Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Another Climate Prediction Fizzles: DC Climate Rally for Pope shrinks from expected 200,000 people to just ‘hundreds’

The hopes were so high back in August for a massive climate rally to support Pope Francis’ climate push. But reality has now sunk in

Climate Prediction: August 25, 2015: WaPo: "For Pope Francis’s D.C. visit, environmental rally of up to 200K planned’ – Several environmental groups are planning a major climate rally that will draw hundreds of thousands to the National Mall on Sept. 24, the day Pope Francis speaks to Congress and is expected to address the public afterwards. The permit for the gathering — which will make the moral case for reducing greenhouse gas emissions linked to global warming — is for 200,000 people. The Moral Action on Climate Network, along with the Earth Day Network, League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club and other groups, have timed the rally on the Mall the same day of the pope’s speech".

Reality: September 24, 2015: "Pope’s Visit To D.C. Inspires Hundreds To Rally For Climate’ Rally – ‘On Thursday morning — as Pope Francis prepared to make history by addressing Congress — hundreds of activists gathered on the National Mall. Holding signs, petitioning for signatures, and offering spirited remarks to an expectant crowd, the activists represented a spectrum of causes and religious denominations, from young evangelicals to Black Lives Matter leaders."


Understanding the Climate Science Boom

Like an economy, a scientific discipline can undergo periods of boom and bust. Is climate science experiencing an unsustainable boom? Certainly its growth has been astounding. Over the past 20 years, the number of scientific papers related to “anthropogenic climate change” has risen twelve-fold, according to a search using Google Scholar. But whether or not climate science will ultimately suffer a bust may depend on the causes of its surge. While several factors have contributed, the role of Big Players—namely, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and various government agencies that dole out huge sums as research grants—has been critical. It also raises a red flag.

One reason is that a change in the priorities, funding, or prestige of Big Players can turn a boom into a bust. But another reason may yield greater cause for concern, William N. Butos and Thomas J. McQuade explain in the Fall 2015 issue of The Independent Review. Although large organizations that set the direction for scientific inquiry or business activity can conceivably accelerate progress, their tremendous size and influence—and the way they interact with social phenomena such as opportunism and ideology—distorts the feedback loops that otherwise help make science and markets self-correcting processes.

Climate science may or may not be experiencing a bubble that will burst in the foreseeable future. But this uncertainty is beside the point. The major lesson, Butos and McQuade write, “is that in science, as in the economy, Big Players of any sort distort normal systemic activity, render the emergent outcomes unstable and unreliable, and create an ideal breeding ground for incentives that motivate ideologically biased people to circumvent normal constraints in the name of pursing a ‘greater good.’”


Hollywood Joins the Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement

I published an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer recently challenging the mindsets of student activists lobbying to force college administrators to purge coal and oil stocks from their investment portfolios.

Now, reportedly, but not surprisingly, Leonardo Di Caprio and a few other left-leaning Hollywood personalities are jumping on the divestment bandwagon. He, along with some like-minded individuals and organizations spearheaded by a shadowy special-interest group called “Divest Invest”, apparently believe (with fervent faith in “green” energy shared and perhaps envied by Pope Francis) that their actions will save the planet from destruction by greedy capitalists.

Insofar as today’s environmentalists adhere to a religion claiming humankind to be doomed unless something is done to lighten our collective carbon footprint, I may be on dangerous theological ground. But I am happy that Mr. DiCaprio is a least putting his money in his own proverbial mouth. Owing to the shale “fracking” revolution of the past decade, stocks in fossil fuel producers have fallen sharply. The divesters therefore stand to sustain capital losses on the equity shares they sell now or in the foreseeable future.

On the other hand, while climate-change believers see the environmental benefits of solar and wind farms once they are in place, they studiously ignore the rather substantial carbon footprints of manufacturing wind turbines and solar panel cells as well as of disposing of them at the ends of their useful lives.

Are wind-turbine factories powered by wind, or are solar-panel factories (many of which are located on China’s mainland) sun powered? I don’t think so. Moreover, some of the components of solar panel cells are toxic. One cannot simply bury them in the local landfill once worn out, even if that is 20 years in the future. Wind turbines also kill birds and roughly 1 million bats every year.

So, where do the stock divesters draw the line in the green energy supply chain? At the manufacturing stage, or at an earlier one at which the steel, aluminum or other critical inputs necessary to produce windmills and solar panels are made? At the mine, where iron ore and other mineral ores are extracted using fossil-fuel powered capital equipment? At the stage when factories are built and brought online? At the Middle Ages, when all humans were short-lived locovors? Or at the Garden of Eden?

Hollywood types and college students seem to think that wind turbines and solar panels are created out of thin air. They plainly are not conceived immaculately. Because renewable energy sources are not yet economically viable on commercial scales and would not be so even on more modest scales in the absence of taxpayer-financed subsidies, Mr. DiCaprio and his fellow divesters are posing as saviors of the planet by trying to impose their personal preferences on all other Americans and ignoring the production processes for their pet environmental solutions for global warming or other contributors to so-called climate change.

Although I am pleased that the divestors are paying personally to indulge those discriminatory preferences, as everyone in a free market must do, I question Mr. DiCaprio’s motives, among which is to sell tickets to the soon-to-be-released Revenant, to curry favor with fellow guests at Hollywood cocktail parties and to be invited to testify before starry-eyed members of congressional committees.

Assuming that Divest Invest and the managers of college endowment portfolios hold enough shares in oil and gas companies to matter, dumping them will lower share prices and create opportunities for non-politically correct investors to get back into the market on favorable terms. But remember that my investment advice carries no guarantee of positive future returns!


Big Green’s immorality

Is it moral to cause people to starve in Africa, because you prefer to burn corn for fuel here in America?

Is it moral to have as a goal to create regulations that drive energy and electricity costs up with the poor being disproportionately harmed?

Or, is it moral to invest and produce domestic energy that lowers energy costs for all, which obviates the need for burning food for fuel?

If you answered the latter, welcome to supporting the free enterprise approach to wealth creation that lifts all boats rather than the green agenda designed to exacerbate energy poverty around the world.

Over the course of the past five to seven years, America has been on the precipice of an unprecedented energy revolution that would drive costs for electricity down, creating a virtuous economic cycle fueled by increased manufacturing sector growth and the resulting high paying jobs.

The sticking point has been President Obama’s radical environmental regulatory agenda.  An agenda that is less about climate change, and more about fundamental economic transformation.  Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, stated as much when at a recent conference in Brussels she said, “This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution.”

When viewed through the rubric of this admission that climate regulations are really about displacing capitalism as the dominant economic system, then it is understandable why President Obama persists in pursuing limited value regulations that destroy America’s opportunity to maintain our position as the dominant economic power in the world.

Whether it be an oil pipeline running across the Canadian border, or the oil and natural gas miracle produced by ingenuity, private investment and hard work that has led to an abundance beyond any futurists imagination, to Obama and the radical greens, they are threats that must be stopped.

The immorality of choosing transformation to an economic system that thrives on the theft of both intellectual and personal property in order to give it to someone who is more politically favored over one that breeds good jobs and hope for people of all economic classes is obvious.

Yet, these greenies who worship at the altar of the goddess Gaia and justify spiking trees and jeopardizing lives to stop timbering, have somehow become perceived as the idealistically moral, while those who fight to preserve a system that has made America the greatest nation to ever exist on the earth are vilified.

It is Harold Hamm of Continental Resources, and others like him who have risked, cried and fought to find a way to extract oil and natural gas from shale at an affordable cost, bringing it to market and driving prices of energy down who are the heroes.

They have been the ones whose actions based upon a desire to make a profit, have stimulated the economy through less expensive gasoline and lower costs for natural gas fueled electricity generation.  The prime beneficiaries of these cost savings are millions of families who have not seen their wages go up for years, but now pay less for the gasoline in their car.

Unfortunately, it is these same families who have not benefitted from lower electricity bills, as Obama’s climate cops have forced more than 72 gigawatts of electricity to be taken off line, negating the energy supply advantage by destroying the electricity suppliers.

When a family needs to heat their home and wants to buy a wood burning stove, Obama’s EPA jihadists will have removed all but the most expensive alternatives from the marketplace due to a wood burning regulation.

And Obama’s power plant rule is expected to increase electricity costs by 16 percent in spite of our nation’s energy abundance with the poorest consumers bearing the brunt of the cost burden both in personal home heating and the lack of job opportunities as the manufacturing boom is stymied.

The green agenda is nothing more or less than an attack on America’s poorest citizens by those who envy our nation’s wealth and want to transfer it overseas, no matter who gets hurt.

This is the green immorality, and it is time that people recognize it as just that.


Time to Prosecute the EPA Like Any Other Company

Last month, the EPA caused a spill of toxic waste into the Animas River in Colorado. That event demonstrates that even the federal agency responsible for regulating the disposal of hazardous waste can make mistakes that lead to environmental contamination. It also proves that the federal government plays favorites in criminal environmental enforcement.

If private parties had been responsible for the spill, the odds are good that the federal government would have opened a criminal investigation. The government has prosecuted private companies and private parties for other negligent spills. Just ask Edward Hanousek.

A railroad roadmaster, Mr. Hanousek was responsible for a rock quarrying project at a site near the Skagway River in Alaska. One evening in 1994, while Mr. Hanousek was at home, a backhoe operator trying to remove rocks from a nearby railroad track hit a pipeline. The accident caused 1,000-5,000 gallons of heating oil to spill into the nearby river.

Mr. Hanousek was charged with criminal negligence under the Clean Water Act. He was convicted for the negligent discharge of oil and sentenced to six months in prison, another six months in a halfway house, and six more months of supervised release.

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If a 1,000- to 5,000-gallon spill into the Skagway River merited criminal prosecution, the EPA’s 3-million-gallon spill of toxic mine water into the Animas River spill justifies criminal prosecution, too.

