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.  

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


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