Thursday, November 30, 2017

Why solar and wind won’t make much difference to carbon dioxide emissions

The Simple Physics of Energy Use

We all like the convenience of electrical energy. It lights our home and offices, and drives motors that are needed in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems that keep us comfortable no matter what the temperature is outside. It’s essential for refrigeration that secures our food supply. In short, it makes modern life with all its comfort and conveniences possible.

However, most electricity is generated from burning fossil fuels such as coal or natural gas, leading to carbon dioxide emissions that could be responsible for climate change. In many circles there is a comforting belief that renewables such as solar and wind can replace fossil fuel electrical generation and leave us free to live as we do without carbon dioxide emissions. Fundamental physics and engineering considerations show that this is not so.

Power needs fluctuate with time of the day and, to a lesser extent, day of the week. In most places, peaks occur in the evening when people come home, start cooking, and turn on lights and entertainment systems. In Arizona in summer, the peaks are even more extreme due to the air conditioners all cutting in. There are also morning peaks, as people get up and turn on lights and hair dryers. Commercial and industrial use generally doesn’t change much throughout the day. The electrical utilities call this a baseload.

The wicked capitalist-monopoly electric utilities have spoiled us; we’ve gotten used to the idea that we can turn on the lights at night and run an electrical appliance at any time we want. Since electrical energy cannot be stored in sufficient quantities, the utilities are always continuously matching supply and demand. Power generation systems that take a long time to ramp up or down, like nuclear or coal, are left running continuously and used to meet baseload demand. Fast response turbines using natural gas are typically used to match peaks.

Solar and wind present two problems. One is low power density; massive areas have to be devoted to power generation. The other, more serious problem is intermittency. If we only wanted to run electrical appliances when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining, fine, but don’t expect to use solar to turn on your light at night! So solar and wind cannot manage on their own; it’s always solar or wind AND something else. It’s hard to make it all work. They need either extensive storage or to be used in combination with gas turbines.

Batteries are also not a solution. In principle, I could run my house in Arizona on solar energy because almost every day is sunny. However, I would need a battery as big as the one in the Tesla S, about eight times the size of the Powerwall marketed for homes, and it would have to be replaced every three years. As Elon Musk said “Batteries suck.”

On a large scale, the only practical solution is pumped hydroelectric, where water is pumped uphill when there’s sunshine or wind and runs downhill to generate electricity when the wind stops blowing or the sun doesn’t shine. In many places, the extended sunny days are in the summer, the windy periods are in March and October, but the electrical energy is needed in the winter. In such cases, very large reservoirs are needed, comparable to the 250-square-mile lakes like Lake Mead and Lake Powell. Very few places meet these conditions.

So in practice, solar and wind have to be combined with gas turbines to deal with the drop in electricity generated when the sun goes down or the wind dies away. If the solar or wind displaces coal it results in a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. However if solar or wind displaces nuclear that cannot be ramped up and down, more carbon dioxide is emitted because gas turbines have to be used when the sun isn’t shining and the wind stops blowing. Displacing the highly efficient combined cycle natural gas power plants, on average, results in no change in emissions. The gains from not running the fossil fuel plant when the renewable is available are offset by the losses from running the less efficient gas turbine on its own when the renewable is not available.

One can easily verify this claim by looking to Germany, which has been in the forefront of adopting solar and wind in their Energiewende or energy transition. There is now as much solar and wind generating capacity in Germany as coal and natural gas. Has the increased reliance on renewables made any difference in Germany’s carbon dioxide emissions? Evidence suggests it hasn’t changed very much.

The careful reader may note that the French emit less carbon dioxide per person than the Germans and attribute it to the fact that the Germans are busy churning out BMWs and Bosch appliances, while the French lounge around on extended lunch breaks. However, the reality is more prosaic. The French baseload is almost completely nuclear with negligible carbon dioxide emissions.

If one really wants to reduce carbon dioxide emissions the best thing to do is substitute nuclear power for coal. However, that path is not available in the United States, where nuclear is a four letter word. Instead, we have achieved significant reductions in baseload carbon dioxide emissions over the last decade by substituting high-efficiency combined cycle natural gas for coal burning plants, a change made possible by the low cost of natural gas from fracking. The carbon dioxide emitted for each unit of electrical energy generated is approximately three to four times lower than in the corresponding coal-fired power plant, resulting from the higher thermal efficiency (50-60%) of combined cycle natural gas, compared to coal (30-35%) and the greater amount of energy from natural gas for a given quantity of carbon dioxide emitted.

To make a real difference one has to make a serious impact on the baseload. Intermittent renewables can’t do this, which is why they won’t significantly lower carbon dioxide emissions.


Wind and Solar Power Advance, but Carbon Refuses to Retreat

Global carbon-dioxide emissions have stopped rising. Coal use in China may have peaked. The price of wind turbines and solar panels is plummeting, putting renewable energy within the reach of meager budgets in the developing world.

And yet as climate diplomats gather this week in Bonn, Germany, for the 23rd Conference of the Parties under the auspices of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, I would like to point their attention to a different, perhaps gloomier statistic: the world’s carbon intensity of energy.

The term refers to a measure of the amount of CO2 spewed into the air for each unit of energy consumed. It offers some bad news: It has not budged since that chilly autumn day in Kyoto 20 years ago. Even among the highly industrialized nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the carbon intensity of energy has declined by a paltry 4 percent since then, according to the International Energy Agency.

This statistic, alone, puts a big question mark over the strategies deployed around the world to replace fossil energy. In a nutshell: Perhaps renewables are not the answer.

Over the past 10 years, governments and private investors have collectively spent $2 trillion on infrastructure to draw electricity from the wind and the sun, according to estimates by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Environmental Progress, a nonprofit that advocates nuclear power as an essential tool in the battle against climate change, says that exceeds the total cost of all nuclear plants built to date or under construction, adjusted for inflation.

Capacity from renewable sources has grown by leaps and bounds, outpacing growth from all other sources — including coal, natural gas and nuclear power — in recent years. Solar and wind capacity installed in 2015 was more than 10 times what the International Energy Agency had forecast a decade before.

Still, except for very limited exceptions, all this wind and sun has not brought about much decarbonization. Indeed, it has not added much clean power to the grid.

Environmental Progress performed an analysis of the evolution of the carbon intensity of energy in 68 countries since 1965. It found no correlation between the additions of solar and wind power and the carbon intensity of energy: Despite additions of renewable capacity, carbon intensity remained flat.

Some countries have bucked the trend. Denmark has sharply cut its carbon intensity with vast installations of wind turbines. And yet Germany’s experience seems to be more typical. The country went all out in deploying wind and solar energy over the past 10 years, but the decline in carbon intensity was minuscule, from 212 to 203 grams of CO2 per kilowatt-hour.

The renewables-or-bust crowd on the periphery of the meeting in Bonn might argue that the sun and wind owe their poor track record at decarbonization in countries like Germany to the fact that nuclear power was being phased out at the same time that they came online.

It is true that Germans would have made more progress in the battle against climate change had they kept their nuclear reactors running and shut plants burning lignite instead. Still, there are other reasons behind renewables’ poor track record in decarbonizing electricity.

Nuclear power faces hurdles beyond popular mistrust. Notably, reactors require a lot of capital up front. But renewables have a hard time producing power at a nuclear scale.

For instance, the Diablo Canyon reactor that California plans to close produces 14 times as much power as the Topaz solar farm, which requires 500 times as much land, according to Environmental Progress. The Wind Catcher farm in Oklahoma occupies 2,400 times as much land as Diablo Canyon but produces half as much energy.

The most worrisome aspect about the all-out push for a future powered by renewables has to do with cost: The price of turbines and solar panels may be falling, but the cost of integrating these intermittent sources of energy — on when the wind blows and the sun shines; off when they don’t — is not. This alone will sharply curtail the climate benefits of renewable power.

Integrating renewable sources requires vast investments in electricity transmission — to move power from intermittently windy and sunny places to places where power is consumed. It requires maintaining a backstop of idle plants that burn fossil fuel, for the times when there is no wind or sun to be had. It requires investing in power-storage systems at a large scale.

These costs will ultimately be reflected in power prices. One concern is that by raising the retail cost of electricity they will discourage electrification, encouraging consumers to rely on alternative energy sources like gas — and pushing CO2 emissions up.

Another concern is that they will drive wholesale energy prices down too far. Because they produce the most energy when the sun is up and the wind is blowing, renewable generators can flood the grid at critical times of the day, slashing the price of power. This not only threatens the solvency of nuclear reactors, which cannot shut down on a dime and must therefore pay for the grid to accept their power, but also reduces the return on additional investment in renewables.

A study by Lion Hirth of the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin found that the value of wind power falls from 110 percent of the average power price to 50 to 80 percent as the penetration of wind rises from zero to 30 percent of total consumption. “Competitive large-scale renewables deployment will be more difficult to accomplish than many anticipate,” he concluded.

The diplomats in Bonn may be tempted to wave away these concerns. Thomas Bruckner of the University of Leipzig argues that in the case of Germany, expanding renewables to supply 80 percent of power by 2050 is “not a significant burden.” Heavy German investment in renewable energy technologies over the last decade succeeded in bringing prices down, he contends; it will be much cheaper to go the rest of the way.

Perhaps. But there is some evidence that among investors, at least, the excitement may be waning. After half a decade of sustained increases, investment in solar and wind energy has been fairly flat since 2010, at around $250 billion per year. While that is a lot of money, it is nowhere near enough.

“We will need twice as much investment over a sustained period of time to get anywhere close to achieving 2 degrees,” said Ethan Zindler, head of Bloomberg New Energy Finance in the Americas, referring to the objective of the world’s climate diplomats: keep the average world temperature from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above its average in the late 19th century.

I would suggest that the challenge is not just to raise more money. Building a zero-carbon energy system requires broader thinking about the technological mix.


NOAA Lets Politics Corrupt Its Science

Larry Bell

Objective science once conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was coopted by the Obama administration to push anti-fossil energy policies under the guise of CO2 influences on climate change and ocean acidification. Just as they got caught by a whistleblower fudging ocean temperature records in advance of 2015 U.N. Paris Climate talks, they also actively played politics to garner media alarm attributing CO2 emissions to invalidated claims of impacts upon aquatic ecosystems.

As I previously reported in my Feb. 13 Newsmax column titled "Whistleblower Links NOAA Study to Climate Treaty Agendas," former NOAA scientist Jim Bates charged that his boss Thomas Karl had "adjusted" sea surface temperature measurements between 1998 and 2012 in order to make recent global temperature changes appear to warm more than twice as much as the original records showed.

Karl then rushed to publish his scientifically unverified report in time "to influence national and international deliberations on climate policy." The U.K.’s Daily Mail reported, "His [Bates’] vehement objections to the publication of the faulty data were overridden by his NOAA superiors in what he describes as a 'blatant attempt to intensify the impact' of what became known as the Pausebuster Paper."

In July, 2014, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee subpoenaed NOAA for the suspicious research records. NOAA has subsequently stonewalled demands for Karl’s corroborating research evidence and related internal communications . . . even from Congress.

As Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, explained, "It was inconvenient for this administration that climate data has clearly showed no warming for the past two decades. The American people have every right to be suspicious when NOAA alters data to get politically correct results they want, and then refuses to reveal how those decisions were made."

Internal emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by website publisher and attorney Steven Milloy reveal NOAA media campaigns to politicize unsubstantiated CO2-caused ocean ecosystem impacts along with its "evil twin" climate influences.

A communication from NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Director Libby Jewett lauds a previous "great job" by staff member Madelyn Applebaum in writing "two widely-praised and referenced op-eds." She notes that the first one on space weather was quickly bumped up to Obama White House Science Director John Holdren.

The second article addressing ocean acidification (OA) which was developed "literally overnight" was also immediately approved by Holdren. It appeared in an Oct. 15, 2015 New York Times article titled "Our Deadened, Carbon-Soaked Seas."

Although written by Applebaum, the co-authorship was attributed to NOAA’s Chief Scientist Richard Spinrod and his U.K. counterpart Ian Boyd.

Jewett wrote that Boyd was "very interested in doing another op-ed on ocean acidification, and our team hopes that Madelyn can be assigned to develop it." She continued, "Ideally, the op-ed could appear in the fall prior to the second ocean conference at which Secretary Kerry and ocean acidification will be prominent. We want visibility for NOAA’s pioneering global leadership to be prominent too!"

Whereas later emails show that The New York Times initially rejected the proposed op-ed for its U.S. print edition, NOAA staff achieved success getting it placed in the newspaper’s The New York Times International print edition and its online Again attributed to co-authorship by Spinrod and Boyd, it was ominously titled, "In a High CO2 World, Dangerous Waters Ahead."

Research ecologist Shallin Busch at NOAA’s Fisheries Service insisted that the op-ed exaggerated the ocean acidification problem. Writing to Madelyn Applebaum she said " . . . the study of the biological impacts of OA is so young that we don’t have any data sets that show a direct effect of OA on population health or trajectory."

Busch later suggested in another e-mail, "It might be good to mention that some species will be harmed by ocean acidification, some will benefit, and some won’t respond at all!"

A Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution study that I reported in my April 10, 2012 column, "Is Your SUV Killing Ocean Coral Reefs?" agrees with this observation. Their findings concluded that the world’s marine biota are "more resistant to ocean acidification than suggested by pessimistic predictions identifying ocean acidification as a major threat to marine biodiversity."

Higher seawater carbonation levels and temperatures actually have positive effects upon many marine species. Included are shell-building "calcifers" which are observed to grow faster over natural volcanic CO2 vents.

Most of the significantly negative responses occurred at atmospheric concentrations exceeding 2,000 parts per million (ppm). This is five times higher than the current 400 ppm today, and about three times higher than even the alarmist U.N.’s IPCC predicts will occur by end of this century.

No one should doubt that the health of ocean ecosystems must be of vital concern. For exactly this same reason we must be able to place trust in a non-political NOAA to get both its facts and messaging straight.


Ireland faces €600m fine for missing EU energy targets

Ireland’s failure to tackle climate change was laid bare yesterday in a report that showed greenhouse gas emissions had risen by 7 per cent since 2015 despite policies aimed at reducing them.

The country is likely to face multimillion-euro fines for failing to meet EU 2020 targets or will have to spend similar amounts buying credits from member states who overachieve on their targets.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said that comprehensive action must be taken after its latest report showed that Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions increased by 3.5 per cent last year on top of a similar rise in 2015. The increases, caused by the growing economy, have undone all the progress made since 2009.


Australia's Barrier reef not as fragile as once thought

It has inbuilt recovery from damage mechanisms

About 100 coral reefs within the Great Barrier Reef have been identified as having particular resilience that may help corals recover from bleaching and other threats.

The hardy "robust source reefs" – about 112 in number or about 3 per cent of total coverage – were found to be in cooler, outer reefs.

Their location helped shield them from the recent back-to-back annual bleaching that had devastated corals, the Australian and British researchers found.

Their proximity to stronger ocean currents than inland reefs also meant their annual spawning events could disperse coral larvae over a large region, fostering recovery after bleaching or cyclones.

A third characteristic was a relative absence of crown-of-thorns starfish, lowering their susceptibility to that threat.

Peter Mumby, one of the authors of the reef paper appearing on Wednesday in PLOS Biology, said a single coral spawning event from the robust sites could "almost reach half the reefs of the Great Barrier Reef".

"These sites are important ecologically, providing some of the backbone of the reef," said Professor Mumby, who is based at the University of Queensland's School of Biological Sciences.

"We are trying to uncover the natural life-support system of the reef, so we can then support it," he said, adding: "The reef is much better connected than we thought."

The importance of supporting natural recovery processes would likely increase in the future "as climate change reduces the average size of coral populations and the need for recolonisation becomes more frequent," the paper said.

But with most of the robust sites clustered off Mackay in the central-south region of the Great Barrier Reef, any relative resilience might be of little benefit to more distant regions, such as the northern end.




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


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Canadian Documentary Pokes Holes in Global-Warming Mantra

Our planet is actually colder than previous eras when life already existed, and, believe it or not, carbon dioxide does not have any clear correlation with global temperature growth. Examining climate fluctuations and natural dynamics from over 12,000 or 50,000 years appears to discredit the arguments of climate-change alarmists and the assertion of man-made global warming.

The documentary The Environment: A True Story invites us to rethink global warming and to question what the media and some influential actors say about it. Produced by Canadian history professor John Robson, the film presents historical evidence and comments from climate scientists, such as climatologist Richard Keen from the University of Colorado, Boulder, to demonstrate that “alarmism is not a good science.”

Robson, who describes himself as a passionate environmentalist, demonstrates in two hours and 40 minutes that the Earth's climate has always fluctuated. It is, therefore, derelict to blame humans for something that already happened when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. It is even worse to study global warming with computer models originally designed to predict natural phenomenon that have, at most, only 150 years of recorded data.

Robson claims that a historical overview of the geographical and weather conditions of the planet is enough to shake up the commonly accepted belief in man-made global warming.

The interviewed specialists explain that the Earth passes through cycles of big ice ages and big melts. The Holocene epoch — the period since the last ice age — began 12,000 years back and has permitted human life, but it is actually an interglacial stage. Now the Earth is approaching the next big melt, and that explains some rising temperatures in recent years.

Robson suggests another key line of reasoning: the natural processes of the Earth recycle and reuse almost everything, including carbon dioxide. CO2 emissions are not as harmful as alarmists argue, and their presence “does not explain the climate variability” to the degree that sun activity does. In other words, the magnetic field of the sun alters the physical dynamics of the Earth, particularly those related to the water cycle. Therefore, the climate scientists presented argue that water vapor is instead the most important greenhouse gas when it comes to global temperature change.

Despite the film's long duration of almost three hours, it addresses specific topics in brief scenes and presents consistent evidence against the analyses that favor man-made global warming. Robson finally recommends that decision-makers, who are wrongly basing their policies on alarmist analyses, stop wasting money and time on trying to solve a natural event and deal instead with real threats, such as withdrawing plastic from the oceans and taking conscious care of “our only home,” the Earth.


Opposition to movement of fracking sand

Sounds like they are desperate to find something to protest about

SUPPORTERS OF Olympia Stand, a climate justice coalition in Olympia, Washington, has constructed an encampment blocking the railroad tracks to the Port of Olympia--under a banner reading "No Fracking Sand in Our Port."

The purpose of the blockade is to prevent fracking sands, known as ceramic proppants, from being shipped from the port to the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota and other places.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is the process of extracting oil and natural gas from source rock, primarily shale. This is done by pumping a mixture of fracking sands, and large amounts of water and chemicals into the veins of the source rock to open them and extract the oil and natural gas.

As one activist at the blockade said in an interview: "We are here because we reject the port's complicity with the fossil fuel industry. For example, they have a bad contract with Rainbow Ceramics [the Houston-based company that produces the proppants] that allows the proppants to be stored at the port for free."

At about the same time last year and at the same place, a similar blockade was built to stop the trains then shipping fracking sands to North Dakota. The same activist added, "We are here to celebrate the anniversary of last year's blockade and also the 10-year anniversary of the attempt to prevent the port from sending military equipment to [Joint Base Lewis McCord]."

In 2007, members and supporters of Port Military Resistance engaged in a protest that included street battles with police over transporting military equipment between the port and Joint Base Lewis McCord. The equipment consisted mostly of motor vehicles that were returning from Iraq for maintenance and repair and were then scheduled to be returned to Iraq.

