Friday, January 30, 2015

Joe Romm assumes what he has to prove -- and his assumption is wrong

As we all know, ANY weather event proves global warming.  Global warming is unfalsifiable and is, as such, a religious faith, not a scientific finding. So it is no surprise that Joe Romm, the professional Warmist, has put up an argument  -- excerpt below -- to say that the recent winter storms in the N.E. USA are caused by global warming.  But how can they be?  There has been no statistically significant global warming for 18 years or thereabouts.  But Romm writes as if warming were happening.  He assumes what he has to prove. Clearly, all the events he describes are natural and nothing to do with our static climate

Warming-fueled sea surface temperatures provide a boost of moisture for the forecast New England blizzard, just as it has for previous monster East Coast snow storms. Via NOAA.

Another epic blizzard is bearing down on New England. There is a “big part” played by “human-induced climate change,” especially warming-fueled ocean temperatures, according to Dr. Kevin Trenberth, former head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

I asked Dr. Trenberth to comment on the role climate change has on this latest storm, which is forecast to set records. He explained:

    "The number 1 cause of this is that it is winter. In winter it is cold over the continent. But it is warm over the oceans and the contrast between the cold continent and the warm Gulf Stream and surrounding waters is increasing. At present sea surface temperatures are more the 2F above normal over huge expanses (1000 miles) off the east coast and water vapor in the atmosphere is about 10% higher as a result. About half of this can be attributed to climate change".

Before this latest storm, we’ve seen a long-term pattern of more extreme precipitation, particularly in New England winters. Climate scientists had long predicted this would happen in a warming world.

Like a baseball player on steroids, our climate system is breaking records at an unnatural pace. And like a baseball player on steroids, it’s the wrong question to ask whether a given home run is “caused” by steroids. As Trenberth wrote in his must-read analysis, “How To Relate Climate Extremes to Climate Change,” the “answer to the oft-asked question of whether an event is caused by climate change is that it is the wrong question. All weather events are affected by climate change because the environment in which they occur is warmer and moister than it used to be.”

One of the most robust scientific findings is the direct connection between global warming and more extreme precipitation or deluges. “Basic physics tells us that a warmer atmosphere is able to hold more moisture — at a rate of approximately 7 per cent increase per degree [Celsius] warming,” as the U.K. Met Office explained in its 2014 update on climate science. “This is expected to lead to similar percentage increases in heavy rainfall, which has generally been borne out by models and observed changes in daily rainfall.”

This means that when it is cold enough to snow, snow storms will be fueled by more water vapor and thus be more intense themselves. So we expect fewer snowstorms in regions close to the rain-snow line, such as the central United States, though the snowstorms that do occur in those areas are still likely to be more intense. It also means we expect more intense snowstorms in generally cold regions. This may appear to be counterintuitive — and certainly climate science deniers like to play up big snowstorms for that reason. But the fact is that the warming to date is not close to that needed to end below-freezing temperatures during midwinter over parts of the globe like New England, while it is large enough to put measurably more water vapor into the air.


No lamb cutlets for you!  Greenies really hate everything about us -- including our love of good food

The basic Greenie theory behind the assertions below is false.  There is no tendency for  trees to be chopped down to provide more farmland.  Energy-intensive farming methods in countries like the USA have provided huge gains in food production, allowing land to be returned to forest.  The area covered by forest in the USA INCREASED during the 20th century.  The characteristic state of food production in advanced countries is of course glut, not shortage  -- which is why food prices have come way down in real terms. Under capitalism, even China is now a net food exporter

Beef and lamb should be given the chop to help save the planet, the government has warned.

Cutting down on eating red meat in favour of more fruit and vegetables will free up land for forests to absorb greenhouse gases, a new study for the Department for Energy and Climate Change says.

People in Britain must curb their meat intake and travel less to meet emissions targets which would then allow them to have larger, warmer homes.

Ministers claim the report 'Prosperous living for the world in 2050' shows that limiting global temperatures to a 2°C rise can be achieved while improving living standards.

It looks at changes which can be easily made to lifestyles to reduce environmental impacts, allowing other behaviour which is less damaging.

It is claimed the Global Calculator tool will allow to world to 'eat well, travel more, live in more comfortable homes, and meet international carbon reduction commitments'.

But it urges people to reduce beef and lamb consumption, as a key way to prevent deforestation.

In the last decade almost 200 million hectares of native forest land has been cut down, the report says, partly driven by increased demand for agricultural land.

Demand for food around the world is expected to rise by up to 45 per cent by 2050, but forests need to expand by 5-15 per cent to absorb enough carbon dioxide from the atmoshphere.

The report suggests the number of cows grazing on grassland to increase from 0.6 per hectare today to up to 1 per hectare by 2050.

'For example, currently an area the size of a football pitch can be used to produce 250 kg of beef, 1,000 kg of poultry (both fed on grains and residues) or 15,000 kg of fruit and vegetables.

'Decreasing the amount of meat in the global average diet would also have benefits for our climate and human health.'

Swapping from beef and lamb for poultry and pork would require much less land to produce per kilogram.

'This change in the type of meat we eat could free up 290 million hectares of land, otherwise used for animal feed and pasture, to ultimately become land for forests, which acts a carbon sink and reduces the need for abatement elsewhere.'

The World Health Organisation's definition of a healthy diet includes 2,100 calories on average, of which 160 calories is meat.

If everyone stuck to these limits it could reduce emissions by the euiavalenet of a third of total global CO2 emissions in 2011.

'Smart use of our land could ensure we can protect or even expand our forests, produce all the food we need, and increase land for bioenergy from 98 million hectares today to up to 350 million hectares by 2050.'

Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: 'For the first time this Global Calculator shows that everyone in the world can prosper while limiting global temperature rises to 2°C, preventing the most serious impacts of climate change.

'Yet the calculator is also very clear that we must act now to change how we use and generate energy and how we use our land if we are going to achieve this green growth.

'The UK is leading on climate change both at home and abroad. Britain's global calculator can help the world's crucial climate debate this year. Along with the many country-based 2050 calculators we pioneered, we are working hard to demonstrate to the global family that climate action benefits people.'


UK: Eco-warrior planted homemade 'stingers' that took out THREE police cars as they answered emergency calls on New Year's Eve

An environmental activist who used nail-filled pieces of plywood to put three police cars responding to emergency calls out of action is likely to be jailed.

Emma Sheppard positioned three of the homemade traps outside a police station near Bristol on New Year's Eve, which led to the police vehicles' tyres being punctured. The devices were similar to those used by police to stop suspect's cars.

The 33-year-old appeared at the Bristol Crown Court yesterday via video-link from Eastwood Park prison in Gloucestershire and admitted damaging the vehicles.

Judge Martin Piction told Sheppard she would inevitably be jailed and said he would consider public protection issues when sentencing her next month. He then remanded her in custody.

Sheppard, who is from Easton, in Bristol, is well known within green activist circles.

In 2009 she was among a group of 18 activists who were found guilty of trying to shut down the Ratcliffe power station in Nottinghamshire. Her conviction and those of her co-accused were later quashed following revelations the group had been infiltrated by undercover police officer Mark Kennedy.

The court heard that Sheppard, of no fixed abode, put the devices outside a police divisional HQ in Emersons Green, Bristol.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Bevan said the 'stinger' devices rendered the police vehicles 'unusable on what is traditionally one of the busiest nights of the year'.

He said Sheppard placed the devices on the road, 'knowing full well what the consequences could be'.

Det. Insp. Bevan said: 'They posed a serious risk to our police officers as well as other road users and formed part of a reckless and dangerous plan.'

Sheppard’s conviction is the first by detectives from Avon and Somerset's police's Operation Rhone. A squad was formed in December after police linked more than 100 arson and vandalism attacks on establishment targets that had occurred in and around Bristol and Bath during the last four years.

The attacks, on police stations, banks and politician's cars, were suspected to have been carried out by anarchists.


Seattle to Fine Residents for Throwing Food in the Garbage

In an attempt to shame residents of their city, a new Seattle law will levy a fine on homes that do not properly sort food out of their garbage.

Emblazoned with a red citation tag, violators will start to be fined anywhere from $1-$50 in July. For now, Seattle residents will be publicly shamed by the ‘Scarlet Letter’-like tags.

"I'm sure neighbors are going to see these on their other neighbors' cans," says Rodney Watkins, a lead driver for Recology CleanScapes, a waste contractor for the city. He's on the front lines of enforcing these rules.  The tags are part of, what the city calls, a “public education campaign.”

