Friday, May 09, 2014
Forgive me while I laugh
It would be absurd for me to try to read the whole 800 pages of Obama's recent climate "Report" but I thought I should at least dip into it. I went to the section "Recent U.S. Temperature Trends" and clicked the "supporting evidence" gadget. I found that the evidence was in the form of four workshops. I picked the workshop on heat waves with T.C. Peterson as lead author. The "workshop" was in the form of an academic journal article (“Monitoring and Understanding Changes in Heat Waves, Cold Waves, Floods and Droughts in the United States- State of Knowledge”) published by the American Meteorological Society in June 2013. So I went to the article, didn't I? Academic articles have no terrors for me. I have written plenty of them.
The article was a ball of fun. It started out admitting that the the data was so diverse that it was difficult to draw conclusions from it. So they had the workshop so that participants could discuss the data and come to a consensus. In other words the conclusions were an opinion about the data, not the data itself.
And under the heading HEAT WAVES AND COLD WAVES (Subsection "Observed changes"), the fun really began. We read for instance:
"For heat waves “the highest number of heat waves occurred in the 1930s, with the fewest in the 1960s. The 2001–10 decade was the second highest but well below the 1930s.”
Come again??? That is supposed to prove global warming? I could make a better case for it proving global cooling. You should read the whole thing. It's a riot (unintentionally). They conclude what they want to conclude and evidence be damned.
I am pleased, however, that the scientists were rather frank. The "Report" as a whole however is a heap of corruption. It's authors did not at all reflect the science in their own report -- JR
Harry Reid: The Koch Brothers Are Causing Climate Change
Harry is driven mad by the people he refers to as the "Coke brothers". He has really lost his marbles over them. But I can see his dilemma about the pronunciation. The German guttural (ch) is too hard and a straightforward prounciation could sound rude. He could refer to them as the "Cook" brothers. "Koch" is German for cook
The Senate Majority Leader has a penchant for bashing the Koch Brothers for all sorts of things. But this might take the cake. Sen. Reid openly declared today on the Senate floor that two “multizillionaires” named David and Charles Koch are not a cause of climate change, mind you, but rather "one of the main causes." Let that sink in.
This is a point he made explicitly, delivering it with both conviction and certainty. But while trolling the Koch brothers (who most Americans have never heard of, by the way) might be his latest obsession, at what point do his crazy rants reach the point of diminishing returns?
For example, Forbes contributor and Townhall columnist Ralph Benko is already calling on Republicans to censure him. That is, if and when they wield enough political power to bring that tantalizing idea to fruition:
Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-WI) trafficked in the culture of allegations of the “un-American.” He was censured by the United Senate and died disgraced.
Now Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is engaging in misconduct comparably shameful: “redbaiting” those with red state values. He deserves censure for such misconduct. If the Democrats will not provide it, if the Republicans regain the majority in the U.S. Senate the censuring of Harry Reid deserves to be the first order of business next year.
Leader Reid has cast himself as the point man in a campaign by the left to vilify Charles and David Koch. As recently inventoried by The Washington Free Beacon, and as noted by The Washington Post, Reid has vilified the Koch name, at last count, 134 times.
This is not a random act by Reid.
Of course it isn’t. The politics of destruction and vilification are very much in play here -- and will continue to be for some time. Reid, too, more than anyone else in his caucus, is promoting Kochsteria like it’s his job. But again, when does a “campaign strategy” become so farcical and so ridiculous that its chief spokesman loses all credibility? Apparently we haven’t reached that point…yet. But how far off can we really be?
Accusing two private citizens of effectively causing climate change is insane. Surely even Senate Democrats must realize this:
Yes It’s Real: GlobalChange.Gov
CS Lewis warned us about men without chests. That is technocrats who use what Winston Churchill called “the lights of perverted science” to play God without ethics, without morality, without responsibility.
And now they have a website. It's called globalchange.gov.
And they have a legal mandate too, not just to investigate so-called climate change, but to investigate “global change” in general.
“The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP,)” says the website, “was established by Presidential Initiative in 1989 and mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act (GCRA) of 1990 to ‘assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.’”
