Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Warmist proud of censoring dissent

In view of the great difficulty skeptics have at getting papers published in academic journals, one group of prominent skeptical scientists decided to set up their own journal.  No problem, you would think.  All sides of a debate should be aired.

But Warmists did not see it that way at all.  They went all out to pressure the publisher (Copernicus)  to ditch the journal  --  which it did.  Prominent Warmist James Annan is even proud  of his efforts in that direction.  He crows:

"Kudos to Copernicus for the rapid and decisive way in which they dealt with this problem. The problems at the journal were was first brought to my attention by ThingsBreak just last night, I emailed various people to express my concerns and the journal (which was already under close scrutiny by the publisher) was closed down within 24h."

The book burners are here!  Such efforts by Warmists clearly have more in common with totalitarianism than with science and convey nothing so much as fear and panic.  A commenter on his blog sums up the strange version of science behind such efforts:

"You've got to love climate science when you see episodes like this.

I think it is safe to say that in no other science do you see such overt power games played out like this.

It is clear that it is not just the retraction of a publication that is of primary importance here, it is the spin that comes off that retraction that is most important.

"Pour encourager les autres"

Since the ostensible reason given in the letter was that the publishers were "alarmed" at criticism of the IPCC it is obvious the lesson an observer should take is that any attempt to go out on a limb and "alarm" people must be shown to be wrong and is not to be encouraged.

You guys in climate must be so proud to have the best policed science that humanity has ever seen."

The Perverted Science of Global Warming Gets Dirty(er)

Scientists have recently discovered that rough surfaces may actually reduce the amount of friction and drag after testing the hypothesis on the microscopic level.

“According to researchers at UCLA, rough surfaces lined with tiny ridges may actually reduce drag,” says the Science Recorder. “Modeling fluid flow between two surfaces lined with tiny ridges, researchers found tiny ridges actually reduce drag, allowing the for fluid to flow around in a more efficient manner….This is not the first time scientists have sought to create models based on rough ridges to reduce drag. However, advances in technology now allow scientists to create models on a microscopic level.”

Yes, but it’s the first time that the testing has been linked to global warming.

Of course by now we should know that EVERYTHING eventually relates to global warming.

Or income inequality.

So, anywho: Scientists says that by reducing drag on sea-going vessel less fuel will be need… and therefore…she’s a WITCH!

OK, not really.  But almost.

The scientists actually say since sea transport accounts for 4 percent of greenhouse gases, reducing drag will have “a substantial impact on global warming emissions,” because of the reduced fuel requirements with less drag.

Hey, when you are reaching for straws even a fraction of 4 percent reduction is a “substantial” amount-- especially when the Chinese are ratcheting up output of greenhouse gases way past the 4 percent mark.

And that is what confuses me about the science behind greenhouse gases and global warming, especially as it applies to policy.

Years ago I offered to shave my head bald and eat a can of dog food if someone—anyone-- could show me a credible scientific paper that demonstrates how the earth would cool even a fraction of a degree Fahrenheit by enacting a carbon tax here in the United States, such as the one proposed by the Democrats in 2009 and 2010.

I’m still waiting.

Because one would suppose that in policies promoted by properly-thinking, modern progressives-- who worship all things science— and have no time for mumbo jumbo about faith and religion, that at the very least they’d have data to support that their policies will cool the earth, solve world hunger, bring people out of poverty, improve education, create income equality, or pay female White House staffers commensurate with men.

OK, the last one was outrageous. Never gonna happen under Obama.

What was I thinking?

At the very least, I was thinking that people like Ericynot, BoatBoy, DoctorRoy or Hillinger would enjoy me being bald and eating dog food.

Heck, I’d even make a video of it.

But the problem remains: Sea levels aren’t rising, storms aren’t nastier and more brutish. The only science that’s being done is the type where estimates are used where data is called for and predictions are being used instead of conclusions.

