Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Years of false prophecies about polar bears have finally become unstuck

Happy International Polar Bear Day! Thriving polar bear populations have exposed the hubris behind global warming’s most beloved icon.

In 2005, international polar bear specialists decided that future sea ice loss due to human-caused global warming had replaced wanton over-hunting as the primary threat to polar bear survival.

It was the first time that such future risks were used to decide a species conservation status.

In 2007, American government biologists insisted that by 2050, when summer sea ice would cover 42% less of the Arctic than it did in 1979, polar bears in ten populations most at risk would be wiped out.

Almost 20,000 bears would be gone by mid-century and by 2100, the species would be on the brink of extinction.

The process had already begun, the experts said, and it would only get worse.

Polar bears became a global warming icon, the preferred symbol of the consequences of burning fossil fuels.

The media, with the help of polar bear specialists and conservation organizations, made sure we were aware of each incident that signaled the dying of the species.

A few polar bears were reported to have drowned in a storm – expect more and more bears to drown during long swims across open water, we were told.

Photographers filmed a bear or two breaking through thin ice, and suggested yet another way drowning deaths could occur.

A few photos of starving bears made headlines, usually accompanied by the suggestion that perhaps hundreds more were in the same condition.

A few incidents of cannibalism also made headlines, again with the implication that dozens more were going unreported across the Arctic, as polar bears became desperate with hunger.

This frenzy of dire news went on unchecked until 2007, when the first reports on polar bear studies undertaken since 2004 were made public.

Surprisingly, the news from a new Davis Strait study wasn’t grim but encouraging.

Not until about 2013, however, as more studies were completed, did it become clear that polar bears really were thriving.

Unfortunately, the media weren’t so keen on good news: if positive results were reported at all, the encouraging aspects were downplayed or dismissed, often using quotes from polar bear specialists themselves.

It was as if polar bear scientists and their government funders wanted the public in the dark about the good news.

What was going on?

Summer sea ice had indeed declined – more than expected, in fact.

By 2016, it was apparent that potentially devastating ice levels had come decades sooner than experts predicted.

By September 2007 sea ice extent was about 43% less than it had been in 1979 – a magnitude of decline not expected until mid-century, and every year after was almost as low, or lower.

Polar bears had been living through their dire sea ice future since 2007.

Yet no more drowned polar bears were documented, no more bears than normal starved to death, no unusual spikes in cannibalism occurred, and not a single polar bear population was wiped out.

Polar bear photos still led media stories about starving bears, sea ice loss, and the threats of global warming but they were photos of fat, healthy bears.

By 2015, new studies showed that several populations once thought to be declining had increased in size or remained stable.

In 2005, the official global polar bear estimate was about 22,500.

By 2015, it had risen to about 26,500 but only part of that was a real increase.

However, by early 2017, the results of two studies of bears in high-risk regions were made public: they never made the mainstream papers, but they changed the picture.

Polar bear numbers in one half of the Barents Sea, had increased by 42% between 2004 and 2015, suggesting the entire population grew, by about 1100 – an increase not included in the official global estimate.

A survey of Baffin Bay bears, completed in 2013, showed that the population had not declined by 25% as expected but increased by 36% – adding about 750 more bears to the global total.

The formerly small population in Kane Basin more than doubled.

Now we know that between 2005 and 2015, the estimated size of polar bear populations in the two ecoregions that experts thought would be wiped out by years of low summer sea ice had grown by more than 3100.

The global average had risen to about thirty thousand bears, far and away the highest estimate in more than 50 years.

So why did the models devised by polar bear experts get it so wrong?

First, it appears that sea ice conditions and food abundance in early spring have been very good for polar bears despite the decline in summer ice extent.

Polar bears consume 8 months worth of food during early spring, which makes it the critical feeding period.

Second, it appears the experts assumed that when summer sea ice was present, polar bears ate more seals than they actually do.

Adult bearded and harp seals are virtually the only seals that rest on the ice from about mid-May to October because most ringed seals (the primary prey species of polar bears) have left the ice to feed.

Broken pack ice in summer leaves these adult seals many escape routes, which means most polar bears eat very little over the summer whether they spend those months on the sea ice or on shore.

It turns out summer is not a critical feeding season for polar bears.

Lastly, seal pups in many areas are more abundant than they were in the 1980s.

Less summer ice in the Chukchi Sea, for example, has meant more ringed seal pups in spring for polar bears to eat because these seals do most of their feeding in open water.

In short, the claim that summer sea ice is essential habitat for polar bears has been scuttled by their continued health through years of low ice coverage.

Evidence does not support the claim that loss of summer sea ice, regardless of the cause, is a major risk for polar bear survival.

Polar bear specialists vastly underestimated the resilience of polar bears when they modeled future survival and many of the assumptions they made were wrong.

Thriving polar bear populations have exposed the hubris behind global warming’s most beloved icon and “the plight of the polar bear” has become an international joke.

Humpback whales were recently taken off the US Endangered Species List because their population size indicated a strong recovery from past over-hunting.

Polar bears have done the same and are not currently threatened with extinction.

A thorough external review of the polar bear status issue is now required -  not only because it’s the right thing to do but because it may help restore public support for science and conservation.



If environmentalism is a religion, violence is its central tenet.

The largely white, privileged, “protesters” occupying a river bed in North Dakota to try and stop construction of a modern energy pipeline were told to leave this week by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Being spoiled rich kids, they didn’t take the news well.  They set fire to the camp, unleashing rampant pollution into the atmosphere and into the very river bed they claimed they were protecting.

The arson attack also sent two kids to the hospital.  A 17-year-old girl was severely burned by environmentalists and had to be airlifted to a hospital.  A little seven-year-old boy was also burned by environmentalists.

The environmentalists’ temper tantrum resulted in the burning-down of 20 buildings and a car.

The Dakota Pipeline protesters are hated by the very Native Americans they claim to represent.  The media narrative is the pipeline crosses Indian lands and the movement is a Native American protest.

In reality the pipeline is hundreds of miles away from the reservation and many tribe members despise the protesters, who consider the protests to be nothing more than a fun “Burning Man”-style festival.

The environmentalists behind the arson attack that wounded two kids have also tried to kill police officers on multiple occasions.  They have been caught trying to stampede wild buffalo into police and throwing bombs at officers.  One girl had her arm blown apart.  Protesters claim it was from a flash grenade thrown by police.  Police point out they do not have flash grenades, and she was among a group of protesters lighting propane tanks on fire and throwing them at officers.

Another environmentalist was arrested and faces charges after trying to shoot and kill police officers.

The protesters call themselves “water protectors,” but they built their camps directly in the very river bed they claim they are protecting.  That will unleash toxic waste into the river when the winter snows melt and water fills the river bed.

These “water protectors” have also dumped barrels of raw sewage directly into the ground, and have abandoned around 300 cars, which will leak oil into the ground.

That would be the very thing they claimed they were protesting.  There are now fears the environmentalists have turned the riverbed into a toxic waste site.

Most of the environmentalists eventually left the camp, but only after they were given free hotels and food paid for by North Dakota taxpayers.

Many of the protesters were paid to commit acts of violence and disruption, and have no plans to pay North Dakota’s income taxes on their illicit paychecks.


GIGO-based energy and climate policies

It’s like formulating public safety policies using models based on dinosaur DNA from amber

Paul Driessen

Things are never quiet on the climate front.

After calling dangerous manmade climate change a hoax and vowing to withdraw the USA from the Paris agreement, President Trump has apparently removed language criticizing the Paris deal from a pending executive order initiating a rollback of anti-fossil-fuel regulations, to help jumpstart job creation.

Meanwhile, EPA Administration Scott Pruitt says he expects quick action to rescind the Clean Power Plan, a central component of the Obama Era’s war on coal and hydrocarbons. The US House Committee on Science, Space and Technology is reopening its investigation into NOAA’s mishandling or tampering with global temperature data, for a report designed to promote action in Paris in 2015.

Hundreds of scientists signed a letter urging President Trump to withdraw from the UN climate agency. They warn that efforts to curtail carbon dioxide emissions are not scientifically justified and will kill jobs and exacerbate US and international poverty without improving the environment or stabilizing climate.

Hundreds of other scientists told Mr. Trump he must not waver on climate stabilization efforts or make any moves to defund government or university climate research. Hundreds of businessmen and investors told the President failure to build a low-carbon economy puts American prosperity at risk.

Over in Britain, Members of Parliament say efforts to build a low-carbon economy have led to a 58% rise in electricity prices since 2006, sending manufacturing and jobs overseas, to countries that are under no obligation to reduce fossil fuel use or CO2 emissions. MPs are also angry that carefully hidden “green subsidies” will account for nearly one-fourth of sky-high residential electricity bills by 2020.

