Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A call for action

Thanks to the MANY US citizens who called congressional legislators to object to the 1603 tax credit and the Production Tax Credit (PTC) wind subsidies being included in the Unemployment Tax bill. Thanks to YOU, the citizens WON that skirmish!

This has not ended yet as these rent-seeking parasites are still continuing to try to latch onto our tax dollars — now with the Transportation bill. Senator Bennett proposed a "non-germaine" amendment (#1709) to the Transportation Bill, that would extend the wind energy PTC.

As far as we know, negotiations are on-going to determine which amendments will be included, and this will be decided between Senators Reed and McConnell.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will be the most receptive, so please focus your calls on him: 202-224-2541 (or through the general congressional switchboard number: 202-224-3121).

US citizens need to call Senator McConnell and urge him to oppose the Bennett Amendment #1709 to the Transportation Bill (and ANY extension of the wind energy PTC). Encourage Senator McConnell to make decisions based on sound science (which includes fiscal responsibility).


FYI, Senator Lamar Alexander made a very good speech on the topic. See here

Here is a good example of how AWEA is spinning this situation in a dishonest way

In President Obama’ proposed budget, is a new permanent tax credit for renewables. Although it isn’t likely to see the light of day, we need to make sure of that, so mentioning your opposition to that in your call would be good. See here.

Received via email

If the icecaps are melting, how come the sea-level is FALLING?

Sea level has been plummeting for four years, and is lower than it was in 2003 when EU’s Envisat satellite was launched. This is solid proof that Greenland and Antarctica are melting down at unprecedented rates and flooding the oceans with negative water [/sarcasm]

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Gleick's deceptive use of documents is not the first by Warmists

By Russell Cook

Most of the news about the Heartland Institute "Fakegate" controversy centers around stolen documents and the warmist scientist who confessed to his role in the matter. But the scandal also opens a door to the curious history of the charge that skeptics are merely in the pay of fossil fuel interests, a recurring theme once again picked up in the Fakegate affair.

It is worthwhile remembering that the usage of "-gate" in such scandals is derived from the initial 1972 story of a break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. The story started out small, but it widened when questions about the burglary and its apparent motives were more thoroughly investigated.

Fakegate may offer a similar doorway into an elaborate scheme, more complex and nefarious than mere identity theft and fabrication of false documents.

In this case, the Wall Street Journal's 2/21/12 "Not-So-Vast Conspiracy" editorial opened the door ever so slightly about an otherwise unexplored older and bigger problem surrounding the entire global warming issue. Facts not mentioned in the editorial open it further.

The name of Ross Gelbspan indirectly figures in the WSJ editorial. A 1995 Harper's article cited in the editorial was written by Ross Gelbspan. The stolen Heartland Institute documents first appeared on the internet at the enviro-activist blog site Desmogblog. Its star blogger is Ross Gelbspan.

The door opens wider with the revelation that Pacific Institute scientist Peter Gleick confessed to inappropriately acquiring the documents. A little digging reveals a still-current Pacific Institute web page dating to April 2004 titled "Science, Climate Change, and Censorship" (backup link here), where Gleick says this about skeptic climate scientist Pat Michaels: "He is one of a very small minority of nay-sayers who continue to dispute the facts and science about climate change in the face of compelling, overwhelming, and growing evidence." Farther down that page is a prominent reference to Ross Gelbspan.

Compare Gleick's quote to a 10/29/99 Yes magazine article by Gelbspan, titled "The Global Warming Crisis," where Gelbspan describes fossil fuel industry education efforts:

That propaganda campaign -- especially as it was articulated by a tiny handful of scientists called "greenhouse skeptics" (many of whom received large amounts of undisclosed funding from fossil fuel interests) -- centered on the claim that climate change was not scientifically proven. More recently, as the science has become too robust to deny[.]

Al Gore's 2006 movie prominently attempted to illustrate a parallel with old tobacco industry efforts to confuse the public about smoking hazards. In the movie's companion book, Gore cited Ross Gelbspan for proof about a "leaked coal industry memo," saying Gelbspan discovered it.

Such citations only compound the problem here. Despite numerous books and magazine and newspaper articles repeating this allegation of "coal industry memo smoking gun evidence," all trace back to a 1997 book The Heat is On, by Ross Gelbspan. Curiously, author Gelbspan never says how he obtained the memo, and neither he nor any other accuser ever shows this memo in its full context. As I explained in a prior article, a particular phrase quoted in the memos has every appearance of being taken out-of-context in order to portray it as the primary goal of a sinister industry directive. However, these specific memos were actually a rejected proposal for a small pilot project PR campaign, and Gelbspan offers no proof of them being seen by fossil fuel industry executives outside the campaign.

More questions arise when astute readers see the same "memo words" on page 34 of Gelbspan's 1997 book that are seen on page 360 of Gore's 1992 Earth in the Balance, a problem I described at length in my article at ClimateDepot last year. Even more questions arise from the revelation that a now-defunct website promoting mostly anti-skeptic material was transferred from the University of Maryland's Center for Global Change to Gleick's Pacific Institute in 1996. Alan Miller was the director of the Center for Global Change, the same individual I described in my AT article last summer. Miller wrote about the leaked coal industry memo before Gelbspan did, in a 1994 book where he also directly thanked Al Gore's then-current White House "assistant" Rosina Bierbaum. I use the word "assistant" there, as Gore is seen relying on her in this White House 1997 Q&A press session.

If the current situation involving Peter Gleick looks eerily similar to the Watergate burglar story, is it not a good idea to start peeling back more layers of this mess, since there are indications that there has never been any validity to the portrayal of skeptic climate scientists as untrustworthy shills of the fossil fuel industry? Do this current controversy and all the problems surrounding it not reveal that we have potentially just the opposite problem -- the appearance of a White House-driven enviro-activist collaborative effort to confuse the public into believing there is no legitimate criticism of the idea of man-caused global warming?


EPA has lost it's way on warming

EPA’s carbon dioxide rules endanger human health and welfare

Legal challenges by states and industry groups over the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases could and should be decided in the challengers’ favor. Whether that will happen in this highly politicized, semi-scientific matter of “dangerous manmade global warming and climate change” remains to be seen. Regardless of what the DC Court of Appeals decides, the case will almost assuredly return to the Supreme Court, where the outcome is equally uncertain.

In Massachusetts v. EPA, the Supreme Court said EPA had the authority (but not the obligation) to regulate CO2 under the Clean Air Act’s “capacious definition of air pollutant.” EPA could do so, the court ruled, if its administrator concluded that GHG emissions “may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare.” In other words, the administrator’s opinion was not sufficient. The agency must conduct a scientific study and make a convincing scientific case for taking action.

Not surprisingly, Administrator Lisa Jackson decided that CO2 does endanger public health and welfare, and signaled her intention to regulate these emissions. However, there are serious problems with this.

First, EPA conducted no original research of its own. Relying on work by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and other agencies, it merely selected existing studies and reports that supported its predetermined outcome – and ignored numerous studies that contradicted its decision.

Second, scientific opinion is sharply divided on the extent to which these gases might contribute to climate change. EPA chose to disregard this inconvenient truth – and continue the shoddy practice begun by the IPCC and alarmist climate scientists of refusing to discuss or debate the validity of computer models, assertions of imminent disaster, and evidence for and against the catastrophic AGW hypothesis.

Third, carbon dioxide simply is not a “pollutant” within the meaning of the Clean Air act. It is not an agent that fouls or contaminates the air, making it harmful to human health. In fact, CO2 is a natural component of Earth’s atmosphere and a key ingredient in photosynthesis. Without carbon dioxide all life on Earth would cease to exist.

Fourth, both the 2007 Supreme Court decision and the IPCC studies relied on by EPA predate the Climategate emails and other scandals that have revealed how contrived, questionable and perhaps even fraudulent global warming disaster “science” actually is. Had those documents surfaced prior to its 2007 deliberations, the Court’s decision might well have been very different.

Fifth, allowing EPA to impose its CO2/GHG regulatory regime would effectively put the agency in charge of every aspect of Americans’ energy use, economic activities and lives. EPA’s unprecedented and exorbitantly expensive rules will severely and adversely affect hydrocarbon use, energy prices, food production, manufacturing, transportation, jobs, home and office heating and cooling, hospital and school operations – and thus human health and welfare.

Finally, and most absurd of all, even eliminating every source of carbon dioxide in the USA – electricity generation, vehicles, industries, humans and animals – would do nothing to reduce other emission sources worldwide. While US carbon dioxide emissions are declining, those sources continue to raise atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Thus, despite their devastating impacts on America’s economy and living standards, EPA’s rules would do virtually nothing to forestall the harms that its pseudo-science predicts.

Into this legal, scientific and regulatory cesspool now comes yet another element, which may yet go down as a key turning point in the debate – more important even than Climategate: Peter Gleick’s February 14 transmission of several stolen documents and a forged memorandum to 15 environmental activists in the United States and possibly abroad.

The stolen documents were taken from The Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based think tank that has received increasing attention for challenging IPCC and EPA global warming doom and gloom dogma, misinformation and propaganda. (Among the documents stolen were lists of HI donors and its entire 2012 budget.) The left and its mainstream media lapdogs had a field day with the information, but focused almost exclusively on the forged memo, which purported to reveal Heartland’s secret “climate strategy” – to make school children, citizens and legislators better informed about actual climate science.

Six days later Gleick, president and co-founder of the Pacific Institute, confessed to the crime. Virtually everyone now agrees the memo is a poor forgery, probably written by Gleick, although he still denies having done so.

Gleick is a prominent member of the global warming clique. His take-down is big news, and one reason this scandal could overshadow Climategate in its impact on global warming debates. Despite all the Sturm und Drang caused by Climategate, no one really paid a price for the gross misbehavior revealed by the leaked emails – even though the actions were funded with taxpayer money and used to promote bogus science, harmful public policies, and massive changes in energy use and living standards.