But there is more. In past cases, the government has successfully argued that corporate officers and managers should be held liable for the misdeeds of subordinates even if the officers and managers had no hand in any illegal conduct.

The Justice Department persuaded courts to adopt the tort doctrine of “respondeat superior”—“let the master answer”—for the acts of his employees. Under that theory, the EPA administrator and regional director should be personally charged with the negligent discharge of hazardous waste.

Yet the Justice Department does not apply the same rules to private parties and government officials. The public should ask, “Why not?”

If private parties should be held criminally liable for negligent violations of the federal environmental laws, why not EPA employees? If a company president should be held liable for the misdeeds of the firm’s low-level personnel, why not the EPA administrator? The same rules should apply whether the responsible party works in the private sector or the public sector.

It should be no defense that senior EPA federal officials could not perform their supervisory duties if they must manage the day-to-day work of every subordinate. The same is true of a company’s president, and the federal government has not excused senior business officials on the theory that they cannot hold upper-level positions while doing a company’s lower-level work.

Even if the EPA administrator were too remote from this spill to be held responsible, that conclusion would not apply to the director of the region. Each director has only one region to manage, not the entire nation. After all, a plant manager does not receive immunity from prosecution for the misdeeds of his employees even though he cannot monitor everything going on in his plant. If so, why should senior federal officials in a parallel position get off scot-free?

Even the EPA recognizes that its officials should be held to the same standards that the government applies to private parties.

“We’re going to continue to work until this is cleaned up,” Regional Director Shaun McGrath told a local gathering of Colorado residents, “and hold ourselves to the same standards that we would anyone that would have created this situation.”

There is no reason to let government officials slide when the government prosecutes private parties for the same conduct.

It’s time for the government to choose: Either stop prosecuting private parties for negligence or make the senior EPA officials stand in the dock. Sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander.


Australia: Ideology distorts climate measurements

Jennifer Marohasy replies to some ignorant propaganda

For the true believer, it is too awful to even consider that the Australian Bureau of Meteorology could be exaggerating global warming by adjusting figures. This doesn’t mean, though, that it’s not true.

In fact, under prime minister Tony Abbott, a panel of eminent statisticians was formed to investigate these claims detailed in The Australian newspaper in August and September last year.

The panel did acknowledge in its first report that the bureau homogenised the temperature data: that it adjusted figures. The same report also concluded it was unclear whether these adjustments resulted in an overall increase or decrease in the warming trend.

No conclusions could be drawn because the panel did not work through a single example of homogenisation, not even for Rutherglen. Rutherglen, in north­eastern Victoria, is an agricultural research station with a continuous minimum temperature record unaffected by equipment changes or documented site moves but where the bureau nevertheless adjusted the temperatures.

This had the effect of turning a temperature time series without a statistically significant trend into global warming of almost 2C a century.

According to media reports last week, a thorough investigation of the bureau’s methodology was prevented because of intervention by Environment Minister Greg Hunt. He apparently argued in cabinet that the credibility of the institution was paramount — that it was important the public had trust in the bureau’s data and forecasts, so the public knew to heed warnings of bushfires and ­cyclones.

Hunt defends the bureau because it has a critical role to play in providing the community with reliable weather forecasts.

This is indeed one of its core responsibilities. It would be better able to perform this function, however, if it used proper techniques for quality control of temperature data and the best available techniques for forecasting rainfall.

There has been no improvement in its seasonal rainfall forecasts for two decades because it uses general circulation models. These are primarily tools for demonstrating global warming, with dubious, if any, skill at actually forecasting weather or climate.

Consider, for example, the millennium drought and the flooding rains that followed in 2010.

Back in 2007 and 2008, David Jones, then and still the manager of climate monitoring and prediction at the Bureau of Meteorology, wrote that climate change was so rampant in Australia, “We don’t need meteorological data to see it”, and that the drought, caused by climate change, was a sign of the “hot and dry future” that we all collectively faced.

Then the drought broke, as usual in Australia, with flooding rains.

But the bureau was incapable of forecasting an exceptionally wet summer because such an event was contrary to how senior management at the bureau perceived our climate future.

So, despite warning signs evident in sea surface temperature patterns across the Pacific through 2010, Brisbane’s Wivenhoe dam, originally built for flood mitigation, was allowed to fill through the spring of 2010, and kept full in advance of the torrential rains in January 2011.

The resulting catastrophic flooding of Brisbane is now recognised as a “dam release flood”, and the subject of a class-action lawsuit by Brisbane residents against the Queensland government.

Indeed, despite an increasing investment in supercomputers, there is ample evidence ideology is trumping rational decision-making at the bureau on key issues that really matter, such as the prediction of drought and flood cycles. Because most journalists and politicians desperately want to believe the bureau knows best, they turn away from the truth and ignore the facts.

News Corp Australia journalist Anthony Sharwood got it completely wrong in his weekend article defending the bureau’s homogenisation of the temperature record. I tried to explain to him on the phone last Thursday how the bureau didn’t actually do what it said when it homogenised temperature time series for places such as Rutherglen.

Sharwood kept coming back to the issue of “motivations”. He kept asking me why on earth the bureau would want to mislead the Australian public.

I should have kept with the methodology, but I suggested he read what Jones had to say in the Climategate emails. Instead of considering the content of the emails that I mentioned, however, Sharwood wrote in his article that, “Climategate was blown out of proportion” and “independent investigations cleared the researchers of any form of wrongdoing”.

Nevertheless, the content of the Climategate emails includes quite a lot about homogenisation, and the scientists’ motivations. For example, there is an email thread in which Phil Jones (University of East Anglia) and Tom Wigley (University of Adelaide) discuss the need to get rid of a blip in global temperatures around 1940-44. Specifically, Wigley suggested they reduce ocean temperatures by an arbitrary 0.15C. These are exactly the types of arbitrary adjustments made throughout the historical temperature record for Australia: adjustments made independently of any of the purported acceptable reasons for making adjustments, including site moves and equipment changes.

Sharwood incorrectly wrote in his article: “Most weather stations have moved to cooler areas (ie, areas away from the urban heat island effect). So if scientists are trying to make the data reflect warmer temperatures, they’re even dumber than the sceptics think.”

In fact, many (not most) weather stations have moved from post offices to airports, which have hotter, not cooler, daytime temperatures. Furthermore, the urban heat island creeps into the official temperature record for Australia not because of site moves but because the record at places such as Cape Otway lighthouse is adjusted to make it similar to the record in built-up areas such as Melbourne, which clearly are affected by the urban heat island.

I know this sounds absurd. It is absurd, and it is also true. Indeed, a core problem with the methodology the bureau uses is its reliance on “comparative sites” to make adjustments to data at other places. I detail the Cape Otway lighthouse example in a recent paper published in the journal Atmospheric Research, volume 166.

It is so obvious that there is an urgent need for a proper, thorough and independent review of operations at the bureau. But it would appear our politicians and many mainstream media are set against the idea.

Evidently they are too conventional in their thinking to consider such an important Australian ­institution could now be ruled by ideology.



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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Britain's new nuclear power station will just be a very  expensive sop to the Warmists

On his visit to China this week, the chancellor of the exchequer, George Osborne, announced a £2 billion loan guarantee to Chinese companies to build a new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset. Since the plant will be built by private firms taking on eye-watering amounts of debt that will be paid off over decades, the loan guarantees are essential in order to keep the interest rates on that debt down to a minimum. Otherwise, lenders would have to build in a substantial risk premium in order to justify doling out the cash.

Hinkley Point C should be good news for a variety of reasons. Nuclear power stations, despite accidents at badly built or elderly plants at Chernobyl and Fukushima, have an excellent safety record compared with other sources of power. They are reliable, providing ‘base load’ power for roughly 90 per cent of the time (compare that with 25 per cent of the time for wind turbines) and have low running costs because they need comparatively little fuel once they are up and running.

Moreover, after decades of nuclear being out of fashion, getting one plant built would hopefully open the door to many more. Having built and fired up the first UK nuclear plant since Sizewell B in 1995, the experience gained would enable future plants to be built more cheaply. Generating power from a number of different sources – coal, gas, nuclear, renewables – would provide greater security of supply, too.

But the deal the UK government has struck for Hinkley Point C looks very expensive. The operator, EDF, has been promised a guaranteed price for its power of £92.50 per megawatt hour. (Another station in the pipeline, Sizewell C, has been offered a guaranteed £89.50 per megawatt hour.) That made some sense when it was thought that prices for fossil-fuel generation of electricity would shoot up over the next decade. But prices have recently fallen for coal and gas, bringing the wholesale price for electricity down to around £44 per megawatt hour. That’s one hell of a premium, one that will be index-linked to inflation and guaranteed for 35 years – time enough to pay off the plant. As commentators have pointed out, a nuclear plant should be able to operate for 60 years. EDF will be raking it in for decades after that. One consultancy described the Hinkley Point deal as ‘economically insane’.

Nuclear power should be much cheaper than that, and currently, it is. The electricity from Sizewell B now costs around £60 per megawatt hour. But the layering of regulation upon regulation to make nuclear very, very, very safe has resulted in ballooning costs. The government wouldn’t be touching this deal with the proverbial barge pole were it not for the overriding concern of climate change. Ministers know that a low-carbon economy is impossible without nuclear, especially if we replace all our current gas heating and petrol cars with electric versions.

It’s a ‘price worth paying’, if you believe environmentalists. But that just seems like bad policy. Whatever damage climate change might cause, making energy much more expensive will definitely do quite a lot of damage, from making some kinds of industrial production uneconomic through to freezing poor pensioners to a hypothermic death in winter. Isn’t there a better way?

It would help nuclear’s cause if we started slashing some of the regulation required to build new plants, though that seems highly unlikely. It would also help if we started to factor in the hidden costs of renewable energy when discussing which path to take. Gas-fired power stations are required to make up for shortfalls in renewable energy supply. But turning such plants on and off constantly – or running them unconnected to the grid when renewables are supplying power – is extremely inefficient, bumping up the cost. That extra cost should be added to the price of renewable power when we make comparisons. We also know that whereas renewables take up a lot of space – cluttering every spare hill with more turbines – nuclear has a comparatively tiny ‘footprint’.

But maybe we should just admit that we can’t do all that much about a low-carbon economy right now. According to the International Energy Agency, even if we were fairly aggressive about introducing renewables, the world would still need fossil fuels for three quarters of our energy needs in 2035. For developing countries in particular, energy needs to be plentiful and cheap – and for now, that means coal and gas.

Instead, maybe we should be investing in developing better technology that is low carbon and economical to run. ‘Sceptical environmentalist’ Bjorn Lomborg has been banging on about this for years, and earlier this month David Attenborough fronted a call for an ‘Apollo-style’ programme to develop better renewables.

Focusing on research and development in the short term seems a much better bet than blowing a fortune on renewables and overpriced nuclear power stations. The costs in the long run would be much lower than rushing in now, and we could develop new power sources that would have benefits way beyond merely being low carbon.

As for Hinkley Point? It’s a crap deal, especially as the completion date keeps slipping back and the reactor design in question hasn’t actually worked in practice yet. For example, a similar reactor at Flamanville in France, due to come online in 2012, is now estimated to be up and running in 2018 – six years late and three times over budget. If Hinkley Point C could feasibly lead in the long run to a new generation of nuclear power stations at a much lower cost, it might be worth pressing ahead. But we can’t afford to keep cranking up energy bills for the sake of being seen to ‘do something’ about climate change.


Perp-walking the climate skeptics

It’ll be a sight to behold. A perp walk of PhDs.  A roundup of skeptical scientists who resisted joining the global-warming panic.

Picture it. White lab coats paddy-wagoned up to the courthouse and marched inside, single file, in leg chains, for a mass booking. Scrums of TV cameras jostling for position.

The perp walk of the “climate deniers” is a recommendation advanced with a straight face by 20 academics at Rutgers, Columbia and other institutions of purported higher learning.

These academic ayatollahs aren’t joking. (Ayatollahs never are.)

They have petitioned President Obama to collar climate-alarmism dissenters, along with their supposed corporate puppeteers, and prosecute them all under the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) provision of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970.

Yes, seriously. Round ‘em up, lock ‘em up. It’s the would-be Beer Hall Putsch of the 20 Profs, 2015.

Let’s call them the Shameless 20. There’s depressingly little media or academia outcry over their essentially fascist agenda.

Maybe this reflects the low status to which smug, lockstep liberalism has sunk in the muck of its own ideological catechism.

To the 20 — and no doubt many sympathizers — global-warming skeptics are conspirators egged on and financed by diabolical corporate oligarchs. The oligarchs, like cartoonish villains in a Batman movie, are bent on crushing humanity under a Yeti-size carbon footprint. And all for money.

They must be “stopped as soon as possible,” say the Shameless 20, “so that the world can get on with the critically important business of finding effective ways of stabilizing the Earth’s climate....”

Sinister pecuniary motives are automatically ascribed to the skeptics. But the most noble of motives are assumed for activist alarmists who divvy up tens of millions of dollars in government and foundation grants for churning out cataclysmic global-warming scenarios in the guise of objective scientific inquiry.

The Shameless 20 began their petition to President Obama with a shamelessly obsequious gesture, hailing his “aggressive and imaginative use of government.”

Now, said the 20, His Most Exalted High Excellency the Prez must go a hop, skip and jump further. Forget Hillary and her mishandling of classified information. Let’s address the greater threat of the Enemy Within — scientists who balk at signing off on the fashionable, politicized postulates and policy prescriptions of climate change.

Some brave souls — not many, some — have dared to question the authoritarian nature of the Shameless 20’s recommendation. Physicist Peter Webster, an MIT PhD and professor of earth and atmospheric sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology, pointed out to them: “You have signed a death warrant for science.”

Such words, though, no doubt are lost on the Shameless 20, who are also obviously the Clueless 20.

Beyond the ominous letter from the 20 is this ominous consideration:

President Obama may not need any goading to unkennel the doberman pinschers of the Department of Justice and other bureaucracies and turn them loose on scientists who question political orthodoxy on climate.

Obama has done more than any politician, excepting possibly Al Gore, to politicize a complex issue that’s still being researched and debated in scientific circles. Obama has falsely declared the issue of climate change “settled.”

He has perpetuated the urban myth that “97 percent” of scientists believe humans are the cause of global warming.

This “97 percent” myth traces back to a paper by activist academics at Queensland U., Australia. The academics said they read the summaries of 11,000 climate research reports to get an idea where science stands on the issue.

If Obama ever actually reads the paper he relies on to support his political agenda and shut off scientific inquiry, he’ll discover the following: 66.4 percent on the summaries cited in the Queensland U. paper took no position on the human role in global warming. The paper’s authors said so themselves.

It needs to be restated, over and over, that there aren’t really “climate deniers.”

There are skeptics. And some of them are among the world’s most brilliant scientists, such as Princeton’s Freeman Dyson, often identified as the successor to Albert Einstein.

Dr. Petr Chylek specializes in space and remote sensing sciences at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. He’s a fellow of the American Geophysical Union. And a skeptic. He says:

“It seems that some of the most prominent leaders of the climate research community, like prophets of old Israel, believe they can see the future of humankind and that the only remaining task is to convince or force others to accept and follow....” He adds:

“Let us admit that our understanding of climate is less perfect than we have tried to make the public believe.”

The skeptics note that there has been climate change throughout the planet’s history. At the contentious core of the issue are these questions:

1. How much warming is attributable to human activity and how much to “natural variation” as a result of solar activity, atmospheric hydrological feedbacks and other known factors influencing climate? This is a question of intense, ongoing debate.

2. And in any case, what can realistically be done — if anything at all at this stage — to alter the course of climate without driving up electricity and gasoline prices and hobbling the economy, thereby drying up R&D funds for potential breakthroughs on clean energy alternatives?

In regard to No. 2, keep in mind that solar and wind, currently, are reckoned to come nowhere close to meeting future energy needs. Also, China is the world’s biggest producer of “global warming greenhouse emissions” and not subject to EPA rules and regs.

A Cal Tech-trained physicist now at NYU puts the climate issue in clarifying perspective. Human influences on climate are “physically small in relation to the climate system as a whole,” says Steven Koonin.

He notes that “human additions to carbon dioxide in the middle of the 21st Century are expected to directly shift the atmosphere’s natural greenhouse effect by only 1 percent to 2 percent.”

Koonin goes on to say: “Since the climate system is highly variable on its own, that smallness sets a very high bar for confidently projecting the consequences of human influence.”

Uh oh. Koonin had better watch what he says. This former science adviser to President Obama just might find himself among the chain gang of perp-walked PhD skeptics rounded up by his old boss on a RICO rap.


Pope Doesn't Say Much About Climate After All

"Global warming" or "climate change" not mentioned

Many observers feared (or hoped) that Pope Francis would pontificate on man-made global warming and the need for government solutions in Thursday’s address to Congress. But it wasn’t to be. Here’s the extent of his remarks on the topic:

"This common good also includes the earth, a central theme of the encyclical which I recently wrote in order to enter into dialogue with all people about our common home. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concerns and affects us all. In “Laudato Si,” I call for a courageous and responsible effort to redirect our steps and to avert the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity. I am convinced that we can make a difference and I have no doubt that the United States — and this Congress — have an important role to play. Now is the time for courageous actions and strategies, aimed at implementing a culture of care and an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature."

At first hearing, there’s really not much for conservatives who are conservationists to disagree with there. But there are two key problems: the pope’s assertion that climate change is “caused by human activity,” and who he addressed his comments to — Congress. The science is far from settled on the cause or reach of climate change (humans do impact the environment, but how much is the question), and most proposals before Congress involve hampering economic activity — i.e., exacerbating and not “combating poverty” — to fight a supposed menace we don’t fully understand.


When Energy Efficiency Becomes Harmful

One of the benefits claimed by the environmental Left in regards to the Clean Power Plan is its impact on Americans' health. According to an EPA fact sheet, the regulations are expected to eradicate 3,600 pollution-related premature deaths annually once fully implemented — a finding mimicked by a supposedly independent study that wasn’t so independent after all.

The EPA fact sheet also asserts that 90,000 asthma attacks will be prevented each year. “Because these pollutants can create dangerous soot and smog, the historically low levels mean we will avoid thousands of premature deaths and have thousands fewer asthma attacks and hospitalizations in 2030 and every year beyond,” the EPA website states. Of course, any effort to clean up the environment — albeit without unconstitutional government mandates — is praiseworthy. The danger comes when authority figures begin dictating rules in the name of “settled science.”

Which raises an interesting point about the EPA’s asthma claims, courtesy of our friends across the pond. A new study out of Great Britain, a nation that’s likewise in the process of slashing carbon emissions, suggests energy efficiency may actually be harmful to our health. The Guardian reports, “The number of Britons with asthma could almost double by 2050 because the air inside homes is becoming more polluted as they become more energy-efficient, a new report warns.”

How so? “Airborne pollutants created by cooking, cleaning and using aerosols such as hairsprays will increasingly stay indoors and affect people’s health as homes are made ever more leak-proof to help meet carbon reduction targets, a report by Professor Hazim Awbi claims.”

Ironic, isn’t it, that spending more time indoors — and expecting to be shielded from the elements thanks to “green” directives — can theoretically leave you worse off than enjoying the outdoors, where the atmosphere is designed to regulate fossil fuels naturally. It’s the law of unintended consequences.