All of this is a valuable reminder that the Climate Crisis & Renewable Energy Industry is now a $1.5-trillion-a-year business! And that’s just for its private sector components, the corporate rent-seekers.

This monstrous price tag does not include the Big Green environmentalism industry, the salaries and pensions of armies of federal, state, local, foreign country and UN bureaucrats who create and coordinate climate and renewable energy programs, or the far higher electricity and motor fuel costs that businesses and families must pay, to cover the costs of “saving people and planet from climate ravages.”

Earth’s climate is likely changing somewhere, as it has throughout planetary and human history. Our fuel use and countless other human activities may play a role, at least locally – but their role is dwarfed to near irrelevance by powerful solar, oceanic, cosmic ray and other natural forces. Moreover, real-world ice, sea level, temperature, hurricane, drought and other observations show nothing outside historic fluctuations. Unprecedented disasters exist only in the realm of hypotheses, press releases and computer models.

So there is no reason to cede control over our livelihoods and living standards to politicians, activists and bureaucrats; replace reliable, affordable fossil fuel energy with expensive, unreliable renewables; destroy millions of jobs in the process; and tell billions of impoverished people they must be content with solar ovens, solar panels, wind turbines, and health, nutrition and living standards little better than today’s.

There is no reason to honor the document that President Obama unilaterally signed in Paris. As Dr. Steve Allen observed in a masterful analysis: “The decisive action promised in the treaty that is not a treaty consists of governments, most of them run by dictators and thieves, promising, on an honor system, to take steps of their own choosing, to change future weather patterns, and then coming up with ways by which they can measure their own progress and hold themselves accountable by their own standards for the promises they have made, on penalty of no punishment if they break their word.”

Mainly, Allen continues, the Paris con is about “taking money from taxpayers and consumers and businesspeople and electricity ratepayers, and giving it to crony capitalists; and taking money from people in relatively successful countries and giving it to rich people in poor countries, to benefit governing elites.”

India alone wants hundreds of billions of dollars in climate “adaptation and reparation” money from industrialized nations that are supposed to slash their fossil fuel use, CO2 emissions and economic growth, while pouring trillions into the Green Climate Fund. Meanwhile, India, China and other rapidly developing nations are firing up hundreds of coal-fueled power plants, burning more oil and gas, and emitting more CO2, to industrialize their countries and lift their people out of abject poverty – as well they should.

So just follow the money – and power-grabbing. That is the real source of the religious fervor, the Catechism of Climate Cataclysm, behind the vehement denunciations of President Trump for having the gall to threaten the global high priests who drive and profit from climate change fear mongering.

Those forces are desperate and determined to keep their power and money train on track. They’re ramping up indignation and cranking out “research” to justify their demands. For example:

Expert Market (whose core expertise is helping companies compare prices for postage meters, coffee machines and other B2B products) has just released a study purporting to show which US states will suffer most “from Trump’s climate change denial” and America’s “climate change inaction.”

The total cost will be $506 billion by 2050, just for hurricane and other real estate damages, extra energy costs, and more frequent and severe droughts. “Vermont emerged as the state worst equipped to handle the cost,” the study contends, while Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas are also “severely at risk.” California and New York are among those best able to endure the imminent chaos.

It sounds horrific – and it’s intended to be, the better to pressure the White House and Congress to codify and enforce the nonbinding provisions of the Paris non-treaty, and retain Obama-era anti-hydrocarbon energy policies. But the entire exercise is a classic example of Garbage In/Garbage Out (GIGO) black box computer modeling, carefully crafted to ensure the justifications required for a predetermined political outcome, especially the monumental “nationwide green initiatives” that Expert Market supports.

Thus, carbon dioxide will drive rapidly rising global temperatures that will warm the planet enough to increase sea surface temperatures dramatically – spawning more frequent, more damaging hurricanes, and melting polar ice caps enough to raise sea levels 23 inches by 2050, the Expert Market experts assert.

Global warming measured in hundredths of a degree over the past 19 years will suddenly be replaced by runaway heat waves. Seas now rising at 7 inches per century will suddenly climb at ten times that rate over the next three decades, sending storm surges far inland. Major US land-falling hurricanes that have been absent now for eleven years will suddenly proliferate to unprecedented levels.

How Vermont and the other top-five “worst equipped” states – all of them inland – will be affected by any of this is anyone’s guess. But the model says they’re at risk, so we must take drastic action now.

Soaring temperatures will increase demand for air conditioning, and thus raise household energy costs, says Expert Market. CA, NY and other “green” state electricity costs are already twice as high as those in coal and gas-reliant states. Imposing wind and solar initiatives on fossil fuel states would likely double their family and business energy costs, but that factor is not included in its calculations.

Droughts “will become more frequent and severe” in states already afflicted by arid conditions – assuming all the dire CO2 depredations, and ignoring both those states’ long experience with drought cycles and how California’s years-long drought has once again given way to abundant rainfall.

The Expert Market study is symptomatic of the politicized assumptions and data manipulation that have driven climate models and disaster scenarios since the IPCC began studying manmade climate chaos.

Indeed, the entire climate chaos exercise is akin to basing public safety policies on computer models that assume dinosaur DNA extracted from fossilized amber will soon result in hordes of T rexes running rampant across our land. We deserve a more honest, rational basis for policies that govern our lives.

Via email

Take Back Al Gore's Nobel And Give It To The Fracking Industry

Climate Change: U.S. output of so-called greenhouse gases continues to decline, a new report shows. Even so, global warming activists are likely to be disappointed. The drop has nothing to do with their pet cause, alternative energy.

That's right. The Environmental Protection Agency's yearly greenhouse gas emissions report noted that after rising slightly in 2013 and 2014, greenhouse gas output fell in 2015 — the most recent full year for which data are available.

OK, but maybe it was a one-year fluke? Hardly.

First off, the drop was significant in size — 2.2% on an annual basis, far too big to be a fluke or statistical anomaly.

Second, as the folks at The American Interest helpfully point out, "U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions hit a 25-year low over the first six months of 2016, continuing the progress that the EPA says we made in 2015."

So it's continuing. More important, The Hill reminds, "The EPA attributed the overall decline to lower carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels, which itself came about because of less coal consumption in favor of natural gas, warmer winter weather that decreased heating fuel demand and lower electricity demand overall."

This continues a long-term trend for the U.S. of lower greenhouse gas emissions. Ironically, while the U.S. was pilloried for not ratifying the Tokyo Accord (though then-Vice President Al Gore ostentatiously signed it, despite knowing that the Senate wouldn't ratify it) to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, it is the only major industrial nation actually slashing its output.

Since the Kyoto Accord was struck in 1997, Energy Department data show, U.S. output of greenhouse gases plunged 7.3%, even though real U.S. GDP over that time has grown a whopping 52%. We're greener today than we have been in decades.

Go figure.

For all this progress, we can thank the fracking business, which has given U.S. industry and homes access to massive amounts of cheap, relatively clean natural gas. It may yet make possible a U.S. industrial renaissance — and bring back jobs now done overseas, not by government trade protectionism but by pursuing free-market energy policies that will lead to ever more energy at lower prices.

Global warming crusader Al Gore won a Nobel Prize merely for his profit-making activities as a green activist. Here's an idea: If the Nobel committee geniuses really want to reward those who've done the most to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, they should give Gore's Nobel to the U.S. fracking industry.


New German wind turbine destroyed by a gust of wind

It was put up in 2014 so had a life expectancy of 20 years.  The big blow was associated with a low pressure system. Other nearby turbines were not affected

Das Sturmtief „Thomas“ ist in der Nacht von Donnerstag auf Freitag über die Region gefegt – und hat zum Teil schwere Schäden angerichtet.

Man könnte es wohl als ironische Laune der Natur bezeichnen: Ausgerechnet eine Windböe hat in der Nacht von Donnerstag auf Freitag ein Windrad im Windpark Laubersreuth bei Münchberg total zerstört. Wie von starker Hitze geschmolzen hängen die Flügel nun nach unten. „Zwei Rotorblätter sind komplett aufgespreißelt. Ein Flügel hat sich sogar um das Maschinenhaus gewickelt“, berichtet Sabine Scherer, deren Familie das Grundstück an der A 9 gehört.

Erst am Morgen als sie mit ihrem Hund spazieren gehen wollte, habe Scherer den Schaden bemerkt. Ganz im Gegensatz zu ihrer Nachbarin. Die wurde schon in der Nacht von einem „ganz komischen Geräusch“ wach gehalten, wie sie Scherer erzählte. „Sie dachte, gleich fliegt das Dach davon.“ So penetrant sei der Krach gewesen.