Gleick has been forced to step down from several positions, including as president of the Pacific Institute, and will likely face civil and criminal charges. His is likely to be only the first scalp that global warming “realists” collect from this incident. Heartland has indicated it will also go after Gleick’s accomplices in major environmental organizations and even in the drive-by media.

The criminal and civil cases will drag out for years, and discovery could uncover even more misbehavior in the alarmist camp than did Climategate. Heartland may also face discovery, but the stolen documents suggest that it has little or nothing to hide.

Why did Gleick target Heartland? As HI president Joseph Bast wrote to climate scientist Judith Curry in a message posted on her blog, Climate Etc: “I suspect he targeted us because we have done so much to document and rebut the assumptions and exaggerations of the global warming alarmists.” He then mentioned Heartland’s monthly publication, Environment & Climate News, its persuasive multi-volume response to the IPCC, Climate Change Reconsidered, and its six international climate conferences. (See here)

Climategate caught the global warming establishment off-guard, but it soon regained its footing, aided immensely by the billions of dollars that governments are pouring into the “climate crisis” industry. Fakegate is rocking their world again, revealing the alarmists’ increasing desperation that the debate they don’t want to have will cost them their credibility, prestige, power and funding. This time, Fakegate may sweep some of them off their feet.

Who knew what Gleick was up to, and when did they know it? Who was Gleick trying to impress by this theft and forgery, and what did he and his accomplices seek to gain?

In the digital era, every email and every PDF document leaves a digital trail. There will be no cover up this time, no white-wash investigations by friendly IPCC and university colleagues. The perpetrator can’t take the Fifth Amendment in a civil suit, and the prospect of time in jail has been known to loosen lips. The whole global warming cabal is wondering when the next shoe will drop, and drop it shall.

The truth will finally come out, and the world will be better for it.


Wind Spin: Misdirection and Fluff by a Taxpayer-enabled Industry

by John Droz, Jr. (A physicist & environmental advocate)

“When a major turbine manufacturer calls a catastrophic failure like a blade falling off ‘structural liberation,’ we know we are in for an adventurous ride in a theme park divorced from reality.”

Trying to pin down the arguments of wind promoters is a bit like trying to grab a greased balloon. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on it, it morphs into a different shape and escapes your grasp. Let’s take a quick highlight review of how things have evolved with wind merchandising.

1 – Wind energy was abandoned well over a hundred years ago, as even in the late 1800s it was totally inconsistent with our burgeoning, more modern needs for power. When we throw the switch, we expect that the lights will go on – 100% of the time. It’s not possible for wind energy, by itself, to ever do this, which is one of the main reasons it was relegated to the dust bin of antiquated technologies (along with such other inadequate sources as horse and oxen power).

2 – Fast forward to several years ago. With politicians being convinced that Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) was an imminent catastrophic threat, lobbyists launched campaigns to favor all things that would purportedly reduce carbon dioxide. Wind energy was thus resurrected, as its marketers pushed the fact that wind turbines did not produce CO2 while generating electricity.

3 – Of course, just that by itself is not significant, so the original wind development lobbyists then made the case for a quantum leap: that by adding wind turbines to the grid we could significantly reduce CO2 from fossil fuel electrical sources (especially coal). This argument became the basis for many states implementing a Renewable Energy Standard (RES) or Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)– which mandated that their utilities use (or purchase) a prescribed amount of wind energy.

4 – Why was a mandate necessary? Simply because the real world reality of integrating wind energy made it a very expensive option. As such, no utility companies would likely do this on their own. They had to be forced to.

5 – Interestingly, although the stated main goal of these RES/RPS programs was to reduce CO2, not a single state’s RES/RPS requires verification of CO2 reduction from any wind project, either beforehand or after the fact. The politicians simply took the lobbyists’ word that consequential CO2 savings would be realized!

6 - It wasn’t too long before utility companies and independent energy experts calculated that the actual CO2 savings were miniscule (if any). This was due to the inherent nature of wind energy, and the realities of continuously balancing the grid, on a second-by-second basis, with fossil-fuel-generated electricity. The frequently cited Bentek study (How Less Became More) is a sample independent assessment of this aspect. More importantly, there has been zero scientific proof provided by the wind industry to support their claims of CO2 reduction.

7 – The wind lobbyists soon added another rationale to prop up their case: energy diversity. However, since our electricity system already had considerable diversity, and many asked “more diversity at what cost?” this hype never gained much traction. Back to the drawing board….

8 - The next justification put forward by the wind marketers was energy independence. This cleverly played on the concern most people have about oil and Middle East instability. Many ads were run promoting wind energy as a good way to reduce our “dependence on Middle Eastern oil.”

None of these ads mentioned that only about 1% of our electricity is generated from oil. Or that the US exports more oil than we use for electricity. Or that our main import source for oil is Canada (not the Middle East). Despite the significant omissions and misrepresentations, this claim still resonates with many people, so it continues to be pushed. Whatever works.

9 – Knowing full well that the assertions used to date were specious, wind proponents manufactured still another claim: green jobs. This was carefully selected to coincide with widespread employment concerns. Unfortunately, when independent qualified parties examined the situation more closely, they found that the claims were wildly exaggerated. Big surprise!

Further, as attorney and energy expert Chris Horner has so eloquently stated:

"There is nothing – no program, no hobby, no vice, no crime – that does not ‘create jobs.’ Tsunamis, computer viruses and shooting convenience store clerks all ‘create jobs.’ So that claim misses the plot. It applies to all, and so is an argument in favor of none. Instead of making a case on the merits, it is an admission that one has no such arguments."

Also see the recent post at MasterResource, The Collapsing Case for ‘Green’ Energy, where California Berkeley professor Severin Borenstein warns his beloved green community that fossil fuels beat wind and solar at the jobs game.......

17 – A related pitch is that our adoption of wind energy will help us break “our fossil fuel dependence.” Guess what? The reality is that wind actually guarantees our perpetual dependence on fossil fuels! In addition to wind turbines’ dependence on fossil fuels for manufacture, delivery and maintenance, the only way wind energy can quasi-function on the grid is to have it continuously augmented by a fast responding power source – which for a variety of technical and economic reasons is usually gas. It’s rather amusing that the same environmental organizations that support wind energy are also against shale gas. That’s like saying that you love Italian food but hate tomato sauce. The two are paired together like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

18 – The claim that wind energy is “green” or “environmentally friendly” is laugh-out-loud hilarious – except for the fact that the reality is not funny at all. Consider just one part of a turbine, the generator, which uses considerable rare earth elements (2000± pounds per MW).

The mining and processing of these metals has horrific environmental consequences that are unacknowledged and ignored by the wind industry and its environmental surrogates. For instance, a typical 100 MW wind project would generate approximately: a) 20,000 square meters of destroyed vegetation, b) 6 million cubic meters of toxic air pollution, c) 33 million gallons of poisoned water, d) 600 million pounds of highly contaminated tailing sands, and e) 250,000 pounds of radioactive waste. (See this, and this, and this.)

Much more HERE. (See the original for links)

Green Energy Transition Endangers German Industry

Last spring, Chancellor Angela Merkel set Germany on course to eliminate nuclear power in favor of renewable energy sources. Now, though, several industries are suffering as electricity prices rapidly rise. Many companies are having to close factories or move abroad.

The red signs are still hanging in front of the gate to the steel mill on Oberschlesienstrasse. "Hands off!" they read, or "The Krefeld steel mill must stay!"

But now it's all over. Despite the signs, protests and pickets, ThyssenKrupp, Germany's largest steelmaker, sold its Krefeld stainless steel mill to Finnish competitor Outukumpu two weeks ago. The new owner plans to shut down production by the end of next year, leaving more than 400 workers without a job. The economic loss to this stricken city on the lower Rhine will be significant.

The closing of the Krefeld mill cannot be blamed on low-wage competition from the Far East or mismanagement at ThyssenKrupp's Essen headquarters, but rather on the misguided policies of the German government. That, at least, is the view held by those affected by the closing. Since Chancellor Angela Merkel's government abruptly decided to phase out nuclear energy last spring in the wake of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, the situation for industries that consume a lot of electricity has become much more tenuous.

Energy prices are rising and the risk of power outages is growing. But the urgently needed expansion of the grid, as well as the development of replacement power plants and renewable energy sources is progressing very slowly. A growing number of economic experts, business executives and union leaders are putting the blame squarely on the shoulders of Merkel's coalition, which pairs her conservatives with the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP). The government, they say, has expedited de-industrialization.

The energy supply is now "the top risk for Germany as a location for business," says Hans Heinrich Driftmann, president of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK). "One has to be concerned in Germany about the cost of electricity," warns European Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger. And Bernd Kalwa, a member of the general works council at ThyssenKrupp, says heatedly: "Some 5,000 jobs are in jeopardy within our company alone, because an irresponsible energy policy is being pursued in Düsseldorf and Berlin."

In macroeconomic terms, the impending demise of heavy industry is all the more worrying, because the job losses will not be offset elsewhere. There is no sign yet of the green economic miracle that the federal government promised would accompany Germany's new energy strategy. On the contrary, many manufacturers of wind turbines and solar panels complain that business is bad and are cutting jobs. Some solar companies have already gone out of business. The environmental sector faces a number of problems, especially -- and ironically -- those stemming from high energy prices.

And now, the immediate shutdown of seven nuclear power plants last March is affecting supply, as the Krefeld example shows. The steel mill requires massive amounts of electricity to produce stainless steel, used in such products as sinks and auto bodies. The metal is heated to more than 1,600 degrees Celsius (2,912 degrees Fahrenheit) in giant furnaces. A single smelter consumes about as much energy in an hour as 10 single-family homes in an entire year. Electricity makes up a fifth of the mill's total costs, says Harald Behmenburg, the plant manager.

The price of electricity is moving in only one direction: steeply up. For the Krefeld plant, the cost of a kilowatt hour of electricity has tripled since 2000....

Other companies could suffer a similar fate. Berlin's energy policy affects all classic industrial sectors, from the steel and aluminum industry to paper and cement manufacturers, as well as the chemical industry. The metal industry, long an important sector in Germany, is already migrating to countries with cheaper electricity.



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, February 28, 2012

Melting Arctic causes snowier winters

This is all just Warmist boilerplate by now but I am putting it up to draw attention to just one thing: History began in 1979 and stopped in 2007 for Warmists: "The level of Arctic sea ice has reached a new record low in 2007". No mention of the bounceback since then and that the "record low" was in a time series that went back only as far as 1979. Talk about clutching at straws!

No-one can regard these "scientists" as honest men. To rephrase Lord Acton: "Money corrupts and your salary corrupts absolutely"

MELTING sea ice in the Arctic may be causing the snowier winters the northern hemisphere has experienced in the last two seasons.

The level of Arctic sea ice has reached a new record low in 2007, said the study led by the Georgia Institute of Technology and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Meanwhile, above-average snowfall has blanketed large parts of the northern United States, northwestern and central Europe, and northern and central China.

The northern hemisphere has recorded its second and third largest snow covers in documented history in the last two seasons, spanning the winters of 2009-2010 and 2010-2011.

Researchers believe the disappearing Arctic ice is sending more water vapour into the air, and is interfering with atmospheric currents and westerly winds that would typically have swept snowy weather northward.

Instead, more cold air is descending into the middle and lower latitudes, "leading to increased heavy snowfall in Europe and the northeast and midwest regions of the United States", said Jiping Liu, a senior research scientist at Georgia Tech.

The research included scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and New York's Columbia University, and was supported by NASA and the National Science Foundation.


Greenies against the Jews

Followers of Hitler in that respect too

“The desert is groaning”, declares Cornerstone magazine, the Palestinian Sabeel Theology Center’s publication. “The Israeli army and settlers have polluted the Palestinian areas,” writes Reverend Naim Ateek, who heads the notorious anti-Jewish Christian center.

Despite the fact that Israel is the only country to enter the 21st century with a net gain in forest growth, Green activists today are among the most virulently anti-Jewish. The Green Party mayor of Aachen, Hilde Scheidt, has just waged a media campaign against Israel. Prominent German author Henryk Broder called her a “Green anti-Semite,” after she defended a cartoon depicting a man sporting a Star of David on his bib as he devours a young Palestinian boy with a fork draped in an American flag and a knife with the word “Gaza” written on it.

Back in 1991, German Green Party’s spokesman Hans Christian Stroebele defended Saddam Hussein’s rockets on Tel Aviv because “Iraq’s attacks are the logical, almost compelling, consequence of Israel’s politics vis-à-vis the Palestinians and the Arab states,”

The Green lies about “the ecology of occupation” are now spreading at the highest European levels. The French parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee recently published an unprecedented report accusing Israel of implementing “apartheid” in its allocation of water in Judea and Samaria.

Meanwhile, environmentalists accuse Israel’s army of being a major cause of cancer in Palestinian children. This blood libel began in 1999, when Suha Arafat declared that Israeli gas is poisoning Arab children: “Our people have been subjected to the daily and extensive use of poisonous gas by the Israeli forces, which has led to an increase in cancer cases among women and children.” She also said that Israel has “chemically contaminated about 80% of water sources used by Palestinians.”

Nazi-style rhetoric

The pollution myth spread through the literary milieu as well. British dramatist David Hare wrote that the Jews have “polluted” the Promised Land and “do not belong here.” According to this racist belief, “native species” originate in a certain place and that is where they “belong.” Hence, Israel’s "colonization" threatens the “original” Arab environment.

Green NGOs accuse Israel of “warfare ecology,” “deforestation,” “erosion of agricultural lands,” and “expropriation” of Arab land for Israel’s national park. European geographers denounce settler “cementification” and the “architecture of occupation" in a growing topography of hatred.

Elsewhere, Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine,” led by the British Richard Rogers, has called for a boycott of architects, planners and companies involved in building the security fence, which stopped the suicide bombers. Eyal Weizman, an Israeli architect living in London, calls it a “war crime.”

Elements within the Green movement have adopted Nazi-style rhetoric to blast Israeli businesses. Literature distributed by the boycotters outrageously describes Judea and Samaria citizens as “parasites.” Products from the Golan Heights, such as wines, mineral water and milk are targeted. Flowers are targeted by the BDS movement, because since Israel entered the flower export market in the 1970s this business has been blooming.

The Ahava cosmetics company is also targeted by Green activists. In the last three years, thousands of Western women in bikinis, belonging to the feminist association Code Pink, protested outside Ahava shops in the US and in European capitals. They are usually streaked with mud, some featuring the words “Ahava is a dirty business.” The slogan of the campaign is fashionable and catchy: “Stolen Beauty.”

Dutch government promoted an investigation to determine whether Ahava should enjoy tax privileges granted to foreign goods. Elsewhere, Sex and the City actress Kristin Davis was suspended by humanitarian group Oxfam International after joining an Ahava advertisement campaign.

In the final analysis, environmentalists have launched a primitive diatribe against Israel that smacks of classic, medieval-style anti-Semitic blood libels. It demonizes the Jews for “dispossessing” and “polluting” a fabricated, “archetypical Palestine.” Yet this campaign has proven, again, that anti-Semitism is the most dangerous pollutant.


Filthy Lying Scumbag Alarmists

Check out this web page purporting to show an increase in earthquakes due to melting glaciers, and attributing their data to the USGS. Their claims (like those of Peter Gleick) are completely fraudulent.
Worldwide earthquake data was acquired and shown graphically as a function of time. These trends show an increase in the magnitude and a significant increase in the frequency (magnitude > 5.5) of earthquakes worldwide.

These results would also indicate that the Earth‘s crust is not static and robust. Finally, areas that have low earthquke activity may become much more active due to melting glaciers.

Here is what the USGS link pointed to from their web site actually says.
Are Earthquakes Really on the Increase?

We continue to be asked by many people throughout the world if earthquakes are on the increase. Although it may seem that we are having more earthquakes, earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 or greater have remained fairly constant.

A partial explanation may lie in the fact that in the last twenty years, we have definitely had an increase in the number of earthquakes we have been able to locate each year. This is because of the tremendous increase in the number of seismograph stations in the world and the many improvements in global communications. In 1931, there were about 350 stations operating in the world; today, there are more than 8,000 stations and the data now comes in rapidly from these stations by electronic mail, internet and satellite. This increase in the number of stations and the more timely receipt of data has allowed us and other seismological centers to locate earthquakes more rapidly and to locate many small earthquakes which were undetected in earlier years. The NEIC now locates about 20,000 earthquakes each year or approximately 50 per day. Also, because of the improvements in communications and the increased interest in the environment and natural disasters, the public now learns about more earthquakes.

You can’t trust anything alarmists say. The standard MO is to lie about everything.

SOURCE (See the original for links and graphics)

Is global warming hysteria finally dying?

Global warming has been very quiet in the news lately. As every parent knows, when the children get very quiet in the other room it's time to go check on them. They're either into Mom's makeup or Dad's toolbox or…

Sure enough, on February 22 this New American article reported that "activist climate scientist" Peter Gleick, who "often touted himself as a defender of scientific integrity," posed as someone else to obtain confidential materials from the libertarian/free market Heartland Institute because the Institute "challenges the accuracy of the theory of manmade global warming."

Just a few days before that another Instituter, Matt Patterson of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, wrote "Global warming – the great delusion."

After noting such historical popular pathologies as "financial panics, medical quackery, alchemy, and witch crazes" he asserts, "In fact, global warming is the most widespread mass hysteria in our species’ history."

But that's ancient history. Before we accept or deny today's theories of dying glaciers, dying animals, dying people, dying coastal cities and dying civilizations we might want to look at these more recent scientifically calculated doomsday predictions and see how they're coming along today.

The Population Bomb will kill millions worldwide. "The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now." – First published in 1968.

The looming ice age will kill millions worldwide. "If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but 11 degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age." - Ecologist Kenneth Watt, 1970.

The Millennium Bug, or Y2K, will cause havoc worldwide. At midnight, the nation's air-traffic-control systems go dead. Security systems leave workers locked outside the front gate. The entire financial infrastructure, including the stock market, goes haywire. As the ball drops in Times Square, hospital machinery, like IV units and cardiac monitors, suddenly shuts down. Global positioning satellites get lost, leaving the nation vulnerable. – Selected predictions from "The Day The World Shuts Down," Newsweek, 1997.

So maybe it's time for people to stop worshipping "scientists" and technocrats. Instead of the global warming fanatics calling us Global Warming Deniers maybe it's time for us to start calling them Reality Deniers.


British wood-burning power station goes up in flames

What an odd thing for wood to do!

A severe fire that broke out at one of Europe's largest green power stations is now under control but there are fears that the blaze could continue to burn for days.

Around 120 firefighters have been tackling the fire at Tilbury Power Station, which erupted in a fuel storage area at 7.45am. Nobody was injured and all employees have been accounted for, but Chief Fire Officer David Johnson, from Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS), said it was one of the most challenging fires he had dealt with in his 20-year career.

Earlier today, he said it involved 4-6,000 tonnes of biomass in a wood pellet hopper high up in the power station building.

Opened in 1969, Tilbury previously operated as a coal-fired power station but has been converted to generate power from 100% sustainable biomass until its scheduled closure at the end of 2015.

Biomass plants burn wood pellets, generally made from compacted sawdust or other wastes from sawmilling and other manufactured wood products.

Mr Johnson said: 'The fire involves 4-6,000 tonnes of bio mass high up in the power station building. The fuel goes into vats and is taken into the plant on a conveyor belt.

