Thursday, March 23, 2017



The oceans are COOLING

We have seen lots of claims about the temperature records for 2016 and 2015 proving dangerous man made warming.  At least one senator stated that in a confirmation hearing.  Now that HadSST3 data is complete through February 2017, let’s see how obvious is the ocean’s governing of global average temperatures.

The best context for understanding these last two years comes from the world’s sea surface temperatures (SST), for several reasons:

* The ocean covers 71% of the globe and drives average temperatures;

* SSTs have a constant water content, (unlike air temperatures), so give a better reading of heat content variations;

* A major El Nino was the dominant climate feature the last two years.

HadSST is generally regarded as the best of the global SST data sets, and so the temperature story here comes from that source, the latest version being HadSST3.

The chart below shows the last two years of SST monthly anomalies as reported in HadSST3, along with the first two months of 2017.



Note that higher temps in 2015 and 2016 are first of all due to a sharp rise in Tropical SST, beginning in March 2015, peaking in February 2016, and steadily declining back to its beginning level. Secondly, the Northern Hemisphere added two bumps on the shoulders of Tropical warming, with peaks in August of each year. Also, note that the global release of heat was not dramatic, due to the Southern Hemisphere offsetting the Northern one.

Finally, the oceans are starting 2017 only slightly lower than a year ago, but this year with much cooler Tropics.  Notice that both the Tropics and also the Northern Hemisphere continue to cool.  The Global average warmed slightly, pulled upward by the Southern Hemisphere which reaches its summer peak at this time.

March may repeat 2016 when NH bottomed and SH peaked, or maybe both will rise or both will drop.  In the latter case, perhaps we will see the long-awaited La Nina.

SOURCE





The silver-tongued liars’ playbook  

Coal ash scare stories are the latest tactic in their long war on coal-fueled electricity generation

Paul Driessen

Coal-fired power plant scrubbers now remove 80-90 % of airborne particulate, mercury, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and other pollutants. But that means “fly ash” and noncombustible residues (what we used to call clinkers) must be sent to landfills. That’s opened a new front for anti-energy activists, who use accidents, “detectable” pollutants in water, and scary stories about health threats to advance their agenda.

In 2008, a Tennessee Valley Authority earthen retainer dam near Knoxville ruptured, sending 5.4 million cubic yards of rain-soaked fly ash into a nearby river, lake and neighborhood. Twelve homes were damaged by the muck, which contained low levels of arsenic, cadmium and other metals. The TVA’s cleanup efforts were less than exemplary, as were its measures to prevent the accident in the first place.

Companies and regulators clearly must do more to prevent accidents and pollution – and more to educate people about the actual risks involved. With a new fly ash playbook being tested in North Carolina, Virginia and other states, as part of the war on coal and the keep-fossil-fuels-in-the-ground campaign, those informational efforts are vital.

Duke Energy operates 14 coal-fired electricity generating plants in North Carolina – and several large fly ash facilities. Like coal itself, the ash contains trace amounts of hexavalent chromium (chromium-6 or Cr-6) and other metals that can be toxic to humans in high doses. Blazing temperatures bond the vast majority tightly in glassy vitrified ash, and well maintained impoundments ensure that few seep out.

However, tiny amounts can still escape into nearby surface waters and groundwater. Highly sensitive scientific instruments can now detect parts per trillion – the equivalent of a few seconds in 3,300 years. In 2016, an NC state toxicologist ruled that metallic levels detected in surface and ground water around the state were dangerously high. He blamed ash from coal-fired power plants and persuaded Tar Heel health officials to send “do not drink” letters to several hundred families living near coal ash disposal sites.

In his view, there is “no safe level” for exposure to Cr-6, and the state should slash its allowable level from 100 parts per billion down to 0.07 ppb (1,428 times lower). Other health officials reviewed the scientific literature, determined that amounts detected pose no health risk, noted that Cr-6 often seeps from natural rock formations into surface and ground water, and rescinded the warning letters. But the resulting controversy continues, and the company, regulators and politicians are trying to resolve it.

Duke Energy and many health experts maintain that Cr-6 levels found near the ash facilities (and miles away, from natural sources) are far below what cause health risks. But it wants to assuage concerns among families closest to the ash facilities. So the company offered to provide alternatives to their well water, by giving them access to public water sources or installing state-of-the-art home filtration systems.

In January 2017, the NC Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) granted preliminary approval to these company plans for homes within one-half-mile of a coal ash impoundment. Final approval is contingent on state health and environmental departments certifying that water provided via these systems meets “applicable” or “appropriate” standards for each location.

Now activists say Duke and other companies should move millions of tons of ash from multiple depositories. Not only would that involve hundreds of thousands of dump truck loads, millions of gallons of fuel, and huge trucks lumbering through towns and along back roads and highways. A far more basic question is: Take it where, exactly? Who would want it? Activists certainly offer no viable alternatives.

Companies previously proposed turning fly ash into cement blocks or gravel, for construction projects. Activists quickly nixed that option, even though it would involve virtually no contamination risks. It’s becoming increasingly apparent that the real reason for all the vocal consternation is that these agitators simply want to drive coal out of business. Indeed, the same unaccountable, silver-tongued agitators also detest natural gas-generated electricity … and drilling and fracking to produce the gas. They oppose nuclear energy, and even want hydroelectric dams and power plants removed. They claim to support wind and solar, by conveniently ignoring the huge downsides pointed out here, here, here, here and elsewhere.

Forcing utility companies to spend billions relocating huge ash deposits to “lined, watertight landfills” (in someone else’s backyard) will bring no health or environmental benefits. But it will bankrupt companies, send electricity prices soaring, and hurt poor, minority and working class families the most.

If rates double from current costs in coal-reliant states like North Carolina and Virginia (9 cents per kilowatt-hour or less) to those in anti-coal New York or Connecticut (17 cents), families will have to pay $500-1,000 more annually for electricity. Hospitals, school districts, factories and businesses will have to spend additional thousands, tens of thousands or millions. Where will that money come from?

Virginia’s 665,000-square-foot Inova Fairfax Women’s and Children’s Hospital pays about $1,850,000 per year for electricity at 9 cents/kWh, but would pay $3,500,000 at 17 cents: a $1.6-million difference.

Will businesses have to lay off dozens or hundreds of employees, or close their doors? If they pass costs on to patients or customers, where will families find the extra cash? What will the poorest families do?

The war on coal, petroleum, nuclear and hydroelectric power is a callous, eco-imperialist war on reliable, affordable electricity, on jobs, and on poor and minority families. Policies that drive energy prices up drive people out of jobs, drive companies out of business, drive families into green-energy poverty.

Preventing ruptures and spills means selecting, building and maintaining the best possible ash landfill facilities. Safeguarding public water and health means properly addressing actual, proven toxicity risks.

The US Environmental Protection Agency and North Carolina set allowable Cr-6 limits at 100 ppb for drinking water (equivalent to 100 seconds in 33 years or 4 cups in 660,000 gallons of water). The state also applies a 10 ppb standard for well water. No one applies a 0.07 ppb standard (70 parts per trillion).

In 2015, the NCDEQ tested 24 wells two to five miles from the nearest coal plant or coal ash deposit; 20 had Cr-6 levels above 0.07 ppb but far below 100 ppb, underscoring its diverse origins. May 2016 tests could not even detect the chemical in Greensboro water, the News & Record reported.

A 2016 Duke University study found that hexavalent chromium is prevalent in many North Carolina surface and ground waters. Some comes from coal ash deposits, but much is leached from igneous and other rocks found throughout the Piedmont region of Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia. Other health experts note that Cr-6 is found in 70% to 90% of all water supplies in the United States. Applying a 0.07 ppb would mean telling hundreds of millions of Americans not to drink their water!

Moreover, studies have found that Cr-6 in water is safe even at 100 ppb or higher. A 2012 paper in the Journal of Applied Toxicology concluded that regularly drinking water with 210 ppb of Cr-6 poses no health risks. (The real health problems involve airborne Cr-6.) Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, US EPA and other studies buttress those findings.

Equally important, an ability to detect a substance does not mean it poses a risk. Cancer is certainly scary, but the risk of getting cancer is not the same as dying from it. And people routinely accept risks of dying from activities they happily engage in daily. For example, the National Safety Council puts the lifetime risk of dying in a motor vehicle crash at 1 in 113; that’s 8,850 times greater than the alleged lifetime risk of contracting cancer from 0.07 ppb Cr-6 in water. Drinking and smoking fall into the same category.

However, all too many people seem easily terrified by “detectable” levels of strange-sounding chemicals. 100% clean is not necessary, not possible, not found in nature and not a sound basis for public policy.

Coal and chemical controversies like these offer our nation, states and communities excellent opportunities to find novel solutions that recognize sound science, hidden agendas, often limited options, and undesirable repercussions of poorly informed policy decisions. Let’s hope they are up to the task.

Via email





Reassessing Obama's CAFE Mandates

Last week, President Donald Trump announced his administration will reassess the Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) mandates the Obama administration’s EPA tried to lock in before the Jan. 20 transition of power. “We’re going to work on the CAFE standards so you can make cars in America again,” Trump told a cheering crowd of auto workers in Ypsilanti, Michigan. “We’re going to help companies so they are going to help you. We’re going to be the car capital of the world again.”

New EPA chief Scott Pruitt promised his agency will coordinate with the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to decide whether the Obama administration mandates will remain in place. The deadline for making the decision is April 2018.

Why the reassessment? “In 2012 the EPA set ambitious mileage standards that required auto makers to achieve an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, nearly twice the 2011 mandate,” the Wall Street Journal explains. “The increases were backloaded such that manufacturers had to hit 36.6 miles a gallon by 2017 and 46.8 miles a gallon by 2022. In the last three years, car makers would need to squeeze an additional eight miles out of each gallon.”

In a letter sent to Pruitt in February, the Alliance of Auto Manufacturers (AAM) insisted no government agency “had ever set emissions standards so far into the future,” and that the final determination engendered by Obama’s EPA was “riddled with indefensible assumptions, inadequate analysis, and failure to engage with contrary evidence.”

