Wednesday, December 02, 2015

NASA says Antarctic has been COOLING for past SIX years

This adds to the Zwally findings of a month ago to similar effect.  Much to amuse here, though.  The NASA report is very cagey, as you would expect. For a start, they put a very boring headline on it:  "NASA’s Operation IceBridge Completes Twin Polar Campaigns", then they flood their report with no doubt worthy technical details and even hark back to a 2012 study in an endeavour to blunt the impact of their findings.  So it seems that only the Daily Express writer excerpted below read the report carefully enough to sift the wheat from the chaff. All subsequent media reports of the matter go back to the DE article.

ANTARCTIC temperatures have cooled over the past six years, according to US space agency NASA.

An intensive scientific study of both Earth's poles has found that from 2009 to 2016 overall temperature has dropped in the southern polar region.

NASA’s Operation IceBridge is an airborne survey of polar ice and has finalised two overlapping research campaigns at both the poles.

In the last few weeks NASA has revealed the overall amount of ice has increased at the Antarctic and the amount of sea ice has also extended.

Coupled with the latest announcement of slight cooling in the area, it has fuelled claims from climate change deniers that human industrialisation is not having the huge impact on global temperature as often is claimed.

Christopher Shuman, a University of Maryland, Baltimore County glaciologist working at Goddard, said: "Field data suggests that there’s been a modest cooling in the area over the 2009–2015 time period, and images collected during that time by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on the Terra and Aqua satellites show more persistent fast ice (sea ice that is attached to the shore) in the Larsen A and Larsen B embayments”

However, Mr Shuman warned that in some areas of the Antarctic, glaciers continued to melt at significant levels, despite  the slight temperature drop.

During one flight in the Peninsula that mapped the drainage area of several glaciers, a drop of more than 490 feet (150 meters) in the height of two glaciers since IceBridge last plotted them, in 2009, was measured.

Both glaciers, called Green and Hektoria, were tributaries to the Larsen B ice shelf, which disintegrated in 2002.

After the ice shelf collapsed, it stopped buttressing the glaciers that fed it, and glacier elevations have fallen dramatically since then.

A study published in 2012 showed average elevation losses of up to 82 feet (25 meters) per year for the lower Green and Hektoria glaciers from 2006 to 2011.

A NASA spokesman said: "So IceBridge’s discovery that both are still losing ice fast many years after the loss of the adjacent ice shelf is “not all that surprising given what we have observed with other sensors,” said Mr Shuman.


China talks the talk but will it walk the walk?

As noted below China this year to date has recently approved the construction of 155 new coal powered plants. It is true that China leads in many areas, e.g. solar hot water heating, but it has not yet begun to reduce net emissions. China's urgent need is to reduce REAL pollution, particulate pollution, and they will no doubt get somewhere with that.  And it is cleaning up coal-fired power station emissions that is needed for that.  But cleaning up particulate pollution should also reduce CO2 emissions as a byproduct of that.  So they are getting some propaganda leverage out of that.  The Warmists desperately want to believe that China is on their side but China is only on China's side

Back in 2009, China was a reluctant partner during major climate negotiations in Copenhagen that eventually collapsed amid recriminations between rich and poor nations. This time around the world’s biggest polluter is regarded as a driving force behind what could be a comprehensive deal at a world climate summit in Paris.

The change in stance has a lot to do with the record levels of foul air that often hang over China’s major industrialized urban centers, undermining public health. The resulting backlash over the smog has made President Xi Jinping’s government far more serious about combating climate change and investing in cleaner forms of energy.

China’s resolve will be tested along with other countries as world leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama and China’s Xi, gather in the French capital on Monday. The talks organized by the United Nations are scheduled to run for two weeks and include the biggest ever gathering of leaders on a single day.

“Nowhere has our coordination been more necessary or more fruitful” than on climate, Obama told reporters as he met Xi Monday morning in Paris. “As the two largest economies in the world and the two largest carbon emitters, we have both determined it is our responsibility to take action.”

The road to Paris for China and others has been in the works for some time.  In March 2014, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang declared war on pollution, telling the National People’s Congress that his government would accelerate efforts to tackle environmental problems.

At the same time, China has embarked on a makeover designed to shift its $10 trillion-plus economy away from reliance on big, energy-consuming heavy industries and toward services and consumer spending. For climate deal warriors, both moves have added up to a big and welcome policy shift.

“The fact that you’ve got some countries like China and Russia actively talking about their role is a complete change, so we’ve made tremendous progress,” U.K. Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd said in an Oct. 15 interview in London.

The nascent alliance between the world’s two biggest polluters stands in stark contrast to Copenhagen in 2009 where China’s premier at the time, Wen Jiabao, missed a scheduled meeting with Barack Obama, and the U.S. president later forced himself into a meeting of the Chinese with Brazil, South Africa and India in order to get face time with the leaders he felt necessary to forge a lasting deal.

China’s Xi, building on the November 2014 accord with Obama, promised in September that China will start a national pollution-trading system to cut global-warming emissions in 2017. China will also partner with the U.S. on other ways to cut emissions, has pledged $3.1 billion to help developing countries combat climate change and also promised to cut carbon dioxide emitted per dollar of economic output by 60 percent to 65 percent from 2005 levels.

“The fact that the United States and China at the presidential level joined arms and stepped forward in November of last year in the ramp up to 2015 and put forward strong targets together, these two historic antagonists at the presidential level, was a big shot in the arm to the negotiations,” Todd Stern, U.S. special envoy on climate change, told reporters Oct. 23 during a conference call.

China’s pollution scourge is a public health crisis. Air pollution is killing 4,000 people a day in the country, according to a recent study by Berkeley Earth, an independent research group funded largely by educational grants. The researchers cited coal burning used to produce electricity and heat homes and offices as the likely principal cause.

Much of the drive to do something about emissions in China is borne by the need for action on pollution.

China was the biggest renewables market in the world with 433 gigawatts of generating capacity at the end of 2014, more than double the second place U.S., according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance data.

The Asian nation added more than four times as much clean energy capacity as the U.S. in 2014. Moreover, solar installations have gone from about 300 megawatts in 2009 at the time of Copenhagen to almost 33 gigawatts at the end of 2014 -- a 110-fold increase. China accounts for almost one of every three wind turbines in the world at the moment.

“Peak demand for coal will happen at some point for China in the future and if anything this year has brought a number of surprises and indicators, whether it’s economic growth or electricity demand consumption,” said Justin Wu, an analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance in Hong Kong. “Everything is pointing to the (coal) peaking happening earlier or sooner than even previous estimates.”

China remains a voracious consumer of coal regardless of the boom in clean energy. The most polluting fossil fuel still accounts for more than 60 percent of the nation’s total power installations. Some 155 coal-fired power plants, or four per week, have received environmental permits in the first nine months of this year, according to Greenpeace East Asia.

As long as coal is seen as the cheapest form of energy, the fossil fuel may still remain an attractive option for regional governments eager to promote economic development.


Causes of climate change?

The rather childish presentation below was apparently written by Mohamed Alhwaity and appeared in "The Conversation", a webzine that claims to offer "Academic rigour, journalistic flair". If only it did!  What I have excerpted below is the core of an article titled: "How scientists know climate change is happening".  I have added a few basic notes below to show that they DON'T know that

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) presents six main lines of evidence for climate change.

* We have tracked the unprecedented recent increase in the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Big deal.  That only matters if we know the sensitivity of climate to CO2.  It looks like zero or not much more

* We know from laboratory and atmospheric measurements that such greenhouse gases do indeed absorb heat when they are present in the atmosphere. Aren't they supposed to REFLECT heat?  Mohamed hasn't even got his Warmism straight.

* We have tracked significant increase in global temperatures of at least 0.85°C and a sea level rise of 20cm over the past century. And why is such a trivial temperature rise a problem?

* We have analysed the effects of natural events such as sunspots and volcanic eruptions on the climate, and though these are essential to understand the pattern of temperature changes over the past 150 years, they cannot explain the overall warming trend. Svensmark has shown a strong solar effect.  Now confirmed by experiments at CERN

* We have observed significant changes in the Earth’s climate system including reduced snowfall in the Northern Hemisphere, retreat of sea ice in the Arctic, retreating glaciers on all continents, and shrinking of the area covered by permafrost and the increasing depth of its active layer. All of which are consistent with a warming global climate. But the Antarctic is what matters and it has been COOLING

* We continually track global weather and have seen significant shifts in weather patterns and an increase in extreme events all around the world. Patterns of precipitation (rainfall and snowfall) have changed, with parts of North and South America, Europe and northern and central Asia becoming wetter, while the Sahel region of central Africa, southern Africa, the Mediterranean and southern Asia have become drier. Intense rainfall has become more frequent, along with major flooding. We’re also seeing more heat waves. The statistics indicate FEWER extreme weather events

According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) between 1880 and the beginning of 2014, the 19 warmest years on record have all occurred within the past 20 years; and 2015 is set to be the warmest year ever recorded. And those "warm" years have differed from one-another by only hundredths of a degree, which is not statistically significant.  The figures in fact show a plateau, not a rise


Clean Nuclear Power versus Regulatory Excess

Twenty years in the making, the Tennessee Valley Authority’s “new” nuclear reactor will soon go online. It will also be technologically behind the times: it’s only a Generation II reactor, rather than the Generation III type used in Canada, France, and Japan.

Climate policymakers gathering in Paris this week should lament the regulatory chicanery responsible for the delays. After all, “nuclear power is a carbon-footprint-free technology,” writes Independent Institute Research Director William F. Shughart II. In a recent op-ed for Investor’s Business Daily, Shughart explains that excessive government regulation has been a great hindrance to nuclear power in the United States—much to the detriment of humanity and to the cause of a cleaner environment.

“U.S. politicians who are legitimately concerned about the impact of fossil fuel combustion on the world's climate should be among the strongest advocates of nuclear energy,” Shughart writes. “It is clean, safe and reliable (much more reliable than solar and wind power).”

The Obama administration says very little about nuclear power in its recent “Clean Energy Plan.” So perhaps we should just be thankful that it did not further delay the Watts Bar Unit 2 reactor. “The NRC’s decision to license the operation of another nuclear reactor in the Tennessee Valley deserves one-and-a-half cheers,” Shughart continues. “Were it not for the time and money the government unnecessarily squandered on the project they might get three cheers.”


Paris climate summit: US hard line opens split on carbon

Summary from Australia

Deep divisions resurfaced ahead of last night’s opening of the Paris climate talks, with the US and Australia digging in to insist that developed nations’ historical responsibilities for carbon dioxide emissions be scrapped.

The issue has been a “red line” for developing nations led by India, which is pushing ahead with economic development to bring millions of people out of poverty.

A change to how historical carbon emissions are treated would require India and other nations to contribute more to future emissions cuts and climate finance.

