Wednesday, October 16, 2013

‘Insolent’ Czechs look to coal for energy

What has happened in the real Czech Republic and Poland is strange and goes against the grain. It is a rare case of small countries confronting a big bully — the biggest of them all, the European Union (EU).

The EU’s proposals on climate change involve a series of targets: under Connie Hedegaard, the commissioner for climate action, it committed to reducing carbon-dioxide levels to 20% below 1990 levels. At the same time, legislation has been adopted to raise the involvement of hydroelectric, solar, wind and biomass energy to 20% of market participation.

No doubt arranging these targets and associations was one of the most bureaucratic exercises ever undertaken, so it must have been infuriating for the unelected commissioners with their calculators and spectacles and ill-fitting suits to tolerate Spain’s abolition of solar photovoltaic subsidies in July, or the UK’s decision in August to freeze solar subsidies for the rest of this year.

But the Czech Republic didn’t just denounce renewables. Like Poland, it declared that it would double its reliance upon the most vulgar, explicit word in energy — coal.

It’s a funny situation, but Brussels isn’t laughing. Behind the dour expressions of its middle-management equivalents, the European Commission is livid because of the well-documented fact that it doesn’t like its members — whom it treats like petulant children — to think for themselves, exercise any form of sovereignty in its energy policies or even consider what might be best for their own citizens.

Against a set of one-size-fits-all policies and projections, Poland and the Czech Republic have been brave enough to say the costs associated with renewable programmes are not conducive to their own economic growth. But this position will inevitably pit them against the environmental lobby groups that the EU has inexplicably accommodated in policy formation units. It remains to be seen whether these two countries will be censured for their insolence.

In 2011, the former president of Czech Republic addressed an audience in Sydney, Australia, where he drew parallels between communism and the global warming doctrine. Those who declare Poland and the Czech Republic’s respective decisions to revert to coal as sacrilege should remember two important points: first, no economy wins any prizes for poverty; second, these countries happen to know a totalitarian movement when they see one.




Unsettling some science

Research by Murdoch University, James Cook University and the University of Waterloo in Canada has revealed flaws in the way that the widely-used Angstrom-Prescott equation links solar radiation to sunshine

Angstrom-Prescott equation is used extensively in providing radiation readings for agricultural, ecological, meteorological and hydrological models.

The new research is contained in a publication voted a Best Paper 2012-2013 by Solar Energy, regarded as the premiere solar and renewable journal in the world, and will be recognised at the Solar World Congress 2013 in Cancun, Mexico in November.

Murdoch co-author Mr Ross Bowden said the research showed that the Angstrom-Prescott equation overestimates during overcast and clear periods, but underestimates during partly cloudy intervals.

"The Angstrom-Prescott equation assumes that the received on the earth's surface rises in direct proportion to the sunshine duration.  However, we have found this is not the case." Mr Bowden said.

"Radiation is well below predicted levels during overcast periods due to clouds being thicker than at other times.  The Agstrom-Prescott equation assumes a constant cloud thickness.

"Scientists and engineers have noted inconsistencies in the past, but have attributed these to local variations. By putting a wealth of global data together, we've been able to show that this isn't the case."  The group analysed data from 670 sites all over the world as diverse as Nairobi, Vladivostok, Osaka and Miami.


Harvard geniuses goof

New Report Reveals Harvard University's Timber Plantations in Argentina Degrade World's Second Largest Wetlands, Endanger Surrounding Communities

A report released today reveals that industrial timber plantations owned by Harvard University in the Corrientes province of Argentina have degraded the Iberá Wetlands ecosystem and endangered thousands of small-holder farmers in the region. The report is a joint publication of the Oakland Institute and the Responsible Investment at Harvard Coalition.

The report’s findings contradict recent statements by Harvard University President Drew Faust about the university’s investment practices. Two weeks ago, she wrote of Harvard’s “commitment to sustainable investment” and its “distinctive responsibilities to society.”

“When I saw how the plantations have invaded the wetlands, I felt sick to my stomach,” said Sam Wohns, the report’s author. “As a Harvard student, I shouldn’t be benefiting from environmental destruction halfway across the world.”

