Monday, May 02, 2011

Osama bin Laden dead -- proof of global warming

How come? Beats me. But EVERYTHING is caused by global warming. Just you wait and see!

New Zealand: Conservative government reverses Leftist ban on incandescent light bulbs

Old news now but welcome

Energy and Resources Minister, Gerry Brownlee, has told Parliament today the ban on traditional light bulbs is being lifted.

"This government has real concerns about telling people they have to move to energy efficient light bulbs by decree," he said.

"It has been well signaled and will come as no surprise that the government is lifting the ban on traditional or incandescent light bulbs," said Mr Brownlee.

"We are committed to energy efficiency in the home and efficient lighting has an important role to play in helping us reduce the amount of energy we use, but this Government believes it is a matter of consumer choice.

"People need good, credible information about the different lighting options that are available to them, and then they can decide what is right for them in their homes."

"Lifting the previous government's ban on incandescent light bulbs simply means we are allowing their continued sale, and I am confident the consumer trend to energy efficient bulbs will continue," said Mr Brownlee.


The Great Hypotheses Scam

As painful at it is, it must be recognized that The Great Hypotheses Scam has infected every aspect of our society and nowhere is this more painful and evident than in our government institutions. Here is a press release about a report issued by the Interior Department's Bureau of Reclamation

"Interior Releases Report Highlighting Impacts of Climate Change to Western Water Resources"

The report is not about any current impact from climate change but are projections of future impacts as this excerpt points out:
The report, which responds to requirements under the SECURE Water Act of 2009, shows several increased risks to western United States water resources during the 21st century. Specific projections include:

a temperature increase of 5-7 degrees Fahrenheit;

a precipitation increase over the northwestern and north-central portions of the western United States and a decrease over the southwestern and south-central areas;

a decrease for almost all of the April 1st snowpack, a standard benchmark measurement used to project river basin runoff; and

an 8 to 20 percent decrease in average annual stream flow in several river basins, including the Colorado, the Rio Grande, and the San Joaquin.

The report notes that projected changes in temperature and precipitation are likely to impact the timing and quantity of stream flows in all western basins, which could impact water available to farms and cities, hydropower generation, fish and wildlife, and other uses such as recreation.

Policy makers are making decisions based on this report which as the report itself clearly states is primarily the result of modelling hypotheses not actual measurable science:
To develop the report, Reclamation used original research and a literature synthesis of existing peer-reviewed studies. Projections of future temperature and precipitation are based on multiple climate models and various projections of future greenhouse gas emissions, technological advancements, and global population estimates. Reclamation will develop future reports to Congress under the authorities of the SECURE Water Act that will build upon the level of information currently available and the rapidly developing science to address how changes in supply and demands will impact water management.

From the actual report we have even greater detail of the modelling they used to determine their projections:
The analysis involves developing hydrologic projections associated with World Climate Research Programme Coupled Model Intercomparison Project3 (WCRP CMIP3) climate projections that have been bias-corrected and spatially downscaled and served here.

In total, 112 hydrologic projections were developed, relying on watershed applications of the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) macroscale hydrology model (described below). From these time-series climate and hydrologic projections (or hydroclimate projections), changes in hydroclimate variables were computed for three future decades: 2020s (water years 2020–2029), 2050s (water years 2050–2059) and 2070 (water years 2070–2079) from the reference 1990s’ decade (water years 1990–1999). The reference 1990s are from the ensemble of simulated historical hydroclimates, not from the observed 1990s.

So as pointed out the report issued and submitted to congress is based on climate modelling, a hypotheses, not evidence, but note the last sentence of this paragraph "The reference 1990s are from the ensemble of simulated historical hydroclimates, not from the observed 1990s."

So pervasive is the reliance on modelling in the climate science arena that even when there exists actual, verifiable, measured data to work with, they choose "simulated historical hydroclimates"

Consider that little tidbit of information when you read in the report:
In the context of assessing future hydrologic impacts using these BCSD hydrologic projections, the findings from the assessment are:

Precipitation is expected to increase from the 1990s’ level during the 2020s and 2050s but to decline nominally during the 2070s (though the early to middle 21st century, increases could be artifacts of the BCSD climate projections development leading to slightly wetter projections).

Temperature shows a persistent increasing trend from the 1990s’ level.

