Sunday, December 16, 2012

Warmist "proves" most people are Warmists

Krosnick is a sophisticated pollster and I agree with most of his methodolgical conclusions.  And I am in a position to comment.  I did many attitude surveys in my 20 year research career and had several methodological papers published as a result of that.

Krosnick is however a Warmist and it is child's play to get whatever answers you want out of surveys if you have an axe to grind.   And it does appear to be Krosnick who provided the poll questions for the survey below.  I'll warrant, however, that if Krosnick made the first statement on the poll:  "Global Warming is a lot of baloney", the  results would be very different.

Nearly 4 out of 5 Americans now think temperatures are rising and that global warming will be a serious problem for the United States if nothing is done about it, a new Associated Press-GfK poll finds.

But only 45 percent of those surveyed think President Barack Obama will take major action to fight climate change in his second term.

Belief and worry about climate change are inching up among Americans in general, but concern is growing faster among people who don't often trust scientists on the environment. In follow-up interviews, some of those doubters said they believe their own eyes as they've watched thermometers rise, New York City subway tunnels flood, polar ice melt and Midwestern farm fields dry up.

Overall, 78 percent of those surveyed said they thought temperatures were rising and 80 percent called it a serious problem. That's up slightly from 2009, when 75 percent thought global warming was occurring and just 73 percent thought it was a serious problem. In general, U.S. belief in global warming, according to AP-GfK and other polls, has fluctuated over the years but has stayed between about 70 and 85 percent.

The biggest change in the polling is among people who trust scientists only a little or not at all. About 1 in 3 of the people surveyed fell into that category.

Within that highly skeptical group, 61 percent now say temperatures have been rising over the past 100 years. That's a substantial increase from 2009, when the AP-GfK poll found that only 47 percent of those with little or no trust in scientists believed the world was getting warmer.

This is an important development because, often in the past, opinion about climate change doesn't move much in core groups — like those who deny it exists and those who firmly believe it's an alarming problem, said Jon Krosnick, a Stanford University social psychologist and pollster. Krosnick, who consulted with The Associated Press on the poll questions, said the changes the poll shows aren't in the hard-core "anti-warming" deniers, but in the next group, who had serious doubts.

"They don't believe what the scientists say, they believe what the thermometers say," Krosnick said. "Events are helping these people see what scientists thought they had been seeing all along." ....

The AP-GfK poll was conducted Nov. 29-Dec. 3 by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Corporate Communications. It involved landline and cellphone interviews with 1,002 adults nationwide. Results for the full sample have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points; the margin of error is larger for subgroups.


Richard Muller gets rational about Warmism

He pretends to be a Warmist to gain acceptance from the media and academe but he clearly knows better.  Some  interview excerpts below:

van Diggelen: What’s your message to climate change skeptics?

Muller: Most of your skepticism is still valid. When something extraordinary happens in weather, such as the accidental occurrence of Hurricane Sandy hitting New Jersey and New York City just at the peak of tides — many people attribute the event to “Climate Change.” That’s not a scientific conclusion, and it is almost certainly wrong. Hurricanes are not increasing due to human causes (actually, they have been decreasing over the past 250 years). Tornadoes are not increasing due to human causes. (They too have been decreasing.) So please continue to be skeptical about most of the exaggerations you will continue to hear! Proper skepticism is at the heart of science, and attempts to suppress such skepticism represent the true anti-science movement....

van Diggelen: What are YOU doing to reduce your carbon footprint?

Muller: I am trying to get people to stop asking that question! It is very misleading....

van Diggelen: What should others be doing? If you could have President Obama’s ear for 5 minutes, what would you say?

Muller: Double (or more) our efforts to help China become more energy efficient. And equally important: develop “clean fracking” standards. Work with China to expedite and accelerate their switch from coal to natural gas. Devise market-based approaches that will guarantee that the developing world will apply clean methods to their natural gas production.
Muller: We need to act, but no need to panic. I see no tipping points that are scientifically valid...  Hurricane Sandy cannot be attributed to global warming. The rise over the oceans, in the last 50 years, has been about 0.5 degree C. That’s tiny! In those 50 years, sea level rose by 4 inches. So the high tide, if not for global warming, would not have been 14 feet but “only” 13 feet 8 inches. There was a similarly severe storm in 1938 (my parents lived through it out on Long Island). We should stop attributing all freak storms to climate change....

Unfortunately, there will always be scientists with some credentials that will exaggerate, maybe even convincing themselves. I recall back in the 1950s, when I was a kid in New York City, that the freak storms and changes in climate were attributed by some eminent scientists to atmospheric nuclear testing. (Maybe the freak storms and changes in climate should now be attributed to the nuclear test ban.) It is not science to list the bad things that have happened lately and claim that they “may be linked” to climate change. Even scientists, such as those who were passionately afraid of thermonuclear war, tend to see connections in things that aren’t there.

Climate change is real, and we need to do something to stop it. But it is not strong enough (0.6 C in the last 50 years) to be noticeable by individuals.


The Amazon 'could survive global warming': Study claims its tree species have weathered warmer than the worst case scenarios

Some common species of tree in the Amazon date back more than 8million years and have survived through epochs of massive temperature fluctuations, researchers say.

The findings suggest that man-made global warming may have little effect on the robust species, which have already weathered some of the worst nature can throw at them.

A new study claims that some of the Amazonian species are more than 5million years older than previously thought, and have survived warm periods similar to the worst case scenarios forecast for 2100.

Christopher Dick, of the University of Michigan, said in journal Ecology and Evolution: 'In the absence of other major environmental changes, near-term high temperature-induced mass species extinction is unlikely.'

The new study is at odds with earlier papers, which were based on ecological niche-modeling scenarios, that predicted tree species extinctions in response to relatively small increases in global average air temperatures.

Professor Dick and colleagues used a molecular clock approach by studying mutations in DNA to determine the ages of 12 widespread Amazonian tree species, including the kapok and the balsa.

Then they looked at climatic events that have occurred since those tree species emerged and inferred that in general, the older the age of the tree species, the warmer the climate it has previously survived.

Nine of the tree species have been around for at least 2.6million years, seven have been present for at least 5.6million years, and three have existed in the Amazon for more than 8 million years.

The Amazon constitutes more than half of the planet's remaining rainforest, and it is also the largest and most species-rich tract of tropical rainforest in the world.

Brazil contains 63 per cent of the vast rainforest's 2.4million square miles.

Professor Dick said: 'These are surprisingly old ages.  'Previous studies have suggested that a majority of Amazon tree species may have originated during the Quaternary Period, from 2.6million years ago to the present.'

Air temperatures across Amazonia in the early Pliocene Epoch (3.6million to 5million years ago) were similar to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projections for the region in 2100 with moderate carbon emissions

Air temperatures in the late Miocene Epoch  - 5.3million to 11.5million years ago - were about the same as IPCC projections for the region in 2100 using the highest carbon-emission scenarios.

Professor Dick said: 'Our paper provides evidence that common Neotropical tree species endured climates warmer than the present, implying they can tolerate near-term future warming under climate change.'

Co-author Simon Lewis, of University College London, said that while the findings were good news it did not lessen the problems posed by global warming and the threats posed to the Amazon by deforestation.

He said: 'The past cannot be compared directly with the future.

'While tree species seem likely to tolerate higher air temperatures than today, the Amazon forest is being converted for agriculture and mining, and what remains is being fragmented by roads and fields.'

Professor Dick added: 'An important caveat is that because we've been in a cold period over the past 2 million years - basically the whole Quaternary Period - some of the trees' adaptations to warmth tolerance may have been lost.'


Stop Subsidizing the Mass Slaughter of Wildlife

Congress and the White House are struggling to find even one subsidy or entitlement program that they are willing to cut. Meanwhile, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) insists that the 2.2-cents per kilowatt-hour Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind electricity should be extended yet again – and then (maybe, partially) phased out over the next five years. By then, claims CEO Denise Bode, wind energy could be cost-competitive with other energy sources. What nonsense. No evidence supports any of this.

Wind energy is a net jobs and economic loser. By raising electricity costs for factories, internet hubs, offices, malls, hospitals, school districts and other businesses, industrial wind power kills two to four jobs for every wind job created through government mandates, subsidies and tax credits – which themselves extract billions of dollars from productive sectors of the economy, to support Big Wind. Its impact on the budgets, health and well-being of people on low and fixed incomes is equally damaging.

Wind energy will never be competitive with alternative electricity sources, especially with the shale gas revolution driving the price of natural gas down to $3 per thousand cubic feet to power high-efficiency combined-cycle generators. Intermittent, unreliable wind power is parasitic, entirely dependent on fossil fuel generators to provide electricity every time the wind is low or nonexistent.

From an ecological standpoint, wind is our least sustainable energy option. Industrial wind projects require huge swaths of land, often in pristine area, for turbines, access roads and ultra-long transmission lines. Turbines and transmission towers require enormous quantities of steel, concrete, rare earth metals, copper, unrecyclable fiberglass and other materials – more than fossil fuel power plants that generate 90% of US electricity. It makes far more sense to build conventional power plants, and forget about the wind.

But by far the most compelling reason to end the PTC, right now, and stop any further expansion of wind power is moral and environmental. Wind turbines disrupt and destroy wildlife habitats. They butcher birds and bats that are vital to ecological diversity and agriculture. It’s time to stop subsidizing the slaughter!

The US Fish and Wildlife Service and American Bird Conservancy say wind turbines kill 440,000 bald and golden eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, cranes, egrets, geese and other birds every year in the United States. Turbines also eradicate countless night-flying, insect-eating bats. However, new studies reveal that these estimates are frightfully low, and based on misleading or even fraudulent data. The horrific reality is that, in the United States alone, “eco-friendly” wind turbines are killing an estimated

13,000,000 to 39,000,000 birds and bats every year!

These shocking figures reflect the presence of some 39,000 turbines in the United States, located in habitats with widely varying numbers and species of raptors, other birds and bats, says Mark Duchamp, president of Save the Eagles International and chairman of the World Council for Nature. The estimates are based on a 2012 study by the Spanish Ornithological Society (SEO/Birdlife), which utilized data from nearly 100 official turbine monitoring studies from Spain, and are corroborated by a 1993 study of bird mortality from wind turbines in Germany and Sweden, Duchamp explains.

These figures cover only flying creatures that are struck and killed or mortally wounded by turbines, whose blade tips move at 100-200 mph. Over the past 25 years, 2,300 golden eagles have been killed by turbines just at Altamont Pass, California, Dr. Shawn Smallwood estimates. The subsidized slaughter “could easily be over 500” golden eagles a year in our western states, Save the Eagles International biologist Jim Wiegand told me, plus many bald eagles. Entire flocks of geese can blunder into turbines and get killed.

These are not sparrows and pigeons killed by house cats. They are our most vital and magnificent species.

In the 86-square-mile area blanketed by the Altamont wind facility, no eagles have nested for over 20 years, and golden eagle nest sites have declined by half near the facility, even though both areas are prime habitat, says Wiegand. Overall, there has been an 80% population decline for the golden eagle in Southern California, he notes. Since wind turbines began proliferating, there has been a 47% loss of raptors in Oregon, the USFWS states, and a 42% decline in bird populations in Iowa, according to an Iowa Department of Natural Resources researcher.

After being nursed back from the brink of extinction, magnificent five-foot-tall whooping cranes now face annihilation, due to thousands of turbines being erected within their 200-mile-wide, 2,500-mile-long migration routes, former FWS whooping crane coordinator Tom Stehn fears. From their small population, over 200 cranes have “gone missing” in recent years, and now Fish and Wildlife is deceitfully delaying the 2012 “whooper” count until after Congress votes on the PTC. It has also changed the survey methods, from a complete census with a 2% margin of error – to a “distance sampling method” that injects a 25% error margin that Stehn says is “unacceptable and useless for species recovery management.” (But the new methods are very helpful for hiding wind turbine kills, says Wiegand.)

These actions are an integral part of the corrupt practices, disinformation and double standards engaged in by politicians, government agencies and environmental groups to support Big Wind: outrage, intolerance and penalties for fossil fuels – subsidies, favoritism and exemptions from laws and regulations for wind.

The Interior Department has used sage grouse and lesser prairie chickens to justify prohibitions on oil leasing and drilling, and prosecuted oil companies for unintentional deaths of 28 mallard ducks in North Dakota – but it has never penalized a single wind turbine company for eco-slaughter. Now its Fish and Wildlife Service wants to issue “programmatic take permits” that would allow wind turbine operators to repeatedly, systematically, legally and “inadvertently” injure, maim and kill eagles, cranes and condors.

Possess a feather from an eagle killed by a wind turbine, trap a bat in your attic or smash a goose egg – and the penalties are swift and severe. But kill eagles, bats, geese or whooping cranes with a wind turbine, and there is no penalty and no outrage from the Sierra Club – only more subsidies and tax credits, and more exemptions from the Endangered Species Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act and NEPA/EIS studies.

Interior and the FWS also let monitoring ornithologists search for dead birds only within 130-165 feet from turbine towers, thus missing numerous birds that were flung further by the impact or limped off to die elsewhere, and search for carcasses only every few weeks, allowing scavengers to take most of them away. In addition, wind facility crews remove and bury carcasses illegally, say Wiegand, Duchamp and the Spanish Ornithological Society. Officials also let operators treat data as proprietary trade secrets, safeguarded under nondisclosure agreements or put into private data banks immune from FOIA requests; impose high security at turbine sites to make accurate, honest, independent mortality counts impossible; and filter, massage and manipulate data to make mortality appear minimal.

No other American industry is allowed to operate with such immunity and impunity. It is time to end the wind Production Tax Credit and the blatant favoritism and exemptions for the wind power industry. Big Wind must be held to the same standards, laws and regulations that apply to all other industries.

Industrial wind operators must be required to permit access by unbiased outside experts to their facilities, to ensure compliance with the law and facilitate regular, full, independent bird and bat mortality counts. They must be required to comply with all endangered species, migratory bird and other environmental laws.

Before acting on the PTC, Congress should demand an accurate and verifiable 2012 winter count for the whooping cranes, along with complete age class figures – and prohibit the Fish and Wildlife Service from implementing any programmatic take permit system for eagles and other birds. It should also demand a multi-year, independent, transparent study of bird and bat mortality, at every wind facility in America, before allowing the PTC to be extended or another turbine facility to be built in the United States.

Allowing current practices to continue – or worse, permitting Big Wind to expand to generate 25% of US electricity – would be a catastrophe of monumental proportions. Millions more birds and bats will die, and entire species will disappear from habitats, geographic regions and throughout the United States.


Radical Left Fanatics have fracking in their sights

We have all seen the outrageous, even violent, demonstrations by the leftist big-labor protesters in Michigan over the recently adopted Right-to-Work legislation.  The mirror image happened last February-March when Gov. Scott Walker and the Wisconsin legislature similarly addressed labor laws.

It seems the left – the same people with those "Tolerance" and "Diversity" bumper stickers on their Subaru – are the first ones to cross the line of civility.

In my home state of Colorado the left's latest hot button is hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking."  Fracking has been used for more than 60 years to successfully drill over a million oil and gas wells in the U.S.  Nonetheless, the prevailing mythology on the radical left is that the technology is "poisoning our children" by polluting the water we drink and the air we breathe.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, avowed environmentalists themselves, have testified to Congress that there is no documented evidence of ground water contamination from any fracked well.  But, the facts don't get in the way of the radicals real objective.  They won't stop until there are no wells drilled at all, anywhere, fracked or otherwise.

In my native Boulder County, Colorado the fracking fanatics are out in force.  They are marching door-to-door, petitions and mythology in hand, and they are storming city council and county commissioner meetings.  For the unknowing, the left would be hard pressed to find a more accommodating political environment than Boulder County.  The radicals have owned the Democrat Party here for decades. Obliging elected Democrats willingly pander to the radical lefties who elevated them to their throne.

But, even that isn't enough for the radical fracking fanatics who have showed up at recent Boulder County Commissioner public hearings.  The modified regulations adopted by Colorado just last year have already been described as the most stringent of any state in the nation.  But, that's not enough for this crowd.

At the insistence of these radicals, the Boulder County is considering overlaying existing federal and state regulations with even more restrictive local rules. This latest radical environmental movement is being carried out by extremists throughout Colorado in virtually every county and municipality.

Just in case you thought over-the-top protests only happened in Lansing, Michigan or Madison, Wisconsin, take a look at the following to videos from recent Boulder County Commissioners' public hearings. The first shows the shameless conscription of children into the fray.  Be sure to watch the second one to the end to see the stalking of two Encana women employees to their car at night after they left the meeting amid taunting shouts including "where do you live" and "where do your kids go to school."

This is right up there with State Representative Douglas Geiss who said, "There will be blood, there will be repercussions" for the left not getting their way in Michigan. Then realize that whether it is about unions, fracking, a mouse, fern, or whatever, this is how the "tolerant left" plays the game, and they are likely coming to your town, too.


The Doha Wealth Redistribution Process Moves On

The eighteenth Conference of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP-18) has ended. It was the latest chapter in the interminable negotiations over wealth redistribution and control of energy use and economic growth – in the name of preventing “dangerous manmade global warming.”

For people who believe humans can prevent “catastrophic climate change” by adjusting atmospheric carbon dioxide levels by a few parts per million – or are determined to crave control “destructive” fossil fuels and “unsustainable” economic systems – Doha was a failure.

Only 37 of 194 nations signed the treaty that replaces the Kyoto Protocol, which expires December 31 – and several countries may withdraw their consent. That means the new agreement is legally non-binding and covers only 15% of global carbon dioxide emissions.

While the European Union joined in and remains committed to “carbon trading” (making former UNFCC chair Yvo DeBoer happy in his new role as a carbon trader, á la Al Gore), the United States, Brazil, Russia, India, China, Canada, Japan and other major emitters refused to sign, and the new treaty sets no binding emission limits. Atmospheric CO2 levels will thus continue to climb – and climate campaigners will remain distraught over allegedly disastrous weather events, imminent habitat devastation, species extinctions, injustice for the world’s poor, and the disappearance of island nations beneath the waves.

For those who say computer models are meaningless, climate change and weather extremes are natural, and economic growth should be sustained to lift more billions out of poverty – Doha represents a partial success. Few nations signed the treaty, even the Obama Administration did not commit to it, the document is not binding, and countless billions of dollars will be available for continued economic development and disaster relief – instead of being squandered on fruitless attempts to control Earth’s infinitely complex climate and weather.

Even Christina Figueres, DeBoer’s successor at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, could proclaim victory. She wants to keep the planet’s temperature from rising more than the internationally agreed maximum of two degrees Celsius. That goal has arguably been reached already. There has been no detectable increase in average global temperatures for 16 years.

In fact, while last summer was hot and dry in much of the continental USA, nearing records set during the Dust Bowl years of the 1930s, it was a very cold summer in Alaska and parts of Europe. Winter 2012 was snowy and nasty in Central Europe and very cold in South Africa and South America. Britain just had its coldest autumn in nineteen years, Himalayan glaciers are growing, interior Greenland is not melting, summer Antarctic sea ice is near record extent, and seas are not rising any faster.

All this helps explain why climate alarmists keep changing their rhetoric: from global cooling to global warming, to climate change to climate disruption, and now to extreme weather. Indeed, they now try to link every unusual weather event to CO2 (and now methane, or natural gas, the fuel produced through hydraulic fracturing or fracking). However, as Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr. has noted, when the Atlantic hurricane season starts next June 1, it will have been 2,777 days since a category 3, 4 or 5 hurricane made landfall along the U.S. coast – the longest such period since 1900. 2012 also marked the quietest U.S. tornado season on record; only twelve tornadoes touched down in the United States in July 2012.

Of course, there are always disasters and human tragedies at the hands of a not-always-benevolent Mother Nature. Hardly a year has ever gone by without many such weather events somewhere on Planet Earth.

This year, however, climate alarmists have blamed virtually all of them on humans and CO2 emissions – from Sandy in the USA to 2011 and 2012 typhoons in the Philippines, and droughts in Africa. It’s easy to see why. As a Greenpeace director cogently explained, “The key issue is money” – as in the redistribution of wealth from rich, formerly rich and soon-to-be formerly rich nations to still poor countries. The other issue is power and control: as in who gets to make energy, economic, and human health and welfare decisions: individuals, families, communities and nations – or eco-activists and UN bureaucrats.

That brings us to the in-between: the uncharted waters separating “bitter failure” and “partial success.”

As climate activists and media “journalists” have observed, there is no legally binding agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The world’s two biggest CO2 emitters, China and the United States, did not sign. What was agreed to contains only vague promises that, “beginning in 2020, at least $100 billion a year will flow from public, private and other sources” to poor countries, supposedly to help them cope with the “devastating effects” of climate change and “extreme weather.” There is no agreement as to where that $1 trillion per decade will come from, or how much will be available annually between now and 2020, especially if the global economic downturn continues.

But don’t believe the vague promises, bitter failure, bitterly disappointed rhetoric. The climate alarmists got a lot of what they came for, they gave up little or nothing, they’ll be back for more, and in the meantime they will still get billions of dollars annually from taxpayers – to conduct climate change causation, mitigation, adaptation and compensation “research,” issue “balanced reports,” and attend many more conferences (all expenses paid) where virtually no one except alarmists is allowed to speak or participate in official “discussions” and “negotiations.”

More than 7,000 environmental NGO activists attended the Doha confab – and next time around they won’t forget who sent them, now that Jonathan Pershing, chief U.S. negotiator for climate change at Doha, has pointedly reminded them who paid for their presence in Qatar. They and the official delegates will be there for specific objectives: more money, more power, more control.

In Doha, they reached several benchmarks that they had achieved during previous COP events. Most important, they enshrined in the treaty the concept of “loss and damage” supposedly resulting from “manmade climate change” – and secured pledges from “rich” nations that poor countries would receive billions of dollars per year in “aid” to repair any “loss and damage,” as part of a “climate compensation mechanism.” They also incorporated “principles” of “equity” and “justice” and “common but differentiated responsibilities” – to distinguish between nations that “caused” climate change and “extreme weather events” and countries that presumably did not or are “especially vulnerable.”

It is true that words like “compensation,” “fault” and “liability” were excised from the final treaty language – and that it will be all but impossible to determine how much, if any, loss and damage from a tornado, hurricane, typhoon, flood or drought was due to “manmade climate change” versus how much from natural climate change and natural, normal extreme weather events. Who will pay how much, from existing aid programs versus new programs, and through what UN or other conduits, will likewise have to be decided at one of the presumably many future Conferences Of Parties to the new climate agreement.

“This is just the beginning of the process,” a Greenpeace activist, helpfully explained.

Indeed, the “parties” – and thus their taxpayers, food and energy consumers, and citizens hoping to pursue their dreams – are slowly but surely, piece by piece, surrendering their rights, freedoms, sovereignty and hard-earned wealth to a gaggle of unelected and unaccountable activists, agitators, bureaucrats, autocrats and kleptocrats. The slippery slope is just ahead, if we are not already on it.

The scientific case for manmade global warming disasters grows weaker by the day. But no one should ever underestimate the desperation, audacity and political brilliance of those who have staked their careers, reputations, salaries and pensions on the notion that our energy use and quest for improved living standards for all humanity have somehow usurped the natural forces that have driven climate changes from time immemorial. We underestimate the alarmists at our peril.




Preserving the graphics:  Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here and here


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