Wednesday, July 08, 2015
The climate youth
Not quite the Hitler youth -- yet
A group of concerned mothers and their children will descend on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to rally for stronger protections from climate change.
Moms Clean Air Force is organizing a “play-in” for climate action near the Capitol building, where they will draw attention to upcoming methane regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency.
The group promises “fun activities for kids” at the rally.
“This family-friendly protest against the air pollution that causes dangerous climate change will showcase exactly what’s at stake as temperatures and sea levels rise: our kids,” the group says.
“Moms know that kids can’t sit still, so we are ditching a traditional sit-in and having our second annual play-in,” it added.
The EPA is preparing to levy new methane regulations once the White House’s Office of Management and Budget signs off on the proposal. The rules could come later this summer.
The mothers are calling for the strongest possible methane regulations to protect against pollution from the oil and gas industry.
The group is concerned about what it says is a rise in methane pollution that can have harmful effects on children’s health, particularly near homes, schools and parks.
In addition to Tuesday's “family-friendly” protest, the group is also sponsoring a new advertising campaign to push for stronger climate protections from methane.
A new Dr. Strangelove Craves One World Government Run by “Experts”
Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, the scientist behind Laudato Si, is an activist for a global state run by “enlightened” elites
This is the thing that wants to run your life for you
Who’s up for a one-world government run by radical ecologists? Herr Professor Doktor Hans Joachim, a.k.a. John, Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Commander of the British Empire, prophet of doom, avowed atheist, and the most prominent advisor to Pope Francis and the Vatican on global warming, is hot for it. And he has a “master plan” to bring it about.
Schellnhuber is a quantum physicist who apparently believes the earth is a self-aware, self-regulating, cognizant organism. He sees mankind as an infection which causes Mother Earth to develop planetary syndromes like global warming, which, Schellnhuber says, might soon kill billions. And he has the ear of the Vatican. Or, rather, as a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, he plugs the ear of the Vatican. Schellnhuber has openly boasted of denying access to Vatican events to scientists who disagree with him about global warming. Schellnhuber is a courtier who will allow no good news to reach the sovereign.
Anyway, global government can’t come soon enough, Schellnhuber says, because the current benighted political system will “tear this cultivated world and its breathing inhabitants apart.” Schellnhuber would be the world’s tutor — and the cure for its ills.
In his own wistful words, here is his “daydream” about what the “Great Transformation” to “world government” would look like:
the Earth Constitution would transcend the UN Charter and identify those first principles guiding humanity in its quest for freedom, dignity, security and sustainability;
the Global Council would be an assembly of individuals elected directly by all people on Earth, where eligibility should be not constrained by geographical, religious, or cultural quotas; and
the Planetary Court would be a transnational legal body open to appeals from everybody, especially with respect to violations of the Earth Constitution.
You have to admire Schellnhuber’s suggestion that our world leaders be elected directly. If you thought national campaigns were bad now, when we have the moderating effects of a common culture and separation of powers, just wait until we have planetary direct democracy.
Also ingenious is his recommendation that eligibility not be constrained by geography and other cultural ties. This makes it possible to achieve his goal of filling all top posts with experts. Who can be against experts? Yet the true innovation is that Global Council leaders not only get to impose solutions to our problems, but would also get to define those problems in the first place.
The Planetary Council, presumably chosen from the Global Council — has Schellnhuber daydreamed about leading this body? — has the added pleasure of assigning punishments for failing to implement whatever “solutions” are imposed, but also, we might suspect, of issuing penalties for failing to acknowledge Council-defined problems. Would disagreeing with World Government be a “hate crime” against Mother Earth?
Supporters will say such a political system would be efficient. Things will happen and quickly. In this, they are right. French citizens who lived through la Terreur were amazed at the rapidity with which efficient, unchecked government lopped off heads.
