Friday, August 30, 2013

Climate Science Exploited for Political Agenda:  Lindzen

Climatism or global warming alarmism is the most prominent recent example of science being coopted to serve a political agenda, writes Richard Lindzen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the in the fall 2013 issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. He compares it to past examples: Lysenkoism in the Soviet Union, and the eugenics movement.

Lindzen describes the Iron Triangle and the Iron Rice Bowl, in which ambiguous statements by scientists are translated into alarmist statements by media and advocacy groups, influencing politicians to feed more money to the acquiescent scientists.

In consequence, he writes, "A profound dumbing down of the discussion…interacts with the ascendancy of incompetents." Prizes and accolades are awarded for politically correct statements, even if they defy logic. "Unfortunately, this also often induces better scientists to join the pack in order to preserve their status," Lindzen adds.

Lindzen discusses key aspects of the global warming models, including their dependence on the "globally averaged mean temperature anomaly"—that is the average of the differences between the average temperature for the year at each weather station and the 1961-1990 average for that station. This metric is used to create an influential graph that resembles the daily chart of stock indices, but is of dubious significance. The change in the anomaly is tiny against the perspective of the temperature variations we experience daily, Lindzen demonstrates.

In normal science, models are judged by how well they agree with nature, Lindzen explains. In the climate "debate," however, the models are given a claim to validity independent of agreement with real observations.

The highly oversimplified terms of the discussion in the policy arena "largely exclude the most interesting examples of historical climate change. The heavy intellectual price of the politicization of science is rarely addressed," writes Lindzen.

Lindzen writes: "Global climate alarmism has been costly to society, and it has the potential to be vastly more costly. It has also been damaging to science, as scientists adjust both data and even theory to accommodate politically correct positions. How can one escape from the Iron Triangle when it produces flawed science that is immensely influential and is forcing catastrophic public policy?"

Escape from climate alarmism will be more difficult than from Lysenkoism, in Lindzen's view, because Global Warming has become a religion. It has a global constituency and has coopted almost all institutional science. Nevertheless, he believes "the cracks in the scientific claims for catastrophic warming are…becoming much harder for the supporters to defend."


Poland's shale gas hopes buoyed by promising test output

Poland, whose hopes for shale gas faded after three international firms quit after disappointing drilling results, has been looking for signs of bigger quantities of the unconventional gas, which could help it reduce its reliance on Russia.

Lane Energy started production testing at its well in the northern city of Lebork in July.

The daily amount of gas being produced there still does not qualify as commercial production, but is the largest obtained in any shale gas well so far in Europe, the newspaper said.

Lane Energy and ConocoPhillips were not immediately available for comment.

"This is very good news for Poland and European oil geology," Piotr Wozniak, deputy environment minister and Poland's chief geologist, was quoted as saying. He said the results should encourage other companies to speed up work on shale gas exploration.

Polish refiner PKN Orlen is expected to announce the results of production tests at its shale gas well in Syczyn in eastern Poland, which Wozniak has described as one of the most promising in the country.

Poland, which consumes 15 billion cubic metres of gas a year, mostly imported from Russia, has estimated its recoverable shale gas reserves at up to 768 billion cubic metres.

It has issued more than 100 shale gas exploration licences to local and international firms which have drilled 48 wells to date.

Some companies, however, have complained that the commercial output of shale gas is being delayed by red tape and difficult geology. This year, Marathon Oil and Talisman Energy followed Exxon Mobil in pulling out of Poland.


The dangerous greenies are in Brussels, not Balcombe

All media eyes were last week focused on that infantile little ruckus over fracking in the Sussex village of Balcombe. But virtually unnoticed recently was a very odd and much more significant event in the fracking drama, which shed further disturbing light on the curious workings of that system of government which now rules our lives much more than most people realise. At a meeting of the EU’s Council of Ministers in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, a special “informal” lunch was given for 28 environment ministers, including our own Owen Paterson, to discuss what should be the EU’s policy on fracking.

Seated near the Brussels environment commissioner at the head of the table was Jeremy Wates, from the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), who was allowed to listen to the discussion as ministers from each country put forward their country’s view on fracking. Some, including Britain and Poland, were in favour; rather more, including France, were strongly against; others waited to be persuaded.

Towards the end of the lunch, however, Mr Wates was invited to address them all with a vehement attack on fracking, trotting out all the familiar green scare stories about how it pollutes water supplies, triggers dangerous earthquakes, hastens disastrous global warming, and all the rest.

Who was this man who was allowed to make such a partisan contribution to a top-level policy discussion? Why was he treated so deferentially, with no one being permitted to point out that everything he said was just a load of piffle?

Mr Wates is an Irish former green activist, who has made his way up through a succession of well-paid jobs with international bodies such as the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, to become secretary-general of the EEB. This is a Brussels-based lobbying body, claiming to represent “140 environmental citizens’ organisations”, which is funded not just by other green activist groups such as Greenpeace and WWF, but also by many European governments, including our own.

Furthermore, its biggest source of income is the European Commission, which gives it around one million euros a year. So here was a fanatical green advocate, being paid by the Commission to lobby the Commission itself in favour of EU regulation so draconian that it might well rule out fracking in the EU. It is no accident that the EEB is closely linked in the “Spring Alliance” to other Commission-funded lobby groups, such as the European Trade Union Confederation, which openly promote a Left-wing agenda.

What makes the row over fracking so absurd is that it is being conducted by the greenies as if this is some highly dangerous new technology which has never been properly tested. The whole point about fracking is that it has already been demonstrated at thousands of sites across America to work perfectly safely, without harming the environment, and to such effect that it has more than halved US energy bills and is helping more than anything else to put the US economy back on the road to recovery.

That is why the greens so hate it, because it makes a nonsense of all their scare stories about fossil fuels becoming too expensive to use; it shows up more clearly than ever the ludicrous cost of their pitifully inadequate “renewables”; and it has even slashed US “carbon emissions”, for what that is worth, to their levels of 30 years ago.

So the green lobby is going into overdrive to ensure that Europe and Britain must at all costs be prevented from copying America’s miraculous success story. And by far their best hope of doing this is by persuading the EU to pass laws which would make fracking in Europe virtually impossible. Mr Wates and his allies know this, which is why last month he was given the chance to lobby those very politicians at the top whose support they need to get their way.

Compared with that, last week’s silly street theatre in Sussex was just an irrelevant little sideshow.


Regulatory Commissars: Big Corn

The Renewable Fuel Standard signed into law by President George. W. Bush has rightly been chastised by the oil industry, which requires refineries to add (or blend) massive quantities of biofuels into gasoline. The predictable results have been disastrous. Consider just a few of the consequences: The ethanol mandate means that nearly 50% of the country's corn harvest goes toward biofuels, which artificially drives up inflation in the food market. Additionally, a lackluster 5% of autos are under warranty for concentrations of ethanol higher than 10%, leaving "Big Oil" to buy ethanol it can't blend into gasoline just to meet EPA requirements. In short, the fantasies that ecofascists dreamed up while expanding the law over the years have devolved into failed expectations -- but at least it makes them feel good about "saving the planet."

Given the odious effects of the mandate, legislators on both sides of the aisle have taken steps toward repealing the law. And Big Ethanol isn't happy about the interest in shutting it down. Growth Energy, a corn ethanol group, is launching an advertising campaign set to air on major networks, blasting Big Oil. "While Big Oil may be one of the largest and well-funded industries on the planet," the group said in a statement, "they are not entitled to use their influence to control Congress to maintain unbridled control over the transportation fuels marketplace." Cute, considering that's exactly what these hypocrites have done to implement draconian biofuel mandates.

It's a stretch to expect the law's repeal, but that won't stop environmentalists from demonizing Big Oil. If it weren't for double standards...


Global warming skeptics fire back at Al Gore

Global warming skeptics are hitting back at former Vice President Al Gore, who earlier this week compared them to racists and supporters of slavery.

“Gore is still trying to demonize and smear skeptics as modern racists and generally evil people,” Marc Morano, publisher of Climate Depot, a global warming skeptic site, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “The problem is that the science is revealing Gore to be on the wrong side of history.”

“Al Gore has shown once again why he is seldom let out of his box without adequate adult supervision,” said Myron Ebell, director of global warming and international environmental policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. “When he is losing the debate, Gore has always resorted to nasty name calling, so this is just the latest embarrassing instance.”

In an interview with the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein, Gore equated his fight against global warming to the struggles against slavery, segregation and apartheid.

Thus disagreeing with Gore about environmental policy is similar to opposing civil rights, gay rights and the end of slavery.


Australian Carbon farm in trouble

The Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association wants Henbury Station in central Australia to resume operations as a cattle property and abandon plans for what was intended to be the world's largest and the nation's pioneering carbon credits farm.

The station, 230 kilometres south of Alice Springs is being put up for sale, a month after its owner, RM Williams Agricultural Holdings, was placed in administration.

The station was bought by the company for $13 million, with a $9 million contribution from the Federal Government, in 2011.

The 5,000 square kilometre property was destocked two years ago as part of the plan to create a conservation project to earn carbon credits as part of a Commonwealth plan to combat greenhouse gases and global warming..

The aim at the time was also to take a lead in establishing a business model for properties in remote areas to be used to earn carbon credits.

NT Cattlemen's Association executive director Luke Bowen says potential buyers should consider using the property to run cattle again.

"It is a high quality property that has been recognised as such for a number of years," he said.

"It is good to see that it is potentially available for somebody to come in and get it going again, and run it as a viable productive pastoral property in the central Australian region, with all the added economic benefits that that will bring with it."

Mr Bowen says the science that saw Henbury Station turned into a carbon farm was flawed.

"The methodology and the principles were based around a carbon methodology that had not been verified, that had not been tested or established and was a theoretical model," he said.

"We were concerned that this would create an artificial bubble in land values and see land go out of production."

The Federal Environment Department, handed over the $9 million to help purchase Henbury Station says it remains committed to a conservation outcome at the property.

A spokeswoman says the department wants to talk about plans to secure long-term conservation management of the land.

The original purchase of the property for use as a carbon farm drew criticism from both the cattle industry and Indigenous traditional owners.

Last year, the Central Land Council said it had been supporting local Aboriginal interests trying to buy the station since 1974.

Today, the Territory Government said the former owners of Henbury Station had never received approval to run the pastoral property as a carbon farming venture.

Primary Industry Minister Willem Westra van Holthe told the Legislative Assembly the project was illegal, because carbon farming is a non-pastoral use.

"It was unlawful because there was never a pastoral land permit issued," he said.

"In fact, there was never even an application lodged for a pastoral land permit and, even if there was, it's unsure whether it would have satisfied the requirements of the Native Title Act."




Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  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 or here


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Another Paper Blames ENSO for the Warming Hiatus

Finding "natural" explanations for a cooling influence forces the question:  Maybe there are natural explanations for all  observed temperature variations.  If oceans these days are absorbing heat as part of a cycle, that surely means that  the warming of the 80s and 90s (so relied on by Warmists) was in large part due to ocean giving off heat. What the oceans giveth, the oceans taketh.

The recently published climate model-based paper Recent global-warming hiatus tied to equatorial Pacific surface cooling [Paywalled] by Yu Kosaka and Shang-Ping Xie has gained a lot of attention around the blogosphere.  Like Meehl et al (2012) and Meehl et al (2013), Kosaka and Xie blame the warming stoppage on the recent domination of La Niña events. The last two sentences of Kosaka and Xie (2013) read:

Our results show that the current hiatus is part of natural climate variability, tied specifically to a La-Niña-like decadal cooling. Although similar decadal hiatus events may occur in the future, the multi-decadal warming trend is very likely to continue with greenhouse gas increase.

Anyone with a little common sense who’s reading the abstract and the hype around the blogosphere and the Meehl et al papers will logically now be asking: if La Niña events can stop global warming, then how much do El Niño events contribute? 50%? The climate science community is actually hurting itself when they fail to answer the obvious questions.

And what about the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO)?  What happens to global surface temperatures when the AMO also peaks and no longer contributes to the warming?

The climate science community skirts the common-sense questions, so no one takes them seriously.



The coalition is heading for a bitter new row over green energy as senior Tories seek to unpick carbon targets which stand in the way of Britain building more than 40 gas-fired power stations.

Ministers struck an agreement in 2011 to reduce emissions by half by the mid-2020s, compared with 1990 levels, as part of Britain’s attempt to cut its share of global warming.

But George Osborne, chancellor, secured a potential opt-out if a December 2013 review by the Climate Change Committee, the statutory body which advises the government on emissions, proved that Britain was moving faster than the rest of the EU.

The Engineering Employers’ Federation has been urging the chancellor to kill off the carbon targets, saying the review will be a “real test” for the government.

“The other EU states haven’t stepped up to the mark and we believe that means the rip cord needs to be pulled on these targets,” said Gareth Stace, head of climate at the EEF. “If we go ahead we will be locked into tougher targets than the other members states.”

However, the Climate Change Committee wrote to the government in July, warning that the largely failed efforts to toughen EU-wide climate targets were not a reason for Britain to change its domestic goals.

The EEF accused the committee, which is chaired by Tory peer Lord Deben, of effectively “pre-empting” its own review, and predicted that the committee was on track for an “almighty battle” with the government.

The Green Alliance, an environmental think-tank, will this week urge the government to cancel the review to reassure nervous investors in the sector.

“Investors had planned to spend £180bn in the UK’s low carbon infrastructure, but they now wonder if their money is wanted here,” said Alastair Harper, spokesman for the Green Alliance. He said many were looking at the review “as the final test of whether the UK government is serious about attracting their investment”.

Mr Osborne privately hopes to use the results of the review to unpick the carbon budget, which he fears could undermine manufacturing and prevent the construction of a new fleet of gas-burning power stations.


DOT Plans to ‘Enhance the Quality of Life’ by Reducing ‘Car-Dependent’ Development

Creating "livable communities" is one of five objectives for the U.S. Department of Transportation, as it updates its 2014-2018 strategic plan.
The draft plan, released this week, notes that President Obama "has made place-based policy a key component of his domestic agenda." And as part of that agenda, DOT says it will "enhance quality of life in all communities" by spending taxpayer dollars on transportation projects that discourage "car-dependent, dispersed development."

"U.S. transportation investments over the last 50 years have often been poorly coordinated with other investments such as housing and commercial development," the plan says. "These development patterns have provided many American families of all income levels with unprecedented choices in where they can live, and the ability to own a single-family home. However, the reliance on car-dependent, dispersed development is not without costs."

DOT says those costs include long commutes and vehicle maintenance: The average American adult between the ages of 25 and 54 drives over 12,700 miles a year and the average American household spends $7,658 annually to buy, maintain, and operate personal automobiles.

"Alternatives to auto travel are lacking in many communities," DOT says, vowing to change that:

"We will enhance the economic and social well-being of all Americans by creating and maintaining a reliable, integrated, and accessible transportation network that enhances choices for transportation users, provides easy access to employment opportunities and other destinations, and promotes positive effects on the surrounding community."

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is inviting organizations and individuals to comment on the initial draft from now until September 6. "Your input will ensure that we consider the perspectives and ideas of all stakeholders as we draft the final version of the plan to be released in early 2014," he said.

"We encourage you to submit your ideas and suggestions early and often. We will review each idea and suggestion that is submitted and summarize how we used your feedback in the final version."

“Livable communities” is just one of DOT’s five objectives for 2014-2018: The others are transportation safety (the "top priority"), "good repair” (infrastructure maintenance), economic competitiveness (strategic investments to serve the traveling public and facilitate freight movement) and "environmental sustainability" (reducing greenhouse gas emissions).

Pedestrian and Bicyclists

DOT, under its "Safety" objective, says there are too many roads, especially in urban areas, that don’t provide adequate safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and disabled people.

It notes that pedestrian fatalities increased 3 percent and bicycle fatalities were up by 9 percent, respectively, between 2010 and 2011.

Given greater demand for pedestrian and bicycling options, "more attention needs to be placed on how pedestrian and bicycling options can be more effectively and safely integrated into existing transportation networks,” the strategic plan says.

DOT says “complete streets” -- roads that accommodate all users -- help reduce fatalities and injuries. These roadway designs include features such as sidewalks, raised medians, turn lane controls, better bus stop placement, better lighting, traffic calming measures, accessible sidewalks, curb cuts, accessible signage for sensory and cognitive disabilities, and other accommodation for travelers with disabilities.

Instituting policies that accommodate all roadway users has the “added benefit of making walking and biking more attractive options and of enhancing the aesthetic quality and commercial activity on local streets,” DOT says.

To reduce fatalities and injuries for pedestrians, bicyclists, and older drivers – an increasing population -- DOT says it will (among other things):

-- Establish a new clearinghouse of information on determining medical fitness to drive as a resource for state licensing agencies;

-- Encourage states to adopt policies and programs that improve pedestrian, and bicyclist safety;

-- Develop and promote training programs for motorists, children, pedestrians and bicyclists for use in schools and other venues;

-- Work to increase accessible sidewalks, curb cuts and signage, to increase safety for people with disabilities, older adults, novice drivers, and young children;

-- Distribute community-oriented material for people with disabilities, that offers technical guidance on improving pedestrian and bicycle safety;

-- Consider adopting vehicle standards to make vehicles less likely to harm the pedestrian and by providing driver warnings or automatic braking to prevent a pedestrian crash.


New federal rule allows economic costs to be hidden

By Rick Manning

The federal government is considering setting aside almost 14 million acres, a land mass larger than the combined states of New Hampshire and Vermont, as critical habitat for the northern spotted owl.  Using a highly controversial method of determining economic costs of regulations, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has declared that, “only a fraction of the overall proposed revised [land] designation will result in more than incremental, minor administrative costs.”

Environmental law firm, Marten Law, argues in a review of the new economic analysis approach that if the government, “were forced to do a full analysis, they would be forced to consider the economic impacts of the entire listing process, not just the additional impacts that occur from designating critical habitat.”

Now, due to a recent rule published by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency will be able to make partial economic analysis the norm in determining the impact of designating land as critical habitat for threatened or endangered species.

Senator David Vitter of Louisiana, the top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee is concerned that the new rule will disregard the true impact of federal regulations stating in a release reacting to the rule, “Designating critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act creates massive financial burdens for private property owners and state and local governments.  Friday’s rule allows the Agencies to avoid doing a full economic analysis of these financial burdens and allows them to hide the true costs of a species listing.”

The northern spotted owl is a real life example of the massive impact that the Endangered Species Act can have on communities and the people who live there.

Jim Geisinger, the head of the Northwest Forest Association recently explained the impact of the early 1990s Northern Spotted Owl decision to Oregon Public Television saying, “…our industry is not what it used to be. Hundreds of mills closed, and tens of thousands of people lost their jobs, and those jobs haven’t been replaced.”

Hardly a “minor impact” but under the new rule approved by the Obama Administration, impacts can be explained away, in order to justify a rule.

Ironically, the proposed expansion of the Northern Spotted Owl’s habitat is both harmful to the bird and unnecessary.

