Tuesday, December 31, 2013

British wind farms handed £5 million to switch off turbines as thousands of homes left without power

Wind farm companies were paid almost £5 million to switch off their turbines while storms lashed the UK over the festive period and tens of thousands of homes were left without power, according to figures published today.

The ‘constraint payments’, which ultimately come from household bills, were payable when the National Grid was unable to cope with the extra power produced during the recent bout of stormy weather or usage was low.

More than £4.8 million has been paid out to wind farm companies since December 15, according to figures compiled from official data, almost as much as was handed over in the whole of 2012.

The total included more than £1.2 million during the first of the recent storms, on December 19, followed by nearly £800,000 on Christmas Eve, more than £400,000 on Christmas Day and nearly £300,000 last Friday.

The money was paid to switch off turbines over a period when winds of up to 100mph hit Britain, with the storms leading to a spate of deaths, travel chaos for millions of people trying to get home for Christmas and power cuts for thousands of homes.

Anti-wind farm campaigners said the figures would infuriate hard-pressed households and demonstrated that wind farms were being erected faster than the National Grid can absorb the electricity they produce.

It was reported on Boxing Day that constraint payments of £30.4 million had been paid out in 2013 compared with £5 million the previous year.

However, this did not include the money handed out to switch off turbines during the Christmas week storms and the total has since increased to £32.6 million. With more stormy weather forecast over New Year, the total is expected to rise further.

Murdo Fraser, a senior Tory MSP and wind farm critic, said: “Families who are struggling with overstretched household budgets at Christmas time and have to meet ever-increasing energy bills will be horrified to see such vast sums of their money being paid to wind power companies for doing nothing.

“This exposes once again the over-reliance on wind developments as part of our energy mix when the Grid capacity doesn’t currently exist to properly utilise the power produced.”

The constraint payment figures were compiled using official data by the Renewable Energy Foundation, a charity. The first bout of storms saw energy companies paid £653,727 on December 18 and £1.24 million on December 19 to switch off turbines at 31 wind farms.

A further £113,826 was paid out on December 21 and £248,399 the following day before the payments spiked again on Christmas Eve as storms tore across Britain.

As around 75,000 homes were left without power, the wind farm companies were paid £787,959 to switch off turbines at 18 of their developments. Around 50,000 households remained without power on Christmas Day when £432,445 of constraint payments were made.

Another £287,454 was given to the energy firms on December 27 and £126,827 on December 28, according to the figures.

The National Grid has said the system is needed to balance supply and demand and the money handed to wind farms make up only a small proportion of constraint payments made to generators of all types.

A spokesman for RenewableUK, the lobby group representing wind farm companies, said: “December has been a record-breaking period for the amount of clean power generated by wind, with the most electricity we've ever generated in a month – more than 2 million megawatt hours.

“It’s very easy to turn a wind turbine on or off compared to other forms of generation such as a nuclear power station. That is partly why the National Grid sometimes calls on wind developers to constrain their power.”


British wind farms 'slash up to a THIRD off value of nearby homes ... while developers pocket millions'

They are the bane of ramblers and birds alike, but now homeowners are being warned that a nearby wind farm could cut the value of their houses by up to a third, an MP has claimed.

Geoffrey Cox, Conservative MP for West Devon and Torridge, said some homes in his area are now worth 'significantly less' thanks to giant turbines, and that it is an 'injustice' that homeowners should lose out while developers and land owners potentially pocket millions.

Mr Cox says proposals for scores of turbines have pushed rural areas to 'tipping point' and has called for a new scheme to compensate those whose homes are affected.

Planning Minister Nick Boles has proposed direct compensation for lost property value thanks to developments such as turbines, and also nuclear power stations, rail links and factories.

The minister is eyeing a pilot scheme in the coming months, and it could be based on the Dutch model that pays out an average of around £8,000 to householders that have suffered 'detriment'.

Mr Cox said he welcomed the proposal, which is likely to curry favour across rural Cornwall, Devon and Somerset, where the growing number of wind farms are seen as a blight by residents.

The MP said: 'An increasing number of people are coming to me with clear evidence that the value of their home is significantly less than what it otherwise would be were the wind farm not there.'

He added: 'I’m seeing a minimum 10 per cent to 15 per cent reduction. Some are seeing a loss of one-third of the value... How can that be fair?'

'How can it be right that landowners and developers are making millions of pounds, while the ordinary household is losing the value of what is their pension, or nest egg in old age.'

Wind farms are the source of much debate in rural communities, with a number of protest groups furious at the loss of local beauty spots.

In October, campaigners living near Ilkley in Yorkshire, won a campaign to have four giant turbines dismantled - the first ever wind farm to be scrapped in the UK.

Residents and walkers were delighted by the return of unspoilt views across the rolling hills and deep blue waters of Chelker Reservoir.

And to their relief, the 150ft high turbines will not be replaced after the council refused permission for two even bigger machines.

Angela Kelly, the chairwoman of the anti-wind farm campaign group Country Guardian, says she has seen the value of a number of properties slashed thanks to the presence of a nearby turbine.

She claims she has even heard of buyers withdrawing at the last minute after discovering plans for a wind farm in the local vicinity.

Ms Kelly said: 'There is plenty of evidence that even the threat of a wind farm or a wind turbine  can prevent the sale of houses'.

She added: 'Certainly after a wind farm has been erected properties within sight or sound of the turbines can become virtually unsaleable.

Of the Planning Minister's proposal, Mr Cox said: 'I would completely support households having to be paid compensation for the depreciation of their house value as a result of wind turbines.'

'It is simple nonsense for the pro-wind lobby to say they have no effect on house prices.'

But he warned: 'The devil will be in the detail. How would you differentiate between those that are entitled and those that are not?'

The compensation package was revealed quietly in December’s autumn statement, but was detailed by Mr Boles when her appeared before the Local Government Select Committee of MPs.

He said the proposal was a 'radical departure' from Britain’s current planning rules, but would help speed up major infrastructure that will boost growth, and would bring “individual benefits” for local residents from new development.

His idea goes beyond existing schemes to compensate homeowners for roads and rail links which affect the property by creating noise and traffic.

Mr Boles said: 'I think that everybody recognises that countries have to do difficult things - build roads, build railway lines, build nuclear power stations and other kinds of power sources.'

He added: 'It is better for everyone that the amount of money is banged up in the transaction process - making the decision, let alone building the thing, as little as possible and relatively speedy. With certain projects there has been a principle established of some kind of a benefit being paid to very local communities.'

Mr Boles went on: 'One of the things we are keen to pilot is whether people who have properties very close to a substantial development might benefit from some form of compensation for the loss of property value, something that does happen in some other countries, the Netherlands have innovated with it.'

Reacting to Mr Cox's comments, Malcolm Prescott, managing director of local estate agent Webbers, said: ‘I’ve not experienced this myself... For every person who says I’m not keen on having a wind farm nearby, another will say it’s actually quite nice.'

He added: ‘I think so long as the thing isn’t on your actual doorstep and you can hear it buzzing, people just accept they are part of the landscape. Whether or not they affect property value is specific to each individual home and not something that will affect the entire region.’

Mr Prescott went on: ‘People are still far more concerned about other aspects of the sale. Is it the right location? Is there access to the beach? What are the schools like? Those are the things that really matter to people buying property around here’.


Ethanol Isn’t Green, Isn’t Efficient, and Shouldn’t Be Subsidized

My new Mercury outboard motor came with the following warning: “It is recommended that only alcohol-free gasoline be used where possible.” Gasoline blended with ethanol, an alcohol, does some nasty things to small motors. It corrodes metal, deteriorates plastic and rubber parts and creates difficulties with starting and operating the motors. Fuel lines have been known to leak, causing obvious dangers to operators. Where’s the Consumer Protection Agency when you need it? Not only won’t the government protect us consumers, it caused the problem.

Government legislation mandates the blending of ethanol into most gasoline sold in the United States and has set ever increasing amounts of ethanol to be phased in over time. This policy is an ill-advised attempt to reduce U.S. dependence on oil and to shift automotive fuel to a renewable source. Mandating the use of ethanol imposes more costs than benefits, including hidden costs on consumers that hit the poorest members of society worst, and provides billions of dollars in lucrative business to grateful campaign-donating special-interest groups. Making matters worse, supporters of ethanol make highly questionable claims about its environmental benefits. Ethanol’s got to go.

Ethanol can be made from various plant materials, but in the U.S. ethanol is made primarily from corn. In 2012/2013, approximately one-third of the U.S. corn crop went into ethanol production. U.S. annual production of ethanol has surged since 1998, increasing from slightly over one billion gallons to over 13 billion gallons in 2012. This surge in production and consumption is the result of state and federal mandates requiring it to be blending with gasoline.

The ethanol mandate has increased food prices, as the surge in demand from ethanol production has raised corn prices and corn profitability. Lands previously planted with other grain crops have been shifted into corn production, lowering supplies of other grains and raising their prices. Livestock that feed on higher-priced grains have had their costs of production and prices go up as well. These higher prices for food items are a “tax” on consumers—financial burdens that fall disproportionately on lower-income families whose budgets are heavily weighted towards food items. One nice benefit to politicians is that explicit agricultural crop subsidies have fallen as grain prices have gone up. In essence, the government has been able to legislatively shift the burden of the agricultural subsidy programs off the budget and onto consumers in the form of higher food prices.

The environmental benefits of corn-based ethanol are in doubt. While ethanol is an oxygenate that allows for the cleaner burning of gasoline, it comes with various other environmental costs. The environmental costs to manufacture and distribute ethanol are usually neglected by its proponents; increased grain output requires the use of more fertilizers, insecticides and ground water. Agricultural water runoff also imposes environmental costs, as does the diesel and gasoline farm machinery requires to grow corn. Ethanol is costly to transport since it is unsuitable for most pipelines, requiring other types of ground transportation that use fossil fuels as well. Drivers using gasoline blended with ethanol find their cars’ miles-per-gallon fall, so more gallons of blended gasoline are needed for traveling any given distance. All told, the environmental costs from using corn-based ethanol may be higher than using straight gasoline.


