Tuesday, April 14, 2015

New Video from Prof. Murry Salby

He was fired from his university job for pointing out holes in the global warming story

It's a bit technical but very thorough.  Another comment below:

Highly informative, if scientifically complex, answers to the question why why and by how much the atmospheric  CO2 (carbon dioxide) budget is increasing were contained in a lecture just given in London by Professor Murry Salby. The lecture has been very well captured on video, illustrated by comprehensive (and comprehensible) charts and graphs, and posted to YouTube. It runs to 1 hr 40 minutes, and is worthy every second of it. (We are hoping to be able to post in the near future, a layman-friendly summary of Professor Salby's findings that very little of the atmospheric CO2 budget can be blamed on human activity).

The Salby story here

The Obama climate monarchy

Using the EPA, CEQ and other federal agencies to fundamentally transform America

Paul Driessen

ISIS terrorists continue to butcher people while hacking into a French television network. Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons remains on track. In a nation of 320 million people, American businesses hired only 126,000 workers in March, amid a pathetic 62% labor participation rate. Wages and incomes are stagnant.

And yet President Obama remains fixated on one obsession: dangerous manmade climate change. He blames it for everything from global temperatures that have been stable for 18 years, to hurricanes that have not made US landfall for nearly 9.5 years, and even asthma and allergies. He is determined to use it to impose energy, environmental and economic policies that will “fundamentally transform” our nation.

He launched his war on coal with a promise that companies trying to build new coal-fired power plants would go bankrupt; implemented policies that caused oil and gas production to plunge 6% on federal lands, even as it rose 60% on state and private lands; proclaimed that he will compel the United States to slash its carbon dioxide emissions 28% below 2005 levels by 2025, and 80% by 2050; and wants electricity prices to “necessarily skyrocket.” His Environmental Protection Agency has led the charge.

EPA has targeted power plants that emit barely 3% of all mercury in US air and water, saying this will prevent IQ losses of an undetectable “0.00209 points.” On top of its recent “Clean Power Plan,” EPA is taking over what used to be state roles, demanding that states meet CO2-reduction mandates by reorganizing the “production, distribution and use of electricity.” The agency justifies this latest power grab through a tortured 1,200-page reinterpretation of a 290-word section of the Clean Air Act.

The injuries, abuses and usurpations have become too numerous to count, and involve nearly every federal agency – as the President seeks to make the states and Executive and Judicial Branches irrelevant in his new monarchical “do as I tell you, because I say so, or else” system of government.

Now even the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is getting involved, by dramatically retooling the 1970 National Environmental Policy Act. NEPA requires that federal agencies consider the impacts of their significant decision-making actions on “the quality of the human environment,” anytime they issue permits for projects, provide government funding or conduct the projects themselves.

The law has avoided many needless impacts but has also enabled activists to delay or block projects they oppose on ideological grounds. The new White House/CEQ “guidelines” were issued on Christmas Eve 2014, to minimize public awareness and response. They require that federal agencies henceforth consider potential impacts on climate change, whenever they provide permits, approvals or funding for any federal, state or private sector projects, on the assumption that such projects will always affect Earth’s climate.

Problems with the new diktats are far too numerous for a single article, but several demand discussion.

First, CEQ uses US carbon dioxide emissions as proxy for climate change. This assumes CO2 is now the dominant factor in climate and weather events, and all the powerful natural forces that ruled in past centuries, millennia and eons are irrelevant. It presumes any increases in US “greenhouse gases” correlate directly with national and global climate and weather events, and any changes will be harmful. It also considers emissions from China and other countries to be irrelevant to any agency calculations.

Second, CEQ employs the same “social cost of carbon” analyses that other agencies are using to justify appliance, vehicle and other efficiency and emission standards. This SCC assessment will now examine alleged international harm up to 300 years in the future, from single project emissions in the United States, despite it being impossible to demonstrate any proximate relationship between asserted global climate changes and any US project emissions (which are generally minuscule globally).

Moreover, the entire SCC analysis is based on arbitrary, fabricated, exaggerated and manipulated costs, with no benefits assigned or acknowledged for using hydrocarbons to improve, safeguard and save countless lives – or for the role that rising atmospheric carbon dioxide plays in improving crop and other plant growth, thereby feeding more people, greening our planet and bolstering wildlife habitats.

