Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Big Greenie loss in the U.S. Senate: Subsidies for windmills and biofuels to expire

The US Senate voted not to adopt an amendment to a highway transportation bill that would have extended the wind production tax credit (PTC) for one year until 31 December 2013 and revived the Section 1603 Treasury cash grant programme for renewable energy projects.

The 49-49 vote on the amendment introduced by Senator Debbi Stabenow, a Michigan Democrat, was short of 60 needed for approval. Forty-seven Democrats were joined by two independents in voting for the measure, while 45 Republicans were joined by four Democrats in opposing it. Two Republican senators did not vote.

It was the latest setback for the wind industry, which has been lobbying Congress for a four-year extension of the PTC instead of an additional 12 months. The 1603 cash grant program, which expired last year, offered renewable energy developers a direct cash payment of up to 30% for power projects in lieu of the federal investment tax credit.

Denise Bode, president of the American Wind Energy Association, says the industry is disappointed that tens of thousands of American jobs are being put in peril by partisan gridlock in Washington.

Critics of the PTC in the Senate argue that in an era of runaway deficits, the federal government can't afford to keep pouring billions of dollars in subsidies to sustain an industry that generates 3% of US electricity.


Jet Stream Wave Patterns Further Distort the Official Global Temperatures


Some know the inadequacies of the world temperature data. Few know the degree of manipulation and corruption of the data done to prove the 20th century temperature increase was unnatural. It completely undermines the scientific claims of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Lack of accurate data was the problem the father of modern climatology, Hubert Lamb, identified when he set up the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) because: ".it was clear that the first and greatest need was to establish the facts of the past record of the natural climate in times before any side effects of human activities could well be important".

The situation is worse now sadly, due to people at the CRU and government weather agencies.

Lamb would be mortified because people at the CRU and those closely associated, including government agencies, manipulated the data to achieve results. Major evidence humans caused warming were made in the 2001 IPCC by Phil Jones, one of Lamb's successors as Director of the CRU. He said global temperatures increased 0.6øC since the end of the 19th century. This was claimed to be outside natural increases and only possible because of human addition of CO2. The difficulty is, everyone ignores the error range Jones included of ñ0.2øC. A 33 percent error factor would preclude its use in any other circumstance. Besides, we will never know because Jones lost the original data, thwarting the fundamental scientific test of reproducible results.

It was likely selected, adjusted, and manipulated because this happens to all temperature data. Joe D'Aleo and Anthony Watts demonstrate the extent with examples of what and how it was done. This article presents one more way in which the location of selected weather stations influences and biases results.

Data was always inadequate, especially on which to build computer models, but that was ignored. A variety of statistical devices, most illogical, were created to produce the desired political result. The data situation has deteriorated considerably since Lamb retired. There are far fewer stations now than then. Figure 1 shows the number of stations in 1970 compared to 1997.

The map is misleading because each station dot is proportionally about 200km across - but still the change is dramatic. Gaps are so great they make analysis meaningless, but the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) does it anyway. As D'Aleo and Watts explain:

"To fill in these areas requires NOAA to reach out maybe 1250km or more (in other words using Atlanta to estimate a monthly or annual anomaly in Chicago)."

As D'Aleo explained to me: "GISS says they use 1200km, which means they search an area that covers 1,745,799.52 square miles to find data to fill in holes. This is roughly halfway between the total area of India and Australia and roughly three times the size of Alaska."

D'Aleo and Watts itemize the adjustments to the records, and in every case it enhances the amount and rate of warming. Other changes, such as use of fewer stations, and a higher percentage of urban and land stations, all enhance the warming.

Another factor that enhances warming is the predominance of stations in the middle latitudes, but particularly in eastern North America and Western Europe. Middle latitude monthly temperature variation is greater than in polar or tropical regions. Large planetary waves (Rossby Waves) form along the boundary between cold polar air and warm tropical air. The Waves migrate from west to east, creating a general 4- to 6-week cycle of temperature. Figures 2 and 3 show two different conditions of the Wave pattern relative to North America and Western Europe.

