Wednesday, October 02, 2013
Junk science: More food is bad for caribou?
An earlier melt in Arctic regions means that plants emerge earlier and are bigger than they would otherwise be at any one point in time. So grazing animals have more food. But the galoots below argue that caribou have LESS food after an early melt. To reach that amazing conclusion, the galoots below have to assert that only "young, tender" greenery can be eaten by caribou -- which is utter hogwash. Caribou are ruminants, with powerful four-chambered digestive systems designed to break down almost any vegetable matter. And they eat everything from lichens to tree leaves. Which shows again that there's no such thing as an honest Warmist
The melting of arctic sea ice is indirectly leading to higher mortality among caribou calves, new research suggests.
Penn State University biologists Eric Post and Jeffrey Kerby have unravelled the links between sea ice loss, the timing of plant growth on land and caribou breeding in Greenland over the past two decades.
'The animals show up expecting a food bonanza, but they find that the cafeteria already has closed.'- Jeffrey Kerby, biologist
They have discovered that as the Arctic climate warms, plants are emerging earlier. That means they have become older and less nutritious by the time the caribou arrive at their breeding grounds looking for tender young shoots to nourish them in preparation for giving birth.
"The animals show up expecting a food bonanza, but they find that the cafeteria already has closed," said Kerby in a statement.
Arctic sea ice has been melting in recent decades, and the area of the Arctic that is covered by ice during the summer has been declining.
The researchers found that less sea ice was closely linked to higher average temperatures inland during late May and early June, when caribou arrive at the breeding site they have used for 3,000 years. The warmer the temperatures, the earlier plants emerged.
However, the caribou tended to give birth at the same time every year, regardless of when the plants emerged.
The researchers found that when a greater majority of plants had already emerged at the average date that the caribou gave birth, the mortality rate of the calves increased and fewer survived.
The researchers published their results Tuesday online in Nature Communications.
Post and his colleagues had previously found a link between the earlier timing of plants emerging after the winter and higher mortality among caribou calves. However, the new study makes a link between that mismatch and climate-related environmental factors such as temperature and sea ice loss.
Post was also the lead author of a study published in April that suggested warming related to the loss of sea ice might have a range of impacts on land animals, including disrupting the food sources of animals such as caribou. That study also warned that in the Canadian Arctic, the later freeze-up of the ice and increased ship traffic could affect the annual migration of the Dolphin and Union caribou herds.
Climate change-linked mismatches in the timing between the arrival of animals to an area and the peak availability of their food have already been linked to the decline of populations of other species, such as bees and songbirds.
Allow Golden Rice Now!
At 10 AM on October 2 the global campaign Allow Golden Rice Now! will be launched in front of the Greenpeace offices at 33 Cecil Street, in Toronto, Ontario. Dr. Patrick Moore will lead the demonstration with a banner that reads:
'Greenpeace's Crime Against Humanity
* Eight Million Children Dead
Details of the campaign and the demonstration will be released at an information session to be held tonight, October 1, at 7 PM at the Pauper's Pub at 539 Bloor Street West, Toronto.
The aim of the campaign is to convince Greenpeace that it should make an exception to its immoral and lethal zero-tolerance position on genetic modification – and allow and support the distribution of Golden Rice, on humanitarian grounds. The World Health Organization estimates that up to 500,000 children become blind each year due to vitamin A deficiency. Half of them die within a year of becoming blind. About 250 million preschool children worldwide suffer from vitamin A deficiency, among the nearly 3 billion people who depend on rice as their staple food.
Conventional rice has no beta-carotene, the nutrient that humans need to produce vitamin A. In 1999 Dr. Ingo Potrykus and Dr. Peter Beyer, both science professors who were aware of this humanitarian crisis, invented Golden Rice after a nine-year effort. By inserting genes from corn, they were able to cause rice plants to produce beta-carotene in the rice kernel. It is beta-carotene that makes corn golden and carrots orange. Golden Rice can end the blindness, suffering and death caused by vitamin A deficiency. It would be distributed at no cost to poor farmers around the world, to help end this needless humanitarian crisis. Up to now, however, Greenpeace has blocked these efforts, perpetuating the blindness and death.
