Wednesday, December 07, 2016



Dana Nuccitelli is up to his old tricks again

He tells a good story if you don't know the details he leaves out or distorts. At issue is the cause of the 2015/2016 global  warming.  But the graph below really tells it all.  The warming was a typical El Nino peak, not the sustained rise we might have expected of anthropogenic global warming.



And if the rise WERE caused by anthropogenic global warming, there would have to have been a rise in the CO2 content of the atmosphere during 2015 and 2016 to cause it.  But there was not.  The latest readings are that CO2 levels plateaued in 2015 and 2016  -- something I have been pointing out for many months, just from a scan of the raw numbers as they came up at Mauna Loa and Cape Grim.

People sometimes talk of delayed heating, of warming being "left over" from previous years -- but that is nonsense.  Those little CO2 molecules are either up there bouncing heat or they are not.  If I put a pot of water on the gas and a little later turn the gas off, the water immediately starts to cool.  It does not keep on getting warmer for a while. There is no delayed heating.

Nuccitelli doesn't have a leg to stand on.  He is just a skilled liar.  Warmists are great cherrypickers so it is amusing that Nuccitelli is one of those who have accused David Rose of cherrypicking.   I did however put up yesterday a thorough  demolition of that claim


Fake news tries to blame human-caused global warming on El Niño
Climate scientists and real science journalists pushed back, holding the post-truth crowd accountable

Human carbon pollution is heating the Earth incredibly fast. On top of that long-term human-caused global warming trend, there are fluctuations caused by various natural factors. One of these is the El Niño/La Niña cycle. The combination of human-caused warming and a strong El Niño event are on the verge of causing an unprecedented three consecutive record-breaking hot years.

Simply put, without global warming we would not be seeing record-breaking heat year after year. In fact, 2014 broke the temperature record without an El Niño assist, and then El Niño helped push 2015 over 2014, and 2016 over 2015.

Sadly, we live in a post-truth world dominated by fake news in which people increasingly seek information that confirms their ideological beliefs, rather than information that’s factually accurate from reliable sources. Because people have become incredibly polarized on the subject of climate change, those with a conservative worldview who prefer maintaining the status quo to the steps we need to take to prevent a climate catastrophe often seek out climate science-denying stories.

Into that environment step conservative columnists David Rose at the Mail on Sunday, parroted by Ross Clark in The Spectator and James Delingpole for Breitbart, all trying to blame the current record-shattering hot global temperatures entirely on El Niño. Perhaps saddest of all, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee tweeted the Breitbart piece, to which Senator Bernie Sanders appropriately responded:

Where'd you get your PhD? Trump University?

The conservative columnists made their case by claiming that, with the recent strong El Niño event ending, temperatures are “plummeting,” thus blaming the record heat on El Niño. There are several fatal flaws in their case.

First, the “plummet” they cite is not in global temperatures on the surface where we live, and where temperatures are easiest to measure accurately, but rather in satellite estimates of the temperature of the lower atmosphere above the portions of Earth’s surface covered by land masses. Second, although the satellite data extend as far back as 1979, and the global surface temperature data to 1880, they cherry pick the data by only showing the portion since 1997. Third, the argument is based entirely upon one relatively cool month (October 2016) that was only cool in that particularly cherry-picked data set.

The argument is easily debunked. While there was a strong El Niño event in 2015–2016, there was an equally strong event in 1997–1998. The two events had very similar short-term warming influences on global surface temperatures, but according to Nasa, 2016 will be about 0.35°C hotter than 1998. That difference is due to the long-term, human-caused global warming trend. In fact, according to Nasa, even October 2016 was hotter than every month on record prior to 1998. These “plummeting” post-El Niño temperatures are still as hot as the hottest month at the peak of the 1998 El Niño.

SOURCE





Obama Administration Sides With Protesters, Halting Construction of Dakota Access Pipeline

The Department of the Army handed protesters of the Dakota Access pipeline a victory Sunday when it announced the project would be re-routed. The decision came on the eve of the government’s Monday deadline for protesters to evacuate their encampment.

For the past several months, members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe have waged a campaign against the pipeline, drawing the support of environmentalists and liberal entertainers. They were upset that the pipeline would cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota. Now, the company installing the 1,172-mile pipeline will have to find another route or appeal to the incoming Trump administration in 2017.

“Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do,” Jo-Ellen Darcy, the Army’s assistant secretary for civil works, said in the statement Sunday. “The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.”

It’s unclear what protesters will do Monday, when they face the deadline to leave. Even before Sunday’s decision, North Dakota’s congressman warned that the fight over the pipeline would likely continue.

“The idea that [the pipeline protest] is about the environment is bogus,” Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said last week in an interview with Daily Signal editor in chief Rob Bluey.

The pipeline is designed to transport oil from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to southern Illinois.

Prior to Sunday’s announcement, Energy Transfer Partners, the company in charge of the project, had estimated it would be fully operational by the end of this year. It is already over 90 percent complete, but environmentalists and citizens of the nearby Standing Rock Sioux Reservation successful halted its construction.

On April 1, tribal citizens founded the “Sacred Stone Camp” near the construction site to protest the pipeline. The group is concerned that it will be constructed close enough to the tribe’s water source, the Missouri River, to cause spillage.

However, according to Time magazine, the pipeline does not pass through tribal land. Since Sacred Stone’s founding, the site has been subject to ongoing protests to halt the pipeline’s construction.

State officials and the Army Corps of Engineers have issued an evacuation notice to protesters, but Cramer said it is unlikely they will comply.

“They have … issued an evacuation notice for the land that the camp is on, the illegal camp, and so as of next Monday [Dec. 5], anyone staying there will be trespassing,” Cramer said.

When asked if he was confident that the protesters would leave by the deadline, the congressman said:

I’m not, because the tribe and others have committed to staying there. I will tell you that the 2 feet of snow or so that they’ve got in the last couple of days probably is a greater distraction than an evacuation notice from the [U.S. Army] Corps of Engineers, but winter can be a very sobering time in North Dakota on the prairie.

“What started out as a prayerful, peaceful protest of course has turned into a very violent and aggressive riot in many cases,” the congressman said in his interview with The Daily Signal. “The blending of agitators and out-of-state people with a different agenda than just protection of water for the tribe has created a lot of chaos,” he said.

In the interview, Cramer also rejected the idea that protesters were seeking to defend the environment against the pipeline’s construction.

“This oil is being produced today. It’s being moved now. It’s just not being moved by this efficient, safe means of transportation,” Cramer said. “So the idea that some of this is about the environment is bogus. This oil is going to be produced. So I just think that many of the arguments against it are ironic at best and hypocritical most likely.”

When asked about how he believed the management of federal lands would change under the incoming Trump administration, Cramer expressed optimism that President-elect Donald Trump would handle things differently.

“We own … over $50 trillion … worth of oil and gas. [Trump is] a businessman; he knows what $50 trillion could do for our country,” Cramer said, adding:

Mr. Trump is also an environmentalist. The idea of just exploiting federal lands is something he doesn’t take lightly either, but he’s also smart enough to know that modern technology and appropriate safeguards can be put in place to do it in a safe and reasonable manner while at the same time exploiting it for the benefit of our economy and job creation and, certainly, national security.

SOURCE




New EPA rules push regulatory costs past $1 trillion, $3,080 per person

The new implementation of EPA rules on heavy trucks has boosted the 10-year regulatory burden on America past $1 trillion, 75 percent of which have been imposed by the Obama administration.

That amounts to a one-time charge of $3,080 per person, or an annual cost of $540, according to a new analysis from American Action Forum.

"In other words, each year every person, regardless of age, in the nation is responsible for paying roughly $540 in regulatory costs. These burdens might take the form of higher prices, fewer jobs, or reduced wages," said AAF's Sam Batkins, director of regulatory policy at the watchdog group.

The staggering amount is likely to surge even higher as President Obama scrambles to lock in several environmental regulations before leaving office. He has already broken records for new regulations and added red tape this year and still has 50 days in office.

Incoming President-elect Trump has promised to kill two current regulations for every new one he adds.

The new high in regulatory costs, said Batkins, came after new fuel standards for trucks were implemented.

His study goes back to 2005, when George W. Bush was president, and said that Obama is responsible for about three-quarters of the added regulatory costs.

"The Obama Administration surpassed 500 major regulations last summer, imposing $625 billion in cumulative costs. Earlier this year, regulators published the administration's 600th major rule, increasing burdens to $743 billion.

Now, thanks to data from the last term of the Bush Administration and another billion-dollar rule from EPA, the regulatory tally has surpassed $1 trillion. These figures are direct estimates from federal regulators, but it will take more than an effort from these regulators to amend hundreds of major regulations. Congress, the next president, and even the courts must participate in the next generation of regulatory modernization," he reported.

SOURCE





Reality Check: Despite Climate Change Vow, China Pushes to Dig More Coal

America’s uncertain stance toward global warming under the coming administration of Donald J. Trump has given China a leading role (sic!) in the fight against climate change. It has called on the United States to recognize established science and to work with other countries to reduce dependence on dirty fuels like coal and oil. But there is a problem: Even as it does so, China is scrambling to mine and burn more coal.

A lack of stockpiles and worries about electricity blackouts are spurring Chinese officials to reverse curbs that once helped reduce coal production. Mines are reopening. Miners are being lured back with fatter paychecks.

China’s response to coal scarcity shows how hard it will be to wean the country off coal. That makes it harder for China and the world to meet emissions targets, as Chinese coal is the world’s largest single source of carbon emissions from human activities.

Among China watchers, the turnabout also has contributed to questions about the fate of China’s current crop of economic planners. [...]

Coal still produces almost three-quarters of China’s electricity, despite ambitious hydroelectric dam projects and the world’s largest program to install solar panels and build wind turbines. Coal use in China also produces more emissions than all the oil, coal and gas consumed in the United States.

“I get a kick out of people in the West who think China is decarbonizing, because I see no sign of it whatsoever,” said Brock Silvers, a Shanghai banker who has previously served on the boards of two Chinese coal companies.

Troubled by pollution and worries about rising sea levels, China moved in recent months to rein in coal. Coal production dropped 3 percent last year — a result of that effort, but also a sign of slowing economic growth as well as a gradual shift in the Chinese economy toward American-style consumer spending and away from exports and heavy manufacturing.

That prompted the International Energy Agency to offer an optimistic reassessment this autumn: Chinese coal use peaked in 2013 and would now decline.

China’s reversal now is prompting skepticism. “There is still a peak coming,” said Xizhou Zhou, the head of Asia and Pacific gas and power analysis at IHS Energy, a global consulting group. “It’s still going to increase.”

IHS Energy forecasts that Chinese coal demand will not peak until 2026.

SOURCE




Australia: Greenie panic about Great Barrier Reef could harm tourism and agriculture

The Queensland and Federal Governments' reef 2050 progress report to UNESCO says land clearing is a significant challenge to future sustainability.

Scientists link land clearing to sediment runoff and poor water quality, and the report says it could put the reef on UNESCO's 'in danger' list.

Cynthia Sabag, who runs a tropical fruit farm halfway between Townsville and Cairns, said she is concerned about the health of the Great Barrier Reef, but does not think farming is to blame for its deterioration.

"It seems that agriculture has often been made the scapegoat in this debate," she said. "There was no evidence on our land that any of our farming was causing runoff, which would affect the Great Barrier Reef."

The State Government recently failed to pass laws to stop clearing, and now the Federal Government says it might intervene.

That would be a win for conservationists, but for Ms Sabag a return to more precarious times when she was not allowed to clear land for farming. "The way it was prior to the legislation, we had no hope whatsoever of ever selling our property and no hope of retiring, which is pretty demoralising," she said.

"This sort of has given us some hope, but we've lost 10 years of our life and 10 years of developing a property."

Agricultural industry body AgForce echoes Ms Sabag's concerns.

President Grant Maudsley said some politicians do not understand the challenges of managing rural properties.  "It's easy on the left side of politics ... to point at the bush and say the bush is doing the wrong things," he said. "It's simply not the case."

"We would prefer to go down a policy outcome ... and have a little talk about things, but to keep pointing the finger consistently time and time again at one issue as being the problem is rubbish."

Mr Maudsley hopes the reef will not make UNESCO's 'in danger' list and disputes evidence that land clearing is the problem.

"What we're all looking for is reducing runoff, but you don't do that by having all trees and all grass, you have a combination of both," he said. "If you have a complete tree landscape, you actually end up with a really high density of trees, which actually reduces the cover on the ground and water actually runs off."

Mr Maudsley also points out other sectors, including mining, have a role to play in restoring health to the reef.

Conservationists agree and criticise the report's failure to make any substantial policy commitments to dealing with climate change.

Imogen Zethoven from the Australian Marine Conservation Society said reducing fossil fuels is a key part of that. "We really have to start taking some tough decisions, and one of them is that we really should not be opening up any new coal mines," Ms Zethoven said.

She is concerned about the proposed controversial Adani coal mine in the Galilee Basin, which has just secured a rail line, a temporary construction camp and is now seeking federal government funding. "[It's a] devastating mine that will really spell disaster for the reef," she said.

"We are also extremely concerned that the Federal Government appears to be using taxpayer money to fund this reef-destroying project."

"We know that there is a serious issue with jobs in north Queensland, but it's not about any old job, it's the right job.

"It's about jobs that are in industries that are the future, like renewable energy, jobs that are in the tourism sector, which is growing, that will be terribly hurt if this massive Adani coal mine goes ahead."

If the reef is placed on the 'in danger' list it could potentially lose its world heritage status and that could have devastating impacts on the tourism sector.

Daniel Gschwind from Queensland's Tourism Industry Council said it could deter visitors and undermine Australia's reputation as a tourist destination.

"The money they spend on the visits to the reef, to Queensland, to north Queensland amounts to between $5-6 billion every year," Mr Gschwind said.

"That money circulates through local communities, regional communities, on and on, and it employs and generates employment for about 50,000 Queenslanders."

He said UNESCO's assessment is putting the international spotlight on Australia, and the next few years could see it emerge as either the hero or the villain of environmental management.

SOURCE

***************************************

For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

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

*****************************************


Tuesday, December 06, 2016



New Antarctic panic is just the usual dishonest rubbish

At the risk of extreme tautology, the Larsen C Ice Shelf is a SHELF -- a long, narrow, frosty rim floating on the water alongside the coast of Antarctica.  And as Archimedes discovered over 2,000 years ago, the melting of floating ice does NOT raise the water level.  So the "rising sea level" threat can be put to bed conclusively.

But what about global warming?  It does get one brief mention below.  Since the Antarctic ice as a whole is growing, that is an impossible explanation.

The cause of the melting will undoubtedly be subsurface vulcanism.  The Larsen C Ice Shelf is on the Antarctic peninsula and the Western Antarctic as a whole is known for subsurface vulcanism.

And the Larsen C Ice Shelf in particular is in fact known to have cold seeps underneath it, which are a sort of cool volcano.  Whether they are warm enough to explain the recent melting is not clear but in the circumstances there is a good chance that there are hotter areas nearby


An enormous rift has opened up in a section of the Antarctic ice shelf spanning 300 feet. The Larsen C Ice Shelf is gradually breaking up and will eventually produce an iceberg the size of Delaware before it disintegrates entirely.

A team of researchers flew over the gigantic crack in the ice and calculated it to be about 70 miles long, more than 300 feet wide and about a third of a mile deep.

'The crack completely cuts through the Ice Shelf but it does not go all the way across it – once it does, it will produce an iceberg roughly the size of the state of Delaware,' NASA said in a press release.

The collapse of the Larsen B ice shelf on the east side of the Antarctic Peninsula in 2002 saw a 1,235 square miles (3,200 square km) section of ice break apart into thousands of icebergs in just 35 days.

Larsen B was thought to have been stable for up to 12,000 years, according to studies on the collapse, but had become a hotspot of global warming.

Previous studies had suggested that the ice shelf began melting only a few years before it disintegrated in 2002.

Rising summertime temperatures are thought to have increased the water flow into cracks which then acted like wedges to lever the ice shelf apart.

It sparked widespread concern about the impact that climate change is having on the ice sheet balance in Antarctica, although a recent study showed ice mass on the continent has actually increased.

Antarctica is gaining more ice than it loses, research by Nasa last year found. It said Antarctica's ice sheet is thickening enough to outweigh increased losses caused by melting glaciers.

The research challenges the conclusions of other studies, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's report which says that Antarctica is losing land ice overall. But it also warns that losses could offset the gains in years to come.

The increase in Antarctic snow began 10,000 years ago and continues in East Antarctica and the interior of West Antarctica by an average of 0.7 inches (1.7cm) per year, according to the space agency.

Researchers analysed satellite data to demonstrate the Antarctic ice sheet showed a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001.

That net gain slowed to 82 billion tons of ice per year between 2003 and 2008.

The collapse of the Larsen Ice shelf in 2002, which is one of the biggest on record, is thought to have triggered further acceleration and thinning of the glaciers behind it.

There are now growing fears over the remaining section of the Larsen B ice shelf - which is around 625 square miles, and the large Larsen C ice shelf further to the south.

A recent study revealed that on the opposite side of the Antarctic Peninsula, more than 386 square miles of ice – an area the size of Berlin – has been lost in the past 40 years.

But elsewhere in the Antarctic, the ice sheet has been growing. Satellite data showed that the continent's vast ice sheet has showed a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice each year between 1992 and 2001.

However, between 2003 and 2008, that has slowed to 82 billion tons of ice per year.

SOURCE




One subsidy breeds another

Having distorted the market by big subsidies for "renewables", generating power from gas is no longer economic in Britain.  But Britain needs gas for baseload power.  So now they have to subsidize gas too -- or risk blackouts in the near future.  So huge amounts of money are being wasted for no advantage


As a result of Britain’s energy policies, building new gas-fired power plants is no longer economic. Now, the Government has to subsidise gas investors to keep the lights on.

Four years ago this week, the Government unveiled plans for a bold new dash for gas. New gas-fired power stations, then-energy secretary Ed Davey said, would be required to “provide crucial capacity to keep the lights on”.

A new Gas Generation Strategy backed “significant investment” in up to 26 gigawatts (GW) of new plants by 2030. Since then, energy ministers have come and gone, support for solar and onshore wind has been scrapped and the drive for new nuclear has faced security and cost worries.

But support for gas had been unwavering. Relatively cheap and quick to build, much cleaner than coal, and able to generate even when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine, gas plants tick all the Government’s boxes. “In the next 10 years, it’s imperative that we get new gas-fired power stations built,” Amber Rudd, Davey’s successor, declared last year.

There’s just one problem: pretty much no one’s building them. Only one new station, at Carrington in Manchester, has been completed since 2013 as investment has dried up. This week, though, that could be about to change. A subsidy scheme designed to keep the lights on could, analysts believe, secure construction of several big new gas plants.

Few could dispute that the UK needs new power plants. “An awful lot of capacity has either closed or is closing,” explains Richard Howard, of Policy Exchange. The think-tank calculates that some 23GW of conventional thermal power plant capacity has been closed or mothballed since 2010. “That’s more than a third of peak demand,” says Howard. “And a further 24GW of coal and nuclear is expected to close between now and 2025. We need to build some new capacity – otherwise the lights will go out.”

The problem is, the UK electricity market has changed so much – due in large part to the growth of subsidised renewables – investors say they can no longer justify building new plants based solely on their likely returns from selling power in the market. “Essentially no new capacity is being built without some form of government-backed contract,” Howard says.

SOURCE




Mass: West Roxbury pipeline to open, despite protests

A Houston energy company plans to start transmitting gas through a pipeline in densely populated West Roxbury on Thursday, despite two years of protests by neighbors and the continued objections of city officials concerned about public safety.

The news outraged neighbors who fear the pipeline could explode because it travels near an open quarry where dynamite is regularly detonated.

“If that thing is going to blow – and we believe it will blow at a certain point — we’re done,” said Nancy Wilson, who lives about three blocks from the pipeline and has been arrested twice while protesting its construction. “We just assume we will be incinerated because of this.”

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and other city officials sent letters Monday to federal energy regulators and to the Houston company that owns the pipeline accusing the firm of breaking its promise to share critical safety plans with the Boston police and fire departments.

