Wednesday, May 25, 2016



Are SQUID the big winners from climate change?

This is data-less speculation.  I have read the original article (Global proliferation of cephalopods) and confirm that the researchers had NO data on global warming or ocean temperature in their study.  What they examined was what fishermen have been catching and they found that catches have shown increasing percentages of cephalopoda as time has gone by.  That is all they found.  And ANY explanation of that is speculative.

The obvious explanation would seem to be that bony fish are a more attractive catch so fishermen go where bony fish are most found and deplete stocks of them.  But bony fish are predators of cephalopoda so cephalopoda thrive under reduced predation.

With the Green/Left it is always important to look at what they do NOT say -- and there is a prize example of that here.  If they really believed that cephalopoda stocks were increased by global warming, it would have been perfectly easy to examine that.  But they did not.

What they could have done is analyse their data separately for the grand temperature hiatus (1945 to 1975) and the recent hiatus (1999 to 2014) and assess whether catches remained static during those periods.  If so, that would prove their theory.  It would have been perfectly easy to divide up their data in that way so why did they present results for their study period (1953 to 2013) as a whole only?  Can I guess?  Because cephalopod numbers did NOT level off in those periods.

So I think we have here indirect evidence that climate change did NOT influence cephalopod numbers. The claim that it did is just more Warmist deceit


Although many fish species are in serious decline due to rising ocean temperatures and over fishing, it seems squid and octopuses are flourishing.

The cephalopods have increased in numbers over the past 60 years, according to new research.

Squid, octopuses and cuttlefish are known to be highly adaptable and grow rapidly, which may be giving them an advantage as ocean environments change.

An international team of biologists, led by researchers at the University of Adelaide, compiled a database of global catch rates of cephalopod to investigate long-term trends in abundance.

They published their findings in the Cell Press journal, Current Biology.

Dr. Zoë Doubleday, lead author of the study at the University of Adelaide, said: 'Our analyses showed that cephalopod abundance has increased since the 1950s, a result that was remarkably consistent across three distinct groups.'

SOURCE  





Fury as big British bird charity backs more wind turbines: Warnings of a bird 'massacre' after charity says thousands more could be built with little risk to the countryside

The RSPB has caused a flap by suggesting that thousands more wind turbines could be built – with minimal risk to birds and the countryside.

The charity, which has previously been accused of being more interested in political lobbying than protecting birds, says climate change is one of the greatest long-term threats to wildlife.

And it warns that Britain must find ways of switching to green energy that are ‘in harmony with wildlife’.

However, the suggestion that building at least 25,000 onshore wind turbines – up from the current 5,000 – could help solve the problem has infuriated rural campaigners.

You Forgot the Birds, a group of landowners that includes former England cricketer Ian Botham, said the structures would blight the landscape and cause a bird ‘massacre’.

Ian Gregory, the group’s campaign director, accused the charity of ‘retreating into an ideological bunker’.

He said: ‘How are birds supposed to weave their way through thousands of wind turbines spinning at up to 180mph? It is difficult to think of a less bird-friendly way of dealing with climate change.’ Mr Gregory acknowledged that the RSPB report notes that turbines can pose a collision risk for birds but questioned whether its main concern was damage to the blades.

The row is the latest in a series of clashes between the RSPB and landowners, who accuse the charity of heavy-handed policing of the countryside.

The report details how on and off-shore windfarms, solar power, wave power and other forms of renewable energy could be harnessed to meet Britain’s electricity needs by 2050.

Martin Harper, the RSPB’s director of conservation, said: ‘Climate change is one of the greatest long-term threats to wildlife. And, with rising sea levels, increased flooding and changes to our weather it is also affecting people and our economy. So, doing nothing is not an option.’

An RSPB spokesman said: ‘We support the principles of renewable energy using a common sense approach. In many cases a turbine can be located without a detrimental impact on wildlife. Over the years we have been involved in over 1,000 planning applications for wind turbines, and only maintained objections to around 5 per cent.’

SOURCE  






Green light for fracking across rural England after council gives the go ahead for test drilling at North Yorkshire site

Fracking in one of the most beautiful parts of the British countryside received the go-ahead last night, opening the door for a dash for shale gas.

Green campaigners condemned the decision by North Yorkshire County Council, warning it could be a landmark ruling paving the way for drilling in rural areas across England.

The fracking operation at Kirby Misperton, near Malton, will be the first in Britain for five years. Full-scale production can begin if tests show gas could be extracted on a commercial scale.

Energy companies with licences to explore for hidden reserves are now likely to apply for consent for test drilling at dozens of rural sites across England.

Fracking, a highly controversial method of mining, involves injecting water, sand and chemicals at high pressure into rocks deep underground to open up fractures in the rock to release trapped gas and oil.

Critics say the process causes noise and contamination – and small earthquakes were triggered near Blackpool in 2011 by a firm exploring for shale gas, leading to a temporary moratorium.

Adela Pickles, from the campaign group Frack Free Ryedale, said: ‘This is the starting gun for fracking in the UK.  ‘It has established a planning precedent in North Yorkshire which means that it is going to be a lot harder for planning committees to turn down future applications.’

Third Energy, the company behind the North Yorkshire scheme, has produced gas at the site for more than 20 years.

It has been granted consent to carry out test fracking and production from an existing well drilled three years ago. The process will target rocks nearly two miles below ground.

The test fracking is expected to take around six weeks and consent has been granted for nine years of production.

Gas from the well would be pumped to a nearby power station, generating electricity for local homes and businesses.

The planning authority received more than 4,000 objections, mainly on environmental grounds.

The well is less than four miles from the North York Moors National Park, where a £2.4billion potash mine was controversially given planning consent last year.

Locals fear the schemes will deal a devastating blow to the local tourist industry.

Third Energy said work at Kirby Misperton will not begin for many months, but there are fears of mass protests of the kind witnessed three years ago in the Sussex village of Balcombe, where test drilling for oil took place.

Third Energy chief executive Rasik Valand insisted fracking was safe while Ken Cronin, of the UK Onshore Oil and Gas, said the vote was ‘an important first step’.

He said the industry did not yet know ‘what we can get’ from fracking in the UK and whether ‘gas will come out of the ground’ in sufficient quantities to be profitable.

Local Tory MP Kevin Hollinrake said he broadly welcomed the decision but warned it had to be ‘regulated properly’ and done in a way that ‘protects the beauty of the countryside’.

He told the Mail: ‘This is a national policy, it was passed by a majority of 250 votes in 2015. It’s no good saying you’ll back it as long as it’s not in your area.’

Fracking licences were granted in 27 areas last August and in December MPs voted to allow it to take place below national parks and other protected sites.

David Cameron has said he wanted to go ‘all out’ for fracking, as a UK shale gas industry would provide greater energy security and keep prices down.

Energy minister Andrea Leadsom said last night: ‘We’re very clear that fracking is a fantastic opportunity.

It’s good for jobs, the economy and strengthens our energy security. We already have tough regulation in place to ensure that fracking is safe.’

SOURCE  





The Real Energy Deniers

By Viv Forbes

When man first appeared on Earth he had no implements, no clothes, no farms and no mineral fuels – his only tools were his brains, hands and muscles.

Everything that enables mankind to live comfortably in a world where nature is indifferent to our survival has been discovered, invented, mined or created by our inventive ancestors over thousands of years.

The history of civilisation is essentially the story of man’s progressive access to more efficient, more abundant and more reliable energy sources - from ancestral human muscles to modern nuclear power.

There are seven big steps on the human energy ladder – fire, farming, solar power, gunpowder, coal, the steam engine and nuclear power.

Man’s first and greatest energy step was discovering how to harness fire for warmth, cooking, hunting, metal working and warfare.

For centuries the main fire-energy fuels were organic natural resources such as wood, charcoal, peat, grass, animal dung and fats/oils extracted from animals and plants. As human population increased, these energy sources became scarce as the land and seas around towns and villages were stripped of their natural carbon fuels.

The second step on the energy ladder was built when some smart hunter/gatherers discovered how to access more reliable energy from domesticated animals and plants. Sheep, cattle, goats and pigs provided a steady supply of carbon-based food energy, and dogs, horses, donkeys and camels multiplied human energy for transport, hunting and warfare. Farmers also nurtured fruiting trees and grasses such as einkorn, wheat, rice, barley, oats, corn and sugar cane. These provided more dependable and abundant food energy for humans and their animals.

About this time humans ascended the third step on their energy ladder – the ability to harness wind/hydro/solar power for sailing ships, windmills, water-wheels, grain mills and drying food. The low energy density and unpredictability of these weather-dependent energy sources was obvious, even to our ancestors.

The fourth big step was the invention of gunpowder by the Chinese, which gave humans the first glimpse of the enormous power of concentrated chemical energy. This led to the widespread use of explosives for hunting, armaments, mining, civil engineering and entertainment.

The fifth energy step was a bigger one - the discovery of how to obtain and use coal, and centuries later, oil and gas. The energy density and abundance of these hydro-carbon fuels gave an enormous boost to human access to energy, and massively relieved the pressure on forest fuels and animal fats.

The sixth step on the energy ladder was truly gigantic - British inventors and engineers built the first practical steam engine. That invention transformed the world. Suddenly steam engines were moving trains and ships, pumping water, generating electricity and powering factories, traction engines and road vehicles. Most steam engines were driven by coal, but wood, other hydro-carbons, concentrated solar energy or nuclear power could be used.

Steam cars and electric cars got a good work-out over 100 years ago, but neither could compete with a new invention - the oil-powered internal combustion engine. This small but powerful engine resulted in the replacement of steam and electric motors for mobile engines but the mighty steam engine still dominates electricity generation.

