Monday, February 23, 2015

NYT Smears Scientist Willie Soon for Telling the Truth About ‘Global Warming’

James Delingpole responds below to the latest bit of deception from hack journalist Justin Gillis of the NYT.

Most of what the NYT claims has also been dealt with here.  One quote:  "Regarding Dr. Soon’s supposed “track record of accepting energy-industry grants,” the $1 million over a period of years went to the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, which took around 40% of the total off the top, for “overhead.” The details are all open public records"

And when you consider that around 200 billion of TAXPAYER MONEY has been spent to support "climate change" you have to marvel that  this guy is upset that someone is funding a study to look at the other side.  What a joke!

And I don't think I am imagining it in seeing the use of Soon's Chinese cognomen -- Wei-Hock -- instead of the usual English "Willie" as racist.  I think it is a deliberate attempt to make Prof. Soon sound alien

Another day, another attack on the integrity of the Harvard-Smithsonian astrophysicist Dr. Willie Soon, this time in the New York Times.

I first became aware of Soon in 2009 when reading through the Climategate emails. One of them was a jocular suggestion by a warmist called Tom Wigley as to how best to smear Soon and his co-author Sallie Baliunas.

    "Might be interesting to see how frequently Soon and Baliunas, individually, are cited (as astronomers). Are they any good in their own fields? Perhaps we could start referring to them as astrologers (excusable as…’oops, just a typo’)".

You might be wondering what Soon and Baliunas had done to incur the wrath of the climate alarmist establishment. Well, they’d just published a meta-analysis of all the papers which had been written on the Medieval Warm Period (MWP). What their paper showed is that contrary to claims by one Michael Mann (the name may be familiar), the MWP was not a small, localised event but global, big and widespread.

So the memo went out from the Hockey Team (the uber-vindictive Mann and his lickspittle posse) to get Soon, and they’ve been going at him ever since: not by criticising the quality of his science — that would be too difficult because his science is impeccable — but simply by trying to make his life miserable, deny him tenure, and to smear him as compromised and corrupt.

The reason for the latest attack on Soon is that he is the co-author, with Christopher Monckton et al, of a paper published earlier this year in the prestigious Chinese Academy of Sciences journal Science Bulletin.

This study — Why Models Run Hot — infuriated the alarmist establishment, first because it was unusually popular (receiving over 10,000 views — thousands more than most scientific papers get) and second because it made a mockery of their cherished computer models.

As Paul Driessen explains:

    "Results from an irreducibly simple climate model,” concluded that, once discrepancies in IPCC computer models are taken into account, the impact of CO2-driven manmade global warming over the next century (and beyond) is likely to be “no more than one-third to one-half of the IPCC’s current projections” – that is, just 1-2 degrees C (2-4 deg F) by 2100! That’s akin to the Roman and Medieval Warm Periods and would be beneficial, not harmful."

Rather than attack the substance of the paper, the warmists reverted to their usual tricks, lead by Kert Davies, an activist lawyer who works for a Greenpeace front organisation called Climate Investigations Center.

    "Climate Investigations Center executive director (and former top Greenpeace official) Kert Davies told the Boston Globe it “simply cannot be true” that the authors have no conflict of interest over their study, considering their alleged industry funding sources and outside consulting fees. Davies singled out Dr. Willie Soon, saying the Harvard researcher received more than $1 million from companies that support studies critical of manmade climate change claims. An allied group launched a petition drive to have Dr. Soon fired.

    "Davies’ libelous assertions have no basis in fact. Not one of these four authors received a dime in grants or other payments for researching and writing their climate models paper. Every one of them did the work on his own time. The only money contributed to the Science Bulletin effort went to paying the “public access” fees, so that people could read their study for free."

I spoke to Soon last night. He told me that of course he receives private funding for his research: he has to because it’s his only way of making ends meet, especially since the Alarmist establishment launched its vendetta against him when, from 2009 onwards, he became more outspoken in his critiques of global warming theory.

Harvard-Smithsonian strove to make his life harder and harder, first by banning him from working on anything even remotely connected with issues like climate change or CO2, then by moving his office away from the astrophysics department to a remote area Soon calls Siberia. What the faculty couldn’t quite do was actually sack Soon because it had no cause: he was producing too many quality papers, and he was also bringing in too much money (40 per cent of which goes straight into the faculty coffers).

So there’s nothing new or scandalous about this latest New York Times hit job on poor Willie Soon. It’s just a continuation of a vendetta which has been waged for years against an honest, decent, hardworking — and incredibly brave — scientist who refuses to toe the official (and increasingly discredited) line on man-made global warming.