Stumped by the fact that temperatures are not accurately reflecting current climate “models”- in fact temperatures have remained stable for 17 years- scientists on the government gravy train are trying to tie any weather event to so-called climate change.

Or income inequality. Which really?Aren’t they the same things?

Hurricanes? Global warming.

Tornadoes? Global warming?

Drought? Global warming?

Blizzards, dropping temperatures, meteorites, Big Gulps? Global warming.

Last year I documented how researchers made up a map showing how vegetation could change in the arctic because of global warming.

The map, no lie, was called the “most accurate map” ever produced of its type.

A long last, scientists have revealed the single most important document ever, I wrote.It’s a crayon-colored map showing how “trees” could grow in the arctic.

If finally, mercifully, any one of the so-called “climate models” that so far have failed to “model” climate accurately, suddenly and then accurately begin to “model” climate in real time, then, well, WOW!

“Experts say the wooded areas in the region could increase by 50% over the coming decades,” writes the UK’s Daily Mail, “and accelerate global warming in the process. Researchers have unveiled the most accurate map ever (!) of how vegetation could change in the region.”

In the meantime,ThinkProgresshas published a remarkable paper calledArctic Sea Ice Death Spiral And Cold Weatherthat proves, or at least,says- same thing if you are a liberal - that globalwarmingis to blame for …coldweather in Germany.

Stumped by the fact that temperatures are not accurately reflecting current climate “models”- in fact temperatures have remained stable for 17 years- scientists on the government gravy train are trying to tie any weather event to so-called climate change.

Even homosexuality has been tied to global warming via population control.

“With the natural world on the brink of demise largely because of overpopulation,” G. Roger Denson, a self-appointed social theoretician wrote on the Huffington Post,“unrestrained homosexuality, as one of a variety of ethical and democratic measures available to us today, offers perhaps the most natural option to be enjoined.”

Unrestrained gayness?  Seriously?

Going in through the out door with another man doesn’t seem “the most natural option to be enjoined” in trying to cool down the earth’s atmosphere.

But in the interest of fairness if G. Roger Denson wants to produce an actual scientific paper proving me wrong, I got a can of dog food and clipping shears here waiting.


The death of mining

What would you do if you invested $500 million in exploration, discovery, site preparation, engineering, environmental studies and planning, only to be told that you could not proceed by a federal government agency that has never even seen your development plan?

What would you do if the land was formerly owned by the federal government, but subsequently traded to the state of Alaska in exchange for other more environmentally valuable land that was turned into a national park?  And get this, the remote area containing the land was zoned by the state for mining, yet the federal government still decided that they controlled their former property anyway.

Would you invest in any potential future mines in that country if the federal government could throw your $500 million out the window without even following their own process for approving a new mining venture?

Not if you had a brain in your head.

It takes at least a decade to develop a new mine in the United States and investors have to be assured that the rule of law will be followed in order to put their capital at risk.

Now that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has effectively wiped away the mine permitting process by issuing a politically motivated negative assessment of the Pebble Mine in Alaska, it is hard to imagine anyone seriously bothering to even start the process of developing mineral resources in America.  It is far more practical and effective invest elsewhere in the world where they run a much lower risk of having their efforts destroyed, and investment wiped out by political whimsy.

Opponents of the mine argue that the risks associated with the Pebble Mine were too great as it was on the watershed for the Bristol Bay.  But the EPA acted without even waiting for a mining plan to be presented, because they couldn’t risk that the actual facts about the project might mitigate against the fear being spread by those trying to stop it.

By acting outside of the law, the Obama Administration accomplished its purpose.  It sent a strong message to anyone interested in mining in the United States not to bother even trying.  After all, if a proposed mining project in one of the most remote locations on earth cannot even get a fair hearing within the constructs of American law, then what hope would any other proposed mining projects have?

