Wednesday, November 09, 2016

The Weather Channel video uses young kids to promote ‘global warming’ fears

The Weather Channel released a climate change video featuring young children attempting to convince their parents of the seriousness of the issue. The video, entitled ‘When Kids are Talking Climate – Maybe it’s Time to Listen!’ was released on November 1, 2016.


Kids: ‘Dear Mom and Dad: ‘The science is clear’

‘It rains harder now’
‘Sea levels are rising’
‘This is about our families health’
‘Climate change is real, it’s bad and it’s caused by humans.’
‘97% of scientists agree that global warming started decades ago.’
‘Dear Mom and Dad, science says that the impact of climate change could be very catastrophic during my lifetime.’
‘Rising sea levels would displace millions.’
‘A major threat to national security.’
‘Hottest year on record.’

Note: All of these climate change claims put forth by the kids (and the adults) are easily debunked. Here is Climate Depot’s official climate talking points file, just released. CLIMATE TRUTH FILE: 2016: Skeptical Talking Points from A-Z on Global Warming – Point-By-Point

And all of these climate claims are addressed in the new skeptical film ‘Climate Hustle’ out on DVD now.


The Battle for our Grasslands and Livestock

By Viv Forbes, Albrecht Glatzle and others

Grasslands and arable land cover just 10% of Earth’s surface but (with the oceans) they produce all of our food and fibre. But the productivity and health of our grasslands, farms and livestock are under threat from global warming alarmists and green preservationists.

We are afflicted by climate crazies and methane madness. It is poor public policy that condones restrictions on grazing operations, or taxes on grazing animals, based on disputed theories that claim that bodily emissions from farm animals will cause dangerous global warming.

New Zealand was the first cattle country to propose a “livestock fart tax”. Four hundred farmers then drove 20 tractors to the Parliament in Wellington waving placards and banners saying “STOP THE FART TAX”. The proposal was laughed out of Parliament. But the war on farmers and livestock continues.

Ruminants such as sheep, cattle and goats cannot make long-term additions to the gases in the atmosphere - they just recycle atmospheric carbon and nitrogen nutrients in a cycle-of-life that has operated for millennia.

Grazing ruminant animals with their emission products have always been part of healthy grasslands. Only when large numbers of animals are fed artificially and confined on the one patch of land do pollution problems appear.

Many otherwise genuine environmentalists are assisting the destruction of grasslands with their native pastures and endangered grass birds. Blinded by their love for the trees, they neglect the grasses, legumes, herbs and livestock that provide their food. In Australia they pass laws to protect weedy eucalypts invading the grasslands but ignore the valuable and declining Mitchell grass that once dominated Australia’s treeless plains.

Grasslands are also under threat from cultivation for biofuel crops, from subsidised carbon credit forests and from the remorseless encroachment of fire-prone government reserves and pest havens.

Trying to control atmospheric carbon-bearing gases with taxes is futile and anti-life. Even if carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere doubled, or more, the climate effect if any, is probably beneficial (warmer at night and near the poles and with more moisture in the atmosphere). More importantly, all life on Earth already benefits from the additional CO2 plant nutrient in the atmosphere, and would benefit even more were CO2 levels to double.

Nitrogen is the most abundant natural gas in the atmosphere, inhaled in every breath and an essential component of all protein. Grazing livestock merely recycle a few compounds of nitrogen, all of which either return to the atmosphere or provide valuable nitrogen fertilisers for the plants they graze on.

We also have the modern methane madness. Mobs of grazing ruminants have been roaming the grasslands since cave-man days. Methane has also been seeping from marshes, bubbling out of oceans, leaking from coal seams and oil seeps and being released in huge quantities from volcanoes. So what more can a few domestic cows and sheep do to affect this? Methane from domestic ruminants is a non-problem.

It is a foolish and costly fantasy to believe that Earth’s climate can be controlled by passing laws, imposing taxes, attempting to manipulate the bodily emissions of farm animals or trying to prevent farmers from clearing woody weeds invading their pastures.


Germany says coal to remain relevant

Germany’s economy minister says his country will not be phasing out brown coal before 2040, as the government looks to ways to ensure minimisation of job losses in coal regions.

This reinforces the message coming from the government in early summer. In June Berlin distanced itself from initial proposals to set out a timetable to exit coal-fired power production "well before 2050" as part of a national climate action plan.

Now it plans to set up a committee for climate protection and structural change that will deal with how to exit brown coal production while ensuring jobs for the affected regions.

The committee will be asked to come up with proposals by 2018.

The German government has pledged to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 95 per cent compared to 1990 by the middle of the century.

Domestic hard coal mining are expected to cease in 2018 and Germany's coal miners and users expect the country's last brown coal mines to close by around 2045.


House science chairman gets heat in Texas race for being a global warming skeptic

In the race for the White House, the climate change debate has been more or less missing in action. In the race for a central Texas House seat, the Democrat hoping to topple 30-year incumbent Republican Lamar Smith has made global warming his top campaign issue.

Democrat Tom Wakely is campaigning as a champion of climate science in a year when Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump — and most other candidates for Congress, for that matter — have barely touched on the issue, in what is shaping up to be the hottest year on record.

Wakely has seized on a theme that has defined Smith’s run in Washington as chairman of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology: He’s a climate change skeptic.

Smith, 68, an attorney from San Antonio who’s represented the area northwest of the city since 1987, rejects the scientific consensus that man-made pollution is behind global warming. He’s used his perch as committee chairman to subpoena federal climate scientists to discredit their research, issuing a record number of legal summonses this Congress and turning a panel that was once a sleepy backwater into an aggressive attack dog.

This has made Smith a polarizing figure in Washington, beloved by oil and gas interests who give generously to his campaigns and vilified by those fighting to reduce global warming pollution.

Now his attacks on scientists are percolating back home in a district buffeted in recent years by drought and water shortages. And while Smith does not often highlight his views on climate change on the campaign trail, Wakely, a little-known Democratic activist, saw an opening this year.

“Lamar Smith is the major impediment to anything being done on climate change in Congress and absolutely nobody is talking about it,” said the 63-year-old Air Force veteran and former union organizer who supported Bernie Sanders. “People in this district are slowly getting the message that climate change is not a far left wing conspiracy.”

Wakely has little shot at unseating Smith, who is running for a 16th term in a safely red district.

But his campaign isn’t the only sign that Smith’s stance on global warming is raising some eyebrows back home. Smith has long won the support of local newspapers. But this year, his hometown paper, the San Antonio Express-News, refused to endorse him for re-election, citing his “bullying tactics” on climate change.

“We’ve argued that Smith’s undeniably conservative credentials have been a good fit for the 21st congressional District,” the editorial board wrote on Oct. 17. “However, Smith’s actions have developed more transparently this term into an issue that goes beyond the boundaries of his district. A particular issue is his abuse of his position as chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. Specifically, it is his bullying on the issue of climate change that should concern all Americans.” The Express-News is one of Texas’s largest newspapers.

The editorial cited Smith’s threat to Kathryn Sullivan, chief of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of criminal charges if she did not release her scientists’ internal communications about a landmark study they released last year refuting the long-held view of a  global warming pause.

The Express-News did not endorse Wakely, though, saying he is not a good fit for the conservative district.

Texas’s 21st, which stretches from parts of San Antonio to parts of Austin through rural Hill Country, has been safely red for years, thanks to redistricting that has given Republicans a generous electoral advantage.

Smith was one of the first members of Congress to endorse Donald Trump and has stood by the nominee, who is favored to win central Texas. Like Trump, he says the U.S. has not done enough to secure the border with Mexico and is co-sponsoring legislation to keep out Syrian refugees.

This Congress, Smith has shown a willingness to go beyond the boundaries of the science committee’s traditional jurisdiction, subpoenaing attorneys general and environmental groups investigating whether oil giant ExxonMobil covered up what it knew of the dangers of climate change and launching an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state. He has also demanded records from the Environmental Protection Agency to undermine President Obama’s regulations to reduce emissions from power plants.

“As Chairman, I have an obligation to conduct vigorous oversight of agencies and programs within my jurisdiction,” Smith said in a statement to the Post. “Under that umbrella, I work to ensure that federal agencies base their regulations and policy decisions on the best available science and not on partisan politics.”


Another big Australian power station closes  -- with a big impact on costs and another threat to system reliability

Even after watching what South Australia did to itself – pushing for renewable energy, increasing electricity prices, shutting down coal-fired power stations, reducing energy security, and triggering a statewide blackout – the Big V is rushing headlong down the same path.

Confirmation the Hazelwood coal-fired power station will close early next year guarantees power prices will increase by at least 8 per cent in Victoria next year.

Given SA imports huge amounts of power from that state, the increases will flow across the border.

The La Trobe Valley plant has 1600 megawatts of baseload capacity and has supplied up to 25 per cent of Victoria’s power.

Victoria has been an exporter of electricity, sending power to SA, Tasmania and even NSW at times but now will need to import power at peak times – mainly coal-fired electricity from NSW.

Instead of cheap reliable coal-fired power, Victoria is following SA with increased reliance on subsidised, unreliable wind and solar energy. Good luck.

Just like SA, Victoria has seen car manufacturers and other companies close, with jobs shed in the steel and aluminium sectors. Power prices have been a major factor.

More job losses will come – this is deliberate policy leading to inevitable deindustrialisation.

It is bad news for SA because, as industry shrinks across the border, local suppliers will be hit.

And, as Victoria’s electricity becomes more expensive and less reliable, it will increase SA’s exposure, given the state’s dangerous reliance on the Victoria’s Heywood interconnector – as everyone discovered on September 28.

SA’s biggest user of electricity is the Olympic Dam mine – one of the world’s largest uranium and copper operations.

BHP-Billiton shelved its huge open-cut expansion a few years ago but now plans to massively expand its underground mining, more than doubling copper output from 200,000 tonnes a year to 500,000 tonnes over the next decade.

This is vital for a struggling state economy – Olympic Dam has helped to keep SA above water since the State Bank disaster.

Yet the mismanagement of the power situation could kill the plans, as the head of BHP-Billiton’s Australian operations, Mike Henry, told me on television last week.

Olympic Dam refines copper on site, requiring vast amounts of “stable, affordable energy” and the company is deeply worried about a repeat of September’s blackout (that shut it down for two weeks) and ongoing price spikes.

“Left unresolved, that sort of thing will start to put at risk some of the investments we have planned for Olympic Dam,” Henry said.

That is a stark warning. It should create shockwaves in SA and have the Weatherill government urgently looking at ways to increase baseload power.

Instead, the situation is getting worse because of what the Victorians are doing.

It is difficult to overstate the madness that is afoot – we must be approaching peak lunacy.

In the name of climate change policies, the two states most reliant on manufacturing have deliberately chosen policies to increase power prices and make energy less reliable; and then have mourned the loss of manufacturing jobs.

And to assuage their deep concerns about climate change both states have also spent billions of dollars building desalination plants that are mothballed.

Labor politicians in both states and federally are now publicly expressing concern about workers who have lost their jobs in coal-fired power stations when the policies they have implemented are deliberately designed to shut down these very generators.

Remember, every time these politicians mourn a job loss in the energy or manufacturing sectors, this is exactly what those same politicians have tried to achieve through their climate policies.

Renewable energy targets and other prices on carbon are about driving out so-called “dirty” industries and replacing them with “green” and “clean” jobs – you’ve heard the politicians say that.

They just don’t seem to trumpet these aims so loudly when real people are actually laid off.

And, of course, the real idiocy of all this is that it is doing precisely nothing for the environment.

While we deliberately make ourselves less competitive, impose higher prices on ourselves and toss our compatriots out of work, global emissions continue to rise.

In China and India, they are building more coal-fired power stations that will burn coal mined in NSW and Queensland.

But in Victoria and SA the unemployed can huddle together in the darkness, perhaps using a desalination plant as a windbreak, and try to convince themselves they are saving the planet.



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