Sunday, July 12, 2020

Why is the EPA restricting ventilator sterilization chemical ethylene oxide when we need it the most in the middle of the pandemic?

The Environmental Protection Agency is making a mistake.  They are moving forward with the process of further regulating something called ethylene oxide [EtO] upon a harshly contested assumption that the chemical’s emissions may contribute to cancer.

So what’s not to like?

It just so happens that the chemical ethylene oxide is the only thing which sufficiently sterilizes medical equipment like ventilators, so that they can be re-used in new patients.  Yet, in the midst of the on-going Chinese-originated virus pandemic, the bureaucrats at the EPA are trying to subject vulnerable patients to unsafe medical devices due to them not being as clean as they should be.

Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb put it like this in a March 19, 2019 statement, “Certain medical devices need to be sterilized to reduce the risk of those devices causing infections in patients from living microorganisms. Sterilization of medical devices is a well-established and scientifically-proven method of preventing harmful microorganisms from reproducing and transmitting infections. It’s critical to our health care system.  And ethylene oxide is a commonly used method of medical device sterilization. It’s considered a safe and effective method that helps ensure the safety of medical devices and helps deliver quality patient care. Devices sterilized with ethylene oxide range from wound dressings to more specialized devices, like stents, as well as kits used in routine hospital procedures or surgeries that include multiple components made of different materials.”

And the science on whether this unique and important sterilizing agent is carcinogenic is hardly settled, as Dr. Gail Charnley, PhD, who serves as the Senior Toxicologist for HealthRisk Strategies plainly states, “There is no cancer threat from the tiny amounts of ethylene oxide released from these sterilization plants.”

Lucy Fraiser, a board-certified toxicologist and a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology agrees, “To be clear – there are no actual scientific data that show that these [EtO] exposure levels result in cancer.”

While different scientists might disagree about the relative health risk of the very low current exposure levels of [EtO] coming from sterilization plants, what is indisputable is that the loss of these plants is a medical disaster.

Already a sterilization plant was forced to temporarily close in the state of Illinois as the state EPA knee-jerked to the latest scare by imposing standards that could not be met without $10 million of upgrades to the facility.

This precedent has the president and CEO of the ECRI Institute Dr. Marcus Schabacker worried, “If there’s an ubiquitous ban on ethylene oxide today, we’re going to have a health crisis on our hands, because in very short time and order, sterile products won’t be available, and we don’t have an alternative to replace that today.”

And it should have each of us worried as experts like Gary Secola who is on the FDA’s General Hospital and Personal Use Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee assert that “There are avenues that might lead to replace ethylene oxide, but the standards aren’t there yet. If we’re going to get rid of [EtO] it’s going to take 10-20 years.”

President Trump has made it clear to agency heads that he expects them to be very cautious in issuing regulations, and the EPA itself is still considering instituting a wise policy to make all the science they rely upon to make regulatory determinations transparent so that others can subject it to the scientific method of re-testing to insure that the results and conclusions are valid.

With the on-going scientific contention that the science behind the EPA’s push to regulate this extremely important sterilization tool, it would behoove them to release all the records and methodology for any studies which support this conclusion.  The very idea of having a non-sterile ventilator or stent or heart valve put into a patient’s body because the EPA used junk science to come to a determination and then failed to adequately balance the damage done to human health by a ban against the risk of doing nothing is almost inconceivable in 2020, when Americans have been subjected to many or our worse health fears.

It is time for EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to slow his Agency’s roll.  After all, it would seem logical for them to follow one of the first rules of medicine when it comes to this important tool for sterilizing medical devices which is to do no harm. It would be wise for the EPA to assume this posture when it comes to further regulation ethylene oxide.


Shameless alarmists spread climate change cancer horror story

Over the years I’ve become almost inured to the crazy claims various climate alarmists have made. They have tried to link almost every bad thing that happens in the world to climate change, from psychiatric disorders to violent crime, from the end of winter sports to reduced milk production, from hair loss to the loss of one’s sex drive. And no, in case you are wondering, I’m not making these examples up: you can find the articles yourselves by typing the terms into your favorite search engine.

None of these claims, nor any of the myriad other loony links alarmists have tried to establish between human fossil fuel use and bad outcomes, have any basis in facts or hard data. Now, adding insult to injury, an article in the journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, irresponsibly hyped by CNBC, is falsely claiming “[c]limate change has triggered more frequent weather disasters like hurricanes and wildfires, … lower[ing] cancer survival rate[s] and threaten[ing] prevention.”

This article shows, once again, alarmists truly have no shame when it comes to scaremongering and preying on the most vulnerable to increase their political power and funding.

The cancer researchers claim climate change is causing more frequent and severe hurricane and wildfire seasons, resulting in people being unable to receive lifesaving care such as operations, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments during and in the aftermath of hurricanes and wildfires.

According to the paper, CNBC writes, “Extreme weather disasters also lower cancer survival rates. One study shows that cancer patients were 19 percent more likely to die when hurricane declarations were made during their therapy because of treatment interruptions compared with patients who had regular access to care.

“‘For patients with cancer, the effects of hurricanes on access to cancer care can mean the difference between life and death,’ the authors wrote,” CNBC reports.

Contrary to these scary claims, human-induced climate change cannot be causing increased mortality from cancer, because data show no evidence hurricanes or wildfires are becoming more severe or frequent.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) finds no evidence of any increase in the frequency or severity of hurricanes as Earth has modestly warmed, with the IPCC’s 2018 Interim Report stating there is “only low confidence for the attribution of any detectable changes in tropical cyclone activity to anthropogenic influences.”

As Climate at a Glance: Hurricanes points out, hurricane strikes on the United States are at an all-time low, with America recently experiencing more than a decade (2005 through 2017) without a major hurricane (Category 3 or higher) striking the United States—the longest such period in recorded history. The United States also recently experienced the fewest hurricane strikes in any eight-year period (2009 through 2017) in recorded history.

Nor are recent wildfire seasons more severe or affecting larger areas than the United States has historically experienced. Drought is the among the most important factors contributing to wildfires, and Climate at a Glance: Drought reports the United States is undergoing its longest period in recorded history without at least 40 percent of the country experiencing “very dry” conditions. Peak droughts in 1978, 1954, 1930, and 1900 were much larger than what the United States has experienced in the 21st century and in the late 20th century. Indeed, in 2017 and 2019, the United States registered its smallest percentage of land area in drought in recorded history.

The most recent data from the National Integrated Drought Information System shows only 0.39 percent of the country is experiencing extreme drought and 76 percent of the country is not experiencing drought or even below-average rainfall at present. In addition, the IPCC reports with “high confidence” precipitation over mid-latitude land areas of the Northern Hemisphere (including the United States) has increased during the past 70 years, and the IPCC has “low confidence” about any negative trends globally.

Since drought conditions are low, and drought is the single biggest factor behind wildfires, it should come as no surprise to learn, contra the cancer paper’s assertions, wildfires have neither become more frequent nor larger in recent years. In the few regions that have experienced particularly severe wildfires, such as California and Australia, the root cause is government policies preventing proper land management in areas prone to wildfires.

Although there is limited evidence human fossil fuel use is driving dangerous climate change, there is copious evidence widespread fossil fuel use has saved lives by making modern cancer treatments and natural disaster response and recovery possible.

Fossil fuels are the bedrock of modern medicine, which has reduced mortality from cancer and increased lifespans. Contemporary health care, including cancer treatments, depends on sterile plastics made from fossil fuels, such as IV drip bags and tubing, medical machinery, electronics casings, and syringes.

Hospitals, ambulances, operating rooms, emergency rooms, and clinics cannot function without coal, natural gas, and oil. Medical refrigeration units, CT scanning machines, MRIs, X-rays, laser scalpels, ventilators, incubators, and even lights require reliable electric power, which fossil fuels provide more affordably and dependably than alternative sources.

In fact, every hurricane or wildfire season demonstrates the criticality of fossil fuels to humankind’s responses to the vagaries of nature. No industry does more than the fossil fuel industry to help hurricane- and wildfire-stricken areas recover. Fossil fuels power the boats, helicopters, and other modes of transportation the Coast Guard, fire departments, military, and police use to evacuate people from flood and wildfire zones. Fossil fuels power the fire trucks used to fight wildfires, and the airplanes that deliver “smoke jumpers” and flame retardant to wildfire sites inaccessible to vehicles.

Fossil fuels also power the eighteen-wheelers that deliver water, food, blankets, and other relief supplies, the ambulances carrying those hurt during storms and wildfires or needing transport from medical facilities and nursing homes damaged or left without power by natural disasters. Fossil fuels also power the utility vehicles sent to get the power back on. The list goes on.

When power lines go down during hurricanes and wildfires, it is backup generators powered by diesel, natural gas, or liquid propane that deliver electricity to apartment residents, hospital patients, people in nursing homes, and others. Gasoline-powered chainsaws cut apart the fallen trees blocking the roads, and diesel-powered trucks haul it off. Utility companies use diesel-powered cranes to reattach wires and get the power back on.

The plastics in cell phones, computers, and equipment keeping people connected and informed are made in part from, and were manufactured using, oil and natural gas. The silica necessary for microchips at the core of these technologies was mined by diesel-powered mining equipment. Fossil fuels power the advanced warning systems that give people time to evacuate or take shelter as hurricanes or tornadoes approach, the weather planes that literally fly through cyclones, and the 24/7 communications systems that enable meteorologists to report on hurricane and wildfire movements.