It is harmful to the bird because studies have shown that the Northern Spotted Owl actually does best in managed forests where timbering operations occur, rather than in pristine, uncut environments.

Instead, failure to allow the cutting of dead and dying trees in the bird’s habitat not only hurts its capacity to find food, it also subjects the entire forest to an increase risk of fire, as the uncut dead which serves as the fuel that makes forest fires burn hotter, spread faster and kill everything in its path.

In essence, the expansion of the northern spotted owl’s critical habitat by 14,000,000 acres or more than 21,000 square miles, will harm the bird, and destroy jobs in the effected area related to timber production, and the new U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rule will effectively allow the Agency to stick its fingers in its ears and yell na na na na na, I can’t hear you, to anyone who dares complain.

The people who live in the areas that are about to be blighted by a dramatic increase in declared northern spotted owl habitat know the economic destruction that awaits them.  Unfortunately, their government has decided that it not only doesn’t care, but doesn’t even want to hear about it.

And the northern spotted owl is just one well known example where habitat expansion is pending with the future impact on private property rights certainly to be even more devastating.

As Senator Vitter says, “This rule change is another example of this Administration moving forward with a dangerous precedent to ignore economic impacts when implementing expensive rules and regulations. They are pulling wool over our eyes and hoping we won’t notice.”

Unfortunately, no one speaks for the destroyed dreams of those who once lived and thrived in the northwestern United States logging ghost towns which were victimized by the first spotted owl plan.   Environmentalists on the other hand will gladly destroy the livelihoods of thousands of others in their ill-conceived plan to force an owl to thrive in a habitat that is not suited to.

It would be laughable if it weren’t so sad.


Russian officials board environmentalists' vessel

The environmental group Greenpeace says that Russian authorities have boarded their ship which is in the Arctic to protest against oil drilling.

The group is protesting offshore oil exploration conducted by state oil company Rosneft and ExxonMobil in the Russian section of the Arctic Ocean off western Siberia.

Greenpeace said in a statement on Monday that Coast Guard officials boarded the ship without permission after the group launched inflatable boats with banners reading "Save the Arctic" near an oil exploration vessel working for Rosneft.

Russia has denied permission for the Greenpeace ship to enter the Kara Sea, but the ship entered the waters on Saturday morning.

Campaigners have been warning of high risks of oil blowouts and spills in this pristine and hard-to-reach area.


Yes, We Can Drill Our Way Out of This Problem

Perhaps you read the USA Today editorial on August 19 that concludes with: “the most important gains could come from radical shifts that are as unanticipated as was North America's emergence as an oil and gas powerhouse.”  It points out “that free enterprise has a way of solving problems that is beyond the capabilities of government.” And continues: “The surge in domestic oil and gas production—spurred on by such new techniques as hydraulic fracturing (or ‘fracking’) did not come about as the result of government energy polices, but largely in spite of them.”

Other oil producing countries are taking note.

Mexico has huge oil-and-gas reserves— estimated at 115bn barrels of oil equivalent, comparable to Kuwait’s—but lacks the technology to develop non-conventionals, such as shale gas and deep-sea crude. President Pena Nieto is looking to make reforms that would allow foreign companies to partner with the state-owned oil company, Pemex, to bring the wealth to the surface.

The Saudi Prince Alwaleed recently warned:  “the kingdom's oil-dependent economy is increasingly vulnerable to rising U.S. energy production.” Alwaleed’s comments were penned before Mexico announced its intended energy reforms. The thought of Mexico’s resources flowing on to the global market has got to make the prince increasingly nervous.  

The reality of North America becoming an “oil-and-gas powerhouse” threatens more than just OPEC nations. In response to the USA Today editorial, Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), wrote an “opposing view” proclaiming: “Increasing domestic oil and gas production is no panacea for our nation's energy needs or economy.”  

Energy and the Economy

Apparently, she is not aware that regions with oil-and-gas development have some of the lowest unemployment in the country—states with resource extraction such as Texas, Montana, Oklahoma, and Wyoming all have unemployment rates below the national average and North Dakota has the lowest in the country at 3.9%. My home state of New Mexico shares the rich Permian Basin with Texas. There, they tell me: “Anyone who can pass a drug test can get a job.”

Due to the increasing domestic resource development, President Obama’s stated 2010 goal of doubling exports by 2015 has already been met—though not through his initiatives, and in fact, in spite of them. Alan Tonelson, an economist at the US Business and Industry Council, says:  “When the president talks about trade, when he talks about creating middle class jobs, when he talks about turning the US economy into an economy that lasts, he usually talks about manufacturing, those are the classic American living wage jobs. There’s no chance that he’s been thinking mainly about petroleum.”

Rayola Dougher, a senior economic adviser at the American Petroleum Institute, sums up the economic impact of oil and gas on the economy: “We have been a real engine of growth at a time when other industries have been languishing.”

Gas Prices

Next, Beinecke states: “U.S. oil production may be up 44% since 2008, but so are prices. The costs of crude oil have risen 6% in that time.” While this claim appears to be accurate on the surface, it ignores the fact that the Federal Reserve has driven the value of the dollar down. In his Forbes article,  “The rising price of the falling dollar,” contributor Charles Kadlec, explains: “The real price of the on-going debauchery of the dollar is measured by the loss of our prosperity and the debasement of our liberty.” Similarly, Paul Streitz, in American Thinker, draws the connection between our national debt and the price of oil: “excessive spending means monetizing our debt, which means printing money, which means foreign oil producers want more of it for the same barrel of oil.”


Of course, Beinecke resorts to the environmentalists’ standard claim: “The fracking that is driving our oil and gas surge has grown at breakneck speed.” She continues: “states have responded with weak rules and limited enforcement.” Environmental groups, like Beinecke’s NRDC, want federal government to add regulation on fracking—which will increase the cost and slow the growth of drilling.

Friday, August 23, was the deadline for public comment on the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) draft rule to regulate hydraulic fracturing on federal lands. Oklahoma Attorney General Pruitt and attorneys general from four other states sent a letter to the BLM, objecting to the agency’s intent to duplicate the state’s long-standing regulation of hydraulic fracturing. “States have been regulating hydraulic fracturing for more than 40 years with great success. This proposed rule is just another layer of unnecessary regulation that will cause significant delays and hinder natural gas production,” General Pruitt said. “The Supreme Court has made it clear that regulation of water and land use is a state and local power, and no law gives an agency such as the BLM the authority to pre-empt state regulations.”

Environmentalists’ hyperbole about the use of hydraulic fracturing would lead the general public to believe that the practice is new. In fact it has been successfully used to extract oil and gas for more than 60 years—and, over the decades, it has been refined and made giant technological leaps. Attempts to link fracking to water contamination have repeatedly been disproven.

Climate Change

Then her “opposing view” takes the climate change tack: “more oil and gas production will only exacerbate climate change … Last year alone, Americans suffered $140 billion in crop losses, wildfires, storm damage and other impacts of extreme weather made worse by climate change.” Once again, baseless charges.

The $140 billion in crop losses pertains to the 2012 drought, but the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Drought Task Force, put together to examine whether or not “human-caused CO2-fueled global warming” was the cause, said, in a report, dated March 20, 2013: “natural variations in weather patterns caused this sudden ‘flash drought,’” and “The report rules out global ocean conditions as well as human-induced climate change, as major culprits.”

Additionally, as I addressed last month, Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr., from the University of Colorado, at the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee hearing on climate, testified to the effect that Weather Related Disaster losses globally as a percentage of GDP had actually decreased by about 25% since 1990, while droughts have “for the most part, become shorter, less frequent, and cover a smaller portion of the U S over the last century.”   Other figures of merit, hurricane frequency, intensity, damages, landfalls, and ‘accumulated tropical cyclone energy’ have shown no trends over long periods of record. Floods have not increased, flood losses have gone down significantly, while tornadoes have not increased in frequency, intensity, or normalized damage since 1950, and there is some evidence to suggest they have actually declined. Beinecke is either ignorant of the facts, or guilty of deliberately misstating information.

The wildfires Beinecke mentions are connected to the drought and add drama to her comments as we are currently fighting wildfires in 11 western states. However, the true blame falls squarely on the forest management plans as enacted by the US Forest Service, which has allowed the forests to be overgrown and unhealthy. Keeping the forest healthy through thinning costs about $600 per acre, but fighting a forest fire can cost nearly four times more.

CAFE Standards

One of her last assertions is: “Our new 54.5 mpg fuel standards will cut oil imports by one-third and save consumers $1.7 trillion at the pump.” The 54.5-mpg figure is a standard that Obama announced in 2009 and it applies to the fleet average a company must have. Because Americans continue to purchase more trucks and SUVs with much lower mpg, a company must produce cars like the Volt or the Leaf that are measured at 93 and 99 mpg equivalent. Overall the average might come out in the mandated range. BMW recently announced the introduction of its first electric car, the i3. They are moving into electric cars, not because of customer demand, but “to meet regulatory requirements.”  The Wall Street Journal reports:  “The car will earn emissions credits for BMW in markets such as California, reducing the likelihood that BMW will have to pay fines for failing to comply with carbon dioxide restrictions and giving BMW headroom under those rules to keep selling its more profitable internal combustion models.” While electric cars may slightly reduce gasoline use, they really still run on fossil fuels—namely coal.

I close my examination of Beinecke’s “view” with this: “True energy independence means reducing our reliance on oil and gas by investing in America’s abundant clean energy resources that can power our country and boost our economy without endangering our health and climate.” I believe that we all want to end US dependence on oil imports from countries that wish to destroy us. But nebulous “clean energy resources” will not do that. When environmentalists refer to “clean energy,” they are most often referring to wind and solar—which produce electricity, albeit ineffectively, inefficiently and uneconomically. Only a tiny fraction of electricity in the US is produced from oil. The oil we import goes toward the transportation fleet. Until there are quantum leaps in technology, there will never be a massive shift from petroleum-based vehicles to electric. So Beinecke’s dream of “clean energy resources” will not reduce our “reliance on oil and gas.”

