Saturday, May 01, 2010

Oil Spill May Kill Climate Bill’s Chances

As the spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico oozes it way toward Louisiana, Democrats are rapidly backing away from their prior support for new off-shore drilling as part of a compromise clean energy bill. Both the White House and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Friday they were re-examining the need for such drilling, citing the April 20 explosion at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that killed 11 and began spilling crude oil into the waters as a reason.

Together, the statements deal a severe blow to the already dimming chances for a climate bill this year. The effort was hanging by a thread after a blowup between Reid and the bill’s lone Republican co-author, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., over whether the Senate would tackle that bill or immigration first.

Offshore drilling is crucial to the climate and energy bill’s chances in Congress. Without it, it may not win over enough Republicans and moderate Democrats for passage. Democratic leaders had opposed drilling as anti-green, but their opposition began to cool last year as political realities set in. In an October New York Times op-ed, Graham and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., co-authors of the climate bill, wrote:

We are committed to seeking compromise on additional onshore and offshore oil and gas exploration — work that was started by a bipartisan group in the Senate last Congress. Any exploration must be conducted in an environmentally sensitive manner and protect the rights and interests of our coastal states.

By spring the White House made a qualified endorsement of drilling. “We’re announcing the expansion of offshore oil and gas exploration, but in ways that balance the need to harness domestic energy resources and the need to protect America’s natural resources,” President Obama told an audience at Andrews Air Force Base on March 31.

The oil rig accident has changed that. On ABC’s “Good Morning American” on Friday, White House adviser David Axelrod said:

What the president has said — all he has said — is he’s not gonna continue the moratorium on drilling. But he hasn’t — no additional drilling has been authorized and none will (be) until we find out what happened here and whether there was something unique and preventable here.

Reid weighed in Friday, issuing a press release (not online at the time of this posting) that said: “This terrible event will, undoubtedly, require us to re-examine how we extract our nation’s offshore energy resources and will have to be taken into consideration with any legislation that proposes to open new areas to development.”


Is Michael Mann Seriously Off his Head?

by John O'Sullivan

The infamous Madoff Ponzi scheme cost $50 billion. Now put this into context with what the U.S. government has blown on policies related to climate change - over $79 billion since 1989. Madoff is in jail, Michael Mann isn’t-yet. So let's look at the latest legal hullabaloo.

The Climategate scandal is a Ponzi scheme with far greater global ramifications for us all. But how are we dealing with the willfully corrupt acts of a few key individuals in the most senior posts?

The two lead scientists in this most grotesque scam, Michael Mann of Penn. State University and British Professor Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia's Climate Research (CRU), discussed manipulation of data to 'hide the decline' in global temperatures. Both men and their employers benefited to the tune of tens of millions of dollars for their complicity in this scam.

Jones, rather than be convicted of fraud, stymied Freedom of Information requests then destroyed his data. He avoided criminal prosecution on a mere technicality- the British government conceded the statute of limitations had expired.

Jones is remorseful, broken and discredited; Mann stubbornly refuses to quit his shenanigans. His hubris remains intact. An expedient American government, just like the British, has stalled in implementing the most serious of fraud charges. Their likely embarrassment is just too great to even contemplate action.

The facts are well documented: according to Mann’s fudged graph, the hottest period in modern history was NOT the generally balmy era between 900 and 1300 but the late 20th century. The world’s skeptical community diligently sought access to Mann’s calculations to check how he came to his incongruous conclusions. His conclusions were swallowed whole by world leaders intent on pursuing an international cap and trade strategy. Almost overnight he had succeeded in re-writing a wealth of historical peer-reviewed studies.

Thus Mann was instrumental in getting the fear-machine cranked up so that pro-green political advocates were able to ‘Create A Crisis, Alert the people, Offer a Solution.’

