The Donald on global warming
Long story short: Trump's not buying it. Very clear on Twitter:
He offered this more nuanced take to the Palin Update radio show:
The real climate change is going to be nuclear climate change if we're not smart and tough and very, very careful because that's a big danger and that's a real danger. I think Obama just said that the biggest threat that we have on the planet today is climate change, and a lot of people are saying, did he really say that? We have people chopping off heads and he's talking about climate change. I call it weather. I call it weather. You know, the weather changes.
You look back and they were calling it global cooling and global warming and global everything, but if you look back and the biggest tornados were in the 1890s, the biggest hurricanes were in the 1860s and 1870s. It's weather. You're going to have bad weather. So often I watch the evening newscasts and every time there is a rainstorm some place, and then they wonder why they don't do well, they say, `It's raining here and it's raining there,' usually leading the program. I call it weather. Maybe there's a little bit of change, I don't happen to believe it's manmade.
Cecil's death 'horrifying' but UK won't ban hunting trophies
The slaughter of Cecil the Lion was 'illegal, horrifying and disgusting' the environment minister said yesterday.
But Rory Stewart refused to commit to a ban on the import of trophies like lion heads or put pressure on British Airways not to carry them.
In reaction to the killing of Cecil, three U.S. airlines, Delta, American and United have banned the transport of lion, leopard, elephant, rhino or buffalo remains killed by trophy hunters.
Mr Stewart revealed 61 licences had been granted to bring animal trophies into the UK last year and there is no immediate sign of them being refused in future.
His comments come as a local Zimbabwean hunter, Theo Bronkhurst appeared in court in Hwange, Zimbabwe for failing to stop dentist Walter Palmer from killing the rare black-maned lion with a bow and arrow last week.
Bronkhurst told a court he thought it was 'frivolous and wrong' to bring charges against him. Palmer is facing calls for extradition from the US over the killing which shocked the world.
In an unusual photocall, Mr Stewart pledged £5million pounds to go to wildlife conservation efforts as he stood inches away from a seven-year-old live tiger, Jae Jae, who prowled safely behind the glass wall of his enclosure at London Zoo.
Mr Stewart said the trade in antique animal trophies can be used to cover the sale of illegally hunted animals.
Asked if he was 'happy for legally hunted trophies to be brought into the UK,' Mr Stewart replied: 'Let me start with the legal position.
'This practice is legal in certain countries. It's important to understand why it's legal... It's legal because conservationists believe this is the best way to engage local populations with conservation.
'The second question is around whether the UK should ban. We are looking very carefully at that... We are discussing it with the public, we are discussing it with other countries.
'This is not about a short term solution but thinking about the interests of the animals.'
He said while some countries such as Botswana, had banned hunting, others made large sums from it– such as $300million (£191million) a year for one government, thought to be Zambia 'which is then ploughed back into conservation. These are difficult issues.'
Mr Stewart added that last year the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) granted only 61 licenses to import trophies such as lion heads, paws and skins into the UK – although only 16 were actually used. 'We have taken less than 60 licenses out of 25,000 lions [living in the wild].'
He added: 'The key thing is protecting the lions in Africa and that means working with African governments so anything you do has to be a very serious discussion with these governments.'
The President's Clean Power Plan Is Built Upon a Pack of Lies
By Craig Idso
Today, President Obama unveiled his administration’s latest initiative to combat climate change, the Clean Power Plan. Authored and overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency, the new program requires a national reduction in power plant carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of 32 percent just a mere decade and a half from now. Such a mandate, in and of itself, is a Herculean task that can be debated as to whether or not it is even possible to accomplish, as forecasts from the Administration’s own Department of Energy indicate ever more energy will be needed in the years and decades ahead — a need that is unlikely to be met without expanding the production of energy from fossil fuel combustion.
In the days, weeks and months ahead a lively debate will likely ensue with regard to how the President’s new emission rule will be implemented, the amount of jobs it will create, the lives it purports to save, the plan’s reliability, affordability and flexibility, the virtues of expanding renewable energy sources, and — dare we state it — the racial implications for implementing (or not implementing) the new rule.
As important as these features and characteristics are, however, it is crucial to note that none of them truly matter. They are all distractions from where the real debate should be taking place: the reason why the plan is being implemented.
According to the President and his acolytes, the Clean Power Plan is necessary in order to “tackle the threat of climate change.” In their view, increasing CO2 emissions are leading humanity down a dangerous path of irreversible global warming and climate change. Carbon dioxide is a perilous “pollutant” that will wreak havoc on society and the environment unless the new emission rule is implemented.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
President Obama’s Clean Power Plan is built upon a pack of lies. This I know because for the past two decades I have read and published reviews of literally thousands of peer-reviewed scientific papers that show rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations have little impact on global climate. These reviews, along with some of my own original research, are archived on the CO2 Science website, www.co2science.org, as well as in the 2013 publication Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science. This massive collection of papers definitively refutes the narrative President Obama is attempting to sell America and the rest of the world; for there is nothing unusual, unnatural or unprecedented about the planet’s current level of warmth, extreme weather events are not increasing, and the net impact of rising temperatures is to actually save human lives.
Furthermore, it is equally disingenuous of the President and his Administration to characterize CO2 as a “pollutant.” Carbon dioxide is a well-known aerial fertilizer, and many thousands of studies have proven the growth-enhancing, water-saving and stress-alleviating benefits it provides for the biosphere, which benefits were recently summarized in the 2014 publication Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts.
The reality is that rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations are stimulating the productivity of the entire biosphere, where despite all of the many real and imagined assaults on Earth’s vegetation that have occurred over the past several decades, including wildfires, disease, pest outbreaks, deforestation, and climatic changes in temperature and precipitation, as shown in the figure below, the terrestrial biosphere has become, in the mean, an increasingly greater sink for CO2-carbon, more than compensating for any of the negative effects these phenomena may have had on the global biosphere. Additionally, the direct monetary benefits of atmospheric CO2 enrichment on global crop production have been estimated to have been a staggering $3.2 trillion over the period 1961-2011.
Five-year smoothed rates of carbon transfer from land to air (+) or from air to land (-) vs. time. Adapted from Tans (2009, Oceanography 22: 26-35).
The Obama Administration should be fully aware of all of these truths. Copies of both Climate Change Reconsidered publications have been submitted to the EPA and other government agency officials over the years in one form or another. Sadly, however, rather than acknowledging these verities, the Administration has been hell-bent on disregarding them. This is where the real story lies and where the debate should be centered; for how in the world can a substance so beneficial and essential to life on Earth be so incorrectly demonized and regulated as a pollutant when literally thousands of scientific measurements and observations indicate otherwise?
Clearly, the people behind these actions care little for the truth, little for fossil fuels, little for affordable energy and little for the millions of unfortunate people who will suffer the negative consequences of the President’s misguided plan.
Obama’s New Energy Plan Could Cost $2.5 Trillion in Lost Economic Growth
The Obama administration unveiled its climate change regulations for new and existing power plants, calling the plan “the biggest, most important step we’ve ever taken to combat climate change.”
It may be the most “important” from a top-down, regulatory mandate for high energy prices, but it won’t accomplish much, if anything, in terms of combating climate change.
Even though electricity generation accounts for the single largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States, the estimated reduction is minuscule compared to global greenhouse gas emissions.
Climatologists estimate that the administration’s climate regulations will avert less than two hundredths of a degree Celsius by 2100.
In fact, all the plan will do is bring about higher energy bills, lost income, fewer jobs and a weaker economy – with little to no impact on the Earth’s temperature.
The role of the federal government should be not to promote or restrict any energy source or technology, but instead to enforce free-market policies that generate innovation and provide competitive prices.
In fact, the federal government has done much more to restrict the development of these energy sources than promote them, with Obama’s climate regulations being the latest blow.
Coal currently provides approximately 40 percent of America’s electricity as an affordable, reliable source.
Obama is upping the ante on existing power plants, forcing power plants, on average, to cut carbon dioxide emissions 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, with interim targets starting in 2022.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed separate carbon dioxide (CO2) regulations for new power plants and existing units but issued the final regulations concurrently.
The emissions threshold for new power plants will require coal-fired plants to install carbon capture and sequestration technology (CCS).
This will likely spell the end of new coal-fired power plants since no credible basis exists to state that CCS is adequately demonstrated today.
CCS faces questions about technical scalability, regulatory challenges, long-term liability of storing the captured CO2 and above all, cost that make it a non-option.
And that CCS yields no environmental benefit makes the requirement farcical.
The new regulations would drop that to 27 percent by 2030, forcing states to switch to more expensive, less reliable renewable power.
But “the war on coal,” as many are dubbing the regulations, is truly a war on American families and businesses.
Americans feel the pain of higher energy prices directly, but also indirectly through almost all of the goods and services they buy, because energy is a necessary staple of production for almost all goods and services.
Further, a regulation that increases energy prices will disproportionately eat into the income of the poorest American families.
The cumulative economic impact of higher energy prices will be hundreds of thousands of jobs lost and more than $2.5 trillion in lost economic growth.
To allegedly soften that blow, the EPA is touting the notion of flexibility to the states, arguing that states can set up regional cap-and-trade programs, increase renewable or nuclear power generation or mandate more energy efficiency standards.
States will have one year to develop and submit their own compliance plan or develop regional plans with other states, though the EPA will grant extension waivers as long as two years.
No matter how states concoct their plans, the economic damages will be felt through higher energy costs, fewer job opportunities and fewer choices through implementation of efficiency mandates that remove decision making from producers and consumers.
The EPA’s idea of flexibility will not soften the economic blow; it merely means that families, individuals and businesses will incur higher costs through different state or regional-imposed mechanisms.
And by placing the entire onus on the states to devise their own carbon-cutting plans, the federal government evades all accountability to Americans and leaves state officials to take the political heat.
The climate benefit that Americans receive for higher electricity rates, unemployment and lower levels of prosperity is almost, if not completely, nonexistent. Government regulators could limit all greenhouse gas emissions produced by the United States, and that number jumps to only a tenth of a degree of averted warming.
Therefore, Congress and state officials should not wait on the courts to act in this matter.
Any delay in fighting the entirety of the regulation could cause the closer of many reliable, low-cost power plants, mandate pricier alternative energy and set steep prices on carbon dioxide for regional cap-and-trade programs.
Members of Congress and state governments should fight the regulation, rather than settling for a slightly more palatable version of the regulation that will still bring injurious economic results and no climate or environmental benefit.
Tennessee’s Fracking Controversy
Shale gas deposits underlie about a third of the State of Tennessee. Tapping that low-carbon resource is essential if electric utilities there and across the nation have any hope of complying with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Energy Plan, which mandates a 30 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030.
Yet environmental groups are fighting furiously against proposals to recover Tennessee’s abundant natural gas supplies because doing so requires expanding hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) of the state’s shale formations. That opposition is both perverse and disingenuous of people demanding action against climate change, not by shifting from coal to natural gas, but instead by relying more heavily on solar and wind power to meet the nation’s energy needs.
“Perfect” energy options have become the enemy of “good” and practical ones.
Generating electricity from renewables hinges on the availability of other energy sources on days when the weather isn’t cooperating. Without natural gas as a backup, the sun and the wind are not reliable enough to supply today’s energy demands. Solar and wind combined contribute less than 5 percent of the nation’s electricity requirements – and that share would be much smaller but for tax credits and state mandates requiring greater reliance on renewable energy sources.
Wind turbines, on average, generate electricity 25 percent of the time and solar arrays are online even less regularly. The nation’s base-load natural gas and nuclear-powered plants, in contrast, produce electricity over roughly 90 percent of the day and the year.
Although energy companies have been buying mineral rights to the Chattanooga Shale in the eastern part of the state, fracking has yet to take hold in a big way because it hasn’t been profitable at today’s low natural gas prices. But if and when those prices rise or new drilling innovations reduce the cost of fracking, gas production will take off.
Even now, though, TVA needs the state’s natural gas – and additional nuclear power – to reduce its reliance on coal-fired electricity generators. And Tennessee needs the jobs and other huge economic benefits that will come with more natural gas production.
There’s a lot at stake. The University of Tennessee wants an energy company to frack on about 8,000 woodland acres maintained as an outdoor laboratory on the Cumberland Plateau. The lease revenues potentially total hundreds of millions of dollars. The university has proposed using some of that revenue to support research on fracking’s environmental risks. But corporate funding of public institutions of higher learning is anathema to Greens and some faculty members, who contend that such a pact with the “Devil” creates a conflict between the public’s interest and that of external sponsors.
The reality is that universities nationwide face mounting pressures to increase corporate funding to offset ongoing reductions in government spending on teaching and research. There’s nothing wrong with this. To the contrary, private financial support for universities has led to breakthroughs in everything from biotechnology and computing to public health. Why not use oil and gas money to support good science at Tennessee’s flagship school on fracking or to endow a chair in petroleum engineering?
Fracking is underway nowadays in a dozen states around the country. Shale formations underlie a wide swath of Appalachia, and the oil and gas industry is eager to expand its fracking operations into New York, North Carolina, and Maryland. No one can deny the huge economic potential of the Chattanooga Shale, which is an extension of the giant Marcellus Shale to the northeast.
