Friday, April 07, 2017

A regurgitation from the Earth Institute of Columbia university

It was written by Renee Cho, an apparatchik for the Earth Institute, a woman in her middle years with slight academic qualifications.  It appeared under the heading "How We Know Today’s Climate Change Is Not Natural"

It is just a regurgitation of common Warmist talking points with absolutely no apparent interest in the truth of those talking points.  It is too trivial an emission to warrant a thorough fisking but just a few points will show how low is the intellectual quality of her effort on behalf of Columbia.

She says: "97 percent of working climate scientists agree" but gives no reference for that assertion.  The reference is of course to the work of John Cook, an Australian psychologist.  If she had read Cook's paper she would know that two thirds of climate scientists took no position on anthropogenic global warming.  Only one third did, which is 33%, not 97%.  A big difference.  There is NO consensus.

She says: "Antarctic ice sheets are decreasing in mass".  They are not.  Even Warmist scientists such as Zwally concede that the Anarctic overall is gaining mass.

Then she goes on to the tired old nonsense about Methane.  What she says of Methane is only true in the laboratory, not in the actual atmosphere.  The radiative frequencies CH4 intercepts are also absorbed by the much more plentiful water vapor so any  effect methane might have is heavily masked.

And so it goes.  The whole thing is amateurish trash with no regard for the truth.  If that represents Columbia, Columbia has fallen far.  I reproduce below only the first half of it

Last week, the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, chaired by climate contrarian Lamar Smith, R-Texas, held a hearing on climate science. The hearing featured three scientists who are dubious about the conclusions of the majority of climate scientists, and climate scientist Michael Mann, best known for his “hockey stick graph” of temperatures over the last thousand years illustrating the impact of humans on global warming.

This week, Scott Pruitt, Environmental Protection Agency administrator, who had said that human activity was not the primary contributor to global warming, acknowledged that it plays a role—but stressed the need to figure out exactly how much of one.

Despite the many climate “skeptics” in key positions of power today, 97 percent of working climate scientists agree that the warming of Earth’s climate over the last 100 years is mainly due to human activity that has increased the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Why are they so sure?

Earth’s climate has changed naturally over the past 650,000 years, moving in and out of ice ages and warm periods. Changes in climate occur because of alterations in Earth’s energy balance, which result from some kind of external factor or “forcing”—an environmental factor that influences the climate. The ice ages and shifting climate were caused by a combination of changes in solar output, Earth’s orbit, ocean circulation, albedo (the reflectivity of the Earth’s surface) and makeup of the atmosphere (the amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases such as water vapor, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone that are present).

Scientists can track these earlier natural changes in climate by examining ice cores drilled from Greenland and Antarctica, which provide evidence about conditions as far back as 800,000 years ago. The ice cores have shown that rising CO2 levels and rising temperatures are closely linked.

Scientists also study tree rings, glaciers, pollen remains, ocean sediments, and changes in the Earth’s orbit around the sun to get a picture of Earth’s climate going back hundreds of thousands of years or more.

Today, CO2 levels are 40 percent higher than they were before the Industrial Revolution began; they have risen from 280 parts per million in the 18th century to over 400 ppm in 2015 and are on track to reach 410 ppm this spring.

In addition, there is much more methane (a greenhouse gas 84 times more potent than CO2 in the short term) in the atmosphere than at any time in the past 800,000 years—two and a half times as much as before the Industrial Revolution. While some methane is emitted naturally from wetlands, sediments, volcanoes and wildfires, the majority of methane emissions come from oil and gas production, livestock farming and landfills.

Global temperatures have risen an average of 1.4˚ F since 1880. Sea ice in the Arctic has thinned and decreased in the last few decades; the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are decreasing in mass. The North and South Poles are warming faster than anywhere else on Earth. Glaciers are retreating on mountains all over the world. Spring snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere has decreased over the last 50 years.

