Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Fascism Is Efficient, Says Andres Duany, Leading Proponent of “Sustainable Development”

At last a Greenie admits where he is coming from.  Fascism is of course NOT efficient, but it does suit those who want to control others

It goes by many names: “sustainable development,” “smart growth,” “transit-oriented development,” to name a few. But development projects built under the banner of “sustainability” share the same elements: high-density residential housing and high-intensity commercial space (so-called mixed use) clustered near capital-intensive mass transit lines surrounded by government-owned “open space” and, increasingly, government-imposed “urban growth boundaries.” Regardless of where a sustainable-development project is located in the world, each tends to apply these elements.

There is nothing wrong with high-density housing or non-automobile mobility per se. The problem is that sustainability advocates use government to force their vision of tomorrow on others and, equally important, use government to restrict or eliminate alternative visions from being adopted. Individual private-property rights and local decision making give way to the priorities of international, national, state, and regional governmental bodies influenced by urban planners who believe their vision of the next 50 to 100 years is the correct vision and the only vision worth pursuing. Anyone who thinks differently, according to the planners, is wrong, selfish, wasteful, or all three, and must be silenced.

If you think this description is exaggerated, watch this chilling video of Andres Duany speaking to the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council on why it should support his Seven50 plan. Mr. Duany is the chief architect of Seven50, the proposed 50-year regional development plan for seven counties in Southeast Florida, including Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. Mr. Duany is a leading urban planner, author of The Smart Growth Manual, and a founder of the Congress for the New Urbanism, which seeks to end suburban sprawl. After watching this video ask yourself: Do I want to support the so-called “smart-growth” approach and empower Andres Duany and people like him to rule over me and my community using government force? Or do I want to strengthen my private property rights and ensure local control over housing, land use, and transportation issues?


Global Warming Zealot McCarthy Of EPA Plays Race Card

You can't argue with global warming zealots: Whatever the thermometer reads, they're right and you're wrong. Whatever the short-term, intermediate or long-term data suggest, all these eco-radicals see is additional proof of their distorted worldview.

Hot summers? Mild winters? That's global warming. Mild summers? Frigid winters? That's global warming, too.

You see, if you're a disciple of climate change, it all makes perfect sense — every measurement is further validation, and every validation is an excuse to impose costlier obligations on taxpayers (and more onerous restrictions on what's left of our free market).

Responding to an unseasonably cool summer in New England (and predictions of a colder-than-usual winter), columnist Tom Keane of the Boston Globe assured his liberal readers that "climate change proceeds apace."

"We're like a guy with his head in the refrigerator while his house is burning down, thinking nothing's wrong," Keane wrote.

Never mind that satellite data released this spring by NASA showed no statistical change in the Earth's temperature over the past 17-1/2 years.

Trapped In Ice

Or that a leaked report to the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last year revealed that Earth was headed for a period of sustained cooling over the next few decades.

Or that as of last fall, the Antarctic sea ice extent was at record-high levels.

In fact, the research vessel Akademik Shokalskiy  — which was dispatched to the South Pole last December ostensibly to document melting polar ice caps — instead found itself trapped in frozen seas.

And yes, the boat's top researcher blamed his crew's ironic predicament on "global warming."

"We were just in the wrong place at the wrong time," he said, insisting climate change caused ice up to 10 feet thick to envelop his fossil fuel-powered boat, making it impossible for fossil fuel-powered ice breakers to get within 10 miles of the ship (forcing the crew to be rescued by a fossil fuel-powered Chinese helicopter).

If you missed that story, you're not alone: Most mainstream media outlets refused to cover it.

Of course, when the head of Barack Obama's Environmental Protection Agency — avowed eco-radical Gina McCarthy — played the race card in an effort to pressure lawmakers into adopting harsher anti-free market regulations, her pronouncements were broadly disseminated and treated as gospel.

"Carbon pollution standards are an issue of justice," McCarthy said recently. "If we want to protect communities of color, we need to protect them from climate change."


