Monday, November 11, 2019

The Golden (Brown) State

California's environmental mismanagement is taking the state backwards in time.

Perhaps nothing defines the progressive movement better than what is arguably the most bankrupt phrase in the English language: my truth. For decades, one of California’s primary expressions of “my truth” has been the idea that global warming is the chief cause of the ongoing catastrophes wrought by wildfires. Unfortunately, Californians who still expect the largest state in the richest nation in the world to provide basic modern-day amenities are finding out the hard way that when political ideology trumps common sense and basic management skills, one can literally end up in the dark — on schedule.

A critical part of the global-warming agenda rests on the idea that mankind is so irresponsible it can never assume the top spot in the hierarchy of practical environmental solutions. Thus in the 1990s, the logging industry that was integral to removing dead trees and combustible underbrush — for which they “diabolically” expected to earn a profit — was hit with a series of regulations aimed at protecting the Spotted Owl.

Regardless, the Spotted Owl’s population continued to decline, due to predation. Far more important, the harvest rate declined to the point where tree harvesting on federal lands is one-tenth of what it was in 1988.

In an interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune, Democrat (and dedicated ecofascist) Gov. Gavin Newsom admitted the state’s response to wildfires has been “inadequate to the task, but so is the federal government, which manages over 40% of our forest lands and it’s the height of irony and almost indignity that we’re being criticized by members of the White House and the president himself.”

Last year, Trump pointed out the obvious: “There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor.”

Yet it was then-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke who revealed the eco-driven machinations that make Newsom’s assertions ring exceedingly hollow. When “we try to thin forests of dead and dying timber, or we try to sustainably harvest timber from dense and fire-prone areas, we are attacked with frivolous litigation from radical environmentalists who would rather see forests and communities burn than see a logger in the woods,” he stated.

Such frivolity has consequences, and Newsom himself admitted as much when he recalled his father’s experience in the small town of Dead Flat. “The dead trees up there are legendary,” the governor explained. “Hundreds of millions of dead trees and the cost… [What] we just did on our property cost $35 grand and was just — it seemed like a small little patch of dead trees. I mean it was jaw-dropping the cost just to one property owner.”

Former California legislator Chuck DeVore explains that such jaw-dropping costs are “a consequence of California’s Byzantine environmental regulatory patchwork.”

That regulatory patchwork and the eco-insanity that drives it is hardly new. In 2016, former Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bipartisan wildfire-management bill that would have given local government more say in forest management by engaging the Public Utilities Commission to create maps of fire hazards near utility lines.

How bipartisan? Unanimous votes of 75-0 in the Assembly, and 39-0 in the Senate. Thus Brown had a great hand in precipitating what he and other radical environmentalists call the “new normal.” In 2017, that new normal precipitated wildfires in the Napa and Sonoma wine regions, killing 44 people and destroying thousands of structures. In 2018, the state endured the most destructive wildfire in history: Camp Fire wiped out the town of Paradise and killed 86 people.

The real culprit here? “Years and years of greed, years and years of mismanagement in the utilities, in particularly PG&E,” Newsom — who spent eight years as Brown’s Lt. Governor — asserted last month. “Greed has precipitated a lack of intentionality and focus and a hardening our grid, undergrounding their transmission lines. They simply did not do their job.”

That would be the same PG&E that filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, due in large part to the anticipation of massive legal claims associated with what has become scheduled blackouts — blackouts designed to prevent the ignition of timber and underbrush that has been allowed to accumulate near PG&E’s power lines. The same PG&E, California officials now want to buy out, as if taxpayer funding — and their assumption of the utility’s massive liabilities — will solve the utility’s problems.

As The Wall Street Journal pointed out, a large portion of the PG&E’s problems are directly attributable to the climate agenda pursued by the Brown-Newsom administration, including the mandate that 60% of the electricity come from renewables by 2030.

An added “bonus” for Californians? Their electricity rates are the third highest in the nation — when they get it.

Last February, the U.S. Forest Service announced that an additional 18 million trees, mostly conifers, died in California since fall 2017, and that over 147 million trees have died on 9.7 million acres of federal, state, local, and private lands since the state’s drought began in 2010. In May 2018, the state created the Forest Management Task Force whose mission is to “protect the environmental quality, public health, and economic benefits that healthy forests provide to California.”

