Friday, September 30, 2011

Environmentalists Lose Bid to Preemptively Prevent American Energy Independence

Superior Court Judge Eric Aarseth delivered a major blow to the environmental activists who have been using regulations lawsuits and billions of dollars to prevent the Pebble Mine Project in Alaska from helping to provide American energy independence. Judge Aarseth handed down a 154-page ruling in favor of Alaska in the most recent lawsuit aimed at preventing the Pebble Mine Project from even being able to begin the permit process.

Pebble Mine is one of the largest copper deposits in the world. It is in the United States and could release us from our dependence on buying copper from China, which provides 97% of the copper used in the world.

The environmentalist have argued that the Pebble Mine MIGHT impact salmon in Bristol Bay, Alaska, even though the mine is over 200 miles north of the area.

The judge ruled that evidence “did not support the plaintiffs’ claims that mineral exploration activities in the Pebble Project area were significantly impacting or causing long term harm to concurrent uses.” In his ruling, Judge Aarseth wrote:
“…[T]here is no evidence that Pebble’s exploration activities are now causing or will in the future cause permanent and deleterious changes to the environment. Indeed, Plaintiffs have failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that any long-term and harmful environmental impacts have actually occurred or necessarily will occur at the project site or surrounding environment.

The evidence shows that more than 20 years after minerals were first discovered at Pebble, the site continues to have pristine water and support wildlife and fisheries resources. The harms that Plaintiffs’ witnesses describe are speculative; they are neither harms occurring in fact nor did they show that the harm will necessarily occur.”

In other words, the environmentalists hysterical claims are hogwash.

While this ruling is a significant win for the goal of American energy Independence, it is not the end of the issue. Environmental groups have aggressively fought the Pebble Mine Project for years. This particular lawsuit has been ongoing since 2009. Since Judge Aarseth’s ruling, they say they are taking the case to the Supreme Court.

In order to keep this positive momentum going we must make sure we stay attentive and make sure that our voices continue to get heard. Big green has big bucks and are on a mission to stop the U.S. from extracting the copper in Southwest Alaska. U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell has attempted to preemptively prevent the permit process from moving forward. Federal agencies such as The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have used regulations to stall the Pebble Mine Project from even beginning the permit process for years.

The environmentalists are keeping a close watch on the Twitter hash-tag #GivePebbleAChance and using that to troll sites that refer to this project and leave cut and paste comments promoting their propaganda that has no foundation in scientific evidence.


Most interesting: Temperature rises and falls now "unpredictable"

Is this the new Greenie version of the global warming scare? First they abandoned "global warming" in favour of "climate change". Will it now be "climate unpredictability". I hope it is because that will mean that they have finally got it right

As the climate heats up, scientists expect all sorts of animals to move to cooler places. But that may be easier said than done.

When researchers mapped out the escape routes that a variety of amphibians would need to take in the coming decades to adapt to changing climate conditions, they uncovered some serious trouble.

Because of unpredictable rises and dips in temperature, many salamanders, frogs and newts will get stuck in unfavorable conditions along their travels -- enough to threaten their survival.

The findings are likely to apply not just to amphibians, but also to insects and other types of animals as well as plants. The study adds fire to a longstanding debate among conservation biologists and wildlife managers.

Some experts argue that threatened species need to be bred in captivity or that animals should be moved to places that will foster their survival. Others cite infamous examples like the invasive cane toad in Australia and argue that introducing species to new environments is simply a recipe for disaster.

"What conservationists have been planning for some time is that we might be able to use green habitat corridors so species can jump from place to place quite easily," said Regan Early, a climate change ecologist at the University of √Čvora, in Portugal. "We're finding it isn't going to be that simple. If we put corridors in place, we are going to have to do a lot of work to help species along."


The Fascist Al Gore

As usual his only argument is the mythical consensus. He mentions not a single scientific fact but relies on authority. And now he doesn't like democracy either. He likes it only if it does what he wants

Al Gore has warned that there is now clear proof that climate change is directly responsible for the extreme and devastating floods, storms and droughts that displaced millions of people this year.

Speaking to an audience of business leaders, political leaders including Scotland's first minister Alex Salmond and green energy entrepreneurs in Edinburgh, Gore said the world was at a "fork in the road".

The former US vice-president and climate campaigner also argued that America has suffered a "breakdown in democratic governance", because members of Congress are obsessed with appeasing special interests in return for campaign funding, rather than confronting climate change.

The former vice president and climate campaigner said that US democracy had been undermined. "In the language of computer culture, our democracy has been hacked," he said.

In a near hour-long speech to the Scottish low-carbon investment conference, Gore said the evidence from the floods in Pakistan, China, South Korea and Columbia was so compelling that the case for urgent action by world leaders to combat carbon emissions was now overwhelming, Gore said.

"Observations in the real world make it clear that it's happening now, it's real, it's with us," he said. Failing to take action meant the world would face a catastrophe.

He added that nearly every climate scientist actively publishing on the subject now agreed there was a causal link between carbon emissions and the sharp increase in intense and extreme weather events seen across the globe.

"Every single national academy of science of every major country on earth agrees with the consensus and the one's that don't agree with it do not exist. This is what they say to governments: 'The need for urgent action is now indisputable'.


And now for the facts that the GoreFraud ignores. China and Pakistan have been having disastrous floods for as long as they have existed

Much more of the same HERE

Obama's Communist-style central planning

The offense here is government picking industries over consumers. Consider the Obama Energy Department’s extraordinary, ChiComm-like announcement this week that it is pushing ahead with its green five-year plan despite the Solyndra scandal:

“There’s one energy challenge that outweighs all the others in terms of economic, military and ecological importance. We’ve got to kick our reliance on oil. And to do this we’ve got to build a lot of electric cars,” writes the administration."

What’s next? Government plans to build TVs? IPads? Washing machines?

“As a result of this Review, we find that DOE is underinvested in the transportation sector relative to the stationary sector (energy efficiency, grid, and electric power),” continues the directive. “Yet, reliance on oil is the greatest immediate threat to U.S. economic and national security, and also contributes to the long-term threat of climate change. Barack Obama’s energy goals include reducing oil imports by one third by 2025 and putting one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. The most important role of the DOE is investing in research to develop hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery-electric, and fuel cell vehicles.”

This Gosplan drivel is also a straw man.

Contrary to Obama’s planners, oil is not a national security threat. Our ally Canada, after all, is America’s largest oil exporter. Where countries pose a security threat — Iran, for example — we simply outlaw trade. In fact, if the administration believed its own con, it would be helping develop — rather than hindering — America’s own bountiful domestic reserves of cheap, efficient, job-producing oil in the West and offshore.

But like China, Obama’s central planners are driven by ideological ends. The problem isn’t GM. Take away the governments of China and Obama, and GM would be producing unsubsidized cars that consumers want.


EPA IG Finds Serious Flaws in Centerpiece of Obama Global Warming Agenda

Report calls the scientific integrity of EPA’s decision-making process into question and undermines the credibility of the endangerment finding

Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today announced that a new government report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reveals that the scientific assessment underpinning the Obama EPA’s endangerment finding for greenhouse gasses was inadequate and in violation of the Agency’s own peer review procedures.

The IG report released today, “Procedural Review of EPA’s Greenhouse Gases Endangerment Finding Data Quality Processes,” was requested by Senator Inhofe in an April 7, 2010 letter to the EPA IG. Senator Inhofe asked that the OIG conduct an investigation into whether EPA followed the Data Quality Act and its own peer review procedures—which are designed to ensure that EPA makes decisions according to the best possible science—when it issued its finding that greenhouse gases harm public health and welfare, otherwise known as the endangerment finding. The EPA OIG Report finds that EPA failed in this respect.

“I appreciate the Inspector General conducting a thorough investigation into the Obama-EPA’s handling of the endangerment finding for greenhouse gases," Senator Inhofe said. “This report confirms that the endangerment finding, the very foundation of President Obama’s job-destroying regulatory agenda, was rushed, biased, and flawed. It calls the scientific integrity of EPA’s decision-making process into question and undermines the credibility of the endangerment finding.

“The Inspector General’s investigation uncovered that EPA failed to engage in the required record-keeping process leading up to the endangerment finding decision, and it also did not follow its own peer review procedures to ensure that the science behind the decision was sound. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson readily admitted in 2009 that EPA had outsourced its scientific review to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This is an institution whose credibility has already been called into question. Even so, EPA still refused to conduct its own independent review of the science. As the EPA Inspector General found, whatever one thinks of the UN science, the EPA is still required - by its own procedures - to conduct an independent review.

“The endangerment finding is no small matter: global warming regulations imposed by the Obama-EPA under the Clean Air Act will cost American consumers $300 to $400 billion a year, significantly raise energy prices, and destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs. This is not to mention the ‘absurd result’ that EPA will need to hire 230,000 additional employees and spend an additional $21 billion to implement its greenhouse gas regime. And all of this economic pain is for nothing: as EPA Administrator Jackson also admitted before the EPW committee, these regulations will have no affect on the climate.

“One asks, what happened to Administrator Jackson’s vow in 2009 that the Agency would commit to high standards of transparency because ‘The success of our environmental efforts depends on earning and maintaining the trust of the public we serve’ or Obama Advisor John Holdren’s promise that the Administration would make decisions based on the best possible science because, as the President said, ‘The public must be able to trust the science and scientific process informing public policy decisions’? Given what has come to light in this repor t, it appears that the Obama EPA cannot be trusted on the most consequential decision the agency has ever made.

“I am calling for the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, the committee of jurisdiction over the EPA, to hold immediate hearings to address EPA’s failure to provide the required documentation and have the science impartially reviewed. EPA needs to explain to the American people why it blatantly circumvented its own procedures to make what appears to be a predetermined endangerment finding.”

Specifically, the EPA IG found that EPA neglected to identify from the outset if the endangerment finding Technical Support Document (TSD) was a Highly Influential Scientific Assessment, (HISA) which, under the Office of Budget and Management’s Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review, requires complete record-keeping of all documents leading up to that decision and a thorough review of the science by an impartial panel.

EPA told the OIG that it did not consider the endangerment finding TSD a HISA, but in the course of its investigation, the OIG determined that the endangerment finding TSD was indeed a HISA and therefore EPA should have engaged in a more rigorous process.

The OIG found that EPA could not produce the required records, and because one of the 12 members of the peer review panel for the endangerment finding TSD was also an EPA employee, OIG also found that the required impartiality of the peer review process under the requirements of a HISA was undermined.


Mr Garnaut, climate policy should be questioned

By Henry Ergas, commenting from Australia

ROSS Garnaut has an unusual concept of democracy. The Prime Minister goes to the country promising "there will be no carbon tax under the government I lead". Once in office, she then proposes to implement one, with the added twist of making repeal by a future government prohibitively costly. Yet, according to Garnaut, rejection of the government's proposed legislation would amount to a failure of Australian democracy on a historical scale, indeed to "a corruption of democracy" caused by "distortion of reality and abuse of truth".

But then again, Garnaut has insights ordinary mortals are denied. Talk about access all areas. For, as he told the the Joint Select Committee on Australia's Clean Energy Future Legislation earlier this week, he was assisted, in his work on the US, "by the top advisers to the President: people who report directly to the President of the United States". And how many of the great unwashed have "joined Jiang Zemin in reciting the Gettysburg Address with the fruit at the end of a meal"?

So it is even more striking that Garnaut accepts that in the US "there will be no carbon price nationwide". As for India, "for quite a while, total emissions will increase". And in China too there will be a "large increase" in emissions, albeit less than without any efforts aimed curbing their growth. Moreover, Garnaut recognises, in reducing global emissions, "there is no chance of success unless all substantial countries do their fair share".

All that, one might have thought, suggests abatement by Australia risks being both futile and costly. And that locking the country into the government's carbon scheme is at best dangerous, at worst reckless. Not so, says Garnaut. Rather, to express that concern is a distortion of reality.

Quite how stating the obvious distorts reality, Garnaut does not explain. Nor does he explain where the risks have been assessed, and shown to be worth bearing, of a scheme whose own proponents boast it would be prohibitively costly to unwind. Not that that worries Garnaut. Rather, he asserts, the government's proposal involves "reasonable economic costs".

As best one can tell, that assertion relies on Treasury's modelling. Yet no scientist would accept that modelling. Not because it is necessarily wrong but because the models and data on which it relies is secret, and hence incapable of being tested.

That is bad enough. But it has also become increasingly clear that Treasury's results depend on assumptions that were not adequately disclosed.

Three such assumptions are at the core of Treasury's recent replies to questions I put to them some time back. A first relates to the global framework for carbon emissions. Treasury, in its modelling report, assumed there would be a harmonised, global carbon price by 2016. But how was such a price established? After all, prices don't fall from the sky; rather, they emerge from the interaction of demand and supply in markets. And usually that requires some form of trading. So how was that trading going to occur, given that many key countries did not have, and would not have, any form of carbon pricing in place?

To this, it appears, the answer is as clear as mud. "The modelling does not rely on an assumption that there is a perfectly harmonised global emission trading scheme", Treasury says. But, it now admits, it does assume that even in countries such as the US, there is "some mechanism" that "allows individual firms or governments themselves to trade abatement with other countries". What mechanism? No one knows. Where is the legislation that would put such a mechanism in place? No one knows. And what happens to the assessed costs if there is no such mechanism? Again, no one knows. And since the models and data are not public, nor will they, least of all the hoi polloi who will pay the price.

In short, Treasury has assumed away the problem. Indeed, it has done so even more starkly than in its work on Rudd's carbon pollution reduction scheme. Then, the base case (against which the costs of the CPRS were assessed) involved a world without abatement targets. This time, however, the modelling starts from the premise that global abatement efforts are in place, even after the commitment period for Cancun pledges ends. So the costs for Australia are only assessed assuming global abatement will occur and persist.

It gets even better. As I suggested on these pages, and at greater length in a post on the Catallaxy website, the modelling involves an extreme assumption: that for all emissions outside Australia (so 98 per cent of emissions worldwide), merely increasing the carbon price costlessly allows emissions reductions, as carbon-saving innovations rain, like manna from heaven, on to carbon emitting processes.

In the Senate Select Committee on Scrutiny of New Taxes, Treasury claimed otherwise, saying the "marginal abatement cost curves" that effect this miracle were "fully costed". Now it accepts my contention was correct. How big an effect would this have? Likely large, as it implies a greater contraction in emissions-intensive industries than Treasury's results suggest. But can we know for sure? Not without the models and the data.

Finally, Treasury constantly repeats the claim that its modelling shows there would be no adverse impact on employment. But it now admits that in the model it uses, it takes employment five to 10 years to recover from a major shock, such as imposing a carbon tax. And here the price rises substantially each year. So how do we get the result that there is no impact on employment? Treasury waves this question away, saying that because employers will foresee carbon price rises, the impacts of continuing increases will be slight. But if anything, the exact opposite is true: because employers will know the price will rise each year, the immediate effects will be far greater than the present modelling suggests.

Extracting even these concessions has been like pulling teeth. Yet it barely scratches the surface of the problems. No wonder Garnaut would rather no questions were asked. And no wonder he feels more comfortable with Jiang than with the local debate.

But silence isn't what Australian democracy is about. Rather, it is about forcing truth from power, however painful that may be. Long may it stay that way.



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


Thursday, September 29, 2011

A naive do-gooder describes how political expediency drove British climate legislation

She is living proof that a wrong initial premise (the effect of CO2 in this case) can led to wrong conclusions. She is clearly not a critical thinker -- just a useful tool for others

Transcript here

"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it"

And the Warmists are repeating it right now, Santayana might be pleased to note. But, unfortunately, most people remember very little of the past and are therefore unaware that the Warmists of today are part of a long line of false prophets.

I therefore greatly applaud Steve Goddard's excavations into the history of climate and climate commentary and reprint them frequently. I reprint three of his recent history lessons below

1957 Shock News : CO2 To Drown Manhattan By 2008

This guy’s grandkids should sue Hansen for plagiarism.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Shock News : German Sea Level Just As High As It Was 60 Years Ago

The graph comes from The Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level. And the comparison is beween two high points at the beginning of the graph and 2010.

There is probably a slight rising trend in the data but the fact that levels can completely revert in the course of the series makes any prediction from that trend worthless.