The AAM further explained meeting those standards would cost far more than the $200 billion originally estimated by Obama’s EPA because the “electrified technologies” needed to meet them would raise the price of vehicles and depress auto sales. As the Journal notes, the onerous standards might have been feasible when gas cost $3.60 per gallon and passenger cars comprised more than half of all vehicle sales. But when the price of gas dropped, sales of trucks and SUVs skyrocketed, with trucks gaining a 61% market share in 2016. Moreover, the decline in gas prices mitigated the benefits of customer fuel savings the EPA used to justify the increased CAFE standards.

Those standards also increased vehicle production costs, driving vehicle manufacturers to Mexico in search of cheaper labor.

The Obama administration knew all of this and originally promised the incoming administration would get a “midterm review” of the CAFE standards to be completed by April 2018.

Make that an incoming Clinton administration. When Trump was elected, Obama’s EPA set the 2012 standards in stone, even though their own projections revealed fewer than 1% of gas-burning cars would comply with the 2022 mandate, and none would meet the standards set for 2025.

Trump’s having none of it. “We are going to restore the originally scheduled midterm review and we are going to ensure that any regulations we have protect and defend your jobs, your factories. We’re going to be fair,” Trump said. “That is why I’m proud to say I followed through on my promise.”

Predictably, Democrats and their eco-zealot allies are furious. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) characterized the review as “all-out assault” to “dismantle important environmental protections.” Kristin Igusky, Climate Program Associate at the World Resources, declared “the administration is creating more uncertainty and blocking progress toward cleaner, more efficient vehicles for America.”

Christian Science Monitor columnist Zack Coleman joins the chorus. “Transportation is now the leading sector for greenhouse gas emissions in the United States,” he writes. “The lower the so-called Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard, the smaller will be the reductions carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles.”

Not quite. The expansion of the aforementioned “electrified technologies” necessary to meet the Obama EPA standards have environmental problems of their own as onerous, if not more so, than vehicles themselves. “So we’re chasing the car that is fueled solely by the electricity that comes out of our walls,” writes columnist Rich Cromwell. “That electricity is apparently generated by magic, never coal, so battery-powered options would reduce cars' carbon footprint and create a more sustainable future.”

Cromwell also eviscerates the catalytic converter, an ostensible pollutant-eliminating device that’s been around since the 70s and became government required for vehicles in 2010. “Catalytic converters, you see, are made in variety of ways, but all those ways include precious metals,” he reveals. “You know how you get precious metals? By mining them from deep under the surface of the earth.” Cromwell cites an article from MIT that “examines all the ways this kind of mining is abjectly horrible, including its carbon footprint.”

In other words, while environmentalists and their Democrat allies in Congress are quick to tout the transparent benefits of electric cars or CAFE standards, they are rather myopic regarding the unforeseen — or is that conspicuously ignored — deleterious tradeoffs that accompany them.

And not just environmental tradeoffs. As Robert Tracinski explains, one would have to drive a $90,000 electric-powered Tesla for 30 years to equalize the costs between it and a $45,000 gas-powered Lexus, based on the average number of miles most Americans drive, coupled with slightly higher gas costs than they’re currently paying. Thus, many “green energy products” are a long way from being economically viable. On the other hand, Tracinski adds, they remain “very much a plaything or status symbol for the wealthy and upper middle class, the sort of people who uniformly believe in man-made global warming and who can afford to spend tens of thousands of extra dollars just to feel good about themselves.”

One suspects ordinary Americans who can’t afford a Tesla or a Lexus and struggle to make ends meet are less “high-minded.”

And what if CAFE standards are solely about holier-than-thou self-aggrandizement? “Under the Obama Administration, CAFE standards have become a tool for combatting global warming, at which they are utterly ineffective,” Heritage Foundation writers Salim Furth and David Kreutzer declare. “Americans are paying excessively for regulations that fail any reasonable cost-benefit test.”

The benefit touted by the Obama administration — a “decrease global temperatures by 0.007 degrees to 0.018 degrees Celsius in 2100” — would be more than offset by “massive losses” imposed on consumers who would increase the number of miles they drive with more fuel-efficient cars offsetting carbon reductions. Many would also eschew higher-priced new car purchases and “delay upgrades, leaving older vehicles on the road longer.”

Pruitt has assured the nation his review of CAFE standards will engender a program that is “good for consumers and good for the environment.” Such balance is a refreshing change from the Obama administration’s “kill the economy to save the planet” mindset.

Nonetheless, he will face resistance. As columnist Ned Barnett reveals, the EPA is still infested with careerists who “believe their own views on global warming and a host of other environmental issues are the only ‘true’ positions. The president, for his part, is clearly preparing to take the challenge directly to the EPA’s permanent staff.”

Hopefully under a swamp-draining Trump administration, there’s no such thing as administrative permanence.

SOURCE




Spying Out EPA Waste, Fraud and Abuse

President Trump wants to cut the budget of the federal Environmental Protection Agency by 31 percent, from $8.2 billion to about $5.7 billion, a reduction of $2.6 billion and more than 3,000 positions. The proposed cuts have drawn attacks from politicians, the old-line establishment media, and regulatory zealots. For their part, taxpayers might keep a few realities in mind.

As an inspector general testified in 2013, the powerful EPA displays “an absence of even basic internal controls,” as confirmed by the case of EPA “policy advisor” John Beale. Beale claimed he also worked for the CIA, but nobody at the EPA bothered to check. That enabled Beale to take more than two years off, with full pay, claiming to be in London, India and Pakistan when he was actually kicking back at his vacation home. Beale pulled off his CIA ruse for nearly 20 years and also falsely claimed to have worked for Sen. John Tunney of California and served in Vietnam. Investigators found little evidence that the fraudster’s management produced anything of value, but the EPA eagerly ponied up retention bonuses. The EPA also continued to pay Beale for 19 months after his retirement dinner cruise. All told, the faker bilked taxpayers of nearly $1 million.

As we previously noted, the EPA has not exactly been forthcoming about what it does with the $6.3 billion it has collected from lawsuits and settlements since 1990. Taxpayers may also recall that in 2015 EPA contractors released three million gallons of contaminated wastewater into the Animas River. This unleashed 880,000 pounds of lead, arsenic and other toxic materials for dozens of miles through southwest Colorado and northern New Mexico. The EPA’s alleged vigilance also did nothing to prevent the Flint water crisis, but despite both disasters EPA boss Gina McCarthy kept her job.

Meanwhile, John Beale served 32 months in federal custody and last year gained release. He still collects his generous federal retirement, so in one sense the fake secret agent man got away it. Patrick Sullivan of the EPA inspector general’s office told reporters, “I’m quite confident that it would be almost impossible for someone like Beale to replicate his fraud.” Taxpayers have good reason to doubt it. On the other hand, taxpayers have plenty of evidence that the EPA deserves a cut of more than 31 percent.

SOURCE



There is a consensus but it is not a scientific one

A few days ago I had a conversation with a very smart university professor of history and somehow the climate change subject came up. Almost instantly he responded to my thoughts by saying: “You must be one of those deniers who rejects the science consensus.”

This is the new form of intellectual bullying and it’s intentionally designed is to stop the conversation not advance it. In the academies it is a technique to close off scientific inquiry.

When the liberals talk of ‎consensus, what consensus are they talking about?  Of whom? About what? Here is John Kay of the‎ Financial Times on the so-called consensus:

"Science is a matter of evidence, not what a majority of scientists think…. The notion of a monolithic “science,” meaning what scientists say, is pernicious and the notion of “scientific consensus” actively so. The route to knowledge is transparency in disagreement and openness in debate. The route to truth is the pluralist expression of conflicting views in which, often not as quickly as we might like, good ideas drive out bad. There is no room in this process for any notion of “scientific consensus.”

Richard S. Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT, has noted that too many environmentalists “ignore the fact that the earth and its climate are dynamic; they are always changing even without any external forcing. To treat all change as something to fear is bad enough; to do so in order to exploit that fear is much worse.”

Then he adds: “… there is a clear attempt to establish truth not by scientific methods but by perpetual repetition.… The consensus was reached before the research was even begun…”

Kay and Lindzen are not alone. In an open letter to the Canadian Prime Minister, 60 scientists urged caution when it comes to any policy with regard to climate:

While the confident pronouncements of scientifically unqualified environmental groups may provide for sensational headlines, they are no basis for mature policy formation.… There is no “consensus” among climate scientists about the relative importance of the various causes of global climate change.… “Climate change is real” is a meaningless phrase used repeatedly by activists to convince the public that a climate catastrophe is looming and humanity is the cause. Neither of these fears is justified. Global climate changes all the time due to natural causes and the human impact still remains impossible to distinguish from this natural noise.

Patrick Moore, a Ph.D. in ecology, is a fallen-away founder of Greenpeace. The following is from his 2015 lecture, “Should We Celebrate Carbon Dioxide?”

"There is no definite scientific proof, through real-world observation that carbon dioxide is responsible for any of the slight warming in the global climate that has occurred during the past 300 years, since the peak of the Little Ice Age.… The contention that human emissions are now the dominant influence on climate is simply a hypothesis, rather than a universally accepted scientific theory. It is therefore correct, indeed verging on compulsory in a scientific tradition, to be skeptical of those who express certainty that “the science is settled” and “the debate is over.”

The world’s top climate body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is hopelessly conflicted by its makeup and its mandate from the United Nations. It is required only to focus on “a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the atmosphere, and which is in addition to natural climate variability.” So if the IPCC found that climate change was not being affected by human alteration of the atmosphere or that it is not “dangerous,” there would be no need for it to exist. It is virtually mandated to find on the side of apocalypse.

The IPCC states that it is “extremely likely” that human emissions have been the dominant cause of global warming “since the mid-20th century,” that is since 1950. It claims that “extremely” means 95% certain, even though the number 95 was simply plucked from the air like an act of magic. And “likely” is not a scientific word but rather indicative of a judgment, another word for opinion.

