Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Two "scientists" who don't know what data is

They think that speculative predictions are data

Both [Seth] Wenger [a fisheries researcher with Trout Unlimited in Boise] and [Dan] Isaak, a fisheries biologist at the U.S. Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station in Boise, were a part of a team of 11 scientists who said trout habitat could drop by 50 percent over the next 70 years because of a warming world.

The paper, published Monday in the peer-reviewed science journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, predicts native cutthroat habitat could decline by 58 percent.

The two men, who have devoted their lives to scientific research, say they depend on the scientific method and peer review to judge the quality of the research that underscores their findings. The climate predictions are based on 10 of the 20 climate models developed independently worldwide that all show the world is getting warmer.

“The climate models have been right for 30 years and they are getting better all the time,” Isaak said. … The most dire climate models show temperatures in Idaho rising an average of 9 degrees in 70 years, Wenger said. …

“I have to set aside my feelings and use the best data,” he said. …


Below we have some REAL Idaho data. And it shows a trend OPPOSITE to that assumed by our two "scientists"

Defeat for Obama restrictions on energy

For years, conservatives were said to be "standing athwart history, yelling 'Stop!' " But a federal judge's ruling Friday points to the new reality that those who are now seeking to stop history -- or at least the development of new energy technologies -- are liberals, led by President Obama. Judge Nancy Freudenthal ruled against Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and regulations implemented by two agencies within his department. The regulations -- designed to slow down energy development -- came from the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Attorneys for the government argued that the Western Energy Alliance, an energy industry advocacy group that filed the suit, failed to show the regulations caused hardship such as added costs or unnecessary delays.

Freudenthal disagreed, saying "Western Energy has demonstrated through its members recognizable injury. Those injuries are supported by the administrative record." As a result, regulations issued in 2005 under President George W. Bush that were supplanted by the Obama rules are back in force. The Bush regulations were designed to speed up federal reviews of applications to explore and develop hundreds of millions of acres of federally owned lands in Western states believed to hold vast untapped quantities of oil and natural gas. Developing such resources could reduce U.S. dependence on imported oil and reduce costs for American consumers.

But global-warming-obsessed liberals don't want Americans to have access to cheaper oil and natural gas, and they are determined to use federal laws and regulations wherever possible to force us to use "clean" energy sources such as wind, solar and biomass. Unfortunately, it will take as long as three decades, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, for the alternative energy forms to be able to replace oil and natural gas. And the liberals' plans for getting there from here -- epitomized by the regulations skewered Friday in federal court -- will, according to Obama, "necessarily cause energy prices to skyrocket."

Meanwhile, the U.S. energy industry continues its remarkable record of finding and producing domestic oil and natural gas resources in more efficient and environmentally safe ways. Natural gas, which was growing more expensive due to declining supplies only a few years ago, has experienced an extraordinary revival in this country, thanks to hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") to get at supplies trapped in shale thousands of feet below the surface. Water and tiny amounts of chemicals are injected into shale formations, allowing the oil and natural gas to be extracted.

Horizontal drilling of multiple wells from one site minimizes the physical impact on the surface environment, and, because fracking is done thousands of feet below the water table, without risk to drinking water. Not one confirmed example of groundwater contamination linked to fracking has been found, according to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson. So why is Obama's Department of Energy moving forward with new regulations to "ensure the protection of public health and the environment?" Because Obama and the liberals are yelling "Stop!"


Myth of 'eco-friendly' bags exposed as British supermarket chain dumps 'green' carriers that may actually harm the environment

Tesco has stopped using biodegradable carrier bags because they may be even worse for the environment than the conventional type. The decision is an embarrassment for the chain, which hailed its introduction of the bags as the centrepiece of its efforts to tackle litter and waste. Tesco stores hand out more throwaway plastic bags than any other retailer in the country – well over two billion a year.

Most supermarket carriers are used for only 20 minutes before being thrown away, but they can take up to 1,000 years to decompose. Many end up in landfill while others blight the countryside, beaches and the sea.

Tesco claimed that the biodegradable bags, which include an ingredient that makes them break down after 20-36 months, would defeat this problem. However, it is pulling them from stores after five years following independent scientific research funded by the Government which suggests they may damage wildlife and the environment.

Tesco said it began changing to new bags, which are not biodegradable but include 15 per cent recycled material, earlier this year. However, the company has made no official announcement on the change, and its website still boasts about the company’s commitment to using biodegradable bags.

It states: ‘We recognise that many of our bags may go to landfill, so we have made our carrier bags biodegradable. This means that they break down into water, carbon dioxide and biomass, which have minimal impact upon the environment.’

Tesco’s failure means other measures to tackle the blight caused by carrier bags are now necessary.

An independent study published last year raised serious questions about the value of the biodegradable bags. Experts from Loughborough University pulled together all the published research into such bags and concluded that they may do more harm than good. Their report warned that these bags can litter the countryside for up to five years before they degrade, far longer than the supermarket claims. This is because they are not exposed to enough of the heat and sunlight they need to break down.

The additive used in the bags to make them break down also means that they cannot be recycled.

The biodegradable bags do eventually crumble into a fine dust, according to the researchers.

But they said: ‘Although these bags are regarded as beneficial by the producers, concerns have been raised that these particles of plastic may be ingested by invertebrates, birds, animals or fish.’

No evidence was found that the fragments cause harm, ‘but neither was there evidence that they do not’, the authors added.

Explaining the decision to drop the bags, Tesco said it was based on scientific advice and also addressed customers’ concerns that they were weak and likely to break. A spokesman said: ‘We took the decision to remove the biodegradable additive because we believed it contributed towards bags becoming weaker and to help better promote their re-use and recycling at end of life. ‘This decision was underpinned by a detailed review of the science to help us understand the full life-cycle environmental impacts of our carrier bags.’

The Daily Mail’s Banish the Bags campaign, which began in 2008 and is calling for a drastic reduction in the billions of bags handed out each year, has gained support from all major political parties.

Yesterday Scottish ministers announced the start of a public consultation to find ways to limit the use of plastic bags. They are considering a compulsory charge for the throwaway bags.
How the Daily Mail has led the way in trying to banish plastic bags

Wales will introduce a charge of 5p on all single-use bags from October 1, including those from major supermarkets such as Tesco.

Northern Ireland is bringing in charges on April 1, 2013 and a public consultation is taking place about how much to charge.

England looks likely to be on its own in failing to take action, but David Cameron and Nick Clegg are under pressure to follow suit at Westminster.

Despite pledges by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister while they were in opposition, the Coalition currently has no policy on plastic bag reduction.

Last month it emerged that an extra 330million plastic bags have been handed out by supermarkets in the past year. It is the first time the total has gone up in five years.

In 2010/2011, around 6.4billion single-use plastic bags were given out, compared with 6.1billion in 2009/10, according to figures from WRAP, the Government’s waste reduction agency. That means everyone in the country is given 8.6 bags per month on average.

Marks & Spencer was the first major chain to bring in a 5p charge, in 2008.


Bummer: Carbon dioxide has killed so many bears in Yellowstone since 1975 that the grizzly population has only increased by a factor of more than three

Yellowstone National Park is being hit hard by climate change | MNN - Mother Nature Network
I'll be honest, it's a grim read. The quick of it is that global warming is killing off, either directly or indirectly, vast swaths of trees, streams full of fish, and a sloth of bears. Global warming bakes some species, like fish, which can't survive living in water that can be 20 degrees warmer than normal, while it helps facilitate the demise of others like lodgepole pine, which are killed by bark boring beetles that used to killed by winter cold snaps that don't come anymore. Bears are starving to death or attacking campers because their food sources are disappearing.

Jonathan Overpeck, co-director of the Institute of the Environment at the University of Arizona, worries that the western U.S. could turn into a "second Outback," largely stripped of plants, animals and people.
[Oct 2010]: Yellowstone grizzly population is at its highest in decades -
BOZEMAN, Mont. — Grizzly bear numbers in and around Yellowstone National Park have hit their highest level in decades, driving increased conflicts with humans as some bears push out of deep wilderness and into populated areas.

Scientists from a multi-agency research team announced Wednesday that at least 603 grizzlies now roam the Yellowstone area of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. That's more than three times the number in 1975, when hunting was outlawed and the species placed on the endangered list.


The Dead Eagle Has Landed

As California attempts to divorce itself from fossil-fueled electricity, it may be trading one environmental sin for another — although you don’t hear state officials admitting it.

Wind power is the fastest growing component in the state’s green energy portfolio, but wildlife advocates say the marriage has an unintended consequence: dead birds, including protected species of eagles, hawks and owls.

“The cumulative impacts are huge,” said Shawn Smallwood, one of the few recognized experts studying the impact of wind farms on migratory birds. “It is not inconceivable to me that we could reduce golden eagle populations by a great deal, if not wipe them out.”

California supports roughly 2,500 golden eagles. The state’s largest wind farms kill, on average, more than 80 eagles per year. But the state is set to triple wind capacity in the coming years as it tries to become the first state in the nation to generate 33 percent of its electricity from clean energy sources by 2020.

“We would like to have no bird deaths and no bird injuries. But, once again, we have to balance all the needs of society. All the people who want to flip their switch and have electricity in their homes,” said Lorelei Oviatt, Kern County planning commissioner.

If an oil company killed 80 eagles in a spill, its CEO would be getting death threats.


Cities that prefer prophecy to fact

That the long-term upward creep of sea levels is now in fact slowing is irrelevant, of course. Just when they are getting ready for it, it stops! How pesky!

In Chula Vista, Calif., new waterfront buildings will be required to have higher foundations because of an expected rise in sea levels.

High tides by the Agriculture building in the Embarcadero in San Francisco splash onto the sidewalk. As climate changes progress, high tide events like this are predicted to become more common.

In Chicago, where flooding is predicted to worsen, residents can get rebates for putting rain barrels, compost bins and native plants in their yards.

And in New York City, where rising tides are also projected, wastewater treatment plants will elevate their pumps.

While some members of Congress debate the scientific validity of climate change, these U.S. cities are going beyond efforts to mitigate it with lower greenhouse gas emissions. They're at the forefront of an emerging trend: adaptation.

"It's a new field," says Brian Holland, director of climate programs at ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA. His association launched a Climate Resilient Communities program last year to help cities study effects of climate change and finance ways to adapt. Nearly 600 local governments, representing one-fourth of the U.S. population, have signed on.

As extreme weather continues to sweep the nation and Americans struggle to deal with heat waves and flooding, Holland says many are convinced they need to act. "We're already seeing consequences of climate change," he says, "and those will only intensify."

An increasing number of cities have begun vulnerability assessments, and some — notably Chicago — are already taking steps to counter adverse effects.

"We're mostly at the study and planning phase," says Michelle Mehta, co-author of the "Thirsty for Answers" report this month by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which looks at how a dozen U.S. cities will be affected.

The NRDC report says coastal cities such as New York and San Francisco anticipate "serious challenges" from sea-level rise, while Southwestern cities such as Phoenix will face water shortages and Midwestern cities, including Chicago and St. Louis, can expect more intense storms and flooding.

Climate change skeptic David Kreutzer, a research fellow in energy economics at the conservative Heritage Foundation, says there have always been "variations in weather" so it makes sense to prepare for storms. But he says cities may waste money if their regulations are based on "hysterical" projections of sea-level rise.

Scott Huth, public works director for Coronado, Calif., a beach town of 25,000, says the planning is not about politics or being liberal or conservative, it's simply about taking seriously "our duty to make sure that we're informed for things that might potentially happen."

Mehta says some projects meet immediate needs but will also help cities cope with problems exacerbated by climate change. Among them are elevating homes and rebuilding levees in New Orleans, which is steadily sinking. Other projects are more tailored to climate change



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