Monday, July 17, 2017



The glacier that didn't bark

I am of course alluding to the dog in "The Silver Blaze", a Sherlock Holmes story.  Sometimes it can be significant and surprising when something does NOT happen.  We see an example of that in the AFP article below.

Warmists have been harping on about the danger and significance of the Larsen C ice shelf breaking off (calving) for at least a year.  I last referred to it on May 5, 2017 and earlier on Dec 6, 2016.  So what has happened now that the calving has happened?  Very little.  The announcement below rightly notes it as an entirely routine and natural phenomenon.

Someone has however injected an attempt at alarm into the story by postulating that the shelf MIGHT have been holding back the grounded ice-mass adjoining it and that this mass may soon therefore slide into the sea and melt.  That is however just a conjecture and fails to discuss, among many other things, the possibility that a new shelf may form where the old one was. And if something does slide off it might just sit there floating where the old shelf was and NOT melt.  I think we may safely see the event as a damp squib from a Warmist viewpoint


A trillion-ton iceberg, one of the largest ever recorded, has snapped off the West Antarctic ice shelf, scientists who have monitored the growing crack for years said on Wednesday.

"The calving occurred sometime between Monday, July 10 and Wednesday, July 12, when a 5,800-square kilometer (2,200-square mile) section of Larsen C (ice shelf) finally broke away," the Swansea University said in a statement.

The massive ice cube, larger than the U.S. state of Delaware, has a volume twice that of Lake Erie, one of the Great Lakes. It is about 350 metres (1,100 feet) thick.

"The iceberg weighs more than a trillion tons, but it was already floating before it calved away so has no immediate impact on sea level," the team said. It will likely be named A68.

With the calving, the Larsen C ice shelf lost more than 12 percent of its total surface area.

Icebergs calving from Antarctica are a regular occurrence. But given its enormous size, the latest berg will be closely watched as it travels, for any potential risk to shipping traffic.

The calving may have heightened the risk of the remaining ice shelf disintegrating, the Swansea team said.

Ice shelves float on the sea, extending from the coast, and are fed by slow-flowing glaciers from the land.

They act as giant brakes, preventing glaciers from flowing directly into the ocean.

If the glaciers held in check by Larsen C spilt into the Antarctic Ocean, it would lift the global water mark by about 10 centimetres (four inches), researchers have said.    

The calving of ice shelves occurs naturally, though global warming is believed to have accelerated the process.

Warmer ocean water erodes the underbelly of the ice shelves, while rising air temperatures weaken them from above.

The nearby Larsen A ice shelf collapsed in 1995, and Larsen B dramatically broke up seven years later.

The final break was detected by a NASA satellite.

"We will continue to monitor both the impact of this calving event on the Larsen C ice shelf and the fate of this huge iceberg," said lead investigator Adrian Luckman of the university’s MIDAS project.

The fate of the berg is hard to predict. It may stay in one piece, but could also break into fragments.

"Some of the ice may remain in the area for decades, while parts of the iceberg may drift north into warmer waters," said Luckman.

The team said the calving at the iceberg cannot be directly placed at the door of global warming, describing it as a "natural event".

Human actions have lifted average global air temperatures by about one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial levels, according to scientists.

SOURCE





Pruitt blasts Europe, Merkel for ‘hypocrisy’ on climate

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt dismissed European critics of President Donald Trump's climate policies as hypocrites on Wednesday, while chastising German Chancellor Angela Merkel for phasing out her country's nuclear power plants.

"I just think the hypocrisy runs rampant," Pruitt said in an interview with POLITICO. "To look at us as a nation and say, 'You all need to do more' in light of what we’ve done in leading with innovation and technology — the hypocrisy is palpable in those areas."

Pruitt mentioned Merkel by name, urging the public to press her on the issue. If reducing carbon dioxide emissions "is so important to you, Madam Chancellor, why are you getting rid of nuclear? Because last time I checked, it’s pretty clean on CO2," he said.