The Pope’s New Encyclical
Schellnhuber was one of the advisors to Pope Francis as he wrote his “environmental” encyclical Laudato Si. So it is no surprise to hear in that document not only Schellnhuber’s scientific opinions but the echoes of his cry for one-world government. For instance, the Pope writes:
[I]t is essential to devise stronger and more efficiently organized international institutions, with functionaries who are appointed fairly by agreement among national governments, and empowered to impose sanctions. (paragraph 175)
Society, through non-governmental organizations and intermediate groups, must put pressure on governments to develop more rigorous regulations, procedures and controls. Unless citizens control political power — national, regional and municipal — it will not be possible to control damage to the environment. (179)
In these calls, Francis sought (as in 175) to enlist support from Pope Benedict XVI, quoting from his encyclical Caritas in Veritate, that “there is urgent need of a true world political authority.” But Francis left out what came before, which was Benedict’s concern “of giving poorer nations an effective voice in shared decision-making.” Francis also cut short Benedict’s ending, which was this warning: “Such an authority would need to be regulated by law, to observe consistently the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity.”
In Laudato, Pope Francis does not say much about subsidiarity, which encourages local solutions rather than centralized ones. The Catholic Catechism lays heavy emphasis on its importance (although the following italics are mine):
1883 … Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which “a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co-ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.”
1895 The principle of subsidiarity is opposed to all forms of collectivism. It sets limits for state intervention. It aims at harmonizing the relationships between individuals and societies. It tends toward the establishment of true international order.
A “true international order,” which respects the place of families, the Church and local communities, is not the equivalent of a secular unaccountable world government, but more like its opposite. Yet with radical globalists like Schellnhuber whispering in the halls, we are right to fear that such subtleties will be lost. Schellnhuber should be spouting his theories to weary patrons at a local bar in Potsdam, not gaining the ear of British monarchs and popes.
Protecting Humanity from Ice Ages
By S. Fred Singer
I have recently become quite concerned about ice ages and the dangers they pose to humans on our planet—and indeed to most of terrestrial ecology.
I must confess I never much worried about the supposed dangers of global warming—even if we could rely on the predictions of IPCC climate models. In fact, they seem to be failing miserably, as judged by the ongoing pause in GW—while atmospheric levels of anthropogenic CO2 and other greenhouse gases continue to increase. It seems that our climate is mainly controlled by natural forcings, like solar activity and atmosphere-ocean oscillations that are not included in current models.
What drew my attention to ice ages is the manuscript (Climate and Collapse) by agricultural economist Dennis Avery, my coauthor on Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 years [Rowman&Littlefield 2007]. Dennis documents the historic collapse of civilizations, using recorded history and archeological data. Cold periods and droughts appear to be the main dangers to agriculturally based societies in all regions of the world.
There is no question here: To protect our civilization from harm, it is vitally important to understand the causes of severe climate cooling and try to figure out how to prevent such cooling episodes, if possible.
There are two kinds of ice ages; they are fundamentally different and therefore require different methods of mitigation: (i) Major (Milankovich-style) glaciations occur on a 100,000-year time-scale and are controlled astronomically. (ii) “Little” ice ages were discovered in ice cores; they have been occurring on an approx. 1000-1500-yr cycle and are likely controlled by the Sun. The current cycle’s cooling phase may be imminent—hence there may be urgent need for action.
Major glaciations—on a 100,000-year time scale
I recently published an essay on these pages on how to avoid the next major ice age; there have been nearly 20 such glaciations in the past two to three million years. The coolings are quite severe: the most recent one, ending only about 12,000 years ago, covered much of North America and Europe with miles-thick continental ice sheets and led to the disappearance of (barely) surviving bands of Neanderthalers; they were displaced by the more adaptable Homo Sapiens.
According to the Serbian astronomer Milankovich, glaciation timing was controlled by astronomical parameters, such as oscillations, with a 100,000-year period, of the eccentricity of the Earth’s elliptic orbit around the Sun, oscillations with a period of 41,000 years of the Earth’s “obliquity” (inclination of the spin axis to the orbit plane, currently at around 23 degrees), and a precession of this spin axis, with a period of about 21,000 years.
