Sunday, April 03, 2011

Untangling Prof. Muller

Dr Muller of the Berkley Earth Surface Group is a tangle of contradictions. He knows all the faults of Warmist "science" and dissects them ably. Yet he goes on to say that he believes in Warmism despite all that. And he does not say why. What the heck is going on?

If we follow the old advice "Follow the money", however, we have an answer. He is the front man for a geoengineering organization. And they want to say that theirs is the only means of controlling the earth's temperature. So they employ Dr. Muller to rubbish all the carbon control proposals -- which he ably does.

Skeptics Corner gives chapter and verse of the matter so I will just post below an excerpt from their extensive analysis

This Berkley Earth Surface Group is part of the Novim Group. It appears based on a quick review of their literature that they are very much into Geo-Engineering....

The contradictions in Dr Muller's public positions on the science of global warming is obvious. On the one hand he says that virtually all the science flowing from the IPCC and the various proponent individuals and organizations is shoddy yet he believes that the science that underpins it which is the product of those same indviduals and organizations is accurate.

Nowhere is this contradiction more obvious than in the next section of his lecture when the good doctor goes after the "Hockey Stick" and "climategate". This is what made Dr Muller an instant hero in the realist community. This portion of the lecture went viral though it only represents 5 minutes of a 52 minute presentation.

He basically destroys the reputation and research of most of climate science's most notable super stars and yet he believes the science they promote is sound, amazing.

Obviously Dr Muller believes that man made global warming is a threat and that the solutions put forward to date will not suffice to address that threat. He maintains this in spite of his many criticisms of the science underlying global warming. This an extremely contradictory position to maintain and it leads one to question why an obviously brilliant man would hold these contradictory views. I mean really how can someone spend an hour in a point by point discussion on the distortions, inaccuracies, and potential corruption by an entire field of science then say that their conclusion is valid. Does that make sense?

Putting aside the whole contradiction of Dr Muller's beliefs, let's look at the possible solutions if in fact he believes what he just presented. The presentation of energy options which Dr Muller gives is really nothing new, all of it has been gone over in other forums by other people. It is well presented and the challenges against implementing them well defined but again really nothing new. In fact a summary of the presentation would be

*The science behind global warming is shoddy

* Global warming is a threat to our future

*For society to advance we will probably exacerbate the global warming problem

*The current alternatives will probably not solve the problem.

So what are we to do? Left unsaid in all this is the group behind BEST, Novim. And what has Novim's emphasis been on, geo-engineering.

It is not as if anyone actually has to follow through with a geo-engineering solution, particularly not now, when the problem is "in the future". But it might behoove policy makers to consider preparing for such options by doing R&D on geo-engineering should the eventuality arise.

After all the United States did not defeat the Soviet Union by actually nuking them but we certainly did have the capacity to do so by building a strategic defense system second to none.

If you were convinced that global warming was a real possibility but that there was no economically viable way to achieve a reduction in emmision via the Al Gore camp model, what would your only option be?

Prepare to nuke global warming, I know that recently the idea of actually using nuclear bombs to cool the Earth has been presented, but I am speaking figuratively not literally. Nuking global warming in the geo-engineering sense would be all the silly ideas that have been outlined by various people and organizations....such as the Novim Group.

Boy what an out too! Not only do governments not have to destroy their economies, the Greens can still push all their little schemes for alternative energy and we can create an entirely new military geo-engineering industrial complex to defeat the red peril of our time, global warming...well the future global warming. Can you imagine all the cool sulfur dioxide spewing boats that could be built and deployed around the world, just in case the UN ever decided the time had come to save the world.

The current agenda has been discredited, both the scientific institutional entities such as the IPCC, NASA, NOAA etc as well as the solution agenda centered around cap and trade and the degradation of Western Economies as promoted by Al Gore, James Hansen etc.

Time for a new set of players with a new set of tools. BEST and supposedly independent organizations to substantiate the threat and new, less oppressive tools to fight that threat such as geo-engineering.

I really see no reason why companies and institutions such as i4 energy, Muller and Associates, the Novim Group and a never ending shadow group of organizations, individuals and entities should not lead the way into a better future for planet Earth and you?


Australia: Lighthouse light dimmed to protect muttonbirds

This is criminal. People could die from failing to notice a lighthouse. And there is no way that muttonbirds are "endangered"

A Tasmanian bird conservation group has praised efforts to protect muttonbirds that are being killed by a lighthouse in north-east Tasmania.

The Tasmanian Aboriginal Land Council raised concerns that thousands of muttonbirds are killed each year after flying into the Eddystone Point light.