The commissioners of those departments say that Houston-based Spectra Energy Corp. told them they could see the security plan for a crucial gas transfer station outside the quarry’s entrance on Grove Street as well as a “heat map” that indicates which neighbors would need to be evacuated in the event of a leak. But Spectra representatives have not shared that information with the city, the commissioners contend.

“Without this vital information, Boston police and fire will be unable to assess additional security that may be needed and unable to effectively respond in the case of an emergency,” Police Commissioner William B. Evans and Fire Commissioner Joseph E. Finn wrote to Algonquin Gas Transmission LLC, a Spectra subsidiary.

Spectra released a statement on Wednesday that noted the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last week approved the start of gas service in the pipeline and said that transmission is “ready to begin” on Thursday. The five-mile pipeline is part of a larger, $1 billion-project designed to increase the supply of natural gas to New England.

“The West Roxbury Lateral will provide National Grid with additional supplies of clean burning, affordable natural gas for homes, hospitals, businesses, and schools in the city of Boston,” the statement said. “The Algonquin system has operated safely in the region for more than 60 years. The . . . project facilities are designed, constructed, operated, and maintained to meet or exceed federal safety standards and regulations.”

The company said it was reviewing Monday’s letter from Evans and Finn and would respond. Evans said earlier this week during an interview on WGBH radio that city lawyers are considering what other steps they might be able to take to stop the opening of the pipeline.

Walsh already filed a federal lawsuit earlier this year challenging the federal commission’s approval of the project. Oral arguments have not been scheduled in the case.

Walsh said in an interview Wednesday that, unless the court intervenes, there is “virtually zero ability by the city or the state to be able to halt this type of pipeline after it gets approved by the federal government.”

He said, however, he is still hopeful that the pipeline can be relocated.

“If you’re looking for a place in any part of the city of Boston to locate this, the last place I would probably put this is next to a quarry,” Walsh said.

US Representative Stephen F. Lynch, another pipeline opponent, wrote to the commission twice this month, saying that it was reckless for the agency to allow the project to proceed and that it puts countless lives at risk.

He pointed to several recent pipeline disasters, including a Nov. 16 explosion in Canton, Ill., that killed one person and injured 12.

In addition to raising safety concerns, many neighbors also argue the project will delay the region’s long-overdue transition to renewable energy sources.

Neighbors have held frequent demonstrations at the site and tried to block construction of the project over the summer. Twenty-three people, including Al Gore’s daughter, Karenna, were arrested during one demonstration in June.

SOURCE




Vilifying David Rose: Attacking The Messenger Over Sharp Drop In Land Temps

In the Mail on Sunday last week, David Rose penned an article pointing out the very sharp decline in RSS land only data to October 2016, indicating that ocean surface temperatures might also cool significantly soon and that perhaps scientists and the media over-played the role of man-made global warming in the spike in global temperatures in early 2016 which were precipitated by the natural warming event of El Nino 2015/16. Predictably, he has been vilified for doing so, called a denier, accused of cherry-picking the data to suit his ‘denialist’ agenda etc. etc.

All pretty familiar stuff now to those used to observing the spectacle which is warmist kick-back against any who dare to question any aspect of ‘The Science’.

James Delingpole then joined the fray and published at Breitbart, referencing Rose’s article, pointing out the “icy silence” from climate alarmists following the large drop in land temperatures (as measured by RSS satellite but also, as it happens, by GISS and UAH). Warmist fury peaked El Nino-like when the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space & Technology had the audacity to tweet a link to Delingpole the Denier’s Breitbart article. Cue rants from the Keepers of the True Science of Climate Change and numerous other lesser warmist offendotron minions.

The main objection to Rose’s article is that he ‘cherry-picked’ land only data from the RSS lower troposphere dataset and ignored the oceans (he did not) and that (bizarrely) he cherry-picked two data points and ignored the longer record. The whole point of Rose’s article is that this is exactly what the media and scientactivists were doing when they hyped the El Nino to promote the anthropogenic global warming message! And they did. There is no doubt about that (as we shall see).

Firstly, let’s examine whether Rose’s ‘cherrypick’ of the RSS land only data was indeed a cherrypick. As you can see, UAH shows a very similar drop:



The GISS land only dataset shows a similar large decline:



So obviously, it was not simply Rose cherry-picking the data because the evidence is there : over land, temperatures dropped precipitously from Feb to Oct 2016. As Rose points out, the ocean data has been slower to respond, but it’s reasonable to speculate that, in 2017, the oceans might continue to cool (as they are now, and especially if a strong La Nina kicks in), whereupon the Pause in global warming might re-establish itself in which case the El Nino of 2015/16 will come to be seen as a short term weather event only, contrary to the hype we saw from scientists and the media at its peak. Of course, there is the possibility global temperatures might remain at a new higher level in which case we can say that El Nino has contributed to the long term global warming trend (as in 1998). The fact remains, however, most of the short term increase in temperature that we saw over 2014/15/16 can be attributed to the building super El Nino, not GHG global warming. This was not what scientists and the media were saying when El Nino peaked:

Adam Scaife (Met Office): "The vast majority of the warming is global warming, but the icing on the cake is the big El Niño event” ... We think El Niño made only a small contribution (a few hundredths of a degree) to the record global temperatures in 2015.... The forecast for next year is about 0.8C above the 1961-1990 baseline. About 0.2 of that is likely to come from El Niño, hence the 25%"

Peter Stott (Met Office): "El Nino will have contributed a “small amount on top” to the global warming of 2015/16.

When the peak did happen, Gavin was like, ‘Wow’ and this was ‘special’:

The Guardian, supported by comments from a number of scientists, concluded that the global warming occurring at the time was “shocking” and that it constituted a “climate emergency”.

SOURCE



Drain the Swamp: Sunset the Renewable Fuel Standard

Just before the Thanksgiving weekend I spoke to a trade association about the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS)—why the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) wants to abolish it, and how reform-minded groups might constructively engage the incoming Trump administration given the President-elect’s well-known support for the RFS. Below is an edited version of my remarks.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute, as our name suggests, believes that refereed competition—competition under rules of fair play—advances the public interest. Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek called competition a “discovery procedure.” Competition reveals “which goods are scarce,” “how scarce or valuable they are,” and even “which things are goods.” When government grants special privileges to some industries or firms at the expense of others, consumers pay more for inferior products and services, policymakers become captive to special interests, and the favored industry becomes dependent on corporate welfare. Not good!

CEI therefore opposes any government policy that aims to pick winners and losers in the marketplace. So naturally, we oppose the RFS and advocate its repeal.

Competition

How does the RFS limit competition? At a House Energy & Commerce Committee hearing in June, Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois asked Janet McCabe, the Environmental Protection Agency official who administers the RFS, why EPA proposed 2 billion gallons as the biodiesel target for 2017 when the biodiesel industry says it can produce much more.

McCabe explained (hearing transcript, p. 71) that biodiesel is one of several fuels that qualify as an “advanced biofuel” in the RFS program. So a question EPA wrestles with is “how much of that advanced category should biodiesel basically get a guarantee on?” She continued: “. . . we believe that it is important to have competition and choice and opportunity for a variety of fuels to compete.” She noted the target is not a cap on how much biodiesel producers can offer for sale. Rather, it is a cap on how much refiners are obligated to buy and blend. Capping that obligation, she said, “leaves room” for other fuels to compete.

Think about what her explanation implies. If the quota for biodiesel leaves less room for other fuels to compete within the advanced biofuel category, then the RFS as a whole leaves less room for choice and competition in the total motor fuel market. Every gallon of renewable fuel which the RFS guarantees for sale restricts overall market competition and choice by the same amount.

Consider the statutory goal of the RFS—squeeze 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel into the marketplace by 2022, with up to 35 billion gallons blended with gasoline for passenger vehicles. That target won’t be met and becomes increasingly unrealistic each year. But imagine it could and will be done. Thirty-five billion gallons is more than one-quarter of the projected size of the total gasoline market in 2022 (see Figure 1 of this testimony). The ultimate aim of the RFS is to deny fossil fuels the opportunity to compete for one out every four gallons of motor fuel households buy.

Ask yourself: Would your company thrive or even survive if Congress required you to cede one quarter of the market to your competitors? What would you think of a World Series in which one team automatically wins one of the first four games? Or a Super Bowl in which only one team is allowed to go on offense in the first quarter?

This year, EPA proposes to lower the statutory RFS goals in light of the blend wall, a set of market constraints that effectively limits the quantity of ethanol sold to less than 10 percent of the gasoline market. EPA does want to force the market beyond the blend wall, but not as much as the corn ethanol lobby demands. A group of senators led by Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) claim the EPA may not consider the blend wall when determining refiners’ annual requirements, known as Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs). Specifically, they contend that “lack of distribution infrastructure was explicitly rejected by Congress as a reason to grant a waiver [from statutory goals] in 2005.”

The Senators don’t provide a source for their statutory interpretation. Yet even if correct, their claim is irrelevant. The blend wall had no bearing on the RFS as created in 2005. The original RFS annual blending targets maxed out at 7.5 billion gallons in 2012. That is only about half the quantity of ethanol U.S. markets can absorb as E10—gasoline blended with 10 percent ethanol. Under the 2005 RFS, there was simply no prospect of biofuel production running up against the E10 blend wall.

Biofuel lobbyists often claim refiners have “obligations” to finance the blender pumps and storage tanks that supposedly would enable them to meet the RFS program’s statutory targets. But where in either the 2005 Energy Policy Act, which the created the RFS, or the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, which expanded the program, is such an obligation discussed or mentioned?

Biofuel interests have never cited any such provision because it does not exist. Apparently, they want us to believe that if Congress willed the end, it must have willed the means. But sausage-making—writing and passing laws—is not an exercise in abstract logic. Laws embody tradeoffs and compromises and rarely give the affected interests everything they want. Congress considered several bills with provisions requiring refiners to install E85 infrastructure at their affiliated stations. None of those provisions actually made it into the law.

