Monday, November 19, 2018



Wildfires need not be disastrous

This is from the NYT, no less.  I have however omitted the  initial throat clearing

 The southeastern United States has not lost significant numbers of homes or lives to fire, despite its vast expanse of the “wildland-urban interface” — the mixture of rural homes and towns with wild vegetation. That’s not because the region is immune to fire. It’s because, in part, the Southeast uses prescribed fire across millions of acres each year to reduce how much vegetation is left to burn, effectively using intentional fires to limit out-of-control wildfire.

In California, some communities aggressively prepare residents for the eventuality of wildfire. Montecito, a community east of Santa Barbara, saw the need to address wildfire risk following the 1990 Painted Cave Fire nearby, which killed one person and consumed 427 homes. The Montecito Fire Protection District works with residents to reduce vegetative fuels along roadsides, create “fuel breaks” — essentially areas where native shrubs have been thinned or removed — at strategic locations on private property, and harden homes against embers by putting screens over vents and replacing siding and roofs with less flammable materials.

Fire personnel help residents create “defensible space” around their homes by removing brush and dead trees. (As the name suggests, defensible space is an area where a home can be defended by firefighters.) The district also set up a neighborhood chipping program to help residents dispose of excess logs and branches.

It created a robust evacuation plan and educated residents on how it worked. And it changed certain codes, requiring new driveways to be wider and with enough turnaround space for large fire engines. Those things make it safer and easier for residents to evacuate and firefighters to get in to protect lives and homes.

All of this preparation was tested in the Thomas Fire last December. The ongoing drought had primed the vegetation for explosive growth. Downhill winds developed, gusting over 60 miles per hour, pushing the fire into the community and raining embers down on homes. It was the worst-case scenario imaginable. Fire-behavior models projected that hundreds of homes could be lost in such conditions. When it was over, however, Montecito emerged with no fatalities, no injuries and only seven homes lost.

I was part of a team that reviewed how Montecito’s preparation paid off, and I saw how well the multipronged approach had worked. Yes, firefighters still had to protect homes. But they were able to do so safely, and many homes withstood the flames without any firefighter support. A lot of things went right, and there is no question that the changes Montecito made over many years contributed to the outcome. As a former wildland firefighter, what I saw in Montecito was a community that prioritized life safety and made sure firefighters could do their jobs safely and effectively, and it made all the difference.

Other communities in the West are implementing their own strategies. In San Diego, new subdivisions are being built with fire-resistant designs and materials so residents can stay safe in their homes while the fire burns around them, instead of risking evacuation and the perils of clogged roads. San Diego Gas and Electric has also focused on strategic blackouts during high wind events to reduce the risk of power line ignitions.

SOURCE





Another danger in California: Bad air. Even far from wildfires, smoke is taking a toll

Greenie-caused pollution.  I hope they are proud of themselves

The wildfires that have laid waste to vast parts of California are presenting residents with a new danger: air so thick with smoke it ranks among the dirtiest in the world.

On Friday, residents of smog-choked Northern California woke to learn that their pollution levels now exceed those in cities in China and India that regularly rank among the worst.

In the communities closest to the Paradise fire, an apocalyptic fog cloaked the roads, evacuees wandered in white masks, and officials said respiratory hospitalizations had surged. Nearly 200 miles to the south, in San Francisco, the smoke was so thick that health warnings prompted widespread school closings. Even the city’s cable cars were yanked from the streets.

And researchers warned that as large wildfires become more common — spurred by dryness linked to climate change — health risks will almost surely rise. “If this kind of air quality from wildfires doesn’t get people concerned,” said Dr. John Balmes, a pulmonologist at the University of California at San Francisco, “I don’t know what will.”

At fault, researchers say, is a confluence of two modern events: More people are moving to communities in and around wooded enclaves, pushed out by factors like the rising costs of housing and the desire to be closer to nature — just as warming temperatures are contributing to longer and more destructive wildfires.

Wood smoke contains some of the same toxic chemicals that city pollution does. While humans have long been around fire, they generally inhale it in small doses over cooking or heat fires. Humans have not, however, evolved to handle prolonged inhalation of caustic air from something like the Paradise blaze, Balmes said.

Research into the long-term health effects of large wildfires is still new. But a growing body of science shows how inhalation of minuscule particles from wood fires can nestle in the folds of lung tissue and do harm to the human immune system.

The body creates zealous responses to what it sees as an alien presence, and those effects can last for years by priming the body to overreact when it encounters subsequent lung irritation, said Dr. Kari Nadeau, a pediatric allergy and asthma specialist at Stanford.

In short, researchers like Nadeau believe that a person’s short-term exposure to wildfire can spur a lifetime of asthma, allergy, and constricted breathing.

By Friday, the death toll from the Paradise fire, north of Sacramento, had reached 71 people, with more than 1,000 people still missing, according to Sheriff Kory Honea of Butte County.

The 142,000-acre fire was 45 percent contained, and officials said they expected to reach 100 percent by Nov. 30. Full containment does not mean that the fire is extinguished, only that firefighters were able to complete a perimeter around the flames and stop them from spreading.

President Trump was planning to visit the region Saturday, and the White House said he would tour the affected areas and meet with evacuated residents.

Already, research shows that fires can directly affect lung health.

An extensive study of the 2015 wildfire season in Northern California found that smoke exposure led to increased emergency room visits for adults of all ages, but particularly those over 65. One of the biggest research projects on the subject, the study looked at nearly 1.2 million emergency room visits during the summer of 2015, and found that during smoke-dense periods, there was a statistically significant increase in emergency room visits for heart attack, stroke, and respiratory infection.

In recent days, as California’s air pollution map shifted from healthier green and yellow to red and purple — and then dark purple — officials from Los Angeles to Northern California urged residents to stay indoors and wear white N95 masks when they could not avoid leaving their homes. Even in Los Angeles, where smoke from the Woolsey fire had subsided by late Thursday, the air was still hazy and many schools forced children to take recess inside.

In the Bay Area, the National Weather Service said smoke would linger in the region into the coming week. The unhealthy air in Berkeley forced Saturday’s California and Stanford football showdown to be pushed back until Dec. 1, the first postponement of “The Big Game” since the rivals’ 1963 match was delayed after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

In the communities around Paradise, air quality is considered hazardous for everyone, and the county health department is urging everyone to remain inside. But this has been difficult for evacuees. More than 81,000 people have been forced from their homes and many are sleeping outside in tents.

“I’ve got 18 grandkids here,” said Jewel Taylor, 50, an evacuee from nearby Magalia, standing in a hotel lobby where she had managed to find a room for the previous night.

Taylor said she was most worried about her infant grandson, 1-month-old Evan, who had developed a cough. “What do you do when you see your kids like this?” she said, her voice catching.

This week, some around Paradise said that when they inhaled, they could feel the particles cutting their throats. Others likened breathing to a persistent low-level anxiety attack.

“Let me put it this way,” said Becky Dearing, 66, who already has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, “you almost feel like you’re choking.”

“We’re like zombies,” she went on, “walking around, all the unknowns.”

Researchers say that climate change leads to ill health through wildfire, but also through prolonged pollen seasons, dust storms. and other events that affect air quality.

“We’re setting up a tipping point in the immune system that leads to more inflammation and disease,” said Dr. Sharon Chinthrajah, a pulmonologist and allergist at Stanford.

“California,” she added, “is being reset to a new reality.”

SOURCE






The smog machines in Britain's homes: Wood-burning stoves emit six times as much pollution as a diesel truck... and they're ruining your health even if you don’t own one

They are the Greenies' preferred alternative to gas and electrical heating

Their march has been unstoppable, from traditional farmhouses and cosy country cottages all the way to the front rooms of suburban semis. No family home, it seems, is complete without a stylish wood-burning stove.

And why not? Anyone who has ever watched the gently dancing flames will know that real fires are relaxing and reassuring, a nostalgic link to an age when life was simpler.

Featuring in endless glossy photoshoots, wood-burning stoves have even acquired something of a ‘green’ image, viewed as a clean, efficient and renewable source of heat.

Yet this cosy reputation conceals an altogether dirtier reality.

Because, whether in open hearths or specialist burners, wood fires are choking the British atmosphere, adding to the smoke particles from traffic, industry and farming that cause thousands of preventable deaths.

Although barely discussed, the evidence is shocking: just one of the latest ‘eco-friendly’ wood-burning stoves – those meeting all European tests – can produce about six times more particle pollution than a modern diesel lorry, or 18 times more than a modern diesel car.

Worse, still, they release their fumes into residential areas and at times when people are likely to be at home.

Few of us need to heat our homes with wood, rather than gas or electricity. In other words, the stoves and hearths we spark up for that extra cosy glow on a winter evening are little more than a lifestyle accessory.

