Friday, January 01, 2016

NYT: Global Warming Could Be Causing Malformed Babies In Brazil

This is all just speculation -- and speculation that is demonstrably wrong.  There has been no warming for many years now so it cannot be causing anything

The New York Times reported Wednesday that a virus spreading throughout Brazil causing brain damage and malformations in infants could be the result of man-made global warming.

The paper notes that researchers have suggested the Zika virus, which has stoked widespread panic in pregnant women in Mexico and Brazil, is likely the result of an upsurge in the mosquito population brought on by global warming. The carrier of the disease, a mosquito called the Aedes, is believed to carry other viruses, such as Dengue and Yellow fever.

Researchers point to the virus’s ability to hopscotch from one part of the world to another, seemingly at ease, as just one reason why the virus has surged.

“They are particularly worried that the disease is wreaking havoc in a region where the population has not encountered it before, and that climate change may be allowing viruses like Zika to thrive in new domains,” The New York Times claims.

“Some researchers emphasize the role that climate change may play in Zika’s spread,” the article continues, adding: As temperatures get hotter in some regions, researchers argue, “mosquitoes can multiply more quickly, potentially enhancing their collective ability to transmit diseases.”

Brazil has a storied history with pest-born viruses. Malaria rates spiked, for example, in Brazil after the country banned the use of DDT, the insecticide that nearly eradicated the Malaria virus during the 1960s. The number of reported Malaria cases jumped from 52,000 in 1970 to 508,864 in 1987 after Brazil decreased its use of DDT. The country eventually banned its usage outright in 1990.

The Zika virus has already hit several Latin countries hard, and now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning that Zika could come to the United States before long.

The New York Times also reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention blames the virus for an uptick babies born with abnormally small skulls, a condition called microcephaly.

There have been 2,782 cases of microcephaly this year, Brazilian officials state, and 40 of those cases have been fatal. Those who survive, researchers state, can expect to live with severe intellectual disabilities.

Other researchers, the article adds, are not as sure about the link between the virus and mental infirmities. More research needs to be done to establish the link, suggesting that the virus may not be as impactful as some have made out.


Documentary “Climate Hustle” Exposes Global-warming Con Job

For all those who still have to deal with that crazy uncle over the Christmas season who insists that human emissions of the gas of life, or carbon dioxide, are causing dangerous global warming, fear not — the solution has arrived. It is called Climate Hustle, and it masterfully debunks the claims of the “climate cult,” as many experts now refer to the alarmist movement, like no other resource produced thus far. Well-known analysts are already saying it will turn the tables on the alarmists. But more importantly, it will bring to light the facts and the science surrounding alleged man-made global warming that the establishment press has tried so hard to conceal.

The new documentary, which premiered in Paris this month amid the United Nations COP21 “climate change” summit, will serve as the perfect antidote to the increasingly shrill global-warming alarmism being peddled by the UN, the Obama administration, and others. It will also be exactly the tool you need to educate any remaining global-warming alarmists you may know, particularly those who got their inaccurate beliefs from error-riddled propaganda films such as Al Gore's discredited “documentary” An Inconvenient Truth, which was essentially banned in U.K. schools after a court recognized it was filled with falsehoods and ordered that children be warned about them in advance.

Indeed, Climate Hustle, with climate realist Marc Morano of Climate Depot serving as the host, even uses some of Gore's own tactics in exposing the anthropogenic (man-made) global-warming theory, minus the falsehoods and misleading propaganda. Among the best scenes in the entire film is when Morano uses a construction elevator, mimicking Gore, to travel upwards while exposing inconvenient science omitted from Gore's propaganda film. Gore used a similar scene to promote his discredited theory about CO2 driving global warming. Some 94 percent of poll respondents on Morano's webpage said Climate Hustle was the “Anti-Incovenient Truth.”

Among the film's most important contributions to the climate debate: Morano allows alarmists to speak for themselves throughout the documentary. Climate Hustle is packed with clips and interviews of alarmist politicians, “experts,” celebrities, and scientists bloviating about alleged man-made global cooling, warming, the supposed urgency of doing something about it, and more. Hilariously, some of the supposed effects of alleged man-made global warming — everything from weather events and increased prostitution to rape, car theft, airplane turbulence, barroom brawls, and even the extinction of coffee — are highlighted, too. The humor throughout the film is absolutely fantastic, making it perfect to watch with others of all political persuasions. Morano also catches some climate alarmists involved in blatant, demonstrable deception.  

Another excellent point brought out in the film is the fact that the climate industry has a terrible track record. Ranging from its failed predictions of a new man-made “Ice Age” a few decades ago, to more recent pronouncements that ended up being proved just as ridiculous, the documentary exposes what alarmists want hidden: The fact that they have been wrong about virtually everything, and still are. For instance, alarmists and the UN predicted less snow and less cold. But when record snow and cold arrived, increasingly outlandish alarmists, including Obama's Science Czar John Holdren, a former global-cooling alarmist and proponent of a “planetary regime” and coercive abortion/sterilization, insisted that the record snow and cold were caused by global warming. Seriously.

Narrating the film, Morano goes through a wide range of such examples, and the changes in alarmist terminology that have accompanied the silliness: global cooling, global warming, climate change, global climate disruption, global weirding, and so on. That way, as the film shows, no matter what happens — heat, cold, snow, drought, rain, floods, tornado, hurricane, storms, no storms, etc. — can always be blamed on evil humans and their evil CO2 emissions. The pleas in the film by politicians and others for “climate action” that must happen this minute, this week, this year, or whatever — supposedly to prevent an imminent climate catastrophe — only become more humorous and entertaining in that context.  

Balancing out all the ridiculous comments from alarmists, Climate Hustle also features a great deal of commentary from more rational scientists willing to acknowledge the observable evidence — especially, among other examples, the nearly 19-year (and counting) pause in global warming that exposed every single climate model used by the UN as bogus. The interviews in the film range from discussions with prominent and widely respected “deniers” of AGW to mere skeptics of the theory who warn against the fanatical zeal of the climate cult and the lack of current understanding when it comes to the unfathomably complex climate system. Many of the scientists in the film exposing the AGW scam are in fact proud political leftists, too, potentially making it easier for other leftists to distance themselves from the climate alarmism while holding firm to their convictions.

Among the scientists featured in the film pouring ice on the warming alarmism are geologist Dr. Robert Giegengack, former chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Pennsylvania; award-winning climatologist Dr. Judith Curry, who chaired the School of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology; Climate Statistics Professor Dr. Caleb Rossiter of American University; Climatologist Dr. Roy Spencer, a former senior NASA climate scientist who now leads a climate research group at the University of Alabama in Huntsville; and many, many more. A group of six or seven scientists even attended the premiere to answer questions.

Some experts quoted in the film compare the current government-funded climate hysteria to the hysteria surrounding the witchcraft trials of centuries ago. Also mentioned in relation to the increasingly bizarre climate alarmism: Aztec blood sacrifices to end drought, including the sacrifice of thousands of people in a few weeks to appease the angry climate gods. If the current climate alarmists had their way, more than a few experts have made clear that millions of innocent people, condemned to energy famine and thus perpetual poverty by “climate action,” would almost certainly end up as modern-day human sacrifices to the climate gods. In short, as many climate scientists and experts (including the disgraced head of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC) have explained, the warmist movement has become a religion — and a dangerous one at that.        

While the humor is fun and entertaining, the film is not all funny. Among other troubling elements are the increasingly totalitarian attacks employed by alarmists against those who disagree with the AGW theory. From calling for energy producers to be put on trial for “Crimes Against Humanity” to demanding that skeptics be re-educated, imprisoned, and even executed, as the evidence debunking AGW theory piles up, proponents of the theory are becoming increasingly unhinged and potentially dangerous. The implications are frightening. The policies being advanced by the alarmist movement, too, represent a frontal assault on liberty, prosperity, national sovereignty, the poor, and common sense. Cooler heads must resist.

As Morano explained throughout the film and in an interview later with The New American at the red-carpet premiere in Paris, the AGW movement is really engaged in a con job of massive proportions. Dressed up as the “climate monarch,” Morano noted that the UN and its alarmist allies are literally plotting to empower themselves at humanity's expense, all under the supposed guise of battling the gas of life. “The Emperor has no clothes,” Morano said, adding that the film would help wake people up to that fact. “The United Nations is essentially taking away free choices of sovereign states.”

Under the UN “climate” vision, the masses will be “controlled by a small governing elite, which they call global governance, telling them how to live their lives,” Morano continued. And international wealth redistribution to governments ruling poorer nations is the key to getting those governments to sell out their people, he added, blasting the UN for its efforts to create a “climate monarchy.” From central planning to energy restrictions, the plan is for unelected and unaccountable forces to govern humanity. Morano also said the U.S. Republican Party needed to get serious about opposing the major policy implications of the agenda rather than just noting that the "science" behind AGW hysteria is fraudulent.

Before the film started, alarmist protesters were at the cinema shrieking about “climate justice” and “climate criminals.” Morano and CFACT, the pro-market environmental group behind the film, were portrayed as “climate criminals” and stooges for Big Oil. Eventually police had to be called, again illustrating the dangers to basic freedoms, such as free speech, represented by the alarmists. In typical fashion, though, the warmists were on the warpath long before the film even premiered. Greenpeace, for example, released a screed a month before the documentary was released claiming Climate Hustle was a “science denial movie” apparently aimed at making Morano rich. How Greenpeace would have known that, since the film was not even ready yet, was not immediately clear. The numerous scientists in it would likely disagree with Greenpeace.

Ironically, though, The New American had a chance to interview Greenpeace co-founder Dr. Patrick Moore, also featured in the film, while in Paris. He made clear that the climate alarmists were not only wrong about the science, but they were putting the lives and livelihoods of billions of people at risk to pursue their “anti-human” agenda — essentially, destroying industrial civilization and crushing liberty. As if to confirm the thesis, Greenpeace activist Connor Gibson concluded his anti-Climate Hustle ramblings by suggesting Morano and other “climate deniers” might be prosecuted by the Obama administration for refusing to genuflect before the climate movement's increasingly discredited dogmas.    

The audience loved the film, cheering and clapping enthusiastically at the packed cinema premiere. Afterward, scientists and experts from around the world answered questions from attendees. Climate Hustle should be available in the United States by 2016


EU Greenies are to Blame for Britain’s Flood Disaster

Northern Britain has spent Christmas being inundated with floods of “biblical proportions”.

For green activists like Bill McKibben this is obviously another consequence of man-made climate change.

And the politicians agree – not just left wing ones like Hilary Benn but also notionally conservative ones like local MP Rory Stewart, Environment Secretary Liz Truss and Prime Minister David Cameron. All have suggested that the floods are the result of unprecedented ‘extreme weather events’ whose consequences are quite beyond their control.

Either they are ignorant or lying or buck-passing – or all three.

As it was in Somerset in early 2014, so it is with the floods which have ravaged the north of England (and which are fast spreading south) this year. Yes, they are indeed a man-made creation – but the people mainly responsible are the bureaucrats and green activists at the European Union whose legislation has made it illegal for Britain to take the measures necessary to reduce the risk of flooding.

British rivers have always been prone to flooding because Britain is a kingdom of rains (where royalty comes in gangs).

But traditionally, those living in flood-threatened areas have been able to mitigate the problem by making sure that their rivers are well dredged – and thus able to flow freely.

For an excellent historical perspective on this read Philip Walling’s recent piece for the Newcastle Journal, reprinted here by Paul Homewood:

" …For all of recorded history, it almost went without saying that a watercourse needed to be big enough to take any water that flowed into it, otherwise it would overflow and inundate the surrounding land and houses. Every civilisation has known that, except apparently ours. It is just common sense. City authorities and, before them, manors and towns and villages, organised themselves to make sure their watercourses were cleansed, deepened and sometimes embanked to hold whatever water they had to carry away.

In nineteenth century Cockermouth they came up with an ingenious way of doing this. Any able-bodied man seeking bed and board for the night in the workhouse was required to take a shovel and wheelbarrow down to the River Derwent and fetch back two barrow-loads of gravel for mending the roads. This had the triple benefit of dredging the river, maintaining the roads and making indigent men useful.

In Cumbria they knew they had to keep the river clear of the huge quantities of gravel that were washed down from the fells, especially in times of flood. For Cumbrian rivers are notoriously quick to rise as the heavy rain that falls copiously on the High Fells rapidly runs off the thin soils and large surface area over which it falls. Cumbrian people have always known that their rivers would be subject to such sudden and often violent inundations and prepared for them by deepening and embanking their channels. Such work was taken very seriously".

So what changed? EU Regulation, that’s what.

Thanks to the European Water Framework Directive – which passed into UK law in 2000 and which is enforced by the Environment Agency – the emphasis has shifted from preventing flooding to encouraging it.

Yes, you read that right. Under EU legislation, dredging rivers is considered environmentally unfriendly because it takes them away from their “undisturbed”, “natural” state.

 Instead, the emphasis shifted, in an astonishing reversal of policy, to a primary obligation to achieve ‘good ecological status’ for our national rivers. This is defined as being as close as possible to ‘undisturbed natural conditions’. ‘Heavily modified waters’, which include rivers dredged or embanked to prevent flooding, cannot, by definition, ever satisfy the terms of the directive. So, in order to comply with the obligations imposed on us by the EU we had to stop dredging and embanking and allow rivers to ‘re-connect with their floodplains’, as the currently fashionable jargon has it.

And to ensure this is done, the obligation to dredge has been shifted from the relevant statutory authority (now the Environment Agency) onto each individual landowner, at the same time making sure there are no funds for dredging. And any sand and gravel that might be removed is now classed as ‘hazardous waste’ and cannot be deposited to raise the river banks, as it used to be, but has to be carted away.

On the other hand there is an apparently inexhaustible supply of grant money available for all manner of conservation and river ‘restoration’ schemes carried out by various bodies, all of which aim to put into effect the utopian requirements of the E W F Directive to make rivers as ‘natural’ as possible.

For example, 47 rivers trusts have sprung up over the last decade, charities heavily encouraged and grant-aided by the EU, Natural England, the Environment Agency, and also by specific grants from various well-meaning bodies such as the National Lottery, water companies and county councils. The West Cumbria Rivers Trust, which is involved in the River Derwent catchment, and includes many rivers that have flooded, is a good example.

But they all have the same aim, entirely consonant with EU policy, to return rivers to their ‘natural healthy’ state, reversing any ‘straightening and modifying’ which was done in ‘a misguided attempt to get water off the land quicker’. They only think it ‘misguided’ because fast flowing water contained within its banks can scour out its bed and maybe wash out some rare crayfish or freshwater mussel, and that conflicts with their (and the EU’s) ideal of a ‘natural’ river .

 Few politicians will admit this. Those who have attempted to do so – such as the former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson – have been shouted down as swivel-headed loons. After all, really, what could be more absurd than blaming the European Union of all things for a natural disaster like flooding.UK FLOOD

Absurd it may be but it happens to be true. Paterson dared speak out because he is openly anti-EU. Most politicians don’t – nor do any green activists – because they have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. Of course pro-EU David Cameron is never going to admit that this mess is of the EU’s making, any more than is pro-EU shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn.

Far easier for them to point the finger of blame at “climate change.”


Climate change alarmist Michael E. Mann acknowledges role of ‘RECORD STRENGTH’ El Niño

Michael E. Mann, climate scientist and author of “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines,” must be tired of hearing that the uncharacteristic weather that surprised much of the nation this holiday season wasn’t definitive proof of climate change but rather an effect of El Niño.

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders might have been in a panic because “nobody can recall a Christmas Eve where the temperature was 65 degrees,” but Mann has a scientific explanation that handily fits inside a tweet.

"No--record warmth isn't just "El Nino". It's RECORD STRENGTH El Nino + human-caused climate change = dramatically more likely heat extremes".

Now if someone tries to tell you El Niño is the cause of recent weather systems, you’ll know that it’s El Niño combined with human-caused climate change to blame.


Paper: Scientists Still Can’t Explain The ‘Grand Hiatus’ In Global Warming

Scientists are not only having trouble explaining why global surface temperatures did not warm for 15 years in the 21st century, they still have not adequately explained why there was an even longer 30-year “grand hiatus” in global warming during the mid-20th century.

“The climate models making dire predictions of warming in the 21st century are the same models that predicted too much warming in the early 21st century, and can’t explain the warming from 1910-1945 or the mid-century grand hiatus,” Dr. Judith Curry writes in a Wednesday op-ed published in The Financial Post.

The so-called “grand hiatus” was a period from 1945 to 1975 where the world stopped warming, and even cooled slightly, despite carbon dioxide emissions rapidly rising. Scientists have thus far been unable to explain why there was no warming even though global warming theory predicts there would have been warming.

“The mid-century period of slight cooling from 1945 to 1975 – referred to as the “grand hiatus” – also has not been satisfactorily explained,” Curry writes. Curry is a climatologist at Georgia Tech University. She has published more than 130 peer-reviewed papers on the climate.

Climate scientists claim carbon dioxide emissions are driving the global warming trend since 1950, but they have trouble explaining warming that occurred early in the 20th century. Nearly half of the 20th century warming trend occurred from 1910 to 1945, but CO2 emissions didn’t increase enough to explain most of the warming.

“In fact, the period 1910-1945 comprises over 40 per cent of the warming since 1900, but is associated with only 10 per cent of the carbon dioxide increase since 1900,” Curry writes. “Clearly, human emissions of greenhouse gases played little role in causing this early warming.”

“If the warming since 1950 was caused by humans, what caused the warming during the period 1910-1945?” Curry asks.

Curry also notes there’s evidence the Earth has been warming for the past 200 years — a period that began before human carbon dioxide emissions would have been a factor.

Like today’s 15-year “hiatus,” (the “hiatus” grows to 21 years when looking at satellite temperature data for the lower atmosphere) scientists have tried to explain the “grand hiatus” away by adjusting it out of the data to correct for “biases” in thermometers that may have caused the world to appear warmer than it was.

The highly-controversial Climategate emails leaked to the public in 2009 include a conversation between a U.S. and U.K. scientist on “correcting [sea surface temperatures] to partly explain the 1940s warming blip.”

Ironically, U.S. government scientists claimed to eliminate the 15-year “hiatus” during the 21st century by adjusting sea surface temperatures upwards — a move that doubled the warming trend during that time.

What’s unclear, however, is if these thermometer data “adjustments” will stand the test of time and continue to be validated by the scientific community. It’s especially unclear given the huge uncertainties looming over climate models and the accuracy of the global temperature record.

“The politically driven push to manufacture a premature consensus on human-caused climate change has resulted in the relative neglect of natural climate variability,” Curry writes. “Until we have a better understanding and predictive capability of natural climate variability, we don’t have a strong basis for predicting climate change in the decades or century to come.”


Australian uranium in demand as China goes full steam for nuclear

Despite reactor closures in Europe and the US, the global outlook for uranium looks bright, with Asia's burgeoning nuclear energy industry fuelling demand for the radioactive metal.

Australia's uranium market is also set for a bright future, with a strong possibility of new mines opening in Western Australia provided global demand strengthens as forecast.

And, as with so many of the world's minerals, Chinese demand is a key driver.

A recent commodities research note from Macquarie Bank called uranium the "best mined commodity of 2015".

After a collapse in generation following the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan, "nuclear power has been making a quiet comeback," said Macquarie. "We have now seen more than two years of consistent year-on-year growth. Total output this year is set to be the strongest since 2011."

China, India, Korea and Russia were the engines of growth in the industry, said Macquarie, expected to contribute 70 per cent of new reactors by 2030. Furthermore, Japanese reactors were returning to the fleet, with 20 Japanese reactors back online by 2020.

However, cheap gas and coal, the rise of politically-friendly renewable energy and the costly need to extend the life of reactors had hit the industry in the West, the paper said.

In the US five reactors had closed since 2012, "with potentially as many to follow"; Germany will phase out all reactors by the early 2020s; while Sweden will cut back its reactor fleet by 40 per cent.

New capacity in Asia

However, said Macquarie, "the combined size of these reductions is less than half of the scheduled new capacity additions" in Asia. Widespread closures in the US, despite record-low energy prices, were "unlikely": US nuclear energy use was its highest since 2009, nuclear power was still cheaper than fossil fuel, and the focus on reducing coal usage meant uranium had become a relatively more popular source of baseload power generation.

"We still see nuclear power as a growth industry," said Macquarie. "We still expect solid demand growth on a five-year view."

The paper singled out China's "staggering" stockpiling. In 2016, the Chinese will have the equivalent of nine years of projected 2020 consumption in inventory. "China's annual uranium requirement is likely to grow by more than the rest of the world's combined requirement over the next five years."

China has 26 nuclear reactors in operation and 25 under construction. But long-term plans call for 92 reactors operating by 2025 and 129 by 2020.

In 2015, China approved new reactors for the first time since the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in 2009, with the China General Nuclear Power Corporation receiving the go-ahead for two gigawatt reactors.

China was "the only part of the world that's really increasing reactor capacity by any large margin", said ‎Mining and Metals Senior Associate at Citi, Matthew Schembri.

But Chinese demand for the radioactive metal far outstripped supply. China only produced 1450 tonnes of uranium in 2015, far less than its 8160-tonne consumption rate.

Consequently, the Chinese were trying to create "uranium independence," said Mr Schembri, not only by producing more but also by stockpiling and buying equity shares in foreign projects.

"They're aiming for one-third to be domestically produced, one-third from foreign equity ownership in foreign mines, and one-third to be imports," said Mr Schembri.

But the world was not likely to face a shortage of uranium despite the uptick in demand, he said.

"It is going to be an important power source in the future and the most recent Chinese five-year plan has said that, but even so, the world has enough uranium that's it's not going to create a particularly tight market."

Uranium has fallen from around $US152 per pound in 2007 to well under $US60 since the global financial crisis, with a low just above $US28 in May 2014. This year, it peaked around $US40 in March. It is currently trading at $US35.35, which is just off the year's lows.

Mr Schembri said that the price would return to $US40, rising to $US50 in the longer term. At these price levels, existing mines would remain viable and new ones would open, he said.

Macquarie agreed, stating that "almost all mine output is cash-positive at current price levels".

Mr Schembri added that the recent Paris Climate Summit – which pledged to restrict global warming to "well below 2℃ above pre-industrial levels", a goal that is expected to increase demand for nuclear power as countries shift away from carbon-dioxide-producing coal power – had had no effect on the uranium market or prices.

Australia, which produces 11 per cent of the world's uranium and is the world's third-largest producer after Canada and Kazakhstan, currently has three operating uranium mines: Ranger in the Northern Territory, Olympic Dam (the world's largest uranium deposit) in South Australia and Four Mile in South Australia. Australian-listed uranium miners and explorers include Energy Resources of Australia, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Paladin Energy, and Mintails.

There are a numerous proposals for new Australian mines, including four well-advanced proposals in Western Australia alone: Lake Way (Wiluna), which Toro Energy hopes to mine; Yeelirrie and Kintyre, which Canadian uranium miner Cameco wishes to develop; and Mulga Rock, which Vimy Resources has an interest in.

However, the new mines – which could create up to 1300 long-term jobs and be worth $1 billion a year to Western Australia by 2020 – have still not been formally approved and are dependent on the uranium price improving as forecast.

They are also the subject of fierce opposition from environmental groups such as the Australian Conservation Foundation, while the Western Australia's ALP opposition opposes uranium mining and export. The next Western Australian election is in March 2017.



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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