The number of record-breaking hot temperatures in the U.S. is on the rise. Oceans are the warmest they have been in a half-century; the top layer is warming about 0.2˚F per decade. The oceans are also 30 percent more acidic than they were at the start of the Industrial Revolution because they are absorbing more CO2. Global sea levels rose an average of 6.7 inches in the last century, and in the last 10 years, have risen almost twice as fast.


Green/Left congressmen are the book-burning Nazis of this era

How’s this for hypocrisy? A group of House Democrats who call everyone else “Nazis” and “science deniers” are ordering the nation’s teachers to destroy books that fail to include political propaganda:

    Three ranking House Democrats on Monday urged teachers to throw away copies of a book written by climate scientists challenging the catastrophic global-warming view, saying the nation’s schools are “inappropriate” forums for such a discussion.

    The Democratic blast at “climate deniers” came in response to a campaign by the conservative Heartland Institute to distribute free DVDs and copies of the 2015 book, “Why Climate Scientists Disagree About Global Warming” to about 200,000 K-12 science teachers.

The Democrats who penned the letter are Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), and Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas). Scott’s condemnation of the book was particularly totalitarian:

    “Public school classrooms are no place for anti-science propaganda, and I encourage every teacher to toss these materials in the recycling bin,” said Rep. Bobby Scott, Virginia Democrat, ranking member of the Education and the Workforce Committee.

    “Successful high school graduates are aware and engaged global citizens with an understanding of and appreciation for scientific fact,” said Mr. Scott in a press release. “If the Heartland Institute and other climate deniers want to push a false agenda on global warming, our nation’s schools are an inappropriate place to drive that agenda.”

The three authors of the book — Craig Idso, S. Fred Singer, and the late Robert M. Carter — are all literal scientists who hold doctorates and taught science at the university level. But they don’t know better than the government, according to Scott.

Heartland Institute president Joseph Bast was floored by the liberal backlash. In a March 3 letter to teachers, he asked them to “consider the possibility that the science is in fact not ‘settled'”:

    “If that’s the case, then students would be better served by letting them know a vibrant debate is taking place among scientists on how big the human impact on climate is, and whether or not we should be worried about it,” said Mr. Bast. “That sounds pretty reasonable, doesn’t it? Not, apparently, to out-of-touch Democrats in Washington, DC.”

This is a crucial point that liberals miss: conservatives like Bast are not “climate deniers,” as Scott claimed. They don’t deny that climate change exists; rather, they challenge why it exists and whether or not and to what extent humans are the cause. But because liberals are as dogmatic as can be when it comes to the environment, any disagreement with their opinion is by default a denial.

But the irony award here belongs to Rep. Grijalva. Grijalva also branded the Heartland Institute as “climate deniers,” and chastised them for “lying to children about the world we live in to further corporate polluter profits.” However, back in 2015 Grijalva admitted to overreach when he demanded to know the sources of funding for University of Colorado Professor Roger Pielke Jr. because Pielke held a skeptical position on climate change.

If you want a modern example of fascism, look no further than liberal environmentalists.


The Environment: A True Story

For decades we’ve been told that mankind has only about 10 years to stop pumping out “greenhouses gases” or we will do irreparable harm to Earth’s climate. But the science behind this claim is extremely shaky, and good policy never comes from bad thinking. Help me set the record straight.

Earth’s climate has always been unstable. It has repeatedly changed dramatically, including in ways that would be problematic for humans if they happened today. But people certainly didn’t cause any of these changes before the glaciers last retreated 12,000 years ago, and indeed almost nobody claims we caused any before the 20th century. And it’s bad science to assert that the same processes have been going on for 500 million years or more, but the cause suddenly and inexplicably changed 75 years ago.

Many journalists and politicians say, or shout, that there is a scientific consensus around anthropogenic climate change. In fact there is lively debate about what is going on, and broad awareness of the limits of our knowledge and especially of our powers of prediction. Climate is not merely unstable, it is “chaotic” in the technical sense of not being susceptible to reliable mathematical modeling using linear algebra because it is “sensitively dependent on initial conditions” or in the once-familiar acronym, SDIC.

What scientists do know, what no informed person disputes, is that the Earth has been considerably warmer than it is today for most of its history, with intermittent cold periods. It has also had far more carbon dioxide in its atmosphere than it does today. Yet it was not essentially uninhabitable in, say, the time of the dinosaurs. And these higher concentrations of CO2 did not cause a “greenhouse effect” then. So the theory that rising concentrations of CO2 will render it both far hotter and far less hospitable fail the elementary test of correspondence with known facts.

For the past 2.5 million years the Earth has been unusually cold, with repeated glaciations whose periodic advances and retreats science cannot model or predict. In fact we are still in an “ice age” today, with significant polar ice, though in a relatively warmer “interglacial”. Fortunately. Civilization would be impossible without the warming that started suddenly 12,000 years ago, and would become very difficult if the glaciers began another sudden advance. If the Earth actually is now warming, relative to 15,000 years ago or indeed the “Little Ice Age” from the end of the Middle Ages into the mid-19th century, it would be neither surprising nor man-made.

Nor would it necessarily be alarming if it continued. But in any case, if we are not causing and cannot alter patterns of climate change, the intelligent thing to do is prepare to adapt rather than wasting vast resources on doomed ecological engineering projects on a planetary scale whose impact we cannot possibly predict. And examining the past history of the Earth, and measuring the claims of global warming alarmists against that history, we find that man-made global warming is a theory without proper scientific support, and a lousy basis for making policy choices.


The authors of the above summary want to make a movie about it so they are asking for funding from readers

VERDICT: Fracking NOT GUILTY in Dimock, PA

I wanted to let you know about this important development in the Dimock water trial.

As you probably know Dimock, Pennsylvania, has been the center of spurious allegations that fracking contaminates water. Josh Fox featured it in Gasland I and II. It has been on TV stations across the planet and Susan Sarandon and Yoko Ono have even traveled there to further spread the myths. They really, really don't like it when you challenge their myths.

Finally after all the allegations and media stories there was a trial last year which I covered in detail.

There was a shocking verdict where despite solid evidence and even the plaintiffs admitting their problems started BEFORE drilling the jury decided to award the two families $4.5m. Our coverage of the truth so enraged activists that they managed to get Facebook to suspend our page to stop the truth getting out. Even the plaintiffs "expert" had to hide under a woman's coat after his evidence lost all credibility under cross-examination.

Well now a little bit of sanity has been brought to the judicial system. A federal judge has overturned the verdict and ordered a retrial in the case citing "serious and troubling irregularities in testimony and presentation of the plaintiffs' case."

Judge Martin Carlson said the trial had been tainted by the unethical conduct of the plaintiff's lawyer. In a lengthy judgement he outlined how the gas company presented "uncontradicted evidence that undermined the plaintiffs’ very theory of liability in this case …The plaintiffs had no explanation for this scientific evidence.”

Email from Phelim McAleer []

Battery Baloney: Playing Snakes and Ladders with Australia’s Electricity Supply

Every day some green energy promoter or a battery salesman tells us how green energy with battery backup will supply Australia’s future electricity needs.

A battery stores energy. Energy can be stored using lead-acid, nickel/cadmium, lithium, molten salt, pumped hydro, hydrogen, flywheels, compressed air or some other smart gizmo. But NOT ONE battery produces new energy – they simply store and discharge energy produced by other means. They all deliver less energy than they consume. Moreover, to manufacture, charge, use and dispose of batteries consumes energy and resources.

The idea of producing reliable grid power from intermittent green energy backed up by batteries looks possible in green doodle-diagrams, but would be absurdly inefficient and expensive.

Solar works a Six hour day

Consider a solar panel which is rated to collect say 100 units of energy per day at full capacity, in full mid-day sunlight, with a clean panel, properly aligned to face the sun.

No solar energy arrives overnight and only minimal amounts arrive during the three hours after dawn or before dusk. That means that significant solar energy can only be collected for about 6 hours per day, providing it is not cloudy, raining or snowing. No amount of research or regulation will change this – the solar energy union only works a six-hour day and takes quite a few sickies. So instead of feeding 100 units of energy per day into the grid, at best, the panel supplies just 25 units.

Can the addition of batteries give us 24/7 power from solar?

To deliver 100 units of energy in 24 hours will require an extra 75 units of energy to be collected, stored and delivered by the batteries every sunny day. This will require another three solar units devoted solely to re-charging batteries in just 6 sunny hours.

Cloudy/wet days are what really expose the problems of solar plus batteries. (This is why isolated green power systems must have a diesel generator in the shed.)

To insure against, say, 7 days of cloudy weather would require a solar/battery system capable of collecting and storing 700 units of energy while still delivering 100 units to consumers every day. However if several consecutive weeks of sunny weather then occur, this bloated system is capable of delivering 7 times more power than needed, causing power prices to plunge, driving reliable generators out of business and wasting the life of solar panels producing unwanted electricity.

Solar energy obviously does best in sunny equatorial deserts, but that is not where most people live. And the huge Desertec Solar Power Dream for the northern Sahara has failed.

The report card on wind energy is different, but equally depressing.

When Australia had reliable, predictable coal-gas-hydro power in every state, the need for heavy interstate transmission was minimal. But green power will require robust and costly interstate transmission facilities to send large amounts of power at short notice from sunny coal-rich Queensland to cloudy Victoria, windless South Australia or droughted Tasmania.

We are told that wind/solar plus pumped water storage will provide adequate grid power. Unfortunately those huge hydro-pumps need steady continuous power – something not provided by intermittent green energy. So are the zero-emissions politicians planning to install huge chemical batteries or diesel motors to steadily re-charge the elevated water storages in order to get back less energy than was consumed by the pumps?

Both wind and solar are unpredictable, unreliable, intermittent and weather-dependent energy sources. They require large collection areas with a cob-web of access roads and transmission lines. Their output can change suddenly and cannot be managed easily to meet demand fluctuations. They need flexible backup power able to swing in quickly to maintain stability and supply.

Gas provides the easiest back-up for green energy, but gas exploration is banned in many areas of NSW, SAust and the whole of gas-rich Victoria. Canny residents of the green states are now investing in diesel generators.

Mother Earth has already given us the perfect solar battery for long-term storage of energy: it is called “Coal”. Solar power from sunlight is converted by photosynthesis into wood, and thence into coal for high-density long-term solar energy storage. The downside to this system is that it has tied up large quantities of carbon that is therefore unavailable to the natural world. The upside is that releasing the energy from coal also releases life-giving CO2 back into the biosphere, where it belongs.

Our growing energy crisis was caused by political interference – Australian politicians have not learned last century’s lessons of central planning in the comrade societies.

Robert Gottliebsen writing in “The Australian” 21/3/2017 puts it succinctly:

“The looming crisis is much worse than I expected. Three state governments, Victoria, NSW and South Australia, have vandalised our total energy system. The Premiers of each state clearly had no idea what they were doing. . .”

He also wrote: “My information from the best possible sources is that if Victoria’s Hazelwood power station is shut on April 2, there is a 75% chance of blackouts in NSW and Victoria next summer.”

The best solution would be to cease all government force-feeding of intermittent green energy, get politicians out of the energy business and allow the construction of any gas/coal/nuclear or hydro plants that stack up for energy companies, investors and consumers. This will eliminate all the land-loss, materials and labour involved in building, running and maintaining an unreliable, unpredictable, uneconomic, intermittent and absurdly expensive solar/wind/battery/hydro/diesel monstrosity?”

Intermittent energy with batteries or back-up should be used and paid for by those who find them useful. They should not be subsidised or forced onto power grids or reluctant consumers.

Society has better things to do with community cash than squandering it on massive green energy toys and battery baloney.



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   main.html or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

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