These two engines, running on powerful hydrocarbon fuels, feed and mobilise our world. The transformation is remarkable. Just 3-4 generations ago, a team of up to twenty bullocks took days or weeks to haul a wagon-load of wool bales, forest logs or bagged wheat to markets, and the bullocks needed fresh supplies of feed and water every night. In 1896, Henry Lawson described it well in two stanzas from his great Australian poem “The Teams”:

A cloud of dust on the long white road,
And the teams go creeping on
Inch by inch with the weary load;
And by the power of the green-hide goad
The distant goal is won.

But the rains are heavy on roads like these;
And, fronting his lonely home,
For weeks together the settler sees
The teams bogged down to the axle-trees,
Or ploughing the sodden loam.

Cattle and sheep to feed the cities were moved by drovers who spent weeks or even months on the road. Today one diesel-powered road train or semi-trailer can carry its own fuel and water plus a load of livestock to the distant cities in a day or so. Refrigerated trucks do even better – swiftly carrying dressed sides of meat from the abattoir direct to butcher shops.

The seventh step in the human quest for additional energy was the harnessing of atomic energy for generating electricity, fuelling naval vessels, in medical procedures and creating even more powerful explosive devices.

As mankind was ascending the seven steps of the energy ladder from the stone-age to the nuclear age, governments were also expanding their scope, power and cost.

Mankind has always had tribal leaders, but when farming developed, leaders or powerful land-owners discovered that other farmers and their fixed assets could easily be taxed to pay for their own “protection”. This encouraged the development of central governments with their officials, tax collectors, police and soldiers. To defend their generally increasing appetite for tax revenue, governments needed a continual supply of real or imagined dangers to justify their taxes. From this point on, government power has increased with each real or invented community crisis – from village control, to district, state, federal and continental governments. The latest such “crisis” concerns “global warming” or “the climate crisis”, which is being milked to promote global carbon taxes and global government.

Nothing stands still on planet Earth. Since the dawn of time, Earth has seen continual geological and climatic change – shifting continents, rising and falling sea levels, volcanos and tsunamis, droughts and floods, migrations and extinctions, hurricanes and heat waves, ice ages and warm eras.

Humans flourished in the warm eras and suffered in the cold dry eras. Access to abundant, reliable energy enables man to survive these and the future climate challenges which are sure to come.

Today’s massive global human population owes its existence, prosperity and comfort to our economical and reliable energy supplies, particularly the hydrocarbon fuels – oil, coal, and gas. The world supports more people with fewer famines; and those with access to abundant reliable energy supplies have stabilised their populations and contribute most to caring for nature, culture and the poor. And the carbon dioxide recycled by the usage of hydrocarbon fuels is greening the world and adding to food supplies as native and farmed plants flourish in the warm, moist, carbon-rich atmosphere.

This long history of energy progress is now under threat from strong forces using any environmental alarm to deny human access to efficient energy. Using every sensational scare that can be whipped up, they tax, oppose, hamper or restrict farming, forestry, fishing, grazing, mining, exploration, hydro-carbon fuels, steam engines, combustion engines and nuclear power. The “zero-emissions” zealots want us to step backwards down the energy ladder to the days of human, animal and solar power. They have yet to explain how our massive fleet of planes, trains, tractors, harvesters, trucks, road trains, container-ships and submarines will run on windmills, treadmills, windlasses, solar energy, and water wheels.

But their energy-destroying policies will reduce global prosperity and population back towards levels prevailing in those times. Some see that as a desirable goal.

These green zealots are the real deniers – the energy deniers.

SOURCE  






US Activates First New Nuclear Reactor In 20 Years

America’s first new nuclear reactor in 20 years went online early Monday morning after 44 years of construction.

The reactor is now operating at low power levels and will soon begin producing and selling 1,150 megawatts of electricity to the Tennessee Valley, powering roughly 1.3 million homes when combined with the plant’s other reactor.

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) started construction on Watts Bar Unit 2 reactor 44 years ago. Work ended in 1985 after more than $1 billion was already spent, due to a construction scandal involving contractors paying off corrupt agency officials. The project was 80 percent complete before the scandal stopped construction. The TVA revived the project in 2007, at a time when nuclear power seemed poised to make a comeback.

Building the new reactor was initially projected to cost $2.2 billion, but costs increased to $4.7 billion due to overruns and new compliance standards implemented in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster.

“This milestone is the result of the hard work by Watts Bar employees supported by the entire TVA nuclear team,” Joe Grimes, the plant’s chief nuclear officer, told a local news channel. “While this achievement is important, safety remains our top priority.”

America currently operates 99 nuclear reactors across 61 commercially operated nuclear power plants, according to the Energy Information Administration. The average nuclear plant employs between 400 and 700 highly-skilled workers, has a payroll of about $40 million and contributes $470 million to the local economy, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute. The Watts Bar plant will support an estimated 1,000 full-time jobs.

Of the 59 new nuclear reactors under construction worldwide, only four of them are being built in the U.S., just enough to compensate for shutting down older reactors. The average American nuclear reactor is 35-years-old, nearly obsolete by modern design standards and near the end of its operating license. Within the past two years, six states have shut down nuclear plants and many other reactors are risking premature retirement.

Instead of building more modern reactors, the government is planning to simply extend the operating licenses against the advice of its own technical staff. The country’s youngest nuclear plant, Tennessee’s Watts Bar 1, entered service in 1996. America’s oldest operating reactors — Oyster Creek in New Jersey and Nine Mile Point in upstate New York — entered service in 1969.

Nuclear energy provides 19 percent of the nation’s electricity, but struggles to compete against heavily subsidized solar and wind power or cheap natural gas.

SOURCE  





Australia: How to become an honoured meteorologist

Tell lies.  He says below:  "I don’t know a meteorologist who doesn’t understand and accept that putting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere will lead to warming of the surface of the earth. It’s meteorology 101. This is not 40 per cent or 70 per cent. It’s 100 per cent"

Yet we read elsewhere:  "Barely half of American Meteorological Society meteorologists believe global warming is occurring and humans are the primary cause, a newly released study reveals"

And has he heard of this guy?

Prof. Nicholls knows on which side his bread is buttered


Monash meteorologist honoured by prestigious fellowship. Emeritus Professor Neville Nicholls’s lifelong passion and commitment to science has been formally recognised with a prestigious Australian Academy of Science (AAS) fellowship.

Professor Nicholls, School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment in the Faculty of Science, set his sights on science at the age of eight, when his aunt gave him a book on wildlife of the British Isles.

Professor Nicholls took his interest in science further by training as a meteorologist with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, after which he returned to research to further investigate how and why the climate is changing.

“Weather and climate variations affect almost everything we do, particularly the extremes like heatwaves, tropical cyclones, droughts and bushfires, which destroy lives and property. The better we can predict those phenomena, the more we can help improve the quality of life,” Professor Nicholls said.

Climate change is a particular area of interest to Professor Nicholls, who is surprised at the perception of a scientific divide on the issue.

“I don’t know a meteorologist who doesn’t understand and accept that putting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere will lead to warming of the surface of the earth. It’s meteorology 101. This is not 40 per cent or 70 per cent. It’s 100 per cent. There is a perception that there is a big battle between scientists. There isn’t.”

Professor Nicholls has described himself as “doubly honoured” by the peer-nominated fellowship, both as an individual researcher and as a member of the meteorology community.

“I feel privileged to be only the third meteorologist ever to be elected to the Academy. From the operations to the research, meteorology is important because of the impact it has on people’s lives, so I am doubly honoured,” Professor Nicholls said.

Press release from Monash Media & Communications

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

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016



Top Scientist Resigns: 'Global Warming is a $Trillions Scam — It has Corrupted Many Scientists'

The following is a letter to the American Physical Society released to the public by Professor Emiritus of physics Harold 'Hal' Lewis of the University of California at Santa Barbara.

From: Hal Lewis, University of California, Santa Barbara
To: Curtis G. Callan, Jr., Princeton University, President of the American Physical Society

Dear Curt:

When I first joined the American Physical Society sixty-seven years ago it was much smaller, much gentler, and as yet uncorrupted by the money flood (a threat against which Dwight Eisenhower warned a half-century ago).

Indeed, the choice of physics as a profession was then a guarantor of a life of poverty and abstinence — it was World War II that changed all that. The prospect of worldly gain drove few physicists.

As recently as thirty-five years ago, when I chaired the first APS study of a contentious social/scientific issue, The Reactor Safety Study, though there were zealots aplenty on the outside there was no hint of inordinate pressure on us as physicists. We were therefore able to produce what I believe was and is an honest appraisal of the situation at that time.

We were further enabled by the presence of an oversight committee consisting of Pief Panofsky, Vicki Weisskopf, and Hans Bethe, all towering physicists beyond reproach. I was proud of what we did in a charged atmosphere.

In the end the oversight committee, in its report to the APS President, noted the complete independence in which we did the job, and predicted that the report would be attacked from both sides. What greater tribute could there be?

How different it is now. The giants no longer walk the earth, and the money flood has become the raison d’être of much physics research, the vital sustenance of much more, and it provides the support for untold numbers of professional jobs.

For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you my resignation from the Society.

It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist.

Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford’s book organizes the facts very well.)

I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.

So what has the APS, as an organization, done in the face of this challenge? It has accepted the corruption as the norm, and gone along with it.

For example:

1. About a year ago a few of us sent an e-mail on the subject to a fraction of the membership. APS ignored the issues, but the then President immediately launched a hostile investigation of where we got the e-mail addresses.

