Sunday, August 02, 2015

Halfway to Hell: Global Temperatures Hit Critical Point, Warn Scientists (!)

Ya gotta laugh! A one degree temperature rise in 135 years!  Panic!  No-one even noticed it until the Greenies began to froth at the mouth about it. And even that one degree embodies a prediction.  The reality is around two thirds of that.

They list what appear to be five interlocking temperature graphs.  They are interlocking indeed.  They all use the same basic terrestrial temperature readings.  They are far from independent.

How strange that the authors have omitted the much more comprehensive satellite records!  The fact that the satellite record shows NO warming might have something to do with that.  The whole article below is essentially a fraud ginned up to influence the forthcoming Paris climate conference

And the wording is really slimy. The bit that amused me most was:  "Rising temperatures and changing weather patterns already increase heat-related illnesses".  That's true by definition. What about illness from all causes?  It's actually COLD that increases illness from all causes!

And there's the old chestnut that "2014 was the hottest year since records began".  Which records?  Certainly not the satellite record. And even if we take the terrestrial records as honestly compiled, the 2014 temperature differed from the temperatures of the last 18 years only by hundredths of one degree. So "2014 was the hottest year since records began" gives a quite false impression that the temperature rise is ongoing.  It is not.

And what about the "scientists" in the heading?  WHICH scientists?  Certainly not all scientists.  An honest heading would be "Many Scientists" but honesty is not to be expected of Warmists, of course.

I could go on but the crooks below have pulled out every trick in the book to make their case -- which shows you how non-existent their case is.  It's propaganda worthy of Dr. Goebbels

As 2015 shapes up to be the hottest year on record, scientists warn the world could be halfway towards surpassing countries’ self-set red line of 2C temperature rise.

New research commissioned by the New Scientist shows that four out of the five major surface temperature records are set to pass the 1C point this year, measured from the 1850-1899 average.

At 1C climate change is already affecting the world’s poorest and most vulnerable populations as warming brings escalating sea level rise and more intense and volatile weather extremes.

Rising temperatures and changing weather patterns already increase heat-related illnesses, enhance the spread of disease, reduce crop yields and threaten access to clean water and could result in forced migration, conflict and social disruption.

Bold climate action will save huge numbers of lives and produce significant cost savings in the health sector. Direct health impacts from climate change are expected to cost the world US$2-4 billion a year by 2030.

2014 was the hottest year since records began.

Now with an El Nino underway and predicted to intensify, it looks as if the global average surface temperature could jump by around 0.1C in just one year. And, 2015 is “shaping up to smash the old record.”

The latest research underscores the urgency for government’s to act and the solutions are ready and waiting.

In December governments will meet in Paris to agree a new global climate pact, aimed at moving the world closer to keeping warming below the 2C threshold, or even the 1.5C demanded by vulnerable countries.

With the renewable sector strengthening every day and fossil fuels facing a battle for survival, there is no excuse for inaction.

Governments must arrive in Paris ready to signal their collective vision for a complete phaseout of fossil fuels in favor of a 100 percent renewable future.


Now it's Legionnaires' Disease that is supposedly caused by global warming

Pesky fact:  Even the much-massaged terrestrial temperature data show no statistically significant global warming for many years.  So NOTHING can be due to global warming over that period

The number of reported cases of Legionnaires’ disease is on the rise in the United States and researchers say the increase could be partly a result of climate change.

More than three times as many cases of legionellosis, of which Legionnaires’ disease is one form, were reported in 2009 than 2000 — 3,522 up from 1,110, according to a 2011 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New York City, where an outbreak in Legionnaires’ disease in the Bronx has killed two people and sickened 46 since July 10, has seen a similar rise. The incidence of cases increased 230 percent from 2002 to 2009, with the greatest number in high-poverty neighborhoods, according to an October study in the CDC journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

The recent outbreak in the Bronx, where residents already have high rates of asthma, is the second in the borough this year. Twelve cases of Legionnaires’ disease were reported in December and January and were traced to an apartment complex cooling tower.

On Thursday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that two rooftop cooling towers in the area had been found to be contaminated, including one at Lincoln Hospital. Both are now being disinfected, he and the New York City Health Commissioner, Dr. Mary Travis Bassett, said.

"We’re aggressively investigating and testing all possible sources," de Blasio said.

Legionnaires’ disease, identified after 34 deaths among American Legionnaires returning from a 1976 convention in Philadelphia, is a sometimes deadly pneumonia that is spread through the environment, rather than person to person, often in a mist of contaminated water from cooling towers, hot tubs, showers or faucets. It is not contagious.

Dr. David N. Fisman, a professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, said in an email that he doubted the increase was the result solely of improved testing. The rise is linear and across all regions of the United States, he said.

It is difficult to be certain that climate change is a factor but it seems plausible, he said. The bacteria is more infectious in warm temperatures and some studies, including one he and others did in 2005, have shown that wet, humid weather predicts an upsurge in the risk of contracting the disease over the following week or two. That finding was not replicated in Toronto, he said, but there the disease peaks later in October in that area.


Another ecoflop

"Green" buildings have a woeful history of bungles and a new eco development has been plagued by damp, draughts and dodgy gas pipes

An eco development by Grand Designs host Kevin McCloud has been plagued with a series of building blunders including damp, draughts and problems with the gas supply.

The 78 properties in Stroud, Gloucestershire quickly sold out as buyers snapped up the state-of-the-art homes, which have been 'super insulated' and triple glazed to preserve energy.

But now homeowners have reported a string of complaints with the houses, which include damp on the walls, draughty windows, uncapped chimneys and poorly installed plasterboard.

Some properties also did not comply with standard reulations for central heating systems as a gas leak was discovered.

Several residents were forced to move out of their houses for up to three weeks and put their belongings into storage, while extensive repairs were carried out.

The development, called Applewood, is built on the site of the former Cashes Green Hospital in Stroud.

It was designed by Mr McCloud's property company HAB - Happiness Architecture Beauty - and built by construction firm GreenSpace.

The estate, has a variety of green spaces including a 'pocket orchard' and a natural 'wildlife corridor' running through the site.

Clare Honeyfield, 51, moved into her £125,000 apartment at Applewood almost a year ago.

Her company Made in Stroud, even provided some of the product for the interior of the show home.

But now she said: 'I bought this very much on the Kevin McCloud brand. They were designed by his architect company. I could not feel more let down.

'I don't see the corporate social responsibilty I would expect from Kevin McCloud's company. I feel like we have been dumped while they move on.

'I absolutely regret buying into the Kevin McCloud brand. I feel very disappointed.

'You could make a whole episode of Grand Designs about the issues the neighbours here are going through.

Ms Honeyfield first started to notice problems with her apartment late last year and says she has been trying to resolve them ever since.

Three weeks ago, she moved out of her property with all of her possessions for repairs to take place, and only moved back in yesterday.

She explained: 'I have been in a property for nearly a year which isn't gas safe. It's not a saleable property.

'In October I noticed damp patches on the chimney breast in the bathroom and the bedroom.

'The wrong sort of plasterboard had been used and it had been put straight onto the brickwork.

'It now turns out the chimneys weren’t capped. I had to have three of the windows replaced because they had been fitted out of square and there wasn’t a proper seal.

'My property is also still not gas safe because there isn’t an isolator valve on my gas supply.'

Another resident, who moved into a property last year with her husband but did not want to be named, added: 'We bought these houses in good faith to a certain specification, they were sold with a slightly different ethos than the average new build.

'It was all caring and community based, it was all about sustainable living.'

While another mother, who moved in with her husband and two children, said: 'Across the site the bills that people have been getting have ranged from £45 a month for gas and electric to some people who were sent bills for £1,000 a month.  'Basically I think a lot of the meters were faulty, that’s why loads of them have been replaced.

'Subsequently at some point somebody had a gas leak and called out the emergency gas people who came and took at it and said this is not compliant with the current gas regulations.

'That opened up an investigation and 90 per cent of the properties have this issue. It’s already well known in the Stroud community that we’ve had these issues.'

The problem has been so extensive that Stroud MP Neil Carmichael has met with around 20 residents and now intends to write to GreenSquare on their behalf.

HAB has since tried to defer blame for the project onto GreenSquare, who partnered the company on the project.

Simon McWhirter, HAB’s head of sales said: 'HAB’s partner at Applewood, GreenSquare Group, was responsible for the delivery of the scheme and we must defer to them to comment on the construction issues that have come to light since the development was completed.

'It’s clearly been a very frustrating time for the residents and we’re sorry that their experience has not been as good as it should have been.

'However, we are pleased that a plan is in place that will resolve all of the outstanding issues, and we’ll continue to monitor the situation very closely.'

Meanwhile GreenSquare has opened a temporary site on the development to help coordinate the repairs.

Phil Bowley from the firm said: 'We have been working to deal with a series of "snagging issues" picked up from our surveyors’ survey visits earlier in the year and are glad the majority of these have been resolved in recent weeks.

'When we asked an independent Gas Safe registered expert to have a look at the gas installations our contractors had completed at Applewood, he found that they did not comply fully with regulations because pipes had been routed within the cavity walls.

'But he confirmed that they are not considered to be dangerous and can continue to be safely used until remedial work is carried out.'

The completed community comprises of 21 four-bedroom houses, 29 three-bedroom houses, 14 two-bedroom houses, eight two-bedroom apartments and six one-bedroom flats.


Bikers, boaters and big oil unite in fight against biofuel

Count bikers, boaters and, to hear some say, even God, among those who oppose the US law that forces refiners to use corn to make gasoline.

In more than 413,000 public comments to the Environmental Protection Agency, ethanol opponents are battling it out with big oil producers and farmers in a bid to reshape the 2007 law. The agency, which in May proposed lowering the amount of ethanol refiners must use in gasoline, is expected to release final targets November 30.

The plan has drawn passionate responses from both sides. "If God meant corn to be used for fuel he would have made it flammable in its natural state," said Kathleen Baker of Clarkston, Washington, one of at least 23 people who invoked the Holy Spirit in comments to the EPA.

Tom Morgan, from Mondamin, Iowa, wrote that the ethanol mandate helps to defund "terrorists," by reducing dependence on foreign oil. Pal Ray took aim at government intervention in the fuel markets.