A confidential “non-paper” discussion document issued by the US sets out the hard line that the US and Australia intend to take in the Paris talks.

Together with more than 100 world leaders, Malcolm Turnbull was due to address the Paris conference to outline Australia’s position early today.

Australia has pledged to cut carbon dioxide emissions by ­between 26 and 28 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030.

The Prime Minister has said tougher cuts may be possible in future and has supported a UN process under which country pledges are reviewed every five years and progressively tougher measures agreed.

Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt has said he believes a deal is possible in Paris. “It won’t be a perfect outcome but I think it will be a critical outcome and it will be a success,” Mr Hunt said.

Big differences remain over whether a Paris agreement should be legally binding and how it will deal with the issues of historical ­responsibility for carbon dioxide emissions and who should fund and administer a $100 billion-a-year fund.

Underlining one of the major challenges to reaching a universal deal, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned last night that poor nations had a right to burn carbon to grow their economies.

Chinese intransigence on the issue of historical responsibility was largely blamed for the breakdown of the 2009 UN climate change talks in Copenhagen.

The US discussion paper brought the most contentious ­issues to the surface on day one.

At the previous round of ­climate talks in Bonn, Germany, last month, negotiators representing 80 per cent of the world’s population walked out when references to historical responsibilities were left out of the negotiating text.

They were subsequently ­reinstated, more than doubling the size of the text that has now made its way to Paris.

Leaking of the confidential US discussion paper has caused a ­furore in India, which has made keeping the issue of historical ­responsibility on global carbon ­dioxide emissions a condition of its agreement at the Paris talks.

US President Barack Obama and Mr Modi were due to share the stage at the opening ceremony of the Paris conference to announce new measures on ­research and development.

Behind the scenes, negotiators face significant hurdles in finalising a Paris text. A report in India’s Business Standard said that in the US discussion paper, the US said it wanted each country’s greenhouse gas reduction pled­ges determined independently by each nation rather than through a process of international negotiation.

The report said any move to remove the wall of differentiation between developed and developing countries would end any ­notion of historical responsibility.

The US position paper also wants developing countries to contribute to the climate funds in future and not just the developed countries as is required under ­existing UN arrangements.

Mr Modi issued his challenge as the 12-day conference opened.  “Justice demands that, with what little carbon we can still safely burn, developing countries are allowed to grow,” he wrote in the Financial Times. “The lifestyles of a few must not crowd out opportunities for the many still on the first steps of the development ladder.”

A spokesman for the ­Department of Foreign Affairs said Australia was aware of the US discussion paper.

“Like the US, we want a common platform for all countries to take action from 2020, moving past binary differentiation between developed and developing countries, and allowing for continuous improvement over time.”

In India, the US and Australian position is considered against the spirit of the UN negotiations. The existing UN convention distributes the burden of emissions reduction and other actions based on the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities, respective capabilities and national circumstances”.

Maintaining this position was fundamental to India agreeing to the Paris round talks. India claims it is not responsible for historical emissions and therefore should not be penalised in efforts to develop and alleviate poverty.

The US and Australia now wants the Paris agreement to focus only on existing economic capabilities of countries and their existing circumstances.


Paris, Reeling From Terrorism, Blames Global Warming

The UN’s much-anticipated COP21 — a 12-day climate summit that promises to reduce chronic health issues, quash terrorist groups, usher in social justice and all-around save the planet — gets underway today in Paris. Did we mention it’s the key to stopping the raucous bloodshed from groups like the Islamic State? “I will be joining President Hollande and other world leaders in Paris for the Global Climate Conference,” Barack Obama proclaimed last week from the White House before burning through an ungodly amount of fossil fuels on his way to France. “What a powerful rebuke to the terrorists it will be when the world stands as one and shows that we will not be deterred from building a better future for our children.”

Actually, they couldn’t care less, because it’s blood and dominion they’re after, not a stable climate that’s never existed. It’s incredible the things Democrats purport will be solved by the summit. They’d say the snowstorm blanketing the Midwest this week is actually CO2 falling from the sky if it makes reaching an agreement more attainable.

But we digress. What, exactly, will the conference accomplish, assuming a deal is even reached? Even regulatory advocates aren’t entirely sure. The Wall Street Journal reports, “The single most important benchmark underpinning this week’s talks in Paris on climate change — two degrees Celsius — has guided climate-treaty discussions for decades, but scientists are at odds on the relevance of that target. …

Policy makers tend to assume the two-degree target expresses a solid scientific view, but it doesn’t.” In fact, the IPCC’s own studies say nothing about this supposed benchmark. And here we thought the science was settled! “Still,” adds the Journal, “many scientists back the goal because they see it as giving policy makers a clear-cut target to shoot at in the fight against global warming.” Translation: Never let a good crisis go to waste.

Delegates have a lot going for them — perhaps not-so-coincidentally. Last year was (wrongly) declared the warmest on record, and a powerful El Niño virtually guarantees this year will be even hotter (based on NOAA’s methodology; again, satellite data suggests otherwise). You could easily argue that things line up a little too well.

As we reported earlier this year, the government is fudging global temperature data to fit the narrative, which London Telegraph writer Christopher Booker rightly says “is the biggest science scandal ever.” And as Investor’s Business Daily editorializes, “No one knows, nor will ever know, if man-made climate change even exists outside of imaginative thinking and flawed computer models. So no one can ever know if it’s defeated or not.” What a powerful message it would send to jihadis if world leaders would use all that energy in Paris to annihilate the real enemy — radical Islamic terrorism.



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Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Experts call for reduced meat consumption to prevent climate change

They are pissing into the wind on this one.  As China and India become richer, meat consumption will RISE

SORRY world. Your Friday night burgers, Saturday morning bacon and Sunday afternoon barbecues are putting us all in danger.

That’s the warning from the authors of Changing Climate, Changing Diets who argue cutting down the amount of meat consumed could significantly contribute to a reduction in greenhouse gasses that contribute to global warming.

Authors Laura Wellesley, Catherine Happer and Antony Froggatt say while leaders from 195 nations will meet in Paris next week to discuss ways of keeping climate change within the critical two degrees, they are mising a trick by failing to address the issue of meat consumption. They’re calling for governments to consider a range of policy measures from a tax on meat and other unsustainable products to clearer labelling and public awareness campaigns.

“Globally we should eat less meat. Global per capita meat consumption is already above healthy levels; critically so in developed countries. We cannot avoid dangerous climate change unless consumption trends change,” they write.

The reports states livestock farming and meat production is regarded as a driver of deforestation and habitat destruction around the world and accounts for 15 per cent of global greenhouse gas emmissions - around the same amount as “tailpipe emissions from all the world’s vehicles.”

“Even with best efforts to reduce the emissions footprint of livestock production, the sector will consume a growing share of the remaining carbon budget,” it says, as a “protein transition” takes place around the world with growing demand for meat from burgeoning middle classes in India and China.

“Governments need credible strategies to close the gap, and reducing meat consumption is an obvious one: worldwide adoption of a healthy diet would generate over a quarter of the emission reductions needed by 2050.”

The 14-month project done in conjunction with Glasgow University used focus groups in Brazil, China, UK and US and found people eat double the recommended amount of meat in industrialised countries leading to pressure on resources and health concerns such as obesity and cancer.

Despite what they describe as a “compelling case” for action, the research found governments are loath to intervene because they fear a backlash and are “trapped in a cycle of inertia”.

“They fear the repercussions of intervention, while low public awareness means they feel no pressure to intervene,” the report states.

“Soft interventions to raise awareness among consumers or ‘nudge’ them towards more sustainable choices, for example by increasing the availability and prominence of alternative options at the point of sale, are likely to be well received.”

It comes a month after the World Health Organisation warned red and processed meat were carcinogenic for humans. Eating just 50 grams a day of processed meat like bacon, sausages and biltong, was enough to increase the risk of cancer. Meanwhile red meat was classified as “probably carcinogenic” based on limited evidence it caused colorectal cancer.

The UK’s Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board’s Corporate Affairs manager Andy Hutson said the “simplistic suggestion” that cutting meat consumption will make a difference to the environment “doesn’t hold water” and won’t improve efficiency when it comes to livestock consumption.

“We do not believe a meat tax is realistic. Potentially, it could fuel a social divide where poorer families could be priced out of the consumer market, while opening that market to more imports from global competitors,” he said, adding that consumption is already falling in the UK as the price of protein becomes more expensive.

He said the industry has also produced three “roadmaps” covering practical ways for producers to reduce their “environmental footprint.”

“We are also funding a range of research projects, including investigation of dietary ingredients to reduce methane emissions from the rumen of beef cattle, and a suite of projects aimed at improving the health of animals – which will improve welfare and performance alongside reducing the lifetime greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.”


Bernie Sanders and Vermont to lead carbon tax effort

Underneath all of Sanders’ rhetoric to fight class inequality and Wall Street corruption is an initiative that may directly contradict this platform. Sanders, likely more than any other 2016 presidential candidate, is spearheading the initiative for a carbon tax.

As the mover and shaker George Soros sponsored media outlet Mother Jones article recently highlighted, Sanders is the leading climate change candidate. Sanders was recently endorsed as the number one member of the Senate by Climate Hawks Vote, a new super PAC. He recently did an editorial for the Huffington Post reiterating his conviction.

“Global warming is real and it is caused by human activity,” he wrote. “In terms of droughts, heat waves, floods, forest fires, disease, rising sea levels and extreme weather disturbances, global warming is already causing devastating problems. The simple truth is that if we do not act boldly and quickly these problems will only get much worse in the years to come.”

At the first Democrat debate for the 2016 election, Sanders called global warming the biggest threat facing the U.S. He went on to call for the carbon tax as the primary solution.

Back in Sanders’ home state, Vermont’s East Montpelier Rep. Tony Klein, Democratic chairman of the House Committee on Energy stated in late 2014 that Vermont will likely be the first in the union to implement a carbon tax.

Alongside the carbon tax is another climate change initiative, lesser known but similar in aim. It is called the renewable energy portfolio standard, states that adopt these must convert energy production into non-carbon alternatives at an increasing percentage every few years. The goal in Vermont is currently 15 percent and up to 90 percent by 2050. Currently, 29 states have signed onto a REPs, but none since 2009. At least two have backed out or put a freeze on it.

An example of renewable energy costs hitting the local rate payer can be found in Hardwick, Vermont. The town’s electric department told the Hardwick Gazette that clean burning coal (just water vapor and carbon emitted) can be purchased for just about 4 cents per kWh. Solar panels which are being purchased to fill REP requirements can cost around 12 cents per kWh, that’s not including subsidies.

In an interview with Dr. Bronner Cohen of the National Center for Public Policy Research, he commented on the high costs of alternative energy.

