Thursday, September 29, 2016

Greenie bank tottering

Germans are the original environmentalists.  They have been walking around naked in their forests -- and feeling good about it -- for over 100 years.  Even Hitler adopted Greenie ultimate goals of primitive bliss.  So modern environmentalism could well be said to be a German invention.

It is therefore no surprise that a major German bank, Deutsche Bank,  has been active in promoting environmentalism. They frequently proclaim the truth of Warmism, for instance.  And their investments must be "ecologically responsible", of course.  No building of dams to benefit poor people in India and Africa. Below is an excerpt from the front page blurb on their site:

Environmental and climate protection are among the most pressing global challenges of our time. We take these concerns into account in all aspects of our business, including minimising our own ecological footprint. Using our expertise in the areas of energy and climate change, we support the development of a more sustainable world economy

Pretty clear.  But it is an an old adage that if your theories are wrong, you won't get the results you expect.  And that seems to have happened to this group of cabbage-heads. We read:

"Deutsche Bank shares have finally climbed today after falling to a historic low amid mounting fears for the future of Germany's top bank.

Companies in the FTSE 100 index saw £23billion wiped off their value yesterday as investors dumped financial stocks.

The sell-off was triggered by reports that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had ruled out a government rescue of troubled lender Deutsche Bank.

The bank has lost more than half its value in the past year as it struggles to cope with low interest rates and sluggish growth.

Deutsche Bank shares fell another 7.5 per cent to a record low yesterday, dragging other finance stocks down with it.

This morning they fell to €10.25 amid warnings that a dip below €10 per share would take the bank into the realm of a risky investment. However, by this afternoon, shares had risen to €10.63 before the market closed at €10.51 - down 0.4%.

The FTSE 100 Index was down 10.37 points to 6,807.67, as London-listed lenders were dragged lower by the negative sentiment surrounding the German bank"

Instead of lending money to foster "Green" projects, they should have lent to the most promising commercial projects.  And instead of worrying about the environment, they should have been worrying about cyclic downturns in the economy.  But they did not do that so they got results they did not expect.  Their theories about what was important were wrong.

Deutsche could have learned from Australian banks. Australian banks are the world's soundest banks.  In 2008 when banks worldwide were falling over and being rescued by their governments, Australian banks just kept on making profits as usual.  I know.  I had and have shares in most of them.

So how did the Oz banks do it?  By sticking to their knitting.  They just concentrated on lending to people who were most likely to pay it back.  No political lending. No Greenie activism.  Pretty simple!

Will lobster soon be off the menu for good? Scientists warn warmer waters could kill off crustaceans

Yet another stupid food shortage scare. In a warmer world, heat intolerant organisms would simply move polewards.  And lobsters can swim, you know, so that would not challenge them.  The lobsters studied below could not swim North because scientists had them trapped in tanks.  It was a totally unnatural environment of zero generalizability

Baby lobsters might not be able to survive in the ocean's waters if the ocean continues to warm at the expected rate.

That is the key finding of a study performed by scientists in Maine, the state most closely associated with lobster.

The scientists, who are affiliated with the University of Maine Darling Marine Center and Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, said the discovery could mean bad news for the future of one of America's most beloved seafood treats, as well as the industry lobsters support.

The scientists found that lobster larvae struggled to survive when they were reared in water 5 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the temperatures that are currently typical of the western Gulf of Maine, a key lobster fishing area off of New England.

Five degrees is how much the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change expects the Gulf of Maine's temperature to warm by the year 2100.

The paper appears this month in the scientific journal ICES Journal of Marine Science.

According to a new study in Maine, lobster larvae struggle to survive in waters just 5 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than current temperatures in the western Gulf of Maine.

And, this is just how much these waters are expected to warm by the year 2100.

The study's authors found higher temperatures caused baby lobsters to develop faster — something that could help them avoid predators in the wild — but few survived.

But, acidification had almost no effect on young lobsters' survival.

It could serve as a wake-up call that the lobster fishery faces a looming climate crisis that is already visible in southern New England, said Jesica Waller, one of the study's authors.

'There has been a near total collapse in Rhode Island, the southern end of the fishery, and we know our waters are getting warmer,' Waller said.

'We are hoping this research can be a jumping off point for more research into how lobsters might do over the next century.'