One reason there’s so little discussion of this silent threat is that the smoke they produce is almost invisible, particularly when compared with the killer smogs of the 20th Century.

Those filthy, sometimes deadly combinations of fog and smoke caused by burning coal, led directly to the widely acclaimed Clean Air legislation of the 1950s.

It wasn’t until a chance discovery in Paris in 2005 that the modern menace of urban wood-burning was even identified.

Oliver Favez, a young PhD student, was measuring air pollution in a city park when he noticed a pattern that could not be linked to diesel fumes.

Instead, his instruments recorded a chemical signature previously seen in Alpine valleys, where wood-burning has a serious impact on air pollution. If the readings were correct, it was a serious problem in Paris, too.

Favez continued his measurements for five weeks, concluding that each night – especially at weekends – the air was polluted by wood-burning and that wood smoke was adding between ten and 20 per cent to the city’s particle pollution.

Stranger still, this new pollution was not drifting in from the countryside as you might expect, but was instead coming from within the city itself.

Fellow scientists leapt on the findings and, gradually, traces of wood-burning pollution were found in other major European cities.

Public authorities had long since assumed that wood-burning was a thing of the past, but scientists measuring the air that people breathed were now proving them wrong.

Today in Britain there are more than 1.5 million wood-burning stoves, and about 200,000 are added to that total every year.

Yet nobody bothered to measure the effects until the winter of 2010, when my research team at King’s College London placed sampling devices in a 20-mile line across London.

As we suspected, a great deal of wood was being burned and it was making up ten per cent of the particle pollution that Londoners were breathing during winter.

There was other information, too. Wood-burning happened mainly at weekends, for example. It seemed that, to Londoners at least, the stoves were largely decorative or used as an extra heating source.

How bad was the problem? Two years earlier, London had introduced a low emission zone, banning the most polluting diesel vehicles from the city.

Now we had established that the extra particle pollution from wood-burning was six times greater than the particle pollution that the low emission zone had saved.

If wood-burning were to continue unabated, the money invested in cleaning up transport and industry could be negated.

In fact, wood-burning could halt the progress on air pollution that has been made since the middle of the 20th Century.

If we introduce still more wood burning, particle pollution in the air of British cities is expected to be similar in 2030 to what it was in 2015, despite improvements in vehicle emissions.

Along with other scientists, we presented our data to the environment ministries here and in Europe, but the politicians were so focused on traffic pollution that they didn’t want to hear.

It was only in 2015, when a Government survey revealed that about one home in 12 in the United Kingdom was burning wood, that it was finally recognised as a problem. Wood-burning was producing 2.6 times more dangerous polluting particles than traffic exhaust.

A lot of these fires are actually illegal. Major British cities still have the smoke control laws put in place following the terrible four-day London smog of 1952 which killed at least 12,000.

These ban the burning of non-smokeless coal in open fires and prohibit the burning of wood, too, but the law is rarely enforced and widely ignored.

Almost all of London is designated as a smoke control area, for example, but in 2015, 68 per cent of wood-burning homes in London were using an open fire, even though most UK homes have gas or electric heating.

Why the lack of action?

In part, there’s political resistance to the idea of telling people what to do in their own homes, particularly when it comes to banning something pleasurable.

What happened in France is instructive. In 2015, the city of Paris got within a hair’s-breadth of banning wood-burning in open fires, but with just days to go, the French Ecology Minister, Ségolène Royal, attacked the proposal as ‘ridiculous’.

In a series of extraordinary statements, she seemed to suggest that banning a romantic evening with a glass of wine in front of the fire was an attack on the French way of life.

Another obstacle is the clean image that wood-burning stoves present. Stoves have been promoted as ‘green’, renewable and carbon-neutral compared to the environmental evil of burning fossil fuels.

It is certainly true that the most modern stoves and wood-pellet burners produce less than a fifth of the particle pollution that comes from an open fire.

So, upgrading from fireplaces to modern wood-burners should reduce air pollution at a stroke – but those upgrades are unlikely to happen any time soon because fireplaces and stoves go on for ever.

The people who burn wood in open hearths in Britain probably use the fireplace that was built with their house a century or more ago. Inefficient old stoves can pump out heat and fumes for generations to come.

In other words, it is not enough to set pollution standards for new wood-burners – we need action on existing fireplaces and stoves.

The testing regime itself is another obstacle to real improvement. Yes, stoves are getting better, and by 2022 those sold in Europe will have to meet Ecodesign standards that set limits on how much smoke they can produce.

However, as with diesel vehicles, there is a very large disparity between test performance and the smoke that comes from stoves in the real world.

Stoves are tested in idealised conditions using dry wood burnt for just an hour or so rather than the variety of wood that people use at home with frequent refuelling and adjustment to keep a fire going all evening.

So the results from laboratory tests have been nothing like results from those same wood-burners when they were tested in normal houses – and produced ten times as much pollution.

Some days the emissions were close to those of the laboratory test and at other times they would be as much as 16 times higher.

There has been huge variability in results even from the same stove, and it was a puzzle to find out why. Using wet wood appears to be one factor that increases the pollution; closing the air vents on the stove is another.

The biggest factor, though, is the person who lights the fire and the skill with which he or she does so. (Some countries have introduced videos and classes aimed at encouraging the best wood-burning techniques, such as lighting their fires from the top of the stacked wood and using plenty of kindling.

A lack of kindling is one of the reasons why wood-burners sometimes produce smoke when they are first lit.)

What you burn matters, too.

There is worrying evidence from air- quality testing carried out at a bowling club in the small New Zealand town of Wainuiomata, near Wellington.

As expected, the town’s air was full of wood smoke throughout the winter, but the smoke contained arsenic at a level 50 per cent greater than the legal limit in Europe.

The only possible explanation was that people were burning construction timber, treated with a preservative known as chromated copper arsenate (CCA).

New Zealand scientists rapidly found that it was not just a local problem. Treated wood was being burnt everywhere. Arsenic and lead were found in the air of suburbs of the Greek capital Athens, suggesting that people were burning construction waste and old painted wood. This is inevitably happening in Britain, too.

It is difficult to measure the direct effect on public health in detail, but wherever wood is burnt, we find air-pollution problems.

And air pollution, we know, endangers health. It has been calculated, for example, that particle pollution caused 29,500 premature deaths in Britain in 2010 and that a short period of high air pollution in March and April 2014 caused about 1,650 ‘excess’ or additional deaths.

The latest research suggests that the damaging effects of wood smoke are worse than we thought. In particular, it does not dissipate harmlessly.

On the contrary, scientists have discovered that wood smoke changes over time as the gases and particles in the smoke react and then make yet more pollution particles.

In some experiments, the concentration of particle pollution in the smoke increased by about 60 per cent as the hours passed. In others it tripled.

Because the problem is invisible, the health implications often become clear only when the wood-burning is removed or reduced.

In areas where this has happened as part of government-sponsored anti-pollution initiatives, the number of older people admitted to hospital has dropped by as much as 11 per cent, and winter death rates have dropped by a similar amount.

And there’s the great injustice. The smoke from a small numbers of homes that are burning wood – often as a lifestyle choice – can pollute a whole neighbourhood or even an entire city.

Changing centuries-old attitudes and habits will not be easy – who doesn’t love a crackling fire?

However warm, cosy and no-doubt stylish they make us feel, we have to question the place of wood fires in towns and cities.

SOURCE





Renowned Physicist Freeman Dyson: “Theories Of Climate Are Very Confused”…”Models Are Wrong”!

In his new documentary “The Uncertainty has Settled“, Dutch filmmaker Marijn Poels focuses on climate science and politics and found that the issue is in fact as controversial and as UNSETTLED as any issue could possibly get.

The production of the film took Poels to a variety of locations from Manhattan to the Austrian Alps.

The first part of the film depicts the plight of farmers in former East Germany (Saxony Anhalt), who are struggling to practice their livelihoods under the heavy burden of German agricultural regulation and market distortion that result from bureaucrats having decided that 0.01% of our atmosphere (man-emitted CO2) is a monumental problem.

That’s the narrative the media and leading politicians keep ramming. But a number of skeptics doubt it, and so Poels investigates if this doubt is just right wing politics or if there is something really behind it.

In the end he finds that the science is fully in dispute.

Belief we can stop climate change “enormously egocentric”

At the 38:00 Poels says that the [alarmist] Potsdam Institute refused to grant him an interview and so he set out for Hamburg to meet with climate scientist Hans von Storch, who is in the warmist camp.

Von Storch confirms that climate change is real, man-made and is a problem that needs to be dealt with seriously. But he adds that the claim that we can “rescue” the climate is “nonsense” and characterizes the claim the individual can play a role on controlling climate as “enormously egocentric”.

Later in the film (1:04:45) von Storch says he doesn’t see climate change as a danger, but as “a challenge” that he is not afraid of.

CO2 as a climate driver “complete, delusional nonsense”

Next astrophysicist Piers Corbyn tells Poels that the amount of man-made Co2 in the atmosphere is like a “tiny blob of birdshit” and calls the claim that this is causing the climate to change “complete, delusional nonsense”. Corbyn also believes the globe will see continued cooling until about 2035. He calls the datasets showing warming “frauds”.

Freeman Dyson: Climate models “very dangerous game”…”they’re wrong”

Next Poels makes his way to Princeton where he meets with “living legend” Princeton physicist Freeman Dyson, one of the leading skeptic voices on man-made climate change.

Dyson has harsh, critical words for climate science and the models they rely on (1:10:30). He calls the science of climate modeling a “very dangerous game”, adding:

When you work with a computer model for years and years and years – always improving the model – in the end you end up believing it. […] It’s very difficult to remain objective.”

Models “wrong”…”disagree with observations”

On why we should not trust the models, Dyson says flat out: “Because they’re wrong. It’s very simple. They’re wrong.” Dyson says they “disagree with observations”. He then commented on modeling scientists: Those people don’t look at observations. They are in a world of their own.”

“Scaring the public”

The 93-year old Princeton professor also notes that although the models are “very good tools for understanding climate”, they are a “very bad tool for predicting climate” and that these scientists “live by scaring the public”.

Climate theories are “very confused”

Dyson continues: Unfortunately the thing has become so political it’s no longer science when you have strong political dogmas, as you say, on both sides.”

Overall Dyson advises that we need to believe the observations and pointed out that “the theories of climate are very confused.”

Herd, tribal mentality: He also told Poels a large sociological part of the problem is that climate scientists have in large part gotten caught in herd and tribal mentality. It’s still more important to belong to the tribe than to it is to speak the truth.”

SOURCE





Australia: Greens policy would outlaw thermal coal as it is 'no longer compatible' with human life

The Australian Greens will propose a phase-out of thermal coal exports by 2030 in a significant strengthening of the party’s existing policy, which has focused on banning new mines.

The Greens’ climate change spokesman, Adam Bandt, will outline the shift on Friday in a speech to the United Firefighters Union in Hobart. The speech focuses on the growing risk of wildfires as a consequence of climate change.

Against the backdrop of catastrophic destruction in California, Bandt will tell his audience Australia’s biggest chance of avoiding climate catastrophe is by ceasing coal exports.

Under the reworked Greens policy, by 2030, it will no longer be legal to dig, burn or ship thermal coal. The proposal includes maximum penalties for breaches of the prohibition of seven years imprisonment, and hefty fines.

According to the speech circulated in advance, Bandt notes Australia’s current status as the world’s largest coal exporter and the likelihood that demand will remain high “for some time”.

Australia’s economy relies heavily on coal exports, which in 2017 were valued at $56.5bn, and governments rely on revenue from royalties and tax collections.

The latest World Energy Outlook, released this week, suggests coal has enjoyed a mini resurgence over the past two years because of demand from developing economies in Asia. That report also points out Australia is the only export-oriented country projected to ramp up coal production significantly over the next 20 years.

Bandt will say on Friday the current outlook indicates Australia “will continue to export hundreds of millions of tonnes of coal every year which, when burnt, produces about twice as much global warming pollution than Australia’s domestic economy”.

“The reality is every tonne of coal that is burnt makes the bushfire threat worse, and every tonne of coal burnt brings us closer to climate catastrophe – in other words the burning of coal is no longer compatible with the protection of human life.”

Bandt will flag bringing forward legislation, based on laws regulating the use of asbestos, to ban thermal coal exports in January 2030, and impose quotas in the interim so exports scale down between now and the proposed cut-off.

The policy proposal would see export permits auctioned annually, with the revenue raised supporting a transition fund for displaced coal workers to assist with structural adjustment.

Bandt says the science is clear – the world needs to shut down two-thirds of the coal fleet in the next 12 years, and the rest shortly after. He says Australia should take the opportunity of the coal phase-out to develop the clean energy economy and pursue renewable hydrogen exports, with burgeoning demand in Asia.

He will also acknowledge his proposed coal ban isn’t absolute. Bandt says there will continue to be a role in the short term for coking coal, which is used for the manufacture of steel.

With the Morrison government strongly supportive of the coal industry, and Labor flagging a managed transition, the bill Bandt proposes has no prospect of passing the parliament.

Labor is currently finalising the energy policy it will take to the next federal election. It is mulling a package of measures to guide the transition away from coal that will be triggered because of a more ambitious emissions reduction target.

The Labor package, expected to be outlined in coming weeks, is likely to include the creation of a new statutory authority to oversee the transition and the programs intended to ameliorate it; specific industrial relations arrangements to ensure workers are managed through the process; and programs to drive economic diversification.

Bandt on Friday will compare coal to tobacco and asbestos. “When we found out tobacco companies knew their product killed but kept on selling it anyway, they got sued and they got regulated.

“We once used asbestos in our buildings because we thought it was safe. But we now know better, so we have banned it. Now it is coal’s turn. “Coal is a product that kills people when used according to the seller’s instructions.”

SOURCE 

***************************************

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

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

*****************************************




Sunday, November 18, 2018



Some forecasters get it right

Meteorologists who build global warming into their forecasts routinely get it wrong. Any unusual weather event will nonetheless be attributed by them to global warming after the event. Joe Bastardi gets his forecasts right WITHOUT reference to global warming.  Some details below

   
Well, this headline from The Daily Caller is interesting: “Democrats Will Hold A Series Of Hearings On Global Warming Once They Take Power.”

I volunteer to come in and explain to them how, using nature, we predicted several major events that ended up being blamed on climate change. As a patriotic American, I consider it an honor to have a chance to explain this to people who may not readily know about the forecasting aspect of the climate situation in real terms, where lives and property are involved.

1.) First up is the wildfire season prediction, made on May 17:

Before the Fact: Why Another Big Wildfire Season May Be on the Way

2.) Our forecast for a hot summer was made two days later:

More Reason for a Climate Ambulance Chaser Watch: Summer

3.) On July 13, I wrote about our concern about the East Coast being struck by a hurricane:

The Past Is a Reason to Worry About High-Impact East Coast Hurricanes

4.) I explained the natural aspect of wildfires and provided hints about them in August:

A Word About Wildfires

There are many reasons for why wildfires occur, but the point is that “climate change” is at best tiny among them and represents a gross oversimplification of the matter.

5.) On Oct. 8, I showed “the why before the what” with Hurricane Michael and also linked the major hurricane phenomena in October to the onslaught of an early cold and stormy winter, which you are seeing evolve in front of your very eyes.

Climate Ambulance Chaser Warning for Well-Telegraphed, Natural Pattern

All these articles appeared not only on our website but were issued publicly on The Patriot Post.

So if the duly elected party wants to have these hearings in the middle of a cold, stormy winter, it should keep in mind that this was our initial winter forecast, which came out on Aug. 7!

The forecast was updated in October, but as you can see, it’s still very cold for much of the country.

This would put significant pressure on energy prices, and this realization is beginning to take hold. In addition, other companies and industries, from retail to big box stores to salt producers — in fact, anything you can think of — are affected.

SOURCE






Jay Lehr - the slide show I showed Trump







Contrary to Predictions, U.S. Nears Energy Independence   

Prognosticators have long warned that the world is on the verge of oil depletion — i.e., we’ve reached “peak oil” — while at the same time Democrats have torpedoed the idea of U.S. energy independence. Fortunately, oil forecasts have been just as unimpressively inaccurate as climate change predictions. Energy innovation has stimulated this effect while also bringing America to the brink of genuine energy independence.

According to Investor’s Business Daily, “The International Energy Agency forecasts that the U.S. will account for 75% of the growth in global oil production through 2025.” This growth is coming on the heels of already impressive gains. “Crude oil production in the U.S. has climbed more than 67% in just the past six years,” Investor’s reports, adding that “the Department of Energy expects it will climb an additional 11% next year.” Keep in mind that U.S. oil production is already second to none. Our current daily yield of 11 million barrels is higher than both Saudi Arabia and Russia.

The chief catalyst? Fracking. Yet as Investor’s notes, “It was never supposed to happen.” Recall back in 2008 when Obama asserted, “If we opened up and drilled on every single square inch of our land and our shores, we would still find only 3% of the world’s oil reserves — 3% for a country that uses 25% of the world’s oil.” This claim — which was regurgitated in slightly different forms all through Obama’s tenure — was obviously fabricated. Investor’s says that true U.S. oil reserves are sixtyfold higher than Obama’s estimate.

