Sunday, June 29, 2014
No denying climate change deniers
The article below accepts "Steve Goddard's" claims that Warmists have fudged the temperature data. Some readers however may be aware that prominent skeptic Anthony Watts has criticized Goddard's claims. Reading Watts in detail is however a little amusing. He agrees that the Warmists have misrepresented the data but says that was by accident and not deliberate. I smell Koolaid. I have previously suspected that Watts wants to be loved by the Warmist experts (e.g. when he warned Warmists that outsiders could get into their computer files) and I think that this confirms it. Otherwise he would have written his article to say: "Yes. Goddard's analyses were unsophisticated but his conclusions stand up nevertheless"
People who refuse to drink the Kool-Aid known as global warming-climate change are not just “deniers”; we are guilty of a “nihilistic refusal” to address the issue. So says a Washington Post editorial commenting favorably on Monday’s Supreme Court ruling that allows the Environmental Protection Agency, under certain limits, to proceed under the Clean Air Act to regulate major sources of greenhouse-gas emissions.
The actual nihilists are those who refuse to accept any scientific information that undermines their claim that the globe is warming and humans are responsible for it. Cults are like that. Regardless of evidence contradicting their beliefs, cultists persist in blind faith.
Sometimes one must look to sources outside the U.S. to get a better perspective on what is happening.
The London Daily Telegraph’s Christopher Booker, author of “The Real Global Warming Disaster,” writes of climate change denier Steve Goddard’s U.S. blog Real Science, which he says shows “...how shamelessly manipulated has been one of the world’s most influential climate records, the graph of U.S. surface temperature records published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).” Goddard, Booker adds, illustrates “...how, in recent years, NOAA’s U.S. 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.”
Goddard compared the most recently published graphs with “those based only on temperatures measured at the time.” He concludes: “The U.S. has actually been cooling since the ‘30s, 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.”
If that isn’t a smoking gun, what is?
Last month, President Obama issued a proclamation for “National Hurricane Preparedness Week.” He said, “As the climate continues to warm, hurricane intensity and rainfall are projected to increase.”
Except many believe the climate is not continuing to warm (see above) and that there has been no significant warming for 17 years (see more at climatedepot.com). As for hurricanes, USA Today reported last month: “...the nation is enjoying two record streaks for a lack of hurricanes: It’s been nine years since the last hit from a ‘major’ hurricane and also nine years since a hurricane of any sort hit Florida, traditionally the most hurricane-prone state in the nation. ... A ‘major’ hurricane is a Category 3, 4, or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale of Hurricane Intensity; the minimum wind speed for a major hurricane is 111 mph.” (Despite its fury and the high death toll, Hurricane Sandy’s wind speeds did not fall under the official category of a “major” hurricane when it touched down.)
The global warmers are the ones refusing to discuss, debate or even mention the growing body of science questioning and in increasing instances disproving their theories. They also mostly ignore news of manipulated climate models and the serious concerns of scientists who no longer believe the climate is changing significantly.
Many in the media, including some newspaper editorial pages, refuse to broadcast or print information that challenges and in some cases refutes arguments about global warming, claiming it is “settled science.” It is nothing of the kind, as any open-minded person can see by a simple Google search.
This is about government gaining more control over the lives of its citizens. Already they are in our bathrooms, our cars, our light bulbs and so many other areas that have the cumulative effect of encroaching on our freedoms. Government is not the final arbiter of truth, yet the global-warming cultists worship at its shrine.
Polls show the public has far greater concerns. An April Gallup Poll affirms previous findings: “...warming has generally ranked last among Americans’ environmental worries each time Gallup has measured them with this question over the years.”
So exactly who are the real nihilists and deniers?
The Three Faces of Sustainability
Pressure from the United Nations, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and environmental activists to promote “sustainable” development has led to “economically harmful and environmentally counterproductive” policies that have resulted in completely unsustainable practices, writes environmental expert Paul Driessen in a new report for The Heartland Institute.
