Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Climate skepticism a winner for Trump

Americans who fear Muslim terrorists love Donald Trump, as do Americans who want to keep out illegal Mexican immigrants. Trade protectionists and foreign-policy isolationists also love Trump. These voting groups, all part of the Trump coalition and all marginalized by elites because of their stance would see themselves as vindicated and count themselves as winners should Trump become president of the United States.

But other important groups, little discussed by the punditry, also embrace Trump for validating the causes that animate them, also form part of the Trump coalition and also stand to be vindicated.

Trump’s success comes of his ability to recognize major visceral issues and then to champion them unapologetically, often through seemingly outlandish positions like making Mexicans pay for a wall. His politically incorrect, categorical positions not only win the public’s approval, they win for Trump intense loyalty.

Global-warming skeptics represent an immense and often passionate demographic. Though skeptics receive little favourable coverage in the mainstream press, polling over the years consistently shows the American public is evenly split on whether human activity imperils the climate, with the most recent Gallup Poll finding only 41 per cent answering yes when asked if “global warming will pose a serious threat to you or your way of life in your lifetime.”

Trump, who has repeatedly mocked global warming as a hoax, is their guy. “Global warming is a total, and very expensive, hoax!” reads one of his tweets. “This very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bullshit has got to stop. Our planet is freezing, record low temps, and our GW scientists are stuck in ice,” reads another. Unlike the Obama administration, which demeans global-warming skeptics and even treats them as criminals, a Trump administration would legitimize their views, enable them to speak their minds freely and end a longstanding indignity.

While many conservatives doubt Trump’s conservative credentials, he’s a clear hit with conservatives who have a loathing for the United Nations, and see it as a world government in waiting as well as ineffectual, bureaucratic and costly. Anti-UN conservatives also form a sizable demographic. In a Gallup Poll earlier this year, just 17 per cent of Republicans said the “United Nations is doing a good job in trying to solve the problems it has had to face.”

These conservatives support Trump for railing against “the utter weakness and incompetence of the United Nations.” He’s said the UN “is not a friend of democracy, it’s not a friend to freedom, it’s not a friend even to the United States of America where, as you know, it has its home.” Trump’s answer is a much-diminished United Nations, which the U.S. would fund to a much lesser degree.

Trump may also become the candidate for championing Israel, another issue that inflames passions. Until recently, Democrats and Republicans alike backed Israel, but the base of the Democratic party is turning against Israel, and at July’s Democratic convention the pro-Palestinian Bernie Sanders faction will cast Israel as an oppressor of peace-seeking Palestinians. The vitriol certain to be expressed against Israel is likely to alarm Jews, who historically have overwhelmingly voted Democratic, making them open to a Trump charm offensive.

That courtship has already begun. “When you live in a society where athletes and movie stars are the heroes, little kids want to be athletes and movie stars. In Palestinian society, the heroes are those who murder Jews. We can’t let this continue,” Trump recently told AIPAC, a pro-Israel lobby, to cheers and applause.

The Trump coalition isn’t based on any single ideology or any consistent set of rational policies — it is a populist assemblage of largely disparate groups whose common bond is their exclusion from the orthodoxy. These are passionate voters, for whom voting is very personal.


SEC issues climate chaos “guidance”

What about risks from anti-energy policies imposed in the name of stopping climate change?

Paul Driessen

President Obama continues to use “dangerous manmade climate change” to justify a massive regulatory onslaught that will “fundamentally transform” America’s energy, economic, business, industrial, social, legal and constitutional systems before he leaves office.

The more science batters alarmist claims, the more people realize that plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide makes life on Earth possible, the more China, India and other developing countries burn oil, gas and coal and increase their CO2 emissions to lift billions out of poverty, malnutrition, disease and brutally short lives – the more the administration issues draconian climate edicts.

Almost every department, agency and bureaucrat that didn’t eagerly volunteer has been dragooned to aid the campaign: from the EPA and Agriculture, Interior, Defense and State Departments, to the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. The Securities and Exchange Commission is the latest agency to re-up.

Pressure from climate and environmental activist groups “persuaded” the SEC to release its initial “interpretive guidance” on climate change in January 2010. It purported to help companies decide when they must disclose how their business might be affected by actual physical climate change, by direct impacts from laws, regulations or international agreements, or indirectly by effects on business trends.

In March 2016, the Commission told ExxonMobil and Chevron they had to let shareholders vote on whether the companies must explain how their profitability might be affected by climate change and laws to prevent it. Both resolutions were rejected, but proponents vowed to return as often as it takes to win.

On April 13, 2016, the SEC published a 341-page Concept Release intended to “seek public comment” on ways to modernize, improve and enhance Regulation S-K business and financial disclosure requirements for registered companies’ annual and other reports. It asks whether new specific disclosure requirements should be added to ensure greater transparency and aid investors in determining whether companies are being socially responsible, properly handling diversity and inclusion concerns – and adequately addressing needs and risks associated with climate change, resource scarcity and sustainable development.

Many people certainly view these as legitimate concerns. They certainly are on the minds of certain investors and interest groups – especially CERES, Environmental Defense, and the California State Teachers and Public Employees Retirement Systems, all of which seek to advance their narrow parochial interests on climate change, “appropriate” energy, and particularly taxpayer subsidies for their favorite causes and cronies. The issues are certainly being used to drive Obama Administration agendas.

However, prudent investors (as well as employees, consumers and voters) might want greater disclosure, transparency and honesty regarding the full panoply of risks associated with laws and regulations imposed in the name of stabilizing Earth’s always-unstable climate and weather … mandates, preferences and subsidies enacted to support “eco-friendly” wind, solar and biofuel “alternatives” to oil, natural gas and coal  … and campaign contributions that keep supportive legislators and judges in office.

This climate crisis edifice owes its existence to assertions that fossil fuel emissions have replaced natural forces in climate change, and any future changes will be disastrous. As those claims are further debunked, or enough voters and legislators become disgusted about the $1.5 trillion spent every year on climate crisis programs, the risks won’t come from climate change. They will come from a vengeful public.

No wonder Al Gore, Mike Mann and their comrades refuse to debate, jealously guard their kingdom, and chortle as state AGs prosecute “climate deniers” for racketeering. Prudent investors might want to study these issues in greater depth and raise a few questions that Obama’s SEC prefers not to entertain.

* As scientist John Christy told Congress in February, the climate agenda is driven by data that have been massaged and manipulated, assertions and predictions that are contradicted by Real World data and observations, and “demonstrably deficient” computer models that predict global temperatures way above what have actually been measured, and cannot even reproduce past temperatures. Climatology remains an immature science that cannot even explain major historical climate events, much less predict the future.

Those problems are compounded by phony “hockey stick” temperature graphs, ClimateGate emails, once reputable scientific journals rejecting papers that contest climate catastrophe claims, and headline-grabbing disaster “studies” that are based on rank speculation or written by environmental activists.

Are the alleged physical impacts of climate change real, or merely generated by computers and activists? Are they due to fossil fuels, or to natural forces that have driven climate and weather throughout history?

* Regardless of how much the United States, Europe and other developed countries slash their fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions, developing nations will continue using those fuels at a feverish pace. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations will thus continue to climb beyond the 400 ppm (0.04%) level. Job losses, reduced living standards and countless other sacrifices by Americans, Europeans, Canadians and Australians – especially by poor, working class and minority families – will not affect this trend.

Will we even be able to detect the effect of developed nation sacrifices on Earth’s climate, against normal, natural fluctuations? Why aren’t we measuring the harmful effects of anti-fossil fuel laws, regulations and treaties? How are these policies and actions moral, socially responsible or sustainable?

* Many positive profit projections and other indirect benefits to business trends are based on assertions that manmade climate chaos is real and massive subsidies for renewable energy will continue. Negative effects on profits and corporate reputations are assumed to result from associations with fossil fuels.

But if governments begin to reject climate alarmism or eliminate mandates, subsidies, guaranteed loans, feed-in tariffs and exemptions from endangered species laws, companies built on this house of cards will collapse. A number of EU and Chinese wind and solar companies have already gone belly-up or lost up to 90% of their market value, as demand for their products waned. Meanwhile, companies now vilified for producing or using fossil fuels that sustain our economies, jobs and living standards would benefit.

Coal, oil and natural gas still provide over 80% of all US and global energy. Largely because of abundant natural gas produced via fracking. US CO2 emissions declined in 2014, while the EU’s rose 0.7 percent.

Shouldn’t wind turbine companies have to disclose that generating just 20% of US electricity with wind power would require some 186,000 turbines, 19,000 miles of new transmission lines, 18,000,000 acres of land, and 270,000,000 tons of concrete, steel, copper, fiberglass and rare earths, plus millions of dead birds and bats every year? Is that sustainable?