“Perpetual repetition.” “Unqualified environmental groups.” “Sensational headlines.” This is what mass movements are all about. From his book, The True Believer, here is Eric Hoffer on mass movements:

"Hatred is the most assessable and comprehensive of all the unifying agents.… Mass movements can rise and spread without the belief in God but never without the belief in evil."

By the way, isn’t this what the left accuses the Trump movement to be all about?

Hoffer then goes on to cite the historian F.A. Voigt’s account of a Japanese mission to Berlin in 1932 to study the National Socialist Movement. Voigt asked a member of the mission what he thought. He replied, “It is magnificent. I wish we could have something like it in Japan, only we can’t, because we haven’t got any Jews.” This brought a bit of clarity as to why the mass movement, rather brilliantly, wants to label those of us who have questions as “deniers.”

There are two things necessary for a mass movement to succeed: true believers and a well-defined enemy. The enemy of the climate change mass movement is fossil fuels and the Industrial Age, with the “deniers” being the enablers of planetary destruction.

In the past, the term “denier” has been associated with that extreme group who denies the existence of the horrible, tragic historical fact, the Holocaust. Many climate change true believers want the public to put anyone who questions or disagrees with climate change projections in the same category as the Holocaust deniers. But one is a fact, the other a contested projection. Nevertheless, they have been quite successful.

Here is one of the definitions of “denier” found on the Internet: “a person who denies something, especially someone who refuses to admit the truth of a concept or proposition that is supported by the majority of the scientific or historical evidence: a prominent denier of global warming.”

Here is Hoffer’s warning on the role of the true believer: “where mass movements can either persuade or coerce, it usually chooses the latter.”

Something we are seeing in spades.

The last paragraph of Friedrich Hayek’s 1974 Nobel Prize address, The Pretense of Knowledge, puts the climate change mass movement and its true believers into frightening perspective:

"There is danger in the exuberant feeling of ever growing power which the advance of the physical sciences has engendered and which tempts man to try, “dizzy with success,” to use a characteristic phrase of early communism, to subject not only our natural but also our human environment to the control of a human will."

It has always been worrisome to me that every so-called solution to global warming subverts rather than enhances human freedom and advances the power of the state to regulate energy, industrial activity, and individual behavior That seems to me, a denier, or whatever term you want to use, a potentially greater threat to the future of human welfare than even climate change. Václav Klaus, the former president of the Czech Republic, made this same point when he declared: “What is at risk is not the climate but freedom.”

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017



Where are the tree huggers?  Why are we doing nothing to help  our forests?

Even though healthy forests are a CO2 sponge, Greenies never mention them.  Clearly they are not concerned about trees at all.  All they care about is how best to f**k up other people's lives

Greg Walcher

For years, politicians have waged war on coal, stifled oil and gas production, and advocated carbon taxes and other extreme measures to reduce carbon dioxide, while ignoring one of the most important things they could do to help.

It reminds me of my own lifelong battle with weight and the associated health issues. I get so frustrated that I sometimes swear I would do anything – anything! – to lose weight. Well, anything except eat less and exercise. But anything else.

That same kind of hypocrisy surrounds rants about our carbon dioxide emissions. Even people who are “deeply concerned” about dangerous manmade climate change drive cars, heat their homes, and sometimes even turn on lights. They embrace modern living standards, while also embracing faddish environmental claims and policies that contribute mightily to problems they insist disturb them greatly.

A popular bumper sticker screams, “TREES ARE THE ANSWER.” Yet when it comes to managing our national forests, many of those same advocates look away, while millions of acres of once healthy trees die, fall down, rot or burn up.

It’s ironic, because those forests provide the world’s greatest resource for cleaning carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere; because the rotting and fires themselves emit greenhouse gases; and because atmospheric carbon dioxide makes all plants grow faster and better and with improved tolerance to drought.

As Colorado State Forester Mike Lester testified recently before a state legislative committee, “When so many trees die and large wildfires follow, our forests quickly turn from a carbon sink into a carbon source.” Trees absorb carbon dioxide as people absorb oxygen, and that balance is critical to sustaining life, as we all learned in grade school.

Yet instead of doing everything in our power to make sure we have abundant thriving forests of healthy trees, we allow them to die and burn and thus belch millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the air.

Lester’s excellent testimony accompanied the release of the Colorado State Forest Service’s annual Report on the Health of Colorado Forests. This year’s assessment is the worst ever, and hardly anybody noticed. There was no outcry from global warming alarmists around the world, as there should have been. In fact, their silence on this issue is deafening. And it’s not just Colorado. It’s every state, and beyond.

The more concerned people are about climate change, the more they should be interested in active management to restore forest health. Yet many of the groups pushing urgent climate policies are the same groups that continue to fight logging, tree thinning and other management necessary for healthy forests. The result is more of the same disasters we have seen unfolding for over 20 years: dead and dying forests, catastrophic wildfires, habitat devastation, loss of human property and lives, and destruction of wildlife.

The new forest health report shows that over the last seven years, the number of dead standing trees in Colorado forests increased almost 30 percent, to an estimated 834 million dead trees. There are billions across the other Rocky Mountain States.

The report makes clear that this continuing trend of tree mortality can lead to large, intense wildfires that totally incinerate and obliterate forests, soils and wildlife. In fact, it is only a matter of time before this happens, if the U.S. Forest Service does not act.

Ironically, the most productive forest health restoration projects in Colorado have been partnerships of the State Forester with water providers like Denver Water, Northern Water Conservancy District and Colorado Springs Utilities. That’s because 80 percent of Colorado’s population depends on water that comes from the national forests.

However, the U.S. Forest Service, which owns almost all of the forestland in the State, continues to work with its hands tied behind its back, its timber programs woefully underfunded and vast sums syphoned off every year for fire suppression. Fire control ought to be funded separately, so that active management of healthy forests is not the perpetually lowest priority.

The Forest Service spends a fortune on planning, writing reports, and defending itself against environmental lawsuits, leaving few funds for what it is really supposed to be doing.

What a golden opportunity for the new Congress and Trump Administration. Reversing this demoralizing trend would restore forests, protect and increase wildlife, bring back thousands of forest products jobs, revitalize rural economies, and do more to reduce carbon dioxide than any previous policy.

The previous Administration created the Office of Sustainability and Climate Change, and Regional Climate Change Hubs, maintained a Climate Change Adaptation Library, mapped drought frequency and intensity, and created massive reports blaming humans for climate change. One study was a vulnerability assessment for the Southwest and California, titled “Southwest Regional Climate Hub and Climate Subsidiary Hub Assessment of Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies.”

All this activity is impressive, and scientific study will always play a role. But none of it actually affects climate change. Growing healthy trees would. Can we get back to that?

Or like me and my weight problem, are we willing to do anything to address climate change and improve our forests and wildlife habitats, except the one thing that might help the most?

Via email





The War on Affordable Electricity

Safe, reliable, and affordable power is a crucial partof a strong and growing economy. The dependability and general affordability of electricity here in U.S. is a significant component of our historically robust economy. But recently, a vocal and active few here in New Mexico are part of a coordinated, nationwide effort to severely restrict our ability produce economical and reliable power.

Earlier this summer, the state of California’s GDP passed that of France to become the sixth largest in the world. Just for comparison, the country just ahead of California is the United Kingdom, where last year’s GDP totaled about $2.85 trillion according to the International Monetary Fund.

Due to its sheer size, California is the battleground for most public policy debates, and the current debate on energy is no exception. Both here and in California, environmentalists have made it their mission to increase the use of renewable sources (solar and wind) while shutting down our most affordable, reliable, and carbon-free source of electricity: nuclear power. California policymakers’ anti-nuclear stance is partially blamed for the use of fossil fuels to increase from 47 percent of in-state electric generation in 2011 to 61 percent in 2013.

Since renewables constantly fluctuate due to changes in weather and we expect electricity to be available 24/7, some source of power must fill that gap in generation. Currently, the only sources of electricity capable of covering that gap are fast-ramping natural gas plants. A new study of over 26 separate countries spanning over two decades reports that “all other things equal, a 1% percent increase in the share of fast reacting fossil technologies is associated with a 0.88% percent increase in renewable generation capacity in the long term”. In other words, gas plants can be seen as “an enabling factor” which allow for the integration of additional renewable sources of power. There is no economical method to store power on an industrial scale, so you cannot add renewable energy sources without a corresponding increase in gas generation to make up the difference and balance the grid.

California policymakers’ anti-nuclear stance is partially blamed for the use of fossil fuels to increase from 47 percent of in-state electric generation in 2011 to 61 percent in 2013.
In New Mexico, the Public Regulation Commission regulates all public utilities including PNM, which provides electricity to most of the state (full disclosure: I am currently employed by PNM as a wholesale power marketer). In August 2015, PNM filed a rate case with the PRC, requesting an increase in rates to help offset some of the costs associated with the environmental gains agreed to last fall (including cutting carbon emissions in half). In its latest recommendation, the case hearing examiner issued a recommendation for a rate increase of $41.3 million, roughly one third of the $123.5 million PNM had asked for in its original request.

As part of her recommendation, the hearing examiner did not allow for any cost recovery for the purchase of a percentage of the generating capacity of Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station. Make no mistake about it: this decision was due in large part to an effective PR campaign waged by local and out-of-state environmentalists demonizing nuclear energy. Unfortunately, they do not see the contradiction in advocating for cheap and carbon-free energy while simultaneously demanding PNM get rid of “expensive, toxic nuclear power”.

In the end, the real tragedy is that if the environmentalists had their way, the cost of electricity would substantially increase, and those hurt the most would be those very same people they claim to advocate for: the poor, the elderly, and others on a fixed income. I urge the PRC commissioners to do the right thing for the people of New Mexico by allowing PNM to recover all or a majority of the costs associated with Palo Verde, the most safe, reliable, and cost-effective power source in PNM’s generating fleet.

SOURCE





Are investigations by the ‘Green 20’ an effort to intimidate scientific dissenters?

By Lamar Smith

Transparency for thee, but not for me—that seems to be the motto of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. Last year they led a group of their colleagues—dubbed the “Green 20”—in a sweeping initiative to target dissenting views on climate change. Exxon Mobil, for instance, was asked to turn over decades of documents.

