Friday, August 28, 2015
Amusing: Warmists try to strike back at skeptical scientists -- but bomb out
If you read the guff below by climate robot Nuccitelli and his merry men, it seems like they have got something. But they haven't.
I very rarely refer here to anything on Anthony Watts' site on the grounds that anybody reading this site has probably already read Watts. This time, however, what Watts points out is too funny to ignore.
The best bit is that Nuccitelli & Co submitted their paper to five different climate journals before they got it accepted for publication. One of the rejecting journal referees commented pointedly: “The manuscript is not a scientific study. It is just a summary of purported errors in collection of papers, arbitrarily selected by the authors.”
More at the Watts site. Nuccitelli & Co do have some idea of what science is but they are no good at doing it
The scientific consensus behind man-made global warming is overwhelming: multiple studies have noted a 97 percent consensus among climate scientists that the Earth is warming and human activities are primarily responsible. Scientists are as sure that global warming is real — and driven by human activity — as they are that smoking cigarettes leads to lung cancer.
But what if all of those scientists are wrong? What if the tiny sliver of scientists that don’t believe global warming is happening, or that human activities are causing it — that two to three percent of climate contrarians — are right?
That’s the hypothetical question that a new study, authored by Rasmus Benestad, Dana Nuccitelli, Stephan Lewandowsky, Katharine Hayhoe, Hans Olav Hygen, Rob van Dorland, and John Cook, sought to answer. Published last week in the journal Theoretical and Applied Climatology, the study examined 38 recent examples of contrarian climate research — published research that takes a position on anthropogenic climate change but doesn’t attribute it to human activity — and tried to replicate the results of those studies.
The studies weren’t selected randomly — according to lead author Rasmus Benestad, the studies selected were highly visible contrarian studies that had all arrived at a different conclusion than consensus climate studies. The question the researchers wanted to know was — why?
“Our selection suited this purpose as it would be harder to spot flaws in papers following the mainstream ideas. The chance of finding errors among the outliers is higher than from more mainstream papers,” Benestad wrote at RealClimate. “Our hypothesis was that the chosen contrarian paper was valid, and our approach was to try to falsify this hypothesis by repeating the work with a critical eye.”
It didn’t go well for the contrarian studies.
The most common mistake shared by the contrarian studies was cherry picking, in which studies ignored data or contextual information that did not support the study’s ultimate conclusions. In a piece for the Guardian, study co-author Dana Nuccitelli cited one particular contrarian study that supported the idea that moon and solar cycles affect the Earth’s climate. When the group tried to replicate that study’s findings for the paper, they found that the study’s model only worked for the particular 4,000-year cycle that the study looked at.
“However, for the 6,000 years’ worth of earlier data they threw out, their model couldn’t reproduce the temperature changes,” Nuccitelli wrote. “The authors argued that their model could be used to forecast future climate changes, but there’s no reason to trust a model forecast if it can’t accurately reproduce the past.”
The researchers also found that a number of the contrarian studies simply ignored the laws of physics. For example, in 2007 and 2010 papers, Ferenc Miskolczi argued that the greenhouse effect had become saturated, a theory that had been disproved in the early 1900s.
“As we note in the supplementary material to our paper, Miskolczi left out some important known physics in order to revive this century-old myth,” Nuccitelli wrote.
In other cases, the authors found, researchers would include extra parameters not based in the laws of physics to make a model fit their conclusion.
“Good modeling will constrain the possible values of the parameters being used so that they reflect known physics, but bad ‘curve fitting’ doesn’t limit itself to physical realities,” Nuccitelli said.
The authors note that these errors aren’t necessarily only found in contrarian papers, and they aren’t necessarily malicious. In their discussion, they offer a suite of possible explanations for the mistakes. Many authors of the contrarian studies were relatively new to climate science, and therefore may have been unaware of important context or data. Many of the papers were also published in journals with audiences that don’t necessarily seek out climate science, and therefore peer review might have been lacking. And some of the researchers had published similar studies, all omitting important information.
Lamebrain Obama Called Conservatives Hypocrites on Solar Energy and Free Markets. Here’s What He Got Wrong
President Obama is having a hard time with the definition of free market. The most recent example came from his remarks at the National Clean Energy Summit, an event hosted by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to promote solar power.
Obama told a crowd in Las Vegas that solar and renewables now make economic sense and blasted conservative think-tanks for being insincere when it comes to the free market. He said, “Now, it’s one thing if you’re consistent in being free market. It’s another thing when you’re free market until it’s solar that’s working and people want to buy and suddenly you’re not for it any more.”
The way America does solar is not free-market.
If solar made as much economic sense as Obama purports, it wouldn’t need help from Washington or continually push to extend the handouts it receives.
If solar operated in a free market, taxpayers wouldn’t have lost more than half a billion dollars on Solyndra.
Private investors would have taken that risk and lost their own money—or even better—made money. But instead we have policies where well-connected special interests and campaign donors direct how taxpayer money is spent and where private capital flows. The well-connected investors stand to reap all the profits, and the taxpayers bear all of the risk.
The market-distorting handouts for solar come in a variety of forms. The solar industry benefits from a generous 30-percent targeted investment tax credit, state grant and incentive programs, a taxpayer-funded initiative at the Department of Energy to lower the cost of solar, net metering policies that shift the costs of solar users to non-solar residents, taxpayer-backed federal loan guarantees, and Department of Defense mandates.
How are any of these viewed as free-market? Only through the lens of the Obama administration.
In fact, in the same speech, Obama announced a handful of new subsidies to prop up the solar industry on the backs of taxpayers and defended one of the biggest state-led anti-free-market policies: renewable electricity standards.
"When you start seeing massive lobbying efforts backed by fossil fuel interests, or conservative think tanks, or the Koch brothers pushing for new laws to roll back renewable energy standards, or to prevent new clean energy businesses from succeeding, that’s s problem."
Renewable electricity standards mandate that a state must produce a certain amount of its electricity from renewables by a certain date.
Mandates that guarantee a share of the market and do not require innovation or competitive practices to lower costs and compete with other energy sources are not free-market.
It’s what Obama correctly defined as “rent seeking.”
Rent seeking occurs when politicians dictate how private-sector resources are spent. The industries that stand to benefit from or be harmed by those policy decisions will increase their lobbying for government handouts and to prevent their competitors from receiving the handout.
Obama also boasted that the “solar industry now employs twice as many Americans as mining coal.” First of all, when your administration empowers overzealous regulators to implement job-crushing regulations on the coal industry with no meaningful direct environmental benefit, the number of coal miners working an honest day’s work is going to shrink.
Secondly, solar employing twice as many as the coal industry is not the right metric for success or progress.
The reality is, we’re getting dramatically less energy bang for our subsidized solar buck.
Coal provided nearly 40 percent of America’s electricity in 2014, and solar provided 0.4 percent.
If the goal were simply to create jobs, we could rid the world of mechanical equipment and hire workers to dig our ditches. But the result would be a less prosperous United States and a lot of lost value creation, which would ultimately destroy more jobs than it created.
Subsidizing energy technologies directs labor and capital away from its most efficient use.
At Heritage, we’ve consistently pushed to end subsidies for all energy sources and technologies, including fossil fuel and nuclear subsidies.
We’ve identified barriers to break down to make renewables more competitive. We want to end cronyism and the political process that picks winners and losers and allow the market to determine what provides America with reliable energy at competitive prices.
Obama criticized opponents of his plan for standing in the way of progress.
But it’s his very policies that obstruct long-term progress of the industries they want to succeed and try to promote.
Instead of relying on a process that rewards competition, taxpayer subsidies prevent a company from truly understanding the price point at which the technology will be economically viable.
There’s a stark difference between opposing solar power and opposing solar power subsidies.
If the industry can compete without crony government programs, then that will be actual progress, and families and businesses will be better off as a result.
But let’s not pretend that solar is operating in a free-market environment. Instead, let’s open access to resources, remove all government favoritism, and unshackle energy sources and technologies bogged down by regulatory obstacles.
Oil’s down, gasoline isn’t. What’s up?
By Marita Noon
A little more than a year ago, oil prices were above $100 a barrel. The national average for gasoline was in the $3.50 range. In late spring, oil was $60ish, and the national average for gas was around $2.70. The price of a barrel of oil has plunged to $40 and below — yet, prices at the pump are just slightly less than they were when oil was almost double what it is today.
Oil and gasoline prices usually travel up or down in sync. But a few weeks ago, the trend lines crossed and oil continued the sharp decline while gasoline has stayed steady — even increasing.
Oil’s down, gasoline isn’t. Consumers are wondering, “What’s up?”
Even Congress is grilling refiners over the disparity.
While, like most markets, the answer is complicated, there are some simple responses that even Congress should be able to understand. The short explanation is “refineries” — but there’s more to that and some other components, too.
The U.S. has approximately 20 percent of the world’s refining capacity. Fuel News explains that “on a perfect day,” these domestic facilities could process more than 18 million barrels of crude oil. But due, in large part, to an anti-fossil fuel attitude, it is virtually impossible to get a new refinery permitted in America. Most refineries today are old — the newest major one was completed in 1977. Most are at least 40 years old and some are more than 100. Despite signs of aging, refining capacity has continued to grow. Instead of producing at 70 percent capacity, as they were as little as a decade ago, most now run at 90 percent. They’ve become Rube Goldberg contraptions that have been modified, added on to, and upgraded. The system is strained.
To keep operating, these mature refineries need regular maintenance — usually done on the shoulders of the busy driving seasons and when systems need to be reconfigured for the different winter and summer blends. Even then, things break. Sometimes a quick repair can keep it up and running until the scheduled maintenance — known as “turnaround.” Sometimes, not. Fixing the equipment failures on the aging facilities can take weeks.
This year, several unexpected maintenance issues happened in the spring. Other refineries worked overtime to make up the shortage. That, plus low crude prices, means that many refiners didn’t shutdown for the usual spring turnaround. Fuel News notes, potential profit encouraged refiners to “get while the getting’s good.”
This pedal-to-the-metal approach is catching up with the sagging systems. On August 8, BP’s Whiting, Ind. refinery, the largest supplier of gasoline in the Midwest, faced an unplanned shutdown due to a leak and possible fire hazard in its Pipestill 12 distillation unit — which processes about 40 percent of its 413,000 barrel per day capacity.
The closure of the largest of Whiting’s three units caused an immediate jump in gasoline prices in the Midwest. Stockpiles were drawn down to fill demand during summer’s peak driving season. Gasoline has been moved — via pipeline, truck, and train — from other parts of the country to balance out supply. So, while the biggest price increase was in states like Minnesota, Michigan, and Illinois, prices rose nationwide beginning on August 11.
Meanwhile, because the Whiting plant wasn’t sucking up crude oil, its supplies grew and drove crude prices down further — hitting a six-year low. The Financial Times reports, “An outage at Whiting’s main crude distillation unit could add almost 1m [million] barrels to Cushing [The Oklahoma oil trading and storage center] every four days as long as it is out.”
Making matters worse, another Midwest refinery, Marathon’s Robinson, Ill. facility, which has a capacity of 212,000 barrels per day, is down for repairs that are expected to take two months.
Others smaller outages include Philadelphia Energy Solutions and the Coffeyville Resources’ refinery in Kansas. BloombergBusiness states, “As many as seven other Midwest refineries could shut units for extended time this fall.” Though, other reports indicate that some of the planned maintenance may be put off due to profit margins that are at a seven-year high.
While there are some other contributing factors, the current mix of supply and demand explains “what’s up?” The lack of new refineries punishes the whole system. Gasoline prices are up — hurting consumers. Crude prices are down—hurting producers.
What Is Obama's Top Population-Control Freak Hiding?
The most transparent administration in American history is at it again — dodging sunlight and evading public disclosure.
Joining former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her secret servers, former IRS witch hunt queen Lois Lerner and her secret email accounts, former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and her Internet alter egos, and former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and his non-public email account is White House science czar John Holdren.
President Obama’s top climate change adviser is defending his hide-and-seek game in federal court. Earlier this month, the Washington, D.C.-based Competitive Enterprise Institute appealed a D.C. district court ruling protecting Holdren’s personal email communications from Freedom of Information Act requests.
CEI argues that federal transparency law “applies to the work-related records of agency employees regardless of where they are stored. Many agencies routinely instruct their staff to preserve any such documents that they might have on their personal email accounts.” Yet, as head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Holdren has placed himself above the law and spirit of transparency that Obama fraudulently vowed to uphold.
“It makes little sense to claim that an agency is not ‘withholding’ documents when it refuses to produce documents held by its own chief executive that relate to ‘agency business,’” CEI’s legal brief rightly argues. “Even if OSTP had demonstrated that these emails were not within its actual control — which it did not — its failure to search its director’s personal account would still violate FOIA because any agency records in that account fall within the agency’s ‘constructive control.’”
The White House science czar’s private email account resides with his former employer, the Woods Hole Research Center. It’s a far-left eco-alarmist group that pushes radical anti-capitalist interventions (Remember “cap and trade”?) to eliminate the decades-long hyped “global climatic catastrophe.” Their ultimate goal? Establishing government rule by eco-technocrats who detest humanity.
To this day, Holdren has escaped questions about his freaky-deaky population-control agenda. Remember, this is the unrepentant sky-is-falling guru who joined fellow whack jobs Paul and Anne Ehrlich in co-authoring “Ecoscience,” a creepy tome that called for saving the planet by proposing that:
Women could be forced to abort their pregnancies, whether they wanted to or not.
The population at large could be sterilized by infertility drugs intentionally put into the nation’s drinking water or food.
Single mothers and teen mothers should have their babies seized from them against their will and given away to other couples to raise.
People who “contribute to social deterioration” (i.e. undesirables) “can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility” — in other words, be compelled to have abortions or be sterilized.
A transnational “Planetary Regime” should assume control of the global economy and also dictate the most intimate details of Americans' lives — using an armed international police force.
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy obstinately refused to answer my questions for Holdren on his views about forced abortions and mass sterilizations or on his continued embrace of forced-abortion advocate and eugenics guru Harrison Brown, whom he credits with inspiring him to become a scientist. Holdren’s mentor likened the global population to a “pulsating mass of maggots.”
These are not harmless dalliances of the past. Holdren’s insidious ideology — and his hidden policy communications — now have an untold impact on American taxpayers. He is the top strategist in Obama’s war on carbon, war on coal, war on the West and war on the economy. Holdren is the zealot “right at the heart” (as The New York Times put it) of devising White House climate change initiatives that reward environmental cronies, send electricity rates skyrocketing and kill jobs.
Who is Holdren conducting government business with, and what is he hiding from the public? What data is being doctored, what scientific evidence is being stonewalled in the name of rescuing the planet and consolidating power in the hands of the green elite? It’s time to turn up the heat.
Jim Inhofe on What the Left Gets Wrong About Climate Change
Sen. Jim Inhofe is no stranger to the climate change debate. The Oklahoma Republican, who leads the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, believes that government and regulation are a big problem.
In an interview with The Daily Signal, Inhofe explained why people should care about the climate debate and what prompted him to bring a snowball to the floor of the Senate earlier this year.
In a separate exchange, Inhofe talked about the government’s regulation of U.S. waterways. Earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers announced the Waters of the United States rule, known as WOTUS.
The Percival Effect
Correlations, Causes and Disproofs
Viv "Farmer" Forbes
Every morning just before dawn our rooster crows and soon afterwards the sun comes up. We have observed no exceptions over three months - clear evidence of perfect correlation. Therefore we have concluded that the crowing rooster causes the sun to rise.
My wife Flora (who believes that the Cooee birds bring the rain) said: “I knew that ages ago - Professor Percival told me.”
So I consulted Professor Percival, our neighbour. He is Professor Emeritus in the “Science in Society” Department at Top-Line University. He specialises in the effect of sound waves on atmospheric transmissivity. He says that some roosters produce sound waves of just the right frequency to affect the dawn visibility through the thick morning atmosphere. He has written pal-reviewed papers on the subject which has been named “The Percival Effect”. In all the hallowed halls, it is regarded as “settled science”.
However, we decided that our rooster was not doing his day job, so he ended up as roast dinner last night.
Flora was very concerned – “what if the sun does not appear at all tomorrow?” she wailed.
But the sun rose as normal.
Flora was relieved but a concerned Professor Percival went off to check his calculations “for feedback loops”. He is still checking.
One thing was proved conclusively in just one day – the rooster’s crowing does not make the sun appear. Something else causes the sun to rise. Our ninety-two correlations did not prove causation. But just one disproof was needed to kill the Percival Effect.
So it is with the Greenhouse Effect. For about 20 years now, carbon dioxide levels have risen steadily but global temperatures are trending level. Therefore CO2 does not control global temperature.
One disproof is all that is needed.
“No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.” -- Albert Einstein
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Posted by JR at 12:37 AM