Monday, August 15, 2011

The emotional mess that is David Suzuki rises only to insults and misrepresentation, not debate of the facts

As the climate scare fizzles, Canada’s celebrity environmentalist resorts to ad hominem attacks

David R. Legates (Professor of Climatology at the University of Delaware) writes:

David Suzuki has never met, debated or even spoken with my colleague, scientist Willie Soon. But as more people dismiss Mr. Suzuki’s scare stories about global warming cataclysms, the more he has resorted to personal attacks against Mr. Soon and others who disagree with him.

Mr. Soon’s brilliant research into the sun’s role in climate change has helped make millions aware that carbon dioxide’s influence is far less than Mr. Suzuki wants them to think. In a recent column picked up by media outlets around North America, including Huffington Post, Mr. Suzuki attacked Mr. Soon, my fellow scientist, mostly by recycling a Greenpeace “investigation” that is itself nothing more than a rehash of tiresome (and libelous) misstatements, red herrings and outright lies. It’s time to set the record straight.

First, there’s the alleged corporate cash misrepresentation. Mr. Suzuki claims Mr. Soon received “more than $1 million over the past decade” from U.S energy companies – and implies that Mr. Soon lied to a U.S. Senate committee about the funding. In fact, the research grants were received in the years following the Senate hearing. Moreover, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics took nearly half of the money (for “administration”), and what was left covered Mr. Soon’s salary, research, and other expenses including even toner for his printer.

Since Mr. Suzuki raised the subject of corporate cash, by comparison the Suzuki Foundation spends some $7 million every year on its “educational” and pressure campaigns – many of them in conjunction with various PR agencies, renewable energy companies, other foundations and environmental activist groups. Many stand to profit handsomely from Mr. Suzuki’s causes, especially “catastrophic climate change” and campaigns to replace “harmful” fossil fuels with subsidized, land-intensive, low-energy-output wind and solar facilities. Mr. Suzuki has appeared in advertisements for alternative energy sources in Ontario.
Mr. Suzuki is criticizing Mr. Soon and the Harvard-Smithsonian Institute for having done funded research– while alarmist climate catastrophe researchers share some $6 billion annually in U.S, and Canadian taxpayer money, and millions more in corporate funds, to link every natural phenomenon to global warming and promote renewable “alternatives” to fossil fuels.

If it is wrong to receive grants from organizations that have taken “advocacy” positions, then virtually every scientist with whom Mr. Suzuki has associated would be guilty. In his column Mr. Suzuki recognizes this point. “Some rightly point out that we should look at the science and now at who is paying for the research.” If he believes that the science, and not who is paying for research, is most important, then why does he continue to attack Willie Soon and others on the basis of their funding?

Second, Mr. Suzuki repeats an absurd Greenpeace claim that Mr. Soon tried to “undermine” the “peer-reviewed” work of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In reality, scientists are required to examine, review and even criticize other scientists’ research – especially when it is used to justify slashing the hydrocarbon energy on which employment, living standards and civilization depend. Indeed, the IPCC solicits reviews of its publications but is under no obligation to address any criticisms that scientists raise – in contrast to the normal peer-review process.

Unfortunately, the IPCC has refused to conduct its own quality control – and has repeatedly promoted scare stories about rising seas, melting Himalayan glaciers, disappearing Amazon rainforests, more severe storms and droughts, and other disasters. By now anyone familiar with the Climategate and IPCC scandals knows these headline-grabbing claims are based on nothing more than exaggerated computer model outputs, deliberate exclusion of contrary findings, questionable air temperature station locations, and even “research” by environmental activists such as the World Wildlife Fund.

The Climategate emails made it clear that the truth was even worse. The emails paint a vivid picture of advocacy scientists strong-arming the publisher of a science journal, Climate Research, against publishing the work of Willie Soon and his associate, Sallie Baliunas. Pro-IPCC scientists threatened to boycott the journal, and intimidated or colluded with editors and grant program officers to channel funding, published only the work of advocacy scientists and rejected funding requests and publications from any scientists who disagreed with them on global warming. Mr. Suzuki’s efforts mirror their campaign – and no wonder.

The global warming scare has fizzled. The sun has entered a new “quiet” phase, and average global temperatures have been stable for 15 years. Climate conferences in Copenhagen and elsewhere have gone nowhere. Kyoto has become little more than a footnote in history. Countries that agreed to “climate stabilization” policies are retreating from that untenable position. The public realizes that climate science is far from “settled.” The climate-chaos religion is about to go the way of Baal-worship.

