Thursday, March 17, 2016
A libertarian Warmist?
Isn't he pretty?
It seems that Jerry Taylor is one. He must be the only libertarian advocating a new tax. He advocates a carbon tax in exchange for wiping all other State and Federal Warmist regulations. And he states clearly that he believes in urgent action to limit CO2. He is a Warmist.
When he was at Cato he was a climate skeptic. He once compared Warmists to Maoists. Now he calls skeptics "denialists". So how come the big change? He set up his own thinktank in 2014 called the Niskanen center. It's stated objectives give the game away. An excerpt:
Established in 2014, the Niskanen Center is a libertarian 501(c)(3) think tank that works to change public policy through direct engagement in the policymaking process: developing and promoting proposals to legislative and executive branch policymakers, building coalitions to facilitate joint action, and marshaling the most convincing arguments in support of our agenda. The Center’s main audience is the Washington insiders – policy-oriented legislators, presidential appointees, career civil servants in planning, evaluation and budget offices, congressional committee staff, engaged academics, and interest group analysts – who together decide the pace and direction of policy change
He is getting on in years and he wants to be an insider. Warmists are in power so he wants to be in there. The sniff of power is what he wants. He wants to feel significant before he dies. He wants to feel important. Ego has got the better of him.
His proposal to wipe all other Warmist regulations in exchange for a carbon tax sounds like something that could be attractive to the Left and there may even be some sense in it but since we know what he really thinks it would seem that he has sold his soul for 30 pieces of silver.
There's some background on Taylor here and an interview with him here
New EPA Methane Regs All for Nothing. Literally
You can’t make this stuff up. Last week the federal government removed all exemptions related to its regulation of methane emissions for no other reason than sheer incompetence. For starters, “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is expanding its crackdown on methane emissions from oil and natural gas drilling to all existing wells,” writes the Houston Chronicle’s Fuelfix blog. “The announcement from the White House Thursday came as part of a joint agreement with Canada on climate change, curbing methane emissions from North America and taking steps to protect the Arctic region from rising temperatures and oceans.”
Just one problem. The EPA evidently either forgot to ask for or simply ignored the counsel of government scientists. How’s this for ironic timing? “Just one day after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it will regulate methane emissions from existing sources of oil and natural gas in order to ‘combat climate change,’ scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have released a new study finding that oil and natural gas producers are not to blame for a global increase in methane emissions,” Energy In Depth reports. “In fact, according to the researchers, the increased emissions are instead coming from wetlands and agriculture.”
And what was the point of tightening methane regulations anyway? As Hot Air points out, “The energy industry didn’t need anyone to tell them to reduce methane leakage at drill sites. Why? Because it’s a primary component of natural gas. In case that’s not sinking in yet… it’s the stuff they are drilling for. When they let it slip out into the atmosphere that’s literally money going up in smoke.” Unlike Socialism, industries competing in a capitalist system can’t survive without making every dollar count (i.e., conservation). That sound you hear? It’s the collective groan of the estimated 30,000 polar bears currently living in the Arctic. Wait, didn’t the climate lobby also predict they’d go extinct? Was that before or after the ice age scare? Science — it’s so confusing. Maybe, just maybe, the government should stop forcing ill-advised rules on us, particularly when the feds can’t even agree on the science.
The Left Is Embracing Orwellian Policies to Go After ‘Climate Deniers’
Just when we thought liberalism can’t get any more authoritarian, the Obama administration reminds us that it can.
Yes, that’s right. If you happen to disagree with the administration’s views of global warming, you could face a civil suit accusing you of fraud and corruption.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch recently confirmed that she had “referred” the “matter” of whether climate change “deniers” should be brought to court on racketeering charges to the FBI.
Yes, that’s right. If you happen to disagree with the administration’s views of global warming, you could face a civil suit accusing you of fraud and corruption.
This represents a breathtaking corruption of the law. Laws designed to catch mafia figures on corruption charges could be twisted to punish Americans whose only crime is to contest the Obama administration’s view of climate change.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., who asked Lynch about climate change at last week’s hearing, has been at this game for some time. He has long accused the fossil fuel industry of falsifying scientific research. He wants to target oil companies with Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization, or RICO, laws, in the same way they were used against the tobacco industry.
