Sunday, August 16, 2015

We live in an era of unusual climate STABILITY

That's what the article below says in its academic way.  I have been saying it for years

Unstable AMOC during glacial intervals and millennial variability: The role of mean sea ice extent

Florian Sévellec & Alexey V. Fedorov


A striking feature of paleoclimate records is the greater stability of the Holocene epoch relative to the preceding glacial interval, especially apparent in the North Atlantic region. In particular, strong irregular variability with an approximately 1500 yr period, known as the Dansgaard–Oeschger (D–O) events, punctuates the last glaciation, but is absent during the interglacial. Prevailing theories, modeling and data suggest that these events, seen as abrupt warming episodes in Greenland ice cores and sea surface temperature records in the North Atlantic, are linked to reorganizations of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). In this study, using a new low-order ocean model that reproduces a realistic power spectrum of millennial variability, we explore differences in the AMOC stability between glacial and interglacial intervals of the 100 kyr glacial cycle of the Late Pleistocene (1 kyr=1000 yr). Previous modeling studies show that the edge of sea ice in the North Atlantic shifts southward during glacial intervals, moving the region of the North Atlantic Deep Water formation and the AMOC also southward. Here we demonstrate that, by shifting the AMOC with respect to the mean atmospheric precipitation field, such a displacement makes the system unstable, which explains chaotic millennial variability during the glacials and the persistence of stable ocean conditions during the interglacials.

Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 429, 1 November 2015, Pages 60–68

President Obama to visit Alaska's Arctic region in bid to fight climate change

President Obama will become the first sitting commander in chief to visit the Alaskan Arctic, the White House announced Thursday, the latest in a string of stops this summer that have been presidential firsts.

In a trip from Aug. 31 to Sept. 3, Obama will visit the state's rapidly melting glaciers
and meet with hunters and fishermen whose livelihoods are threatened by global warming as he seeks to draw attention to his fight against climate change.
In a video released Thursday from the vacation home he's staying at here, Obama said he's going to Alaska because it is on the "front lines of one of the greatest challenges we face this century."


The map below dates the melting in Alaskan glaciers. It shows that other Presidents could have visited the state's "rapidly melting  glaciers", like:

George Washington in  1794
John Taylor and James Polk in 1845
Franklin Pierce in 1857
James Buchanan in 1860
Rutherford B Hayes in 1880
Benjamin Harrison in 1892
Theodore Roosevelt in 1907
William Taft in 1912
Harry Truman in 1948

. . . all of them prior to any AGW.

EPA’s Gina McCarthy should be fired for Western waterway mess

By Rick Manning

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy’s career of administrative neglect, malfeasance and outright incompetence has been capped by her Agency unleashing one of the worst environmental disasters of the 21st century. EPA clean-up crews breached a waste storage dam that produced a torrent of heavy metal-laden toxic waste, potentially fouling an entire western river system and impacting the drinking water of tens of millions of people.

While McCarthy didn’t personally bulldoze the dam herself, it is no surprise to those who have followed her Peter Principle-driven career that this would occur on her watch.

During the Fukushima nuclear meltdown in Japan, toxic radioactive clouds headed across the Pacific Ocean toward the United States. Fortunately, the U.S. has an extensive air radiation reporting network in place. Unfortunately, the EPA Inspector General (IG) reported that twenty percent of the Agency’s stationary radiation monitors were out of service at the time they were needed most.

In a report titled, “Weaknesses in EPA’s Management of the Radiation Network System Demand Attention,” the IG worried that the system is “vulnerable” writing, “Because EPA managed RadNet with lower than required priority, parts shortages and insufficient contract oversight contributed to extensive delays in fixing broken monitors. In addition, broken RadNet monitors and relaxed quality controls contributed to the filters not being changed timely. Out-of-service monitors and unchanged filters may reduce the quality and availability of critical data needed to assess radioactive threats to public health and the environment.”

Who was in charge of the RadNet system? You guessed it, Gina McCarthy.

And then there is the Energy Star program that McCarthy oversaw at the EPA. Energy Star is designed to provide consumers with a means of assessing the energy efficiency of various appliances which they purchase. Yet, under McCarthy’s leadership, the program failed in its basic mission by allowing a broad range of products to receive the energy efficiency seal, not just the most efficient.

Here is what the IG wrote in their report, “We found that the design and execution of the Energy Star program ensured neither the integrity of the label nor the achievement of greenhouse gas emission savings.”

Sound familiar? A casual neglect of basic system management effectively defrauded those consumers who counted upon accurate Energy Star ratings in making product choices.

Of course, McCarthy was also the supervisor of John Beale who got 32 months in prison for defrauding the federal government by collecting a paycheck from the EPA while claiming that he was working as a spy for the CIA. Incredibly, Beale, the highest paid employee at the EPA, was a no-show for one stretch that totaled eighteen months. That’s right, eagle-eye Gina did not notice that her highest-paid employee wasn’t around for a year and a half.

To quote the Washington Post, “Indeed, the agency was so lax in its oversight that Beale ostensibly retired in September 2011 — complete with a farewell dinner cruise on the Potomac — only to continue pulling a paycheck for another 19 months.”

Eventually, McCarthy stumbled across the scam and ordered an investigation, but before one gets too excited by her acumen, remember that Beale was her direct report. She had to sign off on his fake expense reports, and the bonuses he received while not showing up to work at all.

But wait, tragically there’s more in McCarthy’s record to show a pattern of failed leadership and, in this case, the consequences were fatal.

On her watch as the head of Connecticut’s Department of Environmental Protection, accidental drownings continued at Connecticut parks due to the failure of her agency to properly manage staffing of areas under her control. Between 1999 and 2007, 21 people drowned. A local newspaper, after noting that Gina McCarthy was well aware of the lifeguard staffing problem at state parks, wrote, “The summer season is over at Squantz Pond [State Park], but the spotlight must remain on the Department of Environmental Protection’s mismanagement of this park.”

The heartbreaking fact is that McCarthy’s Department’s failure to adjust lifeguard schedules and swimming area availability to meet the staffing in place was spotlighted by the media as being directly responsible for the avoidable deaths.

As if all that weren’t enough, while McCarthy served as Assistant Secretary of Pollution Prevention, Environmental Business and Technology in Massachusetts, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) was notified that its vehicle emissions tests were seriously flawed. Cars that should have failed were being passed, and vice versa. Sierra Research, which was hired by Massachusetts to review the testing program, wrote that the false failures rate was “the highest by far ever seen by Sierra.”

What did McCarthy do upon discovering this system that was putting polluting cars back on the road while red flagging ones that should have passed the emissions test? Her Agency had Sierra Research massage the numbers to make them seem better. After checking the testing machines, Sierra Research then discovered that about half didn’t work. Undaunted, McCarthy’s team continued to administer the faulty test anyway.

As the mustard-yellow EPA toxic spill oozes its way southward toward the Colorado River and Las Vegas’ drinking water in Lake Mead, it is important to remember that the same person overseeing the EPA also ignored a broken radiation detection system that could have proved disastrous, failed energy-conscious consumers, left swimming areas without lifeguards leading to multiple deaths, gave bonuses to a high profile non-attending employee and operated a state emissions testing system where about half the testing machines didn’t work.

McCarthy’s long history of managerial failure can no longer be chalked up to bad luck. She has been trusted to run the Environmental Protection Agency, and under her stewardship vital western waterways have been destroyed. If President Obama refuses to hold her accountable, Congress should, by withholding her salary as part of the government funding process.

Given Gina McCarthy’s track record, her current failed management of the EPA is the most predictable disaster in history, and no one can say the Senate wasn’t warned. Americans for Limited Government produced and distributed a report on McCarthy’s record of managerial mess-ups along with evidence of her ideological unsuitability to lead the EPA when she was under consideration for Senate confirmation.

This is one time it truly hurts to have to say, “We told you so.”



