Friday, December 02, 2016

Reversing Warmist spin

The latest article from shifty Peter Hannam, an Australian environmental writer, gives us a good example of how Warmists "spin" their reports. He has some boring statistics to convey but by biased language has made them seem to suggest global warming.  Let me use different language to describe the same stats.  I will suggest cooling:

"A long run of overcast days in Sydney has finally come to an end.  Sydney is at last back to where we were in 1990 but will it last?

Last month's temperature had three Novembers warmer than it in the past

"It's been persistently cool, particularly in the West," Acacia Pepler, a climatologist at the bureau, said.

The month had 18 days above 25 degrees, at last breaking a long run of cool days -- going back to 1894

The past six months have also been a standout for Sydney. A relatively wet winter - with rainfall about 250 millimetres above average - switched to sharply drier conditions, with rain tallies sinking 100 mm below average.  But there were similar conditions in 1885"

Contrast the above with what appears below.  Note that I have unspun only the statistics Hannam has chosen to mention.  They were undoubtedly the one best suited to his cause.  If they can be shown to suggest cooling, one wonders what all the unmentioned statistics show.

Deception is the name of the game for Warmists.  Honest reporting is in general alien to them.  It has to be.  They cannot accept the plain truth of the climate record, which just shows normal ups and downs with no significant trend

Sydney has just capped its sunniest November since 1990, with the relatively warm and dry conditions set to extend well into the start of summer.

Last month was the city's equal-fourth warmest November for maximum temperatures in records going back to 1858, with average temperatures reaching 26.1 degrees, the Bureau of Meteorology said in its latest report. Sydney Airport had an average of 9.5 hours of sunshine during the month.

"It's been persistently warm, particularly in the east," Acacia Pepler, a climatologist at the bureau, said.

The month had 18 days above 25 degrees, the most since 1894 , and its coldest day was a mild 22.7 degrees. All previous Novembers had at least one day below 21 degrees in the city.

The lack of cool days extended across spring, with just six days failing the reach 20 degrees. That's the fewest on record and roughly one-fifth of the average of 31 such days, the bureau said.

The past six months have also been a standout for Sydney. A relatively wet winter - with rainfall about 250 millimetres above average - switched to sharply drier conditions, with rain tallies sinking 100 mm below average.

That's the biggest turn in the weather for the city in 53 years, and the third-most on record with 1885 the other rival year, Brett Dutschke, senior meteorologist with Weatherzone, said.

"Since the start of October, it's been drying out" in coast regions, Mr Dutschke said, adding the western parts of the state had more recent rains and will take longer to cure.


Certified-organic GMO Golden Rice

Mischa Popoff

A half-million kids under the age of 5 will die again this year due to Vitamin-A deficiency in the Third World. GMO Golden Rice could provide the nutrients to prevent blindness and death, but it has been awaiting approval for over a decade thanks largely to organic activists who claim this crop will threaten organic crops.

As someone who worked for 5 years as a USDA organic inspector, please let me assure you that nothing could be further from the truth.

Not only will GMO Golden Rice alleviate the suffering of millions, it could also – in point-of-fact – be grown organically! So I joined with 11 scientists and wrote an article last year in The Daily Caller about producing the world’s first organic-GMO crop. I then wrote a brief follow-up immediately after Mr. Trump won the presidency.

Would you please help get the word out about this? GMO Golden Rice has been given to the world, free of charge, by its inventor, Dr. Ingo Potrykus. All that stands in its way is the lack of political will.

Mr. Trump will soon pick America’s next Secretary of Agriculture, and it is my hope that he will choose someone who understands this issue. Organic activists claim GMOs threaten organic crops. But, as is often the case with anti-everything activists, they have never bothered to read their own federal standards for organic production.

I hope you will help. A decade is a long time to wait for a humanitarian solution to such a tragedy.

Via email

NOAA: U.S. Completes Record 11 Straight Seasons Without Major Hurricane Strike

Today the United Sates completes a record 11 straight hurricane season without a major hurricane striking the U.S. mainland, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

An unprecedented 11 years, one month and six days has passed since the last major hurricane struck the U.S. mainland, according to data going back to 1851 compiled by NOAA.

“The 2016 hurricane season will end officially on November 30. Hurricane Wilma was the last major hurricane (on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale) to strike the U.S. (October 24, 2005),” NOAA spokesman Dennis Feltgen told

Major hurricanes, defined on the scale as a Category 3 or above, are characterized by wind speeds of 111 mph or higher and strong storm surges capable of causing “devastating” or “catastrophic” damage.

“It is important to note that this scale covers only the wind impact,” Feltgen noted. “It has nothing to do with the water impact, which accounts for nearly 90 percent of the fatalities - 50 percent of which occur from storm surge and 25 percent from inland flooding.

“The U.S. has seen major impacts from many hurricanes with significantly lower winds on the scale.  Sandy in 2012 and Matthew in 2016 are just two examples,” he pointed out.

The U.S. has now experienced more than 11 years of below-normal levels of hurricane activity since 2005, when four major hurricanes – Dennis, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma – struck the continental U.S., killing nearly 4,000 people and causing nearly $160 billion in damages.

Last month, Hurricane Matthew - the first Category 5 hurricane to form in the Atlantic since 2007 – was downgraded to a Category 1 by the time it made landfall in the U.S. on October 8th, two weeks short of the 11-year anniversary of Hurricane Wilma’s landfall.

About 97 percent of all Atlantic basin hurricanes form during hurricane season, which lasts from June 1st to November 30th. Peak hurricane activity typically occurs between mid-August and late October.

Of the total 991 hurricanes recorded between 1851 and 2015, only 12 have been off-season hurricanes that formed between December and May, according to NOAA. Of those, none made landfall in the continental U.S.

CNSNews asked Dr. Gerry Bell, a hurricane specialist and research meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center, if NOAA had an explanation for the record-breaking major hurricane hiatus in the U.S.

“I see two main reasons for the recent lack of major hurricane landfalls,” Bell replied.

“1) For the U.S. East Coast, the overall wind patterns have been steering more hurricanes out to sea before reaching land; and

2) For the U.S. Gulf Coast, exceptionally unfavorable atmospheric conditions such as strong vertical wind shear and sinking motion have been preventing hurricanes from forming and strengthening over the Caribbean Sea, and have also been preventing hurricanes from moving across the Caribbean Sea.

“As a result, there has been a sharp reduction in the number of hurricanes that would typically migrate into the Gulf of Mexico, which then reduces the likelihood of a land-falling major hurricane along the Gulf Coast,” Bell explained.

“A unique aspect of the current U.S. major hurricane landfall drought is its duration, due to the simultaneous lack of landfalls along both the Atlantic and the Gulf Coasts,” he pointed out.

The historical record shows that the duration of the current major hurricane drought is “unprecedented,” Bell continued.

“The periods with no major hurricane landfalls varies widely between the Gulf Coast and the Atlantic Coast,” he added.

“The Atlantic Coast had a 19-year gap [between] 1966-1984 and an 18-year gap [between]1910-1927. The gaps are much shorter for the Gulf Coast, whose previous longest gap was 6 years (1951-1956 and 1986-1991).

 “In contrast, many seasons during both 1966-1984 and 1910-1927 featured major hurricane landfalls along the Gulf Coast while the Atlantic Coast had none. The Gulf Coast saw 7 seasons with major hurricane landfalls during 1910-1927, and 8 seasons with major hurricane landfalls during 1966-1984,” he added.

“Therefore, it appears that the duration of the current meteorological conditions, which have simultaneously suppressed major hurricane landfalls along both the U.S. East Coast and Gulf Coast, is unprecedented in the historical record dating back to 1900,” he told CNSNews.

“However, please note that the historical record deteriorates in the early 1900’s and earlier due to a combination of 1) lack of satellites, and 2) low population densities along both the Gulf Coast and portions of the Atlantic Coast (especially the southeast).”

Bell also pointed out that Category 1 or 2 hurricanes such as Matthew or Sandy can still cause enormous property damage and loss of life.

“I think it is a bit misleading to focus only on major hurricane landfalls, since there have certainly been numerous tropical storm and hurricane landfalls during the past decade that have caused significant damage, flooding, loss of life, hardship, etc.” he told CNSNews.


Lomborg on Trump’s climate plan

The election of Donald Trump and Republican majorities in both houses have terrified environmentalists and climate campaigners, who have declared that the next four years will be a “disaster.”

Fear is understandable. We have much to learn about the new administration’s plans. But perhaps surprisingly, what little we know offers some cause for hope.

What really matters is not rhetoric but policy. So far, we know that President Trump will drop the Paris climate change treaty. This is far from the world-ending event that some suggest and offers an opportunity for a smarter approach.

Even ardent supporters acknowledge that the Paris treaty by itself will do little to rein in global warming. The United Nations estimates that if every country were to make every single promised carbon cut between 2016 and 2030 to the fullest extent and there was no cheating, carbon dioxide emissions would still only be cut by one-hundredth of what is needed to keep temperature rises below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius). The Paris treaty’s 2016-2030 pledges would reduce temperature rises around 0.09 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century. If maintained throughout the rest of the century, temperature rises would be cut by 0.31 degrees Fahrenheit.

At the same time, these promises will be costly. Trying to cut carbon dioxide, even with an efficient tax, makes cheap energy more expensive — and this slows economic growth.

My calculations using the best peer-reviewed economic models show the cost of the Paris promises – through slower gross domestic product growth from higher energy costs — would reach $1 trillion to $2 trillion every year from 2030. U.S. vows alone — to cut greenhouse-gas emissions 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 — would reduce GDP by more than $150 billion annually.

So Trump’s promise to dump Paris will matter very little to temperature rises, and it will stop the pursuit of an expensive dead end.

Climate economists have found that green energy R&D investment would be a much more efficient approach.

This is very much in line with Trump’s campaign promise of “investment in research and development across the broad landscape of academia” and with its suggestion that we could develop “energy sources and power production that alleviates the need for dependence on fossil fuels.”

This investment in U.S. ingenuity could help innovate the price of green energy down below fossil fuels. Only then will we truly be able to stop climate change.

Statements by Trump’s campaign also indicate that the next administration will create a global development and aid policy that recognizes that climate is one problem among many.

Asked about global warming, the campaign responded, “Perhaps the best use of our limited financial resources should be in dealing with making sure that every person in the world has clean water. Perhaps we should focus on eliminating lingering diseases around the world like malaria. Perhaps we should focus on efforts to increase food production to keep pace with an ever-growing world population.”

This would be a big change. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development analyzed almost all aid from the United States and other rich nations and found that about one-fourth is climate-related aid.

This is immoral when 2 billion people suffer from malnutrition, 700 million live in extreme poverty and 2.4 billion are without clean drinking water and sanitation. These problems can be tackled effectively today, helping many more people more dramatically than “climate aid” could.

Despite its length, and for all of its heat and bluster, the election campaign left many unanswered questions and understandable concerns about the president-elect’s positions on climate change, aid and development.

But, surprisingly, there is now an opportunity. To seize it, the Trump administration needs to go beyond just dumping the ineffective Paris agreement, to an innovation-based green energy approach that will harness U.S. ingenuity. Far from being a disaster, such a policy could mean a real solution to climate change and help the world’s worst-off more effectively.


U.S. will fall short of ethanol, biofuels targets under Renewable Fuel Standard

The federal Renewable Fuel Standard will fall far short of the goals laid out by Congress, government watchdogs said Monday, dealing another blow to the embattled program and giving more ammunition to critics who say it must be ended immediately.

Government Accountability Office reports say the Renewable Fuel Standard, enacted by lawmakers in 2007, has been crippled by higher-than-expected costs of producing ethanol and other biofuels and by the boom in U.S. oil and gas production, which has made fossil fuels far more competitive in the marketplace.

The program, which requires increasing amounts of ethanol and other biofuels to be blended into the nation’s gas supply each year, also will fail to deliver the kinds of reductions in greenhouse gas emissions envisioned a decade ago, the GAO said.

Taken together, the two conclusions raise doubts about the future of the Renewable Fuel Standard and support critics’ contention that the program is forcing the use of fuels that are too expensive and incompatible with many of today’s vehicles and infrastructure.

“Given that current advanced biofuel production is far below Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) targets and those targets are increasing every year, it does not appear possible to meet statutory target volumes for advanced biofuels in the RFS under current market and regulatory conditions,” the GAO report reads in part. “Current production of cellulosic biofuels is far below the statutory volumes and, according to experts, there is limited potential for expanded production to meet future higher targets, in part because production costs are currently too high.”

Last week, the agency set a 2017 target of at least 19.28 billion gallons of ethanol and other biofuels to be blended into the nation’s gas supply. That is an increase over this year’s target of 18.11 billion gallons but is far below the target of 24 billion gallons set out in 2007 legislation that established the program.

One reason for the gap, the GAO report said, is a lack of incentives for more biofuels production or upgrades in infrastructure because of the relatively low cost of fossil fuels in the market.

Moving forward, the GAO says, the Renewable Fuel Standard faces a bleak future. Investments into ethanol and biofuels, the watchdog agency said, look to be drying up in the energy marketplace, which has been transformed by the boom of domestic oil and gas drilling over the past decade.

That uptick in fossil fuel production seems to have crushed incentives to invest in biofuels and made once-promising ethanol much less appealing.

“The shortfall of advanced biofuels is the result of high production costs, and the investments in further research and development required to make these fuels more cost-competitive with petroleum-based fuels even in the longer run are unlikely in the current investment climate,” the GAO said.

In response to the GAO studies, the EPA conceded that the original congressional timetable now is essentially irrelevant. The agency also cited the relatively low cost of fossil fuels, the cost of new biofuels technology needed to hit the targets and other factors.

“The EPA generally agrees with factors in the draft report identified as affecting the speed and volume of true advanced biofuel production, and which will make achieving future significant increases challenging,” the agency said in written comments.

The program is slated to run through 2022, with congressionally set blend targets increasing each year. After that, the EPA and other federal agencies will be responsible for setting targets, assuming the program continues in its current form.

But that is far from a certainty, particularly with President-elect Donald Trump having said he plans to re-examine all energy and environmental programs at the federal level. He has not specifically said whether he will seek to phase out or eliminate the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Opponents of the fuel standard say that even though the Environmental Protection Agency has backed off the congressionally mandated levels repeatedly, it is still pushing ethanol and other biofuels blending requirements that are unrealistic and potentially harmful.

“EPA unfortunately finalized a RFS volume requirement that looks to force more biofuel in the fuel supply than consumers want or infrastructure can handle,” Chet Thompson, president of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, said in a statement last week. “Refiners should not have the responsibility to force consumers to use products they either don’t want or that are incompatible with their cars, boats, and motor equipment.”



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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