And whatever else that open-ended mission statement means, one thing you can be sure of is that the USGCRP will get shriller, more strident and more partisan as the science behind so-called “global change” becomes more damning to their hypothesis.
“Researchers have issued the ‘loudest and clearest alarm bell to date,’” reports Bloomberg, “signaling the need for urgent actions to combat climate change in the U.S., the president's science adviser said May 6. The third and most comprehensive installment of the National Climate Assessment shows that evidence of human-induced climate change is growing stronger as its impacts are increasingly felt across the country.”
Most comprehensive? Yes, and so was Tolstoy’s War and Peace. But then both are only works of fiction.
Still, mainstream media is using globalchange.gov's latest position paper as more thin scientific evidence-- and I use the term sarcastically-- that global warming is already causing great harm to the United States.
The rest of us, they believe, are just too stupid to know it without a website.
The report catalogs a litany of hypothesis, fantasy, wishful thinking and poor science to bolster claims about so-called climate change that have already been proven scientifically incorrect.
For example, the report states that since 1980 hurricanes have become more prevalent, more intense, and probably--it's implied--much more racist.
In fact the scientific evidence and history show just the opposite.
While the so-called climate change models have predicted a vast number of killer hurricanes, and the hurricane predictors year after year have predicted a vast number of killer hurricanes, the predictions have been so far off base that hurricane predictions are even less reliable than NFL draft projections.
This most popularized predicted effect of global warming from the models given us by the climate change clowns-- increased hurricane and tropical storm activity-- was shown conclusively to be without merit in 2011 by a paper produced by the science and operations officer at the National Hurricane Center, Dr. Chris Landsea.
In a workpublished in late November of 2011 and carefully labeled an “opinion” piece on the site for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration- which is quick to distance itself from the conclusions reached by Landsea-- concludes that “the overall impact of global warming on hurricanes is currently negligible and likely to remain quite tiny even a century from now.”
Lansea is a supporter of the theory of man-caused global warming, but says the models for hurricanes are wrong.
In the rarefied atmosphere of climate politics this deviation was enough to get him labeled as a "climate skeptic," perhaps enough to get him excommunicated as a "climate denier." Landsea resigned from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2005 because he felt it had become politicized and was ignoring the science.
Yet somehow he remains the leading hurricane expert in the US, despite his "shoddy" science.
Landsea attacked three specific datasets that are often used by global warming alarmists to show that the warming of the earth will have terrible consequences for human-kind: 1) the frequency of storms; 2) the intensity of storms and; 3) the economic damage of storms.
In each data subset he showed that apparent increases in storm activity or effect can be ascribed to advances in technology or development that skew the data rather than a real increased frequency or effect of storms.
And that's exactly what you'd expect from CS Lewis's “Men without Chests”-- that is men without hearts.
You'd expect them to skew the data by using technology and development, and then shinning the light of perverted science upon it, with an assist by perverted media, to institute global change, whatever that ‘change’ happens to entail.
But you don’t need to worry about that, they say. They'll tell you what you need to know and when you need to know it,
Because now they have a website, just like they do for all of their other programs.
They still, however, don't have hearts.
This is why wind energy can neither have nor produce nice things
The wind lobby has yet to give up on their quest to renew the egregiously generous production tax credit that essentially keeps the wind industry afloat by providing 2.3 cents for every kilowatt-hour of energy output during the first ten years of a given project’s operation; that lucrative subsidy expired on January 1st of this year, but it wouldn’t be the first time — or the second, or the third – that Congress has belatedly bestowed a retroactive extension. Most recently, the wind industry was awarded a one-year extension of the credit at the start of 2013, with the new and convenient condition that any project that simply began construction in 2013 would receive the full benefits of the credit (whereas in the past, installations had to be completed) — and for a demonstration of just how precious that credit really is, here are a couple of handy visuals via The Atlantic:
According to the AWEA, a Washington, D.C.-based trade group, wind turbine installations hit a record 8,385 megawatts in the fourth quarter of 2012 only to crash in the first quarter of 2013 to 1.6 megawatts—and, yes, the decimal place is in the right place. In other words, thousands of wind turbines went online at the end of 2012 to power about 2.1 million American homes. Three months later, about one more turbine had been installed, generating just enough juice to supply about 405 homes.
The downdraft continued in the first quarter of this year, according to the AWEA, when 133 turbines producing 433 megawatts went online. …
Installations skyrocketed in 2012 before dropping off like crazy when the credit expired, and then when the credit was renewed with the new and more flexible condition that projects only needed to have begun construction before it expired at the end of 2013, a bunch of projects got in just under the wire. Could the wind industry’s utter dependence on government taxpayer “help” (which actually discourages the price efficiency that could make wind viable in the long run) be any more apparent?
But rather than heeding my umpteenth rant on the mind-boggling perversity of supporting a technology that so clearly cannot survive in the free market based on its own competitive merits, let’s mix it up and look to — oh, I don’t know — how about billionaire Warren Buffet, noted supporter of hiking taxes on the wealthy, in Omaha this past weekend? Via the editors of the WSJ:
So it was fascinating to hear Mr. Buffett explain that his real tax rule is to pay as little as possible, both personally and at the corporate level. “I will not pay a dime more of individual taxes than I owe, and I won’t pay a dime more of corporate taxes than we owe. And that’s very simple,” Mr. Buffett told Fortune magazine in an interview last week.
The billionaire was even more explicit about his goal of reducing his company’s tax payments. “I will do anything that is basically covered by the law to reduce Berkshire’s tax rate,” he said. “For example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.”
Think about that one. Mr. Buffett says it makes no economic sense to build wind farms without a tax credit, which he gladly uses to reduce his company’s tax payments to the Treasury. So political favors for the wind industry induce a leading U.S. company to misallocate its scarce investment dollars for an uneconomic purpose. Berkshire and its billionaire shareholder get a tax break and the feds get less revenue, which must be made up by raising tax rates on millions of other Americans who are much less well-heeled than Mr. Buffett.
Just take a moment and let that really wash over you, and then take a gander at the still other subsidy-goodies the Obama administration is doling out to its politically preferred pet projects. …Just today. Via The Hill:
"The Department of Energy (DOE) Wednesday said it will give up to $47 million each to three offshore wind power projects over the next four years to pioneer “innovative” technology.
The planned projects are off the costs of New Jersey, Oregon and Virginia. DOE said the money will help speed the deployment of efficient wind power technologies as part of the government’s effort to expand the use of wind power."
Senate takes up energy bill amid Keystone squabble
The Senate moved closer to a showdown over the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline Tuesday, as a related energy bill cleared an early procedural hurdle.
Senators voted 79-20 to take up an energy efficiency bill that Keystone supporters want to amend with language authorizing immediate construction of the proposed pipeline from Canada to the United States. Despite the vote, the two parties were still arguing over whether to allow amendments to the measure, including one by Keystone supporters that would end years of delay by the Obama administration on whether to approve the pipeline.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., denied a Republican request for an amendment on the pipeline, but said he was open to a stand-alone vote on a pipeline bill later.
Reid accused Republicans of trying to block the energy bill, which has bipartisan support. Republicans said Reid was backing away from a promise to allow a vote on Keystone.
"Senate Republicans keep changing their requests," Reid said, noting that some Republicans first asked for a "sense of the Senate" resolution on Keystone and then later called for a binding vote.
"It seems like this is nothing but a game of diversion and obstruction to many Senate Republicans," Reid said on the Senate floor. "But it's not a game. Every time a group of Republicans feigns interest in bipartisanship, only to scramble away at the last moment, it is part of a calculated political scheme."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called Reid's claim "laughable," and said all that Senate Republicans seek is a full and open debate on energy policy.
"The American people have waited seven long years for a serious energy debate in the Democrat-run Senate," McConnell said, noting that the Senate has not approved a major energy bill since 2007.
In addition to Keystone, Republican senators have prepared a host of amendments to the energy bill, including one that would block the Environmental Protection Agency from imposing rules limiting greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants. Lawmakers from both parties also support a measure to speed approval of terminals to export liquefied natural gas.