In its better days, APS used to encourage discussion of important issues, and indeed the Constitution cites that as its principal purpose. No more. Everything that has been done in the last year has been designed to silence debate

2. The appallingly tendentious APS statement on Climate Change was apparently written in a hurry by a few people over lunch, and is certainly not representative of the talents of APS members as I have long known them. So a few of us petitioned the Council to reconsider it.

One of the outstanding marks of (in)distinction in the Statement was the poison word incontrovertible, which describes few items in physics, certainly not this one. In response APS appointed a secret committee that never met, never troubled to speak to any skeptics, yet endorsed the Statement in its entirety.

(They did admit that the tone was a bit strong, but amazingly kept the poison word incontrovertible to describe the evidence, a position supported by no one.)

In the end, the Council kept the original statement, word for word, but approved a far longer “explanatory” screed, admitting that there were uncertainties, but brushing them aside to give blanket approval to the original.

The original Statement, which still stands as the APS position, also contains what I consider pompous and asinine advice to all world governments, as if the APS were master of the universe. It is not, and I am embarrassed that our leaders seem to think it is.

This is not fun and games, these are serious matters involving vast fractions of our national substance, and the reputation of the Society as a scientific society is at stake.

3. In the interim the ClimateGate scandal broke into the news, and the machinations of the principal alarmists were revealed to the world. It was a fraud on a scale I have never seen, and I lack the words to describe its enormity. Effect on the APS position: none. None at all. This is not science; other forces are at work.

4. So a few of us tried to bring science into the act (that is, after all, the alleged and historic purpose of APS), and collected the necessary 200+ signatures to bring to the Council a proposal for a Topical Group on Climate Science, thinking that open discussion of the scientific issues, in the best tradition of physics, would be beneficial to all, and also a contribution to the nation.

I might note that it was not easy to collect the signatures, since you denied us the use of the APS membership list. We conformed in every way with the requirements of the APS Constitution, and described in great detail what we had in mind—simply to bring the subject into the open.

5. To our amazement, Constitution be damned, you declined to accept our petition, but instead used your own control of the mailing list to run a poll on the members’ interest in a TG on Climate and the Environment.

You did ask the members if they would sign a petition to form a TG on your yet-to-be-defined subject, but provided no petition, and got lots of affirmative responses. (If you had asked about sex you would have gotten more expressions of interest.)

There was of course no such petition or proposal, and you have now dropped the Environment part, so the whole matter is moot. (Any lawyer will tell you that you cannot collect signatures on a vague petition, and then fill in whatever you like.)

The entire purpose of this exercise was to avoid your constitutional responsibility to take our petition to the Council.

6. As of now you have formed still another secret and stacked committee to organize your own TG, simply ignoring our lawful petition.

APS management has gamed the problem from the beginning, to suppress serious conversation about the merits of the climate change claims. Do you wonder that I have lost confidence in the organization?

I do feel the need to add one note, and this is conjecture, since it is always risky to discuss other people’s motives. This scheming at APS HQ is so bizarre that there cannot be a simple explanation for it.

Some have held that the physicists of today are not as smart as they used to be, but I don’t think that is an issue. I think it is the money, exactly what Eisenhower warned about a half-century ago. There are indeed trillions of dollars involved, to say nothing of the fame and glory (and frequent trips to exotic islands) that go with being a member of the club.

Your own Physics Department (of which you are chairman) would lose millions a year if the global warming bubble burst. When Penn State absolved Mike Mann of wrongdoing, and the University of East Anglia did the same for Phil Jones, they cannot have been unaware of the financial penalty for doing otherwise.

As the old saying goes, you don’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing. Since I am no philosopher, I’m not going to explore at just which point enlightened self-interest crosses the line into corruption, but a careful reading of the ClimateGate releases makes it clear that this is not an academic question.

I want no part of it, so please accept my resignation. APS no longer represents me, but I hope we are still friends.

Hal

Harold Lewis is Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, former Chairman; Former member Defense Science Board, chmn of Technology panel; Chairman DSB study on Nuclear Winter; Former member Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Former member, President’s Nuclear Safety Oversight Committee; Chairman APS study on Nuclear Reactor Safety Chairman Risk Assessment Review Group; Co-founder and former Chairman of JASON; Former member USAF Scientific Advisory Board; Served in US Navy in WW II; books: Technological Risk (about, surprise, technological risk) and Why Flip a Coin (about decision making).

SOURCE  




When denying science is a progressive moral imperative

The Left has long claimed that it has something of a monopoly on scientific expertise. For instance, long before Al Gore started making millions by claiming that anyone who disagreed with his apocalyptic prophecies was “anti-science,” there were the “scientific socialists.” “Social engineer” is now rightly seen as a term of scorn and derision, but it was once a label that progressive eggheads eagerly accepted.

Masking opinions in a white smock is a brilliant, albeit infuriating and shabby, rhetorical tactic. As the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” Science is the language of facts, and when people pretend to be speaking it, they’re not only claiming that their preferences are more than mere opinions, they’re also insinuating that anyone who disagrees is a fool or a zealot for objecting to “settled science.”

Put aside the fact that there is no such thing as settled science. Scientists are constantly questioning their understanding of things; that is what science does. All the great scientists of history are justly famous for overturning the assumptions of their fields. The real problem is that in politics, invocations of science are very often marketing techniques masquerading as appeals to irrefutable authority. In an increasingly secular society, having science on your side is better than having God on your side – at least in an argument.

I’m not saying that you can’t have science in your corner, or that lawmakers shouldn’t look to science when making policy. (Legislation that rejects the existence of gravity makes for very silly laws indeed.) But the real intent behind so many claims to “settled science” is to avoid having to make your case. It’s an undemocratic technique for delegitimizing opposing views and saying “shut up” to dissenters.

For example, even if the existence of global warming is “settled,” the policies for how to best respond to it are not. But in the political debates about climate change, activists say that their climatological claims are irrefutable and so are their preferred remedies.

If climate change is the threat they claim, I’d rather spend billions on geoengineering to fix it than trillions on impoverishing economic policies that at best slightly delay it. It doesn’t matter; I’m the Luddite buffoon for thinking ethanol subsidies and windmills are boondoggles.

Even more outrageous: If you dispute, say, the necessity of spending billions on windmills or on killing the coal industry, you are not merely wrong on climate change, you are “anti-science.”

Intellectually, this is a monument of asininity so wide and tall, even the mind’s eye cannot glimpse its horizon or peak.

For starters, why are liberalism’s pet issues the lodestars of what constitutes scientific fact? Medical science informs us fetuses are human beings. The liberal response? “Who cares?” Genetically modified foods are safe, sayeth the scientists. “Shut up,” reply the liberal activists. IQ is partly heritable, the neuroscientists tell us. “Shut up, bigot,” the liberals shriek.

Which brings me to the raging hysteria over the plight of transgendered people who need to use the bathroom.

The New York Times recently reported about A. J. Jackson’s travails in a Vermont high school. “There were practical issues,” Anemona Hartocollis writes. “When he had his period, he wondered if he should revert to the girls’ bathroom, because there was no place to throw away his used tampons.”

Now, one can have sympathy for the transgendered – I certainly do – while simultaneously holding to the scientific fact that boys do not menstruate. This is a fact far more settled than the very best climate science. Perhaps it’s rude to say so, but facts do not cease to be facts simply because they offend.

 In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio is pushing to fine businesses that do not address customers by their “preferred name, pronoun and title (e.g., Ms./Mrs.) regardless of the individual’s sex assigned at birth, anatomy, gender, medical history, appearance, or the sex indicated on the individual’s identification.” The NYC Commission on Human Rights can penalize offenders up to $250,000.

Many liberals believe that “denying” climate science should be a criminal offense while also believing that denying biological science is a moral obligation.

In the law, truth is a defense against the charge of slander, but for liberals, inconvenient truth is no defense against the charge of bigotry.

SOURCE  




Uncovering Misconduct at the EPA

On Wednesday, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing to examine employee misconduct at the EPA. Misconduct has continued at the EPA despite repeated reform efforts and multiple hearings. Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) opened the hearing by calling the EPA “one of the most toxic places in the federal government to work.” That is a big claim, and one that should alarm conservatives and libertarians who consciously worry about corruption, protectionism, and bureaucracy in the federal government.

The hearing noted abuse and waste by federal employees at the expense of American taxpayers. Even more concerning to the committee members and those in attendance: nobody gets punished. Even in cases where EPA employees have cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars, nobody has been fired. If there are no consequences to robbing the American people, EPA employees will continue to take advantage of their positions.

Examples of employee abuses that have gone unpunished include repeatedly stealing from the EPA office and selling what was taken at pawn shops, and, commonly, spending thousands of taxpayer dollars while traveling. More than 60 cases have been closed in the past several months.

While specific examples given at the hearing were horrifying, it is important not to turn people into scapegoats. These employees must be held personally responsible for their actions, however, they are largely a product of a poisonous, bureaucratic culture at the EPA and are part of a wider trend of abuse and fraud that plagues nearly every government agency.

Waste goes beyond employee misconduct. As described in Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) waste report published on April 25, there are 13 federal agencies currently conducting duplicative research on climate change. The agencies are spending more than $2.7 billion on independent research (the EPA contributes $20 million to that total). “One would think perhaps [other agencies] could just use data, research, and models from NOAA or [NASA] instead of reinventing the wheel,” argues the report, “paying 13 different agencies to do the same thing is pretty darn wasteful.”

“We are committed to holding our employees accountable,” testified Stanley Meiburg, Acting Deputy Administrator at the EPA, “we’ve made considerable progress.”

Meiburg attempted to highlight “positive changes” at the Agency, however, the room was not convinced. As conservatives, we know that waste of any kind at the federal level is not the result of isolated events. While Meiburg and the EPA are working to hold their employees accountable, we must all work to hold government bureaucracy accountable. Feckless spending and unquestioned abuse cannot be tolerated.

SOURCE  





'He's just a hypocrite'. Fans unleash on Leo

Leonardo DiCaprio has long been seen as a champion for the environment but his latest act has many fans fuming.

Reports out of the US say that Leo partied with the style set in Cannes right up to the last minute, before taking a fuel-guzzling private jet to pick up a Big Fish award from Riverkeeper in NYC for caring about the environment.

Page Six reports that many of his loyal fans and fellow environmentalists have branded The Revenant star a hypocrite for his non eco-friendly method of transport.

The 41-year-old also used the private jet to whisk him back to France less than 24 hours later, so he could attend a gala event.

Mere months ago Academy Award winner used a large portion of his Oscars speech to bring awareness to global warming.

“Climate change is real,” the star warned. “It is happening right now, it is the most urgent threat facing our entire species.”

But since he’s been caught more than once for jet-setting around in private planes, many onlookers are starting to question his authority in being an advocate for the environment at all.

“Everyone saying he's some hero for protecting the environment,” a follower wrote on his Instagram account. “He’s just a hypocrite.”

Fans say Leonardo should practice what he preaches after he took a private jet to and from the awards. © Woman's Day Fans say Leonardo should practice what he preaches after he took a private jet to and from the awards. Another chimed in: “This is the guy who flew on a Private Jet 8,000 miles to accept an award. Environmentally friendly much?”

Others simply said they were now unfollowing the star for not practicing what he preaches.

It seems Leo's flippant use of the non eco-friendly mode of transport has struck a chord with fans who previously applauded the star for his environmental advocacy.

SOURCE  





Plus ça change plus c'est la même chose

(The more there is change, the more things remain the same)





From Harpers Magazine of 1958

SOURCE  





Communism is the solution to global warming!

Or so a Communist paper would have us believe:

By old-time Communist Deirdre Griswold



Environmentalists in capitalist countries are in a quandary over what to do about global warming. Even some of those most active in warning about the devastating consequences of atmospheric greenhouse gases have no solutions to propose except those based on “market mechanisms.” The main such scheme is called “carbon pricing.”

“The World Bank and International Monetary Fund are pressuring governments to impose a price tag on planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions,” reported the New York Times on April 28. This “solution” has been notably advanced by former Vice President Al Gore, whose company, Generation Investment Management, promotes carbon pricing.

The task of such a scheme is to convince investors that they will profit from higher prices for carbon fuels once those prices have been imposed across the board by governmental action. So it’s a win-win situation. Right? The capitalists continue to profit while higher prices lower the demand for carbon fuels, thereby helping the environment. That’s how this idea is being sold.

There are just two little problems.

First, it’s those who can least afford it — the workers — who will be stuck with the bills. The capitalists can pass on higher costs to their customers, but the workers can’t pass on to anybody else the higher costs of gasoline, coal, natural gas or the electricity generated from fossil fuels. And they’re not likely to have the upfront money it takes to buy a new car or a new furnace to benefit from less-polluting technology.

Second, there’s no proof that carbon pricing will decrease the demand for fossil fuels. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking. The recent fires in Alberta, Canada, are just one of the many disasters that show global warming is proceeding at an even faster pace than predicted earlier.

So if carbon pricing isn’t the answer, what is? What can be done that doesn’t depend on the capitalist market and keeping rich investors happy?

Where public ownership of the means of production allows for government planning of the economy, real changes can be made — now. Not just if and when investors can be convinced that their profits can be enhanced through greener speculation. The People’s Republic of China has shown much progress on this front.

China takes real steps away from CO2

The latest news is that a big change has been made in China’s economic plans regarding energy production. The country is continuing to move swiftly away from coal as a major source of energy. On April 25, the Chinese government announced that it would not build 200 new coal-fired power generators that had previously been part of its long-term economic plans.

It had already begun closing coal mines — thousands of them — while vastly increasing its solar, wind, hydro and nuclear capacity. It has allocated billions of dollars to relocate coal miners to new jobs. Now its plans have eliminated the construction of coal power plants that would have generated 105 gigawatts of power — “more than all the electricity-generating capacity of Britain from all sources.” (New York Times, April 26)

Coal is abundant in China. It has fueled the country’s rise as an industrial power. But it has also created terrible air pollution, in addition to adding CO2 to the atmosphere.

Clearly, China’s long-term economic planners are not tied to the profit system. They have the freedom to revise their plans based on much more important considerations than the capitalist market. That is not to say that there is not capitalism in China. Obviously, there is. But it is not the dominant economic system, nor does the capitalist class control the Chinese state.

China has the ability to control its economy and plan economic growth. It has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. This ability comes from a great socialist revolution that took decades, in which the masses vanquished the landlords, the capitalists and their imperialist backers.

The future of humanity hangs on the ability of the masses everywhere to break free of class and national oppression and take control of their own destiny.

SOURCE  

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

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

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Monday, May 23, 2016




Warmists can be amusing: Lewandowski in particular

I have been  posting about the Green/Left 6 days a week for many years, so you would think I would be suffering from burnout by now.  But on the contrary, I often find the whole thing amusing.  The stuff that Warmists come out with in great seriousness is often so silly that one has to laugh.  And Stephan Lewandowski really is a lamebrain.


Here he is

He is a psychologist and has latched onto the old "ad hominem" Leftist idea that he can discredit conservative arguments by showing that conservatives are not right in the head.  Psychologists have been trying to do that at least since 1950 and they have come up with some lulus in the course of pursuing that goal.  The oddest one was their claim (p. 343) that Communist dictators such as Stalin, Khrushchev and Castro are conservative.  But if Communist leaders and ideologues  are conservatives, who is a Leftist?  More on that here and here.  And the "research" concerned has been much acclaimed!  It's pretty clear who the twisted minds actually are.  It is conservatives who are the normals.

One would feel sorry for Leftists if they were not so aggressive.  They are so desperate for self-validation that they will believe just about anything that tends to support their beliefs.

Lewandowski burst onto the Warmist scene with an alleged study of climate skeptics which did indeed do the job of finding them not right in the head.  The only problem was that there was absoutely no evidence that the people he "studied" were in fact a representative sample of climate skeptics.  There are in fact some grounds for concluding that many of those studied were in fact from the Green/Left.  Be that as it may, Lewandowski clearly has the typical psychologist's insouciance about sampling and thus conducted a study of no demonstrable generalizability.  He might as well have filled out all his questionaires by himself.

Lewandowski is such a nut that he even got himself disowned by the Warmist establishment.  All Warmists hate the "hiatus" in warming that has dominated this century and a couple of them  have tried various tricks to "abolish" it -- to show that there really has been no "hiatus".  And Lewandowski was one of those.  His work was so shoddy, however that in the Fyfe et al. paper the Warmist heavies disowned the claim and reaffirmed that there was a 21st century temperature slowdown, which they  explained as due to "special" factors. The joint authors of that paper were: John C. Fyfe, Gerald A. Meehl, Matthew H. England, Michael E. Mann, Benjamin D. Santer, Gregory M. Flato, Ed Hawkins, Nathan P. Gillett, Shang-Ping Xie, Yu Kosaka & Neil C. Swart.  Mann and Santer are particularly well-known Warmists.

Anyway, on to Lewandowski's latest brainwave  -- under the heading: "A blind expert test of contrarian claims about climate data".  I think I had better reproduce its abstract before I go any further:

"Although virtually all experts agree that CO2 emissions are causing anthropogenic global warming, public discourse is replete with contrarian claims that either deny that global warming is happening or dispute a human influence. Although the rejection of climate science is known to be driven by ideological, psychological, and political factors rather than scientific disagreement, contrarian views have considerable prominence in the media. A better understanding of contrarian discourse is therefore called for. We report a blind expert test of contrarian claims about climatological variables. Expert economists and statisticians were presented with representative contrarian statements (e.g., “Arctic ice is recovering”) translated into an economic or demographic context. In that blind test, contrarian claims were found to be misleading. By contrast, mainstream scientific interpretations of the data were judged to be accurate and policy relevant. The results imply that media inclusion of contrarian statements may increase bias rather than balance"

He starts out well  -- with a straw man argument.  He says that skeptics "either deny that global warming is happening or dispute a human influence".  There are some skeptics who hold those positions but by far the majority of skeptics concede the theory of some CO2-induced warming but just see no evidence or reasonable argument that it is anything but trivial in magnitude or urgent in any way.  In technical terms, they dispute the climate "sensitivity".

But you can accurately summarize what Lewandowski does above by saying that he examined skeptical arguments by not examining skeptical arguments. It is that bad.  Another lulu! Only a true believer would give it any credence.  I think anyone can see that the hole  in the bucket is the "translation" of skeptical arguments into some allegedly equivalent argument in another field.  I'm betting that my translations would have been very different.  And the selection of "experts" was probably another hole in the bucket.  Academe is heavily Leftist so getting sympathetic experts on board would have been a no-brainer.

Anyway, he provided me with the hour of entertainment that it took to write the above notes.





Australia: Warmists just LOVE the Great Barrier Reef

It enables them to tell SO many lies.  That coral "bleaching" (expulsion of symbiotic algae) has been happening for millions of years goes unmentioned below -- as is the fact that corals have in the past coped with far greater temperature variations than anything we have seen  recently.  And corals are still with us, funnily enough.

They do respond to temperature, among other things, but the "bleaching" is mainly in order to recruit different varieties of symbiotic algae.  And corals are hardier than they look.  In "bleached" form they can survive for quite a while on just their normal filter feeding.  "Bleached" corals are NOT dead.

