Friday, August 18, 2017

It seems that the short summer melting season has already ended in Greenland

Top: The total daily contribution to the surface mass balance from the entire ice sheet (blue line, Gt/day). Bottom: The accumulated surface mass balance from September 1st to now (blue line, Gt) and the season 2011-12 (red) which had very high summer melt in Greenland. For comparison, the mean curve from the period 1981-2010 is shown (dark grey). The same calendar day in each of the 30 years (in the period 1981-2010) will have its own value. These differences from year to year are illustrated by the light grey band. For each calendar day, however, the lowest and highest values of the 30 years have been left out.


Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations At 400 PPM Are Still Dangerously Low For Life On Earth

With atmospheric CO2 concentrations reaching the 400 ppm level, the media and a number of alarmist scientists have set off the mega-alarm bells, claiming “record high levels” of CO2 had been reached, and that the planet is on the verge of an overdose. This is based purely on ignorance of the Earth’s history.

Worrying that 400 ppm is too high is like worrying about your fuel tank overflowing when it reaches the 1/8 mark during filling.

From a historical perspective, an atmospheric CO2 concentration of 400 ppm is actually almost scraping the bottom of the barrel. Over the Earth’s history, atmospheric CO2 concentrations have ranged from 180 ppm to 7000 ppm, see Figure 1 below. On that scale we are in fact today barely above the Earth’s record lows.

That 400 ppm is actually dangerously low is a fact the alarmists keep avoiding and suppressing. Below 150 ppm, plant-life dies off on a massive scale. The Earth actually came very close to that point many times over the last 2 million years during the ice ages. At the bottom of the last ice age just 20,000 years ago, life on the planet literally teetered on the brink when CO2 fell to a level of just 180 ppm. Do we really want to live on the brink of extinction?

It’s a fact that biologists have shown that once the atmospheric CO2 level falls below the 500 ppm level, plants really begin to suffer. Many of us have seen the video showing how plants grow faster under higher CO2 concentrations.

Note that at high CO2 concentrations, such as 800 ppm, plants thrive. But as CO2 levels fall off, growth rates really start to plummet once they fall below 500 ppm. History shows that the Earth sustains much more life, i.e. is much greener and fruitful, when CO2 levels are higher, i.e. in the vicinity of 1000 ppm.

No one disputes that man’s activities have helped to increase atmospheric CO2 concentration, and it should not be in dispute that plants and life on the planet are thankful that man has done so. At 400 ppm, the planet is a safer place to be and will be even safer at 1000 ppm.


Government’s Endless Energy Subsidies Must Stop

It’s no secret President Trump is working to create thousands more American energy jobs, reduce regulations on energy producers and restore parity to the tax code. Given these goals, it’s time for Congress to work with the president to end the unfair practice of granting tax incentives favoring one energy sector over another and give more promising American energy technologies a chance to flourish.

In addition, the U.S. solar power industry has fallen victim to government sponsored cyber-thieves operating in China. It has been well documented how an army of cyber-hackers in China raided hundreds of U.S. companies and hacked into intellectual property worth billions. Solar companies were particularly hard hit along with many tech firms, U.S. Steel and other businesses. Subsequently China is now overproducing solar power cells and flooding international markets with cut-rate solar panels.

American solar power companies Suniva and the U.S. division of SolarWorld have filed for bankruptcy due primarily to overproduction of solar cells from China and other foreign competitors. SunEdison and Sungevity have also declared bankruptcy. These failings follow Abengoa’s bankruptcy announcement in 2016, Abound Solar’s collapse in 2012 and Solyndra’s much publicized demise in 2011.

Despite significant problems for the solar industry and the unreliability of wind power, America is leading the way in the development of promising fuel cell technology. Fuel cells are powered by natural gas – something we have plenty of in the U.S. Even more noteworthy is how the fuel cell industry shows strong growth potential. Walmart and the huge mail-order fulfillment operation Amazon are already replacing their antiquated battery powered fork lifts and industrial vehicles with vehicles powered by natural gas fuel cells.

At the Toyota proving grounds in Arizona, hydrogen fuel fuel cells are being tested in 18 wheel trucks. These vehicles have no exhaust emissions. And companies like eBay, AT&T and Home Depot are installing stationary fuel cells to provide secure, onsite electricity for their facilities to ensure that they can remain operational in the event of an electric grid outage.

Natural gas fuel cells are clean, recharge more quickly than outdated electric batteries and are much less expensive to maintain. And because fuel cells are powered by our own abundant natural gas supplies, they don’t rely on environmentally disastrous cobalt and lithium mining operations around the world. Cobalt and lithium are needed to make battery powered vehicles for the U.S. Most of these mines in Africa, Russia and Asia are strip mines and are environmental tragedies. The mining operations have also become horrific examples of human rights abuses for the workers who labor in them – some mine workers are as young as four years old.

The United States is the undisputed leader in fuel cell technology which, if properly developed, would give America a global competitive advantage and would enhance our national energy security. But as with solar power, China hopes to gobble up this technology. So far, China isn’t producing fuel cells, but the question remains, will Congress allow this vital energy resource to be co-opted by China or other foreign competitors?    

Congress must change the arbitrary way it offers businesses tax credits. Such incentives should not be awarded in ways that allow lawmakers or bureaucrats to pick winners and losers. If we wish to continue developing and supporting our energy and manufacturing sectors, we must do so in ways that allow promising technologies a chance to flourish but also with established end-dates for such tax breaks. The days of endless government subsidies must stop.

The U.S. fuel cell industry is growing, it has an established business model and presents an opportunity for our country to create tens of thousands of new energy jobs. Temporary tax incentives can encourage innovation but must include mandates requiring businesses to stand on their own. American fuel cell technology has to be part of our nation’s energy mix, and Congress should work to find commonsense ways of embracing this promising energy resource.


REPORT: ‘Many Of The EPA’s Functions Could Be Abolished’

Many Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) programs are redundant and could be eliminated without hurting environmental quality, according to a new report on reforming the federal bureaucracy.

“The EPA needs to be made more transparent and efficient, a goal that can be achieved while continuing to protect the nation’s environment,” reads the report published by the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) on Wednesday.

CEI gave a series of recommendations on how to make EPA more transparent and accountable, including eliminating regional offices and changing science programs.

“Many of the EPA’s regional offices and grant programs are redundant and should be abolished,” reads the short report written by Myron Ebell, who headed President Donald Trump’s EPA transition team.

“Other reform priorities include improving data quality standards for new research and transferring emergency response duties to the Federal Emergency Management Agency,” Ebell wrote.

The group says EPA’s budget “is the most impenetrable of all federal department and agency budgets,” which makes it hard for Congress to know how taxpayer dollars are being spent. CEI wants EPA to do what other agencies do and put forward a budget that “clearly identifies the spender, how much they spend, and the legal basis for the spending.”

No doubt, CEI’s suggestions will be opposed by environmental groups. Activists opposed President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to EPA’s budget and elimination of dozens of agency programs.

“There is no way to sugarcoat this, President Trump has taken a wrecking ball to environmental protection in the US,” Ken Kimmell, president of the Union for Concerned Scientists, told CNN in May. “Frankly I didn’t think this would happen with the severity with this is happening. We have had changes in powers before. Different presidents strike a different balance. But this is a severe attack that we didn’t expect.”

Environmentalists have filed dozens of lawsuits to stop Trump’s policy agenda from going through. Environmental activists even filed suit against the U.S.-Mexico border wall being planned by the Department of Homeland Security, arguing it would hurt endangered species.

Targeting EPA science programs has been on the Republican to-do list for years. Conservative groups and lawmakers worry EPA uses science to back pre-determined policy conclusions.

Republicans have also voiced concerns about the impartiality of outside EPA science advisers, most of whom take agency money to conduct research, creating a potential conflict of interest.

The House passed legislation in March to reform how EPA uses scientific research, but the bill hasn’t gotten much attention in the Senate.


Hot Air from Al Gore Is the Only Global Warming

The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded “to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies and the formation and spreading of peace congresses.” Two recent recipients were U.S. presidents, Democrats of course, Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama. A U.S. vice-president also won the prize, Al Gore, another Democrat.

Jimmy Carter won his prize in 2002, long after his presidency, "for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development." Again, after his presidency and post presidential humanitarian efforts.

Barack Obama won his prize in 2009, just months into his presidency, "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples." Other than a few speeches, he had not done anything of substance. Surprisingly, his prize was not rescinded after Benghazi, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, and ISIS, all highly successful efforts in international diplomacy.

Al Gore received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change."

As a quick aside, of 130 Peace Prize Laureates, only 16 were women. Eight percent. Forget chasing Google. Social justice warriors have a much better target with the Nobel committee. Start the protests and boycotts.

Obama’s prize was awarded “on the come,” a gambling term for betting on cards that may come in the future. Or in business, compensation based on future success. The Nobel prize committee was betting that the “hope and change” media creation would actually pan out in the future.

Similarly, Gore’s prize was a bet “on the come” that lower temperatures would be coming based on Al’s movies, speeches, and carbon credits. The Nobel prize didn’t bring peace but instead brought fabulous wealth to Gore, paving the way for him to potentially become the “world’s first carbon billionaire.”

I never thought I would be giving kudos to the Nobel prize committee for their wise and prescient award to Al Gore. Few American Thinker readers would expect such an acknowledgement either. But credit where credit’s due.

Meteorologist Joe Bastardi, looking at global temperatures over the past twelve years noted something interesting. Temperatures were warmer when Gore won his peace prize in 2007 than they are today. As you can see in the chart below:

Shazam! Al Gore is actually lowering global temperatures. The Nobel prize committee got it right, giving Gore the prize is responsible for lower temps now than the day he won the prize. Or not.

Instead the Nobel prize committee could have awarded the 2007 prize to Mother Nature, who is managing to lower temperatures without the need for books, movies, speeches, or carbon credits. A recently published German study concludes, “We can expect climate cooling for next 50 years!”

Al should be taking credit for lowering global temperatures rather than predicting doomsday. In 2006, a year before he received the famous prize, he predicted that unless we took “drastic measures” the world would reach “a point of no return” within ten years. Now eleven years later his predicted “true planetary emergency” has as much validity as predictions of Hillary Clinton winning the presidential election in a landslide.

If he had just kept quiet, he could now claim success given that global temperatures have dropped since the time he won the peace prize. But no. Instead he has a second movie, doubling down on the failed predictions of his first movie. The new one is called, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power. The only thing inconvenient will be more failed predictions:

“Stronger storms, worsening floods, deeper droughts, mega-fires, tropical diseases spreading through vulnerable populations in all parts of the earth, melting ice caps flooding coastal cities, unsurvivable [sic] heat extremes, and hundreds of millions of climate refugees.”

The left is missing a golden opportunity to bask in the success of Al Gore’s Nobel Peace Prize, taking full credit for lower temperatures today compared to when he won the prize. They could claim that their “green measures,” whatever they may be, are working.

Instead, they are snatching political defeat from the jaws a victory, in apparent imitation of the Republicans, beclowning themselves with silly headlines as recently in the New York Times, “North Korea aside, Guam faces another threat: Climate change.” If I lived on Guam, I would be far more worried about one of Kim Jung-un’s missiles landing on my head than being swallowed up by a rising ocean.

With all the hot air coming from Al Gore and the liberal media, it’s a wonder that all of the polar ice hasn’t yet melted with fish swimming in the streets of New York and Miami. The Nobel committee should give Gore another Nobel Peace Prize, secure in the belief that in ten years, global temperatures will again drop by a fraction of a degree, all due to his winning the prize.




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


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