Friday, July 31, 2015

Hillary on climate:  A complete ignoramus

On Sunday, she promised two national goals if elected president. First, she would “set the United States on a path toward producing enough clean renewable energy to power every home in America within a decade.” Second, she would “initiate a process that would bring the total number of solar panels installed nationwide to more than half a billion before the end of her first term.” We truly hope she never sees that first term, because all that proposal will do is line the pockets of cronies in the solar-power industry. But hey, she’s got to repay a favor — the two largest solar contractors in America gave generously to the Clinton Foundation.

Meanwhile, Hillary couldn’t resist the opportunity to blast the GOP on the climate. She claims Republicans answer questions about climate change by deflecting, “I’m not a scientist.” But she did no better, saying, “Well, I’m not a scientist either, I’m just a grandmother with two eyes and a brain.” She forgot to mention she stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Of course, the “science” behind climate change isn’t science at all; it’s an agenda. Hillary and her fellow climate alarmists need to take the blinders off of their eyes and use what’s left of their brains.

Additionally, she promises to fight back against the Republicans' attempt to dismantle the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, though she says she’ll try to help those in the coal industry who have or will lose their jobs due to leftist environmental policies.

Gee, that’s terrific. Who in their right mind would believe she will “try to help those in the coal industry”? Remember Benghazi? The last thing most Americans want to hear from Hillary is that she is here to help. Especially since her economic policy proposals for higher tax rates and a landscape plastered with solar panels do nothing but hurt Americans and their prosperity rather than helping them.


Prince Charles extends climate doomsday deadline by 33 years

Prince Charles is warning that there are only 35 years left to save the planet from climate disaster, which represents a 33-year extension of his previous deadline.

In March 2009, the heir to the British throne predicted that the world had 100 months “before we risk catastrophic climate change,” as pointed out by Climate Depot’s Marc Morano.

“Prince Charles gives world reprieve: Extends ‘100-Month’ climate ‘tipping point’ to 35 more years,” says the Tuesday headline on the Climate Depot website.

The British blog Not A Lot of People Know That announced in a July 19 post, “Charlie Gives Us a Reprieve!”

Prince Charles, who updated his forecast in a July 18 interview with the Western [U.K.] Morning News prior to his visit to the Westcountry, began issuing warnings six years ago about imminent ecological disaster driven by climate change.

“The best projections tell us that we have less than 100 months to alter our behaviour before we risk catastrophic climate change,” the Prince of Wales said in a speech in Rio de Janeiro, as reported by the [U.K.] Telegraph.

Four months later, he predicted in an interview with the [U.K.] Independent that the Earth had 96 months left to avoid “irretrievable climate and ecosystem collapse, and all that goes with it.”

That prediction, which he continued to reference in other interviews, would have given the world until 2017 before reaching the “tipping point” of environmental catastrophe driven by climate change.

Others have also extended their original “tipping point” predictions in recent years, much to the amusement of climate-change skeptics.

For example, Climate Depot notes that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change gave the world 15 years to act starting in April 2014, even though its then-chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, had set a five-year deadline in 2007.

In 2006, former Vice President Al Gore said the world may have only 10 years to reverse course, prompting climatologist Roy Spencer to comment in 2014 that, “in the grand tradition of prophets of doom, his prognostication is not shaping up too well.”

Skeptics point out that the global mean temperature has not increased for more than 18 years, a phenomenon referred to by scientists as “the pause.


EPA Extends Deadline on Clean Power Plan

The Environmental Protection Agency is beginning to realize that it might be asking a bit too much from the American economy. Sources at the EPA have told The Washington Post that it is extending the deadline for when coal plants must reduce their greenhouse gas output. The EPA has yet to release the final version of the regulation, but it said coal plants have until 2022 instead of 2020 to conform to the gospel of green and avoid too much stress on the electrical grid. By ceding ground, the EPA admits the Clean Power Plan demanded too much.

On a related note, the new ozone standards that the EPA is working on would set the standards so low on the naturally occurring gas that Yosemite National Park and the Grand Canyon would be in violation, according to the National Association of Manufacturers. Things have gone too far when an agency supposedly established to protect the environment finds nature in violation of its decrees.


NOAA Fraudsters Prove Man-Made Global Warming Is Real

That the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is fudging temperature records isn’t a secret, but the (ahem) degree to which it is doing so has hit a mind-numbing level. Climate blogger Steve Goddard explains: “The measured US temperature data from USHCN shows that the US is on a long-term cooling trend. But the reported temperatures from NOAA show a strong warming trend.

They accomplish this through a spectacular hockey stick of data tampering, which corrupts the US temperature trend by almost two degrees. The biggest component of this fraud is making up data. Almost half of all reported US temperature data is now fake. They fill in missing rural data with urban data to create the appearance of non-existent US warming.

The depths of this fraud is breathtaking, but completely consistent with the fraudulent profession which has become known as ‘climate science.’” Fellow climate blogger Steve Milloy adds, “NOAA fakery shows why it’s called man-made global warming.”


The Colossal Hoax Of Organic Agriculture

Consumers of organic foods are getting both more and less than they bargained for. On both counts, it’s not good.

Many people who pay the huge premium—often more than a hundred percent–for organic foods do so because they’re afraid of pesticides.  If that’s their rationale, they misunderstand the nuances of organic agriculture. Although it’s true that synthetic chemical pesticides are generally prohibited, there is a lengthy list of exceptions listed in the Organic Foods Production Act, while most “natural” ones are permitted.

However, “organic” pesticides can be toxic.  As evolutionary biologist Christie Wilcox explained in a 2012 Scientific American article (“Are lower pesticide residues a good reason to buy organic? Probably not.”): “Organic pesticides pose the same health risks as non-organic ones.”

Another poorly recognized aspect of this issue is that the vast majority of pesticidal substances that we consume are in our diets “naturally” and are present in organic foods as well as non-organic ones. In a classic study, UC Berkeley biochemist Bruce Ames and his colleagues found that “99.99 percent (by weight) of the pesticides in the American diet are chemicals that plants produce to defend themselves.”

Moreover, “natural and synthetic chemicals are equally likely to be positive in animal cancer tests.” Thus, consumers who buy organic to avoid pesticide exposure are focusing their attention on just one-hundredth of one percent of the pesticides they consume.

Some consumers think that the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) requires certified organic products to be free of ingredients from “GMOs,” organisms crafted with molecular techniques of genetic engineering. Wrong again. USDA does not require organic products to be GMO-free. (In any case, the methods used to create so-called GMOs are an extension, or refinement, of older techniques for genetic modification that have been used for a century or more.) As USDA officials have said repeatedly:

Organic certification is process-based. That is, certifying agents attest to the ability of organic operations to follow a set of production standards and practices which meet the requirements of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 and the [National Organic Program] regulations . . . If all aspects of the organic production or handling process were followed correctly, then the presence of detectable residue from a genetically modified organism alone does not constitute a violation of this regulation.

Putting it another way, so long as an organic farmer abides by his organic system (production) plan–a plan that an organic certifying agent must approve before granting the farmer organic status–the unintentional presence of GMOs (or, for that matter, prohibited synthetic pesticides) in any amount does not affect the organic status of the farmer’s products or farm.

Under only two circumstances does USDA sanction the testing of organic products for prohibited residues (such as pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or antibiotics) or excluded substances (e.g., genetically engineered organisms).

First, USDA’s National Organic Production Standards support the testing of products if an organic-certifying agent believes that the farmer is intentionally using prohibited substances or practices.

And second, USDA requires that certifying agents test five percent of their certified operations each year. The certifying agents themselves determine which operations will be subjected to testing.


Global warming - scientific nonsense

Comment from Britain

AFTER a wet and miserable May and chilly July five species of butterfly resident at my local nature reserve for more than 40 years have disappeared. I’ve been monitoring them carefully and can’t quite believe their demise.

Perhaps it has something to do with this cold summer - which the BBC will no doubt tell us is the warmest on record.

Readers may remember 2013 was supposed to be the year the Arctic would be “ice free”. Now its thickness has increased by a third. Polar bear numbers are rising, not falling.

Last week Canadian scientists studying the effect of climate change on Arctic ice from an icebreaker had to suspend their research, when they were called to rescue ships trapped in the thickest summer ice seen in Hudson Bay for 20 years.

Global warming is an invention of well meaning folks whose desire to cut so-called greenhouse gases will send us back to the stone age. They are aided and abetted by charlatans masquerading as scientists desperately trying to raise funds for their "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.  

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


Thursday, July 30, 2015

A mystery that is a mystery to Warmists only

In science, when something shows your theory is wrong, you change your theory.  In Warmism, if something shows your theory is wrong, it's a "mystery".  The finding below shows that coral deaths presently being attributed to warming are NOT produced by warming

AN ancient coral reef specimen now on display at the Natural History Museum in London is at the centre of a global warming mystery spanning 160 million years.

THE exhibit is proof that ancestors of modern corals somehow thrived during the Late Jurassic period when temperatures were warmer and atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide higher than they are today.

Yet global warming in the 21st century is already associated with serious damage to coral reefs caused by "bleaching".

Dr Ken Johnson, coral reefs researcher at the London museum, said: "By researching historical fossil corals like this, we can understand and predict the impact of climate change and other environmental factors on coral reefs over time.

"This 160-million-year-old specimen is an ancestor of some of the corals on our planet today, showing us that a sustainable future for coral reefs is possible because they can survive severe global environmental changes."

Early corals also managed to survive the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous period 65 million years ago that wiped out the dinosaurs and many other species.

If greenhouse gas emissions continue unchecked, atmospheric carbon dioxide is expected to match Late Jurassic levels by 2100 and to exceed them by 2250.

Bleaching occurs when stressful environmental conditions cause corals to expel the symbiotic algae living in their tissues, turning them white.

Corals depend for their survival on the algae, which provide them with oxygen and nutrients. When they bleach they begin to starve.

Professor Richard Twitchett, palaeoecology researcher at the Natural History Museum, said: "At the time this coral reef was alive, 160 million years ago, our planet's marine biodiversity was as high as it had ever been.

"The fact that this coral reef lived in a much warmer world shows that if we monitor and control future changes, coral reefs can remain one of the most important ecosystems on Earth."


Global Warming Is So Powerful That It Showed The Resilience Of Sea Ice

So, sea ice is more “resilient” that scientists originally assumed, according to the Wall Street Journal. In fact, a “single cool summer” actually stopped the ice cap around the North Pole from melting:

Using new satellite data, researchers at University College London reported in Nature Geoscience on Monday that the total volume of sea ice in the Northern Hemisphere was well above average in the autumn of 2013, traditionally the end of the annual melt season, after an unusually cool summer when temperatures dropped to levels not seen since the 1990s.

