Tuesday, November 25, 2014


World locked into 'alarming' global warming, says World Bank

On their own figures the warming is trivial  -- certainly not 'alarming'.  A temperature rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius in the last 200 years is less than a one degree (i.e. .75 of a degree) rise per century. Are these guys serious?   At that rate no-one will notice anything about the climate.  One hopes that they understand more about money than they do about climate

The world is locked into 1.5°C global warming, posing severe risks to lives and livelihoods around the world, according to a new climate report commissioned by the World Bank.

The report, which called on a large body of scientific evidence, found that global warming of close to 1.5°C above pre-industrial times – up from 0.8°C today – is already locked into Earth's atmospheric system by past and predicted greenhouse gas emissions.

Such an increase could have potentially catastrophic consequences for mankind, causing the global sea level to rise more than 30 centimeters by 2100, droughts to become more severe and placing almost 90 percent of coral reefs at risk of extinction.

The World Bank called on scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics and asked them to look at the likely impacts of present day (0.8°C), 2°C and 4°C warming on agricultural production, water resources, cities and ecosystems across the world.

Their findings, collated in the Bank's third report on climate change published on Monday, specifically looked at the risks climate change poses to lives and livelihoods across Latin America and the Caribbean, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and the Middle East and North Africa.

In the report entitled "Turndown the heat – Confronting the new climate normal," scientists warned that even a seemingly slight rise in global warming could have dramatic effects on us all.

"A world even 1.5°C [warmer] will mean more severe droughts and global sea level rise, increasing the risk of damage from storm surges and crop loss and raising the cost of adaptation for millions of people," the report with multiple authors said. "These changes are already underway, with global temperatures 0.8 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times, and the impact on food security, water supplies and livelihoods is just beginning."

As temperatures rise, heat extremes on a par with the heat waves in the U.S. in 2012 and Russia in 2010 will also become more common, scientists believed. "Everyone will feel the impact, particularly the poor, as weather extremes become more common and risks to food, water, and energy security increase."

Without concerted action to reduce emissions, the report warns that the planet is on pace for 2°C warming by mid-century and 4°C or more by the time today's teenagers are in their 80s.

A temperature rise of this magnitude would create "a frightening world of increased risks and global instability," the World Bank Group's President Jim Yong Kim said, calling the scientists' findings "alarming."

"Today's report confirms what scientists have been saying – past emissions have set an unavoidable course of warming over the next two decades, which will affect the world's poorest and most vulnerable people the most," Kim said. "Climate change impacts such as extreme heat events may now be unavoidable," he added.

The effects of climate change are already starting to impact on mankind, the president noted, with record-breaking temperatures occurring more frequently, rainfall increasing in intensity in some places, while drought-prone regions like the Mediterranean are getting dryer. A significant increase in tropical North Atlantic cyclone activity is affecting the Caribbean and Central America.

The new report comes on the heels of strong new warnings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) about the pace of climate change and the energy transformations necessary to stay within 2°C warming.

Earlier in November, China and the U.S. signed a landmark agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 but there are fears those curbs don't go far enough to slow the onslaught of global warming. There are still many prominent and influential climate change skeptics to convince too.

Global governments are gathering in Lima, Peru at the start of December for the next round of climate negotiations. The World Bank said its latest report provides "direction and evidence of the risks and the need for ambitious goals to decarbonize economies now."

SOURCE





Brainwashed Greenie realizes she was wrong

“Yes, Monsanto is pure evil,” I said. This was about a year ago, in 2013, and I was defending science and nuanced thinking in the same sentence, no less. “Monsanto is pure evil,” I said, “but genetic engineering is just a tool and in itself is neither good or bad.” My University course literature had given a balanced view of many possible benefits to GM while highlighting a couple of areas of caution. My main insight on Monsanto came from the movie Food Inc., confirmed by plenty of common internet knowledge and a couple of trusted friends of mine.

I had always considered myself a rational and science-minded person so I was upset when I first heard people object to GMOs for reasons such as not wanting genes in their food (in the late nineties, when the topic was still very new and knowledge scarce) or just because ‘it wasn’t natural’, which I saw as a fear of the unknown.

Later on I was incredibly frustrated to find that a lot of people opposed standard vaccinations going counter to scientific evidence. So when I stumbled on a Facebook page called “We love vaccines and GMOs”, though I didn’t exactly think of my view on genetic engineering as ‘love’, I was happy to find a place to share my frustration. But as I started following their posts I was confronted with something that gave me pause. There were several that criticised organic farming.

I had been a loyal organic consumer for a decade. My vegan friends had talked a lot about how detrimental industrial agriculture was for the environment, and even my favourite ecology teacher back in the University mentioned how important it was to buy organic milk and meat. Living on student subsidies and saving on about everything else, I was convinced that buying ecological produce (In Finland the label actually goes under the name ‘Eco’, and the Swedish label, translated roughly to ‘Demand’, also states the food is ecologically produced. In Switzerland it’s called ‘Bio’ for biologically farmed.) was vital for the environment. Paying twice the price was more than worth it.

I couldn’t just leave the criticism unaddressed. Somebody needed to present a nuanced voice of organic farming, so that people would not group it together with anti-science sentiments. So I started digging. I read about comprehensive meta-analyses of studies where they found that organic food was no more nutritious than conventional produce1,2. Interesting, but hardly devastating. That wasn’t my reason for choosing organic. I read about how organic was an industry like any other, looking for profit, with all the dirt that entails3,4 – well sure. It couldn’t exactly be a charity, could it? Not every company was perfectly principled. It didn’t mean that the whole organic label was bad. Then I read a Swiss animal welfare organisation statement that organic did not necessarily reflect in greater well-being for the animals, that it was more narrowly focused on the farming of crops5. As a great animal lover I thought, okay, that’s a pity, for animal products I would have to look for different labels. But I would continue to support organic for the most important point, for the sake of the environment.

I continued. There were studies about organic pesticides being no more benign than conventional6. Well that was surprising, but made sense, they would all have to be some kind of chemicals that kill plants and insects. I further read about how the risks from pesticides for the consumer were actually very small7,8,9, and that people feared them much out of proportion! What a relief. Why did so many seem to think the opposite?

Further, there was a study that said organic farming actually contributed more to pollution of groundwater10, and then an analysis of more than a hundred studies saying organic had more ammonia and nitrogen run-off per product unit, leading to more eutrophication as well as acidification potential11. Ouch. That was not what I would have thought. But considering the imprecise mode of fertilisation (spreading out manure), that too did make sense. Most importantly, also confirmed by several sources, I found out that the big issue with organic farming was the yield – forgoing the more efficient synthetic methods meant having one third (or between a half and one fifth) less of end product2,11,12,13. Which in turn meant that scaling up organic farming, we would need to find a third more land to make up for its inefficiency.

When I looked at these studies one by one, my immediate reaction was: surely now that these results were available, where necessary, organic farming practices could be adapted so that they would continue to provide consumers with the best environmentally friendly sources of food. But that relied on an assumption I held that I had so far not even thought of checking.

I thought organic farming was based on evidence, but it wasn’t. It wasn’t designed by studying what would be best for the environment. On the contrary, to my surprise I found it’s roots were actually in biodynamic agriculture – a method that emphasizes spiritual and mystical perspectives on farming14. What? How could I have missed such a point for a decade? The picture I was beginning to piece together was that being ‘organic’ was based on the idea that modern farming – industrial agriculture – was bad, and the old ways of farming were better. That whatever natural was, that was better.

So anything created specifically in a lab, with intention, aim, and knowledge – anything synthetic – had to be bad15. Genetic engineering (which I had thought would go hand-in-hand with many of the ecological intentions of organic farming) had to be especially bad. And companies working on modern agricultural approaches were simply the worst16.

While I was in the midst of what I call my organic crisis, I saw another post that was at odds with my world view. But this one was over the top. A YouTube video called “I love Monsanto”17. I clicked on the link in disbelief as I had never seen those three words in the same sentence before. Obviously it was an attention-seeking stunt, and it worked. The man in the video, Dusty, went through one Monsanto-claim after another, and punched them full of holes. And quite easily too. He urged his watchers not to take his word but to read up on the claims themselves. I did. Alleged lawsuits, abusing and controlling farmers, bad treatment of employees, Indian farmer suicides, terminator seeds, terrible farming practices, toxic pesticides, devastating health impacts and on and on18,19,20,21,22.

I came up empty. There was nothing terrible left that I could accuse Monsanto of. I even skimmed back and forth in the movie Food Inc., and looked for supporting sources online, but instead of finding ammunition, I found more holes23,24. With a few emotional testimonies and dramatised footage the movie painted a worldview which made all its following insinuations plausible. I couldn’t believe I had not seen the gaps in its presentation on the first viewing. Why didn’t they interview any science experts or organisations? What about the FDA? Union representatives? Farming organisations? Lawyers? Immigration officials? Where was the actual evidence?

I was embarrassed and angry over how easily I had been fooled. Not only had I parroted silly slogans such as ‘Monsanto is evil’, but I had long and determinedly supported a branch of agriculture that I thought was making the world better. It dawned on me that the only improvements in fact being made were the ones in the minds of myself and the other organic supporters – thinking better of ourselves for making such ethical choices. I had shunned others for using the ‘natural’ argument, but with my wallet I had supported the idea that ‘natural’ methods were best in a mysterious way that was above and beyond evidence.