In an interview with NPR, Watkins details how he goes about enforcing the draconian statute:  "You can see all the oranges and coffee grounds," he says, raising one lid.” All that makes great compost. You can put that in your compost bin and buy it back next year in a bag and put it in your garden."

The ultimate goal of the law is to boost composting while reducing greenhouse gasses:

Food waste is both an economic and environmental burden. Transporting the waste, especially for distances as far as Seattle does, is costly. So too is allowing it to sit out in the open, where it produces methane, one of the most harmful greenhouses gases, as it rots. The second largest component of landfills in the United States is organic waste, and landfills are the single largest source of methane gas.

The EPA has already begun a campaign to achieve laws similar to Seattle’s.

The outstanding question remains: what purview is it of government to act as people’s trash nanny?


Drilling in the Atlantic? Not So Fast

The Obama administration announced Tuesday that, while it would move to block drilling in significant portions of Alaska, it would seek to open some of the Atlantic Coast to drilling. But lest you celebrate a sane policy shift, The Washington Post reports, “Any drilling would be at least a decade away and likely subject to intense political and legal battles between industry backers and environmentalists worried about the risk of oil spills.”

Furthermore, explained Amy Harder of the Wall Street Journal, “Secretary Sally Jewell of the Interior Department stressed that this is the broadest plan that they’re going to consider. When it goes final in the next couple of years, they may whittle it down to something smaller than what they proposed today. … So I think the plan can only get narrower and given the president’s commitment to climate change,

I wouldn’t be surprised if they ultimately took it out of the final plan, though at this point it’s far to early to say.” Indeed, the Left’s dedication to fighting climate change will derail many economically sound plans in the coming years.



Three current articles below

How a garden pest is slowing Sydney’s progress: Projects stymied by green tape protecting frogs, bats and snails

GREEN tape protecting endangered plants and animals is delaying projects worth billions across the state, with contractors forced to search for snails, count bat colonies and protect pygmy fish.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal green tape delays will impact the north coast’s Pacific Hwy upgrade, while preparations of the Badgerys Creek airport site are likely to be affected by a list of 45 threatened species ranging from eastern bent-wing bat to the red crowned toadlet.

North West Rail Link contractors were told to search for the cumberland plain land snail before construction on the $8.3 billion rail link began.

The snail — which looks similar to the exotic garden snail — has already been identified as a “high risk” threatened species on the Badgerys airport site.

Endangered plants are also afforded high priority on major road and rail projects, with buffer zones put in place, while seeds are being collected on the North West Rail Link for replanting.

Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt last year slapped 26 conditions on the 155km Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Hwy upgrade that’s already four years behind schedule. Mr Hunt imposed strict conditions to protect the pygmy perch and giant barred frog.

He also ordered the RMS to implement a Ballina Koala Plan despite three separate reports already compiled by experts on fauna, fish and flora. Mr Hunt said the Abbott government was working with NSW to deliver a “one-stop shop for environmental approvals”.

Under the proposed new structure, duplication and red tape would be phased out, but as the months drag on and with no timeline on when the streamlined process will be in place, major projects are expected to be delayed under the old system.

Mr Hunt’s spokesman confirmed the Badgerys Creek Environmental Impact Statement would include threatened species such as birds and bats, which have already been identified as being vulnerable to plane strikes.

NSW Planning Minister Pru Goward said the government was frustrated efforts to “streamline approvals” had been blocked in the Senate.

National Roads & Motorists’ Association president Kyle Loades said the group was concerned the highway upgrade’s 2020 deadline would not be met.

Mr Loades said protecting the environment was important but there was a community “expectation that it is done within reason”. He highlighted the danger of delays to key road projects surrounding Badgerys Creek, saying while it was appropriate to investigate the impact the roads may have on “local colonies of bats and birds”, western Sydney residents should not have to experience the same delays that has slowed down the Pacific Hwy upgrade.

Business Council of Australia CEO Jennifer Westacott said high environmental standards were important but should not “unnecessarily hold up major projects”.

“Governments at all levels need to redouble efforts to reduce overlap and inefficiency in planning approvals laws, including environmental approvals,” Ms Westacott said.

A Transport for NSW spokesman said three North West Rail Link environmental impact statements were approved between 2012 and 2014 and as part of that process there was no change to the route alignment and construction of the rail project was “ahead of schedule”.

A WestConnex spokeswoman said EIS documents for the M4 widening and M5 interchange pledged to conduct “pre-clearing surveys” prior to construction.