While many consider the timing issue as settled, there are plenty of scientific puzzles still awaiting solutions: For example, how to explain the suddenness of de-glaciation, transiting within only centuries from a glaciation maximum into a warm Interglacial, like the present Holocene period.
Most expect the next glaciation to arrive rather soon; but calculations by Prof Andre Berger of the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, suggest a delay of up to 40,000 years—so there may be no great urgency. Nevertheless, it would be useful and of great scientific interest to verify the existence of a hypothesized “trigger” that might be disabled by human action—at low cost and negligible risk.
Little Ice Ages (LIA) and the Dansgaard-Oeschger-Bond (D-O-B) cycles
After digesting hundreds of comments about my essay on stopping the next major ice age, I recognized the need to explain the existence also of “little” ice ages, which are likely of solar origin. They occur quite apart from the major glaciations, have a cycle length of about 1000-1500 years, and demand different methods of mitigation. They were discovered in Greenland ice cores by the Danish researcher Willi Dansgaard and by (Swiss scientist) Hans Oeschger, and further observed in ocean sediments by the late US geologist Gerard Bond [see Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 years]
We don’t know what triggers an LIA, but suspect a strong correlation with a quiet Sun and prolonged absence of sunspots. Experts in this field—Willie Soon (Harvard Observatory), Harjit Ahluwalia (University of New Mexico), Russian astronomer Habibullo Abdussamatov, the Hadley Centre in UK, and many others—believe that the next LIA is imminent. The most recent LIA lasted from 1400 to 1830 AD—off and on. It followed the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), when wine grapes grew in northern England and Norsemen were able to farm in southern Greenland.
The impact of the recent LIA was rather severe. The Norse settlements were abandoned; indeed, Scandinavia was hardest hit. Climatology pioneer Hubert Lamb documents crop failures, starvation, and disease in Europe, together with ice fairs on the frozen Thames. During much of the American Revolution, New York Harbor was frozen over. And we recall paintings of George Washington crossing the Delaware River, impeded by ice floes.
Nobel Prize Winning Physicist Dr. Ivar Giaever: 'Global warming is a non-problem'
Dr. Ivar Giaever, a Nobel Prize-Winner for physics in 1973, declared his dissent on man-made global warming claims at a Nobel forum on July 1, 2015. “I would say that basically global warming is a non-problem,” Dr. Giaever announced during his speech titled “Global Warming Revisited.”
Giaever, a former professor at the School of Engineering and School of Science Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, received the 1973 physics Nobel for his work on quantum tunneling.
Giaever delivered his remarks at the 65th Nobel Laureate Conference in Lindau, Germany, which drew 65 recipients of the prize. Giaever is also featured in the new documentary “Climate Hustle”, set for release in Fall 2015.
Giaever was one of President Obama’s key scientific supporters in 2008 when he joined over 70 Nobel Science Laureates in endorsing Obama in an October 29, 2008 open letter. Giaever signed his name to the letter which read in part: “The country urgently needs a visionary leader…We are convinced that Senator Barack Obama is such a leader, and we urge you to join us in supporting him.”
But seven years after signing the letter, Giaever now mocks President Obama for warning that “no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change”. Giaever called it a “ridiculous statement.”
“I say this to Obama: Excuse me, Mr. President, but you’re wrong. Dead wrong,” Giaever said.
“How can he say that? I think Obama is a clever person, but he gets bad advice. Global warming is all wet,” he added.
“Obama said last year that 2014 is hottest year ever. But it’s not true. It’s not the hottest,” Giaever noted.
The Nobel physicist questioned the basis for rising carbon dioxide fears. “When you have a theory and the theory does not agree with the experiment then you have to cut out the theory. You were wrong with the theory,” Giaever explained.
Global Warming ‘a new religion’
Giaever said his climate research was eye opening. “I was horrified by what I found” after researching the issue in 2012, he noted.
“Global warming really has become a new religion. Because you cannot discuss it. It’s not proper. It is like the Catholic Church.”
“I am worried very much about the [UN] conference in Paris in November. I really worry about that. Because the [2009 UN] conference was in Copenhagen and that almost became a disaster but nothing got decided. But now I think that the people who are alarmist are in a very strong position,” Giaever said.
“The facts are that in the last 100 years we have measured the temperatures it has gone up .8 degrees and everything in the world has gotten better. So how can they say it’s going to get worse when we have the evidence? We live longer, better health, and better everything. But if it goes up another .8 degrees we are going to die I guess,” he noted.
“I would say that the global warming is basically a non-problem. Just leave it alone and it will take care of itself. It is almost very hard for me to understand why almost every government in Europe — except for Polish government — is worried about global warming. It must be politics.”
“So far we have left the world in better shape than when we arrived, and this will continue with one exception — we have to stop wasting huge, I mean huge amounts of money on global warming. We have to do that or that may take us backwards. People think that is sustainable but it is not sustainable.
Giaever accused NASA and federal scientists of “fiddling” with temperatures. “They can fiddle with the data. That is what NASA does.”
“You cannot believe the people — the alarmists — who say CO2 is a terrible thing. Its not true, its absolutely not true,” Giaever continued while showing a slide asking: ‘Do you believe CO2 is a major climate gas?’
“I think the temperature has been amazingly stable. What is the optimum temperature of the earth? Is that the temperature we have right now? That would be a miracle. No one has told me what the optimal temperature of the earth should be,” he said.
“How can you possibly measure the average temperature for the whole earth and come up with a fraction of a degree? I think the average temperature of earth is equal to the emperor’s new clothes. How can you think it can measure this to a fraction of a degree? It’s ridiculous,” he added.
Giaever accused Nature Magazine of “wanting to cash in on the [climate] fad.” “My friends said I should not make fun of Nature because then they won’t publish my papers,” he explained.
“No one mentions how important CO2 is for plant growth. It’s a wonderful thing. Plants are really starving. They don’t talk about how good it is for agriculture that CO2 is increasing,” he added.
“The other thing that amazes me is that when you talk about climate change it is always going to be the worst. It’s got to be better someplace for heaven’s sake. It can’t always be to the worse,” he said.
“Then comes the clincher. If climate change does not scare people we can scare people talking about the extreme weather,” Giaever said.
“For the last hundred years, the ocean has risen 20 cm — but for the previous hundred years the ocean also has risen 20 cm and for the last 300 years, the ocean has also risen 20 cm per 100 years. So there is no unusual rise in sea level. And to be sure you understand that I will repeat it. There is no unusual rise in sea level,” Giaever said.
“If anything we have entered period of low hurricanes. These are the facts,” he continued. “You don’t’ have to even be a scientist to look at these figures and you understand what it says,” he added. “Same thing is for tornadoes. We are in a low period on in U.S.”
“What people say is not true. I spoke to a journalist with [German newspaper] Die Welt yesterday…and I asked how many articles he published that says global warming is a good thing. He said I probably don’t publish them at all. Its always a negative. lways,” Giever said.
“They say refugees are trying to cross the Mediterranean. These people are not fleeing global warming, they are fleeing poverty,” he noted. “If you want to help Africa, help them out of poverty, do not try to build solar cells and windmills,” he added.
“Are you wasting money on solar cells and windmills rather than helping people? These people have been misled. It costs money in the end to that. Windmills cost money.”
“Cheap energy is what made us so rich and now suddenly people don’t want it anymore.”
“People say oil companies are the big bad people. I don’t understand why they are worse than the windmill companies. General Electric makes windmills. They don’t tell you that they are not economical because they make money on it. But nobody protests GE, but they protest Exxon who makes oil,” he noted.