'The fuel cells are designed to carry dry fuel so pouring water on to them and making them significantly heavier could potentially damage the structure of the building.

'There is an added complication that when the cells get wet, then dried by the fire, a crust will develop making it impossible for more water to penetrate the fire underneath.'

Fire crews were sent into the building to tackle the blaze using specialist high expansion foam on the burning hoppers to starve the fire of oxygen and create a safety blanket.

This afternoon the fire was said to be under control, with steady progress being made, but a spokesman said it was likely to remain a 'protracted incident'.

A statement said: 'The fire is under control and steady progress is being made. Crews continue to work in arduous conditions inside the power station building - three aerial ladder platforms are in use and internal firefighting operations continue...


Warmist professor of international law tries to make AGW a human rights issue

Warmists are getting more and more desperate as the UN promoted climate cult is fastly losing support among both decision makers and the general public worldwide. Dinah Shelton, professor of international law at the George Washington University Law School, is now trying to make global warming a human rights issue, "because nothing else is working":
Dinah Shelton, who chairs the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, said various regional treaties – to which over 100 countries are signatories – enshrine the “right to a safe and healthy environment”.

“Why take a human rights approach to climate change? First, in a rather cynical way because nothing else is working,” said Shelton, of the George Washington University Law School.

“We have seen efforts through the environmental law regime, we’ve seen 25 years of sustainable development since the Brundtland Commission, and the emphasis has been much more on ‘development’ than ‘sustainable’; the climate change situation does not seem to have improved.

“Can human rights address some of these issues in a more effective manner? I think the answer is yes, partly because of the very high place that human rights law plays in the global community.” .... Etc.

Professor Shelton is right about the cynicism (in her own approach) and the fact that human rights still has a high place in the (western part) of the global community. But her suggestion that the AGW religion should have some direct link to human rights is preposterous. By openly promoting the global warming scam, professor Shelton is seriously weakening the "high place that human rights law plays in the global community". But that does not seem to bother this climate cultist, who apparently is intent on destroying the credibility of her own field of research.

What is fortunate, however, is that professor Shelton´s approach to global warming is most certainly going to end up in the same heap of rubbish where we find the rest of the fake AGW science propaganda



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, February 27, 2012

Nitwit thinks a few degrees of temperature rise will melt the polar ice

He is trying to add a scare about increasing volcanoes and earthquakes to the usual scares about warming. But polar regions are VERY cold, far below the melting point of ice, so even if all the Warmist prophecies came true, there would be minor melting at the margins only. Excerpt:

So what – geologically speaking – can we look forward to if we continue to pump out greenhouse gases at the current hell-for-leather rate? With resulting global average temperatures likely to be several degrees higher by this century's end, we could almost certainly say an eventual goodbye to the Greenland ice sheet, and probably that covering West Antarctica too, committing us – ultimately – to a 10-metre or more hike in sea levels.

GPS measurements reveal that the crust beneath the Greenland ice sheet is already rebounding in response to rapid melting, providing the potential – according to researchers – for future earthquakes, as faults beneath the ice are relieved of their confining load. The possibility exists that these could trigger submarine landslides spawning tsunamis capable of threatening North Atlantic coastlines. Eastern Iceland is bouncing back too as its Vatnajökull ice cap fades away. When and if it vanishes entirely, new research predicts a lively response from the volcanoes currently residing beneath. A dramatic elevation in landslide activity would be inevitable in the Andes, Himalayas, European Alps and elsewhere, as the ice and permafrost that sustains many mountain faces melts and thaws.

Across the world, as sea levels climb remorselessly, the load-related bending of the crust around the margins of the ocean basins might – in time – act to sufficiently "unclamp" coastal faults such as California's San Andreas, allowing them to move more easily; at the same time acting to squeeze magma out of susceptible volcanoes that are primed and ready to blow.


Our wise leaders send messages from Antarctica trip

Former Vice President Al Gore has taken his fight against climate change to the South Pole, as his Climate Reality Project expedition ship arrived in Antarctica.

Joined by more than 100 other travellers including scientists, ministers and celebrities, the team set off from Argentina last week, crossing the legendary Drake Passage en-route to the Antarctic.

Gore has been joined by James Hansen from NASA, Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, along with Bangledesh’s minister of environment Hasan Mahmud, the President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, British billionaire Richard Branson and UNFCCC Chief Christiana Figueres.

Tweeting from the trip Figueres wrote: “Antarctica: highest coldest, windiest and driest continent of the planet. Most importantly: global bellwether of #climatechange.”

And amongst pictures of penguins, icebergs and seals she lamented their future prospects: “Greetings from a chinstrap penguin colony. Populations decreasing due to decreasing sea ice.”


Our wise leaders and expert guides seem unaware that Antarctic sea ice has been increasing over the last 30 years:

All men are equal -- except if you are "Green"

The ethics of parking eco-friendly cars: Why are universities privileging those who already have power, wealth and status if they drive a Prius?

Hourly wage workers at universities are daily reminded of the many ways their employers indicate their relative inferiority to its teachers and administrators who boast advanced degrees and certifications. One recent trend, the adoption of LEED parking standards, serves as testimony to how the knowledge class perpetuates privileges for those at the top of the university system.

LEED- -- which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design -- is an internationally recognized green building certification system, equivalent to a Good Housekeeping seal of approval for buildings that meet specific standards for being environmentally friendly. For example, Rush University Medical Center in Chicago proudly reports that it reserves 25 parking stalls at the entranceway of its parking garage for hybrid cars.

At issue is what these standards say about status relationships within the Academy. To frame this issue from a "critical perspective" so favored by many in the professoriate, we need to answer this question: Who is privileged and who disadvantaged by LEED parking standards?

Data indicate LEED parking standards favor university professionals who already have power, wealth, and status: mature, well-to-do, highly degreed members of the leisure class. Those most likely to earn reserved parking are:

Affluent. The Volt, a GM car for which purchasers, whose annual income averages US$175,000, receive a $7,500 taxpayer subsidy, "appeals to an affluent, progressive demographic," says Bill Visnic, senior editor for "It's rare. It's hard to get one. ... It's the same reason that people buy the really rare exotic cars: Because other people can't have one."

Similarly, 71 percent of Prius owners were found to earn more than $100,000 per year. A Topline Strategy Group study found a significant number of hybrid buyers trade down from foreign-made luxury vehicles, such as the Audi A6, BMW X3 or Acura TL, a means of exchanging a status symbol of the 90s for the new moniker of sophistication, one that earns its owner a highly visible and privileged parking space.

Urbane. The 2007 Scarborough Research lifestyle survey of 110,000 adults revealed hybrid owners are much more likely to go skiing, hiking, practice yoga and to consume organic food, yogurt, and decaffeinated coffee than the general population.

Highly educated. Walter McManus, of the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute reports "Hybrid car drivers have a level of education higher than any group of car drivers that I've ever seen."

Middle aged: J. D. Powers' research reveals hybrid drivers average close to 50 years of age.

By contrast, what populations are disadvantaged by LEED parking standards?

The working poor: those campus employees in such fields as landscaping, janitorial, secretarial, law enforcement, and food services, often disproportionately female, African-American and Hispanic, whose educations, incomes, and lack of social capital distinguish them from those who are privileged with reserved university parking. As approved cars are primarily three or fewer years old, LEED standards favor white-collar over blue-collar workers as well as married couples over the single-parent, populations who typically can only afford to purchase older, used cars rather than the new cars that qualify for reserved parking spaces.

Large families. LEED standards disadvantage large families as well. Van, pickup and SUV buyers all tend to have more children than other car buyers; in fact, research shows 45 percent of SUV buyers have two or more children.

Younger car owners. Other data show SUV purchasers to be young married couples, aged 30-35, with a median income of $60,000, substantially less than those who buy hybrid cars. Only two per cent of hybrid owners are 24 or younger.

Academics often tell students that citizens with the advantages of wealth, education, and breeding have an obligation to show empathy with and respect for the lives of those who do not possess the social, intellectual or economic capital of society's privileged classes.

If their motives were sincere, academic decision makers might develop alternative standards for privileged parking such special spaces for hourly wage “employee of the week” workers, as well as close-in parking for pregnant employees or for staff who have to pick up children after school, thus serving the interests of those caring for the most dependent members of society.

Alternatively, to produce provable reductions in gas use and emissions without privileging the well-to-do, schools could advocate carpooling, giving the best spaces to those cars with the most occupants. Or they could assign privileged spaces to those who live closest to the school and more distant spaces to those who drive longer distances and thus use more gas and emit more pollutants.

Unsurprisingly, many hourly wage employees at universities view sceptically those inside the Academy who profess to feel compassion for the young and for the working classes struggling to make a living in a harshly competitive world.


Obama's Federal Green-Car Fleet Promises Fall Flat

Well, color me surprised: yet another of the Obama administration's renewable-energy promises, borne of wishful green thinking and populist political appeal, meeting with resistance from that darn inconvenience that some might call reality. Bloomberg reports:
Obama gave speeches across the U.S. last year touting his twin goals of buying only alternative-fuel vehicles for the U.S. fleet by 2015 and getting 1 million electric vehicles on the country’s roads by that year.

That’s looking more difficult as the federal government learns the same lesson that U.S. car consumers have already figured out: it is tough being green. Rather than leading the way, the government has discovered that the high cost of hybrids and electric cars and their lack of availability often mean it makes more sense to buy cars with fuel-efficient conventional engines. ...

U.S. General Services Administration purchases of hybrid and electric models fell 59 percent in fiscal 2011 to about 2,645 as the federal fleet added 32,000 cars and trucks that can burn a fuel that’s 85 percent ethanol, or E85 vehicles, when it’s available. ...

