Sunday, June 08, 2014

World War II Skeletons Washed From Graves by Rising Seas

Hang on just a cotton-picking minute! When things that were submerged  become unsubmerged in littoral (coastal) areas, that is due to a sea-level FALL.  Rising seas cover things up.  So these uncoverings are exactly the OPPOSITE of what Warmists predict.  And below is a handy-dandy chart showing exactly what we would expect:  Marshall island sea levels have been falling  recently.  Ain't facts pesky things?

Skeletons of World War II soldiers are being washed from their graves by the rising Pacific Ocean as global warming leads to inundation of islands that saw some of the fiercest fighting of the conflict.

On the day Europe commemorated the 70th anniversary of the storming of Normandy beaches in the D-Day landings, a minister from the Marshall Islands, a remote archipelago between Hawaii and the Philippines, told how the remains of 26, probably Japanese soldiers, had been recovered so far on the isle of Santo.

“There are coffins and dead people being washed away from graves; it’s that serious,” Tony de Brum, minister of foreign affairs for the Marshall Islands, said yesterday. Tides “have caused not just inundation and flooding of communities where people live but have also done severe damage in undermining regular land so that even the dead are affected.”

Spring tides from the end of February to April had flooded communities, he told a group of reporters at the latest round of United Nations climate talks in Bonn.

The minister’s comments bring home the stark future for low-lying island nations as the planet warms, causing sea levels to rise. The Marshall Islands, a string of more than 1,000 such isles with a population of about 70,000, is about 2 meters (7 feet) at its highest point, according to de Brum.

The tropical western Pacific is a region the UN said this week is experiencing almost four times the global average rate of sea level increase, with waters creeping up by 12 millimeters (half an inch) a year between 1993 and 2009. The global average pace is 3.2 millimeters a year.


The claim of a 97% consensus on global warming does not stand up

Hairy Dutch economist Richard Tol is a lukewarmist.  He accepts that warming is happening and that there is some human influence but not much more of the Warmist catechism.  He felt suspicious of the Cook et al "97% consensus" claim from the beginning. He got his doubts into one of the journals  only to get the article criticized by dedicated Warmist Dana Nuccitelli.  If you trace Nuccitelli's claims back to their sources, you find that he regards opinions of his fellow Warmists as being facts.  Tol summarizes his work and replies to Nuccitelli below

Dana Nuccitelli writes that I “accidentally confirm the results of last year’s 97% global warming consensus study”. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I show that the 97% consensus claim does not stand up.  At best, Nuccitelli, John Cook and colleagues may have accidentally stumbled on the right number.

Cook and co selected some 12,000 papers from the scientific literature to test whether these papers support the hypothesis that humans played a substantial role in the observed warming of the Earth. 12,000 is a strange number. The climate literature is much larger. The number of papers on the detection and attribution of climate change is much, much smaller.

Cook’s sample is not representative. Any conclusion they draw is not about “the literature” but rather about the papers they happened to find.

Most of the papers they studied are not about climate change and its causes, but many were taken as evidence nonetheless. Papers on carbon taxes naturally assume that carbon dioxide emissions cause global warming – but assumptions are not conclusions. Cook’s claim of an increasing consensus over time is entirely due to an increase of the number of irrelevant papers that Cook and co mistook for evidence.

The abstracts of the 12,000 papers were rated, twice, by 24 volunteers. Twelve rapidly dropped out, leaving an enormous task for the rest. This shows. There are patterns in the data that suggest that raters may have fallen asleep with their nose on the keyboard. In July 2013, Mr Cook claimed to have data that showed this is not the case. In May 2014, he claimed that data never existed.

The data is also ridden with error. By Cook’s own calculations, 7% of the ratings are wrong. Spot checks suggest a much larger number of errors, up to one-third.

Cook tried to validate the results by having authors rate their own papers. In almost two out of three cases, the author disagreed with Cook’s team about the message of the paper in question.

Attempts to obtain Cook’s data for independent verification have been in vain. Cook sometimes claims that the raters are interviewees who are entitled to privacy – but the raters were never asked any personal detail. At other times, Cook claims that the raters are not interviewees but interviewers.

The 97% consensus paper rests on yet another claim: the raters are incidental, it is the rated papers that matter. If you measure temperature, you make sure that your thermometers are all properly and consistently calibrated. Unfortunately, although he does have the data, Cook does not test whether the raters judge the same paper in the same way.