Third, the expensive, time-consuming, useless, impossible exercise is made even more absurd by CEQ’s proposed requirement that agencies somehow calculate the adverse global climatic impacts of any federally approved project that could emit up to 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide or its equivalents per year. A single shopping mall, hospital or stretch of busy highway could meet this threshold – triggering endless “paralysis by analysis,” environmentalist litigation, delays and cost overruns.

Fourth, CEQ also wants agencies to somehow evaluate “upstream” and “downstream” emissions. In cases reviewing highway or hospital projects, this would entail examining emissions associated with mining, processing, shipping and using cement, steel, other building materials and heavy equipment before and during construction – and then assessing emissions associated with people and goods that might conceivably be transported to or from the facility or along the highway following construction.

CEQ likewise wants project proponents to offset these alleged impacts with equally spurious mitigation projects, which will themselves by subjected to still more analyses, contention, litigation and delays.

Fifth, the proposed CEQ guidelines would supposedly evaluate any and all adverse impacts allegedly caused by climate changes supposedly resulting from fossil fuel use and CO2 emissions. But they do not require federal agencies to assess harms resulting from projects delayed or blocked because of the new climate directives. Thus agencies would endlessly ponder rising seas and more frequent and/or severe hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and droughts that they might attribute to particular projects.

However, they would not consider the many ways people would be made less safe by an analytical process that results in more serious injuries and deaths, when highway improvements, better levees and other flood protections, modern hospitals and other important facilities are delayed or never built.

Nor has CEQ factored in the roles of ideologically motivated anti-development bureaucrats in the federal agencies – or the ways Big Green campaigns and lawsuits are sponsored by wealthy far-left foundations, Russian money laundered through a Bermuda law firm, and even grants from the government agencies.

Sixth, in many cases, the CEQ rules could actually be counterproductive even to the Administration’s purported energy and environmental goals. Its war on coal is intended to replace coal mines and power plants with “more climate-friendly” natural gas. However, CEQ’s new guidelines for methane and carbon dioxide could delay or prevent leasing, drilling, fracking, production, pipelining and export of new gas. That would hardly seem a desirable outcome – unless the real purpose is to keep fossil fuels in the ground, increase energy prices, compel a faster transition to unreliable wind and solar power, cause more brownouts and blackouts, destroy jobs, reduce living standards, and keep more people dependent on government welfare and thus likely to vote Democrat.

NEPA is supposed to improve the overall “quality of the human environment,” and thus human health and welfare. That means all its components, not merely those the President and his Executive Branch agencies want to focus on, as they seek to use climate change to justify shutting down as much fossil fuel use as possible, in an economy that is still 82% dependent on hydrocarbons.

The CEQ and White House violate the letter, spirit and intent of NEPA when they abuse it to protect us from exaggerated or imaginary climate risks decades from now – by hobbling job creation, families, human health and welfare, and environmental quality tomorrow. That their actions will impact poor, minorities and working classes most of all makes the CEQ proposal even more pernicious.

When will our Congress, courts and state legislatures step up to the plate, do their jobs, and rein in this long Train of Abuses and Usurpations?

Via email.

Science and power

A fascinating speech by New Zealand chemist Nicola Gaston on the subject of scientists relationship to the public reveals someone who is thinking deeply about the trials and tribulations of public funded scientists and the role that power plays. I don't think she is quite there, but this certainly represents a step forward.

Gaston notes firstly that politicians have power over scientists in a way that often prevents the latter from speaking freely, but then moves on to consider the power that scientists have over the public:

"[T]he use of expertise — or rather, the misuse of academic status as a proxy for expertise on a particular question of public interest, is an exercise of power. The exercise of such power is at its most blatant when it happens along the lines of ‘trust me, I’m a scientist’ and at its most useful when the scientist involved is willing to explain the science. But there is always a power dynamic in any form of science communication, and understanding that has to be a prerequisite to doing it well.
Of course this is precisely the dynamic that the Manns and the Maslins and their "supporters in higher places" have been seeking to exploit since the very beginning."

The use of science as a battering ram to achieve political ends is a worrying development, but not really one than Gaston's talk touches on. This is a pity because she expresses concern about scientists receiving unwelcome attention from politicians:

"Climate scientists have previously been subject to interference from the right of the political spectrum (e.g. the Attorney General of Virginia’s 2010 investigation of the research behind the Hockey Stick, under the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act); it is a relatively recent development that now sees democratic senators digging into the funding of scientists who have published work critical of some work on climate change, among them, Roger Pielke himself."

Such tactics, she says, "hollow out the reasonable middle ground". But the problem is that if political action is going to be demanded on the basis of scientific findings then the standards of openness that science has previously accepted are no longer going to be adequate. If public policy measures are going to be demanded then the public have a right to have these demands examined in forensic detail. The argument that FOI should not apply to scientists' data and correspondence in the way it applies to other civil servants is, to put it bluntly, risible. Does anyone seriously expect Republican and Conservative politicians to roll over and accept that science demands the widespread adoption of socialism without being able to examine or question the alleged evidence? Are we really arguing that science should become a way of sidestepping the democratic process and that scientists should not be accountable to the public that pays their salaries?

Make no mistake, that is what the scientivists want.


UK: Scrap the Climate Change Act

Researcher and writer Ben Pile says the CCA is the worst example of how politicians have distanced government from democracy

It might be easy to imagine that scepticism towards claims that we face catastrophic climate change would be the main reason anybody could object to the Climate Change Act 2008 (CCA). But that would be a mistake.

The CCA was passed in the House of Commons by an overwhelming majority. Just five MPs voted against its second reading. Eager to appear as planet-savers, MPs were united by a cross-party consensus in which the various parties endeavoured to outbid each other in the scale of mandatory emissions reductions they demanded.

This absurd game of politics-by-numbers concluded with the Liberal Democrats promising to abolish the petrol engine and nuclear power, and to make the UK carbon neutral by 2050. The days of cheap energy were over, they proudly declared. One reason for objecting to the CCA, then, is that it epitomises the worst excesses of consensus politics: utter indifference to and divorce from the needs of everyday life.

The CCA mandated the creation of an expert panel to decide what the UK’s carbon emissions should be – the Committee on Climate Change. But, like most quangos, its bureaucrats were more interested in their own political ambitions than the public’s needs. Bemoaning the lack of popular support for climate policies, one CCC member, Professor Julia King, remarked that ‘we have a very selfish population’, and that enforcing ‘behaviour change’ should be a major part of the government’s strategy.

Rather than finding technological solutions to climate change, King and others wanted to engineer obedience. The second reason for objecting to the CCC is that it allows technocrats to serve themselves, and legitimises their high-minded hostility to the public.

But the main reason to object to the CCA is that it reflects the growing tendency to hide from criticism behind the comforting certainty of scientific objectivity. The CCA has been an expensive failure, but its critics were dismissed as climate-change deniers. The real objective of the CCA was not to save mankind from the weather, but to save an exhausted political establishment from the public, and from democracy.


Gavin Following In Jimmy’s Footsteps

James Hansen is famous for lying to the press, and his protege Gavin Schmidt is following in his footsteps.
“Long-term trends in Antarctic temperature are perhaps slightly rising over the continent as a whole, but are quite variable,” Schmidt told Live Science in an email

‘Freak Weather Event’ Sets Antarctic Heat Records
This is the exact opposite of what he published in a peer-reviewed paper in 2004.
ScreenHunter_07 Nov. 04 15.52

SVS Animation 3188 – Antarctic Heating and Cooling Trends
Shindell and Schmidt 2004

Shindell, D.T., and G.A. Schmidt 2004. Southern Hemisphere climate response to ozone changes and greenhouse gas increases. Geophys. Res. Lett. 31, L18209, doi:10.1029/2004GL020724.
While most of the Earth warmed rapidly during recent decades, surface temperatures decreased significantly over most of Antarctica.

Pubs.GISS: Abstract of Shindell and Schmidt 2004
Perhaps Antarctica has warmed since 2004, reversing the trend he reported in 2004? Gavin’s own data shows that hasn’t happened.

Data.GISS: GISS Surface Temperature Analysis
Satellites show that southernmost latitudes have been cooling for 35 years.
MSU_AMSU_Channel_tlt_Trend_Map_v03_3_1979_2014.730_450 (2)

RSS / MSU Data Images / Monthly
So why did Gavin tell the press that Antarctica is warming?


Put the acid on Great Barrier Reef doomsayers

By Patrick Moore (A co-founder and former leader of Greenpeace)

There is nothing more symbolic of the natural beauty of Australia than the Great Barrier Reef.

This makes it a powerful emotional tool to strike fear into the hearts of citizens. The “ocean acidification” hypothesis, that corals and shellfish will die due to higher levels of carbon dioxide dissolved in the sea, is often used to stoke those fears.

Here’s why I don’t believe there is a shred of evidence to support these claims.

When the slight global warming that occurred between 1970 and 2000 came to a virtual standstill, the doomsayers adopted ­“climate change”, which apparently means all extreme weather events are caused by human emissions of CO2.

Cold, hot, wet, dry, wind, snow and large hailstones are attributed to humanity’s profligate use of fossil fuels. But the pause in global warming kept on and became embarrassing around 2005.

Something dire was needed to prop up the climate disruption narrative. “Ocean acidification” was invented to provide yet another apocalyptic scenario, only this one required no warming or severe weather, just more CO2 in the atmosphere.

The story goes that as CO2 ­increases in the atmosphere the oceans will absorb more of it and this will cause them to become acidic — well, not exactly, but at least to become less basic. This in turn is predicted to dissolve the coral reefs and kill the oysters, clams, mussels and algae that have calcareous shells. It was named “global warming’s evil twin”.

Seawater in the open ocean is typically at a pH of 8.0-8.5 on a scale of 0-14, where 0 is the most acidic, 14 is most basic and 7 is ­neutral. Ocean acidification from increased CO2 is predicted to make the ocean less basic, perhaps to pH 7.5 under so-called worst-case projections.

How do I know that increased CO2 will not kill the coral reefs and shellfish? Let me count the ways.

* First, contrary to popular ­belief, at 400 parts per million (0.04 per cent), CO2 is lower now in the atmosphere than it has been during most of the 550 million years since modern life forms emerged during the Cambrian ­period. CO2 was about 10 times higher then than it is today.

Corals and shellfish evolved early and have obviously managed to survive through eras of much higher CO2 than present levels. This alone should negate the “predictions” of species extinction from CO2 levels nowhere near the historical maximum.

* Second, due to its high concentration of basic elements such as calcium and magnesium, sea­water has a powerful buffering ­capacity to prevent large swings in pH due to the addition of CO2.

This self-correcting capacity of seawater will ensure the pH will remain well within levels conducive to calcification, the process whereby shells and coral structures are formed. Marine shells are largely made of calcium carb­onate, the carbon of which is ­derived from the CO2 dissolved in the seawater.

* Third, and most interesting, there are freshwater species of clams and mussels that manage to produce calcareous shells at pH 4-5, well into the acidic range. They are able to do this because a mucous layer on their shell allows them to control the pH near the surface and to make calcification possible beneath the mucous layer.

The “ocean acidification” story depends only on a chemical hypo­thesis whereas biological factors can overcome this and create conditions that allow calcification to continue. This is corroborated by the historical record of millions of years of success in much higher CO2 environments.

* Fourth, ocean acidification proponents invariably argue that increased CO2 will also cause the oceans to warm due to a warming climate. Yet they conveniently ­ignore the fact that when water warms the gases dissolved in it tend to “outgas”.

It’s the same phenomenon that happens in a glass of cold water taken from the fridge and placed on a counter at room temperature. The bubbles that form on the ­inside of the glass as it warms are the gases that were dissolved in the colder water. So in theory a warmer sea will have less CO2 dissolved in it than a cooler one.

* Finally, it is a fact that people who have saltwater aquariums sometimes add CO2 to the water in order to increase coral growth and to increase plant growth. The truth is CO2 is the most important food for all life on Earth, including marine life. It is the main food for photosynthetic plankton (algae), which in turn is the food for the entire food chain in the sea.

For some reason, the proponents of catastrophic global warming ignore this fact. They talk of “carbon pollution” as if CO2 is a poison. If there were no CO2 in the global atmosphere there would be no life on this planet. Surely, that should be enough to permit questioning the certainty of those who demonise this essential molecule.

Many climate activists are telling us ocean acidification is decimating coral reefs and shellfish. Have they read the story of ­remote Scott Reef off Western Australia? The ARC Centre of ­Excellence for Coral Reef Studies reports that in a brief 15 years this huge reef recovered completely from massive bleaching in 1998. Reefs go through cycles of death and recovery like all ecosystems.

We are told CO2 is too high and we will suffer for it. Nothing could be further from the truth.

We should celebrate CO2 as the giver of life it is.



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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