The failure to define exactly what true sustainability is “gives unelected regulators increasing control over energy use, economic growth, and all other aspects of life,” writes Driessen. Both wealthy and economically depressed regions of the world are pressured to avoid developing coal, oil, natural gas, hydroelectric power, and nuclear power despite evidence showing them to be “the only abundant, reliable, and affordable sources of energy.” Such anti-energy policies “perpetuate poverty for developing countries and reduce living standards in wealthier countries.”
In “The Three Faces of Sustainability,” Driessen calls for “true sustainable development” that “improves living standards instead of paying mere lip service to them.” This requires “allowing people the freedom to develop and use new technologies and best practices that conserve resources, reduce waste and pollution, and give people incentives to choose the most efficient energy and mineral sources and to abandon them once better ones are found.”
Wise resource use is consistent with sustainable development because the creative human mind – what economist Julian Simon called the ultimate resource – will continue to devise new technologies and new ways of finding and extracting important natural resources. We will never lack the resources needed to continue improving lives, unless misguided activists, politicians, and regulators succeed in placing those resources off-limits. Our most valuable natural resources are not endangered or approaching exhaustion under any reasonable analysis. ... In sharp contrast, political sustainability impedes efforts to improve lives, protect the planet, and prolong resource availability for current and future generations.
Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For a Constructive Tomorrow and a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute. His articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, Investor’s Business Daily, and numerous other newspapers and magazines, and on websites around the world.
Plastic Bag Bans Will Cost You
When municipal officials started to impose bans on lightweight plastic shopping bags, it seemed like the latest attempt to inflict a little pain on consumers — a mostly symbolic effort to make us feel like we were "doing something" to save the planet.
But as a statewide plastic bag bill advances in the assembly, it's clear it also largely is about money — about protecting some industries and trying to shift around the costs of waste disposal and clean up.
S.B. 270 "prohibits retail stores from providing single-use carryout bags to customers, and requires retail stores to provide only reusable grocery bags for no less than 10 cents per bag," according to the state assembly's analysis. It also provides $2 million in grants and loans to help manufacturers convert their facilities and to pay for recycling efforts.
In his fact sheet, the bill's sponsor, Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, argues that 88 percent of the 13 billion high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic bags retailers hand out each year are not recycled, that it costs the state more than $25 million a year to dispose of the waste and that such bags kill birds, turtles and other species.
Yet we all need to get groceries home from the store, so we must place them into some sort of bag. The American Progressive Bag Alliance, representing manufacturers of HDPE bags, sent around a different, heavier kind of plastic bag allowed under the bill. The group claims that it takes five times as much energy to produce these thicker bags that are similar to the kind used in department stores.
"S.B. 270 is not about the environment," the alliance argues. "It's a scam … to enrich the California Grocers Association to the tune of billions of dollars in bag fees at the expense of 2,000 hard-working Californians." Grocers could pocket as much as $189 million a year from the new bag fees, according to a bag manufacturer's study, although grocers dispute that and may face additional costs to revamp their checkout stands and to store and transport these bigger bags.
If S.B. 270 becomes law, Californians also will rely more heavily on those heavy non-woven polypropylene bags (NWPP) that stores often decorate with logos and sell for about a dollar. These are made from oil rather than natural gas, so critics note that a ban of lighter bags could harm efforts to address global warming.
This can get pretty confusing, but the main goal of S.B. 270's supporters is to force consumers to shift to something reusable, so that they toss away fewer bags. I take issue with the term "single use" plastic bags, given that most of us reuse these light, cheap bags we now get — to dispose of cat litter, to curb the dog during walks, to line our wastebaskets. It's hard to believe that the new reusable bags or paper bags will be reused a lot more than these supposedly non-reusable ones.
A new study from the libertarian Reason Foundation notes that S.B. 270's supporters do not account for the energy use needed to clean the heavier types of bags and that consumers are unlikely to reuse them enough to pay for their additional costs.