April 1st snow water equivalent (SWE) shows a persistent decreasing trend from the 1990s’ level

Annual runoff shows some increase for the 2020s’ decade from the 1990s’ level but shows decline moving forward to the 2050s’ and 2070s’ decade from the 1990s’ reference, suggesting that, although precipitation changes are projected to remain positive through the 2050s, temperature changes begin to offset these precipitation increases leading to net loss in the water balance through increased evapotranspiration losses.

Winter season (December–March) runoff shows an increasing trend.
Spring–summer season (April–July) runoff shows a decreasing trend.

Now all of this upon which important decisions are to be made are nothing more than computer generated projections but in addition, the past which they are comparing it to "the 1990's" is not the actual historical 1990's but rather a simulated historical hydroclimate.

Not only is the future being divined by computer modelling but so too is the past.


Green schemes are 'wide open to major corruption'

Millions of pounds in grants and aid are being siphoned off by fraudsters, warns report

Corruption is threatening global steps to combat climate change, a new report from Transparency International (TI) warned yesterday. Billions of pounds will be plundered and wasted, it says, unless stronger measures are introduced against embezzlement and misappropriation.

The organisation warns that 20 nations most vulnerable to climate change – where millions in grants and aid will be targeted – are judged to be among the most corrupt in the world – and stronger oversight is needed to ensure the funds are properly spent. None of the countries, which include Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Vietnam, scores higher than 3.6 on TI's influential Corruption Perception Index, where 0 is wholly corrupt and 10 "very clean".

Any siphoning off of green grants would undermine efforts to reduce the impact of climate change by developing projects such as wind farms or solar power plants, improving sea wall defences, irrigation systems and housing capable of withstanding natural disasters, says TI.

"Corruption holds nothing sacred, not even our planet's future," said Huguette Labelle, chair of TI. "Failure to properly govern climate change measures now will not only lead to misallocated resources and fraudulent projects today, but also hurts future generations," The report, Global Corruption Report: Climate Change, estimates the total investment into combating global climate change will reach almost $700bn (£420bn) by 2020. "Where huge amounts of money flow through new and untested financial markets and mechanisms, there is a risk of corruption," it says.

Carbon markets, the main financial tool for combating climate change, have already been hit by fraud, the report points out. In January, the European Union's carbon market was shut down after it was attacked by cyber-hackers. More than three million carbon credits were stolen from government and private company accounts.

The system has also been hit by repeated tax frauds. One scheme to meet all of Europe's power needs from concentrated solar power plants covering 1 per cent of the Sahara desert was undermined after experts said bureaucratic complexity and corruption in north Africa raised the risks and costs of investment there. After an investigation by Spanish officials, it was discovered that more than one in 10 of its solar parks was falsely registered as operational, despite making no contribution to the energy grid.

The dash for low-carbon solutions is proving a curse for some communities, TI warns; governments who sell off land for bio-fuel cultivation must respect local land rights. Half the world's known reserves of the lithium vital for electric vehicles are believed to lie in Bolivia's Uyuni salt lake, but companies exploiting the reserves have failed to consult with local groups and have damaged eco-systems, threatened water supplies, and blighted tourism.

Illegal logging, an industry estimated to be worth more than $10bn a year, is fuelled by corrupted customs and other officials, the report says. Some countries have already claimed carbon credits for fictitious forest plantation projects. In Kenya, deforestation is exacerbated by corruption among under-resourced forest guards. TI estimates that in 1963 Kenya had about 10 per cent forest cover; by 2006, it was less than 2 per cent.

All countries are vulnerable: Britain is criticised for its failure to deal with so-called "greenwashing" marketing techniques used by companies to misrepresent how environmentally friendly their products are.


Energy Independence is a Myth

Answering a question on America’s foreign dependence on oil from a Northern Virginia Community College student at a town hall event on April 19, Barack Obama boldly alleged, “we have actually continually increased U.S. production, so U.S. production is as high as it’s ever been.” It was a claim so false as to be laughable.

In fact, in 1970, the U.S. produced 9.6 million barrels of oil a day, the most we ever produced. But today, we only produce 5.5 million a day. And while domestic production slightly increased in the past two years, according to the Energy Information Agency (EIA), it now projects declines of 30,000 barrels a day in 2011 and 120,000 barrels a day in 2012, when production will only be 5.36 million.

So much for that. But then again, energy independence has always been a myth.

Or, in the least, the promise of energy independence by politicians dating back to Richard Nixon has been a fairy tale. In 1974, in response to the oil embargo, then-President Nixon promised, “Let this be our national goal: At the end of this decade, in the year 1980, the United States will not be dependent on any other country for the energy we need to provide our jobs, to heat our homes, and to keep our transportation moving.”

The only problem is that by 1980, we were only producing 8.5 million barrels a day — some 1.1 million less than we were in 1970. It declined every single year after Nixon set the goal while he was in office.

The challenge facing the country, with oil prices spiking once again, is that the U.S. consumes about 18.7 million barrels of petroleum a day, a net 9.6 million of which is imported. At $110 a barrel, we’re spending about $2.057 billion daily. If the price stays that high for a year, it will cost $750.8 billion, of which $385.4 billion would be shipped overseas!

So, besides the high prices of staples like gasoline and home heating oil, there are perfectly legitimate reasons to ramp up crude oil production, namely to stop shipping hundreds of billions of dollars overseas every day unnecessarily. That’s money that could be reinvested here.

Overall, the historic decline of the U.S. oil industry has played a key role in debilitating the domestic economy, driving overall investment overseas too, and killing American jobs.

Currently, the oil and gas industry employs 9.2 million. If the current 5.5 million barrels a day production were doubled, millions more jobs would be created. Instead oil production, like manufacturing, has been outsourced. With unemployment so high, shouldn’t we be creating jobs here in America?

The reasons to increase oil production go on. If the U.S. became energy independent, it would not be subject to foreign supply shocks, such as occurred in 1973 with the oil embargo.

Finally, because of its abundant supply, natural gas is one energy commodity that has not been spiking exponentially in price. Similarly, if the U.S. could dramatically expand its domestic supplies of oil, it would necessarily have an impact upon the price.

Although current oil prices are undoubtedly presently spiking because of the weak dollar, that does not mean that we do not need to be drilling. The reasons are plentiful.

So, with all of the benefits of being energy independent, why is it that politicians like Obama and Nixon only have paid lip service to the idea?


Environmentalism as a Surrogate Religion

As we reflect on Earth Day 2011 (April 22) and on passionate appeals that we support environmental initiatives almost too numerous to count, we should also reflect on a fundamental new reality.

Environmentalism has replaced religion for many of its adherents.

The ending “-ism” denotes a way of thinking, perceiving and structuring one's life. Every “ism” is based on underlying assumptions, principles and beliefs that tell its adherents what they ought to believe and do. Providing ethical guidance for its members is a major part of what an “-ism” does.

Followers of Judaism who observe Passover as their ancestors’ liberation from slavery in Egypt – and Christians who commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ at Easter – have no problem acknowledging that these are matters of belief.

They would never claim that science provides absolute proof of authenticity – although many find in science valuable support for the validity of their beliefs. Those who can see an underlying compatibility between science and religious faith are comfortable in both realms.

Environmentalism likewise provides ethical guidance. But its followers generally recoil from the suggestion that it’s a religion. The traditional buildings and rituals are absent; moreover, many adherents come from a background of explicitly rejecting “institutional” religions. Nevertheless, a careful examination of the basic assumptions shows that environmentalism indeed meets the criteria of a secular religion.

In environmentalism, “Mother Earth” (Gaia the Earth Goddess) replaces God as the object of special devotion, causing some of environmentalism’s subsequent assertions to be in direct opposition to fundamental teachings of Christianity and Judaism. Another cornerstone beliefis that mankind is just one species among many; this view opposes the Judeo-Christian belief that God considers mankind to be very special.

Science appears to play a major role in environmentalism, but actually its role is distinctly secondary: Science is used subjectively, not objectively. After a set of beliefshas been established, various fields of science (and scholarly studies within those fields), are carefully sifted to select facts that support those beliefs. Facts and scientific fields that contravene or fail to support core beliefs are rejected or ignored.

That’s not the way science is supposed to work. However, it happens every day in environmentalism, as reflected in movies, magazines, blogs, television programs, newspapers – and legislative and regulatory initiatives.

