Friday, February 17, 2017
Another brainless Warmist overgeneralization
It never stops. Warmists point to some unusual event somewhere and conclude from that that the globe is warming. But climate is NOT uniform. The temperature can be rising in one place while it is falling elsewhere. And that is what we see below. Part of Arctic Norway has warmed up a bit and that is presented as evidence of global warming.
In fact other parts of the Arctic -- Greenland -- are getting colder. See the ice cover graph below. These attempts to generalize from one instance are statistical and brainless rubbish, albeit rubbish that is all to common among Warmists. Global evidence is needed to support a global theory
In the Arctic something odd is taking place. Temperatures in Spitzbergen, on the Norwegian island of Svalbard, hit a balmy 4C on Monday,
At this time of year they should be around minus 16C. Instead locals are having to adapt to a fast-changing environment, one that leaves Norway’s environment minister Vidar Helgesen in a sweat.
“What is happening now is a harbinger of things to come, we are seeing drastic changes,” he tells Climate Home in an interview.
“One of our major glaciers is retreating one metre a day, two kilometres in five years. It’s happening very fast and the world should take note.
“This will happen faster in the Arctic. We know a 2C rise in global average temperatures means up to 4C in the Arctic.”2
The unusual conditions should alarm all governments, he says, given the Arctic’s influence on global weather patterns and the evolving links between climate change and issues such as conflict and migration.
Trump's likely science adviser calls climate scientists 'glassy-eyed cult'
The man tipped as frontrunner for the role of science adviser to Donald Trump has described climate scientists as “a glassy-eyed cult” in the throes of a form of collective madness.
William Happer, an eminent physicist at Princeton University, met Trump last month to discuss the post and says that if he were offered the job he would take it. Happer is highly regarded in the academic community, but many would view his appointment as a further blow to the prospects of concerted international action on climate change.
“There’s a whole area of climate so-called science that is really more like a cult,” Happer told the Guardian. “It’s like Hare Krishna or something like that. They’re glassy-eyed and they chant. It will potentially harm the image of all science.”
Trump has previously described global warming as “very expensive … bullshit” and has signalled a continued hardline stance since taking power. He has nominated the former Texas governor Rick Perry, a staunch climate sceptic, as secretary of energy and hopes to put the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) under the leadership of Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general, who has been one of the agency’s most hostile critics.
John Holdren, Barack Obama’s science adviser, said Happer’s outspoken opinions would be a “substantial handicap” for a job that has traditionally involved delivering mainstream scientific opinion to the heart of policymaking.
“Every national academy of science agrees that the science is solid, that climate change is real,” he said. “To call this a cult is absurd and … an insult to the people who have done this work.”
Happer also supports a controversial crackdown on the freedom of federal agency scientists to speak out about their findings, arguing that mixed messages on issues such as whether butter or margarine is healthier, have led to people disregarding all public health information.
“So many people are fed up of listening to the government lie to them about margarine and climate change that when something is actually true and beneficial they don’t listen,” he said, citing childhood vaccines as an example. “The government should have a reputation of being completely reliable about facts – real facts.”
Happer dismissed concerns that Trump is “anti-science”, saying he had a positive impression of the president during their January meeting. “He asked good questions – he was very attentive, actually,” he said.
Climate change was mentioned but was not the main focus of discussions, according to Happer, who revealed that Trump had expressed support for solar energy in areas like Arizona “where it makes sense”.
“His comments were that of a technically literate person,” he said. “He wasn’t ideologically opposed to renewables; he wasn’t ideologically in favour of them either.”
Unlike many of his scientific peers, Happer is in favour of contentious legislation aimed at reining in the ability of federal agency staff to hold press conferences, give television interviews and promote their findings on official websites.
The “Secret Science Reform Bill”, which is being pushed by the Texas Republican Lamar Smith, chairman of the House science, space and technology Committee, would require federal agencies to publish all the raw data underpinning any proposed regulations and for new findings to be scrutinised extensively by outside experts before being announced. However, critics view the bill as an attempt to strip federal agencies of autonomy and reduce their regulatory powers.
“There is this special need for government science to be especially clean and without fault,” said Happer. “It’s OK to have press conferences, but before you do that you should have the findings carefully vetted.”
When asked for examples of where the current vetting process has failed, Happer cited a recent controversy surrounding a high-profile paper published by National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) scientists showing that global surface temperatures had risen again after temporarily levelling off.
Earlier this month, a retired Noaa scientist, Robert Bates, accused his former colleagues of rushing out the paper ahead of the UN conference, prioritising political impact over scientific rigour – although Bates later clarified that he had an issue with timing and transparency rather than “tampering with data”.