I began to question if there even was a ‘natural way to farm’? If natural was defined by, say, the exclusion of human activities, then surely there was nothing natural to farming. On the other hand, if we accepted humans as a part of nature, and our continued innovations as part of *our nature*, then all farming was natural. Saying that more traditional farming practices would be inherently better than those using more advanced technology wasn’t a concept that could be settled by a romantical appeal to nature. Only careful definitions of ‘better’, followed by observations, testing, and evaluation of evidence could tell us something about that.

Another thing which may or may not be considered natural, is how incredibly many humans there are on this planet today. My reading has made me accept that innovations like synthetic pesticides, fertilisers, and enhanced crops are important in the quest of keeping everybody fed. I have even begun to accept that Monsanto – gasp – could play a part in making the world better. As I see it, the best kind of agriculture going forward should be a scientifically oriented one. It should be free to combine the best methods whether they be derived from old traditions or created in the lab, using what makes most sense, in order to arrive at efficient and environmentally friendly ways of farming. And what has made me happy indeed, is realising that this is already being done2,12,25,26,27.

Organic labels on the other hand are not adapting. Actually, it appears they are spending considerable sums of money to mislead the public about science3,28,29. That is not something I can approve of. And I am not ready to give up one third more land to support the appealing idea of ‘being natural’. That is land which isn’t there. Land which comprises the last dwindling habitats for wild-life – the actual nature.

I am still searching for that label that would say ‘buying this will make the world a better place’. And if I do find one, I will do a proper background-check to see if I can verify its claims. I’ve realised that I am in no way immune to basing my views on unchecked assumptions, and I shouldn’t judge others for making the same mistake. Having to change a deep-seated world view can be exhausting and painful. I am thankful for this experience and see it as a reminder to stay respectful of others, no matter what beliefs they may hold. We can help each other in remaining open for opportunities to learn.

SOURCE





Keystone shows what most Democrats don't get

So the Senate Democrats just defeated the $8 billion Keystone XL pipeline by 1 vote. Sitting duck Mary Landrieu — the soon-to-be former senator from Louisiana — begged her Democratic colleagues to vote for the energy-and-job-creating project but, no, the Fauxcahontas Elizabeth Warren “Green” wing of the party chose leftist sanctimoniousness over practicality.

Here’s the thing about energy: we need as much of it as we can get as cheaply as possible. Are you worried about “the environment,” “peak oil,” etc.? Then you should be an aivd supporter of fracking, the Keystone pipeline, and any other means of extracting fossil fuels from the bounty of the Earth. Why? Because what the United States needs is cheap, abundant energy, period (as the president might say). The reason is that if you want to help the downtrodden, save the environment, preserve the wetlands, and make the world safe for unbearable gasbags like Elizabeth Warren, then you need money. And to get money you need energy, lots and lots of energy.  Let’s say you are interested in developing viable alternatives to carbon-based fuels: how would you do it?  By basic research and an accumulation of engineering experiments.

What is the indispensable prerequisite for undertaking those tasks wholeheartedly? Money, wealth, prosperity. Without those golden keys, there is no research to speak of and little in the way of experimentation. The liberal (i.e., the wacko) wing of the Democratic Party doesn’t seem to understand that.

Or maybe it does understand it but chooses to ignore it. After all, a lack of resources does not hamper Elizabeth Warren’s movements. It merely hurts the people she pretends to serve. Air Force records show that Barack Obama charged the taxpayers $1,539,402.10 for his Labor Day travels for “fundraising, personal business, and politicking.” As Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton put it, “This Labor Day back-and-forth shows President Obama seems to confuse Air Force One with Uber.”

SOURCE




Climate Science is Settled?

Stop funding it then

Governments are running huge deficits, but still spend billions on “climate research” especially trying to model the effect of the atmosphere and its trace of carbon dioxide on surface temperature. Benefits are hard to find. It may have improved weather forecasts by a day or so, but official long-term predictions have not improved in the last fifty years. This is because carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is not the main driver of weather or climate.

“What is referred to reverently as “climate research” is mainly just grubby advocacy supporting the political war on carbon. Why are we still funding scientists who believe that “the science is settled”? If they believe that they know the answers, what are they are doing with their research funds?”

Around the world there are five official weather data-bases, about 14 weather satellites (some say there are 88 of them!), 73 climate computer models, at least 30 research groups and thousands of academics receiving grants and attending never-ending climate conferences. Much of this torrent of public money is now focussed on trying to torture a climate confession out of one normally un-noticed and totally innocent trace gas in the atmosphere – carbon dioxide.

The major determinants of surface weather are latitude, earth’s rotation, the seasons, the sun with its variable radiations and orbital changes; and nearness to the oceans which maintain the water cycle, moderate temperatures and house massive volcanic chains.

Earth’s mighty oceans cover 70% of the surface. Evaporation of water and convection in the atmosphere transfer large quantities of solar heat from the surface to the stratosphere. This process creates clouds, rain and snow and also forms low pressure zones which are the birthplace for cyclones and hurricanes. Wind direction and strength are related to sun-generated convection in the atmosphere, the transfer of solar heat from the equator to the poles, and the Coriolis effect of the rotation of the earth. Carbon dioxide plays no significant part in these processes.

Oceans also conceal most of the volcanic ring-of-fire and are home to huge numbers of volcanoes, many of which are active. The mighty weather-changing ENSO/El Nino starts with a pool of warm water in the eastern Pacific. Carbon dioxide plays no part in creating such hot-spots, but periodic eruption of undersea volcanoes may do it. We know less about the floor of the oceans and their volcanoes than we do about the surface of Mars.

The community is getting little benefit from much atmospheric research and most climate modelling, and that money should be redirected to more productive areas.

Half of “climate research” money should be spent on improving the ability of public infrastructure to survive natural disasters.

The remaining funds should be spent on real climate research - mapping the floor of the oceans, with particular reference to locating active volcanoes; and investigating how volcanism, solar variations and cycles of the sun, moon, planets and solar system impact long-term weather forecasts and future climate. This work should preferably be done by contracting private operators; and the climate models in public hands should be handed over to practising meteorologists to see if they are useful for short-term weather forecasting.

SOURCE





Green charades in Britain

On Wednesday, the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee is to hold a one-day inquiry into a report published by Lord Stern's New Climate Economy project (NCE) and will take evidence from Stern himself, as well as Jeremy Oppenheim, an economist from McKinsey and Co who is involved in the project.

According to its website, NCE is a joint initiative of the governments of seven countries, including the UK - no doubt this is Mr Davey's work then. A glance at the people involved suggests that it is one of those charades in which a panel of green activists selected from universities around the world  pretends that they have taken an objective look at the subject at hand before faithfully delivering up the required message.

In this case, the required message will then be reviewed by the ECC committee, a panel of (mostly) green activists selected from constituencies around the UK. The ECC will then pronounce the importance of the findings of the first panel before retiring to its trough. This committee of Parliament is in effect operating as the public relations arm of a green activist body.

It's this pretence of holding the executive to account that is behind the failure of our democracy here in the UK. And its why much of the Westminster elite so badly needs to be swept aside.

SOURCE





Australian astronomer, Michael Brown,  says science is not about debate, people are too stupid to judge

Michael Brown, recipient of taxpayer funds for astronomy, tells us that science is not about debate because people are not smart enough to judge the winner. He doesn’t list any evidence to support his faith in climate models (he’s just part of the herd following the consensus pack). Nor does he have any serious scientific criticism of the NIPCC climate report. But he uses plenty of names, baseless allusion, and innuendo. In the article ”Adversaries, zombies and NIPCC climate pseudoscience” in The Conversation he resorts to a group smear (with the help of the taxpayer funded site) in the hope that people won’t listen to those who disagree with him. Apparently he can’t win a fair and open debate, so he’s doing what he can to stop one.

If science now has “Gods” who are above question, it’s not science, it’s a religion. A scientist who says “I’m right because I’m a scientist” is neither right nor much of a scientist. Brown is acting like a self-appointed High-Priest of the Climate Doctrine.

The NIPCC report is more balanced, more comprehensive, and more accurate than the politically-guided tome from the IPCC . It contains hundreds of peer reviewed references put together by independent scientists. In his reply to it, Michael Brown tells us all we need to know about the intellectual state of Australian science, and the value of The Conversation.

This is the face of the Church of Global Warming.

How low can Brown go?  How about “zombies”, “aliens”,  and “pseudoscience”? As an unskeptical scientist (and we all know what that means), it appears Brown hopes to win through name-calling and “seeding doubt” about the motivations of people he disagrees with. Skeptical scientists are “skeptics” (always in quotes to imply they’re fakes) who are “bankrolled” (he’s blind to the evidence about the financial truth too).

For evidence Brown cites a consensus study that mixes up 0.3% with 97%. He likes the IPCC political-consensus approach. This is post-modern science (or post-science, science) forget radiosondes, just poll government appointees.

All the other evidence Brown lists is superficial and irrelevant. He claims: “there is remarkably good agreement between models of climate change and the temperature data.” Then offers as evidence the utterly banal and correct predictions of the “last 50 years” while ignoring the devastating failure in the predictions of the last 20 years that matter.

Modern science is broken — Astronomy in Australia is a small community and  illogical, unscientific people have already been promoted to influential positions. I could ask where the decent astronomers are, and why aren’t they protesting, but because Brown’s activism is so strong, so unscientific, and unequivocal, I expect those who disagree with him would choose to stay silent.  They wouldn’t know whether their next grant will be reviewed by him, but they know that if it is, and they are a vocal skeptic, it won’t help them. After a rant like this, why would anyone expect equal treatment?

