Sunday, July 31, 2016

Lake Tahoe: Warmest water temperatures ever recorded

Absurd to think that a climate record that goes back to 1968 only can give you a picture of a long term trend.  But since the record goes back to 1968 only, we cannot test for a long term trend.  We can however look at the air temperature record from the nearby Tahoe station.  It's below.  What do we see?  We see that temperatures in the Tahoe area were markedly higher in the 1920s and 1930s.  Tahoe as a whole has been COOLING long term.  How likely is it that the lake is going to be different from its region?  Clearly, the scare below is an artifact of inadequate data

Lake Tahoe's average surface temperature last year was the warmest ever recorded, the latest evidence that climate change is altering California's iconic Sierra Nevada landmark.

In a report released Thursday by UC Davis, scientists said that the lake's waters in the past four years have been warming at 15 times their historic average.

The air temperature at the lake is becoming steadily hotter too. The winter of 2014-15 saw just 24 days where the average temperature dropped below freezing at the lake, according to the report, and only 6 percent of last year's precipitation fell as snow -- both all-time lows.

The ominous evidence threatens efforts in recent years to improve Lake Tahoe's famed blue clarity by reducing pollution. That's because the warming water will likely result in more algae growth, silt and invasive species, researchers said.

"The lake is changing, and it is changing at an increasing rate," said Geoffrey Schladow, director of the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center.

The picture of a steadily warming lake -- and a vacation wonderland with a relentless trend toward hotter weather, more rain and less snow -- emerged from the 2016 "State of the Lake" report, a document the center publishes every year.

Straddling the California-Nevada border, Lake Tahoe is the second deepest lake in America. It's 1,645 feet at its deepest point, behind only Crater Lake in Oregon. If the Empire State Building were submerged in Lake Tahoe, the top of its spire would still be below 200 feet of water. Roughly 3 million people visit each year.

"This year's report is definitely a warning," said Darcie Goodman Collins, executive director of the League to Save Lake Tahoe, an environmental group. "We need to improve our efforts."



America blighted by  industrial wind

Green gangsters rip us off while enriching the 0.1% and trashing the environment

Mary Kay Barton                                                                                  

“America is being auctioned off to the highest bidder.” – Donald J. Trump

A recent Joe Mahoney article, NY looks to the wind to replace its fossil fuel diet, was full of half-truths and misinformation.

There is nothing “free,” “clean” or “green” about industrial wind.  Quite the contrary: the true costs of industrial wind development are astronomical. Yet, the wishful thinking of Governor Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, “green” ideologues, and “renewable” energy hustlers and subsidy seekers who benefit from this massive taxpayer and ratepayer rip-off has been repeated by countless “journalists” without question for years now.

Mahoney’s article highlighted Cuomo’s approval of the proposed wind factory off Montauk, NY. It claimed: “The offshore ‘wind farm’ could be a symbol of how the state can meet Cuomo’s ambitious goal of getting half of New York’s energy from carbon-free sources by 2030.  Now those sources represent about 23 percent of the state's energy draw.”

The statement is grossly misleading and inaccurate.

New York State’s emissions-free hydro power (including what it imports from Canada) already supplies approximately 23% of New York State electricity generation all by itself. New York State’s emissions-free nuclear power supplies approximately another 30% of the state’s electricity generation. “Other Renewables” (wind, solar, biofuels, geothermal) now provide a measly 3% (US Energy Information Administration or EIA).

Clearly, current hydro and nuclear power supplies in New York State alone already exceed Cuomo’s emissions-free target of 50 percent. But for some reason emissions-free nuclear is not counted toward NY’s “emissions-free” goal.

Most infuriating for New York State taxpayers and ratepayers is the fact that New York State was already getting approximately 50% of its electricity from emissions-free sources (19% from hydro + 29% from nuclear + 1% from “Other Renewables”) way back in 2000 – before Governor Cuomo & Co. began throwing billions of taxpayer and ratepayer dollars into the wind, plastering rural NY with these bird-slaughtering lemons, as reported by

Scientific proof MIA

As our government officials continue to throw billions of dollars into the wind, the key question that needs to be asked by everyone is this:

Where is the Scientific PROOF that wind energy is a net societal benefit?

The answer is that there is no such scientific proof. Zero. Zip. Nada. None.

However, there is much proof that development of sprawling, unreliable, subsidized, mandated industrial wind factories has been vastly detrimental across the nation and the world. So much so that President Obama and his Fish & Wildlife Service had to approve 30-Year EAGLE-KILL permits specifically to accommodate the bird-slaughtering wind industry – letting it off scot free for butchering our wildlife.

Governor Cuomo’s pie-in-the-sky ‘green’ energy policy is bereft of any realistic assessment of the expensive lessons already learned in Europe and elsewhere as a result of pushing these ‘renewable’ energy policies.

Results include, but are not limited to:  “skyrocketing” electricity rates, industries fleeing, 2 – 4 jobs lost for every ‘green’ job created, destroyed habitats and countryside, birds and bats slaughtered, lost property values, health issues, utter civil discord among people forced to live with these behemoths, and increasing numbers of people being thrust into ‘energy poverty.’

All this as a result of the same ‘green’ mess that Governor Cuomo, President Obama, Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party continue to push.

While they demonize fossil fuel use and promise to rid us of this vital energy, the truth is that the availability of reliable, affordable power thanks to fossil fuels is directly correlated with greatly improved health and longevity here in the USA, as Alex Epstein explains in his book, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.

It’s all about the money!

WHY do they continue to push such an obvious failure as industrial wind, you ask?  Simple: “It’s all about the money!’

Manhattan Institute scholar Robert Bryce recently reported that the wind industry has garnered $176 BILLION of crony-capitalist cash here in the United States. It’s no wonder the American Wind Energy Association spends over $20 million per year lobbying for more of the same!

Big Wind and the Big Banks who back them are playing the system to tap into taxpayers’ and ratepayers’ wallets, while the crony-politicians who enable the whole dastardly deal get hefty ‘campaign donations’ in return. The greatest Ponzi schemes of all time pale in comparison to the eco-heist these Green Gangsters are pulling off.

Industrial wind was initiated in the United States by ENRON as a tax shelter generating scheme. Nothing about that has changed. Big Wind enriches the 0.1% at taxpayers' and ratepayers' expense.

Just ask Warren Buffett, who said: “We get tax credits if we build ‘wind farms.’ That's the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credits.”

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump was absolutely correct when he underscored the critical need to address our nation’s economic demise, saying: “America is being auctioned off to the highest bidder.” The Industrial Wind Blight across America exemplifies this sad reality!

Via email

The World's Largest Solar Plant Just Torched Itself

The technology is inherently risky due to the high temperatures employed

A small fire was reported yesterday morning at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) in California, forcing a temporary shutdown of the facility. It’s now running at a third of its capacity (a second tower is down due to scheduled maintenance), and it’s not immediately clear when the damaged tower will restart. It’s also unclear how the incident will impact California’s electricity supply.

Putting out the blaze was not easy task, either. Firefighters were forced to climb 90m up a boiler tower to get to the scene. Officials said the fire was located about two-thirds up the tower. Workers at the plant actually managed to subdue the flames by the time firefighters reached the spot, and it was officially extinguished about 20 minutes after it started.

Located on 4000 acres of public land in the Mojave Desert, the sprawling concentrated solar thermal plant is equipped with 173,500 heliostats — each with two mirrors — that focus sunlight on boilers located on top of three 140m towers. The tremendous heat created by the concentrated solar power produces steam that drives turbines to produce electricity. The plant, the largest of its kind in the world, features a gross capacity of 392 megawatts, enough to power 140,000 homes. Each of the computer-controlled solar-reflecting mirrors is about the size of a garage door.

A spokesperson for the plant said it’s too early to comment on the cause, but it appears that misaligned mirrors are to blame. The Associated Press quoted Mike McClintock, the San Bernardino County fire captain, who said that some mirrors delivered sunlight to a different level on the third unit, causing electrical cables to catch fire.

Inevitably, the incident reveals the inherent dangers of concentrated solar power as well as the need to ensure that the mirrors are always on target. Concentrated solar power plants, in addition to being a menace to themselves, can also pose a hazard to local wildlife. Last year, a plant in Nevada torched over a hundred birds when they flew through the plant’s “flux field”.

It’s yet another setback for the Ivanpah facility. For the past few months, the plant has been unable to meet the output levels stipulated in its power purchase agreement, and it was given an extension until 31 July 2016 to improve performance. This fire obviously isn’t going to help.


 Hillary’s energy policies: Enriching Wall Street cronies, while the poor are pawns in their political game

In his less-than-enthusiastic endorsement of Hillary Clinton as the Democrat’s choice for President, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) decried “Greed, recklessness, and illegal behavior” and declared that we couldn’t let “billionaires buy elections.” Perhaps his opposition research team discovered what we have about Clinton’s connections with the very entities he despises: Wall Street — which he’s accused of “gambling trillions in risky financial instruments;” and “huge financial institutions” that he says: “simply have too much economic and political power over this country.”

Wall Street and its “huge financial institutions” are Clinton allies — supporting both her campaign and donating big bucks to the Clinton Foundation.

In the batch of Democrat National Committee (DNC) emails WikiLeaks made public on July 23, DNC Research Associate Jeremy Berns tells his colleagues: “She [Clinton] doesn’t want the people knowing about her relationships on Wall Street.” He adds: “She wants to achieve consistency and the best way to do that is to keep the people ignorant.”

