Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Big attack on Lindzen comes now he has retired

The Guardian has just put up a supposed dismantling of Lindzen's scientific expertise by two old hard-heads of Warmism.  Nuccitelli in particular never accepts any fact that is detrimental to Warmism.  He has always got some ad hoc reasoning that enables him to wriggle out from under it.

The article has provoked widespread derision from climate skeptics  -- who accuse it of fudging the facts "hell West and crooked".  But I gather that no-one is publishing their views in anticipation of Lindzen himself doing a rejoinder (But see here for an  exception).

I did however have a close look at the article myself and when you dig down you find that all the "proofs" of Warmism that they quote go  back to tendentious claims made by other Warmists.  It's a case of Warmists quoting Warmists to prove that Warmists are right!

Let me give an example of that:

I was particularly fascinated by their claim:  "The 15-year 'pause' myth? Completely debunked".  Since even many prominent Warmists accept the pause as fact this is a good example of Nuccitelli refusing to retreat an inch from Warmism.  No contrary evidence or argument can move him.  He is the perfect dogmatist.

But what is the basis of his dogmatism in this instance?  I followed back his links and his basis for rejecting the pause is a paper by Cowtan & Way which said that the orthodox HADCRUT record was erroneous because it left out the temperature record in areas where there was no temperature record  -- such as parts of the Arctic and Antarctic.

So how do you get a temperature record from a place where there is no temperature record?  Easy.  You make it up!  They used a statistical estimation technique called "kriging" to produce the missing figures but in the end it's all just a guesstimate.  And that the missing areas all showed lots of Warming is just a coincidence of course!  Since nobody doubts that the vast Antarctic has been cooling overall the kriging has obviously not captured the facts.

So you see the shallow ice that Nuccitelli is prepared to walk on to preserve his convictions.  With him, there is no honest estimation of the truth based on the balance of the evidence  -- just a determination to admit nothing and concede nothing contrary to Warmism  -- JR


The European Commission is on the verge of stepping on the brakes with regards Europe’s future climate policy. After a meeting of EU commissioners in Brussels on Friday, it seems almost certain that there will be no new obligations or targets  for the expansion of wind turbines and solar power systems after 2020.

Although nothing has been decided yet, Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard and Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potocnik are isolated in their push for a new target to promote green energy. Reportedly, German Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger does not support them either.

Thus, it is likely that the demand of the German government for a binding renewables target for 2030 will not be agreed by the Commission. In a letter to the EU Commission, Germany’s Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) recently appealed to set a new renewables target. However, in his letter, Gabriel did not used the word ‘binding’. Then, shortly before the Commissioners’ meeting, a German diplomat clarified in an e-mail to the Commission that Germany would like to see a binding target after all.

The EU Commission, however, only favours a non-binding target for wind and solar power. Until now, as a target of 30 percent of the total energy mix has being discussed; now 24 or 27 percent are mentioned.

As the EU Commission neither wants to set a new target for energy efficiency, there is currently only one single binding target for CO2 emission on the table: For debate is a new CO2 target of a cut by 35 or 40 percent by 2030. The German government is in favour of at least 40 percent.

A spokeswoman for Oettinger did not want to comment on the contents of the Commission’s internal debate. Environmentalists are horrified.

With its timid policy, the EU Commission is far removed from the European Parliament. Two committees are promoting three binding climate targets for 2030: 40 percent for CO2 emissions reduction and for improving energy efficiency, and 30 percent for renewable energy. However, many EU countries reject new binding climate targets. It is therefore questionable whether the EU Parliament can prevail with its ambitious demands in the climate debate.


Why power blackouts would be GOOD for Britain -- or so says Lefty elitist

One of Ed Miliband’s most senior advisers sparked fury yesterday by saying that power blackouts would be good for the country.

Sir John Armitt argued that the blackouts would be the ‘best possible thing’ because they would bring home the scale of the energy crisis facing the country.

Sir John’s inflammatory remarks – which coincided with forecasts of the first Arctic blast of the winter – revived the fierce debate over energy prices and supplies which was triggered by Mr Miliband’s party conference pledge in October to freeze gas and electricity bills.

The Conservatives immediately lept on Sir John’s comments, claiming that blackouts would be an indictment of Mr Miliband’s failure to plan for the future when he was Energy Secretary.

Sir John, who is advising Labour on the future of the country’s long-term infrastructure needs, said: ‘In harsh political terms [blackouts] would be the best possible thing because this country is extremely good in a crisis.’

In the interview with construction industry magazine Building, he added that the UK was nearing the crisis because too little was being done to replace ageing coal-fired and nuclear power stations.

He said: ‘We are down to (just a) 4 per cent (surplus of energy capacity) because we’ve gone slower than we should have done on nuclear.’

His remarks are particularly  controversial because of the continuing fury within the energy industry over Mr Miliband’s plans for an energy price freeze.

Energy bosses said that his move would threaten the security of supply and mean ‘the lights would go out’.
Homework by candlelight: The miners strikes of 1972 caused power cuts across the country

Homework by candlelight: The miners strikes of 1972 caused power cuts across the country

Tory MP Charlie Elphicke said: ‘Labour had 13 years to take the long-term decisions to meet Britain’s energy needs, including when Ed Miliband was Energy Secretary, but failed to do so.

'Instead they took short-term decisions. And now Labour’s key economic adviser thinks it would be a good thing for families, vulnerable older people, and even hospitals treating patients to suffer power cuts.’

Last night, Energy Minister Greg Barker said: ‘This is utter madness, but if Sir John thinks power cuts will be a good thing for Britain then he is certainly working for the right man – because Ed Miliband would deliver them.’


Climate Change Scammers' Worst Week Ever

Between global warming suckers getting entombed in ice while trying to prove the Antarctic ice cap has melted to most of America doing a Frigidaire impression, the entire façade of this bogus leftist power grab is crumbling.

Understand that the climate change meme is simply the latest attempt by leftists to trick society into remaking itself in their image. It was never about science. It was always about power and money.

The scammers have been ably assisted by a palace guard media that eagerly reports the scammers’ every lie while ignoring every inconvenient truth. You’ll skim the mainstream media in vain for the reason behind the trapped expedition’s trip to the Antarctic. And, of course, the most inconvenient truth of all is that it hasn’t gotten significantly warmer since the industrial revolution started generating CO2, and it hasn’t warmed at all in recent years.

The left’s use of pseudo-science as a means to seize and centralize control has a colorful history. One particularly colorful scheme was the progressive nightmare of eugenics. Leftist icons like Margaret Sanger eagerly advocated it as a tool to eliminate infants of color.

Let’s fast forward to the 1970s, when we were entering a new ice age and the only possible solution was – surprise - more government power. The global cooling panic morphed into the global warming panic. Suddenly, temperatures were inexorably rising and the ice caps were melting. In fact, they should be melted by now.

But “global warming” is problematic when the uncherry-picked evidence shows that the Earth is not getting significantly warmer. The hockey stick is stuck. Now, one might take this new evidence and revise one’s conclusion to conform to the observed data. We call that science. But we are dealing with “science,” and when the evidence doesn’t support your conclusion you change the name of the phenomenon.

Hence, “climate change.” Its goal was stop us wacky literalists from being able to point to a lack of warming to disprove global warming. Apparently, we were fools to expect that what the scammers called “warming” might involve warming.

“Climate change” is useful because it minimizes the dangerous possibility of negating the theory through observation. Any kind of change in the weather is “climate change.” That means literally any evidence supports the theory. If you really want to tick off a scammer, ask him what piece of observable data would lead him to conclude that his climate change theory is incorrect.

Of course, in science, an unfalsifiable theory isn’t a theory at all. But in “science,” you aren’t really talking about theories. You are talking about politically necessary conclusions that are beyond question. “Science” is a religion, and we’re the heretics.

But even “climate change” has become problematic. What if the climate is not changing for the worse? Recent years have seen fewer hurricanes, and of less intensity. The Antarctic ice the penguins stood on while laughing at the trapped ship of fools was manifestly still there. Polar bears continue to wander the northern wastes uncooked.

So the left has now moved to an even vaguer, less empirically assessable concept – looming “climate collapse.” It’s a beautiful notion, at once evoking some sort of horrendous catastrophe while offering absolutely no way to evaluate its accuracy. The “climate collapse” remains off in the future, vague and ambiguous, an unspecified disaster where something bad might happen and no one can prove the negative, so there is no way to judge it to be fact or fiction.

