Saturday, October 29, 2011

Warmist Muller's actual data are more consistent with him being a skeptic

CO2 rose at an unprecedented record rate over the last decade, and temperatures went down. By contrast, from 1910 to 1940 temperatures rose very fast while CO2 hardly increased at all.

So the BEST data Proves That Muller Is A Skeptic


Pesky Bering sea not warming

It's got a mysterious and unexpected "cold pool"

As scientists observed climate warming in the Bering Sea, they suspected valuable commercial fish species such as Pacific cod and walleye pollock would move north toward the Bering Strait and into the Arctic Ocean.

But that's likely decades off, according to one surprising result from a study of the sea north of the Aleutian Islands.

Scientists say a pool of cold water in the northern Bering Sea has been a locked door to the northward migration of pollock and cod, the fish harvested for America's fish sticks and fast food sandwiches.

"Our original hypothesis was wrong, and we think they won't have habitat to occupy northward in the northern Bering Sea," said Mike Sigler of Juneau, a marine biologist with the Alaska Fisheries Science Center, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Water along the ocean floor where pollock live has been kept cold by the layer of sea ice that forms every winter on the surface of the northern Bering Sea. That ice is expected to persist even with climate warming. Cold water sets up below the ice layer and remains cold throughout the summer.

"What it looks like at the moment is that the northern Bering Sea — and north to us is north of St. Matthew Island — looks like it is going to stay cold," said physical oceanographer Phyllis Stabeno of NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle.

Sigler and Stabeno are two of more than 100 principal investigators taking part in a $52 million study of the eastern Bering Sea ecosystem. Supported by the National Science Foundation and the North Pacific Research Board, scientists are focusing on creatures from plankton to walrus.

"We're in the analysis and synthesis stage to complete the project," Sigler said, of the study that began in 2007..

Commercial fishermen in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands this year were allowed to catch 1.27 million metric tons (2.8 billion pounds) of pollock, and nearly 228,000 metric tons (510 million pounds) of Pacific cod.

Researchers had documented sub-arctic species including cod and pollock moving north within the Bering and assumed that would continue, until the discovery of the cold pool.

"The hypothesis that we had worked with for years was that as warming occurs, the Bering Sea would kind of warm uniformly," Stabeno said, meaning that fish species would move north. And that would have complicated matters for the commercial fishing fleet, increasing calls for a Coast Guard base, a deep water port and other infrastructure in northwest Alaska, which has remained remote because it's covered by ice so much of the year.

Temperature readings collected for more than a decade from fixed buoys and from cruises show an environment that remains inhospitable to pollock, cod and arrowtooth flounder, which do not like temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius (35.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

The key is ice cover, which forms in the Bering Sea in December or January.

"In a cold year, like 2010, it will cover basically the whole eastern shelf," Stabeno said. "That's that broad area that's less than 200 meters (656 feet) deep. It stays until March, April. In the north, it stays until even into June sometimes.

Water below the ice chills to minus 1.73 degrees Celsius (28.9 degrees Fahrenheit), Stabeno said, the freezing point of seawater. In the north, after ice retreats in spring, a warm layer forms at the top that isolates cold water on the bottom.

The northern Bering Sea is hemmed in by Russia on the west and Alaska on the east, Stabeno said, likely contributing to colder water.


Romney morphing into a skeptic?

Mitt Romney is still trying to plant himself in the global warming skeptic camp. "My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet," the GOP presidential front-runner said Thursday during a fundraiser in Pittsburgh. "And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us."

The liberal blog Think Progress released a video here and a transcript of the exchange Friday.

Romney’s doubts about climate science — countering the widespread understanding that human activity and greenhouse gas emissions are a contributing factor to rises in global temperatures — have become a regular feature in his presidential campaign and represent a gradual rightward shift for someone who once considered putting a limit on power plant emissions.

In late August, as conservative lawmakers questioned his stance on the topic, Romney tried to align himself with those who dispute global warming science by questioning the role that humans play.

"Do I think the world's getting hotter? Yeah, I don't know that, but I think that it is," Romney said in New Hampshire, according to Reuters. "I don't know if it's mostly caused by humans."

Romney aides argued then that he wasn’t changing his position, noting that he’d made a similar case in his book "No Apology."

"I believe that climate change is occurring — the reduction in the size of global ice caps is hard to ignore,” he wrote. “I also believe that human activity is a contributing factor. I am uncertain how much of the warming, however, is attributable to man and how much is attributable to factors out of our control."