OLYMPIA PORT Resistance, a participant in the current encampment and blockade, has issued two demands: First, that the Port of Olympia cease all fossil fuel and military infrastructure shipments; and second, that control of the port should be horizontal and democratic.

The second demand relates to concerns about the port that many area residents share. The port is governed by a commission consisting of three members. Only one of the members, E.J. Zita, has opposed allowing the port to accept anti-ecological and military cargos.

The future of the blockade is unclear. As this article was being written, it had lasted for four days. Both the Olympia Police Department and Union Pacific Railroad, which owns the tracks, have stated that they have no plans to break the encampment up.

However, last year after the blockade had stood for about a week, a railroad lawyer offered to meet with representatives of the encampment the following day, assuring them that no efforts would be made to disrupt the encampment beforehand.

Instead, both local police and railroad police raided the encampment at 4 a.m. on the day that the meeting was to take place. Twelve demonstrators were arrested and others were injured in the process.

Whatever happens this time around, activists have one message for attempts to ship fracking materials: "No frackin' way!"


Beware the army worm

Africa needs GM crops

An even more dangerous foe than Robert Mugabe is stalking Africa. Early last year, a moth caterpillar called the fall armyworm, a native of the Americas, turned up in Nigeria. It has quickly spread across most of Africa. This is fairly terrifying news, threatening to undo some of the unprecedented improvements in African living standards of the past two decades. Many Africans depend on maize for food, and maize is the fall armyworm’s favourite diet.

Fortunately, there is a defence to hand. Bt maize, grown throughout the Americas for many years, is resistant to insects. The initials stand for a bacterium that produces a protein toxic to insects but not to people. Organic farmers have been using the bacterium as a pesticide for more than five decades, but it is expensive. Bt maize has the protein inside the plant, thanks to genetic engineers, who took a gene from the bacterium and put it in the plant.

However, influenced by European environmentalists, most African countries forbid the growing of genetically modified crops. This is a pity, because unless they change their attitude fast, they will face the prospect of using far more pesticides, which small-scale farmers cannot afford, and which come with environmental and safety risks, or suffering famine, relieved by expensive imports of food.

Fortunately, inch by inch Africa is changing its mind on biotech crops, though only South Africa has approved Bt maize. Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya are slowly changing their legislation. But bureaucrats with empires to build keep putting roadblocks in the way of change, and environmental pressure groups are campaigning to undermine the efforts.

Some years ago I spoke to the leaders of a large charity working with African farmers and asked them why they did not come out in support of biotechnology. They replied that they dared not do so for fear of retribution from the big environmental pressure groups, such as Greenpeace, for which opposition to biotechnology is a totemic issue when fundraising in Europe.

Money came before humanity, in other words. Greenpeace’s former director, Stephen Tindale, changed his mind about biotechnology and said two years ago, before his death: “I worry for Greenpeace and the other green groups because they could, by taking such a hard line . . . be seen to be putting ideology before the need for humanitarian action.”

Last year 129 winners of the Nobel prize signed a letter, saying: “We urge Greenpeace and its supporters to re-examine the experience of farmers and consumers worldwide with crops and foods improved through biotechnology.” Yet Greenpeace remains opposed to biotech crops. The European Parliament also voted to accept a Green Party report arguing against involvement in a new international agricultural technology initiative in Africa because of the involvement of biotech firms. A Kenyan farmer, Gilbert Arap Bor, wrote: “They want us to remain agricultural primitives, stuck with technologies that were antiquated even before we entered the 21st century.”

More than half of the two billion people who will be added to the world’s population by 2050 will be Africans. Yet feeding the continent’s growing population, largely from African farms, is possible. And, like Asia before it, Africa can initially prosper through agriculture more than any other industry, but only if there is a green revolution of farming modernisation comparable to what happened in Asia in the Sixties.

The average yield of an African maize crop is less than a quarter of that of a North American crop, even before the effect of the fall armyworm. This is largely down to a lack of fertilisers, pesticides, hybrid seeds and biotechnology, and frequent drought. Hybrid seeds alone, produced by conventional breeding, can deliver improvements in yield of 20 to 30 per cent, I’m told. Drought-resistant varieties, also conventionally produced, can double the yield. But neither helps against the fall armyworm.

The African Agricultural Technology Foundation is co-ordinating a public-private partnership called Water Efficient Maize for Africa (Wema). Its aim is to develop drought-tolerant and insect-protected maize using both biotechnology and modern techniques of conventional breeding. Its first product, a drought-tolerant, white maize hybrid seed, was delivered to farmers in Kenya four years ago. It resulted in a harvest of 4.5 tons per hectare, compared with 1.8 tons normally. The Wema project has the support of industry to make the varieties available royalty-free to smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa through African seed companies. Monsanto, for example, is giving away its intellectual property in the region.

Ah, say its critics, but Monsanto is hoping that Africans will use its hybrids and thus become rich enough to buy more seeds from it one day. Yes, and what is wrong with that? Suppose Wema does result in many African smallholders earning enough money to buy a tractor, put a child through school and go into the market in search of the best seeds, as well as sufficient fertiliser? Where’s the problem? All right, say the critics, but resistance to the Bt toxin is already developing in fall armyworms in Brazil. True, but so is resistance to insecticides. Agriculture is an arms race against the other species, and newer techniques should keep us easily one step ahead, so long as we do not prevent them.

The next technology to help farming will be gene-editing, different from the transgenic technique that produced Bt maize, and involving the introduction of no foreign DNA, the thing that critics say they most object to. A tweak to the genes of maize can make it resistant to maize lethal necrosis, a viral disease hurting yields in parts of Africa. There is an opportunity for Britain here. Freed from Europe’s deadly precautionary principle, British plant scientists could be well placed to support their colleagues in Africa.

Those who think poverty a price worth paying for nostalgia say we should go back to traditional agriculture, in better harmony with the land. Not if we want wildlife. Globally, if we had the yields of 1960 we would need more than twice as much land to feed today’s population. In which case, you could kiss goodbye to all rainforests, nature reserves and national parks.


Climate Change Alarmism Is ‘Garbage In, Garbage Out,’ Retired NASA Physicist Says

Unvalidated climate models that don’t correspond with physical data and the requirements of the scientific method contribute to unfounded climate alarmism, a retired NASA physicist said at the Heartland Institute’s recent America First Energy Conference.

Since America’s national security depends in part on energy security, unsubstantiated claims about global warming that prevent policymakers from making “rational decisions” with regard to the development of U.S. energy resources have become a national security threat, said Hal Doiron, a 16-year NASA veteran.

The “propaganda” underpinning climate alarmism is “causing tremendous political bottlenecks” that prevent government officials from “doing the right thing” on energy, he said.

Doiron, who helped develop the Apollo Lunar Module’s landing dynamics software during NASA’s moon missions, also expressed concern that the U.S. military has been directly affected by climate alarmist claims separated from sound science.

He criticized the Navy for “preparing for something that is unreasonable and would cost too much money” in the form of “extreme sea-level rise,” which has not been borne out by rigorous scientific study.

Doiron defines unvalidated climate models as those that do not agree with physical data. Public policy and military planning should be based only on models validated by physical data, he said.

“At NASA, we have a policy: You can’t make a design decision on a spacecraft or rocket that is not validated,” he said. “You don’t make critical decisions based on ‘garbage in, garbage out.’ Yet our government has been doing that with respect to climate alarm, because too many academics in universities are writing papers, drawing conclusions from models that don’t agree with physical data.”

Doiron is part of a group called “The Right Climate Stuff,” which includes engineers and scientists from across generations who have taken part in NASA’s most high-profile missions dating back to Apollo.

The group has produced its own “rigorous, earth surface temperature model using conservation-of-energy principles” that operates similarly to the way the surface and internal temperature of a spacecraft is analyzed, the Right Climate Stuff team explains on its website.

The reports produced from the analysis provide more “realistic projections” of the rise in the earth’s surface temperature over the next 150 years that show severe anti-fossil fuel regulations are not justified, Doiron and other former NASA team members contend.

“The scientific method requires that your hypothesis and theories be confirmed by physical data,” he said. “Computer models are not physical data, although I think many in academia don’t understand that.”

When unvalidated models are compared with validated models based on physical evidence, the validated models predict much less global warming, Doiron said. Moreover, the fact that unvalidated models often don’t agree with each other should be a “big, red flag.”

The retired NASA physicist is calling for U.S. policymakers to establish official data on two key metrics; specifically, “the true sensitivity of surface temperature to greenhouse gases” and a “reasonable projection of greenhouse emissions and [the] concentrations rise in our atmosphere.”

Doiron and his team have developed “a new metric” called “transient climate sensitivity,” which measures how much warming can be seen with a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in the “way that it’s actually happening,” based on a “very small amount of [carbon dioxide] each year.”

That’s something that can be measured and verified against available physical data, he said. But because policymakers, including military planners, are not operating from reasonable projections, they are not in a position to adequately plan for the future, Doiron cautioned.

Another way climate change alarmism has worked to undermine America’s national security standing is by consuming too much of the military budget at the expense of military readiness, a top naval commander said during the panel discussion.

Adm. Thomas Hayward, who retired from the Navy as chief of naval operations and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff after serving as commander of the 7th Fleet and commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet, also addressed the Heartland Institute’s energy conference and sounded concerns.

For the past six to eight years, Hayward said, climate change has been given “a higher priority” than the readiness of the Navy’s fleet. During that time, the Defense Department has spent $100 billion on “just climate change,” while the Navy has spent “$58 billion chasing what is called the ‘green fleet.’”

