Sunday, September 21, 2014



Brainless braying bimbo changes nothing with her latest book



BOOK REVIEW of "This Changes Everything" by Naomi Klein.

The laws of nature do not mandate a progressive paradise

Naomi Klein keeps coming up with fresh new ideas about how to spark an elusive mass social movement against capitalism and corporations. In her 2000 bestseller No Logo, the progressive journalist attempted to harness the nascent anti-globalization movement to unleash "a vast wave of opposition squarely targeting transnational corporations." In 2007, her book The Shock Doctrine bogusly asserted that free market institutions spread only by taking advantage of coups, wars, and natural calamities. The book debuted at the beginning of a massive recession and featured economist Milton Friedman as its chief villain. But still no dice.

Now comes Klein's newest screed, This Changes Everything. "Our economic system and our planetary system are now at war," she asserts. Climate science, Klein claims, has given progressives "the most powerful argument against unfettered capitalism" ever. If the stresses of globalization and a massive financial crisis cannot mobilize the masses, then the prospect of catastrophic climate change must.

Canonical Marxism predicted that capitalism would collapse under the weight of its class "contradictions," in which the bourgeoisie profit from the proletariat's labor until we reach a social breaking point. In Klein's progressive update, capitalism will collapse because the pollution produced by its heedless overconsumption will build to an ecological breaking point. "Only mass social movements can save us now," she declares.

Is she onto something? Man-made climate change, if unaddressed, may well become a significant problem for humanity as the 21st century advances. But is Klein right that progressive values and policies are "currently being vindicated, rather than refuted, by the laws of nature"?

First, a quick review of the state of the climate. The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is indeed increasing because humanity is cutting down forests and burning coal, oil, and natural gas. As a result, the world has warmed, glaciers are melting, and the seas are rising. Since 1951, average global temperature has been increasing at a rate of 0.12°C (0.22°F) per decade. "It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th Century," states the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's 2013 Physical Sciences report. The vast majority of climate researchers agree that man-made global warming is now underway. It bears mentioning, however, that the global average atmospheric temperature has not significantly increased for the past 17 years, a "pause" not predicted by the computer climate models.

Klein acknowledges that not all weather disasters can be attributed to climate change. But she doesn't let that stop her from trotting out tragic stories of hurricanes, typhoons, and droughts to shore up her thesis. She quotes the Pennsylvania State University climatologist Michael Mann: "There's no question that climate change has increased the frequency of certain types of extreme weather events, including drought, intense hurricanes, and super typhoons, the frequency and intensity and duration of heat waves, and potentially other types of extreme weather though the details are still being debated within the scientific community."

Yes, those details are still being debated among climate scientists. The United Nations' Special Report for Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (2012) projects that global warming will generate more heat waves, coastal floods, and droughts as the century unfolds. The researchers, however, could not draw firm conclusions about its effects on current trends in hurricanes, typhoons, hailstorms, or tornadoes. Given projected carbon dioxide emissions, the report notes that weather extremes will likely remain within the normal range of nature's own inherent variation during the next several decades.

What's more, while the world has experienced greater economic losses as a result of extreme weather, that's due primarily to the fact that the world has gotten richer and more populous: There are more people with more stuff of more value to destroy. A 2011 review of 22 weather damage studies in The Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society reported, "The studies show no trends in the losses, corrected for change (increases) in population and capital at risk that could be attributed to anthropogenic climate change. Therefore, it can be concluded that anthropogenic climate change so far has not had a significant impact on losses from natural disasters."

Even more happily, a 2011 Reason Foundation report found that deaths from all "extreme weather events globally has declined by more than 90 percent since the 1920s, in spite of a four-fold rise in population and much more complete reporting of such events." This is mostly good news, despite This Changes Everything's scaremongering.

Klein's list of remedies is more alarming than her exaggerations of climate change's present-day effects. She wants to ban fracking, nuclear power, genetically modified crops, geoengineering, carbon sequestration, and carbon markets, thus turning her back on some of the climate-friendliest solutions currently on offer. She wants to block the Keystone pipeline, which would transport petroleum from Canadian oil sands to U.S. refineries; she would pressure pension funds and endowments to divest from fossil fuel companies; and she thinks we should transfer trillions of dollars to poor countries to pay off the rich countries' debt for dumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

"We need a Marshall Plan for the Earth," Klein declares, updating one of the most tired historical metaphors for her purposes. "It is entirely possible to rapidly switch our energy systems to 100 percent renewables," she asserts. As an example of "one of several credible studies" showing how such a vast energy transformation could be achieved, she breezily cites a 2009 Energy Policy paper by two researchers, Mark Jacobson of Stanford and Mark Delucchi of the University of California, Davis. Jacobson and Delucchi think we can replace all coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear power by 2030 with wind, solar, and hydropower while fueling a fleet of electric cars. How? By deploying 3.8 million 5-megawatt wind turbines, 5,350 100-megawatt geothermal plants, 500,000 1-megawatt tidal turbines, 720,000 0.75-megawatt wave power generators, 1.7 billion 3-kilowatt rooftop solar panels, 40,000 300-megawatt solar panel farms, and 49,000 300-megawatt concentrated solar power plants.

Sound easy? Well, if the world were to begin deploying these renewable energy technologies next year that would mean erecting approximately 250,000 wind turbines each year for the next 15 years. As of the end of 2012, there were a total of 225,000 wind turbines operating around the world.

Similarly, the world would have to install 113 million rooftop solar panel systems per year in order to meet the 2030 goal of 1.7 billion. In 2013, the U.S. installed a record 4,751 megawatts of solar panels, which would be roughly equivalent to 1.6 million 3-kilowatt rooftop solar panels. As of 2013, the entire world had installed 100 gigawatts (100 million kilowatts) of solar photovoltaic panels. Combining the rooftop and solar panel proposals, this hyper-solarization would mean deploying more than 10 times the current installed capacity of photovoltaic panels, not just once but every year for the next 15 years. And never mind that there are virtually no commercial wave or tidal energy production systems currently operating.

Klein never ever discusses how much her solutions to the climate crisis will cost. But Delucchi and Jacobson estimate a price tag of about $100 trillion for their program. That entails spending about $6.6 trillion per year from now until 2030, more than 11 percent of the entire world's 2013 output of $75 trillion. Such a crash plan for global energy transformation might be possible, but it would be a massive shift from our current course. Bloomberg New Energy Finance projected in July 2014 that $7.7 trillion total will be invested in building new power plants between now and 2030, of which renewables will get around two-thirds. And Klein accuses the proponents of free markets of "magical thinking"?

Klein is giddy over the renewable energy schemes in Germany and Denmark, which she lionizes as "two of the countries with the largest commitment to decentralized, community-controlled renewable power." Specifically, she adores Germany's national program of feed-in-tariffs (FITs), which have subsidized huge numbers of solar panels and wind turbines. Klein rhapsodizes that "roughly half of Germany's renewable energy facilities are in the hands of farmers, citizens groups, and almost nine hundred energy cooperatives." She adds that they are "offered a guaranteed price so the risk of losing money is low."

In fact, owners of new renewable energy plants are paid a guaranteed fixed rate for every kilowatt-hour they generate, at administratively set prices far higher than conventional generation. Utilities must take the energy generated and consumers must pay the fixed fee for the energy. Somehow, Klein concludes that these government-set prices "make renewable energy affordable."

But a July 2014 report by the Swiss economics consultancy Finadvice, commissioned by the U.S.–based Electric Power Research Institute, found that the cost of Germany's FIT program has been more than $412 billion so far and will rise to a total of $884 billion by 2022. As a result, German household electricity rates have more than doubled, increasing from $0.18 per kilowatt-hour in 2000 to $0.38 per kilowatt-hour today. Households in Denmark pay even more: $0.39 per kilowatt-hour. Meanwhile U.S. electricity prices have remained stable, at an average of around $0.13 per kilowatt-hour.

The installation of solar and wind energy systems has contributed to reducing Germany's carbon dioxide emissions, but at an estimated cost of more than $1,000 per ton avoided by solar power and $80 per ton avoided by wind power. The average price for carbon dioxide emissions permits in Europe hover at about $20 per ton. Electricity rates this high might well be the price for protecting the climate, but Klein is keeping her readers in the dark about what her proposals would cost them.

Even as Klein claims that it's a delusion to think we can rely on market forces and technological progress to solve our climate problems, a consensus to the contrary is emerging. Groups such as Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, the Breakthrough Institute, and the Brookings Institution favor a policy platform that rejects energy puritanism and embraces technology.

This new coalition spurns schemes to restrict energy use, such as the International Energy Agency's anemic recommendation that annual access to 100 kilowatt hours of electricity per person will be enough. (That's the amount of electricity that the average American burns in three days.) Instead, proponents of the new consensus tend to support more government spending on research and development aiming to make clean energy sources cheaper than fossil fuels.

Given pervasive and massive government meddling in energy markets, subsidizing low-carbon energy R&D is arguably the least bad feasible policy option for addressing climate change. The new consensus also embraces fracking. In fact, the U.N.'s Physical Sciences report identifies power generation using natural gas as a "bridge technology" that can be deployed now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; burning natural gas releases about half the carbon dioxide that burning coal does. Coal-fired electric power plants are largely being shut down in the United States because they are being outcompeted by natural gas–powered plants that emit far less carbon dioxide.

And nuclear power is back on the table, after a long decline. In 2013, climate researchers James Hansen, Kerry Emanuel, Ken Caldeira, and Tom Wigley—people not known for soft-pedaling the threat of global warming—issued an open letter challenging the broad environmental movement to stop fighting nuclear power and embrace it as a crucial technology for averting the possibility of a climate catastrophe through its supply of zero-carbon energy. The letter states that "continued opposition to nuclear power threatens humanity's ability to avoid dangerous climate change." They add, "While it may be theoretically possible to stabilize the climate without nuclear power, in the real world there is no credible path to climate stabilization that does not include a substantial role for nuclear power."

Klein acidly dismisses reliance on science, technology, and markets to address the problems of climate change as embodying the attitude that "We will triumph in the end because triumphing is what we do." Well, yes. And that's a much better bet than imagining the laws of nature mandate a post-capitalist utopia.

SOURCE







"Fossil Free UK": divesting from reality

Fossil Free UK, a campaign group that encourages organisations to divest of financial products tied to the fossil-fuel industry, announced victory this week following the promise of Oxford City Council to follow an ‘ethical investment’ policy.

The council decided that it will ‘not knowingly invest directly in businesses whose activities and practices pose a risk of serious harm to individuals or groups’. These restrictions apply to companies which engage in ‘human-rights abuse’, ‘socially harmful activities’ and ‘environmentally harmful activities’.

Campaigning for a divestment in fossil fuels is ridiculous, considering how interrelated the modern industrial economy is with energy production. There is no economic activity or money in existence that doesn’t bare the supposed stain of fossil fuels. Not only is every social and economic activity in modern society powered by burning fossil fuels - these things rely on one another for their existence.

The great gains in productivity and the goods and services surpluses society has enjoyed since the Industrial Revolution have been generated by burning fossil fuels to power economic life. Food is much cheaper today due to technologies that are powered by fossil fuels; the electricity that powers the Fossil Free UK website exists because burning fossil-fuel-generated energy is so abundant that it can be used for non-essential social and economic activities. Theatres, art galleries and even ‘ethical businesses’ live off the energy surplus and profit made from an economy powered by the highly effective burning of fossil fuels. Renewable energy, on the other hand, is not yet feasible on a mass scale, and may never be.

Fossil fuels are central to our economies not because they hold shadowy sway in the corridors of power, but because we, the people (pejoratively known as the market), want and need the energy they produce. Shifting millions from an oil company into an ‘ethical’ business does not remove that money’s use or reliance on fossil-fuel energy. In the end, the only thing Oxford City Council is divesting from is reality.

SOURCE





Weather Channel Founder Explains the History of the Global Warming Hoax

John Coleman, an award-winning meteorologist and weatherman with sixty years of experience and founder of the Weather Channel, produced a video explaining the history of the man-made global warming hoax.

Coleman, a former broadcast meteorologist of the year of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), explains that after being a member for several years, he quit the AMS after it became very clear to him that “the politics had gotten in the way of the science.” Coleman explains that there is no man-made global warming, and he’s sure of it.

Coleman says that if there were evidence of man-made global warming, he would have been dedicated his life to stopping it: “I love our wonderful planet Earth. If I thought it was threatened by global warming, I would devote my life to stopping the warming!”

Now they call it “climate change” instead of global warming, because the warming has stopped, says Coleman, and that $4.7 billion in taxpayer money is funding “bogus reports” and “bogus research.”

Coleman explains that any warming or “climate change” is extremely negligible from a long-term perspective and certainly nothing unusual or alarming, and points out that Antarctic sea ice is close to an all-time high, and the polar bear population is as high as it’s been in recorded history.

In regards to rising sea levels, Coleman says that:
“It’s rising at about the rate of about six inches per hundred years, as part of this inter-glacial period. When North America was covered in a 400 foot thick ice core at the end of the last ice age, the oceans were low, and then as that ice melted, of course the oceans have risen. That rise has been gentle and is not important.”

More HERE  (See the original for video)




Is the Shale Revolution a 'Ponzi Scheme' or the End of Peak Oil?

A lot of folks are fervently forecasting that shale gas and oil production is a bubble about to pop, possibly producing an economic collapse similar to the one in 2008. Earlier this week, the left-leaning Center for Research on Globalization in Montreal dismissed the shale revolution as a "Ponzi scheme" and "this decade's version of the Dotcom bubble." In a column last year for The Guardian, Nafeez Ahmed of the Institute for Policy Research and Development cited studies predicting that U.S. shale gas production will likely peak in 2015 and oil production in 2017. In a July 2013 report for the Club of Rome—the same folks who brought us 1972's doom-mongering classic, The Limits to Growth—the University of Florence chemist Ugo Bardi declared that the "idea that a 'gas revolution' that will bring for us an age of abundance is rapidly fading" because "the data show that the gas bubble may be already bursting." A month later, Richard Heinberg of the Post Carbon Institute said, "It turns out there are only a few 'plays' or geological formations in the US from which shale gas is being produced; in virtually all of them, except the Marcellus (in Pennsylvania and West Virginia), production rates are already either in plateau or decline."

So was President Barack Obama wrong in 2012, when he claimed, "We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly 100 years"? Perhaps not.

The renaissance of oil and gas production in the United States has largely been the result of applying the technique of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), which releases vast quantities of hydrocarbons trapped in tight shale formations. The bubble theorists make much of the fact that production tends to drop more rapidly in fracked wells than in conventional ones, forcing the frackers to drill more holes just to keep up. They overlook the fact that drillers are working ever faster and cheaper and that newer wells tend to be more productive than earlier wells. How do we know this? Because the number of drill rigs has not increased in most shale fields, yet production continues to go up.

So what about Heinberg's claim that "production rates are already either in plateau or decline"? He's just wrong. The September drilling productivity report from the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA) notes that since 2013, that gas production is up in every one of the "plays" cited by Heinberg. Production in the Bakken region of North Dakota grew 8 percent; the Eagle Ford, Permian, and Haynesville regions in Texas increased 15, 7, and 97 percent, respectively; the Niobrara region in Wyoming and Colorado rose by 29 percent; and the Utica and Marcellus regions in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia surged 142 and 47 percent. "We've been tracking this for 10 years, and recovery rates have gone up dramatically," says EIA forecaster Philip Budzik.

Meanwhile, the EIA's Annual Energy Outlook 2014 shows the potential U.S. oil and gas resource bases are increasing, not decreasing. Bubble forecasters insist those estimates are way off-base. They point to the EIA's recent big flub when it came to estimating how much petroleum might be pumped from the Monterey shale formations in California. The agency initially prognosticated that as much as 13.7 billion barrels of oil might be produced, but it cut its estimate by 96 percent, to 600 million barrels, once it recognized the extraction challenges posed by the complicated geology of southern California. Whoops!

That's bad, but in the scope of estimates it's a blip, not a fatal error.

Back in 2000, the EIA Outlook report estimated that the U.S.'s technically recoverable petroleum resources were 124 billion barrels; it put natural gas resources at 1,111 trillion cubic feet (tcf). ("Technically recoverable" basically means that the resource can be extracted using current technology if the price is right.) Proved oil and natural gas reserves amounted to 22 billion barrels and 176 tcf, respectively. ("Proved" generally means the amount of resources that can be recovered from the deposit with a reasonable level of certainty.) When it came to shale and other tight rock formations, the 2000 report estimated that only 2 billion barrels of oil and 50 tcf of natural gas were technically recoverable. "Basically, in 2000 no one was even thinking that you could produce this stuff," says Budzik.

How time and technological progress make fools of all prognosticators! The 2014 EIA Outlook estimates that the U.S.'s technically recoverable oil resources are 238 billion barrels and natural gas resources are 2,266 tcf. Proved U.S. petroleum reserves have increased from their 2009 nadir of 19 billion barrels to over 30 billion barrels, and proved natural gas reserves are at 334 tcf now. In other words, estimates of technically recoverable U.S. resources of both oil and gas have nearly doubled in the past 15 years. Proved oil reserves have increased 50 percent, while proved gas reserves have also nearly doubled. Technically recoverable resources from shale and other tight rocks is now estimated to be 59 billion barrels of crude and 903 tcf of gas—a 30-fold and 18-fold increase, respectively, over the 2000 assessments.

Take the figure of 2,266 tcf of natural gas. Last year, Americans burned through 26 tcf of natural gas. At that rate, the estimated resource would last 87 years. Not the 100 years claimed by the president, but close enough for government work.

While EIA reserve and resource estimates have been trending steeply upward over the past decade and half, the agency tries to take into account uncertainties by sketching out scenarios to 2040 in which domestic oil and gas supplies are either 50 percent higher or lower than its reference case. Production of shale gas and oil is the key difference in the scenarios. In the high supply case, technically recoverable crude and gas plus proved reserves amount to 431 billion barrels and 3,683 tcf. Consequently, domestic oil production rises to 13 million barrels per day before 2035 and imports decline to near zero. Tight oil production peaks at 8.5 million barrels per day in 2035 compared to the reference case peak of 4.8 million barrels in 2021. Cumulative tight oil production reaches 75 billion barrels, up from 44 billion in the reference case.

In the low supply scenario, crude oil totals 210 barrels and gas totals 1,814 tcf; oil production reaches 9.1 million barrels per day in 2017 and then slowly falls to 6.6 million barrels per day in 2040. Tight oil production peaks in 2016 at 4.3 million barrels per day with a cumulative production of 34 billion barrels. Interestingly, the difference in price in the high and low supply scenarios is only $20 per barrel—$125 versus $145 (using 2012 dollars) in 2040.

The shale bubble proponents essentially are betting on the EIA low production scenario. They will be proven right if shale oil production does peak in the next year or two. We shall soon see. "The history of the industry is that we are always running out," says Budzik. "So long as we have a well functioning economic system that allows the price mechanism to adjust and encourages innovation we will see the resource base grow rather than diminish." Rising prices at the beginning of the 21st century did, in fact, promote more exploration and faster technological progress, resulting in the shale revolution the U.S. is currently enjoying. If this dynamic is not unduly hampered, it's a good bet that the prophets of bubble-bursting doom are wrong yet again.

SOURCE






Onshore gas find tipped as Western Australia's biggest in decades

"Peak gas" not in sight

Local oil and gas player AWE has claimed what may be Western Australia's largest onshore gas discovery since the 1960s, sending its shares up as much as 16 per cent.

Gas from the field, 50:50 owned by AWE and Origin Energy, is targeted for users in WA.

The news comes after the Senecio-3 well drilled by AWE and partner Origin Energy found gas deeper down in its Senecio gas field in the Perth Basin.

Together, the Senecio and deeper Waitsia fields could hold 360 billion cubic feet of gas, and potentially as much as 1.17 trillion cubic feet of gas, AWE said on Thursday.

AWE said that could make it the biggest onshore find in the state since the Dongara field.

The resources, which were foreshadowed by AWE when initial results from the Senecio-3 well came in early this month, lie close to existing gas processing plants and pipelines.

That meant the resources could be brought into production relatively quickly, AWE managing director Bruce Clement said.

The gas is classified as "tight", meaning it would require artificial stimulation to flow to the surface.

Even so, BBY analyst Scott Ashton noted the "big" size of the field and Mr Clement's positive comments about potential commercial prospects.

Mr Clement also said there was "substantial upside" to potential resources in the reservoir from unconventional gas in some levels of shale and coal at the site.

"We are now focusing on flow testing of Senecio-3 to establish commercial viability and the potential early, low-cost development of the Senecio and Waitsia fields," he said.

SOURCE




Obama Executive Actions: Fight Climate Change With Vets, Regulate Building and Energy Sector

In executive actions issued on Thursday, President Barack Obama announced that millions of federal dollars are being distributed by multiple government agencies to fund “renewable energy and energy efficiency” projects, including solar energy jobs for military veterans and solar energy installation in government buildings.

The lengthy announcement detailed the Department of Energy’s proposed new standard on building codes, limiting the use of  “electric or fossil fuel to humidify or dehumidify,” and roofing insulation requirements.

“The Obama Administration is committed to taking action to combat climate change,” the announcement states. “As part of that effort, today, the White House is announcing a series of public and private sector commitments and executive actions to advance solar deployment and promote energy efficiency.

“The executive announcements today altogether will cut carbon pollution by nearly 300 million metric tons through 2030 – equivalent to taking more than 60 million cars off the road for one year – and will save homes and businesses more than $10 billion on their energy bills,” the announcement states.

The announcement included a list of those executive actions as follows:

*    Partnering with up to three military bases to create a veterans solar job training pilot;

*    Investing $68 million (in grants through the U.S. Department of Agriculture) in 540 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in rural areas across the country, including 240 solar projects;

*   Proposing an energy conservation standard for commercial unit air conditioners that has the potential to save more energy than any previously issued standard;

*   Supporting funding for clean energy and energy efficiency for affordable housing;

*   Strengthening commercial and residential buildings codes; and

*   Harmonizing the power of national service and volunteerism to tackle climate change and its effects.

The announcement also states: “50 companies, states, communities and multifamily housing leaders from across the country are announcing commitments to deploy onsite solar energy and improve energy efficiency.”

