Tuesday, June 08, 2010


Warmism assumes that it keeps heat in. The following is the conclusion of a short paper by a modeller who looks at all influences on heat loss together. He also finds, as paleoclimatologists do, that CO2 levels are a response to, rather than a cause of, temperature changes. The author is Fred H. Haynie, who refers to himself as a "Retired Environmental Scientist". An example of his academic journal articles is here. "OLR" is "outbound longwave radiation".

I used the model to calculate average monthly CO2 concentrations for each of the regions and included those values in a regression. The resulting significant coefficient for CO2 was negative -- indicating it accelerates OLR rather than resisting it.

This is unlikely a direct effect and more likely by indirectly lowering the resistance of some other process. The contributions of CO2 and the Unknown factor tend to balance out and when CO2 is not included in the regression, the contribution of the Unknown is only around 0.02 and decreasing slowly.

The following plot is for the Arctic where the effects of water on OLR are the least. Also, the apparent statistical significance of both CO2 and the unknown factor could be to non-linearities that are not identified in the models.

Globally, the measurable effects of atmospheric water on reducing the rate of OLR are orders of magnitude greater than any probable effects of atmospheric CO2. Any possible “greenhouse” effect of atmospheric CO2 is not measurable with monthly, regional averages; being lost in the error associated with the water variables and model design.

The concentration of atmospheric CO2 is likely being controlled by the global three dimensional distribution of the different phases (vapor, condensed, and frozen) of water. As such, it is probably a good lagging response to global climate change.


A correspondent summarizes Haynie's paper as follows:

Assumption: The earth loses thermal energy by radiating to space, i.e., by outbound long wave radiation (OLR).

Assumption: Components in the atmosphere slow down the rate of energy loss.

Assumption: If a CO2 greenhouse effect is measurable, it should be a statistically significant contributor to the total atmospheric resistance to OLR.

Testing these assumptions against climate scenarios provided by NOAA, the factors of precipitable water, precipitation rate, and sea surface temperature are found to be statistically significant.

On the same basis, and using data from Scripps, CO2’s impact comes out as slightly negative, indicating that it accelerates OLR rather than resisting it.

However, since other factors exceed any CO2 signal, it’s safer to say that its impact is lost in the noise and as such is simply not measurable.

Warming in Last 50 Years Predicted by Natural Climate Cycles

By Roy Spencer

One of the main conclusions of the 2007 IPCC report was that the warming over the last 50 years was most likely due to anthropogenic pollution, especially increasing atmospheric CO2 from fossil fuel burning.

But a minority of climate researchers have maintained that some — or even most — of that warming could have been due to natural causes.

For instance, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) are natural modes of climate variability which have similar time scales to warming and cooling periods during the 20th Century. Also, El Niño — which is known to cause global-average warmth — has been more frequent in the last 30 years or so; the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) is a measure of El Niño and La Niña activity.

A simple way to examine the possibility that these climate cycles might be involved in the warming over the last 50 years in to do a statistical comparison of the yearly temperature variations versus the PDO, AMO, and SOI yearly values. But of course, correlation does not prove causation.

So, what if we use the statistics BEFORE the last 50 years to come up with a model of temperature variability, and then see if that statistical model can “predict” the strong warming over the most recent 50 year period? That would be much more convincing because, if the relationship between temperature and these 3 climate indices for the first half of the 20th Century just happened to be accidental, we sure wouldn’t expect it to accidentally predict the strong warming which has occurred in the second half of the 20th Century, would we?

Temperature, or Temperature Change Rate?

This kind of statistical comparison is usually performed with temperature. But there is greater physical justification for using the temperature change rate, instead of temperature. This is because if natural climate cycles are correlated to the time rate of change of temperature, that means they represent heating or cooling influences, such as changes in global cloud cover (albedo).

Such a relationship, shown in the plot below, would provide a causal link of these natural cycles as forcing mechanisms for temperature change, since the peak forcing then precedes the peak temperature.

Predicting Northern Hemispheric Warming Since 1960

Since most of the recent warming has occurred over the Northern Hemisphere, I chose to use the CRUTem3 yearly record of Northern Hemispheric temperature variations for the period 1900 through 2009. From this record I computed the yearly change rates in temperature. I then linearly regressed these 1-year temperature change rates against the yearly average values of the PDO, AMO, and SOI.

I used the period from 1900 through 1960 for “training” to derive this statistical relationship, then applied it to the period 1961 through 2009 to see how well it predicted the yearly temperature change rates for that 50 year period. Then, to get the model-predicted temperatures, I simply added up the temperature change rates over time.

The result of this exercise in shown in the following plot :

What is rather amazing is that the rate of observed warming of the Northern Hemisphere since the 1970’s matches that which the PDO, AMO, and SOI together predict, based upon those natural cycles’ PREVIOUS relationships to the temperature change rate (prior to 1960).

Again I want to emphasize that my use of the temperature change rate, rather than temperature, as the predicted variable is based upon the expectation that these natural modes of climate variability represent forcing mechanisms — I believe through changes in cloud cover — which then cause a lagged temperature response.

This is powerful evidence that most of the warming that the IPCC has attributed to human activities over the last 50 years could simply be due to natural, internal variability in the climate system. If true, this would also mean that (1) the climate system is much less sensitive to the CO2 content of the atmosphere than the IPCC claims, and (2) future warming from greenhouse gas emissions will be small.

SOURCE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

Global Temperature Is Warmest on Record, NASA’s Hansen Says: Reality Check

Some natural warming plus a lot of crooked data manipulation behind the claim

There was indeed a global pop in temperatures despite the harsh (in places record) winter in the Northern Hemisphere. The El Nino was at least a moderate strength El Nino. It and the record negative arctic oscillation helped make the higher latutudes warmer and suppress clouds and winds in the subtropics and tropics, helping keep water temperatures in this the widest latitudal belt above normal.

The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation which went into its warm mode in 1995 rebounded from a slide with the helps of these effects. Drought in India and southeast Asia after two successive monsoon failures related to low solar, high latitude volcanoes and summer El Ninos also contributed to the pop.

As La Nina comes on and the PDO dives, and tropical activity and increasing winds in the Atlantic cool the waters, the global temperature will dive again like it did in the late 1990s and late 200s.

Hansen, NOAA NCDC, Hadley CRU/UKMO all have reason to find warmth and verify their scary projections from their Tinkertoy models despite the many shortcomings found in these models. Hansen has a proven history of manipulating data to come closer to verifying projections.

E-mail messages obtained by CEI in a Freedom of Information Act request reveal that NASA concluded that its own climate data was inferior to those of the CRU and NOAA. In 2007, a USA Today reporter asked if NASA’s data “was more accurate” than other climate-change data sets, NASA’s Dr. Reto A. Ruedy replied with an unequivocal NO! “My recommendation to you is to continue using NCDC’s data for the U.S… and [East Anglia] data for the global…”

NASA’s GIStemp program recalculates old temperatures with every new data run. Like CRU and NOAA, NASA has managed to cool off the prior warm period (like Michael mann did with the Medieval Warm Period. See below (enlarged here) how in 1980, Hansen had the 1960s 0.3C colder than the 1950s. By 1987, it was just 0.05C colder and by 2007 it had become 0.05C warmer.