A New Climate and Energy Organization

Today, William Happer, Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor emeritus of Physics at Princeton University, announced the formation of a new climate and energy organization - the CO2 Coalition. Happer said that the mission of the Coalition is to shift the debate about climate and energy to one that is science-based instead of one driven by special interests and emotion.

"For too long, science has been misrepresented in discussions about the climate system, the impact of CO2 on it, and the value of fossil fuels to society. Policies that do not accurately reflect scientific facts and distort the scientific process will do more harm than good".

The CO2 Coalition is non-partisan. Its initiatives will be based on two scientific facts. The molecule CO2 is a nutrient, not a pollutant. The increase in levels from 250 parts per million, almost a starvation level for plants, to the current 400 parts per million has resulted in a greening of the planet, more efficient crop and plant growth, and more efficient water use by them. And the additional greenhouse warming of more CO2 will be moderate and beneficial. "

Happer said, "We have no illusions about the difficulty of our challenge. The climate-catastrophe campaign over the last quarter of a century has led a large number of citizens, the media, and elected leaders to believe that emissions of CO2 from the use of fossil fuels have already damaged our climate system and will lead to a climate catastrophe if emissions are not promptly reduced. We intend to show, with scientific facts, that those assertions are wrong. The responsible use of fossil fuels and continued emissions of CO2 will be beneficial for life on earth, and will allow billions of human beings to enjoy the same benefits as citizens of the most developed countries."

The Coalition is led by a distinguished Board of Directors and Advisory Committee - they are listed below. More information about the CO2 Coalition can be found on our website

Via email

Envirofascist Industry: Growth Through Coercion

The Climate Change Business Journal estimates that the envirofascist industry is “worth” $1.5 trillion annually — a fairly impressive revelation at the surface. You can obtain the report yourself for a mere $995 if you feel so inclined.

Fortunately for us, the Insurance Journal already did the dirty work and reports, “The San Diego, Calif.-based publication includes within [the climate change] industry nine segments and 38 sub-segments. This encompasses sectors like renewables, green building and hybrid vehicles. That also includes the climate change consulting market, which a recent report by the journal estimates at $1.9 billion worldwide and $890 million in the U.S.

Included in this sub-segment, which the report shows is one of the fastest growing areas of the climate change industry, are environmental consultants and engineers, risk managers, assurance, as well as legal and other professional services.” In other words, as Power Line’s John Hinderaker points out, “What is striking about the global warming industry is that its growth is driven more or less entirely by ‘policymaking,’ i.e., government mandates and other policies.

This is why ‘green’ businesses contribute so lavishly to the political campaigns of politicians who drink the global warming Kool-aid.” From Solyndra to the Chevy Volt, the green industry is heavily supported through government (read: taxpayer) subsidies because profit is essentially nonexistent. In other words, that’s the antithesis of a free market.

Hinderaker adds, “A $1.5 trillion industry that can survive only by relying on the coercive powers of government will inevitably be a major force for statism.”




"Despite an explosion in population greater than Malthus could have ever imagined, global living standards are higher than ever"

We live in an age of all-pervasive cultural pessimism. In one sense, this is understandable. The 18th century, the Age of Enlightenment, produced an explosion of scientific discovery as men’s minds escaped from the shackles of subservience to authority, both political and ecclesiastical. The 19th century was the great age of optimism, as technological development exploited the achievements of science, bringing inventions like the locomotive, the electric light and the telephone.

That optimism dissipated in the 20th century, when two disastrous world wars exposed the dark side of mankind. Far from recovering a sense of hopefulness during the relative peace of the 21st century, gloominess has become the default position of the intellectual classes in the Western world. As Pope Francis’ recent encyclical, “Laudato Si’,” puts it: “We may be leaving to coming generations debris, desolation and filth.”

Ronald Bailey begs to differ. As his book demonstrates, a careful examination of the evidence shows that, at least in material terms (which is not unimportant, particularly for the world’s poor), life is getting better. The overriding reason for this, according to Mr. Bailey, is continuing technological progress, facilitated—and this is crucial—by the global triumph of market capitalism.