“If you just look at solar nationwide, it just provides U.S. with two tenths of 1 percent of our electricity, and this is after decades of subsidies,” he said. “Wind is slightly above 3 percent. Put the two together and it’s still fewer than 3.5 percent. So how would you propose to get to 12 or 15 percent? It’s not going to happen.”

He added efforts to reach those goals would be prohibitively expensive and hurt those who would be least capable to withstand the financial burden, namely the middle and lower class.

The much touted scientific consensus that carbon is causing global warming is apparently not a consensus for everyone. As a Forbes article from January pointed out, there is no such poll indicating that “97 percent” of any group of scientists supports the theory of man-made global warming.

Were it assumed the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change models are true, the U.S. acting alone would barely make a difference according to journalist Ronald Bailey for a 2013 story.

“Assuming the projected trajectory of overall global emissions by all countries,” wrote Bailey. “If the U.S. were somehow to completely eliminate all of its greenhouse gas emissions now that would reduce future warming by only 0.2 degree Celsius by 2100.”

The very notion that carbon dioxide causes warming at all was disputed by Cohen.

“Carbon dioxide does not drive temperature,” he said. “If temperatures rise for whatever reason, carbon dioxide will rise afterwards. It does not drive temperature. It’s the other way around, it’s a lagging indicator.”

A looming shadow in the backdrop is the 2009 scandal of leaked emails from East Anglia University. The emails revealed manipulation of data and deception by IPCC climatologists according many media outlets including English columnist James Delingpole who dubbed it “climategate.”

Sanders is not the only high profile leader ratcheting up calls for the carbon tax.

“Climate change is a global problem with grave implications,” said Pope Francis on the issue. “Environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods, it represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.”

If there were ever a means to micromanage economic development, it would be the carbon tax. Any energy, any fuel, building, producing, transporting, breathing, having a kid … every conceivable human activity can be associated with carbon.

“Whether that’s the goal or not, that (austerity) will most certainly be the result,” said Cohen. “You are imposing additional costs on middle and lower class people. You may have millionaires who are going to shrug their shoulders, they can do it. But what about people further down the food chain? They can’t do it, this is very regressive. It is going to hurt those most who are at the very bottom of the income scale.”


The People’s March for Climate? Yeah, right

This week, outside my local London Tube station, Farringdon, people dashing home from work have been greeted by leafleters urging them to take part in the People’s March for Climate. ‘To change everything, we need everyone’, the leaflet declares. But what exact kind of change do they have in mind?

A quick look at the back of the leaflet reveals the thinking behind the march. First off, who are The People? Are they the people paying more for their energy thanks to eco-taxes and subsidies? Are they the people heading for Heathrow today, hoping to jet off to some other part of the world, whose journey was delayed by disapproving activists who will do everything they can to make sure the airport can never expand to meet rising demand? It’s doubtful if they are the people around the world desperately trying to work their way out of poverty, relying on the very fossil fuels the marchers disapprove of to power that economic development? Declaring this to be a march by and for The People is pretty much the exact opposite of the truth.

The leaflet then tells us: ‘In days, world leaders are meeting for a global climate summit [in Paris] that is our generation’s best chance to end fossil fuels, and move to a game-changing 100 per cent clean-energy track.’ At the moment, ‘clean’ energy makes up a small fraction of the world’s energy use. Even if the world pursues the aim of lowering greenhouse-gas emissions, low-carbon energy – including nuclear and burning biomass as well as wind, solar, etc – will still only supply a quarter of our energy needs by 2040. The rest of our energy will come from fossil fuels – which are cheaper and much more reliable. Nothing that happens at the climate talks in Paris will change that very much, thankfully.

The leaflet goes on to talk about how the ‘the people of Paris’ have been ‘silenced’, kept from ‘taking to the streets to meet world leaders as they land for the meeting’ because of (fairly understandable) security concerns. But the funny thing about this protest is just how many campaigners will be inside the conference. According to the conference website: ‘The conference is expected to attract close to 50,000 participants including 25,000 official delegates from government, intergovernmental organisations, UN agencies, NGOs and civil society.’ This march is not a demand for action emanating from outsiders against the wishes of world leaders. It’s a stage army designed to reinforce the entire purpose of the event, to dress it up as the will of The People.

The climate talks in Paris are, in reality, driven by a coterie of unelected officials, multinational NGOs and politicians desperate to convey some moral leadership on the world stage. The aim is to control The People, to use the environment as an excuse to restrict their ability to live their lives as they choose and realise their ambitions. There’s nothing democratic about that.


Massive Tampering With South African Temperatures

There are only ten GHCN stations currently operating in South Africa, and only one of these, Calvinia, is classified by GISS as rural. It has a population of 9000, and is situated inland in the Northern Cape province.

This is the actual temperature trend at Calvinia, based on GHCN V2 raw data in 2011.

There has been no warming since the start of the record. Yet the current version of GISS, which is based on adjusted GHCN data, has miraculously morphed into a sharply rising trend.

Temperatures prior to 1989 have been marked down by around 0.7C, and those 1940’s ones by even more.

So, what about the other nine sites? We have three with long, and pretty much continuous, records back to the 19thC.

There was a large drop in temperatures at Port Elizabeth between 1950 and 1951, but there also large drops at that time at Capetown, Kimberley and other sites, including East London, which is nearby. There is no evidence that the change was due to anything but natural factors.

All the graphs have one thing in common – that tell tale peaking of temperatures around 1940, which we see so often. There is even a glimpse of this at Calvinia, where the warmest year on record was 1945.

All of these stations will, of course, have been heavily affected by UHI effects since the 1940’s.

For instance, much of the warming at Port Elizabeth in recent decades is likely due to the siting of sensors  in the middle of the runways at the airport there.

Out of the ten stations mentioned above, there has been marked warming trends introduced by adjustments at eight. One, De Aar shows little change, but Upington, oddly enough, bucks the trend with a cooling trend added. However, when the adjustments at all ten are averaged together, the overall effect is obvious.

One oddity is the 1990’s period, when seemingly temperatures were over adjusted up, only to be adjusted down since. It is one thing questioning whether temperature measurements taken in the 1880’s were accurate, but the 1990’s? Are we seriously saying they were understated by half a degree? This is clearly a nonsense, and it goes to the heart of how adjustments have corrupted the temperature dataset.

No reputable scientists would go near this garbage with a barge pole.

More HERE  (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

The 21st Birthday Party in Paris - It’s Time they Grew Up

Global Warming Alarmists are about to gather in Paris for the biggest climate carnival in their 21 year history – they hoped to see 25,000 official guests and 15,000 hangers on. Surely on their 21st birthday it is time they grew up and faced some adult world problems.

Any urchin on the streets of Paris today could tell buffoons like Ban Ki-moon and Barack Obama that the “biggest security threat facing the world today” is NOT a miniscule increase in atmospheric plant food, caused mainly by gentle natural global warming which has triggered minor expulsion of carbon dioxide from the oceans.

Obama and his side kick Kerry call climate change the biggest threat to national security:

But the US Congress is not supporting the Paris party:

Radical Islamist terrorists just maimed and murdered hundreds of people in Paris, dozens more in Mali, still more in other nations. They promise more atrocities in the United States and around the globe.

Meanwhile some 40,000 bureaucrats, politicians, scientists, lobbyists, activists and journalists plan to enjoy five-star Parisian hotels and restaurants, while attending COP21, the twenty-first UN Climate Change Conference, from November 30 through December 11. Like President Obama, they insist that humanity faces no greater threat than climate change. Some are even saying that ISIS attacked Paris to disrupt the climate confab.

Napoleon once said: “Only a foolish horse fights with his nose bag”. But today we have many foolish people fighting their nose bag. They are weakening Earth’s food chain with a war on carbon.

Carbon is the building block of life. “Organic” means “containing carbon” and every bit of plant and animal life is built around the carbon atom.

Carbon enters Earth’s cycle of life via plants, which extract it from the rare and precious carbon dioxide plant-food in the atmosphere. Living things use this carbon, plus water, oxygen and minerals, to create the proteins, fats, carbohydrates and skeletons they need.

Plant growth responds quickly to the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

However, today’s levels are far below those that sustained the abundant forests, grasslands, wetlands, herbivores and carnivores of past eras.

The biggest long term threat to abundant life on Earth is natural carbon sequestration, especially during the recurring cold dry eras when cooling oceans absorb huge amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and growing ice sheets capture most of its water.

Nature is very efficient at carbon capture and burial. Enormous quantities of carbon and hydrogen have been removed from past atmospheres and buried under ancient sediments in extensive beds of coal, oil shale, limestone, marble, dolomite and magnesite, and in diffuse deposits of hydro-carbon liquids and gases. The result is that the carbon dioxide level in today’s atmosphere is not far above the minimum needed to sustain plant life (which is why nurserymen pump more carbon dioxide into their green-houses).

However, in a rare piece of environmental serendipity, man’s extraction and use of coal, oil, gas, limestone and dolomite for power generation, transport, aviation, steel, cement and fertilisers is recycling a tiny part of this storehouse of buried carbon. For example, for every tonne of coal burned, 2.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide plant food plus one tonne of fresh water is added to the atmosphere; and producing one tonne of cement releases about one tonne of carbon dioxide.

Every tonne of wheat grown needs a tonne of carbon dioxide just to get the carbon for the grains, and other foods have similar needs. Carbon industries thus help to feed all of Earth’s plants and animals.

Industrial use of carbon-bearing mineral resources also recycles other essential nutrients such as nitrogen, sulphur and phosphorus which are present in variable amounts in coal, oil and carbonates. Any of these by-product gases can be toxic if concentrated in confined spaces, and all of man’s activities can pollute crowded cities, but in the open atmosphere, plant life often suffers because of a deficiency of these key elements.

Those waging a war on hydro-carbons and carbon dioxide are enemies of the biosphere. Their foolish policies like carbon taxes, emissions trading and “Carbon Capture and Burial” are denying essential nutrients to the food chain.

The failed global warming forecasts show that these policies will have no effect on climate, but will reduce the atmospheric supply of food nutrients and fresh water for all life on Earth.

Life is a carbon cycle – don’t break the food chain.

SOURCE  (See the original for links)

The carbon promises of the Australian Left will hit the cost of living

Bill Shorten has sparked a polit­ical fight over the cost of living after setting a climate change target that could impose a cost burden 10 times greater than Julia Gillard’s carbon tax.

The new Labor target was branded “way out of range” of other countries as world leaders prepare to meet in Paris on Monday to try to agree on a united plan to address global warming.

Labor is defending its goal of a 45 per cent cut in Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by insisting­ it will not need an expensiv­e price on carbon that drives up household energy bills.

In a break from bipartisanship on previous targets, Labor’s ambition is almost twice the size of the government’s offic­ial goal of cutting carbon pollution by 26-28 per cent, which Malcolm Turnbull will reiterate when he attends the Paris talks.