That means many Navy vessels are using biofuels, but Hayward wonders how many ports around the world are equipped to accommodate Navy vessels that rely on a high percentage of biofuels, and he worries how that would work in a combat situation.

This report has been modified to state correctly how much Hayward said the Defense Department has spent on climate change.


Crocodiles:  Conservative Australian politician versus "experts"

Crocs mean "no swimming in coastal waters or in rivers within a certain distance from the coast" but that's OK by the Greenies, apparently. They also look at the long term average of croc attacks and say it is low but that is an inappropriate statistic where the population is rising.  They should look at the trend.  And if you do that you see the four recent attacks as a minimum not as an outlier.

And to demonstrate ecological benefit from lots of crocs they had to go to Brazil.  Pretty good evidence that there are no such benefits here.

They are right in saying that crocs are a tourist attraction and some areas should be set aside for that purpose.  But limiting their Queensland population to the Daintree and parts North would be a reasonable compromise.  That would leave a big areas for crocs while leaving most of the North Queensland coast safe.  But compromise is alien to Greenies.  They always want it all

Australian politician Bob Katter wants to launch a war … against crocodiles.

Katter, known for his controversial opinions on multiple topics including same-sex marriage, claimed on Nov. 15 that there are too many crocodiles in Australia. They have no natural enemies, and in the Australian region of North Queensland alone, they eat up to four people each year, he said.

Katter made the anti-croc statement on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's program "Insiders"

But crocodile experts assert that the ancient reptiles are, in fact, good for Australia.

The animals have a positive effect on the ecosystem, as well as the local economy, said Adam Britton, a leading crocodile expert and zoologist at Charles Darwin University in Australia. Though Britton conceded that crocodiles in the rivers of northern Australia can threaten people's lives, these dangers can be easily managed, he said.

"There are probably between 150 [thousand] and 180 thousand crocodiles in the Northern Territory [of Australia] and some 40 [thousand] to 50 thousand in Queensland," Britton told Live Science. "They are certainly not endangered. But over the last 30 to 40 years, we were able to deal with the risks [posed by crocodiles] via a management program."

For local people, that program means no swimming in coastal waters or in rivers within a certain distance from the coast.

Britton, who runs the website CrocBITE, which monitors attacks by all sorts of crocodile species around the world, noted that North Queensland has experienced an unusual streak of crocodile attacks over the past year. However, he said that he doesn't think there are too many crocodiles in Queensland's rivers. Rather, the croc population is still recovering from overhunting that occurred in the first half of the 20th century, he said.

"This year has been a little bit unusual for Queensland," Britton said. "They had four attacks in total. Two of them were fatal. It has been the worst year they've had for a long time."

But in the long term, the statistics look less sinister, Britton said. "Over the last 10 years, there have been 14 crocodile attacks in North Queensland, six of them fatal," he said. "That would be about one person killed by crocodiles every 20 months."

Most of the victims had ignored a slew of warning signs, Britton said. The crocodile habitats are known and marked by warning signs, yet some people decide to risk their lives nonetheless.

In one of the recent cases, for example, a guy "was attacked by a crocodile when he was showing off to a girl," Britton said. "He jumped into the water, where he knew there were crocodiles, and sure enough, one of them bit him. It's like putting on a blindfold and walking into a highway. You may be lucky or you may not."

Britton added that even though crocodiles place limitations on people living in the areas, northern Australia benefits from the animals' presence. The reptiles attract adventure-seeking tourists, and the wild-crocodile egg-harvesting program is an important source of income for Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory, he said. Harvesters can sell the eggs to crocodile farms that breed the animals for skins, which are popular in the fashion industry.

Moreover, artificially reducing the crocodile population could disrupt the balance of the wider ecosystem, Britton said.

"There are examples from other parts of the world," Britton said. "For example, in Brazil, when they removed black caimans [a large crocodile species], the economically valuable fish that were captured by local people disappeared."

After the reintroduction of the caimans, the fish population recovered. Researchers eventually found that the juvenile caimans feed on crabs, which eat fish eggs. The lack of juvenile caimans had meant too many crabs in the water, which resulted in a reduced fish population and economic problems for local fishers.

Katter said he is concerned that crocodiles don't have natural enemies and that the only way to keep the population within limits is to kill off the animals. But Britton said the population will stabilize naturally once it reaches healthy levels.

"As the crocodile population recovers, the mortality rate of juveniles increases through competition," said Britton. "Crocodiles actually self-control their own population growth, eventually slowing down and reaching a stable level like any wild animal population with limited resources."




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


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Global warming creating child brides

This is a typical example of Leftist assertion without evidence.  Leftists KNOW the truth:  No evidence needed.  So no evidence is offered for the claim that recent rainfall variations in East Africa are due to anthropogenic global warming.  The cause is more likely to be El Nino, in fact.

Because rainfall is unpredictable almost everywhere -- even the monsoon fails at times -- farming is an inherently risky business.  I call farmers "Rural gamblers".  So even in a First World country like Australia, farmers go broke from time to time because of bad bets about rain.  Rainfall variation is normal and in no need of "explanation" by global warming

And if I might slightly misquote a famous Rabbi (Matthew 26:11), pictures of starving Africans seem always to be with us so offer an unlikely explanation of anything on the present occasion

It was the flood that ensured that Ntonya Sande’s first year as a teenager would also be the first year of her married life. Up to the moment the water swept away her parents’ field in Kachaso in the Nsanje district of Malawi, they had been scraping a living. Afterwards they were reduced to scavenging for bits of firewood to sell.

So when a young man came to their door and asked for the 13-year old’s hand in marriage, the couple didn’t think about it for too long, lest he look elsewhere. Ntonya begged them to change their minds. She was too young, she pleaded. She didn’t want to leave. But it was to no avail. Her parents sat her down and spelled it out for her: the weather had changed and taken everything from them. There was not enough food to go around. They couldn’t afford another mouth at the table.

That night she lay down in bed for the first time with the man she had never seen before and followed the instructions of her aunt, who had coached her on the important matter of sex. Ten months later, she gave birth to their first daughter.

Around 1.5 million girls in Malawi are at risk of getting married because of climate change. That’s  a huge number

Everyone has their own idea of what climate change looks like. For some, it’s the walrus struggling to find space on melting ice floes on Blue Planet II. For others, it’s an apocalyptic vision of cities disappearing beneath the waves. But for more and more girls across Africa, the most palpable manifestation of climate change is the baby in their arms as they sit watching their friends walk to school.

The Brides of the Sun reporting project, funded by the European Journalism Centre, set out to try to assess the scale of what many experts are warning is a real and growing crisis: the emergence of a generation of child brides as a direct result of a changing climate.

And time and again, in villages from the south of Malawi to the east coast of Mozambique, the child brides and their parents told an increasingly familiar story. In recent years they had noticed the temperatures rising, the rains becoming less predictable and coming later and sometimes flooding where there had not been flooding before. Families that would once have been able to afford to feed and educate several children reported that they now faced an impossible situation.

None of the villages had any way of recording the changes scientifically, or indeed felt any urge to do so. All they knew was that the weather had changed and that where they used to be able to pay for their girls to go through school now they couldn’t. And the only solution was for one or more daughters to get married.

Sometimes it was the parents who made the decision. For the good of the rest of the family, a daughter had to be sacrificed. She would be taken out of school and found a husband, one less mouth to feed. Sometimes it was the girl herself who made the decision and forced it upon her parents. Unhappy, hungry, she hoped that a husband might be the answer.


Uh oh! More evidence that temperature influences CO2, not the other way around


Causal feedbacks in climate change

Egbert H. van Nes et al.


The statistical association between temperature and greenhouse gases over glacial cycles is well documented1, but causality behind this correlation remains difficult to extract directly from the data. A time lag of CO2 behind Antarctic temperature—originally thought to hint at a driving role for temperature2,3—is absent4,5 at the last deglaciation, but recently confirmed at the last ice age inception6 and the end of the earlier termination II (ref. 7). We show that such variable time lags are typical for complex nonlinear systems such as the climate, prohibiting straightforward use of correlation lags to infer causation. However, an insight from dynamical systems theory8 now allows us to circumvent the classical challenges of unravelling causation from multivariate time series. We build on this insight to demonstrate directly from ice-core data that, over glacial–interglacial timescales, climate dynamics are largely driven by internal Earth system mechanisms, including a marked positive feedback effect from temperature variability on greenhouse-gas concentrations.


'All observed climatic changes have natural causes completely outside of human control'

This paper came out a few months ago but seems to have sunken from sight.  It in fact says what I have always said but puts some good numbers up in support of the claim

A new scientific paper contends the entire foundation of the man-made global-warming theory – the assumption that greenhouse gases warm the atmosphere by trapping heat – is wrong.

If confirmed, the study’s findings would crush the entire “climate change” movement to restrict CO2 emissions, the authors assert

Some experts contacted by WND criticized the paper, while others advised caution.

Still others suggested that the claimed discovery represents a massive leap forward in human understanding – a “new paradigm.”

The paper argues that concentrations of CO2 and other supposed “greenhouse gases” in the atmosphere have virtually no effect on the earth’s temperature.

They conclude the entire greenhouse gas theory is incorrect.

Instead, the earth’s “greenhouse” effect is a function of the sun and atmospheric pressure, which results from gravity and the mass of the atmosphere, rather than the amount of greenhouse gases such as CO2 and water vapor in the atmosphere.

The same is true for other planets and moons with a hard surface, the authors contend, pointing to the temperature and atmospheric data of various celestial bodies collected by NASA.

So precise is the formula, the authors of the paper told WND, that, by using it, they were able to correctly predict the temperature of other celestial bodies not included in their original analysis.

The paper

The paper, published recently in the journal “Environment Pollution and Climate Change,” was written by Ned Nikolov, a Ph.D. in physical science, and Karl Zeller, retired Ph.D. research meteorologist.