But in June, Romney ignited a conservative firestorm when he seemed to walk a bit too close to the line.

"I don't speak for the scientific community, of course, but I believe the world is getting warmer, and I believe that humans have contributed to that," he said. "I can't prove that, but I believe based on what I read that the world is getting warmer.

"No. 2, I believe that humans contribute to that," Romney continued. "I don't know how much our contribution is to that, because I know there's been periods of greater heat and warmth than in the past, but I believe we contribute to that. And so I think it's important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and global warming that you're seeing."

As Massachusetts governor, Romney in 2005 considered signing onto the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a multistate cap-and-trade compact for power plant emissions. But he backed away from the program, citing a lack of economic safeguards.


America’s Worst Wind-Energy Project

Wind-energy proponents admit they need lots of spin to overwhelm the truly informed

The more people know about the wind-energy business, the less they like it. And when it comes to lousy wind deals, General Electric’s Shepherds Flat project in northern Oregon is a real stinker.

I’ll come back to the GE project momentarily. Before getting to that, please ponder that first sentence. It sounds like a claim made by an anti-renewable-energy campaigner. It’s not. Instead, that rather astounding admission was made by a communications strategist during a March 23 webinar sponsored by the American Council on Renewable Energy called “Speaking Out on Renewable Energy: Communications Strategies for the Renewable Energy Industry.”

During the webinar, Justin Rolfe-Redding, a doctoral student from the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University, discussed ways for wind-energy proponents to get their message out to the public. Rolfe-Redding said that polling data showed that “after reading arguments for and against wind, wind lost support.” He went on to say that concerns about wind energy’s cost and its effect on property values “crowded out climate change” among those surveyed.

The most astounding thing to come out of Rolfe-Redding’s mouth — and yes, I heard him say it myself — was this: “The things people are educated about are a real deficit for us.” After the briefings on the pros and cons of wind, said Rolfe-Redding, “enthusiasm decreased for wind. That’s a troubling finding.” The solution to these problems, said Rolfe-Redding, was to “weaken counterarguments” against wind as much as possible. He suggested using “inoculation theory” by telling people that “wind is a clean source, it provides jobs” and adding that “it’s an investment in the future.” He also said that proponents should weaken objections by “saying prices are coming down every day.”

It’s remarkable to see how similar the arguments being put forward by wind-energy proponents are to those that the Obama administration is using to justify its support of Solyndra, the now-bankrupt solar company that got a $529 million loan guarantee from the federal government. But in some ways, the government support for the Shepherds Flat deal is worse than what happened with Solyndra.

The majority of the funding for the $1.9 billion, 845-megawatt Shepherds Flat wind project in Oregon is coming courtesy of federal taxpayers. And that largesse will provide a windfall for General Electric and its partners on the deal who include Google, Sumitomo, and Caithness Energy. Not only is the Energy Department giving GE and its partners a $1.06 billion loan guarantee, but as soon as GE’s 338 turbines start turning at Shepherds Flat, the Treasury Department will send the project developers a cash grant of $490 million.

The deal was so lucrative for the project developers that last October, some of Obama’s top advisers, including energy-policy czar Carol Browner and economic adviser Larry Summers, wrote a memo saying that the project’s backers had “little skin in the game” while the government would be providing “a significant subsidy (65+ percent).” The memo goes on to say that, while the project backers would only provide equity equal to about 11 percent of the total cost of the wind project, they would receive an “estimated return on equity of 30 percent.”

The memo continues, explaining that the carbon dioxide reductions associated with the project “would have to be valued at nearly $130 per ton for CO2 for the climate benefits to equal the subsidies.” The memo continues, saying that that per-ton cost is “more than 6 times the primary estimate used by the government in evaluating rules.”

The Obama administration’s loan guarantee for the now-bankrupt Solyndra has garnered lots of attention, but the Shepherds Flat deal is an even better example of corporate welfare. Several questions are immediately obvious:

First: Why, as Browner and Summers asked, is the federal government providing loan guarantees and subsidies for an energy project that could easily be financed by GE, which has a market capitalization of about $170 billion?

Second: Why is the Obama administration providing subsidies to GE, which paid little or no federal income taxes last year even though it generated some $5.1 billion in profits from its U.S. operations?