There’s a reason human progress is best left to the free market. Life expectancy and wealth are remarkably higher today thanks to the fossil fuel industry. And the private sector has managed to increase efficiency and drastically decrease pollution through new technologies. Beware of leftists bearing gifts in the name of “settled science.”


The Cost of Regulation

Bad laws create bad behavior

Volkswagen is in hot water with the EPA, after revelations that 11 million of its vehicles employ covert software designed to trick emissions testers. While being tested, the cars switched to a more efficient mode in order to beat the regulations, afterwards switching back to a higher performance (and hence higher emissions) method of operation.

Of course, the company is being widely condemned as criminal, negligent, and downright evil. The charge is not wholly without merit; Volkswagen did break the law, and they did misrepresent their vehicles to consumers, none of which should be tolerated. But there’s a more interesting point here, which is the way regulations affect the behavior of companies, and the waste that results.

One of the mistakes regulators frequently make is assuming that they can simply control behavior by decree. When the EPA issues a ruling that emissions cannot exceed a certain level, it goes without saying that companies will abide by the rule, and that will be that.

In reality, people respond to incentives, and if you use the law to try to stop people from doing something that benefits them, you can bet that many, if not most, will try to find away around compliance. A great example of this is the tax code. The extreme complexity of the tax code has resulted in a huge industry of accountants and lawyers devoted to finding loopholes, deductions, and other ways to protect their clients’ money from the IRS. If taxes were low, flat, and fair, the immense amount of resources devoted to this industry could be employed in actually producing something, rather than in merely avoiding the tax collector. Environmental regulations work the same way.

Volkswagen had to spend time and money to develop and install the software used to beat emissions detectors in 11 million of their cars. They had to cover their tracks to ensure they weren’t caught, and now they are facing huge fines, legal fees, and plummeting stock prices as a result of the scandal. Innocent employees will lose their jobs, and perfectly good cars will be pulled off the market, reducing the supply of vehicles and therefore driving up the cost. The spillover effects are likely to damage the entire German auto industry for years to come.

All this represents a huge waste of resources, a waste that could have been avoided in the absence of strict emissions regulations in the first place. All of that time and money could have been spent producing better cars, or giving consumers a discount. All of those resources could have been used productively, instead of to the non-productive activity of evading regulations. You can argue that it’s Volkswagen’s fault for not playing by the rules, but economics recognizes that people will always be self-interested, and as long as there are regulations, there will be people trying to evade them. Volkswagen is certainly neither the first nor last company to spend money to get around environmental rules.

Instead of imposing mandates that invite unproductive cheating, why not allow consumers a choice? If Volkswagen’s cars are so bad, why not let consumers reject them? And if they are not all that bad, why not let people buy them? We never would have emerged from the grimy, soot-covered youth of the industrial revolution if factory owners had spent all their time dealing with regulations instead of coming up with new technologies. The same incentives apply today. So while we should rightly condemn Volkswagen for cheating, we owe it to ourselves to ask why it was necessary for them to cheat in the first place, and whether we are actually made better off by a system that diverts productive activity towards illicit, black market behavior.


Australian coal industry to benefit from China carbon trading, says MCA

Australia's struggling coal industry stands to gain from China's surprise move to adopt a carbon trading system that puts a price on emissions, says the Minerals Council of Australia.

MCA chief executive Brendan Pearson said Australia had "a big advantage in this new era" because its coal exports were ideally suited to the new-generation, coal-fired power plants China was rolling out to help cut emissions.

"Far from being a threat, there is a real opportunity for Australia's coal sector in China's efforts to reduce emissions at lowest cost," Mr Pearson told Fairfax Media.

"There is a huge misconception that lower emissions and coal use are incompatible. That is dead wrong."

"Over the last eight years China's embrace of new coal generation has achieved emissions reductions 10 times those achieved by the European Union's emissions trading scheme."

The MCA is confident China will continue its huge rollout of high-energy, low-emissions, coal-fired power plants.



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


Monday, September 28, 2015

Big British power generator pulls out of Government's £1bn green energy project

Drax blames cuts in support for renewable energy for its decision not to build a carbon capture and storage facility next to its North Yorkshire power station

A £1bn green energy plan backed by the Government has been dealt a major blow after one of the UK’s top power companies pulled out of the project.

Drax blamed cuts in support for renewable energy for its decision not to build a carbon capture and storage facility next to its North Yorkshire power station.

"We’ve also got concerns about the government’s future support for the low carbon agenda"
Peter Emery, Drax

“Critical reversals” in Government policy had led to “a severe impact on our profitability” and made it too risky to proceed with the White Rose carbon capture plant, Peter Emery, the Drax board member chairing the group that oversees the project, told the Financial Times.

"We’ve also got concerns about the government’s future support for the low carbon agenda and that’s left us in a position where we are no longer confident we can persuade our shareholders that this is an attractive investment, given the obvious risks,” he added.

“The Government has to make difficult decisions based on affordability and, in turn, so are we."

The Conservatives’ measures to rein in green subsidies have put renewable energy projects under pressure.

No carbon capture projects have been built in the UK, despite the Government offering a £1bn incentive eight years ago. Energy ministers are understood to be committed to developing the technology in this country.

Drax had invested £3m into developing its carbon capture project, which takes harmful gases from burning coal and traps them underground.

Drax had invested £3m into developing its carbon capture project

Its partners in the plant's consortium - France’s Alstom and the BOC industrial gas group - said Drax's decision was "disappointing" but vowed to complete the deal.

Drax's moves leaves just one carbon capture and storage project running in the UK. Shell is retro-fitting the technology onto SSE's gas-fired plant at Peterhead in Scotland. Up to 10m tonnes of CO2 will be sent through the Golden Eye pipeline to storage sites in deep rock formations below the North Sea.

Luke Warren, chief executive of the Carbon Capture Storage Association, said: “While it is disappointing news for Drax that they will not be participating as an investor in White Rose, it is clearly positive that they recognise the value of this exciting project and are fully behind its development at the Drax site.

It is also encouraging to hear that Capture Power remains committed to the delivery of the project and the UK CCS commercialisation programme. White Rose is key to delivering real benefits to the Yorkshire and Humber region by developing the CO2 infrastructure that provides the foundation for a low-carbon industry in the region.

"The coming months are absolutely critical for CCS in the UK and the Government must successfully deliver two projects from the CCS competition in order to achieve its goals of delivering a cost-competitive CCS industry in the 2020s. Failure to secure this investment will set back CCS by more than a decade with profound implications for the UK's energy, industrial and climate policies."


Feds Decide Against Endangered Listing for Greater Sage-Grouse

In a video posted on Twitter on Tuesday Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife has determined that it is not necessary to protect the greater Sage-grouse in 11 western states by listing it as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

“Today I’m proud to mark a milestone for conservation in America,” Jewell said in the video. “Because of an unprecedented effort by dozens of partners across 11 western states, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that the greater Sage-grouse does not require protection under the Endangered Species Act.”

“An unprecedented, landscape-scale conservation effort across the western United States has significantly reduced threats to the greater sage-grouse across 90 percent of the species’ breeding habitat and enabled the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to conclude that the charismatic rangeland bird does not warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA),” a press release announcing the decision stated. “This collaborative, science-based greater sage-grouse strategy is the largest land conservation effort in U.S. history.”

A group of attorneys responded to the decision with a blog expressing the “relief” felt by western states that would have been impacted by the listing.

“On September 22, energy developers in the West breathed a sigh of relief when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced that the greater sage-grouse does not require protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA),” BakerHostetler’s North America Shale Blog said in an online posting on Wednesday. “The FWS noted that in 2010 it believed that ‘habitat loss, fragmentation, and inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms’ could warrant ESA listing for the grouse.

“Yet five years later, focused public-private conservation partnerships have borne fruit, as FWS now says that “[b]ased on the best available scientific and commercial information, we have determined that the primary threats to greater sage-grouse have been ameliorated by conservation efforts implemented by federal, state, and private landowners,’” the blog stated.

“BakerHostetler’s 80-attorney energy team is comprised of lawyers across the U.S. who are leaders in their respective fields in representing oil and gas clients,” according to its website.

The blog called the decision a “joint stewardship success story” that will benefit the energy boom in the United States.

“The past five years have seen a world-class boom in U.S. unconventional oil production, with a sizable share of that coming from the Intermountain West and basin and range country the sage-grouse inhabits. Indeed, Colorado, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming, which provide core sage-grouse habitat, have seen crude oil output double since the FWS began to consider listing the grouse in 2010,” the blog stated. “These states now produce approximately one of every 12 barrels of crude oil pumped in the U.S. each day.”

In the video, a vast landscape of sagebrush is shown as Jewell’s narrates.

“The greater sage-grouse is an amazing bird – unique to the vast sagebrush landscapes of the American West,” Jewell said. “One that historically used to ‘darken the skies’ as vast numbers took flight.”

Jewell also listed the threats to the Sage-grouse, including wildfires, weather and human development, but the overall message conceded that the states can manage their land and its resources without federal regulations.

“The FWS’s September 30, 2015 deadline to review the status of the species spurred numerous federal agencies, the 11 states in the range, and dozens of public and private partners to undertake an extraordinary campaign to protect, restore and enhance important sage-grouse habitat to preclude the need to list the species,” the announcement stated.

“This effort featured: new management direction for BLM and Forest Service land use plans that place greater emphasis on conserving sage-grouse habitat; development of state sage-grouse management plans; voluntary, multi-partner private lands effort to protect millions of acres of habitat on ranches and rangelands across the West; unprecedented collaboration with federal, state and private sector scientists; and a comprehensive strategy to fight rangeland fires,” it added.