Where to begin? First of all, it was a travesty to apply RICO laws to the tobacco industry. They were designed to catch murdering mafia bosses, not scientists or private companies engaged in research.
Even so, there is a huge difference between the health impacts of smoking and climate change.
The former is well documented, while the latter is not even remotely established as a scientific fact. What is more, where do Whitehouse and the others get off assuming that funding influences only one side of the argument? They argue that scientists supported by oil companies are corrupt, but why is a pro-global warming scientist receiving funds from a pro-global warming organization any less corrupt? The climate change world is awash in millions of dollars of politically motivated research in favor of global warming. What is the difference?
Might the answer be that Whitehouse prefers funding only for his side of the argument?
Whitehouse is not alone in waging an official crusade against so-called climate change “deniers.” Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., a ranking member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, once demanded information on the financial records of certain professors who were skeptical of climate change orthodoxy.
Let’s pause a moment to reflect on what this means. A government official demands the private records of an American citizen solely on the basis of where that person stands on a political issue. The professor has committed no crime, but merely holds a scientific view opposed, for political reasons, by a congressman.
So who is manipulating science here? A scientist who has the credentials to draw a scientific conclusion, or a congressman with no scientific credentials at all questioning the integrity of a scientist?
And then there are the actions of the attorney general’s office in New York. It has launched a sweeping probe of ExxonMobil to determine whether ExxonMobil hid risks of climate change from investors. Using a broad interpretation of the state’s consumer protection and securities laws, the attorney general is also investigating a leading coal company, Peabody Energy, for the same reason.
All of this is truly Orwellian. As I explain in my forthcoming book, “The Closing of the Liberal Mind”:
"The intent could not be clearer: the state should suppress any questions about the reliability of climate change findings or data. In other words, a court should be invited to silence one side of a public policy debate".
This is official harassment, pure and simple. It is intended to stifle free and open debate and inquiry.
Thus do threats by federal officials, congressmen, and state prosecutors to silence people join campus radicals in the closing of the liberal mind. It’s a sad day not only for freedom of thought and expression, but for the rule of law.
Clinton Admits Her Energy Plan Will Destroy Jobs
Hillary Clinton is now on record admitting her “green” energy policies will “put a lot of coal miners” out of their jobs. The politician who benefits from playing divisive politics went too far: she told the truth. What a gaffe!
“I’m the only candidate which has a policy about how to bring economic opportunity using clean renewable energy as the key into coal country,” Clinton said. “Because we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”
But never fear, coal-stained workers in West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Kentucky (all contested states in the coming general election). While Clinton wants to destroy your jobs, she might offer you new ones in the heavily subsidized fields of green energy. We’re sure your skills of working decades underground translate well into working on a solar panel field or wind farm. Remember: Clinton cares.
“Those people labored in those mines for generations, losing their health [and] often losing their lives to turn on our lights and power our factories,” Clinton continued. “Now we’ve got to move away from coal and all the other fossil fuels, but I don’t want to move away from the people who did the best they could to produce the energy that we relied on.”
Who does the Democrat Party serve? Not the blue-collar workers that used to be the backbone of the party. Under Barack Obama, the government waged a war on coal, and Clinton vows to continue to pick the winners and losers of the nation’s energy economy, courting the ecofascist vote. Clinton betrays a disregard for how her environmental policies harm ordinary Americans.
GREENIE ROUNDUP FROM AUSTRALIA
Three current reports below
Droughts and flooding rains: it takes three oceans to explain Australia’s wild 21st-century weather
It's not global warming after all! Tim Flannery will be surprised. He and many others have long attributed any adverse weather event in Australia to global warming
Australia is a land of extremes, and famously of “droughts and flooding rains”. That’s been truer than ever in the 21st century; since 1999 the country has see-sawed from drought to deluge with surprising speed.
There was the millennium drought, which lasted more than a decade and culminated in disasters such as Victoria’s Black Saturday bushfires in 2009. Then, in 2011, Cyclone Yasi struck Queensland and a large swathe of Australia exploded under a green carpet of grasses, shrubs and trees.
Filming of the movie Mad Max: Fury Road was moved from outback Australia to Namibia after the big wet of 2010-11, because Australia’s luxurious growth of wildflowers and metre-high grasses didn’t quite match the post-apocalyptic landscape the movie’s producers had in mind. In Alice Springs, the Henley-on-Todd Regatta was almost cancelled in 2011 because there was water in the normally dry river.
Globally, the big wet on land caused a 5 mm drop in sea levels as large amounts of rain were deposited on Australia, South America and Africa. This coincided with an unprecedented increase in carbon stored in vegetation, especially in arid and semi-arid regions of the southern hemisphere. The greening of Australia in particular had a globally significant impact.
Meteorologists have struggled to explain these wild variations in Australia’s weather. Dry years with disappointing crops have been linked to the Pacific Ocean’s El Niño phase (part of a cycle called the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)). But despite its huge influence, not even ENSO can fully account for Australia’s extreme rainfall patterns.
Our research, published this week in Nature’s Scientific Reports, offers an explanation. We found that conditions in the three oceans that surround Australia – the Pacific, Indian and Southern Oceans – combine to amplify each other’s influences on Australian weather.
Extraordinarily wet and dry years occur when the ENSO phase is in sync with two other cycles, called the Indian Ocean dipole (IOD) and the Southern Annular Mode (SAM).
The three have been synchronised since 1999, which explains why things have been so volatile this century.
ENSO is the biggest driver of global climate and associated rainfall patterns – unsurprisingly, given that the Pacific is the world’s biggest ocean. The IOD is generated by a gradient in sea-surface temperatures along the equator in the Indian Ocean, while the SAM represents a north-south oscillation in Southern Ocean sea-surface temperatures.
By comparing sea-surface temperatures in the three oceans with rainfall data and satellite images of vegetation growth, we have shown for the first time that abnormally large fluctuations in rainfall across Australia are due to the synchronisation of these three ocean cycles.
For instance, both La Niña and negative IOD bring rain to Australia. When they co-occur, one amplifies the other. This is reinforced still further by a negative SAM, which helps to create the Continental Low, which can interact with the monsoon depression over a large area of the continental interior.
When all of this happens together, it results in extraordinarily heavy rainfall over large parts of Australia, transforming deserts into vast oases teeming with life.
Withstanding the switch
When the rain arrived in 2010, it was abrupt – coming straight after one of the driest years this century. In 2009, only 139 mm fell at the Bureau of Meteorology’s Territory Grape Farm station. The heart of the monsoon depression had been pushed north of Darwin, high pressure blocked rain from central and western Australia, and green plant growth was restricted to a small strip of land from Tennant Creek, in the Northern Territory, into Queensland.
Green plant growth across Australia, compiled via satellite observations. Nature Scientific Reports, CC BY
Too much or too little rain can each be problematic. When both happen in quick succession, it is hard to profit fully from the wet or to remain solvent through the dry. In natural ecosystems, bushfires become more likely as the plants swing between exceptional growth and subsequent drying and death, leaving behind huge amounts of fuel. Farmers may need to diversify their livestock numbers and crop types to provide extra resilience to the changing conditions.
Understanding how Australia responds to these extremes offers a barometer for emergency services, farmers and everyone else on the land who will need to adapt to Australia’s lean times as well as the times of plenty.
NSW government's crackdown on Coal Seam Gas opponents brings out protesters
NSW imports most of its domestic gas for heating and cooking because mining opponents obstruct it from mining its own gas
More than 60 per cent of NSW voters oppose the Baird government's plans to crack down on anti-mining protests, according to an exclusive state-wide poll.
The news comes as about 1000 environmentalists, unions, civil libertarians and the Reverend Fred Nile shut down traffic on Macquarie Street as parliament prepared to vote on the controversial bill on Tuesday.
A NSW government source said it was possible the bill would be passed into law by the state's upper house on Tuesday night. Its passage appears guaranteed with the support of the Shooters and Fishers Party.
But a new poll shows less than 20 per cent of all voters support the measures, while 60 per cent are opposed.
In a troubling sign for the coalition government, more than half of those who declared support for its parties also said they opposed the measures.
"These measures may pass but they will have no social licence," said Greens MLC David Shoebridge. "We will break these laws on the street".
Two lanes and later all traffic on Macquarie Street near the NSW parliament was shut down by the protests despite heavy rain.
Bogaine Spearim, a Gamilaraay man and activist, said: "This proposal is going to deny [our] people access to our sacred land. "[But] we can't think about the risk of getting arrested. We have to think about the risk of a generation that doesn't have access."
Both the NSW Bar Association and the Law Society have also issued statements condemning the plans to increase ten-fold some fines levied upon anti-mining protesters.
Police would also be given greater powers to search protesters without a warrant and to "move them on".
The law society said the changes did not "appear to be either necessary or proportionate" as police in NSW already had extensive powers to search and detain people.
The bill would also broaden the scope of existing anti-mining-protest laws to expose a wave of coal seam gas protesters - such as those who chain themselves to machinery - to up to seven years' jail.
"We can't afford a $5000 fine on our pensions," said Anne Thompson, a farmer from Eltham in northern NSW and one of the founders of the Knitting Nannas anti-mining movement. "We're already making jailbird outfits".
The Nannas have been cited by green groups as examples of the kinds of non-violent protesters who may fall foul of the legislation.
But the NSW government argues the laws will simply update existing laws, which have already criminalised the offence of hindering activity on mining, to cover coal-seam gas mining.
The government notes that protests have led to more than 800 interruptions for the operations of one miner, Santos, on its Narrabri site since 2013.
The telephone poll of about 1200 NSW voters was conducted by Reachtel on March 14. The poll was commissioned by the NSW Conservation Council.
A concomitant plan by the state government to reduce drastically fines levied upon mining companies, in some instances from a maximum of $1 million to $5000, is even more unpopular. 80 per cent of voters oppose the move including those who identify as supporters of the coalition parties.
"Mr Baird's decision to push these laws through parliament without community consultation reinforces the perception that he is doing the bidding of coal and gas companies," said the CEO of the conservation council, Kate Smolski. "We would have lost many our most cherished natural areas to mining and logging if Mr Baird's anti-protest laws were in place during key environmental battles in NSW's history".
The NSW Unions movement, which is considering a High Court challenge to the laws also joined the protest. NSW Labor frontbencher Adam Searle declared the laws "unnecessary".
Opposition in NSW to ethanol mandate legislation
The legislation is just Greenie nonsense
Liberal MLC Peter Phelps "went berserk" during a partyroom meeting and vowed to not support legislation to force small petrol retailers to sell an ethanol blend. Opponents of the legislation say it will drive up petrol prices by as much as 8¢ a litre.
Mr Phelps - a self-styled libertarian - upbraided the minister with carriage of the legislation, Victor Dominello, during the meeting on Tuesday.
Mr Phelps told the minister it was "illiberal" to force companies to sell a product that "people don't want", according to the source.
He detailed Mr Dominello's publicly available diary summaries, which show he has met with ethanol producer Manildra five times as Minister for Better Regulation.
The NSW Greens have previously pointed out that Australia's largest ethanol producer, Manildra, has donated $4.3 million to the Liberals, Nationals and Labor since 1998.
Mr Phelps then told the partyroom he would not be supporting the legislation when it came into the upper house. He has been approached for comment.
In NSW, the law says major retailers must try to ensure ethanol accounts for 6 per cent of all petrol sold, via the E10 blend. Retailers with fewer than 20 sites are exempt.
But ethanol accounts for only about 2.7 per cent of all petrol sold in NSW.
The government's legislation is expected to force smaller retailers which sell three or more types of automotive fuel to sell E10 for the first time to reach the 6 per cent mandate, with some exemptions.
Small retailers warn they will be forced to increase the price over three years to recoup the cost of upgrades if their current exemption from having to sell ethanol-blended fuel is scrapped without compensation of up to $326 million.
They say this could drive up the price of petrol by as much as 8¢ a litre.
But Mr Dominello has said the changes are aimed at "creating a competitive biofuels industry in which E10 is a cheap and attractive option for motorists, while maintaining choice among other regular and premium unleaded fuels".
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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Posted by JR at 1:26 AM