Monday, December 30, 2013
Climate-Science Boatpeople, In Search Of Global Warming Signs, Trapped In Thousands Of Kilometers Of Sea Ice!
The metaphor just couldn’t be more fitting: desperate true believers of global warming/accelerating polar ice melt now find themselves trapped by thousands of square kilometers of summertime sea ice that wasn’t supposed to be there.
No picture could better symbolize and communicate the intellectual bankruptcy and disillusionment of a faithful group who refuse to believe they have been led astray. This has to be deeply embarrassing, if not outright humiliating.
It’s reported here that many of the climate science boatpeople are actually from renowned media outlets, like The Guardian, who we can safely assume were onboard hoping to capture dramatic images of vast areas of open sea water, or of calving ice sheets with hundreds of tons of ice breaking off and plunging into the sea hourly. And with a little luck, maybe even some photos of a couple of drowned penguins.
Nowadays true believers find themselves journeying to the extreme corners of the globe in a desperate search for signs of the coming climate catastrophe. Signs are getting tougher to come by.
Indeed in Antarctica what they found was a reality that was precisely the exact opposite of what they had expected or had hoped for: no open sea seas – just thousands and thousands of square kilometers of sea ice, which ironically turned on them.
“Post-hoc rationalizations of model failures”
To save face they are changing their story and concocting new rationalizations. Perhaps all the unexpected ice is in fact a sign of warming after all! This, for example, is what senior science writer for Comedy Climate Central Andrew Freedman is now claiming at Twitter, much to the rich entertainment of skeptics:
You see, Freedman explains, it’s all in connection with “ozone depletion” and it all comes “with human fingerprints“.
And when pressed on why warming is causing less ice in the Arctic but more in the Antarctic, climate science boat-person Freedman tweets: “…key to remember is the geographical circumstances are totally different.”
Freedmann gets so deep into it that Bishop Hill eventually calls his claims “handwaving post-hoc rationalisations of model failures.” Another reader writes he thinks Freedman ”is making it up as he goes along“. Anthony Watts tweets near the end: “Andrew Freedman is falling for the same ‘anything consistent with AGW’ silly logic fail that Laden did.”
Obviously the climate boatpeople are desperate and have nothing else left to lose.
Jay Lehr on Agriculture Appreciation
Heartland Institute Science Director Jay Lehr was a guest on Brownfield News Radio, after delivering a speech at the Iowa Farm Bureau annual meeting in Des Moines, Iowa.
The government has its hands in all sorts of industries, and Lehr believes the the agriculture industry is next. He thinks that Obama will use the EPA to push regulatory programs on farming and agriculture. Both Lehr and his interviewer were hopeful that since the whole healthcare disaster, people may be less trusting of the government’s regulatory fist. We can only hope, and although Lehr is optimistic, he warns that agriculture should still prepare for fight.
It’s clear that modern sentiments towards agriculture have changed; agriculture is no longer romanticized, but demonized- in a sense- by the environmental movement that started about 40 years ago. The environmentalists have had a very loud voice, and have “won” in terms of popular thought on big agriculture. Lehr recommends that farmers start talking and educating their communities of the truth about agriculture. He suggests taking two hours a month to talk to non-farming people about the new and exciting things happening on the farm.
Agriculture is moving at the speed of light; with new machinery technologies, growing technology, and farm science, there should be plenty to talk about! Agriculture needs to win back the minds of the public.
Climate stabilizers: How do people adjust?
I've been thinking over the last few days about ways in which people adjust to changes in climate and the like. As the climate warms, we might expect to see people reduce their demand for relatively resource-intensive warm clothing. Demand for heating oil will go down in exceptionally cold regions. The net effect on mortality will be ambiguous but likely positive: Indur Goklany argues that extreme cold kills far more people than extreme heat.
Norms will change. People are always coming up with new ways to solve problems, and with the global explosion in information technology I think we're just scratching the surface of what a truly global conversation will mean. In grad school, a friend told me his father's winter rule of thumb: if you're comfortable indoors without socks on, you have the heat on too high. Resources are needed to produce the socks, but I would be surprised if the net climate impact for extra socks is higher than the net climate impact of home heating.