This Heisenberg-like state of uncertainty (will or will he not be a reviewer for my application/proposal/paper? and will or will he not be biased if he thinks I am a zombie/denier/anti-science?) is enough to bring people in line. Welcome to the stifling blanket of self censorship.

Ode to the stupid: According to Brown, those who question the mantra of the IPCC are not just speaking their mind, they are using a pseudoscience “ploy” to fool the people (who are too dumb to realize).  These evil mercenary skeptics want you to think we need to debate complex, costly plans that are dependent on our knowledge of the weather. (Imagine that!) Luckily for us, Brown is here to correct the dumb engineers, doctors, and lawyers who are unconvinced a solar panel in Melbourne will help stop a flood in Bangladesh.

The call for adversarial debate is a variant of the debate ploy, a common pseudoscience tactic. At first glance having two teams present competing positions seems entirely reasonable, but this approach only works if the intended audience can effectively assess the arguments presented.

Who is the pseudoscientist using a ploy to fool the public? The geologist who tells us that this warming is not unusual, or the man who has no evidence, and a profoundly unscientific and patronizing belief that only the anointed can speak their mind?

How’s this for reasoning: According to Brown, adversarial debate failed once with Einstein’s theory of relativity (the audience were not able to get the right answer in 1920 on one of the most difficult and ground breaking scientific advances in centuries). Cue the High-Priest, therefore and verily says he, adversarial debate is always a waste of time and science can only advance if the populace lets politicians annoint Gods in each subject (and everyone bows to them).

No dissent will be tolerated, or we will call you a “zombie”!

Brown manages a few paragraphs of sciencey looking talk, but the papers he supposedly debunks are irrelevant to all the main NIPCC claims. The papers he cites as supporting him don’t have any evidence that the IPCC assumptions were correct.

Zombie Science: The Zombie in the room here is the dead science being revived endlessly by Brown and the IPCC, despite the evidence that climate models are based on flawed assumptions, which we know from 28 million weather balloons, 3000 ARGO buoys, 800,000 years  of ice cores, and 30 years of satellites.

Unlike Climate Gods, real scientists list real evidence. When theory clashes with data, the real scientists discard the theory.

Unlike government funded propaganda sites, we unfunded bloggers would never publish such a religious rant and call it “science”. We have standards.

We taxpayers want our money back. Let The Conversation compete in the free market.

Monash University may want to teach its scientists what science is and how to reason. Do Monash approve of this anti-science behaviour? Is this what they teach the students? Can someone ask the Dean?

If Monash don’t have good answers, the questions ought go to the Minister for Education. Why are tax dollars supporting university “science” which is so unscientific?

Send your questions to The Dean of Science at Monash, and or to The Minister for Education, The Hon Christopher Pyne MP, which not only funds Monash, but through Monash and other universities, The Conversation.

The ARC needs to start funding real scientists and stop funding religious activists.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

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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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Monday, November 24, 2014



Keystone Vote Shows Ecofacists Own Democrats

Tom Steyer’s multi-million-dollar investment in Senate Democrats paid off Tuesday evening with the defeat of a bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

“With today’s vote, the Senate chose to stand up for the American people,” Steyer declared in a statement after the bill fell one short vote of the 60 necessary to break a Democratic filibuster.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D., La.) pushed hard for the measure as she faces a tough runoff battle against her Republican challenger, Rep. Bill Cassidy, who sponsored companion legislation in the House.

Landrieu has attracted Steyer’s ire for her Keystone support. His super PAC, NextGen Climate Action, even threatened to attack her directly over her pro-energy positions.

Thirteen of Landrieu’s Democratic colleagues joined her in supporting Keystone on Tuesday. Just one more Democratic vote would’ve sent the measure to the president’s desk.

Leading the anti-Keystone charge were a number of senators who have vocally supported Steyer’s efforts since he ramped up his political efforts last year.

Six Democratic Senators attended a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee fundraiser at Steyer’s home in February. They included Mark Udall (D., Colo.), Jeanne Shaheen (D., N.H.), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.), and Sens. Ben Cardin (D., Md.), Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.). All six voted against the pipeline.

NextGen spent more than $7 million supporting Udall’s (D., Colo.) reelection bid, or attacking his opponent, Rep. Cory Gardner. Gardner prevailed, but Udall voted with Steyer on Tuesday.

The group also dropped more than $3 million attacking unsuccessful New Hampshire Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown. His opponent, Shaheen, voted against approving the pipeline.

NextGen eventually spent more than $60 million on federal elections, primarily a handful of Senate races. A majority of its chosen candidates lost their races.

Despite a resounding defeat at the polls in the midterms, Democrats are increasingly relying on campaign cash from hardline environmentalists. Those groups say that a purist Democratic Party without energy policy dissenters such as Landrieu is preferable to a Senate majority.

“We think the value gained in showing the Democratic Party that they need to be better on climate issues outweighs the marginal differences,” an operative with the radical environmentalist group 350.org told the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank.

“This is about sort of instigating a cultural shift and a political shift that sends a message to politicians that they all need to be better on climate issues,” she added.

SOURCE





EPA Chief: Pause In Global Warming ‘Doesn’t Represent Climate’

Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy told reporters Monday morning that the so-called pause in global warming was not representative of the broader trends in climate, which she says point to global warming.

“That is a short-lived issue that doesn’t represent climate,” McCarthy told reporters at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, adding that many other factors show the planet is changing because of human influence– though she did not elaborate on this point because the breakfast was nearing its end.

Satellite temperature data, which measures the lower parts of the Earth’s atmosphere, shows there has been no significant warming trend for the last 18 years or so. Surface temperatures from weather stations, buoys and ships show a lack of warming for about the last 15 years or so.

Scientists have struggled to explain the lack of warming in recent years, giving dozens of explanations for the pause, ranging from increased volcanic activity to natural ocean cycles. While scientists debate the causes of the pause, some are lowering their estimates of how much warming could occur in the future. Some scientists point to measures like warming ocean temperatures, melting Arctic Sea ice, extreme weather events or varying crop yields as evidence that carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels are having an impact on the planet, even though the temperature record may not currently reflect it.

Despite the lack of warming, the Obama administration has been pressing forward with climate rules to limit U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from the fossil fuels industry. The most contentious regulation so far has been the EPA’s rule to limit emissions from power plants, which will likely cause coal plants to shut down.

“If you look at the science… nothing tells us we are being overly aggressive” in what the agency is doing, McCarthy told reporters Monday morning. Most recently, the Obama administration announced a vague climate agreement with China for both countries to reduce emissions in the coming years.

Critics have charged the deal binds the U.S. to deep emissions cuts that could hurt the economy, while China has does not have make any commitments to concrete emissions cuts. China simply promises to have its emissions peak in 2030, though energy experts have said China’s emissions are likely to peak around that time with or without an agreement.

Along with this agreement, the U.S. has pledged $3 billion to an international climate fund to pay for poor countries to adapt to a warmer world.

The China agreement has been criticized by Republicans who have vowed to fight the Obama administration’s global warming rules. Republicans argue these rules will do nothing to stop warming and only serve to raise energy prices and kill jobs.

“The president’s climate change agenda has only siphoned precious taxpayer dollars away from the real problems facing the American people,” said Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe, who will chair the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee in the new Congress.

“In a new Congress, I will be working with my colleagues to reset the misguided priorities of Washington in the past six years,” Inhofe said. “This includes getting our nation’s debt under control, securing proper equipment and training to protect our men and women in uniform, and repairing our nation’s crumbling roads and bridges. These are the realistic priorities of today.”

Republican leaders have said they will make sure to pass legislation in both chambers of Congress, ordering the EPA to roll back its agenda. If that doesn’t work, Inhofe and other lawmakers have also considered starving the EPA of its funding if it continues to promulgate climate rules.

But McCarthy said stripping EPA’s funding will be an unpopular move: “I feel very confident the American people understand the value of EPA,” she said. “EPA has not been a partisan agency.”

SOURCE





Obama Gives $3 Billion to U.N. Climate Fund Run by Communist, Terrorist Nations

President Obama has committed a mind-boggling $3 billion to a new United Nations Green Climate Fund run by officials from Communist nations, a country that appears on the State Department's list of terrorism-sponsors and an Arab oil-industry chief.

As if it weren't bad enough that our commander-in-chief is giving away money while the nation suffers through a colossal budget deficit, there are countless reasons why this is a lousy idea. First of all, the United Nations is a famously corrupt organization that is already largely funded by Uncle Sam to the tune of billions annually. The exact figure is tough to nail down because the U.S. cash flows, not just directly to U.N. coffers from the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), but also from a number of other government agencies to the U.N. system.

The entire world body is well known as a pillar of fraud and mismanagement, but that hasn't slowed the tide of American taxpayer dollars. Even the U.N.'s Human Rights Council, funded primarily by American taxpayers, is a huge joke. A few years ago Judicial Watch reported that the U.N. awarded a genocidal warlord indicted by an international court for crimes against humanity a seat on its laughable human rights council. His name is Omar Al-Bashir, a ruthless African dictator charged by the International Criminal Court of war crimes in Darfur for killing thousands of his own citizens.

The last thing we need is another global U.N. initiative looking for cash. The "urgency and seriousness of climate change" inspired the crooked world body to create the Green Climate Fund, which aims to help the international community combat global warming. Here's the plan in a nutshell; the fund will promote the paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways by providing support to developing countries to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the impacts of climate change. This will be accomplished by following the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, an international environmental treaty that aims to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations.

Predictably, this can't be accomplished cheaply and President Obama stepped up to the plate with the astounding $3 billion allotment. He made the announcement this month during a speech in Australia. "Now, today, I'm announcing that the United States will take another important step," Obama said "We are going to contribute $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund so we can help developing nations deal with climate change. So along with the other nations that have pledged support, this gives us the opportunity to help vulnerable communities with an early-warning system, with stronger defenses against storm surges, climate-resilient infrastructure." The speech, delivered at University of Queensland in Brisbane, went on and on but the snippet is sufficient to relay its gist.

Now let's take a look at who's running this new Green Climate Fund that's supposed to save the world from the ills of global warming. Among the board of directors is Yingming Yang, the Deputy Director General of Communist China's Ministry of Finance and Jorge Ferrer Rodriguez, a minister in Cuba's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Communist island has for years appeared on the State Department's list of nations that sponsor terrorism. Another interesting board member is Ayman Shasly, an official in Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources.

The selection of Shasly as a top dog of a conglomerate looking to halt climate change is peculiar since the oil industry contributes the most greenhouse gas and is well known to have a negative effect on the environment because it's toxic to nearly all forms of life. Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources is a government body in a country that happens to be the world's largest producer and exporter of oil. In fact, it has a quarter of the world's known oil reserves. Shasly's efforts as a global environmentalist may seem like a conflict of interest, especially since his government has announced plans to increase oil production from around 8 million barrels per day to 12.

SOURCE




Coal trumps nuclear in neurotic Germany. Government to bulldoze Green village to dig for brown coal

Green village to be bulldozed and mined for dirty brown coal in Germany's quest for non-nuclear fuel.  More than 800 residents including some 400 from a neighbouring village will be resettled. Brown coal is a big polluter, giving rise to serious health concerns.  It creates more pollution than other fuels

Even by German standards, Johannes Kapelle rates as a model green citizen. The roof of his meticulously restored 19th-century farm house is covered in solar panels. And when he walks into his large vegetable garden he points to a wind farm which helps provide not only his village but several others with all their energy needs.

Mr Kapelle has lived in the 500-year-old village of Proschim in east Germany's Lausitz region for most of his life. He, his 350 neighbours and the local farming community have devoted themselves to the green cause. The village is surrounded by wind turbines and solar and biogas plants which provide 15,000 homes with electricity.

The retired maths teacher, 78, remembers how under East German rule, Proschim used to reek of sulphur. The former communist state depended on so-called braunkohle the lignite coal fuel that is still being dug out of the ground in vast open-cast mines just a few kilometres away.

"We don't want to go back to those days. That is why we are doing everything we can to save Proschim," Mr Kapelle says.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's plan to end Germany's dependence on nuclear power by 2022 is set to bring about the destruction of Mr Kapelle's farm house and the rest of Proschim's buildings. More than 800 residents including some 400 from a neighbouring village will be resettled.

Proschim is just one of a cluster of east German villages and farms set to make way for new lignite mines. The fossil fuel is intended to "bridge" a widening energy gap resulting from the closure of Germany's nuclear power plants.

"There are not yet enough renewable energy sources to compensate for the loss of nuclear power," said Matti Nedoma, a spokesman for Proschim's Prenac farm complex. "So to meet the shortfall we are being told we must burn more coal and destroy farms and villages in the process," he said.

Mrs Merkel unveiled Germany's plan to axe nuclear power in 2011 in response to public concern over the Fukushima disaster. Eight of the country's 17 atomic power plants have since been shut down. Now, although modern filters have reduced pollution, figures for 2013 show that Germany burned more lignite than at any time since 1990.

In June the east German state of Brandenburg approved the state-owned Swedish energy giant Vattenfall's plans to extend its five lignite mines. The company plans to mine 200 million tons of coal from the extended open-cast pits from 2027.

The residents of Proschim are up in arms. A large billboard with a map of the area stands on a T-junction in the middle of the village. It displays 16 black crosses denoting the villages that have disappeared over the past decades to make way for new mines. Proschim is one of the red crosses denoting the villages now threatened with demolition.

Mr Kapelle's neighbour, Martin Boslau, 65, says Germany's politicians promised after reunification in 1990 that no further villages would be demolished to make way for coal. "That's why we did up our house and helped turn Proschim into a jewel. We are not going anywhere," he said.

Mr Boslau is one of more than 121,000 people who signed a petition opposing Vattenfall's plans. The village is planning to fight the Swedish energy giant with court injunctions at every step.

But the pro-coal lobby has 68,000 adherents. Local politicians and Vattenfall argue the region has depended on lignite mining for more than a century. The company says it provides 8,200 jobs in the region and that 25,000 others are linked to coal. Opponents say the new mines will create only 700 jobs.

Sigmar Gabriel, Chancellor Merkel's Energy minister, claims that more lignite mines are vital: "We need strategic reserves of gas and coal power for the times when the wind doesn't blow and the sun doesn't shine," he said.

Opponents argue that the region already has almost 40 billion tons of lignite reserves. They also point out that Vattenfall exports much of the energy from its German operation.

They hope that the outcome of Sweden's recent election may yet rescue Proschim. The new Swedish government comprised of Social Democrats and Greens could insist Vattenfall halt its expansion. Lise Nordin, the Swedish Green party's energy spokeswoman, said last week that stopping Vattenfall's east German project was her party's "most pressing" decision.

SOURCE  





Obama's Cruel and Costly Climate Hoax

By Alan Caruba

The intense cold that many Americans are encountering arrives more than a month before the official start of winter on December 2l.

To discuss this, we need to keep in mind that weather is what is occurring now. Climate is measured over longer periods, the minimum of which is thirty years and, beyond that, centuries.

We are colder these days because the Earth has been in a cooling cycle for 19 years and that cycle is based entirely on the Sun which has been radiating less heat for the same period of time.

Describing the role of the Sun, Australian geologist, Ian Plimer, said, “There is a big thermonuclear reactor in the sky that emits huge amounts of energy to the Earth…The Sun provides the energy for photosynthesis. The Sun is the bringer of life to Earth. If the Sun were more energetic the oceans would boil. If the Sun were less energetic the oceans would freeze and all life on Earth would be destroyed.”

We don’t control the Sun. Or the climate. It controls us.

Consider the fact that the Sun has a diameter of 865,000 miles. The Earth’s diameter is 7,917.5 miles. Thus, the Sun’s diameter is 109 times greater than the Earth’s. Carbon dioxide is barely 0.04% of the Earth’s atmosphere. Reducing it as the U.S.-China agreement proposes would have zero effect on the Earth’s climate.

We not only can, but should ignore the blatant lies of President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, both of whom have been saying things about “climate change” without a scintilla of science to back them up. They’re not alone, however. In August, the U.N. Climate Chief, Christiana Figueres, warned of climate “chaos” in 500 days and told the World Health Organization that climate change was on a par with the outbreak of Ebola as a public health emergency.

It was big news on November 11 when The Wall Street Journal’s lead story on its front page reported that “The U.S. and China unveiled long-term plans to curb emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases linked to climate change, a surprise move aimed at kick-starting a new round of international climate negotiations and blunting domestic opposition to cuts in both countries.”

Someone needs to tell the Wall Street Journal there is no “climate change” that is not entirely NATURAL and unrelated to anything humans are doing.

The announcement plays into the longtime efforts of the environmental movement to impose energy limits on the world’s population. Similar limits will be called for when climate talks are launched in December by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in Lima, Peru.

Why the leaders of nations keep calling for limits that can only result in the reduction of energy production, the loss of economic benefits from industrial activity and the jobs it provides, and the modern lifestyle of advanced nations is one of life’s great mysteries.

If you really disliked America, you would no doubt pursue President Obama’s anti-energy agenda. That agenda is expressed by a series of climate and pollution measures that an article in Politico.com says “rivals any presidential environmental actions of the past quarter-century—a reality check for Republicans who think last week’s election gave them a mandate to end what they call the White House’s ‘War on Coal.’”

The authors of the Politico.com article, Andrew Restuccia and Erica Martinson, note that Obama’s assault on the nation is “Tied to court-ordered deadlines, legal mandates and international climate talks” over the next two months, all in the name of a climate change “And incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will have few options for stopping the onslaught, though Republicans may be able to slow pieces of it.”

“The coming rollout includes a Dec. 1 proposal by EPA to tighten limits on smog-causing ozone, which business groups say could be the costliest federal regulation of all time; a final rule Dec. 19 for clamping down on disposal of power plants’ toxic coal cash; the Jan. 1 start date for a long-debated rule prohibiting states from polluting the air of their downwind neighbors; and a Jan. 8 deadline for issuing a final rule restricting greenhouse gas emissions from future power plants. That last rule is a centerpiece of Obama’s most ambitious environmental effort, the big plan for combating climate change that he announced at Georgetown University in June 2013.”

This vile assault flies in the face of actual climate trends: record low tornadoes record low hurricanes, record gain in Arctic ice, record amount of Antarctic ice, no change in the rate of sea level rise, no evidence of a Greenland meltdown, and again no warming for 19 years.

As this and future winters turn colder, arrive sooner and stay around longer, Americans will be affected by the reduction of coal-fired plants that generate electrical power. The nation will encounter blizzards that will leave some homeowners and apartment dwellers without heat. It is predictable that some will die.