“Not all of that was recoverable at current prices,” Investor’s acknowledges. “But ‘recoverable’ is a highly flexible term. It’s based on oil prices and the cost of getting it out of the ground. The fracking revolution dramatically redefined the term recoverable because it made vast oil supplies accessible that once were once economically off-limits. So why would Obama mislead the country throughout his presidency? Because he was determined to force the country to dump billions of taxpayer subsidies on ‘renewable’ energy, and needed a reason to justify it.”

The issue here is not that renewable energy as a primary resource isn’t an admirable goal; it’s that Obama’s idea of how to properly nurture it was terribly misplaced. And his lying about the facts as a means to an end only added insult to injury. The solar company Solyndra alone squandered half a billion taxpayer dollars. Not only has oil always been far more abundant than naysayers claim, but taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to prop up whatever industry a president decides should be cultivated using powerful government levers.

Similar to how oil extraction evolved into fracking, the private sector will eventually find its game-changing renewable energy breakthrough. In the meantime, more oil production means more government revenue. Shouldn’t Democrats, who want to roll out a plethora of very expensive, government-paid-for initiatives, be for that?

SOURCE





Climate Hoax: Not A Single G-20 Country Is Close To Hitting CO2 Emission Targets

A new report calls the lie on the grand Paris climate change treaty. None of the promised cuts in CO2 emissions that 200-plus countries made will come close to preventing a climate "catastrophe." And many of the industrialized nations aren't even living up to the promises they did make.

Two years ago, when the Paris agreement took effect, then-President Obama declared that "history may well judge it as a turning point for our planet."

It was a turning point in the level of empty rhetoric, perhaps. But it won't make a bit of difference to the planet.

This farce was made abundantly clear in an annual report by Climate Transparency, an international group focused on the G-20 nations.

Empty Promises

What did it find? "None of the G-20 (emissions targets) is in line with the Paris Agreement." The report shows an enormous gap between what the countries have pledged to do, and the far lower CO2 emissions levels that the U.N. says are needed to keep the planet from warming by 2 degrees Celsius.

In other words, even if every country lived up to their Paris pledges, it wouldn't come close to preventing "catastrophic warming."

It gets worse. As the report shows, most G-20 countries aren't on track to meet the modest greenhouse gas reductions they pledged to achieve by 2030.

As the Climate Transparency report notes, the EU "is not on track to meet its 2030 target." Nor is Mexico, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan or Turkey.

A number of G-20 countries actually saw their emissions increase in 2017, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Turkey.

Saudi Arabia's emissions will likely double by 2030, compared with 2014. Turkey continues to increase coal-power capacity even though it "runs strongly counter" to its pledges. Japan also has several coal plants in the pipeline. Brazil's deforestation rate has increased, despite its Paris promises to the contrary. Russia's "target is so weak that it would not require a decrease in (greenhouse gas) emissions from current levels."

And, to top it off, CO2 emission in China, already the world's largest emitter, will likely continue to increase until 2030, the report finds. It notes that coal consumption in China "increased again in 2017."

Faulty Doomsday Scenarios

Longtime IBD readers know that we are highly skeptical of all the climate change doomsday scenarios. They're all based on 100-year forecasts made by computer models that have trouble predicting what's already happened. And then there's the fact that climate scientists keep getting caught fudging numbers and making basic math errors. The latest involves a highly publicized study on ocean warming. These errors, by the way, always seem to go in one direction: toward making global warming look more ominous.

But even if the dire prediction environmentalist make is true, trying to cut CO2 emissions to prevent it is pointless. As we noted in this space recently, the U.N. says global CO2 emissions must be cut in half within 12 years, and reduced to zero in 32 years.

It should be abundantly clear now that not a single G-20 nation is taking the climate change issue seriously — no matter how much they preach about it, and no matter how many empty promises they make.

A Better Way to Deal with Climate Change

That's fine by us, since we think it's a waste of money. President Trump was right to pull the U.S. out of this farce rather than lend it any more undue credibility.

There is a better and far more sensible and frugal approach to deal with "climate change." Forget about wasting money in a futile attempt to quickly decarbonize every economy on the planet. Instead, deal with localized changes if they ever occur. Adaptation to hostile climates is something humanity has shown an amazing ability to achieve, even without modern technology.

The only drawback to this approach is that politicians won't be able to pat themselves on the back for "saving the planet."

SOURCE






Anti-Carbon-Tax Revolt Threatens To Paralyse France

France is bracing for a nationwide revolt over the weekend as angry drivers plan to block roads nationwide in protest against the government’s carbon tax and rising fuel prices.

The French government approved a measure in late 2017 increasing a direct tax on diesel as well as a tax on carbon, allegedly to fight against climate change. The so-called Contribution Climat Énergie (CCE), a French version of the carbon tax, has steadily increased fuel prices in recent years. Drivers across the country have balked at the rising price of diesel as it disproportionately affects workers who depend on their vehicles to get to and from their jobs. Two-thirds of French people expect a “social explosion” in coming months.

In just a few weeks, the yellow hi-vis vest has become such a potent political symbol that one risks being mistaken for a supporter of the rebellious gilets jaunes when cycling in Paris.
The gilets jaunes are a grass-roots revolt against high fuel prices, and they threaten to paralyse France on Saturday.

The cause of the price hikes are “eco taxes” meant to dissuade the French from using cars. “We choose to tax pollution and harmful products rather than workers,” budget minister Gérald Darmanin explains. Yet the fuel taxes penalise the poor disproportionately.

In the hope of deflating the protests, prime minister Édouard Philippe on Wednesday announced €500 million of compensatory measures, including a €5,000 bonus for low-income earners who trade in polluting cars for a hybrid model.

The gilets jaunes have organised at least 630 protests nationwide via the blocage17novembre.com website, designed by an 18-year-old student. Some call for go-slows on highways. Others want to block roads, which is punishable by two years in prison and a €4,500 fine. Interior minister Christophe Castaner says no “total blockage” will be tolerated.

But several police unions have expressed sympathy, and promised not to punish petty or “middle-size” offences “out of solidarity with the citizens”.

Unlikely heroine

The movement has found an unlikely symbol in Jacline Mouraud, a 51-year-old accordion player, hypnotist and spiritual medium from Brittany who on October 18th posted a video message hectoring President Emmanuel Macron for “persecuting drivers”.

Mouraud’s video went viral, and has been viewed by more than six million people. “I have a thing or two to tell you,” she starts out. The stream of accusations includes the price of fuel, the “hunt” for diesel vehicles, the “forest” of radars, the number of traffic tickets, the possibility tolls may be charged to enter large towns and rumours of mandatory bicycle registration.

“What are you doing with the dough, apart from changing the china at the Élysée and building a swimming pool?” Mouraud asks Macron.

A senior adviser to Macron spoke scathingly of “this Madame Mouraud who generates spirits from under her fingernails”. He expressed consternation that a video “stuffed with lies” has reached such a wide audience, saying: “I have the feeling that our democracy is also at stake.”

Yet the Élysée “is absolutely not condescending towards this movement”, the adviser continued. “We don’t underestimate its amplitude. Our vigilance is total, even if the signals are blurred.”

The rise of the gilets jaunes coincides with Macron’s record low 26 per cent approval rating. A poll published by Ifop on November 14th indicates two-thirds of French people expect a “social explosion” in coming months.

SOURCE

***************************************

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

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

*****************************************




Friday, November 16, 2018




Climate change may cause mass extinctions, new report shows

Calling this "research" is a joke.  It is just modelling games -- using models of no known predictive skill.  Reality tells us that life on earth has survived many great extremes in the past, from the steamy age of the dinosaurs to great ice ages


New research has found that extreme climate change risks an extinction effect that could annihilate all life on earth.

The extinction of plant and animal species from extreme climate change could lead to a "domino effect" that annihilates all life on earth, new research has found.

The worst-case scenario is outlined in the journal Scientific Reports and describes how organisms die out because they depend on other doomed species in a process called co-extinctions.

The study found just five to six degrees in average global warming would be enough to wipe out most life on the planet.

"Our paper demonstrates that even the most tolerant species ultimately succumb to extinction when the less-tolerant species on which they depend disappear," lead author Giovanni Strona said.

In their work, researchers from Italy and Australia simulated 2000 virtual earths, linking animal and plant species.

Using sophisticated modelling, they subjected the virtual earths to catastrophic events including extreme environmental change, an asteroid strike and nuclear war.

While all such events could be devastating, the research found that climate warming creates extinction "cascades" in the worst possible way when compared to random extinctions or even from the stresses from a nuclear winter.

Co-author Corey Bradshaw, from Flinders University, said failing to take into account co-extinctions underestimates the loss of entire species from events like climate change by up to 10 times.

"Not taking into account this domino effect gives an unrealistic and exceedingly optimistic perspective about the impact of future climate change," Professor Bradshaw said.

SOURCE





Climate contrarian uncovers scientific error, upends major ocean warming study

Dr. Roy Spencer comments: 'For decades now those of us trying to publish papers which depart from the climate doom-and-gloom narrative have noticed a trend toward both biased and sloppy peer review of research submitted for publication in scientific journals.'