Das zerstörte Windrad gehört der Windpark Laubersreuth GmbH & Co. KG mit Sitz in Nordrhein-Westfalen. Warum ausgerechnet diese Anlage so stark in Mitleidenschaft gezogen wurde, wird nun ein Gutachter klären, sagt der Geschäftsführer Christian Struck auf Anfrage unserer Zeitung. Denn zwei andere Windräder, die unmittelbar neben dem zerstörten stehen und ebenfalls 140 Meter hoch sind, laufen nach wie vor einwandfrei. Die kaputte Windkraftanlage wurde 2014 aufgestellt und ist demnach „nagelneu“, wie Struck erklärt. Eigentlich sollte sie 20 Jahre dort stehen.



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


Monday, February 27, 2017

Shub Niggurath on the "pause"

Shub Niggurath has been having a look at the Warmist responses to the Rose/Bates revelations about Tom Karl's "pausebuster" paper.  He finds that the Warmist responses just dodge the issue.  They say that the overall effect of their adjustments is to REDUCE warming.  But that is only true of the whole of the period since 1880.  But neither Bates nor Rose were talking about the 1880+ period.  They were talking about the 21st century only.  The Warmists are arguing with a straw man, not the Bates/Rose revelations.  That suggests that they have no answer to the Bates/Rose revelations.

Niggurath also shows WHY the NOAA adjustments tended to reduce temperatures overall.  It is because there was rather a lot of warming in the first half of the 20th century -- far too much to suit global warming theory.  So NOAA reduced temperatures at the far end of the range and increased them at the recent end of the range -- in order to get that nice picture of a  generally rising trend line.  It's fakery all the way.

But nowhere is the central Rose/Bates claim addressed -- that 21st century sea surface temperatures were unreasonably adjusted upwards.  Niggurath has all the details here.  It will be interesting to see what happens if Trump puts a real scientist in charge of NOAA.

Aggressive cuts to Obama-era green rules to start soon: EPA head

U.S. President Donald Trump's administration will begin rolling back Obama-era environmental regulations in an "aggressive way" as soon as next week, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency said on Saturday - adding he understood why some Americans want to see his agency eliminated completely.

"I think there are some regulations that in the near-term need to be rolled back in a very aggressive way. And I think maybe next week you may be hearing about some of those," EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt told the Conservative Political Action summit in Washington DC.

Pruitt added the EPA's focus on combating climate change under former President Barack Obama had cost jobs and prevented economic growth, leading many Americans to want to see the EPA eliminated completely.

"I think its justified," he said. "I think people across this country look at the EPA much like they look at the IRS. I hope to be able to change that."

Pruitt was confirmed as EPA head last week. His appointment triggered an uproar among Democratic lawmakers and environmental advocates worried that he will gut the agency and re-open the doors to heavy industrial pollution. He sued the EPA more than a dozen times as his states' top attorney and has repeatedly cast doubt on the science of climate change.

But his rise to the head of the EPA has also cheered many Republicans and business interests that expect him to cut back red tape they believe has hampered the economy.

Pruitt mentioned three rules ushered in by Obama that could meet the chopping block early on: the Waters of the U.S. rule outlining waterways that have federal protections; the Clean Power Plan requiring states to cut carbon emissions; and the U.S. Methane rule limiting emissions from oil and gas installations on federal land.

A Trump official told Reuters late Friday that the president was expected to sign a measure as early as Tuesday aimed at rescinding the Waters of the U.S. rule.

Pruitt said in his comments to the CPAC summit that rule had "made puddles and dry creek beds across this country subject to the jurisdiction of Washington DC. That's going to change."

He also suggested longer-term structural changes were in store at the EPA. "Long-term, asking the question on how that agency partners with the states and how that affects the budget and how it effects the structure is something to work on very diligently," Pruitt said.

Like Trump, he said cutting regulation could be done in a way that does not harm water or air quality.


500 inches and counting: Snow has clobbered California ski resorts this winter

Must be global warming

The snow is so high that it buried chairlifts and ski patrol shacks at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows resort in California.© Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows resort The snow is so high that it buried chairlifts and ski patrol shacks at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows resort in California.

The snow amounts in California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range this winter are difficult to wrap your head around. In many cases topping 500 inches, they are some of the highest totals in memory.

At the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows resort, seven feet fell in just the past week. The snow is so high that it buried chairlifts and ski patrol shacks.

Snow blankets the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows resort, which has been hit with 565 inches (47 feet) of the white stuff this season

The resort has received 565 inches (47 feet) this season, including a 45-year record of 282 inches in January. On Thursday, it announced that its ski area would remain open through July 4. Since 1962, it will mark just the fourth instance of Independence Day skiing (the other years were 1998, 1999, and 2011), according to a resort spokesperson.

Other ski areas in the Sierra Nevada also have seen mind-boggling amounts of snow


Climate Change ‘Lunacy’ Called a Gift to Conservatives

For conservatives, the “lunacy,” “wrongness,” and “criminality” of climate change theories is the gift that keeps on giving, the executive editor of the London branch of Breitbart News Service said Thursday during a panel discussion at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Three major strands characterize the climate change movement, James Delingpole said during the CPAC panel, sponsored by E&E Legal Institute and titled “Fake Climate News Camouflaging an Anti-Capitalist Agenda.”

Delingpole identified these three strands as a sort of religious view that sees man “as a cancer and blight to the planet,” a “follow the money” component in which well-placed individuals “make money off scams” at public expense, and a political component that exists, he said, because “the left has always wanted to find scientific justification to tax and regulate us and control our lives.”

Joining Delingpole were Steve Milloy, a lawyer and author who founded the website JunkScience.com, and Tony Heller, who has written under the pseudonym Steven Goddard at the blog Real Science, which he founded. John Fund, a columnist for National Review, acted as moderator.

When he was on a panel at the Aspen Ideas Festival in 2008, Fund recalled, he noticed that activists there were substituting the words “climate change” for “global warming.”

He asked audience members to explain the change, and it turned out to be “a very uncomfortable question,” Fund said. “If you ask a question innocently enough, the truth comes out.”

Since the planet isn’t always warming, environmental activists found that they had more flexibility to advance their agenda under the more generic label of “climate change,” he said.

Looking to the future of energy policy, Thursday’s CPAC panelists said they found cause for encouragement with the Trump administration.

Milloy credited President Donald Trump for a professed willingness to “abolish the EPA” and for recognizing the Environmental Protection Agency has committed “regulatory overreach.” He said he anticipates the Trump administration will “turn loose the American energy industry.”

Environmental activists have made a concerted effort to circulate “fake climate news” in recent years, but the technique is not exactly new, Heller said.

The 1692 witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts, may have been brought on in part by a spell of cold weather, he suggested.

Citizens blamed alleged witches for lower-than-average temperatures, according to some news reports.

Panelists also discussed the “climategate scandal” involving emails leaked to the internet from the University of East Anglia in Great Britain in 2009. The emails showed that some university researchers appeared willing to manipulate scientific data to exaggerate global warming.

Such manipulation of scientific data is often at the root of “fake news,” panelists agreed.

CPAC, the largest annual national gathering of conservative activists, runs from Wednesday to Saturday at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, just outside Washington.


More Warmist prophecy in Australia

Summer is already past its peak so where is the bleaching?

The Great Barrier Reef could be struck by its worst-ever blast of coral bleaching as early as this year, experts have warned.

Sea temperatures around the reef near Queensland, Australia, have reached a year-long high, putting coral at risk of extreme heat stress, according to a UN report.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority warned that the reef is more at risk now than it was just before its previous worst-ever bleaching last year, when a quarter of all coral was killed off.

It said a 'lack of planning' for climate change was to blame.

The report, which was presented to the UN on Friday, said that 'unprecedented severe bleaching and mortality of corals in 2016 in the Great Barrier Reef is a game changer'.

The vast coral reef is under pressure from agricultural run-off, the crown-of-thorns starfish, development and climate change.

Last year swathes of coral succumbed to devastating bleaching, due to warming sea temperatures, and the reef's caretakers have warned it faces a fresh onslaught in the coming months.

Canberra updated the UN's World Heritage committee on its 'Reef 2050' rescue plan in December, insisting the site was 'not dying' and laying out a strategy for incremental improvements to the site.

But an independent report commissioned by the committee concluded that the government had little chance of meeting its own targets in the coming years, adding that the 'unprecedented' bleaching and coral die-off in 2016 was 'a game changer'.

'Given the severity of the damage and the slow trajectory of recovery, the overarching vision of the 2050 Plan... is no longer attainable for at least the next two decades,' the report said.