Established in 1933, the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) has been responsible for the collection, publication, analysis and interpretation of sea level data from the global network of tide gauges. It is based in Liverpool at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), which is a component of the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).


Unanswerable questions?

Steve Goddard sent The Climate Science Rapid Response Team this question over ten months ago"
Global temperature records from HadCRUT and GISS show that the period from 1910 to 1940 warmed nearly as quickly as the period from 1970 to 2000. 1913 set the all time temperature record in North America, and during the 1930s, as much as 80% of the US simultaneously suffered from drought.

1935 saw the most powerful hurricane to ever hit the US, and the 1940s saw the most US hurricane strikes of any decade.

What caused these severe climatic patterns during the first half of the century?

No doubt the "team" would say if pushed that Steve is not "media" so is beneath their notice but that would be a weak cop-out. Clearly, nobody in the team CAN answer Steve's questions.


Dotty British conservatives declare war on plastic bags

So cut down more trees to make paper bags? And Rwanda is the example to follow?

Britain’s biggest supermarkets are today given an ultimatum by the Prime Minister: Radically reduce the number of plastic bags you hand out by choice, or I will force you to by law.

David Cameron warns that unless stores deliver ‘significant falls’ over the next 12 months, they could either be banned outright from giving out single-use bags or be legally required to charge customers for them.

The Prime Minister says it is ‘unacceptable’ that the number of single-use carrier bags rose last year by 333million – a 5 per cent increase from the previous year. Environmental campaigners say the bags, used for only 20 minutes on average, take up to 1,000 years to degrade.

As well as causing serious harm to marine animals and birds, they blight the coastline, with 70 bags littering every mile.

Mr Cameron paid tribute to the Daily Mail’s ‘Banish the Bags’ campaign, which encouraged the previous government to force retailers to pledge to reduce the amount they hand out to customers.

The campaign helped achieve a drop of nearly 14 per cent, but the issue was kicked into the long grass by the Coalition, and last month official figures showed the trend had gone into reverse and numbers of bags had risen for the first time in five years.

Government sources say that major retailers will be expected to cut the number by at least the 333million required to reverse the latest increase, although it is hoped they will go much further.

The Prime Minister told the Mail: ‘I am very concerned about the use of single-use carrier bags and the effect that they have on the environment. ‘The number of bags being used had fallen considerably, partly thanks to public pressure, including in particular the Daily Mail campaign, and due to the efforts of many major retailers.

‘Companies like M&S have considerably reduced the use of bags by charging and then donating the money raised to charity – £4million has already gone to good causes since they started charging in 2008 and they are doing more to clean up beaches over the next few years. ‘But progress overall went backwards last year, and that is unacceptable.

‘Retailers need to do better. I want to see significant falls again. I know that retailers want to do better too but if they don’t I will be asking them to explain why not.

‘Retailers also need to know that the Government has options at its disposal – including regulating as other countries have done. We will continue to look carefully at all options in order to make sure that we further reduce the use of single-use plastic bags.’

Last year, 6.4billion single-use carriers were handed out in the UK. A UK-wide bags charge could raise tens of millions of pounds a year – as much as £50million – for good causes and charities.

Recycling minister Lord Henley has pointed to a ban implemented in Rwanda that has led to the country, one of the world’s poorest, being hailed as the cleanest in Africa.

The European Commission is also investigating controls on plastic bags, including charges or a ban.

Jill Bell, of the Marine Conservation Society, said the Coalition should be ‘ashamed’ that it has not already required stores to charge for bags, as the authorities in Wales have opted to do.


Global warming: New study challenges carbon benchmark

The ability of forests, plants and soil to suck carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air has been under-estimated, according to a study on Wednesday that challenges a benchmark for calculating the greenhouse-gas problem.

Like the sea, the land is a carbon "sink", or sponge, helping to absorb heat-trapping CO2 disgorged by the burning of fossil fuels.

A conventional estimate is that soil and vegetation take in roughly 120 billion tonnes, or gigatonnes, of carbon each year through the natural process of photosynthesis. The new study, published in the science journal Nature, says the uptake could be 25-45 percent higher, to 150-175 gigatonnes per year.

But relatively little of this extra carbon is likely to be stored permanently in the plant, say the researchers. Instead, it is likely to re-enter the atmosphere through plant respiration.

This will be a disappointment for those looking for some good news in the fight against climate change.

The more carbon is sequestered in the land, the less carbon enters the atmosphere, where it helps to trap heat from the Sun.

Lead researcher Lisa Welp, of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in the University of California at San Diego, said figuring out the annual carbon uptake from the terrestrial biosphere had been one of the biggest problems in the emissions equation.

Scientists, though, were confident about current estimates for carbon sequestration in land and this was unlikely to change much in the light of the new findings, she said.

"More CO2 is passing through plants (than thought), not that it actually stays there very long," she said in email exchange with AFP. "The extra CO2 taken up as photosynthesis is most likely returned right back to the atmosphere via respiration." [Guesswork? How predictable from a Warmist]

The research looked at isotopes, or variations, in the oxygen component of CO2, using a databank of atmospheric sampling going back three decades. These isotopes are a chemical tag, indicating the kind of water the molecule has come into contact with. The researchers looked at isotopes whose concentrations are linked to rainfall.

They were struck by a clear association between these isotopes and El Nino, the weather cycle which occurs in pendulum swings every few years or so.

The implication from this is that CO2 is swiftly cycled through land ecosystems, the researchers suggest. From that assumption comes the far higher estimate of annual carbon uptake.


CO2 study reinforces our policy, say Australian conservatives

THE Coalition has seized on a new report showing forests, plants and soil may take more carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere than previously thought.

The new study, published in the science journal Nature overnight, shows that soil and vegetation may absorb 25 to 45 per cent more carbon each year, or between 150 and 175 billion tonnes, compared to previous estimates of 120 billion tonnes.

The study cautions, however, that the extra carbon may not be retained in the soil permanently, limiting the potential for atmospheric carbon reduction.

Opposition climate action spokesman Greg Hunt said the study showed there was “stronger and stronger evidence that the right green carbon measures can reduce the volume of CO2 in the atmosphere”.

“This is another important step in confirming that land-based carbon capture and storage is both measurable and essential as a low-cost, long-term way of reducing the level of CO2 in the atmosphere,” he said.

“From our perspective it reinforces our views, 18 months after we released our policy, the scientific evidence has moved more strongly in favour of the enormous potential of land and agriculture-based emissions reductions.”

The report's lead researcher Lisa Welp, from the University of California's Scripps Institute of Oceanography, said figuring out the annual carbon uptake from the terrestrial biosphere had been one of the biggest problems in the emissions equation....



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


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Warmist writer is a crook

Most Warmists would appear to be crooks, fools or Leftists (or all three) but Johann Hari has been caught bang to rights as dishonest. See a sampling of his supercilious "wisdom" about global warming here, here or here. Now read on:

The Orwell prize committee has accused Independent columnist Johann Hari of plagiarism over an article that won him the prestigious award in 2008.

Hari earlier this month said he stood by the Orwell prize-winning articles in a lengthy apology published by the Independent, but handed back the award on 14 September "as an act of contrition for errors I made elsewhere".

However, the high-profile columnist has not returned the £2,000 prize money from the 2008 award, the Orwell prize council said on Tuesday.

"The council concluded that the article contained inaccuracies and conflated different parts of someone else's story (specifically, a report in Der Spiegel)," the Orwell prize council said in a statement. "The council ruled that the substantial use of unattributed and unacknowledged material did not meet the standards expected of Orwell prize-winning journalism."

Hari handed back the Orwell prize after an internal investigation by the Independent founder and former editor Andreas Whittam Smith.

He said in his apology a fortnight ago: "Even though I stand by the articles which won the George Orwell prize, I am returning it as an act of contrition for the errors I made elsewhere, in my interviews."

Hari apologised for plagiarising the work of others to improve interviews and for editing the Wikipedia entries of people he had clashed with, using the pseudonym David Rose, "in ways that were juvenile or malicious". He admitted calling "one of them antisemitic and homophobic, and the other a drunk".

He is taking unpaid leave of absence from the paper until 2012 and is to undertake a journalism training course.