It also says that to “build a skilled solar workforce, DOE’s Solar Instructor Training Network is launching a veterans’ job training pilot project” that will “assist at least 50,000 highly-qualified new solar installers to enter the industry by 2020.”

The “commercial sector leaders, low-income housing authorities and communities” taking part in the “president’s call to action” to increase the use of renewable sources and solar power include Cisco Systems, Becton, Dickinson and Company, Public Housing Authorities in Massachusetts, the District of Columbia Housing Authority, the City of Beaverton, Ore., Montgomery County, Md., the city of Charlottesville, Va., and the Jackson Family Wines in California.

Another contingency of states, cities, multifamily housing developments, retailers, commercial properties and manufacturers are pledging to increase energy efficiency, according to the announcement.

Obama’s executive actions “will create jobs, reduce carbon pollution, and improve energy efficiency,” the announcement states.

SOURCE

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Friday, September 19, 2014


Temp. rise 1910-1940 same as 1970-2000, IPCC does not claim former is from CO2

Tweet from Patrick Moore







A Closer Look At Record August Fraud From NASA

August was cool in the US, western Europe, southern Asia, parts of Siberia, Australia, Africa, South America, Antarctica and the Arctic. It was the first or second coldest summer on record north of 80N.

And NASA says it was the hottest August ever.



Compare vs. August 1998, when almost the whole world was hot.



We have passed a tipping point of full out fraud at government agencies.

SOURCE




What Can Conservatives Do About Climate Change?

Climate change is clearly a prime issue for Democrats who want to increase government power and reach. “The science is settled,” they insist, even as it’s apparent to those willing to look that the science is not settled at all. Undeterred, Democrats slander “deniers” and demand we all submit to the latest whims of the Environmental Protection Agency. But assuming for the sake of argument the climate is changing, is there a conservative response that would account for it without giving in to leftist demands?

To ask the question is almost to answer it. Yes, conservatives can address the environment without selling out to the other side of the political aisle.

Few deny that climate change is a real feature of the planet we inhabit. What we do deny is that man-made greenhouse gases are the sole cause, or that top-down government control is the only way to address it. Control is the true creed of ecofascists, and it’s why they bang on their highchairs so vociferously about the science as justification.

Climate alarmists make some assumptions that belie the anti-capitalist roots of their environmentalism. Writing in The Atlantic, historian Jeremy Caradonna elucidates: “The stock narrative of the Industrial Revolution is one of moral and economic progress. Indeed, economic progress is cast as moral progress.” He continues scornfully, “This narrative remains today an ingrained operating principle that propels us in a seemingly unstoppable way toward more growth and more technology, because the assumption is that these things are ultimately beneficial for humanity.”

Well, let’s see. Among other things, the Industrial Revolution and accompanying advances eased poverty by making goods and services more affordable (just think of all the comforts and conveniences the poor in the U.S. have today) and dramatically increased life expectancy (which leftists see as a problem). Those things are by no means utopian, nor did they come without cost, but they seem to us “ultimately beneficial.” Certainly beneficial enough to oppose self-interested bureaucrats and politicos who would degrade these advances in the name of questionable science.

So, what is a conservative approach? More specifically, how do we continue supporting an ever-burgeoning human population with growing energy needs while stewarding the planet?

James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute asserts, “[H]umans have a poor record of understanding risk in complex systems, full of interdependencies, feedback loops, and nonlinear responses. Perhaps humility and caution and consideration are warranted. Doing nothing about climate change, I would argue, is a one-way, all-or-nothing bet with huge potential downside.”

In a later post, Pethokoukis added, “[T]he choice doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing bet between (a) doing nothing about carbon emissions and (b) embracing a low-energy future of scarcity and stagnation. Rather, the challenge is creating a high-growth, high-abundance, high-energy future for mankind that minimizes the risk of a dangerous climatic shock.”

We would put it this way: The free market should put forth the best ideas for energy production with the goal of getting the most out of both conservation and wealth generation. Government policy should foster innovation rather than picking winners and losers through political favoritism and cronyism. The current system of heavily regulating some industries while lavishly subsidizing others is antithetical to a market-driven economy, and it’s no way to move forward.

Columnist David Harsanyi writes, “I suppose it makes me a technoutopian to trust that we can adapt and create ways to deal with whatever consequences – and obviously there are consequences – a thriving modern world drops on us. Historically speaking, though, would it have been better for humanity to avoid an ‘Age of Pollution’ and wallow in a miserable pre-Industrial Age, where poverty, death, disease and violence, were far more prevalent in our short miserable lives? Or would we have chosen global warming? I think the latter. And I think we’d do it again.” Think about that the next time Al Gore touches down in his private jet to tell you to quit driving your SUV.

Many people making many little decisions leads to much better and far faster results than one or a few making big decisions. And the risk of many “bad” little decisions is far less severe and far more recoverable than one or a few big bad decisions.

SOURCE





Scientists turn to Pope Francis to "save the planet"

It has been one of the most fraught relationships of recent centuries, at least in the popular imagination.

But a group of scientists are pinning their hopes for the salvation of the planet, in the face of climate change and habitat destruction - on religion.

Their case, set out in an essay in the journal Science, is being described a “watershed moment” for scientists and faith leaders alike.

It argues that engaging religious leaders, rather than relying on politicians, could hold the key to mobilising billions of people around the world to change aspects of their lifestyles to help prevent catastrophic climate change.

The article singles out Pope Francis and the Roman Catholic Church, with its 1.2 billion-strong network of followers, as the key but calls for religious leaders of every stripe to be recruited.

It argues that religion can provide a unique combination of “moral leadership” and global organisational structures required to bring about practical changes which could have an immediate effect, such as providing millions of the world’s poorest people with cleaner forms of fuel.

It comes as Pope Francis finalises a widely anticipated papal encyclical on the environment, throwing the full weight of the Catholic Church behind efforts to limit climate change.

The article is co-authored by Prof Veerabhadran Ramanathan, a climate scientist at the University of California, San Diego, and Prof Sir Partha Dasgupta, an economist based at St John’s College, Cambridge.

“Natural and social scientists have done their part in documenting the irreversible environmental damages (albeit with large uncertainties) that we have inflicted and in spelling out specific mitigation actions,” they write.

“The transformational step may very well be a massive mobilisation of public opinion by the Vatican and other religions for collective action to safeguard the well-being of both humanity and the environment.”

They argue that the “invisible hand” of the market, the term coined by the philosopher and economist Adam Smith to describe how economies can regulate themselves, can never achieve the kind of change needed to protect the planet.

“The rise of market fundamentalism and the drive for growth in profits and gross domestic product (GDP) have encouraged behaviour that is at odds with pursuit of the common good,” they write.

“Finding ways to develop a sustainable relationship with nature requires not only engagement of scientists and political leaders, but also moral leadership that religious institutions are in a position to offer.”

Professor Naomi Oreskes, a leading Harvard historian of science, said: “This is a watershed moment.

“For 20 years, scientists have been reluctant to speak out on the need to change business as usual for fear of being labelled ‘political,’ and reluctant to address the moral dimensions of climate change for fear of being labelled ‘unscientific.’

"Professors Dasgupta and Ramanathan remind us that we are all responsible for the common good.”

SOURCE



The EPA is more concerned with what sounds good than what actually works

In this hyper-partisan environment, it is good to know that a majority of Senators can still agree on an issue. When such a rare moment happens, the rest of us should pay attention, as it is probably something very important.

On September 11, 53 Senators (43 Republicans and 10 Democrats) signed a letter to Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), begging for a 60-day extension of the comment period for the “Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Generating Units” — also known as the Clean Power Plan (CPP). The original 120-day comment period — which is already longer than the traditional 60-day comment period — is coming to a close within the next 30 days (October 16).

Regarding the EPA’s new plan, the letter calls the coordination needed between multiple state agencies, public utility commissions, regional transmission organizations, and transmission and reliability experts: “Unprecedented, extraordinary, and extremely time consuming.” The Senators ask for more time so that states and stakeholders can “fully analyze and assess the sweeping impacts that the proposal will have on our nation’s energy system.” It also points out: “The EPA proposal provides no mechanism for adjusting the state emission rate targets once they are adopted”—which makes it imperative that the states can fully “digest” the rule, review the 600 supporting documents, and collect the data and justification for the states’ responses.

It is not just the majority of Senators who have concerns about the EPA’s proposed rule, a diverse and growing coalition, including the Exotic Wildlife Association, the Foundry Association of Michigan, California Cotton Growers Association, Texas Aggregates and Concrete Association, The Fertilizer Institute, Georgia Railroad Association, Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation, electric utilities and co-ops, and city and state Chambers of Commerce from coast-to-coast, has sprung up in opposition to the plan. Yet most people are unaware of the potential impacts or of the pending deadline for public comment.

I have written on the CPP twice in the past few months — originally when it was first announced on June 2 and then after I gave testimony in Atlanta at one of the EPA’s four scheduled “listening sessions.” Upon release, we didn’t really know much — after all, it is, as the Senators’ letter explains, complex and sweeping. But as more and more information is coming out, we see that the impact to the economy and U.S. energy security will be devastating.

Despite my efforts to spread the word — with my second column on the topic being one of my most popular ever, I find that the CPP isn’t even on the radar of the politically engaged (let alone the average person). Because this is an issue of utmost importance, I am, once again, bringing it to the attention of my readers with the hope that you will share it with everyone you know. At this point, we don’t know if the EPA will extend the comment period, so please take time now to get your comments in. The Hill reports: “Adding 60 days to the comment period could make it harder for the EPA to finalize the rule by June 2015, as President Obama has ordered.”

I’ve written this week’s column with the specific intent of giving you verbiage that you can simply cut and paste into the comment form.

The CPP will radically alter the way electricity is generated, transmitted, distributed and used in America—all with dramatic cost impacts to the consumer. It is based on the discredited theory that climate change is a crisis caused by the use of fossil fuels emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. It aims to reduce overall carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. The combination of the CPP and previous regulation will shut down more than 40 percent of coal-fueled generation — representing 10 percent of all electricity-generation capacity — within the next 6 years.

What will this forced, premature elimination of America’s electric capacity do?

The proposed EPA plan will seriously threaten America’s electric reliability

Unless the EPA backs down on its harsh regulations and coal-fueled power plants get a reprieve, blackouts are almost guaranteed — especially in light of the projected cold winter. About the 2014 “polar vortex” that crippled the U.S., Alaska Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, at an April Senate hearing on grid reliability, stated: “Eighty-nine percent of the coal electricity capacity that is due to go offline was utilized as that backup to meet the demand this winter.” Murkowski’s comments were referencing coal-fueled power plants that are already due to be shut down based on regulations from five years ago, before the proposed CPP additionally reduces supply.

Affirming Murkowski’s comments, Nicholas Akins, president and CEO of Ohio-based American Electric Power Company Inc., sees the 2014 near crisis as a warning sign. At that same hearing he said: “The weather events experienced this winter provided an early warning about serious issues with electric supply and reliability. This country did not just dodge a bullet — we dodged a cannonball.” And, Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Philip Moeller said: “the country is undergoing an unprecedented energy shift in a very short time frame.” And added: “grid operators in the Midwest are struggling to gauge whether they will have sufficient capacity to handle peak weather during the next five years.”