What most definitely is scandalous is the vile hypocrisy of Soon’s harrassment by the warmist establishment, which receives billions every year from the US government, left-wing charities, and billionaire activists like Tom Steyer and George Soros to prop up their bankrupt cause by promoting exactly the kind of junk science which Soon (and similarly principled scientists) have made it their business to shred.

The warmists are losing their argument. Their desperation is beginning to show.


Bill Nye: Let’s Be Honest, Climate ‘Skeptics’ Are Just Deniers

Professional forecaster Joe Bastardi tweets: "Bill Nye is an engineer turned actor. That is all. His knowledge of weather/climate is amazingly inaccurate and relies on ignorance of fact"

 Bill Nye “the Science Guy” talked about climate change on Bill Maher‘s show tonight and said people have to stop taking the term “climate skeptic” seriously. Nye said, “We’ve discouraged the use of the term ‘skeptic,’ when people say, ‘Well, I’m a climate skeptic.’ No, you are a climate denier. You are a climate change denier.”

And just like he did on MSNBC a few days ago, Nye said the media needs to be talking about this issue more and there’s a lot of “millennial anger” at the older generations for not doing so.

And it’s not good for the country, he observed, if conservatives are running for president who are “relentlessly” disagreeing with the vast majority of the world’s scientists. Maher piped up that the “feces-throwers and flat-earthers” just don’t care.


Global cooling?

It has frozen the Niagara Falls, created an 'ice volcano' in New York and led to 40-foot snow piles in the streets of Boston. And America's record-breaking big freeze is not over yet - with sub-zero temperatures and snow forecast in the eastern US for at least another week.

This winter has already seen a series of deadly storms and arctic blasts - most recently, the 'Siberian Express' - strike large swathes of the country.

It has sparked an array of dramatic, terrifying and often amusing scenes, including Massachusetts locals 'swimming' through snow-filled back yards.

In one incredible photo, thousands of icicles blanket a house in Philadelphia, western Pennsylvania, after firefighters tackled a blaze with water hoses.

In another, an icy imprint of a Jeep's bumper remains standing in a parking lot in Greenville, North Carolina - long after the vehicle was driven away.

And now, a new arctic blast - labeled 'Winter Storm Pandora' by meteorologists - is poised to strike vast parts of the country, bringing another round of heavy snow, freezing rain and treacherous ice to areas from Missouri to the mid-Atlantic, and as far south as Alabama and Georgia, on Saturday.

The band of air could plunge parts of the country into deep freezes that haven't been felt since the mid-1990s, the National Weather Service said. Up to six inches of snow - adding to previous snowfall - could be seen in eastern Ohio Valley and upstate New York, according to the Weather Channel.

Bruce Sullivan, a senior meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said: 'Higher amounts [of snow] over the next two days will probably be across southern Indiana and Illinois and eastward through Ohio into western Pennsylvania. That's where it looks like the jackpot will be.'

This week, many parts of the eastern US have seen record-breaking low temperatures. On Friday morning, at least 72 records were recorded, from Marquette, Michigan (-26 degrees) to Miami (42 degrees). Lynchburg, Virginia, even saw a bone-chilling minus 11 degrees - a new all-time record low.

The sub-zero temperatures have resulted in striking scenes, including a fountain in a New York state park that was transformed into a 50-foot 'ice volcano', thrill-seekers 'diving' from windows into snow piles as part of the so-called 'Boston Blizzard Challenge' and a frozen-over Hudson River.

The 'Siberian Express' that has been sweeping across the nation has led to the deaths of at least 20 people from hypothermia, the Weather Channel reported. The toll includes nine people in Tennessee, six in Pennsylvania, two in Illinois and one in each of the states: Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.

'This week ranks among the most intense arctic outbreaks so far in the 21st century for the eastern U.S., and it is certainly one of the most impressively cold air masses we've seen this late in the winter season, coming only a month before the spring equinox,' senior meteorologist Nick Wiltgen said.

According to the NOAA and the National Weather Service, at least 500 daily record low temperatures have been broken since Sunday. And more places across the Northeast are expected to see record-breaking cold on Saturday morning as Winter Storm Pandora sweeps across the region.

The previous weather system was called a 'Siberian Express' because the winds came in from Russia and traveled over the Arctic Circle, pushing frigid air into Canada and the United States. On Friday, Washington's Reagan National Airport saw a record low temperature of just six degrees.

