Sunday, August 23, 2015
Climatologist: We Have a ‘Moral Imperative’ to Burn Fossil Fuels
Warmists often invoke morality -- which they don't believe in -- as part of their call for carbon restrictions. But the real moral imperative is to stop their destructive campaigning
We have a “moral imperative” to burn carbon dioxide-emitting fossil fuels because the energy they provide is a “liberator” of humanity, says Dr. John Christy, a climatologist and director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama, Huntsville.
“We are not morally bad people for taking carbon and turning it into the energy that offers life to humanity in a world that would otherwise be brutal,” Christy wrote in a recent oped. "On the contrary, we are good people for doing so."
He also challenged what he says are contradictions in Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si, in which the pontiff called climate change “one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.”
The pope’s encyclical “displays a lack of understanding of how the real world works,” Christy told CNSNews.com. According to microwave data from satellites going back to 1978, which are precise to within .08 of a degree, “very little warming is taking place,” he pointed out.
In his encyclical, Pope Francis also wrote that “a very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system…. The problem is aggravated by a model of development based on the intensive use of fossil fuels, which is at the heart of the worldwide energy system….There is an urgent need to develop policies so that, in the next few years, the emission of carbon dioxide and other highly polluting gases can be drastically reduced.”
“The encyclical calls for renewed attention to the ‘wisdom’ that all human life is sacred, having ‘infinite dignity,’” Christy pointed out in his oped. “On the other hand, we are asked to forgo the fundamental means by which human life flourishes today – carbon-based energy (coal, oil, natural gas).”
Carbon-based energy, which is “the most affordable and reliable source of energy in demand today, liberates people from poverty,” Christy explained to CNSNews.com. “Without energy, life is brutal and short.”
Pointing out that it was “warmer 4,000 to 5,000 years ago than it is today,” Christy said that the computer models cited by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicted global warming that is “three times” what the satellite data shows is the Earth’s actual temperature. “It demonstrates we do not know how to model the climate system, in my view,” Christy said.
“All the datasets show some slight warming (+0.11 degrees Celsius per decade since Nov. 16, 1978), some more than others,” he told CNSNews.com. “But still, the amount of warming is much, much less than what was anticipated from climate models, and that’s what I’ve been showing and demonstrating in various venues, including Congress.
“In a congressional hearing last May, I demonstrated that the models are significantly above in their temperature projection from where we actually are right now. So if you go back 36 years to 1979 and run the models, they all show lots of warming. The real world shows very little warming” despite rising levels of CO2.
On May 13, Christy told the House Committee on Natural Resources that even if the U.S. completely eliminated its fossil fuel emissions, so that “there would be no industry, no cars, no utilities, no people” - the impact on global temperatures would be “so tiny as to be immeasurable.”
“The two largest impacts on temperature are the El Ninos in the Pacific as well as volcanic eruptions, which shade the Earth when they put the dust and smoke in the stratosphere. So once you account for both of those, there’s not a whole lot of warming in the planet,” Christy told CNSNews.com.
“The conclusion we have reached is that the world, the global climate, is not very sensitive to carbon dioxide. And that can occur if the climate responds in its many facets to release heat – when you add the heat from carbon dioxide. So carbon dioxide does allow more heat to be retained in the climate system, but the climate system also has many ways to allow an increased release of heat into space.
”So we think that’s what’s going on, that there are feedbacks that are allowing that heat to escape and not accumulate the way models have indicated it should.”
Fossil fuels cannot easily be replaced with renewable sources of energy without imposing much higher costs on the very people who can least afford it, Christy pointed out.
And drastically reducing the use of fossil fuels, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed under its Clean Power Plan, will have a “miniscule” effect on global temperatures, Christy added.
“The science is fairly simple in terms of numbers. The amount of carbon dioxide emissions avoided by this plan is miniscule compared to the world emissions. Therefore, its impact on the global temperature will be miniscule.
“It will be so tiny we can’t even measure it. It’s going to be less than .02 of a degree for the next several decades," Christy said. “We measure the global temperature through satellites, my colleague Roy Spencer and I, here at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. And we see changes of more than that from day to day. It would be impossible to detect and attribute a .02 degree change to any regulation that was proposed.”
Christy pointed out that there is little chance that renewable resources of energy such as wind, solar and biomass will replace fossil fuels anytime soon, noting that the “world utilization of coal is growing every year, even in places like Japan and Germany, because they realize their renewable portfolios just do not provide the energy a modern economy needs.”
“Cost and reliability – both of those are factors in renewables. They’re just not able to produce the amount of energy a modern economy needs,” he told CNSNews.com. “And they have demonstrated that over and over. The only renewables you see out there, by and large, are those that are heavily subsidized, so their cost is very high. They’re just not as affordable.
"And the poorest people on the planet aren’t going to pay the highest price for energy. That’s just a fact,” he stated.
Christy added that during the next year or so, there will likely be “a bump in global temperatures from the huge El Nino that’s occurring out in the Pacific. So be ready for a bunch of press about ‘warmest month, warmest year’ and so on due to this El Nino.
“It will be couched in terms of human-caused global warming, but no one can prove how much warming is due to humans and how much is due to Mother Nature. And [global temperatures] will come down off that when that El Nino is spent,” he told CNSNews.com.
There will be a “lot of noise and wringing of hands and pronouncements of a grand deal to come” at the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11) conference, which will be held in Paris, France from November 30 to December 11, Christy predicted.
“But the world will continue to burn carbon because the world needs energy - that’s the enabler of human progress and longevity. So no matter what they say in Paris, emissions will rise.”
Polar ice caps stable since 1979
1979 is a very important year in global warming science.
On the weather front, the World Meteorological Association issued a declaration from their meeting in Geneva, Switzerland that included the appeal “to foresee and to prevent potential man-made changes in climate that might be adverse to the well-being of humanity.” Later, the WMO joined with the United Nations Environment Programme to form the International Panel on Climate Change, the U.N. panel whose global warming predictions have been discredited by the earth’s failure to warm.
Another major event was the launch of a satellite system designed to track global temperatures and other environmental phenomena like the health of the polar ice caps.
Today, we have the benefit of reviewing thirty-six years of satellite data detailing the shrinking or increase of the polar ice caps, and the results are amazing.
The global ice area is virtually the same today as it was in 1979.
After all the worry about polar bears dying from lack of sea ice habitat (Note: Polar bears may well be more abundant today than in 1979.) and carbon-dollar-capturing Al Gore, Jr.’s dire prediction of the total disappearance of the Arctic ice cap by 2013 and the resulting rising tides, it turns out that there has been little, if any, change.
What’s more, the satellite system, which – unlike ground monitoring stations – is not impacted by localized variants caused by development, has found that the global warming pause now stands at seventeen years. In fairness, the average temperatures are higher than all but a couple of years between 1979 and 1988, but the predicted escalation of temperatures that undergirds the entire push for massive changes to the world’s electricity generation system are paltry.
With polar ice caps remaining stable since the beginning of the global warming crisis, and the earth’s temperatures stubbornly refusing to rise for almost two decades, despite increasing carbon emissions, every assumption used by the Environmental Protection Agency to justify their regulatory assault on America’s legitimate energy sector needs to be rethought.
Little did those who launched the climate satellite in 1979 know that they were putting into place the scientific data collection technology that changed everything in the global warming debate. One wonders what it feels like to be hoisted on one’s own petard.
EPA's McCarthy Admits Clean Power Plan Hits Minorities Hardest
In June 2014, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said the Clean Power Plan, which the Obama administration finalized earlier this month, “is about environmental justice … because lower-income families and communities of color are hardest hit.” Why, then, is the EPA enacting standards that adversely affect minorities? Last week, McCarthy similarly remarked, “We know that low-income minority communities would be hardest hit.” But there was one important distinction: She wasn’t referring to environmental hazards but the plan itself. In other words, the EPA’s massive power grab, which ostensibly “is about environmental justice,” instead hurts those it’s supposedly intended to protect. That’s not the surprising part — independent studies have already warned about the consequences. What’s surprising is hearing the head of Barack Obama’s EPA admit it.
McCarthy counters by arguing that consumers will see substantial savings by 2030 and that the government intends to help minorities neutralize the initial impacts by giving states that invest in new and upcoming energy efficiency programs a 2-for-1 federal credit. But as The Daily Signal’s Nicolas Loris writes, existing energy efficiency programs have failed to live up to expectations. And just because the government wants to make purchasing decisions for you doesn’t mean consumers are better off: “Arguing that increasing energy prices with regulations will save money by forcing energy-efficient product purchases is equivalent to cutting employees' salaries and telling them that they will save money by shopping at Target. Just as the option to save money at Target existed before the pay cut, families and businesses already have an incentive to purchase energy-efficient products. When the government mandates efficiency, it removes that choice and makes consumers worse off.” No one is against energy efficiency, but that’s best attained through innovation in the free market. When the government gets involved, the results are bad for everyone.
EPA mandate potential 'disaster' in the making, say experts
LA's scheme to cover a reservoir under 96 million "shade balls" may not be all it is touted to be, experts told FoxNews.com, with some critics going so far as to refer to the plan as a "potential disaster."
The city made national headlines last week when Mayor Eric Garcetti and Department of Water officials dumped $34.5 million worth of the tiny, black plastic balls into the city's 175-acre Van Norman Complex reservoir in the Sylmar section. Garcetti said the balls would create a surface layer that would block 300 million gallons from evaporating amid the state's crippling drought and save taxpayers $250 million.
Experts differed over the best color for the tiny plastic balls, with one telling FoxNews.com they should have been white and another saying a chrome color would be optimal. But all agreed that the worst color for the job is the one LA chose.
"Black spheres resting in the hot sun will form a thermal blanket speeding evaporation as well as providing a huge amount of new surface area for the hot water to breed bacteria," said Matt MacLeod, founder of the California biotech firm Modest Moon Farms. "Disaster. It’s going to be a bacterial nightmare.”
Any color covering will help stop wind-driven evaporation, said Robert Shibatani. principal hydrologist for the Sacramento-based environmental consultant The Shibitani Group. But when it comes to the hot summer sun sucking water out of the reservoir, color is everything, he said.
"Ideally you would want a chrome surface," he said. "The worst would be matte black, which has a reflectivity close to zero."
Biologist Nathan Krekula, a professor of health science at Bryant & Stratton College in Milwaukee, said black balls will absorb heat, transfer it to the water and cause evaporation. And he agreed with MacLeod that the heat will prove hospitable to bacteria.
"Bacteria required a few things to grow a dark, warm and moist environment," he said. "The balls will give them the perfect environment to live in.
"What works in backyard fish pond does not always transfer to large scale system such as this, Krekula added. "Keeping the balls clean when covered in bacteria and mold slime will be a monumental task."
Dennis Santiago, a risk analyst for Torrance-based Total Bank Solutions, suspects the real goal for the black-ball cover is to avoid steep Environmental Protection Agency fines. The federal agency's "Long-Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule," announced in 2006, would require public and private water utilities to spend billions to cover open-air reservoirs that hold treated water to prevent contamination. Officials in several districts around the nation have balked at the EPA mandate, notably in New York, where lawmakers are fighting to block a $1.6 billion concrete cover the EPA has ordered built over a Yonkers reservoir.
“This is not about evaporation," Santiago said. "The water savings spin is purely political. What the black balls are really about is that [Los Angeles] needs to stay in-compliance with an EPA requirement to place a physical cover over potable water reservoirs.”
Garcetti's office did note that the ball covering provides a "cost-effective investment that brings the LA Reservoir into compliance with new federal water quality mandates," but its emphasis on blocking evaporation was the clear focus at the event. Los Angeles Department of Water spokesman Albert Rodriguez told FoxNews.com the city has plenty of time to get in compliance with the EPA.
While this latest shade ball initiative continues to generate publicity, it is not the first time Los Angeles utilized the concept. After high levels of bromate, a potentially carcinogenic chemical, were found in the Silver Lake and Ivanhoe reservoirs in 2008, the Department of Water deployed the balls.
Sydney Chase, president of XavierC, one of the shade ball supply companies behind the project, said the color is a result of pure black carbon being added to the high density polyethylene plastic to take in ultra-violet rays and subsequently stop sunlight from penetrating the plastic. Any other color would have required dyes, said Rodriguez, which could have then leached into the water while the carbon black does not.