The Opposition Leader’s move prompted concerns yesterday that a partisan brawl over competing targets would damage the prospects for real action on climate change, frightening investors and making a consensus more difficult.

Former Reserve Bank board member Warwick McKibbin, the author of a detailed economic study of climate change targets, warned that the Labor plan went too far beyond the commitments being made by similar nations.

Professor McKibbin estimated that the Labor goal would need a carbon price of $200 a tonne without access to inter­national credits — almost 10 times the $23 fixed price in Ms Gillard’s carbon pricing scheme four years ago.

While only an early estimate, the $200 figure is a like-for-like comparison in today’s dollars based on the fact that the carbon tax only needed to achieve a 5 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

Mr Shorten said yesterday that Labor would set up an “internationally linked” emissions trading scheme, suggesting it could allow the purchase of permits that might keep the price down. The new Labor and Coal­ition targets aim to cut carbon emissions by 2030, compared with the base year of 2005.

Professor McKibbin, who holds the chair in public policy at the Centre for Applied Macro­economic Analysis at the Australian National University, said Labor’s target was “far more than any other country” was planning at Paris.

“Why would you go much harder than everyone else when it’s the global target that matters?” he asked.

“At the moment, Australia is contributing a greater economic loss than other countries with the 26-28 per cent target. To be going further out in front is not good policy.”

The Labor target compares with commitments by Japan (25 per cent), the US (41 per cent) and Europe (34 per cent).

Frontier Economics director Danny Price said the real impact on Australians was greater on a per-capita basis and showed that Labor was too far ahead of other countries. “The problem with such tough targets and high costs is that they generate objections to clim­ate change policies,” said Mr Price, an expert in the carbon pricing debate over the past decade.

“You can see why Labor’s doing it, because they want to appeal to Labor/Green voters. But in appealing to those voters it makes the actual­ implementation of the policy less likely.”

The Business Council of Australia and the Australian Industry Group welcomed the chance to consult with Labor on the new target, but the Minerals Council of Australia dismissed it as an “ambit claim” and favoured the government plan instead.

Climate Institute chief John Connor said the Labor target was “stronger and more credible” and would achieve the agreed inter­national goal of preventing global temperatures rising by 2C — something he said the government target would not do.

The Climate Change Author­ity, set up by Labor, recommends a cut of 40-60 per cent.

Labor is yet to reveal how its ETS would work or what price it would set, the key factor in shaping the cost impact on households.

Professor McKibbin’s economic analysis with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade this year found that a 26 per cent target would trim 0.6 per cent from gross domestic product in 2030 while a 45 per cent target would trim 1 per cent from GDP instead.

Given that the government’s Intergenerational Report forecasts GDP to reach about $3 trillion in 2030, Labor’s target would in theory cost $30 billion in forgone economic output in that year. The government target would cost $18bn. Economic growth continues under both targets.

Mr Shorten countered the idea that his target would hurt the economy, saying “this modelling took no account of the ­economic consequences of not adopting this sort of target”.

Setting out his policy in a speech to the Lowy Institute in Sydney yesterday, Mr Shorten made it clear there would be help for families to deal with the costs.

“We will undertake this process mindful of the consequences for jobs, for regions and for any impact­s on households,” he said.

Labor also argues it will not have to rely only on an ETS to reach its target because of its commitment to make renewable energy account for half of all power by 2030.

Scott Morrison warned of the economic damage from the Labor plan while Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said the policy would “smash household budgets” and the economy by re­introducing a carbon tax. Labor rejected­ the claim that its ETS would be a carbon tax, citing a comment from the Prime Minister in September that drew a distinction between a carbon tax and an ETS and other mechanisms to reduce emissions.



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Monday, November 30, 2015

A moderate Warmist?

They are rather thin on the ground but Times/Guardian journalist Tom Whipple seems to be one.  The original title of his article below was rather immodestly titled "The fact and fiction of climate change" but he does in fact look at both sides of the question to some extent.  He IS a Warmist, however, so he has to do big stretches to make his points.  

His assertions about the recent Philippines cyclone are a bit amusing for instance. Warmists normally date the start of all the badness to the second half of the 20th century.  Not so, our Tom.  He takes us back to "before the industrial revolution" -- i.e 1750 or thereabouts. That's called "shifting the goalposts" -- and on a  spectacular scale.

He also has a coat-trailing reference to the laws of thermodyamics -- an unexplained reference and a most dubious one

As usual, he explains the "pause" as heat hiding in the oceans.  But how come the heat started hiding there only 18 years ago?  Why was it not hiding in the oceans during the glory-days of global warming in the "80s and '90s?

And he speaks of sea-level rise as if that proved something. Tiny rises in average sea level are however very hard to measure and are very much open to dispute.  And on some accounts sea level rise has slowed down rather than speeded up. And sea level expert Nils-Axel Mörner points out that the raw satellite data shows barely any rise.  So Tom asserts as known that which is in fact contentious.

And he refers to the recent claims that 2015 will show a non-negligible global temperature rise.  Even Warmists at NOAA and such places, however, admit that the higher readings are at least in part el Nino at work, a cyclic influence of ocean currents.

And Tom is quite simply wrong when he said that "human civilisation developed in a period with a temperature range that we have just breached".  The truth is the opposite.  At least two of the great flowerings of ancient civilization took place during periods warmer than ours:  The Minoan warm period and the Roman warm period.  And our own medieval warm period saw great advances too.

And in his final paragraph he gives the goalposts a hell of a kick back in time. He makes comparisons with the geological past.  And the past he talks about was in fact a time of cooling!  He tells us what cooling does, not what warming does. Poor Tom.  He knows that Warmism is all bollocks but cannot allow himself to see it

Last year, amid the ordinarily genteel corridors of the Royal Society, a meeting of ice scientists became unexpectedly heated. At issue was a talk by a respected professor who expected the summer collapse of Arctic ice before 2020. The problem, for those listening, was that this same professor had previously given different dates — 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016.

Like a millenarian expecting the apocalypse he kept shifting the criteria and, they argued, made them all look stupid in the process. The arctic is warming fast, and sea ice is declining fast, but the September minimum still covers an area bigger than India. This does not mean we should not worry. The people predicting its eventual disappearance are not just left wing environmentalists, they are oil companies and shipping companies, looking to exploit an ice-free arctic. The best-accepted models predict that time will come at some point before 2050.

Extreme weather is going to get worse

In one sense, the science could not be simpler. Really big storms are caused by hot seas, so if you make the sea hotter you will get more big storms. Even so, climate scientists are wary of making bold predictions about something as uncertain as weather systems.

The problem is the complexities of atmospheric science. Tropical storms may be caused by warmer seas, but they are also disrupted by windier conditions higher in the atmosphere, caused by climate change. Equally, heavier bursts of rain due to hotter air holding more moisture may cause some flooding in some places, but less snow on mountains may also make flooding less likely in spring in others. Some risk factors are undeniable though: among these, sea level rise.

In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines — less because of the strength of its winds, than its storm surge. Before the industrial revolution a storm of precisely the same scale as Haiyan would have hit with the same speed, but that surge would have been 20cm lower.

There is a “pause” in climate change

The masthead on the web page of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, the climate sceptic think tank, shows one simple graphic: a graph of the global surface temperature since 2000.

Their point is that it appears to have slowed dramatically. For those who argue that climate change is not happening, or is not worth worrying about, the apparent slowdown in temperature rises this century — as the actual data has slowly crept off the bottom of the computer models’ predictions — has become an increasingly powerful weapon. Among climate scientists — who point out that if temperature rises had actually stopped there might well be problems with the laws of thermodynamics — it has been puzzling.

One possible explanation is that reliable temperature records only exist for the planet’s surface, which compared with the sea stores a tiny proportion of the sun’s energy. And there has indeed been some evidence of the oceans warming, not least their continual rise. In any case though, it may well be moot: 2015 is set, by some distance, to be the hottest year on record. More than one environmentalist is waiting to see what the Global Warming Policy Foundation will do with its masthead.

Climate change will be good for us

CO2, so the argument (or, at least, the more extreme end of it) goes, has been unfairly demonised as a pollutant. So much so that we have forgotten the essential truth about it: it is plant food. With climate change will come better growing conditions, useful land opened up in the Arctic, and — at least at moderate levels — a more productive world.

On the one hand, there are plenty of arguments against this, such as, to give just one example, those who point to the possible effects of extreme weather. On the other hand it is hard to argue against, precisely because of all the uncertainties that remain. What we do know, is that human civilisation developed in a period with a temperature range that we have just breached. What we also know is that ostensibly small changes, of just a few degrees, can have huge long-term effects.

The difference between us today and a Britain that in the geological past had London underwater is a rise of less than two degrees. The difference between Britain today and a Britain beneath a kilometre of ice, meanwhile, is a fall of four degrees. In that context, betting on a positive outcome is quite a high-stakes gamble.


Good riddance to bad rubbish

International communist, Canadian Liberal, resident of China for decades. Rest in the ground Maurice Strong, in whose name the "world community" is trying to drive us into the ditch this week in Paris

Maurice Strong, whose work helped lead to the landmark climate summit that begins in Paris on Monday, has died at 86, the head of the UN's environmental agency said Saturday.

"Strong will forever be remembered for placing the environment on the international agenda and at the heart of development," Achim Steiner, executive director of the UN Environment Program, said in a statement Saturday.

The statement did not provide details of Strong's death.

Manitoba-born Strong, the first UNEP chief, organized the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, which led to the launch of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Christiana Figueres, the current head of the UN climate agency, tweeted Saturday that "we thank Maurice Strong for his visionary impetus to our understanding of sustainability. We will miss you."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is in Paris for the climate talks, said Strong will be remembered as a pioneer of sustainable development.

"Mr. Strong was an internationally recognized environmentalist and philanthropist who used his remarkable business acumen, organizational skills and humanity to make the world a better place," said Trudeau in a statement.

In 1976 Mr. Trudeau's father, then prime minister Pierre Trudeau, made Strong the first head of the national oil company Petro-Canada.

Steiner said Strong's work helped usher in a new era of international environmental diplomacy at the 1972 Stockholm Conference, which saw the birth of UNEP, the first UN agency to be headquartered in a developing country.


Turkeys we’re not thankful for

The tasty birds are affordable. Government turkeys enrich crony corporatists, but cost us dearly

Paul Driessen

To commemorate Thanksgiving – and garner First Family photo ops – presidents often host Rose Garden ceremonies, where they “pardon” a turkey, before sitting down to dine on one of its cousins. In fact, Americans ate close to 50 million of these tasty birds this year. We roasted our family bird in a Big Green Egg, with bourbon and barbecue sauce on and under the skin. Lip-smacking!

Unlike their wild cousins, today’s domesticated turkeys are bred for hefty portions of white and dark meat, atop legs that barely support their bodyweight. You might say they are big, bloated and unsustainable – like too many government programs that should have gotten the axe long ago.

