Thursday, August 18, 2011

What is the optimum temperature?

Australian grape-grower Erl Happ became interested in climate when trying to work out what climate was best for grape-growing. And, as every grape grower knows, some climates are better for grapes than others. So instead of the common academic focus on average temperature, Happ became interested in how that average is made up. He looked at temperature by region and season rather than by some uninformative global average. What he found was that temperatures in different regions and seasons moved in different directions at the same time. While one region or season was cooling another was warming.

So this regional/seasonal disparity very strongly made an explanation in terms of CO2 useless. AGW theory could explain uniform warming only and uniform warming is NOT happening. Looking at average temperature artificially hides what is actually happening.

He sees a large influence for clouds in temperature change, and like many skeptics sees the influence as being "more-clouds=cooling". Warmists say the opposite of course. I don't find the argument he uses to justify that claim particularly strong but there are other arguments leading to the same conclusion so that is not really a problem.

What IS important I think, is his emphasis on what the optimum temperature is at any point on the earth's surface. And he defines optimum as what is best for plant growth -- seeing that we all ultimately depend on plants for food and much else.

He says that 25 degrees Celsius is optimum and, since I come from a place (tropical Australia) where the temperature is around that, I have to agree. Anybody who has seen the mad growth of vegetation in the tropics can be in no doubt that most of the earth is TOO COLD. So even if the Warmists were right, we have nothing to fear.

And even Warmists these days are retreating from the rising sea level scare. 91% of the earth's glacial ice is in Antarctica and Antarctica is way too cold for any foreseeable temperature rise to melt the ice there.

I reproduce what Happ says about optimum temperature:
What is the utility of the globe to humanity at this particular point in the evolution of the Earth's disparate climatic regimes? Has there been an improvement or deterioration in recent times? To answer these questions we must look at the pattern of temperature change by latitude.

Summer maxima are short of the 25°C optimum temperature for plant growth.

Why is it considered that the globe is in danger of becoming too warm? Our interest is in ensuring that the capacity of the planet to support life in all its forms is not impaired. In the warmest parts of the globe, the parts considered thus far, temperature is sub optimal for plant growth and particularly so in the southern hemisphere. All life depends upon plants. We would be better off if the planet were warmer. It is further cooling that represents a threat to human welfare. We have plenty of scope on the upside.

Another recent article here on the theme that more warming would be good for us.

Profound confusion at SciAm

One of their bloggers is attempting to rubbish Joe Bastardi and in doing so says:
What climate science says is not that CO2 carries energy into the atmosphere or somehow magically generates it out of nowhere. Instead, it says that CO2 and other gases acts as a blanket, keeping heat from escaping into space. This, as Bastardi should know, is called the greenhouse effect.

The Earth radiates into space roughly the same amount of energy that it receives from the sun.

Whoa! The heat is kept from escaping the earth by CO2 yet "The Earth radiates into space roughly the same amount of energy that it receives"???

Which is it? Does the heat escape or is it kept in?

And extended look at this lulu here

Rise in bird malaria tied to climate

We all know that EVERYTHING bad is caused by climate change but, for interest's sake, comment on the article below was sought from French malaria expert Paul Reiter. He responded: "Unadulterated nonsense. On holiday I prefer not to get upset about such pathetic rubbish". Reiter has previously pointed out that there have been serious outbreaks of malaria in sub-Arctic regions so the idea that it is a warm climate phenomenon is nonsense

Growing numbers of British birds are being killed by malaria, say scientists who suggest climate change is driving an increase in the disease.

Monitoring programs say about 30 species of birds are affected, and researchers link the problem to a rapid growth in mosquito populations attributed to a rise of about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit in global average temperature, The Daily Telegraph reported Monday.

British bird types were among 3,000 species worldwide studied by Laszlo Garamszegi, of the Donana biological station near Seville in Spain.