Obviously, natural disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires make it more difficult for people with cancer to get proper treatment, as is true for people suffering from other terrible diseases and maladies. But there is no evidence climate change is making extreme weather more common, so there is no basis to claim climate change is decreasing cancer survival rates or preventing proper treatment. Statements to the contrary are alarmist horror fiction lacking any basis in fact.


Tragic energy triple whammy

America’s energy supply just received three devastating blows.

A federal district court shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline and ordered it drained of oil.

The Supreme Court excluded the Keystone XL Pipeline from an otherwise positive decision that a number of pipeline projects be “fast tracked.”

Dominion Energy won a major court victory for its Atlantic Pipeline, then decided to scrap it anyway, deciding the delays and costs imposed by left-wing obstruction were just too much.  Dominion’s stock promptly plunged 11.3%.

In recent years we have been favored by a long-awaited energy renaissance, with American energy independence and security achieved at last.  It is a tragedy of astounding proportions that tremendously well-financed efforts are continually underway nationwide to obstruct, delay, and in effect ruin America’s energy infrastructure.

Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette issued a hard-hitting a statement about the Dakota Access decision that could apply to all three: “It is disappointing that, once again, an energy infrastructure project that provides thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in economic revenue has been shut down by the well-funded environmental lobby, using our Nation’s court system to further their agenda. The Dakota Access Pipeline safely provides affordable and reliable American-produced crude oil across the Midwest, and has created approximately 10,000 jobs. In addition, the shutdown will eliminate millions of tax dollars paid by the pipeline each year that go towards schools, hospitals, and other community services in North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois.”

The far Left, of course, is jubilant.  Greenpeace climate director Janet Redmans said, “Three dangerous pipelines delayed within 24 hours should serve as a clear warning to any companies hoping to double down on dirty fossil fuel projects.  For more than a decade now, a powerful movement has been taking on reckless oil and gas pipelines and fighting to put Indigenous rights, a just economy, and our environment before oil company profits… It is past time to leave fossil fuels in the ground and begin a just transition to a Green New Deal and 100 percent renewable energy.”


There is a new nihilism that stalks our land.  Statues of civil rights leaders are being torn down, supposedly in the name of civil rights.  Cries ring out to defund the police in communities most desperate for law and order.  Clean, safe, efficient energy is blocked without regard to the hard fact that there is nothing available to replace it.  Activists trumpet inefficient, intermittent wind and solar, ignorant to the fact that they are unable to meet our energy needs.

Wind and solar don’t replace pipelines. Trucks, trains and tankers do — albeit poorly.

Americans need to dig deep, fight back and defeat the Greens — before they leave us all freezing in the dark.


Australia: Nothing to fear but climate fearmongers

The politics of fear is usually ascribed to the populist right, and disapprovingly so. Yet what is the contemporary global warming rhetoric and advocacy of the green left if not the politics of fear?

One of the green left’s secular saints, Al Gore, even opened his book The Assault on Reason by declaring: “Fear is the most powerful enemy of reason.” This, from a bloke who rose skywards in a cherry picker in An Inconvenient Truth to highlight predicted carbon dioxide increases, and then showed animations of Florida, San Francisco, The Netherlands, Shanghai, Bangladesh and Manhattan being swamped by oceans “if” Greenland and Antarctica “broke up and melted” before he talked about “a hundred million or more” refugees fleeing these rising oceans.

An assault on reason, indeed. Whether fear is the main driver, or ideology, or plain delusion, Gore was right to observe that rational debates are in short supply in the political arena.

Take the response of Greens leader Adam Bandt to the Eden-Monaro by-election. “The by-election did send a clear message to the government about acting on the climate crisis,” Bandt said this week on Sky News.

Given the Greens vote dropped by a third (from almost 9 per cent to less than 6 per cent) and Labor’s vote fell more than 3 per cent, while the Liberal vote climbed with the Coalition’s two-party-preferred share, you might think he meant that the result provided a ringing endorsement of current policies. But no; Bandt reckoned this result was a call for more climate action.

“Labor held on in part because of Greens preferences, and that should send also a very clear message to Labor now that they’ve won this seat off the back of people who want to see action on climate change,” he said. “As Labor starts to formulate its policies going to the next election it has to have action on climate front and centre.”

Oh dear. Even in the village of Cobargo, where a handful of locals excited the media and the left by being rude to the Prime Minister in the aftermath of the bushfires, the Liberal vote grew 6 per cent and the Greens vote fell by more than 3 per cent.

The Greens bushfire climate scare did not take hold even in Cobargo. So, this party of the environment does not seem to thrive outside of its natural habitat of treeless, congested, mains-powered, inner-city electorates.

In Eden-Monaro, ravaged by drought first, then fire, the climate fear campaign did not work. Catastrophist alarmism and pseudoscientific fear mongering was rejected by voters — once more — and yet the Greens will continue to push Labor further down this furtive and futile path.

Apart from being politically self-defeating for the Labor Party, and distracting and divisively ghoulish for the nation, the premeditated use of last summer’s bushfires to advance a climate policy agenda has been dumb and misleading. You cannot fool mainstream Australians who have grown up with the bushfire threat, seen bushfire disasters and understand the interaction of fuel loads, drought and the consequences of building houses close to bushland.

When smoke blanked our cities from last spring, university students and other agitators became putty in the hands of former fire chiefs and other climate activists who pre-positioned, at the far end of a drought, to ensure their case was amplified by any bushfires that happened along. It was a cynical sure bet, and I said so at the time.

None of this diminishes the trauma of the summer, the worst on record in NSW. It is simply and tragically true that the nation has seen worse, numerous times, and as I have documented through contemporaneous records, the timing and extent of the bushfires were not out of character with events recorded 70 years ago and more.

Protesters were clambering in Sydney in early December, long before the worst of the fires, demanding “climate justice” and a “green new deal”. Scott Morrison would have been better advised to holiday at home but the attacks on him for being in Hawaii, and the silly attempts to make bushfire management a prime ministerial issue, were driven by maniacal climate activism that was lapped up by extremists and the media but dismissed by most everyone else.

The Eden-Monaro test, along with the previous four federal elections, cements an inspiring resistance by mainstream voters to global warming hyperbole. The electorate has made it clear that it prefers sensible and cautious climate action over costly and risky gestures, but the progressive Left ignores the lessons.

This is a global phenomenon. Take the US presidential election this year, where the Democrats tasked policy committees to meld moderate Joe Biden policies with ideas that might hold sway with the radical leftists who were energised by Bernie Sanders.

This process threw up a climate policy paper this week and it opened with the usual appeal to primordial fear. “Climate change is a global emergency,” it said. “We have no time to waste in taking action to protect Americans’ lives.”

It went on to cite “record-breaking storms, devastating wildfires, and historic floods” as well as dams failing “catastrophically” and neighbourhoods “all but wiped off the map” while communities suffered “tens of billions of dollars” in losses and crops “drowned” — and all of this was supposed to have happened in the past four years under Donald Trump. “Thousands of Americans have died,” thundered the Democrat policy document. “And President Trump still callously and wilfully denies the science that explains why so many are suffering.”

This is junk politics and junk science. It is the blatant politics of fear that has Greta Thunberg and others, including Biden, talking about tipping points and the urgency of the moment.

In his latest climate video, the Democrat presidential candidate refers to the “climate disaster facing the nation and our world” as he goes on to talk about “more severe storms and droughts, rising sea levels and warming temperatures shrinking snow cover and ice sheets”. It is all accompanied by alarming pictures, graphics and music.

“It’s already happening,” says Biden, “and science tells us that how we act, or fail to act, in the next 12 years will determine the very liveability of our planet.” That is not a bad pitch, is it? Vote for me because if you vote for the other guy, life on earth is finished.

You could write a book about the prevalence of this toxic climate alarmism — and Michael Shellenberger just has — but let me provide at least one Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reference for context on climate change and natural disasters. It published a report on this topic in 2012.

“Increasing exposure of people and economic assets has been the major cause of long-term increases in economic losses from weather and climate-related disasters,” the IPCC found. “Long-term trends in economic disaster losses adjusted for wealth and population increases have not been attributed to climate change, but a role for climate change has not been excluded.”

In other words, there is nothing to see here. Yet.

So, while warming temperatures could increase the length of Australia’s fire season, in some parts of the country, and therefore increase the incidence of bad fire weather, this is a minor and uncertain factor in the bushfire debate. What is certain is that we have always faced catastrophic fire conditions and always will — and the things we can control are fuel loads and what we do to ensure housing and other built assets are separated or protected from fire risks.

We know social media, activists and Greens preference deals will keep pushing Labor towards more extreme and costly climate policies, ignoring both the electoral lessons of the past and the sensible voices in science and economics. For those who value Labor as a movement for mainstream families, and a party of government, that is a most frightening reality.



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Friday, July 10, 2020

Top Scientists Say Modern Climate Change Is ‘Natural Variability’

A commentary titled “‘Just don’t panic – also about climate change’” by Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt appearing at German site tells us there’s no need for panic with respect to climate change, as leading scientists dial back earlier doomsday projections.

No warming until 2050

Vahrenholt claims a negative Atlantic oscillation is ahead of us and the expected second weak solar cycle in succession will reduce anthropogenic warming in the next 15-30 years.