Washington turkeys are fed by crony capitalism, far-left economic and social engineering, smarter-than-thou top-down initiatives, and a belief that Washington should determine winners and losers. They attack unsuspecting taxpayers, consumers and businesses, pilfering billions of dollars that could be spent on things that really matter – including job creation and preservation, terrorism and national security. Only the few are thankful for them.

The Obama Administration has unleashed some hugely destructive turkeys. Some, like ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank, required mostly Democrat congressional connivance. But one of the most foul of fowls, the Clean Power Plan, was devised by the White House and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in league with radical environmental groups, to eradicate coal mining and burning, and ensure that electricity rates would “necessarily skyrocket,” just as President Obama promised in 2009.

The CPP is justified by the absurd claim that eliminating U.S. coal will save the Earth from “runaway” global warming and climate change. But there has been no measurable warming for 19 years – the opposite of what computer models and White House press releases have claimed – and NOAA appears to have been cooking the books on its temperature data, to find manmade warming where there isn’t any.

Moreover, far from being a “pollutant,” carbon dioxide is vital plant food – essential for all life on Earth – and developing countries continue to increase coal-burning to power their growing economies, bring electricity to 1.3 billion people who still don’t have it, and lift billions out of abject poverty. In fact, China alone has been burning 17% more coal per year than previously reported; just that unreported wedge is 70% of what the United States uses in a year, and more than Germany’s annual coal consumption!

Add what India, Africa, Poland, Southeast Asia, Indonesia and other countries plan to use in the next 30 years, and U.S. coal consumption and CO2 emissions are almost undetectable globally. In Asia alone this year, power companies are building more than 500 coal-fired plants, with 1,000 more on planning boards.

Of course, none of that is relevant to climate ideologues in and out of the Obama Administration. Nor are the CPP’s adverse impacts on jobs, families, businesses, communities, or people’s health and welfare.

But when the states drag the CPP turkey into court, the EPA might stop its strutting. Obama mentor and legal scholar Lawrence Tribe says the CPP likely violates the Constitution, by illegally commandeering state government functions and “treating states more like marionettes, dancing to the tune of the federal puppeteer,” in violation of the Tenth Amendment, which reserves important powers to the states.

Thus far, the rule of law has been merely a minor burr under the Administration’s saddle, as it rides roughshod over Congress, the will of the people, and the overall public interest. Executive orders, influence-peddling, and campaign contributions for subsidies and preferential treatment are standard operating procedure for a president determined to build a legacy – not on Benghazi, ObamaCare and terrorism failures, but on climate change, which he insists is the “greatest threat to future generations.”

Many world leaders have embraced Obama’s vision of looming climatic cataclysms, but are fast regretting their decisions. European Union air quality measures are forcing the closure of numerous older coal-fired power plants. But the supposed replacements, mostly wind and solar, are heavily subsidized, intermittent producers of electricity that is so unreliable and expensive that it kills industries, jobs and people. They are already hastening the demise of Britain’s entire steel industry and 6,000 more UK jobs.

Early this November, well before winter cold set in, the United Kingdom’s National Grid already had to use an emergency order to prevent widespread blackouts. Unexpected power plant shutdowns and a near absence of bird-butchering wind power forced the government to offer up to 40 times normal electricity rates (up to $3765 per kilowatt-hour!) to get factories and other major power consumers to switch off their electricity. The UK is now rolling back many of its “green” energy programs.

In Germany, power companies have been ordered to buy wind, solar and other “green” energy, regardless of the price. Its biggest electric power provider lost €7.8 billion ($8.3 billion) just in the third quarter of 2015. Even worse, Ms. Merkel’s market meddling has created an oversupply of expensive green electricity, when it’s least needed, and German electricity rates are expected to hit record highs next year. By the end of 2016, average European households will have to pay some €540 ($575) more per year for electricity.

By forcing power companies to buy green energy, EU countries also encourage fraud. Companies actually made money by connecting diesel-powered generators to their solar arrays or shining coal- or nuclear-powered arc lights on their solar panels, to generate electricity on cloudy days or in the dead of night.

All this is where the U.S. is heading under Obama dictates, which distort the marketplace to benefit favored industries or groups. The Renewable Fuel Standard requires blending ethanol into motor fuels, which among many other failings creates an ethanol credit trading system that crooks use to steal millions of dollars. No wonder even ultra-green California voters increasingly oppose costly ethanol mandates.

Unfortunately, the RFS, CPP and other Washington turkeys are as hard to kill as Freddy Krueger. Congress lacks the will to chase them down with a hatchet, and the administration feeds them for its own political reasons. Having corn farmer and ethanol producer support during the Iowa caucuses is also a winning political strategy – unprincipled but effective, costly to the majority but beneficial to the few.

Indeed, every taxpayer and consumer pays for these turkeys, not just those in Iowa or California. A new study shows that the RFS will cost the New England economy some $20 billion between 2005 and 2024, reduce labor income by $7.3 billion, and destroy 7,050 jobs per year.

The CPP and broader War on Coal are hammering Midwest red states far harder than New England and West Coast blue states. By the end of 2023, 600,000 jobs will be lost and average American households will lose $1,200 in income per year, as electricity rates and the cost of goods and services continue to rise.

Obama’s War on Coal is most devastating to families in coal-producing states, where nearly 50,000 coal miners have lost their jobs and incomes – as have tens of thousands in power plants, restaurants, shops and other businesses. Hillary Clinton’s “solution” (and strategy to increase her odds of winning the Democrat presidential nomination) is spending $30 billion in OPM (other people’s money) to “retrain” coal miners and other workers for life in her new utopian-energy economy. Now President Obama is leading an ideological entourage to Paris, to rope the United States into a draconian climate treaty.

Once again, government will get to decide which industries, companies, workers and families win – and which one lose. We just get to pay. Wasting good money on bad projects – and on unaccountable, unelected, overpaid ruling elite bureaucrats – is enough to ruin a Thanksgiving tryptophan-induced nap.

Benjamin Franklin may have preferred the turkey over the eagle as America’s national symbol, because it is “more respectable.” Brave and wily wild turkeys truly are a challenge for experienced hunters.

But wily government turkeys, which preen in public and exist only to feather the nests of bureaucrats and campaign donors, have no redeeming qualities. It’s time to put them on the chopping block.

Via email

Why Scientists Disagree about Global Warming

The most important fact about climate science, often overlooked, is that scientists disagree about the environmental impacts of the combustion of fossil fuels on the global climate. There is no survey or study showing “consensus” on the most important scientific issues, despite frequent claims by advocates to the contrary.

Scientists disagree about the causes and consequences of climate for several reasons. Climate is an interdisciplinary subject requiring insights from many fields. Very few scholars have mastery of more than one or two of these disciplines. Fundamental uncertainties arise from insufficient observational evidence, disagreements over how to interpret data, and how to set the parameters of models. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), created to find and disseminate research finding a human impact on global climate, is not a credible source. It is agenda-driven, a political rather than scientific body, and some allege it is corrupt. Finally, climate scientists, like all humans, can be biased. Origins of bias include careerism, grant-seeking, political views, and confirmation bias.

Probably the only “consensus” among climate scientists is that human activities can have an effect on local climate and that the sum of such local effects could hypothetically rise to the level of an observable global signal. The key questions to be answered, however, are whether the human global signal is large enough to be measured and if it is, does it represent, or is it likely to become, a dangerous change outside the range of natural variability? On these questions, an energetic scientific debate is taking place on the pages of peer-reviewed science journals.

In contradiction of the scientific method, IPCC assumes its implicit hypothesis – that dangerous global warming is resulting, or will result, from human-related greenhouse gas emissions -- is correct and that its only duty is to collect evidence and make plausible arguments in the hypothesis’s favor. It simply ignores the alternative and null hypothesis, amply supported by empirical research, that currently observed changes in global climate indices and the physical environment are the result of natural variability.

The results of the global climate models (GCMs) relied on by IPCC are only as reliable as the data and theories “fed” into them. Most climate scientists agree those data are seriously deficient and IPCC’s estimate for climate sensitivity to CO2 is too high. We estimate a doubling of CO2 from pre-industrial levels (from 280 to 560 ppm) would likely produce a temperature forcing of 3.7 Wm-2 in the lower atmosphere, for about ~1°C of prima facie warming. The recently quiet Sun and extrapolation of solar cycle patterns into the future suggest a planetary cooling may occur over the next few decades.

In a similar fashion, all five of IPCC’s postulates, or assumptions, are readily refuted by real-world observations, and all five of IPCC’s claims relying on circumstantial evidence are refutable. For example, in contrast to IPCC’s alarmism, we find neither the rate nor the magnitude of the reported late twentieth century surface warming (1979–2000) lay outside normal natural variability, nor was it in any way unusual compared to earlier episodes in Earth’s climatic history. In any case, such evidence cannot be invoked to “prove” a hypothesis, but only to disprove one. IPCC has failed to refute the null hypothesis that currently observed changes in global climate indices and the physical environment are the result of natural variability.

Rather than rely exclusively on IPCC for scientific advice, policymakers should seek out advice from independent, nongovernment organizations and scientists who are free of financial and political conflicts of interest. NIPCC’s conclusion, drawn from its extensive review of the scientific evidence, is that any human global climate impact is within the background variability of the natural climate system and is not dangerous.

In the face of such facts, the most prudent climate policy is to prepare for and adapt to extreme climate events and changes regardless of their origin. Adaptive planning for future hazardous climate events and change should be tailored to provide responses to the known rates, magnitudes, and risks of natural change. Once in place, these same plans will provide an adequate response to any human-caused change that may or may not emerge.

Policymakers should resist pressure from lobby groups to silence scientists who question the authority of IPCC to claim to speak for “climate science.” The distinguished British biologist Conrad Waddington wrote in 1941 (Waddington, C.H. 1941. The Scientific Attitude. London, UK: Penguin Books),

It is … important that scientists must be ready for their pet theories to turn out to be wrong. Science as a whole certainly cannot allow its judgment about facts to be distorted by ideas of what ought to be true, or what one may hope to be true (Waddington, 1941).

This prescient statement merits careful examination by those who continue to assert the fashionable belief, in the face of strong empirical evidence to the contrary, that human CO2 emissions are going to cause dangerous global warming.


So much for global warming! As winter weather sweeps in, 'snow lover' reveals there's MORE of the white stuff left on Scottish mountains than there has been in 21 years

There were bumper levels of snow on Scottish mountains over the last 12 months, according to one enthusiast.

Amateur snow researcher Iain Cameron, 42, uses his free time to count the number of snow patches left on mountaintops from the previous winter.

His data is compiled and published in the prestigious Royal Meteorological Journal.

Mr Cameron, an environmental manager for an aerospace company, said he has recorded an average of between six to 12 patches of snow since his records started in 1994.

