Thursday, June 26, 2014

Don't laugh:  A prophecy from the 1980s.  It could have been written yesterday

We sure had a hard time in the year 2000

PICKING up where a high-school chemistry class might end, "Nova," the public-broadcasting science series, offers the nonmatriculating viewer an advanced course in worrying. The cause of the concern is all the carbon dioxide that's being pumped into the industrialized and motorized air. The hourlong broadcast is called "The Climate Crisis: The Greenhouse Effect," at 9 tonight on Channel 13.

The conclusion, conveyed with great authority by several big-league climatologists from government and private research organizations, is terrible: by the year 2000, the atmosphere and weather will grow warmer by several degrees and life - animal, plant, human - will be threatened. The experts say that melting ice caps, flooded cities, droughts in the corn belt and famine in the third world could result if the earth's mean temperature rises by a mere two or three degrees.

The documentary swings between pictures of green lands and smokestack skies. This, of course, is familiar to readers and documentary viewers, going back at least to Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring." The pleasant educational lesson on "Nova" illustrates planetary ecology. In an interesting analogy, we learn from the writer-producer Richard Broad, of Boston's public-television station WGBH, that a single trans-Atlantic flight consumes all the energy that an acre of forest produces in 100 years. The oceans and forests absorb carbon dioxide; that's the good news. The bad news is that these natural safeguards could be imperiled if tropical forests are cut down for agricultural use.

Millions of tons of coal are burned annually around the world. In small amounts, carbon dioxide is necessary, but with the ever-growing consumption of fossil fuels (mainly coal), the air becomes polluted at an intolerable level. The scientists explain that the carbon dioxide released into the air acts like the glass in a greenhouse, sealing the earth in its own warmth - creating the "greenhouse effect."

Looking at the clouds of industrial smoke, and then at the crowded highways, a scientist from the National Center for Climate Research says: "The industrialized West keeps the furnaces burning. This is the high price we pay for prosperity." It is a grim prognosis. The scientists on the program issue warnings but they cannot quite tell the world to stop the clock of industrialization. The advances made on antipollution devices on automobiles might be applied to cutting down industrial smoke, too.

"The Climate Crisis" was originally produced by WGBH in 1983.


Study: Man-Made Aerosol Emissions Have Helped Cool Planet

Researchers with Israel’s Weizmann Institute have found that man-made aerosol emissions have had a net cooling effect on the planet since the Industrial Revolution.

The idea is that few clouds may have populated the skies before the Industrial Revolution, but the increased aerosol emissions from man-made industrial sources may have actually increased cloud cover on the planet and caused a cooling effect.

“A transition from pristine to slightly polluted atmosphere yields estimated negative forcing of ~15 watts per square meter (cooling),” write scientists with the Weizmann Institute, “suggesting that a substantial part of this anthropogenic forcing over the oceans occurred at the beginning of the industrial era, when the marine atmosphere experienced such transformation.”

The study came to the conclusion that aerosols were cooling the planet based on observations of the Southern Hemisphere’s Horse Latitudes, which is a region of the ocean with little and is less likely to see aerosols carried there from the continents.

E&E News reported the researchers “used data from four different satellites to observe the clouds, the aerosol content, temperature, meteorology and rainfall over 92 days in the winter of 2007.” As the aerosol levels in the clouds increased naturally, the more overcast the region became, and the more it cooled.

The authors also found that “there was no point of saturation beyond which aerosols stopped affecting the clouds. As the cloud cover doubled, they reflected more incoming solar rays back to space. Thus, the clouds had a cooling effect,” reports E&E News.

The authors of the study, however, have warned that their findings are preliminary but based on widely accepted theories about cloud cover and climate. Aerosols, natural or man-made, are key to creating cloud cover, without them there would be no clouds.

Natural aerosols are created, for example, when the sun’s rays hit the ocean and cause water to evaporate. Water vapor clings to aerosol particles floating in the atmosphere and eventually forms a water and dust seed that becomes a cloud.

“Ultimately, it [aerosols] affects the amount of clouds that are out there, and also the properties of the clouds — the area, for example, they cover over the globe. And all that affects the radiation that can actually hit the [Earth's] surface,” Andreas Muhlbauer, a research scientist at the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean at the University of Washington, told E&E News — he was not involved in the study.

This study could also have a major impact on global temperature predictions made by climate scientists. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that global temperatures could rise between 1.5 degrees Celsius and 4.5 degrees Celsius by the end of this century.

But fully adding the effects of cloud cover into their climate models could force scientists to reconsider temperature impacts from greenhouse gas emissions.

“The more carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the stronger the climate warming that results. Likewise, the more aerosol particles suspended in the atmosphere, the greater the ability of these particles either to scatter sunlight back to space and cool the planet or to absorb sunlight in the atmosphere, thereby warming the atmosphere while cooling Earth’s surface,” wrote Lorraine Rerner with the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology at the University of Maryland Baltimore County in response to the Weizmann Institute study.

“However, not all such climate forcing processes depend linearly on the concentrations of their forcing agent. The climatic effects of aerosols are complicated by their interactions with clouds,” Rerner wrote, adding that the Weizmann study showed “that even small additions of aerosol particles to clouds in the cleanest regions of Earth’s atmosphere will have a large effect on those clouds and their contribution to climate forcing.”


Former EPA Heads Mum When Asked If Global Warming Is Accelerating

All four former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrators appointed by Republican presidents who testified in favor of the agency’s proposed power plant regulations at a Senate subcommittee hearing last week did not respond when asked if they agreed with President Obama that global warming was accelerating.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) asked former EPA heads William Ruckelshaus, Christine Todd Whitman, William Reilly and Lee Thomas whether they agreed with Obama’s previous statements that the Earth is warming faster than previous predictions.

“The president, on Nov. 14, 2012, said, ‘The temperature around the globe is increasing faster than was predicted even 10 years ago’,” Sessions said at a hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee’s “Climate Change: The Need to Act Now” hearing held on Capitol Hill last Wednesday.

“And then on May 29th last year, he said, ‘We also know that the climate is warming faster than anybody anticipated five or ten years ago’,” Sessions said. “So I would ask each of our former administrators if any of you agree that that’s an accurate statement on the climate. So if you do, raise your hand.”

None of the former EPA heads did so.

“Well, thank you,” Sessions said. “The record will reflect no one raised their hands.”

Not only is global warming not accelerating, “if current trends continue for just a few more years, then the mean change for the 2000s will shift to negative; in other words, the warming would really stop,” wrote Capital Weather Gang meteorologist Matt Rogers.

But three Democratic senators at the hearing – Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) –  ignored the widely acknowledged “pause” in global warming that has lasted 17 and a half years.

Instead, all three repeated Boxer's assertion that “97 percent of scientists agree that [carbon dioxide] is leading to dangerous climate change that is affecting our families.”

“We really don’t have to get into a debate with the other 3 percent,” Cardin stated.

However, according to a study released in February by the Calgary, Canada-based Friends of Science Society, the origins of the 97 percent claim are “faulty” and “a psychological ploy that plays on our primal emotions, ‘herd mentality,’ and fear of being the odd man out.”

“The idea that 97% of scientists hold a consensus view on human-caused global warming/climate change has become part of the climate change mythology, reaching the highest echelons of science, such as NASA, and the highest political office – that of President Barack Obama….The persistent effort to make the public believe 97% of all scientists agree can only be understood as an intentional manipulation of data and public opinion for commercial gain,” the report concluded. (See Friends of Science report.pdf)

During the hearing, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) charged that the administration’s “unilateral actions will increase Americas’ electricity bill, decrease families’ disposable income, and result in real job losses for little or no measurable impact on our every-changing climate.”

“Unfortunately, anyone who’s actually read the 645-page rule finds it has no material effect on average global temperature or sea level rise,” Vitter said, calling the EPA’s proposed new regulations of power plants under the Clean Air Act “essentially a federal takeover of the American electricity system.”

Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) agreed, calling the proposed rules the “first round of global warming regulations which will nationalize the electricity market and force Americans to live out the president’s green dream” even though “countless bills [were] introduced that do the very same thing through legislation. Each time they’re introduced, they’re defeated by a larger margin.”


Warmists: Blind religious adherents or power-starved tyrants?

Over a few decades modern climate science has evolved, or devolved, from scientific observation to dogma—or “Climate Change-ism.”

Not unlike the roots of various other worldwide religious beliefs, this new faith sprouted from the alarmist cries that “The End is Neigh.” “Global Warming” (already a quaint, antiquated phrase) was trumpeted by Climate Change-ism’s founding prophet, former United States Vice President Al Gore, as the final travesty that would usher forth the planet’s demise.

Gore enticed the public with the award-winning hit docu-drama “An Inconvenient Truth,” featuring a fatalistic determination that the planet is inevitably racing toward an impending doom brought upon by Climate Chage-ism’s primary antagonist: the homo sapien.

In a 2007 speech, in which he sagely predicted that earth’s ice caps would be completely eliminated in seven year’s time, Gore stated grimly that “something basic is wrong” with the planet. He concluded, “We are what is wrong.”

Thus began The Church of Climate Change-ism: an apocalyptic faith of people, by people, against people.

At the early stages of Climate Change-ism those aboard the global warming bandwagon thought themselves intellectual elites, purely following nothing but the latest string of scientific evidence and expert analysis. But new, contradicting evidence has forced the faithful to adapt.

In 2013, the Antarctic ice caps grew to a 35-year record high, achieving record growth in less time than Al Gore predicted it would take for them to melt away entirely—an inconvenient truth indeed.

But, like any false dogma, Climate Change-ism’s reigning the faith must persist unhindered by reality.

At perhaps the height of the nation’s agnosticism toward the faith since its Hollywood inception, pontiff Barack Obama stood before the American people and pompously claimed that “the debate is over” regarding climate change, forever severing all ties between the movement and the scientific process.

After all, Obama’s ideologically-driven administration had spent years and billions of dollars implementing regulations that would kill people’s access to inexpensive energy and therefore their quality of life, all in the name of planetary survival—citizens be damned. No more debate would be heard by the nation’s self-loathing leader, enthralled with the anti-human faith he leads.

His ideological regulations on coal plants spell doom for an energy source capable of powering the United States for over 500 years. Further policy restrictions on natural gas, nuclear power, and oil refinement in favor of presently unviable “alternatives” like solar and wind power could disastrously impact poor and middle-income families while permanently shackling any opportunities for dynamic economic development in the future.  The faithful have even attempted to stop the oldest energy heating source known to man – wood burning – in their jihad against humanity.

Now, here’s what is scientific: Man’s observational abilities are still limited and flawed. Because our observational capabilities are limited and flawed, the charts and models necessary to calculate and predict climatologic occurrences are necessarily just as limited and flawed, because people made them.

Could it be detrimental to pump the very carbon dioxide molecule that mammals exhale into the atmosphere? It possibly could be. But the fact of the matter is that we just don’t know how much impact, if any, economically essential activities like American energy development has on the global climate. What we do know is that people will necessarily suffer if societal elites succeed in sacrificing the American way of life on the altar of Climate Change-ism, by eliminating common access to inexpensive, reliable energy.

The humility required to admit what we simply don’t know, admitting that more research ought to be conducted before dramatic, people-harming action is taken, is antithetical to the radical Climate Change-ist doctrine for one major reason: at their core, the leaders of Climate Change-ism aren’t blind religious adherents at all; they’re power-starved tyrants seeking control where they can take it.

Aside from food and water, absolute control over energy is the most powerful weapon one can wield over the populace in a place like the United States. Control the energy, control the future.

It is about time the American people seize control of their future and reject the false deity of Climate Change-ism, before it is too late.


A Carbon Tax Is a Terrible Idea. Reply to Paulson

Former treasury secretary Henry Paulson is calling for a “fundamentally conservative” carbon tax to address the risks of a climate bubble.

Writing in the New York Times, Paulson relates his time in office to today’s climate, writing that “I was secretary of the Treasury when the credit bubble burst, so I think it’s fair to say that I know a little bit about risk, assessing outcomes and problem-solving.”

“Looking back at the dark days of the financial crisis in 2008,” he adds, “it is easy to see the similarities between the financial crisis and the climate challenge we now face.”

But it’s laughable to say that the future state of the global climate should be a concern akin to the financial crisis in 2008. Paulson argues the burning of fossil fuels is the driver of irreversible global warming and climate observations are ahead of what climate models predicted, such as melting Arctic and West Antarctic ice could lead to 14-foot level sea increases.

Let’s set the record straight on Paulson’s climate assertions. First, sea level is increasing, but accelerating sea-level rises is not what the data tell us.

Second, all sea ice around the world is actually above average and, for this time of year, it is at its highest level in 30 years, which is the third-highest on record.

Third, climate models haven’t been so great at projecting what a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will actually do to global temperatures. The models didn’t get the past 17 years right, who’s to think they can accurately project 100 years out?

Fourth, even if the purported sea level rise Paulson speaks of is accurate, it will occur over centuries, leaving ample time to adjust as necessary.

A carbon tax is not going to mitigate warming and won’t make a lick of difference when it comes to natural disasters.

Paulson’s other climate arguments fall short, too, as he points to “a future with more severe storms, deeper droughts, longer fire seasons and rising seas that imperil coastal cities.” The problem with that argument is largely twofold. As indicated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, there haven’t been significant trends for hurricanes, droughts, floods or tornadoes. The case that manmade emissions are driving more frequent and intense weather events is bogus.

But let’s pretend Paulson isn’t wrong on the problem. His purported solution of a carbon tax would be an enormously high, regressive energy tax that would needlessly destroy jobs and economic growth for no noticeable impact on global temperatures. A carbon tax is not going to mitigate warming and won’t make a lick of difference when it comes to natural disasters. Further, an assumption exists that if the United States takes the lead, other developing nations will follow suit. But if we play follow the leader, we’re going to turn around and find no one there.

Paulson claims that without a carbon tax, we’ll all be paying for the damage of climate change “many times over” and that we’re going to leave the world in a worse state for our grandchildren. But in fact, a carbon tax would hurt our grandchildren. More than 80 percent of America’s energy needs are met through carbon-emitting conventional fuels. If we have less access to those fuels, our economy will suffer.

As my colleague David Kreutzer writes,

“With or without the carbon policy, future generations will be considerably wealthier than the current generation, but future generations will suffer disproportionately larger losses. In either absolute dollars or fraction of income lost, a carbon policy would impose greater hardship on future generations.”

Paulson is correct in saying there’s uncertainty in the risk and magnitude of climate change:The climate is always changing and there’s uncertainty with regard to the drivers and magnitude of climate change. But the reality remains that the planet is not heading toward catastrophic warming. And even if it were, an exorbitant, un-conservative carbon tax would cripple us economically without impacting climate whatsoever.


Carbon tax repeal now assured in Australia

Clive Palmer has revealed his party will vote to stop the Abbott Government axing key climate change bodies and will only back the repeal of the carbon tax if lower power prices for consumers are guaranteed.

Flanked by climate change campaigner and former US vice-president Al Gore, Mr Palmer announced his Palmer United Party would vote against the Government's bid to abolish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, the Renewable Energy Target and the Climate Change Authority.

The Queensland MP says he is standing by an election promise to support efforts to get rid of the carbon tax but with a significant caveat.

"True to our promises to the Australian people at the last election, Palmer United senators will vote in the Senate to abolish the carbon tax," he said.

"In doing so, Palmer United senators will move an amendment that all producers of energy are required by law, not by choice, to pass on to all consumers of energy the savings from the repeal of the carbon tax."

It is not clear how such a condition could be imposed on companies by the Parliament.

Axing the carbon tax was the major campaign platform and election promise for Tony Abbott during last year's election.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt called a press conference shortly after Mr Palmer's announcement, to hail the "signature" decision to back the carbon tax repeal bill.

He said he was "relaxed" about the PUP leader's plans and appeared willing to meet Mr Palmer's demands on power prices.

"In terms of the question as to whether or not the full cost savings will be passed through to families, there are already guarantees in the legislation, however, we are willing to provide additional guarantees and to work with Mr Palmer and the Palmer United Party on any further legislative amendments," he said.

As the largest voting bloc on the new micro-party cross bench, PUP will hold the balance of power when the Senate changes over next Tuesday.



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.  

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