Friday, October 08, 2010

A stronger Sun actually cools the Earth

An increase in solar activity from the Sun actually cools the Earth, suggests new research that will renew the debate over the science behind climate change. The research overturns traditional assumptions about the relationship between the sun and global warming.

Focused on a three-year snapshot of time between 2004 and 2007, the findings will be seized upon by those who believe that man's role in rises in the earth's temperature has been overstated.

As solar activity waned at the end of one of the Sun's 11-year cycles, the new data shows the amount of light and heat reaching the Earth rose rather than fell. Its impact on melting polar ice caps, and drying up rivers could therefore have been exaggerated by conventional climate models during the period.

Scientists also believe it may also be possible that during the next upturn of the cycle, when solar activity increases, there might be a cooling effect at the Earth's surface.

However while this may support climate change sceptics' arguments in the short term, long term analysis suggests it actually provides further evidence that the heating of the planet is more than a natural, cyclical phenomenon.

Over the past century, overall solar activity has been increasing and should therefore cool the Earth, yet global temperatures have increased.

Professor Joanna Haigh, from Imperial College London, who led the study, said: "These results are challenging what we thought we knew about the sun's effect on our climate. "However, they only show us a snapshot of the sun's activity and its behaviour over the three years of our study could be an anomaly.

"We cannot jump to any conclusions based on what we have found during this comparatively short period and we need to carry out further studies to explore the sun's activity and the patterns that we have uncovered on longer timescales. "However, if further studies find the same pattern over a longer period of time, this could suggest that we may have overestimated the Sun's role in warming the planet, rather than underestimating it."

She denied that it would fuel scepticism about climate change research. "I think it doesn't give comfort to the climate sceptics at all," she said. "It may suggest that we don't know that much about the Sun. It casts no aspersions at all upon the climate models."

The research, published in the journal Nature, is based on data from a satellite called SORCE (Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment) that has been measuring the sun's energy output at X-ray, ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared wavelengths.

Professor Sir Brian Hoskins, the Director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College London, said: "We know that the Earth's climate is affected both by human activity and by natural forces and today's study improves our understanding of how the Sun influences our climate.

"Studies like this are vital for helping us to create a clear picture of how our climate is changing and through this, to work out how we can best protect our planet."


Lubos Motl on "Splattergate"

Ending on "What's good for the goose is good for the gander"

In The Guardian, film director Franny Armstrong (who has already contributed to an aptly named movie called Age of Stupid) claims that their conscience is fine because they have only killed 5 people while 300,000 people are killed by climate change every year. Well, they have actually killed 7 people in the video (murderers of their caliber probably can no longer even count the victims) - and global climate change kills 0 people a year. But is a murder of 5 or 7 people insufficient?

I hope that this mini-movie will make many people realize that climate alarmism is a genuine threat for our freedom, democracy, prosperity, and even security, much like islamic terrorism, and we may have to do something about it. It was actually difficult for me to believe that the movie was created by the actual alarmists. Wasn't it just a movie paid for by some skeptics to exaggerate how a typical alarmist thinks and to blow a final lethal blow to the AGW movement?

Is there any exaggeration in the movie at all? Maybe, the climate alarmists really want to scare the ordinary people to death - make them think that they will be killed if they openly display the skepticism. What will you do, the ordinary people? Are you scared? Well, believe me, children would surely be scared.

An initial caption on the YouTube video argued that there was a "shrinking time frame" for a climate action. Oh, really? (If there were a climate threat of any kind, it would take centuries for it to become substantial.) So maybe if there is such a "shrinking time frame", you may really want to start to kill the people around, right? Franny Armstrong told the Guardian that the detonation could be exaggerated but they could amputate the skeptics' arms and legs. She thinks it's a great and funny idea that should spread in the society.

The explosions of the people may have been computer tricks. But to be sure, the 10:10 campaign has equally passionately destroyed a big airplane, and this act was for real. The airplane was cut into pieces, melted, and transformed into lots of tags with the Nazi-like logo of the eco-terrorist organization.