He cites a recent publication by Judith Curry, who sees a pause in the temperature rise until 2050 as the most likely scenario.

Vahrenholt and Curry are not alone when it comes to believing natural-variability-watered-down warming is in the works.

Also, IPCC heavyweight Jochem Marotzke from the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg takes a similar stand in a publication in the Environmental Research Letters.

In the paper, Marotzke concludes that all locations examined show “a cooling trend or lack of warming trend” and that there is “no warming due to natural cooling effects” and that in calculations up to 2049.

The researchers find “a large part of the earth will not warm up because of internal variability.”

Distancing from alarmists Schellnhuber, Rahmstorf

And recently The Max Planck Institute Director Marotzke said in an interview with Andreas Frey of the Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung (FAZ) that there was no need to panic, thus clearly splitting from the doomsday scenarios put out by his alarmist colleagues Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber and Stefan Rahmstorf.

In the FAZ interview, Marotzke also said there was no need to worry that the port city of Hamburg would be flooded in 2100: “Hamburg will not be threatened, that is totally clear.”

Areas not going to be wiped out

Marotzke then told the FAZ that the fears that children have today for the future are not absolutely well-founded, and that entire areas are not going to be wiped out, as often suggested by alarmists.

Sensational French models

When asked why the French issued a press release warning of worse than expected warming, Marotzke said:

“We thought, my God, what are you doing? Because it is very unlikely that the true climate is as sensitive as shown in the new models.”

When asked by the FAZ why the French had put out such dramatic numbers, Marotzke said: “I don’t know,” adding that the climate models are highly complex. “Too many calculation steps overlap, and sometimes we ourselves are amazed at what we do not understand.”

Speaking up against alarmist models

Vahrenholt summarizes the growing doubt by scientists such as Curry and Marotzke over the use of alarmist models:

One gets the impression someone is speaking out against the alarmist use of models. Perhaps Jochem Marotzke is aware that with the warming coming to an end in the next 30 years, model alarmists (Schellnhuber: “We only have 10 years left“) will have unpleasant questions to answer.

When society realizes that the climate modelers have exaggerated in order to make a political difference, we will know who misled the politicians.”


California Regulators Approve Diesel Power Plan to Avert Wildfire Blackouts

California regulators approved a plan for Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) to spend up to $170 million on diesel-powered generators to keep electricity flowing during anticipated preemptive blackouts in the 2020 wildfire season.

The plan, approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on June 11, allows PG&E to use about 450 megawatts of diesel-powered electricity to power homes, businesses, medical facilities, and other essential places in the event of a wildfire.

CPUC determined PG&E’s use of diesel generators for backup power was the option most likely to avoid a repeat of the electric power blackouts used by PG&E in 2018 and 2019 to reduce the threat of wildfires.

Fossil Fuel Power Needed

PG&E plans to install generators at 63 locations in fire-prone counties, to be activated during dangerous wildfire weather when transformers are turned off to prevent them from sparking wildfires. The power company also plans to install temporary electric microgrids, which operate independently of the main power grid, to provide electricity to streetlights, hospitals, police stations, and stores.

“Our specific objective with the development of temporary microgrids is to provide electricity to resources such as medical facilities and pharmacies, police and fire stations, gas stations, banks, markets, and other shared community services when weather conditions make it unsafe to operate the grid,” Debbie Powell, vice president of PG&E’s Asset & Risk Management, Community Wildfire Safety Program said in a statement.

Clean-Energy Opposition

Dozens of residents and members of environmental groups argued against PG&E’s proposals in a virtual hearing held by CPUC. Opponents said the plan would undermine California’s goal of ending the use of fossil fuels by 2045 and the use of the diesel generators would produce unwanted noise and air pollution in local communities.

“We should not be using the same technologies which got us into this mess and causing these wildfires,” Harlow Pittinger of Sunrise Movement told Courthouse News.

PG&E said it considered non-fossil fuel power generation options but concluded they would be impractical to implement in time to provide power during this year’s wildfire season. CPUC agreed with PG&E’s assessment.

To reduce emissions, the company said its mobile generators can use some amount of vegetable oil-based fuel. PG&E is working with communities to develop microgrids powered by renewable power sources located in the areas where power is needed on an emergency basis in future years to replace the fossil fuel dependent microgrids being brought online this year.

CPUC approved PG&E’s plan for 2020, determining the choice was between Californians suffering through potential preventable blackouts during this fire season, as they have in recent years when power was shut down and no backup was available, or the use of fossil fuel powered generators.

CPUC directed PG&E to find cleaner alternatives to use after 2020.


Obama Judges Undermine Pipelines: A ‘Sneak Peek Of The Biden Energy Plan’

The nation may be awash in oil and natural gas, but U.S. pipelines are running on fumes after three high-profile conduits ran aground in 24 hours, the victims of Obama-appointed judges and regulatory uncertainty under the possibility of a climate-woke Biden presidency.

In this week’s triple whammy, a federal judge ordered the 3-year-old Dakota Access Pipeline to empty pending an environmental review. The Keystone XL pipeline, still under construction, was further delayed after the Supreme Court upheld a lower-court order blocking a permit.

Despite winning a Supreme Court case last month, Dominion Energy and Duke Energy stunned the industry by abandoning after six years the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, citing the “increasing legal uncertainty that overhangs large-scale energy and industrial infrastructure development in the United States.”

Environmental activists gushed over the historic three-fer, raising the possibility that the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines could be erased next year by a Biden administration, while Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette blasted the “well-funded obstructionist environmental lobby” for killing the Atlantic Coast project.

The decisions were “more reminders that activist judges and special interest litigants are determining the fate of our national and energy security,” Mr. Brouillette said. “These developments should be deeply concerning for every American at every socio-economic level.”

The rulings show that the U.S. pipeline infrastructure has become the soft target for environmental groups seeking to bring down the fossil fuel industry and replace it with renewable energy in the name of fighting climate change.

“To avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis, our companies must transition away from the use of fossil fuels,” said Lila Holzman, energy program manager of As You Sow. “Building more gas infrastructure now without a clear justification is a recipe for stranded assets.”

The Sierra Club hailed the cancellation of the $8 billion Atlantic Coast project as a “monumental, historic victory and will have far-reaching implications,” a “watershed moment in the fight for climate action” and “another indicator of the end of fossil fuels.”

Rep. Dan Crenshaw, Texas Republican, called that view ironic, given that the nation leads the world in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which fell by 12% from 2005 to 2017 thanks largely to the increased use of natural gas instead of coal in electricity generation.

“FACT: Natural gas is responsible for majority of emissions reduction over the last 15 years,” tweeted Mr. Crenshaw. “When leftist radicals stop a natural gas pipeline — the safest way to transport natural gas — you have to wonder if they really care about the environment.”

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, the presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, has vowed that if he wins, he will pull the plug on the Keystone XL pipeline’s U.S. leg, which would run shale oil from Canada to Nebraska.

Bill McKibben, the founder of the climate change group, tweeted that “if Biden wins it’s all over” for the Keystone XL.

“Any investor thinking of putting cash into fossil fuel infrastructure projects should be warned they’re tossing their money away,” Mr. McKibben tweeted.

Heartland Institute President James Taylor said Tuesday that “America just got a sneak peek of the Joe Biden energy plan: ‘Better Green than Employed.’”

“Back in December, Biden said he would be willing to sacrifice oil and gas jobs for his green economy,” Mr. Taylor said. “Now, cancellation of the Atlantic Coast pipeline plan cancels 17,000 jobs and $2.7 billion in economic activity at a time when the American economy and American workers desperately need some good news.”

Stephen Moore, founder of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, called the pipeline cancellation “more evidence that if Biden wins in November our domestic energy industry will be in rubbles and Saudi Arabia and Russia will be the big winners.”

The Keystone XL was hamstrung in April when U.S. District Court Chief Judge Brian Morris, an Obama appointee, canceled the so-called Nationwide Permit 12 allowing work across waterways.

The Supreme Court on Monday allowed other pipeline projects to proceed while environmental reviews are conducted, but not Keystone XL.

TC Energy in Alberta, Canada, said the company remains committed to the Keystone XL, but will “continue to evaluate our 2020 U.S. scope. In Canada, our work in 2020 remains unchanged.”

Environmentalists said the Dakota Access ruling, which was handed down by U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg, an Obama appointee, ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to prepare an environmental impact statement, which could take years.

“The shutdown will remain in place pending completion of a full environmental review, which normally takes several years, and the issuance of new permits,” said Earthjustice, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes. “It may be up to a new administration to make final permitting decisions.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Brouillette described the decision as a loss for the economies of North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois.

The 1,172-mile pipeline, which went online in June 2017, carries oil from North Dakota’s Bakken field to oil terminals in Illinois but was challenged by the tribes over fears about environmental damage. The pipeline runs a half-mile from the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota.


New Study Shows Oceans At Their Deepest In 250 Million Years

Sea-level rise would be a complicated topic even if it were not politicized. People often talk as though the seabed were like a bathtub, rigid and immobile, into which water either pours or does not.

But it’s not; it rises and falls in complex local patterns, it erodes and accumulates, it shifts about. And it seems to be drifting downward if you get our drift.

This is continental because a new study says thanks to landmasses moving away from one another the seas are about 250 meters deeper than they were in the heyday of the dinosaurs and the seabeds are older than they’ve ever been.

