Sunday, May 01, 2011

Contemptible Green/Leftists

How low can liberals sink? This low: Think Progress blames the tornadoes that killed close to 300 across the South on those states' Congressional delegations: "Catastrophic Climate: Storms Kill 292 In States Represented By Climate Pollution Deniers."
The Congressional delegations of these states overwhelmingly voted (HR 910 and McConnell Amendment 183) to reject the science that polluting the climate is dangerous:

That is typical Think Progress: the votes were not, of course, on whether "polluting the climate"--whatever that means--"is dangerous." The votes were to overturn the EPA's carbon dioxide endangerment finding.
"Given that global warming is unequivocal," climate scientist Kevin Trenberth cautioned the American Meteorological Society in January of this year, "the null hypothesis should be that all weather events are affected by global warming rather than the inane statements along the lines of 'of course we cannot attribute any particular weather event to global warming.'"

The implication is that this week's tornadoes were caused by anthropogenic global warming. As regular readers know, my view is that the scientific evidence overwhelmingly refutes the politically-motivated claim that the earth's climate is warming significantly, and the primary cause is human activity. But put the broader issue aside for the moment. The southern states have always been prone to tornadoes in the spring. Tornadoes existed long before the Industrial Revolution. There is zero evidence--none--that this week's weather had anything to do with human activity of any sort.

It is ironic that Think Progress quotes Kevin Trenberth for the proposition that all weather events--heat, cold, rain, drought, wind, no wind, you name it--should be presumed to be "affected by global warming." Trenberth is the very pseudo-scientist who admitted that he and his fellow alarmists have no idea what actually causes the weather, which usually fails to conform to the alarmists' predictions. Trenberth wrote, in one of the most famous Climategate emails:
Well I have my own article on where the heck is global warming? We are asking that here in Boulder where we have broken records the past two days for the coldest days on record. We had 4 inches of snow. The high the last 2 days was below 30F and the normal is 69F, and it smashed the previous records for these days by 10F. The low was about 18F and also a record low, well below the previous record low. This is January weather (see the Rockies baseball playoff game was canceled on saturday and then played last night in below freezing weather). ...

The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.

Got that? The climate isn't behaving as Trenberth and his fellow alarmists predicted; they have no idea why; the alarmists' inability to explain observed weather patterns is a "travesty;" and the data the alarmists rely on is "surely wrong" because their "observing system is inadequate." What's the solution? No problem--just ignore the data and presume that "all weather events are affected by global warming." Sure, that works--if you are a political activist, rather than a scientist.

The AFP offered a saner assessment of this week's tragic storms: "Tornadoes whipped up by wind, not climate."
US meteorologists warned Thursday it would be a mistake to blame climate change for a seeming increase in tornadoes in the wake of deadly storms that have ripped through the US south.

"If you look at the past 60 years of data, the number of tornadoes is increasing significantly, but it's agreed upon by the tornado community that it's not a real increase," said Grady Dixon, assistant professor of meteorology and climatology at Mississippi State University.

"It's having to do with better (weather tracking) technology, more population, the fact that the population is better educated and more aware. So we're seeing them more often," Dixon said.

But he said it would be "a terrible mistake" to relate the up-tick to climate change. ...

Craig Fugate, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), also dismissed Thursday climate change as a factor in the deadly tornadoes: "Actually what we're seeing is springtime," he said. ...

[T]he stronger-than-usual tornadoes affecting the southern states were actually predicted from examining the planet's climatological patterns, specifically those related to the La Nina phenomenon. "We knew it was going to be a big tornado year," he said. But the key to that tip-off was unrelated to climate change: "It is related to the natural fluctuations of the planet."

Everyone is mistaken sometimes, but Think Progress and similar far-left web sites are unique in that they engage in a systematic effort to mislead their readers in order to advance a political agenda. Reading them makes you stupid.


Tornadoes influenced by the sun

A geologist says mini-tornadoes under very different conditions in Australia throw light on the cause of all tornadoes

National Geographic:
The tornado that devastated Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on Wednesday was the result of an unusual confluence of meteorological conditions. Current estimates put the twister’s wind speed at about 260 mph, and it may have remained in contact with the ground for more than 200 miles. An unusually strong jet stream over the region, with wind speeds of 150 mph, caused intense upward motion in the atmosphere. The colder, drier air within combined with the warm, moist air already in place to create rotating thunderstorms known as supercells—one of the few types of storms that spawn tornadoes. A 50 mph wind closer to the ground only increased the storms’ rotation. Wednesday’s tornado outbreak included more than 100 twisters across 6 states and killed at least 283 people, making it the worst outbreak since 3 April 1974, when 330 people were killed in an area that stretched from Alabama to Indiana

The appearance of a strong jet stream can be linked into the solar plasma surges that Piers Corbyn has identified as drivers of the earth’s weather. The plasma surge causes the polar auroras to appear, and apparently affect the polar jet stream. What makes it interesting is the picture that Marc Morano posted up on Climate Depot and which is reproduced below:

These intense, swirling vortices are associated with electric fields up to 10,000 volts, and as the image above shows, also with lightning. It is believed that this lightning is produced by charge separation inside clouds. Dust devils are also small scale vortices in air, and a normal occurrence in outback Australian summers. I frequently observe them during my field work and have wondered why these small dust devils dart about the surface in hot humid motionless air. These dust devils are also associated with electric fields up to 10,000 volts and it’s obvious that an electric field implies the existence of charge separation. The major problem is that often these small, darting dust devils occur in windless, hot humid air masses, so the belief that bumping molecules of air is the mechanism for charge separation, has some problems. Exactly how does moist still air cause charge separation? And how on earth can an isotropic, motionless, hot and humid mass of air develop an intense, small, vortex that develops into a dust devil?

We have it back to front. It’s the atmospheric electricity that is forming the dust devils, hurricanes, tornadoes and other rotational weather phenomena, not the phenomena the electricity. If this is the case then its pretty clear why Piers Corbyn gets his forecasts so accurate – its the electric current surges into the earth from solar fluctuations that causes the earth’s weather. Carbon dioxide has nothing to do with it.


Being in the prophecy business is a mug's game

But seeing that the facts are against them, prophecy is all the Warmists have got
(Aug. 31, 2007) — NASA scientists have developed a new climate model that indicates that the most violent severe storms and tornadoes may become more common as Earth’s climate warms.

Previous climate model studies have shown that heavy rainstorms will be more common in a warmer climate, but few global models have attempted to simulate the strength of updrafts in these storms. The model developed at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies by researchers Tony Del Genio, Mao-Sung Yao, and Jeff Jonas is the first to successfully simulate the observed difference in strength between land and ocean storms and is the first to estimate how the strength will change in a warming climate, including “severe thunderstorms” that also occur with significant wind shear and produce damaging winds at the ground.

This information can be derived from the temperatures and humidities predicted by a climate computer model, according to the new study published on August 17 in the American Geophysical Union’s Geophysical Research Letters. It predicts that in a warmer climate, stronger and more severe storms can be expected, but with fewer storms overall.

Their model makes no sense theoretically or empirically. Severe tornadoes declined as the world warmed from 1975-2000, just as theory predicts they should. Severe tornadoes increased from 1950-1975, as the world cooled. 1975 was the peak of the global cooling panic

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Junk science book links global warming and ill health

Since life expectancies keep lengthening, we must be experiencing global cooling by that reasoning.

And the fact that hospitals and funeral services are busiest in winter also seems to be overlooked

Climate change isn’t just bad for the polar bears, argue Dan Ferber and Paul Epstein. In “Changing Planet, Changing Health,” the authors link global warming to declining human health.

The book explores places where the effects of climate change can already be observed — not only through the now-familiar indicators such as extreme weather events, drought, flooding and species decline, but also by the resulting impacts on human health.

Ferber, a science journalist, and Epstein, a medical doctor and health and disease expert, reveal the complex links between global warming and cholera, malaria, Lyme disease, asthma and other health threats.