Colorado monument designation would quash mining claims

A Colorado lawmaker is seeking to put an end to two small mining claims on federal land in his state by having Congress designate the site and surrounding lands as a national monument.

Sen. Mark Udall (D) has introduced legislation that would create a 22,000-acre national monument in Browns Canyon in Chaffee County, Colorado.  To ensure that no mining, or any other new commercial activity, takes place on the site, Udall’s bill would designate 10,500 acres within the boundaries of the monument as wilderness.

Once federal land has been designated as wilderness, it is generally off limits to motorized and mechanical access.  Furthermore, construction of new roads and structures as well as any other “disturbances” are prohibited, as is oil and gas exploration and, of course, mining.

Chaffee County, which calls itself “the heart of the Rockies,” is located in central Colorado.  The land Udall wants to designate as a national monument/wilderness area straddles the Arkansas River.

Under Udall’s bill, the “Browns Canyon National Monument and Wilderness Act of 2013,” all the land in what would be called the “Browns Canyon National Monument” would remain under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service.  Because it is federal land, no Colorado agency has any jurisdiction over the area.

“Mining on the river could destroy the pristine water quality and scenery that has made Browns Canyon one of the top rafting and fishing destinations in the country,” Udall said (E&E Daily, Dec. 19).

In 2012, two mining claims, covering about 100 acres, were filed on BLM land in Browns Canyon.  At the time, the Interior Department’s Board of Land Appeals had temporarily opened up Browns Canyon to mining claims. Udall has called on BLM to challenge the two mining claims, and the agency has the matter under review.

Ball Could be in Obama’s Court

Having large swaths of federal land declared a national monument has become a favorite tool of those determined to shut off development in the resource-rich West.  Oftentimes this is done administratively through a legally dubious interpretation of the Antiquities Act of 1906, a law originally designed to protect Native American artifacts.

Udall’s bill, which currently has no companion measure in the U.S. House, would accomplish the same end legislatively.  If his bill fails to pass Congress, look for the Obama Administration to create the Browns Canyon National Monument administratively.


The Misguided Eco-Doomers

If you are a regular consumer of environmental news and commentary, you are familiar with the narrative of humanity’s downfall. The story, we are told, looks like this.  If we continue to ignore the danger signs while exceeding the planet’s carrying capacity, the future may get ugly.  For the time being, we are on a precipice.

Although our thought leaders and scholars have been giving us ample warning, we don’t seem to be paying attention. Maybe they should listen to the words of Jenny Price and try a new tack.

But that may be asking too much. Once someone starts down this civilization-is-collapsing road, like Guardian blogger Nafeez Ahmed, it’s hard to stop.  If you want a tour guide to the apocalypse, Ahmed is your guy. He is the erudite version of this fringe chararacter.

I must admit that I find the collapse junkies entertaining. I’m sure they believe the world is headed for a crash and their sincerity and eloquence is enough to scare some of us senseless

Others who drink too much from the ecocide well may sink into a fatalistic state of despair:

"Every time I read the NBL [Nature Bats Last] posts, I get the feeling that there´s nothing to be done with our lives, and our future. We have no future. We just have to wait for catastrophe."

A widely circulated piece from the New York Times recently advised:

"The biggest problem we face is a philosophical one: understanding that this civilization is already dead. The sooner we confront this problem, and the sooner we realize there’s nothing we can do to save ourselves, the sooner we can get down to the hard work of adapting, with mortal humility, to our new reality."

The problem that we are advised to confront is the very thing that has greatly advanced humanity in the last 200 hundred years: Industrialization. Indeed, the modernizing forces that shape our lives today are treated with contempt by many of the planet’s self-designated guardians.

Take industrial agriculture, for example. Do you believe that large scale mechanized farming, with its fertilizers and pesticides, has been a net plus for society? Now I’m not saying industrial agriculture is perfect; it has a major environmental impact that can’t be ignored or swept aside. But on the whole, are we better off today because of our industrialized food system (which still has plenty of room for improvement)? Or should we nix the tractors and go back to the horse plow? While we’re at it, should we go back to using cow dung instead of synthetic fertilizers? Should we nix the herbicides and go back to pulling out all the weeds by hand?

These are not trivial questions. For there are people who sincerely believe that organic farming is sufficient to feed the world. It is not a fringe view, either. The U.N. was touting agroecology a few years back, citing it “as a way to boost food production and improve the situation of the poorest.”

Evidence-based science tells us otherwise.

No matter, in a recent piece, Nafeez Ahmed told us of a new study that “raises critical questions about the capacity of traditional industrial agricultural methods to sustain global food production for a growing world population.” He then referred to that UN endorsement of organic farming:

Two years ago, a landmark report by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food demonstrated that agroecology based on sustainable, small-scale, organic methods could potentially double food production in entire regions facing persistent hunger, over five to 10 years.

(This is the equivalent of those who insist that wind and solar and a heaping of hydropower could potentially meet the energy needs of the world by 2030. Nobody punctures that bubble more effectively than this guy.)

The problem with doomsday prophets like Ahmed isn’t so much their incessant warnings about imminent eco-collapse, but more the solutions they proffer, which, if carried out in the developing world, really would lead to societal catastrophe.


Australia: Climate policies helped kill manufacturing, says adviser

THE unprecedented cost of energy driven by the renewable energy target and the carbon tax had destroyed the nation's competitiveness, Tony Abbott's chief business adviser has declared.

Maurice Newman also says climate change policies driven by "scientific delusion" have been a major factor in the collapse of Australia's manufacturing sector. "The Australian dollar and industrial relations policies are blamed," Mr Newman said. "But, for some manufacturers, the strong dollar has been a benefit, while high relative wages have long been a feature of the Australian industrial landscape."

In an interview, Mr Newman said protection of climate change policies and the renewable energy industry by various state governments smacked of a "cover-up".

He said an upcoming review of the renewable energy target must include examination of claims made in federal parliament that millions of dollars were being paid to renewable energy projects that allegedly did not meet planning guidelines. Mr Newman's comments follow those of Dow Chemicals chairman and chief executive Andrew Liveris, who said Australia was losing its natural advantage of abundant and cheap energy.

"As far as new investments go, our primary energy sources of natural gas and electricity are now or will soon become negatives to any comparative calculation," Mr Liveris said.

"Average prices of electricity have doubled in most states in recent years and the unprecedented contraction in consumption threatens a 'death spiral' in which falling consumption pushes up prices even further, causing further falls in consumption," he said.

Mr Newman said Australia had become "hostage to climate-change madness". "And for all the propaganda about 'green employment', Australia seems to be living the European experience, where, for every 'green' job created, two to three jobs are lost in the real economy," he said.

"The scientific delusion, the religion behind the climate crusade, is crumbling. Global temperatures have gone nowhere for 17 years. Now, credible German scientists claim that 'the global temperature will drop until 2100 to a value corresponding to the little ice age of 1870'."

Mr Newman said the climate change establishment, through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, remained "intent on exploiting the masses and extracting more money".

"When necessary, the IPCC resorts to dishonesty and deceit," he said.

In Australia, Mr Newman said, Victorian Democratic Labour Party senator John Madigan had told parliament how politicians and bureaucrats were paying tens of millions of dollars annually to wind turbine operators that had not received final planning approval.

"It could be hundreds of millions of dollars and we have a government that is keen to rein in the budget deficit," he said. "If you can save a million dollars that should never have been spent, we should be doing it."

Senator Madigan said the issuing of renewable energy certificates to one of the non-compliant wind farms, at Waubra in Victoria, reflected "a culture of noncompliance arising from systematic regulatory failure that impacts every wind farm in Victoria".

He said the issue involved "the pain and suffering of little people living in rural Australia, environmental damage, fraud on a grand scale, deception, lies and concealment".

The clean energy regulator has defended the decision to allow the Waubra wind farm to receive renewable energy certificates.

Mr Newman's comments came as the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission revealed that in the 18 months since the carbon tax commenced, it had received 3132 complaints and inquiries in relation to carbon price matters.

The Coalition has committed to bolstering the watchdog's powers, with additional funding and new penalties to ensure that companies lower energy costs after the repeal of the carbon tax laws.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

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


Monday, December 30, 2013

Climate-Science Boatpeople, In Search Of Global Warming Signs, Trapped In Thousands Of Kilometers Of Sea Ice!

The metaphor just couldn’t be more fitting: desperate true believers of global warming/accelerating polar ice melt now find themselves trapped by thousands of square kilometers of summertime sea ice that wasn’t supposed to be there.

No picture could better symbolize and communicate the intellectual bankruptcy and disillusionment of a faithful group who refuse to believe they have been led astray. This has to be deeply embarrassing, if not outright humiliating.

It’s reported here that many of the climate science boatpeople are actually from renowned media outlets, like The Guardian, who we can safely assume were onboard hoping to capture dramatic images of vast areas of open sea water, or of calving ice sheets with hundreds of tons of ice breaking off and plunging into the sea hourly. And with a little luck, maybe even some photos of a couple of drowned penguins.

Nowadays true believers find themselves journeying to the extreme corners of the globe in a desperate search for signs of the coming climate catastrophe. Signs are getting tougher to come by.

Indeed in Antarctica what they found was a reality that was precisely the exact opposite of what they had expected or had hoped for: no open sea seas – just thousands and thousands of square kilometers of sea ice, which ironically turned on them.

“Post-hoc rationalizations of model failures”

To save face they are changing their story and concocting new rationalizations. Perhaps all the unexpected ice is in fact a sign of warming after all!  This, for example, is what senior science writer for Comedy Climate Central Andrew Freedman is now claiming at Twitter, much to the rich entertainment of skeptics:

You see, Freedman explains, it’s all in connection with “ozone depletion” and it all comes “with human fingerprints“.

And when pressed on why warming is causing less ice in the Arctic but more in the Antarctic, climate science boat-person Freedman tweets: “…key to remember is the geographical circumstances are totally different.”

Freedmann gets so deep into it that Bishop Hill eventually calls his claims “handwaving post-hoc rationalisations of model failures.” Another reader writes he thinks Freedman ”is making it up as he goes along“. Anthony Watts tweets near the end: “Andrew Freedman is falling for the same ‘anything consistent with AGW’ silly logic fail that Laden did.”

Obviously the climate boatpeople are desperate and have nothing else left to lose.


Jay Lehr on Agriculture Appreciation

Heartland Institute Science Director Jay Lehr was a guest on Brownfield News Radio, after delivering a speech at the Iowa Farm Bureau annual meeting in Des Moines, Iowa.

The government has its hands in all sorts of industries, and Lehr believes the the agriculture industry is next. He thinks that Obama will use the EPA to push regulatory programs on farming and agriculture. Both Lehr and his interviewer were hopeful that since the whole healthcare disaster, people may be less trusting of the government’s regulatory fist. We can only hope, and although Lehr is optimistic, he warns that agriculture should still prepare for fight.

It’s clear that modern sentiments towards agriculture have changed; agriculture is no longer romanticized, but demonized- in a sense- by the environmental movement that started about 40 years ago. The environmentalists have had a very loud voice, and have “won” in terms of popular thought on big agriculture. Lehr recommends that farmers start talking and educating their communities of the truth about agriculture. He suggests taking two hours a month to talk to non-farming people about the new and exciting things happening on the farm.

Agriculture is moving at the speed of light; with new machinery technologies, growing technology, and farm science, there should be plenty to talk about! Agriculture needs to win back the minds of the public.


Climate stabilizers: How do people adjust?

Assuming warming:

I've been thinking over the last few days about ways in which people adjust to changes in climate and the like. As the climate warms, we might expect to see people reduce their demand for relatively resource-intensive warm clothing. Demand for heating oil will go down in exceptionally cold regions. The net effect on mortality will be ambiguous but likely positive: Indur Goklany argues that extreme cold kills far more people than extreme heat.

Norms will change. People are always coming up with new ways to solve problems, and with the global explosion in information technology I think we're just scratching the surface of what a truly global conversation will mean. In grad school, a friend told me his father's winter rule of thumb: if you're comfortable indoors without socks on, you have the heat on too high. Resources are needed to produce the socks, but I would be surprised if the net climate impact for extra socks is higher than the net climate impact of home heating.

As things get warmer, new types of vegetation will creep northward. Most of what I've seen has focused on bad flora and fauna, but again, this will be offset to at least some extent by the emergence of "good" flora and fauna. To use one example, we're doing an experiment with our kids in which we're going to learn why people don't grow avocados in central Alabama. We planted avocado pits, and they sprouted, but suffice it to say they don't do well in cold weather and will probably be dead before Spring. Changes in agricultural conditions will likely mean changes in the relative prices of meat and vegetable matter. Might climate change itself produce more climate-friendly diets?

I don't know. There are a lot of ways people will adjust to changing climate conditions. Some of them will be good, some of them will be bad, and in some ways ingenuity and markets mean that the system contains some of its own "automatic stabilizers" that will dampen the effects in either direction. I'll close with a quote from Friedman, who makes the most important (but most overlooked) point about the entire discussion in a post that is worth reading in its entirety (I'll even link to it again!):

    "The answer, I think, is that nobody knows if the net effects would be good or bad, and probably nobody can know. We are talking, after all, about effects across the world over a century. How accurately could somebody in 1900 have predicted what would matter to human life in 2000? What reason do we have to think we can do better?

    "Should we, for instance, assume that Bangladesh will still be a poor country a century hence, or that it will by then have followed the path blazed by South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong--and so be in a position to dike its coast, as Holland did several centuries ago, or move housing some miles further inland, at a cost that can be paid out of petty change? Should we assume that population increase makes agricultural land more valuable and the expansion of the area over which crops can be grown more important, or that improvements in crop yield make it less? While there may be people who believe that they know the answer to such questions, the numbers required to justify such belief are at best educated guesses, in most cases closer to pure invention. Someone who wants to prove that global warming is bad can make high estimates for the costs, low estimates for the benefits, and so prove his case to his own satisfaction. Someone with the opposite agenda can reverse the process and prove his case equally well."

America’s Bright Fuel Future Faces a Hostile White House

The International Energy Agency (IEA) made a mistake. Formed in 1974 at the behest of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and headquartered in Paris, the IEA was designed to be the organization for energy-consuming countries, countering OPEC, the organization representing the producers. It never really had much of a political role, and these days, its value lies in its statistics and energy predictions. Each fall, the IEA produces its "World Energy Outlook," and in 2012, the IEA estimated that "by around 2020 the U.S. is projected to become the largest global oil producer."

However, it looks like IEA's prediction was way off. In fact, this year, the IEA has predicted that the United States would take the lead in 2015, not 2020. We shouldn't be too hard on the IEA's number crunchers, though. Almost everyone who has looked at the American energy revolution has been on the low side, leading to a scramble to make revisions upward. Just this week, the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicted that U.S. oil production would near a "historic high" by 2016. By this time next year, we may find that projections from both the IEA and the EIA were still too low.

"Historic high"? "Largest global oil producer"? That's pretty heady stuff, given that less than a decade ago, the United States was looking at a death spiral in oil and gas production, and experts were making very good livings predicting the imminent arrival of "peak oil." Statistics and predictions are all very well, but how does this play on the ground?

Reality check I: Let's look at Atascosa County, Texas. It's the closest county south of San Antonio. Until five years ago, it was struggling and had been for decades. There was not a lot of economic activity, and the young people who could, left the county for San Antonio or elsewhere. Twenty percent or so of the population was below the poverty level. Average income was below $15,000 per year.

Atascosa County sits on the northern edge of the Eagle Ford shale development. Interstate 37 from Corpus Christi to San Antonio and the railroad line from the Port of Corpus Christi to the railroad hub in San Antonio pass right through the county. This has now made it attractive for companies servicing the Eagle Ford to locate there. Almost every week, Leon Zabava, the oil and gas editor for the Pleasanton Express (Atascosa's weekly newspaper), reports on another new oil and gas company moving in. Commercial and residential construction is booming, new families are arriving, and the county is studying the idea of building a new high school.

On Dec. 9, Atascosa County commissioners held their regular meeting. According to the Pleasanton Express, when Judge Diana Bautista called the meeting to order, two new deputy tax collectors were approved, badly needed with all the money flooding into the county. The Murphy Exploration and Production Co. wanted county permission to make tests along a county road, and that was granted. The county treasurer announced that the county had more than $30 million in invested assets and about $2.7 million in debts, an asset-to-debt ratio of about 12 to one. Not many U.S. jurisdictions enjoy that sort of financial cushion.

The Express also reports the hiring of Roy Olivares as a car and truck salesman by the local Chevrolet dealer. Ford, GM and Dodge are doing well this year, and pickups are leading the charge. Given the demand for new trucks in the shale country, Mr. Olivares is likely to be very busy.

Thanks to the American shale revolution, Atascosa County's economic boom is being replicated in other small towns in western North Dakota, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio, all of which have seen hard times until now.

Reality check II: Critics of the American energy revolution are hailing the appointment of John Podesta of the Center for American Progress to a senior White House position beginning in January. Recently, the center released its list of 55 corporate sponsors, none of which is in the oil and gas business. What the center did not do is draw attention to its left-wing billionaire contributors, including Tom Steyer. Last year, Mr. Steyer and Mr. Podesta co-wrote an attack on the Keystone XL Pipeline project in The Wall Street Journal. As The National Review recently put it, "Podesta is the vehicle through which a radical billionaire's energy policies are about to enter the Oval Office."

Would the White House really shut down the American shale revolution? We can only look at the record: President Obama has thrown the world's leading health care system into chaos. Never mind that high officials of other countries, including Canada, come to the United States for advanced treatment or that health care makes up a sixth of the American economy.

As with Obamacare, the shale revolution is entering uncharted waters now.


Michael Mann Retracts False Nobel Prize Claims in Humiliating Climbdown

Disgraced Penn State University (PSU) climatologist, Michael Mann, concedes defeat in his bogus claims to be a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Mann’s employer this weekend began the shameful task of divesting itself of all inflated claims  on university websites and official documentation that Mann was ever a Peace Prize recipient with Al Gore and the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Thanks to a tip off from respected climate researcher, Dr. Klaus Kaiser, myself and Tom Richard (who scooped the original Nobel story) obtained “before and after” copy images from PSU websites as records of this damning retraction.

But not only has Mann opened up a can of worms in the DC courts, he’s also rendered himself liable to full misconduct investigations by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and PSU for academic misrepresentation. No wonder that as of yesterday (Saturday October 27 2o12) the university began the task of ridding itself of  their crestfallen ‘hockey sticker’s’ fake claims. In the wake of the Jerry Sandusky pedophile controversy it seems the penny has finally dropped at the scandal-ridden university that what was once disregarded as mere peccadillos actually bring unwelcome legal consequences. No one is buying any of the apologists’ assertions that the affidavit slip up was a trifling one off  ”mistake.” Retrieval of third party archives of PSU web pages proves Mann has plied his fraudulent claims for years.  So how many more times will Mann’s climate cronies seek absolution for His Phoniness?