The effect on ocean currents, heat absorption, and climate is… unclear.

It’s strange to realize that, deep as the seas are, they’re not very deep, in the sense that you wouldn’t think a 2.3-mile car ride very far.

You may have heard that if the Earth were the size of a billiard ball it would be smoother, a very cool factoid lacking just one key quality: accuracy.

Actually the Earth’s surface is rough, like sandpaper. But there is an important truth hidden in that urban legend: The mighty mountains and ocean depths that stir our souls are as grains of sand to the Earth.

If our planet were the size of a billiard ball (namely 5.715 cm give or take .127 mm), Mt. Everest would be 0.04 millimeters high, which would certainly simplify one item on the old bucket list.

And the awesome Marianas Trench would be barely bigger, at 0.45 mm. (Don’t ask how big you’d be unless you fancy a session in the Total Perspective Vortex.)

So yes, even the Marianas Trench is nothing to the planet, despite the intricate way life depends not just on oceans but ocean tides.

As to the importance of ocean depth to the biosphere, well, it’s hard to tell, isn’t it?

Back when Allosaurus roamed the Earth, there were very high levels of CO2 and it was warmer (which are not causally related) and despite Al Gore’s blather about a “nature hike through the Book of Revelation” life was doing pretty well… except for the stuff that blundered into the path of Allosaurus.

But how much of the warmth, and biological abundance, is related to the oceans being relatively shallower around the slowly separating Laurasia and Gondwana? Did it contribute to the Jurassic being lusher than the Triassic? And if so how? It’s very complicated.

It’s even hard to know what exactly we’re trying to measure when it comes to “sea-level rise” given that some places, including study author Krister Karlsen’s native Norway, have risen hundreds of meters since the ice last retreated and are still rising a few millimeters a year in a rebound from the glaciers’ crushing mass.

But we have bigger fish to fry here, possibly caught at greater depths.

Are deeper oceans bad for life? Are the currents different? How does this depth, and capacity to store more water, affect other processes including climate?

Notwithstanding the science being settled, no one knows.

But over the last 2.5 million years the planet has seen some very harsh conditions for life, with prolonged glaciations and desertification proving that cold is bad and warmth is good. Does it also prove deep oceans are bad for life?

If so, there’s hope on the horizon. Regrettably, it’s the geological horizon. According to this study, continental drift has moved the various bits of land that resulted when Pangaea broke up as far apart as they can get, and the farther apart they are the older and deeper the seabed gets.

Now they should start moving back together again to form a new supercontinent for which the boring name Pangaea Proxima has been proposed. Before Pangaea, there was Rodinia c. a billion years ago and “earlier yet, the supercontinent Nuna might have existed more than 1.5 billion years ago.”

Those names sure beat calling them Pangaea I, II and III or Pangaea Praevia or some dumb thing. But focus on the “might have” there. Don’t we know?

Well, it turns out we don’t. In fact, the article says, “whether this cycle is related to a sea-level supercycle remains uncertain. ‘It’s hard to say anything about the regularity of such a possible cycle,’ says Karlsen.”

With all this uncertainty, it’s important to hang on to the key point: Sea levels are rising because of bad people doing bad things and it will be bad for the good things.

For instance, we noted last week that after years of warnings that the oceans cannot absorb the man-made CO2 that therefore hangs around in the air cooking the planet and it’s a catastrophe, we were suddenly told the oceans were absorbing too much man-made CO2 and it’s a catastrophe.

But this week we’re again told they can’t absorb enough of it, at least in the western Arctic Ocean and, you’ll never guess, it’s a catastrophe.

That’s always the punchline, which at least saves you the trouble of listening carefully to the joke.

Thus, “thresholds of mangrove survival under rapid sea-level rise” warns us that mangroves cannot cope with the supposed recent doubling in sea-level rise although “The response of mangroves to high rates of relative sea-level rise (RSLR) is poorly understood.”

In fact, NASA is boasting that this November, it will launch the best “state-of-the-art” satellite ever to “collect the most accurate data yet on sea level—a key indicator of how Earth’s warming climate is affecting the oceans, weather, and coastlines.”

Not “whether”, you’ll notice. They already made the finding. Now they just need to corral suitable data.

They’re quite up-front about it. NASA boasts that: “These measurements are important because the oceans and atmosphere are tightly connected. ‘We’re changing our climate, and the clearest signal of that is the rising oceans,’ said Josh Willis, the mission’s project scientist at JPL. ‘More than 90% of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases is going into the ocean.’ That heat causes seawater to expand, accounting for about one-third of the global average of modern-day sea-level rise. Meltwater from glaciers and ice sheets account for the rest. ‘For climate science, what we need to know is not just sea level today, but sea level compared to 20 years ago. We need long records to do climate science,’ said Willis.”

Um if you don’t even know how sea level today compares to 20 years ago, let alone 2,000 or 2 million or 200 million, how do you already know that the clearest signal that “we” are changing our climate is rising oceans, and that about a third is expanding seawater and two-thirds is meltwater? Verdict first, huh?



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


Thursday, July 09, 2020

Objective Facts Falsify Laughable New Jersey Climate Report

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) unveiled an alarming climate report last week that is so outrageous that climate realists should print copies and use it to win over alarmists. The media, nevertheless, are trumpeting without scrutiny the report’s “findings,” and even adding to the alarm. But don’t panic, New Jersey will be just fine. Let’s debunk some of the report’s claims.

Among the top Google News search results today for “climate change” is an article by The Press of Atlantic City. The article, titled “State climate change report offers sobering predictions for South Jersey,” provides a useful summary of the DEP report’s claims. According to the opening paragraph of the Press article, “Imagine flooding in Atlantic City almost every day of the year, blueberries and cranberries no longer grown in the state, and birds like the American goldfinch, the state bird, at risk because of changes in the climate.”

Let’s start with blueberries. The DEP report, which was required under an executive order signed by New Jersey’s Democratic governor, and the report’s fawning, uncritical media coverage claim that New Jersey will soon become too hot to grow blueberries. Nevertheless, three of the top 10 states for blueberry production are Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi. Indeed, Florida hosts a large number of blueberry festivals every year during April, May, and June to celebrate the local blueberry harvest. Yet, the alarmist DEP report and the fawning media coverage claim New Jersey will soon become hotter than present-day Tampa, Florida, which hosts many of the local blueberry festivals.

To show how preposterous the blueberry claim is, Atlantic City, New Jersey has an average high temperature of 64 degrees, and an average low of 45 degrees. Tampa, Florida, where blueberries grow quite well, is 19 degrees hotter, with an average high temperature of 82 degrees and an average low of 65 degrees. The claim that New Jersey will soon become so hot that blueberries “will no longer be grown in the state” is clearly a preposterous lie.

Let’s move on to New Jersey’s state bird, the American goldfinch. As shown here, the American goldfinch lives year-round as far south as Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Louisiana. It is also a common winter resident in Florida. Yet, New Jersey bureaucrats and their media sock-puppets claim it will soon become too hot in New Jersey for the goldfinch. Even the most alarmist of alarmists do not claim New Jersey will become hotter than Louisiana and Florida. The claim that global warming will soon drive goldfinches from New Jersey is also clearly a preposterous lie.

Finally, let’s examine sea level and Atlantic City flooding. Atlantic City sits at an elevation of 7 feet. During the past 100-plus years, sea level at Atlantic City has been rising at a steady pace of approximately 4.12 millimeters per year, or 1.6 inches per decade. There has been no recent increase in the pace of sea level rise. Atlantic City has dealt with the slow, steady sea-level rise quite well utilizing 20th century technologies. Sand dunes and sea walls protect Atlantic City and cities all over the world from sea level rise and floods. Despite this, New Jersey bureaucrats claim that, even with the advantages of 21st century technologies, a city that sits at 7 feet above sea level will see flooding “almost every day of the year” if it experiences just a few more inches of sea level rise? That is simply ridiculous.

So, the media tee up three key “findings” in the New Jersey DEP climate report, while objective science shoes each finding is an alarmist lie.

Time to cancel the New Jersey climate crisis.


Chancellor set to announce £3bn green investment package

Rishi Sunak is to announce a £3bn package of green investment to decarbonise public buildings and cut emissions from Britain’s poorly insulated homes as part of the government’s Covid-19 economic recovery plan.

The chancellor will seek to use Wednesday’s summer statement on the economy to fend off criticism that his proposals lack ambition by insisting that he can “kick start” an environment-friendly revival through the creation of thousands of green jobs in the construction industry.

Sunak will say that the extra money for decarbonising houses, schools, hospitals, prisons and military bases will help the UK meet its target of being a carbon net zero economy by 2050, and is likely to say that further green spending will be announced later in the year.

Opposition parties and environmental groups said, however, that the green investment pledge was inadequate to meet the challenge posed by global heating.

Rosie Rogers, Greenpeace UK’s head of green recovery, said: “Surely this is just a down payment? The German government’s pumping a whopping £36bn into climate change-cutting, economy-boosting measures and France is throwing £13.5bn at tackling the climate emergency. £3bn isn’t playing in the same league.”

The Treasury said the summer statement was about “securing the recovery” and would be followed by two bigger events – a spending round and a budget – in the autumn. Sunak’s plan was on top of the £5bn of infrastructure spending announced by Boris Johnson last week.

Of the £3bn, the chancellor will earmark £1bn to improve the insulation and energy efficiency of public buildings, and to invest in green heating technology.