While these comments are about the 2014 severe cold, Texas experienced a similar scare in 2011, when a protracted heat wave resulted in razor-thin reserve electric capacity margins. A Reuters report titled: “Heat waves pushes Texas power grid into red zone,” stated: “Texas has the most wind power in the country, but the wind does not blow during the summer.” Just a few months earlier, Texas ice storms forced rolling blackouts for hours because electric supplies dropped below demand.” All of these reports are before the projected closure of an additional 75 megawatts of coal-fueled electricity generation due to the new regulations. If McCarthy was serious when, prior to the release of the proposed regulations, she stated: “Nothing we do can threaten reliability,” she’d withdraw this plan, as it will do just that.

The proposed EPA plan will chase away more American industry

While the CPP appears to be about forcing the power sector into reducing carbon-dioxide emissions, there are spillover impacts of higher electricity rates on overall economic activity — especially energy-intensive industries such as steel, manufacturing, and chemicals. America’s abundance of affordable, reliable energy provides businesses with a critical operating advantage in today’s intensely competitive global economy. The EPA’s proposal will reduce America’s advantage, as it’s acknowledged that the proposed regulations will raise electricity rates in the contiguous U.S. by 5.9 percent to 6.5 percent in 2020. Europe, and especially Germany, is threatened by an industry exodus due to its higher energy costs that have been created by its move to increase green energy. Germany’s pharmaceutical and chemical giant Bayer is already making significant investment in its Chinese manufacturing operations, with expansion also taking place in Brazil and India. If industry continues to leave the U.S., the CPP will have the opposite effect. Emissions will increase as companies move to countries with lower labor costs, cheaper energy, and lax environmental policies. An additional unintended consequence will be more jobs lost in manufacturing.

The proposed EPA plan will kill hundreds of thousands of jobs

In late July, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) International President Edwin D. Hill said: “If these rules are implemented as written, dozens of coal plants will shut down and with no plans to replace them, tens of thousands of jobs will be lost and global carbon emissions will rise anyway.”

Investor’s Business Daily reports: “The IBEW has now joined the United Mine Workers of America, the Boilermakers and several other unions opposed to the new anti-carbon rules.” The United Mine Workers of America has estimated that the rule will result in 187,000 direct and indirect job losses in the utility, rail, and coal industries in 2020 and cumulative wage and benefit losses from these sectors of $208 billion between 2015 and 2035.

The EPA rules hitting industry in rapid succession create uncertainty — and, as we’ve seen with Obamacare — uncertainty thwarts investment and hiring. The same industries that will be taking the regulatory hit from the CPP, are expecting additional impacts from the follow-on rules that are yet to be promulgated. No wonder the economy is sluggish and the jobs picture is bleak.

The proposed EPA plan will cause harsh economic consequences while having virtually no impact on the reported goal of stopping global climate change

From increased energy costs to job losses, the CPP will damage the economy. A statement from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers on the EPA proposal, points out: “estimates regarding the damage to jobs and the economy created by poorly planned climate regulations have consistently been shown to be true in comparison to the overly optimistic predictions made by the EPA.”

Perhaps these economic consequences would be worth it, if they actually did anything to really reduce carbon-dioxide emissions — assuming what humans breathe out and plants breathe in is actually the cause of global warming. But even the EPA acknowledges that the CPP is less about reductions and more about being a global leader to “prompt and leverage international decisions and action.” In Hillary Clinton’s September 4 speech at Senator Harry Reid’s National Clean Energy Summit, she stated that the U.S. needs to lead other countries in green energy and that we need to show the world we are committed.

Yet, the U.S., which did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol, is the first country to actually reduce carbon dioxide emissions and meet the Kyoto requirements. We are already a leader, but the other countries aren’t following — instead they are abandoning the sinking green ship and Germany, which claims to still be committed to the green ideology, is actually increasing its number of coal-fueled power plants and CO2 emissions. Carbon dioxide emissions from non-Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries — such as China and India—are projected to grow by nine billion tons per year. The Partnership for a Better Energy Future reports: “for every ton of CO2 reduced in 2030 as a result of EPA’s rule, the rest of the world will have increased emissions by more than 16 tons.” Our reduction in 2030 would offset the equivalent of just 13.5 days of carbon-dioxide emissions from China. The CPP will become the definition of “all pain and no gain.” Or, as economist Thomas Sowell calls it: “replacing what worked with what sounded good.”

The EPA’s October 16 deadline will be upon us before you know it. Take a few minutes now to send them your comments. Pick any of the above suggestions, customize them as you please, and send them on to the EPA. For America to grow, we need energy that is effective, efficient, and economical, rather than that which is threatened by the EPA’s flood of excessive and burdensome regulations.

SOURCE




Australia: NSW faces gas shortages due to onerous environmental requirements

The New South Wales government says "nothing is off the table" in its desperate bid to stave off potential shortages in gas supplies that could drive manufacturers from the state and push up household energy bills if coal seam gas projects by AGL Energy and Santos don't start up on time.

NSW deputy secretary for resources and energy Kylie Hargreaves said on Thursday that gas savings schemes were under study, as well as ways to help gas users switch to electricity, so additional gas could be made available instead to heavy users that rely on it.

But she said that the government was assuming that potential gas shortages would not arrive as early as some observers were warning, and that by the time it was assuming - 2018-19 - both AGL's Gloucester CSG project in the northern Hunter region and Santos's Pilliga CSG project should have come into production as long as they meet regulatory requirements for approval.

"We're looking at everything, nothing is off the table in all honesty because we just want to make sure we try and do whatever is reasonable to try and address the pressures in the industry," Ms Hargreaves told a conference in Sydney.

"The last thing we want is manufacturing going out the door."

NSW, which produces only 5 per cent of its own gas, has been slow to develop its plentiful CSG resources and projects such as Gloucester and Pilliga are running behind schedule.

Santos had been targeting mid-2014 to lodge an environmental impact statement for its controversial $2 billion Pilliga project but has yet to submit the document, putting its tentative schedule for production in 2017 in doubt. AGL has flagged a final investment decision for its Gloucester project in the December quarter this year. Those two projects could together supply 70 per cent of NSW's gas requirements by 2020, although production initiallly would be lower.

But industrial gas users at the conference, including petrochemicals producer Qenos, queried the NSW government's appreciation of the problems the lack of certainty on future gas supplies are having on their businesses, and signalled they were having difficulty sourcing gas from 2017 onwards.

Ms Hargreaves said the government was dealing with individual projects to try to facilitate gas supplies to customers that rely on them.

Western Power non-executive director Paul Underwood questioned whether the NSW government had considered the possibility of building an LNG import terminal to tackle the problem.

"We're open to be looking at any and all options," Ms Hargreaves said. "Our fundamental driver is security of supply, affordability of supply, and I'm happy to look at almost anything in that space."

The idea of a gas pipeline from the Northern Territory that could bring gas to NSW via South AUstralia or Queensland is also being supported by the NSW government, she added.

Ms Hargreaves said that the government also had a working group into how to help gas users to switch to electricity if necessary and possible, and making that gas available to heavy users that depend on it for their business. It is also studying the potential for a scheme that would create financial incentives for organisations to invest in projects to save gas, similar to the Energy Savings Scheme in electricity.

SOURCE

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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.  

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Thursday, September 18, 2014



Are spiders getting bigger? Warm summer has caused arachnids to grow larger, say experts

Amusing.  On several occasions Warmists have claimed that warming will make people and animals SHRINK in size

Enjoyed the summer? You’re not alone: Experts have warned that homes may be set for an invasion of larger than normal spiders who have feasted on an abundance of prey in the last few months.

That’s because this year the warm summer has allowed certain spiders to eat more than usual and grow to their upper limits.

And it could mean we’ll see more and more large spiders in our homes in the coming months.

The mild summer has meant the eight-legged creatures have had plenty to eat and very few have perished.

With temperatures set to fall, experts from Sydney University have said the larger-than-usual house spiders will be heading indoors in the coming weeks to find a mate.

Professor Adam Hart of the University of Gloucestershire agreed with their predication and said: ‘This year has been seemingly a good one for the invertebrates which spiders feed on, and it’s quite mild out there.’

Spiders are growing far larger in the city than in rural environments, researchers have said.

They found that rather than thriving in areas with lots of vegetation, golden orb weaver spiders living in urban areas of Sydney, Australia, were larger and had more babies.

The say cities have an abundance of food and city lights could be to blame.

'City-dwelling orb-weaving spiders grow larger and could produce more offspring than their country cousins our research shows,' said Elizabeth Lowe of the University of Sydney, who led the research.

This study shows invertebrates are sensitive to urbanisation but that not all species are negatively affected by living in cities.

Both sexes stay in their webs until the autumn when the males become nomadic and search for females.

Mr Lawrence Bee of the British Arachnological Society tells MailOnline that people often notice larger spiders this year as the cold weather drives them inside, with males hunting for females.

But he agrees that the particularly mild summer we’ve had, not too hot and not too cold, will have given spiders access to more prey.

But Professor Hart said people have nothing to fear from big creepy crawlies because spiders are the a free pest control service.

SOURCE





Report: Green Lobbyists Kept ‘Revolving Door’ Spinning at EPA

Green lobbyists kept the “revolving door” at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) spinning despite President Obama’s assurances to the nation that he slammed it shut on his first day in office, according to an interim report released Monday by the Energy and Environmental Legal Institute (E&E Legal).

“On my first day in office, we closed the revolving door between lobbying firms and the government so that no one in my administration would make decisions based on the interests of former or future employers,” Obama said in his weekly address on Jan. 23, 2010.

But based on EPA emails obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by E&E Legal and the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), “the truth, as this report documents, is quite different,” author Christopher Horner wrote.

“EPA’s connection with green pressure groups is a classic case of a ‘revolving door’,” Horner stated.  “It is noteworthy that every member of the EPA’s senior leadership who has not made his or her career in the EPA or state level environmental agencies has a history of employment with green pressure groups,” the report noted. Likewise, “outgoing officials frequently find themselves working for these same green pressure groups when they leave the EPA.”

Calling EPA “among the most closed, ideological and politicized organizations in government,” the report found that instead of keeping environmental lobbyists at arms’ length, as Obama had promised, EPA officials fostered a climate of “improper influence and collusion in pursuit of a shared and admittedly ideological agenda.”

“The EPA and various green groups do research for one another, coordinate messages with one another, support one another’s efforts and coordinate their efforts toward a shared goal, as if the EPA and outside green groups were one and the same,” Horner noted in the report.

Such “unprecedented” collaboration between green lobbyists and EPA officials runs “contrary to Executive Order 12674,” which states that “employees shall act impartially and not give preferential treatment to any private organization or individual.”

“Contrary to candidate Obama’s promise to run the ‘most transparent administration in history,’ free of conflicts of interest, documents reveal that various environmentalist pressure groups with extreme agendas have unprecedented access to and influence upon their former colleagues and other ideological allies who are now EPA officials. EPA serves as an extension of these groups and neither EPA nor the groups recognize any distinction between them,” the report added.

The alleged collusion ranged from “working together to orchestrate public hearings” to “jointly target[ing] individual power plants to block under any new EPA standards to the Obama administration's internally declared "war on coal.”

EPA officials also “repeatedly gave green groups a leg up in submitting comments for the administrative record… before the record was open for comments to the general public,” the report stated.

And while green lobbyists were welcomed at the EPA to help write new regulations, private parties who would be most affected by the rules were told to wait until they were finished.

E&E Legal found that political appointees at EPA are “almost exclusively…environmental activists from anti-energy ‘green’ pressure groups” such as the Sierra Club and the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) who “want coal eliminated entirely, and like-minded career bureaucrats."

Emails between Sierra Club lobbyist John Coequyt and Michael Goo, former head of EPA’s Office of Policy and former staff member at NRDC, showed they arranged to meet at a Marriott Hotel near EPA headquarters in Washington, presumably to avoid Coequyt having to sign the agency’s visitor log, the report noted.

Georgetown Law Professor Lisa Heinzerling -  the lead counsel in Massachusetts v. EPA, a 2007 landmark case in which the U.S. Supreme Court allowed, but did not require, EPA to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant – was “brought to the Obama EPA immediately, clearly for the purpose of orchestrating mandatory regulation of CO2, which she just as quickly set about to do,” Horner pointed out.

Heinzerling served as the EPA’s senior climate policy counsel and associate administrator of the Office of Policy from January 2009 to December 2010. She “was given the lead role in formally obtaining the outcome that defined her career – reversing EPA’s interpretation of the Clean Air Act and Massachusetts v. EPA, and otherwise crafting the ‘global warming’ agenda.”

“A more obvious appearance of conflict is hardly imaginable,” Horner pointed out.

The emails also showed that “EPA officials, and particularly senior Obama appointees driving the regulatory agenda, have minds that are unalterably made up on important regulatory issues… they had worked on as activists much of their lives…with a predetermined goal that would not be shaken by facts, economics, the effect on the American public, or any other concern,” he added.

“Under the law, this makes them unfit to participate in regulations on these topics.”

SOURCE





DA's abuse of discretion should be condemned, not cheered

PROSECUTORS ROUTINELY reduce criminal charges or waive them altogether. They agree to plea bargains. They settle misdemeanor cases in exchange for compensation to the victim. Under our legal system, the government's prosecuting attorneys have extraordinary leeway in deciding whom to prosecute, and for which offenses, and what punishment to seek.


Before a crowd outside the courthouse, District Attorney Sam Sutter waves a manifesto published in Rolling Stone by a well-known climate alarmist, Bill McKibben. "You know where my heart is," the DA declared.

So when Sam Sutter, the district attorney for Bristol County, announced last week that he would drop the criminal charges pending against two global-warming activists for illegally blocking a shipment of coal to a power plant in Somerset, Mass., he was exercising prosecutorial discretion — something DAs do every day.

Clearly, that's not why it made news. Nor is it why Sutter is being hailed — wrongly — as a hero on the environmental left.

Sutter made his announcement moments before Jay O'Hara and Ken Ward were to go on trial for their stunt in Somerset, for which they faced charges that included conspiracy to commit a crime, disorderly conduct, and negligent operation of a motor vessel. Conviction could have meant up to nine months' imprisonment. The defendants didn't deny their actions; they said they were willing to go to jail in order to protest the burning of coal and what they regard as the government's "terrible" climate policies.

"If I was convicted by a jury of my peers," O'Hara said in a radio interview, "I was ready and prepared to face the consequences of my action, knowing that that … is the sort of commitment that changes hearts when people see other people put their lives on the line for something that really matters." The defendants had planned to invoke a so-called "necessity" defense, arguing that though they broke the law when they blocked the shipping channel, they did so to prevent a greater harm — i.e., climate change.

But instead of proceeding to a jury trial, Sutter dropped the charges at the last minute. O'Hara and Ward were merely required to pay $4,000 as civil restitution to the town of Somerset for its costs.

Reasonable people can debate whether the protesters' blockade was a noble gesture of civil disobedience or merely obnoxious grandstanding, and whether their "coal is stupid" campaign reflects scientific thinking or crackpot hysteria. Did it make more sense to let them off with a monetary payment, rather than indulging them in what they hoped to turn into a high-profile trial of government policy and the morality of using fossil fuels? On that too there could be room for debate.

But Sutter went way beyond the ethical bounds of prosecutorial discretion. He announced, in a manner calculated to attract maximum publicity, that he was letting O'Hara and Ward off the hook because he agrees with their political views.

"Climate change is one of the gravest crises our planet has ever faced," Sutter declaimed to a cheering crowd outside Fall River District Court. "In my humble opinion, the political leadership on this issue has been sorely lacking…. This symbolizes our commitment, at the Bristol County district attorney's office, to take a leadership role on this issue."

And to be sure no one missed the nakedly ideological character of his action, Sutter said he would "certainly" take part in a global-warming protest march planned for Sept. 21 in New York City. He held aloft a manifesto published in Rolling Stone by a well-known climate alarmist, Bill McKibben. "How do you like that?" Sutter called to the crowd. "So you know where my heart is."

The DA's behavior was worse than disgraceful, it was dangerous. It was an egregious abuse of his authority as a prosecutor: not that he dropped the charges against two lawbreaking protesters, but that he did so because he wants to promote their controversial cause — and to promote his own "leadership" on the issue.

Climate activists Jay O'Hara and Ken Ward aboard the vessel they used to block the delivery of 40,000 tons of coal to a power plant in Somerset, Mass.

Sutter isn't the first DA to misuse his prosecutorial discretion because he sympathizes with a criminal's outlook. "During the civil rights era," notes the Southern Poverty Law Center, "white prosecutors in Southern towns notoriously refused to bring charges against whites for racially based hate crimes against African Americans — even when the evidence in favor of prosecution was overwhelming."

It may be tempting for those who see climate change as a crisis to applaud Sutter's overtly political decision. Would they feel the same way about an anti-abortion DA who refused to prosecute demonstrators for blockading a Planned Parenthood clinic? Would they cheer a prosecutor whose antipathy to Islam led him to drop the charges against trespassers preventing construction of a mosque, and then to trumpet his "leadership" in doing so?

Prosecutors aren't elected to make public policy — not on fossil fuels, or civil rights, or abortion, or anything else. Their job is to enforce the law, not to enact it. What Sutter did was contemptible, not commendable, and no one should have been cheering.

SOURCE





Attack of the NGOs

Who are these None governmental Organizations (NGOs) shock troops and how do they operate? It's a vast matrix composed of both the private NGO groups and representatives of the UN and representatives of a large number of US federal agencies - all working together behind the scenes, quietly making policy for the rest of us. And when I attempt to expose them, they vehemently deny there is any collusion - "pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." Sorry, the truth is - this is how it works. No vote. No public input. Just the enforcement of an agenda through the willing participation of private groups and government officials who forgot their purpose was to represent, not dictate to us. The NGOs are the storm troopers necessary to make it all happen.

One rarely hears of it. Few elected officials raise an eyebrow. The media makes no mention of it. But power is slowly slipping away from our elected representatives. In much the same way Mao Tse tung had his Red Guards, so the UN has its NGOs. They may well be your masters of tomorrow, and you don't even know who or what they are.

There are, in fact, two parallel, complimentary forces at work in the world, working together to advance the global Sustainable Development agenda, ultimately leading toward UN global governance. Those two forces are the UN itself and non-governmental organizations (NGOs.)

Beginning with the United Nations, the infrastructure pushing the Sustainable Development agenda is a vast, international matrix. At the top of the heap is the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP).

Created in 1973 by the UN General Assembly, the UNEP is the catalyst through which the global environmental agenda is implemented. Virtually all of the international environmental programs and policy changes that have occurred globally in the past three decades are the result of UNEP efforts.
But the UNEP doesn't operate on its own. Influencing it and helping to write policy are thousands of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These are private groups which seek to implement a specific political agenda. Through the UN infrastructure, particularly through the UNEP, they have great power.

The phrase "non-governmental organization" came into use with the establishment of the United Nations Organization in 1945 with provisions in Article 71 of Chapter 10 of the United Nations Charter. The term describes a consultative role for organizations that are neither government nor member states of the UN.

NGOs are not just any private group hoping to influence policy. True NGOs are officially sanctioned by the United Nations. Such status was created by UN Resolution 1296 in 1948, giving NGOs official "Consultative" status to the UN. That means they can not only sit in on international meetings, but can actively participate in creating policy, right along side government representatives.

There are numerous classifications of NGO's. The two most common are "Operational" and "Advocacy." Operational NGOs are involved with designing and implementing specific projects such as feeding the hungry or organizing relief projects. These groups can be religious or secular. They can be community-based, national or international. The International Red Cross falls under the category of an operational NGO.

Advocacy NGOs are promoting a specific political agenda. They lobby government bodies, use the news media and organize activist-oriented events, all designed to raise awareness and apply pressure to promote their causes which include environmental issues, human rights, poverty, education, children, drinking water, and population control - to name a few. Amnesty International is the largest human rights advocacy NGO in the world. Organized globally, it has more than 1.8 million members, supporters and subscribers in over 150 countries.

Today these NGOs have power nearly equal to member nations when it comes to writing U.N. policy. Just as civil service bureaucrats provide the infrastructure for government operation, so to do NGOs provide such infrastructure for the U.N. In fact, most U.N. policy is first debated and then written by the NGOs and presented to national government officials at international meetings for approval and ratification. It is through this process that the individual political agendas of the NGO groups enter the international political arena.

The policies sometimes come in the form of international treaties or simply as policy guidelines. Once the documents are presented to and accepted by representatives of member states and world leaders, obscure political agendas of private organizations suddenly become international policy, and are then adopted as national and local laws by U.N. member states. Through this very system, Sustainable Development has grown from a collection of ideas and wish lists of a wide variety of private organizations to become the most widely implemented tool in the U.N.'s quest for global governance.

The three most powerful organizations influencing UNEP policy are three international NGOs. They are the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the International Union for Conservation and Nature (IUCN). These three groups provide the philosophy, objectives and methodology for the international environmental agenda through a series of official reports and studies such as: World Conservation Strategy, published in 1980 by all three groups; Global Biodiversity Strategy, published in 1992; and Global Biodiversity Assessment, published in 1996.

These groups not only influence UNEP's agenda, they also influence a staggering array of international and national NGOs around the world. Jay Hair, former head of the National Wildlife Federation, one of the U.S.'s largest environmental organizations, was also the president of the IUCN. Hair later turned up as co-chairman of the Presidents Council on Sustainable Development.


The WWF maintains a network of national chapters around the world, which influence, if not dominate, NGO activities at the national level. It is at the national level where NGOs agitate and lobby national governments to implement the policies that the IUCN, WWF and WRI get written into the documents that are advanced by the UNEP. In this manner, the world grows ever closer to global governance.

Other than treaties, how does UNEP policy become U.S. policy? Specifically, the IUCN has an incredible mix of U.S. government agencies along with major U.S. NGOs as members. Federal agencies include the Department of State, Department of Interior, Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Park Service (NPS) the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Fish and Wildlife service. These agencies send representatives to all meetings of the UNEP.

Also attending those meetings as active members are NGO representatives. These include activist groups such as the Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy, National Wildlife Federation, Zero Population growth, Planned Parenthood, the Sierra Club, the National Education Association, and hundreds more. These groups all have specific political agendas they desire to become law. Through their official contact with government agencies working side-by-side with the UNEP, their political wish lists become official government policy.