In 2008 Mann published another paper to bolster his 'hockey stick' claims in response to all the controversy surrounding his first graph. A Mann co-author and source of tree ring data (Professor Keith Briffa of CRU) used one of the tree ring data series (Yamal in Russia) in a paper published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society in 2008, which has a strict data archiving policy. Thanks to that policy, acclaimed climate analyst, Steve McIntyre fought and won access to that data.

On his Climate Audit website Mcintyre broke the story that Mann’s graph was bogus.

The graph portrayed an ominous scary red line shooting upwards. The black one, heading downwards, represents the less worrisome scientific reality.

Because of these facts, I say in my own words, not anyone else’s, Michael Mann is a crooked junk scientist and is rightly derided as a charlatan.

Mann, full of bitterness and frustration laments the failure of that Grand Plan to conspire in the dismantling of western economies. Now constantly taunted by ridicule, he has threatened to sue the makers of a video mocking him

Here are my thoughts on this:

Any supposed civil lawsuit brought by Mann against the Minnesotan makers of the YouTube ‘Hide the Decline’ video would prove most disadvantageous to our puffed up plaintiff.

In fact, such a foolhardy venture is perhaps the best way of publicly exposing Mann’s alleged data fraud.

If Mann takes a punt in the courts then his meta data and source codes used in his graphs are germane. The rules of discovery are clear; the respondents will be entitled to full disclosure of any and all evidence pertaining to the issues so that the trier of fact may determine the credibility of the allegations. But Mann is ever so touchy about who sees his dubious tree ring numbers. In response to his critics he has stated:

“I have made available all of the research data that I am required to under United States policy as set by the National Science Foundation…. I maintain the right to decline to release any computer codes, which are my intellectual property...”

See here

This gambit won’t fly for Mann in a defamation suit. The gravamen of this controversy is that Mann has persisted in refusing any other scientists to validate his computer codes. Insofar as Mann, a supposed scientist, refuses to permit other scientists to verify his results via independent analysis of such codes, he has thereby fueled public doubt about his integrity. He is thus the architect of his own misfortune.

As legal scholar Susan Kuzma (1992) tells us:

“In the long run, the more corrosive force [of scientific misconduct] is the undermining of public confidence in an important public institution and the engendering of a cynical perception that the reporting and the funding of scientific research is a rigged game. Criminal prosecution plays a valuable role in demonstrating a commitment to absolute integrity in this important arena.” (1.)

Unless the dodgy Penn. State professor divulges his computer codes that underpin his junk science no civil court will entertain him. Barking out his toothless threats scares no one. This fraudster is now a figure of ridicule and is set to go down in history is one of science’s worst abominations.

I’ll call Mann a climate crook all day long: let him sue me, I’m game.

(1.) Sovacool, B. K., ‘Criminalization and Due Process to Reduce Scientific Misconduct,’ The American Journal of Bioethics, Volume 5, Issue 5 September 2005


Obama's Dreamy Green Economy Laying Off Workers

Hmm... there doesn't seem to be that overwhelming demand for "clean energy" wind farms like the Obama administration and congressional Democrats hoped for when they poured billions of taxpayer dollars into America's "green economy" over the last year and a half. The AP is sad to report:

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A company that makes and repairs wind turbine blades said Wednesday it is laying off about one-third of the work force at its plant in the eastern South Dakota town of Howard.

Knight & Carver Wind Group Inc. is laying off 16 of the Howard plant’s 55 workers this week, and the firm might temporarily close the plant in about a month, said Gary Kanaby, a company vice president in San Diego.

The company, which has operated in Howard for about three years, is having to slow down production to deal with a lull in the wind energy industry. More layoffs could be possible if the situation doesn’t improve, Kanaby said…


Some economic logic from Australia

The Carbon Sense Coalition today called for Sunset Clauses to be inserted in all past and future Global Warming legislation.

The Chairman of “Carbon Sense”, Mr Viv Forbes, said that even though the Ration-N-Tax Scheme is on ice, Governments are still wasting billions of dollars to create an artificial global warming industry.

