Friday, June 12, 2015

"Skeptics" Gather in D.C.

By Alan Caruba

On Thursday and Friday, June 11-12, there will be a gathering of some of the nation’s and the world’s leading climate change “skeptics” in Washington, D.C. and joining them will be members of Congress and their staffs. The Tenth International Conference on Climate Change will occur and the odds are that the mainstream media, as it has done for all the previous conferences, will do its best to ignore it.

In attendance as well will be scores of scientists, economists, and policy experts for a conference being held just two blocks from a White House in which the President of the United States resides while lying about “climate change” as the greatest threat to the planet.

In March, the Gallup Poll revealed that “Although climate scientists have been in the news describing this winter as a strong signal that global warming is producing more extreme weather, Americans are no more likely today (55%) than in the past two years to believe the effects of global warming are occurring.”

The Conference is sponsored by The Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based free-market think tank and, while most of us have heard of the Rand Corporation or the Heritage Foundation, Heartland is one of the those power houses that labors without the “image” accorded others.

Founded in 1984, it has a full-time staff of 31 with approximately 235 academics and professional economists who participate in its peer-review process, plus more than 160 elected officials who serve on its Legislative Forum. In addition to the environment, its scholars also focus on education, health, budget and tax issues.

I have been a Heartland policy analyst for so long I can’t recall when I joined. Approximately 8,300 supporters contribute to its annual budget of $6 million. It does not accept government funding.

Without your knowing it, the nine conferences that preceded the current one have had a dramatic impact on your life and wallet. For one thing, you’re not being robbed by a “carbon tax” aimed at “reducing greenhouse gases.” On the other hand, you may be at risk of losing a coal-fired plant that provides your electricity if the Environmental Protection Agency is allowed to continue its vile attack on our energy resources.

It has been Heartland and a handful of other think tanks that labored to inform the public about the science that utterly debunked the lies about “global warming” and now works to do the same for those applied to “climate change.”  Heartland’s power is seen in its conferences.

The problem for Heartland and the rest of us is that we are up against the U.S. government whose Obama administration is completely committed to the lies; agency by agency within the government have budgets and programs to continue to telling the lies. Beyond them is the entire system of government schools and, beyond them, much of the higher education community.

In early June the Daily Caller reported that “National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists have found a solution to the 15-year ‘pause’ in global warming: They ‘adjusted’ the hiatus in warming out of the temperature record.”  This is what Heartland and others have been fighting against and exposing since the global warming hoax began in the late 1980s. And we are beginning to see the Congress respond.

As reported by CNS News, appropriators in the House of Representatives have let it be known that they are taking aim at one of the Obama administration’s most cherished priorities—international climate change funding. An appropriations bill for the State Department and foreign operations excluded the Green Climate Fund, the Clean Technology Fund, and the Strategic Climate Fund, while also removing funding for the U.SN-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. That’s millions in U.S. taxpayer funding that will not be wasted on the climate change hoax.

The Conference will honor some of the world’s leading “skeptics”—the alarmists call them “denier.” They include Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) as the winner of the Political Leadership on Climate Change Award, sponsored by the Heritage Foundation. My friend, Robert M. Carter, Ph.D. will receive Heartland’s Lifetime Achievement in Climate Science award. Others whom you may not have heard of include William Happer, Ph.D., David Legates, Ph.D., and Anthony Watts, all of whom have been on the front lines of the battle for the truth about the planet’s climate.

An entire generation has grown up and graduated from college since the first lies about global warming were unleashed. That’s how long Heartland and others have labored to present the truth. If the media fails to take notice of this week’s conference, you will know that the battle will continue for a long time to come.


Truth About Climate Change - British MP Exposes Government Sophistry

On the 10th of June 2015, UK Member of Parliament, David TC Davies MP rose to tell the Government The Truth about Climate Change, during the debate. The Government refused to deny his well founded assertions, even though he asked the Climate Minister to correct him if he was mistaken, and if she knew any different.

A red faced Labour Party MP was embarrassed to hear that his own fatuous assertions were actually contradicted by the UNIPCC itself, in documents read out by Mr. Davies.

