Friday, March 14, 2014

Under Putin's Shadow, EU Parliament Excludes Shale Gas From Tougher Environmental Rules

EU politicians on Wednesday voted for tougher rules on exposing the environmental impact of oil and conventional gas exploration, while excluding shale gas.

Member states such as Britain and Poland are pushing hard for the development of shale gas, seen as one way to lessen dependence on Russian gas, as well as to lower energy costs as it has in the United States.

The plenary vote of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France follows a compromise deal on the draft law in December, which was struck only after negotiators agreed to leave out references to shale gas.

Member states are expected to give their endorsement over the coming weeks, after which the law will become final.

Under the planned law, assessments of a range of infrastructure projects, as well as oil and gas, will include their impact on biodiversity and climate change, plus measures to ensure authorities granting approval have no conflict of interest.

Industry said the new law avoided placing too many restrictions on projects during their early phases when commercial viability is unclear.

"While not imposing unnecessary requirements on the upstream oil and gas industry, the new rules will guarantee that any development, including exploration for shale gas, will be subject to strict environmental standards," Roland Festor, director for EU affairs at the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers, said.

Shale Gas Europe, which brings together companies such as Chevron, Total and Cuadrilla Resources, also welcomed the law.

"Shale gas could potentially play an important role in meeting Europe's acute energy challenges," Marcus Pepperell, spokesman for Shale Gas Europe, said.

Green politicians, however, said the decision to leave out shale gas was a major setback and that the fracking process, which involves using chemicals to extract gas from the shale rock, posed risks to health and the environment.

"The Greens believe there is already sufficient evidence to ban fracking but ensuring informed permit decisions through the environmental impact assessment procedure must be the absolute minimum," Sandrine Belier, environment spokeswoman for the European Greens, said.


Relentless Global Warming "Scientists" Continue Their Scams

By Alan Caruba

Despite the growing worldwide recognition that global warming—now called climate change—is a hoax and that the Earth has been in a cooling cycle going on seventeen years, those most responsible for it continue to put forth baseless “science” about it.

The hoax has its base in the United Nations which is home to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and got its start with the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 that went into force in 2005. It limits “greenhouse gas” emissions, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2). It purports that the gases are warming the Earth and many nations signed on to reduce them. The U.S. did not and in 2011 Canada withdrew from it. Europe is suffering economically from the billions it invested in “alternative energy” sources, wind and solar power.

Five years ago, emails between a group of the United Kingdom’s University of East Anglia scientists and others who were generating computer models that “proved” global warming were revealed. It was quickly dubbed “climategate” for the way the emails demonstrated the manipulation of data claiming that global warming was real. They had good reason to be worried, given the natural cooling cycle the Earth has entered, but of even greater concern was the potential loss of enormous amounts of money they were receiving for their deception.

To date, not one of theirs and other computer models “proving” global warming have been accurate.

On Wednesday, March 10, The Wall Street Journal published an article, “Scientists Say Four New Gases Threaten the Ozone.”  It reported on the latest effort of “scientists” at the United Kingdom’s University of East Anglia and it is no coincidence that the university was the center for the original IPCC data created to introduce and maintain the global warming hoax.

“Traces of four previously undetected man-made gases have been discovered in the atmosphere, where they are endangering Earth’s protective ozone layer, a team of scientists from six countries reported Sunday.”

Trace gases are those that represent less than 1% in the Earth's atmosphere. CO2, for example, represents a meager 0.038% of the atmosphere and represents no impact whatever on the Earth’s climate. It is, however, vital to all life on Earth as it is the "food" for all of its vegetation.

“The gases are of the sort that are banned or being phased out under a global treaty to safeguard the high altitude blanket of ozone that protects the planet from dangerous ultraviolet radiation, experts said.” These “experts” failed to mention that everywhere above the Earth’s active volcanoes the ozone is naturally affected by their massive natural discharge of various gases. The oceans routinely absorb and discharge CO2 to maintain a balance. The bans included the gas used primarily in air conditioners and for refrigeration. It has since been replaced.

Another gas that was banned is a byproduct of chemicals called pyrethroids that “are often used in household insecticides.” Banning insecticides is a great way of reducing the Earth’s population as insects spread diseases and destroy property. Ironically, termites produce massive amounts of carbon dioxide.

The means used to detect the gases included comparing “the atmosphere today to old air trapped in annual layers of Greenland snow” and they also studied “air collected by high altitude research aircraft and by sensors aboard routine passenger jet flights around the world.” Not mentioned is the fact that the Earth has had higher amounts of CO2 in earlier times which posed no threat to it, so a few trace gases hardly represent a “threat.”

This kind of questionable “science” was practiced by one of the most well-known of the East Anglia scientists, an American scientist named Michael Mann, who used tree ring data to prove a massive, sudden increase in CO2 in his “hockey stick” graph that has since been debunked by skeptical scientists.

Mann has brought a libel law suit against columnist Mark Steyn, the National Review and the Competitive Enterprise Institute, charging defamation. Such suits cost a lot of money and Robert Tracinski, writing in Real Clear Politics in February noted that “it’s interesting that no one asks who is going to go bankrupt funding Mann’s lawsuit. Who is insuring Mann against this loss?”

Tracinski pointed out that “It is libel to maliciously fabricate facts about someone” but that it is “legal for me, for example, to say that Michael Mann is a liar, if I don’t believe his erroneous scientific conclusions are the product of honest error. It is also legal for me to say that he is a coward and a liar, for hiding behind libel laws in an attempt to suppress criticism.” The East Anglia emails revealed that they were doing whatever they could to suppress the publication of studies that disputed global warming in various science journals.

How specious is this latest announcement about trace gases that they assert are a threat to the ozone layer? An atmospheric chemist, Johannes Laube of the East Anglia group making the announcement, was quoted as saying “We are not able to pinpoint any sources” for the trace gases. “We are not able to point a finger.”

The objective of the announcement is the same as the creation of the entire global warming hoax. It provides the basis for the transfer of funds between developed and undeveloped nations and would grant greater power to the United Nations to reduce the world’s manufacturing base while endangering and controlling the lives of everyone on Earth.

Is the latest “research” a lie? The data it cites has some basis in fact, but those facts are an excuse, like those cited about greenhouse gases, to frighten nations into wasting billions on climate threats that do not exist. The real threats remain climate events over which mankind never has and never will have any control.


Warmist Jim Hansen pisses on renewables

I gather he likes nukes

    “… efficiency and renewables are not causing carbon emissions to decline – on the contrary, emissions are growing rapidly [because of demand growth]. This situation was predictable.”

    “Foundations and major environmental organizations (“greens”) are pretty much on the same page, so don’t expect to get support if you question their position. Instead, expect to be attacked.”

    “[Green] groups have scientists on their staffs, but they do not act like scientists, continually questioning their own position with an open mind. Instead, like scientist-deniers, renewables-can-do-all scientists act like talking-head lawyers hired to defend a predetermined position.”

    “I used to think that [greens] would change their tune as a little more empirical data on energy use accumulated. Instead, like climate-deniers, they cherry-pick data, concluding that we are on the verge of renewables providing all of our energy.”

    “The Koch brothers could not purchase such powerful support for their enterprise. The renewables-can-do-all greens are combining with the fossil industry to lock-in widespread expansion of fracking.”

    “Courageous actions to block mountaintop removal, tar sands pipelines, destructive long-wall mining and all such things will be in vain without adequate energy alternatives. Obama is not supporting fossil fuels because he loves them. He does not have adequate alternatives.”

    “Greens fanatically support an anti-nuclear-power agenda, asserting that even low level radiation is harmful to human health, an assertion that is not supported unequivocally by scientific evidence.”


The Environmentalist Eugenics of the Left

Pick up a copy of Obama’s $3.9 trillion budget and there among the TSA fee hikes, Medicare payment cuts and the $400 million for the Department of Homeland Security to fight global warming is a curious little item.

On Page 930 of the budget that never ends is $575 million for “family planning/reproductive health” worldwide especially in “areas where population growth threatens biodiversity or endangered species.”

The idea that the way to protect insects, fish and animals is by preventing human beings from having children is part of an approach known as Population, Health and Environment (PHE) which integrates population control into environmentalist initiatives.

PHE dates back to the 1980s and is practiced by mainstream organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund. The Smithsonian’s Woodrow Wilson Center, which is funded partly by the US government, aggressively champions PHE eugenics and USAID funds PHE programs and distributes PHE training manuals derived in part from Wilson Center materials.

PHE had been baked into congressional bills such as the Global Sexual and Reproductive Health Act of 2013 co-sponsored by Debbie Wasserman-Shultz and Sheila Jackson-Lee which urged meeting United Nations Millennium Development Goals by using birth control as, among other things, a means of “ensuring environmental sustainability.”

Obama’s budget is more open about its PHE eugenics agenda. While PHE backers usually claim that they want to reduce population to prevent famine and promote gender equality, the budget explicitly states that its goal is to reduce human population growth for the sake of the animals, without any of the usual misleading language about feminism and clean water.

The budget is a blunt assertion of post-human values by an administration that has become notorious for its fanatical environmentalism, sacrificing people on the altar of Green ideology.

When Obama’s Interior Secretary Sally Jewell visited Alaska, she told the residents of an Eskimo village where nineteen people had died due to the difficulty of evacuating patients during medical emergencies that, “I’ve listened to your stories, now I have to listen to the animals.”

Jewell rejected the road that they needed to save lives because it would inconvenience the local waterfowl. When it came to choosing between the people and the ducks, Jewell chose the ducks.

Ducks don’t talk, but environmentalists do, and they had vocally opposed helping the people of King Cove. Jewell had received the Rachel Carson Award, named after an environmentalist hero whose fearmongering killed millions. Compared to the Carson malaria graveyards of Africa, nineteen dead Eskimos slide off the post-human conscience of a fanatical environmentalist like water off a duck’s back.

USAID, which played a key role in the war on DDT, has openly embraced PHE. The arguments against DDT often focused not on saving lives, but on taking them. PHE prevents children from being born, but environmentalists don’t stop with the unborn. Malaria was an even more effective tool for reducing populations.

Environmentalist population reduction activists originally cloaked their real agenda in claims about worldwide famine. Paul Erlich, author of “The Population Bomb,” had predicted mass starvation by the 1970s and the end of England by 2000. Today Global Warming activists set empty dates for the destruction of mankind that they themselves don’t believe in.

The post-human left seeks to maintain a state of perpetual crisis so that governments and corporations will be more inclined to accept even the most horrifying solutions to avoid the end of mankind. What it does not tell them is that its goal is the end of mankind.

In February, Population Action International and the Sierra Club sponsored a congressional briefing on PHE post-2015. Population Action International was originally founded as the Population Crisis Committee in the sixties. Its preceding organizations included the Hugh Moore Fund for International Peace which claimed that population control was necessary to defeat Communism.

Like the Communists, the post-human activists were adept at disguising their agenda in the concerns of the moment, shifting from national security, feminism, the coming Ice Age, mass starvation and now Global Warming.

Environmentalists are even attempting to shoehorn the War on Terror into their agenda as the Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program attempts to tie every terrorist conflict zone to global warming.

Environmentalist fearmongering has never been about saving people. Its activists, like Sally Jewell, are too busy playing duck whisperer to care about people.

Green programs have yet to save lives, but they do cost lives. The elderly in the United Kingdom are dying of electric poverty after facing cold winters and shocking price increases due to sustainability mandates, asthma sufferers are dying because the affordable albuterol inhalers they used were banned by the EPA, and people die in fires and floods, in natural disasters that could have been prevented, but are instead blamed on their victims by the environmentalists, who helped make them so lethal.

Not only do environmentalists kill, but they also profit from the deaths of their victims.

Elliot Morley, UK Labour’s Chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, had directed that flooding in Somerset should be promoted because “wildlife will benefit from increased water levels.” Baroness Young, an environmental activist, who had become the chief executive of the UK’s Environment Agency, took steps to increase the possibility of flooding.

As she said, the formula was “for ‘instant wildlife, just add water.’”

When the flooding came, children were trapped on buses, 7,000 homes were flooded and many residents lost everything. Environmental activists blamed global warming and “careless farming” for the floods that they themselves had engineered.

Survivors of the Black Saturday bushfires in Australia which killed 173 people blamed environmental regulations for worsening the fires by preventing residents from clearing trees. The environmentalists blamed global warming and sent around an editorial suggesting that people “who don’t like to end up in flames” should read the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change report.