For the past four years, I’ve collaborated with citizen activist/researcher Christine Lakatos (she’s been at it for six years) on what we’ve called: President Obama’s green-energy crony-corruption scandal. Together we’ve produced the single largest body of work on the topic. In her blog, the Green Corruption Files, she posts her exhaustive research—what I affectionately refer to as the drink-from-the-fire-hydrant version. I, then, use her research to draft an overview that is appropriate for the casual reader.

More recently, our efforts have morphed to include the Democrats’ presidential nominee, as Lakatos found the same people are her “wealthy cronies,” too.

In Lakatos’ most-recent, and final Green Corruption File, released on July 19, she states: “While there are numerous ways you can ‘buy access to the Clintons,’ I’m only going to connect the dots to the Green Gangsters, which we’ve already established are rich political pals of President Obama, as well as other high-ranking Democrats and their allies, who were awarded hundreds of billions of ‘green’ taxpayer cash.”

Her lengthy report, is “devoted to proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the Democrat presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Rodham Clinton, is not on only in bed with Big Money (Wall Street, the Uber-Rich, special interests groups and lobbyists) and Dark Money (Super PACS and Secret Cash), she’s also bankrolled and is in cahoots with — directly and through her husband and her family foundation — the wealthy Green Gangsters, who are robbing U.S. taxpayers in order to ‘save the planet.’”

While the dozens of pages prove the involvement of names you know—like former vice president Al Gore, former Governor Bill Richardson, and billionaire donors Tom Steyer and Warren Buffett, and names you likely don’t know: David Crane, John Doerr, Pat Stryker, and Steve Westly — I’ve chosen to highlight the Clinton’s Wall Street connections that have benefited from the green deals that were cut in the Obama White House and that will continue on if Clinton wins.

Lakatos points out: “Clinton’s ‘ambitious renewable energy plans’ move far beyond Obama’s green mission that has been rife with crony capitalism, corporate welfare, and corruption.” Along with more climate rules, she “wants an open tab for green energy.” Remember the DNC’s official platform includes: “the goal of producing 100 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2050” and “a call for the Justice Department to investigate fossil fuel companies for misleading the public on climate change.”

Three Wall Street names of my limited-word-count focus are Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Bank of America. Each is a top-contributing Clinton campaign supporter and a Clinton Foundation donor. They have benefited from the hundreds of billions in taxpayers dollars given out for green energy projects through the Obama Administration. All three have expectations that Clinton will continue the green programs put in place by the Obama administration.

Goldman Sachs: donated between $1 million to $5 million and the Goldman Sachs Philanthropy Fund has contributed between $250,000 to $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation.

As Lakatos pointed out in previous reports, Goldman Sachs is connected, via various roles, to at least 14 companies and/or projects that won green taxpayer cash––a tab that exceeded $8.5 billion. One specific example: Goldman is credited as the “exclusive financial adviser” for the now bankrupt Solyndra ($570.4 million loss). Then there is now-bankrupt SunEdison—an early Goldman Sachs investment. SunEdison received $1.5 billion in federal and state subsidies. And, in 2010, Goldman Sachs handled the IPO of government winner, Tesla Motors that was awarded $465 million from the Department Of Energy (DOE) ATVM program—they got much more if you factor in the state and local subsides: $2,406,805,253 to be exact. Also, according to Goldman, “In May 2013, [they] helped raise over $1 billion in new financing for Tesla Motors.”

Citigroup/Citi Foundation: donated between $1 million to $5 million to the Clinton Foundation.

This big bank is connected to approximately $16 billion of taxpayer money. Lakatos, in 2013, reported that Citi was actively involved in securing the 1703/1705 DOE loans; was a direct investor; and/or served as an underwriter for the initial public offering (IPO) of at least 16 of Citi’s clients that received some form of government subsidies. One green company where Citi is a major investor is SolarCity, which has been subsidized through various stimulus funds, grants and federal tax breaks at the tune equaling almost $1.5 billion. (Billionaire Elon Musk is CEO of Tesla and Chairman at SolarCity. He’s a Clinton Foundation donor ($25 million to $50 million) and Hillary supporter, too.)

Bank of America/Bank of America Foundation: donated between $500,000 to $1 million to the Clinton Foundation.

Bank of America, amongst other green efforts, participated in Project Amp — a four-year, $2.6 billion project to place solar panels on rooftops in 28 states. At the time, the Wall Street Journal reported: “Bank of America Merrill Lynch unit will provide $1.4 billion in loans for the project,” of which “the financing is part of Bank of America’s plan to put $20 billion of capital to work in renewable energy, conservation and other clean technologies that address climate change.” In the final days of the DOE loan program (September 2011), the DOE awarded a partial guarantee of $1.4 billion loan to Project Amp. According to a press release, Bank of America increased its second environmental business initiative from $50 billion to $125 billion in low-carbon business by 2025 through lending, investing, capital raising, advisory services and developing financing solutions for clients around the world.

It’s important to remember that climate change—which is the foundation of the green agenda — is part of the Clinton Foundation’s mission statement: “In communities across the globe, our programs are proving that we can confront the debilitating effects of climate change in a way that makes sense for governments, businesses, and economies.” Additionally, the Foundation’s coffers were enriched when Clinton and her State Department staff solicited contributions from foreign governments to the Clinton Global Initiative, as we detailed in our coverage of her clean cookstove campaign.

In addition to Clinton’s obvious Wall Street connections, one of the many startling realizations that can be gleaned from the report on Hillary’s Horrendous Hypocrisy, is the fact that these companies — some of which would not be in existence without the grants and tax credits — that received millions in taxpayer dollars, took our money and gave it to the Clinton Foundation and to the Clinton Campaign. As was the case with Clinton Foundation donor/campaign fundraiser George Kaiser, these billionaires are making lucrative profits, at taxpayer expense, from bankrupted green companies like Solyndra.

In short, we, the taxpayers, are subsidizing the well-connected millionaires and billionaires — and Hillary Clinton is part of all of it. Meanwhile, she admonishes the average American to combat climate change by driving less and reducing our personal use of electricity.

Bernie Sanders was right to be alarmed. Huge financial institutions do have too much political power. Wall Street billionaires are trying to buy Clinton the White House. In return, she’ll be sure their green energy investments pay off for them by demanding that America go green.


Rhode Island’s AG Sued For Withholding Docs In Global Warming Investigation

A conservative legal group is suing Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin for withholding records regarding a “secret pact” the office has with other attorneys general investigating ExxonMobil’s global warming stance.

The Energy & Environment Legal Institute (EELI) is suing Kilmartin’s office for refusing to release some records regarding a “common interest agreement” between Democratic AG offices that participated in a March event hosted by New York AG Eric Schneiderman.

At the event, AGs reaffirmed their commitment to defending Obama administration global warming rules, and some even committed to investigating Exxon and free market think tanks and groups with supposed ties to the oil company. EELI says they have evidence Kilmartin’s office is part of a “secret pact” to come out of the meeting.

“E&E Legal expects to do whatever is necessary to get these public records before the public, to educate on this unprecedented abuse of power”, EELI Executive Director Craig Richardson said in a statement Wednesday.

EELI says Kilmartin’s office has “imposed extensive delays and considerable amounts of fees before handing over some records while refusing to release others,” according to their release. They also say Kilmartin withheld the pact “without even acknowledging its existence in their itemized list of withholdings.”

“All that we have found indicates that these AGs and their outside activist partners will make litigation necessary at every turn,” Richardson said.

EELI uncovered an email in early July showing Kilmartin’s office signed onto a common interest agreement with other AGs who were at the March event in New York City. EELI says the agreement is being used to block groups, like EELI, from getting certain documents in government records requests.

EELI said the email s evidence AGs have entered into an agreement to block records requests regarding investigations into ExxonMobil’s alleged campaign to mislead the public on global warming. Those investigations have ensnared conservative think tanks, policy experts and scientists with alleged ties to Exxon.

EELI’s lawsuit comes as three of the four investigations into Exxon have stalled or fallen apart.

Exxon has won legal victories against AGs of Massachusetts and the U.S. Virgin islands, both of which subpoenaed the company and supposedly-affiliated groups.

California AG Kamala Harris’s office opened an investigation into Exxon, but the company has yet to receive a subpoena from Harris. She’s not likely to push the investigation much further since she’s running for U.S. Senate.


Greenie moans about Australia's Barrier Reef are putting tourists off  -- NOT

As with the boy who cried wolf, most people probably discount the incessant Greenie moans

FAR North tourism operators are flat strap as cashed-up visitors take advantage of easy access to Tropical Queensland.

Data released by Cairns Airport this week shows about 43,000 passengers travelled through the international terminal last month, marking a 13.3 per cent rise from June last year.

Domestic passengers last month topped 335,600, about 14,400 more than the previous June.

According to the data, European passports used when clearing immigration at Cairns Airport have exceeded 68,600 over the past 12 months, a growth of 75 per cent.

A record number of international competitors also contested the 2016 Cairns Ironman in June.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland director of business and tourism events, Rosie Douglas, said the June growth continued to reflect the trends being experienced by the region’s industry.

“The addition of direct flights from Hong Kong and the Philippines has given greater access to the Asian and European markets, which also have been using the direct flights from Singapore,” she said.

“This increase in aviation capacity from Asia was instrumental in Cairns winning the right to host the prestigious Ironman Asia-Pacific, the feature event of the Cairns Airport Adventure Festival during June.

“June also marks the start of the school holidays for the United Kingdom, Northern Europe and Australia, bringing stronger numbers from those markets.”

Cairns Airport last month celebrated a milestone five million passengers for the year, with the total number now having reached about 5,011,000.

The influx of international and domestic visitors is being felt throughout the Far North.

Skyrail general manager Craig Pocock said the tourism heavyweight was experiencing “pre-global financial crisis” numbers.

“We’ve certainly seen strong growth across all markets,” he said. “This season we’ve also been strong both before and after the school break, and now we’re benefiting from the Japanese holiday period.

“This is a bright and optimistic period we’re experiencing, and bookings indicate that it will continue for some time.”

Mr Pocock said Skyrail was having to “ramp up” its operations to cater for the ongoing growth.

“We’ve had to increase resources, staffing and modify the way we operate to cater for the volume of visitors,” he said.



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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Friday, July 29, 2016

Food for Thought on the Eve of the Real Hurricane Season

Joe Bastardi
There are many examples of hurricane seasons that start quickly then fall apart completely before they come roaring back.

We believe this is a big impact season on the U.S. coast. Our pre-season forecast was initially released in April — with the biggest concern in the Gulf of Mexico — which we then finalized in May, lighting up the western Atlantic and Gulf. The closer to the U.S., the bigger the worry about the intensity of storms this year given the very warm sea surface temperatures near the shore.

That warm water is eerily similar to the hurricane seasons of 1954 to 1960, when eight major hurricanes impacted the U.S. East Coast in seven years, including five in the back-to-back years of 1954 and 1955. This means that storms may not be much way out in the Atlantic, but as they get closer to the U.S. we have the threat of them increasing in intensity rather than backing off a peak reached out at sea.

Now imagine it’s 1960. Kennedy vs. Nixon is looming and up comes the ultimate East Coast storm, Hurricane Donna. It hits Florida as a Category 4, North Carolina as a Category 3, New England as a Category 2. The monster brings hurricane winds to every state on the East Coast, never before recorded in the nation’s history (and never since!). And as the storm is marching across the Atlantic a set of people decide to use it as a wedge issue in the election.

Think about it — the admonitions that this is the “worst ever” from a set of politicians using hysteria about something that nature is in control of, who then blame it on policies that their ideological opponents are advocating. And a willful press, which simply follow along with anything they are told, without examining facts, parrots it. Some of the politicians even suggest people who don’t side with what they believe should be prosecuted. Given that the nation had just spent time, treasure and blood on defeating that ideology and was still battling it in the form of the Cold War, can you imagine the response of the nation to something like that? Add to this the heat and hurricanes of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, and no person in their right mind in 1960 would even think to push such an idea.

But it’s not 1960 anymore. And we have people who willingly do these things. So here is a forecast: If the kind of worry I have about this season — which I have been very public about since spring — occurs because of a plainly natural cause, we will hear the very thing that was laughable in a day and age when JFK was running for president.

The people who become targets had better have their facts lined up, because I still believe in 2016 you can counter fantasy with fact. And so part of this is to get our forecast idea out there, for one, but also to lay the ground work before it happens. What would not even be an issue in 1960 after 30 years of record heat and hurricane hits (and there has been nothing close since) would be today in spite of the relative calm we have had been blessed with as far as hurricanes go.

Sandy may have changed the course of history given the actions and reactions of the people involved as a nation. It’s one of those events in history that, years from now, people may look at like the sinking of the Spanish Armada in a storm off England. Or the weather for D-Day. History favors the bold, and I would suggest a bold response be at the ready for whatever comes out of this hurricane season. The why before the what is not in the hands of any party, but nature. Those who know how to use it to educate the public as to the reasons are the ones that could win the hearts and minds of people in this pivotal time in our nation’s history.

And the weather could certainly be a player!


Weak Minds Think Alike

Belief in climate catastrophism is a social phenomenon, and requires an explanation in terms of the social sciences. There are a number of interesting psychological theories around – in fact every climate sceptic seems to have one. But while a psychological analysis may explain why certain people choose to be environmentalists, it can never explain how environmentalism – and in particular its most acute form, climate catastrophism – came to conquer the world; how, in other words, belief in climate catastrophism managed to attain a critical mass that permitted it to impose itself as a consensus belief, or ideology. Only a sociological explanation can do that. And a sociological explanation must account for a unique event – the rise of climate catastrophism – in terms of unique, or at least rarely repeated, social phenomena.

It’s easy enough to identify the social group which has most fervently adopted the climate catastrophism ideology. It’s the university-educated, upper-middle-class intelligentsia:- metropolitain; left-liberal; more likely to be humanities graduates than scientists; often working in academia, the media, or in related professions involved in the collection and exchange of information of all sorts. The libertarian social theorist Thomas Sowell in his book “Intellectuals and Society” defines “idea workers” as “people whose occupations deal primarily with ideas (writers, historians, academics, etc.) [and who] usually consider themselves as “anointed”, or as endowed with superior intellect or insight with which to guide the masses and those who have authority over them.”[Wiki]

I’ve often mentioned the work of the French historian Emmanuel Todd and its usefulness for understanding the catastrophist phenomenon (though he has never, to my knowledge, mentioned environment policy in his numerous comments on current politics).

One of his major achievements is to have convincingly demonstrated the close correlation between political revolutions and the attainment of universal literacy: in 16th century Germany at the time of the Protestant Reform; in England in the 17th century, announcing the Civil War and the Glorious Revolution; in France in the late 18th and in Russia in the early 20th century. His demonstration that literacy, rather than economic exploitation, is the prime cause of social upheaval destroys a major pillar of Marxism, but it also confirms Marx’s fundamental insight about the importance of class struggle in the evolution of society.

In an aside somewhere on the decline of the French Socialist Party Todd highlights one of the unintended consequences of advances in education. Whereas the attainment of universal literacy naturally reinforces egalitarian tendencies in society – leading, if not always to democracy, at least to nominal respect for the Common Man – the advent of mass tertiary education has the opposite effect.

For most of the 20th century university education was the reserve of a tiny élite, highly concentrated in the professions (law, medicine, academia..) Though they undoubtedly exercised disproportionate influence, as does any élite group, whether in Parliament, in their clubs and learned societies, or in the letter page of the Times, they were too few and isolated to be able to ignore entirely the opinions of their less educated fellow citizens, particularly as the latter included a large number of people (in industry, finance, the armed services, the media, as well as in the organised working class) who were obviously their intellectual equals.

[The late Guardian political correspondent Simon Hoggart recalled arriving at the Guardian in the fifties as one of just two graduates who were allowed in every year, by-passing the union rule that demanded two years’ apprenticeship on a provincial paper before setting foot in Fleet Street. Sixty years on, I transcribed a Greenpeace debate moderated by Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, who spent an inordinate amount of time boasting that his ten or eleven environmental journalists all had three or four degrees apiece. Hasn’t he heard that anything above two degrees is dangerous?]

In just over a half a century the percentage of graduates in the twenties age group has risen from a few percent to 20-30%. Graduates in my crusty generation of baby boomers were always conscious of being members of a privileged minority (about 5% in the sixties I believe) and of the fact that the most talented members of our generation (Lennon, Jagger) only entered college to drop out again. Todd points out that when graduates are counted in millions, accounting for 20-30% of an age group, they cease to be a dispersed minority and become an autonomous class, with their own culture and ideology, firmly anchored on the centre left and in the professional classes, but largely transcending traditional social categories. Whether in hippy commune or government-sponsored thinktank, they share a common belief in their superiority to the undiploma-ed masses. They notoriously rule the centre left parties, having all but ousted their traditional working class core, and have, via their control of academia and the media, imposed their ideologies on society at large: (pro-Europeanism and wilful blindness to the effects of uncontrolled immigration at the expense of the working class; militant sexual liberalism at the expense of the feelings of religious minorities; climate catastrophism at the expense of scientific rigour and common sense). Their disdain for the common man was long masked by their leftwing pose, but their reaction to the victory of the Brexit campaign has brought it out in the open. (See for example the emails in Ian Woolley’s recent article).

The idea of an autonomous educated class reversing the trend of several centuries of increasing egalitarianism and unconsciously adopting anti-egalitarian policies (while continuing to declare itself as “of the left”) because of supposed intellectual superiority has tremendous explanatory power, not least in accounting for catastrophic enviro-mentalism. As with many of Todd’s creative perceptions, it is highly speculative, but also scientific, because rooted in empirical data.

Todd has expanded his criticisms of the educated middle class and its epiphenomenon, the French Socialist Party, in a book on the reaction to the Charlie Hebdo massacre in January 2015 – “Qui Est Charlie?” (translated as Who is Charlie? Xenophobia and the New Middle Class: Polity Press) which has brought him media notoriety and the detestation of most of the French intelligentsia.

In this book Todd examines the relative strength of the turnout at the huge public demonstrations in sympathy with the families of the murdered journalists, in favour of Charlie, and in defence of its right to publish blasphemous cartoons mocking Mohammed. He discovered that turnout was highest, not in the centre and south of France characterised by an egalitarian family structure – the part of France which instigated the French Revolution and has voted left for two centuries – but on the East and West peripheries, characterised by an inegalitarian family structure and a continuation of an anti-republican Catholic tradition into the mid-twentieth century. He had already established in a recent cartographic study of French voting patterns that support for the Socialist Party had migrated in recent decades from the egalitarian Paris basin and Mediterranean coast to the ex-Catholic strongholds of the Atlantic coast and German border. This led him to posit the existence of a socio-political force he labelled “Zombie Catholicism”. As Catholic belief collapsed in the mid-twentieth century, ex-believers sought refuge in the Socialist Party, which shared some of the characteristics of the church they had so recently deserted (a universalist ethic, belief in social justice, internationalism…) This movement changed the nature of the Socialist Party, effacing its egalitarian principles and links with the urban working class, and raising pan-Europeanism and worship of the Euro to the status of an ideology.

Todd places himself on the centre left, but is a wicked critic of the ruling Socialist Party, President Hollande, and the chattering classes in general, who have betrayed a two hundred-year-old tradition of radical middle class activism in ignoring the suffering imposed on the working classes by austerity and endemic mass unemployment provoked by economic liberalism and the economic nonsense of the single currency. Add climate catastrophism to the list of ingredients of the blinkered dominant ideology and you have an excellent framework for analysing what’s wrong with the modern developed world.

Qui Est Charlie? was largely written off in the French media as a bilious anti-Hollande pamphlet. In fact it is a densely written sociological thesis, as are all his books. And it introduces one new theoretical concept which seems particularly apposite to the analysis of climate catastrophism: the explanation of how a weak affect arising from an unconscious social structure can be transformed into a strong social force.

After accusing the socialist governments since 1983 of having pursued economic policies which penalise the working class and maintain the immigrant minority in a state of apartheid which the socialists then accuse certain immigrants of maintaining in the name of “communitarianism”, Todd then proposes the following explanation of what seems to be a contradiction in his thesis: (The translation is mine, and sometimes deviates from the literal in the interest of transmitting its polemical flavour)

The Insignificance of the Actors and the Violence of their Ideologies

“I’m very conscious of the fact that the anthropological model proposed above is difficult to accept…The interpretation which I have given suggests, not only an extreme violence and an immense hypocrisy on the part of the people involved, but also a high level of conviction, of determination and of strength.

“It’s easy to imagine such characteristics in the case of far right politicians; or Moslem fundamentalists, or militant atheists, but how can you explain them in the case of people who place themselves on the centre left? The President of the Republic for example, is someone easy-going, insignificant, “an ordinary bloke”, according to his own description.

“The socialists are moderate in all things. Our thesis seems to be incompatible with the reality of a bunch of big girls’ blouses who believe in nothing very much, an army of militant softies. How to explain how such weak tendencies towards differentiation and inegalitarianism can result at the level of society at large, in an obstination of such a rare violence?”

Todd goes on to suggest that weakly held beliefs (such as the fundamentally inegalitarian world view unconsciously held by recently converted socialists emanating from a “Catholic Zombie” background) are particuarly prone to being transmitted in the holders’ milieu by a kind of mimetism: the weaker, the vaguer the idea, the more easily it can be adopted by the surrounding milieu. And Todd cites his personal experience of being able, in one-to-one conversation, to persuade a pro-European that current EU policies can only lead to the sacrifice of Southern European countries on the altar of a German ideal of economic rigour. But once the conversation terminated, the interlocutors revert to their (firmly held, because socially determined) belief in the importance of maintaining the Euro at any price, suppressing political dissent in recalcitrant countries, etc.

Here is a sociological model that seems to apply perfectly to the case of climate catastrophism. Who has not had a conversation in which he has seemingly persuaded his interlocutor that global temperature measures are not all they’re cracked up to be; that maybe some environmentalists exaggerate a little; that scientists are not saints; that windpower and electric cars are rubbish: only to find at the end of the conversation the interlocutor activating the kind of spring mechanism that rewinds the cord on your vacuum cleaner and retracting all the admissions he’s made in order to revert to the position of faithful Guardian reader he assumed at the outset?

And who, among those of you who place sceptical comments at warmist articles (and Gaia bless you for your efforts) has not been astonished at the pathetic nature of the opposition? I’m thinking of a couple of articles at the New Statesman (a once great journal that boasted Bertrand Russell and George Orwell among its contributors) by Brian Cox and Naomi Klein. These are mega stars in the intellectual firmament, yet their pro-catastrophe articles provoked opposition from maybe a half dozen of us sceptics, and we found ourselves opposed, not by 97% of the intellectual world, but by a handful of peabrained greenies who couldn’t reason or form proper sentences. Environmentalism, like Gravity, is a weak force which appears to govern the universe – until a stronger force opposes it. (Neither Klein nor Cox have been back, and the Statesman has now suppressed all comments on its articles).

It does seem a bit cheeky to accuse the likes of Sir Paul Nurse and Professor Brian Cox of mimetism, as if they were some kind of rather unimaginative reptile, but – frankly – has anyone got a better explanation?


Greenie groups now seek overhaul of U.S. renewable fuel quota

Program blamed for boosting corn crops at prairie’s expense

Environmentalists who once championed biofuels as a way to cut pollution are now turning against a U.S. program that puts renewable fuels in cars, citing higher-than-expected carbon dioxide emissions and reduced wildlife habitat.

More than a decade after conservationists helped persuade Congress to require adding corn-based ethanol and other biofuels to gasoline, some groups regret the resulting agricultural runoff in waterways and conversion of prairies to cropland -- improving the odds that lawmakers might seek changes to the program next year.

"The big green groups that got invested in biofuels are tacitly realizing the blunder," said John DeCicco, a research professor at the University of Michigan Energy Institute who previously focused on automotive strategies at the Environmental Defense Fund. "It’s really hard for the people who really -- shall we say -- hate oil viscerally, to think that this alternative that we’ve been promoting is today worse than oil."

The green backlash could give a boost to long-stalled congressional efforts to overhaul the Renewable Fuel Standard, including proposals to limit the amount of traditional, corn-based ethanol that counts toward the mandate, as environmentalists side with anti-hunger groups and even the oil industry in calling for change. The RFS forces refiners to blend steadily escalating amounts of biofuel into the gas supply. Most of the mandate is currently fulfilled by corn-based ethanol, which makes up nearly 10 percent of U.S. gasoline and provides oxygen that helps the fuel burn cleaner.

Broken Promise

The Natural Resources Defense Council used a 96-page report in 2004 to proclaim boundless biofuel benefits: slashed global warming emissions, improved air quality and more wildlife habitat.

Instead, farmers plowed millions of acres of prairie grasses to grow corn for making ethanol, with fertilizer runoff contributing to a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Scientists warned that carbon dioxide emissions associated with corn-based ethanol were higher than expected. And alternatives using switchgrass, algae and other non-edible plant materials have been slow to penetrate the market.

"The ethanol policy was sold to environmentalists as something that was going to clean up the environment, and it’s done anything but," said Democratic Representative Peter Welch of Vermont, who is co-sponsoring legislation to revamp the RFS. "It’s truly been a flop. The environmental promise has been transformed into an environmental detriment."
‘Unintended Consequences’

The Environmental Working Group, Clean Air Task Force and Friends of the Earth argue that the program has propelled corn-based ethanol without delivering a similar boost to advanced biofuels with potentially bigger climate benefits.

Collin O’Mara, president of the National Wildlife Federation, told a House committee last month that the RFS program, created with "good intentions," has instead wreaked "severe, unintended consequences," including the loss of prairie land and water-supply damage that threatens wildlife.

Even the NRDC that once lobbied for the RFS bemoans that "the bulk of today’s conventional corn ethanol carries grave risks to the climate, wildlife, waterways and food security." In NRDC’s "OnEarth" magazine, an essay headlined "Played for a Fuel" argues that corn-based ethanol isn’t sustainable because it requires "huge amounts" of water, fertilizer and land.

NRDC spokesman Ed Chen said the group continues to monitor the RFS "because low-carbon cellulosic biofuels can play an important role in reducing transportation pollution,” but added that the organization is “far more focused” on other carbon-cutting strategies with more immediate climate payoffs.

Corn Belt

For supporters and opponents, the debate over the RFS is politically complicated. On Capitol Hill, it divides Republicans along regional lines, with Corn Belt lawmakers determined to preserve the program they see helping to boost prices for the commodity. Green groups that seek changes risk alienating or angering go-to allies, including environmental champions in the House and Senate who staked out pro-RFS positions years ago. And the push to revamp the RFS creates uncomfortable alliances between Big Oil and environmental groups who fight fossil fuels.
Some biofuel proponents say alternatives are worse.

"In the absence of ethanol, your next barrel of transportation fuel is going to be coming from petroleum from fracking or tar sands or deep-water drilling," Bob Dinneen, president of the Renewable Fuels Association, said in a phone interview. "So you sort of have to assess ethanol in the context of what its replacement would be, and quite frankly, by that measurement we are the stone-cold winner."

Experts disagree about the extent to which corn has displaced other crops, wetlands and prairie, though in the Dakotas, acreage was withdrawn from the federal Conservation Reserve Program at the same time corn plantings grew. Dinneen said land conversion has not been an issue.

But there’s no disagreement that corn production is up -- boosted by demand from China as well as ethanol sales. In July, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated this year’s crop would be the largest on record: 14.54 billion bushels. And nationwide, farmers grew corn on 88 million acres in 2015 -- a 7.6 percent increase since 2005, when Congress created the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Agricultural Assessment

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. When Congress expanded the RFS in 2007, environmentalists pushed for safeguards designed to prevent land conversion, including a requirement that biofuels accepted under the program only come from tracts that were in agricultural production before 2007. But instead of tracking the flow of corn from specific farms to refineries, U.S. regulators chose to assess agricultural land use in aggregate -- an approach that the Environmental Working Group’s Emily Cassidy says "obscures what’s happening locally."

Jeremy Martin, who leads fuel policy for the Union of Concerned Scientists’ clean vehicles program, said the RFS has become a scapegoat, unfairly blamed as boosting demand for ethanol that probably would have reached current levels in gasoline even without the program. He casts the climb in ethanol use and the expanding footprint of corn that accompanied it as a "a one-time transition" as the U.S. fuel sector made a big shift, essentially adopting a 10 percent ethanol blend as the default gasoline.

Even if the RFS is dismantled, Martin said, "that’s not going to go away."

House Vote

Still, the growing environmental outcry is fueling calls to revamp the RFS.

There now may be enough votes in the House to pass an overhaul, despite expected defections from corn-state Republicans, says analyst Tim Cheung, vice president of ClearView Energy Partners. Lobbyists for advanced biofuels manufacturers and refiners have been discussing a possible compromise. And the National Wildlife Federation’s O’Mara sees potential for a grand bargain that combines support for advanced biofuels with assistance for farmers, including strengthened incentives to set aside land for conservation.

Welch, one of the lead sponsors of legislation that would cap ethanol volumes at 9.7 percent of projected gasoline demand, said the concerns set the stage for congressional action.

"For the Democrats who have an environmental constituency, when you have these respected environmental groups change their mind and say corn ethanol doesn’t work, that’s going to be a big boost that will give them a lot of comfort and cover," Welch said. "You’re going to see more Democrats starting to question the wisdom of this mandate."


Hillary commissions her own disaster movie and gets James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Sigourney Weaver to issue an ominous warning about global warming

What might be the scariest Hollywood-produced movie of the year isn't airing in theaters – but it will be shown to delegates of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Blockbuster movie director James Cameron has helped produce a teeth-rattling short film about the dangers of global warming, deploying skills he usually uses to jolt viewers in his epic thrillers to get them worried about the threat of climate changes.

'Crops are failing. Food prices are rising. … our children are at risk,' says narrator Sigourney Weaver, who starred in the 'Alien' movies.

Weaver later appeared at the Democratic National Convention to warn that Donald Trump doesn't care about climate change.

'Can Donald Trump look these people in the eye and tell them that climate change is a hoax? That he doesn't care about their pain.

'Hillary Clinton, she gets it - she cars.'

The film begins with scary images of burning forests, cracked earth, vicious storms, pollution, and waves slamming into a sea wall.

As the images of calamities roll, actor and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger weighs in: 'Because of global warming, mountain snow melts earlier each year. And when that happens, the ground dries up earlier too,' he says.

Weaver delivers the films most political anti-Trump lines in the film, which runs just under 5 1/2 minutes.

'It's not reality TV. Make no mistake – Trump's reckless denial of climate change is dangerous. A threat to your livelihood, your safety, your children, and the prosperity of this nation.'

The film is named 'Not reality TV' in another shot at Trump.

Then the films directors let Trump do the talking, with clips of him on the campaign trail ridiculing the science of global warming, notwithstanding the near consensus among climate scientists that the world's climate is rising due to man-made events.

'A lot of it's a hoax – It's a hoax!' Trump says.

'We're going to cancel the Paris climate agreement,' Trump says.

Then he is shown laughing off the threat. 'Speaking of global waring, where is ... We need some global warming. It's freezing!'

One interview subject calls it a non-partisan issue, while a pastor raises religious issues about global warming.

An unnamed woman who lost her daughter in a flood tells her own personal horror story. 'She said, 'Mommy, hold me, I'm scared.' I held her, and then a wave started coming up over me. I felt the water rising and then she went under. And I knew I lost her immediately.'

Then the film switches to Clinton, speaking in uncharacteristically soft tones. 'Our country is ready to tackle the challenge of climate change,' she says.

Former President George H.W. Bush and Pope Francis are both quoted speaking to the dangers of climate change.

'A threat to your livelihood, your safety, your children, and the prosperity of this nation,' says weaver.

An advance copy of of the film was sent out by Clinton's campaign press office.

Cameron has produced and director such films as Avatar, Terminator, The Abyss, and Titanic.

Weaver starred in the Alien movies, while Schwarzenegger starred in The Terminator, Predator, and Total Recall.

Schwarzenegger has longstanding connections to the Bush family, who notably skipped Trump's Republican convention. George H.W. Bush appointed him to head a council on physical fitness. While serving as governor, he appeared with George W. Bush during California wildfires.

In 1991, on a visit to Camp David, he went sledding with then-President George H.W. Bush.

'Not Reality TV' underscores that climate change is an urgent threat to our planet and a defining challenge of our time, and makes clear how high the stakes are in this election,' according to a statement from the Democratic convention press office.

'The video reminds viewers that Donald Trump has made clear that he believes climate change is a hoax, and how as president he would not only refuse to take steps to curb climate change but actually roll back the progress we've made.'


Law to fight global warming gets strong support in California

A new poll found that California voters strongly support the landmark state law adopted a decade ago to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and that voters favor expanding efforts to fight climate change.

The Public Policy Institute of California survey released Wednesday shows 62 percent of likely voters favor the law, with most support coming from Democrats and independent voters. Eight in 10 Democrats favor the law, while 56 percent of independent voters did. That’s compared with 44 percent of Republicans who favored the law.

The Legislature adopted AB32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act, in 2006. The law calls for California to reduce greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by 2020. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, nitrous oxide and sulfur hexafluoride, which trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere near the planet’s surface.

Under AB32, the state determined greenhouse gas levels were the equivalent of 431 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 1990. Emissions from factories, power plants, cars and farms spewed 441.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2014, according to newly released data from the California Air Resources Board, which oversees AB32. That was less than a 1 percent decline from 2013, but still puts the state on track to reach its 2020 goal under the law.

Last year, California reaffirmed its commitment to fighting global warming when Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order to lower the state’s greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent of 1990 levels by 2030.

The PPIC survey found that 68 percent of adults and 59 percent of likely voters agreed with expanding the goals, with Democrats nearly twice as likely to support those targets.

While many voters supported AB32, a majority have never heard of the cornerstone to California’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions — the state’s cap-and-trade system. Some 55 percent of voters said they had heard nothing about the cap-and-trade program, which forces large carbon dioxide emitters in the state to reduce their output of greenhouse gases by putting a cap on carbon emissions and requiring that they buy permits for any additional greenhouse gases they release.

Support for AB32 comes despite voters acknowledging the targets mean higher costs to them. Among those who said gas prices will rise as a result of greenhouse gas reduction goals, 64 percent support AB32 and 63 percent favor expanding the targets. A majority of voters said they are willing to pay more for electricity generated by renewable sources like wind and solar in order to reduce global warming.

In the presidential race, 8 in 10 voters in the state said the candidates’ views on environmental issues were important. The PPIC poll found the gap of support between Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump grew in recent months. Clinton is favored 46 to 30 percent over Trump, which is up from May, when Clinton led 49 to 39 percent in the strong Democratic state.

In the U.S. Senate race, Kamala Harris leads fellow Democrat Loretta Sanchez 38 to 20 percent. Half of Republicans surveyed said they do not plan to vote in the Senate race.

The PPIC surveyed 1,703 adults in California between July 10 and 19 in English and Spanish depending on the caller’s preference. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.


Hypocrite Leonardo DiCaprio at his annual St. Tropez party: "We are the last generation that has a chance to stop climate change"

Leonardo DiCaprio and the usual celebrity crowd have again been partying in St. Tropez. And there is no end to the hypocrisy:

“While we are the first generation that has the technology, the scientific knowledge and the global will to build a truly sustainable economic future for all of humanity — we are the last generation that has a chance to stop climate change before it is too late,” DiCaprio said, according to EcoWatch.

The star’s weighty message didn’t dampen the festivities: del Rey and the Weeknd performed while Mariah Carey flitted about the room snapping pictures with her fellow celebrities. --

Dozens of A-list stars made the trek to the French Riviera for the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation’s annual Gala to Fund Climate and Biodiversity Projects, including U2 frontman Bono, actors Bradley Cooper, Edward Norton, Jonah Hill, Tobey Maguire and Chris Rock and singers Mariah Carey, Lana del Rey and The Weeknd.

The event’s co-chairs included Robert De Niro, Kevin Spacey, Kate Hudson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Penelope Cruz, Cate Blanchett and Charlize Theron.

Breitbart´s Daniel Nussbaum comments:

If just one of the celebrities who attended the event traveled the 12,000-mile round trip from Los Angeles to France by private jet, they would have burned enough fossil fuel to emit approximately 86 tons of carbon dioxide. The average American, for comparison, puts out around 19 tons of carbon dioxide on airline flights per year.



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Thursday, July 28, 2016

"Climate models are accurately predicting ocean and global warming: A new study from my colleagues and I vindicates climate models, which are accurately predicting the rate of ocean heat accumulation"

It's good old Prof. Abraham back at the barrow below.  He says that the estimates of global warming yielded by climate models are validated by measurements of ocean heat present.  But the measures of heat are themselves estimates -- so all he has shown is that two sets of estimates tally.   Not hard to do of course but it proves nothing.  It's not even a good con trick

For those of us who are concerned about global warming, two of the most critical questions we ask are, “how fast is the Earth warming?” and “how much will it warm in the future?”.

The first question can be answered in a number of ways. For instance, we can actually measure the rate of energy increase in the Earth’s system (primarily through measuring changing ocean temperatures). Alternatively, we can measure changes in the net inflow of heat at the top of the atmosphere using satellites. We can also measure the rate of sea-level rise to get an estimate of the warming rate.

Since much of sea-level rise is caused by thermal expansion of water, knowledge of the water-level rise allows us to deduce the warming rate. We can also use climate models (which are sophisticated computer calculations of the Earth’s climate) or our knowledge from Earth’s past (paleoclimatology).

Many studies use combinations of these study methods to attain estimates and typically the estimates are that the planet is warming at a rate of perhaps 0.5 to 1 Watt per square meter of Earth’s surface area. However, there is some discrepancy among the actual numbers.

So assuming we know how much heat is being accumulated by the Earth, how can we predict what the future climate will be? The main tool for this is climate models (although there are other independent ways we can study the future). With climate models, we can play “what-if scenarios” and input either current conditions or hypothetical conditions and watch the Earth’s climate evolve within the simulation.

Two incorrect but nevertheless consistent denial arguments are that the Earth isn’t warming and that climate models are inaccurate. A new study, published by Kevin Trenberth, Lijing Cheng, and others (I was also an author) answers these questions.

The study was just published in the journal Ocean Sciences; a draft of it is available here. In this study, we did a few new things. First, we presented a new estimate of ocean heating throughout its full depth (most studies only consider the top portion of the ocean). Second, we used a new technique to learn about ocean temperature changes in areas where there are very few measurements. Finally, we used a large group of computer models to predict warming rates, and we found excellent agreement between the predictions and the measurements.

According to the measurements, the Earth has gained 0.46 Watts per square meter between 1970 and 2005. Since, 1992 the rate is higher (0.75 Watts per square meter) and therefore shows an acceleration of the warming. To put this in perspective, this is the equivalent of 5,400,000,000,000 (or 5,400 billion) 60-watt light bulbs running continuously day and night. In my view, these numbers are the most accurate measurements of the rate at which the Earth is warming.

What about the next question – how did the models do? Amazingly well. From 1970 through 2005, the models on average showed a warming of 0.41 Watts per square meter and from 1992-2005 the models gave 0.77 Watts per meter squared. This means that since 1992, the models have been within 3 % of the measurements. In my mind, this agreement is the strongest vindication of the models ever found, and in fact, in our study we suggest that matches between climate models and ocean warming should be a major test of the models.


Exactly What's Wrong With Cliff Mass' Approach to Global Warming

Cliff Mass is a Washington State meteorologist who sticks to meteorology. The Solon below, Ethan Linck, thinks Mass should link weather to global warming.  And Linck seems to think he has made a great point by saying that one part of Antarctica is cooling while the rest warms.  He probably should have asked Cliff Mass about that -- because ALL of Antarctic is cooling -- as Zwally's study showed.  Linck is a clown.  He thinks he knows it all when he actually knows nothing

Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of climate change denialism is the willful idiocy of using local exceptions to a widely supported trend as evidence that trend is false. Climate science—like meteorology, biology, and political science—is a field defined by intrinsic variation of its object of study, and is reliant on statistical tools with the power to infer signal from noise.

The inherent uncertainty of this pursuit can lead some researchers (like UW’s Cliff Mass) to avoid attributing any single weather event to climate change, even if the event itself is consistent with predictions of weather under future climate regimes, for fear of discrediting climate research more broadly.

(It will not surprise regular Puget Sound news readers to learn this is not a universally supported position. Which is why a recent Nature study highlighting one such local exception—the absence of 21st century warming on the Antarctic Peninsula in the face of overall increasing temperatures elsewhere across the continent—is both good, necessary science, but at the same time it's sure to be seized upon from predictable quarters, the deniers of a widely supported trend, global warming.


Researchers can now monitor global warming due to human activity in real time

Amusing confidence below.  All they have done is a careful back-cast.  But lots of models look good in back casts.  But they still don't yield accurate forecasts. It's just hope below, not accurate prediction

A research team including a Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego climate scientist simulated in a computer model, for the first time, the realistic evolution of global mean surface temperature since 1900.

In doing so, the researchers also created a new method by which researchers can measure and monitor the pace of anthropogenic global warming, finding that the contribution of human activities to warming in the surface waters of the Pacific Ocean can be distinguished from natural variability.

Former Scripps researcher Yu Kosaka, now at the University of Tokyo, and Shang-Ping Xie, the Roger Revelle Chair in Environmental Science at Scripps, created the simulation by forcing sea surface temperature over the tropical Pacific to follow the observed variability.

“The climate system includes naturally occurring cycles that complicate the measurement of global warming due to the anthropogenic increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases,” said Xie. “We can isolate the anthropogenic warming by removing the internally generated natural variability.”

Climate policymakers have sought to limit the rise of global temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius higher than pre-industrial levels. That figure is considered a threshold beyond which society and natural systems are virtually assured of experiencing significant and dangerous instability. Scientists have estimated that the planet is already roughly 1 degree Celsius warmer at the surface than before the Industrial Revolution.

The 2 degrees Celsius target was reaffirmed during the 2015 Conference of the Parties, known as COP21, that was held in Paris in December. Kosaka and Xie’s research could provide an easily generated and more accurate means to measure society’s success in keeping temperatures below that threshold.

The research is further confirmation of the primary importance of the Pacific in controlling global-scale climate that researchers have come to understand in recent decades. Kosaka and Xie plotted the rise of global mean temperatures over the past 120 years. The rise of temperatures ascends in a staircase fashion with the steps becoming larger over the past 50 years.

When Kosaka and Xie removed as a variable the natural warming and cooling of the Pacific Ocean, the rise of global mean surface temperature became a more linear increase, one that began to accelerate more sharply in the 1960s. It had been natural Pacific decadal variations that temporarily slowed down or speeded up the warming trend, leading to the staircase pattern.

For example, global mean surface temperature has not changed much for 1998-2014, a time period known as the hiatus that has been tied to naturally occurring tropical Pacific cooling. Raw data show a warming of 0.9 degrees Celsius for the recent five-year period of 2010-2014 relative to 1900 while Kosaka and Xie’s calculation yields a much higher anthropogenic warming of 1.2 degrees Celsius after correcting for the natural variability effect.

Observed global mean surface temperature (GMST) based on three datasets (black curves in degree C), and the new estimates of anthropogenic global warming (AGM). The simulated GMST change without considering tropical Pacific internal variability is plotted as reference (white curve with blue shading indicating the uncertainty).

“Most of the difference between the raw data and new estimates is found during the recent 18 years since 1998,” said Xie. “Because of the hiatus, the raw data underestimate the greenhouse warming.”

Kosaka and Xie suggest that though Pacific Ocean trends are an essential variable control on global temperature rise, the accuracy of their warming estimate will be improved in the future as other climate modes are added as variables. An international initiative involving more than a dozen climate models is being planned to improve the estimates included in upcoming assessments by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The paper, "The tropical Pacific as a key pacemaker of the variable rates of global warming," appears in the journal Nature Geoscience.

The National Science Foundation and NOAA supported Xie’s contribution to the research. The Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology supported Ko


You couldn't make it up.  Warmists are treating Inhofe's grand-daughter as an authority

The heading on the article excerpted below was: "Jim Inhofe’s Granddaughter Asked Him Why He Didn’t Understand Global Warming" -- implying that she was the one in the right.

And the temperature rise they refer to was due to El Nino, not carbon dioxide. CO2 did NOT rise in 2015

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), the chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, is a famous climate denier. He has written a book about global warming, arguing it is a hoax.
Like many Americans — 64 percent of which are concerned about climate change — Inhofe’s granddaughter wants to know why he does not understand the science.

On the last day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last week, Inhofe told radio host Eric MeTaxas about a conversation he had with one of his granddaughters, Right Wing Watch reported on Tuesday.

"You know, our kids are being brainwashed? I never forget because I was the first one back in 2002 to tell the truth about the global warming stuff and all of that. And my own granddaughter came home one day and said “Popi (see “I” is for Inhofe, so it’s Momi and Popi, ok?), Popi, why is it you don’t understand global warming?” I did some checking and Eric, the stuff that they teach our kids nowadays, you have to un-brainwash them when they get out"

Right now, the United States, including Oklahoma, is in the middle of a record-breaking heat wave that has left at least six dead. This month, the world learned that the first half of 2016 was the hottest start to a year on record, building on 2015’s record as the hottest year on record — data that strengthen the longer trends signifying the reality of climate change.

Famously, Inhofe brought a snowball onto the senate floor last year in an effort to prove that global warming was a hoax, citing the cold “unseasonable” temperatures. This was in February.


U.S. Hits Record 129 Months Since Last Major Hurricane Strike

No major hurricane has made landfall in the continental United States for a record-breaking 129 months, according to data going back to 1851 compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The last major hurricane to make landfall on the continental United States was Hurricane Wilma, which slammed into Florida on Oct. 24, 2005--129 months ago.

The 2016 hurricane season--which officially opened on June 1 and ends on November 30--is expected to be “near normal”, with more hurricane activity than last year’s “below normal” season.

“The outlook calls for a 45% chance of a near-normal season, a 30% chance of an above-normal season, and a 25% chance of a below-normal season,” according to NOAA’s 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook.

The agency predicts that there will be “10-16 named storms” this season--including “4-8 hurricanes” and “1-4 major hurricanes.” A "major hurricane" is defined as one that is Category 3 or above on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which means it has sustained wind speeds of more than 111 miles per hour and is capable of causing “devastating” or “catastrophic” damage.

But because of several “competing climate factors” this year, “there is reduced confidence in predicting whether the season will be above normal or below normal,” NOAA stated.

At a May 27 press conference, NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan told reporters that due to the cooling phase of the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation (AMO), there is “uncertainty about whether the high-activity era of Atlantic hurricanes has ended.”

“During the past three years, weaker hurricane seasons have been accompanied by a shift towards the cool signature of the AMO, cooler Atlantic Ocean temperatures, and a weaker West African monsoon,” Sullivan said.

“If this shift proves to be more than short-lived, if it’s not just a temporary blip, then it could be signaling the arrival of a low activity era for Atlantic hurricanes.”

The last time the AMO entered a cold phase was the 23-year period between 1971 and 1994, when there were only two above-normal hurricane seasons and half were below normal, said Dr. Gerry Bell, head of NOAA’s hurricane forecasting team.

In 2005, four major hurricanes – Dennis, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma– struck the mainland of the United States, killing nearly 4,000 people and causing nearly $160 billion in damages, according to NOAA.

Since 2005, no Category 3 or above hurricane has made landfall in the continental United States.

President Obama is the longest-serving president to have no major hurricanes strike during his time in office.

During Obama's presidency, four hurricanes have made landfall, but all were at lower than Category 3 intensity: Irene (2011), Isaac and Sandy (2012) were all Category 1 when the hit the mainland, and Arthur (2014) was a Category 2.


Clinton’s VP Pick Targeted Global Warming Skeptics On Senate Floor

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential running mate targeted global warming skeptics on the Senate floor in July, potentially hurting claims the nominee is someone constitutional conservatives can support.

Sen. Tim Kaine, a Democrat from Virginia, was tasked with heaping scorn on conservative nonprofit groups in early July for opposing Democratic policies addressing man-made global warming.

Kaine was chosen as Democratic presidential nominee Clinton’s running mate on July 22, no more than a week after the Virginia senator was tasked with criticizing Virginia-based nonprofit groups for not toeing the line on Democratic policies addressing climate change.

There is a cabal of organizations that “knowingly try to misrepresent the status of climate science, and suggest that climate change is not occurring,” Kaine said July 11 on the Senate floor.

The Virginia Institute for Public Policy “makes statements that are promoting a false point of view,” he said, adding, that the free market group “promotes the idea that ‘oh, well, we shouldn’t do anything about it (global warming).”

It is one thing to disagree about how climate change should be approached, Kaine argued, it is quite another to openly deny that the climate is changing.

The inquisition began when Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat, directed 19 of his fellow Democratic senators to attack conservative and libertarian organizations such as Americans for Prosperity and the Cato Institute on the chamber floors for engaging in what the senators call a “web of denial.”

Sens. Harry Reid of Nevada, as well as Chuck Schumer of New York joined Kaine on July 11 targeting groups like Mercatus Center.

Emily Enderle, a top environmental policy adviser to Whitehouse, who is leading the hit parade, constructed the strategy in an internal email with several leading environmental groups — some of the groups include the Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists, and the Clean Water Action.

Conservative groups argued the move by Kaine, among others, is an example of senators unfairly targeting the free speech rights of organizations not falling in lock step with global warming orthodoxy.

“It’s unbelievable the level of coordination the Senate Democrats have taken to political intimidate free market organizations,” Molly Drenkard, a spokeswoman with the American Legislative Economic Exchange (ALEC), told The Daily Caller News Foundation on July 11. ALEC was one of the conservative groups targeted by the senators.

But now some conservatives are attempting to paint a different picture of Kaine, who is currently running against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, a candidate many conservatives feel is not fit to be president.

Washington Post columnist George Will, for one, has begun laying down a coda suggesting Kaine might be the most palatable candidate for constitutional conservatives.

“There probably is no Democratic governor or senator more palatable than Kaine to constitutional conservatives,” Will wrote in an editorial Tuesday. “Such conservatives are eager to bring presidential power back within constitutional constraints, and Kaine is among the distressingly small minority of national legislators interested in increased congressional involvement in authorizing the use of military force.”



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


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Another clunk-headed academic who can't read

Jarrod Gilbert, a New Zealand sociologist no less, says climate denial ought be seen as a crime.  Sociologists are generally far-Left so a bit of Stalinism from one is no surprise.  And in true Stalinist style he is a good Trofim Lysenko too.  Lysenko had the basics of biology wrong and this guy has the sociology of climate science wrong.

How so?  Because his basic "97%" claim shows he can't read.  The paper usually quoted in support of the 97% in fact says that only ONE THIRD of climate scientists supported global warming.  The other two thirds took no position on the matter.

Since Jarrod has such bad eyes, I reproduce the Cook et al. abstract below  and highlight the bit that jarring Jarrod missed.  What a clown! He might one day learn the importance of doing your research before you open your mouth. But he does admit to being a liberal wanker so maybe he won't

"We analyze the evolution of the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, examining 11 944 climate abstracts from 1991–2011 matching the topics 'global climate change' or 'global warming'. We find that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW, 32.6% endorsed AGW, 0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of global warming. Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming. In a second phase of this study, we invited authors to rate their own papers. Compared to abstract ratings, a smaller percentage of self-rated papers expressed no position on AGW (35.5%). Among self-rated papers expressing a position on AGW, 97.2% endorsed the consensus. For both abstract ratings and authors' self-ratings, the percentage of endorsements among papers expressing a position on AGW marginally increased over time. Our analysis indicates that the number of papers rejecting the consensus on AGW is a vanishingly small proportion of the published research"

There is no greater crime being perpetuated on future generations than that committed by those who deny climate change. The scientific consensus is so overwhelming that to argue against it is to perpetuate a dangerous fraud. Denial has become a yardstick by which intelligence can be tested. The term climate sceptic is now interchangeable with the term mindless fool.

Since the 1960s, it has been known that heat-trapping gasses were increasing in the earth's atmosphere, but no one knew to what effect. In 1979, a study found "no reason to doubt that climate changes will result and no reason to believe that these changes will be negligible". Since then scientists have been seeking to prove it, and the results are in.

Meta studies show that 97 per cent of published climate scientists agree that global warming is occurring and that it is caused by human activities. The American Association for the Advancement of Science compared it to the consensus linking smoking to cancer. The debate is over, yet doubt continues.

For decades, arguments denying the harms caused by smoking were made. A tobacco executive once said: "Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the 'body of fact' that exists in the minds of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy."

Such doubts can be highly effective, particularly if they allow people to support agendas that are politically or economically useful to them.

One person who has managed to successfully merge expert and popular opinions is English physicist Professor Brian Cox, whose books and television programmes explain complex scientific phenomena in highly accessible ways. He recently said that ignoring best evidence and turning against experts is "the road back to the cave".

Modern civilisation, he says, has grown not because of gut instinct and guesswork but because of scientific understanding and thinking. "Being an expert does not mean that you are someone with a vested interest; it means you spend your life studying something. You're not necessarily right - but you're more likely to be right than someone who's not spent their life studying it."

If 100 of the best-qualified engineers were asked to assess the structural integrity of a house and 97 of them said it was unsafe, who would listen to the other three engineers and buy the house? Yet that is the foolishness of climate change denial. Furthermore, the basis for these decisions is often arbitrary and variable.

We all believe in the expertise at Nasa when it launches a rocket into earth's orbit then flicks it into space and lands it on a rock, but so many people conveniently ignore the organisation's knowledge and expertise when it confirms humans created climate change.

All of this might be a strange curiosity if the ramifications weren't so serious. Whether it is the erosion of coastal properties, an influx of climate refugees from the Pacific, or the economic impacts on our primary industries from severe weather events, New Zealand must prepare for some significant realities.

The worst of these problems will impact more greatly on generations to come, but to ignore them now is as unconscionable as it is selfish. It ought be seen as a crime.

One way in which everyday crime can be discouraged is to ensure that "capable guardians" are around to deter criminal activity. When it comes to climate change, the capable guardians are educated members of the public who counteract the deniers.

There may be differing opinions on what policies to pursue, but those who deny that climate change exists ought be shouted down like the charlatans that they are. Or better yet, looked upon with pitiful contempt and completely ignored.

There is no room to sit on the fence and say, "I don't know if it's true". Ignorance of the law excuses no one - and so it is with the laws of science.


Could climate change lead to a WAR? Global warming will increase the risk of armed conflict between ethnic groups (?)

The headline above is just speculation.  The study below was of natural disasters, not global warming.  The authors admit that they cannot link the two

Man-made climate change is expected to increase the risk of natural disasters around the world from severe droughts to more intense tropical storms.

But the impact of these may go far beyond the immediate suffering of those caught up in them.  Researchers believe that climate disasters could increase the risk of armed conflict in countries where different ethnic groups live side by side.

The research, from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany, suggests that climate-related natural disasters could exacerbate tensions between different ethnic groups.

Dr Carl Schleussner, who led the study, said: 'Devastating climate-related natural disasters have a disruptive potential that seems to play out in ethnically fractionalized societies in a particularly tragic way.'

The researchers found that almost one quarter of conflicts in ethnically divided countries happen at the same time as climatic problems - even without taking climate change into account.

Dr Schleussner added: 'Climate disasters are not directly triggering conflict outbreak, but may enhance the risk of a conflict breaking out which is rooted in context-specific circumstances.

'As intuitive as this might seem, we can now show this in a scientifically sound way.'

Previous studies have focused on variables in climate, such as temperature increase. However it was not possible to use this information to see the direct impact it had on societies.

Instead, the new study focuses directly on the economic damage caused by natural disasters, based on data from Munich Re from 1980-2010.

The researchers used computer models to analyse the data, to see how conflict within countries coincided with natural disasters.

Dr Jonathan Donges, who worked on the study, said: 'We've been surprised by the extent that results for ethnic fractionalised countries stick out compared to other country features such as conflict history, poverty, or inequality.

'We think that ethnic divides may serve as a predetermined conflict line when additional stressors like natural disasters kick in, making multi-ethnic countries particularly vulnerable to the effect of such disasters.'

The researchers used the internal conflict within Iraq as an example. In their paper, they write: 'Although not highly ethnically fractionalised, ethnic identities appear to play a prominent role in the ongoing civil wars in Syria and Iraq.

'It is clear that the roots of these conflicts, as for armed conflicts in general, are case specific and not directly associated with climate-related natural disasters.

'Nevertheless, such disruptive events have the potential to amplify already existing societal tensions and stressors and thus to further destabilize several of the world's most conflict-prone regions.'

However, the results of the study cannot be used to predict the risk in specific states.

Dr Hans Joachim Schnellnhuber, co-lead of the study, said: 'Armed conflicts are among the biggest threats to people, killing some and forcing others to leave their home and maybe flee to far-away countries.

'Human-made climate change will clearly boost heatwaves and regional droughts.

'Our observations combined with what we know about increasing climate-change impacts can help security policy to focus on risk regions.'

Many of the world's most conflict-prone regions, including North and Central Africa as well as Central Asia, are both vulnerable to human-made climate change and characterized by deep ethnic divides.

The researchers hope that their findings can help in the design of security policies in these high-risk areas.

Dr Schellnhuber added: 'Our study adds evidence of a very special co-benefit of climate stabilization - peace.'


Oakland Coal Ban Won’t Protect Vulnerable

Good intentions don’t necessarily make good public policy. Yet last week the Oakland City Council unanimously fell into the same tired old “feel good” political trap.

On a 7-0 vote, council members passed an ordinance prohibiting the storage and handling of coal and petroleum coke within city limits and then followed up by approving a resolution extending the ban to the Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal (OBOT), a new facility being built on a former U.S. Army base.

Fortunately, the ordinance and resolution will come back for a second reading on July 19, so the City Council has an opportunity to reverse or amend its decision. If the ban is upheld, City Council members will have chosen to sacrifice an opportunity to boost economic development on the mistaken premise that doing so is in the best interest of the public.

City councilman Abel Guillen stated that last week’s vote was meant to “protect the health and safety of our most vulnerable population.” That is a noble goal but who are the vulnerable members of Oakland’s population that the council is trying to protect?

In assessing the health and safety risks of importing coal and petroleum coke, primarily from Utah, and then transshipping it to Asia, the City Council relied on a report by Zoe Chafe, Ph.D. Chafe’s report referred to the Environmental Protection Agency’s definition of vulnerable citizens, namely, “children, older adults, people with heart or lung diseases, and people living in poverty.”

The problem in acting to protect Oakland’s “most vulnerable population” is that doing so leads to a contradiction. The council members’ decision pits the interests of one group of vulnerable people against those of others.

“The public” is not a single entity, but rather an aggregation of many individuals, each having his or her own interests and preferences.

Concerns about moving coal and petroleum coke through Oakland’s port facilities certainly can be raised. No one wants to live where a child or elderly parent would have trouble breathing.

On the other hand, no one wants to struggle to feed their family because they can’t find a job. The economic growth that accompanies a project like OBOT, which will create an estimated 2,400 jobs, can help alleviate the problems of poverty faced by members of Oakland’s most vulnerable population.

Terminal Logistics Solutions (TLS), which will operate the $500 million OBOT facility, has indicated that it is determined to comply with the standards prescribed by the California Environmental Quality Act. These standards allow Oakland’s citizens to hold TLS responsible for any air- or water-quality violations.

This means that Oakland can both protect its environment and remain committed to raising living standards—a proverbial win-win option. Instead, City Council members are hung up on creating a feel-good policy that may hurt the very people they think they are protecting.


EPA Plans to Address Pollution 'From Engines Used on Large, Commerical Jets'

The Environmental Protection Agency already sets pollution limits on cars and trucks, and now it plans to do the same thing with new commercial jets.

Invoking the Clean Air Act, the EPA on Monday announced its finding that greenhouse gas emissions from certain types of aircraft engines "contribute to the pollution that causes climate change and endangers Americans' health and the environment."

"These particular GHGs come primarily from engines used on large, commercial jets," EPA said.

The agency is not yet ready to issue emissions standards for aircraft engines, but that will come, now that it has determined that those engines contribute to climate change.

“Addressing pollution from aircraft is an important element of U.S. efforts to address climate change," said Janet McCabe, EPA’s Acting Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation. "Aircraft are the third largest contributor to GHG emissions in the U.S. transportation sector, and these emissions are expected to increase in the future."

The EPA said its endangerment" findings do not apply to small piston-engine planes (often used for recreational purposes) or to military aircraft, including Air Force One.

The new rules are still years away, and any proposed standards would be open to public comment and review before they take effect.

For the record, the EPA announcement came one day after Sen. Bernie Sanders described Republican Donald Trump as "a guy who rejects science, doesn't even believe that climate change is real, let alone that we have to take bold action to transform our energy system."


Has Global Warming Influenced Large-Scale Atmospheric Variability?  No.
Paper Reviewed:

Sardeshmukh, P.D., Compo, G.P. and Penland, C. 2015. Need for caution in interpreting extreme weather events. Journal of Climate 28: 9166-9187.

Introducing their work, Sardeshmukh et al. (2015) note there is great scientific and public interest in discerning the influence (if any) of global warming on extreme weather events, writing that "it is tempting to seek an anthropogenic component in any recent change in the statistics of extreme weather." What is more, they note that, for many people, "the occurrence of any extreme event not previously observed 'within living memory' or 'since records began' (in both cases, about 100 years) immediately becomes a candidate for attribution to global warming."

Sardeshmukh et al., however, are quick to caution that such efforts may well "lead to wrong conclusions if the distinctively skewed and heavy-tailed aspects of the probability distributions of daily weather anomalies are ignored or misrepresented." And it was against this backdrop that they began their study, which involved the development of a protocol to adequately detect and attribute changes in extreme weather events. Thereafter, they tested this protocol in an effort to assess changes "in the observed distributions of daily wintertime indices of large-scale atmospheric variability in the North Atlantic and North Pacific sectors over the period 1872-2011."

With respect to their protocol (see the original paper for details), the authors presented a series of mathematical and statistical procedures that ultimately produced, in their words, "a sharper tool for investigating the statistical significance of observed changes in extremes over the twentieth century and of projected changes over the twenty-first century." And in applying that protocol to two indices of atmospheric variability (North Atlantic Oscillation Index and North Pacific Index), Sardeshmukh et al. report they found "no significant changes either in the mean or in the entire probability density functions of these indices over the last 140 years" despite "an apparent upward trend in the NAO index and a downward trend in the NP index during much of the second half the twentieth century."

In discussing the significance of this finding, Sardeshmukh et al. say it "has important implications for understanding the atmospheric circulation response to global warming, and casts doubt on inferences about this response drawn in studies that focus only on the second half, or other subsets, of the full record."


Hawaii Phasing Out Solar Subsidies For Cost Reasons

Hawaii’s taxpayer support for solar power is set to end in July due to cost and reliability concerns.

The state government repealed its previous programs to boost solar power last October and replaced them with a much more limited subsidy system that caps the total number of users to reduce the cost to the state and minimize power grid damage. That cap will probably be reached this month or in early August. The cap was essential to maintaining the states’ power grid, despite the state’s goal of using only green energy by 2045.

“It comes down to a financial issue,” Democratic state Rep. Chris Lee, the chairman of the state House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection, told The Associated Press. “The more distributed generation, the more power that individuals generate themselves, the less of a customer base the utility ultimately has in the long run.”

Hawaii and many other states enacted net-metering subsidies for homeowners with solar panels in 2010, but are now backing away from them. Rooftop solar companies supported these subsidies as a way to encourage solar power and fight global warming. This, however, shifted the costs of maintaining the electrical grid onto households that don’t have solar panels, effectively transferring money from the poor to the rich.

Hawaii gets 3.66 percent of its electricity from solar, a higher portion than any other state, but already has the nation’s highest electricity costs. Last year, solar power only accounted for 0.6 percent of all electricity generated in America, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

A 2015 study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) concluded rooftop solar subsides are inefficient and costly, and that rooftop solar companies simply cannot compete without government support.

Solar power by itself receives more federal subsidies than all fossil fuel sources combined, according to the EIA. Green energy in the U.S. got $13 billion in subsidies during 2013, compared to $3.4 billion in subsidies for conventional sources and $1.7 billion for nuclear, according to EIA data. Solar companies simply cannot maintain their current high levels of growth without government support.

Most state solar subsidies go to rooftop solar panels and include a 30 percent federal tax credit, while industrial scale solar is thus somewhat more efficient per dollar spent. Solar-leasing companies install rooftop systems, which cost a minimum of $10,000, at no upfront cost to the consumer. Companies do this because the state and federal subsidies are so massive that such behavior is actually profitable.

TheDCNF previously used statistical analysis to show that the more pro-green energy policies a state has, the less likely it was to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.



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