It won’t surprise legal analysts if the removal of these bogus claims is swiftly followed by equally shaming corrections, if not complete withdrawal, of the current botched defamation suit.  Also liable to collapse is Mann’s other libel claim dragging on since last year against Canadian climatologist, Dr. Tim Ball. In that related Vancouver action Mann also made the very same perjurious Nobel Prize claim.  Heaven forbid, even Wikipedia is hurriedly re-writing their biography of the climate con artist within 24 hours of Tom Richard obtaining confirmation from the Nobel Committee that Mann had lied in his sworn affidavit filed last week in the District of Columbia Court.

Let’s not forget that much, if not all, of Mann’s lawsuit is an appeal to the DC court for it to uphold the rightness and sanctity of Mann’s beatified authority on all matters environmental. Therefore, lawyers for Steyn, Rand Simberg and their respective publishers, the National Review and the Competitive Enterprise Institute, defendants in the case, may reasonably and fairly assert that for the past five years Mann has unscrupulously touted these false claims to unjustly further his personal, financial and political ambitions. With his saintly mantle shattered he can expect an onslaught of accusations of related scientific misconduct. PSU’s own policy statement suggests Mann has certainly breached their code of conduct:

“Academic integrity includes a commitment by all members of the University community not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation or deception. Such acts of dishonesty violate the fundamental ethical principles of the University community and compromise the worth of work completed by others.” [1]

Expect all eyes to be on PSU’s hierarchy to see whether they dodge their own internal disciplinary policies. After the humiliation of the Jerry Sandusky scandal PSU will get no wriggle room to save a second bad boy.  Likewise, the NSF has a detailed history of handling cases where individuals have falsified their degrees, memberships, prizes and other accomplishments. An AAAS report tells us, “Federal agencies finding scientific misconduct have subjected researchers to a variety sanctions from a letter of reprimand to debarment from receiving federal funding for a number of years.”  [2]

We shall  have to wait to see whether 2013 brings a new U.S. administration mindful to send a signal about the apparent slide in standards within American academia.


Crooked labs, agencies and prosecutors

EPA Nifongs and Beales prosecute US hydrocarbons, jobs, living standards and health

Paul Driessen

Former Durham, NC district attorney Mike Nifong was disbarred for withholding evidence from the defense and lying to the court in the trumped-up Duke lacrosse team rape case. Ex-Boston crime lab technician Annie Dookhan was prosecuted for faking test results and contaminating drug samples, to get accused dealers convicted. In both cases, charges against their victims were dismissed or are under review.

So how should we handle federal officials who’ve become unethical researchers and prosecutors – determined to get convictions, basing their cases on esoteric circumstantial evidence, allowing tainted and fraudulent evidence, hiding exculpatory information, rewriting the law, and denying defense counsel the right to cross-examine adverse witnesses or present their case?

As the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow explains in its amicus curiae brief to the US Supreme Court, that’s what Environmental Protection Agency regulators have been doing with global warming. They’re pulling every dirty prosecutorial trick in the book, to convict fossil fuels, carbon dioxide, and America’s economy and living standards of “endangering” the public welfare.

Since 2009, EPA regulators have shown a single-minded determination to slash hydrocarbon use, drive up the price of energy, and impose huge costs on companies, industries and an economy struggling to stay afloat and retain jobs. They want to control CO2 emissions from vehicles, electrical generating plants, and eventually the sources of nearly everything we make, grow, ship, eat and do. The damage to our livelihoods, liberties, living standards, legal system, health, welfare and life spans will be enormous.

The devious dealings have continued under new EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, who has pronounced that there is “no more urgent threat to public health than climate change.” Now it appears the mendacious malfeasance is even worse than previously thought.

Newly released emails reveal that Ms. McCarthy was “very excited” in 2010 to “finally get the opportunity to work with” Mr. John Beale, who for several years was the senior EPA policy advisor helping Ms. McCarthy and her Office of Air and Radiation develop and implement tough air quality and climate regulations. When he wasn’t off on one of his Walter Mitty undercover CIA capers, that is.

Beale was just convicted of defrauding taxpayers out of $1 million in salaries and expenses for extended vacations that he took while claiming to be a high level intelligence operative. His attorney says he had a “dysfunctional need to engage in excessively reckless, risky behavior” and “manipulate those around him through the fabrication of grandiose narratives.”

It defies belief to suppose his dysfunctions and fabrications did not extend to his official EPA roles of devising agency air pollution and climate policies, then cherry picking reports and manipulating research to justify them. The criminal fraud for which Beale will serve 32 months in prison and repay $1.4 million is outrageous. The fraud on our economy, democracy and people’s lives is far more costly and despicable. Even worse, their regulatory fraud is a pervasive problem throughout EPA.

The Constitution specifies that the Executive Branch has no authority to engage in lawmaking, but must faithfully execute the laws as written – and not as regulators might wish the laws had been written, to advance their preferred policy agendas. EPA has violated these most fundamental rules, ignoring inconvenient statutory language, and devising and enforcing other provisions out of whole cloth.

Between 1989 and 2010, Congress considered and rejected some 692 bills addressing various aspects of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. So President Obama’s EPA simply imposed carbon dioxide controls by executive fiat, using “prevention of significant deterioration” and “new source performance standards” to create new authority over coal-fired electrical generating plants. It then unilaterally changed precise statutory emission standards from 250 tons per year to 100,000 tpy – to avoid the public backlash that would come if it began regulating and shutting down all the natural gas generators, refineries, cement kilns, factories, paper mills, shopping malls, apartment and office buildings, hospitals, schools and even large homes that emit more than 250 tons of carbon dioxide per year. Those job-killing rules can come later, when radical environmentalists sue radical regulators, to enforce the statutory requirement.

In circumventing Congress, rewriting laws and ignoring the “separation of powers” doctrine, EPA accomplished an unprecedented power grab over the energy that fuels our economy and makes our jobs, living standards and civil rights progress possible. It also flouted clear NEPA, Clean Air Act and other statutory mandates that EPA protect the health, welfare and environmental quality of all Americans.

The agency remains fixated on the speculative impacts of sea levels, storms, droughts and other manifestations of allegedly “dangerous manmade climate change.” As CFACT’s amicus brief explains, it completely ignores the increasingly adverse effects that its boiler MACT, carbon dioxide and 1,9000 other Obama-era EPA regulations are having on companies, jobs, families, entire industries and communities – and thus people’s physical, mental and emotional well-being.

As breadwinners are laid off or reduced to part-time status, families are unable to heat and cool their homes properly, pay bills, rent or mortgage, buy clothing and medicines, or take vacations. Increasing numbers of families deplete their savings and are made homeless. Being unable to find or keep a job erodes self-worth, self-confidence and psychological well-being. The stress of being unemployed, or involuntarily holding multiple lower-paying part-time jobs, means reduced nutrition, sleep deprivation, increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, higher incidences of depression and alcohol, drug, spousal and child abuse, more suicides and generally lower life expectancies.

It means the regulations are far worse than the harms they supposedly redress. For EPA to ignore this simple reality is illegal and unconscionable. For it to do so based on fraudulent science is outrageous.

The agency’s position hardly reflected genuine climate science in 2009, when EPA decreed that carbon dioxide endangers human health and welfare. Since then, Earth’s temperature and weather events have refused to cooperate with EPA’s dire predictions. But the agency’s views and decisions remain etched in stone, leaving the agency on the extreme fringe of alarmist opinion, insisting that its views are supported by IPCC predictions that are increasingly discredited by Climategate revelations, investigations into IPCC practices, the Beale scandal and even an exhaustive report by one of EPA’s own analysts.

When presented 37-year EPA veteran Alan Carlin’s analysis, his supervisor tried to suppress the paper and refused to forward it to the EPA group preparing the final report that would guide the endangerment decision. The supervisor told him: “The administrator and administration has [sic] decided to move forward on endangerment, and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision.”

Finally, even full compliance with EPA’s destructive regulations would achieve zero benefits, because emissions from China, India and other rapidly developing countries will continue increasing total atmospheric GHG levels – and because climate change is driven primarily by natural forces, not CO2.

For all these reasons, EPA’s carbon dioxide “endangerment” decision must be reversed; its stationary source regulations must be scrapped; and the agency must be required to fully evaluate the consistently adverse effects of its regulatory edicts on human health, welfare and environmental quality. If the Supreme Court fails to do so, the House and Senate must reassert their Constitutional roles.

Otherwise the United States will steadily fall behind its international competitors. The health and well-being of Americans will increasingly suffer. And the Legislative and Judicial Branches will become mere bystanders to an unelected, unaccountable, agenda-driven Executive Branch.

Via email


For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

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


Sunday, December 29, 2013


I am taking the day off from blogging today.  My festive season is still going strong so I am feeling the need to conserve my energies.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

I just KNOW what causes what

Or so Thomas Mucha (below) seems to think.  Which proves he hasn't got mucha of an idea about anything  -- science in particular.  He lists a range of bad happenings and offers not a shred of evidence that they are in any way abnormal.  We just have to take his word for it, apparently.  Too bad if you don't feel mucha inclined to do that.  Perhaps we could call this "Warmism for the brain-dead"

For multitudes around the world today, calamity has already arrived. Drastic climate changes have sparked economic dislocation, political discord, and even death. And it's happening right now, in nearly every corner of the planet.

Above all, climate change — and what it means for life on Earth — is prompting fear and unease across the world.

For multitudes around the world today, calamity has already arrived. Drastic climate changes have sparked economic dislocation, political discord, and even death. And it's happening right now, in nearly every corner of the planet.

To help understand the breadth, depth and scope of climate change — and what it means to the people living through it — GlobalPost's award-winning team of correspondents and videographers spent much of 2013 investigating this global phenomenon, assessing the environmental, economic and political costs.

Their reporting mirrors the dire warnings of climate experts.

Our team has traveled to the Amazon rainforest, where scientists are struggling to understand what human activity is doing to the world's most complex ecosystem.

We've scaled the Himalayan mountains of northern India, where rapidly melting ice and shifting rains are triggering deadly flash floods.

We've explored the ice fields of Greenland, Alaska and Canada where glacial melting is altering landscapes and threatening traditional ways of life.

We've traveled to the southern African island of Madagascar where the world's only lemurs are disappearing amid a host of severe climate changes.

We've trekked across the North African country of Mali where desertification is contributing to rising political instability, including the growth of Islamic terrorist groups like Al Qaeda in the Maghreb.

We've visited the Gobi, a vast and expanding desert across Inner Mongolia and China that's hurtling sand and dust into the atmosphere, which then mixes with polluted skies to create toxic clouds that are choking some of Asia's most-populous cities.

We've also examined the impact of climate change on coastal regions and sea life, including the disappearing beaches of the Mexican tourist mecca of Cancun and the dying coral reefs off the coast of Belize.

And we've journeyed across the Great Plains of the United States, where increasingly extreme weather now threatens one of the world's most fertile agricultural regions.

Over the next 10 weeks we'll be featuring these stories and videos — one every week — in a series we've named Calamity Calling. We hope you'll follow along each week, and share these stories and videos widely.

As our reporting will illustrate, there is no bigger story on the planet. And none that so dramatically shows that, yes, we are all in this together.



Despite evidence that earth has not warmed for 15 years

Despite record cold around the globe, increasing ice sheets at the poles and vast snow fields covering large swaths of North America, the United Nations has announced its next global warming international meeting for New York City on Sept. 23, 2014, under the banner, “Climate Summit 2014: Catalyzing Action.”

The 2014 UN global warming summit is being billed as a prelude to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC, Conference in 2015, at which UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon hopes to advance the UN agenda to get a final international agreement signed in Paris to replace the expiring Kyoto Protocol carbon emission reduction agreement dating back to 2008.

“I challenge you to bring to the summit bold pledges,” Ban Ki-Moon said in a UN statement. “Innovate, scale-up, cooperate and deliver concrete action that will close the emissions gap and put us on track for an ambitious legal agreement through the UNFCC process.”

The UN is pressing ahead with a global warming agenda despite increasing scientific evidence the earth has entered a new cooling period and amidst continued fallout from what has become known as “Climategate,” the release in November 2009 of thousands of emails circulated among members of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC] following the hacking of a server at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom.

“Climategate” simply documented the falsification of scientific data to “prove” key global warming theories.

Global warming critic Marc Morano, in a debate televised on UN television during the UN’s 2013 climate summit in Warsaw, Poland, on Nov. 19, 2013, challenged a UN interviewer in a heated exchange that scientific evidence no longer validates the UN assumption the earth is warming.

In a sometimes contentious interview, Morano charged the UN IPCC reports are political, not scientific, arguing the most recent report, issued in September 2013, “was essentially written by a handful of UN scientists that they are fulfilling a narrative on man-made global warming.”

Morano cited various scientific studies that he asserts undermine the UN IPCC’s allegation that a scientific consensus has “settled the global warming thesis.”

“The settled science which the UN IPCC claims, seems to be changing by the week,” Morano countered. “We had two contrary studies in one week.”

The UN interviewer asked Morano what it would take for him to be convinced their exists a man-made global warming threat.

“You would have to see unprecedented climate and weather and we have neither,” Morano answered. “Multiple studies, in fact hundreds of scientists have shown the medieval warm period was as warm or warmer than current temperatures.”

2013: Least extreme U.S. weather ever

As the UN was announcing the 2014 Climate Summit in New York City, Morano’s website, ClimateDepot.com, was publicizing a study issued this week by the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center documenting that U.S. weather in 2013 was the least extreme ever, with the number of tornadoes the lowest in several decades, the fewest U.S. forest fires since 1984, and the number of days of 100-degree Fahrenheit heat turning out to be the lowest in the past 100 years of available records.

“Whether you are talking about tornadoes, wildfires, extreme heat or hurricanes, the good news is that weather-related disasters in the United States are all way down this year compared to recent years and, in some cases, down to historically low levels,” Morano notes, citing National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, data.

Among the “Top 10 Stories of 2013,” as reported by German Magazine Der Spiegel, was listed a 16-year global warming pause as documented by credible climate scientists worldwide.

“An unexpected development has been occupying the attention of climate scientists,” Der Speigel noted in the sub-heading to a story on “the mysterious” temperature development of the past years. “The air appears not to have warmed up in the last 16 years. Obviously natural phenomena are covering the increasing impact of greenhouse gases.”

Still, as suggested by Der Spiegel’s comment, “global warmers” appear reluctant to abandon an ideological commitment to the theory human-produced, or “anthropogenic,” causes have created a “greenhouse effect” in which carbon dioxide emitted in the burning of hydro-carbon fuels including oil, coal, and natural gas, have caused temperatures on earth to rise.

Global warming skeptics, in addition to Morano, have argued in print the evidence global warming has halted means UN theories of anthropogenic global warming should be abandon.

“It’s time to completely revamp the models so that they start to resemble reality,” wrote climate skeptic P. Gosselin this week in response to the Der Spiegel article. “It’s also time for the media to rethink their position ion the issue rather than trying to hopelessly prop it up.”

WND recently reported that within the span of a week, Cairo saw its first snow in 100 years. Oregon, like several other states, reached its coldest temperature in 40 years. Chicago saw its coldest days ever, and – as if to add finality to the trend – Antarctica reached the coldest temperature ever recorded anywhere on earth.

Ironically, just a few years ago, believers in anthropogenic (man-caused) global warming – since renamed “climate change” – claimed cold weather and snow would soon be just a memory.

“Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past,” announced the headline in Britain’s newspaper the Independent at the turn of the millennium. The report quoted David Viner, senior research scientist at the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, long considered an authoritative resource for global warming research, as saying snow would soon be “a very rare and exciting event” in Britain.

“Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.

The rhetoric and predictions of global warming acolytes have been every bit as confusing in the United States, with former vice president and carbon-credit entrepreneur Al Gore telling an audience in a 2009 speech that “the entire north polar ice cap during some of the summer months could be completely ice-free within the next five to seven years.” And of course his 2006 documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” famously predicted increasing temperatures would cause earth’s oceans to rise by 20 feet, a claim many scientists say is utterly without rational basis.

How such predictions square with current weather reality – multiple reports of the coldest weather in a generation – is unclear.

Fact: The earth has not warmed for the last 15 years. This now-widely-known truth was confirmed in September in a leaked report, the result of six years’ work by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, touted as the world authority on climate change and its supposed causes.

Indeed, researchers were so flummoxed at the utter lack of evidence supporting anthropogenic global warming that, as the London Daily Mail reported, the “world’s top climate scientists were told to ‘cover up’ the fact that the earth’s temperature hasn’t risen for the last 15 years.”

“Climategate” exposes the global warming scam. Get it now at the WND Superstore.

Well-known scientist Art Robinson has spearheaded The Petition Project, which to date has gathered the signatures of 31,487 scientists who agree that there is “no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.”

They demonize capitalism and freedom … and it’s working! Read Brian Sussman’s new book, “Eco-Tyranny: How the Left’s Green Agenda Will Dismantle America”

Among the scientists signing the petition are 9,029 who hold doctorate degrees in their field of study.

“We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December 1997, and any other similar proposals,” the petition continues. “The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.”

Robinson, who has a Ph.D. in chemistry from Cal Tech, where he served on the faculty, co-founded the Linus Pauling Institute with Nobel-recipient Linus Pauling, where he was president and research professor. He later founded the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine.

He told WND, very simply, that weather does change over time and that the global system goes through cycles, some slightly warmer and some slightly cooler than others.

Right now it’s cool. While it was snowing in Cairo for the first time in a century, Jerusalem received up to 20 inches.

Robinson also told WND it’s interesting to be living in a period when carbon dioxide is rising, yet temperatures are flat or going down.

“We just have to get used to fluctuations,” he said. “Earth does go through cycles.”

What, then, is behind the widespread obsession – with so little evidence – with global warming, and the resulting desire to implement massive new governmental policies? The answer, says Robinson, is not complicated: “Power and money.”

Power is obtained through laws and rules created in response to supposed global warming that limit what people can do with their own lives and property. Through carbon credits and “green” energy projects, which have made Al Gore enormously wealthy, massive amounts of money change hands.

Just weeks ago, the United Nations and World Bank lobbied for spending $600 billion to $800 billion a year on “sustainable energy” to replace oil and gas.

The U.S. has already given tens of millions of dollars to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.


Stock Up Now: January 1 Is Lightbulb Ban

January 1 has gotten a lot of press for being the deadline for obtaining Obamacare health insurance, but it's going to be another deadline: the day that the federal government outlaws incandescent light bulbs.

As the Heritage Foundation notes:

"In 2007, Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed into law an energy bill that placed stringent efficiency requirements on ordinary incandescent bulbs in an attempt to have them completely eliminated by 2014. The law phased out 100-watt and 75-watt incandescent bulbs last year.

Some may read this and think: Chill out—it’s just a light bulb. But it’s not just a light bulb. Take a look at the Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program. Basically anything that uses electricity or water in your home or business is subject to an efficiency regulation.

When the market drives energy efficiency, it saves consumers money. The more the federal government takes away decisions that are better left to businesses and families, the worse off we’re going to be."

Stock up now. The law that was passed by Democrats and signed by President George W. Bush will soon take those incandescents away, to be replaced by slow-to-light "energy-efficient" bulbs and high-priced LED bulbs.


Unusual SUMMER ice catches the Akademik Shokalskiy

The MV Akademik Shokalskiy, a “highly ice-strengthened” Russian tour ship built in Finland in 1984 “for polar and oceanographic research,” is stranded in Antarctica’s summer ice with 74 passengers and crew members aboard.

The group, which includes two Guardian journalists, is retracing the harrowing 1911 Antarctic expedition led by Sir Douglas Mawson, who lost many of his team members and nearly died himself on the frigid continent a century ago.

