Thursday, February 20, 2014
Obama: ‘Unchecked’ Carbon Pollution Before 2009 Had ‘Severe Impacts on Our Weather’
How? The climate was stable both before and after 2009
While announcing new fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks on Tuesday, President Barack Obama said “unchecked” carbon pollution prior to his administration’s efforts to raise fuel economy standards “was having severe impacts on our weather.”
“Carbon pollution was going unchecked, which was having severe impacts on our weather,” Obama said in a speech at a Safeway distribution center in Upper Marlboro, MD.
For decades, fuel efficiency standards had been “stuck in neutral, even as other kinds of technology leapt forward,” the president said. The economy was “vulnerable to fluctuations in oil prices.”
“Every time oil prices shot up, the economy got hurt. Our automakers were in danger of being left in the dust by foreign automakers,” he said.
After taking office, the Obama administration “set in motion the first ever national policy aimed at both increasing gas mileage and decreasing gas pollution for all new cars and trucks sold” in the U.S.
“Our levels of dangerous carbon pollution that contributes to climate change has actually gone down even as our production has gone up,” he said.
The administration had set the goal of raising fuel economy standards to 35.5 miles per gallon for a new vehicle by 2016 – an increase of more than eight miles per gallon over the average at the time.
Some automakers have already exceeded that goal, he said.
“Some are already making cars that beat the target of nearly 55 miles per gallon. They’ve got plug-in hybrids. They’ve got electric vehicles. They’re taking advantage of the investments that the Recovery Act made in American advances in battery technology, so cars are getting better, and they’re getting more fuel efficient all the time,” Obama said.
The new goal: doubling the distance cars and light trucks can travel before needing to refuel.
“We’re gonna double the distance our cars and light trucks can go on a gallon of gas by 2025. We’re gonna double it, and that means – that’s big news – because what it means is you got to fill up every two weeks instead of every week, and that saves the typical family more than $8,000 at the pump over time,” Obama said.
“I’m assuming you can use $8,000 that you’re not paying at the gas station, and in the process, it cuts American oil consumption by 12 billion barrels,” he added.
“And for anybody who said this couldn’t be done or that it would hurt the American auto industry, the American auto industry sold more cars last year than any time since 2007. And since we stepped in to help our automakers retool, the American auto industry has created almost 425,000 new jobs,” he added.
Green Group's GM War Costing Millions Of Lives, Claims Environmentalist
The Soil Association (SA), Britain's foremost organic food organisation, is indirectly responsible for the deaths of millions of children because of its ongoing opposition to Golden Rice, a leading environmentalist has claimed.
Dr Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace, has accused the Soil Association -- which claims to be responsible for the certification of around 70 percent of organic produce in the UK -- of using "lies and scare tactics" and "anti-science extremism" in its campaign against the "miracle" genetically-modified (GM) crop, Golden Rice.
Golden Rice is modified to cure vitamin A deficiency, which kills more than two million children each year, and causes another 500,000 to go blind.
But the Soil Association claims that Golden Rice is expensive, ineffective, unethical and potentially dangerous.
Moore has vigorously rejected all these claims in a 5000-word rebuttal published on his Allow Golden Rice Now website, where he states, "[The Soil Association] have joined those extremist groups that are responsible for prolonging the approval of Golden Rice. They would sacrifice two million children per year on the altar of their ideology."
The Soil Association claims that "Golden Rice is sadly a classic case of misspent time and resources", whereas Moore responds that, "If Golden Rice delivers as promised, and all indications are that it will, it will be one of the most cost-effective cures for a major killer in history".
The SA has also commented that Golden Rice "...is only treating the part of the symptom, not the problem - poverty," to which Moore replied, "It is surely better to live in poverty with a healthy immune system and the sight in both eyes than it is to be blind or dead".
The organisation, founded in 1946, may have a fairly modest annual budget of £7 million, but its influence is huge. As Britain's leading organic certification body it helps regulate a UK industry worth in excess of £2 billion, and influences a global market worth more than $50 billion.
It has warned that, "A key weapon is to advise parents, the key target audience, of the dangers of rice based diets".
Dr. Moore, who often finds himself in disagreement with green organisations, including the one he helped found, Greenpeace, said: "This shows how misguided the Soil Association is. We are to warn people who eat rice as their staple food of the "dangers of rice-based diets"? All three and a half billion of them?"
He also attacked the SA's claim that "overdosing on beta-carotene has been linked to an increased cancer risk".
"The Soil Association should be very ashamed to make this statement," Moore wrote. "At first the anti-Golden Rice campaigners said there was not enough beta-carotene in Golden Rice to help with the deficiency. Now they say there could be too much?"
"Golden Rice is actually very close to being ready for commercialisation. If it were not for the unnecessarily onerous regulatory requirements - [partly the result of hysterical anti-GM campaigning by NGOs like Greenpeace and the Soil Association] - it would already be available."
"The campaign against GM technology is a classic propaganda campaign based on fear of the unknown. As Greenpeace has said of Golden Rice, 'there may be unforeseen health issues'. 'Unforeseen' sounds scary, but it really indicates that they know of nothing that could be harmful. And note the tentative nature of 'may be'. Indeed there isn’t anything to the campaign but fear tactics to raise cash contributions from well intentioned, but misguided, supporters."
The full text of Moore's rebuttal can be read at the Allow Golden Rice Now website.
Obama's War on America: Killing Coal to Kill U.S. Electrical Power
By Alan Caruba
President Obama, supported by the Environmental Protection Agency, is seeking to deprive America of the use of its enormous reserves of coal in coal-fired plants that produce the electricity on which the economy and all life in America depends.
This isn’t just a “war on coal”, it is a war on America and one free market think tank, the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) has been joined by six major unions to ensure that the EPA’s proposed energy proposal, Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule does not become a regulation that they call “nothing less than industrial sabotage by regulatory means.”
The EPA’s current regulations have resulted in the shut down over more than 150 coal-fired plants over the course of Obama’s first term and his second represents a threat to everyone living in America. We are living through one of the harshest winters in recent years and the 17-year-old cooling cycle which the entire Earth is experiencing promises to last decades.
Commenting on the proposed carbon pollution standards for new power plants, Bonner R.Cohen, PhD, a CFACT Senior Policy Analyst laid out the reasons why MATS has no basis whatever in science.
Any regulation seeking to limit the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth’s atmosphere deliberately and deceptively ignores facts that anyone can understand. Bonner spelled out the basic scientific facts, but it is essential to keep in mind that CO2 is essential to all life on Earth, providing the “food” that all vegetation depends.
"Current concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere are 400 parts per million (ppm). Human activities in all their forms account for 4% of that total. The United States is responsible for 3% of that 4%, all the rest of the CO2 in the atmosphere (96% of the total) comes from purely natural causes, such as volcanoes, undersea venting, animal fluctuation, etc.,” said Cohen.
“The total U.S. contribution to atmospheric CO2 is one tenth of 1% or 00.1%. This 0.01% includes the CO2 that is emitted every time one of the approximately 315 million Americans opens his or her mouth to speak, cry, or engage in any verbal activity.” There are seven billion people on Earth contributing CO2 just by exhaling.
“The contribution of coal-fired plants to the U.S., much less global CO2 emissions, is so miniscule that it cannot be measured with any degree of accuracy. And the contribution of those entities targeted by the EPA to the Earth’s climate also cannot be measured. Thus the EPA has absolutely no way of saying how its proposed regulations will affect the climate.”
The EPA is moving toward imposing these baseless regulations despite the fact that China and India have been building coal-fired plants to provide their nations with the energy to expand and compete in the global marketplace. China’s CO2 emission increased by 167% between 1999 and 2009, while the U.S., the second largest emitter of carbon dioxide, emitted 17% over the same 10-year period.
According to an analysis by Climate Central, from 2005-2009, China added coal-fired electricity capacity that is equivalent to the entire U.S. fleet. From 2010-2013, it added half the coal generation of the entire U.S. again. Powered by cheap and abundant coal, China’s economy has lifted 600 million people out of abject poverty and into the middle class over the last two decades.
Carbon dioxide, however, is vital for all life Earth despite decades of lies about it by environmentalists falsely claiming it warms the Earth. It is the food that all vegetation requires in the same way all animal life requires oxygen.
“For EPA to impose carbon-pollution standards that by design will make the introduction of new coal-fired power plants all but impossible is to adapt a policy that by design will drive up the cost of electricity by limiting America’s sources of power,” said Cohen. “The EPA is engaging in a complete fabrication, one that will put an end to an industry that supplies the U.S. with 37% of its electricity.” When Obama took office in 2009, coal-fired plants were providing nearly 50% of U.S. electrical energy.
This is a criminal act against all Americans and one based on the totally false claims about “global warming”, now called “climate change.” The President, during the recent State of the Union speech lied when he said that science was “settled.”
CFACT is not alone in opposing the Obama administration’s attack on the provision of energy. Six unions are petitioning the Senate to hold hearings on the EPA coal plant rules. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and five other unions have sent a letter to top senators on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The United Mine Workers, Boilermakers and Utility Workers said that the proposed rules would result in the closing of 56 gigawatts of coal-fired generation and the loss of approximately 250,000 jobs. These unions have been pushing back against the Obama administration for years at this point.
In 2011 the Congressional Research Service reported that America’s reserves of coal are unsurpassed, accounting for more than 28% of the world’s coal. It estimated that U.S. recoverable coal reserves were approximately 262 billion tons—not including massive, cut difficult to access Alaskan reserves.
The U.S. consumes around 1.2 billion tons of coal a year and our coal reserves add up to centuries of coal use which the White House and the EPA is seeking to deny to all Americans.
If the White House and the EPA is permitted to implement the MATS regulation the economy will dramatically decline. Life in America will resemble that of third world nations. It is entirely based on lies.
Some futurists aren’t worried about global warming or overpopulation
IT’S almost impossible to view the news anymore without seeing something negative related to global warming, overpopulation or environmental degradation of the planet. The facts speak for themselves. Pollution is rampant in many cities. Entire forests are being cut down. And the human species is adding over 200,000 new people a day to the world. Environmental scientists have warned for years that the human race is dramatically affecting the planet and its ecosystems. Humans are changing the climate of Earth, consuming all its finite resources, and causing the disappearance of over 10,000 species a year.
Despite this, a growing number of futurists, many who are transhumanists — people who aim to move beyond the human being using science and technology — aren’t worried. While New York City, Boston and Miami may be partially underwater by 2100, many futurists don’t plan to be around in the flesh by then. And if they are, they’ll have the technology to walk on water. In fact, many futurists believe that before the end of this century, they will become cyborgs, sentient robots, virtual avatars living inside computers, or space travellers journeying on starships in far-off solar systems.
This sounds like science fiction to the general public. However, imagine if you had told someone in 1914 that in 2014 much of the world’s population would have access to making video conference calls on handheld wireless devices to people on the other side of the planet. No one would’ve believed you. After all, how could arrangements of radio waves travel almost instantaneously around the planet and perfectly mirror multiple conversations on the screen of a tiny handheld machine?
What many environmentalists, journalists and politicians fail to consider when assessing the future is how quickly technological innovation is growing. The future is coming much faster than people realise.
“According to Moore’s Law,” says Kevin Russell, a futurist and Executive Director of the online magazine Serious Wonder, “the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles every 18-24 months. Technological advancements generally evolve at the same speed too. The improvement is exponential.”
While Moore’s Law may not hold out to be true indefinitely and cannot be used to address all aspects of technological growth, the point that tech innovation is soon to be at Olympic-like speed is well-noted.
As mammals with brains that haven’t biologically evolved much in the last 100,000 years, it’s hard for many of us to fathom what exponential scientific and technological growth really means. Our brains are wired to perceive life as it occurs, moment to moment. We’re very good at recognising and jumping away from a poisonous snake in the grass, but not so good at understanding choices and their consequences that take place over a quarter-century. Nonetheless, graphs that chart scientific progress do not lie. We are entering a phase where our technological innovation will spike and continue until we likely reach a Singularity.
This spike of technological growth will bring about a paradigm shift in human existence. Globally, there are dozens of companies and universities working on how to control robotic limbs and parts with brain waves. Already, the U.S. military is successfully experimenting with mind-controlled fighter jets. Within a few years, humans will begin attempting to download their first thoughts into computers. Soon after, a software interface will bring to life our authentic virtual personalities. Eventually, especially with the help of artificial intelligence, we will complete a full upload of our brains, and our minds and its thoughts will freely move in and out of machines. We will be digital avatars of our biological selves.
All this begs the question: Will this new phase of human existence require as many resources from the planet as we are currently using? Will we continue to eat food? Breathe air? Depend on water? Procreate? The answer is probably not. There is a time coming in this century when populations of humans will no longer be so dependent on continued usage of the Earth’s finite bounty. Achieving a sustainable harmony with nature, while politically correct in today’s world, may quickly lose relevance. The fact that so many people are worried about using up all the planet’s fossil fuels will soon become silly.
Many environmental and social scientists should realise that forecasts looking forward 50 years are likely to be embarrassingly wrong if they’re only focusing on humans. In the future, many people will be transhuman. Entire new forms of being will be created to fulfil needs and desires of our advancing species. To make accurate forecasts, a transhumanist perspective — not a Homo sapiens one — will be necessary. The entire population of the world and all its thoughts, experiences, and forms may one day fit into something the size of Stanley Kubrick’s black monolith in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. That is where we’re heading and how dramatically the species will change.
Until then, the real dangers of human civilisation lurk in those who want to hinder or over-regulate progress. Science and technology have brought us a far better world, scoring numerous victories for humanity. Globally, democracy is more widespread than ever, poverty is declining, and the species is healthier and living longer according to various recent reports by the United Nations.