The Green 20 investigations have been criticized as blatantly political. Last year a federal judge overseeing Ms. Healey’s suit against Exxon expressed concern that she may be conducting it in “bad faith.”

For nearly a year, the congressional committee I lead has been trying to understand the effects of these investigations on scientific research. Unfortunately, the attorneys general have obstructed our inquiry at every turn. Last July, after two months of unanswered requests for information, the committee issued subpoenas to Mr. Schneiderman and Ms. Healey.

The subpoenas asked for communications between Green 20 offices and environmental activists. This would show the level of coordination in this campaign to harass and silence scientists who challenge prevailing climate-change orthodoxies. The attorneys general have refused to comply, hiding behind vague excuses.

The committee has not sought information about the investigations of Exxon. Instead, our interest is in discovering how this attempt at intimidation affects federally funded scientific research. Then we may consider changing the law to allow this research to continue.

The hypocrisy of the attorneys general here is evident—though perhaps understandable. Mr. Schneiderman has accepted nearly $300,000 in campaign donations from environmentalist donors, including members of the Soros family. He has also used the investigation as a way to curry favor with anti-Exxon billionaire Tom Steyer for a potential gubernatorial run, according to the New York Post.

Perhaps Mr. Schneiderman is afraid of what the House committee might confirm in the course of its investigation. Is he using his public office to advance the priorities of interest groups that support his personal political ambitions?

The American people deserve to know how Mr. Schneiderman’s and Ms. Healey’s actions affect the nation’s scientific community. By refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas, they have shown they have something to hide.

To borrow their premise, this obstruction is a coverup—and they must be held accountable for their hypocrisy. On Feb. 16, the House committee reissued the subpoenas, as is customary at the beginning of a new Congress. Although the attorneys general have not yet made any effort to cooperate, I remain hopeful that they will act in accordance with their public statements about transparency and accountability and will comply with the committee’s investigation.

SOURCE




Japan, India and China still turning to more coal throughout the 2020s which means more CO2 and air pollution

Coal is undergoing a renaissance in emerging and developed countries in Asia, buoyed by technical breakthroughs and looming questions about squaring development with energy security. Japan, India and China will try to blunt the air pollution effects from the use of coal which cause millions of premature deaths in India and China and tens of thousands in Japan. However the "low emissions" coal technology is still 30% worse than natural gas for CO2 emissions even though "low emissions" is improved over several decades old coal plants.

BTW- the economic and technological forces in the USA are causing an increase in natural gas power generation in the USA. Any political rhetoric or shutting down of the EPA may slow the decline of the US coal industry but coal power in the US will still decline. US coal mines will then ship more coal to Asia. For the full year of 2016 in the USA, coal made up 30.4% of total US power generation, which is the lowest annual total since EIA records started for the calculation in 1950. For comparison, coal made up 33.2% of US generation in 2015 and 49% of US generation in 2006. Gas plants produced 33.9% of US power in 2016, which was the highest total yet for the fuel, after contributing 32.7% of US power generation in 2015 and 20.1% in 2006.

US electricity generation was 4300 TWh in 2016. This is 40% less than China 5920TWh. India is at about 1400 TWh and Japan at 1000 TWh.

For Japan, coal has emerged as the best alternative to replacing its 54 nuclear reactors, which are deeply unpopular with the population and seen as symbols of devastation after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster six years ago. Mindful of the public mood, the government of Shinzo Abe has completely given up on the country’s dream of nuclear self-sufficiency, and pulled the plug in December on the $8.5 billion experimental reactor project at Monju. On February 1, the government pledged to decommission all reactors and replace them with 45 new coal-fired power plants equipped with the latest clean coal technology.

Japan is turning to coal power due to attempts to transition the country away from nuclear power. Officials promised to replace nuclear power with wind or solar, but this caused the price of electricity to rise by 20 percent. Japan’s government currently aims to restart at least 32 of the 54 reactors it shut down following the Fukushima disaster, and wants nuclear power to account for 20 percent of the nation’s total electricity generated by 2030.

Japan will use high energy, low emissions (HELE) technology that use high-quality black coal.

Japan plans to build ultra-super-critical plants in the 650 MW range. 45 new coal-fired power-generation units with total capacity of as much as 20,884 MW, would come online in the next decade or so. Japan had a total 90 coal-fired units at the end of March 2015, with total capacity of 40,695 MW. Coal power already made up 31 percent of Japan’s energy mix in 2015 but under the current plan, the fossil fuel will become the country’s primary power source by 2019.

Japan is the largest overseas market for Australian coal producers, taking more than a third of all exports.

In the wake of the Tsunami which caused the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011, Japan started importing more liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Australia. The move to more coal fired power was because coal was cheaper than LNG, and the energy security was priority for the government.

India’s current energy plan calls for reducing India’s carbon emissions by replacing aging thermal power plants with energy-efficient “supercritical” ones that will (much like their Japanese counterparts) maximize the energy produced from coal burned, while also curtailing CO2 emissions. This supercritical technology has already had tangible effects on the nation’s plan to cut pollution levels as the 51 units currently installed have saved 6 million tons of CO2 — the equivalent of taking 1,267,000 cars off the road for one year. A few Indian companies and entrepreneurs have been even more ambitious, pioneering local carbon-capture solutions that could keep even more emissions out of the air.

India needs to grow power but is has paused in building new coal plants because of a massively inefficient economic and planning system.

India has power plants with capacity to generate 300 GW. These are operating at 64% capacity because of inability of state distribution utilities to purchase electricity and sluggish economic growth. About a tenth of the total capacity is stranded due to lack of power purchase agreements while another 50 GW is under various stages of construction.

One third of the Indian population has no power.

If India grows at 7 to 9% GDP each year then they will need 3.5-5% more energy each year. If solar power can scale 10 to 30 times beyond what we see today and at costs of about half what we see today then maybe India will not build so much coal power to meet their development needs. If it comes to choice between development or using coal, clearly India will choose to use coal.

China power

China recently announced the cancellation of over 100 coal plant projects. However, China still added 48GW of coal power plants in 2016 and will likely add a total of 150GW by 2020.

The cancellations were partially due to concerns about air pollution, but also mainly about China's planners finally admitting that they would not be able to increase GDP growth to justify the new coal power.

China's annual construction level is higher than Japan's 15 year energy plan. China used just short of 6000 TWh of power in 2016. China had 5920 TWh of power generation in 2016.

SOURCE





Australia:  Closure of big brown-coal generator raises threats of East coast blackouts and manufacturers moving overseas

The head of the Food and Grocery Council says manufacturers will quit Australia if affordable, reliable energy cannot be guaranteed, as concern grows about the cost of power and the stability of the electricity grid with Victoria's Hazelwood power station due to close in a fortnight.

The ageing brown-coal-fired generator in the Latrobe Valley will begin the staged shutdown of its eight units from March 27. The final boiler will go cool on April 2.

With it will go 22 per cent of Victoria's power supply and just over 5 per cent of the energy on a grid that runs from Port Douglas in far north Queensland to Port Lincoln on South Australia's Eyre Peninsula.

The wholesale price of power spiked across the National Electricity Market in November on news that Hazelwood would shut.

Retail prices will follow the rise.

Food and Grocery Council chair Terry O'Brien said his industry had been caught in a pincer movement, unable to pass on power price hikes because of discounting by the two major supermarkets chains.

As many local manufacturers were arms of international companies, pressure was mounting for some to quit the country.

"The decision to stay or go gets more and more marginal as the days go on," Mr O'Brien said.  "And there's not a heck of a lot of sentiment in these internationally managed companies. They go where it makes sense. And if it's not going to make sense here, they leave."

The closure of Hazelwood raises an even larger threat: blackouts.  "To stop production through a lack of energy is just a disaster," Mr O'Brien said.

The threat of east coast blackouts is now real because of the disorganised disconnection of coal-fired generation without any new investment in base-load power.

Hazelwood will be the ninth power plant to close in five years, removing a combined 5,400 megawatt of generation from the grid. The Australian Energy Market Operator is now predicting electricity reserve shortfalls in Victoria and South Australia from December.

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017



A Greenie moron



Like during the Little Ice Age when famine, pestilence and disease spread across Europe?





James Inhofe: EPA Brainwashes Children With Propaganda

Sen. James Inhofe piled on the EPA as it faces a 31 percent cut in President Donald Trump's first budget, charging on Thursday that the agency was "brainwashing" children with "propaganda."

The Republican Oklahoma senator, and supporter of current Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt, made the comments to anchor Poppy Harlow during an appearance on CNN's "New Day."

"We are going to take all this stuff that comes out of the EPA that is brainwashing our kids, that is propaganda, things that aren't true, allegations," Inhofe said, though at the time he did not point to any specific examples.

Inhofe, a frequent climate change skeptic, made similar comments to conservative talk show host Eric Metaxas after the senator said that one of his grandchildren asked why he was a climate change denier, according to Newsweek.

"You know, our kids are being brainwashed? I never forget because I was the first one back in 2002 to tell the truth about the global warming stuff and all of that," Inhofe said.

"And my own granddaughter came home one day and said, … 'Popi, why is it you don't understand global warming?' I did some checking, and Eric, the stuff that they teach our kids nowadays, you have to un-brainwash them when they get out."

SOURCE




Climate Models Fail So Often Because Climate Science Is So Incomplete

Jeff Jacoby

“Do you believe,” CNBC’s Joe Kernen asked Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency’s new director, in an interview last Thursday, “that it’s been proven that CO2 is the primary control knob for climate?”

Replied Pruitt: “No. I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do, and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact. So no — I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see. But we don’t know that yet. We need to continue the debate and continue the review and the analysis.”

It was an accurate and judicious answer, so naturally it sent climate alarmists into paroxysms of condemnation. The Washington Post slammed Pruitt as a “denier” driven by “unreason.” Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii called Pruitt’s views “extreme” and “irresponsible” — proof of his unfitness to head the EPA. Gina McCarthy, who ran the agency under President Obama, bewailed the danger global warming poses to “all of us who call Earth home,” and said she couldn’t “imagine what additional information [Pruitt] might want from scientists” in order to understand that.

Yet for all the hyperventilating, Pruitt’s answer to the question he was asked — whether carbon dioxide is the climate’s “primary control knob” — was entirely sound. “We don’t know that yet,” he said. We don’t. CO2 is certainly a heat-trapping greenhouse gas, but hardly the primary one: Water vapor accounts for about 95 percent of greenhouse gases. By contrast, carbon dioxide is only a trace component in the atmosphere: about 400 ppm (parts per million), or 0.04 percent. Moreover, its warming impact decreases sharply after the first 20 or 30 ppm. Adding more CO2 molecules to the atmosphere is like painting over a red wall with white paint — the first coat does most of the work of concealing the red. A second coat of paint has much less of an effect, while adding a third or fourth coat has almost no impact at all.

There is a popular theory that atmospheric CO2 amplifies the creation of water vapor, thereby increasing warming through a “positive feedback loop.” But that theory so far is mostly speculative; climate projections using models based on it have consistently failed, nearly always predicting far more warming than has occurred. It should go without saying that if scientists cannot yet make accurate predictions about future climate change, then their understanding of climate science remains highly incomplete.

Earth’s climate system is unfathomably complex. It is affected by innumerable interacting variables, atmospheric CO2 levels being just one. The more variables there are in any system or train of events, the lower the probability of all of them coming to pass. Your odds of correctly guessing the outcome of a flipped coin are 1 in 2, but your odds of guessing correctly twice in a row are only 1 in 4 — i.e., ½ x ½. Extending your winning streak to a third guess is even less probable: just 1 in 8.

Apply that approach to climate change, and it becomes clear why the best response to the alarmists' frantic predictions is a healthy skepticism.

The list of variables that shape climate is very long. It includes cloud formation, topography, altitude, proximity to the equator, plate tectonics, sunspot cycles, volcanic activity, expansion or contraction of sea ice, conversion of land to agriculture, deforestation, reforestation, direction of winds, soil quality, El Niño and La Niña ocean cycles, prevalence of aerosols (airborne soot, dust, and salt) — and, of course, atmospheric greenhouse gases, both natural and man-made. A comprehensive list would run to hundreds, if not thousands, of elements, none of which scientists would claim to understand with absolute precision.

But for the sake of argument, say there are merely 15 variables involved in predicting global climate change, and assume that climatologists have mastered each one to a near-perfect accuracy of 95 percent. What are the odds that a climate model built on a system that simple would be reliable? Less than 50/50. (Multiplying .95 by itself 15 times yields 46.3 percent.) Is it any surprise that climate-change predictions in the real world — where the complexities are exponentially greater and the exactitude of knowledge much less — have such a poor track record?

Pruitt got it right: Measuring human impacts on climate is indeed “very challenging.” The science is far from settled. That is why calls to radically reduce carbon emissions are so irresponsible — and why dire warnings of what will happen if we don’t are little better than reckless fearmongering.

SOURCE




Puerto Rico Is Full Of ‘Open Dumps’ Ripe For Spreading Zika, And EPA is Ignoring Them

One is inexorably led to wonder if the Obama Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ignored for years an environmental nightmare mess in Puerto Rico – so as to make the case for even more government control

“The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ignored numerous reports that most of Puerto Rico’s landfills are out of compliance with federal law, and some could even become breeding grounds for mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus, according to a new report….(Puerto Rican attorney Hiram Torres) Montalvo’s hard-pressed to find a reason why the EPA, which is generally so eager to regulate every other aspect of life, has done nothing to enforce existing laws for Puerto Rico’s landfills.”

Is there evidence the Obama EPA’s incompetence was in fact willful?  But of course: “My organization, Puerto Rico Limpio, has uncovered a treasure trove of documents and official correspondence that confirm Obama’s EPA purposefully ignored the law even when their own experts called the crisis an ‘imminent threat to human health and the environment.’”

Now, thankfully, mercifully, the Obama era is over.  Enter the Donald Trump Administration and its EPA head – Scott Pruitt.  Whom the Left loathes: “‘Every American should be appalled that President-elect Trump just picked someone who has made a career of being a vocal defender for polluters to head our Environmental Protection Agency,’ Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen said in an emailed statement….’Scott Pruitt running the EPA is like the fox guarding the henhouse,’ League of Conservation Voters President Gene Karpinski said in a statement. ‘The League of Conservation Voters strongly opposes this nomination and urges senators to vote against Scott Pruitt’s confirmation.’”

Obama EPA officials – loathe Pruitt: “‘It is clear that [Pruitt] will launch an unprecedented attack on basic environmental protections that will result in more pollution and illnesses for the American people,’ said…Judith Enck…EPA Regional Administrator for New York and New Jersey from 2010 until last month….’He will do permanent damage to the work of the EPA.’”

Let’s hope “he will do permanent damage to the work of the EPA” – given the Obama EPA’s willful, wanton neglect of Puerto Rico (and its turning whole rivers day-glow orange, and its serial assaults on farmers and ranchers, and…).

Won’t it be ironic and highly amusing when Pruitt – the Left’s Arch-Nemesis – uses the Trump EPA to clean up the Obama EPA’s intentional Puerto Rico mess?  About which the Left for years said nothing – before exploding into unified chorus screeching in protest of Pruitt.

At his confirmation hearing, Pruitt pledged: “If confirmed, I expect to make cleanup of contaminated (Puerto Rican) land one of my priorities.”

Given the Trump Administration’s relentless adherence to keeping its word – we have much evidence to warrant confidence in Pruitt keeping his.

Pruitt absolutely should.  Because it’s the right thing to do.  Because it would countermand the Obama Administration’s attempt to use the EPA to undermine the private sector and expand government power – Obamacare-and-Fast-and-Furious-style.

And because it would be yet another slap to the face of Leftists everywhere. Win-win-win.

SOURCE




Trump must Dump Paris agreement

The International Clexit Coalition today joined the growing chorus urging President Trump to keep his election promises and dump every climate treaty “agreed” in Kyoto, Paris and the UN/IPCC.

The Secretary of Clexit (Climate Exit Coalition), Mr Viv Forbes of Australia, said that Clexit could call on over 190 well-qualified climate realists from 26 countries to provide scientific, business, legal and political support and advice.

Mr Forbes said it was obvious from the Brexit vote in Britain, the election of President Trump in USA, the rise of Marine la Pen in France and Geert Wilders in Holland and the election of Senator Malcolm Roberts in Australia that the general population no longer trusts the globalists controlling the UN, the EU, and the UN/IPCC.

“The whole war on carbon is merely a grab for power using a world tax on energy to fund global government. Voters of the world are waking up and unless their politicians trim their sails to the new sceptical gale they will be swept from office.”

Senator Malcolm Roberts from Queensland, a member of Clexit, said just last week: “We call for an AusExit – getting out of the Paris Agreement and the UN.”

Dr Tim Ball of Clexit Canada said: “Even if fully implemented, the Paris Climate Agreement won’t change atmospheric CO2 levels or stop global warming. However, it will devastate economies and hurt poor people the most.”

Mr Mark Duchamp of Clexit Spain is also opposed to the Paris Agreement: “The recurrent climate event "El Niño" has caused warmth in 2015 and 2016. However temperatures are now back to their usual natural fluctuations, no matter how much tampering with data is done by NOAA, NASA-GISS and politically correct "scientists."

Viv Forbes concludes “The Paris Agreement will destroy industries and jobs and make electricity more expensive and unreliable. One bad winter blackout will be enough to cure the EU heartland of climate alarmism and green energy. Soon the only Paris supporters will be third world and Pacific Island mendicants hoping for climate handouts (but getting energy handcuffs).”

“This stupidity will surely end, but energy costs will rise for every day’s delay.”

SOURCE




Australia: State Premier lies to cover up Greenie folly

His manic anti-coal hatred caused several major blackouts in South Australia

Business leaders have been left stunned after Jay Weatherill, during a debate a year out from the next state election, claimed that Alinta Energy had made no offer to keep the state’s last coal-fired power station open.

This is despite The Australian in August revealing correspondence between Alinta Energy and state Treasurer Tom Koutsan­tonis, obtained under Freedom of Information laws, in which the government rejected a transition plan to keep the Northern power station in Port Augusta open until 2018. The plant permanently shut in May, with immediate price ­surges of ­almost 75 per cent and a wind-reliant grid that has led to a spate of blackouts.

The government is continuing to deny access to 12 documents sought under FOI by the opposition, which are being reviewed by the ombudsman, and will not reveal how much financial assistance was sought by Alinta.

Yesterday, during a pre-election leaders’ debate hosted by Business SA and the Property Council, Mr Weatherill was asked by Opposition Leader Steven Marshall to “tell the 650 people here today” how much Alinta wanted to keep its baseload power station open to help with the transition to renewable power.

“It was put to you, it was put to cabinet, and it was rejected — tell us now whether it was much higher than the $550 million energy plan you’re now putting on the people of South Australia.”

As the audience applauded, the Premier shook his head. “They (Alinta) were never offering to do that, simple as that,” he said. Pressed by the debate moderator, the Premier insisted there was “absolutely” no offer on the table, but later said he would not reveal what Alinta had asked for.

FOI documents show Alinta took a firm transition plan seeking financial support to the government on May 6, 2015. A fortnight later, Mr Koutsantonis rejected the approach, advising chief executive Jeff Dimery that “the support requested would not be forthcoming”.

In a follow-up letter to Mr Dimery, the Treasurer said: “The government considered Alinta Energy’s revised proposal and is unable to accommodate the ­significantly increased funding request.”

Mr Dimery said in June 2015 that despite talks with the government to stay open, its policies to promote high levels of renewable energy generation had forced the power station’s closure.

Mr Weatherill this week recommitted SA to its 50 per cent renewable energy target, saying it had almost been achieved.

Opposition energy spokesman Dan van Holst Pellekaan last night said voters had the right to know what it would have cost to keep the Northern power station operating. He said it was understood the support requested by Alinta was less than 10 per cent of the $550m cost of the Weatherill government’s energy strategy.