A self-described "friend" of the inhuman creatures behind the 10:10 movement, who is also harbored by The Guardian, a left-wing U.K. daily, asked his "friends" about the effects and motivations for this shocking piece of work. My understanding is that these unhinged people really want to detonate - or at least scare - millions of humans because they believe that climate action "has" to be done in 4 years (click for a 3-minute video explanation of the deadline). Wow.

The fact that environmentalism originally emerged from Nazism rather than communism has been made clear many times but few of us expected that the true "roots" of environmentalism would ever be made so self-evident, with so many famous people participating.

I think that many people keep on underestimating how serious those folks are about all these matters. The Guardian knew about the video - and praised it - yesterday. Jamie Glover, a boy who was the first male to explode in the video, was told that he had to be sacrificed to save the world. What did he say afterwards?

"Jamie Glover, the child-actor who plays the part of Philip and gets blown up, has similarly few qualms: "I was very happy to get blown up to save the world."

You see that there's no qualitative difference in their methods of brainwashing of the children between the greens and the conventional Islamic jidhadists. They're ready to sacrifice their life for the "highest value". Compare Jamie's answer with the Arabic hit song, "When We Die As Martyrs".

Well, hours after the video had to be removed, I hope that the reactions to the film have been genuinely fascinating for the ecofascists - and they will continue to be fascinating up to the very last 10 minutes and 10 seconds of global warming ecofascism.

In this sense, I favor the precautionary principle. Nothing else than a complete liquidation of the climate change ecofascism can safely protect the children's lives at school. Now, let me just press a little red button here.

More here

A more useful "10:10" goal

There is an ongoing and concerted effort [1] by a well-funded group of eco-warrior style partners [2] to reduce the emissions of so-called “greenhouse gases” for the sole purpose of reducing the impact of human developments on the “disruption of our climate”.

As a scientist with no faculty to support or a desk to defend, I am free from the shackles of academia that prevent the truth from surfacing. [3] So instead of aiming for a 10% reduction of “greenhouse gas emissions” some time before the end of this year, 2010, I propose to do the exact opposite and I’ll explain why.

First and foremost, there is not one single shred of evidence that so-called “greenhouse gases” do what they are alleged to do: warm the earth by either trapping or re-radiating some energy back to earth. [4]

Secondly, there is also no evidence that the increased level of atmospheric carbon dioxide is caused exclusively by the emissions from human developments. The only evidence that does exist quantifies the human emissions as no more than about 5% of all the atmospheric carbon dioxide. [5]

Thirdly, it is impossible for any gas to trap heat in our open-to-the-vacuum-of-space atmosphere. By definition any gas that is warmer than its neighbouring molecule will rise and in so doing lose its heat in the three ways that heat passes from one molecule to the next: conduction, convection and radiation. [6] Last but not least any heat that is re-radiated back to earth can not make the earth any warmer than it had become from solar radiation that made it warm in the first place. If that was not the case we could produce extra energy from chambers filled with carbon dioxide; if only that were true all our energy problems would be solved overnight.[7]

This is in fact the worst crime of junk-science claims - because carbon dioxide is not a “heat trapping” gas. Not in an open-to-the vacuum- of-space setting, only in a laboratory flask where the heat can not escape.

So then, instead of reducing our emissions and thus reducing our industrial output and thus reducing the wealth of all citizens dependent upon those emissions [8] [9], we should rather work to increase our emissions in order to spread wealth where there is now poverty, clean drinking water where now there is none, sanitation where now there is none and a life with basic education where now there is none. [10] [11] [12]

The terms “renewable” and “green energy” refer to sources that are not renewable, green or sustainable but are, in fact, glib green-wash misnomers hawked by big industry for the sole purpose of attracting big government subsidies taken from the taxpayer. [13] [14] [15]

Let us instead aim for an atmospheric carbon dioxide content of 1010 parts per million, as that would greatly enhance the growing potential of all our crops and also help trees to grow big and strong [16] [17].

SOURCE (See the original for references)

Designing Obamacar

Bureaucrats target SUVs, muscle cars, other consumer options

It's not enough for the Obama administration to take over America's largest automaker. The O Force is pushing to redesign every car on the road to reflect the bland, lifeless vision of an activist base committed to undoing the Industrial Revolution.

Proposed rules floated Friday by the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation would raise the existing corporate average fuel economy mandate of 35.5 mpg by 2016 to 60 mpg by 2025.

Even advocates admit the expected change would increase the cost of a new car by at least $2,670 - assuming it's even possible to meet the new target. Realistic goals, however, have never been the forte of the amateurs drafting the new regulations. The administration's goal has been to involve as many special interests as possible.

"We will continue to work with automakers, environmentalists and other stakeholders to encourage standards that reduce our addiction to foreign oil, save money for American drivers and clean up the air we breathe," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson in a statement last week. The same press release identified the stakeholders as "nongovernmental organizations, state and local governments, and labor unions" - in other words, everyone but consumers. That's a recipe for a typically disastrous committee-designed product that nobody wants. Here, the public won't have any other choice.

The administration's fact sheet on the scheme refers to engine "downsizing" as one of the goals of the new regulation. So forget about a new Ford Mustang GT or Chevy Tahoe. Mr. Obama wants to cram you and your family into a European-style microcar pulled by a struggling 3-cylinder engine. Realistically, even that would not cut it, and wasteful, heavy, feel-good hybrid systems would need to be bolted into each car. This represents a boon to the rent-seeking "green" companies peddling their subsidized wares, which would fail in an open market.

None of the proposed changes would do anything to make air more breathable. The internal-combustion engine has developed to the point where high performance is no longer accompanied by noxious fumes at the tailpipe. So, to remain relevant, bureaucrats have shifted focus away from actual pollution toward an obsession with eliminating carbon dioxide at the tailpipe. C02, of course, is the same gas you are exhaling as you read this. The utopian crackpots would be amusing if their schemes weren't backed up with governmental power.

The heart of the matter is that liberals hate motorcars. The automobile gives families the freedom of escaping the centrally planned urban landscape. Instead of depending on the timetables of the local transit authorities, car owners can go wherever they want, whenever they want in comfort and safety. The new Obamacar mandates will make travel by car less pleasant, reducing the allure of a personal sedan.

The free market is more than capable of producing clean, efficient engines that grow more fuel-efficient over time. That's because consumers consider the total cost of ownership as an important factor in their buying decisions. Shortcutting the market and freezing consumers out of the decision-making process unbalances the equation and eliminates factors such as safety, comfort, utility and fun in favor of gas mileage alone. That's exactly what the car-hating activists want.


Possible cause of bee die-off found

It's not global warming after all

Since 2006, 20 to 40 percent of the bee colonies in the United States alone have suffered “colony collapse.” Suspected culprits ranged from pesticides to genetically modified food.

Now, a unique partnership — of military scientists and entomologists — appears to have achieved a major breakthrough: identifying a new suspect, or two.

A fungus tag-teaming with a virus have apparently interacted to cause the problem, according to a paper by Army scientists in Maryland and bee experts in Montana in the online science journal PLoS One.

Exactly how that combination kills bees remains uncertain, the scientists said — a subject for the next round of research. But there are solid clues: both the virus and the fungus proliferate in cool, damp weather, and both do their dirty work in the bee gut, suggesting that insect nutrition is somehow compromised.

Liaisons between the military and academia are nothing new, of course. World War II, perhaps the most profound example, ended in an atomic strike on Japan in 1945 largely on the shoulders of scientist-soldiers in the Manhattan Project. And a group of scientists led by Jerry Bromenshenk of the University of Montana in Missoula has researched bee-related applications for the military in the past — developing, for example, a way to use honeybees in detecting land mines.

But researchers on both sides say that colony collapse may be the first time that the defense machinery of the post-Sept. 11 Homeland Security Department and academia have teamed up to address a problem that both sides say they might never have solved on their own.

“Together we could look at things nobody else was looking at,” said Colin Henderson, an associate professor at the University of Montana’s College of Technology and a member of Dr. Bromenshenk’s “Bee Alert” team.

Human nature and bee nature were interconnected in how the puzzle pieces came together. Two brothers helped foster communication across disciplines. A chance meeting and a saved business card proved pivotal. Even learning how to mash dead bees for analysis — a skill not taught at West Point — became a factor.

One perverse twist of colony collapse that has compounded the difficulty of solving it is that the bees do not just die — they fly off in every direction from the hive, then die alone and dispersed. That makes large numbers of bee autopsies — and yes, entomologists actually do those — problematic.

Dr. Bromenshenk’s team at the University of Montana and Montana State University in Bozeman, working with the Army’s Edgewood Chemical Biological Center northeast of Baltimore, said in their jointly written paper that the virus-fungus one-two punch was found in every killed colony the group studied. Neither agent alone seems able to devastate; together, the research suggests, they are 100 percent fatal.

“It’s chicken and egg in a sense — we don’t know which came first,” Dr. Bromenshenk said of the virus-fungus combo — nor is it clear, he added, whether one malady weakens the bees enough to be finished off by the second, or whether they somehow compound the other’s destructive power. “They’re co-factors, that’s all we can say at the moment,” he said. “They’re both present in all these collapsed colonies.”

Research at the University of California, San Francisco, had already identified the fungus as part of the problem. And several RNA-based viruses had been detected as well. But the Army/Montana team, using a new software system developed by the military for analyzing proteins, uncovered a new DNA-based virus, and established a linkage to the fungus, called N. ceranae.

“Our mission is to have detection capability to protect the people in the field from anything biological,” said Charles H. Wick, a microbiologist at Edgewood. Bees, Dr. Wick said, proved to be a perfect opportunity to see what the Army’s analytic software tool could do. “We brought it to bear on this bee question, which is how we field-tested it,” he said.

The Army software system — an advance itself in the growing field of protein research, or proteomics — is designed to test and identify biological agents in circumstances where commanders might have no idea what sort of threat they face. The system searches out the unique proteins in a sample, then identifies a virus or other microscopic life form based on the proteins it is known to contain. The power of that idea in military or bee defense is immense, researchers say, in that it allows them to use what they already know to find something they did not even know they were looking for.

But it took a family connection — through David Wick, Charles’s brother — to really connect the dots. When colony collapse became news a few years ago, Mr. Wick, a tech entrepreneur who moved to Montana in the 1990s for the outdoor lifestyle, saw a television interview with Dr. Bromenshenk about bees.

Mr. Wick knew of his brother’s work in Maryland, and remembered meeting Dr. Bromenshenk at a business conference. A retained business card and a telephone call put the Army and the Bee Alert team buzzing around the same blossom.

The first steps were awkward, partly because the Army lab was not used to testing bees, or more specifically, to extracting bee proteins. “I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”

The process eventually was refined. A mortar and pestle worked better than the desktop, and a coffee grinder worked best of all for making good bee paste.

Scientists in the project emphasize that their conclusions are not the final word. The pattern, they say, seems clear, but more research is needed to determine, for example, how further outbreaks might be prevented, and how much environmental factors like heat, cold or drought might play a role.

They said that combination attacks in nature, like the virus and fungus involved in bee deaths, are quite common, and that one answer in protecting bee colonies might be to focus on the fungus — controllable with antifungal agents — especially when the virus is detected.

Still unsolved is what makes the bees fly off into the wild yonder at the point of death. One theory, Dr. Bromenshenk said, is that the viral-fungal combination disrupts memory or navigating skills and the bees simply get lost. Another possibility, he said, is a kind of insect insanity.

In any event, the university’s bee operation itself proved vulnerable just last year, when nearly every bee disappeared over the course of the winter.


"Green" policies hitting Australians hard in the pocket

THE triple whammy of soaring electricity, gas and water costs follows years of financial pain already biting into budgets across Victoria. A Herald Sun investigation has found typical households are paying a staggering $900 more for the essentials compared with 2005. The blowout is forcing some to cut back on fresh food and skip doctor visits when they are sick. Electricity and water bills are up an average 45 to 60 per cent. Gas is 20 per cent higher.

Thousands of struggling customers are seeking payment extensions to cope with the crippling costs. And industry experts warn it will only get worse.

Ben Freund, of price comparison service GoSwitch, said that electricity costs were set to explode over the next five years as governments forced companies to commit to more expensive forms of green energy such as solar and wind power, and homes overflowed with power-hungry appliances.

"The increase in the price of electricity will not just affect power bills but the entire cost of living," he said. "It will impact the price of groceries from the supermarket and the price of a takeaway coffee. "The causes are necessary and expensive upgrades to the network as well as environmental programs and mandatory renewable energy targets imposed by state and federal governments."

Analysts are tipping power bills to rise at least 10 per cent next year. That's $120-$170 extra for an average household. The hip-pocket hit will be less severe for those on market contracts or who shop around for the best deals.

Conservative estimates put the rise for gas at 5 per cent, or $50 more for a standard home on a basic tariff.

The Herald Sun review found annual utility bills have jumped up to six times faster than inflation in some parts of Victoria. Water bills have ballooned because of the drought and major project costs including the Wonthaggi desalination plant.

Exclusive modelling by Victoria's utilities watchdog, the Essential Services Commission, predicts annual water bills in Melbourne will surge by at least $70 after the next approved price rise flows through from July 1 next year. Increases of up to 10 per cent are locked in for next financial year to fund the State Government's water infrastructure, designed to secure future supplies.

Bill rises in country Victoria will range from at least $8 in the Lower Murray region to $88 in Wannon Water's area.

Victorian Council of Social Service chief Cath Smith said surging utility bills were being deeply felt across the community. "It's noticeable by all - even those who are better off - because the prices of other luxuries or items such as fridges, cars, airline tickets and flatscreen TVs have gone down," Ms Smith said. "Suddenly, instead, everyone is having to devote more of their income to the basic essentials."

Ms Smith said skyrocketing bills, especially for electricity, were hitting low-income households hard, along with pensioners and the jobless. "We know some people are sacrificing on fresh food and health because of utility and rent rises," she said. "They won't go to a doctor because of gap fees, or will share prescriptions among family members."

People desperately needed a boost to pensions and concession payments to deal with the cost crisis, she said.

Energy Retailers Association of Australia executive director Cameron O'Reilly said families that failed to curb energy consumption faced a rude shock. "The increased cost of generating power is going in one direction only, and that's up," Mr O'Reilly said.

"Costs of transporting electricity are also massively driven due to larger houses, population growth, big-screen TVs and the number one baddie of them all - air-conditioners."

St Vincent de Paul Society state president Tony Tome said even customers who weren't using any more power were being harshly stung. "More and more people are presenting, needing help with utilities accounts - whether that be extra time to pay, emergency relief, or food vouchers so that they can cover their bills," Mr Tome said.



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1 comment:

~~Just Me in T~~ said...

Thanks for sharing your article.

Look out people the Red and the Green are preparing to screw you…….. They are using climate change and carbon pollution as an excuse to build up the Nation’'s Coffers. No one would dispute we need to clean up our act, this planet is our only home (on Earth…….) It deserves to be treated with ultimate respect, and we all need to do our part in keeping her clean and fresh. But I say NOT at the expense of taxing us all into the poor house, while at the same time giving allowances and massive benefits to industry and special interest groups.