Friday, February 28, 2014

Humans are NOT to blame for global warming, says Greenpeace co-founder, as he insists there is 'no scientific proof' climate change is manmade

There is no scientific proof of man-made global warming and a hotter earth would be ‘beneficial for humans and the majority of other species’, according to a founding member of environmental campaign group Greenpeace.

The assertion was made by Canadian ecologist Patrick Moore, a member of Greenpeace from 1971 to 1986, to U.S senators on Tuesday.

He told The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee: ‘There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years. If there were such a proof it would be written down for all to see. No actual proof, as it is understood in science, exists.’

Moore pointed out that there was an Ice Age 450million years ago when CO2 was 10 times higher.

He said: ‘There is some correlation, but little evidence, to support a direct causal relationship between CO2 and global temperature through the millennia. The fact that we had both higher temperatures and an ice age at a time when CO2 emissions were 10 times higher than they are today fundamentally contradicts the certainty that human-caused CO2 emissions are the main cause of global warming.’

Even if the earth does warm up, Moore claims that it will be to the advantage of humans and other forms of life, as ‘humans are a tropical species’.


'There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years. If there were such a proof it would be written down for all to see. No actual proof, as it is understood in science, exists.

'The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states: “It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.”

“Extremely likely” is not a scientific term but rather a judgment, as in a court of law. The IPCC defines “extremely likely” as a “95-100% probability”.

'But upon further examination it is clear that these numbers are not the result of any mathematical calculation or statistical analysis. They have been “invented” as a construct within the IPCC report to express “expert judgment”, as determined by the IPCC contributors.

'When modern life evolved over 500 million years ago, CO2 was more than 10 times higher than today, yet life flourished at this time. Then an Ice Age occurred 450 million years ago when CO2 was 10 times higher than today.

'There is some correlation, but little evidence, to support a direct causal relationship between CO2 and global temperature through the millennia. The fact that we had both higher temperatures and an ice age at a time when CO2 emissions were 10 times higher than they are today fundamentally contradicts the certainty that human-caused CO2 emissions are the main cause of global warming.

'Today, we live in an unusually cold period in the history of life on earth and there is no reason to believe that a warmer climate would be anything but beneficial for humans and the majority of other species. There is ample reason to believe that a sharp cooling of the climate would bring disastrous results for human civilization.

'The IPCC states that humans are the dominant cause of warming “since the mid-20th century”, which is 1950. From 1910 to 1940 there was an increase in global average temperature of 0.5C over that 30-year period. Then there was a 30-year “pause” until 1970.

'This was followed by an increase of 0.57C during the 30-year period from 1970 to 2000. Since then there has been no increase, perhaps a slight decrease, in average global temperature. This in itself tends to negate the validity of the computer models, as CO2 emissions have continued to accelerate during this time.

'The increase in temperature between 1910-1940 was virtually identical to the increase between 1970-2000. Yet the IPCC does not attribute the increase from 1910-1940 to “human influence.”'

He said: ‘It is extremely likely that a warmer temperature than today’s would be far better than a cooler one.’

Humans, he added, just aren’t capable of predicting global temperature changes.

Moore said that he left Greenpeace because it ‘took a sharp turn to the political left’.

Dr Doug Parr, Chief Scientist at Greenpeace UK, told MailOnline: 'On climate science, Greenpeace accepts the consensus view put forward by 97 per cent of climate scientists, every national and international scientific institute and every government in the world – climate change is happening, it’s caused mainly by human activity, and it’s highly dangerous for the future well-being of people on this planet.'

Moore has made several other assertions over the years that have been at odds with Greenpeace's views. He has advocated logging, claiming it actually causes reforestation, and attacked campaigners for fear-mongering over nuclear energy.


All Pain And No Climate Gain … Expert Government Committee Recommends “Complete Scrapping” Of Feed-In Act! …………

Before the Obama administration charges blindly into a European-style feed-in act to promote renewable energies, they may want to look at what experts in Europe are saying about how well their own feed-in efforts are actually doing.

All pain and no gain – certified flop

An independent committee of expert advisors to the German government is recommending in a report that the country’s once highly ballyhooed EEG renewable energy feed-in act be scrapped altogether because it is 1) “not doing anything for the climate”, 2) “not promoting innovation” and 3) driving up the cost of energy.

The report will be officially presented to the government today.

In summary, the once highly touted German EEG renewable energy feed-in act has been all pain and no gain, and the experts see no reason to continue it.

$30 billion a year…yet “does not provide more climate protection”

According to the online Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeiting (FAZ) here, the Research and Innovation commission of experts assigned by the German government says in its report that “there is no longer any justification for continuing the EEG Act.”

The experts cite “additional costs of 22 billion euros [$30 billion] per year” and conclude that the renewable energies have an “exaggerated impact on climate change“. Also the reports says the Act has not measurably boosted innovation.

“No measureable impact on innovation”

The results of the experts’ report are damning in the harshest terms. The FAZ writes, quoting the report:

The conclusion of the expert commission is devastating: ‘The EEG act in its current form is not justifiable from an innovation-political view.”

The report also writes that “there has been no measureable impact on innovation“.

Well, why innovate if profits are guaranteed by massive subsidies?

The most damning text in the FAZ article probably is:

"That’s why the EEG’s initiated expansion of renewable energies has led to no additional avoidance of CO2 emissions across Europe, rather they have only been shifted elsewhere. ‘The EEG Act thus does not produce more climate protection, rather it just makes it considerably more expensive.’”

Green energy proponents and lobbyists will certainly move quickly to ferociously attack and dismiss the report. The FAZ writes, however, that the expert recommendation is the latest in a series of expert reports that have reached the same conclusion. But the FAZ does not expect the government to follow the recommendations.

But the pressure on the German government to radically scale back the EEG act is mounting as citizens struggle with skyrocketing electricity prices. Germany has also come under heavy fire from other European countries who accuse the German government of misusing the feed-in act in ways to provide competitive advantages to certain companies.


‘There have been at least nine separate explanations for the standstill in global warming’

1) Low Solar Activity; 2) Oceans Ate Warming; 3) Chinese Coal Use; 4) Montreal Protocol; 5) Readjusted past temps to claim ‘pause’ never existed 6) Volcanoes 7) Decline in Water Vapor 8) Pacific trade winds 9) ‘Coincidence’

Welcome to the world of ‘settled science’. With the latest study now placing blame on Sun for the ‘pause’ in global temperatures, that means there have been at least five seven eight nine separate explanations to attempt to explain the standstill in global warming. There is seemingly no end to warmists’ attempts to explain the global warming standstill.  As blogger Tom Nelson noted: ‘If we don’t understand lack of warming post-1998, how can we understand warming pre-1998?’  Let’s review:

1) Yet Another Explanation! New study claims low solar activity caused “the pause” in global temperature – but AGW will return! Published in journal Atmospheric and Climate Sciences


3) Chinese coal caused the ‘pause’, published in the proceedings of the National Academy of Science. The study blamed Chinese coal use for the lack of global warming. Global warming proponents essentially claimed that coal use is saving us from dangerous global warming

4) The Montreal Protocol caused the ‘pause‘, which reduced CFC’s – but warming will return soon

5) The ‘pause’ never existed and presto, warmists readjusted Arctic temperatures to alter past global temperatures. See: Say What?! After years trying to ‘explain away’ the flatline/pause/standstill’ in global temperatures, warmists now readjust past temps to claim ‘pause’ never existed! - See: Presto! There was no global temperature standstill! Warmists rewrite temperature data to claim: ‘Global Warming Since 1997 Underestimated by Half’ (also see:  Climatologist Dr. Judith Curry on the Cowtan & Way ‘pausebuster’: ‘Is there anything useful [in it]?’)

Update: Two more reasons given for ‘pause’ in warming.

6) Volcanic aerosols, not pollutants, tamped down recent Earth warming, says CU study – March 2013: A team led by the University of Colorado Boulder looking for clues about why Earth did not warm as much as scientists expected between 2000 and 2010 now thinks the culprits are hiding in plain sight — dozens of volcanoes spewing sulfur dioxide. The study results essentially exonerate Asia, including India and China, two countries that are estimated to have increased their industrial sulfur dioxide emissions by about 60 percent from 2000 to 2010 through coal burning…

Small amounts of sulfur dioxide emissions from Earth’s surface eventually rise 12 to 20 miles into the stratospheric aerosol layer of the atmosphere, where chemical reactions create sulfuric acid and water particles that reflect sunlight back to space, cooling the planet. Neely said previous observations suggest that increases in stratospheric aerosols since 2000 have counterbalanced as much as 25 percent of the warming scientists blame on human greenhouse gas emissions. “This new study indicates it is emissions from small to moderate volcanoes that have been slowing the warming of the planet.”

7) Contributions of Stratospheric Water Vapor to Decadal Changes in the Rate of Global Warming – 2010 Science Mag.: Stratospheric water vapor concentrations decreased by about 10% after the year 2000. Here we show that this acted to slow the rate of increase in global surface temperature over 2000–2009 by about 25% compared to that which would have occurred due only to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.’

8) Update Feb. 9, 2014: New paper finds excuse #8 for the ‘pause’ in global warming: Pacific trade winds: A paper published today in Nature Climate Change adds the eighth excuse for the ‘pause’ in global warming: strengthened Pacific trade winds, which according to the authors, were “not captured [simulated] by climate models.” On the basis of those same highly-flawed climate models, the authors predict rapid global warming will resume in a decade or so when those trade winds abate.

9) Update: Feb. 27, 2014: A new excuse (#9) of the global warming ‘pause’ according to NASA scientists – ‘Coincidence!’ — ‘Coincidence, conspired to dampen warming trends’: NASA’s Gavin Schmidt & colleagues finds ‘that a combination of factors, by coincidence, conspired to dampen warming trends in the real world after about 1992’ –

Latest excuse (excuse #9) for global temperature standstill mocked by skeptics: ‘Apparently, if you go back and rework all the forcings, taking into account new data estimates (add half a bottle of post-hoc figures) and ‘reanalyses’ of old data (add a tablespoon of computer simulation) you can bridge the gap and explain away the pause.’

SOURCE (See the original for links)

ADL Condemns Spencer’s Nazi Analogy

The ADL has once again put its Leftist foot in it.  Its big mistake is its backing for anything anti-Christian.  Now it has revealed itself as in lockstep with Warmism.  I reproduce below some of the comments that appeared on their own website

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today denounced remarks by University of Alabama – Huntsville professor Roy Spencer who wrote on his blog that those who refer to him as a climate change “denier” should be called “global warming Nazis” and that they “are supporting policies that will kill far more people than the Nazis ever did — all in the name of what they consider to be a righteous cause.”

He also claims those who advocate for policies to slow global warming are “like the Nazis” in that they are fascist and anti-capitalist. The post is also accompanied by an image of a swastika.

Shelley Rose, ADL Southeast Interim Regional Director issued the following statement:

University of Alabama-Huntsville Professor Roy Spencer’s analogy of proponents of global warming to Nazis is outrageous and deeply offensive.  This analogy is just the latest example of a troubling epidemic of comparisons to Hitler and the Holocaust.

It has become too common to use comparisons to the Holocaust and Nazi imagery to attack people with opposing views, whether the issue is global warming, immigration or stem-cell research.

The six million Jewish victims and millions of other victims of Hitler deserve better.  Their deaths should not be used for political points or sloganeering.  This type of comparison diminishes and trivializes the Holocaust. There is no place for it in civil discussions.