Together, Harvard’s timber companies in Corrientes, Argentina--EVASA and Las Misiones--are worth $55.2 million and encompass 217,166 acres of land. Since it purchased the companies in 2007, the university has rapidly expanded the timber plantations into protected wetland areas and surrounding communities.

According to residents in nearby communities, the plantations reduce the productivity of their farms, create public health problems, and cause damage to public roads.

“Harvard’s plantations are destroying our way of life,” said Adrían Obregón, a member of the San Miguel Association of Small Producers, an organization of smallholder farmers who live near Harvard’s plantations. “We want Harvard to stop expanding its plantations within our communities.”

Despite their negative impacts, most of the plantations are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for sustainable management practices. According to FSC audits, however, Harvard has failed to fully implement sustainable management practices. Harvard has also rolled back environmentally friendly practices implemented by a previous owner.

"Harvard has repeatedly tried to hide its reckless behavior in the Iberá Wetlands under the guise of responsible investment," said Anuradha Mittal, executive director of the Oakland Institute. "This report by Harvard students is a call to maintain the integrity of the university’s investments.”

The Responsible Investment at Harvard Coalition is calling on Harvard University President Drew Faust to implement the report’s proposals, which are based on interviews conducted with community members, plantation workers, and other stakeholders.

"This student-written report is a milestone for responsible investment in higher education,” said Dan Apfel, an expert on university endowments and the executive director of the Responsible Endowments Coalition. “Harvard should put a stop to the dangerous expansion of its plantations in the Iberá Wetlands and start investing its entire $32.7 billion endowment responsibly.”


Patrick Moore comments on the above:

Invasion of the Killer Trees!!!  What about the swamp cypress, should they be cleared from the wetlands?

If a tree is capable of growing somewhere it should not be perceived as an unnatural menace. They don't even name the species, I would guess they are eucalypts, but they could be teak or pine.

What exactly are these social activists alleging has been damaged? I can't see that the presence of a tree constitutes damage. How do the trees "endanger surrounding communities"? How do they reduce productivity on the farms? Shading out the crops?

Who is Heather Zichal?

By Alan Caruba

The news on Monday, October 7th, included a notice that Heather Zichal would be leaving her White House job as Obama’s “top adviser on environmental and climate issues.” And I asked myself who is Heather Zichal?

In fact, Ms. Zichal had served in an advisory position for five years. In her current position, she replaced the “climate and energy czar”, Carol Browner, who left in March 2011. Browner had formerly been the Director of the Environmental Protection Agency where she did her best to impose some of the most draconian environmental policies; a task taken up by Lisa Jackson until she recently stepped down and was replaced by Gina McCarthy. It says a lot about this agency that during the government shutdown, it furloughed 93% of its employees as “non-essential.”

In July Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) penned a Wall Street Journal’s commentary, “The EPA’s Game of Secret Science”, noting “As the Environmental Protection Agency moves forward with some of the most costly regulations in history, there needs to be greater transparency about the claimed benefits from these actions. Unfortunately, President Obama and the EPA have been unwilling to reveal to the American people the data they use to justify their multibillion-dollar regulatory agenda.” Rep. Smith is chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

Ms. Zichal has managed to maintain a very low profile during her White House career. Trying to find articles that profile or quote her turned out to be a real task. Part of the reason for this may be her political instincts and experience. She has been active since her days in college following a duel track of politics and environmental issues. She quickly came to the notice of Democrat Rush D. Holt, Jr. (NJ) when she was an intern at the state chapter of the Sierra Club and he was running for office. Holt hired her as a legislative director.

Ms. Zichal would later hold the same position for Rep. Frank Pallone from 2001-2002 before serving Senator John Kerry from 2002-2008. She would be an advisor to Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign and the 2008 Obama campaign. Throughout her career she has been devoted to the global warming/climate change hoax. After Browner’s departure, she served on the White House Domestic Policy Council because Congress abolished the funding for Browner’s position in an agreement that averted a government shutdown in 2011

In what appears to be a rare interview, prior to the 2008 election Ms. Zichal was profiled in Grist magazine, an environmental publication. She spouted all the usual nonsense about greenhouse gas emissions, “clean coal”, and “how a President Obama would craft a bipartisan plan to address climate change.” At the time she said that Obama’s “climate and energy policy go hand-in-hand. His goal would be to try and move climate legislation in tandem with energy legislation.”

She was correct in that prediction and the result has been an all-out war on coal with the EPA relying on hidden, bogus “scientific” data to justify it. In the Grist article, Ms. Zichal said that Obama would call for “an aggressive 80 percent emissions reduction.” Since there has been no warming trend since 1998 and no connection between carbon dioxide and the non-existent warming, the need for such a reduction is zero.

Despite the administration’s best efforts, the energy sector, other than coal, has been growing as the result of the fracking technology that has made recovery of the nation’s vast oil and natural gas reserves possible. Along the way the administration wasted billions on loans to so-called “renewable” wind and solar energy companies, most of whom quickly went bankrupt.

Energy industry expert, Robert Bradley, Jr., writing on the Master Resource website in June 2012 took note of a Greenwire—Energy & Environmental News—profile of Ms. Zichal noting that, for all her talk about “outreach” to sectors of the energy industry, “we have the irony of Ms. Zichal trying to square the circle of real consumer-driven energy vs. politically correct energy.”

In point of fact, Ms. Zichal has been a behind-the-scenes player in the Obama administration’s advancement of the global warming/climate change hoax, in efforts to shut down coal-fired plants, and thwarting access to the estimated ten billion barrels of oil in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, along with other ways to limit the production of energy the nation requires.

The recent report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change finally admitted the fact that the planet has been in a cooling cycle for nearly seventeen years. The report has been thoroughly discredited as regards the “science” it has been citing; based almost entirely on rigged computer models.

The White House cited Ms. Zichal for the work she has performed there, “most recently developing our bold climate action plan”, saying she will be missed. The notion that the White House or any other entity on Earth could do anything about the climate is absurd.

“Heather will be missed here at the White House, but our work on this important issue will go on”, said the announcement of her departure. I’m guessing that she will find a new job with the Sierra Club or some similar environmental organization devoted to harming the best interests of the nation.


British climate change ministry spends £300,000 on DOMESTIC aircraft flights in the UK as coalition row erupts over green energy policies

Trains are too humble for grand Green bureaucrats

Minsters in charge of tackling climate spent £300,000 last year flying around the UK, shocking new figures reveal.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change and its quangos charged the taxpayer for more than 1,600 internal flights while lecturing the public about the need to cut carbon emissions.

The ministry, run by Lib Dem Ed Davey, spent £148,000 on 668 internal flights last year.   And the agencies and quangos it runs cost the taxpayer another £163,000 on more than 1,000 domestic flights.

A breakdown of the flights showed that most covered trips of more than 400 miles between London and Scotland. But there were other shorter journeys, including flights between Aberdeen and Wick Airport in the far north of Scotland, which are only 200 miles apart by road.

Green MP Caroline Lucas said she thought trains could have been easily used by officials and ministers instead to reduce the impact on the environment.  She said: ‘I find it hard to believe that trains weren’t an option on at least some of these routes.  ‘Given the impact of carbon emissions from aviation, it’s disappointing that the department isn’t showing more leadership.’

By comparison the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - run by climate-change sceptic Owen Paterson - spent far less on domestic flights. The Conservative Environment Secretary and his officials took only 219 domestic flights last year at a cost of £37,445.

The figures, which were revealed in answers to written parliamentary questions, showed the Government spent more than £1.7 million on almost 15,000 domestic flights in 2012-13.

The Home Office spent the most money. The department itself spent £700,012 on 7,200 flights, while the College of Policing cost the taxpayer £56,636 on 571 trips by air.

Labour MP Michael Dugher, shadow minister for the Cabinet Office, who tabled the written parliamentary questions, said: ‘Over the last year, as people across the country have been facing a cost of living crisis, ministers and staff at Government departments have spent an astonishing £1.7 million jet-setting around the UK.

‘With modern communications, how can all these flights be necessary?