How can this be, you ask? How can private organizations control policy and share equal power to elected officials? Here's how it works.

When the dust settled over the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, five major documents were forced into international policy that will change forever how national policy is made. More importantly, the Rio Summit produced the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). UNCED outlined a new procedure for shaping policy. The procedure has no name, nor is it dictatorial. It is perhaps best described as "controlled consensus" or "affirmative acquiescence."

Put in simple street language, the procedure really amounts to a collection of NGOs, bureaucrats and government officials, all working together toward a predetermined outcome. They have met together in meetings, written policy statements based on international agreements, which they helped to create and now they are about to impose laws and regulations that will have dire effects on people's lives and national economies. Yet, with barely a twinge of conscience they move forward with the policy, saying nothing. No one objects. It's understood. Everyone goes along. For this is a barbaric procedure that insures their desired outcome without the ugliness of bloodshed, or even debate. It is the procedure used to advance the radical, global environmental agenda.

The UNCED procedure utilizes four elements of power: international government (UN); national governments; non-governmental organizations, and philanthropic institutions.

The NGOs are the key to the process. They create policy ideas from their own private agendas. The policy idea is then adopted by one or more U.N. organizations for consideration at a regional conference. Each conference is preceded by an NGO forum designed specifically to bring NGO activists into the debate. There they are fully briefed on the policy and then trained to prepare papers and lobby and influence the official delegates of the conference. In this way, the NGOs control the debate and assure the policy is adopted.

The ultimate goal of the conference is to produce a "Convention," which is a legally- drawn policy statement on specific issues. Once the "Convention" is adopted by the delegates, it is sent to the national governments for official ratification. Once that is done, the new policy becomes international law.

Then the real work begins. Compliance must be assured. Again, the NGOs come into the picture. They are responsible for pressuring Congress to write national laws in order to comply with the treaty. One trick used to assure compliance is to write into the laws the concept of third-party lawsuits.

NGOs now regularly sue the government and private citizens to force policy. They have their legal fees and even damage awards paid to them out of the government treasury. Through a coordinated process, hundreds of NGOs are at work in Congress, in every state government and in every local community, advancing some component of the global environmental agenda.

However, the United States Constitution's Tenth Amendment bars the Federal Government from writing laws that dictate local policy. To by pass this roadblock, NGOs encourage Congress to include special grants to help states and communities to fund the new policy, should they want to "voluntarily" comply.

Should a community or state refuse to participate "voluntarily," local chapters of the NGOs are trained to go into action. They begin to pressure city councils or county commissioners to accept the grants and implement the policy. Should they meet resistance, they begin to issue news releases telling the community their elected officials are losing millions of dollars for the community. The pressure continues until the grant is finally taken and the policy becomes local law. This practice has resulted in the NGOs gaining incredible power on the local level. Today, a great number of communities are actually run by NGO members as city and county governments are staffed by NGO members. They serve on local unelected boards and regional councils that the NGOs helped to create. Local representative government is slowly relinquishing its power to the NGOs.

Americans must begin to understand that the debate over environmental issues have very little to do with clean water and air and much more to do with the establishment of power. NGOs are gaining it, locally elected officials are losing it as the structure of American government changes to accommodate the private agendas of NGOs.

SOURCE




New EPA killer coolant regs a crony boon to DuPont

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced plans to speed up the process of phasing out and banning the cooling agent used in most cars and refrigerators (HFC-134a).

This isn’t the first of such moves from the EPA. In 1978, the federal environmental agency began banning the use of Freon in the U.S. because the coolant allegedly caused damage to the ozone layer of the atmosphere, in favor of the HFC-134a coolant now facing universal bans from the EPA because of its “greenhouse” impact on the atmosphere.

The new chemical which is already replacing HFC-134a in Cadillacs and other vehicles is a compound known as HFO-1234yf.

There is, however, a peculiar connection between this series of federal bans, the timing of the bans, and the company holding the patents to the substances.

The EPA began banning Freon in 1978 — and DuPont’s patent for Freon expired in 1979. When DuPont invented Freon’s EPA-approved replacement (HFC-134a), they applauded the move to ban Freon. The catch was that, in addition to banning Freon from new development, refrigeration units would need to replace Freon with DuPont’s new HFC-134a.

A generation later, the same environmental alarmists have adopted new environmental scare tactics to create regulations that will profit the same corporate giants. The ozone layer has dropped out of national headlines in favor of global warming-causing “greenhouse gasses” (such as what you’re presently exhaling as you read this). Conveniently, HFC-134a has now been characterized as a very potent “greenhouse gas,” and therefore finds itself in the crosshairs of the EPA and environmental fear mongers everywhere.

But not to the detriment of HFC-creator DuPont. HFC’s proposed replacement (HFO-1234yf) was created by DuPont who now, along with Honeywell, holds a patent on the cooling chemical.

Therefore, EPA and DuPont again find themselves with mutually beneficial goals that are not necessarily better for the American people. Just as the replacement for Freon had detrimental effects on cooling technology, HFO-1234yf faces serious public safety questions, as noted by the Daily Mail in 2013.

Among the concerns, research has pointed out that the new product is toxic, combustible, and extremely dangerous when exposed to a heated engine (say, after a crash).

Auto manufacturers such as BMW and Mercedes Benz, who have been dealing with this issue in Europe, flatly refuse to use the new chemicals in their vehicles.

But none of that is stopping the EPA from moving forward to rewarding DuPont another major payday and putting people at risk for the sake of “environmental protection.”

SOURCE





At least 150 companies prep for carbon prices

At least 150 major companies worldwide — including ExxonMobil, Google, Microsoft and 26 others in the United States — are already making business plans that assume they will be taxed on their carbon pollution, a report out today says.

The U.S. has yet to impose a price on heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions, but other nations are starting to do so as a way to address global warming, so U.S.-based companies are factoring an eventual one into their plans, says the international non-profit CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project. The report is the group's first one to look at corporate carbon pricing on a global scale.

"We're seeing companies taking steps they're not required to, and they're doing this to be competitive in a carbon-constrained world," says Zoe Antitch, spokeswoman of CDP North America, noting many do business in multiple countries. "They're looking ahead. ... They're climate ready."

The report comes one week before leaders of 100-plus countries convene Sept. 23 in New York City for the United Nations' Climate Summit, at which leaders of many nations and corporations are expected to announce their plans to reduce carbon emissions.The World Bank is calling for carbon pricing as a key strategy.

"A price on carbon creates incentives," Rachel Kyte, the World Bank Group's special envoy for climate change, told reporters last week. By hiking the price of fossil fuels such as oil and coal, which emit the most carbon dioxide when burned, she said it spurs investments in energy efficiency and non-polluting renewable power such as solar and wind. She said Canada's British Columbia has had a "revenue-neutral" carbon tax since 2008, and its CO2 emissions have fallen while its economy has grown.

Yet in the U.S., some business leaders and GOP members of Congress remain opposed to taxing carbon emissions, saying it could raise consumer prices for energy. They helped defeat President Obama's legislative push for a national cap-and-trade system in which overall emissions are capped but companies that exceed the limits can buy emission credits from those that emitted less.

So Obama's Environmental Protection Agency, acting without Congress, proposed in June to cut carbon emissions from existing U.S. power plants 30% by 2030. The EPA rule would allow states to meet varying reduction targets by closing coal-fired power plants, saving energy, using more renewable power or forming regional cap-and-trade programs.

California has its own such program, as do nine Northeastern U.S. states, which have created the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative or RGGI.

Other countries have adopted them as well. China, which has several regional programs, has announced it will implement a national cap-and-trade by 2020. The European Union began its Emissions Trading Scheme in 2005. It covers power plants and factories. The United Kingdom has its own program to include additional emitters.

London-based CDP, which surveys thousands of companies every year on their climate policies on behalf of institutional investors, found that 496 companies worldwide say they already participate in a carbon-pricing scheme, including 96 U.S.-based corporations. Of these U.S. companies, 69 say they're regulated by the EU's program.

The CDP's first report on corporate carbon pricing, released in December, looked only at U.S. companies. Like this year, 29 companies said they had placed an internal price on carbon, 18 of which appear in today's report. Those 18: Delphi Automotive, Walt Disney, Apache, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Devon Energy, ExxonMobil, Hess, Cummins, Delta Air, Google, Ameren, American Electric Power, CMS Energy, Duke Energy, Entergy, Integrys Energy and Xcel Energy.

Eleven fell off last year's list, including Wal-Mart, General Electric and BP, but others joined this year's disclosure, including Microsoft, Bank of America, Dow Chemical and Goldman Sachs.

"We expect the number will be a lot higher next year," says Nigel Topping, CDP's executive director, noting his group will specifically ask companies whether they've placed an internal price on carbon. He says the 2013 and 2014 surveys did not do that, so companies had to volunteer the information. He says some that fell off this year's list may not have stopped pricing carbon but simply did not report it.

New Orleans-based Entergy, which runs power plants and provides electricity to customers in four southern states, uses a carbon price to help determine the "best mix" of future energy sources, says Chuck Barlow, its vice president of environmental strategy and policy.

U.S. companies report setting a range of carbon prices, from Microsoft's low of $6 per ton of carbon dioxide emitted to ExxonMobil's $80 per ton — up from $60 per ton last year.

"The risk of climate change is clear, and the risk warrants action," William Colton, ExxonMobil's vice president of corporate strategic planning, said in March in disclosing how the world's largest oil and gas producer assesses the risks of its fossil fuel assets. He said the company, which has shifted some of its production from oil to less-polluting natural gas, is trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its operations and is supporting research that could lead to technology breakthroughs in energy.

SOURCE

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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

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014


DiCaprio film magnifies the real climate change 'monster'

Real problem is monstrous government programs that perpetuate poverty, disease and death

By Tom Harris and Bob Carter

In Carbon, Leonardo DiCaprio’s new film about the “climate crisis,” we are told the world is threatened by a “carbon monster.” Coal, oil, natural gas and other carbon-based forms of energy are causing dangerous climate change and must be turned off as soon as possible, DiCaprio insists.

But he has identified the wrong monster. The real one is the climate scare – something DiCaprio promotes with his sensationalist, error-riddled movie. That is the real threat to civilization.

Carbon is the first of four films that DiCaprio planned to release in the weeks prior to the United Nations’ Climate Summit 2014, to be held in New York City September 23. If Carbon is any indication of what the rest of the series will be like, the public needs to brace itself against still more mind-numbing global warming propaganda.

DiCaprio repeatedly uses the “carbon pollution” and “carbon poison” misnomers – when he’s really talking about carbon dioxide (CO2), the plant-fertilizing gas that is essential for all life on Earth. But in addition to that deception, DiCaprio’s film is based on a myth: that CO2 from human activities is causing catastrophic climate change.

The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) lists thousands of scientific papers that either debunk or cast serious doubt on this popular though misguided notion.

Oregon-based physicist Dr. Gordon Fulks explains that the climate scare has “become a sort of societal pathogen that virulently spreads misinformation in tiny packages like a virus. CO2 is said to be responsible for global warming that is not occurring, for accelerated sea level rise that is not occurring, for net glacial and sea ice melt that is not occurring, for ocean acidification that is not occurring, and for increasing extreme weather that is not occurring.”

