Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Biden Ad Claims Michigan Crop Crisis – As Michigan Crops Set New Records

Joe Biden has released a new ad in Michigan that claims climate change is punishing farmers in the state. In reality, Michigan farmers are setting new records for crop production as the Earth modestly warms.

“I think it’s very important to adopt measures to mitigate climate change,” asserts a farmer and Biden supporter in the video. “We’re having more challenges for tart cherries than ever before,” says the Biden supporter.

The facts tell a different story.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts record corn and soybean crops in Michigan this year. As reported by Michigan Farm News, “USDA forecasts record U.S., Michigan corn and soybean production.”

“Average corn yield is forecast at a record high 181.8 bushels per acre, up 14.4 bushels from last year. NASS forecasts record-high yields in Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington, and Wisconsin.”

Corn is Michigan’s most important crop, bringing Michigan farmers $1 billion in revenue each year. Soybeans bring Michigan farmers over $900 million in revenue each year.

To deflect attention from this good news, Biden focuses on Michigan’s less important tart cherry crop. Tart cherries bring Michigan farmers only a quarter as much revenue as corn or soybeans.

Michigan cherry production has been up and down in recent years, with late freezes in the spring of 2019 and 2020 damaging crops. Global warming reduces the frequency and severity of late-spring freezes, although they still occur. Nevertheless, Biden blames colder-than-normal spring temperatures in Michigan on global warming.

Despite the cold-induced harm to the minor cherry crop, Michigan farmers as a whole are enjoying record overall crop seasons that are only getting better as the Earth modestly warms.


German Prof: Climate Science Politicized, Filled With ‘Fairy Tales’

German professor, a co-founder of the modern environmental movement, says climate science is exaggerated, filled with fairy tales, and believes the Paris Accord is “already dead.”

In an interview with publicist Roland Tichy, Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt – one of the founders of Germany’s modern environmental movement – said we have in fact three generations time to revamp the world’s energy supply system to one that is cleaner and sustainable.

He rejects the Fridays For Future claim that there are only 12 years left.

Climate catastrophe not taking place

In the interview, moderator Tichy reminded that civilization began 7,000 years ago, a time when it was “3°C warmer than today” and Vahrenholt responded by saying he expects civilization to continue for another seven thousand years.

There was no tipping point back then, why would there be one today? “Warmth and moisture have always been good for mankind,” said Vahrenholt. “Cold has been man’s worst enemy.”

Plenty of time to move rationally

The German professor also said that the claimed catastrophe “is not taking place” and that policymakers are trying to use “panic and fear to get the people to act.”

Much of the warming measured since 1850 is the result of natural warming taking place due to the end of the Little Ice Age, he explained.

Germany’s green fantasy

Later the German professor of chemistry calls the belief that wind and sun are able to replace fossil fuels “fantasizing” and that Germany, with its 2.3% share of global CO2 emissions, can rescue the global climate “a fairy tale”.

Meanwhile, the warming of the last 150 years is in large part caused by natural cycles. “In the 20th century, the sun was more active than at any time over the past 2000 years.”

Economically, Vahrenholt believes that a frenzied rush to renewables will lead to “horrible” economic consequences from European industrialization.

On the topic of a scientific consensus, the German professor says this is a claim made by the IPCC, which run by the UN with an agenda behind it.

Electric cars a “crackpot idea”

Vahrenholt also believes electric cars powered by batteries is not a feasible technology, and that other experts quietly call it “a crackpot idea”, and don’t speak up for fear of losing research funding. The vast majority of funding comes from the German government.

“Paris Accord already dead”

The professor of chemistry, co-author of a recent bestseller, also describes Germany as a country in denial when it comes to the broader global debate taking place on climate science, and declared the Paris Accord as being “already dead”.

“The Accord is already dead. Putin says it’s nonsense. […] The Americans are out. The Chinese don’t have to do anything. It’s all concentrated on a handful of European countries. The European Commission is massively on it. And I predict that they will reach the targets only if they destroy the European industries,” said Vahrenholt.

He characterizes Europe’s recent push for even stricter emissions reduction targets to madness akin to Soviet central planning that is doomed to fail spectacularly.