"Top Cat" Davies is a smart lad.  He is English but when he won election to a Welsh constituency, he promptly learned fluent Welsh.  And Welsh is as foreign as German, perhaps more so

Sea Shepherd to pay $2.55 million in damages as Japan’s research whaling set to resume

The hard-line anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society said it has agreed to pay $2.55 million in damages to Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research over its continued obstruction of whaling vessels despite an injunction.

The agreement concerns a decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last December that held Sea Shepherd in contempt of an injunction banning the body from attacking the Japanese government-funded whaling fleet in the Antarctic Ocean and approaching the fleet on the open sea.

The Institute, which manages Japan’s whaling operations in the Antarctic, and Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd., the provider of vessels and crew for the whaling activities, sued Sea Shepherd in a U.S. federal court in 2011.

In December 2012, the appeals court issued the injunction. But the anti-whaling group continued to obstruct the whaling fleet, prompting the court to find it in contempt of its order last December.

“Sea Shepherd does not agree with the Ninth Circuit’s holding that it was in contempt, but after more than two years of litigation, we are very pleased to be putting the contempt action behind us,” Sea Shepherd said Monday on its website.

Given that the lawsuit filed by the Japanese side is still pending, the group looks forward to focusing on the case, which “provides Sea Shepherd with the opportunity to expose (the institute’s) dangerous and illegal activities in the Southern Ocean,” it said.

The development came the same day the U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal from Sea Shepherd over the appeals court’s decision that found the group in contempt of the injunction.

The group had argued that a U.S. court does not have jurisdiction over the case because it has transferred its vessels and other assets to Australia and other countries.

On Tuesday, the Fisheries Agency said Japan will conduct so-called research whaling in the northwestern Pacific starting Thursday. The catches will run through late August.

The program will be on a similar scale than last year, when it was scaled down from 2013. It will aim to take up to 90 sei whales and 25 Bryde’s whales, the agency said.

The agency restated its purported reasons for carrying out “research whaling,” calling it an ecological study of factors such as whales’ internal organs and the contents of their stomachs. It claims the program will contribute toward resource management.

Japan halted its southern “research whaling” after the International Court of Justice ruled in March last year that the Antarctic program violated the International Convention of the Regulation of Whaling. However, it continued to hunt whales in coastal waters and the northwestern Pacific.


Seattle Attention-seekers trying to Block Access to Shell Arctic Rig

A group of protesters gathered at the Port of Seattle on Tuesday seeking to block workers attempting to reach a Royal Dutch Shell drilling rig that could depart this week to resume fossil fuel exploration in the Arctic.

Over the past month, activists have staged demonstrations against the oil company's plans to drill for oil in the Arctic, including on May 16 when hundreds of protesters in kayaks and small boats fanned out on a Seattle bay.

Several dozen protesters gathered early on Tuesday to block entrances to Terminal 5 at the Port of Seattle where the rig is being outfitted for its trip north to the Chukchi Sea off Alaska. Shell did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the protest.

There have been no arrests, Seattle police said.

Environmental groups say drilling in the icy Arctic region, where weather changes rapidly, could lead to a catastrophic spill.

They also say drilling would threaten the Arctic's vast layer of sea ice that helps regulate the global temperature and which they say has already been disappearing as a result of global warming.

The activist group ShellNo has helped organize a series of "rapid response" protests as Shell readies its drilling rig in Seattle, a city known for its support for environmental causes.

The group said on its website on Tuesday that the rig, the Polar Pioneer, could begin moving north as early as Wednesday. Neither Shell nor shipping company Foss Maritime has commented publicly on the schedule.

Activists say they want to get boats on the water as soon as they learn the rig is leaving the terminal. A mandatory safety zone enforced by the U.S. Coast Guard will keep watercraft at least 100 yards away from the rig. The zone will expand to 500 yards when it hits the broader Puget Sound on its way to Alaska.

On Monday, Seattle police dismantled but did not seize a large tent used by demonstrators to organize the launch of a planned rig-stopping flotilla, law-enforcement officials and activists said.

Late last month, Alaska Governor Bill Walker toured the rig, saying Shell's resumption of drilling in the Arctic will bring jobs and money to his state.


Shipping company bows to Greenie demands

That's the gloss they put on it, anyway

The Interlake Steamship Company announced that it will repower its last steamship, the S.S. Herbert C. Jackson, with a highly automated diesel propulsion system in the final phase of a 10-year, $100 million modernization effort to create the most efficient, reliable and environmentally friendly fleet on the Great Lakes.