The title of Beinecke’s USA Today post is: “More oil and gas ups our addiction.” In reality, the true addiction is the clean energy she touts. Alternative energies such as wind, solar and biofuels are addicted to government money and the junkies’ dealers are those with close ties to President Obama and other high ranking Democrats engaged in crony corruption.

Let’s give the Saudi prince something to really worry about. Let free enterprise solve problems that are beyond the capabilities of government. Let’s build the Keystone pipeline and work with Mexico to use techniques, perfected in America’s oil fields, to bring its wealth to the surface. North America can be an oil-and-gas powerhouse—but government energy polies have to change. Then prosperity and liberty can be restored.




Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  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 or here


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

As real temperatures subside, the IPCC heats up the fight

By Larry Bell

The New York Times feverishly reported on August 10 that the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is about to issue another scary climate report. Dismissing the recent 17 years or so of flat global temperatures, the IPCC will assert that: “It is extremely likely that human influence on climate caused more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010.”

The draft report also says, “There is high confidence that this has warmed the ocean, melted snow and ice, raised global mean sea level, and changed some climate extremes in the second half of the 20th century.” And whereas the IPCC’s previous report modestly claimed a 90 percent chance that human activities were the cause, they’re now ratcheting up their confidence level to 95 percent.

Obviously then, they must have some very strong evidence to back this amplified bluster. Right? Well, then again, maybe not so much after all.

What Evidence Exists of Unnatural Recent Global Warming?

Cyclical, abrupt, and dramatic global and regional temperature fluctuations have occurred over millions of years. Many natural factors are known to contribute to these changes, although even the most sophisticated climate models and theories they are based on cannot predict the timing, scale (either up or down), or future impacts — much less the marginal contributions of various human influences.

While global warming has been trumpeted as an epic climate change crisis with human-produced CO2, a trace atmospheric “greenhouse gas” branded as a primary culprit and endangering “pollutant,” remember that throughout earlier periods of Earth’s history CO2 levels have been between 4 and 18 times higher than now, with temperature changes preceding, not following atmospheric CO2 changes.

Has there been “recent” warming? Yes, the global climate has definitely warmed since the Little Ice Age (about 1400-1700 AD), and it will likely continue to warm for another 200-300 years, in fits and starts, towards a maximum temperature roughly matching that of the Medieval Warm Period. That time followed a colder period before the founding of Rome between about 750 BC to 200 BC. By 150 BC the climate had warmed enough for the first grapes and olives to be cultivated in northern Italy. As recently as 1,000 years ago, Icelandic Vikings were raising cattle, sheep and goats in grasslands on Greenland’s southwestern coast.

Then, around 1200, temperatures began to drop, and Norse settlements were abandoned by about 1350. Atlantic pack ice began to grow around 1250, and shortened growing seasons and unreliable weather patterns, including torrential rains in Northern Europe, led to the “Great Famine” of 1315-1317.

Temperatures dropped dramatically again in the middle of the 16th century, and although there were notable year year-to-year fluctuations, the coldest regime since the last Ice Age (that so-called “Little Ice Age”) dominated the next150 years or more. Food shortages killed millions in Europe between 1690 and 1700, followed by more famines in 1725 and 1816. The end of this time witnessed brutal winter temperatures suffered by Washington’s troops at Valley Forge in 1777 and Napoleon’s bitterly cold retreat from Russia in 1812.

Although temperatures have been generally mild over the past 500 years, we should remember that significant fluctuations are normal. The past century alone witnessed two distinct periods of warming. The first occurred between 1900 and 1945, and the second, following a slight cool-down began quite abruptly in 1975. That second period rose at very modest rate, if at all, until 1998, and then stopped and began falling again after reaching a high of 1.16ºF above the average global mean temperature. There hasn’t been any warming for at least a decade and a half, and possibly, considerably longer.

It’s also worth remembering that about half of all estimated warming since 1900 occurred prior to the mid-1940s despite continuously rising CO2 levels. Also consider that, even today, about 97 percent of all current atmospheric CO2 derives from natural sources.

What Evidence Exists of Human CO2 Influences on Climate?

All IPCC climate models incorporate theory which predicts that “anthropogenic” (human-caused) global warming will be evident in an “amplification” of a surface warming trend that is revealed as an atmospheric “hot spot” in the tropical troposphere. Instead, both satellite data and independent balloon data show a near-zero trend from 1979 to 1997, followed by a well-known 1998 temperature “spike” which is universally attributed to a Super-El- Niño. This absence of an observed hot spot suggests that the land-surface temperature warming trend (1979-1997) is greatly overestimated, and should be close to zero in the Tropics.

So where does the evidence needed to support the IPCC’s 95 percent certainty claim come from? The true answer is that there simply isn’t any. None at all. There never was…only totally unproven theoretical climate models.

For a bit of political science history on this matter, it’s important to remember that such IPCC statements typically follow a series of drafts that are edited to become increasingly media-worthy. For example, the original text of an April 2000 Third Assessment Report (TAR) draft stated: “There has been a discernible human influence on global climate.” That was followed by an October version that concluded: “It is likely that increasing concentrations of anthropogenic greenhouse gases have contributed significantly to observed warming over the past 50 years.” Then in the final official summary, the language was toughened up even more: “Most of the observed warming over the past 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.”

When the UN Environment Programme’s spokesman, Tim Higham, was asked by New Scientist about the scientific background for this change, his answer was honest: “There was no new science, but the scientists wanted to present a clear and strong message to policymakers.”

Sometimes IPCC report statements directly contradict conclusions published by the same authors during the same time period. Regarding any “discernible human influence on global climate,” a 1996 IPCC report summary written by B.D. Santer, T.M.L Wigley, T.P. Barnett, and E. Anyamba states: “…there is evidence of an emerging pattern of climate response to forcings by greenhouse gases and sulphate aerosols…from geographical, seasonal and vertical patterns of temperature change…These results point towards human influence on climate.”

However, another 1996 publication, “The Holocene,” by T.P. Barnett, B.D. Santer, P.D. Jones, R.S. Bradley and K.R. Briffa, says: “Estimates of…natural variability are critical to the problem of detecting an anthropogenic [human] signal…We have estimated the spectrum…from paleo-temperature proxies and compared it with…general [climate] circulation models…none of the three estimates of the natural variability spectrum agree with each other…Until…resolved, it will be hard to say, with confidence, that an anthropogenic climate signal has or has not been detected.”

Although IPCC is broadly represented to the public as the top authority on climate matters, the organization doesn’t actually carry out any original climate research at all. Instead, it simply issues assessments based upon supposedly independent surveys of published research. However, some of the most influential conclusions summarized in its reports have neither been based upon truly independent research, nor properly vetted through accepted peer- review processes.

The IPCC asserted in its 2007 report that the Himalayan glaciers would likely melt by 2035 due to global warming, prompting great alarm across southern and eastern Asia, where glaciers feed major rivers. As it turned out, that prediction was traced to a speculative magazine article authored by an Indian glaciologist, Syed Hasnain, which had absolutely no supporting science behind it. Hasnain worked for a research company headed by the IPCC’s chairman, Rajendra Pachauri. IPCC’s report author, Marari Lai, later admitted to London’s Daily Mail, “We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policymakers and politicians and encourage them to take action.”

While it should be recognized that most of the many scientific reviewers are indeed dedicated and competent people who take their work very seriously, few of them have much if any influence over final conclusions that the public hears about. Instead, the huge compilations they prepare go through international bureaucratic reviews, where political appointees dissect them, line by line, to glean the best stuff that typically supports what IPCC wanted to say in the first place. These cherry-picked items are then assembled, condensed and highlighted in the Summaries for Policymakers which are calibrated to get prime-time and front page attention.

IPCC’s 1996 report used selective data, a doctored graph, and featured changes in text that were made after the reviewing scientists approved it and before it was printed. The many irregularities provoked Dr. Frederick Seitz, a world-famous physicist and former president of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the American Physical Society, and Rockefeller University, to write ( in August 1996) in the Wall Street Journal: “I have never witnessed a more disturbing corruption of the peer review process than events that led to this IPCC report.”

Several tens of thousands of scientists have lodged formal protests regarding unscientific IPCC practices. Some critics include former supporters. One of them is Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt, a socialist founder of Germany’s environmental movement, who headed the renewable energy division of the country’s second largest utility company. His recent coauthored book titled, The Cold Sun: Why the Climate Disaster Won’t Happen, charges the IPCC with gross incompetence and dishonesty, most particularly regarding fear-mongering exaggeration of known climate influence of human CO2 emissions.

As IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer admitted in November 2010, “…one has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. Instead, climate change policy is about how we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth…”

What Evidence Exists of a Climate Problem At All?

Speaking at his State of the Union address, President Obama said: “We must do more to combat climate change…It’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods – all are now more frequent and intense.”

But there’s a big disconnect from facts here. In reality, there has been no increase in the strength or frequency of landfall hurricanes in the world’s five main hurricane basins during the past 50-70 years; there has been no increase in the strength or frequency in tropical Atlantic hurricane development during the past 370 years; the U.S. is currently enjoying the longest period ever recorded without intense Category 3-5 hurricane landfall; there has been no trend since 1950 evidencing any increased frequency of strong (F3-F-5) U.S. tornadoes; there has been no increase in U.S. flood magnitudes over the past 85 years; and long-term sea level rise is not accelerating.