It’s Time to Stop the Climate Scare Stories

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi sensibly refuses to attend yet another climate summit – this one called by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in New York for September 23, under the auspices of the United Nations, which profits handsomely from the much-exaggerated climate scare.

Environmentalists have complained at Mr. Modi’s decision not to attend. They say rising atmospheric CO2 will cause droughts, melt Himalayan ice and poison lakes and waterways in the Indian subcontinent.

However, the UN’s climate panel, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has already had to backtrack on an earlier assertion that all the ice in the Himalayas would be gone within 25 years, and the most comprehensive review of drought trends worldwide shows the global land area under drought has fallen throughout the past 30 years.

Mr. Modi, a spiritual man and thus down-to-earth, knows that a quarter of India’s people still have no electricity. His priority is to turn on the lights all over India. In Bihar, four homes in five are lit by kerosene.

Electric power is the quickest, surest, cheapest way to lift people out of poverty and so to stabilize India’s population, which may soon overtake China’s.

The Indian-born Nobel laureate in economics, Professor Amartya Sen, recently lamented: “There would appear to be an insufficient recognition in global discussion of the need for increased power in the poorer countries. In India, for example, about a third of the people do not have any power connection at all. Making it easier to produce energy with better environmental correlates (and greater efficiency of energy use) may be a contribution not just to environmental planning, but also to making it possible for a great many people to lead a fuller and free life.”

The world’s governing elite, however, no longer cares about poverty. Climate change is its new and questionable focus.

In late August the Asian Development Bank, for instance, based on UN IPCC rising carbon dioxide (CO2) scenarios, predicted that warmer weather would cut rice production, rising seas would engulf Mumbai and other coastal megacities, and rainfall would decline by 10-40% in many Indian provinces.

Droughts and floods have occurred throughout India’s history. In the widespread famine caused by the drought of 1595-1598, “Men ate their own kind. The streets and roads were blocked with corpses, but no assistance can be given for their removal,” a chronicler in Akbar’s court reported.

Every Indian knows that too much (or too little) monsoon rainfall can bring death. That is why the latest computer-generated doom-and-gloom scenario by the Asian Development Bank is not merely unwelcome – it is repugnant. Garbage in, gospel out.

In truth, rice production has risen steadily, sea level is barely rising and even the UN’s climate panel has twice been compelled to admit that there is no evidence of a worldwide change in rainfall.

Subtropical India will not warm by much: advection would take most additional heat poleward. Besides, globally there has been little or no warming for almost two decades. The models did not predict that. The UN’s climate panel, on our advice, has recently all but halved its central estimate of near-term warming.

Sea level is rising no faster than for 150 years. From 2004-2012 the Envisat satellite reported a rise of a tenth of an inch. From 2003-2009 gravity satellites actually showed sea level falling. Results like these have not hitherto been reported in the mainstream news media.

More than 2 centuries of scientific research have failed to make the duration or magnitude of monsoons predictable. Monsoons depend on sea and surface temperature and wind conditions in the Indian and Western Pacific Oceans, timing of El Niños in the equatorial Pacific, variations in Eurasian and Himalayan winter snow cover, even wind direction in the equatorial stratosphere.

Earlier this year, the Indian Meteorological Department predicted a 1 in 4 chance that the 2014 monsoon rainfall would be below the long-term average, leading to a year of drought

The prediction was wrong. Widespread floods in northwestern India and Pakistan have killed several hundred people. Many environmentalists and governmental officials are now insisting that rising atmospheric CO2 is the culprit. Yet the one cause of the recent floods that can be altogether ruled out is global warming, for the good and sufficient reason that for 18 years there has not been any warming.

Worse still for CO2 alarmists: 20th and 21st century warming did not occur in the western Himalayas, and paleo-temperature records from for the last millennium confirm no exceptional recent warming in this region, although the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than today almost everywhere else.