Shallow-water corals in the north of the 1,400-mile (2,300-kilometre) long reef were affected, although central and southern areas escaped with less damage.

The government has pledged more than £1.2 billion (US$1.5 billion) to protect the reef over the next decade, but researchers noted a lack of available funding, with many of the plan's actions under-resourced.

The latest assessment comes after the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority warned the Queensland State government of an 'elevated and imminent risk' of mass-bleaching this year, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

With heavy use of coal-fired power and a relatively small population of 24 million, Australia is considered one of the world's worst per capita greenhouse gas polluters.

Researchers highlighted that the government's rescue plan does not do enough to address climate change, noting that 'new coal mines pose a serious threat' to the reef's heritage area.

While the plan has a strong focus on improving water quality, environmental groups too have been critical of the government for inactivity on global warming.

'These independent experts have given UNESCO a far more accurate assessment of progress than the rose-coloured-glasses version released by the Australian and Queensland Governments late last year,' said World Wildlife Fund Australia head of oceans Richard Leck.

But Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg told the ABC the government had been 'very successful to date' in implementing the reef's 2050 plan.

'Climate change is the number one threat to the reef together with water quality issues,' he said, citing the government's ratification of the Paris agreement, the world's first universal climate pact, as part of the 'broader' efforts to reduce stress on the reef.



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, February 26, 2017

Dakota Access oil pipeline camp cleared of protesters

Authorities on Thursday cleared a protest camp where opponents of the Dakota Access oil pipeline had gathered for the better part of a year, searching tents and huts and arresting three dozen holdouts who had defied a government order to leave.

It took 3½ hours for about 220 officers and 18 National Guard members to methodically search the protesters’ temporary homes and arrest people, including a man who climbed atop a building and stayed there for more than an hour before surrendering.

Native Americans who oppose the $3.8 billion pipeline established the Oceti Sakowin camp last April on federal land near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation to draw attention to their concerns that the project will hurt the environment and sacred sites — a charge that Dallas-based pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners disputes. The camp gained increased attention starting in August after its population had grown and authorities made their first arrests. At its height, the camp included thousands of people, but the numbers had dwindled during the winter and as the fight over the pipeline moved into the courts.

The Army Corps of Engineers said it needed to clear the camp ahead of spring flooding, and had ordered everyone to leave by 2 p.m. Wednesday. The agency said it was concerned about protesters’ safety and about the environmental effects of tents, cars, garbage, and other items in the camp being washed into nearby rivers.

Most protesters left peacefully Wednesday when authorities closed the camp, but some stayed overnight in defiance of the government order.

As police in full riot gear worked to arrest the stragglers Thursday, cleanup crews began razing buildings on the square-mile piece of property at the confluence of the Cannonball and Missouri rivers.

Authorities chose to enter the camp ‘‘cautiously and tactfully’’ to ensure the safety of both officers and protesters, according to Highway Patrol Lieutenant Tom Iverson. The arrests were a last resort, he said. ‘‘We did not want this. Unfortunately, there were some bad actors that forced us into this position,’’ he said.

Only one person resisted arrest; otherwise there were no major incidents and there were no injuries, Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said.

Energy Transfer Partners began work on the last big section of the oil pipeline this month after the Army gave it permission to lay pipe under a reservoir on the Missouri River. When complete, the pipeline will carry oil through the Dakotas and Iowa to a shipping point in Illinois.


UK: £450m lost over failed green power programme

Minister who backed plan now works in sector

Britain is wasting hundreds of millions of pounds subsidising power stations to burn American wood pellets that do more harm to the climate than the coal they replaced, a study has found.

Chopping down trees and transporting wood across the Atlantic Ocean to feed power stations produces more greenhouse gases than much cheaper coal, according to the report. It blames the rush to meet EU renewable energy targets, which resulted in ministers making the false assumption that burning trees was carbon-neutral.

Green subsidies for wood pellets were championed by Chris Huhne when he was energy and climate change secretary. Mr Huhne, 62, was jailed in 2013 for perverting the course of justice


NY’s Legislators Rise Up Against Governor Cuomo’s Crony ‘Green Energy’ Boondoggle

(At least ) two notions from famous Americans come to mind when contemplating New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s $8 billion flight of unilateral crony “green energy” fancy.

Playwright George Bernard Shaw noted: “A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.”  And American social scientist William Graham Sumner penned in 1883 “The Forgotten Man” – in which he rightly identifies the “forgotten men” as the citizens paying for the government fiascos in which politicians engage.

What brings these men’s wise words to a New York state of mind?: “Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a unilateral mass expansion of government – in the name of fighting global warming…oops, I mean climate change: ‘The state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) earlier Monday passed a new set of standards that by 2030 is supposed to ensure that half of New York’s energy needs are met by renewable methods, ranging from solar and wind, as well as hydro and nuclear power.’”

Is that gi-normous “green energy” increase possible? Not so much as it is highly improbable: “As of 2015, New York only generated 11% of its energy via renewables. A tally it has taken them decades – and tens of billions of subsidy dollars – to attain. And now they have mandated a nearly 500% increase – in only fifteen years. Predicated, again, upon energy sources that require massive, ongoing government cash infusions – and in most instances take more energy to produce than they provide.”

The lofty “green energy” goals nigh certainly won’t happen – but the massive taxes to pay for the attempt certainly will: “(T)he Public Service Commission also included a new (energy) tax worth $8 billion.”

That is a HUGE tax increase.  And where does most of that robbed-from-Peter-the-Forgotten-Man money go?  To Cuomo’s Paul: “(D)ownstate energy consumers bore a disproportionate burden of the cost of state subsidies that will support three upstate nuclear power plants.”

Wait – who?: “(The tax) money will go to plant owner Exelon, a Chicago-based Fortune 100 company with annual revenues of over $34 billion.”

So let’s run the checklist.  Cuomo unilateral government power grab?  Check.  Executed in the name of global warming climate change – the Greatest Scam on Earth?  Check.  Containing completely unrealistic government-mandated “green energy” goals?  Check.  And monstrous tax increases?  Check.  With the tax hike coin taken from faceless citizens – going to a government crony?  Check.

Cuomo’s mandate-and-tax-riddled “green energy” plan is a guaranteed disaster-to-be.  It must be stopped.  Thankfully, New York’s legislators – the Forgotten Men’s representatives – are rising up to stop it.

Behold S. 4417.  Sponsored by state Republican Senator Tony Avella, it strikes right at the heart of Cuomo’s true objective, and the only thing that gets his boondoggle off the ground – the mammoth tax increase: “(It) would direct the state PSC to repeal any electric rate increase ‘where such increase is a subsidy to upstate nuclear power plants.’”

New York’s legislature should get behind Senator Avella’s bill – which frees the Empire State from Cuomo’s cronyism – and pass it.

Time’s a-wasting – for New York’s legislature to get out in front of and prevent Cuomo’s monumental tax-money-wasting.  They absolutely should not waste one moment more.

New York’s Peters and Forgotten Men will thank you.


California Rains on 'Settled Science'

Californians are scratching their heads at a seemingly relentless deluge of rain — something that amounted to little more than wishful thinking this time last year. A multi-year drought hit the state’s agriculture system hard, but this winter, to everyone’s surprise, rainfall came. And came. And then came some more. According to this week’s U.S. Drought Monitor report, “As of February 21, the daily Sierra Nevada snowpack was 186% of average for the date and 151% of the April 1 climatological peak.” Precipitation there is anywhere from 223% to 230% of average.

Do problems continue? Sure. Particularly in southern California, low water levels persist, as noted by the Drought Monitor: “Even though the reservoirs were responding quite favorably, they still have a long way to go before we can classify this area as drought-free.” Nevertheless, the report continues, “With the removal of … D3 [extreme drought], D2 [severe drought] is now the worst drought condition in the state; August 6, 2013 was the last time California had no D3.” Contrast this to last February, when NOAA reports that 61% of the state fell under extreme conditions. Californians waited a long time for this. And depending on who their source was for news, they thought it would never come.

For example, in June 2016, BuzzFeed ran this alarming headline: “El Niño Is Dead And California Could Be ‘In A Drought Forever.’” After underwhelming rains during last winter’s El Niño and the expectation of drier than average conditions typically experienced during La Niña (this season’s episode), the article dramatically foreshadowed what alarmists wrongly predicted was a perma-drought, not unlike what they prophesied for Texas.

NASA climatologist Bill Patzert defeatedly stated, “We are in a drought forever. I can’t think of any scenario where we would have six wet El Niño years in a row, which would top out all the reservoirs and the ground water supply.” Apparently, we don’t need to. This year shattered expectations, once again demonstrating how much we still don’t know about the climate.

