Sunday, June 22, 2014

News that is music to Al Gore's ears

The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consulaff, at Bergen, Norway.

Reports from fishermen, seal hunters, and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes.

Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared.

Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds. Within a few years it is predicted that due to the ice melt the sea will rise enough to make most coastal cities uninhabitable.


I apologize. I neglected to mention that this report was from November 2, 1922, as reported by the AP and published in The Washington Post 92+ years ago. Verified by Snopes.

The scandal of fiddled global warming data

When future generations try to understand how the world got carried away around the end of the 20th century by the panic over global warming, few things will amaze them more than the part played in stoking up the scare by the fiddling of official temperature data.

There was already much evidence of this seven years ago, when I was writing my history of the scare, The Real Global Warming Disaster. But now another damning example has been uncovered by Steven Goddard’s US blog Real Science, showing how shamelessly manipulated has been one of the world’s most influential climate records, the graph of US surface temperature records published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Goddard shows how, in recent years, NOAA’s US Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) has been “adjusting” its record by replacing real temperatures with data “fabricated” by computer models. The effect of this has been to downgrade earlier temperatures and to exaggerate those from recent decades, to give the impression that the Earth has been warming up much more than is justified by the actual data.

In several posts headed “Data tampering at USHCN/GISS”, Goddard compares the currently published temperature graphs with those based only on temperatures measured at the time. These show that the US has actually been cooling since the Thirties, the hottest decade on record; whereas the latest graph, nearly half of it based on “fabricated” data, shows it to have been warming at a rate equivalent to more than 3 degrees centigrade per century.

When I first began examining the global-warming scare, I found nothing more puzzling than the way officially approved scientists kept on being shown to have finagled their data, as in that ludicrous “hockey stick” graph, pretending to prove that the world had suddenly become much hotter than at any time in 1,000 years.

Any theory needing to rely so consistently on fudging the evidence, I concluded, must be looked on not as science at all, but as simply a rather alarming case study in the aberrations of group psychology.


Goldman Sachs are on the job!

A war-cry from former Goldman Sachs boss Hank Paulson excerpted below.  It's basically just the usual appeal to authority but, perhaps because he is a Republican, he does actually mention some evidence.  He mentions melting in the Arctic but fails to mention that the Antarctic is gaining mass overall.  He mentions melting in the West Antarctic but fails to mention that it's got lots of volcanoes under it.  He mentions recent windstorms but fails to mention that they are far fewer than they were.  So he is not quite as brain dead as most Warmists and that might persuade some people

THERE is a time for weighing evidence and a time for acting. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout my work in finance, government and conservation, it is to act before problems become too big to manage.

For too many years, we failed to rein in the excesses building up in the nation’s financial markets. When the credit bubble burst in 2008, the damage was devastating. Millions suffered. Many still do.

We’re making the same mistake today with climate change. We’re staring down a climate bubble that poses enormous risks to both our environment and economy. The warning signs are clear and growing more urgent as the risks go unchecked.

The solution can be a fundamentally conservative one that will empower the marketplace to find the most efficient response. We can do this by putting a price on emissions of carbon dioxide — a carbon tax. Few in the United States now pay to emit this potent greenhouse gas into the atmosphere we all share. Putting a price on emissions will create incentives to develop new, cleaner energy technologies.

We are building up excesses (debt in 2008, greenhouse gas emissions that are trapping heat now). Our government policies are flawed (incentivizing us to borrow too much to finance homes then, and encouraging the overuse of carbon-based fuels now). Our experts (financial experts then, climate scientists now) try to understand what they see and to model possible futures. And the outsize risks have the potential to be tremendously damaging (to a globalized economy then, and the global climate now).

Already, observations are catching up with years of scientific models, and the trends are not in our favor.

Fewer than 10 years ago, the best analysis projected that melting Arctic sea ice would mean nearly ice-free summers by the end of the 21st century. Now the ice is melting so rapidly that virtually ice-free Arctic summers could be here in the next decade or two. The lack of reflective ice will mean that more of the sun’s heat will be absorbed by the oceans, accelerating warming of both the oceans and the atmosphere, and ultimately raising sea levels.

Even worse, in May, two separate studies discovered that one of the biggest thresholds has already been reached. The West Antarctic ice sheet has begun to melt, a process that scientists estimate may take centuries but that could eventually raise sea levels by as much as 14 feet. Now that this process has begun, there is nothing we can do to undo the underlying dynamics, which scientists say are “baked in.” And 10 years from now, will other thresholds be crossed that scientists are only now contemplating?

It is true that there is uncertainty about the timing and magnitude of these risks and many others. But those who claim the science is unsettled or action is too costly are simply trying to ignore the problem. We must see the bigger picture.

I’m a businessman, not a climatologist. But I’ve spent a considerable amount of time with climate scientists and economists who have devoted their careers to this issue. There is virtually no debate among them that the planet is warming and that the burning of fossil fuels is largely responsible.

Some members of my political party worry that pricing carbon is a “big government” intervention. In fact, it will reduce the role of government, which, on our present course, increasingly will be called on to help communities and regions affected by climate-related disasters like floods, drought-related crop failures and extreme weather like tornadoes, hurricanes and other violent storms. We’ll all be paying those costs. Not once, but many times over.

This is already happening, with taxpayer dollars rebuilding homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy and the deadly Oklahoma tornadoes. This is a proper role of government. But our failure to act on the underlying problem is deeply misguided, financially and logically.

In a future with more severe storms, deeper droughts, longer fire seasons and rising seas that imperil coastal cities, public funding to pay for adaptations and disaster relief will add significantly to our fiscal deficit and threaten our long-term economic security. So it is perverse that those who want limited government and rail against bailouts would put the economy at risk by ignoring climate change.

This is short-termism. There is a tendency, particularly in government and politics, to avoid focusing on difficult problems until they balloon into crisis. We would be fools to wait for that to happen to our climate.

Climate change is the challenge of our time. Each of us must recognize that the risks are personal. We’ve seen and felt the costs of underestimating the financial bubble. Let’s not ignore the climate bubble.


Presidential Pollinator Protection: More Activity as Substitute for Accomplishment

An article by Justin Sink appeared in the online edition of The Hill on 06/20/14 stating that Obama has sent out an executive order to all Cabinet secretaries and agency heads requiring “the federal government to develop a plan for protecting pollinators such as honey bees, butterflies, birds and bats in response to mounting concerns about the impact of dwindling populations on American crops.”

Obama also claims, “the problem is serious and requires immediate attention to ensure the sustainability of our food production systems, avoid additional economic impact on the agricultural sector, and protect the health of the environment".

Consistency is important, it’s unfortunate that Obama is wrong so -consistently. It’s also unfortunate that so many who have posted commentaries on the problems with bees, birds, bats and butterflies are equally so. If the logical fallacies and misinformation were eliminated from these commentaries there would far fewer, and those left would be far more accurate.

Let's start with European honey bees. In January of 2012 I pointed out in my article,Colony CollapseDisorder: Cause – All Natural:

“First, it is not true that there has been a mysterious worldwide collapse in honey bee populations. In fact managed hives (which contain the bees which do the vast majority of our pollinating) have increased by a remarkable 45 per cent over the last five years. Lawrence D. Harder from the department of biology at the University of Calgary and Marcelo Aizen from Buenos Aires set about pinning down a couple of myths…….The bee disaster scenario is dependent upon data which is far too regional to take seriously and ‘not representative of global trends’. The truth is that there are more bees in the world than ever. They go on to say; ‘It is a myth that humanity would starve without bees.’ While some 70 per cent of our most productive crops are animal-pollinated (by bees, hoverflies and the like), very few indeed rely on animal pollination completely. Furthermore, most staple foods — wheat, rice and corn — do not depend on animal pollination at all. They are wind-pollinated, or self-pollinating. If all the bees in the world dropped dead tomorrow afternoon, it would reduce our food production by only between 4 and 6 per cent.....‘Overall we must conclude that claims of a global crisis in agricultural production are untrue.’

Sink goes on to say;

“under the president's order, the government will establish a new task force tasked with developing a "coordinated research action plan" to help better understand and prevent the loss of pollinating species.” And that “government agencies will also be tasked with developing plans to enhance habitats for pollinating species on federal lands. And agencies will partner with local governments, farmers, and the business community in a bid to increase the quality and availability of available habitats for the species.”

This will be just another excuse for huge land grabs by the federal government, as if under the Endangered Species Act the use of “suitable habitat” rulings aren’t bad enough already.

Obama claims that"given the breadth, severity, and persistence of pollinator losses, it is critical to expand federal efforts and take new steps to reverse pollinator losses and help restore populations to healthy levels”. Now here’s the part that should be of even more concern. The President says; "these steps should include the development of new public-private partnerships and increased citizen engagement." Who exactly will make up these groups of ‘citizens’ in these ‘public-private” groups? Will it be the Sierra Club, Greenpeace or other green/left activists who will use any excuse to stand against modern life, progress, chemicals, genetically modified foods, and more? Or will it be the National Pest Management Association, The Farm Bureau, Croplife America or Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment, who are responsible for defending the nation against insects, disease and starvation?

