Friday, February 07, 2014
SCIENTIFIC ADVISER OR COURT JESTER?
According to an article in The Times (London) earlier this week, the government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Mark Walport, is about to start a lecture tour, which ‘will put climate change back on the political agenda’.
With the global effort to reduce CO2 emissions in tatters, with the EU doing a volte-face on its own green energy targets, with the UK examining its own commitment to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and to green legislation, and with scientists scratching their heads about the absence of warming over the past 17 years, Walport’s words seem incautious, possibly foolish.
Environmentalists have a tendency to do their own negative PR. Too much was invested by too many in the notion that, by now, we would be seeing the natural world fall apart, taking human civilisation with it. It didn’t happen. Environmentalists’ prophecies about the climate have gone the way of their prophecies about population, resource depletion, and toxic chemicals.
The IPCC – the embodiment of the consensus itself – recently reported that there is no climate change signal in extreme weather events, except a slight tendency toward warmer days and increased precipitation. Nature, it seems, abhors vacuous alarmists.
Worse, environmentalists have failed to reflect on their own failures, and to find some other way of accounting for them. Accordingly, Walport’s opening salvo in this new climate offensive were ‘There are some people who don’t like the policy implications of climate change and think that the best way to duck the discussion is to deny the science’. The government’s soothsayer points his expert finger.
Walport is wrong. There have been countless criticisms of UK, EU, and UN climate and energy policies, quite apart from the criticisms of mainstream climate science, from climate sceptics. Climate sceptics have long been critical of the UK government’s hastily-constructed attempts to save the planet. And sceptics have observed that green-energy policies are expensive, don’t provide adequate or reliable supply, and have created deep distortions in the energy market – problems which are now being felt across Europe.
Furthermore, sceptics have argued that emission-reduction targets were never tested for feasibility, much less for costs and benefits, and even less for their effectiveness at saving the planet.
There is even a think-tank established precisely to interrogate climate policy – the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF). The clue is in the name. The GWPF has published reports on EU policy, shale gas, alarmism in policymaking, green jobs, problems with the IPCC, the Stern Review, and many other topics. If Walport had read just one of them, he would surely address them.
Global cooling hits the Ayatollahs
Certain to be Israel's fault
“Unprecedented” snowfall – Ten cities cut off – 145 townships lose water and power – 40 to 50 houses crushed
Heavy snowfall has reportedly paralyzed the northern Iranian provinces of Gilan and Mazandaran, knocking out gas, power and water supplies. The Chaloos representative in Parliament reported on February 3 that 145 townships in western Mazandaran are without water and power, and access to 10 cities has been cut off by snowfall in the region.
Citizens have been urged to plow snow from their roofs to avoid cave-ins, as reports indicate that the unprecedented snowfall has reached two metres in some regions.
In Savadkouh, 40 to 50 homes have been crushed by heavy snow.
Gilan Province is under similar conditions with some people unable to get out of their homes due to the heavy snowfall.
Revolutionary Guards chief Moahmmad Ali Jafari announced that they have dispatched forces to the northern provinces to assist
No, the wind industry hasn’t given up on their expired production tax credit
For the wind lobby, the expiration of their all-important wind production tax credit at the start of the year is hardly a reason to abandon their constant quest to redeem it; after all, the credit has had several other close shaves with expiration over the years, only to have Congress relent and tack it back on to some bill or other at the last minute. After a brief expiration, the industry managed to procure just such a retroactive extension in the debt-deal deliberations at the start of 2013, good for just the one year, and with the added provision that energy companies need only to have begun development of new wind projects by the time the credit expired at the start of the new year in order to qualify for its benefits (a mighty generous subsidy of a little more than two cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity provided for the first ten years of a wind farm’s operation).
That would help to explain why 2013′s fourth quarter was witness to a whole rash of new wind projects getting off the ground, and the number of wind power megawatts currently under construction in the U.S. is now at a record high — and why the wind lobby is continuing their ever-vigilant push for the PTC’s renewal. Via WaPo:
Wind power advocates urged Congress on Thursday to quickly restore the production tax credit that expired at the end of 2013, saying that a prolonged period without it threatens gains made in recent years.
Officials from a wind power company, a steel company and the American Wind Energy Association said the loss of the 2.3-cents per kilowatt hour tax credit will directly translate into lost jobs. Despite continued demand, steel companies, wind energy firms and utilities will not devote their money and resources to wind power without the certainty that the credit provides, they said.
“We have to have a quick extension” of the credit, said Jaime Steve, director of government affairs at Pattern Energy, which runs wind power projects in the United States, Canada and Chile. “This is about people’s jobs. …
Congress allowed a variety of tax breaks, worth a total of about $50 billion a year, to expire on Dec. 31. The 2013 production tax credit, designated specifically for wind power, cost $12 billion over 10 years.
Ugh. Despite more than thirty years of generous government subsidization, the wind industry still quite literally lives and dies by the corporate welfare they receive via taxpayer largesse, and you can be darn sure they’ll but up a fight for it. They’ll do everything they can to once again persuade Congress to capitulate to their demands for continued top-down market manipulation, but perhaps they should examine the scenario currently playing out in Spain. In just the past year, the government was forced to acknowledge the fiscal and economic disaster they brought on themselves with their heavy renewables subsidization, and they are now engaged in a precipitous comedown from their ambitious renewables central planning — and yes, their wind industry is also flipping out about it, via the WSJ:
The new formula, described in more than 1,500 pages of documents, calculates a level of “reasonable profitability” that each type of project can expect during its decadeslong life span. The calculations take into account, for example, how long a wind farm has been generating power and how much in subsidies it has already received. The level of “reasonable profitability” would determine the size of future subsidies the project can receive.
AEE, Spain’s wind-energy association, said wind farms representing 37% of the country’s installed wind-power capacity would receive no further subsidies under the proposal and would have to derive revenue only from selling electricity at market price. The rest of the wind farms would see their subsidies halved, AEE said in a written statement, and some companies would have trouble paying debts if the proposal passes.
The proposal “is a historic mistake,” the association said.
“Reasonable profitability“? Yeah, that’s a thing that Spain does now. Perhaps the “historic mistake” was doubling down on so much unsustainable subsidization without regard to price efficiency, no?
It's time to get rid of the EPA
In January 2011 President Obama – stung by an electoral rebuke that cost his party control of the House of Representatives – issued an executive order attempting to reassure the public regarding his rapidly expanding regulatory state.
Obama’s order instructed federal agencies to “identify and use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends.” It also instructed them to “propose or adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned determination that its benefits justify its costs.”
Months later, though, Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its 180-page Utility MACT rule – one of the costliest regulations in American history.
It is time to call out this enviro-bureaucratic conspiracy for what it is: The most elaborate, expensive, egregious government-subsidized hoax in human history.
Intended to impose maximum achievable control technology (MACT) over hazardous air pollutants, the rule -- part of a broader war on cheap energy -- stemmed from a 2000 EPA determination that it was “appropriate and necessary” for the agency to regulate mercury emissions from power plants under the 1990 Clean Air Act.
How did the EPA reach this determination? By projecting a rise in mercury emissions from 46 to 60 tons per year by 2010 (even though emissions actually declined to 29 tons over that time period).
Nonetheless, based on this false data (and fuzzy science regarding prenatal mercury exposure) the EPA promulgated the Utility MACT rule in early 2012 despite identifying health benefits of only $500,000 to $6 million annually – at an estimated cost of nearly $11 billion per year. Industry experts place the compliance costs much higher – at $84 billion over four years.
That’s not the truly frightening component of this rule, though. Like Obama's socialized medicine bureaucracy, his “envirocrats” are making it up as they go along.
“We may determine it is necessary to regulate under (the Clean Air Act) even if we are uncertain whether the rule will address the identified hazards,” the rule states, adding “we believe it is reasonable to err on the side of regulation of such highly toxic pollutants in the face of uncertainty.”
This, in a nutshell, is the modus operandi of Obama’s regulatory state: Erring on the side of government intrusion no matter what the outcome.
The forces driving these policies are no big secret.
Recently emails obtained by the Energy and Environment Legal Institute under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) revealed senior EPA officials had been meeting with leaders of the radical environmental lobby in an effort to kill the Keystone XL pipeline – an energy project which boasts broad bipartisan support in Congress.
“These damning emails make it clear that the Obama administration has been actively trying to stop this important project for years,” U.S. Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wy.) said.
Previous FOIAs submitted by this organization uncovered similarly cozy conspiracies with far left environmentalists to shut down coal-fired plants – including one involving a high-ranking EPA administrator who used his personal email address to secretly plot coal’s demise.
Another bombshell that dropped recently was the testimony of former EPA official John Beale, who testified before Congress regarding meetings he had in 2009 with EPA director Gina McCarthy (then head of the agency’s air and radiation division).
The subject of Beale and McCarthy’s “deep discussions?” Ways the government could “modify the DNA of the capitalist system” to make its regulations reach even deeper into the American economy.
Now we have arrived at the heart of the matter, haven’t we? This isn’t about the environment. It isn’t about protecting our natural resources, preserving pristine lands, safeguarding endangered species or keeping Americans’ safe and healthy.