Fulks is right. DiCaprio’s film is just another vector for spreading the virus.

According to NASA satellites and ground-based temperature measurements, global warming ceased in the late 1990s, some 18 years ago. And yet, CO2 levels have risen almost 10% since 1997, a figure that represents an astonishing 30% of all human-related emissions since the industrial revolution began. These facts contradict all CO2-based climate models, upon which nearly all global warming concerns are founded. Similarly:

* Rates of sea-level rise remain small and are even decelerating; over recent decades they have averaged about 1 mm/year as measured by tide gauges and 2-3 mm/year as inferred from “adjusted” satellite data. That works out to a mere 4 to 12 inches per century, which is hardly a cause for alarm.

* Satellites also show a greater expanse of Antarctic sea ice now than at any time since space-based measurements began in 1979. During this period, Arctic sea ice has remained well within historic bounds and fluctuations, dating back centuries.

* The NIPCC’s March 2014 Biological Impacts report explains that the minute decline in alkalinity of the oceans projected by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s speculative computer models is small compared with the daily and seasonal changes that marine organisms already experience. Neither the IPCC nor the NIPCC forecasts that human CO2 emissions will cause oceans to become acidic in the coming centuries. They have become ever so slightly less alkaline over recent decades, but they are still very far from becoming acidic.

* A 2012 IPCC report concluded that there has been no significant increase in either the frequency or the intensity of extreme weather events in the modern era. The NIPCC 2013 report concluded the same. For the United States, the eight and one-half years since a category 3-5 hurricane made landfall is the longest such period since at least 1900.

The costs of feeding the climate change monster are staggering. According to the Congressional Research Service, between 2001 and 2014 the US Government spent $131 billion on human-caused climate change projects. They also allowed tax breaks for anti-CO2 energy initiatives totaling $176 billion.

Federal government spending on climate change and renewable energy is now running at $11 billion a year, and tax breaks at about $20 billion a year – for a total of more than double the total value of all wheat produced in the United States in 2013 ($14.4 billion).

Dr. Bjørn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, calculates that the European Union’s goal of a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions below 1990 levels by 2020 will cost almost $100 billion annually by 2020 – or more than $7 trillion over the course of this century.

That is currently the most severe target in the world. It has caused EU energy prices to rise ominously, costing numerous jobs, sending millions of families into “fuel poverty,” and resulting in thousands of mostly elderly people dying from hypothermia, because they could not afford to heat their homes properly during cold winter months.

Lomborg, a supporter of the UN’s climate science, asserts, “After spending all that money, we would not even be able to tell the difference” between global temperatures a century from now with a 20% reduction in EU carbon dioxide emissions by 2020, or without it.

So, Al Gore was right in one respect. Climate change is indeed a moral issue.

There is nothing quite so immoral as wealthy, well-fed, well-housed Westerners like Messrs. Gore and DiCaprio promoting the waste of huge amounts of money on futile anti-global warming policies – money that could instead be spent improving living standards and saving lives in developing countries.

Billions of people in those poor nations lack adequate lights, refrigeration, sanitation, schooling, clean water and proper health services. Tens of millions of them suffer needlessly from malnutrition and horrible diseases of poverty, and millions of them die prematurely every year.

Denying them the finances to build inexpensive hydrocarbon-fired power stations has been aptly described as technological genocide. That is where the moral outrage should lie.

Perhaps Mr DiCaprio would like to make a film about this – the real climate monster.

Via email




Solar storm has lessons

Dr Charles R. Anderson

Recent observations of the effects of a massive solar storm on the Earth’s atmosphere made by NASA using the SABER instrument on the TIMED satellite have very important implications for the two main classes of hypotheses backing the idea of catastrophic man-made global warming.  burning earth

During this solar storm, gigantic quantities of energy were dumped into the Earth’s upper atmosphere by highly energetic particles.  The SABER instrument measures the infrared emissions from the Earth’s upper atmosphere.  The NASA measurements of those infrared emissions during the solar storm showed that 95% of the energy dumped into upper atmosphere was quickly re-emitted into space.  There was no significant warming of the Earth’s surface.

The significance with respect to the various man-made global warming hypotheses of this observation has often not been well-explained by critics of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (AGW).  The fact that the energy arrives in the atmosphere as energetic particles has often been glossed over in such commentaries, yet this is very important.

The energy of the solar storm is not of the same nature as the mix of ultraviolet (UV), visible light, and near and mid infrared radiation which provides the Earth with heat energy on a daily basis.  Though this important difference exists, the results of the solar storm energy measurements by NASA are still crucially significant for one of the principal global warming hypotheses and somewhat significant for the other main AGW hypothesis.

There are two standard hypotheses for the global warming mechanism that CO2 is supposed to provide at a catastrophic level:

1)  A large back-radiation effect near the Earth surface caused by water vapor and CO2, which warms the surface.

2)  A delay or decrease in radiation in the upper troposphere or stratosphere caused by increased CO2 and NO.

As I have discussed many times on my blog, most recently in Simple Explanation of Why Greenhouse Gases Do Not Warm the Earth’s Surface, back-radiation at the Earth’s surface is insignificant because the mean free path for the infrared radiation absorptions of water vapor and carbon dioxide are very short and the corresponding temperature differences between the surface and the lower few meters of the atmosphere are therefore very small.

The smaller than claimed infrared radiation from the surface is very quickly absorbed and distributed to nitrogen, oxygen, and argon in the air due to the very high collision rate in the lower atmosphere.  These primary air molecules do not radiate this energy and it is then mostly transported by convection upward or toward the poles.  Water vapor and CO2 actually slightly increase the rate of energy transport upward following the downward temperature and density gradients.

Thus Hypothesis 1 fails to make physical sense.  As more and more proponents of catastrophic AGW have realized this failure, they have turned to the second hypothesis as the justification for AGW.

Hypothesis 2 also fails.  See: Does Increased CO2 Cause a Decrease in Infrared Emission to Space?  Once again the lack of a significant temperature gradient in the upper troposphere for radiation purposes and no temperature gradient in the tropopause is one significant  problem for this hypothesis.  It is hard to change the temperature much of the CO2 emitters.  Another problem is that more and slightly warmer infrared emitters causes any warming in the upper atmosphere to be reduced because more emitters are sending individually increased radiation into space.  For the same reasons that Hypothesis 1 fails, it is also not possible for the warming CO2 absorbers to transmit energy back to the Earth's surface by radiation, so any effect of warming remains in the upper atmosphere.

The major significance of the NASA SABER measurements on how effectively CO2 and NO eliminated the energy of the solar storm is that this is confirmation of my argument that Hypothesis 2 fails.

A local warming high in the atmosphere does not result in a warming of the surface of the Earth.  Indeed, the infrared gases are highly effective in cooling the atmosphere, especially in the upper atmosphere where the mean free path for infrared absorption by CO2 and NO is longer than near sea level.

As I initially pointed out in Slaying the Sky Dragon, the back-radiation effects claimed for infrared active gases were so small that the role of such gases in absorbing solar radiation before it could arrive at the surface of the Earth was a very significant cooling effect of these wrongly designated greenhouse gases.

A warming of the atmosphere thousands of meters above the surface is not an equivalent warming of the surface where we live.  Very little such atmospheric energy is transported to the surface.  This remains true as I have more thoroughly explained more recently here:  Infrared-Absorbing Gases and the Earth’s Surface Temperature: A Relatively Simple Baseline Evaluation of the Physics.

The fact that I have pointed to my own explanations for the failures in the physics of Hypothesis 1 and Hypothesis 2 is not a claim that I am the only scientist who has understood the bad physics of these crucial catastrophic man-made global warming arguments.

Fortunately, more and more scientists have come to understand the physics either wholly or in good part.  More and more scientists have come to understand that the two hypotheses used to explain catastrophic AGW are either wrong or at least dubious.

SOURCE





America’s accessible cities

In a triumph for the automobile, allegedly "dumb" growth beats "smart" growth

Cities have been pivotal to improved living standards, because of the opportunities they facilitate. This is particularly evident over the past two centuries, as world urbanization has risen from 3 percent to over 50 percent, and to more than 80 percent in the United States.

The prosperity of urban residents depends in large measure on their ability to reach the best available jobs in the city in a reasonable period of time. This requires access. University of Paris economists Remy Prud’homme and Chang Woon Lee and othershave shown that cities tend to perform better economically if the transport system permits more jobs to be reached in a fixed time, such as 30 minutes. Cities are defined as metropolitan areas, which include core municipalities and suburbs. As former World Bank planner Alain Bertaud has indicated, “large labor markets are the raison d’être of large cities.”

With frequent press attention on traffic congestion and “gridlock,” it may be surprising that work trip travel times in US cities are better than those of high income competitors in other nations. Indeed, the University of Minnesota’s David Levinson, found that the typical employee can reach two-thirds of jobs in major US metropolitan areas within 30 minutes.

Census Bureau data indicates that the average work trip travel time in US cities of more than 5 million population was approximately 29 minutes each way. Western European cities of more than 5 million population have an average travel time of 32 minutes. Toronto, Canada’s only city of this size, has a travel time of 33 minutes. East Asian cities with more than 5 million residents (Tokyo, Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto, Nagoya, Seoul, Hong Kong and Singapore) have far longer average travel times — at 42 minutes. Australia’s two largest cities (Sydney and Melbourne), which are yet to reach 5 million, have an average travel times of 35 minutes.

A number of examples can be cited. For all its well known traffic congestion, Los Angeles has the shortest travel time of any high income world megacity (cities over 10 million population), at just 27 minutes. Paris and New York are the strongest competitors, at 34 minutes, while Tokyo’s 50 minutes is nearly double that of Los Angeles (estimated from travel time distributions reported by the Japan Statistics Bureau).

Dallas-Fort Worth is the best performing US city between 5 million and 10 million population, at 26 minutes. Travel time in Houston, Miami and Philadelphia is almost as short, at 27 minutes. Only the Germany’s Ruhr Valley (Essen-Duisburg-Dortmund) does better than these cities, at 24 minutes. Hong Kong’s travel time is the longest in this population category, at 46 minutes. This may be surprising, since in many ways Hong Kong conforms to current urban planning ideals. It is the densest urban area in the high income world and the largest transit work trip market share.

The US travel time advantage extends to metropolitan areas with more than 1,000,000 population. The average work trip travel time was 25 minutes in the US, compared to 27 minutes in Western Europe and 28 minutes in Canada. No data was found for the smaller metropolitan areas of East Asia or Australia.

Why are US cities so accessible? Despite the hostility of planners toward the automobile, the secret lies in automobile access. Generally, automobiles are faster than other modes, such as transit, walking and cycling for trips of the lengths required in modern metropolitan areas. The US also has more dispersed (decentralized) employment, which increases access and shortens travel times. Only 8 percent of major metropolitan area employment is in the downtown areas (central business districts) in US cities. Similar factors account for the Ruhr Valley’s quick travel times in Germany, with unusual employment dispersion and comprehensive freeway coverage (for Europe).