The proximate cause of the blend wall is the incompatibility of high ethanol blends with most retail fuel infrastructure and vehicles on the road. The vast majority of service stations are small businesses with thin profit margins. Installing an E15 or E85 dispenser with a dedicated storage tank can cost up to $200,000. Although EPA approved the use of E15 for 2001 and newer models, most owners’ manuals and warranties for vehicles manufactured before 2015 caution against using E15. Biofuel lobbyists yack a lot about those barriers and demand refiners “invest” in biofuel infrastructure to overcome them. However, they ignore the root cause of the blend wall: crummy fuel economy.

Although ethanol is cheaper by the gallon than gasoline, it has one third less energy. At today’s relative prices, the typical motorist, depending on the size of the vehicle, would have to spend $50-$300 more each year to fill up with E85 instead of regulatory gasoline. In recent years the annual price penalty has been as big as $1,450. If high-ethanol blends actually saved consumers money, they would demand it, and the ethanol industry itself would invest in the blender pumps and storage tanks required to serve that market. Why don’t they?

RFS defenders claim it’s because Big Oil uses its “market power” to prevent retail outlets from offering high-ethanol blends. Rubbish. More than 95 percent of gas stations are independent businesses, and more than 50 percent are unbranded single station operators. A franchise agreement may require the service station to offer premium, regular, and mid-grade gasoline, so if the station has only three pumps, none will be available to provide E15 or E85. But that is not an abuse of market power. It simply means that infrastructure is not free.

Think about it this way. When you take the kids to McDonald’s, you expect the local franchise to carry all the standard items on the McDonald’s menu. That’s the same kind of reliable, predictable service oil companies require their franchisees to offer customers. With this critical difference. McDonald’s does not allow franchisees to sell Burger King Whoppers even if they do so at their own expense. In contrast, branded service stations are free to offer products in addition to the standard fare if they want to and can raise the requisite capital. So far, however, the biofuel lobby has shown little interest in putting its own skin in the game.

How come? Maybe because they know that if ethanol were really the great bargain they claim it is, we would not need a law to make us buy it.

Legal Plunder

I jokingly call the RFS a Soviet-style production quota system. Jokingly, because Lenin and Stalin had the intellectual modesty to establish only five-year plans whereas the RFS, as expanded by Congress in 2007, is a 15-year plan. It sets annual biofuel targets for 2008 through 2022.

Like other central planning schemes, the RFS is fraught with unintended consequences. It incentivizes land conversions eradicating millions of acres of wildlife habitat. Compared to the gasoline it replaces, the RFS increases certain types of air and water pollution, raises food prices, and may actually increase net greenhouse gas emissions.

But even if the RFS worked exactly as advertised, Congress should still repeal it. The RFS literally compels one set of companies to purchase, process, and create a market for other companies’ products. It makes one business the involuntary servant of another. That is not the American way.

To see the anomaly, imagine the shoe were on the other foot. Suppose Congress proposed to enact WVOs (wheat volume obligations) requiring corn farmers to buy and sell annually increasing quantities of wheat. Or IVOs (input volume obligations) requiring corn farmers to purchase annually increasing quantities of specific seeds, fertilizers, and farm machinery—those deemed “sustainable” by the EPA. The howls from RFS supporters would be loud and furious. And justifiably so.

The implication is obvious. The RFS is a system of special privilege. It conflicts with the basic constitutional principle of equality under law.

Prospects for Reform

In the Texas GOP primary debate, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) opined that Congress doesn’t have to repeal the RFS because “it is phasing out” and by 2022 “it will go away.” Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Although the statutory targets don’t increase after 2022, the RFS does not expire. Rather, Section 211(o)(2)(B)(ii) of the Clean Air Act directs EPA, in coordination with the Departments of Energy and Agriculture, to establish RVOs for the motor fuel industry in “other calendar years”—in principle, until the end of time. The provision also limits EPA’s authority to reduce post-2022 RVOs for biodiesel, cellulosic ethanol, and biomass-based diesel.

Terminating the RFS after 2022 will require congressional action and executive leadership.

Our various groups must keep making our separate yet complementary cases for repealing the RFS so there’s a fighting chance the program will sunset after 2022.

How should we engage the Trump administration on RFS reform? In 2007, Congress and President Bush touted the RFS as a policy to mitigate climate change, enhance U.S. energy security, and strengthen rural economies. I suspect only one of those three rationales resonates strongly with the President elect.

Trump doesn’t seem to worry much about climate change. Besides, many environmentalists now attack corn ethanol as more carbon-intensive than gasoline.

Trump cares about energy security but also likely understands that fracking, not the RFS, has made America great again as an energy producer.

So what Trump probably likes most about the RFS is the jobs and wealth it creates in rural America. We need to familiarize him with other side of the story—the costs and risks the RFS imposes on the livestock farmers and chain restaurants.

In general, we should connect the RFS to core Trump campaign themes. Explain why the RFS is a posterchild for bipartisan collusion to “rig” the marketplace on behalf of special interests. “Draining the swamp” includes abolishing the RFS.

Trump wants to downsize or even dismantle the EPA. Well, if the new administration and Congress don’t amend the Clean Air Act, EPA’s power to meddle in motor fuel markets and dispense corporate welfare will increase after 2022. RFS reform is critical to shrinking the EPA.

SOURCE

***************************************

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

*****************************************


Monday, December 05, 2016



It's not the oceans wot did it

Warmists claim that just before the turn of the present century, the oceans for some unknown reason started gobbling up all the extra warmth (theoretically) generated by rising levels of CO2.  And there is some slight evidence of increased heat in the oceans.  The latest paleoclimate proxy study (below) is therefore interesting.  It found two things:

1).  Ocean temperature changes over the last 200 years were "below the detection limit". In other words there has been NO ocean warming at all in our times.

2). Further back in the last 10,000 years there WERE times of rapid and substantial changes in ocean temperature.  In other words, long before that wicked industrialization that Warmists hate, NATURAL changes in ocean temperatures did occur.

So we have got a doubly whammy:  There has been NO recent change in ocean temperature but even if there were, it could be all natural, and, as such, no proof of anything.


Rapid variations in deep ocean temperature detected in the Holocene

Samantha C. Bova et al.

Abstract

The observational record of deep-ocean variability is short, which makes it difficult to attribute the recent rise in deep ocean temperatures to anthropogenic forcing. Here, we test a new proxy – the oxygen isotopic signature of individual benthic foraminifera – to detect rapid (i.e. monthly to decadal) variations in deep ocean temperature and salinity in the sedimentary record. We apply this technique at 1000 m water depth in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific during seven 200-year Holocene intervals. Variability in foraminifer δ18O over the past 200 years is below the detection limit, but δ18O signatures from two mid-Holocene intervals indicate temperature swings >2 °C within 200 years. More vigorous transport between the surface and deep ocean or stronger eddy variability than that observed in the historical record are potential explanations. Distinguishing externally forced climate trends in deep ocean properties from unforced variability should be possible with systematic analysis of suitable deep sea cores.

doi: 10.1002/2016GL071450





Reality finally hits an old attention-whore

Robert Bradley has up a series of quotations from Jim Hansen showing how his many prophecies over the years have always been couched in the most urgent language and also showing that they have always been wrong.

Which is amusing enough.  Even more amusing, however is his latest utterance, which is a large backdown.  His words this month include: "“The ponderous response of the climate system also means that we don’t need to instantaneously reduce GHG amounts.”.

After many failed prophecies, the urgency has gone.




Germany tells World Bank to quit funding fossil fuels

Why is Germany building all those brown coal power stations then?  Is German coal more ethical than third world coal?

German development minister says World Bank must focus “all of its work on climate and sustainability targets”

A new coal-fired power plant, which the World Bank is considering sponsoring, is slated to replace the ageing Kosovo A power station, outside Prishtina. Photo: Karl Mathiesen
A new coal-fired power plant, which the World Bank is considering sponsoring, is slated to replace the ageing Kosovo A power station, outside Prishtina. Photo: Karl Mathiesen

By Karl Mathiesen in Berlin
The World Bank must end its support for the industries that cause climate change, Germany’s federal development minister Gerd Müller has said.

On Wednesday, German chancellor Angela Merkel and Müller met with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim to sign a cooperation agreement on climate change.

A statement from the German government said Müller had used the moment to call on the World Bank to put “an end to investments in obsolete and climate-damaging technologies”.1

“The World Bank must also focus all of its work on climate and sustainability targets,” said Müller.

World Bank cash for fossil fuels: The worst kind of hypocrisy

The bank is considering finance for a new coal plant in Kosovo – despite an internal policy ruling out such projects except in rare circumstances. It has also announced support for large gas projects in Azerbaijan and Ghana among others.

One study has found that the bank’s annual contribution to the wider fossil fuel sector was more than $3bn in 2014.1

Germany contributes €105m to the World Bank’s climate programmes. Under the agreement signed on Wednesday this will be targeted towards helping poor countries cut carbon, providing insurance to communities who may suffer climate impacts and forest sustainability programmes.

Müller said Germany and the World Bank would protect developing countries “through insurance against droughts and flooding, through investments in the vital preservation of forests. Climate change is also an opportunity, especially in the developing countries: renewable energies create jobs and are good for human health”.

SOURCE



The world needs more energy!

Poor countries have a right to use fossil fuels and will no longer let anyone stop us

By Steven Lyazi, from Uganda

Our planet is blessed with abundant resources that can generate enormous energy, provide raw materials for wondrous technologies, and build modern homes, roads and other structures – to support every man, woman and child on this earth. But can and will political powers make them available to the people who need them?

Of all these resources, energy is the most important. Nothing happens without energy.

For most of mankind’s history, human or animal muscle, wood and animal dung, water power, and plant or animal oil provided our energy. But the amount and quality of that energy was limited, and therefore what people could do was also limited.

Then, almost suddenly, people began using coal, and then oil, natural gas, hydroelectric and nuclear power. Our abilities, and our dreams, began to reach for the heavens – at least in many countries. Sadly, many other countries lagged far behind, and many still do.

They are held back, condemned to continued energy poverty – and thus to real poverty and the diseases, malnutrition and desperation that go with that absence of modern energy. This is partly because many nations are governed by incompetent, corrupt leaders, who care only about enriching themselves, their families, and their close friends, allies and supporters.

But it is also because callous, imperialistic people in rich countries use exaggerated, imaginary or phony environmental concerns and fake disasters to justify laws, regulations and excuses not to let poor countries use fossil fuels or nuclear power or develop their economies.

