Friday, March 22, 2019

The Green New Fascist Deal

The Nazis were the originators of the cult of sustainable development that is now so widespread these days

By Mark Musser

The “Green New Deal” is a fascist utopian plan written by environmentalist lawyers that is purportedly designed to tackle the global warming apocalypse which capitalism, particularly of the American kind drunk on fossil fuels, has precipitated through economic recklessness and colonial racism. CO2, a trace gas measured in parts per million, is the primary culprit of a semi-apocalyptic global warming crisis that can only be averted through an all-wise cadre of Democratic green lawyers. That such utopianism, political legalism, and apocalypticism is presented as hard science demonstrates the general madness of the present time that is largely rooted in the Social Darwinian scientism of the 1800s, wherein German zoologist Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919) was peddling a racist political biology together with strong ecological values that he characterized as Monism -- which speaks of a monistic oneness or holism with nature along totalitarian lines that modern science was supposedly offering the constituents of the Second Reich. While Haeckel coined the term “ecology” in 1866, he mixed racial eugenics with his environmentalism. Today, environmentalism proffers anti-humanism, population control, ecological totalitarianism, and indigenous multicultural tribal racism that “The New Green Deal” is chock full of.

Austrian Nazi forester Guenther Schwab (1904-2006) was one of the most successful original popularizers of apocalyptic environmentalism in the 1950s and 60s, which included the CO2 global warming scare. Thanks to the great success of Schwab’s writings, real green Nazis like Werner Haverbeck, August Haussleiter, and Werner Vogel, among others, helped him lay the foundations for the German Green Party in the late 1970s. Yet, it was German researcher Hermann Flohn (1912-97) who took the global warming theory that had been bandied around by earlier European researchers and gave it teeth to increasingly bite its way into the main storyline of the West as the 20th century drew to a close. Flohn is considered to be one of the most critically important climate scientists of the 20th century, whose research merited a number of prestigious awards.

Flohn’s very German odyssey actually began in 1941, when he published an article on global warming titled, “The Activity of Man as a Climate Factor” during the dizzying heights of Nazi rule. The Dust Bowl years of the 1930s on the American plains was an exceptionally warm period that prompted environmental discussion among many Nazis at the time, who deemed such an ecological disaster as a symptom of diseased industrial capitalism which had ruined the soil. While Flohn was not a Nazi Party member, he received his doctorate in 1934 and began work for the German Meteorological Service at a time when National Socialism was attempting to bring into line German universities within its ideological purview. Later, Flohn became the Luftwaffe’s chief meteorologist under green Nazi Hermann Goering’s watch. The great irony is that the global warming of the 1930s came to an abrupt halt (which lasted until 1975) just in time for the 1941 invasion of Russia when the Wehrmacht essentially froze to death just outside the gates of Moscow.

During the war, it stands to good reason that Flohn’s high atmospheric weather research would have not only placed him in close proximity with high-altitude Nazi human experiments, but probably also would have put him in regular contact with Werner von Braun and his SS rocket boys. After the war, Flohn continued to ratchet up the CO2 global warming scare as more dangerous than even nuclear energy. Such connections seem to suggest that the global warming apocalypse may have been originally introduced in a targeted way into American research labs through Operation Paperclip, when SS Nazi and German scientists were imported into the United States to help Uncle Sam build rockets to compete in the Cold War. The SS was the greenest arm of the swastika.

Even as early as 1935, Nazi Germany was the greenest regime on the planet. Their ecological projects worked hand in hand with their wild Social Darwinian biological programs connected to eugenics and scientific racial hygiene. Cleaning up the blood also included cleaning up the environment. Indeed, Nazi biologist Ernst Lehman defined fascism accordingly, “We recognize that separating humanity from nature, from the whole of life, leads to humankind’s own destruction and to the death of nations. Only through a re-integration of humanity into the whole of nature can our people be made stronger. That is the fundamental point of the biological tasks of our age. Humankind alone is no longer the focus of thought, but rather life as a whole... This striving toward connectedness with the totality of life, with nature itself, a nature into which we are born, this is the deepest meaning and the true essence of National Socialist thought.”

Out of such a Nazi holistic nature-based worldview came a number of environmental laws that preceded their more overt racial laws. In 1933, the Nazis passed a strict animal rights law. In 1934 they passed a hunting law.  Along similar lines, the Nazis also introduced sustainable forestry practices, and essentially became the very originators of what is today called sustainable development that included a great concern for recycling. Even the Four-Year Nazi war plan was to be guided by sustainable development concerns. In 1935, the Nazis passed the totalitarian Reich Nature Protection Act which opened the door to ecological regulation over private property.

That same year, American deep ecologist Aldo Leopold visited Nazi Germany to witness their strong emphasis upon green programs they had just put in place. While Leopold had some criticism of the Nazi efforts, he was very complimentary as he said they were not just talking about environmental problems, but actually doing something. Leopold also dragged home the “Never cry wolf” cult to America as Nazi Germany was the first country in the world to protect wolves. In other words, the western bridge between postmodern socialism/fascism and environmentalism originally rooted in the early German green movement of the 1800s was built by National Socialism in the 1930s, long before Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.

With no small irony, the present strong relationship that currently exists between modern environmentalism and left-wing labor unions was essentially born in Nazi Germany. In June of 1933, green Nazis Rudolf Hess and Walther Schoenichen absorbed many of the environmental groups of the Weimar Republic under Werner Haverbeck’s Folk-Race National Character and Landscape Bund that was a subdivision of the German Labor Front. The German Labor Front thus adopted the greens into their political organization. Nazi architect Albert Speer was proud of his environmental accomplishments as the green builder of the Third Reich who was also another leader of the German Labor Front.

After the war, while biding his time in Spandau prison, Hess often discussed the problems of the free market economy with Speer. Speer had worked under Hess as they were both essentially in charge of Nazi public works projects. Speer noted that Hess loved to critique American capitalism which he called liberal democracy as a form of sickness, “Again and again he comes to me with examples of overconsumption in the United States. He happily notes reports of misguided investments in the market economy, collects examples of land speculation, criminality, bad posture in children and health damage caused by canned foods.”

Hess even came up with a cockamamie sustainable development plan he shared with his fellow Nazi prisoners in 1951. Since highway lamps were being placed above roadways, Hess thought it would be unnecessary for cars to turn their headlights on at the same time. Energy could thus be saved by turning off the headlights when highway lamps were burning. Speer remarked, “This would save current he maintains, and the erection and maintenance of the floodlights could easily be financed out of the money thus saved. I object that the car’s generators would be running anyhow, to supply the current to the spark plugs. He dismisses that; the generator could shut off automatically as soon as the battery was charged. Thus, energy would be stored, fuel saved, and this saving could be spent on financing the illumination of highways.” Such a madness certainly presages the anti-car renewable energy sentiments that have become one of the trademarks of the modern green movement -- that is also playing no small role in the Green New Deal as well. In short, to characterize the Green New Deal as fascist is no metaphor.


Associated Press spouts pure Climate Propaganda

Associated Press reporter Seth Borenstein has made another attempt to convince the public of global warming, but his latest analysis has climate scientists once again refuting his claims.

On Tuesday, Borenstein and Nicky Forster cited AP analysis that found hot temperature records in the U.S. were being broken twice as often as cold temperature records. He concluded that this is “a clear sign of human-caused climate change.”

Borenstein and Forster wrote:

“The AP looked at 424 weather stations throughout the Lower 48 states that had consistent temperature records since 1920 and counted how many times daily hot temperature records were tied or broken and how many daily cold records were set. In a stable climate, the numbers should be roughly equal. Since 1999, the ratio has been two warm records set or broken for every cold one. In 16 of the last 20 years, there have been more daily high-temperature records than low.”

The AP Piece went on to cite various climate scientists:

“The AP shared the data analysis with several climate and data scientists, who all said the conclusion was correct, consistent with scientific peer-reviewed literature and showed a clear sign of human-caused climate change. They pointed out that trends over decades are more robust than over single years.”

The AP piece concluded:

“The analysis stopped with data through 2018. However, the first two months of 2019 are showing twice as many cold records than hot ones.”

But the scientists he cited don’t speak for all climate scientists. Some, in fact, are dismissing his “clear sign” analysis. Climatologist John Christy told me that Borenstein framed the data wrongly:

“The occurrence of both record highs and record lows is declining. Record-low events are simply declining more rapidly than record highs. The drop in record lows is associated with development around the weather stations, which causes low temperatures to increase more than highs for a variety of reasons.”

Most climate change activists cite the greenhouse gas theory—that man-made gases are causing changes to the Earth’s temperature. Christy noted that this theory predicts an increase in frequency of record-breaking temperatures. Yet the exact opposite is happening in the U.S.—the frequency of those temps is declining.

The cause? Christy says it’s likely “urbanization and natural variability.”

He added: “I’ve actually done this same analysis for the 682 [U.S. Historical Climatology Network] stations with at least 105 years of record since 1895. It is clear that the occurrence of both record high and record lows has declined since 1895, thanks to many records set from the 1920s to 1954.”

He continued:

“The AP … is spinning the story by only noting that record lows are fewer than highs now—but the real story is that in the U.S., both extremes are falling. This is consistent with the decline in number of days greater than 100 [degrees] Fahrenheit (or 105 Fahrenheit or 95 Fahrenheit, etc.). The differential decline in record temps is inconsistent with [greenhouse gas] theory, which predicts an increase in record highs and higher TMax in general.”

Climatologist Roger Pielke Sr. expressed skepticism of the AP analysis as well:

“Without assessing the role of increased urbanization and other land-use changes … changes in atmospheric aerosols overhead, microclimate around observing site, changes in heights of observations, and concurrent trends in surface air humidity, it is not robust to attribute any changes in extreme temperatures to just human-added atmospheric CO2.”

He added: “We have published on each of these subjects but work remains mostly ignored.”

Borenstein’s claims are also countered in the peer-review scientific literature. A 2018 analysis found that multiple recent studies and long-term data refuted claims that there had been an increase in heat waves. In addition, a 2013 paper published in the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology found that U.S. extreme heat waves have decreased since the 1930s.

It’s also important to note that recent temperatures are not at all unusual, with 2018 continuing a several-year cooling trend. The media-hyped “hottest year” claims do not hold up to scrutiny. Princeton physicist Will Happer ridiculed such claims and explained that “alleged record warmings are tenths of a degree or less, comparable to the statistical error.”

Borenstein, the chief climate reporter for the Associated Press, has a long history of promoting dubious climate claims and essentially lobbying the public to “believe” that man-made climate change is a dire emergency and that government “solutions” are needed.

Americans who rely on the Associated Press for climate news and information are being misinformed. The AP is serving up nothing short of rank climate propaganda.


Coal's decline could mean more power shortages

As the need for electricity to power the nation’s digital economy grows, coal is no longer playing a primary role, and that’s problematic, because it undergirds the electric grid and is the most reliable source of energy.

Without coal plants that supply base-load power on demand, large parts of the United States, from the mountain states to the mid-Atlantic and southeast, will become more vulnerable to power shortages and increases in electricity costs. With the loss of more than 600 coal units in less than 10 years, coal’s share of the nation’s electricity generating capacity has dropped from almost half in 2007 to 30 percent today, and it’s expected to fall even further.

Rapid decline in the number of coal plants and commensurate growth in natural gas and wind and solar power will result in a loss of fuel diversity. A study by IHS Markit warns that the U.S. is “moving away from the cost-effective mix of fuels and technologies and toward a less reliable, less resilient, and less efficient diversity” energy portfolio and, if nothing is done about it, the cost of electricity would increase by $114 billion per year, the average retail price of electricity would increase by 27 percent, and a loss of reliability could increase electricity outages, resulting in added costs of $75 billion per outage hour.

A sense of urgency is evident in a recent appeal by senior executives at four large utilities for changes in the electricity system that would enable some coal and nuclear power plants to continue operating. Wholesale electricity markets, the utility executives said, need to place a value on the production of large quantities of electricity by coal and nuclear plants around the clock, safely and reliably, when needed. Coal and nuclear plants contribute the fuel and technology diversity that is one of the bedrock characteristics of a reliable and resilient electric sector, the executives said.

With coal, that is just the beginning. Coal has shown the ability to provide additional power during national emergencies. When polar vortexes pushed the grid to its limit during periods of bitter cold, coal plants played a key role in providing resiliency. In contrast, wind and solar power were of no use in meeting demand where it was needed the most. On the peak day of winter demand during the polar vortex in 2018, almost half of the natural gas capacity in the PJM Interconnection covering the midwest and mid-Atlantic could not supply power from natural gas, with 30 percent offline and 20 percent burning oil instead of gas.

The National Energy Technology Laboratory determined that during last year’s unusually cold weather (called a “bomb cyclone”) PJM would have experienced “interconnect-wide blackouts” if coal plants had not been available to meet the increased need for electricity.

This year, at the start of a three-day stretch of sub-zero temperatures, wind turbines from Minnesota to Iowa were providing about half of the region’s power. But when an emergency was declared, just half of the wind generation forecasted to supply power to the grid actually could. When temperatures fell below negative 20 degrees Fahrenheit, wind farms automatically started shutting down. Extreme cold can damage different parts of the turbine.

Coal, long viewed through the lens of carbonization, has shown the value of its reliability. Sound policies would help preserve the coal fleet. Federal tax subsidies for renewables and state renewable portfolio standards give other electricity sources a significant advantage over coal. In wholesale markets, subsidies for other electricity sources suppress energy prices and make coal-fuel generation less competitive.

Nevertheless, coal’s benefits are reaching electricity consumers and have fewer negative consequences than most other forms of energy. On average, developing new generating capacity with natural gas or renewables is more expensive than continuing to use existing coal generation. A study by IHS Markit shows that the levelized cost of existing coal generation is $40 per megawatt hour, much less than the levelized cost of a new combined cycle natural gas plant at $68 per MWh or new renewables at $82 per MWh.

Unfortunately, in most markets around the country, electricity is still tilted in favor of natural gas and renewables. Policymakers, in other words, need to take another look at coal.


America wins with new international cargo ship fuel regulation

An international regulation coming out of the United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) would both significantly lower pollution levels being generated by the container shipping industry while also benefitting the U.S. oil refining industry and those who work in it.

It is no secret that America’s dismantling of our industrial sector has often times been little more than a transfer of environmental risk from the United States overseas. Foreign countries, like China, with little to no environmental regulations have attracted manufacturers who can no longer afford to compete in the highly regulated U.S., costing our nation jobs and economic wealth. Even with President Trump pushing hard for a better trade deal with China, the trade deficit climbed 17 percent from 2017 to $323 billion last year.

One obvious result of being reliant on overseas markets for the production of goods is that most of those goods are delivered across vast oceans through container and cargo ships. However, it is often lost that there is an enormous environmental cost to these container ships themselves which burn a high sulfur content fuel consisting of an oil refinery sludge known as bunker oil.

Why does this matter?

It is estimated that just sixteen of the largest container ships create more sulfur dioxide air pollution than the 80 million cars that exist in the world — all the while following current International Marine Organization rules. To put the enormity of this into perspective, the three largest shipping alliances in the world have a total of more than 750 container ships under flag, each spewing sulfur dioxide equivalents of a million or more cars into the air.

There is no secret that exporting U.S. factories overseas to China has effectively increased the environmental costs of production for every day goods, but it is stunning that simply transporting those goods around the world is so toxic.

At a time when the Democrat Party agenda has been focused upon ending the internal combustion engine, domestic airline travel and carbon-based electricity generation here in America shifting even more production to heavy polluter countries, it is incredible that a simple regulation on sulfur content in container ship fuel known as IMO 2020 could have such a major positive impact on the world’s air quality.

And here is the amazing part, the engines in the cargo ships are already able to accommodate the upgraded quality fuel, so there are limited conversion costs. While the estimated fuel costs for the container ships will increase by 30 percent, that increase will actually help price in a small part of the environmental costs of overseas manufacturing, putting domestic manufacturers on a slightly more level playing fieldEven better is that international oil industry experts like Torbjorn Tornqvist, CEO at trading house Gunvor have been quoted by Reuters saying, “The big winner in the IMO is actually the United States. They have the most advanced refining system in the world and will take advantage of importing more heavy crude oil and they will export light crude oil that will get a bigger premium.”

That’s right, America’s energy dominance actually is positioning our nation to be economic winners as this regulation goes into effect.

Already a refinery in Louisiana is being expanded to meet the anticipated need to handle the demand, and it can be expected that IMO 2020 will provide a boon for the domestic refining industry and the thousands of jobs it creates.

Not surprisingly, President Trump led U.S. policies that have moved America toward energy dominance have unforeseen dividends as the world moves toward cleaner burning fuel blends.  The resulting investments by U.S. companies to meet the needs of increased domestic energy production will now pay massive dividends in newly created good paying, blue collar jobs as the U.S. becomes one of the major refiners in the world for the new, lower sulfur blend of container ship fuels.

Given the current wave of green socialism that would shut down the United States’ clean, efficient manufacturing economy and transfer the pollution risk to nation’s with abysmal environmental records, it would be wise for our nation’s policy makers to instead embrace the January 1, 2020 IMO fuel regulation by urging that they not be delayed.

The IMO 2020 regulations are a common-sense solution, rather than a pie in the sky socialist dream, which make major strides in cleaning up the world’s air quality without destroying the U.S. economic system that has lifted more people out of poverty worldwide than any other nation in history.  And that is a win-win for the world and America.


Conn. made the right call keeping Millstone nuclear power plant open

Two New England states, two Democratic governors, two very different outcomes for the climate.

In the early 2010s, Vermont governor Peter Shumlin prodded the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant into an early retirement. All the right people had urged him to do so: Bernie Sanders wanted the plant on the Connecticut River gone. The Conservation Law Foundation said it was “worth more dead than alive.” Ben — yes, part of the eponymous ice cream duo — wanted to shut the plant; Jerry, too.

The consequence of listening to such experts was an increase in greenhouse gas emissions from New England, and a hole in the region’s energy grid that will haunt it for decades. Vermont’s greenhouse gas emissions have gone up more than the nation’s as a whole, putting the lie to its green self-image.

Fast forward to Friday, when the governor of Connecticut, Ned Lamont, announced an agreement to save the largest nuclear power source in New England, the two Millstone reactors in Waterford, Conn.

“The loss of Millstone would have been catastrophic for our state and our region,” said Lamont in a statement announcing the deal. “The shutdown of the plant would have exposed the New England region to a nearly 25 percent increase in carbon emissions, increased risk of rolling blackouts, billions of dollars in power replacement costs, and the loss of more than 1,500 well-paying jobs.”

The six New England states share a power grid, and Connecticut’s leadership means the region will not lose its single largest source of carbon-free electricity.

The intervention — like a similar deal in New York — was necessary because even existing nuclear power plants are not price competitive with natural gas generators. But that’s only true because of a flaw in the design of the deregulated electricity markets that were introduced in the 1990s, and which didn’t put an adequate price on carbon emissions.

Markets can’t have the last word. If climate change is viewed as an existential threat, then keeping clean power sources from disappearing, even through out-of-market intervention, ought to be common sense. But even ostensibly climate-focused groups in New England keep up a pro forma opposition to nuclear power, as if to honor their roots, or say it’s okay to shut plants as long as they are replaced with renewable power.

But “replacing” nuclear with renewables doesn’t make any sense as a climate policy. To the extent the New England states can add wind and solar power, they should — but it should replace conventional coal and natural-gas fired plants. The region needs to add clean power, but it also needs to keep the zero-carbon sources that it already has in order to avoid treading water.

The fact that Vermont Yankee is gone means that, for decades to come, New England will be those 620 megawatts farther away from a decarbonized power grid than it would have been with the plant online. The impending closure of Pilgrim Nuclear Station in Plymouth will deal a similar setback. Allowing Millstone to retire would have set that goal back even more, and leave Seabrook in New Hampshire as the last nuclear power generator in New England.

Last year, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said that every pathway to avoiding the worst impacts of climate change involved at least some nuclear energy, which provides an always-on complement to intermittent renewable power and requires less land. Most scenarios involve adding more. Taking the UN’s warnings seriously should also mean taking seriously the solutions it says are needed, no matter how unpopular, and it’s a breakthrough that one New England state has.



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Thursday, March 21, 2019

New Zealand Assailant: 'Eco-Fascist' Not 'Right Wing'

Some useful comments in the article below but let me expand them.

Brenton Tarrant displays a mix of ideas in his manifesto,  though, as we shall see, it is a rather familiar mix.  His overriding idea is a dislike of Islam in general and Jihadis in particular.  His massacre was a clear answer to the Jihadis.  He says: If the Jihadis can slaughter Western men women and children indiscriminately,  I am justified in slaughtering Muslim men women and children indiscriminately.  It is Old Testament justice.

And it is that hostility to Islam that the Left identify as "right wing".  And conservatives do indeed voice strong reservations about Islam.  But conservatives are not alone in that.  There can surely be few people in the Western world who are happy about the constant assaults on Western people by Jihadis.

The only people who seem to like the Jihadis are the Left.  They do their best to protect Muslims from any retribution or any check at all.  But their reason for that is clear.  The Leftist's whole aim in life is to disrupt the existing society (to "fundamentally transform" it, in the words of Barack Obama and Bernard Sanders). So the disruptions caused by Muslims makes Muslims "fellow travellers" to the Left who must not be denounced.

So his dislike of Islam does identity Tarrant as non-Left in that regard but that does not make him conservative.  His dislike is simply an extreme version of a normal reaction.

So what of his other views? What of his admiration of Communist China and Bernard Sanders?  What of his describing himself as both a Fascist and an eco-fascist?  What about his belief in global warming and other Greenie themes? Except for his ideas about Muslims he would make a pretty good Greenie and a pretty good socialist.

And liking both China and Fascism are not at all inconsistent.  Although China is still ruled by the Communist Party, the Dengist reforms have given it a classical Fascist economy. Business is allowed to get on with business but the State keeps a watchful eye overall.

What makes Tarrant's hostility to Islam particularly strong is his racial awareness.  He sees himself as part of the white race and deplores attacks on it.  So how common is that?  Mention of race has been so thoroughly suppressed in our society that there could well be a large reservoir of racial sentiment just below the surface.  We don't know -- though Leftists regularly assert it.

There is no doubt, however, that seeing himself as part of an identity group -- whites -- was the key to Tarrant's behaviour.  And the chief promoters of whites as an identity group are of course the Left.  The Left are entranced by group identities and the big gorilla looming above all other groups is white males.  Only a few extreme-Left whites take any notice of that but there was one white male who did -- Brenton Tarrant.  There had to be one. He had been exposed to a lot of Leftist thought and suddenly it occurred to him when hearing talk about whites:  "Hey! That's me!"

And according to the Left, whites are all powerful masters of the universe who control everyone else.  And Tarrant liked that identity.  So identify he did.  And when he saw that there was an evil force -- Islam -- trying to tear down white civilization, he took up arms in its defence, as group members tend to do.  And it is not pychopathic to take up arms in defence of your group.  "Greater love hath no man ..."  Tarrant was sucked in by Leftist identity talk and it all developed from there.  Had he been a conservative, he would have rejected identity talk in favour of the centrality of the individual.

But where have we heard all that before?  Where have we previously encountered a combination of socialism, environmentalism and racial loyalty?  Yes.  It was our evil twins, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.  Both were good socialists, good Greenies and strong racial loyalists.  In short, Tarrant has reinvented historical Nazism in his own mind.  He is a perfectly consistent Nazi in the historical sense of that term. And, like the Nazis of history, Tarrant attacked those he saw as his racial enenmies.

But he is NOT "Right wing" any more than Nazism ("National Socialism") was. Far from it. And his ideas are not "mixed up".  They once dominated two of the biggest and most sophisticated nations in Europe, so they have their own consistency.

And it follows fairly strongly from that that Tarrant is not a psychopath/sociopath.  I can see no evidence that Tarrant was a sociopath.  I have done research into psychopathy/sociopathy and have a couple of articles on it in the academic journal so I know a bit about it but nothing stands out to me in Tarrant's manifesto that points clearly in that direction.  Narcissism, yes. Psychopathy, No.  He in fact displays a sense of humor fairly often, which is rare among psychopaths.

So Tarrant is not mad and belongs firmly on the Green/Left

Footnote:  For Hitler's Greenie credentials see here  For Mussolini's Greenie credentials see here

The brutal terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, today, were, according to police, perpetrated by a sociopathic Australian. Three others were arrested in connection with the attacks. The assailant killed 50 people and wounded nearly that many more. He live-streamed part of the attack to Facebook, and posted it to other social media outlets — significantly enhancing the profile of this attack. He abandoned his assault and fled only when another man picked up a shotgun the shooter had dropped and fought back.

The primary suspect declared in a lengthy manifesto that he was inspired, in part, by racist fascists who perpetrated attacks in the United States, Canada, and Europe. For that reason, and because he mentioned President Donald Trump as “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose” (though condemning some of his policies), the Leftmedia and others, including the Australian prime minister, are parroting the charge that he is a “far-right extremist.” But that’s just not the case.

Of course, after other Islamist terrorist attacks — including Paris, Orlando, San Bernardino, and most notably, the 9/11 attack — these same Leftmedia outlets lectured, ad nauseam, that Islam is the Religion of Peace™, and that we shouldn’t stereotype Muslims by associating all of them with a few extremists.

Fact is, there are brutal Islamic attacks against Christians in the Middle East and Africa daily, with virtually no media notice. But indeed, we should not embrace the stereotype that all Muslims support such violence.

That notwithstanding, we fully expect the Leftmedia’s reporting on this incident, and hate-profiteering by the Southern Poverty Law Center, to focus on the rise of “right wing” hatred in the age of Trump, casting that stereotypical shadow over all those who support Trump. But as we’ve said before, there’s nothing uniquely “right wing” about racism or nationalism.

For the record, the ideological spectrum is better understood as circular, not as linear. And in that sphere, fascism occupies the space between Left and Right. Anyone who asserts that fascism is uniquely “right wing” is either grossly misinformed or intellectually disingenuous. The New Zealand assailant was not what the Leftmedia commonly calls “right wing” — those advocating Liberty, individual rights, and limited government. Far from it.

The New York Times declared, “Writing that he had purposely used guns to stir discord in the United States over the Second Amendment’s provision on the right to bear arms, he also declared himself a fascist. ‘For once, the person that will be called a fascist, is an actual fascist,’ he wrote.”

But the assailant, who spent time in North Korea and Pakistan, specifically declared himself an “Eco-Fascist,” who advocated “Green Nationalism” and supported the socialist views of Bernie Sanders. He railed against humans for destroying the environment and causing global warming, and he advocated government control to stop it. He wrote, “The nation with the closest political and social values to my own is the People’s Republic of China.” That would be Communist China.

Right winger? Hardly.

For his part, President Trump said, “I spoke with Prime Minister Ardern of New Zealand to express the sorrow of our entire nation following the monstrous terror attacks at two mosques. These sacred places of worship were turned into scenes of evil killing. … It’s a horrible, horrible thing.”

A final note: Attacks on houses of worship are, tragically, nothing new. The Associated Press compiled a list of 18 such attacks just over the last decade. Churches, mosques, synagogues — nothing is safe. Such violent hatred is pure evil. Indeed, the assailant bore symbols of Satanism among his belongings. Responsible people should rise above that evil with our run-of-the-mill political disagreements.


Unprecedented snowfall in Himalayas due to global warming

What else?  Just use the all-purpose explanation.  Always works.  Saves thought

The unprecedented snowfall and prolonged cold weather in the Himalayan region this winter was caused by global warming, a weather scientist in Almora said Monday.

The trend will continue in the coming years as global weather patterns are changing rapidly, said Dr Sandeepan Mukherjee, a weather scientist at GB Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment and Sustainable Development based at Kosi in Almora.

"The erratic patterns of western disturbances, that cause rain and snowfall in winter months in the northern part of the globe, have become so due to the changing patterns of weather caused by global warming," he said.

"It seems these erratic patterns will continue in the coming years with increase in global warming," he added.

The first spell of rain and snowfall this winter was received in the Himalayan region on December 12 and the last was received as late as on March 13, residents of Munsiyari in Pithoragarh district said.

"There were 24 spells of snowfall in Munsiyari between December 12 and March 13 this year which broke the record of 1972 when there were 15 snowfalls," Puran Pandey, a local said.

According to Mukherjee global warming is not only causing erratic patterns in western disturbances, but also causing uneven trends in south western monsoon that is responsible for monsoon rain in India.


The BBC’s age of denial

Paul Homewood

I doubt if a day goes past now without a blast of global warming propaganda from the BBC.

Isabel Hardman has a new five-part series on Radio 4, called the Age of Denial. Although it covers all forms of denial, it is clearly aimed at climate sceptics, as this opening episode makes obvious:

Hardman interviews Kari Marie Norgaard, a social scientist from Oregon, who has written a book about climate change denial.

You can listen to the first five minutes, but to give the gist, Norgaard visited a small town in western Norway in the winter of 2000/01 to do research for a book she was writing. She found that the winter that year was a mild one, with the snow arriving late.

But what really stunned Norgaard was that none of the locals wanted to talk about ‘climate change’, which she was convinced was to blame.

Hardman and Norgaard then discuss various reasons why this should be so, which amounts to no more than a load of psychobabble.

For some reason, it did not occur to either of them to ask what the locals knew already: that it was just the sort of weather event that they, or their forefathers, had seen in the past.

Indeed, when we check the actual data at Bergen, the longest-running site in the region, we find that those winter temperatures in 2000/01, far from being unusual, were the norm in the 1930s and 40s, and not infrequent at other times either:

In the remainder of the episode, Hardman discusses various theories from other psychoanalysts. But it is all just a spurious intellectual attempt to create a condition called ‘Denialism’. No doubt so that climate sceptics can be conveniently labelled and then ignored.

In reality, you don’t need to be a psychologist to understand why so many people are suspicious of what they are told about climate change. The answer lies in the fact that they see no evidence on the ground to support the barrage of apocalyptic warnings showered on them.

People who live near the coast can see with their own eyes that they are not about to be inundated by the sea. Temperature rise has been so small in the last century that most people would not even be aware of it if not told. As for extreme weather, older people know that there have always been floods, droughts, heatwaves and storms. Sadly it is the younger generation, who have no such experience, who are vulnerable to propaganda.

In short, people are far more knowledgeable than the sneering Isabel Hardman gives them credit for. And they know when they are being sold a pup.

Moreover, these ordinary people have far more pressing concerns in their daily lives than to be paranoid about climate change. Perhaps if Hardman came out of her metropolitan BBC bubble and talked to ordinary people, she might find this out for herself.

Rather than trying to package sceptics as people with psychological problems, she might ask why others have become totally paranoid about climate change. When I see school kids questioning the point of going to school when ‘their future could be ruined by climate change’, I truly despair.

What on earth are we doing to these youngsters? Do we really want them growing up so indoctrinated and unable to use their own faculties that they cannot even check the facts for themselves? Do we really want them to grow up so neurotic that they are scared of the weather?

Are we happy to see them marching around like a bunch of zombies, full of meaningless slogans about topics that they don’t have the slightest understanding about?


Greenpeace founder erased from history -- just like Orwell's 1984

Greenpeace are actually lying about this.  Denying straight out that Patrick Moore was ever even a member.  Truth is optional to the Green/Left

Google, with the help of Greenpeace, is revising Greenpeace's history to erase Dr. Moore from his role in co-founding the environmental group. But Greenpeace's own website has previously featured Moore as one of its "founders."

President Donald Trump touted Greenpeace co-founder Dr. Patrick Moore’s statements earlier this week that “the whole climate crisis is not only Fake News, it’s Fake Science.” Moore made his comments while appearing on Fox & Friends

But now, Google, with the help of Greenpeace, is revising Greenpeace’s history to erase Dr. Moore from his role in co-founding the environmental group.

Moore on March 16: “Oh my! Google has removed my photo and name from the ‘Founders of @Greenpeace’. It was still there 2 days ago but now I am erased. Tech Tyranny!!”

As we were


Australia: The Liberal Party candidate in the prized seat of Curtin spurns climate warming consensus

Celia Hammond, has declared her ­belief that humanity’s contribution to global warming has ­likely been “very minimal”.

Ms Hammond, who was preselected last week to contest the safe seat, acknowledged that ­climate change was a major concern among voters in Curtin, but said the issue must be addressed in ways that did not harm the economy.

She rejected scientific opinion that the burning of fossil fuels was the main factor behind global warming.

“I believe man has contributed in some way to climate change — the exact extent is probably very minimal,” she said.

When asked whether her ­belief was backed by scientific ­evidence, she said: “I don’t believe it goes against the science. There is a lot of science and a lot of contradictory science.

“But I am always open to evidence-based approaches and I’m always happy to actually, if need be, change course, to change ­direction.”

The consensus within the scientific community is that human activity is the primary cause of global warming and that continuing greenhouse gas emissions will increase the severity of climate change.

Ms Hammond, 50, rejected suggestions by some of her political opponents that she is too ­socially conservative to represent Curtin, which had the strongest vote in Western Australia in favour of same-sex marriage.

“I’m not ultraconservative,” she said. “There are people who are less conservative than me and there are people who are more conservative than me.”

She refused to reveal how she voted in the same-sex marriage survey in 2017. “I voted as a private citizen, the law has since been changed and I’ve been to a same-sex wedding of people that I love very much,” she said. “I’ve got my own personal values and I don’t impose them on anybody.”

Ms Hammond’s main rival in Curtin, independent Louise Stewart, claimed last week that the ­Liberal Party’s choice of a “conservative” candidate was a huge boost for her campaign.

Ms Hammond is widely respected for her success in running the University of Notre Dame for more than a decade and she impressed Liberal preselection delegates, who gave her 62 per cent of the first-preference votes cast.

It emerged before the preselection ballot that Ms Hammond had spoken out against “militant feminism”, casual sex and contraception. She stood by the comments yesterday.

“The reason I don’t call myself a feminist is that there is within the feminist movement now a very large militant feminist voice which is essentially saying unless you believe X, Y, Z you’re not pro-women,” she said.

“And the whole thing for me about feminism is that women should be able to make up their own minds and live their own lives and not be told.”

Ms Hammond revealed she would work closely with longstanding Curtin MP Julie Bishop in the lead-up to the federal election.  “Julie has given her full support,” she said.

“I met with Julie before I put my application in. She wished me well, she was delighted there was a field of people running, and she rang me within moments of it being announced that I’d been preselected to congratulate me to say we’d be working together.”



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


Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Those evil banks that finance pipelines

At a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Tuesday, Congress freshman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) once again managed to turn herself into the center of attention by focusing on the ludicrous by castigating Wells Fargo for doing its primary job of lending. During a four-hour grilling of Wells Fargo’s CEO, Tim Sloan, the New York Democrat slammed Wells Fargo for lending to private prisons and a pipeline.


Texas Power Prices Surge 700% on a Chilly Morning in Dallas

Windmills useless

A chilly morning in Dallas combined with calm winds and idle power plants sent wholesale electricity prices in Texas to the highest level in more than a year.

Spot electricity at a northern hub in Texas surged about 700 percent to average $383.71 a megawatt-hour for the hour ended 8 a.m. local time, the most since January 2018, according to Genscape. It came as Dallas temperatures dipped to 42 degrees Fahrenheit (6 Celsius) early Monday. At the same time, power plants representing about 37 percent of the state’s generating capacity were shut for spring maintenance, according to Jeffrey Thibodeau, Genscape’s regional director for Texas.

Wind was little help, as with output from turbine farms fell to about 1.6 gigawatts for that period, compared with around 10 gigawatts most days last week, Thibodeau said.


The End of the World ... Because Leftists Say So

Kids are always pawns for leftist indoctrination, this time walking out over climate.

“Climate change could trigger a civilization breakdown…”
“The planet will face a disaster if people don’t turn this ship around…”

“Even with drastic, draconian, eugenic policies of population reduction — which are completely immoral — we wouldn’t save ourselves. We have to change the way we live…”

“Climate change may wipe out humanity.”

Media around the globe reported these breathless, panicked statements from young adults and students called to walk out of class this past Friday. Any excuse to dodge class will do, but these students aimed to warn of the predicted apocalypse caused by the sin of fossil fuels and combustible engines — a fear driven by the belief that man-made global warming will soon, even within two decades according to some, end civilization as we know it.

The media originally heralded that more than one million students would skip class Friday. Reports of the actual walkouts are vague on the numbers of participants, however, citing thousands across the U.S. These students lent their presence to the Global Climate Strike inspired by a Swedish 16-year-old, Greta Thunberg, who spoke at the United Nations in December 2018 and was joined by Al Gore and his Climate Vanity Reality Project, in decrying the soon-to-be-heard death rattle of Mother Earth.

What exactly are these town criers declaring as truth?

First, all these “progressive” advocacy groups are parroting the mathematic equation that people plus fossil fuels equal the end of all life on this planet. The fact that solar cycles and sunspots are known to be the largest contributors to the earth’s temperature — with measurable data demonstrating that temperature changes coincide more with solar changes and not CO2 concentration — doesn’t fit the talking points of those desperately wanting to implement the ecofascist Green New Deal.

Second, the renewed belief in population control is critical — remember all Democrat roads lead back to the need for free birth control and abortion on demand. The evil Neanderthals-of-now are capable of downloading any smart-phone app but are somehow incapable of raising children that could possibly be good stewards of creation and its resources. The Left essentially acknowledges how stupid they believe humanity to be, hence, the “need” for socialism to confiscate all wealth, redistribute it, declare that which is and isn’t permitted for the good of the State, and ensure that the unwashed masses are controlled by “reproductive health services” and live as some universal population of the monitored and contained.

Not only has this doctrine of doom generated a militant group of environmentalists armed with radical legislative proposals that will cheer scarcity and state-sponsored oppression in some unproven theory with no sustainable energy and grazing, rather than consuming meat, but it’s yielded a movement devoted to remaining childless.

Blythe Pepino attended an Extinction Rebellion lecture a few years back and began her own advocacy group, BirthStrike, to voluntarily fight “climate breakdown and civilization collapse.” Her gospel is “about saying: ‘It is OK to make this choice, but it’s not OK to have to make this choice.’ We should never be in a situation where we are genuinely scared to bring life into the world.”

So, back to the math of these progressive prognosticators of peril, having no children is virtuous and clearly superior in the effort to save the planet — a space rock that, by the way, has already gone through catastrophic eras of epic change. But don’t confuse them with facts.

Applying the phrase of former Vice President Spiro Agnew, who had an intense conflict with the media of his day, to these deceived young adults who are foregoing a life of opportunity and authentic progress due to conjured up fear, these “nattering nabobs of negativism” have fallen victim to the tactic of their own movement. Don’t forget political theorist Saul Alinsky.

Of the 13 rules Alinsky authored and indoctrinated, number nine captures this entire philosophical approach to life rooted in fear: “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” In plain talk, living life flooded with worst-case scenarios as your belief of the future fueled by an imagination running wild full of consequences of doom, death, and destruction, leads adherents to adopt a life of desperation.

Not only are the youth and students who’ve been indoctrinated by these leftists of the faculty lounges of America preaching the apocalypse of our very existence, but they’ve fallen victim to their own contrived reality to the extent that they will make themselves extinct unless they successfully convert the masses to their idiocy. Remember, the Left must always have a permanent underclass dependent upon some greater power — which cannot possibly be God working through His created humanity to be self-reliant and free — that they will identify as the government run by their hardcore militants.

Yes, we must be good stewards of our world, its natural resources, our families, communities and our very own personhood. But, no, the end of the world won’t be due to cow farts or air travel.


Green/Left agenda stalls in the House

Ambitious proposals to end climate change and provide healthcare for everyone, seen as socialist by Republicans, have failed to win the support of even half of the House Democratic caucus, effectively dooming any chance of floor consideration.

Support appears to have plateaued for both the Green New Deal resolution as well as the Medicare for All national health insurance proposal.

The Green New Deal, introduced Feb. 7 by rising freshman star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., calls for a complete overhaul of the nation’s housing, transportation, businesses, and agriculture to end carbon emissions and to stave off climate change.

But of the 235 Democrats in the House, Ocasio-Cortez's bill has the backing of just 90 of her colleagues, and picked up just one new co-sponsor since Feb. 25. That's a little more than a third of the Democrats and far fewer than the 218 needed to pass it without any GOP support.

The Medicare for All bill, introduced by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., isn’t faring much better.

The bill had 106 co-sponsors when it was introduced on Feb. 27. Two weeks later, no other Democrat has co-sponsored the plan to eliminate all private health insurance and turn the nation’s entire healthcare system over to the government.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., a progressive, has criticized both proposals and isn’t taking them seriously, even though several Senate Democrats running for president back the measures.

Pelosi can afford to keep the legislation from ever reaching the floor since the two proposals have won over far fewer than half of the rank and file.

“The new green deal, is it?” Pelosi said when reporters asked about it last week, keeping with her habit of misstating the name of the proposal. She called it the “green dream” in February.

Pelosi told reporters she is “more excited” about a newly created climate change panel chaired by Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., which won’t write legislation but will hold hearings and providing recommendations to other committees that will write bills addressing climate change.

Those proposals, Pelosi said, could incorporate elements of the Green New Deal.

Ocasio-Cortez, who recently told her vast following on social media that the threat of climate change should prompt people to reconsider having children, declined a seat on the special climate change panel.

House Democrats, wary her superstar power, have mostly refrained from directly criticizing the Green New Deal, which was initially introduced with a supporting document that called for making plane travel unnecessary and eliminating methane-emitting cows.

But most Democrats aren’t lining up to put their names on the document. “I appreciate the aspiration, but I won’t be signing on,” Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, told the Washington Examiner.

Democrats are also careful not to criticize Medicare for All. “We get, as a party, that we want to go to a place where everyone has full coverage,” said Rep. Haley Stevens, D-Mich.

But Stevens, who like other centrist Democrats has not signed on to the Medicare for All bill, believe it is more realistic to pass legislation to reform the struggling Affordable Care Act, which Pelosi passed a decade ago and keeps private health insurance intact.

Meanwhile, Republicans have cited both bills as evidence that Democrats are veering toward socialism.

"Our nation has watched the Democratic Party take a sharp and abrupt left turn toward socialism,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said this week. “A flawed ideology that has been rejected time and again across the world is now driving the marquee policy proposals of the new House Democrat majority.”

McConnell will force Democrats to go on the record at the end of March when he calls up the Green New Deal for a vote. Democrats are trying to turn the tables on the GOP, accusing them of ignoring a looming climate crisis.

“We Democrats are ready to work,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on the Senate floor last week. “Will Leader McConnell bring his own members clean energy legislation to the floor?”


Australia: Fears Labor's plan to slash carbon emissions could cost 336,000 jobs and cause an 8 per cent plunge in wages

Labor's plan to halve carbon emissions within the next decade could cost 336,000 jobs and cause an eight per cent plunge in lost wages by 2030.

BAEconomics has modelled the climate change policies of both major parties and the effects they could have on the broader economy.

The Canberra-based economics consultancy predicts policies aimed at cutting emissions will result in higher electricity prices, and increased production costs in the mining, transport and manufacturing sectors.

The group's managing director Brian Fisher, who has been an economist since 1976, said tackling climate change involved hip-pocket pain and slower economic growth.

'The reason I've done this work was because a lot of people were running around, particularly from universities, saying, "We can achieve all of these reductions in emissions at no cost to the economy",' he told Daily Mail Australia on Tuesday.

'It's just very frustrating for an economist to hear that sort of thing because it's frankly very dishonest.'

BAEconomics analysed Labor's plan to slash carbon emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 and see 50 per cent of Australia's energy come from renewable sources by that time.

It concluded that under Labor, average full-time salaries in 2030 would stand at $97,000 instead of $106,000.

Full-time workers would be earning more than eight per cent less than they otherwise would have under Labor's climate change policies.

By comparison, the Coalition's less ambitious plans to reduce the effects of global warming would see average wages hit $104,000 by 2030, which would be two per cent less than they would otherwise have been.

The policies of the Liberal and National parties, to reduce carbon emission by 28 per cent by 2030, would also see 78,000 jobs lost during the next decade. That is four times less than the projected 336,000 jobs lost by 2030 under Labor's climate change policies.

'There's always some cost associated with this sort of transformation,' Dr Fisher said. 'As a consequence of that, you grow more slowly than you otherwise would have done and therefore you generate less jobs and your wage rates are going to grow more slowly.'



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


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Arctic temperatures soaring and "locked in"

Two days ago I reproduced a new UN Environment report on the Arctic which not only claimed that the Arctic temperatures would soar but also that they were "locked in".  I dismissed it as attributing to climate factors effects which were much more likely caused by subsurface vulcanism.

That old warrior of global warming, Ezekiel Hausfather, has also however rubbished the report -- rather swingeingly. Apparently it was some sort of cut & paste job that got lots of things wrong. Zeke takes his numbers seriously and insists that a whole range of future temperatures is possible and that NOTHING is "locked in".  He explains below:

A new UN Environment report on the Arctic was released last week, which covered a broad range of changes to the region’s climate, environment, wildlife and epidemiology.

The accompanying press release focused on the report’s section about climate change. It warned that, “even if the Paris Agreement goals are met, Arctic winter temperatures will increase 3-5C by 2050 compared to 1986-2005 levels” and will warm 5-9C by 2080.

The report was covered by a number of news outlets, including the Guardian, Wired, Hill, CBC and others. Media coverage focused on the idea – promoted in the press release – that large amounts of Arctic warming is “locked in”, “inevitable” or “unavoidable”.

However, an investigation by Carbon Brief has found that the section of the report on climate change erroneously conflates the Paris Agreement target – which is to limit warming to “well below” 2C by the end of the century relative to pre-industrial levels – with a scenario that has much more modest emission reductions which result in around 3C of global warming.

In climate-model runs using a scenario limiting global warming to below 2C, the Arctic still warms faster than the rest of the world. But future Arctic winter warming will be around 0.5-5C by the 2080s compared to 1986-2005 levels, much lower than the 5-9C values stated in the report.

This means that much of the future warming in the Arctic will depend on our emissions over the 21st century, rather than being “locked in”, as the report claims.

Erroneous paragraph

The UN Environment report is titled, “Global linkages: A graphic look at the changing Arctic”. It provides a brief, accessible and infographic-heavy look at a number of different areas in which the Arctic has changed in recent decades and may change in the future.

The section of the report covering Arctic temperatures – which is only two pages long – does not present any new research. Rather, it summarises the findings of a number of recent, more technical studies. The future temperature projections, which were the focus of the press release and associated media coverage, are contained in a single paragraph of the report:

“Warmer temperatures in the Arctic resulted in a record low in the winter sea ice extent between 2015–2018 (Overland et al., 2018). Indeed, under a medium- or high-emission scenario, projected temperature changes for the Arctic will follow a winter warming trend at least double the rate for the northern hemisphere (AMAP 2017a). This means that even if countries manage to cut GHG emissions to the targets outlined in the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, winter temperatures in the Arctic will still be 3 to 5C higher by 2050 and 5 to 9C higher by 2080, relative to 1986–2005 levels. In fact, even if we stopped all emissions overnight, winter temperatures in the Arctic will still increase by 4 to 5C compared to the late twentieth century. This increase is locked into the climate system by GHGs already emitted and ocean heat storage (AMAP 2017a).”

However, this paragraph contains a number of unclear statements and errors that undercut the message that large amounts of future Arctic warming are “locked into the climate system”.

While the first two sentences are accurate, problems begin in the third when the report argues that meeting Paris Agreement targets would still result in winter Arctic warming of 3-5C by 2050 and 5-9C by 2080, relative to 1986-2005 levels.

The reference for these numbers is the 2017 Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) report. The 2017 AMAP report states:

“Over the Arctic Ocean, which is ice-free in early winter in some models and covered by thin sea ice during late winter, the warming is 3–5C by mid-century and 5–9C by late century under RCP4.5.”

The UN Environment report drops the reference to the Arctic Ocean, referring to these warming projections as ”winter temperatures in the Arctic” – a much larger area of the Earth than just the region over the Arctic Ocean. The actual warming in RCP4.5 for the full Arctic (between 60N and 90N) in the 2017 AMAP report is a bit lower: around 3.8-7.8C in the 2080s. There is another minor issue where the new report gives specific years (2050 and 2080), while the 2017 AMAP report actually uses the periods from 2050-2059 and 2080-2089.

The major problem with the paragraph comes when it associates the 2017 AMAP warming numbers – which refer to the RCP4.5 scenario – with “the targets outlined in the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change”.

In the Paris Agreement, countries set a target to limit warming “well below” 2C, with an aspirational target of limiting warming below 1.5C. However, the 2017 AMAP report only considers two future emissions scenarios: a very-high-emission RCP8.5 scenario, where the world experiences more than 4C warming; and a medium-emission RCP4.5 scenario, where the world experiences around 3C warming compared to pre-industrial levels by the end of the century.

If countries were to meet the Paris Agreement target of limiting warming to “well below” 2C, global emissions would actually follow a RCP2.6 scenario (or cut emissions even more quickly to limit warming to 1.5C). While RCP2.6 still sees some additional Arctic warming, it is much smaller than the numbers contained in the report.

The figure below shows the winter warming in the Arctic from all of the CMIP5 climate models used in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) fifth assessment report for the RCP2.6 scenario. The black lines show the average of all the models, the dark area shows the range in which two-thirds of the models fall (the one-sigma range), and the light area shows the range covering 95% of the model runs (the two-sigma range).

RCP2.6 climate-model runs from CMIP5 for the region between 60N and 90N for the winter months (December, January and February) for the 32 different climate models providing RCP2.6 runs (with one run used per model). Model data obtained from KNMI Climate Explorer.

In a scenario where the Paris Agreement target is met, the actual winter warming projected for the Arctic is 0.8-4.5C in the 2050s and 0.5-5C in the 2080s relative to 1986–2005 levels (following the approach used in 2017 AMAP report of giving one-sigma ranges). The multi-model mean shows 2.8C warming in both the 2050s and 2080s, as falling global emissions limit further warming after the middle of the century.

The statement in the report that “even if we stopped all emissions overnight, winter temperatures in the Arctic will still increase by 4C to 5C compared to the late twentieth century” is puzzling, as it does not appear anywhere in the 2017 AMAP report that it cites.

Confusingly, the UN Environment report is claiming that cutting emissions to zero immediately would lead to more warming than occurs in climate models running the RCP2.6 scenario – a scenario which only has emissions reaching zero by around 2080. Carbon Brief reached out to a number of climate scientists, all of whom expressed puzzlement as to what might provide the basis of this claim. Carbon Brief asked UN Environment and the report’s authors for a response, but did not receive one before publication. (This article will be updated to include any response.)

According to an analysis featured in the recent IPCC special report on 1.5C, reducing all human emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols to zero immediately would result in a modest short-term bump in global temperatures of around 0.15C as Earth-cooling aerosols disappear, followed by a decline. Around 20 years after emissions went to zero, global temperatures would fall back down below today’s levels and then cool by around 0.25C by 2100. While reducing aerosols might have a larger warming impact in the Arctic than other regions, an additional long-term warming of 4C to 5C seems rather unlikely.

Not ‘locked in’

Why might the report conflate a 3C global-warming scenario (RCP4.5) with the Paris Agreement target (RCP2.6)? The actual commitments made by countries in the Paris Agreement – the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) – fall well short of what would be needed to meet the Paris target. If countries only take these actions – and do not ratchet up their commitments after the Paris commitment period ends in 2030 – studies suggest that the world would be on track for a bit more than 3C warming, though how much depends largely on assumptions around emissions between 2030 and 2100.

However, even if the report meant to say “the warming implied by existing Paris commitments” rather than the “Paris targets”, the press release and subsequent media coverage are still misleading. Unless the authors are arguing that the world as a whole is already locked into 3C warming – and there are plenty of scenarios that would keep global warming below 2C, or even down to 1.5C warming – the amount of future warming that will occur in the Arctic during the 21st century will depend in large part on our future emissions.

The figure below shows the winter Arctic warming relative to 1986-2005 from the average of all the IPCC CMIP5 climate models for each future RCP emission scenario. There is a wide range of potential future warming, from as little as 2.7C in 2100 in RCP2.6 to as much as 12C in RCP8.5. Which of these future warming scenarios will occur depends largely on our greenhouse gas emissions over the rest of the 21st century.

CMIP5 Multimodel mean for each RCP scenario for the region between 60N and 90N for the winter months (December, January and February). Model data obtained from KNMI Climate Explorer

If the world actually meets the Paris target of limiting warming below 2C, the future Arctic winter warming will be around 0.5-5C, much lower than the 5-9C values stated in the report.

There is still a wide range of possible outcomes for the region. As a result, any claim that massive amounts of future warming for the region are “locked in” is misleading.


Comment: Interesting that under the most realistic temperature projection (green line in the second graph) temperatures will rise a bit to mid century and then level out! Not too scary.

Climate Hysteria Run Amok: California’s ‘Permanent’ Drought Not So Permanent

For the first time since 2011, the state shows no areas suffering from prolonged drought and illustrates almost entirely normal conditions, according to a map released Thursday by the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Former Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order in 2017 that lifted the drought emergency in most of the state, leaving some breathing a sigh of relief.

But he cautioned Californians to keep saving water as some parts of the state was still suffering from extreme drought. Now, two years later, that deficit seems to have been erased, thanks to an exceptionally wet winter.

“The reservoirs are full, lakes are full, the streams are flowing, there’s tons of snow,” said Jessica Blunden, a climate scientist with the National Climatic Data Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “All the drought is officially gone.”

The Drought Monitor, which collects data from scientists from the National Drought Mitigation Center, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and dozens of weather agencies, last showed a drought map that was clear in December 2011.

In updating the map, scientists consult with hydrologists, water managers, meteorologists, and other experts to determine the amount of water in the state’s reservoirs, the snowpack level, and other key measurements. With the wet winter streak going strong, their reports have been good.

In January, storms filled up many of the state’s water reserves almost to capacity and added about 580 billion gallons of water to reservoirs across the state. That month, the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada, a major source of California’s water supply, doubled — and then doubled again in February.

“California has been getting a tremendous amount of rain, storms, and snow,” Blunden said. “It’s just been extremely wet and it’s been so wet … that we’ve been able to alleviate drought across the state.”

A year ago, just 11% of the state was experiencing normal conditions while 88.9% of the state was “abnormally dry,” according to the drought report. Some parts of Los Angeles and Ventura counties were still colored dark red, meaning they were experiencing “extreme drought.”


Brainless ‘Beto’ on Climate Change Leadership: ‘Those Who Were on the Beaches in Normandy … Showed Us the Way’

He just parrots extreme Warmism

On his first day on the campaign trail Thursday, Democratic presidential hopeful Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke called for urgent action on climate change, and linked the leadership required to confront the issue with the storming of “the beaches in Normandy” in 1944.

O’Rourke threw his weight behind the “Green New Deal,” warning that the planet faces “catastrophe and crisis … even if we were to stop emitting carbon today.” And in an echo of a comment by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) in January, he warned that “we have no more than 12 years to take incredibly bold action on this crisis.”

In one of several stops in Iowa, O’Rourke asked listeners in Burlington how it was that out of all the nations of the world, the U.S. has “removed itself from any obligation to work with anyone on perhaps the most pressing problem” – the fight against global warming.

“When you think about leadership,” he continued, “those who preceded us, right, those who were on the beaches in Normandy, those who faced an existential threat to Western democracy and our way of life, they showed us the way.”

“We can all come together, we can unite, we can marshal the resources, and we can convene the countries of the world around otherwise unsolvable problems.”

D Day, June 6, 1944, saw more than 160,000 American and allied personnel land on the beaches of northern France, paving the way for the liberation of Europe from the Nazis. Some 2,500 allies were killed on June 6 alone, and many more over the weeks that followed.

At a “meet and greet” in Keokuk earlier, O’Rourke was asked about the Green New Deal, and in a lengthy response shared some of his views on the anticipated effects of climate change, among them:

--“We face catastrophe and crisis on this planet, even if we were to stop emitting carbon today.”

--“Along this current trajectory, there will be people who can no longer live in the cities they call home today.”

--“There is food grown in this country that will no longer prosper in these soils.”

--“There is going to be massive migration of tens or hundreds of millions of people from places that are going to be uninhabitable or under the sea.”

“This is the final chance,” said O’Rourke. “The scientists are unanimous on this. We have no more than 12 years to take incredibly bold action on this crisis.”

Some people view the Green New Deal as too bold or unmanageable, he said.

“I tell you what, I haven't seen anything better that addresses this singular crisis we face, a crisis that could at its worst lead to extinction.”

“Not to be dramatic,” he concluded. “But literally, the future of the world depends on us right now, here where we are. Let's find a way to do this.”


Central Europe’s 30-Year Winter Temp Trend Still Cooling

The winter temperature trend for Germany over the past 32 years is not cooperating with “experts’” forecasts of rapid warming and snow and ice becoming a thing of the past.

The European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE) here presents two charts which I’m featuring today.

The first chart, using the data from Germany’s DWD national weather service, shows that wintertime’s mean temperature trend in Germany has not risen in 32 years:

Temperature winter Germany

The green trendline shows that although CO2 in the atmosphere globally has increased from about 350 ppm since 1988 to about 412 ppm currently, Germany’s mean winter temperature has fallen a bit.

France winters cooling

The story is true for much of France as well. Japanese blogger Kirye prepared a chart depicting the winter mean temperature of 12 stations across the country using the untampered data available from the Japan Meteorology Agency (JMA):

Germany trending away from droughts

Also, the German media are often filled with scare stories telling us we will be seeing an increasing number of droughts and dryness, and that last year’s dry summer was just a taste of what is to come.

Yet once again the data contradict all the doomsday drought reports. The long term winter precipitation trend since records began has been upward.

However, we acknowledge the trend has been decreasing (to normal levels) since about 2000. Interestingly German precipitation shows a 40-year cycle, and so likely has nothing to do with CO2.

The annual precipitation trend for Germany has also been upward overall, and it too has been trending downward since about 2000 (during this time sunshine hours have increased):


Four Priorities for Australia (and the World)

Viv Forbes

There are four priorities for the coming election.

Firstly: Decimate the Foreign Green Snakes in the Grass.

The climate/emissions obsession started with unelected foreigners in the UN and the IPCC who drafted deep green agendas to be imposed via elected Federal, State and Local governments. Australia must immediately withdraw from the Lima/Paris/Kyoto agreements, reject the 2030 Agenda, and repeal all the green tape they spawned. This costly mess creates no measurable climate or environmental benefits.

Secondly: Build more Reliable Base-Load Power Stations.

Green extremists want to destroy the carbon energy that powers our industries, supports our life style, funds our welfare and provides our jobs. They want to take us back to primitive green energy that can never support modern civilised life.

We have played with weather-dependent wind-solar toys for too long. They will never power an advanced economy, nor will they lift poor nations from poverty. And they provide no demonstrated benefits for the climate, the landscape or consumers. All taxes, subsidies and energy targets that prop up unreliable intermittent energy must be abolished.

Thirdly: Build More Dams and Weirs.

Much of our continent cycles between droughts and floods. Both problems have the same positive solution – catch and store flood waters. The oceans are never short of water, but our land often is.

Finally: Fight Fire with Fire.

Every dry season we lose homes, properties, livestock, parks and wildlife to massive bushfires. There is only one positive solution – copy aboriginals and old-time graziers and use small, managed, early-season fires to remove flammable ground litter. This will require landowners and local fire-fighters (not urban greenies) to manage fuel-reduction burns.

We must fix these four issues. Stop draining Australian money to support foreign agendas and the bloated UN bureaucracy. Let’s help Australians instead.


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


Monday, March 18, 2019

Climate science requires acceptance, not belief or full understanding: Climate change is like gravity, only accessible to lay-people at the top levels (?)

An amusing article below by Michael Barnard off the pseudo-intellectual "Medium" site.  He is badly in need of a bit of philosophical sophistication. A reading of Erich Fromm on authority might generate some thought in him.

He says that you need to accept authority to accept global warming.  I sort of agree with that.  It is only blind trust in authority that is behind most global warming belief as far as I can see.

What he is doing is overlooking Erich Fromm's distinction between rational and irrational authority.  In Fromm's terms, Leftism is a case of irrational authority.  Leftists want to impose their will on us "by means of rifles, bayonets and cannon", as Friedrich Engels put it. It is authority exercised by fear and pressure on the basis of emotional submission. It is the authority of blind obedience.

But there is another kind of authority, rational authority, by which we mean any authority which is based on competence and knowledge, which permits criticism, which by its very nature tends to diminish, but which is not based on the emotional factors of submission and masochism, but on the realistic recognition of the competence of the person for a certain job.

So Barnard claims that global warmists are rational authorities and should therefore be believed.  But they are not.  They behave just like irrational authorities, trying to shut up dissent and getting anyone fired who disagrees with them and refusing debate with knowledgeable opponents.  They do NOT permit criticism. They expect submission only.

And their claim to competence and knowledge is totally deficient.  They have made numerous prophecies over the years and none have come true.  The Arctic is supposed to be ice free by now, English children are not supposed to know what snow is by now etc.

Far from being rational authorities, Warmists are false prophets

There’s a problematic question in journalism and science communication. Various people are asking journalists to stop asking politicians whether they “believe in climate change” and to start asking whether they understand it.

The problem is that outside of the odd politician who was actually a climate scientist, the vast majority of people can’t claim to understand climate change or global warming with any degree of sincerity or completeness. At best, the average layperson or even well-educated layperson will have a superficial understanding of anything beyond the basics.

Let’s take an analogy that might be useful. Do you understand gravity, or just believe in it? Let’s test this out.

Lowest level of understanding

Can you perform an experiment that demonstrates gravity’s existence? Yes, anyone can drop something.

Moderate level of understanding

Can you perform an experiment that quantifies gravitational pull? Yes, drop a ball from two meters and time it until it hits the ground. Some simple math gives you ~9.8 meters per second squared. That math is beyond some people. It was beyond everyone until Newton.

Can you perform an experiment which assesses the impact of other forces to isolate gravitational pull? Yes, drop a ball and a feather from two meters and time them. The ball hits first telling you that air resistance slows down the feather more than the ball. Then you can isolate the impact of air resistance on the ball and refine the estimation of the acceleration due to gravity.

High level of understanding

Can you generalize the effect to any two large objects? That requires an understanding of how far gravity reaches and how it changes with distance. It’s very doable, but this was beyond everyone for a long time. It’s beyond most people today.

Can you perform an experiment to determine whether gravity stays the same regardless of distance? Sure, you could perform the ball dropping experiment at sea level and at the top of a mountain. But you would have to account for the squished ball shape of the earth and the various places where there’s a bit more mass leading to a bit more gravity. And then you’d have to account for the variance in air resistance between sea level and 3 or 4 kilometres up. It’s very doable, but the variance is still tiny. Most people couldn’t perform the experiment with sufficient rigour, deal with the confounding factors, or do the math.

Could you calculate the trajectory of asteroids based on gravity? Well, we can observe the orbital periods of the moon, the sun, and the earth. We can start figuring out from there and a whack of observations their masses. We can figure out from our experiments how rapidly gravitational forces fall off. But most people couldn’t calculate the orbital mechanics of anything even with all of the data and formulas provided.

But the GPS in people’s cell phones works regardless of them being able to do the math, which explains why the GPS satellite doesn’t fall out of the sky. And planes fly regardless of whether the passenger in them can explain how the force of gravity is being counteracted.

This is a lengthy way of saying that something which everyone can interact with directly by dropping something becomes so increasingly arcane that even very smart and educated people end up in situations where they just accept the science. In other words, where they assert belief, not understanding.

This does turn into an appeal to authority, but not the logical fallacy of appeal to false authority. That’s a rhetorical trick played by ‘skeptics’. They claim that any appeal to authority is a logical fallacy, when it’s actually only referencing the statements of the unqualified that is the logical fallacy.

What does this have to do with climate change?

The vast majority of people have never seen any evidence of climate change; they just see weather. They haven’t looked at historical temperature records for the globe and crunched the numbers. They haven’t compared surface to satellite temperature data. They haven’t personally gone to multiple glaciers every year for 30 years to compare their rates of disappearance. They haven’t looked at 20,000 year old ice cores to assess CO2 isotopes. They haven’t leveraged existing and proven climate models to assess specific impacts. They haven’t amassed data on weather events and done statistical analysis that would show the impacts of climate change or not.

At best, some people see that spring is earlier than in their childhood, but most people would probably question their memories rather than the seasons.

Climate change is diffuse. Climate change is happening incredibly quickly by geological standards, but incredibly slowly by human standards. We can’t easily see it.

Most of climate science is beyond most people. For the majority of people, they just accept that, like GPS, the scientists are right. They accept the authority of peer-reviewed science, the scientific consensus, and the reports of the IPCC. They believe it to be true.

Most people don’t understand climate change at more than the simplest of levels, and even then they aren’t able to define and perform experiments which could assess it.

Climate change skeptics and deniers look at this and their brains melt and run out of their ears. They accept that GPS works, that planes fly, and that people have walked on the moon, stuff that they have a pretty equal lack of understanding of. But then they turn around and reject the science of climate change, something that they understand just as poorly.

They will happily point to inexpert experts such as Nobel Laureates in solid-state electronics who are skeptical about global warming, but will claim that citing the IPCC and actual climate scientists is the logical fallacy of appeal to false authority. In other words, they are guilty of the thing that they claim you are guilty of (a familiar pattern).

So what do we do?

Well, don’t demand that people understand it all and don’t ask that they believe in it, just ask that they accept the science as they accept GPS or gravity.

Or reframe the problem entirely and talk about pollution or sensible risk policies or health. As the major political groups which are skeptical about climate change are conservative, and conservatives dominate the ranks of skeptics, it’s worth looking at this guidance on how to talk to conservatives about the subject.

Personally, I don’t argue with skeptics or deniers about the basics of global warming and climate change. It’s not that I haven’t read through a ton of the evidence and can counter most of their arguments, or that I don’t have online resources such as Skeptical Science to find the refutations quickly. It’s just a futile exercise. In a complex space, there is a tremendous amount of scope for Gish Galloping and whataboutism, two annoying debating tactics commonly used by skeptics. I’d rather spend my time on advancing solutions and I’m not the right person to convince most skeptics to shift their views. I’m more focused on solutions.


Make America Greater: Approve the PCCS!

America absolutely needs outside expert review of climate claims used to oppose fossil fuels

John Droz

Should the United States conduct a full, independent, expert scientific investigation into models and studies that say we face serious risks of manmade climate change and extreme weather disasters?

As incredible as it may seem, US government climate science has never been subjected to any such examination. Instead, it has been conducted by government agencies and assorted climate, environmental, history, psychology and other “experts” paid by the same government agencies – to the tune of literally billions of dollars per year.

Moreover, all that time, effort and money has been spent on studies that claim carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse gases” are causing unprecedented climate and weather cataclysms, requiring the immediate and total elimination of fossil fuels that supply 82% of all US energy. Virtually none of it has been spent on studies of the powerful natural forces that have driven global warming and cooling, other climate changes and innumerable extreme weather events throughout Earth and human history.

Replacing all that energy – under the Green New Deal we hear so much about lately, or some similar schemes – would cost this country up to $93 trillion by 2030! That’s $65,000 per family per year!

Even worse, those same agencies and government contractors have actively prevented any independent review of their work. They have intimidated, silenced and vilified anyone who attempted to question or examine their data, computer models, assumptions, algorithms and conclusions.

They are adamantly opposed to any such review now. So are some 97% of all Democrats, environmentalists and “mainstream” news media.

You have to wonder: If their work is as solid, above-board and honest as they claim – wouldn’t they be delighted to defend it in public, and prove their detractors wrong?

Since they so totally opposed to any independent review – what are they trying to hide?

President Trump’s proposed investigation would be conducted by a brand new Presidential Committee on Climate Science (PCCS), led by physicist and presidential advisor Dr. Will Happer. It would be carried out by climate scientists and experts who did not participate in the original (alarmist) studies.

A decision about launching the PCCS will be made very soon. Support for the PCCS is urgently needed.

Many who oppose the PCCS claim human responsibility for climate change and extreme weather has already been resolved scientifically. That is simply not so. A genuine scientific assessment has four necessary components. It must be comprehensive, objective, transparent and empirical.

There has never been a true scientific assessment of global warming claims, anywhere on the planet.

In fact, even repeatedly referenced reports by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have faced no such review – and would fail at least three of those four criteria! That is largely because the IPCC computer models and claims of climate disasters are supported by virtually no real-world evidence.

PCCS opponents also say President Trump is acting irrationally on global warming. In reality, he is taking a far more scientific position than his critics are. Skepticism is the primary pillar of Real Science. So being labeled a “skeptic” is high praise to real scientists.

If it’s Real Science, questions, skepticism and constant reexamination are essential. Consensus is out.

If it’s consensus – and questions and skepticism are prohibited – it’s not Real Science.

PCCS opponents are telling us we have to accept their “consensus science” without question. Eliminate the fossil fuels that make our factories, healthcare, jobs, heating, lighting, food, internet and living standards possible. And put the federal government in control of all future energy and personal choices.

Certainly, the “science” that supposedly supports those demands should be examined carefully and scientifically before we rush to judgment on 82% of our energy. Not according to PCCS opponents.

The bottom line is very simple. President Trump should be applauded for proposing the PCCS, and for being open-minded enough to reconsider global warming claims – before he or we accept them as gospel.

Americans need to support him against the very vocal (and self-interested) people and organizations that oppose the PCCS.

We need to take immediate action to support President Trump on this vitally important initiative.

Use the link. Send him a quick note. Real, evidence-based climate science demands that we have this PCCS review. So does the future of our country and our children.

Via email

States Abusing Federal Provision to Block Critical Projects

There are seemingly endless regulatory obstacles for critical infrastructure projects.

One of these obstacles is starting to get some much-needed attention: abuse of Section 401 of the Clean Water Act.

The Congressional Research Service has explained that Section 401 “requires that an applicant for a federal license or permit provide a certification that any discharges from the facility will comply with the act, including state-established water quality standard requirements.”

This provision is a good example of the cooperative federalism that characterizes the Clean Water Act. Under this federal statute, states can use the Section 401 certification process to ensure that state water quality will not be harmed through federally permitted activities.

But some states may be abusing this important power.

Last year, during a hearing that addressed Section 401 abuse and considered a potential legislative remedy, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., pointed out that some states have abused the Section 401 certification process:

Recently, a few states have hijacked the water quality certification process in order to delay important projects. The state of Washington has abused their authority to block the export of coal mined in Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, and Montana. The state of Washington has refused to grant a water quality certification for the Millennium Bulk Terminal project.

That Millennium Bulk Terminal project is a proposed large coal export facility along the Columbia River that would help export coal to Asia.

The state of Washington’s decision to block the project might have significant economic implications and may even harm foreign commerce. But this, by itself, is not evidence of Section 401 abuse. After all, states are afforded significant power under Section 401.

Here’s the abuse: In order to deny the Section 401 certification, the state of Washington heavily relied upon factors that have nothing to do with water, such as vehicle traffic, train noise, and rail safety. This section of the Clean Water Act does not give states a green light to veto projects for whatever reasons they desire.

The Water Quality Certification Improvement Act of 2018, sponsored by Barrasso, would have clarified that Section 401 reviews are limited to water quality issues.

Some organizations, such as the Western Governors’ Association, have expressed concerns about altering the Section 401 process in a manner that would limits the states’ ability to manage their water resources. Those concerns are understandable.

Any legislation to address this specific abuse should be drafted narrowly so that it only prohibits the consideration of non-water factors under Section 401, and in no way affects existing authority to directly address water concerns.

The Water Quality Certification Improvement Act of 2018, as Barrasso pointed out, would also have clarified that “states, when evaluating water quality, can only consider discharges from the federally permitted or licensed activity itself—not from other unrelated sources.” 

In addition to this important clarification, any legislation should also address a closely related Section 401 abuse in which states are not merely considering unrelated discharges, but also expecting a federal permit applicant to take action to address pollution arising from unrelated discharges.

For example, in Maryland, Exelon is seeking to renew its Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license for its hydroelectric power plant. As a condition of securing a 401 certification, Maryland is allegedly requiring Exelon to remove water pollution that is not coming from the project, but instead coming from other sources.

The Section 401 certification process is not supposed to be a scheme for states to compel permit applicants to fix the state’s water problems. There are likely many other Section 401 abuses that Congress should address, including unnecessary delays imposed by states. But at a minimum, Congress should make these commonsense clarifications to existing law.


Why The Real Climate Threat Is Global Cooling

Climate alarmists constantly warn us that man-made global warming is making our world less habitable and that climate doomsday is fast approaching.

But a closer look at our climate reveals a surprising climate discovery that our mainstream media have conveniently ignored for decades: the role of the sun in determining Earth’s climate.

For the first time in humanity’s history, our leaders could be actively devising policies — based on their defiant and biased obsession with global warming — that will render us highly vulnerable to even the slightest cooling in our climatic system.

“We are causing irreversible damage to our environment,” “We are headed for a climate doomsday due to excessive warming,” “Climate change may wipe out humanity” — these are our everyday news headlines.

As a climate scientist, I find these headlines, and the stories they introduce, vague and full of hasty generalizations.  The repeated, one-dimensional doomsday cry about carbon dioxide’s role in global temperature blinds the public to other causes.

Indeed, there is a poor correlation between CO2 emissions and global temperature.

Between 2000 and 2018, global temperature showed no significant increase despite a steep increase in carbon dioxide emissions from anthropogenic sources.

The same was the case between the years 1940 and 1970. When carbon dioxide concentration increases at a constant and steady rate and temperatures don’t follow the pattern, we can be certain that carbon dioxide is not the primary driver of global temperature.

If not CO2, what?

Life on Earth is possible because of Earth’s perfect positioning in the solar system: not too close to the sun and not too far. For centuries, academicians have acknowledged this, and climate scientists today know that the sun is the biggest influencer and driver of global temperature.

NASA’s page on solar influence clearly states that changes in the sun largely determine Earth’s atmospheric and surface temperatures. Astrophysicists and climatologists measure these changes in the sun in terms of quantifiable phenomena such as sunspot activity and solar cycles.

However, in recent times, NASA has succumbed to pressure from climate doomsday proponents.  NASA’s original page on the sun’s impact on our climate system is now hidden from the public domain.

With the advent of dangerous man-made global warming theory, CO2 has taken the limelight, and the sun has been relegated to a mere spectator.

This could be warming-obsessed alarmists’ biggest mistake ever.

In central Europe, for example, temperature changes since 1990 coincided more with the changes in solar activity than with atmospheric CO2 concentration. The same has been true globally, and across centuries.

The Maunder Minimum (1645–1715) and Dalton Minimum (1790–1830) — periods of low solar activity — were responsible for the coldest periods of the Little Ice Age. England’s River Thames froze.

Whole civilizations collapsed as people starved because cold-induced poor harvests led to malnutrition that made people too weak to resist disease.

Likewise, increased solar activity in the Roman Warm Period (~250 B.C. to A.D. 400) and Medieval Warm Period (~A.D. 950–1250) brought warmer temperatures on Earth, and thriving crops led to greater nutrition and lower mortality rates.

Hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific papers affirm the overwhelming impact of solar activity on Earth’s temperature.

But will there be cooling?

Observations of sunspot activity at the Space Weather Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) indicate that there has been a lull in solar activity during the past 18 years — the same period during which there has been no significant warming, confirming a direct correlation between solar activity and global average temperature.

Some climate scientists say another major cooling is likely soon. Their claims are not outlandish.

Evidence for the lull in solar activity is so clear that even NASA admits the cooling trend. Martin Mlynczak of NASA’s Langley Research Center commented, “We see a cooling trend[.] … High above Earth’s surface, near the edge of space, our atmosphere is losing heat energy. If current trends continue, it could soon set a Space Age record for cold.”

Most recent scientific studies on solar cycles suggest that the next solar cycles (25 and 26) could be similar to the Maunder and Dalton minima that plunged much of the world into a disastrous cold.

An article in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Astrophysics and Space Science last month warns that the solar minimum might already have begun. Its authors also say there is a high possibility that it will be even colder than those of the Little Ice Age.

That is disturbing news.

Most of our current efforts — including the choice of our renewable energy technologies and our anti-fossil fuel developmental policies — are incompatible with fighting off the impacts of severe cold weather (localized and short-term), let alone long-lasting and global cooling like what happened with the solar minima of the Little Ice Age.

In the event of global cooling, people all over the world — the poor, especially — will be vulnerable. Our vulnerability will largely be because of global warming alarmists’ neglect of climate reality and the power-hungry climate agenda currently dominating national and international politics.


EPA's carbon emissions backflip after West Australian Premier's intervention

After days of anger over a decision that big businesses warned would jeopardise tens of billions of dollars of resources projects, the boss of WA's environmental watchdog was firmly sticking with his new policy.

"We stand by our guidelines," Environmental Protection Authority [EPA] chairman Tom Hatton told the ABC on Tuesday. "We feel the guidelines are necessary because emissions have been rising in WA and nationally for some time.

"And we are concerned the federal mechanisms to drive those down … are not something we can rely on."

But Dr Hatton admitted defeat just two days after that firm defence of his board's decision, which had recommended major projects be required to entirely offset their carbon emissions.

"Our guidelines and our advice would benefit from further consultation and we are going to do that," he said on Thursday.

"There are significant issues that have emerged."

How industry heavyweights exerted pressure

To understand how such an emphatic 180-degree turn took place in 48 hours, it pays to look at what is known to have occurred in between.

Oil and gas giants, already fuming, stepped up their fight significantly.

Full-page advertisements were plastered across Perth's daily newspaper, as big business splashed the cash in an effort to convince the public that the EPA's decision would inflict an enormous economic blow on WA.

They took their public relations effort up a notch, with top executives warning across a range of interviews that devastating impacts loomed, and the Premier's dismissal of the EPA's decision was far from enough to restore stability and confidence.

"There's thousands of jobs at stake, it is not just our business," Woodside chief operating officer Meg O'Neill said.

The fight was taken directly to State Parliament, with top brass from Woodside, Shell, Chevron and Santos called in for crisis talks with the Premier, during which they stressed what they saw as enormous risk and uncertainty had stemmed from the EPA's decision.

Action makes way for consultation

Just four hours later, the EPA's policy was no more — replaced by an indefinite period of "consultation".

"After the meeting I was in contact with Dr Hatton and explained the concerns that industry expressed," Premier Mark McGowan said.

"He and I agreed that something needed to be done."

Woodside chief executive Peter Coleman credited the Government "for acting quickly", while the Chamber of Minerals and Energy hailed it as a "win for common sense".

Less impressed though were environmental campaigners, who were left questioning who was actually running the state.

"Mr McGowan clearly does not understand the emergency we are in and would rather placate the big donors of the major parties than take tangible action on climate change," Greens MP Tim Clifford said.

For Mr McGowan, the EPA's backdown removed an enormous headache that had seriously threatened to further undermine his mantra as a Premier focused on job creation.

But with the EPA having so quickly and dramatically reversed its policy after his intervention, questions are likely to linger for some time about how autonomous WA's supposedly independent environmental watchdog really is.



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