Merkel is one of the most vocal public defenders of the Paris climate change agreement, the 2015 pact that Trump said last month he intends to leave. Merkel hosted the recent G-20 summit of the world's wealthiest economies, where the United States was the only country not to throw its support behind the deal. At the same time, Germany announced in 2000 it would phase out nuclear power, a shift that Merkel accelerated after the 2011 nuclear disaster in Japan.

Pruitt repeated his criticism of the Paris deal, casting doubt on whether the United States would remain part of the climate agreement even if the Trump administration rewrites former President Barack Obama's aggressive plan to cut U.S. emissions. When Trump announced the withdrawal June 1, he held out the possibility of negotiating to "re-enter" the accord "on terms that are fair to the United States."

Pruitt argued that the United States has shown it can address climate change without being bound to an international agreement. He noted that U.S. carbon dioxide emissions have declined since President George W. Bush decided in 2001 to abandon the Kyoto Protocol.

"What we ought to be focused upon in my view is exporting innovation and technology to nations like China, like India, to help them with respect to their power grid," he said.

Pruitt said the United States will continue to engage with the international community on climate change, but he called the Paris deal "pure symbolism," adding, "It was a bumper sticker.

"Engagement is unquestioned. We’re going to continue to engage," he said. "But we have led with action.”

Still, Pruitt continued to raise concerns that remaining in the Paris deal could create legal complications as the administration tries to unravel Obama's domestic climate regulations, arguing that outside groups could seek to hold the U.S. to its pledges in court. "Why would you hold yourself out to that type of legal liability?" he said.

During the administration's monthslong debate over Paris, Pruitt and other opponents of the agreement made that argument behind the scenes, clashing with other Trump advisers who believed those legal fears were unfounded. Pruitt, along with Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon, was the most forceful advocate of ending U.S. participation in the Paris deal.

Pruitt bristled at the phrase "climate denier," a description that his critics have often applied to him in light of his repeated statements disputing scientific conclusions about the large role humans play in warming the planet.

"What does it even mean? That’s what I think about it. I deny the climate? Really? Wow, OK. That’s crazy, in my view," he said.

Pruitt reiterated his position that the climate is warming and humans contribute to that, but "the ability to measure with precision the human contribution to warming is something that’s very challenging to do."

In contrast, the vast majority of the world's climate scientists agree that the planet is warming in large part due to the burning of fossil fuels like coal. Pruitt has come under fire from Democrats — and even some moderate Republicans, including former EPA chiefs — for his stance on climate change. Others have raised red flags about the steep budget cuts facing the agency, worrying that its mission to protect human health and the environment could be compromised.

Pruitt has called for a public — possibly televised — debate about climate science.

"The American people deserve an honest, open, transparent discussion about that, and that’s how you ultimately get to consensus," he said. "And I tend to think at times that maybe consensus wasn’t the focus historically, over the last several years. It was to use it as a political issue, to put jerseys on — either you’re for or against."

In the end, he said, his ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions is limited by the 1972 Clean Air Act, whose authority he believes Obama overstepped when he imposed greenhouse gas restrictions for the nation's power plants.

Pruitt argued that the media's focus on climate change has distracted from the work he is doing at the EPA on everything from air pollution to regulating dangerous chemicals.

"We’ve got a very positive environmental agenda. [There's] work to be done, opportunity to achieve good outcomes, a plan to do that, and there’s not very much margin, if any at all, with groups that are liberal, conservative, the rest, at getting those things done," he said.

Pruitt has sought to "reorient" the EPA toward what he argues are its core functions, including reducing air pollution, cleaning up toxic waste sites, regulating chemicals and improving water quality. Pruitt said he organized an internal task force that will soon deliver recommendations on how to improve the agency's Superfund program, which is designed to clean up the nation's worst toxic pollution sites.

The EPA administrator laid into Obama, arguing he didn't do nearly enough to limit air pollutants and sought to severely restrict the use of fossil fuels.

