Sunday, October 02, 2016

Energy Secretary Urges Congress To Pass Sweeping Climate Policy ...Before it's too late

A rather amusing article below by Mr Obama's remarkably hirsute Energy Secretary, Ernest Moniz.  Is the implied message that real scientists have lots of hair?

Be that as it may, he is a good propagandist. Note the dramatic language in the highlighted paragraph: Drastic, belched, surge, dramatically, breakneck, violent, devastasting, ferocity.

It all reminds me of that classic introduction to a novel:  "It was a dark and stormy night".  As Wikipedia says of it: "an often-mocked and parodied phrase  written by English novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton in the opening sentence of his 1830 novel Paul Clifford. The phrase is considered to represent "the archetypal example of a florid, melodramatic style of fiction writing."

And what Moniz writes certainly is fiction. Most of what he says would be reasonable if Warmist theory were correct but Moniz wisely does not address that.  He would be in a big pickle if he attempted it.  So instead he simply ends by saying "Trust me", in a complete parody of science

United States Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz on Monday slammed Congress for failing to pass the kind of sweeping climate legislation needed to transform an economy heavily addicted to planet-warming fossil fuels.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of New York City’s annual Climate Week, Moniz said the country needs a wide-ranging policy aimed at slashing carbon emissions across the whole economy.

“In the United States, we need Congress to step up and give a legislative underpinning,” Moniz said at the event, hosted at the TimesCenter in Midtown Manhattan. “I really believe economy-wide climate legislation is coming this decade.”

Also during his speech, Moniz hailed President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which targets carbon emissions from utility companies, as a positive step. The Environmental Protection Agency finalized the plan last August, but the Supreme Court in February blocked the regulation from moving forward.

Moniz warned, however, that a more holistic policy, with a clearer mandate from Congress, was needed to spur investors to tap a clean energy market that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said could be worth trillions.

“Electricity is the first sector we see being decarbonized,” Moniz said. “But we also have to do transportation. And we have to do industry.”

Without drastic cuts to carbon emissions belched by power plants, automobile tailpipes and farms, the world risks warming past 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, above pre-industrial levels. At that point, scientists predict polar ice will melt at a breakneck pace, causing sea levels to surge and climate patterns to change dramatically. Violent, unpredictable weather, devastating droughts and wildfires are expected to increase in frequency and ferocity.

But making those carbon cuts needs to factor in the people who depend on fossil fuel industries for employment. Ignoring the economic plight of coal communities, for instance, could become politically disastrous, Moniz said.

Already, Donald Trump ― the climate change-denying Republican presidential nominee, who has threatened to shut down the EPA and pull out of the historic global climate treaty signed in Paris earlier this year ― has made strong appeals to out-of-work miners, promising to scrap environmental regulations, like Obama’s Clean Power Plan, that make coal, by far the dirtiest fuel, too expensive.

“We cannot ignore the distributional issues,” Moniz said. “In this transformation, some lose jobs and some gain jobs. More jobs are being created, but not in the same place and not with the same people.”

Failing to provide new pathways to prosperity, such as the job-training programs proposed by Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, could dim the prospects for any wide-ranging climate policy, he added.

“Not only is it the right thing to do to address these issues, I think it’s a must-do for accelerating the transformation,” Moniz said. “Bluntly, the political headwinds will be much greater if we do not address these distributional issues of energy access and jobs in this country.”

Despite opposition from the Republican Party, the 71-year-old nuclear physicist said he remains hopeful that logic will prevail.

“We have to get there. I think we will get there,” he said. “I’m a physicist, so I’m optimistic it’ll happen. I believe in rationality. I believe in the laws of physics. Therefore, it’ll have to happen fairly soon. Trust me.”


Earth CO2 levels: Have we crossed a point of no return?

The article below is singularly brainless.  It can be summed up in one sentence:  "CO2 levels have been rising steadily so will probably continue to rise".  To which the obvious rejoinder is "So what?"  The only obvious effect of the rise so far is bigger crop yields and the greening of some desert areas -- hardly something to worry about.  CO2 has certainly had no effect on global temperature.  CO2 levels rose steadily throughout this century but temperatures remained flat until 2015.  They bobbed up and down but only by hundredths of one degree, which is insignificant by any criterion

Usually, September marks a low in the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. This concentration sets the bar over which levels of the greenhouse gas will fluctuate throughout the next year. But this September, CO2 levels are staying high, at around 400 parts per million, and many scientists think that we will not see levels of the greenhouse gas drop below that threshold within our lifetimes.

Earth has been steadily building up CO2 in the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution, but the 400 ppm landmark is creating a new normal that hasn't been seen on this planet for millions of years.

"The last time our planet saw 400 ppm carbon dioxide in our atmosphere was about 3.5 million years ago, and global climate was distinctly different than today," David Black, associate professor in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University in New York, tells The Christian Science Monitor in an email.

"In particular, the Arctic (north of 60°) was substantially warmer than present, and global sea level was anywhere between 15 and 90 feet higher than today," Professor Black says.

"It took millions of years for the atmosphere to reach 400 ppm CO2 back then, and it took millions of years for the atmospheric CO2 to drop to 280 ppm right before the industrial revolution. One of the things that really concerns climate scientists is we as humans have taken only a few centuries to do what nature took millions of years, and most of that change was just in the last 50-60 years."

While global concentrations have spiked above the 400 ppm level for several years, the summer growing season has always absorbed enough atmospheric CO2 through photosynthesis to keep concentrations below that mark for the bulk of the year.

As human activities – mainly the burning of fossil fuels – have flooded more CO2 into the atmosphere, however, the annual low point has inched closer and closer to that 400 ppm mark. This year, scientists fear that the planet may have reached a point of no return.

"Is it possible that October 2016 will yield a lower monthly value than September and dip below 400 ppm? Almost impossible," wrote Ralph Keeling, director of the program at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, in a blog post last week.

While CO2 levels have dipped below the previous September's benchmark in the past, such an occurrence is rare. Even if the world stopped producing carbon dioxide completely tomorrow, the gas would likely linger above the 400 ppm mark for years, scientists say.

"At best (in that scenario), one might expect a balance in the near term and so CO2 levels probably wouldn't change much — but would start to fall off in a decade or so," Gavin Schmidt, NASA’s chief climate scientist, told Climate Central. "In my opinion, we won’t ever see a month below 400 ppm."

While the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is cause for concern, it should be noted that the 400 ppm mark itself is more of a waypoint, rather than a hard line spelling doom for the global climate.

"It's a round number that people recognize," says Damon Matthews, environment professor at Concordia University in Montreal. "Also symbolic is that, in parallel with this increase in CO2, global temperatures have exceeded one degree above pre-industrial temperatures."

While these milestones are largely symbolic, they represent tangible illustrations of the trajectory the Earth's climate is following.


Green Bullies' Distortions Are Putting Businesses In The Red: A Call For Accountability

For too long, environmental activist organizations have unfairly inflicted huge economic harm on businesses by spreading misinformation and unfounded fearmongering. They are engaging in economic warfare on an international scale.

Alas, too often businesses have made the strategic mistake of avoiding engagement to limit the damage of the attacks. It is time businesses go on the offensive and use every lever available to expose and stop this massive, well-coordinated and dangerous fraud.

An outstanding example of how unfairly-attacked companies should respond is Resolute Forest Products, the world's largest producer of newsprint. It has courageously and boldly led the charge in fighting back through the courts. Others should follow suit.

In 2013, Resolute filed a defamation suit against Greenpeace in Ontario, Canada Superior Court which is still making its way through the court system there. Then this May the company filed a federal racketeering suit against Greenpeace in the United States.

According to the U.S. lawsuit, "Greenpeace and others working with it have aggressively targeted Resolute's customers with extortive threats and other illegal conduct. To identify those customers, Greenpeace employees and agents have impersonated Resolute employees, its customers, and others to illegally misappropriate proprietary customer and supply chain information."

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The damage Greenpeace has done to Resolute is undeniable. After a Greenpeace intimidation campaign, Best Buy dropped the company as its paper supplier. Greenpeace had gone so far as to tell its activists to write a "false product review on Best Buy's website. Be creative and make sure to weave in campaign issues!"

Greenpeace's own numbers estimated that it has done at least $100 million (Canadian) in damage to Resolute's bottom line.

"We have an obligation to our business ethics, and our many shareholders, customers, partners and stakeholders to draw the line after all other means have been exhausted," Resolute President and CEO Richard Garneau said when the company filed the racketeering lawsuit.

Bravo! All other companies should take the same stance. To ignore or accommodate these extremist organizations is to surrender to them. Companies owe it to their shareholders, their employees — and indeed to civilized society — to stop these malicious economic attacks. And the sad reality is that for far too long businesses have ceded the battle in the so-called court of public opinion and allowed the activists to frame the debate.

Take the extremist greens' completely unscientific crusade against genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Both the National Academy of Sciences and the World Health Organization have stated unequivocally that foods containing GMOs have never been found unsafe for human consumption. In June, more than 100 Nobel laureates signed a letter urging Greenpeace to drop its anti-GMO campaign because the scientific research proves beyond a doubt that GMOs are not harmful.

Yet despite the mountain of evidence which absolutely prove GMOs are safe, Greenpeace and other groups continue to convince the public that GMOs are a threat. A recent ABC News survey showed that only a third of Americans believed foods containing GMOs were safe.

It is even harder to win over the public when governments cowardly collude with activists. On the very day in March when more than a dozen state attorneys general accused Exxon-Mobil of "fraud" and "deceiving the American people" on climate change, New York's attorney general, who led that news conference, met secretly with environmental activist organizations to discuss how they could attack oil companies.

Email records show the New York AG's office urging activists "to not confirm that you attended or otherwise discuss the event" if reporters come calling.

Exxon-Mobil won the first round in its fight against these coordinated state attorneys general in getting the truth-ignoring ringleader of this assault, who hails from the U.S. Virgin Islands, to withdraw his unreasonable subpoena. It should continue to take the fight to the other states that are coordinating with the green activists.

Resolute Forest Products is awaiting the response to its racketeering suit against Greenpeace before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, but has already shifted the debate away from the Greenpeace messages against it to focus on the illegal activities being undertaken for the primary purpose of harming its bottom line.

Unfortunately, there are many other examples of environmental activists putting this same playbook to work.  Whether it's their "Our Forests Aren't Fuel" campaign against the wood pellet industry "in spite of the fact that (the industry) is helping the EU and UK meet their carbon reduction standards" or the coordinated efforts to force public institutions and pension funds to divest their fossil fuel related stocks "even though many of those investments have historically enjoyed among the biggest returns for their investors and their beneficiaries."

Sometimes, even the cover of the playbook can be tainted. That was the case when Al Gore was criticized for including a doctored photo of the globe on the cover of his book, "Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis." The cover incorporated an image with a reduction in the amount of visible polar ice as well as some artificial hurricanes pasted in, just to be sure readers were adequately alarmed.

In the court of public opinion, businesses often tend to make decisions based on ethical considerations and codes of conduct, as well as legal limits to which the activists do not feel the same obligation. The activists will say and do almost anything to inflict economic harm on their targets. The legal system remains the ultimate venue to address these attacks.

But companies should also be more aggressive in pushing the truth with the court of public opinion. I am encouraged by Resolute and Exxon-Mobil drawing the line and taking the fight to the environmental extremists. It is time more businesses stand up for themselves and their shareholders, fight back and force the activist environmental groups to pay a price for their corrupt behavior.


Solar Generated Less Than 1% of U.S. Electricity in First Half of 2016

Solar energy accounted for less than one percent of the total electricity generated in the U.S. during the first six months of 2016, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest Monthly Energy Review.

Table 7.2a of the report shows that the U.S. generated a total of 1,951,350 million kilowatthours (kWh) of electricity from January through June of this year. But solar-generated electricity made up only a small fraction of the total.

Natural gas accounted for the most electricity generated (655,490 million kWh), followed by coal (549,441 million kWh), nuclear (400,425 million kWh), conventional hydroelectric power (151,064 million kWh), wind (116,220 million kWh), and wood (19,712 million kWh).

Despite the falling costs and rising efficiency of solar panels, just 16,906 million kWh of electricity was generated by solar power during the first half of 2016, according to the EIA. That equals about 0.866 percent of the total of 1,951,350 million kWh generated during the period.


Greenie fantasies about power kill babies

Let's not beat about the bush.  The lost embryos were babies ready to go. They were just awaiting implantation into their mothers. And the cause of the blackout is equally clear.  Politicians blame the big storm but HOW did the storm cut all power? Easy and obvious:

South Australia gets 40% of its power from wind turbines -- but  wind turbines have to be turned off in high winds or they will fly to pieces.  So they were turned off.  But when you lose 40% of your power suddenly, there is no way out of disaster.

Had they kept their coal-fired generators going, they might have had a chance.  When they saw the storm coming -- and it was heavily predicted -- they could have spun up their coal generators and then turned the windmills off

SOUTH Australia’s power blackouts have destroyed embryos at Flinders Fertility leaving families heartbroken and medics distressed by their loss.

The Advertiser understands more than a handful of potential children became “unviable” because incubators at Flinders Fertility — which is based at Flinders Medical Centre — failed when the entire state’s power went down.

Health Minister Jack Snelling revealed on ABC 891 radio this morning “about 12 patients were affected”. It was also suggested up to 25 embryos were lost per patient.

Hospitals all have emergency generators, but the one at Flinders did not work for some minutes. A short but crucial period without power means those embryos, which were ready to be implanted, are no longer able to be used.

Flinders Fertility called it a “devastating” and “distressing” situation. There will be a review. Flinders Fertility assured families and patients that “cryopreserved material” – waiting for a later implantation date – was not affected.

In a statement they expressed their deepest sympathies to the families and said the loss of power compromised incubators, affecting a small number of patients.

“Despite every effort by our scientists, the embryos are no longer viable,” they said in a statement.

“This is a devastating situation for our patients, and very distressing for our staff.

“Flinders Fertility doctors have contacted patients directly, and individual support and counselling is being provided.”
SA Health Interim Chief Executive Vickie Kaminski.

Families will be given priority for further treatment and there will be no further costs to repeat fertility cycles.

SA Health Interim Chief Executive Vickie Kaminski said there was “an issue” with the generator, leading to battery-powered back-up; that meant that on Wednesday night 17 patients were transferred to Flinders Private Hospital.

Flinders Medical Centre expressed their sincerest condolences.  “We’re currently reviewing the circumstances that led to the Flinders Fertility laboratory being without power during part of Wednesday’s extreme weather event, a spokeswoman said.



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