Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Craig Idso on facts the IPCC ignores
Cold-stunned turtles strand in record numbers
That global warming can be a bitch
Cape Cod: Seated on the hard concrete floor of the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary’s maintenance barn, veterinarian Kelly Sattman lifted turtle No. 491 to eye level.
She pressed a small speaker that looked like an old transistor radio up to one ear while holding a sensor to the turtle’s neck.
Sattman tried to parse out the heartbeat from the white noise crackling from the speaker, and the roar of a heater struggling to keep the barn, set up as a turtle triage center on Friday, at 55 degrees.
“Any time buddy,” she urged. “Show them that you’re living.”
The count of recovered cold-stunned turtles was 520 on Friday, well past the 2012 record of 413. With survival rates at 80 percent, the sheer numbers of this year’s strandings taxed Audubon sanctuary staff and volunteers and overwhelmed the capacity of the New England Aquarium’s Quincy Animal Care Center, which can handle 70 turtles comfortably, and 120 in a pinch.
On Thursday, the aquarium was able to transport 20 turtles from Quincy to the National Marine Life Center in Buzzards Bay and another 31 were flown to a turtle rehab hospital in Georgia and to the South Carolina Aquarium. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration fisheries staff were also working to arrange air transport for those animals that had been stabilized.
The Quincy facility took 70 Friday, but with hundreds sitting in crates awaiting transport and treatment, the aquarium sent veterinarian Leslie Neville to Wellfleet Friday to begin treatment.
The metabolism of hypothermic sea turtles can be so depressed that their heartbeat slows to as low as one beat per hour.
It can be hard to tell the dead from the living, but No. 491, a 5-pound Kemp’s ridley taken off Cold Storage Beach in Truro on Thursday, had a heart that was virtually racing at 12 beats per minute. He, or she, (it’s hard to tell the sex of juveniles) was returned to a towel-lined banana crate, then loaded into volunteer driver Dave Horton’s car for the trip to Quincy.
By the late afternoon, aquarium and Audubon staffs were setting up kiddie pools, filling them with water to rehydrate and gradually warm up the turtles. Sattman and Neville recorded statistics like heartbeat and weight that would help speed the process when the turtles reached Quincy.
UK's blackout prevention plans in doubt after back-up power plant fails
What happens when you spend billions on useless windmills. The windmills don't even rate a mention below
Britain’s plans to keep the lights on this winter have been thrown into fresh doubt after a power plant supposed to provide back-up electricity supplies failed during testing.
The Peterhead gas-fired station in northern Scotland was unable to generate power as expected during a test last week, it has emerged.
The plant, owned by energy giant SSE, was one of three power stations handed a contract last month by National Grid to be paid to guarantee they could fire up if needed, as part of emergency measures to prevent blackouts.
The plans were drawn up after a series of power plant closures eroded Britain’s spare electricity generation capacity – the safety buffer between peak supply and demand – to wafer-thin levels.
The three back-up power plants recruited under the emergency plans were supposed to guarantee they would be available if required between 6am and 8pm on weekdays from November to February.
But Peterhead, a 32-year old plant with 780-megawatt capacity, unexpectedly failed to produce required power levels last Thursday during a monthly "proving" test.
“We are in the process of discussing what did go wrong,” a spokesman for National Grid said.
Both SSE and National Grid declined to disclose details of the fault or to confirm whether it had now been fixed.
Dan Lewis, senior energy policy adviser at the Institute of Directors, said the failure was "worrying".
“There’s just no margin for error," he said. "When we are up against tighter and tighter margins inevitably things start to trip up. You don’t need many cold days to put yourself in a difficult position.”
One industry source claimed Peterhead had simply failed to generate power at all during the test, while Utility Week, which first disclosed the failure, reported that power unexpectedly dropped from 780MW to zero, citing National Grid data.
“They should have awarded the contract to a more reliable plant,” one UK power trader told the publication.
National Grid’s spokesman said the company did not recognise the specific power output figures cited by Utility Week.
But they added: “The reason to do tests is to ensure this kind of thing doesn’t happen when you actually need them.”
National Grid’s spokesman added that SSE could face penalty charges if Peterhead “doesn’t function as it should”.
The disclosure of the problem at Peterhead highlights the fragility of Britain’s energy system heading into this winter as its ageing power plant fleet suffers unexpected shutdowns.
Peter Atherton, energy analyst at Liberum Capital, described the test failure as “embarrassing”.
Britain’s tight capacity margins mean “you can’t have many things go wrong,” he said.
Peterhead had functioned as expected in a previous test earlier this month. The two other power plants recruited to the scheme have also both been functioning in recent weeks.
As well as the back-up power plants, National Grid has also brought in emergency measures to pay industrial businesses to power down or switch to diesel generators from 4pm to 8pm on winter weekdays.
Fires at Ferrybridge and Ironbridge power plants had already eroded Britain’s spare capacity more than had been expected this winter and safety outages at four nuclear reactors worsened the situation.
However, two of the four nuclear reactors have now resumed operation with a third due to do so in coming days.