A cruel and costly climate hoax is being perpetrated by President Obama and, in particular, by the Environmental Protection Agency. The new Congress must take whatever action it can to reverse and stop the harm that it represents; people’s jobs and lives depend on it.

SOURCE




Gas is cheaper. Where are the grandstanding politicians?

by Jeff Jacoby

OIL PRICES are plunging. Gasoline is now cheaper than milk. Why doesn't Washington do something already?

Since peaking in June, the price of oil has tumbled by 25 percent. Texas light sweet crude futures have fallen to around $77.40 a barrel, a three-year low, while Brent oil, the global benchmark, sank on Monday to its lowest price in four years.

Oil prices, long steady at around $100 per barrel, have recently plunged to their lowest point in years.

With cheaper oil has come cheaper gasoline. The national average price for a gallon of regular is now just $2.926. Drivers haven't seen pump prices this low since December 2010. Nor have they seen such a sustained decline — the price has dropped for 46 days in a row — since 2008. According to AAA, "the national average could fall another 5-15 cents in the coming weeks, which could make for the cheapest Thanksgiving gas in half a decade."

Clearly the government needs to deal with this situation. What are Congress and the president waiting for?

You're looking at me as if I'm crazy.

Perhaps that's because you know that a drop of this magnitude in crude oil prices translates, as Michael Levi of the Council on Foreign Relations observes, "into more than $200 billion a year of savings for US consumers through lower prices for gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and home heating oil." Perhaps you've seen the estimates that cheaper oil could boost America's GDP by 0.4 percent. Perhaps you know that shrinking fuel bills have been a godsend for transportation industries: Airline stocks, to cite the most dramatic example, have been on fire, and appear to be heading for their best back-to-back annual performance in 20 years.

So only someone devoid of economic common sense would think of demanding that regulators or lawmakers "do something" about the shift in oil and gasoline prices, right?

And yet when the price of crude oil or gasoline is rising, politicians and their enablers howl for blood. They vow to "crack down" on Big Oil, to investigate price "manipulation" by energy speculators, or to strip oil and gas companies of their tax credits. They freak out about the oil industry's "windfall profits." They haul energy CEOs before Congress. They accuse them of "price gouging."

This past June, when crude oil was trading at $108 a barrel (about $12 more than it had fetched in January), Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and 17 Democratic cosponsors introduced legislation directing the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to deploy its emergency powers to "eliminate excessive speculation in energy markets." It wasn't the interplay of supply and demand that was pushing prices higher, Sanders claimed, it was greedy "big oil companies and Wall Street speculators."

Less than five months later, with fuel prices at lows not seen in years, Sanders has lost interest in the subject, and now seeks other dragons to slay. But as University of Michigan economist Mark J. Perry points out, if the Sanders bill would make no sense now, it made no sense in June either — regardless of what oil was selling for on the futures and spot markets.

If wicked "speculators" were to blame for the $12 per barrel increase in oil prices between January and June, Perry asked rhetorically on his bracing economics blog, shouldn't the same speculators get credit for the much bigger drop in oil prices between June and November? Or "are we to assume that greedy speculators only enter the futures markets when they 'smell profits' from rising oil prices, but then they suddenly disappear whenever prices are falling?"

In most of the country, gasoline is now cheaper than milk.

It should go without saying that traders can make — or lose — money both ways. (The Wall Street Journal reported recently on several hedge-fund managers who shrewdly read the tea leaves and profited by betting on a dive in oil futures.) It should also go without saying that the recent free-fall in the price of oil and gasoline is hardly an unmitigated blessing. It is causing no end of pain in great swaths of the economy — from the giant oil companies whose profits are being squeezed, to the small wildcatters who can't survive when crude drops too low, to auto dealers struggling to move hybrids and other fuel-efficient small cars.

But grandstanding politicians would only make it worse. Market forces, not corporate villainy, explain why prices fluctuate. Thanks to America's fracking-driven oil surge, supplies of crude oil are unusually abundant; thanks to the economic slowdown overseas, global demand is unusually low. When rising supply meets falling demand, prices fall. As circumstances change, the pattern reverses. Volatility is normal.

So no — government doesn't need to "do something" about fuel prices. When gas is $2.92 a gallon, the best energy policy is a free and robust economy. It's also the best policy at any other price.

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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Sunday, November 23, 2014



It had to happen:  A claim that current cold weather proves  global warming

Science dabbler Chris Mooney says that there’s growing evidence that global warming is driving crazy winters.  You can put up a "post hoc" explanation for almost anything but in the end a failed prediction indicates a wrong theory

It may be the timeliest - and most troubling - idea in climate science.

Back in 2012, two researchers with a particular interest in the Arctic, Rutgers' Jennifer Francis and the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Stephen Vavrus, published a paper called "Evidence linking Arctic amplification to extreme weather in mid-latitudes."

In it, they suggested that the fact that the Arctic is warming so rapidly is leading to an unexpected but profound effect on the weather where the vast majority of Americans live - a change that, if their theory is correct, may have something to do with the extreme winter weather the US has seen lately.

In their paper, Francis and Vavrus suggested that a rapidly warming Arctic should interfere with the jet stream, the river of air high above us that flows eastward around the northern hemisphere and brings with it our weather. Sometimes, the jet stream flows relatively directly from west to east; but other times, it takes long, wavy loops, as in the image above. And according to Francis and Vavrus, Arctic warming should make the jet stream more wavy and loopy on average – some have called it "drunk" - with dramatic weather consequences.

Here's the atmospheric physics behind the idea: Warm air expands, and naturally there is much more warm air at the equator than at the poles. Thus, the atmosphere is thicker at the equator, and the jet stream's motion is driven by the decline in atmospheric thickness as one moves in a poleward direction - in effect, its atmospheric river flows "downhill," in Francis's words. However, if the Arctic is warming faster than the mid-latitudes, then the difference in thickness as you move in a poleward direction should decrease. And this should slow the jet stream, leading to more loops and turns - and consequently, weather of all types getting stuck in place for longer. There's a nice video explanation of this by Francis.

According to Francis, the extreme US winter of last year and now, the extremes at the beginning of this season, fit her theory. "This winter looks a whole lot like last winter, it's a very amplified jet stream pattern," she says. "We know that when we get these patterns, it tends to be very persistent. And it is definitely the type of pattern that we expect to see more often as the Artic continues to warm so fast."

To be sure, Francis acknowledges that our recent bout of extreme cold was kickstarted most directly by Typhoon Nuri, which swerved up into the mid-latitudes and exploded into an atmospheric bomb over the Bering Sea. "That had the downstream effect of basically taking the jet stream and giving it a whip, whipping a wave into it," says Francis. But she also suspects that the jet stream is more susceptible to these kinds of dramatic influences because it is weaker now. In general, her theory does not say global warming caused any particular weather event, only that it is shifting the overall pattern of jet stream behaviour, making certain kinds of persistent weather extremes more likely to occur.

Francis isn't the only one to suggest this. The widely read weather blogger Jeff Masters mused yesterday on whether the extreme snowfall in western New York this week might be due to "jet stream weirdness." "We've seen an unusual number of extreme jet stream patterns like this in the past fifteen years, which happens to coincide with the period of time we've been observing record loss of summertime Arctic sea ice and record retreat of springtime snow cover in the Arctic," noted Masters - although he refrained from fully embracing the theory, noting that it still has its detractors. Capital Weather Gang's Jason Samenow also just discussed the evidence behind Francis's idea, which he calls "controversial."

Francis argues, however, that the evidence in her favour is mounting - she cites no fewer than five scientific papers published in the last year or so that she considers supportive, and hints that more are coming. "We've got 5 papers that all look at that particular mechanism in different ways - different analysis, different data sets, observation and models - and they all come to the same conclusion and they all identify this mechanism independently," she says.

You can't call Francis's idea fully established. You can't say there's a "scientific consensus" on it. And you can't say that the august UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change embraces it. Not yet. But it's certainly a very serious idea and one of the most discussed theories in climate science. Call it a contender. And if it's right, well ... then we all know, already, what global warming feels like.  [COLD!]

SOURCE





Cold Breaks Records, Again!  A recap of 2014

During 2014, the U.S. has experienced an unusual amount of record breaking cold weather and weather related phenomena.  In large part due to the polar vortex, hundreds, if not thousands of cities and towns in the United States experienced multiple days of record setting temperatures — both record lows and record low high temperatures.

This continued into the summer.  In July record lows or record low high temperatures were set cities ranging from Atlanta to Baltimore, from Dallas to Pittsburgh, and in states from Minnesota to Alabama and Florida.

Record low temperatures continued into September when 246 record low high temperatures records were broken or tied between September 1 and September 10 alone. Some of the record breaking temperatures were as much as 16 degrees below the previous record low.

In addition to record cold, numerous cities and regions saw record snowfall, and lingering snow in early 2014.

Not to be outdone, late 2014 is already breaking temperature and snowfall records.  South Carolina, experienced its earliest snowfall on record , while other states are experiencing record amounts of early snowfall and/or low temperatures.  Some states and cities are 20 degrees below their normal temperatures for this time of year including Florida and Dallas, where I live. Denver has experienced record breaking low temperatures two days running with temperatures running 34 degrees below average and Maine has experienced its earliest double-digit snowfall.

Not to be outdone, the great lakes region, the Mid-West and the great Northwest, have all experienced either record lows, record low highs or record early snowfall or ice.  Most recently, Casper, Wyoming and Oklahoma are both more then 20 degrees below their average temperatures and while snowfall amounts accumulating in Idaho, Montana, Oregon,  Utah and Washington, are not extraordinary by mid-winter standards, for early fall they are impressive.

I’m sorry folks, but this is not how global warming is supposed to work!

SOURCE




White House #AskDrH Climate Social Media Campaign an #EpicFail

On Thursday afternoon (Nov. 13), the White House’s vaunted social media squad invited Americans to go on Twitter, Facebook, Vine, or Instagram and pose questions about climate change to the president’s science advisor using the hashtag #AskDrH. Said the White House blog:

"Dr. John P. Holdren, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, wants to answer any questions that you have about climate change — what it means, how bad it actually is, and what we can do to fight it."

Wait a minute! Holdren will answer “any questions that you have about climate change” … but only if they conform to the notion that human activity is causing a climate crisis, and restricting human activity by government direction can “fight it.” I think the White House misspelled “any.”

As it turned out, this was not going to be a “live” social media event anyway. At some point in the future, we’re told, someone at the White House is going to hand pick a few questions Holdren to answer “on camera” for YouTube. As of Sunday evening, Holdren has provided no answers. Maybe that’s because the White House social media experts are having a hard time sifting through the wreckage of their ill-conceived campaign and finding the very few that conform to Holdren’s alarmist point of view.

The #AskDrH hashtag was hijacked by folks who had real, pointed, and scientifically based questions for Holdren. They also had a bit of fun at Holdren’s expense. I haven’t counted them all — that’s impossible, because new questions keep coming in, even days later — but it’s safe to say that … um … at least 97 percent of questioners don’t believe in man-caused global warming, and want Holdren to explain some inconvenient truths.

If he’s serious about his mission as “Science Advisor” to the President of the United States, he should address some of the many very serious questions on the science. The Heartland Institute has a long-standing challenge to Dr. Holdren to debate a skeptic climate scientist, and we threw that in to the #AskDrH stream many times.

No answer, so far.

Twitchy on Thursday, just hours after the call for questions went out, reported on the #EpicFail of the White House’s latest effort to rally public support around the climate crisis meme. If they were surprised that the vast majority of questions would be actually challenges on the science — as well as Holdren’s long public record of wildly goofy and wrong predictions about the climate — the person in charge of social media at the White House should consider another line of work. Perhaps barista.

More HERE




Repealing the Ban on DDT is Bigger Than Bed Bugs!

Carbamates and organophosphates will kill bed bugs where DDT will not but onerous EPA  regulations have forced them out of production

By Rich Kozlovich

On November 20, 2014 Samantha Craggs of CBC News posted an article titled, DDT repeal would do nothing to combat bedbugs, stating that experts say 'DDT is going to have zero effect. All it’s going to do is a lot of damage'.

She goes on to state that; “Local bed bug and environmental experts say DDT would do little to curb the infestation.   DDT or no DDT, there is no magic chemical that will rid Hamilton of its bed bug problem.”  And they’re right!  DDT will not do one thing to alleviate the bed bug problem in this city or any other city in Canada, U.S or any other place in the world where DDT was used for this purpose.  But that’s not the real issue here!  Which is what I intend to will explore.

Apparently this article was inspired by the thoughts of a new councillor-elect, Matthew Green, that appeared in an article titled, New councillor wants to look at repealing DDT ban to fight bed bugs, that “says he wants the province to take “a closer look” at repealing the 40-year ban on DDT, or other powerful chemicals on a limited basis if they'll help eradicate bed bugs in Hamilton”.  What triggered his concerns?  Well, I think we can reasonably assume there's nothing like a good epidemic to get things started.

This Canadian city is in the midst of a “bed bug epidemic since 2006, public health officials say, calls to the city have increased about 600 per cent. CityHousing Hamilton will spend $1 million this year alone battling the problem.”  If you read this article will notice there’s an opportunity for their reading public to vote on whether or not the ban on DDT should be lifted in some way asking “Should DDT ban be repealed to fight Hamilton bed bugs?”  In spite of the fact that I absolutely know DDT will not end their bed bug problem I voted yes to lift that ban along with 466 others.  Of that number 238 (50.96%) voted yes, 198 voted no (42.4%) and (31 6.64%) didn’t know.

The number that really strikes out at me is how many who didn’t know whether or not the ban should be lifted.  Remember - this is in Canada - where anti-pesticide activists have dominated the process with legislation and rank propaganda from the media, and yet over 6% “didn’t know”.  I think that’s an important statistic in viewing the public’s concerns about pesticides and the impact they make in the lives of western societies.  Between those who want ban lifted and those who don’t know that number comes to 57.6% of Canada’s population who aren't moved by the anti-pesticide claims of the environmental movement and their minions in the media and government, at least in a Canadian city that’s been so badly plagued.

The article goes on to quote local pest control operator Roger Burley, president of Aanteater Pest Control in Hamilton as saying “going back to old pesticides won’t fix it, particularly DDT”.  He further states that “Bed bugs are resistant to DDT and most other pesticides that used to treat it. “DDT is really dangerous, and it’s really not effective against bed bugs anyway,” he said. “I’d love to have a silver bullet that would wipe them right out, but it’s not DDT.”

The article continues to quote him saying “every chemical that used to kill bed bugs wouldn’t work anymore”, and claims that bed bugs are “immune” to a chemical classification known as organophosphates, which would include Dursban, Diazinon and others.  He continues being quoted saying “Every 10 years, we have to find something new to kill them”, and “they’ve mutated so much. The chemicals we use now are not even related to those chemicals, and we’re actually having some success.”

The only thing Burley said that was correct was that DDT won’t kill bed bugs and we’re having some success - after that he became lost in the green fever swamps.  Resistance isn’t mutation and they are not resistant to organophosphates, and there’s some argument as to whether or not they’ve developed some resistance to carbamates, which are both still used in countries other than the United States.  Those who have studied the efficacy of propoxur (commonly known as Baygon), a carbamate, claim it’s still effective.

In point of fact those two chemical classifications were what replaced DDT in the 1950’s when bed bugs became resistant to DDT. Organophosphates and carbamates were so effective we didn’t have bed bug problems again for almost 60 years.  The reality is this - carbamates and organophosphates were so effective against bed bugs we were protecting society from this plague without even being aware of it. An insect that plagued humanity all through human history until modern pesticide chemistry was introduced in the 1940’s with DDT.

Let’s do a little history here.  This plague DID NOT return until the passage of the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) and the loss of carbamates and organophosphates.  And they were NOT BANNED!

EPA created a whole new set of regulations based on risk “assumptions” and added testing after 15 years of use.  They managed to side step science in order to create de-facto bans through use of economics and unscientific demands, thereby avoiding all the messy legal problems they would encounter if they actually attempted to ban these chemicals. FQPA created such an economic hardship the primary registrants simply refused to meet and made a business decision to pull their registrations.

But environmentalists understand the real issue here, and it isn’t just about bed bugs.  It's all about lifting the ban on DDT that would be far reaching.  The article goes on to say, “a local environmentalist and chemical scientist say thinking about bringing back powerful and banned chemicals is a bad idea.”

There is the real issue in a nut shell.  If DDT’s ban is lifted then there will be serious efforts to do what this newly elected official wants to do when he uttered the most frightening words no green activist ever wants to hear: “I need to take a closer look at the science, but there are chemical solutions and I’d like to revisit that”.

The raw emotion created by Rachel Carson’s fallacious diatribe in her successful "science fiction" book Silent Spring against chemical pesticides is long past, and any honest scientific effort to revisit all these laws and regulations used since 1972 to eliminate these life saving products from the marketplace would devastate their movement.

Of course any article about DDT must include claims that it was banned “because of its impact on wildlife, particularly bird populations”, and that it’s “persistent and it bio-accumulates, and it does some not-so-nice things".  All are either fallacious or misleading.

Bird populations were never so high in North America until the extensive use of DDT, and that includes the Bald Eagle, which increased during the DDT years.  Carson’s claim about how the poor robin was going to disappear was not only wrong she was deliberately lying.   Carson was a science writer for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and absolutely had to know that in 1960 there were “12 times more robins, 21 times more cowbirds, 38 times more blackbirds, 131 times more grackles, etc. compared to 1941 numbers.  The claims about bird shell thinning was a lie based on studies that deliberately eliminated calcium from the test bird’s diets.  Carson had to know all of that and deliberately lied.

 The bio-accumulation argument was a bust.  “The theory is that if a fish eats a large number of crustaceans, the fish will have a higher concentration of DDT than any one crustacean, and the duck that eats many fish, and the hawk that eats many ducks, will have higher and higher concentrations of DDT. To ``prove'' this, propagandists analyzed the DDT levels in hawk brains (where they are highest) and duck fat, which has levels lower than hawk brain but higher than fish muscle. In fact, if one compares the level in muscle from crustacean, fish, duck, and hawk, there is no biomagnification at all. In fact, most of the DDT in fish comes through the gills; most DDT in food passes through the gut and is eliminated.”

As for the persistence argument: “Dr. Edwards can cite more than 140 articles demonstrating breakdown of DDT. In one experiment, a large amount of DDT was added to sea water in a glass container, which was closed and suspended in the ocean. After 38 days, 92% of the DDT and its metabolites was gone. The persistence myth was based partly on inaccurate measurements by gas-liquid chromatography. Many substances interfere with the analysis, including PCBs in fluorescent light ballasts or in the plastic tubing within the instrument. GLC, for example, ``showed'' five kinds of chlorinated hydrocarbon insecticides in soil samples, even though none existed until 30 years after the samples were sealed.

