Friday, August 08, 2008

Hurricanes pesky -- so try rain

All the claims about global warming causing hurricanes have by now been very widely debunked so the Warmists have to find some alternative disaster. So now they turn to rain. It's basic physics that warmer seas will lead to more precipitation but Warmists don't care about basic physics so they have to "discover" the same thing by some more roundabout route. "Powerful rainstorms" are now said to be a problem caused by warming.

A problem?? What it wrong with heavy rain? It is great for crops. I grew up in the tropics, where we measured our annual rainfall not in inches but in yards. And the rain was so heavy we used to say that it came down "in sheets". All that rain was slightly pesky at times but the environment sure was lush and all the crops grew like mad. We had fields of grass that was over 6' high. And the grass concerned (sugar cane) was and is the world's cheapest source of sugar and ethanol. Heavier rain would be GREAT!

And India and much of Asia have lived with monsoonal rain for millennia. They seem to have survived somehow. People actually welcome the monsoon there, funnily enough

Climate models have long predicted that global warming will increase the intensity of extreme precipitation events. A new study conducted at the University of Miami and the University of Reading (U.K.) provides the first observational evidence to confirm the link between a warmer climate and more powerful rainstorms.

One of the most serious challenges humanity will face in response to global warming is adapting to changes in extreme weather events. Of utmost concern is that heavy rainstorms will become more common and more intense in a warmer climate due to the increased moisture available for condensation. More intense rain events increase the risk of flooding and can have substantial societal and economic impacts.

To understand how precipitation responds to a warmer climate, researchers in this study used naturally-driven changes associated with El Ni¤o as a laboratory for testing their hypotheses. Based on 20 years of satellite observations, they found a distinct link between tropical rainfall extremes and temperature, with heavy rain events increasing during warm periods and decreasing during cold periods. "A warmer atmosphere contains larger amounts of moisture which boosts the intensity of heavy downpours," said Dr. Brian J. Soden, associate professor at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science.

The report, "Atmospheric Warming and the Amplification of Precipitation Extremes," previewed in Science Express this Thursday, August 7, and published in an upcoming issue of Science, found that both observations and models indicated an increase in heavy rainstorms in response to a warmer climate. However, the observed amplification of rainfall extremes was found to be substantially larger in the observations than what is predicted by current models. "Comparing observations with results from computer models improves understanding of how rainfall responds to a warming world" said Dr. Richard P. Allan, NERC advance fellow at the University of Reading's Environmental Systems Science Centre. "Differences can relate to deficiencies in the measurements, or the models used to predict future climatic change"


Could the Earth be cooling its heels?

One thing could quash the debate over "global warming" real quick - global cooling - and it could be on the way. This brave, against-the-grain prognostication that the Earth's average temperature could be actually starting to decrease comes from agricultural meteorologist Drew Lerner, who in circles of the global warming in-crowd is known as a "denier."

Apparently this is because his opinion is based on a well-grounded theory that global warming and cooling are largely affected by factors such as solar radiation, Arctic winds, water vapor and the El Ni¤o/La Ni¤a phenomena, and less by the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere.

Lerner's opinion runs contrary to those of "alarmists" such as Al Gore - who blames man-made global warming for increased hurricane activity, rising sea levels and making him tell a fib about creating the Internet. Lerner doesn't say that global warming has not been occurring over the last two to three decades, or that man's activity has not had an impact on the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It's just that carbon dioxide doesn't play as big a role in climate change as other factors do. And those factors, surprisingly, are now pointing toward the Earth cooling its heels.

Lerner is definitely outnumbered by detractors. Recently, the U.N. International Panel on Climate Change estimated that global temperatures will rise 2 to 10 degrees by 2100. A scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., projected a 5-degree increase by the end of the century. And Gore, pre-eminent para-scientist that he is, warns that warming will result in a rise in sea level of 20 feet over the next 20 years, which would put much of the current U.S. coastline under water.

Lerner bases his cooling forecast on cycles of the sun - the single driving force for the entire energy equation on the planet. How much energy we receive from the sun determines how warm or cold temperatures are in the oceans and polar regions, which in turn affects climate.

The amount of energy emitted by the sun started a downward cycle around 1983, according to Lerner. If information Lerner has gathered is correct, there is evidence that a decline in the sun's energy will correlate to a decline in Earth's temperatures within 25 to 30 years. If it's 25 years, the cooling off process should be starting this year and will continue over the next 10 to 15 years. His theory is that it will take a few years before the cooling is uniform throughout the atmosphere. "We could start seeing actual cooler temperatures in 2013 and beyond."

