Tuesday, June 20, 2017

That 14.8C degrees current global temperature again

A correspondent has updated me on the above issue. He points out that the 14.8C GAT referred to is also the Annual Average for 2016.  14.84C is shown at the NOAA Annual Summary here. They show .94 anomaly + 13.9 average, which is 14.84.

This compares with HIGHER temperatures reported for 1997 and 1998

NOAA say that their 1997 and 1998 averages were wrong and that they have subsequently been revised downwards.  They say:

"Please note: the estimate for the baseline global temperature used in this study differed, and was warmer than, the baseline estimate (Jones et al., 1999) used currently. This report has been superseded by subsequent analyses. However, as with all climate monitoring reports, it is left online as it was written at the time."

That is mightily convenient.  It becomes amazingly convenient when one notes that the original GAT for 1997 in the report was 16.92C -- ie over 2.0C warmer than 2016. Over the last 20 years they have lowered the 1998 temperature by 2.4C, and they currently say records are being broken by a measly tenth or hundredth of a degree.

Clearly, the average global temperature is at best an unreliable and wild guess of no worth for policy or any other purposes.  On the original NOAA figures, the earth has COOLED by 2 degrees since 1997/1998 --  JR

Greenpeace admits its attacks on forest products giant were ‘non-verifiable statements of subjective opinion’

Greenpeace, after repeated attacks against Canada’s biggest forest products company for “destroying,” Canada’s boreal forests, now says that it was merely stating an opinion about the logging activity, not a fact.

After years of weathering attacks on its forestry practices, Montreal-based Resolute Forest Products Inc. last year sued Greenpeace in United States District Court in Georgia under racketeering statutes, alleging that Greenpeace’s repeated attacks on Resolute, to raise money for Greenpeace, amount to criminal activity.

In its claim, Resolute noted that Greenpeace has lobbied big Resolute paper customers, such as the Rite-Aid pharmacy chain (which printed its flyers on Resolute newsprint), encouraging them to switch suppliers, because, said Greenpeace, Resolute is a “forest destroyer.”

But now Greenpeace says it never intended people to take its words about Resolute’s logging practices as literal truth.

“The publications’ use of the word “Forest Destroyer,” for example, is obvious rhetoric,” Greenpeace writes in its motion to dismiss the Resolute lawsuit. “Resolute did not literally destroy an entire forest. It is of course arguable that Resolute destroyed portions of the Canadian Boreal Forest without abiding by policies and practices established by the Canadian government and the Forest Stewardship Council, but that is the point: The “Forest Destroyer” statement cannot be proven true or false, it is merely an opinion.”

Greenpeace adds that its attacks on Resolute “are without question non-verifiable statements of subjective opinion and at most non-actionable rhetorical hyperbole.”

None of the allegations by Resolute or Greenpeace has been tested in this case, which remains before the courts.

Richard Garneau, the chief executive of Resolute, who himself hails from the company’s centre of logging operations in the Saguenay region north of Quebec City, seized on Greenpeace’s admissions in an op-ed published Thursday in the conservative U.S. magazine National Review.

“A funny thing happened when Greenpeace and allies were forced to account for their claims in court,” Garneau wrote. “They started changing their tune. Their condemnations of our forestry practices ‘do not hew to strict literalism or scientific precision,’ as they concede in their latest legal filings. These are sober admissions after years of irresponsible attacks.”

Garneau, in Toronto Thursday, said Greenpeace’s attacks have hurt many across northern Quebec and Ontario.

“It is sad that we have to do all this to straighten out the record on misinformation,” he said. “It is sad that all Greenpeace’s allegations are against people who cannot defend themselves against organizations who blackmail customers to raise money.”

Resolute has faced criticism over its logging practices in the boreal forests of Ontario and Quebec from people other than Greenpeace. Forest product companies pay the German-based Forest Stewardship Council to review their logging operations and ensure they are sustainable. The FSC logo emblazons products across Canada as responsibly sourced — such as the envelopes used by Canada’s five biggest banks to send out customers’ account statements. FSC in 2014 revoked its seal of approval for logging operations that comprise about half of the forests where Resolute operates in Canada.

FSC said that Resolute wasn’t doing enough to protect caribou habitat, and failed to get permission from First Nations to log certain forests.

But Resolute has trained its legal firepower squarely on Greenpeace. In 2013 Resolute extracted an apology from Greenpeace for falsely alleging that Resolute had cut trees in an area it promised to spare. That same year, Resolute sued Greenpeace for libel in Thunder Bay, Ont., alleging that the global environmental group was spreading lies about the forest harvesting operations.

In a statement released to the Financial Post late Friday,  Shane Moffat, head of forest campaigns at Greenpeace Canada, wrote that, “Greenpeace Canada stands by our criticism of Resolute
 Forest Products’ practices that have been undermining the ecological integrity of the boreal forest in key regions where Resolute operates. Richard Garneau has taken legal arguments out of context to imply that Greenpeace is backing down on these claims. Greenpeace Canada is not involved in this lawsuit, but is being sued by Resolute in Ontario.”


Ship of Fools III – Global Warming Study Cancelled Because of ‘Unprecedented’ Ice

Heavy Arctic ice proves global warming, don't you know?

A global warming research study in Canada has been cancelled because of “unprecedented” thick summer ice.

Naturally, the scientist in charge has blamed it on ‘climate change.’

According to Vice:  The study, entitled BaySys, is a $17-million four-year-long program headed by the University of Manitoba. It was planning to conduct the third leg of its research by sending 40 scientists from five Canadian universities out into the Bay on the Canadian Research Icebreaker CCGS Amundsen to study “contributions of climate change and regulation on the Hudson Bay system.”

But it had to be cancelled because the scientists’ icebreaker was required by the Canadian Coast Guard for a rather more urgent purpose – rescuing fishing boats and supply ships which had got stuck in the “unprecedented ice conditions”.

    “It became clear to me very quickly that these weren’t just heavy ice conditions, these were unprecedented ice conditions,” Dr. David Barber, the lead scientist on the study, told VICE. “We were finding thick multi-year sea ice floes which on level ice were five metres thick… it was much, much thicker and much, much heavier than anything you would expect at that latitude and at that time of year.”

Clearly not one to let a crisis go to waste, Barber seized the opportunity to perform the usual alarmist clown dance for the media, explaining why this incident definitely shows that global warming is a major problem and deserving of our urgent attention.  He told Vice:     “It was clear it was from the Arctic, I just needed to be among the ice to see it,” said Dr. Barber. “What was also clear to me was that climate change has caused this event to happen.”

[Don’t you just love that “I just needed to be among the ice”? I think what he’s trying in his subtle way to tell us is: “Not all superheroes wear capes”]

Warming to his theme, he told Global News:  “This is climate change fully in action – affecting our ability to make use of marine resources and transport things.”

and:  “This is a wake-up call for all of us in the country.”

Of course it is. Now Barber has the perfect excuse to share his war stories with all the other global warming experts who have had their research expeditions/publicity stunts stymied by unseasonal bouts of global warming.

There was the Ship of Fools expedition in which an Australian climate researcher called Chris Turkey had to call an expedition to the melting Antarctic after his ship got stuck in the ice.

The Caitlin Expedition – supported by the Prince of Wales – in which Pen Haddow and his team had to abandon their trip to the North Pole because it was colder than they’d expected.

Most recently there was Ship of Fools II, in which a global warming research voyage by David Hempleman Adams had to be curtailed because of unexpected ice.

What on earth can Mother Gaia be trying to tell them?  Possibly the same message she’s trying to send out to the Greenies in California with this unexpected fall of white global warming:

    A rare winter-like storm brought more snow to the Sierra Nevada on Monday, giving skiers the opportunity to enjoy the slopes as summer gets underway.

    At Squaw Valley, the storm dropped four inches of snow at the upper elevations and two inches at the base, delighting skiers and snowboarders who will be on the slopes past the Fourth of July for a first time in history.