"The stupid government is subsidizing production using our food crops," Ray wrote.

In May, the EPA, in a long-delayed announcement, proposed lowering the amount of ethanol to be used this year to 13.4 billion gallons and to 14 billion in 2016, less than the 15 billion required under the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act.

That was good news to recreational boat owners and motorcycle riders who wrote EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy saying the law's Renewable Fuels Standard would increase the total concentration of ethanol in gasoline beyond 10 percent, a level that could damage their engines. They have joined ranks with bar owners, a household cleaning lobby and environmentalists who say ethanol raises food prices.

Motorcycle woes

Mark Petit, from Yakima, Washington, told the EPA that his Honda Valkyrie motorcycle gets fewer miles to the gallon on ethanol-laced gasoline and that the US should simply "eliminate the RFS mandate."

Valero Energy, the biggest US refiner and third- largest ethanol producer, agreed. The San Antonio-based company is pushing EPA to overhaul the program to better reflect how motor fuel makes its way to filling stations.

Ethanol supporters, like the Renewable Fuels Association and Growth Energy, Washington-based trade groups, say the EPA's proposal undercuts the industry's future and that targets should not be eased. The American Petroleum Institute and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, which represent oil producers and refiners, say the EPA didn't go far enough in reducing the requirements.

Production of the biofuel is 1.2 percent higher than it was a year ago, government data show.

Farmers who grow corn and other feedstocks for biofuels say the program has been a growth engine for the rural economies and has helped the environment by reducing smog.
Big oil

"As ethanol producers, traders and marketers, we believe that the original goals of the RFS are reasonable and within reach," Archer-Daniels-Midland, the second-biggest US ethanol maker, said in comment to the agency.

Todd Becker, chief executive officer of ethanol producer Green Plains Renewable Energy, said the biofuel's opponents have fallen for Big Oil's public relations campaign.

"Use reverse logic," Becker said in an interview. "You're mandated to use 90 percent gasoline. You're being held hostage."

The public comment period on the proposal ended July 27.


Not a Typo: Military Pays Nearly $30 a Gallon for Green Fuel

A recent Government Accountability Office report on the Department of Defense’s fuel consumption habits illustrates just how expensive alternative fuel actually is. From 2007 to 2014, the military burned through 32 billion gallons of petroleum-based fuel. During that time, it also invested in two million gallons of alternative fuel to develop an alternative fuel supply. It makes sense: It’s all a part of developing resiliency.

But while the Pentagon paid on average $3.35 for a gallon of conventional fuel, it paid $29.30 per gallon for a plant-based naval and jet fuel called F-76. Wage a war powered on the stuff, and you might just run out of money before you could win.

Still, DOD is planning on increasing the amount of F-76 it uses — all in the name of powering 50% of the military on alternative fuel by 2020. “To help the Navy purchase alternative jet and naval distillate fuels blended with conventional fuels, the Department of Agriculture plans to provide funding directly to alternative fuel vendors that meet certain requirements and receive awards from DOD,” the GAO reports. “These funds are intended to defray some of the alternative fuel producer’s extra costs — such as costs of domestic feedstocks.”

In other words, the Department of Agriculture will provide subsidies so that alternative fuels don’t eat away at the Pentagon’s budget. It’s an accounting trick meant to disguise the real cost of outfitting the green army. Just for your information, an M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank burns a gallon of fuel for every 0.6 miles.


Australian public broadcaster has a climate change obsession

Like a judge turned advocate, or umpire turned player, the ABC’s Media Watch has become a ­spruiker in one of the nation’s most crucial policy debates — ­climate change.

Jonathon Holmes, a former presenter and columnist for The Age, this week trumpeted his fondness for renewable energy and disinterest in the cost of electricity.

Defending [Leftist leader] Bill Shorten’s  uncosted promise to deliver 50 per cent of Australia’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030, Holmes said “no one has a clue what the comparative cost of coal-fired and renewable energy will be by 2030.”

He also argued that renewables “create at least as many — arguably far more” jobs than coal-fired ­electricity and that News Corporation Australia (publisher of The Weekend Australian) has launched an “assault on climate change ­action.”

He is free to subscribe to whatever ill-founded conspiracy theory he likes, of course, and The Age is perfectly entitled to publish them.

But it would be a shame if he had used his pulpit at Media Watch to promote Leunig Left views.

Holmes fronted Media Watch from 2008 until 2013 when he was replaced by Paul Barry.

Over that period climate policy has been one of the nation’s most contentious political, economic and environmental issues: Labor’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme was proposed, rejected and then dropped; the Coalition switched from supporting emissions trading schemes to opposing them; Labor ruled out a carbon tax then introduced one; the Coalition repealed it; and now Labor again proposes a trading scheme and the ambitious renewables target.

A quick check of Barry’s Twitter feed shows he shares the ­climate alarmist and renewable-at-any-cost stance of his predecessor (along with a healthy dose of Murdochophobia).

Views such as these might be economically naive and politically jaundiced but they are common enough among university activists and Greens politicians, so we can hardly get too excited about Barry subscribing to them.

But what if this Green Left push infiltrated the professional posture of senior journalists at the national broadcaster?

What if Media Watch — a program the ABC says aims to expose “conflicts of interest, misrepresentation and manipulation” — was used to consistently promote a climate alarmist and pro-renewables mindset?

This week, Media Watch returned to an old theme when it picked up commentators using an erroneous figure relating to the high cost of wind and solar energy over coal.

The mistake inflated the costs by a factor of 10 (so was most likely the result of a misplaced decimal point). It occurred in this newspaper’s Cut&Paste section more than four years ago and was ­corrected.

Given the incorrect figures made wind power 19 times more expensive than coal, “you’d have to be mad to support it (wind ­energy),” Barry mocked.

Yet the correct figures showed wind was twice as expensive as coal and that solar is more than five times the cost — so the pertinent question might be whether you would be mad to support renewables on those numbers?

Barry didn’t make that point or pose that question.

Far from being a binary emotional question about “belief” in climate change and “love” for renewables, climate policy involves a complex serious of competing objectives to reduce emissions, contain costs and support economic growth.

Every cost needs to be measured against a desired benefit, and each goal needs to be weighed against the known costs.

Aside from this newspaper, and perhaps the Australian Financial Review, few media organisations have looked at these issues seriously.

The Australian has long accepted the scientific basis of anthropogenic climate change, understanding the need to reduce CO2 emissions and, for a quarter of a century, has argued for an economically rational market mechanism to deal with it.

At the same time it has fostered an intelligent debate, including reportage of changing climate observations and modelling, and rational analysis of various climate factors and proposed solutions.

Media Watch has shown something of an obsession for pursuing coverage of climate change issues and, in particular, reportage in The Australian.

Its executive producer, Tim Latham, declined to provide a tally of how often the program had criticised coverage of dissenting or sceptical climate views compared to reports showing alarmist overreach. He did, however, point out a segment from March last year, which appears to be the exception that proves the rule.

It highlighted media reports of a climate change study that found the Sydney Opera House would be swamped by rising sea levels.

Mocking the sensational nature of the reporting, Media Watch pointed out the study was looking at consequences 2000 years into the future.

“The Sydney Opera House will not be submerged in the next 100 or 200 years if indeed it ever is,” lectured Barry, “and to imply that it will be is alarmist nonsense of the sort that brings journalism and ­climate science into disrepute.”

Yet, of course, it was the study that was sensational. It claimed more than one per cent of the global land mass, 7 per cent of the world’s population and 136 UNESCO world cultural heritage sites would be swamped — in 2000 years.

If anyone was bringing climate science into disrepute surely it was these climate scientists themselves.

The study generated exactly the sort of media reporting intended.

Typically, Media Watch analyses, corrects, criticises, crosschecks and mocks journalists and commentators who give oxygen (pun intended) to scientists or activists making dissenting or sceptical arguments about global warming.

The alarmist scaremongering and frightening predictions of climate activists that are regurgitated daily by a wide variety of media organisations, especially Fairfax and the ABC, are seldom subjected to scrutiny.

When the national broadcaster publishes claims such as this — “That’s over 2 billion atomic bombs worth of heat built up on our planet since 1998” — Media Watch doesn’t spring into action to question the language.

Tim Flannery’s predictions about permanent drought and dams running dry sit stubbornly unfulfilled and inexplicably unexamined on ABC websites.

Instead of pointing out the jaundice, Media Watch replicates it and continues its crusade against sceptics.

Often that effort has been directed at this newspaper’s environment editor, Graham Lloyd, who is a committed environmentalist, accepts the physics of climate science and has opined in favour of an emissions trading scheme but dares to report a wide range of scientific analysis.

“The fundamental point,” says Lloyd, “is just because I don’t agree with something doesn’t mean it should not be put into the public domain where it can sharpen debate and understanding.

“The alternative is self-censorship and authoritarian control.”

In extensive and diverse coverage of data, developments and opinions on climate issues over countless stories and many years there is one story (sourced from overseas, misinterpreted in the production process and for which The Australian published a correction) that would have been better left unpublished.

But the rest of Media Watch’s numerous admonishments amount to little more than a misplaced decimal point here, a less than ideal headline there, or nitpicking about the emphasis given to particular points of view in ­various reports.

It is beyond contention The Australian and The Weekend Australian have covered a broader array of scientific and economic analysis and opinion on climate than the ABC.

Take the hiatus, or global warming pause, which has been debated in detail by scientists for more than six years, especially since scientific frustration at the pace of warming was revealed through the infamous “Climategate” emails. Renowned climate scientist ­Judith Curry blogged about the latest research this month saying the “hiatus clearly lives, both in upper ocean heat content and surface temperatures” and added it would be interesting to see how the media reacted to this news given they had declared it an “artefact” only weeks earlier.

This debate has been largely absent from the ABC except for belated attempts to debunk the pause claims.

The science program Catalyst tackled the issue last October in a story that included Professor Curry explaining that “globally ­average surface temperatures haven’t increased in any significant way since 1998.”

While Curry was identified as belonging to a “small minority” of scientists she was allowed to make the central points about a “growing divergence between the observations and climate model simulations.”

Yet the story’s clear aim was to relay that “all things considered, there’s been no global warming pause.” It gave most prominence to that argument and scientists promoting it.