The WestConnex project had searched for threatened species including bats and the green and golden bell frog.


Greens slam conservative Qld government's  casino plan

One wonders what this has got to do with the environment.  Just another anti-people push

THE Newman government's decision to green-light three new casinos for Queensland reeks of backward thinking and a "third world" approach to development.  THAT'S according to the Greens, who have slammed the Liberal National Party on the scheme, two days out from Saturday's election.

The state government is fielding expressions of interest from parties interested in securing approval for one of three new integrated resort developments.  One site is slated for the Queen's Wharf precinct in Brisbane, with two more proposed for regional Queensland.  The government announced last year these approvals would come with casino licences.

Queensland Greens Senator Larissa Waters said extra casinos would turn Queensland into "the problem gambling state" of Australia, and instead the government should look at creating jobs in fields like renewable energy and eco-tourism. "Let's actually invest in Queensland's brains and capitalise on our natural beauty," Ms Waters said.

She says if Queenslanders want to gamble they are more than welcome to do so at the state's four existing venues.

Ms Waters' federal colleague Richard Di Natale says the Newman government's commitment to casinos and coal industries, rather than new sectors and technologies, has hallmarks of a "third-world dictatorship".

Local candidate Kirsten Lovejoy says art shows, festivals and new parklands - not poker machines - should be brought in to revamp the Queens Wharf entertainment zone.

Expressions of interest for the Integrated Resort Developments close on March 31.


Peer-reviewed study shatters claims that wind turbines are “safe”

Australia’s leading acoustical engineer Steven Cooper found that a unique infrasound pattern, which he had labelled “Wind Turbine Signature” in previous studies, correlates (through a “trend line”) with the occurrence and severity of symptoms of residents who had complained of often-unbearable “sensations”.

These include sleep disturbance, headaches, heart racing, pressure in the head, ears or chest, etc. as described by the residents (symptoms generally known as Wind Turbine Syndrome (WTS), or the euphemism “noise annoyance” – ed). (1)

The acoustician also identified “discrete low frequency amplitude modulated signals” emitted by wind turbines, and found the windfarm victims were also reacting to those.

The Wind Turbine Signature cannot be detected using traditional measuring indexes such as dB(A) or dB(C) and 1/3 Octave bands, concludes his study. Narrowband analysis must be used instead, with results expressed in dB(WTS).

He suggests medical studies be conducted using infrasound measurements in dB(WTS) in order to determine the threshold of what is unacceptable in terms of sound pressure level.

The findings are consistent with the official Kelley studies published in the US more than 30 years ago, which showed that infrasound emitted by early, downwind turbines caused sleep disturbance and other WTS symptoms (2). These studies were shelved, upwind turbines were designed, and the regulatory authorities simply trusted the wind industry’s assertion that the new models did not emit dangerous infrasound. The Cooper study now proves they were wrong.

Another conclusion of his study is that the Danish method used for measuring low-frequency “noise annoyance” near wind farms is inadequate. So are the wind turbine noise standards applied to wind farms in Victoria, Australia and New Zealand, known as New Zealand Standard 6808. Just as inadequate are all other standards regulating “annoyance” near wind farms around the world. They simply don’t take infrasound into account.

The Waubra Foundation, Dr Sarah Laurie, Dr Nina Pierpont, Dr Robert McMurtry, Ms Carmen Krogh, Dr Michael Nissenbaum, Dr Chris Hanning, Dr Jay Tibbetts, Dr Sandy Reider, Dr David Iser, Dr Amanda Harry and scores of other medical practitioners and researchers from around the world are vindicated by this benchmark study, as are the residents reporting WTS symptoms themselves, many of whom have had to regularly or permanently abandon their homes.

Regarding the future, Steven Cooper recommends that further studies be conducted in order to establish “a threshold to protect against adverse impacts.” (1)

He also writes: “the vibration surges described by some residents as disturbance during the shutdown could be attributed to wind gusts exciting resonances of the blades/towers and requires further investigation“. (1)

This is a turning point. The wind industry can no longer claim that their machines do not emit enough infrasound to affect residents, nor that health professionals publicising the problems and calling for further research are causing the suffering, nor that wind farm victims are causing their own woes (the often-used argument that “it’s all in their heads” – i.e. the “nocebo effect”). Yet the wind industry and its abettors had clung to that straw despite the numerous accounts of ill-effects on animals. (3)



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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