Consensus is irrelevant in science. There are plenty of examples in history where everyone agreed and everyone was wrong. Cook’s consensus is also irrelevant in policy. They try to show that climate change is real and human-made. It is does not follow whether and by how much greenhouse gas emissions should be reduced.

The debate on climate policy is polarised, often using discussions about climate science as a proxy. People who want to argue that climate researchers are secretive and incompetent only have to point to the 97% consensus paper.

On 29 May, the Committee on Science, Space and Technology of the US House of Representatives examined the procedures of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Having been active in the IPCC since 1994, serving in various roles in all its three working groups, most recently as a convening lead author for the fifth assessment report of working group II, my testimony to the committee briefly reiterated some of the mistakes made in the fifth assessment report but focused on the structural faults in the IPCC, notably the selection of authors and staff, the weaknesses in the review process, and the competition for attention between chapters. I highlighted that the IPCC is a natural monopoly that is largely unregulated. I recommended that its assessment reports be replaced by an assessment journal.

In an article on 2 June, Nuccitelli ignores the subject matter of the hearing, focusing instead on a brief interaction about the 97% consensus paper co-authored by… Nuccitelli. He unfortunately missed the gist of my criticism of his work.

Successive literature reviews, including the ones by the IPCC, have time and again established that there has been substantial climate change over the last one and a half centuries and that humans caused a large share of that climate change.

There is disagreement, of course, particularly on the extent to which humans contributed to the observed warming. This is part and parcel of a healthy scientific debate. There is widespread agreement, though, that climate change is real and human-made.

I believe Nuccitelli and colleagues are wrong about a number of issues. Mistakenly thinking that agreement on the basic facts of climate change would induce agreement on climate policy, Nuccitelli and colleagues tried to quantify the consensus, and failed.

In his defence, Nuccitelli argues that I do not dispute their main result. Nuccitelli fundamentally misunderstands research. Science is not a set of results. Science is a method. If the method is wrong, the results are worthless.

Nuccitelli’s pieces are two of a series of articles published in the Guardian impugning my character and my work. Nuccitelli falsely accuses me of journal shopping, a despicable practice.

The theologist Michael Rosenberger has described climate protection as a new religion, based on a fear for the apocalypse, with dogmas, heretics and inquisitors like Nuccitelli. I prefer my politics secular and my science sound.


There is no "settled science".  Science is a push into the unknown -- and a very difficult push at that

Why Reducing U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions Is a Risky Move in a Global Economy

Will China and the rest of the world follow our lead or take a free ride?

On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a proposal that would require America's electrical power generation industry to cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent below their 2005 levels by 2030. Everyone agrees that by themselves, these reductions would have an insignificant effect on global warming. Indeed, using an uncontroversial computer model, climatologist Paul Knappenberger has calculated that eliminating all U.S. carbon dioxide emissions immediately would reduce global average temperatures by only about -0.08°C by 2050.

So why does the White House want these cuts? In his May 28 speech to the cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, President Obama pledged that he would in the next year "make sure America is out front in putting together a global framework to preserve our planet." He added that "American influence is always stronger when we lead by example. We can't exempt ourselves from the rules that apply to everybody else." And where does the president want our example to lead? To 2015's big U.N. climate change conference in Paris, where the world is supposed to hammer out an agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions to levels that would keep the world from warming by more than 2° Celsius.

The administration's plan has garnered accolades around the world. Connie Hedegaard, the European Union's commissioner for climate action, has praised the proposal, declaring that it "shows that the United States is taking climate change seriously" and "sends a positive signal ahead of the Paris conference." The U.N.'s top climate change bureaucrat, Christiana Figueres, has said the plan "will send a good signal to nations everywhere that one of the world's biggest emitters is taking the future of the planet and its people seriously." In an op-ed for the Financial Times, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry asserts that the United States "is setting a responsible example." And with an "ambitious global agreement in Paris" pending, he writes, "We will need leaders and people around the world to do the same." As The Week's Ryan Cooper puts it, these rules are supposed to let the U.S. "go into new negotiations with a nice fat emissions reduction to demonstrate commitment and good faith."

Will other countries follow Washington's lead and cut their own carbon dioxide emissions? Game theory suggests some clues.

