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

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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

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

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

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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

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

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

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



Wednesday, November 14, 2018



Trump Blames CA Fires on State's Forest Mismanagement

The president's criticism is absolutely right on the merits, if off on his timing

The wildfires currently bringing death and massive devastation to communities in California are a direct result of the state having embraced radical environmentalism years ago. The Camp Fire, now California’s most destructive fire on record, has caused the death of at least 31 people with over 200 still missing, and it has destroyed the entire town of Paradise, 120 miles north of Sacramento. The unfolding tragedy is truly hard to fathom.

In light of this growing disaster, President Donald Trump on Saturday vented his frustration, asserting, “There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!” But Trump also offered praise to firefighters struggling to contain the blaze and condolences for those lives lost, saying, “More than 4,000 are fighting the Camp and Woolsey Fires in California that have burned over 170,000 acres. Our hearts are with those fighting the fires, the 52,000 who have evacuated, and the families of the 11 who have died. The destruction is catastrophic. God Bless them all.”

Not surprisingly, Trump’s blaming of the state’s forest mismanagement and threatening to withhold federal funding didn’t play well with some, and they allege that the president is politicizing a tragedy. California Governor-elect Gavin Newsom (D) reprimanded Trump: “Lives have been lost. Entire towns have been burned to the ground. Cars abandoned on the side of the road. People are being forced to flee their homes. This is not a time for partisanship. This is a time for coordinating relief and response and lifting those in need up.”

We’ll concede that his timing in the midst of the ongoing catastrophe where people are dying comes across as tone-deaf and even politically opportunistic. However, as usual, Trump’s observations are actually right on the merits. California’s leftist leaders, guided by their ideological commitments, have appeased the environmentalist lobby’s anti-economic growth demands for decades. In so doing, the state adopted “feel-good” environmentalist policies rather than the more scientifically sound conservationist approach that would have balanced environmental considerations with that of industry. The resulting forest mismanagement has contributed to the current environmental conditions now responsible for these increasingly massive wildfires.

Meanwhile, California’s outgoing Democrat Gov. Jerry Brown has sought to shift the blame away from the state’s failed forest management policies and onto climate change, but research meteorologist Ryan Maue called him out in August, stating, “Please take a deep breath and read up on California’s forest management issues that are decades in the making. Governor Brown blames climate change for wildfires and avoids any meaningful conversation on policy solutions.” And meteorologist Joe Bastardi predicted this fire season in May.

SOURCE





Jerry Brown: Climate-Change Deniers 'Definitely Contributing' to the 'New Abnormal' of Wildfires

Just an empty assertion. An alternative comment: "In the United States, wildfires are also due in part to a failure to thin forests or remove dead and diseased trees. In 2014, forestry professor David B. South of Auburn University testified to the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that “data suggest that extremely  large megafires were four-times more common before 1940,” adding that “we cannot reasonably say that anthropogenic global warming causes extremely large wildfires.” As he explained, “To attribute this human-caused increase in fire risk to carbon dioxide emissions is simply unscientific.”

California Gov. Jerry Brown said all climate-change deniers are "definitely contributing" to the fatal wind-whipped wildfires that have pummeled northern and southern parts of the state over the past few days, as well as blazes "in the coming years."

Brown asked the White House for a presidential disaster declaration this morning; the state is already receiving FEMA assistance.

"This is truly a tragedy that all Californians can understand and respond to and be very sympathetic. We're going to do everything we can. We're requesting a presidential declaration, funding coming from the federal government; of course, there will be efforts from the state government as well. It's a time to pull together and work through this tragedy," Brown said at a press conference late this afternoon outside Sacramento at Cal OES.

"This is not the 'new normal.' This is the 'new abnormal.' And this new abnormal will continue, certainly in the next 10 to 15 to 20 years," he added. "And unfortunately the best science is telling us that dryness, warmth, drought, all those things, they're going to intensify. Predictions by some scientists are we've already gone up one degree; I think we can expect a half a degree, which is catastrophic, over the next 10-12 years. So we have a real challenge here threatening our whole way of life."

