Thursday, August 14, 2014

More Warmist deception

The notorious Mark Serreze fails to mention below that there was open water at the North pole on several occasions throughout the 20th. century.  As NOAA says:  "Recently there have been newspaper articles describing the existence of open water at the North Pole. This situation is infrequent but has been known to occur as the ice is shifted around by winds. In itself, this observation is not meaningful."

And Serreze is simply lying about the Northwest passage.  It too has been navigated on many occasions in the past. It was first navigated by Roald Amundsen in 1903–1906.

 The North Pole may be briefly ice-free by September as global warming melts away Arctic sea ice, according to scientists from the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado.

"We kind of have an informal betting pool going around in our center and that betting pool is 'does the North Pole melt out this summer?' and it may well," said the center's senior research scientist, Mark Serreze.

It's a 50-50 bet that the thin Arctic sea ice, which was frozen in autumn, will completely melt away at the geographic North Pole, Serreze said.

The ice retreated to a record level in September when the Northwest Passage, the sea route through the Arctic Ocean, opened briefly for the first time in recorded history.

"What we've seen through the past few decades is the Arctic sea ice cover is becoming thinner and thinner as the system warms up," Serreze said.

Specific weather patterns will determine whether the North Pole's ice cover melts completely this summer, he said.

"Last year, we had sort of a perfect weather pattern to get rid of ice to open up that Northwest Passage," Serreze said. "This year, a different pattern can set up. so maybe we'll preserve some ice there. We're in a wait-and-see mode right now. We'll see what happens."

The brief lack of ice at the top of the globe will not bring any immediate consequences, he said.

"From the viewpoint of the science, the North Pole is just another point in the globe, but it does have this symbolic meaning," Serreze said. "There's supposed to be ice at the North Pole. The fact that we may not have any by the end of this summer could be quite a symbolic change."

Serreze said it's "just another indicator of the disappearing Arctic sea ice cover" but that it is happening so soon is "just astounding to me."

"Five years ago, to think that we'd even be talking about the possibility of the North Pole melting out in the summer, I would have never thought it," he said.

The melting, however, has been long seen as inevitable, he said.

"If you talked to me or other scientists just a few years ago, we were saying that we might lose all or most of the summer sea ice cover by anywhere from 2050 to 2100," Serreze said. "Then, recently, we kind of revised those estimates, maybe as early as 2030. Now, there's people out there saying it might be even before that. So, things are happening pretty quick up there."

Serreze said those who suggest that the Arctic meltdown is just part of a historic cycle are wrong.

"It's not cyclical at this point. I think we understand the physics behind this pretty well," he said. "We've known for at least 30 years, from our earliest climate models, that it's the Arctic where we'd see the first signs of global warming.

"It's a situation where we hate to say we told you so, but we told you so," he said.


Earth has been getting hotter for the past 10,000 YEARS, contradicting studies that humans started global warming

Was the Earth in a period of global warming or cooling before the 20th century?

Attempting to answer this question has thrown up a conundrum for scientists, with some studies showing a warming trend, while others suggesting it cooled until humans intervened.

Now a new study hopes to settle the issue by arguing that data points to the fact that Earth's climate has been warming over the past 10,000 years - long before human activity is thought to have changed the climate.

It argues that previous research that showed a cooling trend was wrong because it used contradictory ice core data.

The research was undertaken by University of Wisconsin-Madison's Professor Zhengyu Liu.

When the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change requested a figure to show global temperature trends over the last 10,000 years, Professor Liu knew that was going to be a problem.

'We have been building models and there are now robust contradictions', he said. 'Data from observation says global cooling. The physical model says it has to be warming.'

In his latest study, Professor Liu describes a consistent global warming trend over the course of the Holocene, our current geological epoch.

Scientists ran simulations of climate influences and each on revealed global warming occurring over the last 10,000 years.

Professor Liu explained that we know atmospheric carbon dioxide rose by 20 parts per million before the 20th century, and the massive ice sheet of the Last Glacial Maximum has been retreating.

These physical changes suggest that, globally, the annual mean global temperature should have continued to warm, even as regions of the world experienced cooling, such as during the Little Ice Age in Europe between the 16th and 19th centuries.

The team ran simulations of climate influences that spanned from the intensity of sunlight on Earth to global greenhouse gases, ice sheet cover and meltwater changes.

Each showed global warming over the last 10,000 years.

Yet, the bio- and geo-thermometers used last year in a study in the journal Science suggest a period of global cooling beginning about 7,000 years ago.

It claimed that this continued until humans began to leave a mark - the so-called 'hockey stick' on the current climate model graph - which reflects a profound global warming trend.

In that study, the authors looked at data collected by other scientists from ice core samples, phytoplankton sediments and more at 73 sites around the world.

The data they gathered sometimes conflicted, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere.

Because interpretation of this data is complicated, Professor Liu believes they may not adequately address the bigger picture.

For instance, biological samples taken from a core deposited in the summer may be different from samples at the exact same site had they been taken from a winter sediment.

'In the Northern Atlantic, there is cooling and warming data the climate change community hasn't been able to figure out,' said Professor Liu.

'Both communities have to look back critically and see what is missing. I think it is a puzzle.'

With their current knowledge, Professor Liu and colleagues don't believe any physical forces over the last 10,000 years could have been strong enough to overwhelm the warming.

The study does not, the authors emphasise, change the evidence of human impact on global climate beginning in the 20th century. [They have to say that]


We’re ill-prepared if the iceman cometh

WHAT if David Archibald’s book The Twilight of Abundance: Why Life in the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short turns out to be right? What if the past 50 years of peace, cheap energy, abundant food, global economic growth and population explosion have been due to a temporary climate phenomenon?

What if the warmth the world has enjoyed for the past 50 years is the result of solar activity, not man-made CO2?

In a letter to the editor of Astronomy & Astrophysics, IG Usoskin et al produced the “first fully ­adjustment-free physical reconstruction of solar activity”. They found that during the past 3000 years the modern grand maxima, which occurred between 1959 and 2009, was a rare event both in magnitude and duration. This research adds to growing evidence that climate change is determined by the sun, not humans.

Yet during the past 20 years the US alone has poured about $US80 billion into climate change research on the presumption that humans are the primary cause. The effect has been to largely preordain scientific conclusions. It set in train a virtuous cycle where the more scientists pointed to human causes, the more governments funded their research.

At the same time, like primitive civilisations offering up sacrifices to appease the gods, many governments, including Australia’s former Labor government, used the biased research to pursue “green” gesture politics. This has inflicted serious damage on economies and diminished the West’s standing and effectiveness in world ­affairs.

University of Pennsylvania professor of psychology Philip Tetlock explains: “When journal reviewers, editors and funding agencies feel the same way about a course, they are less likely to detect and correct potential logical or methodological bias.” How true. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and its acolytes pay scant attention to any science, however strong the empirical evidence, that may relegate human causes to a lesser status.

This mindset sought to bury the results of Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark’s experiments using the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s most powerful particle accelerator. For the first time in controlled conditions, Svensmark’s hypothesis that the sun alters the climate by influencing cosmic ray influx and cloud formation was validated. The head of CERN, which runs the laboratory, obviously afraid of how this heretical conclusion would be received within the global warming establishment, urged caution be used in interpreting the results “in this highly political area of climate change debate”. And the media obliged.

But Svensmark is not alone. For example, Russian scientists at the Pulkovo Observatory are convinced the world is in for a cooling period that will last for 200-250 years. Respected Norwegian solar physicist Pal Brekke warns temperatures may actually fall for the next 50 years. Leading British climate scientist Mike Lockwood, of Reading University, found 24 occasions in the past 10,000 years when the sun was declining as it is now, but could find none where the decline was as fast. He says a return of the Dalton Minimum (1790-1830), which included “the year without summer”, is “more likely than not”. In their book The Neglected Sun , Sebastian Luning and Fritz Varen­holt think that temperatures could be two-tenths of a degree Celsius cooler by 2030 because of a predicted anaemic sun. They say it would mean “warming getting postponed far into the future”.

If the world does indeed move into a cooling period, its citizens are ill-prepared. After the 2008 fin­ancial crisis, most economies are still struggling to recover. Cheap electricity in a colder climate will be critical, yet distorted price signals caused by renewable energy policies are driving out reliable baseload generators. Attracting fresh investment will be difficult, expensive and slow.