Lake Erie and the 'Science of Climate Change'

Among the more insidious questions “moderator” Chris Wallace asked President Trump during the first debate was the one that dealt with climate change.

As he did on several occasions, Wallace set Trump up to deny what the people in America’s newsrooms just knew to be true, and he did so with a heart-wrenching build-up. “The forest fires in the West are raging now,” said Wallace. “They have burned millions of acres. They have displaced hundreds of thousands of people. When state officials there blamed the fires on climate change, Mr. President, you said, 'I don’t think the science knows.'”

Given that the debate was in Cleveland, Wallace might have asked a more locally relevant question: “Up and down Lake Erie and the other Great Lakes, sea walls are crumbling and homes are collapsing into the lakes. For at least a dozen years, Mr. President, climate scientists predicted continually lower lake water levels, and now they are at record highs.”

Here is how Wallace actually concluded his question: “What do you believe about the science of climate change, and what will you do in the next four years to confront it?” If those of us with lakefront property were able to answer, we might have said: “From our perspective, the science of climate change seems no more ‘settled’ than that of embryonic stem cell research or eugenics. We’ve been confronting its miscalculations for years.”

As it happens, I bought my property—two or so hours northeast of Cleveland in New York State—the same year that climate change alarmism kicked into high gear, 1988. Back then, of course, the phenomenon was called “global warming.” James Hansen, director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, lent NASA’s authority to his claim that “global warming is now large enough that we can ascribe with a high degree of confidence a cause and effect relationship to the greenhouse effect.” So saying, Hansen gave the international left a new rationale for global governance.

The following year, in an interview for Discover magazine, Stephen Schneider of the National Center for Atmospheric Research observed that although scientists were “ethically bound to the scientific method,” they also needed “to capture the public’s imagination.” To do so required media attention, and to get that attention they needed to “offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts [they] might have.” Schneider concluded, “Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.”

That balance has proved elusive, especially for the media. In real science, dissent is expected, even welcome. In the media-driven “science of climate change.” dissent is discouraged, even vilified. In 2007, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Ellen Goodman nicely captured the punitive spirit of the alarmist community. “I would like to say we're at a point where global warming is impossible to deny,” wrote Goodman. “Let's just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers, though one denies the past and the other denies the present and future.” Oy Vey!

In 2007, Goodman was still using “global warming” as a term of art. Soon enough, with almost no public explanation as to why, “global warming” would yield to “climate change.” In 2013, the climate change-friendly Economist hinted at the reason for the rebranding. “Over the past 15 years air temperatures at the Earth’s surface have been flat while greenhouse-gas emissions have continued to soar.” This was a secret the media preferred to keep under wraps. Indeed, the Economist aptly titled the article, “A Sensitive Matter.”

Here on Lake Erie, scientists and their media champions have much to be sensitive about. Year after year, they have proven unreliable on any number of climate-related variables and especially the one that concerns property owners most—the lake level.

In 2002, National Geographic published a much cited article with the none too subtle title, “Down the Drain: The Incredible Shrinking Great Lakes.” That article seems to have vanished into the ether. I learned about it only from reading a 2012 National Geographic article by Lisa Borre that identified the culprit for this shrinkage as climate change, “Warming Lakes: Climate Change and Variability Drive Low Water Levels on the Great Lakes.”

According to Ms. Barre, “Down the Drain” documented “declining lake levels and the potential economic and ecological consequences for the region.” Ten years later, Barre tells us, “The story continues to unfold, as water levels remain lower than normal.” Although somewhat balanced, Barre’s article features several alarming images of stranded boats and sandy stretches where water once flowed. On a dozen occasions in the article, Barre cites “climate change” as the likely explanation for the shrinking lakes.

In 2013, Peter Sinclair, reputed to be “the sharpest climate denier debunker on YouTube,” headlined an article, “Lower Great Lakes Levels – Another New Normal?” Whether a shrinking lake was the new normal remained to be seen. What certainly appeared to be the new normal, however, was the vindictiveness of true believers such as Goodman and Sinclair.

Those of us on the Great Lakes could not be bullied into ignoring the obvious. Our evidence was much more tangible than the media’s. In 2014, the lake levels started rising and have continued to rise. In 2017, they reached crisis level on Lake Ontario. This spring, for the first time in 32 years, I had to pull my stairs back. The bank underneath the stairs had collapsed under pressure from the rising lake. Several of my neighbors lost their sea walls. ‘First World’ problems to be sure, but a little advanced warning might have been helpful.

By the summer of 2019, even the The New York Times had noticed. Wrote Mitch Smith, “The higher water, which set records this summer on some Great Lakes could be part of an expensive new normal.” Left unsaid was that this “new normal” fully reversed the old “new normal” from just six years prior.

If there were a Pulitzer for sophistry, it would have to go the headline writer for the 2019 Scientific American article titled, “Climate Change Sends Great Lakes Water Levels Seesawing.” Not wanting to be pinned down, the authors argued that “rapid transitions between extreme high and low water levels in the Great Lakes represent the ‘new normal’.”

As President Trump might say: “I don’t think the science knows.” And that, my fellow deniers, is the real new normal.


Australia: $1 billion pumped hydro scheme would open up NSW grid, backers say

Another idea that is great in theory but big in cost and unreliable in output. Pumped hydro requires the building of TWO dams -- and we all know how much Greenies love dams.

And in the end it only works when there is a substantial flow in the river. What happens during one of our frequent droughts? It's a nonsense

The Berejiklian government has given accelerated approval status to a billion-dollar pumped hydro project that will unlock twice as much renewable energy investment and reduce grid congestion.

The venture, backed by Alinta Energy, would generate as much as 600 megawatts of electricity by releasing water between two reservoirs near the Macleay River between Armidale and Kempsey.

Developed by the same consultancy EMM that is working on the larger Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro scheme, the Oven Mountain energy storage project is expected to support a further $2 billion in new solar and wind farms in the New England Renewable Energy Zone.

The closed-loop or off-river system would could also boost the water security of Kempsey, located about 75 kilometres to the south-east of the freehold site.

Among the benefits would be the displacement of some 876,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, and a reduction of load-shedding risk to some 770,000 customers as coal-fired plants shut, according to an accompanying document seeking government fast-track approval for the project.

The new plant is within the New England Renewable Energy zone, one of three designated regions for supporting clean energy in the state. Its development would enable more clean energy to be added to the grid.

"[T]he current capacity to [can] host only 300 MW due to insufficient network infrastructure," the document says. "The project’s 12 hours of flexible and fast=acting
storage will directly help to overcome this challenge and accelerate the implementation of the [zone]."

Energy and Environment Minister Matt Kean said that pumped hydro was "essential for the state’s energy future", using off-peak power to pump water to the higher dam and releasing it went prices rise.

“The Australian Energy Market Operator says that NSW needs more than twice the energy storage of Snowy 2.0 again by the mid-2030s and projects like Oven Mountain can help us reach that goal,” Mr Kean said in a statement.

“It can take about eight years to deliver massive pumped hydro projects and we need to get going now to create jobs and improve the reliability of the energy grid.”

Adam Marshall, Agriculture Minister and the MP for the Northern Tablelands, said regional NSW had some of the best pumped hydro resources in the world. It would also support the local economy by creating some 600 new jobs during construction alone.

The New England Renewable Energy Zone is expected to expand to 8000 megawatts of clean energy generation capacity.
The New England Renewable Energy Zone is expected to expand to 8000 megawatts of clean energy generation capacity.CREDIT:GETTY

“This project is the jewel in our region’s renewable energy crown and cements the New England as the renewable energy powerhouse of Australia," Mr Marshall said.

“We’re already home to the two largest wind farms in NSW and the largest solar farm in Australia is about to start construction, so this project is the cherry on top of us.”

The government is providing about $2.5 million to support the Oven Mountain project's feasibility study from its $75million Emerging Energy Program.

The program is supporting investigations into the prospects for three pumped hydro projects in NSW.

The proponent will still need to request assessment requirements for the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement Once received, the EIS will then on exhibition for community feedback and detailed assessment by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment before a final decision is made, the government said.




Preserving the graphics: Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere. But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases. After that they no longer come up. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here or here


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