But this year Mr Cameron, who works with a team of volunteers, noted 73 spots had survived from winter 2014.

The team tallied 33 individual patches across the Ben Nevis range, 17 across the Cairngorms, 12 in the north-west Highlands, three on Ben Alder, and eight near Loch Laggan.

And in the Grey Corries range in the far north, a sole surviving patch was recorded on Stob Coire an Laoigh.

Mr Cameron said: 'This year we counted 73 remaining patches across the whole of Scotland. It's the most we've seen since 1994, 21 years ago, which was quite an exceptional year.

'The only year which came near this year's figure was in 2000 where we totalled 41 surviving patches, but that's still far, far fewer than we recorded this year.

'Normally we're looking at between six to 12 patches - last year was a good year with 21, but this has exceeded that.

'There was also a good covering of snow last year, but the average temperature in May was two degrees lower than we would normally expect and the summer was cool, which is why there are so many left.'

Mr Cameron, a self-proclaimed 'chinophile' - the Greek term for 'snow lover' - said he believed an overcast spring and cool summer combined with heavy snowfall has led to the above-average findings.


Italian restaurant falls foul of global warming

Even in far Shetland, which could do with a bit more warmth

Plans for an Italian restaurant between Voe and Brae have failed to impress the council’s planners, but local businessman Henry MacColl is still hoping his dream venture will come off.

Mr MacColl, whose mother is Italian, wanted to build a 24-seat restaurant opposite his home at Parkgate, overlooking Olnafirth.

The restaurant was to be called Enrico’s Cucina di Napoli, after his mother’s hometown, and he planned to have a special clay pizza oven installed and import ingredients direct from Italy. His plan also included ancillary buildings and a car park.

But planning officials were not in favour, saying the location, midway between Brae and Voe, was not part of an existing settlement. In addition, it was not accessible except by car and would therefore contribute to climate change.

Planners said these factors made it contrary to the local development plan for the area, which became council policy after public consultation.

According to local policies, any new development should be “sustainable and accessible” and encouraged “within existing settlements” that have “basic services and infrastructure”. This would “maintain the vitality and vibrancy of that settlement… and the development [would be] more sustainably located to existing services, bus routes, etc.”

As the location is one and a half miles from Voe, and access would be by vehicle, planners said the proposal was “not sustainably located”, and against council policy of “sustainable development”.

Eateries should ideally be accessible by walking or cycling, as well as by car, making for “good placemaking”.

Additionally, planners said the development would not maintain or enhance the character of the area.

However, Mr MacColl, who runs Isometric Engineering at Sella Ness, refuted all these points. He said that many other eateries, including the Braewick Cafe in Eshaness, Busta House and the burger van by the Voe toilets, were also only accessible by car and were not part of existing settlements.

He said: “This policy is contrary to many restaurants. Who walks to any restaurant, or gets dressed up and goes on a bike?”

He also objected to the planners’ statement that the development would “neither maintain nor respect the existing character of the area”. The local plan states that “any new development should make a positive contribution to maintaining the identity and character of an area and ensure ease of movement and access for all.”

Mr MacColl said: “There is plenty of access and parking and excellent views.” His plan would incorporate parking for the proposed eatery, situated on a loop road, formerly the main road, in a raised hillside location commanding wide views.

Planning official John Holden said the application was still in the process of consideration. He said: “The applicant has been made aware of the concerns and we are in the process of receiving comments.

“It is against the local development plan which is council policy, and we have to act in accordance with the plan. It’s now open to the applicant to say why the policy should be departed from.”

Mr MacColl, whose middle name is Francesco, loves cooking and the idea of catering for the public came from his twin daughters, Francesca and Chiara. He said: “I’ve been making pizza for years and the restaurant would be all-Italian, we would make our own pasta and my daughters would cook pastries, it would all be handmade.

“It would be romantic dining, something we don’t have here.”

His plan would incorporate a specialist igloo-shaped pizza oven to cook 12 pizzas in a minute and a half at high temperatures, the heat coming from above and below to ensure a crispy base. Certain ingredients such as cheese, prosciutto and spiced sausage would be imported, but other food would be local.

If his vision of a terracotta-tiled restaurant took off, he said, he would start a delivery service in the local area, and eventually employ six or more people.

He added: “Why is everything in Lerwick, why shouldn’t there be something in the country?”

The restaurant venture has had 660 likes on Facebook in three days, and Mr MacColl is going to press on with his application, hoping for a much support as possible. He has spoken to MSP Tavish Scott and local councillor Alastair Cooper, who he said were in “full support”, and has a lot of local backing.

Brae resident Aimee Manson said: “I think it’s a wonderful idea. It’s just amazing and morale-boosting for the community. It’s encouraging that we wouldn’t have to go to Lerwick. We don’t live in an inner city and we have to rely on our own transport, like we do when Chinese nights are held at local halls.

“It [the proposed restaurant] would be different and authentic, not the British version of what Italian food should be like, and it wouldn’t be encroaching on any other business.”

Voe resident John Taylor said: “I’m all for it. It’s a good idea and another variety of food, and if it’s authentic, brilliant. If I want to go for a meal anywhere I have to go by car.”

Council officials expect to make a decision on the planning application after Friday 4th December



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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Yet another claim that somebody is "behind" climate skeptics or has "bought" them

Like all the skeptics I know, I am still waiting for my cheque!

Warmists very commonly ascribe disagreement with their ideas to their opponent being "in the pay" of someone else, usually "Big Oil", without troubling themselves to provide any proof of that assertion. They are so certain that they are right that that seems to be the only reasonable explanation for opposition to them. They thus reveal themselves as classic bigots -- people with fixed and rigid ideas.

The guy below however was apparently aware of how unsubstantiated are the usual assertions about skeptics being "bought" so has tried to provide evidence of it.  He claims to have data on ALL the skeptics in the USA.  But he says that only some of them have corporate funding.  But those who DO have corportate funding are more likely to have issued anti-warming statements. And he has done no similar study of climate alarmists.

One wonders where he got his information about funding.  It would be pretty normal for ANY organization to be cagey about that.  Let me assume that his data on that are right, however.  So what do we have from his study:

1).  Some skeptics and skeptical organizations receive NO corporate funding.  That is a rather damaging admission.  Warmists normally talk as if ALL skepticism was "paid for".

2).  The skeptics who received funding write more.

Such trivial findings!  OF COURSE people who received funding wrote more.  Time is money and money is time.  If you are funded to write on some topic you will be able to divert some of your  time onto writing about that topic.  And you will write more on that topic if you have more time.  Money can buy time.  That money can buy time is in fact the only real conclusion of the study.  But who did not know that already?

A very uninformative study

What Warmists MUST close their eyes to is that any intelligent person can see huge holes in the Warmist story if he cares to  think about it.  You don't need funding to be skeptical.  You just need to know some very basic stuff.

For instance, the scare started with Al Gore and others warning us of a huge rise in the oceans as the polar ice melted. And if all the polar ice melted, that would indeed cause a large sea-level rise.  But will it?  91% of the earth's glacial ice is in Antarctica so Antarctica is where the game will play out.

Temperatures of the Antarctic vary with time and place but they are all WAY below zero -- averaging around -49 degrees at the pole in winter -- so you would have to bring those temperatures up by a LOT to melt any ice.  You would have to bring them up to above zero. Yet even in their wildest dreams, Warmists predict a temperature rise of only 6 degrees.  And what would that do?  Nothing.  It might change the temperature of some Antarctic ice from -30 degrees to -24 degrees but -24 degrees is still way too cold for anything to melt.  The surrounding sea ice (floating ice) might melt a bit but, as Archimedes discovered about 3,000 years ago, that doesn't raise the water level anyhow.

I have of course not gone into detail but that is the ballpark story.

So Warmism is patent nonsense and nobody needs to pay you to see that.  You do however have to have a vested interest to believe in it -- and the scientists who promote it do.  The scare gets them a golden shower of research grant money.  They live high on the hog as long as the scare lasts

Corporate funding and ideological polarization about climate change

Justin Farrell


Drawing on large-scale computational data and methods, this research demonstrates how polarization efforts are influenced by a patterned network of political and financial actors. These dynamics, which have been notoriously difficult to quantify, are illustrated here with a computational analysis of climate change politics in the United States. The comprehensive data include all individual and organizational actors in the climate change countermovement (164 organizations), as well as all written and verbal texts produced by this network between 1993–2013 (40,785 texts, more than 39 million words).

Two main findings emerge. First, that organizations with corporate funding were more likely to have written and disseminated texts meant to polarize the climate change issue. Second, and more importantly, that corporate funding influences the actual thematic content of these polarization efforts, and the discursive prevalence of that thematic content over time.

These findings provide new, and comprehensive, confirmation of dynamics long thought to be at the root of climate change politics and discourse. Beyond the specifics of climate change, this paper has important implications for understanding ideological polarization more generally, and the increasing role of private funding in determining why certain polarizing themes are created and amplified. Lastly, the paper suggests that future studies build on the novel approach taken here that integrates large-scale textual analysis with social networks.

PNAS November 23, 2015, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1509433112

A popularized version of the paper here.

Friday, November 27, 2015

No more fish dinners for YOU!

This is all theory, not new research and I think we need only one sentence from the academic journal article to sum it all up:  "Yet the influence of predators on carbon accumulation and preservation in vegetated coastal habitats (that is, salt marshes, seagrass meadows and mangroves) is poorly understood".  We would be unwise to base any action on something that is poorly understood

The oceans cover 71 per cent of our planet’s surface. They are home to complex ecosystems that are being disturbed by industrial and recreational fishing, and other human activities, in ways that may profoundly affect our climate system.

A recent paper in Nature Climate Change has helped highlight some of the impact. The problem arises largely from the fact fishing disturbs food webs, changing the way ecosystems function and altering the ecological balance of the oceans in dangerous ways. The paper focused on the phenomenon of “trophic downgrading”, the disproportionate loss of species high in the food web.

It reported on the loss of ocean predators such as large carnivorous fish, sharks, crabs, lobsters, seals, and sea lions, and the resultant impact on carbon rich vegetation and sediment on the ocean floor. It cited earlier research indicating the overall predator population had reduced by up to 90 per cent from natural levels.

Based on the research findings, that reduction is likely to have adversely affected the ability of vegetated coastal habitats (consisting of seagrass meadows, mangroves and salt marshes) to absorb or sequester atmospheric carbon. It would also have released massive amounts of carbon (unaccounted for in any official emissions figures) in the form of CO2 remineralised from carbon that had been stored in the vegetation and underlying sediment.

The problem arises when the loss of high-level predators causes an unnatural increase in the population levels of their prey, who may be herbivores (such as dugongs and sea turtles) or bioturbators (creatures who disturb ocean sediment including certain crabs). With reduced predator numbers, the former prey has a far greater impact than previously on their own food sources in vegetated coastal habitats.

