Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Substituting prophecy for facts

It must be hard being a Warmist at times.  The article below admits that the Antarctic is not shrinking and notes that all the models say that it should. The scientific response to those facts would be to reject the models.  But you can't do that, of course.  So they simply do some more model runs with models that are already known to be wrong and predict that warming in the Antarctic will happen "real soon now".

So how do they account for what is not happening in the Antarctic so far?  They say that what is happening there is all a product of large "natural variability".  Maybe so but at that rate could the slight global warming during C20 also be a product of natural variability?  If not, why not?  They offer no test of when natural variability is at work or not other than whether it suits their preconceptions.  So we have yet another example of how Warmism destroys science

Anthropogenic impact on Antarctic surface mass balance, currently masked by natural variability, to emerge by mid-century

Michael Previdi and Lorenzo M Polvani


Global and regional climate models robustly simulate increases in Antarctic surface mass balance (SMB) during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries in response to anthropogenic global warming. Despite these robust model projections, however, observations indicate that there has been no significant change in Antarctic SMB in recent decades. We show that this apparent discrepancy between models and observations can be explained by the fact that the anthropogenic climate change signal during the second half of the twentieth century is small compared to the noise associated with natural climate variability. Using an ensemble of 35 global coupled climate models to separate signal and noise, we find that the forced SMB increase due to global warming in recent decades is unlikely to be detectable as a result of large natural SMB variability. However, our analysis reveals that the anthropogenic impact on Antarctic SMB is very likely to emerge from natural variability by the middle of the current century, thus mitigating future increases in global sea level.

Environmental Research Letters, Volume 11, Number 9

So cosy at Youngstown State U

No hint below that the conservative side of politics mostly thinks global warming is a load of hooey.  No mention of debate, dissent or alternative viewpoints. More like a religious seminary than an institution of learning.  Youngstown State University is an  urban university located in Youngstown, Ohio.  As of fall 2010, there were 15,194 students

YSU lecture series to focus on global warming

The YSU Lecture Series on Energy and the Environment kicks off its third year Sept. 7 featuring lectures focusing on global warming.

“With all the extreme weather events we’ve been experiencing and with 2016 set to pass 2015 as the hottest year on record, these speakers are of the utmost relevance,” said Ray Beiersdorfer, Distinguished Professor of Geology and the founder/organizer of the lecture series.

The series goes international this year with a Skype talk from Denmark by Søren Hermansen, director of Samsoe Energy Academy and the head of the Samsoe renewable energy island project.

Also featured is the retired Chief Oceanographer of the Navy, Rear Admiral Jon White, who will be speaking about Ocean & Climate vs. National & Global Security. The lecture series also will include the local premier of a documentary about the community rights movement, “We the People 2.0,” which had its world premier in June at the Seattle International Film Festival.

The speaker series is sponsored in part by The James Dale Ethics Center and NextGen Climate Action.

All lectures are 7 p.m. Wednesdays in Room B100 of Cushwa Hall and run through Nov. 16.


Turning reality on its head

Any farmer knows that warm, moist weather improves crop growth and any Greenhouse owner can tell you how much lots of CO2 improves his crops but the crooks below are trying to tell you the opposite of that.  So how do they get from the reality that global warming would be a boon for food crops to an assertion that global warming would be a disaster for food crops?  Easy!  By combining models with simulations!  Reality not included.  How desperate the Warmists are!

Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) shared to Database has revealed that global warming could create substantial economic damage in agriculture.

“Agriculture is very sensitive to climate change—even a small increase of global mean temperatures can have significant effects on regional crop yields, affecting both the profitability of agricultural production and the share of income spent on food,” lead PIK author Miodrag Stevanović said.

“Our study quantifies economic impacts and analysis the role of international trade as an adaptation measure. We find that economic losses in agriculture could add up to the annual amount of roughly 0.8 percent of global GDP at the end of the century with a very restricted trade regime,” Stevanovic explained.

He said as small as this percentage sounds, it actually translates to losses of $2.5 trillion and is comparably higher for regions with limited agricultural resources, with respect to growing agricultural demand, for example the Middle East, Africa and India.

“In contrast, further trade liberalization in agricultural commodities could reduce financial damage globally by 65 percent, to 0.3 percent of global GDP,” he added.
Alexander Popp, PIK coauthor, further explained that: “Both global warming and free trade favor northern regions, like Europe and the United States, since producers’ gains increase as trade patterns shift northward. At the same time, southern regions, like Africa or India, could theoretically reduce climate-change-related damages by half, through more liberalized food markets.”

Arguing, Popp said: “Irrespective of our assumptions on global trade, climate change will result in reduced crop yields in many areas. At the same time, intensifying production or expanding cultivated land into previously untouched areas may come at a risk: It could lead to additional greenhouse-gas emissions through tropical deforestation or increased fertilizer use.”

According to him, this could then further enhance climate-change pressure on agriculture.

Researchers at PIK laboratories combined 19 different climate projections with simulations of crop growth to assess economic impacts of climate change in the agricultural sector.

Researchers said, while the magnitude of damage varies with different assumptions on crop-productivity response to climate change, carbon dioxide plant fertilization affects socioeconomic projection.

The new study highlights the important role of trade as a key measure to partly reduce climate-change impacts.

Hermann Lotze-Campen, PIK’s chairman of research domain Climate Impacts and Vulnerabilities, said: “The best way to avoid these risks is to limit climate change. However, for impacts that cannot be avoided, an open and diversified trade system can be an important adaptation option.

“It can account for changes in global patterns of agricultural productivity and, thus, allow for reducing production costs and enhancing food security, as climate change will have an amplifying effect on the gap between developed and developing countries, and reductions in trade barriers will have to be accompanied by measures for poverty reduction and social safety nets.”

If food prices increase due to climate-change impacts, households will not only have to spend more on their food consumption, but could also face risks of insufficient access to food and malnutrition, the new study said.


The strangest libertarian yet

He hates guns and now wants a carbon tax.  He calls it a "fee" but how a fee differs from a tax is not at all clear.  Sounds like the Libertarian party has been hijacked by a liberal

Libertarian Party presidential nominee and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson said he’s no skeptic of man-made global warming and endorsed a “fee” on carbon dioxide emissions.

It’s all part of his “free market” approach to global warming, Johnson told the Juneau Empire in an article published Sunday.

“I do believe that climate change is occurring,” Johnson said. “I do believe that it is man-caused” and “that there can be and is a free-market approach to climate change.”

Johnson’s “free market” approach to global warming includes “a fee — not a tax, he said — placed on carbon” to make those who emit the greenhouse gas pay the supposed cost of their actions, according to the Juneau Empire.

“We as human beings want to see carbon emissions reduced significantly,” he said, adding the U.S. only emits “16 percent of the (global) load” CO2.

Johnson said: “I don’t want to do anything that harms jobs.”

It’s not exactly clear how a “fee” on CO2 would be different than a “tax,” but Johnson’s announcement was picked up by environmentalists

 Johnson’s carbon “fee” was touted by the group RepublicEN, a group of conservatives who endorse a carbon tax. RepublicEN has joined with environmentalists to promote a carbon tax as the best way to tackle global warming.

But they’re basically alone on the right, as most conservative groups see a carbon tax as a fool’s errand, and the Republican Party explicitly rejected a carbon tax in its 2016 platform.

“We oppose any carbon-tax,” reads the 2016 platform. “It would increase energy prices across the board, hitting hardest at the families who are already struggling to pay their bill in the Democrats’ no-growth economy.”

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump told campaigners at the American Energy Alliance (AEA) in March he opposed a carbon tax.

“The Obama administration committed an overreach that punishes rather than helps Americans,” Trump answered in AEA’s survey. “Under my administration, all EPA rules will be reviewed. Any regulation that imposes undue costs on business enterprises will be eliminated.”

Republicans have been increasingly concerned about attempts to get a carbon tax through Congress. GOP lawmakers often argue taxing CO2 would amount to an energy tax that would raise the price of everything, hurting the poor.

Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse introduced a carbon tax bill last year to raise $2 trillion over 10 years and reduce CO2 emissions 40 percent. Whitehouse has also called on the Department of Justice to prosecute those who disagree with him on global warming.


Hurricane damages could grow faster than the U.S. economy

Just modelling -- and the models have never been right yet

When it comes to hurricanes in the U.S., large-scale trends are not in our favor. In fact, unless action is taken to curb both global warming and coastal development, the American economy may be set to take a perilous bashing from stronger storms, rising seas and too much high value, high-risk property lying in harms' way.

By the end of the century, a hurricane that strikes the eastern United States could cause up to three times more economic damage than a hurricane that strikes today, climate researchers warn in a new study.

If the world doesn’t drastically reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and Americans don’t move to safer ground, the U.S. could suffer an eight-fold jump in average annual financial losses from hurricanes by 2100, the study found.

In the study, published Tuesday in the journal Environmental Research Letters, the scientists from Germany's Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research show that future hurricane-related losses for American families, companies and communities could grow faster than the overall U.S. economy — meaning the country won’t be able to counteract the damages from extreme weather events by creating more jobs and wealth.

“We find that hurricane losses have risen and will rise faster than the economy,” Tobias Geiger, the paper’s lead author and a climate scientist at the Potsdam Institute, told Mashable.

“The impacts of climate change cannot be simply economically outgrown," he said.

In the U.S. alone, hurricanes caused $400 billion in estimated losses between 1980 and 2014, accounting for more than half of all weather-related economic losses, the German reinsurance giant Munich Re estimated last year.

Damages from other extreme weather events — including floods, wildfires, tornadoes and droughts — are also on the rise due to both human-caused global warming and unchecked development into floodplains, fire-prone forests and waterfronts.


How to Milk a Bull! Bad bee science and activist capture at the FT

Here we go again!  A second rate correlation study gets published;

* Because it has the words “bees” and “pesticides” in the headline, the newly privatised research institute’s PR machine generates good media pick-up;

* Main media organisations interview the researchers (who seem to find the right apocalyptic vocabulary), but they have not read the study;

* The NGO activists, who might have read some of the news articles, go into campaign overdrive: buzz, buzz, buzz, spin, spin, spin;

* An activist from Friends of the Earth plants an editorial in the Financial Times;

* Green MEPs print up a banner announcing a bee-pocalypse and pose for a picture in Brussels.

Hasn’t anyone in the media learnt the skew of this cynical game yet? Have journalists abandoned responsibility to side with the tawdristic tirades of the activists? Has everyone given up the “investigate, research and then report” practices that I used to teach journalism students (back when there used to be journalism students)? Are journalists now merely opting to take part in campaign activism? I am afraid in a world where a media article’s success is measured according to social media viral lift there is little incentive for journalistic responsibility.
And the activists know this! They march their bull onto their stage and attempt to milk it. In the drama of the thumping about, no one even notices the bloody thing’s got horns. Conclusion: It can’t produce milk anymore and someone is to blame. Print, publish, promote!

Bee-awful: Correlation studies are not scientific

If I go into a poor neighbourhood wanting to confirm my prejudice that immigrants push drugs, I’ll find immigrants and I’ll find drugs. Such a correlation would make me a racist … or, according to the media, a scientist with firm evidence! There is no question of other factors, societal variables or complicating circumstances – the correlation gives what the researcher wants: a simplistic “Yes!”, headlines and a guaranteed publication.

A correlation study starts with a person having a bias, and then defining data parameters to confirm it, moving the bias to a conclusion. It should be used by scientists as a first step in determining whether a study should be conducted (eg, “I’m noticing that a lot of long-term smokers are developing certain cancers; maybe we should look into this”); but now, with the advent of activist science and the media attention garnered by white-coat celebrities like Stephanie Seneff and Dave Goulson, correlation studies have become sufficient to draw apocalyptic conclusions (and glorious reputation-enhancing headlines).

A recent correlation study by researchers mostly from the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH)  has drawn such headlines. The CEH started with a prejudice that wild bees are dying in the UK (nobody really knows how many species of wild bees there are in the UK, so apparently you can make that claim), and they attempted to correlate it to the increase in UK production of oilseed rape (and the parallel use of neonicotinoids).
This correlation study had a long list of inherent weaknesses, namely:

The claim of a wild bee decline was based on data collected by a loose organisation of volunteer enthusiasts who would spot bees and record them during their walks. There was no focus to systematically gather data for a determined study and there was no new research conducted. It was simply random data (although the authors of the study would prefer the euphemism: “not structured”) pushed through some statistical analysis “tool”.

Wild bee data is quite thin and not robust enough to make any legitimate conclusions (the numbers and number of species in the UK is simply not known). Wild bees became the subject of save-the-bee activist concern after campaigners stopped making the claim that honeybees were affected by neonicotinoids, because, well, data seemed to prove that they weren’t and some activist scientists couldn’t keep ignoring the facts.

The study did not consider the shifts in agricultural practices over the 18-year survey period that might have had a detrimental effect on biodiversity levels. How farmers rotated their crops was also not brought into the parameters.

The researchers did not consider the variation from different types of neonicotinoids, the exposure levels of each, the type of dosage … they simply grouped a class of different chemicals as: “neonicotinoids” and did not get deeper into the science.

In fact, the researchers did not actually consider neonicotinoids, how or when they were applied. They looked at oilseed rape production, assumed it was treated, and then correlated it to the random data from their amateur bee counting enthusiasts. If the farmers had treated OSR fields with the older, less efficient pyrethroid insecticides, many more bees surely would have perished! This was not taken into consideration.

The researchers seemed, frankly, immature. At one point, the publication went off on a tangent and postulated that similar conclusions could be made for the influence on bees from treated sunflowers, even though they had not studied that and had no data. The key researcher, Dr Nick Isaac, acknowledged in a blog how he had designed the methodology to show how much of the wild bee decline was due to exposure to neonicotinoids. I believe the correct term is “if”. Building bias into the research methodology at the outset is, simply put, activist science.

A wide range of variables were simply ignored: weather, parasites, viruses, nutrition, other predators, regional urban development … the researchers included nothing that would complicate a clear correlation to prove their hypothesis.

There were no other hypotheses made to open further scientific debate or add to the body of knowledge. For example, organic farmers have introduced nematodes into their integrated pest management programme to protect against the increase of certain insects, without realising that these nematodes have a taste for wild bee nests and have been hoovering up wintering bumble bees at an alarming rate.

They did not recognise the limits of a correlation study in the paper. What they presented was assumed as clear, factual conclusions on the state of wild bee health due to neonicotinoids (even putting it down to causal percentages). I could easily perform a correlation study that shows that honeybee populations have increased globally since the introduction of neonicotinoids, or that these bees are thriving in OSR areas not affected by Varroa mites, but I don’t see the point of using a flawed approach for some vain need to prove I’m right!

Scientists should consider other elements and not be driven to drawing prejudiced conclusions on limited and compromised data.

In short, the conclusion drawn from the CEH correlation study is at best: mediocre; at worst: shameful. Let me go out on a limb and say this is the worst study on bee health and pesticides that I have ever read: based on random data, bias built into the methodology, no research into the chemical class it aims to condemn, total ignorance of all variables that most scientists acknowledge to be the source of bee decline and no responsibility for the consequences of its contrived conclusions (which were aimed to draw media attention).

What happened next was, well, regrettable. The scientists at the CEH started giving interviews and writing blogs where they showed their juvenile innocence. Rather than saying that their correlation findings were interesting and needed further study before any responsible conclusions could be drawn, they started making clear conclusions that indicted neonicotinoids. Perhaps the journalists set them up; perhaps the media jumped to conclusions and twisted their statements out of context; perhaps anti-pesticide bias is so built into our agricultural narrative that nobody noticed the claims had no factual bearing.

Call in the opportunists! Did they consider the study’s weaknesses?

The media, the NGO activists and the Green politicians have decided to ride this bull for wide range of opportunities:
it fills a slow August news cycle;

the CEH and its young researchers have yet to be tainted as an activist science organisation;

its scientists apparently haven’t received media training yet;
the EU will be reassessing the data from their neonic ban in January (expect a slew of activist-funded scare studies published in November and December);

the Brexit result implies the risk that the UK government might actually think about the plight of farmers and regulate rationally.

Bee-mused: How did Friends of the Earth capture the Financial Times?

While this CEH publication was pressed on most mainstream media, the Financial Times spin in the editorial “In defence of bees: a pesticide ban is justified” (FT View, 16 August 2016)  was more than simply alarming. It was captured activism we would normally expect from campaign-driven outlets like Le Monde or the Guardian, but not the FT!

The author, assumedly an FT editor as it is uncredited, begins the defence of bees by praising a small, random bee-counting stunt by Friends of the Earth that identified 370,000 bees in the UK. How is that an impressive or accurate count worth starting the article – about one bee for every citizen in the British town of Bradford?

The article then introduces the CEH study:

“Now new research concludes that neonicotinoids — a group of pesticides chemically similar to the nicotine in tobacco — might have cut the presence of wild bees in the British countryside by up to 30 per cent since they became widely used on oilseed rape crops.”

So the FT says neonics don’t work. Hmmm, … citation please?

The CEH study does not actually say neonics are responsible for 30% of the wild bee deaths, and this headline shock factor is not even backed up with a link to the study or reference to it by name. So I guess the FT could say anything they want then!

The editorial then assumes the campaign attack position, declaring how much the global food supply depends on bees, that farmers don’t understand that neonicotinoids don’t work (no reference) and that the big industry players are lobbying hard to silence the critics. My other shoe dropped when I read:

“Policymakers should certainly treat the arguments put forward by pesticide manufacturers — whose tactics are compared by NGOs to those used in the past by tobacco companies — with scepticism.”

The source the FT referenced to justify likening pesticide manufacturers to Big Tobacco was none other than that same friendly bunch that counted all of those bees: Friends of the Earth (who published a rabid report in 2014 of loose innuendo on industry lobbying that was largely ignored and quickly forgotten … except, obviously, by the editor of the Financial Times!!!). At this point, does anyone not get that this article was ghost-written by Friends of the Earth?

The article concludes that the EU ban against neonicotinoids not only must be renewed in 2017, but made stronger, because, after all: “There are other ways to manage pests that deserve attention.” And that is the FT’s ‘defence of bees’!

This has to be, in my living memory, the worst example of activist capture of a main news organisation, and of all places, at the Financial Times. How did Friends of the Earth worm their way onto the FT’s editorial desk? Was the editor on holiday after inadvertently leaving the access codes on the Tube? Shouldn’t the author of this article, if he or she had followed FT standards, at least have read the CEH report (or perhaps bothered to do a Google search to provide a direct link)!

There was no critical analysis like the basic points drawn above. Instead, the FT editor chose to use the publication to make policy demands that are simplistic, harmful for agriculture and likely more detrimental to bee health when alternatives are considered.

While the Friends of the Earth lobbyists must be proud of their ability to plant this story in the FT, I suspect that its readers must be questioning such poor journalism and activist bias. This is some seriously sour bull-milk!

Milking that bull will only get you a heap of bullshit

When will we learn that the more we yank on that bull’s “teat”, the more noise you will make, perhaps with a show of muscle … but after all that work, you won’t get any milk. The save-the-bee activists have this bull by the balls and they are pumping away.

 For those who see that this heifer is a hoofer, it is quite amusing to watch them trying so hard. For the rest who have been deceived, including some readers of the FT, they keep expecting milk and are getting impatient.

In the end, all we get from them is bullshit!

Apologies: Some may have got the crude pun in the title – note that this is what I feel activists are actually doing with their silly bee campaign.

Also I know that many farmers read my blog so let me assure them that I am fully aware that some dairy cows do have horns and some bulls do not – I was succumbing to artistic license!



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1 comment:

TAC/slk said...

The link to Mashable is: http://mashable.com/2016/08/18/hurricanes-global-warming-damages/#GaF00y4pyPqY
The link you have listed goes to a "page not found".