This is “science.” And if you doubt that something of an undefined nature might possibly occur at some unknown point in the future and maybe have unexplained negative effects, you reject “science” in all its forms. You also probably believe in God and are definitely racist.

Climate change scam arguments pique my lawyerly interest as exemplar tactics, techniques and procedures in the art of obfuscation. But the nomenclature isn’t the only bit of dissembling. The scammers attempt to intertwine the idea that human activity has some sort of impact on the climate with their demand that we transfer to their control trillions of dollars and much of our sovereignty. They intentionally erase the distinction between the cause of the alleged problem and the proposed solution, neatly skipping the effect.

Scammers tell us that 97% of scientists believe humans have an effect on the climate. Of course humans have some effect on the climate. A butterfly’s flapping wings have some effect on the climate. But the mere fact of some effect of some unknown intensity does not lead to the conclusion that we must undertake an anti-carbon crusade that will jack up our utility bills several grand a year, force us to drive tiny boxes, and empower yet another army of prissy unionized bureaucrats, this time to tell us we can’t roast marshmallows in our own backyards.

If you believe in science, you can’t make that quantum leap of logic. But if you believe in “science,” you and your media pals will paint anyone who refuses to do so as a mouth-breathing halfwit “denier” who is simultaneously an evil genius in the service of Big Oil.

Oh, how “scientists” hate deniers for actually applying the scientific method to the scammers’ political propaganda. And, as fiascos like Operation Mocking Penguin pile up, and as the coming climate collapse never actually comes, they’ll get even more desperate. The Los Angeles Times and Reddit recently barred dissenters from their pages – there’s no better concession of defeat than silencing your opponent.

The science is settled that “climate change” was a lie from the beginning. And every day without the long-promised climate catastrophe is one day closer to the day leftists will have to find themselves a replacement scam.


DOE Plugs Energy Rating for Homes, Similar to MPG Rating for Cars

The Energy Department on Tuesday is rolling out new, improved software to help Americans measure the energy efficiency of their homes.

DOE says its energy-scoring software -- called the Home Energy Scoring Tool -- is like a vehicle's mile-per-gallon rating because it allows homeowners to compare the energy performance of their homes to other homes nationwide. It also provides homeowners with suggestions for improving their homes' efficiency.

The software is part of the government's effort to reduce the nation's energy consumption; but it's also billed as a way to keep home-retrofitting going, at a time when stimulus funds for weather-proofing have run out.

The Home Energy Scoring Tool "can be a powerful motivator in getting homeowners to make energy efficiency improvements," DOE says. "It's also a great way to help trained workers enter the private sector energy improvement market as funding for weatherization efforts decline."

DOE says its Home Energy Score is useful if you are a homeowner looking to renovate or remodel your home, lower your utility bills, improve the comfort of your home, or reduce your energy usage. Moreover, "the score serves as an official way to document these improvements and thereby enhance your home's appeal when you're ready to sell."

Right now, getting your home scored is voluntary.

To produce a Home Energy Score, a trained, "qualified assessor" comes to your home -- for a fee -- and collects approximately 40 pieces of data about the home's "envelope" (e.g., walls, windows, heating and cooling systems) during an hour-long walk-through.

Based on the home's characteristics, the DOE software estimates the home's annual energy use, assuming "typical homeowner behavior." The software then converts the estimated energy use into a score, based on a 10-point scale (10 being the most energy-efficient). The 1-10 scale accounts for differences in weather conditions by using the zip code to assign the house to one of more than 1,000 weather stations.

In addition to showing the home's current energy efficiency -- or inefficiency -- the score also shows where a home would rank if all of the energy-saving improvements identified during the home walk-through were made. That may prompt some homeowners to buy new windows or doors, for example, boosting the market for home retro-fitters.

DOE recommends getting a Home Energy Score "as soon as the program becomes available in your area." The program launched in 2012, and at this time, only single-family homes and townhouses can be scored.

The scoring is available only through DOE's participating partners, which include state and local governments, utilities, and non-profits. DOE does not determine how much an assessor charges to score a house. "It will depend on what the local market supports." But DOE says its partners "have indicated plans to charge between $25 and $125 for the Home Energy Score."

And yes, the size of the home matters because larger homes use more energy.

The Home Energy Score and the associated report is generated through DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory software. The 2014 version of DOE's Home Energy Scoring Tool will be introduced at a webinar on Tuesday.

DOE says more than 8,500 homes have been scored by the Energy Department's growing network of more than 25 partners and 175 qualified assessors.


Game finally up for carboncrats

Comment from Australia

Tony Abbott's likely repeal of the unpopular carbon tax this year reflects a global trend: the anti-carbon agenda is being subjected to the most intense scrutiny, and is found wanting.

The Kyoto treaty effectively expired a year ago. Prospects for a replacement are virtually zero. Rich nations are rejecting climate compensation for the developing world. Europe is in a coal frenzy. Germany, a former green trend-setter, is slashing unaffordable subsidies to the renewables industry. The European Parliament is losing confidence in the EU emissions trading scheme. No Asian nation has an emission trading scheme in operation. China's and India's net emissions are growing dramatically and governments, most recently Japan's, are abandoning earlier pledges to reduce their nations' carbon footprints. Even US Democrats, notwithstanding President Obama's direct action-style energy plan, won't pass modest carbon-pricing bills in the Congress. Add to this those debunked predictions (remember the vanishing Himalayan glaciers, disappearing North Polar ice cap?), and it is clear that Tim Flannery's moment has come and gone.

Meanwhile, 2013 marked the 15th year of flat-lined global surface temperatures, despite record levels of carbon dioxide being pumped into the atmosphere since 1998. And as the US shale "fracking" revolution shows, the most efficient way to cut emissions is not via command-and-control regulation but by allowing private drillers to expand natural gas production.

Of course, the environmental doomsayers remain apocalyptic. You try going on the ABC's Q&A and raise doubts about global-warming alarmism. You will still see the inner-city studio audience treating you not merely with hostility but with open-mouthed incredulity.

The climate-change Cassandras are increasingly marginalised here and abroad.

When they abuse, intimidate and victimise anyone with the temerity to criticise the fanaticism of their movement, the inclination of ordinary Australians is either to shrug their shoulders with a profound lack of interest or to grimace at this moral grandstanding.

Historians will probably look back at the years 2006-09 as the time when the climate hysteria reached its peak in Australia, when rational debate was at its most restricted and politicians at their most gullible.

These were the days of drought, unseasonal bushfires, An Inconvenient Truth, the Garnaut Report and, of course, Kevin Rudd's "greatest moral challenge".

Crikey, even Rupert Murdoch was "giving the planet the benefit of doubt".

Contrary to media stereotypes, many so-called sceptics - such as Abbott, John Howard, Maurice Newman and this writer - recognised that the rise in carbon dioxide as a result of the burning of fossil fuels led to moderate warming.

But because we questioned the doomsday scenarios and radical, costly government-directed plans to decarbonise the economy, we were denounced as "deniers".

Those days are over.

Thanks to Abbott's forceful critique of Labor's ETS/carbon tax, and the persistent failure of the carboncrats to reach legally binding global agreements, Australians have risen up against this madness.

At last, there is recognition not just that there are at least two sides to every story, but that when sophisticates seek to shut down debate, it amounts to an attack on the public interest.

That is why the anti-carbon zealots have become so defensive. The game is up.

The idea of climate mitigation - carbon taxes, cap and trade, channelling taxpayer subsidies to wind and solar power - destroyed the leaderships not only of Malcolm Turnbull in 2009 and Rudd in 2010, but also of Julia Gillard and Rudd (again) last year.

And although the Coalition's approval ratings have declined since the election, polls also show that opposition to the carbon tax remains high.

Last year's Lowy Institute survey said that only 40 per cent (down from nearly 70 per cent in 2006) think climate change is serious and requires action.

And yet, despite this changing (political) climate, Opposition leader Bill Shorten still opposes the repeal of the carbon tax.

If Labor's divorce from the Greens is genuine, he should support the PM's legislation, lest he meet the same fate as his fellow deniers and become a laughing stock.



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


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