They tell us we should only use renewable energy. They say nuclear power is dangerous, and oil, gas and coal are dirty and cause dangerous climate change. They don’t seem to think or care about the poverty, diseases and starvation that we suffer because we do not have fossil fuels.

And when they talk about renewable energy, they mean the very limited energy – and economic growth – that come from wind and solar power, or from growing crops for energy instead of to feed our hungry people. They even oppose hydroelectric power for poor nations.

They are rich and well fed, enjoying amazing homes and jobs and technologies in their modern countries. But they tell us poor Africans (and other people) that we must limit our energy and dreams to whatever can come from expensive, insufficient kinds of energies to serve our large and growing populations. This is greedy and selfish, the kind of attitude of people who only think of themselves.

Yes, they use renewable energy, but only a little. Almost all their energy still comes from oil, gas, coal, nuclear and hydro power. Only a tiny amount comes from wind, solar or biofuels – that they say should be our only sources of energy.

They have money and power, and they can influence what happens to us. But they are causing massive poverty, disease, starvation and death in third world countries.

I support clean energy and don’t want to see dangerous global warming. I agree that everyone should help ensure that we live in a clean environment. Everyone wants that, and to see their children and grandchildren living in a clean environment.

But that does not mean we should accept more poverty. It does not mean these rich, powerful people should be able to take away our right to live. It does not mean they have a right to put make-believe scare stories in our papers, on our televisions and radios, and on the internet.

It does not mean they should invent claims that our planet is boiling and we are causing droughts and floods – and so we should throw away coal and other cheap energies that we need to survive.

Maybe they are right, and humans are warming the earth or changing the climate – a little. But our weather and climate have always changed, and the world was even warmer during the dinosaur era than it is today, and much colder during the ice ages, with no human activities. Climate change has been going on for millions of years ago, but that doesn’t mean today’s changes are because of humans or will be disasters.

Environmental agencies and groups say the world is changing and try to tell us what to do to prevent these changes, which they say will all be bad. But getting rid of poverty and disease is also a big change that would be good for all of us, and cannot happen without fossil fuels.

We’ve all been scared to death by horror movies, especially films that are just plausible enough to make us think it could happen. But when these movies (or computer models) are used to scare us away from fossil fuels, that is wrong and we should not be frightened.

What these rich country movie actors, politicians, regulators, scientists and activists forget is that our planet and environment have existed for millions of years, have changed over and over, and will continue to exist either with or without human interference. But we humans have to live here too.

Denying people their right to use fossil fuels is the worst thing someone can do to a fellow human. Western powers developed massively due to cheap fossil fuels and today live like kings. They have no right to deny their living standards to people in developing countries.

Who invented the terms “developing countries” or “third world countries” anyway”? All countries have been developing at some point. In fact, they are always still developing, all the time.

The only wrong interpretation is to say “third world countries” do not have a God-given right to use all their energy, minerals and other resources to develop themselves, and get rich, create good jobs for their people, end poverty and disease, and grow enough food to make everyone well fed and healthy.

In fact, here is a thought for all African leaders: A collective mindset supporting development will make Africa as great as any other region on earth. We all just need to unite around this idea.

The recent United States elections disappointed many people, but made many others happy. To me, they may be a very good thing. They might mean the new President Trump will be a good leader for the entire world. He might make more people question these claims that fossil fuels cause dangerous global warming – and encourage everyone to use more oil, gas and coal to improve our lives, until smart people someday discover different energy sources that really do work.

We all desire to be healthy and live better lives, just like people in developed countries. Yes, we have had greedy, selfish leaders in the past who might have contributed to our status today. But we can and must learn from our mistakes, and Mr. Trump wants to correct his and Mr. Obama’s mistakes.

African and other countries need abundant energy for economic growth. They need all kinds of energy, especially fossil fuels, to become modern and make people’s lives better.

Anyone who tries to prevent us from using these energy resources is denying us our right to improve our lives, and even our right to live, which is the most fundamental right of any human. That is wrong and immoral, and we will no longer tolerate it.

Via email





My Unhappy Life as a Climate Heretic

By ROGER PIELKE JR.

My research was attacked by thought police in journalism, activist groups funded by billionaires and even the White House.

Much to my surprise, I showed up in the WikiLeaks releases before the election. In a 2014 email, a staffer at the Center for American Progress, founded by John Podesta in 2003, took credit for a campaign to have me eliminated as a writer for Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight website. In the email, the editor of the think tank’s climate blog bragged to one of its billionaire donors, Tom Steyer: “I think it’s fair [to] say that, without Climate Progress, Pielke would still be writing on climate change for 538.”

WikiLeaks provides a window into a world I’ve seen up close for decades: the debate over what to do about climate change, and the role of science in that argument. Although it is too soon to tell how the Trump administration will engage the scientific community, my long experience shows what can happen when politicians and media turn against inconvenient research—which we’ve seen under Republican and Democratic presidents.

I understand why Mr. Podesta—most recently Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman—wanted to drive me out of the climate-change discussion. When substantively countering an academic’s research proves difficult, other techniques are needed to banish it. That is how politics sometimes works, and professors need to understand this if we want to participate in that arena.

More troubling is the degree to which journalists and other academics joined the campaign against me. What sort of responsibility do scientists and the media have to defend the ability to share research, on any subject, that might be inconvenient to political interests—even our own?

I believe climate change is real and that human emissions of greenhouse gases risk justifying action, including a carbon tax. But my research led me to a conclusion that many climate campaigners find unacceptable: There is scant evidence to indicate that hurricanes, floods, tornadoes or drought have become more frequent or intense in the U.S. or globally. In fact we are in an era of good fortune when it comes to extreme weather. This is a topic I’ve studied and published on as much as anyone over two decades. My conclusion might be wrong, but I think I’ve earned the right to share this research without risk to my career.

Instead, my research was under constant attack for years by activists, journalists and politicians. In 2011 writers in the journal Foreign Policy signaled that some accused me of being a “climate-change denier.” I earned the title, the authors explained, by “questioning certain graphs presented in IPCC reports.” That an academic who raised questions about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in an area of his expertise was tarred as a denier reveals the groupthink at work.

Yet I was right to question the IPCC’s 2007 report, which included a graph purporting to show that disaster costs were rising due to global temperature increases. The graph was later revealed to have been based on invented and inaccurate information, as I documented in my book “The Climate Fix.” The insurance industry scientist Robert-Muir Wood of Risk Management Solutions had smuggled the graph into the IPCC report. He explained in a public debate with me in London in 2010 that he had included the graph and misreferenced it because he expected future research to show a relationship between increasing disaster costs and rising temperatures.

When his research was eventually published in 2008, well after the IPCC report, it concluded the opposite: “We find insufficient evidence to claim a statistical relationship between global temperature increase and normalized catastrophe losses.” Whoops.

The IPCC never acknowledged the snafu, but subsequent reports got the science right: There is not a strong basis for connecting weather disasters with human-caused climate change.

Yes, storms and other extremes still occur, with devastating human consequences, but history shows they could be far worse. No Category 3, 4 or 5 hurricane has made landfall in the U.S. since Hurricane Wilma in 2005, by far the longest such period on record. This means that cumulative economic damage from hurricanes over the past decade is some $70 billion less than the long-term average would lead us to expect, based on my research with colleagues. This is good news, and it should be OK to say so. Yet in today’s hyper-partisan climate debate, every instance of extreme weather becomes a political talking point.

For a time I called out politicians and reporters who went beyond what science can support, but some journalists won’t hear of this. In 2011 and 2012, I pointed out on my blog and social media that the lead climate reporter at the New York Times,Justin Gillis, had mischaracterized the relationship of climate change and food shortages, and the relationship of climate change and disasters. His reporting wasn’t consistent with most expert views, or the evidence. In response he promptly blocked me from his Twitter feed. Other reporters did the same.

In August this year on Twitter, I criticized poor reporting on the website Mashable about a supposed coming hurricane apocalypse—including a bad misquote of me in the cartoon role of climate skeptic. (The misquote was later removed.) The publication’s lead science editor, Andrew Freedman, helpfully explained via Twitter that this sort of behavior “is why you’re on many reporters’ ‘do not call’ lists despite your expertise.”

I didn’t know reporters had such lists. But I get it. No one likes being told that he misreported scientific research, especially on climate change. Some believe that connecting extreme weather with greenhouse gases helps to advance the cause of climate policy. Plus, bad news gets clicks.

Yet more is going on here than thin-skinned reporters responding petulantly to a vocal professor. In 2015 I was quoted in the Los Angeles Times, by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Paige St. John, making the rather obvious point that politicians use the weather-of-the-moment to make the case for action on climate change, even if the scientific basis is thin or contested.

Ms. St. John was pilloried by her peers in the media. Shortly thereafter, she emailed me what she had learned: “You should come with a warning label: Quoting Roger Pielke will bring a hailstorm down on your work from the London Guardian, Mother Jones, and Media Matters.”

Or look at the journalists who helped push me out of FiveThirtyEight. My first article there, in 2014, was based on the consensus of the IPCC and peer-reviewed research. I pointed out that the global cost of disasters was increasing at a rate slower than GDP growth, which is very good news. Disasters still occur, but their economic and human effect is smaller than in the past. It’s not terribly complicated.

That article prompted an intense media campaign to have me fired. Writers at Slate, Salon, the New Republic, the New York Times, the Guardian and others piled on.

In March of 2014, FiveThirtyEight editor Mike Wilson demoted me from staff writer to freelancer. A few months later I chose to leave the site after it became clear it wouldn’t publish me. The mob celebrated. ClimateTruth.org, founded by former Center for American Progress staffer Brad Johnson, and advised by Penn State’s Michael Mann, called my departure a “victory for climate truth.” The Center for American Progress promised its donor Mr. Steyer more of the same.

Yet the climate thought police still weren’t done. In 2013 committees in the House and Senate invited me to a several hearings to summarize the science on disasters and climate change. As a professor at a public university, I was happy to do so. My testimony was strong, and it was well aligned with the conclusions of the IPCC and the U.S. government’s climate-science program. Those conclusions indicate no overall increasing trend in hurricanes, floods, tornadoes or droughts—in the U.S. or globally.