"And we have to keep understanding it better, but we're in a new abnormal. And things like this will be part of our future... things like this and worse," he warned. "That's why it's so important that we take steps to help communities, to do prevention, and then adaptation to the extent we can -- some of that's forest management, vegetation management, but even with all of that you have to have escape routes, and ways to identify people and to notify them. So we're trying all that, but we're getting caught up here in a changed world that not so many people were aware of or thinking about. So I'd say people are doing the best they can, but it's not good enough and we're going to have to do a lot more."

"And we have to take care of the whole range of threats and conditions and actions that are part of our living with fire, living with fire threats. And while we do more forest management -- both the federal government, which has more land than the state government, and by private people in the state -- we have to all do more," the governor continued. "But managing all the forests everywhere we can does not stop climate change. And those who deny that are definitely contributing to the tragedies that we're now witnessing and will continue to witness in the coming years."

SOURCE






Radical Environmentalists Are To Blame For California’s Wildfires

At least 31 people are now dead, more than 200 are missing and 250,000 more were forced to flee for their lives from California wildfires over the weekend.

The state known for pushing milestones just surpassed another one: the weekend’s fires in Malibu and Northern California became the deadliest fires in state history.

With California burning, the response from the state’s liberal political elite? It’s climate change, of course.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The wildfire crisis in California, like other crises plaguing the state, are mostly man-made — but not in the way environmentalists would have you believe.

President Trump was right to chastise state leaders over the weekend as he threatened to withhold federal funds over what he called the “gross mismanagement of forests.”

Indeed, the push from the environmentalist lobby on both the state and federal level has led to deadly consequences.

Thirty years of radical environmental policies which prohibit the proper trimming of forests and brush have created a literal tinder box just waiting to ignite.

A Reason Foundation study found that massive reforms were needed to stop the deadly fires. In their study, Reason reported that it was once the top priority of the U.S. Forestry service to suppress fires – something the professionals did with great success for four decades. From 1910 to the mid-1950s, forest fires fell from 1 million to approximately 250,000 and remained so until they began to rise again near the 1990s.

The reduction of fires continued until 1990, when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the spotted owl as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. This set off alarm bells for wildlife and environmental activists. By the time President Bill Clinton left office, he had implemented the 2001 Roadless Rule that restricted use of roads and prevented the building of new roads near nearly 50 million acres of forest. It may have saved the spotted owl, but the result was that it kept forest service professionals from being able to properly clear brush and manage forests. As a result, during Clinton’s reign from 1992 to 2000, removal of timber declined drastically and from 2000 to 2013, thanks to his rule there was an 80 percent decline in proper forestry removal to prevent deadly fires.

Adding insult to literal injury in an already-fragile state such as California, around the same time a politician-created drought robbed Southern California of precious water resources thanks to yet another environmentalist charade.

In a move that the National Center for Public Policy Research called “a man-made disaster,” Governor Jerry Brown diverted millions of gallons of water into the San Francisco Bay Area – and away from other parts of California – to save a fish the size of a minnow. The result has been water rationing, the killing of precious crops and the increase of dry lawns and brush surrounding residential areas. The single act of a politician dramatically altering a key source of water in California has placed the life of a small fish above the lives and safety of millions of human beings.

Talk about foolishness.

These man-made factors have led to a combustible situation, the likes of which were seen in Malibu and Northern California over the weekend.

Failure to see the cause and effect here is a stubborn refusal to see the evidence and a failure on the part of Democrat leadership and their radical environmentalist base. It’s ironic that the same Democrat leaders who often accuse Republicans of failing to pay attention to science are the ones now failing to do so.

Sadly, with Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom stating that this week’s fire was caused by climate change, it appears that state leaders have learned absolutely nothing from their mistakes.

Until they do, people will continue to die.

Any future solution to California’s vast wildlife crisis will require an honest — one that includes the hard truth — which is that Democrats’ long-heralded policies of radical environmentalism, restriction of proper forestry practices and a politician-created drought are what have led to California’s losses.

Until they realize they are sacrificing human beings on the altar of their environmentalism, every time we hear of a new death from a senseless wildfire California Democrats and their radical environmentalist friends will continue to have blood on their hands.

SOURCE




'So many bears:' Draft plan says Nunavut polar bear numbers unsafe

Too many polar bears in Nunavut, plan says

A proposed management plan, that relies on Inuit knowledge, says polar bears are becoming a public safety risk.

