Monday, October 26, 2015

The Real ‘Consensus’: Global Warming Causes FEWER Hurricanes

Environmentalists are still trying to tie massive storms to global warming as Hurricane Patricia heads toward Mexico.

Oddly enough, the very science activists cite when claiming global warming will make hurricanes like Patricia more frequent and intense actually shows the opposite.

Scientists project fewer hurricanes in the future that may be slightly stronger. Research also suggests that even though hurricanes may become slightly stronger, wind patterns will drive them further out to sea, meaning fewer storms hitting Americans.

“I would characterize ‘mainstream’ science on global warming and hurricanes as thinking that there will be a slight decrease in frequency of storms but a slight increase in intensity on a global scale,” climate scientist Chip Knappenberger with the libertarian Cato Institute told The Daily Caller News Foundation Thursday.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), considered the world’s top climate authority by environmentalists and scientists, found “it is likely that the global frequency of tropical cyclones will either decrease or remain essentially unchanged, concurrent with a likely increase in both global mean tropical cyclone maximum wind speed and rain rates.”

But IPCC notes the “future changes in storms are likely to be small compared to natural interannual variability,” meaning scientists won’t even be able to detect global warming’s influence on storms for some time.

“By and large, the projected changes will be pretty small compared to natural variability so may not be detectable for a long time,” Knappenberger said. “Recent trends, in whatever direction, are dominated by natural variability and thus very likely do not display a detectable global warming signal.”

Other scientists note just how small the projected changes in hurricanes and other storms will be. Dr. Christopher Landsea, a meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), argued global warming can make it harder for storms to intensify.

“All climate models predict that for every degree of warming at the ocean that the air temperature aloft will warm around twice as much,” Landsea wrote in 2011. “This is important because if global warming only affected the earth’s surface, then there would be much more energy available for hurricanes to tap into.”

“But, instead, warming the upper atmosphere more than the surface along with some additional moisture near the ocean means that the energy available for hurricanes to access increases by just a slight amount,” Landsea continued. “Moreover, the vertical wind shear is also supposed to increase, making it more difficult (not easier) for hurricanes to form and intensify.”

Studies also suggest changes in preferred Atlantic hurricane tracking will keep more storms out at sea instead of slamming in the U.S. East Coast. So even if storms were to become more intense than scientists predict, they would hit the U.S. less often.

In the last few years, nearly every major storm that forms has been tied to global warming by politicians, environmentalists and scientists. Newly-formed Patricia is no exception.

Patricia is the strongest hurricane ever measured by NOAA. The storm quickly gained strength and has scientists warning this is the size of storm we can expect to see more of in a warming world, though no scientist will come out and say Patricia is caused by global warming.

But even with all of the projections on how global warming will exacerbate extreme weather, there’s no evidence hurricanes are becoming more frequent or more intense as global temperatures rise.

University of Colorado climate researcher Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. told Congress in 2013 that “it’s misleading, and just plain incorrect, to claim that disasters associated with hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or droughts have increased on climate timescales either in the United States or globally.”

Pielke’s findings are backed by IPCC, which found “no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century. … No robust trends in annual numbers of tropical storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes counts have been identified over the past 100 years in the North Atlantic basin.”


This Child Doesn’t Need a Solar Panel

By Bjorn Lomborg

In the run-up to the 2015 U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11, rich countries and development organizations are scrambling to join the fashionable ranks of “climate aid” donors. This effectively means telling the world’s worst-off people, suffering from tuberculosis, malaria or malnutrition, that what they really need isn’t medicine, mosquito nets or micronutrients, but a solar panel. It is terrible news.

On Oct. 9, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim pledged a one-third increase in the bank’s direct climate-related financing, bringing the bank’s annual total to an estimated $29 billion by 2020. In September, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to match President Obama’s promised $3 billion in aid to the U.N.’s Green Climate Fund. Meanwhile, the U.K is diverting $8.9 billion from its overseas aid budget to climate-related aid over the next five years, and France is promising $5.6 billion annually by 2020, up from $3.4 billion today. The African Development Bank is planning to triple its climate-related investments to more than $5 billion a year by 2020, representing 40% of its total portfolio.

All these pledges had their genesis in the chaos of the Copenhagen climate summit six years ago, when developed nations made a rash promise to spend $100 billion a year on “climate finance” for the world’s poor by 2020. Rachel Kyte, World Bank vice president and special envoy for climate change, recently told the Guardian (U.K.) newspaper that the $100 billion figure “was picked out of the air at Copenhagen” in an attempt to rescue a last-minute deal. Yet achieving that arbitrary goal is now seen as fundamental to the success of the Paris summit.

This is deeply troubling because aid is being diverted to climate-related matters at the expense of improved public health, education and economic development. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has analyzed about 70% of total global development aid and found that about one in four of those dollars goes to climate-related aid.

In a world in which malnourishment continues to claim at least 1.4 million children’s lives each year, 1.2 billion people live in extreme poverty, and 2.6 billion lack clean drinking water and sanitation, this growing emphasis on climate aid is immoral.

Not surprisingly, in an online U.N. survey of more than eight million people from around the globe, respondents from the world’s poorest countries rank “action taken on climate change” dead last out of 16 categories when asked “What matters most to you?” Top priorities are “a good education,” “better health care, “better job opportunities,” “an honest and responsive government,” and “affordable, nutritious food.”

According to a recent paper by Neha Raykar and Ramanan Laxminarayan of the Public Health Foundation of India, just $570 million a year—or 0.57% of the $100 billion climate-finance goal—spent on direct malaria-prevention policies like mosquito nets would reduce malaria deaths by 50% by 2025, saving an estimated 300,000 lives a year.

Providing the world’s most deprived countries with solar panels instead of better health care or education is inexcusable self-indulgence. Green energy sources may be good to keep on a single light or to charge a cellphone. But they are largely useless for tackling the main power challenges for the world’s poor.

According to the World Health Organization, three billion people suffer from the effects of indoor air pollution because they burn wood, coal or dung to cook. These people need access to affordable, reliable electricity today. Yet too often clean alternatives, because they aren’t considered “renewable,” aren’t receiving the funding they deserve.

A 2014 study by the Center for Global Development found that “more than 60 million additional people in poor nations could gain access to electricity if the Overseas Private Investment Corporation”—the U.S. government’s development finance institution—“were allowed to invest in natural gas projects, not just renewables.”

Addressing global warming effectively will require long-term innovation that will make green energy affordable for everyone. Rich countries are in a rush to appear green and generous, and recipient countries are jostling to make sure they receive the funds. But the truth is that climate aid isn’t where rich countries can help the most, and it isn’t what the world’s poorest want or need.


Are dead fish worth more than struggling farmers?

The hellish drought in California has casualties. It tried to destroy farmers, and has in some cases, but guess what it really destroyed? The Delta Smelt. The much admired, or reviled, species depending on your perspective has declined beyond the point of organic regeneration. This would hardly be newsworthy, were it not for the fact that environmentalists and their supporters in government have redistributed the dwindling baitfish’s suffering to human beings within and beyond the borders of California.

Like it or not, California feeds the world with her produce and dairy. This task has been made considerably harder when a series of court decisions and overzealous regulators began restricting the water that is the lifeblood of agriculture. Consumers, and the jobs they support, have borne the brunt of the consequences. With that said of the wounded, what of the dead and dying?

According to the Sacramento Bee, “A key index measuring the “relative abundance” of the troubled Delta smelt registered zero in the latest survey by state scientists, the first time that’s happened since the survey began in 1959”. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife reported finding a sample of 9 Delta Smelt in 2014, compared to its peak of 1,673 in 1970. Whether it’s just the drought or the infrastructure that should be blamed, the current policy of restricting water usage has failed to halt the species’ decline.

Before you shed a tear for the death of the species, you should consider two things.

First, the fish is being preserved in various fisheries, including one at the University of California-Davis, though they could release them to their imminent demise.

Second, while environmentalists wring their hands about a species they did not create, and therefore, cannot save, an estimated 560,000 acres remain fallow for want of water. The only thing they have successfully engineered is scarcity itself.

Not only scarcity of the very species they yearned to protect, but of the produce that employs their neighbors and feeds the world. Instead of flushing 1.4 trillion gallons of water since 2008 to save what the ecosystem will not, why not flush the policy that is failing people? People who used to matter more than fish.

Congress has a duty to render justice where the federal courts failed; this can be done by restricting funds under the Clean Water Act from being used to continue in this failed experiment.

Cutting the federal chains undermines the state of California’s institutionalized apathy to the plight of farmers and consumers, and begins the process of restoring damage from such a misguided policy.

El Niño’s wet weather pattern will reportedly bring relief to California’s drought conditions in the coming winter, but it is uncertain to what extent; even when water was plentiful before the drought, the government only allowed 80 percent of the normal water allotment to be used. What is certain is that through inaction, Congress is complicit in neglecting tens of thousands of Californians dependent on the agricultural sector, of which 35,000 were unemployed at the height of the recession.

Consumers and farmers deserve justice; not failed policy from environmentalists that can no more control the destiny of a species than they can the weather. Regardless of what environmentalists think, our obligation is to put people first.


The battle against global warming: an absurd, costly and pointless crusade

Below is an excerpt from a very thorough report recently released by a French mathematical society

All public policies, in France, Europe and throughout the world, find their origin and inspiration in the battle against global warming. The initial credo is simple: temperatures at the surface of the planet have been rising constantly for the past thirty years, and human beings are to blame.

This is leading to all sorts of discussions, conferences and regulations, which are having an enormous impact on our economy. Every area of activity is affected: transport, housing, energy – to name just a few. Why do we need to save energy? It is quite simple: we have to reduce human impact on the planet. This is the fundamental credo.

The impact on the entire field of scientific research is particularly clear and especially pernicious. No project can be launched, on any subject whatsoever, unless it makes direct reference to global warming. You want to look at the geology of the Garonne Basin? It is, after all, an entirely normal and socially useful subject in every respect. Well, your research will be funded, approved and published only if it mentions the potential for geological storage of CO2.

 It is appalling. The crusade has invaded every area of activity and everyone‘s thinking: the battle against CO2 has become a national priority. How have we reached this point, in a country that claims to be rational?

At the root lie the declarations made by the IPPC, which have been repeated over the years and taken up by the European Commission and the Member States. France, which likes to see itself as the "good boy of Europe", adds an extra layer of virtue to every crusade. When others introduce reductions, we will on principle introduce bigger reductions, without ever questioning their appropriateness: a crusade is virtuous by its very nature. And you can never be too virtuous.

But mathematicians do not believe in crusades; they look at facts, figures, observations and arguments.

  Chapter 1: The crusade is absurd.

 There is not a single fact, figure or observation that leads us to conclude that the world‘s climate is in any way "disturbed". It is variable, as it has always been, but rather less so now than during certain periods or geological eras.

Modern methods are far from being able to accurately measure the planet‘s global temperature even today, so measurements made 50 or 100 years ago are even less reliable.

Concentrations of CO2 vary, as they always have done; the figures that are being released are biased and dishonest.

Rising sea levels are a normal phenomenon linked to upthrust buoyancy; they are nothing to do with so-called global warming.

As for extreme weather events – they are no more frequent now than they have been in the past. We ourselves have processed the raw data on hurricanes.

We are being told that "a temperature increase of more than 2ºC by comparison with the beginning of the industrial age would have dramatic consequences, and absolutely has to be prevented".

When they hear this, people worry: hasn‘t there already been an increase of 1.9ºC? Actually, no: the figures for the period 1995-2015 show an upward trend of about 1ºC every hundred years! Of course, these figures, which contradict public policies, are never brought to public attention.

Chapter 2: The crusade is costly.

Direct aid for industries that are completely unviable (such as photovoltaics and wind turbines) but presented as "virtuous"  runs into billions of euros, according to recent reports published by the Cour des Comptes (French Audit Office) in 2013.

But the highest cost lies in the principle of "energy saving", which is presented as especially virtuous. Since no civilization can develop when it is saving energy, ours has stopped developing: France now has more than three million people unemployed – it is the price we have to pay for our virtue. We want to cut our CO2 emissions at any cost: it is a way of displaying our virtue for all to see. To achieve these reductions, we have significantly cut industrial activity and lost jobs. But at least we have achieved our aim of cutting CO2 emissions, haven‘t we?

The answer is laughable: apparently not. Global emissions of CO2 have continued to rise, including those generated by France in designing and manufacturing its own products, as the Cour des Comptes clearly states. Quite simply, manufacturing that is held to be environmentally damaging has been relocated. So the same products are now being manufactured in countries that are far less respectful of the environment, and we have lost all the associated jobs. As Baudelaire says, "Nature‘s irony combines with our insanity"

Chapter 3: The crusade is pointless.

 Human beings cannot, in any event, change the climate. If we in France were to stop all industrial activity (let‘s not talk about our intellectual activity, which ceased long ago), if we were to eradicate all trace of animal life, the composition of the atmosphere would not alter in any measurable, perceptible way.

To explain this, let us make a comparison with the rotation of the planet: it is slowing down. To address that, we might be tempted to ask the entire population of China to run in an easterly direction. But, no matter how big China and its population are, this would have no measurable impact on the Earth‘s rotation.

French policy on CO2 emissions is particularly stupid, since we are one of the countries with the cleanest industrial sector. International agreements on the subject began with the Kyoto Protocol, but the number of countries signing up to this agreement and its descendants are becoming fewer and fewer, now representing just 15% of emissions of greenhouse gases.

This just goes to show the truth of the matter: we are fighting for a cause (reducing CO2 emissions) that serves absolutely no purpose, in which we alone believe, and which we can do nothing about. You would probably have to go quite a long way back in human history to find such a mad obsession.

Much more HERE

Inside the EPA: Military weapons, designer desks…and nukes?

A congressional committee will investigate reports that the Environmental Protection Agency wasted billions of dollars, including an effort to create its own militia with a prosecution arm to mirror the FBI’s.

Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, told that a House committee will dig into allegations the EPA bought designer furniture and sporting goods equipment, and handed out hefty employee bonuses and grants to foreign countries – including China.

The charges are outlined in a recent report by Open the Books, a non-profit dedicated to transparency and oversight of government spending. The group analyzed agency spending beginning in 2000.

Despite budget sequestration, which mandated cutbacks and no raises, the EPA has  thrived with its $8.13-billion budget, up $500 million from 2009. In fact, every president has increased the budget since Ronald Reagan in 1981.

“How can the EPA justify spending taxpayer dollars on questionable items like luxury furnishings and sports equipment?” asked Smith. “The agency also appears to have funneled millions of dollars to organizations outside the U.S. The EPA needs to remember they are accountable to the American taxpayer and should justify every dollar they spend.”

Smith, who heads the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, reviewed a copy of the Open the Books report provided by Watchdog, and said the committee “intends to investigate the possible misuse of public funds.”

The EPA is already on Smith’s bad side for withholding requested documents pertaining to the Animas River spill in Colorado as the committee prepared for a Sept. 9 hearing. During the hearing, an EPA official told the committee the Gold King Mine was walled off as a result of a cave-in. In fact,  the EPA created the barricade, which allowed water to collect behind it — bursting when a hole was drilled, mine owner Todd Hennis told Watchdog.

Lawmakers in that hearing and another committee from the Senate blasted the EPA for its heavy-handed military-style treatment of citizens and companies who inadvertently create spills by “running them out of business” and “forcing them to go bankrupt.”

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, said the EPA should be contacting the FBI for heavy-duty law enforcement action if any is needed.

Regardless, some-200 EPA “special agents” have the “latest state-of-the-art ‘policing’ gear such as ‘guns and ammunition up to 300MM,’ ‘camouflage and other deceptive equipment,’ ‘night vision,’ ‘unmanned aircraft,’ ‘radar,’ ‘body armor,’ ‘surveillance equipment,’ ‘mobile GPS monitors,’ and (they) train and investigate frequently alongside joint projects with Homeland Security,” the report said.

The cost? Nearly $5 million. This doesn’t include the $45.6 million per year spent for agents’ salaries. More than 1,000 attorneys back them up, costing $1.3 billion since 2007.

“The EPA does not need this kind of military unless they think someone working on an oil barrel is going to turn around and shoot them,” said Gohmert, chairman of the House Natural Resources subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. “It’s been one of the most egregious developments in federal government that they feel like they need military-style squads.”

Gohmert said EPA SWAT teams have descended on hapless citizens accused of having a guitar made of wood from an endangered tree and another who owned a foreign orchid that didn’t go through customs.

Spending also included the startling categories of “military chemical agents” ($1,753), “chemical weapons and equipment” ($331,380), “fusing and firing devices nuclear ordinance” ($21,900) and “nuclear bombs” ($9,297).

Open the Books has tried unsuccessfully  to get the agency to explain the purchases, said the nonprofit’s CEO, Adam Andrzejewski. He said it’s possible that the categories involve cleanups of old nuclear sites, but there is no way to tell.

“We wanted clarity as to why these category headings existed in their checkbook,” Andrzejewski said. “There might be a good reason, but we want to know what it is. Why haven’t they responded? The fact that [they indicated] we have to wait another two months is very questionable behavior.”

The EPA told Watchdog that “Many purchases were mischaracterized or blown out of proportion in the report. This report cherry picks and falsely misrepresents the work of two administrations whose job it is to ensure people are informed about the critical work of EPA,” said EPA spokeswoman Melissa Harrison.

The nuclear bomb and chemical weapons were “inaccurately reported to the Federal Procurement Data System,” she said, adding that the expenditures were really haz mat equipment and electrical wiring. Many of the items predate the agency’s 2012 implementation of management controls and oversight, Harrison added.

Military equipment costs are actually $6.4 million, not the $5 million quoted in the report, according to Harrison.

Other unusual/questionable expenses

For those who can’t afford pricey spa memberships, consider a career at the EPA. The agency has you covered with nearly $4 million in recreational equipment.

And then there is this:

      $50 million in EPA grants to 61 International entities, including $1.229 million to China.
  $505 million to the North American Development Bank, which guarantees loans to companies 186 miles south of the border.

      $143.4 million in bonuses since 2007 to approximately 65 percent of the employees including nine that were more than $60,000 and 38 between $30,000 and $50,000.

      $48.4 million since 2005 on Herman Miller designer furniture.

      Nearly $5 million on Knoll furniture, a designer displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

      A total of $92.4 million in furniture since year 2005 – approximately $6,000 per employee.
$813 for a special pencil drawer.

      $31,330 worth of musical instruments.

Gohmert said budget talks will be coming up soon and the EPA should be targeted as it is rife with waste. Given that the EPA is a favorite of Obama’s, Republicans could have an uphill battle. Last year, Congress attempted unsuccessfully to use Homeland Security appropriations for leverage to get the president to cut back on funding for illegal immigrants. This year, lawmakers would be better served to target the EPA, he said.

“Not only do we want to cut waste, we want to cut out a dictatorial agency,” he said. “We can force them to come in and prove the value of every asset of the EPA.”


Congressional skeptic on global warming demands records from U.S. climate scientists

The head of a congressional committee on science has issued subpoenas to the Obama administration over a recent scientific study refuting claims that global warming had “paused” or slowed over the last decade.

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology and a prominent congressional skeptic on climate change, issued the subpoenas two weeks ago demanding e-mails and records from U.S. scientists who participated in the study, which undercut a popular argument used by critics who reject the scientific consensus that man-made pollution is behind the planet’s recent warming.

Smith’s document request to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ordered the agency to turn over scientific data as well as internal “communications between or among employees” involved in the study, according to a letter Friday by the House committee’s ranking Democrat, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (Tex.).  Johnson accused Smith of “furthering a fishing expedition” by looking for ways to discredit NOAA’s study, which was published in June in the peer-reviewed journal Science.

“It is a disturbing trend for the legitimacy of this committee,” Johnson said in the letter to Smith. She linked the subpoena to previous requests by the committee’s Republican staff seeking information about NOAA’s climate researchers, which Johnson called “a serious misuse of Congressional oversight powers.” Noting that NOAA routinely publishes supporting data for its studies, Johnson said Smith had “not articulated a legitimate need for anything beyond what NOAA has already provided.”

Smith, responding to Johnson’s letter, said the subpoena was not “harassment” but “appropriate constitutional oversight.”

“This scandal-ridden administration’s lack of openness is the real problem,” Smith said in a statement released by his office. “Congress cannot do its job when agencies openly defy Congress and refuse to turn over information. When an agency decides to alter the way it has analyzed historical temperature data for the past few decades, it’s crucial to understand on what basis those decisions were made.”

Smith, a lawyer who became chairman of the science committee in 2013, has repeatedly rejected mainstream scientific views about climate change, while accusing the Obama administration of undermining the U.S. economy with policies that seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In writings and speeches, Smith has frequently cited scientific studies that suggested a slowing or even a halt in the rise of global temperatures since 2000.

The existence of a warming “pause” came under question following several new scientific analyses early this year. The study that prompted the subpoenas was led by NOAA’s Thomas Karl, who heads its National Centers for Environmental Information, and was regarded by many experts as a bombshell in the climate change debate.

The NOAA study reported on a series of adjustments to the agency’s influential temperature data set, seeking to address “residual data biases” affecting some sources of measurement, such as ocean temperature measurements taken by ships.

The result was that the “newly corrected and updated global surface temperature data … do not support the notion of a global warming ‘hiatus,’” Karl and his fellow researchers reported.

“Our new analysis now shows the trend over the period 1950-1999, a time widely agreed as having significant anthropogenic global warming, is 0.113°C [per decade], which is virtually indistinguishable with the trend over the period 2000-2014 (0.116°C [per decade]),” they continued.



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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