A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: “This Government has a plan to keep the lights on now, and into the future, thanks to the new powers we have given to National Grid and investment in the UK’s energy infrastructure.
“National Grid undertakes these proving tests in order to be certain that plants are able to provide extra generating capacity when called upon.
"Peterhead is one of three plants who have been contracted to provide extra generation over the winter months if needed, while a number of other power units which were previously out of service have also begun the process of resuming generation.”
Environmental good deeds give people a 'warm glow'
That's what it is all about
Doing an environmentally good deed gives you a warm feeling - quite literally. Psychologists found that when volunteers thought they were helping the environment their perception of temperature changed. It was as if they were enveloped in a "warm glow", said the scientists.
People classed as environmentally "friendly" estimated the temperature around them to be around 1C higher than those led to believe their behaviour was environmentally "unfriendly".
The report authors, led by Danny Taufik, from the University of Griningen in the Netherlands, wrote in the journal Nature Climate Change: "Acting environmentally friendly boosts a person's self-concept, which is reflected in a literal warm glow.
"We also explored whether physical warmth (skin temperature) is affected by acting environmentally friendly, but we found no consistent evidence for this."
Students taking part in the study completed a questionnaire about their carbon footprint, and were told that lower scores indicated environmentally friendly behaviour.
They were then given a fake carbon footprint score for the "average" student, against which their own scores were compared.
Participants were also asked to guess the temperature of the room in which they were sitting.
Those whose carbon footprints appeared to be more environmentally friendly than average rated the room significantly warmer than students whose scores were less friendly.
The researchers concluded that helping the environment was intrinsically rewarding, which was something that should be recognised by "green" campaigns.
For instance, informing people they could help protect the environment by unplugging unused electronic devices may be a better strategy than telling them it will save money.
Future research could explore the extent to which acting in an environmentally friendly way might influence warmth-related behaviours such as setting central heating thermostats, said the scientists.
They added that other work had shown a negative psychological state caused by feeling lonely resulted in lower perceived temperatures, and also prompted people to take warmer showers "presumably to make one feel better
Needed: Accurate climate forecasts
Focusing on carbon dioxide (because that’s where the money is) threatens forecasts, and lives
By Paul Driessen and David R. Legates
Pleistocene glaciers repeatedly buried almost half of the Northern Hemisphere under a mile of ice. The Medieval Warm Period (~950-1250 AD) enriched agriculture and civilizations across Asia and Europe, while the Little Ice Age that followed (~1350-1850) brought widespread famines and disasters. The Dust Bowl upended lives and livelihoods for millions of Americans, while decades-long droughts vanquished once-thriving Anasazi and Mayan cultures, and flood and drought cycles repeatedly pounded African, Asian and Australian communities. Hurricanes and tornadoes have also battered states and countries throughout history, in numbers and intensities that have been impossible to pattern or predict.
But today we are supposed to believe climate variability is due to humans – and computer models can now forecast climate changes with amazing accuracy. These models and the alarmist scientists behind them say greenhouse gases will increasingly trigger more “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people, species and ecosystems,” a recent UN report insists.
In reality, carbon dioxide’s effect on devastating weather patterns is greatly overstated. We are near a 30-year low in hurricane energy (measured by the ACE index of “accumulated cyclone energy”), and tropical cyclone and storm activity has not increased globally over that period. In fact, as of November 18, it’s been 3,310 days since a Category 3-5 hurricane hit the US mainland – by far the longest stretch since records began in 1900. This Atlantic hurricane season was the least active in 30 years.
Moreover, there has been no warming since 1995, several recent winters have been among the coldest in centuries in the United Kingdom and continental Europe, the 2013-14 winter was one of the coldest and snowiest in memory for much of the United States and Canada – and the cold spell could continue.
Accurate climate forecasts one, five or ten years in advance would certainly enable us to plan and prepare for, adapt to and mitigate the effects of significant or harmful climate variations, including temperatures, hurricanes, floods and droughts. However, such forecasts can never be even reasonably accurate under the climate change hypothesis that the IPCC, EPA and other agencies have adopted. The reason is simple.
Today’s climate research defines carbon dioxide as the principal driving force in global climate change. Virtually no IPCC-cited models or studies reflect the powerful, interconnected natural forces that clearly caused past climate fluctuations – most notably, variations in the sun’s energy output.
They also largely ignore significant effects of urban and other land use changes, and major high-impact fluctuations like the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (El Niño and La Niña) and North Atlantic Oscillation. If we truly want reliable predictive capabilities, we must eliminate the obsession with carbon dioxide as the primary driver of climate change – and devote far more attention to studying all the powerful forces that have always driven climate change, the roles they play, and the complex interactions among them.
We also need to study variations in the sun’s energy output, winds high in the atmosphere, soil moisture, winter snow cover and volcanic eruptions, Weatherbell forecaster Joe D’Aleo emphasizes. We also need to examine unusual features like the pool of warm water that developed in the central Pacific during the super La Niña of 2010-2011 and slowly drifted with the wind-driven currents into the Gulf of Alaska, causing the “polar vortex” that led to the cold, snowy winter of 2013-2014, he stresses.
