Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Yes, You Can Blame Bad Storms on Climate Change. The question is no longer an unanswerable hypothetical (?)

Fickling and Flam below are echoing yet again the claim that you CAN tie individual storms to global warming.  They don't mention that such claims are all the results of modelling, which is intrinsically unreliable, particularly in biased hands. And, unlike some modelling, the claims cannot be checked against reality so are not science.  They are all just Fickling and Flam.

Fickling makes an interesting claim: "The science behind these studies is relatively new, but draws on long-established methods. “These are techniques that climate scientists stole from epidemiologists and public health researchers,” says Sophie Lewis, a research fellow at the University of New South Wales"

That is an unfortunate admission indeed.  Fickling and Lewis are obviously unaware of the replication crisis in medical and psychological research -- a crisis which stems from the fact that such research CAN be tested for realism.  And it has been found in up to 70% of cases to be unreplicable. Doing the same experiment twice, the second experiment gives quite different results from the first experiment. With true claims you would get the same result on both occasions

And if that is true of the more rigorous research in those fields, what does it say about the credibility of the more speculative, epidemiological research? Anybody who is inclined to think that epidemiological conclusions are reliable should read John Brignell's hefty book, "The epidemiologists: Have they got scares for you!".  Brignell goes through hundreds of epidemiological studies and shows they are rubbish.

And you don't actually need Brignell to show you that.  Epidemiological studies in medicine produce such different conclusions about the same question that from time to time you have meta-analytic studies, such as the Cochrane studies, which endeavour to separate the wheat from the chaff.  And the studies on any given topic are often so weak that the Cochrane researchers don't even consider most of them.  They usually find only a small number -- as few as four out of a hundred or more -- studies that offer useful evidence.  And even there the final conclusions are often tentative

And the now debunked but but sometimes still heard claim that red meat and fat are particularly bad for you came out of epidemiological research by Ancel Keys and others.

So if you think climate studies are better than that I've got this great bridge I want to sell you

There’s a familiar refrain that goes up when extreme weather events bear down on population centers, as Hurricane Florence and Typhoon Mangkhut are now doing in the western Atlantic and Pacific Oceans: While carbon emissions from human activity may be causing a general warming, it’s impossible to draw a direct link between any one event and climate change.

That’s a comforting thought. Droughts, hurricanes, floods and heatwaves have been a feature of the global climate since long before humans walked the earth. Who’s to say whether this latest round of disasters is a result of our industrial and agricultural practices, or simply the normal weather variations of a chaotic atmosphere?

As my colleague Faye Flam wrote this week, there’s a natural tendency to assign blame in the wake of terrible events, and the answer to the question is often more complicated than a simple yes or no. At the same time, it’s no longer right to suggest that attribution is an unanswerable hypothetical, like pondering how many angels could dance on the head of a pin. We know a great deal about it — and the answers are troubling.

Studies of the European heatwaves that have become an almost annual occurrence in recent years have shown that they were several times more likely to happen as a result of climate change, for instance. The odds of the coral bleaching suffered by the Great Barrier Reef in 2016 were 175 times greater than they’d have been without human-induced emissions. And three anomalous warm spells in 2016 would have been impossible in a preindustrial climate, according to papers published this year in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

The science behind these studies is relatively new, but draws on long-established methods. “These are techniques that climate scientists stole from epidemiologists and public health researchers,” says Sophie Lewis, a research fellow at the University of New South Wales.

Researchers use computer models of the climate and run thousands of simulations to establish the odds of events happening at current and preindustrial concentrations of atmospheric carbon. The level of accuracy has risen drastically in recent years as computing power has increased, the number of people working in the field has gone up, and an expanding volume of weather data, climate modelling and extreme events has produced more information to work with.

Importantly for a scientific field, where falsifiability is essential, it’s often the case that no link can be proved. In 35 percent of the 131 peer-reviewed studies published in the American Meteorological Society’s annual reviews of extreme event attribution since 2011, no connection to climate change could be demonstrated.

Floods in Chennai in 2015 and an Indian heatwave the following year had no clear tie to climate change, according to studies published by the World Weather Attribution Project, a scientists’ group. Cold snaps in North America and Europe in 2017 were probably less likely than they’d otherwise have been thanks to human emissions — because the atmosphere is getting warmer, after all. Droughts in the horn of Africa between 2015 and 2017 also showed no clear link to climate change and may in some cases have been less likely, although the water shortage in Cape Town last year was about 3.3 times more probable.

There are still widely varying degrees of accuracy that can be achieved. Large, long-lasting events like heatwaves and cold snaps have become so well understood that researchers are increasingly not focusing their attention on them. “That’s established science now, so it would be like a public health journal publishing on the risks of smoking,” says Lewis.

More complex, short-term events like storms and high winds can be harder to analyze — though even there, the rains that inundated Houston during Hurricane Harvey in 2017 are reckoned to have been three times as likely thanks to climate change.

“For extreme short-timescale rainfall it is very easy to show a link,” said David Karoly, leader of the earth systems and climate change hub at Australia’s National Environmental Science Program. “As the temperature rises, the atmosphere holds more moisture, which is likely to lead to changes in the amount of rainfall.”

While analyses of events in the early 2000s could take more than a year, they’re increasingly now being done in real time, too. One study published last week attempted to isolate the climate-change impact of Hurricane Florence in advance, estimating that it would be stronger and drop 50 percent more rainfall than if it had hit in a preindustrial climate.

The results of this don’t just matter to scientists and climate campaigners. Insurers have a natural interest in the odds of disastrous events, and have been collecting data on extreme weather for decades. The Actuaries Climate Index, a study of anomalous weather events in the U.S. and Canada dating back to the early 1960s, has shown a marked rising trend in recent years that ought to give insurers and reinsurers pause in considering how to protect against future risks.

We’d think it bizarre to state that there’s no link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer, even though causation in individual cases is impossible to prove. In the same way, we should drop the comforting belief that the origins of individual weather disasters are mysterious and unknowable. Over the coming years, more and more extreme events will happen — and scientists will grow increasingly sure of our role in causing them.


Bill Nye Gets Dealt Blistering Fact-Check by an Actual Scientist

We are all probably watching the weather developments in the Carolinas — big storms tend to make us sit up and pay attention, no matter where we are.

But something else I hope you have also paid attention to are the left’s psychotic claims that President Donald Trump is to blame for the climate change that supposedly caused Hurricane Florence.

Well, facts are funny things: They have a pesky way of collapsing the liberal narrative. On Friday, Tucker Carlson interviewed Former NASA scientist Dr. Roy Spencer, who blew the liberal climate change theories out of the water.

In the interview, Dr. Spencer threw cold water all over Bill Nye the Science Guy’s statements that Hurricane Florence is caused by climate change.

Dr Spencer acknowledges the earth has gotten warmer, but he doesn’t think the change in temperature is due to climate change. He believes it’s part of the earth’s natural weather cycles. And Bill Nye isn’t going to like Spencer’s scientific data that supports his findings.

Dr Spencer explains to Fox News’ Tucker Carlson: “Well, it has gotten warmer as you said, since the 1950s there has been a warming trend, but what we haven’t seen in terns of any long term weather measurements is whether there’s been any change in severe weather. There hasn’t been any increase in hurricanes. That’s on a global basis in the United States.”

“The frequency of hits of the United States by major hurricanes has gone down by 50 percent since the 1930s and 1940s. There’s been no increase in droughts, no increase in floods. Tornados are down but still weather varies a lot especially hurricanes, year to year, decade to decade.”

“So there is a huge amount of variability, OK, some stall, produce a bunch of rain. Certainly North Carolina is going to have a major flooding disaster, but this is what Mother Nature does naturally, and if there’s a human influence there you wouldn’t know it because there’s so much natural variability,” said Dr. Spencer.

Enter common sense as Carlson asks the obvious question as to why people are claiming global warming is to blame for hurricanes if the data doesn’t support it?

Dr. Spencer’s refreshingly candid remarks might just floor the global warming fanatics. It appears he believes as I do, that they are just saying “stupid things.”

“I don’t know, why do people like The Washington Post say such stupid things? It’s because the people who are informing us in the media about global warming are people like Al Gore, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Neil deGrasse Tyson, people that don’t know anything about atmospheric science,” he said.

Dr. Spencer also responded to Carlson’s challenge of Nye’s qualifications as a scientist. “He’s not a trained scientist. I believe he’s an engineer of some sort.” “Plus he has a widely viewed YouTube video called ‘Climate 101’ where he faked an experiment,” Spencer added.

Liberals would do well to pay attention when choosing to follow the lead of their so-called experts.

On Tuesday, an article by The Washington Post accused President Trump of being “complicit” in facilitating global warming.

“Yet when it comes to extreme weather, Mr. Trump is complicit. He plays down humans’ role in increasing the risks, and he continues to dismantle efforts to address those risks. It is hard to attribute any single weather event to climate change. But there is no reasonable doubt that humans are priming the Earth’s systems to produce disasters.”

On Wednesday, Bill Nye the Science Guy told MSNBC that Florence was the direct result of climate change: “Now I look forward of course to all the hate tweets. It’s going to be great, about a guy who took a lot of physics can’t possibly read a graph. I got all that. But everybody, this is not in anybody’s best interests to continue to deny climate change.”

Hurricane season is just beginning and from the looks of things it’s going to be a long one. And I have no doubt there will be more “stupid” discourse from liberals about climate change and why the president is responsible for it.

Maybe the bright side in this discussion is that more real scientific experts are coming forward with hard facts that will continue to weaken the liberal global warming narrative.


Keep carbon taxes in the ground

Permanently bury these job-killing proposals, after pounding wooded stakes through their hearts

Paul Driessen

The House of Representatives recently passed a sense of Congress resolution that a carbon tax would kill jobs, damage the revitalized U.S. economy, and disproportionately impact poor, minority and working class families. The vote also reflects the fact that America is still over 80% dependent on fossil fuels – and helps explain why a misguided Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) was able to convince only one colleague (Brian Fitzpatrick, R-PA) to cosponsor his carbon tax bill back in July. In the meantime:

Doug Ford became Ontario’s new premier by vigorously opposing the carbon taxes and pricy wind and solar electricity that Canadians have come to despise. He quickly eliminated $2 billion in taxes a year by canceling 200 heavily subsidized renewable energy projects implemented by his predecessor. Meanwhile, the Trudeau government is facing increased resistance to its plans for a steadily escalating carbon tax.

In Australia, Angus Taylor’s appointment as Energy Minister means wind and solar subsidies will soon be terminated. This will undoubtedly delight residents of South Australia, home of a 50% renewable energy program, the world’s highest electricity prices, two weeks of zero wind/zero electricity in two years (September 2016 and 2018), and some 200,000 families no longer able to afford electricity.

Germany’s solar industry is collapsing as its subsidies plummet; its wind turbine subsidies are scheduled to end in 2020; ancient villages and forests have been bulldozed to allow coal mining to fuel its new generating plants; and the country’s Green Party has admitted that “de-carbonizing” the German and world economies can be accomplished only by limiting or eliminating democracy worldwide.

And yet, like Dracula monsters, carbon tax proposals keep rising from the dead.

Several big corporations, Republican officials Jim Baker, Hank Paulson and George Schultz, and their Climate Leadership Council now claim that 56% of American voters support taxing carbon, while only 26% oppose the idea. So says their recent survey. You ask, How is that possible?!?

To begin with, they didn’t call it a tax. They cleverly labeled their scheme a “carbon dividend” (who doesn’t like dividends?) and claimed “the vast majority of American families” would somehow come out ahead if it is implemented. The survey didn’t mention that their program would be administered by our ever-friendly Internal Revenue Service or that the tax would begin at $43 per metric ton of “carbon” emitted. (Trudeau’s hated tax begins at “a mere” US$7.68 per ton and rises to “only” US$38.47 by 2022.)

They didn’t mention that the tax would be imposed on foundries, factories, refineries, coal- and gas-fired power plants, other industrial facilities, and even (at a lower rate) on products imported from other countries. Nor did they intimate how much these advisors, companies and thousands of members of the $2-trillion-per-year Global Climate Industrial Complex would benefit financially from the arrangements.

Equally important, constant assurances that “market-based” carbon tax schemes like this $43-per-ton version would be “revenue neutral,” receipts would be returned to taxpayers in the form of tax reductions elsewhere, and revenues would be used to reduce federal budget deficits are illusory. Can the Council somehow guarantee that the next Congress will not (promptly) reverse these “net-gain” provisions?

But let’s get to the nuts and bolts of “carbon taxes” and “clean, green, renewable” energy.

As MIT emeritus professor of atmospheric physics Richard Lindzen points out, those who control carbon control life. And make no mistake, these are taxes on carbon-based fuels: on 83% of the energy we use. They are taxes on everything we make, ship, eat and do – on our lives, livelihoods, living standards, transportation, heating, cooling, refrigeration, healthcare, clothing and everything else we touch.

By using the word “carbon,” tax proponents deceptively suggest they want to tax soot, pollution, toxic emissions. But with modern scrubbers and other pollution controls, what comes out of U.S. power plant and factory “smoke stacks” today is almost entirely water vapor and carbon dioxide.

Fossil fuels are what made our health and economic progress over the past 150 years possible – and continue to do so. Carbon (coal, oil and natural gas) is what we burn to generate electricity, power factories and operate vehicles. Carbon dioxide is what is created and emitted by that combustion process.

So these Climate Leadership members want to tax carbon dioxide: the gas of life, the miracle molecule that we exhale and that makes life on Earth possible. In fact, the more CO2 in the atmosphere, the faster and better food crop, forest and grassland plants grow; the better they survive droughts, diseases and viruses. Rising atmospheric CO2 levels are actually “greening the Earth,” including forests worldwide.

The Council’s goal is to “keep fossil fuels in the ground,” and force a transition to wind, solar, ethanol and other “renewable” energy. In the process, the activists, politicians, lobbyists and crony corporatists expect to get incredibly wealthy and gain increasing control over global economies and living standards.

How would $43 per metric ton of carbon dioxide affect you? It would raise your electricity and gasoline costs to the exorbitant rates families and businesses already pay in California, Denmark and Germany. Every aspect of your lives would be impacted. Millions of jobs would be lost. In just one example, at California’s or Germany’s business rate (18¢ per kWh), a hospital that now pays 8¢ per kWh and $1.6 million a year would see its electricity costs rise by an unsustainable $2 million annually!

To top it off, all this incredible pain and lost liberty would bring no climate benefits. Even assuming for the sake of argument that carbon dioxide has replaced the sun and other powerful natural forces that do control Earth’s climate – poor nations are burning more carbon fuels every year, emitting more CO2 and other greenhouse gases, and building or planning to build some 1,600 new coal-fired power plants.

It is sheer nonsense to claim that 400 ppm CO2 and another 1 degree C (1.4 F) of global warming will bring “unprecedented cataclysms” and “existential threats” to people and planet. Carbon dioxide has some effect, but saying it controls the climate ignores five Pleistocene glacial and interglacial periods, the Roman and Medieval Warm Periods, the Little Ice Age, the Dust Bowl and Anasazi drought, the record 12 years of no major hurricanes making U.S. landfall, and other natural weather and climate changes.

Scientists simply do not yet know enough about Earth’s climate or what caused past climate fluctuations even to separate current human influences from natural influences – much less predict future changes.

Poor countries signed onto Paris climate treaty because they expected to get $100 billion every year in “climate adaptation and mitigation” money from (currently) wealthy countries that the treaty says must slash their fossil fuel use, carbon dioxide emissions, economic growth and living standards – while now poor nations dramatically increase theirs. With rich countries unable and refusing to pay up, the treaty is likely to implode like the house of cards it is, before or during the [Katowice,%20Poland]COP24 summit in Katowice, Poland.

Last but not least, renewable energy is not renewable, clean, green or sustainable. Manufacturing wind turbines, solar panels, backup batteries and ultra-long transmission lines requires removing billions of tons of rock and earth to extract and process millions of tons of exotic ores, limestone, iron, manganese, copper, petroleum-based fiberglass and composites, and other materials – all using fossil fuels.

The vital exotics come from Mongolia, China and Congo, under minimal to nonexistent environmental, health and safety standards. But that’s somebody else’s backyard, so virtue preening climate activists can just ignore the emissions, habitat destruction, water pollution, health effects and premature deaths.

No wonder alarmists are ranting nonstop at their Global Climate Action Circus, devoting $1 billion a year to climate activism and “education,” and working with and for Democrat governors and state attorneys general to advance their radical agenda, draft laws and regulations, and attack and even prosecute climate chaos skeptics. This abuse of government law enforcement powers and taxpayer dollars must end.

What needs to be kept in the ground is not the fossil fuels that make modern health and living standards possible, while spurring plant growth. It is carbon tax proposals, preferably with large wooden stakes driven through their hearts. May sanity and reality yet prevail.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and author books and articles on energy, climate change, economic development and human rights.

FAKE NEWS: Weather Channel Reporter Caught Exaggerating During Storm Coverage

Have the lies in the mainstream media become so prevalent that there is no longer any escape from the fake news?

The answer seems to be no after a reporter for The Weather Channel who was covering Hurricane Florence was busted after a video of him clearly exaggerating the effects of the winds and rain hit Twitter and has now gone completely viral.

Mike Seidel was in Wilmington, NC on Friday and appeared to be holding on for dear life as the storm barreled down on the area but questions – and much scorn – quickly arose when two people casually strolled by in the background and it was all caught by the camera.

The video shows longtime Weather Channel meteorologist and reporter Mike Seidel as he tried to gain his footing as the storm’s winds bore down on him.

“This is about as nasty as its been,” Seidel, who was reporting from Wilmington, N.C., says in the clip while bracing against the wind.

The camera then pans over to a pair of figures casually walking on a road behind the reporter.

“So dramatic!” one Twitter user wrote with the video clip. “Dude from the weather channel bracing for his life, as 2 dudes just stroll past.”

After seeing this, how could you ever watch hurricane coverage without being suspicious again?

If Seidel ends up being sacked by TWC due to public relations fallout over this stunt, he is a cinch to land a similar gig at CNN. In fact, he’s already passed the audition with flying colors.


Ruling Australian conservative party has been taken over by climate denialists, says Labor party leader

If only it were true.  There is a great deal of skepticism among Federal conservatives but it has not yet become formal policy

Bill Shorten has confirmed Labor is prepared to adopt the government’s junked national energy guarantee if it wins power, as he declared the Liberal Party had been taken over by “climate denialists”.

The Opposition Leader said the framework of the NEG could be used by a future Labor government to create a policy that would lower carbon emissions.

“The government did some work on this national energy guarantee and we are prepared to use that as part of our framework going forward. That’s not our final position, I hasten to add, and we’ll have consultation and discussion with my colleagues,” Mr Shorten told the ABC.

“I think that people are sick and tired of the climate change wars. The climate denialists for all intents and purposes, like Tony Abbott, have taken over the Liberal Party. They didn’t want the clean energy target. They didn’t want an emissions trading scheme.

“The real issue here is that we’ve now got a climate denialist party in power, and the only policy they can do now they’ve rejected the national energy guarantee is one that will drive up power prices and do nothing to encourage more renewables.

“So I’m hoping to work with the sensible part of the Liberal Party, with industry, with environmentalists, and we’ll come up with a framework which will look a lot like, I hope, parts of the national energy guarantee and, of course, we want to see lower prices and more renewables.”

“It just led to a loss of jobs, higher prices and greater unreliability and a lack of investment,” he said.

Mr Shorten failed to endorse his energy spokesman, Mark Butler, who said he did not support the Adani coal mine.

“I think that that is essentially Mark’s judgment, that he doesn’t think it is going to happen and he doesn’t support it. I think that a lot of people feel that way. Our policy is that we won’t put a single taxpayer dollar into the project. There’s a lot of scepticism if the project is ever going to happen,” he said.




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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