* It looks like there is a consensus emerging in the comments. It is that Dr. Spencer has been called a "climate change denier", and the "denier" word is commonly associated with the awful Holocaust of the Jews. So Dr. Spencer has been defamed, many times, without the ADL lending him their support.

In return, Dr. Spencer has defamed his accusers as "Nazis". This is actually a pretty good description of what the global warming alarmists are doing, or threatening to do, to quash free speech on this subject. Nevertheless I could agree with ADL were they to say "Dr. Spencer should assert that some of the behaviours of his opponents are Nazi-like rather than that they are Nazis". Two wrongs don't make a right, but please do not ignore the original wrong.

* Shelley, you have this 180 degrees backward, having sat by silently while the side to which Dr. Spencer was responding has been using the Holocaust denier reference and Nazi imagery for almost a decade.

As a Jew and a professional in the environmental industry, I cannot let this go unanswered. You'll be hearing from me directly. It would be in ADL's interest to hear what I have to say and show you.

* Time for a retraction and apology to Dr. Spencer. The longer you delay, the more damage done to your fundraising efforts.

* I suspect that the people who drafted the ADL press release were unaware of the background history of the use of the word "deniers" against sceptics as well as the direct comparisons with the holocaust presented by various commenters. Maybe next time they should not jump the shark.

* Yep - the ADL doesn't read enough of its friends' propaganda to realize Spencer is simply satirizing the AGW believers' own hateful, accusing, generalizing statements. Time for a groveling apology and full retraction by the ADL, but don't hold your breath.

* I note with wry amusement that you have chosen to speak out against Dr Roy Spencer’s Nazi analogy, in particular noting:

“The six million Jewish victims and millions of other victims of Hitler deserve better. Their deaths should not be used for political points or sloganeering. This type of comparison diminishes and trivializes the Holocaust. There is no place for it in civil discussions.”

I agree strongly with your sentiments and don’t support Roy Spencer’s move. None-the-less, I do wonder at your timing. Roy Spencer has, as have many others, been subject to more than a decade of public and private abuse for questioning some of the claims made in support of the AGW meme. The word “denier” is widely used to characterize anyone who questions any aspect of “climate change” or “global warming”, and was chosen specifically to make a link to exactly the same Nazi issue that you now belatedly condemn. Where has ADL been all these years?

* Where was ADL when George Monbiot published his book “How to stop the planet from burning” published in 2006, in which he recommends with reference to “the climate-change “denial industry”” that “we should have war crimes trials for these bastards — some sort of climate Nuremberg”

* Why the double standard? Is “a World without Hate” only for those whose views you agree with?  Where would that put you on the philosophical scale?

* As noted, I agree with your sentiments opposing the use of Nazi comparisons in what should be a  reasoned debate about a highly complex and poorly understood scientific issue. However, I do believe that your organization’s stand would have been a lot more credible and effective if it had been made when the term “denier” first appeared.

The Fateful Collision: Floods, Catastrophe And Climate Denial

by Media Lens, A Califonia Leftist outfit.  I reproduce below just some of a very long article which is quite hysterical about global warming.  The article cites countless "authorities" and rehearses lots of conspiracy theory but finds not a word to say about actual climate facts.  Their approach is completely authoritarian, in the best Leftist style.  Facts never have mattered to Leftists.  They do however wind themselves up into a wish to destroy their adversaries -- last paragraph below

An epic struggle is currently taking place that will determine the fate, and perhaps the survival, of our species. It is a collision between natural limits and rational awareness of the need to respect those limits, on the one hand, and the forces of blind greed, on the other.

Over the next few years, fundamental questions about who we are as a species really will be answered: Are we fundamentally sane, rational? Or are we a self-destructive failure that will end in the evolutionary dustbin?

As former Conservative energy minister Charles Hendry says, the recent UK floods “have ended political debate about climate change impacts”. Indeed, recent global weather extremes suggest that something of “enormous magnitude is happening”.

Even taken in isolation, the UK floods may constitute an “absolutely devastating environment incident”, a recent study by conservation scientists reports:

Noxious hydrogen sulphide fumes and lead poisoning are among the threats from floodwater contamination – while animals at almost all stages of the food chain, from insects to small mammals and birds, are already thought to be drowning or dying from lack of food.

The second half of our problem is that evidence of this terminal threat to our existence is being obstructed by literally hundreds of millions of dollars of organised propaganda.

Earlier this month, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse made a courageous and crucial speech to the US Senate. He commented:

I have described Congress as surrounded by a barricade of lies. Today, I’ll be more specific. There isn’t just lying going on about climate change; there is a whole, carefully built apparatus of lies. This apparatus is big and artfully constructed: phoney-baloney organisations designed to look and sound like they’re real, messages honed by public relations experts to sound like they’re truthful, payrolled scientists whom polluters can trot out when they need them. And the whole thing big and complicated enough that when you see its parts you could be fooled into thinking that it’s not all the same beast. But it is. Just like the mythological Hydra – many heads, same beast.

Whitehouse’s speech made repeated reference to a ground-breaking new study by Robert J. Brulle, professor of sociology and environmental science at Drexel university, which describes the organisational underpinnings and funding behind climate denial. This is the first peer-reviewed, comprehensive analysis ever conducted on the topic.

Brulle finds that from 2003 to 2010, 140 foundations made 5,299 grants totalling fully $558 million to 91 major climate denial organisations. These 91 organisations have an annual income of just over $900 million, with an annual average of $64 million in identifiable foundation support. The UK also has its own denial network.

Disturbingly, Brulle writes that “while the largest and most consistent funders behind the countermovement are a number of well-known conservative foundations, the majority of donations are “dark money,” or concealed funding”.

We must break the back of the beast… For the sake of our democracy, for the sake of our future, for the sake of our honour – it is time to wake up.

As NASA climate scientist James Hansen has suggested, Nuremberg-style trials must be held for senior corporate (including corporate media) and political executives responsible for crimes against humanity and planet that almost defy belief. They must be held to account for their crimes.


The Unscientific Consensus

Growing up in the 80s and 90s in Chevy Chase, Maryland, an inside-the-Beltway suburb, I only learned one thing about fossil fuels: they were causing global warming. That is, the CO2 my parents’ SUV was producing was making the Earth a lot hotter and that would make a lot of things worse. Oh, and one more thing: that this was a matter of scientific consensus.

Looking into the issue a bit, I found that there were professionals in climate science, such as Richard Lindzen of MIT, and Patrick Michaels of the University of Virginia, who said that global warming wasn’t the big deal it was made out to be. But they seemed to be very much in the minority. Who was right? Of course, I knew the majority isn’t always right—but it certainly isn’t always wrong.

What was I supposed to make of all this? I think this is a predicament most of us experience. On the one hand, there is something authoritarian about calls to obey “consensus” such as John Kerry’s recent “When 97 percent of scientists agree on anything, we need to listen, and we need to respond.” On the other hand, there is something anti-science about the militant skepticism of some critics of the “climate change consensus.” For instance, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson says: “The term scientific consensus is an oxymoron in itself.” Not true. How can we possibly function in a complex division-of-labor society if we don’t consult experts—which includes learning about what there is consensus on (and what there isn’t) among the experts in different fields?

Scientific consensuses are an important part of any modern society—they tell us the general state of agreement in a field, not so we can blindly obey the experts in question (experts and consensuses can be wrong) but so that we can understand and critically think about those experts’ views. For example, if you are thinking about nutrition, it is a valuable starting point to know where there is general agreement, where there isn’t, and why. If I read a book endorsing a controversial diet, I can’t really have a responsible opinion until I know what most experts in the field think about the issues—including whether they have powerful arguments against the book’s claims that I couldn’t have thought of myself.

Thus, statements of scientific consensus can be extremely valuable tools. But they are only valuable, and only scientific, if they are explained clearly to the public. We need to know exactly who agrees with what for what reasons, and just as importantly, where there is disagreement within the consensus and for what reasons.

For example, it makes a big difference if there is a consensus that there is some global warming vs. a consensus that there will be catastrophic global warming. It makes a big difference if the consensus is based on issues that the experts have expertise on, such as climate records, vs. issues that they do not have expertise on, such as the economics of fossil fuels vs. solar and wind. Most consensus statements, however, are very unclear on who agrees with what and why. They are unscientific consensuses—misrepresentations of the state of scientific opinion designed to further a political agenda.

Take the consensus statement of the American Geophysical Union, which can be found in its entirety here. Like most consensus documents, it starts with something there is definitely a consensus on: “Extensive, independent observations confirm the reality of global warming.” But then, with equal certainty, it cites dramatic predictions of climate models that, even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reluctantly acknowledged, demonstrably failed to predict the climate of the past two decades. And still, with equal certainty, it calls for “urgent” political action to reduce fossil fuel use—with no acknowledgment of the cost of doing so.

Are observations, dramatic model predictions, and complex political decisions really all on the same scientific footing? No—but this kind of statement makes it seem as if they are all a matter of expert consensus.

I have spent quite a bit of time querying experts on this issue, and in my understanding the actual consensus in the field is something like the following.

When CO2 is added to the atmosphere it, all things being equal, has a mild, decelerating (logarithmic) warming effect; each additional CO2 molecule leads to less warming than the last. This effect has made some contribution to the widely-accepted .8 degrees C average warming in the last 150 years.

Within this consensus, there is considerable disagreement about whether other aspects of the atmosphere, called “feedbacks,” significantly amplify the CO2-induced warming or not. This is called the issue of “climate sensitivity.” More climate scientists than not seem to believe in significant climate sensitivity, as evidenced by the fact that the computer models used to predict climate are based on the assumption of significant climate sensitivity.

 At the same time, there is also consensus that in the last 15+ years there has been no significant global warming, despite record, accelerating CO2 emissions, and the climate models based on high sensitivity failed to predict this. There is dispute over whether and to what extent this supports the low-sensitivity theory of CO2. (Here is an account of the data and debate.)

I could go on about the consensus or lack thereof on other issues—the relationship between warming and extreme weather events, whether there have been significant changes in extreme weather events, etc.—but the point is I want the field of climate science to do that, so that we can think critically about it and ask questions.

What it shouldn’t be doing—but is—is telling us what political policies, namely fossil fuel policies, to adopt. The question of fossil fuel policy is an interdisciplinary one covering many fields that climate scientists are not experts on.

That means we need botanists to explain to us the potential benefits of increased CO2 in the air for plant growth. We need economists to share their knowledge about the consequences of more expensive energy if fossil fuels are restricted—and the capacity of human beings to adapt to climate change (man-made or not) over a period of decades. We need energy experts to tell us how far away solar, wind, and other alternatives are from providing the benefits of fossil fuels. We need geographers to share their knowledge on whether the climate has become more or less livable as we’ve used fossil fuels.

Having tried to get this information myself from these fields, I believe that if the state of knowledge and agreement in each field were objectively presented, we would conclude that the consequences of continuing to use large amounts of fossil fuels would be overwhelmingly positive to human life, and the consequences of restricting them would be overwhelmingly negative. But right now it’s hard for anyone to know what to conclude, because in today’s “consensus” statements, representatives of scientific fields neither explain the state of knowledge precisely, nor do they stick to their area of specialization.

Take a look at the NASA Global Climate Change Consensus page, which features 18 different consensus statements from professional scientific societies. The vast majority of these organizations don’t specialize in climate science, yet they make definitive statements about climate science. And many also use their scientific credibility to demand specific political policies.

