Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Climate Wars - No Time for Resting

Viv Forbes

Disarm and Defund the Green Globalists NOW

Napoleon’s Grand Army was defeated in the Battle of the Nations in 1813. The Emperor abdicated and was banished to Elba. But his army was not disarmed and destroyed by the victors – they rested.

Just 2 years later, Napoleon escaped and quickly re-mobilised his army. Only Wellington blocked his path to Brussels, at Waterloo.

After a fierce day of battle, a weary line of redcoats still held the ridge at Waterloo. But Napoleon’s Old Guard had been held in reserve for this decisive moment. Advancing like a spear, three columns wide, “The Invincibles” aimed to pierce the middle of the thin red line.

But a miracle occurred. Withering fire on both sides of the spear from the thin red line sapped their strength - Napoleon’s “Invincible” Old Guard broke and ran.

This was the critical point of that battle (and for the Climate War now). It is at the moment of defeat, with the enemy disorganised and demoralised, that the greatest gains can be made. Too often, however, the weary victors waste this opportunity to pursue and destroy the enemy.

Wellington’s exhausted army was incapable of pursuit, but a miracle occurred – General Blucher arrived at sundown with fresh Prussian troops. The avenging German lancers pursued, captured, disarmed and slaughtered the fleeing French all the way back to Paris. They captured Napoleon. Never again did the Grand Army threaten Europe.

In the global Climate Wars, Trump and Brexit have given us a victory of Waterloo dimensions. But this will be only a temporary setback for the Green Globalists unless they are now ruthlessly disarmed and de-funded. If we rest and relax, we will soon be ground under their green sandals again.

We must immediately deny them funds, tax shelters, manpower and legal support.

Not a cent more for climate conferences – send just one representative whose only power is to “vote no to everything”. Rescind or ignore past climate “agreements”, de-fund all UN/IPCC activities, remove all green energy subsidies and mandates and halve government funding of the ABC, BBC and all other GreenBC’s.
Subtract all “climate aid” from foreign aid budgets, divert all climate research funding to weather-proofing infrastructure, and replace green propaganda with hard science in education agendas.

Starved of public funding and propaganda, and with constant fire at their flanks with bullets of truth, the “invincible” green army will soon falter and run.

Chase them all the way back to Paris. Give them no rest until their infamous Grab for Global Power called the Paris Climate Treaty is rejected, never to rise again.


Change, anyone?

Trump and Prince Charles in climate row

President ‘won’t take lecture’ from prince.  Trump wants to abandon the Paris climate deal; Charles gave a keynote speech at that meeting.  It is Charles who is out of line.  He has no business intervening in politics

Donald Trump is engaged in an extraordinary diplomatic row with the Prince of Wales over climate change that threatens to disrupt his state visit to the UK.

The new president is reluctant to meet the prince when he comes to Britain in June because of their violently divergent views on global warming.

Members of Trump’s inner circle have warned officials and ministers that it would be counterproductive for Charles to “lecture” Trump on green issues and that he will “erupt” if pushed. They want the younger princes, William and Harry, to greet the president instead. Royal aides insist that he should meet Trump.

Senior government officials now believe Charles is one of the most serious “risk factors” for the visit.


North Dakota Senator Calls On Trump For Fed Help With Pipeline Protesters

North Dakota Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp joined local and state law enforcement officials Wednesday and called on President Donald Trump for federal support for dealing with protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

In a letter to Trump, Heitkamp wrote that since he “signaled” his support for the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline, she is asking for federal help to support the law enforcement agencies who have “engaged in addressing ongoing protest activities.”

According to Heitkamp, “After five months of protests and over 600 arrests related to those protests, state and local law enforcement agencies are in need financial assistance and additional manpower in order to continue to ensure public safety.”

Pipeline protesters brought their activities to Washington, D.C. this week, when one activist climbed a crane and hung a banner reading “RESIST” in response to Trump’s executive order to push forward the completion of the pipeline.

The Morton County Sheriff’s Department, Republican North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, North Dakota US Attorney Chris Meyers and congressional delegations have all requested federal support from Trump administration, The Daily Caller learned from the Morton County Sheriff’s Department.

TheDC reached out to the White House press office for a response, as well as officials at the Department of Homeland Security, and did not receive a response.

Heitkamp says that the “necessity to rely upon law enforcement from across the state had led to personnel shortages statewide, cancelled leave, officers stretched thin, and communities throughout North Dakota wondering when their law enforcement will be returned to full strength.”

“I recognize the First Amendment right of individuals to peacefully protest, however, previous events have concerned local residents and workers about their personal safety and damage to private property,” she wrote.

The Sioux Tribal council officially called on all protesters encamped in its North Dakota reservation to clear out earlier in the week after it decided to dismantle the protest camps on the reservation near the pipeline.


A win for peace and quiet: Judge says ‘No’ to Maryland wind farm

The modern version of an ancient proverb holds that “The wheels of justice turn slowly, but grind exceedingly fine.”

How slowly do they turn? As slowly as the blades on a wind turbine, perhaps? Some days, in our neck of the woods, the blades don’t turn at all … during what mariners in the age of sail would have described as “a dead calm.”

More than a year and a half after the process began, a Maryland public utility law judge has issued a proposed order that would effectively kill Dan’s Mountain Wind Force LLC’s plans for a 17-turbine wind farm on Dan’s Mountain.

This is an act of justice that works in our favor because it reinforces Allegany County’s right to exercise self-government.

After each step of the legal process in which permission to build the wind farm was denied, Dan’s Mountain went to the next level.

In a previous editorial, we compared this to the ploy commonly used by youngsters who, when they can’t get permission from Dad, go next to ask Mom if it’s OK with her (See: “End-around: Company wants state approval for wind farm,” Feb. 24, 2016).

The Allegany County commissioners, the Allegany County Board of Zoning Appeals and Allegany County Circuit Court Judge W. Timothy Finan all said “No” to Dan’s Mountain. Their decisions were based on Allegany County’s codes, regulations and laws.

Dan’s Mountain then turned to the Maryland Public Service Commission, asking for a certificate of public convenience and necessity – basically saying, “Tell us we can do it anyway, even if they don’t like it.”

A public hearing was held last August by the PSC’s chief public utility judge, Terry Romine. Some spoke in favor of the project. Others cited health concerns or said a decision in favor of Dan’s Mountain would be an affront to Allegany County’s right to govern itself.

In her proposed ruling, Romine found that a wind farm’s adverse impacts – the effect noise and shadow flickers would have “on the esthetic of local communities on and around Dan’s Mountain” – would outweigh any benefits.

Dan’s Mountain said it was disappointed by the proposed ruling and is weighing its appeal options.

Plans to install wind farms in this area may have produced more vocal opposition than anything else in recent times. Opposition to hydraulic fracking of natural gas comes close, but protests against wind farms – both in the planning stages and after completion – have gone on for a longer time.

Several years before it was proposed to put a wind farm on Dan’s Mountain, residents in nearby Pennsylvania and West Virginia said they were having problems with wind turbines. They said shadows, noise and vibrations caused mental and physical health problems and led to a decrease in the use, enjoyment and value of their property.

One couple told our reporter Elaine Blaisdell it was like living in the “dark, deep depths of hell.”

Dan’s Mountain predicted its wind farm would generate about $720,000 a year in property taxes for Allegany County over the first 20 years.

That may seem like a lot of money, but the county’s anticipated share of gaming proceeds from the Rocky Gap Casino Resort for the 2016 fiscal year is nearly twice that much: $1.4 million. All the resort does is sit there, out of everyone’s way – attracting people to it, rather than annoying them or driving them off.

Opposition to wind farms is growing elsewhere. The Kokomo, Indiana, Tribune (a CNHI newspaper) reported last year that wind farm developers “were running into resistance from communities that fear those turbines will overrun the landscape.”

CNHI State Reporter Maureen Hayden wrote that “Fears of noise, adverse health effects and worries that home values will plummet as the giant turbines go up are driving the concerns of opponents.

“Residents who live in cozy homes in rural Rush County say their unobstructed views of bucolic farmland will be permanently marred by a proposed development of 65 wind turbines. The bladed turbines will reach 600 feet into the sky, about three times higher than the tallest building in the county, the courthouse.”

Hank Campbell, an avid opponent of the project, asked Hayden, “Have you ever heard anyone say, ‘I want to build my house next to a wind farm?’ ”

Campbell’s counterparts in our area kept the Times-News supplied with letters to the editor and reader commentaries that virtually mirrored the contents of Hayden’s story.

Wind farms have an important role in today’s environmentally conscious world. Surveys repeatedly indicate that most people support wind power and, in some areas, the facilities are welcomed and prove highly productive and successful.

The trick is to make them compatible with their human neighbors.

In our part of the country, where we treasure the natural beauty of our hills and valleys and place a high value on our peace and quiet, that may take some doing


US Scientific Integrity Rules Repudiate the UN Climate Process

The US government says its a violation of scientific integrity for political officials to alter scientific findings. But political revision is central to how IPCC reports get produced.

Mere days before he left office, Barack Obama’s Department of Energy (DOE) introduced a sweeping new scientific integrity policy. This matters because the DOE is the largest funder of physical sciences in America, and because climate change is one of its core concerns.

Elsewhere, I’ve explained that the new policy is a startling departure from the one that prevailed while Obama was in charge. It seems designed to unleash mayhem. In both instances, however, the DOE was adamant concerning one issue: Politicians should not tamper with scientific findings.

The 2014 policy declares: Political officials will not suppress or alter scientific or technological findings.

The 2017 policy says: Under no circumstance may anyone, including a public affairs officer, ask or direct any researcher to alter the record of scientific findings or conclusions.

…personnel will not suppress or alter scientific or technological findings, or intimidate or coerce…others to alter or censor scientific or technological findings or conclusions.

There’s nothing equivocal about these statements. When scientists produce a document that says one thing, but their findings get massaged and manipulated by the people upstairs, scientific integrity has been violated. That is the clear position of the US government.

I am therefore happy to report that this same government has, in no uncertain terms, repudiated the process by which UN climate reports are produced.

In recent years, I’ve written two entire books about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Tasked with producing authoritative climate change assessments, the IPCC recruits scientists to write these documents.

The last major scientific assessment, released in 2013-2014, runs to 7,000 pages. No one has time to read such an opus, so the IPCC also released a Summary for Policymakers approximately 30 pages long for each of the report’s three sections.

These summaries were authored by a subset of the scientists who worked on the main report. But the IPCC considers scientists’ own, unadorned words to be a mere draft. Before each summary became an official IPCC document it was extensively altered. By political officials.

This is how it works: the IPCC convenes a meeting that’s attended by diplomats, bureaucrats, and political representatives from every UN country that chooses to send a delegation. At that meeting, each sentence/paragraph of the summary under discussion is projected onto large screens and debated. Sentences are deleted, phrases are inserted, and graphs and tables are meddled with.

Only when every political delegation in the room consents to the new wording is the sentence/paragraph considered final. Then the next one gets projected onscreen, and the political negotiations begin anew.

In the normal world, a summary is supposed to accurately reflect the longer document on which it is based. But that’s not what happens here. The IPCC goes back, after the fact, and changes the original scientific report so that it aligns with the politically negotiated summary.

The IPCC says it recruits top scientific talent. Those people spend years working on their section of the report, receive feedback from external reviewers, and improve their text accordingly. But what they produce at the end of the day is not, actually, the final word.

After the summaries are haggled over, the IPCC alters what the scientists wrote. That’s the reason the IPCC routinely releases its summaries before it releases the underlying scientific report. In this 2007 news clipping, the IPCC chairman explains: “we have to ensure that the underlying report conforms to the refinements” (italics added).

After one of these summary-rewriting meetings took place in 2013, I pointed out that the IPCC was revisiting nine out of 14 chapters in that part of its report. The list of changes being made to the original report was 10 pages long.

The implications here are explosive. Twice in the past fours years the department of the US government responsible for climate research has released a scientific integrity policy. Both versions of that policy forbid the alteration of scientific findings by political officials. Yet this is exactly how the IPCC operates.

To recap:

The US government says political tampering with scientific findings is a violation of scientific integrity.

IPCC reports are extensively tampered with by political officials.

IPCC reports therefore lack scientific integrity.

People who rely on IPCC reports are basing their decisions on documents that have no scientific integrity.



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

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


Monday, January 30, 2017

Central England Temperatures 1659-2016 show no trend

The great trick in chartmanship is choosing your starting and ending points to show the sort of trend you want to show. Warmists do it all the time.  So that is why a really long record is needed -- to avoid showing a small part of the record as typical of the whole.

And the Central England Temperature record is the longest we have -- from 1659-2016.  So what trend does it show?  None at all.  Look particularly at the summer temperatures (in red).  Any global warming should certainly be obvious there.  But it is not.  There IS no global warming and there has been none for a long time

The Warmists are probably nutty enough to claim that England was somehow insulated from the rest of the world but I have no idea  how anyone could explain that.  Extra-terrestrials at work?

What they do say is that the record harks back to the beginning of thermometers so the early readings are not as precisely accurate as modern readings.  What that does however is highlight how tiny and hence how trivial are the changes they deal in:  Tenths and hundredths of one degree.  To changes as small as that, the only reasonable response is "Who cares?"

There has been no change in UK average temperatures in summer(JJA) or in Spring(MAM) for the last 367 years. The two hottest summers were 1826 (17.6C) and 1976(17.8C). I remember 1976 as the perfect summer with two months of continuous sunshine, causing a severe drought.  The two coldest winters were 1740 (-0.73C) and 1963 (-0.07C). 1963 was the perfect time to be a small child aged 10, sledging every weekend. These extremes have not been exceeded for the last 40 years.

Monthly averaged temperatures for winter(DJF), Spring (MAM), Summer (JJA) and Autumn (SON). Data curtesy of the UK Met Office


UPDATE:  Comment from a reader.

By the way, thermometers have been very accurate since they were invented....why.......well 0 is the freezing point of water and 100 is the boiling point and God will not allow those to be changed. Everything in between is linear. Anyone can make a thermometer. Put some Mercury in a glass tube, seal it. Place it in an ice bath. Mark the glass tube at the top level of the mercury then place it in boiling water(sea level) and mark the glass tube again. Now add graduations linearly the length between the two and WALAA............a thermometer.  The longer the tube of mercury the more accurate and finer reading one can take.

Homogenisation Used to Embed Artificial Warming Trend in Colorado Temperature Record

After looking at hundreds of temperature series from different locations across Australia, I’ve come to understand that only cities show the type of warming reported by the IPCC, and other such government-funded institutions. Much of this warming is due to what is known as the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect: bitumen, tall-buildings, air-conditioners, and fewer and fewer trees, means that urban areas become hotter and hotter.

For example, in a recent study of temperature variability and change for south-east Australia it is evident that maximum temperatures in the cities of Melbourne and Hobart are increasing at a rate of about 0.8 degree Celsius per century; while the rate of increase at the nearby lighthouses is half of this.

While the trend of about 0.4 degree Celsius per century at the lighthouses – as shown in Chart 1 – is arguably an accurate record of temperature change, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology changes this. To be clear, the Bureau changes a perfectly good temperature series from Cape Otway lighthouse by remodeling it so that it has Melbourne’s temperature signal – all through the process of homogenisation.

Government agencies in the USA have done exactly the same thing to temperature records for Colorado. This is all explained in detail in this new video by Monte Naylor:


The video runs for about 40 minutes, and is quite technical.

The conclusions from this study have been summarized by Monte as follows:

(1) The USHCN Fort Collins station temperature record was not recognized by NOAA as having the heat bias from expanding UHI which has been easily identified by other researchers.

(2) NOAA’s homogenization program adjusted the USHCN Boulder station temperature history in a fashion that does not match any of the four other nearby rural/suburban long-term temperature histories. Nor does the NOAA-homogenized Boulder temperature history resemble the average temperature trend found by this study.

(3) NOAA’s homogenization program adjusted the Boulder temperature history to resemble the UHI-contaminated temperature history of the Fort Collins station.

(4) The best estimate of the northern Colorado Front Range temperature trend is obtained by using the TOB-adjusted Group of 5 average which shows a warming temperature trend of 1.7 °F (0.95 °C) from 1900 to 2015. The NOAA temperature trend, about 4 °F over 115 years, is more than twice the best estimate of this study.

(5) About 70% of the warming shown in the Group of 5 average temperature trend occurred before 1932. Temperatures trends of recent decades do not show anomalous warming.  Distinct warm temperature events occurred in the 1930’s and 1950’s that were much warmer than those observed since the turn of the 21st century.

(6) The Northern Front Range Group of 5 average temperature trend does not increase in a fashion consistent with increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide.

SOURCE (See the original for links and graphics)

Irish cow farts are OK under EU emissions deal

Ireland secured an allowance of offsets, such as planting trees, to escape reducing high agricultural emissions

Ireland has been accused of exploiting a new EU emissions agreement to such an extent that the country will have to reduce greenhouses gases by just 1 per cent between 2020 and 2030.

The government won major concessions at the European Commission in July that meant it would avoid billions of euros in potential fines thanks to loopholes that benefit the agriculture sector.

EU member states have agreed to reduce emissions from the agriculture, transport, buildings and waste sectors by 30 per cent by 2030. Effort-sharing regulations set out national targets and made allowances so countries could cover emissions with different flexibilities and carbon trading options to make it less costly to comply with the targets.


Oil ‘will flow for 30 more years’

BP thinks crude prices are unlikely to return to sustained levels above $100 a barrel

The world has access to more than twice as much oil as it will need between now and 2050, which will dampen the long-term outlook for prices, according to BP.

There was an “abundance of oil” globally and it was “increasingly likely” that some resources would be left in the ground, Spencer Dale, the oil major’s chief economist, said. This would prompt competition, keeping long-term prices below $100 a barrel.

BP’s latest Energy Outlook report, published yesterday, estimates that more than 2.5 trillion barrels of oil have been discovered worldwide and technically could be extracted.

Although the company sees continued growth in oil demand into the 2040s, the rate of demand is slowing because of fuel efficiencies and the drive for greener energy.


DOE Employees Scrubbed ‘Climate Change’ From Agency Files To Fool Trump

Department of Energy employees have been scrubbing any reference to “climate change” from internal documents to keep the Trump administration from putting projects on the chopping block.

One DOE employee told the podcast “This American Life” she and others have been “going through all their internal documents that describe ongoing projects and just scrubbing them, deleting the parts where it says ‘and here’s how this can help us combat climate change,’” producer David Kestenbaum said.

The employee, identified as Laura and voiced by an actress in the podcast, said “we already did that” after the election. Laura said she and her colleagues cried after President Donald Trump’s win.

This “renewable energy program, now it’s a jobs program,” Kestenbaum added. “Most federal projects have a reason for their existence, why draw attention to something by putting the words ‘climate change’ in the description.”

Laura’s comments to “This American Life” came out Jan. 20, the day of Trump’s inauguration. But the days following Trump’s inauguration have been filled with media reports that the incoming administration was removing “climate change” mentions from Whitehouse.gov and putting federal scientists on “lockdown.” She told Kestenbaum she didn’t feel bad about scrubbing internal documents because “as long as it’s getting done it doesn’t matter what we call it.”

She has only worked under the Obama administration, but will be staying for at least Trump’s first term. Senior DOE officials have been encouraging lower-level employees to stay in the Trump administration.

Laura says her decision to stay was spurred by a leaked transition team memo asking for all the names of DOE employees who attended the United Nations climate summits and worked on the “social cost of carbon” estimate.

After the leak, activists claimed Trump would delete public climate databases, and some climate scientists started to download databases they don’t want deleted.

DOE refused to hand over the names of any employees working on climate issues. Trump’s team disavowed the memo, and said it was never approved by transition officials.

Another federal employee, using the pseudonym Karen, told Kestenbaum some federal employees may use the bureaucracy to slow Trump down.

“Withholding information is one way you slow things down,” Karen said. “The bureaucracy is large, there’s a lot of paperwork, a lot of steps, and people that have been in government a long time understand those steps really well. So, some of those tactics may be used to make things go a lot slower.”



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

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Hockey Stick Collapses (2017)

A collection of 60 peer-reviewed scientific papers published in 2016 were displayed here last month in an article entitled, “The Hockey Stick Collapses: 60 New (2016) Scientific Papers Affirm Today’s Warming Isn’t Global, Unprecedented, Or Remarkable“.

Each paper from the 2016 collection cast doubt on claims of an especially unusual global-scale warming during modern times.

Yes, some regions of the Earth have been warming in recent decades (i.e., the Arctic since the 1990s), or at some point in the last 100 years.  Some regions have been cooling for decades at a time (i.e., the Arctic during the 1950s to 1980s, the Southern Ocean since 1979).  And many regions have shown no significant net changes or trends in either direction relative to the last few hundred to thousands of years.

In other words, there is nothing historically unprecedented or remarkable about today’s climate when viewed in the context of natural variability.

And the scientific evidence continues to accumulate for 2017.  In just the first month of this year, there have already been at least 17 papers published in scientific journals once again documenting that modern warming is not global, unprecedented, or remarkable.  In fact, several of these papers indicate that we are still living through some of the coldest temperatures of the last 10,000 years (just above Little Ice Age levels), and that a large portion of the amplitude of the modern warming trend (if there is one depicted) was realized prior to the mid-20th century, or before the period when human CO2 emissions began to rise dramatically.

Needless to say, these papers do not support the position that human CO2 emissions are the primary drivers of climate.

More HERE  (See the original for links, abstracts etc.)

Gore, Others Revive Canceled US Climate and Health Confab

A conference on climate change and health is back on but apparently minus the U.S. government. Several organizers including former Vice President Al Gore have resurrected the meeting set for next month in Atlanta.

The government's top public health agency had planned the conference then canceled it in December without explanation.

The one-day meeting is moving from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the Carter Center. Gore will still be one of two keynote speakers, Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, said Thursday.

"It's going to be on climate and health and in many ways it's going to be a very different meeting," said Benjamin, the other keynote speaker. Benjamin said he doesn't know if government officials will attend; many had been scheduled to speak at the conference .

An after-hours message to the CDC was not immediately returned.

The decision to hold the meeting was hatched by Benjamin's group, Gore, the University of Washington and the Harvard Global Health Institute. "Climate change is here today and is already impacting our health," Benjamin said.

A recent report by the U.S. government said global warming is a national public health problem . It said climate change is increasing the risk of respiratory problems and spread of disease from insects.

"Some of these health impacts are already underway in the United States," the report said.

In 2015, an international global health commission organized by the British medical journal Lancet said that hundreds of thousands of lives a year are at stake as global warming "threatens to undermine the last half century of gains in development and global health."


The Left and only the Left can control scientific thought. Or so they say

On election night, leftist elites were shocked to learn that a large swath of the country doesn’t think like they do. After all, these self-appointed intellectual rulers deem themselves the sole purveyors of sound political reasoning. Turns out political thought isn’t the only thing the Left wants to dictate. No, these folks also think they hold the trademark on Science™.

Consider, for example, President Donald Trump’s putting the kibosh on the social media accounts of certain federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The restrictions came just as Trump moved to approve the Keystone pipeline — a project the climate change propagandists at the EPA have, of course, viewed none too kindly. It’s not without precedent for incoming administrations to ensure the messaging from federal agencies is consistent with White House messaging. Indeed, as John Sexton notes, “The Trump administration does not want progressives in these agencies joining ‘the resistance’ using government social media accounts.”

That’s just what some government employees have done. And they have allies in the press. For example, Reuters reported it this way: “Employees from more than a dozen U.S. government agencies have established a network of unofficial ‘rogue’ Twitter feeds in defiance of what they see as attempts by President Donald Trump to muzzle federal climate change research and other science.” The @RogueNASA account styles itself the arbiter of “science and climate news and facts. REAL NEWS, REAL FACTS.”

Amidst the hoopla of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” don’t miss the overtones of resistance fighters bravely and nobly opposing the evil empire.

What’s also entertaining here is the apoplectic reaction. Liz Purchia, EPA public affairs head under Barack Obama, wailed, “It’s a dark time now. People are nervous and they are scared about what they can and can’t do.” Another government source said (with a straight face), “The idea of bad stuff being tweeted from EPA was not likely.” Of course, this is because the EPA assumes its opinions of climate change are settled Science™ and not simply theory. After all, if the Left says it’s true, it must be true.

The EPA isn’t alone. Soon after the gag order, the National Park Service took up the climate change mantle, with Badlands National Park posting a series of tweets bemoaning carbon dioxide. Those tweets were subsequently deleted. But in a telling sign that offended leftists within the agency are not confined to one park, staff at several parks are pursuing what the Chicago Tribune calls a “campaign against Trump,” tweeting out messages warning about global warming and greenhouse gas emissions. After all, the Left and only the Left can control scientific thought.

Of course it doesn’t stop with the government. Some in the lofty, ivory towers of academia want to use these unproven scientific theories as the plumb line to determine “fake news.” Next, we’ll use a slinky to draw a straight line.

Social psychologists at Cambridge, Yale and George Mason universities attempted to essentially inoculate individuals against “fake news” by feeding them climate change “facts” as well as “a small dose of misinformation.” Among the conclusions: “False information presented on its own was … shown to have a potent effect at spreading doubt about the veracity of the overwhelming scientific consensus on human-caused climate change.”

That “overwhelming consensus” must be referring to the overwhelmingly overused myth that 97% of scientists believe climate change is man-made and an impending global disaster.

Oh, but government agencies and universities don’t have anything on the press. The Washington Post outdid itself last week with a headline that will almost make you feel embarrassed for the paper — almost. The Post claimed “David Gelernter, fiercely anti-intellectual computer scientist, is being eyed for Trump’s science advisor.” Alas! Who is this anti-intellectual Philistine? Well, as the article itself notes, he’s “a pioneer in the field of parallel computation, a type of computing in which many calculations are carried out simultaneously.” Gelernter also developed a programming language that “made it possible to link together several small computers into a supercomputer, significantly increasing the amount and complexity of data that computers can process.” In fact, he’s a genius.

But, as the Washington Examiner’s T. Becket Adams notes, Gelernter is also “a fierce critic of academia” who believes too many universities “promote and support the idea that opposing thoughts should be silenced and expelled.” Hence to the liberal Post, he’s clearly “anti-intellectual.” Because, as we’ve learned, the Left thinks it owns the trademark on Science%trade;, of which academia is a part.

This makes it all so devilishly amusing when anyone on the Left bemoans the spread of “fake news.” Because if there’s one thing leftists are universally experts on, it’s not science, but fakery.


I almost fell out of my chair when I saw Gelernter decribed as "anti-intellectual".  It shows who is anti-intellectual! -- JR

Pruitt Cool under Fire at Senate Confirmation Hearing

On Wednesday, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing on the nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to be Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. As expected, several Committee Democrats attacked Pruitt for “litigating against the EPA on behalf of the fossil fuel industry.”

President Trump nominated Pruitt precisely because of his leadership in challenging EPA’s regulatory overreach. In effect, Pruitt’s opponents say the Senate should reject him for the very reasons Trump nominated him. They believe that regardless of who is president, or which issues the winner campaigned on, the EPA administrator must always be a bona fide ‘progressive.’

The ‘EPA is our agency’ crowd implicitly argues that elections don’t—or shouldn’t—matter. Rubbish. Congress created the EPA to be run by political appointees who serve at the president’s pleasure.

Pruitt never lost his cool despite repeated attempts to discredit and fluster him. Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) accused Pruitt of planning to act as “defendant, plaintiff, judge, and jury” because he would not commit to recuse himself from matters on which he has sued EPA as Oklahoma attorney general. But Pruitt did not decline to recuse himself. Rather, he repeatedly pledged to follow the advice of EPA’s office of ethics counsel.

Given EPA’s historic recusal policy under both Republican and Democratic administrations, Markey had no reason to assume Pruitt plans to handle the very lawsuits he filed or joined. As for playing “judge and jury,” I have no idea what that means. There are no juries in regulatory litigation. There are judges, to be sure, but the EPA administrator has no seat on the bench.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) dinged Pruitt for doing nothing to stop wastewater disposal by hydro-fracking companies, which has caused a “record-breaking number of earthquakes in Oklahoma.” Pruitt pointed out that the Oklahoma Corporation Commission has exclusive jurisdiction to regulate oil and gas underground injection wells, “and they have actually acted on that.” Indeed, though Pruitt did not mention it, Oklahoma earthquakes are down more than 50 percent since January 2016; the problem is being handled. Nonetheless, partly because Pruitt did not act beyond his legal authority, Sanders told him, “You are not going to get my vote.”    

You can watch the full hearing on YouTube. The remainder of this post reviews Pruitt’s questioning by Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ).

Booker accused Pruitt of shirking his responsibility to protect the welfare of Oklahoma citizens. How so? Pruitt filed or joined 14 lawsuits against the EPA “challenging clean air and clean water rules.” Booker seems to think the word “clean” in the titles of the underlying statutes suffices to ensure EPA’s rules are lawful and have large net benefits.

In fact, Pruitt was acting on behalf of Oklahomans’ welfare. The Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule imperils the property rights of small landholders and places undue burdens on small businesses. The Mercury Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule imposes billions in costs on ratepayers for grossly inflated and even imaginary health benefits. The Clean Power Plan imposes billions in costs for indiscernible climate benefits, and is so legally dubious the Supreme Court took the extraordinary step of staying the rule before a lower court reviewed it.

Citing the American Lung Association, “a very non-partisan group,” Booker went on to sermonize that in Oklahoma, 111,000 children have asthma, more than 10 percent, “one of the highest asthma rates in the United States of America.” He demanded to know why Pruitt had repeatedly sued EPA on behalf of “polluters” but had not filed one brief “on behalf of those kids to reduce the air pollution in your state and help them have a healthy life?”

Pruitt replied that he must have standing in order to sue, and in Oklahoma the attorney general has no parens patriae standing to bring cases on behalf of individual citizens or companies. There must be a “state interest” before he can sue, such as in cases where EPA regulations diminish state tax revenues via their adverse effects on the state’s economy. Other agencies, such as the Department of Environmental Quality and the Water Resources Board, have “front line” authority to enforce environmental protections for Oklahoma citizens.

Had time permitted, Pruitt could also have challenged Booker’s description of the American Lung Association as “very non-partisan” (see here and here). More importantly, with additional time, he could have explained why air pollution is likely no more than a minor contributor to asthma in Oklahoma.

To begin with, all Oklahoma air quality districts are currently in attainment with all National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for the six principal air pollutants, according to the EPA. By definition, when a state is in attainment with the NAAQS, pollution has been reduced to a level “sufficient to protect public health with an adequate margin of safety.”

Second, throughout the United States and several other countries too, asthma rates increased as air quality improved. For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control, the percentage of the U.S. population with asthma increased from 3.1 percent in 1980 to 5.5 percent in 1996, 7.3 percent in 2001, and 8.4 percent in 2010. But during roughly the same years (1980 to 2013), U.S. emissions of the six principal air pollutants declined by a whopping 62 percent, resulting in big declines in air pollution concentrations, including a 33 percent reduction in ground-level ozone.

Correlation does not prove causation, but there can be no causation without correlation. Trends in air pollution and childhood asthma are inversely correlated.

Another fact casting doubt on air pollution as a major culprit in current U.S. asthma rates is that hospital admissions for asthma are lowest in the summer—when ozone levels are highest.

Nonetheless, the narrative that air pollution and other environmental problems are always “worse than we thought” leads many people, including some senators, to assume the presence of a large ‘dirty’ energy sector in a state must be making kids sick. Oklahoma ranks third among U.S. states in natural gas production and fifth in onshore oil production, has five petroleum refineries, and generates about one-third of its electricity from coal. So Pruitt of Oklahoma is a natural whipping boy for the greener-than-thou types.

But if dirty energy causes high asthma rates, how is it that states with little-to-no fossil energy production and coal consumption can have asthma rates just as high or even higher?  

Maine and Vermont have no oil and gas production, Maine gets only 0.6 percent of its electricity from coal, and Vermont gets all its electricity from renewable sources. Yet childhood asthma rates in those states (Maine figures, below right) are comparable to Oklahoma’s (below left), and their adult asthma rates are even higher.

Sen. Booker is right, of course, to be concerned about asthmatic children. Numerous factors contribute to asthma, however, and it’s still something of a mystery why asthma rates are increasing. To suggest that kids in Oklahoma have asthma because Pruitt represents “polluters” rather than “citizens” is partisan twaddle.