In the upcoming weeks we are likely to hear a great deal from Obama and the Democrats about the need for good jobs in our country.  Working in the mining industry used to be considered one of these “good jobs” but no more.  Thanks to Obama’s economic wrecking crew, those good jobs will not be created in the future.

However, this is worse than just having tax policies that discourage investment, by unilaterally denying the Pebble Mine without allowing them to present their mining plan, the Obama Administration has fundamentally changed America from a place where investors could depend upon the rule of law, to a third world political environment where clout supercedes all else.  Just another step in America’s descent into mediocrity.


Do we face a disastrous century due to global cooling?

BY: Michael Barone

Are we facing a dangerous period of global cooling? That's not a question that many have been asking. But reports that there has been a sharp reduction in sunspot activity raises that possibility. It has happened before. In his book Global Crisis: War, Climate Change & Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century, historian Geoffrey Parker writes:

“The development of telescopes as astronomical instruments after 1609 enabled observers to track the number of sunspots with unprecedented accuracy. They noted a ‘maximum’ between 1612 and 1614, followed by a ‘minimum’ with virtually no spots in 1617 and 1618, and markedly weaker maxima in 1625-26 and 1637-9. And then, although astronomers around the world made observations on over 8,000 days between 1645 and 1715, they saw virtually no sunspots: The grand total of sunspots observed in those 70 years scarcely reached 100, fewer than currently [the book was published in 2013] appear in a single year. This striking evidence of absence suggests a reduction in solar energy received on earth.”

The result of the “Maunder Minimum” of sunspots was a so-called Little Ice Age, with significantly colder temperatures in the temperate zones, low crop yields to the point of famine and, Parker writes, “a greater frequency of severe weather events—such as flash floods, freak storms, prolonged drought and abnormal (as well as abnormally long) cold spells.”

Global warming alarmists have been claiming for decade that increases in carbon dioxide emissions associated with human activity will produce disastrous climate events. Certainly if carbon dioxide emissions were the only factor affecting climate, increases in those emissions would indeed produce global warming. Inconveniently for this theory, world temperatures have not increased in the last 15 years. But surely there are other things that affect climate, including variations in solar activity—sunspots. And as Bjorn Lomberg has often written, global cooling would be much more dangerous to human beings than global warming. Parker’s 697-page book (no, I haven’t read the whole thing) is an account of the political and demographic disasters in a global cooling century. Something to think about the next time you hear warnings of the inevitable disasters coming thanks to global warming.


It could be that climate change just isn’t worth worrying about

Tim Worstall

As you all know I'm perfectly willing to go along with the idea that climate change is indeed a problem that we are doing something about and that that something should be a carbon tax. All of this being based on the dual points that I know nothing about the science of all of this but a great deal about the economics. So, if the scientists tell me that it's happening then OK, here's what we should do about it.

And it's worth noting that this makes me entirely mainstream: think of that, a subject where Worstall is in fact entirely mainstream. It's what the Stern Review says for example.

However, the next IPCC report may well end up with my changing my views on this. Here's a taster from a recently leaked version:

Containing the concentration to 480 ppm “would entail global consumption losses” of 1 percent to 4 percent in 2030. That range would rise to 2 percent to 6 percent in 2050 and then to as much as 12 percent in 2100 when compared with scenarios that don’t involve fighting climate change, according to the document.

The only argument in favour of doing something about climate change is that not doing something will be even more expensive than doing something. And the calculation was, from the Stern Review, that we should be willing to spend 1-2% of global GDP each year in order to avoid a near catastrophic 20% decline in it when the changes occur. But it's important to note that that 20% decline is only a possibility, even Stern didn't say it was a certainty.

But now we've got the IPCC apparently saying that we're going to be losing 12% of GDP globally in order to avert the possibility of a 20% decline. That's not a cost benefit analysis that makes sense.

Which leads us to a quite delightful possibility. That the next IPCC report on the dangers of climate change is actually going to end up proving that we shouldn't do anything about climate change. For the doing things will be more expensive than the damages we suffer from not doing anything.

Probably, given that that 20% decline in GDP is indeed only a possible event, not a certain one.


Charter forests?

The Federal Government “owns,” without Constitutional authority, much of the Fifty States – and oddly enough, far more of many of those states than it claims in the District of Columbia, the ONLY place it is authorized to own anything beyond military installations and postal and customs offices.  One of the agencies which administers probably the largest part of that government land is the United States Forest Service, which controls 10 percent of the land in the Fifty States.  And does a VERY bad job of administering (caring for) that land.

Independence Institute published an interesting article this week.
Taking an Ax to Traditional Forest Management

It talks at length about the problems with the USFS, and a little about WHY there are the problems, and then suggests creating “Charter Forests” the way “Charter Schools” have been established in many school districts in recent years.

That was very close to a concept I first offered to the voters of South Dakota when I ran for governor in 1994 (when I was young and REALLY stupid).  South Dakota (unlike most of the West) only has parts of TWO national forests (and parts of three National Grasslands), but they take up a sizable chunk of the state, and the economy is impacted for both good and bad for the 130 years we’ve had them here.

My proposal was to “commercialize” these.  (Not “privatize” because that has come to mean do things the government (stupid) way, just have a contractor do that instead of having government employees be stupid.  The worst of two worlds.)  I modified the proposal somewhat by specifying that it had to be non-profits and not for-profit companies, and that the companies be cooperatives so that there was a LOT of public participation.  But the concept was simple:  let the land remain in “federal” or “state” ownership, but operating them: managing and caring for them, would be in the hands of this non-profit cooperative association that would break-even and provide the materials and services to its members and to the general public.

The contract or agreement between the USFS (or USDA, its parent) and the State of South Dakota and the cooperative association would specify the objectives, goals, and limits – BUT NOT THE METHODS OF ACHIEVING THOSE things – and some form of insurance or surety would be maintained (just like mining companies and landfills do) to protect against negligence and gross (that is, governmental-level) stupidity.  The association would be freed from the six or eight levels of “supervision” that the current Forest/Grassland Supervisors in Custer and Fort Pierre and Bison and such “enjoy.”  (Think about the heirarchy: makes the Roman Catholic Church look flat: District Ranger, Forest Supervisor, Regional Supervisor, Chief of the USFS, Deputy Undersecretary, Undersecretary, Secretary of Agriculture, and of course, the MAN in 1600 PA.)

This is indeed similar to the proposal for charter forests now launched by Independence Institute, and they will no doubt be listened to much better than I was two decades ago.  Both of us point out that something HAS to be done.  The continued federal ownership of land that SHOULD have remained in ownership of tribes or gone into private ownership, and the government mismanagement of that for 120 years, has damaged the forests severely: more so than the so-called ravages done before the forest reserves were created except in a VERY few locations.  But worse, the current conditions of the forests of America, especially those of the West, means that much of the destruction we’ve seen is only a pale shadow of what will happen with the economy and federal government collapse, and there will be only enough “federal management” to keep anyone from doing anything about the longterm decay in ecosystems, and the massive fires sure to sweep so much of the forests.

Local, private management is the only alternative which is both able to accomplish the objective of managing the forests to support humans (and wildlife and everything else), that is both sustainable and affordable.  The same system could be applied to the National Park lands, and to the vast lands controlled by another of the great failed bureaucracies, Interior’s Bureau of Land Management.

By the way, this is NOT a totally outlandish or new idea by any means.  Forests both in the United Kingdom and the Fifty States nave been privately owned and operated for centuries, and can be visited today.  They are not utopias, but they are sustainable and thriving.  In the US, look at much of the Eastern Seaboard, especially Maine and Pennsylvania, but in the West, look at the land owned by Union Pacific, BNSF, and other railroads, as well as millions of acres of “inholdings” inside national forests.  It DOES work.



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


No comments: