Sunday, May 22, 2016

Some pretty pictures of snow and ice that allegedly prove global warming

I am not going to reproduce any of the pictures as it is just typical Leftist cherry-picking.  You can pick pictures to show almost anything.  It is statistics you need if you are to generalize.  And, overall, polar ice has been INCREASING.

So how come all the pretty pictures?  Mainly because glaciers are always changing -- mostly in response to precipitation.  Glaciers that are getting more snowfall than usual will be advancing and glaciers getting less will be retreating.  And there are always glaciers doing both.  The Franz Josef glacier in New Zealand is a good example.  Up unti a few years ago was notable for its rapid advance.  Now it is retreating.

Kilimanjaro is another example.  Once it was almost bare of snow but it has since bounced back.  And it's only at the stage that suits their religion did the Warmists mention either of them

And their deception is not even clever.  For Kilimanjaro they show a comparison between 1993 and 2000.  But what about 2016?  For that see below:

More snow than ever. That shows you how they operate.  They are arrant crooks

And their logic is very strange. Their two pictures of flooding in Australia were taken only two months apart.  So does that prove global warming?  Did drastic warming happen over just two months?  Hardly.  All they show is that Australia's floods are short-lived, which all Australians know. Our chronic problem is drought

I guess I could go on to dismantle all their trickery but I am not going to give any more time to gross propaganda.  Just some of their text excerpted below.  Click SOURCE to see the pictures

They have been locked in ice for hundreds, if not thousands of years, but newly released images have revealed just how fast the landscapes of Antarctica and the Arctic have changed.

The incredible pictures, released by Nasa, show how melting, and flooding, have transformed iconic landscapes around the world.

While some of the images, taken years apart, reveal long-term impacts that have been attributed to climate change, others show changes on a shorter scale due to shifting seasons or storms.

The shocking image comparisons are perhaps at their most dramatic when picturing the glaciers in Alaska.

An image taken in the summer 1917 of the Pederson Glacier shows mountains of ice floating in water. Yet, a photograph taken in the same spot in 2005 shows green pastures and a sparse covering of snow and ice in the surrounding hills.

In another pair of images taken of Northwestern Glacier, in Alaska, almost all the ice can be seen to have melted within just 65 years. In the summer of 1940, the glacier glacier can be seen snaking down from the peaks into the water, where chunks of ice float.

By summer 2005, the picture is completely different. Where once there was white snow and ice, the dark grey and black of the rock, with the occasional hint of green vegetation, dominates while the water is completely clear. Just a few hints of snow remain hidden among the highest peaks in the distance.

The ice and snow on the top of Africa's tallest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, can be seen disappearing. On the left shows a thick cap of snow on February 17, 1993 and on the right it has reducted in February 21, 2000 Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa

Southern Australia, October 9, 2010Flooding in southern Australia December 12, 2010.  A series of thunderstorms led to flooding in southern Australia in 2010 affecting 200,000 people. The left image was taken on October 9, 2010 while the image on the right was taken December 12, 2010

Other images show dramatic changes caused by flooding and fire, urban development and deforestation.


Warming stops depression

Warmists are constantly making hokey claims about warming being bad for you.  So it should be of some interest to read below a proper academic study which shows that warmth can be beneficial.  It might in fact make us all more cheerful

Whole-Body Hyperthermia for the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized Clinical Trial

By Janssen CW et al.


IMPORTANCE: Limitations of current antidepressants highlight the need to identify novel treatments for major depressive disorder. A prior open trial found that a single session of whole-body hyperthermia (WBH) reduced depressive symptoms; however, the lack of a placebo control raises the possibility that the observed antidepressant effects resulted not from hyperthermia per se, but from nonspecific aspects of the intervention.

OBJECTIVE: To test whether WBH has specific antidepressant effects when compared with a sham condition and to evaluate the persistence of the antidepressant effects of a single treatment.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS:  A 6-week, randomized, double-blind study conducted between February 2013 and May 2015 at a university-based medical center comparing WBH with a sham condition. All research staff conducting screening and outcome procedures were blinded to randomization status. Of 338 individuals screened, 34 were randomized, 30 received a study intervention, and 29 provided at least 1 postintervention assessment and were included in a modified intent-to-treat efficacy analysis. Participants were medically healthy, aged 18 to 65 years, met criteria for major depressive disorder, were free of psychotropic medication use, and had a baseline 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale score of 16 or greater.

INTERVENTIONS: A single session of active WBH vs a sham condition matched for length of WBH that mimicked all aspects of WBH except intense heat.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Between-group differences in postintervention Hamilton Depression Rating Scale scores.

RESULTS: The mean (SD) age was 36.7 (15.2) years in the WBH group and 41.47 (12.54) years in the sham group. Immediately following the intervention, 10 participants (71.4%) randomized to sham treatment believed they had received WBH compared with 15 (93.8%) randomized to WBH. When compared with the sham group, the active WBH group showed significantly reduced Hamilton Depression Rating Scale scores across the 6-week postintervention study period (WBH vs sham; week 1: -6.53, 95% CI, -9.90 to -3.16, P < .001; week 2: -6.35, 95% CI, -9.95 to -2.74, P = .001; week 4: -4.50, 95% CI, -8.17 to -0.84, P = .02; and week 6: -4.27, 95% CI, -7.94 to -0.61, P = .02). These outcomes remained significant after evaluating potential moderating effects of between-group differences in baseline expectancy scores. Adverse events in both groups were generally mild.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Whole-body hyperthermia holds promise as a safe, rapid-acting, antidepressant modality with a prolonged therapeutic benefit.

JAMA Psychiatry. 2016 May 12. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.1031

Is the green’s ‘Daddy Warbucks’ helping the planet or himself?

Any comprehensive review of green energy and its politics and policies has to include the name of wealthy liberal Tom Steyer — who has been called the environmental movement’s new “Daddy Warbucks.”  Having made his billions from his tenure atop Farallon Capital Management—much of it from coal projects around the world — Steyer apparently had an environmental epiphany and now wants to atone for his past sins by trying to save the planet from manmade climate change.

He is using his wallet to try to elect candidates who will promote policies and energy plans that agree with him. And that plan is “green.” As I’ve previously reported, he spent nearly $75 million in the 2014 midterms and intends to top that for the 2016 election cycle. Steyer–– a long-time donor to Democratic causes –– was a 2008 Hillary Clinton supporter. After her campaign failed, he emerged as a bundler for Obama in 2008 and again in 2012. Additionally, Steyer is a Clinton Foundation donor, and last year, at his San Francisco home, he held an expensive fundraiser for Clinton’s 2016 presidential run.

Along with researcher Christine Lakatos, whose Green Corruption File was recently praised on the Michael Savage Show, I’ve repeatedly addressed Steyer’s involvement through our work on President Obama’s Green-Energy Crony-Corruption Scandal. Anytime there is a pot of government money available for green energy, as Lakatos found, Steyer’s name seems to be attached to it. Some of the most noteworthy include: Sungevity, ElectraTherm, and Project Frog — all funded by Greener Capital (now EFW Capital), which is a venture firm that invests in renewable energy, with Steyer as a known financial backer.

Steyer claims to have “no self-interest” in his political activism. The Los Angeles Times quotes him as saying: “We’re doing something we think is good for everyone.” Yet, as Forbes columnist Loren Steffy points out, he is spending his fortune lobbying for “short term political gains” rather than into research and development “aimed at making renewables economically viable.”

While he may say what he is doing is good for everyone, the policies he’s pushing are good for him — not for “everyone.” The Washington Post called him: “The man who has Obama’s ear when it comes to energy and climate change.” In California, where he has been a generous supporter of green energy policies, he helped pass Senate Bill 350 that calls for 50 percent renewable energy by 2030. California’s current mandate is 33 percent by 2020—which California’s three investor-owned utilities are, reportedly, “already well on their way to meeting.” It is no surprise that California already has some of the highest electricity rates in the country. Analysis released last week found that states with policies supporting green energy have much higher power prices. In October, Steyer spent six figures for an ad campaign calling for the next president to adopt a national energy policy similar to California’s: “50 percent clean energy mix in the U.S. by 2030” — which will raise everyone’s rates.

With Steyer’s various green-energy investments, these rate-increasing plans are good for him but bad for everyone else — especially those who can least afford it. And, it is the less affluent, I recently learned, he’s targeting with predatory loans for solar panels through Kilowatt Financial, LLC, (KWF) — a company that listed him as “manager” on corporate documents. KWF recently merged with Clean Power Finance and became “Spruce.” The financing structure used, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), allows “homeowners to get solar systems at no upfront cost and then to pay monthly for the use of the power generated. Homeowners end up saving on their total electricity use, while financing companies get steady revenue over 20 years.” WSJ, points out, the KWF financing can be offered to “people who wouldn’t be approved otherwise.”

In the KWF model, contracted payments come from homeowners and “create a steady and reliable income stream, part of which is owned by its venture investors, including Kleiner Perkins.” About the arrangement, KWF chairman and Chief Executive Daniel Pillmer said: “Kleiner Perkins will make a lot of money.” Apparently, the money to be made is from selling the loans that are then securitized on Wall Street — much like the “sub-prime” mortgage crisis that offered loans to people who couldn’t qualify with “traditional lenders.” KWF’s website brags: “We support financing terms for almost every customer and provide ways for dealers to participate in the pricing process to generate even more approvals and create even lower consumer rates.” KWF offers “Instant Approvals, even for customers with lower credit scores” and “Same-as-Cash and Deferred Payment Offers.” In these types of payment plans, a low rate is usually offered in the beginning and increases retroactively if all the terms of the loan are not met.

In this model, the homeowners don’t actually own the solar systems — which means KWF receives the benefit of the federal tax incentives, such as the 30 percent federal “Investment Tax Credit,” designed to benefit the owner of the solar system.

It is practices like this that have drawn the ire of Congress. Several congressional Democrats sent a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that warned about the similarities between the solar industry and what led to the subprime mortgage crisis: “easy initial financial terms, increased demand and a rapidly expanding industry.” These factors create a high risk potential that could, ultimately, be harmful to consumers. Similarly, Republicans sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission that noted pressure from Wall Street is reportedly leading companies who use “potentially deceptive sales tactics” — which doesn’t sound like it is something that is “good for everyone.”

Yet, it is these very types of finance products, promoted by Steyer’s Kilowatt Financial that Greentech Media reports are “doing well.”

While Steyer claims to want to give everyone a “fair shake,” his pet policies increase costs for everyone, and offer a hand-shake for Wall Street. Steyer and his billionaire buddies win, “everyone” else loses — and that is a big part of the green-energy crony-corruption scandal


Who Are the Real Deniers of Science?

The left has long claimed that it has something of a monopoly on scientific expertise. For instance, long before Al Gore started making millions by claiming that anyone who disagreed with his apocalyptic prophecies was “anti-science,” there were the “scientific socialists.” “Social engineer” is now rightly seen as a term of scorn and derision, but it was once a label that progressive eggheads eagerly accepted.

Masking opinions in a white smock is a brilliant, albeit infuriating and shabby, rhetorical tactic. As the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” Science is the language of facts, and when people pretend to be speaking it, they’re not only claiming that their preferences are more than mere opinions, they’re also insinuating that anyone who disagrees is a fool or a zealot for objecting to “settled science.”

Put aside the fact that there is no such thing as settled science. Scientists are constantly questioning their understanding of things; that is what science does. All the great scientists of history are justly famous for overturning the assumptions of their fields. The real problem is that in politics, invocations of science are very often marketing techniques masquerading as appeals to irrefutable authority. In an increasingly secular society, having science on your side is better than having God on your side — at least in an argument.

I’m not saying that you can’t have science in your corner, or that lawmakers shouldn’t look to science when making policy. (Legislation that rejects the existence of gravity makes for very silly laws indeed.) But the real intent behind so many claims to “settled science” is to avoid having to make your case. It’s an undemocratic technique for delegitimizing opposing views and saying “shut up” to dissenters.

For example, even if the existence of global warming is “settled,” the policies for how to best respond to it are not. But in the political debates about climate change, activists say that their climatological claims are irrefutable and so are their preferred remedies.

If climate change is the threat they claim, I’d rather spend billions on geoengineering to fix it than trillions on impoverishing economic policies that at best slightly delay it. It doesn’t matter; I’m the Luddite buffoon for thinking ethanol subsidies and windmills are boondoggles.

Even more outrageous: If you dispute, say, the necessity of spending billions on windmills or on killing the coal industry, you are not merely wrong on climate change, you are “anti-science.”

Intellectually, this is a monument of asininity so wide and tall, even the mind’s eye cannot glimpse its horizon or peak.

For starters, why are liberalism’s pet issues the lodestars of what constitutes scientific fact? Medical science informs us fetuses are human beings. The liberal response? “Who cares?” Genetically modified foods are safe, sayeth the scientists. “Shut up,” reply the liberal activists. IQ is partly heritable, the neuroscientists tell us. “Shut up, bigot,” the liberals shriek.

Which brings me to the raging hysteria over the plight of transgendered people who need to use the bathroom.

The New York Times recently reported about A.J. Jackson’s travails in a Vermont high school. “There were practical issues,” Anemona Hartocollis writes. “When he had his period, he wondered if he should revert to the girls' bathroom, because there was no place to throw away his used tampons.”

Now, one can have sympathy for the transgendered — I certainly do — while simultaneously holding to the scientific fact that boys do not menstruate. This is a fact far more settled than the very best climate science. Perhaps it’s rude to say so, but facts do not cease to be facts simply because they offend.

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio is pushing to fine businesses that do not address customers by their “preferred name, pronoun and title (e.g., Ms./Mrs.) regardless of the individual’s sex assigned at birth, anatomy, gender, medical history, appearance, or the sex indicated on the individual’s identification.” The NYC Commission on Human Rights can penalize offenders up to $250,000.

Many liberals believe that “denying” climate science should be a criminal offense while also believing that denying biological science is a moral obligation.

In the law, truth is a defense against the charge of slander, but for liberals, inconvenient truth is no defense against the charge of bigotry.


Sheer ignorance of EPA head

At the 2016 Planet Forward Summit last month, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy riled “climate deniers,” accusing them of ignoring myriad data for political expediency. “Climate deniers are not about a lack of data,” she asserted. “They’re … deniers as to whether or not the solutions, once you recognize the problem, are going to be to their advantage or not.”

However, last July, when asked by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, “What percentage of the atmosphere is CO2?” McCarthy replied: “I don’t have that calculation for you sir.”

And just a few months prior, in March 2015, Sen. Jeff Sessions pointed out to McCarthy the terrible track record when it comes to computer projections. McCarthy response? “I do not know what the models actually are predicting that you’re referring to,” McCarthy conceded. She continued, “[O]n the whole it makes no difference to the validity and the robustness of climate science that is telling us that we are facing an absolute challenge that we must address [emphasis added].”

So the woman who admittedly doesn’t even look at the data has the chutzpah to lecture “deniers” about denying said erroneous data. Who again is seeking to take advantage?


Exxon still skeptical

A Greenie has a moan below

This spring, though free of my personal Exxon holdings, I couldn’t resist taking a peek at the company’s mailing to shareholders in advance of its 2016 annual meeting, in Dallas on May 25. The proxy package opens with a letter from Exxon Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson. Reading it, I had a momentary flash of hope. “Your vote is important to us,” he writes, referring, in part, to a raft of shareholder proposals whose adoption could have real impact on the company’s environmental policies and practices. My hopes were dashed, though, as I continued reading. Each suggested reform was followed by the same stern directive: “The Board recommends that you vote against this proposal.”

One shareholder proposal calls on Exxon to appoint an independent climate expert to its board of directors. This would be a good way for the company to show that it is committed to giving more serious attention to the global-warming challenge. In recommending a “no” vote, Exxon explains that periodic briefings by Exxon staff and outside experts provide the board with all the information it needs on climate change. It also argues that Exxon board members should have “expertise in managing large, relatively complex organizations and be accustomed to dealing with complex situations with worldwide scope.” I couldn’t help wondering: What “situation” is more complex or wider in scope than potentially cataclysmic climate change? And what issue is more fundamental to the viability of a global corporation that has staked its future on the burning of fossil fuels?

Another group of shareholders — the United Steelworkers — seeks fuller disclosure of Exxon’s lobbying outlays. In calling for an annual report on the company’s efforts to influence environmental laws and policies that may affect Exxon business interests, the Steelworkers point to Exxon’s membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council, which spearheads many of the most strident state-level campaigns attacking policies favorable to renewable energy. Exxon urges shareholders to reject fuller lobbying disclosure, asserting that its periodic reports to Congress and various state and local jurisdictions, “as required by law,” provide “sufficient transparency and accountability.” Why make it any easier for scrappy shareholders, or the public at large, to track the company’s massive and often secretive lobbying campaigns?

Perhaps most disturbing is the board’s dismissal of a shareholder proposal urging Exxon to endorse an upper limit on the amount of global warming that our planet and its inhabitants can endure. The proposal suggests that the global average temperature should not be allowed to rise more than 2º C above its pre-industrial level — hardly a radical notion, as it simply echoes the terms of the Paris climate accord, agreed to by 195 nations in December. In fact, the Paris agreement warns that an even lower ceiling, keeping the global average temperature within 1.5º C of the pre-industrial level, will be needed to preserve some semblance of climate stability.

How does Exxon explain its rejection of these caps, overwhelmingly accepted by nations large and small, industrialized and developing? It says that it prefers to pursue “practical, achievable solutions … rather than focusing on a future global temperature stabilization outcome that ultimately will be dictated by many variables beyond the company’s control.”

In other words, because Exxon’s actions alone will not shape the dimensions and depth of a future climate crisis, widely credited scientific warnings about the need to keep global warming within specific bounds can be held at arm’s length. Managing Exxon’s massive internal operations (drilling, refining, distribution) and its sale of 5.8 million barrels of petroleum products per day is tough enough without the added headache of worrying about the company’s contribution to climate change.

Another shareholder, the New York State Common Retirement Fund, calls for a report on how domestic and international climate change policies will affect Exxon’s oil and gas holdings. This, too, is rejected. Exxon reasons that demand for its products is growing, not shrinking, and that it will take many decades for the world to shift to a lower-carbon economy. With all that growth in fossil fuel use, shareholders needn’t be concerned that the company’s “proven hydrocarbon reserves are, or will become, stranded.” This, of course, ignores the inconvenient truth that existing national and international policies, not to mention future ones, will require us to leave substantial portions of known reserves of oil, gas, and coal in the ground. How else might we keep our planet from burning its way through the temperature limits set by the Paris accord?

Navigating America toward a more sustainable energy future won’t be easy. Vision, rather than obfuscation and denial, must guide the efforts of governments, corporations, and institutions. Someday, we can only hope, the world’s leading oil and gas company will face up to this challenge.



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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