Regardless of the numerous political manipulations of fact and reality, the scientific problems of forecasting monsoon self-evidently remain unsolved.

In 1906 the forecasts depended on 28 unknowns. By 2007 scientists from the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology were using 73. So insisting that just one variable – CO2 concentration – will drive future monsoons is unscientific.

Professor Nandakumar Sarma, vice-chancellor of Manipur University, recently confirmed that “even supercomputers cannot predict what will happen due to climate change within 10-20 years, since there are millions of variable parameters.”

Models said monsoons would become more intense. Instead, they have weakened for 50 years.

As for the floods in the north-west, a study of three major rivers floods in Gujarat by Dr. Alpa Sridhar confirmed that past floods were at least 8 to 10 times worse than recent floods such as that of 1973. CO2-based climate models have been unable to “hindcast” or recreate those floods.

Models also fail to replicate the 60-yr and 200-yr cycles in monsoon rainfall linked to solar cycles detected by studies of ocean sediments from the Arabian Sea.

A new study led by Professor K.M. Hiremath of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics shows the strong, possibly causative correlation between variations in solar activity (red curve) and in monsoon rainfall (blue curve) in Figure 1.

The red curve is actually the result of a simulation of the Indian monsoon rainfall for the past 120 years using solar activity as a forcing variable. The sun is visibly a far more likely influence on monsoon patterns than changes in CO2 concentration.

Governments also overlook a key conclusion from the world’s modelers, led by Dr. Fred Kucharski of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics: “The increase of greenhouse gases in the twentieth century has not significantly contributed to the observed decadal Indian monsoonal rainfall variability.”

Not one climate model predicted the severe Indian drought of 2009, followed by the prolonged rains the next year – up by 40% in most regions. These natural variations are not new. They have happened for tens of thousands of years.

A paper for Climate Dynamics co-authored by Professor Goswami, recently-retired director of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, shows why the models relied upon by the UN’s climate panel’s recent assessments predict monsoons inaccurately.

All 16 models examined had the same fatal flaw: they made rain too easily by artificially elevating air and water masses in the atmosphere.

Models are not ready to predict the climate. Misusing computers to spew out multiple “what-if” scenarios is unscientific.

Most fundamental problems in our immature understanding of climate have remained unresolved for decades. Some cannot be resolved at all. The UN’s climate panel admitted in 2001 what has been known for 50 years: because the climate is a “coupled, non-linear, chaotic object,” reliable long-term climate prediction is impossible.

Misuse of climate models as false prophets is costly in lives as well as treasure.

To condemn the poorest of India’s poor to continuing poverty is to condemn many to an untimely death. Mr. Modi is right to have no more to do with such murderous nonsense. It is time to put an end to climate summits. On the evidence, they are not needed.


Earth-Friendly Energy Is Anything But

Environmentalists worship solar energy and wind power as Earth-friendly answers to their ecological prayers. Tortoises, bats, butterflies, and bald eagles beg to differ.

Perhaps because solar panels and industrial wind farms lack emissions, they seem "clean." Despite their pristine appearance, however, these "green" electricity sources hammer Mother Nature - often fatally.

Consider the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in southern California's Mojave Desert. As Carolyn Lochhead wrote on September 7 in the San Francisco Chronicle, Ivanpah occupies 3,500 previously untouched federal acres. It features 300,000 mirrors that focus sunlight on three 40-story towers of power. Inside, 900-degree temperatures yield steam, propel turbines, and generate electricity for140,000 homes.

Ivanpah's environmental toll is stunning:

    BrightSource Energy, the project's owner, could have rehabilitated a brownfield, an abandoned commercial site, or a decommissioned military base. Instead, BrightSource developed 5.5 square miles of virgin desert.
Lochhead reports that "scientists now say desert soils contain vast stores of carbon that are unleashed by construction of solar facilities."
Tortoises native to that area became refugees once BrightSource relocated them en masse.
Kit-fox dens were flattened during construction.
Monarch butterflies and birds should avoid Ivanpah at all costs. Those who traverse its highly concentrated sunbeams oftenignite. Center for Biological Diversity ecologist K. Shawn Smallwoodtoldthe California Energy Commission last July that Ivanpah will roast an estimated 28,380 birds annually.

