Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Greenpeace will be remembered in history as monsters

Irrational opposition to "Golden" rice

Heartland Daily Podcast – Hal Doiron: Retired NASA Scientist, The Right Climate Stuff

In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, Managing Editor of Environment and Climate News H. Sterling Burnett speaks with retired NASA scientist Hal Doiron. Doiron, fresh back from his trip to the Pope’s climate conference in Rome, joins Burnett to discuss his time at NASA and how his views on the climate change debate took shape.

Doiron has a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Houston. As a young scientist Doiron joined NASA, developing the software for the Apollo Lunar landing module. He also worked on the Skylab Program and the mars rover “curiosity.” In 2012, his experience with complex systems dynamic simulation models used for safety-critical applications, led him to organize The Right Climate Stuff (TRCS) Research Team of more than 25 NASA Apollo Program veterans, in an independent, objective review of the global warming issue. Doiron discusses why his team of space scientists disagree with the claim that humans are causing dangerous climate change. Their work finds that any influence on temperature from human CO2 emissions will be minimal. He also discusses his disappointment that climate realists were not included as advisors to the Pope at the Vatican conference. He called it a dog and pony show with a predetermined alarmist conclusion.

SOURCE (Podcast at link)

Who would have guessed it? Green studies indoctrinate not educate

I would have loved to be there when Brown University environmental studies student Jaqueline Ho suddenly realised that the course she had (presumably) forked out oodles of cash for was not actually an education at all. It turned out to be just a very expensive brainwashing exercise. Can you imagine the look on her face?

"At Brown, ideas first planted by [Bill] McKibben were reinforced in courses where she read classics by Aldo Leopold and Garrett Hardin, along with recent books by Van Jones and Elizabeth Kolbert.

With these authors anchoring her understanding, it was easy for Ho to believe about climate change “that fossil fuel corporations were to blame, that we had a suite of low-carbon technologies we could deploy immediately, and that grassroots solutions held promise,” she recalls.

Yet only after taking an upper-level political science course on renewable energy and completing a summer fellowship with the Breakthrough Institute, an environmental think tank, was Ho introduced to alternative ways of thinking about climate change as a social problem and the possible solutions."

There are other ways of thinking about a problem! Who would have thought it?! Really though, you have to feel sorry for children who are indoctrinated throughout their school and university careers and only once they get into the wide world do they start to realise what has been done to them. Ms Ho's response to this horrible realisation has been admirable:

"Motivated by her experience, in [a] recent study, Ho and Eric Kennedy (a doctoral student at Arizona State University) analyzed 22 syllabi from introductory environmental studies courses taught at top-ranked North American research universities and liberal arts colleges. They recorded course descriptions, objectives, activities, and readings according to specific themes, topics, and perspectives.

Of the 22 syllabi assessed, less than half explicitly mentioned the importance of critical thinking or exposing students to competing perspectives. Only 10 made any reference to the fact that even among those advocating for action to address a problem like climate change, there are competing narratives about the major societal challenges, the possible technological solutions, and the political strategies needed.

Instead, in most cases, diverging views on climate change were defined relatively simplistically in terms of the clash between mainstream scientists and the false claims of climate “deniers.”"

Yes indeed. You wonder whether the students could sue the universities for fraud.


Government Deploys Bogus Science to Quash Business

Back in December of 2012 we noted federal government efforts, headed by then Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, to eliminate a longstanding oyster farm on the California coast, even though the small operation caused no environmental damage and kept 30 people employed. The Sierra Club and California Senator Barbara Boxer applauded Salazar’s move, but Senator Dianne Feinstein decried a flawed review process that advanced “false and misleading science.” As Michael Bastach observed in the Daily Caller, the government continued to deploy false science for the same destructive purpose.

The federal National Park Service charged that the Drakes Bay Oyster Company, which had operated in the Point Reyes National Seashore for decades, was to blame for an 80 percent decline in the local population of harbor seals. Park Service bosses also blamed the farm, operated by Ken Lunny and his family, for upsetting the ecological balance of Drakes Estero. These charges turned out to be completely false, but the agency continued to make false claims. It used data from a sixty-year-old study from the Sea of Japan, and substituted jet-ski noise from New Jersey for the impact of Lunny’s small outboard motors.

Mr. Lunny told the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations that the National Park Service “engaged in a taxpayer-funded enterprise of corruption to run our small business out of Point Reyes.” It falsified data, but “no one has apologized” for doing so. Lunny appealed to higher-ups at the agency and finally took the matter to the Secretary of the Interior.

“No one, at any level, was willing to admit that false science was being used against us,” he testified.

The inspector general of the Interior Department found misconduct, but as Bastach notes, the IG “was powerless to stop Parks Service officials from attacking Lunny’s business.” An axis of false science and regulatory zealotry forced the family to shut down.

This “unconscionable” action, as Mr. Lunny called it, confirms that the federal government is too big, too abusive, and far too unaccountable.


£5,000 green car grant could go after British Government says it will review subsidy

A £5,000 subsidy for motorists wanting to go 'green' with an electric car could be phased out imminently, according to motoring groups.

The Government has said it will be reviewing the level of grants for ultra-low-emission vehicles over the coming months to avoid 'exhausting the budget too quickly'.

It is likely to spark a rush of orders for plug-in cars before any changes from the shake-up come into effect, according to the RAC Foundation. Over 25,000 claims have been made since the grant was introduced four years ago in a bid to spark a boom in emission-free cars.

The latest electric car grant eligilbiity guidance from the Government's 'Office for Low Emissions Vehicles' spells out: 'In May 2015 we will commence a review of plug in grant levels. 'Following this review, new levels of grant will be available per category. We will communicate the changes as soon as they are agreed.'

The Government said: 'We will announce the new grant levels following our market review, which we will start in May.  'We will be observing the market over the next few months so we can set the grants at a level that will support the market as effectively as possible without exhausting the budget too quickly.

For customers ordering an electric or ulta-low emissions vehicle during the 'transition period', the Office for Low Emissions Vehicles says: ' The date that the dealership enters the claim onto our online claim system determines whether the terms of the current scheme or the new scheme will apply.'

Ministers first hinted at a phasing out of the subsidies back in September 2013 but insisted that support in some form would continue until 2020.

But a scathing report by the Commons Transport Select Committee in 2012 said the £5,000 subsidies were doing little more than 'subsidising second cars for affluent households.'

Explaining the reasons for the latest changes, the Government' s new report says: 'Since the plug-in car grant scheme began in 2011, over 25,000 claims have been made and there are now a wide range of vehicles eligible for the grant. In April 2013, we committed to retain the £5,000 grant until 50,000 claims had been made.'

It said £200 million has been made available to continue the plug-in car grant from 2015 to 2020, but stressed: 'We are keen to ensure that the funding is effectively targeted towards supporting the ultra low emission vehicle (ULEV) market.

'The technology in the vehicles, and number of models available, has developed considerably since the technical requirements for the scheme were set, almost 5 years ago.'

Therefore it noted From 1 April 2015 it is introducing three grant categories for cars, differentiating between ULEVs on the basis of their CO2 emissions and their zero emission range.

The Government says: ' The cap will remain at £5,000 for all cars, regardless of which category they are in, until further notice.'

However, that is likely to change after the review, say motoring groups.  The RAC Foundation said: 'Just as the plug-in car grant is becoming successful, government is thinking of pulling the plug or at least changing the rules, with a review taking place this month.'

Its director Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: 'Millions of drivers will be utterly confused as to what car to buy next. Diesels are in the doghouse because of the air quality issue and now those thinking of going ultra-green are faced with the possibility of paying more than they bargained for unless they move quickly.'


Sydney without an airport — welcome to the fantasy world of the Australian Greens

By Anthony Albanese, Labor Party spokesman for infrastructure, transport, cities and tourism

One of the advantages of representing a minor political party is that because you aren’t trying to win government, you never have to deliver on your promises.

But that fact should not excuse politicians from minor parties from offering genuine, workable solutions to policy challenges facing the community.

Increasingly, minor parties in this country and overseas are crafting opportunist and negative election positions rather than proposing solutions.

So it is with the Greens and their approach to the commonwealth’s plan to build a second Sydney airport at Badgerys Creek. The NSW Greens oppose the development of the Badgerys Creek airport, but they also want to close the existing Kingsford Smith airport and build a new airport at an imaginary, unnamed site outside the Sydney basin, which they would connect to the city by high-speed rail. If this were put in place, Sydney would be the only global city without an airport. It’s the stuff of fantasy. It has no place in the world of serious policy debate. Yet this has been Greens policy for the whole of this century.

One on one, realistic Greens party members acknowledge this is not practical. Yet the policy remains and enables the party to campaign for zero impact of aviation activity anywhere, despite the fact modern aviation is a driver of economic activity.

The community has the right to expect that serious parties come to the table with ideas capable of implementation, not just complaints.

Regrettably, the Greens have given up serious participation in the decades-long debate about Sydney’s aviation needs.

They have not been prepared to step back from the local political ­angles, to consider the bigger picture and the broader economic and strategic national interest.

The Badgerys Creek airport will create thousands of jobs for the people of western Sydney. It will provide a huge boost not only for the economy of NSW but for the entire nation. The issues involved require ­serious consideration from ­politicians.

Before the Abbott government’s decision to proceed with construction of the Badgerys Creek airport, the former Labor government examined whether there were other options. The research identified the only possible alternative airport site at Wilton, but it was a higher cost and an inferior site to Badgerys Creek, where the Hawke Labor government had already purchased the land and put in place strict environmental controls.

The Greens opposed Wilton, too. In the light of this, their proposal to banish Sydney’s airport to an unnamed site and to link it to the city with a high-speed rail line cannot be taken seriously.

The comprehensive study into the plan to build a high-speed rail line from Brisbane to Melbourne via Sydney and Canberra found that 67km of tunnelling in Sydney would be necessary for it to operate. It’s a serious project worthy of support. But, like any major infrastructure project, high-speed rail would affect communities along the route. Tunnels require ­exhausts. Construction creates ­inconvenience.

Delivering high-speed rail, just like building the Badgerys Creek airport, will require explanation of the benefits and broad support across the political spectrum.

Indeed, it is likely that the challenges of high-speed rail construction will create issues over a far wider area than the second airport.

In short, it will require political representatives to act on principle rather than seek to exploit local communities’ fear of change for political gain. Given the Greens’ record on opposing a second Sydney airport, opposing the Moorebank Intermodal, which will take freight off trucks and on to rail, as well as ­opposing safety upgrades to the Pacific Highway, it would be remarkable if they did not confect reasons to oppose high-speed rail in practice.

When it comes to economic infrastructure, the Greens are political opportunists.



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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