“This disappearance of the hiatus in global warming, which was trotted out just before the [UN] Paris conference … it was clearly just a political fanfare,” said Happer. “We shouldn’t be doing that. They were fiddling with the temperature records to make the hiatus go away.”
Happer argues that climate monitoring, such as the collection of CO2 and atmospheric temperature data, is valuable and should be continued. However, he claims that the overall threat posed by global warming has been overplayed by scientists swayed by a political agenda and power-hungry civil servants.
“There’s a huge amount of money that we spend on saving the planet,” he said. “If it turns out that the planet doesn’t need saving as much as we thought, well, there are other ways you could spend the money.
“When you talk about fossil fuel companies being motivated, well, there’s nobody more motivated than the people working for the federal government,” he added. “You can’t rise in the American bureaucracy without some threat to address.”
Happer said he began to question the emerging consensus view on climate change while working as director of research at the Department of Energy as part of the George W Bush administration. Climate scientists would “grudgingly” present their work to administrators, he claims, while those in other fields would share their results with enthusiasm.
“I would ask questions but they were evasive and wouldn’t answer,” he said. “This experience really soured me on the community. I started reading up and I realised why they weren’t answering the questions: because they didn’t have good answers. It was really at that point that I began to get seriously worried about climate as a science.”
Concerns about the Trump administration’s apparent disregard for mainstream scientific thinking on climate change has triggered a wave of activism, including plans for a science march in various cities.
However, Happer said that the public, who may view scientists as part of a privileged elite, may be less sympathetic.
“There’s a potential downside [to the march] of them being seen as a greedy bunch of spoiled people,” he said. “I don’t think they’re that way myself, but it could be easily twisted into that kind of narrative.”
What are they trying to hide?
The children of the light love the light, but the children of the darkness love the darkness -- John 3:19-21
Judicial Watch, a conservative group, has used the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to sue for the privileged email correspondence of nine climate scientists employed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
On January 27, 2017, the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) filed a brief in the District of Columbia federal District Court urging the court to protect the communications between these scientists.
Why Do These Emails Matter?
In 2013, a leaked draft of an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report stated that the rate of global warming had slowed between 1998 and 2012. Though the final report stated that “trends based on short records are very sensitive to the beginning and end dates and do not in general reflect long-term climate trends,” climate contrarians latched onto the idea of a “pause” in warming to bolster their position: If global warming has stopped, there is no need to curb fossil fuel use or take any other action to combat climate change.
The hiatus was rebutted in 2015 when Thomas Karl and his colleagues at NOAA published a paper in Science based on updated, more accurate data that demonstrated that there was no pause in global warming. In fact, warming from 2000 to 2015 was at least as great if not greater than that of the last half of the 20th century.
Other researchers have corroborated Karl et al.’s conclusions. Most recently, a 2017 Science Advances study by Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist at Berkeley Earth, validated Karl et al.’s findings using independent data from satellites, buoys and free-floating Argo floats, and reached the same conclusions about the rate of global warming.
Soon after Karl et al. published their study, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Chair of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology — who disputes the scientific consensus on climate change — subpoenaed the scientists’ documents and communications. He alleged that NOAA had readjusted historical temperature readings to suit the Obama administration’s political agenda, that the scientists had engaged in “suspicious” behavior, and that this had “broad national implications.”
NOAA supplied some documents to Smith, but refused to turn over the scientists’ confidential email correspondence.
In late 2015, Judicial Watch sued for the scientists’ emails under the Freedom of Information Act, a law designed to ensure transparency in government. Judicial Watch states it “is investigating how NOAA collects and disseminates climate data that is used in determining global climate change.”
Plastic bags cause global warming?
New York City shoppers can put away their coin purses if they want to continue to use plastic bags. Gov. Cuomo Tuesday signed a bill to impose a moratorium blocking the city from imposing a controversial 5-cent fee on plastic disposable bags.
Cuomo, who released a lengthy statement on the issue, said the city law that was due to go into effect on Wednesday was “deeply flawed” even if the intent to clean up the environment was a good one.
The governor said he’s creating a task force to come up with a uniformed statewide plan to deal with “the plastic bag problem.”
Gov. Cuomo torn on whether to block plastic bag fee
"New York — like the rest of the nation — is currently struggling with the environmental impact of plastic and paper bag waste, particularly with a focus on plastic bags,” Cuomo said. “Plastic bags are convenient, but not without financial and environmental costs.”