Lerner qualifies his forecast of cooler weather saying that he nor anyone really has a handle on what moves the global climate, a stand more reputable scientists should take. If Lerner does prove correct, I doubt it would chill Al Gore and his friends, who would simply rev everyone up for the coming Ice Age - while finding a way to blame global warming for it.


Britain: Suddenly being green is not cool any more

Julie Burchill can't stand them. According to her new book, Not in my Name: A Compendium of Modern Hypocrisy, she thinks all environmentalists are po-faced, unsexy, public school alumni who drivel on about the end of the world because they don't want the working classes to have any fun, go on foreign holidays or buy cheap clothes.

Michael O'Leary, the chief executive of Ryanair, agrees. In an interview with Rachel Sylvester and me, he told us that the "nutbag ecologists" are the overindulged rich who have nothing better to do with their lives than talk about hot air and beans.

So the salad days are over; it's the end of the greens. Where only a year ago the smart new eco-warriors were revered, wormeries and unbleached cashmere jeans are now seen as a middle-class indulgence. But the problem for the green lobby isn't that it has been overrun by "toffs": it's the chilly economic climate that has frozen the shoots of environmentalism. Espousing the green life, with its misshapen vegetables and non-disposable nappies, is increasingly being seen as a luxury by everyone.

Only a year ago, according to MORI, 15 per cent of those polled put the environment in their top three concerns. That figure has dropped by a third to 10 per cent this month. Now that people are fighting for their own survival rather than their grandchildren's, they put crime, the economy and rising prices at the top of their list.

According to Andrew Cooper, director of the research company, Populus: "There is a direct correlation between how people perceive the economy and the importance they place on the environment. When times are tough people resent paying more to salve their conscience." This means that fewer people are now buying organic chickens from smart supermarkets when they can pay œ3.99 at Lidl. With all food prices rising, the organic market is being credit-crunched. Demand for it grew by 70 per cent from 2002 to 2007; now it has stalled, according to the consultancy Organic Monitor. The vast new organic Whole Foods Store on Kensington High Street in London is so quiet you can hear the cheese breathe in the specially designed glass room. Meanwhile the demand for takeaway pizzas and McDonald's has risen as people find the cheapest way to eat.

When David Cameron became leader of the Conservative Party he said that green issues were at the top of his agenda. His slogan for the local elections last year was "Vote Blue, Go Green". But in the past few months he has realised that voters have lost the appetite for their greens. He has only given one environmental speech since Christmas. Once he used to talk about putting a $6,000 windmill on top of his house. Now the message is not about conserving the planet but preserving his bank balance. He wears catalogue clothes, grows his own vegetables and holidays barefoot in Britain because it is less extravagant, not because he is trying to reduce his global footprint.

In fact, when the Tory leader's bicycle was stolen a week ago, the message of the story was not how green he was for riding his bike, but how broken our society has become when a politician finds his bike nicked from under his nose.

Boris Johnson was the first to realise that the tolerance for green taxes may have peaked. When he became Mayor of London, he dropped plans to charge a $50 congestion fee on gas-guzzling cars.

The Tories have quietly been reviewing many of their green policies. A range of measures designed to penalise motoring and other polluting activities has been put on hold in case they alienate families struggling to pay their bills. A proposal to tax the highest emitting cars up to œ500 more than the greenest vehicles has been quietly shelved, as has the plan to raise taxes on short-haul flights. Instead George Osborne, the Shadow Chancellor, has promised to cut tax on fuel when oil prices rise.

Gordon Brown has also stopped discussing his solar panels and compost heap in Scotland and is trying to dissociate himself from local council rubbish taxes - even though they have been driven by central government plans to put up landfill charges.

Both parties are looking at ways of rewarding people for being green rather than penalising them for throwing out their yoghurt pots with their teabags. Mr Osborne, in a speech last month, admitted: "When people are feeling the pinch, we need to make it pay to go green. Instead of being fined for not recycling, households should be paid for recycling."

When Barack Obama first decided to run for the presidency, he embraced the green cause. Al Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth, about global warming had just become the biggest grossing documentary in history and Mr Gore had won the Nobel prize. But recently Mr Obama has been talking more about thrift than trees. Instead of showing off his recycling skills, he explains that his children don't receive Christmas or birthday presents.

It's not just the economic downturn that has harmed the green order. People have become wary of environmental causes that can turn out to do more harm than good. They don't want wind turbines marching across Britain's moors when nuclear power stations can do more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They worry that washing and bleaching all those non-disposable nappies may be damaging the ozone layer, that the massive incentives for biofuels have distorted the world food market, and that green taxes are actually stealth taxes.

But paradoxically, just as Britain is turning its back on the environment, the country is finally becoming greener. Fewer people are moving house so they are buying fewer new white goods such as washing machines and fridges. They may not be queueing up for $18 organic Poilane bread, but for the first time in a decade they are discarding less food. They buy less impulsively and think more carefully before their weekly shop. Children are wearing hand-me-down uniforms rather than new ones made in sweatshops.

Bottled water sales have fallen. Garden centres have reported a 10 per cent rise in the sales of vegetable seeds in the past 12 months. People are saving money by growing their own potatoes and carrots. They are turning off their central heating for a few more months of the year and ditching their second car rather than buying an electric runaround. And instead of carbon-offsetting their holidays, they are simply going on fewer of them. It's the downturn that has made greenery look unappetising - but it may yet prove to do more than anything to save the planet.



For years, hyperactive environmentalists have burned votive candles to the spirit in the sky, hoping she'd levitate energy prices high enough to make alternatives to oil economically feasible. That day has come. Result: The oil has hit the fan. With gasoline over $4 and with life as they love it in the suburbs being shut down, did people call for the windmills? Nope. A heavy majority want to drill the bejeezus out of anywhere in America we can find familiar black slop.

No one has been hit harder by this unexpected truth than Nancy Pelosi and her green brigades. Fearful of an up-or-down vote on drilling for oil in, of all places, our own country, the Pelosi House and Harry Reid's Senate shut down Congress. House Minority Leader John Boehner calls drilling the greatest issue Republicans have had in his political lifetime. A party flat on its back is ready to run on oil pumps. Why stop there?

Republicans shouldn't settle for making the world safe for SUVs. What's going on here is about more than $4 gasoline. When Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats spent a week holding the people's chamber under house arrest, they made plain a political vulnerability beyond drilling. To achieve greenhouse gas goals in the out-years, they are willing to risk a slowdown now in the American economy. How else can you interpret what happened this week? These Democrats aren't environmentalists. They're enviromaniacs.

An environmentalist with two feet on the planet is someone who admits that fixing what economists call "externalities," such as air pollution or climate effects, requires a balance between those goals and protecting the productive economy. An enviromaniac is the sort of person who would say: "Breaking our oil addiction . . . will take nothing less than a complete transformation of our economy."

The complete transformation of our economy? So said Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama in his major energy statement this Monday. Though the speech had hedged bows to oil, coal and nuclear, it was overwhelmingly a Goreian jeremiad about "building" a new economy on a promise called renewables.

"We can see shuttered factories open their doors to manufacturers that sell wind turbines and solar panels that will power our homes and our businesses," he said. "We can watch as millions of new jobs with good pay and good benefits are created." This will "meet our moral obligations to future generations."

Whoa. "Millions" of new jobs building solar panels and wind turbines, and this is to "meet our moral obligations?" Virtue aside, here's the biggest problem with Sen. Obama and Democratic enviromania: It's a risky roll of the dice with the U.S. economy. The economy we've got works. We know that carbon makes the U.S. economy run like a Swiss watch (transportation, distribution, production, commuting). The bet between carbon inputs and growing American outputs is virtually 1:1.

Mr. Obama and his Democratic colleagues in Congress want a "complete transformation" of an already successful economy. Not partial. complete. Can any of them say what the odds are that all this economic activity, including the nation's electrical grid, will work as well with their new fuels? Assuredly, growth's odds aren't as good as the ones we have now. Sen. Obama: "I will not pretend we can achieve [my goals] without cost or without sacrifice." Might this mean foregoing some GDP for five to 10 years? "Growth" appears in Mr. Obama's speech only to describe the "clean energy sector."

The problem with Democratic enviromania is that it's uncoupled from the realities of a nation whose economy has to compete now with the Chinas and Indias of the world, whose high growth rates use proven energy sources.

Republicans this fall should push their argument beyond drilling. Drilling is mainly a proxy for one's understanding of the U.S. economy. The Democrats and Mr. Obama showed this week they are so in thrall to Al Gore's big climate bet that they'd risk having a slow-growth economy. The GOP should run on High Growth America as a better bet than Democratic Slow Growth. Instead of enviro-messianism, they should propose a drill-to-transition for whatever energy source can prove it works at a nonsacrificial price -- shale, coal gasification, nuclear, solar or some combination. (Windmill farms are a pox on the land.)

Don't be oil-industry deniers. Mr. Obama and Rep. Pelosi want to hammer and punish the only players on the field who actually know how to put massive amounts of energy on the grid. Don't we want them using their resources to drill here, rather than off in some godforsaken place producing gushers of cash for people who want to pound us into a hole? We need Smart Oil on our side for at least 10 years. Democrats this week chose the prayer of alternative energy over proven prosperity. They've handed prosperity in the here-and-now to the Republicans. Run with it.


Brainwashing the children with lies

Stalin's Young Pioneers? The Hitler Youth? Warmism is just another socialist cult

As the climate change challenge becomes increasingly worrying, children of HSBC staff were given hands-on tips on the best environmental practices for a sustainable lifestyle.

The initiative is part of HSBC's Global Climate Partnership Programme, a $100 million initiative spread over five years.

Children between the ages of seven and 12 learned about the causes of global warming and its impact on earth. The emphasis of the presentation, prepared by HSBC staff who received training during a two-week field trip to Oxford, in the UK, was on alternative energy and ways to improve fuel efficiency, good practices to reduce water consumption and proper disposal of waste through reduction, reusage and recycling.

"Children are the best ambassadors of the environment; their love of nature and care for its creatures prompt them to go to great lengths to ensure harm is avoided, making them the best guardians of our planet for the future," said Ray Cassar, participant of the Climate Partnership Programme in Malta who conducted the educational session at HSBC's Call Centre in Swatar. "Children absorb what is good and bad and are usually the ones to point out, in the family, at school and in the community, behaviour which is unfavourable to the environment."

The HSBC Climate Partnership programme is about pledging time and resources of HSBC staff to get involved and do their own bit against the urgent threat of climate change. As part of this initiative, HSBC staff are making presentations in schools, including summer clubs, associations involved in community work and local councils.


Guardian Scientist (and leftist activist) Watson Predicts 4C Rise

Today's headline grabber is part-time scientist, part-time Obama and leftwing activist, Professor Robert Watson. Watson's latest prediction, in a long line of alarmist climate statements, is that the world is set for a four degree C rise in temperatures unless the world listens to him and stops that very nasty carbon emitting business.

Now you might think that yet another doom and gloom prediction from any 'scientific' source would elicit a yawn from most people - not least given the latest cycle of temperature rise ended 10 years ago and that global temperatures are already dropping and set to drop further. Not so the climate alarmist's intrepid flag-waver, The Guardian, which broke today's scary story. Bravely sidestepping the facts and evidence once again it has given a scaremongering platform designed to set the mass media sheep running - not to mention spiking sales. But why Robert Watson?

Well Watson is no ordinary scientist. He makes a living from climate alarmism not only in his taxpayer-funded 'laboratory' but also, in the cause of leftwing politics in the US and UK. The Guardian describes him as a 'chief advisor to the UK government'. Prior to that, of course, he was a senior advisor to Bill Clinton's administration, was a would-be chairman of the alarmist IPCC (till the Vast-Rightwing Conspiracy 'conspired' to unseat him) - who now spends his off-duty hours writing op-eds to get that Obarmy chap elected. Spot the politics here? Are we talking 'fair and balanced'?

Well Watson likes to do more than talk science in his op-eds. Take the one he wrote in May for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel papers in May in which he attempted to re-write history. In his 'politically neutral piece 'Obama Needs Support of Jewish Voters' Watson claimed that Harry Truman was not, as history has it, a blatant anti-semite at all, but was, in fact, sensitive to the "plight of the Jews". As this outraged Jewish reader noted, Truman was in fact an antisemite. And Truman's autobiography makes it perfectly clear that Truman "...was proud of the fact that not one Jew had ever set foot into the homes he shared with his wife."

Good to know The Guardian has maintained its usual high standard of journalistic integrity via such an a-political, 'scientific' source. But wait! Watson ... The Guardian ... Bill Clinton ... Obarmy ... scaremongering for a living ... re-writing anti-semitic history ... could it all just be a Vast Leftwing Conspiracy? Perhaps I'll write a letter to The Guardian ...



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