This was also done with the 1930s and 1940s, a notoriously warm period where most of the nation (and North America) heat records were set. See below (enlarged here)

NASA makes frequent changes to the data as noted. John Goetz in a guest post on Watts Up With That noted how NASA changed 20% of the station data 16 times in the 2 1/2 years ending in 2007. Recall also in 2007, Steve McIntyre found a ‘millennium bug’ in the NASA software that caused excess warmth post 2000. NASA quickly adjusted the data down 0.12 to 0.15C. This also pushed 1934 back into the lead as the warmest year that lasted all of one year (NASA kept the old data the same because the world was watching) before NASA returned all that warmth and then some. See below

Hansen is a man on a mission to save the planet and this includes civil disobedience. As Michael Goldfarb described it “Recently, but presumably still in his capacity as a private citizen and defender of the Earth, Hansen wrote an op-ed for the Guardian in which he described coal-fired power plants as “factories of death.” This on the heels of testifying in a British court on behalf of six Greenpeace activists on trial for causing $60,000 in criminal damage to a coal-fired power station in England.” Could this civil disobedience carry over to the data?

The cooling with the recent two year La Nina has put pressure on NOAA and NASA to accelerate adjustments – NOAA removed urban heat island adjustments for the USHCN in 2007 and announced a new warmer version of GHCN (V3) coming soon. NASA’s adjustment upward of this decade last year (shown in table above as much as 0.19C for a year) put them in a position to make the claim in the release.

More HERE (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

Politics outweigh science in global warming debate

Global Political Agenda

No matter what the latest science or temperature readings tell us about the true causes and consequences of global warming, anthroprogenic global warming alarmists continue to embrace more regulation, greater government spending, and higher taxes in a futile attempt to control what is beyond our control: the Earth’s temperature. One of their political objectives, unstated of course, is the transfer of wealth from rich nations to poor nations or, as the social engineers put it, from the North to the South.

At the Bali Conference on Climate Change in December 2007, the poor nations insisted the cost of technology to limit emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change on their countries ought to be paid for by rich nations. Most anticipated a windfall of money flowing into their countries to develop technology or purchase carbon credits. In that scenario, selling allotments for CO2 emissions would provide a temporary boost to their cash flow while severely limiting the economic development of countries forced to purchase the carbon credits.

The December 2009 Copenhagen Conference was an attempt to formalize just such a transfer of wealth, one that would be an economic disaster for the developed nations of the world. The real economic costs of this income redistribution in the United States would be huge. Various studies have forecast that the United States would lose between three and four million jobs and the average U.S. family would lose $4,000-7,000 a year in income.

Racing Against the Facts

Without the science to back up their wild forecasts and claims, and in the face of overwhelming evidence for natural temperature variation, proponents of AGW alarmism resort to the precautionary argument: “We must do something just in case we are responsible, because the consequences are too terrible if we are to blame and do nothing.” They hope to stampede governments into committing huge amounts of taxpayers’ money before their fraud is completely exposed—before science and truth save the day.

Too many politicians are going along with this scheme, some because they have deluded themselves into thinking they can eventually reverse global warming by stabilizing CO2 emissions, others more cynically to curry favor with the media or political contributors.

There is certainly no scientific justification for a self-imposed and indeed cockamamie scheme of cap-and-trade that would raise energy costs, reward middlemen, and result in massive fraud. For a tiny fraction of the trillions of dollars such a system would eventually cost the United States, we could pay for development of clean coal, oil-shale recovery systems, and nuclear power, and have enough left over to maintain and upgrade our essential system of temperature-monitoring satellites.

Real Science Is Key

Understanding global warming and what, if anything, humans can do to affect it are scientific questions that can be answered only by science and scientific data. Yet global warming alarmists invariably try to make their case by resorting to rhetoric, dogma, opinion, and emotion. The closest thing to scientific data in their articles is the occasional chart claiming a poorly understood correlation between atmospheric CO2 and the Earth’s temperature.

Correlation is not causation. For five years, Michael J. Economides, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Houston, has had a standing offer of $10,000 for a single peer-reviewed paper showing causality between CO2 and increased temperature. None exists!

On the other hand, scientists who understand the factors affecting the Earth’s temperature—as much as they can be understood—rebut the alarmists with papers replete with facts, science, charts, and data tables.

With so many uninformed and misguided politicians ignoring the available science, however, our nation’s priorities will drift away from hard science and toward decadence. The politicization of science is tantamount to killing it. It is our collective responsibility to champion the use of responsible science to inform politicians.

