Sunday, December 31, 2017

Exhaustive study exonerates Roundup weedkiller

A couple of weeks ago, the EPA released their final version of an exhaustive examination of all the pieces of research that looked at the toxicity of Glyphosate (Roundup).  Roundup is the bete noir of many environmentalists.  Extensive attempts have been made to have it banned.  To Greenies there is no such thing as a good pesticide or a good weedicide. They just know that.  No evidence needed.

To those who have even a nodding acquaintance with the eviidence, it was no surprise what the EPA scientists found. Their report is a book-length document but below is their final summary paragraph:

"Conclusion for Glyphosate

The overall weight of evidence indicates that there is no convincing evidence that glyphosate induces mutations in vivo via the oral route. When administered by i.p. injection, the micronucleus studies were predominantly negative. In the two cases where an increase in micronuclei were reported via this route, the effects occurred above the reported i.p. LD50 for mice and were not observed in other i.p. injection studies at similar or higher doses. While there is limited evidence genotoxic for effects in some in vitro experiments, in vivo effects were given more weight than in vitro effects particularly when the same genetic endpoint was measured, which is consistent with current OECD guidance. The only positive findings reported in vivo were seen at relatively high doses that are not relevant for human health risk assessment"


Note:  "In vitro" means an experiment in laboratory glassware.  "In vivo" means "in rats and mice".

So news about such a controversial subject would have been splashed all over the media, right?  No. Crickets. We had censorship via omission. The title of the report was "Revised Glyphosate Issue Paper: Evaluation of Carcinogenic Potential".  Google that and see if you can find any mention of it in major media.

Ho hum! More assertions in search of evidence

The propaganda below is actually more cautious than many. For instance, it speaks of this year as being "ONE OF the worst years" for disasters, which may actually be true, depending how widely you look for disasters. But it of course proves nothing.  They offer in fact NO evidence that it was all caused by anthropogenic global warming.  All they offer is opinions and "The overwhelming consensus among scientists". Up until a couple of years ago, the overwhelming consensus among scientists was that dietary fat was bad for you.  Now it is said to be good.  So much for consensus proving anything

In the year that President Donald Trump pulled out of the Paris accord and downplayed global warming as a security threat, the U.S. received a harsh reminder of the perils of the rise in the planet’s temperature: a destructive rash of hurricanes, fires and floods.

The country recorded 15 weather events costing $1 billion or more each through early October, one short of the record 16 in 2011, according to the federal government’s National Centers for Environmental Information in Asheville, North Carolina. And the tally doesn’t include the recent wildfires in southern California.

In many cases, weather broke records. In others, it was just downright odd, like the February warm spell that sent temperatures to a record 72 Fahrenheit (22 Celsius) in Burlington, Vermont, and spawned a tornado in Massachusetts.

“When all is said and done, this year is going to be one of the worst years on record for U.S. damages,” said Antonio Busalacchi, president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.

Among the most devastating events were hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and wildfires in northern California. The killer storms caused economic losses of more than $210 billion in the U.S. and across the Caribbean, and about $100 billion in insured damages, according to Mark Bove, a senior research scientist with Munich Reinsurance America in Princeton, New Jersey.

The list goes on -- ruinous hail in Colorado and Minnesota, tornado outbreaks across the Midwest and South, flooding that damaged a massive dam in California and triggered evacuations downstream. A lake-effect snowband off Lake Erie dumped 34 inches of snow at Pennsylvania’s Erie International Airport on Christmas Day, quadrupling the previous record from 2002, according to the Weather Channel. A warming climate can bring an increase in lake-effect snow, according to NOAA.

Many of the events can be explained by historical weather patterns. The most calamitous, though, showed signs of a warming climate, including Hurricane Harvey, which dropped as much as 60 inches of rain as it meandered around the Texas coast after coming ashore as the first of three Category 4 storms to strike the U.S. this year.

Warming worsened Harvey’s impacts by boosting moisture in the atmosphere and weakening high-altitude winds that would normally push such a system along, according to Kerry Emanuel, a professor of atmospheric science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. Harvey marked the third-straight year of major flooding in Houston.

In Texas and elsewhere, “there are certainly indications that these extreme rainfall events are occurring more frequently,” said Greg Carbin, branch chief at the U.S. Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

Those who are skeptical that climate change is a phenomenon, or that human activity is to blame, contend that dramatic weather this year was happenstance or part of larger, regular meteorological swings. Trump, who has in the past dismissed the concept of man-made climate change as a hoax, announced in June that the U.S. would leave the Paris climate accord, saying it favors other nations at the expense of American workers.

The overwhelming consensus among scientists is that Earth’s climate is warming and that greenhouse gases are the prime reason. The American Meteorological Society linked changing climate and severe weather this month in a report that included contributions from researchers at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“When you see an extreme event that is breaking all records, it is more likely to have the fingerprints of human-induced climate change,” said Brenda Ekwurzel, senior climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists.


2017: turning the tide on green crap?

Ben Pile

Eco-miserabilism suffered some welcome setbacks this year

Nothing vexed greens across the world in 2017 more than Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Before Trump, climate change seemed to have been cemented into American and global political life. It was central to President Obama’s global outlook. But at the same time, it had become a symbol of decadence – part of the cosy consensus of political elites and tech and media billionaires, completely detached from ordinary Americans’ lives and interests. Obama’s seemingly powerful, presidential statements about the ‘overwhelming judgement of science’ failed to overcome that gulf.

Trump’s dismantling of the old climate-change agenda began with his transition team’s review of America’s bloated ecological bureaucracy: the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA’s mandate expanded under Obama; Trump’s team proposed slashing its budget by a third, sacking nearly a quarter of its staff, reducing its scope, and appointing former Oklahoma attorney general and longstanding critic of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, as its administrator. Environmental activists angrily dismissed Pruitt as a ‘climate science denier’. In truth, Pruitt had long urged continued debate and scientific research into climate change, not the complete dismissal of climate concerns from the public agenda.

Then came Trump’s announcement that he would pull the US out of the Paris climate-change agreement – a promise he had made in his election campaign. But that was not quite the abrupt end to America’s involvement with the global climate agenda that activists claimed it was. The exit would be conducted within the terms of the agreement itself. And it would take four years, meaning it wouldn’t be completed until after Trump’s first term had concluded. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process of annual meetings continues, with US participation. The latest meeting was held in Bonn, Germany, in November.

The meeting in Bonn reminded us that there is a frustration with the climate consensus in Germany, too. The losses suffered by Angela Merkel’s CDU in the federal election in September meant she was unable to form a government. That was significant because Germany and Merkel have been positioned as champions of green policy. But, as in America, ambitious climate policy in Germany has contributed to the weakening of the consensus on environmental issues, rather than being, as climate alarmists had hoped, the issue on which dwindling political authority might be re-established.

Germany’s flagship green policy – the half-trillion Euro experiment in renewable energy, Energiewende – looks like it will comprehensively fail to realise the country’s ambition of reducing its CO2 emissions by 40 per cent by 2020. This is a terrible failure for the host nation of a meeting intended to inflict the same policies on the rest of the world.

Environmentalism’s embarrassments – the endless recycling of failed prognostications, the weak deal at Paris, the scaling back of climate politics in the US, and ruinously expensive energy policy failures – have forced greens to seek new ground on which to do battle. There has been an increasing focus on regional rather than national and global government. Reflecting a growing scepticism with global politics, new media billionaire Michael Bloomberg and California governor Jerry Brown hoped to circumvent America’s position at the Bonn meeting by representing a coalition of US states, businesses and organisations that have pledged to ‘address climate change’ no matter what policies are decided in Washington.

But it’s not easy being green. Brown was interrupted at the Bonn climate talks by his fellow climate campaigners, who accused him of being complicit with fossil-fuel firms. ‘Let’s keep you in the ground’, he told the noisy protesters. Later in the year, as wildfires ripped through California, Brown claimed that climate change was the cause – a claim not supported by empirical evidence. Investigators found that the cause of one of the largest fires had been an accident with a cooking fire at an unofficial homeless camp. The governor of perhaps the richest region in the world does not appear to be competent enough to solve his own state’s problems, like homelessness, yet he jets off with his billionaires to ‘save the planet’.

This indifference to people and their problems is the signature of environmentalism. It also underlines greens’ preoccupation with weather as the root of all humanity’s problems. The end of the summer brought an unwelcome return of hurricanes to the US after an unusual 15-year absence. Much shrill green hysteria followed, inevitably leading to claims that the return of extreme weather showed things were getting worse thanks to manmade climate change – despite statistics showing the opposite of this. Climate-change alarmism is nothing if not repetitive and resistant to reason.

The new emphasis on regional politics also led to a shift away from talking about climate change in huge, abstract terms. Climate change is increasingly framed as an air-pollution issue, rather than in the distant language of computer simulations, minute fluctuations of atmospheric gasses, and polar bears. In January, following a concerted effort by UN agencies, London mayor Sadiq Khan joined other European mayors in pushing dodgy mortality statistics to punish poorer motorists and get them off London’s roads.

Though London’s air is cleaner than it has been for half a millennium or more, Khan claimed that ‘toxic smog’ had created a public-health crisis that is claiming the lives of thousands of Londoners every year. Khan has no more to offer Londoners than Brown has to offer Californians.

The air-pollution issue was then seized upon by UK environment secretary Michael Gove, who, using the same dodgy stats, announced that sales of petrol and diesel cars would be banned in 2040. In November, Gove announced a total ban on neonicotinoids – the insecticide which green NGOs, on highly questionable data, claim is responsible for a decline in bee populations. Writing in the Guardian, no less, Gove gave the basis for his decision: the precautionary principle, the central tenet of environmentalism.

2017, in short, was a year of green crap. But it was also a year in which the torrent of green crap that had become the norm started to encounter the obstacles of greens’ own making. Green crap has always been a desperate struggle to rescue politicians from their own political crises and democratic deficits. Now, in the post-Trump, post-Brexit and increasingly multi-polar world, global and domestic political landscapes are altogether different, and the green crap agenda doesn’t work like it used to. That’s something to celebrate.


Trump Pokes Fun At Global Warming Critics, Tells People To Bundle Up

President Donald Trump poked some fun at his climate change critics while warning New Years revelers to bundle up amid record low temperatures across the eastern seaboard in a Thursday tweet.

"In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!"

Trump appeared to reference his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accords in June. The Paris agreement would have voluntarily committed the U.S. to environmental restrictions along with payments to developing country’s to offset emissions.

“Beyond the severe energy restrictions inflicted by the Paris Accord, it includes yet another scheme to redistribute wealth out of the United States through the so-called Green Climate Fund — nice name — which calls for developed countries to send $100 billion to developing countries all on top of America’s existing and massive foreign aid payments.  So we’re going to be paying billions and billions and billions of dollars, and we’re already way ahead of anybody else,” the president declared in his speech at the time.


Tesla’s giant lithium-ion battery in South Australia outperforms conventional Power Station

The quick response that a battery offers is useful in some ways but nobody seems to be mentioning that the battey concerned can deliver full capacity for only a matter of minutes.  It is no substitute for a real power source

GLADSTONE Power Station is making news across the world - but probably not in the way it would have preferred.

The 1,680MW coal-fired plant was outpaced by tech billionaire Elon Musk’s giant lithium-ion battery when Victoria’s Loy Yang A3 unit failed early on December 14, The Gladstone Observer reports.

While Gladstone’s number 1 unit was contracted to provide backup power – and did so four seconds later – the Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia beat it to the punch by injecting 7.3MW into the national electricity grid just 140 milliseconds after Loy Yang began to trip, according to data from the Australian Energy Market Operator compiled by energy analyst Dylan McConnell.

The speed at which the Tesla-made battery kicked in shocked national energy operators, according to the South Australian Government.

But Gladstone Power Station acting general manager Nigel Warrington said it had to be remembered that Gladstone was capable of generating 16 times as much power as Hornsdale.

“The total output of the Hornsdale battery storage is 70-100MW, whereas Gladstone generates up to 1,680MW, or 16 times more than the battery storage,” Mr Warrington said.

“Hornsdale could not, for example, support the Boyne aluminium smelter with that level of output.”

While the Hornsdale Power Reserve isn’t designed to provide large-scale, base load power - but rather to kick in quickly to stabilise the energy grid - the point is an important one.

It means the success of Mr Musk’s $50 million project - built as a result of a bet he made with the South Australian Government on Twitter - is unlikely to spell the end of Gladstone’s role as a contingency provider of backup power any time soon.

Even Romain Desrousseaux, the deputy chief executive of French renewables company Neoen which operates the Hornsdale battery site, believes it is too early to talk about a 100 per cent renewable energy mix - a sign plants like Gladstone will still have a significant role to play for some time to come.

“You need to be able to bring peaking capacity and firming capacity,” Mr Desrousseaux told the Financial Review.

Mr Warrington said Gladstone was recognised as one of the most responsive coal-fired power stations in Australia in terms of its ramp rate - or its ability to scale up and down quickly.

“We don’t see the move to renewables as an ‘us and them’ argument, it is about working hand in hand and last week was a good example of that,” he said.

NRG would not confirm whether Gladstone Power Station’s number 1 unit - the same unit contracted to provide back-up on the night of the Loy Yang failure - had itself tripped on Tuesday.

“There are no current issues at Gladstone and in fact all six units are operating at high load,” Mr Warrington said yesterday.




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


No comments: