Wednesday, August 06, 2014

The Warmists really think you're dumb

The graph below was provided with the article below.  Yet the graph clearly shows a DECLINING trend, exactly the opposite of what they are claiming!  And if you look at the statistics for the number of fires between 1960 and 2013 all the big numbers occur in the '60s and '70s -- again the opposite of what they are claiming!

The administration released a video  Tuesday aimed at clarifying the link between climate change and one of the most tangible products of climate change: wildfires. Wildfires have been an an increasing topic of conversation on Capitol Hill, thanks both to the record wildfire years we've had this decade and to a strain on funding to fight them.

If you want to make the case that we need to act on climate change, linking warming to the destructive power of more wildfires makes a nice impetus. And so, John Holdren, Obama's science adviser, sat down in front of the camera.

"Climate change," he says, "has been making the fire season in the United States longer and more intense." This isn't only because temperatures are higher and the soil contains less moisture, he says; it's also because the changing climate is "bringing us more dead trees -- kindling, in effect -- killed by a combination of heat stress, water stress, and attacks by pests and pathogens that multiply faster in a warmer world." And that trend, which is affecting the Southeast even more than the Western U.S., is expected to continue and grow.

The documentation for this is at the government's National Climate Assessment, a document released  this year that combines governmental and external research into the likely effects of the warming climate. These fires, the White House is saying explicitly, are what warming looks like. The ongoing California drought, which is likely worsened by a warming Atlantic Ocean and prompting strict water rationing across the state, is affecting more people right now. But a burning house and a soot-blackened firefighter are much more compelling visuals in what is a mostly political fight.

The administration has stumbled upon another bit of bad luck in making the case on climate change. While 2014 has given the world its hottest May and June on record, and while California has had the hottest first half of the year in its known history, North America has actually been colder than normal. People are more likely to accept climate change after it has been warmer, according to a study. And 2014 has been less warm than, say, 2012 -- the warmest year in recorded U.S. history.


Colorado to Pull Anti-fracking Initiatives

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has persuaded anti-fracking groups to scrap two ballot initiatives that would have curtailed oil and gas drilling, and news of the agreement on Monday lifted share prices of oil producers.

Hickenlooper, in a televised news conference, said he had instead put together a task force with representatives from industry, environmental groups and local communities to set standards for the state's growing petroleum industry.

This "will provide an alternative to ballot initiatives that, if successful, would have regulated the oil and gas industry through the rigidity of constitutional amendments and posed a significant threat to Colorado's economy," he said in a broadcast by Denver's CBS station.

The compromise was seen as a positive for energy companies with big operations in Colorado like Noble Energy Inc and Anadarko Petroleum Corp, sending their share prices up more than 5 percent.

Several municipalities in Colorado worried about environmental issues have sought to ban the practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which uses a mix of pressurized water, sand and chemicals to unlock hydrocarbons from rocks.

But those efforts have faced challenges, with lawyers and courts saying their legality would depend on the state's own laws for fracking.


Coal country sues EPA over climate rule

A dozen states representing America’s coal country are suing the Environmental Protection Agency to block forthcoming regulations imposing new limits on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

The lawsuit, filed late last week in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, accuses the agency of overstepping its authority under the Clean Air Act.

West Virginia, Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Wyoming and Indiana are named as plaintiffs in the case.

“Congress has already rejected legislation that would put limits on carbon dioxide emissions, and a law of this significance should be passed by the legislative branch,” said Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R), a former member of Congress who served in the House Republican leadership, about the legal challenge.

At issue is the EPA’s move to dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants via new standards to be imposed under the Clean Air Act. The regulation, a centerpiece of President Obama’s climate initiative, aims to cut carbon pollution from plants by 30 percent by 2030.

The states contend that the Clean Air Act prohibits the EPA from regulating emissions from existing sources. The EPA offered the regulation under Section 111(d) of the statute. But the states argue that plants are already regulated under Section 112, so the EPA has no authority to regulate power plants under Section 111(d).

The lawsuit comes a month after most of the states joined a lawsuit filed by the coal company Murray Energy, which made the same legal argument against the rule.


Feds Will Spend $450K to Help Native Americans Adapt to 'Climate Change’

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plans to spend up to $450,000 in taxpayer dollars to teach Native American tribes in the Great Basin region ”climate adaptation plans” for their hunting, fishing and gathering activities.

“Due to climate change, the natural landscapes are becoming impacted,” and the “traditional practices for hunting, fishing, and gathering for ceremonial purposes” can potentially create further impacts,” according to BLM’s Cooperative Agreement announcement.

“It is important to educate those who are engaging in these gathering activities to reduce impacts on public lands. If tribes are able to develop adaptation plans for their gathering activities, they would have a process to follow that could reduce negative impacts on the landscape,” the Request for Applications (RFA) explains. (See RFA Template MLR (1).doc)

The applicant “will focus on climate change impacts in the Great Basin region,[and] target tribes from the region to attend,” the grant application stated. “The course is intended for tribal environmental and natural resource professionals who expect to be involved in climate change adaptation planning.”

The Great Basin Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GBLCC), is one of 22 LCCs nationwide established by the Department of the Interior (DOI) in 2010 to “better integrate science and management to address climate change and related issues.”  The Great Basin area covers parts of Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and California.

The Duckwater Shoshone Tribe, the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah, the Upper Snake River Tribes Foundation, and the Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Reservation all have representatives on the GBLCC.

Todd Hopkins, GBLCC's science coordinator, told that the trainings will focus on “actions that the tribes can take in response to changing climatic conditions.”

Hopkins said that GLBCC collaborated on a similar three-day training course with the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) last fall, which was funded through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and titled “Climate Adaptation Training for Tribes.”

The RFA says the proposed training “will build on existing collaborations” from that earlier course.

Hopkins said that the upcoming trainings will work off of ITEP’s Climate Change Adaptation Planning curriculum.

As part of last year’s training, Dr. Kurt Johnson, national climate scientist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, created a guide which provides an introduction to “climate change vulnerability assessment” and provides a chart categorizing local species’ potential vulnerability to climate change.

Hopkins said that the climate change adaptation training is focused on Great Basin tribes because they are “place-based and their gathering is very much traditional in a sense that they use certain traditional foods and resources at certain times of the year, and because of climate shifts they are more impacted than other folks who may, say, go hunt in another place.”

“We making a special effort to reach out to tribes and provide training on climate adaptation so that they can decide how best to sustain and secure their culture for future generations,” he added.

In July, President Obama announced the Tribal Climate Resilience Program to “help tribes prepare for climate change.” As part of this initiative, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will “dedicate $10 million in funding for tribes and tribal organizations to develop tools to enable adaptive resource management, as well as the ability to plan for climate resilience.”

“Tribes are at the forefront of many climate issues, so we are excited to work in a more cross-cutting way to help address tribal climate needs,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy in the White House statement announcing the program. “We’ve heard from tribal leaders loud and clear: when the federal family combines its efforts, we get better results - and nowhere are these results needed more than in the fight against climate change.”

BLM estimates that the training for Great Basin tribes, which is not part of Obama's $10 million initiative, will cost $450,000 over the next five years, with an award ceiling of $90,000 for the first year. The grant was announced on July 22 and will remain open for applications until August 8.


Rich Kozlovich knocks another GMO scare on the head

The Health Ranger’s ninth complaint is that; “GMOs may be harming pollinators”. He goes on to say:

“Although the evidence on this isn't yet conclusive, GMOs may be contributing to the harming of all-important pollinators, without which we would all starve from lack of food crops.

Honeybee pollinators are dying in record numbers across North America, and many scientists fear we may be witnessing a catastrophic collapse of pollinator populations. Evidence is already emerging that neonicotinoids -- a class of pesticide chemicals -- may be responsible for the collapse, but there's also evidence that GMOs may be worsening the population decline.

Were GMOs ever tested for their long-term impact on pollinators in the wild? Of course not. That would cost too much money, and the promotion of GMOs is all about making money; the environment be damned.”

"If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man." - Albert Einstein"

Well, let’s take that last part first. Although this Einstein quote is spouted over and over again, it’s not clear that Albert Einstein ever said any such thing. And if he did it proves beyond any shadow of a doubt he may have been a great physicist, but he stunk as an entomologist.

Secondly – and there he goes again – claiming GMO’s “may” be harming pollinators. Another weasel word claim based in the Precautionary Principle. Criticism in the form of a question without one iota of evidence. As for his question; “Were GMOs ever tested for their long-term impact on pollinators in the wild? Of course not. That would cost too much money, and the promotion of GMOs is all about making money; the environment be damned.”

Testing the long term impact in the wild (what does that mean?) isn’t too expensive – it’s impossible. How do you define “in the wild”? What tests should be conducted? What should be tested? Where should it be tested? However, the decades of continued use of GMO’s has demonstrated no harm in the wild, whatever “in the wild” means. Once again – the real world is the final testing ground for every new product. The question he needs to answer is this. What “in the wild” harm can anyone point to? None of that can be properly defined, which is a common tactic among the eco-activists, that way they can keep asking the same questions without being specific. Specifics are what pin them down and they avoid that like the plague because when they do they enter the world of facts and science, where they consistently lose, because they’re fighting a battle of emotion, and always have.