Field trials in Louisiana, the Philippines and Bangladesh have proven that Golden Rice can be grown successfully. Clinical nutritional trials with animals, adult humans, and vitamin A deficient children have proven that Golden Rice will deliver sufficient vitamin A to cure this affliction. Yet Greenpeace continues to support the violent destruction of the field trials. It also trashes the peer-reviewed science that proves Golden Rice is effective and safe.
We demand that Greenpeace end these immoral, child-killing activities, stop fundraising on this issue, and declare that they are not opposed to Golden Rice. We believe that its continued actions to block Golden Rice constitute a crime against humanity as defined by the United Nations.
The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines is coordinating the research and development of Golden Rice. The IRRI is supported by The Rockefeller Foundation, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Helen Keller International, USAID, and many agricultural research organizations. Golden Rice is controlled by non-profit organizations, and it produces viable Golden Rice seeds, so farmers are not dependent on any particular supplier.
"The Allow Golden Rice Now! campaign will carry this protest to Greenpeace offices around the world,"stated Dr. Moore, a cofounder and former leader of Greenpeace, an organization that many say has become increasingly anti-science and anti-people in recent decades.
"Eight million children have died unnecessarily since Golden Rice was invented. How many more million can Greenpeace carry on its conscience?" Dr. Moore asked.
More Greenie secrecy
Green group hides environmental ratings of buildings it certifies
U.S. Green Business Council officials have taken the unusual step of concealing the identities of more than 3,000 buildings the group has certified as “green,” the Washington Examiner has learned.
As part of the “green building movement,” each year the USGBC issues “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” certifications for buildings that are supposed to be environmentally healthy, safe and efficient.
The LEED certification is described as a “mark of excellence” that helps the public compare “measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions” with non-LEED properties, according to USGBC.
USGBC officials also claim LEED buildings enjoy lower operational costs, conserve energy and are healthier and safer for building occupants than conventional buildings.
Such claims are hard to verify with USGBC’s online database, which categorizes one in four of the properties as “confidential,” thus preventing their identification or comparison.
USGBC spokesman Marisa Long said the council does not make such properties public if the owners “wish to keep the information private. As a result, USGBC can neither officially confirm nor deny the existence of projects denoted as confidential other than to identify city and state and total square footage within this online resource.”
The secret properties are 3,132 buildings representing 427 million square feet of building stock or 19 percent of all LEED-certified buildings in the country.
Still, the USGBC is a vigorous advocate of what it calls the “green building movement.” Since 2008, the nonprofit received more than $230 million in tax-free revenue in return for its certifications, according to its IRS 990 tax forms.
Data from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics show USGBC spent more than $3 million on federal lobbying during the same period.
Governments at the city, state and federal levels offer lucrative tax credits for environmental upgrades and new construction, much of which are the product of USGBC’s advocacy.
A major mystery is why USBGC lists nearly four out of 10 government buildings as secret. The data show that 114 government buildings are confidential, even though the LEED certification process is funded by taxpayer money.
Environmental secrecy for government buildings doesn’t sit well with Brian Swett, Boston’s chief of energy and environment.
He regularly reports the energy and water use for all Boston’s government buildings. “In terms of keeping that secret? Yeah, I don’t understand that,” he said.
The USGBC also reports 56 percent of LEED public safety buildings are secret. Swett said Boston’s police department data is public on the city’s website, including energy and water consumption.
“Yes, we report on energy and water use for both police department headquarters as well as the district branches,” he said.
Some say cherry-picking the data might undermine the USGBC's case. “Given they are using the data to advocate public policy, they should release the data,” said Todd Myers, environmental director of the nonprofit, Seattle-based Washington Policy Center.
The USGBC’s secret classification policy also conflicts with efforts by many cities and states to require full disclosure of building water and energy use.
At least nine cities and two states mandate large commercial building owners must make public environmental information about their properties. Failure to do so can result in substantial fines.
In fact, many of the buildings on USGBC’s list with concealed environmental performance data appear to be exactly the types of properties owners might wish to publicize.
Nearly half of the LEED-certified retail stores located in malls are classified. A third of the LEED restaurants, medical offices and lodging establishments that have won accreditation are secret.
“I don’t understand why you go through the process of getting certified and not tout it as success,” said Boston’s Swett.
LEED certification can be expensive, taking years to document with architects and engineers. Certification and special consultant costs can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Steven Lacey, a senior editor of Greentechmedia, a business-to-business publication focused on the clean energy industry, said he has never heard of a property owner concealing LEED certification.
“I’ve yet to see building owners in my experience that haven’t disclosed that information. That’s a surprise to me,” he said.
“The only thing that comes off the top of my head is performance,” says Lacey. “If a LEED building is performing worse than other buildings around it, then that is a potential problem,” Lacey said.
“I personally have never been part of a project where we kept it confidential,” said Michele Good, director of sustainability of Akridge Properties, which operates LEED-certified properties in the Washington, D.C. region.
Cliff Majersik, executive director of the nonprofit Institute for Market Transformation, which focuses on building energy efficiency, said full disclosure is critical for markets to function.
“Disclosure is important,” Majersik said. “You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Markets need information to function properly. It’s important having the information so that tenants, buyers, appraisers and everyone else can fully value energy efficiency into their decision.”
USGBC’s Long acknowledged the council’s data isn’t transparent, saying, “As part of the ongoing evolution of LEED, we are working to create more transparent and comprehensive approach to information sharing.”
Report Gives The Truth About Climate At Last
The issue under public discussion is that human-related carbon dioxide emissions are causing, or will cause, dangerous global warming.
The issue is not "is climate change happening", for it always is and always has. Nor is it about whether carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas or not, because all scientists agree that it is.
Rather, the key question concerns the magnitude of warming caused by the rather small 7 billion tonnes of industrial carbon dioxide that enter the atmosphere each year, compared with the natural flows from land and sea of over 200 billion tonnes.
Despite well over twenty years of study by thousands of scientists, and the expenditure of more than $100 billion in research money, an accurate quantitative answer to this question remains unknown.
Scientists who advise the United Nations (UN) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) worry that a doubling of carbon dioxide over pre-industrial levels will cause warming of between 3 and 6 deg. Celsius, whereas independent scientists calculate that the warming for a doubling will be much less - somewhere between about 0.3 and 1.2 deg. Celsius.
Meanwhile, the scientific evidence now overwhelmingly indicates that any human warming effect is deeply submerged within planet Earth's natural variations of temperature.
Importantly, no global warming has now occurred since 1997, despite an increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide of 8%, which in turn represents 34% of all the extra human-related carbon dioxide contributed since the industrial revolution.
Few of these facts are new, yet until recently the public have been relentlessly misinformed that human-caused global warming was causing polar bears to die out, more and more intense storms, droughts and floods to occur, the monsoons to fail, sea-level rise to accelerate, ice to melt at unnatural rates, that late 20th century temperature was warmer than ever before and that speculative computer models could predict the temperature accurately one hundred years into the future.
It now turns out that not one of these assertions is true. So who has been telling us these scientific whoppers?
The United Nations, that's who; which is not surprising given that global warming long ago gained a life of its own as a mainstream political issue, quite divorced from empirical science - politics, of course, being what the UN is all about.
Meanwhile, and starting in 2003, a new independent team of scientists has been on the climate job, drawn from universities and institutes around the world and called the Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC).
In classic Green Team: Red Team tactical management style, the NIPCC has the role of providing an alternative Red Team view of the science of global warming, acting as a sort of "defense counsel" to verify and counter the arguments mounted for climate alarm by the IPCC's Green Team prosecution.
