Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Total abandonment of science by the Congressional Left
The professional Warmists at DeSmog Blog have put up here a number of pages from the Congressional Record that report testimony on climate change by Harry Reid, Elizabeth Warren and other well-known scientists. The testimony by Harry Reid is a particular hoot. He has repeated for the umpteenth time his sweeping condemnation of the Koch Bros. They are a worm in Harry's brain. He can't get past them. According to him they are responsible for all climate skepticism.
And Pocohontas is not much better. She aims her spray rather more widely, with Lord Monckton coming in for a big blast. She claims that he is not a scientist and seems to think that what he says is therefore worthless -- quite overlooking the fact that she is not a scientist either. Is her opinion worthless? I think so but I'm betting that she does not.
But in the end the whole session is just "ad hominem" argument, argument which is of zero logical force. The pages concerned are awash with sweeping and unreferenced personal vilification. When Pocohontas says that a Monckton claim has been disproved, we might have expected the name or names of the person/s who did the disproving. But no such luck. And nowhere is there any mention of a single climate datum, fact or figure.
It's all rather Satanic, actually: An unending flow of hate and nothing but hate.
YET MORE MISTAKES AND SMEARS IN THE GUARDIAN
The Guardian has up an article headlined: "Matt Ridley accused of lobbying UK government on behalf of coal industry". It's an attempted "Gotcha". Viscount Ridley is a skeptic of sorts so tying him to coal companies fulfils the Leftist fantasy that all skeptics are in the pocket of Big Coal or Big Oil
Matt Ridley replies:
What's wrong with drawing attention to a new technology?
Damian Carrington in the Guardian has attempted to imply criticism of me for writing an email to the energy minister in the House of Lords to draw his attention to a new technology for emissions reduction as a byproduct of an innovative manufacturing process.
I explicitly was not lobbying. I have absolutely no interest in the technology or the company, but I happened to meet them through a friend and thought their technology sounded interesting and the British government might be interested, since it might be a way for the UK to generate jobs and revenue while cutting emissions; the company was not asking for a subsidy.
I met them over a drink – and I paid. I have acted entirely appropriately, and the Guardian article is trying to make a scandal where there is none.
The source of the Guardian article is a Freedom of Information Request from Friends of the Earth. The FoE individual quoted in the article is Guy Shrubsole, who has a criminal conviction for aggravated trespass as he prevented people getting to work at a surface coal mine in Northumberland on the Blagdon Estate. Mr Shrubsole was given a conditional discharge after pleading guilty to chaining himself to mining machinery to cause disruption at the site. He was also given a three year restraining order preventing him from coming within 50 metres of the mining company’s sites or offices.
Mr Shrubsole appears to be under the mistaken impression that I was telling the energy minister about a carbon capture and storage technology. Even if I had been, there would be no scandal.
The real scandal is that the Guardian relies on a criminal as a source.
This is the email I sent to Mr Carrington when he approached me about it. He omitted key parts of my reply in his article:
"I am afraid you or FOE have got the wrong end of the stick.
The company is not Summit. It’s not an energy company. It’s not in carbon capture and storage. It’s a chemical company. It offers potential for emissions reduction (which I thought FoE favoured) as a byproduct of manufacturing something useful, that’s all. It did not seek a subsidy, as I made clear. I have no interest in it now or in the future, because my coal interests will expire long before anything happens. The distant possibility of interest I mentioned was on behalf of Northumbrian workers who might want to keep their jobs, not on behalf of myself. I am in favour of jobs for people in the North-east. I have not contradicted myself in any way.
Please quote all the above paragraph in full or not at all.”
The Guardian ignored the last request.
The Hillary treatment for climate fraudsters?
State AG actions reveal double standard for scientists who promote alarmist climate claims
This past March, seventeen attorneys general launched a coordinated effort to investigate, pursue and prosecute companies, think tanks and other organizations who say there is little credible evidence that human “greenhouse gas” emissions are causing “dangerous” or “catastrophic” manmade climate change.
The AGs said their targets’ actions constitute “fraud” – which they described as using “polished public relations campaigns” to “muddle the truth,” “discredit prevailing climate science,” and “mislead” people about threats from higher temperatures, rising seas, floods and more severe weather. Their real goal is to intimidate and silence targeted groups, and bankrupt them with legal fees, court costs and lost funding.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute, Heartland Institute, CFACT, ExxonMobil and other “climate denier” organizations fought back vigorously, refusing to surrender their constitutional rights to participate in this vital public policy debate. The AGs’ bravado and prosecutions began fraying at the edges.
But one wonders: How will these intrepid protectors of the public interest respond to Real Climate Fraud? To intentional misrepresentations of material facts, with knowledge of their falsity, and for the purpose of inducing persons or institutions to act, with resulting injury or damage.
Will those AGs – or other state AGs, Congress, state legislatures or the Justice Department – investigate the growing list of highly questionable actions by scientists and others who receive billions in taxpayer and consumer funds for renewable energy programs and research into manmade climate cataclysm scares … to justify policies, laws and regulations that raise energy costs, destroy fossil fuel companies and jobs, force layoffs in other industries, and harm poor, minority and working class families?
Or will they respond the way FBI Director Comey did to Hillary Clinton’s reckless disregard for national security secrets: ignore the bad conduct, and reward transgressors with more money, prestige and power?
The case for widespread misconduct by members of the $1.5-trillion-per-year Climate Change & Renewable Energy Complex grows more compelling, and disturbing, by the day. A complete listing and analysis would require books, but these few examples underscore the seriousness of the global problem.
Crisis fabrication. After warming 1910-1940, cooling 1940-1975, warming 1975-1998, not budging 1998-2015, Earth warmed slightly 2015-2016 amid a strong El Niño. No category 3-5 hurricane has hit the United States for a record 10-1/2 years. Seas are rising at 7 inches per century. Arctic ice is near normal; Antarctic ice at a record high. There are more polar bears than ever.
But the White House, EPA, UN and media falsely claim we face an unprecedented crisis – and must quickly replace reliable, affordable hydrocarbons with expensive, subsidized, unreliable renewable energy, and let unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats control our lives, livelihoods and living standards. Any warming, any weather event, is our fault – the result of using fossil fuels to power our economy.
Data manipulation. When actual measurements don’t support climate chaos claims, dishonest scientists “homogenize” and manipulate them to create imaginary warming trends. Phil Jones, his British team and their US counterparts eliminated centuries of Little Ice Age cooling and created new records showing planetary temperatures suddenly spiking in recent decades. They used ClimateGate emails to devise devious schemes preventing outside analysts from examining their data, computer algorithms and methodologies – and then “lost” information that peer reviewers wanted to examine.
NOAA’s clever climate consortium adjusted accurate sea-surface temperature data from scientific ocean buoys upward by a quarter-degree, to “homogenize” them with records from engine intake systems contaminated by shipboard heat – thereby creating a previously undetected warming trend.
Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology revised Rutherglen weather station data to convert 100 years of data showing a slight cooling trend into a warming of several degrees per century. As with other “adjustments” (by NASA, for instance) the revisions always create warming trends – never a slight cooling – and climate crisis scientists always say humans caused the warming, even though they are unable to separate natural forces, cycles and fluctuations from alleged human influences.
GIGO computer models. Climate models assume post-1975 warming is due to manmade carbon dioxide; exaggerate climate sensitivity to CO2 levels; and simplify or ignore vital natural forces like solar energy variations, cosmic ray fluxes, heat-reflecting clouds, and recurrent phenomena like El Niño and La Niña. They conjure up “scenarios” that alarmists treat as valid predictions of what will happen if we don’t slash fossil fuel use. Models replace actual evidence, and play an important role in climate battles.
It’s complete GIGO: faulty assumptions, data, algorithms, analytical methodologies and other garbage in – predictive garbage out. That’s why “hockey stick” and other models are so out of touch with reality. In fact, an official IPCC graph showed that every UN climate model between 1990 and 2012 predicted that average global temperatures would be as much as 0.9 degrees C (1.6 F) higher than they actually were! The inconvenient graph was revised for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2014 report.
Report manipulation. Activists and bureaucrats always finalize the Summary for Policymakers, the only IPCC climate document that most voters, elected officials and journalists ever read. They want to ensure that already politicized climate “science” does not undermine or contradict political themes and agendas.
A 1995 State Department document reveals the extent of this interference and manipulation. The 30-page document gave detailed instructions as to how the Clinton White House wanted the summary’s scientific explanations and conclusions revised, to make alleged climate and weather trends even more worrisome. Donna Laframboise and others document the bias, distortion and deception that dominate IPCC actions.