In this discussion a cold Wave is when polar air on the poleward side of the Jet Stream covers eastern North America and Western Europe as in Figure 2. It's a warm Wave when tropical air covers these regions as in Figure 3.

Because of the general length of the Waves from peak to peak the likelihood of both areas being warm or cold is quite high. As a result the predominance of stations can skew the average for a particular month. The argument that the pattern cancels itself out over a year doesn't hold. The stations used are predominantly urban and affected by the urban heat island effect (UHIE), this means the temperatures from the two regions are higher in summer and winter.

Dominance of the number of stations in these regions and at this latitude is significant because they're a high percentage of the global total. This is just one more problem with a totally inadequate system, deliberately corrupted to achieve results for a political agenda.

SOURCE (See the original for links and graphics)

Wind power: Fuelling an inconvenient delusion that spells ruin for Scotland

WIND power - more accurately wind impotence, since turbines operate at just 24 per cent of capacity - is the curse of Scotland. One of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe has been brutally ravaged, families have been driven into fuel poverty, pensioners have been presented with the lethal dilemma "heat or eat" - all to appease the neurotic prejudices of global warming fanatics.

Last week, the punitive costs of this lunacy were exposed in a report by Professor Gordon Hughes, professor of economics at Edinburgh University. He has calculated that the bill for wind energy by 2020 will cost consumers £120 billion. Yet generating the same amount of electricity from efficient gas-powered stations would cost only £13bn. Where the full insanity of the renewables option is brought home is in Professor Hughes' claim that, beyond the crippling cost to consumers, "there is a significant risk that annual CO2 emissions could be greater under the Wind Scenario than the Gas Scenario". The optimistic forecast is that wind power might reduce carbon emissions by 2.8 per cent: the worst-case scenario, as the quote above shows, is actually a negative carbon reduction - achieved at a cost of £120bn.

The inefficiency of wind turbines requires perpetual back-up by building gas turbine power stations - running two parallel energy generation systems, each alternately redundant, in times of economic crisis. The fiscal ratchet is turning relentlessly. The Renewables Obligation, introduced in Scotland in 2002, forces electricity suppliers to source an increasing proportion of power from renewables, currently 11.1 per cent and rising. By 2027 this scam will have cost UK customers £32bn.

Rook customers for a further £24 a year towards the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target, £42 to subsidise wind farms, £13 from gas consumers to fund the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and £25 to support renewables, and what do you have? An average Scottish household energy bill of £1,345, with families spending more than 14 per cent of their monthly income on gas and electricity, compared with 8 per cent in 2005. Yet by 2020 these costs will be recalled nostalgically as the days of cheaper energy, once the green taxes really kick in. There are now 900,000 Scottish households in fuel poverty, which the SNP government has pledged to eliminate by November 2016. They are going about it in a strange way.

It is not bad news for everybody: across the UK a dozen landowners are sharing £850 million in subsidies for wind turbines. Some people claim to regard turbines as beautiful; that aesthetic prejudice is understandable if you are the owner of a turbine earning £250,000 in subsidies to generate £150,000 worth of electricity, the ratio revealed in the report. A study by Professor David MacKay, of Cambridge University, estimated it would require an area the size of Wales completely covered with wind turbines to supply just one-sixth of the UK's energy needs. That would be fine with Alex Salmond - Scotland might just fit the bill.

The worst enormity of this scheme for the environmental devastation (in the name of saving the environment) and impoverishment of Scotland is that it is all founded on a superstition: the Grande Peur of man-made global warming. Never has science been so shamelessly manipulated. Forget the notorious frauds - the discredited "Hockey Stick", Al Gore's misrepresentations of ice-core samples, the Siberian tree rings, the melting Himalayan glaciers, the University of East Anglia emails, the sea levels rising only in computer models, the polar bear population "declining" from 5,000 to 25,000 since 1970 - and go to the original false premise.

Of the specifically defined "greenhouse gases," the most abundant is water vapour, but global warmists perversely exclude it from their calculations. When asked why, they reply that it is "customary" to do so. The reason, of course, is that since water vapour accounts for 95 per cent of the greenhouse effect, removing it vastly increases the proportion of carbon dioxide in the equation. With water vapour included, as it should be, CO2 represents only 3.6 per cent of the greenhouse effect. Overall, just 0.28 per cent of the greenhouse effect is man-made; within that, man-made CO2 accounts for 0.117 per cent of the greenhouse effect.