The ship’s passengers include an Australian research team led by University of New South Wales Professor Chris Turney, who said in November that the voluminous data collected by Mawson 100 years ago is critical to understanding global warming.

But Turney reported that blizzard-like conditions and thick ocean ice is preventing the latest expedition from leaving.

“Unfortunately proceeding north we found our path blocked by ice pushed in by an increasingly strong southeasterly wind. On Christmas Eve we realised we could not get through, in spite of being just 2 nautical miles from open water,” Turney reported in his blog.

“According to reports nobody is in present danger and three nearby icebreakers are being sent to assist,” said Expeditionsonline.com, which books polar expeditions. The ship is “stuck  part-way through her Australasian Antarctic Expedition towards Mawson's Hut at Cape Denison,” located about 100 nautical miles east of Dumont D’Urville, a French base on Antarctica, and 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart in Tasmania.

Three icebreakers – China’s Xue Long, Australia’s Aurora Australis, and France’s L’Astrolabe - have been dispatched to the scene, according to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), which is coordinating the international rescue after the Falmouth Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in the United Kingdom received a satellite distress call Christmas morning.

However, it will take the icebreakers at least two days to get to the stranded ship, which “is experiencing very strong winds and limited visibility.” The closest rescue ship is not expected to get to the scene until sometime Friday night.

“While it is early winter in the Arctic, it is early summer in the Antarctic. Continuing patterns seen in recent years, Antarctic sea ice extend remains unusually high, near or above previous daily maximum values,” according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).

“Sea ice extent averaged 17.16 million square kilometers (6.63 million square miles) for November. The long-term 1981 to 2010 average extent for this month is 16.30 million square kilometers (6.29 million square miles),” the agency reported.


Birds More Important Than People? Feds Refuse Plea for Road Through Wildlife Refuge

 Environmental priorities have trumped the medical concerns of a small Alaskan community.  After four years of study, the Obama administration has decided on that the isolated community of King Cove, Alaska may not build a 22-mile, single-lane gravel road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge to the town of Cold Bay.

The decision, announced on Dec. 23 by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, has infuriated the people of King Cove, where the proposed road has been discussed since the 1980s.

The road would have given them access to emergency medical and other services by way of the all-weather airport at Cold Bay.

"Are birds really more important than people? It seems so hard to believe that the federal government finds it impossible to accommodate both wildlife and human beings," the Associated Press quoted Aleutians East Borough Mayor Stanley Mack as saying.

The proposed deal included a lopsided land swap: In exchange for using 200 acres within the wildlife refuge for road construction, the State of Alaska and the King Cove Corporation offered to add 55,000 acres to the Izembek Refuge.

But Interior Department refused the deal: "While the over 55,000 acres offered contain important wildlife habitat, they do not provide the wildlife diversity of the internationally recognized wetland habitat of the Izembek isthmus," the final Environmental Impact Statement said. "Simply exchanging lands will not compensate for myriad ripple effects on habitat and wildlife due to uses on and beyond the road, nor would new lands provide habitat for all the same species."

“We’ve undertaken a robust and transparent public process to review the matter from all sides, and I have personally visited the Refuge and met with the King Cove and Cold Bay communities to gain a better understanding of their concerns,” said Jewell. “After careful consideration, I support the (U.S. Fish and Wildlife) Service’s conclusion that building a road through the Refuge would cause irreversible damage not only to the Refuge itself, but to the wildlife that depend on it."

Jewell called Izembek "an extraordinary place," and she said "we owe it to future generations to think about long-term solutions that do not insert a road through the middle of this Refuge and designated wilderness."

Jewell said she understands the concerns about reliable medical transportation but she concluded that other modes of transportation could be improved to meet the needs of the community.

“We will continue to work with the State of Alaska and local communities to support viable alternatives to ensure continued transportation and infrastructure improvements for the health and safety of King Cove residents,” Jewell said.

The Anchorage Daily News noted that Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) supported the road project, and even threatened to hold up Jewell's confirmation after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recommended against building it.

"I am angry. I am disappointed. I am frustrated. I am sad for the people of King Cove," the newspaper quoted Murkowski as saying. "Four thousand miles from where they're sitting, somebody has said you can't have a 10-mile, one-lane, non-commercial-use road so you can access the second longest runway in the state of Alaska to get out for medical reasons."

According to the Interior Department, the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1960, serves as vital habitat for shorebirds and waterfowl – including 98 percent of the world’s population of Pacific black brant -- along with grizzly bear, caribou and salmon.  The refuge also contains "internationally significant eelgrass beds," lagoons, wetlands and hundreds of thousands of federally-protected waterfowl and shorebirds.

"These species are important subsistence resources for Native Alaskans. A road would have permanently bisected the isthmus, where most of the Refuge’s 315,000 acres of congressionally designated wilderness are located," the Interior Department said.

"By designating this area as wilderness in 1980, the most protective category of public lands, Congress recognized the need to protect Izembek as a place where natural processes prevail with few signs of human presence," Jewell's news release said.

Prodded by Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, Congress in 1998 provided over $37.5 million in federal funding as an alternative to a road through the Izembek Refuge and Izembek Wilderness. The funding upgraded the medical clinic, improved the King Cove airstrip, and created a transportation link between King Cove and Cold Bay via an unpaved road from King Cove to a hovercraft and terminal. But hovercraft service between King Cove and Cold Bay was halted in 2010.

Since the road will not be built, an aluminum landing craft/passenger ferry eventually may be used as a replacement for hovercraft service.


Western Australia to kill sharks  -- Greenies disgusted

SHARKS bigger than three metres will be "humanely destroyed" with a firearm and discarded offshore, the tender for the State Government's baited drum line strategy reveals.

Commercial fishermen have until the end of next week to bid for the contract to deploy, manage and maintain up to 72 shark drum lines one kilometre off popular beaches in Perth and the South-West.

An "experienced licensed commercial fishing organisation" is sought for the service, which was announced following the death of surfer Chris Boyd, 35, at Gracetown last month.

The tender request includes new detail about the measure, including:

* Any white shark, tiger shark or bull shark greater than 3m total length caught on the drum lines will be "humanely destroyed";

* Current direction on the humane destruction of large sharks "involves the use of a firearm";

* Any sharks that are dead or destroyed will be tagged and taken offshore (distance to be confirmed) and discarded;

* In the initial stages of the program a number of sharks may be brought to shore;

* All other animals taken on the drum lines will be released alive "where possible";

* Any animals which are dead, or considered not in a condition to survive, are to be humanely destroyed, tagged and taken offshore for disposal;

* Drums will be supplied by the Department of Fisheries, but the bait will be supplied by the fishermen and preferably sourced from shark;

* The drum lines will be patrolled for 12 hours each day, between 6am and 6pm, seven days a week;

* Drum lines will be baited at both the commencement of, and prior to the end of, each patrol day, will all used baits disposed onshore;

* Exemptions from "various state legislation" which prohibit the take, or attempted take, of protected shark species will be provided;

* It is likely a 50m exclusion zone will be implemented around each drum line. Only vessels operated by the contractor will be allowed within the exclusion zone;

The successful firm will also respond to shark threats, including the deployment of additional drum lines within 30 minutes.

The document, issued by the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, says the measure is a "direct response to the unprecedented shark fatalities that have occurred in Western Australia over the last three years".

Shark kill strategy 'disgusting'

Sea Shepherd Australia managing director Jeff Hansen described the measures as "absolutely disgusting" at a time when the rest of the world is moving towards shark conservation.

"I just don't know how the West Australian Government is getting away with what they are doing. We need more legal people to look into this to see how this is legal in this day and age," Mr Hansen said.

University of Western Australia shark biologist Ryan Kemptser, the author of an open letter calling for a rethink on the shark-bait policy, said: "Popular beaches and surf breaks can be protected just as effectively by simply moving sharks alive offshore instead of killing them and then dumping their bodies offshore, which is what the Government proposes to do.

"It would require exactly the same resources but it wouldn't result in killing any sharks, therefore protecting our local ecosystems."

Fisheries Minister Ken Baston today said since 2011 the State Government had invested $5m on taggging, deterrents and other innovations to better understand sharks.

"I agree research is important, however, we have seen seven fatal shark attacks over the past three years and it's time to put human safety first," he said.

"Western Australians who use the water expect the Government to take action to decrease the risk of shark attack at our popular beaches.

"Our new policy of setting drumlines to target sharks deemed a threat at these beaches will be in place very soon. The Government has committed to taking immediate steps, while continuing long term research."

As announced earlier this month, drum lines will be deployed 24 hours a day, initially from January until April.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

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


Friday, December 27, 2013

Arctic Polar Ice Cap Reverses Shrinking Trend

An unusually cool summer in the Arctic has led to almost 50 percent more sea ice covering the polar region this fall than the year before.

Measurements from Europe’s CryoSat spacecraft reveal that about 2,160 cubic miles of sea ice covered the Arctic in late October.

That’s up from the 1,440 cubic miles that CryoSat measured during the record low for the ice in 2012.

Scientists say that about 90 percent of the increase is due to growth of multiyear ice, which is thick enough to last through more than one summer without melting.

“Although the recovery of Arctic sea ice is certainly welcome news, it has to be considered against the backdrop of changes that have occurred over the last few decades,” said Andy Shepherd of University College London.

He told the BBC that there were about 4,800 cubic miles of Arctic sea ice each October during the early 1980s, decades before a rapid warming of the polar region brought unprecedented melting.


NASA Satellite Data Contradict ‘Warmest November’ Claims

Global warming activists claim this November was the warmest on record, yet NASA and NOAA satellite data show temperatures were only modestly warmer than average. The discrepancy highlights global warming activists’ desire to have not only their own opinions, but their own facts as well.

NASA satellite instruments report November 2013 was merely the ninth warmest since 1979, when NASA satellites first began uniformly measuring Earth’s atmospheric temperatures. Microwave sounders aboard NOAA satellites report November 2013 was merely the 16th warmest since 1979.

The NASA and NOAA satellite instruments differ in the fine details of how they determine global temperatures. NASA satellite instruments, for example, report average temperatures in atmospheric layers while NOAA satellite instruments measure temperatures at specific levels. The NASA and NOAA satellite instruments each measure temperatures precisely and globally, and they each show temperatures warming more slowly than the warming claimed by overseers of NASA and NOAA’s surface temperature reports.

The NASA and NOAA surface temperature reports claim a more pronounced warming trend even though the surface temperature measurements themselves show only modest warming. Global warming activists who oversee the surface temperature data employ a variety of means to lower historical temperature readings below the raw measurements while raising recent and current temperatures above the raw measurements. The result is a manufactured rapid warming trend that defies the satellite data and the raw surface temperature data.

Steve Goddard’s Real Science website shows the satellite temperature reports for November 2013 compared to alarmist claims that November 2013 was the warmest November on record.


How far should we trust models?

The article below is by a Warmist but even he can see how much uncertainty there is  in modelling

 As computer modelling has become essential to more and more areas of science, it has also become at least a partial guide to headline-grabbing policy issues, from flood control and the conserving of fish stocks, to climate change and — heaven help us — the economy. But do politicians and officials understand the limits of what these models can do? Are they all as good, or as bad, as each other? If not, how can we tell which is which?

In this new world of computer modelling, an oft-quoted remark made in the 1970s by the statistician George Box remains a useful rule of thumb: ‘all models are wrong, but some are useful’. He meant, of course, that while the new simulations should never be mistaken for the real thing, their features might yet inform us about aspects of reality that matter.

 ‘The art is to find an approximation simple enough to be computable, but not so simple that you lose the useful detail.’

Because it’s usually easy to perform experiments in chemistry, molecular simulations have developed in tandem with accumulating lab results and enormous increases in computing speed. It is a powerful combination.

More often, though — and more worryingly for policymakers — models and simulations crop up in domains where experimentation is harder in practice, or impossible in principle. And when testing against reality is not an option, our confidence in any given model relies on other factors, not least a good grasp of underlying principles.

[W]e seem increasingly to be discussing results from models of natural phenomena that are neither well-understood, nor likely to respond to our tampering in any simple way. [A]s Naomi Oreskes notes, we used such models to study systems that are too large, too complex, or too far away to tackle any other way. That makes the models indispensable, as the alternative is plain guessing. But it also brings new dimensions of uncertainty.

First, you might be a bit hazy about the inputs derived from observations — the tedious but important stuff of who measured what, when, and whether the measurements were reliable. Then there are the processes represented in the model that are well understood but can’t be handled precisely because they happen on the wrong scale. Simulations typically concern continuous processes that are sampled to furnish data — and calculations — that you can actually work with. But what if significant things happen below the sampling size? Fluid flow, for instance, produces atmospheric eddies on the scale of a hurricane, down to the draft coming through your window. In theory, they can all be modelled using the same equations. But while a climate modeller can include the large ones, the smaller scales can be approximated only if the calculation is ever going to end.

Finally, there are the processes that aren’t well-understood — climate modelling is rife with these. Modellers deal with them by putting in simplifications and approximations that they refer to as parameterisation. They work hard at tuning parameters to make them more realistic, and argue about the right values, but some fuzziness always remains.

When the uncertainties are harder to characterise, evaluating a model depends more on stepping back, I think, and asking what kind of community it emerges from. Is it, in a word, scientific? And what does that mean for this new way of doing science?

What’s more, the earth system is imperfectly understood, so uncertainties abound; even aspects that are well-understood, such as fluid flow equations, challenge the models. Tim Palmer, professor in climate physics at the University of Oxford, says the equations are the mathematical equivalent of a Russian doll: they unpack in such a way that a simple governing equation is actually shorthand for billions and billions of equations. Too many for even the fastest computers.


Fracking Saves Water

Contrary to the conventional teachings of environmentalists, hydraulic fracturing (i.e., fracking) has at least one major environmental benefit: saving water.

Although most Americans are disturbingly ignorant about fracking, it is an issue of critical importance not only with respect to the environment but also in foreign policy and the economy. Typically, the debate is framed around priorities. If you care more about the environment, you are against fracking; but if you care more about energy independence and domestic economic opportunities, you are for fracking.

However, a new study out of the University of Texas at Austin - one of the top schools in the world for studying energy and engineering - disrupts the usual dichotomy. In a world where more and more climate change scientists are concerned about the effects of drought, the latest research shows that the water-intensive fracking method of extracting natural gas actually saves water overall.

Climate Central has the details (emphasis mine):

    "Electricity produced using natural gas combustion turbines and natural gas combined-cycle generators requires roughly 30 percent of the water needed for coal power plants. The study estimates that the amount of water saved by shifting a power plant from coal to natural gas is up to 50 times the amount of water lost in fracking to extract the natural gas from underground shale formations.

    The study’s authors estimate that for every gallon of water used to frack for natural gas, Texas saved 33 gallons of water by using that gas for electricity generation rather than producing the same amount of power with coal. During the 2011 drought, if Texas’ natural gas-fired power plants had generated electricity with coal, the state would have consumed an additional 32 billion gallons of water, or enough to supply about 870,000 people with water, accounting for water used for fracking, according to the study."

Environmental activists have long pushed for an end to fracking in America, or at least a drastic increase in governmental regulations. If they are truly concerned with climate change, the recent research should make them think twice.


Podesta to carry out the Obama Doctrine

Marita Noon

“Canada is a sovereign nation and we will develop our resources with appropriate regulations and enforcement to protect the environment,” said Paula Caldwell St-Onge. The Consulate General of Canada, St-Onge was in Albuquerque to talk up, and answer questions about, the Keystone pipeline.

She’d done media interviews prior to her arrival at the University of New Mexico Science and Technology Park where a smattering of aggressive, sign-waving Keystone opponents awaited. Security escorted St-Onge from the parking lot to the meeting room.

I, too, was addressing the folks who’d come in support of the controversial pipeline.

Sans security, I approached the rotunda alone. (Guards were present to keep the protesters from accosting the attendees who were bold enough to continue past the cluster of vocal opponents shouting accusations about “ruining the planet for the children.”)

When I passed by, one called out: “That’s Marita Noon! She supports the oil-and-gas industry! She doesn’t believe in climate change!” Basking in my newfound celebrity, I turned, smiled, and waved as if I was greeting adoring fans — and entered the building.

I was the first speaker, followed by Bill Eden, international representative of the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada. St-Onge rounded out the trio.

Always the optimist, I opened with: “This is an exciting time to be alive!” and addressed the fact that we were on the cusp of achieving the holy grail of energy security that had eluded decades of American presidents. I pointed out how the Keystone pipeline was an important part of that goal. I talked about my visit to the Canadian oil sands and Mexico’s new energy reforms. I bragged about New Mexico’s energy riches.

I looked at St-Onge and repeated my frequent prediction that Keystone would not be approved under the Obama Administration. I stated: “We know that Obama doesn’t care about Republicans. We know he doesn’t care about the oil-and-gas industry. We may even question whether or not he cares about America. But he does care about his base—and, of his base, there are only two groups who care about the Keystone pipeline.” I asked the audience who those two groups were. They rightly asserted: “environmentalists” and “unions.”

I, then, explained what I call the Obama Doctrine — his primary mode of operation: “Reward your friends, punish your opposition.” With a shrug, I told them, “You don’t need to know anything more than that to know that Keystone will not be approved.”

At first the audience was puzzled — after all, both the environmentalists and the unions are “friends” of the Administration. I asked: “What have the unions done lately?” And answered: “Publically embarrassed Obama on his signature legislation.” The lights came on.

I backed up my view with a quote from the December 14 New York Times regarding John Podesta’s return to the White House: “his very presence could influence Mr. Obama’s thinking on the proposed pipeline from Canada’s oil sands — even though Mr. Podesta has said that he will recuse himself from the final decision because the liberal think tank he founded 10 years ago, the Center for American Progress, has been unsparingly critical of the entire enterprise.”

When St-Onge took the platform, she pointed to me and, in a jovial manner, said: “Marita, I hope you are wrong.” I called out: “I hope I am too! And, I hate to be wrong.”

All the while, the protesters were outside — at first pressing their signs against the windows (until the blinds were closed) and then shouting through a megaphone in a failed attempt to disrupt the meeting.

Fortunately, I’d had major plumbing problems at my home that morning. I am not happy that I had to leave two plumbers in my house when I headed off to speak at the Keystone meeting, but dealing with the problems prevented me from reading the pages of research I’d printed out on John Podesta and his views on the Keystone pipeline. I read them later in the day, on the plane on the way to join my family for Christmas.

Had I read everything I had on Podesta, I couldn’t have started with: “This is an exciting time to be alive!” I couldn’t have been my usual, positive, cheerleading self.

While I’ve been pessimistic about the future of the Keystone pipeline, I’ve spoken and written optimistically about America’s overall energy position and related politics. I’ve touted the increased domestic oil-and-gas development. I’ve pointed out the general demise of the climate change argument and the failure of Europe’s green energy policies. I’ve talked up the good-paying jobs provided by the energy industry. I’ve been encouraged by the changing politics in the other countries of the Anglosphere. I’ve said: “With my ear to the ground, I see good things coming…” But, with Podesta’s return to the White House as an advisor specializing in energy policy, I must admit my optimism was misplaced. I’ve been wrong. And, I hate to be wrong.

Having read extensively on Podesta and his policies, if I was giving the speech today, I’d have to start with: “Be afraid. Be very afraid.”

The Daily Caller (DC) starts an article on Podesta’s White House return this way: “John Podesta’s return to the White House should have oil, gas and coal producers worried.” He is a former lobbyist and chief of staff to President Clinton. He is the founder of the liberal think tank the Center for American Progress (CAP) — which Bloomberg news called “an intellectual wellspring for Democratic policy proposals.” Many Obama staffers and policies have come from CAP. The DC says: “In 2010, Podesta wrote the foreword for a CAP report on how the president could use his executive authority to advance a progressive agenda, including actions to unilaterally force the U.S. economy to become greener.” CAP and the name Podesta have come up repeatedly in the Green-energy Crony-corruption Scandal that I’ve covered extensively with Christine Lakatos.

The New York Times states: “Mr. Podesta’s main task will be to give the Environmental Protection Agency the support it needs to devise new rules controlling greenhouse gases from new and existing power plants.” And, “He will further elevate the issue of climate change.” The New Yorker Magazine’s coverage of the Podesta position agrees: “Podesta’s climate-change portfolio will therefore be limited largely to overseeing the implementation of E.P.A. regulations.”

Regarding Podesta’s role, The Hill reports: it’s “likely to include administration decisions about how to lease out federal lands and which energy development and mining projects to permit.” It also cites Jay Carney as saying: “Podesta will help implement ‘executive actions where necessary when we can’t get cooperation out of Congress.’” And, states: “Officials and outside energy groups are particularly optimistic he’ll be able to advance the administration’s environmental agenda through administrative policy.” According to the New Yorker, Podesta believes that Obama needs “to be expansive in his use of executive power.”

Specifically addressing the Keystone pipeline, Podesta has said: “I think he should not approve it. I’m of the view that you just can’t meet the standard now that Obama set out: Does it or does it not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution? What are the net effects? And I think a fair review of that would say the net effects are big and they’re negative.” The New Yorker ends its “Podesta and the Pipeline” report with this: “If Obama approves the project, he will have to do so knowing that he is contradicting the assessment of his new climate-change adviser.” The Washington Free Beacon (WFB) claims: “President Obama has consigned Keystone to bureaucratic purgatory.”

According to the DC, the Keystone pipeline is: “A minor concern when compared to the potential regulatory onslaught that Podesta could unleash from within the White House” — about which the WFB coined the term “Regicide.”

Yes, oil, gas and coal producers should be worried — and the individuals and industries that count on America’s abundant, available and affordable energy should be afraid, very afraid.



Written by Dr Judy Ryan & Dr Marjorie Curtis

Below is a letter from Drs Judy Ryan and Marjorie Curtis to Mr Mark Scott, the Managing Director of the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC). Up to 200 political, media and other interested, or possibly, concerned,  parties such as the BBC, are openly copied in. Mr Scott is the first member of the Australian  public to to be held accountable by public letter.ABC

Judy and Marjorie have been holding prominent Catastrophic Anthropogenic  Global Warming (CAGW) alarmists such as David Karoly, Tim Flannery, Will Steffen and Lesley Hughes individually accountable for close to one year now. The letters and email lists are on Judy’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/judy.ryan.75457?fref=browse_search.  They will also be on the Galileo Movement Facebook page soon.

As many interested parties are openly copied in;  the  lack of response from the alarmist  does not look good on the public record. A legitimate question is:- Why don’t they respond with the evidence to support their  hypothesis? It should be easy. The case  for holding CAGW alarmists individually accountable is building.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Mr. Mark Scott

Managing Director

Australian Broadcasting Corporation GPO Box 9994

Sydney NSW 2001

Dear Mr. Scott:

We are writing this public email to you to express our concern regarding the biased, inadequate, incorrect, and alarmist reporting by the ABC on the subject of ‘Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming’ (CAGW), or any other weather related event.

We notice that you were made aware of this matter on the 15th February 2013 by notice delivered by registered post from Mr. Malcolm Roberts http://www.conscious.com.au/docs/letters/ABC-ManagingDirector.pdf.

In that notice you were asked to ensure that unless you, as the managing director of the ABC, have empirical scientific evidence that damaging warming is caused by human emissions of CO2, the ABC should cease making direct or implied public claims that it is. You were also requested to retract past such claims and associated claims if you did not have the evidence to back them up. You were further requested to ensure that future ABC broadcasts on climate and the environment be objective, factual, balanced and correct.”

You did not respond to that notice or act upon any of the reasonable requests therein. Under your stewardship, the ABC has continued the policy of biased alarmist, reporting on CAGW. As the ABC chief executive receiving a handsome salary from the taxpayers you are the one person most responsible for ensuring that the ABC reports truthfully, factually and in accordance with the ABC Charter.

As managing director of the ABC you are required to provide reliable, evidence-based information. That means no exaggeration of effects, no misleading allegations and no omission of evidence that does not support the CAGW hypothesis.

The definition of fraud is, according to Black’s Law Dictionary, quote: “a false representation of a matter of fact, whether by words or by conduct, by false or misleading allegations, or by concealment of that which should have been disclosed, which deceives and is intended to deceive another so that he shall act upon it to his legal injury.”

The Australian people are experiencing financial disadvantage as a result of the Carbon Tax/ETS/Direct Action Policy and a host of other policies and administrative decisions driven by advice regarding the science of climate change. Much of that advice has been reported to the people via the ABC under your stewardship. Is that advice false or misleading? Does it deceive by concealing relevant facts?  Has the ABC reported the evidence for and against CAGW in a balanced impartial manner?

A recent example of the ABC reporting (Dec 3rd 2013) can be seen here; http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2013/s3903815.htm

Another example; http://australianconservative.com/2010/03/their-abc-gags-bob-carter/

Under Australia’s strong democracy no one is above the law. Judges, politicians, scientists, academics, senior public servants, and managing directors can be held to account for breaching their fiduciary duty.

For this reason it is important that you read and respond to the evidence provided below:-

The first few bullet points are links to the evidence for the null hypothesis versus CAGW. They are three references out of many, many thousands.

Wolfgang Knorr (no significant change in the airborne fraction of human caused CO2 since 1850) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2009GL040613/abstract

Murry Salby (temperature, not man-made CO2, drives CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. ) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrI03ts--9I&feature=player_embedded

Since replicated by Pehr Björnbom http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com.au/2013/07/swedish-scientist-replicates-dr-murry.html

Roy Spencer and John Christie (all the IPCC models have failed validity testing) http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/06/epic-fail-73-climate-models-vs-observations-for-tropical-tropospheric-temperature/

Green, Armstrong and Soon  found that errors in the projections of  the IPCC’s scenario of exponential CO2 growth for the years 1851 to 1975 were more than seven times greater than the errors from a no change from previous year extrapolation method.). http://econpapers.repec.org/article/eeeintfor/v_3a25_3ay_3a2009_3ai_3a4_3ap_3a826-832.htm

The next few bullet points provide the evidence that indicates that from as early as 1998 there was no overwhelming scientific consensus supporting CAGW. There are only a few studies that claim to have measured overwhelming scientific consensus for CAGW. We have read them and their critiques. The two main earlier ones are:-

(1) Doran and Zimmerman http://probeinternational.org/library/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/012009_Doran_final1.pdf (where the researchers selectively whittled down a sample of over 10,000 geologists to just 77 then measured scientific consensus on the basis of two questions neither of which mentioned carbon-dioxide).

(2) The Anderegg et al study 2010 was not a survey. It was merely a methodologically flawed, subjective count and categorisation of publications. (Ref ‘Taxing Air 2013 ‘by Robert Carter and John Spooner).

(3) The 2013 study by Cook et. al. is also a methodologically flawed count and categorisation of publications. http://joannenova.com.au/2013/08/richard-tol-half-cooks-data-still-hidden-rest-shows-result-is-incorrect-invalid-unrepresentative.

By contrast there are several robust measures of scientific rebuttal of CAGW

The online petition which was launched in 1998 by the first group of dissenting scientists and has over 31,000 scientists signatures http://www.petitionproject.org

The annual reports of the Non Governmental panel for Climate Change NIPCC (which is a scientific body founded in 2003 ) http://climatechangereconsidered.org/about-nipcc/#tabs-1-2

Various other methodologically sound surveys

The next few bullet points refer to evidence that indicates that CAGW is the current politically driven global scam.

Climate gate Emails 2009 (their content reveals scientific misconduct. The various investigations that found no misconduct BUT found that those scientists had refused to share their supporting data which shows a lack of transparency inconsistent with good science) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climatic_Research_Unit_email_controversy

Armstrong, Green and Soon (Their audit found that the IPCC procedures violated as many as 72 of the 89 relevant forecasting principles (p. 997))http://www.forecastingprinciples.com/files/WarmAudit31.pdf

Kesten Green (identified 26 historical alarmist movements. (None of the forecasts proved correct. Twenty-five alarms involved calls for government intervention. The government imposed regulations in 23. None of the 23 interventions was effective and harm was caused by 20 of them.) http://www.ipa.org.au/publications/1964/a-history-of-scientific-alarms

Impending legal action a possibility (John Coleman’s interview) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9HOlS0PPcw .

In our opinion the ABC is deteriorating into a malicious, self -interest group, led by you. As recent events have shown, you are prepared to place the security of the ABC’s salary structure above the national security of Australia and its people.

You have allowed senior ABC journalists to conduct a smear campaign against scientists and citizens who are skeptical of CAGW. http://catallaxyfiles.com/2012/12/18/will-maurice-newman-be-australias-lord-mcalpine-ii/



Having digested all of the above we allow you 21 days to either publicly renounce your alarmist claims on the ABC news, or publicly provide empirical data-based evidence, that is available for scientific scrutiny, to support them.

It is on the public record that we issued a similar opportunity to Professor David Karoly in March this year. You received a copy by registered post with delivery confirmation. As we said in that letter, if CAGW turns out to be a politically driven scientific scam “every day that you delay is one day longer that the Australian people will hold you accountable”.

In closing, if there is anything we have said that you think is untrue please click reply all and let us know and we will apologise.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

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