As things get warmer, new types of vegetation will creep northward. Most of what I've seen has focused on bad flora and fauna, but again, this will be offset to at least some extent by the emergence of "good" flora and fauna. To use one example, we're doing an experiment with our kids in which we're going to learn why people don't grow avocados in central Alabama. We planted avocado pits, and they sprouted, but suffice it to say they don't do well in cold weather and will probably be dead before Spring. Changes in agricultural conditions will likely mean changes in the relative prices of meat and vegetable matter. Might climate change itself produce more climate-friendly diets?
I don't know. There are a lot of ways people will adjust to changing climate conditions. Some of them will be good, some of them will be bad, and in some ways ingenuity and markets mean that the system contains some of its own "automatic stabilizers" that will dampen the effects in either direction. I'll close with a quote from Friedman, who makes the most important (but most overlooked) point about the entire discussion in a post that is worth reading in its entirety (I'll even link to it again!):
"The answer, I think, is that nobody knows if the net effects would be good or bad, and probably nobody can know. We are talking, after all, about effects across the world over a century. How accurately could somebody in 1900 have predicted what would matter to human life in 2000? What reason do we have to think we can do better?
"Should we, for instance, assume that Bangladesh will still be a poor country a century hence, or that it will by then have followed the path blazed by South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong--and so be in a position to dike its coast, as Holland did several centuries ago, or move housing some miles further inland, at a cost that can be paid out of petty change? Should we assume that population increase makes agricultural land more valuable and the expansion of the area over which crops can be grown more important, or that improvements in crop yield make it less? While there may be people who believe that they know the answer to such questions, the numbers required to justify such belief are at best educated guesses, in most cases closer to pure invention. Someone who wants to prove that global warming is bad can make high estimates for the costs, low estimates for the benefits, and so prove his case to his own satisfaction. Someone with the opposite agenda can reverse the process and prove his case equally well."
America’s Bright Fuel Future Faces a Hostile White House
The International Energy Agency (IEA) made a mistake. Formed in 1974 at the behest of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and headquartered in Paris, the IEA was designed to be the organization for energy-consuming countries, countering OPEC, the organization representing the producers. It never really had much of a political role, and these days, its value lies in its statistics and energy predictions. Each fall, the IEA produces its "World Energy Outlook," and in 2012, the IEA estimated that "by around 2020 the U.S. is projected to become the largest global oil producer."
However, it looks like IEA's prediction was way off. In fact, this year, the IEA has predicted that the United States would take the lead in 2015, not 2020. We shouldn't be too hard on the IEA's number crunchers, though. Almost everyone who has looked at the American energy revolution has been on the low side, leading to a scramble to make revisions upward. Just this week, the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicted that U.S. oil production would near a "historic high" by 2016. By this time next year, we may find that projections from both the IEA and the EIA were still too low.
"Historic high"? "Largest global oil producer"? That's pretty heady stuff, given that less than a decade ago, the United States was looking at a death spiral in oil and gas production, and experts were making very good livings predicting the imminent arrival of "peak oil." Statistics and predictions are all very well, but how does this play on the ground?
Reality check I: Let's look at Atascosa County, Texas. It's the closest county south of San Antonio. Until five years ago, it was struggling and had been for decades. There was not a lot of economic activity, and the young people who could, left the county for San Antonio or elsewhere. Twenty percent or so of the population was below the poverty level. Average income was below $15,000 per year.
Atascosa County sits on the northern edge of the Eagle Ford shale development. Interstate 37 from Corpus Christi to San Antonio and the railroad line from the Port of Corpus Christi to the railroad hub in San Antonio pass right through the county. This has now made it attractive for companies servicing the Eagle Ford to locate there. Almost every week, Leon Zabava, the oil and gas editor for the Pleasanton Express (Atascosa's weekly newspaper), reports on another new oil and gas company moving in. Commercial and residential construction is booming, new families are arriving, and the county is studying the idea of building a new high school.
On Dec. 9, Atascosa County commissioners held their regular meeting. According to the Pleasanton Express, when Judge Diana Bautista called the meeting to order, two new deputy tax collectors were approved, badly needed with all the money flooding into the county. The Murphy Exploration and Production Co. wanted county permission to make tests along a county road, and that was granted. The county treasurer announced that the county had more than $30 million in invested assets and about $2.7 million in debts, an asset-to-debt ratio of about 12 to one. Not many U.S. jurisdictions enjoy that sort of financial cushion.
The Express also reports the hiring of Roy Olivares as a car and truck salesman by the local Chevrolet dealer. Ford, GM and Dodge are doing well this year, and pickups are leading the charge. Given the demand for new trucks in the shale country, Mr. Olivares is likely to be very busy.
Thanks to the American shale revolution, Atascosa County's economic boom is being replicated in other small towns in western North Dakota, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio, all of which have seen hard times until now.
Reality check II: Critics of the American energy revolution are hailing the appointment of John Podesta of the Center for American Progress to a senior White House position beginning in January. Recently, the center released its list of 55 corporate sponsors, none of which is in the oil and gas business. What the center did not do is draw attention to its left-wing billionaire contributors, including Tom Steyer. Last year, Mr. Steyer and Mr. Podesta co-wrote an attack on the Keystone XL Pipeline project in The Wall Street Journal. As The National Review recently put it, "Podesta is the vehicle through which a radical billionaire's energy policies are about to enter the Oval Office."
Would the White House really shut down the American shale revolution? We can only look at the record: President Obama has thrown the world's leading health care system into chaos. Never mind that high officials of other countries, including Canada, come to the United States for advanced treatment or that health care makes up a sixth of the American economy.
As with Obamacare, the shale revolution is entering uncharted waters now.
Michael Mann Retracts False Nobel Prize Claims in Humiliating Climbdown
Disgraced Penn State University (PSU) climatologist, Michael Mann, concedes defeat in his bogus claims to be a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Mann’s employer this weekend began the shameful task of divesting itself of all inflated claims on university websites and official documentation that Mann was ever a Peace Prize recipient with Al Gore and the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Thanks to a tip off from respected climate researcher, Dr. Klaus Kaiser, myself and Tom Richard (who scooped the original Nobel story) obtained “before and after” copy images from PSU websites as records of this damning retraction.
But not only has Mann opened up a can of worms in the DC courts, he’s also rendered himself liable to full misconduct investigations by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and PSU for academic misrepresentation. No wonder that as of yesterday (Saturday October 27 2o12) the university began the task of ridding itself of their crestfallen ‘hockey sticker’s’ fake claims. In the wake of the Jerry Sandusky pedophile controversy it seems the penny has finally dropped at the scandal-ridden university that what was once disregarded as mere peccadillos actually bring unwelcome legal consequences. No one is buying any of the apologists’ assertions that the affidavit slip up was a trifling one off ”mistake.” Retrieval of third party archives of PSU web pages proves Mann has plied his fraudulent claims for years. So how many more times will Mann’s climate cronies seek absolution for His Phoniness?
It won’t surprise legal analysts if the removal of these bogus claims is swiftly followed by equally shaming corrections, if not complete withdrawal, of the current botched defamation suit. Also liable to collapse is Mann’s other libel claim dragging on since last year against Canadian climatologist, Dr. Tim Ball. In that related Vancouver action Mann also made the very same perjurious Nobel Prize claim. Heaven forbid, even Wikipedia is hurriedly re-writing their biography of the climate con artist within 24 hours of Tom Richard obtaining confirmation from the Nobel Committee that Mann had lied in his sworn affidavit filed last week in the District of Columbia Court.
Let’s not forget that much, if not all, of Mann’s lawsuit is an appeal to the DC court for it to uphold the rightness and sanctity of Mann’s beatified authority on all matters environmental. Therefore, lawyers for Steyn, Rand Simberg and their respective publishers, the National Review and the Competitive Enterprise Institute, defendants in the case, may reasonably and fairly assert that for the past five years Mann has unscrupulously touted these false claims to unjustly further his personal, financial and political ambitions. With his saintly mantle shattered he can expect an onslaught of accusations of related scientific misconduct. PSU’s own policy statement suggests Mann has certainly breached their code of conduct:
“Academic integrity includes a commitment by all members of the University community not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation or deception. Such acts of dishonesty violate the fundamental ethical principles of the University community and compromise the worth of work completed by others.” 
Expect all eyes to be on PSU’s hierarchy to see whether they dodge their own internal disciplinary policies. After the humiliation of the Jerry Sandusky scandal PSU will get no wriggle room to save a second bad boy. Likewise, the NSF has a detailed history of handling cases where individuals have falsified their degrees, memberships, prizes and other accomplishments. An AAAS report tells us, “Federal agencies finding scientific misconduct have subjected researchers to a variety sanctions from a letter of reprimand to debarment from receiving federal funding for a number of years.” 
We shall have to wait to see whether 2013 brings a new U.S. administration mindful to send a signal about the apparent slide in standards within American academia.
Crooked labs, agencies and prosecutors
EPA Nifongs and Beales prosecute US hydrocarbons, jobs, living standards and health
Former Durham, NC district attorney Mike Nifong was disbarred for withholding evidence from the defense and lying to the court in the trumped-up Duke lacrosse team rape case. Ex-Boston crime lab technician Annie Dookhan was prosecuted for faking test results and contaminating drug samples, to get accused dealers convicted. In both cases, charges against their victims were dismissed or are under review.
So how should we handle federal officials who’ve become unethical researchers and prosecutors – determined to get convictions, basing their cases on esoteric circumstantial evidence, allowing tainted and fraudulent evidence, hiding exculpatory information, rewriting the law, and denying defense counsel the right to cross-examine adverse witnesses or present their case?
As the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow explains in its amicus curiae brief to the US Supreme Court, that’s what Environmental Protection Agency regulators have been doing with global warming. They’re pulling every dirty prosecutorial trick in the book, to convict fossil fuels, carbon dioxide, and America’s economy and living standards of “endangering” the public welfare.
Since 2009, EPA regulators have shown a single-minded determination to slash hydrocarbon use, drive up the price of energy, and impose huge costs on companies, industries and an economy struggling to stay afloat and retain jobs. They want to control CO2 emissions from vehicles, electrical generating plants, and eventually the sources of nearly everything we make, grow, ship, eat and do. The damage to our livelihoods, liberties, living standards, legal system, health, welfare and life spans will be enormous.
The devious dealings have continued under new EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, who has pronounced that there is “no more urgent threat to public health than climate change.” Now it appears the mendacious malfeasance is even worse than previously thought.
Newly released emails reveal that Ms. McCarthy was “very excited” in 2010 to “finally get the opportunity to work with” Mr. John Beale, who for several years was the senior EPA policy advisor helping Ms. McCarthy and her Office of Air and Radiation develop and implement tough air quality and climate regulations. When he wasn’t off on one of his Walter Mitty undercover CIA capers, that is.
Beale was just convicted of defrauding taxpayers out of $1 million in salaries and expenses for extended vacations that he took while claiming to be a high level intelligence operative. His attorney says he had a “dysfunctional need to engage in excessively reckless, risky behavior” and “manipulate those around him through the fabrication of grandiose narratives.”
It defies belief to suppose his dysfunctions and fabrications did not extend to his official EPA roles of devising agency air pollution and climate policies, then cherry picking reports and manipulating research to justify them. The criminal fraud for which Beale will serve 32 months in prison and repay $1.4 million is outrageous. The fraud on our economy, democracy and people’s lives is far more costly and despicable. Even worse, their regulatory fraud is a pervasive problem throughout EPA.
The Constitution specifies that the Executive Branch has no authority to engage in lawmaking, but must faithfully execute the laws as written – and not as regulators might wish the laws had been written, to advance their preferred policy agendas. EPA has violated these most fundamental rules, ignoring inconvenient statutory language, and devising and enforcing other provisions out of whole cloth.
Between 1989 and 2010, Congress considered and rejected some 692 bills addressing various aspects of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. So President Obama’s EPA simply imposed carbon dioxide controls by executive fiat, using “prevention of significant deterioration” and “new source performance standards” to create new authority over coal-fired electrical generating plants. It then unilaterally changed precise statutory emission standards from 250 tons per year to 100,000 tpy – to avoid the public backlash that would come if it began regulating and shutting down all the natural gas generators, refineries, cement kilns, factories, paper mills, shopping malls, apartment and office buildings, hospitals, schools and even large homes that emit more than 250 tons of carbon dioxide per year. Those job-killing rules can come later, when radical environmentalists sue radical regulators, to enforce the statutory requirement.
In circumventing Congress, rewriting laws and ignoring the “separation of powers” doctrine, EPA accomplished an unprecedented power grab over the energy that fuels our economy and makes our jobs, living standards and civil rights progress possible. It also flouted clear NEPA, Clean Air Act and other statutory mandates that EPA protect the health, welfare and environmental quality of all Americans.
The agency remains fixated on the speculative impacts of sea levels, storms, droughts and other manifestations of allegedly “dangerous manmade climate change.” As CFACT’s amicus brief explains, it completely ignores the increasingly adverse effects that its boiler MACT, carbon dioxide and 1,9000 other Obama-era EPA regulations are having on companies, jobs, families, entire industries and communities – and thus people’s physical, mental and emotional well-being.
As breadwinners are laid off or reduced to part-time status, families are unable to heat and cool their homes properly, pay bills, rent or mortgage, buy clothing and medicines, or take vacations. Increasing numbers of families deplete their savings and are made homeless. Being unable to find or keep a job erodes self-worth, self-confidence and psychological well-being. The stress of being unemployed, or involuntarily holding multiple lower-paying part-time jobs, means reduced nutrition, sleep deprivation, increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, higher incidences of depression and alcohol, drug, spousal and child abuse, more suicides and generally lower life expectancies.
It means the regulations are far worse than the harms they supposedly redress. For EPA to ignore this simple reality is illegal and unconscionable. For it to do so based on fraudulent science is outrageous.
The agency’s position hardly reflected genuine climate science in 2009, when EPA decreed that carbon dioxide endangers human health and welfare. Since then, Earth’s temperature and weather events have refused to cooperate with EPA’s dire predictions. But the agency’s views and decisions remain etched in stone, leaving the agency on the extreme fringe of alarmist opinion, insisting that its views are supported by IPCC predictions that are increasingly discredited by Climategate revelations, investigations into IPCC practices, the Beale scandal and even an exhaustive report by one of EPA’s own analysts.
When presented 37-year EPA veteran Alan Carlin’s analysis, his supervisor tried to suppress the paper and refused to forward it to the EPA group preparing the final report that would guide the endangerment decision. The supervisor told him: “The administrator and administration has [sic] decided to move forward on endangerment, and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision.”
Finally, even full compliance with EPA’s destructive regulations would achieve zero benefits, because emissions from China, India and other rapidly developing countries will continue increasing total atmospheric GHG levels – and because climate change is driven primarily by natural forces, not CO2.
For all these reasons, EPA’s carbon dioxide “endangerment” decision must be reversed; its stationary source regulations must be scrapped; and the agency must be required to fully evaluate the consistently adverse effects of its regulatory edicts on human health, welfare and environmental quality. If the Supreme Court fails to do so, the House and Senate must reassert their Constitutional roles.
Otherwise the United States will steadily fall behind its international competitors. The health and well-being of Americans will increasingly suffer. And the Legislative and Judicial Branches will become mere bystanders to an unelected, unaccountable, agenda-driven Executive Branch.
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.
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
Posted by JR at 8:41 PM