Right now, the country's lobster catch is strong, prices are high and steady and the industry is opening up new markets in Asia, where a growing middle class is hungry for one of America's seafood status symbols.

U.S. fishermen have topped 100 million pounds of lobster for seven years in a row after having never previously reached that mark, and their catch topped a half billion dollars in value at the docks for the first time in 2014.

But signs of the toll warming waters can do to the fishery are noticeable in its southern reaches, where scientists have said rising temperatures are contributing to the lobsters' decline.

The lobster catch south of Cape Cod fell to about 3.3 million pounds in 2013, 16 years have it peaked at about 22 million in 1997.

The study's authors found higher temperatures caused baby lobsters to develop faster — something that could help them avoid predators in the wild — but few survived.

They performed the work by raising more than 3,000 baby lobsters from the moment they hatched.

The authors said the study is the first of its kind to focus on how American lobsters will be impacted by warming waters and the increasing acidification of the ocean in tandem.

The study found that acidification had almost no effect on young lobsters' survival, Waller said.

Michael Tlusty, an ocean scientist with the Anderson Cabot Center at the New England Aquarium, said the study is especially important because it considered both warming and changing ocean chemistry.

'This is the type of work that really needs to be done,' said Tlusty, who was not affiliated with the study.

'The oceans are not changing one parameter at a time.'


Who is guarding the (dictatorial) guards?

Regulators mete out fines and stymie growth, but are rarely punished for their own misconduct

Paul Driessen

Several years ago, Wells Fargo Bank discovered that employees had boosted sales, by opening some 2 million deposit and credit card accounts without customer knowledge or authorization. Over the next few years, the bank fired more than 5,000 employees for misconduct and reimbursed customers $2.6 million in fees that they may have incurred on the bogus accounts.

Insufficient response and retribution, regulators and politicians howled. They played no role in uncovering the fraud, but they are hounding bank officials and demanding $185 million in fines.

In another action, the Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Trade Commission and State of California agreed to a $14.7 billion settlement with Volkswagen, to compensate 482,000 buyers who bought diesel cars that the company illegally made appear less polluting than they actually were.

“This settlement shows that EPA is committed to upholding standards to protect public health, enforce the law and protect clean air,” said Administrator Gina McCarthy. But it’s just a “partial settlement,” a “first step” in holding VW accountable for breaching “the public’s trust,” added DOJ Deputy AG Sally Yates.

Meanwhile, Ms. Yates wants prosecutors to employ the Responsible Corporate Officers Doctrine (or Park Doctrine) more often, to hold executives individually accountable for the actions of company employees, without requiring that the government prove the execs intended to break any laws – or even that senior managers were negligent or didn’t even know someone in the company was violating a law.

Hillary Clinton is incredibly lucky the Park Doctrine doesn’t apply to her. Just imagine FBI Director James Comey’s dilemma if he couldn’t use the “no intent to violate the law” excuse. In fact, countless government officials – including Ms. McCarthy and IRS Commissioner John Koskinen – are blessed beyond measure that standards they routinely use against American citizens don’t apply to them. In fact, very few laws or regulations apply to the lawmakers and regulators who concoct and impose them.

No one should be victimized by corporate fraud, negligence or incompetence. But neither should they be victimized by negligent, incompetent or criminal actions of government agencies and bureaucrats, or of third parties they hire to validate their policies and agendas. Those actions also breach the public trust.

Equally fundamental and essential, policies and rules that affect our livelihoods, living standards and liberties must be based on honesty, accountability, evenhanded application, and verifiable evidence.

Those basic guidelines are patently ignored today, as countless examples demonstrate beyond doubt.

The IRS repeatedly abused its power in targeting conservative groups. But then Lois Lerner’s emails mysteriously disappeared, she took the Fifth and retired with full pension, “two employees on the night shift” deleted the email backup tapes (with no repercussions) and Mr. Koskinen steadfastly refuses to cooperate with congressional investigators. No Park Doctrine for any of them.

Abuses are rampant throughout federal, state and local governments, as news accounts constantly attest. Incompetence, fraud and public trust violations just in the environmental arena are mind-numbing.

On August 5, 2015, an EPA-hired crew negligently reopened the Gold King Mine above Silverton, Colorado and unleashed a 3,000,000-gallon toxic flashflood that contaminated rivers all the way to Lake Powell in Utah. EPA waited an entire day before notifying the public, offered apologies but only minimal compensation, refused to fire, fine or demote anyone – and issued a report that whitewashed the agency’s incompetence and even scrubbed the names of EPA on-site coordinator Hayes Griswold and his team.

But it’s on the regulatory front that the duplicity, exaggeration, fabrication and betrayal of our public trust are really outrageous – and used to amass more power and control over our energy, economy, job creation and living standards, close down companies and industries that regulators detest, and advance crony corporatist deals with favored entities, regardless of costs or impacts on jobs, health and welfare.

EPA is determined to make our air not merely safe or healthy, but pristine, with no human pollutants. Since 1970, US cars have reduced tailpipe pollutants by 99% and coal-fired power plants have eliminated 92% of their particulate, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions. That’s still not enough, says EPA.

To promote its claim that any soot and dust particles are deadly, the agency employs “epidemiological” studies that attempt to link slightly higher death and pollution rates in different locales – and attribute the difference to manmade particulates. However, it is impossible to distinguish health effects due to vehicle, refinery or power plant pollutants from scores of natural pollutants, or to tell whether a death was caused by pollution or by bacteria, obesity, smoking, diabetes or countless other factors.

So to augment its baseless claims, EPA employed illegal experiments on people. But even when its human guinea pigs breathed up to 30 times more particulates than the agency insists are lethal, no one died. Apparently, air pollutants are a health hazard when they come from cars, refineries or coal-fired power plants – but not when they are administered in massive quantities by researchers hired by EPA.

EPA gets away with this by having activist groups posing as scientific bodies rubberstamp its pseudo-science. Since 2000, it has paid the American Lung Association more than $25 million, given its “independent” Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee members over $181 million, and let CASAC deny membership to industry or other experts who might question EPA findings.

EPA also wants to regulate all ponds, puddles, creeks, ditches and other “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) that are even remotely connected to a navigable waterway. That way it can control nearly all land uses and family, farm and industrial activities in the USA – based on equally specious “science” regarding supposedly dangerous pollutants that might get into drinking water or wildlife habitats.

The junk science really goes into hyperdrive on climate change. Of course, it’s not just EPA. Virtually every Executive Branch agency has been enlisted in President Obama’s campaign to use “dangerous manmade climate change” to justify fundamentally transforming our nation’s energy, economic, legal and constitutional systems: from NASA and NOAA, to Agriculture and Interior, and even the Defense Department and Securities and Exchange Commission. The agenda overrides science and ethics.

EPA’s 54.5 mpg dictate for vehicles will force millions into smaller, lighter, plasticized cars that will not survive collisions with walls, trees, trucks and buses – causing thousands more serious injuries and deaths every year. That human toll is ignored in the agency’s “social cost of carbon” reports. So are the absence of hurricanes hitting the US mainland for 11 years, no rise in average global temperatures for 18 years, followed by a couple tenths of a degree since then, and the barely seven inches per century in Real World sea level rise, contrary to climate models and White House, EPA, IPCC and Al Gore assertions.

Equally absurd, these regulators are hobbling the US economy, while China, India and other developing nations produce and use increasing amounts of oil, natural gas and coal every year. Perhaps worse:

Federal regulations cost US businesses and families $1.9 trillion per year – with EPA alone accounting for $353 billion of that. This is a major reason for America’s anemic 1.1% annual economic growth and its worst labor participation rate in decades. As always, poor and minority families are hit hardest. And far too many of these regulations and costs are based on questionable, fabricated, even fraudulent science.

To top it off, illegal, unethical collusion has also become rampant at EPA: in sue and settle lawsuits, Alaska’s Pebble Mine permits, the Clean Power Plan, and helping climate activists with fund raising.

If these actions were committed by a private corporation, EPA and Justice Department SWAT teams would come after its executives, with no intent, negligence or knowledge required. But Ms. McCarthy and her staff have not been held to any such Park Doctrine standards – at least not yet.

Perhaps that explains why so many DC insiders are outraged (and maybe quaking in their boots) over the prospect that an unpredictable Washington outsider might become the next US sheriff.

Via email

Political Science: A Reply to the 375 Concerned Members of the National Academy of Sciences


Some 375 political activists attached to the National Academy of Sciences, supporting the totalitarian view on the climate question, have recently issued an open letter saying we “caused most of the historical increase in atmospheric levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases.”

In fact, the extent of our influence on climate is not “settled science.” Only 0.3% of twelve thousand papers published in learned journals claimed that recent warming was mostly manmade. The 375 activists are entitled to their opinion, but the scientific community’s peer-reviewed results overwhelmingly fail to endorse their narrow view that recent warming was predominately manmade.

True, we influence climate, by returning to the air some of the carbon dioxide that was there before. But so do termites, by emitting more methane than all the world’s farm animals combined. So do plants, by taking carbon dioxide; storing the carbon in leaves, stems, and trunks; and returning the oxygen to the air. So does the Sun, by supplying nearly all the Earth’s radiant energy. So do volcanoes, by emitting hot rocks that warm the air and ejecta that shade the Earth from the Sun and cause cooling. So do the oceans, by helping to keep the Earth’s temperature within a few degrees either side of the period mean for more than 800,000 years.

The activists say we are warming the oceans. But in the first 11 full years of the least ill-resolved dataset we have, the 3500+ Argo bathythermograph buoys, the upper mile and a quarter of the world’s oceans warmed at a rate equivalent to just 1 Celsius degree every 430 years, and the warming rate, negligible at the surface, rises faster the deeper the measurements are taken. The oceans are warming not from above, which they would if we were warming the air and the air was warming the oceans, but from below.

The activists say we are warming the lower atmosphere. Yet on all datasets, the atmosphere is warming at less than half the rate originally predicted by their fellow-activists at the error-prone Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — who have a vested interest in overstating the supposed extent of our influence on climate. For, otherwise, the Panel would be – as it should now be – abolished. The Panel is political, but science is not science unless it is scientific, and unless it is free, in particular, from the political totalitarianism that sullenly insists that only one opinion – the Party Line – may be uttered.

The activists say the oceans are “acidifying.” The truth is that, aside from a few transects and a few local studies, science has no idea whether or at what rate the oceans are “acidifying.” What is known, however, is that the oceans are not acid (as rainwater is): they are pronouncedly alkaline. It is also known that, under anything like modern conditions, they are so powerfully buffered that alkaline they must remain.

The activists say our influence on climate is evident in “altered rainfall patterns,” but in this they are at odds with their fellow-activists at the ill-fated Intergovernmental Panel, whose special report on extreme weather (2012) and whose fifth and most recent (2013) Assessment Report on the climate question find little or no evidence of a link between our industries and enterprises on the one hand and global rainfall patterns on the other.

The activists say we are to blame for retreating Arctic sea ice. But Arctic sea ice variations, if objectively quantified with proper error estimates, are fully within the large natural range of changes that have no need of any unique explanation by rising atmospheric carbon dioxide. In addition, Antarctic sea ice, which they somehow do not mention, has largely offset the loss of Arctic ice.

True scientists, like any other citizens, are entitled and even encouraged to take part in the political process, and to state their opinions. This applies to non-USA-citizens, which many of the 375 are. What true scientists must not do, however, is pretend, as the activists did, that their totalitarian point of view is unchallengeable. In all material respects, unfolding events have proven their extremist viewpoint prodigiously exaggerated at best, plain wrong at worst.

Specifically, the activists complain that, during the presidential primary campaign, “claims were made that the Earth is not warming.” Yet early in the primary campaign it was correct to say the Earth had not been warming for almost 19 years. More recently there has been a naturally-occurring El Niño event, which has raised the trend a little, but it remains true that the early predictions of medium-term warming were badly exaggerated.

The activists declare their faith in the doctrine “that the problem of human-caused climate change is real, serious and immediate, and that this problem poses significant risks” to everything from national security via health and agriculture to biodiversity. But this statement is based wholly on faith and is unsupported by reality. We know this because of the serially failed predictions made by alarmists.

The activists say, “We know that the climate system has tipping points.” Yet, revealingly, “Tipping point” is not a scientific but a political term. The activists say that “rapid warming of the planet increases the risk of crossing climatic points of no return,” but there is no evidence for rapid warming of the planet today. At the end of the Maunder Minimum, the Earth’s atmosphere warmed more rapidly in response to the naturally-occurring recovery of solar activity from 1695-1735 than it has warmed in any subsequent 40-year period. There is nothing unprecedented either about today’s global temperatures or about the rate at which those temperatures have been changing.

The activists say warmer weather will “possibly” set in motion “large-scale ocean circulation changes.” The scientific truth is that, while the wind blows, the Earth rotates and its land-masses are approximately where they are, the ocean circulation must remain much as it is now. To suggest otherwise is mere rodomontade.

The activists say warmer weather will cause “the loss of major ice sheets.” But if the great ice sheet that covered most of North America to a depth of two miles had not melted owing to naturally-occurring global warming 10,000 years ago, where would the United States be today? Antarctic snowfall accumulation has not exhibited a massive meltdown over the past 40 to 60 years, and there has been no change to speak of in northern-hemisphere snow cover. There is little evidence that the tiny global warming that has occurred is at all likely to have major effects, whether on the cryosphere or on anything else, and still less evidence that those effects would be deleterious, and still less that, even if they were deleterious, the proposed measures to prevent them would make any detectable difference, and still less that, even if proposed measures might work, the imagined benefits would exceed the extravagant cost of their implementation.

The activists are also wrong in their assertion that any appreciable human influence on the climate will be detectable for many thousands of years. Their fellow activists on the Panel say that very nearly all of the feedbacks from the small warming that may be caused by our enriching the atmosphere with plant food act over timescales of hours to – at most – decades.

The activists are wrong to state that “it is of great concern that the Republican nominee for President has advocated U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Accord.” On the scientific evidence to date, it is abundantly clear that the original predictions made by the totalitarians were extreme exaggerations; that, though the world may warm a little, it will not warm a lot; that adding CO2 to the air will be of benefit to plants in reducing their need for water, which is why the world’s desert regions are beginning to green; and that the cost of futilely playing Canute with the climate is 10-100 times greater than the cost of any realistically foreseeable net disbenefit from warmer weather.

It would, therefore, be entirely proper for a presidential candidate to argue that the United States should withdraw from the Paris climate treaty, except for one inconvenient truth. The United States has not ratified the treaty. Any such ratification requires a two-thirds majority of the Senate, and the collapse of the totalitarians’ scientific case for “climate action” now renders any such two-thirds majority impossible to achieve.

Though the activists have attempted – falsely and improperly – to convey the impression that it is somehow illegal, immoral or damaging to the planet to vote for the Republican party’s candidate in the forthcoming presidential election because he disagrees with the totalitarian position on the climate question that they espouse with such religious fervor and such disregard for science, in truth it is not the business of scientists to abuse the authority of their white lab-coats by collectively suggesting that “Science” demands the voters should or should not cast their vote in any particular direction.

Therefore, the signatories hereto repudiate the letter issued by the 375 activists as reflecting not scientific truth but quasi-religious dogma and totalitarian error; we urge the voters to disregard that regrettable and anti-scientific letter; and we invite every citizen to make up his or her own mind whom to elect to the nation’s highest office without fear of the multifarious bugaboos conjured into terrifying but scientifically unjustifiable existence by the totalitarian activists who have for decades so disrespected, disgraced and disfigured climate science.


Comunity organizer and high school dropout meet to discuss the weather

President Obama will meet with actor Leonardo DiCaprio at an upcoming White House-sponsored arts festival to discuss the dangers posed by climate change.

The two will meet at South by South Lawn (a play on the media and music festival South by Southwest) on Oct. 3 to talk about "the importance of protecting the one planet we've got for future generations," according to the White House website.

Joining them will be climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe. The festival also will include the U.S. premiere screening of "Before the Flood," DiCaprio's National Geographic documentary about his time raising climate change awareness around the globe as a U.N. ambassador of peace. Many scientists blame greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels for driving manmade climate change.

DiCaprio has made combating climate change his pet project, which he made abundantly clear last year when he dedicated his Oscar acceptance speech to the issue.

South by South Lawn also will feature appearances from the young cast of Netflix's "Stranger Things" and folk group the Lumineers, among others.



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


No comments: