Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Persecution of a skeptic

John Droz reports on more ruthless Leftism

Dr. Henrik Møller, is an world-renowned expert on infra-sound, and has published several high-quality studies on low-frequency acoustics (like here, here, here, and here). More recently, some of these have dealt with industrial wind energy noise (e.g. here — which was peer-reviewed).

He has been praised as Denmark's "leading noise researcher." What’s even more important is that he has been courageous enough to have publicly spoken out against poor government policies, as well as the misinformation disseminated from the wind energy cartel.

In Denmark there have been several newspaper reports about this surprising firing, but I'm sending this to the AWED list as such an event should have much wider coverage. Here are English translations of a few Danish articles (I have the originals as well). It seems to me that some of the key points made in them are:

— Dr. Møller has had thirty eight (38) years of distinguished service for Aalborg University.

— Ironically, this institution publicly prides itself as looking out for its professors: “At Aalborg University we focus intensively on staff welfare and job satisfaction.”

— He was the only one of 200± researchers at the Department of Electronic Systems in Aalborg who was let go...

— The purported reason for his firing, is that the professor is no longer “financially lucrative" for the university...

— Despite claiming that the termination was due to a shortage of funds, the university had recently hired two additional people in the same department...

— Dr. Møller's reasoned responses were:

1) During the last year he may not have produced that much income, but in many other years his work resulted in substantial profit to the university.

2) Statistically, approximately half of the faculty would be operating at a loss — so why single him out?

3) In his prior 38 years of employment, and reviews, he was never informed that his job was solely dependent on outside funding.

4) Additionally, prior to the sacking, he had not been informed that his income production was a problem that need to be addressed — giving him a chance to do so.

— The Danish Society of Engineers, and the Danish Association of Masters and PhDs, have gone on record stating that it is unreasonable to dismiss researchers due to a lack of grants. Furthermore they reportedly said such a policy is contrary to the Danish University Act, which specifies that the purpose of research is to promote education, not to be a profit-making venture...

— The VP of the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations stated that it's rare that a Danish professor is fired.

— It has been reported that the wind industry has frequently complained about Dr. Møller to his boss (Dean Eskild Holm Nielsen)...

— Consider this: the same Dean Nielsen was a keynote speaker at the Wind Industry Association’s meeting, the day after he fired Dr. Møller!

— As one article explains, this termination might have also come from the fact that the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) has a very close association with the wind industry, and that Dr. Møller's scientific research had resulted in embarrassing revelations.

— The same article states that with Dr. Møller out of the picture, wind industry friendly DTU will now take over responsibility for assessing acoustical impacts of industrial wind turbines on Danish citizens. (I wonder what conclusions they will reach?)

As one report accurately stated: it takes courage for academics to focus on scientific research, instead of pursuing outside funding.

Please consider writing a short, polite email to Dr. Møller's boss (the person who fired him), Dean Nielsen (dekan-teknat@adm.aau.dk), objecting to this shameful termination.
[It would be helpful to cc a reporter at an important Danish newspaper: Axel Pihl-Andersen (axel.andersen@jp.dk), and bcc Dr. Møller (henrikmoeller2@gmail.com).]

Via email

Big rethink on the Arctic

That terrifying methane-filled permafrost is not so terrifying after all

Research suggests that some Arctic lakes store more greenhouse gases than they emit into the atmosphere.

This counters a widely-held scientific view that thawing permafrost accelerates atmospheric warming.

The study shows that permafrost rich in organic material will see the growth of mosses and other plants flourish, leading to greater amounts of carbon absorption.

Supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the study was published this week in the journal Nature and focused on thermokarst lakes.

These occur when permafrost thaws and create surface depressions that fill with melted fresh water, converting what was previously frozen land into lakes.

The research suggests that Arctic thermokarst lakes are 'net climate coolers' when observed over longer time scales, namely several thousand years, although they initially warm the climate.

'Until now, we've only thought of thermokarst lakes as positive contributors to climate warming,' said lead researcher Dr Katey Walter Anthony, associate research professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Institute of Northern Engineering.