“We now know it can recover by a significant amount if the melting season is cut short,” said the study’s lead author Rachel Tilling, a researcher who studies satellite observations of the Arctic. “The sea ice might be a little more resilient than we thought.”

A steady decline in the extent of Arctic sea ice since the late 1970s has been taken as a barometer of longer-term warming trends in the Northern hemisphere. The U.S. Navy last year predicted that by 2030 the Arctic’s northern sea route could be ice-free and navigable for nine weeks every year.

Miss Tilling and her colleagues used new data from the European Space Agency’s Cryosat-2 radar satellite, launched in 2010. For the first time, they measured changes in the overall volume of seasonal sea ice across the Arctic and Greenland. Until now, researchers have been able to track the extent of ice, but not its thickness.

In 2013, summer temperatures were about 5% cooler than the previous year and the volume of autumn ice jumped 41%, they said.

Now, the Journal reported that sea ice levels are at its lowest before measurements began, but let’s elaborate on this a bit.

Scientists predicted the Arctic Ice Cap would be gone by 2013 as well. By the time 2013 came around, it had grown by 533,000 square miles. That year we also saw the creation of 19,000 Manhattan-size islands worth of sea ice, the quietest tornado season in six decades, and the calmest hurricane season in three decades*. Our air quality is also better than ever, according to the EPA.

To the south, the sea ice conditions in Antarctica have made the journey for the resupply vessels keeping the various research stations sustained more difficult. Heck, the CIA even shut down their climate research program.

Recently, the CCGS Amundsen, an icebreaker that acts as a research vessel, which conducts experiments 24-hours a day, had its 115-day expedition altered when it was ordered to help out resupply ships en route to Northern Quebec due to the amount of ice in their shipping lanes.

So, scientists were wrong about the resilience of sea ice, they were wrong about global cooling in the 1970s, and they could be wrong about rising global temperatures that seemed to have plateaued almost two decades ago, according to the UK Meteorological Office.

Oh, and those new EPA regulations that are aimed at combating this phantom threat are going to do little; EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy seems to have admitted to it.

'One one-hundredth of a degree?' EPA's McCarthy admits Obama regs have no measurable climate impact


Governed by Zealots

The government's environmental rules defeat even environmentalists.

Thomas Collier is a Democrat who managed environmental policy for Bill Clinton and Al Gore. Then he noticed a mining opportunity in Alaska, one he calls "the single largest deposit of gold and silver

Tom's company hired hundreds of people to study the Pebble Mine's potential environmental impact, a first step before asking the Environmental Protection Agency for permission to dig. Usually, the EPA analyzes a company's study, then does its own research, then rules. But in this case, the EPA did something odd -- it rejected the mine before Pebble even got its application in.

That's never happened before, says Collier.

So why would the EPA do that? It's simple: the agency has been captured by environmental zealots.

One of the world's biggest environmental groups, the Natural Resources Defense Council, opposed the mine. The NRDC doesn't do science well -- it employs mostly lawyers, not scientists -- but the lawyers are good at raising money by scaring people about supposed environmental "disasters" like mines.

"The things that NRDC is talking about are from an age far in the past," says Tom Collier. "Now you can build a safe mine."

He points out that two big mines "sit right on the edge of the Fraser River ... the second largest sockeye salmon fishery in the world. ...No problem with the salmon."

To arouse public opposition to the Pebble Mine, the NRDC funded TV ads that claim the mine will mean a "natural paradise (is) destroyed by a 2,000-foot gaping hole." The mining company will build "huge earthen dams up to 50 stories tall, holding back billions of tons of mining waste." That sounds frightening, because the NRDC doesn't mention that the "waste" is sand -- not some poisonous chemical.

Actor Robert Redford lent his voice to the ad, claiming, "The EPA has confirmed that the Pebble Mine, a massive gold and copper mine, would devastate Bristol Bay." After watching that ad, I thought the proposed mine must be right next to Bristol Bay, but it turns out that the Bay is (SET ITAL) 90 miles (END ITAL) away.

It also turns out that some NRDC activists now work for the EPA, and although activists aren't supposed to get involved in issues pushed by the agency, they do it anyway. The NRDC's Nancy Stoner became an EPA regulator. Then she wrote her former colleagues, "I am not supposed to set up meetings with NRDC staff," referring to a pledge she signed not to participate in any matters directly involving her former employer. Then she got around these restrictions by qualifying that she could attend such a meeting if "there are enough others in attendance."

Isn't that revealing? It's the evil private-public "revolving door" that activists usually complain

She didn't respond to my questions, so I asked NRDC spokesman Bob Deans about his group "colluding with regulators" to shut down a mine. He smoothly replied, "NRDC is a source of expertise, and sometimes government takes advantage of that."

It sure does.

I asked Deans, "Are there some mines you don't  complain about?

He said, "Sure." But when I asked him to name "any mines" that NRDC "doesn't oppose," he failed to come up with any.

"NIMBY" used to be the anti-economic-growth refrain. Luddites shouted, "Not in my backyard!" Now, watching bureaucrats stop projects such as the Keystone oil pipeline and the Pebble Mine, it's clear that the phrase has become "BANANA": "Build absolutely nothing anywhere near anyone!"

I wish activists would personally experience the economic devastation that occurs when they block every project that might have a slight impact on nature.

Alaskans who still live near the Pebble Mine site say the activists killed their dreams. "The environmental groups," said Lisa Reimers, "made people believe on TV that everything was going to die."

When Pebble ramped up, Reimers' company employed 215 people. Only six remain. "You see your people struggling and you have to let them go," Reimers told us. "There are no jobs here, and they're angry at you because they think it's your fault."

Propaganda is what the NRDC produces. It shouldn't be the basis for EPA policy. These days, too often, it is -- because activists and regulators collude.


Ex-Im’s War on Coal

Lest you needed another reason to oppose the resurrection of the United States Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank, bureaucrats haven’t just been picking the winners and losers among American corporations but have also been taking it upon themselves to do the bidding of the Obama administration by helping wage their misguided “War on Coal.”

For the past few years, bank officials have refused to finance many coal exports in order to support President Obama’s climate initiatives. This was done without congressional approval or oversight – and demonstrates yet another example of how transparency was severely lacking in the bank’s lending practices.

At a June congressional hearing on the bank’s reauthorization, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) prodded the bank’s chairman, Fred Hochberg, with questions. Corker quipped, “I didn’t know we were carrying out environmental policies through Ex-Im,” and said he was “offended to realize Ex-Im Bank basically had taken on some of the administration’s policies without Congress being involved in any way.”

In a moment of rare honesty, Hochberg testified that he made a habit of not supporting coal and coal-mining equipment exports or deals involving coal-fired power plants in “wealthier countries” that have the ability to use other sources of power. This left many senators, particularly Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD), to question if the bank was more interested in promoting liberal policy agendas than American jobs. That appears to be exactly the case.

At the same time the supposedly independent financial institution was denying coal equipment exports to needing countries across the world, they were promoting the Obama-backed “green energy” firm Solyndra. Nobody will forget the corrupt solar start up that went belly-up after receiving more than $500 million in taxpayer subsidies and a $10.3 million loan from the Ex-Im bank, leading to subpoenas and congressional inquiries of high level Obama administration officials. Ex-Im provided loan guarantees to another politically-connected solar panel company, Abound Solar, before it, too, went under. Abound received $9.2 million from the bank.

As supporters of Ex-Im cry for Congress to reauthorize the bank before they leave for their August recess, it’s important to remember these stories. Plagued with mismanagement and a lack of transparency, the bank’s goal was not, first and foremost, about promoting American jobs.

Claiming in its mission statement that the bank was intended to assist small businesses export overseas, Ex-Im was caught mischaracterizing “potentially hundreds of large companies and units of multinational conglomerates as small businesses,” as reported by Reuters. The most recent data shows that 60 percent of the bank’s financing went to 10 multinational corporations, and a remaining 30 percent went to Boeing alone. The three largest recipients of Ex-Im funds include Boeing, General Electric, and Caterpillar, year after year. And it has since come to light that the Ex-Im bank only supports less than one percent of America’s small businesses with loan guarantees, instead serving only to prop up major companies who are more than capable of finding private lending.

When picking winners and losers in exporting, the taxpayer-backed bank propped up politically-connected corporations and failing alternative energy companies, without disclosing its selection process. The bank promoted a political agenda when it was supposed to remain independent and impartial. Ex-Im was allowed to run rampant, despite multiple congressional attempts to reform and rein in. Thus, Congress in June allowed its charter to expire. It should remain that way.


Pakistan supports global warming

ISLAMABAD: The present unsustainable global economic order has brutally overexploited natural resources to achieve so-called development, benefitted a few while plunging millions in the developing world into poverty and debt.

This was stated by Climate Change Minister Mushahidullah Khan while speaking to the media on Sunday.

“The world direly needs a whole new economic framework to cope with these challenges being aggravated further by the consequences of the global warming caused by the increasing trajectory of emissions of climate-altering and heat-trapping greenhouse gases, mainly carbon-dioxide,” he said.

The minister added that the planet is unlikely to be able to deal with the threat of global warming and achieve sustainable development goals without a new economic order. He said this new order must be made binding on rich industrialised countries, which are historically the world’s leading polluters, so as to use natural resources in a more judicious manner and move from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

Khan opined the current ‘business as usual’ model for development has led to dangerous levels of pollution, triggered climate change, biodiversity loss, and failed to address poverty and inequality. He said though a sustainable approach would be for all countries needed to shift towards zero-carbon economies, this remained a tremendous challenge for developing countries in particular.

“No one can deny that no country to date has developed without fossil fuel. However, cooperation is key in providing the technology, finance, skills and systems to create an alternative way of developing countries to adjust to the impact of unfolding climate change for which rich countries are responsible,” the minister said.

He seconded a statement made by Irish President Michael D Higgins, where he noted that the current generation may be the last with a chance to respond to the urgent, uncontested effects of climate change.

“The Irish president, last week rightly said at a meeting in Paris entitled the Summit of Consciences for the Climate that the challenge of climate change provided opportunities to build up a new economic order for humanity and for the sustainability of mother Earth,” Khan said.

The minister also supported former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s view that the threat posed by climate change is as grave as the danger of nuclear war.

The summit was convened by French President François Hollande, and was attended by religious groups, Nobel Laureates, artists and prominent politicians. The event is part of a series of gatherings to be held in the run-up to the two-week UN climate change conference in Paris in December. At the conference, a new global climate agreement is due to be finalised between developed and developing countries to keep the global carbon emission levels below 2 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels.


'Scientific Method' Australian Government style

by John Elliston AM, FAusIMM(CP)

Since 1936 the ‘scientific method’ has been recognised by Australian law (Subsection 73B(1) of the ITAA 1936) as: - ‘Systematic investigative and experimental activities that involve testing a hypothesis (new idea) by deductive formulation of its consequences. aussie scientific method

These deductions must be rigorously tested by repeatable experimentation and logical conclusions drawn from the results of the experiments. The hypothesis must be based on principles of physical, chemical, mathematical, or biological sciences’ (this would include the Second Law of Thermodynamics).

In 1972 Australian universities abandoned the procedure that had been used for award of their highest degrees in science to that time. DSc candidates were required to submit a doctoral thesis embodying an original research finding (details of a tested hypothesis). This was “peer reviewed” by two or more external scientists selected by the university as most appropriately qualified.

It was recognised that a candidate who had tested an original hypothesis may be equally or better able to interpret the results than an external reviewer. Candidates were therefore entitled to a “right of reply” to the written report or comments of the universities’ reviewers. In reply they could produce references or call on reviewers of their own selection.

University authorities were able to fairly assess the candidate’s new research finding and determine if it merited the award of their highest degree. This procedure raised standards in all scientific disciplines to which it applied but by 1974 it was abandoned by all Australian universities as too tedious and time consuming to cope with the rapidly increasing number of candidates aspiring to higher degrees.

With continuing rates of increase since 1970’s, Australian universities now resemble production-line ‘higher degree factories’! They quite rightly require higher degree candidates to meet very high standards but they are uniform standards requiring each candidate to conform to the limitations of the knowledge of his or her degree supervisor. corrupted scientific method

Significant new discoveries cannot conform to what is currently “generally accepted”. All publicly funded research in Australia tends to digress, at least to some extent, from the scientific method toward the extreme case depicted in the American cartoon (pictured right). Competitive research proposals are written to get research grants rather than to advance our knowledge by resolution of long-standing problems.

Geological researchers spend more time looking at computer screens than looking at rocks and mineral deposits!



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


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Regulations, mostly Green, are destroying America's future

The Jetsons, a sci-fi fantasy family of the 1960s, lived in impossible luxury in 2062. Not only are we not nearing their living standards, we are going in the opposite direction. This column has wondered why, and a recent Supreme Court case has given us the answer. In one of its few good decisions of the recent term, the Court by a slim 5-4 vote struck down an EPA regulation whose costs were 1,000 times its benefits. It’s good to know imposing costs of 1,000 times the benefits is a no-no, but the myriads of regulations where costs are only 100 times, 10 times or even twice the benefits pervade the entire U.S. economy – and are leading us towards the Flintstones rather than the Jetsons.

The case, Michigan vs. EPA, concerned an EPA decision to regulate power plants directly, beyond the general requirements of the Clean Air Act of 1970, if they determined emissions (primarily mercury) from those plants posed a significant risk to public health. Thus the figure of $90 billion for benefits, bandied about in the media by friends of the EPA, included all the benefits from mercury regulation under the Clean Air Act – a dubious figure even under that definition, but of no relevance whatever to the further regulations proposed by the EPA. The new regulations, according to the Supreme Court ruling, imposed costs of $9-10 billion on the electric utility industry, while achieving benefits of $4-6 million – that’s million with an m. The cost/benefit ratio was thus in the region of 2,000 to 1.

Maddeningly, this Supreme Court ruling will in itself provide no benefit to the U.S. economy. Coming as it does three years after the regulations were imposed, it arrives only after most of the $9-10 billion of costs have been incurred, as utilities across the country have closed power plants in response to the EPA regulation.

Friends of regulation will no doubt claim that this was a rogue outlier, or (as many of the mainstream media have done) that the true benefit of the rogue regulation were a huge multiple of those claimed in the Supreme Court ruling. Both claims are implausible. The higher figure for benefits could be arrived at only by including the provisions of the Clean Air Act itself, and is any case highly likely to be spurious if examined closely. (A quick calculation: $90 billion claimed benefit divided by 11,000 claimed lives saved gives a value of $8.2 million per life, three or four times the value assumed in any reasonable actuarial calculation.)

The claim that the 1,000 to 1 cost to benefit ratio of this particular regulation is a rogue outlier is statistically highly implausible. Yes, it’s likely that the ratio was at the extreme of cost/benefit ratios produced by regulations as a whole, if only because 1,000 to 1 is a very rare cost/benefit ratio for anything. But it is vanishingly unlikely that the 1,000 to 1 regulation is one plucked from a population of regulations, the rest of which are close to 1 to 1 or even have a net benefit. Were that the case, the 1,000 to 1 cost/benefit ratio would be 25 or 50 standard deviations from the mean of all regulatory cost/benefit ratios, a deviation that only occurs one in the life of a million universes.

Statistically, it is much more plausible that the 1,000 to 1 cost/benefit ratio is only 3 or 4 standard deviations from the mean, and the population of regulations as a whole is full of 100 to 1, 200 to 1, 50 to 1, 10 to 1 and even 2 to 1 cost-benefit ratios. In other words, the entire population of regulations from the EPA (and we have no reason to believe the EPA to be especially egregious among government regulators) is likely to have costs a substantial multiple of its benefits.

When you look at the incredible density of regulations inflicted on the U.S. economy since around 1970, and more particularly since 2009, it’s clear that they should have a major economic effect. As this column has pointed out before, from the productivity statistics, the effect itself is clear, even if the causal link isn’t. The average annual rate of labor productivity growth in the United States from 1947 to 1972 was 2.88%. From 1973 to 2010 it declined by around a third, to 1.98%. Since 2011, the productivity growth rate has fallen still further, to 0.51% annually from the fourth quarter of 2010 to the first quarter of 2015. If average productivity growth had been maintained since 1973 at the rate obtaining before 1973, we would today be 54% richer. The United States would be richer than Singapore, rather than having fallen to a level one third below Singapore’s per capita wealth.

This is not especially an anti-environmentalist point. The personnel restrictions generated by the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1970 (another of Richard Nixon’s less stellar moments) and the various anti-discrimination acts generate huge costs, partly for employers attempting desperately to avoid the flood of frivolous lawsuits the legislation has generated. The licensing requirements of the FDA add enormously to the cost of developing new drugs, making the United States’ the costliest pharmacopeia in the world.

The CAFÉ fuel economy restrictions on automobiles have come close to destroying the U.S. automobile industry, by far the world leader in 1970. The recent restrictions on financial services appear to be generating mostly gigantic fines for trivial offenses such as manipulating LIBOR by a basis point or so. They have effectively closed the financial sector to new entrants, while in the long run enormously raising the cost of financial transactions. Even trivial tech improvements such as Uber are banned from various cities by their local governments acting in concert with taxicab companies. Finally, there is the disaster that is U.S. healthcare, more expensive than anywhere else in the world, and always liable to zap ordinary citizens with outrageously padded medical bills, which they have no hope of paying. And so the list goes on.

Further clear evidence of the recent intensification in regulation, and its pernicious effects is the decline in U.S. entrepreneurship since 2008. In recent years, the exit rate of new firms has exceeded the entry rate, something never seen before in the postwar economy. Part of this can be blamed on the Fed, whose extreme ultra-low interest policies stifle saving and thereby prevent many smaller new businesses from getting started. But there can be no doubt that the plethora of modern regulation plays at least an equally important role.

The left invented Gross Domestic Product, so they could include all government activities, however wasteful and even damaging, in national output figures, as though they were truly productive. This statistical legerdemain flattered historical periods such as the middle 1930s and the 1960s and early 1970s, when the U.S. government was increasing rapidly in size. Now they want to move away from GDP towards a measure of output that includes such things as cleaner air and water, and other measures that are merely evidence of compliance with left-devised regulations rather than anything tangibly benefiting the populace as a whole.

The objective of this will be to move further towards the regulatory state, impoverishing ordinary citizens and causing immense economic misery, while being able to claim that their new “Gross National Happiness” index is increasing at a rapid rate and that all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds. Global Warming legislation, ideally on a global scale where democratic forces are impotent, is likely be a key element in the move to the ultimate regulatory state in which all economic activity is controlled by Platonic Guardians – and non-Party members lead a miserable existence. Curiously, this was very much the Soviet dream, and was set out powerfully in George Orwell’s 1984. The success of regulation in the U.S. since 1970 and its effect on the overall economy indicate clearly that the dream never dies – and for the rest of us the nightmare too lives on.

The Commissar wears many hats – and if he comes in the form of a kindly environmental regulator, concerned about the level of mercury in the drinking water, he should be resisted as fiercely as if he bore a hammer and sickle.


New Little Ice Age Started: Climate Change with a Difference

by Professor Cliff Ollier

In the past decades we have been overwhelmed by books on Global Warming and its successor Climate Change. We have also been exposed to a large (though much smaller) number of books that take a skeptical view of these issues. book new little ice age

Here is a book with something new in the Climate Change debate: 'A New Little Ice Age Has Started: How to survive and prosper during the next 50 difficult years.' [1]

 This book goes beyond global warming and the usual arguments against it. It does not deal with the details of carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, simply noting that its amount has gone up in the past 60 years from about 350 to 400 ppm, while temperatures have not risen for the past 18 years. Clearly there is no correlation. Instead the arguments are assembled to show that a new ice is upon us.

On the scientific side he gets into the role of alignment of planets affecting gravity, cosmic rays (the link between solar flares and climate), and the relationship between volcanoes and climate (big eruptions cause T 250 New Concepts in Global Tectonics Journal, V. 3, No. 2, June 2015. cooling).

But this book is for the layman, so he does not use masses of facts and statistics, but rather anecdotal evidence. Instead of using satellite measurements to show the growing Greenland ice cap he recounts that a plane lost in World War II was discovered in 1989 under 87m of ice.

He goes on to show the fallacious science that has been used to blind the public to the reality, with discussion of the role of Climategate where climate scientists exchanged cynical e-mails discussing their fraud and manipulation very openly.

Lawrence Pierce describes the work of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) who publish their political Executive Summaries for politicians months before the actual Scientific Reports. They claim to use first class data but in fact use all kinds of nonrefereed reports from green agencies such as Greenpeace instead of scientific evidence.