The prevailing theory on the earth’s temperature is that heat from the sun enters the atmosphere, and then greenhouse gases such as CO2, methane and water vapor trap part of that energy by preventing it from escaping back into space.

That theory, which underpins the anthropogenic global-warming hypothesis and the climate models used by the United Nations, was first proposed and developed in the 19th century.

However, the experiments on which it was based involved glass boxes that retain heat by preventing the mixing of air inside the box with air outside the box.

The truth about global warming is no further than the WND Superstore, where “Climategate,” “The Greatest Hoax,” and more publications are available.

The experiment is not analogous to what occurs in the real atmosphere, which does not have walls or a lid, according to Nikolov and Zeller.

The new paper, headlined “New Insights on the Physical Nature of the Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect Deduced from an Empirical Planetary Temperature Model,” argues that greenhouse theory is incorrect.

“This was not a pre-conceived conclusion, but a result from an objective analysis of vetted NASA observations,” Nikolov told WND.

The real mechanisms that control the temperature of the planet, they say, are the sun’s energy and the air pressure of the atmosphere. The same applies to other celestial bodies, according to the scientists behind the paper.

To understand the phenomena, the authors used three planets – Venus, Earth and Mars – as well as three natural satellites: the Moon of Earth, Titan of Saturn and Triton of Neptune.

They chose the celestial bodies based on three criteria: having a solid surface, representation of a broad range of environments, and the existence of reliable data on temperature, atmospheric composition and air pressure.

“Our analysis revealed a poor relationship between global mean annual temperature] and the amount of greenhouse gases in planetary atmospheres across a broad range of environments in the Solar System,” the paper explains.

“This is a surprising result from the standpoint of the current Greenhouse theory, which assumes that an atmosphere warms the surface of a planet (or moon) via trapping of radiant heat by certain gases controlling the atmospheric infrared optical depth,” the study continues.

The paper outlines four possible explanations for those observations, and concludes that the most plausible was that air pressure is responsible for the greenhouse effect on a celestial body.

In essence, what is commonly known as the atmospheric “greenhouse” effect is in fact a form of compression heating caused by total air pressure, the authors told WND in a series of e-mails and phone interviews, comparing the mechanics of it to the compression in a diesel engine that ignites the fuel.”

And that effect is completely independent of the so-called “greenhouse gases” and the chemical composition of the atmosphere, they added.

“Hence, there are no greenhouse gases in reality – as in, gases that can cause warming,” Nikolov said when asked to explain the paper in layman’s terms.

“Humans cannot in principle affect the global climate through industrial emissions of CO2, methane and other similar gases or via changes in land use,” he added. “All observed climatic changes have natural causes that are completely outside of human control.”

For the first time, Nikolov said, there is now empirical evidence from NASA data that the greenhouse effect of the atmosphere is not caused by the trapping of heat, but by the force of atmospheric pressure.

The pressure is the weight of the atmosphere, he added.

And the combination of gravity and the mass of the atmosphere explains why the Earth, for example, is warmer than the moon.

“The moon receives about the same amount of heat from the sun as Earth, yet it is 90 degrees [Celsius] colder than the Earth, because it has no atmosphere,” Nikolov explained.

Polar bear climate change global warming

What it all means for science and the climate debate

This is not the first paper to reject the greenhouse-gas theory entirely.

In 2009, for example, Gerhard Gerlich and Ralf Tscheuschner published a paper titled “Falsification of the Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics” in the International Journal of Modern Physics.

They wrote that the “atmospheric greenhouse effect” that “is still supported in global climatology” basically “describes a fictitious mechanism.” The second law of thermodynamics, they said, shows that “can never exist.”

However, their paper did not propose a mechanism to explain the higher temperature of Earth relative to the moon.

The new paper by Nikolov and Zeller does propose such a mechanism – atmospheric pressure.

If correct, the implications of the discovery would be enormous, multiple scientists told WND.

For one, it means the climate projections used to forecast warming doom and justify a wide range of policies are completely wrong.

That is because they were produced by computer models built around a “physically deeply flawed concept, the radiative greenhouse theory,” said Nikolov, who works as a federal scientist but did the new study completely on his own time.

“One major implication of our recently published study is that there is indeed a fundamental problem with the physics of current radiative greenhouse concept,” he told WND, highlighting the origin of the “inaccurate” theory in two 19th century papers.

“The foundation of the greenhouse theory was born of an assumption, it was never shown experimentally, and our results show this is completely wrong,” Nikolov said. “Our study blows the greenhouse theory completely out of the water. There is nothing left.”

“Hence, the public debate on climate needs now to shift focus to the fact that the basic science concept underlying current climate projections by the UN [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] IPCC and other international bodies is physically flawed,” Nikolov added, saying the new findings require a “fundamental overhaul of climate science” and that Earth may be heading for a cooling period.

“This is what the data shows,” he said. “We didn’t start with a theory, we started with the data, which is the opposite of how the greenhouse theory came about.”

The greenhouse theory, Nikolov explained, is based on the assumption that a free convective atmosphere – an atmosphere with no “lid” on it – can trap heat.

“This was an assumption born out of a misinterpretation of experiments involving glass boxes in the early 19th century by Joseph Fourier, a French mathematician,” he said.

“Glass boxes get warmer inside when exposed to the sun not because they trap long-wave radiation, as thought by Fourier, but because they hamper the exchange of air between the inside of a box and the outside environment,” he added.

Next came Svante Arrhenius, a Swedish scientist, who assumed Fourier was correct and in 1896 created an equation to calculate the Earth’s temperature based on CO2 in the atmosphere.

“This equation is both mathematically and physically wrong,” argued Nikolov. “Yet, this paper is still cited as ‘evidence’ that the physics of the greenhouse effect have been well-known for over 100 years.”

The atmosphere does, indeed, increase heat near the surface of celestial bodies.

The truth about global warming is no further than the WND Superstore, where “Climategate,” “The Greatest Hoax,” and more publications are available.

“But until our paper, the mechanism to explain this – pressure – was not known,” Nikolov continued. “All of the climate science has been based on these false assumptions, all the computer models were based on the assumption, but it’s incorrect.”

Zeller, a retired U.S. Air Force reserve colonel and a retired research meteorologist who worked for the U.S. Forest Service and NOAA, also said that the monumental implications of the findings would extend even beyond the climate debate.

“The implications, beyond the scientific ones, of this study, are that once understood, it may be an opportunity for healing by looking back and seeing that even in this day and age science can be wrong,” he told WND.

“Possibly this will demonstrate that the world’s peer-review system needs to be rethought so that it doesn’t continue retarding the advancement of human evolution: Medicine, pharmaceuticals, cancer cures, proper dietary guidance, etc. are all hampered by combinations of greed and strongly held beliefs,” he added.

In terms of advancing scientific inquiry, “our formula, if we can get it out there to the world, is going to open up all sorts of new lines of research,” Zeller continued.

Among other examples, he noted that if the formula is applied to the earth’s temperature record stretching back to previous warm and cold periods, it would explain everything from the observed reduced differences in temperature between the earth’s poles and the equator, to how pterodactyls could fly despite the physics of flight not working based on today’s atmospheric density.

While describing himself as a “flaming, bleeding heart liberal,” Zeller noted that this should all be about science, not politics.

“This climate controversy is costing billions, making the wrong folks rich, and keep us from solving real environmental problems,” he explained.


2017 Global Cyclone Energy Almost 20% Below Normal …Southern Hemisphere Near Record Low!

A look at Dr. Ryan Maue’s site here tells us a lot about how 2017 cyclone activity is doing as the Atlantic hurricane season winds down.

In September the Atlantic indeed saw some powerful hurricanes, such as Harvey, Irma and Maria, which led the media into a fit of Armageddon hysteria and calls to do something about climate change. It is true that the Atlantic saw an unusually active hurricane season, some 227% of what is normal in terms of energy, but the Atlantic is not the global situation.

Global accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) is currently running 19% below average and is only 73% of what it was at this time one year ago (2016).

This seems to fly in the face of all the warnings suggesting that global warming would intensify storm activity. Naturally 2017 is only one single year, and so it’s necessary to look at longer term trends.

Lowest levels since 1970s, frequency at a “historical low”

At his site Maue refers to an abstract of a paper: Geophys. Res. Lett. (2011) which tells us that cyclones don’t seem to be correlating with atmospheric CO2 at all:

In the pentad since 2006, Northern Hemisphere and global tropical cyclone ACE has decreased dramatically to the lowest levels since the late 1970s. Additionally, the frequency of tropical cyclones has reached a historical low.”

Looking at the last 25 years, since 1992, the following chart tells us ACE globally, for the northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere have been trending significantly downward:

Downward cyclone trend over the past 25 years. Source: Dr. Ryan Maue

Southern hemisphere near record low

Obviously there’s a lot more behind cyclones than CO2. So far the southern hemisphere is near a record low, running only at 44% of what is normal.


Australian cities could soon be uninhabitable because of extreme heat with 'brutal' global warming already making temperatures soar to SEVENTY degrees (?)

What a lot of slime!  The alleged 70 degrees reported was the temperature reached by bitumen roads at  midday on a dry sunny day in the tropics.  No air temperature ever gets near that.  And bitumen roads in the tropics have always got very hot -- so hot that the bitumen sometimes melts.  It is neither unusual nor diagnostic of anything. I well remember sitting on my verandah in the tropics one Christmas day long ago and watching the heat waves rise like worms from the bitumen road outside

And you can't draw global conclusions from what happens in one country.  Australia is at the moment having a hot spell but at the same time Britain is having an unusually cold spell. The two average out to say nothing global is happening.  I reproduce both the Australian and British reports below

Climate scientists have warned that some Australian cities could become 'virtually uninhabitable' due to a combination of blistering heat and smothering humidity.

In the past week alone, surface temperatures in parts of Darwin's inner city have been nudging 70C - and experts have told that some regional cities in Queensland 'may not be far behind'.

This year, Bureau of Meteorology senior climate liaison officer Greg Browning warned Darwin residents that 'everything would be hotter than normal' in the lead-up to the wet season.

Average temperatures all over the country have been shattering records all year, with Hobart's recent run of six consecutive November days unparalleled in 130 years.

Darwin residents have 'suffered' through a 'hotter than average' lead up to the 2017 wet season

Sydneysiders are also in the midst of the warmest November week in nearly 50 years, ending a dismal run of rain and cooler temperatures.

A prolonged run of uninterrupted warm weather is due to hit the city with temperatures set to reach or exceed 25 degrees every day until the end of November.

'The last time this happened in November was in 1968, and it's only happened four times in the last 160 years,' Weatherzone meteorologist Brett Dutschke told Daily Mail Australia.

The last times Sydney basked in seven consecutive days of temperatures at or above 25 degrees were in 1968 and 1897.

The consistently warm weather is the result of a high pressure system - known as a 'blocking high' - that is centred over the Tasman Sea and is stopping any strong cold fronts from moving up Australia's east coast.

And it's not just Sydney that's rolling into summer - Melbourne residents have had sweltering spring temperatures for the past week, enduring the longest stretch of November days exceeding 28 degrees on record.

Australian National University's Dr Elizabeth Hanna warned that the issue would mostly affect the Top End due to the tropical humidity.

'We can cope with much higher temperatures in Melbourne because the air is drier, but in Darwin the high temperatures and humidity are oppressive.

'If it gets worse, those unpleasant times of the year (like the build-up) will extend longer and longer making it not a viable place to live,' she told the news site.

Professor Mattheos Santamouris explained that the way to combat climate change and battle rising temperatures is to 'understand what is happening at a local level'.

He warns that if Australia can't find a solution, the cities will eventually become 'uninhabitable'.

But it's not just the environment that will suffer - when it's oppressively hot, people feel 'crappy and grumpy' which impacts on people's social behaviour. 

Professor Samtamouris recommends planting more greenery - the surface temperature of grass in the city of Darwin is only 27.4øC, while bitumen can have a surface temp of nearly 70øC

Three months ago, the Territory Government kicked off a project to see where Darwin's hot spots were - and what was causing them - so they could cool down the CBD.

'The study found our streets, parking lots, roofs and pavements have very high surface temperatures, ranging from 45-67C,' said Chief Minister Michael Gunner at the time.

'Areas such as the Post Office carpark, the Supreme Court car park, and the Bus Terminal are incredibly hot - Cavanagh Street (the CBD's main thoroughfare) is a river of fire.'

Professor Samtamouris told Darwin was a 'classic case of an urban heat island' where materials used in roads and buildings 'turbocharged' temperatures.

Excessively hot surface temperatures can raise the temperature around them - for instance, black bitumen can heat the air by around 3ø - which is why Professor Samtamouris recommends more greenery in the city.

He also suggests building with alternative materials, like 'cooling' asphalt which works to bring own the surrounding air temperature.

The urban heat island effect is being felt most strongly in Darwin, but the rest of Australia may not be too far behind.

'Townsville and Cairns are not as bad but they will start to become like Darwin. Everything is just moving to the extreme but we just don't know exactly when or how fast it will happen,'' warned Professor Hanna.

'Global temperatures are going so badly and emissions are increasing so much that it's not looking good.'

Planting more trees and creating shady streets was a good strategy to make cities more liveable, she said, but as temperatures continue to rise, there's only so much that plants can do.


Britain is gripped by a deep FREEZE: Health chiefs warn of 'very real risk' of deaths as temperatures plummet to -4C and November looks set to be coldest on record

Just as quickly as the temperatures across Britain dropped this weekend, bookmakers have slashed the odds on November to be the coldest on record.

Britain is facing more sub-zero temperatures tonight as the cold snap which has braced the nation is expected to bite again.

The mercury dipped to -3.5C (25.7F) in Hurn, Bournemouth, while South Newington reached -2C (28.4F) and Drumnadrochit, near the Loch Ness dipped to -1.7C (28.94F), while health watchdogs have urged people to prepare for a prolonged cold snap.

Ladbrokes slashed their odds to just 5/2 that November will be the coldest on record. The betting firm has also slashed the odds of the UK seeing a White Christmas to just 8/15, while Coral is offering 4/6 on the same bet.

Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes said: 'The sun might be shining but the odds are shivering south as much as the mercury is. It looks like the UK could finally see a proper White Christmas this year.'

Weathermen believe records may have been broken as this weekend was the fifth autumn weekend which saw temperatures fall below at least -4C.

The Weather Outlook forecaster Brian Gaze said: 'All regions are at risk of rain, sleet and snow later in the week.

'Five autumn weekends in a row each having sub-zero cold snaps must be a record.'

And the low temperatures are likely to see a new level 2 Government health warning as hospitals prepare be to busier than usual., while staff prepare to make daily visits or phone calls to the vulnerable. Figures earlier this week showed there were more than 34,000 'excess deaths' across England and Wales over the last winter period, the second highest level in eight years.

But despite the chilly temperatures last night, the mercury did not drop near to this Autumn's lowest temperature of -6.3C which was recorded this Friday in Topcliffe, North Yorkshire.

On Saturday there were smatterings of snow in parts of Scotland and the West Midlands, with more forecast for higher parts of Wales, the Pennines and parts of Northern Ireland overnight.

On Saturday there were smatterings of snow in parts of Scotland and the West Midlands, with more forecast for higher parts of Wales, the Pennines and parts of Northern Ireland overnight. The mercury dipped to -3.5C (25.7F) in Hurn, Bournemouth, while South Newington reached -2C (28.4F) and Drumnadrochit, near the Loch Ness dipped to -1.7C (28.94F)

A yellow weather warning was issued for the length of the western side of Britain and Northern Ireland from 10pm on Saturday until 10am on Sunday, alerting people to the risk of ice.

Yet the weather warnings have now been lifted, although a Met Office spokesman warned people living in coastal areas to remain vigilant as there is the possibility that showers which happen into this evening and overnight could pose a risk of icing over.

Heading into next week, the Met Office warned of snow as far south as Essex by Wednesday, with the East, Northern Britain and Wales all due low-level snow near coasts.

While temperatures will remain similar to the 3-6C that most of Britain felt during the day this weekend, the bitter polar winds next week could make it feel a bitter -1 to -2C.

Temperatures in some parts of Britain could plummet to a brisk -7C on either Wednesday or Thursday in both Scotland or England, which would beat Saturday morning's low of -6.3C in Topcliffe, North Yorkshire.

Met Office forecaster Luke Miall said: 'It turns cold again from Monday afternoon and stays colder-than-average through the week and for up to 10 days, with winds from the Arctic.




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, November 27, 2017

Climate change could increase volcano eruptions?

This is even nuttier than saying correlation proves causation.  The "correlated" events are not correlated at all.  There is a 600 year gap between the two. As the well-named Dr Swindles says below:  "there was a time lag of roughly 600 years between the climate event and a noticeable decrease in the number of volcanic eruptions". When is a gap big enough to reject a claim of  correlation?

Shrinking glacier cover could lead to increased volcanic activity in Iceland, scientists have warned.

A new study, led by the University of Leeds, found there was less volcanic activity in Iceland when glacier cover was more extensive. As the glaciers melted, volcanic eruptions increased due to subsequent changes in surface pressure.

Dr Graeme Swindles, from the School of Geography at Leeds, said: “Climate change caused by humans is creating rapid ice melt in volcanically active regions. In Iceland, this has put us on a path to more frequent volcanic eruptions.”

The study examined Icelandic volcanic ash preserved in peat deposits and lake sediments and identified a period of significantly reduced volcanic activity between 5,500 and 4,500 years ago. This period came after a major decrease in global temperature, which caused glacier growth in Iceland.

The findings, published today in the journal Geology, found there was a time lag of roughly 600 years between the climate event and a noticeable decrease in the number of volcanic eruptions. The study suggests that perhaps a similar time lag can be expected following the more recent shift to warmer temperatures.

Iceland’s volcanic system is in process of recovering from the ‘Little Ice Age’ — a recorded period of colder climate roughly between the years 1500 to 1850. Since the end of the Little Ice Age, a combination of natural and human caused climate warming is causing Icelandic glaciers to melt again.

rock fragments and particles ejected by a volcanic eruption.
Small rock fragments and particles ejected by past volcanic eruptions have been preserved in peat deposits and lake sediments

Dr Swindles said: “The human effect on global warming makes it difficult to predict how long the time lag will be but the trends of the past show us more eruptions in Iceland can be expected in the future.

“These long term consequences of human effect on the climate is why summits like COP are so important. It is vital to understand how actions today can impact future generations in ways that have not been fully realised, such as more ash clouds over Europe, more particles in the atmosphere and problems for aviation. “

Icelandic volcanism is controlled by complex interactions between rifts in continental plate boundaries, underground gas and magma build-up and pressure on the volcano’s surface from glaciers and ice. Changes in surface pressure can alter the stress on shallow chambers where magma builds up.

Study co-author, Dr Ivan Savov, from the School of Earth & Environment at Leeds, explained: “When glaciers retreat there is less pressure on the Earth’s surface. This can increase the amount of mantle melt as well as affect magma flow and how much magma the crust can hold.

“Even small changes in surface pressure can alter the likelihood of eruptions at ice-covered volcanos.”



