Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The totally unscientific ocean acidification fraud lives on

CO2 dissolved in water produces carbonic acid and the Warmists ride that for all they're worth.  But warming seas would OUTGAS CO2.  That's what warm water does with dissolved CO2. Open a warm bottle of Coke and see it happening for yourself. And less CO2 means there is less carbonic acid, so if warming happens we will have  LESS acidic oceans.

If acidity levels are in fact rising, that proves that there is NO warming going on and probably some cooling.  And the ocean is quite alkaline so what warmists call acidification is in fact just a small reduction in alkalinity.

So it is no wonder that the prophesied damage to the shells of marine creatures just is not happening. Marine creatures can in fact benefit from the "acidification".  See also here on the harmlessness of more acid seas. And another report on the benefit of such seas.

All the studies mentioned above were observations of events in nature, whereas the harm observed in the study below was NOT found in the natural world but only in a tank with artificially high levels of acidity

It's a great theory that more acid seas will harm marine life but it is also a sophomoric oversimplification that has no regard for the complexity of the natural world.  Warmism could be summarized as "Lies, damn lies and no  statistics"

Satellite images are being used to monitor how ocean acidification is changing the world's seas.

For the first time, scientists have been able to obtain a global picture of how rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are affecting the oceans.

Using thermal cameras and microwave sensors mounted on satellites orbiting 435 miles above Earth, the experts said it's possible to assess which areas of the ocean are most at risk of acidification.

As the acidity of seawater rises, it can change the chemistry of the oceans and is expected to have a profound affect on marine animals.

A recent study funded by the European Union found that ocean acidification is already having a profound impact on herring in the Baltic Sea. This heavily fished area has already seen pH values of 7.2 being recorded, so scientists wanted to see what impact it was having.

They hatched eggs taken from herring caught off the coast of Norway and reared them in outdoor tanks with different levels of aciditiy.

Those reared in tanks with pH values of 7.45 and 7.07 showed more signs of organ damage than those in low acidity water.  They had more damage in the liver, kidneys and their fins were often abnormally shaped while they tended to develop more slowly.

After 39 days, the fish larvae in the medium acidity tank weighed 30 per cent less than those in normal waters while those in the high acidity tank weighted 40 per cent less.

The researchers said that these smaller fish would be more at risk of being preyed upon and are less able to survive.

Shellfish will struggle to find enough of the minerals they use to make their shells while the fish that feed on them will also suffer.

It is estimated that around a quarter of the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere is absorbed by the ocean.


Incoherent Philosophy of the Radical Environmental Lobby

While the growing influence of a small number of environmental lobbying groups on the implementation of the Endangered Species Act is widely known, less well understood is the philosophy driving these groups, which reveals a radical and incoherent view of humanity, history and nature. The most prominent of these groups is the Center for Biological Diversity based in Tucson, Arizona that has a staff of 104 spread across ten states and the District of Columbia and revenue of $9.3 million in 2013. Yet the center spends not one nickel on actual conservation work, instead engaging in “armchair” conservation; filing lawsuits, issuing press releases and advocating that others do the difficult and time-consuming work of conservation.

As for understanding the center's philosophy, there is fortunately an invaluable resource. In 1999 a revealing profile of the group appeared in The New Yorker. And, just as fortunately, the full text of the article is available online courtesy of the center, even though providing the article appears to violate copyright law. But this should not be surprising because the center apparently has no regard for property rights; whether for intellectual property, such as the article, or the very real property that the group likes lock up and deny use of through the Endangered Species Act.

The Center for Biological Diversity makes no secret of its views, as reported by The New Yorker. Kieran Suckling, the group’s co-founder and Executive Director, contends the group is ultimately striving for a “decentering and disempowering of the human” in its efforts. Suckling and Peter Galvin, another of the center’s co-founders, began their activist careers in the late 1980s by participating in protest actions, such as sitting in trees to prevent logging, with groups like Earth First. During this time, Sucking came to a realization about the Endangered Species Act; “We’re crazy to sit in trees when there’s this incredible law where we can make people do whatever we want."

Soon after founding the Center for Biological Diversity in 1989, Suckling, Galvin and Dr. Robin Silver, a Phoenix physician and group’s third co-founder, began using the Endangered Species Act to restrict timber cutting and cattle grazing on federal lands in Arizona and New Mexico. They have been devastatingly successful. “We’ve basically crushed the timber industry” in the Southwest, Suckling bragged to The New Yorker. In order for the center to achieve its goals, “we will have to inflict severe economic pain,” according to Robin Silver. “We’d like to close thousands of miles of roads, and see a huge amount of retooling of local economies,” asserts Peter Galvin.

According to The New Yorker article:

"The obvious irony about the center is that the means to its desired end of a de-technologized society require the most complicated, technical, top-down procedures imaginable; scientific studies of species and habitat, legal petitions, court orders. Suckling cheerfully admits that he’s “using one side of industrial society against itself,” but only temporarily; in the long run, he says, there would be a new order in which plants and animals are part of the polity. For example, legal proceedings could be conducted outdoors—in which case “the trees will make themselves felt.”"

Trees with legal standing? Plants and animals as part of the polity? That is radical, to say nothing of completely bonkers and logically impossible. This ideal world that Suckling desires, in which the human is decentered and disempowered, is not possible independent of human thought and action. So Suckling's belief structure is fundamentally anthropocentric, despite his claims to the contrary.

There is, however, a widespread but mistaken belief that views like Kieran Suckling's represent a type of New Age pantheism or eco-religion. In fact, the views of Suckling and most in the environmental lobby, whether radical or more mainstream, are fundamentally rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Robert Nelson, professor of public policy at the University of Maryland, has written extensively on this issue, and according to him:

"To a greater degree than most environmentalists realize, the real roots of their thinking lie in Christian (and Jewish) sources. One might describe environmentalism as an implicit Christianity—a religion in disguise. In the United States, reflecting the large historic influence of Puritanism on the intellectual and political life of the nation, American environmentalism is an implicit Calvinism. This has been a major contributing factor to its wide success and impact there."

Indeed, Kieran Suckling's views very much reflect this. After graduating from college in Massachusetts, as detailed in The New Yorker article, Suckling had an epiphany while camping in Badlands National Park in South Dakota en route to Montana (where he hoped to pursue his desire for more wild landscapes and environmental activism):

For the first time in my life, I realized that land is not scenery. Wilderness is not an experience. It's not something you can control. It's like grace, like love--it happens to you.

Notwithstanding his professed beliefs, Suckling appears to be less interested in the environment itself than in using the environment as a tool. According to Bill McDonald, an Arizona rancher quoted in The New Yorker:

"Kieran Suckling wants to change society, and he believes the environment is the way to do it. When you talk to him about species, his eyes glaze over. When you talk about changing society, he get excited."

In a 1998 interview with J. Zane Walley in Range Magazine, there was this revealing exchange:

"Walley: "Can't you do this [oppose human uses of natural resources] in a humane and gentle way?"

Suckling: "It is sad, but I don't hear you put that in a direct relationship to the effect on the land. I hear you talk about the pain of the people but I don't see you match that up with the pain of the species."

Walley (dumbfounded): "What?"

Suckling: "A loach minnow is more important, than say, Betty and Jim's ranch-a thousand times more important. I'm not against ranching, it is a job. My concern is the impact on the land."

The New Yorker article also contains a telling insight from author Nicholas Lemann, as well as a quote from Kieran Suckling:

"What deconstructionists usually deconstruct is texts and meanings. But for a deconstructionist turned radical environmentalist, like Kieran Suckling, the only way to get to the desired state of “absolute relativism” among species is to deconstruct stuff that exists in the world: legal arrangements, social and economic forms, and even physical structures."

In his desire for “absolute relativism,” Suckling draws on the work of French philosopher Jacques Derrida. According to Suckling, Derrida “insist[s] that there is no safe haven of clear meaning free from the semantic play of language.” If this seems problematic, even experts have a hard time with it. In a 2000 interview with Reason magazine John Searle, professor of philosophy, had the following to say about Derrida and relativism:

"Reason: You've debated Richard Rorty and Jacques Derrida. Are they making bad arguments, or are they just being misread?

Searle: With Derrida, you can hardly misread him, because he's so obscure. Every time you say, "He says so and so," he always says, "You misunderstood me." But if you try to figure out the correct interpretation, then that's not so easy. I once said this to Michel Foucault, who was more hostile to Derrida even than I am, and Foucault said that Derrida practiced the method of obscurantisme terroriste (terrorism of obscurantism). We were speaking French. And I said, "What the hell do you mean by that?"

And he said, "He writes so obscurely you can't tell what he's saying, that's the obscurantism part, and then when you criticize him, he can always say, 'You didn't understand me; you're an idiot.' That's the terrorism part." And I like that. So I wrote an article about Derrida. I asked Michel if it was OK if I quoted that passage, and he said yes."

The belief structure of Kieran Suckling, the Center for Biological Diversity, other allies and much of the more mainstream environmental lobby also draws heavily on the idea of wilderness; that there is a pristine state of nature, free from the supposedly malign influence of humans. Wilderness, with its Edenic overtones, including that it is ruined by the hand of man, also reflects the Judeo-Christian roots of the environmental lobby. The New Yorker article includes the following excerpt from a letter Suckling sent to his then-advisor for the philosophy dissertation that would never be finished:

Wilderness is itself an event of deconstruction. Wilderness bewilders. The bewildering is a dis-orienting, a loss of the directionality inherent in will subjectivity. Without centering principle, wilderness is the construction (if such a word makes sense anymore) of every being by every other being, the co-construction of plant, animal, virus, cloud, breeze, stream, rock and mountain. Meanings weave, unweave, proliferate and dissipate. This is the realm of the monstrous, promiscuous Pan, half-human, half-animal, everywhere alive. Socrates panics.

Yet the idea of wilderness, like “absolute relativism,” crumbles under scrutiny. In his seminal article, “The Trouble with Wilderness; or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature,” William Cronon, distinguished professor of environmental history, states:

The time has come to rethink wilderness.

This will seem a heretical claim to many environmentalists, since the idea of wilderness has for decades been a fundamental tenet—indeed, a passion—of the environmental movement, especially in the United States. For many Americans wilderness stands as the last remaining place where civilization, that all too human disease, has not fully infected the earth. It is an island in the polluted sea of urban-industrial modernity, the one place we can turn for escape from our own too-muchness. Seen in this way, wilderness presents itself as the best antidote to our human selves, a refuge we must somehow recover if we hope to save the planet. As Henry David Thoreau once famously declared, “In Wildness is the preservation of the World.”

But is it? The more one knows of its peculiar history, the more one realizes that wilderness is not quite what it seems. Far from being the one place on earth that stands apart from humanity, it is quite profoundly a human creation—indeed, the creation of very particular human cultures at very particular moments in human history. It is not a pristine sanctuary where the last remnant of an untouched, endangered, but still transcendent nature can for at least a little while longer be encountered without the contaminating taint of civilization.

Instead, it’s a product of that civilization, and could hardly be contaminated by the very stuff of which it is made. Wilderness hides its unnaturalness behind a mask that is all the more beguiling because it seems so natural. As we gaze into the mirror it holds up for us, we too easily imagine that what we behold is Nature when in fact we see the reflection of our own unexamined longings and desires. For this reason, we mistake ourselves when we suppose that wilderness can be the solution to our culture’s problematic relationships with the nonhuman world, for wilderness is itself no small part of the problem…

Learning to honor the wild—learning to remember and acknowledge the autonomy of the other—means striving for critical self-consciousness in all of our actions. It means the deep reflection and respect must accompany each act of use, and means too that we must always consider the possibility of non-use. It means looking at the part of nature we intend to turn toward our own ends and asking whether we can use it again and again and again—sustainably—without its being diminished in the process. It means never imagining that we can flee into a mythical wilderness to escape history and the obligation to take responsibility for our own actions that history inescapably entails.

Most of all, it means practicing remembrance and gratitude, for thanksgiving is the simplest and most basic of ways for us to recollect the nature, the culture, and the history that have come together to make the world as we know it. If wildness can stop being (just) out there and start being (also) in here, if it can start being as humane as it is natural, then perhaps we can get on with the unending task of struggling to live rightly in the world—not just in the garden, not just in the wilderness, but in the home that encompasses them both.

While there is obviously much more that can be written on the topic of the philosophical beliefs of the environmental lobby, especially its more radical wing, the foregoing provides a general sense of the issue. The combination of “absolute relativism,” including its “decentering and disempowering of the human,” coupled with the idea of wilderness, results in the rambling, incoherent philosophy of the Center for Biological Diversity and fellow travelers.


Mother Nature Slaps Student Alarmists in the Face

Yale anti-fossil fuel campaigners have indefinitely postponed a protest that was set for this weekend due to “unfavorable weather conditions and other logistical issues.”

Fossil Free Yale, a group pushing the university to divest itself from fossil fuels, told the Yale Daily News that frigid, snowy weather set for this weekend will mean their global warming protest will have to be postponed.

FFY’s Mitch Barrow said that “unfavorable weather conditions and other logistical issues, including some cancellations from speakers and performance groups” would mean they would not be able to rally on Global Divestment Day — a day where environmental groups urge institutions like Yale to divest from fossil fuels, like coal, natural gas and oil.

As this reporter writes this article, the weather in New Haven, Connecticut where Yale is located stands at -9 degrees Fahrenheit with wind chill. Saturday is expected to have weather in the low 30s with snow and Sunday will be 20 degrees with snow and rain, according to the Weather Channel.

The Yale Daily reports that FFY “had organized a series of events to rally support for its cause, including performances from student groups, guest speakers and a collaborative art installation” to protest Yale’s decision not to divest from fossil fuels six months ago. FFY remains adamant that the event is more than just about activities, it’s about “a shift in the way in which FFY will both be articulating its goals and engaging with the administration.”

“[The event] here on campus will reflect the growing movement as we recognize that we are participating in a global day of action,” FFY member Maya Jenkins told the Yale Daily. “Globally, the divestment campaign is really turning up the heat against fossil fuels by changing the traditional conversation around them.”

Environmentalists began pushing for schools in the last couple of years, signaling a new approach to how they plan on tackling global warming. If they can’t regulate them out of existence, they will target their investors.

“The fossil fuel divestment movement has grown exponentially over the last two years–now it’s going global,” said May Boeve, executive director of, the group that started the divestment movement. “From the Pacific Islands to South Africa, from the United States to Germany, people are standing up and challenging the power of the fossil fuel industry. We know that fossil fuels are the past and clean energy is the future.”

But divestment has been criticized by global warming skeptics, conservatives and even liberals. The American Security Project, a D.C.-based left-wing think tank, argued that divestment will “not cause any meaningful ļ¬nancial impact to fossil fuel companies, but could hurt the universities and colleges dependent on fossil fuel share dividends.”

So far the divestment movement has met with little success as most colleges and universities have rejected calls to divest themselves of fossil fuel holdings, saying it would hurt their abilities to provide scholarships and other opportunities for students.

Harvard was one such school to reject fossil fuel divestment. In protest, 40 students with Divest Harvard staged a sit-in in the same building as Harvard President Drew Faust’s office. But even as some students become more adamant about divesting, others are finding it to be counterproductive.

“Disrupting University business is not open debate, it is not free speech, and it is not a productive way to move forward on this desperately critical issue,” reads a Harvard Crimson editorial. “Harvard deserves better, and so does the environment.”

The North East has been pummeled by poor weather and snow all week and Yale’s divestment rally is not the first global warming event to be cancelled. Earlier this week, a state legislature forum on global warming was cancelled due to bad weather.

“I hope these repeated, severe storms serve as a platform for some important conversations around bolstering our natural and built infrastructure against climate change once a new date has been set for this discussion,” said Democratic State Sen. Marc Pacheco, who chairs the state senate committee that organized the summit.


Wheel of Fortune Host Mocks Climate Change Again

Sajak is a former weatherman so would know a lot more than the sophomoric "Time" commenter below.  That climate is the sum of weather would appear not to have occurred to the writer concerned

Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak caught heat last year for tweeting “I now believe global warming alarmists are unpatriotic racists knowingly misleading for their own ends.” But the game show presenter apparently couldn’t leave climate change well enough alone. On Sunday, Sajak tweeted:

"Weather isn't climate. Weather can be colder but climate warming. Climate is warming whether the weather is…um, uh..."

It’s not quite clear what Sajak’s point is, but he appears to be noting the seeming contradiction in freezing cold weather as the climate warms.

As any scientist will tell you, cold snaps do not change the overall trajectory of our warming planet. While weather is what changes in the atmosphere day-to-day, climate is how the atmosphere behaves over a longer period of time.

So even if it feels cold today, the National Climate Report shows that the first decade of this century was the hottest ever. A large majority of scientists agree the changes in our climate are man-made, caused by heat-trapping greenhouse gases.

Whether Sajak doesn’t actually understand the difference between weather and climate is a matter of conjecture. He has said before that sometimes he designs his tweets to “get a rise out of people.”


Energy Security: America Must Act

The U.S. is experiencing an energy revolution thanks to dogged persistence and innovative minds of modern energy pioneers like the late George P. Mitchell. "Few businesspeople have done as much to change the world as George [P.] Mitchell," reported The Economist in 2013.

Dubbed "The Father of Fracking," Mitchell was largely responsible for kicking-starting the revolution in the 1980s and 1990s by discovering ways to efficiently and economically access shale energy reserves in North Texas through a combination of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.

Others followed his lead, achieving energy breakthroughs in Texas and beyond. This fueled the revolution that has since given life to our economy and strengthened America's standing in the world. For years, engineers have improved these techniques and discovered more shale formations throughout the country. Currently, the known quantity of natural gas reserves in the U.S. is approximately 323 trillion cubic feet (a nearly 100-year supply of natural gas uncovered through the safe and effective use of hydraulic fracturing.) And this figure continues to grow.

These energy discoveries are not only providing a cleaner resource for our energy demands, but the supplies of American shale energy could be the answer to the energy security problems that have threatened the American economy and way of life for decades.

Military leaders and policymakers worldwide understand that nations with access to hydrocarbon resources have power in international affairs, while those nations without these resources are dependent upon energy producing countries to help meet their energy needs. U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stated, "The United States requires freedom of action in the global commons and strategic access to important regions of the world to meet our national security needs. The well-being of the global economy is contingent on ready access to energy resources..."

Unfortunately, dependence on foreign nations for our energy needs has long dictated our national security priorities and left the U.S. vulnerable to the decisions of those who do not share our values and goals. For decades American presidents have sought to find ways to reduce our dependence on imported energy. Various approaches, by Republicans and Democrats alike, have been unsuccessful as the U.S. continues to import substantial amounts of energy. In fact, the U.S. sends more than $237 billion each year to countries that continue to fight against our national interests. The U.S. imports almost six-million barrels of oil a day from OPEC, the oil cartel that includes many nation states such as Iran, Libya, and Nigeria which have actively opposed the U.S. or who harbor terrorists. Thankfully the shale energy revolution gives Americans the power to change this harmful status quo.

Across the U.S., more than 2.6-million Americans have fought in the Global War on Terrorism. These veterans understand firsthand the need to ensure our own energy security and transition from reliance on these foreign sources.

Gen. James Jones, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.) and former presidential National Security Advisor said, "Our entire economy depends on the expectation that energy will be plentiful, available, and affordable. Nations like Venezuela and Iran can use oil and gas as political and economic weapons by manipulating the marketplace. Half of our trade deficit goes toward buying oil from abroad, and some of that money ends up in the hands of terrorists."

For the past 14 years we have fought a war against radicals in the very nations where we send hundreds of billions of dollars for energy. Due to the U.S.'s support of these foreign nations, Americans have not only lost jobs, but young Americans fighting in these regions have lost their lives.

We, as Americans, need to rebuild a strong America. We need to ensure energy security. Let's use these energy innovations and continue to develop and produce shale energy and choose to rely on our own domestic energy resources instead of those who do not cherish American ideals. We have a unique opportunity for ourselves and future generations of Americans - let's choose to stand up for our nation's prosperity and to secure a bright future for families across the U.S.


Climate of cherry-picking

I pointed out yesterday a fatal flaw in the latest Warmist nonsense from Australia but Garth Paltridge (below) has found some glaring faults too.  He is  a former Australian chief research scientist and director of the Antarctic ­ Co-operative Research Centre

THE Australian Academy of Science has released a new document, The Science of Climate Change, aimed at the man and woman in the street. It was prepared on behalf of the academy by leading lights of the global warming establishment. Some day the academy may come to regret the arrangement.

The problem is that, after several decades of refining their story, the international gurus of climate change have become very good at having their cake and eating it too. On the one hand they pay enough lip service to the uncertainties of global warming to justify continued funding for their research. On the other, they peddle a belief — this with religious zeal, and a sort of subconscious blindness to overstatement and the cherry-picking of data — that the science is settled and the world is well on its way to climatic disaster. The academy document fits neatly into the pattern. It is a sophisticated production that tells only one side of the story.

For instance, it does not say, or illustrate with a diagram, that all the mainstream climate models have overestimated the general upward trend of global temperature for the past 30 or more years by a factor (on average) of at least two. Nothing is said about the distinct possibility that the models include feedback processes that amplify far too much the effect of increased atmospheric carbon ­dioxide.

Instead, the document talks about an apparent pause in global warming since 2001. It attributes the pause to some temporary fluctuation in the internal behaviour of the ocean. It does not mention that for many years climate scientists have deliberately played down the contribution of natural oceanic fluctuations to the rise or fall of global temperature. The possibility of naturally induced rises seriously weakens the overall story of human influence.

The document makes much of the belief that climate models can correctly replicate 20th-century global warming only if they include human influences. It fails to make the point that this says very little for the skill of the models or the modellers.

Recent research on the Roman and ­medieval warm periods indicates that both had temperatures and temperature changes very similar to those of the present. Both periods came and went without the benefit of significant human ­emissions of carbon dioxide. The document mentions that ­long-term regional rainfall predictions are uncertain. It doesn’t say that they are probably nonsense. The various model forecasts of the average Australian rainfall for the end of the century range from a doubling to a halving of the ­present 450mm a year. It smacks of cherry-picking to display a map of the output from one particular model that indicates a future ­reduction in rainfall for most of Australia of the order of 20 per cent.

There has been a goodly amount of arbitrary selection (of data, statistical technique and display) in an illustration of the distribution of the change in observed rainfall over Australia in the past 100 years. The southeast and southwest of the continent are shown as a sea of red, suggesting there has been a frightening decrease across the period. No mention is made that a more traditional presentation of the data gives an entirely different picture.

In the southwest, the recent annual average rainfall has simply returned to something close to its value for the 15 or so years before about 1905. In most of the southeast, there has been no statistically significant change at any time.

And so on it goes. Basically the academy has fallen into the trap of being no more than a conduit for a massive international political campaign seeking to persuade a sceptical public of the need for drastic action on climate change. There are more than enough org­anisations already doing that.

Perhaps instead the academy could be persuaded to spend its considerable intellectual capital on problems relevant to the ­general conduct of research — ­problems that the climate issue has brought well into the open. Among them are a peer-review system that is arguably corrupted by groupthink; a deliberate banishment of contrary opinion to the internet; and a publish-or-perish syndrome that is ­completely out of hand.

Maybe the academy could use the resource of its overall fellowship to identify those situations where scientists have too much skin in a political game. US President Dwight Eisenhower foresaw that problem many years ago in his retirement speech to the nation: “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present — and is gravely to be regarded. Yet … we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could ­itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”



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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