Supporters of the moratorium criticized the bag fee as nothing more than a tax that would hurt lower-income people.
“I'm absolutely thrilled that the madness has been put on hold and I hope that during the next year that maybe we can come up with something that is more acceptable to both sides of this,” said Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn).
Opponents of the delay, including Mayor de Blasio, had argued the fee would benefit the environment.
Brooklyn assemblyman wants plastic bags banned in New York
De Blasio, appearing on NY1 Tuesday night, called the moratorium a mistake “because we need to do something to address global warming right here in this city.”
He said the goal of the fee, which he made clear was initially a City Council idea, was to change people’s behavior to get away from using plastic bags, which clog landfills.
“Now we have a status quo that’s not going to get us anywhere,” de Blasio said.
City Council spokeswoman Robin Levine accused Cuomo and the state Legislature of imposing their will on the issue over that of the City Council.
NYC's proposed bag fee divides father, son who are Albany pols
"Instead of protecting the autonomy of the New York City Council and our legislative process, Gov. Cuomo has added to the rampant dysfunction that is Albany by putting cheap politics ahead of our environment and the will of the people who actually live in New York City,” Levine said.
Levine said that the Council would have been willing to earmark a portion of the bag fee for environmental purposes had Cuomo and the Legislature granted the authority to do so.
“The New York City Council's Bring Your Own Bag law would have stopped the scourge of plastic bags in our City, and this ridiculous state law undermines New York City's authority, hurts New Yorkers and sets a dangerous precedent for our city and every other locality in the state,” she said.
Cuomo, who last week called it a “complicated” issue, legally had until Saturday to sign or veto the moratorium bill that the Legislature passed last week.
But with the city law imposing the bag fee set to go into effect on Wednesday, Cuomo acted Tuesday.
“While there are no doubt institutional political issues at play, and while New York City's law is an earnest attempt at a real solution, it is also undeniable that the City's bill is deeply flawed,” Cuomo said.
He called the provision that merchants keep the 5-cent fee as profit “the most objectionable.”
The Australian Left's 50 per cent renewable energy aim suddenly gets complicated by the political heat
Labor’s renewable energy policy used to be so simple it could be reduced to street-march chants.
“What do we want?” “Fifty per cent renewable energy.” “When do we want it?” “2030.”
But now it has been complicated by the intensification of the political debate over energy security, and Labor has had to lose the simplicity of a “target” with the addition of terms such as “aspirations” and “goals”.
It no longer sounds like a guaranteed destination.
“What do we want?” “An aspirational approach to renewable energy goals.” “When do we want it?” “Some time in the future we hope but first we have to see where we are in 2020.”
Try chanting that. In fact, try defending and defining it in a political debate.
“What we have is, there are two Labor policies: there’s the renewable energy target and there’s the goal of getting to 50 per cent renewable energy,” shadow treasurer Chris Bowen told Sky News yesterday.
“Now 50 per cent renewable energy is underpinned by a range of policy measures.”
Tested on definitions Mr Bowen said: “Well, there’s the renewable energy target and then we have the 50 per cent aspiration which is separate to our renewable energy target.”
Today opposition environment spokesman Mark Butler had a crack at explaining the policy but also seemed to add qualification to qualification.
The aim, from what he told Radio National, seems to be to promote the shift to renewables with the wish and the hope the momentum will produce the goal in 15 years. The hope is that a combination of early backing and the retirement of fossil fuel generators will see Australia coasting to 50 per cent renewable energy use.
Well, that’s the aspiration. There is not dedicated plan to fix a target for 2030.
First task is to reach 23.5 per cent renewables by 2020, as proposed by the Paris Agreement Australian signed last year. By then, the task will have been done, said Mr Butler.
“By the 2020s though, this technology on all the modelling will be able to stand on its own two feet, compete in the market without subsidy from government or without subsidy effectively from consumers through a government legislated scheme, providing that there is a proper policy framework that gives investors a long term price investment signal that is compliant with our carbon pollution reduction efforts,” he said.
That momentum combined with emission reduction targets, Mr Butler said, “will require, in my very clear view, about half of our electricity by 2030 will be zero emissions”.
The political debate, which has been condemned by industry and the ACTU, also had hidden the fact there isn’t much difference between Labor and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Mr Turnbull said Monday: “Renewables have a very big place in Australia’s energy mix and it will get bigger. The cost of renewables is coming down.”
The key difference is the Government has yet to offer a “target” as the Prime Minister knows that would require some form of emissions trading, and Coalition colleagues wouldn’t allow that.
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Posted by JR at 1:27 AM