International climate negotiations are somewhat similar to the prisoner's dilemma. Assuming man-made global warming is costly to all countries, the optimum solution is for all countries to cut their greenhouse gas emissions. But for an individual country, the better option is to keep burning low-cost fossil fuels while other nations reduce their emissions. Since all countries recognize that other countries are likely to cheat and continue to use fossil fuels, they all fail to cut their emissions.

Is there a way out of that dynamic? Two political scientists, Scott Barrett of Columbia and Astrid Dannenberg of Princeton, tried to find one in a 2013 study using game theory experiments. They concluded that if game players know for sure where the threshold for huge losses is located, they will cooperate to avoid it. The catastrophe threshold acts a form of punishment that encourages cooperation.

The experiments involved games in which the players knew crossing a certain threshold spelled disaster for their winnings. Given this certain knowledge, the vast majority players made and kept their promises about their contributions to the general pot, and they avoided crossing the disaster threshold in eight out of 10 games. But when the threshold for catastrophe was even slightly indeterminate, the players crossed essentially every time.

The current uncertainties about the effects and intensity of future climate change suggest that countries are unlikely to follow the Obama administration's lead. Based on their experimental results, Barrett and Dannenberg hold out the hope that climate research that reduces threshold uncertainty might help spur countries into mutual cuts of their greenhouse gas emissions.

In another 2013 study, Gunnar Eskeland of the Norwegian School of Economics tried to figure out whether there is a case for early, unilateral, unconditional emissions reductions. He concludes that small countries whose emissions won't make much of a difference to eventual global warming might act as climate leaders by cutting their emissions.

Why small countries? If a big country with lots of emissions were unilaterally to cut first, Eskeland explains, other big emitting countries would likely succumb to the temptation to free ride. The first country's cuts would delay any deleterious effects of global warming for other countries, and the countries that declined to cut their emissions would also be able to take advantage of even cheaper fossil fuels.

The lower global price for fossil fuels is called "carbon leakage"; it results from the fact that the first mover country has cut its demand. Under the administration's new plan, in fact, domestic cuts in coal demand will likely mean more shipments of cheap American coal abroad. As Darek Urbaniak, the energy policy officer at WWF Europe, has warned, "This cheap coal and associated CO2 emissions may find its way to the EU and other countries set on using coal for power generation" unless European politicians adopt policies like America's.

Eskeland has described exactly the situation in which the planet's two biggest emitters of carbon dioxide, the United States and China, find themselves. Nevertheless, President Obama is proceeding with unilateral emissions cut. We will soon see if China and other countries will elect to free ride.

Two Washington State University economists, Ana Espinola-Arredondo and Felix Munoz-Garcia, observe in a 2010 study that efforts to free ride are pervasive in negotiating international environmental agreements. Among other findings, countries sign international environmental agreements only when the costs of failing to comply are low. Think in this context of Canada and Japan, both of which ratified the greenhouse gas emission cuts under the Kyoto Protocol and then basically ignored their commitments. Espinola-Arredondo and Munoz-Garcia further predict that when countries make high commitment proposals predicated on other countries agreeing to them, no country will act. They point out, for example, that the European Union promised to cut its emissions steeply by 2020 if other countries would too. No other country responded to this European initiative by matching its proposed cuts.

In a 2011 working paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research, two economists—Geoffrey Heal of Columbia and Howard Kunreuther of the University of Pennsylvania—explore the idea that there may be tipping points in climate negotiations. The notion is that once enough countries have joined a climate agreement, other countries will quickly do so. But how many are enough?

To illustrate how tipping points might work with climate policies, Heal and Kunreuther discuss the way the world phased out unleaded gasoline and the ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) coolants used in air conditioners.


Sen. Wicker: Climate Action Plan Will Hurt Farmers, Foresters, Fishermen

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) said Tuesday that the Obama administration’s climate action plan, announced Monday by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, will have “little effect on the climate,” but will negatively affect farmers, foresters, and fishermen.

“Yesterday as part of the president’s climate action plan, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy announced a new set of rules to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.

These regulations would have little effect on the climate, but the rules would have a negative effect on the livelihood of all energy users including farmers, foresters, and fishermen, who are the focus of today’s hearing,” Wicker said at a Senate subcommittee hearing on the impact of climate change on wildlife and agriculture.

As previously reported, McCarthy said when the new regulations take effect by 2030, “electricity bills will be 8 percent cheaper.”

But according to Wicker, “costly regulations mean that farmers who irrigate their crops by pump would face higher utility bills.”

In addition, “foresters would pay more for electricity to turn their timber into building materials and paper – products that are essential to our economy.”

“These industries already face a myriad of challenges in a difficult economic environment, but at what cost are we going to hurt these economic sectors in the pursuit of aggressive but dubious climate regulations?” Wicker asked.

“The costs to these industries are sure to go up,” he said.

“Farmers are said to be on the front line of climate change, because they are most likely to be affected by altering weather patterns,” Wicker said. However, “Farmers have been managing their crops effectively and adapting to variable climate conditions for generations and generations. This is nothing new.”

“Unfortunately, this generation will now have to cope with higher electricity costs, because of questionable climate regulations. For farmers who properly manage their land, a changing climate is not the problem, but burdensome regulations that increase the cost of farm production are,” he said.

Furthermore, “carbon dioxide is require for photosynthesis - the process by which these forests use sunlight to grow,” Wicker said. “Plants tend to grow better under conditions of higher CO2 levels. Scientists have dubbed this effect CO2 fertilization.”

Forestry in Wicker’s home state of Mississippi is a $14 billion industry that supports over 63,000 full- and part-time jobs. Forests cover more than 60 percent of the state, he said, and “healthy forests support industry that employs 25 percent of Mississippi’s manufacturing work force.”

“Given the current depressed market for forestry goods, higher prices for electricity would only worsen industry problems for foresters who properly manage their trees,” Wicker said. “A changing climate is not the problem, but onerous regulations that increase the cost of forestry production are.”


Australia: Solar users the champagne and latte sipping set: Tim Nicholls

Treasurer Tim Nicholls has described Queenslanders who took part in Labor's solar bonus scheme as "champagne sippers and the latte set", while labelling the program "middle class welfare".

In an attack on the opposition during parliamentary question time on Thursday, Mr Nicholls took a question from LNP MP Kerry Millard on "how the government is building on its strong plan for a brighter future".

He used the question to criticise Labor's economic track record and - encouraged by an interjection from the Premier who has solar panels on his home, but does not receive the 44-cent feed-in-tariff - turned into an attack on those who do.

"The only idea he [Curtis Pitt] has put forward in terms of dealing with anything of economic sense was to reintroduce the solar bonus did that work? It worked by adding $3 billion to the cost of power bills for Queenslanders to 2027-28," he said.

"Disgracefully, it worked to penalise those people who could least afford to install solar power.

"So those people who were paying for the middle class welfare that Labor was putting out there - for the champagne sippers and the latte set - with whom they hang around all the time in terms of making themselves feel good, but making the rest of Queenslanders pay for it."

Just under 285,000 households signed up to Labor's 44 cent feed-in-tariff scheme. Another 40,000 households received the 8 cent feed-in tariff until a recent legislation change, which means they will now have to negotiate directly with energy retailers.

Lindsay Soutar, the National Director of Solar Citizens, a solar power lobby group, said the Queensland government was "demonising" solar users.

"We know that most households that installed solar have in fact been households on lower and middle incomes," she said. "That is because these folks are more sensitive to rises in power prices and solar is one of the best ways to take back control over power bills.

"So typically, it is the outer suburbs and people in regional areas, not the inner-city chardonnay set."

The Queensland Competition Authority recently announced the average home annual power bill would increase by another $200 in the next financial year.

Ms Soutar addressed a Queensland solar users forum in Brisbane overnight, discussing options to "go off the grid".

"The price of solar has just plummeted in the last five years, which is why it has become an affordable choice and that is something that continues to be attractive," she said.

"Which is why the big power companies and the Queensland government are so against solar, because essentially they can see why people are finding it so attractive, and looking for other options away from the big power companies."



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1 comment:

Kevin O'Neill said...

The current front page with your Richard Tol 'consensus' article is immediately followed by the importance of stupidity in science a coincidence?

Tol made so many errors that the entire catalog of errors that the original authors (Cook et al) found wouldn't fit into the 1000 word response limit imposed by the journal.

His matrix math blunder is the most damning. Tol will retract this paper or become a non-entity to serious scholars.