Sharing our blessings

This Thanksgiving we should give thanks for fossil fuels – and promote them for rest of world

Paul Driessen

This Thanksgiving weekend is a good time to express our gratitude for the jobs, living standards and life spans we enjoy today – largely because of abundant, reliable, affordable energy, 83% of it still because of fossil fuels. As my CFACT colleague Craig Rucker suggests, we should also be grateful that we live in a country that can provide hundreds of millions of turkey dinners, at a price anyone can afford, all on the same day, thanks to our free market economy (and fossil fuels).

Thanksgiving is also an opportunity to ponder why billions in our human family still do not enjoy those blessings, have electricity only sporadically or not at all, and try to survive on a few dollars a day or less. It’s a time to reflect on what we can do to help change policies that perpetuate that situation.

For thousands of years, humanity was mired in poverty, disease, malnutrition, misery, and average life expectancies of 40 years or less. Even nobility in their fancy homes had few of the luxuries we take for granted today. Then, in the late nineteenth century, a sudden surge in life expectancy, health and wealth transformed much of the world, as the growing use of coal and petroleum powered incredible advances in construction, sanitation, transportation, communication, medicine, agriculture and other technologies.

In 1882, Wisconsin’s Hearthstone House became the world’s first home lit by hydroelectricity. No one then could have foreseen how electricity would dominate, enhance and safeguard our lives in the myriad ways it does today – or envisioned the many ways we generate electricity today.

Today, Asian countries are roaring far beyond where they were just two decades ahead, as they adopt freer economies and use coal to generate electricity, create jobs, and bring hope, health, technology and prosperity to billions. Africa still lags behind, but here too coal and natural gas are providing electricity to a continent where more people than live in North and Central America’s still do not have access to it.

Pollution from coal-fired power plants remains a problem in countries where bringing electricity to billions has been deemed more important than eliminating unhealthy emissions. But that is changing, as electricity brings jobs, modernity and prosperity – and people demand cleaner air. Once scrubbers are installed, the only emissions will be what now comes out of US and EU “smoke” stacks: water vapor and plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide, which alarmists still claim is causing weather and climate chaos.

A real irony in all this is that China is financing and building many of these power plants – instead of the United States and Europe, which pioneered electricity generation and pollution control technologies. This is largely the result of US and EU policies, driven by global warming ideology and politics.

Too many still-impoverished nations have been ruled by corrupt, self-centered leaders who care little about their people. But all too often in recent years, when countries wanted to build coal or gas-fueled power plants, a cabal of climate activists in every position of power and privilege told them to drop dead.

Literally. Certainly that has been the result of their policies. It is as though we have returned to the days when Mayans drowned children in cenotes to appease the gods and prevent droughts – and then saw a century-long drought end their civilization.

This 100-year anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution memorializes how Communist regimes starved and murdered over 100 million helpless, innocent Russians, Chinese, Cambodians, North Koreans and others unlucky enough to have been born in those places and times – to serve that savage ideology. Even now, Castro protégé Nicolas Maduro is sending countless Venezuelans to early graves.

Today, countless millions are sacrificed on the altar of Gaia, because callous environmentalists continue to tell the world’s most destitute, energy-deprived families they must be content with whatever living standards they can derive from wind and solar – and must never employ fossil fuels. Even in Britain, deaths have risen 40% in the past year among elderly people who cannot heat their homes properly, because renewable energy policies have made energy costs unaffordable for too many pensioners.

Those “fuels of the past” are not sustainable, green ideologues say. They’re running out. They cause dangerous climate change. We will tell you what living standards you may aspire to. Better that you die today from diseases of preventable poverty, than perish tomorrow from manmade climate cataclysms.

One source of these attitudes is Obama science adviser John Holdren. He wrote in 1974 that it was essential to “de-develop the United States,” bringing its economic system and consumption “into line with the realities of ecology and the global resource situation.” Once that is underway, he continued, the US should focus on de-developing other industrialized nations and on the “ecologically feasible development” of under-developed countries. These views strongly influenced President Obama.

In 2009, Mr. Obama told Ghanaians they should refrain from using “dirty” fossil fuels and utilize their “bountiful” renewable energy. In 2013, he told South Africans, if “everybody has got a car and … air conditioning and … a big house, the planet will boil over – unless we find new ways of producing energy.”

His Overseas Private Investment Corporation refused to support construction of a power plant that would provide clean, affordable electricity from natural gas that companies were just burning in Ghana’s oil fields. President Obama refused to support South Africa’s request for a World Bank loan to continue building a state-of-the-art, coal-fired power plant. In 2013 his Power Africa initiative for a “sustainable Africa” energy strategy emphasized wind, solar, biofuel and geothermal power – but not fossil fuels.

It’s all part of the “wrenching transformation of society” that Al Gore has said is absolutely necessary.

Today, climate claims increasingly reflect a desperate determination to remain relevant and keep the research gravy train on its shaky tracks. “Global warming might be especially dangerous for pregnant women,” says one new study. “Climate change may be making bearded dragons less intelligent,” wails another. (It’s a good thing deep fat fryers are cooling the planet down a bit.) Climate Crisis, Inc. doesn’t seem to care that its depraved ethics have lethal consequences.

Thankfully, developing countries are no longer listening. They have built hundreds of coal-fired generating units and have 1,600 more under construction or in planning. Most now realize industrialized nations will not contribute billions (much less trillions) of dollars to the Green Climate Fund. They are beginning to understand that, if they want health, wealth and jobs, they should not do what many rich nations are saying or doing now that they are rich; they should do what those nations did to become rich.

After 50 years of Nazi and Communist domination, Poland is charting its own destiny, catching up to Western Europe, thumbing its nose at the EU, using more coal to generate electricity, and importing coal from the USA. (The UN’s 2018 climate meeting in Katowice, Poland will be very interesting.)

The UK government says there will be no new renewable energy subsidies until 2025. Even Germany’s “utopian dream of transforming itself into the world’s green powerhouse is collapsing as its political and media establishment is mugged by reality,” says Euro climate and energy observer Benny Peiser.

Al Gore, Barack Obama, Tom Steyer, Nat Simons, George Soros and their elitist ultra-green comrades will never give up their jet travel, limos, mansions, wealth, perks and privileges – to “save the Earth” or for any other reason. How dare they lecture us “common folk” – and tell families in impoverished countries what kinds and amounts of energy, homes, cars and consumer goods they will be “permitted” to have.

As we enjoy our turkey dinner leftovers, let us give thanks in the best, most humanitarian way possible: by promoting free market principles and selling, financing and building large-scale modern coal, gas, nuclear and hydroelectric power generation equipment, pollution control systems, and other technologies that will improve and save lives all over this wondrous planet.

Via email

UK: Backlash as Ineos puts fracking on fast track with plans to bypass local councils

Ineos is seeking to bypass local councils by using controversial new rules to fast-track plans to drill for shale gas in the Midlands without their planning approval.

The privately held petrochemicals giant run by the billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, one of the world’s ten biggest chemical companies with operations in 16 countries and sales of $40 billion a year, is taking the lead in the development of Britain’s shale gas industry.

It will become the first business to use powers created in 2015 to allow companies to request intervention from ministers in order to secure permission for delayed infrastructure projects deemed to be of national importance.


Every once in a while, environmentalists will let slip that the goal of fighting climate change can't be won unless capitalism is first defeated.

And the fact that there's no evidence to support the claim doesn't seem to matter.

The latest to make this case is Arizona State University fellow Benjamin Fong in an Op-Ed published recently by the New York Times, headlined "The Climate Crisis? It's Capitalism, Stupid."

"It should be stated plainly: It's capitalism that is at fault," he writes. Or, what he later calls "the rampant stupidity of capitalism." The answer, he says, is a "democratic socialist society."

Fong isn't the only one making this claim. Naomi Klein's 2014 book titled "This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate" argues that the planet is doomed unless the world abandons "free market" ideology.

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.'s Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that the goal of climate change policy wasn't just to cut CO2 emissions, but "to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution."

Assume for the sake of argument that everything environmentalists say about global warming is true — that the computer models are perfectly accurate in predicting future warming and that the result will be entirely negative.

Is capitalism to blame? Let's review the evidence.

Free market economies have become far less carbon intensive over time. Data from the United Nations show that the U.S. emitted 62% less carbon for each dollar of GDP produced in 2014 than it did in 1990. In Hong Kong, which is ranked as having the most free economy, its carbon intensity dropped by 58% over those years.

What about more socialist countries? Communist China emits 86% more CO2 per dollar of GDP than does the U.S.; Russia emits 50% more.

Worldwide, carbon intensity has steadily dropped since 1990. Those were years when free market capitalism was spreading, and the trend started long before the world was taking climate change seriously.

Why? Because even without any government oversight, free markets reward efficiency. And one of the biggest sources of waste is energy use. Trying to increase profits, therefore, invariably means less energy use, and less pollution, including CO2.

Free markets are also inherently "sustainable" because businesses want to stay in business. That means making sure resources are carefully managed for the long term.

Socialism, in contrast, is dirty business. The Soviet Union was a horrendous polluter, as were other Eastern Bloc countries. "The socialist world suffers from the worst pollution on Earth," noted Thomas DiLorenzo back in 1992.

Here at home, the federal government is the biggest energy consumer and polluter — despite being free of any profit motive.

The simple truth is that, as long as there are people on the planet, they're going to need and want things. The best, most sustainable, most earth-friendly way to deliver those things is through free market capitalism.


In order to drain the swamp, President Trump must first destroy the Green Blob.

James Delingpole

This is the only logical conclusion to be drawn from a series of data leaks and Freedom of Information (FOI) revelations exposing the relationship between left wing campaigners and the great climate change scam.

Global warming, it becomes clear, is primarily a left-wing political issue, not a scientific one. Green is the new red.

These leaks show how rich liberal backers—left-wing institutions like the Rockefeller Foundation, eco hedge-fund billionaires like Tom Steyer, and the various socialistic Geek Emperors of Silicon Valley—are funneling millions of dollars into sock-puppet environmental organizations both to undermine Trump’s economic agenda and to finance his political opponents both in the Democratic Party and the GOP.