By contrast, nearly half the population and half of the jobs are in pre-1980 suburban areas (not the urban core), according to my analysis of zip code data. This makes more employment closer to people throughout the metropolitan area, on generally less congested roads.

Meanwhile, cars are getting cleaner. The Department of Energy forecasts the new US (and Canadian) fuel economy standards will reduce gross greenhouse gas emissions a quarter by 2040, despite a strong increase in driving and a conservative assumption of no progress in new car emissions after 2025. Yet things are likely to get much better, with groundbreaking advances by manufacturers, automated vehicle developers and government agencies. The California Air Resources Board is aiming for a statewide fleet that emits zero emissions by 2050, on the way to 100 percent.

Superior access is one reason that US cities dominate international income rankings. Access to greater employment choices is good for metropolitan economies. The result is a higher standard of living and less poverty than would otherwise be the case.

SOURCE




The much feared talk by climatologist Judith Curry (excerpts)

Just the news that she was GOING TO give a public talk has had Warmists frothing

Climatologist Dr. Judith Curry, who was until recently the Chair of School of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology, detailed her conversion from a scientist who accepted the global warming “consensus” on man-made global warming to one who now openly challenges it. Curry spoke at the National Press Club in Washington DC on September 16 at an event sponsored by the George C. Marshall Institute.

Curry warned of possible global cooling. “We also see a cooling period starting around the turn of the (21st) century.” She also suggested that the “current cool phase will continue until the 2030s.”

“Even on the timescale of decade or two, we could end up be very surprised on how the climate plays out and it might not be getting warmer like the UN IPCC says,” Curry noted.  “We don’t know what’s going to happen. All other things being equal – yes — more carbon dioxide means warmer, but all other things are never equal,” she emphasized.

“We just don’t know. I think we are fooling ourselves to think that CO2 control knob really influences climate on these decadal or even century time scales,” she added.

“I view the [climate change] problem as a ‘big wicked mess,” Curry told the crowd at luncheon assembled. “The main problem is we are putting the policy cart before the scientific horse,” Curry said.

Curry believes the United Nations has distorted the research of global warming and shifted too much on carbon dioxide as the “control knob” of the climate system. “Climate scientists have focused primarily on greenhouse gases,” Curry noted, linking that focus on the IPCC’s focus and the funding streams available to scientists who focus on CO2.  “Other factors relatively neglected,” Curry declared.

“The early articulation of a preferred policy option by the UN framework marginalized research on broader issues surrounding climate change and resulted in an overconfident assessment of the importance of greenhouse gases in future climate change and stifled development of a broad range of policy options.”

Curry also dismissed the UN global climate treaty process. “Relying on global international treaty to solve the problem — which I do not think would really solve the problem even if it was implemented – is politically unviable and economically unviable

Curry told of her conversion and how she ended up disillusioned with the so-called “consensus.”

“Prior to 2005, I was comfortably ensconced in academia,” Curry noted and discussed how she grew increasingly “uneasy about how the UN IPCC dealt with uncertainty.”

Curry’s turning point was the Climategate email controversy in 2009. She said she was disappointed at the “lack of transparency” and the ‘silence” of many of her colleagues about the behavior of the upper echelon of the UN scientists revealed in the emails.

Curry showed the headline from Scientific American termed her a “heretic” and the headline blared: ‘Climate Heretic’: ‘Judith Curry Turns on Her Colleagues’

Crushing of Scientific Dissent

Curry spoke of the “intolerance of dissent” and attempts to silence skeptic in the global warming discussion today. “President Obama said in his State of the Union address, ‘we don’t have time for a meeting of the flat earth society.’”

She called claims of a 97% consensus “deeply flawed.”

“You cannot even talk about these kinds of issues in the mainstream climate debate. We get called ‘deniers’. This is a very sad state of affairs,” she noted.

“Careerism is a big problem. It much more beneficial to join the dominant paradigm, rather than to fight against it,” Curry explained.

“If I were nontenured scientist, I would fear for my job! But I am a senior scientist with retirement in my sight, so I can afford to do what I want, say what I think.”

“I no longer write government grant proposals. I have lot more independence. I truly feel liberated by not having to chase dollars,” she added.

Curry lamented the current state of academia. “There is a system in place with an emphasis on paper counts, an emphasis on dollars, and it is very difficult to dig in and work on hard problem. You have got to keep cranking it out. I really despair. I really despair,” she said.

“I see more of our graduates going into private sector rather than academia,” she added.

Curry was optimistic about how the internet is changing things for the better. “Social media is changing things like crazy. The whole emphasis on peer review being challenged by social media and open access journals. The whole dynamic of research and higher academia is changing for the better,” she explained.

“I was on that treadmill, I am mostly off it now and it is very liberating to be off that treadmill,” she added.

Severe Weather

Curry also challenged the notion that there was more “extreme weather” today. “Much of the severe weather we think we are seeing right now — you look back to the 1930 and 1950s and this is what we were seeing also. This is weather amnesia,” she noted.

“Sandy was a category one, when it struck. There is nothing exceptional about a category one hurricane striking New York City. What was exceptional was the damage and this was associated with extreme wealth and development in that region,” she said.

“We have seen that the hurricane landfalls have become fewer in last few decades overall. So you cannot blame it on global warming,” she said.

Sea Level Rise

Curry downplayed sea level rise fears. “If you look back to the 1930 and 1940s, the rate of sea level rise was at least as large as recent values when there was little contribution of human caused warming.”

“Bangladesh, this is the poster child for sea level rise – has an estimated only 10-15% of their sea level rise associated with warming, the rest of it is associated with land use issues and geological issues. So trying to cure the sea level problem by reducing warming — even if that were possible — is only going to address a fraction of the sea level rise issue,” Curry said.

She also laughed about the growing number of excuses (currently at 52) for the global warming ‘pause‘, approaching 18 years according to satellite data.

SOURCE





Windmill blues in Germany

Dr Klaus L.E. Kaiser

The first large scale wind-power installation, some 100 km (65 miles) offshore the northwest coast of Germany has finally been connected to the grid. The Offshore-Windpark Deutsche Bucht is a wind farm with a total of 80 wind turbine towers, each with a hub height of 100 m (300 ft.) above the sea and a combined design output of some 400 Megawatts in electric power.

Connection to the Grid

Because of delays in getting the underwater cabling and connection to the power grid on land, the whole power park was standing idle for the last two years. In order to prevent potential damage to gear boxes and turbines, each tower was supplied with energy from small gasoline-powered electricity generators for that time.

Several years behind schedule, the Bard 1 wind farm finally came together in March 2014. The wind farm was connected to the electrical grid and started to deliver energy. Alas, it did not last very long.  In March, the separate AC-to-DC converter station at the facility suffered a “meltdown.” A new converter installed a few days ago was shut down not much later without explanation.

HVDC Converters

The alternating current (AC) coming from the turbines cannot be directly transmitted to the grid. Instead, it needs to be converted to high voltage direct current (HVDC) first. In principle, that is a straight forward task and has been solved for a long time. All the high-tension electrical power transmission lines around the world use such HVDC converters. So what’s the problem with the wind farm converter?

In contrast to a steady one-source input, like from a nuclear or coal-fired power plant, a wind farm has many smaller sources with the output of each constantly varying with conditions like wind direction, wind speed and blade angle. Such variations lead to destabilizing energy-oscillations in the whole system that cannot be handled by the current converters. To make matters worse, the engineers have yet to fully understand the nature of the problem and to come up with any solution for it.

Investor Worries

In short, the power that may be in the offshore wind (if and when it blows) cannot easily be controlled and converted into anything useful at this time. With Germany’s plans for another 10,000 offshore turbines some investors are getting a bit worried about the possibility of unsolvable systemic problems with such far-offshore wind power systems.

Of course, one has to ask why wind power installations have enjoyed the attention of investors to begin with. It was all based on the tax write-offs and guaranteed energy feed-in tariffs some governments in Europe and elsewhere bestowed upon them. Both in the U.S. and Canada such government schemes for “alternative energy” are still in full bloom.

In contrast, other countries have seen the light and are going in the opposite direction, building new coal-fired and nuclear power plants as fast as they can.

New Power Plants

While in the U.S. coal mines are closing down and the miners being laid off, the opposite is happening elsewhere on the globe. China, India, France and Hungary, to name a few, are building new power plants based on coal and/or nuclear fuel. Even Japan, which closed down its nuclear power plants after the Fukushima sea quake, is set to restart several reactors next month. On a global scale, however, coal is still the king in terms of stationary electric power generation.

Despite a consumption of 90 million barrels of oil per day, the world needs more coal than ever, about 8,000 million tons per year. Most of that is used for electric power, the rest mainly for heating. Obviously, with estimated reserves many multiples of that annual consumption, the world is not going to run out of coal tomorrow.

Real “Alternatives”

The world has enough uranium resources to satisfy the demand for several hundred years alone. Then there is the potential for thorium-based reactors, with a potential fuel supply in the U.S. for another 1,000 years. The holy grail of energy independence, however, would be controlled nuclear fusion. If that can be achieved, the earth would have an unlimited power supply. Now that would really be “alternative power.”

The highly touted, government-subsidized, unreliable, intermittent and expensive “alternative power” schemes currently in vogue are nothing but a phenomenal waste of money. As evident from the described wind farm in Germany, the required technology is not in place at this time, perhaps may never be.

SOURCE



New book promotes MORE CO2

As ever-more scientists denounce misguided attempts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, the evidence grows that more CO2 in the atmosphere, not less, is best.

 A new book ‘About Face!’ by two respected scientists and an economist makes the case for adding more CO2 to earth’s atmosphere.



The scientists are Madhav Khandekar in Canada and Cliff Ollier in Australia, plus economist Arthur Middleton Hughes in the USA. They show us why CO2 is essential to all life on earth. It is plant food.

The authors say, “We believe that the more CO2 there is in the atmosphere the bigger and better plants will grow all over the world. Three million people die each year because the prices of food are too high for them. We want to increase CO2 in the atmosphere and reduce world malnutrition.”

The Authors' Synopsis

This book is highly controversial as billions of dollars are involved in ethanol and climate control. The Obama Administration is planning to shut down all coal fired electric plants because they emit CO2 in amounts more than the EPA permits. This will cost more than $300 billion dollars and result in more than 100,000 unemployed. We say that such actions are unnecessary and wrong.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issues periodic reports that predict the warming of the earth and that the warming will raise the level of the oceans, and bring on wild weather such as hurricanes, droughts, floods, tornadoes, etc. None of this is true. It has no scientific basis.

Today, more than one million people die from malaria in Africa and other less developed areas. None die from malaria in the US, Europe, Australia or other developed countries where the mosquitos that spread malaria have been wiped out using DDT.

The US and UN have forbidden these less developed areas to use DDT. This must be changed. More than three million people die from malnutrition because of the high price of food partly due to 14% of the world corn crop being converted to ethanol.  We cite studies that show that increasing CO2 in the atmosphere by 300 ppm will increase food production by 36% in every country in the world on all continents.

This increase can result from abandoning the thousands of laws and regulations that inhibit emission of CO2. Carbon dioxide is a harmless, odorless, tasteless gas that is essential to photosynthesis – the basis of plant growth – without which life on earth would end.

Copies of 'About Face!' are available to buy securely online now at secure.mybookorders.com

SOURCE

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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

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