Monday, January 16, 2012

Time-lapse video shows how a glacier disappears in just FOUR YEARS

This proves only that photographers are not big on history. See the article following the one immediately below

This shocking time lapse video shows how a glacier has receded thousands of feet in just four years. The footage of Alaska's Columbia glacier was taken by expert and photographer James Balog and his team between May 2007 and September 2011.

Balog used to a climate change skeptic himself but eventually went on to start the Extreme Ice Survey (EIS), the most comprehensive photographic study of glaciers ever conducted.

His new documentary Chasing Ice will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, on January 21, the Huffington Post reports.

The EIS team currently has 27 time lapse cameras in 15 places in Greenland, Iceland, Alaska and in the Rocky Mountains. Their next venture will be a comprehensive study in British Colombia, Canada.

Balog told the Idaho Press: 'Shrinking glaciers are the canary in the global coal mine. 'They are the most visible, tangible manifestations of climate change on the planet today.'


The Glacier Climate Scam

One of the more popular climate scams employed by the EPA, Katherine Hayhoe and many others – is to show photographs of glaciers from the 1940s (or later) next to recent photos. The implication being that these glaciers started to retreat sometime recently, and that it is due to global warming.

This is blatant fraud. These glaciers have been retreating for hundreds of years, and it has nothing to do with CO2. The glacier in the EPA photograph above retreated eight feet per day between 1794 and 1879.
As you enter Glacier Bay in Southeast Alaska you will cruise along shorelines completely covered by ice just 200 years ago.

Explorer Captain George Vancouver found Icy Strait choked with ice in 1794, and Glacier Bay was barely an indented glacier. That glacier was more than 4000 ft. thick, up to 20 miles or more wide, and extended more than 100 miles to the St.Elias Range of mountains.

By 1879 naturist John Muir​ found that the ice had retreated 48 miles up the bay. By 1916 the Grand Pacific Glacier headed Tarr inlet 65 miles from Glacier Bay’s mouth.

Same story for glaciers in Europe.

Clarence and Richmond Examiner Tuesday 14 October 1902

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Communicating skepticism of Greenie claims

Tom Harris

Many of the crusades of the environmental movement are very easy to contest because, in general, the science is often NOT on their side.

However, most of the scientists who know this are either too poor at communicating in layman's language or don't know the ins and outs of media so that they can get covered broadly, or simply don't have the time to do the desperately needed communications job done so well by environmental movement. That is especially true in the case of the climate debate in which much of the science of alarmists is either wrong or grossly exaggerated, but they have literally hundreds of millions of dollars to make their case, misguided though it usually is.

That is why the International Climate Science Coalition was created in 2007, to help these scientists simplify their messages so that the average person can understand them and then to help these experts get heard in main stream media. While we have been successful in many areas--radio, TV, newspapers, at UN conferences, in public presentations, and most recently the senate hearing that you can read about on our Website--we face several barriers to progress if we are to move beyond being a prototype organization demonstrating the potential impact of the science-based, nonpartisan, international approach we take:

1 - the first is obvious, namely main stream media's resistance to publishing or broadcasting anything opposed to their environmentalist allies (and in many cases, they are allies, not just providers of timely, easy to use copy). This necessitates that we make many, many submissions of, say, any newspaper OpEd, to get just a few published. To do this takes manpower and to have that manpower takes money, which leads to our second obstacle.

2 - industry are afraid to fund us in case they are found out (although all donations to ICSC are confidential), so, unlike the climate campaigners who have dump truck loads of money from corporations (have a look at the David Suzuki Foundation's annual report on the Web, for example), we have none at all. This means that we rely on donations from the average person, typically in the $100 range. The only way we can compete with the heavily funded enviros then is if we get literally thousands of donations. But, we don't; we get perhaps a few hundred a year, which keeps our organization in the prototype stage forever since we can't hire contractors to help us out, buy ads, go to conferences, etc. as our opponents do all the time.

ICSC has demonstrated how to beat the extreme enviros and, in our small way, we continue to do that, but without adequate financial support we remain a relative small fry in the debate, only able to contribute what we can with the resources we have.

