Thursday, April 28, 2011

More proof of global cooling

Warmists and their disciples have long told us that the population of Antactic krill has DECREASED drastically in recent decades due to global warming (See e.g. here, here, here and here). So what conclusions do we draw from the recent report excerpted below?

With the "flexibility" that Warmists are renowned for, the authors below now say that an INCREASE in Krill proves global warming. We are apparently supposed to forget that they said the opposite for many years. Conclusion: We are listening to psychopaths, not scientists

Scientists have observed a "super-aggregation" of more than 300 humpback whales gorging on the largest swarm of Antarctic krill seen in more than 20 years in bays along the Western Antarctic Peninsula.

The sightings, made in waters still largely ice-free deep into austral autumn, suggest the previously little-studied bays are important late-season foraging grounds for the endangered whales. But they also highlight how rapid climate change is affecting the region.

The Duke University-led team tracked the super-aggregation of krill and whales during a six-week expedition to Wilhelmina Bay and surrounding waters in May 2009. They published their findings today (April 27) in the online science journal PLoS ONE.

"Such an incredibly dense aggregation of whales and krill has never been seen before in this area at this time of year," says Duke marine biologist Douglas Nowacek.

Antarctic krill are shrimp-like creatures that feed primarily on phytoplankton and live in large swarms in the Southern Ocean. Penguins, seals, seabirds and many whale species rely on the protein-rich, pinky-sized crustaceans as a source of food. Commercial fisheries are allowed to harvest up to 3 ½ tons of the krill a year as food for farm-raised salmon and for oil, rich in omega-3 acids, which is used in human dietary supplements.


A truly remarkable gaffe from Warmist Joe Romm

Romm has posted the following combination of temperature history and guesswork. Note that it clearly shows a DECLINING temperature since the Medieval Warm Period. And the top temperature of the year 2000 is in fact LOWER than the year 1000.

The guesswork can of course be disregarded -- not only because it is guesswork but also because it is unlike anything else in the temperature record. And the flattening out of global temperatures since the year 2000 is well-known anyway.

Is Romm trying to leave the Dark Side? Or is he just stupid?


New paper shows how natural ocean oscillations control climate

According to climate scientist Dr. Roger Pielke Sr., "A very important new paper has been accepted for publication in Climate Dynamics," titled Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation And Northern Hemisphere’s Climate Variability. The paper shows how the climate of the Northern Hemisphere can be explained by a combination of the natural ocean cycles called the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), without incorporating greenhouse gases. The graph below, from a poster associated with the paper, shows how the Northern Hemisphere (NH) surface temperature "can be nearly perfectly represented as a weighted sum of the AMO and PDO" natural ocean oscillations. IPCC models do not incorporate ocean oscillations and are purposely programmed to instead attempt to "prove" CO2 controls climate rather than natural factors such as ocean oscillations and solar variability.

NHT (blue line) is Northern Hemisphere Temperature and tracks "nearly perfectly" a weighted sum of the AMO and PDO ocean oscillations (red dashed line)

Poster associated with the paper, click for pdf file
Related: more on the natural ~ 60 year climate cycle


The environmentalists need to stop crying wolf

A study released this week concludes that government “green-job” programs aren’t the yellow-brick road to happiness in Europe. “Green programs in Spain destroyed 2.2 jobs for every job created,” write Kenneth P. Green and Ben Eisen in their paper for the Winnipeg-based think-tank, Frontier Centre, “while the capital needed for one green job in Italy could create five new jobs in the general economy.”

Pity the Greens, here and around the globe. Things haven’t been going their way in the last couple of years, ever since those pesky e-mails surfaced in Britain — the ones showing that Green-tinged scientists at the climatic-research unit of the University of East Anglia got carried away with the nobility of their global-warming mantras. All in a good cause, of course, but still, “it’s no use pretending this isn’t a major blow,” as George Monbiot wrote in Britain’s The Guardian in the fall of 2009.

Actually, 2009 may have been the first year of serious reversal for the Green movement that has gone from triumph to triumph for the past 50 years. The astrologers and alchemists of ecology have been merrily reading tea leaves and crying wolf for almost half a century.

Like many millennial movements, the Greens started out as a mixed bag. They included concerned citizens, calculating statists and hysterical sentimentalists. Some were sober and practical enough, trying to identify genuine problems; others had a variety of issues and agendas, espousing or pretending to espouse the Earth’s cause with religious fervour. Masquerading as scientists, spouting scientific jargon and aping scientific methods, they caught the fancy of the zeitgeist, gradually advancing from the partisans of the Earth to its administrators and police.

In Europe, Greens became a direct political force, while in North America they piggybacked their politics, policies and rhetoric on the traditional political parties. Their influence extended across the spectrum. All parties mouthed their shibboleths, with the parties on the left — in Canada, the NDP — making the loudest noises.

