Sunday, September 06, 2015
Why the Earth Is Heating So Fast: On the Dangerous Difference Between Science and Political Science
Bill McKibben doesn't seem to read his own headline. He presents NO evidence below that "the Earth Is Heating So Fast". Mainly because it isn't. The satellites do not lie.
All he mentions is a speculative paper by committed Warmists in a Warmist publication which says (unsurprisingly) that we should stop mining "fossil" fuels. What Jesus said of Satan is true of Bill McKibben: "There is no truth in him" (John 8:44)
President Obama is visiting Alaska this week — a territory changing as rapidly as any on earth thanks to global warming. He’s talking constantly about the danger that climate change poses to the planet (a welcome development given that he managed to go through virtually the entire 2012 election without even mentioning it). And everything he’s saying is right: we are a nation, and a planet, beset by fire, flood, drought. It’s the hottest year in earth’s recorded history. July was the hottest month ever measured on planet earth. [Not according to the more comprehensive satellite measurements]
But of course the alarm he’s sounding is muffled by the fact that earlier this year he gave Shell Oil a permit to go drill in the Arctic, potentially opening up a giant new pool of oil. [So???] ....
Earlier this year, before Obama made his decision to let Shell go a’drilling, a team of scientists published a key paper in one of the planet’s most rigorous [rigorously in favor of global warming] scientific journals, Nature. After extensive calculation of the atmosphere’s carbon concentration, these scientists listed the deposits of coal, oil and gas we had to leave alone if we wanted to keep climate change from going past the 2 degree Celsius red line set by the planet’s nations, a target solemnly agreed to by…President Obama at the climate talks in Copenhagen in 2009. Here’s what those scientists said: “development of resources in the Arctic and any increase in unconventional oil production are incommensurate with efforts to limit average global warming to 2 °C.”
In this case, the scientists are serving as proxies for physics. They’re not expressing an opinion; they’re reporting on the world’s actual limits. It’s as if physics is saying, “I’m unhappy with this situation.” Or…not unhappy.
Now, presidents can’t do everything physics demands on climate change. For one thing, Republicans get in the way. And for another we obviously can’t shut down all use of fossil fuels overnight, though in terms of climate change that would be smart. All we can do is move as quickly as possible towards a renewable future. Which is precisely why we shouldn’t even consider opening up a vast new pool of oil, one that we won’t even be able to tap for 10 or 20 years. When you’re in a hole the first rule is stop digging — and yet we’ve just given Shell a giant shovel.
The point is, we’ve got to stop pretending. The idea that you’re doing the right thing when you meet in the middle is, in this case, a dangerous delusion. It’s as if King Solomon had really wanted to cut the baby in half; some things simply can’t be split down the middle.
America should not be in debt
How America’s abundance can be harnessed to stop our debt spiral
By Rick Manning
off limitsElectricity is the lifeblood of industry.
Inexpensive, reliable electricity is an essential element that business leaders consider when choosing where to locate a job-creating factory, and this is one of the United States’ natural competitive advantages.
America is blessed with abundant natural resources, including natural gas reserves that have caused President Obama to call our nation the “Saudi Arabia” of natural gas. We have a new abundance of oil with the potential of massive amounts of recoverable oil reserves, along with at least one field that would dwarf Texas and North Dakota combined when the technology is developed to release it. Our nation has 28 percent of all the recoverable coal in the world, enough to meet our needs for 261 years.
As virtually everyone knows, this potential economic boon is a direct result of the ingenuity of people in the oil and gas industry who have developed innovative ways to safely release shale oil and natural gas to the surface and those who have created safer ways to extract coal from the earth. And it is these creators who Obama’s environmental team are desperately trying to regulate out of existence through manufactured concerns about methane, coal-fired power plants and other global warming schemes.
But this is not a piece about the environmental regulations, but rather one about the economic peril facing our nation should Obama’s agenda prevail.
Here is the economic reality our nation faces: America has a national debt of approximately $18.6 trillion. The last time the national debt was paid down by any amount was 1957, fifty-eight years ago. Even in the so-called balanced budget years in the 1990s, the national debt went up, putting the lie to one more Clinton legacy.
But why does the national debt matter at all, and what impact might it have on America’s economic future?
The way to understand the national debt is to think of it as a credit card balance in your household — a balance that you are constantly adding to, and the payments you make only cover the interest payments. Eventually, even those interest payments swamp your ability to pay them if the principal becomes too large.
That is where the United States is headed unless something drastic happens.
The Office of Management and Budget projects that America will add approximately $3 trillion more to the national debt if we stay the course and don’t go on a spending spree. In these projections they estimate that total interest payments, including those owed to Social Security and Medicare, on the debt will double from last year’s 2014 payments to just under $800 billion in 2020. These assumptions are based upon a return to normal interest rates. Should the market demand higher rates of return on U.S. debt, the problem gets even worse.
These same estimates have revenues increasing from $3 trillion to $4.3 trillion from 2014 to 2020 with our nation’s economic growth holding steady between 2.3 and 3.1 percent, while spending increases over the same period by slightly less than $1.5 trillion.
Why is all this important?
Because it demonstrates that the current economic path is unsustainable, and only two solutions present themselves: spend less money and/or increase revenues.
On the spending side, it is unlikely that Congress and the President will have the political will to substantially cut, much less stop, the growth of the majority of spending, which rests in the entitlement side of the equation and is on autopilot.
While not giving up that fight, the best way to win it is to lower the demand for government services like Medicaid, welfare and unemployment insurance by changing the economic landscape in our nation by ratcheting up GDP growth dramatically.
And this brings us back to inexpensive electricity, and the high-paying domestic jobs that are created as a consequence.
Should the Obama administration have their way on the strangling environmental regulations that are projected by the U.S. government to increase electricity costs by 16 percent over the next two decades – as well as threaten the availability of stable electricity supplies – we will have squandered any opportunity to grow out of the debt death spiral in which our economy finds itself.
If Obama’s job-killing climate agenda is stopped, creating increased revenue flows without the need for new taxes, our nation will still need to tackle the spending side of the equation to balance the budget and lower our national debt to GDP levels to healthy levels. However, if we fail to defeat Obama’s environmental agenda, it becomes almost impossible to reverse the vicious economic cycle of debt that has ensnared us.
Obviously, there are a myriad of other factors like currency, trade rules, and labor costs which factor into the economic growth equation, but America’s natural resource abundance is our worldwide competitive advantage. Eliminating that advantage through environmental rules deliberately designed to drive up energy costs can only be classified as suicidal.
Congress can take the first step in thwarting Obama’s environmental strangling of America’s economic growth by defunding the enforcement of his anti-coal burning utility regulation and methane regulations this month, allowing the next President to decide if our nation should be fundamentally transformed into dust left on the ash heap of history.
Dumbcluck Pushes Solar Power--In Arctic Town That Sees Little Sun in Winter
President Obama promoted solar energy to residents of Kotzebue, an Alaskan town located 26 miles north of the Arctic Circle that gets less than six hours of sunlight for 34 days in early December through early January.
“I know you guys have started putting up solar panels and wind turbines around Kotzebue. And because energy costs are pretty severe up here, for remote Alaskan communities, one of the biggest problems is high energy costs,” the president said in a speech he delivered during a three-day tour of the state in which he stressed the dangers of climate change.
“One of the reasons I came up here is to really focus on what is probably the biggest challenge our planet faces. If there’s one thing that threatens opportunity and prosperity for everybody, wherever we live, it’s the threat of a changing climate,” said Obama, the first president to venture north of the Arctic Circle.
“We are the number-one producer of oil and gas. But we’re transitioning away from energy that creates the carbon that’s warming the planet and threatening our health and our environment, and we’re going all in on clean, renewable energy sources like wind and solar. And Alaska has the natural resources to be a global leader in this effort,” the president said.
“So we’re going to deploy more new clean-energy projects on Native lands, and that’s going to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, promote new jobs and new growth in your communities,” he added.
Kotzebue – a town of about 3,000 residents that bills itself as the “Gateway to the Arctic” – is one of 15 major communities in Alaska’s Far North Region that are located north of the Arctic Circle, according to TravelAlaska.com, the state’s official tourism agency.
The Arctic Circle is the boundary for the “midnight sun”, a phenomenon caused by the tilt in the Earth’s axis in which the sun does not set in the summer or conversely rise in the winter.
On December 22, the winter solstice, the sun rises in Kotzebue at 10:12 am and sets at 3:42 pm – for a total of just five and a half hours of sunlight. During the 34 days between December 3rd and January 6th, Kotzebue’s days are less than six hours long.
In Barrow, the northernmost town in Alaska which is located 330 miles north of the Arctic Circle, there are 67 winter days in which the sun does not shine at all, according to Alaska.org.
Levin on Obama’s Climate Agenda: It's Not About The Environment, But Destroying the American Lifestyle
Nationally syndicated radio show host Mark Levin argued on Tuesday that the real purpose behind President Obama’s climate agenda is destroying the American lifestyle, not saving the environment.
“This isn’t about the environment,” said Levin. “He’s a Degrowther. This is about destroying the American lifestyle, and at the heart of the American lifestyle is the American energy system.”
