Friday, July 13, 2012

Tree-rings indicate climate was WARMER in Roman and Medieval times than it is now - and world has been cooling for 2,000 years

Tree rings are dubious thermometers but the "Hockeystick" is based on them so this looks like a case of the Warmists being hoist with their own petard

And the desperation in the response from Michael "Hockeystick" Mann is amusing. "Mann argues that Esper's tree-ring measurements come from high latitudes and reflect only summer temperatures".

So guess where most of Mann's tree ring data came from? Northern Russia! A high latitude!

How did the Romans grow grapes in northern England? Perhaps because it was warmer than we thought. A study suggests the Britain of 2,000 years ago experienced a lengthy period of hotter summers than today.

German researchers used data from tree rings – a key indicator of past climate – to claim the world has been on a ‘long-term cooling trend’ for two millennia until the global warming of the twentieth century. This cooling was punctuated by a couple of warm spells.

These are the Medieval Warm Period, which is well known, but also a period during the toga-wearing Roman times when temperatures were apparently 1 deg C warmer than now. They say the very warm period during the years 21 to 50AD has been underestimated by climate scientists.

Lead author Professor Dr Jan Esper of Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz said: ‘We found that previous estimates of historical temperatures during the Roman era and the Middle Ages were too low.

‘This figure we calculated may not seem particularly significant, however it is not negligible when compared to global warming, which up to now has been less than 1 deg C.’

In general the scientists found a slow cooling of 0.6C over 2,000 years, which they attributed to changes in the Earth’s orbit which took it further away from the Sun.

The study is published in Nature Climate Change. It is based on measurements stretching back to 138BC.

The finding may force scientists to rethink current theories of the impact of global warming

Professor Esper's group at the Institute of Geography at JGU used tree-ring density measurements from sub-fossil pine trees originating from Finnish Lapland to produce a reconstruction reaching back to 138 BC.

In so doing, the researchers have been able for the first time to precisely demonstrate that the long-term trend over the past two millennia has been towards climatic cooling.

Professor Esper said: 'Such findings are also significant with regard to climate policy, as they will influence the way today's climate changes are seen in context of historical warm periods.’

The annual growth rings in trees are the most important witnesses over the past 1,000 to 2,000 years as they indicate how warm and cool past climate conditions were.

Researchers from Germany, Finland, Scotland, and Switzerland examined tree-ring density profiles.

In the cold environment of Finnish Lapland, trees often collapse into one of the numerous lakes, where they remain well preserved for thousands of years.

The density measurements correlate closely with the summer temperatures in this area on the edge of the Nordic taiga; the researchers were thus able to create a temperature reconstruction of unprecedented quality.

The reconstruction provides a high-resolution representation of temperature patterns in the Roman and Medieval Warm periods, but also shows the cold phases that occurred during the Migration Period and the later Little Ice Age.

In addition to the cold and warm phases, the new climate curve also exhibits a phenomenon that was not expected in this form.


Wildfires: Government praised for “solving” problem it started

As the wildfires raged, apologists for government thought they had a trump card against libertarians and triumphantly concluded this was the latest proof that the government and its firefighters remain that thin line between order and chaos. Unfortunately for them, however, history has now made it abundantly clear that the true driving force behind the increasingly large mega-fires that plague public lands are the product of decades of mismanagement by the forest service. That is, we can thank the government for putting out the fires it is responsible for.

This has been well documented in some research published by the Property and Environment Research Center here and here.

Briefly put, decades of fire suppression and bans on logging by the feds to protect obscure rodent species has doomed the forests to massive wildfires which thrive on forests where underbrush piles up and creates a “fuel ladder” which in turn ignites the trees.

More logging, more small, natural fires, and more decentralized management (including privatization) is the answer, but don’t expect the politics to line up behind any of these sensible solutions any time soon. Most Americans now have utterly unrealistic expectations for forests. Forest fires are going to happen, and short of an army of robots to clean out and manage forests constantly, lighting will ignite forest fires in even the most well managed environments. The idea is to let these fires happen. The politics is against this however since wealthy vacationers with second homes in forested lots think that they should be able to build mansions in the wilderness and not be subject to the basic laws of nature.

Thus, the forest service gets huge funding increases every year to badly manage forests, and when that fails, spend tens of millions on fire suppression.