So let’s maybe take a look at the importance of that “alarming” 400 parts-per-million atmospheric CO2 concentration we keep hearing about. As Steven Goddard summarized some results in an August 10 article he posted on Real Science, we are currently witnessing:

* Coldest summer on record at the North Pole

* Highest August Arctic ice extent since 2006

* Record high August Antarctic ice extent

* No major hurricane strikes for eight years

* Slowest tornado season on record

* No global warming for 17 years

* Second slowest fire season on record

* Four of the five snowiest northern hemisphere winters have occurred since 2000

Regarding those pending IPCC predictions that sea levels will accelerate, don’t plan to sell your beach front property any time soon, at least not for that reason. William Happer, a Princeton physics professor who has researched ocean physics for the U.S. Air Force, notes that, “The sea level has been rising since 1800, at the end of the Little Ice Age.” Isn’t that to be expected? In fact even the IPCC admitted in its most recent report that “no long-term acceleration of sea level has been identified using 20th-century data alone.”

Dr. Nils-Axel Morner, the former chair of the Paleogeophysics and Geodynamics department at Stockholm University in Sweden, has been studying sea level and its effects on coastal areas for more than 35 years. He observes that “…sea level was indeed rising from, let us say, 1850 to 1930-40. And that rise had a rate in the order of 1 millimeter per year.”

Morner is very critical of the IPCC and its headline-grabbing doomsday predictions. He scorns the IPCC’s claim to “know” the facts about sea level rise, noting that real scientists “are searching for the answer” by continuing to collect data “because we are field geologists; they are computer scientists. So all this talk that sea level is rising, this stems from the computer modeling, not from observations. The observations don’t find it!”

What Evidence Exists that Continued U.S. Funding for IPCC Propaganda Is Sane?

Following President Obama’s State of the Union pledge to double down on his frenetic “Green” war to prevent climate change, U.S. Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) has introduced legislation to discontinue any more taxpayer green from being used to advance the  UN’s economy-ravaging agendas. The proposed bill would prohibit future U.S. funding for the alarmist Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and also for the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), a scam devoted to redistributing American wealth in penance for our unfair capitalist free market prosperity.

Congressman Luetkemeyer strongly objects to the UNFCC’s use of IPCC’s suggestions and faulty data to implement a job-killing agenda here in America. He argues: “The American people should not have to foot the bill for an international organization that is fraught with waste, engaged in dubious science, and is promoting an agenda that will destroy jobs and drive up the cost of energy in the United States. Unfortunately, the President appears to be ready to fund these groups, revive harmful policies like cap and trade, and further empower out of control federal regulators at a time when we should be doing everything possible to cut wasteful spending, reduce regulatory red tape, and promote economic growth.”

Under the Obama Administration, UNFCC and IPCC together have received a total average of $10.25 million annually, which will be upped to $13 million under a FY 13 budget request. The George W. Bush administration previously provided about $5.7 million each year. While those amounts may seem like a pittance in the realm of government spending largesse, it’s important to realize that the true costs of that folly amount to countless billions in disastrous policy and regulatory impacts. And that, dear readers, is exactly the UN’s intent.


Increasingly, green groups claim global warming risks are occuring *now*. This is wrong and weakens the argument

Bjorn Lomborg

The graph here shows that over the past eight years green groups in the US have moved from describing global warming as a future problem to one of *now*.

This makes psychological sense -- they try to increase the attention to a topic which has little traction in a world of austerity. Yet, it is mostly wrong, leads to bad policies and weakens the argument for global warming.

By focusing on the urgent *now*, they increase a sense of panic, but panic rarely leads to good policies. Moreover, the *now* is typically not justified. Most climate impacts will only be detectable many decades or even only in the second half of the century, and for very long they won't be the dominant driver of climate impacts. (See e.g. hurricanes, where even very concerned scientists tell us that increases "may not be detectable until the latter half of the century".  See  here)

As Andy Revkin (a nuanced New York Times environmental journalists) points out:

"According to the latest science, in most cases (outside of extreme heat waves) the connections between today’s extreme weather events and human-driven climate change range from weak (hurricanes) to nil (tornadoes) — and the dominant driver of losses in such events is fast-paced development or settlement in places with fundamental climatic or coastal vulnerability."

So “here and now” arguments take the policy fight on global warming into the terrain favored by those who recoil at environmental regulation or profit from fossil fuels — an arena where there’s lots of real scientific uncertainty. All they have to do is sprinkle just a little of that uncertainty dust and the public disengages. Job done."

SOURCE (Post of Aug. 25)

Warmists no longer bothered by fossil fuels (when it suits them)

Al Jazeera’s Climate Activist Fans Don’t Care About The Network’s Ties To Oil-Rich Qatar.  The new network, financed by a country with the world’s highest per capita carbon emissions, is making climate change a priority — and activists are thrilled. “I think it’s wonderful,” says Mann.

When climatologist Heidi Cullen got a call from Al Jazeera America more than a month ago about a debut segment on climate change already in the works, she figured the fledgling cable news network was out to make a point.

“I got the sense that, as a brand new network, they wanted to distinguish themselves,” said Cullen, who appeared alongside two other climate scientists on the first episode of Inside Story, Al Jazeera America’s 5 p.m. newscast. The 30-minute program, which focused entirely on climate change Tuesday, equaled nearly half of the coverage devoted to climate change in all of last year on the three network nightly news broadcasts, according to a review by the liberal site Media Matters.

“When they reached out, it was early August,” Cullen said. “So this was on the books for a long time. The fact that they decided to do it on the first day was just drawing a line in the sand.”

But the new network, which launched Tuesday with a staff of 900 and 12 bureaus across the United States, is privately funded by the royal family of oil-rich Qatar, posing a potential sticking point for climate activists lauding the network’s coverage, and for the man who made the cable launch possible: one of the country’s leading voices on global warming, Al Gore, who sold Current TV, and its airwaves, to the Al Jazeera Media Network eight months ago.

Although Qatar has set a plan to shift to renewable sources of energy in the next decade — it aims to generate 20% of its energy from renewables, particularly solar power, by the year 2024 — the country is still emits the world’s most carbon dioxide per capita, and petroleum accounts for 70% of government revenues, according to OPEC.

Climate activists, though, don’t see a problem: Reporting on, or even talking about, climate change over Al Jazeera airwaves, they say, is an improvement from what viewers see on the networks or the three leading cable news channels — no matter the source of funding.

“I think it’s wonderful,” said Michael Mann, a climatologist at Pennsylvania State University who was also a guest on the Inside Story climate panel. “What it says is that it shouldn’t be a matter of your politics or your monetary bottom line as to whether or not you believe in the science of climate change.”

“It shouldn’t matter whether or not you stand to profit from the continued sale of fossil fuels,” Mann said, when asked about issue of Qatari funding. “This is a network built on oil money from an oil-driven economy, but they don’t see the need to deny the reality of climate change.”

Mann noted that Alwaleed bin Talal, the owner of Kingdom Holding Company and a Saudi prince, is the second-largest shareholder of News Corp., the parent company of Fox News, which regularly features guests and analysts who question whether climate change is a man-made phenomenon.

“Sadly, they have taken a very different tack,” he said. “Other networks could take a lesson from [Al Jazeera America].”

Brad Johnson, campaign manager for Forecast the Facts, a climate accountability organization, acknowledged that Al Jazeera’s funding is “certainly an issue,” but argued that the United States “is also kind of a petro-state.”

“Qatar is an oil-rich state that’s trying to transition to a modern post-oil economy,” said Johnson, “and in theory we describe ourselves in those terms as well.”

When asked about the network’s funding in an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Gore said, “I understand the criticism, of course, but Al Jazeera has long since established itself as a really high-quality news gathering network,” he said. “And by the way, their climate coverage is far more extensive and high-quality compared to any other network in the U.S.”


An idyll blighted by 18,000 solar panels: Seen from the sky, the reality of alternative energy

Row after row, this astonishing array of solar panels has completely engulfed an enormous 30-acre field in the heart of the countryside.

As this aerial photograph reveals, acres of beautiful Hampshire countryside have been blighted as a result, by 18,000 solar panels.  The solar farm covers a staggering 30 acres of land creating a massive eyesore in the centre of an otherwise picturesque view.

The solar farm, Cadland Estate at Fawley in Hampshire, covers a staggering 30 acres of land creating a massive eyesore in the centre of an otherwise picturesque view

Photographer Tim Woodcock, 54, captured the image from a helicopter while flying more than 1,000ft above the solar array near Fawley.

The energy saving farm on the Cadland Estate uses photo-voltaic panels to produce five megawatts of power.  It creates enough natural energy to supply 1,000 homes each day.

Solar farms like this one have sprung up in recent years as farmers collect up to £50,000 a year in green subsidies - this site is made up of 18,000 solar PV panels, mounted on nine kilometres of frames using 5,000 ground screws

‘Many of these alternative energy sources are manufactured abroad, in China, for example.  ‘It is very easy to say that a system is ‘green’ when all the energy and environmental damage and cost is made elsewhere.’

He added: ‘Obviously there is a lot of interest in alternative forms of energy. But the question remains how many of these will actually provide a real alternative to fossil fuels - so far, very few.  ‘No one seems to have the courage to tell the truth about energy alternatives.’

The solar panel farm, which is the size of 18 football pitches, is one of the largest of its kind in Britain and took just four weeks to construct. It is made of 18,000 solar PV panels, mounted on nine kilometres of frames using 5,000 ground screws.

Locals claim it is less of a blot on the landscape than wind farms, because the panels are completely surrounded by trees and greenery.