There are too many polar bears in parts of Nunavut and climate change hasn't yet affected any of them, says a draft management plan from the territorial government that contradicts much of conventional scientific thinking.

The proposed plan -- which is to go to public hearings in Iqaluit on Tuesday -- says that growing bear numbers are increasingly jeopardizing public safety and it's time Inuit knowledge drove management policy.

"Inuit believe there are now so many bears that public safety has become a major concern," says the document, the result of four years of study and public consultation.

"Public safety concerns, combined with the effects of polar bears on other species, suggest that in many Nunavut communities, the polar bear may have exceeded the co-existence threshold."

Polar bears killed two Inuit last summer.

The plan leans heavily on Inuit knowledge, which yields population estimates higher than those suggested by western science for almost all of the 13 included bear populations.

Scientists say only one population of bears is growing; Inuit say there are nine. Environment Canada says four populations are shrinking; Inuit say none are.

The proposed plan downplays one of the scientific community's main concerns.

"Although there is growing scientific evidence linking the impacts of climate change to reduced body condition of bears and projections of population declines, no declines have currently been attributed to climate change," it says. "(Inuit knowledge) acknowledges that polar bears are exposed to the effects of climate change, but suggests that they are adaptable."

Environment Canada's response says that's "not in alignment with scientific evidence." It cites two studies suggesting the opposite.

Andrew Derocher, a University of Alberta polar bear expert, is blunter. "That's just plain wrong," he said. "That's been documented in many places now -- not just linked to body condition but reproductive rates and survival."

The government of Nunavut declined an interview request.

Its position is strongly supported by the 11 Inuit groups and hunters' organizations that made submissions. "(Inuit knowledge) has not always been sufficiently incorporated by decision-makers," says a document submitted by Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., the Inuit land-claim organization. "The disconnect between the sentiment in certain scientific communities and (Inuit knowledge) has been pronounced."

Pond Inlet wants to be able to kill any bear within a kilometre of the community without the animal being considered part of the town's quota. Rankin Inlet simply wants to lower bear populations.

In its submission, the Kitikmeot Regional Wildlife Board expresses frustration with how polar bears are used as an icon in the fight against climate change.

"This is very frustrating for Inuit to watch ... We do not have resources to touch bases with movie actors, singers and songwriters who often narrate and provide these messages," it says.

"We know what we are doing and western science and modelling has become too dominant."

The management plan doesn't propose to increase hunting quotas immediately. It contains provisions for increased education and programs on bear safety for hunters and communities.

It does say hunting bans would no longer be automatically applied to shrinking populations and that "management objectives ... could include managing polar bears for a decrease."

Derocher doesn't dispute potentially dangerous bear-human encounters are becoming more frequent. But he, and other southern scientists, insist that's happening as climate change reduces sea ice and drives bears inland.

"They will move into communities seeking food. There's lots of attractants around northern communities."

Places where attacks have occurred are not areas with the highest bear densities, he said.

The plan reflects Nunavut's desire to control its own wildlife resources, Derocher suggested. "They don't ask for input from southern scientists. The less input from the south is where it seems to be moving."

Derocher said the Inuit's ability to export polar bear hides -- or the ability of their hunter clients to take such items home with them -- depends on whether the rest of the world trusts the animals are being well-managed. "If the stated goal is to have fewer polar bears, that may be the tripping point whereby polar bear management in Canada comes under renewed scrutiny."

Canada has fought off two international attempts to ban the trade of polar bear products.

The territory's wildlife management board will take what it hears at the public hearings and include it in a final document, which will go before the Nunavut cabinet for approval.

SOURCE





Why Won’t Liberals Look at the Evidence On Climate?

This is a theme that Steve and I have recurred to many times on this site. Today it is voiced by Freeman Dyson, one of the world’s most eminent scientists. Dyson, a theoretical physicist and professor emeritus of Mathematical Physics and Astrophysics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, is famous among other things for unifying the three versions of quantum electrodynamics. He has been a harsh critic of the slovenly science practiced by climate alarmists.

Dyson wrote a forward to a report on the benefits of carbon dioxide by Indur Goklany which is quoted at length in the Science and Environmental Policy Project’s The Week That Was. Here are some excerpts:

To any unprejudiced person reading [Goklany’s] account, the facts should be obvious: that the non-climatic effects of carbon dioxide as a sustainer of wildlife and crop plants are enormously beneficial, that the possibly harmful climatic effects of carbon dioxide have been greatly exaggerated, and that the benefits clearly outweigh the possible damage.

I consider myself an unprejudiced person and to me these facts are obvious. But the same facts are not obvious to the majority of scientists and politicians who consider carbon dioxide to be evil and dangerous. The people who are supposed to be experts and who claim to understand the science are precisely the people who are blind to the evidence. Those of my scientific colleagues who believe the prevailing dogma about carbon dioxide will not find Goklany’s evidence convincing. I hope that a few of them will make the effort to examine the evidence in detail and see how it contradicts the prevailing dogma, but I know that the majority will remain blind. That is to me the central mystery of climate science. It is not a scientific mystery but a human mystery. How does it happen that a whole generation of scientific experts is blind to obvious facts? In this foreword I offer a tentative solution of the mystery.

There are many examples in the history of science of irrational beliefs promoted by famous thinkers and adopted by loyal disciples. Sometimes, as in the use of bleeding as a treatment for various diseases, irrational belief did harm to a large number of human victims. George Washington was one of the victims. Other irrational beliefs, such as the phlogiston theory of burning or the Aristotelian cosmology of circular celestial motions, only did harm by delaying the careful examination of nature. In all these cases, we see a community of people happily united in a false belief that brought leaders and followers together. Anyone who questioned the prevailing belief would upset the peace of the community.

Real advances in science require a different cultural tradition, with individuals who invent new tools to explore nature and are not afraid to question authority. Science driven by rebels and heretics searching for truth has made great progress in the last three centuries. But the new culture of scientific scepticism is a recent growth and has not yet penetrated deeply into our thinking. The old culture of group loyalty and dogmatic belief is still alive under the surface, guiding the thoughts of scientists as well as the opinions of ordinary citizens.

To understand human behavior, I look at human evolution. About a hundred thousand years ago, our species invented a new kind of evolution. In addition to biological evolution based on genetic changes, we began a cultural evolution based on social and intellectual changes. Biological evolution did not stop, but cultural evolution was much faster and quickly became dominant. Social customs and beliefs change and spread much more rapidly than genes.

Cultural evolution was enabled by spoken languages and tribal loyalties. Tribe competed with tribe and culture with culture. The cultures that prevailed were those that promoted tribal cohesion. Humans were always social animals, and culture made us even more social. We evolved to feel at home in a group that thinks alike. It was more important for a group of humans to be united than to be right. It was always dangerous and usually undesirable to question authority. When authority was seriously threatened, heretics were burned at the stake.

I am suggesting that the thinking of politicians and scientists about controversial issues today is still tribal. Science and politics are not essentially different from other aspects of human culture. Science and politics are products of cultural evolution. Thinking about scientific questions is still presented to the public as a competitive sport with winners and losers. For players of the sport with public reputations to defend, it is more important to belong to a winning team than to examine the evidence.

Cultural evolution was centered for a hundred thousand years on tales told by elders to children sitting around the cave fire. That cave-fire evolution gave us brains that are wonderfully sensitive to fable and fantasy, but insensitive to facts and figures. To enable a tribe to prevail in the harsh world of predators and prey, it was helpful to have brains with strong emotional bonding to shared songs and stories. It was not helpful to have brains questioning whether the stories were true. Our scientists and politicians of the modern age evolved recently from the cave-children. They still, as Charles Darwin remarked about human beings in general, bear the indelible stamp of their lowly origin.
***
Indur Goklany has assembled a massive collection of evidence to demonstrate two facts. First, the non-climatic effects of carbon dioxide are dominant over the climatic effects and are overwhelmingly beneficial. Second, the climatic effects observed in the real world are much less damaging than the effects predicted by the climate models, and have also been frequently beneficial. I am hoping that the scientists and politicians who have been blindly demonizing carbon dioxide for 37 years will one day open their eyes and look at the evidence.