Here is a transcript of what Mark Levin had to say:
“Let me do this again, let me do this again. Obama despises capitalism. He’s a Marxist. He’s an Alinskyite. That’s a fact. He’s buddies with Ayers. He’s buddies with Wright. So, he despises free markets. Notice the word ‘free.’ He despises them. He’s a control freak as most egomaniacs are. He wishes to reshuffle society, to socially engineer it. He’s stuck in what was once a constitutional system as he tries to break free from it time and time again, as he usurps it. This isn’t about the environment. He’s a Degrowther. This is about destroying the American lifestyle, and at the heart of the American lifestyle is the American energy system -- fossil fuels.
“Quote, from page 111 out of the degrowth movement in Europe, which Obama is fully aware of because he’s part of it: ‘Sustainable degrowth is a downscaling of production and consumption that increases human well-being and enhances ecological conditions and equity on the planet.’ Mr. Producer let us post this chapter again on my social sites. It’s free.
‘It calls for a future where societies live ...’ -- I’m quoting from them -- ‘where societies live within their ecological means, with open, localized economies and resources more equally distributed, through new forms of democratic institutions. It’s an essential economic strategy to pursue in overdeveloped countries like the United States for the well-being of the planet of underdeveloped populations, and yes, even of the sick, stressed, overweight consumer populations in overdeveloped countries.’
“This is why I emphasized Kerry emphasizing global, global, global.
“This is international redistribution of rights. And what these Marxists leftists believe is, we have too much. We have too much material; we have too much wealth; we have too much energy. It’s not about reducing carbon pollution. It’s about reducing your lifestyle, your well-being.”
Sea Level Analyst: “Not Possible To Torture Coastal Tide-Gauge Data Into Yielding A Sea-Level Rise Anywhere Near 3.3 mm/yr”!
By David A. Burton
Many may not be aware of this, but satellite altimeters are incapable of measuring sea-level at the coasts, among other significant problems.
Coastal tide gauges, on the other hand, measure sea-level at this important location – which is where it really matters. Tide gauge measurements of sea-level are far more reliable than satellite altimetry, and of much longer duration. The longest tide-gauge records of sea-level measurements are nearly ten times as long as the combined satellite measurement record, and twenty times as long as any single satellite measurement record.
No sign of any acceleration
NOAA has done linear regression analysis on sea-level measurements (relative sea-level) from 225 long term tide gauges around the world, which have data spanning at least 50 years. (Note: the literature indicates that at least 50-60 years of data are required to determine a robust long term sea-level trend from a tide gauge record.) There’s no sign of any acceleration (increase in rate) in most of those tide-gauge records.
More than 85% of stations show less rise than 3.3 mm/year
The rate of measured sea-level rise (SLR) varies from -17.59 mm/yr at Skagway, Alaska, to +9.39 mm/yr at Kushiro, Japan. 197 of 225 stations (87.6%) have recorded less than 3.3 mm/yr sea-level rise. At 47 of 225 stations (20.9%) sea level is falling, rather than rising. Just 28 of 225 stations (12.4%) have recorded more than 3.3 mm/yr sea-level rise.
The average SLR at those 225 gauges is +0.90 mm/yr. The median is +1.41 mm/yr.
That appears to be slightly less than the true global average, because a disproportionate number of those 225 stations are northern hemisphere stations affected by post glacial rebound (i.e., the land is rising faster). On the other hand quite a few long-term tide gauges which are substantially affected by subsidence (i.e., the land is sinking), often due to extraction of water, oil, or natural gas, or due to the location having been elevated with fill dirt which is compacting (Ex.: Galveston).
I downloaded the two sea-level measurement spreadsheet files (U.S. and global) from NOAA’s page, and combined them into a single Excel spreadsheet. For ease of sorting I changed the U.S. station ID numbers by adding an “A-” prefix. I also added “average” and “median” lines at the end of the spreadsheet.
The average of all 375 NOAA-analyzed stations is 1.28 mm/yr, and the median is 1.71 mm/yr:
NOAA says that the average is 1.7-1.8 mm/yr. Some of the difference between the calculated average and NOAA’s figure for MSL rise may be due to the addition of model-derived GIA adjustments to the measured rates when calculating the average to account for post glacial rebound (PGR). My guess is that they’re using Prof. Richard Peltier’s figures. Unfortunately, those figures are only very loosely correlated with what is actually happening at the tide-gauge locations.
Prof. Peltier also estimates that melt-water load from the melting of the great ice sheets (~10k years ago) is causing the ocean floors to sink by enough to cause a 0.3 mm/yr fall in sea-level, absent other factors. That number (0.3 mm/yr) is usually added to calculated “global average” sea-level rise rates, inflating the reported average, even though the resulting sum is not truly sea-level, and is not useful for projecting sea-level for coastal planning. It’s an attempt to calculate what the rate of sea-level rise would be were it not for the hypothesized sinking of the ocean floor.
50-60 years of data needed to establish trend
Unfortunately, many of the tide station records in NOAA’s expanded list of 375 are too short to be appropriate for measuring sea-level trends. The literature indicates that at least 50-60 years of data are needed to establish a robust sea-level trend from a tide station record. But the shortest record in NOAA’s list is Apra Harbor, Guam, with just 21 years of data. The text at the top of NOAA’s page says, “Trends with the widest confidence intervals are based on only 30-40 years of data.” But that is incorrect. I suspect they wrote it before they added the gauges with very short records.
So I also made a version of this spreadsheet in which stations with records shorter than 50 years are omitted.
Considering only tide stations with records of at least 50 years, the average and median rates of MSL rise (of the 225 remaining stations) are 0.90 mm/yr and 1.41 mm/yr, respectively:
I also tried limiting it to stations with records of at least 60 years, with very similar results: average 0.77 mm/yr, and median 1.37 mm/yr.
The average (0.90 mm/yr) is probably unrealistically low, due to the disproportionate number of stations in northern Europe which see low or negative rates of measured sea-level rise due to post glacial rebound. The fact that the average is less than the median also suggests that there are a disproportionate number of low-end outliers.
I also tried another approach, in which I excluded the most extreme latitudes. I started with just the “50+ year” stations, and included only stations within a latitude range of 45 (i.e., I excluded stations above 45 north or below 45 south). The resulting average and median for 137 stations were 2.22 mm/y and 2.02 mm/yr, respectively:
That approach largely solves the problem of low-side bias introduced by stations which are affected by PGR (which lowers the calculated average), but it doesn’t solve the problem of high-side bias introduced by stations affected by subsidence (which raises the calculated average). So the average (2.22 mm/yr) is probably unrealistically high. The fact that the average is greater than the median also suggests that there are a disproportionate number of high-end outliers.
So I tried another approach, this time explicitly eliminating “outliers.” I started with just the “50+ year” stations, but excluded the 40 stations with the lowest rate of sea-level rise (including most of those experiencing falling sea-level), and the 30 stations with the highest rate of sea-level rise (including most of those experiencing severe land subsidence, like Galveston, which is built on sinking fill dirt).
The resulting average and median rates of sea-level rise (calculated from 155 stations) are both 1.48 mm/yr:
That figure, 1.48 mm/yr, is the current best estimate of globally averaged coastal sea-level rise. At first glance excluding more low outliers than high outliers might seem to bias the result to the high end. But I think it is justifiable because of the disproportionate number of northern European and North American stations at locations where the land is rising due to post glacial rebound. The fact that the median and average are equal suggests that there aren’t disproportionate numbers of either high or low outliers.
I also tried excluding the low and high 35 stations, and the result was an average MSL rise of 1.36 mm/yr, and median 1.41 mm/yr, which suggests that it includes more low outliers than high outliers.
Note that 1.48 mm/yr is less than six inches per century. Also if you add Peltier’s +0.3 mm/yr GIA to that calculated 1.48 mm/yr global average rate of MSL rise, the sum is within NOAA’s 1.7-1.8 mm/yr range.
It is not possible to torture the tide-gauge data into yielding a globally averaged rate of relative sea-level rise anywhere near 3.3 mm/yr.”
SOURCE (See the original for links)
Australian conservative Think-Tank praised for role in carbon tax demise
THE Institute of Public Affairs is in the running to win an international prize for its role in repealing the carbon tax.
THE right-wing think tank is a finalist for the $US100,000 ($A142,000) Templeton Freedom Award, granted by American non-profit organisation The Atlas Network.
A glowing description of the IPA's campaign strategy against the carbon tax, which was passed under the Gillard government in 2011 and repealed by the Abbott government in 2014, is detailed on The Atlas Network website.
The report lauds the IPA's influence in the Australian media landscape.
"Starting from the day the tax was announced, the IPA took an active role in the mainstream media to counter the misinformation that advocates of the carbon tax were peddling," the report reads.
"The IPA's research and analysis of the economics underpinning the case for the carbon tax appeared in print media outlets 209 times between Jan 1, 2010, and July 31, 2014.
"IPA research scholars also featured on radio and television stations around Australia, with 363 radio appearances between 2008 and 2013 and 261 television appearances in the same time frame."
The report praises the effectiveness of then IPA policy director Tim Wilson's efforts in representing a "contrarian perspective".
IPA deputy executive director James Paterson is quoted in the report saying revenue raised by the carbon tax was used to "grow the welfare state, subsidise politically favoured industries and engage in economy-wide welfare distribution".
The report concludes: "The carbon tax repeal has signalled that Australia is more open for business by eliminating costly compliance measures that served as a significant financial and time burden on Australian businesses and provided a significant barrier to entry for the energy market, especially for potential large investors."
The IPA will find out if it has won the prize at a New York event in November.
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
Posted by JR at 12:37 AM