Thursday, January 05, 2017
Al Gore eat your heart out: Another example of a sea-level FALL
Moreton Bay borders Brisbane. A Brisbane reader emailed me as follows:
I thought you might be interested in this photo of our old family home site at Cleveland Point, Moreton Bay. That old jetty is one I helped build in 1946. And in the years from '46 to '53 the fine weather king tides [~ normal BP] just covered the decking on that jetty [decking now missing but 30 mm higher than remaining bearers]. This photo was taken at the top of the highest king tide of this summer [15/12/16] and as you can see this tide is at least a foot lower than the top of the jetty. I have been doing this check regularly for the last 6 years and it is always the same. Around a foot lower.
Not only is there no acceleration in SLR in this isostatically stable part of the world but there is NO SLR at all. There have been no hydrodynamic changes anywhere near this very exposed part of the bay to possibly influence tides.
The new owners have wisely built a mezzanine wall and filled the site because apart from being at king tide height the lawn would be under water by up to a foot with cyclonic storm surges which happened quite often in the past though rarely nowadays.
It is interesting when you talk to council engineers and others in authority who should know -- like university professors advising on coastal city planning etc. -- just how little they really know about the true sea level situation.
There is no continuous tide gauge data and they all believe in the satellite altimetry -- JI
Comment: To those who have been fed Greenie propaganda, this must seem inexplicable but it is in fact a common finding. The very carefully set (in 1841) Isle of the Dead gauge in Tasmania also shows a mean sea-level fall of about a foot
And because Australia is remarkably stable geologically, Australian data is of particular interest. Rising and falling of the land can mostly be ruled out in Australia. So, contrary to the IPCC, the sea level has NOT risen as a result of the slight C20 temperature rise.
There are many sea-level records showing falling in the Northern hemisphere too. So how come we haven't heard of them? Because the commonly published records are ADJUSTED ones. We rarely get to see the raw data. The theory is that the ground is rising as a rebound from the weight of ice that vanished after the last ice age (isostatic rebound). So the Warmists have a formula to "correct" for rising of the ground. And that highly theoretical formula turns a sea-level fall into a slight rise.
But the last ice age went away thousands of years ago. Surely any rebound effect would have completed long ago. So it is pure theory and quite improbable theory which tells us that sea levels have been rising over C20 and earlier. It is not only the temperature readings that have been adjusted. The sea level data has been adjusted too.
Even if we allow the possibility that there is still some isostatic rebound going on, can we believe a rise of a foot in very recent times? It's just another fraud. With an acceleration like that, most of Europe and North America should be as high as the Himalayas.
So where has the missing water gone? It's confirmation of the "Simpson Effect". Simpson predicted that warming would cause water to be trapped in glacial ice at the poles. And Antarctic ice has in fact been increasing overall.
Read the late John Daly on the matter. He knew where all the skeletons are buried. There's a whole graveyard of them
Rescinding EPA electricity rules key to making America competitive again
The EPA has helped to strangle U.S. economic growth for the last eight years with its 2009 carbon endangerment finding and subsequent rules against new and existing coal power plants, dubbed the Clean Power Plan. But regulatory policy has not just represented significant government overreach, it has also undermined U.S. competitiveness globally.
Now, with the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump on Jan. 20, the U.S. could be poised to reclaim its mantle as the world’s foremost economic power — by stopping further job-killing regulations from being implemented and rescinding the Obama regulations either under the terms of the Administrative Procedures Act, a process that can take a couple of years, or via Congress’ Article I power of the purse.
As the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce noted in July 2016, since President Obama took office the EPA has published just under 4,000 final rules in the Federal Register, which caused significant “Legal, cost, and practical implementation issues; effects of the rules on the electricity and oil and gas sectors; impacts on the affordability and reliability of energy supplies; impacts on American households and consumers; and, impacts on American workers, jobs, and economic growth.”
These regulations have cost the American companies hundreds of billions in compliance costs, and under the Obama administration cost more than $50 billion in annual costs each year. Hill contributor Jason Pye explained in Dec. 2016, the Clean Power Plan alone is estimated to cost the energy sector between $41 billion and $73 billion simply to comply. This is making electricity more expensive in the U.S., increasing the cost of doing business and killing jobs particularly in the coal sector, with an estimated 126,000 jobs expected to be lost as a direct result to the Clean Power Plan.
Even Democrats know this is a mistake. Resource-rich states such as North Dakota have consistently urged for looser EPA regulations in order to remain economically efficient. In Aug. 2015, Democratic Senator North Dakota Heidi Heitkamp fought increased regulations of greenhouse gas emission standards under the Clean Power Plan. Heitkamp complained to the administration that, “The Administration claims to support an all-of-the-above energy strategy, but has provided no viable path forward for coal and now seems to be going after natural gas as well — a fact this EPA rule makes resoundingly clear — and that will only hurt consumers, businesses, and our economy.”
Heitkamp explained that coal supports 13,000 jobs in North Dakota, and mining has an economic impact of $3.5 billion. The Democrats’ own EPA regulations are strangling their own states, as well as Americans’ opportunities across the country.
As taxpayers and state governments seem to bear the brunt of these overreaching regulatory policies, the national economic problems these regulations have caused is become more and more evident. Industry Week of March 2016 explains that based on the 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index developed by Deloitte and the Council on Competitiveness, China remains the most competitive place in the world to manufacture goods.
Which is little wonder. China has increased global market share of manufacturing goods exports from 3 percent in 1994 to over 16 percent in 2014, according to data compiled by the World Bank, while the U.S. has dropped to less than 8 percent.
The United States has the potential to become competitive again, but not with the EPA continuing to cripple the economy. U.S. manufacturers surveyed by Industry Week complained that excessive taxation and costs work against their aims to expand manufacturing in the U.S. Reducing EPA regulations on the other hand could diminish their economic burden.
One thing that is hurting U.S. competitiveness is not our industry, but some of the excessive regulations the Obama administration has put into place by the EPA. U.S. companies have the potential to earn billions back once these rules are rescinded, and if we hope to reclaim our place as the number one economy in the world, it is a necessity.
Obsolete Calculations of Cost of Carbon
The incoming Trump administration has promised dramatic transformations on many vital domestic issues. The best gauge of this development is the fierce level of opposition his policies have generated from Democratic stalwarts. One representative screed is a New York Times Op-Ed by Professors Michael Greenstone and Cass Sunstein, who lecture the incoming president on climate change: “Donald Trump Should Know: This is What Climate Change Costs Us.”
Greenstone and Sunstein have a large stake in the game: During their years in the first Obama administration, they convened an interagency working group (IWG) drawn from various federal agencies that determined that the social cost of carbon (SCC)—or the marginal cost of the release of a ton of carbon into the atmosphere—should be estimated at about $36 per ton (as of 2015). Choose that number and there is much justification for taking major policy steps to curb the emission of carbon dioxide. Greenstone and Sunstein hoped that the working group process would draw on the “latest research in science and economics,” and establish the claimed costs by “accounting for the destruction of property from storms and floods, declining agricultural and labor productivity, elevated mortality rates and more.”
Their effort should be dismissed as a rousing failure, and as an affront to the scientific method that they purport to adopt in their studies. The first error is one of approach. The worst way to get a full exchange of views on the complex matter of global warming is to pack the IWG entirely with members from the Obama administration, all surely preselected in part because they share the president’s exaggerated concerns with the problem of global warming. The only way to get a full and accurate picture of the situation is to listen to dissenters on global warming as well as advocates, which was never done. After all, who should listen to a “denier”?
This dismissive attitude is fatal to independent inquiry. No matter how many times the president claims the science is rock-solid, the wealth of recent evidence gives rise to a very different picture that undercuts the inordinate pessimism about climate change that was in vogue about 10 years ago. The group convened in the Obama administration never examined, let alone refuted, the accumulation of evidence on the other side. Indeed, virtually all of its reports are remarkable for the refusal to address any of the data at all. Instead, the common theme is to refer to models developed by others as the solid foundation for the group’s own work, without questioning a word of what those models say.
The second major mistake in the government studies is the way in which they frame the social costs of carbon. As all champions of cost/benefit analysis understand, it is a mistake to look at costs in isolation from benefits, or benefits apart from costs. Yet that appears to be the approach taken in these reports. In dealing with various objections to its reports, the IWG noted in its July 2015 response that “some commenters felt that the SCC estimates should include the value to society of the goods and services whose production is associated with CO2 emissions.” Their evasive response has to be quoted in full to be believed: "Rigorous evaluation of benefits and costs is a core tenet of the rulemaking process. The IWG agrees that these are important issues that may be relevant to assessing the impacts of policies that reduce CO2 emissions. However, these issues are not relevant to the SCC itself. The SCC is an estimate of the net economic damages resulting from CO2 emissions, and therefore is used to estimate the benefit of reducing those emissions."
In essence, the benefits from present or future CO2 emissions are not part of the story. Yet a truly neutral account of the problem must be prepared to come to the conclusion that increased levels of CO2 emissions could be, as the Carbon Dioxide Coalition has argued, a net benefit to society when a more comprehensive investigation is made. The entire process of expanding EPA regulations and other Obama administration actions feeds off this incorrect base assumption. The most striking admission of the folly of the entire EPA project comes from EPA Chief Gina McCarthy, who has stated that she would regard a decrease of one one-hundredth of a degree as enormously beneficial, notwithstanding its major cost, because its symbolism would “trigger global action.” No cost/benefit analysis would justify wasted expenditures solely on symbolic grounds. After all, human progress on global warming will only suffer if other nations follow our false siren on CO2 emissions, while ignoring the huge pollution that envelops major population centers like Delhi and Beijing.
Unfortunately, support for regulating CO2 emissions relies unduly on a Regulatory Impact Analysis that is worth no more than the faulty assumptions built into the model. These include the EPA’s hugely complicated Clean Power Plan, temporarily enjoined by the United States Supreme Court, that relies once again on the flawed social costs of carbon estimates.
The weakness of the EPA approach is shown by the data that Greenstone and Sunstein cite to support the contention that global warming has reached dangerous levels. They refer, for example, to a Geophysical Research Letter of 2014 that notes the retreat of ice in the West Antarctic between 1992 and 2011. But that one finding has to be set in context, as is done in the 2016 State of the Climate Report prepared by the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) and sent to the U.N. Climate Conference in Morocco. This more complete account notes that the mass gain in East Antarctica has been at 200 billion tons per year on average, compared to the 65 billion tons, which was offset by substantial gains in ice in West Antarctica, generating a net gain of roughly 82 billion tons per year in Antarctic ice between 2003 and 2008. The upshot: “The good news is that Antarctica is not currently contributing to sea level rise, but is taking 0.23 millimeters per year away.” Overall, the temperature over the Antarctic has been constant for the past 35 years.
No analysis that looks at the minuses can afford to ignore the larger pluses and maintain its credibility. Indeed, for what it is worth, the CFACT report notes that the ice mass in the Arctic is now about 22 percent greater than it was at its low point in 2012. This fact helps explain why there has been no recent change in the rise of sea levels, and certainly none that can be attributed to the relatively modest level of temperature increases in the past 100 years. Recent trends suggest the rate of increase in ocean levels has been decelerating over the last 18 years, during which time there has been a substantial increase in carbon dioxide levels. Yet the 102 different models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are all high in their estimates, by roughly four-fold. As documented in the 2016 CFACT report, there has been substantially no change in overall global temperature over the past 18 years, and the record highs reported are by tiny fractions of degrees that are smaller than the margin of measurement error. Yet the government’s methodology is to look at the models and ignore the data.
Just that was done by the now anachronistic 2009 EPA Endangerment Findings for Greenhouse Gases, which reported on the overall shrinkage of Arctic ice and claimed that the “elevated CO2 levels” were expected to result “in small beneficial effect[s] on crop yields.” The good news on this point seems to be that the increase in CO2 has led to about a 14 percent increase in green vegetation on earth over the past 30 years, as Matt Ridley reported in a 2016 lecture. It is the best of all possible CO2 worlds if the level of arable land increases with minor temperature changes and there are no appreciable changes in ocean levels. Put these numbers together and a revision of the SCC must be made, as it now appears that the net costs of carbon are negative. Further, the revised projections have only strengthened the lower estimates of global warming from elevated CO2 levels.
This basic conclusion is reinforced by other data, easily accessible, that addresses other concerns raised in the Greenstone and Sunstein article. For starters, there has been no recent increase in the level of storms and floods, or the damage that is said to result from them. To the contrary, the trend line has been unambiguously favorable, as the number of extreme events like floods and storms has declined steadily over the past 100 years. Indeed, the last major event in the United States was Hurricane Katrina in 2005, followed by eleven years of relative tranquility in the United States and around the world. This point is critical because one of the constant claims on global climate change is that the system-wide instability has increased these extreme events, even if overall temperature levels have remained constant.
The overall picture with respect to the SCC, then, is the exact opposite of that described by Greenstone and Sunstein, and that change in direction has a serious effect on the success of various legal challenges. Greenstone and Sunstein note that a legal decision in 2008 held that ignoring the SCC makes an administrative rule “arbitrary and capricious” and thus requires its reformulation by the applicable agency. They also reference another 2016 decision that upheld an administrative decision of the Department of Energy that explicitly took into account the SCC. But these judicial decisions have a surreal aura about them. The key statute for these cases was the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA), which was passed in the aftermath of the 1973 Mideast Oil Embargo that followed in the wake of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. The EPCA’s chief finding was that “the fundamental reality is that this nation has entered a new era in which energy resources previously abundant will remain in short supply, retarding our economic growth and necessitating an alteration in our life’s habits and expectations.”
It was on the strength of this 41-year-old statute that the Court in 2008 required the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to reissue its rules for the average fuel economy standards for light trucks because they failed to take into account the SCC. The ruling is wholly anachronistic today because the revolution in energy technology has obviated the entire factual premise on which the so-called CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) rules rest. Given fracking, energy is abundant. Thus, the SCC has to be reevaluated in light of evidence collected outside the EPA, and summarized above, none of which was taken into account when working within the closed universe of the current set of environmental and energy laws. At this time, it appears that virtually all the EPA rules rest on outdated science.
Greenstone and Sunstein are not alone in their refusal to deal with evidence that undermines their claims. But if the SCC looks to be negative, the Trump administration should act to eliminate the current endangerment finding for carbon dioxide, and dismantle the regulatory apparatus that rests upon its highly questionable estimation of the positive value of SCC. The sorry truth is that the EPA and the regulatory process in the Obama administration show no respect for the scientific method they claim to rely on.
Sweden Denies Permit for World’s Largest Wind Project, Due to its Military Interference
Sweden denied permission for developers to build the Blekinge offshore wind project, saying it would interfere with the Nordic nation’s army.
The project was planned to have 500 to 700 turbines. This would have resulted an installed capacity of about 2.5 gigawatts and investment valued at 50 billion kronor (CAD$7.4 billion), according to an e-mail from majority owner Eolus Vind AB.
The project company, Blekinge Offshore AB, is owned by Swedish developers. Hassleholm-based Eolus has 56 per cent, Vingkraft AB took 34 per cent and Vindin AB the remainder.
Sweden has set a target to generate all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2040. Prime Minister Stefan Loefven said in September that his government will spend $1.9 billion from 2017 to 2020 on climate initiatives. It generated 64 per cent of its power from clean sources last year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
“The fact that this interfered with the military in some way was probably the final nail in the coffin,” said Keegan Kruger, wind analyst at BNEF. “They just don’t have the incentive right now with an abundance of cheap hydro. Also, they consider nuclear as a renewable power source for their 100 per cent renewable target by 2040 and have recently removed a tax on nuclear generation.”
The Blekinge project was being developed about 17 km off the southern coast of Sweden in Hanoebukten, an identified area of national interest. The government said that the turbines could not coexist with the operations of the armed forces in the same area.
“It is with disappointment we receive news that a social democratic and green-party government does not take advantage of the opportunity that could result in the creation of renewable electricity and jobs,” said Per Witalisson, chairman of Blekinge Offshore AB. “We think it is reasonable that even the armed forces could be prepared to be flexible for a project that could significantly enhance the security of domestic energy supply in southern Sweden.”
The government said the armed forces need the area to practice maneuvers.
“Parliament has made it clear that Sweden’s defence ambitions will increase. The armed forces need to be able to practice. Hanoebukten is one of the strategically most important defence areas Sweden has,” said Environment Minister Carolina Frost. “The government has considered this issue carefully and have concluded that in this case it is not possible to combine the defence operations with wind turbines.”
GREENIE ROUNDUP FROM AUSTRALIA
Three current reports below:
Big split in the Greens
The far-left Trots (Trotsky-ites) infesting the Greens drop the mask
The partner of Greens senator Lee Rhiannon has attacked the federal party and defended the far-left, anti-capitalist faction Left Renewal, further exposing turmoil within the Greens after leader Richard Di Natale suggested the new group should consider options outside the party.
Geoff Ash, Senator Rhiannon’s partner of more than 25 years and a founding member and registered officer of the NSW Greens, has written a Facebook post suggesting the formation of the group could be a “wake-up call” for the party establishment.
Formed last month, the group aims to bind its members in a formal faction system and end capitalism, which it describes as the “violent and antagonistic relation between workers and those who exploit them”.
“As workers, whether or not we are waged, we experience perpetual violence and this violence must be brought to an end. We therefore fight to bring about the end of capitalism,” its online manifesto says.
Senator Di Natale described the overthrow of capitalism as a “ridiculous notion” and suggested members unhappy with Greens policies “consider finding a new political home”.
In a post last week on the “Australian Greens politics, news and discussion” public Facebook page, which has more than 8600 members, Mr Ash said although he was not a member of Left Renewal, he was not at all surprised the group had formed.
“Not only is our suite of economic justice policies underdeveloped, some existing positions are soft,” he wrote, citing the axing of a “moderate policy” of inheritance tax on wealthy estates, funding private schools and accepting corporate donations.