The prestigious American Physical Society says “We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.” Really? Many in the fields of energy and economics have argued that forced reductions in greenhouse gases would lead to catastrophic consequences for human life, particularly in developing countries that need affordable energy to develop. As an association of physicists with no specialized knowledge of these issues, it is an abuse of scientific standing for the American Physical Society to support specific energy policies. A proper consensus statement by physicists would educate us about the physics of climate, not the politics of physicists.

I say, bring on the scientific consensus about climate change—and the scientific consensuses about everything else related to energy and environmental policy. Knowing what specialists in these fields think would be truly valuable information for our critical thinking about vital issues. But it’s time to stop the intimidation and manipulation. It’s time to throw out the unscientific consensus.



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


Thursday, February 27, 2014

So much for peer review

The publishers Springer and IEEE are removing more than 120 papers from their subscription services after a French researcher discovered that the works were computer-generated nonsense.

Over the past two years, computer scientist Cyril Labbé of Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France, has catalogued computer-generated papers that made it into more than 30 published conference proceedings between 2008 and 2013. Sixteen appeared in publications by Springer, which is headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany, and more than 100 were published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), based in New York. Both publishers, which were privately informed by Labbé, say that they are now removing the papers.

Among the works were, for example, a paper published as a proceeding from the 2013 International Conference on Quality, Reliability, Risk, Maintenance, and Safety Engineering, held in Chengdu, China. (The conference website says that all manuscripts are “reviewed for merits and contents”.) The authors of the paper, entitled ‘TIC: a methodology for the construction of e-commerce’, write in the abstract that they “concentrate our efforts on disproving that spreadsheets can be made knowledge-based, empathic, and compact”. (Nature News has attempted to contact the conference organizers and named authors of the paper but received no reply*; however at least some of the names belong to real people. The IEEE has now removed the paper).

How to create a nonsense paper

Labbé developed a way to automatically detect manuscripts composed by a piece of software called SCIgen, which randomly combines strings of words to produce fake computer-science papers. SCIgen was invented in 2005 by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge to prove that conferences would accept meaningless papers — and, as they put it, “to maximize amusement” (see ‘Computer conference welcomes gobbledegook paper’). A related program generates random physics manuscript titles on the satirical website arXiv vs. snarXiv. SCIgen is free to download and use, and it is unclear how many people have done so, or for what purposes. SCIgen’s output has occasionally popped up at conferences, when researchers have submitted nonsense papers and then revealed the trick.

Labbé does not know why the papers were submitted — or even if the authors were aware of them. Most of the conferences took place in China, and most of the fake papers have authors with Chinese affiliations. Labbé has emailed editors and authors named in many of the papers and related conferences but received scant replies; one editor said that he did not work as a program chair at a particular conference, even though he was named as doing so, and another author claimed his paper was submitted on purpose to test out a conference, but did not respond on follow-up. Nature has not heard anything from a few enquiries.

“The papers are quite easy to spot,” says Labbé, who has built a website where users can test whether papers have been created using SCIgen. His detection technique, described in a study1 published in Scientometrics in 2012, involves searching for characteristic vocabulary generated by SCIgen. Shortly before that paper was published, Labbé informed the IEEE of 85 fake papers he had found. Monika Stickel, director of corporate communications at IEEE, says that the publisher “took immediate action to remove the papers” and “refined our processes to prevent papers not meeting our standards from being published in the future”. In December 2013, Labbé informed the IEEE of another batch of apparent SCIgen articles he had found. Last week, those were also taken down, but the web pages for the removed articles give no explanation for their absence.

Ruth Francis, UK head of communications at Springer, says that the company has contacted editors, and is trying to contact authors, about the issues surrounding the articles that are coming down. The relevant conference proceedings were peer reviewed, she confirms — making it more mystifying that the papers were accepted.

The IEEE would not say, however, whether it had contacted the authors or editors of the suspected SCIgen papers, or whether submissions for the relevant conferences were supposed to be peer reviewed. “We continue to follow strict governance guidelines for evaluating IEEE conferences and publications,” Stickel said.

A long history of fakes

Labbé is no stranger to fake studies. In April 2010, he used SCIgen to generate 102 fake papers by a fictional author called Ike Antkare [see pdf]. Labbé showed how easy it was to add these fake papers to the Google Scholar database, boosting Ike Antkare’s h-index, a measure of published output, to 94 — at the time, making Antkare the world's 21st most highly cited scientist. Last year, researchers at the University of Granada, Spain, added to Labbé’s work, boosting their own citation scores in Google Scholar by uploading six fake papers with long lists to their own previous work.

Labbé says that the latest discovery is merely one symptom of a “spamming war started at the heart of science” in which researchers feel pressured to rush out papers to publish as much as possible.

There is a long history of journalists and researchers getting spoof papers accepted in conferences or by journals to reveal weaknesses in academic quality controls — from a fake paper published by physicist Alan Sokal of New York University in the journal Social Text in 1996, to a sting operation by US reporter John Bohannon published in Science in 2013, in which he got more than 150 open-access journals to accept a deliberately flawed study for publication.

Labbé emphasizes that the nonsense computer science papers all appeared in subscription offerings. In his view, there is little evidence that open-access publishers — which charge fees to publish manuscripts — necessarily have less stringent peer review than subscription publishers.

Labbé adds that the nonsense papers were easy to detect using his tools, much like the plagiarism checkers that many publishers already employ. But because he could not automatically download all papers from the subscription databases, he cannot be sure that he has spotted every SCIgen-generated paper.


New noise on climate change: A winning issue for Republicans

The Democrats think that climate change is going to be a winning issue for them in 2014 — and, if they handle it correctly, this could be a winning issue for the Republicans.

You know, nothing comes out of the Obama White House by mistake. Everything is planned, analyzed, and focus-group tested.

Last June when President Obama presented his Climate Action Plan at Georgetown University, some environmentalists hailed it. In response, Frances Beinecke, the then-president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said: “The president nailed it.” The Huffington post reported that some environmental groups were wary that “Obama would follow through on the ambitious goals he laid out. Bill Snape of the Center for Biological Diversity described it as too little, too late.”

But, environmentalists haven’t been “thrilled with the administration’s record.” In January, 18 groups sent Obama a strongly worded letter telling him that he “needs to address climate change more aggressively.”

Obviously, Obama heard the complaints — making clear which group of constituents holds sway: billionaire environmentalist donors who believe Democrats have wavered on climate issues or the economically hard-hit middle class he claims to champion.

Earlier this month, the Obama Administration announced the creation of seven “climate hubs” — which the New York Times called: “a limited step” but said it “is part of a broader campaign by the administration to advance climate policy wherever possible with executive authority.” It is unclear what these “hubs” are or will do, but the stated goal is “to help farmers and rural communities respond to the risks of climate change, including drought, invasive pests, fires and floods.”

Washington Examiner columnist Ron Arnold calls the new hubs “propaganda spigots” and cites Steven Wilmeth, a southern New Mexico rancher, who said: “It’s another one of those ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help’ deals. All I can say is, ‘Don’t help me.’ We hear the talk, but they’re not telling us what regulatory burdens these climate hubs will add to the overwhelming load we already carry.”

Then on February 14, President Obama announced a new $1billion “climate resilience fund” that “would go to research on the projected impacts of climate change, help communities prepare for climate change’s effects and fund ‘breakthrough technologies and resilient infrastructure.’”

In the Washington Post, Ed Rogers called the proposal “tired and unimaginative” — “part of a cookie cutter approach to our problems: It’s called the billion-dollar give away.”

Secretary of State John Kerry has received a lot of attention for his February 16 fear-mongering comments (reported to be the “first of what is to be a series of speeches on the topic this year”) in Indonesia during which he called climate change a “weapon of mass destruction” — the “world’s most fearsome.” He told the students, civic leaders, and government officials gathered at the U.S. funded American Center: “Because of climate change, it’s no secret that today Indonesia is…one of the most vulnerable countries on Earth. It’s not an exaggeration to say that the entire way of life that you live and love is at risk.” He then, according to CNN, announced “$332 million in funding through the Green Prosperity program to help Indonesia tackle unsustainable deforestation and support clean-energy projects.”

Kerry also derided scientists and citizens who challenge global warming’s scientific validity: “We should not allow a tiny minority of shoddy scientists and science and extreme ideologues to compete with scientific facts. The science is unequivocal, and those who refuse to believe it are simply burying their heads in the sand. We don’t have time for a meeting anywhere of the Flat Earth Society.”’s Ed Morrissey responded: “The demand to stop asking questions and testing the theory isn’t science-based; it’s political. The more that politicians demand that people stop questioning their use of the hypotheses of AGW for their preferred policies of top-down control of energy production, the more obvious those politics become.”

James H. Rust, retired Georgia Tech engineering professor, told me: “I take great offense to the Secretary of State of the United States berating his citizens on a foreign soil. I recall no such incidents occurring in the past.” He added: “Kerry’s remarks are a political attempt to convince the American people to adopt policies to reduce fossil fuel use and lead the world on introducing a world-wide protocol similar to the expired Kyoto Treaty.” Regarding Kerry calling climate change “the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction,” Rust quipped: “Can his memory be so short not to remember the thousands who have died due to the war on terror that stretches back to at least 1983 when 241 marines were killed in a Lebanon barracks; trillions of tax dollars spent on a war that is nowhere near finished?”

On February 17, the New York Times (NYT) reported that billionaire Obama donor Tom Steyer plans to spend as much as $100 million during the 2014 election cycle to “pressure federal and state officials to enact climate change measures through a hard-edge campaign of attack ads against governors and lawmakers.” Steyer has been critical of Democrats who waver on climate issues. The NYT reports that Steyer’s new fund-raising push “signals a shift within the environmental movement, as donors — frustrated that neither Democratic nor Republican officials are willing to prioritize climate change measures — shift their money from philanthropy and education into campaign vehicles designed to win elections.”

Working with Democratic strategist Chris Lehane, Steyer created his political organization NextGen Climate—a 20-person operation that includes a super PAC that the NYT says is “among the biggest environmental pressure groups in the country.” NextGen Climate spends millions of dollars to find climate-sensitive voters and in television advertising to try to persuade them. NextGen asked supporters for input on congressional candidates to target in its next ads. The list included vulnerable Democratic incumbent Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.

Steyer’s efforts should scare Republicans as he’s been successful in buying previous elections into which he has waded when he “burst onto the national political scene” in 2013.  According to the NYT: “He spent $11 million to help elect Terry McAuliffe governor of Virginia and millions intervening in a Democratic congressional primary in Massachusetts.”

However, I see all of this Democratic emphasis on climate change as an opportunity for Republicans — if they handle it correctly.

The January electricity price index was just released and revealed that the cost of electricity has hit a new high — which doesn’t bode well for the rest of the year. reports: “During the year, the price of a KWH of electricity usually rises in the spring, peaks in summer, declines in fall, and is at its lowest point in winter.”

True to the law of supply and demand, rising electricity prices in the U.S. have not been inevitable. According to, following WWII, the U.S. was rapidly increasing its electricity generation capacity. In the 1950s and 60s the price remained relatively stable. However, since 2007, the U.S. has decreased its electricity production; while the population has increased by more than 14 million people — almost all with multiple electronic gadgets running simultaneously.

The 2007 benchmark is important because 2006/2007 is when the global warming scare began to influence public energy policy — this is the time frame when states passed laws requiring more-expensive renewable energy be part of the total energy portfolio (laws that set up the rationale for the $150 billion of tax-payer dollars being spent of green energy projects). It is when the war on coal began.

The report states: “The Monthly Energy Review also indicates that a large part of the decline in U.S. electricity generation has come from a decrease in the electricity produced by coal—which has not been replaced by a commensurate increase in the electricity produced by natural gas or the ‘renewable’ sources of wind and solar.”

The decline in electricity production — slightly supplemented by more expensive renewables—has directly caused the price spike. And Obama’s climate change policies are shuttering more and more coal-fueled power plants — even after they’ve spent millions on pollution controls. We can expect continuing higher electricity costs heading into the 2014 election.

Recently, I received a phone call from an irate woman. She told me she’d been searching the Internet for someone who could help her and found me. She explained that she was an unemployed, single mom living in an 800 square foot apartment. She said she didn’t turn on her heat because she couldn’t afford it. When she got her electric bill, she noticed that it had a line item: $1.63 for green energy — about which she declared: “I don’t give a *!%# about green energy! I am so mad at PNM for making me pay for green energy that I don’t want!”

I explained that it wasn’t the utility company’s fault. They are just following the law by incorporating renewables into the portfolio. It is the lawmakers who deserve her wrath — from the local and state representatives all the way up to the president.

I do not know if this woman is a Democrat or a Republican. But I do know she represents the exact type of voter Obama claims to champion. The exact type of voter his climate change policies are hurting. These voters “don’t give a *!%# about green energy”—they care about the rising cost of electricity.

The Democrats own “climate change.” The Democrats are hurting their own.

If the Republicans are smart enough to capture the anger of voters — like the woman who called me — and feature it in television ads, the Democrats climate change emphasis could be a winning issue for Republicans. (BTW, Karl Rove, I have the callers’ phone number. Maybe you could feature her in an ad.)


Academics "Prove" It's Okay To Lie About Climate Change

From "hide the decline" to the "hockey stick" to Rush Limbaugh, the debate over climate change is fraught with accusations that the other side is willfully lying about the facts in order to win. Now there are two academics out with a paper justifying lying about climate change in order to convince global governments to "do something" about it.

Fuhai Hong and Xiojian Zhao, economists at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology respectively, are publishing a paper in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics called "Information Manipulation and Climate Agreements," which argues that manipulation of information by the media will "enhance global welfare" by inducing countries to agree to environmental accords (IEAs).

We show that the exaggeration of climate change may alleviate the problem of insufficient IEA participation. When the mass media has private information on the damage caused by climate change, in equilibrium they may manipulate this information to increase pessimism regarding climate damage even though in actual fact the damage may not be that great. Consequently, more countries will be induced to participate in an IEA in this state, thereby leading to greater global welfare ex post.

The article purports to prove, with an economic model, that the urgency of climate change and the necessity of international agreement makes it okay to lie about the projected consequences of climate change.

Progressives have advocated lying in order to get their way before, but this model is actually different from fighting lies with more lies; these two economists advocate lying even when assuming that the entire debate to this point has been entirely honest on both sides due to the asymmetric information problems and game theory involved. Now, they don't advocate "lying" - they merely propose "information manipulation," "accentuation" and "exaggeration" on the part of the media in order to enhance global welfare.

This isn't to suggest that all progressives advocate lying to further their political ideology, or even that it's particularly widespread beyond these two professors. But it's out there: there are academics who so vehemently believe that the urgency of action on climate change is so great that it justifies mass deception and lying in order to win, and are prepared to go to complex theoretical proofs in order to "prove" it.


The 'Absurd Results' Power Grab

Can the EPA simply rewrite a law to suit its policy goals?

The Obama Administration's penchant for rewriting the law via regulation will get a major test on Monday when the Supreme Court hears a challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency's "carbon endangerment" rule. This case is especially significant because it will determine whether the agency can rewrite its own previous rewrite of the Clean Air Act to bypass the normal channels of democratic consent.

The Clean Air Act of 1970 and its 1990 amendments never mention carbon dioxide as a pollutant. Though global warming has nothing to do with "clean air," the environmental lobby sued to force the EPA to regulate CO2 emitted by cars and other "mobile sources." In 2007, in Massachusetts v. EPA, a 5-4 majority sided with the greens, with Justice Anthony Kennedy joining the liberals.

That ruling merely held that the EPA could declare carbon a pollutant under the Clean Air Act, not that the agency must, but President Obama's climateers have taken it as a license to regulate carbon across the economy. Beyond tailpipes, they've moved to emissions from so-called stationary sources, mainly power plants but also heavy industry such as factories and cement makers.

Problem is, the Clean Air Act is one of America's largest and most prescriptive laws, with little provision for executive discretion. If the EPA decides to regulate something, Congress in the statute tells the EPA how the agency must regulate for its many specific clean-air programs.

Since the Clean Air Act was never designed to address CO2 and greenhouse gases are unlike the pollutants the law was meant to address, the stationary source programs would wreak economic havoc if applied to carbon. The statute mandates that the EPA regulate emissions above the specific numerical threshold of 100 tons of a conventional pollutant like sulfur dioxide or ozone. But ubiquitous carbon is released in quantities many orders of magnitude larger than 100 tons, and thus in practice the rule would sweep up some six million schools, hospitals, farms, churches, office buildings and even some large homes.

The incredible thing about Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, which consolidates six related lawsuits, is that the EPA agrees with all that. The agency argues that following the law as written would be "unrecognizable" to the Congress that enacted the law and claims that enforcing the law would be an "administrative impossibility." The other doctrine the EPA is asserting is known as "absurd results," meaning that the literal interpretation of the statute would lead to irrational or unreasonable outcomes.

The executive branch has always used the absurd results doctrine to make minor adjustments or to justify not enforcing a legal provision. And this is what the EPA should have done to avoid crowbarring carbon into what it admits is an unworkable regulatory framework. Instead, for the first time the agency is using the legal theory to arrogate the power to revise plain statutory language. Instead of 100 tons for carbon, the EPA unilaterally invented the new limit of 75,000 tons.

The Supreme Court is merely being asked to vacate the stationary source rule-making, not to revisit Mass v. EPA, alas. All the challenge asks is that if the EPA decides to regulate CO2, then it must obey the rule of law and regulate CO2 as the Clean Air Act instructs.

The White House is trying to avoid doing so because the political pros know that stationary source permitting by the EPA's own estimates costs as much as $125,120 and can be delayed for as long as 10 years. Democratic voters attend church and own small businesses too, and the political backlash would be fierce.

The White House could have persuaded Congress to adopt a new round of clean-air amendments, or to pass cap and trade. It tried the latter in 2009-2010 and failed. Justice Kennedy, the swing vote, must decide if federal regulators can assume the power to rewrite laws on their own without the authority granted by Congress. That would be the most absurd result of all.


British Labour party backs Green  totalitarianism

At PMQs Ed went on the attack over Owen Paterson’s sceptical comments about climate change. The line of questioning reminded Guido of the Green Party’s recent totalitarian demand for a purge of climate change sceptics from ministerial and adviser positions in government. A Labour spokesman has confirmed to Guido that Miliband backs a similar ban.

    “The qualification for being in a Labour government is rationality and believing in clear scientific evidence.”

Anyone working in a Labour government would be required to accept the party’s position on climate change. Anyone who doesn’t won’t be allowed to join. Dissenters will be exiled…


The eco-hysteria of blaming mankind for Britain's floods

Blaming storms on human industry is as backward as blaming them on gays

What a laugh we all had a few weeks ago when that UK Independence Party councillor, David Silvester, said floods in England were caused by gay marriage. Remember the merriment? The eccentric (I’m being polite) Silvester wrote to his local newspaper in Oxfordshire to say that the reason we are ‘beset by storms’ is because PM David Cameron acted ‘arrogantly against the gospel’ by allowing gay people to get hitched, and the internet exploded into guffaws. Silvester became the subject of witty memes, mocking tweets, and searing newspaper critiques. He was eventually ditched by UKIP. Everyone asked the same question: ‘In the twenty-first century what sort of person seriously believes that natural calamities like floods can be blamed on allegedly “sinful” behaviour?!’

Well, now we know. Now, as flooding in the south-west of England has intensified in recent weeks, we know that it isn’t only strange men who take the Bible literally who see floods as some form of payback or punishment for humanity’s deviant behaviour – so do the supposedly rationalist, secularist sections of society, the very people who just three weeks ago will have had a good old hoot bashing backward Silvester’s moralisation of floodwaters. Even the right-on moralise the weather today, treating it almost as a sentient force, a lecturing force, a vengeful force, and viewing hard rains and gushing waters as a slap on the wrist to wicked mankind – no, not for being gay, but, in essence, for being greedy.

Over the past week, as more and more towns and areas in England have become flooded, the hunt has been on for proof that it’s the fault of manmade climate change – that is, of man himself, of polluting, thoughtless, fossil fuel-using man. So former Conservative environment secretary Caroline Spelman says the floods should be a ‘sharp reminder’ to climate-change sceptics that they are wrong and stupid – ‘what is happening now relates to what we were doing two decades ago’, she said, referring to humanity’s increasing emission of greenhouse gases. Nicholas Stern, treated by many greens as a god-like oracle warning us all of future manmade doom, says the floods were caused by ‘human activities’. From the fawningly faithful reporting of his words, you could be forgiven for thinking Moses himself had published some new tablets about man’s wrongdoings. Other observers say man’s behaviour, his emission of CO2, is ‘loading the dice’ of nature’s fury, making floods more likely and more epic. One says our ‘wild weather’, the reason ‘people’s lives and properties [are] at stake’, is because of manmade climate change.

Labour leader Ed Miliband explicitly moralised the weather yesterday, when he told the Observer that ‘people’s homes, businesses and livelihoods [are] coming under attack from extreme weather’, as if the weather were some kind of military force. ‘The science is clear’ as to why this is happening, said Miliband – because man’s activities have rattled the climate and we are now ‘sleepwalking into a national security crisis’ (there’s that militaristic metaphor again). One broadsheet columnist bizarrely makes a link between the floods and human behaviour that he clearly just doesn’t like, suggesting our ‘extreme weather’ could be down to ‘the undeniable waste of energy in British cities, where office lights shine through the night and supermarkets pump out hot air at open entrances and cold air in their freezer sections’. This is pretty blatantly just another variant of blaming man’s bad behaviour for floods, albeit a more PC version than David Silvester’s – the more secularist flood-exploiters see storms as a consequence of industry, of the thoughtlessness of office bosses, of the electricity use of big, fat supermarkets, where the more religious flood-exploiters see them as spin-offs of gay behaviour.

Ah, the allegedly rationalist ‘man causes floods’ lobby will say, but we have science on our side whereas Silvester just had the made-up stories of the Bible. Do they really have science on their side? Some pretty high-calibre experts have actually said there is ‘insufficient evidence’ to draw any direct line between climate change and particular floods or weather events. And as more sensible heads have pointed out, levels of rainfall in England have long been pretty unpredictable, and parts of England have always been prone to flooding. To declare that these floods are definitely a product of manmade climate change, of ‘human activities’, of ‘what we were doing two decades ago’, is as fact-lite and driven by underlying moral prejudices as was Silvester’s claim that gay marriage stirred up the storms.

Yet across the media, blogosphere and Twitter, numerous people are hunting high and low for some graph or factlet that might ‘prove’ that climate change – which is, of course, just code for man’s exploitation of natural resources for the purposes of economic and industrial growth – is to blame for these floods. These individuals are driven by precisely the same urge as Silvester was: a longing to marshall the weather to their pet cause of chastising mankind for what they view as his immoral behaviour. Even if scientists did find some connection between climate change and general increased rainfall, we should remember two things.