The Orwell prize council said it decided to revoke Hari's award in July, but declined to make the decision public because the Independent's investigation was ongoing. The Independent had "prohibited" Hari from responding to claims about his work during the investigation, the council added.

"The council is delighted to be able to put this difficult episode behind it finally, and get on with the important business of running the prizes and promoting the values of George Orwell into the future," said Bill Hamilton, the acting chair of the council of the Orwell prize.


Worth knowing for the next time this guy excoriates sceptics for their dishonesty in denying climate change!

Some strange Warmist logic

Echoing a report from some German scientists, Joe Romm says "Historic Low Arctic Ice is a “Consequence of Man-Made Global Warming with Global Consequences”

But if we look up the original German report we see in their figure 3 that there is a large area that has GAINED ice as well as a fringe that has lost ice. The legend on the figure says: "Differences of ice concentrations of the minima in 2007 and 2011. Green: ice covered in 2011, not in 2007, red vice versa" So the tale is more complicated than it sounds. It is clearly regional fluctuations that are happening rather than some overall change.

But when were the "minima" recorded? The Germans do not say but Romm's comment was on 12th Sept. so it was presumably some time before that. Steve Goddard, on the other hand, has an updated version of their graph which IS dated. See below. Clearly the ice area that has increased is greater than the area that has been lost. The overall ice cover is GREATER in 2011 than in 2007

Dark green is September 26 ice present in 2011 that wasn’t present on the same date in 2007. Red is the opposite. Romm calls this a record low.


Here an Activist, There an Activist

There was a time when I believed the marketing spin. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was comprised of the world’s top scientists. These men and women were providing a service to humanity. Rather than golfing or sailing they were volunteering their weekends. Objectively assessing the available scientific evidence, they were writing careful, impartial reports on whose integrity we could all depend.

But that was before I did some basic fact-checking. Before I discovered that this organization is riddled with activists.

For every circumspect scholar who behaves in an upright and professional manner there’s another whose judgment is impaired. Blatantly and obviously so. Any scientist who gets into bed with lobby groups such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is not a scientist who should expect the public to trust him.

Sorry, folks, but this is too important. We’re being told that, in order to save the planet, we have to restructure our economies, diminish our lifestyles, and even change our values. Well before I do any of those things I need to be assured that the people who’ve arrived at these conclusions are above reproach. I need to know there’s no funny business going on.

People who expect me to trust their judgment on something this momentous should be clean as a whistle. They should conduct themselves in a manner one would expect of genuinely impartial intellects working on concerns this consequential. But that’s not what has been happening.

IPCC assessments are really three smaller reports bundled together. Each is written by a different working group. Here we’ll examine the first five chapters of the Working Group 2 portion of the 2007 Climate Bible.

Three of the lead authors for Chapter 1 are formally affiliated with the WWF. These scientists belong to its Climate Witness Scientific Advisory Panel – which the WWF shortens to SAP.


Expert: Cold winters "a consequence of global warming"

Weather forecastera are predicting another cold winter. But believers in global warming caused by humans need not despair. Physical Oceanographer Tom Rippeth of Bangor University´s School of Ocean Sciences "knows" that it is all "a consequence of global warming":
“Whilst at first sight the recent spate of cold winters might be interpreted as not fitting the picture of a warming planet, they do in fact appear to be a consequence of global warming”

The secrets behind the new findings are - you guessed it - "complex computer models":
“Using complex computer models scientists have found that, as the ice cap over the ocean disappeared, this allows the heat of the relatively warm seawater (0 degrees C) to escape into the much colder atmosphere above, creating an area of high pressure surrounded by clockwise-moving winds that sweep down from the Arctic over northern Europe.”

“The result here in the UK is that instead of our normal winter conditions, which are dominated by warm and wet winds blowing in off the Atlantic, we experience much colder winds coming in from the North and the East.”

The climate alarmists really know how make it easy for themselves: Whatever happens, it is always a result of global warming. No wonder there has been an huge erosion of credibility for the warmist type of climate science.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

"If we stay on with business as usual, the southern U.S. will become almost uninhabitable"

The event featured key members of the environmental advocacy community, including NASA climate scientist Dr. James Hansen, GRITtv founder Laura Flanders and Mohammed Waheed Hassan, vice president of the Maldives.

Hansen, 70, who in 1998 was the first person to testify before Congress about global warming, warned the crowd of the dangers of inaction.
“Climate change - human-made global warming - is happening,” he said. “It is already having noticeable impacts. ... If we stay on with business as usual, the southern U.S. will become almost uninhabitable.”

"When the history of the climate crisis is written, Hansen will be seen as the scientist with the most powerful and consistent voice calling for intelligent action to preserve our planet’s environment" -- Al Gore

Actually here is the annual temperature plot from 1895 to 2010 for the southern US (TX, OK, MS, AR, KS) from NOAA NCDC even after the removed adjustments for urbanization growth which enhanced apparent warming.

[Among other things, the Southern USA is not actually all that hot on a global scale, though it has hot days of course. There have been snowfalls in Florida recently, for instance. The mid-tropics are much warmer. Yet in the tropics life practically leaps out at you from every direction. I know. I was born there. So even if the Southern USA did get hotter, it would still be highly inhabitable. Singapore is slap bang on the equator and there is certainly no shortage of people there -- JR]

SOURCE. Via here

Australia: More Greenie racism

"Coconut" is a very offensive racial slur to blacks. The cause is a dispute between the Greens and the miners, with the Aborigines on the side of the miners

THE first indigenous woman elected to any Australian parliament will today announce her resignation after being vilified as a "toxic coconut" over her support for Woodside's contentious $30 billion gas hub proposal near the West Australian resort town of Broome.

Labor MP Carol Martin, 54, yesterday told the party's West Australian leader, Eric Ripper, she would not contest the next election in March 2013.

She was elected to the seat of Kimberley in 2001 after the resignation of Ernie Bridge, the Labor-turned-independent country music star who was the first indigenous Australian to become a cabinet minister.

Ms Martin has repeatedly urged opponents of the Woodside development to respect the Goolarabooloo Jabirr Jabirr people's right to do a deal with the company for the gas hub. In June, they voted 60-40 in favour.

Ms Martin's position put her at odds with members of her own extended family, and in a town of vociferous anti-gas sentiment it was widely speculated she could lose her seat over her stand.

The dispute over the gas hub has created ugly tensions in a community that prides itself on being laid-back. Ms Martin was named last week in an anonymous 10-page newsletter as "brown on the outside and full of the milk of white man's money" on the inside for not opposing the proposed gas hub.

Her name appeared on a list of nine Kimberley Aborigines, including former Australian of the year Patrick Dodson, under the heading "toxic coconuts".

Ms Martin said it was the worst slur against her in public life, and she would sue the authors if they could be identified.

The Nationals hope to win the seat of Kimberley from Labor at the next election after gaining popularity in the region through the big-spending Royalties for Regions program, under which the government promises to spend 25 per cent of mining and onshore petroleum royalties in the bush. In the Kimberley, that has included $220 million for the expansion of the irrigation area outside Kununurra.

Ms Martin told The Australian yesterday it had been a privilege to serve the people of the Kimberley, but she said she was tired of the travel between Broome and Perth, a distance of almost 2300km, and no longer wanted to be separated from her husband, Brian, for long periods. "I actually like my husband," she said.

Ms Martin said the attacks on her had been wearing. "I feel that after three terms it is time to move on, and things like that shit from last week I just don't want to put up with any more," she said.

Ms Martin is a Noongar, the Aboriginal people of the state's southwest. She lived in foster care from the age of 12 and repeatedly ran away. At 15, she went to live with her mother and siblings in Broome.

In the Kimberley, Ms Martin became a social worker and served in local government.

Her views have sometimes clashed with popular feelings. In 2009, she expressed doubts about alcohol restrictions in the towns of Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek, where fetal alcohol spectrum disorder was rampant. "I'm a social worker in my real life," she said. "I know prohibition doesn't work, has never worked historically, and if you're going to deal with addictions, you deal with addictions."

Ms Martin said she would continue to strongly represent the interests of the Kimberley until the next election.

In her maiden speech, Ms Martin said she hoped she could be an example to others. "I cannot help but feel a slight touch of disbelief it has taken so long for a person like me to get here," she told the parliament.



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


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Numbskull "Chief Scientist" has never heard of Hannibal crossing the Alps with elephants, has never heard of when Greenland was green, has never heard of the days of the dinosaurs and has never heard of vegetation growing in the Antarctic

All of the events above show that the earth has been warmer in the past than it is today. On the last point see here. Yet below is a statement recently made on the record at an official enquiry by Australia's chief scientist, Professor Ian Chubb:

"With respect to this cooling stuff, I have seen the claim, but the evidence that I have seen is that the last decade has been the warmest decade that we have ever had on this planet"

Such profound ignorance as his cannot be mere ignorance, it has to be outright crookedness.


Delaware’s very own Solyndra

Will Delaware and US citizens get stuck with a Bloom Energy fuel cell boondoggle?

By Paul Driessen and John Nichols

Delaware’s political establishment thinks First State electricity consumers should subsidize the manufacturing of super-sized fuel cells, under the auspices of California-based Bloom Energy, to replace natural gas and coal-fired power plants in generating electricity.

The politicos want to build a factory in Newark, where rail service is available to ship Bloom’s 10-ton, 100-kilowatt, “eco-friendly” Energy Servers to presumed eager buyers across America.

Bloom claims its “revolutionary new design” and “breakthroughs in materials science” make its new solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology “clean, reliable and affordable.” Governor Jack Markell, Department of Natural Resources Secretary Colin O’Mara, Department of Economic Development Secretary Alan Levin and assorted legislators insist their plan will create jobs and put Delaware at the forefront of the Green Revolution.

If that’s the case, and if Bloom had a viable business plan, investors would be clamoring to get in on the action. There would be no need to stick Delaware ratepayers with a bloomin’ tariff (“green premium”) that will add at least $600,000,000 to household and business electricity bills over the next 20 years – above what they would pay for electricity generated by combined cycle natural gas plants. There would be no need for the Economic Development Department to contribute another $16,000,000 in startup costs.

Actually, the green premium could be much higher – based on a 2016 “levelized cost” of $215 per megawatt hour for the fuel cell tariff versus $66 for combined-cycle natural gas generators. The $149 difference times 5,200,000 MWh from fuel cells is $774,800,000!

Tariff proponents will likely argue that this cost must be reduced by $426,000,000 in renewable energy certificates (ie, energy taxes) that Delmarva Power is required to purchase under Delaware’s Renewable Portfolio Standards Act. However, this just means the same families and businesses must pay the bill in two ways: as taxpayers and as electricity ratepayers.

In other words, Free State families and businesses will be “free” to pay an extra $600,000,000 to $775,000,000 in any combination of taxes and tariffs they “choose” – for the “privilege” of being able to say part of their electricity comes in a greed or greenbacks shade of green.

Those higher electricity costs translate into higher prices for goods and services. They pull money out of productive sectors of the economy and transfer it to politically connected operators and campaign contributors. In the process, they destroy traditional jobs – as they did in Spain and Scotland, where overpriced “green” energy killed 2.2 to 3.7 jobs for every “green job” created.

Bloom also expects to receive a substantial US Department of Energy grant, if it can get swift approval of the Delaware tariff. That federal grant will come from borrowed money, in the midst of an economic and budgetary crisis, and in the wake of scandalous green energy bankruptcies.

This crony capitalism means Bloom Energy gets risk-free cash, so that it can proceed with an initial public stock offering. As a privately held company, it gets to keep its finances a secret, even as it gets millions in taxpayer aid, with little or no transparency or due diligence in assessing the financial arrangements. That means US and Delaware taxpayers are forced to take another big risk, while families and businesses must pay well above market rates for electricity.

This sweetheart deal is shocking in its audacity. But then, as Green Tech Media reports, “Bloom plays the subsidy game like a pro, receiving more than $218 million in subsidies in 2010 from California’s [Self Generation Incentive Program].” It gets worse.

This time around, Bloom persuaded the Delaware legislature to enact a special provision. If any future legislature ever modifies the Bloom tariff, the company will receive a lump-sum payment of the entire 20-year tariff, which Delmarva Power meantime will tack onto all ratepayers’ utility bills. Without this guarantee, Bloom would have a hard time peddling its IPO.

It’s equally amazing that Bloom can even qualify for renewable energy subsidies. For that it can thank the Delaware legislature, which adopted Markell and O’Mara’s expanded definition of renewable energy, to include Bloom’s natural gas-fueled SOFC Energy Servers.

They pulled this off by enabling only Bloom fuel cells to qualify under the Renewable Portfolio Standard, originally intended for wind and solar facilities, by claiming Bloom’s equipment “could” run on biofuels, like methane from cows or landfills. It never will, but it “could.”

As to being clean and green, Bloom’s Energy Severs require substantial amounts of rare earth elements, like yttrium and cerium. Prices are soaring – by 500-2000% over the past twelve months, according to a recent General Electric report. The United States imports 100% of all the rare earths it uses in countless energy, military, electronics and other applications, with 97% coming from China.

Now the Chinese have restricted rare earth exports, and sell mostly finished products, often using our technology. Worst, the rare earths are mined, processed and turned into these products under health and environmental conditions that severely damage farmland, wildlife habitats, miners and factory workers.

With the shale gas revolution driving natural gas prices down, there should be no need for fuel cells to replace gas-burning generators. With China and India building new coal-fired power plants every week, and emitting far more carbon dioxide than all our job-killing regulations and climate change initiatives can ever offset, even diehards like Al Gore cannot justify Bloom’s systems on global warming grounds.

Then there is Solyndra. One would think that scandalous debacle – $535 million in taxpayer cash blown in two years, and Solyndra executives now pleading Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination – would ensure at least a modicum of sanity, honesty, transparency, accountability, and reluctance to use more taxpayer and consumer dollars to benefit special interests. Apparently not, at least in Delaware and the US Energy Department.

On September 27-29, the Delaware Public Service Commission will conduct public comment sessions on Bloom Energy’s application for special treatment and subsidies. Every American who cares about our economy and unemployment, every citizen who is disgusted with our wasteful, crony-capitalist, bureaucrats-pick-losers system, can send comments to and then let their elected officials know enough is enough.

That may help inoculate America against the risk of the California and Delaware “green disease” becoming an uncontrollable national Contagion. We need to stop these costly bloom-doggles!

Article received direct from Paul Driessen [], who further comments:

One would think the growing Solyndra scandal would make politicians and rent-seeking corporations less inclined toward crony capitalism, picking the next winners and (mostly) losers among “breakthrough” companies, and spending billions of taxpayer and consumer dollars to finance allegedly “green” endeavors via “investors” who are deemed most likely to support political campaigns and ambitions. Such optimism is apparently misplaced, especially in Washington, DC and Dover, DE.

My commentary today, co-authored by financial consultant and citizen activist John Nichols of Delaware, blows the lid off a caper that has national implications. Not only is some serious US taxpayer money involved, via as yet unspecified Department of Energy grants. But both Governor Jack Markell and DNR Secretary Colin O’Mara have national ambitions, and green ideologies that they want to “market” (impose?) nationwide. It is truly a Contagion that will spread, if not quarantined and controlled early on.

Thank you for posting the column as soon as possible, to help educate people before the Delaware Public Service Commission’s hearings get underway September 27-29.

EPA: Fundamental Transformation through Regulation

What happens when the information our government's "specialists" provide becomes driven by agenda rather than fact? We are witnessing the answer writ large as the feds shepherd radical environmentalism into mainstream law and regulation.

The EPA, finding organized resistance to its regulating machine, has turned to offering "guidance," which it then enforces as if said "guidance" were the product of regulatory channels. The big difference, of course, is that "guidance" is not subject to the same rigors of accountability and oversight that regulations must meet. These crone-tended kettles at the EPA are really just an end-run around the law.

A particularly offensive bit of "guidance" is the concept of "navigable waters" as relating to the jurisdictions of the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In the Clean Water Act, and through subsequent court rulings, the word "navigable" has been construed too narrowly for the EPA's liking, so the EPA is working on "guidance" that would redefine "navigable waters" to include any water anywhere, as long as it will eventually reach a navigable waterway or has ever been part of such a waterway. According to Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), this broad construction of terms would allow the EPA to regulate everything from storm water runoff to the water coming out of the end of your hose on car wash day.