Only time will tell, but it is fanciful to believe that it will be business as usual in a colder global climate. A war-weary world’s response to recent events in the Middle East, Russia’s excursion into the Crimea and Ukraine and China’s annexation of air space over Japan’s Senkaku/Daioyu Islands has so far been muted. It is interesting to contemplate how the West would handle the geopolitical and humanitarian challenges brought on by a colder climate’s shorter growing seasons and likely food shortages. Abundance is conducive to peace. However, a scenario where nations are desperately competing for available energy and food will bring unpredictable threats, far more testing than anything we have seen in recent history.

During the past seven years, Australia has largely fallen into line with Western priorities and redistributive policies. It is reminiscent of a family that has inherited a vast fortune constantly fighting over the legacy but showing little interest in securing the future.

However, a country that is so rich in nature’s gifts should not be complacent or assume that in other circumstances there will not be adversaries prepared to take what we have.

But, in times of peace and when government debts and deficits are growing daily, it is hard to persuade voters to trade off immediate benefits for increased defence spending, let alone prepare them, after all the warming propaganda, that global cooling is a possibility.

Yet the global warming pause is now nearly 18 years old and, as climate scientist Judith Curry says, “attention is moving away from the pause to the cooling since 2002”. Anastasios Tsonis, who leads the University of Wisconsin Atmospheric Sciences Group, talks of “massive rearrangements in the dominant pattern of the weather”.

But the political establishment is deaf to this. Having put all our eggs in one basket and having made science a religion, it bravely persists with its global warming narrative, ignoring at its peril and ours, the clear warnings being given by Mother Nature.

Voltaire was right when he said: “Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy, the mad daughter of a wise mother. These daughters have too long dominated the Earth.” Indeed.


Colorado Dems frack backtrack is all about November

In June, in a sparsely populated county in northern New Mexico, a primary election surprisingly unseated an incumbent County Commissioner. No one seemed to notice. But, apparently, high-ranking Democrats to the north were paying attention.

The northern New Mexico county is Mora. The high-ranking Democrats: from Colorado. The election upset was about Mora County’s oil-and-gas drilling ban.

In April 2013, the Mora County Commission voted, 2 to 1, and passed the first-in-the-nation county-wide ban on all oil-and-gas drilling. It was spearheaded by Commission Chairman John Olivas — who also served as northern director for the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance. Since then, two lawsuits have been filed against the little county because of the anti-drilling ordinance.

A little more than a year after Olivas’ pet project, the Mora County Water Rights and Self-Governance Ordinance, was passed, he was ousted. Olivas didn’t just lose in the Democrat primary election, he was, according to the Albuquerque Journal, “soundly beaten” by George Trujillo — 59.8 percent to 34.2 percent. Both Olivas and Trujillo acknowledged that the ban had an impact on the outcome, with Olivas saying: “In my opinion, it was a referendum on oil and gas.” Trujillo campaigned on a repeal of the ordinance (which, due to the language of the ordinance will be difficult to do) and has said he is open to a limited amount of drilling in the eastern edge of the county.

Mora County’s ban on all drilling for hydro-carbons, not just fracking, was incited by an out-of-state group: the Pennsylvania-based Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF),which has also been active in Colorado.

CEDLF holds Democracy Schools around the country where attendees are taught the “secrets” of peoples’ movements focusing on the rights of communities, people, and the earth. In Mora, CELDF’s Democracy School was organized by Olivas’ mother—who, along with his friends, also chaired subcommittees believed to have been organized to monitor Olivas’ interests.

In Colorado, a Boulder-based Democrat Congressman and environmental activist, Jared Polis, has worked hard to collect thousands of signatures—spending, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), “millions of dollars of his own cash to promote the measures” — to get two anti-oil-and-gas initiatives on November’s ballot. His blue-haired mother (No, I am not elder-bashing. She has it dyed blue and purple.) has campaigned with him.

Polis’ proposed initiative 89 would have given local governments control over environmental regulations under an “environmental bill of rights” — which mirrors language promoted by CELDF and used in Mora County. Polis also backed ballot measure 88 that would have limited where hydraulic fracturing could be conducted.

The presence of 88 and 89 on the ballot, sparked two opposing measures: 121 and 137.  121 would have blocked any oil-or-gas revenue from any local government that limits or bans that industry — an idea also proposed, but not passed, in the New Mexico legislature. 137 would have required proponents of initiatives to submit fiscal impact estimates.

Much to the horror of environmental activists, the battle of ballot initiatives ended before anyone ever got to vote on them.

On Monday, August 4, Polis and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper held a news conference where they pushed for a compromise to avoid a “messy ballot fight.” Instead, they are proposing an 18-member task force to issue recommendations to the Colorado Legislature next year on how to minimize conflicts between residents and the energy industry. Later in the day, an agreement was reached and both sides pulled the opposing measures.

Backers of proposed initiatives 88 and 89 are outraged. They feel Polis sold out.

Hickenlooper said the suggested restrictions, if passed, posed “a significant threat to Colorado’s economy” — which they would. However, given the history of the lowly New Mexico county commissioner, the compromise may be more about “a significant threat to Colorado’s” Democrat party.

A November 2013 Quinnipiac poll found that most Coloradans support fracking — only 34 percent oppose it. Noteworthy is the political divide: 80 percent of Republicans support fracking, only 9 percent oppose it. More Democrats oppose fracking, 54 percent, while only 26 percent support it. But the numbers indicate that Republicans are most likely to come to the polls in November to insure the economically advantageous activity is not curtailed — and this scares Democrats such as Hickenlohooper and Senator Mark Udall, who are both up for reelection in November. Udall, according to the WSJ, “ran in 2008 as a full-throated green-energy champion.” His 2014 Republican opponent Congressman Cory Gardner points to the economic benefits of fracking, as seen in North Dakota and Texas.

Had the measures not been pulled, the WSJ reports: “the issue would have been at the center of the fall debate.”

In addition to driving Republicans to the polls, the anti-fracking measures didn’t have a high probability of survival. While Colorado communities have previously passed anti-drilling initiatives — Boulder, Broomfield, Fort Collins, Lafayette, and Longmont — the most recent attempt in Loveland failed after an organized industry effort to educate voters on the safe track record of fracking and its economic benefits. Additionally, in late July, a Boulder County District Court judge struck down Longmont’s fracking ban. The Denver Post reported: “Under Colorado law, cities cannot ban drilling entirely but can regulate aspects of it that don’t cause an ‘operational conflict’ with state law.”

In New Mexico, the lawsuits have not yet made their way into court, but it is expected that, like Colorado, the courts will rule in favor of state statutes. Constitutionally protected private property rights should triumph.

Polis, who made his millions from the sale of the Blue Mountain Arts greeting card website, presented his initiatives as a “national referendum on fracking.” As the WSJ states: “In that sense he was right.” Colorado Democrats realize that allowing an anti-fracking fervor to drive an election is a dangerous decision. The Democrats support for banning fracking — while killing jobs, hurting the local and national economy, damaging America’s energy security, and threatening private property rights — should unseat two top Democrats by driving Republicans to the polls. And, this could become the national referendum on fracking.


EU green energy laws 'put 1.5m UK manufacturing jobs at risk’

Green policies imposed by Brussels are endangering 1.5m UK jobs by saddling manufacturers with high energy costs, an influential group of business leaders has warned.

A report published on Wednesday by Business for Britain (BfB), a Eurosceptic lobby group, says that EU policies are to blame for up to 9 per cent of costs on energy bills for industrial companies and warns this could rise to 16 per cent by 2030.

Manufacturers are now considering moving their operations to countries where energy is cheaper, risking “devastating” job losses in the UK, it warns.

More than 1.5m people are employed in energy-intensive industries, such as metals, ceramics and glass, with 363,000 of those in direct employment and therefore deemed to be at “high risk”.

The report says that the cost of the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme, and the Renewables Obligation (RO), a UK subsidy scheme for wind farms and other green technologies designed to hit EU renewables targets for 2020, together account for 9pc of energy bills for manufacturers.

BfB acknowledges “there is a good chance that the UK would have introduced similar policies had it been outside of the EU” and that the UK has “in some areas gone considerably further than the EU in introducing expensive policies”. Despite this the UK “enjoys relatively low energy prices compared to many other EU countries”.

However, it says this “should not cloud the fact that the EU does play a role in driving up the cost of energy and has introduced expensive policies”.

It notes that ministers have rejected EU moves for further renewable energy targets beyond 2020, arguing that decarbonisation targets allow countries to pursue cheaper ways of going green.

Opting out of the existing renewables target could see manufacturers’ bills fall by up to 7 per cent, the report claims, although its authors do not explain how this would happen. Most of the RO costs already on bills are for projects that have already been promised they will be paid the subsidies for at least a decade.

The report estimates that the total costs to the UK economy of policies that help meet EU energy laws could be as much £93.2bn. Its authors said this was based on adding up the net impact figures from UK government impact assessments. This includes policies implemented since the 1970s, and includes the lifetime costs and benefits of some policies extending several decades from now.

BfB’s board includes John Mills, the chairman of JML and Labour party donor, while its advisory council includes Roger Bootle, David Buik, Sir Christopher Meyer and Helena Morrissey.

The group was founded around a mission statement calling for a renegotiation of the terms of Britain’s EU membership, which has been backed by City grandees including Lord Wolfson, chief executive of Next, and Lord Rose, the former Marks & Spencers chairman.


PG poll: Scientific consensus on climate change has not permeated the public

Despite the scientific consensus that global warming is occurring and caused by human activity, a new survey conducted for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette demonstrates that many Americans remain uncertain about the impact of climate change and the need for government action to address it.

This is contrary to some polls suggesting wide support for steps to counter the phenomenon. David W. Moore, director of the iMediaEthics survey, said the results suggest that, because of flaws in methodology or wording, some other surveys have overstated the degree of public knowledge on the issue, and the intensity of support for measures to curb carbon emissions. [See Mr. Moore’s essay in today’s Forum section, “Climate Partisans.” The poll report is available here, along with a description of the methodology.]

Mr. Moore argues that while many poll respondents will express an opinion on issues such as global warming, closer scrutiny shows that they do not have strong feelings on it one way or another. One indication of the relative lack of intense, informed views on the issue is the way responses can be influenced by outside factors. As an example, the survey of 1,000 respondents was divided into subsamples with half asked about their support for “federal government” action to regulate greenhouse gases, and the other half asked about the “Obama administration.”

Specifically, half of the respondents were asked: “Would you approve or disapprove of the federal government requiring power plants to reduce greenhouse gases, even if it would mean higher utility bills for consumers, or are you unsure?” The other half were asked: “Would you approve or disapprove of the Obama administration requiring power plants ...”

The results differed significantly with the use of the name Obama eliciting a margin of support of 42 percent to 28 percent, compared with 36 percent approval and 32 percent disapproval for the federal government. That may seem counterintuitive, given the president’s overall job approval ratings, but Mr. Moore explained that while the use of the Obama name reduced support among Republicans, it increased support, by a greater margin, among independents and Democrats.

Republicans disapproved of “federal government” regulation by a margin of 51-27; but opposed “Obama administration” regulation by a margin of 48-18. Independents disapproved of “federal government” regulation, 28-26, but that turned around with the mention of “Obama administration.” In that case, independents approved of the prospective regulation, 36-27. For Democrats, the mention of Obama had an even more positive effect, boosting approval from 50-16, to 64-13. In both cases, about a third of the sample said they were undecided.

Pointing to another way that wording can prejudice polling results, Mr. Moore noted another survey that asked people repeatedly about “the problem of climate change,” conditioning them to consider it a problem regardless of their views before taking the survey.

Beyond the uncertainty that wording can introduce into a survey, Mr. Moore and the iMediaEthics poll drilled down further to assess how much people actually cared about the proposed regulation, asking if they would be upset if the regulations were imposed or not. In his analysis of the results, Mr. Moore pointed out that, “Many respondents immediately acknowledged that they wouldn’t be upset if the opposite happened to what they had just said. The net result, 30 percent strongly favored the Obama administration trying to curb greenhouse gases; 22 percent strongly opposed the idea, with the rest not caring one way or the other.’’

Mr. Moore said that the relative lack of intense views on the issue was consistent with other findings that showed that many Americans are uncertain about the impact of climate change and of the broad consensus among climate scientists that climate change is a man-made problem.

“Just 41 percent of Americans are confident that ‘most scientists agree that climate change is happening now caused mainly by human activities,’ while 18 percent firmly believe “there is little agreement among scientists’ on the issue and the rest are unsure.”

Mr. Moore suggests at least two lessons from the divergence between these poll findings and those of some other surveys showing greater support for government action. One is that environmental activists still face a significant challenge in recruiting deep public support for government actions such as the greenhouse gas regulations recently promulgated by the Obama administration.

The second is that readers should be wary of surveys, “which — however well intentioned, — manipulate respondents into giving answers that sound positive but don’t represent the views of the larger population.”



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.  

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