Monday, June 08, 2015

Reviving the global warming "hiatus"

"Hiatus" is actually a Warmist term.  "Halt" would be less inferential.  Orwell taught us about how language can aid thought control but for the sake of continuity I will use "hiatus".

The skeptical blogosphere has erupted in a storm of scorn at the attempt by Karl et "adjust" the sea surface temperature record so that the terrestrial surface temperature shows some marginal warming in the 21st century.

I liked David Middleton's comment under the heading "Gavin says the funniest things!".  He says in one short paragraph what I used a lot of paragraphs to say yesterday. Gavin Schmidt is Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), a great temple of Warmism.  He is its High Priest.

The cleverest man on either side of the whole warming discussion is undoubtedly Lord Monckton. Everything seems easy for him.  I will even admit that he is cleverer than I am -- which is not something I do often.  So his contribution to the chorus must be looked to.

He makes a number of points that others do -- such as the fact that both sets of satellite measurements show no warming -- but he also makes a major point that I would like to draw maximum attention to.  He points out that around 70% of the earth's surface is ocean and that the ocean surface is bounded by two great oceans, the water underneath it and the mainly nitrogen ocean above it that we refer to as the atmosphere.

Yet the temperature readings for the atmosphere show no warming at all and the temperature readings for the whole body of ocean water show much less warming than the surface readings that Karl et al. report.  So where is Karl's warming coming from?  The laws of thermodynamic undoubtedly apply to convection so any surface warming must in some way be reflected by warming above or below.

But it is not.  There just does not exist the heat in the system that would be needed for the Karl et al. figures to be correct.  With its emphasis on new adjustments, it was always pretty obvious that the Karl et al. work was another episode in a long line of Warmist "fudges" and Monckton's analysis proves it -- JR.

A new Index expurgatorius?

The Catholic church relied for centuries on an  Index expurgatorius -- a list of books and writings that faithful Catholics were not allowed to read.  The index protected them from "error" that might risk their immortal souls.  It seems to have died of shame some time in the '60s

But will it be revived? Far-Left Catholic Michael Milillo (He favours the communistic Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont) is doing his best to revive it.  Maybe old habits die hard.

He has written as follows to the Bishop of of Birmingham in Alabama.  His greeting is strange enough to suggest that he is actually not much of a Catholic.  Even I address bishops as "Your Grace" on the rare occasions that I write to them.  If he IS a real Catholic he has no manners

Dear Bishop Baker:

The Diocese of Birmingham should immediately sever all connections with, support for, and ties to The EWTN Global Catholic Network [5817 Old Leeds Road, Irondale, AL 35210] that is located within the Diocese of Birmingham.  My reason for insisting that the Diocese of Birmingham take such a harsh stance against EWTN is due to the controversial "Climate Change Debate" hosted by EWTN's The World Over with Raymond Arroyo on May 15, 2015 [1].  This "Climate Change Debate" was to both discredit the Papacy of Pope Francis as well as used EWTN to deny that Global Warming is genuine and factually based on scientific evidence.

This EWTN "Climate Change Debate" was between Marc Morano and Carol L. Andress.  Morano is connected with the Heartland Institute, a libertarian organization that worships Mammon.  He has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from George Mason University.  Andress is the Director of Legislative Operations for the Environmental Defense Fund, an environmental organization.  She has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Duke University.  Neither one of these debaters are scientists capable of discussing the scientific evidence of Global Warming.  Due to their own lack of credentials in the science of Global Warming, all the debaters could do was present the findings by the scientists who are actually engaged in the science of Global Warming.

Jim Lakely -- also with the Heartland Institute -- reported that Morano embarrassed [beat] Andress in this "Climate Change Debate" [2].  Lakely wrote in this blog that "EWTN, America’s leading cable network for Catholics broadcast to 148 millions homes around the world, hosted a debate Thursday night about Pope Francis' plan to insert himself into the center of the global climate debate on 'The World Over with Raymond Arroyo.'"  On the Morano's webpage -- "Climate Depot : A project of CFACT", Morano wrote that he "'kicked warmist [Andress] butt on EWTN -- now warmists want him banned. [3]"  The warmists that Morano is referring to is "Faithful America" [4].  Morano also wrote on his web site that "'Eternal Word Television Network (ETWN) just invited notorious climate denier Marc Morano to 'debate' whether climate change is real. Worse yet, during the program, ETWN’s own host [Raymond Arroyo] denied man-made climate change and attacked the Pope for meeting with top scientists. Tell the world's largest religious media outlet, the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN): Stop broadcasting climate denial.'"