Pierce has a few words to say on the disgraced ex-chairman of the IPCC, Dr. Pachauri, Al Gore’s misleading propaganda film, and Michael Mann’s infamous hockey-stick. Why does he do this? It turns out that the author is an ex lawyer who retired to grow grapes in British Colombia.

But the weather didn’t warm as he had been promised and the business failed. So he started his own investigation. Of course he found the pause in global warming. But more than this he found a completely different story. Carbon dioxide was barely a player, and the thing that has the best correlation with climate is the sunspot cycle. He describes the cycle using good diagrams and tables, and recounts the climatic history of the past few hundred years, with the Mediaeval Warm Period and the subsequent Little Ice Age.

As an aside Lawrence Pierce gives an account of Mann’s famous ‘hockey stick’ graph showing ever accelerating temperature increase (a onetime logo for the alarmists), the construction of which required the elimination of both the Medieval Warming and the Little Ice Age – which are incontrovertible facts. He describes the cold periods in the past starting roughly as follows: – the Oort 1000, Wolf 1250, Sporer 1400, Maunder 1645, Dalton 1780 - all related to sun spot minima.

And then comes the shocking discovery – we have already started our descent into the next Little Ice Age.

Solar Cycle 24 has started, and could be the Solar Cycle with the lowest recorded sunspot activity since accurate records began in 1750, so we are likely to have very cold weather for the next fifty to eighty years. Pierce points out that the minima are not times of permanent cold, but have great variation, with short hot spells and many storms.

In general life is good in the warm spells between little ice ages – the Roman, Medieval and Twentieth century warm periods, but harsh in the cold periods. He ties historical events to his narrative, such as Bonaparte’s attack on Moscow in one the very cold winters, the collapse of the Nordic settlement in Greenland, the Irish potato famine and many others.

We have come to accept the twentieth century warm as the norm, but the time of abundance is over. He sees the oncoming Ice Age as a real cause for alarm, and he asks why has it been kept from us? Why are our governments spending trillions to ‘avoid’ global warming when the real peril is just the reverse, and we have no plans to meet it. Lawrence Pierce feels cheated that the governments, scientists and journalists who he trusted have in fact completely misled him. Finally he writes about what to do about the coming cold.

Unfortunately this is a very parochial view and really tells people in Canada what to do. 35 out of 125 pages of the main text are devoted to this topic. But he pointed out that during the cold periods of previous little ice ages wiped out hundreds of thousands of people outside Canada by famine and associated war and disease. At present there are many countries, especially in the Middle East, who have booming population growth but are entirely dependent on buying food from elsewhere.

If the boundary of the wheat belt in the northern hemisphere moves 300 miles km to the south, they are in jeopardy. Guess what they will do. So if you believe his text you must make your own strategy to survive the hard times that are coming.


Using NOAA's cooked data, NASA says June tied as hottest month

 by Thomas Richard

NASA announced on Wednesday that by using NOAA's recently altered temperature data, June 2015 was tied as the warmest June on record.  goes 8 satelliteAs previously reported here, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reworked its climate data in order to eliminate the 18-year-and-counting pause in global warming. In early June, NOAA released a study saying that long-existing instrument biases have been masking rising sea surface temperatures. Once they "readjusted" the data, the current warming hiatus disappeared. Put simply, by cooling the past, NOAA made the the last two decades look warmer.

With the release of global temperature data for June, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has essentially changed how it analyses measurements by using the same sea surface dataset that was readjusted by NOAA. In using NOAA's highly controversial dataset, NASA can now say that global average temperatures last month tied June 2015 with June 1998 as the warmest on record. The global surface temperature anomaly for June was +0.78 degrees Celsius, which they say was driven by temperature inconsistencies in the Northern Hemisphere.

The June 2015 data released by NASA uses the same readjustments of global sea surface temperature records created by NOAA, which increases the rate of overall global warming (both land and sea) in the last 15 years. NOAA's dataset, known as the Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperature version 4 (ERSST v4), reflects these readjustments and have now been arrogated by NASA.

More troubling is the fact that NASA and NOAA have joined forces to hide the global warming pause, even though there are more robust, accurate datasets available that clearly show it. One item of contention is that both agencies have essentially overlooked the satellite record dataset, which shows a global warming pause since 1998. Starting in 1979, orbiting satellites have been measuring the atmosphere five miles up and are accurate to within .001 degrees Celsius.

Satellite data show that the upper atmosphere is warming much less than global surface temperatures, even though computer models predicted the opposite would happen. Worse still, the satellite-derived measurements clearly show a global warming pause. The dataset are analyzed by both the U.S. firm Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) and also the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). Both the RSS and UAH datasets are unaffected by the issues that plague land-based measurements and ship- and buoy-based biases in sea surface temperatures. NOAA's re-adjustments to the climate's temperature record doesn't impact satellite measurements as they are not susceptible to such distortions.

Even the data from weather balloons agree with the satellite temperature measurements. They show much less warming then was predicted, and in the past 18.6 years have shown no statistical warming worldwide. The other major player in the global temperature measurement field is the UK Met Office surface temperature dataset, which also shows a global warming pause since 1998. Oddly enough, NASA announced on July 9 that the oceans slowed the global temperature rise by "trapping the heat," while simultaneously claiming temperatures haven't stopped rising.

NASA also said it has "eliminated GHCN's Amundsen-Scott temperature series" and will only be using the SCAR reports for the South Pole (Antarctica). The Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) also announced it was using the readjusted NOAA ERSST v4 dataset. Unlike the UK Met Office and NCEI products, climate researcher Bob Tisdale writes that "GISS masks sea surface temperature data at the poles where seasonal sea ice exists, and they extend land surface temperature data out over the oceans in these locations."

Even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) acknowledged two years ago that the "rise in Earth's mean surface temperatures had begun to slow since 1998, and since then everything from volcanic activity to solar output has been used to explain the pause." Currently there are more than 66 excuses to explain the global warming hiatus.

Critics argue all of this comes at a time when President Obama has shifted his focus to climate change ahead of the Paris Climate Talks, and that NOAA and NASA are using this new dataset of revised sea surface temperatures to push other countries into crippling regulations. Even EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy admitted to Congress last week that all the new rules and regulations it is rolling out would only avert warming by .01 degrees.


Science or Selective Ignorance?

In an editorial published in Science magazine on July 3, Marcia McNutt, Editor-in-Chief of the Science Journals, removed all doubt concerning the direction that this once prestigious journal is taking. censorship

In "The beyond-two-degree inferno", she wrote: "The time for debate has ended. Action is urgently needed."

Then, she strongly supports the contrived effort of the European Union to keep "global warming" below 2°C above the preindustrial level - a number for which we have no rigorous measurement or logic.

She advocates the political position of the Administration in forcing reductions in carbon dioxide emission (CO2) by stating "The United States has pledged reductions of 26 to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025..."

Of course, there is no such pledge by the American people and its representatives in Congress. The Administration's pledge is arbitrary and authoritarian. Ms. McNutt concludes with a description of the nine circles of Hell found in Dante's Inferno.

Ms. McNutt continues a trend established in the Science journals by Donald Kennedy (2000-2008), who declared while he is editor, Science would no longer accept articles contradicting the pronouncements of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on global warming, later termed climate change, regardless of the empirical data presented.

The IPCC reports featured glaring deficiencies such as the falsely named distinct human fingerprint, a hot-spot over the tropics, which no one can empirically find; Mr. Mann's hockey-stick, based on sparse data, from which contradicting data was deleted; and global climate models, which greatly overestimate warming, as current measurements demonstrate. The logic behind this editorial policy can be described as selective ignorance. Please see links under Defending the Orthodoxy, including an excellent critique by Judith Curry.

16th Century Thinking: European scientific thinking of the 16th century was dominated by the re-discovery of the works of the Greeks. Their works in geometry and astronomy were very good, particularly considering the lack of precise instruments. Estimates of size of the earth and the moon, and the distance between them were quite accurate. However, they generally underestimated the size of the sun and its distance from the earth.

The concept of a heliocentric solar system was suggested by Aristarchus (died about 232 B.C.) and was accepted by some astronomers but eventually rejected, particularly by Ptolemy, a Roman, (about 150 A.D), whose system became the one widely accepted in the 16th century. During the 16th century, learning and written documents were extremely limited, and authority and consensus were dominate.

Copernicus disagreed with the Ptolemy concept of the solar system, but the work was not published until the year of his death in 1543. It was up to Galileo to earn the full wrath of the Greek scholars (often called Aristotelian scientists) that dominated science in the period. Galileo confronted the scientific models and assumptions of the era with observations from nature and experiments.

The most dramatic of these confrontations was proposing a heliocentric solar system, with an earth that orbited the sun annually, rotated daily, and titled on its axis. [Kepler proposed elliptical, not circular, orbits doing away with epicycles, and non-uniform speeds.] Using a telescope, Galileo identified spots on the sun, refuting the notion that it was immutable (unchanging). There are various versions of what occurred in the 17th century (until Newton) and the importance of various groups.

However, for the purposes of this discussion, one must note that Galileo was the first, influential astronomer of the Renaissance to propose that observations take precedence over authority and consensus of opinion as the objective standard in science. He incurred the full wrath of the scientific establishment of that time.

The Sun? Royal Astronomical Society published a study of a "new model of the Sun's solar cycle is producing unprecedentedly accurate predictions of irregularities within the Sun's" 10 to 12 year solar cycle. "The model draws on dynamo effects in two layers of the Sun, one close to the surface and one deep within its convection zone. Predictions from the model suggest that solar activity will fall by 60 per cent during the 2030s to conditions last seen during the 'mini ice age' that began in 1645."

"It is 172 years since a scientist first spotted that the Sun's activity varies over a cycle lasting around 10 to 12 years. But every cycle is a little different and none of the models of causes to date have fully explained fluctuations. Many solar physicists have put the cause of the solar cycle down to a dynamo caused by convecting fluid deep within the Sun. Now, Zharkova and her colleagues have found that adding a second dynamo, close to the surface, completes the picture with surprising accuracy."

"We found magnetic wave components appearing in pairs, originating in two different layers in the Sun's interior. They both have a frequency of approximately 11 years, although this frequency is slightly different, and they are offset in time. Over the cycle, the waves fluctuate between the northern and southern hemispheres of the Sun. Combining both waves together and comparing to real data for the current solar cycle, we found that our predictions showed an accuracy of 97%," said Zharkova.

Zharkova and her colleagues derived their model using a technique called 'principal component analysis' of the magnetic field observations from the Wilcox Solar Observatory in California. They examined three solar cycles-worth of magnetic field activity, covering the period from 1976-2008. In addition, they compared their predictions to average sunspot numbers, another strong marker of solar activity. All the predictions and observations were closely matched.

Looking ahead to the next solar cycles, the model predicts that the pair of waves become increasingly offset during Cycle 25, which peaks in 2022. During Cycle 26, which covers the decade from 2030-2040, the two waves will become exactly out of synch and this will cause a significant reduction in solar activity.

"In cycle 26, the two waves exactly mirror each other - peaking at the same time but in opposite hemispheres of the Sun. Their interaction will be disruptive, or they will nearly cancel each other. We predict that this will lead to the properties of a 'Maunder minimum'," said Zharkova. "Effectively, when the waves are approximately in phase, they can show strong interaction, or resonance, and we have strong solar activity. When they are out of phase, we have solar minimums. When there is full phase separation, we have the conditions last seen during the Maunder minimum, 370 years ago."

Since the period covered in the testing is only three solar cycles, 1976 to 2008, it is far too brief to draw any long-term conclusions. However, the accuracy in the testing is significant. Further, the cooling corresponds with predictions from some other solar scientists.

The short period of study understood, The Summary for Policymakers of Fifth Assessment Report (AR-5), Synthesis Report, of the IPCC also covers a relatively short period. Table SPM.3 presents "Contributions to observed surface temperature change over the period 1951-2010." Yet, the IPCC expressed 95% certainty in its work.

The total of natural forcings presented by the IPCC in this table covers a temperature range of about minus 0.1 ºC to plus 0.1 ºC. If the new report of the Royal Astronomical Society bears out, and we experience a cooling greater than 0.1 ºC, the IPCC and the climate establishment has significant problems.


EPA head: We don't need to justify our regulations with data

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy took a drumming yesterday when she refused to release the 'secret science' her agency used when drafting new regulations. mccarthy testimony Testifying before the House Science, Space and Technology committee, Rep. Lamar Smith (R) began the Q&A by asking McCarthy why she wouldn't release the studies and data in which her regulations are based. Rep. Smith told McCarthy that his 'secret science' reform act would make the data public without interfering in the EPA's primary job and maintaining the confidentiality of third parties.

Rep. Smith also quoted Obama's science adviser, John Holdren, saying "The data on which regulatory decisions are based should be made available to the committee and should be made public. Why don't you agree with the president's science adviser?" McCarthy replied that while she supports transparency in the regulatory process, the bill would make public the personal information of the people working on the science.

Smith reiterated that in his secret science reform act, personal information would be redacted but the underlying studies and data that are being used to justify costly regulations would be made public so that other scientists and the American people can review it. This is especially important as the EPA has a 60-day comment period after a new proposal is issued, but the science behind the new regulations is not included. Smith's new bill would rectify that issue.

McCarthy also said she "doesn't actually need the raw data in order to develop science. That's not how it's done."

Rep. Smith: "But why don't you give us the data you have and why can't you get that data you do have? Surely you have the data that you based the regulations on?"

McCarthy: "EPA actually has the authority and the need to actually get information that we have provided to you."

Rep. Smith: "You're saying you can't give us the information because it is personal and then you're saying you don't have the information. Which is it?"

McCarthy: "There is much information we don't have the authority to release."

Rep. Smith reiterated again that any personal information would be redacted and once again asked why she won't release this information after meeting all the criteria McCarthy used to justify not revealing the information. Rep. Smith reminded her that every other agency does this, so why can't the EPA simply redact this personal information and release the underlying science on which the EPA's regulations are based?

McCarthy stressed that the science is generated through the peer-reviewed process and not by the agency itself, prompting Rep. Smith to say that by not showing the American people and the Congress the studies and data they used to make new regulations, it looks like the EPA has something to hide. Rep. Smith said there was no good reason other scientists couldn't review the data, no good reason his committee couldn't review it, and most important, the American people can't review it.

Changing topics, Rep. Smith asked McCarthy about the Clean Power Plan, reminding her that after spending enormous amounts of money and implementing burdensome regulations, increasing the costs of electricity that would hurt the poorest Americans, it would only lower global temperatures 1/100 of a degree. "How do you justify such an expensive, burdensome, onerous rule that isn't going to do much good?…Isn't this all pain and no gain?"

McCarthy admitted the goal of the Clean Power Plan was to show strong domestic action which can trigger strong global action, e.g., getting other countries to follow our lead. McCarthy refused to say if Rep. Smith's analysis of the minuscule effect on global temperatures was correct, stating again it was more about leading on a global scale. She also refused to give Rep. Smith a timetable on when he could expect supporting documentation that he had been requesting for months.

Later in the hearing, Rep Dana Rohrabacher (R) was shocked that McCarthy did not have any idea what percentage of the atmosphere was made up of carbon dioxide (CO2). Stunned by this admission, Rohrabacher said, "You’re head of the EPA and you did not know? …Now you are basing policies that impact dramatically on the American people and you didn’t know what the content of CO2 in the atmosphere was… the justification for the very policies you’re talking about?"

McCarthy: "If you’re asking me how much CO2 is in the atmosphere, not a percentage but how much, we have just reached levels of 400 parts per million."

Rohrabacher: "I think I was very clear on what I was asking. I think it was very clear you didn’t know."

This is not the first time McCarthy has flunked knowing basic science. In a Senate hearing in March, McCarthy was unaware of climate data showing no increase in extreme weather. At that hearing, she was asking for additional money be dedicated to the president's controversial Clean Power Plan, an initiative to limit carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that are blamed for any type of bad weather.

As previously reported here, carbon dioxide levels reached a global level of 400 parts per million (ppm) in March, even though global temperatures have not risen for nearly 19 years. You can find 400 carbon dioxide molecules per one million parts of dry air. By volume, "dry air contains 78.09% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, 0.93% argon, 0.039% carbon dioxide (.04% in March 2015), and small amounts of other gases." Carbon dioxide levels vary between 390 and 400 ppm and change seasonally as more plant life is around to absorb it in the spring and summer.



Anti wind turbine campaigner Susan Crosthwaite is calling for an immediate and full independent investigation into the pollution of surface and groundwater of ALL Scottish windfarm developments sited on River Basin Districts. scottish windfarm  The construction of giant wind turbines has led to the industrialisation of water catchment areas damaging water quality and public health. She demands that relevant legislation be adhered to vigorously to ensure complete protection of Scotland’s reservoirs, lochs and private water supplies can be restored.

Commenting from her home in South Ayrshire Susan Crosthwaite said:

“Windfarm development in Scotland is clearly breaching The Environmental Liabilities Directive and the Water Frameworks Directive. Developers and government bodies have allowed these developments to proceed in the full knowledge that there are risks to surface and groundwater. Authorities such as SEPA, Scottish Water, Councils and the Scottish Government have failed in their legal duty to protect the water environment. Public authorities should ensure the proper implementation and enforcement of the scheme provided for by this Directive.

“People wonder how windfarms can possibly contaminate our water. Firstly, most are constructed on areas of unspoilt moss, heather and deep peat, often with associated forestry. Construction vehicles churn up the ground to make access roads and clear the forests (approximately 3 million trees were cleared at Whitelee). Trees are pulled up, and the churned up peat is washed into the river systems by heavy rain, releasing excessive carbon which the water treatment works are not able to deal with.

“The construction teams then blast quarries and ‘borrow-pits’ to provide rock foundations for access roads and turbine bases - six quarries with 85 articulated dump lorries ferried almost 6 million tons of excavated rock around the Whitelee site for roads and turbine foundations. These excavations allow access to the numerous faults (fractures) and dykes (intrusions) which crisscross Scotland and act as conduits for ground water. Chemical and  diesel spills, therefore, have an immediate channel to the aquifer. It is also a great irony that anti-fracking campaigners make spurious claims about potential water pollution and then support the construction on industrial wind turbines, which are demonstrably causing widespread pollution to our water supplies in Scotland.

groundwater impact

“The evidence of pollution discovered by radiologist Dr. Rachel Connor stems from her own experience of living close to Whitelee, the largest windfarm in Europe, and experiencing first-hand the results of drinking contaminated water. Evidence of pollution was discovered in monitoring reports which  were a requirement for the Whitelee windfarm construction 2006-2009 and were brought before a Public Inquiry re a 3rd extension to Whitelee, where Dr. Connor underwent a 5 hour cross examination. (This material has not yet been ruled on by the Scottish Government.) It included a failure to monitor and test for instances of specific contamination related to chemical spill or diffuse contamination from dangerous chemicals- some of which may have come from 160,000 m3 of concrete which were used in turbine foundations and other areas.

“There was also evidence of contamination of private water supplies where springs had failed completely, boreholes had silted up temporarily and water quality was rendered unfit to drink. There is no effective protective mechanism for private water supplies if the local authority responsible for protecting the water supply has no mechanism to insist that a developer find, chart and protect the water source, and is subsequently not responsible for the hydrological environment upon which that water supply depends.

“Windfarm developments have not been monitored or assessed according to the legal requirements which under a European Directive require Member States to ensure the establishment of programmes for the monitoring of water status in order to establish a coherent and comprehensive overview of water status within each river basin district. It is clear that incidents and concerns have been reported by a Planning Monitoring Officer to the regulatory authorities but have not been investigated. Indeed Planning Monitoring Officers are not routinely employed and in any case, information from such officials may be difficult and costly for the public to access. Consequently developments proceed unchallenged.

“Wind farm construction has coincided with an increase in raw water colour at Amlaird and other Scottish Water treatment works. Scottish Water test results indicated high levels of colour, iron, manganese, coliforms, E coli and turbidity, but these were not investigated and resolved by the appropriate authority. The disinfection procedures meant that drinking water failed to meet European and UK regulatory standards leading to increased levels of Trihalomethanes – recognised by the WHO as possible human carcinogens

“Now Scottish Water test results from 2005 to 2014 for colour, iron, manganese, coliforms and e coli in Loch Bradan, Afton Reservoir and Penwhapple Reservoir – also show a deterioration in water quality associated with windfarm construction and pre-construction forestry clearance. This means that many people in East and South Ayrshire are drinking water below the Drinking Water Regulatory Standards. Where water quality has fallen consistently below regulatory standards, statutory authorities have not informed the public of the potential risks to their health despite an EC Directive that insists  ‘Member States shall ensure the necessary protection for the bodies of water identified with the aim of avoiding deterioration in their quality in order to reduce the level of purification treatment required in the production of drinking water’.

