Sunday, May 19, 2019

Satellite information reveals Antarctica ice thinning at ‘extraordinary rate’

This tired old con again.  A key Leftist modus operandi is to tell only half the story, leaving out the bits that contradict  Leftism. It is simple dishonesty designed to deceive people who are not well-informed on poliical issues.

What they ignore here is Zwally's finding that Antactic ice is ON THE WHOLE increasing and that the relatively small area they concentrates on -- West Antarctica -- has substantial sub-surface vulcanism that inevitably causes some melting.  You would melt too if you had a volcano under you

Antarctica is losing ice at a rapid rate, according to new satellite information.

Glaciers are now sliding into the sea because of the warming Southern Ocean as ice vanishes five times faster than it did in the 1990s.

The West Antarctic ice sheet used to be stable a few decades ago, but new evidence shows that up to a quarter of it is now thinning.

In the worst-hit locations, more than 100 metres of ice thickness has been lost.

Completely losing the West Antarctic ice sheet would result in global sea levels rising by about five metres.

This amount of sea level rise would drown coastal cities around the world.

Scientists think sea levels are now rising at the extreme end of what was predicted to happen gradually just a few years ago, and current losses of ice are said to be doubling every decade.

This research has been published in the journal of Geophysical Research Letters.

It describes how scientists used satellites images to compare the sizes of ice sheets from 1992 to 2017 with weather information.

Professor Andy Shepherd, who led the study, said: “From a standing start in the 1990s, thinning has spread inland progressively over the past 25 years — that is rapid in glaciological terms.

“The speed of drawing down ice from an ice sheet used to be spoken of in geological timescales, but that has now been replaced by people’s lifetimes.”

Prof Shepherd also stressed some glaciers, such as the Pine Island and Thwaites glacier basins, are past the halfway point of melting.

This new work should help researchers to more accurately pinpoint where sea levels will rise so appropriate preparations can be made to try and save affected areas.

The underside of glaciers are thought to be melting because the sea is too hot, and not even snowfall can counteract the damage.

Prof Shepherd added: “In parts of Antarctica, the ice sheet has thinned by extraordinary amounts.”

He now thinks West Antarctica melting has caused 5mm of sea level rise since 1992.

He concluded: “Before we had useful satellite measurements from space, most glaciologists thought the polar ice sheets were pretty isolated from climate change and didn’t change rapidly at all. “Now we know that is not true.”


Democrats back bill to ban the sale of gas-powered cars by 2040

Democrats will introduce legislation to mandate zero-emissions vehicles make up all new car sales by 2040. The bill is co-sponsored by three Democrats running for president in 2020 who support the Green New Deal.

“When I take a lungful of air in this moment, it has 30 percent more carbon in it than when I was born,” Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley, the bill’s main sponsor told The Huffington Post on Wednesday. “That is a change that has never happened in a single generation of humankind on this planet.”

The bill is co-sponsored by Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Brian Schatz of Hawaii, Kamala Harris of California, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Bernie Sanders of Vermont. California Rep. Mike Levin will introduce a House version of the bill, HuffPo reported.

Harris, Gillibrand and Sanders are running for president in 2020, and all of them co-sponsored the Green New Deal resolution. However, no Democrat voted for the Green New Deal in March when it came up for a vote in the Senate.

Merkley, who also supports the Green New Deal, sees this bill as part of that broad vision of completely greening the U.S. economy. The Green New Deal calls for achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions within 10 years and dramatically expanding the welfare state.

“This is just one small contributor to that vision,” Merkley told HuffPo. “But we need to develop the details around many ideas so those ideas are ready to be combined into a larger package.”

“If we can’t get a larger package, but we can get individual pieces like electric cars, buses, better insulation, then we should do that, too,” Merkley said. “We need to push at every level.”

Merkley’s bill would mandate 50 percent of new vehicle sales be zero-emissions vehicles by 2030. Companies can comply with the law by buying credits, which is similar to California’s zero-emission vehicle program that largely benefits electric car makers, like Tesla.

The internal combustion engine has long been a target for environmentalists. Vehicle emissions are a large source of greenhouse gases and pollution, and some countries have already pushed forward with plans to get rid of gas engines.

France and the U.K., for example, plan on banning gas and diesel vehicles by 2040. On a more local level Paris wants to ban gas-and-diesel-powered cars by 2030 and some German cities have also contemplated bans on diesel cars.

Merkley plans to introduce the bill Wednesday, and it’s nearly identical to electric vehicle legislation he introduced last year. The bill is unlikely to pass a Republican-controlled Senate and White House.

HuffPo speculated that gas-powered cars could be taken completely off the road by 2050 based on current vehicle turnover rates.

There are, however, legitimate questions over the feasibility of drastically ramping up electric vehicle sales. Part of the problem is building out all the charging stations needed to keep electric cars moving.

Zero-emission vehicles made up just 1.9 percent of U.S. car sales nationwide, according to the Auto Alliance.

The environmental benefits of electric vehicles also depend on what energy sources are used to generate power and make batteries. Recent studies have found electric cars may not have much of an impact on greenhouse gas emissions.


Illinois Democrats are staking their claim on green issues

Rep. Sean Casten is laser-focused on carbon emissions. Sen. Tammy Duckworth announced a new push for environmental justice. Sen. Dick Durbin embraced the Paris climate accord at a student climate change rally in Federal Plaza. Rep. Jan Schakowsky joined others at a recent Loop rally criticizing the Trump administration’s plan to slash the Environmental Protection Agency budget. Even Rep. Dan Lipinski, considered one of the most centrist Democrats in the House, is working on a bill that would impose a fee on the carbon content of fuels.

Three months after the Green New Deal was greeted with a mix of shrugs and cheers, laughs and resolve, Illinois Democrats are hasteningto stake their claim on environmental issues. As climate change becomes more important to voters as a campaign issue, it’s clear Illinois politicians are paying attention, trying to find their climate niche and put their stamp on a proposal that blue state voters will support. A recent report from the Pew Research Center noted that 83% of Democrats (compared with 27% of Republicans) view climate change as a major threat to the country.

The Green New Deal has been lambasted by critics as an unrealistic example of liberal pie-in-the-sky dreams. But students at a climate change march last week embraced the proposal, with someone shouting “Green New Deal!” in the middle of Durbin’s short speech to attendees.

Durbin acknowledged that climate change issues have becoming increasingly important at the national, regional and state levels, whether it is funding for Great Lakes restoration or carbon policy. And Illinois’ senior senator pointed out that in key Midwestern swing states, such as Wisconsin and Michigan, residents care about and are paying attention to issues with environmental ramifications. A look at the electoral map for presidential elections shows that means candidates’ policies on climate may play a prominent role in the 2020 race for the White House.

“If you look at the Illinois delegation, and all of the representatives in the Midwest, especially the new members, there is strong support for climate change solutions,” said Howard Learner, executive director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center. “And in particular, the new members are energized and trying to get something done. They want to show that it’s not business as usual.”

For Casten, the freshman representative from Downers Grove who rode criticism of President Donald Trump and his background as a clean-energy business owner to victory in the suburban swing 6th District in the midterms, placing climate issues front and center is of the utmost importance. While he thinks many elements of the Green New Deal oversimplify or do not adequately address critical scientific elements, Casten said it is a good way to jump-start the discussion about climate change.

“We have got to recognize that this problem is way more urgent than we have treated it to this point. And we are darned near out of time to deal with it, and our institutions are moving far too slow given that reality. The Green New Deal, to its great credit, has gotten people to understand that, or at least gotten closer to understanding that point,” Casten said.

The Green New Deal is a set of proposals designed to combat climate change. It aims to set the country on a course to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, foster policies that lead to clean air and water for residents and invest in clean, renewable technologies, businesses and energy sources.

The package, introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York in the House and Sen. Edward Markey of Massachusetts in the Senate, is a nonbinding resolution, meaning that even if Congress approves it, nothing becomes law. Reps. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, Danny Davis, Mike Quigley and Schakowsky are the only Democrats in Illinois to sign on as co-sponsors in the House

The concept of environmental justice is also in the spotlight at the state level. Activists last month held a small rally along the Chicago River downtown to criticize proposed legislation at the state level they say unfairly targets residents who demonstrate against polluters or the companies that may be planning the expansion of pipelines or projects that will negatively impact a neighborhood’s environment. The activists underscored the need to move toward clean energy sources, protect funding for the EPA at the federal and state levels and resist lobbying forces that are pushing lawmakers in Springfield to make it easier for corporations to expand infrastructure rooted in industries such as coal-fired power plants that contribute to climate change.

Chris Shuttlesworth, who lives in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood, was one of the members of The People’s Lobby group speaking out against the inequities that people in less affluent, minority neighborhoods face. Shuttlesworth said he and his neighbors live with the constant foul smell from nearby landfills. He worries about contaminated groundwater and polluted air because of all the industry, large and small, in his community.

“We need more awareness,” Shuttlesworth said, “and less silence.”

Celeste Flores, with the Lake County branch of the Faith in Place group, also attended the rally to highlight how majority Latino communities in and near Waukegan experience increased levels of childhood asthma and polluted area than their counterparts in other parts of the county.

“It’s not criminal,” Flores said, “to fight for the right to breathe clean air and drink clean water.”


"Green" de Blasio Humiliated At Trump Tower

It was pure poetic justice that the weather ruined Mayor de Blasio’s latest stunt — turning his plans to preen about his Green New Deal efforts outside Trump Tower into a humiliating debacle inside the building.

Forced indoors by rain, the mayor found his remarks drowned out by lobby music and protesters, some of whom ruined every picture by holding up “Trump 2020” and “Worst Mayor Ever” signs.

It’s justice because de Blasio’s approach is so cynical. The stunt targeted Trump buildings for their greenhouse-gas emissions even though several other edifices — Mount Sinai Medical Center, the Time Warner Center, the MetLife building — have bigger problems by the same standard.

And the standard itself is junk: It only threatens fines in 2030 — 11 years in the future, if buildings don’t refit to cut their emissions. Plus, more than half the city is exempted. Indeed, the scheme effectively targets industries that use a lot of energy, such as tech, media and life sciences — sectors that provide good jobs.

Anyway, the initiative for the law came from the City Council; de Blasio just rushed to take the credit and then to pretend that Trump buildings are particular trouble.

Yet the mayor’s green hypocrisy doesn’t end there. He has also come out against the proposed Williams pipeline, a billion-dollar project to bring natural gas to Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island. Without it, National Grid warns it will immediately have to start refusing new gas customers. And the mayor’s own aides warned last month that nixing the pipeline would increase the city’s reliance on higher-carbon oil — for a net loss in fighting climate change.

De Blasio is claiming that his Green New Deal will somehow make up the difference, but its promised payoffs are years in the future, and he’ll be long gone from office when those promises prove false.

The mayor, in short, is doing nothing about the real issues facing the city, just trying to polish his own image. He totally earned those “Worst Mayor Ever” signs.


Blowhard Democrats Are Green Phonies

Listening to politicians expound on the imminent dangers of that neologism "climate change" you wonder if any of these people could even pass a high school physics test. Maybe Rand Paul — he's an ophthalmologist. He had to take some chemistry. But most of them?

Nevertheless, the Democratic Party at the moment seems to be in a knockdown, drag-out fight for who can be the greenest of the green and push us forward to a brave new world propelled exclusively by solar and wind energy. Only the strongest (i. e. most slavishly devoted to renewable energy at all costs) will survive.

Bernie and AOC are currently beating Joe Biden over the head about this. Poor Joe is frantically shoring up his "environmental" credentials.

If you don't have a dog in this fight, it's kind of funny, but the least these scientific illiterates might do is read a recent Forbes article (it doesn't take a Ph.D.): "The Reason Renewables Can't Power Modern Civilization Is Because They Were Never Meant To." (I know, many of them don't care about "modern civilization," at least until they have to catch a plane. But hear me out.) Michael Shellenberger writes:

Over the last decade, journalists have held up Germany’s renewables energy transition, the Energiewende, as an environmental model for the world.

“Many poor countries, once intent on building coal-fired power plants to bring electricity to their people, are discussing whether they might leapfrog the fossil age and build clean grids from the outset,” thanks to the Energiewende, wrote a New York Times reporter in 2014.

With Germany as inspiration, the United Nations and World Bank poured billions into renewables like wind, solar, and hydro in developing nations like Kenya.

But then, last year, Germany was forced to acknowledge that it had to delay its phase-out of coal, and would not meet its 2020 greenhouse gas reduction commitments. It announced plans to bulldoze an ancient church and forest in order to get at the coal underneath it.

Oops. What the Germans discovered is that this stuff (renewable energy) doesn't actually work to anywhere near the extent necessary. They tried it. I doubt this would mean much to true believers like Bernie and AOC, but the rest of us might pay attention. In fact, it's worse:

Now comes a major article in the country’s largest newsweekly magazine, Der Spiegel, titled, “A Botched Job in Germany” (" Murks in Germany"). The magazine’s cover shows broken wind turbines and incomplete electrical transmission towers against a dark silhouette of Berlin.

Over the past five years alone, the Energiewende has cost Germany €32 billion ($36 billion) annually, and opposition to renewables is growing in the German countryside.

Germany is one of the most technologically advanced countries, but despite their failure, this is where the Democrats want to lead us. It's an act of faith, not science. They are effectively being anti-science, preaching their brand of environmentalism as a religion.

This has been evident for some time, but it is reaching a level that is actually deleterious to what they claim to desire. Intelligent, less apocalyptic, evaluations of climate, like that of Denmark's Bjorn Lomborg, are snuffed out or ignored by a Democratic Party that seems to be engaged in a modern form of know-nothingism. Suffering most in this are our young people, who are discouraged from thinking for themselves (the actual scientific method).

But all is not lost. Guess who is leading the world in the direction of creating a healthy environment? (Again, don't tell Bernie and AOC.)

According to Environmental Protection Agency data, greenhouse-gas emissions in the United States are dropping. Despite having a so-called climate-change denier in the White House along with a complicit Congress, the United States is leading the way in cutting greenhouse gases, which the bureaucrats at the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) say cause global warming.
How did this happen? (Forget for a moment whether greenhouse gases actually are that bad.) The free market, largely. Private companies figuring out how to make life better for us while — gasp! —making a profit. Doing something for themselves and us all at once, sort of like Thomas Alva Edison and Alexander Graham Bell.

People of that sort — not bloviating politicians — will be the ones who invent the energy sources of the future.

And meanwhile, not to worry, despite what the Democratic Party and the enviro profiteers at the UN tell us, we have plenty of time. Back in 1982, the United Nations' environment program's executive director Mustafa Tolba warned: “ the turn of the century, an environmental catastrophe which will witness devastation as complete, as irreversible as any nuclear holocaust.”

Nostradamus, they're not



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

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: