Sunday, April 03, 2016
Warmist fear of the truth
I won't go into details but I had an email conversation a few weeks ago with a woman whom I had last seen in the '70s. I had a small item that she wanted so I suggested that she call in to pick it up. She lives only about 15 minutes drive away so that would be no burden. And she seemed keen to do that.
As part of polite catching up she asked me about my mathematician son. One of the things I said was that he was like me in regarding global warming as absurd to the point of hilarity.
Since I had last seen her, however, she had become a global warming believer. So I said that when she visited I would like to show her a graph. I had in mind the graph at the head of this blog.
We closed the conversation shortly thereafter and I have heard and seen neither hide nor hair of her since. Her interest in visiting me vanished as soon as she suspected that her beliefs would come under challenge.
And when they can't shut us up, that is what the Green/Left do. They run away. They HAVE to feel wiser than the rest of us "cattle" in order to prop up their self-esteem. ANYTHING is better than feeling small and foolish, which is what they mostly are. So when conservatives present evidence to show that their wisdom is wrong, it is very distressing to them. They just HAVE to shut all that out. Sad.
CEI attorney cites chilling effect of state investigations of ExxonMobil
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is investigating ExxonMobil for possibly suppressing climate change research from the public and investors, is overstepping his bounds, a senior attorney for the Competitive Enterprise Institute contends.
Schneiderman has said he is not pleased that ExxonMobil questions the impact of global warming and that it donates to think tanks that occasionally challenge conventional wisdom.
“If you can intimidate people who take issue with the most alarming and maximal projections of global warming,” said Hans Bader, senior attorney for CEI in Washington, D.C., “you will end up with a skewed estimate of global warming that may also skew public policy and result in misallocation of resources.”
Schneiderman specifically disagreed with comments by Exxon that “switching over to renewables by the end of this century would raise energy costs” substantially, and that “ExxonMobil essentially ruled out the possibility that governments would adopt climate policies stringent enough to force it to leave its reserves in the ground," saying that rising population and global energy demand would prevent that. “Meeting these needs will require all economic energy sources, especially oil and natural gas,” it added.
Bader believes that the objective of the attorney general's investigation is not to uncover wrongdoing but rather to harass Exxon by subjecting it to bad publicity and the costs of producing thousands of pages of documents.
"I suspect that what is meant by 'promulgating misleading information,' is that oil companies declined to predict massive increases in temperature over the last 20 years that did not come true, and did not in fact occur," he said. "Failure to embrace exaggerated claims of global warming does not constitute '`deliberate deception,' when scientists have come up with widely varying estimates of how the climate will change, some conservative, and some exaggerated.
"Since climate-change predictions are not an exact science, the fact that one scientist comes up with a maximal, upper-bound projection of climate change does not obligate an oil company to believe it, much less trumpet it to the public. Nor does the fact that an oil company, which hedges against risk (including the risk of relatively improbable events, such as maximal, upper-bound projections of global temperature increases), takes such an estimate into account for contingency-planning mean that it accepts that estimate as being likely to come true, and thus render it deceitful for failure to publicly trumpet that projection of warming as if it were likely to come true."
Bader believes Schneiderman's investigation is part of a pattern of targeting individuals and groups with differing opinions about climate change.
"They are apparently aimed at people who are in the mainstream of climatology, who simply have a somewhat lower projection of global temperature increases than liberal state attorneys general find politically convenient," he said.
"For example, University of Alabama climate scientist John Christy was the target of liberal Congressional investigators, even though Christy doesn’t say global warming isn’t happening; and the brief he co-submitted to the Supreme Court says it is happening, but at less than half the rate projected by many other climate scientists."
Freedom of speech is the core issue for Bader.
"The First Amendment has long been interpreted as protecting corporate lobbying and donations, even to groups that allegedly deceive the public about important issues," he said. "So even if being a 'climate denier' were a crime (rather than constitutionally protected speech, as it in fact is), a donation to a non-profit that employs such a person would not be."
But Bader expects other states to take similar action.
"Maryland is and its attorney general has already prejudged matters by claiming that oil companies have contributed to the problem by intentionally promulgating misleading information, testimony and advertising," he said.
The ultimate victim, Bader argues, is freedom of expression.
"These investigations are a threat to mainstream climatologists who do not make exaggerated claims of global warming," he said, "and a threat to oil companies’ ability to engage in prudent contingency planning that takes into account maximal projections of global warming, without having to publicly tout those projections, which often turn out to be inaccurate years later."