Of course, California could fall back into another expansive drought. Or maybe this summer’s predicted El Niño will behave like normal and keep the bounty coming for months and years to come. Only time will tell. But recent developments should teach us to expect the unexpected and not fall victim to ridiculous predictions that serve only to advance partisan interests.


Hundreds of scientists urge Trump to withdraw from U.N. climate-change agency

MIT’s Richard Lindzen says policies cause economic harm with ‘no environmental benefits’

More than 300 scientists have urged President Trump to withdraw from the U.N.’s climate change agency, warning that its push to curtail carbon dioxide threatens to exacerbate poverty without improving the environment.

In a Thursday letter to the president, MIT professor emeritus Richard Lindzen called on the United States and other nations to “change course on an outdated international agreement that targets minor greenhouse gases,” starting with carbon dioxide.

“Since 2009, the US and other governments have undertaken actions with respect to global climate that are not scientifically justified and that already have, and will continue to cause serious social and economic harm — with no environmental benefits,” said Mr. Lindzen, a prominent atmospheric physicist.

Signers of the attached petition include the U.S. and international atmospheric scientists, meteorologists, physicists, professors and others taking issue with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change [UNFCCC], which was formed in 1992 to combat “dangerous” climate change.

The 2016 Paris climate accord, which sets nonbinding emissions goals for nations, was drawn up under the auspices of the UNFCCC.

“Observations since the UNFCCC was written 25 years ago show that warming from increased atmospheric CO2 will be benign — much less than initial model predictions,” says the petition.

Mr. Trump said during the campaign he would “cancel” U.S. participation in the Paris Agreement, which was ratified in September by former President Barack Obama over the objections of Senate Republicans, who argued that the accord requires Senate ratification under the U.S. Constitution.

Myron Ebell, a Competitive Enterprise Institute scholar who led the Trump transition team on the Environmental Protection Agency, told reporters last month in London that the president would pull out of the Paris Agreement.

Advocates for climate change policies have called for Mr. Trump to honor the agreement, under which nations agree to enact policies to keep the increase in global temperatures this century under 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels.

Last week the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops reaffirmed its support for the Paris Agreement in a letter to Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, saying the agreement is “urgently needed if we are to meet our common and differentiated responsibilities for the effects of climate change.”

More than 700 companies and investors have signed onto a statement urging Mr. Trump to abide by the Paris accord coordinated by nine environmental groups, including the American Sustainable Business Council, the Environmental Defense Fund and the World Wildlife Fund.

“Failure to build a low-carbon economy puts American prosperity at risk. But the right action now will create jobs and boost US competitiveness,” said the statement on LowCarbonUSA.org. “We pledge to do our part, in our own operations and beyond, to realize the Paris Agreement’s commitment of a global economy that limits global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius.”

Challenging the catastrophic climate change narrative, Mr. Lindzen describes carbon dioxide as “plant food, not poison.”

“Restricting access to fossil fuels has very negative effects upon the wellbeing of people around the world,” he says in his letter.

“It condemns over 4 billion people in still underdeveloped countries to continued poverty.”



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


Friday, February 24, 2017

Trump readies slew of new orders targeting EPA

President Trump is planning to issue executive orders this week to begin rolling back the centerpiece of President Obama's climate change agenda with several other regulations.

Trump is expected to soon issue the orders targeting regulations put into place by the Environmental Protection Agency, including the Clean Power Plan, which directs states to cut greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants.

The EPA climate plan was halted a year ago by the Supreme Court until the courts can rule on litigation by 28 state attorneys general, the coal industry and hundreds of individual companies and industry groups.

The order is expected to direct the agency to redo the climate change rule, which would be different from asking the agency to rescind the regulation altogether. Ultimately, direction on what to do about the greenhouse gas rule will have to come from the courts.

But Trump isn't planning on stopping there. The president also will issue a separate order targeting the EPA's Waters of the U.S. Rule, which greatly expanded the agency's jurisdiction over waterways to include everything from major waterways to drainage ponds on private lands. Both the Clean Power Plan and the Waters of the U.S. Rule have been long-time targets of the Republican Party.

Reports also say to expect a third Trump action to end the Department of Interior's moratorium on new coal mining leases put in place by the Obama administration.

EPA officials told Reuters that they were told to expect the executive actions shortly after EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt was confirmed, but the exact timing of the orders is unknown.

Pruitt was confirmed by the Senate on Friday and sworn in as the nation's 14th EPA administrator. He addressed EPA employees briefly Tuesday during his first full day as as head of the agency.


Pruitt's EPA Will Be Better for Property Rights, States.

His Rule of Law record is exactly why ecofascists hate him so much

The sky is falling, and the oceans will soon cover the land. That is what Chicken Little leftists would have us believe following the confirmation of former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as director of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The hysterical warnings from the anti-free market crowd were as ludicrous as they were predictable; Pruitt is a conservative, so he wants dirty water, dirty air, toxic land and he will allow corporations free rein to dump chemical sludge into our pristine waterways.

In reality, Pruitt is not a conservative hardliner at all. Unlike many conservatives, he doesn’t want to get rid of the EPA, but believes it can play a vital role in protecting the environment. What makes Pruitt unacceptable to the radical Left is his respect for the constitutional power of the states to direct their own affairs, his record of fighting to protect private property rights, and his respect for the Rule of Law.

For decades progressives have used federal agencies, and the mountains of regulations they generate, to achieve through the federal bureaucracy (if not the courts) what they have been unable to achieve at the polls. The EPA has become one of the most dangerous of all federal agencies, not only abusing its power but destroying the lives of innocent Americans in the process.

Just ask Andy Johnson, a Wyoming farmer who sued the EPA after he was fined $16 million for building a small fishing pond on his property. After having done his due diligence and receiving all necessary permits and approvals to build a small pond on his property, the EPA claimed Johnson violated federal law, arguing his pond was subject to the Clean Water Act. After years of harassment and threats by the agency, Johnson reached a settlement last May where all charges and fines were dropped in exchange for planting willow trees around the pond to prevent erosion.

Johnson’s story is just one of thousands like it, and progressive environmentalists fear Pruitt because not only has he promised to end such abuses, but as Oklahoma attorney general he filed 14 lawsuits against the EPA to stop these types of abuse.

In a recent interview, Pruitt explained his philosophy of protecting the environment while simultaneously protecting property rights: “I reject this paradigm that says we can’t be both pro-environment and pro-energy. We are blessed with great national resources, and we should be good stewards of those. But we’ve been the best in the world at showing you do that while also growing jobs and the economy. Too many people put on a jersey in this fight. I want to send the message that we can and will do both.”

In a departure from the radicalism of the Obama administration, Pruitt sees it as his job to enforce the law as written, rather than create law through regulatory fiat or “sue and settle” (getting friendly organizations to sue before a friendly judge, and create law through the ruling). Pruitt argues, “Agencies exist to administer the law. Congress passes statutes, and those statutes are very clear on the job EPA has to do. We’re going to do that job.”

In light of that philosophy, Pruitt has already begun to roll back Obama administration excesses and abuses. He is withdrawing from the Clean Power Plan (Obama’s climate regulation scheme geared toward destroying the fossil fuel industry), and the 2015 Waters of the United States rule, through which the Obama EPA quite literally claimed the authority to regulate and control every single stream, creek, pond or mud hole as a tributary to a “navigable waterway.” He also declared his agency will review the Clean Air Act to determine whether it even has the authority to regulate carbon dioxide, which has been the lynchpin of the progressive effort to give government control over industry.

Instead, says Pruitt, his focus will be on cleaning up the air and water of the United States to correct and prevent problems like the lead poisoning of the Flint, Michigan water supply, and the unfolding failure of the Oroville Dam in California, which is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk. He also wants to revamp the EPA’s process for producing environmental data to make it scientifically driven rather than ideologically driven, in order to restore trust in the reports produced by his agency.

He also acknowledged the primary role of the states in keeping the environment safe, arguing for federalism: “Every statute makes clear this is supposed to be a cooperative relationship. … Congress understood that a one-size-fits-all model doesn’t work for environmental regulation, and … the state departments of environmental quality have an enormous role to play.” He vehemently opposes the position of the Obama EPA, which saw the states as “a vessel of federal will.”

So while career progressives in the EPA seek to undermine their new boss, and while Hollywood elitists like Susan Sarandon wring their hands and declare Pruitt’s appointment to be the “end of the EPA,” average Americans can sleep soundly. There is now a man at the head of that agency who wants to make sure they have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink, while also making sure bureaucratic thugs don’t ruin their lives if they decide to build a pond or clear brush off their land.

And that is welcomed news indeed.


NASA to Stop Shilling for Big Green, Restart Exploring Space…

“And would sir like a regular or large fries, with that? And how about a McFlurry?”

I do hope that Gavin “Toast” Schmidt, the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS), followed the advice I gave him a few months back. Because it now looks very much as if he and many of his colleagues are about to face exciting new job opportunities, hopefully in areas best suited to their talents, such as the challenging world of fast-food retail.

Yes, as we predicted, NASA is going to be stripped of the two main roles it enjoyed under the Obama administration – Muslim outreach and green propaganda – and return to its original day (and night) job as an agency dedicated to space exploration.

    The U.S. Senate passed legislation recently cutting funding for NASA’s global warming research.

    The House is expected to pass the bill, and President Trump will likely sign it. Supporters say it “re-balances” NASA’s budget back toward space exploration and away from global warming and earth science research. Republicans plan to end the more than $2 billion NASA spends on its Earth Science Mission Directorate.

    “By rebalancing, I’d like for more funds to go into space exploration; we’re not going to zero out earth sciences,” Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith, who chairs the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, told E&E News. “I’d like for us to remember what our priorities are, and there are another dozen agencies that study earth science and climate change, and they can continue to do that.”

Before we shed too many tears for the plight of Gavin Schmidt and the rest of his global warming research team, though, let’s just pause to reflect on how much damage they have done to the cause of honest science over the years and what eye-wateringly vast quantities of our money they have wasted.

A good place to start is this excellent piece by Steve Goddard, entitled The Pause Is Real: NASA Temperatures Aren’t.

Here is the damning chart that says it all:

How did a supposedly respectable government agency get away with such blatant fraud?

Well, one answer is that it was encouraged to do so by the US government which paid its Earth Science research division $2 billion a year, while giving only $781.5 million and $826.7 million to its astrophysics and space technology divisions. Obama wanted “global warming” to be real and dangerous: and – lo! – thanks to the magic of his crack prestidigitators at NASA, NOAA and the rest, it was.

But the longer answer is that this is what happens when green ideologues are allowed to infiltrate and hijack government institutions. As we’ve reported before, NASA has been caught out fiddling temperature data on “an unbelievable scale”. So too has NOAA. That’s because their global warming departments are mostly run by true believers – scientists who want to show the world that global warming is a major threat in urgent need of more grant funding, regardless of what the actual temperature data shows. Hence the many, many adjustments.

This has done tremendous damage not just in the US but across the world because it has enabled green propagandists to point at the dodgy adjusted data from NASA and NOAA and claim: “The Experts say…”

Now, thanks to Donald Trump, that fraud is about to come to a sudden and painful end. It never ceases to amaze and nauseate me that more people, especially on the right, aren’t more grateful for what is being done here.

While mainstream media commentators on both left and right bloviate about Trump’s style (clearly they prefer Obama’s empty rhetoric) and stoke up fake news stories about Russian plots, Trump is busily getting on with one of the most valuable and important missions ever conducted by a US president: he is putting an end to the biggest and most expensive scientific scam in history.

Oh, and he is also working wonders for property rights and business by rescinding such damaging regulations as the Waters Of The US and the Climate Action Plan.

    A source briefed on the matter told The Washington Post one of the orders “will instruct the Environmental Protection Agency to begin rewriting the 2015 regulation that limits greenhouse-gas emissions from existing electric utilities” and order “the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to lift a moratorium on federal coal leasing.”

    Trump will issue a second order instructing the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to rewrite the “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule that expanded federal control over rivers, streams and wetlands — even those on private property.

If ever a swamp needed draining, it’s the swamp of the $1.5 trillion environmental scam. This could have gone on for ever and ever. Our grandchildren ought to be properly grateful to President Trump that it didn’t.


More speculations and surmises

What if ....

In Geneva, Switzerland, yesterday, the IPCC named the team of 86 experts from 39 countries that will author the investigation on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the impact of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty.

The Special Report, which is due to be published in 2018, was commissioned by the Paris agreement COP21 in 2015. It will be a robust scientific report into ways to arrest global warming levels by assessing research and highlighting policy options available to support the achievement of a climate safe, equitable and sustainable world.

Head of UC’s Department of Political Science and International Relations and director of the Sustainable Citizenship and Civic Imagination: Hei Puāwaitanga research group, Assoc Prof Hayward will be using her expertise in the field of sustainable development, poverty eradication, and reducing inequalities.

“We need interdisciplinary thinking to address complex serious problems, and it is heartening to see recognition for the way Arts and Humanities can also assist us in tackling some of our world’s greatest challenges,” she says.

While Assoc Prof Hayward is the only New Zealander on this IPCC special report team, she says other New Zealanders are expected to be nominated to write later reports.

Professor Ian Wright, UC Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), observed that an international perspective and community engagement are key drivers for the future of the institution.

“This type of activity, where UC academic expertise is being used to underpin mitigation strategies to a critical global issue, underlines the fact that the University of Canterbury is engaging with local, regional, national and international communities, including business.”


Greens cowardice on Islam, other key issues, matches their ignorance

Chris Kenny discusses Australia's Green party:

Islam is the most feminist religion. Wind energy is reliable. Border security is unnecessary. The US alliance is inimical to our national interest. The Australian is a race-baiting newspaper.

The Australian Greens have strayed so far from reality in their post-truth universe that they must have become confused between the real world and a flashback to some trip in the 70s.

They have become the lunatics at the bottom of the garden shouting at the moon.

It would be hilarious if it weren’t so dangerous, amusing if it wasn’t so damaging to our nation. “The Australian, or as it may be better described, the Q Society Gazette,” said Greens senator Nick McKim in the Senate today, “has become little more than a loss-making, race-baiting rag.”

Not only do these political fringe dwellers combine with Labor and crossbench senators to undermine the nation’s fiscal position and economic future, but they meddle incessantly and odiously in identity politics, fuelling resentment and division, and spitting bile at mainstream voters, their concerns and their values.

This latest foray from Greens leader, Richard Di Natale, and McKim has come after today’s page one article by Caroline Overington about Yassmin Abdel-Magied.

Overington revealed how taxpayers had funded the writer’s tour to majority Muslim nations in North Africa and the Middle East to promote her book and her views.

It was highly relevant and topical given Abdel-Magied’s appearance on Q&A on Monday night, when she attempted to justify sharia law, and, astonishingly, said Islam was “the most feminist” religion.

In return for its reporting on this issue, this newspaper was singled out by the Greens leader who claimed we had attacked Abdel-Magied and that our reporting was fuelling tensions around Islam.

Overington revealed Abdel-Magied’s tour took her to a range of countries where women are treated appallingly.

She did nothing but put salient facts into the debate. She can’t do much about her skin colour but Overington is neither middle-aged nor male and anyone who reads her work knows she is a strong feminist.

McKim and Di Natale, on the other hand, are white non-Muslim men eager to parade their tolerance for Islam while wilfully blind on equality for women behind the veil.

Their cultural and political cowardice is matched only by their ignorance.



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


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Fake news at the NYT

The article below appeared in the NYT as "How an Interoffice Spat Erupted Into a Climate-Change Furor".  In the best traditions of the Green/Left it is an attempt to discredit scientific dissent by "ad hominem" abuse.  It refers to the Bates revelations about the Tom Karl "pause" paper but has no science in it at all.  It is just an extended effort to discredit the motives of Bates.

It gives no answer to the important allegation that Karl constructed his temperature database by using invalid ocean temperature measurements and mentions not at all the Fyfe et al. paper, in which some prominent Warmist scientists also distanced themselves from the Karl paper. The article is a closing of the ranks, nothing more.  It is a desperate attempt to trivialize an important issue of scientific integrity.

A few weeks ago, on an obscure climate-change blog, a retired government scientist named John Bates blasted his former boss on an esoteric point having to do with archiving temperature data.

It was little more than lingering workplace bad blood, said Dr. Bates’s former co-workers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Dr. Bates had felt he deserved his boss’s job at NOAA, they said, not the demotion he received.

“He’s retaliating. It’s like grade school,” said Glenn Rutledge, a former physical scientist at NOAA who worked with Dr. Bates.

But in what seems like a remarkable example of office politics gone horribly wrong, within days the accusations were amplified and sensationalized — in the pages of the British tabloid The Mail on Sunday — inciting a global furor among climate-change deniers.

The Mail claimed that Dr. Bates had revealed fraud in important research by NOAA that supports the widely held belief that climate change is real. “How world leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data,” the article’s headline said.

The scientific community swiftly shot down the accusations, and affirmed the accuracy of the research. And Dr. Bates himself later stated in an interview with a business news site that he had not meant to suggest that his former boss had played fast and loose with temperature data. “The issue here is not an issue of tampering with data,” Dr. Bates said.

Still, Dr. Bates has emerged as a hero to some conservative media outlets and politicians, and among climate-change deniers on Facebook and Twitter.

The Texas congressman and longtime climate skeptic Lamar Smith posted a link to a summary of the claims multiple times on Twitter. The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, which Mr. Smith heads, took up the controversy at a hearing.

NOAA itself is now bringing in independent investigators to review Dr. Bates’s claims. “NOAA takes seriously any accusations that its policies and procedures have not been followed,” a spokesman, Scott Smullen, said in a statement.

Dr. John Bates, a retired government scientist, at his home in Arden, N.C. His criticism of a former boss on an esoteric point about archiving temperature data resulted in a furor among climate-change deniers. Credit Chris Bott
Dr. Bates did not respond to repeated requests for comment nor to detailed questions about the incident and his former co-workers’ characterizations.

Interviews with six of his former colleagues at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, including two former bosses, painted a picture of a room filled with brilliant scientists, and — like many workplaces — its fair share of mundane professional spats and jealousies.

Dr. Bates was demoted from a managerial role in 2012 under Thomas Karl — the lead author of the study Dr. Bates has questioned — after complaints over Dr. Bates’s professional conduct, according to the former colleagues and supervisors. He also became frustrated that his efforts to enforce strict procedures in the archiving of climate data were not getting as much attention as he had hoped.

“He was often heard saying that he, not Karl, should be running the center,” said Marjorie McGuirk, former chief of staff at the data center.

At the heart of the furor is a study led by Dr. Karl, the former director of NOAA’s data center. The NOAA center handles the nation’s trove of climate and weather data. Dr. Karl’s study had refuted earlier work suggesting that global warming had slowed earlier in this century.

According to the article in The Mail, Dr. Bates claimed that the study relied on problematic data. The researchers threw out good data on sea temperatures recorded on buoys, and “corrected” it with what he said was bad data from ships, Dr. Bates said, according to The Mail.

“You never change good data to agree with bad, but that’s what they did — so as to make it look as if the sea was warmer,” he was quoted in The Mail as saying. The Mail on Sunday article also argued that the study had been rushed into the journal Science to influence the 2015 Paris climate deal, in which world leaders agreed to curb planet-warming emissions.

David Rose, the author of The Mail on Sunday article, said in a Twitter correspondence that he stood by his reporting.

The Mail on Sunday, together with its sister tabloid, The Daily Mail, in the past has been accused of publishing work that disputed the widely held scientific belief that warming is the result of human activity.

The outcry over Dr. Bates’s claims points to a push by some in the right-wing media to cast doubt on established climate science, and to dispel public support for emissions regulations. Breitbart, the right-wing website formerly run by Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s chief strategist, repeatedly played up Dr. Bates’s claims. “John Bates has provided the smoking gun,” it reported. Fox News called the accusations “explosive.”

Rick Perry, the former Texas governor who is President Trump’s pick for energy secretary, at his conformation hearing last month. Mr. Perry, once a climate-change denier, now acknowledges that the climate is warming. Credit Al Drago/The New York Times
Breitbart and Fox News did not respond to a request for comment.

“I think there’s already been enormous damage,” said Bob Ward, a researcher at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics. “What they’re trying to do is to slow the pace of action on climate change.”

In his interview with the site E&E News this month, Dr. Bates stated that the issue wasn’t with data tampering. Rather, he said, his issue was that some of the processed data used in the report wasn’t subsequently archived in accordance with strict protocols that Dr. Bates had developed. In other words, it was a filing problem, not a science problem.

The paper’s authors disputed that strict archiving of the calculations was necessary, because all of the original data used in the report was properly archived. And the data was subsequently made available to other researchers, said Tom Peterson, a research meteorologist who is a co-author of the study with Dr. Karl.


Sea Level Rise: A Reason to Drown in Fear?

The debate isn't so much over the facts of warming but how to respond

The quibbling over how much warming the world has actually seen is back in the news thanks to new allegations from Dr. John Bates, a former NOAA scientist who says the agency used bogus techniques to discredit the recent global warming pause. Given the long history of accusations against the agency — including longstanding charges of rewriting logbook data — these assertions should be investigated, regardless of what may or may not turn up. Perhaps the agency is guilty, or perhaps not.

But let’s set aside for a moment the wrangling over the magnitude of warming and lay out what everyone can agree on. We know unequivocally that global temperatures have gradually warmed for more than a century now. (This acknowledgement, by the way, reveals the Left’s slandering of conservatives as “climate deniers” to be all the more vindictive). We also know that periods of cooling or static measurements have occasionally interrupted this gradual warming, but it hasn’t been enough to reduce the overall upward trend. And finally, we know that global carbon dioxide emissions have risen to slightly more than 400 parts per million (ppm), an increase from 340 ppm in the early 1980s.

It’s what to extract from this information that results in harsh disagreement and even indignation. How much of the warming is natural? How much is cyclical? How much (if any) is driven by CO2? If it’s a mix of man-made and cyclical effects, which one is disproportionately to blame for meteorological changes? The Left, in addition to blaming climate change for what it says are worsening droughts and burgeoning heat waves, worries that sea levels, aided by the acceleration in ice loss, will wreak havoc on coastlines and nearby lowlands.

In truth, it’s admittedly a bad time for sea ice concentration. A few years ago, Antarctica was almost routinely, it seemed, breaking records in ice coverage. So it might come as a surprise today to learn that it’s now at a record low. In fact, both the North and South Poles are measuring historically low percentages. According to a large number of scientists, the continuation of global warming means coastal areas are in for a nightmare scenario. What does the data say?

Last June, NOAA reported, “Sea level has been rising over the past century, and the rate has increased in recent decades. In 2014, global sea level was 2.6 inches (67 mm) above the 1993 average — the highest annual average in the satellite record (1993-present). Sea level continues to rise at a rate of about one-eighth of an inch (3.2 mm) per year, due to a combination of melting glaciers and ice sheets, and thermal expansion of seawater as it warms.” And according to a February 2016 USA Today report, ocean levels overall increased by 5.5 inches during the 20th century.

Think about that. The rate at last check was one-eighth of an inch per year and mere inches when all added up. Assuming this is true — not to mention even accurate, considering these are such minuscule measurements for a vast swath of geography — that’s hardly what we would call a crisis, and it’s worth noting too that the way this stuff is measured has been revolutionized over time. That said, both poles are experiencing higher-than-average ice melt today, which presumably will affect this rate. But just how much?

In the same report, NOAA went on to estimate “that there is very high confidence (greater than 90% chance) that global mean sea level will rise at least 8 inches (0.2 meter) but no more than 6.6 feet (2.0 meters) by 2100.” And that’s taking into account rather extreme scenarios. Some people, particularly those along the coast, understandably worry about this (though a significant number of Americans actually enjoy the more pleasant effects of global warming, like milder winters). The question isn’t so much that global temperatures — and to a smaller degree the oceans — are rising, but why. Furthermore, how do we respond?

This is where policy disagreements come in. The bottom line is that this debate could come down to whether we want to adapt to climate change or instead attempt to mitigate its effects. NOAA says the rate at which seas are expected to rise “depends mostly on the rate of future carbon dioxide emissions and future global warming.” We contend there are very legitimate reasons to embrace CO2. Though for the most part temperatures and carbon dioxide emissions have risen in tandem, emissions alone can’t explain the periodic temperature drops and stagnations. And completely eliminating those emissions would be futile — and immensely expensive. But economic control, after all, is the real climate agenda.

As The Daily Signal’s Katie Tubb observes, “[C]limate sensitivity modeling used by the EPA shows that totally eliminating all carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. would reduce warming by only 0.137 degree Celsius by the end of the century, and only 0.278 degree Celsius if the entire industrialized world totally eliminated all carbon dioxide emissions.” Moreover, the greening of deserts and an abundance of food for trees and vegetation are surely welcome benefits.

Whether the globe is warming or cooling, there are benefits and setbacks to both, as history demonstrates. And humans who expect to have the ability to balance the climate are significantly less realistic than those who advocate adapting, like we always have, to what comes next. Americans didn’t abandon certain areas altogether because of earthquakes; they figured out how to create stronger and more flexible structures. The same goes for places prone to tornadoes and hurricanes. Remember, temperatures have not risen at the rate at which they were projected, and the future of sea levels are equally uncertain.

Game-changing global cooling didn’t happen like the CIA and Time magazine and others warned in 1974, nor will an ice age happen by 2021, as The Washington Post forecast in 1971. On the flip side, the New York Times' 1969 warning “that the ocean at the North Pole may become an open sea within a decade or two” didn’t happen either. So take predictions with a grain of salt.