California’s drought was likewise engineered by environmental activists who then blamed their own handiwork on global warming.

Environmentalists wield unprecedented power over the lives of millions and yet they claim that each engineered disaster could have been averted if they had only been given even more power.

The left is not only becoming post-American or post-Western, but post-human, applying the same tactics that they used to target majorities in Western countries to the human race as a whole. Class war and race war are giving way to species warfare. And since the ducks cannot talk, ultimate power rests with the duck whisperers, those who speak for the animals, the fish and the trees.

The post-human left takes social justice to its natural conclusion, going beyond all the human categories to level mankind with the polar bear, the duck and the microbe. Total equality for the post-human left is not the equality of the rich and the poor, of men and women, of blacks and whites, or even of the First World and the Third World, but the equality of man and microbe, of a pregnant woman in a small Alaskan fishing village with a duck and a hungry California child with the Kangaroo rat.

The post-Human left seeks to put the species in its place. That is the final endgame of the environmentalist movement. It isn’t out to save mankind; it’s out to destroy it.


Walport and his evidence

UK Government Chief Scientist, Sir Mark Walport, has been testifying before the Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee. His only skill seems to be name-calling.

Another entertaining episode in the hearings this morning was where Mark Walport was asked about Matt Ridley's suggestion that global warming would bring net benefits over 40-50 years. This conclusion is based on Richard Tol's metaanalysis of mainstream economic studies into such questions.  In response to this, Walport had this to say:

"I understand the point [Ridley] is trying to make but I think he's completely wrong unfortunately. While there might be trivial benefits in some parts of the world for some of the time the long term direction for all of us is a negative direction. And frankly I think he is...he described himself as a "rational optimist". I'm not sure about the rational bit."

I wonder if Walport has any actual evidence to support his position that Ridley is wrong. The words read like our chief scientist substituting name-calling for a lack of evidence.


In the comments, Matt Ridley reveals that he has written to Walport, who is signally failing to substantiate his remarks.

Viscount Ridley adds:

I sent this email to Sir Mark Walport:

Dear Mark,

I see that this morning in testifying to the Energy and Climate Change Committee in answer to a question from Graham Stringer MP you described my reporting on studies of the benefits of climate change as "completely wrong" and me as not rational. You will understand that I find these charges damaging to my standing as a journalist and author who takes great care with his research. I also find them surprising coming from somebody who I consider a friend.

It is possible that you had not read my article on the benefits of climate change directly, but had relied on second-hand accounts of it, in which case I can understand how you came to be misled. If so, you can read it here, with links to sources, together with some detailed responses that I made to ill-informed criticisms of the article. My article states:

"There are many likely effects of climate change: positive and negative, economic and ecological, humanitarian and financial. And if you aggregate them all, the overall effect is positive today — and likely to stay positive until around 2080. That was the conclusion of Professor Richard Tol of Sussex University after he reviewed 14 different studies of the effects of future climate trends."

Are you saying that the academic, peer-reviewed work by these 14 teams, and the meta-analysis of them by Richard Tol, as well as all the other studies I cited in my article, are all "completely wrong"? Or are you arguing that my reporting of this work was "completely wrong"? Professor Tol thinks my reporting of his paper was accurate, and none of the other authors have objected, so the second charge is certainly unfair.

I know you are busy, but please may we meet to discuss this matter? I am available in the House of Lords on a regular basis. I emailed you on a previous occasion on 13 January, after your letter to the Times, but did not receive a response. I would be grateful if you would acknowledge this email at the very least so that I know it has reached you.

Yours sincerely


I received a reply in which he did not address the question of why he thought I was "completely wrong" but agreed to set up a meeting. However, his criticism remains on the record, so I have asked him to withdraw it.


A reply to "Salon"

"California’s record-breaking drought. Britain’s record-breaking floods. Australia’s unprecedented heat wave. And the polar vortex, times three. The only thing that matched the degree of extreme weather we saw this past winter was the extreme amount of climate denial that arose in response"  -- from "Climate buffoons’ real motives: 5 reasons they still spout debunked garbage"  in Salon

Quite a righteous opening, but factually challenged. Every week brings many similar articles, all examples of the Left’s abandonment of the IPCC, the major climate agencies, and of climate science.  Let’s review the evidence rebuking Ms Abrams’ alarmist rhetoric.