There are probably zero futurists who feel good about damaging our beautiful planet. However, many of them realise that the benefit of the species’ rapid evolutionary ascent outweighs the harm progress is causing to Earth. Our planet is strong; it can handle climate change and an expanding human population while our species prepares for the transhumanist age. The evolutionary outcome of humanity will be better for turning a blind eye on Mother Earth. Exponential technological growth, increased prosperity from globalisation, and maintaining world peace are the critical issues of the future, not global warming, overpopulation or environmental degradation.
NC Gov. Pat McCrory: ' I Feel There Has Always Been Climate Change'
North Carolina Republican Gov. Pat McCory said Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation" that he feels "there has always been climate change."
"I feel there has always been climate change. The debate is really how much of it is manmade and how much will it cost to have any impact on climate change," McCrory told host Bob Schieffer during a segment on the snowstorm that has paralyzed most of the East Coast.
Over 100,000 people lost power in the latest snowstorm to hit North Carolina, McCrory said. Two major snowstorms hit six major metropolitan areas in the state within a two-week period. There were at least six fatalities - including two Good Samaritans who were struck and killed by a drunk driver, McCrory said. He signed emergency orders during both snow storms.
McCrory said while he believes in climate change, he thinks the focus should be on cleaning up the environment in a cost-effective way.
"My main argument is let's clean up the environment. And as a mayor and now as a governor, I'm spending my time cleaning our air, cleaning our water and cleaning the ground," the governor said.
"And I think that's where the argument should be on both the left and the right. And if that has an impact on climate change, good, but I think that's where the real argument should be, is doing what we can to clean up our environment," McCrory added.
"But we also have to look for cost-effective ways to do it because, as a governor, we're walking that fine line of keeping our environment clean but also continuing the economic recovery and making sure things like power are affordable for the consumer," he added.
Australian PM downplays role of climate change in current drought
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has played down the role of climate change in the drought ravaging much of inland eastern Australia.
And he has indicated that the coming relief package for farmers will not take into account future increases in extreme weather events predicted in a new report by scientists.
At the end of a two-day tour taking in Bourke and Broken Hill in NSW and Longreach in Queensland, Mr Abbott said the present period of extreme heat and dry conditions – broken in part during his weekend visit – was not unusual for Australia.
"If you look at the records of Australian agriculture going back 150 years, there have always been good times and bad, tough and lush times," Mr Abbott said.
"This is not a new thing in Australia. "As the seasons have changed, climatic variation has been a constant here in Australia."
Mr Abbott, who has previously dismissed a link between climate change and October’s early-season bushfires in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, ruled out taking the issue of a warming planet into consideration when preparing his drought-aid package for cabinet later this week.
"Farmers ought to be able to deal with things expected every few years," Mr Abbott said.
"Once you start getting into very severe events – one-in-20, 50, 100-year events – that’s when I think people need additional assistance because that is ... beyond what a sensible business can be expected to plan for."
A new report by the Climate Council – formed with public funding from the ashes of the Climate Commission, which the Abbott government abolished – says heatwaves are becoming more frequent, more intense and lasting longer.
It says Melbourne, Canberra and Adelaide were already experiencing the number of annual hot days that had been forecast for 2030 in the first decade of the century.
The report, by Professors Will Steffen and Lesley Hughes and UNSW researcher Sarah Perkins, said: "Record hot days and warm nights are also expected to increase across Australia over the coming decades.
"For both northern and southern Australia, one-in-20-year extreme hot days are expected to occur every two to five years by the middle of the century."
Those three cities, as it happens, have each broken heat records this summer.
Adelaide has had 13 days of 40 degrees or more, beating the previous record set more than a century ago, of 11 such days. Melbourne has hda seven days above 40 degrees, the most in any calendar year just six weeks in, while Canberra has had 20 days above 35 degrees, the most for any summer, the Bureau of Meteorology said.
The Climate Council report highlights the effect that increased heat is expected to have on agriculture, including reduced crop yields and lower livestock productivity.
The three regions Mr Abbott visited all had their hottest six-month period between August and January, with rainfall as little as one-fifth of normal levels.
Cabinet is expected to consider an extra $280 million in low-interest loans for farmers, among other measures.
Touring the Mount Gipps cattle and sheep station north of Broken Hill on Monday, he said there was "a world of difference" between companies seeking handouts and farmers needing help to get through the drought.
Graziers have been offloading their livestock throughout much of inland eastern Australia as they battle to cope with drought and declining feedstock.
John Cramp, the owner of Mount Gipps, said the recent extreme heat in his region had seen his cattle remain near their water troughs rather than go in search of remaining grass.
"They won’t leave their water, they won’t poke out and get some feed," Mr Cramp said, adding that in his view "climates have always changed".
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 8:12 PM