Even if the bioaccumulation argument was valid we have to ask ourselves where was the predicted devastation? Who were devastated?  What animals were devastated?  Since we’re living longer and healthier lives than any time inhuman history we must ask where's the predicted devastation?  We know that DDT did not then, and does not now, cause cancer, nor do the other pesticides that took its place.

Scientists – if that’s what you choose to call them – have been going along with this propaganda for decades because it’s profitable, and as the years have gone by I have discovered these people are incapable of ramping up the moral fiber to be the rock in the current.

What must really concern the greenies is the fact these other council members aren’t taking a strong stand against the new guy’s desire to review the science on pesticide bans saying: “the notion “needs to be assessed by public health officials, who can separate politics from science and conclude the best practices accordingly.  Another member is “open to forwarding a motion to the province” saying “The province needs to understand the severity of this problem, and if we keep hammering away with what we should be doing and what we can try, they might have to take a look at that”.  Even one who is opposed says, “He's not a fan of the DDT option, but he admires Green's commitment to the issue".  He goes further stating “I welcome councillor-elect Green to this very important discussion table.”  "His advocacy is welcomed."

This is after decades of indoctrination by the activists, the media, academia and bureaucrats.   As for claims about DDT being linked to all sorts of afflictions.  "Linked to" is a weasel word for some professional’s opinion when in reality they don’t have a clue….but they make all the right noises.

As for my voting on that poll to restore DDT in spite of knowing it will have no direct positive impact on this city’s bed bug population – we need to understand the ban on DDT is foundational to the green movement.  If that’s overturned their foundation of sand will start to crumble and eventually everything they have promoted will be called into question.

That’s a day that’s long overdue!  The green movement's success has been humanities nightmare.  The socialist and green monsters of the 20th century have left human devastation in their wake.

SOURCE





BIG GREENIE ROUNDUP FROM AUSTRALIA

5 Green-relevant current articles below -- two about  Obama

Good news: Leftist newspaper says the Australian government's climate change credentials have been battered

And see below that it includes some surprising claims, such as:  "The size of the Reef has halved in the past 30 years".  I have been following the barrier reef scares for around 60 years (long before global warming was invented) but that was a newie on me.

But I have traced the claim, and one amusing thing that we read there is:  "The exhaustive AIMS investigation reveals coral loss is uneven along the 2300km-long reef, with the far north still relatively healthy." So the WARMEST parts of the reef are doing best! How pesky can you get?

And what the research showed is NOT that the reef has shrunk by 50% but that the CORAL has shrunk by 50%.  The reef is of course an ancient and relatively permanent structure of dead coral skeletons.

 We also read:  "Storm damage accounted for 48 per cent of the coral loss in the past 27 years, crown-of-thorns starfish were responsible for 42 per cent, and bleaching caused 10 per cent of the coral to die".  No mention of global warming! Though no doubt they would claim that the storms were caused by global warming.  Since severe weather events worldwide  have been FEWER in recent years that however would be a rubbish claim, having no regard to the actual statistics.

Warmists have also been known to link starfish plagues with warming but again we read: "The study says the causes of the plagues were still not fully known".

And I won't mention that the period covered by the research was 27 years, not 30.

And I won't mention that the source paper for the research is no longer where it was.  Has it been taken down due to inaccuracy?

I could go on but the lesson is clear: As soon as we get into the details of the research findings, the sweeping claims made of the research by Warmists are extensively falsified.  So the appeals to authority below are junk.  It is the facts that matter, not authorities, and the facts are very pesky indeed for Warmists.

My habit of going back to the detailed research findings behind Green/Left claims once again shows what crooks and crazies they are




Prime Minister Tony Abbott's apparent, if modest, conversion to the idea that climate change was an "important subject"  following talks with French president Francois Hollande on Wednesday was greeted with no small measure of cynicism.

This was, after all, a politician who had built a political career on climate scepticism, with his famous remark in 2010 that it was "absolute crap" to assert the science was settled.

It took only two days, but the doubters can claim vindication after revelations that the government sent a briefing note to Barack Obama to dissuade him that the Great Barrier Reef was under threat by climate change.

In an interview with Fairfax Media's Latika Bourke in New York, Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop said the Reef was "not under threat from climate change because its biggest threat is the nutrient runoffs agricultural land, the second biggest threat is natural disasters, but this has been for 200 years".

This is disingenuous, and factually wrong.

To be sure, the government believes the world is warming, and that human factors play a part.

But when it comes to acknowledging the urgency of the problem, how climate change will impact on the world, and what must be done to avert a catastrophic four-degree rise in global temperature, the Abbott government offers obfuscation and excuses.

So it was with the response to Obama's speech in Brisbane last week, when the US leader called on Australia's youth to rise up and demand more action to combat climate change, remarking that "incredible natural glory of the Great Barrier Reef is threatened".

The US leader's speech might have been undiplomatic and rude to his hosts - but his analysis of the impact of climate change on the Reef was spot on.

Just ask the federal government agencies charged with monitoring and protecting the Reef.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority said in its 2014: "Climate change remains the most serious threat to the Great Barrier Reef. It is already affecting the reef and is likely to have far-reaching consequences in the decades to come."

Averting further degradation of the Reef can "only be successful if climatic conditions are stabilised" reported the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), another government body.

The size of the Reef has halved in the past 30 years. Outbreaks of crown of thorn starfish which consume soft corals -  along with cyclones -  have contributed to about 90 per cent of that decline, says AIMS.

Coral bleaching is responsible for the remaining 10 per cent.

Coral bleaching is the direct result of rising sea temperatures caused by global warming. The acceleration of crown of thorn starfish infestations - which spawn in warmer months - is also driven, at least in part, by hotter weather.

And, warns the government's marine scientists, cyclone activity will only increase as the planet heats up.  

Bishop's personal political stocks have soared in recent months due to some forceful international diplomacy on the MH17 disaster and the rise of the Islamic State terrorist group.

Her intervention on the Reef is unlikely to faze Obama, or harm relations. But some of the gloss has come of Bishop's credentials as a moderate alternative to Abbott.

And, the government's climate change credentials, once again, have been battered.

SOURCE

US President Barack Obama should look at his own environmental record before lecturing Australia

Those who live in glass houses ....

BARACK Obama won an Olympic gold medal for schmoozing in Brisbane last weekend.

Along the way, the US president exposed the opponents of coal seam gas in Queensland as utter hypocrites.

With China, the US is of course the worst polluter on the planet.

Yet the shale boom sweeping across America is unlocking oceans of underground gas, a cleaner energy gradually replacing coal in US power stations.

Obama knows gas is good. Gas drives his emissions reduction pact with China.

However, the Greenies who swooned over Obama for his environmental crusade are the same snarling, left-of-centre bigots backing sinister groups like Lock the Gate in attempting to sabotage the fledgling gas industry here.

In a week dominated by news about the $7 billion Adani coal deal the importance of gas to our state cannot be overstated.

Gas royalties will deliver rivers of gold to the Queensland treasury as it fights to restore the AAA credit rating trashed by the previous government.

A significant milestone looms. And it may change everything. In three weeks the first ever shipment of liquid natural gas sourced entirely from coal seam gas will be shipped to Asia by QGC. It's not just a Queensland first, it's a world first.

And, surprise, surprise, the gas drawn from beneath our cattle pastures may end up in China.  It will be traded on the open market in Asia so the destination remains unclear.

Following Obama's visit the irony that the Queensland gas is destined for China has not been lost on certain Queensland Cabinet ministers.

While the President discourteously attacked his host's environmental credentials, our gas will eventually assist cutting emissions globally.

Australia's gas exports are set to increase from about 20 billion cubic metres in 2012 to 114 billion cubic metres by 2040 as global demand is forecast to grow more than any other fuel source. So says the International Energy Agency.

And while many newspaper columnists were gushing about Obama's speech and his green advice to Tony Abbott, they neglected to report America's own disgusting record on carbon dioxide.

Why reporters ignored this part of the story is a bit of a mystery to me.  Suffice to say that the media craves celebrity and is often blinded by it. And Obama was certainly a celebrity whose light shone brightly that day.

At the risk of offending the Obama-love media, it has to be said our environmental record is cleaner than his.

So how dare Obama lecture us?

The US didn't sign the 1997 Kyoto agreement. Nevertheless it pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 7 per cent. Instead they soared.

Now we learn that over two decades from 1990 to 2010, US emissions grew by 53 times the actual growth of emissions in Australia.

I'm glad Environment Minister Greg Hunt pointed this out. He also revealed China's sorry record.  In the same two decades China's emissions soared from 3.4 billion tonnes to 9.8 billion tonnes. This is the fastest growth in emissions in human history, Hunt said.

"The increase in Chinese emissions was 640 times, or 64,000 per cent, greater than any change in Australia. Over the same period, Chinese coal consumption increased at the greatest rate in human history."

Of course Australia's footprint is insignificant compared to the superpowers and we shouldn't beat ourselves up about it. In 1990, according to Hunt's office, Australia produced 580 million tonnes of carbon, the US 5.38 billion tonnes and China 3.356 billion tonnes.

By 2010, Australia's emissions had barely increased, to 590 million tonnes. The US, on the other hand, registered a substantial increase to 5.923 billion tonnes and China to a staggering 9.769 billion tonnes.

By 2020, if Australia meets its target, it will produce 555 million tonnes while the US will produce 5.144 billion tonnes and China a truly astonishing 12.4 billion tonnes.