In early 2014, not long after I appeared before Congress, President Obama’s science adviser John Holdren testified before the same Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. He was asked about his public statements that appeared to contradict the scientific consensus on extreme weather events that I had earlier presented. Mr. Holdren responded with the all-too-common approach of attacking the messenger, telling the senators incorrectly that my views were “not representative of the mainstream scientific opinion.” Mr. Holdren followed up by posting a strange essay, of nearly 3,000 words, on the White House website under the heading, “An Analysis of Statements by Roger Pielke Jr.,” where it remains today.

I suppose it is a distinction of a sort to be singled out in this manner by the president’s science adviser. Yet Mr. Holdren’s screed reads more like a dashed-off blog post from the nutty wings of the online climate debate, chock-full of errors and misstatements.

But when the White House puts a target on your back on its website, people notice. Almost a year later Mr. Holdren’s missive was the basis for an investigation of me by Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva, the ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee. Rep. Grijalva explained in a letter to my university’s president that I was being investigated because Mr. Holdren had “highlighted what he believes were serious misstatements by Prof. Pielke of the scientific consensus on climate change.” He made the letter public.

The “investigation” turned out to be a farce. In the letter, Rep. Grijalva suggested that I—and six other academics with apparently heretical views—might be on the payroll of Exxon Mobil (or perhaps the Illuminati, I forget). He asked for records detailing my research funding, emails and so on. After some well-deserved criticism from the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union, Rep. Grijalva deleted the letter from his website. The University of Colorado complied with Rep. Grijalva’s request and responded that I have never received funding from fossil-fuel companies. My heretical views can be traced to research support from the U.S. government.

But the damage to my reputation had been done, and perhaps that was the point. Studying and engaging on climate change had become decidedly less fun. So I started researching and teaching other topics and have found the change in direction refreshing. Don’t worry about me: I have tenure and supportive campus leaders and regents. No one is trying to get me fired for my new scholarly pursuits.

But the lesson is that a lone academic is no match for billionaires, well-funded advocacy groups, the media, Congress and the White House. If academics—in any subject—are to play a meaningful role in public debate, the country will have to do a better job supporting good-faith researchers, even when their results are unwelcome. This goes for Republicans and Democrats alike, and to the administration of President-elect Trump.

Academics and the media in particular should support viewpoint diversity instead of serving as the handmaidens of political expediency by trying to exclude voices or damage reputations and careers. If academics and the media won’t support open debate, who will?

SOURCE

***************************************

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

*****************************************


Sunday, December 04, 2016



Total dishonesty about last Thursday's blackout in South Australia

The S.A. government is shrilling that the new blackout had "nothing to do" with the previous big one in September.  I suppose that there is some trivial sense in which that is true but the root cause of both blackouts is the same:  South Australia does not have ANY baseload power of its own.  Had they not decommissioned all their coal-fired stations, neither blackout would have happened.  Their windmills are just not a reliable source of power.  During the latest incident they were delivering only 6% of their capacity.

When the big wind hit in September and shut down the windmills the South Australians could easily have spun up their coal-fired generators to take the load -- if they still had them.  And the same thing applies to the recent loss of supply.

You have got to have hydrocarbon or nuclear powered generators to get reliable supply and S.A. just does not have enough.  All they have are some small gas-fired ones.  They rely on importing power from hydrocarbon-powered generators in Victoria but Victoria has its own problems -- and will soon have much bigger ones with the closedown of the Hazelwood generator.

The South Australians were so proud of themselves for having such a "Green" electricity system but it was a fantasy.  They need to get a couple of their coal-fired generators spinning again or businesses will start leaving the state and taking jobs with them. New investments will CERTAINLY grind to a halt now. See below


South Australia's electricity system separated from the national power grid overnight, prompting a stern warning from BHP Billiton about threats to Australian jobs and investment.

About 200,000 homes and businesses lost power for over an hour, but BHP’s Olympic Dam operations in the north of the state were interrupted for about four hours.

BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie issued an urgent warning to policy-makers after the latest incident, which comes two months after the statewide blackout led to about two weeks of lost production at Olympic Dam.

“Olympic Dam’s latest outage shows Australia’s investability and jobs are placed in peril by the failure of policy to both reduce emissions and secure affordable, dispatchable and uninterrupted power,” he said in a statement.

“The challenge to reduce emissions and grow the economy cannot fall to renewables alone. “This is a wake-up call ahead of the COAG meeting and power supply and security must be top of the agenda and urgently addressed.”

Opposition Leader Steven Marshall said Labor had “chased cheap and reliable power out of South Australia”.

“South Australians are now saddled with the most expensive and least reliable electricity system in Australia,” he said.

“The statement from BHP this morning demonstrates how dangerous this situation has become. The CEO of the world’s biggest mining company has singled out South Australia’s fragile electricity system as a threat to mining in Australia.

“Affordable and reliable power is critical to running a business – it’s not a luxury, it’s an essential!”

SOURCE



Warmists are getting cautious with their prophecies

The authors below show that even with conventional Warmist asumptions the degree of warming to be expected in the near future could be quite low.  The 21st century "hiatus" must be getting to them now that El Nino has finished.  The figures are now in to show that the recent warming was just a blip

Prospects for a prolonged slowdown in global warming in the early 21st century

Thomas R. Knutson et al

Abstract

Global mean temperature over 1998 to 2015 increased at a slower rate (0.1 K decade−1) compared with the ensemble mean (forced) warming rate projected by Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 5 (CMIP5) models (0.2 K decade−1). Here we investigate the prospects for this slower rate to persist for a decade or more. The slower rate could persist if the transient climate response is overestimated by CMIP5 models by a factor of two, as suggested by recent low-end estimates. Alternatively, using CMIP5 models’ warming rate, the slower rate could still persist due to strong multidecadal internal variability cooling. Combining the CMIP5 ensemble warming rate with internal variability episodes from a single climate model—having the strongest multidecadal variability among CMIP5 models—we estimate that the warming slowdown (<0.1 K decade−1 trend beginning in 1998) could persist, due to internal variability cooling, through 2020, 2025 or 2030 with probabilities 16%, 11% and 6%, respectively.

SOURCE




Dakota Access protesters accused of destroying environment in order to save it

In the name of saving the environment, thousands of green activists fighting to stop the Dakota Access pipeline are making a huge mess.

Those familiar with the camps near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, increasingly are distressed over the pits of human waste and garbage pockmarking the formerly pristine prairie revered by the Standing Rock Sioux as sacred ancestral land.

Rob Keller, spokesman for the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, said the protesters are “saying one thing and doing another” when it comes to safeguarding the environment.

“We’ve seen pictures of trenches and the garbage thrown in there. So that’s protecting the land?” Mr. Keller said. “And then the snow came in, and I’m sure it’s just a muddy mess now, because that’s river-bottom water, which is silt. It will be a mess.”

Even Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II, who has urged protesters to come “stand with Standing Rock” against the pipeline, is disgusted with how the environmental activists living in the camps have treated the federal property.

“Before this entire movement started, that was some of the most beautiful land around,” Mr. Archambault told the news website Vice. “There was a place down there where eagles, over 100 eagles would come and land. There were game down there — deer, pheasants, elk, geese. Now, it’s occupied by people. And when masses of people come to one place, we don’t take care of it.”

What’s especially alarming is that the camps are located in a flood plain, meaning that the waste and garbage will be carried into the Cannonball River and the water supply as the snow melts and submerges the area.

Mr. Archambault compared the environmental damage inflicted by the protesters to that of fossil fuel companies.

“We’re no different than the oil company, if we’re fighting for water,” said Mr. Archambault. “What’s going to happen when people leave? Who has to clean it up? Who has to refurbish it? It’s going to be us, the people who live here.”

National environmental groups backing the protest, including Earthjustice, the Sierra Club, 350.org and the Indigenous Environmental Network, did not respond to requests asking for comment, but Greenpeace did.

Greenpeace spokesman Perry Wheeler said the blame for any damage lies with those behind the $3.8 billion, 1,172-mile project, which Energy Transfer Partners is building almost entirely on private land in order to transport oil from the Bakken field in North Dakota to Illinois.

“Any environmental concerns sit at the feet of the pipeline decision-makers,” Mr. Wheeler said in an email.

After issuing an easement for a 1,100-foot stretch of federal land in North Dakota, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is stalling the project as it reviews the tribe’s concerns. The four-state pipeline is about 90 percent complete.

“The best way to ensure the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and our earth are treated the right way is for the Administration to stop what should have never started,” said Mr. Wheeler.

State and local officials say they are worried about the environmental damage to the area, but there’s only so much they can do, given that the camps are on federal land.

Scott A. Radig, director of the state division of waste management, said he sent a letter with photos of protesters dumping and burning waste in pits to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which has jurisdiction over the area, but that he has heard nothing back. That was in September.

“They did not respond to us,” said Mr. Radig. “It is federal land, but even though it’s federal land, they still have to follow state laws on state management practices.”

The Army Corps, Interior Department and Environmental Protection Agency did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Mr. Radig said he has been in contact with Alison Two Bears, the tribe’s environmental director.

“She said that when the camp was closed that they would send us their plan for making sure the site is cleaned up and restored to its original conditions,” he said.

Despite its hard line on other environmental transgressors, the Obama administration has given the protesters a pass on camps north of the Cannonball River, allowing them to remain illegally for months and insisting the activists will not be removed forcibly if they defy a Monday deadline to leave.

“They’re on [what] I’ll call a federal refuge because the Army Corps and the Obama administration have refused to demand that they leave that federal land,” North Dakota Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley said in a Thursday interview with WDAY-AM’s Rob Port.

“We’ve had no authority to go in and remove them,” said Mr. Wrigley, a Republican. “But now the Army Corps is saying they have to leave by the fifth. We’ll see.”

This week’s snowstorm and subfreezing temperatures have done what the administration has not by motivating many activists to leave their tents, teepees and campers and return home, or at least check into the reservation hotel and casino.

Even some activists are fed up with the sanitation of the camps, criticizing outsiders who have treated the protest as a hippie festival instead of helping keep the area clean.

“When Chairman Archambault talks about the destruction of the land with pitching of tents, digging pits in Mother Earth, the garbage and human waste, he is correct,” Yvette Hatchere wrote on the Red Warrior Camp’s Facebook page.

“How would some of you feel if we camped in your backyard & left garbage behind and left holes in the ground,” she said. “Well, he feels the same way. Pick up your garbage and find ways to get rid of it.”

SOURCE




Climate Reality Deniers Are Trying to ‘Bork’ Trump’s EPA Transition Leader

President-elect Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency transition leader, Myron Ebell, is a huge threat to the green gravy train. Now, with billions of crony dollars at stake, the green slander machine is doing all it can to slime him.

Following their standard tactic, advocates of big government cronyism have picked someone to demonize as the face of small-government, pro-freedom ideals.

Ebell is that face, and he’s enduring the left’s vilification for voicing reasonable thought on climate change policy. Though he bears the burden with grace and humor, there is no excuse for the personal attacks, which are designed to distract attention from the high stakes of the debate.

What’s at stake for big green is billions upon billions of dollars taken from taxpayers and consumers and given to green crony businesses. Just for wind energy alone, grants, tax credits, loan guarantees, and other subsidies add up to at least $176 billion.

What isn’t at stake—contrary to the left’s talking points—is the Earth’s climate.

As costly as our current energy and climate policies are to the economy (they would cost the U.S. a net loss t of 400,000 jobs and up to $2.5 trillion), they are projected to have negligible impacts on global temperatures—even if you believe the questionable climate models of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

When judged by their actual effect, it becomes clear that the real goal of international climate policies is a power and money grab that no one, not even its most vocal supporters, believes will have much impact on the climate.

In fact, Christiana Figueres—until recently the executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change—noted that the goal of those policies was to rearrange the world economy:

This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution.

The big problem for the framework convention, the IPCC, renewable energy hustlers, and climate rent-seekers of all sorts is that Ebell is on to their game. So, out come the daggers of personal attacks and character assassination.

Many in the media are more than happy to abet the groups who perpetrate these attacks. The Media Research Center provides a nice sampler of these attacks and associated yellow journalism here.

It’s not at all clear what the name-callers mean when they call Ebell a “climate denier,” but in a bizarre semantic twist, they appear to mean that he is not a hysterical climate data denier.

Like most skeptics, Ebell recognizes the basic carbon dioxide science: Adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere may somewhat increase warming. But he also recognizes the much more important question: How much is this “somewhat”?

Ebell and those following the numbers know that the Earth’s warming to date is much less than the IPCC models predicted and that the actual data don’t point to a climate catastrophe.

In addition, the unhinged claims of ever-worsening, extreme climate events don’t square with the data either. There are no upward trends in droughts, floods, tornadoes, or hurricanes.

Because knowledge of these facts is such a threat to the climate-industrial complex, anyone who dares to expose the truth comes under threat of personal destruction.

In 1987, “Borking” became a term for getting shot down after the U.S. Senate torpedoed Robert Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court. We should not allow green activists to make “Ebelling” a synonym for “Borking.”

SOURCE





Climate Regs Impede Carbon Reductions

Under the terms of the Kyoto Protocol, participating nations were to pursue a roughly 5% emissions reduction, relative to 1990 levels, by 2012. The endeavor was considered a success by most environmental warriors. As a newly released Breakthrough Institute study notes, “Every country achieved their emissions reduction commitments.” But was the agreement really all it’s cracked up to be? The aforementioned Breakthrough study goes on to reveal that, no, it’s not.

“Overall, the carbon intensity of economies that were party to the Kyoto Accord fell more rapidly in the decade before the agreement was signed than in the decade after,” according to the report. “In the 10 years before signing, the compound annual growth rate for carbon intensity was -0.7%. In the 10 years after signing it was only -0.2%.”

“Similarly,” the study continues, “the low-carbon share of energy was growing at an annual rate of 1.0% in the ten years prior to 1997, and only at a rate of 0.3% annually for the ten years after, meaning deployment of clean energy stalled or slowed in comparison to fossil fuels in these countries after they signed Kyoto.” What’s the explanation? “What becomes clear in looking at climate policy as it has been implemented at the international level is that most countries have only been willing to commit to decarbonization targets that are consistent with expected business-as-usual trends, accounting for measures that they have intended to take in any event.”

Thankfully, America did not participate in this scheme, thanks to the Republican Senate blocking Bill Clinton and Al Gore. And though the Obama administration cosigned the U.S. to last year’s Paris climate accord, past efforts to implement a carbon-reducing system would have fallen short, just like the Kyoto Protocol. According to Reason’s Ronald Bailey, “[T]he Breakthrough analysts conclude that U.S. carbon dioxide emissions have actually fallen faster since 2010 than they would have had the the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade scheme been adopted by Congress. The U.S. trend toward lower carbon dioxide emissions was helped along by the global financial crisis, a weak recovery, and the ongoing switch from coal to cheap natural gas for electricity generation.”

As for what comes next, Breakthrough says, “Even should the next administration withdraw from the Paris Agreement and abandon the Clean Power Plan, the United States might outperform the commitments that the Obama administration made in Paris if it keeps the nation’s nuclear fleet online, continues tax incentives for deployment of wind and solar energy, and stays out of the way of the shale revolution. By contrast, a Democratic administration indifferent to the fate of the nation’s existing nuclear fleet and hostile to shale gas production might ultimately slow US decarbonization trends.”

Given these circumstances, the most pertinent question is this: Why are ecofascists hampering our ability to reduce emissions, which can be accomplished without onerous government regulations?

SOURCE

***************************************

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

*****************************************



Friday, December 02, 2016



Reversing Warmist spin

The latest article from shifty Peter Hannam, an Australian environmental writer, gives us a good example of how Warmists "spin" their reports. He has some boring statistics to convey but by biased language has made them seem to suggest global warming.  Let me use different language to describe the same stats.  I will suggest cooling:

"A long run of overcast days in Sydney has finally come to an end.  Sydney is at last back to where we were in 1990 but will it last?

Last month's temperature had three Novembers warmer than it in the past

"It's been persistently cool, particularly in the West," Acacia Pepler, a climatologist at the bureau, said.

The month had 18 days above 25 degrees, at last breaking a long run of cool days -- going back to 1894

The past six months have also been a standout for Sydney. A relatively wet winter - with rainfall about 250 millimetres above average - switched to sharply drier conditions, with rain tallies sinking 100 mm below average.  But there were similar conditions in 1885"

Contrast the above with what appears below.  Note that I have unspun only the statistics Hannam has chosen to mention.  They were undoubtedly the one best suited to his cause.  If they can be shown to suggest cooling, one wonders what all the unmentioned statistics show.

Deception is the name of the game for Warmists.  Honest reporting is in general alien to them.  It has to be.  They cannot accept the plain truth of the climate record, which just shows normal ups and downs with no significant trend


Sydney has just capped its sunniest November since 1990, with the relatively warm and dry conditions set to extend well into the start of summer.

Last month was the city's equal-fourth warmest November for maximum temperatures in records going back to 1858, with average temperatures reaching 26.1 degrees, the Bureau of Meteorology said in its latest report. Sydney Airport had an average of 9.5 hours of sunshine during the month.

"It's been persistently warm, particularly in the east," Acacia Pepler, a climatologist at the bureau, said.

The month had 18 days above 25 degrees, the most since 1894 , and its coldest day was a mild 22.7 degrees. All previous Novembers had at least one day below 21 degrees in the city.

The lack of cool days extended across spring, with just six days failing the reach 20 degrees. That's the fewest on record and roughly one-fifth of the average of 31 such days, the bureau said.

The past six months have also been a standout for Sydney. A relatively wet winter - with rainfall about 250 millimetres above average - switched to sharply drier conditions, with rain tallies sinking 100 mm below average.

That's the biggest turn in the weather for the city in 53 years, and the third-most on record with 1885 the other rival year, Brett Dutschke, senior meteorologist with Weatherzone, said.

"Since the start of October, it's been drying out" in coast regions, Mr Dutschke said, adding the western parts of the state had more recent rains and will take longer to cure.

SOURCE




Certified-organic GMO Golden Rice

Mischa Popoff

A half-million kids under the age of 5 will die again this year due to Vitamin-A deficiency in the Third World. GMO Golden Rice could provide the nutrients to prevent blindness and death, but it has been awaiting approval for over a decade thanks largely to organic activists who claim this crop will threaten organic crops.

As someone who worked for 5 years as a USDA organic inspector, please let me assure you that nothing could be further from the truth.

Not only will GMO Golden Rice alleviate the suffering of millions, it could also – in point-of-fact – be grown organically! So I joined with 11 scientists and wrote an article last year in The Daily Caller about producing the world’s first organic-GMO crop. I then wrote a brief follow-up immediately after Mr. Trump won the presidency.

Would you please help get the word out about this? GMO Golden Rice has been given to the world, free of charge, by its inventor, Dr. Ingo Potrykus. All that stands in its way is the lack of political will.

Mr. Trump will soon pick America’s next Secretary of Agriculture, and it is my hope that he will choose someone who understands this issue. Organic activists claim GMOs threaten organic crops. But, as is often the case with anti-everything activists, they have never bothered to read their own federal standards for organic production.

I hope you will help. A decade is a long time to wait for a humanitarian solution to such a tragedy.

Via email




NOAA: U.S. Completes Record 11 Straight Seasons Without Major Hurricane Strike

Today the United Sates completes a record 11 straight hurricane season without a major hurricane striking the U.S. mainland, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

An unprecedented 11 years, one month and six days has passed since the last major hurricane struck the U.S. mainland, according to data going back to 1851 compiled by NOAA.

“The 2016 hurricane season will end officially on November 30. Hurricane Wilma was the last major hurricane (on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale) to strike the U.S. (October 24, 2005),” NOAA spokesman Dennis Feltgen told CNSNews.com.

Major hurricanes, defined on the scale as a Category 3 or above, are characterized by wind speeds of 111 mph or higher and strong storm surges capable of causing “devastating” or “catastrophic” damage.

“It is important to note that this scale covers only the wind impact,” Feltgen noted. “It has nothing to do with the water impact, which accounts for nearly 90 percent of the fatalities - 50 percent of which occur from storm surge and 25 percent from inland flooding.

“The U.S. has seen major impacts from many hurricanes with significantly lower winds on the scale.  Sandy in 2012 and Matthew in 2016 are just two examples,” he pointed out.

The U.S. has now experienced more than 11 years of below-normal levels of hurricane activity since 2005, when four major hurricanes – Dennis, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma – struck the continental U.S., killing nearly 4,000 people and causing nearly $160 billion in damages.

Last month, Hurricane Matthew - the first Category 5 hurricane to form in the Atlantic since 2007 – was downgraded to a Category 1 by the time it made landfall in the U.S. on October 8th, two weeks short of the 11-year anniversary of Hurricane Wilma’s landfall.

About 97 percent of all Atlantic basin hurricanes form during hurricane season, which lasts from June 1st to November 30th. Peak hurricane activity typically occurs between mid-August and late October.

Of the total 991 hurricanes recorded between 1851 and 2015, only 12 have been off-season hurricanes that formed between December and May, according to NOAA. Of those, none made landfall in the continental U.S.

CNSNews asked Dr. Gerry Bell, a hurricane specialist and research meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center, if NOAA had an explanation for the record-breaking major hurricane hiatus in the U.S.

“I see two main reasons for the recent lack of major hurricane landfalls,” Bell replied.

“1) For the U.S. East Coast, the overall wind patterns have been steering more hurricanes out to sea before reaching land; and

2) For the U.S. Gulf Coast, exceptionally unfavorable atmospheric conditions such as strong vertical wind shear and sinking motion have been preventing hurricanes from forming and strengthening over the Caribbean Sea, and have also been preventing hurricanes from moving across the Caribbean Sea.

“As a result, there has been a sharp reduction in the number of hurricanes that would typically migrate into the Gulf of Mexico, which then reduces the likelihood of a land-falling major hurricane along the Gulf Coast,” Bell explained.

“A unique aspect of the current U.S. major hurricane landfall drought is its duration, due to the simultaneous lack of landfalls along both the Atlantic and the Gulf Coasts,” he pointed out.

The historical record shows that the duration of the current major hurricane drought is “unprecedented,” Bell continued.

“The periods with no major hurricane landfalls varies widely between the Gulf Coast and the Atlantic Coast,” he added.

“The Atlantic Coast had a 19-year gap [between] 1966-1984 and an 18-year gap [between]1910-1927. The gaps are much shorter for the Gulf Coast, whose previous longest gap was 6 years (1951-1956 and 1986-1991).

 “In contrast, many seasons during both 1966-1984 and 1910-1927 featured major hurricane landfalls along the Gulf Coast while the Atlantic Coast had none. The Gulf Coast saw 7 seasons with major hurricane landfalls during 1910-1927, and 8 seasons with major hurricane landfalls during 1966-1984,” he added.

“Therefore, it appears that the duration of the current meteorological conditions, which have simultaneously suppressed major hurricane landfalls along both the U.S. East Coast and Gulf Coast, is unprecedented in the historical record dating back to 1900,” he told CNSNews.

“However, please note that the historical record deteriorates in the early 1900’s and earlier due to a combination of 1) lack of satellites, and 2) low population densities along both the Gulf Coast and portions of the Atlantic Coast (especially the southeast).”

Bell also pointed out that Category 1 or 2 hurricanes such as Matthew or Sandy can still cause enormous property damage and loss of life.

“I think it is a bit misleading to focus only on major hurricane landfalls, since there have certainly been numerous tropical storm and hurricane landfalls during the past decade that have caused significant damage, flooding, loss of life, hardship, etc.” he told CNSNews.

SOURCE



Lomborg on Trump’s climate plan

The election of Donald Trump and Republican majorities in both houses have terrified environmentalists and climate campaigners, who have declared that the next four years will be a “disaster.”

Fear is understandable. We have much to learn about the new administration’s plans. But perhaps surprisingly, what little we know offers some cause for hope.

What really matters is not rhetoric but policy. So far, we know that President Trump will drop the Paris climate change treaty. This is far from the world-ending event that some suggest and offers an opportunity for a smarter approach.

Even ardent supporters acknowledge that the Paris treaty by itself will do little to rein in global warming. The United Nations estimates that if every country were to make every single promised carbon cut between 2016 and 2030 to the fullest extent and there was no cheating, carbon dioxide emissions would still only be cut by one-hundredth of what is needed to keep temperature rises below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius). The Paris treaty’s 2016-2030 pledges would reduce temperature rises around 0.09 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century. If maintained throughout the rest of the century, temperature rises would be cut by 0.31 degrees Fahrenheit.

At the same time, these promises will be costly. Trying to cut carbon dioxide, even with an efficient tax, makes cheap energy more expensive — and this slows economic growth.

My calculations using the best peer-reviewed economic models show the cost of the Paris promises – through slower gross domestic product growth from higher energy costs — would reach $1 trillion to $2 trillion every year from 2030. U.S. vows alone — to cut greenhouse-gas emissions 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 — would reduce GDP by more than $150 billion annually.

So Trump’s promise to dump Paris will matter very little to temperature rises, and it will stop the pursuit of an expensive dead end.

Climate economists have found that green energy R&D investment would be a much more efficient approach.

This is very much in line with Trump’s campaign promise of “investment in research and development across the broad landscape of academia” and with its suggestion that we could develop “energy sources and power production that alleviates the need for dependence on fossil fuels.”

This investment in U.S. ingenuity could help innovate the price of green energy down below fossil fuels. Only then will we truly be able to stop climate change.

Statements by Trump’s campaign also indicate that the next administration will create a global development and aid policy that recognizes that climate is one problem among many.

Asked about global warming, the campaign responded, “Perhaps the best use of our limited financial resources should be in dealing with making sure that every person in the world has clean water. Perhaps we should focus on eliminating lingering diseases around the world like malaria. Perhaps we should focus on efforts to increase food production to keep pace with an ever-growing world population.”

This would be a big change. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development analyzed almost all aid from the United States and other rich nations and found that about one-fourth is climate-related aid.

This is immoral when 2 billion people suffer from malnutrition, 700 million live in extreme poverty and 2.4 billion are without clean drinking water and sanitation. These problems can be tackled effectively today, helping many more people more dramatically than “climate aid” could.

Despite its length, and for all of its heat and bluster, the election campaign left many unanswered questions and understandable concerns about the president-elect’s positions on climate change, aid and development.

But, surprisingly, there is now an opportunity. To seize it, the Trump administration needs to go beyond just dumping the ineffective Paris agreement, to an innovation-based green energy approach that will harness U.S. ingenuity. Far from being a disaster, such a policy could mean a real solution to climate change and help the world’s worst-off more effectively.

SOURCE





U.S. will fall short of ethanol, biofuels targets under Renewable Fuel Standard

The federal Renewable Fuel Standard will fall far short of the goals laid out by Congress, government watchdogs said Monday, dealing another blow to the embattled program and giving more ammunition to critics who say it must be ended immediately.

Government Accountability Office reports say the Renewable Fuel Standard, enacted by lawmakers in 2007, has been crippled by higher-than-expected costs of producing ethanol and other biofuels and by the boom in U.S. oil and gas production, which has made fossil fuels far more competitive in the marketplace.

The program, which requires increasing amounts of ethanol and other biofuels to be blended into the nation’s gas supply each year, also will fail to deliver the kinds of reductions in greenhouse gas emissions envisioned a decade ago, the GAO said.

Taken together, the two conclusions raise doubts about the future of the Renewable Fuel Standard and support critics’ contention that the program is forcing the use of fuels that are too expensive and incompatible with many of today’s vehicles and infrastructure.

“Given that current advanced biofuel production is far below Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) targets and those targets are increasing every year, it does not appear possible to meet statutory target volumes for advanced biofuels in the RFS under current market and regulatory conditions,” the GAO report reads in part. “Current production of cellulosic biofuels is far below the statutory volumes and, according to experts, there is limited potential for expanded production to meet future higher targets, in part because production costs are currently too high.”

Last week, the agency set a 2017 target of at least 19.28 billion gallons of ethanol and other biofuels to be blended into the nation’s gas supply. That is an increase over this year’s target of 18.11 billion gallons but is far below the target of 24 billion gallons set out in 2007 legislation that established the program.

One reason for the gap, the GAO report said, is a lack of incentives for more biofuels production or upgrades in infrastructure because of the relatively low cost of fossil fuels in the market.

Moving forward, the GAO says, the Renewable Fuel Standard faces a bleak future. Investments into ethanol and biofuels, the watchdog agency said, look to be drying up in the energy marketplace, which has been transformed by the boom of domestic oil and gas drilling over the past decade.

That uptick in fossil fuel production seems to have crushed incentives to invest in biofuels and made once-promising ethanol much less appealing.

“The shortfall of advanced biofuels is the result of high production costs, and the investments in further research and development required to make these fuels more cost-competitive with petroleum-based fuels even in the longer run are unlikely in the current investment climate,” the GAO said.

In response to the GAO studies, the EPA conceded that the original congressional timetable now is essentially irrelevant. The agency also cited the relatively low cost of fossil fuels, the cost of new biofuels technology needed to hit the targets and other factors.

“The EPA generally agrees with factors in the draft report identified as affecting the speed and volume of true advanced biofuel production, and which will make achieving future significant increases challenging,” the agency said in written comments.

The program is slated to run through 2022, with congressionally set blend targets increasing each year. After that, the EPA and other federal agencies will be responsible for setting targets, assuming the program continues in its current form.

But that is far from a certainty, particularly with President-elect Donald Trump having said he plans to re-examine all energy and environmental programs at the federal level. He has not specifically said whether he will seek to phase out or eliminate the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Opponents of the fuel standard say that even though the Environmental Protection Agency has backed off the congressionally mandated levels repeatedly, it is still pushing ethanol and other biofuels blending requirements that are unrealistic and potentially harmful.

“EPA unfortunately finalized a RFS volume requirement that looks to force more biofuel in the fuel supply than consumers want or infrastructure can handle,” Chet Thompson, president of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, said in a statement last week. “Refiners should not have the responsibility to force consumers to use products they either don’t want or that are incompatible with their cars, boats, and motor equipment.”

SOURCE

***************************************

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

*****************************************