Fracking ordinarily involves injecting large amounts of water underground under high pressure, but the Chattanooga Shale is too fragile for that, so nitrogen gas is injected instead. That process reduces the quantity of water needed for drilling, leaving more available for irrigation and other uses. Hence, there is little or no need for wastewater injection wells in Tennessee, a recovery technique that has been linked to incidents of groundwater contamination – but only a few of them – since fracking began in the 1940s.
The growth of shale-gas production has produced unquestionable environmental benefits. Natural gas has less than half the carbon content of coal. Owing largely to a switch from coal to gas in electricity generation, U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions have fallen to 1990 levels. Fifteen years ago, gas accounted for 16 percent of national electricity production; its share has increased to 27 percent today. Coal use has gone in the opposite direction, plummeting from 51.3 percent of the total in 2000 to 39 percent today.
Neither Tennessee nor any other state can meet the EPA’s carbon-dioxide reduction goal without natural gas and nuclear power. If fracking is banned, electricity prices will go up, heating prices will rise, and the jobs created by the resurgence of U.S. manufacturing, all of which can be attributed to falling energy prices, will go by the wayside.
Australia: Another Green/Left conspiracy theory
Back in the '80s and '90s people still trusted scientists. Some naive people still do. So pronouncements from scientists about global warming were treated with respect. Even Margaret Thatcher was taken in for a time. There are a lot of people who understand science, however, and, as they began to look at the facts behind the warnings, they saw that it was all just a storm in a teacup with a poorly-founded prophecy built on top.
And that fact eventually percolated through to a lot of people, including a lot of decision-makers. But, because the prestige of science was great, few people denounced the scare outright. Instead it began to get just lip service from many decision-makers. Only Leftists retained fervour -- because the theory justified their hunger for control over us all so well.
But Leftists don't want to believe any of that so they are constantly putting out conspiracy theories: Shady people in dark places are manipulating is all. Antisemitism is the grandfsather of such theories. Conspiracy theories are the recourse of people who don't really understand what is going on. They are a substitute for real enquiry. So Leftists have always been big propagators of them.
And so it has been with the Green/Left. The accusations of a dark conspiracy to prevent action on global warming never stop. Below is the latest one from Australia
There’s something about climate change that almost everyone in Australia has either forgotten or never knew in the first place.
In 1990 Bob Hawke announced his government wanted the country to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by the year 2005.
For a fleeting moment, it seemed the Australian public, politicians and the media were in agreement with the science.
But a new book investigates how the industries that stood to lose the most worked to undermine the science and entirely reshape the story being told to the public.
“We have been propagandised,” says the author, Maria Taylor.
Hawke was ready
In 1989 Hawke described a “growing consensus amongst scientists” showing there was a strong chance that major climate change was on its way, that this change was linked to human activity, and this could have “major ramifications for human survival” if nothing was done.
Public statements by scientists in Australia and around the world, backed by government reports and research, had established unambiguously that humans were causing climate change. Bold steps needed to be taken if the major risks of catastrophic climate change were to be mediated.
The UN’s intergovernmental plan on climate change delivered its first blockbuster assessment of the climate science in 1990.
Taylor’s book recalls how Australia was working its way towards a detailed plan to deliver Hawke’s proposal. State governments had response strategies in place. Politicians were largely on board. So was the fourth estate. The public understood the science and the huge risks of not acting.
Now, a quarter of a century later, climate change has been turned into a toxic political football. Scientists have their integrity attacked on a daily basis.
Australia's climate change 'debate' all talk and no action
Lenore Taylor Political editor
Climate science denial is a feature of the conservative media and many members of the public are either confused about the science, ambivalent about the issue or entirely uninterested.
So how has Australia has managed to find itself behind where it was a quarter of a century ago?
Around 2007, Taylor was asking herself that question. How did the corporate interest replace the public interest? How did climate science become “controversial” in the eyes of the public?
Taylor, who is a journalist and newspaper publisher, wanted to know how Australians were “persuaded to doubt what they knew”.
She reviewed hundreds of newspaper articles and government reports for a PhD thesis and now book, called Global Warming and Climate Change: What Australia Knew and Buried … Then Framed a New Reality for the Public” (you can download a copy free from publisher ANU Press).
Taylor also interviewed about a dozen key insiders, including scientists, advisers, politicians and journalists. She says the fact that Australia was ready and willing to act 25 years ago has itself been a forgotten story.
Almost no one that I spoke to remembered the 1990 emissions reduction target. Even people like [former energy minister] John Kerin, who co-signed it!
In the book Taylor explains how from the late 1980s industry groups, free market advocates and climate contrarians got to work to reframe the issue from the science to the economics.
By 1996 much of the damage was done. The advent of John Howard’s government ensured there would be no more genuine progress.
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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