“The potential for climate modeling mischief and false scares from incorrect climate model scenarios is tremendous,” says Colorado State University analyst Bill Gray, who has been studying and forecasting tropical cyclones for nearly 60 years. Among the reasons he cites for grossly deficient models are their “unrealistic model input physics,” the “overly simplified and inadequate numerical techniques,” and the fact that decadal and century-scale circulation changes in the deep oceans “are very difficult to measure and are not yet well enough understood to be realistically included in the climate models.”
Nor does applying today’s super computers to climate forecasting help matters. NOAA, the British Meteorological Office and other government analysts have some of the world’s biggest and fastest computers – and yet their (and thus the IPCC’s and EPA’s) predictions are consistently and stupendously wrong. Speedier modern computers simply make the “garbage in, garbage out” adage occur much more quickly, thereby facilitating faster faulty forecasts. Why does this continue? Follow the money.
Billions of dollars are doled out every year for numerous “scientific studies” that supposedly link carbon dioxide and other alleged human factors to dwindling frog populations, melting glaciers, migrating birds and cockroaches, and scores of other remote to ridiculous assertions. Focusing on “dangerous human-induced” climate change in research proposals greatly improves the likelihood of receiving grants.
American taxpayers alone provide a tempting $2.5 billion annually for research focused on human factors, through the EPA, Global Change Research Program and other government agencies. Universities and other institutions receiving grants take 40% or more off the top for “project management” and “overhead.” None of them wants to upset this arrangement, and all of them fear that accepting grants to study natural factors or climate cycles might imperil funding from sources that have their own reasons for making grants tied to manmade warming, renewable energy or antipathy toward fossil fuels. Peer pressure and shared views on wealth redistribution via energy policies, also play major roles.
When Nebraska lawmakers budgeted $44,000 for a review of climate cycles and natural causes, state researchers said they would not be interested unless human influences were included. The “natural causes” proposal was ultimately scuttled in favor of yet another meaningless study of human influences.
The result is steady streams of computer model outputs that alarmists ensure us accurately predict climate changes. However, none of them forecast the 18-years-and-counting warming pause, the absence of hurricanes, or other real-world conditions. Nearly every one predicted temperatures that trend higher with every passing year and exceed recorded global temperatures by ever widening margins.
The constant predictions of looming manmade climate disasters are also used to justify demands that developed nations “compensate” poor and developing countries with tens or hundreds of billions of dollars in annual climate “reparation, adaptation and mitigation” money. Meanwhile, those no-longer-so-wealthy nations are implementing renewable energy and anti-hydrocarbon policies that drive up energy costs for businesses and families, kill millions of jobs, and result in thousands of deaths annually among elderly pensioners and others who can no longer afford to heat their homes properly during cold winters.
Worst of all, the climate disaster predictions are used to justify telling impoverished countries that they may develop only to extent enabled by wind and solar power. Financial institutions increasingly refuse to provide grants or loans for electricity generation projects fueled by coal or natural gas. Millions die every year because they do not have electricity to operate water purification facilities, refrigerators to keep food and medicine from spoiling, or stoves and heaters to replace wood and dung fires that cause rampant lung diseases. As Alex Epstein observes in his new book, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels:
“If you’re living off the grid and can afford it, an installation with a battery that can power a few appliances might be better than the alternative (no energy or frequently returning to civilization for diesel fuel), but [such installations] are essentially useless in providing cheap, plentiful energy for 7 billion people – and to rely on them would be deadly.”
By expanding our research – to include careful, honest, accurate studies of natural factors – we will be better able to discern and separate significant human influences from the powerful natural forces that have caused minor to profound climate fluctuations throughout history. Only then will we begin to improve our ability to predict why, when, how and where Earth’s climate is likely to change in the future. Congress should reduce CO2 funding and earmark funds for researching natural forces that drive climate change.
Australian Wind Industry in a Tailspin as Senate Sets Up Inquiry Into the Great Wind Power Fraud & Cross-Benchers Lay Out Plans for the LRET
(LRET = Large-scale Renewable Energy Target)
STT recently covered a motion proposed by cross-bench Senators Leyonhjelm, Madigan, Day, Xenophon; with the support of the Coalition, through their Deputy Government Whip in the Senate, STT Champion, WA Senator, Chris Back to establish a wide-ranging inquiry into the wind industry in Australia. It gives us much pleasure to report that the Senate voted to establish the inquiry, as moved by David Leyonhjelm on Monday.
Sure, it was a close-run thing, but many a grand final has been won by a single kick.
Predictably, the wind industry, its parasites and spruikers have gone into a tailspin – wailing about the dreaded malady of “uncertainty” – of the kind that everyone else gets to face on a daily basis in every aspect of life and business – but from which the wind industry must be protected at all times.
But the Senate inquiry is just the beginning of the wind industry’s many woes.
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Posted by JR at 1:39 AM