‘It’s also ironic that the Department for Climate Change is one of the worst offenders, with ministers and staff taking more than 1,500 domestic flights at a cost of over £300,000 in the last year alone.  ‘So much for setting a good example on keeping the Government’s carbon footprint down.’

A DECC spokesperson said: The Department’s work means that sometimes air travel is unavoidable.

'This Government has never said people who care about climate change must not fly. It is not surprising that for some journeys, especially over very long distances when time is a factor, flying is the common sense option and most cost effective to the taxpayer.'


Anything Can Happen and Probably Will

And CO2 will be blamed

By Joe Bastardi

I am going to do something a bit different here for Patriot Post readers. With the upcoming winter looming and the climatic ambulance chasers laying in wait for anything that happens anywhere as evidence to prove their point, I thought it would be nice to give an example of how no matter what happens, it will be repackaged as proof humans are wrecking the climate. It seems like a new strategy has evolved – using people that really don't know the weather and climate, repackaging knowns and then claiming it is some big discovery that backs their idea. I used an example last week: The “hidden heat” in the ocean which Dr. Bill Gray explained over 30 years ago with his ideas, forecasting the current overall weather pattern that lead to the increase in hurricane activity.

Look at this example: a tweet from the head of, Dr. Bill Mckibben:

(In case you want to go to their site, here it is. I want to be as fair as possible here, and nothing can be more fair than you looking at exactly what they are about and the people that make up their team.)

Dr. McKibben apparently ignored, or did not know, about the forecast I made a week before when I asserted that what I was most sure of is that climatic ambulance chasers would use the tropical storm and snowstorm occurring simultaneously as an example of … whatever it is they are pushing. More predictable than the weather is the prostitution of weather events by these people – events those of us that have loved and studied weather and climate all our lives know about.

Lets look at Dr. McKibben's idea.

1.) The snowstorm was a record breaking early season event associated with cold air. For it to snow that much this early, we have to have well below normal temperatures. It occurred in an area of the nation where late season cold was delivering snow into May. So let me get this straight: Late season, followed by early season cold, are somehow indicative of the whole global warming disaster?

2) And what about Tropical Storm Karen? Apparently Dr. McKibben was not aware of the reason Karen was unusual. It is very rare for a tropical cyclone in the Gulf of Mexico to not make landfall as a tropical cyclone. In other words, what happened with Karen is evidence against what he is trying to push. The storm died in the Gulf, though its ghost is delivering more wind and rain to the Mid-Atlantic states now than it ever did in areas of the Gulf Coast under a hurricane watch. But facts mean little to these people. Grab the headline and never mind the truth.

(Side note: The propaganda about the latest F5 ever in May so far south, which was downgraded to an F3, failed to mention the cause of it – the result of a major cold trough abnormally far south. What was remarkable about it, had it been an F5, is the fact that it was so late and so far south because it was so cold.)

3.) We had a tornado outbreak in the Plains last week. I guess Dr. McKibben is unaware of the second season that occurs with tornadoes. As the upper jet starts to intensify in the Fall, and the upper air temperatures fall, warm humid air masses can come in off the Gulf of Mexico. The result is a spike in the number of tornadoes in October and November. In fact, the second season is particularly dangerous because often times these tornadoes occur at night. Houston, Texas was hit on November 16, 1993, in front of the nasty winter of 93-94 across the US; Huntsville, Alabama, by an F4 on November 15, 1989 (the following December was one of the coldest on record, by the way); Shreveport, Louisiana, December 3rd, 1978, again in front of a major cold winter. Interestingly, if I were him, given the lack of tornadoes this year, I would be worried the occurrence of twisters late in the season would be a harbinger of a cold winter. But then again, I am sure a cold winter would simply be twisted into more evidence that we are heading for a CO2-fueled climatic disaster.

4.) And then there's the wildfires. We have a near record low year, yet the wildfires that are showing up are used as evidence of the weather going wild? Again, never mind we are so far below normal that the opposite is more of an option to a rational person.

But is there anything truly rational about a group that thinks no matter what happens, it shows they were right, even if it's the opposite? You make the call on that.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

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