The report summarises many of the thousands of scientific papers that contain evidence conflicting with the idea of dangerous human-caused warming. Considered collectively, the research literature summarised by the NIPCC shows that modern climate is jogging along well within the bounds of previous natural variation.
Lujan aims a poison arrow at Keystone XL
Capitol Hill supporters of the Keystone XL pipeline are hitting the panic button over a seemingly harmless amendment to a non-controversial federal land-swap bill to facilitate a new Arizona copper mine.
The amendment, filed Sept. 26 by Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D.-N.M.) to H.R. 687, the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act, a bill that authorizes the transfer of federal land in Arizona to the Resolution Copper mine partnership, in exchange for land owned Resolution, gives the Secretary of Interior the power to designate a site as sacred or culturally significant to Indians.
Remember, there are already protections for sacred sites in current law, one of bills innovations is to mingle in the “cultural,” which really means anything or nothing.
There are no concrete requirements for this designation, and because there is no process for the private land owner to appeal, the only recourse would be that harsh wilderness called the federal court system.
In his public statements, Lujan presents this amendment as a protection for sacred Indian sites threatened by the operation of the mine. But in reality, it is a poison-tipped arrow aimed at the Keystone pipeline.
With this authority the Interior Secretary could simply slap the sacred-and-or-cultural label on the private land in front of the pipelines extension, and it probably spells game over. If TransCanada, the company building the pipeline, has to wait until a Republican wins the White House and puts in a new Interior Secretary, it might be better off focusing on other projects.
The economic truth about Keystone is that railroads, some owned by Warren Buffett, are already carrying the shale and crude oil that the pipeline is supposed to move. Stopping Keystone is about stopping the flow of oil—it is about the federal government picking railroads over the pipeline, or letting the market decide.
Lujan is one of the most consistent opponents of the Keystone extension. He has voted against every effort to streamline its approval and supported every effort to stop or delay the project.
One of the reasons Keystone supporters are concerned is specter of Republican support for the amendment by GOP members of Congress looking for a chance for a “turquoise,” or pro-Indian vote.
The Republican rustling up GOP support for the amendment is Rep. Tom Cole (R.-Okla.), a man who proudly wears his turquoise ties as he carries water for new Indian casinos and increased subsidies for tribal regimes.
Opposing the Lujan-Cole team is the lead sponsor of the land-swap bill, Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R.-Ariz.). Gosar, in a strong “Dear Colleague” letter decimated the arguments for the Lujan amendment, when he pointed out the nearest Indian reservation is 20 miles away from the site of the new mine.
Gosar wrote to his colleagues that in 2008, the Forest Service conducted a survey of the mine site for areas that could be associated with native religious practices and after its investigation issued a Finding of No Significant Impact report.
Politicians are sometimes compared to actors, but the more helpful comparison is to magicians, who perform their tricks with one hand as the audience is watching the other.
As everyone is focused on the fights to defund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, raise the debt ceiling and figure out the budget for fiscal year 2014, environmentalists lobbying against extension of the Keystone XL pipeline slipped a simple amendment on a simple bill.
Make no mistake, H.R.687 is supported by Democrats and Republicans in the Arizona delegation, as well as local officials and media in the state. Not only would it create jobs and economic growth in Arizona, the new mine will help America’s “copper gap,” which has the country importing 600,000 metric tons of copper annually.
The Lujan amendment was designed to piggyback on a bill that will easily pass Congress, and when it is only after it became law that its true purpose would be revealed. Fortunately, alert conservatives took a hard look at an amendment to protect sacred sites, where there were none, and connected the dots before it was too late.
Obama’s war on energy is not ‘unbelievably small’ at all
Look closely at the energy-related news stories of the past dozen or so days, and, between the lines, you’ll see a theme: government makes predictions and assertions that cannot be backed up by data to protect or project preferred messaging.