The historic main light at the lighthouse has now been switched off and replaced with a lower intensity light.

Eric Woehler of Birds Tasmania says the Eddystone Lighthouse has killed many birds over several years. "We're talking about not just the shearwaters or the muttonbirds that are killed by lighthouses but a very high number of species are killed by flying into lighthouses." "So any measure that we can argue to improve the conservation of birds we'd certainly propose that," Mr Woehler said.


The Climate War Should Be Declared Over

Whether you know it or not the industrialized world is at war, a climate war. The industrialized world didn’t ask for it, it has being forced upon us. The fossil fuel burning world is being attacked by factions that want to extract the wealth of the prosperous nations to pay for a remaking of the world and “save it” from the industrialized nations crime of releasing carbon dioxide into the air.

However, as one of the Australian climate commissioners recently revealed, these governments, environmental groups and the United Nations have no answers as to what specific climate benefit would result from their victory. This is what makes the climate war so dangerous. Without a specific, targeted temperature drop figure somewhere in the future as a goal the entire transformation from fossil fuels to “renewables” lacks any true objective. The attempt to re-make energy production on a global scale will likely be prohibitively expensive and yield a temperature reduction that can only be guessed at! History has proven over and over again that stumbling into war without a specified, targeted objective, results in billions or trillions of wasted dollars and the pointless loss of human life.

Every once in a great while when our moon’s orbit takes it closer to Earth something quite remarkable can happen, a government official tells the truth. Apparently the increased gravitational force of the closer moon wrenches the truth from the unwitting official’s mouth. Before you know it he or she has blurted out something that in a moment, changes the entire landscape. With the last full moon being closer to earth since 1993 just such a thing happened in Australia.

In March, around the time of the moon’s closer proximity a reporter named Andrew Bolt, writing for Melbourne’s Herald Sun, happened to be interviewing Australia’s leading Climate Commissioner Tim Flannery. Bolt was looking to get a figure as to how much the earth’s temperature would drop if Australia reduced its carbon dioxide emissions 5% by 2020. At first Flannery was unwilling to give an answer, probably because he didn’t have one. Bolt pressed him for an actual number, something he could get his arms around. Flannery responded with “look it will be a very, very small increment.” Bolt continued to ask Flannery for an actual number.

Apparently at this point the moon’s stronger gravity effect kicked in. Upon further questioning Flannery blurted out “If we cut emissions today, global temperatures are not likely to drop for about a thousand years.” The first time I read this I had to go back and read it again, I was that stunned. Bolt was not satisfied with this answer. He was simply looking for an actual number, not a vague statement of generalities. He pressed Flannery to give a number like the cost of buying a car. He said you need to know the price of the car before you spend real money to buy it right? Flannery agreed.

Bolt then used a different approach. He gave Flannery a set of temperature numbers that he could pick from. This would help Flannery give the amount of temperature drop benefit Australia would achieve by reducing carbon dioxide emissions 5% by 2020. The closer moon’s proximity and increased gravity was now pulling harder on the earth than it had in 18 years. Flannery responded with this remarkable admission. “Just let me finish and say this. If the world as a whole cut all emissions tomorrow the average temperature of the planet is not going to drop in several hundred years, perhaps as much as a thousand years”. After reading this I was glad I was sitting down.

This eye popping remark comes not from some everyday politician but from a climate commissioner of Australia. He is saying that if we shut down every coal, gas or oil burning electric utility, eliminate every car, bus, train and ground all planes, shut all factories that make things and stop using fossil fuels entirely everywhere in the world it would have no effect on earth’s temperature for hundreds of years, perhaps a thousand years. Amazingly, even after that tectonic plate shifting admission Flannery still had no actual number as to how much the temperature would drop if Australia shut everything off today. He could only offer “it’s going to be slight.”

What is “slight” Is it a tenth of a degree? A hundredth of a degree? A thousandths of a degree? Flannery had no answer. That’s because he doesn’t know what the number is. It’s like saying the car is going to cost you money to buy. Well ok but how much? Well, we really don’t have a number for you but trust us it does have a price. Well then, I’m not going to buy it if I don’t know the price. What’s scary and dangerous about the climate war is that governments will force you to buy that car no matter what it costs.

And that is the whole issue. What price are we supposed to pay to revolutionize the way the industrial world makes energy and what temperature benefit will result? This climate commissioner of Australia has no answer as to what the temperature drop would be. I strongly suspect he has no idea what the cost will be to achieve the temperature drop either. It took 200 years to achieve the amount of energy production we have in the world today. You can bet it will take trillions of dollars to re-engineer it into something else. Even if such a thing were possible there is no guarantee it would have any significant effect on earth’s average temperature. According to the Australian climate commissioner the end result, whatever that might be, would take up to one thousand years to take effect.

There is hope. Mr. Flannery has basically admitted there is no need for the climate war to continue. By revealing that the temperature drop would not be realized for perhaps a thousand years there simply is no pressing need to transform the way we make energy today, tomorrow or twenty years from now. The collateral damage resulting from such a forced and rapid transformation would likely far, far exceed any guessed at benefit of unknown magnitude hundreds of years in the future. To risk the prosperity and safety of billions of people on such tenuous assumptions is reckless and irresponsible to the extreme. The climate war should be declared over.


Greenie people hatred pops its head up again

Only "the good" (as defined by ecofascists) should survive

“Currently, one could argue that the most significant form of global pollution is human population growth.” So says Mr Jack Trevors, Editor-in-Chief of Water, Air, & Soil Pollution (WASP), “an international, interdisciplinary journal on all aspects of pollution and solutions to pollution in the biosphere. This includes chemical, physical and biological processes affecting flora, fauna, water, air and soil in relation to environmental pollution.”

WASP insists on rigorous peer review: “Articles should not be submitted that are of local interest only and do not advance international knowledge in environmental pollution and solutions to pollution. Articles that simply replicate known knowledge or techniques while researching a local pollution problem will normally be rejected without review.”

So what are we to make of the peer-reviewed article “A Vaccine Against Ignorance?” by Trevors and Associate Editor Mr Milton Saier?

It begins by echoing d’Holbach: “One of the greatest challenges facing humanity is ignorance.” This keystone of Enlightenment philosophy promises that once man is properly educated he will live in paradise. However, it is with sadness that I report that this discovery, of obvious monumental importance, has the bloody empirical corollary, “If a man refuses education he must be extirpated lest he spread the cancer of ignorance.”

What can Trevors and Saier teach mankind?
[T]he capitalistic systems of economy follow the one principal rule: the rule of profit making. All else must bow down to this rule…The current USA is an example of a failed capitalistic state in which essential long-term goals such as prevention of climate change and limitation of human population growth are subjugated to the short-term profit motive and the principle of economic growth.

The word “failed” is curious until we hear their lamentation that “many people in the USA” are “confused” about the unbearable “truth of human-caused Global Warming.” Confused is comforting because confusion can be repaired by education. And nowhere is there more misunderstanding than about global warming whose “theoretical basis was established over 50 years ago!” 50! If only we could educate the befuddled, the rise of the oceans would begin to slow, the planet would begin to heal.

Alas, the ignorant “are likely to prefer a fairy tale to reality; it’s so much nicer (for a while) to think that no serious problems exist. Such people just continue to live in a fantasy world that will dissolve when reality becomes oppressive, just as does a dream fades [sic] away after one wakes.” But by then it will “be too late to correct the problems that were propagated by ignorance” (this tortuous metaphor appears to argue that the citizenry should remain aslumber1).

Only the panacea Education can cause the ignorant to develop “a deep feeling of compassion and responsibility towards all, a feeling of dedication to the welfare of humans and other beings on the planet.” We must not yield “to the greedy interests of profiteers! Unless the impediments that prevent people from gaining the educations they desire are overcome, we will remain intellectual barbarians.”

Wait: how can the ignorant desire the education they lack? Are they not asleep? Are they not wallowing in their greed and self-centeredness? Never mind: education is what counts, education is all. Education cures “insecure” urges to “spend excessively on military”.

This isn’t some random non sequitur, no sir! See, every dollar a country spends on “weapons of destruction” is one they could have invested on “means to limit their population”. The educated know that people are the cause of misery; therefore, limiting people reduces misery.

What’s needed is obvious: more education. But coupled with “restrictions on people, agencies, and corporations determined to follow the profit motive, and in so doing, undermine the intelligence of the populace.” And you thought Steve Jobs, head of Apple corporation, was benign. Cut out the cancer!

With the steel-handed education championed by our authors, “ignorance would fade into the background, and discrimination, racism, intolerance, terrorism, crime, and fraud would be countered by the larger more rational segments of the human population.” Trevors and Saier are not, they are certainly not, “suggesting the resurrection of a utopian wish.” Yet something approaching bliss can be had when “inferior ideas and thoughts in ignorant human minds are eliminated from the equation and replaced with superior ideas resulting from a sound education.” Eliminated!

Brothers and sisters, ladies and gentlemen, let us “submerge our selfish desires for the betterment of humanity and the planet.” Can I get an amen?