One of two things needs to happen for ICSC to play a more prominent role in ending the climate scare. Either the big funders in corporations and foundations need to get over their fear of funding a politically incorrect (but scientifically correct) organization, or more of the public needs to do more than send us supportive messages (which we appreciate but can only take us so far). It takes considerable money to be at UN conferences, put out news releases on major wire services (translated for different countries - for example, our 2009 Copenhagen news release cost over $6,000 to get into a dozen media markets (where it was very well reported on, BTW)) and support scientists who need help preparing testimony, articles, speeches, etc.

Suzuki knows this which is why he ends his talks (at least those that I have seen) with an appeal for financial support and the left have been very generous in supporting his cause. Strangely, those on the right and the centre are generally much less generous to support the counters to Suzuki et al and so we continue to be unable to expand our message enough to properly contest the climate alarm.

At this point, it is all about the volume of work we can do. We know our message works in bringing people--left, right and centre--over to climate realism. ICSC simply needs the resources to do a great deal more of what we are already doing.


Thou must not question Big Environment

Rex Murphy

The environmental movement has enjoyed smooth, mostly untroubled progress since its beginnings in the 1960s, when its activists romped around the northern sea floes off the coast of Labrador. The enviros migrated with almost the same punctuality as the seals: Every spring, you could treat yourself to the sight of them bobbing up and down on the ice-pans, high-bosomed starlets stroking the pelts of large-eyed newsmen and seals alike, whole platoons of photographers aiming for the perfect cute shot, and a kite tail of various enthusiasts and camp followers to give a sense of noise and drama. Labrador is more or less quiet these days: Those Who Care have decamped to the oil sands and other pastures.

Robert Redford, when he can tear himself away from the general dorkiness of the Sundance Festival, is big on saving the planet these days. James Cameron can generally be found rustling the vines somewhere in the Amazon rain forest. Leonardo DiCaprio is always good for a Vanity Fair cover as long as its backlit and there’s a polar bear somewhere. Mixing it up with the environmental crusaders is good PR for Hollywood one-percenters — takes the heat off their monstrous paydays, their jets and, for that matter, most of their silly movies.

Some enviro groups have grown corporate in size, techniques and attitude. Greenpeace is now to the environmental world what GM used to be to the automobile world. The various Sierra Clubs dot the world like McDonald’s. As the example of Canada’s own Northern Gateway pipeline shows, modern environmental protestors have refined a basic set of skills to near perfection: deploying legal challenges to stall a project, taking advantage of hearings to protract and delay, signing on huge numbers of groups and individuals to take part in such hearings. They are expert at singling out one activity and applying all their focus and energy toward stopping it.

The big-name environmental groups are routinely excellent communicators — faster, clearer and quicker with the message than governments or industry. I credit them for this, incidentally. Good for them that they have tuned themselves so finely, learned the game. Businesses and politicians have always been way behind in the new world of publicity and protest, and it is their own fault — half-laziness and half arrogance — that they are.

The greatest advantage the greens have had is the relative absence of scrutiny from the press. Generally speaking, it’s thought to be bad manners to question self-appointed environmentalists. Their good cause, at least in the early days, was enough of a warrant in itself. And when it was your aunt protesting the incinerator just outside town, well that was enough. But when it’s some vast congregation of 20,000 at an international conference, or thousands lining up to present briefs protesting a pipeline, well, let’s just say this is not your aunt’s protest movement anymore.

There is no such thing as investigative environmental reporting — or rather very precious little of it in the established media. Environmental reporters rarely question the big environmental outfits with anything like the fury they will bring to questioning politicians or businesspeople. Advocacy and reportage are sometimes close as twins.

And so the great thing I see about Resource Minister Joe Oliver’s little rant against Northern Gateway pipeline opponents a few days ago — asking whether some groups are receiving “outside money” or if they are proxies for other interests — is not so much the rant itself, but rather the fact that at last some scrutiny, some questions are being asked of these major players. Big environment, however feebly, is being asked to present its bona fides. And that’s a good thing: The same rigor we bring to industry and government, in looking to their motives, their swift dealing, must also apply to crusading greens.