Most important, Canadians, Americans and Europeans alike are beginning to realize that the real dangers are not from global warming. They are from potentially cooler global temperatures that could hamstring agriculture – and from government (and Suzuki-advocated) policies that are driving energy prices so high that companies are sending jobs to Asia, and millions of families can no longer afford to heat and cool their homes, drive their cars or pay for the electricity that powers all the wondrous technologies that make our lives infinitely better, safer and healthier than even kings and queens enjoyed just a century ago.


Pesky El Nino

New paper finds El Nino weather pattern is changing in a way opposite to predictions of climate models

A paper published this week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters finds that changes in the character of El Ninos over the past 31 years are the opposite of the predictions of climate models from greenhouse gases. The paper concludes "A plausible interpretation of these results is that the character of El Niño over the past 31 years has varied naturally" rather than being forced by increased greenhouse gases. Another alarmist prediction by climate modelers crumbles in the face of real-world data.

El Niño and its relationship to changing background conditions in the tropical Pacific Ocean


M.J. McPhaden et al

This paper addresses the question of whether the increased occurrence of central Pacific (CP) versus Eastern Pacific (EP) El Niños is consistent with greenhouse gas forced changes in the background state of the tropical Pacific as inferred from global climate change models.

Our analysis uses high-quality satellite and in situ ocean data combined with wind data from atmospheric reanalyses for the past 31 years (1980–2010).

We find changes in background conditions that are opposite to those expected from greenhouse gas forcing in climate models and opposite to what is expected if changes in the background state are mediating more frequent occurrences of CP El Niños.

A plausible interpretation of these results is that the character of El Niño over the past 31 years has varied naturally and that these variations projected onto changes in the background state because of the asymmetric spatial structures of CP and EP El Niños.


A Long, Cold Summer at Mount Rainier, WA

Global cooling!

Usually by August, most of the snow on Mount Rainier, the sleeping volcanic giant here, has long since melted. The meadows of wildflowers are abloom, and hikers galore are tramping along the trails.

But this year, temperatures have been colder than usual, keeping record mounds of old snow lying around. This has discouraged everyone, from the most rigorous climbers to backpackers, hikers and Sunday drivers.

Total visitors to Mount Rainier National Park from January through July were down more than 30 percent, to 601,877, compared with the same period last year, when 868,681 people came. “We’ve had terrible weather all year,” said Debbie Hannevig, the park’s fee operations manager.

The colder temperatures have wreaked havoc with Mother Nature’s schedule here and throughout the West and the Northwest, altering people’s expectations of what they could and could not do this summer. In some areas, visitors were skiing in their bathing suits on the Fourth of July. In other cases, the unseasonable weather may have contributed to various accidents and deaths.

Here, at one of the jewels in the crown of the national park system, hikers have met closed roads and trails too dangerous to try. Rangers are advising hikers to use ice axes and crampons, equipment they normally do not need.

“There has never been this amount of snow, and it stopped us from doing things we would usually do,” Carol Larkin, 66, of Richland said the other day as she and her husband, Dave, 67, changed out of their hiking boots at a rest stop beneath towering Douglas firs near the mountain’s base.

They have hiked here every year since 1990 and wanted to keep up their ritual, even if it was curtailed. They said they encountered some people along the trail who turned back after seeing the snow and others who were unprepared but nonetheless forged ahead.

“I was amazed at some of the people we saw on the trail,” Mrs. Larkin said. “They didn’t have poles. One person was in flip-flops.”

People can be caught off guard here because the weather on this glacier-capped mountain, which sits just 100 miles east of the Pacific Ocean, is so changeable. The location, the park service says, means that Rainier “makes its own weather.”

It also acts as its own billboard advertisement, because it is so big and can be seen from so far away. “If the weather is poor and you can’t see the mountain, you don’t come,” Ms. Hannevig said.

The amount of snow still on the ground, as measured at Paradise, the park’s main visitor area, is setting records. Last Sunday, it set a record of 44 inches, said Stefan Lofgren, the park’s mountaineering district ranger. The previous record for Aug. 7 was 40 inches, set in 1974.

Another record was set Tuesday, when 43 inches remained on the ground. Mr. Lofgren said he expected records for another couple of weeks. At this elevation (5,400 feet), Paradise normally gets about 630 inches of snow a year, but this year it received a whopping 907 inches.

This is not the most snow ever for what rangers call “one of the snowiest places on Earth,” but it is close. The difference this year was the extended low temperatures in the spring and summer, which brought some of the coldest months on record in more than 100 years, preventing the snow from melting.