Climate Cooling Role of Forests Uncovered
New study shows climate scientists have previously under-estimated the major cooling role forests play in regulating climate. Forests cover over 21% of the Earth's surface. Scientists say their global regulation of surface temperature highlights the important role of forests in local, regional and global climate.
The new paper  published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, shows that the transpiration of forest ecosystems through the growing season dissipates more energy and lowers the Bowen ratio. In other words, this study reinforces the need for government climate researchers to include land use and land cover change when seeking to calculate human impact on the global energy balance.
 Most global temperature analyses are based on station air temperatures. This study presents a global analysis of the relationship between remotely sensed annual maximumLST (LSTmax) from the Aqua/Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor and the corresponding site-based maximum air temperature (Tamax) for every World Meteorological Organization station on Earth. The relationship is analyzed for different land cover types. We observed a strong positive correlation between LSTmax andTamax. As temperature increases, LSTmax increases faster than Tamax and captures additional information on the concentration of thermal energy at the Earth's surface, and biophysical controls on surface temperature, such as surface roughness and transpirational cooling. For hot conditions and in nonforested cover types, LST is more closely coupled to the radiative and thermodynamic characteristics of the Earth than the air temperature (Tair). Barren areas, shrublands, grasslands, savannas, and croplands have LSTmax values between 10°C and 20°C hotter than the corresponding Tamax at higher temperatures. Forest cover types are the exception with a near 1:1 relationship betweenLSTmax and Tamax across the temperature range and 38°C as the approximate upper limit of LSTmax with the exception of subtropical deciduous forest types where LSTmax occurs after canopy senescence. The study shows a complex interaction between land cover and surface energy balances. This global, semiautomated annual analysis could provide a new, unique, monitoring metric for integrating land cover change and energy balance changes.
Summary and Conclusions
 We compared the LSTmax from the Aqua/MODIS sensor to the corresponding site-basedTamax for every WMO station on Earth where Tamax is available. We first examined the relationship irrespective of land cover type, and as expected, a consistent positive correlation was observed between LSTmax and Tamax. Our results show that as temperature increases and more thermal energy is concentrated at the Earth's surface, LSTmax and Tamax become increasingly decoupled. At the highest temperatures, LSTmax can be as much as 20°C higher than the corresponding Tamax. Tair can significantly underestimate the actual radiative surface temperature, especially at high temperatures and in nonforested areas. Because LST is more tightly coupled to the radiative and thermodynamic characteristics of the Earth's surface, it may be an improvement to substitute LST for Tair in calculations of the global average surface temperature in the radiative-convective equilibrium concept equation [Pielke et al., 2007].
 We found the strength of the LSTmax/Tamax relationship to be land-cover-dependent. At low temperatures, LSTmax and Tamax are well coupled for all land cover types. Forests are the only cover type that maintains a strongly coupled LSTmax/Tamax relationship at highest temperatures and are distinct from the other land cover types because both LSTmax and Tamaxtend to range between the same values. The transpiration of forest ecosystems through the growing season dissipates more energy and lowers the Bowen ratio, and is the key driver for the stronger coupling of LSTmax and Tamax. Forests cover over 21% of the Earth's surface and span a very large latitudinal gradient. The global regulation of surface temperature highlights the important role of forests in local, regional and global climate.
 Humans continue to dramatically influence global land cover through habitation, forest clearing, agriculture, and increasingly through anthropogenic driven climate change. This study reinforces the need to include land use and land cover change in holistic climate change studies and the important role that forests have in the global energy balance. Regarding policies proposed to influence forestry and land management practices for climate change-mitigation, the greatest uncertainties are in the biophysical influences that temperate forests have on climate [Jackson et al., 2008]. This study shows that temperate forests characterized by a seasonal summer drought cycle, such as in western North America, have a similar cooling effect on LSTmax and Tamax as tropical forests. A change to any other land cover type will result in a higher LSTmax, with commensurate impacts on the surface energy balance and hydrologic cycle of the affected area. Temperate forests with moist, humid summers do not have the same cooling effect on the expression of LSTmax and Tamax relative to the surrounding nonforested cover types because water is not limiting in the ecosystem during the time of thermal maxima.
