Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Global warming is bad for your health:  Scare 902176

It may well be in some instances but it is a lot healthier than cold overall. Winter is when hospitals are run ragged. Warming would be GOOD for people's health on balance. But the Green/Left never give the whole picture on anything.

And in the great Warmist tradition of calling the tiniest effects significant, we see much attention given below to an effect that "explains" one tenth of one percent of some type of event. Ludicrous. "No effect" would be a more reasonable conclusion from their data

I am particularly amused that temperatures over 32 degrees are regarded as dangerous heatwaves. 34 degrees is a normal summer daytime temperature where I live -- in sub-tropical Brisbane. And I was born and bred in tropical far North Queensland, where temperatures often reach 100F (38C). Definite proof that I am a moron, I suppose

A growing body of research concludes that rising global temperatures increase the risk of heat stress and stroke, decrease productivity and economic output, widen global wealth disparities, and can trigger greater violence (see “Hot and Violent”).

Now a new study by researchers at Stanford, the University of California, Berkeley, and the U.S. Department of the Treasury suggests that even short periods of extreme heat can carry long-term consequences for children and their financial future.

Specifically, heat waves during an individual’s early childhood, including the period before birth, can affect his or her earnings three decades later, according to the paper, published on Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Every day that temperatures rise above 32 ˚C, or just shy of 90 ˚F, from conception to the age of one is associated with a 0.1 percent decrease in average income at the age of 30.

The researchers don’t directly tackle the tricky question of how higher temperatures translate to lower income, noting only that fetuses and infants are “especially sensitive to hot temperatures because their thermoregulatory and sympathetic nervous systems are not fully developed.” Earlier studies have linked extreme temperatures during this early life period with lower birth rate and higher infant mortality, and a whole field of research has developed around what’s known as the “developmental origins of health and disease paradigm,” which traces the impacts of early health shocks into adulthood.

There are several pathways through which higher temperatures could potentially lead to lower adult earnings, including reduced cognition, ongoing health issues that increase days missed from school or work, and effects on non-cognitive traits such as ambition, assertiveness, or self-control, says Maya Rossin-Slater, a coauthor of the study and assistant professor in Stanford’s department of health research and policy.

The bigger danger here is that global warming will mean many more days with a mean temperature above 32 ˚C—specifically, an increase from one per year in the average U.S. county today to around 43 annually by around 2070, according to an earlier UN report cited in the study.



The Biggest Myth About the 'Bee Apocalypse'

In 2006, an ominous term entered the public lexicon: colony collapse disorder. The mysterious, somewhat vague word describes instances where entire colonies of honeybees abruptly disappear, leaving behind their queens. Colony collapse disorder (CCD) has since fueled claims of an ongoing "bee apocalypse," which summarizes the perilous plight of our pollinator pals.

But despite panicked claims of an apocalypse, managed honeybee colonies in the United States have actually been rising since 2008. In fact, as of April 2017, U.S. honeybee colonies are at their highest levels in more than 23 years! According toUniversity of Sussex Professor Dave Goulson, perhaps the foremost expert on bees, the trend is the same globally.

Herein lies the biggest myth of the "bee apocalypse": that there actually is one. Fret not, bees aren't going extinct anytime soon. Our food supply is not imminently imperiled.

Now, this doesn't mean that bees aren't facing tough times right now. Just because domesticated honeybees, which are raised like livestock, are in greater abundance, that doesn't mean that their wild counterparts – around 20,000 species of them – aren't threatened.

But what's threatening them isn't necessarily CCD. According to the latest USDA information, just 84,430 commercial hives were lost to the malady in the first quarter of 2017, down 27 percent from a year ago. When beekeepers were queried about the biggest threats to their hives, by far an away, they cited a combination of parasites and disease.

Data is hard to come by for wild honeybee populations, but it's likely they face the same pressures. The Varroa destructor mite (yes, that's the actual scientific name) is the biggest parasitic threat, and because honeybees are now a global commodity, moved and traded all over the world like any other good, the parasites that infest them can also spread globally. Native bee populations facing novel parasites and diseases often don't stand a chance.

Pesticides could be another contributor to the decline of wild bees. Insecticides called neonicotinoids are regularly vilified here. Many lab studies reveal detrimental effects on bees, but these damages do not always show up in real-world field studies.

Habitat destruction is also harming wild bee species. Acres of cropland may seem verdant to us, but to bees, they aren't nearly as nourishing as expansive tracts of meadows rife with wildflowers.

Like many animals, wild bees face a shifting world altered not to fit their needs, but to fit ours. This does not constitute an apocalypse but it does warrant concern. Making the world a little more hospitable for bees will require us to heed science and avoid catastrophising a complex issue.


Obama has learnt nothing

Former President Barack Obama said he can’t have a debate with someone who thinks man-made global warming is a hoax while speaking at a summit in India on Friday.

Obama is in India as part of a three-country tour to promote the Obama Foundation. It’s the first speech Obama has made in India since leaving office earlier this year.

“I can sit down with someone and have an argument about about climate change, and in fact, when we were working on the Paris accords … there were some folks within the Indian government who would say to me, ‘Look, we’re a poor country. Our priority has to be getting power and electricity to poor people, and so we should not have to do X, Y, Z.’ And I said, ‘Well, I understand that,’” Obama said at a summit in New Delhi.

Obama added that “it’s hard to have a conversation if somebody says, ‘Well, climate change is a hoax.’”

“I don’t know what to do with that,” Obama said, adding, “If you’re saying it’s a hoax, then there’s no way for us to bridge our differences in a constructive way.”

Obama referenced his unwillingness to speak with man-made global warming disbelievers in a town hall session with young Indians later that same day.

“I could have a discussion with somebody who says, ‘OK, yeah, there is climate change, but it is more important to alleviate poverty and get electricity to people so we should use coal, it is cheaper,’” Obama said.

“I have trouble with a conversation with somebody that says the climate is not changing,” Obama continued. “You know, that becomes almost like a theological argument. It just has to do with somebody has decided this is what I believe as opposed to looking at evidence and facts and the process of reasoning that signifies things like the scientific revolution.”

Obama also made veiled jabs at President Donald Trump, including noting how many more Twitter followers he had than the current White House occupant despite using the social media platform less.

Obama also said there was a “pause in American leadership” related to fighting global warming, without actually coming out and saying he was talking about Trump’s plans to withdraw from the Paris accord.

“It’s an agreement, even though we have a little bit of a pause in American leadership, that is giving our children a fighting chance,” Obama said.


What Was Once Hailed as First U.S. Offshore Wind Farm Is No More

Cape Wind, the offshore wind project off the coast of Massachusetts that drew the ire of the Kennedy and Koch families, is officially dead.

Energy Management Inc. has ceased efforts to build what was once expected to become the first offshore wind farm in the U.S., according to an emailed statement from Chief Executive Officer Jim Gordon. The project’s Boston-based developer has already notified the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management that it has terminatsed the offshore wind development lease it received in 2010.

Cape Wind suffered a slow death. Efforts to develop the 468-megawatt offshore farm, proposed to supply power to Cape Cod and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, began in 2001 but came up against relentless opposition from a mix of strange bedfellows including the Kennedy family and billionaire industrialist William Koch.

While Energy Management won several court battles, the project couldn’t survive the 2015 cancellation of contracts to sell its power to local utilities.

“Jim Gordon really was a visionary,” Amy Grace, a New York-based analyst for Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said in an interview Friday. “He brought the project to the goal-post. He just faced a very vicious and very well-funded lobbying organization to protect Nantucket Sound.”

Insurmountable Opposition

Cape Wind, which called for as many as 130 turbines in Nantucket Sound, once appeared to be on the vanguard of clean energy in the U.S. The project had a federal lease to develop an area 5 miles (8 kilometers) off Cape Cod. Spread over 25 square miles known as Horseshoe Shoal, it could have generated enough electricity to power 200,000 homes, according to the U.S. Energy Department.

The $2.6 billion project also had backing from powerful players. Cape Wind had a conditional $150 million loan guarantee from the Energy Department. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Rabobank Group and Natixis SA agreed to lead a $400 million debt package. And Siemens AG was considering a $100 million equity investment.

In the end, however, opposition proved insurmountable. While environmental groups argued that it would reduce the region’s reliance on fossil fuel, critics -- including owners of local shore-front estates -- countered it would spoil views from Cape Cod and disrupt fishing areas.

Lawsuits piled up, delaying the project. Cape Wind missed a series of contractual milestones, prompting National Grid Plc and Northeast Utilities’ NSTAR unit to cancel power-purchase agreements in early 2015. At the time, analysts declared the project all but dead.

In the meantime, the offshore wind industry slowly began to take off in the U.S. Deepwater Wind LLC completed the first project in 2016, a 30-megawatt wind farm south of Block Island in Rhode Island waters. Norway’s Statoil ASA is planning one in New York, off the Long Island coast, and developers have proposed several other projects up and down the East Coast.

Several of the developers have said they learned a key lesson from Cape Wind: don’t try to build within sight of shore.


U.S. an Energy Leader—for Now, at Least

A quiet boom is underway. If that sounds like an oxymoron, then ponder this paradox: the boom entails a fossil fuel that is making air cleaner. That’s because the surge is in shale-gas, used to make liquefied natural gas (LNG), which in some major markets—China especially—is stealing market share from coal. U.S. production of shale-gas rose 12 percent in September, making the United States its largest producer. Unfortunately, American supplies can’t keep up with international demand.

Regulatory hurdles are impeding the construction of LNG export terminals, according to Independent Institute Senior Fellow William F. Shughart II, in an op-ed for The Hill. By 2019, he explains, four terminals are expected to be in operation, up from only one today (in Louisiana), but this increase in exporting capacity may be too little, too late for the United States to remain a top energy exporter.

“Unless and until Congress passes legislation to expedite the [construction-permitting] process, the United States will find itself at a competitive disadvantage with other LNG exporters, such as Australia, Malaysia, Qatar, and Russia,” Shughart writes. “The window of opportunity for ramping up U.S. LNG exports is narrow.”




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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