SOURCE   (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

Australia: Man charged with police assault in 'invasion day' march is Green Party organiser

A man arrested for allegedly assaulting police during the flag-burning melee at the "invasion day" march through Sydney is a Greens campaign manager who used to be a paid employee of the party.

He was arrested on Thursday and charged with assaulting police, resisting arrest and malicious damage. He has been bailed to appeal in Downing Centre local court on February 14.

In a statement, NSW Police said he was arrested during the anti-Australia Day march from Redfern after a "participant allegedly attempted to ignite a flag".

During the struggle to arrest Mr Williams, a male police officer injured his ankle and a female protester sustained head injuries. Both were taken to hospital.

His alleged involvement in the violent scenes has further polarised the Greens, with party opponents of Left Renewal saying on Friday that the faction has torn up the pacifist ideals of the wider movement.

Hayden Williams, 20, is also part of the anti-capitalist, anti-police, left-wing splinter faction in the NSW Greens, known as "Left Renewal", Fairfax Media can reveal.



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


Friday, January 27, 2017

Greenies still sympathetic to Nazism: "Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning"

Book by Timothy Snyder. Published in 2015 by the German media conglomerate, Bertelsmann.  Review by William Kay

Black Earth was a collective endeavor. 14 archivists and librarians dug up the data. 30 academics and publishing execs reviewed drafts and submitted recommendations. The book was released simultaneously in every European language. It became a bestseller in four countries and won numerous awards.

Snyder is American-born but is better known in Europe than the USA. Much of his success derives from his involvement with the Vienna-based Institute for Human Sciences which employs 40 academics with funds from the Austrian and German governments. Their mission is to overcome obstacles to Central and Eastern Europe integration through re-writing history with "thematic daring."

While not an outright work of Holocaust denial, Black Earth, forcefully deploys the controversial genres of: Holocaust Obfuscation, Double Genocide Theory, and Holocaust Inversion.

Black Earth is also a meticulously crafted enviro-propaganda text concluding with a long, preachy chapter on Global Warming. The book devotes more page-space to Climate Change than to Auschwitz. Snyder's opinions about the dangers posed by Climate Change place him among the strident fringe of the Global Warming faithful. He argues future Holocausts can be prevented with carbon taxes.

In 35 separate passages Black Earth affirms the Nazi-environmentalist connection. Professor Snyder claims Adolph Hitler's core ideology consisted of:

a) A profound commitment to ecology;
b) A hostility to free market capitalism;
c) A belief in an overpopulation crisis;
d) A disdain for modern agricultural technology;
e) A deification of Nature; and
f) An overriding phobia that industrial activity was destroying Earth's ecosystem.

In other words, Adolph Hitler was, by today's standards, a typical environmentalist.

As an aside here, Snyder made an astonishing admission in an interview with The Atlantic magazine in 2015. He said that in 2010 he had a vague "intuition" that might be a connection between ecology and Hitler's mindset. Re-reading Hitler's writings convinced Snyder: ".in fact, that Hitler's quite explicitly an ecological thinker, (and) that the planetary level is the most important level."

Snyder obtained his PhD in History from Oxford in 1997. He then taught at Yale and Harvard. His field of expertise is Central European politics circa World War II. Yet somehow, in 2010 he possessed only an intuition of a connection between ecology and Nazism! By 2010 a dozen books describing in expansive and minute detail the ecological orientation of the Third Reich had rolled off the presses at Yale, Cambridge, etc. None of the works of the scholars who uncovered the eco-Nazi link appear in Black Earth's 800-plus text bibliography. This suggest suppression of evidence on Snyder's part and it also suggests Snyder is an intellectual poseur - a celebrity pundit who signs off on texts largely written by underlings.

Uniquely, Snyder's team clumsily and unsuccessfully tries to use Hitler's allegedly idiosyncratic ecologism to exonerate Europe's other fascist dictators (whom he treats favourably) from any guilt for Hitlerite crimes.

The book traffics in anti-Americanism and anti-capitalism; both staples of Euro-fascism. The book overflows with a militant statism seldom heard in the English-speaking world. (To fascists, of course, the state-building project is a manifestation of the divine.)

Black Earth is a battle cry for Pan-German oligarchs and their ultranationalist Polish, Ukrainian, and Baltic clients. Snyder wrote this book while writing reams of articles for the mainstream media defending the 2014 overthrow of Ukraine's lawfully elected government. In those articles, and in Black Earth, the Russians, particularly Vladimir Putin, are demonized. Most critically, Russian (and North American) fossil fuel reserves are deemed an existential threat to Earth's ecosystem.

Tim Snyder is a Benedict Arnold. He's an Ezra Pound. He's a Tokyo Rose. His portrait shall forever hang in that shameful gallery of treasonous Americans whose ideology, vanity, and greed drove them into the arms of foreign reactionaries determined to scuttle the American project.

Via email

Researchers report new understanding of global warming

The first sentence below is false (See here, here and here) so the "explanations" based on it must be false too

Researchers know that more, and more dangerous, storms have begun to occur as the climate warms. A team of scientists has reported an underlying explanation, using meteorological satellite data gathered over a 35-year period.

The examination of the movement and interaction of mechanical energies across the atmosphere, published Jan. 24 in the journal Nature Communications, is the first to explore long-term variations of the Lorenz energy cycle -- a complex formula used to describe the interaction between potential and kinetic energy in the atmosphere -- and offers a new perspective on what is happening with global warming.

"It is a new way to look at and explain what people have observed," said Liming Li, assistant professor of physics at the University of Houston and corresponding author of the paper. "We found that the efficiency of Earth's global atmosphere as a heat engine is increasing during the past four decades in response to climate change."

In this case, increased efficiency isn't a good thing. It suggests more potential energy is being converted to kinetic energy -- energy that is driving atmospheric movement - resulting in a greater potential for destructive storms in regions where the conversion takes place.

"Our analyses suggest that most energy components in the Lorenz energy cycle have positive trends," the researchers wrote. "As a result, the efficiency of Earth's global atmosphere as a heat engine increased during the past 35 years."

In addition to Li, researchers involved in the work include Yefeng Pan, first author and a former doctoral student at UH; Xun Jiang, associate professor of earth and atmospheric sciences at UH; Gan Li, Wentao Zhang and Xinyue Wang, all of Guilin University of Electronic Technology; and Andrew P. Ingersoll of the California Institute of Technology.

The researchers used three independent meteorological datasets to track variables including three-dimensional wind field, geopotential-height field and temperature field at points across the globe from 1979 to 2013. They then used the data to compute the Lorenz energy cycle of the global atmosphere. Such an energy cycle in the atmosphere significantly influences weather and climate.

Previous studies have covered only five-year and 10-year periods before 1973, Li said. "Now we can investigate the Lorenz energy cycle of the global atmosphere during the past 35 years, using satellite-based observations," he said.

While the researchers reported that the total mechanical energy of the global atmosphere remains constant over time, there has been a significant increase in what they describe as "eddy energies," or the energies associated with storms, eddies and turbulence.

Li said the positive trends for eddy energies were especially pronounced in the southern hemisphere and over parts of Asia, and the researchers point out that intensifying storm activity over the southern oceans and increasing drought in Central Asia contribute to the positive trends.

"This is a new perspective to explain global warming from an energy standpoint," he said.


Danish Think Tank: $9B Cloud Project Could Prevent All 21st Century Global Warming

Since AGW seems to have stopped all by itself, it might be hard to show this works

Instead of collectively spending $100 billion annually under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement to combat global warming, developed nations should consider investing just $9 billion in a marine cloud whitening project that could prevent global warming for the rest of the 21st century, according to Bjorn Lomborg, director of a Danish think tank.

Marine cloud whitening mimics the effects of a volcanic eruption by inserting salt particles into the atmosphere to make clouds denser so they reflect more sunlight back into space.

"Spending just $9 billion on 1,900 seawater-spraying boats could prevent all the global warming set to occur this century," Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, writes in a January 18 column for Project Syndicate, adding that the benefits the project would generate would be worth an estimated $20 trillion.

"This is the equivalent of doing about $2,000 worth of good with every dollar spent," he pointed out.

To put this in context, the Paris climate agreement's promises will cost more than $1 trillion annually and deliver carbon cuts worth much less"To put this in context, the Paris climate agreement's promises will cost more than $1 trillion annually and deliver carbon cuts worth much less - most likely every dollar spent will prevent climate change worth a couple of cents," Lomborg continued.

"Even climate activists increasingly recognize that the lofty rhetoric of the global agreement to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, concluded in Paris just over a year ago, will not be matched by its promises' actual impact on temperatures," he said. "This should make us think about smart, alternative solutions."

"All of the global warming for the century could be avoided" by using geo-engineering such as marine cloud whitening, according to a working paper by Americans J. Eric Bickel and Lee Lane for the CCC, which "has commissioned 21 papers to examine the costs and benefits of different solutions to global warming."

Warning that such technology "is not ready for deployment" and "even base case estimates for many important benefit and cost parameters are unknown," Bickel and Lane estimate a 5,000-to-1 direct benefit-cost ratio for a marine cloud whitening project, which would use unmanned GPS-navigated ships to spray seawater into ocean cloud formations.

According to the co-authors, "reflecting into space only one to two percent of the sunlight that strikes the Earth would cool the planet by an amount roughly equal to the warming that is likely from doubling the pre-industrial levels of greenhouse gases."

Pointing to the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines, which "reduced global mean temperature by about 0.5% C," they wrote that "scattering this amount of sunlight appears to be possible."

In addition, the expected research and development costs for a marine cloud whitening geoengineering project "are clearly quite low. Indeed, they appear to be almost negligible," the study's co-authors noted.

"People are understandably nervous about geoengineering," Lomborg acknowledged. "But many of the risks have been overstated. Marine cloud whitening, for example, amplifies a natural process and would not lead to permanent atmospheric changes - switching off the entire process would return the world to its previous state in a matter of days."

Reversability is important because Bickel and Lane point out that one of the negative effects of "changing global temperatures without lowering the level of GHG [greenhouse gas] concentrations.. is the possible lessening of rainfall."

Under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement - which was signed by former Secretary of State John Kerry but not ratified by the U.S. Senate - the U.S. and other developed countries pledged to raise $100 billion a year to help developing nations limit carbon emissions, which the United Nations claims is the chief cause of global warming.

The stated goal of the international agreement is to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels while carbon emissions are eventually reduced to zero worldwide.

As part of his promise to cut U.S. carbon emissions by 26 to 28 percent over 2005 levels by 2025, President Obama pledged $3 billion to the UN's Green Climate Fund, which was set up to help developing countries meet their carbon reduction goals.

To date, the U.S. has contributed $1 billion to the fund, with $500 million transferred just days before President Trump's inauguration on January 20.

During his presidential campaign, Trump promised to "cancel the Paris Climate Agreement and stop all payments of U.S. tax dollars to U.N. global warming programs" during his first 100 days in office.


Trump's Pipeline Approvals Are a Win for the Economy and Environment

In a win for the economy and the environment, President Donald Trump signed executive orders backing the construction of two unnecessarily controversial energy infrastructure projects: the Keystone XL pipeline and the Dakota Access pipeline.

Getting the green light for the completion of the pipelines is kind of like receiving your appetizer halfway through your meal. You're happy it's finally here but also disappointed it didn't come when it should have, which is much, much earlier.

Politicians often speak of the need to balance economic growth and environmental protection. But energy projects should not be viewed in this manner where a trade-off needs to take place between the two.

Sensible, free-market policies that protect private property rights and respect the rule of law will create jobs while protecting the economy. The approval of Keystone XL and Dakota Access demonstrate that.

For Keystone XL, the Obama administration's own State Department reviewed the project multiple times and concluded that the pipeline would pose negligible environmental risk and not contribute significantly to global warming-a big sticking point and one of the reasons former President Barack Obama rejected the application.

The State Department's final environmental impact statement concludes that Canadian oil is coming out of the ground whether Keystone XL is built or not, so the difference in greenhouse gas emissions is miniscule.

Despite environmental activist fearmongering, the State Department also determined that the project poses minimal environmental threat to soil, wetlands, water resources, vegetation, fish, and wildlife.

But instead of listening to sound science and technical analysis, support from unions, and the majority of the American people, Obama capitulated to his environmental activist base.

Even Obama's first secretary of energy, Steven Chu, called the debate over the pipeline what it was, saying, "The decision on whether the construction should happen was a political one and not a scientific one."

The same disregard for the rule of law and scientific analysis holds true for the Dakota Access pipeline. Despite the protests and opposition from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, the federal government completed an extensive, thorough environmental review.

As Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., wrote last year:

The Army Corps consulted with 55 Native American tribes at least 389 times, after which they proposed 140 variations of the route to avoid culturally sensitive areas in North Dakota. The logical time for Standing Rock tribal leaders to share their concerns would have been at these meetings, not now when construction is already near completion.

Together, the two pipelines could carry up to 1.4 million barrels of oil per day, safer and far more efficiently than transporting the product by rail.

The reality is the two pipeline projects shouldn't have been as big of a deal as they were made to be. The U.S. is a spider web of pipelines and many Americans live near a pipeline without even knowing about it.

Our country has more than 500,000 miles of crude oil, petroleum, and natural gas pipelines and another 2 million miles of natural gas distribution pipelines. When it comes to accidents, injuries, and fatalities, pipelines are the safest mode of transporting oil and gas.

Though the environmental risk is minimal, the pipelines' completion will have significant impact for the economy and for American households and businesses. The projects will result in thousands of construction jobs and lower prices at the pump by delivering more supplies to the market.

Opponents of the pipeline dismissed the job numbers and economic impacts, arguing that pipelines will create only "a handful" of permanent jobs.

But the fact that pipelines only have a handful of permanent workers simply conveys how remarkably efficient pipelines are.

The high output of labor generates value and wealth and frees up Americans to be more productive elsewhere in the economy, in the same way that one man on a backhoe loader increases efficiency and frees up a group of men with shovels to dig a ditch.

The approval of the pipeline should also serve as a guiding point for how the Trump administration moves on infrastructure policy. Remove unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles and empower the private sector to drive investment.


President Trump institutes media blackout at EPA

The Trump administration has instituted a media blackout at the Environmental Protection Agency and barred staff from awarding any new contracts or grants, part of a broader communications clampdown within the executive branch.

The prohibitions came to light Tuesday as the agency moved to delay implementation of at least 30 environmental rules finalized in the closing months of President Obama's term, a potential first step to seeking to kill the regulations.

A summary of the actions posted in the Federal Register includes a long list of regulations that include updated air pollution rulings for several states, renewable fuel standards and limits on the amount of formaldehyde that can leach from wood products. President Trump signed a directive shortly after his inauguration on Friday ordering a "regulatory freeze pending review" for all federal agency rules that had been finalized that have not yet taken effect.

E-mails sent to EPA staff and reviewed by the Associated Press also detailed specific prohibitions banning press releases, blog updates, or posts to the agency's social media accounts.

The administration has also ordered what it called a temporary suspension of all new business activities at the department, including issuing task orders or work assignments to EPA contractors. The orders were expected to have a significant and immediate impact on EPA activities nationwide. EPA contracts with outside vendors for a wide array of services, from engineering and research science to janitorial supplies.

Similar orders barring external communications have been issued in recent days by the Trump administration at other federal agencies, including the departments of Transportation, Agriculture and Interior.

Staffers in EPA's public affairs office are instructed to forward all inquiries from reporters to the Office of Administration and Resources Management. "Incoming media requests will be carefully screened," one directive said. "Only send out critical messages, as messages can be shared broadly and end up in the press."

A review of EPA websites and social media accounts, which typically include numerous new posts each day, showed no new activity since Friday.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Tuesday he had no specific information on the blackout. "I don't think it's any surprise that when there's an administration turnover, that we're going to review the policies," Spicer said.

Doug Ericksen, the communications director for Trump's transition team at EPA, said he expects the communications ban to be lifted by the end of this week. "We're just trying to get a handle on everything and make sure what goes out reflects the priorities of the new administration," Ericksen said.

Beyond what was stated in the internal email, Ericksen clarified that the freeze on EPA contracts and grants won't apply to pollution cleanup efforts or infrastructure construction activities. The agency later said it would also seek to complete that review by Friday.

State agencies that rely on EPA for funding were left in the dark, with both Democratic and Republican officials saying they had received no information from EPA about the freeze.

"We are actively seeking additional information so we can understand the impact of this action on our ability to administer critical programs," said Alan Matheson, executive director of Utah Department of Environmental Quality.

Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer of New York said the Trump administration should immediately reverse the media blackout and contracting freeze.

"This decision could have damaging implications? for communities across New York state and the country, from delaying testing for lead in schools to restricting efforts to keep drinking water clean to holding up much-needed funding to revitalize toxic brownfield sites," Schumer said.

The executive director for the advocacy group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, Jeff Ruch, said the orders go beyond what has occurred in prior presidential transitions.

"We're watching the dark cloud of Mordor extend over federal service," Ruch said Tuesday, referring to the evil kingdom in the epic fantasy "The Lord of the Rings."

Ruch noted that key posts at EPA have not yet been filled with Republican appointees, including Trump's nominee for EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt. That means there are not yet the new senior personnel in place to make decisions.

Environmentalists said the orders were having a chilling effect on EPA staff already suffering from low morale. Trump and Pruitt have both been frequent critics of the agency and have questioned the validity of climate science showing that the Earth is warming and man-made carbon emissions are to blame.

Staff at the Agriculture Department's Agricultural Research Service also received orders not to issue any news releases, photos, fact sheets and social media posts. After an email of the order leaked to the media, the agency said it would rescind the memo.

At the Transportation Department, employees received an e-mail message Monday morning that was "broadly worded and hard to interpret," but which appeared to be a directive not to issue any news releases or post to social media, according to a DOT employee who wasn't authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

"Everybody's being very cautious," the employee said.

The AP reported over the weekend that staff employees at the Interior Department were temporarily ordered to stop making posts to its Twitter account after the official account of the National Park Service retweeted a pair of photos that compared those gathered for Trump's inauguration with the much larger crowd that attended Obama's swearing-in.



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


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Changing climate has stalled Australian wheat yields (?)

As Warmist articles go, the study below shows unusual statistical sophistication. But the connection to Warmism is tokenistic.  The article would read much the same without reference to Warmism.  And it is refreshing that the model they use has had extensive validation.  Most unusual!  Warmist models normally have no predictive skill whatever.

In the end, however, they find that weather has reduced potential crop yields, not mainly via warming but mainly by reduced rainfall: "lower rainfall accounted for 83% of the decline in yield potential, while temperature rise alone was responsible for 17% of the decline"

And that is a problem.  Warmer seas should usually produce MORE rainfall.  How come the alleged warming was accompanied by LESS rainfall?  The authors do not know, or, if they do, they are not saying.  So the statistics are in fact incompatible with anthropogenic global warming.  A warmer globe should have produced more rainfall.  But there was LESS rainfall.

All one can reasonably say in the circumstances is that there were poorly-understood local factors at work, not global ones.  From any point of view, what they have to account for is the reduced rainfall and they have not done that

Australia’s wheat yields more than trebled during the first 90 years of the 20th century but have stalled since 1990. In research published today in Global Change Biology, we show that rising temperatures and reduced rainfall, in line with global climate change, are responsible for the shortfall.

This is a major concern for wheat farmers, the Australian economy and global food security as the climate continues to change. The wheat industry is typically worth more than A$5 billion per year – Australia’s most valuable crop. Globally, food production needs to increase by at least 60% by 2050, and Australia is one of the world’s biggest wheat exporters.

There is some good news, though. So far, despite poorer conditions for growing wheat, farmers have managed to improve farming practices and at least stabilise yields. The question is how long they can continue to do so.
Worsening weather

While wheat yields have been largely the same over the 26 years from 1990 to 2015, potential yields have declined by 27% since 1990, from 4.4 tonnes per hectare to 3.2 tonnes per hectare.

Potential yields are the limit on what a wheat field can produce. This is determined by weather, soil type, the genetic potential of the best adapted wheat varieties and sustainable best practice. Farmers’ actual yields are further restricted by economic considerations, attitude to risk, knowledge and other socio-economic factors.

While yield potential has declined overall, the trend has not been evenly distributed. While some areas have not suffered any decline, others have declined by up to 100kg per hectare each year.

The distribution of the annual change in wheat yield potential from 1990 to 2015. Each dot represents one of the 50 weather stations used in the study. David Gobbett, Zvi Hochman and Heidi Horan, Author provided

We found this decline in yield potential by investigating 50 high-quality weather stations located throughout Australia’s wheat-growing areas.

Analysis of the weather data revealed that, on average, the amount of rain falling on growing crops declined by 2.8mm per season, or 28% over 26 years, while maximum daily temperatures increased by an average of 1.05℃.

To calculate the impact of these climate trends on potential wheat yields we applied a crop simulation model, APSIM, which has been thoroughly validated against field experiments in Australia, to the 50 weather stations.

Climate variability or climate change?

There is strong evidence globally that increasing greenhouse gases are causing rises in temperature. Recent studies have also attributed observed rainfall trends in our study region to anthropogenic climate change.

Statistically, the chance of observing the decline in yield potential over 50 weather stations and 26 years through random variability is less than one in 100 billion.

We can also separate the individual impacts of rainfall decline, temperature rise and more CO₂ in the atmosphere (all else being equal, rising atmospheric CO₂ means more plant growth).

First, we statistically removed the rising temperature trends from the daily temperature records and re-ran the simulations. This showed that lower rainfall accounted for 83% of the decline in yield potential, while temperature rise alone was responsible for 17% of the decline.

Next we re-ran our simulations with climate records, keeping CO₂ at 1990 levels. The CO₂ enrichment effect, whereby crop growth benefits from higher atmospheric CO₂ levels, prevented a further 4% decline relative to 1990 yields.

So the rising CO₂ levels provided a small benefit compared to the combined impact of rainfall and temperature trends.


Badlands National Park tweets on climate change

There was nothing subversive or awkward about the tweets in question.  They just set out well-known facts, facts that are not in dispute.  What is in dispute is the sensitivity of the climate to CO2 levels -- and the tweets did not address that.  Somebody in the administration may or may not have asked for the tweets to be taken down but it made no difference to anything anyway

Apparently defying the Trump administration’s new social media policy, the Badlands National Park went rogue for a few hours on Tuesday and tweeted several scientific facts related to climate change — but the tweets were deleted as the White House apparently reeled in the wayward park.

The tweets, from the South Dakota park’s official account, came on the same day Mr. Trump signed executive orders reviving the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, signaling he’ll put a priority on developing energy sources over concerns about climate change.

“The pre-industrial concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was 280 parts per million (ppm). As of December 2016, 404.93 ppm,” read one tweet on the park’s Twitter feed. “Today, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is higher than at any time in the last 650,000 years. #climate.

Flipside of the atmosphere; ocean acidity has increased 30% since the Industrial Revolution. “Ocean Acidification.” #climate #carboncycle.”

After its initial tweets around 3 p.m. Tuesday, the barrage continued later in the afternoon. Just before 5 p.m., the Badlands account tweeted more climate change information.
“Burning one gallon of gasoline puts nearly 20lbs of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere. #climate,” the follow-up tweet reads.

The posts were deleted around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, but not before generating a slew of online stories about who and what was behind the tweets. The tweets on the surface may appear innocuous, but they come at the very instant the new Trump administration has moved to scrub all mentions of climate change from federal websites. The official White House page, for example, no longer mentions global warming, as was the case under President Obama, and instead only discusses Mr. Trump’s energy policy.

Democrats seized on the incident to attack the Trump administration’s climate policy and its attitude toward dissent in the ranks. Name-checking the authoritarian Russian president, Democratic National Committee national press secretary Adrienne Watson said in a statement, “Vladimir Putin would be proud.”

The National Park Service, a division of the Interior Department that oversees all parks, has been at the center of the social media storm, making Tuesday’s tweets all the more noteworthy.

The NPS had its Twitter account temporarily taken off-line over the weekend after tweeting photos showing what appeared to be the disparity in crowd size between Mr. Trump’s inauguration last week and that of former President Obama in 2009. The tweets were quickly deleted.


The Beginning of the End of EPA

At the Republican National Convention last summer, the GOP approved a platform that stated: “We propose to shift responsibility for environmental regulation from the federal bureaucracy to the states and to transform the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] into an independent bipartisan commission, similar to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, with structural safeguards against politicized science.” It also says “We will likewise forbid the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide, something never envisioned when Congress passed the Clean Air Act.”

The GOP followed the lead of President Donald Trump, who in a March debate said he would abolish EPA, and in a May speech in North Dakota condemned “the Environmental Protection Agency’s use of totalitarian tactics” that has “denied millions of Americans access to the energy wealth sitting under our feet. This is your treasure, and you – the American People – are entitled to share in the riches.”

Trump and the GOP are saying, finally, what millions of people have been thinking for a long time: EPA has become the cause of, not the solution to, the nation’s major environmental problems. It’s time to end EPA.

A Promising Beginning

In the late 1960s, the United States faced real problems regarding the quality of its air and water, waste disposal, and contamination from mining and agriculture. Pollution crossed borders – the borders between private property as well as between cities, states, and nations – and traditional remedies based on private property rights didn’t seem to be working. The public was overly complacent about the possible threat to their safety.

Many scientists, myself included, lobbied the federal government to form a cabinet-level agency to address these problems. [1] In 1971, EPA was born. During the agency’s first 10 years, Congress passed seven legislative acts to protect the environment, including the Water Pollution Control Act (later renamed the Clean Water Act), Safe Drinking Water Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and the Clean Air Act.

At first, these laws worked well, protecting the environment and the health of our citizens. Problems were identified, measured, exposed, and major investments were made to reduce dangerous emissions and protect the public from exposure to them. EPA and other government agencies regularly report the subsequent dramatic reduction in all the pollutants we originally targeted. By the 1980s, nothing more needed to be done beyond monitoring our continuing success in cleaning up the environment. It was time to declare victory and go home.

EPA Is Now an Obstacle

Beginning around 1981, however, radical Leftists realized they could advance their political agenda by taking over the environmental movement and use it to advocate for ever-more draconian regulations on businesses. Environmentalists allowed this take-over to occur because it brought massive funding from liberal foundations, political power, and prestige. [2]

Politicians realized they could win votes by pandering to the environmental movement, repeating their pseudo-scientific claims, and posing as protectors of nature and the public health. The wind, solar, and ethanol industries saw they could use regulations to handicap competitors or help themselves to public subsidies.

Today, EPA is a captive of activist and special-interest groups. Its regulations have nothing to do with protecting the environment. Its rules account for nearly half of the $2 trillion annual cost of complying with all national regulations in the United States.

In 2008, The Heritage Foundation estimated the costs of EPA’s first proposal to regulate greenhouse gases in the name of fighting global warming were “close to $7 trillion and three million manufacturing jobs lost.” According to Heritage, “the sweep of regulations … could severely affect nearly every major energy-using product from cars to lawnmowers, and a million or more businesses and buildings of all types. And all of this sacrifice is in order to make, at best, a minuscule contribution to an overstated environmental threat.”

President Barack Obama has routinely used EPA to circumvent Congress to impose severe regulations on farmers, ranchers, other private landowners, fisheries, and the energy sector. Just last week, the agency rushed through approval of new fuel efficiency standards for automobiles more than a year ahead of schedule to thwart any attempts by the Trump administration to stop it. Courts and Congress have objected to and tried to limit EPA’s abuses, but without noticeable success. Once a genuine success story, EPA has become the biggest obstacle to further environmental progress.

Replacing EPA

The solution is to return this authority to the states, replacing EPA with a Committee of the Whole of the 50 state environmental protection agencies.

State EPAs already have primary responsibility for the implementation of the nation’s environmental laws and EPA regulations. With more than 30 years of experience, these state agencies are ready to take over management of the nation’s environment.

Accountable to 50 governors and state legislatures, state EPAs are more attuned to real-world needs and trade-offs. Located in 50 state capitols, they are less vulnerable to the Left’s massive beltway lobbying machine.

The Committee would be made up of representatives from each state. EPA could be phased out over five years, which could include a one-year preparation period followed by a four-year program in which 25 percent of the agency’s activities would be passed to the Committee each year.

Seventy-five percent of EPA’s budget could be eliminated and most of the remainder would pay for national research labs. A small administrative structure would allow the states to refine existing environmental laws in a manner more suitable to protecting our environment without thwarting the development of our natural resources and energy supplies.

Benefits of Replacing EPA

The federal budget for environmental protection could be reduced from $8.6 billion to $2 billion or less. Staffing could be reduced from more than 15,000 to 300. The real savings, of course, would be in reduction of the $1 trillion in annual regulatory costs EPA imposes each year.

This reform would produce a second huge benefit by ending the government’s war on affordable energy. EPA is the principal funder and advocate of global warming alarmism, the myth that man-made climate change is a crisis. That movement would end on the day EPA’s doors shut, allowing Congress to return to taxpayers and consumers a “peace dividend” amount to some of the $4 billion a day currently spent world-wide on climate change.

Dismantling EPA is one part of a comprehensive set of reforms, many of them discussed by Trump and referred to in the GOP platform, to lighten the massive weight of government regulations on the American people. The nation needs a pro-energy, pro-environment, and pro-jobs agenda that recognizes the tremendous value of the natural resources under our feet.

While the rest of the world stumbles blindly in the grip of an anti-energy and anti-freedom ideology, the U.S. can march ahead and regain its place as the world’s economic and technological leader.

The nation’s environment is in terrific shape, thanks to early efforts by EPA and more recent efforts by state governments and businesses. The nation’s economy and environment will be even better if the federal government gets out of the way.

EPA has long outlived its usefulness. Let’s return its powers to the states, where they belong.


Domestic Wood Burning Leads To “Very High Pollution Alert” For London

By Paul Homewood

From the BBC:

"A "very high" air pollution warning has been issued for London for the first time under a new alert system.

Warnings are being issued at bus stops, roadside signs and Tube stations under the new system set up by London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

The rise has been attributed to cold, calm and settled weather, meaning winds are not dispersing local pollutants.

The mayor said "the shameful state of London’s toxic air" meant he had to trigger the alert.

"This is the highest level of alert and everyone – from the most vulnerable to the physically fit – may need to take precautions to protect themselves from the filthy air," he said.

A spike in pollution on Sunday was the highest level recorded since April 2011……

The last time pollution reached this level was early last month, according to pollution monitoring stations run by King’s College London.

However, a spike in pollution levels on Sunday "when there wasn’t much traffic on the road, was significant" Dr Fuller said.

In recent weeks several "high" alerts have been issued.

The current weather conditions, coupled with an "unusually high amount of domestic wood burning", has led to the highest pollution alert being issued"

I was too young to remember the great London smogs of the 1950s, but they led to Clean Air Acts, which amongst other things introduced smokeless zones where only certain types of coal could be burnt.

Unfortunately because of our obsession with “clean” renewable energy, we appear to be going backwards again.


British government runs dead on climate alarmism

There was probably some awareness that this was just the same-old same-old tripe

The Government has been accused of trying to bury a major report about the potential dangers of global warming to Britain – including the doubling of the deaths during heatwaves, a “significant risk” to supplies of food and the prospect of infrastructure damage from flooding.

The UK Climate Change Risk Assessment Report, which by law has to be produced every five years, was published with little fanfare on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (Defra) website on 18 January.

But, despite its undoubted importance, Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom made no speech and did not issue her own statement, and even the Defra Twitter account was silent. No mainstream media organisation covered the report.

One leading climate expert accused the Government of “trying to sneak it out” without people noticing, saying he was “astonished” at the way its publication was handled.

In the report, the Government admitted there were a number of “urgent priorities” that needed to be addressed.

It said it largely agreed with experts’ warnings about the effects of climate change on the UK. These included two “high-risk” issues: the damage expected to be caused by flooding and coastal erosion; and the effect of rising temperatures on people’s health.

The report concluded that the number of heat-related deaths in the UK “could more than double by the 2050s from a current baseline of around 2,000 per year”.

It said “urgent action” should be taken to address overheating in homes, public buildings and cities generally, and called for further research into the effect on workers’ productivity.

The Government also recognised that climate change “will present significant risks to the availability and supply of food in the UK”, the report said, partly because of extreme weather in some of the world’s main food-growing regions.

The report also said the public water supply could be affected by shortages and that the natural environment could be degraded.



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