The Supreme Court’s EPA decision, while not all positive, is worthy of celebration
By Marita Noon
downwiththeepaThe Supreme Court has been harsh on the Obama Administration’s regulatory overreach (remember Hobby Lobby and the National Labor Relations Board vs. Noel Canning decision), and this week’s decision on mercury and air toxics standards for power plants — known as the MATS regulations — serves as a severe smack down and has the potential to impact future regulations like the Clean Power Plan (CPP), which is even more far-reaching and costly than MATS. Addressing CPP, American Electric Power President and CEO Charles Patton sees that the ruling “provides the basis for future litigation.”
(A multi-state coalition tried to stop the proposed CPP in federal court; however, the court dismissed the case June 9, saying the challenge is premature because the rule hasn’t been finalized.)
Bill Raney, President of the West Virginia Coal Association was happy with the Supreme Court’s decision: “The ruling is a positive, clearly better than a negative position.” Addressing the ruling’s impact on the upcoming CPP final rule, scheduled for release this summer, he added, “They’re going to have to do economic analysis. And, there’s no available technology to meet the CO2 standards they want.” Many believe the newly required economic analysis will have to delay the release of the final rule and may require new public hearings.
Unfortunately, the justices’ decision comes after much of the electricity-generation industry has started costly moves toward meeting the regulation. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has essentially responded with a shrug. In a statement, EPA spokeswoman Melissa Harrison said, “This rule was issued more than three years ago, investments have been made, and most plants are already well on their way to compliance.” Patton is pleased with the decision, but is not over-the-top with enthusiasm as his company, to comply with the regulation, has already engaged in closures, conversions, and retrofits — “all at a cost,” he explained, “that will be borne by consumers.”
In his response, Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) stated, “While the ruling is certainly a victory, EPA even acknowledges the negative economic costs that have already occurred including the premature closure of coal plants and thousands of lost jobs. EPA’s actions have far-reaching consequences, even when they are the result of unauthorized actions. The Courts must keep this in mind as the agency approaches finalization of its so-called Clean Power Plan.”
That’s right, just introducing the regulation, forced expensive modifications and premature power plant closures — meaning increased rates for consumers and thousands of lost jobs.
The big lesson for the Obama Administration should be read between the lines. They may be, in some back room at the White House, rubbing their hands in glee over the court’s EPA decision. The Administration can introduce all kinds of controversial and unreasonable rules and regulations that crush growth, kill jobs, and favor its friends and ideology. And even if they, ultimately, get shot down, it will be too late; the impact will already be felt.
“The tragedy of it all is when the EPA fails to fully contemplate the economic cost of their proposals,” Patton added. “We don’t see any opportunity to bring these plants back. Sometimes you can’t turn that aircraft carrier back; you cannot put the toothpaste back in the tube.”
Before more aggressive, expensive policy, like the CPP, is finalized and wends its way through the appeal process, something must be done to blunt the impact of announced rules. Patton agrees, “Let’s have a definite solution, a set of rules that are un-appealable before we spend billions of dollars.”
Fortunately, as Justice Antonin Scalia admonished in last year’s UARG v. EPA decision, Congress is working on such legislation. The bipartisan Ratepayer Protection Act passed the House on June 24 and is headed to the Senate. The legislation allows states to delay compliance with, for example, CPP, until all legal challenges have been exhausted.
In the Senate, Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and a bipartisan group of Senators has introduced the Affordable Reliable Energy Now Act (ARENA) that would go much further than the House-passed bill by immediately killing off pending carbon pollution rules and setting even stricter requirements for the EPA to meet if it elects to try again on regulating carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.
The court’s decision should also encourage more governors to refuse to comply with the administration’s CPP. Encouraged by Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), several states have announced that they will not draft their own compliance plan as required by CPP.
In April, Governor Mary Fallin (R) signed Executive Order 2015-22 declaring that the state will not develop a plan to implement the CPP. The order prohibits Oklahoma’s environmental agencies from developing an implementation plan unless it is determined to be legally required by the Attorney General of Oklahoma or a court of competent jurisdiction.