Our caring pair also have published “We do not have a spare Earth ” in the science journal Environmentalist, in which they take great pains to say, repeatedly and with scintillating emphasis, “We do not have a spare Earth.” More science: “The living organisms including humans in our common biosphere follow a simple set of rules. Some organisms live and reproduce, some live and do not reproduce and some die before they reproduce.” Because of their glamorous and demanding careers, many statisticians fall into that last category.


Media interest falls to record low

In 2007 the average number of google hits for a news search for “global warming” was around 20,000 stories. It then steadily declined until just before climategate it was around the 10,000+ news articles.

When climategate hit, of course it jumped up again, but not to the 20,000 but for a short time closer to 15,000 stories. At which point I started considering tracking Google news hits – and even considered putting online an up to date graph, until that is we discovered that Google itself was not beyond altering its search engine to promote global warming alarmism. So, I’ve never before publicly tabulated the results.

But slowly, creaking and groaning … slowly … well I can only describe it as a race watching a slug which constantly gets distracted by silly news events, only to get on the track back to oblivion, but slowly slowly I watched the figure drop first through the 9000 barrier, then 8000, then I was amazed to see it drop to 7000s then it was regularly in the 7000s, then it would go annoyingly back up to the 8000s, then back and back up and down.

Then today, I got up early to do some real work, and as usual turned to WUWT, where nothing in particular took my fancy – mainly because the video of a windmill breaking down is years old (sorry Anthony). So, I turned to that old resort of trying to find something interesting about global warming that hasn’t been said before.

Nothing! And then I spotted it…. "global warming" newscount 2000-2011"

I’d jumped the gun a few days ago; But there it was 6600 hits! Not 7600, not 8600, not even the 15,000 during climategate, but 6600.

Now, I could be criticised in all manner of ways for my methodology. Shouldn’t I also count “climate change” or “climate weirding” or whatever is the latest fad name for this doomsday cult? Unfortunately “climate change” now seems to pick more stories on the economic climate, than global warming.

So no, I stuck to “global warming” and for all these past years I have kept a personal tab on the number of global warming stories and 6600 really now is the dross at the bottom of the barrel: eco-lunatics whose idea of a perfect world is one without anyone else in it; tired out-of-date journalists who still think it is fashionable to go on about “global warming”; young wet-behind-the-ears journalists who heard about climate “science” at school and still believe their teachers, and yes … the boring old sods who go on about global warming being an utter load of twaddle!


Power for the People

In a scene reminiscent of Colonial Williamsburg, for 16 years Thabo Molubi and his partner had made furniture in South Africa’s outback, known locally as the “veld,” using nothing but hand and foot power. When an electrical line finally reached the area, they installed lights, power saws and drills. Their productivity increased fourfold, and they hired local workers to make, sell and ship far more tables and chairs of much higher quality, thereby also commanding higher prices.

Living standards soared, and local families were able to buy and enjoy lights, refrigerators, televisions, computers and other technologies that Americans and Europeans often take for granted. They could even charge their cell phones at home! The area was propelled into the modern era, entrepreneurial spirits were unleashed, new businesses opened, and hundreds of newly employed workers joined the global economy.

People benefited even on the very edge of the newly electrified area. Bheki Vilakazi opened a small shop where people could charge their cell phones before heading into the veld, where instant communication can mean life or death in the event of an accident, automobile breakdown or encounter with wild animals.

Thousands of other African communities want the same opportunities. But for now they must continue to live without electricity, or have it only sporadically and unpredictably a few hours each week. Over 700 million Africans – and some two billion people worldwide – still lack regular, reliable electricity and must rely on toxic wood and dung fires for most or all of their heating and cooking needs.

Mothers with babies strapped on their backs must bend over open fires, breathing poisonous fumes and being struck down by debilitating, often fatal lung diseases. Homes, schools, shops and clinics lack the most rudimentary electrical necessities. Impoverished families must live in mud-and-thatch or cinderblock houses that allow mosquitoes to fly in, feast on human blood and infect victims with malaria. And parents and children must carry and drink untreated water that swarms with bacteria and parasites which cause cholera, diarrhea and river blindness. When the sun goes down, their lives shut down.

The environmental costs are equally high. In Rwanda gorilla habitats are being turned into charcoal, to fuel cooking fires. In Zambia, entrepreneurs harvest trees by the thousands along highways, selling them to motorists heading back to their non-electrified homes in rural areas and even parts of cities. As quickly as First World charities hold plant-a-tree days, Africans cut trees for essential cooking.

If eco-activists have their way, it will be like this for decades to come.