Consensus fabrication. Claims of a 97% consensus on climate cataclysm science are likewise slippery, and based on bait-and-switch tactics that look only at study abstracts of studies and then misrepresent what the abstracts say, ask one question but base their conclusions on a different one, or use other strategies and misrepresentations to hide the disagreements and debates that still dominate this topic.
Cost-benefit falsification. The US Government has mastered this fraudulent tactic, especially in its “social cost of carbon” calculations. EPA and other agencies blame methane and carbon dioxide emissions for every conceivable impact on agriculture, forests, water resources, “forced migration” of people and wildlife, human health and disease, rising sea levels, flooded coastal cities, too much or too little rain. They totally ignore the way more CO2 makes plants grow faster and better, with less water.
They also ignore the enormous benefits of fossil fuels for 80% of all the energy we use to transport people and products, generate reliable, affordable electricity, and manufacture fertilizers, plastics and thousands of other products. And they ignore the ways anti-energy regulations raise hospital, factory and small business costs, kill jobs, and reduce living standards, health and welfare for millions of people.
Why would they do these things? The US federal government alone spent $11.6 billion on “green” energy and climate “research” and “mitigation” programs in 2014. That money did not go to scientists who question “dangerous manmade climate change” doctrines.
Recipients and their parent institutions are determined to preserve this funding, protect their reputations and prestige, and maintain their influence and control over policies, laws, regulations, and wind, solar and biofuel mandates and subsidies. It is all inextricably tied to silencing inconvenient questions and, if needs be, engaging in systemic, systematic exaggeration, falsification and misrepresentation. And then they claim these Orwellian tactics are Best Practice standards, essential for quality control in climate science!
So, AGs, by all means let’s investigate. But let’s not criminalize differences of opinion. Let’s root out actual fraud, let real science prevail, and protect our livelihoods and living standards from unscrupulous people and organizations that are using fraudulent climate chaos claims to control energy use, transform the US and global economic systems, and redistribute the world’s wealth.
Hillary Clinton: Climate Change ‘Is an Opportunity as Well as a Problem’
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaking at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Va., on Thursday, said that climate change is “an opportunity as well as a problem.”
Clinton said it is an “opportunity that smart, innovative people in Virginia—particularly young people--can address by creating new businesses and jobs.”
Here is an excerpt from speech:
“I have set five big goals: We need more good paying jobs and we need to provide more opportunities for hardworking Americans. So we are going to invest in our infrastructure, our roads, our bridges, our tunnels, our airports, our electric grid, our water systems. And we are going to be the clean-energy super power of the 21st Century. Unlike Donald Trump, who thinks climate change is a hoax, we think it is an opportunity as well as a problem. An opportunity that smart, innovative people in Virginia—particularly young people--can address by creating new businesses and jobs.
"I want to grow the economy so we have greater prosperity. And I particularly want to pay attention to those parts of our country that are not as fortunate as others: coal country, Indian country, inner city neighborhoods. I want us all to rise together. This is now just about some people, it needs to be about all of America.
“And while we grow together we will become fairer, too. That’s why I want to raise the minimum wage so people working full-time are not left in poverty."
Did Dr. Mark Z. Jacobson just call anyone supporting nuclear energy a zealot?
An honest Greenie encounters a typical closed-mind Greenie
Recently, Jesse Jenkins, a PhD student at MIT studying decarbonization pathways, was blocked on twitter by Dr. Mark Z. Jacobson. Dr. Jacobson has made it a habit to block seemingly anyone who disagrees with him, but this time it was pretty absurd. Jenkins was trying to have a dialog with Dr. Jacobson about his claim that a 100% Wind/Water/Solar (WWS) strategy is the fastest, cheapest way to reduce carbon emissions. This is a claim that Dr. Jacobson has made repeatedly, but most other research in the topic disagrees.
Jenkins specifically pointed out that in Dr. Jacobson’s own studies, nuclear is cheaper than geothermal, off-shore wind, concentrating solar power, rooftop solar, wave power, and tidal power – meaning adding nuclear would make the plan cheaper. Jenkins also pointed out that Dr. Jacobson hasn’t compared his preferred pathway against others that include nuclear .
Jenkins made point  after point  about how other studies have shown adding nuclear makes plans cheaper and that even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN scientific authority on climate change, says excluding nuclear increases costs . The entire thread (tweetstorm) is great, and can be found here and here [5,6,7,8,9,10]. (Sidenote, in this piece, I’m including the link to each tweet, followed by a link to a screenshot of it, like this: link [link to screenshot]).
Jenkins wasn’t attacking Dr. Jacobson; he laid out a clear and cogent argument for why adding nuclear is cheaper, and how nuclear has historically scaled faster than renewables. And at the end, Jenkins added an open invitation to work together with Dr. Jacobson on further research. And instead, Dr. Jacobson blocked Jenkins. But not only that, Dr. Jacobson repeatedly called Jenkins a zealot for supporting nuclear .
I’ve personally had a similar thing happen to me with Dr. Jacobson – I had a conversation with him on twitter in December of 2015 where I made the argument that we should keep existing low carbon nuclear operating for as long as possible, and at least then, Dr. Jacobson said “There’s an argument to be made for that. Most efficient to replace coal, gas, oil first.“
However, during June of 2016, it was announced that Diablo Canyon, a nuclear facility in California, would be shut down, and Dr. Jacobson said people, “Should cheer“ for its closure.
I sent out a slightly snarky tweet with the juxtaposition of the two statements , and Dr. Jacobson claimed (without citing any numbers for the cost of relicensing or building the new sources) that it would be cheaper to build new WWS than to relicense Diablo Canyon .
I made the point that closing Diablo Canyon and replacing it with WWS would not actually decrease fossil fuel usage and carbon emissions, and restated the point that he made in December, that we should work on replacing fossil fuels. He responded back saying “You don’t know the first thing about solving the climate, air pollution and energy security problem. Stop pretending you do.”  And then he blocked me as well.
The definition of a zealot from Merriam-Webster is, “a person who has very strong feelings about something (such as religion or politics) and who wants other people to have those feelings: a zealous person“. In this context, you could say that someone who chooses to hold a belief despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and forcefully promotes that belief is a zealot. I’ve followed Jesse Jenkins work for a while, he does good work, is willing to debate with people about it, is willing to defend his work, and is willing to admit when he’s wrong. Because of this, I don’t think he’s a zealot as Dr. Jacobson claims.
But more to the point, Dr. Jacobson essentially just said that any person who supports nuclear energy is a zealot. As someone who supports nuclear energy and actively does research that can help make it safer, I wholeheartedly reject this assertion. Nuclear energy has its benefits, drawbacks, and risks, just like any other technology. And it’s important to recognize that. But to call that anyone that disagrees with you a “zealot” is a ludicrous statement.
Moreover, if anyone who supports nuclear energy is a zealot, then President Obama, Secretary Clinton, many prominent scientists, and even the members of the IPCC would be considered zealots. Surely that’s not what Dr. Jacobson meant, but that is what he said.
And instead of engaging in thoughtful debate with an open mind, Dr. Jacobson ignores criticism and shuts down debates through blocking people. In fact, you can search Dr. Jacobson’s entire twitter feed for the words “wrong” or “mistake”, and in his almost 4000 tweets, he’s never admitted that he’s wrong or that he made a mistake. He’s always saying other people are wrong.
According to Dr. Jacobson, the EIA is wrong , the IPCC is wrong , the Washington Post is wrong , Dr. James Hansen is wrong , the Breakthrough Institute is wrong , Bill Gates is wrong , Jesse Jenkins is wrong , I’m wrong , just to name a few. Dr. Jacobson clearly has a certain set of beliefs, and those beliefs seem to be unshakable, even when the other researchers or the IPCC disagree with him.
It’s my personal opinion that we’ll need both renewables and nuclear, along with policy changes (price on carbon, clean energy standards) and other solutions like demand response, storage, and electric vehicles if we are going to significantly reduce emissions. I don’t know exactly what role nuclear will play in the future, but it is currently playing a large role in many countries (including the US) and will continue to be the largest single source of low carbon energy in the US for many years to come. Prematurely closing this generation will result in higher emissions, something that is becoming all too frequent.
The biggest problem in my opinion is the lack of political will and political action for climate solutions. It is important to debate what the best solutions are. But when Dr. Jacobson purposefully blocks people and calls people names for trying to critique his work or engage him in a dialogue, he is actively fracturing people into two competing “teams”, one team supporting nuclear, the other against it; in reality both sides want the same thing, to solve climate change.
So to anyone reading this, please try to tone down the rhetoric, and really try to understand other people’s views. It’s the only way that we can find some common solutions and move forward, together.
Renewable Power Push Threatens Last Two New England Reactors
A proposal by Massachusetts to boost the use of renewable energy may put New England’s last two nuclear reactors out of business and undermine the state’s efforts to cut carbon emissions, according to an industry group.
Legislation requiring utilities to use renewable power to meet nearly half the state’s energy needs would test reactors already grappling with cheap natural gas prices and falling demand, said Dan Dolan, president of the New England Power Generators Association Inc. The legislative session ends July 31. Governor Charlie Baker supports the measure.
While backers says the measure is needed to help the state meet a target to cut carbon emissions 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, Dolan said it could backfire. If Dominion Resources Inc.’s Millstone plant in Connecticut and NextEra Energy Inc.’s Seabrook plant in New Hampshire close as result of the renewable mandate, Massachusetts will lose a major source of zero-emitting electricity, he said.
“You could very well do all this contracting and knock out the nukes, and from an emissions standpoint you end up at the same place,” Dolan said in an interview July 8. The legislation “says the rest of the competitive generation industry isn’t allowed to compete for roughly 50 percent of the market.”
The proposal comes as states face a raft of reactor closures. Entergy Corp. shut its Vermont Yankee reactor in 2014 and announced it will close its Pilgrim reactor in Massachusetts in June 2019 as the shale gas boom sent prices for the fuel plummeting. New York said last week it could provide about $965 million in subsidies over two years to help support struggling nuclear plants as part of a plan to promote clean energy.
On Wednesday, Entergy said it’s in talks to sell its James A. FitzPatrick nuclear plant in New York to Exelon Corp. The deal depends “largely on the final terms and timeliness of the New York State Clean Energy Standard,” Bill Mohl, president of Entergy’s wholesale commodities unit, said in a statement.
Matt Mooren, a Denver-based energy markets analyst with PA Consulting Group, said historically low wholesale power prices are a bigger threat to nuclear generators than the renewable mandate.
The legislation won’t have “a major impact on nuclear relative to what natural gas prices are already doing,” Mooren said. “While it is a negative as it relates to base load nuclear economics, it’s not as big of a negative.”
“This legislation has the potential to not just forestall, but avoid the increase in carbon resources,” Greg Cunningham, director of clean energy and climate change for the Conservation Law Foundation, said in an interview. “It really could be transformational, not just for Massachusetts but for the region itself.”
Power generators, including Exelon and Calpine Corp. oppose the renewable mandate. It will mean lower sales for the region’s power suppliers and higher-cost hydropower from Canada, with the added expense passed on to consumers, the companies said in a September letter to lawmakers.
“It’s hugely disappointing that Massachusetts’ elected leadership are considering an out-of-market deal that is likely to undermine the economics of other, existing zero-carbon resources, such as existing nuclear plants,” Susan Tierney, a Denver-based senior adviser at the Analysis Group, a consulting company, said by e-mail July 11.
Australia: Rich Greenies now buying the results they want
The WWF has already spent $100,000 buying a Great Barrier Reef shark fishing licence (N4) which it intends to retire, although the licence has not been active since 2004.
It's one of five N4 licences in Queensland and, according to WWF, it will presumably save the lives of 10,000 sharks, based on each shark weighing 4kg.
Queensland Seafood Industry Association chief executive Eric Perez says the WWF is meddling in a heavily regulated industry that focuses on sustainable fishing.
"They don't have a point. They are trying to interfere with fisheries management by stealth," Mr Perez told AAP.
"They can't force their way into regulating the industry the way they want to, so they get cashed up individuals with a green tinge or bent ... which is a way to undermining us."
Mr Perez said the purchase of one, or even two, of the licences was not going to have an impact but if the WWF bought up more then eventually there would be repercussions.
He said family businesses and micro businesses would be affected and Queenslander retailers would either have to buy fish from interstate or import more.
"It's alarmism for no good. Over time ... employment will be impacted," he said.
"My understanding of the current statistics is that there are no fisheries in Queensland that are deemed unsustainable."
Mr Perez warned that conservation groups were trying to stake a claim in all primary industries.
"It demonstrates that they want relevance in every form of agriculture in the country," he said.
The WWF says it bought the licence on the belief that several hammerhead shark species were in decline along the Great Barrier Reef and it was considering purchasing another.
The federal environment department is undertaking a two-year study in scalloped, great and smooth hammerhead sharks which will be completed by the end of September.
"The aim is to stop licences that were fishing for sharks returning to shark fishing and impacting on shark populations, particularly hammerheads. But we're also concerned about dugongs, dolphins and turtles killed as bycatch," said WWF-Australia conservation director Gilly Llewellyn.
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Posted by JR at 12:32 AM