“As Whitelee is Scottish Power Renewable’s flagship windfarm, the credibility of all their windfarm developments is based on the belief that their professed mitigation measures are successfully preventing any water pollution. How can the public be confident that this is the case if they do not constantly and consistently monitor all subsequent developments with results made easily available to the public?

“Arecleoch SPR windfarm consists of 60 turbines, operational since Autumn of 2011 This windfarm along with Hadyard Hill, Hadyard Hill Extension, Assel Valley, Millenderdale and Straid windfarms are all sited within the River Stinchar water catchment protected area. Tralorg plus the 5 ‘Straiton’ windfarms including Dersalloch are sited on the Girvan and Doon water protected catchment zones. None of these developments, according to the FOI, have been adequately monitored or assessed. Indeed failure to monitor the impact on surface and ground water before, during and after the construction of the 60 turbines at Arecleoch constitutes a direct breach of the water directives.”



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


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Is the Pope a Fascist?

If we compare him with Fascists of the past, his ideas are clearly Fascist.  Fortunately, however, he has none of their power.  "But how can such a nice guy be a Fascist?" one might ask. In answer to that remember that "Pope" is a version of the Italian word for "father" and that both Mussolini and Hitler were seen as fatherly figures in their times.  Hitler had most Germans convinced that he loved them. And even in the mouth of a holy man bad ideas can be destructive when other people take them seriously.

And the church has always accomodated Fascism.   In 1929 Mussolini and Pope Pius 12th signed the Lateran treaty -- which is  the legal basis for the existence of the Vatican State to this day -- and Pius in fact at one stage called Mussolini "the man sent by Providence".  The treaty recognized Roman Catholicism as the Italian State religion as well as recognizing the Vatican as a sovereign state.  What Mussolini got in exchange was acceptance by the church -- something that was enormously important in the Italy of that time.

It should also be noted that Mussolini's economic system (his "corporate State") was a version of syndicalism  -- having workers, bosses and the party allegedly united in several big happy families --  and syndicalism is precisely what had been recommended in the then recent (1891) "radical" encyclical De rerum novarum of Pope Leo XIII.  So that helped enormously to reconcile Mussolini to the church.  Economically, Fascism was more Papal than capitalist (though in the Papal version of syndicalism the church naturally had a bigger role).

Syndicalism was of course a far-Leftist idea (with Sorel as a major prophet) long before it was a Papal one but the Holy Father presented a much more humanized and practical version of it and thus seems in the end to have been more influential than his Leftist rivals.  Mussolini was of course acutely aware of both streams of syndicalist thinking and it was a great convenience to him to be able to present himself as both a modern Leftist and as a supporter of the church.

So that is the Catholic intellectual inheritance, making Frank's ideas not at all outlandish in a Catholic context.  Catholic economic ideas in fact formed the basis of Italian Fascism.  And Frank has built on that foundation using more modern ideas.

In his recent encyclical, Frank has made it clear that he idealizes a simple and definitely non-capitalist rural past. Hitler did the same and the modern-day Green/Left do the same.  So exactly from where did Frank get those ideas?  As well as from Catholic economic thinking, he got them from liberation theology.  Liberation theology is a very Leftist doctrine that is widespread among South American priests and Frank is a South American priest.  So where did South American priests get their ideas?  From the prevailing South American culture.  And South American thinking is typically Fascist.  Latin America has had heaps of Fascist-type dictatorships in the recent history of its governance so that is hardly controversial.  Fascism explains Latin-American poverty.  Fascism is a form of Leftism and Leftism is always economically destructive.

So where did South American Fascism come from?  Initially from Simon Bolivar, the great liberator of South America.  Bolivar wanted to replace the king of Spain by a South American elite, not by mass democracy.  And to this day the Venezuelan regime describes itself as Bolivarian.  Bolivar and his ideas are far from forgotten.  Bolivar emphasized the importance of a strong ruler and the constitution he wrote aimed to establish a lifelong presidency and an hereditary senate. He explicitly rejected the liberal ideas of the U.S. founders. Fascist enough?  Memories of  a certain Tausend Jahr Reich come to mind. So the Latin American dictators have simply been good Bolivarians.

So that is the mental world that formed Pope Frank as he was growing up in Argentina.  And who is to this day the most influential political figure in Argentina?  Juan Peron, another Fascist and a friend of Mussolini in his day.  And it was of course Peron who gave refuge to many displaced Nazis after WWII.  And what was Peron's appeal?  He claimed to be standing up for the descamisados", the "shirtless ones".  In typical Leftist style he claimed to be an advocate for the poor.

Is Frank's thinking coming into focus yet?  He is actually a pretty good Peronist.  He has brought Argentinian Fascism to the Holy See.  He is certainly no original thinker. Paul Driessen  sets out below how his prescriptions would perpetuate poverty, disease, and premature death in the Third World -- just as they have done in Argentina

The Laudato Si encyclical on climate, sustainability and the environment prepared by and for Pope Francis is often eloquent, always passionate but often encumbered by platitudes, many of them erroneous.

“Man has slapped nature in the face,” and “nature never forgives,” the pontiff declares. “Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as in the last 200 years.” It isn’t possible to sustain the present level of consumption in developed countries and wealthier sectors of society. “Each year thousands of species are being lost,” and “if we destroy creation, it will destroy us.”

The pope believes climate change is largely manmade and driven by a capitalist economic system that exploits the poor. Therefore, he says, we must radically reform the global economy, promote sustainable development and wealth redistribution, and ensure “intergenerational solidarity” with the poor, who must be given their “sacred rights” to labor, lodging and land (the Three L’s).

All of this suggests that, for the most part, Pope Francis probably welcomes statements by his new friends in the United Nations and its climate and sustainability alliance.

One top Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change official bluntly says climate policy is no longer about environmental protection; instead, the next climate summit will negotiate “the distribution of the world’s resources.” UN climate chief Christiana Figueres goes even further. UN bureaucrats, she says, are undertaking “probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the global economic development model.” [emphasis added]

However, statements by other prominent prophets of planetary demise hopefully give the pope pause.

Obama science advisor John Holdren and Population Bomb author Paul Ehrlich, in their Human Ecology book: “We need to de-develop the United States” and other developed countries, “to bring our economic system into line with the realities of ecology and the global resource situation.” We will then address the “ecologically feasible development of the underdeveloped countries.” [emphasis added]

Ehrlich again: “Giving society cheap energy is like giving an idiot child a machine gun.” And most outrageous: The “instant death control” provided by DDT was “responsible for the drastic lowering of death rates” in poor countries; so they need to have a “death rate solution” imposed on them.

Radical environmentalism’s death campaigns do not stop with opposing DDT even as a powerful insect repellant to prevent malaria. They view humans (other than themselves) as consumers, polluters and “a plague upon the Earth” – never as creators, innovators or protectors. They oppose modern fertilizers and biotech foods that feed more people from less land, using less water. And of course they are viscerally against all forms and uses of hydrocarbon energy, which yields far more energy per acre than alternatives.

Reflect on all of this a moment. Unelected, unaccountable UN bureaucrats have given themselves the authority to upend the world economic order and redistribute its wealth and resources – with no evidence that any alternative they might have in mind will bring anything but worse poverty, inequality and death.

Moreover, beyond the dishonest, arrogant and callous attitudes reflected in these outrageous statements, there are countless basic realities that the encyclical and alarmist allies sweep under the rug.

We are trying today to feed, clothe, and provide electricity, jobs, homes, and better health and living standards to six billion more people than lived on our planet 200 years ago. Back then, reliance on human and animal muscle, wood and dung fires, windmills and water wheels, and primitive, backbreaking, dawn-to-dusk farming methods made life nasty, brutish and short for the vast majority of humans.

As a fascinating short video by Swedish physician and statistician Hans Rosling illustrates, human life expectancy and societal wealth has surged dramatically over these past 200 years. None of this would have been possible without the capitalism, scientific method and hydrocarbon energy that radical, shortsighted activists in the UN, EPA, Big Green, Inc. and Vatican now want to put in history’s dustbin.

Over the past three decades, fossil fuels – mostly coal – helped 1.3 billion people get electricity and escape debilitating, often lethal energy and economic poverty. However, 1.3 billion still do not have electricity. In India alone, more people than live in the USA still lack electricity; in Sub-Saharan Africa, 730 million (equal to Europe) still cook and heat with wood, charcoal and animal dung.

Hundreds of millions get horribly sick and 4-6 million die every year from lung and intestinal diseases, due to breathing smoke from open fires and not having clean water, refrigeration and unspoiled food.

Providing energy, food, homes and the Three L’s to middle class and impoverished families cannot happen without nuclear and hydrocarbon energy and numerous raw materials. Thankfully, we still have these resources in abundance, because “our ultimate resource” (our creative intellect) has enabled us to use “fracking” and other technologies to put Earth’s resources to productive use serving humanity.

Little solar panels on huts, subsistence and organic farming, and bird-and-bat-butchering wind turbines have serious cost, reliability and sustainability problems of their own. If Pope Francis truly wants to help the poor, he cannot rely on these “alternatives” or on UN and Big Green ruling elite wannabes. Who are they to decide what is “ecologically feasible,” what living standards people will be “permitted” to enjoy, or how the world should “more fairly” share greater scarcity, poverty and energy deprivation?

We are all obligated to help protect our planet and its people – from real problems, not imaginary ones. Outside the computer modelers’ windows, in The Real World, we are not running out of energy and raw materials. (We’re just not allowed to develop and use them.) The only species going extinct have been birds on islands where humans introduced new predators – and raptors that have been wiped out by giant wind turbines across habitats in California and other locations. Nor are we encountering climate chaos.

No category 3-5 hurricane has struck the USA in a record 9-3/4 years. (Is that blessing due to CO2 and capitalism?) There has been no warming in 19 years, because the sun has gone quiet again. We have not been battered by droughts more frequent or extreme than what humanity experienced many times over the millennia, including those that afflicted biblical Egypt, the Mayas and Anasazi, and Dust Bowl America.

The scientific method brought centuries of planetary and human progress. It requires that we propose and test hypotheses that explain how nature works. If experimental evidence supports a hypothesis, we have a new rule that can guide further health and scientific advances. If the evidence contradicts the hypothesis, we must devise a new premise – or give up on further progress.

But with climate change, a politicized method has gained supremacy. Based on ideology, it ignores real-world evidence and fiercely defends its assumptions and proclamations. Laudato Si places the Catholic Church at risk of surrendering its role as a champion of science and human progress, and returning to the ignominious persecution of Galileo.

Nor does resort to sustainable development provide guidance. Sustainability is largely interchangeable with “dangerous manmade climate change” as a rallying cry for anti-hydrocarbon, wealth redistribution and economic transformation policies. It means whatever particular interests want it to mean and has become yet one more intolerant ideology in college and government circles.

Climate change and sustainability are critical moral issues. Denying people access to abundant, reliable, affordable hydrocarbon energy is not just wrong. It is immoral – and lethal.

It is an unconscionable crime against humanity to implement policies that pretend to protect the world’s energy-deprived masses from hypothetical manmade climate and other dangers decades from now – by perpetuating poverty, malnutrition and disease that kill millions of them tomorrow.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death, and coauthor of Cracking Big Green: Saving the world from the Save-the-Earth money machine

Hansen in the gun

Some excerpts below from comments by  Judith Curry on Jim Hansen's latest brainstorm.  She first notes that lots of people thought Hansen has gone well beyond the realm of the probable this time. She then gives the actual journal abstract and adds some comments of her own

Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise and Superstorms: Evidence from Paleoclimate Data, Climate Modeling, and Modern Observations that 2°C Global Warming is Highly Dangerous

J. Hansen, M. Sato, P. Hearty, R. Ruedy, M. Kelley, V. Masson-Delmotte, G. Russell, G. Tselioudis, J. Cao, E. Rignot, I. Velicogna, E. Kandiano, K. von Schuckmann, P. Kharecha, A. N. Legrande, M. Bauer, and K.-W. Lo


There is evidence of ice melt, sea level rise to +5–9 m, and extreme storms in the prior interglacial period that was less than 1 C warmer than today. Human-made climate forcing is stronger and more rapid than paleo forcings, but much can be learned by  combining insights from paleoclimate, climate modeling, and on-going observations. We argue that ice sheets in contact with the ocean are vulnerable to non-linear disintegration in response to ocean warming, and we posit that ice sheet mass loss can be approximated by a doubling time up to sea level rise of at least several meters. Doubling times of 10, 20 or 40 years yield sea level rise of several meters in 50, 100 or 10 200 years. Paleoclimate data reveal that subsurface ocean warming causes ice shelf melt and ice sheet discharge. Our climate model exposes amplifying feedbacks in the Southern Ocean that slow Antarctic bottom water formation and increase ocean temperature near ice shelf grounding lines, while cooling the surface ocean and increasing sea ice cover and water column stability. Ocean surface cooling, in the North Atlantic as well as the Southern Ocean, increases tropospheric horizontal temperature gradients, eddy kinetic energy and baroclinicity, which drive more powerful storms.We focus attention on the Southern Ocean’s role in aecting atmospheric CO2 amount, which in turn is a tight control knob on global climate. The millennial (500–2000 year) time scale of deep ocean ventilation aects the time scale for natural CO2 change, thus the time 20 scale for paleo global climate, ice sheet and sea level changes. This millennial carbon cycle time scale should not be misinterpreted as the ice sheet time scale for response to a rapid human-made climate forcing. Recent ice sheet melt rates have a doubling time near the lower end of the 10–40 year range.We conclude that 2 C global warming above the preindustrial level, which would spur more ice shelf melt, is highly dangerous. Earth’s energy imbalance, which must be eliminated to stabilize climate, provides a crucial metric.

The paper is in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions, the discussion forum of the European Geosciences Union journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics

This is an intriguing and wide-sweeping paper that has put together a multi-disciplinary team to examine the possibility of near term catastrophic sea level rise.

For context,  Hansen et al. present a much more extreme scenario than the  last report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the most recent assessment in 2014  “Expert assessment of sea-level rise by AD 2100 and AD 2300.”

The biggest issue raised by Hansen is the potential (plausible? possible?) for a catastrophic >5 m sea level rise in the 21st century. Hansen et al. have proposed a  a new mechanism for faster sea level rise – can we falsify this?  The collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS)  is arguably the most alarming potential impact of global warming.  WAIS has collapsed before during previous interglacials, and will undoubtedly collapse again (with or without AGW), with a ~5 m sea level rise.  The issue is whether the WAIS can collapse on timescales of decades to a century.  Based on what we know (summarized by Tad Pfeffer above), this is a process that would take centuries.

I am not an expert on sea level rise or ice sheets, but here are a few things that frame my own understanding, including some recent research:

Sea level has been rising for millennia.  I am not convinced that there is a significant acceleration of sea level rise that can be attributed to human caused global warming (see this previous post).

Recent research from Scripps finds that the Greenland ice sheet did not melt as much as expected during the Eemian but that may mean Antarctic ice sheets melted more than expected

A new paper summarized by Cato that found that the size of the Greenland ice sheet—especially the best observed portions covering the west and southwestern parts of Greenland—during the mid-Holocene was smaller than it is today—but not by a whole lot.
Study finds surprisingly high geothermal heating beneath west antarctic ice sheet

So it looks like we should be more worried about WAIS than about Greenland, and it seems that natural processes (natural climate change and geothermal processes) have caused large sea level changes in the past during interglacial periods (albeit not rapid ones) and will continue to cause sea level to changes in the future.

Human contribution so far to sea level rise does not seem particularly significant, given the early 20th century rate of sea level rise is about the same as the current rate.  

Our ways of inferring future rates of sea level rise from ice sheet melting is crude – we can speculate but not with much confidence.  The danger posed by sea level rise is a function of the rate of change far more than the actual sea level itself.

Does Hansen et al. make any contribution to all this?  Well their proposed mechanism with feedbacks is of interest and should be explored further. But their conclusions regarding an alarming rate of sea level rise are at best possible (and not plausible).


House Action to Ban GMO Labeling Laws Merits Praise

If the U.S. House has its way, state laws passed (and those being considered) requiring that foods produced using genetic modification (i.e. genetically modified crops or biotech foods) be label would become moot. On July 24, 2015, the house voted 275 for to 150 against, passing a bill banning state laws that force food makers to place labels on products that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The agriculture industry complained individual state labeling standards would be costly and confusing and, more importantly, any standard, even a universal federal standard, would unfairly lend credence to environmentalists false assertions or suggestions that biotech foods are not as safe or healthy as conventional foods developed through traditional cross breeding techniques.

Vermont, Connecticut and Maine have already passed mandatory GMO labeling laws, though they have yet to take effect, while GMO labeling laws are being considered in few other states. The House bill would prevent them all.

Democrats and Republican’s alike supported the GMO labeling ban. The Minneapolis Star Tribune notes Democratic Rep. Tim Walz of Minnesota supported the House bill he said, “hundreds of scientific, peer reviewed studies have found [genetically engineered] foods are just as safe and nutritious as non-[genetically engineered] foods.” Another Minnesota Rep. who voted in favor of the bill, Republican Rep. Tom Emmer argued “Minnesota farmers already deal with heavy compliance regulations to ensure that genetically engineered crops are safe to eat.”

The vote came on the heels another in a long list of literature reviews and analyses demonstrating the safety of biotech foods was published in Salon Magazine on July 15, 2015. In it the author William Saletan notes, organizations lobbying against GMOs routinely lie and have been consistently anti-scientific in their claims about biotech foods, contributing to public misunderstanding and, in some cases, hysteria.

Much of the food industry was thrilled with the House vote and hopes the Senate will move quickly to pass the bill as well.

Ag-giants General Mills and Cargill, and the nation’s largest farmer-owned cooperative, CHS Inc., each lobbied for the bill. In statements post-passage, they praised the House vote. CHS Inc.’s statement said “CHS applauds the House of Representatives for passing the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act.”

Sometimes sound science wins despite environmental fear-mongering. Three cheers for the House of Representatives.


Hillary sways Democrats with her impressive ignorance on Global Warming

Hillary Clinton was in Iowa, talking about the subject foremost on everyone's mind. No, not the tremendous national debt, or illegal immigration, or Iran getting nuclear weapons, but global warming.

She praised Iowa for its success with wind energy, which she said was an example of good environmental and economic policy. She said she favored a wind-production tax credit

How is it good economic policy when the championed energy source requires taxpayer subsidies? How is it good energy policy when the championed energy source stops working when the wind dies down?

Clinton called for harnessing the power of the sun to generate enough renewable energy to run every home in the country within the next decade, as part of a climate-change initiative announced Sunday.

And what happens at night when there is no sun? Do we have to go back to the middle ages and live in darkness without power for 12 hours a day?

In a campaign video, Clinton says, “It’s hard to believe that people running for president refuse to believe the settled science of climate change.”

It's hard to believe that Hillary believes the science is settled. Thousands of scientists would disagree. I imagine, in the same vein, that she believes that the matter of her using a personal email server for State Department emails without compromising national security is also settled, as well as the matter of accepting foreign donations to her slush fund/foundation while she was secretary of state.

“This is not complicated, folks,” she said. “The people on the other side will answer any question about climate change by saying, ‘Well, I’m not a scientist.’ Well, I’m not a scientist either. I’m just a grandmother with two eyes and a brain.”

I agree she has two eyes, but what's behind them could simply be jello. I'll bet she can't answer the simplest questions, such as "What causes global warming? Did you know that CO2 is mostly produced naturally, and man-made sources are insignificant? Did you know that CO2 is a tiny percentage of the upper atmosphere? How does that trap heat?"

The climate-change initiative announced on Clinton’s Web site calls for having more than 500 million solar panels installed by the end of her first term and generating enough renewable energy to power every home in the country within 10 years of Clinton taking office.

How much land will that take up? How much will it cost? And again, what will we do at night and on cloudy days?

It's just like a liberal to master a superficial understanding of a subject and then render themselves an expert.


Warming predictions increasingly detumescent

At the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE), retired climate scientist Hans-Joachim Lüdecke and two colleagues have responded to the Senate testimony given by Pat Michaels

Lüdecke and his colleagues agree with Dr. Michaels’ assertion that the projected increase in the earth’s temperature from CO2 is getting smaller and smaller.

F. Gervais, C.O. Weiss and H.J. Lüdecke write at EIKE:

“Anyone who has been tracking the scientific journals on climate science has observed over many years that the supposedly expected temperature increase from CO2 has steadily been decreasing over the years.”

This means that all the assumptions and claims made by the IPCC in the past were based on hype and totally inaccurate results.

Gervais, Weiss and Lüdecke conclude in their EIKE piece:

“We can now tell politcians that they can call off the warnings. There’s no chance of a global warming of more than 2°C .