Third: How is it that GE’s CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, can be the head of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness while his company is paying little or no federal income taxes? That question is particularly germane as the president never seems to tire of bashing the oil and gas industry for what he claims are the industry’s excessive tax breaks.

Over the past year, according to Yahoo! Finance, the average electric utility’s return on equity has been 7.1 percent. Thus, taxpayer money is helping GE and its partners earn more than four times the average return on equity in the electricity business.

A few months ago, I ran into Jim Rogers, the CEO of Duke Energy. I asked him why Duke — which has about 14,000 megawatts of coal-fired generation capacity — was investing in wind9energy projects. The answer, said Rogers forthrightly, was simple: The subsidies available for wind projects allow Duke to earn returns on equity of 17 to 22 percent.

In other words, for all of the bragging by the wind-industry proponents about the rapid growth in wind-generation capacity, the main reason that capacity is growing is that companies such as GE and Duke are able to goose their profits by putting up turbines so they can collect subsidies from taxpayers.

There are other reasons to dislike the Shepherds Flat project: It’s being built in Oregon to supply electricity to customers in Southern California. That’s nothing new. According to the Energy Information Administration, “California imports more electricity from other states than any other state.” Heaven forbid that consumers in the Golden State would have to actually live near a power plant, refinery, or any other industrial facility. And by building the wind project in Oregon, electricity consumers in California are only adding to the electricity congestion problems that have been plaguing the region served by the Bonneville Power Authority.

Earlier this year, the BPA was forced to curtail electricity generated by wind projects in the area because a near-record spring runoff had dramatically increased the amount of power generated by the BPA’s dams. In other words, Shepherds Flat is adding yet more wind turbines to a region that has been overwhelmed this year by excess electrical generation capacity from renewables. And that region will now have to spending huge sums of money building new transmission capacity to export its excess electricity.

Finally, there’s the question of the jobs being created by the new wind project. In 2009, when GE and Caithness announced the Shepherds Flat deal, CNN Money reported that the project would create 35 permanent jobs. And in an April 2011 press release issued by GE on the Shepherds Flat project, one of GE’s partners in the deal said they were pleased to be bringing “green energy jobs to our economy.”

How much will those “green energy” jobs cost? Well, if we ignore the value of the federal loan guarantee and only focus on the $490 million cash grant that will be given to GE and its partners when Shepherds Flat gets finished, the cost of those “green energy” jobs will be about $16.3 million each.

As Rolfe-Redding said, the more people know about the wind business, the less they like it.


More than two children is unethical? The old Zero Population Growth movement rides again

Check out the ethics of people-hating. In its white paper on “The Ethical Implications of Population Growth“, Population Matters states,
3. Reproductive ethics: It is also a fact that if two people with two living children have a third child, they will ratchet up the population of the planet, and thus: ratchet up damage to the environment; bring nearer the day of serious ecological failure; and ratchet down everyone else’s share of dwindling natural resources to cope with this. So individual decisions to create a whole extra lifetime of impacts affect everyone else (including their own children) – far more than any other environmentally damaging decision they make. We need to be aware of the ethical implications of having large families; and sex education in schools should include it.

That drastic population shrinking in the developed world is now underway seems to have escaped their notice


Australia: Farmers in green protesters' sights next as fight against mining escalates

FRUSTRATION: Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said the industry was frustrated with the contradictions of the State Government over mining exploration. Picture: Nathan Richter Source: The Courier-Mail

THE Federal Government has told environmental activists to get out of the way of mining and warned farmers are likely to be the next target of green protests.

But the State Government has also felt the wrath of the mining industry, with a survey showing that the worst thing about doing business in Queensland was dealing with the Bligh Government.

All those who stood in the way of mining faced a fierce attack yesterday, as more than 400 mining delegates gathered for the launch of the industry's scorecard in Brisbane.

Resources Minister Martin Ferguson told the function he accepted legitimate concerns about coal seam gas but environmental activists had to get out of the way of legitimate mining activity.

"Fundamentally, many of these groups are against economic development in all its forms and once they have moved on from protesting against CSG, they could very well have farmers in their sights as their next target over water access," Mr Ferguson said yesterday.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said the industry was frustrated with the contradictions of the State Government.

He said they wanted the Government to become a leader in exploration but then it "turns around and declares more than 23,000sq km of southeast Queensland off-limits to exploration".

Mr Roche also took on the anti-mining lobby, claiming that the public was being fed a constant diet of inaccurate information about mining exploration.



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