Crazy Capers of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, commonly known as “PIK” has been among Germany’s foremost climate doomsayers, oops, I mean prognosticators.

Hardly a day goes by without one or the other PIK press releases telling the world that “we’ll all die if we do not … [decarbonize, or whatever]”. Some of their pronunciations even want you to think “we’ll all die, even if we do… [decarbonize, or whatever]” and that has nothing to do with the coming “Blood Moon” of Sep. 27/28, 2015, supposedly portending that the end of the world is nigh.

What are the poor schmucks like you and me to do in such a no-win situation?

The PIK is led by its founder and current president, Prof. Dr. HJ Schellnhuber, recently nominated member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, etc. Another outspoken doomsayer of the PIK is Prof. Dr. S. Rahmstorf. Actually, I think he’s running much of the daily doom-and-gloom show. From the (not exactly) melting Arctic sea-ice and the (not exactly) drowning polar bears, to the (not exactly) disappearing Antarctic ice shield and the (not exactly) dieing penguins, Rahmstorf and/or Schellnhuber have a finger-wagging answer for everything.

The fact that they are more wrong than right is immaterial, at least in their view – spare me with details. Actually, you can count yourself lucky to even get an answer to any question you may have about their numerous proclamations of climate doom and related items; presumably they are too busy to crack the whip over their new supercomputer to spit out the “correctly” prognosticated scenarios for 10,000 years from now or so. Just too bad that none of them will be around by then to be held accountable for their wrong predictions.

As of late, PIK’s messages of doom appear to be getting bolder and more deceptive than ever before.

For example, one of their latest “photos” shows “The ‘eternal ice’ of Antarctica,” as reproduced here (PIK-photo on left). Nice shot – if it were not “photo-shopped” to the hilt, as I suspect, despite their claim to the contrary. As it so happens, a very similar photo (shown on the right) taken approximately a year later by another expedition certainly looks more realistic (Jo Cox).

What’s even more deceptive in PIK’s picture is the caption with the phrase “eternal ice” that appears to have melted away, except for a few pieces still floating forlorn on the sea and two, possibly superimposed, images of icebergs. Well, that picture was taken near the Rothera Research Station,located close to the northern tip of the continent Antarctica at the latitude of 67.5 S and, therefore, barely within the Antarctic, as defined by southern polar circle. As the crow flies, that is about 2,500 km from the South Pole and, therefore, it is certainly not in a region of “eternal sea-ice.”

This “photo” by PIK comes with the latest warning of “Burning all fossil energy would raise sea-level by more than 50 meters – and eliminate all ice of Antarctica.” Further on, it states “Crossing this [2 degree C] threshold, however, would in the long run destabilize both West and East Antarctica…”

That 2 degree C threshold or, for that matter, any other “degree threshold” are purely figments of their exuberant imagination. There is no climate threshold in nature, no “tipping point” or other boundary of sorts; they are all myths. The height of PIK’s doomsayer irresponsibility must be the continued insistence on theircomputer simulation’s predictions being “right.”

PIK’s Computer Simulations

PIK‘s computer models are modeling the world “climate” and claim, for example, that anything past a two degree (C) warming will spell disaster for much of mankind. Of course, as they see it, the use of fossil fuels is the source of that claimed calamity. The German and some other governments have bought into such claims and want to do away with most or all of coal, oil, and natural gas for all purposes within three decades or so, or even sooner.

PIK’s latest news is even more astounding: On Sep. 11, 2015, their website referred to a new study to be published soon with the headline “Burning all fossil energy would raise sea-level by more than 50 meters – and eliminate all ice of Antarctica.” PIK’s computer spoke; we are all doomed… You can read up on all the gory details at Science Advances. Oh, no need to rush though, the study says “We examine the [Antarctic] ice-sheet evolution over the next ten thousand years with the Parallel Ice Sheet Model…” so you’ll have a few years to digest the info. By then, a revised model may give you the exact date …

Just remember though, 10,000 years ago,Canada, central Europe and much of Asia were covered with a thick layer of ice that disappeared, presumably, because some of our early ancestors lit fires in some caves producing copious amounts of carbon dioxide.

The “beauty” of all these computer models is that they can neither be proven nor disproven within a reasonable time frame. However, in the past 25 years or so, ALL of the highfalutin 100+ world-climate-prediction-super-computer models failed totally. None of them predicted the “warming-pause” but each thought to know best. Dr. T. Ball recently described the problem in detail in his post “Is It Time to Stop the Insanity of Wasting Time and Money on More Climate Models?” Even the most assertive (“extremely likely”) model predictions for a decade out made just a few years ago were well above the actual observed temperatures. Does anyone really think that such models can even vaguely predict the earth’s climate 10,000 years from now?

On the basis of such models, some deluded people appear to truly believe that the world can (and should) replace all that carbon-based energy with a few windmills and solar panels. However, that’s not yet the height of delusion; for example, Germany has also committed to phase out all nuclear power generation within a few years from now to be replaced with wind and sun energy, all at the same time.

Wind Energy

Indeed, if and when the wind blows strongly, the current 10,000+ windmills in Germany produce electric power. Even if you want to disregard the blight of such in the former natural landscape, even if you are willing to forget their disastrous effects on birds, bats, butterflies and other creatures, and even if you forget the demands for new country-side roads to just build and maintain the windmills, they are not the panacea claimed. In fact, many of these the windmills consumepower for blade pitch control, yaw (directional) control, blade icing prevention, gear and/or hub heating, even when they produce some. But it’s “good business” for their builders and owners as they have government-guaranteed construction benefits as well as feed-in tariffs and delivery-preference over other energy sources. In other words, they are buying their standby power for a few cents per kWh and selling their product at a guaranteed multiple of that—whenever the wind blows. It’s like having your cake and eating it too; a win-win situation for the windmill developers and a guaranteed-loss situation for all electricity consumers.

How unprofitable the wind-power is in much of Germany has been shown in a study on 1,200 systems there over the last 13 years. That study shows that 2/3rds of the wind-farms within Germany were operating with a loss, despite the subventions.

Of course, such a system only is possible with large government subsidies. In reality though, the “government” is you and me and every other taxpayer who is forced to pay that bill, including your and my children and grandchildren – and well into the future. However, I’ve not mentioned the even more crazy aspect of the wind-power systems, namely their typical operating life span before major repairs or costly “upgrades” are needed.
Windmill Operating Life

The purveyors of such “modern” versions of 12th century windmill technology are keen to quote a 20-25 year operating life for their monstrosities. Actual experience though is different. The average time for wind turbines operating without major problems is more like eight years. After that, very costly repairs to gear boxes and other “improvements” are needed. For example, the hamlet of Wildpoldsried in southern Germany recently blasted two wind-turbine towers into oblivion after only ten years of operation. Among the reasons given was the “difficulty to get spare parts.”

No wonder, from small villages in southern Germany to cities in Sweden, such wind-power installations are being replaced well before their previously touted “best before date” with newer, more “modern” and/or “more efficient” designs. Oh yeah, the new designs will be lasting so much longer than the old ones, paying for themselves (as well as the previous systems not yet paid for by lower than expected income from insufficient electricity production), provide a steady source of financial return for the communities, the investors, and the government coffers to boot.

In fact though, these communities and investors are doubling down on a losing proposition. Perhaps they would also like to buy some snake oil from me? I promise it will cure all ills, in no time flat, if not sooner.

Alternatively, how about an investment in PIK’s computer predictions?


Mark Levin Lambasts Environmental Movement: 'An Attack on Capitalism Is an Attack on Liberty'

Nationally syndicated radio show host Mark Levin, on his show Tuesday, lambasted the environmental movement as an attack on capitalism, and by proxy, an attack on liberty.

Levin said of the environmental movement, “It is an attack on capitalism, and by the way, an attack on capitalism is an attack on liberty. They’re intertwined.” Levin continued, “You cannot have a truly free society if the people aren’t free, if the people aren’t free to trade and to participate in commerce the way they wish to without certain limits.”

Levin said of the environmental movement:

“This whole global warming thing is a fraud. It’s being advocated by radical leftists, the old communists, through a new generation in Europe that they call the degrowth movement that they have exported to the United States. And it has become a religion, and the arguments become more and more idiotic and extreme, as I pointed out in ‘Liberty and Tyranny’ and I point out in ‘Plunder and Deceit.’

“But let’s make no mistake about it. It is an attack on capitalism, and by the way, an attack on capitalism is an attack on liberty. They’re intertwined. You can’t have a truly free society--and don’t give me Europe--you cannot have a truly free society if the people aren’t free to trade and to participate in commerce the way they wish to without certain limits, with certain limits, obviously, legally and so forth. But redistribution of wealth, or the government’s gonna take this and give it to that or the government’s gonna nationalize something or other. Okay. That’s tyranny.

“But this entire movement, this environmental movement, is a communist red movement. I’m not talking about those with their eyes wide open and idealists in this country who clearly are not. I am talking about the movement, the people behind it, the brains behind it, the people who run it, like the people who advocate this position: Naomi Klein.

“Naomi Klein: ‘Capitalism increasingly is a discredited system because it’s seen as system that venerates greed above all else.’

“Let me stop you there. Aren’t people who demand government benefits greedy? And they don’t earn them, so they’re worse than greedy. They’re stealing. They wanna use the law, politics, and government to steal from somebody else. Are they not greedy, though? Oh, you’re gonna get free health care. Well that’s greedy. You haven’t earned it. You haven’t produced it. What do you mean you’re gonna get free … They’re greedy too. Except, they don’t produce it.

“She says, ‘There’s a benefit to climate discussion to name a system that lots of people already have problems with for other reasons,’ and I read this to you before but it’s worth underscoring. She said, ‘I don’t know why it’s so important to save capitalism. It’s pretty battered brand. This focus on climate is getting us nowhere. Many, many more people recognize the need to change our economy. If climate can be our lens to catalyze this economic transformation that so many people need for other even more pressing reasons then that may be a winning combination. This economic system is failing the vast majority of people.’

“So this red movement is the environmental movement, is the anti-capitalism movement.

“And its attack, you know, a lot of you--particularly younger people--you love these Apple products. Apple wouldn’t exist but for capitalism, but for cutting edge technologies and technological advances. And I’ve read to you before, and I want to underscore this, Ayn Rand, in her book, ‘Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution,’ that’s how she was defining this growing but nascent environmental movement. ‘Cause it’s not an environmental movement. It’s an anti-america, anti-capitalism, anti-free enterprise, anti-entrepreneur, anti-private property movement.”


In Blow To Environmentalists, Judge Overturns NYC Foam Container Ban

A New York judge overturned a law banning the use of foam containers in New York City Monday, in a blow to environmental efforts being pushed by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The law went into effect in January, but New York supreme court judge Margaret Chan overturned it on the grounds the material could be recycled in a cost-effective manner, reported The Guardian.

Polystyrene foam containers are used throughout the food industry for commonplace things like egg-cartons and to-go cups. Cities across the country have similar bans on foam containers, including Washington, D.C., Albany and Seattle.

Until Monday, New York was the largest city in America to enforce such a ban.

Chan referred to evidence the city could save $400,000 annually if 40 percent of its wasted plastic foam was not trashed, and with “machinery improvements,” as much as 75 percent of the foam could be recycled. She found 21 companies would buy used containers from the city.

Sanitation department commissioner Katheryn Garcia failed to state “the basis of her conclusions” in favor of the law, given the evidence contrary to her findings “clearly before her,” Chan wrote in her decision.

“These products cause real environmental harm, and we need to be able to prevent nearly 30,000 tons of expanded polystyrene waste from entering our landfills, streets and waterways,” de Blasio’s office said in a statement following the judge’s ruling, according to The Guardian. His office is “reviewing options to keep the ban in place.”


Australian conservatives' warning to new PM: don't touch Direct Action climate policy

West Australian Liberal Dennis Jensen welcomed the assurances of Environment Minister Greg Hunt, who said Australia would not be altering its climate change abatement measures in response to the Chinese development.

But asked if the party's right still had concerns about what Mr Turnbull might do, Dr Jensen said, "absolutely".  "It's one of the conditions of the leadership change that we are sticking with the policy we had," he told Fairfax Media.  "It's also in the [Coalition] agreement with the Nationals, as I understand it.

"We fought a very damaging leadership contest on this very climate policy [in 2009], and we will now need to tread with enormous care, put it that way," he said.

Another conservative, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "Turnbull gave two assurances to people who jumped into his camp: no change to marriage plebiscite and no change to Direct Action.

"But I fear we will now be softened up in the next couple of months leading into Paris talks with the argument that we didn't want to get ahead but now that the world has acted, we need to do more, and if that happens, things could become very interesting for Turnbull."

The warning to the green-inclined new Australian Prime Minister reflects concerns among climate sceptics about Mr Turnbull's longer-term plans for the area.

It came as a slew of policy options in tax, education, and other areas ruled out by the Abbott government were placed back on the table, and as China, the world's biggest polluter, prepared to announce a landmark cap and trade scheme to tackle climate change and the country's appalling air quality.

Mr Xi was also expected to pledge a "significant financial commitment" to help poorer nations move away from fossil fuels in a joint announcement with his US counterpart, Barack Obama.

While Mr Turnbull declined to comment, Mr Hunt was sent out to reassure nervous Liberals that the development out of Beijing would not lead to a similar move from Canberra.

"China's on track to be plus-150 per cent on its emissions from 2005 to 2030. We're on track to be minus-26 to minus-28 per cent, so any form of action by any country is welcome, but for us, we're getting the job done, we're doing it without a carbon tax, we're doing it by lowering electricity prices ... and we're reducing emissions in one of the most effective ways in the world," he told Sky News.

He said Australia was doing its part, and while China's move was positive, it was up to each country to work out what was best for it.

China and the US – the two largest economies and greenhouse gas polluters – are attempting to lead global action on climate change, and use their international clout to pressure other countries, including Australia, to do more.

Under Direct Action, the Australian government is paying companies and farmers to make emissions cuts, while also setting "baselines" for large polluting companies to try to put limits on their emissions.

A national Chinese emissions trading scheme would expand on existing pilot projects in seven Chinese cities already up and running.

The national market would open in 2017 and would cover industries including power generation and iron, steel and cement makers, according to the White House officials who briefed reporters in Washington.

Australia's Direct Action scheme has been criticised by some observers for lacking teeth and not being able to drive enough cuts to meet the country's international targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030.

However, some believe Direct Action could ultimately be turned into a form of emissions trading – called "baseline and credit" – in coming years if there is sufficient political will.

The Coalition government has said it will revisit climate policies in 2017-18 as part of an increasing focus on meeting the 2030 goals. Meanwhile, the Labor opposition has committed to introducing an emissions trading scheme as part of its platform for the next federal election.



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


Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Vatican’s Advisors: An Unholy Alliance with the UN Global Warming Agenda

In the preparation and promotion of its widely touted encyclical, Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home, the Vatican relied on advisors who can only be described as the most extreme elements in the global warming debate.  These climate advisors are so far out of the mainstream they even make some of their fellow climate activists cringe. Many of these advisors oppose individual freedom and market economics and stand against traditional family values.

The Vatican and Pope Francis did not allow dissent or alternative perspectives to be heard during the creation and promotion of the encyclical. The Vatican only listened to activist voices within the climate movement.

Even more startling, many of the Vatican’s key climate advisors have promoted policies directly at odds with Catholic doctrine and beliefs. The proceedings of the Vatican climate workshop included activists like Naomi Oreskes, Peter Wadhams, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, and UN advisor Jeffrey Sachs.

Pope Francis’ advisors, and the UN climate agenda he is aligning himself with, are strong supporters of development restrictions, contraceptives, population control, and abortion.  Despite these strange bedfellows, the encyclical is clear in condemning abortion, contraception, and population control.

There has been nothing short of an “Unholy Alliance” between the Vatican and promoters of man-made climate fear. The Vatican advisors are a brew of anti-capitalist, pro-population control advocates who allow no dissent and are way out of the mainstream of even the global warming establishment.

Here are profiles of some of the key radical voices with whom the Vatican has associated itself.

* UN Advisor Jeffrey Sachs

Jeffrey Sachs, a special advisor to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, participated in a 2014 Vatican workshop on sustainability as well as in the Vatican summit on climate that took place in April 2015. Sachs was reportedly the author of the Pontifical statement, Climate Change and the Common Good:  A Statement of the Problem and the Demand for Transformative Solutions, issued on April 29, 2015.

Sachs, who is also the director of The Earth Institute, believes climate skeptics are responsible for the deaths of people due to alleged man-made, global warming driven, extreme storms. Sachs tweeted on November 10, 2014, that “Climate liars like Rupert Murdoch & the Koch Brothers have more & more blood on their hands as climate disasters claim lives across the world.”

Sachs is such a devoted salesman for UN “solutions” to global warming that he declared: “We’ve got six months to save the world or we’re all doomed.”

Many of Sachs’ views are at odds with Catholic teachings. Catholic activist Liz Yore detailed Sachs’ view on overpopulation.

“At a 2007 international lecture, Sachs claimed that ‘we are bursting at the seams.’ The focus of Sachs’ overpopulation mantra is primarily the continent of Africa. He argues that if only poor African countries would just lower their fertility rate, the world and Africa would thrive economically. This fear mongering is nothing new. Sachs is standing on the shoulders of Paul Ehrlich, architect of the ‘sky is falling’ deception perpetrated in his 1968 book, The Population Bomb.”

Yore concluded: It is “incomprehensible that the Vatican would be duped into thinking that the United Nations and its Millennium and Sustainable Development goals share common solutions for the world’s problems. The Catholic Church welcomes children as a gift from God. The UN Secretary General and Jeffrey Sachs want to limit children.”

In 2009, Sachs addressed the annual conference of the Party of European Socialists.  He described the “profound honor” of addressing the far-Left Party of European Socialists and said they were heirs and leaders of the most successful economic and political system in the world — Social Democracy. Social equity, environmental sustainability, and fiscal redistribution are the successful elements in managing a just society, Sachs maintained. This is, he argues, in marked contrast to the U.S., whose taxes are too low and where the poor are ignored.

In 2009, in advance of the Copenhagen UN climate meeting, Sachs called for a carbon levy, claiming that millions were suffering because of drought caused by Western-induced climate change. Sachs has advocated for a carbon tax and a financial transactions tax, a global health fund, a global education fund, and a global climate fund. Sachs’ Earth Institute at Columbia has included members of an external advisory board such as George Soros and Rajendra Pachauri, former UN IPCC chairman. Soros has funded Sachs via his Open Society Institute.

* German climate adviser Hans Joachim Schellnhuber

Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, who has called for the “creation of a CO2 budget for every person on the planet,” was appointed a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in June 2015 and was one of the four presenters of Pope Francis’ new encyclical on the environment. Schellnhuber was also a key player at the Vatican climate presentation in 2014.

Schellnhuber is an atheist who believes in “Gaia, but not in God.”  In 2015, Schellnhuber boasted about having climate skeptics excluded from participating in drafting the Pope’s climate encyclical.  The April 2015 Vatican climate summit in Rome banned a skeptical French scientist from attending because the organizers reportedly “did not want to hear an off note” during the summit.

Schellnhuber is a scientific activist who is mocked even by his fellow warmist colleagues. See: Warmist Ray Bradley trashes prominent warmist Hans Joachim Schellnhuber for “spouting bullsh*t”; Phil Jones says, “We all agree on that.”

At a meeting in Japan in 2004, Scientist Tom Wigley found prominent EU warmist Schellnhuber to be “a bit of a laughing stock among these people.”

Schellnhuber has also declared human society needs to be managed by an elite group of “wise men.”  He referred to this idea as his “master plan” for the “great transformation” of global society.

Schellnhuber’s views on population also are at odds with Catholic teachings. Echoing the claims of overpopulation guru Paul Ehrlich, he has claimed that when the Earth reaches nine billion people, which is projected to occur soon, “the Earth will explode” due to resource depletion.

Schellnhuber also berates those who disagree with him, calling his critics “vicious liars” and mocking Americans as “climate illiterate” for being skeptics.

* Naomi Oreskes

Climate historian Naomi Oreskes has been actively involved in helping produce the Papal encyclical. Oreskes wrote the introduction to Pope Francis’ book version of the encyclical.

Oreskes is perhaps best known for her calls for placing restrictions on the freedom of speech of global warming skeptics. Oreskes believes climate skeptics who dissent from the UN/Gore climate alarmist point of view should be prosecuted as mobsters for their tobacco lobbyist style  tactics. See: Merchants of Smear: Prosecute Skeptics Like Gangsters?! Warmist Naomi Oreskes likes the idea of having climate ‘deniers’ prosecuted under the RICO act (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act).

Critics of Oreskes fired back that it is Oreskes herself – not the skeptics — who uses the tactics of the tobacco lobby.

As a researcher, Oreskes’ body of work has not fared well among her peers.  She has been criticized by warmist and skeptical scientists alike. See: Statistician from the U. of Mass Amherst performs very polite savaging of claims of Naomi Oreskes.

Warmist scientist Tom Wigley wrote that Oreskes’ work is “useless”. Wigley wrote: “Analyses like these by people who don’t know the field are useless. A good example is Naomi Oreskes’ work.”

Warmist scientist William M. Connolley slammed Oreskes for “silly” and “shoddy” work. Connolley, a former UN IPCC scientist, wrote that he “eventually concluded that Oreskes was hopelessly wrong.” He explained that a high-profile Oreskes “paper seems to have been written around pre-arranged conclusions…it is unlikely that anyone outside the incestuous field of climate history scholarship will notice or care.”

Others have been equally uncharitable in describing Oreskes research. See: Warmist Naomi Oreskes taken down — “consistently misrepresents the meaning of statistical significance and confidence intervals” – “Oreskes, the historian, gets the history wrong”

Oreskes has been undeterred, continually ratcheting up climate alarmism to the point of silliness. See: Forget Polar Bears, cats & dogs to die! Warmist Naomi Oreskes prophesizes the climate deaths of puppies and kittens – Oreskes: “The loss of pet cats and dogs garnered particular attention among wealthy Westerners, but what was anomalous in 2023 soon became the new normal.”

Sadly, Pope Francis is allowing Oreskes, who equates climate change to a “Nazi atomic bomb,’” to write the introduction to the book-form of his encyclical.

More HERE  (See the original for links)

On climate change, Pope Francis isn’t listening to the world’s poor

Bjorn Lomborg

THE global elite has little idea what afflicts the poor, says Pope Francis. He’s right — but that observation sometimes applies to him, too.

In his US visit, the pope is already creating headlines about the urgent need to respond to climate change. Invoking the need to “protect the vulnerable in our world,” he calls for an end to humanity’s reliance on fossil fuels.

This comes after his June declaration that global warming is one of the pre-eminent problems facing the poor. The elite, he said, are out of touch if they don’t realise this: “Many professionals, opinion makers, communications media and centres of power, being located in affluent urban areas, are far removed from the poor, with little direct contact with their problems.”

But do the world’s poor believe that carbon cuts are a top priority? Since March 2013, the United Nations has sought citizens’ ranking of 16 policy priorities. More than 8 million people have participated, with nearly 3 million living in the least developed nations.

In fact, an education is the top priority for the world’s most disadvantaged, followed by better health care, better job opportunities, an honest and responsive government and affordable, nutritious food.

Both for the entire world and among the worst-off, climate comes 16th out of 16, after 15 other priorities. It’s not even a close race.

Poorly educated women from low-income countries are among the most vulnerable people on Earth, with the weakest voice in global discussions. Their top priorities are, again, health, education and jobs. Action on global warming ranks dead last. And in Africa, global warming also comes behind every other priority.

It’s only among those from the richest nations on Earth that global warming becomes more of a priority.

Even then, it ranks 10th. The world’s poor overwhelmingly say they want better health care and education, more jobs, an honest government and more food.

Pope Francis is right that the global elite often forget what the world’s poorest want. But it’s not action against climate change they clamour for, as he and many other well-meaning people claim.

Faced with this clear rejection, many climate campaigners somewhat patronisingly suggest that the poor don’t know what’s best for them. Warming, they note, worsens many problems afflicting vulnerable people — such as malaria.

Yes, rising temperatures mean malaria mosquitoes can become endemic in more places, possibly increasing infections, so not tackling global warming could worsen malaria.

But this is a blinkered way of looking at the world’s challenges, and leads us to the wrong responses.

Look at it this way: We could make a similar argument about malaria itself. If we don’t tackle it, millions will die — but a lot of other problems become worse, too. Lack of malaria treatment disrupts development, as sick children get fewer nutrients and their schooling suffers. Malaria-endemic societies have lower economic growth rates, so millions will be left in poverty longer.

What’s more, climate-change policies such as the cuts on fossil fuels are a terribly inefficient way to help malaria victims. The Kyoto Protocol’s carbon cuts could save 1,400 malaria deaths for about $258 billion a year.

By contrast, just $716 million spent on direct anti-malaria policies could save 300,000 lives. Each time climate policies can save one person from malaria, smart malaria policies can save more than 77,000 people.

This is true for a wide range of issues. Carbon campaigners are right that climate change could reduce agricultural yields. But helping directly with more research, better crop varieties, more fertilisers and less biofuels will cost much less and do much more good, faster.

The spectre of worse hurricanes is often raised as an argument for cutting CO2. But extreme weather mostly hurts the poor because they’re poor. When a hurricane hits Florida, few people die; a similar hurricane in Honduras or the Philippines can kill thousands and devastate the economy. Helping people out of poverty directly is thousands of times more effective than relying on carbon cuts.

Those who claim to speak for the poor and say that climate change is the world’s top priority are simply wrong. The world has clearly said it is the least important of the 16 priorities the UN focuses on.

And when those campaigners suggest the poor don’t know what’s best for them because carbon cuts will stop global warming from making all other problems worse, they’re wrong again. The poor are typically much better helped directly rather than via climate aid.

This doesn’t mean we should ignore global warming. It’s a real problem, and our advanced civilisation can address multiple problems at the same time. But we need to tackle warming much more smartly, with fewer resources and more impact. And we should truly listen to the world’s poorest, and focus much more on their real priorities.


Silence of the scientists: how the global warming RICO letter backfired

by Thomas Richard

As reported here last week, we exposed how 20 scientists sent a letter to President Obama and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, which urged them to jail climate skeptics using provisions in the RICO Act. Today, three more climate scientists have chimed in on the affair at the popular climate site, NoTricksZone, and their responses to the now-infamous global warming RICO letter are both shocking and revealing. wegener

The letter, dated Sept. 1, argued that the "systemic efforts to prevent the public from understanding climate change resembles the investigation undertaken against tobacco" and called for jailing individuals and organizations involved in providing more balanced coverage in the climate change arena. After the letter was outed by both Politico and Climate Depot, a firestorm on both sides of the climate debate quickly erupted. Here is what three climate experts had to say about the silencing of the scientists:

Professor Judith Curry, a climate scientist at Georgia Tech who once argued for the disbandment of the IPCC, shared what she thought of the letter at the websiteNoTricksZone: "I am astonished by the naiveté of these scientists, who are damaging their reputation by their naive meddling in a complex policy debate." Noting that the U.S. would be picking a new president in 2016 and who could very well be Republican, she seemed amazed they didn't "realize that the tables could easily be turned on them if the political winds change."

Not only that, but those political winds would affect the "green advocacy groups and the scientists that engage with them." As a climate scientist, Curry also writes that the "science is sufficiently uncertain to allow several rational narratives for what has caused 20th century warming and how the 21st century climate will evolve." Aside from the damage they are inflicting on their own reputations, they are also damaging the public's "perception of scientists as trustworthy sources of information."

Her biggest concern, though, is that the "coercion of scientists implied by this letter will discourage objectivity in scientific research and will discourage scientists from entering/staying in the field of climate research." She also writes on her blog that what these scientists did with this letter is the "worst kind of irresponsible advocacy, which is to attempt to silence scientists that disagree with you by invoking RICO. It is bad enough that politicians such as Whitehouse and Grijalvi are playing this sort of political game with science and scientists," she says, "but I regard it as highly unethical for scientists to support defeating scientists with whom you disagree by such methods."

Another climate expert, Dr. Sebastian Lüning, considers the whole affair to be unprofessional. He writes that, "Rather than criminal lawsuits, we urgently need an objective 'scientific court' where arguments of both IPCC and skeptic sides are technically and open-mindedly discussed." Dr. Lüning thinks it is "undemocratic and unprofessional to silence scientists by legally threatening them if they do not subscribe to the official interpretation / party line."

He also writes that history is rife with examples where the pioneers in science, "such as Galileo Galilee or Alfred Wegener would have ended up in prison." The former, Galileo, did end up "sentenced to formal imprisonment" during the Inquisition. One day later, his sentence was commuted to house arrest, "where he remained under for the rest of his life."

The latter, Wegener, first advanced the theory of plate tectonics and was ridiculed by the scientific community for not being part of the "consensus" that the oceanic crust was too firm for the continents to move. Other geologists considered him an outsider, and a symposium was "specifically organized in opposition to his theory." As any fifth grader looking at a map of the world will tell you, it's pretty obvious that South America fits quite nicely into Africa, like two puzzle pieces on the same board.

And last but not least, Professor Nicola Scafetta of Duke University provided a succinct comment: "Let us hope that this evident politicization of science ends soon."


Strong evidence that Svensmark's solar-cosmic ray theory of climate is correct

by Magnus Cederlöf

Increasingly respected climate theory that cosmic rays impact global temperatures due to influence on cloud formation is given a real boost thanks to new evidence. svensmark

Swedish climate researcher, Magnus Cederlöf has performed a detailed analysis of climate data relating to cloud formation and found that there is strong correlation in favour of the theory of Henrik Svensmark (pictured). Svensmark is a physicist and professor in the Division of Solar System Physics at the Danish National Space Institute (DTU Space) in Copenhagen.

Magnus Cederlöf reports:
In the comments to my last post, led the signature "Slabadang" me on an interesting track. He claimed that the clouds varied in tune with the solar radiation. If this would be the clouds would have a negative feedback and thus balance the climate. I downloaded the satellite data from CERES to check his data.

Below is how the global cloud cover varies with the global solar radiation. The reason that solar radiation varies over the year is that the Earth is in an elliptical orbit around the sun. When we in the northern hemisphere has winter, we are therefore closest to the sun. However, it is the angle to the sun which means we have winter.
The global cloud cover and solar radiation variation over the year. The cloud cover is an average of the years 2000 to 2014.

So it is a poor correlation between cloud cover and solar radiation if you look at the Earth as a whole. However piling a completely different picture up if you instead look at the two hemispheres:

For the two hemispheres, there is thus a very good correlation between solar radiation and cloud cover. The reason that you can not see any correlation globally is likely that these variations are so much less that they drown out the noise of the large variations in the hemispheres.

It is thus clear that cloud cover increases when solar radiation increases. Then the sun's rays do not reach the earth's surface and then counteracts the clouds changes. The same must therefore apply to the carbon dioxide effect. When it increases, the clouds that counteract the temperature change. Here we have again an example that there is a negative feedback and not a positive feedback that the whole scare propaganda in climate science based.

Note also that the clouds are much larger in the southern hemisphere than it is in the northern hemisphere. The reason for this is that there are more clouds over the oceans, and there's a lot more sea in the southern hemisphere.

Climate sensitivity

It is thus more clouds in the southern hemisphere, and the temperature is also lower. Looking at 1000hPa level (near surface), the average temperature of the southern hemisphere 14.4C and for the northern hemisphere 16.5C. After millions of years of energy storage in the oceans of the southern hemisphere, then the temperature is still much lower.

One can not interpret it otherwise than that the oceans hold temperature. A major reason for this must be that the clouds in the southern hemisphere allows the sun's rays do not reach the earth's surface.

In the southern hemisphere, the average cloud cover 65.5% and in the northern hemisphere 57.6%, according to CERES-date. If the average solar radiation is 237W / m2 can then southern hemisphere approximately 7.9% of 237W / m2 = 18.7W / m2 less sun than the Northern Hemisphere. Now this is probably a little high counted for even if the cloud cover is 100%, the clouds themselves to radiate towards the Earth's surface.

The difference in temperature between the southern and northern hemisphere is thus 2.1c and the difference in solar is about 18.7W / m2. It allows every Watt / m2, equivalent to about 0.11 degree. A doubling of carbon dioxide levels will provide approximately 3.7W / m2, it therefore corresponds to approximately 0.4 degrees (climate sensitivity).

 Now I have probably figured a little low, since the change in insolation probably figured a little high, and there may also be other reasons that the temperature between the hemispheres differ. But it is still very far from the many degrees of climate sensitivity horror forecasts suggest. I have previously calculated the climate sensitivity of about 0.3 degrees by looking at seasonal variations (here).


Scientists Debunk Arctic ‘Death Spiral’ Claims

Current conditions in the Arctic are completely within normal climatic variability, according to peer-reviewed studies. Any ‘meltdown’ linked to climate change is not shown in the scientific evidence. arctic sea ice melt

 Western mainstream media has been giving prominence to the claims of a team of global warming alarmist researchers who have alleged the Arctic is showing the first signs of dangerous anthropogenic climate change. Articles have been written outlining "tipping points" in the region that together form a chain reaction leading to apocalyptic consequences.

    These alarmists have stated that “Global heating and climate disruption has already forced Arctic sea ice into a new state of 'death spiral' meltdown and it is anticipated to disappear in Summer months within a decade, or even a few short years, many decades ahead of previous estimates.”

   They then go on to push an end of the world scenario of “The ALREADY accelerated escape of massive amounts of the powerful, heat trapping greenhouse gas, methane, buried in the frozen permafrost of northern Canada, Siberia and underwater ocean shelves, is of EMERGENCY, 'LIFE OR EXTINCTION'-SCALE CONCERN. (Yes, really!)”

    This is the state of the hysteria that is based on global warming starting a chain reaction of positive feedback loops.  Peer-reviewed scientific research highlighted below shows that the main drivers of these predictions all fail.

Arctic Sea Ice Variability

   Research shows that the Arctic has a long history of temperature swings and of sea ice cover (SIC):  “Grumet et al. (2001) used sea salt Na+ fluctuations in a 700-year ice core record from the Penny Ice Cap (southeastern Baffin Island) as a proxy for Spring sea ice concentration and found that there was an apparent near-doubling in [SIC] over the past century,”

   Also the East Arctic was ice free and experienced greater warming than at present a few thousand years ago. In a respected research paper titled “Decadal-scale sea ice changes in the Canadian Arctic and their impacts on humans during the past 4,000 years:  the authors quote that:

“Our data show that from ~6500 to 2600 BP, there were large oscillations in summer SST from 2–4°C cooler than present to 6°C warmer and SIC ranged from 2 months more sea ice to 4 months more open water. The warmer interval corresponds to the period of pre-Dorset cultures that hunted muskox and caribou. Subsequent marine-based Dorset and Neo-eskimo cultures correspond to progressively cooler intervals with expanded sea ice cover. The warming took ~50–100 years and lasted ~300 years before replacement by colder intervals lasting ~200–500 years"

   Another example of an ice free arctic is provided by the historically documents event of the Danes and Scandinavians sailing through the arctic during the Medieval Warm Period in 1122 AD. This is corroborated in an article title “Variations in Climate” by Alexander Beck, ME linked below.

   He states:

 “…it is precisely at this time that we find the Danes and several Scandinavian nations going through the Arctic open seas. Colonies are established by them in the highest northern latitude of Greenland, and the upper part of North America…”

   This history of variability in temperature regime and sea ice concentration in the Arctic puts the current warming of areas of the arctic into perspective. It cannot be said that current conditions are unprecedented.

   But it is alleged that the planet will now be pushed over a tipping point because of the addition of anthropogenic CO2. The drivers of this scenario are now examined.

Positive Feedback of Melting Permafrost Mitigated

Melting permafrost actually results in peat lands becoming increased sinks for CO2. Active peat lands have been shown to be a net sink for CO2 and therefore any methane released by the melting of the permafrost and their re-invigoration is   mitigated. As the permafrost degrades there is an increase in the amount of CO2 taken up by the peat lands which at the same time release some Methane. The overall effect is not one of a huge increase in greenhouse gases as one buffers out or mitigates the others effect on the atmosphere.

   Maria Strack explains the net flow of CO2 in detail in the renowned book “Peat lands and climate change”. This free publication states:

 “Several studies have documented increased rates of C storage as peat following surface permafrost degradation”. Also on page 13: “Currently peat-lands globally represent a major store of soil carbon, sink for carbon dioxide... “

   The authoritative book adds: “Thus in response to permafrost degradation peatlands are likely to become larger sinks for CO2.” (see Page 59).

More HERE  (See the original for links)

NOAA: Hurricane Drought Hits Record 119 Months

As of today, no major hurricanes, defined as Category 3 or above, have struck the continental U.S. in a record-breaking 119 months, according to hurricane data kept by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Hurricane Research Division (HRC) dating back to 1851.

Last year, President Obama warned that hurricanes will become “more common and more devastating” because of climate change.

But Obama is now the longest serving president (since the 1851 start of NOAA's data) not to see a major hurricane strike the U.S. during his time in office. He is also the first president since Benjamin Harris was in office 122 years ago to have no major hurricane strike during his term.

The last major hurricane to make landfall on the U.S. mainland was Hurricane Wilma, which came ashore on October 24, 2005.

That year was one of the most active hurricane seasons in recorded history, according to NOAA.

Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma all wreaked havoc on the U.S. during an intense two-month period between August 29 and October 24 of 2005.

However, during the nearly 10 years since Wilma struck the U.S., no major hurricanes have made landfall and none are expected by the end of the current hurricane season.

According to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, major hurricanes classified as Category 3 or above have sustained wind speeds of more than 111 miles per hour and are capable of causing “devastating” or “catastrophic” damage.

The previous record was an eight-year span during the 1860's in which no major hurricanes struck the U.S.

The current hurricane drought is “a rare event” that is “unprecedented in the historical record,” according to Timothy Hall, a hurricane researcher at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

Hall also said there is only a 39 percent chance that the current hurricane drought will end next year.

Researchers at the Centre for Marine Sciences at the University of the West Indies traced hurricane activity over the past 1,000 years by studying sediment deposits in Jamaica’s Grape Tree Pond, which gets very little precipitation outside of hurricane season.

“Our results corroborate evidence for the increasing trend of hurricane activity during the Industrial Era; however, we show that contemporary activity has not exceeded the range of natural climate variability exhibited during the last millennium,” according to a paper published August 5 in Nature.



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