Monday, June 23, 2014

Gore Blames Syria Civil War on Global Warming

Ya gotta laugh.  He offers not a shred of proof for the way he connects everything to global warming.  And he has a good reason for that.  There has been no warming for 17 years so nothing recent CAN be attributed to warming.  Neither droughts in the middle East nor anything else can be caused by something that does not exist.  But the wackiest part below is his claim that Canadian oil has to be shipped via the USA to reach China.  That Canadians could simply ship it via the Pacific obviously eludes him. Mr Harper  has threatened to do just that in fact. See map below. Al's geography is as bad as his climate science

Al Gore sat down for a wide-ranging interview with Rolling Stone. Some highlights - he says Obama will very likely reject Keystone.  He also says that the climate-related drought was one of the underlying causes for the current civil war in Syria.

Syria Excerpt -

"Syria is one of the countries that has been in the bull's-eye of climate change. From 2006 to 2010, a historic drought destroyed 60 percent of the country's farms and 80 percent of its livestock - driving a million refugees from rural agricultural areas into cities already crowded with the million refugees who had taken shelter there from the Iraq War. As early as 2008, U.S. State Department cables quoted Syrian government officials warning that the social and economic impacts of the drought are "beyond our capacity as a country to deal with." Though the hellish and ongoing civil war in Syria has multiple causes - including the perfidy of the Assad government and the brutality on all sides - their climate-related drought may have been the biggest underlying trigger for the horror."

Keystone Excerpt -

"Something else is also new this summer. Three years ago, in these pages, I criticized the seeming diffidence of President Obama toward the great task of solving the climate crisis; this summer, it is abundantly evident that he has taken hold of the challenge with determination and seriousness of purpose.

He has empowered his Environmental Protection Agency to enforce limits on CO2 emissions for both new and, as of this June, existing sources of CO2. He has enforced bold new standards for the fuel economy of the U.S. transportation fleet. He has signaled that he is likely to reject the absurdly reckless Keystone XL-pipeline proposal for the transport of oil from carbon-intensive tar sands to be taken to market through the United States on its way to China, thus effectively limiting their exploitation. And he is even now preparing to impose new limits on the release of methane pollution."


CO2 is off the hook!  We have a new villain!

It's all predictions.  No evidence of any change

As global nightmares go, the greenhouse effect has managed not to keep policy makers awake nights devising plans of action. Scientists see an assortment of theoretical catastrophes just over the horizon, but the more dire their predictions, the more difficult it seems to find an appropriate response.

A new scientific study has confirmed a swiftly changing view of what causes the greenhouse effect -heightening both the urgency of the problem and the difficulty of controlling it. The study finds that the leading role in the earth's warming belongs not to carbon dioxide, as long believed, but to an assortment of rare, mostly artificial gases, many never seen in the atmosphere before the 1960's.

That supports the view of atmospheric scientists that the world is rushing toward global climate change on a startling scale. Already the changes in the atmosphere are thought to have changed the balance of incoming and outgoing energy, holding in infrared radiation the way the glass of a greenhouse does.

Beginning in a decade or two, scientists expect the warming of the atmosphere to melt the polar icecaps, raising the level of the seas, flooding coastal areas, eroding the shores and sending salt water far into fresh-water estuaries. Storm patterns will change, drying out some areas, swamping others and generally throwing agriculture into turmoil. Federal climate experts have suggested that within a century the greenhouse effect could turn New York City into something with the climate of Daytona Beach, Fla.

But the new view of the greenhouse effect, as much as the old, highlights the difficulty of finding practical weapons against what remains an uncertain demon.

So far, the greenhouse effect has not been clearly felt. In the generations since scientists first theorized that increased carbon dioxide would alter the earth's temperature balance by trapping heat in the atmosphere, no one has been able to measure a significant warming. Scientists have explanations for that, and they believe their temperature curves will soon soar off the scale. But for now the greenhouse effect remains part of a hypothetical, if not so distant, future.

Even if officials were moved by the urgency of the problem, it would be hard to know what they should do. The Environmental Protection Agency estimated last year, for example, that a drastic 300 percent worldwide tax on fossil fuels to discourage their use - a tax conceivable in a world of scientists, if not in a world of politicians and business executives - might make a tiny difference of about five years.

So the Government waits. "It's a creeping problem, an incremental problem, and we're very bad at dealing with incremental problems," says Stephen H. Schneider, a climate expert at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. "There always seems to be an intermediate problem of higher value."

Until recently, the culprit seemed to be strictly carbon dioxide, which has been increasing steadily for the last century. But the new study, to be published next month in the Journal of Geophysical Research, confirms that an even greater greenhouse effect is likely to come from 30 or more trace gases, mostly emitted by industry and agriculture. These gases are more efficient at trapping heat on its way out to space, and they are increasing much faster than carbon dioxide.

That seriously complicates the problem of finding effective controls. And it suggests to climate experts that they should be giving more credence to the high end of the most recent predictions. But those predictions have great uncertainty built in. "Whenever you work with a climate model, you are trying to play God," says V. Ramanathan, one of the authors of the new study. For example, as the bright polar icecaps melt, they might reflect significantly less sunlight back out to space - and since the earth would then absorb that much more energy, the warming would be amplified. For similar reasons, big changes in temperature could come from small changes in cloud patterns, and scientists aren't sure whether the changes will warm or cool.

Eroded Beaches

In an October 1983 report, the Environmental Protection Agency estimated that the sea level could rise as much as 11 feet by the end of the next century - or as little as 2 feet. It settled on 5 to 7 feet as the likely range. The higher figure would put substantial pieces of Florida and Louisiana under the waves and flood parts of some coastal cities. Even the lower figure would cut away chunks of shoreline. Experts estimate that a one-foot rise in the ocean could erode 100 to 1,000 feet of sand beach all along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts.

One certainty is that people will first feel the greenhouse effect not in slight changes but in extremes. Areas that now get severe floods once a century might get them once a decade. Temperate locales will get many more heat waves and many fewer cold snaps. In the long run, to be sure, not all the news would be bad. Plenty of places could benefit from extra warmth, and if the corn belt loses territory to the south it could gain it to the north. But in the century to come scientists expect painful dislocations. Some argue that the Government ought to be aggressive about acting, even in small ways, to buy time. One way or another, a lesson is under way in people's ability inadvertently to change the face of the planet.

"The only way to be certain is to perform the experiment on ourselves," says Mr. Schneider. "For better or worse, that's what we're doing."


EPA’s Energy Cost Prediction Akin to ‘If You Like Your Doctor, You Can Keep It’

Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) on Thursday compared the Environmental Protection Agency’s prediction that electricity bills will go down as a result of proposed carbon emissions regulations for power plants, because people will use less energy to the campaign promise that then-candidate Barack Obama made that health insurance premiums would go down and his pledge that “If you like your doctor, you can keep it.”

“When you say that utility bills are gonna go down by 8 percent, it reminds me of candidate Obama saying that under his health care plan, insurance premiums would decrease by $2500 per family without increased taxes and without a mandate. Of course now they’re up $2500 per family. When you say that you’re gonna give states flexibility, it reminds me of ‘If you like your doctor, you can keep it,’” said Cassidy.

On June 2, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy signed the Clean Power Plan. Among other things, the EPA predicts that by 2030, these new measures will “cut carbon emissions from the power sector by 30 percent below 2005 levels” and “shrink electricity bills roughly by 8 percent by increasing energy efficiency and reducing demand in the electricity system.”

“And we show that with the significant increase in energy efficiency that will be implemented as a result of the rule, that electricity bills in 2030 we predict will go down, because ... people will be using less energy,” EPA Assistant Administrator Janet McCabe testified Thursday before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on the EPA’s proposed carbon emissions regulations.

“We also show that the price of electricity will go up a little bit -- but overall bills will come down,” McCabe added.

Cassidy told the story of a family who was in danger of losing their home. Refinancing saved their mortgage, and they ended up paying less, but the cost of food, gas, and insurance went up.

“They’ve been denied the economic benefits of projects like Keystone XL Pipeline, which now Canada’s gonna ship their oil to China to create Chinese jobs, and you want to raise their utility prices,” he said.

“Now you may say that conservation will on net decrease, but let’s be clear. Let’s not mislead. The reality is poor people – those who are lower income – are less able to invest in those conservation measures. This is just going to be a bull’s eye on other family’s ability to do things such as keep their homes,” Cassidy said.

Cassidy accused the administration of raising to “an art level,” the misleading of the American people by manipulating statistics. He said companies will lean towards investing outside the U.S., because “their input cost of energy” will go up.

McCabe disagreed with this assessment, saying “there are many things that go into making those decisions.”

Cassidy noted that Louisiana has announced $90 billion in “construction projects involving polymer, petrochemical, gas to liquids – industry that will create great paying jobs for working Americans.”

He asked McCabe if her agency has analyzed the impact that the new EPA regulation would have on the expansion of the manufacturing base.

“No, no we didn’t,” McCabe said.

“Yeah, so these jobs are on the bubble. There are more families that will lose their homes, and you’ve not done the analysis,” Cassidy said.

“This administration is so busy saving the earth. They’re willing to sacrifice the American family,” Cassidy said, adding that the president and his administration have been insensitive to their plight.


Executive fiats in the other Washington

Two western state governors intend to get low carbon fuel standards, by legislation or decree

Paul Driessen

Progressives believe in free speech, robust debate, sound science and economics, transparency, government by the people and especially compassion for the poor – except when they don’t. These days, their commitment to these principles seems to be at low ebb … in both Washingtons.

A perfect example is the Oregon and Washington governors’ determined effort to enact Low Carbon Fuel Standards – via deceptive tax-funded campaigns, tilted legislative processes and executive fiat.

The standards require that conventional vehicle fuels be blended with alternative manmade fuels said to have less carbon in their chemical makeup or across the life cycle of creating and using the fuels. They comport with political viewpoints that oppose hydrocarbon use, prefer mass transit, are enchanted by the idea of growing fuels instead of drilling and fracking for them, and/or are convinced that even slightly reduced carbon dioxide will help reduce or prevent “dangerous manmade climate change.”

LCFS fuels include ethanol, biodiesel and still essentially nonexistent cellulosic biofuels, but the concept of lower carbon and CO2 naturally extends to boosting the number of electric and hybrid vehicles.

Putting aside the swirling controversies over natural versus manmade climate change, its dangers to humans and wildlife, the phony 97% consensus, and the failure of climate models – addressed in Climate Change Reconsidered and at the Heartland Institute’s Climate Conference – the LCFS agenda itself is highly contentious, for economic, technological, environmental and especially political reasons.

California has long led the nation on climate and “green” energy initiatives, spending billions on subsidies, while relying heavily on other states for its energy needs. The programs have sent the cost of energy steadily upward, driven thousands of families and businesses out of the state, and made it the fourth worst jobless state in America. Governors Jerry Brown, John Kitzhaber and Jay Inslee (of California, Oregon and Washington, respectively) recently joined British Columbia Premier Christy Clark in signing an agreement that had been developed behind closed doors, to coordinate policies on climate change, low carbon fuel standards and greenhouse gas emission limits throughout the region.

California and BC have already implemented LCFS and other rules. Oregon has LCFS, but its law terminates the program at the end of 2015, unless the legislature extends it. As that seems unlikely, Mr. Kitzhaber has promised that he will use an executive order to impose an extension and “fully implement” the state’s Clean Fuels Program. “We have the opportunity to spark a homegrown clean fuels industry,” the governor said, and he is determined to use “every tool at my disposal” to make that happen. He is convinced it will create jobs, though experience elsewhere suggests the opposite is much more likely.

Mr. Inslee is equally committed to implementing a climate agenda, LCFS and “carbon market.” If the legislature won’t support his plans, he will use his executive authority, a state-wide ballot initiative or campaigns against recalcitrant legislators – utilizing support from coal and hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer. Indeed, Inslee attended a closed-door fundraiser in Steyer’s home the very day he signed the climate agreement. The governor says he won’t proceed until a “rigorous analysis” of LCFS costs and technologies has been conducted, but he plans to sole-source that task to a liberal California company.

Their ultimate goal is simple. As Mother Jones magazine put it, “if Washington acts strongly on climate, the impact will extend far beyond Washington…. The more these Pacific coast states are unified, the more the United States and even the world will have to take notice.”

But to what end? In a world that is surging ahead economically, to lift billions out of abject poverty and disease – with over 80% of the energy provided by coal, oil and natural gas – few countries (or states) are likely to follow. They would be crazy to do so. Supposed environmental and climate benefits will therefore be few, whereas damage to economies, families and habitats will be extensive.

The Oregonian says the LCFS is “ultimately a complicated way of forcing people who use conventional fuels to subsidize those who use low-carbon fuels. It’s a hidden tax to support ‘green’ transportation. It will raise fuel prices … create a costly compliance burden … [and] harm Oregon’s competitiveness far more than it will help the environment. And that assumes it works as intended.” It will not and cannot.

LCFS laws will raise the cost of motor fuels by up to 170% over the next ten years – on top of all the other price hikes like minimum wages and the $1.86 trillion in total annual federal (only) regulatory compliance costs that businesses and families already have to pay – the Charles River Associates economic forecasting firm calculates. If these LCFS standards were applied nationally, CRA concluded, they would also destroy between 2.5 million and 4.5 million American jobs.

Ethanol gets 30% less mileage than gasoline, so motorists pay the same price per tank but can drive fewer miles. It collects water, clogs fuel lines, corrodes engine parts, and wreaks havoc on lawn mowers and other small engines. E15 fuel blends (15% ethanol) exacerbate these problems, and low-carbon mandates (“goals”) would likely require 20% ethanol and biodiesel blends, trucking and other groups point out.

Those blends would void vehicle engine warranties and cause extensive damages and repair costs. The higher fuel costs would affect small business expansion, hiring, profitability and survival. The impact of lost jobs, repair costs, and soaring food and fuel bills will hit poor and minority families especially hard.

Some farmers make a lot of money off ethanol. However, beef, pork, chicken, egg and fish producers must pay more for feed, which means family food bills go up. Biofuel mandates also mean international aid agencies must pay more for corn and wheat, so more starving people remain malnourished longer.

Biofuels harm the environment. America has at least a century of petroleum right under our feet, right here in the United States, but “renewable” energy advocates don’t want us to lease, drill, frack or use that energy. However, the per-acre energy from biofuels is minuscule compared to what we get from oil and gas production. In fact, to grow corn for ethanol, we are already plowing an area bigger than Iowa – millions of acres that could be food crops or wildlife habitat. To meet the latest biodiesel mandate of 1.3 billion gallons, producers will have to extract oil from 430 million bushels of soybeans – which means converting countless more acres from food or habitat to energy.

Producing biofuels also requires massive quantities of pesticides, fertilizers, fossil fuels – and water. The US Department of Energy calculates that fracking requires 0.6 to 6.0 gallons of fresh or brackish water per million Btu of energy produced. By comparison, corn-based ethanol requires 2,500 to 29,000 gallons of fresh water per million Btu of energy – and biodiesel from soybeans consumes an astounding and unsustainable 14,000 to 75,000 gallons of fresh water per million Btu!

Moreover, biofuels bring no net “carbon” benefits. In terms of carbon molecules consumed and carbon dioxide emitted over the entire planting, growing, harvesting, refining, shipping and fuel use cycle, ethanol, biodiesel and other “green” fuels are no better than conventional gasoline and diesel.

Put bluntly, giving politicians, bureaucrats and eco-activists power over our energy would be even worse than having them run our healthcare system and insurance websites. Spend enough billions (much of it  taxpayer money) on subsidies and propaganda campaigns – and you might convince a lot of people they should pay more at the pump and grocery store, and maybe lose their jobs, for illusory environmental benefits. But low-carbon mandates are a horrid idea that must be scrutinized in open, robust debate.

It’s time we stopped letting ideology trump science, economics and sanity. We certainly cannot afford to let despotic presidents and governors continue using executive orders to trample on our legislative processes, government by the people, constitutions, laws, freedoms, livelihoods and living standards.

Fiats are fun cars to drive. Executive fiats are dictatorial paths to bad public policy.

Via email

Democrats use climate change as wedge issue on Republicans

When President Obama stood before students in Southern California a week ago ridiculing those who deny climate science, he wasn't just road testing a new political strategy to a friendly audience. He was trying to drive a wedge between younger voters and the Republican Party.

Democrats are convinced that climate change is the new same-sex marriage, an issue that is moving irreversibly in their favor, especially among young people, women and independents, the voters who hold the keys to the White House in 2016.

Wedge issues are those in which one side believes strongly that it has the moral high ground. Just as Republicans held the upper hand on same-sex marriage in 2004, Democrats now see climate change as a way to drive their base voters to the polls while branding Republicans as antiscience and beholden to special interests.

It's not just their own polling telling Democrats that. Stanford political scientist Jon Krosnick [My comment on Krosnick as a pollster is here] found in a new survey that an overwhelming majority of Americans believe climate change is happening and that humans are to blame.

"If I were a campaign consultant, which I'm not," Krosnick said, "it's a no-brainer to advise that if a candidate is comfortable being on the green side of this issue, this is something to trumpet, because it will win more votes than it will lose."

Pushing EPA rule

Polls show large majorities of Americans favoring action on climate change, even if it causes electricity prices to rise. That's one reason Obama has moved ahead forcefully on a rule proposed this month by the Environmental Protection Agency to limit carbon dioxide pollution from the nation's power plants, the biggest step against climate change yet taken by any administration.

It would seem to be a risky bet in a midterm election year in which Democrats' control of the Senate rests on races in a handful of fossil-fuel-dependent states such as Louisiana, Alaska and West Virginia. Republicans clearly think so.

"Much of the Republicans' ability to capture the Senate goes through energy-producing states," said Republican analyst Ford O'Connell. He believes Obama is less worried about Senate Democrats than he is about burnishing his legacy.

After the rule was announced, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the campaign arm of Senate Republicans, ran robocalls in four states dependent on coal-fired electricity, saying the rule would raise energy costs.

GOP attack

Committee spokeswoman Brook Hougesen said the Democrats' "war on coal" is just the beginning, and will soon spread to oil and "cripple entire industries and destroy jobs."

"People need to drive their car, they enjoy watching television, using the iPhones and iPads, sending e-mails and using Facebook," Hougesen said. "They want their energy costs lowered, not raised."

On Thursday, Senate Republicans blocked a must-pass Senate energy appropriations bill by demanding a provision to kill funding for the EPA rule. The move could force a partial government shutdown this fall, if it means Congress is unable to pass the spending bill.

But rather than shy away from the fight, Democrats and their allies are waging a vigorous counterattack.

"The climate deniers in the GOP are beginning to sound like the Flat Earth Society, and what will help them in GOP primaries and gerrymandered districts is going to kill them with swing voters in national elections," said Brad Woodhouse, president of the liberal Americans United for Change.

Chris Lehane is the top political strategist for former Silicon Valley hedge-fund manager Tom Steyer's NextGen Climate Action, a political action committee planning to spend $100 million in state and local races. He's promising to use climate change as a wedge issue.

It "plays into what I call the Republican troglodyte brand," Lehane said - "anti-immigrant, antiwomen, antiscience."


Obama’s Climate McCarthyism Demeans Presidential Office

President Barack Obama demeaned the dignity of the presidency by ridiculing tens of thousands of scientists for simply disagreeing with his lay opinions on global warming. While the political left throws shrill temper tantrums against anybody who “disrespects” the Office of the Presidency by asking Barack Obama a challenging question (something they had no qualms about during the Bush administration), Obama himself is setting the applicable ground rules for disrespectful political discourse and climate McCarthyism.

At a commencement address Saturday at the University of California, Irvine, Obama encouraged students to heap scorn on Ph.D. scientists at some of the world’s most prestigious universities and scientific research institutions if they disagree with Obama’s global warming policies.

“When President Kennedy set us on a course for the moon, there were a number of people who made a serious case that it wouldn’t be worth it,” Obama said. “But nobody ignored the science. I don’t remember anyone saying the moon wasn’t there, or that it was made of cheese.”

President Obama is correct that no Ph.D. scientists – and likely no sane individuals – seriously argued that the moon was made of cheese or was merely an illusion. Does that analogy apply to the global warming debate?

Distinguished professors and scientific researchers on the staffs of Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, MIT, NASA, NOAA, etc., have published research and publicly expressed their findings that humans are not creating a global warming crisis. More than 30,000 scientists, including more than 16,000 with post-graduate science degrees and more than 9,000 with Ph.D.s, have taken the affirmative step of signing a petition summarizing such science. Almost certainly, tens of thousands more – and likely hundreds of thousands more – similarly agree but are unaware of the petition or haven’t taken the affirmative step to read it, review it, and submit their signatures.

As host of the Heartland Institute’s International Conference on Climate Change, which I host approximately once per year, I routinely have to turn away dozens upon dozens of highly qualified university science professors who have heard of the conference and hope to secure a speaking slot. With a limitless budget and time schedule, I could easily have hundreds of university science professors and thousands more professional scientists give presentations calling attention to the flaws in President Obama’s global warming alarmism.

Indeed, multiple surveys of professional meteorologists and climate scientists reveal that if a consensus on the issue exists at all, it is that whatever global warming is occurring is of mixed natural and human causation and does not justify the economy-killing prescriptions championed by self-serving politicians like Barack Obama.

To the limited extent global warming alarmists publicly debate the issue, their track record for success is about the same as that of China at soccer’s World Cup. For those who are skeptical, take a look at how one the global warming movement’s most visible advocates, Gavin Schmidt, fared the one time he participated in a public debate. After getting beaten so soundly that even he admitted it was a mistake to debate other scientists on the issue (and blamed his loss on one of his opponents being taller than him), is it any wonder he and his fellow alarmists avoid public debates the way John Edwards avoids National Enquirer reporters? Perhaps forgetting how badly Schmidt fared in his one-time debate, a Florida State University faculty member who was trained by Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project agreed to publicly debate me on the topic and fared just as miserably. Here is video of the debate that climate alarmists claim “is over.”

This brings us back to Obama’s attempt to vilify and ridicule scientists who disagree with his lay scientific conjecture. Perhaps it is true that ridicule and vilification are common, if regrettable, aspects of contemporary politics. Most Americans would hope that the President of the United States would not demean the office by engaging in such mean-spirited and sophomoric behavior, but we have also come to realize that politicians will be politicians, no matter how much power they have attained. But this isn’t about one ambitious politician smearing another ambitious politician. This is about the President of the United States – a non-scientist – making a grossly dishonest mischaracterization and analogy at the expense of expert scientists and then encouraging our nation’s best and brightest to shout down those scientists utilizing further dishonesty and McCarthyism to further political agendas. And the moment somebody questions the President about such reprehensible conduct – no matter how calmly the question is asked – the political left goes into conniptions about how appalling and reprehensible it is to disrespect the Office of the President of the United States in such a manner.

Sorry, Barack, but you have only yourself to blame for so pitifully demeaning the Office of the President.


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


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