Sunday, December 03, 2017

Surprise, surprise!  Climate skeptics don't think polar bears are doomed!

That is the conclusion below in a new paper by the usual suspects. They write as if that identifies skeptics as fools or crooks.  But to support that allegation, they would have to show that skeptics are wrong.  So what are their grounds for believing that skeptics are wrong about the bears?  It is just the usual feeble reliance on "consensus".  I quote from the body of their paper:

"Science-based blogs overwhelmingly used the frame of established scientific certainties and supported arguments with the published literature affirming that warming is rapidly reducing seasonal Arctic sea-ice extent and threatening the mid- to longer-term survival of polar bears"

But the consensus has come under serious challenge, most notably from the writings of specialist Arctic biologist Susan Crockford.  So they do their best to discredit her.  In a carefully-worded statement they say:

"Crockford has neither conducted any original research nor published any articles in the peer-reviewed literature on polar bears"

The part about publication is actually true but she has published extensively in the academic journals on Arctic biology generally.  And there is no doubt that any attempt by her to get anything into the academic journals that questioned the Greenie consensus would fail.  She has however published her observations extensively elsewhere -- in sources not influenced by Greenie censorship.

There are two problems with their attack on Crockford.  The most amusing is that they offer NO detailed refutation of her claims.  They attack her as a person, not her facts.  That is of course the old informal fallacy known in logic as the "ad hominem" fallacy.  And as such it has no scholarly standing whatsoever.

The second problem is that they give the impression that she is a lone dissenting voice.  She is not.  Almost everybody who visits polar bear territory remarks on the frequency of the bears in the places concerned.  And it's not only tourists who see lots of bears.   The International Union for the Conservation of Nature estimated in 1966 that there were 10,000 polar bears in the world; in 2006, the same source estimated that the population had risen to 20,000-25,000 bears.

And how about an excerpt from the Scientific Working Group to the Canada-Greenland Joint Commission on Polar Bear of 2016:

"The genetic mark-recapture assessment of the BB subpopulation resulted in a mean estimate (2012-2013) of total abundance of 2,826 polar bears (95% CI = 2,059-3,593). Due to several limitations of the available data, discussed in detail in this report, the estimates of abundance for the 1990s and 2000s are not directly comparable. Therefore, it is not possible to draw firm conclusions about trends in the abundance of the BB subpopulation. Nevertheless, the study has demonstrated the presence of a subpopulation in Baffin Bay considerably larger than that inferred from previous modeling (1,546 bears cf. PBSG 2015); the results of which formed part of the basis for the PBSG’s (2015) designation of BB as a declining subpopulation."

In plain words that official report says that there are many more bears in that area than thought previously.

And the paper also seems to forget the work of Mitch Taylor:  "Dr Mitchell Taylor has been researching the status and management of polar bears in Canada and around the Arctic Circle for 30 years, as both an academic and a government employee. More than once since 2006 he has made headlines by insisting that polar bear numbers, far from decreasing, are much higher than they were 30 years ago"

So the paper below places itself in the warm embrace of conventional thinking -- without addressing the fact that it is the conventional thinking which gives every impression of being wrong. They have built a two-legged stool.  They have failed to undermine the extensive evidence that bear numbers are increasing, not declining

Internet Blogs, Polar Bears, and Climate-Change Denial by Proxy


Increasing surface temperatures, Arctic sea-ice loss, and other evidence of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) are acknowledged by every major scientific organization in the world. However, there is a wide gap between this broad scientific consensus and public opinion. Internet blogs have strongly contributed to this consensus gap by fomenting misunderstandings of AGW causes and consequences. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) have become a “poster species” for AGW, making them a target of those denying AGW evidence. Here, focusing on Arctic sea ice and polar bears, we show that blogs that deny or downplay AGW disregard the overwhelming scientific evidence of Arctic sea-ice loss and polar bear vulnerability. By denying the impacts of AGW on polar bears, bloggers aim to cast doubt on other established ecological consequences of AGW, aggravating the consensus gap. To counter misinformation and reduce this gap, scientists should directly engage the public in the media and blogosphere.