Global cooling hits New Zealand too

Maybe snow isn't always caused by warm weather, as the Warmists claim: New Zealand gets "super-cold" snap accompanied by "the heaviest snow seen in the capital in decades". Snow caused by cold weather: Who'd a thunk it?

A polar blast has hit New Zealand, bringing freezing temperatures and the heaviest snowfall in 40 years.

Snow is even predicted to fall on the hills around Auckland in what meteorologists are describing as a once-in-a-lifetime storm.

Schools across the country have been closed for the day and most airports are at a standstill.

The bitterly cold southerly blast has now brought snow to most of New Zealand, closing roads and some airports and cutting power to thousands of homes. Snow has made roads impassable in many areas of both islands.

MetService head forecaster Peter Kreft told the New Zealand Herald the polar blast was “of the order of a 50-year” event and warned it could last for several more days.

“It’s a once-in-many-decades event. We are probably looking at something like, in terms of extent and severity, maybe 50 years,” he said.

SOURCE. See also here

Capital Flight From Green Investments – “Innovation In The Energy Sector Could Slip Into A Major Crisis”

With another financial crisis flaring up, the green energy sector this time is taking a hit. This is being reported today in the German language Technology Review here.

No wonder Al Gore blew a fuse a few days back. With this news and the Chicago Climate Exchange shutting down, the poor bloke is probably taking a real hit. Might want to have a skyscraper watch.

The article starts with the introduction: "Innovative companies of the finance-intense sector of renewable energy risk are getting their supply of cash cut off. Investors are opting for lower risk projects. Almost everywhere globally governments are scaling back programs that support renewable energies.”

And so it’s only normal that venture capital companies are now opting out. Investment strategies are changing. Technology Review writes: "Germany, Italy and Spain are reducing subsidies, in America the money from the 2009 stimulus package is slowly running out.”

According to Technology Review, people want quicker returns and less risk. Well who doesn’t? Technology Review writes: "During the last years many finance companies began, however, to invest in long-term projects with high capital requirements. That only worked mainly because they were able to expect subsidies from the state. Thus hundreds of millions flowed into start-ups in solar technology, which first had to build expensive plants to get the technology ripe for the market. The profits came later, if at all.”

Now the state subsidies are shrinking and new startups will have little chance of competing against the already established companies – too risky. The bubble has nowhere to go but to implode. So watch the politicians soon scramble and start blaming “speculators” and “greedy finance companies” for the mess they themselves created, and then start calling for more financial regulation. Technology Review sums it up:

David Victor, expert for solar and wind energy support at the University of California in San Diego fears the worst: ‘Innovation in the energy sector could slip into a major crisis’.”


Australia: Household power switched off remotely

Anything is better than building new power stations. Building a new power station was once seen as a great advance and a public service. Now it is seen as something to avoid by any means possible. In an age of unprecedented abundance we are told we must cut back on everything.

At least this is proposed as a voluntary scheme. In California they want to do it compulsorily. But I can't see it having much take-up. Who is it going to appeal to if your power gets cut off when you most need it? Insane

TVs, airconditioners and fridges could be switched off remotely by power companies during peak times under plans to rein in households' demand for electricity.

The option is among measures being considered as part of a national review of the management of domestic power use.

The Ministerial Council on Energy has initiated the Australian Energy Market Commission review in response to the nation's increasing demand for power.

The council is seeking ways to ease the demand for electricity during extremely cold nights and exceptionally hot days, to avoid the need for energy companies to build more power stations.

AEMC chairman John Pierce said the investment in infrastructure to guarantee electricity supply during peak periods was contributing to rising power bills.

He said the review was looking at options whereby power companies would remotely turn off appliances for a set period, in return for a lower bill.

Those signing on to such a scheme could see their airconditioner or fridge turned off for 30 minutes during a peak period every five hours.

When the airconditioner or fridge came back on, a neighbour's airconditioner or fridge would be turned off, resulting in an easing of electricity demand during a peak, Mr Pierce said.

He said homes would be required to be fitted with smart meters to allow energy companies and households to communicate electronically.

He said alternative options to manage power were necessary if families were to avoid further price rises.

"The plasma TVs and airconditioners are the obvious things, but a lot more people also now have pool pumps and larger refrigeration systems, all of which are increasing demand for power," Mr Pierce said.

"This option is one way to help electricity suppliers manage peak demand, while also offering a cheaper price for customers."

AEMC is seeking comment on its proposals until the end of the month. A public forum will be held in December. A final report will be sent to the Federal Government in September next year.



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