What was implied by EWTN in this "Climate Change Debate" was that Andress was the surrogate for Pope Francis.  This "Climate Change Debate" was an attempt by EWTN to either discredit or undermine the Papacy of Pope Francis.  To the best of my knowledge, EWTN never held such a debate on the merits of either abortion or homosexuality during the Papacies of both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.  EWTN never invited Michael Sherrard of Faithful America to debate any of the issues that were supported by Pope John Paul II.  So why did EWTN do so now with Global Warming before Pope Francis issues his Encyclical on The Environment?  This affront toward Pope Francis by EWTN is totally unwarranted.  To understand why EWTN disrespected Pope Francis, one must examine who is pulling the strings of the deniers of Global Warming and also who maybe giving monetary contributions to EWTN.

To this end, the Idiom that "don't bite the hand that feeds you" is applicable to The Heartland Institute [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] .  The question is does EWTN obtain its donations from the same entities as The Heartland Institute?  With the frequent appearances of persons that are associated with The Heartland Institute appearing as expert guests on EWTN, it will appear that EWTN does.  As Pope Francis has stated that "protecting the Earth is a requirement of Christianity" [16], EWTN as a Catholic organization should be supporting Pope Francis rather than being a cheerleader of those who disagree with the Pontiff.

With Pope Francis about to make the environment as important an issue -- if NOT more important -- to Catholics than either abortion or homosexuality, the Conservative and Libertarian organizations, politicians, and individuals are set to oppose the Pontiff [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21].  EWTN should NOT be used as an instrument by these entities to entice faithful Catholics to ignore Pope Francis.  Advisers to Pope Francis on the environment have responded to these critics [22] [23].  Because these critics of Pope Francis would need to sacrifice a portion of their wealth and income due to the expense incurred for the action needed to be taken in order to protect the environment -- and Humanity itself -- from the current unrestricted and unregulated toxic contamination of the environment by the environmental polluters, they are fighting back [24] [25] [26] [27] [28] [29] [30] [31].  The toxic polluters of the environment love Mammon more they love God.  Does EWTN also love Mammon more than God?

It appears so.  This is based on EWTN's blatant disregard for considering that Pope Francis prayed for guidance in his decision to release his Encyclical on the Environment.  As every religious leader of Christendom does pray to God for guidance, Pope Francis will also do the same.  EWTN's purposely ignoring this important factor of prayer severely diminishes EWTN's own credibility.  In all other matters, Catholics accept the word of the Pope as final.  Up to now, that is actually what EWTN has been telling its Catholic viewers since the Papacy of John Paul II.  EWTN's actions to undermine the Papacy of Pope Francis before other Catholics is an offense to Pope Francis, The Catholic Church, and God.  This is why I urge the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama to cease all connections with, support for, and ties to The EWTN Global Catholic Network.

Milillo is certainly prolix.  The letter was copied to me in an email.  Below is the interview Milillo is steamed about.  I mentioned it here on 20th. May -- JR

How world's biggest "green" power plant is actually INCREASING greenhouse gas emissions

It is touted as the flagship of Britain’s energy future: the world’s biggest green power plant burning wood pellets to generate renewable biomass electricity that will safeguard the planet for our children.

But today The Mail on Sunday can expose the hypocrisy that underpins the Drax power station in North Yorkshire – which far from curbing greenhouse emissions, is actually increasing them, while adding huge sums to the nation’s power bills.

Drax was once Britain’s biggest coal-fired power station. It now burns millions of tons of wood pellets each year, and is reputed to be the UK’s biggest single contributor towards meeting stringent EU green energy targets.

But astonishingly, a new study shows that the switch by Drax from coal to wood is actually increasing carbon emissions. It says they are four times as high as the maximum level the Government sets for plants that use biomass – which is defined as fuel made from plant material that will grow back again, therefore re-absorbing the CO2 emitted when it is burnt.

At £80 per MW/hr, Drax’s biomass energy is two-and-a-half times more expensive than coal – a cost passed on to customers. Last year Drax soaked up £340 million in ‘green’ subsidies that were added to British consumers’ power bills – a sum set to rocket still further. Without these subsidies, its biomass operation would collapse.