In his excellent book, “The New Holy Wars: Economic Religion vs. Environmental Religion in Contemporary America,” Professor Robert H. Nelson likens the contemporary struggle between those two secular religions to John Calvin's struggle against the establishment of Catholicism 500 years ago.

Nelson’s book concludes: “It is time to take secular religion seriously. It is real religion. In the twentieth century, it showed greater energy, won more converts, and had more impact on the western world than the traditional, institutional forms of Christianity.”

For the believing environmentalist, there is a certain “Garden of Eden” narrative: the beginning of evil came with the development of agriculture, when mankind rose above hunter-gatherer status and began to control and improve on nature to meet his needs. Thereafter came civilization and all its negative environmental effects and associations. The whole story hangs together within a religious framework.

In America today, the religion of environmentalism has the distinct advantage of being taught in the public schools, and receiving plentiful government funding. Some of its beliefs are fairly benign, such as sympathy for polar bear cubs. But other beliefs have had horrible consequences.

The chemical spray DDT is a powerful weapon against malaria. It wiped the disease out in the developed world. Sprayed on walls, DDT acts for six months or more with a single application, keeping mosquitoes out of homes, preventing them from biting, and killing any that land.

However, environmental activism and incorrect scientific interpretations led politicians to believe DDT harmed birds and fish, and the insecticide was banned in the United States in 1972. Since then, it has been largely purged from the disease control arsenal worldwide, even though malaria still infects a billion people in poor countries every year, killing up to one million.

Today, many environmentalists view the alleged dangers of using DDT as being worse than the misery and death caused by the disease. Since 1972, at least 20 million African children have died from malaria.

Throwing trash out of your car window is considered a sin by environmentalism. In other religions, allowing the preventable death of millions of children is a far greater sin.

This year Easter, Passover and Earth Day all came close together. Now may be a good time to ask whether environmentalism can be reconciled with traditional religions.

Most religious people who believe in God as Christians or Jews also want to protect the environment. They see ecological stewardship as part of their responsibility to God.

Indeed, that is the message of another excellent book, “Environmental Stewardship in the Judeo-Christian Tradition.” Published by the Acton Institute a decade ago, it is a brief collection of essays by Protestant, Jewish and Catholic scholars who have pondered how and why their own faith embraces care for God's creation.

In all cases, these authors root their arguments in Scripture, abetted by an understanding of modern science. They stress that the word “dominion” used in the Bible does not mean people have a right to wreck the planet. Rather, it means mankind is a partner chosen by God to be a responsible steward of creation.

Emphatically, these Christian and Jewish authors do not regard mankind as just “one species among many.” And they don't confuse “mother earth” with God.


Australia: Poll shows Queenslanders against planned carbon tax

And Queensland is the swing State that makes or breaks Federal governments

QUEENSLAND will be at the centre of the Government's battle to win support for its carbon tax, with a new poll finding the state has the strongest opposition to the plan.

A Galaxy poll commissioned by the Australian Coal Association found the highest opposition to the tax was in Queensland mining towns, where 73 per cent of voters were against it.

The findings come as the Federal Government talked down the likely level of the carbon tax in an attempt to argue the climate change measures would not cost jobs in high-polluting industries.

New Treasury modelling shows the carbon tax would have a minor impact on production costs of coal, steel and aluminium compared with the hit from the high Australian dollar and commodity price movements.

But Australian Coal Association chairman John Pegler warned the tax could be the end for Queensland coal mines.

"As the cost of this rolls along over time, it's going to cost jobs. It will certainly cost investment," Mr Pegler told The Courier-Mail.

Coal miners would support a different carbon pricing scheme if they had greater protection, Mr Pegler said.

The poll, which surveyed 1400 voters on April 12 and 14, found 63 per cent of Queenslanders opposed the tax compared with 55 per cent nationally.

Even more worrying for the Government, 77 per cent of voters across the country thought the carbon tax would leave them worse off. Only 6 per cent believed they would be better off.

A breakdown of the poll results in Queensland mining towns - in electorates including Capricornia, Dawson and Flynn - showed only 1 per cent thought they would be better off.

Almost half the respondents in coal towns in Queensland and NSW said they were unlikely to vote for a candidate who strongly backed the carbon tax. In metropolitan areas, the figure was 41 per cent.



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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