His study, comparing recent data with records dating back to 1944, was published in the journal Global Change Biology. "It does show trends we ought to be worried about," he said.

While the avian type of malaria cannot be passed to humans, other researchers say the finding is worrisome. "There is very convincing evidence that a wide range of biological processes are altering in response to climate change," Ben Sheldon, professor of ornithology at Oxford University, said.


The Great Global Warming Ponzi Scheme – how the mainstream media keeps it alive

Ordinary Ponzi schemes pretending to be worthwhile investments collapse if they aren’t constantly infused with new money, and when anyone starts asking tough accounting questions. The theory of man-caused global warming is kept afloat only because a sizable portion of the public believes the issue is settled, and that our efforts to reduce greenhouse gases will stabilize the climate. Faith in the issue is continually propped up with new stories that no ‘legitimate’ critics exist. But what happens when the IPCC / Al Gore side can’t answer questions any better than Bernie Madoff?

Near the end of my first RedState piece on the smear of skeptic scientists, I noted how a Society of Environmental Journalists board director couldn’t be bothered to tell me which other journalists corroborated book author Ross Gelbspan’s accusation that skeptic climate scientists were being paid to deliberately mislead the public.

I’m still searching the internet to find anyone who independently corroborates that lone accusation. Hard scrutiny reveals the different accusations virtually all spiral right back to a small group of people associated with the enviro-activist group Ozone Action and Ross Gelbspan, circa early 1996. A scant few point back to a period of time in 1991, and I first detailed the enormous problems with those at Marc Morano’s Climate Depot, then here at RedState. Long story short: Gore praised Gelbspan for discovering 1991-era coal industry PR campaign memos supposedly proving the corruption accusation, but Gore had the memos in his Senate office years before Gelbspan. Houston, we have a problem….

Last week, the New Scientist magazine coughed up the same old accusation when it reviewed Orrin Pilkey’s new book Global Climate Change (backup link here in case their link goes behind a pay wall later). In the magazine review’s third paragraph, the book’s quotes are the same words from the 1991 coal industry PR memos – “older, less educated males” and “younger, lower-income women” – that were seen in Ross Gelbspan’s 1997 book The Heat is On, and in Gore’s 1992 Earth in the Balance. The insinuation is that the PR campaign knew its message was false and had to target gullible people.

The plot gets thicker. Google Books has a preview of Pilkey’s book, and in a page prior to the above quotes, he regurgitates the infamous “reposition global warming as theory rather than fact” accusation phrase, saying it was one of seven strategy points of PR documents put online by Naomi Oreskes, and that the PR campaign took place in four cities, Chattanooga, Tennessee, Champagne, Illinois, Flagstaff, Arizona, and Fargo, North Dakota.

Wrong on both counts. There were nine strategy points, and regarding the claim that Oreskes put the documents online, that comes from George Monbiot’s Dec 2009 blog, where it turns out his link was just to Oreskes’ oft-repeated 2007 PowerPoint presentation which only quoted the memos. Seems unlikely that Pilkey would make a typo of the point number total if he actually saw the complete-context memos. As we can see at the page 10 scan enlargement here, there is no mistaking the number count, or that Bowling Green, Kentucky was also part of the PR campaign tour, as seen at the page 14 scan.

Astute readers rummaging through the rest of the 1991 coal industry PR campaign memos there are able to see that the whole collection is not the sinister top-down industry directive it’s portrayed to be, but is instead just an interoffice set of memos to guide a little five-town information campaign designed to point out contradictions between Al Gore’s side of the story and existing – not fabricated – opposition to it. Ross Gelbspan made the claim that “we got a copy of the strategy papers for that campaign. And it said that the purpose of the campaign was to reposition global warming as theory rather than fact…They sent these scientists all over the country to do media interviews.”

Right. Wouldn’t ‘all over the county’ mean major population centers like L.A. Philadelphia, Seattle, Boston, Miami? But first, who gave him copies of the strategy papers? Al Gore? And if nobody disproves these scientists’ science assessments outright, what was so sinister about this campaign?

I could go on for another couple thousand words. Oreskes has her own circuitous problems with citing Gelbspan, and then we have the problem just recently where Gore profanely accused skeptic scientists of corruption and cited Oreskes instead Gelbspan. There is also the problem with a 1991 article by Mary O’Driscoll in The Energy Daily titled, “Greenhouse Ads Target ‘Low-Income’ Women, ‘Less-Educated Men’ .” It was written prior to the July 8, 1991 NY Times article Gore indirectly cited in just the 12th paragraph of his 7000 word Rolling Stone magazine diatribe a couple of months ago. Not a word of praise going to O’Driscoll from Gore, Oreskes or Pilkey.

I’m no investigative reporter, though, just someone with an accumulation of computer notes on this whole mess that’s probably over 66,000 words, and my plea is for professional journalists to take this beyond my limited means. I’ve unearthed more than enough red flags, it’s time for others with more resources to see how deep all these problems go.

There appears to be only one source for the accusation against skeptic scientists. It is unsupportable, and a rather small cast of characters spirals around it. This is especially ironic considering the way Pilkey says at the opening of his Chapter 4, “…the hoax is being perpetuated by public relations efforts by the fossil fuels industry.”

When enviro-activists offer no more than a worn out, 20-year old, paper-thin, guilt-by-association accusation saying skeptic climate scientists are paid by oil and coal executives to deliberately stall action to mitigate global warming, then we probably have the opposite problem: A ponzi scheme of incessant media story infusions designed to steer the public away from seeing skeptic scientists as whistleblowers on an idea that can’t support its own science assessments.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Germany's green power push cools in the face of cutbacks, competition

THE German green power revolution is facing hard times because of government cutbacks and stiff competition from Asia.

In addition, the decision to abandon nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan is not having the positive spin-off that German solar companies may have expected.

Some of Germany's biggest and best-known industrial companies are questioning whether they can afford to continue to do business there. A string of recent profit slumps by German solar-cell companies underscores the depth of the crisis for solar business.

One-time industry leader Q-Cells has announced a second quarter loss of almost E355 million ($486.6m) and will shift production to Malaysia and close half its German manufacturing capacity.

Another solar company, Solon, has reported a first-half loss of E63m because of weak demand.

And Phoenix, a solar photovoltaic company, has reported a 60 per cent sales slump to E141m.

Not all of Germany's solar companies are in the red but it has been a dramatic turnaround for a sector that has always had a special status in the country that has led the world in rooftop solar rollout.

But as demand increases, production of solar technology is increasingly moving to China which will soon account for 85 per cent of all solar-cell production.

Germany is still the world's largest solar market, with about 54 per cent of all systems installed, but almost half of all new systems installed in Germany come from Asia.

German manufacturers cannot compete with China on price, but price is not the only problem they face.

The German government can no longer afford to continue its generous rooftop subsidy scheme in the face of falling prices.

The feed-in tariff has been cut from 33c to 28.74c per kilowatt hour, dampening demand.

Meanwhile, German chemical giant Bayer has warned that rising electricity prices may force it to relocate its manufacturing base to China.

Bayer employs 35,000 people in Germany, but chief executive Marijn Dekkers told the German weekly business magazine Wirtschaftswoche that energy prices posed a genuine threat to the company's manufacturing operations in the country.

Mr Dekkers, a Dutchman, complained that Germany, which has the highest energy prices in Europe, was becoming less attractive to energy-intensive sectors such as the chemical industry.

German energy prices are expected to rise following the decision by German authorities to phase out nuclear energy by 2022, making the country the first major industrial power to take the step in the wake of the disaster at Japan's Fukushima plant.


Australia: Green tax convoy a revolt of working people

Gary Johns

THE "convoy of no-confidence" in the federal Labor government, a convoy of trucks, trailers and campervans sponsored by the National Road Freighters Association started out from all over Australia yesterday and will be converging on Canberra on Monday.

The convoy will be carrying a petition calling for a federal election. Thousands will be streaming in from regional Australia in no fewer than 11 different convoys.

They are coming from Bendigo and Mildura, Warragul and Colac, Norseman and Wyong, Rocklea and Rockhampton, Atherton and Charters Towers, Port Hedland and Halls Creek.

The petitioners assert that "the 43rd executive government of Australia has been compromised into wilfully and intentionally misleading the Australian people [by] introducing a carbon tax without the consent of the Australian people and that would be normally decided by a free and unencumbered ballot".

Of course, governments are entitled to govern as they see fit. Nevertheless, a carbon tax was not only directly ruled out by the Prime Minister shortly before the last election, the evidence supporting the impact of the tax has been so opaque and deceptive that it amounts to lying.

Perhaps the petitioners don't count; after all they probably represent rural electorates already held by the Coalition.

Labor can rest easy. Then again, this convoy is not the protest of the Britons that the world witnessed last week, aptly dubbed "the first bludger uprising".

Australia's uprising is from workers. Workers, who every day drive trucks and travel in aeroplanes all over Australia to work in mines and on cattle stations and in hundreds of industries that service them.

They may be a little unkempt; they could afford to stand a little closer to a razor blade and a little further away from a tattoo gun, but what they lack in inner-city elegance, they more than make up for in a sense of proportion and reality. They do not like being treated as fools.

The federal Labor government has indeed treated them and millions of others as fools.

Simon Crean may have visited Latrobe Valley, Geelong, Wagga Wagga, Shellharbour, Port Kembla, Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton and Newcastle, Whyalla and Mount Gambier, but he's dreaming if he thinks anyone is buying his "clean energy future" sell-job.

Crean says that "pricing carbon is another fundamental but necessary economic reform from a Labor government" in the mould of Bob Hawke's floating of the dollar in 1983. Bollocks.

What Crean, Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan will not tell the electors is that the cost of the carbon tax in cold, hard dollars is the equivalent of an entire year's gross domestic product.

Just let that soak in for one moment. Across the scope of this scheme, 2012 until 2050, Australians will lose the equivalent of an entire year's income.

The cost of failing to abate carbon dioxide sufficient to change the temperature one iota, is one entire year's income.

In its report, Strong Growth, Low Pollution Modelling a Carbon Price, Treasury modelling has deliberately hidden the real cost of the carbon tax.

The modelling has not added together each of the GDP losses as a result of the tax in each year. On Treasury's best case, the number representing the costs to the Australian economy of the carbon tax for the period 2012-2050 is $1.35 trillion, a year's worth of GDP. Treasury presents these figures only as a percentage loss from a base case of an economy with no carbon tax.

Even using the "Labor economists" Garnaut-Stern-Quiggin discount rate, the figure Treasury believe Australians would be prepared to pay to forgo present income to "solve the problem", is $873 billion across the period. But the most realistic discount rate that common-sense Australians would actually be prepared to pay, one closer to zero, delivers the figure $1.35 trillion.

Added to this failure to reveal the true cost of a carbon tax is the other big lie, pointed out by my colleague Henry Ergas (among numerous other failings in the scheme), that the carbon tax "job growth" does not exist.

The jobs growth as such is not a result of the Treasury model; it is an assumption of the model. It relies on lower real wages to make good the assumption of full unemployment.

All other things considered, the real outcome of the carbon tax will in fact be both job losses and real wage decline. Treasury knows this and the Treasurer knows this, or at least he should.

The petitioners are angry because they have been told that the carbon tax will save the world from climate change, and that the carbon tax will not cost more than they can be compensated for.

According to Newspoll, only 30 per cent of Australians support the government's "plan to put a price on carbon".

I am certain that if they were aware of the true cost of the carbon tax, that number would fall even further.



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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