Yet as a 2016 article by San Francisco Chronicle columnists Chad T. Hanson and Dominick A. DellaSala indicates, the definition of “healthy forests” is rather circumspect if it doesn’t align with an environmentalist agenda that insists dead trees “are the most important parts of a healthy forest as they anchor soils thus preventing erosion, shade new seedlings from intense sunlight and provide habitat for scores of insect-eating bats, birds and small mammals.”

In addition, there’s the state’s Forest Carbon Plan, an initiative designed to “establish California’s forests as a more resilient and reliable long-term carbon sink, rather than a greenhouse gas and black carbon emission source.” By that “logic,” sucking up CO2 requires planting even more trees and leaving existing forests in relatively pristine condition in a state where the natural weather pattern consists of a distinct wet season precipitated by Pacific storms that begin in November/December, and bone dry, fire-friendly conditions that occur in both the summer and the fall.

The bottom line? California harvests less than one-third of the trees it harvested 30 years ago, a bankrupt utility cannot afford to modernize its grid, and the fires are spewing enough greenhouse gases into the air that California “will be decades late in meeting its ambitious goal of cutting greenhouse gases 40% below 1990 levels by 2030,” the LA Times reports.

And global warming is the all-purpose excuse for it all.

Regardless, the best laid plans of California’s eco-warriors are going up in smoke — literally. “Our resolute ancestors took a century to turn a wilderness into California,” long-time state resident Victor David Hanson writes. “Our irresolute generation in just a decade or two has been turning California into a wilderness.”

As the saying goes, will the last person leaving the state please turn out the lights? Oh, wait…


Settled Science? Diet and Climate

Bad science has consequences, regardless of what it's attempting to prove.

Those who are considering the claims that climate change is “settled science” would do well to review the history of the study of coronary heart disease.

Crossfit, the hip workout program, would seem to be a strange bedfellow for climate-change skeptics. The fitness brand is known for its intense workouts and cult-like following, not necessarily for its politics or public-policy positions. But Crossfit gurus have been tenacious and vociferous opponents of what they see as bad science as it relates to health and nutrition. Perhaps most notably, they have led the counterattack against what was once considered settled science — that cholesterol and fat are dietary enemy #1 and leading contributors to shorter life spans.

The idea that dietary fat was fatal gained legitimacy with help from the U.S. government. A few staff members from a George McGovern-led Senate committee “almost single-handedly changed nutritional policy in this country and initiated the process of turning the dietary fat hypothesis into dogma,” said Gary Taubes in Science back in 2001. The bureaucrats likely had great intentions, but they based their flawed guidance off a study that used cherry-picked data to “prove” the author’s hypothesis. The author, like the Committee staff, had good intentions, but he made some big jumps to get from correlation to causation. His analysis of coronary heart disease focused on the fat and ignored other factors like smoking, stress, activity levels, and obesity.

The Department of Agriculture translated the Committee’s dogma into policy: fat-free and reduced-fat products became the norm for any food program that involved government funding — school lunches, WIC, and SNAP — and received what was effectively free advertising in the form of USDA guidelines that strongly encouraged people to avoid fat and cholesterol. As is almost always the case when bureaucrats intervene, the Law of Unintended Consequences was in full effect. Consumers dutifully modified their eating habits, replacing the fat with large quantities of carbohydrates.

Although the studies need to be taken with a grain of salt (if that wasn’t a no-no as well), recent research suggest a high-carb diet may be much more harmful than a high-fat diet. Thanks to the sugar and carbs (with an assist from more sedentary lifestyles), obesity rates have climbed steadily, from the mid-teens when the dietary fat bogeyman was first introduced to well over 30% today. Diabetes has followed a similar trend.

As a result of the bureaucratic meddling, millions of people are worse off and billions more dollars have been spent on healthcare (often for obesity-related illnesses) than had we maintained the status quo (fat isn’t dietary enemy #1).

One of the most vocal critics of the fat-is-bad fallacy framed it this way:

The history of the national conviction that dietary fat is deadly, and its evolution from hypothesis to dogma, is one in which politicians, bureaucrats, the media, and the public have played as large a role as the scientists and the science. It’s a story of what can happen when the demands of public (health) policy-and the demands of the public for simple advice run up against the confusing ambiguity of real science.

Another skeptic wrote:

For 50 years an increasingly specious, pseudoscientific dogma has been growing in the Western World. This hypothesis originally proposed that coronary artery disease … is caused by the kind and amount of fat in our diets. That hypothesis was based upon fragile and selected data. The hypothesis has now been tested in dozens of clinical trials costing hundreds of millions of dollars. In adequate trials, that answer has been the same: dietary treatments are not effective.

The statements ring just as true if we replace fat and coronary heart artery disease with fossil fuels and climate change. Whether it purports to study biology or climate, agenda-driven research that merely seeks to validate politically popular ideas isn’t science. The question of dietary-fat-heart-disease correlation should also give us pause when we consider climatology.

If we have this much trouble proving hypotheses when we have a relatively reliable sample population to collect data from (human beings), it would be foolhardy to believe that we can definitively assess something as complex as global climate trends, much less predict where those causes and effects will take us decades from now.


David Attenborough Tacitly Admits His Film’s Deception

Sir David Attenborough finds himself at the center of another scandal over deceptive filmmaking.

Back in the spring, he was accused of deceiving viewers when he claimed, in his Netflix show Our Planet, that walruses were falling off Siberian clifftops as a result of climate change.

This was shown to be untrue by Canadian biologist and mammal expert Dr. Susan Crockford, who described the abundant scientific literature, dating back many decades, showing that walruses have always taken to the land, and even fallen from clifftops.

She also pointed out that the footage Attenborough used to make his case seemed to have come from a well-documented incident when walruses had been driven over cliffs by polar bears.

Yesterday, in his new BBC documentary Seven Worlds, One Planet, Attenborough again showed falling walruses, but this time making it quite clear that polar bears were driving them off the cliff.

Remarkably, however, the footage he used appears to be from the same incident and shot by the same cameraman as shown in his Netflix documentary, despite the producers’ claims at the time that no bears had been in the vicinity.

Attenborough, therefore, seems to be tacitly admitting that the claims he made in the Netflix film, and the denials issued by the show’s camera team and producers, were untrue.

GWPF director Dr. Benny Peiser welcomed Attenborough’s climb-down.

“We can only be pleased that Sir David has stepped back from the deceptive claims he made in his Netflix show.

He and the producers should apologize for the trick they pulled and withdraw the Netflix film that has badly misled and unnecessarily traumatized millions of people and news media around the world”.


More Electric Vehicles Could Lead To A Mountain Of Battery Waste

In 2017, more than 1 million electric vehicles were sold for the first time. That number doubled to 2 million in 2018 and by 2040 electric cars could make up more than half of all new sales.

Electric vehicles will play a pivotal role in meeting global targets to reduce carbon emissions, but new research warns the world is unprepared to deal with the lithium-ion batteries that power these cars once they reach the end of their useful life span.

Based on the number of electric cars sold in 2017, researchers in the United Kingdom calculated that 250,000 metric tons, or half a million cubic meters, of unprocessed battery pack waste will result when these vehicles reach the end of their lives in about 15 to 20 years — enough to fill 67 Olympic swimming pools.
“Landfill is clearly not an option for this amount of waste,” said University of Leicester professor Andrew Abbott, co-author of the review that was published in the scientific journal Nature on Wednesday.

“Finding ways to recycle EV (electric vehicle) batteries will not only avoid a huge burden on landfill, it will also help us secure the supply of critical materials, such as cobalt and lithium, that surely hold the key to a sustainable automotive industry,” he said in a press statement.

Lithium-ion batteries cannot be treated like normal waste; they are flammable and could release toxic chemicals into the environment.

When Batteries Retire

The report says that more needs to be done to identify uses for vehicle batteries once they reach retirement age. Even if they can’t power a passenger car, the batteries may be able to do less demanding tasks such as store electricity from wind turbines and solar farms.

The report also says better ways to gauge the health of a battery would make it easier to assess whether it can be reused or repaired.

And if the batteries can no longer be used or, as forecast, the supply of batteries exceeds second-hand demand, rapid and more efficient recycling methods need to be developed that can extract the valuable raw materials such as lithium and cobalt, which can be environmentally damaging to mine.

“We believe that it is possible to move to more advanced recycling technologies that can not only recover a larger proportion of the materials in the battery but also will be better able to handle the volume of EV waste batteries we anticipate coming through the system,” Gavin Harper, Faraday Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham, who was the lead author on the paper, told CNN.

Currently in the United Kingdom, there are no dedicated operating facilities for processing electric vehicle waste batteries. What batteries do get processed are exported and recycled using a pyrometallurgical method, which uses high temperatures to smelt the batteries and extract some reusable components. However, it’s wasteful and inefficient, which means some materials can’t be recovered, he said.

There’s also a general lack of technical know-how, with a 2015 survey from the UK Institute of the Motor Industry finding there were only 1,000 trained technicians in the country capable of servicing electric vehicles, with another 1,000 in training — less than 2% of the country’s 170,000 motor technicians.

The batteries produced by different manufacturers vary widely and the paper calls for more standardization to allow easier recycling. Current designs also don’t lend themselves to easy deconstruction by hand or machine.

“The recycling challenge is not straightforward: There is enormous variety in the chemistries, shapes and designs of lithium ion batteries used in EVs,” said Harper.

“If you look at lead acid batteries, we have really high recovery rates of around 95 % because the technology is there to recycle them and it makes economic sense … the battery has a value.”
“We need to get to a similar place with EV batteries where they are seen as an opportunity and not a burden,” he added.


Australia: How the world has reacted to the NSW, QLD bushfires

Brain-dead Lefty journalists who know nothing about Australia (or anything else much) say: "Climate change" did it.

Australia has always had big forest fires, with some of the biggest many years ago.  So there is no way you can tie the present fires to global warming.  It is just empty assertion by brainwashed dupes

Where the fires mainly are at the moment -- Southern Queensland and Northern NSW -- is normal for spring, which is where we now are

Media outlets around the world have been reacting to the fires burning across Australia’s east coast, saying climate change is to blame.

Three people have been confirmed dead, five are missing and 40 have been injured, with 150 homes already destroyed — and the worst is yet to come.

“We’re not even in summer yet,” NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said.

“I’m quite concerned that … we’re going to see more fires as we close through the season.”

Mayor Carol Sparks told the Sydney Morning Heraldthat her community has been “devastated” and the entire country is at risk from dangerous climate change.

Sparks, a member of the Glen Innes Severn Council, has no doubt that global warming is increasing the number of fires and their intensity.

“We are so impacted by drought and the lack of rain,” she said.

“It’s climate change, there’s no doubt about it. The whole of the country is going to be affected. We need to take a serious look at our future.”

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told the Today Show that the discussion around climate policies being to blame is not one that will be had “for the next weeks.”

“We need to focus on saving lives,” the Premier said, and “the communities who are doing it tough.”

“Often, the first couple of days when I meet someone whose lost everything, they seem resilient.

“But you know that in the next few days when the shock wears off and they face reality, that’s when we really need to provide our support and I just asked everybody to put politics aside and just consider the human toll and what we can do as humans to support people in our state.”

Readers of the BBC’s coverage on the fires have shared Sparks’ concerns. While some shared “thoughts and prayers”, many others blamed climate change and the Australian government for the situation, with one reader writing, “Climate in peril as the world burns.

“Governments are to blame,” wrote Suzanne G Kelly on a BBC post.  “They have ignored climate change even though all of the experts including Risk Analysts have been talking and warning about this for over two decades. “It’s now gone beyond blame. Governments have to be held to account and have to act now. They have been warned for decades of this and have done very little. “It’s shameful and heartbreaking.”

It was a sentiment echoed by other readers, with another writing, “Climate change is truly the topic now. Government should take this seriously. But some take climate change as their advantage to win elections.”

The Guardian have also provided significant coverage on the fires — where readers have also pointed out there’s no denying climate change is the catalyst for the blaze.

UK’s The Times coverage included quotes from Adam Bandt of the Australia Greens party, who accused Prime Minister Scott Morrison of inaction in the face of the global climate crisis, saying that he hadn’t done enough to reduce carbon emissions.

“I’m not saying the Prime Minister is directly responsible for the fires and the loss of life but he has contributed to making it more likely that these kinds of tragedies will occur,” he said.



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Climate Fraud Inc. said...

David Rowe has a cartoon of Scomo with two buckets of water in front of fire.
The buckets have names 'thoughts and prayers'.

The same cartoon with scomo throwing solar panels and windmills at the fire would be just as stupid.

Unknown said...

There are Liberal green idiots everywhere