The Frontier Centre’s paper quotes U.S. President Barack Obama still singing the praises of the greening of Spain in 2009 — “particularly around key issues like renewable energy and transportation, where Spain has been a worldwide leader” — just before a group of researchers headed by Gabriel Calzada Alvarez at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos released their findings about the actual cost of each “green job” created by Obama’s “worldwide leader.” It was a staggering three-quarters of a million dollars ($791,597, to be precise), indicating that the Middle East isn’t the only region where America’s Commander-in-Chief is sorely in need of a reality check.

Alvarez and his researchers also found that each “green” megawatt installed “destroys 5.28 jobs on average elsewhere in the economy.” This week Green-Eisen conclude that “far from generating a new source of economic growth, job creation and government revenue, Spain has found its foray into renewable energy to be unsustainable.”

Italy and Germany, if anything, fare worse. “As with Spain, corruption runs rampant through the renewable-energy sector,” write Green-Eisen. “In Italy, however, rather than having numerous individuals defrauding the government, the Mafia is involved.” As for Germany, utilities are required by law to purchase solar energy at 59 cents per kWh. Conventional electricity costs range from a high of 10 cents to a low of three. Federal subsidies for electricity have risen 300%, and household costs on average by 7.5%. That’s in a country where the Greens are political heavyweights. In the United Kingdom, “for every job created in renewable energy, 3.7 jobs are lost.”

What price “green” energy? That price, and worse, assuming Green and other researchers are right, as I suspect they are. And what are we paying this price for? We’re not boiling the globe like a lobster, as they led us believe we were, so what are we paying it for? What are we paying it for if we’re not running out of fossil fuels, and our nuclear reactors aren’t melting us down all the way to China as we were told they might in the 1970s?

Are we paying for the paranoia, self-righteousness and dictatorial ambitions of a quasi-religious, pseudo-Luddite, bio-worshipping ideology? It seems like that and maybe it is — but I wonder. The Earth can sustain more than Al Gore, the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, the Alberta Federation of Labor and their little green friends claim it can, but it can’t sustain everything. It may, for instance, not be able to sustain American levels of energy consumption by seven billion people.

The wolf isn’t at the door — but there is a wolf. There’s a whole pack of them out there. They’re hungry and they’ve big teeth.

The boy in the fable who cries wolf doesn’t do much damage when he sounds his false alarm. He’s just a nuisance — maybe a bloody nuisance, but that’s all. The damage comes when his alarm is real but nobody listens. I suspect this may yet become the story of the Green lobby.


Will A Lizard Stop West Texas Oil?

Species: After the harm done by the spotted owl and delta smelt, the listing of a tiny reptile as endangered may be the latest salvo in the war on domestic energy.

As Yogi Berra would say, it's deja vu all over again. If the dunes sagebrush lizard is listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as an endangered species, another key part of the American economy will fall prey to the eco-extremist mantra that every little critter's well-being trumps that of the American people and economy.

Last December, the Fish and Wildlife Service announced that the lizard, a three-inch-long reptile native to the American Southwest, "faces immediate and significant threats due to oil and gas activities and herbicide treatments" and initiated the process to get it listed under the Endangered Species Act.

In 2002, the Center for Biological Diversity first petitioned to have the lizard, originally considered a subspecies of the common sagebrush lizard, listed as endangered. The Bush administration delayed consideration for six years. Last year, the Obama administration put it back on the fast track.

And why not? This is an administration that has ignored a judge's order to remove restrictions on oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and designated vast areas in and off Alaska as protected habitat for the caribou and the polar bears, species whose only problem is one of overpopulation.

As director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Steven Chu, Obama's secretary of energy, expressed a fondness for high European gas prices as a means of reducing consumption of fossil fuels. In a September 2008 newspaper interview, he said: "Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe." Gas prices in Europe then averaged about $8 a gallon.

As gas prices here soar toward $5 a gallon, Chu's friends at the Interior Department may help him and President Obama get the rest of the way toward their goal. If the dunes sagebrush lizard, now considered a separate species, is granted endangered status, oil and gas production in the Permian Basin in New Mexico and Texas may have to be shut down.

When Obama recently addressed the current energy crisis, he told Americans not to worry: "We've been down this road before." But we should worry — and for that very reason. We've seen the spotted owl kill logging and create ghost towns in the Northwest. The ESA's listing of the delta smelt created 40% unemployment in California's San Joaquin Valley and turned America's food basket into a dust bowl.

The Department of Energy says the Permian Basin has a quarter of the nation's proven reserves and 20% of the nation's daily production comes from there. It has a quarter of the nation's active oil and gas wells and is home to 21% of the rigs actively drilling in the U.S.

Gulf oil production is expected to be down 20% in 2011, meaning the loss of 375,000 jobs. But that's a drop in the barrel compared with the loss of production and jobs if America's biggest oilfield is shut down to make a lizard's life more comfortable.

So the day when you pump Secretary Chu's expensive gas, it won't be the fault of those big bad oil companies charged by President Obama with conspiring to boost oil prices by restricting supply. It'll be the administration restricting supply as part of its plan to make domestic energy prices "necessarily skyrocket" so that green energy looks more attractive and necessary.


Dodgy figures, wrong questions plague Australia's carbon debate

Gary Johns

AUSTRALIA has had two chances to make a dignified exit from the foolhardy proposition of carbon abatement.

The first was Tony Abbott's proposal to then opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull to pass then prime minister Kevin Rudd's emissions trading scheme, with the proviso that it not be invoked until there was an international scheme in place. An international scheme is a chimera. Second was Prime Minister Julia Gillard's promise to wait until Australians had achieved a consensus on pricing carbon: in other words, to talk it out until after yet another election. For the foreseeable future, these two options have been closed.

Having cost the political lives of one prime minister (Kevin Rudd) and two opposition leaders (Brendan Nelson and Malcolm Turnbull), Australia is now in the end game for pricing carbon. Pricing seemed like a good idea 10 years ago: it is now looking very sick.

Ask an economist the most cost-effective way to abate carbon and they will tell you market pricing. Right answer, wrong question. Ask an economist the most cost-effective way to prepare for the risk of climate change and you will get answers about priorities and adaptation. You hear about research and development, and spending money on things to make people (especially in developing countries) more able to cope with change: health infrastructure, skills, cheap energy.

Instead, the Gillard government walks headlong to its political death with its Climate Change Minister Greg Combet spruiking nonsense. For example, Combet is softening up the electorate for Labor's carbon tax by arguing China puts a higher price on carbon than Australia.

Combet, on ABC's Lateline this year, cited the Chinese and Australian implicit price for carbon from the 2010 Vivid Economics report for The Climate Institute: $8 per tonne for China and $2 per tonne for Australia. The idea is to tell Australians they are not pulling their weight. The Chinese must think Gillard a fool. Vivid Economics has been colourful with its analysis. They wildly overstate China's and wildly understate Australia's implicit carbon price. For a start, Chinese energy policies have not been developed with the aim of promoting greenhouse gas emission reductions.

The primary effort is to harness energy to create jobs and deliver improved living standards. The majority of renewable energy being built in China is large-scale hydro. Chinese power companies are interested in harnessing energy. Greenhouse gas abatement rarely rates a mention. Moreover, the Chinese subsidise coal fuel. As most new generation in China is coal, this implies that at the margin, China has a negative carbon price. Combet, the Climate Institute, and the Climate Change Department are knowingly feeding the electorate complete bunkum.

Australia's average carbon price is assessed by Vivid across a variety of programs, including feed-in tariffs, Renewable Energy Target (the old scheme), the Qld Gas scheme and the NSW GGAS scheme.

There is no assessment of the state government policies opposing coal-fired power stations that make gas the fuel of choice for non-renewable generators. At the margin this imposes a significant carbon price particularly in NSW and Queensland. Even in Victoria it implies a marginal cost of carbon in excess of $10 per tonne. Vivid ignores these policies. The current marginal cost of carbon in the generation sector would be well above $10 per tonne and for some parts of the sector (in particular RET) more than $40 per tonne.

Typically socialist, the development of small plant generation until very recently was largely promoted by Chinese government policies to dispatch all plants equally, that is, regardless of efficiency. Australia's efforts, which Vivid and Combet criticise, have always promoted efficient merit-order based dispatch. Australia has chased the best technology such that no small coal plant was installed here in the last two decades (with the possible exception of Western Australia).

That China is just now scheduling plants in merit order (from lowest cost to highest cost), which means that more competitive plants are built over conventional plants is simply the way it happens anyway in market-based economies in order to minimise the cost of production and maximise welfare. In essence, 94 per cent of the implied carbon price estimated for China is based on removing a mandate to dispatch plants inefficiently and then promote action to shutdown plants that would probably not have been built in the first place on efficiency grounds.

The Productivity Commission has been asked to report on the price of carbon production in other countries. Already, chairman Gary Banks has warned about the difficulties of comparison, and that proper comparison will not deliver the government the picture it wants.

The electorate is becoming less enamoured with the climate change cause. Once they sniff brumby figures, Gillard will be the fourth political life lost to carbon abatement.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, 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


1 comment:

slktac said...

People often deny that climate change is a religion. Yet, when the predictions of doom fail to materialize on time, they simply move the time table forward. This is precisely what end-of-the-world religions do. When the world did not end at predicted time, a new calculation was made and the religion went right back to predicting end times coming soon.

Also, people who would mock psychics follow computer models without question. Yet without the actual algorithms and raw data, the conclusion can be no more verified than the psychic's predition.