The six-month diesel conversion, which is slated to begin in mid-December, is the fifth major overhaul to Interlake’s fleet and its fourth steam-to-diesel conversion since 2006.

“This repowering illustrates Interlake’s continuing commitment to shrink its environmental footprint by reducing emissions throughout our fleet,” said Interlake President Mark W. Barker. “We have a long-term vision for our industry and we are investing in our equipment and our ships to offer the most reliable, efficient delivery within an industry that is the greenest form of transportation available.”

Since 2007, Interlake has reduced its emissions dramatically. For example, through 2014, the company estimates it has lowered its particulate matter by 30 percent, sulfur oxides by 54 percent and carbon dioxide by 47 percent. In April 2015, Interlake debuted the installation of exhaust gas scrubbers on the bulk carrier M/V Hon. James L. Oberstar, becoming the first U.S.-flag fleet to test the emission reduction technology on the Great Lakes.

Built in 1959, the Jackson’s vintage steam turbines and automation would require costly upgrades for the ship to remain a reliable workhorse in the fleet.

“It’s a sad day leaving the era of steamships behind but it’s a good day as we move forward,” said Barker about the last steamship being repowered. “We only have nine months a year to carry close to 20 million tons of cargo for our customers. It’s critical for us to be able to do that without any delays. To meet that goal, we have to invest and keep our ships outfitted with the best equipment in the industry.”

The company is in discussions with potential shipyards to do the repowering work. The 6,250-BHP propulsion package will include a pair of MaK – six-cylinder M32E engines which will give the ship enhanced propulsion capabilities and reliability. In addition, the repowered Jackson will receive a twin-input, single-output Lufkin gear box with twin pto shaft generators, a Schottel controllable-pitch propeller system and Gesab exhaust gas economizers along with an auxiliary boiler. The Economizers allow the ship to harness the waste heat and energy from the main engine exhaust and produce “free steam” to heat the accommodations and for heating various auxiliary systems and fuel oil services. These installations will net the Company even greater emission reductions.

ISO 9002 certified, Interlake’s fleet of nine vessels deliver raw materials to ports throughout the Great Lakes region.


Conservative Australian PM wishes he could have further reduced wind power growth

Tony Abbott says the government has done its best to slow the growth of wind power, but has to continue subsidising the sector because of the Senate.

Describing wind turbines as “visually awful” and noisy, the Prime Minister said the government wanted to further reduce its support for the renewable sector.

“What we did recently in the Senate was ... we reduced the number of these things that we are going to get in the future,” he told 2GB radio.

“I would frankly have liked to have reduced the number a lot more, but we got the best deal we could out of the Senate, and if we hadn’t had a deal … we would have been stuck with even more of these things.”

Mr Abbott said he was aware of concerns raised about the potential health impact of wind turbines that are the subject of a Senate inquiry.

Yesterday, Liberal Democrats senator for NSW David Leyonhjelm compared the wind industry to big tobacco for brushing off concerns about the health impact on those living near turbines.

“It is ... well established that inappropriate levels of infrasound, regardless of the source, cause adverse health impacts,” Senator Leyonhjelm wrote in The Australian.

Mr Abbott said he accepted the argument.  “I do take your point about the potential health impact of these things; when I have been up close to these wind farms not only are they visually awful but they make a lot of noise,” he said.

Mr Abbott said the government had inherited the renewable energy target (RET) policy from the Howard government, which established the program in 2001 to encourage growth in renewable energy.

“Knowing what we know now, I don’t think we would have gone down this path in this way, but at the time we thought it was the right way forward,” Mr Abbott said.

“What we have managed to do, through this admittedly imperfect but better than the alternative deal with the Senate, is reduce the growth rate of this particular sector as much as the current senate would allow us to do.”

The Australian Wind Alliance said the comments exposed the government’s true intentions on the Renewable Energy Target.

“These comments are extraordinary. Our Prime Minister has just admitted to setting out deliberately to destroy a viable industry in Australia, one that could provide jobs to many Australians, investment to regional communities and new income to farmers,” national co-ordinator Andrew Bray said.



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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