Wednesday, December 07, 2016
Dana Nuccitelli is up to his old tricks again
He tells a good story if you don't know the details he leaves out or distorts. At issue is the cause of the 2015/2016 global warming. But the graph below really tells it all. The warming was a typical El Nino peak, not the sustained rise we might have expected of anthropogenic global warming.
And if the rise WERE caused by anthropogenic global warming, there would have to have been a rise in the CO2 content of the atmosphere during 2015 and 2016 to cause it. But there was not. The latest readings are that CO2 levels plateaued in 2015 and 2016 -- something I have been pointing out for many months, just from a scan of the raw numbers as they came up at Mauna Loa and Cape Grim.
People sometimes talk of delayed heating, of warming being "left over" from previous years -- but that is nonsense. Those little CO2 molecules are either up there bouncing heat or they are not. If I put a pot of water on the gas and a little later turn the gas off, the water immediately starts to cool. It does not keep on getting warmer for a while. There is no delayed heating.
Nuccitelli doesn't have a leg to stand on. He is just a skilled liar. Warmists are great cherrypickers so it is amusing that Nuccitelli is one of those who have accused David Rose of cherrypicking. I did however put up yesterday a thorough demolition of that claim
Fake news tries to blame human-caused global warming on El Niño
Climate scientists and real science journalists pushed back, holding the post-truth crowd accountable
Human carbon pollution is heating the Earth incredibly fast. On top of that long-term human-caused global warming trend, there are fluctuations caused by various natural factors. One of these is the El Niño/La Niña cycle. The combination of human-caused warming and a strong El Niño event are on the verge of causing an unprecedented three consecutive record-breaking hot years.
Simply put, without global warming we would not be seeing record-breaking heat year after year. In fact, 2014 broke the temperature record without an El Niño assist, and then El Niño helped push 2015 over 2014, and 2016 over 2015.
Sadly, we live in a post-truth world dominated by fake news in which people increasingly seek information that confirms their ideological beliefs, rather than information that’s factually accurate from reliable sources. Because people have become incredibly polarized on the subject of climate change, those with a conservative worldview who prefer maintaining the status quo to the steps we need to take to prevent a climate catastrophe often seek out climate science-denying stories.
Into that environment step conservative columnists David Rose at the Mail on Sunday, parroted by Ross Clark in The Spectator and James Delingpole for Breitbart, all trying to blame the current record-shattering hot global temperatures entirely on El Niño. Perhaps saddest of all, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee tweeted the Breitbart piece, to which Senator Bernie Sanders appropriately responded:
Where'd you get your PhD? Trump University?
The conservative columnists made their case by claiming that, with the recent strong El Niño event ending, temperatures are “plummeting,” thus blaming the record heat on El Niño. There are several fatal flaws in their case.
First, the “plummet” they cite is not in global temperatures on the surface where we live, and where temperatures are easiest to measure accurately, but rather in satellite estimates of the temperature of the lower atmosphere above the portions of Earth’s surface covered by land masses. Second, although the satellite data extend as far back as 1979, and the global surface temperature data to 1880, they cherry pick the data by only showing the portion since 1997. Third, the argument is based entirely upon one relatively cool month (October 2016) that was only cool in that particularly cherry-picked data set.
The argument is easily debunked. While there was a strong El Niño event in 2015–2016, there was an equally strong event in 1997–1998. The two events had very similar short-term warming influences on global surface temperatures, but according to Nasa, 2016 will be about 0.35°C hotter than 1998. That difference is due to the long-term, human-caused global warming trend. In fact, according to Nasa, even October 2016 was hotter than every month on record prior to 1998. These “plummeting” post-El Niño temperatures are still as hot as the hottest month at the peak of the 1998 El Niño.
Obama Administration Sides With Protesters, Halting Construction of Dakota Access Pipeline
The Department of the Army handed protesters of the Dakota Access pipeline a victory Sunday when it announced the project would be re-routed. The decision came on the eve of the government’s Monday deadline for protesters to evacuate their encampment.
For the past several months, members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe have waged a campaign against the pipeline, drawing the support of environmentalists and liberal entertainers. They were upset that the pipeline would cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota. Now, the company installing the 1,172-mile pipeline will have to find another route or appeal to the incoming Trump administration in 2017.
“Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do,” Jo-Ellen Darcy, the Army’s assistant secretary for civil works, said in the statement Sunday. “The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.”
It’s unclear what protesters will do Monday, when they face the deadline to leave. Even before Sunday’s decision, North Dakota’s congressman warned that the fight over the pipeline would likely continue.
“The idea that [the pipeline protest] is about the environment is bogus,” Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said last week in an interview with Daily Signal editor in chief Rob Bluey.
The pipeline is designed to transport oil from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to southern Illinois.
Prior to Sunday’s announcement, Energy Transfer Partners, the company in charge of the project, had estimated it would be fully operational by the end of this year. It is already over 90 percent complete, but environmentalists and citizens of the nearby Standing Rock Sioux Reservation successful halted its construction.
On April 1, tribal citizens founded the “Sacred Stone Camp” near the construction site to protest the pipeline. The group is concerned that it will be constructed close enough to the tribe’s water source, the Missouri River, to cause spillage.
However, according to Time magazine, the pipeline does not pass through tribal land. Since Sacred Stone’s founding, the site has been subject to ongoing protests to halt the pipeline’s construction.
State officials and the Army Corps of Engineers have issued an evacuation notice to protesters, but Cramer said it is unlikely they will comply.
“They have … issued an evacuation notice for the land that the camp is on, the illegal camp, and so as of next Monday [Dec. 5], anyone staying there will be trespassing,” Cramer said.
When asked if he was confident that the protesters would leave by the deadline, the congressman said:
I’m not, because the tribe and others have committed to staying there. I will tell you that the 2 feet of snow or so that they’ve got in the last couple of days probably is a greater distraction than an evacuation notice from the [U.S. Army] Corps of Engineers, but winter can be a very sobering time in North Dakota on the prairie.
“What started out as a prayerful, peaceful protest of course has turned into a very violent and aggressive riot in many cases,” the congressman said in his interview with The Daily Signal. “The blending of agitators and out-of-state people with a different agenda than just protection of water for the tribe has created a lot of chaos,” he said.
In the interview, Cramer also rejected the idea that protesters were seeking to defend the environment against the pipeline’s construction.
“This oil is being produced today. It’s being moved now. It’s just not being moved by this efficient, safe means of transportation,” Cramer said. “So the idea that some of this is about the environment is bogus. This oil is going to be produced. So I just think that many of the arguments against it are ironic at best and hypocritical most likely.”
When asked about how he believed the management of federal lands would change under the incoming Trump administration, Cramer expressed optimism that President-elect Donald Trump would handle things differently.
“We own … over $50 trillion … worth of oil and gas. [Trump is] a businessman; he knows what $50 trillion could do for our country,” Cramer said, adding:
Mr. Trump is also an environmentalist. The idea of just exploiting federal lands is something he doesn’t take lightly either, but he’s also smart enough to know that modern technology and appropriate safeguards can be put in place to do it in a safe and reasonable manner while at the same time exploiting it for the benefit of our economy and job creation and, certainly, national security.
New EPA rules push regulatory costs past $1 trillion, $3,080 per person
The new implementation of EPA rules on heavy trucks has boosted the 10-year regulatory burden on America past $1 trillion, 75 percent of which have been imposed by the Obama administration.
That amounts to a one-time charge of $3,080 per person, or an annual cost of $540, according to a new analysis from American Action Forum.
"In other words, each year every person, regardless of age, in the nation is responsible for paying roughly $540 in regulatory costs. These burdens might take the form of higher prices, fewer jobs, or reduced wages," said AAF's Sam Batkins, director of regulatory policy at the watchdog group.
The staggering amount is likely to surge even higher as President Obama scrambles to lock in several environmental regulations before leaving office. He has already broken records for new regulations and added red tape this year and still has 50 days in office.
Incoming President-elect Trump has promised to kill two current regulations for every new one he adds.
The new high in regulatory costs, said Batkins, came after new fuel standards for trucks were implemented.
His study goes back to 2005, when George W. Bush was president, and said that Obama is responsible for about three-quarters of the added regulatory costs.
"The Obama Administration surpassed 500 major regulations last summer, imposing $625 billion in cumulative costs. Earlier this year, regulators published the administration's 600th major rule, increasing burdens to $743 billion.
Now, thanks to data from the last term of the Bush Administration and another billion-dollar rule from EPA, the regulatory tally has surpassed $1 trillion. These figures are direct estimates from federal regulators, but it will take more than an effort from these regulators to amend hundreds of major regulations. Congress, the next president, and even the courts must participate in the next generation of regulatory modernization," he reported.
Reality Check: Despite Climate Change Vow, China Pushes to Dig More Coal
America’s uncertain stance toward global warming under the coming administration of Donald J. Trump has given China a leading role (sic!) in the fight against climate change. It has called on the United States to recognize established science and to work with other countries to reduce dependence on dirty fuels like coal and oil. But there is a problem: Even as it does so, China is scrambling to mine and burn more coal.
A lack of stockpiles and worries about electricity blackouts are spurring Chinese officials to reverse curbs that once helped reduce coal production. Mines are reopening. Miners are being lured back with fatter paychecks.
China’s response to coal scarcity shows how hard it will be to wean the country off coal. That makes it harder for China and the world to meet emissions targets, as Chinese coal is the world’s largest single source of carbon emissions from human activities.