This is about money and power.
With NASA data confirming that the “pause” in global warming continued through 2013, it is time to call out this enviro-bureaucratic conspiracy for what it is: The most elaborate, expensive, egregious government-subsidized hoax in human history – a massive conspiracy aimed at redistributing wealth from the industrial world to the third world and expanding dependency (and government power) here at home.
At the leading edge of this conspiracy – working in lockstep with the enviro-radicals – is Obama’s EPA, which has become a clear and present danger to American free enterprise, energy independence, the rule of law and U.S. sovereignty. Any U.S. lawmaker who is serious about creating new jobs, lowering energy costs and preserving our constitutional form of government must make gutting this rogue bureaucracy their top priority.
It is time to de-fang the EPA -- and lawmakers can take a critical first step in that direction by defunding enforcement budgets for job-crippling edicts like the Utility MACT rule and other radical Obama-era regulations.
IMF Chief: “Unless we take action on climate change, future generations will be roasted, toasted, fried and grilled”
Responding to hyperbolic rhetoric on climate change by Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, Friends of Science point out that her comments are not supported by the recent IPCC report, the exaggerated climate models’ failed predictions or the evidence of no global warming in 16+ years. Unrestrained terrifying statements are damaging the mental health of children and youth; in fact Friends of Science recent report on the alleged 97% consensus shows only 1-3% of scientists in 3 of 4 "consensus" surveys explicitly stated agreement with the IPCC declarations on global warming, and no agreement with a catastrophic view.
Friends of Science are denouncing recent remarks on climate change by Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, as being unsupported by science, as reported in Canada's Globe and Mail Feb. 01, 2013.
“This is a senseless form of public scaremongering from a body that has no expertise in climate science,” says Ken Gregory, director of research for Friends of Science. “The sources listed in the 2013 World Economic Forum Global Risks report refer to very outdated climate information.”
In a recent report entitled “97% Consensus? No! Global Warming Math Myths and Social Proofs.” Friends of Science demonstrate that only 1-3% of scientists surveyed in 3 of the most-cited consensus surveys, explicitly agree with the claim that more than half of the global warming since 1950 was caused by greenhouse gas emissions. Many scientists see carbon dioxide as beneficial and though humankind’s impact on climate is evident, it is nominal.
“Using frightening rhetoric like Madame Lagarde’s statements that “future generations will be roasted, toasted, fried and grilled” is very irresponsible,” says Gregory. “The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggests no such thing. The IPCC reduced its estimate of future warming in their recent report. There has been no warming since 1998."
On July 18, 2013 Roger Pielke, Jr. presented testimony to the US Senate that extreme weather has diminished and the hottest days in North America were during the drought of the 1930’s.
Gregory refers to Dr. Roy Spencer's June 4, 2013 graph "Epic Fail" showing that 73 climate models predicted have all failed to match actual temperatures.
73 Climate Computer Models Fail to Match Observed Temperatures
“This is a type of psychological terror – Children across the developed world are suffering from depression thanks to such unrestrained rhetoric,” says Gregory.
Bjorn Lomberg addressed this issue in his June 15, 2009 article “Scared Silly Over Climate” in The Guardian. In it he cites cases of children obsessed with saving polar bears, terrified themselves of dying of global warming,
“As noted in our recent report on the 97% ‘nonsensus’ – this type of psychological manipulation is intended to force people to comply,” says Gregory.
Environment News Service reported on Jan. 25, 2014 Lagarde’s demands for more investment in green energy – a sector that is facing spectacular collapse around the world, and the interest in pricing carbon appear to be connected to World Bank green investments.
The World Bank has invested heavily in carbon and green energy schemes for Third World Countries, but is having trouble finding a trading partner now that the carbon markets of Europe are worthless.
CBC reported Jan. 21, 2014 that the World Economic Forum on Energy and Climate Change will be held in Alberta, Canada April 24-25, 2014.
Says Gregory. “Can Canadian resource industries expect a fair hearing when the Managing Director of the IMF, is making catastrophic climate change predictions based on faulty and unscientific information?”
Businessweek on Jan. 24, 2014 reported green energy projects are losing subsidies, investment funding and popular support world-wide.
Citing an April 11, 2013 Fraser Institute study by Canadian economist Ross McKitrick, Gregory states ”Renewable ‘green’ energy like wind and solar have proven to be some 10 times the cost of conventional fuel with no net environmental benefit.”
After a decade of climate science review, Friends of Science hold the position that the sun is the main driver of climate change, not you. Not carbon dioxide (CO2).
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Posted by JR at 5:45 PM