“If there was no offer then why is a confidentiality gag in place and why is the government fighting 12 Freedom of Information applications?” he said.

The debate came a day after Mr Weatherill traded insults with federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg at an AGL announcement in Adelaide. Mr Frydenberg labelled the state’s new energy policy as the Premier’s “$550m admission of failure”.

Mr Weatherill on Tuesday said the state would “go it alone” and released a six-point energy plan.

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here

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Monday, March 20, 2017



Papal adviser Schellnhuber: 'Scientists have to take to the streets' to counter climate denial


The worm himself, looking weird as usual.  He's off his rocker.  He makes most Warmists look moderate.  Sadly, Schellnhuber is advisor to Angela Merkel as well.

Comment from Dick Lindzen:  "He makes Holdren sound almost rational.  Schellnhuber is the embodiment of green totalitarianism.  He knows nothing about climate, and he doesn’t care.  His job is to scare".

The interview below is with DW, which in a faroff day was known as "Die Deutsche Welle" (The Voice of Germany), German government media


DW: Where are we at with the world's carbon budget - how much have we spent and how much have we got left?

Hans Joachim Schellnhuber: If we want to hold the 1.5 degrees [Celsius; 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit]  line, which is the ambitious goal of the Paris agreement, we have maybe 300 billion tons left - more or less the budget of 10 years - if we do business as usual. If we want to hold the 2 degrees line, which is more realistic, we have another 20 to 30 years to go, but no more actually. So it's a very tight budget.

DW: And in order to meet this tight budget, what do you see as being the major things that need to happen between now and then?

HJS: It's quite mind-boggling - for example, by 2030, we have to phase out the combustion engine. And we have to completely phase out the use of coal for producing power. By 2040 we will probably have to replace concrete and steel for construction by wood, clay and stone.

DW: We now have an international climate agreement signed and ratified. Are we on track to meet our emissions reduction targets?

HJS: Germany actually has the more ambitious goal - here within the European Union - a 40 percent reduction by 2020. It looks fairly bleak actually, with the current policies in place we will not even meet our own target. Something fairly disruptive needs to happen, like closing down some of the operating coal-fired power stations.

The European Union is underambitious - it should have raised its ambition immediately after Paris, but that did not happen  So it's a very sluggish process.

Globally, there is some good news.

China has probably already peaked its emissions now, which is amazing. India has an extremely ambitious solar energy program - [and is] now investing a lot. So, the only black horse in the race is the US.

DW: US President Donald Trump has threatened to pull out of the Paris accord. How big an impact would this have on the international climate action we've achieved so far?

HJS: That's the one-billion-dollar-question. First of all, it's not clear whether Trump will pull the US out of the Paris Agreement. I don't think he will. Like other laggards and obstructers, in the past - like Saudi-Arabia - I think the US will just stay on-board and try to slow down all the processes.

What effect will it have? 10 years ago this would have been a complete disaster for climate policy. Now with China - the biggest emitter and also the biggest investor in renewables - and with the Asian economies now slowly changing, I think the world could achieve climate protection even without the US.

DW: Scott Pruitt, who now heads the US Environmental Protection Agency, recently denied carbon dioxide was a major contributor to global warming. His comments go against the 97 percent consensus of the world's scientists. Scientists generally tend to stay out of politics, but do you think given the current political climate there, scientists will become more politicized and outspoken?

HJS: I have the big privilege to work in the office where Albert Einstein worked. He's one of the greatest geniuses and physicists of all time. And he was a very political animal actually.

I think if the very system of the scientific method and the scientific research is in doubt, then scientists have to take to the streets in the end and have to demonstrate and say: "Hey we are doing a job for you!"

We scientists love to sit in our ivory towers, untainted by the dirt of the real world and so on, [but] we have to take to the streets, we have to speak up. We have to leave our ivory towers, and we have to communicate to everybody that we want to be part of the solution.

SOURCE




Ya gotta laugh.  Warmist site now worried about cold winters

Anything to attack Trump.  Below is the latest wisdom from Think Progress. These are the guys who want to make electricity prices skyrocket, in order to help the poor heat their homes. What a bunch of total scumbags! Also see here how OBAMA regulations could mean fatally cold winters for some of America's poor


Last winter, you helped six million American households?—?all of them poor and most of them home to a senior citizen, young child, or disabled adult?—?keep the heat on through the winter.
You didn’t do it on purpose. The government did it for you, through a program American lawmakers created in 1980 in hopes that no one in the world’s richest country would have to choose between buying groceries and avoiding hypothermia.

Since the dawn of the Reagan era, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has subsidized the utility bills of tens of millions of Americans through hoary northern winters and blistering southern summers.

That nearly four-decade legacy would end forever under President Donald Trump’s first budget proposal. The plan’s broader fiscal irresponsibility is clear?—?it hands wealthy people hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks while paring back or outright canceling scores of public services and investments in the nation’s future?—?but its true cruelty is easier to spot down in the details.

Trump’s budget deems LIHEAP “a lower-impact program…unable to demonstrate strong performance outcomes” and calls for its extinction. Yet the small chunks of cash LIHEAP doles out to eligible families change the way people live?—?and keep some alive who would otherwise have died.

“Look at what happened before LIHEAP. People used kerosene heaters. People left their stoves on. And people died,” said Mark Wolfe, head of the National Energy Assistance Director’s Association. “We created LIHEAP to stop that.”  I've used a kerosene heater myself.  I didn't die.  They're pretty effective in a bedroom -- JR

SOURCE




G20 leaders roll back commitment to free trade and climate change following US pressure

The G20 financial leaders dropped a decade-long pledge to reject protectionism on Saturday after opposition from the US, raising fears the Trump administration could upset the global economic order.

The annual meeting of 20 finance ministers closed on Saturday afternoon without a statement voicing the bloc's longstanding opposition to "all forms" of tariffs and rules favouring one economy over another, after it failed to find a suitable compromise with Donald Trump's administration.

After leaders failed to draft new measures that would satisfy the US, they opted for just a fleeting reference to strengthening trade in their statement.

The free trade change comes as a surprise and blow to many of the representatives at the summit including China, Japan and European countries that have supported the policy for many years. It is set to pave the way for increasing protectionism from the new US Government.

Steven Mnuchin, the US treasury secretary, dismissed the group's traditional economic playbook of opposing protectionism as "not really relevant" any longer, and said the US now prioritised "balanced trade" over low border tariffs.

As well as the free trade agreement falling apart, the deal to prevent climate change was also undermined. But the G20 leaders did agree to stabilise the foreign exchange and stop competitive currency devaluation.

In a major international clash, the new US administration also teamed up with Saudi Arabia to condemn the reference to climate change funding in the agreement.

After the two countries took umbrage with the environmental commitments, a reference to the Paris deal from 2015 was also watered down.

Donald Trump's administration is mulling a new border tax that could curb imports as a boost to US workers.

But as an offer of some reassurance, Mr Trump and Steven Mnuchin, the US trade secretary, said this week that they don't want to start a trade dispute and that the US is not pursuing isolationist goal.

There is less room for interpretation on climate change, which Trump has called a "hoax" and "waste of money".

SOURCE




To Protect Climate Money, Obama Stashed It Where It’s Hard to Find

Obama’s aides spread money across the government, eluding cuts
Most recent estimate puts tab at $77 billion from 2008-2013

President Donald Trump will find the job of reining in spending on climate initiatives made harder by an Obama-era policy of dispersing billions of dollars in programs across dozens of agencies -- in part so they couldn’t easily be cut.

There is no single list of those programs or their cost, because President Barack Obama sought to integrate climate programs into everything the federal government did. The goal was to get all agencies to take climate into account, and also make those programs hard to disentangle, according to former members of the administration. In some cases, the idea was to make climate programs hard for Republicans in Congress to even find.

"Much of the effort in the Obama administration was to mainstream climate change," said Jesse Keenan, who worked on climate issues with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and now teaches at Harvard University. He said all federal agencies were required to incorporate climate-change plans into their operations.

The Obama administration’s approach will be tested by Trump’s first budget request to Congress, an outline of which is due to be released Thursday. Trump has called climate change a hoax; last November he promised to save $100 billion over eight years by cutting all federal climate spending. His budget will offer an early indication of the seriousness of that pledge -- and whether his administration is able to identify programs that may have intentionally been called anything but climate-related.

The last time the Congressional Research Service estimated total federal spending on climate was in 2013. It concluded 18 agencies had climate-related activities, and calculated $77 billion in spending from fiscal 2008 through 2013 alone.

But that figure could well be too low. The Obama administration didn’t always include "climate" in program names, said Alice Hill, director for resilience policy on Obama’s National Security Council.

"Given the relationship that existed with Congress on the issue of climate change, you will not readily find many programs that are entitled ‘climate change,’" Hill, who is now a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, said in an interview. At the Department of Defense, for example, anything with the word climate would have been "a target in the budget process," she said.

The range of climate programs is vast, stretching across the entire government.

The Department of Agriculture created "climate hubs" to help farmers and ranchers cope with extreme weather. The Department of Health and Human Services began analyzing the effects of climate change on occupational safety. The Bureau of Reclamation started a program called "West-Wide Climate Risk Assessments," measuring changes to water supply and demand. The Bureau of Indian Affairs created the Tribal Climate Resilience Program. The Agency for International Development created a program to help "glacier-dependent mountain areas" deal with the risk of those glaciers melting.

In other cases, agencies expanded existing programs to account for global warming. In 2012, the Federal Highway Administration made climate-adaptation projects eligible for federal aid. Last year, the Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded $1 billion through its Community Development Block Grant program to projects protecting against climate change-related natural disasters.

Meanwhile, a handful of lesser-known offices saw their funding increase while Obama was in office. The budget for NASA’s Earth Science program increased 50 percent, to $1.8 billion. Funding for the U.S. Global Change Research Program, which is mandated by Congress to report every four years on the state of climate change, rose 45 percent to $2.6 billion. At the National Science Foundation, the geosciences program almost doubled to $1.3 billion.

Republican Demands

Republicans noticed, and tried to force the administration to offer a tally of climate funding. Last December, senior House Republicans sent a letter to Obama’s budget director, demanding that his office report how much federal money had gone toward climate programs in fiscal years 2015 and 2016.

Any cuts may face opposition in Congress, as Democrats and some Republicans support the spending, especially that to help communities withstand floods, hurricanes or droughts associated with climate change. Wednesday, a group of 17 Republicans announced their support for climate science -- and policy measures to address it.

"Budget cuts to programs -- or elimination of entire agencies -- designed to help stem the costs of climate change will only hurt ranchers, agriculture producers, and coastal communities already experiencing the impacts of this global challenge," Christy Goldfuss, managing director of the Council on Environmental Quality in Obama’s White House, said by email.

‘Gravy Train’

Some in Trump’s party now urge him to use his authority to find those programs, and take them apart.

"The Trump Administration needs to defund the entire apparatus of the climate change federal funding gravy train," said Marc Morano, a former Republican staffer for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. "In order to dismantle the climate establishment, agencies and programs throughout the federal government need to be targeted."

"The climate funding has spread to almost every aspect of the federal government with sometimes wacky results," said Morano, who doubts global warming and runs the website climatedepot.com. He cited one example of a Department of Transportation query about the link between climate change and fatal car crashes.

Others argue that the spread of climate programs throughout the federal government simply reflects the evolving nature of the risk.

"It is irresponsible not to examine the possibilities and understand our sensitivity to them," said Ed Link, a former director of research and development for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who led the forensic analysis of Hurricane Katrina’s effect on New Orleans. If federal agencies stop doing that work, he said by email, "shame on them."

SOURCE




The sun has set on Australians Greens' dreams - and they may not be renewable

By GRAHAM RICHARDSON (They've taken most of his insides out but Richo's brain still seems to be working as well as ever.  He was always a realist)

Twenty years ago, the Greens were forming governments in Europe and were on the rise. In Australia, they even entertained dreams of winning power, state or federally. In all the words written and said about the election in Western Australia barely a sentence has been about the Greens. The Greens' dream has well and truly faded. Their vote has hovered about 10 per cent for all of those two decades and they have been utterly useless when it comes to convincing Australians to support them. They continue to run up their flag and they continue to see only that loyal 10 per cent prepared to salute.

During those two decades Australians have moved further to the right and the Greens, our only genuinely left-wing political party, are stuck on 10 per cent with almost no hope of ever seeing their support increase. It is disappointing that the Greens, like Labor, never seem to try to convince voters that man-made climate change is a big problem. They seem to assume that a big majority here believes in climate change. That may have been the case a decade ago but now the sceptics and the non-believers are able to argue the lack of evidence to support the onset of climate change without any real effort to defeat their arguments.

The blind pursuit of ridiculous renewable energy targets is a Greens push adopted by Labor and now works against them both.

I felt almost sorry for Jay Weatherill this week when he announced the building of this useless, mega-expensive battery farm. Flim-flam won't replace solid policy. The Greens led the South Australian Premier down the road to ruin and he acquiesced too quickly. The lights have gone out on South Australians several times now and the state Liberals, as pathetic as they appear to be, will no doubt turn the lights out on the Weatherill government at the next election.

Meanwhile, as if to reaffirm their vote of no confidence in the electorate, the Greens go further and further to the left. The bleatings of Sarah Hanson-Young served only to alienate ordinary Australians. The Greens' spend-up-big policies on every form of government endeavour frightens the horses. Then this week their leader, Richard Di Natale, scaled new heights of madness suggesting a four-day week. While the rest of us try to find ways to make this country more productive, the good old Greens want to take us backwards.

No party of the left can do well in Australia in today's electoral climate so the Greens are guaranteed to remain fringe players in the game of winning real power. Sure, they will win the odd inner-city seat and each time this occurs they will tell us that this is the dawn of a new era. The false dawns have come and gone before but the Greens are destined to be cellar dwellers for a very long time.

The goals of the Greens in some cases are absolutely right but time is never adequately allocated to achieve them. Renewable energy makes sense and I congratulate Malcolm Turnbull for seeking to increase by 50 per cent the output of the Snowy River Hydroelectric Scheme. This is real forward thinking, a commodity in short supply in our nation. It won't be enough on its own to solve our energy crisis but it is a giant stride in the right direction.

Let us all hope that it may embolden the Prime Minister to push for the building of other dams around Australia. We don't build dams any more on a continent infamous for its lack of water. Usually the Greens can find an endan-gered toad or rat that needs to be protected and judge its needs as much more important than the aspirations of a country looking for a drink or for some irrigation.

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here

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Sunday, March 19, 2017



Natural factors shown as a big influence on Arctic warming

The Arctic is the only place where there seems to have been some warming in recent times. So Warmists are constantly cheering it. But is the warming there part of anthropogenic global warming?  Hard to see how when the globe overall is not warming.  So what IS causing Arctic warming? The authors below have traced a lot of it to natural factors.  The balance of the warming may be due to subsurface vulcanism.  There are some huge undersea volcanoes in the Arctic, particularly along the Gakkel ridge

Influence of high-latitude atmospheric circulation changes on summertime Arctic sea ice

Qinghua Ding et al.

Abstract

The Arctic has seen rapid sea-ice decline in the past three decades, whilst warming at about twice the global average rate. Yet the relationship between Arctic warming and sea-ice loss is not well understood. Here, we present evidence that trends in summertime atmospheric circulation may have contributed as much as 60% to the September sea-ice extent decline since 1979. A tendency towards a stronger anticyclonic circulation over Greenland and the Arctic Ocean with a barotropic structure in the troposphere increased the downwelling longwave radiation above the ice by warming and moistening the lower troposphere. Model experiments, with reanalysis data constraining atmospheric circulation, replicate the observed thermodynamic response and indicate that the near-surface changes are dominated by circulation changes rather than feedbacks from the changing sea-ice cover. Internal variability dominates the Arctic summer circulation trend and may be responsible for about 30–50% of the overall decline in September sea ice since 1979.

Nature Climate Change (2017) doi:10.1038/nclimate3241





Skeptics are cheering: White House says Climate funding is ‘a waste of your money’



The White House on Thursday defended a proposal to slash federal funding for climate change programs, calling it “a waste of your money.”

“I think the president was fairly straightforward on that: We’re not spending money on that anymore,” Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said at a White House briefing on Thursday.

“We consider that to be a waste of your money to go out and do that. We consider that a basic tie to his campaign.”

The Trump administration released a budget blueprint on Thursday that proposes a 31 percent cut the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), including a $100 million cut to climate change programs under its purview.

The budget proposal takes aim at climate change programming throughout the budget. It zeros out funding for State Department climate change programs, including American contributions to international climate change accounts, and the budget also reduces funding for advanced energy and renewable power research.

Environmentalists and greens have slammed the budget, saying lawmakers should not cut funding for climate change during a period of increasing global temperatures and the greenhouse gas emissions that cause that.

Congress will ultimately write the appropriations bills that fund the government. Members of both parties have raised concerns about the level of EPA spending cuts in President Trump’s proposal, though many in the GOP support reducing funding for the agency’s regulatory effort on climate change.

Trump — who doubts the scientific consensus on climate change — often said in his presidential campaign that he would roll back much of the climate work advanced by President Obama. Beyond its budget request, the White House is still working on an executive order to undo several key climate rules from the previous administration.

SOURCE




Warmer Winters REDUCE Mortality in Europe
 
Paper Reviewed: Ballester, J., Rodó, X., Robine, J.-M. and Herrmann, F.R. 2016. European seasonal mortality and influenza incidence due to winter temperature variability. Nature Climate Change 6: 927-931.

Seeking to add understanding to the impact of temperature on human mortality, Ballester et al. (2016) analyzed a host of climate variables against daily regional counts of mortality from 16 European countries (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom) over the period 1998-2005.

In discussing their findings, the four European researchers report that their analyses "highlight the strong association between year-to-year fluctuations in winter mean temperature and mortality, with higher seasonal cases during harsh winters." Exceptions, however, were noted for the United Kingdom, Belgium and the Netherlands, which lack of correlation was likely explained by socioeconomic factors (e.g., higher housing efficiency, better healthcare, reduced economic and fuel poverty, etc.).

Nevertheless, upon further analysis, Ballester et al. say that, despite the lack of mortality association in these three countries, "it can be concluded that warmer winters will contribute to the decrease in winter mortality everywhere in Europe." And that is great news for citizens of these countries with a combined population of over 400 million persons.

SOURCE





Financial Stability Board climate deceit

FSB, Climate Cabal expand power and wealth, by targeting financial and insurance industries

Paul Driessen

The $1.5-trillion Climate Crisis industry is not about to go quiet into that dark night, or to strut but an hour upon the stage, to then be heard no more. In these desperate times, it is unleashing even more sound and fury, and assaulting new targets, in a frantic effort to expand its heavily subsidized global empire.

The Donald Trump Administration and Scott Pruitt EPA continue to emphasize fossil fuels, job creation and economic growth, and deemphasize the Obama obsession with climate change. News headlines hail the shale revolution’s new world order, a huge oil discovery in Alaska and declining OPEC clout. As German industries head to foreign shores and 330,000 Deutsch households cannot afford electricity due to soaring prices, its Chancellery Minister announced to thundering applause that Germany would no longer pursue its unilateral climate, CO2-reduction, energy efficiency and renewable energy policies.

Britain and Australia are also second-guessing their wind, solar, biofuel and climate commitments. China, India and a hundred other emerging economies continue to build more coal-fueled power plants, expand vehicle fleets, and import more oil and gas, to modernize and improve living standards. The future of the Paris climate semi-treaty and Global Climate Fund wealth redistribution scheme are increasingly in doubt.

That’s why, as the July 2017 G20 economic summit in Hamburg, Germany draws near, the Climate Cabal is in overdrive. Alarmist scientists, politicians, activists, industrialists and financiers are ramping up their rhetoric about the massive, imminent climate crisis allegedly facing our planet, unless we slash our carbon dioxide emissions, by keeping centuries of oil, gas and coal reserves locked up in the ground.

That means companies that own those reserves, finance or insure fossil fuel projects, or hold investment interests in those reserves or projects will end up with trillions of dollars in “stranded assets” – energy that will be made permanently off limits, once the world has shifted to a totally “decarbonized” global economy. In fact, selling off holdings in fossil fuel enterprises will not be nearly enough. “The freed-up assets must be redirected to more sustainable businesses.”

At least that is the view of AXA Insurance climate and sustainability director Christian Thimann – who also serves as vice-chair of the international Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure. He intends to harness the FSB’s significant power and influence to advance his ideologies and investments – doing so in league with an unbelievable army of like-minded interests, all of whom have enormous political and financial stakes in the outcome of this global policy battle.

Among them are UBS Financial Services and the $5-trillion BlackRock global financial management firm, which now has an index fund for people and organizations that want to divest from companies that BlackRock, AXA and the Cabal have targeted with their anti-carbon campaigns. The tax-exempt anti-carbon pressure group Natural Resources Defense Council has put $70 million into the fund.

Former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg – having given millions to tax-exempt anti-fossil fuel agitator groups – is now chairman of the FSB’s Climate Financial Disclosure Task Force. Not surprisingly, it is allied with the state attorneys general who spearheaded the nasty campaign to silence and punish energy companies and think tanks that dared to question the “97% consensus” on manmade climate chaos.

Also onboard are state and city comptroller and treasurer offices (CA, CT, NY, PA, RI, VT), various state and city employee pension funds, the Ceres Investor Network on Climate Risk, and numerous radical environmentalist groups like the Rainforest Action Network, Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists and Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, notes E&E Legal senior fellow Chris Horner.

They will all “profit off environmental policies that they advocate with very close friends in government,” while “amassing wealth in large part through government contracts,” Horner observes – adding that his organization will “work aggressively to reveal the unethical actions” of every party involved.

The unethical behavior begins with claims about climate cataclysms that are not happening in the real world. Dangerous, unprecedented, runaway warming is not occurring. Seas are rising at seven inches a century, not 20 feet. Hurricanes and tornadoes, floods and droughts have not increased in frequency or intensity. There is no proof that manmade CO2 drives climate change or that it will be catastrophic.

Equally deceptive are claims that the technologies and business interests advocated by the FSB, Climate Cabal and their political comrades are in any way “sustainable.” As any rational analysis demonstrates, the metals and other raw materials required, human rights affected, cropland, habitat, wildlife and human health impacts involved, and massive taxpayer and consumer subsidies needed for wind and solar power, ethanol, biodiesel, wood pellets, anaerobic digesters and other “renewable” energy schemes make one thing absolutely clear: the entire sustainability concept is politicized, agenda-driven and unsustainable.

All these inconvenient truths notwithstanding, the FSB has announced that it is going to establish protocols that will supposedly improve the financial sector’s ability to “incorporate climate-related issues in financial reporting” and “enable stakeholders to understand concentrations of carbon-related assets in the financial sector and the financial system’s exposures to climate-related risks.”

Translated into plain English, this means the FSB will help pressure groups with a political/financial stake in the outcome to identify, target, stigmatize, harass and intimidate any entities that they deem are too involved in fossil fuels or insufficiently invested in renewable energy and sustainable businesses. It plans to work with the above-identified activists to secure “voluntary disclosures” and other compliance.

In practice, this means relying less on the federal government and more on friendly international, state and local governing bodies, agitator groups, organizations like the Climate Accountability Scorecard, and the so-called “Equator Principles” that financial institutions “should follow” in energy investing. Their primary targets for these “name and shame” campaigns will likely include the World Bank, private banks, insurance providers, institutional investors and their advisors, pension funds and universities.

The California Insurance Commission has helpfully launched a Climate Risk Carbon Initiative, a searchable database that will make it easy for attack groups to develop target hit lists. A primary tactic will be accusing targets of having inadequate “plans on climate change preparedness and sustainability,” to justify efforts to damage stock portfolio values and demand defunding or divestment.

Meanwhile, major financial and debt issues are growing for numerous nations, states and cities. The FSB and Climate Cabal want us to ignore them, focus on climate change – and have the G20 do likewise.

Even though it is already overly complex, the current financial reporting system works. It deals with real, measurable, familiar risks, and helps countries address and overcome those risks. Politicizing the system, and forcing it to refocus on conjectural, exaggerated and fabricated climate and sustainability risks would upend the entire international energy, insurance and financial system. It would bring disastrous results for jobs and families – but no climate, environmental or sustainability benefits. And it would do absolutely nothing about the unreliable energy, health risks, environmental impacts, child labor and other problems embedded in the renewable and sustainable schemes the Cabal promotes so passionately, and deceitfully.

But the rewards of this FSB/Climate Cabal deceit are enormous – incomprehensible to normal people. Says Thimann: “Over the next 15 years, an estimated $93 trillion will be needed for investments in low-carbon infrastructure.” That’s five times the size of the entire 2015 US economy!

Perhaps worst of all, these FSB and other government officials, unelected bureaucrats, industrialists, and tax-exempt pressure groups are colluding to enrich and empower themselves … and fundamentally transform the global economy – to our detriment, and especially the detriment of the world’s poorest families – using our taxpayer, consumer, and investment, retirement, insurance and pension fund money!

Congress, the Trump Administration and responsible state officials need to investigate, terminate and punish this deception, self-dealing, extortion, and incalculable harm to businesses, workers and families that rely on reliable, affordable carbon-based energy (and will for decades to come).

Via email




The only way to save coral reefs: A war on global warming (?)

This utter BS first came out in Australian newspapers and I commented on it then. I found the article below in the Boston Globe, however, so the nonsense has spread. In the circumstances, I think I should repeat and amplify my earlier comments.

Cape Grim tells us that CO2 levels have been plateaued on 401ppm since last July (Southern midwinter)  So anything that has happened in the Southern summer just ended is NOT due to a rise in CO2.

And NASA/GISS tell us that the December global temperature anomaly is back to .79 -- exactly where it was in 2014 before the recent El Nino event that covered the second half of 2015 and most of 2016.  So there has been no global warming in the recent Southern summer and there was no CO2 rise to cause anything anywhere anyway.

The claim that this summer's bleaching was an effect of global warming is a complete crock for both reasons. The data could not be clearer on that. The seas around Northeast Australia may or may not be unusually warm at the moment but if they are it is some local effect of air and ocean currents etc. The warming in NOT a part of global warming



Reducing pollution and curbing overfishing won't prevent the severe bleaching that is killing coral at catastrophic rates, according to a study of Australia's Great Barrier Reef. In the end, researchers say, the only way to save the world's coral from heat-induced bleaching is with a war on global warming.

Scientists are quick to note that local protection of reefs can help damaged coral recover from the stress of rising ocean temperatures. But the new research shows that such efforts are ultimately futile when it comes to stopping bleaching in the first place.

"We don't have any tools to climate-proof corals," said Terry Hughes, director of the ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in Australia and lead author of the study being published on Thursday in the journal Nature. "That's a bit sobering. We can't stop bleaching locally. We actually have to do something about climate change."

Across the world, scores of brilliantly colored coral reefs once teeming with life have in recent years become desolate, white graveyards. Their deaths due to coral bleaching have grown more frequent as ocean temperatures rise, mainly due to increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The hot water stresses corals, forcing them to expel the colorful algae living inside them, which leaves the corals vulnerable to disease and death. Given enough time, bleached coral can recover if the water cools, but if the temperature stays too high for too long, the coral will die.

Preserving coral reefs is crucial, given we depend on them for everything from food to medical research to protection from damaging coastal storms. Scientists and policymakers have thus been scrambling to find ways to prevent bleaching. Last year, for example, Hawaiian officials proposed several measures they hoped would fight bleaching on the state's reefs, such as limiting fishing, establishing new marine protected areas, and controlling polluted runoff from land. The question was whether such efforts could provide the corals any resistance to bleaching, or just help them recover.

The researchers conducted aerial and underwater surveys of the Great Barrier Reef, which has experienced three major bleaching events, the worst of which occurred last year. The scientists found that the severity of bleaching was tightly linked to how warm the water was. In the north, which experienced the hottest temperatures, hundreds of individual reefs suffered severe bleaching in 2016, regardless of whether the water quality was good or bad, or whether fishing had been banned. That means even the most pristine parts of the reef are just as prone to heat stress as those that are less protected.

Prior exposure to bleaching also did not appear to provide any protective benefit to the coral. The scientists found that the reefs that were highly bleached during the first two events, in 1998 and 2002, did not experience less severe bleaching last year.

Ultimately, the study concluded, saving reefs from the ravages of bleaching requires urgent action to reduce global warming.

"I think it's a wake-up call," Hughes said. "We've been hoping that local interventions with water quality and fishing would improve the resistance of the corals to bleaching. We found no evidence that that's actually true, at least during a very severe event."

The study shows that older ways of thinking about reef management, such as reducing river runoff, are now moot points when it comes to preventing bleaching, said Kim Cobb, a climate scientist and coral researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

"It all seems so quaint now, really," said Cobb, who wasn't part of the study. "A future that we thought was decades coming is basically here."

The research also illustrated the gravity of the situation facing the 1,400-mile Great Barrier Reef. The team found 91 percent of the reef has been bleached at least once during the three bleaching events. Even more alarming, Hughes said, is that a fourth bleaching event is already underway. Corals need years to recover from bleaching, so back-to-back events increase the possibility that the bleached coral will die.

The study shows that very intense coral bleaching events are no longer isolated and are happening more regularly, said coral reef scientist Julia Baum of Canada's University of Victoria. That assertion has been further bolstered by the Great Barrier Reef's latest bleaching event, which began a few weeks ago and which Baum says has stunned scientists.

"None of us were expecting the water to be heating up again right now," Baum said. "I think it's beyond what any of us could have imagined. It's our worst nightmare."

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here

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