The California Department of Public Health, Reason notes, warns consumers to clean and sanitize these bags frequently to avoid the outbreaks of food-borne illness caused by, say, reusing a bag that had been used to bring home meats, but has since sat in the hot car trunk. This means additional water, detergent and electricity use (not to mention time).
Reason wonders whether this effort is worthwhile. "Contrary to some claims made by advocates of plastic bag bans, plastic bags constitute a minuscule proportion of all litter," the report explains. Miniscule means about 0.6 percent of the nation's "visible" litter.
In an interview Friday, Sen. Padilla told me that this isn't just a new idea, but it's something that has noticeably reduced the waste stream in cities that have implemented it. He calls concerns about health risks "overblown."
If so, that's good news. But if S.B. 270 passes, Californians will face many new annoyances and costs, with Reason pegging the cost of California bag-bans on consumers at more than $1 billion a year. So at least no one can call this "cheap" feel-good legislation.
Endangered Bird Forces Duxbury To Cancel 4th Of July Celebration
The town of Duxbury has cancelled what was an annual 4th of July beach bonfire celebration.
The endangered piping plover bird has moved-in and there are at least 24 nests on Duxbury Beach. There are large areas of the beach that are restricted. The town’s July 4th committee said usually a couple thousand people attend the celebration and there is no way to ensure the nests will not get trampled, so the bonfire is cancelled.
“The plovers are federally protected. We have to follow the law,” said Margaret Kearney, Duxbury 4th of July activities committee
This is the 2nd year the plover’s presence cancelled the party.
Last year, 17 nests were on the beach. “They tend to come back to the siame area and every year they hope to grow or maintain the population,” said Missy Battista, co-manager of Duxbury Beach.
In 2013, the committee moved the bonfire to another location, but there was little interest.
Most Duxbury residents said they understand the need to cancel the bonfire for the bird. Since the birds return every year, the committee said next year they’ll consider a new tradition of having the beach bonfire at another time.
EPA Chief: Costly 'Clean Power Plan' Gives Americans 'More Opportunities to Reduce Waste'
Sure, the EPA's new pollution rules will raise the cost of electricity, forcing many Americans to use less of it. But don't think of it as a price hike.
"It's actually about providing (Americans) more opportunities to reduce waste," EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told Congress on Wednesday. Under the EPA's demand-reduction scenario, Americans can retrofit their homes and buy more energy-efficient appliances, she said.
This, in turn, will create jobs in government-approved industries.
The sweeping EPA plan announced earlier this month sets carbon-reduction targets for each state, then allows states to decide how to meet those targets, either on their own or in partnership with other states.
McCarthy said many states will choose the most "cost-effective strategy," which is to reduce consumer demand for electricity:
But that means raising the cost of electricity, Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) told McCarthy: "EPA has said the rule will not increase the cost of electricity, but under this proposed rule, the cost of electricity per kilowatt hour will actually increase. Isn't that correct?"
"Well, we have indicated that the monthly cost of electricity at its peak will be somewhere around a gallon-of-milk cost," McCarthy said. "But we also recognize that when demand-side reduction is used -- which is the easiest, quickest and usually the preferred approach of states -- that it actually reduces the bill itself."
"But it reduces it based upon Americans using less electricity, not the fact that the cost of electricity goes down, but making it impossible for Americans to use electricity as they ought to be allowed to use electricity," Walberg said.
"Actually, the amount of increase in the rates is well within the range of fluctuation that we have been seeing," McCarthy replied. "And so we are quite convinced that--"
"Through Scarcity! Through Scarcity!," Walberg interrupted. "That's happening in my district. That's through scarcity. The push is to reduce electricity by saying to the consumer, don't use electricity. It's not by reducing the cost of production of it."
"It's actually about providing them more opportunities to reduce waste," McCarthy said.
Walberg also pressed McCarthy on whether the Clean Air Act gives EPA the authority to regulate American electricity consumption.
"We're not suggesting that we do regulate that. We are regulating pollution at the source," she said.
The Clean Air Plan requires states to meet certain pollution reduction goals by 2030. The EPA says that will result in 30 percent less pollution from the fossil fuel sector -- mainly coal -- across the U.S. when compared with 2005 levels.
EPA says the plan improves the health of the planet and the people who inhabit it.
"The first year that these standards go into effect, we’ll avoid up to 100,000 asthma attacks and 2,100 heart attacks -- and those numbers go up from there," McCarthy said in a speech on June 2. "That means lower medical bills and fewer trips to the emergency room, especially for those most vulnerable like our children, our elderly, and our infirm. This is about environmental justice, too, because lower income families, and communities of color are hardest hit."
But it's also about creating jobs in industries that liberals like:
"Well, we know that this will actually create thousand of jobs, and those jobs are going to be created in the clean energy economy," McCarthy said at Wednesday's hearing. "We are talking about jobs both related to renewable energy as well as the wealth of energy-efficiency programs. If you're heavily reliant on coal, it also can be expenditures that you make at those facilities to deliver that energy more efficiently. So there's a lot of choices that states can make here."
McCarthy said every state should be able to reach the goals the EPA has set for them. "This is not a stretch goal for any state -- it's an opportunity to turn climate risk into business opportunity, job growth and economic growth."
Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass.) applauded the government's effort to remake the nation's energy landscape:
"It seems pretty clear that you're giving an incentive for states to put in more solar panels, erect more wind turbines, weatherize more homes, install more energy-efficient appliances and machinery. I mean, this is the direction we're heading -- these are jobs that pay well, they can't be exported, they're here to stay, is that right?" he asked.
"That's exactly right," McCarthy agreed.
Britain's green energy cost hits record high as expensive turbines built at sea
The cost of generating green electricity has hit a record high as subsidies are handed to expensive offshore wind farms and household solar panels, new figures show.
The annual bill for consumers to subsidise renewable technologies has soared to more than £2.5bn as more turbines are built and households install panels on their roofs.
But new figures show that the average cost for each unit of green electricity has also increased, hitting a record high of £66.97 per MWh in 2012-13, the most recent period for which figures are available.
The figure was a rise from £54.26 the year before, despite pledges from ministers to bear down on the costs of green energy.
The increase reflects the drive to build wind turbines at sea, which receive roughly twice as much subsidy as those built onshore, where wind farms have proved increasingly controversial.
Subsidies paid to energy companies for this kind of large-scale project reached £2bn, from £1.5bn a year before.
The new figures also reflect the rush by tens of thousands of households to install solar panels on their roofs at generous subsidy levels before ministers cut support in March 2012. The bill for this kind of small-scale subsidy leapt to £500m in 2012-13, from £150m the year before.
Dr John Constable, director of Renewable Energy Foundation, a UK charity that has long been critical of the costs of the renewables targets, said: “DECC is subsidising renewables to meet arbitrary and over-ambitious EU targets, so it was inevitable that we would move rapidly up the cost curve once the ‘cheaper' opportunities had either been fully developed like landfill gas or exceeded the limits of public acceptability like onshore wind.”
He added: “Subsidy costs are now spiralling out of control - the annual burn is about £3bn a year and rising fast. There still is a good case for experimenting with renewables, but building so much capacity when the whole sector is still fundamentally uneconomic is bound to end in tears.”
A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: “As we move closer to achieving the government’s renewables target it is inevitable we will start using more expensive forms of renewable energy such as offshore wind, which can be deployed at far greater scale than other renewable technologies. By supporting these technologies now we are driving down their costs.
“Nonetheless the support levels for each technology are coming down over time and our analysis suggests household electricity bills will be on average £41 lower per year between 2014-30 compared to meeting the our targets using current measures.”
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Posted by JR at 5:00 PM