That is the total global output by humanity. If the prescriptions of the Kyoto Accord were universally implemented they would reduce it by 0.035 per cent. Diligent mathematicians may, if they wish, apply themselves to calculating Scotland's contribution to that minuscule CO2 production, harmless in any case since solar activity is the likeliest cause of cyclical climate change. That is the "threat" to our existence in response to which Alex Salmond is destroying the landscape of his country and imposing hardship on its people. To the faithful, of course, this is the Great Leap Forward.


School Standards Wade into Climate Debate

After many years in which evolution was the most contentious issue in science education, climate change is now the battle du jour in school districts across the country.

The fight could heat up further in April, when several national bodies are set to release a draft of new science standards that include detailed instruction on climate change.

The groups preparing the standards include the National Research Council, which is part of the congressionally chartered National Academies. They are working from a document they drew up last year that says climate change is caused in part by manmade events, such as the burning of fossil fuels. The document says rising temperatures could have "large consequences" for the planet.

Most climate experts accept those notions as settled science. But they are still debated by some scientists, helping to fuel conflicts between parents and teachers.

When Treena Joi, a teacher at Corte Madera School in Portola Valley, Calif., last year showed her sixth-grade students the global-warming movie "An Inconvenient Truth"-a documentary in which former Vice President Al Gore issues dire warnings about climate change-the drama quickly spread beyond the classroom.

A father filed a formal complaint accusing Ms. Joi of "brainwashing" the students. He demanded that she apologize to her students or be fired, according to the complaint. The local school superintendent settled the matter by requiring parental permission before students viewed the movie in the future and prohibiting teachers from talking about ways to address climate change.

Ms. Joi said she knew the movie had stirred controversy but was surprised by the extent of the response. "I've taught other subjects-evolution and sex-ed-without as much pushback," she said.

Skeptics say students are getting a one-sided picture when teachers unveil scary scenarios and blame human activities for global warming. "At this point, I think there is no evidence to support alarm," said Richard Lindzen, a professor of meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a vocal critic of climate-change theories.

The battle over climate change is reminiscent of the debate over evolution, which first began decades ago, in which parents and outside groups, usually coming from a Christian perspective, object to teaching Darwin's theory as scientific fact.

Parents on both sides are sensitive to perceived slights in the classroom. Kimberly Danforth, a 50-year-old mother in Clifton Park, N.Y., said she complained to a school science adviser when she learned that her daughter's ninth-grade teacher faked a gagging motion while talking about climate change.

The teacher explained he was playing devil's advocate and actually believed in mainstream climate-change theories, but Ms. Danforth, who believes children should be taught about global warming, wasn't persuaded. "He seemed to be thumbing his nose at our values," she said.

The National Center for Science Education, an advocacy group that has defended the teaching of evolution, now has an initiative to support climate-change education. Like evolution, climate change is "settled science," said the center's executive director, Eugenie Scott. "We shouldn't fight the culture wars in the high-school classroom."

A conservative think tank, the Heartland Institute, is pursuing a competing effort to develop a K-12 curriculum that questions the idea of manmade global warming, according to David Wojick, a consultant who is designing the plan.

An online search about climate-change education shows "a vast and expensive array of.teaching materials" backing the view that manmade events contribute to climate change, Mr. Wojick said. "Teaching the scientific debate instead is a grand challenge," he added.

The new science standards, which are being updated for the first time since the mid-1990s, are set to be made final by year end. They will teach students graduating from eighth grade that human activities are "major factors" in global warming, according to the document adopted last year. Students graduating from 12th grade would be taught that future warming predictions are based on models that inform "decisions about how to slow its rate and consequences."

Loris Chen, a science teacher at Eisenhower Middle School in Wyckoff, N.J., said teachers have a responsibility to introduce young people to the scientific consensus. "There are some students who, for various reasons, come into class with a belief against climate change or global warming," she said. "I try to tell them, 'Keep an open mind and see where the data leads you.' "

While states set their own educational curriculum, many are likely to use the scientific standards as guidelines. But the approach to climate change could be a sticking point for some states. In one, South Dakota, the state House has already passed a resolution saying climate change should be taught as a "theory rather than a proven fact."

Rose Pugliese, a lawyer in western Colorado who has asked her local school board to prevent teachers from presenting climate change as fact, said schools should encourage students to reach their own conclusions.

"Unless we've got conclusive evidence one way or another-and I don't think we'll have that for hundreds of years-I think both sides should be taught," Ms. Pugliese said. "Allow the kids to figure it out for themselves."

That approach would mislead students, contends Martin Storksdieck, a director at the National Research Council who is helping to develop the new science standards. "What would be conveyed to them is not how science works-it's how politics works," Mr. Storksdieck said.


Carbon emissions hit a new record, say Australian scientists

But at the same time temperature stops rising and has now been static for 15 years. So what's the worry? No answer to that below!

GREENHOUSE gases have risen to their highest level since modern humans evolved, and Australian temperatures are now about a degree warmer than they were a century ago, a major review by the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology has found.

The national climate report, to be released today, said Australia's current climate "cannot be explained by natural variability alone" and that emissions resulting from human activity were playing an increasingly direct role in shaping temperatures.

Australian researchers were able to identify the "fingerprint" of the carbon dioxide particles in the atmosphere, by testing the isotopes in CO2 particles, and confirm that the increase came from fossil fuels burnt in power stations and cars.

"We saw a dip in carbon dioxide emissions during the global financial crisis, but that period is now over," said the chief executive of the CSIRO, Megan Clark. "Levels are now rising steadily again, in line with the trend."

The carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere reached 390 parts per million in 2011, the highest level in 800,000 years.

The average day and night-time temperatures in Australia are now about a degree higher than they were a century ago, the State of the Climate 2012 report said.

"Multiple lines of evidence [such as?] show that global warming continues and that human activities are mainly responsible," it said.

The report gathered observations from thousands of experiments, mapping increases in air and water temperature and plotting rising sea levels.

Data gathered from gauges around the coast showed sea levels continuing to rise off Sydney and much of the NSW coast at a rate of about 5 millimetres per year, while some areas of the tropics, including Darwin, are seeing rises of up to 1 centimetre per year. Most of the rise is attributed to thermal expansion, or warmer water temperatures meaning that H20 molecules take up more space.

"The observed global-average mean sea-level rise since 1990 is near the high end of projections from the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report," the researchers found.

On average, global sea levels are about 21 centimetres higher today than they were in 1880, when reliable records began to be kept. The report also noted increases in heavy rainfall events across most of eastern Australia, but also more bushfires. The trend for Sydney is towards more monsoonal rains. "The Mediterranean weather we have become used to seems to be fading," Dr Clark said.

A CSIRO atmospheric scientist, Paul Fraser, said the world was now on track to pass the 400 parts per million level for CO2 emissions in under five years.

Researchers at an air monitoring station at Cape Grim in Tasmania have been testing the composition of carbon dioxide molecules. The measurements include a form of "carbon dating", where the amount of carbon-14 particles indicates the age of a particle.

"The only process you can come up with that fits the profile of the CO2 we measure is the combustion of fossil fuels," Dr Fraser said.

Observations at Cape Grim have been tracking the changing composition of the air for decades. Since 2000, fossil fuel emissions in CO2 samples have been increasing by about 3 per cent a year, but a decline of about 1.2 per cent a year took place as energy demand slackened during the financial crisis.

Growth in human-induced CO2 emissions has now rebounded back to about 5.9 per cent a year, the report said.


Insured disaster

The insurance industry has been behind the global-warming fraud since the 1970s

Lawrence Solomon

Your home insurance premiums - and the insurance industry's profits - depend largely on the industry's skill in making two types of investments: in the stock market and in marketing that scares the bejesus out of its customers.

The insurance industry, like most in these turbulent times, hasn't done well of late in picking blockbuster stocks. But it has done brilliantly in picking blockbuster scares - all related to global warming. The upshot? The insurance industry wants more money to cover its poor stock picks. And more money again to cover future global warming risks. With the government's blessing, insurers will now jack up your home insurance premiums by 10% to 15% in the coming year.

The insurance industry earned every dollar that it makes from global warming - its sharp-eyed marketers spotted the potential before anyone else. In 1973, Munich Re, one of the world's largest insurers, warned that rising temperatures could result in receding glaciers and polar caps, shrinking lakes, and rising ocean temperatures, with carbon dioxide as the culprit.

"We wish to enlarge on this complex of problems in greater detail, especially as - as far we know - its conceivable impact on the long-range risk trend has hardly been examined to date," Munich Re concluded. And enlarge on the problem it did. Munich Re enlisted others in the insurance industry and then methodically and relentlessly made its case to Greenpeace, other environmentalists and other industries that stood to profit.

The result was the greatest environmental scare success in history. By 1979 large numbers of scientists were on board, the World Climate Conference expressing concern that "continued expansion of man's activities on Earth" may lead to climate change. By 1988, the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's was born. By 1992, Maurice Strong and Al Gore held the Rio Conference and by 1997, the Kyoto Treaty was a reality.

Canada's insurance industry also led. One year after Kyoto, the industry founded and has ever since funded the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, which it installed at the University of Western Ontario. This sciencey-sounding institute, which calls itself "an independent, not-for-profit research institute," has as its executive director Paul Kovaks, formerly of the Insurance Bureau of Canada, the industry's lobby group. The institute's board? Its chair's day job is president and chief executive of Co-operators Group, while other directors include top dogs at State Farm Canada, Swiss Reinsurance, Lloyd's Canada and Allstate Canada.

The main work of the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, naturally enough, involves avoiding catastrophic loss reductions on the balance sheets of Co-operators, State Farm and its other corporate members. The research from this bought-and-paid-for operation has then justified higher insurance rates on the basis "that the frequency and severity of extreme weather events is rising, contributing to an increase in claims and costs."

Just this week, the institute's Gordon McBean, also an author for the IPCC's latest scary report, reiterated this view. "Where we have good data on the observations of the climate, you can show that there is an increased frequency of high-precipitation events," McBean told CBC, adding that "analysis done by scientists shows that that change is related directly to the greenhouse gas - increasing - concentrations. In other words, it's a part of the human-caused climate change."

More scary stuff appears on the website of the Insurance Bureau of Canada, which blames climate change for extreme weather events that in turn lead to higher industry payouts and thus higher rates. "Protect Yourself From the Effects of Climate Change" one headline states, asking: "Are you disaster ready?" Readers then have a choice of seven climate-change threats to click on - hurricanes, severe storms, winter storms, wildfire and the like. The top climate change scare that the Insurance Bureau lists, bizarrely, is "Earthquakes," which not even the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction blames on climate change.

Canadian insurers like TD Insurance claim "it's a proven fact" that climate change is driving rate increases. This is true, not because the science justifies rate increases but because government regulators and many in the public accept the claim as valid. The actual facts, from those not associated with the IPCC, say quite the opposite, and emphatically so.

Last year, the American Meteorological Society published a peer-reviewed study that investigated insurance claims from extreme weather events. The study's author, Laurens M. Bouwer of the Institute for Environmental Studies at Vrije Universiteit in The Netherlands, examined 22 previous disaster loss studies involving extreme-weather-related natural hazards such as tropical cyclones, as well as small-scale weather events such as wildfires and hailstorms.

The conclusion: "The studies show no trends in losses . that could be attributed to anthropogenic climate change. Therefore it can be concluded that anthropogenic climate change so far has not had a significant impact on losses from natural disasters."

In the face of overwhelming criticism of its climate change claims, even the IPCC has begun to backtrack. Its latest study uses a definition of climate change that concedes humans may contribute little or nothing to climate change: "Climate change may be due to natural internal processes or external forcings, or to persistent anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land use."

This is a far cry from the more common scary definition that blames humans for "a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods."

The difference between the two definitions is not academic. If the insurance industry admitted that it has no reason to believe that anthropogenic climate change will drive future extreme events, we would all have extra money in our pockets.



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


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