“As an example, the Australian government is spending $800 million per year on climate change research and probably more on carbon geo-sequestration. And every state has its own bloated climate change and energy bureaucracies.

“Next we are promised the “Mother of all Renewable Energy Schemes” to cost untold billions.

“There is no doubt that some enlightened or distressed future government will have the distasteful job of taking the well chewed subsidy bones off these greedy and unstainable industry dogs.

“There is no evidence that man is causing global warming, no evidence that the natural warming we have experienced is dangerous or even unusual, and no chance that politicians can control the climate.

“It is thus essential that every piece of global warming legislation is subjected to an annual cost-benefit analysis and a sunset clause which triggers repeal within five years, or sooner once it becomes obvious to all that man-made global warming is not a problem.

“Such a cautionary clause is needed to warn investors and promoters relying on subsidies, market mandates, tax benefits, ethanol subsidies, carbon credits, renewable energy targets or research grants that unsustainable industries are high risk and can only create sub-prime assets.


A short history of climate propaganda in Australia

Urgency gives way to Manana

In my article “More Climate Change Propaganda in Australia .. ”on 15th April (Note 9) I talked about how Penny Wrong, the Australian Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water, used her skills in Hitler-style propaganda to push the UN-sponsored scare about catastrophic climate change from our use of fossil fuels.

She did this with the whole-hearted support of Australian Premier Kevin Rudd who only five months earlier on 6th November had presented QUOTE: .. one of the strongest statements seen from a Head of Government of a ‘developed’ nation on climate change .. UNQUOTE (Note 1) to The Lowy Institute.

In this lead up to the UN’s COP15 fiasco in Copenhagen Rudd blustered:
My message to the climate change skeptics, to the big betters and the big risk takers is this:

- You are betting our children’s future and the future of our grandchildren.

- You are betting our jobs, our houses, our farms, our reefs, our economy and our future on an intuition - on a gut feeling; on a political prejudice you have about science.

- That is too big a risk, too radical a departure from the basic conservative principles of public policy.

- Malcolm, Barnaby, Andrew, Janet - stop gambling with our future.

- You’ve got to know when to fold ‘em - and for the skeptics, that time has come.

- The Government I lead will act.

On 29th April, only five months later, following the damning revelations of Climategate and all of the subsequent IPCC-gates, the Brisbane Times reports (Note 2) of Penny Wong that
.. the government would not try to legislate the ETS even by its new delayed start year of 2013 unless there is ‘‘credible action’’ by the end of 2012 from countries such as China, India and the US. .. ‘‘We will only [legislate] if there is sufficient international action,’’ ..

When the Coalition proposed the same ‘‘wait and see’’ policy, the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, described it as an ‘‘absolute failure of leadership’‘. Yesterday he said it was ‘‘a reasonable … and responsible course of action’’ in response to slower than expected progress at the United Nations Copenhagen talks

So what was then gambling with all aspects of our future now is a responsible course that the Australian Government, under the leadership of Kevin Rudd, will take. How’s that for a political about turn! Give me a used car salesman any day.

Rudd and his climate change team under Wong must be feeling extremely frustrated about the way the tide has turned since the Climategate scandal first broke as well as being very worried about their job security.

This frustration was clearly evident from the reaction of Rudd’s chief advisor on climate sciences, Professor Barry Brook of Adelaide Uiversity (Note 3). Barry is a determined critic of his sceptical Adelaide University associate, Professor Ian Plimer (Note 4) and Plimer’s book “Heaven and Earth”.