SOURCE

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

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

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018



After 50 Years Of Failed Predictions, Science Is In Crisis

Whom or what to believe? After 50 years of failed predictions, people are reasoning that something other than science is behind this alarmism.

Last September the usual media suspects got wind of yet another Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. To those familiar, it was obvious from the “fire and brimstone” headlines. No matter how inconsequential, no heatwave, drought, hurricane or flood was missed. This is the customary softening-up period, intended to ensure that when a scary IPCC report lands, politicians will be pushed into taking even more drastic action on “climate change”.

And so it came to pass. Last month, the world’s “leading climate scientists” confirmed we had only 12 years left to keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

Debra Roberts, a co-chairwoman of the working group on impacts, says: “It’s a line in the sand and what it says to our species is that this is the moment and we must act now.” Even half a degree more would significantly worsen the risk of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people. Crikey! It’s only three years since Paris, when we were assured 2C could save the planet. What’s next?

At least it’s 10 years longer than Prince Charles gave us. He warned in 2008 that “the world faces a series of natural disasters within 18 months, unless urgent action is taken to save the rainforests”. A decade later, in testimony before the US congress, Roger Pielke Jr, professor of environmental studies in the Centre for Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Colorado, contradicted Charles, saying it was “misleading, and just plain incorrect, to claim that disasters associated with hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or droughts have increased on climate timescales”.

But then in 2011 the International Energy Agency, after “the most thorough analysis yet”, warned that five more years of conventional development would make it impossible to hold global warming to safe levels. The prospects of combating dangerous climate change would be “lost forever”. Well now, in the tradition of ever-receding horizons, the IPCC gives us another 12 years to act.

Catastrophic scenarios aren’t new. In the 1960s and 70s, man-made global cooling was the fashion. In 1971, Stanford University professor Paul Ehrlich predicted: “By the year 2000, the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people.” Ehrlich is now a warmist.

Whom or what to believe? After 50 years of failed predictions, people are reasoning that something other than science is behind this alarmism. And that something is the UN. What else? Its global reach, back corridors and duplicity have allowed it to build an unchallenged, mutually ­reinforcing $1.5 trillion industry of captive politicians, scientists, journalists, crony capitalists and non-governmental organisation activists bent on globalism through anti-Western sentiment and wealth transfer.

SOURCE





To fight climate change, environmentalists say yes to nuclear power

Analogies to Richard Nixon going to China tend to be overused.

But here’s one that’s the real deal: On Thursday, the venerable Cambridge-based Union of Concerned Scientists issued a report on nuclear power endorsing measures to keep financially struggling nuclear power plants alive to combat climate change.

They aren’t the first environmentalists to reach the same conclusion, but it’s a convincing report — and, symbolically, a really big deal. The group’s name is practically synonymous with skepticism toward nuclear energy, and it played a leading role in the fights against nuclear reactors in New England in the 1980s.

In the report, the group outlined a hard truth about the future. With climate change accelerating, as a new UN report underscored, the time to be fussy about how to reduce emissions has passed.

“These sobering realities dictate that we keep an open mind about all of the tools in the emissions reduction toolbox — even ones that are not our personal favorites,” wrote Ken Kimmell, the group’s president. “And that includes existing nuclear power plants in the United States, which currently supply about 20 percent of our total electricity needs and more than half of our low-carbon electricity supply.”

There is no doubt that nuclear power carries risks, as the Union of Concerned Scientists has documented over the years. Policy makers need to start putting those risks in perspective, though. Yes, regulate plants closely. But don’t let such a massive source of zero-carbon electricity disappear, since it will inevitably be replaced with fossil fuels.

Steve Clemmer, the director of energy research at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in an interview that the group wasn’t suggesting that all US nuclear power plants should be saved.

For instance, it doesn’t call for preserving the problem-plagued Pilgrim nuclear plant in Plymouth, which is scheduled to shut down next year.

And, Clemmer recommended, any help should be conditioned on plants meeting the highest safety standards, opening their books to prove they really need assistance, ensuring that help is temporary, and providing assistance only as part of a broader clean energy program.

Massachusetts gets a big chunk of its electricity from Seabrook Station in New Hampshire — the plant that the Union of Concerned Scientists, among many others, criticized in the 1980s. That plant is thought to be profitable for now, but the state and the region should have a contingency plan to make sure that it doesn’t fall victim to the same trends claiming nuclear plants throughout the United States.