In any case, even if the threat is real, adaption creates far more economic opportunities than forcing hundreds of millions into destitution through costly taxation and regulation. So go ahead and build your beachfront home. We’ll figure out, through innovation, how to protect it if we ever reach that point. Or maybe we could just get Barack Obama to finally cash in on his 2008 promise about the “moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow…”


Dakota Access Pipeline protesters cost North Dakota taxpayers $33 million

Last summer, hordes of professional leftists, ne’er-do-wells, thugs, and drug users descended upon North Dakota intent upon “helping” the tribes opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline, which is being developed by Energy Transfer Partners.

The self-important radicals dubbed themselves “water protectors.”  In their view, the $3.8 billion pipeline had to be stopped because of their fervent belief in global warming and the possibility that, one day, the pipeline might leak and pollute the water.

This motley crew has been far from ideal neighbors. One activist complained that others in the group were consuming tribal resources without contributing sufficiently and seemed to view the protest as little more than a Burning Man festival. Another activist advised potential protesters not to bring alcohol or drugs and told them that “you are not on vacation.”

Due to the protesters, the tribe’s casino has seen a decline in business, which has caused a shortfall of millions of dollars in the tribe’s budget.

And the tribe is not the only one paying the price for the protest. According to a state estimate, state and local taxpayers were responsible for paying nearly $33 million to deal with the protests as of Feb. 10. With the imminent arrival of flooding season, federal authorities have ordered the squatters to leave.

In early Dec. 2016, the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Dave Archambault II, asked protesters to leave, but hundreds chose to ignore his request. Previously, the tribal chairman had expressed concern over the fact that protesters were digging latrines in the flood plain, which could result in waste being washed into the Cannonball River.

As if that was not bad enough, protesters have also burned tires. What kind of environmentalists burn tires — willfully releasing carbon and noxious chemicals into the atmosphere?

The left, including many in the media, would have you believe that these protesters have been peaceful. The facts are otherwise. Over the past several months, protesters have flagrantly defied government orders; blocked state and county roads and railroad tracks; attacked police with pepper spray; pointed lasers at police; thrown rocks, bottles, bricks, feces, burning logs, and Molotov cocktails, among other things, at police; intentionally stampeded hundreds of bison toward police; and burned county vehicles. One protester even shot at police.

Unsurprisingly, many — over 700, in fact — have been arrested. Of those arrested, many had criminal records, and more than 90 percent were from out of state. Of course, the protesters have complained bitterly about the police response to the protesters’ criminal actions.

Nor have police been the protesters’ only targets. Protesters have sabotaged or burned construction vehicles and equipment; cut ranchers’ fences allowing bison to escape; harassed farmers and ranchers; and killed cows and bison. In one disturbing incident, protesters ran a pipeline construction worker off the road and chased and surrounded him until he was extricated by federal agents.

According to one estimate last fall, protesters had caused $10 million of damage to construction equipment. Protesters and their supporters have also phoned in numerous death threats to a local county government and local businesses.

As the number of protesters has dwindled, another problem has grown: the protesters’ piles of garbage. The tribe, working together with local and state authorities, is in the process of removing an estimated 4.5 million pounds of garbage and debris — much of it still frozen. The process was expected to take weeks; but, with snow already beginning to melt, time is running out.

About 200 vehicles, which were abandoned by protesters, are also being removed. Knowing time is of the essence, protesters continue to cause problems: just last week, they blocked several sanitation trucks from entering their camp.

Rick Manning, President of Americans for Limited Government, stated, “President Trump must investigate the funders of these polluting protesters and to send them the bill for the mess the protesters created. It is unacceptable for these costs to be borne by taxpayers and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.”


Our children have been brainwashed about global warming

It’s all about destroying capitalism

Yes, our people have been brainwashed from K to BA from ignorant teachers and professors who, themselves, were brainwashed before them. Nowhere in the news media or schools have the following subjects been exposed:

Christiana Figueres, the U.N.’s top climate change official, says that it’s not about the climate. It’s about redistribution of the wealth and the destruction of capitalism. In simpler terms, she intends to replace free enterprise, entrepreneurial capitalism with UN-controlled, centralized, socialized One World government and economic control.

Papal Advisor Naomi Klein admits in her much-publicized screed that ‘Global Warming’ is all about anti-capitalism and nothing to do with science.

Ottmar Edenhofer, lead author of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (2007), summed up the situation quite clearly. Speaking in 2010, he advised: “One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. Instead, climate change policy is about how we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth.”

Head of the EPA Gina McCarthy admitted during a U.S. House hearing that anti-coal CO2 regulations attached to EPA’s so-called “Clean Power Plan” wouldn’t have any measurable impact on global warming. She testified, “We see it as having had enormous benefit in showing sort of domestic leadership as well as garnering support around the country for the agreement we reached in Paris.”

Also mentioned was a quote from former U.S. Senator and chief climate envoy during the Clinton administration, Timothy Wirth, which shows how Democrats unconditionally stick behind climate change to forward its progressive agenda. “We’ve got to ride the global warming issue,” Wirth said. “Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing.”

The late Dr. Stephen Schneider’s heartfelt rationalization for climate-change advocacy involved his stated position that climate scientists must necessarily “offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have” so as to “capture the public’s imagination” by “getting loads of media coverage” as a means to advance the cause.

Maurice Newman, the chairman of Australia’s business advisory council said the UN was using false models showing sustained temperature increases to end democracy and impose authoritarian rule.

“The real agenda is concentrated political authority,” Newman wrote in an opinion piece published in the Australian newspaper. “Global warming is the hook. It’s about a new world order under the control of the UN…. “It is opposed to capitalism and freedom and has made environmental catastrophism a household topic to achieve its objective.”

Today’s folks have heard over and over from such sterling non-scientists as Barack Obama, Al Gore, and John Kerry that the global warming fiction is, in fact, the truth. It’s refreshing that we now have a president who actually speaks the truth, which is: 1) CO2 is not a pollutant and 2) CO2 does not cause global warming.

We can only hope.


Climate Models Are Warming Earth Two Times Faster Than Reality

Climate models show twice as much warming during the 21st Century than what’s actually been observed, according to a new report highlighting the limitations of global climate models, or GCMs.

“So far in the 21st century, the GCMs are warming, on average, about a factor of 2 faster than the observed temperature increase,” Dr. Judith Curry, a former Georgia Tech climate scientist who now runs her own climate forecasting company, wrote in a report for the U.K.-based Global Warming Policy Foundation.

Curry has been one of the foremost critics of climate models, arguing that while they can be useful, there are too many uncertainties and issues to rely on models for public policy decisions.

Curry’s report gives a detailed rundown of why models can be useful for modeling complex climate systems, but also points out that GCMs fail to capture natural variability in the climate.

“The reason for the discrepancy between observations and model simulations in the early 21st century appears to be caused by a combination of inadequate simulations of natural internal variability and oversensitivity of the models to increasing carbon dioxide,” wrote Curry.

Climate models assume carbon dioxide is the control knob for average global temperature and fail to take into account “the patterns and timing of multidecadal ocean oscillations” and “future solar variations and solar indirect effects on climate,” Curry explains.

Models also “neglect of the possibility of volcanic eruptions that are more active than the relatively quiet 20th century” and suffer from an “apparent over-sensitivity to increases in greenhouse gases,” Curry continues.

Global warming skeptics have been pointing out problems with climate models for years, but only recently have scientists taken a hard look at modeling’s actual predictive powers.

A group of scientists admitted in early 2016 that the 15-year “pause” in global warming threw a wrench into climate model predictions, forcing some to go back to the drawing board to see what went wrong.

“There is this mismatch between what the climate models are producing and what the observations are showing,” John Fyfe, Canadian climate modeler, told Nature in 2016. “We can’t ignore it.”

But climate model problems predate the recent warming “pause.” Chip Knappenberger and Patrick Michaels, climate scientists at the libertarian Cato Institute, have long criticized most climate models, which they say have not accurately predicted global temperature rises for the past six decades.

In late 2015, Michaels and Knappenberger published research comparing observed rates of global surface temperature warming since 1950 to predictions made by 108 climate models.

They found the models predicted much higher warming rates than actually occurred from rising carbon dioxide emissions.

Even the recent string of “record warm” years are below what most climate models predicted. A recent El Nino temporarily brought global average temperature in agreement with most climate models, but the globe is expected to cool in the coming years as the tropics cool.

And that’s only surface temperature readings. A similar mismatch exists between satellite-derived temperature readings and model predictions.

Climate scientists John Christy and Roy Spencer manage a prominent satellite-derived temperature data set out of the University of Alabama, Huntsville. Their data showed no warming for about two decades — a streak only broken by the recent El Nino warming event.



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