Clearly, the Corps of Engineers has no business concerning itself with following EPA "guidance" over my lawn sprinklers. But to understand the thinking behind such ridiculous efforts, one must forget about the environment, and water quality, and shift focus to the amassing of raw regulatory power -- power with which the left will continue their regressionist assault on American business and industry.

It's not the agency alone that creates an untenable situation for our economy; it is the toxic combination of far-left environmental groups and overreaching government that causes many industries to lose market share due to dramatically higher costs not borne by overseas competition. One such left-wing pressure group is the Center for Progressive Reform. Essentially a group of lawyers and college professors specializing in environmental law, the Center concerns itself with the policy and enforcement mechanisms of government. In other words, its members are ambulance-chasers who lobby government to create environmental crimes for themselves to litigate.

They have used a grant from the Public Welfare Foundation to create "economic research on the benefits of regulation and analysis of reports about the costs of regulation." It is important to note that they are to analyze reports about costs. They don't care about the costs per se. They want to develop ways to attack the reports about costs, not the costs themselves. America in the 21st century has professional shills for increasing and propagandizing the regulatory burden on its citizens. For this, we raised the debt ceiling.

They issued a report this year urging President Obama to hurry along nine regulatory initiatives that they fear will be defeated if reviewed by a Republican administration. Among these initiatives are the above-referenced expansion of the Clean Water Act. The other eight are similar in scope and overreach. At the outset of the Obama administration, the Center drafted a paper outlining seven agenda items which could be accomplished by executive order in the first 100 days.

These proposed "strokes of a president's pen" range from requiring all agencies of government to measure, report, and reduce their carbon footprint to establishing rules of "environmental justice" aimed at creating protected classes of people and areas for the purpose of providing some form of "affirmative" remediation for past environmental injustices. They also require all agencies of government to adopt an affirmative action regime for implementation of these orders -- i.e., assuming for the government a collective guilt and forcing the convicted departments to keep doing good works until the self-appointed monitors declare equity achieved.

All this naturally brings us back to the ambulance-chasing nature of the Center for Progressive Reform and organizations like it. They are part of the industry of the professionally aggrieved, and it is up to the citizens of this nation to refuse to heed their perennial demands for tribute.

The left is funded to a great extent by our own government, misusing tax revenues to feed their environmentalist protection racket. This must cease immediately. The rule of experts is no more legitimate than the rule of thugs.

Consider this next election as an opportunity to disinfect the foundation of our Republic. The nation we love is being hollowed out by an enemy within, through unrelenting pressure and deception. The EPA isn't about environmental protection, and the Center for Progressive Reform isn't about progress or reform. They are both about power and control. In November 2012, we have what may well be our last opportunity to deny them their aim -- an America "fundamentally transformed."


EPA: Regulations would require 230,000 new employees, $21 billion

The Environmental Protection Agency has said new greenhouse gas regulations, as proposed, may be “absurd” in application and “impossible to administer” by its self-imposed 2016 deadline. But the agency is still asking for taxpayers to shoulder the burden of up to 230,000 new bureaucrats — at a cost of $21 billion — to attempt to implement the rules.

The EPA aims to regulate greenhouse gas emissions through the Clean Air Act, even though the law doesn’t give the EPA explicit power to do so. The agency’s authority to move forward is being challenged in court by petitioners who argue that such a decision should be left for Congress to make.

The proposed regulations would set greenhouse gas emission thresholds above which businesses must file for an EPA permit and complete extra paperwork in order to continue operating. If the EPA wins its court battle and fully rolls out the greenhouse gas regulations, the number of businesses forced into this regulatory regime would grow tremendously — from approximately 14,000 now to as many as 6.1 million.

These new regulatory efforts are not likely to succeed, the EPA admits, but it has decided to move forward regardless. “While EPA acknowledges that come 2016, the administrative burdens may still be so great that compliance … may still be absurd or impossible to administer at that time, that does not mean that the Agency is not moving toward the statutory thresholds,” the EPA wrote in a September 16 court briefing.

The EPA is asking taxpayers to fund up to 230,000 new government workers to process all the extra paperwork, at an estimated cost of $21 billion. That cost does not include the economic impact of the regulations themselves.

“Hiring the 230,000 full-time employees necessary to produce the 1.4 billion work hours required to address the actual increase in permitting functions would result in an increase in Title V administration costs of $21 billion per year,” the EPA wrote in the court brief.

The petitioner suing the EPA is the Coalition for Responsible Regulation, a trade group reportedly linked to domestic chemical companies.


Thermometer Manufacturer Destroys Key Greenhouse Gas Assumption

An independent climate science think tank produces evidence from a leading infrared thermometer manufacturer proving that climatologists were mistakenly taking incorrect readings of atmospheric temperatures. Latest findings are set to trigger a paradigm shift in climate science.

Researchers from Canada, USA, Mexico and Britain this week announce a startling discovery that destroys 20 years’ of thinking among government climatologists.

Climate scientists had long believed infrared thermometers measured thermal radiation from the atmosphere and assumed it was 'proof' of the greenhouse gas effect (GHE). Their assumption was that infrared thermometers (IRT’s) were measuring ‘back radiated’ heat from greenhouse gases (including water vapor and carbon dioxide). But damning new evidence proves IRT's do no such thing.

Now a world-leading manufacturer of these high-tech instruments, Mikron Instrument Company Inc., has confirmed that IRT’s are deliberately set to AVOID registering any feedback from greenhouse gases. Thus climate scientists were measuring everything but the energy emitted by carbon dioxide and water vapor.

One of the researchers involved, Alan Siddons, has analyzed the GHE for over six years. He has long condemned the practice of using IRT’s as a means of substantiating the increasingly discredited hypothesis.

In 2010 Siddons and his colleagues debated the GHE issue with fellow global warming skeptic, and GHE believer, Dr. Roy Spencer. An unmoved Spencer posted the following on his blog (August 8, 2010 at 6:38 AM): “The IR thermometer DOES see the atmosphere immediately in front of it, as well as most of the rest of the atmosphere along its line of sight… The final calibrated brightness temperature can be roughly considered to be the weighted average temperature of all of those layers.”

But Siddons quashes Spencer's assumptions quoting from manufacturers, Mikron Instrument Company Inc (MIC), who state: “Whereas the early IRT's required a broad spectral band of IR [infrared] to obtain a workable detector output, modern IRT’s routinely have spectral responses of only one micron.” [1.].

The company explains why this is so: “instruments necessarily need to have this selective and narrow spectral response to allows the IR thermometer to see through atmospheric or other interference.”

MIC goes further to advise that IRT’s are routinely calibrated for selective spectral responses of only 8-14 microns [2.]. The company says IRT's are set to evade atmospheric moisture over long path measurements. This, they say, is necessary to “avoid interference from CO2 and H2O.”

Yet on August 7, 2010 at 4:04 AM Dr. Spencer asserts the following on his blog: “For an IR thermometer sensitive to wavelengths from, say, 8 to 14 microns, you could plot a weighting function profile that shows the proportions of IR energy being received from different altitudes.”

Clearly, from the above statement Spencer has identified a spectral range in which his instrument CANNOT detect any IR energy from CO2 or water vapor, thus making any such “plot” pointless and absurd for the purpose he is trying to prove.

Thus Siddons ably demonstrates that when Spencer was pointing his IRT at the sky he was deluding himself that he was measuring the energy of ‘greenhouse gases.’ Thus Spencer’s erroneous assumption that infrared thermometers prove the existence of ‘back radiation’ coming from carbon dioxide (CO2) is refuted.

Mexican Study Shows IRT’s Actually Measuring ‘Rising Hot Air’

Professor Nasif Nahle in his latest report on "back radiation” further exposes the shocking misuse of radiometers and Infrared thermometers by climate scientists. Nahle’s study proves, “they merely detect thermal radiation emitted by relatively small hot globules of air rising vertically in the atmosphere.”


Electric cars still going nowhere

U.S. government incentives to spur a market for battery-powered autos aren’t a cost-effective way to cut oil use and tailpipe emissions compared with boosting sales of hybrids and plug-in cars that go short distances on electricity, a study said.

Battery breakthroughs, more-expensive oil and a more- efficient electric power grid will be needed to justify the expense, weight, and assembly-related costs of “large battery pack” cars, according to the review by Carnegie Mellon University, Arizona State University and Rand Corp., published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Hybrids similar to Toyota Motor Corp. (7203)’s Prius and plug-in hybrids that go about 10 miles on battery power offer fuel-use and carbon-exhaust savings similar to more advanced rechargeable models such as Nissan Motor Co.’s electric Leaf and General Motors Co. (GM)’s Volt, and at lower cost, the study found.

“It’s not that large battery packs are bad, it’s that they are not providing as many benefits per dollar,” Jeremy Michalek, an engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh who led the review, said in an interview. “Ordinary hybrids increase fuel economy substantially, and the incremental cost of those systems is getting relatively small.”

The study did not recommend specific models.
Tax Credits

Congress in 2009 approved tax credits of as much as $7,500 for consumers to buy vehicles powered mainly by electricity to help cut emissions tied to global warming and oil imports, along with low-cost federal loans for carmakers to add or upgrade factories to build them. Nissan, GM and startups Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA) and Fisker Automotive Inc. have received loans they’re using to build rechargeable vehicles.

Nissan’s Leaf hatchback, which goes about 70 miles per charge of its lithium-ion battery pack, costs $35,200 before the credit, and GM’s Volt that goes about 35 miles per charge has a $39,145 starting price without the incentive. Prius, averaging 50 miles per gallon of gasoline, doesn’t qualify for a federal tax credit.

Tesla’s electric Roadster sports car costs more than $100,000 even with the credit and can travel more than 200 miles per charge. Fisker’s Karma plug-in model that’s being delivered to U.S. customers costs more than $80,000.

Toyota, the world’s largest seller of hybrid autos, said this month the plug-in version of Prius that goes on sale early next year will travel 15 miles on electricity before the gasoline engine kicks in, when it averages 49 mpg. The car has a $32,000 base price, prior to a $2,500 federal tax credit, the company said.

“Current subsidies to support plug-in vehicle adoption favor large battery packs,” the report said. Such packs “are expensive and heavy” and “are underutilized when the battery capacity is larger than needed for a typical trip,” it said.

Both Toyota and Ford Motor Co. (F), which are working together to develop a hybrid system for light trucks, provide funding for engineering research at Carnegie Mellon University, Michalek said. Neither company was involved in the report released today, which was funded by the National Science Foundation, he said.



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


Monday, September 26, 2011

"Godwin's law" revisited?

I do not personally accept the authority of Godwin as a lawgiver any more than I accept the authority of Al Gore, Jesus Christ or Karl Marx -- but Godwin's observation that Hitler comparisons are often the mark of desperation in an argument has some cogency. It lacks cogency only if the comparison is accurate.

So when we find a Warmist who compares a skeptic to Hitler, it is reasonable to ask what accuracy there is in the comparison. A Warmist who rather amusingly calls himself "Science Guy" has replied to a critic who mocks meteorology generally as well as global warming in particular. The critic goes by the nom de guerre of "Cowboy". "Science Guy" says:
I found someone who agrees with Cowboy on the weather

The following quotes come from perhaps the most famous man of the 20th century:

“One can’t put any trust in meteorological forecasts. (Weather men) ought to be separated from the army.

“Weather prediction is not a science that can be learned mechanically. What we need are men gifted with a sixth sense, who live in nature and with nature, whether or not they know anything about isotherms or isobars. As a rule, obviously, these men are not particularly suited to the wearing of a uniform. One of them will have a humped back. Another one of them will be bandy legged. A third paralytic. Similarly one doesn’t expect them to live like bureaucrats.”

The quotes come from … Adolf Hitler

It is certainly clear that Adolf did not think much of the meteorologists of his day but he would not be alone in that. Weather forecasters so often get things wrong that they are widely mocked to this day.

So the issue is not skepticism about meteorology unless "Science Guy" wants to brand all those millions who mock weather forecasters as Nazis.

The issue is whether Cowboy would agree that credibility is to be assigned to shamans and the like. There is no evidence that Cowboy does. His skepticism seems as wide-ranging as mine and I don't even believe that the word "God" is meaningful!

So "Science guy" has indeed fallen foul of Godwin's law and his reply to Cowboy reveals that his argument is one of desperation, not science.

The oceans have suddenly started to absorb more heat???

We read:
The rate of global warming may be kept flat for about a decade, even in the middle of long-term warming, because Earth’s oceans can absorb enough heat to temporarily keep it from skyrocketing, U.S. researchers say.

Researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research say ocean layers below 1,000 feet can hold enough of the “missing heat” to hold global air temperatures steady during these periods, and such intervals can be expected during the next century, even as the trend toward overall warming persists, an NCAR release said Monday.


NCAR’s top climate scientists seem to be unaware that ocean temperatures have already been declining for over a decade. They also seem to be unaware that physical law doesn’t change to meet their own funding needs.


1912 : Global Warming – Ice Caps Shrinking And Thinning – Animals Migrating North – Winters Getting Mild And Short

Some more of the history that the man in the street may be unaware of but which real scientists should know about. By that criterion there are few Warmists who would pass as real scientists
West Gippsland Gazette Warragul, Vic., Tuesday 19 March 1912

GREEN CHRISTMASES By C. Le Lacy Evans, in the”Daily Mail.”)

For many years back we have witnessed a noticeable climatic change in our winters in England, Scotland, and Northern Europe generally, together with reports of a similar character from America. As an instance of the former, during the present December a rare variety of spring sights and sounds are reported. With the thermometer often up to 50 deg., “partridges had practically commenced to pair” and “the rooks wers a busy repairing their old nests.” Fresh and succulent grass has grown as in spring, and cattle have been turned out “to enjoy both the weather and the food.” A second group of flies are seen here and there, and often a cloud of gnats may be witnessed doing their vertical war-dance, while in more than one instance the bees-water scouts have been busy. To the gardener these observations are unnecessary – he sees the facts daily. In New York during the present month the temperature rose to 6Odeg. which is a record, 59deg. being registered in 1873. The underground railways registered 70deg. This heat wave was general throughout the eastern States. “In Boston trees are budding in the parks, and on the Berkshire Hills, with the mercury showing 70deg the maple sap is running as it does in spring-time.” This last phenomenon however, may not be continuous, but these quotations are sufficient to show the climatic state of England and America during the present December.


Zoologically the same change is observed, and it is not long ago since I read a letter from a nephew of Mr George R. Sims giving a list of birds which formerly inhabited the United States only, but have recently migrated northward and are now commonly found in Lower Canada. This shows that the northern climate is becoming warmer, and the statement is con- firmed by the fact that the records of the Hudson Bay Company state that ”the winter on the shores of the Bay has grown shorter, at the rate if of one day in every ten years.” The same change is noticeable In Siberia, Greenland, and Alaska. The northern ice cap is decreasing in area and thickness, and the land, which was tropical and bore the grape-vine the magnolia, and the water-lily before the Great Ice Age, will become habitable again. As an instance In confirmation of this, in 1907 Dr W. S. Bruce’s expedition explored the. whole of Prince Charles Foreland, an island 60 miles long lying to the west of Spitzbergen, and where only ice and snow had previously existed. “brilliant verdant vegetation was found in several places”


It is interesting to glance back even to the recent written period of man, without alluding to a former period during which we can trace the advance and retreat of the pine and the rein- deer with the precision of a mathemati- clan. Snow was well known to the Egyptians., and in Palestine one of David’s officers “slew a lion in a pit at the time of snow.” At the time of the Roman occupation Gaul was semi- Arctic. In A D. 462 Theodomer march- ed his army over the frozen Danube: in A.D. 763′ the Dardanelies was frozen over wiith 5Oft of snow. The River Po was frozen to the bottom in A.D. 1236. In A.D. 1292 the Cattegat was frozen, and travellers crossed between Norway and Jutland. In A.D. 1344 wine distributed to soldiers in Flanders was cut in pieces by hatchets. In A.D. 1571 all the rivers in France were frozen, and the Hellespont in A.D. 1622. In AD. 1658 Charles X. of Sweden crossed the Little Belt from Holstein to Denmark with his whole army. foot, horse, baggage, and artillery. In A.D. 1684 brakes drove along the Thames. In A.D. 1709 the Adriatic and Mediterranean near Genoa were quite frozent over. In A.D. 1716 all the lakes in England were frozen to an enormous thickness, and a whole ox was roasted on the Thames. ’This has occurred since, accompanied by a fair. but is not likely to recur. About every nine to eleven years we -till experience extreme cold, when sunspots decrease the sun’s power.


EPA To Shut Down 20% of Coal Plants in 2012

This article is a few days old, but it is worth a mention nonetheless. Susan Kraemer at CleanTechnica can barely contain her excitement at the prospect of environmental regulations. In an article titled "Obama's EPA Cues 130 Billion Race to Cut Pollution By 2015", she reports that the EPA will shut down 20 percent of coal plants through the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. She acknowledges the cost of these regulations ($130 billion), but insists that this is actually good for the economy.

How, pray tell, does $130 billion in regulatory expenses transform into a $130 billion boon? Because it will push coal plants out of the way and free up energy production for green technology, of course!
The EPA will shut down an estimated 20% of the nation’s coal plants through the ground-level ozone rule (the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) ) through cap and trade that is about to be implemented in January 2012. Opponents of the Obama administration’s “over-reaching” EPA say these are costly regulations. Financial analysts estimate that the cost of this rule will be $130 billion by 2015. But if that figure is correct, that’s good news for the US economy.

Because there is another way of looking at that $130 billion “expense”. One industry’s expense is another industry’s sales bonanza. For the coal industry’s balance sheet, it is an expense, but think about who is going to perform this $130 billion cleanup – fairies? Hardly. This is a job for real American industries.

In the most depressed economy since the Great Depression, a slew of US companies will be selling the clean energy solutions (and adding employees to manufacture them) as coal companies must begin a race to have the least polluting coal plants. Source: Clean Technica (

Real American industries? Like Solyndra? Given all the green scandals that are coming to light, now might not be the best time to advocate these types of solutions. The kicker, though, comes in the last paragraph of the article:
A hand-full of coal industry plutocrats are simply not able to inject $130 billion into the US economy just taking cruise trips around the Mediterranean or whatever it is that they do with the profits that they don’t spend cleaning up.

If the concern is that coal plants don't put enough money into the economy, then what's going to happen once there are fewer of them? My guess is that we will be left on the hook for more large loans to green technology companies that eventually go bankrupt, and other goodies that could only come about when people like Kraemer decide they know best how companies should spend their profits.


Climate skeptics don't 'deny science'

Jeff Jacoby

BILL CLINTON DECLARED LAST WEEK that Americans "look like a joke" because leading Republican presidential contenders decline to embrace the agenda of the global-warming alarmists. Presumably he had in mind Texas Governor Rick Perry, who says that "global warming has been politicized" and calls claims of a decisive human role in climate change an unproven theory. "You can't win the nomination of a major political party in the US," fumed the former president, "unless you deny science?"

To which Marc Morano, publisher of the irreverently skeptical website Climate Depot, promptly replied: "Bill is correct! No Democratic presidential candidate could get the nomination unless they deny the large role that natural variability plays in climate."

In truth, global-warming alarmism is not science at all -- not in the way that electromagnetic radiation or the laws of planetary motion or molecular biology is science. Catastrophic climate change is an interpretation of certain scientific data, an interpretation based on theories about the causes and effects of growing concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It is not "denying science" to have doubts about the correctness of that interpretation any more than it is "denying economics" to have doubts about the efficacy of Kenyesian pump-priming.

You don't have to look far to see that impeccable scientific standards can go hand-in-hand with skepticism about global warming. Ivar Giaever, a 1973 Nobel laureate in physics, resigned this month as a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) to protest the organization's official position that evidence of manmade climate change is "incontrovertible" and cause for alarm.

In an e-mail explaining his resignation, Giaever challenges the view that any scientific assertion is so sacred that it cannot be contested.

"In the APS it is ok to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves," Giaever writes, incredulous, "but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible?"

Nor does Giaever, a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute faculty member, share the society's view that carbon emissions threaten "significant disruptions in the Earth's physical and ecological systems, social systems, security, and human health." In fact, the very concept of a "global" temperature is one he questions:

"The claim (how can you measure the average temperature of the whole earth for a whole year?) is that the temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degrees Kelvin in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me … that the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this 'warming' period."

By now, only ideologues and political propagandists insist that all reputable scientists agree on the human responsibility for climate change. Even within the American Physical Society, the editor of "Physics and Society" (an APS publication) has acknowledged that "there is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree … that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are … primarily responsible for the global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution."

Giaever is only one of many distinguished scientists who dissent from the alarmist view on climate change. Among the others are Richard Lindzen of MIT and John Christy of the University of Alabama at Huntsville, both noted climatologists; the eminent physicist Freeman Dyson of Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study; and S. Fred Singer, professor emeritus of environmental science at the University of Virginia. Within the population of weather experts best known to the public -- broadcast meteorologists -- The New York Times reported last year that skepticism of the prevailing anthropogenic global-warming theory "appears to be widespread."

Such skepticism is not "anti-science." Everything in science is subject to challenge; innumerable facts about the natural world have been discovered only by poking holes in once-prevailing theories. And if that is true generally, how much more so is it true when it comes to something as vast and complex as climate change? Researchers still have no way "to reliably discriminate between manmade warming and natural warming processes," climate scientist Roy Spencer has written. "We cannot put the Earth in a laboratory and carry out experiments on it. There is only one global warming experiment, and we are all participating in it right now."

Someday the workings of climate change may be as well understood as plate tectonics or photosynthesis. Until then, different theories will compete, assumptions will be fought over, and scientific findings will be overstated by people with political or social agendas. We'll know that the science really is settled when the battles have come to an end.


The not so green side of green energy

You could safely say that the environment and environmental concerns are a priority for this administration.

Agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) see fit to regulate and over-regulate every aspect of the environment including air, water, soil and everything in between. Knowing that your drinking water is safe to drink is a good thing, but over-regulating businesses’ emissions levels to impossible-to-meet standards has hurt production levels of goods and services in the U.S.

Furthermore, the current administration’s push and support towards “green” energy coupled with overbearing environmental regulations has made the cost of manufacturing products like solar panels in the U.S. so expensive that it has forced some companies and jobs overseas. So in an effort to stay green, America then imports solar panels from countries like China.

In fact, expressing concern over the high number of imports of solar panels, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) wrote a letter to the president. Sen. Wyden, a proponent of renewable energies and technologies being manufactured in the U.S., said in his letter, “Chinese imports of solar panels are surging and are on pace to increase 240 percent this year, compared to 2010. Furthermore, imports of Chinese solar panels increased 1,593-percent between 2006 and 2010.”

Chinese producers of solar panels do receive large subsidies from their government allowing them to price the product at a much lower level than market value, thus out-pricing most competitors. But as some Chinese manufacturing plants have learned, the production of these green products isn’t so green at all.

In mid-September, about 500 villagers from an eastern Chinese town protested a solar plant over pollution fears. Water samples taken near the plant tested high for levels of fluoride, which can be toxic in mass amounts, and when fish from a local river showed up dead, villagers were adamant that the plant close.

Now local Chinese government officials say there will be an “overhaul of the production procedures at the plant involving the emission of waste gas and waste water,” states the BBC article.

If China, a country much more lax on environmental regulations than America, is being forced to take more aggressive steps to regulate environmental concerns over solar panel manufacturing, imagine the steps that would have to be taken in America if they were to be mass produced here.

A product that might be “green” in the long run doesn’t make that product green from the start. As this administration and the EPA continue their battle against coal manufacturers and natural gas extracting mechanisms, other forms of energy creation might be worse, and less efficient, than these already proven forms of energy.

It doesn’t make America a very environmentally conscious nation when it imports products from overseas that destroy and pollute the manufacturers’ local communities.

After all, we all drink water from the same sources, eat food grown from the same ground and breathe in the same air.

Despite spending a large amount of government stimulus money and taxpayer handouts, America’s green industry falls flat on its face time and time again. It’s not a viable industry, it can’t stand on its own, and from the sounds of it, doesn’t sound all that environmentally friendly anyways.



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