The ongoing woes of the nuclear industry have put a tremendous amount of non-emitting electricity at risk, and the potential to lose those resources could undo the nation’s recent progress in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions.

It’s hard to imagine a group with stronger historic anti-nuclear bona fides than the Union of Concerned Scientists — in the same way that Nixon was an anti-communist beyond reproach. Hopefully the group’s climate pragmatism now will carry more weight with nuclear power skeptics and help ensure that states will have the full toolbox they need in the years ahead.

SOURCE





Living In The Forest And Risking Their Lives: The Extreme Measures Enviros Will Take To Stop A Crude Oil Pipeline

The Bayou Bridge Pipeline, a 163-mile crude oil pipeline being built in southern Louisiana, is expected to be operational by the end of 2018

Deep in Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin, the largest swamp in the United States, a group of protesters have seemingly stopped at nothing to scuttle completion of a legal pipeline.

The construction project in question, the Bayou Bridge Pipeline, is a 163-mile crude oil pipeline that extends across southern Louisiana. The pipeline will carry up to 480,000 barrels of crude oil a day when completed — taking a lot of oil off more hazardous means of transportation, such as road and train lines.

Despite the pipeline being overwhelmingly welcomed by locals and Louisiana politicians across the partisan spectrum, construction efforts have attracted an inordinate amount of pushback from national environmental groups. Organizations such as Sierra Club, EarthJustice, Waterkeeper Alliance and others have continually tried to torpedo the pipeline with lawsuits.

However, it’s the opposition happening outside the courtroom that is attracting some of the most extreme elements against Bayou Bridge. Groups such as Louisiana Bucket Brigade and 350 New Orleans have assembled protests at construction sites, temporarily preventing employees from working. The most active group on the ground is L’eau Est La Vie [French for “water is life”], a traveling camp within the Atchafalaya Basin that has repeatedly placed its members in the way of construction efforts, stalling work and placing themselves in danger.

The Daily Caller News Foundation traveled to St. Martinville, Louisiana, to find these protesters. A small camp that relocates every few days or weeks within the country’s biggest swamp — it was not easy to find. After several hours of traveling on air, boat and foot, and passing though what appeared to be a deserted campsite, TheDCNF was able to locate the anti-Bayou Bridge base.

“I don’t really want to speak on behalf of any organization. I am just out here as an individual trying to keep this area safe and make sure nobody cuts that line,” said a man donning a red dress and referring to himself simply as “Babyface.” The protester appeared to be alone, standing next to several tents and signs that railed against the Bayou Bridge pipeline. Clothes were strewn about, along with Twilight novels and a big bottle labeled “pee.”

Speaking softly, Babyface refused to reveal what organization he was with, but he did explain his opposition to construction of the crude oil pipeline.

“I’ve seen some of these valve stations and along the way while I’m traveling on the boat, and those aren’t well kept up at all,” he said to TheDCNF. “I worry about what this pipeline is going to look like 10, 15 years from now – whether they’re really going to do the upkeep to keep this safe. I have my personal doubts.”

After speaking to Babyface for some time, it was discovered that he was not alone. Up above were what appeared to be two separate tree houses, something he referred to as a “lifeline.” Within the lifeline contained his fellow protesters. The concept was simple, but dangerous. As long as the protesters remained suspended in tree houses, construction workers would be prevented from cutting the trees down. This tree-sitting strategy is widely implemented by pipeline protesters across the country.

While they believe their cause to be just, many residents of southern Louisiana are upset at the protesters’ actions. Many in the community welcome the jobs and income that come with Bayou Bridge.

“The people that work on these pipelines, they have a right to make a living too,” said Brett Stassi, sheriff of Iberville Parish, in a conversation with TheDCNF. “They are putting the livelihood of some of these workers in jeopardy, and they’re putting their own selves in harm’s way.”

Stassi also repeated what’s been long criticized about the Bayou Bridge protesters: many of them are from out of state.

“Most of these protesters are not even from Louisiana. They come from all over the United States – as far as California. We even arrested one from France,” he said.