So, they're scaling back on the hybrid and electric cars, because -- gasp -- they're just not that practical. But, the Obama administration does include vehicles that can use both E85 ethanol-based fuels and gasoline in it's definition of alternative-fuel vehicles... except, the special ethanol fuel isn't really practical, either:
The problem is that buying and driving ethanol fueled cars solves very little. The GSA, which owns about a third of the federal fleet, said last year that 88 percent of its alternative-fuel vehicles are capable of using ethanol. Still, ethanol fuel pumps are not very common and car owners, including the federal government, often have to use gasoline instead, said Lindland.

There are only about 2,512 ethanol fuel pumps available among the estimated 162,000 fueling stations that sell gasoline. There are about 6,033 electric charging stations, according to U.S. Department of Energy data.

The U.S. government, which has given automakers and suppliers money to develop electric-vehicle technologies, last year bought 2,645 hybrid, electric and fuel-cell vehicles, less than 5 percent of the 54,843 vehicles it bought, according to the data.

That’s a decrease from the 9.5 percent average of all purchases for those models in fiscal years 2010 and 2009, when economic stimulus spending fueled $300 million of fuel-efficient vehicle purchases for the federal fleet of about 600,000 cars and trucks.

The way this administration is experimenting on green energy projects with taxpayer dollars, you'd think we had money to burn instead of a more than one hundred percent debt-to-GDP ratio. And you know something -- I bet they would, literally, burn taxpayer dollars, if they thought they'd release less carbon than traditional gasoline.


Why fossil fuels are good

Marita Noon

"I'm trying to write a paper on why fossil fuels are good. I was wondering if you could help me out with some information? I couldn't find much information on the Internet because most people seem to think that fossil fuels are evil.”

The aforementioned is from an e-mail a young man named Cooper sent me the day before his paper was due. His father had heard me on the radio and suggested that Cooper contact me. I spent 45 minutes talking with him. Everything I said was a fresh new idea to Cooper. Obviously he was not being taught the complete picture. If Cooper had questions, others probably do, too. Here are the three things I told him that, like Cooper, you may not know, may have forgotten, or just haven’t thought about in a while.

With rising gas prices bringing energy into the debate, and President Obama setting his energy priorities out in his budget, it is important to be aware of some energy realities. Otherwise you may think fossil fuels are “evil,” when, in fact, they provide us with the freedom to come and go, to be and do.


With gas prices in the news, reporters are interviewing people in gas stations and getting their thoughts on the situation. One had a man proclaiming that oil is a precious resource. He stated that we needed the price to go up so people used less of it. I agree that oil is precious—as in valuable and important, but not as in scarce or rare.

Decades ago, it was thought that we were about to run out of oil. True, production in America did decline. But new privately developed technologies have both found more oil and natural gas and allowed us to use it more efficiently.

In America, a high-pressure extraction method known as “fracking” has brought forth vast new resources of both oil and natural gas. Areas not previously thought to be “oil country” are now buzzing with activity and economic growth. Best known is North Dakota’s Bakken Field, which is now producing more than 500,000 barrels of oil a day—more than the current infrastructure can transport.

Other new resource-rich regions include Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York (though New York is not maximizing its bounty), with fields known as the Utica Shale and the Marcellus Shale—which are rich in natural gas. These new areas have so much natural gas that the price has dropped to the lowest rate in a decade, and some companies are cutting back on drilling because the cost of extracting the resource versus the price they can sell it for makes it uneconomic at this time. Knowing that this gas is in the ground just waiting for us to need it is like a “Strategic Petroleum Reserve.” Similar fields have been found in other parts of the world, as well.

Technology has opened up vast new “deepwater” fields. The Julia Field was discovered in the Gulf of Mexico in 2007 and is believed to have one billion barrels of oil. Recent new discoveries have been found off the coast of Mozambique, Argentina, Israel, and in the North Sea.

Additionally, the resources that we have are now are used more efficiently—which makes them go farther than ever before. This is what is known as “resource expansion.” When I was a child, my father’s car got eight miles per gallon of gas (mpg). Today, most cars get more like 32 mpg—and if gas mileage is important, gasoline or diesel-fueled vehicles can be found, which get more than 50 mpg. Similar improvements have been made in the use of electricity as well.


One of the wonderful things about oil is that it can be easily transported—shipped, trucked, trained, or piped to the end user. While not as easily done, natural gas can be compressed or liquefied and use similar methods of transportation. Likewise, if needed, coal can be converted into a liquid fuel—though coal is more frequently used for electricity, rather than as a transportation fuel.

Because most of America’s infrastructure was built before there was opposition to anyone attempting to build anything near anyone, oil, natural gas, and coal are readily available. Nearly every major intersection and freeway exit has a gas station. Coal-fueled power plants are often built near where coal is available. In other locations, natural gas is the fuel of choice for electric power—because it is available.

Besides location and transportation, the other important thing about the availability of fossil fuels is that they are “available” when we want them—and this is, perhaps, their most valuable asset. This is true for both liquid/transportation fuels and electricity.

With transportation fuels, fossil fuels allow us instant fill-ups at the myriad gas stations we drive by every day. We stop, we fill up, and we go. With electric vehicles—the only kind that could be theoretically be powered by renewables—a fill-up takes 4-20 hours and is needed much more frequently than with fossil fuels.

With electricity powered by fossil fuels, rain or shine, wind or calm, we can expect the lights to turn on—unlike the highly touted renewables that need specific conditions to work. Because wind and solar (the most common “renewables”) are not 24/7, they require “back up”—usually in the form of natural gas or coal. Natural gas is the better back up, as like a natural gas kitchen stove, it can be turned on and off quickly.

Boiling a pot of water on your stove may take five minutes, while boiling that same pot of water over a charcoal fire would take an hour—with the bulk of the time being getting the coals hot enough to actually boil the water. While boiling a pot of water is an over-simplified example, it helped Cooper understand why natural gas was the preferred back up to intermittent wind or solar power. Which bring us to Affordable.


With the prices of gasoline rising as rapidly as they are—and electricity rates increasing, some might dispute the “affordable” argument. However, comparatively, fossil fuels are still affordable—and could be more so with favorable government policies (though, international unrest does play into the price of oil). Coal is the dominant source of electricity in America—providing nearly 50%. While natural gas’ abundance has dropped the price, making the price of natural gas-fueled electricity to be close to coal, the fact that we have existing coal-fueled power plants makes electricity from coal cheaper overall as converting power plants or building new ones significantly increases the costs. In some locations, such as Rhode Island, who use natural gas for their electricity, the lower prices for natural gas have actually caused the public utility commission to lower the rates.

With renewables, the cost of electricity is higher and the need for double power plants—wind or solar and natural gas or coal—means double costs.

Back in 2008, when gasoline prices spiked, President Bush announced a reversal on his father’s ban on offshore drilling. Nearly overnight the price of crude oil dropped and gasoline followed suit. It wasn’t that there was any more oil being produced, but on an international market, investors knew that more oil would be coming online—not less. The price dropped.

With the current policies—such as killing Keystone, blocking offshore drilling, and minimizing drilling on federal lands—the forecasts show less availability, not more. The price goes up. President Obama can give a speech saying he’s going to open up more of America’s resources, but the markets do not believe him, as every policy he sets in place says the opposite. Prices have continued to climb.

These policies are why the 2012 election is so important. Will we elect someone who believes that fossil fuels are “evil” or someone who understands that they deserve a triple “A” rating: abundant, available, affordable?

Cooper closed his paper with these words: “We must protect the future of our energy from politicians who have interests only in their own agendas and a misinformed public that believes fossil fuels are destroying the world, when they are actually fueling it. We will be dependent upon fossil fuels for a while, and that is fine. We have hundreds and hundreds of years to figure it out. Our fossil fuels should be utilized as long as possible. There is no other sensible option.”


Inhofe debuts 'Greatest Hoax' on Hannity tonight

Global-warming exposé to put final nail in coffin of scam

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., will launch his new book, “The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future,” on Sean Hannity’s Fox News Channel TV show tonight at 9:30 p.m. Eastern.

Inhofe has been a leader in Washington exposing the hoax of global warming – recently declaring victory over what he calls “the greatest hoax.”

Still, the Oklahoma Republican believes his work is not done.

“The Greatest Hoax” is published by WND Books, which has produced a higher percentage of New York Times bestsellers than any other publisher in the world since it was founded nine years ago.



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


Sunday, February 26, 2012

An outraged philosopher

An excerpt below from a very self-righteous person. As a philosopher he should both be wary of appeals to authority and know that false premises can lead to absurd conclusions. But he dives headfast into both of those bogs.

There is no reason why a philospher should abjure pronouncing on climate but he should certainly gain some familiarity with the science first. I myself have had papers on analytical philosphy (including moral philophy) published in the academic journals and I reject his conclusions utterly. So where does that get us? It should lead us to the science and there is a token of my familiarity with that in the header to this blog. It would have been nice if our puffed-up philospher had also first gone to the science. I am perfectly capable of reading and understanding academic journal articles in fields other than my own. Surely our profound thinker below could do likewise?

Those who deny the reality, importance, or magnitude of climate change warrant our collective outrage. Whether by action or inaction, their denial blinds us to the risks, vulnerabilities, and threats to our well-being posed by climate change. Insofar as claims of ignorance are becoming increasingly implausible, those who support or propagate the disinformation campaign about climate change are guilty of more than deception. They are guilty of exacerbating risks to our collective well-being and of undermining society.

Readers of this blog will be familiar with the current misinformation campaign waged against climate science. I will, therefore, take it on assumption for our purposes here that both (1) there is overwhelming evidence that climate change is taking place and (2) there is a concerted effort, through activity or negligence, to convince the public that there is no need for action. I take (2) to constitute the essence of what I will call the disinformation campaign about climate change. I take (1) to provide the focus of such a campaign, a campaign focused on convincing any and all that the science of climate change is not worth taking seriously or that the consequences of climate change are too uncertain to justify action.


Greenies are the intellectual descendants of the Nazis

Their eugenics, their false science, their nature worship, their belief in big government and their panic about running out of resources are identical. They would bump lots of us off too if they had the power. See below:

John P. Holdren, the top science adviser to President Barack Obama, wrote in a book he co-authored with population control advocates Paul and Anne Ehrlich that children from larger families have lower IQs.

The book—"Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions"—argued that the United States government had a “responsibility to halt the growth of the American population.”

“It surely is no accident that so many of the most successful individuals are first or only children,” wrote Holdren and the Ehrlichs, “nor that children of large families (particularly with more than four children), whatever their economic status, on the average perform less well in school and show lower I.Q. scores than their peers from small families.”

Holdren and the Ehrlichs published "Human Ecology" with W.H. Freeman and Company in 1973. In June 2000, a study published in American Pyschologist debunked the notion that children in larger families have lower I.Q.s. But when Holdren appeared in the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee in 2009 for a confirmation hearing on his appointment to run the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, he continued to argue for the benefits of “smaller families” on other bases.

In "Human Ecology," Holdren and the Ehrlichs concluded: “Population control is absolutely essential if the problems now facing mankind are to be solved.”

“Political pressure must be applied immediately to induce the United States government to assume its responsibility to halt the growth of the American population,” they wrote.

Holdren and the Ehrlichs also called in "Human Ecology" for redistributing wealth on a global basis. “Redistribution of wealth both within and among nations is absolutely essential, if a decent life is to be provided for every human being,” they wrote in their conclusions.

In a section of the book entitled, “Solutions,” in a chapter entitled, “Population Limitation,” the future Obama White House science adviser joined with the Ehrlichs in writing: “Any set of programs that is to be successful in alleviating the set of problems described in the foregoing chapters must include measures to control the growth of the human population.”

The authors then questioned the values of parents who have large families.

“Certain values conflict directly with numbers, although numbers may also be considered a value by some people, such as businessmen (who see bigger markets), politicians (who see more political power), and parents of large families,” Holdren and the Ehrlichs wrote.

“Those who promote numbers of people as a value in itself, however, may be overlooking the cheapness such abundance often brings,” they said.

“One form of conflict between values and numbers arises in the choice between having many deprived children or having fewer who can be raised with the best care, education, and opportunity for successful adulthood,” they said on pages 228-229. “This dilemma is equally acute whether it is posed to a family or a society. It surely is no accident that so many of the most successful individuals are first or only children; nor that children of large families (particularly with more than four children), whatever their economic status, on the average perform less well in school and show lower I.Q. scores than their peers from small families.”

In a footnote to this passage, Holdren and the Ehrlichs cite a “[r]eport of a National Academy of Sciences Study Panel” that “includes several articles on the advantages to children of being first-born or in small families.”

In the June 2000 issue of American Pyschologist, a team of authors joined to debunk the notion that smaller families somehow produced higher “quality” or more intelligent children. The team included Joseph Lee Rodgers of the Department of Psychology at the University of Oklahoma, Harrington Cleveland of the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina, David C. Rowe from the Division of Family Studies at the University of Arizona, and Edwin van den Oord of the Department of Psychology at the University of Utrecht.

The study these scholars did was based on an analysis of data from actual siblings collected by the federally sponsored National Longitudinal Study of Youth.

“A large amount of publicity has circulated over the past two decades suggesting to parents that they should limit their family size in the interest of, in Blake's (1981) words, ‘child quality,’” Rodgers and his co-authors wrote. “Zajonc (1975) published a popular article entitled ‘Dumber by the Dozen’ that certainly must have led some parents to believe they should limit their childbearing lest they place their children into the diluted intellectual environment predicted for later birth orders, close spacing, and larger families.

“The columnist Dr. Joyce Brothers answered a question sent into Good Housekeeping (February, 1981) by a mother of four asking if she should consider having another baby as follows: ‘Studies have shown that children reared in small families are brighter, more creative, and more vigorous than those from large families,’” the authors noted.

“However,” they said, “the belief that, for a particular set of parents in a modem country like the United States, a larger family will lead to children with lower IQs appears to be, simply, wrong. The belief that birth order effects on intelligence act directly to decrease the intelligence of children born later in a given family also appears to be, simply, wrong.”

“Do large U.S. families make low-IQ children? No,” said the authors. “Are birth order and intelligence related to one another within U.S. families? No.”

In a chapter of a book ("U.S Policy and the Global Environment") published in November 2000, Holdren called for national and international policies aimed at reducing family size as a means of forestalling “global climate disruption.”

“That the impacts of global climate disruption may not become the dominant sources of environmental harm to humans for yet a few more decades cannot be a great consolation, given that the time needed to change the energy system enough to avoid this outcome is also on the order of a few decades,” wrote Holdren. “It is going to be a very tight race. The challenge can be met, but only by employing a strategy that embodies all six of the following components: … increased national and international support for measures that address the motivations and the means for reducing family size.”

At his Senate confirmation hearing in 2009, Holdren said he no longer believed determining optimal population was the proper role of government. However, he did say that appropriate government policies would have the result of decreasing family sizes.

“I think the proper role of government is to develop and deploy the policies with respect to economy, environment, security that will ensure the well-being of the citizens we have,” Holdren testified. “I also believe that many of those policies will have the effect, and have had the effect in the past, of lowering birth rates because when you provide health care for women, opportunities for women, education, people tend to have smaller families on average and it ends up being easier to solve some of our other problems when that occurs.”

The Obama administration has issued a regulation, set to take effect on Aug. 1, that will require all health-care plans in the United States to cover sterilizations, artificial contraceptives and abortifacients without any fees or co-pay. Many American religious leaders, including all of the nation's Roman Catholic bishops, have denounced the regulation as an attack on religious liberty because it will force many Americans to act against their consciences and the teachings of their faith.


German Warmists say that the Arctic ice is melting faster

More prophecy. For those interested in reality, however, see the graph below. that short red line top left is where we are now -- in 2012. The current ice extent is actually quite high compared to recent years. In the most recent reading it was in fact higher than any other year on the graph

Climatologist Jochem Marotzke expects the disappearance of Arctic ice unless we slow greenhouse gas emissions.

The sea ice in the Arctic is disappearing faster than previous climate simulations have assumed. That's the bad news that scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI) and the German Climate Computing Centre in Hamburg brought with them on Thursday.

New simulations of the development of the Earth's climate, however, have shown conflicting results - that means that there is still hope for the salvation of the Arctic ice, but only if the international community subscribes to the aim of holding warming to no more than two degrees Celsius.


Electric car maker goes to court over their vehicle's limited range -- and loses

Tesla and the company's lawyers are nothing if not determined. After a judge smacked down the electric vehicle manufacturer's libel suit against the BBC and Top Gear for comments made about the range of the Tesla Roadster, the automaker rallied with a second, amended lawsuit. It didn't take long for the the same judge to nix the new case, too, saying the amendment was "not capable of being defamatory at all, or, if it is, it is not capable of being a sufficiently serious defamatory meaning to constitute a real and substantial tort."

That sound? It's the smack of the judicial backhand.

The judge went on to say drivers know a manufacturer's claim about range is dependent on driving conditions and habits.

The dustup, as you may recall, began when Top Gear put the Tesla Roadster through its paces on the show's test track. While Jeremy Clarkson lauded the car's acceleration, the segment claimed the vehicle ran out of juice after just 55 miles of abuse. That figure is far south of the 200 mile range Tesla claims for the vehicle. CEO Elon Musk called the show "completely phony" not long after the segment aired and brought out the legal guns. The rest, as they say, is history.


The government-imposed California dust bowl

Of all the problems within California — pension and budget deficits, high unemployment, an over-eager environmentalist agenda and a failed taxpayer-funded green energy firm — add a government-made dust bowl to the list.

Yes, California farmers who produce much of the produce that our nation depends upon are being strangled by a government imposed water shortage. To understand this situation, you first need to know that two-thirds of the state’s water comes from Northern California while two-thirds of California’s population is in the southern part of the state. But the most disconcerting part of the water problems in California involves the very middle of the state — the Central Valley.

The Central Valley can also go by another name: the salad bowl of the nation and quite possibly the world.

Agricultural production in the Central Valley of California accounts for $26 billion in total sales and 38 percent of the Valley’s labor force. Farmers in this area grow more than half the nation’s vegetables, fruits and nuts. In fact, if you buy domestic artichokes, pistachios, walnuts or almonds, there is about a 99 percent chance that they were all grown in California.

But in order for these products to grow, the Central Valley needs water — and the past few years the government has been withholding that vital resource.

Much of California’s water is pumped from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the federally owned Central Valley Project (CVP) and the California State Water Project (SWP). To understand the size, scope and capacity of these water systems, with California boasting a population of roughly 37 million people, these two projects deliver water to more than 27 million people. The CVP alone provides water to more than 600 family-owned farms, which produce more than 60 high-quality commercial food and fiber crops sold for the fresh, dry, canned and frozen food markets.

However, since both projects are under government control, something of a water war has ensued in California between Central Valley farmers and an environmentalist-driven agenda. The federal government is retaining water in the Delta to protect a three-inch fish called the delta smelt and other salmon species in the name of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Therefore those who depend on California’s unique water systems are faced with an ever-diminishing supply and are forced to make some tough choices.

Due to the limited supply of water going into the Central Valley, farmers don’t know one year to the next how much water they will receive, so they must decide what to plant and what once-productive farmlands to leave fallow. For perspective, farmers have been losing more than one million acre-feet of water annually — enough to irrigate 300,000 acres or a land area roughly half the size of Rhode Island.

This not only affects the prosperity and livelihood of these farmers, their families and entire communities, but the world’s food supply as well. Some farm communities in the Central Valley struggle with unemployment rates as high as 40 percent, which should come as no surprise since more than 50,000 people live and work in these communities dependent on the agricultural economy.

U.S. Congressmen who represent much of the Central Valley have had enough of the government control over the state’s water and introduced The Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act, H.R. 1837. If passed, this legislation would restore water supplies to the Valley and therefore provide job certainty to farmers and communities and decrease reliance on foreign food sources.

Original co-authors of the bill are California Republican Representatives Devin Nunes, Kevin McCarthy and Jeff Denham. The bill is slated to be debated on the House floor the last week of February.

Along with ensuring water flow back to the Central Valley, this bill also gives CVP water users incentive to pay back the federal government for constructing the project in the 1930s. California needed the help of the federal government to build the project at that time; however, many would now like to see the project belong to those who actually use and pay for the water. This should do nothing but please the government as it is projected to raise federal revenue by $300 million.

This bill also prevents a billion-dollar salmon fishery from being built with taxpayer dollars.

Lastly, a very critical part of the bill provides necessary protection to water users.

“This important legislation is rooted in the 5th Amendment, which protects all Americans against the seizure of private property without just compensation,” says Rep. Nunes. “Today, contracted water that is desperately needed in an economically depressed region, and which has already been paid for, is being taken by the government and dumped into the Pacific Ocean. Congress has a 14th Amendment duty to right this wrong.”

You see, some water users in California had access to the resource before California was even a state and therefore hold senior water rights over federal and state laws. Others had water rights before the state built its project, the SWP, and therefore have senior rights over state laws. But because the state and federal governments work collectively on water standards, and since they each own a different water project, dubious government projects — including the Endangered Species Act (ESA) — are taking over the rights of those who have senior water and private property rights. This bill ends that trend and protects citizens’ rights.

This bill would bring relief to farmers in the Central Valley and those to the north in the Sacramento Valley. Going back to the many issues that plague California, this bill is a welcomed change. It costs nothing, yet restores the rights of citizens, raises federal revenues and puts thousands of people back to work.

To put it in perspective, despite a near-record precipitation level of 198 percent in California last year farmers only received 80 percent allotment of their water supply. This year the situation looks bleak, with farmers expected to only receive 30 percent of their once-promised allotment.

“It’s hard to believe that a government would be willing to withhold water from its citizens in an attempt to protect a fish,” says Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government (ALG). “You might see this behavior from a corrupt dictator in another country, but it should never happen in America.”

In a state like California, water equals opportunity. If that opportunity continues to diminish the state will lose its most productive industry and be left with nothing except a government-imposed dust bowl.


Australian weather watchers confess long-distance vision dodgy

But they can tell us what the temperature will be in the year 2100!

THE weather bureau has revealed Day Seven of its long-range forecasts is wrong most of the time.

The bloopers include a "mostly sunny" outlook one week out from the disastrous Christmas Day hail storms.

"Isolated showers" were the long-range forecast for February 4 last year - the day Melbourne was swamped by flash flooding.

The 40 per cent accuracy rate for Day Seven temperatures is less than what the Day One forecast was 50 years ago, according to data compiled for the Herald Sun.

Weather bureau spokeswoman Andrea Peace has defended the use of seven-day forecasting, but admitted the uncertainty increased dramatically from the four-day mark.

"We use the main global models that are considered to be the best, and there can still be days where even for tomorrow they can all give conflicting results," Ms Peace said.

"The need is still there but people have to understand that it's a guide, it's an outlook and there's a strong possibility that it will change as you get closer to the day."

"Severe weather" was forecast closer to Christmas Day, but thousands of Melburnians were caught out by the storms, with hailstones and flash flooding causing tens of millions of dollars in damage.

Ms Peace said it was difficult to determine the severity of thunderstorms 24 hours out.

The figures show Day One forecasts are more accurate than ever with an 85 per cent strike rate in 2011. And the number of forecast failures - an error margin of 5C or more - was just three last year, 10 times fewer than in 1962. The Day One error margin has halved in 50 years to just over 1C, while the Day Seven forecast averaged a 2.5C error last year.

Ms Peace said technological advances had combined to hone forecasts over the years.

"As we get better computing power, the size of the grids is going to get smaller and smaller, so the computer models will be able to resolve smaller, more localised weather phenomena," she 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


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lindzen totally squashes the alarmists

By James Delingpole

Professor Richard Lindzen is one of the world's greatest atmospheric physicists: perhaps the greatest. What he doesn't know about the science behind climate change probably isn't worth knowing. But even if you weren't aware of all this, even if you'd come to the talk he gave in the House of Commons this week without prejudice or expectation, I can pretty much guarantee you would have been blown away by his elegant dismissal of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming theory.

Dick Lindzen does not need to raise his voice. He does not use hyperbole. In a tone somewhere between weariness and withering disdain, he lets the facts speak for themselves. And the facts, as he understands them, are devastating.

Here is how he began his speech, which was organised on behalf of the Campaign To Repeal the Climate Change Act:
Stated briefly, I will simply try to clarify what the debate over climate change is really about. It most certainly is not about whether climate is changing: it always is. It is not about whether CO2 is increasing: it clearly is. It is not about whether the increase in CO2, by itself, will lead to some warming: it should. The debate is simply over the matter of how much warming the increase in CO2 can lead to, and the connection of such warming to the innumerable claimed catastrophes. The evidence is that the increase in CO2 will lead to very little warming, and that the connection of this minimal warming (or even significant warming) to the purported catastrophes is also minimal. The arguments on which the catastrophic claims are made are extremely weak – and commonly acknowledged as such. They are sometimes overtly dishonest.

You can read a full version of his speech here. The Bishop has it up here.

But don't take my word for it. Simon Carr of the Independent (not a publication hitherto noted for its rampant AGW scepticism) was sufficiently impressed to write a blog on the subject headlined Is catastrophic global warming, like Millennium Bug, a mistake?

I think we know the answer to that one, eh?


Global Warming Is about Social Science Too

Who's in denial?

Both sides in the debate over global warming are known for calling their opposition all kinds of derisive names. Perhaps the worst is “denier” to describe those who allegedly deny that global warming is “real.” The echoes of Holocaust denial are indeed offensive, particularly because the debate over global warming often conflates science with social science. This matters because one could accept that science has established global warming but still reject for social scientific reasons the claim that the policies normally associated with environmentalism are the proper way to address its effects. Does that make one a “denier?” It is that question I hope to answer indirectly below.

To help clarify what’s at stake, I offer a list of questions that are (or should be) at the center of the debate over anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming. I will provide some quick commentary on some to note their importance and then conclude with what I see as the importance of this list.

1. Is the planet getting warmer?

2. If it’s getting warmer, is that warming caused by humans? Obviously this is a big question because if warming is not human-caused, then it’s not clear how much we can do to reduce it. What we might do about the consequences, however, remains an open question.

3. If it’s getting warmer, by what magnitude? If the magnitude is large, then there’s one set of implications. But if it’s small, then, as we’ll see, it might not be worth responding to. This is a good example of a scientific question with large implications for policy.

Matters of Science

All these questions are presumably matters of science. In principle we ought to be able to answer them using the tools of science, even if they are complex issues that involve competing interpretations and methods. Let’s assume the planet is in fact warming and that humans are the reason.

4. What are the costs of global warming? This question is frequently asked and answered.

5. What are the benefits of global warming? This question needs to be asked as well, as global warming might bring currently arctic areas into a more temperate climate that would enable them to become sources of food. Plus, a warmer planet might decrease the demand for fossil fuels for heating homes and businesses in those formerly colder places.

6. Do the benefits outweigh the costs or do the costs outweigh the benefits? This is also not frequently asked. Obviously, if the benefits outweigh the costs, then we shouldn’t be worrying about global warming. Two other points are worth considering. First, the benefits and costs are not questions of scientific fact because how we do the accounting depends on all kinds of value-laden questions. But that doesn’t mean the cost-benefit comparison isn’t important. Second, this question might depend greatly on the answers to the scientific questions above. In other words: All questions of public policy are ones that require both facts and values to answer. One cannot go directly from science to policy without asking the kinds of questions I’ve raised here.

7. If the costs outweigh the benefits, what sorts of policies are appropriate? There are many too many questions here to deal with in detail, but it should be noted that disagreements over what sorts of policies would best deal with the net costs of global warming are, again, matters of both fact and value, or science and social science.

8. What are the costs of the policies designed to reduce the costs of global warming? This question is not asked nearly enough. Even if we design policies on the blackboard that seem to mitigate the effects of global warming, we have to consider, first, whether those policies are even likely to be passed by politicians as we know them, and second, whether the policies might have associated costs that outweigh their benefits with respect to global warming. So if in our attempt to reduce the effects of global warming we slow economic growth so far as to impoverish more people, or we give powers to governments that are likely to be used in ways having little to do with global warming, we have to consider those results in the total costs and benefits of using policy to combat global warming. This is a question of social science that is no less important than the scientific questions I began with.

I could add more, but this is sufficient to make my key points. First, it is perfectly possible to accept the science of global warming but reject the policies most often put forward to combat it. One can think humans are causing the planet to warm but logically and humanely conclude that we should do nothing about it.

Second, people who take that position and back it up with good arguments should not be called “deniers.” They are not denying the science; they are questioning its implications. In fact, those who think they can go directly from science to policy are, as it turns out, engaged in denial – denial of the relevance of social science.


Another climatologist says global warming is bunk

The former Oregon State Climatologist says he's a denier when it comes to thinking humans can make a big impact on Global Warming. He also says he disputes many of the views of Al Gore and others who support the Global Warning theory.

George Taylor, who was the State Climatologist under Governor Kulongoski, said his opinion is that the biggest human effect on climate is land use.

Taylor spoke to the Douglas Timber Operators Thursday morning, and says the alarmists who claim the statistics show the earth is warming are using only the part of the data that supports their decision.

He says if you look at the bigger picture, the climate goes in cycles and there is virtually no trend at all. "When you start a trend on the snowiest year on record, and when we're en route through a dry period that was really a drought, but you know if you show the whole data set you don't see any trend."

Taylor says the data also shows that there is also no obvious trend in severe weather patterns increasing. "There's busy years, there are quiet years, is there any trend over time? Wow, if there is, I'm sure not seeing it," he said.

Taylor is a professor at Oregon State University and was the State Climatologist before a disagreement with Governor Kulongoski. He now owns his own consulting firm in Corvallis.


Why Doesn’t Greenpeace Demand a Congressional Probe of James Hansen’s Outside Income?

The Heartland Institute plans to pay Indur Goklany, an expert on climate economics and policy, a monthly stipend to write a chapter on those topics for the Institute’s forthcoming mega-report, Climate Change Reconsidered 2012. Earlier this week, Greenpeace and Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) called for a congressional investigation of Goklany. In addition to being an independent scholar, Goklany is a Department of Interior employee. Federal employees may not receive outside income for teaching, writing, or speaking related to their “official duties.”

But as I pointed out yesterday on this site, climate economics and policy are (to the best of my knowledge) not part of Goklany’s “official duties.” It would be shocking if they were. Goklany is a leading debunker of climate alarm and opposes coercive decarbonization schemes. Why on earth would the Obama Interior Department assign someone like that to work on climate policy?

Greenpeace and Grijalva have got the wrong target in their sites. The inquisition they propose might actually have some merit if directed at one of their heroes: Dr. James Hansen of NASA. Hansen has received upwards of $1.6 million in outside income. And it’s not unreasonable to assume that most or all of that income was for teaching, writing, and speaking on matters “related to” his “official duties.”

My colleague Chris Horner laid out the juicy details last November in a column posted on Watts Up With That. In “Dr. James Hansen’s growing financial scandal, now over a million dollars of outside income,” Chris argued that Hansen gets substantial outside income for activities related to his official duties and does not always comply with federal financial disclosure regulations:
NASA records released to resolve litigation filed by the American Tradition Institute reveal that Dr. James E. Hansen, an astronomer, received approximately $1.6 million in outside, direct cash income in the past five years for work related to — and, according to his benefactors, often expressly for — his public service as a global warming activist within NASA.

This does not include six-figure income over that period in travel expenses to fly around the world to receive money from outside interests. As specifically detailed below, Hansen failed to report tens of thousands of dollars in global travel provided to him by outside parties — including to London, Paris, Rome, Oslo, Tokyo, the Austrian Alps, Bilbao, California, Australia and elsewhere, often business or first-class and also often paying for his wife as well — to receive honoraria to speak about the topic of his taxpayer-funded employment, or get cash awards for his activism and even for his past testimony and other work for NASA.

Ethics laws require that such payments or gifts be reported on an SF278 public financial disclosure form. As detailed, below, Hansen nonetheless regularly refused to report this income.

Also, he seems to have inappropriately taken between $10,000 and $26,000 for speeches unlawfully promoting him as a NASA employee.

There’s more in Chris’s post, but you get the drift.

Now, I wondered whether Hansen, an employee of NASA, an independent agency, is subject to the same outside compensation rules as Goklany, an employee of an Executive Agency. The answer is yes. NASA’s guidelines on “outside employment” state that ”Employees should refer generally to the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, 5 CFR Part 2635,” and must comply with Subpart H.

CFR Part 2365, Subpart H bars an employee from receiving compensation for speaking, teaching, or writing “that relates to the employee’s official duties.” Quite sensibly, though, the employee may receive compensation for speaking, teaching, or writing not related to his official duties:
Note: Section 2635.807(a)(2)(i)(E) does not preclude an employee, other than a covered noncareer employee, from receiving compensation for teaching, speaking or writing on a subject within the employee’s discipline or inherent area of expertise based on his educational background or experience even though the teaching, speaking or writing deals generally with a subject within the agency’s areas of responsibility.

This language seems to fit Goklany to a tee. The proposed chapter for Heartland on climate economics and policy is within Goklany’s discipline and area of expertise but it is not related to his official duties.

Can anyone with a straight face say the same about Hansen? How could Hansen’s teaching, speaking, and writing about climate change not be related to his official duties? How then could the outside income he has received for those activities not be unlawful?

Rep. Grijalva’s demand for a House Resources Committee “hearing” on Goklany is preposterous. A letter of inquiry would suffice even if there were evidence of improper conduct, which there is not.

My unsolicited advice to Committee Chair Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) is to politely reject Grijalva’s request but also to ask Grijalva, just for the record, whether he and Greenpeace think the Committee should investigate James Hansen’s million dollar-plus outside income.


Rio+20 Alert

The UN’s Rio+20 meeting will take place in June of this year, and already the propaganda machine is at work. The UN’s High-level Panel on Global Sustainability, has just issued its report on sustainability. A single line in the report establishes its intent: “Achieving sustainability requires us to transform the global economy.”

The word government(s) was repeated 193 times in the 99-page report.

While issues such as social justice and inequality are continuously mentioned in the report, energy is central to what the report requires governments to do. Two of the goals in the report are:

* Incorporating social and environmental costs in regulating and pricing of goods and services.

* Expanding how we measure progress in sustainable development by creating a sustainable development index.

Both of these goals are to allow governments to manipulate the free market economy by establishing costs and indexes relying on people’s opinions. GDP is no longer an appropriate measure. Both goals have their greatest effect on energy development and use.

For example, the report says, in two locations, “A tax on the most important energy-related greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, would be another economically efficient means of addressing externalities." The report says:

* “Integrating environmental and social issues into economic decisions is vital to success.” And

* “[It’s time] to bring the sustainable development paradigm into mainstream economics.” And for “a new political economy”

Incorporating the concept of externalities into cost structures has been the dream of environmentalists for decades.

Externalities are theoretical costs that aren’t included in a financially based, cost structure. CO2 emissions are one such fabricated cost, as is damage to the landscape from mining. But, one wonders whether eye-sores created by wind turbines will be included as an externality cost? Obviously, attempting to include externalities in a cost structure is speculative, largely based on opinions and prone to abuse.

Stopping CO2 emissions and preventing climate change is a major part of the sustainability report.

The old idea of resource scarcity is also a central part of the report … in spite of the fact that we have always found more resources, or developed alternatives when needed. The Malthusian doctrine is alive and well in the eyes of the United Nations, though now it is referred to as the framework of “planetary boundaries” designed to define a “safe operating space for humanity”.

The report seems to cast a very wide net in so far as to what issues are included in sustainability. They include:

Universal health care
Social assistance
Fighting corruption
Employment guarantees
Equal rights

The report also raises the old canard that increased extreme weather has caused increased financial losses, even mentioning Katrina. It’s well documented that increased financial losses are due, not to increased extreme weather events, but, rather, to growing populations, building in areas subject to threats, such as next to the ocean, and the increased cost of construction.

It also repeats the need for developed countries to contribute $100 billion annually to a development fund.

Prerequisites for sustainable growth are identified in the report as: “Democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and equality for women and men, as well as access to information, justice and political participation.”

But the UN report omits a key prerequisite for economic development: Property rights. Without property rights, people cannot benefit from their efforts. Why does the report omit Property Rights, an essential prerequisite for economic growth?

It’s interesting to look at the authors of the report. Out of 20 members of the UN Panel that prepared the report, only one was from the United States … and she was Susan Rice, a member of the current president’s cabinet. Seven of the 20 were at some time, environmental ministers or proponents of green growth.

Only one, James Laurence Balsillie, former Co-Chief Executive Officer of Research in Motion, had any connection to business.

The report says that a “new global sustainable development council” should be established under the UN General Assembly.” Its duties will include having the United States explain its Policies.

The United States has only one vote in the General Assembly, and is repeatedly outvoted there.

Rio+20 could result in actions that severely restrict the ability of the United States to develop and use its energy resources.

The 1992 Rio conference created the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), a treaty that WAS ratified by the United States, and where the UN holds UNFCCC meetings every year at which the United States is consistently outvoted.

It’s not certain what will evolve from Rio+20.


British government's energy plans could cost UK billions if gas price falls, warns Policy Exchange

The Government's energy plans could cost the UK billions of pounds if a shale gas boom brings down the price of gas because current policy is predicated on high prices, a think tank has warned.

Policy Exchange argued that the government's "flawed strategy towards the electricity generation market" is "unnecessarily gambling with bill-payers' money".

"The view that future gas prices are likely to be high was a key driver of the government's Electricity Market Reform (EMR) proposals," it said. "No one can predict future gas prices but shale gas developments suggest prices may be lower than previously assumed."

The think tank argues that EMR directs money to technologies such as wind power in preference to gas, and that if the price of gas comes down the UK would therefore no longer have the gas-fired generation flexibility to fully benefit, potentially meaning it would lose out on billions of pounds.

It said: "The Department for Climate Change's own figures show that the costs of its electricity market plans will be £22bn higher if future gas prices are low, than if they are high."

The think tank did not estimate future gas prices and said shale gas potential was uncertain, but there was a real prospect of gas being cheaper than previously expected. In a new report, it urges the government "to recast EMR to allow the market to discover and invest in the cheapest emissions reductions, whether gas or other technologies".

The warning came as manufacturers' organisation EEF claimed that Government plans to double the Carbon Price Floor could push up industrial electricity prices by more than 6pc and cost the UK economy £300m.

The government had previously indicated the Carbon Price Support levied on fossil fuels used for power generation would increase from £4.94 per tonne of CO2 in 2013/14 to about £7.24 per tonne in 2014/15.

However, the manufacturers' organisation understands that the Government is planning to increase that to £10 per tonne in the Budget next month.

Steve Radley, EEF Director of Policy, said: "Yet another unilateral increase on this scale, coming at a time when the economy is still in recovery, would only serve to widen further the gap between electricity prices in the UK and those in our competitors in Europe.

"The more government policies push up the cost of operating in the UK, the harder it will be for manufacturers to invest, create jobs and compete in global markets."



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