"The American people deserve a real debate on how we can best tap our own extraordinary natural resources to achieve energy independence at home and how we can help our allies overseas through increased exports of American energy. But we can't move forward if the Democrats who run the Senate keep trying to protect the president at the expense of serving their constituents," McConnell said.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., one of the bill's co-sponsors, said the measure was an affordable approach to boost energy efficiency, which she said is the best way to save money on energy use.
"Energy efficiency is no longer about putting on a sweater and lowering the thermostat. It's about the technologies that can reduce energy use," she said.
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said the bill does not include mandates but merely encourages homes and businesses to increase efficiency.
"The least expensive form of energy is the energy we don't end up having to use," he said.
Spare me TV's climate change experts
Clive James is a skeptic as well as a wit and an entertainer. I like the way he pisses on false prophet Tim Flannery
Because of its many beautiful images of my homeland, I couldn’t help watching the repeat of Australia with Simon Reeve (BBC Two). I thought I was being idle, but suddenly a big idea occurred to me.... an idea relevant to countless BBC programmes about the environment over the course of the past decade and a half. Let me try to evoke the moment in which the idea occurred. Simon was talking to a man in charge of a South Australian wine factory which covered thousands of acres with its enormous shining silver vats and bins. The factory produces a zillion bottles of wine per year, and uses, in the process, a gazillion gallons of water.
The water is drawn from the Murray-Darling river system. If it occurred to you to wonder what would happen to the output of wine if the input of water were to be restricted, it occurred to Reeve too. So did he ask the professionally knowledgeable bloke in charge of the wine whether he anticipated any restrictions in the water supply?
No, he asked a climate change expert. In Australia, climate change experts are not hard to find. Indeed it is very hard to keep them out of your car: unless you wind the window all the way up, one of them will climb in. This climate change expert was called Tim. Armed with his ability to read the future, Tim predicted that any dry area of the Murray-Darling system was “an indication of what’s coming”, and that “what Australia is experiencing here now” would eventually be experienced by “hundreds of millions of people around the world”.
Simon nodded his moustache sagely but didn’t once ask whether the flourishing wine industry was not part of what Australia is experiencing here now. Nor did he ask whether, in view of climate change, the wine industry was doomed. It was then that the big idea hit me. Why hadn’t he asked the wine grower? It would have been easy to frame the question, perhaps along the lines of: “In view of what is happening to the planet, have you any plans for selling all this colossal acreage of silver metal for scrap?”
It would have been worth asking the wine grower because his whole way of life depends on what he thinks about the water supply, whereas, with Tim, nothing depends on what he thinks about the water supply except his next research grant and his prospects of getting on screen with the visiting TV presenter so that they can shoot off their mouths together. And at that point I started thinking about all those BBC environment and nature programmes from the immediate past that might just turn out, in retrospect, to have been souping up their science with science fiction.
But you can see the attraction. Sensationalism makes for a splash of danger, and sometimes, when the danger isn’t there, you miss it. In a re-run of the classic little wildlife programme of 2006 Rabbits of Skomer (BBC Four) you could see the danger, or lack of danger, that some animal shows faced before the global warming theme got going.
On the island of Skomer the rabbits, like the puffins, face no mammal predators. In the air, the odd short-eared owl or greater black-backed gull lurks hungrily, but on the whole the rabbits have got it made. They stick their heads up out of their holes and sniff, but all they find is a camera crew looking at them. There is not a single whiff of oncoming planetary doom. If the show were being made now, there would have to be a climate change expert called Tim to say that the whole island will soon be a hundred feet under water with sharks cruising through waves dotted with the corpses of rabbits and puffin chicks.
Or perhaps not. Perhaps the Beeb, in view of the current shifting of the emphasis in climate science from mitigation to adaptation, is now, at last, dialling down the alarmism. Perhaps they put the Skomer rabbits back on air as a portent of the nature programmes they will make next, with the future restored to its erstwhile position as the long stretch of time about which not even science can know everything.
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 1:35 PM