Among China watchers, the turnabout also has contributed to questions about the fate of China’s current crop of economic planners. [...]
Coal still produces almost three-quarters of China’s electricity, despite ambitious hydroelectric dam projects and the world’s largest program to install solar panels and build wind turbines. Coal use in China also produces more emissions than all the oil, coal and gas consumed in the United States.
“I get a kick out of people in the West who think China is decarbonizing, because I see no sign of it whatsoever,” said Brock Silvers, a Shanghai banker who has previously served on the boards of two Chinese coal companies.
Troubled by pollution and worries about rising sea levels, China moved in recent months to rein in coal. Coal production dropped 3 percent last year — a result of that effort, but also a sign of slowing economic growth as well as a gradual shift in the Chinese economy toward American-style consumer spending and away from exports and heavy manufacturing.
That prompted the International Energy Agency to offer an optimistic reassessment this autumn: Chinese coal use peaked in 2013 and would now decline.
China’s reversal now is prompting skepticism. “There is still a peak coming,” said Xizhou Zhou, the head of Asia and Pacific gas and power analysis at IHS Energy, a global consulting group. “It’s still going to increase.”
IHS Energy forecasts that Chinese coal demand will not peak until 2026.
Australia: Greenie panic about Great Barrier Reef could harm tourism and agriculture
The Queensland and Federal Governments' reef 2050 progress report to UNESCO says land clearing is a significant challenge to future sustainability.
Scientists link land clearing to sediment runoff and poor water quality, and the report says it could put the reef on UNESCO's 'in danger' list.
Cynthia Sabag, who runs a tropical fruit farm halfway between Townsville and Cairns, said she is concerned about the health of the Great Barrier Reef, but does not think farming is to blame for its deterioration.
"It seems that agriculture has often been made the scapegoat in this debate," she said. "There was no evidence on our land that any of our farming was causing runoff, which would affect the Great Barrier Reef."
The State Government recently failed to pass laws to stop clearing, and now the Federal Government says it might intervene.
That would be a win for conservationists, but for Ms Sabag a return to more precarious times when she was not allowed to clear land for farming. "The way it was prior to the legislation, we had no hope whatsoever of ever selling our property and no hope of retiring, which is pretty demoralising," she said.
"This sort of has given us some hope, but we've lost 10 years of our life and 10 years of developing a property."
Agricultural industry body AgForce echoes Ms Sabag's concerns.
President Grant Maudsley said some politicians do not understand the challenges of managing rural properties. "It's easy on the left side of politics ... to point at the bush and say the bush is doing the wrong things," he said. "It's simply not the case."
"We would prefer to go down a policy outcome ... and have a little talk about things, but to keep pointing the finger consistently time and time again at one issue as being the problem is rubbish."
Mr Maudsley hopes the reef will not make UNESCO's 'in danger' list and disputes evidence that land clearing is the problem.
"What we're all looking for is reducing runoff, but you don't do that by having all trees and all grass, you have a combination of both," he said. "If you have a complete tree landscape, you actually end up with a really high density of trees, which actually reduces the cover on the ground and water actually runs off."
Mr Maudsley also points out other sectors, including mining, have a role to play in restoring health to the reef.
Conservationists agree and criticise the report's failure to make any substantial policy commitments to dealing with climate change.
Imogen Zethoven from the Australian Marine Conservation Society said reducing fossil fuels is a key part of that. "We really have to start taking some tough decisions, and one of them is that we really should not be opening up any new coal mines," Ms Zethoven said.
She is concerned about the proposed controversial Adani coal mine in the Galilee Basin, which has just secured a rail line, a temporary construction camp and is now seeking federal government funding. "[It's a] devastating mine that will really spell disaster for the reef," she said.
"We are also extremely concerned that the Federal Government appears to be using taxpayer money to fund this reef-destroying project."
"We know that there is a serious issue with jobs in north Queensland, but it's not about any old job, it's the right job.
"It's about jobs that are in industries that are the future, like renewable energy, jobs that are in the tourism sector, which is growing, that will be terribly hurt if this massive Adani coal mine goes ahead."
If the reef is placed on the 'in danger' list it could potentially lose its world heritage status and that could have devastating impacts on the tourism sector.
Daniel Gschwind from Queensland's Tourism Industry Council said it could deter visitors and undermine Australia's reputation as a tourist destination.
"The money they spend on the visits to the reef, to Queensland, to north Queensland amounts to between $5-6 billion every year," Mr Gschwind said.
"That money circulates through local communities, regional communities, on and on, and it employs and generates employment for about 50,000 Queenslanders."
He said UNESCO's assessment is putting the international spotlight on Australia, and the next few years could see it emerge as either the hero or the villain of environmental management.
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Posted by JR at 1:26 AM