Shouldn’t insurance companies and reinsurers have to “disclose” that their higher rates and profits are based on 20-foot higher sea levels and more violent hurricanes conjured up by bogus computer models? Doesn’t that amount to deceptive advertising, fear-mongering and corporate social irresponsibility?

* If President Obama and the SEC are going to demand full disclosure, honesty, transparency and accountability, those fundamental principles should also apply to government officials. They rarely do.

Justice Department lawyers have knowingly lied to judges in immigration cases. Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes and other officials have been caught in multiple bald-faced lies. The IRS deliberately targeted conservatives, and then destroyed records and lied about its actions. EPA bungled a mine cleanup, polluted waterways in four states and lied about the impacts. NOAA and EPA have engaged in systematic misrepresentations and data manipulation on climate change. No one has been punished.

The impacts on company profits, investors, employees, families and communities have been extensive. Government agencies want more and more power and control over our lives – but refuse to accept any accountability for incompetence, malfeasance, deliberate lies or the serious harm they cause.

This is why Americans are fed up. Perhaps the 2016 elections will finally bring long overdue change.

Via email

14,000 Abandoned Wind Turbines Litter the United States

The towering symbols of a fading religion, over 14,000 wind turbines, abandoned, rusting, slowly decaying. When it is time to clean up after a failed idea, no green environmentalists are to be found. Wind was free, natural, harnessing Earth’s bounty for the benefit of all mankind, sounded like a good idea.

Wind turbines, like solar panels, break down.  They produce less energy before they break down than the energy it took to make them.  The wind does not blow all the time, or even most of the time. When it is not blowing, they require full-time backup from conventional power plants.

Without government subsidy, they are unaffordable. With governments facing financial troubles, the subsidies are unaffordable. It was a nice dream, a very expensive dream, but it didn’t work.

California had the “big three” of wind farm locations — Altamont Pass, Tehachapi, and San Gorgonio, considered the world’s best wind sites. California’s wind farms, almost 80% of the world’s wind generation capacity ceased to generate even more quickly than Kamaoa Wind Farm in Hawaii. There are five other abandoned wind farms in Hawaii. When they are abandoned, getting the turbines removed is a major problem. They are highly unsightly, and they are huge, and that’s a lot of material to get rid of.

Unfortunately the same areas that are good for siting wind farms are a natural pass for migrating birds. Altamont’s turbines have been shut down four months out of every year for migrating birds after environmentalists filed suit. According to the Golden Gate Audubon Society 75-110 Golden Eagles, 380 Burrowing Owls, 300 Red-Tailed Hawks and 333 American Kestrels are killed by the turbines every year. An Alameda County Community Development Agency study points to 10,000 annual bird deaths from Altamont wind turbines. The Audubon Society makes up numbers like the EPA, but there’s a reason why they call them bird Cuisinarts.

Palm Springs has enacted an ordinance requiring their removal from San Gorgonio Pass, but unless something else changes abandoned turbines will remain a rotting eyesores, or the taxpayers who have already paid through the nose for overpriced energy and crony-capitalist tax scams will have to foot the bill for their removal.

President Obama’s offshore wind farms will be far more expensive than those sited in California’s ideal wind locations. Salt water is far more damaging than sun and rain, and offshore turbines don’t last as long. But nice tax scams for his crony-capitalist backers will work well as long as he can blame it all on saving the planet.


Met Office: Gulf Stream Slowdown Due To Nature Not Climate Change

Natural long term cycles in the ocean and not climate change are behind the well publicised slow down in the Gulf Stream that has been observed in recent years, according to new research from Met Office scientists. The observed decrease in the so called Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation – of which the Gulf Stream is a part – over the past decade was preceded by a period where the circulation intensified, they report in a new paper.

From the UK Meteorological Office (Met Office):

Any substantial weakening of a major North Atlantic ocean current system would have a profound impact on the climate of north-west Europe, including the UK.

The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation – part of which is known as the Gulf Stream – has been observed over the past 10 years, and has been seen to weaken over that time, raising the question of whether the weakening has been caused by climate change. New Met Office research published today instead suggests that the trend is likely due to variability over decades.

Laura Jackson of the Met Office Hadley Centre is the lead researcher. Commenting on the paper, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, she said: “The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation plays a vital role in our climate as it transports heat northwards in the Atlantic and keeps Europe relatively warm.”

Reanalysis captures Gulf Stream changes

The Met Office research produced a new ocean ‘reanalysis’ combining a state-of-the-art model of ocean dynamics with ocean observations from satellites, and ocean floats sampling below the surface. This has captured year-to-year variations and recent decadal trends with unprecedented accuracy.

Laura Jackson said: “Our research produced a picture of how the ocean has evolved over the last couple of decades. The reanalysis reproduces the observed decrease in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation over the past decade, but finds that this was preceded by a period where the circulation intensified. This suggests that decadal timescale variability likely played a key role in the weakening of the circulation seen over the last decade.”

The researchers are keen to stress that this does not rule out the possibility that the observed weakening is a combination of decadal variability and a longer term decrease that would only be detectable after more years of observations.

The Abstract

The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) has weakened substantially over the past decade. Some weakening may already have occurred over the past century, and global climate models project further weakening in response to anthropogenic climate change. Such a weakening could have significant impacts on the surface climate. However, ocean model simulations based on historical conditions have often found an increase in overturning up to the mid-1990s, followed by a decrease. It is therefore not clear whether the observed weakening over the past decade is part of decadal variability or a persistent weakening. Here we examine a state-of-the-art global-ocean reanalysis product, GloSea5, which covers the years 1989 to 2015 and closely matches observations of the AMOC at 26.5° N, capturing the interannual variability and decadal trend with unprecedented accuracy. The reanalysis data place the ten years of observations—April 2004 to February 2014—into a longer-term context and suggest that the observed decrease in the overturning circulation is consistent with a recovery following a previous increase. We find that density anomalies that propagate southwards from the Labrador Sea are the most likely cause of these variations. We conclude that decadal variability probably played a key role in the decline of the AMOC observed over the past decade.


Laura C. Jackson, K. Andrew Peterson, Chris D. Roberts and Richard A. Wood; Recent slowing of Atlantic overturning circulation as a recovery from earlier strengthening; Nature Geoscience (2016) doi:10.1038/ngeo2715.


Global Warming Scaled Back, Say Two New Studies

Climate models may be running 2 to 4 times too hot

Ronald Bailey

Last year was the hottest year in the surface temperature record according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In contrast, 2015 was the third warmest year according to the satellite temperature record. Given record breaking heat in the first few months of 2016, NOAA is now projecting that there is a 99 percent chance that the current year will be the hottest on record - basically about 1.5 degrees Celsius above the 1891-1910 baseline. The 1.5 degree Celsius increase is significant because last December the nations of world agreed at Paris U.N. climate change conference to try to keep future average temperatures below that threshold.

A strong El Nino which greatly warms the Eastern Pacific Ocean is responsible for boosting average global temperatures in the past year. That phenomenon is now abating and may soon be replaced by a La Nina which will dramatically cool the waters of the Eastern Pacific and drag down the global average. Clearly natural variations in temperature can and do drive temperature trends in the short-run, but what about the long-run?

Two new studies look at the long-run projections of climate computer models and suggest that they are running too hot. One critical parameter is equilibrium climate sensitivity, which is conventionally defined as the amounf of warming that can be expected from doubling atmospheric carbon dioxide. In the current issue of the journal, Earth and Space Science, mathematician J. Ray Bates, from the Meteorology and Climate Centre at the University College Dublin, calculates climate sensitivity focusing specifically the meteorological dynamics in the tropics that are mostly ignored in climate models. Basically, the tropics are more effective at expelling extra heat into space than the models project.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change widened its range of climate sensitivity estimates to 1.5 to 4.5 degrees Celsius in its latest report, dropping the lower bound from 2 degrees. The new study suggests that climate sensitivity could be much the lower, about 1 degree C for doubling atmospheric carbon dioxide. If this were true, then the climates models are proejcting future temperarture increases that are 2 to 4 times hotter than the actual likely trend. It is worth noting that the satellite data find that the global rate of temperature increase since 1979 has been +0.12 degree Celsius per decade which suggests that the lower estimates of climate sensitivity may be correct.

Another study published in Nature by the researchers at European Center for Nuclear Research, or CERN finds that the world was much cloudier in the pre-industrial age than previously thought. The researchers suggest that a cloudier world was a cooler world. Computer climate models assume that man-made atmospheric pollutants like sulfur dioxide have increased modern cloudiness which has further shielded the planet from higher temperatures. If it turns out that early eras were somewhat cloudier than represented in the models that means that future warming has again been overestimated.