Those habitats are the most carbon-rich ecosystems in the world, capturing carbon forty times faster than tropical rainforests. Most of the carbon  stored in them is in the form of organic matter trapped in the underlying sediment. The sediment contains little or no oxygen, allowing the organic material to last for millennia.

Despite their relatively small overall area they represent fifty per cent of the carbon buried in ocean sediments.

Release Of Carbon Stores

Vegetated coastal habitats are estimated to store up to 25 billion tonnes of carbon. If it was released in the form of CO2, it would equate to more than twice the emissions from fossil fuels globally in 2013 (92 vs 40 billion tonnes).

Estimates of the areas affected are unavailable, but if only 1 per cent of vegetated coastal habitats were affected to a depth of 1 metre in a year, around 460 million tonnes of CO2 could be released. That is around the same level of emissions from all motor vehicles in Britain, France, and Spain combined in 2010, and not far below Australia’s most recently reported annual emissions of around 540 million tonnes.

We can extend the comparison by saying that if 10 per cent of such habitats were affected to the same depth, it would be equivalent to emissions from all motor vehicles in the top nine vehicle-owning nations (USA, China, India, Japan, Indonesia, Brazil, Italy, Germany, and Russia), whose share of global vehicle numbers is 61 per cent. It would also equate to around eight times Australia’s emissions.

Loss of Ongoing Carbon Sequestration

The other key problem is a reduction in the ocean’s ability to sequester (or absorb) carbon from the atmosphere.

If sequestration capability was reduced by 20 per cent in only 10 per cent of vegetated coastal habitats, it would equate to a loss of forested area the size of Belgium.


Evidence that CO2 has a negligible effect on climate

1. Lindzen & Choi papers based on ERBE satellite observations showed sensitivity (to doubled CO2 levels) of only ~0.18C

2. Dr. David Evans has shown, using the same flawed radiative model of the IPCC as the basis, that  "The ECS might be almost zero, is likely less than 0.25 °C"

3. Kimoto has shown climate sensitivity is ~.15-.2C due to the IPCC false assumptions of a fixed lapse rate and a mathematical error in calculating the Planck feedback parameter:

4 Volokin et al have shown that planetary surface temperatures are a function of solar insolation and surface pressure only, not greenhouse gas concentrations, on all 8 planets for which we have adequate data, including Earth & Venus.

5. The surface temperature and tropospheric temperature profile can easily be derived from physical first principles including the 1st LoT, Ideal Gas Law, Poisson Equation, Newton's 2nd Law, and Stefan-Boltzmann Law for solar forcing only, and without greenhouse gas "radiative forcing," and perfectly replicates the verified 1976 US Standard Atmosphere. Thus, once again, sensitivity to CO2 is mathematically proven to be essentially zero.

6. Convection dominates radiative-convective equilibrium in the troposphere by a factor of ~8X, and increased greenhouse gases accelerate convection, thereby erasing any alleged cold-heats-hot greenhouse gas radiative effects on the surface.

7. Many other climate sensitivity estimates have concluded climate sensitivity is effectively zero, or so close to zero as to be unmeasurable and negligible.


The world needs more energy, not green BS

Western governments and agencies are now standing in the way of development

Ben Pile piles it on

Earlier this month, a report from the United Nations University’s Institute for Water, Environment and Health announced that ‘fecal sludge’ might be one answer to several of the world’s problems. According to the authors of Valuing Human Waste as an Energy Resource, if the excrement produced by those who lack access to sanitation – a billion people – was collected and processed, 10million homes could be provided with electricity. And this would amount to $200million-a-year worth of biogas. After all, where there’s muck there’s brass. For that reason, the report might be interesting to planners and civil engineers, but it was still given far more importance than it deserved. As the Daily Mail excitedly put it: ‘Human excrement can fuel developing world.’

The message from global institutions to the world’s poor is: ‘you may have your own shit, but you may not have coal’. In 2013, the World Bank, despite acknowledging many people’s lack of access to electricity, said that, because of climate change, it would no longer be supporting the development of coal-fired power stations. The announcement was made in accordance with the principles of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative, an alliance of global institutions, civil society and businesses that wants to ‘achieve a broad-based transformation of the world’s energy systems’. But note the caveat: ‘sustainable energy for all’ is not a commitment to ‘energy for all’.

Coal is the cheapest source of energy, but it is denied to all those who can least afford the alternatives. According to data compiled by the Sierra Club, a green, anti-coal NGO, there are 51 coal-fired power plants scheduled for construction in Europe, with a total capacity of 36 gigawatts (GW). Yet in Africa and the Middle East – where there are far fewer champions of climate change – there are just 29 coal-fired power-plant projects in the pipeline, with a total capacity of 20 GW. Meanwhile, a whopping 219 GW of capacity has been announced in China, and India has plans to increase its capacity by 75 GW. The toxic excreta of UN bodies and green NGOs can be seen in these massively uneven patterns of development.

A 2008 paper from Oxfam revealed much about what underpins such backward thinking. Rather than emphasising development as the way forward at all, Oxfam argued, in Survival of the fittest Pastoralism and climate change in East Africa, that ‘pastoralist communities’ (that is, communities primarily based around the raising of livestock) are the best way to tackle climate change. Therefore, Oxfam claimed, pastoralist forms of social organisation should be promoted and protected. In this highly deterministic and patronising tome, Oxfam claimed that pastoralist communities were perfectly adapted to the geography of East Africa, and that the Western model of development and governance is inappropriate. Oxfam’s anti coal campaign, Let them Eat Coal, even claims that not burning coal would ‘fight hunger’.

No less absurd or patronising, but more cautious about revealing its hostility to development, is the New Climate Economy, aka The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate – yet another attempt, or ‘initiative’, from unaccountable, undemocratic global bodies, including the World Bank, to foist ‘sustainable development’ on the world. A working paper, jointly published by the Global Commission and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) last month was superficially concerned with ‘building electricity supplies in Africa for growth and universal access’. But ‘universal access’ only meant connection to an electricity grid for 40 per cent of Africans. ‘For about 60 per cent of the population, mini-grids and stand-alone systems would be the best means to provide access’, said the paper. Reiterating the point, the ODI’s director of strategic development, Dinah McLeod tweeted, ‘Yes: more to the Africa energy puzzle than off-grid, but grid won’t ever come for many. Let’s be optimistic realists.’

Low aspirations for African countries are not set by Africans. They are set by the likes of the UK Department for International Development (DfID), which recently set out its Energy Africa campaign – a manifesto for off-grid solar power. ‘Why is [the Department for International Development] pushing solar-only when Africans say they want on-grid electricity?’, asked Benjamin Leo of the US-based Centre for Global Development (CGD). The CGD conducted a survey of Tanzanians who already had connection to off-grid electricity. Ninety per cent of respondents still wanted a grid connection.

One reason for the UK’s loss of faith in grid electricity, of course, might be the looming failure of the past three governments’ domestic energy policies. The most recent Labour government promised a ‘green industrial revolution’. But all that happened during this ‘revolution’ was a doubling of electricity prices, followed by widespread closures of coal-fired plants, which now threaten the stability of the grid. In Germany, the indubitable pioneers of green energy, domestic energy prices are even higher and yet, in the past four years alone, 10 GW of coal-fired generating capacity has been added – more than half the amount planned across all of Africa.

In the past, organisations and individuals concerned with development believed that industrialisation was a good thing – a necessary condition for raising living standards, realising wider social change and expanding the possibilities of human life. Hubris, and naïve optimism, perhaps, allowed people to imagine that development was a simple, technological process. But the predominant ideas today are far more dangerous. Many in the so-called ‘development community’ have sacrificed any sensible notion of development to ‘sustainability’. They are not only free to influence, perhaps even dominate, the so-called ‘development agenda’; they also decide the terms of progress on behalf of people in developing nations, to whom they remain unaccountable. At talks leading up to the United Nations Framework – Convention on Climate Change‎ (UNFCCC) meeting in Paris later this month, countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have agreed to limit further any assistance to developing economies with ambitions to exploit coal resources.

But there is plenty to be cheerful about. Within the past 20 years, extreme poverty has halved, and almost every indicator of human welfare shows unprecedented progress. Perhaps that is what most terrifies an engorged, top-heavy class of environmental and ‘development’ technocrats: the possibility that the World’s problems are being solved not just without them, but in spite of them. It is worth considering the possibility that their plans may soon make ‘development agencies’ the main obstacle to development.


Warmists notice the poor at last

See below

Congressional Republicans make an easy target for their denial of climate change: “I’m not a scientist” is the new “Drill, baby, drill.” But denial also infects large swaths of the environmental movement. Environmentalists deserve enormous credit for calling the world’s attention to the threat to humanity posed by climate change. But precisely because this challenge is so stupendous, we need an uncompromisingly focused plan to solve it. Instead of offering such a solution, traditional greens have been distracted by their signature causes, and in doing so have themselves denied some inconvenient truths.

The first is that, until now, fossil fuels have been good for humanity. The industrial revolution doubled life expectancy in developed countries while multiplying prosperity twentyfold. As industrialization spreads to the developing world, billions of people are rising out of poverty in their turn — affording more food, living longer and healthier lives, becoming better educated, and having fewer babies — thanks to cheap fossil fuels. In poor countries like India, citizens want reliable electricity to power these improvements, and stand ready to vote out any government that fails to deliver it. When American environmentalists tell the world to stop burning fossil fuels, they need to give Indians an alternative that delivers the prosperity they demand and deserve.

That brings us to the second inconvenient truth: Nuclear power is the world’s most abundant and scalable carbon-free energy source. In today’s world, every nuclear plant that is not built is a fossil-fuel plant that does get built, which in most of the world means coal. Yet the use of nuclear power has been stagnant or even contracting.

Nuclear power presses a number of psychological buttons — fear of poisoning, ease of imagining catastrophes, distrust of the unfamiliar and the man-made — and so is held to an irrationally higher standard than fossils. When a coal mine disaster kills dozens, or a deep-water oil leak despoils vast seas, nobody shuts down the coal or oil industries. Yet the 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant accident in Japan, which killed nobody, led Germany to shut down its nuclear plants and quietly replace them with dirty coal. Even France — which gets three quarters of its electricity from nuclear power and has never had an accident — now plans to shut down many plants under pressure from environmentalists.

Nuclear today is relatively expensive, but that is largely because it must clear massive regulatory hurdles while its fossil competitors have been given relatively easy passage. New fourth-generation nuclear designs, a decade away from deployment, will burn waste from today’s plants and run more cheaply and safely.

We need to stop subsidizing inefficient technologies and trying to make fossil fuels too expensive to use.

Without nuclear power, the numbers needed to solve the climate crisis simply do not add up. Solar and wind are growing quickly, but still provide about 1 percent of electricity production, and cannot scale up fast enough to supply what the world needs. Moreover, these intermittent energy sources could power the grid only with big advances in battery technology that are still in the basic-science stage. Even with them, we must not triple-count the energy promised by renewables: they cannot supplant existing fossil fuel use and replace decommissioned nuclear plants and meet the skyrocketing needs of the developing world.

These arguments have been forcefully made by pragmatic environmentalists such as James Hansen and Stewart Brand. But the largest groups with the loudest voices, such as Greenpeace and the Sierra Club, remain implacably antinuclear.

A third truth is that climate change must transcend ideology. A particularly pernicious form of denialism is the conceit within the political left that we must cure longstanding social ills such as inequality, corporate greed, racism, and political corruption along the way to dealing with climate change. Naomi Klein’s campaign to “change everything” casts global warming as an opportunity for the left to step up its various crusades. Whatever you think of such goals, and we agree with many of them, they must not distract us from the priority of preventing catastrophic climate change.

The left also seeks to mobilize support with a narrative that blames the problem on a hateful enemy. The Koch brothers, ExxonMobil, and the Republican Party seem all too eager to step into this role. But even if all these devils magically vanished, we’d still be burning fossil fuels until we found something better.

So what should environmentalists be demanding? Foremost, governments need to fund research and development for low-carbon energy technologies at Apollo-program levels of commitment. Breakthrough innovations are needed in batteries, nuclear energy, liquid biofuels, and carbon capture. The required funding of this ultimate public good is too great a risk with too little a reward for private companies. But it is easily fundable by governments.

The second priority is carbon pricing: charging people and companies to dump their carbon into the atmosphere. Economists across the political spectrum agree that such a price would incentivize conservation, decarbonization, and R&D far more effectively than regulating specific industries and products (to say nothing of sermonizing for a return to an abstemious preindustrial lifestyle). Without carbon pricing, fossil fuels — which are uniquely abundant, portable, and energy-dense — simply have too great an advantage. Yet despite a strong campaign by Citizens’ Climate Lobby, a policy that ought to be a no-brainer has yet to catch on with politicians or the public.

Today, climate activism shoots off in too many directions: divesting from portfolios, urging asceticism, ending capitalism, demonizing ogres, prophesying doom, changing everything. This scattershot campaign is morally invigorating but distracts people from acknowledging the most inconvenient truth of all: None of this will stop catastrophic climate change. The movement should hit “Pause,” do the math, and work for the combination of policies that can actually solve the problem.


Bill Gates, Climate Activism, and Wishful Thinking

Bill Gates may know a lot about running a software company, but when it comes to understanding how governments operate, well, let’s just say that not all the glitches have been worked out. Case in point: In a recent interview with The Atlantic, Gates extols the virtues of carbon taxes and other “sticks” of climate activism. Gates also extols “carrots” such as subsidies for low-carbon energy research and development—because, he claims, government sets the gold standard for R&D. But this claim can be quickly cast aside, according to Independent Institute Research Director William F. Shughart II.

“Even a blind squirrel eventually finds an acorn, so it is not surprising that throwing tons of money at government-sponsored research projects sometimes pays off,” Shughart writes.

Moreover, “most of the major inventions of the past 150 years have originated not from scientific advances or from taxpayer-financed R&D, but from the private sector’s engineering departments and shop floors as people on the ground encountered and solved practical production problems.” The software titan’s nonsense about technology history, according to Shughart, reflects a bigger problem: “Although Mr. Gates deserves applause for putting his own money where his mouth is, he is mendacious in maligning the economic system that made him the richest man on the planet.”


Greens ‘smuggle’ climate policy into the church to tip climate politics

Without the evangelical community’s involvement, efforts to build a “broad coalition to pass major climate policies” are “doomed,” according to a just-released report from New America — a nonprofit group that claims to be “dedicated to the renewal of American politics, prosperity, and purpose in the Digital Age.”

“Spreading the Gospel of climate change: an evangelical battleground,” according to E & E News, offers: “An autopsy of evangelicals’ influence on U.S. Climate law.” While the efforts “failed,” the report concludes it is “not a lost cause,” as the authors posit: “there is an untapped potential for environmental activism in the world of evangelical Christianity.” The closing words are “it is a battle worth fighting.”

So, while the initial effort may have failed, its supporters haven’t given up. They hope to learn from their mistakes and continue the crusade to “get evangelicals to tip the politics of the climate” — which consists of big-government solutions like a carbon tax and higher energy prices.

The report offers several reasons for failure, including: “donors who pushed for this ‘deliverable’ did not really understand the internal dynamic of the evangelical world,” and suggests future tactics such as: “better messaging” and more “person-to-person connections.”

Its authors lament that the evangelical community is “a decentralized religious tradition that lacks a clear hierarchy like the Catholic Church” (which helps explain the recent alarmist views adopted by the Pope and many Catholic Bishops). They claim that since most evangelicals are Republicans, asking them to embrace climate change “challenged the belief in the primacy of unregulated markets that is the ideological glue that holds the Republican coalition together.” Both statements, I believe, show how little those attempting to engage “evangelicals on climate change” really understand the Christian faith — despite one of the report’s authors being “an expert on evangelicals.”

We are not “decentralized” nor is our resistance to “engaging” in climate change based in betraying Republican values. Our faith is centered on the Bible — which we look to for inspiration, guidance, and teaching. The messaging of climate change includes an entire world-view that challenges the primacy of biblical teaching.

We believe that God created the Earth and that no part of His creation was by mistake or without intent. He created the earth to benefit humans, not the other way around. And, He is bigger than we are and has a plan. With that foundation, we see that God put coal, oil, natural gas, and uranium under our feet for a reason: because we would need it. In biblical times it wasn’t needed, but in His plan, he knew that we’d need it today. The carbon that was stored within the earth is released today providing power and food for a world that has greater population than the apostles could have ever imagined — but God knew what it would be. We appreciate nature; value the earth and the bounty it provides. We’ve learned from the past mistakes and are pleased that America has greatly cleaned up the pollution of the 70s, but we don’t worship the earth.

While I hope all readers find the report’s inside strategic analysis interesting, evangelicals should be particularly alarmed with the realization that we have been, and will continue to be, the target of an organized and well-funded effort, from outsiders who “lacked deep knowledge about evangelicalism,” to “recruit evangelicals into policy solutions to climate change.”

While admitting failure, there was some early success. Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in California and author of the best-selling book The Purpose Driven Life, was, in 2006, a signatory to the Evangelical Climate Initiative (ECI). In 2008, the Christian Broadcasting Network’s Pat Robertson appeared in an ad for climate action. Some Southern Baptist leaders drafted their own ECI — which was never launched. The report states: “Movement leaders, funders, and the environmental movement were optimistic that this small victory could be the foundation for even more ambitious legislative goals.”

The report is a fascinating case study of the outside effort to “smuggle” the climate policy campaign into churches.

When I read the full 27-page document, the influence of “environmental funders” became obvious: “Since the mid-1990s, environmental funders recognized the need for a broader field of faith-based movements who could expand the influence of environmentalism to unlikely allies. They also realized that evangelicals had a special role to play in this religious portfolio because their religious community was closely associated with the Republican Party.” Evangelical Christians became the target of “constituency engagement development.” Financial grants were made to increase the role of climate change in churches. Environmentalists worked to reframe climate change as “Creation Care” and “hoped that evangelical Christians might publically embrace climate change as a moral issue and an authentically ‘conservative’ concern.”

To do this, funders looked to the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) “to reach out to evangelicals and leverage the moral authority of faith.” The report states: “With funding from the Hewlett and Energy Foundations, the EEN launched the Evangelical Climate Initiative, the culmination of its four-year effort to encourage major evangelical institutions to develop a public witness on climate change.” Notable Christian organizations, such as World Vision, Habitat for Humanity, and Intervarsity Christian Fellowship were given thousands of dollars to name a “Creation Care Chair” in their senior staff. The report concludes: “From 1996 to 2006, EEN leaders and environmental funders believed that the Creation Care movement was on a trajectory of growing legitimacy and power.”

The efforts at infiltration included “building faith-based environmental clubs in Christian colleges” and offering to help churches “reduce their energy bills.”

The report chronicles the work of Georgia Interfaith Power and Light — led by an Episcopal priest: Rev. Alexis Chase. She persuaded Southern Baptist churches to host HEAT classes to train lay leaders to save energy and money in their own homes. And then, “smuggled” the climate policy campaign “into the class as an extension of personal discipleship.”

According to the report, EEN hoped to persuade Barrett Duke, Vice President for Public Policy and Research and Director of the Research Institute of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission—the policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention — to become an ally. Apparently, Duke “was open to the EEN’s message about climate change.” He explored the issue and listened to differing views — including the Cornwall Alliance’s Calvin Beisner (who the report paints as the key voice in exposing the Creation Care movement). Duke realized none of the climate change people gave “any consideration to the role of the Sun in affecting the climate.” Instead, climate action was about large-scale government solutions. He “settled on a belief that climate change was not human-caused and that large-scale government solutions being proposed would impose unacceptable human costs.”

“They weren’t really solving the problem…They’re talking trillions of dollars of investment, a complete restructuring of the economy in order to simply slow down the rate of warming…I said, okay, millions of people will lose their jobs. The entire energy industry will be basically recalibrated. Plus, energy will be more expensive, and the undeveloped world will be plunged into poverty for another generation,” Duke added.

Eventually the funders became frustrated. Quoting an anonymous source addressing the lack of enthusiasm of the evangelicals they were able to bring on board, the report states: “They certainly didn’t turn out to be everything that our funders hoped they would be. Our funders and, I think, some of our inside team to a lesser extent, hoped that this group would become zealots, would kind of be a new army for the community, and would really marshal the troops to this new height. The number of them that have done that is really small. It’s a handful actually.”

In short, the evangelical Christian community has been used. National funders and environmental allies targeted us, thinking that we’d be ready to “influence legislation in Washington.” The strategy was to get “evangelical elites” to embrace “Creation Care” and “frame environmental concerns as moral issues” — thus “creating their own set of biblical and theological themes.” Then, the funders believed, they could “borrow their relationship with their constituencies and have them engage their members on the issue and have it be in a way that would appeal to their constituency.”

While environmental funders who invested in building the Creation Care movement have admittedly failed, the report states: “Movement leaders have also deepened their commitment to more long-term, values-based organizing in local evangelical spaces.” Now, instead of targeting “evangelical elites,” they realize they need “rank-and-file evangelicals.”

I encourage my fellow evangelicals to put on the full armor of God. As Duke did, use your intellect and prayer to discern the truth. Much like the serpent’s efforts with Eve, many Christians have come to realize that Creation Care has nothing to do with The Creator; instead it is attractive messaging for a political agenda.

Be alert. You are the prize to those who lack knowledge about who you are and what you believe in. Without you, their efforts are “doomed.”



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