Ivanpah cost $2.2 billion, including a $1.6 billion federal loan. For its next trick, BrightSource envisions a bigger installation near Joshua Tree National Park - within a migratory path for protected peregrine falcons, golden eagles, and some 100 other bird species.

Meanwhile, environmentalists call wind power as benign as a summer breeze. In fact, wind farms have become avian killing fields. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service reports that "wind turbines may kill a half a million birds a year." Wind blows away another 600,000 bats annually, primarily through lung hemorrhaging. While these "flying vampires" look scary, most are insectivores and vegetarians. Bats actually serve mankind by pollinating crops and devouring mosquitoes. Fewer bats mean more mosquitoes. Swell.

USF&WS explains also that "eagles appear to be particularly susceptible. Large numbers of golden eagles have been killed by wind turbines in the western states," as have smaller numbers of bald eagles. Team Obama - which could not care less about America's beautiful, majestic national symbol - almost never prosecuteswind companies for violating the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. Even worse, Obama is granting wind-farm operators 30-year federal eagle-killing permits, to continue their mayhem - all in the name of "clean" energy. On this matter, Obama's unvarnished callousness is staggering.

Long before windmills are installed - which itself consumes open fields - they abuse the Earth.

To evaluate any energy technology, "we must remember that it's a process, starting with mining the materials necessary for the machines," Alex Epstein notes in his forthcoming Penguin book, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels. Epstein observes that manufacturing wind turbines requires "hazardous substances like hydrofluoric acid in order to get usable rare earth elements."

The Daily Mail's Simon Parry toured Baotou, China, a source of neodymium, the main ingredient in wind turbines' electromagnets. He discovered "a five-mile wide ‘tailing' lake. It has killed farmland for miles around, made thousands of people ill, and put one of China's key waterways in jeopardy."

Parry added:

    "This vast, hissing cauldron of chemicals is the dumping ground for seven million tons a year of mined rare earth after it has been doused in acid and chemicals and processed through red-hot furnaces to extract its components.

    The lake instantly assaults your senses. Stand on the black crust for just seconds and your eyes water and a powerful, acrid stench fills your lungs.

    For hours after our visit, my stomach lurched and my head throbbed. We were there for only one hour, but those who live in Mr. Yan's village of Dalahai, and other villages around, breathe in the same poison every day."

Environmentalists should stop hallucinating about "sustainable" power sources that unleash puppies and rainbows at no cost to air, water, habitat, and wildlife. "Clean energy" hurts nature. Those who believe otherwise live in Fantasyland.


Why the Buzz About a Bee-pocalypse Is a Honey Trap

Populations of the pollinators are not declining and a ban on neonic pesticides would devastate U.S. agriculture

On June 20 the White House issued a presidential memorandum creating a Pollinator Health Task Force and ordering the Environmental Protection Agency to "assess the effect of pesticides, including neonicotinoids, on bee and other pollinator health and take action, as appropriate."

Why the fuss over bees? Is the U.S. in the midst of a bee-pocalypse? The science says no. Bee populations in the U.S. and Europe remain at healthy levels for reproduction and the critical pollination of food crops and trees. But during much of the past decade we have seen higher-than-average overwinter bee-colony losses in the Northern Hemisphere, as well as cases of bees abruptly abandoning their hives, a phenomenon known as "colony collapse disorder."

Citing this disorder, antipesticide activists and some voluble beekeepers want to ban the most widely used pesticides in modern agriculture—neonicotinoids ("neonics" for short)—that account for 20% of pesticide sales world-wide. This would have disastrous effects on modern farming and food prices.

What are neonics? Crafted to target pests that destroy crops, while minimizing toxicity to other species, neonics are much safer for humans and other vertebrates than previous pesticides. But citing supposed threats to honeybee populations, the European Union imposed a two-year ban in December 2013, and activists are trying to convince regulators in Canada and the U.S. to follow suit.

Yet there is only circumstantial or flawed experimental evidence of harm to bees by neonics. Often-cited experiments include one conducted by Chensheng Lu of the Harvard School of Public Health that exposed the insects to 30-100 times their usual exposure in the field. That does poison bees, but it doesn't replicate real-world colony collapse disorder, which in any case seems now to be declining. According to University of Maryland entomologist Dennis vanEngelsdorp, no cases have been reported from the field in three years.

The reality is that honeybee populations are not declining. According to U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization statistics, the world's honeybee population rose to 80 million colonies in 2011 from 50 million in 1960. In the U.S. and Europe, honeybee populations have been stable—or slightly rising in the last couple of years—during the two decades since neonics were introduced, U.N. and USDA data show. Statistics Canada reports an increase to 672,000 honeybee colonies in Canada, up from 501,000, over the same two decades.

In February, the Australian government issued a report on bee health from the only continent unaffected by the Varroa destructor mite, a pathogen of bees. It found that, "Australian honeybee populations are not in decline, despite the increased use of [neonicotinoids] in agriculture and horticulture since the mid-1990s."

In April the EU released the first Continent-wide epidemiological study of bee health in Europe, covering 2012-13 (before the EU's neonic ban went into effect). Seventy-five percent of the EU's bee population (located in 11 of the countries surveyed) experienced overwinter losses of 15% a year or less—levels considered normal in the U.S. Only 5% of the EU's bee population (located in six northern countries) experienced losses over 20%, after a long, severe winter.

A ban on neonics would not benefit bees, because they are not the chief source of bee health problems today. Varroa mites are, along with the lethal viruses they vector into bee colonies. If neonics were dangerous, how to explain that in Canada, Saskatchewan's $19 billion canola industry depends on neonics to prevent predation by the ravenous flea beetle—and those neonic-treated canola fields support such thriving honeybee populations that they've been dubbed the "pastures for pollinators."

A neonic ban would, however, devastate North American agriculture and the communities that depend on it. Neonics are the last line of defense for Florida's citrus industry against the Asian citrus psyllid, an insect that spreads a devastating disease of citrus trees called huanglongbing, or HLB. They're also the first line of defense in Texas and California, where HLB is beginning. Without neonic protection, tomatoes in Florida and vegetable crops in Arizona, California and the Pacific Northwest would be imperiled. If whitefly infestations weren't kept in check with neonics, much of the U.S. winter vegetable production would be lost.

Grape-growing in California and the Pacific Northwest could be devastated by the viral scourges of leaf-roll and red blotch without neonic pesticides to control the leafhoppers that spread them. Without neonic protection against thrips in cotton, water weevil in rice and grape colaspis in soybeans, yields in the mid-South could be so damaged that farmers would either go out of business or turn to already abundant crops like corn.

The knock-on effect wouldn't stop there. The production of citrus and tomatoes in Florida and rice and cotton in the mid-South and elsewhere is tied to processing plants, refrigerated warehouses, packing houses, cotton gins, rice mills, and a transportation and shipping infrastructure that supports agriculture. If the crops processed by these support industries were to become economically nonviable without crop protection, rural counties across the southeastern U.S. would be decimated.

All this would be painful for consumers, who would see their food costs rise significantly. And by making farm exports more expensive and less competitive, it would damage the U.S. economy. All reasons to worry about unleashing the EPA in a fight in which activists who have the ear of regulators constantly misrepresent the science.


The elusive Michael Mann

More than six months have elapsed since climate science data-fraudster Michael Mann’s multi-million dollar legal team bullishly announced the climate science trial of the century would be underway “shortly.” Oh, how the internet makes liars of them. What has transpired since?  Answer: Nothing.

In February the world’s only truly independent science association dedicated to exposing government-funded junk research (Principia Scientific International) broke the news that the former golden boy of global warming “science” is down and out in a courtroom battle not seen since the famous Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925.

As our story went viral Mann’s legal team, led by top Canadian libel expert, Roger McConchie, swiftly counter-punched issuing their own press release retorting:

“The Mann lawsuit is currently in the discovery phase, with further examinations for discovery (depositions) of the defendants to be scheduled shortly, following which I will either set the action for trial by jury in the usual manner, or bring a summary trial application.”

We foretold Mann would either face bankruptcy upon Dr. Ball’s stunning victory, or his deep-pocketed backers (including David Suzuki) would be liable for costs in the millions. But weasel words from McConchie proclaimed:

"The review of Tim Ball’s new book by Hans Schreuder and John O’Sullivan makes preposterous statements..."

Our "preposterous statements" are backed by the shocking revelations in Dr. Ball's astonishing publication, ‘The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science’ exposing the science fraud of the century. Literally hundreds of climate science papers are based on Mann's fraudulent work. When Ball wins, all alarmist climate science loses. Game over.

But as we move deeper into the fourth year of this shameful attempt to misuse the courts to stifle public debate - while there has been no further global warming for 17 years despite relentless rises in atmospheric CO2 - the public sees clearly what “climate science” is really all about.

These are tough times for the beleagured climate alarmists in the United Nations, self-serving governments and their "scientists." All have failed in their bid to dupe the world's citizenry that man-made global warming poses a real threat to life on Earth. It hurt them badly that our report that Mann’s once trumpeted libel suit against popular skeptic climatologist, Dr Tim Ball, had withered and Mann had lost his mojo. It all really began to unravel badly for Mann in 2009 when those leaked 'Climategate' emails first exposed him as an egotistical bully boy trashing any scientists who disagreed with him.

For example, upset that Harvard University researchers were successfully arguing that solar variance rather than carbon dioxide emissions are the most likely primary cause of recent global temperature fluctuations, Mann sent out an email seeking to coordinate action to pressure Harvard to rebuke or discipline the researchers. “If someone has close ties w/ any individuals there [at Harvard] who might be in a position to actually get some action taken on this, I’d highly encourage pursuing this,” writes Mann to fellow scientist-activists.

Now Mann is further shamed as the bully/coward shying away from the Vancouver courtroom he once brazenly chose as his battleground.

You see, Mann simply won’t permit courtroom examination of his withheld calculations (those damning r2 regression numbers) of his infamous ‘hockey stick’ graph made an iconic image of the UN and climate alarmists worldwide since 1999. And secret science is not science you or I can trust.

So with the last vestige of Mann’s credibility (and his lawyer's) in the toilet we thought it apposite to now publicly prod them once more over their shameless abuse of the court system.  As we all know, last week the world’s media was busy hyping the latest climate protests hullaballoo in New York and London.  We had the obligatory wealthy Hollywood stars, Leonardo DiCaprio (the new "UN Climate Change Envoy") and Emma Thompson (‘Nanny McFee’) out and about shilling for the cause. Thompson told the London rally that climate change is the human rights issue of our time and that:

"No more are we the grungy hippies sitting in trees. We are the voice of the future - if there is to be a future."

And revelations suggested that "grungy hippies" at the New York event were being paid $50 a head.

But science isn’t showbiz and theatrics. It is about empirical evidence – proving your case openly to the public and the wider scientific community. And that is something Michael Mann cannot do without exposing the extraordinarily corrupt basis of the widest and most coordinated scientific fraud known.

Again, if it still needs repeating – Michael Mann is a crook, his "science" is fraudulent and the cause promoted by DiCaprio and Thompson and other useful idiots is anti-science and anti-truth and the sooner Mann and other climate cronies face criminal prosecutions the better!



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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