Energy efficiency solutions company Anesco designed and manages the farm on the land rented from the Cadland Estate.

The Estate is also used for farming wheat, maize and livestock. It is best known for supplying potato to leading food manufacturers such as Walkers crisps.

Energy generated by the solar PV system is fed back into the national grid under the Government’s Feed in Tariff (FiT) scheme which makes payments for energy produced through renewable sources.

Dozens of large-scale solar farms like this have sprung up in recent years as farmers put up acres of them to rake in up to £50,000 a year in the green subsidies.

More than 100 new planning applications are currently in the system and work on a large-scale installation in Wiltshire began last month.

Another energy firm Kronos Solar has set out plans to build Britain’s largest solar farm, on agricultural land in Houghton, Hampshire.

Under the proposals, 225,456 panels would be laid out across an area the size of 100 football pitches. The scheme is intended to produce enough electricity for 31,500 people.

However, it will soon be far more difficult to set up a solar farm on greenfield land or areas of outstanding natural beauty it was revealed last month.

New planning guidance to be issued to local councils will state that ‘care should be taken to preserve heritage assets, including the impact of planning proposals on views important to their setting’.

This will not affect small scale solar installations which families can install on their roofs or farmhouses, or can be put up on industrial land.

Energy minister Greg Barker has insisted that although solar has a bright future in the UK it should not be in any place or at any price.  He said last month: ‘I want UK solar targeted on industrial roofs, homes and on brownfield sites not on our beautiful countryside.’

Campaigners near solar farms in rural beauty spots say they have become a sea of silicon slabs, which are allowed by councils to meet their renewable energy targets.

People who set up their own solar panels benefit from the feed-in tariff.  This has been slashed by around two-thirds over the past year after the Government set the level far too high.

However people who signed up in the early days in 2010-11 have their fee fixed for 25 years and continue to benefit.


New EPA Videos Suggest Only You Can Prevent Climate Change

 In an attempt to instill a "climate change" mentality in Americans, the Environmental Protection Agency has just released a new series of short public service videos explaining how we can all do something to reduce our carbon footprint.

Most of those videos begin with a narration saying: "Our climate is changing. The choices we make affect the amount of greenhouse gases we put into the atmosphere. Making a few changes around the (office/home/commute) can cut carbon emissions."

On the road, the EPA suggests biking, public transit, and carpooling as an alternative to driving. Go easy on the gas pedal, one of the videos suggests. Inflate your tires, remove unnecessary items from your vehicle to reduce its weight; get tuneups; and make fewer errand runs.

At the office, the EPA is telling Americans to shut off computers and electronics when they are not in use; turn off the lights; recycle; print on both sides of the paper; buy Energy Star copiers and appliances and products that use recycled materials.

At home, we should swap out light bulbs for energy-efficient alternatives; change air filters; lower the thermostat in winter and raise it in summer; recycle -- and "reduce your carbon impact to the environment."

The EPA says its latest video series "supports President Obama’s Climate Action Plan and highlights benefits of reducing energy consumption."


Smart meters: good idea or a lot of hot air?

If anyone needed convincing about the insecurity of Britain’s energy policy, then the news that some of our biggest wind farms were last week producing just enough power to boil a few hundred kettles should help.

It is the obvious flaw in the system: when the wind does not blow, the turbines either produce no electricity, or even become net consumers to keep themselves going. Supporters of the rush for renewables say that August is typically a month when winds are light – but no more so than June, July or September. They argue that most of the time, wind turbines produce clean energy – but the question for an advanced economy like ours is whether they produce anything like enough, especially in view of the subsidies they receive.

However, help is at hand. We are all going to be equipped with smart meters, so we will know how much energy we are using and can adjust accordingly. Advertisements to this effect from the big power suppliers are appearing everywhere. So, this must be a good idea, mustn’t it? Instead of trying to decipher the numbers on an ancient electricity or gas meter buried deep in the Stygian gloom of a broom cupboard, we will all have state-of-the-art digital display units telling us that someone has left the TV on, or that the daughter of the house is drying her hair upstairs.

The smart meter project will be one of the most extensive infrastructure programmes ever seen in the UK, with the aim (set by the EU) of installing them in 80 per cent of homes and small businesses – some 52 million buildings – by 2020. At one point, it was going to be compulsory to have one, but the Government thought this would be an intrusion too far. Still, with the suppliers pushing them like mad, most of us are going to get a smart meter whether we like it or not.

Earlier this month, the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) announced the preferred bidders for this monumental task, which will involve the removal of millions of existing meters and their replacement with electronic devices able to communicate remotely with suppliers who can take readings at regular intervals. In theory, this should mean no more estimated readings that leave you £300 in credit with your gas company, or alternatively facing a higher-than-expected bill.

I can see the advantages of metering. Yet I have a sneaking suspicion that it is going to cost me more, not less.

True, at the moment, trying to work out the best-value energy suppliers is almost impossible. Our home is supplied by Marks & Spencer, for goodness sake – the result of an encounter in one of their food stores between my wife and a salesman promising all sorts of goodies, including discount vouchers that we only received after chasing them up. Looking at our bill now, it is no cheaper than when we were with British Gas.

So a smart meter seems like a good idea: customers can automatically receive favourable tariffs that reward them for using energy during off-peak periods, though I can’t see many doing the laundry at 3am.

Yet this programme is going to cost some £12 billion – and the bill is to be passed on to the consumer. So if we really are to be up on the deal, we must be about to get some pretty good bargains as a result. Indeed, DECC estimates it will deliver overall benefits of £18.8 billion, giving a net gain of almost £7 billion.

Still, a number of energy experts aren’t convinced. Alex Henney, who worked in the electricity industry for many years, tells me that when a group of consultants carried out a cost-benefit analysis in 2007, they calculated a net cost of more than £4 billion. He also insists that the system being introduced here will be twice as expensive as in Italy and Spain.

“We have devised the most complex roll-out in the world, relying on suppliers to provide the meters rather than the network company,” says Henney. “This increases the cost of capital and requires an additional large database, which will lead to errors and confusion as we switch suppliers.” He adds that people could be given live information on their energy use via the internet or smartphone apps much more cheaply.

Henney told a Commons energy committee inquiry that “the project is likely to be a shambles which will have negligible consumer benefit”. The MPs, however, concluded that we should indeed gain overall, although they conceded there may be resistance. Some people, for instance, object to the idea of having what amounts to a spy in the home, believing it could be used to find out about other activities. This seems excessively paranoid – but after the data-mining scandals of recent months, who knows?

Ostensibly, smart meters’ main purpose is to make us use less energy and contribute towards a low-carbon future, along with wind turbines and other renewables. Perhaps they will – but at a cost. Germany recently decided not to follow the EU’s 80 per cent target for smart meters because it would be too costly for consumers. That is something to bear in mind when you next hear a minister promising to help people who find it hard to pay their fuel bills.

There is one thing to remember, however: when the energy supplier comes knocking on the door to install your new smart meter, you can always say no thanks, and stick with the dumb one under the stairs. Whether anyone will ever come and read it for you is another matter.




Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  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 or here


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Tale of Two Climate Hockey Sticks

By S. Fred Singer

The false “hockey stick” graph with which (in 2001) the UN climate panel claimed that current surface temperatures are “unprecedented” in a millennium is at odds with hundreds of scientific papers and with their own previous position. There is nothing unusual about today’s temperatures; the world was warmer in the Middle Ages. However, the "hockey stick” graph showing a rapid increase in 20th century CO2 concentration is genuine.

The Third Assessment Report (2001) of the UN-sponsored IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) espouses a temperature history over the last thousand years that resembles a "hockey stick" (HS). The ‘shank’ is the smooth decline of temperature from 1000 to 1900AD, followed by an apparent sharp rise in the 20th century (forming the ‘blade’ of a hockey stick). IPCC-AR3 promoted this rise as definitive evidence of human influence on climate; emission of carbon dioxide was supposed to cause the 20th century warming. But this temperature history is fake; it is contradicted by much other evidence.

Top figure from IPCC-AR1 (1990) Bottom figure from IPCC-AR3 (2001)—does away with MWP and LIA

By “fake” I mean it is ‘not real.’ Please note that I do not use the term “faked.” I prefer to believe that Dr. Michael Mann, creator of the hockey stick, simply made several scientific errors when he derived this notorious graph of global surface temperature from his analysis of ‘proxy’ data (tree rings, corals, lake sediments, etc) of the past millennium. Canadian scientists Steven McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, as well as statistics expert Edward Wegman (of George Mason University in Virginia), demonstrated that Mann’s data and statistical methods are both faulty; yet he has not withdrawn his HS paper—though Nature was compelled to publish a belated and inadequate Corrigendum by Mann. Quietly, however, he has co-published temperature graphs that show a distinct Medieval Warm Period (MWP) 1000 years ago and a Little Ice Age (LIA), mostly around 1400-1800 AD.

1000 years of atmospheric CO2 and isotopic composition at the South Pole

Note the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm Period in the CO2 record (top graph). There is a slight peaking (maximum delta C-13) in the isotopic composition at the Little Ice Age (bottom graph), where presumably CO2 absorption by ocean would be enhanced.

Carbon dioxide data, mainly from sampling Antarctic ice cores over the last thousand years, also show a shape that (superficially) resembles a hockey stick; but this one is real. Yet there is no relation between the two graphs—or between temperature and carbon dioxide—as the following discussion will show. I fear that my comparison of the two graphs may cause great unhappiness for extreme alarmists as well as for extreme skeptics of global warming.

The Temperature Record

If one looks at the best temperature data over the last thousand years, they overwhelmingly support the existence of an oscillation on a time scale of 1000-1500 years—with a temperature maximum, the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), followed by the well documented Little Ice Age (LIA). These temperature swings are missing from Mann’s HS graph—which the IPCC unwisely featured, six times, in its 3rd Assessment Report of 2001. It is telling that IPCC’s 4th Report of 2007 and the forthcoming 5th Report no longer display the hockey stick–curve of Michael Mann.

A more detailed examination of thermometer data of the 20th century shows a major warming between 1910 and 1940, a slight cooling between 1940 and 1975, and a disputed temperature history of the last two decades of the century. It is interesting and worth noting that Mann’s HS graph stops just before 1980—even though the use of proxy data would indicate an absence of warming from 1980 to 2000. The leaked ‘Climategate’ e-mails between IPCC scientists, including Mann himself, suggest that “hiding the decline” in tree-ring temperature reconstructions, which should have been showing the same warming as the thermometers, was the reason why Mann stopped his analysis in 1980—and why his post-1980 proxy temperatures have never been revealed.

(An email from Professor Phil Jones at the University of East Anglia to Mann and his co-authors said: “I’ve just completed Mike’s [Mann] Nature trick [sic] of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e. from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s [Briffa] to hide the decline.”)

The CO2 Record since 1000AD

Turning now to the CO2 data (assembled by Tom Quirk in Australia and kindly transmitted by Prof. Will Happer of Princeton Univ.): They show a remarkable hockey-stick shape—which, however, is real. The concentrations of atmospheric CO2 were preserved in air bubbles trapped in snow that turned into ice; the time record has been obtained from different samplings of Antarctic ice cores. It is supplemented and confirmed by a corresponding decrease in the isotope ratio of C-13/C-12. The sharp decrease of C-13 in the 20th century indicates that its source is most likely biogenic; fossil fuels from ancient plant material and biota would fit this specification.

1. A quick look at the CO2 curve shows a slight increase during the MWP and a slight decrease during the LIA. These excursions are readily interpreted as a (net) reduced uptake of CO2 when the ocean is warm and increased uptake when the ocean is cold. (We recall that roughly half of the CO2 emitted into the atmosphere during fossil-fuel burning and cement manufacture is absorbed into the ocean and that CO2 solubility depends inversely on ocean temperature—the well-known ‘champagne effect’.)

A more detailed interpretation of the CO2 curve leads to these additional conclusions:

2. Various skeptics have suggested that CO2 levels were higher during the 19th century than they are today. There is nothing wrong per se with these old measurements—though they were performed by old-fashioned chemical methods rather than current infrared techniques. It just means that the data obtained were contaminated and were not representative of global concentrations of free-atmosphere CO2. Antarctic is reasonably free of contamination.

3. It is often claimed by skeptics that the human contribution to atmospheric CO2 (from fossil-fuel burning) is tiny—less than a percent. The data clearly show that the contribution is 400 minus 280 parts per million (ppm)—roughly 30% of the current concentration.

4. Extreme skeptics have often claimed that George Callender, the British pioneer of the global-warming story during the early 20th century, was hiding some higher CO2 values from ice cores that approached present values. This does not seem to be the case.

5. From time to time, skeptics have claimed that the CO2 increase was mainly due to global warming, which caused the release of dissolved CO2 from the ocean surface into the atmosphere. (A recent adherent of this hypothesis is Prof. Murry Salby in Australia.) However, the evidence appears to go against such an inverted causal relation. While this process may have been true during the ice ages, the isotope evidence seems to indicate that the human contribution from fossil-fuel burning clearly dominates during the last 100 years.

6. Finally, note that the temperature ‘blade’ starts around 1910, while CO2 starts its sharp upward climb around 1780AD.


Upon reflection on these temperature and CO2 data of the last thousand years, I conclude that the evidence presented here will cause unhappiness for both extreme alarmists and extreme skeptics. Maybe that’s a good thing.

However, it still leaves open the question of climate sensitivity (CS), i.e., the actual influence of CO2 on global temperature. CS has been steadily decreasing, from 3°C (for CO2 doubling) in the initial IPCC report. I believe confidently that the real CS values may be much lower—although not quite zero. I base it on what Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the IPCC, has delicately called the 17-year “pause” in global warming of the near-surface, and on the near-absence of tropical atmospheric warming, as seen by weather satellites since 1978.

The scientific puzzle is why IPCC climate models predict large values for CS while the observations show only small ones.


Climate Deception: How The “Hottest” Temperature Game Is Played To Offset Prediction Failures

Global temperature is not doing what the “official” Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicted. Proponents of the claim humans are the cause of warming and the cooperative media react by trying to deflect, divert and perpetuate fear. They exploit people’s lack of knowledge and understanding.

A January 2013 ABC News headline that said, “2012 Was 9th Warmest Year on Record, Says NASA” is a classic example of how the public are deliberately misled. It is deliberate because it distorts, is out of context, and exploits manipulation of statistics or as Disraeli summarized, “Lies, damn lies and statistics.”

The deception begins with the headline but is expanded in the article. The challenge is to know what is actually being said. Initially, you need a translator, but can develop sufficient propaganda detectors once the methods are identified. There are guidelines that work in most circumstances:

Don’t believe anything you read; Question everything; Be especially suspicious of numbers; Know the source and political bias; If you’re affected by the story get at least three other sources; Remember all government information and data is biased; Be especially wary of stories that cite authorities.

The opening paragraph to the ABC story says,

“The year 2012 was the ninth warmest globally since record keeping began in 1880, said climate scientists today from NASA. NOAA, crunching the numbers slightly differently, said 2012 was the tenth warmest year, and both agencies said a warming pattern has continued since the middle of the 20th century.”

The implied threat is the temperature continues its inexorable trend up. The record is 133 years long and with a general warming trend. When would you expect to find the warmest years? Figure 1 provides a hint.

Figure 1

Why are they drawing attention to this by focussing on the “ninth warmest”? Because for the last 15 years the trend has leveled and declined slightly in contradiction to their forecast. Figure 2 shows what is actually happening.

Figure 2

The IPCC claim with over 90 percent certainty that Figure 2 is not supposed to happen. Here is the actual data;

Figure 3

Notice how the shift caused a change in terminology to divert attention from the fact that CO2 was no longer causing increasing warming. CO2 levels continue to rise, but temperatures don’t follow. It completely contradicts their predictions, which is why they want to divert attention.

How meaningful is the temperature increase? What is the accuracy of the measure? IPCC says there was a “trend of 0.6 [0.4 to 0.8]°C (1901-2000)” , that is for most of the period in the news story. Notice the error range is ±0.2°C or ± 33%. It is a meaningless record.

The story cites NOAA and NASA in the standard appeal to authority. However, it’s offset by the observation that they are “crunching the numbers slightly differently” to explain why they disagree between 9th and 10th on the list. How can that be? Aren’t they using the same data? All agencies produce different average temperatures because they select different stations and “adjust” them differently. NASA GISS consistently produces the higher readings, and were most active politically when James Hansen was in charge. They both use the grossly inadequate surface station data.

Although the article limits its claim by acknowledging it is only the 9th warmest in the official record, most people believe it is the 9th warmest ever. It is a misconception deliberately created by political activists like Al Gore and not openly refuted by governments. It is like Gore’s claim that CO2 levels are the highest ever when they are actually the lowest in 300 million years.

So, how long and complete is the official record? A comprehensive study was produced by D’Aleo and Watts “Surface Temperature Records: Policy-Driven Deception?” detailing what was done. Two graphs from NASA GISS show the general pattern.

Figure 4 (Source NASA GISS)

There are fewer than 1000 stations with records of 100 years and most of them are severely compromised by growth of urban areas. Equally important, is the decline in the number of stations they consider suitable, especially after 1990. This pattern also partly explains why the current readings are high (Figure 5). Temperature increases as the number of stations used are reduced.

Number of stations plotted against temperature.

Figure 5 -- Number of stations plotted against temperature.

Although they condition the terminology “hottest” with “on record” most people assume it is “ever”. This implication was deliberate. The IPCC rewrote history by eliminating the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) that was warmer than today. Weather agencies, increased the slope of temperature by lowering the old record – New Zealand is a good example (Figure 6).

Figure 6

Global temperatures are not following “official” predictions, so those who used global warming for a political agenda try to defend the indefensible. This proves it is political because scientific method requires you admit your science is wrong, determine why, and if possible make adjustments.


Gov’t-Created Calendar for Teachers Includes 'National Pollution Prevention Week'

Sept. 17-23 is "National Pollution Prevention Week," and if you didn’t know that, it’s a good thing the government is here to remind you.  The event appears on a teachers' calendar offered at, the U.S. government's official web portal for children.

The recommended activities for National Pollution Prevention Week include a few coloring books, which teach children, ages preschool-to-grade-three, to think like little environmental activists.  "Sometimes pollution happens when oil tankers break up at sea," reads one of the pages in an "Auntie Pollution" coloring book offered at

Auntie Pollution (get it?) is a grandmotherly scold who approves of clean air and water and disapproves of sewage treatment plants and fossil fuels.

"Is the sewer plant in your city adequate?" reads the caption on another page that shows Auntie Pollution frowning at pollution from sewage leaks and smokestacks.

On another page, Auntie Pollution suggests that children should enjoy a day at the beach by picking up litter.

The website also offers an EPA coloring book for young children: "In lots of places, houses are crowded together," says one page. "There is still too much dirty air and water," reads another. And: "There is too much traffic."  "And too much noise."

"But things are getting better," says a later page. "We can preserve our unspoiled land," says another. "And someday the earth will be a nicer place."


