Sunday, January 31, 2016

John Cook, the crook Cook

Shearer's cooks tend to be a rough lot and an old shearer once told me that there are three types of shearer's cook:  Cooks, crook cooks and wilful murderers. John Cook is not a wilful murderer.

He has written a number of articles (e.g. here) in which he explores the apparent mystery that a lot of people don't believe that dangerous global warming is going on.

He thinks the science is settled (even though his own research shows two thirds of climate scientists taking no position on global warming) so everybody should believe it.  He therefore puts forward various explanations for why some people do not believe it.  In effect he treats climate skepticism as a form of mental illness that needs to be diagnosed and cured.  Leftists have of course been calling conservatives maladjusted at least as far back as 1950 so Cook is offensive but hardly novel in his approach.

I can find nothing in Cook's writings that gives a reason why one should believe that catastrophic warming is imminent.  The known temperature facts are not at issue.  There was an overall warming during the 20th century of about two thirds of one degree Celsius and no statistically significant warming in the 21st century. That's what the Warmist data shows and I agree with it. So the warming we did have was trivial and even that has now stopped.  I would like Mr Cook to tell me what there is to worry about in that situation.

I live only about 15 minutes from where Mr Cook works so he could even come and tell me in person.  I in fact challenge him to do that.  What scientific fact have I overlooked?  I have not found such a fact so far yet but I am always open to new information. He wants to persuade people of the truth of his beliefs so let him start with me. My email address is

He will probably find out, however, that I taught research methods and statistics at a major Australian university for a number of years, so will run like a scalded cat from any contact with me  -- JR.

Measuring global temperatures: Satellites or thermometers?

Dr. Roy Spencer

The official global temperature numbers are in, and NOAA and NASA have decided that 2015 was the warmest year on record. Based mostly upon surface Dr_-Roy-Spencerthermometers, the official pronouncement ignores the other two primary ways of measuring global air temperatures, satellites and radiosondes (weather balloons).

The fact that those ignored temperature datasets suggest little or no warming for about 18 years now, it is worth outlining the primary differences between these three measurement systems.

Three Ways to Measure Global Temperatures

The primary ways to monitor global average air temperatures are surface based thermometers (since the late 1800s), radiosondes (weather balloons, since about the 1950s), and satellites measuring microwave emissions (since 1979). Other technologies, such as GPS satellite based methods have limited record length and have not yet gained wide acceptance for accuracy.

While the thermometers measure near-surface temperature, the satellites and radiosondes measure the average temperature of a deep layer of the lower atmosphere. Based upon our understanding of how the atmosphere works, the deep layer temperatures are supposed to warm (and cool) somewhat more strongly than the surface temperatures. In other words, variations in global average temperature are expected to be magnified with height, say through the lowest 10 km of atmosphere. We indeed see this during warm El Nino years (like 2015) and cool La Nina years.

The satellite record is the shortest, and since most warming has occurred since the 1970s anyway we often talk about temperature trends since 1979 so that we can compare all three datasets over a common period.

Temperatures of the deep ocean, which I will not address in detail, have warmed by amounts so small — hundredths of a degree — that it is debatable whether they are accurate enough to be of much use. Sea surface temperatures, also indicating modest warming in recent decades, involve an entirely new set of problems, with rather sparse sampling by a mixture of bucket temperatures from many years ago, to newer ship engine intake temperatures, buoys, and since the early 1980s infrared satellite measurements.

How Much Warming?

Since 1979, it is generally accepted that the satellites and radiosondes measure 50% less of a warming trend than the surface thermometer data do, rather than 30-50% greater warming trend that theory predicts for warming aloft versus at the surface.

This is a substantial disagreement.

Why the Disagreement?

There are different possibilities for the disagreement:

1) Surface thermometer analyses are spuriously overestimating the true temperature trend

2) Satellites and radiosondes are spuriously underestimating the true temperature trend

3) All data are largely correct, and are telling us something new about how the climate system operates under long-term warming.

First let’s look at the fundamental basis for each measurement.

All Temperature Measurements are “Indirect”

Roughly speaking, “temperature” is a measure of the kinetic energy of motion of molecules in air.

Unfortunately, we do not have an easy way to directly measure that kinetic energy of motion.

Instead, many years ago, mercury-in-glass or alcohol-in-glass thermometers were commonly used, where the thermal expansion of a column of liquid in response to temperature was estimated by eye. These measurements have now largely been replaced with thermistors, which measure the resistance to the flow of electricity, which is also temperature-dependent.

Such measurements are just for the air immediately surrounding the thermometer, and as we all know, local sources of heat (a wall, pavement, air conditioning or heating equipment, etc.) can and do affect the measurements made by the thermometer. It has been demonstrated many times that urban locations have higher temperatures than rural locations, and such spurious heat influences are difficult to eliminate entirely, since we tend to place thermometers where people live.

Radiosondes also use a thermistor, which is usually checked against a separate thermometer just before weather balloon launch. As the weather balloon carries the thermistor up through the atmosphere, it is immune from ground-based sources of contamination, but it still has various errors due to sunlight heating and infrared cooling which are minimized through radiosonde enclosure design. Radiosondes are much fewer in number, generally making hundreds of point measurements around the world each day, rather than many thousands of measurements that thermometers make.

Satellite microwave radiometers are the fewest in number, only a dozen or so, but each one is transported by its own satellite to continuously measure virtually the entire earth each day. Each individual measurement represents the average temperature of a volume of the lower atmosphere about 50 km in diameter and about 10 km deep, which is about 25,000 cubic kilometers of air. About 20 of those measurements are made every second as the satellite travels and the instrument scans across the Earth.

The satellite measurement itself is “radiative”: the level of microwave emission by oxygen in the atmosphere is measured and compared to that from a warm calibration target on the satellite (whose temperature is monitored with several highly accurate platinum resistance thermometers), and a cold calibration view of the cosmic background radiation from space, assumed to be about 3 Kelvin (close to absolute zero temperature). A less sophisticated (infrared) radiation temperature measurement is made with the medical thermometer you place in your ear.

So, Which System is Better?

The satellites have the advantage of measuring virtually the whole Earth every day with the same instruments, which are then checked against each other. But since there are very small differences between the instruments, which can change slightly over time, adjustments must be made.

Thermometers have the advantage of being much greater in number, but with potentially large long-term spurious warming effects depending on how each thermometer’s local environment has changed with the addition of manmade objects and structures.

Virtually all thermometer measurements require adjustments of some sort, simply because with the exception of a few thermometer sites, there has not been a single, unaltered instrument measuring the same place for 30+ years without a change in its environment. When such rare thermometers were identified in a recent study of the U.S., it was found that by comparison the official U.S. warming trends were exaggerated by close to 60%. Thus, the current official NOAA adjustment procedures appear to force the good data to match the bad data, rather than the other way around. Whether such problem exist with other countries data remains to be seen.

Changes in radiosonde design and software have occurred over the years, making some adjustments necessary to the raw data.

For the satellites, orbital decay of the satellites requires an adjustment of the “lower tropospheric” (LT) temperatures, which is well understood and quite accurate, depending only upon geometry and the average rate of temperature decrease with altitude. But the orbital decay also causes the satellites to slowly drift in the time of day they observe. This “diurnal drift” adjustment is less certain. Significantly, very different procedures for this adjustment have led to almost identical results between the satellite datasets produced by UAH (The University of Alabama in Huntsville) and RSS (Remote Sensing Systems, Santa Rosa, California).

The fact that the satellites and radiosondes – two very different types of measurement system — tend to agree with each other gives us somewhat more confidence in their result that warming has been much less than predicted by climate models. But even the thermometers indicate less warming than the models, just with less of a discrepancy.

And this is probably the most important issue…that no matter which temperature monitoring method we use, the climate models that global warming policies are based upon have been, on average, warming faster than all of our temperature observation systems.

I do believe “global warming” has occurred, but (1) it is weaker than expected, based upon independent satellite and weather balloon measurements; (2) it has been overestimated with poorly adjusted surface-based thermometers; (3) it has a substantial natural component; and (4) it is likely to be more beneficial to life on Earth than harmful.


Challenging Obama's State of the Climate

President Obama used borderline threatening words during his final State of the Union Address — language he directed towards those who are skeptical of his position on man-made climate change:

    "Look, if anybody still wants to dispute the science around climate change, have at it.  You’ll be pretty lonely, because you’ll be debating our military, most of America’s business leaders, the majority of the American people, almost the entire scientific community, and 200 nations around the world who agree it’s a problem and intend to solve it".

It is quite peculiar that Obama said “you’ll be debating” all these people. Last time I checked, there has never been a large-scale debate over the likelihood of man-induced, irreversible, catastrophic climate change. Not even once! Ironically, the “science” of global warming has always been presented as “settled” since day one. Al Gore has never participated in a single public debate to defend his wild assertions in either his book or his movie. President Obama hasn’t debated on the topic, either.

If indeed the science does so strongly suggest that the planet will soon be doomed and climate chaos will be ensuing in the not-so-distant future because of fossil fuel consumption, why don’t they just have a big, publicized, end-all debate to persuade the half of Americans and the majority of the rest of the world who don’t believe climate legislation is a top priority? Perhaps it is because there’s not quite so much “consensus” among scientists about climate change as the U.N., the Obama administration and Big Green Inc. would like us all to believe.

The White House has repeatedly emphasized that nothing “poses a greater threat to our children, our planet, and future generations than climate change.” That is a very serious statement. But why hasn’t anyone, such as James Hansen, NASA’s top climate scientist, or UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, or Canadian science broadcaster David Suzuki ever stepped up to the debate plate? Enough crouching behind computer models that have never been accurate and patting each other’s back at fancy conferences in exotic places all over the world that cost a city’s worth of “carbon-footprints.”

What if the greatest threat to our children, our planet and future generations was instead a large centralized government that intimidates its way to control every aspect of life? Maybe we should be more troubled about an all-powerful State that heedlessly hands billions of dollars to crony green organizations and corrupt third-world political leaders, and then taxes the one thing — carbon — that has lifted more people out of poverty than just about anything else in the history of the world.

Carbon is the main component of food and fuel. A carbon tax is far more regressive even than a sales tax because with a sales tax a high fashion dress is taxed more than a discount dress — but they both use the same amount of carbon! So the full weight of carbon taxation falls on the poor. So much for a political party that claims to represent the lower classes or an ideology that helps the economy!

For science to work as it is supposed to work, ideas need to be argued and debated. Hypotheses need to be tested. Theories must continually be sifted, pressed and worked over for any possible error. But for the past decade climate change alarmists have not welcomed debate — they’ve avoided it. However, if the U.N. is wrong and the “doubters” are right, the economic impact of climate policies could be devastating — especially to the poor of the world.

We cannot afford to mess this one up. How much do we really know about the global climate system? I mean, they got something as simple as polar bears wrong! Can we really have faith in what they say about something far more complex?

Until welcomed argumentation and headline debates occur over this very important topic, and climate science is tried by fire and tested by time, I cannot help but distrust nearly everything you say about the matter, Mr. President.

For now, if I must, I’m content to be lonely (even though I’m not).


West Virginia Turns to Prayer as Obama’s ‘Clean Power’ Looms

There’s little separation between church and the fossil fuel industry in West Virginia’s coal country. Still reeling from recent mine shutdowns, the state legislature has set aside Jan. 31 as a “day of prayer for coal miners.”

On Sunday, a congregation of pastors, businessmen, and lawmakers will seek divine intervention in one of the nation’s hardest-hit coal economies. Doubtless, though, many will ask for deliverance from what they consider a man-made crisis.

“West Virginia’s absolutely in dire straits,” Roger Horton, president of Citizens for Coal, the organization that spearheaded the prayer effort, said in an interview Wednesday with The Daily Signal. “The point we’re trying to stress is that we need a higher power to change the hearts and minds of those who want to destroy Appalachia.”

The legislators and businessmen who gathered at the 43rd annual West Virginia Coal Symposium here seem to agree and likely will pray that God change Washington.

“The vast majority of the problem comes from President Obama and his EPA’s war on coal,” state Senate President Bill Cole, a Republican, told The Daily Signal.

Cole, who also serves as lieutenant governor and is running for governor, argues that the increased cost of new regulations has priced coal out of the market, persuading consumers to use other energy sources and pushing miners out of their jobs.

An Avalanche of Layoffs

Whether he’s right or not, there’s plenty to pray about in the Mountain State.

The first three weeks of January witnessed an avalanche of layoffs, leaving almost 2,000 coal miners permanently out of work by some estimates. And just recently, one of the largest producers in the state, the now bankrupt Alpha Natural Resources, announced its own bad news. In July, the company will cut another 900 jobs.

But even as the boom in natural gas continues to put new pressure on coal, many West Virginians blame government regulation, not the market, for the downturn.

Under the Obama administration, the past seven years have brought new regulations on coal mining and, critics say, a host of new costs. Now the industry is bracing for the latest and most sweeping regulation issued unilaterally by the EPA: the Clean Power Plan.

The rule requires states to cut carbon emissions by 32 percent before 2030 and gives them until Sept. 6 to submit their plans to do it.

The Clean Power Plan is a key component of Obama’s effort to execute the global climate agenda struck last month in Paris. Proponents say the international compact will substantially clean up the environment by encouraging renewable fuels. Opponents say it will bankrupt the coal industry by imposing new regulations.

On Wednesday, Cole told The Daily Signal that communities in his district are still recovering from existing rules.

“We’ve closed down power plant after power plant and destroyed our own market for coal,” the Senate president and lieutenant governor said. “When you get into those southern coal communities, when coal goes away, it’s devastation and poverty in the worst form.”

Fates Intertwined

Cole points to the “ghost towns” in West Virginia’s McDowell County. Once the leading coal-producing region in the nation, the county ranks as one of the poorest in the country. Without mining, the median household income peaks just above $22,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

But it’s not just individual counties that are hurting. The coal market is tightly intertwined with West Virginia’s financial health. Fossil fuel provides more than half of the government’s business income tax and adds billions to the state’s bottom line.

In recent years, as the coal market shifted, West Virginia lost its footing further. The Associated Press reports that the state expects a budget deficit of $284 million for 2016 and another $466 million in 2017.

West Virginia House Speaker Tim Armstead, a Republican, attributes part of that funding gap to “the devastating ripple effect” of every mine shutdown.

“Every time we see a mine close,” Armstead told The Daily Signal, “our men and women are put out of work. That not only impacts them and their families, but it influences all the businesses in that community.”

And although both of the state’s top lawmakers credit their congressional delegation to Washington for bringing attention to the issue, they say the Obama administration has turned a deaf ear.

“It’s very clear that this over-regulation has stifled production [and] has put our people out of work. They recognize that,” Armstead said of the administration.

Rather than attending the Paris climate summit last year, the House speaker said, he wished “Obama would visit West Virginia instead.”

Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association, said Obama is making good on promises.

“He’s simply done what he’s wanted to do,” Raney said Wednesday, referring to remarks Obama made as a presidential candidate in 2008. “He said he was going to bankrupt the industry when he was running [for president], and that’s what he’s set out to do.”

The administration continues to “circumvent Congress” with executive action and an unaccountable Environmental Protection Agency, the coal association president said.

Congress last month tried to halt the EPA’s Clean Power Plan using the Congressional Review Act. They failed when Obama vetoed their resolution of disapproval aimed at voiding the new rule.

West Virginia is among 27 states that have mounted a legal challenge to the Clean Power Plan, arguing that without congressional approval, the rule amounts to “a power grab.”

Now before the District of Columbia Circuit Court, that case will be decided this summer but is expected to come before the U.S. Supreme Court sometime in 2017.

Although Raney said “going to court is now our only recourse,” he also sees another last option for coal producers fearful of new regulation: prayer.

“If we have enough sense to get out of the Lord’s way, he often provides a path for us,” Raney said. “Certainly he must be aware of the suffering that’s going on and of how deeply its cutting in the coal fields.”


Washed-up misanthropy

The declaration of man as pestilence on the planet is adolescent and tedious

It was grimly fitting that in the same week we remember those who perished in the Holocaust, anti-nuclear protesters should spray-paint the legend ‘mans [sic] fault’ on to a dead whale in Skegness. For both the Holocaust and environmental degradation are totems for today’s misanthropes and anti-humanists, for whom man’s presence on the planet is but a pestilence.

It is a spirit epitomised by a parliamentary motion of 2004 that pronounced humanity to be ‘obscene, perverted, cruel, uncivilised and lethal’ and ‘looks forward to the day when the inevitable asteroid slams into the Earth and wipes them out thus giving nature the opportunity to start again’. It was signed by three people. One was the late Tony Banks. The other two were John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn.

The Holocaust was a grave psychological blow for Western civilization, and while it’s understood by most as a monstrous aberration, there has grown the sentiment that it was actually the reverse, that it was the culmination of the ‘Enlightenment project’, and not the rejection of it. This narrative has been popularised by the sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, whose book Modernity and the Holocaust (1989) asserted that Auschwitz was the end result of the Enlightenment’s desire to classify, rationalise and ‘to Other’. It was detached, bureaucratic, industrialised slaughter. It was the cool, calculating spirit of modernity that made it possible for cruel things to ‘be done by non-cruel people’.

Postmodernism – or rather, anti-modernism – had its tangible roots in the unfolding shortcomings of Communist states during the 1950s and 1960s and the associated crisis of faith among socialists. Fuelled by the teachings of Herbert Marcuse and his ‘one-dimensional man’ and Theodor Adorno’s ‘administered society’, antimodernism – with its tenets of relativism and subjectivity – blossomed. Modernity was now viewed as oppressive and lethal. Hospitals are no better than prisons, said Michel Foucault. ‘For modernity in its bureaucratic modernity has been discerned everywhere from Auschwitz to McDonald’s’ wrote the sociologist, David Lyon, in 1994 (1).

Bauman’s philosophy that the Holocaust was the Enlightenment writ large filtered down from university seminars in much the same way as Foucault’s theory of omnipotent, ubiquitous invisible power has given birth to Safe Spaces. Edward Said’s writings on ‘orientalism’ have created the notion of subjective, white ‘privileged’ knowledge.

Yet such romantic primitivism is nothing new. In the early-19th century, romantic writers and poets were revolted by industry and modernity – as embodied in Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein. In the 1920s and 1930s, anthropologists in search of innocent, exotic tribes made a comparable journey. Margaret Mead’s 1928 work Coming of Age in Samoa exemplified this new exoticism, with its discredited accounts of that island’s prelapsarian state and the arcadian condition of its inhabitants.

There is also something age-old afoot here. Man has always had the capacity for cruelty. The Holocaust remains shocking and is regarded as exceptional because of its sheer scale, and because it’s in living memory (it also serves as a moral benchmark in a society no longer sure of its values). Yet otherwise, the Holocaust tells us nothing revealing about human beings. It teaches us no lessons. Bauman wrote that science and technology take us to the gas chamber. Yet ever since neolithic man used twine to attach a flint to a stick and make an arrow, man has employed technology in order to kill other men.

Last week in Kenya, there was found the 10,000-year-old remains of 27 people, including young children and heavily pregnant women, beaten, stabbed and shot with arrows, tied up and thrown into a lagoon. In York a large grave containing 80 men was also discovered, dating back to Roman times. Some bodies were beaten in the head with hammers. Most were decapitated.

Such discoveries, like the Holocaust, expose nothing profound about the human condition. Men, who are tribal by nature, have always killed ‘the Other’. They have always used technology and they always will. If present-day misanthropes feel that modern, Western man is a plague on the planet, then they must hate all humanity throughout the ages.

Today’s misanthropic, ‘back-to-nature’ romanticism is but another adolescent manifestation of the revolt of the civilised against civilisation. Just as teenagers will always rebel against their parents, these types will be forever with us, too.

Ultimately, for all its achievements, such as medicine, symphonies, cathedrals, cities and space travel, humanity is neither to be worshipped or to be reviled. Man just is.


Australia's coal-fired power stations at risk of 'death-spiral' - report

This is mostly nonsense.  The idea that "renewables" compete with thermal coal is a laugh.  They are just an unreliable luxury of very little actual use. They CANNOT supply predictable power.

Competition from gas may be a problem but gas prices are in flux so we will have to wait and see on that one.  Gas prices differ widely in different parts of the world so arbitrage must come into play eventually.

The cheapest electricity in Australia has always come from Victoria's brown coal generators in the Latrobe vallety, but they are hated by Warmists -- and a proposed new one was made unviable by environmental requirements in the Gillard years.  Germany is however building a heap of brown coal generators so a return to brown coal in Australia seems likely.  It is undoubtedly the cheapest option

Brown coal deposits are frequently close to the surface so big digging machines just scrape it up and feed it onto a conveyer belt to the power station next door, which is very efficient.  No miners and no trucks needed

Australia's power sector is at risk of a "utility death spiral" due to its reliance on coal, along with utilities in the US, Japan and Germany, according to a report highlighting the environmental-related risk of coal producers.

Additional pressures on the coal industry is coming from the shift by countries such as China and India to rely on domestic sources for coal, rather than imports, to feed their surging demand for electricity generation.

The report, by the University of Oxford's Smith School of Enterprise, pointed to the emergence of renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind, along with competition from gas as additional pressures for the sector.

Other issues include water stress, concerns over air pollution, changes to government policies and the challenge of carbon capture and storage technology, the report noted.

A 'death spiral' occurs as new energy sources take market share from coal-fired power stations, forcing stations to close while also undermining the economics of the centralised electricity grid by forcing higher distribution charges, according to the report.

The use of so-called 'sub-critical' coal-fired power stations which are poor converters of energy from coal into electricity, use high volums of water for cooling and release high levels of carbon emissions puts the utilities and coal companies at particular risk in countries such as Australia, according to work by the group.

That risk declines with the use of new generation technology, so-called "super-critical" power stations, which are more expensive to build.

The report comes after US energy giant ExxonMobil this week predicted that global demand for coal would peak in about 2025 and then fall into terminal decline.

In contrast to coal's decline, demand for natural gas would increase by 50 per cent over the next 26 years, ExxonMobil predicted in its  2016 Outlook for Energy report.



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Friday, January 29, 2016

Warmists and the decline in trust of science:  The flat earth movement

The one thing that is clear about Warmism is that it is heavily politicized.  Most Leftists accept the theory as fact and most conservatives doubt it. Certainly, most GOP Congressmen are firmly against doing anything about it.  And almost all the scientific voices we hear in the media are Warmist.

So roughly half the population think the scientists are fooling us, which they demonstrably are.  So Warmism has clearly disrupted people's trust in science.

But Warmism is not the only disrupter of trust in science.  The way official food and diet recommendations periodically go into reverse must also incite cynicism about scientific wisdom. Many conservatives say that the government has no business trying to dictate what people should put in their mouths and, if that dictum had been followed, medical science might have been spared the ignominy it has suffered.

So what happens when large numbers of people mistrust science?  It throws everything into doubt.  People tend to look for what makes sense to them personally and go by that alone.

And there are two well established scientific facts that were once virtually unquestioned but which have recently gained many doubters:  The benefits of vaccinations and the shape of the earth.  The antivaxxers risk the lives of their children by refusing all vaccinations and there are now once again people who believe the earth is flat.

Of these, the anti-vaxxers are the big problem.  If there are enough of them they destroy herd immunity and thus take away the only protections newborns have from various serious and life threatening illnesses.  Anti-vaxxers kill not only their own children but also other babies too young to be vaccinated.

Leftists, of course, don't worry about killing.  They cry compassion but are happy to kill millions with "incorrect" beliefs and allow killing of unborn  babies with no compunction at all. Conservatives, however, tend to value life greatly -- so from a conservative viewpoint very stern measures against anti-vaxxers could be justified.

But how can we justify such measures when their only clear justification is a scientific one and people have good reasons to distrust science?  How can we ask people to trust science when science is so obviously flawed?  So distrust of science is in fact killing babies.

But the distrust of science becomes really stark when we find that there really is now a flat earth movement.  There are now an evidently considerable number of people who do believe the earth is flat. They are in no way as dangerous as the anti-vaxers but just by their existence they show how seriously the reputation of science has been damaged.

The flat earthers are sometimes called an Alt-Right movement but I can't see that they have much in common with mainstream conservatives.  They seem mainly to be believers in spirituality and the occult -- and such beliefs tend to be strongest among Leftist voters.  I reproduce below an excerpt from one of the more prominent flat-earthers, Makia Freeman.:

Socrates, the father of philosophy, showed that questions are more powerful than answers; indeed, his questions were so powerful that the leaders of Athens put him to death for them. So, let us never be afraid to ask questions – it is the only way we can learn and be truly sure of things.

Whatever the answer turns out to be, the idea that the Earth on which we all live could indeed be flat has ignited intense curiosity and healthy debate – and has already shaken people out of their apathy and generated some genuine critical thinking. This in itself is a victory for freedom, because once enough people start to question their reality in every way, the global conspiracy being only held up by deception and subterfuge will collapse.

It Sounds Crazy, But Open Your Mind …

Virtually everyone who first comes to the subject of flat earth (myself included) is thinking: “Flat earth? Are you serious? You must be kidding. That’s crazy! Don’t waste my time. That Makia Freeman guy has really gone off the deep end this time …” I know, I know. That’s how I first reacted to this topic. Let’s face it: we’re all conditioned to believe the world is arranged in a certain way. Right from the moment we go to school around age 5, we are shown miniature globes of the world and told the Earth is a ball. Our society makes fun of people we perceive to be crazy or behind the times by deriding them as “people who still think the world is flat.”

But how do you know the Earth is a globe? Only because you were told so by your teacher, who was told by someone else, who was told by someone else, who was told by someone else, who was told by some “authority” or “expert”. We already know the tendency humanity has for worshipping those outside of itself, for unquestioning obedience to authority, especially other people in uniform, white coats or black robes. Somewhere along the way as a child, you were probably shown some books with photographs, but as has been well exposed, space photos and videos are easily faked, as NASA knows very well. Those at the very top of the pyramid, who control the media, publishing houses and the education curriculum, do have the means to pull of such a grand deception.

Is the Flat Earth the Mother of All Conspiracies?

The question of whether we live on a flat earth or globe-shaped earth is not some passing fad of little importance. If we have been deceived into thinking the earth is a globe when it is really flat, it conclusively proves just how easily we can be hoodwinked into believing lies and absurdities on a colossal scale. If we have been massively fooled about the very planet on which we live, we could have been fooled on any other topic in existence.

Is the debate over the flat earth the “Mother of all Conspiracies”? Not quite, in my opinion. If it’s true, it’s huge: I’d call it the second biggest conspiracy. The biggest conspiracy, though, is forgetting Who We Are – infinitely creative, spiritual beings having a brief human journey – and allowing other entities to siphon off our life energy. This includes the issue of what happens when we die (ie. whether we are forcibly recycled at the point of death through a soul net?)

In my opinion, flat earth is a close second, but ultimately, the two issues are connected; authors such as James of the Wing Makers have joined the two in their work — by describing our world as the Hologram of Deception and describing the phenomenon of forced reincarnation. The notion that we are entrapped in some kind of holographic quarantine is highly disturbing, yet deserves our full attention.


NOAA: Global warming may affect your beer

Pure speculation. Hops are a cool climate crop but all that warming would do would be to shift the farms a bit further polewards.  And with warming opening up places like Siberia to crops, large new areas would become suitable for cool climate crops

As if the prospects of coastal flooding, hotter summers and species extinction were not enough to get your attention, the federal government recently reported that global warming may affect the taste and cost of beer.

No, we're not talking about warm beer.

Heat and drought threaten to increase the cost of hops, which give beer much of its flavor, reported the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's website, and brewers in California have been scrambling to deal with water shortages that may or may not be related to global warming.

An article posted on earlier this month says almost all of the United States' hop production occurs in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, which saw a hotter and drier growing season in 2015 that threatened the size of the hops crop. June temperatures in the three states were the highest since the 1890s.

Hops production ultimately rose 11 percent last year over 2014 and the value of the crop jumped by a third, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said. That doesn't sound so bad for growers until you notice that acreage planted in hops increased 14.8 percent, meaning growers had to work harder to produce the same amount of hops. USDA attributed the increase in value to a switch to varieties that are higher in value and increased demand from craft brewers.

Hops growers apparently came through 2015 in reasonably good shape, but it is not clear whether that will always be the case. Scientists at the University of Washington say the likelihood of dry summers with temperatures greater than some hops like will rise as global warming increases. The impact varies with the variety of hops.

CNBC reported in July that growers incurred additional expenses because of water shortages and quoted an investment banker as saying the long-term trend will be for higher hops prices.

"You have a shortage of water. You're going to have more demand from the craft breweries, and so you kind of pass the inflection point where the demand is greater for hops than the supply," said Michael Butler, chairman and CEO of Seattle-based Cascadia Capital. "The consumer will pay a higher price for beer. That is without question."

Ceres, a sustainability advocacy organization, said last March that hop prices had risen more than 250 percent over the previous decade because of increased demand and lower yields.

The future effects of warming on hops production are not completely known. Increased amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere boosts some plant growth, and it's possible hops growing could shift further north as temperatures rise, although the transition could create extra costs for growers.

Farther south in California, falling river levels related to a historic drought have pressured some brewers, reported.

National Public Radio said in 2014 that some were concerned by the prospect of having to switch to groundwater, which often has high mineral content.

NPR quoted Jeremy Marshall, head brewer at Lagunitas Brewing Co. in Petaluma, as saying brewing with groundwater there "would be like brewing with Alka-Seltzer."

These worries help explain support for action on global warming from a number of brewers, including at  least a couple with breweries in the Asheville area, New Belgium Brewery and Sierra Nevada Brewing.

More than 42 signed a "Brewery Climate Declaration" last March to bring attention to climate change issues and many have taken steps to decrease their environmental impact. It will be interesting to see how many push for government action on warming as well.


Ethanol Is a ‘Complete Ripoff, a Complete Boondoggle’

On his nationally syndicated radio show last Wednesday, Mark Levin set the record straight on ethanol subsidies calling them a "complete ripoff, a complete boondoggle."

"In the end, even the most generous analysis estimates that it takes the energy equivalent of three gallons of gasoline to make four gallons of [ethanol]," he said. "It is a complete rip-off, a complete boondoggle. It is exactly the opposite of what we demand of our government. It is as establishment as it gets; it is as big government as it gets; and it is as anti-consumer as it gets.”

Here is a transcript of what Mark Levin had to say on his program:

    “As ethanol and other biofuels require corn, sugar cane, additional crops to produce blends of gasoline, these essential crops are diverted from food production to energy production, and as demand for corn and sugar cane increases more farmers around the world respond by converting their fields from rice and wheat and soy to more profitable government-subsidized products like biofuels, like ethanol.