In his DotEarth blog for the New York Times, columnist Andrew Revkin lamented this intolerable situation. “Access to the benefits that come with ample energy trumps concerns about their tiny contribution of greenhouse gas emissions,” he wrote. But despite agreeing with the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow on this central issue, Revkin took issue on several items.

CFACT’s “Stop energy poverty” slogan is clever, he wrote. But where are its “substantive proposals for getting affordable energy” to those who don’t have it? Africa sits on vast deposits of natural gas and liquid condensates. Perhaps CFACT could find a business model that can lead to capturing, instead of flaring, those “orphan fuels,” Revkin suggested, while wondering why the Committee offers solar ovens to a Yucatan village and uses its slogan in part to challenge global warming scares.

Converting orphan fuels to productive uses is a terrific idea. That’s why CFACT opposes restrictions on using these fuels and wants to help find investors and build local support for gas-fired power plants that can electrify and modernize homes and businesses, create jobs, improve health and living standards, purify water, and launch companies that can build modern homes. Non-orphan deposits of oil, “tight oil,” natural gas, shale gas and coal could do likewise.

Unconventional US shale gas reserves alone are now estimated at about 57 trillion cubic meters (2000 trillion cubic feet) – enough for 100 years at current US consumption rates, on top of conventional reserves. Africa almost certainly has large gas, oil, coal and uranium deposits of its own, lying untapped beneath numerous poor countries, waiting to fuel an economic boom – if environmentalists, self-interested companies and government agencies would stop using global warming and other scares to justify their opposition to large-scale generating plants.

Until then, the Committee will continue providing interim measures – solar ovens, used laptops and small solar-powered charging systems – while also training people in computer and business skills, and assisting Yucatan and Ugandan villagers with tree farm and other projects.

All these are akin to the help that first responders provide, before getting disaster victims to hospitals. They are important steps toward individual and community empowerment that comes from having property rights, free enterprise, and full access to modern technologies that improve, enhance and safeguard lives. But none of this is possible without reliable, affordable energy to power those technologies.

“If abundant, affordable, clean energy and water were readily available to everyone, all the other problems would become much easier to solve,” Nobel Laureate Richard Smalley observed. Of course, “clean” does not have to mean non-carbon dioxide emitting, though Mr. Revkin seems reluctant to support energy that comes from fossil fuels, notes CFACT executive director Craig Rucker. “However, you cannot champion the poor, while supporting policies that perpetuate poverty,” Rucker emphasizes.

Modern coal-fired power plants are far cleaner than their predecessors, posing few environmental or health problems, except in the minds and propaganda of eco-activists. They are infinitely cleaner than the open fires that provide pitiful, polluting, often deadly energy for the barest necessities. Gas-fired plants are cleaner still, and safe, modern nuclear plants could also support major economic booms.

To suggest that impoverished nations must worry more about CO2 than about tuberculosis, cholera or malaria is absurd. To tell them their energy options must be limited to expensive, unreliable, insufficient wind and solar power is immoral. To impose anti-hydrocarbon restrictions on poor countries ensures that they will remain poor and diseased, with life expectancies in the low forties.

As Dambisa Moyo and others suggest, it is time for rich Western nations to provide less aid, fewer restrictions – and much more trade, investment and banking expertise and opportunity; business, agricultural and property rights know-how; and energy technologies that will harness and utilize abundant, reliable, affordable hydrocarbon energy. They also need to stop propagating scare stories and imposing restrictions on the use of hybrid and genetically modified seeds to reduce malnutrition, and insecticides to reduce disease.

CFACT’s goal is simple, says Rucker. “Give poor families, communities and nations the same opportunities we had, the same freedoms to chart their destinies, the same rights to create and manage their own wealth, develop their own free and healthy institutions, solve their own environmental and health challenges – and even make their own mistakes along the way.”

Brazil, China, India and Indonesia are not about to stop building new coal-fired power plants; nor are developed countries going to tear their plants down or abandon their fossil fuel-powered vehicles. Africa and other poor regions need to adopt the same attitude – and also seek investors and trade opportunities, rather than just more aid that is often merely life support for corrupt dictators and bureaucrats.

CFACT’s plan is also simple, Rucker adds. Help now with solar ovens, laptops and other first aid. Challenge and change harmful, immoral, lethal policies that limit access to energy and other modern technologies, hobble job creation, impair health and kill millions. And help persuade investors and Third World communities to provide the energy technologies that will make health and prosperity happen.

“We hope Andrew Revkin and millions of other caring people will join us in supporting a global energy quest that advances human progress, while limiting actual environmental risks.”



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


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