The decrease in the projected temperature rise from CO2 will continue on its present trend. By 2025 the warming by CO2 will be close to zero. We can thus expect that the quality of the forecasts will increase to the point where they will actually reflect reality.”


How Safe is Your Drinking Water and Can the EPA Really be Trusted?

“What’s in my Water?” by David De John

David De John in his book, “What’s in my Water?”, sets forth in fourteen chapters the risks involved in some drinking water. Featured in De John’s book are chapters dealing with the following subjects:  “About EPA contaminant levels; About Water Supply Filtration Systems; Skin Absorption/Inhalation of Contaminants; Is Bottled Water the Answer?; Filtration Devices and Equipment; and EPA Violation Information and Reports.”

De John has been called upon as the expert to review Department of Health investigation reports on water quality by the media. As a keynote speaker at medical conferences, De John has likewise spoken at numerous public venues. Furthermore, his book has been used as training material by some of the largest water filtration companies in the country, along with being distributed to consumers as educational information by the companies.

De John owned multiple water filtration locations in the Midwest. During that period, he came upon a report — referenced as originating from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) — indicating that approximately one million people become ill every year and an estimated 100,000 people die due to infectious drinking water.

This CDC report spearheaded De John’s quest to find the truth about our nation’s drinking water quality, leading him to conduct extensive research through thousands of pages of information and data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); the Center for Disease Control (CDC); the American Journal of Public Health; the Department of Public Health and many more sources.

As such, De John’s book is not based on opinions or theories, nor is it intended to impart health or medical advice.  Instead, “What’s in my Water?” is a compilation of the important elements of De John’s research obtained from government and professional organizations, which, in turn, led to his writing of “What’s in my Water?”, prompted, in a large part, by requests from DeJohn’s numerous business associates who at one time were competitors.

EPA and Contaminates

In speaking recently to De John by phone, he stressed how important it was for readers to be briefed on what the Environmental Protection Agency has to say about contaminants in our drinking water:  As printed here on Page 2 of“Drinking Water Quality Consumer Confidence Reports”:

“Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Children and infants, pregnant women and their fetuses, the frail elderly, people undergoing chemotherapy or living with HIV/AIDS, and transplant patients can be particularly at risk for infections… If you have special health care needs, consider taking additional precautions with your drinking water…”

As the standards set by the EPA are relied upon and trusted throughout this nation for drinking water quality, it was most shocking to learn from De John how the Environmental Protection Agency defines contaminant levels. Additionally, the list of drinking water contaminants and their health effects can be further reviewed here.

“Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG):  The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety and are non-enforceable public health goals.”
“Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) – The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment technology and taking cost into consideration. MCLs are enforceable standards.”
It becomes extremely important that the wording of the above EPA definitions be examined.

The first definition is about MCLG (Maximum Contaminant Level Goal):  Notice the wording: “below which there is NO KNOWN OR EXPECTED RISK TO HEALTH” and “THEY ARE UNENFORCEABLE.”

 The second one defines MCL (Maximum Contaminant Level): Again notice the wording: “using the BEST AVAILABLE TREATMENT TECHNOLOGY AND TAKING COST INTO CONSIDERATION” and “MCL’s are enforceable standards.”

Dichotomy Between EPA’s Standards for contaminants and what is allowed

How can it be that the EPA regulates 90 contaminants in our drinking water, allows 33 of those contaminants to exceed the lower level (MCLG), but then decides to regulate the 33 at the higher level (MCL)?  In other words, just because the MCLG states that it allows for a margin of safety, doesn’t mean that drinking water is safe with contaminants at the higher regulated level (MCL)?  Even the EPA is at odds with its own MCLG and MCL definitions as to what constitutes safe contaminate levels in the water we drink.  How is this so?

A cancer-causing contaminant called Radium 226 and 228 can be present in drinking water around the country. The EPA set the Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) for Radium 226 and 228 at ZERO. That is the level at which there is no known or expected risk to health.  Nevertheless, it’s unbelievable that the EPA allows Water Supply Systems to provide drinking water with a Radium 226 & 228 level of 5 pCi/L.

Is it safe to drink water over a long period of time if containing a 5pCi/L Radium 226 & 228 level?  No!  Increased levels of Radium 226 & 228 are even linked by the EPA to an increased risk of cancer, including fatal cancer.

Following is what the Maryland Department of Environment, the US EPA and the Anne Arundel County Health Department states about long term ingestion of Radium 226 & 228, as found under “What are the health risks of radium indigestion?”

“For radium 226 and 228, the U.S. EPA estimates that the additional lifetime risks associated with drinking water containing 5pCi/l is about 1 in 10,000. This means that if 10,000 people were to consume two liters of this water per day for 50 years, one additional fatal cancer would be estimated among the 10,000 exposed individuals. According to the EPA model, as the level of radium increases, so does the risk. For example, increasing the concentration of radium from 5 to 10 pCi/l would increase the lifetime risk from approximately one to two additional deaths per 10,000 individuals.”

More about Radium 226 & 228

What they are talking about is death from drinking tap water from your kitchen sink with Radium 226 & 228 at the allowed Maximum Contaminant Level?

As David De John related to me, in his initial research for the book he found over 45 Water Supply Systems that were violating the “higher allowed level” (Maximum Contaminant Level) for Radium 226 & 228 here in Illinois alone. Some Water Supply Systems had levels of over 24 pCi/L. That is almost 500% higher than the allowed 5 pCi/L level.

Based on the Maryland Department of Health and the U.S. EPA’s calculations in the quote above, that would mean potentially five cancer deaths per year per 10,000 people. Although De John did assure me that some of the Water Supply Systems have taken steps to fix the contaminant level, there  still remain many with contaminant levels far exceeding the “higher allowed” Maximum Contaminant Level. This is not a new problem, for Radium 226 & 228 is formed in the rock beds down in the earth and seeps through the cracks in the rocks into the aquifers where Water Supply Systems might be pumping water from.

Radium 226 & 228 is but one of the 33 contaminants in your drinking water that the EPA allows to exceed the MCLG stated lower level, which the EPA then deems as acceptable at the “higher”MCL (Maximum Contaminate Level).  However, a dichotomy exists in what the EPA has to say about drinking water with contaminants that exceed the higher Maximum Contaminant Level and how violations are issued.

“A health-based violation means that either a system has exposed their users to what EPA has judged as an unreasonable risk of illness, or a system has failed to treat their water to the extent EPA has judged necessary to protect their users from an unreasonable risk of illness in the event that the regulated contaminant is present in source water.”

To be noted is that for 33 of the 90 contaminants being regulated by the EPA that were allowed to exceed the MCLG lower level (MCLG), no violations were issued by the EPA until they reached the higher MCL.  Noted below are violations reported by the EPA in 2010:

8,522 violations for health based standards reported by Water Supply System
17,519 Water Supply Systems were in violation for failure to monitor or submit a report on contaminants in their water.
Contaminants added to water with EPA approval

Contaminates in your drinking water should not be your only concern. Regulated and potentially dangerous contaminants approved by the EPA are actually added by the Water Supply Systems themselves, such as Chlorine.

Chlorine started being used back in the 1908 because of illnesses like Cholera and Typhoid. For reference purposes at that time it was estimated that Typhoid Fever killed about 25 people out of 100,000 people. That was serious enough for the government to take action to stop any more deaths. Those death rates work out to 2 ½ per 10,000 people. As a reference point, the anticipated death rate from cancer stated by the EPA from Radium 226 & 228 in drinking water is 1 per 10,000 people at the allowed Maximum contaminant level.

Consider what the EPA has to say about chlorine:

“Disinfectants, while effective in controlling many microorganisms, react with matter in water to form DBPs. Unchlorinated private well water is unlikely to contain any DBPs……..While health effects from exposure to disinfectants and DBPs vary by contaminant, some epidemiological studies have shown a link between bladder, rectal and colon cancers and DBP exposure.”

What about lead?  Can lead be in your drinking water?  Absolutely YES!

“Evidence also suggests that for children with BLLs 5–9 ugdl [indicates lead poisoning threshold], no single source of exposure predominates. For these children, the contribution of multiple sources, including drinking water, seems likely, particularly for children who do not have well-established risk factors such as living in old housing or having a parent who is exposed to lead at work (38). CDC and its Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention concur that primary prevention of lead exposure is essential to reducing high BLLs in children and that reducing water lead levels is an important step in achieving this goal. …”

What about Fluoride?  The Maximum Contaminant Level set by the EPA for fluoride was 1.2 ppm until a few years ago, when it was increased from 1.2 ppm to 4.0 ppm.  Why did this happen?

“Political appointees at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) raised the acceptable level of fluoride in drinking water from 1.2 ppm to 4 ppm, over objections from their agency scientists… 7,000 *EPA union employees and the unions jumped into the debate.”

*The 7,000 union employees argued against increasing the level of fluoride in drinking water.

According to this report put out by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health: “The PTD, 5.0 mg F/kg, is defined as the dose of ingested fluoride that should trigger immediate therapeutic intervention and hospitalization because of the likelihood of serious toxic consequences.”

Take a look at a tube of toothpaste with Fluoride as an ingredient and you will find a warning:

“…..If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing seek professional assistance or contact a Poison Control Center immediately.”

Did you know that the recommended amount of toothpaste that should be used is a size of a pea!?

Highlighted information in David De John’s book

“What’s in my Water?” is filled with vital information to help you understand what is taking place with our nations water quality and what you can do about it. There are actions points in almost every chapter, there is a chapter on home water filtration systems, bottled water, the complete EPA contaminant list, levels and affects, along with a list of every states drinking water quality office contact information and more.

Also included in De John’s book is a complete list of the EPA Regulated Drinking Water Contaminants, their MCLG’s and MCLs, the EPA stated potential health effects from Long-Term Exposure above the MCL and a list of the 33 contaminants that are allowed to exceed the MCLG. There is also a sample of the Drinking Water Consumer Confidence Report (which is available to all consumers from their Water Supply System) with an explanation of how to understand it, and a list of every state’s Drinking Water Protection Program Offices with phone numbers and addresses.

The embedded links are special, in that additional information can be be seen that relates to the issue at hand.

I recommend that if you read only one book this year, it has to be “What’s in my Water?” recognizing that the information in the De John’s book is not intended as health or medical advice.  Any medical questions or concerns should be discussed with a qualified medical practitioner.

How does your drinking water measure up in your community or city?  It is up to you to request the latest analysis of the water you are being supplied by your local water treatment plant.  If not acceptable, demand that action be taken.

After all, it is your health and the health of those in your city or community who might be at risk.



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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