“The whole of the climate system is really warming,” said Kevin Trenberth, “it’s just that the warming can be manifested in different ways.”

What we’re seeing in the models,” said Matthew England, “is that the warming out of the hiatus is gonna be rapid, regardless of when that hiatus ends.”

In other words the models that did not predict the hiatus are now predicting that when the hiatus ends warming will be even more rapid.

Does this mean they are really saying forget the observations, believe the modelling?

The ABC refuses to ask such obvious and sceptical questions.

The national broadcaster prefers to turn its sights on any media raising an eyebrow, testing an assertion or allowing experts to do the same.

Tellingly, the ABC never reported the significant revisions to global climate predictions that were snuck onto the UK Met Office website on Christmas Eve 2012.

Given the Met’s standing as a leading international climate centre, this was big news.

“If the forecast is accurate, the result would be that the global average temperature would have remained relatively static for about two decades,” reported the BBC.

“An apparent standstill in global temperatures is used by critics of efforts to tackle climate change as evidence that the threat has been exaggerated. Climate scientists at the Met Office and other centres are involved in intense research to try to understand what is happening over the most recent period.”

It appears the ABC never reported this issue and, all-in-all, ­ignored the pause until it was ready to run reports debunking it, or at the end of last year, saying it was over.

ABC radio breathlessly reported in December that 2014 was on track to be the warmest year ever and that “contrary to the position argued by climate change sceptics” global warming had neither paused nor slowed down. Rather than “contrary to the position argued” by sceptics it would have been more accurate to say “contrary to the recorded ­observations.”

The ABC gives us alarmist claims from those demanding urgent action and denies us information about observed evidence or dissent against the alarmist claims. Yet we are given rebuttals of the dissent.

It is Orwellian.

Media Watch took a keen interest in this newspaper’s coverage from 2012 of beach erosion issues at Lake Cathie, on the NSW ­Central Coast, where residents faced the threat of planning changes based on IPCC sea level projections.

“We don’t want to shift, no way,” said Russell Secombe who, along with his wife, Anne, and the owners of 16 other houses on the Illaroo Road beachfront, was ­concerned about a report before council recommending a “planned retreat” in the face of coastal ­erosion.

Media Watch forensically analysed these reports, demonstrating poor headline choice and contesting some interpretations.

But reporter Ean Higgins ­pursued this story over subsequent years, taking up the cause of ­people who had invested their life savings in their homes and seen their values fall because of the looming restrictions.

Eventually, thanks in no small part to Higgins’s reporting, the planning minister stepped in.

“The problem that property owners face is that some councils have been casting potential longer-term issues as a clear-and-present danger,” said the minister.

“We just needed to get councils to jump away from that doomsday scenario.”

This is the core work of journalists — identifying issues where citizens are being adversely affected by authorities, shedding light on their fears and concerns, seeking responses and sometimes, just sometimes, helping to build ­momentum for resolutions.

Ideally such reportage would never suffer from an error or inappropriate headline but the world is not perfect.

In a range of other areas — perhaps workers concerned about asbestos, or farmers concerned about climate change reducing their crops — we know the ABC would champion such journalism.

Perhaps for Media Watch the problem with Higgins and the homeowners at Lake Cathie was not so much that they stood between the council and the sea but that they stood between climate alarmism and a sensible, more cautious approach.

Another Media Watch attack centred on Lloyd’s January report about a groundbreaking study into the possibility of adverse health effects from wind turbines.

His story contained all the relevant details about the scope, funding and limitations of the study.

And it overtly referred to the need for more research into an open question: “It opens the way for a full-scale medical trial that may resolve the contentious ­debate about the health impact of wind farms.” Yet Media Watch insisted that Lloyd’s report had “got it so wrong” and it lined up a series of so-called experts to condemn the coverage.

Barry selectively quoted the study’s author to suggest he disagreed with Lloyd’s reporting when he did not (Barry had him rebutting a claim that was not made) and he quoted damning comments about the “atrocious” study and its coverage from an academic without disclosing the professor’s qualifications were not in science but sociology.

Media Watch was slapping down Lloyd for daring to air a study that merely raises the possibility of adverse health consequences from wind turbines.

Barry and his sizeable team used precisely the toolkit of selective reporting, omission and emotive posturing that they seek to expose in their targets.

They mock the suggestion of health concerns with jokes about “yolkless eggs” and snide ­comments about stories being “excitedly” relayed.

To put the program’s journalism and objectivity into perspective we need only pose this question; do we think they would be this dismissive of early reports about possible health risks with asbestos, coal dust or yellowcake?

We don’t need to believe wind turbines are harmful to make the point that if the industry were not renewable energy, the ABC might be all over the potential workplace health and safety implications of new technologies.

Good journalism is obliged to investigate and debate such ­matters.

For regular viewers there is a clear sense that Media Watch is campaigning on climate. Inquirer spoke to prominent advocates in the climate change debate and none seemed surprised to be asked about their engagement with the program.

Australian National University professor and former climate commissioner Will Steffen says he “interacts a lot” with the ABC but “not a whole lot” with Media Watch.

“I think I have been in contact with them once or twice to comment on issues but that has come at their instigation,” he said.

At the Clean Energy Council, spokesman Mark Bretherton also talked down their contact. “It is not that often that we talk to Media Watch,” he said, “the last time would have been a year or two ago and generally when we talk to them they contact us rather than the other way around.”

But the Climate Institute’s John Connor admits to being more proactive. “They come to us for fact-checking,” he said, “we’re happy to help and perhaps the same amount of times I have raised issues with them, perhaps once or twice.”

Mr Connor said when he made his suggestions they had been followed up with broadcasts but he can’t remember what the issues were. “I certainly wouldn’t characterise it as an ongoing relationship.”

Back in 2012 Media Watch was again defending the renewable energy sector and admonishing The Australian for daring to report that despite the addition of wind turbines, Victoria’s dirty brown coal generators were still running at full capacity.

“It was one of those stories that make The Australian’s readers wonder why we bother with all this renewable energy nonsense,” sneered Holmes, preferring not to review it as an important story explaining how the addition of wind farms tended not to diminish the need for baseload power.

Media Watch based their entire criticism on the reality of the National Electricity Market, suggesting that with wind energy inputs Victoria could export more coal power and reduce emissions in NSW and South Australia.

It was a heroic argument, ignoring the coal burned, not for export, but just to keep the baseload generators running.

The facts were disputed by experts including Hamish Cumming, the source of Lloyd’s story, who complained that Media Watch refused to consider his research.

Few issues could be more pertinent to the national policy debate than whether the additional costs to consumers of mandated renewables was actually reducing emissions. But Media Watch, it seems, would rather we didn’t inquire.

This month Media Watch again singled out a Lloyd report as it ­attacked many media organisations for the way they reported new research about the prospects of a “mini-ice age” or, more correctly, the onset of a Maunder Minimum because of reduced solar activity.

Barry admonished Lloyd, even though his report was detailed, ­accurate and played down the overall impact of this phenomenon.

“The dominant view among ­climate scientists is that it is too small to have a major impact,” ­reported Lloyd.

Tellingly, Barry was dismissive about the possibility of regionalised cooling of up to 0.8 degrees when warming projections generate great excitement.

Laughably, he criticised Lloyd’s report because the qualifying information was deeper in the story than the newsworthy claims in the first two paragraphs “which is what everyone reads”.

We can only imagine how busy Barry would be if he troubled himself with such journalistic parsing-in-full of stories predicting increased global warming or exacerbated environmental damage.

We see a familiar pattern here.

The Australian puts studies, concerns and information into the public arena to contribute to serious policy debates and Media Watch hits back, condemning those reports, suggesting information that questions the economics, environmental benefits or health effects of renewable energy should not be reported or that reports focusing on climate observations that are less than alarmist should be ignored.

This is jaundice, pure and ­simple.

And it raises the question of whether the personal prejudices of Holmes and Barry (and possibly others) have had a strong influence on the editorial direction of Media Watch over the past decade, helping to buttress a widespread lack of journalistic curiosity on ­climate change issues.

Media Watch could be the choirmaster of the ABC’s climate change groupthink and a broader journalistic chorus.



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Friday, July 31, 2015

Hillary on climate:  A complete ignoramus

On Sunday, she promised two national goals if elected president. First, she would “set the United States on a path toward producing enough clean renewable energy to power every home in America within a decade.” Second, she would “initiate a process that would bring the total number of solar panels installed nationwide to more than half a billion before the end of her first term.” We truly hope she never sees that first term, because all that proposal will do is line the pockets of cronies in the solar-power industry. But hey, she’s got to repay a favor — the two largest solar contractors in America gave generously to the Clinton Foundation.

Meanwhile, Hillary couldn’t resist the opportunity to blast the GOP on the climate. She claims Republicans answer questions about climate change by deflecting, “I’m not a scientist.” But she did no better, saying, “Well, I’m not a scientist either, I’m just a grandmother with two eyes and a brain.” She forgot to mention she stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Of course, the “science” behind climate change isn’t science at all; it’s an agenda. Hillary and her fellow climate alarmists need to take the blinders off of their eyes and use what’s left of their brains.

Additionally, she promises to fight back against the Republicans' attempt to dismantle the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, though she says she’ll try to help those in the coal industry who have or will lose their jobs due to leftist environmental policies.

Gee, that’s terrific. Who in their right mind would believe she will “try to help those in the coal industry”? Remember Benghazi? The last thing most Americans want to hear from Hillary is that she is here to help. Especially since her economic policy proposals for higher tax rates and a landscape plastered with solar panels do nothing but hurt Americans and their prosperity rather than helping them.


Prince Charles extends climate doomsday deadline by 33 years

Prince Charles is warning that there are only 35 years left to save the planet from climate disaster, which represents a 33-year extension of his previous deadline.

In March 2009, the heir to the British throne predicted that the world had 100 months “before we risk catastrophic climate change,” as pointed out by Climate Depot’s Marc Morano.

“Prince Charles gives world reprieve: Extends ‘100-Month’ climate ‘tipping point’ to 35 more years,” says the Tuesday headline on the Climate Depot website.

The British blog Not A Lot of People Know That announced in a July 19 post, “Charlie Gives Us a Reprieve!”

Prince Charles, who updated his forecast in a July 18 interview with the Western [U.K.] Morning News prior to his visit to the Westcountry, began issuing warnings six years ago about imminent ecological disaster driven by climate change.

“The best projections tell us that we have less than 100 months to alter our behaviour before we risk catastrophic climate change,” the Prince of Wales said in a speech in Rio de Janeiro, as reported by the [U.K.] Telegraph.

Four months later, he predicted in an interview with the [U.K.] Independent that the Earth had 96 months left to avoid “irretrievable climate and ecosystem collapse, and all that goes with it.”

That prediction, which he continued to reference in other interviews, would have given the world until 2017 before reaching the “tipping point” of environmental catastrophe driven by climate change.

Others have also extended their original “tipping point” predictions in recent years, much to the amusement of climate-change skeptics.

For example, Climate Depot notes that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change gave the world 15 years to act starting in April 2014, even though its then-chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, had set a five-year deadline in 2007.

In 2006, former Vice President Al Gore said the world may have only 10 years to reverse course, prompting climatologist Roy Spencer to comment in 2014 that, “in the grand tradition of prophets of doom, his prognostication is not shaping up too well.”

Skeptics point out that the global mean temperature has not increased for more than 18 years, a phenomenon referred to by scientists as “the pause.


EPA Extends Deadline on Clean Power Plan

The Environmental Protection Agency is beginning to realize that it might be asking a bit too much from the American economy. Sources at the EPA have told The Washington Post that it is extending the deadline for when coal plants must reduce their greenhouse gas output. The EPA has yet to release the final version of the regulation, but it said coal plants have until 2022 instead of 2020 to conform to the gospel of green and avoid too much stress on the electrical grid. By ceding ground, the EPA admits the Clean Power Plan demanded too much.

On a related note, the new ozone standards that the EPA is working on would set the standards so low on the naturally occurring gas that Yosemite National Park and the Grand Canyon would be in violation, according to the National Association of Manufacturers. Things have gone too far when an agency supposedly established to protect the environment finds nature in violation of its decrees.


NOAA Fraudsters Prove Man-Made Global Warming Is Real

That the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is fudging temperature records isn’t a secret, but the (ahem) degree to which it is doing so has hit a mind-numbing level. Climate blogger Steve Goddard explains: “The measured US temperature data from USHCN shows that the US is on a long-term cooling trend. But the reported temperatures from NOAA show a strong warming trend.

They accomplish this through a spectacular hockey stick of data tampering, which corrupts the US temperature trend by almost two degrees. The biggest component of this fraud is making up data. Almost half of all reported US temperature data is now fake. They fill in missing rural data with urban data to create the appearance of non-existent US warming.

The depths of this fraud is breathtaking, but completely consistent with the fraudulent profession which has become known as ‘climate science.’” Fellow climate blogger Steve Milloy adds, “NOAA fakery shows why it’s called man-made global warming.”


The Colossal Hoax Of Organic Agriculture

Consumers of organic foods are getting both more and less than they bargained for. On both counts, it’s not good.

Many people who pay the huge premium—often more than a hundred percent–for organic foods do so because they’re afraid of pesticides.  If that’s their rationale, they misunderstand the nuances of organic agriculture. Although it’s true that synthetic chemical pesticides are generally prohibited, there is a lengthy list of exceptions listed in the Organic Foods Production Act, while most “natural” ones are permitted.

However, “organic” pesticides can be toxic.  As evolutionary biologist Christie Wilcox explained in a 2012 Scientific American article (“Are lower pesticide residues a good reason to buy organic? Probably not.”): “Organic pesticides pose the same health risks as non-organic ones.”

Another poorly recognized aspect of this issue is that the vast majority of pesticidal substances that we consume are in our diets “naturally” and are present in organic foods as well as non-organic ones. In a classic study, UC Berkeley biochemist Bruce Ames and his colleagues found that “99.99 percent (by weight) of the pesticides in the American diet are chemicals that plants produce to defend themselves.”

Moreover, “natural and synthetic chemicals are equally likely to be positive in animal cancer tests.” Thus, consumers who buy organic to avoid pesticide exposure are focusing their attention on just one-hundredth of one percent of the pesticides they consume.

Some consumers think that the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) requires certified organic products to be free of ingredients from “GMOs,” organisms crafted with molecular techniques of genetic engineering. Wrong again. USDA does not require organic products to be GMO-free. (In any case, the methods used to create so-called GMOs are an extension, or refinement, of older techniques for genetic modification that have been used for a century or more.) As USDA officials have said repeatedly:

Organic certification is process-based. That is, certifying agents attest to the ability of organic operations to follow a set of production standards and practices which meet the requirements of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 and the [National Organic Program] regulations . . . If all aspects of the organic production or handling process were followed correctly, then the presence of detectable residue from a genetically modified organism alone does not constitute a violation of this regulation.

Putting it another way, so long as an organic farmer abides by his organic system (production) plan–a plan that an organic certifying agent must approve before granting the farmer organic status–the unintentional presence of GMOs (or, for that matter, prohibited synthetic pesticides) in any amount does not affect the organic status of the farmer’s products or farm.

Under only two circumstances does USDA sanction the testing of organic products for prohibited residues (such as pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or antibiotics) or excluded substances (e.g., genetically engineered organisms).

First, USDA’s National Organic Production Standards support the testing of products if an organic-certifying agent believes that the farmer is intentionally using prohibited substances or practices.

And second, USDA requires that certifying agents test five percent of their certified operations each year. The certifying agents themselves determine which operations will be subjected to testing.


Global warming - scientific nonsense

Comment from Britain

AFTER a wet and miserable May and chilly July five species of butterfly resident at my local nature reserve for more than 40 years have disappeared. I’ve been monitoring them carefully and can’t quite believe their demise.

Perhaps it has something to do with this cold summer - which the BBC will no doubt tell us is the warmest on record.

Readers may remember 2013 was supposed to be the year the Arctic would be “ice free”. Now its thickness has increased by a third. Polar bear numbers are rising, not falling.

Last week Canadian scientists studying the effect of climate change on Arctic ice from an icebreaker had to suspend their research, when they were called to rescue ships trapped in the thickest summer ice seen in Hudson Bay for 20 years.

Global warming is an invention of well meaning folks whose desire to cut so-called greenhouse gases will send us back to the stone age. They are aided and abetted by charlatans masquerading as scientists desperately trying to raise funds for their "research".



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 30, 2015

A mystery that is a mystery to Warmists only

In science, when something shows your theory is wrong, you change your theory.  In Warmism, if something shows your theory is wrong, it's a "mystery".  The finding below shows that coral deaths presently being attributed to warming are NOT produced by warming

AN ancient coral reef specimen now on display at the Natural History Museum in London is at the centre of a global warming mystery spanning 160 million years.

THE exhibit is proof that ancestors of modern corals somehow thrived during the Late Jurassic period when temperatures were warmer and atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide higher than they are today.

Yet global warming in the 21st century is already associated with serious damage to coral reefs caused by "bleaching".

Dr Ken Johnson, coral reefs researcher at the London museum, said: "By researching historical fossil corals like this, we can understand and predict the impact of climate change and other environmental factors on coral reefs over time.

"This 160-million-year-old specimen is an ancestor of some of the corals on our planet today, showing us that a sustainable future for coral reefs is possible because they can survive severe global environmental changes."

Early corals also managed to survive the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous period 65 million years ago that wiped out the dinosaurs and many other species.

If greenhouse gas emissions continue unchecked, atmospheric carbon dioxide is expected to match Late Jurassic levels by 2100 and to exceed them by 2250.

Bleaching occurs when stressful environmental conditions cause corals to expel the symbiotic algae living in their tissues, turning them white.

Corals depend for their survival on the algae, which provide them with oxygen and nutrients. When they bleach they begin to starve.

Professor Richard Twitchett, palaeoecology researcher at the Natural History Museum, said: "At the time this coral reef was alive, 160 million years ago, our planet's marine biodiversity was as high as it had ever been.

"The fact that this coral reef lived in a much warmer world shows that if we monitor and control future changes, coral reefs can remain one of the most important ecosystems on Earth."


Global Warming Is So Powerful That It Showed The Resilience Of Sea Ice

So, sea ice is more “resilient” that scientists originally assumed, according to the Wall Street Journal. In fact, a “single cool summer” actually stopped the ice cap around the North Pole from melting:

Using new satellite data, researchers at University College London reported in Nature Geoscience on Monday that the total volume of sea ice in the Northern Hemisphere was well above average in the autumn of 2013, traditionally the end of the annual melt season, after an unusually cool summer when temperatures dropped to levels not seen since the 1990s.

“We now know it can recover by a significant amount if the melting season is cut short,” said the study’s lead author Rachel Tilling, a researcher who studies satellite observations of the Arctic. “The sea ice might be a little more resilient than we thought.”

A steady decline in the extent of Arctic sea ice since the late 1970s has been taken as a barometer of longer-term warming trends in the Northern hemisphere. The U.S. Navy last year predicted that by 2030 the Arctic’s northern sea route could be ice-free and navigable for nine weeks every year.

Miss Tilling and her colleagues used new data from the European Space Agency’s Cryosat-2 radar satellite, launched in 2010. For the first time, they measured changes in the overall volume of seasonal sea ice across the Arctic and Greenland. Until now, researchers have been able to track the extent of ice, but not its thickness.

In 2013, summer temperatures were about 5% cooler than the previous year and the volume of autumn ice jumped 41%, they said.

Now, the Journal reported that sea ice levels are at its lowest before measurements began, but let’s elaborate on this a bit.

Scientists predicted the Arctic Ice Cap would be gone by 2013 as well. By the time 2013 came around, it had grown by 533,000 square miles. That year we also saw the creation of 19,000 Manhattan-size islands worth of sea ice, the quietest tornado season in six decades, and the calmest hurricane season in three decades*. Our air quality is also better than ever, according to the EPA.

To the south, the sea ice conditions in Antarctica have made the journey for the resupply vessels keeping the various research stations sustained more difficult. Heck, the CIA even shut down their climate research program.

Recently, the CCGS Amundsen, an icebreaker that acts as a research vessel, which conducts experiments 24-hours a day, had its 115-day expedition altered when it was ordered to help out resupply ships en route to Northern Quebec due to the amount of ice in their shipping lanes.