Sunak will also announce £50m to pilot new approaches to retrofitting social housing at scale to make them greener, through measures like heat pumps, insulation and double glazing, which the Treasury said would support landlords to improve the least energy efficient social rented homes in England.

Warmer homes for social tenants could lower annual energy bills by £200 a year for some of the poorest households, the government estimates. The UK’s homes are the draughtiest in Europe, accounting for about a fifth of the UK’s carbon emissions, but sporadic attempts at insulation programmes by governments over the last two decades have failed to make much progress.

With the focus of the spending statement on jobs, it is thought most of the remaining £2bn will be spent on creating “green” employment opportunities for construction workers. The Conservative manifesto at the 2019 election promised to invest £9.2bn on improving energy efficiency in homes, schools and hospitals, saying that this, if done at sufficient speed, would create around 100,000 jobs.

“The government remains committed to decarbonising buildings to keep us on track to reach net zero emissions by 2050,” a treasury spokesperson said. “The funding expected to be announced this week represents a significant and accelerated down payment on decarbonising buildings, to help stimulate the economic recovery and create green jobs. Allocations for future funding will be determined in due course.”

Rogers added: “Of course this money is better than nothing, but it doesn’t measure up to the economic and environmental crises. It’s not enough to create the hundreds of thousands of new green jobs that are needed. It’s not enough to insulate all of the homes and buildings that need to be kept warm and more energy efficient. It’s not enough to ‘build back greener’, and it’s certainly not enough to put us on track to tackle the catastrophic impacts of the climate emergency.”

Rain Newton-Smith, chief economist at business group the CBI, said: “Investment in green jobs and technology must be at the centre of our efforts to revive the economy.

“This £3bn package of measures will undoubtably fast-forward progress towards net-zero. With the government’s own manifesto promising £9.2bn on energy efficiency alone, we look forward to seeing the full details on delivery of its ambition to build back greener.


Reporting Renewable Energy Risks

Joe Biden has drifted far to the left and made it clear that, if elected president, he would restrict or ban fracking, pipelines, federal onshore and offshore drilling, and use of oil, coal and even natural gas. He’s selected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as his climate and energy advisor and is expected to choose an equally “progressive” woman of color as his running mate (and president-in-reality).

He may also employ federal financial regulations to slow or strangle fossil fuel companies’ access to low-cost capital, further preventing them from producing oil, gas and coal. His official climate plan promises to require “public companies to disclose climate risks and the greenhouse gas emissions in their operations and supply chains.” By compelling them to present a litany of climate and weather risks supposedly caused or worsened by fossil fuel emissions, the rules could sharply reduce lender and investor interest in those fuels and hasten the transition to wind, solar, battery and biofuel technologies.

Those risks exist primarily in highly unlikely worst-case scenarios generated by computer models that reflect claims that manmade carbon dioxide has replaced the sun and other powerful natural forces that have always driven Earth’s climate (including multiple ice ages) and extreme weather. Actual data are often“homogenized” or otherwise manipulated to make the models appear more accurate than they are.

Models consistently predict average global temperatures0.5 degrees C (0.9 F) higher than measured. The12-year absence of Category 3-5US-landfalling hurricanes is consistently ignored, as are the absence of any increase in tropical cyclones, the unprecedented absence of any violent tornadoes in 2018 – and the fact that violent twisters were far fewer during the last 35 years than during the 35 years before that.

However, pressure group mob politics and the refusal of climate alarmists to discuss model failures and contradictory scientific evidence would likely make these realities irrelevant in a Biden administration. That would have devastating consequences for a US economy struggling to recover from Covid-19 and compete in a world where Asian, African and other countries are not going to stop using fossil fuels to improve living standards, while they mine the raw materials and manufacture the wind turbines, solar panels, batteries and biofuel equipment the USA would have to import under a Green New Deal (since no mining and virtually no manufacturing would be permitted or possible under Biden era regulations).

Replacing coal, gas and nuclear electricity, internal combustion vehicles, gas for home heating, and coal and gas for factories – and using batteries as backup power for seven windless, sunless days – would require some 8.5 billion megawatts. Generating that much electricity would require some 75 billion solar panels ... or 4.2 million 1.8-MW onshore wind turbines ... or 320,00010-MW offshore wind turbines...or a combination of those technologies – plus some3.5 billion100-kWh batteries ... hundreds of new transmission lines ... and mining and manufacturing on scales far beyond anything the world has ever seen.

That is not clean, green, renewable energy. It is ecologically destructive and completely unsustainable – financially, ecologically and politically. That means any company, community, bank, investor or pension fund venturing into “renewable energy” technologies would be taking enormous risks.

Once citizens, voters and investors begin to grasp (a) the quicksand foundations under alarmist climate models and forecasts; (b) the fact that African, Asian and even some European countries will only increase their fossil fuel use for decades to come; (c) the hundreds of millions of acres of US scenic and wildlife habitat lands that would be covered by turbines, panels, batteries, biofuel crops, power lines and forests clear cut to supply biofuel power plants; and (d) the bird, bat and other animal species that would disappear under this onslaught – they will rebel. Renewable energy markets will be pummeled repeatedly.

Public backlash will intensify from growing outrage over child labor, near-slave labor, and minimal to nonexistent worker health and safety, pollution control and environmental reclamation regulations in foreign countries where materials are mined and “renewable” energy technologies manufactured. As the shift to GND energy systems brings increasing reliance on Chinese mining and manufacturing, sends electricity rates skyrocketing, kills millions of American jobs and causes US living standards to plummet, any remaining support for wind, solar and other “renewable” technologies will plummet or evaporate.

Pension funds and publicly owned companies should therefore be compelled to disclose the risks to their operations, supply chains, “renewable energy portfolio” mandates, subsidies, feed-in tariffs, profits, employees, valuation and very existence from embarking on or investing in renewable energy technologies or facilities. They should be compelled to fully analyze and report on every aspect of these risks.

The White House, Treasury Department, Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Reserve, Committee on Financial Stability, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and other relevant agencies should immediately require that publicly owned companies, corporate retirement plans and public pension funds evaluate and disclose at least the following fundamental aspects of “renewable” operations:

* How many wind turbines, solar panels, batteries, biofuel plants and miles of transmission lines will be required under various GND plans? Where? Whose scenic and wildlife areas will be impacted?

* How will rural and coastal communities react to being made energy colonies for major cities?

* How much concrete, steel, aluminum, copper, cobalt, lithium, rare earth elements and other materials will be needed for every project – and cumulatively? Where exactly will they come from?

* How many tons of overburden and ore will be removed and processed for every ton of metals and minerals? How many injuries and deaths will occur in the mines, processing plants and factories?

* What per-project and cumulative fossil fuel use, CO2 and pollution emissions, land use impacts, water demands, family and community dislocations, and other impacts will result? Where will they occur?

* What wages will be paid? How much child labor will be involved? What labor, workplace safety, pollution control and other laws, regulations, standards and practices will apply in each country?

* What human cancer and other disease incidents and deaths are likely? How many wildlife habitats will be destroyed? How many birds, bats and other wildlife displaced, killed or driven to extinction?

* For ethanol and biodiesel, how much acreage, water, fertilizer, pesticides and fossil fuels will be required? For power plant biofuel, how many forests will be cut, and how long they will take to regrow?

* What “responsible sourcing” laws apply for these materials, to ensure that all materials are obtained in compliance with US wage, child labor and environmental laws – and how much will they raise costs?

* How will home, business, hospital, defense, factory, grid and other systems be protected against hacking and power disruptions caused by agents of overseas wind, solar, battery and grid manufacturers?

* What costs and materials will be required to convert existing home and commercial heating systems to all-electricity, upgrade electrical grids and systems for rapid electric vehicle charging, and address the intermittent, unpredictable, weather-dependent realities of Green New Deal energy sources?

* What price increases per kWh per annum will families, businesses, offices, farms, factories, hospitals, schools and other consumers face, as state and national electrical systems are converted to GND sources?

* How often and severely will industrial wind and solar installations (and household solar panels linked to the grid) cause uncontrolled surges and power interruptions? With what economic and health impacts?

* How many power interruptions will occur every year, how will they hurt families, factories and other users – and what will be the cumulative economic and productivity damage from those power outages?

* To what extent will policies, laws, regulations, court decisions, and citizen opposition, protests, legal actions and sabotage delay or block wind, solar, biofuel, battery, mining and transmission projects?

* How many solar panels, wind turbine blades, batteries and other components (numbers, tons and cubic feet) will have to be disposed of every year? How much landfill space and incineration will be required?

These issues illustrate the high risks associated with Green New Deal energy programs. They underscore why it is essential for lenders, investment companies, pension funds, manufacturers, utility companies and other industries to analyze, disclose and report renewable energy risks – and why significant penalties should be assessed for failing to do so or falsifying any pertinent information.


Spotting the Spotted Owl

When the U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of the dusky gopher frog in 2018, it attracted press coverage around the world, because of two details that fascinated observers everywhere. One was the frog itself, a cute little thing smaller than the palm of your hand. Second, the court’s ruling – in an era noted for divisive party-line splits – was unanimous.

The dusky gopher frog was listed as endangered in 2001, and is found only at one pond in Mississippi. But the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) had designated 1,544 acres of private land in Louisiana as “critical habitat,” even though no dusky gopher frog had lived anywhere in Louisiana for at least 50 years. Previously, federal courts generally “deferred” to the agency’s judgment on what constitutes “critical habitat,” but the unanimous court said this time the agency went too far. They issued an unusual opinion, essentially a grammar lesson, explaining that “critical” is the adjective and “habitat” is the noun. Land cannot be “critical habitat” if it is not “habitat” at all.

The Court’s unanimous “scolding” of the USFWS was the subject of many editorials and columns, but only a few of us actually speculated, at the time, about the ripple effects it might have on other cases. In fact, USFWS has designated “critical habitat” on over 200 million acres of land across the country for various species – an area larger than Texas – very often in areas where the protected species does not actually live.

Some might remember the government declaring critical habitat in the heart of San Francisco for an endangered shrub called the Franciscan manzanita. Previously thought extinct, one plant was discovered in 2009, and before most people knew what was happening, almost 300 acres had been designated, including some federal land and some local parks, but also a number of private back yards. The shrub didn’t actually exist in any of those areas, and several lawsuits are still pending.

Lynx habitat was designated on 11,584 square miles across a six-state region, virtually none of which was actually occupied by lynx. In Mesa and Garfield Counties, 54,000 acres were designated critical habitat for plants like the Parachute beardtongue (including two areas where no such plants live). Obviously, the Supreme Court has opened the door for re-evaluation of such habitat designations, and made clear that agency “deference” will not be automatic.

Sure enough, that re-evaluation is beginning now, and starting with one of the most high-profile and consequential endangered species of all – the spotted owl. Since the 1990s the northern spotted owl has been the major excuse for drastic reductions in timber harvesting throughout the Pacific Northwest. The USFWS increased the protected “critical habitat” by almost 40 percent in 2012, and that designation now includes 9.6 million acres across Washington, Oregon and Northern California – including vast swaths of timberlands where no spotted owls have ever been spotted. National Forest plans were then adopted, setting aside 20 million acres reserved from any timber activities.

A coalition of businesses, local governments, and labor unions sued the government in 2012, because the critical habitat included 1.1 million acres of federal lands specifically designated for active forest management (which was stopped because of the spotted owl), and because it failed to consider the economic impact of shutting down the forest products industry there. The law requires the government to take “into consideration the economic impact, the impact on national security, and any other relevant impact, of specifying any particular area as critical habitat.” USFWS had not done so there, and has not done so in dozens of other cases.

The spotted owl case has languished in courts ever since. But this spring, because of the Supreme Court’s ruling in the dusky gopher frog case, USFWS agreed to officially re-evaluate its habitat designation, which will inevitably lead to other re-evaluations. In this case, a new rulemaking process will include the usual opportunities for public comment.

It is unfortunate that lawsuits are so often needed to call attention to the obvious. Common sense dictates that many of these habitat designations ought to be re-examined. When Supreme Court justices as different as Clarence Thomas and Ruth Bader Ginsburg easily agree on such a serious and far-reaching legal issue, it is clear that something went terribly wrong. The effort to stop legitimate business activity, by declaring land as habitat for a species that does not live there, went too far.

My guess is that many existing critical habitat designations will be re-evaluated, and scaled back, in the next few years. And in the future, before walling off the forest for spotted owls, someone ought to ask, “Has anyone actually spotted one?”



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


Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Can COVID-19 be treated with low-dose radiation?

Climate skeptics are well aware of radiation hormesis

A new paper published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation asserts that low-level nuclear radiation might be much less dangerous than previously thought. At the same time, other researchers are renewing interest in applying low-dose radiation therapy – studied as early as 1905 as a tool to fight pneumonia – in the ongoing fight to contain and control deadly and disruptive outbreaks of the virus known as COVID 19. Yet, still other research recommits many in the medical field to fighting ANY use of radiation therapy as too dangerous to risk.

According to authors Dr. Edward Calabrese and Dr. Mikko Paunio, recent reviews of seminal research conducted following the end of World War II have uncovered serious flaws in the “linear no-threshold” assumption that all nuclear radiation is dangerous no matter low the level of exposure.

Dr. Calabrese, a UMass – Amherst professor of toxicology, has for two decades focused his research on understanding the nature of the radiation dose response in the low-dose zone. His observations are leading to a major transformation in improving drug discovery and development and in the efficiency of the clinical trial, as well as the scientific foundations for risk assessment and environmental regulation for radiation and chemicals.

In a 2013 paper, Dr. Calabrese partnered with Dr. Guaray Dhawan to review the historical use of radiotherapy for fighting pneumonia and determine if low-dose radiation might still be a valuable pneumonia killer. They found a 1905 study by noted University of Pennsylvania professor John Herr Muller and D. L. Edsall of five pneumonia patients who benefited from X-ray treatments.

A decade later A. W. and W. A. Quimby successfully treated 12 cases of unresolved pneumonia, stating that “no pathological process in the body responds quicker to an X-ray exposure than the non-resolved following pneumonia.”

In 1924 German researchers Heidenhain and Fried reported that they had used X-rays to treat 243 cases of acute and subacute pyrogenic infections. The X-ray treatments blocked or reduced all types of inflammation, regardless of location in the body and whatever the cause. Fried reported that patients with high fever, severe dyspnea, and cyanosis typically reported improved breathing with six hours of being irradiated.

American researcher Eugene Powell championed X-ray therapy for treating pneumonia at the Medical Association meeting in Houston, Texas, in May 1936. Later, Powell blew off a double-blind trial because his patients who were receiving the X-ray treatment were relieved of respiratory and circulatory distress in less than 3 hours.

Until now, the latest use of radiotherapy to treat pneumonia came in 1943, when A. Oppenheimer reported using X-ray treatment to control coughing in recovering pneumonia patients. He later extended the application to patients suffering through acute pneumonia.

X-ray treatments proved effective against a broad range of pneumococcal pneumonia strains/types, offering a distinct advantage over the use of serum therapy. But with the arrival a few years later of sulfonamides, and later penicillin, X-ray therapy never became a component of systemwide public health measures to treat pneumonia.

Upon reading these positive reports, Dr. Calabrese weighed the lack of any new research on using radiotherapy to help pneumonia patients since 1946 against the findings of highly protective effects on about 850 patients along with rapid resolution of the disease. X-ray treatments had prevented considerable human suffering, reduced health care costs and the burden on families, and accelerated a return to normal living, whether work, school, or other activities.

Yet the question remained as to how to reactivate a well-established, yet 65-year-old hypothesis, with contemporary research questions, methods, and technologies that still may hold public health potential. Calabrese and Dhawan proposed a focused clinical research program to assess the use of X-ray therapy for pneumonia as an adjunct treatment for high-risk patients. Seven years later, X-ray therapy has found a new target – the high-risk patients infected with COVID 19, of which up to 20 percent develop pneumonia and are at risk of death.

Standing in the way of this research, should believers in the precautionary principle take control of the science, is the belief, expressed in a new report by Richard Bramhall and Pete Wilkinson, which was produced by the Low-Level Radiation Campaign for Children With Cancer UK. The authors assert that even tiny doses of radiation can have devastating effects on the human body, particularly by causing cancer and birth defects. This, they believe, makes a strong case for a basic rethink on so-called “safe” radiation doses.

But Calabrese states the claims that any dose of radiation is dangerous are now known to be based on scientific studies that were deceptive, flawed, or even fraudulent. Dr. Paunio, former chair of the Finnish Radiological Protection Board, explained that support for the linear no-threshold assumption was bolstered by began with a study that followed the life histories of the Hibakusha – survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs.

According to Dr. Paunio, another team of Japanese researchers recently found major flaws in the older research. As he explained, “Their error was extraordinary. They failed to account for the effects of secondary radiation exposures and fallout. This means that the rather low numbers of cancers observed in the Hibakusha were actually caused by quite high exposures to radiation.

Calabrese and Paunio should be thrilled at the Number of major clinical trials already under way to determine the value of low-dose radiation in fighting the COVID 19 pandemic. Radiation’s track record with pneumonia may prove helpful to the 15 to 20 percent of those infected with COVID 19 who otherwise develop severe inflammatory effects that can lead to pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and death.

Just a few weeks ago, James Conca, writing in Forbes, confirmed the Calabrese-Paunio research, noting the early 20th Century success using low doses of radiation to treat the deadly inflammation of pneumonia, particularly viral pneumonia like that caused by COVID-19, and agreeing that radiation may have a role in mitigating today’s pandemic. Conca reported that several medical institutions are set to start radiation therapies for COVID-19.

Dr. James Welsh at Loyola University Medical Center, is moving to begin a national trial within the next few months on this treatment using low-dose radiation to the lungs. Trials are already underway at  at Emory University and in Italy and Spain. At least five other trials are recruiting patients, and the U.S. FDA has been urged to conduct a low-dose radiation trial at the Hines VA Medical Center in Chicago.

Just remember, as Calabrese and Dhawan said in 2013, radiotherapy had been broadly accepted by the radiological community starting in the second decade of the 20th century, with notable successes in the treatment of a wide range of inflammatory and infectious diseases such as gas gangrene, carbuncles, sinusitis, arthritis, and inner ear infections.


Sen. Cruz Among 141 Political Leaders Pledging To Keep US A Dominant Natural Gas Producer

Sen. Ted Cruz is among 141 political leaders in a pledge to keep the United States’s energy industry dominant amid the coronavirus pandemic and the consequential economic downturn.

