Thursday, March 24, 2016

The BS never stops:  "New York and London could be underwater within DECADES"

And pigs might fly. It's all just theory -- and all Warmist prophecy has been wrong to date so this will be too.  Note that even Michael Mann does not believe this one

And the theory is extreme.  It starts out: "Researchers claim the initial melting of the great ice sheets will put a cap of relatively fresh water on the ocean surfaces near Antarctica and Greenland"

Maybe so but where is there any evidence of "melting of the great ice sheets"?  It hasn't happened and Antarctic ice is in fact growing

And what's this business about fresh water putting a "cap" on salt water?  Salt diffuses very rapidly in water so any cap would be very temporary -- lasting only a few days at most.  I would like to see any argument or evidence to the contrary.  It's just another implausible theory as far as I can tell but I am open to enlightenment

Most scientists agree that sea levels will rise, but some say it won't happen for centuries.  Now, a new study suggests sea levels will increase several feet over the next 50 years.  It claims the world's coastal cities, including New York and London, could be underwater by the end of the century.

'We're in danger of handing young people a situation that's out of their control,' James E. Hansen, a retired Nasa climate scientist who led the new research, told The New York Times.

The paper was released this morning by a European science journal, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.

'Current assessments place emphasis on practical effects such as increasing extremes of heat waves, droughts, heavy rainfall, floods and encroaching seas,' reads the study.

The consequences would include killer storms, the disintegration of large parts of the polar ice sheets and a rise in sea levels that would exceed that worlds coastal cities before the end of this century, claim researchers.

The paper talks about a specific mechanism that will provoke this abrupt climate shift.

Researchers claim the initial melting of the great ice sheets will put a cap of relatively fresh water on the ocean surfaces near Antarctica and Greenland.

This will slow down or even close the system of the ocean currents that provides heat throughout the planet, allowing some of it to escape into space.

The deeper areas of the ocean will experience warming, which will ultimately accelerate the melting of the part of the ice sheet that sits above sea level.

And the extreme temperature difference between the tropics and the poles will produce powerful storms, which will mirror those that happened 120,000 years ago when Earth experienced a natural warming, according to the paper.

Some experts see this paper as a step in the right direction to understanding when the climate experienced sudden, drastic shifts.

But others still remain hesitant about the claims made in the draft paper, released last year, and are still on the fence with the final version. 'Some of the claims in this paper are indeed extraordinary,' said Michael E. Mann, a climate scientist at Pennsylvania State University.  'They conflict with the mainstream understanding of climate change to the point where the standard of proof is quite high.'


#Brussels: Conservatives Bash Obama For Calling Global Warming Our Biggest Security Threat

Conservatives shocked by the terror attacks in Brussels, Belgium Tuesday have taken to Twitter to bash President Barack Obama and other prominent Democrats for saying global warming, not terrorism, is the U.S.'s biggest national security threat.

The Obama administration has been heavily criticized in the last year or so for stepping up rhetoric surrounding man-made global warming, in particular the claim that warming "poses immediate risks to our national security."

Secretary of State John Kerry even blamed global warming, at least in part, for the Syrian civil war, the refugee crisis and the rise of the Islamic State.

"It is not a coincidence that immediately prior to the civil war in Syria, the country experienced the worst drought on record," Kerry said in an October speech. "Now, I'm not telling you that the crisis in Syria was caused by climate change," but it "clearly made a bad situation a lot worse."

Democratic presidential candidate Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders made similar claims linking global warming to terrorism.

"In fact, climate change is directly related to the growth of terrorism and if we do not get our act together and listen to what the scientists say, you're going to see countries all over the world," Sanders said.

"This is what the CIA says," Sanders said. "They're going to be struggling over limited amounts of water, limited amounts of land to grow their crops and you're going to see all kinds of international conflict. But, of course, international terrorism is a major issue that we have got to address today."

Now, conservatives with Twitter accounts are throwing these remarks back in their faces.


New paper: "Reassessing the Climate Role of Carbon Dioxide"

by Martin Hertzberg and Hans Schreuder


The authors evaluate the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) "consensus" that the increase of carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere is of anthropogenic origin and is causing dangerous global warming, climate change and climate disruption. They conclude that the data do not support that supposition.

Most of the currently accepted scientific interpretations are examined and the given impression that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide will increase the earth's surface and/or air temperature is questioned.

New insight is offered drawing a conclusion that no additional warming is possible due to the increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Acceptance of that IPCC paradigm is incurring costly and draconian efforts to reduce CO2 emissions, tax such emissions and replace fossil fuel combustion by alternative energy systems whether such alternatives will achieve the desired results or not.

The totality of the data available on which that theory is based is evaluated here, from Vostok ice-core measurements, to residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere, to more recent studies of temperature changes that inevitably precede CO2 changes, to global temperature trends, to the current ratio of carbon isotopes in the atmosphere, to satellite data for the geographic distribution of atmospheric CO2, to the effect of solar activity on cosmic rays and cloud cover.

Nothing in the data supports the supposition that atmospheric CO2 is a driver of weather or climate, or that human emissions control atmospheric CO2. Furthermore, CO2 is not a pollutant, but an essential ingredient of the Earth's ecosystem on which almost all life depends via photosynthesis.

This paper rejects the new paradigm of "climate science" and asserts that the traditional, century old meteorological concepts for the factors that control weather and climate remain sound but need to be reassessed.


UN Claims `Alarming Rate' Of Global Warming, Ignores `Hiatus'

The head of the United Nations' meteorological body warned the world was going through an "alarming rate" of global warming due to rising carbon dioxide emissions - but his statement ignored the 15-year "hiatus" in warming, and 2016's incredibly strong El Ni¤o.

"The alarming rate of change we are now witnessing in our climate as a result of greenhouse gas emissions is unprecedented in modern records," Petteri Taalas, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization, said March 21 in a statement on the release of the group's' new climate report.

WMO's new "State of the Climate" report says the global average surface temperature was 0.76 degrees Celsius above the 1961-1990 average because of man-made global warming and the current El Ni¤o - something Taalas glossed over in his remarks.

Taalas also neglected to mention the recent rise in global average temperature, spurred by El Ni¤o, came after a 15-year or so "hiatus" in global warming. During this period, from 1998 to 2012, global surface temperatures rose at a much slower rate than in previous decades.

The "hiatus" in warming was recently reaffirmed in a study by a group of climate scientists. "[T]here is compelling evidence that there has been a temporary slowdown in observed global surface warming," Ed Hawkins, a climate scientist at the University of Reading and co-author of the paper, wrote in a blog post on the new research.

Satellite-derived temperature records showed there was a more than two decade-long "hiatus" in global warming. Though, the recent El Ni¤o caused temperatures in the mid troposphere to rise enough to end the "hiatus" in satellite datasets.

Taalas, however, wasn't alone. David Carlson, the head of the WMO-sponsored World Climate Research Programme, claimed climate scientists have been shocked by how much temperatures spiked so far in 2016 - again, while a naturally-occurring El Ni¤o warmed up the tropical Pacific.

"The startlingly high temperatures so far in 2016 have sent shockwaves around the climate science community," Carlson said in a statement, echoing Taalas' alarm.

Climate scientists were sounding the alarm earlier in March after National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) released new data showing the global average surface temperature for February was the highest ever recorded for that month, at 1.35 degrees Celsius warmer than the 1951 to 1980 average.

"We are in a kind of climate emergency now," Stefan Rahmstorf, a climate scientist at the Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research, told The Sydney Morning Herald. "This is really quite stunning" and "it's completely unprecedented."

Ignored or brushed aside in the conversation is that February's record high temperatures were ratcheted up by what's been called the strongest El Ni¤o in 18 years. El Ni¤o is a naturally-occurring warming phase across the span of the Pacific Ocean along the equator. It occurs fairly regularly, about every two to seven years, and is often followed by a La Ni¤a cooling phase.

Weather models say it's likely the world is headed for a La Ni¤a later in 2016, but it's unclear how strong it will be. It's further unclear if these amazed climate scientists will give equal measure to any sort of La Ni¤a cooling period.

"Water temperatures just below the surface across the entire Pacific Ocean have turned net cool, and this massive, cold blob is now lurking below the surface waiting for its chance to turn up," journalist Karen Braun wrote in a Reuters column. "The colder the anomaly becomes, the bigger the potential for La Ni¤a becomes."


Shining Sunlight on Solar Power

The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, built by Bechtel, is a joint effort of NRG Energy, BrightSource Energy and Google, and is said to be the largest state-of-the-art renewable energy production project of its kind. So how stands this Great Green Hope?

Ivanpah is a $2.2 billion solar project financed in part by $1.5 billion in federal loans. It consists of three solar thermal power plants on a 4,000-acre tract of public land near the Mojave Desert and the California-Nevada border. The facility utilizes more than 170,000 mirrors mounted to the ground that reflect sunlight up to three 450-foot-high towers topped by boilers that heat water to create steam, which in turn is used to generate electricity.

The green energy and climate change lobbies are, of course, excited about this dream-come-true example of how the U.S., and eventually the world, can survive and thrive without pollution-causing coal-burning and natural gas-burning electricity production facilities.

But their hopes have exceeded reality, as is so often the case with these idealistic dreams. The project has three major problems, one of which has produced a huge rift between the Left's internal factions. While green energy folks are ecstatic over the huge solar plant, other environmentalists are outraged that the plant has killed thousands of birds, many of which are fried to death.

The second problem is that the so-called green energy plant is not as green as you might expect: It burns vast quantities of fossil fuels and produces pollution. Ivanpah burns natural gas each morning for start-up, and reportedly burned 867,740 million BTU of natural gas, which is enough to power the annual needs of 20,660 Southern California homes. On top of that, it emitted 46,084 metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2014.

Furthermore, it has so far failed to produce the expected power it is contractually required to deliver to PG&E Corp. As a result, the solar plant may be forced to shut down unless the California Public Utilities Commission gives permission for PG&E to overlook the shortfall and give Ivanpah another year to sort out its problems. It began operating in early 2014.

Spokesmen for Ivanpah's operator, BrightSource, and NRG reportedly declined to comment on its future, but NRG said it has taken more than a year to adjust equipment and learn how to best run it. Naturally, Barack Obama's Energy Department supports giving the plant more time.

Advocates also paint an over-positive picture of solar energy job creation. The Solar Energy Industries Association touts spectacular job growth in the solar industry, boasting "the solar industry continues to support robust job growth, creating 35,052 new jobs in 2015, a growth rate of approximately twelve times greater than that of the overall economy."

Fast job growth during new industry "booms" is not unusual, and touting such growth is good PR, even when it exaggerates reality. For the sake of contrast, however, 35,000 jobs still doesn't offset the job losses from Obama killing the Keystone Pipeline, much less those in the coal industry against which he's waging war.

But when you analyze this solar project, it quickly becomes clear that government has more to do with engineering this jobs increase than does the actual market demand for workers in solar energy. You, the taxpayer, heavily subsidized this industry, and when taxpayer money pays the bills, an industry can and does create jobs without a real demand for them.

Under Obama, the federal government has wasted billions of dollars of hard-earned taxpayer money on green energy efforts that failed or under-performed, even as it enacted policies that punished Americans working in the coal industry and related businesses with substantial unemployment, created revenue problems in the economies of coal producing states, and burdened all Americans with higher energy prices - by design, we might add. The administration's tunnel vision on reducing the effects on the environment of fossil fuel energy production that have powered the U.S. and most of the world for decades has caused untold misery.

The heralded Solyndra solar company quickly became a debacle that put 1,100 people out of work when it closed down, wasting $535 million in government loans in the process. And, the Abound Solar plant, which received $400 million in federal loan guarantees in 2010, when the Obama administration sought to use stimulus funds to promote green energy, filed for bankruptcy two years later. That facility sits unoccupied, is littered with hazardous waste, broken glass and contaminated water, and it will require an estimated $3.7 million to clean and repair the building for use.

None of this pain and suffering was necessary. The normal progress of technological advancement would have gradually replaced fossil fuels as the primary source of electricity, when those less polluting methods were up to the task, like the automobile replaced the horse and buggy.

Once the Left gets an idea, however, it dives in head first, eyes closed, with a "damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead" approach that generally produces more harm than good.

Obama lets nothing get in the way of his ideological fantasies, least of all reality. Any harm and destruction that occurs is regarded as necessary collateral damage on the way to his socialist utopia.


The dangerous narcissism of Earth Hour

We should not be demonising electricity - we should be celebrating it

On 19 March every year, millions of people in developed countries spend 60 minutes of their lives reeling in collective guilt over the evil of fossil fuels. But when people turn off the lights for Earth Hour, they only hold a candle to their own ignorance.

Earth Hour is exactly the type of feel-good event today's environmentalists seem to relish. It provides a readymade opportunity for people to flaunt their social conscience by denouncing industrialisation, electricity, fossil fuels and the other `excesses' that make 21st-century life worth living.

But what these candle-waving, middle-class do-gooders forget are the 1.3 billion people who will spend all of 19 March in the dark - not out of some desire to be close to nature, but because that's how they spend every other day of the year.

How long without electricity would today's Earth Hour enthusiasts last before their warm inner glow turned to despair? Perhaps if people were forced seriously to contemplate life off the grid, they'd come to accept the empirical fact that nothing has done more to advance the plight of humanity than cheap, reliable electricity.

The problem with Earth Hour isn't that burning candles actually emits more carbon than using a lightbulb, nor that large numbers of households simultaneously going dark disrupts the power grid and actually increases emissions.

No, the problem with Earth Hour is that it makes a villain out of electricity provision, the very thing that's allowed humanity to rise out of abject poverty and reach the standard of living we enjoy today. So, since you probably won't hear it anywhere else, here are just a few of the tremendous benefits of cheap, reliable electricity:

    It feeds the world

    Worldwide poverty is at its lowest rate in human history. This is in large part because of the modern methods of mass food production that depend on cheap electricity. Industrial farming practices, including irrigation, mass food storage and transport, would all be impossible if environmentalists had their way. In the Middle Ages over 90 per cent of Europe's workforce worked on farms; today, less than five per cent does. This has freed millions of people from backbreaking labour to develop their own skills and talents, which in turn have enriched our lives.

    And once this mass-produced food reaches our homes, it is electricity that allows us to cook it quickly and safely, without exposing ourselves to health risks from chronic smoke inhalation. Two million people in developing countries still die each year from noxious fumes caused by traditional indoor heating and cooking practices. This gives some insight into what cheap electricity has meant for human welfare.

    It saves lives

    Electricity has made possible the advances and wide availability of modern medicine, from vaccines to antibiotics and surgery. According to the World Health Organisation, the measles vaccine alone has saved over 17million lives worldwide since 2000. This wouldn't have happened had there not been cheap, electrically powered refrigeration for the storage and transportation of the vaccine.

    It creates prosperity

    As Bjorn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist, points out, the electricity available to people in wealthy countries is roughly the equivalent of having 56 servants working for you in pre-industrial times. It's easy to forget this if you have the luxury of boiling a cup of tea and sitting down to watch a digitally recorded episode of MasterChef once your annual 60 minutes of environmental self-flagellation is up. But for the people of, say, Liberia or South Sudan or Sierra Leone, every hour is Earth Hour. Life is short and illness often deadly. People spend most of their waking hours fighting a neverending struggle for basic necessities like food and shelter.

There is no doubt that our prosperity has come at a cost to the natural world. But if we care about making the world a better place, the last thing we should be doing is turning off the lights. If what we want is a genuine accommodation with Mother Nature, we should be concentrating humanity's collective energies on finding cleaner and cheaper ways of sustaining modern life, not harking back to some pre-industrial fantasy.

Contrary to the delusions of eco-pessimists, cheap electricity is exactly the kind of innovation we need more of. London's air quality today is the best it's been since coal became a common fuel for lime burners in the early Middle Ages. Why? Because thanks to electricity, factories are no longer run on coal power. Nor do households have to burn it to cook and stay warm.

The idea that human progress actually helps the environment flies in the face of everything today's environmental zealots hold dear. In their eyes, humanity must repent for daring to industrialise. That means putting an end to the wealth and material excess that characterise our daily lives.

If people are actually interested in saving the planet, they'd be better off lighting their houses with electricity, not mourning human progress in the dark.


Australian Government to strip $1.3 billion from renewables

Below is an enraged whine from the vested interests created by the global warming nonsense.  At a time of budget difficulties, PM Turnbull is to be congratulated for cutting useless expenditure
The Turnbull Government has today announced plans to strip $1.3 billion in renewable energy budget funding, according to the Australian Solar Council - the peak body for the solar industry.

"Malcolm Turnbull's Clean Energy Investment Fund is like an exquisitely decorated Easter Egg. It looks great on the outside, but inside it's a rotten egg".

"The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has $1.3 billion in allocated and unspent funds between 2016-2022.  The Government has announced it will replace this with $1 billion in funds between 2016 and 2026, taken from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation's existing $10 billion budget."

That amounts to $1.3 billion in funding stripped from ARENA and $1 billion reallocated from within the CEFC.

"The governments `beautiful $1bn renewables Easter Egg' is actually a $1.3bn cut in funding for renewables overall."

Further the Turnbull Government has announced that early stage renewable R&D and commercialisation will now be majority funded by debt and equity.

"By its very nature early stage research is speculative.  Almost no projects will be fundable under this model.  This will rip the guts out of renewables innovation in Australia".

 "The Turnbull Government has  tried unsuccessfully to abolish ARENA and the CEFC. This is a backdoor way to gut ARENA."

 "ARENA has played a critical role in supporting research and development and early stage commercialisation of renewable energy projects through grant funding. Stripping its budget, taking away funding for early stage commercialisation, and directing the money be spent on non-renewables projects, achieves its goal through other means."

Press release


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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