So, scientists were wrong about the resilience of sea ice, they were wrong about global cooling in the 1970s, and they could be wrong about rising global temperatures that seemed to have plateaued almost two decades ago, according to the UK Meteorological Office.

Oh, and those new EPA regulations that are aimed at combating this phantom threat are going to do little; EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy seems to have admitted to it.

'One one-hundredth of a degree?' EPA's McCarthy admits Obama regs have no measurable climate impact


Governed by Zealots

The government's environmental rules defeat even environmentalists.

Thomas Collier is a Democrat who managed environmental policy for Bill Clinton and Al Gore. Then he noticed a mining opportunity in Alaska, one he calls "the single largest deposit of gold and silver

Tom's company hired hundreds of people to study the Pebble Mine's potential environmental impact, a first step before asking the Environmental Protection Agency for permission to dig. Usually, the EPA analyzes a company's study, then does its own research, then rules. But in this case, the EPA did something odd -- it rejected the mine before Pebble even got its application in.

That's never happened before, says Collier.

So why would the EPA do that? It's simple: the agency has been captured by environmental zealots.

One of the world's biggest environmental groups, the Natural Resources Defense Council, opposed the mine. The NRDC doesn't do science well -- it employs mostly lawyers, not scientists -- but the lawyers are good at raising money by scaring people about supposed environmental "disasters" like mines.

"The things that NRDC is talking about are from an age far in the past," says Tom Collier. "Now you can build a safe mine."

He points out that two big mines "sit right on the edge of the Fraser River ... the second largest sockeye salmon fishery in the world. ...No problem with the salmon."

To arouse public opposition to the Pebble Mine, the NRDC funded TV ads that claim the mine will mean a "natural paradise (is) destroyed by a 2,000-foot gaping hole." The mining company will build "huge earthen dams up to 50 stories tall, holding back billions of tons of mining waste." That sounds frightening, because the NRDC doesn't mention that the "waste" is sand -- not some poisonous chemical.

Actor Robert Redford lent his voice to the ad, claiming, "The EPA has confirmed that the Pebble Mine, a massive gold and copper mine, would devastate Bristol Bay." After watching that ad, I thought the proposed mine must be right next to Bristol Bay, but it turns out that the Bay is (SET ITAL) 90 miles (END ITAL) away.

It also turns out that some NRDC activists now work for the EPA, and although activists aren't supposed to get involved in issues pushed by the agency, they do it anyway. The NRDC's Nancy Stoner became an EPA regulator. Then she wrote her former colleagues, "I am not supposed to set up meetings with NRDC staff," referring to a pledge she signed not to participate in any matters directly involving her former employer. Then she got around these restrictions by qualifying that she could attend such a meeting if "there are enough others in attendance."

Isn't that revealing? It's the evil private-public "revolving door" that activists usually complain

She didn't respond to my questions, so I asked NRDC spokesman Bob Deans about his group "colluding with regulators" to shut down a mine. He smoothly replied, "NRDC is a source of expertise, and sometimes government takes advantage of that."

It sure does.

I asked Deans, "Are there some mines you don't  complain about?

He said, "Sure." But when I asked him to name "any mines" that NRDC "doesn't oppose," he failed to come up with any.

"NIMBY" used to be the anti-economic-growth refrain. Luddites shouted, "Not in my backyard!" Now, watching bureaucrats stop projects such as the Keystone oil pipeline and the Pebble Mine, it's clear that the phrase has become "BANANA": "Build absolutely nothing anywhere near anyone!"

I wish activists would personally experience the economic devastation that occurs when they block every project that might have a slight impact on nature.

Alaskans who still live near the Pebble Mine site say the activists killed their dreams. "The environmental groups," said Lisa Reimers, "made people believe on TV that everything was going to die."

When Pebble ramped up, Reimers' company employed 215 people. Only six remain. "You see your people struggling and you have to let them go," Reimers told us. "There are no jobs here, and they're angry at you because they think it's your fault."

Propaganda is what the NRDC produces. It shouldn't be the basis for EPA policy. These days, too often, it is -- because activists and regulators collude.


Ex-Im’s War on Coal

Lest you needed another reason to oppose the resurrection of the United States Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank, bureaucrats haven’t just been picking the winners and losers among American corporations but have also been taking it upon themselves to do the bidding of the Obama administration by helping wage their misguided “War on Coal.”

For the past few years, bank officials have refused to finance many coal exports in order to support President Obama’s climate initiatives. This was done without congressional approval or oversight – and demonstrates yet another example of how transparency was severely lacking in the bank’s lending practices.

At a June congressional hearing on the bank’s reauthorization, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) prodded the bank’s chairman, Fred Hochberg, with questions. Corker quipped, “I didn’t know we were carrying out environmental policies through Ex-Im,” and said he was “offended to realize Ex-Im Bank basically had taken on some of the administration’s policies without Congress being involved in any way.”

In a moment of rare honesty, Hochberg testified that he made a habit of not supporting coal and coal-mining equipment exports or deals involving coal-fired power plants in “wealthier countries” that have the ability to use other sources of power. This left many senators, particularly Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD), to question if the bank was more interested in promoting liberal policy agendas than American jobs. That appears to be exactly the case.

At the same time the supposedly independent financial institution was denying coal equipment exports to needing countries across the world, they were promoting the Obama-backed “green energy” firm Solyndra. Nobody will forget the corrupt solar start up that went belly-up after receiving more than $500 million in taxpayer subsidies and a $10.3 million loan from the Ex-Im bank, leading to subpoenas and congressional inquiries of high level Obama administration officials. Ex-Im provided loan guarantees to another politically-connected solar panel company, Abound Solar, before it, too, went under. Abound received $9.2 million from the bank.

As supporters of Ex-Im cry for Congress to reauthorize the bank before they leave for their August recess, it’s important to remember these stories. Plagued with mismanagement and a lack of transparency, the bank’s goal was not, first and foremost, about promoting American jobs.

Claiming in its mission statement that the bank was intended to assist small businesses export overseas, Ex-Im was caught mischaracterizing “potentially hundreds of large companies and units of multinational conglomerates as small businesses,” as reported by Reuters. The most recent data shows that 60 percent of the bank’s financing went to 10 multinational corporations, and a remaining 30 percent went to Boeing alone. The three largest recipients of Ex-Im funds include Boeing, General Electric, and Caterpillar, year after year. And it has since come to light that the Ex-Im bank only supports less than one percent of America’s small businesses with loan guarantees, instead serving only to prop up major companies who are more than capable of finding private lending.

When picking winners and losers in exporting, the taxpayer-backed bank propped up politically-connected corporations and failing alternative energy companies, without disclosing its selection process. The bank promoted a political agenda when it was supposed to remain independent and impartial. Ex-Im was allowed to run rampant, despite multiple congressional attempts to reform and rein in. Thus, Congress in June allowed its charter to expire. It should remain that way.


Pakistan supports global warming

ISLAMABAD: The present unsustainable global economic order has brutally overexploited natural resources to achieve so-called development, benefitted a few while plunging millions in the developing world into poverty and debt.

This was stated by Climate Change Minister Mushahidullah Khan while speaking to the media on Sunday.

“The world direly needs a whole new economic framework to cope with these challenges being aggravated further by the consequences of the global warming caused by the increasing trajectory of emissions of climate-altering and heat-trapping greenhouse gases, mainly carbon-dioxide,” he said.

The minister added that the planet is unlikely to be able to deal with the threat of global warming and achieve sustainable development goals without a new economic order. He said this new order must be made binding on rich industrialised countries, which are historically the world’s leading polluters, so as to use natural resources in a more judicious manner and move from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

Khan opined the current ‘business as usual’ model for development has led to dangerous levels of pollution, triggered climate change, biodiversity loss, and failed to address poverty and inequality. He said though a sustainable approach would be for all countries needed to shift towards zero-carbon economies, this remained a tremendous challenge for developing countries in particular.

“No one can deny that no country to date has developed without fossil fuel. However, cooperation is key in providing the technology, finance, skills and systems to create an alternative way of developing countries to adjust to the impact of unfolding climate change for which rich countries are responsible,” the minister said.

He seconded a statement made by Irish President Michael D Higgins, where he noted that the current generation may be the last with a chance to respond to the urgent, uncontested effects of climate change.

“The Irish president, last week rightly said at a meeting in Paris entitled the Summit of Consciences for the Climate that the challenge of climate change provided opportunities to build up a new economic order for humanity and for the sustainability of mother Earth,” Khan said.

The minister also supported former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s view that the threat posed by climate change is as grave as the danger of nuclear war.

The summit was convened by French President François Hollande, and was attended by religious groups, Nobel Laureates, artists and prominent politicians. The event is part of a series of gatherings to be held in the run-up to the two-week UN climate change conference in Paris in December. At the conference, a new global climate agreement is due to be finalised between developed and developing countries to keep the global carbon emission levels below 2 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels.


'Scientific Method' Australian Government style

by John Elliston AM, FAusIMM(CP)

Since 1936 the ‘scientific method’ has been recognised by Australian law (Subsection 73B(1) of the ITAA 1936) as: - ‘Systematic investigative and experimental activities that involve testing a hypothesis (new idea) by deductive formulation of its consequences. aussie scientific method

These deductions must be rigorously tested by repeatable experimentation and logical conclusions drawn from the results of the experiments. The hypothesis must be based on principles of physical, chemical, mathematical, or biological sciences’ (this would include the Second Law of Thermodynamics).

In 1972 Australian universities abandoned the procedure that had been used for award of their highest degrees in science to that time. DSc candidates were required to submit a doctoral thesis embodying an original research finding (details of a tested hypothesis). This was “peer reviewed” by two or more external scientists selected by the university as most appropriately qualified.

It was recognised that a candidate who had tested an original hypothesis may be equally or better able to interpret the results than an external reviewer. Candidates were therefore entitled to a “right of reply” to the written report or comments of the universities’ reviewers. In reply they could produce references or call on reviewers of their own selection.

University authorities were able to fairly assess the candidate’s new research finding and determine if it merited the award of their highest degree. This procedure raised standards in all scientific disciplines to which it applied but by 1974 it was abandoned by all Australian universities as too tedious and time consuming to cope with the rapidly increasing number of candidates aspiring to higher degrees.

With continuing rates of increase since 1970’s, Australian universities now resemble production-line ‘higher degree factories’! They quite rightly require higher degree candidates to meet very high standards but they are uniform standards requiring each candidate to conform to the limitations of the knowledge of his or her degree supervisor. corrupted scientific method

Significant new discoveries cannot conform to what is currently “generally accepted”. All publicly funded research in Australia tends to digress, at least to some extent, from the scientific method toward the extreme case depicted in the American cartoon (pictured right). Competitive research proposals are written to get research grants rather than to advance our knowledge by resolution of long-standing problems.

Geological researchers spend more time looking at computer screens than looking at rocks and mineral deposits!



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 29, 2015

Regulations, mostly Green, are destroying America's future

The Jetsons, a sci-fi fantasy family of the 1960s, lived in impossible luxury in 2062. Not only are we not nearing their living standards, we are going in the opposite direction. This column has wondered why, and a recent Supreme Court case has given us the answer. In one of its few good decisions of the recent term, the Court by a slim 5-4 vote struck down an EPA regulation whose costs were 1,000 times its benefits. It’s good to know imposing costs of 1,000 times the benefits is a no-no, but the myriads of regulations where costs are only 100 times, 10 times or even twice the benefits pervade the entire U.S. economy – and are leading us towards the Flintstones rather than the Jetsons.

The case, Michigan vs. EPA, concerned an EPA decision to regulate power plants directly, beyond the general requirements of the Clean Air Act of 1970, if they determined emissions (primarily mercury) from those plants posed a significant risk to public health. Thus the figure of $90 billion for benefits, bandied about in the media by friends of the EPA, included all the benefits from mercury regulation under the Clean Air Act – a dubious figure even under that definition, but of no relevance whatever to the further regulations proposed by the EPA. The new regulations, according to the Supreme Court ruling, imposed costs of $9-10 billion on the electric utility industry, while achieving benefits of $4-6 million – that’s million with an m. The cost/benefit ratio was thus in the region of 2,000 to 1.

Maddeningly, this Supreme Court ruling will in itself provide no benefit to the U.S. economy. Coming as it does three years after the regulations were imposed, it arrives only after most of the $9-10 billion of costs have been incurred, as utilities across the country have closed power plants in response to the EPA regulation.

Friends of regulation will no doubt claim that this was a rogue outlier, or (as many of the mainstream media have done) that the true benefit of the rogue regulation were a huge multiple of those claimed in the Supreme Court ruling. Both claims are implausible. The higher figure for benefits could be arrived at only by including the provisions of the Clean Air Act itself, and is any case highly likely to be spurious if examined closely. (A quick calculation: $90 billion claimed benefit divided by 11,000 claimed lives saved gives a value of $8.2 million per life, three or four times the value assumed in any reasonable actuarial calculation.)

The claim that the 1,000 to 1 cost to benefit ratio of this particular regulation is a rogue outlier is statistically highly implausible. Yes, it’s likely that the ratio was at the extreme of cost/benefit ratios produced by regulations as a whole, if only because 1,000 to 1 is a very rare cost/benefit ratio for anything. But it is vanishingly unlikely that the 1,000 to 1 regulation is one plucked from a population of regulations, the rest of which are close to 1 to 1 or even have a net benefit. Were that the case, the 1,000 to 1 cost/benefit ratio would be 25 or 50 standard deviations from the mean of all regulatory cost/benefit ratios, a deviation that only occurs one in the life of a million universes.

Statistically, it is much more plausible that the 1,000 to 1 cost/benefit ratio is only 3 or 4 standard deviations from the mean, and the population of regulations as a whole is full of 100 to 1, 200 to 1, 50 to 1, 10 to 1 and even 2 to 1 cost-benefit ratios. In other words, the entire population of regulations from the EPA (and we have no reason to believe the EPA to be especially egregious among government regulators) is likely to have costs a substantial multiple of its benefits.

When you look at the incredible density of regulations inflicted on the U.S. economy since around 1970, and more particularly since 2009, it’s clear that they should have a major economic effect. As this column has pointed out before, from the productivity statistics, the effect itself is clear, even if the causal link isn’t. The average annual rate of labor productivity growth in the United States from 1947 to 1972 was 2.88%. From 1973 to 2010 it declined by around a third, to 1.98%. Since 2011, the productivity growth rate has fallen still further, to 0.51% annually from the fourth quarter of 2010 to the first quarter of 2015. If average productivity growth had been maintained since 1973 at the rate obtaining before 1973, we would today be 54% richer. The United States would be richer than Singapore, rather than having fallen to a level one third below Singapore’s per capita wealth.

This is not especially an anti-environmentalist point. The personnel restrictions generated by the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1970 (another of Richard Nixon’s less stellar moments) and the various anti-discrimination acts generate huge costs, partly for employers attempting desperately to avoid the flood of frivolous lawsuits the legislation has generated. The licensing requirements of the FDA add enormously to the cost of developing new drugs, making the United States’ the costliest pharmacopeia in the world.

The CAFÉ fuel economy restrictions on automobiles have come close to destroying the U.S. automobile industry, by far the world leader in 1970. The recent restrictions on financial services appear to be generating mostly gigantic fines for trivial offenses such as manipulating LIBOR by a basis point or so. They have effectively closed the financial sector to new entrants, while in the long run enormously raising the cost of financial transactions. Even trivial tech improvements such as Uber are banned from various cities by their local governments acting in concert with taxicab companies. Finally, there is the disaster that is U.S. healthcare, more expensive than anywhere else in the world, and always liable to zap ordinary citizens with outrageously padded medical bills, which they have no hope of paying. And so the list goes on.

Further clear evidence of the recent intensification in regulation, and its pernicious effects is the decline in U.S. entrepreneurship since 2008. In recent years, the exit rate of new firms has exceeded the entry rate, something never seen before in the postwar economy. Part of this can be blamed on the Fed, whose extreme ultra-low interest policies stifle saving and thereby prevent many smaller new businesses from getting started. But there can be no doubt that the plethora of modern regulation plays at least an equally important role.

The left invented Gross Domestic Product, so they could include all government activities, however wasteful and even damaging, in national output figures, as though they were truly productive. This statistical legerdemain flattered historical periods such as the middle 1930s and the 1960s and early 1970s, when the U.S. government was increasing rapidly in size. Now they want to move away from GDP towards a measure of output that includes such things as cleaner air and water, and other measures that are merely evidence of compliance with left-devised regulations rather than anything tangibly benefiting the populace as a whole.

The objective of this will be to move further towards the regulatory state, impoverishing ordinary citizens and causing immense economic misery, while being able to claim that their new “Gross National Happiness” index is increasing at a rapid rate and that all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds. Global Warming legislation, ideally on a global scale where democratic forces are impotent, is likely be a key element in the move to the ultimate regulatory state in which all economic activity is controlled by Platonic Guardians – and non-Party members lead a miserable existence. Curiously, this was very much the Soviet dream, and was set out powerfully in George Orwell’s 1984. The success of regulation in the U.S. since 1970 and its effect on the overall economy indicate clearly that the dream never dies – and for the rest of us the nightmare too lives on.

The Commissar wears many hats – and if he comes in the form of a kindly environmental regulator, concerned about the level of mercury in the drinking water, he should be resisted as fiercely as if he bore a hammer and sickle.


New Little Ice Age Started: Climate Change with a Difference

by Professor Cliff Ollier

In the past decades we have been overwhelmed by books on Global Warming and its successor Climate Change. We have also been exposed to a large (though much smaller) number of books that take a skeptical view of these issues. book new little ice age

Here is a book with something new in the Climate Change debate: 'A New Little Ice Age Has Started: How to survive and prosper during the next 50 difficult years.' [1]

 This book goes beyond global warming and the usual arguments against it. It does not deal with the details of carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, simply noting that its amount has gone up in the past 60 years from about 350 to 400 ppm, while temperatures have not risen for the past 18 years. Clearly there is no correlation. Instead the arguments are assembled to show that a new ice is upon us.

On the scientific side he gets into the role of alignment of planets affecting gravity, cosmic rays (the link between solar flares and climate), and the relationship between volcanoes and climate (big eruptions cause T 250 New Concepts in Global Tectonics Journal, V. 3, No. 2, June 2015. cooling).

But this book is for the layman, so he does not use masses of facts and statistics, but rather anecdotal evidence. Instead of using satellite measurements to show the growing Greenland ice cap he recounts that a plane lost in World War II was discovered in 1989 under 87m of ice.

He goes on to show the fallacious science that has been used to blind the public to the reality, with discussion of the role of Climategate where climate scientists exchanged cynical e-mails discussing their fraud and manipulation very openly.

Lawrence Pierce describes the work of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) who publish their political Executive Summaries for politicians months before the actual Scientific Reports. They claim to use first class data but in fact use all kinds of nonrefereed reports from green agencies such as Greenpeace instead of scientific evidence.

Pierce has a few words to say on the disgraced ex-chairman of the IPCC, Dr. Pachauri, Al Gore’s misleading propaganda film, and Michael Mann’s infamous hockey-stick. Why does he do this? It turns out that the author is an ex lawyer who retired to grow grapes in British Colombia.

But the weather didn’t warm as he had been promised and the business failed. So he started his own investigation. Of course he found the pause in global warming. But more than this he found a completely different story. Carbon dioxide was barely a player, and the thing that has the best correlation with climate is the sunspot cycle. He describes the cycle using good diagrams and tables, and recounts the climatic history of the past few hundred years, with the Mediaeval Warm Period and the subsequent Little Ice Age.

As an aside Lawrence Pierce gives an account of Mann’s famous ‘hockey stick’ graph showing ever accelerating temperature increase (a onetime logo for the alarmists), the construction of which required the elimination of both the Medieval Warming and the Little Ice Age – which are incontrovertible facts. He describes the cold periods in the past starting roughly as follows: – the Oort 1000, Wolf 1250, Sporer 1400, Maunder 1645, Dalton 1780 - all related to sun spot minima.

And then comes the shocking discovery – we have already started our descent into the next Little Ice Age.

Solar Cycle 24 has started, and could be the Solar Cycle with the lowest recorded sunspot activity since accurate records began in 1750, so we are likely to have very cold weather for the next fifty to eighty years. Pierce points out that the minima are not times of permanent cold, but have great variation, with short hot spells and many storms.

In general life is good in the warm spells between little ice ages – the Roman, Medieval and Twentieth century warm periods, but harsh in the cold periods. He ties historical events to his narrative, such as Bonaparte’s attack on Moscow in one the very cold winters, the collapse of the Nordic settlement in Greenland, the Irish potato famine and many others.

We have come to accept the twentieth century warm as the norm, but the time of abundance is over. He sees the oncoming Ice Age as a real cause for alarm, and he asks why has it been kept from us? Why are our governments spending trillions to ‘avoid’ global warming when the real peril is just the reverse, and we have no plans to meet it. Lawrence Pierce feels cheated that the governments, scientists and journalists who he trusted have in fact completely misled him. Finally he writes about what to do about the coming cold.

Unfortunately this is a very parochial view and really tells people in Canada what to do. 35 out of 125 pages of the main text are devoted to this topic. But he pointed out that during the cold periods of previous little ice ages wiped out hundreds of thousands of people outside Canada by famine and associated war and disease. At present there are many countries, especially in the Middle East, who have booming population growth but are entirely dependent on buying food from elsewhere.

If the boundary of the wheat belt in the northern hemisphere moves 300 miles km to the south, they are in jeopardy. Guess what they will do. So if you believe his text you must make your own strategy to survive the hard times that are coming.


Using NOAA's cooked data, NASA says June tied as hottest month

 by Thomas Richard

NASA announced on Wednesday that by using NOAA's recently altered temperature data, June 2015 was tied as the warmest June on record.  goes 8 satelliteAs previously reported here, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reworked its climate data in order to eliminate the 18-year-and-counting pause in global warming. In early June, NOAA released a study saying that long-existing instrument biases have been masking rising sea surface temperatures. Once they "readjusted" the data, the current warming hiatus disappeared. Put simply, by cooling the past, NOAA made the the last two decades look warmer.

With the release of global temperature data for June, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has essentially changed how it analyses measurements by using the same sea surface dataset that was readjusted by NOAA. In using NOAA's highly controversial dataset, NASA can now say that global average temperatures last month tied June 2015 with June 1998 as the warmest on record. The global surface temperature anomaly for June was +0.78 degrees Celsius, which they say was driven by temperature inconsistencies in the Northern Hemisphere.

The June 2015 data released by NASA uses the same readjustments of global sea surface temperature records created by NOAA, which increases the rate of overall global warming (both land and sea) in the last 15 years. NOAA's dataset, known as the Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperature version 4 (ERSST v4), reflects these readjustments and have now been arrogated by NASA.

More troubling is the fact that NASA and NOAA have joined forces to hide the global warming pause, even though there are more robust, accurate datasets available that clearly show it. One item of contention is that both agencies have essentially overlooked the satellite record dataset, which shows a global warming pause since 1998. Starting in 1979, orbiting satellites have been measuring the atmosphere five miles up and are accurate to within .001 degrees Celsius.

Satellite data show that the upper atmosphere is warming much less than global surface temperatures, even though computer models predicted the opposite would happen. Worse still, the satellite-derived measurements clearly show a global warming pause. The dataset are analyzed by both the U.S. firm Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) and also the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). Both the RSS and UAH datasets are unaffected by the issues that plague land-based measurements and ship- and buoy-based biases in sea surface temperatures. NOAA's re-adjustments to the climate's temperature record doesn't impact satellite measurements as they are not susceptible to such distortions.

Even the data from weather balloons agree with the satellite temperature measurements. They show much less warming then was predicted, and in the past 18.6 years have shown no statistical warming worldwide. The other major player in the global temperature measurement field is the UK Met Office surface temperature dataset, which also shows a global warming pause since 1998. Oddly enough, NASA announced on July 9 that the oceans slowed the global temperature rise by "trapping the heat," while simultaneously claiming temperatures haven't stopped rising.

NASA also said it has "eliminated GHCN's Amundsen-Scott temperature series" and will only be using the SCAR reports for the South Pole (Antarctica). The Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) also announced it was using the readjusted NOAA ERSST v4 dataset. Unlike the UK Met Office and NCEI products, climate researcher Bob Tisdale writes that "GISS masks sea surface temperature data at the poles where seasonal sea ice exists, and they extend land surface temperature data out over the oceans in these locations."

Even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) acknowledged two years ago that the "rise in Earth's mean surface temperatures had begun to slow since 1998, and since then everything from volcanic activity to solar output has been used to explain the pause." Currently there are more than 66 excuses to explain the global warming hiatus.

Critics argue all of this comes at a time when President Obama has shifted his focus to climate change ahead of the Paris Climate Talks, and that NOAA and NASA are using this new dataset of revised sea surface temperatures to push other countries into crippling regulations. Even EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy admitted to Congress last week that all the new rules and regulations it is rolling out would only avert warming by .01 degrees.


Science or Selective Ignorance?

In an editorial published in Science magazine on July 3, Marcia McNutt, Editor-in-Chief of the Science Journals, removed all doubt concerning the direction that this once prestigious journal is taking. censorship

In "The beyond-two-degree inferno", she wrote: "The time for debate has ended. Action is urgently needed."

Then, she strongly supports the contrived effort of the European Union to keep "global warming" below 2°C above the preindustrial level - a number for which we have no rigorous measurement or logic.

She advocates the political position of the Administration in forcing reductions in carbon dioxide emission (CO2) by stating "The United States has pledged reductions of 26 to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025..."

Of course, there is no such pledge by the American people and its representatives in Congress. The Administration's pledge is arbitrary and authoritarian. Ms. McNutt concludes with a description of the nine circles of Hell found in Dante's Inferno.

Ms. McNutt continues a trend established in the Science journals by Donald Kennedy (2000-2008), who declared while he is editor, Science would no longer accept articles contradicting the pronouncements of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on global warming, later termed climate change, regardless of the empirical data presented.

The IPCC reports featured glaring deficiencies such as the falsely named distinct human fingerprint, a hot-spot over the tropics, which no one can empirically find; Mr. Mann's hockey-stick, based on sparse data, from which contradicting data was deleted; and global climate models, which greatly overestimate warming, as current measurements demonstrate. The logic behind this editorial policy can be described as selective ignorance. Please see links under Defending the Orthodoxy, including an excellent critique by Judith Curry.

16th Century Thinking: European scientific thinking of the 16th century was dominated by the re-discovery of the works of the Greeks. Their works in geometry and astronomy were very good, particularly considering the lack of precise instruments. Estimates of size of the earth and the moon, and the distance between them were quite accurate. However, they generally underestimated the size of the sun and its distance from the earth.

The concept of a heliocentric solar system was suggested by Aristarchus (died about 232 B.C.) and was accepted by some astronomers but eventually rejected, particularly by Ptolemy, a Roman, (about 150 A.D), whose system became the one widely accepted in the 16th century. During the 16th century, learning and written documents were extremely limited, and authority and consensus were dominate.

Copernicus disagreed with the Ptolemy concept of the solar system, but the work was not published until the year of his death in 1543. It was up to Galileo to earn the full wrath of the Greek scholars (often called Aristotelian scientists) that dominated science in the period. Galileo confronted the scientific models and assumptions of the era with observations from nature and experiments.

The most dramatic of these confrontations was proposing a heliocentric solar system, with an earth that orbited the sun annually, rotated daily, and titled on its axis. [Kepler proposed elliptical, not circular, orbits doing away with epicycles, and non-uniform speeds.] Using a telescope, Galileo identified spots on the sun, refuting the notion that it was immutable (unchanging). There are various versions of what occurred in the 17th century (until Newton) and the importance of various groups.

However, for the purposes of this discussion, one must note that Galileo was the first, influential astronomer of the Renaissance to propose that observations take precedence over authority and consensus of opinion as the objective standard in science. He incurred the full wrath of the scientific establishment of that time.

The Sun? Royal Astronomical Society published a study of a "new model of the Sun's solar cycle is producing unprecedentedly accurate predictions of irregularities within the Sun's" 10 to 12 year solar cycle. "The model draws on dynamo effects in two layers of the Sun, one close to the surface and one deep within its convection zone. Predictions from the model suggest that solar activity will fall by 60 per cent during the 2030s to conditions last seen during the 'mini ice age' that began in 1645."

"It is 172 years since a scientist first spotted that the Sun's activity varies over a cycle lasting around 10 to 12 years. But every cycle is a little different and none of the models of causes to date have fully explained fluctuations. Many solar physicists have put the cause of the solar cycle down to a dynamo caused by convecting fluid deep within the Sun. Now, Zharkova and her colleagues have found that adding a second dynamo, close to the surface, completes the picture with surprising accuracy."

"We found magnetic wave components appearing in pairs, originating in two different layers in the Sun's interior. They both have a frequency of approximately 11 years, although this frequency is slightly different, and they are offset in time. Over the cycle, the waves fluctuate between the northern and southern hemispheres of the Sun. Combining both waves together and comparing to real data for the current solar cycle, we found that our predictions showed an accuracy of 97%," said Zharkova.

Zharkova and her colleagues derived their model using a technique called 'principal component analysis' of the magnetic field observations from the Wilcox Solar Observatory in California. They examined three solar cycles-worth of magnetic field activity, covering the period from 1976-2008. In addition, they compared their predictions to average sunspot numbers, another strong marker of solar activity. All the predictions and observations were closely matched.

Looking ahead to the next solar cycles, the model predicts that the pair of waves become increasingly offset during Cycle 25, which peaks in 2022. During Cycle 26, which covers the decade from 2030-2040, the two waves will become exactly out of synch and this will cause a significant reduction in solar activity.

"In cycle 26, the two waves exactly mirror each other - peaking at the same time but in opposite hemispheres of the Sun. Their interaction will be disruptive, or they will nearly cancel each other. We predict that this will lead to the properties of a 'Maunder minimum'," said Zharkova. "Effectively, when the waves are approximately in phase, they can show strong interaction, or resonance, and we have strong solar activity. When they are out of phase, we have solar minimums. When there is full phase separation, we have the conditions last seen during the Maunder minimum, 370 years ago."

Since the period covered in the testing is only three solar cycles, 1976 to 2008, it is far too brief to draw any long-term conclusions. However, the accuracy in the testing is significant. Further, the cooling corresponds with predictions from some other solar scientists.

The short period of study understood, The Summary for Policymakers of Fifth Assessment Report (AR-5), Synthesis Report, of the IPCC also covers a relatively short period. Table SPM.3 presents "Contributions to observed surface temperature change over the period 1951-2010." Yet, the IPCC expressed 95% certainty in its work.

The total of natural forcings presented by the IPCC in this table covers a temperature range of about minus 0.1 ºC to plus 0.1 ºC. If the new report of the Royal Astronomical Society bears out, and we experience a cooling greater than 0.1 ºC, the IPCC and the climate establishment has significant problems.


EPA head: We don't need to justify our regulations with data

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy took a drumming yesterday when she refused to release the 'secret science' her agency used when drafting new regulations. mccarthy testimony Testifying before the House Science, Space and Technology committee, Rep. Lamar Smith (R) began the Q&A by asking McCarthy why she wouldn't release the studies and data in which her regulations are based. Rep. Smith told McCarthy that his 'secret science' reform act would make the data public without interfering in the EPA's primary job and maintaining the confidentiality of third parties.

Rep. Smith also quoted Obama's science adviser, John Holdren, saying "The data on which regulatory decisions are based should be made available to the committee and should be made public. Why don't you agree with the president's science adviser?" McCarthy replied that while she supports transparency in the regulatory process, the bill would make public the personal information of the people working on the science.

Smith reiterated that in his secret science reform act, personal information would be redacted but the underlying studies and data that are being used to justify costly regulations would be made public so that other scientists and the American people can review it. This is especially important as the EPA has a 60-day comment period after a new proposal is issued, but the science behind the new regulations is not included. Smith's new bill would rectify that issue.

McCarthy also said she "doesn't actually need the raw data in order to develop science. That's not how it's done."

Rep. Smith: "But why don't you give us the data you have and why can't you get that data you do have? Surely you have the data that you based the regulations on?"

McCarthy: "EPA actually has the authority and the need to actually get information that we have provided to you."

Rep. Smith: "You're saying you can't give us the information because it is personal and then you're saying you don't have the information. Which is it?"

McCarthy: "There is much information we don't have the authority to release."

Rep. Smith reiterated again that any personal information would be redacted and once again asked why she won't release this information after meeting all the criteria McCarthy used to justify not revealing the information. Rep. Smith reminded her that every other agency does this, so why can't the EPA simply redact this personal information and release the underlying science on which the EPA's regulations are based?

McCarthy stressed that the science is generated through the peer-reviewed process and not by the agency itself, prompting Rep. Smith to say that by not showing the American people and the Congress the studies and data they used to make new regulations, it looks like the EPA has something to hide. Rep. Smith said there was no good reason other scientists couldn't review the data, no good reason his committee couldn't review it, and most important, the American people can't review it.

Changing topics, Rep. Smith asked McCarthy about the Clean Power Plan, reminding her that after spending enormous amounts of money and implementing burdensome regulations, increasing the costs of electricity that would hurt the poorest Americans, it would only lower global temperatures 1/100 of a degree. "How do you justify such an expensive, burdensome, onerous rule that isn't going to do much good?…Isn't this all pain and no gain?"

McCarthy admitted the goal of the Clean Power Plan was to show strong domestic action which can trigger strong global action, e.g., getting other countries to follow our lead. McCarthy refused to say if Rep. Smith's analysis of the minuscule effect on global temperatures was correct, stating again it was more about leading on a global scale. She also refused to give Rep. Smith a timetable on when he could expect supporting documentation that he had been requesting for months.

Later in the hearing, Rep Dana Rohrabacher (R) was shocked that McCarthy did not have any idea what percentage of the atmosphere was made up of carbon dioxide (CO2). Stunned by this admission, Rohrabacher said, "You’re head of the EPA and you did not know? …Now you are basing policies that impact dramatically on the American people and you didn’t know what the content of CO2 in the atmosphere was… the justification for the very policies you’re talking about?"

McCarthy: "If you’re asking me how much CO2 is in the atmosphere, not a percentage but how much, we have just reached levels of 400 parts per million."

Rohrabacher: "I think I was very clear on what I was asking. I think it was very clear you didn’t know."

This is not the first time McCarthy has flunked knowing basic science. In a Senate hearing in March, McCarthy was unaware of climate data showing no increase in extreme weather. At that hearing, she was asking for additional money be dedicated to the president's controversial Clean Power Plan, an initiative to limit carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that are blamed for any type of bad weather.

As previously reported here, carbon dioxide levels reached a global level of 400 parts per million (ppm) in March, even though global temperatures have not risen for nearly 19 years. You can find 400 carbon dioxide molecules per one million parts of dry air. By volume, "dry air contains 78.09% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, 0.93% argon, 0.039% carbon dioxide (.04% in March 2015), and small amounts of other gases." Carbon dioxide levels vary between 390 and 400 ppm and change seasonally as more plant life is around to absorb it in the spring and summer.



Anti wind turbine campaigner Susan Crosthwaite is calling for an immediate and full independent investigation into the pollution of surface and groundwater of ALL Scottish windfarm developments sited on River Basin Districts. scottish windfarm  The construction of giant wind turbines has led to the industrialisation of water catchment areas damaging water quality and public health. She demands that relevant legislation be adhered to vigorously to ensure complete protection of Scotland’s reservoirs, lochs and private water supplies can be restored.

Commenting from her home in South Ayrshire Susan Crosthwaite said:

“Windfarm development in Scotland is clearly breaching The Environmental Liabilities Directive and the Water Frameworks Directive. Developers and government bodies have allowed these developments to proceed in the full knowledge that there are risks to surface and groundwater. Authorities such as SEPA, Scottish Water, Councils and the Scottish Government have failed in their legal duty to protect the water environment. Public authorities should ensure the proper implementation and enforcement of the scheme provided for by this Directive.

“People wonder how windfarms can possibly contaminate our water. Firstly, most are constructed on areas of unspoilt moss, heather and deep peat, often with associated forestry. Construction vehicles churn up the ground to make access roads and clear the forests (approximately 3 million trees were cleared at Whitelee). Trees are pulled up, and the churned up peat is washed into the river systems by heavy rain, releasing excessive carbon which the water treatment works are not able to deal with.

“The construction teams then blast quarries and ‘borrow-pits’ to provide rock foundations for access roads and turbine bases - six quarries with 85 articulated dump lorries ferried almost 6 million tons of excavated rock around the Whitelee site for roads and turbine foundations. These excavations allow access to the numerous faults (fractures) and dykes (intrusions) which crisscross Scotland and act as conduits for ground water. Chemical and  diesel spills, therefore, have an immediate channel to the aquifer. It is also a great irony that anti-fracking campaigners make spurious claims about potential water pollution and then support the construction on industrial wind turbines, which are demonstrably causing widespread pollution to our water supplies in Scotland.

groundwater impact

“The evidence of pollution discovered by radiologist Dr. Rachel Connor stems from her own experience of living close to Whitelee, the largest windfarm in Europe, and experiencing first-hand the results of drinking contaminated water. Evidence of pollution was discovered in monitoring reports which  were a requirement for the Whitelee windfarm construction 2006-2009 and were brought before a Public Inquiry re a 3rd extension to Whitelee, where Dr. Connor underwent a 5 hour cross examination. (This material has not yet been ruled on by the Scottish Government.) It included a failure to monitor and test for instances of specific contamination related to chemical spill or diffuse contamination from dangerous chemicals- some of which may have come from 160,000 m3 of concrete which were used in turbine foundations and other areas.

“There was also evidence of contamination of private water supplies where springs had failed completely, boreholes had silted up temporarily and water quality was rendered unfit to drink. There is no effective protective mechanism for private water supplies if the local authority responsible for protecting the water supply has no mechanism to insist that a developer find, chart and protect the water source, and is subsequently not responsible for the hydrological environment upon which that water supply depends.

“Windfarm developments have not been monitored or assessed according to the legal requirements which under a European Directive require Member States to ensure the establishment of programmes for the monitoring of water status in order to establish a coherent and comprehensive overview of water status within each river basin district. It is clear that incidents and concerns have been reported by a Planning Monitoring Officer to the regulatory authorities but have not been investigated. Indeed Planning Monitoring Officers are not routinely employed and in any case, information from such officials may be difficult and costly for the public to access. Consequently developments proceed unchallenged.

“Wind farm construction has coincided with an increase in raw water colour at Amlaird and other Scottish Water treatment works. Scottish Water test results indicated high levels of colour, iron, manganese, coliforms, E coli and turbidity, but these were not investigated and resolved by the appropriate authority. The disinfection procedures meant that drinking water failed to meet European and UK regulatory standards leading to increased levels of Trihalomethanes – recognised by the WHO as possible human carcinogens

“Now Scottish Water test results from 2005 to 2014 for colour, iron, manganese, coliforms and e coli in Loch Bradan, Afton Reservoir and Penwhapple Reservoir – also show a deterioration in water quality associated with windfarm construction and pre-construction forestry clearance. This means that many people in East and South Ayrshire are drinking water below the Drinking Water Regulatory Standards. Where water quality has fallen consistently below regulatory standards, statutory authorities have not informed the public of the potential risks to their health despite an EC Directive that insists  ‘Member States shall ensure the necessary protection for the bodies of water identified with the aim of avoiding deterioration in their quality in order to reduce the level of purification treatment required in the production of drinking water’.

“As Whitelee is Scottish Power Renewable’s flagship windfarm, the credibility of all their windfarm developments is based on the belief that their professed mitigation measures are successfully preventing any water pollution. How can the public be confident that this is the case if they do not constantly and consistently monitor all subsequent developments with results made easily available to the public?

“Arecleoch SPR windfarm consists of 60 turbines, operational since Autumn of 2011 This windfarm along with Hadyard Hill, Hadyard Hill Extension, Assel Valley, Millenderdale and Straid windfarms are all sited within the River Stinchar water catchment protected area. Tralorg plus the 5 ‘Straiton’ windfarms including Dersalloch are sited on the Girvan and Doon water protected catchment zones. None of these developments, according to the FOI, have been adequately monitored or assessed. Indeed failure to monitor the impact on surface and ground water before, during and after the construction of the 60 turbines at Arecleoch constitutes a direct breach of the water directives.”



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