Bogged Down in Water Regulation
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday for a potentially landmark legal case limiting the reach of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its zealous interpretation of the Clean Water Act. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co revolves around a peat farm operated by the Pierce family near the North Dakota-Minnesota state line. The Pierces drain bogs and scrape up the peat to sell to golf courses and football stadiums. As Kevin Pierce explained in a video, laying down peat creates a cushion on swaths of grass that will experience heavy use. It also reduces the amount of water it takes to hydrate said grass.
When the company tried to use a property in nearby Minnesota for its peat-harvesting operation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers swooped in. Bogs are wetlands, wetlands feed into navigable waterways, and therefore, the Pierce’s peat bog was under the corps' purview because it somehow affected the Red River, which lies 120 miles away. Sure, the Corps has jurisdiction over navigable waterways in the United States, but good luck piloting a boat through a peat bog. Recently, the Corps and the EPA tried to extend their power so that they control bodies of water as small as a ditch. The Pierces were yet another family affected by agency overreach.
But there was little they could do. They could cave to the Corps' demands, they could navigate the red tape and apply for a costly permit, or they could use the property anyway and risk major fines. The Pierces couldn’t take the Corps to court to challenge its determination, so the Supreme Court will decide whether the Corps is above legal challenge.
During the oral arguments, both liberal and conservative justices expressed skepticism over the Corps' arguments. For example, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg described the permitting process “arduous and very expensive.” The Pacific Legal Foundation, which is representing the Pierces before SCOTUS, say the amicus briefs from think tanks, businesses — even 29 states — have joined the Pierces' petition to the Supreme Court, none in support of the Corps. It seems this part of the environmental regulatory deluge is coming to an end.
Obama’s Clean Power Plan and EPA’s Emissions Rules Negatively Impact Indian Territory
Much debate and controversy surrounds the historic treatment of Native American communities by the U.S. Government. There exists many federal programs specifically aimed at helping tribal communities. Certainly government policies and programs should not hurt them. However, the Administration’s new carbon emission reduction regulation does just that.
Although the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed a temporary reprieve to the states by granting a stay of Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed controversial carbon emissions rule, there is no doubt that as written, the president’s so-called Clean Power Plan impacts low and middle income communities the most, and especially singles out certain Indian nations.
The EPA has gone as far as to issue a supplemental proposal to address carbon emissions from the four electric generating stations located on Indian lands. These plants produce low cost electricity for sale into the grid, as well as, provide well-paying jobs for tribal communities. In the case of the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) in Arizona, the plant was established specifically to pump water from the Colorado River, under an existing water rights settlement, to areas on and off the reservation. Additionally, the NGS utilizes coal mined on the reservation.
Unfortunately, the Navajo Nation, like too many other tribal communities, is plagued by significant economic challenges. The lack of jobs, high unemployment, and limited opportunities hurt the young and old alike. The EPA’s actions will directly impact one of the tribe’s most significant employers, and will have an economic ripple affect across the reservation.
The 27,000 square mile Navajo Nation extends into the states of Utah, Arizona and New Mexico, and is larger than 10 of the 50 states in America. Many Americans remember the heroic and patriotic acts of the Navajo Code Talkers during World War II in the Pacific.
Arizona State Sen. Carlyle Begay, a Navajo recently said, “The Navajo Nation’s unemployment rate is over 50 percent. Currently, revenue from coal represents 60 percent of the Navajo Nation’s general funds and operating budget. Absent political restrictions on the use of coal, (coal) mining and the Navajo Generating Station on the Navajo Nation’s land would be expected to boost its economy by over $13 billion over the next 25 years!”
Employing nearly 500 people, the NGS plays a key role in improving the quality of life for residents of the Navajo Nation and surrounding cities. The Kayenta Mine, which supplies coal to NGS, employs more than 400 employees. These facilities provide hundreds of Navajos with the opportunity to work. Like many corporate citizens, the NGS contributes to the quality of life in the region through targeted investments and grants to support educational scholarships, historic preservation, and environmental protection.
As part of the Salt River Project (SRP), the NGS not only provides electricity for consumers and businesses, but it provides the power needed to distribute water throughout the region. SRP's water business is one of the largest raw-water suppliers in Arizona delivering approximately 800,000 acre-feet of water annually to a 375-square-mile service area.
The impact of the Clean Power Plan on the Navajo Nation is not insignificant and will impact them for generations. These proud and patriotic people deserve better.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation has produced a compelling video -- in the Navajo’s own words -- that illustrate how the EPA’s plan impacts Navajo lives.
The Big Green job-killing machine
Environmentalists wield powerful Endangered Species Act to kill jobs, impoverish families
The abuse of environmentalist power to hurt people never stops.
“Another one gone,” began the Lost Coast Outpost’s report in late January. A.A. “Red” Emmerson, chairman of Sierra Pacific Industries, announced the permanent closure of its sawmill on Samoa Peninsula in Arcata, California – with the loss of 123 crew member jobs (and over 100 secondary jobs that depended on sawmill employment).
Regulatory burdens and reduced allowable harvests from federal forests are the primary reasons for the closure, Emmerson said.
The shutdown of the last mill on once-bustling Humboldt Bay this year was just the latest loss in the timber industry’s long and steady decline under relentless environmentalist pressure and U.S. Forest Service complicity.
A year earlier the North Coast Journal had sadly bid “Goodnight, Korbel” when Arcata’s neighbor lost its 131-year-old sawmill, its 106 direct jobs and numerous local indirect positions. The Pulp & Paperworkers’ Resource Council had previously released its 119-page “Mill Curtailments & Closures From 1990,” counting more than 1,700 nationwide timber-related casualties from 1990 through 2012.
All this damage was launched by the ionic 1991 Spotted Owl court ruling won by a local bird group, Seattle Audubon Society – initially with separate plaintiff Portland (Oregon) Audubon Society – against logging in Washington, Oregon and California.
The owl ruling has been so devastating because Judge William L. Dwyer, of Washington State’s federal district court, granted and stretched Seattle Audubon’s demands to the impossible.
Using the “regional biogeography” principle from a federal “Spotted Owl Task Force” decision, Dywer ruled, “The duty to maintain viable populations of existing vertebrate species requires planning for the entire biological community – not for one species alone. It is distinct from the duty, under the Endangered Species Act, to save a listed species from extinction.”
But even wildlife specialists did not know and could not explain what the “entire biological community” of the three-state area was.
Industry analyst Paul Ehinger & Associates of Eugene, Oregon found that, after just five years, Dwyer’s Seattle Audubon ruling had shut down 187 mills and wiped out 22,654 jobs throughout the three states.
The toll expanded like the Big Bang, and running totals are no longer tracked. A few well-off Seattle industry-haters and a liberal judge who paid little attention to the human toll set in motion a curse without end, the “progressive” destruction of the jobs, incomes, hopes and dreams of thousands.
The Center for Biological Diversity in Tucson, Arizona is a legal action environmental group that sues to block human action and doesn’t care who gets hurt. The leader of its three co-founders, Kieran Suckling, had been an activist in the 1980s’ vandalism and sabotage group, Earth First! (The exclamation point was a mandatory identifier.)
Hatred of industry – and the people who ran it – prompted the founders to seek ways to permanently stop natural resource use and led them to form the CBD in 1994. With the help of environmental attorneys, CBD “weaponized” the Endangered Species Act against ranchers, loggers, miners, and human activity in general. That law now trumps virtually everything else.
In fact, about the only time the act doesn’t seem to apply is when gigantic wind turbines slaughter hundreds of thousands of eagles, hawks, falcons, other birds and bats, year after year, nearly eradicating them and “entire biological communities” across vast areas in California, Oregon and elsewhere.
The organization’s self-description says, “As the country's leading endangered species advocates, the Center for Biological Diversity works through science, law and creative media to secure a future for all species, great or small, hovering on the brink of extinction.”
Extremism is a mild term to describe CBD’s blanket enmity to human action. It has even crossed the traditional environmentalist line that protected and revered Native Americans as “people of nature.”
The group joined a federal lawsuit last year to block essential expansion of The Navajo Mine, south of Farmington, New Mexico. The mine sits on a Navajo reservation and is owned by the Navajo Transitional Energy Company (NTEC), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Navajo Nation’s sprawling tribal government.
The mine was established for the sole purpose of delivering all its coal to the nearby Four Corners Power Plants: five coal-fired power plants, majority-owned and operated by the Arizona Public Service Company, to provide electricity to California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
In the process, it generated 800 mine and power plant jobs, many of them Navajos, and $40 million in annual revenue to the Navajo Nation. NTEC was granted a federal permit to expand the mine.
However, the CBD was determined to stop the expansion and shut down the mine via a huge lawsuit. It helped organize a coalition of co-plaintiffs including little local groups such as Amigos Bravos, San Juan Citizens Alliance, and Dine [Navajo] Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment, as well as the $100-million-a-year Sierra Club and the powerful Western Environmental Law Center.
The attack by CBD et al. won a Colorado federal judge’s order nullifying the expansion permit. The order was confirmed by the Tenth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals when NTEC lost an appeal for a stay on the lower court’s ruling. Even with that victory, the CBD gang insisted that ongoing mining must also halt, pending a new environmental review of alleged public health and environmental risks from the mine expansion: from pollutants that are actually a minor problem at these technologically advanced and well-run Navajo facilities.
Only the Navajo Nation’s sovereignty, an environmental review and agreements with the EPA to fight regional haze by closing three of the plant’s five units and installing emission controls on the remaining two plants saved some of the jobs and revenue – for now. Of course, all that could change as the CBD gang fights on, threatening to sue the federal permitting agency.
Lost jobs of course mean seriously impaired living standards, health and welfare for unemployed workers and their families. But for the CBD and judges, those concerns are irrelevant.
In January, the Farmington Daily Times reported that the town’s San Juan College received a $1.4 million federal grant to help retrain displaced coal miners and workers in other industries, including oil and gas. But oil and gas operations are also under assault by the CBD gang and various federal agencies, which are using climate change, the EPA’s Clean Power Plan and other regulations to restrict or eliminate leasing, drilling and other resource extraction on western lands.
Clearly, even the sovereignty that comes with being a federally recognized Indian tribe on an established reservation provides no protection against a weaponized Endangered Species Act. Other communities, industries, workers and families are even more powerless.
Once again, poor, minority and working class families are at the mercy of wealthy ruling elites, for whom exaggerated and even fabricated environmental concerns are paramount. It’s wrong, and it has to end.
Coal fightback in Australia
The Hunter Coal Festival starts today and runs until Sunday 10th of April. Tomorrow Saturday I shall be in Singleton compering Family Day which will be great. It is all free and everyone is welcome.
Coal is wonderful and is a gigantic contributor to our prosperity. Unfortunately there are people with wicked motives who are waging war on coal.
For the past five years there has been a continuous propaganda campaign run internationally by the Greens and their allies against coal generally and in particular against Indian Companies involved in the coal industry. The campaign has also embraced a raft of spurious lawsuits trying to destroy, damage or delay the plans of Adani and GVK to become significant producers and exporters of Queensland Coal.
One of the catch cries of the villains is the theme “CAN’T EAT COAL”. The truth is that coal is a huge contributor to the provision of food worldwide. Without coal there would be No modern agriculture, No tractors or harvesters, No trucks, No fertiliser, No pesticides or herbicides, No refrigeration, No steel cans or bottles, No grain silos, No efficient transportation, No modern irrigation, No scythes or spades, No modern fishing fleets. Without coal most of the world’s population would starve to death in the dark.
The enemies of coal are the enemies of 300 million people in India who don’t even have a light bulb. These people want their children to be able to study at night. They want to refrigerate food for themselves and their families. The enemies of coal exhibit a strongly racist view that these 300 million people should be deprived of the benefits of coal because they are only Indians.
As one example of this wicked war on coal, in May 2015 a bunch calling themselves “One Million Women” was operating a website which made this false claim:
The Indian company Adani is in charge of the coal terminal at Abbot Point - This is expected to destroy our Great Barrier Reef.
The One Million Women Website on Monday 11 May 2015 was displaying a photo of Sir Richard Branson and a headline asserting “Richard Branson Lobbies UN to List Great Barrier Reef as ‘In Danger’”.
On a very large percentage of Virgin Australia flights in and out of Brisbane Airport the passengers include men and women wearing hi-visibility outfits. These are among the thousands of miners whose purchasing power helps Queensland and the rest of Australia prosper. Another useful piece of information is that Brisbane Airport’s long overdue second runway now under construction has been made possible by a dredging program involving the delivery of eleven million cubic metres of sand sucked out of Moreton Bay. That is nearly eighteen millions tonnes, and the massive dredging job was finished in December 2014. So the founder of the Virgin group of companies is happy to sell thousands of air tickets to the mining industry and is happy to receive the benefit of dredging when it suits him. I should mention that every concrete runway in the world has depended upon coal or a coal substitute for the production of the cement.
So what is the Australian Coal Industry doing to defend civilisation against these unworthy attacks on coal? We know that the enemies of coal deliberately tap into the ancient racist assumption that everything that is black is somehow inferior, which you will admit puts coal rather at a disadvantage.
So Australian Coal Industry scientists working with their Indian Counterparts have developed a coal preparation process which at the front end changes the colour of coal to GREEN. I have a lump of this amazing green coal on my desk and I am posting a photograph of this green coal on my website.
The good news is that green coal has all the calorific value of its black ancestor. The only difference is the colour. Everyone loves Kermit the Frog. The enemies of coal will have to find a different target.
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.
Preserving the graphics: Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere. But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases. After that they no longer come up. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here or here
Posted by JR at 1:20 AM