Among the scares examined by Mr. Bailey in “The End of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the Twenty-First Century” are overpopulation, the exhaustion of natural resources (particularly oil), the perils of biotechnology and genetic modification, and global warming.

Mr. Bailey has little difficulty demonstrating that, despite an explosion in world population greater than Thomas Malthus could possibly have envisaged in the 18th century, global living standards are higher than ever. “Food,” he writes, citing statistics from the World Bank and other organizations, “is more abundant today than ever before in history.” In the past 50 years alone, global food production has more than tripled.

It is also more than likely, in the opinion of most demographers, that world population will peak in the relatively near future and then start to decline. Mr. Bailey attributes this to the related phenomena of growing personal wealth in the developing world and the advance of education, particularly for girls, in those countries. He underplays, I suspect, another factor: Perhaps the most striking aspect of global development is the dramatic migration of population from the country to the city. Of course, this population movement is excellent news for wildlife and biodiversity.

It is even easier for him to show that a fear of the world running out of natural resources, popularized by scaremongers like Stanford demographer Paul Ehrlich, is wholly without foundation, as an elementary understanding of markets clearly shows. No doubt the age of oil will one day come to an end. But as my old friend Saudi Arabia’s Sheikh Yamaniused to point out, the Stone Age did not come to an end because we ran out of stone.

As for the alleged perils of biotechnology and genetic modification (which is simply an improved form of the age-old practice of the selective breeding of plants), if there was any substance to the fears of Frankenfoods, these practices would have stopped decades ago. What the green revolution has done is feed the world and reduce poverty on an unparalleled scale.

I part company to some extent with Mr. Bailey on global warming, where he claims that “the balance of scientific evidence suggests that man-made climate change could become a significant problem by the end of this century.” This is highly unlikely. The so-called greenhouse effect is certainly a scientific fact, but all the evidence suggests that its magnitude is modest, its progress is slow and we can readily adapt to it.

The estimated rise in mean global temperature since around 1880 is 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Yet the extent to which humans are responsible for this change is outweighed by the climate system’s own variability. Nations like Singapore, whose climate is 22.5 degrees hotter than the global average, suggest that urban planning can continue to outpace nature, as former global-warming alarmist James Lovelock rightly noted in his recent book, “A Rough Ride to the Future.”

And, as Mr. Bailey points out, the overriding case against the abandonment of fossil fuels is that any benefit that might occur would only help generations yet unborn at the expense of impoverishing those alive today, particularly those in the developing world. Which is why the world will not abandon fossil fuels.

If there is a connecting thread among all these irrational prophecies, and the profoundly harmful policies that the doomsters recommend, it is the precautionary principle, which this book rightly castigates. Based on a confusion between the sensible precept “be careful” and the nonsensical proposition that you can’t be too careful, it insists on taking the worst-case scenario as the outcome that should dictate policy. On that basis, one would never get in a car. And the massive technological advances that we have seen since the Industrial Revolution, and the reduction in global poverty that has followed, would never have occurred.

Another factor is the quasi-religious appeal of these prophecies, which may help to explain the papal encyclical to which I referred at the start. Even more recently, the Church of England at its latest synod called for all vicars to be trained in “eco-theology” as well as the Bible. It also called for churchgoers to do without lunch on the first day of each month, as a fast against climate change. Perhaps this should not be mocked: It might help combat obesity, which is probably more damaging than climate change.
“The End of Doom” is not quite in the same class as Matt Ridley’s classic, “The Rational Optimist,” but it is a good book and deserves to be widely read.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


1 comment:

Slywolfe said...

Re: EPA & Gina McCarthy
Firing Gina McCarthy would accomplish nothing. She would be replaced by another bureaucratic clone and business as usual will continue.
I suggest a partial defunding and mandatory across-the-board pay cuts (10-20%) for ALL EPA employees.