Wednesday, March 14, 2018

NOAA Caught Adjusting Big Freeze out of Existence

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has yet again been caught exaggerating  ‘global warming’ by fiddling with the raw temperature data.

This time, that data concerns the recent record-breaking cold across the northeastern U.S. which NOAA is trying to erase from history.

If you believe NOAA’s charts, there was nothing particularly unusual about this winter’s cold weather which caused sharks to freeze in the ocean and iguanas to drop out of trees.

Here is NOAA’s January 2018 chart for Northeast U.S. – an area which includes New England along with NY, PA, NJ, DE and MD.

You’d never guess from it that those regions had just experienced record-breaking cold, would you?

That’s because, as Paul Homewood has discovered, NOAA has been cooking the books. Yet again – presumably for reasons more to do with ideology than meteorology – NOAA has adjusted past temperatures to look colder than they were and recent temperatures to look warmer than they were.

We’re not talking fractions of a degree, here. The adjustments amount to a whopping 3.1 degrees F. This takes us well beyond the regions of error margins or innocent mistakes and deep into the realm of fiction and political propaganda.

Homewood first smelt a rat when he examined the New York data sets.

He was particularly puzzled at NOAA’s treatment of the especially cold winter that ravaged New York in 2013/14, which he describes here:

The cold weather really began on Jan 2nd, when an Arctic front descended across much of the country, and extended well into March.

The NWS wrote at the end of the winter:

The winter of 2013-14 finished as one of the coldest winters in recent memory for New York State.  Snowfall across Western and North Central New York was above normal for many areas, and in some locations well above normal. This winter comes on the heels of two previous mild winters, making the cold and snow this winter feel that much harsher.

Temperatures this winter finished below normal every month, and the January through March timeframe finished at least 4 degrees below normal for the two primary climate stations of Western New York (Buffalo and Rochester)…..

Relentless cold continued through the month of January across the region.

So why, he wondered, did NOAA have this marked down as only the 30th coldest winter (since 1895) on its New York State charts, with a mean temperature of 16.9F?

Homewood compared the local records for January 1943 and January 2014 – months which, according to NOAA’s charts, had very similar average temperatures.

What he found was that NOAA’s charts were deeply inaccurate. The 2014 local temperatures had been adjusted upwards by NOAA and the 1943 local temperatures downwards.

He concludes:

On average the mean temperatures in Jan 2014 were 2.7F less than in 1943. Yet, according to NOAA, the difference was only 0.9F.

Somehow, NOAA has adjusted past temperatures down, relatively, by 1.8F.

Now, Homewood has given the same treatment to the most recent Big Freeze – the winter of 2017/2018.

Yet again, he has found that NOAA’s arbitrary adjustments tell a lie. They claim that January 2018 was warmer in the New York region than January 1943, when the raw data from local stations tells us this just isn’t true.

So at the three sites of Ithaca, Auburn and Geneva, we find that January 2018 was colder than January 1943 by 1.0, 1.7 and 1.3F respectively.

Yet NOAA say that the division was 2.1F warmer last month. NOAA’s figure makes last month at least 3.1F warmer in comparison with 1943 than the actual station data warrants.

He concludes:

Clearly NOAA’s highly homogenised and adjusted version of the Central Lakes temperature record bears no resemblance at all the the actual station data.

And if this one division is so badly in error, what confidence can there be that the rest of the US is any better?

Well indeed. The key point here is that while NOAA frequently makes these adjustments to the raw data, it has never offered a convincing explanation as to why they are necessary. Nor yet, how exactly their adjusted data provides a more accurate version of the truth than the original data.

One excuse NOAA’s apologists make is that weather stations are subject to changing environmental conditions. For example, when the station sited at Syracuse in 1929 was located at what was originally just a sparse aerodrome. Since then, however, as Homewood notes, it has grown into a large international airport with two runways servicing two million passengers a year. Its weather station readings therefore will certainly have been corrupted by the Urban Heat Island effect: that is, its temperature readings will have been artificially elevated by the warmth from the surrounding development and aircraft engines.

So you’d think, wouldn’t you, that to compensate for this NOAA would adjust the recent temperatures downwards. Instead, for no obvious reasons, it has adjusted them upwards.

This is a scandal. NOAA’s climate gatekeepers are political activists not honest scientists and the U.S. taxpayer has no business funding their propaganda.


Alarmist Climate Researchers Abandon Scientific Method

So-called “consensus” climate science reaches new lows nearly every day, with many researchers now better resembling dogmatic, fire-and-brimstone preachers — the kind of people who burnt heretics at the stake during the Middle Ages and suppressed scientific discovery — than scientists engaged in the pursuit of knowledge.

I don’t begrudge scientists who either believe their own research shows, or who believe the dominant number of peer-reviewed papers indicate, humans are causing climate change and the changes will be dangerous. But I do disagree with many of the assumptions made by proponents of the theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). Data and evidence show most of their projections concerning temperatures, ice, hurricanes, species extinction, etc. have failed. As a result, I don’t think their projections of the future climate conditions are trustworthy, especially not to make the kind of fundamental, wrenching, costly changes to our economy and systems of government that have been proposed as necessary for fighting climate change. I don’t think climate scientists can foretell the future any better than the average palm reader.

Making matters worse, AGW proponents discount, or ignore entirely, powerful studies that seem to undermine many of their assumptions and refute most of their conclusions.

Admittedly, I start with a position of skepticism, and indeed suspicion, when climate alarmist scientists release a new study purporting to reinforce or provide further evidence AGW is true. This isn’t because I don’t want to hear what those who disagree with my assessment have to say. Rather, it’s based on my understanding of the lengths to which AGW true believers have manipulated temperature data and tried to shoehorn or force the data to support AGW theory to match their dire projections.

It’s reasonable, and even expected, for educated people to disagree with one another on this issue in the way described above. I think this back-and-forth exchange is common historically, and often occurs when science is operating as it should.

Where many AGW believers abandon the scientific method is when they revert to various logical fallacies to manipulate the average person’s emotions in order to gain support for AGW and its associated anti-fossil-fuel political program. AGW advocates commit the fallacy of ad hominem when they call researchers who disagree with their assessment of the strength of the case for AGW “deniers” — an obvious attempt to link them in the public’s mind with despicable Holocaust deniers. That is not science, it’s rhetoric. I know of no one who denies the fact that climate changes, but there are legitimate disagreements concerning the extent of humanity’s role in present climate change and whether it will be disastrous. Scientists who refuse to admit that highly regarded scientists disagree with AGW are the ones who should be labeled “deniers,” and thus suffer the opprobrium rightfully attached to that label.

AGW proponents also commit the fallacy of appeal to numbers, when they say the case for dangerous human-caused climate change is settled because some high percentage of a subset of scholars agrees humans are causing dangerous climate change. Consensus is a political, not a scientific, term. The world once thought Earth was flat. Galileo said he disagreed and that he believed it was round (and he suffered for saying so). And you know what? He was right and the consensus of the time was wrong. At one time, the people, including the intellectual elite, believed Earth was the center of the universe and the Sun revolved around it. Copernicus said just the opposite. He was right, and everyone else was wrong.

Knowledge acquisition succeeds not through bowing to some so-called “consensus” in thought and opinion, but through questioning previously received wisdom and continuously testing scientific theories against data. “Because the vast majority of us said so” is not a legitimate scientific response to research raising questions about all or some part of AGW.

AGW researchers commit the fallacy of appeal to motive when they say a particular study or the work of a particular scientist or group of scientists should not be taken seriously because of who funded them. Truthfully, this fallacy is committed by both sides, since climate skeptics often question AGW research of being biased based on the fact it was funded by government, which history shows has a bias toward finding reasons to enact additional government controls.

Research should be judged based on the validity of its assumptions, whether its premises are true, and whether its conclusions follow from this premises, not on who funded the research. Data, evidence, and logic are the hallmarks of science, not motives.

Beyond data manipulation and their heinous logical fallacies, AGW advocates’ own e-mails show they have tried to suppress the publication of research skeptical of AGW. And they have routinely attempted to interfere with the career advancement of scholars who refuse to completely toe the AGW line. In numerous instances, AGW proponents have tried to get scholars fired for their deeply held beliefs.

AGW fanatics also try to suppress the teaching of a balanced, accurate understanding of the current state of climate science, with all it uncertainties, in the nation’s schools. This is the tool of the propagandist, not the scientific researcher seeking the truth.

All these reflections came to a head in recent years, as AGW true believers have fought in court to prevent the release of the data underpinning their own research, attempted to suppress free speech by accusing those with whom they disagree of committing libel, and even on occasion called for the prosecution and incarceration of climate skeptics for daring to question AGW orthodoxy. Some AGW proponents have openly admired various authoritarian regimes for their ability to “get things done” without the interference of democratic institutions. Real scientists know truths do not bloom under authoritarianism.

Most recently, more than 400 AGW scolds wrote an open letter to the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) urging the museum to remove Rebekah Mercer from its Board of Trustees. Ms. Mercer and/or her family’s foundation have donated generously to the museum over the years, and I suspect she has convinced her friends and business relations to give as well. (That’s typically how one gets a seat on a museum board.)

Ms. Mercer’s crime is not that she interfered with the AMNH’s policies or dictated exhibits. Nor is it that she unjustifiably interfered with the museum’s management or influenced its displays or purchases. Rather, AGW true believers say Mercer should be booted unceremoniously from the board after years of helping AMNH thrive because she “and her family were important backers of President Trump. She has a stake in Breitbart News, and the family foundation has contributed millions of dollars to climate-change-denying [there’s that ad hominem] politicians and organizations like the Heartland Institute, which says, ‘Global warming is not a crisis.’”

Or, simply put, Mercer has to go because she disputes the AGW dogma and supports politicians who agree with her assessment. Hypocritically, the authors of the letter stress calling on the board to remove Mercer is not a partisan issue, yet they specifically list her family’s support of Trump as one reason to remove her. It doesn’t get much more partisan than that!

Full disclosure: I’ve never met Ms. Mercer, though I did glimpse her across the room at a conference once. Frankly, I don’t know in what industry her family made its money, and I steadfastly refuse to research it, because I don’t want to be wrongfully accused of being a shill for any particular industry or company, a problem I already have to deal with regularly. Though I don’t know for sure, since fundraising is not within my purview, I will assume she or her family has given as much to the Heartland Institute, my employer, as the angry AGW letter claims. But so what?

Working with the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, the Heartland Institute is actively engaged in the scientific debate surrounding the causes and consequences of climate change, having published a number of volumes of peer-reviewed climate research and having hosted 12 international climate change conferences. We are also involved in an educational effort to get an accurate and balanced portrayal of the state of climate science in our nation’s schools. Thus, like her support of the AMNH, Ms. Mercer’s support for the Heartland Institute expands the dissemination and improves the understanding of science and knowledge. The Heartland Institute is part of the climate debate, but for the AGW crowd, there is no room for debate. No dissent will be tolerated.

Their letter says: “We are concerned that the vital role of science education institutions will be eroded by a loss of public trust if museums are associated with individuals and organizations [in this case, Ms. Mercer] known for rejecting climate science, opposing environmental regulation and clean energy initiatives, and blocking efforts to reduce pollutants and greenhouse gases.”

To my knowledge, Mercer does not reject climate science, and based on her support for a variety of high-quality organizations, she appears to have a more complete and honest view of what we can say about climate change than the letter’s signatories do. They assume all environmental regulations are worthwhile, even though many clearly are not and/or violate the Constitution and existing law because they impose huge costs for little or no benefit. One should expect anybody — other than a radical, partisan, environmentalist, of course — to reject such foolish regulations.

Concerning clean energy initiatives: They harm the poor by raising energy prices, and often impose greater environmental harms than the fossil fuels they are meant to replace.

Finally, while I don’t know if Mercer and her family have fought against rational efforts to restrict legitimate pollutants, carbon dioxide is, in fact, not a pollutant. It is a naturally occurring gas necessary to all life on Earth. Historically, when it has been more abundant, life has thrived. Fighting against restrictions on carbon dioxide is literally fighting for human well-being and environmental flourishing.

Fortunately, not all scientists have abandoned their fealty to the scientific method in favor of authoritarian climate dogma. More than 300 researchers, scientists, and scholars responded to the AGW letter with their own letter and documentation advising trustees of AMNH not to cave into AGW agitators and remove Mercer from the board. They argue “the agitators are not defending science from quackery — quite the contrary! They demand that the Museum support a party line, thinly disguised as science.” In addition, the signatories of the letter defending Mercer’s continued association with the museum also said the original letter “is itself anti-science and ideologically-driven.” This is a succinct and accurate assessment.

The truth is, if anyone is putting AMNH’s credibility at risk, it is the AGW true believers now demanding the museum drop Mercer from its board. Before their letter and the op-ed the New York Times published in support of Mercer’s removal, few people, if any, who visited the museum or admired its work could have named a single member of the museum’s Board of Trustees. Indeed, despite the media hype, most people who go to the museum still can’t name its board members; the kerfuffle is beneath the notice of the average museumgoer, who attends simply to be amazed and learn and doesn’t care a whit about the politics of its trustees.

However, the controversy surrounding the letter and the public protests that accompanied it, raised the issue’s profile significantly, meaning those who share the anti-science view of the letter’s authors, now knowing Mercer is associated with AMNH, may have lost trust in the museum — even if they never had reason to question the messages of its displays and exhibits before. And if the museum caves in to the anti-Mercer crowd, it will spark mistrust from those who recognize, in demanding Mercer’s ouster, the AGW crowd is further polarizing society, bringing partisanship into yet another area of life that should be beyond politics.

If Mercer is shown the door, who else among the board or the museum’s list of donors might be targeted for ostracism next because of his or her political beliefs?

The public loses when science and its institutions’ of learning are politicized. Thus, the anti-Mercer campaign is just one more instance of AGW true believers demeaning the very scientific method they claim to be defending. Shame on them, and shame on AMNH if it caves in to this pressure. Only by standing by Mercer and asking her to remain on the board can AMNH be seen as truly upholding its mission “to discover, interpret, and disseminate — through scientific research and education — knowledge about human cultures, the natural world, and the universe.”


"Sustainable Development"

It’s in every community in the nation. We hear it talked about in county commission meetings and state legislatures. It’s even used in advertising as a positive practice for food processing and auto sales. It’s used as the model for building materials, power sources and transportation policy. It’s sold as the bold visionary plan for the future. The nation is being transformed under the banner of “Sustainable Development.”

We are assured by elected officials that Sustainable Development is simply a tool or a guideline to help direct the carefully-planned growth of our cities and rural areas while protecting our natural resources for future generations. “We must guard against a chaotic, unregulated growth in our cities,” say its earnest proponents as they sell the concept through familiar, non-threatening words and beautiful pictures.

Citizens are assured by their community leaders that all such plans are just local, local, local, created with the participation of the whole community. Sustainable Development policy, they say, is just an environmental land conservation policy, a sensible development policy. Sustainable…what’s wrong with that?

As usual, the answers are hidden in the details. Are we hearing the truth? What are the consequences of the policy that has taken over every level of government? Are there hidden dangers most just can’t see? Or, as its proponents claim, is opposition to Sustainable Development really just a silly, overblown conspiracy theory found in a twenty-year-old meaningless document called Agenda 21?

The UN’s Brundtland Commission on Global Governance described Sustainable Development as “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future.” It’s just common sense to assure we don’t overuse our resources, say proponents. If everyone will do their part, we can achieve total sustainability.

A couple of years later, in 1992, at the UN’s Earth Summit, 50,000 delegates approved a plan describing in great detail how to meet those future needs. They issued a document called Agenda 21, which the UN labeled as a “comprehensive blueprint for the reorganization of human society.” The UN sold Agenda 21 as a “soft law” policy, meaning it was an idea that nations would need to take up and impose through their own mechanisms.

To that end, in 1993, newly elected President Bill Clinton created the President’s Council on Sustainable Development. Serving on the Council were the representative of nearly every federal agency, along with representatives of Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs) who had helped to write Agenda 21 on the international level. Also on the Council were representatives of major global corporations. Their task was to create the policies to turn the Agenda 21 goals into official government policy and provide the means to fund it.

The President’s Council released a report describing its Sustainable Development goals, saying, “Sustainable communities encourage people to work together to create healthy communities where natural resources and historic resources are preserved, jobs are available, sprawl is contained, neighborhoods are secure, education is lifelong, transportation and health care is accessible, and all citizens have opportunities to improve the quality of their lives.” 

It all sounds pretty neat. Nothing to fear here! It sounds like Utopia is truly ours for the taking. Again, what are the details? How do we put such ideas into action? What are the consequences? Is the environment better off? Are we better off? Well, let’s take each of these glowing ideas one at a time and just see where it all leads!

* “Sustainable communities encourage people to work together…” There certainly are members of our society who take the whole Sustainablist agenda to heart and love to get involved improving their community. They clean out riverbanks, collect trash along roadways, recycle, watch their thermostats, and ride their bikes whenever possible. Good for them. That’s their decision and they are free to make it.

But there are others who may have a different vision on how they want to live. Perhaps they don’t agree with the dire predictions that we must comply or face environmental Armageddon. How do they fit in the Agenda for the 21st Century?

They are dealt with. Children in the public schools are pummeled with the political correctness of being proper environmental stewards, as detailed in Agenda 21. Guilt plays a huge part in that indoctrination. It’s necessary that everyone think alike without questioning policy so future generations will be prepared to “work” together in their communities. In addition, in many schools now, the children are required to fulfill a certain number of hours of community service in order to qualify for their diploma. In a Sustainable world, proper attitude is more important than academic scholarship. Today’s curriculum to ensure proper citizenship is called Common Core. It is the curriculum of Agenda 21 and is intended to be “life-long, ” and the key focus is Sustainability.

Cooperation from adult citizens is just as structured. In the recent past, public meetings to discuss new policy were based on the guidelines called “Roberts Rules of Order” through which everyone got a fair chance to have their say and then a vote was taken. Today, in the Sustainable world, we have “facilitators” trained in psychology to assure they lead a gathering in exactly the direction needed for the predetermined and desired outcome of the community planners. If the facilitator is really good at his job, everyone in the meeting will believe the outcome was their idea. And those in charge hail the meeting as a huge success in which all in the community “worked together” to put these plans in place.

*…to create healthy communities…” This can mean many things. Healthy? We see the growing power of the food police today who have declared many things in our diet unhealthy. We see the Mayor of New York declaring large sodas unhealthy and banning their sale. We see fast food establishments picketed for selling fries made with grease or hamburgers that are cruel to animal rights. There are mandatory vaccinations, without which children can’t be enrolled in schools and parents are charged with child abuse. New policies are beginning to arise that lean toward mandatory exercise and controls on diets. These are called Blue Zones.

Local governments enforce grand comprehensive plans designed to pack and stack people on top of each other in massive highrise buildings. Is that what they mean by healthy? History would show that forcing people into massive containers reduces quality of life, spreads disease and promotes violence. These aren’t healthy communities. The Russians called them Gulags.

*… Natural resources are preserved… The message is that over-consumption will bring shortages of natural resources, and so the sustainable plan is to erect endless forests of windmills. That is the natural way, we are told. Man will live on the surface of the Earth doing no harm. Of course, they never seem to mention that the huge wind turbines will take more energy to build than they will ever generate in their lifetime. In addition, to bring the power online so it can be used by society requires a massive infrastructure of wires, cement and roads. While one nuclear power plant located on ten acres can supply enough energy for a megacity, wind power would require thousands of acres of clearcut, cement wastelands. Then the power proves to be unstable and unreliable, causing the power grid to falter, forcing controls on home thermostats that fail to hear or cool the homes when needed. How is that healthy for our communities? Moreover, there is the not insignificant side effect of millions of birds that are chopped up in the turbines, including “endangered” raptors like eagles. And they call that environmentally sound?

And one more question comes to mind as we lock away resources for future generations. At what point would these locked away resources ever be allowed to be used by a society so afraid of itself? Won’t there always be a future generation that might need them? Meanwhile, science keeps discovering that the dire predictions of resource depletion are outrageously overblown. It has recently been discovered that the United States has the largest oil and gas supplies in the world. Hydraulic fracturing is a benign American technology that is ecologically sound and economically advantageous. But it has been deemed “unsustainable” by those enforcing Sustainable policy as they quickly oppose any source of cheap energy. Yet, fracking stretches our energy reserves several hundred years into the future. That would certainly give science ample time to come up with new workable technology.

“…historic resources are preserved…” Frankly I have no idea what a historic “resource” is. But I do know that Sustainablists prey on America’s love of history as an excuse to lock away any land where once a historic person may have taken a walk. And they use it to generate massive federal grants so planners can stop development, even in towns where nothing of historic significance ever occurred. It’s a growth industry in the world of sustainable lock-aways.

* “…jobs are available…” What will magically happen in a Sustainable Community to suddenly create jobs that aren’t there now? Government doesn’t create jobs. Creative, driven, free people create jobs to fill needs they have discovered. No government-controlled economy would ever have created a factory that makes designer clothes, dandruff shampoo, or little pieces of plastic that go on the ends of your shoe laces. Bureaucrats don’t think that way. They only think in terms of need, urgency – bare minimum. Luxury is never part of the government plan. The fact is, Sustainable Development is one of the biggest killers of jobs. Its rules and regulation make it near impossible for many companies to survive. The EPA, enforcing Sustainable policies, is killing power plants, mines, and farms. They’re destroying economies of whole states. So where will these glorious Sustainable jobs come from? Government jobs! Perhaps the highrise apartments in the mega cities will need lots of NSA type eavesdroppers for mandatory surveillance to assure people are following the rules for compulsory health policy!

* “…Sprawl is contained…” Evil sprawl (suburbia to normal folk) — those areas of community growth where people run to escape the mega cities. In nearly every case, those new homes in their shiny developments are a place where families first opened the front door with smiles on their faces because this was their home. They have backyards where the kids can play. They have a real sense of community. And those terrible strip malls that spring up around the new developments that supple goods and services for the new residents also create jobs and enhance the economy. Stack and pack cities are not livable if you actually believe in fresh air and a place for the kids to play. Cities are full of government regulations, high taxes, drugs, and disease. Do the Sustainablists focus on stopping murders by drug cartels and beatings by gangs of illegal aliens? You never seem to hear anything about that in their plans. All of these facts were actually exposed in a report by the American Planning Association on the effects of Smart Growth. The report revealed that it doesn’t work. But that hasn’t changed the APA’s policies because Smart Growth is full of government grants. And that’s the real game – Sustainable income for Non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

* “…Neighborhoods are secure…” How is this done? Massive police control? Cameras on every corner? Gun control? TSA in the subways and bus stations? NSA listening in on every conversation, and computer keystroke? Security over privacy and individual choice? Certainly, there is no Sustainable “freedom” in such a scheme.

* “…Transportation is accessible…” This one is easy. Public transportation. Trains for long distance, bikes for the quick run to the store. No cars. You will rarely leave your neighborhood. Imagine the hassle involved in taking the family on a trip to the beach using inconvenient train schedules? Of course, humans flocking to the beach are an unsustainable danger to the environment. Ban that too. Stay in the city.

*”…Healthcare accessible…” Well, we used to have accessible healthcare, then government got into the game. Perhaps you think it’s unfair to mention Obamacare in an article about Sustainable Development. Simply Google “Sustainable Medicine” and find more than 5,850,000 references on the subject, and you will find almost all the provisions of Obamacare.

*…all citizens have the opportunity to improve the quality of their lives…” Really? What part above leads to improvement of the quality of life? We used to call it tyranny – now we call it quality of life. As George Orwell said in his landmark book, 1984, it’s all called doublespeak. Look around you now as Sustainable policy is being forced on us. America’s economy is in shambles and not improving. Costs of everything, especially healthcare, food and energy are skyrocketing. These industries are the very first to be impacted by Sustainable Development. How will it improve under a policy of planned shortages and locked away resources? What or who are they counting on to pull us out? Answer: individuals who will continue to produce no matter how many shackles they lock them in. Eventually, even the most determined give up.

The Sustainablists use such innocent, attractive sounding descriptions of their plans for us. Then they deny they are even doing it, and anyone who calls them on it is labeled a fringe nut. But there is another way to say it, a much older description of Sustainable Development that explains the motivation behind the policy in a much more direct manner: “From each according to his ability. To each according to his need.” If you recognize that quote, then you fully understand the true nature of Sustainable Development.

Here are two more quotes that will drive reality into daylight of the true purpose of Sustainable Development.

First, does this sound like something your local planners may have said? “The chaotic growth of cities will be replaced by a dynamic system of urban settlement…The region is formed by the economic interdependence of its development, from the industrial complex to the industrial region. The region has a single system of transportation, a centralized administration, and a united system of education and research.” This was written in 1968 by Alexei Gutnov. He was a Soviet Russian architect writing in a book titled The Ideal Communist City.

And finally there is this very recent quote from New York City Mayor William DeBlasio from an interview in New York magazine. “What’s been hardest is the way our legal system is structured to favor private property. I think people all over this city, of every background, would like to have the city government be able to determine which building goes where, how high it will be, who gets to lie in it, what the rent shall be.”

These quotes represent the true origin and process of Sustainable Development and its goal to reorganize human society. In such a process, there is no room for the independence of free enterprise, private property ownership or individual choice. This is why we fight to stop it.   


Green Ideology’s Failed Experiment

The national grids of developed nations were masterpieces of design and function until eco-ideologues and professional warmists opened the powerhouse door to rent-seekers and wreckers. The result: blackouts, price-gouging and a modern world no longer quite so modern

At a February 2000 press conference, the first man to walk on the moon announced the National Academy of Engineering’s twenty most significant engineering achievements of the twentieth century. The aeroplane took third place; the automobile second; in first, the vast networks of electricity that power the developed world. None of the other nineteen would have been possible without electricity, Neil Armstrong declared. “If anything shines as an example of how engineering changed the world during the twentieth century,” he said, “it is certainly the power we use in our homes and businesses.”[1]

The twentieth century’s bequest of cheap, reliable electrical energy is now being undone. For the past decade or so, Australia and other industrialised countries have been conducting a vast experiment on their electrical grids. Tried, tested and refined technologies — predominantly based on coal-fired generation — are being replaced by weather-dependent wind and solar farms. Western societies are moving from industrial means of generating their electricity, with the precision, reliability and economies of scale that implies, to intermittent sources that, like agriculture, depend on the weather, with all that implies for cost and reliability.

The green energy revolution – counter-revolution would be more accurate – did not come about because wind and solar are superior generating technologies. If they were, they wouldn’t have needed the plethora of costly political interventions. These have turned the electricity market into an Aladdin’s cave for rent-seekers while destroying the market’s function to allocate capital sensibly and serve customers efficiently. Instead, the origins of the renewable experiment lie in a deeply ideological reaction against the Industrial Revolution, which, in one of the most important developments of our age, almost imperceptibly became the boilerplate of elite opinion.

Now the results of that experiment are in and they’re not looking good. Australians formerly enjoyed one of the world’s lowest-cost energy markets. Not anymore. In nine years, retail prices in the National Electricity Market (NEM) are up 80-90%. In just two years, business electricity costs doubled, even tripled, resulting in staff lay-offs, relocations and industry closures.[2] ‘The requirement is for efficient prices and affordability for “a healthy NEM,” the Energy Security Board states in its first annual report.[3]

green tyrannyWhat are Australians getting for these cost increases? Last year saw an unprecedented increase in the number of tight supply/demand notices.[4] The constraints now required for system security are estimated to be costing ‘tens of millions of dollars,’ according to the Energy Security Board.[5] Even this is likely to be a serious underestimate. Comparing average electricity prices with those during January’s two-day heat wave – a by no means abnormal occurrence – suggests total extra electricity cost of $400m in Victoria and South Australia.[6]

Regulatory economist Alan Moran has graphed the cost of the renewables counter-revolution.[7] It shows that after inflation, retail electricity prices steadily falling for 25 years from 1955 to 1980. Then, with some bumps up and down, prices flat-lined until around 2005, when the rapid growth of wind and solar sees the near doubling of electricity prices in a little over a decade, more than reversing the post-1955 decline.

You don’t have to be a Thomas Edison or a Nikola Tesla to see that putting large amounts of intermittent capacity into the grid while keeping the lights on will result in higher costs. Wind and solar suffer the obvious shortcoming that they respond to the weather and not to customer demand, something that should have killed off the experiment right at the start.

It gets worse. The Energy Security Board points out that the ability of the grid to cope with sudden supply/demand imbalances is determined by the inertia in the power system, which in the twentieth century was provided by big, heavy turbines spinning at near constant speeds. Before they were taken off the grid, coal fired power stations provided grid stability at no extra cost. Coal turbines are 600 tons and spin at 3,000 rpm. Wind and solar photovoltaics (PV) are non-synchronous and have low or zero physical inertia. As South Australians are finding out, taking coal offline while putting more wind and solar online makes for a fragile grid.

There is now more than enough evidence to show that renewables do not work. We’re at the stage of the revolution where rationalisations for failure have to be found to explain why it’s not working as advertised. It’s a familiar pattern. Apologists for the Communist experiments of the last century used to argue that the idea was noble; the problem was the way the revolution was implemented. Similarly, evidence that the renewable energy experiment isn’t working indicates, we’re told, that the experiment hasn’t been implemented properly. A tweak here, a stronger policy commitment there, and somehow it will all come right — the revolution able to proceed as even more wind and solar is added to the grid.

Policymakers never interpret the ample available evidence as demonstrating the renewable-energy experiment’s failure, nor that it needs to be halted before further damage is done. Oligopolistic market structures, illiquid wholesale and hedging markets, consumer confusion, incoherent policy design – all the factors that have been variously held responsible for high electricity prices and a fragile grid – could be solved, and the outcome would still be much the same.

It’s true that power companies, such as AGL, have perfected the art of price-gouging. Prematurely closing coal-fired power stations squeezes supply and gives incumbents more market power. Although AGL’s accounts are opaque – UK energy companies aren’t allowed to get away with the lack of detail in AGL’s segmental reporting – there is enough in its five-year summary to demonstrate how AGL can make money by selling less electricity at higher prices.

Between 2013 and 2017, AGL’s electricity volumes rose by 20.0%, but its revenue rose 50% faster, with a 29.5% increase, and its underlying profits climbed by 32.7%, whilst its total assets only rose by 8.2%.[8] Green energy policies have gifted AGL with a remarkable money-making machine at the expense of the Australian economy. Such market abuses could be cured and an optimal policy design adopted, but it wouldn’t overcome the destructive impact of having too much wind and solar on the grid. This is because their impact on electricity costs and grid reliability are inherent in wind and solar as generating technologies.

Cracking the storage problem — the horse to the wind and solar cart — is essential if intermittent generation is to be economically viable. Like the cavalry in Hollywood Westerns, low cost battery storage is always spruiked as being poised  to come to the rescue of wind and solar’s intermittency. But as Steven Chu, Barack Obama’s first energy secretary, recently observed, the lithium-ion batteries Elon Musk is selling South Australia and Victoria cost around forty times as much as the equivalent reserve capacity of hydro-electric installations.[9] Hydropower remains the only renewable energy source that has been successfully integrated into the grid at scale — in 1895 generating the first electricity used for long-distance transmission. Even if the cost of battery storage were to halve, Chu says, it would still not be cheap enough to accommodate the big seasonable shifts in renewable power production.

Germany, the country that did more than any other to promote the renewables experiment saw it turn thoroughly sour in 2017.  [10] Although wind and solar output exceeded nuclear and hard coal in Germany’s energy mix for the first time, greenhouse gas emissions were flat for the third year running.[11] Despite its cherished climate leadership, Germany is on course to miss by ten percentage points its 2020 target of a 40% cut in its greenhouse gas emissions.

But the most interesting of the pro-renewables think tank  Agora Energiewende’s findings are on public attitudes. Reflecting the effect of wall-to-wall pro-renewable PR and compliant media coverage, an opinion survey found 75% supporting the statement that energy transition is a collective responsibility everyone should do their part to help succeed. Only 3% considered the energy transition a mistake.[12] Instead the high costs of the energy transition are blamed on implementation. Over two-thirds of those surveyed were ‘very’ dissatisfied (31%) or ‘somewhat’ dissatisfied (37%) with the energy transition policies of the federal government, with only five percent being very or somewhat satisfied.[13]

When first launched, the ex-Communist Green energy minister J├╝rgen Trittin claimed that supporting renewables would only add the equivalent of a scoop of icecream to monthly electricity bills. Nine years on, his CDU successor, Peter Altmaier, was saying Germany’s energy reforms could amount to one trillion euros (A$1.57 trillion) by the end of the 2030s.[14]

There is no rational explanation for Germany’s addiction to renewable energy. Lying closer to the North Pole than the Equator and subject to North Atlantic weather systems, Germany is hardly a natural for solar power, yet it installed more solar capacity than any other country. Rather, it is the product of ideology, of German culture and philosophy.

Coal and steel propelled Germany’s European ascendancy, but antagonism to industrialisation is a recurrent and irresolvable contradiction of German culture. Hermann Scheer, the German MP and renewable lobbyist behind Germany’s disastrous 2000 renewable energy law, liked to cite the 1909 Nobel Prize-winning chemist Wilhelm Ostwald to the effect that a sustainable economy should be based exclusively on the regular utilisation of the amount of energy sent each year by the sun. Environmentalism was a prominent feature in Nazi ideology, and the Nazis were the first party anywhere in the world to have a wind power programme. See if what the Nazi daily paper Volkischer Beobachter reported on February 24, 1932 sounds familiar, from spruiking hydrogen production to falling prices and more jobs:

"In a sensational speech by the constructor of the biggest steel towers (right) in Germany, the well known engineer Hermann Honnef from the Rhineland, at the Institute of Physics of the Technical University in Berlin, mentioned that in the height between 70 to 90 meters [230 to 300 ft], a high wind zone can deliver energy…

… The surplus electricity from the windmills, situated along the sea coast, will be used for the production of very inexpensive hydrogen.  This will make many products less expensive.  Fertilizers will fall in price.  The hydration of coal to liquids will be cost-effective.  The cost can be reduced from 17 pfennig per litre [64 pfennig per gallon] to 7-8 pfennig per litre [26-30 pfennig per gallon].  In this way about one billion Reichsmark can be saved, which today goes abroad (for importing oil).  The 300,000 workers in the coal mining industry can keep their jobs, 200,000 in the mines and 100,000 for the liquefaction of coal.  The cost savings will make it possible that an additional 400,000 workers can be paid in the transforming process of the industry"

The Nazi dalliance with wind shows that we are barely any closer to solving the intermittency problem of renewable energy than the German engineers who advocated wind power in the 1930s. The solution, as noted above, was to convert wind energy into hydrogen and then store it.[15] Dismissing battery storage nine decades later, Obama-era energy secretary Steven Chu remarked that other technologies are needed to convert renewable energy into chemical fuel when the sun isnt shining and the wind won’t blow. ‘If you make really cheap hydrogen from renewables and store it underground, then you have something very different.’[16]

As the world’s second-largest exporter of manufactured goods, Germany cannot subsist on wind and solar energy. This is not a dilemma for the German Greens, as they want to reverse the Industrial Revolution. For them, the transition to a post-hydrocarbon world constitutes the third of mankind’s revolutions, the first being the Neolithic Revolution – the transition from nomadic hunter-gatherers to settled societies based on agriculture – and the second, the Industrial Revolution. Thus environmentalism in the 21st century is as much a radical ideological project to transform society as Communism was in the last. The difference is that Marxism only triumphed in pre-industrial societies whereas environmentalism is embraced by the elites of the West.

In the 1940s, the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter saw that the values and sociology of capitalism would bring about its own demise. He could not have foreseen that environmentalism would unlock capitalism’s fortresses, its doors flung open and the enemies of capitalism invited in. Already in the late 1960s and early 1970s, business leaders and the people who do their thinking for them were debating how industrialization was going to destroy the planet. In 1970, a two-day seminar of opinion leaders at the Aspen Institute concluded that modern technology, greedy men and complacent governments were threatening the future of a decent and civilised world. ‘All insist that the human family is approaching an historic crisis which will require fundamental revisions in the organisation of society,’ the New York Times reported.[17] That they were wrong then hasn’t stopped their more modern successors preaching the same doomsday creed of imminent planetary catastrophe.

As it had been in Christianity and communism, the French philosopher Pascal Bruckner, writes in The Fanaticism of the Apocalypse, the future has once again become ‘the great category of blackmail.’[18] This helps explain why sensible politicians have, with varying degrees of enthusiasm – or rather, lack of it – acquiesced in policies that, despite their manifest unsuitability, to put renewables onto the grid. The carbon blackmail worked.

Although the ransom Australia paid is steep, the carbon savings are puny. Carbon dioxide emitted by the NEM fell by 20 million tonnes over the last decade, all of it in the five years from 2009.[19] At the same time, China’s carbon dioxide emissions rose by 2,293 million tonnes, an average increase of 38 million tonnes a month.[20] In other words, the painful savings made by the NEM are equivalent to less than 16 days of the increase in China’s carbon dioxide emissions – with more pain to come as more wind and solar is put on the grid and if AGL gets its way and closes more coal-fired power stations.

Germany’s manufacturers are partially insulated from the full effects of the renewable transition as they benefit from a cross-subsidy from consumers. Nonetheless by 2013, they were paying 26% more for electricity than the EU average. In 15 out of the previous 17 years, domestic investment by energy-intensive industries was less than depreciation, a situation Deutsche Bank described as a wake-up call to Germany’s political class on the economic harm caused by Germany’s pursuit of unilateral policies on energy and climate.[21]

If anything, these are even more problematic for Australia. As the world’s largest exporter of iron and coal, it powered through the GFC thanks to the commodities boom. At a very basic level of logic, if Australia maintains current volumes of iron ore and coal exports, worth $117.7bn this year,[22] then the carbon dioxide emitted from the smelters and power stations of China, Japan, South Korea and India will swamp any domestic reductions Australia makes. Seen in this context, pro-renewable, anti-coal policies simply make no sense. But they will continue until national politicians shift from saying renewable energy policy is a good idea badly implemented to saying simply accurately that it is a bad idea and calling time on the disastrous renewable energy experiment.

That takes courage, but then that’s what political leadership is supposed to be about.


Assertion in lieu of evidence

There are absolutely no facts advanced to support the assertions below.  Even the IPCC says that extreme weather events cannot be linked to present levels of warming

YOU can forget about climate change being a future phenomenon, according to Professor Lesley Hughes.

“It’s a now phenomenon,” she said during her visit to Bathurst on Monday.

She says the effects of climate change are already being seen in Australia – from more intense droughts to a longer bushfire season – and those impacts are only set to grow so “the status quo is not an option”.

Professor Hughes, a Distinguished Professor of Biology and Pro Vice-Chancellor at Macquarie University and a former federal Climate Commissioner, gave a lunchtime presentation on Monday hosted by Bathurst Community Climate Action Network and introduced by Councillor Jess Jennings.

She was brought to Bathurst courtesy of the Climate Council, whose Cities Power Partnership recently added Bathurst as a participant.

Speaking after her presentation, Professor Hughes was at pains to emphasise that the climate had already changed and would continue to change based on what was being put into the atmosphere now.

“What we will get for the next few decades is already on the way now,” she said.




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


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Hydrocarbons are abundant in inter-stellar space so how did anyone get fossils up there?"

Maybe 'Panspermia?' But you didn't hear it from me!

(Don't ask - don't tell.)

Seriously, though, the belief that oil and coal arose from fossisls is a conjecture, so to assert that it's true can't be honestly done.