There are hopeful signs some once-true believers are beginning to harbor doubts about anthropogenic global warming. We can only hope the focus of the discussion returns to scientific evidence before we perpetrate an economic disaster on ourselves and generations to come.


Infantile Australian climate professor pronounces debate as "infantile"

The Age — formerly a decent newspaper — never fails to take an opportunity to parrot PR for Team AGW. Last week they gave a free shot to Will Steffen, Executive Director, ANU Climate Change Institute.
A SCIENCE adviser to the federal government has described the debate in the media over the basics of climate change science as ”almost infantile”, equating it to an argument about the existence of gravity.

It takes a tax-payer funded Professor to equate AGW to gravity. It must have taken years of education to be able to issue pronouncements like this eh? If Australian taxpayers were hoping to get a bit more than just bluster and name-calling from certain public servants, they’re bound to be asking for their money back soon.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but the existence of gravity is proven each day you don’t get flung off the planet when you get out of bed. We can measure gravity to twelve significant digits, but our value for climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide varies from 0 to 10. Pick a number. We can’t even get one significant digit fixed. Quantifying gravity involves dropping a rock with a clock and a ruler. Quantifying carbon’s effect on climate change involves understanding cloud-formation, ice sheet changes, evaporation, humidity levels in air 8000 m above Singapore, and ocean currents at the bottom of the endless abyss that we can’t even measure.
Speaking at a Melbourne summit on the green economy, Professor Will Steffen criticised the media for treating climate change science as a political issue in which two sides should be given a voice.

Is it political? Heck No. It’s not about managing our economy, assessing risks, choosing between different courses of action… err… it’s pure science. Prof Steffen has modeled our future, there’s no need to involve the economists-consumers-engineers-investors-medical-experts-or those pesky kids we’re supposedly saving-the-planet-for. Managing the country is pure science now; free speech and democracy-babble, who needs it!

This censorship of speech, and appeal to authority is the antithesis of science, and Steffen simplifies things ad absurdium. In Australia, he appears to have been appointed Carbon-King-of-Bluster. Find me a sentence where he substantiates a claim with something that amounts to more than “…it’s true because I say so”.
It’s a no-brainer. If you go over the last couple of decades you see tens of thousands of papers in the peer-reviewed literature, and you have less than 10 that challenge the fundamentals – and they have been disproved,” Professor Steffen said after an address at the Australian Davos Connection’s Future Summit.

“Tens of Thousands” of papers eh? So why doesn’t he dig out a few and help his colleague Dr Andrew Glikson who is at least honest enough to engage in a debate and try to answer the question: Can you name any paper that supports the claim that positive feedback occurs and will double or triple the direct effect of carbon dioxide? Without that amplification the big scare campaign is all over (and so is much of the funding that feeds the associated junkets, conferences, grants, Institutes, and certain “science advisers” to the government ).

And which 10 papers exactly have been disproved? Steffen can’t name them, won’t try, and helpfully leaves things vague as a one-size-fits-all whitewash. Pure bluster. Adam Morton dutifully prints all that without checking, as if it’s a pronouncement from the Mount and one of the ten commandments.

Don’t give me the excuse that he’s written giant documents with thousands of references, so the evidence is there “somewhere”. It only takes a few minutes to name and explain one paper. Waving vaguely at tomes is part of the shell game. If he wants rational discourse, this is where it starts, with details.
Right now, this almost infantile debate about whether ‘is it real or isn’t it real?’, it’s like saying, ‘Is the Earth round or is it flat?’

Actually, the only one trying to debate whether “it’s” real or the world is flat is him. No one else wants to reduce public conversation to meaningless descriptors as much as he does. What “it” is he talking about? Does he mean “climate change”? He’d sure like us to debate that, because he’d be on safe preschool-climate-science terms where he could win: Yes Esmeralda, the climate does change! But the rest of us keep asking him to debate the real issue instead of his fake-o-strawman-substitute.
[Climate change] is a hugely important question and yet we are not having a rational discourse in the media in Australia on this question. That is my biggest frustration.