Firstly, it would still be the case that the urge to draw a direct line between our industrialised, relatively comfortable lives and natural disaster, between supermarkets and floods, between the fact many of us live in buzzing cities and the recent outbursts of stormy weather, would be a fundamentally moralistic rather than scientific project, motored way more by personal distaste for human behaviour than by anything remotely resembling scientific fact.

And secondly, mankind more than has the capacity to protect against increased rainfall and floods, to build new towns and cities that can withstand such natural whims, by making use of the very ‘human activities’ – ambition, growth, exploitation of natural resources – that the eco-miserabilist lobby sneers at and blames for every natural disaster that befalls us.

Every time floods happen these days, eco-obsessives say the same thing: they are punishment for ‘our unsustainable lifestyles’ (a Guardian writer in the year 2000); they offer a ‘glimpse of a possible winter world that we’ll inhabit if we don’t sort ourselves out’ (a green author, 2007); they are a sign that ‘Poseidon is angered by arrogant affronts from mere mortals like us’ (Mark Lynas in his book Six Degrees). Rough translation? Mother Nature is punishing us for being bad, for being arrogant, for failing to ‘sort ourselves out’ and to behave in a fashion that the eco-meek lobby considers correct and pure. No amount of pseudo-scientific chatter or grasping at graphs that supposedly reveal the ‘truth’ of these floods can disguise the fact that, like Genesis before them, and David Silvester last month, these green-leaning politicos and campaigners are using weather to warn us out of our wickedness. Who’s backward now?



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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Climate Alarmists Never Called Out For Spreading Fear

Al Gore was at it again over the weekend, scaring people unnecessarily about global warming. He, and others like him, should be held accountable for constantly trying to terrify the public. Will they ever be?

Preaching Saturday in Kansas City, the former vice president and current hysteric in chief declared while prattling on about the California drought that "the Dust Bowl is coming back, quickly, unless we act."

About that first Dust Bowl, the one in the 1930s: Was that also caused by man-made global warming, during a time when human carbon dioxide emissions were much lower?

Or was it just a part of the natural climate cycle that's been running throughout Earth's history?

The Kansas City Star reported that Gore packed them in at the "Westin Crown Center ballroom."

The Nobel Prize winner regaled the audience "with a 90-minute presentation, using photos and videos to illustrate a litany of floods, wildfires, torrential rains, droughts, dust storms, rising sea levels and increasing world temperatures."

In other words, what they heard at the Folk Alliance International conference was just another installment in Gore's long line of public disservice.

The man has made a post-vice-presidency career of scaring people for no reason. From his wildly exaggerated "Inconvenient Truth" movie to his claim years ago that the north polar ice cap would be gone by 2013 — it wasn't — to loopy predictions that "we're approaching this tipping point," Gore has been spreading hysteria and fright like a farmer sows seeds.

And so have the Democrats who have followed. Just last week, Secretary of State John Kerry said global warming is "the world's most fearsome weapon of mass destruction." He's clearly taking cues from his boss, President Obama, who has said that climate change is the "global threat of our time."

Obviously Kerry is unaware that there are life-and-death events with long-term consequences occurring in Ukraine and Venezuela during a time in which America's global reputation is in sharp decline.

Meanwhile, it seems Obama hasn't noticed how poor his economic recovery has been and how many Americans are either out of work or are painfully underemployed.

Maybe shrieking about global warming is a politician's attempt to cover up his failures while Gore keeps the climate change flame burning because he has a deep need to keep proving himself relevant and an oversized ego to feed.

Though the causes of their obsession might be dissimilar, all alarmists have one thing in common: Their predictions of disaster — the superstorms, the underwater coastal cities, famine, mass starvation, the end of snow, the end of skiing, a dangerous refugee problem — have been wrong.

Sure, there's been some rough weather recently. But it's just weather. As far as we know, no reputable scientist has positively linked the unusual cold and snow to man-made global warming.

Every weather event, every temperature reading, every cloud or lack thereof that the alarmists spin as proof of man-made global warming is actually within the historical variability of our climate.

Despite their record of failed predictions, the alarmists have never been held accountable for needlessly stirring up fear and generating anxiety.

Nor have they been called out for assembling a class of citizens who constantly hector everyone else about their carbon dioxide emissions.

The alarmists are instead feted, celebrated, glorified and held up as noblemen by a media and political class that are as invested in the narrative as the alarmists are. There's been no critical assessment, little inquiry into their methods and zero questioning of their motives.

Those questions are saved instead for the backward, unsophisticated skeptics and "deniers" who surely believe Earth is flat.


Facing Reality on Carbon Dioxide

Though you wouldn't necessarily know it based on news coverage, the United States in the reign of President Barack Obama is enduring the most prolonged period of slow growth and high unemployment since World War II. The president asserts that he saved us from another Great Depression, which, like his claim that the stimulus would "create or save" millions of jobs, is about as provable as the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin.

The Obama administration has done little to spur job creation, but a great deal to inhibit it. The president mocks the idea of deregulation ("cut two regulations and call me in the morning"), but the new layers of rules and directives his administration has layered over the already-existing sedimentary encrustations cannot have helped.

There is one segment of the economy that has defied the trough, though, and that's energy. The U.S. is now the world's leading producer of hydrocarbons. The International Energy Agency predicts that the U.S. will produce more petroleum than either Saudi Arabia or Russia by 2015. For the first time since 1949, the U.S. is a net exporter of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. For the past several years, the oil and gas industry has added between $300 billion and $400 billion annually to the economy. Without the hydrocarbon boom, the economy would still be in recession.

Obama has attempted to take credit for the boom in domestic energy production. His website boasts, "The President established a national goal in 2011 to reduce oil imports by one third ... "

The president can issue goals and schedules to his heart's content, but like so much else about his tenure, these words are piffle. As Mark Mills, an energy analyst at the Manhattan Institute notes, the president had absolutely nothing to do with the energy renaissance that is reshaping our economy and can do more.

Neither did Big Oil. Small businesses, most with fewer than 15 employees, are responsible for 75 percent of America's energy production. "Fracking" is only part of the story. The boom in on-shore energy production is the result of American technological prowess wedded to entrepreneurial genius. Computers and cameras guide probes below ground, minimizing dry holes. Horizontal drilling permits seams long inaccessible to be tapped.

Rumor has it that in North Dakota, epicenter of the Bakken formation, workers are in such demand that McDonald's is paying up to $18 an hour. The state currently enjoys the lowest unemployment rate in the nation and boasts a $1 billion budget surplus.

The boom is not limited to North Dakota. At least 16 other states have more than 150,000 workers associated with the energy industry. In the states most associated with the fracking revolution -- Pennsylvania, Colorado, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Wyoming -- statewide employment growth has beaten the national average.

Is the domestic energy expansion bad for the environment? Certainly not when natural gas replaces coal. Besides, the world has not yet figured out how to power itself with other energy sources. Ethanol, which consumes 40 percent of all corn grown in the U.S., provides only 5 percent of transportation energy. Renewables, including hydropower, biomass wood, wind, solar and geothermal, accounted for just 9.3 percent of U.S. energy use in 2012, despite government subsidies. The developing world, including China, India and Brazil, are unwilling to sacrifice economic growth on the altar of climate change. Germany, which made a hasty and emotional switch away from nuclear power after Fukushima and made a heavy investment in wind power, is now building dirty coal generation plants to cope with rising prices.

Democrats can sneer at so-called deniers all they like, but they themselves are denying a hard reality: Hydrocarbons will continue to power the world for the foreseeable future. There is no other fuel that can put planes in the air, for example. If carbon dioxide is causing the planet to warm (and the models significantly overpredicted the amount of warming so far), mankind will have to find ways to cope with the problem other than massive taxes to discourage CO2 use. Maximizing natural gas usage is one such step. Basic R and D on improving batteries, solar cells and other technologies is another. Seawalls, dikes and other ameliorating efforts are a third.

In the interim, the energy boom in the U.S. is a job creator, a boon to our friends (like Canada, Britain and Israel -- also poised to exploit the new technologies) and a setback for our adversaries.


British taxpayers fund wind farm scam

Comprehensive report from Scotland

Wind farm firms have been accused of building huge, ineffective turbines to exploit a lucrative loophole funded by the taxpayer.

And although the Government knows about the scam, it has not acted to stamp it out.

The Government pays different rates for wind energy depending on how much power is produced by turbines. In an effort to encourage small businesses and individuals to get involved in the industry, David Cameron's coalition agreed to buy electricity produced by low-powered machines at around double the rate of towering turbines. This means businesses like farms can afford to run a small turbine, which does not produce huge amounts of electricity.

But some operators are exploiting a legal loophole by building huge turbines and then slowing them down so their output is within the same category as a much smaller machine.

Critics claim it can be highly lucrative because owners receive the higher Feed-In Tariff (FIT) rate but also have a giant turbine which will consistently out-perform smaller machines.

But the practice, known as de-rating, means that some of the huge turbines scarring the landscape have been deliberately modified to be ineffective.

The Sunday Post has learned that although the Westminster Government is aware of specific de-rating cases, it has not moved to close down the loophole.

Scottish Conservative MEP Struan Stevenson last night blasted: "The whole thing is getting exposed as one of the biggest scandals since the collapse of the banks and de-rating is simply another spoke in the wheel."

Labour MP Sir Tony Cunningham, who represents Workington in Cumbria, recently quizzed the Westminster Government to find out what action it was taking. In response to his parliamentary question Energy Minister Michael Fallon revealed he was aware that eight of 110 turbines installed at the higher 100kw to 500kw FIT rate up to September 2013 had been de-rated.

He also revealed talks with industry body RenewableUK had not identified a "workable technical solution".

Linda Holt, of campaign group Scotland Against Spin, said: "Consumers are being ripped off. They are being forced to pay more for the turbines and people have suffered greater visual impacts than they need to."

Regulator Ofgem, which licenses the FIT scheme, said it does not keep a list of how many turbines on the FIT scheme are de-rated. But when it receives applications for a modified turbine it makes stringent checks to ensure the turbine has been permanently downgraded. It also confirmed it has not yet rejected any applications for the coveted 100kw to 500kw FIT category.

RenewableUK's deputy chief executive Maf Smith said: "The wind industry adheres strictly to the guidelines drawn up by the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the independent regulator Ofgem.

"When issues have arisen, we have drawn them to the attention of Government and regulators, recommending improvements to ensure that the system is robust. The reasons for de-rating are complex. In some instances, the grid is unable to cope with a turbine operating at full power, as grid connections are limited in that area."

Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesperson said: "This is not a widespread problem and there is little evidence that de-rating is used as a means of accessing preferential tariffs."

 *  Wind farms were "secretly" paid nearly £20m to shut down before spells of stormy weather, an investigation revealed.

Companies qualify for "constraint payments" when they have to temporarily close down their turbines because bad weather would mean they produce so much power the National Grid would be unable to cope. The cash is paid to the companies through householders' domestic bills.

Dr Lee Moroney, of the Renewable Energy Foundation, uncovered a little known system called "forward trades" in which the Grid decides a sum that will be paid for a period of heavy weather, which is agreed before the bad weather even arrives.

It revealed £18.6m in forward trades were paid in 2011/12 in addition to £15.5m in traditional constraint payments. The payments covered all forms of power generation in England and Scotland but it is understood the majority applied to wind farms.

 *  The Feed-In Tariff is a Government scheme in which fixed-rate payments are made for every kilowatt hour generated by a turbine through a "generation tariff".

Turbines with a capacity of between 100kw and 500kw which come online before March 31 will earn 18.04p per kilowatt hour of electricity and those which generate 500kw to 1.5m kw earn 9.79p p/kwh. But the tariffs will be reduced for turbines coming online after April 1 with 14.82p p/kwh for turbines which produce between 100kw to 500kw and 8.04p p/kwh for 500kw to 1.5m kw machines.

Turbine owners can also use the electricity to power their businesses thus saving thousands of pounds in energy bills. They also see a second benefit from an "export tariff" in which excess energy not used by the turbine owner can be sold to the National Grid for 4.64p p/kwh.

 *  Critics reacted with fury when it was revealed millions of trees had been felled to make way for wind farms.

According to figures released in 2011, 10,000 hectares of woodland had been felled over the past decade to allow giant turbines to be built. It meant an area covering almost twice the size of Dundee could have been felled to fuel Scotland's "renewables revolution".

Critics hit out at the destruction of the forests which naturally soak up C02 emissions. John Mayhew, of the Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland warned wind farms were the biggest threat to Scotland's rural habitats and landscapes.

 *  Last week The Sunday Post revealed tycoon Donald Trump was facing a fresh battle over wind turbines - at his new golf course in Ireland.

He recently withdrew plans to build a second golf course in Aberdeenshire, after losing a legal battle to stop construction of 11 turbines off the coast. He then revealed he had invested £12.4m in the Doonbeg Golf Club in County Clare instead.

But a planning application has been lodged for nine giant turbines to be built three miles inland from the course.

Environmental campaigners say they will be contacting Mr Trump to ask for his support in opposing the plans.

 *  In November The Sunday Post revealed a Scots dog owner had won a battle to have two wind turbines removed after claiming her pet suffered seizures.

But 66-year-old Irene Cardle's victory was tinged with sadness because her beloved dog Shadow died just days after the 19-yard machines came down.

Irene claimed Shadow's health seriously deteriorated after nearby Blacklaw Primary School, in East Kilbride, built two turbines close to her home. The retired book-keeper revealed the turbines had made their lives a misery and she was forced to leave the house for hours at a time to escape the constant flicker and whine.

South Lanarkshire Council said it removed the turbines because they were not "cost-effective".


Drought-Stricken California to Get No Irrigation Water; 17 California Communities Could Run Dry

As the California Farm Drought Crisis Deepens, a federal agency rules agricultural heartland won’t get any federal irrigation water this summer.

 In a move that will likely signal higher food prices nationally, a federal agency says California’s drought-stricken Central Valley — hundreds of thousands of acres of the most productive farmland in the U.S. — won’t get any irrigation water this summer.

Friday’s announcement by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation follows an earlier warning of no irrigation deliveries from the California State Water Project and leaves Central Valley farms and cities with only wells and stored water to get through the worst drought since the state began keeping records in the 1800s.

Statewide, some 8 million acres of farmland rely on federal or state irrigation water.

California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency following reports that the water content of snow in Northern California’s Sierra Nevada, whose spring runoff is stored in reservoirs and moved by canals to other areas of the state, stands at 29% of normal.

The announcement is significant because California is the largest U.S. agriculture producer. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s most recent California Agricultural Statistics for the 2012 crop year, the state remains the leading state in cash farm receipts, with more than 350 commodities representing $44.7 billion, or 11% of the U.S. total, in 2012.

Over a third of the U.S.’s vegetables and almost two-thirds of its fruits and nuts were produced in California, the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service said in a report. The federal agency’s announcement will particularly affect San Joaquin Valley farmers who are last in line to receive federal water, San Jose Mercury News reported, adding that many farmers will have to pump already overtaxed wells or leave fields fallow this year. Farmers will leave 500,000 acres of fallow this year, the paper quoted Mike Wade, executive director of the California Farm Water Coalition, as saying  17 California Communities Could Run Dry in 100 Days

Is Shutting Off Irrigation Water a Good Idea?

Of course it is. It was a bad idea to provide subsidies to water the desert in the first place.

California grows a lot of food. Much of it is because of subsidies that overcharge residential customers [for water] for the benefit of farm owners.

I have a better idea: eliminate tariffs, crop supports, and all subsidies. We can get peppers, onions, tomatoes, and other produce and fruit items from places that do not have US taxpayer subsidies.

Activists will howl "other countries subsidize farmers". Without a doubt many do. An if so, it will be at their expense, not US taxpayer expense.


In Australia, the debate is over coal seam gas

Greenies treat it like they treat fracking elsewhere  -- with hysteria

Until last week I thought the NSW government had in effect banned the coal seam gas industry. The O'Farrell government has certainly abandoned public debate and as a result the greenies and Alan Jones have filled the vacuum with a lot of nonsensical claims.

But last week, the government designated a coal seam gas project in Narrabri as a "strategic energy project" which is meant to cut back on red and green tape.

Jones is in a different class to the greenies. He is a strong supporter of free enterprise. He supported me and Chris Corrigan over the waterfront dispute and he has been a strong voice for many good causes. But, for reasons I do not understand, Jones has a bee in his bonnet over the gas industry.

I became interested in natural gas at the request of the Victorian government, which was concerned at the impact of gas sales to China and its implications for the eastern Australia gas market. The massive developments in Queensland are already imposing transitional effects. There is a real prospect Sydney could suffer gas shortages causing major dislocation to business. Gas prices are already rising and it could take at least three years to supply additional gas to Sydney if everything goes well and if the government holds its nerve.

I do not discard community concerns about the gas industry. The NSW government has comprehensive regulations to manage it. Whatever the risks, they need to be addressed. But some activists are totally opposed to the gas industry regardless of the regulations and of the consequences.

The Greens also oppose coal and nuclear power and claim that solar and wind power can make the difference. It's hard to fathom why they oppose natural gas which has half the emissions of brown coal.

We all face risks every day. It's a risk to drive down the street or walk across the road. The question is whether the risks can be managed. Managing risk is the reality in Queensland, especially between farmers and the gas industry.

Professor Peter Hartley from Rice University in the US said: "There is no proven case of fracturing fluid or hydrocarbons produced by fracturing diffusing from the fractured zone into an aquifer." I believe you would be hard pressed to find any independently confirmed cases of water contamination as a result of drilling by the gas industry after more than 2 million fracking operations in the US.

There is a revolution in the US gas industry, to the extent that manufacturing plants that were established by the US in China are now popping up back home.

The US will soon have energy independence because of new technologies, such as fracking and horizontal drilling. In NSW and Victoria you would think the new technology is some form of plague.

The Santos project will face Jones leading the charge, microphone at the ready.

There are big changes under way in the NSW, Victorian and Queensland natural gas markets. Some big decisions will need to be made and they should be premised on the facts, the science and the public interest. The industry can provide jobs and rising living standards but for that to happen, there needs to be sensible debate, not a scare campaign.


Australian skeptic gets an apology (sort of) from "Hockeystick" Mann

By Andrew Bolt

Open and shut case. Michael Mann is a liar:

Normally I do not sue, but this seems to me a special case.

Mann, the climate alarmist who gave the world his dodgy ”hockey stick”, is now suing sceptic Mark Steyn for mocking him and his lawyers have produced deceptive legal documents in his defence.

Mann has published an outright lie that defames me, and should face the same punishment he wishes to mete out on Steyn for mere mockery.

I do not lie and Murdoch does not pay me to do so. Nor has Mann singled out a single “lie” I’m alleged to have committed.

In fact, Mann is so reckless with the facts that his tweet links to an obvious parody Twitter account run by one of my critics, clearly believing that it’s actually mine.

I have sent Mann the following email:

Dr Mann:

I note your publication of the following defamatory tweet:

You have published an outright lie that defames me.

I do not lie and am not paid by Rupert Murdoch to lie. You have not identified in your tweet a single example of an alleged lie, which suggests you simply made up this defamatory claim.

Indeed, you were so reckless with the facts that your tweet links to an obvious parody Twitter account run by one of my critics which you have clearly believed is mine.

Your other link is to the website of a warmist journalist who for years was a Murdoch columnist, too, writing on climate change. Was he, too, paid by “villainous” Rupert Murdoch to “lie to public”?

I’ve since learned that you last year retweeted another defamatory comment: “No other media organisation in any other civilised nation would employ #AndrewBolt as a journalist”.

As it turns out, that, too, is incorrect. I am not only employed by News Corp but by Australia’s Network 10 and Macquarie Radio Network, where I host a weekly television show and co-host a daily radio show respectively. I have also appeared as a commentator on other media outlets, including the state-owned Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Al Jazeera, the BBC and Canadian radio stations. I am very confident I would be able to find work as a journalist in another “civilised nation”.

I note this because repeated defamations under Australia’s law is evidence of malice – and your history of defaming me shows a complete disregard for the facts.

It is appalling that you could be so reckless, so spiteful, so destructive and so ill-informed. I have long doubted the rigor and the conclusions of your work as a climate scientist and often deplored the way you conduct debate, but even I had never before today considered publically calling you a liar.

I demand you delete your tweet and issue a public apology on the same Twitter account within 24 hours. Failure to do so will not only cast doubt on your commitment to truth in debates on global warming, but expose you to legal action.


Mann gives a very grudging “not necessarily” apology for his brazen lie (and follows it up elsewhere with a string of insults):

Too late. His mask has slipped. What else has he repeated - whether “science” or personal calumnies - that was false and motivated by spite or self-protection?



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


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Climate Consensus Con Game

By S. Fred Singer

At the outset, let's be quite clear: There is no consensus about dangerous anthropogenic global warming (DAGW)-and there never was. There is not even a consensus on whether human activities, such as burning fossil fuels to produce useful energy, affect global climate significantly. So what's all this fuss about?

Let's also be quite clear that science does not work by way of consensus. Science does not progress by appeal to authority; in fact, major scientific advances usually come from outside the consensus; one can cite many classic examples, from Galileo to Einstein. [Another way to phrase this issue: Scientific veracity does not depend on fashionable thinking.] In other words, the very notion of a scientific consensus is unscientific.

The degree of consensus also depends on the way the questions are phrased. For example, we can get 100% consensus if the question is "Do you believe in climate change?" We can get a near-100% consensus if the question is "Do you believe that humans have some effect on the climate?" This latter question also would include also local effects, like urbanization, clearing of forests, agriculture, etc.

So one has to be rather careful and always ask: What is the exact question for which a consensus has been claimed?

Subverting Peer Review

Finally, we should point out that a consensus can be manufactured-even where no consensus exists. For example, it has become very popular to claim that 97% of all publications support AGW. Here the key question to ask is: Which publications and what exactly is the form of support?

Thanks to the revelations of the Climategate e-mails, we now have a more skeptical view about the process which is used to vet publications. We know now that peer-review, once considered by many as the `gold-standard,' can be manipulated-and in fact has been manipulated by a gang of UK and US climate scientists who have been very open about their aim to keep dissenting views from being published. We also know from the same e-mails that editors can be bullied by determined activists.

In any case, the peer-review process can easily be slanted by the editor, who usually selects the reviewers. And some editors misuse their position to advance their personal biases.

We have, for example, the case of a former editor of Science who was quite open about his belief in DAGW, and actively discouraged publication of any papers that went against his bias. Finally, he had to be shamed into giving voice to a climate skeptic's contrary opinion, based on solid scientific evidence. But of course, he reserved to himself the last word in the debate.

My occasional scientific coauthors David Douglass (U. of Rochester) and John Christy (U. of Alabama, Huntsville) describe a particularly egregious instance of the blatant subversion of peer-review-all supported by evidence from Climategate e-mails.

Confusing the Issue

Further, we should mention the possibility of confusing the public, and often many scientists as well, by clever use of words. I will give just two examples:

It is often pointed out that there has been essentially no warming trend in the last 15 years-even though greenhouse forcing from carbon dioxide has been steadily increasing. At the same time, climate activists claim that the past decade is the warmest since thermometer records were started.

It happens that both statements are true; yet they do not contradict each other. How is this possible?

We are dealing here with a case of simple confusion. On the one hand we have a temperature trend which has been essentially zero for at least 15 years. On the other hand, we have a temperature level which is highest since the Little Ice Age ended, around 1800 A.D.

Note that `level' and `trend' are quite different concepts-and even use different units. Level is measured in degreesC; trend is measured in degC per decade. [This is a very general problem; for example, many people confuse electric energy with electric power; one is measured in joules or kilowatt-hours; the other is measured in kilowatts.]

It may help here to think of prices on the stock market. The Dow-Jones index has more or less been level for the last several weeks, fluctuating between 15,000 and 16,000, showing essentially a zero trend; but it is at its highest level since the D-J index was started in 1896.

This is only one example by which climate activists can confuse the public-and often even themselves-into believing that there is a consensus on DAGW. Look at two typical recent headlines:

"2013 sixth-hottest year, confirms long-term warming: UN"
"U.S. Dec/Jan Temperatures 3rd Coldest in 30 Years"

Both are correct, but neither mentions the important fact that the trend has been flat for at least 15 years-thus falsifying the greenhouse climate models, all of which predict a strong future warming.

And of course, government climate policies are all based on such unvalidated climate models-which have already been proven wrong. Yet the latest UN-IPCC report of Sept 2013 claims to be 95% certain about DAGW! Aware of the actual temperature data, how can they claim this and keep a straight face?

Their laughable answer: 95% of climate models agree; therefore the observations must be wrong! One can only shake one's head sadly at such a display of "science."

Another trick question by activists trying to sell a "consensus": "If you are seriously ill and 99 doctors recommend a certain treatment, would you go with the one doctor who disagrees?"

It all depends. Suppose I do some research and find that all 99 doctors got their information from a single (anonymous) article in Wikipedia, what then?

Opinion Polls

Both sides in the climate debate have made active use of opinion polls. In 1990, when I started to become seriously involved in climate-change arguments and incorporated the SEPP (Science & Environmental Policy Project), I decided to poll the experts. Having limited funds, and before the advent of widespread e-mail, I polled the officers of the listed technical committees of the American Meteorological Society-a sample of less than 100. I figured those must be the experts.

I took the precaution of isolating myself from this survey by enlisting the cooperation of Dr Jay Winston, a widely respected meteorologist, skeptical of climate skeptics. And I employed two graduate students who had no discernible expertise in climate issues to conduct the actual survey and analyze the returns.

This exercise produced an interesting result: Roughly half of the AMS experts believed there must be a significant human influence on the climate through the release of carbon dioxide-while the other half had considerable doubt about the validity of climate models.

Subsequent polls, for example those by Hans von Storch in Germany, have given similar results-while polls conducted by activists have consistently shown strong support for AGW. A classic case is a survey of the abstracts of nearly 1000 papers, by science historian Naomi Oreskes (UC San Diego); published in 2004 Science, she claimed a near-unanimous consensus about AGW. However, after being challenged, Oreskes discovered having overlooked some 11,000 abstracts-and published a discreet Correction in a later issue of Science.

On the other hand, independent polls by newspapers, by Pew, Gallup, and other respected organizations, using much larger samples, have mirrored the results of my earlier AMS poll. But what has been most interesting is the gradual decline over the years in public support for DAGW, as shown by these independent polls.

Over the years also, there have been a large number of "declarations, manifestos, and petitions"-signed by scientists, and designed to influence public opinion-starting with the "Leipzig Declaration" of 1995. Noteworthy among the many is the Copenhagen Diagnosis (2009), published to build up hype for a UN conference that failed utterly.

It is safe to say that the overall impact of such polls has been minimal, compared to the political consequences of UN-IPCC (Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change) reports that led to (mostly failed) attempts at international action, like the Kyoto Protocol (1997-2012). One should mention here the Oregon Petition against Kyoto, signed by some 31,000 (mostly US) scientists and engineers-nearly 10,000 with advanced degrees. More important perhaps, in July 1997 the US Senate passed the Byrd-Hagel Resolution against a Kyoto-like treaty by unanimous vote-which probably dissuaded the Clinton-Gore White House from ever submitting Kyoto for Senate ratification.

Is Consensus still an issue?

By now, the question of a scientific consensus on AGW may have become largely academic. What counts are the actual climate observations, which have shaken public faith in climate models that preach DAGW. The wild claims of the IPCC are being offset by the more sober, fact-based publications of the NIPCC (Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change). While many national science academies and organizations still cling to the ever-changing "evidence" presented by the IPCC, it may be significant that the Chinese Academy of Sciences has translated and published a condensation of NIPCC reports.

In the words of physicist Prof Howard "Cork" Hayden:

"If the science were as certain as climate activists pretend, then there would be precisely one climate model, and it would be in agreement with measured data. As it happens, climate modelers have constructed literally dozens of climate models. What they all have in common is a failure to represent reality, and a failure to agree with the other models. As the models have increasingly diverged from the data, the climate clique have nevertheless grown increasingly confident-from cocky in 2001 (66% certainty in IPCC's Third Assessment Report) to downright arrogant in 2013 (95% certainty in the Fifth Assessment Report)."

Climate activists seem to embrace faith and ideology-and are no longer interested in facts.


John Kerry's Climate McCarthyism Demeans Science

If you put John Kerry, Barack Obama and Tom Steyer in a room together, you would still yet to have a single scientist there. Even so, the three are hypocritically leading a campaign to demonize climate scientists at NASA, NOAA, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Columbia, etc., because the three political kingpins don't agree with the scientists' conclusions about global warming.

Kerry put this climate McCarthyism in the spotlight this week when he called the scientists at the above prestigious institutions "shoddy scientists" and members "of the Flat Earth Society." Sorry, John, but ramping up personal attacks against scientists who disagree with you does nothing to hide the fact that your alleged climate consensus is nothing more than a self-delusional myth.

If scientific truths were determined merely by a show of hands, and if people expressing dissenting scientific views had always been blackballed from expressing their views to the public, people would indeed still believe the world is flat. Fortunately for science, and unfortunately for Kerry, the Scientific Method encourages rather than blackballs critical inquiry and scientific debate. Kerry, Obama and Steyer may seek to employ climate McCarthyism to silence scientific inquiry, but neither scientists nor the public are being fooled by their heavy-handedness and mean-spirited personal attacks.

This Is Alarmist Consensus?

Even if we were to accept the infallible primacy of consensus, climate McCarthyists would still be in an embarrassing predicament.

More than 31,000 scientists have signed a summary of the science explaining why humans are not creating a global warming crisis. There is no document making the case for global warming alarmism with nearly as many scientists' signatures.

A survey of more than 1,800 atmospheric scientists within the American Meteorological Society shows less than half of the scientists believe humans are the primary cause of recent warming.

Comprehensive scientific summaries presented by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change reveal thousands of peer-reviewed studies contradict the alarmist global warming narrative.

In a survey of more than 500 climate scientists conducted by scientists at Germany's Institute for Coastal Research, less than half agreed that "Natural scientists have established enough physical evidence to turn the issue of global climate change over to social scientists for matters of policy discussion."

Scientific organizations such as the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Polish Academy of Sciences dispute the notion that humans are causing a global warming crisis. Others, such as the American Physical Society, point out that scientists are sharply split on the issue.

Public Not Fooled, Either

Even more maddening for climate McCarthyists is the general public's refusal to buy into "The Great Consensus" lie. Living in a political world where a media-emboldened president can create new laws or negate duly passed congressional legislation by sheer will and the stroke of a pen, the three political kingpins cannot fathom a world where the general public does not similarly fall into line whenever Obama says so. But whipping the general public into line is a much more difficult task than Obama whipping his lap-dog media into line.

A recent survey conducted by the Yale University Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication reveals only 15 percent of Americans are "very worried" about global warming. A larger number of Americans - 23 percent - don't believe global warming is happening at all. The most commonly held point of view - encompassing 38 percent of Americans - is that global warming is happening but is only "somewhat" worrisome. The survey also found only 38 percent of Americans expect to be harmed a "great deal" or even a "moderate amount" by global warming.

Another recent poll conducted by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal shows Americans rank global warming dead last among 13 public policy priorities. Just 27 percent said addressing climate change should be a policy priority. A 41 percent plurality said Obama and Congress should wait before addressing climate change.

It's not just Americans who see through the climate McCarthyism charade. A survey conducted by Australia's national science agency, CSIRO, found less than half of Australians believe humans are a large factor regarding climate change. The subset is even smaller when those Australians who believe humans are causing climate change are asked whether they are very worried about it.

The Grand Poobah of Alarmist Myths

This leads us to the Grand Poobah of alarmist global warming myths - the assertion that 97 percent of scientists agree that humans are causing a global warming crisis.

To counter the skeptical consensus documented above, global warming alarmists frequently make the unsubstantiated assertion that 97 percent of scientists believe humans are causing a global warming crisis. The closest thing to actual evidence supporting such a claim is a couple of "surveys" conducted by global warming alarmists asking a cherry-picked group of their peers whether (1) the Earth has warmed during the past 100 years, since the Little Ice Age ended and (2) whether humans have played a role in the warming.

The two questions are meaningless in the global warming debate, as neither of these questions addresses the issues dividing alarmists and skeptics. Nobody disputes that the Little Ice Age is thankfully over (and ended while human carbon dioxide emissions were still quite minimal), and the vast majority of skeptics believe carbon dioxide emissions have modestly added to the natural warming. So skeptics like me answer "yes" to both questions and are then lumped into the 97 percent consensus.

Importantly, these 97 percent "surveys" deliberately avoid addressing the questions that divide alarmists and skeptics, such as the context of recent warming compared to the warmer temperatures that prevailed during the past several thousand years, the pace of recent warming, the likely pace of future warming, whether humans were better off during the Little Ice Age compared to today, whether future warming will benefit or harm human welfare, to what degree future warming may benefit or harm human welfare, whether the alarmists' prescribed "solutions" would effectively mitigate future warming and whether any future temperature mitigation is worth the immense costs of the alarmists' prescribed solutions.

By asking survey questions that do not address the core issues dividing alarmists and skeptics, global warming alarmists attempt to divert people's attention away from the skeptical consensus documented above. They deliberately cite the meaningless 97 percent consensus out of context and then ask trite and simple-minded questions like, "If 97 percent of the world's doctors say you have a life-threatening medical impairment and you need surgery to address it, would you listen to the 97 percent or the three percent who disagreed?"

This is like citing a survey in which 97 percent of doctors agree that people should seek professional medical attention for serious ailments, and then making a misleading and unsubstantiated jump in logic to assert that 97 percent of doctors support Obamacare. In reality, the alarmists' assertions of a 97-percent consensus merely prove that 97 percent of global warming activists are either ignorant about the global warming debate or are dishonest when explaining it.

But climate McCarthyism isn't about analyzing scientific evidence and comparing scientific theories. It is about telling scientific falsehoods and then having political kingpins preemptively denounce and insult honorable scientists at the world's most prestigious research institutions by calling them "shoddy scientists" and members "of the Flat Earth Society" simply because the scientists disagree with the politicians.

John Kerry and his fellow political kingpins may believe that climate McCarthyism will score points with global warming zealots and a compliant media, but real scientists and most of the general public are not buying it.


Electricity Price Index Soars to New Record at Start of 2014; U.S. Electricity Production Declining

Big loss of coal-fired plants the main factor

The electricity price index soared to a new high in January 2014 with the largest month-to-month increase in almost four years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Meanwhile, data from the Energy Information Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Energy, indicates that electricity production in the United States has declined since 2007, when it hit its all-time peak.

The U.S. is producing less electricity than it did seven years ago for a population that has added more than 14 million people.

"The electricity index rose 1.8 percent, its largest increase since March 2010," said BLS in its summary of the Consumer Price Index released Thursday.

Electricity Price Index: In December, the seasonally adjusted electricity index was 203.740. In January, it climbed to a new high of 207.362.

Back in January 2013, the electricity price index stood at 198.679. It thus climbed about 4.4 percent over the course of a year.

Last month, the average price for a kilowatthour (KWH) of electricity in a U.S. city also hit an all-time January high of 13.4 cents, according to BLS. That marks the first time the average price for a KWH has ever exceeded 13 cents in the month of January, when the price of electricity is normally lower than in the summer months.

Average Price for a KWH in January:  A year ago, in January 2013, a KWH cost 12.9 cents. The increase in the price of a KWH from January 2013 to January 2014 was about 3.9 percent.

During the year, the price of a KWH of electricity usually rises in the spring, peaks in summer, declines in fall, and is at its lowest point in winter. In 2013, the average price of a KWH in each of the 12 months of the year set a record for that particular month. January 2014's price of 13.4 cents per KWH set a new record for January.

Historically, in the United States, rising electricity prices have not been inevitable. In the first decades after World War II, the U.S. rapidly increased it electricity production, including on a per capita basis. Since 2007, the U.S. has decreased its electricity production, including on a per capita basis.

In the 1950s and 1960s, when U.S. electricity generation was increasing at a rapid pace, the seasonally adjusted U.S. electricity price index remained relatively stable. In January 1959, the electricity index stood at 29.2, according to BLS. A decade later, in January 1969, it was 30.2-an increase of 3.4 percent over a 10-year span.

That 3.4-percent increase in the index from January 1959 to January 1969 was less than the 4.4 percent the index increased from January 2013 to January 2014.

Over the last seven years, according to the EIA, the U.S. has actually decreased its total net electricity generation, although not in an unbroken downward line from year to year (generation did increase from 2009 to 2010 before going down again in 2011 and 2012).

The combined 439,391 million KWH increase in electricity generation from natural gas, wind and solar did not cover the 502,413 million KWH decline in the electricity generated by coal.

Coal was not the only source that produced less electricity in 2012 than in 2007, according to the EIA data.

Electricity from nuclear power plants dropped from 806,425 million KWH in 2007 to 769,331 in 2012-a decline of 37,094 million KWH or 4.6 percent.

Electricity generated from petroleum sources dropped from 65,739 million KWH in 2007 to 23,190 million KWH in 2012-a decline of 42,549 million KWH or about 64.7 percent.

Conventional hydroelectric means of generating electricity hit their peak in 1997, a decade before overall electricity generation peaked in the United States. In that year, the U.S. produced 385,946 million KWH of electricity through conventional hydroelectric power. By 2012, that had dropped to 276,240 million KWH, a decline of 109,706 million KWH or 28.4 percent.


Canadian Government slams the door in the face of Big Green

In the ongoing,  mammoth underground `Rockefeller vs. Canada Battle', it's Rockefeller 0, Canada 1.

You can hear the enviro screams from Canada all the way to the American EPA-latest warrior to join the battle against the long-detained Keystone XL Pipeline.

Just about everyone in the lib-left mainstream media of both Canada and the U.S.A. are shouting rape because of Canada Revenue's 2013-2014 audit of high-profile environmental groups, including the David Suzuki Foundation, Tides Canada, Environmental Defence, the Pembina Foundation, Eqiuiterre and the Ecology Action Centre, among others.

They're demanding to know "WHY?"

Though the environmental groups will slice the pie of reasons into thousands of pieces, it's because the Canadian government finally decided to take a stand for the Canadian Aboriginal people and for Canadian interests.

In doing so, the Canadian Government took on the Goliath of the Environmental money war.

This is the biggest outcome:  The Rockefeller Foundation, leader of the pack of the American billionaires pouring millions into the fake, anti-oilsands shell organizations that flourish in Canada,  has had the door slammed in its face.

With stand-off impunity,  Rockefeller money runs the enviro world in North America, its deep pockets making it a veritable Goliath.  But make no mistake, that red imprint on the Rockefeller Foundation face looks an awful lot like a maple leaf.

The dirty little secret of the Keystone XL Pipeline is out: Rockefeller Foundation cash runs the Keystone Pipeline resistance, and it does so on the backs of poverty-stricken Aboriginal activists.  In fact  the oilsands are the largest employers of Aboriginal people in Canada.

Being paid just to hold an anti-oilsands sign and make a little white noise in orchestrated protests goes a long, long way when you have hungry children waiting at home.

With a battle cry as hushed as a farmer's field in Winter, the Rockefellers came in to the Land of the Maple Leaf with the election of President Barack Obama back in 2008.  That's when the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, headquartered in New York, wrote a 48-page campaign plan targeting Canada's oilsands.  Someone should show the Rockefellers a map of the 49th parallel.

Big boys with big money that are slippery as fish, up until now could count on camouflage to cover their job-killing anti-Canadian missions.

"They committed to a whopping $7 million yearly budget for this battle, now in its fifth year." (Levant).

"Page 36 of their plan couldn't be more clear: They need to put a non-billionaire, non-New York face on their campaign.

"They needed the help of groups like the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN).

"The plan was conceived and planned and funded and managed by white guys in New York.

"So they made a call down to central casting to order themselves up, to quote their campaign plan, "First Nations and other legal challenges."

In the `Rockefeller Vs. Canada Battle', celebrities get to sign their names to full-page anti-oilsands newspaper ads, the Indians get to do the grunt work.

Tom Goldtooth from the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), based in Minnesota made this telling statement to the Washington Post when he said his Aboriginal activists were pretty much only called upon by white billionaires "when they need something".

As Levant aptly points out,  "the real money in Canadian environmentalism - the most radical money - isn't Canadian.  "It's from U.S. billionaires and their foundations."

Add to the bully boys spreading big money to fight Canada, the U.S.-based Tides Foundation, also pouring millions into vulnerable Indian activists, directing them in a staged play against Canada's interests.

Now that the cat's out of the bag, giants of the mainstream media are starting to report on the hideous hypocrisy of the radical environmental movement.

Only recently the Post stepped up to the plate with the somewhat anemic headline: "Within mainstream environmentalist groups, diversity is lacking".  The Post called out millionaire Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s organization known as the Waterkeepers for being all white guys.  "Is it surprising that out of 200 waterkeepers in his club across America, only one is black?" the Post asked.

"Kennedy's club is whiter than the wheat board.  "They're almost as white as the Klan."

Kennedys' Waterkeepers , around since 1999, and forging deep trails into Canada for decades,  has been whiter than the wheat board for a long time.

Canada continues to let Kennedy play here, but as As Ezra Levant colourfully points out:  "See, if it were a trust fund-kid like Robert F. Kennedy Jr. - let alone a Rockefeller (whose family billions came from oil) - attacking Canada's oil industry, we would laugh and run them out of town."

The same American billionaires who destroy thousands of jobs when they do President Barack Obama's bidding in Small Town America are no longer welcome in The Land of the Maple Leaf.

They can get out of Dodge and stay out of Dodge.


Are YOU a 'global warming Nazi'? People who label sceptics 'deniers' will kill more people than the Holocaust, claims scientist

Barack Obama, David Cameron and Richard Branson are all `global warming Nazis'.

This is according to scientist Roy Spencer, who is a professor at the University of Alabama at Huntsville and a vocal denier of man-made climate change.

Dr Spencer believe that people who label those against human-induced global warming `climate deniers' will `kill far more people than the Nazis ever did.'

He argues, these same people should be appropriately labelled as `global warming Nazis.'

`When politicians and scientists started calling people like me "deniers", they crossed the line. They are still doing it,' he wrote in a blog post published yesterday.

Use of the term 'climate deniers' became controversial after John Howard, former Australian Prime Minister, said that the term was used with 'malice aforethought'.

But In November, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said he is entitled to call Tory climate sceptics 'deniers' despite a warning by the government's chief scientist that it is an abusive term.

'Surely I can agree with his scientific advice without agreeing with the choice of verbs, adjectives or nouns,' Clegg said.

Sir Mark Walport told MPs last year that he was uncomfortable with the term. He said: 'As far as possible it is always best to avoid abuse.

'People do get heated and emotional about this. But we have to be clear that those who argue against the human contribution of climate change are wrong.'

`They indirectly equate the sceptics' view that global warming is not necessarily all manmade nor a serious problem, with the denial that the Nazi's extermination of millions of Jews ever happened' wrote Spencer on his blog.

`Too many of us for too long have ignored the repulsive, extremist nature of the comparison,' he continues. `It's time to push back.'

His reasoning in using the word Nazis is because climate activists are, in his words, 'anti-capitalist fascists'.

`[They are] willing to sacrifice millions of lives of poor people at the altar of radical environmentalism,' he wrote.

The words come from a prominent figure in debates surrounding climate change.

Dr Spencer has been a called number of times by the Republican Party to give evidence to Congress.

But the term `climate change denier' isn't hated by everyone.

Dr Richard Lindzen, when asked which descriptive term he preferred, said: `I actually like "denier." That's closer than "sceptic"'.

Steve Milloy, the operator of the climate change denial website, told Popular Science, `Me, I just stick with "denier" ... I'm happy to be a denier.'

Dr Spencer has previously said: `I view my job a little like a legislator, supported by the taxpayer, to protect the interests of the taxpayer and to minimise the role of government.'

In the opening and closing of his blog, he writes: `Yeah, somebody pushed my button.'


BBC flogs dead horse

One could only utter a hollow laugh at the desperation of the BBC last week, in programme after programme, to put over its fond belief that our wettest winter for 84 years is all due to man-made climate change.

Today wheeled on the jailbird Chris Huhne to sell the message, impartially balanced by a chap saying much the same from the engineering firm CH2M Hill, which Evan Davis coyly failed to explain makes a fortune from renewable energy.

Newsnight had Prof Kevin Anderson from that hotbed of climate zealotry, the University of East Anglia, to tell us that despite global temperatures having remained pretty flat for 17 years, by 2100 they will somehow have leapt up by a staggering 6C.

When Panorama, in a programme called Britain Underwater, peddled a similar message - with the aid of such climate sages as the journalists George Monbiot and Sir Simon Jenkins - one wearily recalled a Panorama of November 14 2000 with exactly the same title, blaming floods in Yorkshire on global warming (on that occasion, with the aid of John Prescott).

Yet how strange that the BBC never quotes the latest report of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which it normally cites as gospel, saying that "there continues to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale".

In other words, whatever the BBC's propagandists may try to tell us, not even the IPCC believes it.



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