But always remember: The science is settled!


Australia: Homeowners kept in dark about climate change risk to houses, says Greenie report

They are asking for information that does not exist.  There is no way sea level rise can be predicted.  No Greenie prediction has come true yet -- and they have made many, most of which were hilariously wrong.  The Climate Institute is a privately funded Warmist organization that is at present struggling for funding.  The "report" referred to would seem to be an attempt to drum up funding for themselves

The risk that houses in some areas of Australia are likely to become uninsurable, dilapidated and uninhabitable due to climate change is kept hidden from those building and buying property along Australia’s coasts and in bushfire zones, a Climate Institute report says.

The report says there is untapped and unshared data held by regulators, state and local governments, insurers and banks on the level of risk, but that most homebuyers and developers are not told about the data and do not have access to it.

“Even when public authorities, financial institutions and other stakeholders possess information about current and future risk levels, they are sometimes unwilling, and sometimes unable, to share it with all affected parties,” the report released on Monday says.

“Thus, foreseeable risks are allowed to perpetuate, and even to grow via new housing builds. The full scale of the risk may only be recognised either through disaster or damage, or when insurance premiums become unaffordable. Any of these events can in turn affect housing values.”

The economic costs are high and could ultimately represent a real risk to the financial sector itself, the report says. While insurers, regulators and governments have started to recognise this risk, banks who approve the mortgages for at-risk properties have not yet begun working towards a solution.

For example, the report says, banks could integrate the impact of climate into their risk assessment processes, work with other stakeholders in the public, private and civil society sectors to research and develop ways to minimise climate impact risk to housing, and address losses that will occur in an equitable way.

It also says that state, federal and local governments could do more to protect buyers, by including climate risk in planning, development and approval processes, mandating the disclosure of all available hazard mapping, and requiring that all dwellings be built or renovated as fit-for-purpose for the maximum projected impacts of climate change.

Extreme weather and climate change risks associated with a property should also be disclosed at the point of sale.

“Even if these ‘uninsurable’ and ‘unadaptable’ properties are only a tiny minority of the total housing stock, the eventual devaluation could be financially devastating to individuals,” the report says. “It could also be damaging to banks, other financial companies and public balance sheets at all levels of government.

An author of the report and the manager of investment and governance at the Climate Institute,Kate Mackenzie, said the sector had to be proactive before houses became damaged, otherwise there could be a costly and messy battle over who bore responsibility.

For example, she said, councils could be liable for not providing flood data and for permitting a vulnerable development to go ahead, the developer for building it, the home owners for not realising the risk, the building code authority, the banks for financing the development and the mortgages, or the insurers.

“There’s definitely a big need for governments to show leadership on this,” she said.

“There have been a few very good recommendations made in the past by public policy reviews which really haven’t been followed up at the federal level or at the state level or through Coag, which would provide a mechanism for a national adaptation strategy.”

These included the reports from an Australian Treasury taskforce, the natural disaster insurance review, and two Productivity Commission inquiries, she said.

Her report concludes: “A sense of exasperation is evident among those who have spent any length of time seeking to address the economic and policy challenges posed by extreme weather.”

Some researchers are already taking the matter into their own hands and developing products to help buyers manage risk. Last month, the website Coastal Risk Australia was launched. It combines Google maps with detailed tide and elevation data, as well as future sea-level rise projections, to help people see whether their house or suburb is likely to be inundated.



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Monday, May 30, 2016

Trump freaks the Greenies

WHEN you think of saving the planet, Donald Trump probably isn’t exactly the first name to come to mind.

He’s previously described global warming as “an expensive hoax!”, warned Obama that the Environmental Protective Agency is “an impediment to both growth and jobs”, and admitted he’s “not a big believer in man-made climate change”.

But the Republican frontrunner’s latest speech was something next-level. Speaking at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismarck, the capital of oil-rich North Dakota, Trump proudly trumpeted a series of anti-environmental measures to be enforced if he becomes President.

If elected President, Donald Trump said he would pull the United States out of the UN global climate accord, and slash environmental regulations on the energy industry if elected President.

“We’re going to cancel the Paris climate agreement,” he said, vowing to oppose “draconian climate rules”. He also pledged to axe any funding for United Nations programs related to global warming.

The Paris Agreement is basically a big international effort to reduce global warming and move towards more clean sources of energy.  America’s own commitments are to cut emissions by 26 to 28 per cent under 2005 levels by 2025.

But now, Trump has basically dumped all over that, effectively sending a global message that America is not with the rest of the world on this issue.

Less than a fortnight ago, he said he wanted to rewrite the agreement, claiming it wasn’t fair for the US.  “I will be looking at that very, very seriously, and at a minimum I will be renegotiating those agreements, at a minimum,” he said in an interview with Reuters. “And at a maximum I may do something else.”

He also said we should never give “foreign bureaucrats control over how much energy we use”.

But with the pledge to scrap it entirely, Trump has clearly cranked things up a notch. He’s previously stated that he doubts other big emitters — namely China — will actually meet the pledge to scale up its use of renewable energy technologies, thus he believes the US shouldn’t have to.

China signed the Paris Agreement last month, and pledged to honour its commitment. It was the 21st country to do so.

Here’s the thing: the Paris Agreement can’t come into force until at least 55 countries accounting for 55 per cent of global emissions formally agree to “join”. The US is the world’s second biggest emitter (next to China), and biggest historical emitter.

While Trump’s speech was met with loud applause from oil executives, environmental activists have been quick to criticise his comments, deeming his proposals “frightening”.

“Trump’s energy policies would accelerate climate change, protect corporate polluters who profit from poisoning our air and water, and block the transition to clean energy that is necessary to strengthen our economy and protect our climate and health,” said Tom Steyer, a billionaire environmental activist.

In the same speech yesterday, Trump said he wanted to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada.  “I would absolutely approve it, 100 per cent, but I would want a better deal,” he announced. “I want it built, but I want a piece of the profits. That’s how we’re going to make our country rich again.”

The Keystone XL pipeline is a proposed pipe of 1897km, which would run from the oil sands in Alberta, Canada, to Nebraska in the US. It would have the capacity to carry 830,000 barrels of oil each day.  Canada already sends 550,000 barrels of oil per day to the US, so this proposal would heavily increase that, making the US less dependent on the Middle East.

President Obama refused to approve the XL pipeline late last year, on the basis that the consequences for the planet would be too great. For the environmental movement, this decision was a huge symbolic victory.

Environmental experts have cited a number of reasons to oppose the pipeline’s approval. Some say developing the oil sands will make fossil fuels a lot more available, meaning there’ll less likely be a push towards renewable energy.

They’ve said Keystone will multiply emissions and speed up climate change — a view shared by Obama — which will plague Americans with toxic air pollution and have severe consequences for Americans’ health.

But Trump is having none of it. “As bad as President Obama is, Hillary Clinton will be worse,” he warned. “She will escalate the war with the American worker like never before and against American energy.”

He attacked both Clinton and Bernie Sanders, saying their policies would kill jobs and force the US “to be begging for oil again” from Middle Eastern producers.

He was especially hard on Clinton, saying her “agenda is job destruction” and warning that she would put coalminers out of work. “Hillary Clinton will unleash the EPA to control every aspect of our lives, and every aspect of energy,” he said. “They’ll make it impossible for the workers.”


Democrats urged the Interior Department Friday to reverse four decades of easy lease approvals for coal in favor of clean energy and climate change goals

"The fact that 90 percent of federal lease sales since 1990 had single bidders suggests that Western coal markets are structurally non-competitive," reads a letter sent by 14 Senate Democrats to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Friday.

"Too often the government has been a passive auctioneer, rather than a steward," the letter reads. "Given the diverse sources of electricity generation available today and the high costs of climate change, the current policy is unwise and outdated."

The letter was led by Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington and Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, the top Democrats on the energy and environment committees, respectively.

Jewell enacted a moratorium on new coal leases earlier this year, as the Interior Department re-evaluates how it treats coal under the federal leasing program in light of the social costs of mining and its environmental impacts.

The senators say they want the agency to get the science right, given coal's contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions, blamed by scientists for raising the temperature of the Earth. They also want the agency to address the "huge disparity" between the high cost of burning coal and the "low, short-term return from selling it."

The senators point out that the effects of mining a ton of the public's coal may rebound for centuries and damage other opportunities to use the land for recreation, water supply management and wildfire resilience, as well as for grazing cattle and harvesting timber.

The senators want Jewell to get the leasing policy right, giving it "teeth." They say previous policies have encouraged the government to make obtaining mining leases an easy process due to the energy shortages of the 1970s.