And the present ocean warming is clearly due to El Nino, a temporary warming that is part of a natural cycle.  It's actually the La Nina that normally follows El Nino that is the biggest concern.  Corals are more likely to "bleach" in response to cooling than they are to warming.

And let me again mention my favourite fact about coral:  In 1954 the USA exploded a 15 megaton thermonuclear device over Bikini atoll.  And Bikini atoll had lots of coral.  So there is no coral there at all now?  Far from it.  The corals there now are huge, abundant and thriving.  So if coral reefs can recover from an H-bomb blast, why is a pissy one degree temperature rise in GBR waters of concern?


Corals at Bikini atoll today

Strange that all that goes unmentioned below, isn't it?  You would not suspect any of it from the screeches below.  The words below are "an orchestrated litany of lies", to quote a distinguished judge on another matter.  The Waremists just want more funding and are prepared to lie and deceive to get it.  Global warming is a global racket dreamt up by scientists for the benefit of scientists


The Federal Government’s plan to save the Great Barrier Reef is “totally inadequate,” and if whoever forms government doesn’t commit at least $10 billion this election the natural wonder is likely to be doomed, scientists at James Cook University have said.

This extraordinary warning comes from leading water quality expert Jon Brodie and Emeritus Professor Richard Pearson, who are speaking out after they published a paper this week. In an interview this morning, Brodie said the Reef “will never be in its full gory again, we can’t expect that, [but]it’s going to get worse unless we do something”.

The Scientists said the twin threats of poor water quality and climate change could put the Reef in “terminal” decline within five years, unless whoever forms government comes to office with a comprehensive, cohesive, and adequately-funded rescue plan.

The Coalition Government has released a plan, known as Reef 2050, but it scarcely mentions climate change and Brodie said it is “totally inadequate”. “I’m probably the leading water quality expert for the Great Barrier Reef over the last 30 years and I’m saying the water quality [aspect of the plan]is absolutely inadequate,” he said.

“It was meant to be a comprehensive plan, of course, but as has been pointed out by everyone, and particularly the Australian Academy of Science, it’s totally inadequate,” he said.

The James Cook University scientists said catchment and coastal management programs need to be funded in the order of $1 billion per year over the next ten years. “We need a plan to fix up water quality as best we can, to provide some resilience against the oncoming climate change impacts,” Brodie said.

The Great Barrier Reef has made headlines over recent months as 93 per cent of the Reef, which is the only living structure that can be seen from space, has been affected by coral bleaching.

Fuelled by warming waters, the coral bleaching event was the worst in recorded history. The uncompromising heat was a result of an El Nino climate system, superimposed over baseline temperatures already pushed up by climate change.

“Before climate change kicked in we simply never saw bleaching,” Professor Terry Hughes has previously told New Matilda. “It’s quite confronting that we’ve now got to the stage that every El Nino event – and they happen every few years – is a threat to the Great Barrier Reef,” said Hughes, the Director of the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.

The threats posed by climate change are exacerbated by plague-like outbreaks of Crown of Thorns Starfish, which are triggered by poor water quality. According to the James Cook University Scientists, the next outbreak is most likely to occur around 2025.

If we don’t make serious inroads at improving water quality by then, the fate of the Reef looks grim.

Brodie and Emeritus Professor Pearson are calling for management of the Reef to be extended beyond the bounds of the World Heritage Area, north to the Torres Strait, south to Hervey Bay, and inland to include the Great Barrier Reef catchment.

This would of course come at a cost. But Brodie points out that while $10 billion over ten years “may seem like a lot of money, we know that amount would be effective and it’s small by comparison to the economic worth of the Reef, which is around $20 billion per year”.

Current Federal funding, he said, “is almost nothing”. And that doesn’t look likely to change. “So far in the election campaign, we’ve seen no major commitments about the Great Barrier Reef at all from anybody really,” Brodie said.

The Great Barrier Reef Campaign Director at the Australian Marine Conservation Society, Imogen Zethoven said “the massive coral bleaching taking place right now on the Reef and the latest science over recent months all point in one direction: The outlook for the Reef is dire and we must act now.

“Things are worse than we thought for the Reef’s future, we are close to the brink of what this fragile ecosystem can tolerate without a credible plan for restoring it to good health,” she said.

“Australia’s current plans to protect the Reef are inadequate, short-sighted, lack appropriate funding and will not prevent its decline.”

SOURCE





British "ECO" house doesn't work

The building's high lustre varnish finish has gone and the gardens are in need of tender. It is the futuristic eco-mansion that enthralled viewers of hit TV show Grand Designs and was branded “awe-inspiring” by host Kevin McCloud. But all is not well at this luxury ­holiday home in the Lake District.

It appears to have been abandoned – and families who have booked stays there are getting worried.

Ultra-modern, seven-bedroom Dome House Boutique nestles in the hillside above Bowness-in-Windermere and has stunning views.

Architect and owner Robert Gaukroger spent two years building the unique property, all recorded by Channel 4 cameras.

It was designed to double as a family home and luxury self-catering holiday apartments. Yet over the past few weeks, locals have noticed it stands empty.

The gardens are looking scruffy and overgrown and there is no sign of the visionary proprietor.

His absence has been noted by ­paying customers. Some claim they have been left chasing £1,000 ­deposits and say they have struggled to get hold of Gaukroger to find answers.

And websites that formerly ­described the property in glowing terms are no longer accepting bookings.

Mum of-three Claire Farn was ­hoping to spend a week at the Dome in August after paying £1,000 for two families to stay. She heard nothing back for a month when she asked if her booking was still valid.

What may have worried her more is that Gaukroger has been trying, in vain, to sell the house for some time.

Last year the property was put on the market for £2.3million. Within months the price had plunged to £1.45million. It now appears to have been removed from sale altogether.

Earlier this year it emerged Gaukroger was planning to split the building into separate apartments and sell them off. There is little evidence to show that venture got off the ground, with architect Gaukroger still listed as the registered owner of the property.

The 7,000 sq ft contemporary ­wooden structure has a curved wild grass roof and suites with Scandinavian furnishings.

When presenter McCloud took his famous walk through the completed property in 2010, he raved over its pool, hot tub and sauna, four-poster beds and stunning views.

At the time, the ­owner was equally ­enthusiastic. He said: “Not only do I have a home but what looks like a flourishing business. After Grand Designs we had 100 bookings in a week.”

But since then some customers have complained about silence from the firm when they try ­updating bookings.

Mrs Farn heard ­nothing from Dome Boutique for a month. She received an email offering a full refund only on Friday morning after the Dome Boutique was contacted by the Sunday People. She said: “We couldn’t get in touch with anyone and were really worried about our holiday.

“I’d seen it on Grand Designs and thought it would be amazing to stay there. I found them on eBay for about £1,400-a-week. They said they could do a deal if we contacted them ­directly to avoid the eBay fees.”

After paying for the holiday they received a booking confirmation. But then things went quiet for weeks.

Claire said: “We started to get nervous. Then their website disappeared and so did the ­listing on eBay. We’ve tried phoning but there was ­either no answer or it was ­engaged.

“We finally got a response on Friday saying there had been ­problems and promising a refund.

“But do they realise how stressful this has been? Why didn’t they reply a month ago?”

Other customers turned to Facebook to try to find out what was going on. One wrote: “Dreadful ­behaviour, the way they’re treating people who have booked and paid up front for accommodation. Not at all honorable!”

Another posted: “I have a family booking for July 2016. I have emailed the owners but have not had a reply. Does anyone have an update? This may be serious for many people.”

In another post he wrote: “I have booked July. I cannot get a response from them. It’s all very suspicious. I have paid £1,490.” Neighbours said they had seen no guests at the Dome for 10 to 12 weeks.

One said: “If it is in trouble, it’s a real shame. It should be thriving. At the height of the season that place should be making £10,000-a-week.

“We know it’s been on the market for a while but they’ve not been able to find a buyer by the looks of things. It’s getting a little overgrown, they’ve not been maintaining it. “It’s in a fantastic location and is a wonderful building.”

A spokesman for Dome House admitted they had been ­experiencing problems and offered refunds. They said: “We have had a number of issues, including the pool heat and house heating ­system, which due to the bio-mass system had cause problems.

“The property had to cancel a booking at Easter. We already have May blocked out as a planned break. The follow summer season was ­intended to be the last season the property was to be offered as self-catering accommodation with a view to converting the property to affordable apartments.

“We have been looking into whether these bookings could be accommodated. Due to the nature of the bio-mass wood heating it does seem the house does not lend itself to self-catering with this system. If the electric back-up heater for the pool and heating fails it is unsatisfactory.

“With this in mind we are writing to guests to arrange refunds for the small number of bookings we have left.” Gaukroger and wife Milla told the Grand Designs show the whole project cost in excess of £1million.

They took out a £600,000 mortgage but had only another £100,000 in the bank when costs began to spiral.

They were relying on other business deals to finance the project but the ­economic climate worsened and the ­couple were left with a half-finished house.  Further problems saw them unable to pay creditors or the mortgage and a ­repossession order was issued. But after the house appeared on Grand Designs a woman offered them a loan. Gaukroger said: “She said it was clear this was my dream and she wanted to help.”

After completion the couple had to open part of the building as a bed and breakfast to earn cash to pay off the loan. They later changed it to self-catering.

When he put the property on the ­market last year Gaukroger said he was going to complete a postgraduate ­architectural qualification in London while building a new family home in Kent.

He said: “We have a loan to pay that we don’t want hanging over our heads. We will never be able to replace this house.”

One guest who had stayed there wrote on Trip Advisor: “Total disappointment. No heating or hot water in half the house. The pool was not working. There was a leaking radiator and a faulty freezer.”

Another said: “Although the house is potentially an amazing property, it did not meet our expectations.”

SOURCE  





Salby Sees Little CO2 Driving Mechanism …Skeptical View Of CO2 Science Is In Fact ‘Textbook Science’

We routinely read from fellow skeptics that they wish Dr. Murry Salby’s research could be made available in written form, or perhaps in a peer-reviewed paper.

Indeed we do have access to his Youtube lecture research (at least a written summary of it) from an even better source than peer-reviewed paper: Dr. Murry Salby’s 2012 university-level textbook: Physics of the Atmosphere and Climate.

Here is a pdf link to the full textbook written by a world-renown expert on atmospheric physics (he’s published several dozen papers in the scientific literature on the subject). We therefore can effectively say that a skeptical view of the CO2-dominated climate paradigm is actually textbook science, not “fringe” science for the “3 percent”.

Below I’ve compiled a short list of some of the written statements from the textbook:

(a) temperature changes occur first and lead to CO2 emission from natural sources (e.g., more ocean outgassing upon warming, more CO2 retention as the ocean cools), indicating that warmer temperatures are driving up CO2 concentrations significantly more than human activity or fossil fuels;

(b) CO2 only accounts for a small portion of the greenhouse effect relative to water vapor/cloud; and

(c) our presumptions about paleoclimate CO2 concentrations are probably inaccurate (too low and too stable), as significant temperature fluctuations would have caused wider fluctuations in CO2 concentrations than current proxy-based reconstructions indicate.

Page 546:

“Together, emission from ocean and land sources (∼150 GtC/yr) is two orders of magnitude greater than CO2 emission from combustion of fossil fuel. These natural sources are offset by natural sinks, of comparable strength. However, because they are so much stronger, even a minor imbalance between natural sources and sinks can overshadow the anthropogenic component of CO2 emission.”

And page 249:

“The vast majority of that [greenhouse] warming is contributed by water vapor. Together with cloud, it accounts for 98% of the greenhouse effect.”

Page 249/50:

“Surface temperature depends on the atmosphere’s optical depth. The latter, in turn, depends on atmospheric composition through radiatively active species. Water vapor is produced at ocean surfaces through evaporation. Carbon dioxide is produced by decomposition of of organic matter. These and other processes that control radiatively active species are temperature dependent.”

Page 253:

“Revealed by natural perturbations to the Earth-atmosphere system, the sensitivity accounts for much of the observed variation of CO2 emission on interannual time scales (Fig. 1.43). It establishes that GMT cannot increase without simultaneously increasing CO2 emission – from natural sources.”

Page 253:

“The results for the two periods are in broad agreement. Together with the strong dependence of CO2 emission on temperature (Fig. 1.43), they imply that a significant portion of the observed increase in r˙CO2 derives from a gradual increase in surface temperature.”

Page 546:

“Warming of SST (by any mechanism) will increase the outgassing of CO2 while reducing its absorption. Owing to the magnitude of transfers with the ocean, even a minor increase of SST can lead to increased emission of CO2 that rivals other sources.”

Page 254:

“The resemblance between observed changes of CO2 and those anticipated from increased surface temperature also points to a major inconsistency between proxy records of previous climate. Proxy CO2 from the ice core record (Fig 1.13) indicates a sharp increase after the nineteenth century. At earlier times, proxy CO2 becomes amorphous: Nearly homogeneous on time scales shorter than millennial, the ice core record implies virtually no change of atmospheric CO2. According to the above sensitivity, it therefore implies a global-mean climate that is “static,” largely devoid of changes in GMT and CO2.

Proxy temperature (Fig. 1.45), on the other hand, exhibits centennial changes of GMT during the last millennium, as large as 0.5–1.0◦ K. In counterpart reconstructions, those changes are even greater (Section 1.6.2). It is noteworthy that, unlike proxy CO2 from the ice core record, proxy temperature in Fig. 1.45 rests on a variety of independent properties.

In light of the observed sensitivity, those centennial changes of GMT must be attended by significant changes of CO2 during the last millennium. They reflect a global-mean climate that is “dynamic,” wherein GMT and CO2 change on a wide range of time scales. The two proxies of previous climate are incompatible. They cannot both be correct.”

These statements fully correspond with some of the main themes of his lectures.

SOURCE





Orwellian Global Warming Dreams

In March a group of Democratic attorneys general formed “AG’s United for Clean Power.”

It sounds nice enough, doesn’t it? New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, standing beside a grinning Al Gore, announced that the gang was going after any energy providers and distributors who may have committed thought crimes such as questioning the human cause of the 0.8oC global warming since 1880.

MIT atmospheric scientist Richard Lindzen said the appropriate response to this tiny warming is to shrug and say, “So what?” It is a tiny fraction of the daily temperature change in most places, and a smaller fraction of the seasonal temperature change. But at the AGs’ meeting Al Gore called it a “climate crisis.”

The state AGs are in lockstep with federal Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who recently said she is considering legal actions against “climate change deniers” (a nonexistent species, since no one denies that climate changes).

You may wonder how this could be possible in the United States, where freedom of speech is guaranteed in the Constitution.

Imagine a society in which one is under near-ubiquitous surveillance. Such a vision is remarkably close to the reality of 21st century America, if the words of Supreme Court Justice Steven Breyer are to be believed. In statements regarding a recent case he said, “If you win this case, then there is nothing to prevent the police or the government from monitoring 24 hours a day the public movement of every citizen of the United States.”

We’re already under a voluntary microscope with tools like Facebook. Small wonder that politicians desire a similar bonanza. With total data coverage, attorneys general will find it easy to harm those who are not in total support of correct political priorities. Justice Breyer thought such a possibility resembled, too closely for comfort, the dystopian society George Orwell wrote of in his novel 1984.

In more than this we resemble Orwell’s Oceania, which had its own form of twisted English called Newspeak. Newspeak was carefully devised to meet the ideological needs of Ingsoc, or English Socialism. It made it difficult, nearly impossible, for the common prole to have incorrect ideas. Newspeak, as a mode of expression, acted to develop correct mental habits and make all other thoughts inconceivable.

“It was intended,” wrote Orwell, “that when Newspeak had been adopted once and for all and Oldspeak forgotten, a heretical thought, that is, a thought diverging from the principles of Ingsoc, should be literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought is dependent on words.”

This brings me to global warming. The term occurs frequently in Al Gore’s 1992 book, Earth in the Balance (I stopped counting at 81 times). But when Mr. Gore stood beside the attorneys general there was not even a nostalgic reference to global warming. It has passed out of the memory tubes governed by Newspeak.

The problem with global warming is its precision. The words global and warming have precise and well-understood meanings. Global refers to an all-encompassing entity, in this case geographically specified—the planet Earth. Earth is a medium-sized planet located in space approximately 1.5×1011 m from its closest star. And Earth is warmer, on average, now than it was in the past—well, the late 14th through early 19th centuries, anyway. (It’s also cooler now, on average, than it was in the Holocene Climate Optimum, and probably also the Minoan Warm Period, the Roman Warm Period, and the Medieval Warm Period, but polite conversation doesn’t encompass such inconvenient truths.)

This is hardly groundbreaking. Our planet has had many periods of warming and cooling.

The AGs insist the direct cause of escalating temperatures is rising atmospheric concentration of CO2—the gas of life—driven by the European and American economic boom post World War II. They warn that warming will become catastrophic unless emissions are stopped.

But the modest warming has stopped while emissions have skyrocketed. This is opposite to the warming computer models predicted. There has been no warming trend from 1997 to the present. (The short-term warming of the first few months of 2016 is due to an unusually, but not unprecedentedly, strong El Niño in the south Pacific and does not constitute a trend.)

Today those who question the idea of a runaway global warming caused by human CO2 emissions are called deniers. What precisely the deniers deny is never quite specified. That is the point in Newspeak. It is sufficient to wrap words related to rationality and objectivity in the single word denier. Greater precision would be dangerous.

It is the flat line of no warming for almost 20 years that also makes “global warming” unacceptable. It is too precise.

Changing to terms such as Al Gore’s “climate crisis” has the conscious purpose of subtly changing the meaning, by cutting out most of the associations that would otherwise cling to the more precise term.

Climate crisis and climate change are terms that can be uttered almost without taking thought, whereas global warming is a phrase over which one is obliged to linger at least momentarily. So linger a while before the attorneys general make it a thought crime to hold a different opinion.

SOURCE  





Portland Public Schools bans material that casts doubt on climate change

The Portland Public Schools Board on Tuesday decided to ban any classroom materials that cast doubt on climate change. The resolution passed unanimously and requires that textbooks and other material purchased by the district present climate change as a fact rather than theory.

Material will also need to present human activity as one of the phenomenon's causes.

In testimony to the board, Bill Bigelow, a former Portland teacher, told district officials that "we don't want kids in Portland learning material courtesy of the fossil fuel industry."

Bigelow said that material that treats climate change as anything other than fact is published by companies making concessions for fossil fuel companies. He pointed to words such as "might," "may" and "could" in educational materials.

The story started making waves on Friday when The Blaze, a conservative news site founded by Glenn Beck, picked it up. U.S. News and World Report also picked it up, which incited one commenter to say, "Well this is special....ban books because you dont (sic) agree with the context. Sounds like teaching professionals promoting a very personal and liberal agenda."

Republican representatives in Congress agree, but it seems America's conservative politicians are alone in this regard — much of the world's right-leaning leaders have urged action on climate change. In the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency has been doing the same, calling it a public health issue.

Even entertainers have gotten into the action. Jimmy Kimmel earlier this month urged viewers to be skeptical of a documentary endorsed by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin that casts doubt on climate change. Instead, Kimmel said during a segment on his late-night show, Americans should be listening to scientists.

SOURCE  

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

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

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Sunday, May 22, 2016



Some pretty pictures of snow and ice that allegedly prove global warming

I am not going to reproduce any of the pictures as it is just typical Leftist cherry-picking.  You can pick pictures to show almost anything.  It is statistics you need if you are to generalize.  And, overall, polar ice has been INCREASING.

So how come all the pretty pictures?  Mainly because glaciers are always changing -- mostly in response to precipitation.  Glaciers that are getting more snowfall than usual will be advancing and glaciers getting less will be retreating.  And there are always glaciers doing both.  The Franz Josef glacier in New Zealand is a good example.  Up unti a few years ago was notable for its rapid advance.  Now it is retreating.

Kilimanjaro is another example.  Once it was almost bare of snow but it has since bounced back.  And it's only at the stage that suits their religion did the Warmists mention either of them

And their deception is not even clever.  For Kilimanjaro they show a comparison between 1993 and 2000.  But what about 2016?  For that see below:



More snow than ever. That shows you how they operate.  They are arrant crooks

And their logic is very strange. Their two pictures of flooding in Australia were taken only two months apart.  So does that prove global warming?  Did drastic warming happen over just two months?  Hardly.  All they show is that Australia's floods are short-lived, which all Australians know. Our chronic problem is drought

I guess I could go on to dismantle all their trickery but I am not going to give any more time to gross propaganda.  Just some of their text excerpted below.  Click SOURCE to see the pictures


They have been locked in ice for hundreds, if not thousands of years, but newly released images have revealed just how fast the landscapes of Antarctica and the Arctic have changed.

The incredible pictures, released by Nasa, show how melting, and flooding, have transformed iconic landscapes around the world.

While some of the images, taken years apart, reveal long-term impacts that have been attributed to climate change, others show changes on a shorter scale due to shifting seasons or storms.

The shocking image comparisons are perhaps at their most dramatic when picturing the glaciers in Alaska.

An image taken in the summer 1917 of the Pederson Glacier shows mountains of ice floating in water. Yet, a photograph taken in the same spot in 2005 shows green pastures and a sparse covering of snow and ice in the surrounding hills.

In another pair of images taken of Northwestern Glacier, in Alaska, almost all the ice can be seen to have melted within just 65 years. In the summer of 1940, the glacier glacier can be seen snaking down from the peaks into the water, where chunks of ice float.

By summer 2005, the picture is completely different. Where once there was white snow and ice, the dark grey and black of the rock, with the occasional hint of green vegetation, dominates while the water is completely clear. Just a few hints of snow remain hidden among the highest peaks in the distance.

The ice and snow on the top of Africa's tallest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, can be seen disappearing. On the left shows a thick cap of snow on February 17, 1993 and on the right it has reducted in February 21, 2000 Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa

Southern Australia, October 9, 2010Flooding in southern Australia December 12, 2010.  A series of thunderstorms led to flooding in southern Australia in 2010 affecting 200,000 people. The left image was taken on October 9, 2010 while the image on the right was taken December 12, 2010

Other images show dramatic changes caused by flooding and fire, urban development and deforestation.

SOURCE  





Warming stops depression

Warmists are constantly making hokey claims about warming being bad for you.  So it should be of some interest to read below a proper academic study which shows that warmth can be beneficial.  It might in fact make us all more cheerful

Whole-Body Hyperthermia for the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized Clinical Trial

By Janssen CW et al.

Abstract

IMPORTANCE: Limitations of current antidepressants highlight the need to identify novel treatments for major depressive disorder. A prior open trial found that a single session of whole-body hyperthermia (WBH) reduced depressive symptoms; however, the lack of a placebo control raises the possibility that the observed antidepressant effects resulted not from hyperthermia per se, but from nonspecific aspects of the intervention.

OBJECTIVE: To test whether WBH has specific antidepressant effects when compared with a sham condition and to evaluate the persistence of the antidepressant effects of a single treatment.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS:  A 6-week, randomized, double-blind study conducted between February 2013 and May 2015 at a university-based medical center comparing WBH with a sham condition. All research staff conducting screening and outcome procedures were blinded to randomization status. Of 338 individuals screened, 34 were randomized, 30 received a study intervention, and 29 provided at least 1 postintervention assessment and were included in a modified intent-to-treat efficacy analysis. Participants were medically healthy, aged 18 to 65 years, met criteria for major depressive disorder, were free of psychotropic medication use, and had a baseline 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale score of 16 or greater.

INTERVENTIONS: A single session of active WBH vs a sham condition matched for length of WBH that mimicked all aspects of WBH except intense heat.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Between-group differences in postintervention Hamilton Depression Rating Scale scores.

RESULTS: The mean (SD) age was 36.7 (15.2) years in the WBH group and 41.47 (12.54) years in the sham group. Immediately following the intervention, 10 participants (71.4%) randomized to sham treatment believed they had received WBH compared with 15 (93.8%) randomized to WBH. When compared with the sham group, the active WBH group showed significantly reduced Hamilton Depression Rating Scale scores across the 6-week postintervention study period (WBH vs sham; week 1: -6.53, 95% CI, -9.90 to -3.16, P < .001; week 2: -6.35, 95% CI, -9.95 to -2.74, P = .001; week 4: -4.50, 95% CI, -8.17 to -0.84, P = .02; and week 6: -4.27, 95% CI, -7.94 to -0.61, P = .02). These outcomes remained significant after evaluating potential moderating effects of between-group differences in baseline expectancy scores. Adverse events in both groups were generally mild.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Whole-body hyperthermia holds promise as a safe, rapid-acting, antidepressant modality with a prolonged therapeutic benefit.

JAMA Psychiatry. 2016 May 12. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.1031





Is the green’s ‘Daddy Warbucks’ helping the planet or himself?

Any comprehensive review of green energy and its politics and policies has to include the name of wealthy liberal Tom Steyer — who has been called the environmental movement’s new “Daddy Warbucks.”  Having made his billions from his tenure atop Farallon Capital Management—much of it from coal projects around the world — Steyer apparently had an environmental epiphany and now wants to atone for his past sins by trying to save the planet from manmade climate change.

He is using his wallet to try to elect candidates who will promote policies and energy plans that agree with him. And that plan is “green.” As I’ve previously reported, he spent nearly $75 million in the 2014 midterms and intends to top that for the 2016 election cycle. Steyer–– a long-time donor to Democratic causes –– was a 2008 Hillary Clinton supporter. After her campaign failed, he emerged as a bundler for Obama in 2008 and again in 2012. Additionally, Steyer is a Clinton Foundation donor, and last year, at his San Francisco home, he held an expensive fundraiser for Clinton’s 2016 presidential run.

Along with researcher Christine Lakatos, whose Green Corruption File was recently praised on the Michael Savage Show, I’ve repeatedly addressed Steyer’s involvement through our work on President Obama’s Green-Energy Crony-Corruption Scandal. Anytime there is a pot of government money available for green energy, as Lakatos found, Steyer’s name seems to be attached to it. Some of the most noteworthy include: Sungevity, ElectraTherm, and Project Frog — all funded by Greener Capital (now EFW Capital), which is a venture firm that invests in renewable energy, with Steyer as a known financial backer.

Steyer claims to have “no self-interest” in his political activism. The Los Angeles Times quotes him as saying: “We’re doing something we think is good for everyone.” Yet, as Forbes columnist Loren Steffy points out, he is spending his fortune lobbying for “short term political gains” rather than into research and development “aimed at making renewables economically viable.”

While he may say what he is doing is good for everyone, the policies he’s pushing are good for him — not for “everyone.” The Washington Post called him: “The man who has Obama’s ear when it comes to energy and climate change.” In California, where he has been a generous supporter of green energy policies, he helped pass Senate Bill 350 that calls for 50 percent renewable energy by 2030. California’s current mandate is 33 percent by 2020—which California’s three investor-owned utilities are, reportedly, “already well on their way to meeting.” It is no surprise that California already has some of the highest electricity rates in the country. Analysis released last week found that states with policies supporting green energy have much higher power prices. In October, Steyer spent six figures for an ad campaign calling for the next president to adopt a national energy policy similar to California’s: “50 percent clean energy mix in the U.S. by 2030” — which will raise everyone’s rates.

With Steyer’s various green-energy investments, these rate-increasing plans are good for him but bad for everyone else — especially those who can least afford it. And, it is the less affluent, I recently learned, he’s targeting with predatory loans for solar panels through Kilowatt Financial, LLC, (KWF) — a company that listed him as “manager” on corporate documents. KWF recently merged with Clean Power Finance and became “Spruce.” The financing structure used, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), allows “homeowners to get solar systems at no upfront cost and then to pay monthly for the use of the power generated. Homeowners end up saving on their total electricity use, while financing companies get steady revenue over 20 years.” WSJ, points out, the KWF financing can be offered to “people who wouldn’t be approved otherwise.”

In the KWF model, contracted payments come from homeowners and “create a steady and reliable income stream, part of which is owned by its venture investors, including Kleiner Perkins.” About the arrangement, KWF chairman and Chief Executive Daniel Pillmer said: “Kleiner Perkins will make a lot of money.” Apparently, the money to be made is from selling the loans that are then securitized on Wall Street — much like the “sub-prime” mortgage crisis that offered loans to people who couldn’t qualify with “traditional lenders.” KWF’s website brags: “We support financing terms for almost every customer and provide ways for dealers to participate in the pricing process to generate even more approvals and create even lower consumer rates.” KWF offers “Instant Approvals, even for customers with lower credit scores” and “Same-as-Cash and Deferred Payment Offers.” In these types of payment plans, a low rate is usually offered in the beginning and increases retroactively if all the terms of the loan are not met.