After being banned from his site in June for questioning him repeatedly about his comment QUOTE: .. There are a lot of uncertainties in science, and it is indeed likely that the current consensus on some points of climate science is wrong, or at least sufficiently uncertain that we don’t know anything much useful about processes or drivers. ..UNQUOTE (Note 5)

I looked in again on 3rd March. I was delighted to see that others had taken up the sceptical side of the debate with increased vigour, especially after “Climategate”. In the end Barry Brook (who had been unusually quiet) commented on 29th November
.. Anyway, no more time on this thread for me. You’re nothing more than a conspiratorial looney, “John Berns”, so begone with you and the rest of the foetid trolls who have infested this thread. I edit morons, not data. Vangel, Berns, PeterW, JeffT, gianmarco, Wick: you’re all on moderation.

Eventually Brook childishly resorted to QUOTE: Shorter Denis Maclaine: “Blah, di blah blah blah” UNQUOTE (13th December) and QUOTE: Bob Thomas: “Blah di blah blah blah. Go away, you conspiratorial crank. This blog is for serious discussion. UNQUOTE (18th Dec). Finally on 19th QUOTE: This thread has degenerated to the point where comments here are no longer serving any useful purpose. It has become infested by trolls and delusionists who are more interested in pushing ideology than discussing matters of science or evidence. Comments closed. UNQUOTE.

People like Rudd, Wong and Brook obviously welcome open and intelligent debate – just so long as it supports their own opinions. Anything that contradicts these is taboo. There are very good reasons why open debate is abhorred. “Climategate”, “Pacahurigate”, “Glaciergate”, Amazongate” and “Disastergate” (AKA “IPCCgate”) has exposed the UN-inspired propaganda about DAGW as a lie as potentially damaging to global democracy as were the lies of Hitler’s Third Reich.

Let’s now look at those to whom Rudd addressed his emphatic QUOTE: The Government I lead will act UNQUOTE. The Lowy Institute includes on its Board of Directors (Note 6) Mr Frank Lowy, Mr David H. Lowy, Mr Peter S. Lowy and Mr Steven M. Lowy. All of these are also on the Board of Directors of The Westfield Group (Note 7) QUOTE: .. which is the largest retail property group in the world by equity market capitalisation and one of the largest entities listed on the Australian Securities Exchange .. UNQUOTE. For someone looking no further than that there might appear to be no vested interest in climate change other than a natural concern for its impact upon human existence, but let’s look a little deeper.

More relevant to the UN’s climate change propaganda, QUOTE: Westfield also manages assets on behalf of institutional and other investors. This investment is undertaken .. with partners such as AMP Capital Investors, Australian Prime Property Fund (APPF), DEXUS Property Group, Forest City Enterprises, JP Morgan Asset Management Real Estate Investment Management, Morgan Stanley Real Estate Management, the Perron Group and Prudential Plc, or as an investor in other forms of property-owning vehicles such as limited partnership arrangements in the United Kingdom with the Possfund and BT Pension Scheme, which are managed by the Hermes Group UNQUOTE.

That is where the alarm bells should start to ring. What is it that those investors consider worth ploughing their money into in order to get the best return? Could it be anything to do with climate change – perhaps renewable energy generation (like wind turbines, solar mirrors, solar panels), distribution (like cable, towers and other “green” investments? Well, if the UN has anything to do with it – Yes.

Pension Funds Online said in 2008 in its “The Future of Pension Funds: Sustainable Investment” article (Note 8)
The Board members of the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment Initiative (PRI) represent some of the world’s largest pension funds from five different continents including France’s Fonds de Réserve pour les Retraites, PREVI in Brazil and the UK’s BT Pension Scheme. They take a similar view. Donald MacDonald, Chair of the PRI Board, has said ““As clients and part owners of the financial institutions at the core of this crisis, institutional investors should accept some shared responsibility for the behaviours that led to the crisis.” and “We believe this current crisis could have a catalytic effect of shifting the mainstream investment sector towards more responsible investment practices.”

Now there is an interesting area of research for the UN and its supporters to put a little of those enormous funds they have available and I’m sure that the findings would be much more revealing than the research into global climate processes and drivers has been so far.


1) see here

2) see here

3) see here

4) see here

5) see here

6) see here

7) see here

8) see here



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


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