This is quite funny really. (I laughed). So Steffen is frustrated that the discourse is irrational? This is the man who uses his academic authority to mock opponents (that he won’t debate) with strawman arguments that are irrelevant. He claims he wants rational discourse, but works hard to stifle any discussion that doesn’t agree with him. He actively contributes to the nightmare of government spin and irrationality.

Asked about the scepticism of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, he said scientists respected leaders from both sides of politics who showed respect for scientific expertise.

“Respect for expertise” is code for argument from authority: Trust me I’m an expert. It’s the cop-out.

Real scientists don’t have any respect for the fawning servants of bureaucracy or fame. We admire those who can reason, and not those who pour confusion on conversations with confounding pomposities. The ingratiates who take our money but call us names, while they dodge debates and hail vainglorious victories over points we never raised: these we mock


How to shoot down windmill promoters

The following is from a newsletter put out by Greenies who OPPOSE wind power. The email followed a strategy discussion of how to defeat a bad wind energy bill (the disastrous Massachusetts Wind Energy Siting Bill).

What I have reproduced is fairly long but there is in fact more to it. If you ask to be put on the mailing list of John Droz jr. (aaprjohn@northnet.org) you can get the whole of it. Droz is a physicist and his site is here

When I first got involved with the Wellfleet (Cape Cod, Massachusetts) situation in November, what I (and others in our community) knew about wind turbines would fit in a thimble. However, we knew enough to understand that erecting 400 foot, kinetic industrial towers in the middle of a national park was an insane idea. It seemed like such a sacrilege, that we barely knew where to start arguing with the proponents. What do you say to someone who is so seriously unhinged that he or she actually thinks that it’s a great idea to industrialize a national park?

We rapidly grew to appreciate the human health hazards (e.g. acoustic effects), the profoundly detrimental environmental consequences (e.g. for wildlife), the impact on property values and, most tragically, the despair and ruin that they caused in the lives of decent, well-meaning people burdened to live in the shadow of these behemoths.

The knowledge that seemed least relevant to me – because the other consequences were so dire – was the efficacy of the technology: does wind energy actually work? Does it accomplish anything consequential? Those were way down on my list of concerns.

I knew enough to know that the proponents had no business erecting the damn things in the National Seashore. But others repeatedly said that it would be crazy – and self-defeating – to address the larger policy issue with any sort of traditional cost / benefit analysis. Are we getting our money’s worth? Does the yield justify the investment? That sort of thing. And it was deemed especially foolhardy even to suggest to a bunch of Prius driving liberals in Wellfleet who are hell bent on saving the world that wind energy doesn’t actually work. Furthermore it seemed to me that we had plenty of ammunition in our battle to let sleeping dogs lie – or to let the windmill supporters live with their illusions about the promise of wind energy – as long as they could be convinced that putting them in the park was dangerous and outrageous. So I didn’t really do my homework and answer these questions for myself.

Now, however, after encountering the vapid, idiotic, pompous and patronizing delusional drivel of the Superintendent of the Cape Cod National Seashore (an unapologetic promoter of his grand vision of a string of token wind energy projects within the boundaries of the park — you know who I mean as you have similar proponents in your community) -- over and over and over again – I am completely of the opposite view.

I now see that his arguments are hollow (meaningless, bloated, irrelevant, not applicable and false) — and his advocacy of industrializing the park is morally bankrupt. He keeps trying to inflate the shell of his argument (the “national mission to promote alternative energy”), but repeatedly ignores the substance of his core responsibility: “to preserve and protect the natural landscape in its original condition for all future generations.”

Gradually, it has become apparent that not only is it maddening to listen to such bombast — as if he had been granted a special dispensation from on high to pursue his brilliant plan, but it is downright dangerous to allow such contentions to linger unchallenged that this could EVER possibly be a good idea, or that these promoters have any clue what they are talking about.

We simply must call a spade a spade here in order to deny such imposters the opportunity to wrap themselves in the cloak of their presumed authority, or to "frame" the debate, as some of our representatives have attempted to do.

The central argument against wind turbines in this debate is simple and devastating: they don't work!

— They will not solve our energy issues (e.g. they don't reduce our dependence on imported oil).

— They will not solve our environmental problems (e.g. they don't consequentially reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions).

— They are not a substitute for conventional energy sources (e.g. because they are not reliable, have no Capacity Value, are much more expensive, etc.).

Why should citizens take this approach?

Why take this as the point of departure, instead of seeking to elicit sympathy for the very real suffering of folks in nearby communities subjected to wind development?

The reason is simple: if you allow the proponents to retain this “high moral ground” – the fictional idea that wind turbines actually accomplish something useful and that at least THEY are trying to do something about global warming, energy independence, etc. while YOU are in denial – and whining about a bit of noise that is “no louder than a refrigerator” ---- then you have likely lost right off the bat.

Making it mostly about you makes it is all too easy for these promoters to paint us as NIMBY’s and nincompoops.

They will come across as virtuous and wise — you as selfish and uninformed.

They want to change the world with their cutting edge technology — you are living in the past.

They care about our grandchildren’s grandchildren — you are a crybaby because you can’t stand paying a few more cents per KWH on your electric bill.

They are bold visionaries — you are the reason we’re here in the first place.


Who do you think is holding the stronger hand here?

But, suppose you turn this around and you first DEMAND that they prove their case: that they provide scientific proof that the technology actually works BEFORE you move on to catalogue all of the adverse consequences. You can do this by asking a few innocent questions:

* Please show me the independent, objective studies (using real-world data, not models) that show that wind energy actually is technically, economically and environmentally beneficial?

* Please explain to me how we're going to get electricity if these things only produce power when the wind blows — and not too slow, or too fast? What are we going to do if the wind only blows at night – when we don’t need electricity – but doesn’t blow during the daytime in August – when it’s hot as hell where I live? Isn’t a lot of that “production” worthless? Has anyone ever invented a practical, affordable method of “storing” electricity for future use?

* What do we do if we have three calm days in a row? Or a calm month? How do I watch the World Series? How do I use my computer?

* How do we manage the wildly fluctuating flow of electricity produced – or not produced – by the wind turbines? Isn’t modern electricity essentially a river of current that needs to be predictably available to be useful – not a flood, but certainly more than a trickle and, heaven forbid, not a dry gulch? Isn’t that sort of a problem – especially if the oft-stated goal of “increasing alternative energy to 20% of our total output by 2020” is actually realized?

* What about the economics? The average residential US customer pays 10¢/KWH for electricity. In Denmark (where they have installed many more wind turbines) the average residential customer pays 35¢/KWH. How will paying this huge 350% increase be beneficial to citizens? How does this jive with the marketing PR that says wind energy is inexpensive?

* Will this wind project actually replace any conventional fossil-fuel electric plants? How many can we get rid of? Can we dispense with them entirely? Can we turn them on and off at will – like dimming the lights – to compensate for the unpredictable, skittering output from the wind mills? If we do a granular analysis of wind energy (not giving credit to useless gross production that is produced in the middle of the night, when nobody wants it, for example), what is the actual reduction in CO2 emissions that we can hope to achieve – starting from the assumption that consumers and businesses don’t consider availability of electricity “optional” and aren’t willing to put up with haphazard, unpredictable delivery of this miraculous form of energy that they take for granted?

* To replace a single medium sized conventional electric power plant we would only need several thousands of these 410 foot behemoths covering hundreds of square miles of territory. Exactly how many square miles of land will be needed to appreciably reduce coal use? Since they aren't making more land, how is this a "renewable" or "green" concept?

* My favorite: those who claim that "forward thinking environmentalists" should give their support to projects like the wind turbine proposal in Wellfleet for wind turbines in the middle of the national park.

* Take the opposite approach by saying: OK, Let’s do it! Let’s harness the “wind resource” within the park in the service of all humanity. But let’s not stop with a few. Since this is such a great idea, let’s REPLICATE this wonderful idea throughout the entire park system. If it’s good enough for the National Seashore, it’s good enough for the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Yellowstone too! We can’t afford to let all of those other “wind resources” go to waste!

* Surely, this is not too great a price to pay. Why, if we were just “forward thinking” enough to agree to ruin thousands of pristine habitats similar to Wellfleet – or to convert the entire State of Rhode Island into a wind farm, for example -- we could “replace” ONE small power plant, right? Well, no, we couldn’t actually “replace” the power plant, since we would have to keep it running “just in case” the wind didn’t blow (or blew at the wrong time). But who cares: at least we’d be doing something, and we’d surely all feel a lot better about ourselves! No one could say we didn’t do our part.

Then you ask the proponents how many billions of dollars they want to spend on this adventure – not for a single project, but the total figure.

Then you ask them where they’re going to put them? How do you put them in cities and towns without adversely affect citizens (e.g. by bombarding them with high intensity infrasound and “flicker” and constant mechanical noise)? How do you put them in conservation preserves, in the unsettled areas, without destroying habitat and driving off wildlife? It really makes sense to "save the world" by destroying its inhabitants?

Then you ask them how many miles of transmission lines we’ll have to construct – at what cost, and what consequences will this have – and how much power will we lose getting the electricity from the desolate, windy points (where the windmills live and the wildlife has fled) to the settled areas, hundreds of miles away?

Then you ask them who’s going to pay for all of this? And how will that be accomplished? And what happens to all of these projects if the legislature (or the federal government; or the voters) have a change of heart – or fall upon hard economic times – and the river of government subsidies slows to a trickle?

Then you ask them why they keep talking about foreign oil and “energy independence” when only about 1% of electricity is produced by burning oil – and virtually all of our electricity currently comes from home-grown sources?

Then you ask them why shouldn’t we be focusing some of those billions of dollars of investment on conservation; and on reducing vehicle emissions; and on switching over to natural gas (which is plentiful, relatively clean, and cheap) – rather than splurging on all of those exotic, noisy mammoth wind mills?

Here is the bottom line.

Don’t let these agenda promoters reduce the argument to whether or not “we” are willing to make the sacrifice in the service of a noble and necessary cause. (BTW by “we” they mean people they don’t know and don’t care about in communities with wind projects.) Tell them you think that the whole idea is nuts – and make them prove it to you otherwise.

So what do they actually LIKE about the idea? Remind me again?

They are neither virtuous nor wise. The developers are mostly cynical profiteers out to make a buck, who pull the necessary strings and grease the necessary palms to win their approvals. They are opportunists who travel to financially stressed rural areas and entice unsuspecting farmers to sign their lease agreements which neuter their rights to their own land. Most of the others are ill-informed and idealistic – and maybe a bit impulsive – who have no idea what they’re in for once the blades begin to spin. They reassure energy committees and the town fathers that everything will be fine. Talk is cheap!

“It’s no louder than a refrigerator!” “You won’t even know it’s there.” “They are beautiful, shining symbols of our freedom – and of our energy independence.”

I’m not immune to the sufferings of others – on the contrary, it breaks my heart – and I am acutely aware of the many other adverse consequences that derive from the installation and the operation of these massive machines. But after being in the trenches on this issue I am quite sure that it is a mistake to shoulder the burden of pointing out all of the bad consequences of their "brilliant" idea — instead of demanding to see the proof as to WHY are they recommending it in the first place?

What’s so inspiring about a stupid idea that doesn’t work – AND one which devastates residents, divides communities and ruins habitat in the process?


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 blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


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