Nevertheless Obama's deal with China, greeted with rapturous approval by the media, deserves closer scrutiny.

China will continue to build a coal-fired power station every 10 days until 2030.

I'm told another 28 nuclear power stations are also in the pipeline. Good. Now we are getting somewhere. The US emissions, too, are staggering and will continue to rise for years.

The other inconvenient truth is that Obama doesn't have congressional backing so is unable to add legal force to the targets proposed with China.

Former Labor state treasurer Keith DeLacy was not blinded by Obama's halo. In an opinion piece in The Australian he said Obama was a "lame duck" president.

DeLacy said Chinese President Xi Jinping admits CO2 emissions will increase until 2030, pact or no pact.  And renewables such as wind and power would produce just 3 per cent of output, said Xi.

Said DeLacy: "China is currently increasing emissions every year by the equivalent of Australia's total emissions, and Xi's statement means this will continue to be the case."

He added: "Lame duck US President Obama signalled the US would not take any leadership role on climate change action.  "While he suggested the US would reduce total emissions by 26-28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2025, everyone knew he could not deliver any legislative backing for measures to do this.

"However, he was confident the shale gas revolution and a spluttering US economy may be sufficient to reach this goal.

"When questioned on the depth of commitment the US had to this target, officials referred to past commitments."

SOURCE

Poll: FOCUS ON JOBS, NOT CLIMATE

RENEE VIELLARIS

MOST Queenslanders believe Tony Abbott was right to ignore international pressure and focus the G20 summit on the economy rather than on Climate change.

Just one-quarter of those surveyed in a new opinion poll said they thought the top priority for G20 nations should be reducing carbon emissions -compared to half who said the focus should on be economic growth and jobs creation.

Both Labor and LNP suppporters rated economic growth higher than action on carbon.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has meanwhile sent a briefing to the White House to allay ' US President Barack Obama's concerns about Australia not working to protect the future of the Great.Barrier Reef.

From p. 31 of the Brisbane "Courier Mail" 22 Nov., 2014

Obama ignored embassy's warnings on climate change speech

BARACK  Obama defied the -advice of his embassy in Canberra to deliver a stinging attack on the Abbott government's climate policies in Brisbane last weekend.

The US embassy, under the leadership of ambassador John Berry, advised the President, through his senior staff, not to couch his climate change comments in a way that would be seen as disobliging to the Abbott government, sources have revealed.

When The Weekend Australian put this information to the US embassy, a spokesman said: "As is the case with all presidential speeches, President Obama's remarks at the University of Queensland in Brisbane were prepared by the White House."

It is normal practice when the US President makes an overseas visit that the ambassador in the country he is visiting is consulted about the contents of major speeches. It is unusual, though not unprecedented, for an embassy's advice to be ignored.

The Obama speech in Brisbane was added to the President's program at the last minute. During his extensive talks with Tony Abbott in Beijing at APEC, Mr Obama did not make any mention of a desire to make a speech, or of any of the contentious climate change content of the speech.

Only in Naypyidaw, in Myanmar, immediately prior to the leaders travelling to Brisbane for the G20 summit, did the US party demand that the President make a speech and that it be to an audience of young people. At the speech, the President did not -acknowledge the presence of Governor-General Peter Cosgrove.

Despite repeated Australian requests, White House officials refused to provide a text of the speech to their Australian hosts in advance, and did not provide a summary of what would be contained in the speech.

Mr Obama's repeated references to the climate change debate in Australia, his accusation that Australia was an inefficient user of energy and his repeated references to the Great Barrier Reef, which has figured heavily in the climate change debate, have led observers to conclude that the speech was a deliberate swipe at the Abbott government.

Historians of the US-Australia relationship are unable to nominate a case of a visiting president making such a hostile speech for the host government.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has accused Mr Obama of speaking in ignorance about the joint plans by the federal and Queensland governments to act to preserve the Great Barrier Reef. She sent a briefing on the reef to the White House after Mr Obama's speech was delivered.

Some days before the speech, at the World Parks Conference, Ms Bishop met US Secretary of the -Interior Sally Jewell and gave her the same briefing.

Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek yesterday accused Ms Bishop of "berating" the President and said Ms Bishop had created an "absurd" situation.

Sources in Washington said the Brisbane speech was a sign of deep divisions within the Obama administration over how to deal with Australia, and over Asian policy generally.

Senior US sources said Mr Obama had inadvertently overshadowed all the elements of his speech, which dealt with regional security and America's position in Asia. When the White House first proposed the speech, its subject was to be US leadership in Asia.

Mr Obama's speech was in marked contrast to the accomplished speeches, with their careful regional agendas, of China's President, Xi Jinping, and India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to the Australian parliament. Senior Washington sources told The Weekend Australian of a malaise in Obama administration policy towards Asia and the lack of influence of Asia experts lower down in the US government.

Since the Abbott government was elected last September, there has been a group within the Obama administration that wants to take a tougher public line against Canberra on differences over climate change, in particular the decision to abolish the carbon tax.

Washington sources say the figure who ultimately adjudicated on this internal debate was Mr Obama, who recognised that Mr Abbott had been elected with a clear mandate to abolish the tax.

This has resulted, in part, in differing accounts of the first meeting between Mr Abbott as Prime Minister and Mr Obama in Washington in June.  After the meeting, Australian officials briefed to the effect that climate change was raised with Mr Abbott only briefly by Mr Obama and in a non-contentious way.  This version was confirmed by senior US officials who offered the same account of the meeting.

US officials added that the Obama administration was acutely aware that the US had no national carbon tax itself and that the administration had been unable to get congress to agree to an emissions trading scheme, which the Americans call a cap-and-trade scheme.

They said the US was keen merely to confirm that the Abbott government was carrying out the commitments it had made on climate change, in particular to reach the target of 5 per cent reductions on 2000 levels of emissions by 2020.

At the same time, another account of the meeting was circulating through Washington to the effect that Mr Obama had been much more insistent on the issue with Mr Abbott. In this account, Mr Obama had repeatedly referred to the Sydney Opera House sinking as a result of global warming.

At the time Washington sources said this was an erroneous account of the meeting, which reflected the great hostility over the carbon tax issue that some of Mr Obama's domestic advisers felt.

Several former senior US officials characterise the White House as introverted and not inclined to pay too much attention to officials, either in the State Department or the Pentagon, who deal with Asia full time. Others suggest senior figures in the White House, when they think of Asia, tend to focus only on China.

Mr Obama has previously had a warm personal relationship with Mr Abbott. The President has been a frequent telephone caller to Mr Abbott, almost always with a request for Australian support for a US policy or initiative, from troops for the Middle East, US trade initiatives in Asia, or important regional diplomatic matters, especially those involving security. On every occasion the US President has asked for help, the Australian Prime Minister has provided it.

SOURCE

NSW conservative government cracks down on protesters, fast-tracks mining

The "close" relationship between the state government and the mining industry has come under renewed scrutiny after Premier Mike Baird announced faster mining approvals and harsher fines for protesters who illegally enter mining sites.

The announcement, at a dinner for mining heavyweights on Thursday night, came just hours after it was revealed that corrupt former Labor minister Ian Macdonald will face criminal charges over a mining deal.

Critics have accused the government of cutting "special deals" with the mining industry, and failing to follow advice by the corruption watchdog to safeguard the planning system.

Lock the Gate Alliance said protesters already face heavy penalties, citing farmer Ted Borowski, who was fined about $3000 for protesting against Santos' coal seam gas operation earlier this year.  By comparison, the company was fined $1500 for contaminating an aquifer with uranium.

The government says protesters do not have the right to act unlawfully, and industry and the community should not wait years for mining applications to be decided.

Mr Baird told a NSW Minerals Council event that his government will halve assessment times for so-called "state significant" proposals, such as mines and manufacturing plants. He said assessment times for mining projects had jumped from 500 to more than 1000 days in the past six years.

On Friday, Planning Minister Pru Goward said the government intends to slash 170 days from the average time it takes to assess major applications by introducing new timeframes and ensuring timely advice from government agencies.

New timeframes would also be applied to the Planning Assessment Commission, the independent body that decides some of the state's most controversial proposals.

The government has been under pressure to streamline the mining approvals process after its maligned planning reforms stalled in the upper house.

Fairfax Media has reported that 13 mining industry leaders met Mr Baird two weeks ago for a "crisis meeting" after Anglo American's application to extend the Drayton South coal mine project was rejected.

The industry has also called for stronger penalties for trespassers, following heated protests over projects such as Whitehaven Coal's Maules Creek mine and Santos' coal seam gas venture in north-west NSW.

Mr Baird said it was "galling" that the mining industry was responsible for the safety of trespassers. The government will seek changes to workplace health and safety laws, and increase penalties for protesters who break into mining operations, damage equipment or disrupt work.

Lock the Gate Alliance spokesman Phil Laird, whose organisation campaigns against coal and gas mining, said the announcement highlights the "close relationship and special treatment given to industry over the interests of communities".

He said the government had ignored advice by the Independent Commission Against Corruption to expand community appeal rights on planning decisions. A spokesman for Ms Goward said independent scrutiny of decisions already exists.

The NSW Minerals Council said the planning changes would "help attract investment and create jobs in our state".

Labor's environment spokesman Luke Foley welcomed the move towards faster approvals, but said it should not come at the expense of proper environmental, social and economic assessment.

Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham claimed the Liberal and National parties were "essentially just the political arm of the mining industry".

SOURCE

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