Perhaps most damningly of all, its hunger for wood fuel is devastating hardwood forests in America, to the fury of US environmentalists, who say that far from saving the planet, companies like Drax are destroying it. Drax denies this, saying it only uses dust and residues from sawmills, as well as wood left over when others log trees for purposes such as construction. Inquiries by The Mail on Sunday investigation suggests this claim is highly questionable.

Drax qualifies for subsidy because under EU rules, biomass is rated as ‘zero carbon’ – on the basis that trees used can be grown back.

Yesterday, the plant’s spokesman Andrew Brown refused to say how much subsidy it is being paid now, claiming this information was ‘commercially sensitive’.

But a Mail on Sunday analysis shows that in 2014, with two biomass units operational, the subsidy rose to at least £340 million – about three-quarters of Drax’s gross profit. The figure was calculated from the plant’s own public declarations of how much power it has generated from biomass, and known details of how much the subsidies are worth per MW/hr.

Now, with a third 650MW biomass furnace due to be lit in the next few weeks, the subsidy will grow again, in step with Drax’s output. By 2016, the total it has received will be well over £1 billion, with about half a billion being paid annually.

Drax is proud of its green credentials, and claims that it uses sawdust from sawmills and ‘waste wood’ or ‘leftovers’ – branches and smaller sections – discarded by commercial logging operations.

In fact, according to Drax’s own website, last year sawdust made up just 9.5 per cent of its pellets. A much bigger source is American hardwood trees – such as oak, sweetgum, cypress, maple and beech – supplied by US firm Enviva, which sells Drax a million tons of pellets a year, a quarter of the plant’s 2014 supply. Drax claims the wood it is supplied with is ‘sustainable’.

However, the Dogwood Alliance, a US environmental group, has investigated Enviva operations on the ground several times and found evidence to the contrary.

Late last month, Dogwood campaigner Adam Macon travelled with colleagues to the Enviva pellet plant at Ahoskie, North Carolina, where he saw piles of hardwood trunks 40 feet high being fed into the plant’s hopper – the start of the process where the trees are pulped and turned into pellets. These could not be described as ‘leftovers’.

Macon recorded the number plate details of an empty truck leaving the plant and followed it to a forested area 20 miles away. He waited as numerous other trucks, laden with tree trunks, left the forest for Ahoskie. Then, the truck he had been following left too, carrying its load back to the plant. The next step was to visit the area being cut. ‘To avoid detection, we trekked in from the back, through a forested swamp,’ Macon said.

‘We trudged through mud and water up to our knees. Wildlife buzzed, chirped and splashed all around as huge hardwood cypress trees towered above – a testament to the incredible biodiversity that exists in this region.’

Finally they reached the cut: ‘All that was left were the stumps of once great trees. They had destroyed an irreplaceable wetland treasure.’

MACON described how on another occasion last year, he hid closer to the actual cutting. ‘We saw the trees being cut, all the way to the bottom, then being put into a machine that cut off all the branches. The trunks were loaded into trucks, which we followed to Ahoskie.’

This operation is not illegal. Although they are home to dozens of species of animals and birds, some of them endangered, the forests are not protected. But US environmentalists claim that demand for biomass is hugely increasing the rate at which they are felled.


Unreliable science

News outlets across the globe were embarrassed last week when Dr John Bohannon announced his widely publicised study on chocolate and weight loss was fake.

Stories about the Bohannon study had appeared in dozens of outlets from Shape magazine to the Times of India, under headlines such as “Scientists Say Eating Chocolate Can Help You Lose Weight” and “Dieting? Don’t Forget the Chocolate.”

The study itself was real enough, in the sense that it involved real test subjects, randomised trials, and honest data. When Bohannon says his study was junk, he means that “it was terrible science. The results are meaningless.” His team deliberately went fishing for statistically significant differences in a way that virtually guaranteed they would find one, and they packaged their results in a way designed to keep lazy journalists from asking too many questions.

But the story gets even more complicated: Bohannon’s study may have been a gonzo prank, but real studies involving hundreds and even thousands of subjects have found that moderate chocolate consumption is associated with lower BMI and better health. People who found Bohannon’s study plausible were not necessarily gullible dupes.

So does chocolate help you lose weight or doesn’t it? Unfortunately, there is no conclusive proof either way just yet. That’s one reason why government should stay out of people’s diet decisions—nutritional science is constantly evolving. The diet bugaboo of yesterday often becomes the diet hero of tomorrow. There is very little we know for certain, even about something as simple as whether chocolate is good for you.


Putin and Buffett’s war on U.S. pipelines

Billionaires use secretive foundations to finance anti-pipeline protests – and get even richer<>/i>

Paul Driessen

Abundant, reliable, affordable oil and natural gas empower people. They support job creation, mobility, modern agriculture, homes and hospitals, computers and communications, lights and refrigerators, life and study after sundown, indoor plumbing, safe drinking water, less disease and longer lives.

Hydrocarbons make plastics, pharmaceuticals and synthetic clothing. They create fertilizers and pesticides, to improve crop yields, reduce food prices and improve nutrition.

But Sierra Club, and other radicals want to keep America’s oil and natural gas bounties in the ground. They block leasing, drilling and fracking. They block pipelines that transport oil and gas to refineries, power plants, factories and homes. And the more their “dangerous manmade climate change” mantras fall on deaf ears, the more absurd their anti-energy campaigns are getting.

Hydraulic fracturing and Canadian oil sands development made North American petroleum production soar, created millions of jobs, sent oil, gasoline and natural gas prices plunging, and provided some of the few bright spots in the 2008-14 Obama economy.

New pipelines were approved and constructed, including the Keystone system’s first three phases. They augmented 2.5 million miles of liquid petroleum, gas transmission and gas distribution pipelines that already crisscross the United States.

But when the Keystone XL segment was proposed, intense opposition suddenly materialized. Protesters railed that habitat disturbance, potential leaks, climate change and ending fossil fuel use necessitated “no more pipelines.” Now the Sandpiper Pipeline from North Dakota’s Bakken shale region across Minnesota to Superior, Wisconsin is meeting similar resistance.

As with Keystone, the protesters say they’re just concerned student, hiker and Native American grassroots activists: average citizens who just care about their environment. The facts do not support their claims.

In reality, they are being bankrolled by billionaires, fat-cat foundations and foreign oil interests.

Putin-allied Russian oil billionaires laundered $23 million through the Bermuda-based Wakefield Quin law firm to the Sea Change Foundation and thence to anti-fracking and anti-Keystone groups, the Environmental Policy Alliance found.

Sandpiper opponents are also being funded and coordinated by wealthy financiers and shadowy foundations, researcher Ron Arnold discovered.

It’s true that several small groups are involved in the anti-Sandpiper protests. However, the campaign is coordinated by Honor the Earth, a Native American group that is actually a Tides Foundation “project,” with the Tides Center as its “fiscal sponsor.” They’ve contributed $700,000 and extensive in-kind aid. Out-of-state donors provide 99% of Honor’s funding.

The Indigenous Environmental Network also funds Honor the Earth. Minnesota corporate records show no incorporation entry for the Network, and 95% of its money comes from outside Minnesota. Tides gave IEN $670,000 to oppose pipelines.

Indeed, $25 billion in left-wing foundation investment portfolios support the anti-Sandpiper effort. Vastly more backing makes the $13-billion-per-year U.S. environmentalist movement a power to be reckoned with, Arnold and I document in our book, Cracking Big Green.

These tax-exempt foundations do not simply give money to pressure groups. They serve as puppeteers, telling protesters what campaigns to conduct, what tactics to use. Meanwhile, donors enjoy deductions for “charitable giving” to “education, conservation and other social change” programs.

Tides Foundation combined cash flows exceed $200 million annually, Canadian investigative journalist Cory Morningstar reported (here and here). Like Arnold, she and fellow Canadian sleuth Vivian Krause have delved deeply into troubling arrangements among Big Green, Big Government and Big Finance.

Morningstar calls the San Francisco-based Tides operation “a priceless, magical, money funneling machine of epic proportions.” It enables über-rich donors to distribute funds to specific organizations and campaigns of their choice, without disclosing their identities.

Even more interesting, among Tides’ biggest donors is Obama friend and advisor Warren Buffett. Beginning in 2004, Buffett funneled $30.5 million through his family’s NoVo Foundation to Tides. The cash ultimately went to selected pressure groups that led campaigns against Keystone, Sandpiper and other projects, Morningstar and Arnold found.

By donating the market value of greatly appreciated Berkshire Hathaway shares to NoVo, the Omaha billionaire avoided income taxes on his gains. Even more important, while public, media and political attention was riveted on Keystone, Berkshire Hathaway quietly bought the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad and Union Tank Car manufacturing company – with no notice, dissent or interference, Morningstar observed.

When Keystone XL et al. were blocked, more oil was shipped by rail – much of it via Buffett companies. In fact, oil-by-rail skyrocketed from 9,500 carloads in 2009 to 450,000 carloads in 2014. Mr. Buffett’s “investment” in anti-pipeline activism garnered billions in rail revenues.

The anti-pipeline campaigns blocked thousands of jobs and increased risks of tank car derailments, like the Lac Megantic, Quebec spill that destroyed much of the town and incinerated 47 people.

That may help explain why Mr. Buffett recently criticized President Obama’s veto of Keystone XL legislation. He now says the pipeline would be good for both Canada and the United States, and it is a mistake to jeopardize trade relationships with our northern neighbor.

But the campaigns rage on. Mr. Buffett helped unleash a beast he cannot control. The campaigns are not grassroots, or even Astroturf. Their “green” tint is the color of unfathomable behind-the-scenes wealth.

The clandestine Buffett-Berkshire-NoVo-Putin-Tides-activist-railroad arrangement reflects “a devious strategy on the part of both benefactor and recipient,” Morningstar concludes. “At minimum, it demonstrates an almost criminal conflict of interest.” Legislative investigations are needed, especially since the Justice Department is hardly likely to look into what its key allies are doing.

Meanwhile, pro-Sandpiper students from the Collegians For A Constructive Tomorrow presented these inconvenient financial truths to pipeline protesters at a recent University of Minnesota rally. “Buffet’s Puppets,” the CFACT students called the protesters.

How did the Buffett-Tides-Putin allies react, when they learned they are being used by billionaires? They dug in their ideological heels and shouted insults.

One red-faced protester walked away. Others intensified their chants or shouted racially tinged epithets at the multi-ethnic CFACT students. None wanted to discuss funding issues, America’s need for oil and jobs, or how best to transport fuels safely.

This is what passes for “environmental studies,” “robust debate,” “higher education” and compassion for blue-collar families on campuses and picket lines today. No wonder “environmentalism” and “liberalism” have become such pathetic political philosophies.

Via email

Surprise: UN Climate Talks Deadlocked

India & China want EU and other rich countries to revise their targets

The European Union (EU) has said it is unlikely to enhance before 2020 its commitment to reducing emissions linked to climate change. The statement at the ongoing climate change negotiations in Bonn, Germany, has led to a war of words between the EU and the developing countries under the G77+ China grouping. India and China are taking the lead.

These mid-year talks are meant to tighten the negotiating text that will be the basis for the global Paris agreement on climate change, to be inked in December this year. The talks, however, were a little strained on Thursday as the EU suggested that countries move focus away from what was termed the ‘pre-2020’ action, and look only at the post-2020 scenario to be covered by the Paris agreement.

Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar has often said that the developed countries’ enhanced commitment to reducing their emissions, as required by science, in the pre-2020 stage, is important to reaching a successful conclusion at Paris in December.

In the pre-2020 stage, only developed countries are required to take action on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. After the year 2020, all countries, especially emerging economies like China and India, will be expected to do so. If the gap between the required reductions and developed countries’ commitments are not met in the pre-2020 phase, an additional burden will get shifted to the emerging economies.

The EU has, however, said the grounds and conditions for it to increase its existing pledge, to reducing emissions by 20 per cent below the 1990 level by 2020, do not exist. The EU, which is yet to formally ratify the pledge under the Kyoto Protocol, has claimed the process is complex.

Official Observers taking notes at the meetings behind closed doors in Bonn recorded: “EU representatives said anything additional (to existing commitments) would come only after 2020.”

The EU has said it is “concerned” with repeated questions on the revisit mechanism. “If there are issues that are beyond what is possible to reach consensus on, for instance the revisit mechanism, that will not happen,” the EU representative said.

‘Revisit mechanism’ is a term used for review of existing commitments of rich countries and to see how these could be ramped up for meeting the expectations set by science. The reference to negotiations dropping issues on which the EU is not on board has not gone down well with countries like India and China.

The Indian negotiator is learnt to have warned: “Everyone wants to know what will happen in the pre-2020 period before committing to the post-2020 scenario. We need a clear decision text on workstream-2 (the leg of negotiations where decisions regarding the pre-2020 period are to be firmed up).”



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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