    “Government policy played a significant role in driving up demand and prices, not only for fuel, but food, which has actually caused enormous damage to the Third World. And as for demand for corn increased in the United States, and since corn is one form or another is fed to most livestock, the price of beef, fowl, dairy products, all went up. A ripple effect occurs across the economic and global landscape.

    “This isn’t ideology, this isn’t purism. This is fact. This isn’t an abstraction. This isn’t theory. This is economic reality. That’s why we’re conservatives. That’s why we talk about free market capitalism. Are we supposed to abandon it this election cycle? Well, if we abandon it, nobody’s going to defend it.

    “Now here’s what even the Associated Press wrote several years ago. Ready for this?

    “The AP:

    “‘Ethanol is [much,] much less efficient [than gasoline], especially when it is made from corn. Just growing corn requires expending energy: plowing, planting, fertilizing and harvesting all require machinery that burns fossil fuel. Modern agriculture relies on large amounts of fertilizer and pesticides, both of which are produced by methods that consume fossil fuels. Then there’s the cost of transporting the corn to an ethanol plant, where the fermentation and distillation processes consume yet more energy. Finally, there’s the cost of transporting the fuel to filling stations. And because ethanol is more corrosive than gasoline, it can’t be pumped through relatively efficient pipelines, but must be transported by rail or tanker truck.

    “‘In the end, even the most generous analysts estimate that it takes the energy equivalent of three gallons of gasoline to make four gallons of the stuff.

    “It is a complete rip-off, it a complete boondoggle. It is exactly the opposite of what we demand of our government. It is as establishment as it gets; it is as big government as it gets; and it is as anti-consumer as it gets. The statists created this. The statists created this and all the detriments and unintended consequences that go along with it.”


Ethanol politics

By John Stossel

Cars run on fuel. Politicians run on votes, and they’ll do almost anything to get them. That includes supporting mandates that force us to use ethanol, a fuel made from corn that Iowa farmers grow.

They support ethanol because Iowa is the first state to vote on presidential candidates. Candidates want to look strong at the start of the race, so every four years they become enthusiastic ethanol supporters. Even those who claim they believe in markets pander to Iowa’s special interests.

Donald Trump, who doesn’t seem to have a consistent political philosophy aside from bashing critics and foreigners, now has joined the ethanol-praising club. In fact, Trump says regulators should force gas stations to increase the amount of ethanol they use. It’s a convenient way to attack his Iowa rival, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., who courageously says the mandate should be phased out.

Cruz is right. Legally mandating that a certain percentage of fuel used be ethanol is a bad idea for several reasons:

First, mandating ethanol means more land must be plowed to grow corn for fuel. The Department of Energy estimates that if corn ethanol replaced gasoline completely, we’d need to turn all cropland to corn — plus 20 percent more land on top of that.

Second, requiring ethanol fuel raises the price of corn — bad news for consumers who must pay more for food.

Third, although ethanol’s supporters claim burning corn is “better for the environment,” that’s not true. Once you add the emissions from growing, shipping and processing the corn, ethanol creates more pollution than oil. Environmental groups such as Friends of the Earth, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Clean Air Task Force now oppose its use.

Finally, because corn is grown in America, promoters said ethanol would make us more energy independent. Even if the “independence” argument were valid, fracking accomplishes much more. (Anyway, it isn’t a valid argument. Trade with Mexico and Canada is just fine. We don’t need total independence.)

Since Trump is a businessman, I assume he realizes that ethanol is an expensive boondoggle that wouldn’t survive in a competitive market. But in Iowa Trump says, “Ethanol is terrific.”

Dr. Ben Carson didn’t go that far but according to the Washington Examiner said that it would be wrong to end the subsidies. “People have made plans based on those kind of things,” he says. “You can’t just pull out the rug out from under people.”

It sounds like most politicians want to get rid of subsidies in principle, but never right now — certainly not in the middle of their campaigns. Sen. Marco Rubio says he’d support ending the mandate — after another seven years.

At the Iowa Agriculture Summit, Chris Christie sounded annoyed that President Obama hasn’t been more supportive of ethanol subsidies, saying, “Certainly anybody who’s a competent president would get that done!”

Bernie Sanders, I-Ver., criticized subsidies in the past, but on Iowa public radio he sounded as if he loves the boondoggle: “We have to be supportive of that effort — and take every step that we could, and in every way we can, including the growth of the biofuels industry.”

Of course, big-government Democrats always want to subsidize more. Hillary Clinton says ethanol “holds the promise for not only more fuel for automobiles but for aviation … and for military aircraft; we could be fueling so much air traffic with biofuels. We have just begun to explore what we can do.”

Sure. Explore away! That’s what market competition does. Entrepreneurs constantly explore options in search of profit. But that’s very different from government forcing taxpayers to fund one particular fuel.

Only Cruz and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ken.) have consistently said that the market, not politicians, should choose fuels. Unfortunately, that principled stance hasn’t brought them much support. Presidential-race betting at has Cruz dropping and Paul tied for last.

Energy expert Jerry Taylor is right to say that running for office in Iowa not only means you must praise Christianity; it means being “willing to sacrifice children to the corn god.”


What's More Dangerous Than VW Emissions? The EPA

Remember the Volkswagen emissions scandal? It’s evaded the headlines of late, but last fall the auto manufacture was busted for installing software in its diesel-fueled vehicles designed to skirt environmental tests. VW is facing billions of dollars in fines as a result along with a scolding from EPA officials — which is rather ironic, observes Robert Bryce, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Here’s why. Writing in Bloomberg View, Bryce says, “The vehicles in question produced 10 to 40 times more nitrogen oxides than the law allowed. And those increased emissions will cause about 60 premature deaths a year in the U.S., according to a study by researchers at MIT and Harvard University.”

However, five years ago the EPA conducted its own study on the Renewable Fuel Standard, a law that forces refiners to combine ethanol with gasoline. According to Bryce, “Ethanol-blended fuel also increases ‘emissions of hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and other pollutants,’ the EPA found, and that will ‘lead to increases in population-weighted annual average ambient PM [particulate matter] and ozone concentrations, which in turn are anticipated to lead to up to 245 cases of adult premature mortality.’” Do the math. The ethanol mandate is far more lethal.

That raises two questions. First, why is the EPA exempt from its own standards? Bryce points out that late last year the EPA “actually increased the amount of ethanol that must be blended into domestic fuel supplies each year by more than 1 billion gallons” despite the science that’s clearly against it. The reason the agency gets away with it, however, is because there is virtually no accountability in government; in other words, laws are for the little people. Secondly, why are some presidential candidates — including Republicans — continuing to support this failed experiment? Bryce has a simple answer: “The reason for their fealty to Big Corn is obvious: No presidential candidate has ever won the Iowa caucuses while opposing corn ethanol.”

What VW did was wrong, even if the standards it has to meet are absurd. But, concludes Bryce, “If the federal government is going to fine Volkswagen billions of dollars for knowingly increasing air pollution, it should take similar action against the corn ethanol industry. Better yet, the EPA should eliminate the ethanol mandate.” That starts by nominating someone who will stand against the ethanol lobby.


GOP Senators Push Attorney General to Investigate EPA Over WOTUS

Two Republican senators opened up a broadside assault against the Environmental Protection Agency last week in the ongoing battle over President Barack Obama’s controversial “Waters of the U.S.” rule (WOTUS), a regulation that extends federal authority over smaller waterways.

In a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Sens. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma and Ben Sasse of Nebraska pushed the Department of Justice to investigate whether the EPA “knowing and willfully violated” federal law.

The call for oversight comes as Republicans complain of ongoing executive overreach, fearing that without a push, the administration will continue to turn a blind eye on internal misconduct.

The letter follows a December 2015 report from the Government Accountability Office that found that the EPA violated anti-lobbying provisions by spending tax dollars to persuade Congress and the public to support proposed WOTUS regulations.

The Daily Signal is the multimedia news organization of The Heritage Foundation.  We’ll respect your inbox and keep you informed.

That conclusion stems from EPA activity during their blitz to crowd source support for the rule. The government agency launched Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube campaigns to counter Republican opposition to WOTUS, the New York Times reports.

In addition, the EPA also employed a social media platform called Thunderclap to solicit comments favorable to the rule.

Later, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy used this solicited support in an attempt to sway Congress back in March of 2015. Before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, she testified:

    "We have received over one million comments, and 87.1 percent of those comments…are supportive of this rule. Let me repeat: 87.1 percent of those one-plus million are supportive of this rule"

According to the GAO, the activity violated the Anti-Deficiency Act—which prohibits the use of tax dollars without Congressional authorization—and therefore constituted illegal “covert propaganda.”

The Anti-Deficiency Act stipulates that any violating agency must conduct its own internal investigation to identify those responsible—individuals who could be subject to a $5,000 fine and 2 years in prison.

But the EPA insists their activity was all a regular part “of a far reaching effort to educate the American public.”

The senators charge that the EPA hasn’t been sufficiently responsive and are asking that the Department of Justice open their own investigation “to determine if any crime has occurred.”

In a joint statement, Sasse criticized the EPA for thinking “it can stonewall” and Inhofe blasted the agency for thinking “it can break the law and illegally spend taxpayer dollars.” Sasse continued:

    "Despite the fact that the Government Accountability Office found that they broke federal law by running a covert propaganda campaign to support their sweeping WOTUS rule, the EPA has doubled down on their lawlessness. It’s time for the Department of Justice to investigate".

The letter represents the latest Republican volley in an ongoing battle over the WOTUS rule.

Advocates contend it would ensure clean water for public and environmental health. Opponents criticize the measure for expanding the federal government and threatening private property rights.

Last week, Obama vetoed a proposal passed under the Congressional Review Act that would have scrapped the measure altogether. Republicans also tried, and failed, last December to gut funding for rule during the end of the year spending bill.

The rule still isn’t in effect, however. In October, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily blocked the WOTUS rule.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

New Warmist claim hot off the press

Mann, Rahmstorf & Co. had a new article published on 25th and the Daily Mail had their take on it on 26th.  So I am a slow-poke in getting to it on 28th.  It's basically another "Warmest year" claim that ignores statistical significance and fails to note that their temperature changes go both down and up relative to the average.  In other words the changes indicate a temperature plateau rather than systematic warming.  Anyway, I reproduce below both the DM article and the academic journal abstract.  You will see that the whole thing is just another modelling exercise -- and you can get whatever answer you want out of models.  You can get everything but an accurate prediction of  actual temperatures

Since the start of the new millennium, the world has experienced a succession of the warmest years on record.

Now scientists say it is extremely likely these unprecedented high global temperatures have been caused by human emissions from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil.

It comes just days after Nasa confirmed 2015 was the hottest year on record, with temperatures rising 1.8°F (1°C) above those seen before industrialisation.

The latest study claims it is 'extremely unlikely' that 13 of the 15 hottest years to have occurred since records began 150 years ago would happen since 2000 due to natural variability.

This, they said, suggests it is 600 to 130,000 times more likely than not that human activities and their influence on the climate have caused this record breaking run of hot weather.

The dataset produced by the Met Office Hadley Centre and the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia found global mean temperatures reached 1°C above pre-industrial levels for the first time.

It said the year's average global temperature was the highest ever recorded.

Professor Stefam Rahmstorf, a physicist at the Postdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, in Germany, said: 'Natural climate variations just can't explain the observed recent global heat records, but man-made global warming can.

'It has led to unprecedented local heat waves across the world - sadly resulting in loss of life and aggravating droughts and wildfires.

'The risk of heat extremes has been multiplied due to our interference with the Earth system, as our data analysis shows.'

The researchers, whose work is published in the journal Scienific reports, analysed real world measurements and combined them with computer simulations of the global climate.

This, they continued, allowed them to work out how the climate may have behaved if there had not been any human greenhouse gas emissions.

The results show the odds of human activity being behind the recent spate of record breaking annual global temperatures are far higher than previously believed.

The Likelihood of Recent Record Warmth

Michael E. Mann, Stefan Rahmstorf, Byron A. Steinman, Martin Tingley & Sonya K. Miller


2014 was nominally the warmest year on record for both the globe and northern hemisphere based on historical records spanning the past one and a half centuries1,2. It was the latest in a recent run of record temperatures spanning the past decade and a half. Press accounts reported odds as low as one-in-650 million that the observed run of global temperature records would be expected to occur in the absence of human-caused global warming. Press reports notwithstanding, the question of how likely observed temperature records may have have been both with and without human influence is interesting in its own right. Here we attempt to address that question using a semi-empirical approach that combines the latest (CMIP53) climate model simulations with observations of global and hemispheric mean temperature. We find that individual record years and the observed runs of record-setting temperatures were extremely unlikely to have occurred in the absence of human-caused climate change, though not nearly as unlikely as press reports have suggested. These same record temperatures were, by contrast, quite likely to have occurred in the presence of anthropogenic climate forcing.

Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 19831 (2016) doi:10.1038/srep19831

Why is Newtok in Alaska getting flooded?

Victoria Herrmann, the climate crook below, says it is because of global warming but she doesn't explain why 99% of the rest of the world is NOT getting flooded.  It is plainly a local effect and, as such, not a global effect.  And even The Guardian admits that the land is sinking rather than the sea rising.  There are a few places where coasts have long been sinking -- notably in Eastern England and in some parts of the U.S. East coast.  Newtok is just another one of those

In 2017, it is projected that the highest point in Newtok — the school building — will be underwater. For these Alaskans, climate change is not just a global temperature trend; it is happening under their feet. Shoreline erosion is forcing residents to abandon their community as rising water inundates the lives they once lived. Twenty years ago, the signs were already in place and Newtok made the difficult decision to relocate. Since then, it has been slowly rebuilding its school, homes, and lives inland to escape the ever-encroaching waters.

Newtok residents will be among our country's first climate refugees — but not our last.

Along America's most fragile shorelines, [thousands] will embark on a great migration inland as their homes disappear beneath the water's surface.

In the decades to come, thousands more from along America's most fragile shorelines will embark on a great migration inland as their homes disappear beneath the water's surface. Over the last 10 years, the Isle de Jean Charles community in Louisiana has lost two-thirds of its residents to dislocation. In the Chesapeake Bay, Tangier Island's shoreline recedes by about 14 feet a year. On Washington's Olympic Peninsula, the Quinault Indian Nation relies on a 2,000-foot-long sea wall for protection until it can complete its move uphill.

For them and the residents of dozens of other American towns and ultimately cities, the question is no longer what will be lost to climate change, but what will be saved.

Over the last seven years, President Obama has built a legacy of action on climate change. He negotiated a bilateral agreement with China to reduce greenhouse emissions, lowered tariffs on clean technologies to encourage their spread, and set new rules to cut carbon at home with the Clean Power Plan. With the climate change agreement in Paris successfully negotiated in December, he is set to use his final year in office to continue his commitment to reduce America's greenhouse gas emissions, to try to “accelerate the transition away from old, dirtier energy sources,” as he said in his State of the Union speech.

While it is essential to mitigate the sources of carbon in the United States, it will not help citizens on the front lines of climate change right now. In order to alleviate the most extreme consequences of a shifting climate, the president must give equal attention to helping communities adapt to a rapidly changing homeland.

As they stand today, federal programs for disaster assistance are limited and mostly unavailable to towns that require climate-induced relocation. Relief programs focus on sudden natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy, and on rebuilding in place, not on financially supporting the relocation of towns facing gradual inundation.

Because of this, coastal communities across the country must rely on ad hoc federal and state grants, and attempt to rebuild and relocate in bits and pieces, in the hope that the work will be done before an emergency evacuation is needed.

Some steps have been taken to provide support adaptation specific support, but they fall short of any real impact. In September 2015 during the first presidential visit to the Arctic, Obama pledged $2 million to help with voluntary climate-induced relocation efforts in Alaska. This covers less than 2% of the cost to relocate one town, estimated at $100 to $200 million.

In Alaska alone, climate change flooding and shoreline erosion already affects more than 180 villages, 31 of which are in “imminent” danger of becoming uninhabitable.

To truly make a lasting climate change legacy, Obama must take seriously the issue of climate relocation. This means creating a legal and financial structure that can adequately respond to communities in need.

The first step is simple: Convene local, state, and federal stakeholders to draft a framework for relocating all climate refugees within the United States. The difficulty will be in the details, especially determining the source of the financial resources that will be required. The debate over who will fund relocation and which agencies will lend technical assistance will be intense. But those negotiations must begin in order to protect the lives of our most vulnerable citizens.

In September during his visit to Alaska, Obama told the country, “Climate change is no longer some far-off problem. It is happening here. It is happening now.” He must recognize American climate refugees today and use his last year in office to inaugurate the process of saving them from America's eroding edges.


The Climate Snow Job

A blizzard! The hottest year ever! More signs that global warming and its extreme effects are beyond debate, right? Not even close.

An East Coast blizzard howling, global temperatures peaking, the desert Southwest flooding, drought-stricken California drying up—surely there’s a common thread tying together this “extreme” weather. There is. But it has little to do with what recent headlines have been saying about the hottest year ever. It is called business as usual.

Surface temperatures are indeed increasing slightly: They’ve been going up, in fits and starts, for more than 150 years, or since a miserably cold and pestilential period known as the Little Ice Age. Before carbon dioxide from economic activity could have warmed us up, temperatures rose three-quarters of a degree Fahrenheit between 1910 and World War II. They then cooled down a bit, only to warm again from the mid-1970s to the late ’90s, about the same amount as earlier in the century.

Whether temperatures have warmed much since then depends on what you look at. Until last June, most scientists acknowledged that warming reached a peak in the late 1990s, and since then had plateaued in a “hiatus.” There are about 60 different explanations for this in the refereed literature.

That changed last summer, when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) decided to overhaul its data, throwing out satellite-sensed sea-surface temperatures since the late 1970s and instead relying on, among other sources, readings taken from the cooling-water-intake tubes of oceangoing vessels.

The scientific literature is replete with articles about the large measurement errors that accrue in this data owing to the fact that a ship’s infrastructure conducts heat, absorbs a tremendous amount of the sun’s energy, and vessels’ intake tubes are at different ocean depths. See, for instance, John J. Kennedy’s “A review of uncertainty in in situ measurements and data sets of sea surface temperature,” published Jan. 24, 2014, by the journal Reviews of Geophysics.

NOAA’s alteration of its measurement standard and other changes produced a result that could have been predicted: a marginally significant warming trend in the data over the past several years, erasing the temperature plateau that vexed climate alarmists have found difficult to explain. Yet the increase remains far below what had been expected.

It is nonetheless true that 2015 shows the highest average surface temperature in the 160-year global history since reliable records started being available, with or without the “hiatus.” But that is also not very surprising. Early in 2015, a massive El Niño broke out. These quasiperiodic reversals of Pacific trade winds and deep-ocean currents are well-documented but poorly understood. They suppress the normally massive upwelling of cold water off South America that spreads across the ocean (and is the reason that Lima may be the most pleasant equatorial city on the planet). The Pacific reversal releases massive amounts of heat, and therefore surface temperature spikes. El Niño years in a warm plateau usually set a global-temperature record. What happened this year also happened with the last big one, in 1998.

Global average surface temperature in 2015 popped up by a bit more than a quarter of a degree Fahrenheit compared with the previous year. In 1998 the temperature rose by slightly less than a quarter-degree from 1997.

When the Pacific circulation returns to its more customary mode, all that suppressed cold water will surge to the surface with a vengeance, and global temperatures will drop. Temperatures in 1999 were nearly three-tenths of a degree lower than in 1998, and a similar change should occur this time around, though it might not fit so neatly into a calendar year. Often the compensatory cooling, known as La Niña, is larger than the El Niño warming.

There are two real concerns about warming, neither of which has anything to do with the El Niño-enhanced recent peak. How much more is the world likely to warm as civilization continues to exhale carbon dioxide, and does warming make the weather more “extreme,” which means more costly?

Instead of relying on debatable surface-temperature information, consider instead readings in the free atmosphere (technically, the lower troposphere) taken by two independent sensors: satellite sounders and weather balloons. As has been shown repeatedly by University of Alabama climate scientist John Christy, since late 1978 (when the satellite record begins), the rate of warming in the satellite-sensed data is barely a third of what it was supposed to have been, according to the large family of global climate models now in existence. Balloon data, averaged over the four extant data sets, shows the same.

It is therefore probably prudent to cut by 50% the modeled temperature forecasts for the rest of this century. Doing so would mean that the world—without any political effort at all—won’t warm by the dreaded 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100 that the United Nations regards as the climate apocalypse.

The notion that world-wide weather is becoming more extreme is just that: a notion, or a testable hypothesis. As data from the world’s biggest reinsurer, Munich Re, and University of Colorado environmental-studies professor Roger Pielke Jr. have shown, weather-related losses haven’t increased at all over the past quarter-century. In fact, the trend, while not statistically significant, is downward. Last year showed the second-smallest weather-related loss of Global World Productivity, or GWP, in the entire record.

Without El Niño, temperatures in 2015 would have been typical of the post-1998 regime. And, even with El Niño, the effect those temperatures had on the global economy was de minimis.


Once in favor of wind power, Yates residents become overwhelmingly opposed

YATES – Residents of this Orleans County town used to be big supporters of wind power, even urging town leaders to go out and recruit a wind developer.

That’s not true anymore.

Two surveys last fall showed overwhelming opposition to the Lighthouse Wind project proposed by Apex Clean Energy, which wants to erect a total of as many as 70 wind turbines in Yates and the neighboring Town of Somerset in Niagara County. The exact number and location of the turbines has not yet been determined, a company spokesman said last week.

Somerset town leaders have been vocal in their opposition to the project, hiring former state Attorney General Dennis C. Vacco to provide legal muscle for their fight against the plan.

Yates leaders responded to the plan more quietly, with the result that some of them aren’t in office anymore.

James J. Simon, running for supervisor on an anti-wind power platform, won the seat as a write-in candidate after losing to incumbent John B. Belson by seven votes in the Republican primary. Yates voters also elected John B. Riggi, president of the anti-wind group Save Ontario Shores, to the Town Board.

The citizens group Save Ontario Shores mailed a survey to Yates property owners last fall, and the results showed 77 percent opposition to the Apex project.

The town then mailed out its own survey, targeting all registered voters as well as property owners. The result, announced just before Christmas, was 65 percent opposition to Lighthouse Wind.

The company viewed the smaller percentage of opponents in the town survey as encouraging. Dahvi Wilson, Apex senior manager of public affairs, said, “We believe the results of this survey demonstrate what we have found over time. When people have a chance to learn the facts about the project, rather than being forced to rely on the misinformation being pushed by opponents, they become more supportive of Lighthouse Wind and what it means for this community.”

But Simon had a different view of the results. “By sending out to registered voters as well as property owners, we cast a much wider net,” he said.

He noted that there was some objection to sending out 2,608 surveys when the town’s population is only about 2,500. By including all property owners, it meant that out-of-towners, even some out-of-staters, were able to weigh in. In all, 1,187 surveys were mailed back.

The Yates figures jibe closely with a Somerset survey conducted last spring by that town’s government, which showed opposition as high as 67 percent, depending on how the question was phrased. Its survey went to all property owners, and 56 percent of them responded.

Simon called it a “curious thing” that when Yates conducted a wind power survey in 2007, at a time when there was no actual project pending, 87 percent of households said they agreed with this statement: “The town should encourage wind energy facilities to locate in the Town of Yates.”

The 2007 survey also showed 89 percent of Yates residents supported tax breaks for wind power companies. Last month’s survey showed that 57 percent opposed a tax break for Lighthouse Wind.

So what happened to turn the results almost completely around eight years later?

Simon said, “The public’s more informed, more concerned. Everybody can Google everything. People have become more educated and are more opposed to wind power.”

Wilson of Apex said, “Until our application is submitted in summer 2016, it is impossible to fully judge the project on its merits. The Yates Town Board has taken a very responsible approach in waiting to take a position until all of the relevant information has been collected and submitted as part of the application process, and we encourage others to follow its lead.”


Recycling Makes Greens Go Gaga, but It’s a Real Burden for the Rest of Us

If you’re worried about the planet, please make sure your trash is buried in a landfill; there’s plenty of space available.

On the surface, the phrase “reduce, reuse, recycle” may seem like a sensible call to action for those who want to limit carbon emissions or reduce the amount of waste left behind for future generations.

The reality, however, is that the costs associated with the process of recycling almost always outweigh the benefits.

Even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it only makes sense economically and environmentally to recycle about 35 percent of discarded materials. Among those materials are paper and aluminum cans, according to the agency.

Recycling 1 ton of paper or aluminum cans, the agency says, can save about 3 tons of carbon dioxide emissions over producing those materials anew.

But not so fast.

Paper mills pay for the trees they process. If it was cost-effective to recycle scrap paper, producers would be beating down your door to buy it. But they aren’t.

That means it’s more expensive and more resource-intensive to recycle old paper than to cut and pulp pine trees and then replant seedlings for processing when mature.

Plastic provides another cautionary tale. Given the recent dramatic decline in crude oil prices, it is now cheaper to make a new plastic container than to recycle an old one.

Even if that were not true, the EPA says that recycling a ton of plastic saves only about a ton of carbon dioxide. However, that estimate doesn’t take into account the water most consumers use to rinse their plastic containers before they put them into a recycling bin.

New York Times science columnist John Tierney recently wrote, citing the work of author Chris Goodall, “If you wash plastic in water that was heated by coal-derived electricity, then the net effect of your recycling could be more carbon in the atmosphere.”

Glass is an even worse recyclable. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1 ton you have to recycle 3 tons of glass. If one includes the cost of collecting glass waste in small quantities from neighborhoods, and the pollution produced by the collection trucks and the recycling process itself, glass recycling creates more greenhouse gas emissions and is more expensive than making new glass, which comes primarily from sand, an abundant raw material.

No wonder many municipalities across the country continue to pick up glass in recycling trucks only to dump it at the local landfill.

Why the charade? Because “reduce, reuse, recycle” is an emotional mantra, not reasonable environmental policy, and years of indoctrination has left most Americans blind to the actual evidence surrounding recycling programs.

By sending an extra fleet of trucks around town once a week, adherents of the recycling religion actually are undermining their stated goal of protecting the environment.

It doesn’t help that the rise of the recycling movement has created a powerful interest group of recyclers who lobby politicians to keep things the way they are.

More rational environmental policies would consider the costs and benefits of recycling programs and scrap those that are wasteful and harmful to the environment.

If recycling were truly cost-effective, private companies would be lined up at your doorstep to buy your trash. Don’t look now because they’re not there.

The true recycling test is whether someone is willing to pay you to sort and save your trash. If they’re not, what you’ve been told about recycling in the past is probably just garbage.


Congress Deserves Credit for Trying to Rein in EPA, but More Is Needed

Congress deserves some credit. They passed legislation to try and block some of the Environmental Protection Agency’s overreach, even recognizing that President Barack Obama would veto its bills.

Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress can use an expedited process to rescind agency rules and block an agency from issuing any rule that is substantially the same as the rejected rule.

This is precisely what Congress did for three egregious Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules: two greenhouse gas (GHG) rules, the president’s Clean Power Plan and new source performance standards for greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants, and the infamous EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule.

Clean Power Plan and New Source Performance Standards

The Clean Power Plan requires states to meet carbon dioxide emissions reduction goals for existing power plants. The greenhouse gas New Source Performance Standards rule caps emissions of carbon dioxide from new power plants so low as to effectively prevent any coal power plant from running without carbon capture and sequestration technology (which has yet to be proven feasible).

The rules are all pain and no gain. The rules would be extremely costly to American families and businesses, particularly so for the poor, Midwestern states which rely more heavily on coal for electricity, and the manufacturing sector which is on the threshold of renewed growth brought on by the oil and gas revolution.

What’s the benefit of this self-inflicted harm to the economy and American people? Next to nothing. The entire purpose of reducing greenhouse gasses is allegedly to have an impact on global temperatures (reductions in greenhouse gasses are just a means to that alleged end, but it often gets confused as the end itself).

Using the “Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Induced Climate Change,” developed with support from the EPA, climatologists Paul Knappenberger and Patrick Michaels estimate that the Clean Power Plan will avert a meager 0.018 degree Celsius (C) of warming by the year 2100.

In fact, if the U.S. went far beyond this greenhouse gas regulation and implemented a plan that crippled the economy by reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 100 percent, the world would only be 0.137 degree Celsius cooler by 2100. Including 100 percent cuts from the entire industrialized world merely avert warming by 0.278 degree Celsius by the turn of the century.

Waters of the United States Rule

This rule seeks to regulate almost every type of water in this country. This could mean anything from certain man-made ditches to “streams” that are dry land almost all year – except after heavy rain. The list of problems with the rule is extensive. For example, the rule:

Ignores the primary role states are supposed to play in implementing the Clean Water Act (this is bad for the environment because states are in the best position to address local water concerns)

Tramples on property rights by requiring property owners to secure far more permits to engage in even ordinary activities such as farming

Undermines the rulemaking process because, as the independent Government Accountability Office ruled, the EPA violated the law through actions it took to garner support for the rule.
To its credit, Congress took action and passed disapproval resolutions under the Congressional Review Act.

While Obama has vetoed all three bills, Congress has made it clear where it stands on these important issues (overrides are unlikely). Regarding the Waters of the United States rule, for example, Obama is the one who is trampling on property rights, ignoring states, hurting the environment, and effectively ignoring alleged illegal actions by the EPA. He’s the one ignoring the attorneys general and state officials from at least 31 states challenging the rule in court, not to mention farmers, home builders, small businesses, and even environmental groups.

Moving forward, Congress should continue to take action to rein in the EPA. Ideally, they would start doing this through the appropriations process. As much as they should be commended for their actions using the Congressional Review Act, they failed to address these rules in the recent omnibus appropriations bill.

There’s no question that it can be frustrating when Congress, who delegated its lawmaking power to the EPA in the first place, finds it very difficult to rein in the agency. The Congressional Review Act is helpful, but this entire experience shows why agencies shouldn’t be able to push such extreme regulations that are not authorized by a reasonable interpretation of statute or inconsistent with the intent of Congress when it enacted the law.

Congress needs to reassert its lawmaking power. This will mean reforming the rulemaking process and making sure that regulations reflect the will of Congress, not the ideological desires of bureaucrats.



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


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

We just had the hottest year on record – where does that leave climate denial?

Asks dodgy psychologist Stephan Lewandowsky.  I think I have addressed all his points before but a new lucubration from him is too much fun to ignore.  Lewandowski is the very strange social scientist who thinks you can make valid generalizations about a population without at first obtaining a representative sample of that population.  So his venture into climate science was bound to be amusing.

It is difficult to know  where to start but I was amused by this: "satellites don’t actually measure temperature. Instead, they measure the microwave emissions of oxygen molecules in very broad bands of the atmosphere"

One might as well say that thermometers don't measure temperatures either.  All they measure is the volume in a thin column of mercury or alcohol.

And even his most basic point -- embodied in his heading, which I reproduce above -- is amusing:  He condemns cherrypicking, as well he might, but does exactly that himself.  He takes the fact that the keepers of the terrestrial temperature record show a slight warming in 2015.  But he ignores the fact that any 2015 rise is best accounted for as an El Nino effect.  Even Warmist scientists concede a strong El Nino effect in 2015.

And if you adjusted for the El Nino effect, there may well be no warming from other causes at all. Such an adjustment could rather simply be done by using the atypical warming during the 1998 El Nino as a proxy for 2015.  Is Lewandowsky not curious about why no such adjustment has been done by the adjustment kings at NOAA, NASA and elsewhere? Why is that the one adjustment they have not made?  To ask the question is to answer it, I think.

And, in fact Warmist guru Kevin Trenberth does admit the unrepresentativeness of 2015: "My guess is that 2016 may not be warmer than 2015."  Trenberth, a climate change and El Niño expert at the National Center for Atmospheric Research thinks the current El Niño may already have begun to peak (or have peaked) and thus that the second half of 2016 may cool down again somewhat.

So Lewandowsky's whole argument is a straw house built on sand.  To answer the question in his article title:  "Alive, well and thriving". Lewandowsky is quite simply an ignoramus.

And his boring and quite silly old claim, that a consensus must  be right, is wrong in two ways.  1). The century-long consensus about the causes of peptic ulcers now stands demolished after the discovery of helicobacter pylori. Why is a consensus about warming more robust than that?  2). There is no consensus.  Even "Mr 97%" John Cook showed that only a minority of climate scientists take any position on anthropogenic global warming.  See here.  Once again, an apparent inability to read in Lewandowsky.

And he really gets hilarious when he compares climate scientist predictions  to stockmaket investor decisions.  Is he unaware of how badly unstuck stockmarket investors came in 2008?  By his own analogy, Warmists are in for big predictive failure too.  Lewandowsky must also be the man without a memory.

I think I will leave it at that. I may already have been too unkind to an obviously very limited man.  And I have twice before (here and here) shown that Warmist aspersions on the satellite data don't hold up

At a news conference announcing that 2015 broke all previous heat records by a wide margin, one journalist started a question with "If this trend continues…" The response by the Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Gavin Schmidt, summed up the physics of climate change succinctly: "It’s not a question of if…"

Even if global emissions begin to decline, as now appears possible after the agreement signed in Paris last December, there is no reasonable scientific doubt that the upward trends in global temperature, sea levels, and extreme weather events will continue for quite some time.

Politically and ideologically motivated denial will nonetheless continue for a little while longer, until it ceases to be politically opportune.

So how does one deny that climate change is upon us and that 2015 was by far the hottest year on record? What misinformation will be disseminated to confuse the public?

Research has identified several telltale signs that differentiate denial from scepticism, whether it is denial of the link between smoking and lung cancer or between CO2 emissions and climate change.

One technique of denial involves "cherry-picking", best described as wilfully ignoring a mountain of inconvenient evidence in favour of a small molehill that serves a desired purpose. Cherry-picking is already in full swing in response to the record-breaking temperatures of 2015.

Political operatives such as James Taylor of the Heartland Institute – which once compared acceptance of the science of climate change to the Unabomber in an ill-fated billboard campaign – have already denied 2015 set a record by pointing to satellite data, which ostensibly shows no warming for the last umpteen years and which purportedly relegates 2015 to third place.

So what about the satellite data?

If you cannot remember when you last checked the satellites to decide whether to go for a picnic, that’s probably because the satellites don’t actually measure temperature. Instead, they measure the microwave emissions of oxygen molecules in very broad bands of the atmosphere, for example ranging from the surface to about 18km above the earth. Those microwave soundings are converted into estimates of temperature using highly-complex models. Different teams of researchers use different models and they come up with fairly different answers, although they all agree that there has been ongoing warming since records began in 1979.

There is nothing wrong with using models, such as those required to interpret satellite data, for their intended purpose – namely to detect a trend in temperatures at high altitudes, far away from the surface where we grow our crops and make decisions about picnics.

But to use high-altitude data with its large uncertainties to determine whether 2015 is the hottest year on record is like trying to determine whether it’s safe to cross the road by firmly shutting your eyes and ears and then standing on your head to detect passing vehicles from their seismic vibrations. Yes, a big truck might be detectable that way, but most of us would rather just have a look and see whether it’s safe to cross the road.

And if you just look at the surface-based climate data with your own eyes, then you will see that NASA, the US NOAA, the UK Met Office, the Berkeley Earth group, the Japan Meteorological Agency, and many other researchers around the world, all independently arrived at one consistent and certain end result – namely that 2015 was by far the hottest year globally since records began more than a century ago.

Enter denial strategy two: that if every scientific agency around the world agrees on global warming, they must be engaging in a conspiracy! Far from being an incidental ornament, conspiratorial thinking is central to denial. When a scientific fact has been as thoroughly examined as global warming being caused by greenhouse gases or the link between HIV and AIDS, then no contrary position can claim much intellectual or scholarly respectability because it is so overwhelmingly at odds with the evidence.

That’s why politicians such as Republican Congressman Lamar Smith need to accuse the NOAA of having "altered the [climate] data to get the results they needed to advance this administration’s extreme climate change agenda". If the evidence is against you, then it has to be manipulated by mysterious forces in pursuit of a nefarious agenda.

This is like saying that you shouldn’t cross the road by just looking because the several dozen optometrists who have independently attested to your 20/20 vision have manipulated the results because … World Government! Taxation! … and therefore you’d better stand on your head blindfolded with tinfoil.

So do the people who disseminate misinformation about climate actually believe what they are saying?

The question can be answered by considering the stock market. Investors decide on which stock to buy based on their best estimates of a company’s future potential. In other words, investors place an educated bet on a company’s future based on their constant reading of odds that are determined by myriad factors.

Investors put their money where their beliefs are.

Likewise, climate scientists put their money where their knowledge is: physicist Mark Boslough recently offered a $25,000 bet on future temperature increases. It has not been taken up. Nobel laureate Brian Schmidt similarly offered a bet to an Australian "skeptic" on climate change. It was not taken up.

People who deny climate science do not put their money where their mouth is. And when they very occasionally do, they lose.

This is not altogether surprising: in a recent peer-reviewed paper, with James Risbey as first author, we showed that wagering on global surface warming would have won a bet every year since 1970. We therefore suggested that denial may be "… largely posturing on the part of the contrarians. Bets against greenhouse warming are largely hopeless now and that is widely understood."

So the cherry-picking and conspiracy-theorising will continue while it is politically opportune, but the people behind it won’t put their money where their mouth is. They probably know better.


Who needs facts? '2016 Expected to Be the Warmest Year on Record'

The first month of the year isn't even over yet and as people in the Northeast are digging their way out of one of the biggest snowstorms in recorded history, Time magazine has a message for you: "2016 Expected to Be the Warmest Year on Record." Yes, they couldn't even wait for the temperature readings to be evaluated in the months to come to make that prediction. Just as much of the mainstream media have already declared 2014 and 2015 based on highly questionable evidence, they are already declaring 2016 to be even hotter based on absolutely no evidence other than pretending to read future temperatures.

Time was so eager to dive into their "hottest year on record" shtick they couldn't even wait until 2016 started to issue their proclamation. It was actually made on December 17, 2015 as reported by Justin Worland:

    "Next year will likely be the warmest on record thanks to El Niño and ongoing climate change, according to a new report.

    The research, published by the British Met Office, suggests that the average global temperature in 2016 will be between 0.72°C (1.29°F) and 0.96 °C (1.73°F) higher than the average temperature in the second half of the 20th century. Last year was the hottest year ever recorded and meteorologists say that 2015 will beat that record handily barring an unexpected change".

Umm... No. Last year was not the hottest year ever recorded...if you check out the facts from climate scientists who aren't receiving government grants to validate the pre-determined global warming outcome. One such scientist is MIT climate scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen who makes this observation:

    "Frankly, I feel it is proof of dishonesty to argue about things like small fluctuations in temperature or the sign of a trend. Why lend credibility to this dishonesty?" Lindzen, an emeritus Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT, told Climate Depot shortly after the announcements.

    "All that matters is that for almost 40 years, model projections have almost all exceeded observations. Even if all the observed warming were due to greenhouse emissions, it would still point to low sensitivity," Lindzen continued.

    "But, given the ‘pause.’ we know that natural internal variability has to be of the same order as any other process," Lindzen wrote.

    ..."When someone says this is the warmest temperature on record. What are they talking about? It’s just nonsense. This is a very tiny change period," Lindzen said in November 2015.

    Lindzen cautioned: "The most important thing to keep in mind is – when you ask ‘is it warming, is it cooling’, etc. — is that we are talking about something tiny (temperature changes) and that is the crucial point."

    "And the proof that the uncertainty is tenths of a degree are the adjustments that are being made. If you can adjust temperatures to 2/10ths of a degree, it means it wasn’t certain to 2/10ths of a degree," he added.

    – "70% of the earth is oceans, we can’t measure those temperatures very well. They can be off a half a degree, a quarter of a degree. Even two-10ths of a degree of change would be tiny but two-100ths is ludicrous. Anyone who starts crowing about those numbers shows that they’re putting spin on nothing."

    Climatologist Dr. John Christy said it best: "If you want the truth about an issue, would you go to an agency with political appointees? The government is not the final word on the truth."

As to 2014 when NASA scientists were victoriously cited by the MSM for the claim that year was the hottest on record, well, it turned out those same scientists later admitted that there was only a 38% chance that it was true. Oops!

One of the best analyses of the motivation behind the global warming fraud comes from Anthony Watts of Watts Up With That?

    "...Climatology has become a branch of politics. And in politics, particularly in our rambunctious democracy, statements asserted in the name of some political goal are usually believed or at least supported by those who share the goal. It is necessary for global-warming-of-doom to be true in order to attain the government’s goal (of increasing in size and power), so any statement which supports global warming is likely to be touted by government supporters, even mutually incompatible statements".

Exit question: How long before someone in the MSM starts hyping 2017 as the hottest year on record?


'Global cooling' far more devastating than global warming

By geologist EA (Andy) Johnson

It was called "Global Warming" until it was discovered that computer modelers were changing data to yield their desired results. Now it’s "Climate Change." But, Climate Change is a two-sided coin we should truly be concerned about. Global cooling will be far more devastating than global warming.

In my view, climate change is an agenda against burning fossil fuels, but maybe something much greater. The surrogate issue is carbon dioxide (CO2), which animals exhale and plants inhale. However, burning fossil fuels releases twice as much water vapor (H2O) as CO2, and water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas (it’s why cloudy nights are usually warmer). So why target CO2? Maybe it sounds more threatening. Maybe they just don’t like digging coal and drilling for oil and natural gas. Whatever their agenda is, it’s missing two key elements, historical perspective and end-game.

The northern hemisphere has been in an ice age for 8,000,000 years. The best graphic I’ve seen regarding this is in the lower left corner of a fold out for the "Blue Holes of the Bahamas" (National Geographic, August 2010). This graph depicts climate change as fluctuating sea levels for the last 400,000 years. During this time, the northern hemisphere has experienced four cycles, each lasting 100,000 years. Ice accumulation with lowering sea levels averaged about 90,000 years. Interglacial periods, with rising temperatures, melting glaciers, and rising sea levels averaged about 10,000 years. This explains how stalactites and stalagmites in the Blue Holes are 400 feet under water. They didn’t grow under water; sea levels were 400 feet lower. This graph is the result of compilations of thousands of isotope studies and chemical analyses of ice cores, sea bottom cores, and stalactites and stalagmites from underwater caves. This is real science, not computer modeling of possible future climates, which is more like pseudoscience in my view.

Current sea levels are at or near their upper limit of the past four glacial cycles. This begs the question, are we witnessing the end of an 8,000,000 year-long northern hemisphere ice age, or will we soon begin descending into another 100,000 year ice age cycle? To me, the latter is of far greater concern, equal to another eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano, another asteroid impact, or another pandemic than sea levels rising a few more feet.

So, what is the "Climate Changers" end game? How will they deal with either future warming or cooling? And how, after squandering $21 trillion on the "Great Society" and now being another $20 trillion in debt, how will we ever pay for it? What will replace fossil fuels? If global cooling is next, how will we stop ice from accumulating a mile thick at the Canadian border? Humongous amounts of energy will be needed. Forget more wind farms. With a capacity factor averaging only 33 percent, they could be stacked 10 high and still remain insufficient. Solar at 25 percent CF is barely an honorable mention.

Burning more fossil fuels would help by releasing more water vapor and CO2, but really, in my view, the only power source with sufficient potential is nuclear. Sadly, that option was taken from us by the Democrats, throttled by President Carter in 1979 and finished off by President Clinton and John Kerry (then a Senator) in 1994.

It was an epiphany for aging anti-nuclear protestors, depicted in the CNN sponsored documentary "Pandora’s Promise," when they realized that their nuclear power protesting after Three Mile Island only made us more dependent on fossil fuels, which the present crop of protestors rant about now. Fortunately, we can resurrect nuclear power, in spades, using Integral Fast Reactor technology.

But surely, all of this is known by those attending the recent Paris "Climate Change" conference. Were there any discussions on climate change history and nuclear power? What is their real agenda? Is it that we are facing another world crisis that only a world government by technocrat elitists can solve, as they did with Obamacare. Now that is truly a disturbing thought.


Greenwashing folly

A Greenie sees through some Greenie nonsense

Greenwashed toys only the rich can afford, which will do nothing to reduce global warming, are predicted to cause non-rich people to do other things that will reduce global warming.  Two examples come to mind: Tesla and the California High Speed Rail project.


A $70,000 Tesla Model S produces carbon similar to a 31 mile-per-gallon gasonline-powered car. A $24,000 Toyota Prius get 50 miles per gallon.

So mile-for-mile, a Tesla does almost twice the environmental damage as a Prius. And that is without considering the huge difference in price between the two cars.

The $46,000 price difference, if spent on carbon offset credits, could get rid of the carbon the Prius would emit in ONE THOUSAND YEARS of typical daily driving.

The numbers are a lot worse if a Tesla and a Prius are each driven for 20 years before being scrapped. The waste of the $46,000 that could have paid for carbon offset credits makes the Tesla's carbon footprint about the same as a 1 mile-per-gallon gasoline-powered car.

Yet people who call themselves environmentalists claim that Teslas are good for the planet. That rich people driving around in expensive and evironment-destroying luxury cars will somehow convince average Americans to conserve energy.

California High-Speed Rail

The California High Speed Rail project is the most expensive public-works project in the history of the United States. It is estimated to cost up to $100 billion by the time it is finished. And yet, careful analysis by the Department of Civil and Evironmental Engineering at UC Berkeley has shown that this project might produce NO EVNIRONMENTAL BENEFITS AT ALL.

In 2010, Mikhail Chester and Arpad Horvath summed up this research in a paper: "Life-cycle assessment of high-speed rail: the case in California". And in 2012, they were interviewed for an article in Berkeley News: "Future of California high-speed rail looks green".

From the Berkeley News article:

"The greenhouse gas emission-equivalent for a typical airplane carrying 116 passengers would be a train carrying 130-280 passengers." and "this is not the answer to the state’s greenhouse gas goals. This is a tiny piece of the puzzle."

In other words, a CHSR train might emit between 12 percent and 141 perent MORE carbon than an airliner carrying the same people.

So California is throwing away $100,000,000,000.00 that could have been used to really help the environment. That much money would put solar panels on 5 million homes. Or do equally good things like build wind turbines or save parts of the Earth's rainforests.

Again, this is somehow supposed to convince Americans to stop driving their cars and ride a bus or train that won't take them from where they live to where they work or back again.

The Tragedy of All This

- Wealthy people with a profit motive, and misguided would-be environmentalists with big public relations budgets, make false claims about how green their projects are.

- The media parrots these falsehoods without even bothering to do any fact-checking.

- Honest Americans who want to save the planet are bombarded with this misinformation until it becomes accepted as fact.

- Government pays for foolish projects that won't help anything.

- Developers kick some of that money back to the elected officials.

- The cycle repeats over and over again.


Scientist Bob Carter, Who Led Fight Against Global Warming Alarmism, Passes Away

Australians and New Zealanders are known as no-nonsense straight shooters, people who come to your aid without complaint in times of distress. On September 3, 1939, in response to Hitler’s invasion of Poland, Australia and New Zealand were among the first countries to enter World War II. The countries’ soldiers have had an enviable reputation as first-class fighters since at least 1915. In World War I & II, Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq, elite Anzac troops distinguished themselves as valued comrades in arms in the defense of freedom.

So it is perhaps not surprising that no one has made a greater contribution to the worldwide fight against climate extremism than Australasian scientist Professor Robert (Bob) M. Carter, who passed away on Tuesday at the age of 74.

Born in England, Dr. Carter was raised in New Zealand. He gained his first degree at Otago University, received a Ph.D. from Cambridge University, and became an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand before his final tenure at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia. Although other climate realists may be better known in their home countries, none have had Carter’s international impact.

Carter was everywhere. He acted as an expert witness on climate change before the U.S. Senate Committee of Environment & Public Works, the Australian and New Zealand parliamentary Select Committees into emissions trading, and in a meeting in parliament house, Stockholm. Carter was the primary science witness in the UK High Court case of Dimmock v. H.M.'s Secretary of State for Education, the 2007 judgment which identified nine major scientific errors in Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth.

He was a regular presenter at The Heartland Institute’s ten International Climate Change Conferences (ICCC), and he even toured Canada to speak, at no charge, at Canadian universities. Carter was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 10th ICCC in Washington, D.C. last June.

Joe Bast, president of The Heartland Institute, said:  "Bob never failed to answer the call to defend climate science, getting on planes to make the long flight from Australia to the U.S., to Paris, and to other lands without complaints or excuses"

Besides his own advanced science research (including over 100 published papers) and regular media appearances across the world, Carter was a lead author of reports of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change that cite thousands of peer-reviewed papers in the world’s leading science journals that counter climate alarmism.

He was the author of Climate: The Counter Consensus (2010), Taxing Air: Facts and Fallacies about Climate Change (2013), and coauthor of several more books. His understandable, down-to-earth speaking style, uncommon among accomplished researchers, attracted readers and followers in droves.

Carter was a regular participant in climate realist films such as Climate Hustle, which premiered last month with the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) in Paris. He acted as an advisor to many climate realist groups: he was a founding member of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition; an emeritus fellow and science policy advisor at Australia’s Institute of Public Affairs; a science advisor at CFACT as well as the Washington D.C.-based Science and Public Policy Institute; the chief science advisor for the International Climate Science Coalition; and a science advisor to Heartland.

Unlike many in the climate debate, Carter never lost his humility or resorted to the sort of attacks we see every day in the climate fight. Professor Chris de Freitas of the School of Environment at the University of Auckland comments: "Bob Carter was a scholar of the highest order and a committed, indefatigable defender of honest science reporting in the climate change debate. He was a true gentleman who never descended to ad hominem attacks on those who disagreed with him"

The next U.S. president must follow Carter’s advice if America is to avoid dangerous and useless climate change policies that cause skyrocketing energy prices and massive unemployment. In his first book, Carter summed up the situation well:

    "To say that human-caused global warming is proven to be a dangerous problem is untrue, and to introduce futile policies aimed at "stopping climate change" is both vainglorious and hugely expensive. Nonetheless, and despite the failure of the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming, all studies of ancient climate indicate that a very real climate problem does exist. It is the risk associated with natural climatic phenomena, including short-term events such as floods and cyclones, intermediate scale events such as drought, and longer term warming and cooling trends".

On hearing of Professor Carter’s passing, British journalist, James Delingpole responded: "We all loved Bob; we’re all going to miss him. What a hero! What a friend! Just the kind of guy you want in the foxhole next to you!"

Viscount Christopher Monckton said: "    We will remember him. He was our clearest voice of truth"

Rest in peace, Bob Carter. You are indeed a hero for the ages.

The funeral service for Professor Carter will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Monday at Morleys Funerals, 2 Martinez Avenue at the Lakes in Townsville, Australia. The family has indicated that donations to the Heart Foundation in Bob's name would be most appreciated.


How is this not fraud?

I'm not a great one for shouting fraud, but I can't see that there is any other conclusion that one can draw. Somebody on Kickstarter is trying to raise funds for a film about Kiribati, the coral atoll that all BH readers know is not getting smaller.

Yet the promoters of this film are saying it is:  That to me looks distinctly like a false statement being used to raise money. A fraud, in other words.



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