The unusual collaboration of the University of Texas (UT) and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) conducted a first-ever detailed examination—more than 500 wells were analyzed—of individual drilling sites to determine the total amount of escaped methane from shale gas operations. The study was released on September 16 by the National Academy of Sciences. The New York Times story on the study opens with: “Drilling for shale gas through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, appears to cause smaller leaks of the greenhouse gas methane than the federal government had estimated.” It reports: “Previous E.P.A. estimates relied on engineering calculations, and other studies gathered data via aircraft flights over drilling sites.”
Why does this matter? Because environmental groups have used previous methane-leak estimates to claim that leaks offset the environmental benefits of the clean-burning natural gas the wells produce. Such claims are used to bolster fracking opposition. A September 17 press release from the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works states: “methane leakage from shale gas development is not releasing nearly as much methane as U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had predicted. EPA’s grossly exaggerated estimates have been widely used by critics and far-left environmentalists to discredit the benefits of hydraulic fracturing.”
The exaggerated estimates of methane leaks came from a study released two years ago when two Cornell University scientists, Robert Howarth and Anthony Ingraffea, reported catastrophic levels of methane were being leaked by fracking operations. According to Forbes, “a slew of experts” discredited the research, which just reviewed EPA data and relied on estimates and hypotheticals.
Jon Entine cites the Park Foundation as the source of funding for much of Cornell’s anti-fracking research. Park also funded the anti-fracking Gasland movies. Entine states: “Two years ago in an interview for an investigative story on Park and Howarth for Ethical Corporation, the Cornell professor blurted out to me that he was recruited by a Park Foundation family member who thought a university study criticizing fracking and challenging the ‘Green credentials’ of shale gas would advance the cause.”
The Associated Press “Big Story” titled: “Study: Methane leaks from gas drilling not huge,” concludes: “While methane concentrations in the atmosphere have been rising since 2007, federal scientists say they’ve found no sign that gas or oil drilling is contributing because the methane emissions come from a different part of the globe.”
Opposition to fracking also uses threats to the water supply and earthquake fears to scare people.
Back in 2011, the EPA blamed fracking for groundwater contamination in Pavillion, Wyoming. Reports declared: “For the first time, federal environmental regulators have made a direct link between the controversial drilling practice known as hydraulic fracturing and groundwater contamination.” Then, after the report was found to be flawed, in June, the EPA announced: that “it does not plan to finalize or seek peer review of its draft Pavillion groundwater report.”
Now, as of September 11, the EPA has “officially washed its hands of the investigation.” Marcellus Drilling News explains: “Now, with hardly a peep, the EPA published an official notice in yesterday’s Federal Register that they’ve turned the lights out on their Pavillion investigation.” Referencing the EPA Pavillion study, on May 16, 2012, Investors Business Daily states: “if eventually upheld, [it] would be the first time that drilling for natural gas itself contaminated water from underground aquifers.” Apparently, by admission that it will not “finalize or seek peer review of the final draft report,” the EPA couldn’t uphold its findings.
Reporter Mark Green posted an overview of a September 12 briefing he attended, regarding a peer-reviewed study done on hydraulic fracturing’s impacts. The study, Green says, is “hailed by the author as the first comprehensive look at the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing.” The study was conducted at the 1,000-acre Inglewood oil field in the heart of Los Angeles and concludes: “energy development using fracking and horizontal drilling technologies is safe, doesn’t threaten water supplies or cause earthquakes.” The study specifically examined groundwater, seismic activity, well integrity, and air emissions.
At the briefing, the study’s lead author, Dan Tormey, a hydrologist, geochemist, and civil engineer, talked about how the public receives its information. Tormey told of addressing the public with the facts, when an audience member said: “Gasland is our facts, and you’re trying to present these as your facts.” Tomey told the crowd at the September 12 briefing: “I found that really interesting because the first-generation studies were really a data-free zone, and the purpose of this study was to be very data-rich.” He added: “Facts have a longer row to hoe than fear.”
Some of the study results Green cited include: “Fracking had no detectable effect on vibration and did not induce earthquakes,” and “emissions associated with high-volume hydraulic fracturing were within standards set by the regional air quality authority.”
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Posted by JR at 7:23 PM