    “It’s definitely unique,” Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows resort spokesman Sam Kieckhefer said. “We are seeing bathing suits and costumes on the slopes. The skiing has definitely been extremely festive.”

Apparently, she didn’t get the famous memo from the Independent a few years back.  -- saying snowfalls are just a thing of the past.

Why, if you didn’t know better you’d almost think unseasonal bouts of snow and ice were nothing to do with “global warming” but were a natural phenomenon which had been with us since time immemorial….


The political legacy of the Paris Accord departure

It expanded the chasm between ‘everyday’ Democrats and ‘country club’ Democrats

Now the Republicans are the party of “the little guy” — the truckers, the farmers, welders, secretaries, waitresses — and the Democrats have become the party of the big money interests, Google, Facebook, George Soros, Bloomberg. Nowhere is this better illustrated than by President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord.

The billionaire country club Democrats and their brethren in the media are not going to have their incomes affected like people in the colonies whose livelihood is dependent on abundant low cost energy. We in the “colonies” resent dictatorial policies emanating from the “kingdom of D.C.”

In an eight-minute video with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul ridicules the notion that the oceans will rise 100 feet in the next 100 years by pointing out that the oceans were 300 feet lower eons ago which allowed migration across the Bering Strait.

Isn’t it interesting how the term ‘global warming’ has morphed to climate change?

NASA estimates that steps advocated now would reduce temperatures by 0.2 degrees centigrade over 100 years.

Certainly man has had an influence in the changing environment and air quality since the first caveman started the first fire, but how does that fire or all the subsequent sport utility vehicles and coal fired plants compare to the natural causes which have spawned seven ice ages, one coming all the way down to the northern boundary of Florida.

Everyday Democrats see through the silliness of New York Sen. Chuck Schumer saying that Mr. Trump has destroyed the future of two generations of Americans.

The controls on two pollutants, PM2.5 and ozone, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, are the ones most linked to health issues such as asthma attacks, hospitalization and reduced mortality with more than 90 percent of the benefit from controlling PM2.5.

According to the World Health Organization of the United Nations, that PM2.5 across the United States is 8.3 micrograms per cubic meter (UG/M3), similar to Iceland and New Zealand, which are 7.6 and 8.0 per cubic meter, respectively.

What are they in the countries which are ridiculing our president and chastising him for “bailing out” and endangering the world? France is 12.1, the United Kingdom 12.2, Germany 13.5 and Japan 14.6. All significantly higher than our 8.3.

Guess what the European standard is? 25 UG/M3.

So, we here in the United States have been doing a far better job of controlling pollutants than the rest of the world, well before the Paris Accord was signed in 2015.

The everyday Democrats see President Obama, sending $1 billion of their taxpayer money (without their approval, channeled through Congress) to a Greenie fund. How much has Russia sent into the Green Climate Fund? Answer: $0.00. China? Zero. India? Also zero, zilch, nada.

Here’s a very impressive comment from the Pakistanis:

“Given the future economic growth and associated growth in the energy sector, the peaking of emissions in Pakistan is expected to take place much beyond the year 2030.

An exponential increase of greenhouse gas emissions for many decades is likely to occur before any decrease in emissions can be expected.”

Rand Paul says Russia is allowed to increase their carbon footprint 50 percent while we’re required to reduce ours 20 percent, and China is not required to do anything.

So the $1 billion the leader of the country club Democrats, President Obama, sent went to countries like Kenya, Thailand, Philippines, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and Vietnam.

An organization called Transparency International has a Corruption Perceptions Index. In 2014, they ranked the major countries that got grants from the workers of America. Those countries ranked between 25-43 on their Corruption Perceptions Index. Zero is perceived as highly corrupt and 100 is very honest, clean and not corrupt.

Has the media dug deeply to find out how much of these workers’ dollars were siphoned to offshore bank accounts or cronyism that inflated the price of contracts?

Jake Tapper could cause his reputation to soar if he put his journalistic investigators on such a topic rather than passing along the exaggerations of the religion of climate change.