The Texas Republican, as well as seven additional senators, three governors and 15 attorneys general are among those who signed The Empowerment Alliance’s Declaration of Energy Independence, promising to take steps to establishing the United States’s energy independence.

“American energy producers have ushered in an energy renaissance and made the United States the number one producer of oil and gas in the world,” Cruz said in a joint statement with The Empowerment Alliance. “Maintaining our energy dominance is key to ensuring American families have access to affordable energy and it’s imperative for our national security.”

Other signatories include Republican Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio, John Cornyn of Texas and Joni Ernst of Iowa.

The Daily Caller News Foundation obtained an exclusive copy of the pledge, which says it represents a commitment to “four principles that will help power America’s economy for everyone over the next century and beyond.”

Those principles listed are: affordable energy for families; clean energy for the environment; abundant energy for the future; and domestic energy for national security.

The principles list benefits of energy independence, which include decreasing utility bills, cleaner air, “a continuous 100-year supply of natural gas. They also note that ensuring energy dominance would make certain that the U.S. “is no longer dependent on rapidly changing global markets and unstable or hostile countries.”

The Empowerment Alliance is a nonprofit that was formed in 2019 to oppose supporters of the Green New Deal, a proposal crafted that year that sought to shift the U.S. entirely away from fossil fuels within a decade. Senate Republicans defeated the proposal shortly after it was introduced, but Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other Democrats are hoping to bring it back

“For too long, Americans have spent their hard-earned dollars on energy that is produced overseas, risking our nation’s security and stability and shunning millions of family supporting jobs,” Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said in the statement alongside Cruz. The Declaration of Energy Independence is “something all Americans can agree on.”

The pledge comes nearly a year after the U.S. first became a net exporter of gas. The U.S. exported roughly 89,000 barrels of fossil fuels per day during September 2019, according to Energy Information Administration data. That’s the first full month the U.S. has exported more than it imported since the U.S. began tracking such data in 1949.

Government officials began locking down their economies in March to slow the spread of a coronavirus, which has killed a reported 127,000 people in the U.S.. Their orders resulted in a significant downturn in the economy and an oversupply of oil, which caused crude prices to collapse. Several shale companies filed bankruptcy to avoid ruin.

“In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, it’s become even more important to support America’s energy producers to spur economic growth, lower energy costs, help employ thousands of hardworking men and women, and increase America’s energy independence,” Cruz said in the statement.

Empowerment Alliance Executive Director Jim Nathanson added: “Affordable, clean, and abundant domestic energy will be critical to America’s economic recovery. We cannot afford to squander our domestic energy advantage, and we call on all political leaders to join us and embrace natural gas as essential to our shared future prosperity.”


Michigan Court OKs Enbridge Pipeline Construction, Rules Process Constitutional

The Michigan Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of a law allowing the construction of a replacement Enbridge oil pipeline tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac.

The three-judge panel affirmed a lower-court decision finding the law under which the pipeline was approved was constitutional.

Enbridge’s line 5 pipeline, part of a much larger network of pipelines Enbridge operates, is a 645-mile, 30-inch-diameter pipeline that was first brought into operation in 1953. Connecting to other Enbridge pipelines, Line 5 originates in Superior, Wisconsin, travels through Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas, and terminates in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. Beneath the Straits of Mackinac, Line 5 splits into two 20-inch-diameter, parallel pipelines that are buried onshore and deep underwater, crossing the Straits west of the Mackinac Bridge for a distance of 4.5 miles.

State Sues to Block Replacement

Under Public Act 359 (2018), Enbridge requested Michigan’s approval to replace the aging pipeline with a newer one.

At the request of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel sued to block replacement.

In a March 2019 opinion, Nessel argued Public Act 359 violated the Michigan Constitution’s title-object clause, which requires that each law portray its contents accurately, because “its provisions go beyond the scope of what was disclosed in its title.”

In the initial trial, Michigan’s Court of Claims ruled the law was constitutional, as it amended a 1952 law under which the original pipeline was approved.

The appellate court, composed of Judges Thomas C. Cameron, Mark T. Boonstra, and Anica Letica, agreed, ruling the 2018 law did not violate the title-object clause of the Michigan Constitution.

“Defendants’ argument that the Court of Claims improperly considered extraneous material is unsupported,” Cameron wrote in the opinion. “We conclude that the title of 2018 PA 359 does not address objects so diverse that they have no necessary connection.”

Good for Jobs, Environment

In response to the ruling, Enbridge released a statement saying the company will continue to operate the two existing Line 5 oil lines while the tunnel is being built.

“We look forward to working with the State to make a safe pipeline even safer,” an Enbridge spokesperson said in the statement. “We are investing $500 million in the tunnel’s construction—thereby further protecting the waters of the Great Lakes and everyone who uses them.”

The court’s ruling recognizes the importance of finding environmentally sound solutions to the region’s energy needs, John Walsh, president of the Michigan Manufacturers Association, told The Detroit News.

“Replacing the portion of Line 5 beneath the Straits with the Great Lakes Tunnel is the safest, most reliable, affordable, and environmentally sound energy solution for Michigan’s citizens and businesses,” Walsh told The Detroit News. “That’s why the tunnel is supported by Democrats and Republicans, business and labor.

“We’re glad the court rejected the latest stall tactic and are excited about next steps in the development process,” said Walsh.


An Endlessly Renewable Source of Green Agitprop

Stoking the fires of renewable energy’s purported advantages is the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), an intergovernmental outfit whose chief purpose is to serve as a spigot for endless propaganda. Its official message is that fossil fuel is an archaic source of electricity now being battered by upstart competitors wind and solar. Bear in mind that world electricity supply pans out at 38 per cent for coal, 23 per cent gas and 26 per cent hydro/nuclear. Wind/solar supply 10 per cent.

IRENA tirelessly advocates for renewables, saying they “could form a key component of economic stimulus packages in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.” And in the purple prose so common with these green-spruiking agencies it claims, “Scaling up renewables can boost struggling economies. It can save money for consumers, pique the appetites of investors and create numerous high-quality new jobs.” Investment in renewables is amplified by other benefits, the story goes, as it is alleged to bring “health, sustainability and inclusive prosperity.” When it comes to renewables, no snake-oil salesman of old could hold a carbon-neutral candle to the likes of their modern green-lipped urgers.

IRENA would have us see renewable power installations as a key component of economic stimulus packages in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, claiming that replacing one quarter of the world’s existing coal capacity with wind and solar would, in addition to cutting electricity costs, bestow a stimulus worth US$940 billion, or around one per cent of global GDP.

All this is, of course, is super-heated hot air billowing from the deep pockets of IRENA’s multi-government funding. It rests upon the sort of spurious arithmetic swallowed whole by Australian governments which, having granted regulatory favours to wind/solar, cheer the dynamiting of low-cost, dependable coal plants and the consequent price escalation and network unreliability.

IRENA estimates the cost of electricity from new coal plants at between US$50 per MWh and US$177 per MWh. The cost of plant itself is pretty standard internationally, but that of transmission and fuel is highly variable, as are construction costs. For Australia, rigorous analysis by GHD for the Minerals Council estimated a new, high efficiency/low emissions black coal generator would be as low as $40 per MWh. Australian coal’s locational advantages were the key to this low cost, offset somewhat by a “CFMEU” union loading disability (lifting labour costs 25 per cent above the level that would prevail without unionised rigidities).

Compared with its coal-generation cost estimates, the shaded area in the diagram below, IRENA puts the cost of solar photovoltaics as having declines to US$68 per MWh; of large scale solar to US$182 per MWh; and that of wind to $US53 per MWh.

Given all these entirely confected “advantages” of wind and solar, IRENA is disappointed that global growth in renewable investment seems to have stagnated over recent years. It attributes this to the concocted story — cooked up by itself, mind you — about “subsidies” to coal, the estimates for which are derived from another IRENA paper which confusingly traverses many different international sources with widely different approaches and estimates.

The global subsidy figure IRENA cites for fossil fuels is $447 billion, which excludes greenhouse “externality costs”. The subsidies for coal itself are said to be $17 billion (astonishingly, this includes the UK which no longer has any generation from coal). Germany is the largest coal subsidiser (to enable its coal industry to compete with imports). Coal comprises 40 per cent of German electricity supply, and IRENA quotes annual subsidy estimates ranging from $US 10 billion while also lending credibility to the (US)$58 billion Greenpeace estimate. Aside from coal, add a further $128 billions of subsidies to electricity generation generally, this from government-mandated price controls, estimates of concessional finance and support for carbon-capture and storage.

Coincidental to the IRENA release was a report of an agency dedicated to destroying the competitiveness of the Australian energy industry, the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute (GCCS).  Bear in mind that GCCS was bankrolled by the Rudd/Gillard government but, despite all that money from the public purse, it is very secretive about its accounting.  Its latest press release refers to yet another reputed success in carbon capture and storage, said to be burying 1.6 million tonnes of CO2 a year with Canadian government subsidies of C$558 million. Some may take a perverse comfort in knowing Australia is not the only country dedicated to committing economic suicide with addled “energy competitiveness” initiatives.

Agencies like IRENA parade their cost fabrications purely to arm the governments that finance them with the information they can use to promote the subsidies that are needed – temporarily of course – to get these “clean” energy investments over the line.