It's Not Gridlock That is Blocking a Carbon Tax, It's Science and Economics

This is an open letter to William D. Ruckelshaus, Lee M. Thomas, William K. Reilly and Christine Todd Whitman.

You, the former directors of the EPA who were appointed by Republican presidents, recently wrote an op-ed in the New York Times titled, A Republican Case for Climate Action. In this opinion piece, the four of you write of your conviction that action can no longer be delayed on the climate, and that the only reason we don't have a chance to pass a carbon tax is because of partisan gridlock. With all due respect to your years of service to our nation, I wish to remind you all of one inconvenient truth: you are political appointees. You are experts in neither science nor economics - your only expertise is in the political arena.

Your opinions, therefore, are formed neither in a scientific nor an economic framework. Let me be blunt: not one of you has ever actually pursued any rigorous scientific or economic course of academic study. Your educational backgrounds are wholly unrelated to the relevant fields when discussing climate science and carbon taxing schemes.

In your NYT op-ed, you write,

"There is no longer any credible scientific debate about the basic facts: our world continues to warm, with the last decade the hottest in modern records, and the deep ocean warming faster than the earth’s atmosphere. Sea level is rising. Arctic Sea ice is melting years faster than projected.

The costs of inaction are undeniable. The lines of scientific evidence grow only stronger and more numerous. And the window of time remaining to act is growing smaller: delay could mean that warming becomes “locked in.”

A market-based approach, like a carbon tax, would be the best path to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, but that is unachievable in the current political gridlock in Washington. Dealing with this political reality, President Obama’s June climate action plan lays out achievable actions that would deliver real progress. He will use his executive powers to require reductions in the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the nation’s power plants and spur increased investment in clean energy technology, which is inarguably the path we must follow to ensure a strong economy along with a livable climate."

Given your lack of background in the rigors of scientific study, it is inconceivable that the four of you can claim any knowledge of what debate exists in the scientific community. There is strong evidence that the warming trend to which you refer either has stopped or was, at least in part, manufactured by prominent scientists who earn enormous federal grants to come up with data supporting the theory of anthropogenic global warming.

Your claims that sea levels are rising and Arctic sea ice is "melting years faster than projected" are so full of holes that it causes one to wonder if you've ever read a peer-reviewed scientific study. And calling a new tax on energy a "market-based approach" ignores the enormous effects on our economy such a scheme would cause.

Conservatives do not oppose carbon taxes because they are anti-science or do not care about the environment. Quite the contrary, in fact. Conservatives oppose carbon taxes for two very strong reasons that you would do well not to dismiss so blithely:

1. Any carbon tax would have a far-reaching and compounding negative impact on our economy, and is regressive in nature - carbon taxes disproportionately hurt the poor in a wide variety of ways; and
2. The science, despite what Al Gore may have told you, is far from conclusive. Consensus is irrelevant to the scientific process. The scientific process, when properly utilized, fits a theory to the facts as observed - NOT the other way around.

In closing, you all would do well to listen to all the voices in your party, as well as all the voices in the fields of science and economics, before casting judgment on Conservatives who oppose such an economically inhumane policy.


Al Gore’s mind

The Washington Post’s interview with Al Gore, Jr. provides a window into the mind and plans of the titular leader of the environmental movement in a way that is rare in the mainstream media.

Critics could question why interviewer Ezra Klein failed to ask the former Vice President obvious questions about the failure of the earth to warm for the past fifteen years as he and his cronies have predicted.  Given that psychologists warn that directly attacking someone’s delusion can often result in dangerous results, it is possible that Klein’s reticence could be explained away.

More likely though is that Klein was either unaware or dismissive of the data that led even the climate experts brought to the U.S. Senate by Barbara Boxer (D-CA) to testify about the ravages of global warming to remain silent when asked if they could defend President Obama’s claim that, “we also know that the climate is warming faster than anybody anticipated five or 10 years ago.”

But Gore was not confronted by this inconvenient truth by Klein, who instead let the Pied Piper of environmental destruction off the hook by not forcing him to deal with the record ice flows in Antarctica and the collapse of the scientific consensus built around Michael Mann’s failed hockey stick computer model that predicted rapidly increasing temperatures over the past decade.

Where the Klein interview is most instructive is that Gore hints at the international game plan for making Congress and the will of the American people irrelevant in stopping the environmental movement.  Below is the direct question and response.

“Ezra Klein: But to play the pessimist again, wouldn’t carbon prices in other countries give us a competitive advantage the longer we resist them at home? It seems that if India is taxing fossil fuels and we’re not, that’s a slight edge for us. It’s easy to imagine it becoming a kind of protectionist, save-our-manufacturing-sector issue.

Al Gore: It’s certainly something that can’t be dismissed out of hand. But remember the World Trade Organization rules explicitly allow the recapture of carbon taxes at the border, much in the manner of a value-added tax. The U.S. is in danger if it did not change of being subjected to those recapture provisions.”

And that is the economic plan that environmentalists are setting up through world bodies like the WTO and the United Nations to overcome the U.S. sovereignty issue – force a carbon tax onto America by having world organizations impose one at the borders when our manufacturers export goods.

This international war to impose their vision on the world through international bodies that don’t have to worry about messy little things like the consent of the governed is at the heart of modern environmental policy.

Obama’s EPA is in the process of imposing environmental standards that threaten the stability of our nation’s electricity grid.  Standards that never could pass Congress, but which have been deemed legal due to the open ended mandate provided the EPA in legislation like the Clean Air Act.

The Klein interview with Al Gore, Jr. reveals a smart dedicated man determined to save a planet that ten year climate data shows doesn’t need saving.  A man determined to accomplish what he believes is his life mission, who truly believes that the end justifies the means.  It reveals that Al Gore, Jr. is indeed a formidable person to America as we know it, and not just some corpulent, hypocritical buffoon as often portrayed by cartoonists.

At a time when America’s economic renaissance hinges upon the low cost North American energy sources of coal, natural gas and oil, pay attention to what Al Gore says, because he will lead the charge against this renewal and his movement is committed to ending our nation’s economic hegemony.


Up to our ears in  ‘climate change’ snake oil

Al Gore and his traveling medicine show is back in town with his new, improved snake oil, guaranteed to grow hair, improve digestion, promote regularity and kill roaches, rats and bedbugs. Al and his wagon rumbled into town on the eve of “a major forthcoming report” from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is a panel of scientists affiliated with the United Nations. Their report is expected to buck up the spirits of the tycoons of the snake-oil industry.

A snake-oil salesman’s lot, like a policeman’s, is not a happy one. There’s always a skeptic or two (or three) standing at the back of the wagon, eager to scoff and jeer. The global-warming scam would have been right up Gilbert and Sullivan’s street. Would Al and the U.N. deceive us? No! Never! What! Never? Weeeell, hardly ever.

The New York Times, a faithful shill for Al’s snake-oil elixir, following the wagon from town to town, got an advance copy of the U.N. report and gives out with the “good” news: It’s a “near certainty” that humans are responsible for the rising temperatures of recent decades, and warns that by the end of the century all the little people — small children, midgets and others whose growth was stunted by drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes at an early age — will be up to their belly buttons in salt water. The seas will rise by more than three feet.

The inconvenient truth Al and the junk scientists have to deal with is that temperatures aren’t rising, but falling. In fact, since the early 1990s we’ve had global cooling. It got so embarrassing Al and the junk scientists started calling it “climate change.” Some days it rains, some days it doesn’t and some days it’s a little of both. That’s real change. The U.N. panel concedes that global warming has in fact given way to global cooling, but attributes this to “short-term factors.” The minions of the compliant media, ever eager to blow hard about the coming end of the world, when women and minorities will suffer most, will rattle and twitter about the U.N. climate report with their usual tingle and flutter.

President Obama tried the other day to elbow Al aside to lead with his assertion that hurricanes are getting worse and that only he has the power to put them in their place. Hurricanes are actually getting not worse, but fewer. Only three major hurricanes have made landfall so far in Mr. Obama’s presidency. Grover Cleveland, who was president between 1885 and 1889, entertained 26 major hurricanes during his presidency, and that was before global warning was invented.

We were scheduled to see an enormous melting of polar ice by now, but even the ice won’t co-operate. The U.S. Navy forecasts twice as much mid-September ice this year as it measured in 2012.

The only way to deal with the inconvenient truth is to bellow and bawl the convenient whopper louder than ever. In an interview this week with a blogger for The Washington Post, Ezra Klein greeted Al with a shower of sanitized softballs, and Al knocked some of them halfway back to the pitcher’s mound. Al is exhausted dealing with the skeptics, whom he calls “denialists,” as in denying the Holocaust. The denialists, he says, are “like a family with an alcoholic father who flies into a rage every time a subject is mentioned and so everybody avoids the elephant in the room to keep the peace.”

Al, who is a decent sort who tried to be a good ol’ boy when he went back home to visit the family tobacco farm, says the denialists remind him of racists, warmongers, homophobes and other congenital undesirables, but he thinks it won’t be long until they’re permanently silenced. “We’re winning the conversation,” he says.

On the contrary, what frustrates Al and the snake-oil industry is that the skeptics can no longer be shut out of the conversation. “We can expect the climate crisis industry to grow increasingly shrill, and increasingly hostile toward anyone who questions their authority,” Kenneth P. Green, a former member of the U.N. panel, predicted three years ago. Another former panelist, Dr. Kimimori Itoh, a Japanese physical chemist, calls the phenomenon “the worst scientific scandal in history. When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.”

That’s too bad, because when science and scientists one day discover a genuine crisis, nobody will listen. We’re up to our ears already in snake oil.




Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  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 or here