In this model, the homeowners don’t actually own the solar systems — which means KWF receives the benefit of the federal tax incentives, such as the 30 percent federal “Investment Tax Credit,” designed to benefit the owner of the solar system.

It is practices like this that have drawn the ire of Congress. Several congressional Democrats sent a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that warned about the similarities between the solar industry and what led to the subprime mortgage crisis: “easy initial financial terms, increased demand and a rapidly expanding industry.” These factors create a high risk potential that could, ultimately, be harmful to consumers. Similarly, Republicans sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission that noted pressure from Wall Street is reportedly leading companies who use “potentially deceptive sales tactics” — which doesn’t sound like it is something that is “good for everyone.”

Yet, it is these very types of finance products, promoted by Steyer’s Kilowatt Financial that Greentech Media reports are “doing well.”

While Steyer claims to want to give everyone a “fair shake,” his pet policies increase costs for everyone, and offer a hand-shake for Wall Street. Steyer and his billionaire buddies win, “everyone” else loses — and that is a big part of the green-energy crony-corruption scandal

SOURCE  





Who Are the Real Deniers of Science?

The left has long claimed that it has something of a monopoly on scientific expertise. For instance, long before Al Gore started making millions by claiming that anyone who disagreed with his apocalyptic prophecies was “anti-science,” there were the “scientific socialists.” “Social engineer” is now rightly seen as a term of scorn and derision, but it was once a label that progressive eggheads eagerly accepted.

Masking opinions in a white smock is a brilliant, albeit infuriating and shabby, rhetorical tactic. As the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” Science is the language of facts, and when people pretend to be speaking it, they’re not only claiming that their preferences are more than mere opinions, they’re also insinuating that anyone who disagrees is a fool or a zealot for objecting to “settled science.”

Put aside the fact that there is no such thing as settled science. Scientists are constantly questioning their understanding of things; that is what science does. All the great scientists of history are justly famous for overturning the assumptions of their fields. The real problem is that in politics, invocations of science are very often marketing techniques masquerading as appeals to irrefutable authority. In an increasingly secular society, having science on your side is better than having God on your side — at least in an argument.

I’m not saying that you can’t have science in your corner, or that lawmakers shouldn’t look to science when making policy. (Legislation that rejects the existence of gravity makes for very silly laws indeed.) But the real intent behind so many claims to “settled science” is to avoid having to make your case. It’s an undemocratic technique for delegitimizing opposing views and saying “shut up” to dissenters.

For example, even if the existence of global warming is “settled,” the policies for how to best respond to it are not. But in the political debates about climate change, activists say that their climatological claims are irrefutable and so are their preferred remedies.

If climate change is the threat they claim, I’d rather spend billions on geoengineering to fix it than trillions on impoverishing economic policies that at best slightly delay it. It doesn’t matter; I’m the Luddite buffoon for thinking ethanol subsidies and windmills are boondoggles.

Even more outrageous: If you dispute, say, the necessity of spending billions on windmills or on killing the coal industry, you are not merely wrong on climate change, you are “anti-science.”

Intellectually, this is a monument of asininity so wide and tall, even the mind’s eye cannot glimpse its horizon or peak.

For starters, why are liberalism’s pet issues the lodestars of what constitutes scientific fact? Medical science informs us fetuses are human beings. The liberal response? “Who cares?” Genetically modified foods are safe, sayeth the scientists. “Shut up,” reply the liberal activists. IQ is partly heritable, the neuroscientists tell us. “Shut up, bigot,” the liberals shriek.

Which brings me to the raging hysteria over the plight of transgendered people who need to use the bathroom.

The New York Times recently reported about A.J. Jackson’s travails in a Vermont high school. “There were practical issues,” Anemona Hartocollis writes. “When he had his period, he wondered if he should revert to the girls' bathroom, because there was no place to throw away his used tampons.”

Now, one can have sympathy for the transgendered — I certainly do — while simultaneously holding to the scientific fact that boys do not menstruate. This is a fact far more settled than the very best climate science. Perhaps it’s rude to say so, but facts do not cease to be facts simply because they offend.

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio is pushing to fine businesses that do not address customers by their “preferred name, pronoun and title (e.g., Ms./Mrs.) regardless of the individual’s sex assigned at birth, anatomy, gender, medical history, appearance, or the sex indicated on the individual’s identification.” The NYC Commission on Human Rights can penalize offenders up to $250,000.

Many liberals believe that “denying” climate science should be a criminal offense while also believing that denying biological science is a moral obligation.

In the law, truth is a defense against the charge of slander, but for liberals, inconvenient truth is no defense against the charge of bigotry.

SOURCE  




Sheer ignorance of EPA head

At the 2016 Planet Forward Summit last month, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy riled “climate deniers,” accusing them of ignoring myriad data for political expediency. “Climate deniers are not about a lack of data,” she asserted. “They’re … deniers as to whether or not the solutions, once you recognize the problem, are going to be to their advantage or not.”

However, last July, when asked by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, “What percentage of the atmosphere is CO2?” McCarthy replied: “I don’t have that calculation for you sir.”

And just a few months prior, in March 2015, Sen. Jeff Sessions pointed out to McCarthy the terrible track record when it comes to computer projections. McCarthy response? “I do not know what the models actually are predicting that you’re referring to,” McCarthy conceded. She continued, “[O]n the whole it makes no difference to the validity and the robustness of climate science that is telling us that we are facing an absolute challenge that we must address [emphasis added].”

So the woman who admittedly doesn’t even look at the data has the chutzpah to lecture “deniers” about denying said erroneous data. Who again is seeking to take advantage?

SOURCE  





Exxon still skeptical

A Greenie has a moan below

This spring, though free of my personal Exxon holdings, I couldn’t resist taking a peek at the company’s mailing to shareholders in advance of its 2016 annual meeting, in Dallas on May 25. The proxy package opens with a letter from Exxon Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson. Reading it, I had a momentary flash of hope. “Your vote is important to us,” he writes, referring, in part, to a raft of shareholder proposals whose adoption could have real impact on the company’s environmental policies and practices. My hopes were dashed, though, as I continued reading. Each suggested reform was followed by the same stern directive: “The Board recommends that you vote against this proposal.”

One shareholder proposal calls on Exxon to appoint an independent climate expert to its board of directors. This would be a good way for the company to show that it is committed to giving more serious attention to the global-warming challenge. In recommending a “no” vote, Exxon explains that periodic briefings by Exxon staff and outside experts provide the board with all the information it needs on climate change. It also argues that Exxon board members should have “expertise in managing large, relatively complex organizations and be accustomed to dealing with complex situations with worldwide scope.” I couldn’t help wondering: What “situation” is more complex or wider in scope than potentially cataclysmic climate change? And what issue is more fundamental to the viability of a global corporation that has staked its future on the burning of fossil fuels?

Another group of shareholders — the United Steelworkers — seeks fuller disclosure of Exxon’s lobbying outlays. In calling for an annual report on the company’s efforts to influence environmental laws and policies that may affect Exxon business interests, the Steelworkers point to Exxon’s membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council, which spearheads many of the most strident state-level campaigns attacking policies favorable to renewable energy. Exxon urges shareholders to reject fuller lobbying disclosure, asserting that its periodic reports to Congress and various state and local jurisdictions, “as required by law,” provide “sufficient transparency and accountability.” Why make it any easier for scrappy shareholders, or the public at large, to track the company’s massive and often secretive lobbying campaigns?

Perhaps most disturbing is the board’s dismissal of a shareholder proposal urging Exxon to endorse an upper limit on the amount of global warming that our planet and its inhabitants can endure. The proposal suggests that the global average temperature should not be allowed to rise more than 2º C above its pre-industrial level — hardly a radical notion, as it simply echoes the terms of the Paris climate accord, agreed to by 195 nations in December. In fact, the Paris agreement warns that an even lower ceiling, keeping the global average temperature within 1.5º C of the pre-industrial level, will be needed to preserve some semblance of climate stability.

How does Exxon explain its rejection of these caps, overwhelmingly accepted by nations large and small, industrialized and developing? It says that it prefers to pursue “practical, achievable solutions … rather than focusing on a future global temperature stabilization outcome that ultimately will be dictated by many variables beyond the company’s control.”

In other words, because Exxon’s actions alone will not shape the dimensions and depth of a future climate crisis, widely credited scientific warnings about the need to keep global warming within specific bounds can be held at arm’s length. Managing Exxon’s massive internal operations (drilling, refining, distribution) and its sale of 5.8 million barrels of petroleum products per day is tough enough without the added headache of worrying about the company’s contribution to climate change.

Another shareholder, the New York State Common Retirement Fund, calls for a report on how domestic and international climate change policies will affect Exxon’s oil and gas holdings. This, too, is rejected. Exxon reasons that demand for its products is growing, not shrinking, and that it will take many decades for the world to shift to a lower-carbon economy. With all that growth in fossil fuel use, shareholders needn’t be concerned that the company’s “proven hydrocarbon reserves are, or will become, stranded.” This, of course, ignores the inconvenient truth that existing national and international policies, not to mention future ones, will require us to leave substantial portions of known reserves of oil, gas, and coal in the ground. How else might we keep our planet from burning its way through the temperature limits set by the Paris accord?

Navigating America toward a more sustainable energy future won’t be easy. Vision, rather than obfuscation and denial, must guide the efforts of governments, corporations, and institutions. Someday, we can only hope, the world’s leading oil and gas company will face up to this challenge.

SOURCE  

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

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

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