"God has blessed us with natural resources. Let’s use them to feed the world. Let’s use them to power the world. Let’s use them to protect the world," Pruitt said. "But this idea that we as a nation have this abundance of natural resources and the job of this agency — and I’m speaking rhetorically here and facetiously — is to say, ‘Do not touch.’ Where is that in the statute?"

SOURCE





Studies Find Wind Turbines Unsustainable and Harmful to Wildlife

New studies estimate that wind turbines will produce 43 million tonnes of waste by 2050. Scientists say that wind energy is an unsustainable environmental disaster that fills landfills and harms wildlife.

However, the United States Department of Energy boasts that wind energy is the number one source of renewable energy capacity in the U.S with enough capacity to power over 20 million homes.

“The Department of Energy’s Wind Energy Technologies Office says that it “leads the nation’s efforts to research and develop innovative technologies, lower the costs, and enable and accelerate the deployment of wind energy throughout the nation. The office has a comprehensive portfolio and invests through cooperative agreements with a variety of businesses, universities, laboratories, and other organizations.” The Department’s Wind Vision Study Scenario seeks to increase the nation’s wind energy supply 35% by year 2050, and it uses incentives like government grants and tax credits to achieve this goal.

The government claims that wind power is sustainable, but The Journal of Waste Management’s 2017 publication titled “Wind Turbine Blade Waste in 2050” states that wind turbine blades are filling landfills. In addition to the blades, the study states that there is up to 45% additional waste from manufacturing, testing, and the in-service stages of wind turbine usage. The scientists estimate that there will be 43 million tonnes of worldwide blade waste by 2050. The  estimated numbers were based on current data from sales and production, and did not account for the government’s plan to dramatically increase turbine use by 2050.

A study from October 2016 titled “Unsustainable Wind Turbine Blade Disposal Practices in the United States” calls for policy interventions to encourage industry to improve wind turbine blade production and disposal. They state that although trashing the blades in landfills is the most cost-effective method of disposal, it has environmental costs that need to be accounted for.

Studies also show that wind turbines can be a threat to wild life. The government admits that spinning turbine blades pose a threat to bats, but the most recent study that they show on the topic is from 2013 and has stats which differ from more recent studies. The Wind Energy Technologies Office (A division of the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy) claims that bat fatality rates have been reported at levels between 1-30 bats/MW per year.

A 2017 study states that wind turbines threaten hoary bat populations to the level of extinction.  Scientists estimate that 90% of the the hoary bat population could be lost to turbines in the next 50 years. The scientists state that policy decisions need to include conservation measures that need to be initiated immediately.

SOURCE





GREENIE ROUNDUP FROM AUSTRALIA

Three current reports below:
                                                                                   
Backlash against doomsday article that predicts a climate change induced apocalypse

Just another silly prophecy.  Greenie prohecies always fail to come true so this extreme prophecy deserves no attention whatsoever

AUSTRALIAN scientists have said a hugely controversial article that predicts a climate change driven apocalypse is “scary” and “embellished” but entirely plausible despite the extreme scenario dividing climatologists worldwide.

David Wallace-Wells’ startling — and unashamedly doom ridden — essay in New York magazine, entitled ‘ The Uninhabitable Earth ’, has ruffled feathers.

“I promise, it is worse than you think,” he says in the opening line of the article published last week.

Even if Australians manage to survive major cities being in “permanent extreme drought” or poisonous sea “burps” it’s likely we’ll be finished off by “rolling death smogs” or “perpetual war” instead, the article states.

Mr Wallace-Wells’ piece has been heavily criticised. But not by the climate sceptics — it’s climate scientists who are up in arms, claiming it is “irresponsible” and “alarmist”.

Respected climatologist Michael E Mann, director of the Earth System Science Centre at Pennsylvania State University, has said the “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence … [and this] article fails to produce it.”

Richard Betts, from the UK’s University of Exeter told website Climate Feedback,

the Earth becoming uninhabitable within the timescale suggested was “pure hyperbole.”

But Australian climate scientists news.com.au spoke to said while some of the descriptions of the future earth were fanciful (one called them “dramatised”), fanciful didn’t mean they were false.

“It’s absolutely true these things could happen,” said Dr Liz Hanna, President of the Climate and Health Alliance and a researcher into the health impacts of climate change at the Australian National University (ANU).

“It’s alarming but not alarmist.”

Professor Will Steffen of the Climate Council of Australia said the predictions were not from “ultra greenies” but were a sober assessment of the societal collapse extreme climate change could bring.
The cover of New York magazine issue which contained ‘The Uninhabitable Earth’ article.

The cover of New York magazine issue which contained ‘The Uninhabitable Earth’ article.Source:Supplied

THE MOST DIRE PREDICTIONS

In his essay, Mr Wallace-Wells says the effects of global warming were already happening.

The Global Seed Vault, surrounded by supposedly permanent ice, has flooded. On Wednesday, a trillion-ton block of ice twice the size of the Australian Capital Territory sheared off from the Antarctic ice sheet. The last three years have been the hottest on record globally.

The articles he said, “was not a series of predictions of what will happen. Instead, it is a portrait of our best understanding of where the planet is heading absent aggressive action.”
How the size of the sheared Larsen C iceberg compares to Australian states and cities. Picture: Supplied

How the size of the sheared Larsen C iceberg compares to Australian states and cities. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

The outlook was dire. “No plausible program of emissions reductions can prevent climate disaster.

“Most people talk as if Miami and Bangladesh still have a chance of surviving; most of the scientists I spoke with assume we’ll lose them within the century.”

He writes that the Earth had a mass extinction 250 million years ago when the planet warmed by five degrees triggering the release of methane encased in Arctic ice.

“This ended up with 97 per cent of all life on Earth dead. We are currently adding carbon to the atmosphere at a faster rate”.

That same melting ice could also release dormant deadly diseases frozen in time, such as smallpox and the plague.

HUMANS COOKED FROM INSIDE OUT

The 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, which the USA has withdrawn from, has an aim of holding the increase in global temperatures to “well below 2C” above pre-industrial levels. Many climate scientists think this goal is already unachievable.

Mr Wallace-Wells said if global temperatures rose by around 4C, hot and humid equatorial regions would be unliveable.

“Within a few hours, a human body would be cooked to death from both inside and out.”

Oceanic acidification could kill off fish creating “dead zones’ and poisonous hydrogen “sulphide burps” might bubble up from the sea floor.

In a 4C warmer world, the Earth’s ecosystem — Australia included — will boil with a constant swarm of tornadoes, floods and droughts, “that not so long ago destroyed whole civilisations.”

SOURCE

Insanity and hypocrisy from Al Gore in Australia

Al Gore’s bombast and hypocrisy, an energy debacle “no one saw coming,” lessons for USA

Paul Driessen

The Wall Street Journal called it the energy shortage “no one saw coming.” Actually, a lot of people did see it coming. But intent on pursuing their “dangerous manmade climate change” and “renewable energy will save the planet” agendas, the political classes ignored them. So the stage was set.

As an Australia-wide heat wave sent temperatures soaring above 105 degrees F (40.6 C) in early 2017, air conditioning demand skyrocketed. But Adelaide, South Australia is heavily dependent on wind turbines for electricity generation – and there was no wind. Regulators told the local natural gas-fired power plant to ramp up its output, but it couldn’t get enough gas to do so. To avoid a massive, widespread blackout, regulators shut off power to 90,000 homes, leaving angry families sweltering in the dark.

According to the Journal, Aussie politicians and the wind industry, the primary problem was businesses that exported 62% of Australia’s natural gas production in 2016, leaving insufficient supplies to run gas backup power plants that are supposed to step in when wind and solar power fail. Policy makers “didn’t ensure enough gas would remain at home” and couldn’t foresee temperatures soaring with no wind.

Gas export licenses were issued without regard to the consequences for the domestic market,” said one pol. We should have had “a national interest test” in place to ensure domestic gas needs, said another.

During this and even bigger Aussie blackouts, valuable fish, meat and produce rotted when freezers and refrigerators shut down. Business operations were interrupted or shut down. Rising electricity prices and unreliable power impacted smelters, factories and other businesses, causing many to lay off workers.

The blackouts and energy debacle “offer lessons for America, as it prepares to vastly increase natural gas shipments abroad,” the Journal advises. It certainly does, though not the lessons suggested by the article or people quoted in it, amid the “excessive exports” narrative. Here are some of the correct lessons.

First and foremost, have debates and red team-blue team exercises. Listen to experts who aren’t locked into climate chaos and renewable energy themes. Foster public discussions, instead of silencing them. Understand the entire situation and all the likely consequences of each alternative, before legislating.

Recognize and study reality. Dead calms occur frequently when temperatures are at their highest, or their lowest – when families, businesses, hospitals and schools need electricity the most. Clouds can blanket regions for days or weeks on end. Reliance on wind and solar is risky, and reliable backup is essential.

The justification for eliminating coal and mandating 50% wind and solar is heavily rooted in fears of catastrophic manmade climate change. But the alleged crisis has no basis in observed evidence. The 18-year pause continues apace, with the El Ni├▒o temperature spike of 2015-16 gone … and average global temperatures back down to where they were in March 2015. Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and droughts are in line with or below multi-century historic trends and fluctuations and are hardly unprecedented. Greenland just recorded its most frigid July temperature reading in history: -33 C (-27 F).

If alarmists have evidence to the contrary, they must present it for review – including original temperature data, not the revised, homogenized data that American, Australian and other scientists have been presenting to support cataclysm claims and justify demands that we eliminate fossil fuels and switch to renewable energy, regardless of the unprecedented energy and economic risks that would pose.

Second, if Australia (or the USA) is to “keep what’s theirs,” instead of exporting it, keeping it in the ground is the wrong way to do it. Exports may be playing a role. But Victoria and New South Wales have banned fracking, more are likely to follow, coal burning and nuclear are also banned – and you cannot export, use or generate electricity with energy that you are prohibited from taking out of the ground. You cannot benefit from resources you hoard and lock up.

Ban fracking, and you ensure more natural gas shortages, soaring electricity prices, ever-greater reliance on expensive, unreliable wind and solar power, more blackouts, more layoffs, more economic downturns and dislocations, more shipping of good jobs overseas. Your may get many new low-pay jobs hauling, installing, maintaining and removing wind turbines and solar panels made in China. But you won’t have smelters, foundries, turbine and panel factories, or the high-pay jobs that go with them.

Adding to the problem, Institute of Public Affairs research director Brett Hogan notes, many coal and gas operators are investing less in maintenance because there is little point in spending on plants that activists and politicians are trying to shut down. “That explains why their reliability is starting to wobble at times, which the renewables crowd falsely claims is proof that fossil fuels are also unstable.”

Meanwhile renewable energy mandates “are pushing out the cheapest electricity provider in Australia (coal), gas prices are being set at the international level, and activists are demanding fracking bans that limit gas supplies and make gas still more expensive,” he adds. The results should be easy to foresee.

Third, applying a “national interest test” should not pertain only to export licenses. It must also apply to fracking and nuclear bans, coal and gas plant closures, and effects of skyrocketing electricity prices on smelters, factories, hospitals, schools, local governments and families. Government-imposed Australian austerity and sacrifices will have trivial, un-measurable, irrelevant impacts on atmospheric CO2 levels in the face of growing coal use and emissions from China, India, Indonesia, virtually all other Asia-Pacific nations, and the rest of the world. How does Australia’s overall national interest stack up against that?

Once again, open, robust debate, honest, transparent information – and stiff penalties for prevarication, fabrication and falsification – are absolutely essential.

Under sustainability and climate precepts, we are supposed to safeguard the assumed needs of future generations, even if it means ignoring or compromising the undeniable needs of current generations. We are supposed to protect people from theoretical, exaggerated risks of dangerous manmade climate change, regardless of how slashing fossil fuel use impacts millions of businesses and families. That is untenable.

In the midst of all this, the Journal reports, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has offered to build a giant battery system in South Australia – as though batteries can back up wind power for hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses … especially under true sustainability, economic and national interest tests. Mr. Musk, however, needs new customers to offset plunging sales in Hong Kong, Denmark and elsewhere.

Meanwhile, the ECOCITY World Summit is being held in Melbourne. City planners, architects, elected officials, professors, teachers and eager recipients of more taxpayer-funded renewable energy grants are soaking up fake facts and clever strategies for imposing sustainable development goals on the governed classes. As my CFACT colleagues observing the summit put it, they want to use financial instruments and courts to transform communities into “sustainable and resilient cities,” with them in charge.

Al Gore is jetting around the land Down Under, promoting his new climate chaos film and claiming manmade pollution is equivalent to 400,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs going off daily! Making Australian heat waves five times more likely because of manmade global warming! Teachers and journalists get free passes to Gore’s events, to get their propaganda talking points, but no one is allowed to record any part of his talks, to avoid embarrassing the false prophet. When Climate Depot’s Marc Morano offered him a free DVD of the Climate Hustle documentary film, a scowling Al Gore headed to his SUV and private jet.

Mr. Gore and other alarmists are generally panic-stricken about debating climate realists, especially in debates proposed by USEPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Participating in them would expose their claims to unaccustomed scrutiny, but refusing to do so would leave the impression that they have something to hide: such as their raw data, deceptive methodologies and absence of evidence to support their models.

They should be worried. If the crisis is exaggerated, fabricated or exists only in computer models, we will refuse to keep spending countless trillions on junk research and job-killing renewable energy schemes.



Greenie obsessions hurting a lot of people

The vast costs of shifting from cheap and reliable coal power to wonky "renewables" are being borne by rich and poor alike

Some people are going hungry and suffering immense psychological stress as they try to pay their power bills, an inquiry into Australia's electricity system has been told.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is investigating electricity pricing and supply at the request of federal Treasurer Scott Morrison.

Electricity pricing and industry profits are under the consumer watchdog's microscope, as well as the level of competition in the market and factors that make it hard for householders and business owners to swap providers and understand their bills.

The Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) has told the inquiry that electricity prices soared 119 per cent in the state in the decade to 2016.

"People are being pushed to the edge by electricity price rises," the council said in its submission.

A forthcoming VCOSS report will show people are making trade-offs on food and other essentials, and sometimes experiencing great psychological stress, in order to pay their bills.

In NSW, electricity retailers are announcing price rises of around 20 per cent for the next financial year due to surging wholesale prices.

NSW Energy & Water Ombudsman Janine Young said contracts offering the lowest prices often have discounts dependent upon paying on time via direct debit and in full.

She said this can prove difficult for people struggling financially, lumping them with late payment penalties and fees for failed bank direct debits.

Ms Young said discount contracts were confusing for customers because some discounts are on the total bill and others are on the consumption charges only.

The Consumer Action Law Centre said the complexity of the electricity market has stopped many people from engaging with it and reaping the benefits of competition.

"A particular concern for Consumer Action is that retailers are maximising their profits from disengaged customers in order to subsidise discounts and special offers for more engaged customers," chief executive Gerard Brody said in the centre's submission.

EnergyAustralia, which has more than 2.6 million electricity and gas accounts in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, and the ACT, said it supported the introduction of an energy comparison rate similar to what customers see with home loans or petrol consumption metrics for cars.

"This would enable customers to make an adequate comparison by providing a consistent measurement," it said.

It said all of its customer material was written in plain language that is as easy to understand as possible.

"Pricing and discounting is inherently complex and there is no easy way to simplify this in a way that will result in lower overall energy bills for customers," it said in its submission.

A preliminary report is expected to delivered to the Treasurer by September 27, and a final report completed by June 30, 2018

SOURCE

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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.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

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