Sunday, November 20, 2016

Pesky glaciers

Something a reader sent me reminded me of something I had forgotten.  He wrote:

A glacier is a river of ice flowing slowly to the sea, fed by the head waters due to a build up of pressure, the same as a river of liquid water. They even have currents and flow around boulders that will not break loose and the bottom and sides flow slower than the middle.  A glacier that has receded is due to a lack of new moisture at the source.

The central point in that is that glacial advance and retreat is primarily a function of precipitation.  Which means that a lack of snowfall  is what causes a glacier to shrink/retreat.  Warmists, by contrast, regularly attribute glacial retreat to warming, completely ignoring the fact that glaciers around the world wax and wane all the time, even when temperatures are plateaued.

And the really interesting thing about that is what causes fluctuations in snowfall.  There are many local factors but if we  are talking about global influences, what causes reduced snowfall is COOLING.  A warming world evaporate more water off the oceans and that water vapor would fall again as rain/snow. Conversely, a cooler world would evaporate less ocean water, leading to reduced precipitation.

Greenies rarely these days talk about melting glaciers except in the case of Greenland but next time you hear a Greenie talking about a shrinking glacier somewhere say to them:  "So we are having global cooling now, are we?"  It won't help your friendship, though.  I was once on quite good terms with a man who had a solid scientific background when some shrinking glaciers came up in conversation.  I started to explain to him the role of precipitation but he cut the conversation rather short and I have never heard from him again.  Warmists are fragile souls.  How sad is it that some simple scientific facts can upset someone!

Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club is having fun

He is just fundraising but it helps to have a villain.  So guess who got elected as the villain?  We read:

Breaking: In an organized stunt, a lackey of Myron Ebell - the head of Trump's EPA transition - just ripped up a copy of the Paris Climate deal next to a cardboard cutout of Trump. These people are laughing about the future of our planet. We cannot let them win. Fight back. Make a membership donation

Marc Morano seems peeved that he was not named.  He was just a "lackey".  He comments: "Tell Brune we are coming after the Sierra Club's nonprofit status .."

Green Elites, Trumped

Cautious praise from the WSJ

The planet will benefit if the climate movement is purged of its rottenness.

Hysterical, in both senses of the word, is the reaction of greens like Paul Krugman and the Sierra Club to last week’s election. “The planet is in danger,” fretted Tom Steyer, the California hedge funder who spends his billions trying to be popular with green voters.

Uh huh. In fact, the climate will be the last indicator to notice any transition from Barack Obama to Donald Trump. That’s because—as climate warriors were only too happy to point out until a week ago—Mr. Obama’s own commitments weren’t going to make any noticeable dent in a putative CO2 problem.

At most, Mr. Trump’s election will mean solar and wind have to compete more on their merits. So what?

He wants to lift the Obama war on coal—but he won’t stop the epochal replacement of coal by cheap natural gas, with half the greenhouse emissions per BTU.

He probably won’t even try to repeal an egregious taxpayer-funded rebate for wind and solar projects, because red states like this gimme too. But Republican state governments will continue to wind back subsidies that ordinary ratepayers pay through their electric bills so upscale homeowners can indulge themselves with solar.

Even so, the price of solar technology will continue to drop; the lithium-ion revolution will continue to drive efficiency gains in batteries.

Mr. Trump wants to spend on infrastructure, and the federal research establishment, a hotbed of battery enthusiasts, likely will benefit.

In a deregulatory mood, he might well pick up an uncharacteristically useful initiative from the Obama administration. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission quietly is revisiting a scientifically dubious radiation risk standard that drives up the cost of nuclear power.

What a Trump election will do is mostly dismantle a green gravy train powered by moral vanity that contributes nothing to the public welfare.

A phenomenon like Trump, whatever its antecedents, is an opportunity—in this case to purge a rottenness that begins at the commanding heights. The New York Times last year published a feature entitled “short answers to the hard questions about climate change” that was notable solely for ignoring the hardest question of all: How much are human activities actually affecting the climate?

This is the hardest question. It’s why we spend tens of billions collecting climate data and building computerized climate models. It’s why “climate sensitivity” remains the central problem of climate science, as lively and unresolved as it was 35 years ago.

Happily, it only takes a crude, blunderbussy kind of instrument to shatter such a fragile smugness—and if Mr. Trump and the phenomenon he represents are anything, it’s crude and blunderbussy.

As with any such shattering, the dividends will not be appropriated only by one party or political tendency.

Democrats must know by now they are in a failing marriage. Wealthy investors like George Soros,Nat Simons and Mr. Steyer, who finance the party’s green agenda, have ridden the Dems into the ground, with nothing to show for their millions, and vice versa.

On the contrary, the WikiLeaks release of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails only dramatizes what a liability they’ve become, demanding attacks on scientists and even loyal Democrats who don’t endorse their climate-disaster scenarios. Their anti-coal, anti-pipeline, anti-fracking stance especially hurts Dems with union households, which turned out in record numbers for Mr. Trump.

It was always crazy to believe in an unprecedented act of global central planning to wean nations away from fossil fuels, but equally idiotic not to notice that our energy economy is ripe slowly to be transformed by technology anyway.

One greenie who is beyond the need for handouts is Bill Gates, who has made himself non grata by saying the current vogue for subsidizing power sources that will always need subsidies is a joke—an admission of defeat.

Honest warriors like Mr. Gates and retired NASA alarmist James Hansen insist real progress can’t be made without nuclear. Why haven’t others? Because the Tom Steyers and Bill McKibbens would sacrifice the planet 10 times over rather than no longer be fawned over at green confabs. That’s rottenness at work.

There’s a reason today’s climate movement increasingly devotes its time and energy to persecuting heretics—because it’s the most efficient way to suppress reasoned examination of policies that cost taxpayers billions without producing any public benefit whatsoever.

The theory and practice of climate advocacy, on one hand, has been thoroughly, irretrievably corrupted by self righteousness—blame Al Gore, that was his modus. Yet, on the other, it has allowed itself to become the agent of economic interests that can’t survive without pillaging middle-class taxpayers and energy users—exactly the kind of elitist cronyism that voters are sick of.

Without attributing any special virtue to Mr. Trump, he represents a chance for a new start. He might even turn out to be good for the planet


The unhinged Steyer-funded CAP campaign against @RogerPielkeJr was a very great scandal

Pielke comments:

I haven’t had a chance to update this blog with anything related to the surprise (to me at least) at finding myself the subject of an email in the John Podesta email leaks from Wikileaks. That email revealed that an organization that was fouinded and led by Podesta, the Center for American Progress, engaged in a successful effort to have me removed as a writer at 538, the “data journalism” site created by Nate Silver.

The Boulder Daily Camera has a very good series of articles about the revelation that there was an organized political effort against me.

The multi-year campaign against me by CAP was partially funded by billionaire Tom Steyer, and involved 7 writers at CAP who collectively wrote more than 160 articles about me, trashing my work and my reputation. Over the years, several of those writers moved on to new venues, including The Guardian, Vox and where they continued their campaign focused on creating an evil, cartoon version of me and my research.

Collectively, they were quite successful. The campaign ultimately led to me being investigated by a member of Congress and pushed out of the field.

One example of CAP’s campaign involved a series of over-the-top protestations against a paper that I wrote in 2008 with climate scientist Tom Wigley and economist Chris Green. In it, we argued that the IPCC had baked in too much assumed decarbonization in its scenarios of future emissions and policies.

CAP responded with multiple posts, such as the unhinged, “Why did Nature run Pielke’s pointless, misleading, embarrassing nonsense?” There were many more.

I am happy to report that sometimes good science wins out in the end. Our paper has now been cited almost 250 times (Google Scholar). More importantly, our analysis now shows up in the scenarios being used for the 6th assessment of the IPCC. Here is a key figure from our paper (on the left) and a virtually identical one from the recent IPCC scenario paper

It is not important to understand the details here (but if you’d like to, our paper is here in PDF), but it is abundantly clear that our analysis was the basis for that used by those who have created the next generation of IPCC scenarios. Our paper is not cited by the IPCC authors – that apparently would be a step too far, given how deeply the campaign of destruction against me has influenced how I am perceived.

But no matter. The ideas that we first presented in 2008, trashed by those who for whatever reason were intent of a campaign of personal destruction, now show up in 2016 as being core to those of the IPCC.

That is pretty sweet.

More HERE  (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

Three Climate Policy Executive Orders the President-Elect Should Repeal

President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to “cancel immediately” all of President Obama’s “illegal and overreaching executive orders,” and he strongly opposes Obama’s climate agenda. Will Obama’s climate policy executive orders be among the first on Trump’s chopping block?

Here are three prime targets for repeal, beginning with the most recent.

*    Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade (March 19, 2015). This order requires federal buildings to obtain at least 30 percent of their electricity from renewables by 2030. All new federal buildings constructed in that year must be “energy net-zero,” meaning their energy consumption must be “balanced by onsite renewable energy.” Also in 2030, 50 percent of all new passenger vehicles in agency fleets must be zero-emission and plug-in hybrid vehicles. To carry out those and many other requirements, agencies must establish “chief sustainability officers” to implement “green supply chain management” under the tutelage of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. In addition to using our tax dollars to expand the federal trough for green special interests, the order is a consciousness-raising exercise. If kept in place, it will help perpetuate climate-centric groupthink in federal agencies.
*    Climate Resilient International Development (September 23, 2014). “This order requires the integration of climate-resilience considerations into all United States international development work to the extent permitted by law.” The main problem here is that development is the best strategy for making poor countries more resilient, and affordable energy is critical to development. Elevating “climate-resilience considerations” too easily becomes an excuse to deny poor countries access to affordable energy, ignore the real causes of poverty (corruption, lack of strong property rights), and legitimize phony grievances against the fossil energy-rich United States.
*    Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change (November 1, 2013). This order requires federal agencies to promote “engaged and strong partnerships and information sharing at all levels of government” to help “safeguard our economy, infrastructure, environment, and natural resources” from climate change impacts. Agencies are to “support and encourage smarter, more climate-resilient investments by States, local communities, and tribes, including by providing incentives through agency guidance, grants, technical assistance, performance measures, safety considerations, and other programs, including in the context of infrastructure development.” In other words, the order directs agencies to recruit, indoctrinate, bankroll, and coordinate climate activists at all levels of government. Perhaps a better title for the order is “Mobilizing the Long March through the Institutions.”



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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