'If the conclusions of the paper support a more alarmist narrative on the seriousness of anthropogenic global warming, the less thorough will be the peer review. I am now totally convinced of that. If the paper is skeptical in tone, it endures levels of criticism that alarmist papers do not experience. I have had at least one paper rejected based upon a single reviewer who obviously didn’t read the paper…he criticized claims not even made in the paper.'

The peer review process, presumably involving credentialed climate scientists, should have caught the error before publication.'


Researchers with UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Princeton University recently walked back scientific findings published last month that showed oceans have been heating up dramatically faster than previously thought as a result of climate change.

In a paper published Oct. 31 in the journal Nature, researchers found that ocean temperatures had warmed 60 percent more than outlined by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

However, the conclusion came under scrutiny after mathematician Nic Lewis, a critic of the scientific consensus around human-induced warming, posted a critique of the paper on the blog of Judith Curry, another well-known critic.

“The findings of the ... paper were peer reviewed and published in the world’s premier scientific journal and were given wide coverage in the English-speaking media,” Lewis wrote. “Despite this, a quick review of the first page of the paper was sufficient to raise doubts as to the accuracy of its results.”

Co-author Ralph Keeling, climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, took full blame and thanked Lewis for alerting him to the mistake.

“When we were confronted with his insight it became immediately clear there was an issue there,” he said. “We’re grateful to have it be pointed out quickly so that we could correct it quickly.”

Keeling said they have since redone the calculations, finding the ocean is still likely warmer than the estimate used by the IPCC. However, that increase in heat has a larger range of probability than initially thought — between 10 percent and 70 percent, as other studies have already found.

“Our error margins are too big now to really weigh in on the precise amount of warming that’s going on in the ocean,” Keeling said. “We really muffed the error margins.”

A correction has been submitted to the journal Nature.

According to the most recent IPCC report, climate emissions need to be cut by 20 percent by 2030 and then zeroed out by 2075 to keep warming from exceeding 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels.

Authors of the recent study had previously claimed that emissions levels in coming decades would need to be 25 percent lower to keep warming under that 2-degree cap.

While papers are peer reviewed before they’re published, new findings must always be reproduced before gaining widespread acceptance throughout the scientific community, said Gerald Meehl, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.

“This is how the process works,” he said. “Every paper that comes out is not bulletproof or infallible. If it doesn’t stand up under scrutiny, you review the findings.”

The report relied on a novel approach that still has the potential to revolutionize how scientists measure the ocean’s temperature.

Much of the data on ocean temperatures currently relies on the Argo array, robotic devices that float at different depths. The program, which started in 2000, has gaps in coverage.

By comparison, Keeling and Laure Resplandy, a researcher at Princeton University’s Environmental Institute who co-authored the report, calculated heat based on the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide rising off the ocean, filling round glass flasks with air collected at research stations around the globe.

Keeling said they will continue to experiment with the data in coming years in an attempt to fine-tune the data.

“It’s a promising new method, but we didn’t get the precision right on the first pass,” he said.

The study is still the first to confirm that the ocean is warming using a method independent of direct ocean temperature measurements.

SOURCE





The Chill of Solar Minimum

The sun is entering one of the deepest Solar Minima of the Space Age. Sunspots have been absent for most of 2018, and the sun’s ultraviolet output has sharply dropped. New research shows that Earth’s upper atmosphere is responding.

“We see a cooling trend,” says Martin Mlynczak of NASA’s Langley Research Center. “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.”

These results come from the SABER instrument onboard NASA’s TIMED satellite. SABER monitors infrared emissions from carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitric oxide (NO), two substances that play a key role in the energy balance of air 100 to 300 kilometers above our planet’s surface. By measuring the infrared glow of these molecules, SABER can assess the thermal state of gas at the very top of the atmosphere–a layer researchers call “the thermosphere.”

“The thermosphere always cools off during Solar Minimum. It’s one of the most important ways the solar cycle affects our planet,” explains Mlynczak, who is the associate principal investigator for SABER.

When the thermosphere cools, it shrinks, literally decreasing the radius of Earth’s atmosphere. This shrinkage decreases aerodynamic drag on satellites in low-Earth orbit, extending their lifetimes. That’s the good news. The bad news is, it also delays the natural decay of space junk, resulting in a more cluttered environment around Earth.

To help keep track of what’s happening in the thermosphere, Mlynczak and colleagues recently introduced the “Thermosphere Climate Index” (TCI)–a number expressed in Watts that tells how much heat NO molecules are dumping into space. During Solar Maximum, TCI is high (“Hot”); during Solar Minimum, it is low (“Cold”).

“Right now, it is very low indeed,” says Mlynczak. “SABER is currently measuring 33 billion Watts of infrared power from NO. That’s 10 times smaller than we see during more active phases of the solar cycle.”

Although SABER has been in orbit for only 17 years, Mlynczak and colleagues recently calculated TCI going all the way back to the 1940s. “SABER taught us to do this by revealing how TCI depends on other variables such as geomagnetic activity and the sun’s UV output–things that have been measured for decades,” he explains.

Mlynczak and colleagues recently published a paper on the TCI showing that the state of the thermosphere can be discussed using a set of five plain language terms: Cold, Cool, Neutral, Warm, and Hot.

As 2018 comes to an end, the Thermosphere Climate Index is on the verge of setting a Space Age record for Cold. “We’re not there quite yet,” says Mlynczak, “but it could happen in a matter of months.”

“We are especially pleased that SABER is gathering information so important for tracking the effect of the Sun on our atmosphere,” says James Russell, SABER’s Principal Investigator at Hampton University. “A more than 16-year record of long-term changes in the thermal condition of the atmosphere more than 70 miles above the surface is something we did not expect for an instrument designed to last only 3-years in-orbit.”

SOURCE





Green Energy is the Perfect Scam

Green energy is an incredible money-making scam. The promoters of green energy make billions of dollars promoting dumb energy schemes that are completely useless.

What makes the scam extremely clever is that the scammers have convinced the public that the purpose of their scam is to improve the environment. The scammers pretend to be earnest environmental advocates.

Any really good scam needs endorsements from authoritative-sounding sources. In the case of green energy, the authoritative sources are in on the scam. The beneficiaries of the green energy scam go way beyond the wind and solar industries.

Non-profit environmental groups, such as the Sierra Club or Greenpeace, need to be seen as fighting against an urgent looming catastrophe. If they don’t have something dreadful to fight against, no one is going to join their organizations or give them money.

Global warming, allegedly caused by carbon dioxide, is the looming catastrophe and green energy is the solution. When the globe failed to warm they renamed the looming catastrophic climate change in place of global warming.

Now they blame every instance of bad weather on climate change created by burning coal and oil. What were formerly acts of God are now the fault of the oil and coal companies.

Scientists are a special interest group largely financed by the federal government. Global warming is a magnificent gift to the science industry.

The industry has been corrupted by pathological science that is primarily intended to increase the flow of money from Washington. Science directed toward discovering the truth is out of fashion.

The many scientists that are global warming skeptics don’t exist as far as the science industry is concerned.

Government agencies, and the politicians that give the agencies money, have embraced the threat of climate change.

It gives them something to do that is more noble, even romantic than highways and making the trains run on time. The government spends billions on subsidizing wind and solar energy.

Ironically, electric utility companies love wind and solar green energy. They know perfectly well that wind and solar are useless because wind and solar generate electricity erratically and have to be backed up by reliable conventional electric generating plants.

The only economic benefit is the fuel saved in the backup plants when wind or solar is actually generating electricity. But the cost of the wind or solar electricity is much higher than the benefit of fuel saved.

Thus, the more wind or solar that you have, the more money you lose. But, electric utilities are regulated by public utility commissions. The amount of profit they are allowed is calculated as a fraction of the utilities’ capital investment.

So, the utilities want to make capital investments, even if those investments are wind and solar plants that waste money on a grand scale. The electricity consumers bear the cost and the utilities are allowed a larger profit.

In some parts of the country rooftop solar is fashionable. Homeowners who install rooftop solar often save money because the reduction in the cost of electricity from the utility is greater than the cost of solar electricity.

These homeowners brag to their friends about how clever they are, and the purveyors of rooftop solar place advertisements claiming that rooftop solar is cheaper than buying electricity from the electric company.

This is part of the scam. Rooftop solar is profitable because it is heavily subsidized and because the electric utility is forced, by the governmental authorities, to provide a connection to back up the solar without compensating remuneration.

The real cost of rooftop solar electricity, exclusive of subsidies, is around 30-cents per kilowatt-hour and the real benefit is around two cents per kilowatt hour from fuel saved in the utility’s backup plants.

The subsidy, financed by taxpayers and electricity consumers, is greater than ninety percent.

Hundreds of thousands of homeowners, under the delusion that they have discovered cheaper electricity, are walking and talking advertisements for solar energy.

The biggest victim of the green energy scam is the public in general. Everybody pays more taxes and pays more for energy as a consequence of the scam.

But the waste of billions of dollars may not be noticeable when spread over the 320 million Americans.

The public has been exposed to relentless propaganda promoting green energy as beneficial and less expensive.

The public is the greatest victim, but most people don’t know that they are being victimized, so there is little incentive to organize against the scam.

There are certain other victims such as the coal industry and coal miners. But these groups mostly don’t understand that they are victimized by a scam.

Due to the propaganda, they may actually believe that burning coal is undesirable and dangerous. Thus, they lack a clear mandate to organize against the scam. (Modern coal generating plants are environmentally clean.)

The manufacturers of fossil fuel generating plants are beneficiaries, not victims. Wind and solar don’t reduce the demand for fossil fuel plants because wind and solar have to be backed up by traditional plants.

A campaign against coal, by the Sierra Club, has resulted in the closing of many coal plants. The closed plants are typically replaced by new natural gas plants.

Due to the strain imposed on the electric grid by erratic wind and solar, there are many commercial opportunities for upgrading the traditional components of the electricity grid.

Rather than hurting the manufacturers of fossil fuel generating equipment, the green energy movement actually helps them.

The green energy scam is the perfect scam because the beneficiaries include many influential individuals and institutions, while the victims are dispersed among large numbers of unorganized people.

The few concentrated groups of victims, like coal miners, are psychologically handicapped by propaganda that has convinced them that they, rather than the scammers, are at fault.

Wind and solar are truly useless, like having a 6th toe or an appendix. A detailed exposition on the uselessness of wind and solar is given in my book – Dumb Energy: A Critique of Wind and Solar Energy.

Green energy is often justified on the grounds that it reduces carbon dioxide emissions and thus prevents global warming. Of course, global warming, now called climate change, is itself a scam.

The science on which the predictions of global warming doom are based is incredibly weak. But, the weak science is presented as if it is reliable by self-interested parties.

In any case, wind and solar are very expensive methods of reducing CO2 emissions. Other, far more practical, strategies for reducing CO2 emissions are available.

Anyone who criticizes the green energy scam is ruthlessly attacked. Critics are often accused of being in the pay of fossil fuel companies. Fossil fuel companies are too timid to risk the wrath of the green movement, so they hardly ever give money to the critics of the green movement.

A favorite line of attack is to accuse the critics of using tobacco company tactics to cover up the danger from using fossil fuels.

Critics are often depicted as being mental cases, as when Al Gore said that critics of his global warming promotions were like people who think the moon landing was filmed in a Hollywood studio or think that the Earth is flat.

James Hansen, often considered that father of the global warming movement suggested that executives of fossil fuel companies should be sent to jail for crimes against humanity.

Green energy is the perfect scam because it is disguised as a do-good movement and the victims are dispersed, unorganized and disarmed by propaganda.

Green energy is endorsed by government agencies, environmental non-profits, and scientific groups.

These are people that are often seen as sources of reliable information but that, in reality, work to promote their own parochial interests. This is a scam that needs to be exposed.

Norman Rogers is the author of the book Dumb Energy and writes often about political and environmental issues.

SOURCE





Australia: Greenies protect their own

Greenies can do no wrong, apparently

Let’s re-imagine, just for a minute, last week’s furore around the alleged sexual assault of ABC journalist Ashleigh Raper by former NSW Labor leader Luke Foley.

Let’s imagine that instead of resigning from the leadership within 24 hours, that Foley and the Labor Party instead branded Ms Raper a drug-using slut. Deeply offensive, I know, but stick with me.

Let’s imagine that after levelling those allegations, Foley refused to stand down and the Labor Party refused to even debate internally whether or not he should.

Now let’s try and imagine the public and media response to Ms Raper having her character assassinated for having the audacity to speak out against a politician in a position of power who sexually assaulted her.

The fact is, you don’t actually have to try particularly hard to imagine it. You only need to know the story of Ella Buckland, a former Greens NSW staffer who earlier this year levelled startlingly similar allegations against Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

Like Ms Raper, Ms Buckland alleges that after a work function, she was sexually assaulted by a drunken politician.

Like Ms Raper, Ms Buckland alleges that following the alleged assault, she received a phone call from her alleged attacker.

Like Ms Raper, Ms Buckland waited a considerable period of time to air those allegations.

Like Ms Raper, Ms Buckland was the subject of defamation threats when the issue became public.

Those are the commonalities. The differences, however, are stark.

In Ms Raper’s case, Luke Foley allegedly slipped his hand down her dress and between her underpants, resting his hand on her bare buttocks. In Ms Buckland’s case, Mr Buckingham allegedly approached her from behind, grabbed her “roughly on the vagina” and kissed her neck.

In Ms Raper’s case, she was dragged into the public fray by a Coalition politician seeking to exploit a political advantage. In Ms Buckland’s case, her motivation in coming forward was publicly and falsely ascribed to her being involved in a factional move against Mr Buckingham. Ms Buckland has not been a member of the Greens for several years and has no day-to-day involvement in politics.

In Ms Raper’s case, she received a phone call from her alleged abuser, who apologised and promised to resign. In Ms Buckland’s case, she received a phone call from her alleged abuser who threatened that she should be ‘careful in her job’.

In Ms Raper’s case, she subsequently received threats of defamation when the issue became public, only to have those threats widely shouted down. In Ms Buckland’s case, she received threats of defamation before the issue even became public, and Mr Buckingham has gone on to threaten to sue – and actively sue – multiple people.

In Ms Raper’s case, there was a startlingly swift resolution to the issue. Luke Foley announced his resignation almost immediately. Ms Buckland made her complaint internally through the Greens in April. It took months to progress, but not before a subsequent internal investigation finally turned the blow torch on Ms Buckland herself, investigating the baseless allegations that she was a ‘promiscuous drug user’.

The other glaring differences, of course, included the reactions of media and politicians.

In terms of the media response, the alleged assault on Ashleigh Raper was a major news story that dominated news coverage last week. The fall out is still being felt a week later. Ella Buckland’s alleged assault attracted far less interest. With the exception of the ABC, who broke the Buckland story in August and followed it up on Radio National just a day before the Foley allegations broke, no other mainstream media outlet has seen fit to report a syllable of the allegations levelled by Ms Buckland.

The most unkind interpretation of that silence is that when women are allegedly sexually assaulted, media interest is optional. But when journalists are allegedly sexually assaulted, it’s stacks on.

Fortunately, in the brave new world of social media, mainstream news outlets no longer control all the channels of public communication. That’s where the reactions of politicians come into focus.

Over the past week, anger at the difference in the treatment of Ms Buckland and Ms Raper has been blowing up on social media, with a growing number of people doing the job of the mainstream media by calling out the obvious hypocrisy between the two approaches.

Square in the gun of that growing public outrage has been the actions of Greens politicians, most of whom stayed silent for months over the Buckland allegations, but wasted no time in coming out to condemn Luke Foley.

Greens MLA Cate Faehrmann weighed into the Foley issue last week. The condemnation of her obvious hypocrisy was swift.

That public condemnation of Faehrmann comes in the absence of all the facts, which are actually much worse than they appear. Not only has Faerhmann said nothing publicly about the alleged assault on Ella Buckland, she recently voted in a Greens NSW State Delegates Council meeting against any debate on whether or not Mr Buckingham should stand down from his position while an internal investigation was ongoing.

Read that again: Faerhmann didn’t just vote against any action being taken against Buckingham, she voted to suppress any debate about any action being taken against Buckingham.

Greens MP for the seat of Newtown, Jenny Leong has also seen fit to weigh publicly into the fray around Foley, while having nothing to say about Jeremy Buckingham.

Labor, obviously, handled their crisis much better. Even Bill Shorten, the federal leader of the Labor Party and a man known for his inability to avoid spin at every available opportunity, weighed into the debate, saying, “Modern society has no tolerance for the behaviour described.”

So how did the Greens federal leader, Richard Di Natale respond to the Buckland allegations?

Helpfully, he was asked about them by Fran Kelly, on ABC Radio National less than 24 hours before the Foley allegations broke. The response is telling.

FRAN KELLY: Are you satisfied this matter has been dealt with appropriately?

DI NATALE: Well as you’ve said Fran, that was the subject of an independent external investigation and obviously it’s a matter for the NSW Greens to respond to that.

KELLY: Have you intervened in any way?

DI NATALE: We have very clearly protocols about how these are dealt with. We’ve respond based on the advice of a number of women’s groups, a number of experts in this field. We’ve got clear protocols. We had an independent investigation take place and we’ve made it very clear the party needs to take these cases, treat them really seriously, create an environment where women come forward and are supported in taking action, and we’ve done those things, and now this is a matter for the NSW Greens.

KELLY: Does Jeremy Buckingham have your confidence?

DI NATALE: Well, as I said Fran this is now a matter for the NSW Greens…

KELLY: Well you’re the leader of the Greens, does he have your confidence?

DI NATALE: Well I’m the leader of the federal party. And our federal party has made it very clear there is no role for members of parliament to be making judgements about cases that have been thoroughly investigated, and that’s as it should be.”

The deafening silence and spin aside, that last statement – about a ‘thorough investigation’ – is the claim on which Di Natale should perhaps stand most condemned.

It is that very ‘thorough investigation’ which led directly to the allegations against Ella Buckland that she was a ‘promiscuous intravenous drug user’.

If that’s what a ‘thorough Greens-led investigation’ looks like, you have to wonder what hope there is for the party.

Having said that, there are good people within Greens NSW, and the party more broadly, who have worked hard internally to take the right path on this issue. I acknowledge that sometimes, the right path is a difficult one to map out.

The Greens have, to some extent, been frozen by a strong belief in affording procedural fairness to Jeremy Buckingham, while also supporting Ella Buckland. But that begs one simple question: Why have Greens MLA’s been prepared to afford Jeremy Buckingham that ‘procedural fairness’, but not Luke Foley?

Why did Greens politicians who had nothing to say about the alleged assault of one of their own, by one of the own, not feel the same weight of ethical constraints when it came to a member of the Labor Party?

The answer is obvious: politics.

While that plays out, in all its unedifying glory, the Greens continue to tie themselves in knots, determined to ‘respect the process’, despite the outcome.

As we speak, fresh moves are afoot within the party to remove Jeremy Buckingham from the Greens’ ballot in the March 2019 state election. We’ll have that story in a day or so, and there are more revelations to come. New Matilda’s investigation into the Greens handling of sexual assault allegations is ongoing, albeit moving at the snail’s pace for which we’re famous (you can help speed it up by clicking on the link directly below and contributing to our fundraiser).

Whatever the outcome though, the Greens, as a party, has clearly lost its way. On this issue at least, it is hopelessly compromised.

The last word belongs to Ashleigh Raper, whose dignified and moving statement should be required reading for all men in power, and for all political parties.

“It is clear to me that a woman who is the subject of such behaviour is often the person who suffers once a complaint is made,” Ms Raper wrote.

“I cherished my position as a state political reporter and feared that would be lost. I also feared the negative impact the publicity could have on me personally and on my young family. This impact is now being felt profoundly.”

I’m sure Ella Buckland, who did lose her dream job, can empathise.

SOURCE

***************************************

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

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

*****************************************



Thursday, November 15, 2018



The great lie that 97% of scientists are Warmists



Global Warming: 31,487 Scientists say NO to Alarm




The E15 Mandate Is Poor Environmental Policy

Concerning “Trump Gives Farmers a Jolt of Fuel” (Op-Ed, Oct. 16), it certainly is true that corn farmers and ethanol producers stand to gain from President Trump’s decision to allow year-round sales of E15 motor fuel (corn-based ethanol blended with gasoline). But raising gasoline’s ethanol content to 15 percent—E15 contains 50 percent more ethanol than today’s E10 blend—is costly both for consumers and for the environment.

The so-called Renewable Fuel Standard has outlived its usefulness. At its inception in 2005, the RFS was promoted primarily as a means of reducing U.S. reliance on foreign oil. But we now are on track to become a net oil exporter. Thanks to technological advances that led to the shale revolution and more drilling offshore, U.S. oil production has grown significantly, while imported oil as a share of total domestic oil consumption has fallen sharply.

What’s more, when Congress approved the RFS, it was presumed that cellulosic ethanol (made from non-food materials like switchgrass and wood chips) eventually would replace corn-based ethanol. But cellulosic ethanol production never got off the ground. Today, virtually all of the ethanol produced in the U.S. (15 billion gallons per year) is derived from corn.

Although corn used in ethanol production is not fit for human consumption, food prices are pushed up because corn grown for the table is pushed out by corn grown for ethanol. As Arthur Wardle and I wrote in The Beacon recently, grassland for grazing cattle and other livestock is disappearing, the soil is eroding, groundwater is being depleted, and ocean dead zones are expanding.

A comprehensive meta-analysis in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics found the greenhouse gas benefits of ethanol to be almost zero. For other pollutants like nitrogen oxides (NOx) and ozone, burning ethanol actually is worse than burning gasoline.

The E15 standard raises the public sector’s ethanol wager and supplies political cover for the EPA to ratchet that percentage up later on. No one should be surprised that President Trump announced his support for E15 in Iowa, nor that the state’s two senators find E15 to be more politically popular than E10.

The RFS is a poster child for environmental policies having few benefits and very real costs. E15 may buy votes in Iowa and other corn-belt states, but does so at the expense of nearly everyone else.

SOURCE





Blood on their hands:  Greenies have killed a lot of Californians

By stopping foresters from taking preventive measures

Californians burnt to death while trying to drive away from the deadliest wildfire in the state’s history.

At least 42 people have died, but with an estimated 200 people missing authorities expect that toll to rise.

More than 8,000 firefighters were battling the wildfires that have destroyed more than 7,000 buildings and scorched more than 325 sq m (842 sq km), with the flames, driven by blowtorch winds, feeding on dry brush. It is not clear how the fire started.

Authorities have brought in two mobile morgue units and requested 150 search and rescue personnel, with chaplains accompanying coroners and recovery teams desperately searching for bodies.

Butte county sheriff Kory Honea said: “I want to recover as many remains as we possibly can, as soon as we can, because I know the toll it takes on loved ones.”

Lisa Jordan drove 600 miles from Yakima, Washington, to search for her uncle Nick Clark and his wife, Anne, in Paradise, California. Mrs Clark suffers from multiple sclerosis and is unable to walk. No one knows if they were able to be evacuated, or if their house still exists, Ms Jordan said. “I’m staying hopeful,” she said. “Until the final word comes, you keep fighting it.”

Meanwhile, Betsy Ann Cowley, a landowner near where the blaze began, said she received an email from the Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) company the day before the fire last week informing her that engineers needed to come onto her property because power lines were causing sparks. PG&E refued to comment on the email.

California has suffered wildfires at both ends of the state. Firefighters appeared to be gaining ground against a roughly 143 sq m blaze in Malibu that destroyed at least 370 buildings, with hundreds more feared lost.

The blaze in northern California is the deadliest single fire on record, since a 1933 blaze in Griffith Park in Los Angeles.

SOURCE






Why We Need More Climate Change Skeptics

Instead of demonizing such skeptics, we need to encourage and respect such people who work hard to identify where biases have interfered with the pursuit of truth.

Climate scientists are not prophets. Those who believe them on faith provide no good service to the pursuit of truth.

Those who blame climate change for every storm or forest fire are silly. Equally silly are those who claim that a particularly cold day proves that climate change is a farce.

Fear of environmental calamity has caused human destruction before, such as when Rachel Carson’s book, Silent Spring, led to the banning of the pesticide DDT. As a result of the “success” of the environmentalist movement in banning DDT, an estimated 30-50 million people in Africa—mostly children—died from malaria carried by the renewed growth in the mosquito population. Malaria deaths increased from tens of thousands per year pre-ban to millions per year post-ban. The story was similar in India. These were preventable deaths that resulted from stoked fears.

Now the target is carbon dioxide. We are told that 97 percent of climate scientists agree with their own scientific consensus. But that’s a misleading statement in an important way. The actual figure refers to “97 percent of climate scientists actively publishing in scientific journals.” To understand the relevance of this 97 percent figure, we need to know: what are the determiners of “actively publishing?”

Could the selection process for entry and success (“actively publishing”) in the climate profession create a bias that compromises the information we rely on to make our critical decisions about climate?

Let’s ask the question, calmly and rationally, and see where it takes us.

The Distillation Process

More speculatively, if sufficiently reinforced, some of these youths might even develop some neuronally hardwired (unchangeable) biases as the brain matures.

1. It is reasonable to consider that children raised in climate-conscious families are more likely to become interested in the environment than those raised by families who either don’t care or who deny. The climate-conscious children are more likely to undertake science fair projects and write papers about climate change. Climate work is rewarded in school, so it shouldn’t be any surprise if such children, more than others, later consider environmental science as a college major. If this occurs, which seems likely, this childhood process would be Distillation Step 1 in creating a future climate scientist. More speculatively, if sufficiently reinforced, some of these youths might even develop some neuronally hardwired (unchangeable) biases as the brain matures.

2. As is true in all fields, college climatology professors encourage the most dedicated students in introductory environmental studies classes to pursue climate science as a major. Other students—such as those who are skeptical—may never again see the inside of a climate science classroom. The selection of academic major is Distillation Step 2.

3. When students pursue their master’s degrees, the crop of future climate scientists is further distilled. Those who don’t align with their professors’ views are less successful getting into PhD programs. Then, success within a PhD program relies (in any field) on abiding by one’s dissertation committee’s wishes so as to get their PhD in as few years as possible and finally make some money. During this phase, those who best comply will be more likely to obtain their doctorate and get set up in post-doc positions working for experienced senior scientists. Distillation Step 3 has occurred, along with further psychological reinforcement to agree with those more senior. The climate liquor is getting more concentrated.

He chooses hypotheses and writes his grant application with care, knowing he’ll need the approval of committees populated with scientists who are invested in promoting their previously published papers and who make their living from government-funded studies of climate change.

4. To succeed in academia, the newly minted PhD must apply for grants, mostly from government agencies or his own university. He chooses hypotheses and writes his grant application with care, knowing he’ll need the approval of committees populated with scientists who are invested in promoting their previously published papers and who make their living from government-funded studies of climate change. If he fails to craft his project to appeal to the needs of the reviewers on the committee, he won’t get funded. Funding failure increases the likelihood that he will wash out of academia. This selection of research grants to write is Distillation Step 4.

The process of nurturing and selection of the climate scientist starts in kindergarten and proceeds through high school and college, then to grant funding, manuscript preparation, and publication. His research is then only seen through the lens of the media’s selective presentation. The many reinforcing layers of bias create a distillate of pure concentrated climate orthodoxy, and this liquor is what we are offered to drink.

5. Successfully obtaining funding allows the young academic to perform a research project that will buttress the beliefs of the grant committee that channeled funding to him. Research studies are these days (improperly) designed to accomplish the affirmation of the hypothesized outcome as opposed to examining the truth of a hypothesis. If his project (done well or done poorly) appears to prove his hypothesis, then he tries to publish a paper to join the ranks of the “actively publishing.” He will craft the conclusion and abstract to promote his bias (again, this is true in any field). By the way, we should not underestimate the pressured academic’s skill at justifying to himself the removal of any data from his dataset that adversely affect his ability to get a publishable p value of “less than 0.05” (an arbitrary cut off in statistics that is needed for publication).

Note that if the project fails to prove his hypothesis, the young scientist probably will never write a manuscript about it, and therefore he won’t yet be “actively publishing.” Oh, and often there are multiple hypotheses in a project, and if only one of them is proven, it will be the only one written up and submitted for publication. The disproven hypotheses will not be written up and will never be seen by us. This is all part of Distillation Step 5.

6. Even if a scientist goes to the effort to write a manuscript that fails to support climate change concerns (which would be called a “negative manuscript” as it negates the hypothesis), it will be harder to get it published. Such “negative manuscripts” are, in any field, commonly rejected by the editor before going to peer review.

If a negative manuscript does get to peer review, the reviewers will be more critical because the manuscript will conflict with their prior publications.

If a negative manuscript does get to peer review, the reviewers will be more critical because the manuscript will conflict with their prior publications. Then the scientist will have to go to the considerable effort of resubmitting the manuscript elsewhere or have to respond to the reviewers’ critiques by getting more grant money and doing more studies, which will prove difficult. And it just isn’t worth it because publishing such a paper could only hurt his career. So the young academic understandably sticks the rejected manuscript and its data in a desk drawer, never to be seen again. This is Distillation Step #6.

Selective manuscript writing, editorial bias, peer-review bias, and selective re-submission are four important biases in any field. This could be a reason—completely unrelated to scientific facts—as to why climate literature slants the way it does.

After these multiple distillation steps, almost all impurities have been distilled away. Perhaps only 3 percent remains. It should be no more surprising that 97 percent of actively publishing climate scientists agree with the climate change consensus than that 97 percent of actively preaching seminary graduates believe in their religion.

7. Those who make it onto the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), are the most highly distilled, fully vetted climate scientists of all. Pure 200 proof. For this reason and others, consensus at the level of the IPCC is even less useful than “expert opinion.”

In response to climatologists’ complaints that the IPCC is biased against nuclear power, Jonathan Lynn, an IPCC spokesman, rejected the accusation, telling Axios: “We completely reject the idea we are biased about nuclear power or anything else.”

I would call Mr. Lynn’s statement psychological denial. Of course the IPCC is biased. Everyone who cares, one way or the other, is biased. To say otherwise is poppycock.

Furthermore, journalists now manage to stick a scary line about climate change in any article they can. Bees, birds, ticks, human migration… it’s all climate change.

8. Now, if it bleeds it leads. The lay world only hears the most dramatic climate stories. What self-disrespecting mainstream click-baiting journalist will bother to read anything beyond a research abstract or would waste their editor’s time with anything positive (or even innocuous) regarding climate change? Answer: none. Furthermore, journalists now manage to stick a scary line about climate change in any article they can. Bees, birds, ticks, human migration… it’s all climate change. This continual exposure to unsubstantiated statements from journalists will bamboozle many readers.

What we in the lay world get to read and hear is a highly distilled climate change liquor and the most catastrophic fears of what climate change may cause. The climate-concerned lay reader is unlikely to be presented with, or click on, a climate story that opposes his worldview. Those with defensive personalities will reflexively lash out with vitriol at an author of such an article, as if the author were an infidel, often without reading past the title.

The Pitfalls of Politicization

We need to get our heads around the climate in an intellectually comprehensive way. We need science to do that. Unfortunately, the politicized climate field has many reinforcing biases entrenched within it. This must lead to the dissemination of biased or incomplete facts and biased conclusions.

Yet it is important we don’t get this wrong because people suffer and die when science becomes unquestioned dogma.

We need private watchdogs who go to the effort to examine the research that the climatologists produce, looking for flaws, biases, misrepresentations, malincentives, and even manipulations. Instead of demonizing such skeptics, we need to encourage and respect such people who work hard to identify where biases have interfered with the pursuit of truth.

Reinforcing layers of bias can occur in any field, but politicization exaggerates it.

I recognize the importance of a healthy climate. I am not ignoring facts, and I respect the scientific method. I’m not brainwashed by oil companies nor in psychological denial. To the contrary, any skepticism I have arises because I do not deny the weaknesses of the academic process that create a scientist and the research he produces. Reinforcing layers of bias can occur in any field, but politicization exaggerates it.

Let’s remember what saved the whales. It wasn’t Greenpeace. It was, rather, the successful distillation of petroleum that replaced the demand for the renewable fuel known as whale oil. That distillation made petroleum purer and more flammable. The distillation of climate science makes it purer, too—and more incendiary.

Are the many reinforcing layered biases of the climate field sufficient to have relevant effects on the research results that are presented to us?

Policymakers, teachers, journalists, environmentalists…all of us…really know nothing about climate change other than what trickles down from the climate scientists’ desks. Are the many reinforcing layered biases of the climate field sufficient to have relevant effects on the research results that are presented to us? Are the climate scientists getting some of it wrong, or maybe exaggerating it?

It has happened before—with DDT—with horrific consequences.

And the climate change field is even more politicized.

SOURCE





Australia: Climate, economy on govt agenda: Cormann

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has dismissed a colleague's concern that the Liberal Party needs to do more about climate change to gain support from younger Australians.

WA Liberal senator Dean Smith says the party's diminishing appeal to young voters is the "elephant in the party room" and is being ignored at the government's peril, The Australian reports.

"We are dealing with climate change," Senator Cormann told the ABC on Tuesday. "But in a way that doesn't undermine the opportunity for young people in particular to get a job, to build a career in Australia into the future.

"My view and our view is that we have to continue to take strong and effective action in relation to climate change but in a way that is economically responsible."

Senator Smith's concerns were reportedly fuelled after a Newspoll analysis showed 27 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds would hand their primary vote to the coalition, compared with 46 per cent who would support Labor.

Population and climate change policies were critical to the coalition's future success, he added.

Greens senator Larissa Waters says the federal government wouldn't know a climate policy "if it hit them in the face". "Young people can spot bullshit artists a mile off, so it's no wonder that young people don't buy the nonsense this prime minister is coming out with on climate," she told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday. "The tragedy is, it's actually better for the economy to transition to clean energy."

A new report on climate change shows it has fuelled the drought, with changing rainfall patterns increasing the risk of water shortages for agricultural and urban uses.

The Climate Council [A private Leftist outfit] report released on Tuesday found the flow of water in the Murray-Darling Basin has declined by 41 per cent during the past 20 years, with fears it will continue to decrease. The catchment produces more than a third of Australia's food.

With no federal climate policy and rising emissions every quarter since March 2015, Australia is lagging behind the rest of the world on climate action, the Climate Council's Lesley Hughes told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.

SOURCE

***************************************

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

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

*****************************************