But don;t worry, it turns out that forest service has spent the last eleven years developing a plan for the forests. They’ll be finished sometime before the end of the next decade.


Environmental Extremists Exposed as Political Goliaths

Our National DebtBy Rachel Swaffer — In 2010 the Center for Responsive Politics reported that in the past 20 years corporate oil interests had spent a combined $250 million dollars on political activism. Environmentalists were, as was intended, outraged that the philistine big oil interest was buying and bullying its way into a political advantage.

But if liberals claim that this big oil money is buying political outcomes and muzzling environmentalists with an average of $12.5 million a year, how much political clout do they think $100 million dollars a year will buy?

They of all people would know – in 2010 $100,000,000 was donated to the environmental advocacy organization ClimateWorks by a single progressive funding organization: the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation.

While the Hewlett Foundation’s $100 million dollar donation is an outlier, the amount of liberal money flowing into environmental groups is undeniably extreme. According to tax records, in 2010 the aforementioned Hewlett Foundation gave a total of $135,203,199 to environmental advocacy groups. Similarly, Pew Charitable Trusts gave out $18,494,516 in grants to the green movement, and Tides chipped in a little over $10 million as well. Environmental advocacy group The Sierra Club Foundation even donated an astounding $33,789,753 to fellow environmental organizations. In fact, the top 30 “Green Movement” funders donated a combined total of $286,861,331 to groups concerned with climate, environment, and sustainable energy, according to 2010 tax information.

Again that is more than $286 million that groups pushing the environmental agenda raked into their coffers in one year alone.

In that single year, these 30 top funders bankrolled a total of 237 different environmental advocacy groups. Many of these groups received grants totaling in the millions of dollars.

For example, according to tax records, in 2010 the Natural Resources Defense Council received at least $3,055,413 from liberal funding giants. The Sierra Club received even more: $34,803,245. And the list continues: $3,750,000 to the Resources Legacy Fund, $810,000 to the Center for Biological Diversity, $5,110,000 to Ducks Unlimited, $8,833,000 to the Energy Foundation, $2,571,860 to the League of Conservation Voters. The Trust for Public Land received over 3 Million Dollars in 2010, NatureBridge received 4 million. The Environmental Defense Action Fund received grants in 2010 totally $1,650,000, according to tax records.

Not only are these numbers titanic, they are also disproportionate to the activity on the other side of the table. Though many die-hard environmentalists claim that they have to fight against a glut of corporate oil money, the truth is that big-oil’s support for those who honestly evaluate climate change science and environmental realists is nowhere near the mega millions that the left is pumping into the Green Movement.

The proof is in the numbers:

According to oil-money watchdog, ExxonMobil gives, on average, about $831,500 a year to top pro-resource development targets like the American Legislative Exchange Council, Competitive Enterprise Institute, American Enterprise Institute, Atlas Economic Research Foundation, Heritage Center, Frontiers of Freedom, the Annapolis Center, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Factor in donations from two more pro-resource development funders, the Claude Lambe Foundation (a Koch affiliate) and Scaife Foundation, and the total number of pro-resource dollars to top conservative non-profits is still just under 3 million dollars per year, according to tax records.

On the other hand, the Hewlett Foundation alone gave almost 120 million dollars to their top 10 environmental activist groups in 2010. According to tax records, not only did ClimateWorks receive $100,000,000, but the Energy Foundation received $8,833,000, the Natural Resource Defense Council got $1,240,333. Sierra Club? Nearly a million dollars as well. Hewlett gave $4 million to Trout Unlimited and approximately $1.5 million to the Trust for public land, $2million to the Western Conservation Foundation, and a little over a million dollars to Western Resource Advocates.

And this money goes directly to political use: frequent grant recipient the Sierra Club Foundation maxed out their lobbying expenditures in 2010, spending the exact legal maximum – $1,000,000 on direct political lobbying activities.

While it’s undeniable that these private donors have every right to invest their money in causes that they support, the hundreds of millions of dollars pouring in from biased donors have all but silenced rational, scientific inquiry, buried as it is under a crushing mountain of prejudiced money.

The disproportionate expenditure of funds on behalf of environmental extremism drowns out rational discussion on the state of our planet. Instead, these jaundiced millions, are used to guilt trip ordinary Americans into squandering their wealth on pointless projects under guise of saving Mother Earth.

The constant careening from environmental disaster to environmental disaster allows these very prophets of global doom to raise even more funds to promote their latest scare.

All the while, these same extremists push America further along the road toward an “economic suicide pact” coined in Americans for Limited Government and FreeMarketAmerica’s viral video “If I Wanted America to Fail.”

The irony of the situation is that, in what the Green Movement paints as a “David and Goliath” battle between environmental interests and pro-resource development groups, the environmentalists are Goliath.

Of course, for those familiar with history, David slays the giant.


Global Food Shortage Becomes Urgent as Planet Warms

How do we know that the article below is demonstrable crap? Because even Warmist scientists now admit that there has been no warming for over a decade. So warming that did not exist cannot have caused anything.

The causes of food shortages are all political. Witness the transformation of China from a food importer to a food exporter after capitalism became allowed.

Interesting that the writer below pinpoints 2008 as the time when food prices began to rise -- about the time that the conversion of about 40% of the huge U.S. corn crop into ethanol got underway

A growing global food shortage has caused prices to double in recent years, and a growing consensus of scientists now blames climate change as one factor in an equation that includes a burgeoning population and increasingly scarce water supplies. More people around the planet are going hungry as a result.

Even as prices have also risen in the United States, most residents may not grasp the scope and severity of the problem.

Americans toss about 40 percent of their food in the garbage, according to a 2009 study. In this country, food waste per person has increased 50 percent since 1974.

Yet one in seven people go to bed hungry every night, according to the United Nations World Food Program. Hunger kills more people than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. The problem is worst in developing countries. But the problem has implications beyond the borders of those poor countries.

Saw it coming: Scientists have been predicting for years that a warmer planet coupled with increasing water demands could cause food shortages. A study in 2007, building on and confirming previous research, warned that climate change could help cause food shortages leading to war. Other scientists have predicted that water shortages will fuel war.

The situation became acute in 2008 when food shortages helped fuel uprisings in several poorer countries. High food prices played a role in the ouster of the Haitian government that year.

More crap HERE

And even the FAO says (in effect) that the above article is crap

The world is expected to harvest the largest ever crop of cereals in 2012-13 according to an estimate released by the UN affiliated Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) recently. It is estimated that this year's world cereal production will be a record 2371 million tonnes, marking a 1 percent, or 27 million tonnes increase over 2011.

India is forecast to produce a bumper harvest of 234.4 million tonnes of cereals, up from last year's 232.3 million tonnes. Wheat production is expected to grow marginally from 86.9 million tonnes last year to 88.3 million tonnes this year and rice from 103.4 million tonnes to 105 million tonnes.

Cereals consist of wheat, rice and coarse grains (including maize). Increases are expected for coarse grains (3.7 percent) and rice (2.6 percent), while wheat may decrease by about 3.6 percent, mainly due to reduced output forecast for Ukraine, followed by Kazakhstan, China, Morocco and the EU.

Meanwhile prices of cereals, as measured by the FAO Cereal Price Index have dipped by about 11.7 percent during January to April this year compared to the same period last year, though they still remain on the higher side. The FAO's price index hit a high last year at 247 but is currently down to 225. In April, wheat prices on average were roughly 21 percent, maize 15 percent and rice 4 percent lower than the corresponding month last year.

Total cereal utilization is anticipated to expand by 1.4 percent in 2012/13, to 2 357 million tonnes, with feed utilization growing fastest and food consumption keeping pace with population, the FAO report says.

After several years of strong gains, growth in industrial use of cereals for the production of biofuels is likely to stall, says the FAO report.

Based on these early estimates, world end-of-season cereal stocks for crop years closing in 2013 could increase to 524 million tonnes, roughly 9 million tonnes, or 1.7 percent, higher than their opening levels. This is not expected to result in any significant variation in the global stocks-to-use ratio, which is estimated by FAO to remain stable at roughly 22 percent.

World trade in cereals in 2012/13 is forecast to reach 295.5 million tonnes, slightly higher than in 2011/12. This increase mostly concerns maize, supported by rebounding supplies, more than offsetting an anticipated contraction in wheat, while rice trade is forecast to remain stable.


Australia: Fossil fuel (gas) better than "renewable" wood?

Nobody expects Greenies to be consistent, I guess

Wood heaters will be banned in the new residential suburbs of the Molonglo Valley, with the government citing threats to air quality in the large new development.

The wood heaters will be prohibited in Coombs and all future suburbs in Molonglo Valley, but the existing suburb of Wright will be exempt.

The decision follows the release of the annual Air Quality Report for 2011, which identifies domestic wood heaters as the biggest source of air pollution in the ACT.

Wood heaters are already banned in Dunlop and East O'Malley, according to Environment Minister Simon Corbell.

"We know that wood smoke can be a problem in the ACT which is why the Government recently launched the "Burn Right Tonight" campaign to raise the public awareness of correct wood heater operation," he said.

The air quality report identified four breaches of air quality standards in the colder months of May and July last year, but Mr Corbell said the report highlighted an excellent overall quality of air in Canberra.

Greens environment spokesman Shane Rattenbury welcomed the government's decision to ban wood heaters in the Molonglo Valley.

But Mr Rattenbury described it as a first step, and urged the government to do more to tackle wood heater pollution caused in the ACT.

"The Government knows that wood smoke pollution has a detrimental impact on people's health and Canberra's environment, which is why it needs to go further than it has,' Mr Rattenbury said.

"We need to take action on wood smoke all parts of Canberra, not just in the new Molonglo developments. Tuggeranong Valley remains an area of particular concern," he said.

The government and ActewAGL currently run a wood heater replacement program that gives residents a rebate of up to $800 to make the switch to gas flued systems.

The Greens have proposed improvements to the buy back program alongside legislation that would introduce stricter efficiency and emissions standards for wood heaters in the ACT.

Mr Rattenbury said the Greens had also proposed ways of better enforcing wood heater use, and ways to phase out older, dirtier wood heaters.


Australia's new carbon tax already hurting

Bills skyrocket with sales tax on top of carbon tax

AUSTRALIANS are facing a surprise "tax on a tax", as the GST is applied on top of the carbon tax to power bills, appliance repairs and other everyday costs.

PUTTING the GST on a carbon tax is inefficient and revisits the old era of hidden wholesale sales taxes, shadow treasurer Joe Hockey says.

News Ltd reported on Thursday that energy companies, waste disposal firms and appliance repairers are among businesses charging consumers GST based on carbon tax costs.

Mr Hockey said the "taxes on taxes" scenario revisited the pre-GST era of hidden wholesale sales taxes and would make the economy inefficient.

"The only area where you still have taxes on taxes is insurance which is the most hideous area of tax," Mr Hockey told the Seven Network.

"The best way to get efficiency in the economy is to have only one tax on a product, not an embedded tax and then another tax on top of it which is what's happening with the carbon tax."

But cabinet minister Tony Burke said GST charges have been levied in the same way since it was introduced in 2000.

"The mechanics of how the GST works across the entire economy have been set down for more than a decade now," Mr Burke told the Seven Network.

Some companies are grappling with how to apply the 10 per cent GST to the carbon tax, amid fears the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will crack down on illegal pricing.

One of the country's largest waste disposal firms, J.J. Richards, was threatened with fines of up to $1.1 million after informing its customers the carbon tax will cost "$25.30 a tonne including GST".

A spokesman for Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said the claim - outlined in an "Important Notice to Our Customers" issued by J.J Richards - was "wrong and the Government will refer it to the ACCC".

"Any businesses jacking up their prices and falsely blaming the carbon price could be liable for fines of up to $1.1 million," Mr Combet's spokesman said.

Air-conditioning firms, data contractors and waste companies have all begun applying the GST on top of the carbon tax, according to invoices seen by the Herald Sun.

NSW electricity companies confirmed the 10 per cent GST would be applied to power bills after the carbon tax had been added to the bill.

Origin Energy confirmed that it was normal practice. As the carbon price was an input cost to supply of electricity to customers, it was added to the cost of supply.

The GST, as mandated, must apply to the total retail cost of a good or service, but companies are cautious about publicising this, as customers already are angry at the rising costs of the carbon tax.

In another case, the cost of repairing a household air-conditioner was inflated by several hundred dollars, because the price of refrigerant gas has risen 90 per cent. The GST was then added to the overall bill, increasing it by about $40. An apologetic repair man told his customers he was forced to increase his price by several hundred dollars "due to the carbon tax".

Tax experts confirmed the GST would add to household and business costs as the carbon tax was rolled out across the economy.

"Consumers will be paying tax on a tax, which is 10 per cent GST on top of the carbon price that some businesses will be passing on," said Yasser El-Ansary, of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.



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