"Given the diverse sources of electricity generation available today and the high costs of climate change, what may have been a wise policy in the context of fuel shortages and disruptions in the 1970s is now unwise and outdated," they write.

In the 1970s, most U.S. power plants were fueled by petroleum. The Arab oil embargo placed electricity supplies in jeopardy, forcing the government to push the industry toward greater coal use. Some power producers from that era, perplexed by the current direction of the administration, readily point out the irony.


Unprecedented? Central England Warming Of 1692 – 1737 Twice As Fast As Late 20th Century Warming!

The Warmunists are fond of stating that the warming in the late twentieth century was unusual and unprecedented, and could only have been caused by rising CO2. They refuse to recognize that the early twentieth century warming was just as rapid. Of course that statement is also based on the lack of data for earlier times.

But there ARE data for earlier times. The Central England Temperature (CET) data set extends all the way back to 1659 and has been maintained to this day. Here is a window into an early 90-year section of that data set, overlaid with the last 90 years.

Figure 1 is CET and GHCN temperatures from 1925 to the present, compared to CET temperatures from 1660 to 1750. The 45-year span from 1692 to 1737 is highlighted in red.

If the trends for all three 90-year data sets are compared, they are nearly identical, from 0.084 to 0.091°C per decade warming.

But the 45-year span from 1692 to 1737 was warming at nearly five times that rate, 0.4°C per decade. This warming rate is more than twice as fast as the late twentieth century rate, for twice as long.

Central England warmed by two degrees, three degrees if one measures from the coldest year to the warmest in that interval. For comparison, here is the GHCN data for the modern period.

Figure 2 is the modern era from GHCN with the modern warming in red and the early twentieth century warming in green.

Please note that I have picked the time period with the most warming in that interval, including from the bottom of the 1976 La Niña to the top of the 1998 El Niño. The early twentieth century warming began with the 1914-15 El Niño. If the El Niño and La Niña events are removed, both warming periods have a trend of about 0.16°C per decade. The 0.4°C/decade warming period from 1692 to 1737 must have been very scary for the eighteenth century climatologists.

It all came to an abrupt end, however, in 1739 and 1740. The temperature dropped three degrees practically overnight in climate terms. See figure 1. What caused that? A volcano!

On the southern end of Hokkaido, in Japan, there is a large caldera called Shikotsu. It is now filled with a lake. This caldera was formed about 35,000 years ago. On the edge of the caldera three volcanic vents have been intermittently active since then. One of those, Tarumai, (or Tarumae) is active to this day, including four VE5, very large eruptions in 6950 BCE, 800 BCE, 1667, and 1739. Though both the 1667 and 1739 eruptions were classed as VE5, the 1739 event pushed enough gas into the stratosphere to affect global climate.

“In the northern hemisphere density of yearly tree ring [sic] have changed in AD 1740 (Briffa et al., 1998) suggesting the eruption of 1739 affected global climate.”

Sheveluch, on Kamchatka, is also implicated, but that eruption was only a VE3.

The resulting cold caused the “Great Irish Frost” of 1740, where Irish harbors and rivers froze over, preventing import of grain, frost killed the potato crop, and 20 to 30% of the Irish population died of cold and famine. The cold affected all of northern Europe, but was a disaster for Ireland due to the politics of the time. For a scholarly treatise on it see The Irish famine of 1740–1741: famine vulnerability and “climate migration”, here. The implication is that the good years prior to 1740, made Ireland in particular, vulnerable to a cold snap. This is the thing to be feared in our future rather than continued warming.


British Households could be charged annual ‘insurance premium’ for access to electricity grid

Every UK household could have to pay an annual “insurance premium” for access to the UK electricity grid, under plans to overhaul the way networks are paid for.

Energy regulator Ofgem is worried that people who can afford to install solar panels and generate their own power for much of the day may end up not paying their fair share of the costs of the UK’s electricity pylons and cables.

Dermot Nolan, chief executive, told the Telegraph the question of how to charge for networks in an equitable way a “huge challenge” facing the UK energy system in coming years. Currently, the cost of maintaining and upgrading the networks is factored into the prices energy suppliers charge for electricity, accounting for about £140 a year on a typical household bill.

Households that install their own panels will need to buy less electricity, so will avoid paying as much toward the costs of the network.

“One of the biggest challenges for the country in energy… is how will you charge for the grid in that kind of situation?”

Mr Nolan said the regulator was thinking about the issue “pretty intensively” and had not yet decided the solution. However, he said one option would be for households to “basically pay an insurance premium for access to the grid”.

Mr Nolan said the issue would be “difficult” to resolve as “people might feel ‘I’ll pay it when I need it’” but this would not reflect “the fact there is an infrastructure there and you have to pay for it”.


Rebutting Climate Alarmism with Simple Facts

The answers below are not necessarily the ones I would give but they should be useful nonetheless -- JR

What to do if you don’t believe that man-made emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are causing a global warming catastrophe? Here are some ready-made responses, the next time someone questions you.

Q. You don’t believe in global warming?

Yes, I do. The earth has warmed by roughly 0.8 degrees Celsius over the past century or so.

Q. You don’t believe in climate change?

Yes, I do. The earth’s climate has changed several times, just in the past 1,000 years.

Q. CO2 levels are rising and the earth is warming.

Carbon dioxide concentrations have risen from roughly 0.028% of the earth’s atmosphere in the late 1800s to the current 0.040%. However, solar output has also increased significantly in that time. If the correlation between solar variability and the climate swings of the past few thousand years is any indication, this rise in solar activity offers a valid explanation for the overall increase in temperatures seen over the past century.

Q. Solar activity and temperature trends don’t match up in recent years.

Solar activity actually peaked somewhere around the middle of the 20th Century, and at elevated levels not seen since the Medieval Warm Period (1,000 years ago) or the Roman Warm Period (1,800 years ago.) Solar activity remained at this high level through the start of the 21st Century, with temperatures rising at the same time. While the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claims that changes in solar “irradiance” have little impact on climate, other research argues that accompanying variations in the solar wind and solar magnetic field contribute significantly to changes in global climate. In fact, Russian scientists studying solar variability now worry that declining solar activity could lead to globally cooler temperatures by 2030.

Q. But CO2 levels are the highest in 800,000 years.

CO2 levels in the atmosphere are currently among the lowest ever recorded in the earth’s long history. The past 800,000 years is a convenient timeframe to cite, however, since the earth has undergone repeated glacial cycles in that time—which has reduced atmospheric CO2.

Q. CO2 is a greenhouse gas. More CO2 means more warming.

CO2 possesses a major limitation as a greenhouse gas, and one that casts doubt on its ability to function as the sole agent of climate change. As demonstrated in laboratory studies, CO2 exponentially loses heat-trapping capacity as its concentration increases. This happens because, even in minuscule quantities, CO2 quickly becomes opaque to a certain spectrum band of infrared radiation. Essentially, CO2 rapidly absorbs all of the infrared radiation it can. Adding additional quantities of CO2 to the atmosphere will not contribute much additional heat-trapping function. CO2 is also a “well-mixed gas,” which means that its concentrations are distributed throughout the atmosphere. Consequently, its heat-trapping function is essentially reaching a saturation point throughout the troposphere and stratosphere.

Q. But higher CO2 levels mean higher temperatures. I saw that graph in “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Al Gore left out a key point when citing the parallel relationship between historical levels of atmospheric CO2 and temperature. Carbon dioxide dissolves in water, with cold water able to hold more CO2 than warm water. When the climate cools, the oceans cool—and draw in more CO2 from the atmosphere. When the climate warms, as seen at the start of the most recent interglacial period (roughly 18,000 years ago), the oceans gradually warm, releasing CO2 into the atmosphere. (A good visualization for this is a bottle of soda kept in hot sunlight. If the temperature rises high enough, the bottle will leak or burst— because the warmer soda water is no longer able to hold all of the dissolved CO2.) The point is, when global temperatures change, atmospheric CO2 inevitably follows along.

Q. Scientists say that CO2 is warming the earth.

Yes, CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and it helps to maintain warmth in the atmosphere. But as noted above, CO2’s heat-trapping function is essentially saturated by the current level of 0.04%. Furthermore, climate models actually project that most of the presumed “man-made” warming will come from an increase in atmospheric water vapor. The principal idea of “anthropogenic global warming” (AGW) is that the small amount of additional warming contributed by CO2 (before it becomes saturated) will cause more water vapor to enter the atmosphere. Since water vapor is the primary greenhouse gas of the atmosphere (and is responsible for roughly 80% of the “greenhouse effect”), this water vapor will create “positive feedback” for further warming. Unfortunately, the AGW theory essentially disregards the cooling feedback caused by clouds (since atmospheric water vapor inevitably transitions to cloud cover.) Clouds provide net cooling by reflecting solar radiation back into space, shading ground surfaces, and producing rain (which not only cools surface temperatures but also scrubs atmospheric CO2.)

Q. But 97% of scientists believe in global warming.

What’s most amusing is that, truthfully, no one really knows how many scientists there are in the world. Or what they all think about global warming. Or how many of them work in relevant scientific disciplines. However, the “97% consensus” is a flawed statement. Only 32.6% of the papers examined in the infamous John Cook study actually stated a position endorsing anthropogenic global warming. However, 97% of those said that “recent warming is mostly man-made.” And so what we have is a misleading statement that has become misrepresented and cited as fact. (Interestingly, there is a website called The Petition Project that lists more than 30,000 scientists who have publicly declared their disagreement with the theory of catastrophic man-made warming.)

Q. 2015 was the hottest year ever, and now 2016 is even hotter.

The warm temperatures experienced in 2015-2016 are the direct result of a strong El Nino.

Q. El Nino is caused by global warming.

El Nino is a naturally occurring phenomenon. It happens when prevailing winds start to fade after several years of progressively “piling up” water in the western Pacific Ocean. This surplus, warm water washes back over the eastern Pacific, releasing tremendous amounts of heat. 2015’s spike in temperatures was due to El Nino. It would be dishonest and inaccurate to claim that 2015’s increase in surface temperatures was simply due to man-made warming. And even climate “alarmists” admit that El Nino is not a manifestation of man-made warming.

Q. The “pause in global temperatures” is just people denying that the earth is getting hotter and hotter.

Satellite measurements from both UAH-Huntsville and RSS clearly show a “pause” in global temperatures (I.e. a net flatlining of temperatures) over the past 15-20 years. As the current El Nino fades, it’s reasonable to expect a resumption of recent global temperatures. More significantly, the “pause” has been the subject of numerous debates and research papers. Climate alarmists don’t deny that it has happened, and instead offer varying explanations. Even Michael Mann, creator of the infamous “Hockey Stick” graph, says that the pause occurred and was not foreseeable.

Q. NOAA says there’s no “pause” in global warming.

There is legitimate concern as to the accuracy and reliability of recent temperature measurements being reported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA.) Last year, NOAA reported adjustments to global temperature records that suddenly “erased” the pause. I.e. Earlier decades were revised to be “cooler,” while recent years were suddenly marked as “warmer” by factoring in measurements that included seawater temperature readings from the engine manifolds of ocean-going vessels. Various academic papers have debunked NOAA’s “new” temperature findings, but NOAA’s revised measurements continue to be used to make claims such as “warmest year ever.” The questionable methods utilized by NOAA to assemble its “pause buster” study are now the subject of a Congressional investigation.

Q. But the oceans are becoming acidic.

The oceans remain comfortably alkaline, as they have for millions of years. As noted above, atmospheric CO2 levels have typically ranged far higher throughout the earth’s history, yet the oceans never became acidic. In fact, if they had, submarine fossil layers would have readily dissolved. Claims of the ocean “becoming acidic” are actually a misrepresentation of variations in the ocean’s pH scale. Seawater has typically measured roughly 8.18 on the pH scale. Recent, pH levels of 8.10 have been noted, which would mean slightly less alkaline oceans. But it’s misleading to say that the oceans are “becoming acidic,” particularly when ocean pH often varies greatly, based on season and location.

Q. But the glaciers are melting.

Even NASA has stated that Antarctica’s ice cover is growing, not shrinking.

Q. But there are more hurricanes and more tornadoes.

The U.S. has reached a record 127 months without a major hurricane. The U.S. is also at its lowest 3-year tornado total since 1950.

Q. But we need to cut dangerous carbon pollution.

The “carbon pollution” you hear so much about is carbon dioxide, also known as CO2. It’s what all animals (including humans) breathe out, and what plants absorb. In fact, rising CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere have led to a progressive “greening” of global plant life in recent decades. Because atmospheric CO2 is at such historically low levels, the world’s plants and oceanic phytoplankton are currently rejoicing in this slightly more abundant supply of nourishment.

To conclude, it’s helpful to study the basic issues involved in the climate debate (as well as recent geologic history) when considering various aspects of global warming.


Far from bleached, reef’s in the pink

West Australian coral is doing fine while Queensland (Eastern) coral is extensively bleached.  So any pretense that the Queensland situation is part of a global phenomenon is at least dubious.  There's some very confused thinking about El Nino and La Nina below.  The journalist appears to have the two mixed up

Scientists have discovered that the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef off the West Australian coast — the largest fringing reef in Australia — has escaped any recent coral bleaching and that some areas are in the same condition as 30 years ago.

CSIRO ecologist Damian Thomson said yesterday a major study of the reef that ended this month had found that Ningaloo was unaffected by the current bleaching "event” that has hit Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef and other reefs off WA’s northern coast.

He said the research — funded by CSIRO and BHP Billiton through a $5.4 million partnership — showed Ningaloo was more resilient than expected.

"It’s really pleasing that Ningaloo hasn’t undergone any bleaching — it’s fantastic news actually,” Mr Thompson said.

The clean bill of health will be welcomed by the tourism industry around Exmouth, a town ­reliant on thousands of visitors visiting the reef every year ­between April and July to snorkel with migrating whale sharks. Later this year, tourists will also be able to swim with humpback whales, which is expected to double the length of Exmouth’s $6m tourist season.

Conservationists are worried about the human impact on the reef and have also raised concerns in recent years about ­increased oil and gas exploration — including by BHP — close to Ningaloo Marine Park.

Mr Thomson said while coral bleaching remained a possible future threat to the reef, the sheer number of people visiting the area was its major challenge.

"It’s a relatively small tract of reef when you look at the extent of the Australian coastline, but the number of people that love holidaying there or going there for other activities, it is very well used. That is probably the main challenge, managing that.”

Mr Thomson said bleaching tended to occur on Australia’s west coast during La Nina years, when strong currents from ­Indonesia pushed warm water south to Ningaloo. But during the recent El Nino, those strong currents had not ­occurred, ­resulting in cooler waters.

CSIRO research surveyed 70 sites at Ningaloo and found no coral bleached at locations where bleaching was recorded in 2010. At Osprey, on the western part of Ningaloo, results were as good as those taken in 1987. Ningaloo was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2011 for its biological diversity and conservation significance.

The findings are for the first year of field work undertaken by the Ningaloo Outlook project, which aims to increase the ­ecological understanding of the reefs.



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


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Climate change could destroy Statue of Liberty, Venice and many other parts of the world's heritage, UN report warns

And pigs could fly. There is NO evidence for any of the prophecies below.  It is just speculation based on global warming theory -- a theory with so many holes in it, it might as well be a sieve.

The present day events described are just cherry-picking.  One could easily pick other events leading to the opposite conclusion -- like the fact that the world's biggest body of glacial ice -- Antarctica --  is INCREASING in size, suggesting a future sea-level FALL.  Or how about Munshi's demonstration that the increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere are NOT the result of burning coal and oil?

You cannot prove a generalization by picking a few bits of data here and there.  You need statistics that cover ALL events of the type discussed.  And sea level rise is not ordinarily detectable in most of the world

The Statue of Liberty and many of the world’s most important heritage sites could soon be destroyed by global warming, the UN has warned.

Historic sites including Orkney and the world’s most important coral reefs already feeling the effect of the increasing temperatures and climate disruption that is coming with global warming. But that same trend could completely destroy them and other parts of the world’s heritage, according to a new report.

The danger shows the “urgent and clear” need to address climbing temperatures to protect many parts of the world’s heritage, according to the report, which was compiled by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), UN heritage body Unesco and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The study took in 31 natural and cultural World Heritage sites, spread across 29 countries. It looked at the ways that the effects of climate change – including intense weather and damage to animal’s habitats – would effect them in the future.

Climate change will - or is already - exacerbating problems faced by some of the world's most famous and popular heritage sites, such as the Galapagos Islands, which helped Charles Darwin form his theory of evolution, the study found.

Threats to the unique wildlife caused by 205,000 visitors a year, invasive species and illegal fishing are now being joined by rising seas, warming and more acidic oceans and extreme weather.

In the UK, at Stonehenge, warmer winters are likely to boost populations of burrowing animals that could disturb archaeological deposits and destabilise stonework.

Hotter drier summers could increase visitor numbers and change the plant species which stabilise the chalk downlands, causing more soil erosion, while Stonehenge, Avebury and Silbury Hill face increased rainfall and flash floods.

More severe problems threaten the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage site, where many archaeological sites are on the coast due to the importance of the sea in Stone Age life, and at least half are under threat from coastal erosion

Five-thousand-year-old Skara Brae, the best-preserved Stone Age dwelling complex in Western Europe with houses and stone furniture, is the most high profile site at risk of eventual loss of coastal erosion, the study said.

Lead author of the report and deputy director of the climate and energy programme at UCS, Adam Markham, said: "Orkney and the whole of Scotland is the poster child for eroding archaeology sites.

"There are thousands of them and many of them are being lost to coastal erosion and storms.

"If sea level rise and storms get worse because of global warming then we are going to be losing huge amounts of British heritage directly into the sea," he warned.

Other sites around the world that are at risk from coastal erosion include Easter Island, with its famous head statues, many of which are situated close to the sea, he said.

The Grand Canal in Venice by sunset. © Getty Images The Grand Canal in Venice by sunset. Elsewhere sites which bring in important tourism revenue could be particularly badly hit, such as Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park where rising temperatures could affect the habitat of endangered mountain gorillas.

Mr Markham said: "The report is representative of the kind of threats these iconic places are experiencing, some are in direct and immediate danger.

"At every one of these sites we can see the impacts of climate change already. Not in every place is it threatening it yet but it will threaten it in the future."

New York's Statue of Liberty was badly hit by Hurricane Sandy, with £68 million given for repairs and protection to the area, while more intense hurricanes are expected with climate change and sea level rises likely to cause more significant storm surges.

And Venice, with its extraordinary Byzantine, gothic, renaissance and baroque architecture, is under immediate threat from rising sea levels and work to protect it from flooding has cost £4 billion, the report said.

Mechtild Rossler, director of Unesco's World Heritage Centre, said: "Globally, we need to better understand, monitor and address climate change threats to World Heritage sites.

"As the report's findings underscore, achieving the Paris Agreement's goal of limiting global temperature rise to a level well below 2C is vitally important to protecting our world heritage for current and future generations."


It takes The Donald

Republican presumptive presidential nominee, Donald Trump, acknowledges love from a fan while speaking to 7,500 people at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismarck on Thursday. Trump, whose support from North Dakota national convention delegates put him over the top for securing the party’s nomination earlier Thursday, told the crowd he’d eliminate regulation he says is killing the fossil fuel industry as well as be favorable to additional pipeline projects and exports of American oil.

Trump, whose support from North Dakota national convention delegates put him over the top for securing the party’s nomination earlier in the day, told the crowd he’d eliminate regulation he says is killing the fossil fuel industry as well as be favorable to additional pipeline projects and exports of American oil.

Thunderous applause greeted Trump’s declaration that in his administration there’d be an “America-first energy plan.”

“We will accomplish a complete American energy independence,” Trump said. “We’re going to turn everything around. We are going to make it right.”

He thanked the North Dakota delegates for putting him over the top. “I will always remember that,” Trump said.

For those hoping to witness a dose of the sharp rhetoric that’s been a staple of his unconventional and eyebrow-raising campaign, he didn’t disappoint.

Trump vowed to reverse the energy policy of President Barack Obama’s administration, which he said has been devastating to industry and inflicted pain on states such as North Dakota that rely heavily on the energy sector.

“If President Obama wanted to weaken America, he couldn’t have done a better job,” Trump said.

Among the policies he’d push to undo is the Environmental Protection Agency’s emissions rules targeting coal-fired power plants. The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year voted 5-4 to halt implementation of the rules governing new and existing power plants for now.

“How stupid is that?” Trump said of the emissions rules.

He also slammed the Environment Protection Agency’s Waters of the United State rule, which he said would cause significant damage to American energy production and kill jobs.

Trump had the crowd in the palm of his hand, a sea of people dotted with Trump hats and shirts with his campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.” He drew wave after wave of raucous applause when outlining how optimistic he is at the prospect of North Dakota and the country’s energy future.

“You’re at the forefront of a new energy revolution,” said Trump, adding that the country has unlocked energy reserves previously unimaginable with new technologies, such as hydraulic fracturing. “We’re loaded. We had no idea how rich we are.”

The first 100 days of a potential Trump administration also riled up the crowd: He said he’d rescind executive orders by Obama that he believes are job killers as well as work to eliminate the emissions and water rules.

When considering any federal regulations, Trump said his litmus test would be simple.

“Is this regulation good for the American worker?” Trump said.

Those who heard Trump speak gave his speech an enthusiastic thumbs-up.

“I think from what we see on TV he had a much more detailed presentation. He was really well-informed on the issues,” Whitney Bell, of New Town, said.

Bell said the crowd was fantastic and responded well to Trump's message, which he reiterated was more detailed than mere sound-bites.

Jason Bohrer, president of the Lignite Energy Council, said he was impressed with Trump’s focus on deregulation.

“I heard what I wanted to hear and more. Trump is a different kind of politician; he communicates in a way that a lot of other people don’t,” Bohrer said.

North Dakota Petroleum Council President Ron Ness said he was thrilled by how the speech went as well as the overwhelming reaction from the crowd.

“I’ve been to a lot of Class B state championships in this building; this was equal to that,” Ness said. “The energy just rolled in.”

Ness said his America-first message resonated with people and he expects it to become a staple of his campaign.

“That speech was loaded with specifics. He backed that up with a lot of numbers. I didn’t hear anything that isn’t achievable,” Ness said.

Trump tapped Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., earlier this month to help in providing him with energy policy advice. Cramer wrote a white paper on energy policy relating to federal regulations, the importance of the fossil fuel industry and other topics, which hasn’t yet been released.

Cramer was one of the first members of Congress to openly endorse Trump prior to his last opponents dropping out of the race.

North Dakota Republican Party chairman Kelly Armstrong said he heard what he needed to hear from Trump on eliminating government regulations, reducing taxes and protecting the energy industry. As chairman, Armstrong is one of North Dakota’s 28 delegates to the national Republican Party convention July 18-21 in Cleveland.

“Tremendously good for the people of North Dakota,” Armstrong said of Trump’s positions.


Independent Scientists WARN: ‘Most Currently Published Research Findings Are FALSE…’

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of [The New] England Journal of Medicine” — These are the words of Dr. Marcia Angell, a physician and longtime editor-in-chief of The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), which is considered to be one of the most prestigious peer-reviewed science journals in the world.

psi 1The Lancet, another top, well respected peer-reviewed medical journal also publishes research findings that are unreliable and many times false. The current editor-in-chief, Dr. Richard Horton recently spoke out about the fake science often published in the prestigious medical journal. “The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness,” he warns, as reported by Collective-Evolution.com.

Many of the industry-sponsored studies being published today are used to promote new drugs and vaccines. One thing is for sure: Money has its influence on “science.” To make matters worse, what ultimately gets published and promoted is what is ultimately believed by medical professionals.

The most disturbing realization about today’s leading published “science” is that it’s leaving out important information from the public. Dr. Horton points this out, extensively. This scientific fraud exists in the most prestigious peer-reviewed medical journals, and it’s been going on for decades. He has observed instances where data is manipulated to promote a particular theory. He says there’s hardly any accountability when bad practices are used. He even calls himself out for being part of the problem, aiding and abetting some of the worst behaviors.

It’s not just theory. Lucija Tomljenovic, PhD, from the Neural Dynamics Research Group in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of British Columbia, reveals that pharmaceutical companies and vaccine manufacturers explicitly know about multiple dangers with their products but that information is withheld from the public.

In her research paper, “The vaccination policy and the Code of Practice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI): are they at odds?” Tomljenovic reveals eight disturbing assertions obtained from documented meetings between 1983 and 2010 involving the UK Department of Health (DH) and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

For many years, the two health authorities have been engaged in “Deliberately concealing information from the parents for the sole purpose of getting them to comply with an ‘official’ vaccination schedule.” Lucija Tomljenovic points out that this “could thus be considered as a form of ethical violation or misconduct.”

“Instead of reacting appropriately by re-examining existing vaccination policies when safety concerns over specific vaccines were identified by their own investigations,” Tomljenovic points out, the “JCVI either a) took no action, b) skewed or selectively removed unfavourable safety data from public reports and c) made intensive efforts to reassure both the public and the authorities in the safety of respective vaccines.”

The fraudulent methods by which drug and vaccine research is conducted and published is appalling. Peer-reviewed studies consistently downplay safety concerns of new drugs while over-inflating vaccine benefits. Even though many vaccines have “unresolved safety issues,” they are pushed just so health authorities can increase vaccination rates. This is clearly not scientific or in the public interest.

The drug makers would like you to think that you are deficient and in need of their formulations, but you are not their property, and you are not their experiment.


Party of Science?

The argument over Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) has exposed an interesting method of delegitimizing opposing points of view. For many supporters of AGW, “the science is settled” because 97% of scientists have decreed man-caused catastrophic climate change to be stone-cold fact (despite overwhelming evidence of fraud, data manipulation and deceit .)

Yes, they have “SCIENCE!” on their side and only a fool or a Luddite would argue with “SCIENCE!” Therefore, if you disagree with them, you are, by definition, a fool and your argument can simply be ignored.

It’s an incredibly simplistic, yet effective tactic. By assuming the mantle of the “Party of Science”, they attempt to claim the intellectual high-ground , making their beliefs beyond reproach. How could anyone argue against the facts unless they deny “SCIENCE!”?

Lately, however, “SCIENCE!” seems to have taken a back seat to “feelings”, as these “Party of Science” members repeatedly deny honest-to-goodness science in deference to their agenda. A few examples:


For years, we’ve been told that fracking is hazardous to the environment. The process of fracturing shale rock miles below the surface of the earth to increase oil production has driven many of the “Party of Science” into fits. Movies have been made decrying this “evil practice” and professing to show the harm this process does to ground water. Of course, those movies are nothing more than Michael Moore-esque agitprop, virtually devoid of anything that approaches actual facts.

But that does not stop such high-ranking members of the “Party of Science” as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, as he continues to uphold his ban on fracking in his state, to the detriment of his state’s economy and citizens, even in the face of a federal report showing that that it is not harmful.

Recently, the University of Cincinnati completed a three-year study into the potential harm of fracking to local water supplies. The results? There is absolutely no evidence that fracking contaminates local ground water whatsoever. Great news, right? Well, not to those who funded the study.

Under pressure from the backers of the study, the University will not release the results. According to lead researcher Amy Townsend-Small, “our funders, the groups that had given us funding in the past, were a little disappointed in our results. They feel that fracking is scary and so they were hoping our data could point to a reason to ban it.”


Women in Combat:

In a move referred to as “another historic step forward”, Defense Secretary Ash Carter ruled that women would now be allowed to serve in all combat roles in the US Military, including front-line roles. The stated reason for this decision was to increase the potential pool of people upon which to draw to fill these roles. The unstated reason, of course, is to increase diversity within our armed forces, whether it makes sense to do so or not.

And, of course, it doesn’t make sense. Recently, both the US Army and the US Marine Corps conducted studies to determine the impact that women serving in front-line combat positions would have on those combat units. The results showed that, while some women can perform at or above the minimally required levels currently in place, the overall effectiveness of the combat unit is dramatically reduced.

Well, to be fair, that was the result of the Marine Corps’ study. It turns out that the Marines, as they tend to do, took their job seriously and actually performed comprehensive and complete testing, in accordance with the Department of Defense’s required methodology. And then released the full and complete report for analysis.

The Marine Corps study has been and continues to be ignored.

The US Army’s study, however, came back with the politically desired results. But soon after that study was released, it was discovered that the women in their tests were given extra training, special treatment, and were held to lower standards. When the details of this now-questionable study were requested by Congressman Steve Russell (R-OK), a former Army Ranger, he was informed, after weeks of delay, that the records had been destroyed. Convenient, don’t you think?

But how old-fashioned to think that facts should mean anything when the “Party of Science” knows what’s best for us. Putting women in front line combat roles is fair and diverse and stuff. So what if it puts all of our military men and women at a greater risk?

Minimum Wage Laws:

The push for a so-called “living wage” has become almost a mantra among the “Party of Science” crowd. Someone, somewhere, somehow decided that $15/hour is a “living wage.” Where that number came from is still a mystery, but who cares? #Fightfor15! #LivingWages!

And as fun as it has been to watch rich, well-positioned politicians and other members of the community formerly known as “reality-based” pretend to live on what they assume to be starvation wages (“oh my, when did the price of dried kiwi and quinoa become so high?”), this fight is causing real harm in the real world.

For example, the city of Seattle, WA recently implemented a $15 minimum wage. The result? Huge job losses inside the Seattle city limits, compared to huge job growth in the surrounding communities. Also, business growth inside Seattle has slowed to a crawl, while it is booming elsewhere. So instead of helping low wage earners, higher minimum wages actually hurts them. Who could have seen that coming?

And it will only get worse. Businesses that normally depend on unskilled and younger workers are looking at automation, in order to reduce their staffing needs. Yes, Virginia, when it costs less to buy a machine to do your job than it does to hire you, business owners will buy the machine.

It is interesting to note that some “Party of Science” members do recognize their cognitive dissonance.  As he signed into law an increase in the California’s minimum wage, Gov. Jerry Brown freely admitted that higher minimum wages are not economically viable. But who cares about that? It makes sense morally and politically! (Try saying that from the unemployment line as opposed to the Governor’s mansion.)

Genetically modified crops are safe. Party of Science doesn’t care. Vaccines do not cause autism. Party of Science doesn’t care. Gender identity is not fluid and transgenderism is a psychological disorder similar to anorexia and should be treated as such. Not so, says the Party of Science, and you shall not only accept, but celebrate the choices made by these brave yet tortured souls.

I could try to analyze why so many people work so hard to make the rest of us reject reality for their fantasies, but I think the motivation behind this effort was explained quite brilliantly many years ago:

“You believe that reality is something objective, external, existing in its own right. You also believe that the nature of reality is self-evident. When you delude yourself into thinking that you see something, you assume that everyone else sees the same thing as you. But I tell you, Winston, that reality is not external. Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else. Not in the individual mind, which can make mistakes, and in any case soon perishes: only in the mind of the Party, which is collective and immortal. Whatever the Party holds to be the truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party. That is the fact that you have got to relearn, Winston. It needs an act of self- destruction, an effort of the will. You must humble yourself before you can become sane.” – O’Brien (George Orwell – ‘1984’)


Bill Nye the Scientism Guy

Facts don’t support his hypothesis, so he shouts louder, changes subjects and attacks his critics

Willie Soon and István Markó

True science requires that data, observations and other evidence support a hypothesis – and that it can withstand withering analysis and criticism – or the hypothesis is wrong.

That’s why Albert Einstein once joked, “If the facts don’t fit your theory, change the facts.” When informed that scientists who rejected his theory of relativity had published a pamphlet, 100 authors against Einstein, he replied: “Why 100? If I were wrong, one would be enough.”

In the realm of climate scientism, the rule seems to be: If the facts don’t support your argument, talk louder, twist the facts, and insult your opponents. That’s certainly what self-styled global warming “experts” like Al Gore and Bill Nye are doing. Rather than debating scientists who don’t accept false claims that humans are causing dangerous climate change, they just proclaim more loudly:

Our theory explains everything that’s happening. Hotter or colder temperatures, wetter or drier weather, less ice in the Arctic, more ice in Antarctica – it’s all due to fossil fuel use.

Climate scientism aggressively misrepresents facts, refuses to discuss energy and climate issues with anyone who points out massive flaws in the manmade climate chaos hypothesis, bullies anyone who won’t condemn carbon dioxide, and brands them as equivalent to Holocaust Deniers.

In a recent Huffington Post article, Mr. Nye “challenges climate change deniers” by claiming, “The science of global warming is long settled, and one may wonder why the United States, nominally the most technologically advanced country in the world, is not the world leader in addressing the threats.”

Perhaps it’s not so settled. When the Australian government recently shifted funds from studying climate change to addressing threats that might result, 275 research jobs were imperiled. The very scientists who’d been saying there was a 97% consensus howled that there really wasn’t one. Climate change is very complex, they cried (which is true), and much more work must be done if we are to provide more accurate temperature predictions, instead of wild forecasts based on CO2 emissions (also true).

Perhaps Mr. Nye and these Australian researchers should discuss what factors other than carbon dioxide actually cause climate and weather fluctuations. They may also encounter other revelations: that climate science is still young and anything but settled; that we have little understanding of what caused major ice ages, little ice ages, warm periods in between and numerous other events throughout the ages; that computer model predictions thus far have been little better than tarot card divinations.

As for Nye’s assertions that “carbon dioxide has an enormous effect on planetary temperatures” and “climate change was discovered in recent times by comparing the Earth to the planet Venus” – those are truly bizarre, misleading, vacuous claims.

The relatively rapid increase in atmospheric CO2 over the last 30 years has produced only 0.2°C (0.4°F) of global warming – compared to a 1°C (1.8°F) total temperature increase over the past 150 years. That means the planetary temperature increase has slowed down, as carbon dioxide levels rose. In fact, average temperatures have barely budged for nearly 19 years, an inconvenient reality that even the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) now recognizes.

This is an “enormous effect”? By now, it is increasingly clear, the proper scientific conclusion is that the “greenhouse effect” of rising atmospheric carbon dioxide is very minor – as a recent article explains. Mr. Nye and his fans and fellow activists could learn a lot from it.

Objective readers, and even Mr. Nye, would also profit from reading a rather devastating critique of one of The Scientism Guy’s “science-is-easy” demonstrations. It concludes that the greenhouse effect of CO2 molecules is of course real, but Mr. Nye’s clever experiment for Al Gore’s “Climate Reality Project” was the result of “video fakery” and “could never work” as advertised. When will Messrs. Nye and Gore stop peddling their Hollywood special effects?

For that matter, when will they stop playing inter-planetary games? Mr. Nye and the popular media love to tell us that carbon dioxide from oil, gas and coal could soon turn Planet Earth into another Venus: over-heated, barren, rocky and lifeless. Princeton Institute of Advanced Study Professors Freeman Dyson and Will Happer show that this is utter nonsense.

For one thing, Venus is far closer to the sun, so it is subjected to far more solar heat, gravitational pull and surface pressure than Earth is. “If we put a sunshade shielding Venus from sunlight,” Dr. Dyson notes, “it would only take 500 years for its surface to cool down and its atmosphere to condense into a carbon dioxide ocean.” It’s not the high temperature that makes Venus permanently unfriendly to life, he adds; it’s the lack of water.

Second, the amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide are grossly disproportionate. Earth has barely 0.04% carbon dioxide (by volume) in its atmosphere, whereas Venus has 97% and Mars has 95% CO2. Mars much greater distance from the sun also means it has an average surface temperature of -60°C (-80°F) –underscoring yet again how absurd it is to use planetary comparisons to stoke climate change fears.

Third, Earth’s atmosphere used to contain far more carbon dioxide. “For most of the past 550 million years of the Phanerozoic, when multicellular life left a good fossil record, the earth’s CO2 levels were four times, even ten times, higher than now,” Dr. Happer points out. “Yet life flourished on land and in the oceans. Earth never came close to the conditions of Venus.” And it never will.

Fourth, Venus’s much closer proximity to the sun means it receives about twice as much solar flux (radiant energy) as the Earth does: 2637 Watts per square meter versus 1367, Happer explains. The IPCC says doubling atmospheric CO2 concentrations would be equivalent to just 15 W/m2 of additional solar flux. That’s nearly 100 times less than what Venus gets from being closer to the Sun.

Fifth, surface pressure on Venus is about 90 times that of the Earth, and strong convection forces increase the heating of surface air, he continues, making Venus’s surface even hotter. However, dense sulfuric acid clouds prevent most solar heat from ever reaching the planet’s surface. Instead, they reflect most sunlight back into space, which is “one of the reasons Venus is such a lovely morning or evening ‘star.’”

Of course, none of these nerdy details about Earth-Venus differences really matter. We already know plant life on Planet Earth loved the higher CO2 levels that prevailed during the Carboniferous Age and other times when plants enjoyed extraordinary growth.

However, even burning all the economically available fossil fuels would not likely even double current atmospheric CO2 levels – to just 0.08% carbon dioxide, compared to 21% oxygen, 78% nitrogen, 0.9% argon and 0.1% for all other gases except water vapor. And doubling CO2 would get us away from the near-famine levels for plants that have prevailed for the past tens of millions of years.

Carbon dioxide is absolutely essential for plant growth – and for all life on Earth. Volumes of research clearly demonstrate that crop, garden, forest, grassland and ocean plants want more CO2, not less. The increased greening of our Earth over the past 30 years testifies to the desperate need of plants for this most fundamental fertilizer. The more CO2 they get, the better and faster they grow.

More than 70% of the oxygen present in the atmosphere – and without which we could never live – originates from phytoplankton absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Keep this in mind when Bill Nye The Junk Science Guy tells you carbon dioxide is bad for our oceans and climate.

Dr. Willie Soon is an independent scientist who has been studying the Sun and Earth’s climate for 26 years. Dr. István Markó is a professor of chemistry at the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium and director of the Organic and Medicinal Chemistry Laboratory.

Via email

Australia’s secret ETS starts in five weeks

Quietly, surprisingly, Australia’s climate change policy has become a bipartisan emissions trading scheme, or ETS … well, almost. The parties might try to manufacture differences for the election campaign, although they haven’t yet, and anyway they don’t really exist.

From July 1, coincidentally the day before the election, the Coalition’s “safeguard mechanism” within its Direct Action Plan will come into force.

One-hundred and fifty companies, representing about 50 per cent of Australia’s total carbon emissions, will be capped by legislation at their highest level of emissions between 2009-10 and 2013-14.

If they emit less than their caps, they will get credits, called Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs), which were created by the Gillard government’s 2011 legislation; if they emit more, they have to buy ACCUs on the market.

The caps specifically include the electricity sector and the ACCUs are “financial products” under both the Corporations Act and the ASIC Act, and can be traded, so an ETS market will be established from July 1.

It is, in short, a classic cap-and-trade ETS, similar in effect to the one legislated by the ALP in 2011, but which unwisely started with a fixed price that could be labelled a carbon tax, and was repealed on July 17, 2014 by the Abbott government, with high-fives and champagne.

What hasn’t been announced or included in the Coalition’s legislation yet is that the caps will start to be reduced from next year, which will make it even more similar in some ways to the Gillard government’s Clean Energy Act 2011.

The legislation that included the Coalition’s ETS was passed by the Senate — with the support of both the ALP and the Greens — on its last day of sitting in 2015, in December.

As it happens, that was the day before the Paris climate conference, called COP 21, got underway, at which an agreement to keep the global temperature increase to 2 degrees was signed by 189 countries, including Australia.

The emissions caps imposed on 150 companies are described by the government as a “safeguard mechanism” to support the Emissions Reduction Fund that is the centrepiece of the Direct Action Plan, in which companies bid at auction for the right to be paid to reduce their emissions. Those auctions have so far resulted in 143 million tonnes of abatement at an average price of $12.10 per tonne, which is much lower than had been forecast by the scheme’s opponents.

The Department of Environment’s website says: “The safeguard mechanism will protect taxpayers’ funds by ensuring that emissions reductions paid for through the crediting and purchasing elements of the Emissions Reduction Fund are not displaced by significant increases in emissions above business-as-usual levels elsewhere in the economy.”

But depending on the gradient of cap reduction that is decided next year, the safeguard itself could end up becoming the central pillar of Australia’s response to the Paris agreement.

That’s because the government almost certainly can’t afford to pay for enough abatement under the auction system to meet its Paris commitments, given the state of the budget.

In fact, the safeguard mechanism becomes a way for the government — Coalition or Labor — to adjust the budget deficit: reducing the “safeguard” caps faster would reduce the amount that the ERF would have to pay out.

The interesting question is why no one is talking about any of this. Obviously the 150 companies involved know about it, and it’s all described in full on the department website, but the fact that Australia has effectively legislated an emissions trading scheme is virtually a secret.

So far, climate change has been absent from the election campaign and will probably remain so — because fundamentally the parties agree now. The only disagreement is likely to be rate of the reduction in the caps, and no one is ready to talk about that yet.

In fact, the idea of a cap-and-trade scheme has been part of the Coalition’s climate policy since well before Greg Hunt went from shadow minister to Minister for the Environment in 2013. He made it a condition of his appointment by Tony Abbott that the science of climate change would be accepted and the emissions reduction target would not change.

Within that, he and Abbott constructed a policy position that could more or less credibly be argued as achieving the abatement targets, while at the same time satisfying three requirements: differentiating their policy from the ALP, not increasing electricity prices and not upsetting the far right of the Coalition.

When Malcolm Turnbull became leader and Prime Minister last year, amazingly, he did not fully understand his party’s climate policy, and in particular the inclusion of a cap and trade ETS, because Hunt had never discussed it in Cabinet. Apparently, he was pleasantly surprised, but decided to maintain radio silence, as part of his broader efforts to keep the conservatives onside.

The whole process has been a remarkable strategy by Hunt: he has effectively steered an emissions trading scheme into Australia’s response to climate change through a ferociously polarised political debate.

It’s arguably a bit like Nixon in China — only a conservative minister could have done it.

The key has been not talking about the ETS part of the policy and to emphasise the lack of a price on all emissions. He hasn’t exactly kept it secret, since it’s in the legislation, but nor has he talked about it publicly and nor has anyone else.

Both the Greens and the ALP passed the legislation in December, even though they probably could have blocked it. Why? It’s because they basically agree with it and want to use the mechanism if elected.

Will it work? That depends on the gradient of the cap reductions when they start. The key is that an ETS has now been legislated in Australia and can be adjusted to fit requirements, either budgetary or political.

Will it result in higher electricity prices? Almost certainly. Shhh.



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.  

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