“The formation of Left Renewal is, I think, also a response to the position of the dominant Right grouping within the Greens, with its support for some undemocratic party structures and processes, and its vilification of some Left NSW figures in the party who have campaigned against that,” he wrote.
He accused the Right of the party of enabling a lack of grassroots democracy and the federal Greens partyroom of “making up its own rules, with the party having no say even though some of those rules are undemocratic”.
He cited the allocation of portfolios, the election of the leader “by just a small number of MPs”, a failure to define the powers of the leader and the constitutional right of Greens MPs (except in NSW) to defy party policy and decisions when voting in parliament “through the exercise of a highly elitist and undemocratic so-called conscience vote”, as showing the partyroom’s lack of democracy.
“Maybe the formation of the Left Renewal group will provide a wake-up call,” he wrote.
Senator Rhiannon could not be contacted for comment.
No state or federal MPs have joined the new group but Brigitte Holly, due to take up a position in Senator Rhiannon’s office soon, and Tamara Ryan, who until recently was on Senator Rhiannon’s federal parliamentary liaison committee, are supporters.
Tom Raue, a self-described anarchist, former Socialist Alternative member and staffer with NSW MP David Shoebridge, has called on Greens to join Left Renewal. Mr Shoebridge is not a member but defends its existence.
A spokesman for Senator Di Natale, who is on leave, said he had no further comment. Federal Greens sources are playing down the issue as a NSW matter.
Victoria's duck hunt given green light
Animal activists are preparing for another war on the wetlands after the Victorian government announced the 2017 duck hunting season.
The season will run for 12 weeks from March 18, with a bag limit of 10 birds per person per day, Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford said on Tuesday.
Coalition against Duck Shooting's Laurie Levy told AAP that activists were again preparing to keep watch across the state's wetlands for hunters shooting threatened species.
Rare and endangered freckled ducks and a swan were among birds killed on the opening weekend of the 2016 season.
Renewable energy goal could cost Queensland $19bn
The Palaszczuk government has been accused of leaving Queensland at risk of a $19 billion price tag to help reach its 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030.
Opposition energy spokesman Michael Hart said the government’s independent expert panel had adopted “heroic assumptions” in failing to accommodate a federal government that opposed a carbon price or emissions trading scheme.
In its draft report released in October, Mr Hart said the panel assumed a national carbon emissions scheme of between $25 a tonne and $80 a tonne of CO2 across three scenarios.
He said the panel’s suggestion that the impact of a 50 per cent renewable energy target on electricity prices would be “broadly neutral” was based on flawed calculations.
The Gold Coast MP said the Palaszczuk government’s plan would put Queensland’s energy security at risk and trigger higher electricity prices for households, businesses and industry.
“Labor’s modelling to justify its extreme renewable energy scheme is fundamentally flawed,” Mr Hart said.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk needs to come clean to Queenslanders about the $19bn price tag of this extreme renewable energy scheme — the cost to be borne by taxpayers in subsidies and lost income from electricity generators.”
He said a Queensland Productivity Commission report showed that $10.8bn would be required by 2030 to subsidise large and small-scale investment. The QPC report also raised concerns about revenue reductions at government-owned corporations.
“Generators in Queensland would experience a decrease in total earnings of around $6.2bn or 15 per cent,” the report said.
“The Queensland government, as owner of the majority of carbon generators in Queensland, would incur the largest financial cost.”
The report also stated there would be increases in residential, commercial and industrial consumer bills.
“The Palaszczuk government needs to explain to Queenslanders why (it) continues to push this extreme scheme which has failed in other states,” Mr Hart said.
Queensland Energy Minister Mark Bailey described the LNP’s stand on his government’s 50 per cent target as “obsessive opposition to renewable energy and resistance to climate change”.
He also rejected claims the expert panel had used flawed methodology to reach its conclusions.
“The independent expert panel’s draft report factors in policy flexibility by giving Queensland three different credible pathways to 50 per cent renewables by 2030 to adjust to federal policy changes or the absence of federal policy,” Mr Bailey said.
He received the independent expert panel’s final report before Christmas and said it would be “a priority”.
He rejected the QPC report findings.
“The QPC desktop $10.8bn estimate figure referred to by the LNP has been superseded by the more detailed economic modelling by the independent renewable expert panel, which estimates a maximum cost of $900 million over the next 13 years,” he said.
“The modelling found the transition to renewable energy would be broadly cost-neutral to consumers in stark contrast to the 43 per cent electricity price surges inflicted on Queenslanders by the LNP during their brief three years under Campbell Newman.”
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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Posted by JR at 1:34 AM