Monday, April 06, 2015
"Damning study" not so damning?
It is always amusing to find new assertions by Warmists and proceed to rebut them. There is an angry post here on a Warmist site that runs true to form. It purports to find fault with skeptical reports of findings by Prof. Bjorn Stevens of the Max Planck Institute -- findings that I also have drawn attention to. I headed yesterday's posts with a brief mention of them. It features a carefully-worded letter from Stevens himself denying that his findings have adverse implications for the global warming scare.
So his letter drew attention to overlooked statistics or presented new analyses? Not on your Nelly! It was just an expression of opinion. It amounted to saying "Ignore the data in my paper. Listen instead to the opinions I am compelled to express". He would not have lasted long at Max Planck unless he had asserted that he was still on the Warmist side.
And the angry post reporting his letter was quite unashamed to lie. Warmists themselves usually admit these days that global warming has stopped. They use the word "paused" rather than "stopped" but that too is just an expression of opinion. It embodies their opinion that warming will resume. But did our angry Warmist admit any of that? No. For him, "the planet continues to warm". Even though it doesn't.
It took me a while to figure out what the idiosyncratic expression "Soo-prahz" meant but I eventually figured out that he was trying to express "surprise" forcefully.
But by far the most amusing part of Mr Angry's post was a nice graph showing an upward leaping line and subtitled: "Meanwhile, the planet’s thermometer continues to rise". The graph, in short, showed what Warmist would like to believe is happening.
But one rarely has to look hard at Warmist writing to smell something fishy and the first hint that all is not as it seems with the graph comes from the note that it is calibrated in millimetres. Temperature shown in millimetres? Are degrees Celsius old hat? No. The graph is not of temperature at all but rather a very finely calibrated graph of (it appears) sea-level rise. Sea levels have of course been slowly rising for centuries -- long before the period that Warmists excoriate.
And the rate of rise shown on the graph is tendentious -- about 3 times greater than the most usual estimate. Measuring mean sea level is extraordinarily difficult. That pesky water keeps moving about! So there is a range of estimates. Mr Angry would appear to have chosen the most extreme estimate
There are few people more crooked than Warmists -- JR
The usual Greenie dishonesty. The people-haters say that the world is overpopulated. But it isn't. You can drive for mile after mile in Australia without seeing people. Bangladesh might be overpopulated but Bangladesh is not the world. The truth is that population in the developed world is on the decline. It is only some places that are crowded -- and Greenie policies will keep them too poor to do anything about it
THEY say a picture paints a thousand words. So in sending a message about overpopulation, environmental group Global Population Speak Out decided to do it with a book of photographs.
Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot (OVER) aims to open the world’s eyes to the perils of overpopulation on the planet. The free e-book shows a series of powerful photographs along with expert commentary from human rights, population and conservation experts.
Dead Polar Bear: The western fjords on Svalbard, Norway, that normally freeze in winter, remained ice-free all season. This bear headed north, looking for suitable sea ice to hunt on. Finding none, it eventually died.
Ice waterfall: In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Melting water on icecap, North East Land, Svalbard, Norway. “The Arctic situation is snowballing: dangerous changes in the Arctic derived from accumulated anthropogenic greenhouse gases lead to more activities conducive to further greenhouse gas emissions. this situation has the momentum of a runaway train.”–
Shrinking Island: One of Earth’s most vulnerable nations to climate change, the Maldives Islands are severely threatened by rising sea levels. “The island is full of holes and seawater is coming through these, flooding areas that weren’t normally flooded 10 or 15 years ago. There are projections of about 50 years [before the islands disappear]. After this, we will be drowned.”–
The hysteria never stops: Prominent Green Group Likens Fracking to Rape
An innovative oil and gas extraction technique is analogous to rape, according to a leading environmentalist group opposed to the practice.
The group, Earthworks, retweeted a message from Texas anti-oil activist Sharon Wilson that decried “Texas fracking RAPE.” Earthworks subsequently said that the retweet “was done advisedly.”
“The Texas legislature is trying to pass bill to force city to be fracked against its will,” Earthworks added in an effort to justify the comparison of legislation affecting state governments’ authority over the practice with forcible sexual intercourse, a felony.
Oil and gas extraction technologies such as fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, have dramatically increased U.S. oil production. Texas has been one of the chief beneficiaries of that increase.
The legislation in question, known as HB 40, would vest more regulatory control over fracking in the state government, angering activists who want to see the issue hammered out at the local level, where they are more likely to enact policies that restrict or outlaw the practice.
Wilson’s tweet linked to a post on her website that pushed activists to oppose the bill, saying it “STRIPS control from cities allowing the oil & gas industry to RAPE people living there.”
The post featured an image of the state of Texas overlaid by a drilling rig and the word “RAPE” written in ominous red lettering.
“To me, it perfectly depicts what is happening in Texas,” Wilson said of her rape comparison.
“Fracking victims I have worked with describe it as a rape,” she added. “People wear T-shirts with this imagery and I intend to continue using it.”
Below her rape comparisons, Wilson posted a press release on HB 40’s passage out of committee. Also listed as contacts on the release were representatives of Earthjustice and the Natural Resource Defense Council, two leading anti-fracking groups.
Earthworks’ website lists Wilson as a member of the group’s staff. Alan Septoff, a spokesman for the group, said she was speaking in her personal capacity.
“One of the understandings of her employment was that she’d get to keep her individual, independent voice in addition to serving as our organizer,” Septoff said.
He also backtracked on Earthworks’ endorsement of Wilson’s blog post and tweets.
“Having your home fracked against your will is not the same thing as rape,” Septoff said in an emailed statement.
“It’s not rape because at the end of the day you can leave your home, even if the cost is enormously high,” he said. “With rape, you can’t leave your body as it is being violated.”
Earthworks is a longtime anti-fracking advocate active in state-level legislative battles over the practice. The group receives funding from some of the environmental left’s leading foundations, including the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Park Foundation, the Tides Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, and the Ben and Jerry’s Foundation.
According to Earthworks, Texas’ HB 40 “guts the rights of communities to protect themselves from impacts of oil and gas operations within their borders.”
As fracking has become a common practice and fueled a historic increase in U.S. oil production, groups that oppose the practice and the use of fossil fuels have seen little success in pushing for outright bans on the practice, with the notable exception of New York State, which banned it last year.
Instead, many of those groups have couched their positions in the language of “local control.”
HB 40 “attacks the longstanding rights of every town and city in the state that has passed an oil and gas ordinance,” according to Earthworks.
The legislation gives the state government regulatory control over the production of oil and gas, and reserves for local control surface issues such as the distance of well pads from residential structures.
However, it also includes provisions that prevent the latter types of regulations from being used to institute regulations that, in effect, would prohibit oil and gas drilling in a particular area.
Earthworks has used just such an approach in its attempts to effectively outlaw fracking in Dallas. It pushed city officials to ban the practice within 1,500 feet of “protected” structures, including homes. Earthworks called the measure “a de facto ban on fracking.”
The group was also involved in pushing an outright fracking ban in Denton, Texas. Industry groups are currently suing the town over that ban, and Earthworks expects HB 40 to weaken the town’s case.
“Until today, attorneys for the city felt fairly confident their ordinance would stand,” the group said.
Earthworks has collaborated extensively with a Denton-based anti-fracking group called Frack Free Denton. That group declared that Wilson “speaks for us all,” and promoted her post comparing fracking legislation to rape under the heading, “Scream rape.”
Cathy McMullen, the president of the Denton Drilling Awareness Group, Frack Free Denton’s parent organization, also promoted Wilson’s post. McMullen has received plaudits from Denton’s mayor and city council for her work on the fracking ban.
President Obama Pins Fading Legacy Hopes on Doomed UN Climate Conference
President Barack Obama is looking for a stunning feather to place in his legacy cap. He has his eyes set on the United Nations climate conference (COP 21) in Paris, France to make it happen.
The grand confab of world leaders is set for November 30 to December 15 this year. The White House goal is to have a consensus climate agreement that it will then use to signify President Obama’s coronation as the global leader who saved the planet from mankind’s climate changing CO2. At least that’s the plan.
Unfortunately, no comprehensive mandatory international agreement is forthcoming; far from it. There are many reasons for why the gathering in Paris will not produce the results the global warming community seeks and may be doomed at the outset:
Results from the recent contentious UN climate negotiations in Lima Peru (December 2014) sent a clear message to all – only a voluntary agreement can be had in Paris, at best.
President Obama has effectively gutted any meaningful agreement among the major industrialized nations, by having granted to the planet’s largest CO2 producer, China, free license to build as many coal power plants as they wish, and emit as many gigatons of greenhouse gases as they wish until 2030.
India’s economic plan is for record future coal usage not a reduction. They will demand at least equal treatment to the Chinese and probably more. In fact, as reported by the Wall Street Journal just yesterday, India is expected to consume 170 million tons of coal in 2015. At current growth rates, they may eclipse China in the next few years as the top coal powered nation on the planet.
Russia is hardly eager to sign on to anything President Obama asks for without monumental concessions by the U.S., even for a voluntary agreement. I fear U.S. friends and allies may pay the price of such a deal.
There is a simmering anger from the third world countries. They have not received their promised billions of dollars from the US and other developed nations to help them manage climate change. This may resurface in Paris as most of the wealthier nations that made commitments, are struggling with flat to meager economic growth, mounting deficits, and thus inability to honor their promises.
Importantly, the attendees will be forced to ignore that the Earth’s climate is indeed changing – to a new potentially dangerous cold one. Many scientists are now convinced that the Earth is heading into a prolonged cold era with Russian climatologists saying a new ‘Little Ice Age’ may have already begun.
These cold climate predictions are well supported by global temperature trends. For example, there has been no global warming for eighteen long years! There is now impressive on-going growth in global sea ice and colder temperatures within the Arctic and the Antarctic. Yet another brutal winter in 2014 and 2015 saw thousands of new snow and cold records worldwide especially in the northeast U.S. This comes at a time when the global warming crowd had predicted there would no longer be any snow by now, much less shattering cold temperature records over 100 years old. It’s a good thing the conference is in Paris and not Boston.
To help set the stage for the UN conference, we should expect the President’s science agencies, will once again predict that this year will be the warmest on record. Every extreme weather event will take center stage in the media. White House climate staffers must be secretly hoping for a hurricane to hit Miami.
President Obama’s real legacy, however, will be lost among the celebrations and media-hyped accolades being preplanned for the UN climate conference.
Years from now, as crops worldwide are destroyed by the new cold climate, and the world’s people scramble about for food in a much colder, more insecure world, who will remember the U.S. President who reveled in and was praised for leading the fight to save the world from man-made global warming.
Oregon AG Probing Use of State Tax Credits for Solar Power Project
SolarCity, the nation's largest solar energy provider, is under investigation by the Oregon Department of Justice, a spokeswoman for state Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum confirmed to CNSNews.com.
The company, whose chairman is tech billionaire Elon Musk, allegedly installed solar panels made by federal prisoners at two green campus projects while pocketing $11.8 million in state tax credits intended to create jobs for Oregonians.
The prisoners, who were incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Sheridan, Ore., were reportedly paid just 93 cents an hour – well below Oregon’s $8.95/hour minimum wage – to assemble some 3,000 solar panels SolarCity installed at Oregon State University and the Oregon Institute of Technology.
Gov. Kate Brown asked Rosenblum to launch the investigation of SolarCity after The Oregonian/OregonLive reported that the highly-subsidized solar energy company allegedly submitted phony documents to the state after missing the deadline to qualify for the now defunct Oregon Business Energy Tax Credit program.
A $60,000 study commissioned by the state found that manufacturing the solar panels in Oregon would have generated $10 million in local wages.
The state tax credits – the most generous in the nation – were used to pay for nearly half the cost of the multi-campus solar project. Under Oregon’s False Claims Act, the state can force contractors who submit false information to return the money.
A spokesman for the Oregon University System (OUS) previously responded to CNSNews.com’s inquiries into whether university officials were aware that the solar panels used for the state’s signature solar energy project were made by prisoners, stating that they were “not engaged” in the management of the $26.6 million solar project.
But the use of prison labor by the nation’s largest solar company has raised eyebrows, especially since SolarCity received more than $1 billion in taxpayer subsidies over the past 15 years, according to a new report by Good Jobs First, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit, entitled Uncle Sam’s Favorite Corporations.
SolarCity collected $755,634,230 in state and local subsidies over the past 15 years, the report stated. In addition, it also collected another $325,999,783 in federal grants and allocated tax credits since 2000 – putting it # 36 on the largest subsidy recipient list just behind corporate giant Lockheed Martin.
Big Government, Foundations Undermine Scientific Integrity
Democrats’ attempts to paralyze climate skeptics in academia, think tanks, and companies, using intimidating letters threatening a federal investigation into their funding connections, backfired. They opened a Pandora’s Box of questions concerning where climate alarmists get their money. Now Democrat Senators Barbara Boxer (CA), Ed Markey (MA), and Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) and Democrat Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva have egg on their faces.
Public-choice economics explains politicians and bureaucrats are as self-interested as anyone. They seek expanded authority and bigger budgets. Because the federal government and left-wing foundations provide the vast bulk of climate research funding, funding from these two sources certainly should undergo at least as much scrutiny as funding from private industry.
Nearly all university-based climate scientists are funded mainly by federal grants, and the ideological and political goals of those authorizing the grants could reasonably be expected to affect the kind of research universities and researchers undertake. The conflict between gaining research money and scientific integrity puts sound but nonconformist science at a crushing disadvantage.
Michael Mann, Pennsylvania State University’s notorious ClimateGate email scandal figure, has garnered close to $6 million promoting scary scientific conclusions serving government’s goal of control over energy sources, $3.6 million of it from the National Science Foundation. Both PSU and the NSF conducted investigations absolving Mann of any wrongdoing in ClimateGate, but with the offending institutions effectively investigating one of their own, would anyone expect a different outcome?
Influence, Conflicts of Interest
Princeton professor Michael Oppenheimer has written more than 100 peer-reviewed papers and testified before Congress on multiple occasions. He was the Environmental Defense Fund’s senior scientist (1981-2002) and remains as science advisor to the multimillion-dollar lobbying group (2013 assets: $208.7 million). EDF has received $2.8 million in federal grants since 2008, spent $11.3 million on lobbying, and has 55 people on 32 federal advisory committees.
Since 2008, EDF has received 3,332 grants from 600 foundations, totaling $544,487,562. EDF is deeply rooted in left-wing foundation agendas. Oppenheimer’s professorship is supported in part by private equity tycoon Carl Ferenbach’s High Meadows Foundation, which has given Princeton $6.5 million and the Environmental Defense Fund $6 million. Ferenbach is both EDF’s Chairman of the Board and a trustee of Princeton, suggesting a strong conflict of interest.
The proudly progressive Center for American Progress (CAP) has five people on federal advisory committees, spent $3.6 million on lobbying, and gave $312,400 to Democrat candidates in 2014. CAP Senior Fellow and Chief Science Advisor Joe Romm has testified before Congress on global warming and coauthored numerous peer-reviewed studies. Yet Romm failed to file conflict-of-interest disclosures for an article in Environmental Research Letters although the journal explicitly requires it.
Since 2004, CAP has been supported by left-wing foundations including Marilsa (Getty Oil fortune, $7 million), Rockefeller (Standard Oil fortune, $5 million), Sea Change (ties to Russian oil money laundering, $4.8 million), and 200 other left-wing foundations.
Government and foundation monies go only toward research advancing a pro-regulatory climate agenda. That is the greatest threat to the integrity of scientific research.
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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Posted by JR at 12:39 AM