SOURCE.  There is a report of the above paper in the popular press here and a very detailed dissection of it here

It’s time to modernize the Endangered Species Act; people are more important than bait fish

By Printus LeBlanc

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is the most weaponized law in America. Radical environmentalists use the law as a blunt object to push the zero-growth agenda on the rest of the country, even invading private property. The law prioritizes bait fish over children, kills thousands of jobs, puts people into poverty, and violates the constitution. It is time for Congress to modernize the law and recognize some things are more important than a two-inch fish.

As with most laws passed by Congress, the ESA had good intentions when it was signed into law in 1973. However, that quickly changed when radical environmentalists realized Congress handed them a weapon. One of the first cases after the law’s passage set a precedent for how the ESA could be used as a blunt force object by the federal government and environmental groups.

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) was building the Tellico Dam in the mid-70s. It was the last of 68 dams constructed in the Tennessee River Valley. A second-year law student at the University of Tennessee, Hiram Hill, submitted a petition to the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to list the snail darter, a small fish the size of a paper clip, as endangered. FWS agreed with the petition and ruled the species was endangered. In 1976, Hill filed suit, using the power of the ESA, to seek an injunction and stop construction of the dam.

After several court decisions going back and forth, the case made its way to the Supreme Court in 1978 and became known as TVA v. Hill. The Supreme Court would rule in favor of Hill with Chief Justice Burger delivering the opinion of the court stating, “One would be hard-pressed to find a statutory provision whose terms were any plainer than those in Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. Its very words affirmatively command all federal agencies ‘to ensure that actions authorized, funded, or carried out by them do not jeopardize the continued existence’ of an endangered species or ‘result in the destruction or modification of habitat of such species . . . .’ 16 U.S.C. 1536 (1976 ed.). This language admits of no exception.”

The federal government and environmental radicals now knew their weapon worked. The Supreme Court ruling gave opponents a blueprint to stop whatever construction project they disagreed with, meaning all.

The Delta Smelt is another small fish causing significant problems. Its habitat is in the Sacramento — San Joaquin River Delta, hence the name Delta Smelt. Never in history has a two-inch fish created so many problems. The small fish was put on the endangered species list in 1993. Since then, biologists and environmental officials have been doing whatever it takes to save the fish, including the not diverting fresh river runoff.

This is a problem because the delta is a giant intersection of snow-melt and ocean. When the snow melts, or it rains in northern California, the runoff is carried to the delta and pumped to 25 million Californians and hundreds of farms. However, the pumps can suck up the fish and are being turned off with the fresh water instead flowing out to sea, despite a 2015 survey only finding one Delta Smelt.

The region around the delta is some of the most fertile farmland in the world. The inability to pump water to the crops is putting hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland at risk. Over a third of the nation’s vegetables and nearly two-thirds of the country’s fruits and nuts come from California, according to the Department of Agriculture. Central Valley farmers say the bait fish has cost them $1.5 billion in lost income and 40,000 jobs.

Forgetting what the Delta Smelt cost the farmers, workers, and consumers, the California State government is looking at plans to save the bait fish that could cost billions more. They are now discussing plans to build tunnels from northern California that bypass the delta region altogether, thereby negating the need for the pumps. Early estimates have the project costing at least $17 billion, sure to blow up California’s budget deficit.

The ESA doesn’t stop at public projects; it goes onto private property. Developers in Utah are finding this out the hard way. The state has 80,000 prairie dogs with a distinctive black eyebrow marking over each eye, making them “different” from the millions of other prairie dogs in the country. Because the Utah prairie dogs are on the ESA, the owners of the private property are not allowed to develop their private property the way they want, despite there being over 80,000 of them in the state. The developers are now depending on the Supreme Court to take up the case.

Radical environmentalists have succeeded in stopping local and state governments from completing infrastructure projects; now they are intent on preventing private citizens from developing their private property. If the ruling is upheld, how long before property rights become nonexistent?

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning is in favor of an update to the law stating, “The Endangered Species Act is one of the most abused laws in American history. Congress must act to restore the balance and ensure private property rights are restored.”

The ESA must be modernized. Radical environmentalists have used the law as a weapon to kill industries it disagrees with. The private property of citizens and the welfare of families should not be discounted because of a two-inch fish or prairie dogs. It is time for Congress to put people first.


Waters of the US Rule and Clean Water Act Fail to Provide Cost-Effective Improvements in Water Quality

 Executive Summary

To protect navigable waters, the Clean Water Act’s jurisdiction extends to waters linked to navigable ones. But because essentially all waters are connected, under the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, agencies will assess the degree of connectivity on a case-by-case basis. A recent executive order from President Donald Trump asks the Environmental Protection Agency to rewrite the WOTUS rule using Justice Antonin Scalia’s “continuous surface connection” definition.

All this confusion threatens property rights. Farmers often will not know if their land is under Clean Water Act jurisdiction, yet they can face fines of $25,000 per day of violation for certain activities. If farmers are aware that their land is under Clean Water Act jurisdiction, then they must apply for costly permits: up to $28,915. Moreover, the WOTUS rule fails to address pollution from nonpoint sources and ongoing farming activity. It does not estimate the cost and benefit trade-offs well. In the past 25 years, water quality has seldom improved.

This paper proposes a new, market-based approach to reduce pollution and reach the optimal cost and benefit trade-off. As theorized by Ronald Coase in 1960, property rights would be assigned, to either farmers (right to pollute) or environmentalists (right to clean water). They would then make contracts in which one would accept not to use his or her right fully in exchange of compensation. The initial allocation of property rights is to be established by states. State governments must ensure that parties comply with their contracts. State governments should also support the development of organizations that represent individuals and may use tax dollars to finance them, as these organizations would otherwise suffer from a free-riding problem


Joe Romm is having orgasms about Greenland

Leading to a collapse in logic.  See below. He says that recent temperatures in Greenland have risen by 56 degrees.  But global temperatures have if anything fallen recently.  So if that is not evidence that Greenland changes are the product of non-global influences, what would be? So Greenland changes tell us nothing about global warming

It’s been unusually warm in the United States in recent days, with records being set across the country. But it’s been scorching in Greenland, with temperatures as much as 54° above normal, which means above freezing in many places.

And this comes on the heels of new research from NASA’s aptly-named Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) mission, which finds that the enormous ice sheet is far more unstable than we realized. That’s bad news because the Greenland ice sheet contains enough land-locked ice to raise sea levels by over 20 feet.

The heat wave began out west last week, with large parts of California sweltering in the 90s. As but one example, the National Weather Service Los Angeles tweeted on Nov. 22 that the 99°F reading at Camarillo Airport in Ventura County not only broke the record for that day (by 9°F), but broke the record for any day that month.

The heat wave moved east after Thanksgiving, and by Tuesday it was blanketing most of the country

In late November, a major heat wave is a welcome event in large parts of the country, with temperatures in the 60s in large swaths of the south and with Minneapolis hitting the upper 40s.

But in a place like Greenland, a monster heat wave this time of year pushes temperatures above freezing. It hit the upper 30s in many coastal towns — with rain forecast in some — which means actual melting over parts of the great ice sheet that should be adding ice right now, not losing it.

As Robert Fanney, a former threat analyst and author of Robert Scribbler’s Blog, explained Monday, this heat wave “will generate brief surface melt conditions for parts of Greenland during late November.”

Significantly, a study earlier this month by NASA’s OMG mission looked at the threat from underneath the ice sheet, specifically “how marine glaciers react to the presence of warm, salty Atlantic Water” (see figure below).

The Geophysical Research Letters study found “new pathways by which AW [Atlantic Waters] can access glaciers with marine-based basins, thereby highlighting sectors of Greenland that are most vulnerable to future oceanic forcing,” which is worsened by global warming. They found that “between 30 and 100% more glaciers are potentially exposed” to Atlantic waters than had been previously thought.

The bottom line is that over half of the entire ice sheet may be at risk from this underwater melting. We knew that global warming is leading to more of the kind of monster heatwaves that intensify and extend the surface melt season on Greenland — the kind it is now experiencing. But we are learning that global warming poses a potentially larger risk to underwater melt from warming ocean waters.


Mining To Build Renewables

Renewables require mined resources over and over again. Yes, they do not last forever once manufactured. It really amazes me when people say, leave coal in the ground. It is toxic, it is killing the planet blah blah blah.

Have any of those people ever bothered to look into how toxic renewables are to the planet?? Probably not… too brainwashed to use their brains!!

They say Coal is putting CO2 emissions into the atmosphere!! Really, that’s a no-brainer. What about Renewables??

Here is a little gem that the Greens and renewable lobbyists do not share with anyone. They support renewables, supposedly because of the fact that they do not emit CO2 into the atmosphere. Correct, but….Lithium ion batteries are also, together with nickel-metal-hydride batteries, the most energy consuming technologies using the equivalent of 1.6kg of oil per kg of battery produced. They are also ranked the worst in greenhouse gas emissions with up to 12.5kg of CO2 equivalent emitted per kg of battery. Now, we are going to need a lot of batteries when Coal is finished!! Oh, and, batteries need to be replaced over and over again too!!

Interesting Facts

Solar panel production is now among the leading sources of , nitrogen triflouride, and sulfur hexaflouride, three extremely potent greenhouse gases which are used for cleaning plasma production equipment.

As a greenhouse gas, hexaflouroethane is 12,000 times more potent than CO2, is 100% manufactured by humans, and survives 10,000 years once released into the atmosphere.

Nitrogen Triflouride is 17,000 times more virulent than CO2, and Sulfur Hexaflouride is 25,000 times more powerful than CO2. Concentrations of nitrogen triflouride in the atmosphere are rising 11% per year.

‘Clean’, ‘green’ solar & wind components rely on Rare Earth minerals from China who supply 96% of supply?

Here is the Green future!

Such an intensive mining operation has a definite impact on the surrounding environment. According to the Chinese Society of Rare Earths, 9,600 to 12,000 cubic meters (340,000 to 420,000 cubic feet) of waste gas—containing dust concentrate, hydrofluoric acid, sulfur dioxide, and sulfuric acid—are released with every ton of rare metals that are mined. Approximately 75 cubic meters (2,600 cubic feet) of acidic wastewater, plus about a ton of radioactive waste residue are also produced.

“There’s not one step of the rare earth mining process that is not disastrous for the environment.” That the destruction is mostly unseen and far-flung does not make it any less damaging.

All resources for our clean green future, need to be mined, big holes in the ground, yep, just like a coal mine!! Let’s mine some more!!


Policy Shock – Greens are forcing Australia back to Mining and Farming

Once upon a time Australia was attractive to processing, refining and manufacturing industries using our abundant mineral and food resources, our reliable low-cost coal-fired electricity and a workforce trained in technical skills.

No longer.

Australia used to have 11 oil refineries, spread around the country. There are just 4 left, all over fifty years old, and all in danger of closing down. Green barriers to oil exploration have forced most of them to rely on costly imported crude oil.

We buy our jet fuel from North Asia and have just 19 days supply of aviation fuel in the country. Australia’s diesel supplies sometimes fall to just 13 days of consumption.

Now, for the first time in at least 60 years Australia no longer produces motor vehicles.

China and India have about 430 coal power plants under construction but Australia has not built a single coal-fired power station for seven years - some politicians even rejoice when they manage to close and demolish one.

Brisbane’s new trains are being made in India, Victa mowers are made in China and most coastal shipping died decades ago. Steel works and refineries producing aluminium, copper and zinc are under stress. All these industries are being pushed overseas by costly unreliable electricity and other government barriers and burdens.

Red-green policies being pushed by all major parties are making Australia more dependent on bolted-down industries such as mining and farming that can’t be sent overseas because their basic resources are here. And green opposition to nuclear power increases Aussie reliance on coal.

A century ago Australians relied on wool, wheat, gold, silver, copper, lead-zinc, butter, beef and timber – all products of bolted-down industries.

Red-green policies are pushing us back to those days. Politicians need to remember Newton’s Law of Bureaucracy – whenever the government tries to use the force of law to achieve economic goals the long term results will be equal and opposite to those intended.

So in the long run, red-green energy and environmental policies will make us more dependent on the bolted-down industries they now attack – mining, farming, forestry and fishing.




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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