A procurement agent who works between Energy Transfer Partners — the company behind the pipeline — and local landowners told TheDCNF he hasn’t met a single customer who appreciates what the protesters are doing. They welcome the development and extra income the project is bringing.

“I’ve been working with landowners and Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) this entire time. Every single local landowner I’ve worked with supports this project. None of them have any sympathy for the protesters,” he explained, speaking anonymously as he was not allowed to talk with media.

A spokeswoman for ETP told TheDCNF that over 98 percent of the easement agreements along the route were signed voluntarily by landowners.

However, protesters have vowed to stay as long as construction continues in the Atchafalaya Basin. A group of unemployed protesters camping in the middle of a swamp would seemingly be a short-term affair, but the organizations that support their efforts have been adept at online fundraising.

L’eau Est La Vie is very active online with a repetitive fundraising strategy. Members continually perform extreme acts of protest — such as chaining themselves to a 50-foot crane — and announce it on social media. The group then asks supporters for donations via GoFundMe. It also does this when alleging violence or misconduct by Energy Transfer Partners or arrest of their comrades.

For example, L’eau Est La Vie leaders recently accused ETP of driving past one of their boats in the water so quickly that the splash from the wake eventually sunk their boat. However, their claims about what exactly happened have changed over time, with one spokeswoman originally saying she wasn’t sure who drove the boat that caused the wake but others later claiming for certain that ETP was the offender. They have also given different numbers of how many protesters were affected.

Their tactics have proven lucrative. L’eau Est La Vie has raised over $72,000 in the past three months, according to their latest GoFundMe page. Members have launched several fundraising efforts since beginning their protest against Bayou Bridge, raising tens of thousands of dollars that allow them to keep camping.

“The bulk of their claims are either false or greatly exaggerated. They are using this narrative as a fundraising campaign,” said Alexis Daniel, a spokeswoman for ETP, in a statement to the The DCNF. “We have stated from the beginning of the project, as with any of our projects, that we understand and respect differing opinions about these types of infrastructure projects. But what we do not support are the illegal actions and false claims that are continually made about the project, our vendors and workers, and the industry in general. Our first priority always remains to the safe construction and operation for all of our assets.

Construction on the Bayou Bridge Pipeline is nearing completion and expected to be operational by the end of 2018.

SOURCE




CAFE Standards: The Most Obnoxious Regs of the Obama Era

With American voters having pretty decisively voted for divided control of Congress, it seems as if the next two years will be fraught with legislative gridlock. This presents the Trump administration with a great opportunity to keep satisfying its promise of repealing two regulations for every one implemented. A lack of legislative activity will give the Administration the time to focus on unraveling the central planning that’s taken place away from Congress for the past eight years and beyond.

One of the most absurd examples of this was the Obama administration’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards for cars and lightweight trucks. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) recently closed a comment period on a proposal that would roll back some of the CAFE standards imposed during the Obama era. The agencies should now move forward to execute this rollback before these regulations warp the market even more than they already have.

The Obama administration aimed to raise CAFE standards from a combined average of 24.1 miles per gallon in 2011, to a whopping 54.5 miles per gallon by model year 2025. The goal was to reduce emissions and to save consumers money at the gas pump. As with all government interventions, however, these intervention were not all that they seemed to be. Indeed, a slew of unintended consequences that come along with them.

First, they will raise the cost of new cars significantly. In order to achieve the astronomical efficiency demanded by Obama's planners, automakers will have to use different, more expensive technology to manufacture their vehicles. They won’t, out of the goodness of their hearts, take those losses themselves, nor should they. They will offset the extra costs by raising the price of new cars. This is the market at work, and a pretty predictable consequence of expensive rulemaking.

The Obama administration's rationale for the higher prices was that consumers would absorb them simply because drivers would save about a dollar per gallon on gas prices in the long term. The thinking was akin to justifying a drastic increase in housing prices by saying that homeowners would be able to save a few bucks on their electric bill. The costs are not even close to comparable for consumers.

The regulations also work against the Obama administration’s expressed emissions goals. Given the rising cost of new cars, this will shift demand towards older, serviceable cars that remain less expensive. Older cars, with lower fuel-efficiency standards, will stay on the road longer and will maintain the old emission status quo. For those who do pay the extra money to get new, fuel efficient cars, studies show the added efficiency will result in them driving more than they previously did. Academic studies show this will offset at least 15 percent of the expected emission declines. Central planners tried to direct the market for vehicles and, as it always does, it backfired.

The CAFE standards also work against vehicle safety. One of the ways automakers will try to make their new cars more efficient, as the fuel efficiency bar moves closer towards 54.5 miles per gallon over time, will be to make their cars lighter. Lighter vehicles provide less protection for their occupants, and are more susceptible to high-cost damage on impact. These are other factors consumers take into account when they have to make a decision on a new car choice. The Obama-era standards actually make it more attractive to go for older cars, once again keeping them on the road longer.

The most obvious issue with the CAFE standards, though, is that they just aren’t doable for car companies. In its final days, the Obama EPA even admitted in its technical assessment of the regulations that it would be near impossible for the industry to get to that kind efficiency by 2025. Central planners can cook up whatever idealistic dreams they want in agency backrooms, but that doesn’t mean businesses can actually make them a reality or that the market will cooperate with this meddling. It’s a lesson that the previous Administration had to learn time and time again.

If nothing meaningful can be accomplished the next two years in Congress, all the Trump administration’s attention should be directed to issues like this. Making our economy work to its maximum efficiency means letting it be driven by market forces, rather than faceless, unelected bureaucrats. The Obama-era CAFE standards are an egregious example of central planning that is still on the books. Adopting the current proposal to roll them back would be an excellent first step.

SOURCE



Australian politician mocks climate change 'exaggeration' in presentation to Liberal party members

Coral bleaching has been happening for centuries, threats of rising sea levels to countries such as the Maldives and Tuvalu are greatly exaggerated and temperature gains have been grossly exaggerated by scientists.

These are the assessments of the member for Hughes, Craig Kelly, who is part of a Tony Abbott-led speaking campaign to pull the Liberal party back from the centre.

The Guardian has obtained a tape of a presentation by Kelly at the right-aligned Mosman branch of the Liberal party in September that outlines in detail his climate scepticism.

Abbott himself was meant to be the star billing but was unable to attend, leaving Kelly and New South Wales senator Jim Molan to occupy centre stage, after running a gauntlet of about 100 demonstrators who turned up to protest against the Liberal party’s lack of policy on climate change.

Kelly’s PowerPoint presentation veered between mocking “the lefties” and arguing that there was no need to tackle climate change because its impact had been grossly overblown.

“Here we are in Paris, France,” he said of his first slide. “A whole lot of lefties here celebrating the Paris agreement, the achievement of the day.”

Kelly then said the debate about global warming was about trying to get “better weather, and that people wanted to dial down the CO2 knob.

“It’s CO2 we are talking about: it’s what turns water into soda water, its what makes chardonnay into champagne,” he said derisively, before claiming that the consensus view among the world’s scientists that the planet was warming was wrong.

Kelly said that “30 years ago, the temperature was the same globally about where it was today” – even though the Bureau of Meteorology and other international agencies estimate the planet has already warmed more than 1 degree in the past century.

“The reality is we live in a time where our generation has never ever been as safe from the climate because of fossil fuels, concrete and steel,” Kelly said. “The climate was always dangerous. We didn’t make it dangerous.”

He also claimed “coral bleaching was a centuries-old problem, science tells us” and that warnings about the polar icecaps were not borne out. While he acknowledged there had been some shrinking in the Arctic, he said this year the north-west passage had been closed owing to ice.

Kelly, who was a furniture salesman before he entered parliament, also cited a study that said Tuvalu was growing not sinking. The peer-reviewed study shows the island’s land mass has grown owing to sedimention and reef growth, but Kelly ignored part of the same study that said climate change remained the single biggest threat to the low-lying Pacific islands and their future.

As for Australia’s Paris target, Kelly said it was “the most onerous of any nation in the world because of our high rates of population growth”, and the Labor party planned to wreck the economy with its proposal to set a target of 45% reduction by 2030.

The chief scientist, Alan Finkel, had said Australia on its own could not change the world’s climate, Kelly said.

Now that “the US was out” of the Paris agreement, and “China and India weren’t doing anything”, Australia had “an escape clause” and it should use it.

SOURCE

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

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

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