Texas Governor Gregg Abbott (R) flew to Washington, D.C., to meet with McConnell. He called CPP: “unprecedented meddling with Texas in order to push the Obama Administration’s liberal climate change agenda.” Two different pieces of legislation with intent similar to Oklahoma’s order have been filed in Texas.
On May 21, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker sent a letter to President Obama in which he called CPP “unworkable” and stated, “Compliance with the rule could cost Wisconsin as much as $13.4 billion and raise electricity rates in the state by 29 percent.” Walker says, “Wisconsin will not comply with the president’s plan without ‘significant and meaningful changes.’”
Last week, Indiana’s Governor Mike Pence (R) sent a letter to President Obama stating that his state will not comply unless major changes are made to CPP. In West Virginia, lawmakers sent a letter to Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D) urging him not to submit a compliance plan. Up to twenty states are expected to forgo developing their own implementation plans, though the number could be higher. Real Clear Policy reports, “According to one survey, there are today 32 states ‘in which elected officials (e.g., legislatures, governors, and/or attorneys general) have expressed firm opposition’ to the CPP.”
Monday’s Supreme Court decision is worth celebrating — if for no other reason than that the anti-fossil fuel movement isn’t celebrating. While the decision may be too late to save the money spent and the jobs lost due to MATS, it does put the brakes on the EPA’s headlong rush to minimize hydrocarbon fuel sources without due consideration of the real costs to American families and our industries.
Experts believe that this decision will impact all pending rules and regulations, setting a new course toward a rational, measured approach to energy issues. We need to seize this momentum shift by voicing support for ARENA and encouraging state leaders in resisting EPA’s draconian edicts while leaving environmental protection to the states.
India Will Defy UN On Global Warming And Not Peak CO2 Emissions
India is refusing to specify a year it will peak its carbon dioxide emissions levels from fossil fuel use, a blow to plans by the Obama administration and the United Nations to get firm commitments from the world’s major emitters to fight global warming.
Despite pressure from the U.S. and the U.N., India has so far refused to sign a global warming deal that would force the country to forsake development in favor of environmental protection. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has already rejected overtures from the U.S. to peak emissions.
“The world is not expecting… India to announce its peaking year,” India’s environment minister Prakash Javadekar told the BBC. “Countries know where India stands and what its requirements [development needs] are and therefore nobody has asked us for [the] peaking year.”
Javadekar said the country would soon submit its plans for reducing CO2 emissions and it would be much more “ambitious than what the world is perceiving.” India has said it would do its part to fight global warming, but has repeatedly shown its resolve not to cave to international pressure.
“Some people are trying to put pressure on us, saying that India too needs to declare its emissions peaking year,” Javadekar said. “China’s per capita annual emission is nearly 20 tonnes whereas ours is only two tonnes.”
India is the world’s third-largest emitter of carbon dioxide, but the country’s per capita emissions are well-below the national average. About one-third of Indians lack access to reliable electricity and poverty remains rampant throughout the country. India’s government is working hard to combat both of these issues, which includes using some green energy but also involved boosting coal-fired electricity use.
Ramping up electricity use, mainly from fossil fuels, will require the country to drastically increase its carbon dioxide emissions in the coming decades as standards of living rise.
The Obama administration tried to convince India to commit to peaking carbon emissions, echoing a similar deal the White House cut with China late last year. China promised to peak its emissions by 2030 and the U.S. promised to cut emissions 26 to 28 percent by 2025.
“Having a peaking year was not acceptable to us,” an environment ministry official told the Hindustan Times earlier this year.
In 2010, India did pledge to reduce the carbon intensity of its economy 20 to 25 percent below 2005 levels — the country’s agriculture sector, however, was exempted from the pledge. Though that pledge was made before Modi came to power and embarked on a campaign to raise Indian’s living standards.
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Posted by JR at 12:36 AM