Let's now deal with the slaughter of bats - which are all protected - and birds - many of which are protected or endangered. It's the green movement that must take responsibility for their slaughter through their promotion of wind energy.  Bats are killed extensively by the “low-pressure air pockets created around the swirling blades of the turbines cause bats' lungs to implode, instantly killing them”.

This is a direct result of following the same idiotic green energy production ideas that failed under Jimmy Carter, and another lack of consistent thinking that should concern everyone. These Cuisinarts are causing massive slaughters worldwide of protected birds and bats; massively larger than environmentalists claimed was being caused by DDT (which was a lie and doesn’t kill bats at all) and the government has given them a pass!

As I pointed out in my article, "Green Power and Precautionary Double Standards”;We absolutely know these monsters are killing at least 573,000 birds every year, including some 83,000 eagles, hawks and other raptors - in clear violation of US laws. Other estimates put the toll at closer to 13,000,000 birds and bats annually. Why are the "precautionary" activists stone-cold silent about that? Why? Because “unintentional kills are to be expected”! If you killed a bald eagle in an “unintentional” accident would you get the same kind of pass? No! Because this double standard is deliberate.

(Editor's Note:  Since this article was published some have finally stepped up, but they also fail in consistent thinking because they're willing to accept kills in smaller numbers.)

What about butterfly protection? That is nothing more than a direct attack on genetically modified crops.  In reality there’s no real evidence GMO’s impact butterflies negatively, except for a Cornell study in 1999, and even the author, Professor John Losey, noted the study was a "laboratory study” and not to be taken too seriously against real world activity. The butterflies in the study were forced to feed on corn pollen, which proved something entomologists already knew – Bt enhanced corn pollen can kill Monarchs. Apparently he doesn’t believe this study lays ground work for any real concern saying; "our study was conducted in the laboratory and, while it raises an important issue, it would be inappropriate to draw any conclusions about the risk to Monarch populations in the field based solely on these initial results."

In the real world Monarch butterflies don’t like, and generally don’t eat corn pollen, or anything corn pollen rests on if given other options. As for Bt enhanced corn pollen landing on other plants such as milkweed - it had better be right next to the corn field since corn pollen is heavy and doesn’t travel far, and there is very little milkweed around corn fields. Also the study did not display how much Monarchs would have to eat to be harmed or how much exposure there would have to be to Bt in the real world....

This play by the President is nothing more than activity as a substitute for accomplishment, with potentially other motives behind it. As for that $50 million the President has requested for the Department of Agriculture to create a public-private movement to reverse this trend -Does anyone really believe a dime will make it to the National Pest Management Association, The Farm Bureau, Croplife America, Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment or any other responsible group?  


Some Things the Media Claim Were Caused by ‘Global Warming’

It seems like with global warming embedded in our politics (for now), anything we don’t fully understand can now be ‘legitimately’ blamed on the weather. Forget the trusty old excuse about the dog eating your homework: A sampling of news stories tells us instead that global warming might really be the cause of all our problems. Allegedly, thanks to global warming:

Your breakfast got even less exciting. Your morning coffee is going to be more expensive. Also, the cost of cereal could climb by as much as 30 percent because of global warming according to an Oxfam report(their recommendation to General Mills and Kellogg’s: “intensify” effort to cut greenhouse gases, which ironically would also likely increase the cost of cereal and beverages). Thankfully, populations of feral cats and dogs are liable to increase, and these could suffice as possible “bridge food” for climate change refugees.

History and culture have been redefined. Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jack Dawson didn’t make it off the Titanic in 1912 thanks to global warming. Two years later the world engaged in WWI, followed by the Great Depression, and WWII, all of which apparently slowed the pace of global warming. In current cultural events, the arts world has been subjected to climate change…the musical. And a horror movie. Some congregations have been subjected to a new topic for bad sermons. And employees are less productive at work.

America’s adversaries have been aided. Climate change has boosted Russian rice, corn and sunflower seed crops and promises to unlock some of the natural resources trapped in Siberian permafrost. And rather than failed diplomacy, climate change was the catalyst for Boko Haram. Meanwhile, North Korea has emerged as an example of combating climate change.

Nature got a little bit wilder. Salamanders are shrinking in size, but the return of bus-sized snakes is more likely. Meanwhile the coquis frog in Puerto Rico croaks a little higher, butterflies in Ohio are showing up a bit earlier, and there is an abundance of rock snot in West Virginia streams and not enough tissues to deal with it. It also has been discovered that global warming killed a 16-year-old polar bear (even though the average lifespan of a polar bear is 15-18 years).

Vacation plans are being ruined. Airline passengers might want to use those seatbelts on their next flight because of greater turbulence. Thanks to global warming, life in Asia is generally miserable and England will be too wet, and too dry…and too cold…and too hot. That hike you may have been planning to the peak of Mt. Everest will be harder, in case it wasn’t hard enough already, and out of good eco-conscience you probably shouldn’t run another marathon because of all the unnecessary CO2 emissions. And the migration of the Baird’s sparrow away from North Dakota to Canada is threatening to cut into the hordes of tourists coming to bird watch.

What has been called the dangerous, more expensive, more uncertain future of climate change may in fact just be climate, which always changes.  Nevertheless, the Obama administration wants to implement costly global warming regulations that not only will have almost zero impact on global average temperatures, but also will  drastically change for the worse how Americans access and use energy, an important building block of the American economy and quality of living

Now that’s a real problem—one Congress actually can do something about.


Australia:  Greenie-inspired attempt to lock away a large semi-wilderness area knocked on the head in the courts

QUEENSLAND’S Wild Rivers legislation has been declared invalid in Cape York, ending a five-year struggle by indigenous groups to preserve the right to pursue economic opportunities in the region.

A Federal Court judge yesterday ruled that a Queensland minister erred in law five years ago in declaring three rivers on the cape as "wild”.

The main objection of indigenous groups was that the legislation stopped potential economic development of the region in far north Queensland by "locking up” the rivers and the areas around them. They claimed the previous state Labor government had undertaken the Wild Rivers plan to win green preferences in city seats it needed to retain power.

The Federal Court decision centred on the Bligh government’s action in declaring the Archer, Lockhart and Stewart rivers on Cape York as wild rivers on April 3, 2009, only weeks after the state election that saw the ALP government returned.

Federal Court judge Andrew Greenwood found yesterday that the decision was made too quickly and without enough consideration of the views of the traditional owners.

"The decision to make the declarations was a function of urgently delivering on an election promise ... the declarations got ahead of the formulation of the material addressing the preconditions upon which the exercise of the power rested,” he wrote in his judgment.

The government had received 3062 submissions about the declarations, but 2577 of these were pro forma submissions made through the Wilderness Society’s website.

Indigenous leader Noel Pearson, who led the opposition to Wild Rivers by arguing that it deprived indigenous people of economic opportunities, said yesterday that the five-year legal struggle had diverted attention from key areas such as health and education on the cape.

He said new projects that could provide jobs for indigenous people in areas such as horticulture and tourism could now begin.

"Traditional owners should decide whether they want conservation or a mixture of both," Mr Pearson said.

"We don’t want this unilaterally imposed on them by political deals in Brisbane."

"It’s a just process, but it really shouldn’t have taken five years to reach this point.”

The Archer, Lockhart and Stewart rivers were the most prominent of the 12 rivers gazetted under the legislation. Most of the others are in western Queensland such as Coopers Creek and the Georgina and Diamantina Basins, but some are on the east coast of Cape York, such as Hinchinbrook near Ingham.

While the Newman government has set in train a process of regional land plans on Cape York that would supersede Wild Rivers, the legislation still exists elsewhere in the state and is not due to be debated until August, when it is expected to be extinguished.

"So they have made promises, but after two years, it still hasn’t happened,” Mr Pearson said.

"At the end of the day, the court victory came before anything else.” Mr Pearson was scathing in his criticism of former Labor premier Anna Bligh and former natural resources minister Stephen Robertson, who made the Wild Rivers declarations.

The Cape York leader said yesterday: "They should hang their heads in shame having put our people through five years of struggle."

The action was brought forward by traditional owner Martha Koowarta, the widow of 1980s Cape York land rights campaigner John Koowartha who successfully challenged Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s government over a land rights claim in 1982.

Mrs Koowarta, who lives in the Cape York town of Aurukun but was in Brisbane for the judgment yesterday, was elated at the outcome.

"I’m so happy," she said outside the court.

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said the court outcome vindicated the Liberal National Party’s opposition to the Wild Rivers scheme when it was in opposition. The court awarded costs against the government.

"I can’t say we’re happy about it, but otherwise it would be the indigenous groups who paid,” Mr Seeney said.

The main supporter of Wild Rivers was the Wilderness Society. It said that the river catchments on Cape York would now be exposed to "risky industrial development such as open-cut mining, in-stream dams and intense irrigated agriculture”.

"Queensland is blessed with some of the last remaining free-flowing rivers left on the planet and they need to be treasured,” said Queensland campaign manager Tim Seelig.



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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