Where does their money come from? What are their interests in such and such a hearing? What other associations do they have? Are they a cat’s paw for other interests? Do they have political affiliations that would impugn their testimony? In hearings as important as the ones over the Northern Gateway pipeline, with the jobs and industry that are potentially at stake, the call to monitor who is participating in those hearings is a sound and rational one.

No one should be excluded from those hearings — at least, no one who has a solid and honest objection to the project. But some amount of transparency from all those environmental groups that demand “transparency” from everyone else is a reasonable ambition as well. Let us have some vetting of the vetters. To that degree, I applaud the Minister.


O Canada Our Only Hope

James Delingpole

I love Canada. I love Canadians. I like very much what their government is doing. I have great faith in their future. And if it weren't for their winters, I'd go and live there like a shot. Weird, huh?
Well it's certainly weird enough for those of us old enough to remember Canada in the Seventies, Eighties and Nineties when it was little more than an embarrassing liberal-lefty joke. Sure we still remembered the suffering and courage of those plucky Canucks from Vimy Ridge to Dieppe to the Low Countries, but that spirit appeared long since to have vanished under the noisome regime of Pierre Trudeau and his grisly communitarian successors. Canada was like a pale imitation of the US with all the worst aspects of European Socialism and political correctness tacked on to it.
But suddenly – sorry South Park – but Canada-is-cr*p jokes just aren't funny any more because they lack the key ingredient of truth.
And the truth is that right now, of all the great Western nations Canada is probably the only one left still standing up for the values that made the West great. What better evidence of this could there be than the glorious news that Stephen Harper's Conservative administration has declared war on the anti-growth, anti-energy, hair-shirt eco-loons who are trying to destroy the Canadian economy? (Mega H/T Benny Peiser at GWPF)
It is a cliché in journalism to declare metaphorical wars at the drop of a news release. In this case, it looks like war is exactly what Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver launched Monday in an unprecedented open letter warning that Canada will not allow “environmental and other radical groups” to “hijack our regulatory system to achieve their radical ideological agenda.”
“These groups,” said Mr. Oliver, “seek to exploit any loophole they can find, stacking public hearings with bodies to ensure that delays kill good projects. They use funding from foreign special interests to undermine Canada’s national economic interest. They attract jet-setting celebrities with some of the largest personal carbon footprints in the world to lecture Canadians not to develop our natural resources.”
The "foreign special interests" are the ones exposed by Vancouver investigative blogger Vivian Krause in articles like this – on how America's Tides Foundation has spent at least $6 million funding a propaganda war on Alberta's oil sands production – and this blog post.
According to my preliminary calculations, since 2000 USA foundations have poured $300 million into the environmental movement in Canada. The David Suzuki Foundation alone has been paid at least $10 million by American foundations over the past decade. Why are American foundations spending so much money in Canada instead of in their own country or in other countries around the world that are far more needy than Canada?
Actually I think the sinister-foreign-interests-trying-to-destroy-Canada angle is overdone. It's not Canada these green activists specifically want to ruin: it's Western industrial civilization generally. The only reason Canada may be attracting more flak than most at the moment is because of its courageous position on Kyoto (it wants to pull out), on fossil fuels (it has lots and wants to exploit them) and on economic growth (controversially among the current crop of Western administrations it considers it to be a desirable thing).
Now let us pause for moment and weep for America where sadly rather different attitudes to the environment and economic growth now obtain:
Oil and politics are a volatile mix for President Barack Obama, as he weighs whether to approve a pipeline to bring crude oil from Canada to Texas. On the merits, Obama should greenlight construction of the Keystone Pipeline. Our economy runs on oil. Given the political volatility in some oil-rich regions of the world, it's just common sense to help maximize the oil-producing capacity of our friend to the north.
But Obama tried to put off the issue until after the election. That's because to decide is to antagonize either labor unions, who want pipeline jobs, or environmentalists, who fear pollution and climate change.
America's problem is that Canada isn't going to wait for it to make up its mind.
“I am very serious about selling our oil off this continent, selling our energy products off to China,” said Prime Minister Stephen Harper last week. “I ran into several senior Americans, who all said, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll get Keystone done. You can sell all of your oil to us.’ I said, ‘Yeah we’d love to but the problem is now we're on a different track.’”
So now the battle lines are drawn. On one side are China, Brazil, India, Korea and the other emerging economies whose priority is growth – and, by extension, jobs, a higher standard of living and a future for their citizens. On the other are the moribund economies of the West – weighed down by regulation, hamstrung by activist pressure groups on issues ranging from equality and diversity to environmentalism and elf and safety* – whose slow demise will meant that for the first time in two centuries the latest generation is all but guaranteed to enjoy a worse standard of living than its parents. Canada, by joining the former, has chosen well for its children.
As I outline in my expose of environmentalism Watermelons, the green movement bears a huge amount of responsibility for our economic decline. Greens are not kind, they're not fluffy, and they're definitely not caring. At least not unless you're one of those ruddy, completely un-endangered polar bears.
*UK slang for Health and Safety regulations.


GM's Flop in Green

by Patrick J. Michaels

At the Detroit Auto Show this week, CEO Dan Akerson admitted that General Motors may have to cut back production of the Chevrolet Volt because the 4,600-plus Volts on the market now are about three times the monthly sales. Other figures put the GM hybrid car’s inventory at an outrageous 120-plus days.

By most accounts, “Government Motors” has stuck with the Volt mainly to please the Obama administration, which still owns a third of its stock in the wake of the 2009 government “rescue” of the company. But just how badly is the effort faring? Well, consider the 1,529 sold in December.

More than a third of those were fleet sales to corporations. None of these were the traditional large-fleet purchasers, i.e. Hertz, Avis and the other big rental companies. They were more like Verizon and General Electric — with GE having committed to buying 12,000 and having already purchased unspecified “hundreds,” with continued “daily” deliveries, as The Wall Street Journal reported recently.

Then there are the direct taxpayer buys. Fifty to New York City. The city of Deland, Fla., brags about buying five with an Energy Department grant. The federal General Services Administration has bought 101 so far, but President Obama has ordered it to procure only hybrid or high-mileage vehicles by 2015. (The taxpayers buy about 60,000 cars a year for GSA.)

Anyway, until GM is transparent and forthcoming about how many (or how few) Volts are selling to private individuals, we aren’t going to know. But several ominous signs suggest that the Volt’s long-term viability may be a risky proposition.

Taxpayers are rightly grumpy about ponying up a $7,500-per-car subsidy on a car that is generally priced around $44,500 (the median for the 4,612 Volts on People who will spend nearly $40K for a small four-passenger car don’t need a subsidy. (Nor, for that matter, do folks who buy a $100,000 Tesla.)

Worldwide, subsidies for all kinds of green energy are being cut — resulting in a true sectoral depression. Solar-energy stocks are down 90 percent. The gigantic wind company Vestas may be acquired or worse.

The Volt will meet a similar fate if the subsidy ends. The chances of that happening are about the same as those of electing a Republican Senate and president: significant.

Then there’s the competition, which starts in earnest this year. The extended-range Prius, which will be on the market in months, will go out the door for about $35,000 (minus a $2,500 subsidy) — bringing the net cost to about $5,500 less than the Volt. Nissan’s Leaf, Ford’s hybrid and Hyundai’s product (said to undercut the Prius price) will all be in this small market by the end of the year. Which, if any, will endure?

Then there’s the half-billion dollars the feds have sunk into the Fisker Karma. At $95,000, who’s really going to buy something that gets a lousy 20mpg once the battery finks out after around 30 miles?

The added cost for a plug-in rather than a conventional model varies from about $14,000 (Toyota Prius vs. Corolla) to $20,000 (Volt vs. Cruze Eco) and on up to the Fisker and Tesla. And the internal-combustion engine is being improved dramatically at far less cost. The Cruze is much cheaper to run than the Volt, once the latter is on its premium-fuel-powered gas engine. (Don’t want to use the Volt’s gas engine? Stay within 15 miles of home.)

Which is why plug-in hybrids won’t sell. Why prolong the agony? Kill the car now. It’s not cost-effective, and it’s irritating taxpayers in an election year. Much has been learned in its development, including a little economics and the folly of subsidies.

Taxpayers and corporations can’t prop up this flop forever. GM management should end the misery before being told off by the voters, the markets and its own technology.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


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