The authors offer sustainable solutions that encourage humanity’s own capactiy for change and the options already within our grasp.


Carbon and Carbon Dioxide: Clearing Up the Confusion

We are constantly bombarded with information – much of it inaccurate, misleading, even deliberately so.

We are frequently told we must reduce carbon emissions, support “carbon disclosure” and invest in “carbon trusts” – to prevent catastrophic global warming, global climate change or global climate “disruption.” News stories, advocacy and lobbying activities, and corporate “ethics” promotions frequently use “carbon” and “carbon dioxide” almost interchangeably; some occasionally talk about “dangerous carbon monoxide emissions.”

Torn by misplaced hydrocarbon guilt, wanting to do right ecologically, and often scientifically challenged, people are naturally confused. Because so much is at stake – for our energy supplies and prices, jobs, economies, living standards, budget deficits and environment – clearing up that confusion is a high priority.

“Carbon” (chemical symbol C) is what we burn to get energy to power modern society. Carbon is the molecular building block for wood, charcoal and coal, and hydrocarbons (HC) like oil and natural gas. Cars and power plants do not emit carbon, except in the form of soot. Thus, talk of “carbon disclosure” or “reducing our carbon emissions” is misleading, unless one is confessing how much charcoal was used at a picnic, or apologizing for not having pollution controls on a wood-burning stove.

“Carbon monoxide” (CO) is an odorless, deadly gas. A natural product of combustion, it increases when ventilation is poor, oxygen levels are low and burning is inefficient. It’s why we shouldn’t use charcoal grills indoors or operate cars in garages, unless we’re suicidal.

“Carbon dioxide” (CO2) is another natural byproduct of combustion, from power plants, factories, vehicles, homes, hospitals and other users of wood, coal, petroleum and biofuels. This is what many environmental activists, politicians and scientists blame for recent and future climate change.

(The other major byproduct is water vapor or steam – plus pollutants that reflect impurities in the fuel and are removed via scrubbers and other technologies, or reduced by controlling the temperature, airflow and efficiency of combustion processes: sulfur and nitrogen oxides, particulates, mercury and so on.)

Literally thousands of scientists vigorously disagree with the hypothesis that CO2 is responsible for (dangerous) climate change. It plays only a minor role, they argue, in a complex, chaotic climate system that is driven by numerous natural forces, cycles, and positive and negative feedback loops. They also note that CO2 increases have followed, not preceded, temperature rises, throughout Earth’s history.

CO2 constitutes a mere 0.0380% of our atmosphere. That’s 380 parts per million (380 ppm), which sounds much more threatening, especially when used in juxtaposition with the pre-Industrial Revolution figure of 280 ppm. But even that 100 ppm increase represents only 0.0100% of Earth’s atmosphere – equivalent to one penny out of $100.

380 is far below historical CO2 levels. During the Jurassic and Early Carboniferous periods, geologists calculate, our atmosphere contained 1,500-2,500 ppm carbon dioxide. However, even at today’s comparatively CO2-impoverished levels, this trace gas is vital to the health of our planet.

As every grade schooler learns, CO2 enables photosynthesis and plant growth: carbon dioxide in, oxygen out, through complex chemical reactions. Without CO2, there would be no plants and no oxygen; life as we know it would cease. Carbon dioxide is truly the “gas of life” – and no attempt by Al Gore, James Hansen or EPA to brand it as a dangerous pollutant can change that.

The 100 ppm rise in CO2 levels came courtesy of two things. As oceans warmed after the Little Ice Age ended 160 years ago, they released some of their carbon dioxide storehouses. (As with beer and soda water, seawater is able to retain less CO2 as it warms.) The rest came from hydrocarbon fuels burned during the Industrial Revolution and modern era, and from billions more impoverished people still burning wood and animal dung in open fires.

Though vilified by radical greens and climate alarmists, hydrocarbon energy and the Industrial Revolution have hugely benefitted mankind. They doubled average life expectances in industrialized nations and increased prosperity, overall health and living standards, in proportion to the ability of poor communities to acquire electricity and modern technologies. Thus, telling poor countries to limit hydrocarbon use, and focus instead on wind and solar power, sharply limits their ability to modernize, create jobs, and improve health, living conditions and life spans.

And all that extra CO2 from electrical generation and other economic activities? As Drs. Craig and Sherwood Idso explain on their website and in their fascinating book, The Many Benefits of Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment, the extra carbon dioxide has blessed people and planet in at least 55 ways.

For example, increased atmospheric carbon dioxide increases the photosynthesis rates for plants. It enables plants to extract more moisture from the air and soil, thereby expanding root systems that stabilize soil, reduce erosion and help plants survive better during droughts.

Higher CO2 levels also reduce the need for plants to keep their stomata (pores in leaves) open to absorb carbon dioxide – and in the process release moisture from the plant – further increasing drought resistance. Because stomata don’t need to be open as much, plants also reduce their absorption of harmful pollutants that can damage their tissue. As with the air in greenhouses, rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations improves nitrogen fixation by soil bacteria, increasing the availability of this important chemical.

CO2-enriched air also increases plants’ ability to manufacture Vitamin C, antioxidants, and health-promoting substances in medicinal plants – while likewise improving plants’ immune systems and ability to withstand a wide variety of common plant diseases.

Many climatologists and astrophysicists believe recent sun spot, Pacific Ocean and global temperature trends suggest that our planet may have entered a cool phase that could last for 25 years. If that is the case, the additional carbon dioxide being emitted by China, India and other developing countries could bring a major additional benefit: helping to protect wildlife habitats, enhance oceanic biota and preserve crop yields under sub-optimal climatic conditions.

Attempts to coerce expanded wind and solar installations will require that we devote still more land, raw materials and taxpayer subsidies to these expensive, unreliable energy supplies. And trying to capture and store carbon dioxide from power plants and factories will require trillions of dollars and vast supplies of energy, to take this plant-fertilizing gas out of the atmosphere and inject it under high pressure deep into the earth – and keep it from escaping, to kill animals and people.

To get 1000 megawatts of net electricity from a power plant designed for CO2-capture-and-storage would require building (at minimum) a 1300-MW plant, burning at least one-third more fuel than a conventional plant does, using over one-third of the 1300 MW to power the CCS equipment – and paying much higher electricity prices. The impact on factories, shops, jobs, household budgets and fuel supplies would be significant.

Legislators and regulators need to focus on controlling unhealthy amounts of real pollutants (based on valid medical and environmental science) – and keep their pesky hands off our CO2!


Australia: Struggling families delay paying electricity bills inflated by Greenie charges

MORE than 1.1 million Australians were late paying their utility bills in the past three months as soaring electricity prices put pressure on household budgets. The figures come from a survey by credit information agency Veda Advantage and show the number of customers who missed a payment in any given quarter has risen by 40 per cent in the past 12 months.

Average arrears on utility bills have hit a record $500, said credit and collections agency Dun & Bradstreet.

The figures have been described as bordering on a national crisis, and are likely to get worse. Pricing regulator IPART has already said that NSW customers will be slugged with an 18 per cent price rise from July 1.

"It's a really worrying situation because there is clearly a growing group of people having difficulty with utility bills as the costs continue to rise and it doesn't look as though things are going to get any easier," said Chris Gration of Veda.

Ausgrid chairman John Conde offered no comfort to customers hoping his company would take action to ease bills, saying the company had introduced payment plans for struggling householders.

Clare Petre, the Energy and Water Ombudsman, said there was an ever-increasing number of complaints. "The 'usage' element of the bill is the smallest, with the bulk taken up by the fixed network charges, so it doesn't matter what the customer does to limit their usage, their bills are still unaffordable -- this is my biggest concern," she said.

Katherine Lane of the Consumer Credit Legal Centre said the State Government must legislate so households that cannot afford their bills are not unjustly cut off.



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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