threatening climate change nor ideas about divine punishment have been portrayed as a matter of individual interpretation, but instead as indisputable realities – truths.

The fourth point is that every individual is seen as being a part of the problem. In the pre-modern religious worldview no man was free from sin and in the present times of climate change no man is free from carbon dioxide emissions. The individual ecological footprint can be greater or smaller, but it is nevertheless a footprint. No one, at least not in the West, is seen as free from guilt.


Local Biodiversity Is Increasing

Ascension Island is about as isolated as a piece of land can get, sitting in the Atlantic Ocean about midway between Africa and South America. When the British claimed authority over the uninhabited, barren hunk of stone in the early 19th century, it was frequently likened to a “cinder” or a “ruinous heap of rocks.” The new owners named Ascension’s central peak White Mountain, after the color of the bare rocks of which it was composed.

In 1846, botanist John Hooker from the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew visited and decided to try transplanting a wide variety of plants onto the island. A century and a half later, the result has been an “accidental rainforest.” White Mountain, now renamed Green Mountain, is covered with an extensive cloud forest consisting of guava, banana, wild ginger, bamboo, the Chinese glory bower and Madagascan periwinkle, Norfolk Island pine, and eucalyptus from Australia. Because of the man-made micro-climate, what used to be a desert island now features several permanent streams.

Ascension Island undercuts the conventional ecological wisdom that tropical rainforests are supposed to take millions of years to form. And what happened on Ascension has been happening all around the world, as people have moved thousands of species from their native habitats to new locales, increasing species richness. Wherever human beings have gone in the past two centuries, we have increased local and regional biodiversity.

Yet “the popular view [is] that diversity is decreasing at local scales,” the Brown biologist Dov Sax and the University of California–Santa Barbara biologist Steven Gaines report in a 2003 article for Trends in Ecology and Evolution. Sax and his University of New Mexico colleague James Brown point out in a 2007 roundtable in Conservation that “North America presently has more terrestrial bird and mammal species than when the first Europeans arrived five centuries ago.”

While some introduced species do outcompete natives and contribute to their extinction, that phenomenon is relatively rare. On the whole, the actual number of species in any given area has tended to increase. For example, New Zealand’s 2,000 native plant species have been joined by 2,000 from elsewhere, doubling the plant biodiversity of its islands. Meanwhile, only three species of native plants have gone extinct. In California, an additional 1,000 new species of vascular plants have joined the 6,000 native species in the Golden State, while just 40 species have gone extinct. Similar increases in plant diversity can be seen around the globe.

The species that have become extinct and are most in danger of extinction are those that dwell in isolated habitats such as oceanic islands or freshwater streams. In a 2008 article for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Sax and Gaines note that thousands of oceanic bird species went extinct as Polynesians spread across the Pacific bringing not only themselves but hungry rats. Nevertheless, they point out, the overall species richness of the plant life on Pacific islands has increased considerably, and bird species richness has remained about the same, since the number of extinctions has been balanced by a number of new species moving in.

Mammalian and freshwater species richness has dramatically increased on Pacific islands as well—it was much harder for animals like rats, pigs, deer, lizards, frogs, catfish, and trout to colonize islands on their own. In addition, while some freshwater species in continental streams and lakes have gone extinct, most now harbor more species than they did before. Hawaii is, for example, home to more than 2,500 new species of invertebrates.

In many cases, the newcomers may actually benefit the natives. In a 2010 review article in the Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, the Rutgers ecologist Joan Ehrenfeld reported that rapidly accumulating evidence from many introduced species of plants and animals shows that they improve ecosystem functioning by increasing local biomass and speeding up the recycling of nutrients and energy. For example, zebra mussels are very effective filter feeders that have helped clear up the polluted waters of the Great Lakes enough to permit native lake grasses and other plants to flourish.

“Imagine that an alien scientist from outer space were to visit both New Zealand and Great Britain,” write Sax and Gaines. “Would this individual be able to distinguish which species are native and exotic, and would it be able to demonstrate that invaders have caused more damage or disruption to ecological processes than natives?” The answer to both questions is no.


Green energy often a very bad ‘investment’

On Wednesday, July 10, the House passed H.R. 2609 — which Bloomberg News called a “$30.4 Billion Energy-Water Spending Measure.” The 2014 Energy-Water Development appropriations bill will cut spending on renewables and other Green energy programs in half and was passed mostly along party lines — with 4 Republicans voting against and 7 Democrats for it.

Democrats offered amendments to the bill aimed at restoring funding to renewable energy programs, which failed. Republicans’ amendments focused on cuts: Rep. Tim Walberg of Michigan sponsored an amendment that would eliminate spending for a national media campaign promoting alternative energy, and Rep. John Fleming, M.D., of Louisiana sponsored an amendment to stop a $3.25 billion Green energy loan program — both were approved.

While several of the different taxpayer funded Green energy programs — which have produced more than 50 bankrupt, or near bankrupt, projects — have now expired, the Fleming amendment draws attention to a pot of money that is, currently, largely unspent. Fleming describes this remaining boondoggle:

“The Obama 2009 stimulus bill cost taxpayers about $830 billion, and much of it was wasted on growing government and administration giveaways,   like a $3.25 billion loan program that put taxpayers on the hook for failed Green energy projects. A company could take a government loan and walk away from a project without paying taxpayers back, even if the company remained in business. In a free market economy companies may turn to banks and investors to borrow money, but the government should not force taxpayers to be lenders, even as it gives borrowers a pass on paying back their loans.”

While Republicans realize the embarrassing failure of the Green energy programs, Democrats want to keep spending — often in the face of opposition from their usual supporters. One of the most controversial commercial Green energy projects, Cape Wind, provides a case in point.

Proposed in 2001 for Massachusetts’ Nantucket Sound, the Cape Wind project will span a highly congested 25-mile area known for frequent fog and storms that is surrounded by shipping routes used by shipping operators, ferry lines, commercial fishermen, and recreational mariners. The Cape Wind industrial offshore wind energy project consists of 130 440-foot-high wind turbines (made in Germany) and nearly 100 miles of cable.

In 2010, the National Park Service deemed Nantucket Sound to be eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places as a Traditional Cultural Property (TCP) because of its cultural significance to the local Wampanoag tribes. [Note: a TCP designation successfully blocked uranium mining in New Mexico.] The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe on Cape Cod and the Wampanoag Tribe of Gayhead/Aquinnah on Martha’s Vineyard believe that Cape Wind would not only desecrate sacred land, but also harm their traditional religious and cultural practices. In opposition to Cape Wind, the Wampanoag Tribe of Gayhead/Aquinnah currently has a lawsuit pending in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

Nantucket Sound is home to several species of endangered and protected birds and marine mammals and has been designated an Essential Fish Habitat. Cape Wind’s construction and operations would threaten this rich and fragile environment. Numerous environmental organizations, led by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, have a lawsuit pending for violations of the Endangered Species Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Opposition to Cape Wind also comes from groups who side with jobs and economic development.

 *   Commercial fishermen, who earn the majority of their income in the area of the proposed site, believe this project would displace commercial fishing and permanently threaten their livelihoods. They vehemently oppose Cape Wind.

*    A decline in tourism, according to the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University, would lead to the loss of up to 2,500 jobs and property values would decline by $1.35 billion.

*    Located in an area with more than 200 days of fog per year and quickly changing weather, Cape Wind would create significant navigational hazards for thousands of commercial and recreational vessels and pose an unacceptable risk to aviation safety. The local ferry lines, which transport more than three million passengers every year, have called the project “an accident waiting to happen.” All three local airports strongly oppose the project and have expressed safety concerns for the millions of passengers flying over the Sound each year.

*   The project would impose billions of dollars in additional electricity costs for businesses, households, and municipalities throughout Massachusetts. Dr. Jonathan Lesser, President of Continental Economics, calls Cape Wind a “poster child for Green energy excess.” In a 2010 peer-reviewed paper, he stated: “the billions of dollars Massachusetts ratepayers will be forced to pay for the electricity it generates will not provide economic salvation but will simply hasten the exodus of business, industry, and jobs from the state.”

Despite widespread opposition, President Obama and Governor Deval Patrick are closely allied and working together to push Cape Wind forward for political advantage. Audra Parker, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound (APNS), says Cape Wind is “a project that is controversial, extremely expensive, and one that has been propelled forward by shortcuts, bending of rules, and political favoritism.”

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and House Oversight Committee research found significant coordination between the Patrick and Obama administrations through the Department of the Interior to push Cape Wind forward and gain financial assistance for Cape Wind through the loan guarantee program. For example, a June 24, 2011, email (acquired through APNS FOIA requests) describes a request by the White House to include Cape Wind in an economic briefing for the President on the loan guarantee program: “The WH was very direct about what should be included in the slides so we don’t have much flexibility.”

The email specifically stated that the White House wanted: “1 slide on status of Cape Wind (because he [the President] has heard from Gov. Patrick a few times — they are close friends).” In the months prior and after Cape Wind was notified that its application for section 1705 assistance was put on hold, there were numerous meetings and calls between Massachusetts state officials, including Governor Patrick, with senior officials at the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Loan Guarantee Program, including the usual players: Jonathan Silver and Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

In April, US News addressed a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that points to federal subsidies for wind energy that are rife with wasteful spending: “The GAO report finds substantial overlap in federal wind initiatives. This duplication allows some applicants to receive multiple sources of financial support for deployment of a single project.”

Once again, the $2.6 billion Cape Wind construction is illustrative of how the overlaps can give the developer more in taxpayer-funded benefits than the project’s actual cost. Federal incentives, including a $780 million energy investment credit, a DOE loan guarantee, and accelerated depreciation could be more than $1.3 billion — or more than 50 percent of the project’s cost. But, this just represents the federal package. Add in state incentives and the combined total could be $4.3 billion — exceeding the projected cost by 167 percent. Cape Wind claims to create only 50 permanent jobs — which would equal a staggering $86 million per job.

But, it is not just the money — though in the current constrained fiscal environment, money is a huge consideration. Government agency recommendations and/or policy — including the Advisory Council for Historic Preservation, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service—had to be overridden or overlooked to prevent “undue burden on the developer” that “could possibly bankrupt them.”

For example, a May 3, 2010, FAA PowerPoint presentation to Eastern Service Area Directors includes a slide titled “Political Implications” which states: “The Secretary of the Interior has approved this project. The Administration is under pressure to promote Green energy production. It would be very difficult politically to refuse approval of this project.”

While this quick overview of the Cape Wind project barely touches the surface issues, it highlights the folly of allocating billions of dollars of state and federal money for Green energy projects at the expense of the taxpayers. Any stimulus funds designated for Green energy, but not yet “invested,” should be withdrawn; taxpayers should be taken off the hook — which is the goal of the Fleming amendment passed on July 10.

Too bad these specifics in the 2014 Energy-Water Development appropriations bill are little more than a representation of the different approaches of the parties: one wants to fund more Green energy projects and the other wants to cut — which also reflects the division throughout America. Because our government is operating on one continuing resolution after another, the appropriations bill is a mere formality. As pointed out on June 25, at Georgetown University, President Obama intends to “invest in the clean-energy companies” — despite the exorbitant financial cost of the projects and economic damages they will cause the public.




Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  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


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