Monday, February 15, 2016
FSU Professor: Global Warming Causes Sea Level To FALL
Thirty years ago, a Florida State University professor showed that small increases in temperature caused sea level to fall, due to increased evaporation from the ocean
Excerpt: Florida State University Geology Professor William Tanner: “Tanner plotted 4000 years of sea-level data on 5,000 years of climatological data published in last year’s Encyclopedia of Climatology and found some interesting correlations. Every time the climate warmed a couple of degrees, the sea level went down. Every time the climate cooled a couple of degrees, the sea level went up. This happened four times, each cycle taking about 100 years, and spaced about 900 years apart.”
“He says sea level rise has been about six inches over the past century, and he now expects that to slow down and even reverse itself if humans continue warming the Earth.”
“We’ve made the assumption — and it’s logical — that if things get warm, the glaciers get warm, the glaciers are going to melt,” Tanner said. “But that’s not what these two curves show, no matter how logical it may be. Everybody’s been depending on logic without much data.”
“Tanner says he believes that when the climate warms just a little, it causes more evaporation from the oceans and they go down. He sees two separate systems at work — a big one in which the climate gets every warm or very cold and the oceans rise or fall dramatically, and a small system in which minor changes in temperature cause the opposite reactions.”
“My colleagues here to whom I have presented it in detail think it’s reasonable and probably correct.”
Dangerously cold weather grips New York, bringing coldest night in decades
The National Weather Service says a cold front sweeping across the Great Lakes could usher in temperatures as much as 30 degrees below normal across portions of the Ohio Valley, the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast.
A dangerous cold snap seized the northeastern United States on Saturday with temperatures in some areas set to fall below zero and Boston facing its coldest Valentine's Day in almost four decades.
Officials warned people to stay indoors away from what the National Weather Service described as "life threatening" cold.
New York City was bracing for its coldest night in 20 years.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said officials had put on extra staff to help respond to residents who had lost their heat and had expanded efforts to bring homeless people into shelters.
"It's so important to take this seriously, to stay indoors to the maximum extent possible, go out for as little time as possible. Do not have skin exposed. These are tough conditions," de Blasio told reporters. "Be really careful."
Wind chill advisories were in effect over parts of nine states extending from northern Pennsylvania to western Maine, with forecasters expecting gusts up to 72kmh.
"Wind chills will be getting colder and colder as the day goes on," said Alan Dunham, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton, Massachusetts.
The temperature in Boston was expected to drop to -21.7 degrees Celsius overnight, but feel as cold as -34.4 degrees Celsius with the wind chill.
That would be below the record low of -19.4 degrees Celsius set in 1979. "That one looks quite breakable," Dunham said.
In New York, construction crews were ordered to put cranes into secure positions following the collapse of a huge crane in high winds earlier this month, which killed one person and injured three.
The lower-than-average temperatures for mid-February come after a mostly mild winter and higher-than-average temperatures in the US Northeast and Midwest.
In Boston, some were hurrying through their mornings to get outdoor chores done before the worst cold set in.
"Right now I'm going to drink a coffee" to stay warm, said Carmen Pichente, 40, en route to her at a Boston restaurant. "Tomorrow, I'm going to stay at home all day."
Others brushed it off as an inevitable part of life in New England. "To me, it's nothing. I lived in Boston all my life." said Eddie Brown, 51, a delivery truck driver who was out on his rounds. Asked why he wasn't wearing a coat, Brown replied, "I got long underwear on."
Locals fume as EPA reveals Gold King mine spill much worse than initially stated
The House Committee on Natural Resources released a damning report on the EPA and how they handled the August 2015 Gold King Mine disaster in Colorado, and its aftermath
The House Committee on Natural Resources released a damning report on the EPA and how they handled the August 2015 Gold King Mine disaster in Colorado, and its aftermath (AP)
The disclosure that the Environmental Protection Agency's toxic spill at an old gold mine in Colorado was far worse than previously stated has unleashed a flood of anger at the agency, which was already facing numerous lawsuits from states and individuals along the affected waterways.
On Thursday, the House Committee on Natural Resources released a damning report on the EPA and its handling of the Gold King Mine disaster last August. The report detailed how the EPA and the Department of the Interior were inaccurate and misleading in their conflicting accounts of the wastewater spill, which the EPA said last week released 880,000 pounds of toxic metals.
“When government actions result in harm, it’s our duty to know who was responsible and why decisions failed. They haven’t been forthcoming in this regard,” Committee Chairman Rob Bishop, R-Utah, said in a released statement. “This report peels back one more layer in what many increasingly view as a pattern of deception on the part of EPA and DOI.
"The agencies continue to withhold information requested by the Committee," Bishop's statement continued. "They need to come clean and produce the missing documents.”
The committee’s findings support recent claims made by New Mexico Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn, who recently asked members of the House agriculture committee to get behind a proposal that calls for a long-term water monitoring plan. Flynn also said before the committee that federal officials are downplaying the effects of the spill.
“The EPA is saying one thing and their own experts say another,” Flynn told FoxNews.com. “Once the color returned to normal [in the rivers], there were those in the EPA that were hoping that this would be swept under the rug.”
New Mexico last month announced its intent to sue the EPA over the spill, in which agency contract workers caused a massive release of toxic wastewater into the Animas while attempting to mitigate pollutants from the shuttered mine.
Some of the metals in the wastewater reached the San Juan River, which the Animas joins in New Mexico, but most settled into the Animas riverbed before that, the EPA said in a preliminary report on the metals.
Utah officials have said some contaminants reached their state, but Friday's report didn't address that.
Metals released in the spill are believed to include cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel and zinc. Tests done after the spill also found arsenic and lead in the wastewater.
Flynn and others in the Land of Enchantment are concerned about metal levels in the Animas River in the northern part of the state that shares its border with Colorado. The region’s watershed is connected to the Gold King site in Silverton, but New Mexico has more residents living along the Animas, which is used for crops through irrigation ditches, ranching, and even for home use by residents.
Flynn said field-level EPA officials have been helpful, but said "something gets lost in translation once it gets to the leadership level. They would be happy to see this just all go away.”
When reached for comment regarding the matter, EPA spokeswoman Nancy Grantham said in a written statement: “We’re going to take a look at the report and will respond appropriately.”
The EPA says it won't consider the site for Superfund status without the support of state and local officials.
The EPA’s Lawless Land Grab
Obama’s power-mad agency claims jurisdiction over land and water use almost everywhere in the United States.
In his final book, economist Mancur Olson wrote of the profound and crucial connection between representative government and the property and contract rights important for economic progress. Olson quoted James Madison: “Just as a man may be said to have a right to his property, so he has a property in his rights.” The rule of law is therefore essential for the preservation of constitutional government and for economic growth.
In no country have the economic fruits of the rule of law been more plentiful than the United States. Today there is no greater threat to the rule of law and the right to the peaceful enjoyment of property than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in the course of prosecuting its ostensible mission to clean the air and the water.
Under the guise of the Clean Air Act, the agency’s Clean Power Plan will take control of America’s electrical-power infrastructure. Yet Congress did not envisage that the 1970 legislation would be used to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions.
To get around the inconveniently precise wording Congress provided in the statute, EPA resorted to rewriting the provision of the Clean Air Act that didn’t fit with its regulatory plans — a gambit that has had ups and downs in the Supreme Court, which will soon address the legality of the Clean Power Plan.
Until Monday, the timetable was well advanced, with states being required to submit compliance plans this summer. Then, on Tuesday, the Supreme Court in a 5–4 decision agreed to freeze its implementation, showing that the plan’s opponents have a reasonable prospect of persuading the courts to throw out the plan.
As with EPA’s regulation of greenhouse-gas emissions, the case involves a massive extension of EPA authority. Without Supreme Court scrutiny, EPA would acquire powers that it had first sought, but had been partially checked, in what has become known as the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS). WOTUS derives from wording in the 1972 Clean Water Act that states that the federal government has jurisdiction over navigable waters, which are further defined as the “waters of the United States, including the territorial seas.”
Over many years, EPA rule-making expanded its definition of WOTUS far beyond anything a riverboat could navigate, to rivulets, ditches, and potholes. Supreme Court rulings in 2001 and 2006 drew limits on the Clean Water Act’s WOTUS.
Justice Kennedy had introduced a “significant nexus” test to assess whether specific wetlands should be defined as part of WOTUS if they were linked ecologically or in some other significant way to a stretch of navigable water.
Where Justice Kennedy offered a gap an inch wide, EPA widened it by a mile. It took the significant-nexus test and used it to reach wet patches anywhere, in a revised rule that has prompted multiple legal and political challenges. Just last month, President Obama vetoed a congressional joint resolution (S.J.Res. 22) disapproving of the rule.
But, to borrow President Obama’s phrase after he’d given up on getting Congress to pass cap-and-trade, there is more than one way to skin a cat. Whatever the legal and legislative fate of the Clean Water WOTUS rule, EPA has also developed a toolkit to regulate the land over which and through which water flows into WOTUS.
Less than four months after taking office, President Obama issued an executive order instructing EPA “to make full use of its powers” to regulate the Chesapeake Bay watershed in a manner that “can be replicated through the nation.” The aim of these watershed-based frameworks, the executive order states, is to “assign pollution reduction responsibilities to pollution sources.” It’s not hard to see how from this source springs a highly intrusive and granular form of federal regulation.
At the end of 2010, EPA produced a blueprint for regulating the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The Chesapeake Bay TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) document asserts federal authority not just over the Bay but also over its tributaries upstream all the way to drainage ditches and — most expansively — all land from which rainfall runoff might find its way downstream.
A petition concerning this plan is the subject of the case that the Supreme Court is now considering. A suit was originally filed in January 2011, decided in favor of EPA in September 2013, and subsequently upheld by the Third Circuit last July.
According to petitioners and the 22 states that filed a friend-of-the-court brief, the Chesapeake TMDL, which encompasses six states and the District of Columbia, will cost “tens of billions of dollars” to implement. A feature of the plan is EPA’s lack of regard to efficiency. A 2012 report by the Maryland School of Public Policy estimated total implementation costs across all jurisdictions in the range of $50 billion between 2010 and 2025 — but going perhaps as high as $80 billion. A 2013 study for the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that alternative ways of achieving the same water quality — which anyway has already improved by 40 percent since the early 1980s — would cost Delaware, Maryland, New York, and West Virginia 82 to 86 percent less than the EPA price tag.
Chesapeake is only the beginning; an EPA appetizer, so to speak. The 64,000-square-mile Chesapeake Bay watershed is equivalent to little more than 5 percent of the 1,245,000 square miles of the Mississippi River Basin, spanning 31 states and producing 92 percent of America’s agricultural exports. As the petitioners note, with the powers asserted in the Bay blueprint, “EPA could control — and potentially debilitate — an area where more than half the goods and services consumed by United States citizens are produced.”
EPA’s plan to become, in effect, America’s land-planning czar is part of a pattern of aggressive overreach going to the outer limits of the law and beyond into lawlessness. Only two months ago, the General Accountability Office found that EPA had violated federal law by engaging in covert propaganda supporting its own proposed rules.
In a separate incident, despite strenuous denials, EPA covertly conspired with three environmental pressure groups to bring about the regulation of power-station emissions, in a contrived sue-and-settle suit designed to make decarbonizing electricity generation a done deal before the end of President Obama’s first term.
Writing for the Court in the 2014 Clean Air Act case, Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, Justice Scalia declared EPA’s interpretation unreasonable because it would bring about an enormous and transformative expansion in EPA’s regulatory authority without clear congressional authorization. “We expect Congress to speak clearly if it wishes to assign to an agency decisions of vast ‘economic and political significance,’” he wrote.
In that case, to keep annual permit applications from jumping from 800 to nearly 82,000, EPA decided to override the stipulations for the quantity of greenhouse gases that could be emitted from a stationary source, permitting quantities that were orders of magnitude greater than the threshold quantity of air pollutants specified in the act.
Because of the ubiquity of carbon dioxide emissions, the number of businesses requiring burdensome permitting would have exploded way beyond EPA’s target of electric utilities. EPA’s concern about the effects of widening its net is noteworthy by its absence in its policing of the Clean Water Act.
In 2012, the Supreme Court unanimously upheld the right of an Idaho couple to sue EPA after the agency claimed they had violated the Clean Water Act by building a house on wetlands that EPA asserted were part of WOTUS and threatened them with fines of up to $75,000 a day for non-compliance.
Land-use and development decisions would fall ever farther under the suzerainty of EPA if the Supreme Court declined to hear American Farm Bureau Federation v. EPA. With respect to land use, it would turn the U.S. from a republic of laws into a permit state, an EPA fiefdom in which opaque blueprints emanate from computer models and unaccountable bureaucrats, with little or no regard to their impact on economic activity and none at all for the rights of property.
There is a precedent for the deleterious economic impact of shackling an economy in regulation. For its first 50 years after independence, the private sector in India was subjected to the licensing requirements of the Permit Raj and the economy experienced what became known as a Hindu rate of growth.
In Federalist 17, Publius (in this instance, Alexander Hamilton) argued that there was little danger that the supervision of agriculture “and of other concerns of a similar nature” would be usurped by the federal government because the attempt to exercise those powers would be as troublesome as it would be nugatory; and the possession of them, for that reason, would contribute nothing to the importance, or to the splendor of the national government.
Clearly such arguments fail in the face of a predatory regulator like EPA. Instead, states must rely on the protection afforded by the Tenth Amendment and the intention of Congress expressed in the relevant statute. Here the Clean Water Act is categorical. “It is the policy of the Congress to recognize, preserve, and protect the primary responsibilities and rights of States to prevent, reduce, and eliminate pollution,” the Act states (1251(b)).
And if that isn’t clear enough, Congress instructs federal agencies to “co-operate with State and local agencies to develop comprehensive solutions to prevent, reduce, and eliminate pollution” (1251(g)). In other words, EPA should be a facilitator, not an instructor.
The Chesapeake TMDL turns this around: States are required to cooperate with EPA in developing Watershed Implementation Plans. The executive summary speaks of provision for federal backstops, enhanced oversight, and “contingency actions to ensure progress.”
Only the courts — in this instance, the Supreme Court — have the capacity to act to protect the rule of law, for the expansion of the powers of the administrative state shrinks the domain of the rule of law.
In Taming the Prince, Harvey Mansfield suggests that modern totalitarian regimes show executive formalism and informality at their worst: The formalism is in a numbing, careless bureaucracy, which might at first seem rule-bound for no reason and no discernible end, in a way reminiscent of Kafka — but which after some experience proves to be oppression in the interest of a very obvious ruling party.
This risk is especially elevated in EPA. The agency was a product not of statute but of the executive branch under the terms of the Nixon administration’s Reorganization Plan No. 3.
The nature of the “numbing, careless bureaucracy” was on display last August in EPA’s culpability in discharging three million gallons of mine waste into Colorado’s Animas River, which EPA administrator Gina McCarthy said was mainly due to the cautious nature of the government’s efforts.
So the final question: Which is the “very obvious ruling party?” The most powerful ideology in America today: Environmentalism.
Let’s hope the Supreme Court does not fall under the sway of this party but instead confines EPA within the rule of law.
Obama: Let them freeze in the dark
On January 17, 2008 Candidate Obama said the following “So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”
What Obama was talking about was a carbon dioxide (a plant food) cap and trade scheme that would have put a large part of the electricity generation industry out of business. So far, Congress has resisted such a scheme. Obama knowing there is more than one way to bankrupt an industry has gone around Congress and plans to do by regulation what Congress will not do by legislation.
Using the EPA (Employment Prevention Agency) he is proposing a “Clean Power Plan.” On the White House web site he outlines the goals of the Plan.
They are: “The Clean Power Plan sets achievable standards to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. By setting these goals and enabling states to create tailored plans to meet them, the Plan will: Protect the health of American families. In 2030, it will: Prevent up to 3,600 premature deaths; Prevent 1,700 non-fatal heart attacks; Prevent 90,000 asthma attacks in children; [and] Prevent 300,000 missed workdays and schooldays.”
Notice how all the wonderful things this plan will accomplish are in round numbers like, “Prevent 1,700 non-fatal heart attacks.” Really? Is the President sure it will be 1,700 and not 1,699 or 1,701? This is what passes for science at the White House.
Twenty four states have banded together in a bi-partisan lawsuit to stop this insanity. They are: West Virginia Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Arizona and North Carolina.
In an effort to derail these anti-electricity actions by the Obama Administration and the anti-civilization environmental movement the coal industry spent untold millions on a clean coal public relations effort. Television and radio paid ads extolling the benefits of coal as, “buried sunshine.” Predictably such efforts failed miserably. They could have just as well buried their money.
The oil companies have recently began a similar campaign featuring a young lady claiming to be an energy voter. It will have the same negligible effect on the debate.
The energy industry should borrow a page from the National Rifle Association. The NRA has won its many fights with the gun grabbers (a NRA coined phase) by extolling guns as harmless little items with many benefits. They went after the motives of their opponents.
Just as those who want to disarm the public could really care less about crime and the sanctity of life the freeze in the dark crowd is really not concerned about the environment. It is not about mythical global warming it is about controlling the population. Even if were about mythical global warming it would not be an easy sell since a recent poll shows that less than ten percent of the public thinks it is an important issue.
While the left screams from the house tops that the people who provide us with the ability to light, heat, and cool our homes and fuel our transportation are evil greedy, earth destroyers the industry responds with ineffectual, “corporations are people too,” PR campaigns.
The fact of the matter is the left is out to destroy the standard of living for the vast majority of the American people. If nobody is willing to point that out we will eventually all freeze in the dark.
Global warming fanaticism dooms Welsh village
Residents of a Welsh coastal resort have been left trapped in their homes by council plans to abandon sea defences and allow their village to be swallowed up by the sea.
People living in picturesque Fairbourne in Cardigan Bay are digging in for a bitter legal battle against plans to 'decommission' their village and flood their streets with sea water.
They are fighting the plans they say are based 'nonsensical' predictions and demanding compensation over moves to move them.
Under threat: The village of Fairbourne in west Wales is to be left to the mercy of the sea under council plans which campaigners from the area are opposed to
Under threat: The village of Fairbourne in west Wales is to be left to the mercy of the sea under council plans which campaigners from the area are opposed to
Council plans propose the 500-home village undergo 'managed realignment' and eventually be 'decommissioned' after the sea defences are abandoned in 40 years.
As a result, locals say house prices in Fairbourne have plummeted, meaning residents are unable to sell up and move on. Businesses are now also struggling to attract long-term investment.
Locals are angry that the plans seem to be based on an assumption that sea levels will rise by a whole metre in the next century, something they dispute.
Campaigner Pete Cole says the village has been written off due to an 'aggressive model' used by planners, which was not used for other areas of the coastline.
He says another forecast concluded that sea levels could be expected to rise around 50cm rather than one metre in the next 100 years and with only a modest 20 to 30cm rise in the next 50 years.
Mr Cole said: 'We have been hurt by the actions of the agencies who adopted these plans without thinking of the ramifications.'
The village's 1,100 residents are now saving to fund legal action against the plans and say they have already raised 10 per cent of the amount needed to pay a barrister.
The first homes in Fairbourne were built around 1900 on land which had been reclaimed from the sea, which is only just above sea level. It is protected by defences which were first built in the late 19th century.
A council document shown to residents setting out the planned changes states: 'In the medium term over the next 50 years plans have to have been put in place and implemented to abandon defences and for the people to relocate. In the long term defences would not be maintained.'
It continues: 'It is possible to increase the levels of defences. The embankment could be raised, shingle could be brought in to defend the shoreline, and pumps could be installed to deal with increased rainfall. 'This would incur very significant cost, with on‐going increase in costs.
'Even in attempting to defend people, this risk is such that should defences be overtopped, or worse still breached, then the consequences would be immense and put people’s lives at risk.'
Gwynedd Councillor John Wynn Jones told the BBC that the council would work with residents to find solutions which were 'acceptable to the community'.
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Posted by JR at 1:30 AM