U.S. Climate Alliance

This poses as “a bi-partisan coalition of states is committed to the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.” Or so the website says. But anyone can set up a website.

The truth, as the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) has discovered through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)-requested email correspondence, is that U.S. Climate Alliance is just a front. Its real purpose is to enable the richly funded green lobby to buy up Democrat governors—and one, token, squishy Republican governor: Gov. Charlie Baker (MA)—by effectively bribing them with free office, research and staffing facilities which they can run off books.

There is nothing actually illegal in any of this. But to appreciate how ethically dubious it is, just consider how the liberal media would respond if the roles were reversed and it were conservative politicians being provided with all these off-books services by, say, the fossil fuel industry.

Chris Horner, who initiated the FOIA for the CEI, put it like this in the Washington Times:

Mr. Horner asked how the media would react if, for example, the Koch brothers provide staffing on behalf of a Republican governor.

“This would unleash a tsunami of Pulitzers and hysteria if the political parties or priorities were changed,” said Mr. Horner. “Here is a real test for ‘good government’ activists—is this all right if the ‘right’ politicians and donors pushing the approved agenda outsource government?”

What the emails show is the intimate relationship between the liberal donors, green sock puppet organizations and Democrat politics.

Energy in Depth Climate reports here on some of the details:

Climate activist groups, most notably Climate Nexus—a sponsored project of the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors—act as the press arm for these governors’ offices at no charge. They also operate as a “shadow staff”to support climate change communications efforts, and supplied research later promoted by these state governors as their own. This includes at least one for-profit contractor, raising the question who its actual paying client is.

The three main Democrat governors fronting the U.S. Climate Alliance are Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, California Gov. Jerry Brown and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

But the people actually running it are green lobbyists and activists, doing the bidding of their wealthy anonymous donors in liberal strongholds like Silicon Valley, as well as the usual liberal suspects such as the Rockefeller and Hewlett Foundations. One prominent figure is Jeff Nesbit, Executive Director of a green organization called Climate Nexus. In the emails he is revealed in close discussion with Sam Ricketts, director of Jay Inslee’s Washington DC office.

According to the Washington Times:

“How come governors aren’t even listed on the website?” Mr. Ricketts asked in a June 5 email.

Mr. Nesbit replied: “They will be! I promise. It’s controlled by WWF [apparently referring to the World Wildlife Fund]. They’re melting down over there. I’ll make sure the 9 governors are listed ASAP.”

Mr. Nesbit also wore the hat of press secretary, saying he needed to send a joint statement from Mr. Inslee, Mr. Brown and Mr. Cuomo to The New York Times.

“Do you have it? Is it approved? Is Inslee available to talk to the NYT and others today before Trump does his Rose Garden ceremony at the WH?” Mr. Nesbit asked in the June 1 email.

According to Mr. Nesbit, Climate Nexus, a sponsored project of the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, provided its services free of charge and without a contract.

What becomes clear from the emails is the extent of sock puppetry—which the Green Blob uses to give the impression of representing many disparate groups, when in fact they are all just a small group of the same people wearing different hats. There is no shortage of money to support this scam. According to the Washington Times:

Even before Mr. Trump announced his intention in June to exit the 2015 Paris climate accord, state employees in California, New York and Washington had discussed enlisting the help of outside advocacy groups.

Aimee Barnes, senior adviser to Mr. Brown, proposed reaching out to the Georgetown Climate Center, Under2 Coalition and others, saying that “it can’t always be us staff running around trying to corral each other for sign on.”

“We are fortunate that at the moment there are many resources keen to be at our disposal to support us further, but in order to make the best use of them, we need to tell them what we need,” Ms. Barnes said in a May 5 email.

Mr. Ricketts responded in a May 9 email by noting, “There’s of course a plethora of advocate and funder interest,” adding, “We can approach the different groups (G-town, Rhodium, UNF, whomever) about which of them will play a roll.”

A week later, Georgetown Climate Center Deputy Director Kathryn Zyla provided an update in an email sent to state staffers and climate change advocates.

“We also wanted to let you know that we are working with the Georgetown IT department to develop a platform that can assist this group with communications and shared resources, and will keep you posted. (Please let us know if you have any thoughts on key features for that platform.),” Ms. Zyla said in a May 16 email.

GCC spokesman Chris Coil said the group had no contract with the states. “We support state engagement on climate change (as we have done on a bipartisan basis for many years) free of charge,” he said.

Inslee senior adviser Chris Davis put in a plug for Ann McCabe and her team at the Climate Registry, calling them in a June 5 email, “Great partners who’ve covered our costs for COPs and provided extraordinary on site services and support.”

Inevitably, there is a Clinton connection to all this skullduggery:

In another instance, the Alliance released a report about economic output and greenhouse gas emissions. Although branded as their own research, it turns out that the report relied almost exclusively on data compiled by the Rhodium Group—an organization headed by a former Hillary Clinton energy and climate advisor, Trevor Houser.

Indeed, given that the central focus of the emails obtained by CEI is tapping the “plethora of advocate and funder interest” in providing support functions  which were beyond the ability of the governors’ offices, it seems far more likely this pricey gift was provided to the governors by the for-profit Rhodium Group. What isn’t yet clear is which clients paid for this glossy product of a high-priced consultancy.

It’s unsurprising that the Rockefellers have found a way to exert their influence inside state governors’ offices. Climate Nexus has also been heavily involved in promoting the #ExxonKnew campaign for the Rockefellers. When the RICO 20—a group of professors who petitioned the Obama administration to bring racketeering charges against those who disagreed with the president’s climate agenda—faced enormous backlash for their efforts to silence dissent, Climate Nexus rushed in to clean up the mess. You see, the RICO 20 was suggesting that the government prosecute individual climate skeptics, which got in the way of the Rockefellers’ plans to have the government go after energy companies.

Climate Nexus also receives funding from the Energy Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, two other groups heavily involved in backing the #ExxonKnew campaign.

 The Great Republican Carbon Tax Myth

Earlier this year I reported here and here for Breitbart News on the bizarre spectacle of various Republican elder statesmen—including Reagan-era Secretary of State George Shultz—campaigning to “combat climate change” by agitating for a carbon tax. Naturally the New York Times got very excited at the idea that conservatives were starting to see the light.

The truth: there is next to zero support, anywhere within the GOP, for something as stupid and frankly socialistic as a carbon tax.

  • During the 2016 Presidential campaign, every major Republican candidate with the exception of Lindsay Graham opposed a carbon tax

  • May 2016, prospective GOP nominee Donald Trump publicly tweeted his opposition to a carbon tax in response to a news story

  • June 2016, House Republicans, led by Rep. Steve Scalise, passed a resolution opposing a carbon tax

  • July of 2016, the RNC adopted changes to the Republican platform opposing a carbon tax

  • 2016, state GOP parties began adopting resolutions in advance of the Cleveland Convention opposing a carbon tax

  • August 2016, candidate Donald Trump responded in writing to a candidate questionnaire opposing both a carbon tax and the concept of social cost of carbon

  • So why does this zombie concept keep clawing its way out of the grave?

    Because, yet again, we’re being played by the usual suspects: a handful of extremely well-funded lobbyists using their money and influence to give the impression of widespread, cross-party demand for what is in fact only the preoccupation of such paid-up Green Blob members as Elon Musk. They planned this far in advance.

    This is clear from two leaked campaign documents dating back to 2015.

    One is from the National Wildlife Federation. Its strategy explicitly states that its plan is to co-opt conservatives into its carbon tax scheme:

    The Wind Energy Foundation, National Wildlife Federation (NWF), EDP Renewables North America (EDPR), Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. (RES), Pattern Energy, and Tesla Motors are working in a cross-sector coalition to enact a federal price on carbon pollution.

    We believe that a carbon tax or similar price on carbon pollution is achievable in Congress within five years as part of a grand political bargain on tax and fiscal policy. The key to this success will be the effective deployment of business and conservation leaders and their networks, who will create a non-threatening, non-ideological space for conservative decision makers to engage on climate policy. We anticipate that this campaign will be complemented with efforts in the political sphere to hold accountable those who are unresponsive to our network members or to defend those who are responsive.

    Note the presence of Tesla on this list: Mr President—Elon Musk is not your friend!

    The other is another 2015 strategy document, floated among D.C. think tanks, created with the aim to “Engage Congress on Carbon Pricing.”

    Again, the tactic used to achieve this was to reposition a carbon tax as an essentially free-market, pro-business solution in order to attract conservative support.

    “Carbon Funded Tax Cuts” will stimulate GDP growth, create jobs, make U.S. companies more competitive in the global market place, make the tax system fairer, and result in dramatic climate change benefits.

    Did you see what they just did there? These people are sneaky.

    And the money for these campaigns—coordinated by think tanks and lobby groups like RStreet and RepublicEn—is in turn funneled via organizations like the Energy Foundation.

    Here is the Energy Foundation giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to RStreet.

    Here it is donating $200,000 to another lobby group Niskanen.

    There’s nothing illegal about this. Just something very dishonest and deliberately misleading.

    It’s called Astroturfing.

    The Green Blob wants you to believe that, right now, there are a heap of disparate groups of sincere campaigners all of which just happen to share the same worthy and noble mission to combat climate change.

    Except they’re really not. They’re just a bunch of liberal sock puppets, bankrolled by plutocrats on a mission to allay their rich-guilt by splashing money on “saving the planet” and green industry rent-seekers who want to rig the market in favor of their renewable energy interests.

    This is not about saving the planet. This is about greed—and left-wing politics.

    If President Trump is to drain the swamp he must destroy the climate industrial complex.




    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