 LST provides additional information on energy partitioning at the land surface-atmosphere boundary, and is more sensitive to changes in vegetation density compared toTair. With continuous spatial coverage the satellite-derived LSTmax data set may have value in studying the energy balance heterogeneity of the global land surface. The LSTmax is a particularly robust metric of the canopy temperature because during high Sun around noon when maximum temperatures occur, more short-wave radiation penetrates deep into the canopy of vegetation [Huband and Monteith, 1986]. The multidimensional thermal view of the environment that accurate, satellite-derived LST provides is critical to the actual experience of many organisms.
 The unique information provided by LST compared to Tair also enhances the benefits of combining these two variables together. Our findings suggest that the LSTmax/Tamaxrelationship presents new ways to track climate change, especially as these changes impact one climatological variable more than the other. For example, should summers become warmer in the cryosphere, as predicted by climate change, more snow free areas and drier soil conditions would result in the LSTmax rising faster than the Tamax. These long-term trends in the LSTmax/Tamax relationship would need to be tracked for decades. It may be important to further compare these data sets with other satellite based and ground based data sets such as the MODIS Albedo product, and with data from Fluxnet sites.
Head of Leftist outfit condemns Australia for mining coal
He calls Australia "the country that plans to ruin the world", would you believe? His grip on reality is clearly shaky. Like all of the Green/Left, he is amping up the hysteria to counter the 18-year LACK of any statistically significant global warming.
The Australia Institute describes itself as "the country’s most influential progressive think tank".
AUSTRALIA is the “little country that wants to ruin the world”, and it might just succeed thanks to Tony Abbott’s push to increase coal mining.
That’s the view of The Australia Institute’s chief economist Dr Richard Denniss, who says our government’s attitude to mining is “bat sh*t crazy” and warned it could undermine global efforts to stop climate change.
Speaking at an event in London, Dr Richard Denniss said government-backed plans to ramp up Australia’s coal output to more than 604 million tonnes a year was very dangerous. "To put it simply, if the world wants to tackle climate change and Australia wants to double its coal exports, someone is going to lose,” he said. “If we succeed in our stated ambition of building mines that dwarf European cities, some countries, then there is no way we’re going to tackle climate change.”
The comments come as Kiribati’s President Anote Tong launched a global appeal to leaders and companies to support a moratorium on new coal mines ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris this December. It’s billed as the most significant event since the Kyoto Protocol for securing an agreement to tackle carbon emissions.
However Dr Denniss said Australia could single-handedly scupper these global efforts by putting downward pressure on prices which flood the market with cheap coal and make a transition to renewables less likely.
He said Australia’s share of the seaborne coal market is greater than Saudi Arabia’s share of global oil and “our plans are going to have consequences far beyond our borders.” “If you think Saudi Arabia doubling the oil output would put downward pressure on price, then Australia doubling coal exports would put downward pressure on price.”
“We’re a little country that plans to ruin the world and our politicians are not going to stop this.”
The Abbott government has made mining and infrastructure investment central to their economic plan with the Prime Minister saying coal is “good for humanity” and will power the world for “decades to come”.
Earlier this month Mr Abbott accused the judiciary of “sabotage” for holding up approval of the Carmichael coalmine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin after conservation groups raised concerns about native animals in the area. The massive and controversial project from Indian energy giant Adani includes plans for a mine, railway and port in the Great Barrier Reef that has been in the works for five years and is now awaiting final approval.
The government has claimed it will add 10,000 jobs to the area, though this figure has been disputed and comes at a time when the mining industry is shedding workers, losing more than 33,000 jobs between May 2014 and May 2015.
Dr Denniss said a moratorium on new mines makes good economic sense as it would keep coal prices high and prevent the “green paradox” — whereby the threat of action actually forces companies to ramp up production.
“If you owned a truck full of ice cream and the refrigerator broke, what would you do? You would drop the price and sell as much ice cream as you could. Just like Australia is planning to do.”
He also said it’s crucial Australians “get their heads around” the scale of the development and don’t hang their economic future on what many believe to be a dying industry. “We’re an insecure country that worries about our place in the world and when big companies promise us big things it inspires a group of Australians to feel safe,” he said.
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Posted by JR at 12:44 AM