How about the $26.6 million that went to the country of Vanutu to expand the use of “climate information services” in order to “ensure adaptation planning and policy implementation is informed by the right data”? So, basically the money was spent to “create a necessary base to underpin awareness-raising and long-term policy planning around climate change.” No wind turbines. No solar panels. No hydroelectric dams. But Vanutu did get $26.6 million of really great data.

The new breed of country club Democrats are not evil and are not stupid any more than the Republican country club types were/are; they’re simply misinformed.

Things are looking up for America, thanks partly to Mr. Trump’s boldness. Cicero centuries ago said criticize by creating. Donald Trump created a way around the flawed media by his flood of Tweets. While his fans feel some of them are irrelevant, that practice has allowed him to abscond with the Democrats’ core base.


Advancing scientific integrity on bees

Putting a beehive at the VP’s residence could spur people’s understanding of bee problems

Paul Driessen

Second Lady Karen Pence and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recently teamed up to install a honeybee hive on the grounds of the Vice President’s residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington, DC. This will serve as a “great example” of what people can do to help “reverse the decline” in managed honeybee colonies around the country, the secretary said.

Helping bees and educating people about bee problems is a good idea. However, if the hive is an attempt to reduce media and environmentalist criticism of Trump Administration policies – or put the Pences and Ag Department on the “right” side of the “bee-pocalypse” issue – it will backfire. It will also undermine administration efforts to advance evidence-based science, restore integrity to scientific and regulatory processes, promote safe modern technologies, and support continued crop production and exports.

A steady stream of misinformation has fueled misplaced public anxiety about bees. Being on the “right” side must therefore begin with recognizing that honeybee populations are actually increasing, as the decline in managed honeybee colonies reversed in recent years. Attention to the vice presidential hive should instead focus on preventing and controlling the biggest single threat to honeybees, especially in small-scale hobbyist hives: infestations of Varroa mites.

Anti-pesticide zealots and headline-seeking news media have been talking for years about domesticated bees (and now wild bees) serving as “the canary in the coal mine,” whose health problems portend yet another man-made environmental calamity. The future of agriculture, human nutrition, perhaps all life on Earth could be at risk if bees and other important pollinators “disappear,” they ominously intone.

That is nothing more than fear-mongering. Honeybee populations have been bouncing back nicely since the days when many worried about mysterious large-scale deaths in hives. In fact, the “crisis” was seriously (and sometimes deliberately) overblown, and honeybee populations are now at or near 20-year highs in North America and every other continent, except Antarctica.

Assiduous scientific investigation helped identify the mites, viruses and fungal pathogens that can infest hives, and beekeepers are learning to treat infestations without inadvertently killing bees or entire hives. That process has underscored the hard reality that, for professional and hobbyist beekeepers alike, maintaining healthy hives is complicated and difficult, especially when multiple pathogens invade.

However, in another sense, honeybees truly are canaries in the coal mine. They are harbingers of the ways environmentalist attacks on modern agriculture can damage one of the most productive, competitive and globally vital sectors of the American economy. American agriculture feeds the USA and world, while generating trade surpluses and supporting rural and small town communities across the country.

Unfortunately, determined anti-pesticide zealots have been trying for nearly a decade to use the alleged “bee crisis” to prevent farmers from using advanced-technology neonicotinoid pesticides that boost agricultural yields, reduce the need for other crop-protection insecticides that can harm bees, and reduce risks to humans, birds, other animals, non-pest insects, and bees.

Neonics are now the world’s most widely used pesticide class. They are mainly (some 90%) applied as seed coatings, which lets crops absorb the chemicals into their tissue and allows minuscule amounts to target only pests that feed on and destroy crops. Radical greens have tried for years to blame neonics for higher-than-normal over-winter hive losses, “colony collapse disorder” (in which bees mysteriously abandon their colonies, leaving the queen, food and unhatched eggs behind) and other bee problems.

The mere fact that neonics may be detected in negligible, below-harmful levels in the nectar and pollen of neonic-treated crops, in foliage near neonic-treated cropland, or in the food stored in honeybees hives, has fueled emotional campaigns to ban these crop protection products. The activists simply ignore large-scale field studies that have consistently shown no adverse effects on honeybees at the colony level from field-realistic exposures to neonics. They ignore the fact that bees thrive among and around neonic-treated corn and canola crops in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and elsewhere.

Anti-pesticide crusaders are determined to take neonics out of farmers’ pest-control “tool-kits.” They will not let scientific facts stand in their way.

This is the tug-of-war that Mrs. Pence’s beehive has plunged her into. What if her bee colony collapses and dies? Whatever embarrassment this may bring to her skills as a beekeeper (and those of USDA staff who will be charged with keeping the hive alive), activists will claim the bee deaths further confirm that the Trump Administration’s enviro-critics are right – and America’s farmers are wrong.

So what can we learn from the fate of one bee colony on the bucolic grounds of the Naval Observatory in the middle of urban Washington, DC? Potentially plenty – if Mrs. Pence and her USDA aides put on their thinking caps, learn more about “bee issue” realities, use this otherwise empty gesture to dramatize the real issues facing honeybees and their keepers, and help advance the cause of scientific integrity.

In recent weeks, the USDA-supported Bee Informed Partnership at the University of Maryland published its annual survey of honeybee colony losses for 2016-17. Although lower than last year and among the best since the decade-old survey began, over-winter losses of 21% and in-season (summer) losses of 18% are still troublesome numbers. However, a vitally important point must be kept in mind.

Those losses were suffered overwhelmingly by small, backyard, hobbyist beekeepers. (Barely 1% of respondents to the BIP survey are large-scale commercial beekeepers, which skews the survey.) This parallels other studies that show small-scale, hobbyist, backyard beekeepers suffer much higher rates of colony loss than do large-scale professionals, who handle the vast majority of US bees and hives.

Those other studies also show that small-scale beekeepers have the greatest difficulty keeping their bees alive in the face of the scourge of Varroa destructor mites. Epidemic since its 1987 arrival in the USA, this bee parasite is a triple threat. Bee larvae often hatch with Varroa mites already attached to them, and these parasites: (1) suck the bee’s hemolymph blood-equivalent out of them, (2) thereby compromising the bees’ immune systems, and (3) vectoring a dozen or more viruses and diseases into honey bees and colonies, turning what were just nuisance infections before Varroa arrived into devastating epidemics.

This has produced a striking paradox – which Mrs. Pence’s new bee colony could help explain. In the wake of widespread publicity about the supposed bee crisis, tens of thousands of well-meaning people across the USA – from the rural countryside to rooftops in densely populated urban areas – have set out to “help the bees” by setting up hobbyist beekeeping operations of one or a few hives. The problem, studies show, is that these well-intentioned initiatives often end up making things worse for honeybees.

Many newly-minted, nature-loving hobbyist beekeepers believe – contrary to the overwhelming bulk of beekeeping literature and practice – that treating their hives chemically for Varroa mites is “against nature,” and thereby hasten the inevitable disaster to their hives. When those hobbyist hives collapse under the weight of uncontrolled or poorly controlled Varroa mites and related diseases, surviving bees migrate in search of new homes, frequently among the healthy hives of some neighboring professional beekeeper – carrying Varroa mites with them. That’s how hobbyist beekeepers inadvertently contribute to the spread of this honeybee epidemic – and to the spread of misinformation about bee losses.

Mrs. Pence’s colony won’t provide lessons on supposed harmful effects on honeybees from exposure to neonic pesticides. The nearest neonic-treated canola and cornfields are well beyond her bees’ roughly 3-mile flight. However, it’s a golden opportunity to use the colony as an object lesson in what small-scale beekeepers should do to keep their hives alive and thriving: above all, control Varroa mites.

Mrs. Pence’s bee colony could become an exemplar for small-scale beekeepers on how to do right by honeybees. By implementing sound beekeeping practices (particularly properly timed Varroa counts and controls), live-streaming those practices and daily hive activity via the bee equivalent of the Panda Cam, and posting short how-to videos, she could teach millions about bees … and advance hobbyist efforts to help bees. That would help replace failure and disappointment with rewarding fun and satisfaction.

Via email


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