'It is true that they do warm climate by strong methane emissions when they first form, but on a longer-term scale, they switch to become climate coolers because they ultimately soak up more carbon from the atmosphere than they ever release.'

The researchers observed that roughly 5,000 years ago, thermokarst lakes in ice-rich regions of North Siberia and Alaska began cooling, instead of warming the atmosphere.

'While methane and carbon dioxide emissions following thaw lead to immediate radiative warming, carbon uptake in peat-rich sediments occurs over millennial time scales,' the authors write.

They found that high rates of carbon absorption in lake sediments were stimulated by several factors including erosion and nutrient release from thawing permafrost.

'These lakes are being fertilised by thawing yedoma permafrost,' explained co-author Dr Miriam Jones, a research geologist for the US Geological Survey.

Yedoma is a type of permafrost that is rich in organic material, which means mosses and other plants flourish in the lakes.

This leads to increased carbon uptake rates that are among the highest in the world.

The study also revealed another major factor of this process: when the lakes drain, previously thawed organic-rich lake sediments re-freeze.

The new permafrost formation then stores a large amount of carbon processed in and under thermokarst lakes, as well as the peat that formed after lake drainage.

Researchers note that the new carbon storage is not forever, since future warming will likely start re-thawing some of the permafrost and release some of the carbon in it via microbial decomposition.

As roughly 30 per cent of global permafrost carbon is concentrated within 7 per cent of the permafrost region in Alaska, Canada and Siberia, this study's findings also renew scientific interest in how carbon uptake by thermokarst lakes offsets greenhouse gas emissions.


The News Media Now Reports All Weather as "Extreme"

By Alan Caruba

In a desperate effort to keep the global warming hoax alive even though it is now called “climate change”, the meteorologically challenged print and broadcast media is now declaring all weather “extreme” these days.

The Media Research Institute recently analyzed broadcast network transcripts between July 1, 2004 and July 1, 2005, along with those between July 1, 2013 and July 1, 2014. What it discovered was the network coverage of “extreme weather” had increased nearly one thousand percent!

As Sean Long reported, “during that time, extreme weather was frequently used by the networks to describe heat waves, droughts, tornadoes, hurricanes, and winter storms, and they often included the phrase in onscreen graphics or chyrons during weather stories.”

Thanks to Al Gore who continues to lie about global warming despite the fact that the Earth has been in a cooling cycle for seventeen years, the news media, print and broadcast, now substitutes its latest reincarnation, “climate change”, when reporting the weather. It’s worth noting that the weather is what is outside right now wherever you are and climate is something that is measured in decades and centuries.

The one thing you need to keep in mind is that every form of weather has been around for much of the Earth’s 4.5 billion years. Long before humans were blamed for causing it, they developed ways to adapt and survive, but tornadoes, hurricanes and floods, among other events, still kill humans with the same indifference to them that Mother Nature has always demonstrated.

Gore became a multi-millionaire based on the global warming scam and, along the way; the U.S. wasted an estimated $50 billion on alleged “research” whose sole purpose was to give credence to it. Too many scientists lined their pockets with taxpayer dollars and many government agencies increased their budgets while falsifying their findings.

The entertainment media got into the act by producing films such as Showtime’s “documentary series” called “Years of Living Dangerously.”  It has received two nominations for “Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series and Outstanding Writing for Nonfiction Programming.” Its executive producer, Joel Bach, said “Every day, more Americans are experiencing the devastating impacts of a warming world and we had to tell their story.” Except that the world is NOT warming.

The Showtime series featured those noted climatologists and meteorologists, Harrison Ford, Jessica Alba, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Matt Damon among others. The final episode featured President Obama whose climate lies rival Al Gore’s. “Science is science”, said the President. “And there is no doubt that if we burned all the fossil fuel that’s in the ground right now, that the planet’s going to get too hot and the consequences could be dire.”

The real dire consequences people around the world are encountering include frostbite and freezing to death.

In a June article in Forbes magazine, James Taylor, editor of The Heartland Institute's Environmental & Climate News, noted that “The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s most accurate, up-to-date temperature data confirm the United States has been cooling for at least a decade. The NOAA temperature data are driving a stake through the heart of alarmists claiming accelerating global warming.” The latest data support the longer cooling cycle that began around 1997.

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) recently announced that “The growing consequences of climate change are putting many of the country’s most iconic and historic sites at risk”, citing Ellis Island, the Everglades, Cape Canaveral and California’s Cesar Chavez National Monument. The UCS said that “we must work to minimize these risks in the future by reducing the carbon emissions that are causing climate change…” This is utter rubbish.

Called a “pollutant” by the Environmental Protection Agency, carbon dioxide is, along with oxygen, a natural gas that is vital to all life on Earth as the “food” on which all vegetation depends.

William Happer, the Cyrus Fogg Bracket Professor of Physics at Princeton University, told the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that “Our exhaled breath contains about 4% CO2. That is 40,000 parts per million or about 100 times the current atmospheric concentration. Our own primate ancestors evolved when the levels of atmospheric CO2 were about 1000 parts per million, a level that we will probably not reach by burning fossil fuels, and far above our current level of about 380 parts per million.”

The Earth would benefit from more, not less, CO2.

How concerned is the public? Not very. In May, a Gallup poll noted that Americans consider unemployment/jobs, government corruption, and the economy as the three “most important” problems facing the nation. “Just 3% of those surveyed listed the environment/pollution as America’s most important problem. From a list of thirteen problems, it was number twelve.

The news media will continue to misrepresent the weather and/or climate and those determined to keep us from accessing and using the USA’s vast reserves of coal, oil and natural gas will continue to lie about it. The good news is that a growing portion of the public no longer believes the three decades of lies.


Sheer speculation about GMOs

Another one of Rich Kozlovich's systematic replies to a Greenie loon

Mike Adams, who publishes Natural News and styles himself as the Health Ranger recently posted an article entitled, The Agricultural Holocaust explained: the 10 worst ways GMOs threaten humanity and our natural world on July 27, 2014.

The Health Ranger’s sixth complaint is that, “GMOs may have long-term unintended consequences on the environment”.  His logic is as follows:

"What happens when genetically engineered plants cross-pollinate with non-GMO plants and are then subjected to the random mutations of plant evolution?

No one knows because it's never been tested in the open world. Or, I should say, it's being tested right now on us all, in the world's largest genetic experiment ever conducted (without our consent, no less).

The problem in all this is that Mother Nature has a way of bringing about unintended consequences, even from well-meaning scientists. Is it possible that an artificial, genetically engineered trait could dominate future plant generations but begin to show a completely unintended physiological trait that scientists never intended? You bet it is. From Thalidomide to Fukushima, the world is full of examples of catastrophic consequences that scientists once swore could never happen."

First of all I’m not aware of any “random mutations” caused by GMO’s, and apparently neither is the Health Ranger since he didn’t list any.  Another lie of omission and another logical fallacy! He says this hasn’t been tested in the open world, and then states the world is an ongoing testing lab.  Did he really say that?  It can’t be both ways!

However, I can tell you absolutely what will happen to any of these plants if they were subjected to “random mutations”, or mutations of any kind.  First of all, if this was an issue of plant evolution as he speculates, it would be meaningless because evolutionary theory requires millions of years and an untold number of mutations before any meaningful change would take place.  However, in the real world versus the theoretical world, 99 out of 100 mutations are harmful, and about 20 out of the 99 are lethal.  Ergo, those that survived would not last long in the real world and thus have no impact on anything, because only those things that survive and thrive affect their surrounding environment.  And why exactly is that bad?

I often see ec0-activists claiming that DDT “destroyed whole ecosystems”.  I have yet to see anyone tell me which ecosystem was destroyed.  I have yet to see anyone who can actually define an ecosystem.  Let’s try and understand that these so-called ecosystems can’t be destroyed.  Ecosystems change, that’s not destruction.  Too little water, too much water, too much heat, too much cold, and the plants and animals that populated that are will cease existance in an area and will be replaced with different animals and plants.  That’s not destruction - that’s change - and that’s gone on throughout Earth’s history.

As for defining an ecosystem; the only legitimate ecosystem is the planet itself, and the environmental variations are extreme.  Everything else is a temporary environment that’s subject to change to the detriment of some species and the benefit of others.

When products are released for use to the public - that is the final testing ground for every new product there is.  Whether it’s paint, cars, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, shampoo or baby formula!  Since GMO's have been used extensively for decades we can definitively state - GMO’s have been seriously tested worldwide and none of his speculations have any foundation in reality.

So what is foundational logic for the views expressed by eco-activists?  As is always the case they make unwarranted claims via speculative questions, spew out logical fallacies, lies of omission, lies of commission and freely make use of weasel words such as – “this may occur”, or “is it possible”, or “could dominate” which is purely speculatory, but raises concerns in people’s minds.  All of which is an appeal to the Precautionary Principle, an irrational concept that demands we “must” prove something is safe before it can be used. If the world had adopted the Precautionary Principle in 1850 we wouldn’t have electricity – because we know electricity isn’t safe.

Since there is no foundational evidence for their claims for harm, which is presented in the form of questions.   This is an attempt to put the ball in someone else’s court for answers they know can't be supplied because – as I have said before, and it gets a bit tiring saying it – they’re demanding someone prove a negative.  Can’t be done.

Are there unintended or even undesirable consequences with technology old and new?  Of course! We live in a risk versus benefit world.  Every new advancement will have negative potentials - which eco-activists harp on constantly - but they never evaluate the consequences of not adopting new technology.

Perhaps they're needing help to achieve clarity? Well then, here it is!

All these amazing modern technological agricultural advancements of the twentieth and twenty first centuries have benefitted humanity far beyond anything medieval mankind ever dreamed of, including average life spans of 70 and even 80 years in some areas of the world.   Admittedly, medical science has made amazing progress during that same time frame, but there's two things the most amazing medical wonders ever devised can't cure - malnutrition and starvation!  That falls under the purview of pesticides and GMO's and those who utilize that technology.


Wind Turbines & White Elephants

Following the story about the Welsh Govt’s £48K wind turbine in Aberystwyth, which has only produced £5 worth of electricity in the last five years, readers have sent me some more examples of wasted money.

1) Dover

Dover Express report:

THE much-trumpeted £90,000 wind turbine installed outside the council offices has generated just a tenth of the energy it should have done, the Express can reveal.

"The 17-metre machine, erected outside the Dover District Council headquarters in Whitfield, was supposed to generate 45,000 kW hours per year, producing 7 per cent of the electricity used in the offices.

But the Express can reveal that just 22,080 kWhrs has been generated in total since November 2007 – less than 4,500 kWhrs per year.

Critics have called the project a "white elephant", but the authority has defended the scheme and said it has "raised the profile" of renewable energy by educating people across the district."

At 15 pence/KWh, the value of electricity produced is just £675 pa. Assuming (very generously!) no maintenance or interest charges, the payback is 133 years!

Interestingly, the paper reports:

"Responding to a Freedom of Information Act request about costs and savings six months after the grant-funded turbine was installed, DDC said at the time: "It should save 45,000 kWhrs per year, producing 7 per cent of the electricity used in the offices."

But, this week, it appeared to backtrack from the numbers, saying the 45,000 kWhrs figure was the upper limit it could generate and was only achievable with constantly favourable wind speeds and direction.

A spokesman said: "The 45,000 kWhrs quoted is the optimum generation – in order to achieve this, the wind speed would always need to be at the maximum speed that the turbine could operate safely in, and the wind direction would always have to be favourable"

Confusion between capacity and output is commonplace. Did the council get its sums wrong in the first place? Or did they knowingly waste £90K of ratepayers money, just to “raise the profile of renewable energy?

2) Derby

We then have the story from the Derby Telegraph of two turbines owned by Severn Trent Water, which have yet to produce any power, despite being ready last December.

The reason? They interfere with the radar at nearby East Midlands Airport.

They are now waiting for the airport to install new radar equipment to “ensure that the airport can operate safely”. I wonder who will pay for that?

3) Milton Keynes

It gets worse, as the Milton Keynes Citizen reports!

"Three costly wind turbines built in the grounds of a school are now to be dismantled – after allegedly generating just £3.67 worth of electricity in NINE years.

Milton Keynes Council paid £170,000 for the giant turbines at Oakgrove School at Middleton .

But shortly after the school opened in 2005, the structures were switched off for health and safety reasons due to a manufacturing defect.

A source told the Citizen: “It all seems to be an extraordinary waste of money. None of it is the fault of the school itself – they’ve just been stuck with these huge things that have proved useless.”

The turbines were provided by a German company which has since gone into liquidation, leaving the council unable to get compensation

4) Hinckley

The Hinckley Times have the story of the £40K turbine at North Warwickshire and Hinckley College, which has used more electricity than it has generated.

"An eco-friendly wind turbine installed to save energy at a Hinckley college has been labelled a “disaster” after revelations it has expended more power than it has produced.

In its three year lifespan the 31.5ft turbine – thought to have a price tag of around £40,000 – has turned only 8% of the time and has not created electricity but used enough to run an energy hungry household for two years.

When installed on the roof of the new North Warwickshire and Hinckley college campus on Lower Bond Street in September 2011, education chiefs lauded it as part of their commitment to embed sustainability across all college activities and a weapon in the fight to cut carbon emissions by 35% within four years.

But since its set up the vertical axis blades of the turbine have only been spinning for 8% of the time and only been working for 38% – during the remaining 62% of the time, because of its settings, conditions have been ‘unsuitable’ – ie the wind at 5m/s, a fresh breeze – has been deemed too strong and it switches off.

This means the device has used 497 kHw more than it has made – enough to run a fridge for a year, a microwave daily for half-an-hour for two years and a tumble drier daily for six months."

Figures from the college show (based on the average price of a kHw at 17p) the turbine has used £1,730 worth of electricity, twice the annual bill of a high energy usage household.

But what the hell? As was the case in Dover, it is apparently OK to waste taxpayers’ money, just to promote “sustainability”.

Andy Crowter, group director of facilities and estates at North Warwickshire and Hinckley College, said:

”The turbine is not there primarily to create income but to promote sustainability – one of the most important challenges facing the UK. The turbine is a symbol of the college’s awareness of its environmental responsibilities, an icon of good practice to its students and recognition of the college’s award winning Carbon Reduction Plan. “

5) Canada

And it’s not just in Britain, as the National Post report:

"Several Prince Edward Island rinks that were convinced to make the expensive conversion to wind power, but never saw the promised savings, are now trying to get rid of the trouble-plagued turbines and win compensation for their troubles.

“We went into debt to purchase this windmill on the promise that it would make us money and it would help us with our power costs,” said Tom Albrecht, vice-president of the South Shore Actiplex in Crapaud, P.E.I., which spent $70,000 and received another $230,000 from the federal and provincial governments to install a turbine.

“The bottom line is buy us out and give us our money back.”

Last week, the Wind Energy Institute of Canada apparently decided to shut down turbines at at least some of the rinks, as it worked through technical problems, according to Darin Craig, past president of the South Shore Actiplex board.

More HERE  (See the original for links)

Australia: Self-righteous Greens must obey law

"IF you are going to steal," they say in America, "steal big." Jonathan Moylan did just that: by issuing a fraudulent ANZ press release claiming the bank had withdrawn its support from the Maules Creek mining project, he knocked $300 million off the market capitalisation of Whitehaven Coal.

But far from imposing the maximum penalty for market ­manipulation of 10 years in jail, the NSW Supreme Court has now let him off with a gentle slap on the wrist, releasing him from a sentence of 20 months’ imprisonment in exchange for $1000 and a two-year good behaviour period.

Moylan, you see, is a green; and although “the market was manipulated, vast amounts of shares were unnecessarily traded and some investors lost their investment entirely”, the court concluded leniency was warranted, as the anti-coal activist, who has a long string of trespass offences to his name, did not act for or obtain a personal financial gain.

No, Moylan wasn’t motivated by a thirst for yachts, fast cars and the company of starlets. He gets his kicks dreaming of a world without coal.

But if fanaticism excuses crime, are jihadists now entitled to issue misleading financial information about Jewish-owned companies in their quest for the global ­caliphate?

Or is there one law for the zealots of Gaia and another for everyone else?

Moylan was hardly unaware that he was committing a crime. On the contrary, immediately before issuing the fraudulent press release, he downloaded the relevant legislation, which specifies that the maximum penalty for the offence of market manipulation was doubled in 2010, reflecting the harm fraud does to investors and to public confidence in the financial system.

But Moylan was convinced that “change doesn’t happen without people taking risks”; so he methodically prepared his crime, creating a false web address with the ANZ’s name, analysing previous ANZ market announcements, illegally copying the ANZ logo, and identifying the names and phone numbers of the ANZ officers listed on press releases of investor information.

He also studied the impact that market developments had had on Whitehaven’s share price, found its share price to be “volatile” and concluded that Whitehaven’s “current profit margin is paper thin”. It must have been obvious to him that his false press release could cause chaos.

And indeed it did. On the day of his fraud, trading in Whitehaven shares was three times greater than it had typically been, as panic-stricken small investors and managed funds liquidated their holdings, taking heavy losses.

Nor did Moylan try to prevent the chaos once it started to unfold. Masquerading as an employee of the ANZ to a journalist who phoned the number he had given, his first reaction was to try to bluff his way through. It was only when it became clear that the press ­release was a hoax that he fronted up, and even then he continued to lie, including to callers from the ANZ itself.

Yes, once he was uncovered, Moylan confessed; but the evidence against him was overwhelming. It is also true that he subsequently apologised to the ­investors he harmed. But as the court found, until sentencing loomed, “many of the earlier expressions of remorse were somewhat qualified”, and he has never expressed regret for the damage to the ANZ’s reputation and to Whitehaven Coal itself. Instead, he blamed the media for not spotting the fraud more quickly and submitted that “the journalists more than the offender ought to be held to account for the ultimate effect on the market”.

Moreover, Moylan is no Nelson Mandela: lacking the moral courage to take responsibility for his actions, he “chose not to give evidence at the sentencing proceedings”, preventing “his understanding and expectations” of how the market works from being ­tested.

This was, in short, “offending attended with a considerable degree of planning and premeditation”, whose consequence in terms of “actual damage was considerable”, undertaken in full knowledge of the penalties by a well-educated man who “has been prepared to break the law on a number of occasions”.

Sure, he sought “to further the causes in which he believes”. And he is, no doubt, full of “passion and concern for social justice”. But he committed the serious crime of fraud, using “thorough planning so that at least in the short term the recipients of the false media release would believe the truth of what was contained within it”.

The leniency therefore not only adds insult to the injury Moylan’s victims suffered; it also suggests an abhorrent double standard, in which the self-­appointed guardians of the planet are shielded from the law’s full force.

Yet it would be wrong to blame the court alone. Rather, its decision reflects an environment in which, day after day, the Greens, led by Christine Milne, paint mining coal as a crime, thus legitimising those who, having failed to convince voters of their cause, descend into illegality to prevent mining occurring. And it is merely the latest incident in which the greens and their fellow-travellers celebrate actions, such as those of the Sea Shepard, which flaunt a disregard for legalities.

But to have one law for the greens and another for everyone else is to have no law at all. If that is where we are, then our clocks, like Baudelaire’s, should have their hands removed and bear the legend “it is too late”. Too late for thought; but not too late for stupidity so grievous as to slow the rotation of the earth. Too late for honesty; but not too late for the shrill arrogance of the self-righteous. And worst of all, too late for justice, which, no longer blind, has been struck deaf and dumb.



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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