The message is heard loud and clear in all Western nations (except Trump’s America) and lip service is paid to it in the developing world just so long as rich countries pick up the tab. Most of the Western world is adopting economically debilitating emission-restraint policies, but there is no prospect of China, India, Vietnam and Indonesia sacrificing their possibilities of Western-style living standards by abandoning fossil fuels, always the cheapest energy source. As these nations are now responsible for two-thirds of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, all the international agitprop in the world will make no difference to the trivial global warming that the burning of fossil fuels may be causing.

Agencies like IRENA, their national counterparts, lobby organisations and leaders like that of EU President Ursula von der Leyen  continue to beat the drum even as reality bites elsewhere.

But reality bites elsewhere.  In Melbourne, several green-left councils have announced deferral of “sustainability” expenditures as they grapple with massive funding reductions in the light of the lockdown.  These councils will not be the only government agencies who decide that, with reduced incomes, saving the planet takes a back seat to saving public service jobs!



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


Tuesday, July 07, 2020

The Green Delusion continues to Perpetuate Costs upon the Poor

Those marketing the green delusion have convinced themselves and the public that intermittent electricity from wind and solar are somehow “clean, green, renewable and sustainable”. They have successfully kept transparency from those paying for the green delusion of any information that would damage their message.

Facts about greater human and ecological impacts around the world from intermittent electricity systems favored by the climate cult are numerous and purposely withheld from the Californians that can least afford rates that are already among the highest in the nation for electricity and fuel and the same Californians that represent less than half of one percent (0.5%) of the world’s population (40 million vs. 8 billion). Among a few subjects the climate cult avoids transparency are:

* Moving to electricity ALONE and eliminating fossil fuels would mean America would have to replace 100% of its gasoline and all its oil and natural gas feed stocks for pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, paints, synthetic fibers, fertilizers, and plastics for cell phones, computers, car bodies, packaging, wind turbine blades, solar panel films and more than 6,000 products that are manufactured from petroleum derivatives. As a reminder, without transportation and the leisure and entertainment industries that did not exist before 1900, we would have no commerce.

* Dependency on intermittent electricity from wind and solar resulted in California importing up to 29 percent of its electricity to meet its demands. To the detriment of those that can least afford expensive energy, that lavishly expensive imported electricity has contributed to the poorest residents, particularly Latinos and African Americans, paying more than 50 percent more for electricity than the rest of the country.

* The impact of power plant closures in California are destined to increase the cost of power as California plans to shuttle three natural gas power plants and its last nuclear power plant. Those four power plants have been providing continuous uninterruptible electricity to Californians. With the state having no plans to replace the closure capacity with intermittent electricity from wind and solar, the state will need to import more high-priced electricity to fill the void and let residents and businesses pay the premium.

* The climate cult is fearful of sharing that all the mineral products and metals needed to make wind turbines, solar panels, and EV batteries are mined and processed in places like Baotou, Inner Mongolia, Bolivia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, mostly under Chinese control, under minimal to nonexistent labor, wage, environmental, reclamation, and worker health and safety regulations. The mere extraction of those exotic minerals presents social challenges, human rights abuses, and environmental degradations worldwide.

* Those numerous documentaries about the atrocities that the workers are put through in the cobalt mines, i.e. actually digging the mines by hand along with the horrendous living conditions. Amnesty International has documented children and adults mining cobalt in narrow man-made tunnels along with the exposure to the dangerous gases emitted during the procurement of these rare minerals.

* For cobalt alone, over 40,000 Congolese children, as young as four years old, slave away alongside their parents in mines, for a dollar a day, risking cave-ins and being exposed constantly to filthy, toxic, radioactive mud, dust, water and air.

* These environmental and human rights travesties can happen only under a system of rampant double standards, i.e., if they do NOT occur in the backyard of the climate cult, they are okay with any and all adverse impacts on foreign sites.

* Even if California or the entire USA eliminated all fossil fuel use tomorrow – it would not make an iota of difference for global carbon dioxide levels as China and India have more than 5,000 coal fired power plants and are building 600 more to provide their populations with scalable, reliable, and affordable electricity, that will continue to increase emissions.

* Since 1990 CO2 emissions from the Developed world have decreased, whereas the Developing world has shown a fourfold increase since 1985.  This differential has arisen because of:
the off shoring of major CO2 emitting industries to parts of the world that have less rigorous environmental standards or who care less about CO2 emissions.
the growing use of Coal-firing for electricity generation in the Developing world.

The primary reason that the climate cult is voraciously against transparency of any data about intermittent electricity from wind and solar favored by them, is that they would need to justify to the rural, poor, minority and working-class families and communities that  the public needs to accept  the worldwide ecological, health and economic damages being inflicted in pursuit of their pseudo-renewable electricity utopia. Additionally, for those that can least afford the passion for intermittent electricity, they need to morally accept that Africans, Asians, and Latin Americans must endure slave labor status to advance the climate cult agenda.

Let us hope the now-silent majority can restore law, order, civil debate, thoughtful reflection on our complex history, and rational resolution of these thorny problems as current climate policies are essentially discriminatory toward poor people and minorities worldwide.


Next-generation climate models: worse than ever!

Back in February, Pat Michaels dropped something of a bombshell. It was an exposé of the Achilles heel of alarmist climate science.

He did it in a lecture, just posted to YouTube on June 11, at a joint meeting of the Independent Institute and the National Association of Scholars. What he showed was that practically all the climate models on which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and lots of national governments rely are wrong—hopelessly, egregiously, starkly wrong. And all (but one) in the direction of exaggerating CO2’s warming effect.

Why? Because modelers tune their models to reproduce the 20th-century temperature record. Yet the models supposedly model how global average (near-surface) temperature responds to rising atmospheric CO2 concentration. And the problem with that is that there’s no way the first half (roughly) of the 20th-century temperature record was driven by CO2.

Michaels demonstrates that by showing that, if the comparatively small amount of added CO2 in the first half of the century drove as much warming as occurred then, then the much greater amount of CO2 added in the second half should have added a whole lot more warming than actually occurred.

Having made that point, Michaels reminds us that good scientists, when observations contradict predictions based on their models, revise the models so as to come closer to the observations. But that’s exactly the opposite of what’s happening in the alarmist climate modeling community.

The “Coupled Model Intercomparison Project” 5th generation models (CMIP-5) simulated, on average 2.75 times as much warming as actually observed by radiosondes (temperature sensors carried aloft by weather balloons) from 1979–2018, as Michaels showed with this graph, courtesy of John Christy:

Now the CMIP-6 models are starting to come out. One would expect that refinements would bring their simulations closer to the observations. The opposite is the case. The new models—as many as had been reported as of late 2019—simulate not 2.75 but roughly 3.5 times the warming observed by radiosondes

In short, far from improving the models, the modelers are making them worse than ever. After the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on them, one would hope for a different outcome.

Perhaps it’s driven not so much by honest scientific endeavor as by an agenda.


3 Billion-A-Year Cost To Prevent Green Energy Blackouts

An in-depth study for the Global Warming Policy Foundation has revealed the skyrocketing costs of balancing the national grid, largely due to the intermittency of green power generation sources, most notably wind and solar. Since 2002, when these power sources began to be introduced at scale, the cost of balancing the grid has risen from £367 million to £1.5 billion per year by 2019. And now with the lockdown shrinking demand, balancing costs are optimistically projected to be £2 billion, potentially rising to £3 billion if the lockdown persists…

The conclusion of Dr John Constable, energy expert and author of the study, is stark:

“If demand remains low during the post-Covid recession the multi-billion pound costs of managing and subsidising renewables must be recovered from a much smaller volume of sales. That is a recipe for rapid and abrupt price rises, the like of which the British public have never seen. Enough is enough. In what everyone agrees is a very difficult moment the national interest demands a cost minimisation strategy for electricity, based on gas and nuclear.”

Fortunately, the UK could be on the brink of a nuclear revolution in small modular reactors (SMRs). Rolls Royce is leading a consortium of businesses urging the Government to accelerate plans for a swathe of high tech micro nuclear reactors across the north of England:

Plans are being discussed for sixteen micro-reactors to be built by 2050, providing enough consistent energy to power a city the size of Leeds and directly employing 40,000 people. Who knew that nuclear power stations even run when it’s not windy and at night!


Norway to rein in wind power after raging opposition from locals 

Norway is set to tighten rules for building wind turbines, caving in to massive protests from locals.

A government proposal on Friday to slow down the development of onshore wind power comes after increasing local resistance mirrors sentiment in other European countries. Norway already decided to scrap a plan for a new permission framework last year.

Norway, which has already developed a massive hydropower network, faces an increased need for clean energy for the electrification of everything from transportation to oil platforms.

The proposed changes include that permits are valid for a shorter time before construction starts, height restrictions on turbines and noise requirements, in addition to local acceptance of the projects. For instance, a turbine can not be closer to a house or cabin than four times the height of the turbines.

Norway’s Petroleum and Energy Minister, who presented the white paper with the proposed changes on Friday, felt the wrath of protesters herself. Only a week ago, Tina Bru experienced being blocked physically from attending an event on the west coast while being pummeled with insults, she wrote on her Facebook page.

“It’s legitimate to be opposed to wind power, both in principle and where you live – I understand that wind power can stoke strong feelings and heated debate,” Bru said at a press conference on Friday. “But I reject harassment, threats and vandalism.”

Although Norway has developed onshore wind in the recent years, hydropower is meeting virtually all the nation’s power needs.



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