This beat a 119-year-old record low for the day of eight degrees. Meanwhile, New York City's Central Park plummeted to two degrees, breaking the 1950 record of seven degrees. In western Pennsylvania, temperatures dipped to minus 18 in New Castle and six below zero in Pittsburgh - both records.


Iced water in restaurants should be curtailed, says Indian railroad engineer and probable sex offender

Hotel guests should have their electricity monitored; hefty aviation taxes should be introduced to deter people from flying; and iced water in restaurants should be curtailed, the world's leading climate scientist has told the Observer. [He's not a scientist at all.  He is a bureaucrat]

Rajendra Pachauri, the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), warned that western society must undergo a radical value shift if the worst effects of climate change were to be avoided. A new value system of "sustainable consumption" was now urgently required, he said.

"Today we have reached the point where consumption and people's desire to consume has grown out of proportion," said Pachauri. "The reality is that our lifestyles are unsustainable."

Among the proposals highlighted by Pachauri were the suggestion that hotel guests should be made responsible for their energy use. "I don't see why you couldn't have a meter in the room to register your energy consumption from air-conditioning or heating and you should be charged for that," he said. "By bringing about changes of this kind, you could really ensure that people start becoming accountable for their actions."

Pachauri also proposed that governments use taxes on aviation to provide heavy subsidies for other forms of transport. "We should make sure there is a huge difference between the cost of flying and taking the train," he said. Despite the fact that there is often little benefit in time and convenience in short-haul flights, he said people were still making the "irrational" choice to fly. Taxation should be used to discourage them.

He dismissed suggestions that the actions he was advocating were insignificant next to the decisions that would be made at the UN's climate summit which opens in Copenhagen in seven days' time. "In a democracy, governments will ultimately respond to what the people want," he said. "If the people have a strong desire which can be demonstrated through their actions, as well as their vote at the time of elections, you can bring about a major shift in policy."

Pachauri caused controversy last year by advocating, in an interview with the Observer, that people should eat less meat because of the levels of carbon emissions associated with rearing livestock. He is scheduled to deliver a keynote speech at the opening session of the Copenhagen summit.


Australia: The BOM bombs

They've got global warming assumptions built into all their models so are bound to get things wrong

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has defended the Bureau of Meteorolgy's forecasting after the rapid escalation of Tropical Cyclone Marcia caught most by surprise.

TC Marcia had been forecast to be a Category 1 or 2 as it approached the Queensland coast but quickly gained power and was a Category 5 – the most powerful classification – when it crossed the coast near Shoalwater Bay.

Ms Palaszczuk said the Bureau had been monitoring the situation and providing regular briefings as TC Marcia intensified as it made its way to the coast.

"This is something that they have never seen before as well, going from a low pressure system to a (Category) 1 all the way up to a 5," she said in Yeppoon on Saturday afternoon.  "They'd never seen this in their lifetime, so this was a rare event.  "Now, they're going to go back and look through all the research and try to work out how that happened so quickly.

"But can I just assure everyone, the Bureau of Meteorology, they did everything that they possibly could and they were getting that information out to residents as soon as that information came to hand."

Ms Palaszczuk travelled to central Queensland on Saturday afternoon to receive briefings from emergency responders and inspect the damage.

Standing outside a ruined house in Yeppoon, the Premier said she had spoken with Prime Minister Tony Abbott and requested army assistance, as the rebuilding effort was beyond local capabilities.  "What we can see is right up and down this street and around this community, is the absolute complete devastation," Ms Palaszczuk said.  "These families just want to rebuild their homes and get back in and that's what we have to do. "We need to make sure that we do that as quickly and as thoughtfully as possible."

Ms Palaszczuk said it was likely that power would be restored to the region earlier than first thought. "What we are seeing is some early signs that the power will start coming on very shortly, so that is encouraging," she said.  "But, it will be gradual, so once again people do need to be patient, because it may not be their home that comes on straight away.

"Our priority is to make sure that we've got the generators coming in to both of the communities, to make sure that they can get those essential services up and running."

Localised flooding was reported across south-east Queensland, but Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the city was fortunate to have missed out on the forecast 120km/h winds.

Still, the Queensland capital was not completely unscathed.  "We have had very little trees and vegetation come down," Cr Quirk said.  "…We are on the tail end of these cyclonic conditions and Brisbane has coped pretty well.  "There has been some pretty high creek levels, but by and large, we have coped pretty well."


Australia: Solar experts claim multi-billion dollar subsidies wasted on cheap and dodgy panels

More Australians are buying cheap rooftop solar panels that fail long before their promised lifespan, prompting claims a federal rebate scheme needs to be overhauled to prevent dodgy systems receiving public subsidies.

Solar industry experts say lax rules covering the scheme – which provides incentives of up to $4350 for a $5500 rooftop system –  mean it is not always delivering the environmental benefits promised.

They blame an explosion of cheap, mainly Chinese-produced solar panels that have flooded the market over the past five years that are failing to provide the 15 years of clean power expected. Installers in four states told Fairfax Media that the worst systems stopped working within 12 months, with others "falling apart" within two or three years.

Problems reported include silicon that cannot stand up to the Australian sun, water egress in panels, fires and defective inverters. The term "landfill solar" is used in the industry to describe dodgy solar systems of uncertain origin.

A recent Choice survey found, while more than 80 per cent of solar system owners were satisfied with what they had bought, 17% of owners of Chinese-made solar systems and 11 per cent of those with a German inverter had experienced problems of some kind.

Peter Britten, technical director at Brisbane-based Supply Partners, said he logged a complaint with the Clean Energy Regulator last May alerting authorities to "blatant loopholes" in the system, but he said his complaint had been brushed aside.

Jarrod Taverna, of Adelaide Electrical Solar & Security, said Chinese manufacturers like Yinglit, ET Solar and Trina were reputable producers, but much of the production that ended up in Australia was outsourced to other factories.

"The quality has gone down in the last few years. The market is more competitive and they are cutting corners to protect profitability," he said.

"Most of them you're lucky to get 10 years, but some of them are falling apart after 12 months. We're seeing a lot more faults now because Chinese-made panels are becoming more prevalent."

The rebate system, backed by both major parties and overseen by industry body the Clean Energy Council, pays the same amount regardless of the quality of the system. A rooftop system in Melbourne attracts a $3705 rebate whether it is a low-quality "tier 3" product or a European-made "tier 1" system made to last 25 years in extreme conditions of Australia.

The rebate is higher in areas with greater sunlight, reaching $4350 per unit in Sydney and Brisbane.

Australia now has more than 1.3 million households powered by solar, making it the biggest market for small-scale systems. Since 2009, $1.6 billion has been paid out to encourage take up through what are known as "small-scale technology certificates".

The certificates have to be purchased by electricity retailers, which pass the cost on to all consumers. Last year the solar scheme was responsible for about 2 per cent of household electricity bills.

Installers say the faults in the system include that the rebate is paid upfront and does not have to be paid back if a system only produces a few years' power, and that there is no limit on the number of rebates a consumer can access.

They say it has encouraged some installers to offer cheap systems of questionable quality at prices that are virtually free to the buyer once the rebate is factored in.

Clean Energy Council chief executive Kane Thornton played down the scale of failures and warned against blaming production faults on systems from one country.

He said the "Chinese success story" had led to prices for solar tumbling dramatically, allowing more households to invest in green energy.

"If someone is getting a subsidy there is an expectation that the benefit to the environment and society equals or outweighs that cost. There are cases of systems not running for 15 years and people have got rid of them, but from our point of view most will run for 25 years," he said.

"There are cases that come up just like in any industry, but failure rates are low."

Bill Yankos, from Bexley in Sydney's south-west, bought a solar system and encouraged seven members of his family and friends to do so. Of those, inverters in five of them had failed within 18 months.

"We were lucky that the electrician replaced them but I know some people have been left with a warranty and no one to honour it," he said.

Matt Vella, of MPV Solar in Gladesville, said: "The tier two and three guys shouldn't be allowed into the scheme unless they have runs on the board. There should be more regulation about which systems are allowed to claim the 15-year rebate."

Melbourne solar installer John Alberti, who installs top quality systems that cost his customers up to $12,000 and also works as a trouble-shooter assessing panels installed by others, said the industry had been "all but destroyed" by shoddy operators.

"You find corrosion, rust, they're flimsy," he says. ``The lamination on the back of the panel has come away and water gets in. But most of the time they're not generating the kind of wattage that was promised."

After Mr Alberti or one of his four staff conduct an investigation on failing panels, they write a report and advise the consumer to contact the panel supplier "to see if they will stand by their performance guarantee and replace the panels. But generally, because the warranty is held offshore, what are your chances? Next to none".

Mr Alberti suggests consumers ask suppliers for a flash test report on their panels  to indicate the wattage for which a penal is rated. He said consumers also needed to establish where the warranty for a product was held. ``If there warranties are held in Australia and there is a problem, you can lodge a complaint with the [consumer watchdog]... otherwise, there is nowhere to go."



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

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