(2)  About those droughts

California and Australia have histories of frequent, severe, and long droughts. Droughts worse and longer than recent ones. More generally, the consensus of climate scientists is clear about the global trend in droughts.

(a)  Aspen Global Change Institute’s “Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate” (CCSP, 2008):

"Similarly, long-term trends (1925-2003) of hydrologic droughts based on model derived soil moisture and runoff show that droughts have, for the most part, become shorter, less frequent, and cover a smaller portion of the U. S. over the last century (Andreadis and Lettenmaier, 2006). The main exception is the Southwest and parts of the interior of the West, where increased temperature has led to rising drought trends (Groisman et al. , 2004; Andreadis and Lettenmaier, 2006). The trends averaged over all of North America since 1950 (Figure 2.6) are similar to U.S. trends for the same period, indicating no overall trend."

(b)  From page 8 of the IPCC’s “Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation” (SREX, 2012)

"There is medium confidence that since the 1950s some regions of the world have  experienced a trend to more intense and longer droughts, in particular in southern Europe and West Africa, but in some regions droughts have become less frequent, less intense, or shorter, for example, in central North America and northwestern Australia. [3.5.1]"

(c)  From the new IPCC AR5, Working Group I, Chapter 2:

"Confidence is low for a global-scale observed trend in drought or dryness (lack of rainfall) since the middle of the 20th century, owing to lack of direct observations, methodological uncertainties and geographical inconsistencies in the trends. Based on updated studies, AR4 conclusions regarding global increasing trends in drought since the 1970s were probably overstated. However, this masks important regional changes: the frequency and intensity of drought have likely increased in the Mediterranean and West Africa and likely decreased in central North America and north-west Australia since 1950. {}"

There is, of course, ample research supporting these conclusions.

(d)  A broad explanation: “Historical drought trends revisited“, Sonia I. Seneviratne, Nature, 15 November 2012 — “A new assessment of drought trends over the past 60 years finds little evidence of an expansion of the area affected by droughts, contradicting several previous estimates.”

(e)  One study, with a more technical analysis: “Little change in global drought over the past 60 years“, Justin Sheffield et al, Nature, 15 November 2012 — From the abstract:

"Drought is expected to increase in frequency and severity in the future as a result of climate change, mainly as a consequence of decreases in regional precipitation but also because of increasing evaporation driven by global warming. … More realistic calculations, based on the underlying physical principles that take into account changes in available energy, humidity and wind speed, suggest that there has been little change in drought over the past 60 years."

(f)  What are the worst drought months in America from 1900 to March 2013?

Top months with the greatest extent of Moderate–Extreme on the Palmer Drought Index. (Source here)

1934 – July 80.3
1934 – Aug 78.0
1934 – June 75.0
1934 – May 73.1
1934 – Sept 70.3
1934 – Oct 68.2
1934 – April 63.9
2012 – July 62.8
1939 – Dec 62.5
2012 – Aug 61.0

(g)  Good news: the NY Times is on the job.  Many journalists are doing excellent work reporting on both the consensus and frontiers of climate science. Such as these:

“Science Linking Drought to Global Warming Remains Matter of Dispute“, New York Times, 16 February 2014

“A Climate Analyst Clarifies the Science Behind California’s Water Woes“, Andrew C. Revkin, New York Times, 6 March 2014

(2)  About the UK floods

(a)  In February the UK Met Office issued a special report about the UK storms:

"As yet, there is no definitive answer on the possible contribution of climate change to the recent storminess, rainfall amounts and the consequent flooding. This is in part due to the highly variable nature of UK weather and climate."

(b)  From the new IPCC AR5, Working Group I, Chapter 2: Floods {}

AR4 WGI Chapter 3 (Trenberth et al., 2007) did not assess changes in floods but AR4 WGII concluded that there was not a general global trend in the incidence of floods (Kundzewicz et al., 2007). SREX went further to suggest that there was low agreement and thus low confidence at the global scale regarding changes in the magnitude or frequency of floods or even the sign of changes.

… In summary, there continues to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale.



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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