Monday, April 18, 2016

NASA lies and tergiversations

All the things denied by NASA below have been documented many times -- including on this blog.  Amusing, though, when they said "There is far too much focus on surface temperatures".  I wonder why they said that?  It wouldn't be because they haven't been rising, would it?  And what shows warming if global temperatures don't?

In many online forums involving climate change science, the discussions are frequently hijacked by  doubters making the same tired, debunked arguments. On Tuesday, NASA was having none of it.

When doubters began polluting a thread started by Bill Nye “The Science Guy" about his rejected attempt to place a bet about global warming, the Facebook account “NASA Climate Change" decided to pounce.

When one doubter claimed NASA had confirmed fossil fuels “were actually cooling the planet," NASA Climate Change fired back: “Do not misrepresent NASA. Fossil fuels are not cooling the planet."

NASA Climate Change also took on the doubter talking point that because global warming is happening on other planets, what’s happening on Earth isn’t anything special. “Other planets in the solar system are not warming," it countered. “There is a small amount of evidence of seasonal changes in parts of the solar system, but there is no evidence of global warming anywhere — except on Earth."

When it was accused of “fudging numbers" in producing global warming data, it retorted: “NASA does not ‘fudge’ numbers. All data requires statistical adjustments to remove bias."  NASA Climate Change then directed commenters to multiple independent analyses of temperature data which show global warming while reminding readers: "There is far too much focus on surface temperatures. They are but one measure of warming. All other measures . . . continue unabated."


How CNN covered the DC Premiere of the "Climate Hustle" film -- below:

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin mocked Bill Nye on Thursday, using the premier of a film that criticizes climate change scientists to call into question Nye's credentials.

"Bill Nye is as much a scientist as I am," the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee said, according to The Hill. "He's a kids' show actor, he's not a scientist."

Palin, who was speaking at the Washington premiere of the anti-climate change film "Climate Hustle," targeted Nye during a rant against the "alarmism" of climate change activists.

Scientists who study climate have an overwhelmingly consensus that the Earth is warming and humans are the cause, according to multiple peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Palin urged parents to teach their children to "ask those questions and not just believe what Bill Nye the Science Guy is trying to tell them" about climate change.

In "Climate Hustle," a clip of an interview with Nye is shown in which he seems to advocate investigating people who are responsible "for the introduction of this extreme doubt...about climate change."

"I can see where people are very concerned about this and are pursuing criminal investigations as well as engaging in discussions line this," he says in the clip.

Nye, who attended the White House Science Fair this week, is a vocal supporter of addressing climate change, and graduated from Cornell University's School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering.

But he is probably best known for his role in the popular educational TV series "Bill Nye the Science Guy," which covered a variety of science topics for grade-school children.


British bird charity has fallen into the hands of incompetent Greenie madmen

Theory put before reality and class hatred make a toxic combination.  A mainly upper class sport in Britain is grouse hunting so to spike those loathed "toffs" the RSPB want to "protect" grouse, mainly by killing them!

By Sir Ian Botham

Soaring high above my home county of Yorkshire is a very special bird. The extraordinary eagle owl with its 6ft wingspan is back in Britain a few thousand years after human pressure forced them from these shores.

What's not to like about these beautiful birds breeding once more in the wilds of Northern England? Especially when their scientific name is 'bubo bubo'?

The reported loss of England's last golden eagle means the eagle owl is now the country's biggest winged hunter – an 'apex predator' to be proud of.

Yet it has a most unlikely enemy, and it comes in the shape of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

No one is quite sure how our bubo bubos made their return, whether they escaped from private aviaries or made their own way from abroad. Either way, you would think that the charity would be delighted to see such a magnificent native bird back on home territory.

Far from it. Last month I read that the RSPB is not only hostile towards our new eagle owls, it wants to 'nip the colonisation in the bud'. The RSPB has been arguing for the removal of eagle owls before they become re-established.

This hostility is shared by a wider group of RSPB supporters and bird enthusiasts. On its website, the RSPB admits that eagle owls have been 'demonised' by some bird-lovers. Worse still, some people seem to be deliberately disturbing the birds' nests to stop them breeding.

In the Forest of Bowland in Lancashire, eagle owls abandoned their nests last year due to human 'visitors'. This spring, local eagle owl fans in the region have set up a watch on a nest because, they say, they fear that RSPB officials might disturb it.

So why is the RSPB hindering – if not actually harassing – the eagle owl? It comes down to that organisation's continuing battle with grouse moors and their owners.

The RSPB is rightly determined to protect the beautiful hen harrier, which feeds off grouse – but at the expense, it seems, of the eagle owl because, aside from rabbits, it occasionally attacks hen harriers!

For the RSPB this is a particular problem because hen harriers are a useful weapon. If there were enough hen harriers, they would force the grouse shoots out of business.

In this proxy battle, it is the eagle owl that is the victim.

Fortunately the bubo bubo has a friend in the shape of wildlife commentator George Monbiot, who wants them actively reintroduced in Britain as part of his vision of rewilding the countryside with top predators, such as the lynx or wolves.

Now these animals might make country walks with the kids a little hairy, but I am well up for George's plan to have more eagle owls.

Nature needs a balance. When we have too many medium-size birds of prey they will not just wipe out smaller species but also then face starvation because of lack of prey.

Top predators, such as eagle owls, can help keep smaller bird of prey numbers balanced just as lynx, if we had them here in Britain, could help control deer numbers. Since we don't, we have RSPB marksmen shooting excess deer to stop them overgrazing on its land.

Yet when it comes to the conservation of birds, the RSPB's leaders favour a few photogenic species at the expense of balance. This is not for ecological reasons but the result of fundraising targets and ideological prejudice.

The RSPB, for example, believes that all grouse moors are bad. Very bad. Earlier this year, the RSPB's vice-president, Chris Packham, even described grouse moors as an 'evil community'.

This is the same Chris Packham who is known to millions as a presenter on shows including Springwatch. This raises the question of how the BBC can pretend that he is an impartial TV presenter on matters such as this.

An internal BBC report has already found that the Corporation's nature reporting is over-reliant on the RSPB.

The sort of extraordinary language used by Packham does little to help build relationships between the RSPB and those who own or manage many of the UK's most successful bird habitats. For what it's worth, I am absolutely convinced that the grouse on my plate has had a far better life than the chicken on yours. Grouse live entirely in the wild and typically do so for a year or two before being shot.

A so-called 'free range' chicken is probably crowded into a barn with around 12 other chickens per square metre and lives just six weeks before being slaughtered – a point recently highlighted in The Mail on Sunday.

It is true, of course, that the RSPB contains many sincere people who bring deep experience and work well with neighbouring farmers and gamekeepers. They avoid the doctrine of their top brass and recognise that endangered curlews, for example, are thriving on grouse moors.

So are lapwings and golden plovers. Privately employed gamekeepers excel at protecting these ground-nesting birds from predators such as foxes and stoats.

It is a different story on land owned by the RSPB, however. RSPB doctrine means that its wardens are not allowed to be as tough on predators, and so their results fall short.

The RSPB's failure to look after hen harriers is particularly telling. Last September, The Mail on Sunday pointed out that, despite the RSPB having been in charge of seven of England's 12 hen harrier nests in 2015, it managed to successfully protect just one of the 18 chicks that fledged.

Was this the result of too many visitors near the nests? Were the parents scared by tagging attempts? Was it a hungry bubo bubo? Or was it, as the RSPB management implied, the fault of gamekeepers?

That doesn't wash with me. There hasn't been a single prosecution of a gamekeeper for persecuting hen harriers in England for 15 years. They have been putting their house in order.

I have zero tolerance for illegal shooting of hen harriers; attitudes in the game sector have been improving and I hope that will continue.

The same can barely be said of the RSPB, although recent months have seen signs of change. The leadership has only just started to realise how many organisations now see it not as the august body it ought to be, but as the blinkered bully of the conservation world.

For decades the organisation – which pulls in £133 million a year – has been in the hands of Left-wing Greens. Now it has so overtaxed the goodwill of our nation that its management's had no alternative but to learn the art of compromise. Climbdown number one was over hen harriers. For years the RSPB had been blocking a Government scheme to help this bird recover by raising chicks in aviaries. With evidence of the charity's own conservation failures mounting, the RSPB has offered a welcome to the initiative – through gritted teeth.

The second climbdown this year involved a widow's gift to the charity of 20 acres of farmland in the Cheshire village of Somerford. The RSPB, with its inexhaustible appetite for cash, had decided to ignore the widow's request that the land should not be built on and instead planned to take a £6 million profit by handing it over to developers.

The RSPB had to change tack after the case was highlighted in the press. Now, to the delight of villagers, 12 of the acres will instead be turned into a nature garden with an orchard and pond.

It is difficult to exaggerate the extent to which the RSPB has been used to getting its way. It has a lot of weight to throw around.

This bloated organisation has become so adept at milking public and private purses it now has as many staff, about 2,000, as the Government's conservation agency, Natural England. Many academics and officials have been intimidated by it.

Next month the elite scientific body, the Royal Society, will publish a scathing critique of the way the RSPB has been distorting science to suit its own political agenda against grouse moors.

In their article, a dozen of the world's top ecologists will say that RSPB press releases displayed 'only passing resemblance to the key findings' of scientific research.

So, in the space of a few months, the RSPB has got itself on the wrong side of the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) over its objection to the Government's hen harrier recovery scheme and some of the world's top ecologists.

These reverses followed earlier rebukes from the Charity Commission and the Advertising Standards Authority for misleading donors. Donors had been told by the RSPB that it was spending 90p from every donated £1 on conservation. The regulators found the reality to be nearer 30p.

The other 70p had been swallowed by the RSPB's huge expenditure on fundraising, campaigning, and its catastrophic pension fund deficit. This deficit is now an eye-watering £86 million as the RSPB failed to match the contributions of its fast-growing staff with sufficient pension contributions of its own.

It means that of the £7 million of private donations the RSPB received last year, £4 million went straight out of the door to bail out the pension scheme.

Not that the waste ends there. Millions more are spent on lawyers as the RSPB tries to get involved in politics and bludgeons the Government with judicial reviews.

Even the RSPCA – that other activist-led charity with a penchant for putting politics before animal welfare – is better run.

I take particular issue with the RSPB's deeply flawed claim that the biggest threat of all to birds is climate change.

A rather basic problem with this thesis was revealed last month when RSPB research showed that British birds were thriving – because of climate change.

Despite that, the RSPB has gone ahead with the futile gesture of building its own wind turbine at its Bedfordshire HQ. Who knows how many birds will fall victim to its blades.

I won't be surprised if every morning the first duty of the RSPB press office will be to bury the feathered corpses.

I am encouraged that my You Forgot The Birds campaign – which I wrote about first in The Mail on Sunday 18 months ago – has helped start a process of change within the RSPB.

I hope that, after the climbdowns discussed above, it will do more to protect vulnerable eagle owl nests from visitors and predators, and – just as vitally – that it will take quick action when eggs are abandoned.

Yet I don't think that substantial change will come until the Charity Commission stops sitting on the fence and instead transforms itself into a bubo bubo and swoops down on the RSPB's inept trustees.

In sport, in politics and in business repeated failure means that you get the chop to allow better people to take the opportunities. The RSPB is one charity which would be improved by a cull.


Revealed! Feds' demands to manipulate global-warming data

It’s something climate skeptics have long suspected: Government involvement in science has skewed data to reflect the government’s agenda.

“Many have suspected that U.S. political intervention in climate science has corrupted the outcome," notes Ron Arnold in an essay posted on “The new emergence of an old 1995 document from the U.S. State Department to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change confirms those suspicions, or at least gives the allegation credence enough to ask questions."

Though a FOIA request for the 1995 document came up empty (“No such correspondence in our files"), the pdf is available online. The 30-page document, entitled “U.S. Government Specific Comments on the Draft IPCC WG I Summary for Policymakers," gives detailed instructions on “how to change the IPCC’s science document and the summary for policymakers."

“The document itself consists of a three-page cover letter to Sir John Houghton, head of IPCC Working Group I (Science), from Day Mount, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Acting, Environment and Development, United States Department of State, along with the thirty-page instruction set with line-by-line ‘suggestions,’ written by scientist Robert Watson and others," writes Arnold.

He also notes, “Among the more revealing tidbits is a remark scolding a scientist for being honest about the weakness of aerosol forcing data: ‘We clearly cannot use aerosol forcing as the trigger of our smoking gun, and then make a generalized appeal to uncertainty to exclude these effects from the forward-looking modeling analysis.’ One instruction was to change a correct statement about warming rates into a flat lie: ‘Change “continue to rise" to “rise by even greater amounts" to provide a sense of magnitude of the extended change.'"

This verbal manipulation as far back as 1995 illustrates how government involvement in climate science is skewing the outcome to reflect an agenda.

NASA is noted to have altered its own temperature data by 0.5C since 2001. “NASA temperature data doesn’t even agree with NASA temperature data from 15 years ago," notes the article “Global temperature record is a smoking gun of collusion and fraud."

The article also chronicles similar manipulation by the Japan Meteorological Agency; and that much of the Southern Hemisphere data is “mostly made up."

“The claimed agreement in temperature data is simply not legitimate," it notes. “The people involved know that their data is inadequate, tampered and largely made up. They all use basically the same GHCN data set from NOAA (which has lost more than 80 percent of their stations over the past few decades) and E-mails show that they discussed with each other ways to alter the data to make it agree with their theory."

WND has reported extensively on global warming, including a few months back when, despite no rise in average global temperature for nearly two decades, some two-dozen scientists with major U.S. universities urged President Obama to use RICO laws to prosecute opponents who deny mankind is causing catastrophic changes in the climate.

That’s the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, which can put people in jail.

The scientists said their critics’ methods “are quite similar to those used earlier by the tobacco industry," which was the target of a RICO investigation that “played an important role in stopping the tobacco industry from continuing to deceive the American people about the dangers of smoking."

Tim Ball, a former University of Winnipeg climatology professor, said global temperatures have been dropping since the turn of the century, prompting the change in terminology from “global warming" to “climate change."

Activists are also spending less time discussing temperatures and more time pointing to more extreme events such as tornadoes, droughts, cold snaps and heat waves. Ball said there’s a shred of truth there, but it’s being badly distorted.

Marc Morano is executive editor and chief correspondent for ClimateDepot, as well as host and producer of the upcoming film “Climate Hustle." In an interview with WND, he said, “These documents further reveal how the grand narrative of man-made global warming has been crafted and forged into a partisan like campaign cause. The U.N. reports were altered as needed to promote the ideological and political goals of the establishment pushing climate fears.

“Any talking points that did not fit their narrative were cast aside and any expression of uncertainty quashed," he added. “The ‘global warming’ movement is a pure lobbying movement on some levels. These old documents echo the 2009 Climategate scandal where the upper echelon of the U.N. scientists were exposed colluding on now to craft a narrative and mold the science to persuade the public, media and policy makers of the urgency of ‘acting’ on ‘global warming.'"

Manipulation of public emotion through various strategies influences public policy in massive ways, which makes the 1995 document noteworthy for how far back this goes.

“The 1995 document raises 2016 questions about the State Department’s actions in the subsequent United National IPCC Assessment Reports," notes Arnold. “What did they do? Where are the correspondence and instructions to change the science in all the IPCC Assessments? What is the Obama State Department doing to corrupt climate science to its forward its radical social and political agenda? Some of that is obvious. It’s the clandestine part we need to know."


Sanders Says His Climate Change Remedy Will Bring 'Economic Dislocation,' Job Losses

Climate change is a "global crisis," and addressing it will bring "economic disloation," including job losses, Sen. Bernie Sanders said at Thursday's CNN-hosted Democrat debate in Brooklyn.

"Pope Francis reminded us that we are on a suicide course," Sanders said. "Our legislation understands, ...that there will be economic dislocation. It is absolutely true. There will be some people who lose their job. And we build into our legislation an enormous amount of money to protect those workers. It is not their fault that fossil fuels are destroying our climate.

"But we have got to stand up and say right now, as we would if we were attacked by some military force, we have got to move...urgently and boldly."

Sanders has called for a nationwide ban on fracking, a phase-out of all nuclear power in the U.S., and a carbon tax. "We have got to tell the fossil fuel industry that their short-term profits are not more important than the future of this planet," he said.

Sanders also has introduced legislation calling for 10 million "solar rooftops," as he described them. "We can put probably millions of people to work retrofitting and weatherizing buildings all over this country -- saving -- rebuilding our rail system, our mass transit system.

Clinton told the gathering that she's set "big goals" for addressing climate change.

"I want to see us deploy a half a billion more solar panels by the end of my first term and enough clean energy to provide electricity to every home in America within 10 years.

"So I have big, bold goals, but I know in order to get from where we are, where the world is still burning way too much coal, where the world is still too intimidated by countries and providers like Russia, we have got to make a very firm but decisive move in the direction of clean energy."

Clinton said she would build on what President Obama has accomplished -- "building on the clean power plan, which is currently under attack by fossil fuels and the right in the Supreme Court, which is one of the reasons why we need to get the Supreme Court justice that President Obama has nominated to be confirmed so that we can actually continue to make progress."

She noted that Sanders  has not been able to pass his legislation: "And my approach I think is going to get us there faster without tying us up into political knots with a Congress that still would not support what you are proposing," she told the senator.


Coral reefs set to lose tolerance to bleaching as oceans warm

There's probably a few factual bits below but it's mostly just modelling crap.  They at least acknowledge that corals do adapt -- which is a great leap forward for them

The future is not looking bright. Coral reefs are set to become more vulnerable to bleaching as rising temperatures cripple their self-defence mechanisms.

Bleaching occurs when warm waters strip away the colourful photosynthesising algae that provide nourishment to corals.

This happens during unusually warm periods, such as during El Niño years, but doesn’t always kill coral, which can recover when waters cool again.

Corals are often able to survive heatwaves by developing resistance during periods of milder warming, when water temperatures rise and cool off again, says Tracy Ainsworth of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies. The corals are essentially given a warning for what’s about to come, a sort of practice run.

A little stress can help corals

"Corals that undergo smaller stress prior to a bleaching event are able to retain more symbionts within the tissue, those algae which are crucial for nutrition," says Ainsworth. "This has major implications as to whether or not it can survive."

Now that climate change is driving up ocean temperatures, there are fears that these acclimatisation periods will become shorter or disappear completely.

To get an idea of how warming waters might affect corals, Ainsworth and her colleagues studied patterns of sea surface temperatures at Australia’s Great Barrier Reef over the last three decades.

They found that during that time, 75 per cent of heatwaves were preceded by moderately warm temperatures. These can help cut coral mortality by 50 per cent.

More heat, more stress

They then modelled future scenarios and found that this proportion may drop to 22 per cent if sea surface temperatures rise by 2 °C, as could occur by 2100.

What’s more, they found that an increase in local water temperature of just 0.5 °C can lead to loss of this adaptation mechanism.

"We will no longer be getting a situation where corals have a small stress, a period of recovery due to water cooling, and then a big stress," says Ainsworth. "What we’ll see is an accumulation of one big stress."

Survival strategies

Their experiments also confirmed the importance of practice runs, showing that corals developed a number of heat resistance strategies as the water warmed up.

"They upregulated their heat shock responses and all these other molecular mechanisms that prevented damage to the cells during the next stress," says Ainsworth.

But increasing sea temperatures caused by climate change will see that gap between the preparation period and the peak stress disappear, says study co-author Scott Heron of the US  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Not too late

"Those temperatures will no longer drop below the stress levels," says Heron. "So instead of a gap to recover between the preparation period and the peak stress, the corals have an extended period of stress."

If these predictions are born out, coral cover in the Great Barrier Reef could dwindle to less than 5 per cent by the end of the century.

Nevertheless, it is not too late to turn things around. The researchers’ modelling studies demonstrated that aggressive efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions would result in no net decline in coral cover by the end of the century.

"I think we do still have hope, we should never give up," says Ainsworth.



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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