Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A study that assumes what it needs to prove

It is all assumptions and wrong assumptions lead to wrong conclusions.  The article below simply assumes the boilerplate Warmist story. It certainly could be that a temperature rise of 2 degrees would have bad effects but we do not know by how much. In past warm periods a lot of polar ice did not melt.  How much would 2 degrees melt?  Given that temperatures at the poles are MANY degrees below the melting point of ice, NO polar ice at all might melt.  And it's the poles that matter.  Antarctica alone has 91% of earth's glacial mass.

And a warmer ocean would give off more evaporation, thus leading to more precipitation.  But the principal influence on glacial mass is precipitation.  More precipitation leads to greater glacial mass. So polar and other glaciers could grow rather than shrink and might in doing so cause sea levels to FALL!

How pesky it is when you think things right through rather than make simplistic assumptions!

And the degree of influence that CO2 has on temperature is also unknown.  On both theory and the evidence so far it could be negligible.  But none of those thoughts bother the simpleton writing below

Large swathes of Shanghai, Mumbai, New York and other cities will slip under the waves even if an upcoming climate summit limits global warming to two degrees Celsius, scientists reported on Sunday.

A 2 C (3.6 Fahrenheit) spike in Earth's temperature would submerge land currently occupied by 280 million people, while an increase of 4 C (7.2 F) - humanity's current trajectory - would cover areas lived on by more than 600 million, the study said.

"Two degrees Celsius warming will pose a long-term, existential danger to many great coastal cities and regions," said lead author Ben Strauss, vice president for sea level and climate impacts at Climate Central, a US-based research group.

Sea level rises corresponding to these 2 C or 4 C scenarios could unfold in two hundred years, but would more likely happen over many centuries, perhaps as long as 2,000 years, according to the research, published by Climate Central.

Capping the rise in Earth's temperatures to 2 C above pre-industrial levels is the core goal of the 195-nation UN climate summit in Paris from November 30 to December 11.

The most effective way to slow global warming is to slash the output of the greenhouse gases which drive it.

But even if emissions reduction pledges - many of them conditioned on financial aid - submitted by 150 nations ahead of the Paris summit are fulfilled, it would still put us on a pathway for a 3 C (4.8 F) world, the United Nations has warned.

Mr Strauss and colleagues apply on a global scale the same methodology they used for a recent study that focused on temperature-linked sea level rise in the United States, published in the US Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

That study concluded that both Miami and New Orleans are doomed to crippling impacts.  In the new report, the country hit hardest by sea level rise under a 4 C scenario is China.

Today, some 145 million people live in Chinese cities and coastal areas that would eventually become ocean were temperatures to climb that high.

Four of the 10 most devastated megacities would be Chinese: land occupied today by 44 million people in Shanghai, Tianjin, Hong Kong and Taizhou would be underwater.

India, Vietnam and Bangladesh do not fare much better. All told, Asia is home to 75 per cent of the populations that today reside in zones that would no longer be classified as land in a climate-altered future.

Thirty-four million people in Japan, 25 million the United States, 20 million in the Philippines, 19 million Egypt and 16 million in Brazil are also in future 4 C seascapes.

While the 2 C scenario is also grim, limiting warming to that extent would spare China and other nations much misery, said Strauss.

"There is a world of difference between 2 C and 4 C, which threatens more than double the damage," he told AFP. "We have a very large choice ahead of us."

The sea level rise corresponding to 2 C would eventually be 4.7 metres, and for 4 C almost double that, the study found.

The projections are based on climate models taking into account the expansion of ocean water as it warms, the melting of glaciers, and the decay of both the Greenland and West Antarctic icesheets.

Timing is harder to predict, Strauss said: "It is easier to estimate how much ice will eventually melt from a certain amount of warming than how quickly it will melt."

Normally a study of this nature would be published by a peer-reviewed journal, as was the earlier research on the US. In this case, however, Strauss felt that the new results should be taken into account ahead of the crucial climate summit in Paris.


Amusing:  The Green/Left is trying to put money into the hands of bloated capitalists

They don't think they are doing that but that just shows how stupid they are.  It is a chronic mental disease for the Left not to think things through and the nonsense below is is a prime example of it.

Let's say that they do get some people to "divest" from shares that Greenies have demonized.  What will that do to the company concerned?  Nothing.  It is generally a matter of indifference to a public company who holds its shares.

And what do the Greens think happens to the shares?  They get bought by someone else, by some bloated capitalist in all likelihood.  But if the Greenies have a stunning success with their campaign and a big lot of the shares concerned come onto the market, what will happen? The price will fall:  Good ol' supply and demand.  So the bloated capitalist who buys the shares will get them cheap. He will acquire a desirable asset at a bargain price.  Will he thank the Greenies for that?  He should but he is more likely to snigger at what dummies they are

And note also below the ethical desert that is the Green/Left.  They are condemning the accused before a trial -- a fundamental breach of natural justice.  Let me put it so plainly that even a Greenie might understand: "Under investigation" does not mean "guilty"

A leading environmental group has called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to ditch his investments in ExxonMobil, a company that's under investigation by the New York Attorney General for allegedly covering up the truth about climate change for decades.

On Friday it emerged that Exxon had received a subpoena requesting documents relating to internal studies from the late 1970s on, which allegedly revealed the extent of the damage done to Earth's atmosphere by products like those the oil giant peddles.

Climate advocacy group 350.org was the first to realise Turnbull is a beneficiary of the alleged cover-up, which internationally renowned environmentalist Bill McKibbon has branded an "unparalleled evil".

The Prime Minister's pecuniary interests register reveals that Turnbull invests in the SPDR S&P 500 fund which, in turn, lists ExxonMobil as its second largest holding.

Exxon's annual report for 2014 claims the company has paid out $128 billion to shareholders over the past five years, but it's not clear how much of that money has made it into Malcolm Turnbull's pocket.

On Friday the Australian Campaigns Director at 350.org, Charlie Wood, called on Turnbull to put his money where his mouth is ahead of key United Nations negotiations to be held in December.

"In a few weeks, world leaders will meet in Paris to come up with a plan to tackle the devastating climate impacts that Exxon has fuelled," Wood said. "Australia won't be taken seriously in Paris if our Prime Minister turns up with investments in a company that has worked for decades to make meetings like Paris fail."

The Prime Minister's office has not responded to requests for comment from Friday morning, but given his outspoken stance over a number of years on the need for climate action and "the importance of [accurate]science," the multi-millionaire is likely to face questions from other quarters too.


Note:  I use the Leftist term "bloated capitalist" above just as mockery of the Left

Megadroughts in past 2000 years worse, longer, than current droughts

A new atlas shows droughts of the past were worse than those today — and they cannot have been caused by man-made CO2. Despite the claims of “unprecedented” droughts, the worst droughts in Europe and the US were a thousand years ago. Cook et al 2015[1] put together an old world drought atlas from tree rings data as a proxy for summer wetness and dryness across Europe. They compare the severity and timing of European droughts with the North American Drought Atlas (NADA) released in 2004. Yes, it’s a tree ring study with all the caveats about how trees are responding to several factors at once etc etc. But at least the modern era is measured with the same proxy as used in the old eras.

Something else is causing droughts, something modern models don’t include:

“megadroughts reconstructed over north-central Europe in the 11th and mid-15th centuries reinforce other evidence from North America and Asia that droughts were more severe, extensive, and prolonged over Northern Hemisphere land areas before the 20th century, with an inadequate understanding of their causes.”

The worst megadrought in the California and Nevada regions was from 832 to 1074 CE (golly, 242 years). The worst drought in  north-central Europe was from 1437 to 1473 CE, lasting 37 years.

Climate models don’t predict any of the droughts below, and all of them occurred before 99% of our emissions were released.

Authors compare results from the new atlas and its counterparts across three time spans: the generally warm Medieval Climate Anomaly (1000-1200); the Little Ice Age (1550-1750); and the modern period (1850-2012).

The atlases together show persistently drier-than-average conditions across north-central Europe over the past 1,000 years, and a history of megadroughts in the Northern Hemisphere that lasted longer during the Medieval Climate Anomaly than they did during the 20th century. But there is little understanding as to why, the authors write. Climate models have had difficulty reproducing megadroughts of the past, indicating something may be missing in their representation of the climate system, Cook said.

Droughts, Rainfall, Europe, Last Millenia, 1000AD - 2000AD, Atlas.
Figure 3A Maps from a new 2,000-year drought atlas show rainfall conditions over the whole continent, and much of the Mediterranean. A chart for 1741 shows severe drought (brown areas) running from Ireland into central Europe and beyond. A chart for the year 1315 shows the opposite problem—too much rain (dark green areas), which made farming almost impossible. (Cook et al., Science Advances, 2015)

A large part of the Northern Hemisphere is included in the study.

The worst droughts:

Besides the MCA, Fig. 3B also reveals the occurrence of a mid–15th-century megadrought in north-central Europe. The most intense drought phase lasted for 37 years from 1437 to 1473 CE (−1.84 ± 0.20), with only two isolated years of positive scPDSI. The timing of this megadrought is similar to that of the worst drought reconstructed to have occurred over the past 1000 years in the southeastern United States (27). This suggests the existence of some common hydroclimate forcing across the North Atlantic, perhaps related to Atlantic Ocean sea surface temperature variations and/or the North Atlantic Oscillation (31, 32).

Finally, a third megadrought occurred from 1779 to 1827 (−1.34 ± 0.16). This period has a subperiod of “major long-duration drought” (33) from 1798 to 1808 (−1.89 ± 0.38) in England and Wales identified from early instrumental and historical climate information. It is also the driest period within the longer epoch (1779–1827) of persistently drier-than-average conditions over north-central Europe.

More generally, Fig. 3B reveals the existence of large-amplitude decadal to centennial hydroclimate variability over Europe and shows that, like North America, megadroughts in the Old World were not restricted to just the MCA period. In comparison, hydroclimate variability over the 20th century, although large, does not appear unprecedented in amplitude or trend. Isolating signals of recent GHG-induced hydroclimate change from this complex record of natural variability will be challenging.

More HERE  (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

Government-style “fairness” for the 1%

Obama cronies get abundant favors – at the expense of working class Americans

Paul Driessen

Liberals love to extol their deep compassion for the poor, whom conservatives allegedly don’t give a fig about. Thus our Community-Organizer-in-Chief pontificates endlessly about income inequality, to justify his determination to “fundamentally transform” our nation, so that “everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.”

Those would be the same rules that let the IRS target conservatives, the VA make veterans wait months for treatment, and the EPA violate every standard of scientific integrity – with no repercussions. It’s clearly not corporations or most citizens who don’t play by the rules. It’s Obama bureaucrats, supporters and sycophants, who manipulate government powers to their financial and political advantage.

As to “fairness,” Mr. Obama’s politically-loaded definition is designed to inspire more class and racial warfare, especially among those who angrily assert that they are being abused by Big Oil, too-big-to-fail banks, callous healthcare insurers and other large corporations.

It’s also intended to distract from massive failures of so many liberal programs, such as Great Society welfare programs that have spent some $22 trillion to date and devastated black families and communities – and the Affordable Care Act, which has ensured that millions don’t get to keep their doctors but will get to pay another 20% in average premium increases for 2016, plus still higher deductibles.

But big-money donors, Hollywood actors and environmentalists increasingly call the shots on “fairness” issues in the energy and environmental policy arena. With the president calling climate change “the worst threat to future generations,” and more than 21,000 new regulations imposed since he took office, it’s clear that the 1 Percenters take priority over the 99 Percenters. Electric vehicles are a prime example.

At a starting price of $33,170 for a 2016 Chevy Volt to more than $101,000 for an electric Tesla Roadster (the cheapest model), these so-called “green” cars are far beyond the reach of most American families. In fact, most workers have less money today than 40 years ago: average American wages have fallen from $53,294 in 1973 to $50,383 in 2014, using constant 2014 numbers.

And yet, all levels of government have instigated numerous rules that favor electric and hybrid vehicles at the expense of American families, who continue to see costs rise for nearly every essential commodity, thanks to regulations, special tax treatments and executive actions. Only gasoline, diesel fuel and natural gas prices have fallen – thanks to the fracking revolution that has unleashed US oil and gas production.

Electric and hybrid car buyers get substantial government subsidies, including tax credits of $2,500 to $7,500 (depending on the car’s battery size). Electric utilities in several states also provide a special rate for plug-in vehicles, to reduce the cost of charging electric and hybrid cars. Some states even offer credits for the purchase of charging equipment. And it’s largely justified by global warming horror stories.

Many insurance companies, including Farmers, also support plug-in vehicle purchases via discounted auto insurance policies for electric and hybrid cars in Maryland and other states. Several states also offer free parking and free electric charging at government-operated, taxpayer-funded charging stations.

California also provides rebates to people who buy or lease green vehicles or buy specialized charging equipment to install in their homes. Sony Pictures Entertainment offers a $5,000 incentive to its wealthy Hollywood employees who purchase electric or hybrid cars.

In several jurisdictions, green car drivers can also avoid traffic morasses that the rest of us must endure.  Special stickers give them access to HOV lanes (High Occupancy Vehicles) that drivers of gasoline-powered vehicles cannot enter without one or more passengers in the car.

In the District of Columbia, green car owners pay less on registration fees and get an exemption from the excise tax on their original certificate of title. Montana and several other states offer substantial tax credits and other benefits for electric car conversions. New Jersey gives a 10% discount on off-peak tolls for the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway. Warren, Rhode Island gives residents with plug-in cars an excise tax exemption up to $100.

Who pays for all of these benefits (and many more that I haven’t listed)?  We all do. Who benefits? Actor Leonardo DiCaprio for one – and others who share his lavish 0.01-percent lifestyle, while proudly driving their Teslas and flouting their sensitivity to ecological and climate “crises.”

These wealthy motorists also contribute less to transportation infrastructure. Drivers of gasoline and diesel-fueled vehicles pay a user fee each time they fill up: 18.4 cents per gallon in federal taxes for gasoline and 24.4 cents a gallon for diesel, to help pay for bridge and road construction and repairs. Electric and hybrid vehicle owners use the same roads and bridges – but pay zero to minimal fuel taxes.

Georgia, Washington and a few other states assess user fees on electric and hybrid vehicles to cover road projects, but politically connected green drivers strongly oppose them. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (who chaired a failed electric car company) repealed Virginia’s $64-a-year tax after he was elected.

According to a recent Experian Automotive study, owners of battery-powered cars are more than twice as wealthy as average Americans. They also tend to be richer and younger than those who buy hybrids. Of those who purchased electric cars in 2013, 21% had annual incomes of $175,000 or more.

Not surprisingly, seven of the top ten cities for green car shoppers are in California. This year’s top seller (a measly 17,000 sold through September) is the Tesla S, with an MSRP starting at $106,200. (The ten most popular “regular folks” vehicles sold 295,000 to 527,000 units apiece in 2014.)

Of course, the hefty sticker price does not include the multiple freebies Tesla owners receive: subsidies, rebates, tax forgiveness, and the other benefits that average Americans pay for but don’t enjoy. In the meantime, the Obama Administration continues inflicting financial pain on poor, minority and working class families through regulations and executive orders that raise costs and stop job creation in its tracks.

The worst of the lot is the new ground-level ozone standard, which has been called the most costly regulation in U.S. history. This rule alone threatens to destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs, curtail funding for highway improvements in national parks and other “nonattainment areas,” and prevent the expansion of businesses unless other similar businesses close down.

The deceptively named Clean Power Plan will sharply raise electricity costs for average ratepayers, while doing nothing to clean our air. New rules governing methane emissions will likely impair drilling and put upward pressure on oil and gas prices – the one bright spot that is helping working-class Americans save about $100 a month via lower fuel costs. The Obama EPA and Interior Department are also doing all they can to make more US onshore and offshore energy supplies off limits, wage war on all fossil fuels, and lock the United States into a punitive new climate treaty.

It is a litany of rules that only elitists with plenty of disposable income could love.

That is not fairness. It is an intentional way to enrich and empower the wealthy, while stealing from everyone else, by pushing through policies that penalize blue-collar workers and families but do little to improve health or environmental quality. What the president calls “fair” is legalized or dictatorial theft, perpetrated on the poor, to get Tom Steyer and Terry McAuliffe to raise more campaign funds for members of the president’s party.

Of course, President Obama isn’t the only one who uses the word “fair” in political remarks. In her first major speech on the economy, Hillary Clinton called for more lib-style “growth and fairness,” saying it would be “my mission from the first day I’m president to the last.” We can hardly wait.

This kind of crony-corporatist “compassion” has become the hallmark of environmentalism and climate change politics.

Via email

Warmists armed with windmills are the REAL threat to Britain

By Peter Hitchens

As we squeak and gibber about the distant danger of terrorism, this country stands on the brink of a real threat to its economy, its daily life and its order.

It is a threat we have brought on ourselves by embracing an obsessive, pseudo-scientific dogma, a dogma that is also destroying irreplaceable industries and jobs week by week.

Last week we came within inches of major power blackouts, though official spokesmen claim unconvincingly that all was well.

Experts on the grid have for some time predicted a crisis of this sort, but had not expected it anything like so soon, or in such warm weather conditions. It is the fact that they were taken by surprise that warns us there may be worse to come.

Though Wednesday was mild for the time of year, the National Grid had to resort to emergency measures to keep Britain’s lights on. These included paying industries to reduce their power consumption and giving electricity generators up to 50 times the normal wholesale price to produce additional supplies – plainly emergency measures.

Forests of hideous, useless, vastly subsidised windmills predictably failed to help – because there was no wind. Acres of hideous, useless, vastly subsidised solar panels predictably failed to help, because it was dark.

Several perfectly good coal-fired power stations failed to help because we recently shut them down and blew them up. We did this in obedience to European Union regulations that prevent Britain from generating power from coal.

Meanwhile, China builds a new coal-fired power station every few weeks and fills the atmosphere with soot and carbon dioxide. If man-made CO2 really does cause global warming, then this policy of destroying Britain’s coal-fired power stations is not affecting that. Even on its own terms, the action is mad.

Craziest fact of all: if things get really desperate, the Grid will resort to banks of back-up diesel generators, perhaps the least green form of energy there is. And if they can’t cope, a country almost wholly dependent on electrically powered computers will go dark and silent, as our competitors laugh.

You will not be comforted to know that two more perfectly good coal-fired British power stations are already doomed by Euro-decree. They will be shut and irrevocably destroyed in the next six months.

And our last deep coal mine, at Kellingley, sitting on a huge reserve of high-quality coal, is to be shut for ever.

The UK’s exceptionally high electricity prices, forced up by green taxes to pay for useless windmills and solar panels, are destroying manufacturing industry. Having closed much of what remains of our steel industry, high power charges last week claimed their latest victim, the Michelin tyre plant in Ballymena, Northern Ireland.

As I have pointed out here in the past, the world has seen this sort of madness before, when dogma has been allowed to veto common sense.

This is what happened to the Soviet Union, which destroyed its economy and its society by trying to create Utopia. As usual, the result was hell.

The inflexible, intolerant cause of Warmism is not as bad as Leninism. There is no Gulag, only a lot of self-righteous spite for any who dare to dissent. And who cannot sympathise with those who genuinely think they are saving the planet? But they aren’t.

Do they really think, once the free Western countries sink into decay thanks to their policies, that a mighty China will pay any attention to their cries of protest?

They are just hustling us into the Third World, while saving nothing at all.


Green Climate Fund Must Fight Corruption Before It Can Beat Global Warming

 The U.N.-created Green Climate Fund is a $100 billion-a-year plan to help combat the effects of climate change, but it has only raised $10 billion so far and has been accused of promoting corruption.

Over the past five years, wealthy countries have been contributing billions of dollars to a fund designed to rescue the poorest countries from the effects of climate change. It’s like a complicated, politically charged Kickstarter campaign in which the reward is saving the planet. In that sense, it’s already the biggest crowdfunding effort of all time: The Green Climate Fund wields more than $10 billion in promised funding.

President Barack Obama has pledged $3 billion (though Congress must still approve the decision). Japan pledged $1.5 billion, and the United Kingdom pledged $1.2 billion. As of late September, even China is on board, kind of. It pledged $3.1 billion to a separate fund, part of which will help developing countries build capacity to receive GCF money. Now the question is what to do with all that cash.

The project is entering a field made up of a scattershot array of existing efforts. Some of these are exemplary. In Ghana, for example, a $787,000 grant helped farmers increase their salaries 400 percent by using irrigation and by growing more marketable crops. And in Kenya, a $2.6 million project installed solar-powered water purification and solar-powered lighting in schools and health centers. For many of the 300,000 people who benefit, it’s the first reliable energy source they’ve ever had.

But other projects demonstrate just how creatively people can misuse public funds. In 2011, Bangladesh set aside $3.1 million to build “climate-resilient housing” in the country’s coastal southwest after Cyclone Aila gutted it. When researchers from Transparency International Bangladesh visited the site, they discovered homes built without walls. “I don’t know whether it is built for human beings or not,” said Khadija Begum about her house.

It turns out the structures had been built exactly to Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief-approved specifications. According to Transparency International Bangladesh, the government halved the cost to construct each house so it could take credit for building more houses. (The disaster management ministry could not be reached by Newsweek.)

“The longer the chain of accountability gets—and it can be very long—then the chain can become murky,” says Lisa Elges, head of climate policy at Transparency International headquarters in Berlin. The GCF could safeguard against deceit by submitting to outside scrutiny and building accountability protocols. But so far, leaders of the fund have talked about its commitment to transparency while remaining opaque in practice. The board has weighed major decisions behind closed doors and, in a draft version of its information disclosure policy, even suggested that tape recording certain meetings should not be allowed.

This secretive tendency has already caused scandal. In July, the GCF announced that its board had just accredited 13 new partners, including banks and nonprofits, that will help channel money. The decisions, made entirely in private, were based “on [the partners’] abilities to meet fiduciary, environmental, social and gender requirements,” according to the GCF. But activists were furious to learn that Deutsche Bank was on the list—the German banking and financial services company is the 10th biggest worldwide investor in coal, the dirtiest energy source there is.

After meeting deep into the early morning of November 6, the board approved $168 million in spending for eight project proposals culled from 37 applications, despite grumblings from some board members that the projects brought to the table were forced on them too quickly. The GCF is under pressure to demonstrate ahead of the COP21 climate conference in Paris this month that money is on the move—even though independent monitoring units and other important accountability policies are not yet in place.

The GCF would not comment for this article, but it has broadly outlined a variety of accountability safeguards. To encourage diversity, the 24-member board comprises as many representatives of developing countries as developed ones. Countries receiving funds will designate an agency with veto power over projects. And anyone touching money goes through what they say is a rigorous accreditation process.

There are proposed protocols to prevent corruption, but watchdog groups want the GCF to go further by offering protection to whistleblowers and explaining who pays if money is misused or pilfered. As it stands now, “once the money’s lost, the money’s lost,” Elges says.



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


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