We need to get this. They win the battle of emotions. We win the battle of facts. To win the war we need to start winning both the battle of emotions and facts.

As for GMO’s having a detrimental impact on pollinators, the article Let's deal with the idea there really is a any problem with pollinators in the first place. Let’s start with European honey bees and whether their numbers are declining – and what are the real facts about what would happen if every bee on the planet died tomorrow.

On January of 2012 I pointed out in my article, Colony Collapse Disorder: 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.’"

President Obama signed an executive order this past June 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.” The President claimed,“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".

Blatant nonsense! On Saturday, June 21, 2014 I posted the article, Presidential PollinatorProtection: More Activity as Substitute for Accomplishment, dealing with each pollinator the President addressed. I went on to say:

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.

Steve Milloy notes other scientist who’ve weighed in on this subject saying:

"Warren Douglas Stevens, senior curator of the Missouri Botanical Garden, suspects that in a natural setting butterflies, which apparently don't like corn pollen, would avoid eating it if they encountered it on their food source.

Tom Turpin, professor of entomology at Purdue University, believes there is little threat to Monarch butterflies encountering Bt pollen on milkweed because there is very little milkweed in and around cornfields. Preliminary studies have shown that corn pollen, which is fairly heavy, does not travel very far.

John Foster, professor of entomology at the University of Nebraska, believes automobiles pose a greater risk to Monarchs than Bt corn."

However this Cornel study provoked a very real effort to discover what impact Bt enhanced corn pollen would have on Monarchs and answer the questions regarding dose and exposure by a “large informal group of scientists who came together in workshops held by ARS to discuss the questions" of dose and exposure. Their work demonstrated that:

“monarch caterpillars have to be exposed to pollen levels greater than 1,000 grains/cm to show toxic effects.

Caterpillars were found to be present on milkweed during the one to two weeks that pollen is shed by corn, but corn pollen levels on milkweed leaves were found to average only about 170 pollen grains/cm in corn fields.

Reports from several field studies show concentrations much lower than that even within the cornfield. In Maryland, the highest level of pollen deposition was inside and at the edge of the corn field, where pollen was found at about 50 grains/cm2. In the Nebraska study, pollen deposition ranged from 6 grains/cm2 at the field edge to less than 1 grain/cm2 beyond 10 meters. Samples collected from fields in Ontario immediately following the period of peak pollen shed showed pollen concentrations averaged 78 grains at the field edge.

In the Nebraska study, pollen deposition ranged from 6 grains at the field edge to less than 1 grain/cm beyond 10 meters. Samples collected from fields in Ontario immediately following the period of peak pollen shed showed pollen concentrations averaged 78 grains at the field edge.”

The conclusion arrived at by this group of scientists? "There is no significant risk to monarch butterflies from environmental exposure to Bt corn."

The claim that we don’t know if GMO’s have an impact on pollinators is a red herring that has no basis in reality, and we need to understand that!


Australia: Moree Solar Farm Puts Big Solar in Big Sky Country

PM Abbott plans to scrap the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. The sooner he gets it done the better

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) today announced $101.7 million of support for Moree Solar Farm, which upon completion will be one of the largest solar plants in Australia.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht congratulated renewable energy company Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) who are set to begin construction on the project shortly.

"Moree Solar Farm will be the first large-scale solar plant in Australia to use a single-axis horizontal tracking system, where panels follow the sun across the sky to capture sunlight and maximise power output," Mr Frischknecht said. "The 56MWac (70MWp) farm will produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of 15,000 average New South Wales homes."

Mr Frischknecht said the Moree community would benefit from the project and had been keen supporters, along with the Moree Plains Shire Council, for several years. "The $164 million Moree Solar Farm will benefit the local economy and will also deliver an estimated 130 local jobs during the construction phase over 2014-2016.

"More than 50 locations around Australia were investigated before the developers selected the site 10 kilometres out of Moree in NSW's northern wheat belt, an area known as 'big sky country'. The location benefits from high levels of solar radiation and also allows the solar farm to connect to the national electricity grid."

Mr Frischknecht said the project, which is also being supported by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, would aim to demonstrate that large-scale solar power plants can be constructed and operated within Australia's major electricity grids.

"ARENA will work with FRV to share the valuable knowledge gained in delivering the Moree Solar Farm with the rest of the industry," Mr Frischknecht said. "We recognise reducing early mover disadvantage and supporting the transfer of information will help advance development of more utility scale solar plants in Australia."

Moree Solar Farm is a solar flagship project ARENA inherited when it was established in July 2012. Last week another former flagship project supported by ARENA reached a major milestone when the first of approximately 1.35 million panels were installed at AGL's large-scale solar plant in Nyngan, NSW.



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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