Thursday, August 21, 2014

That pesky old sun

There has been a mini-flood in recent days of research reports that find the earth's climate to be influenced by solar variations -- something Warmists have always rejected.  I put up yesterday a report sourced out of Lund university in Sweden and I reproduce four more reports below.

Hundred-Year Period Of Increased Solar Activity Coming To An End

Article from Finland using American data

The space climate is undergoing an extremely interesting phase – a 100-year period of heightened solar activity is coming to an end.

The sun and weather are the favourite topics of discussion every summer. Kalevi Mursula, professor of space physics at the University of Oulu is interested in both but his interest goes beyond the atmosphere. Mursula studies space climate, including radiation and particles in our solar system.

At the moment, the space climate is undergoing an extremely interesting phase.

The engine of the space climate is the sun, which exerts is influence on its environment by emitting light and releasing solar wind, a stream of charged particles. Now a 100-year period of heightened solar activity is coming to an end.

Keeping tabs on solar activity is important.

Increased solar activity refers to strong solar winds and electromagnetic eruptions called solar storms. When coming into contact with the Earth’s atmosphere, these eruptions may disrupt the functioning of electric devices and communication networks.

Last week, Helsingin Sanomat reported physicist Dr. Pete Riley’s calculations indicating that the likelihood of a disruptive solar storm over the next decade is 12 per cent.

“All our data on space particles are from the period of heightened solar activity. It’ll be interesting to see how the decrease in the activity affects the space climate.”

The task is made easier by the large quantity of data available to scientists as solar radiation is being monitored on dozens of wavelengths across the electromagnetic spectrum.

Researchers also gather additional information by observing the particle concentration in the near-Earth space.

Observing the past

But the Academy of Finland’s Centre of Excellence, the Research on Solar Long-term Variability and Effects (ReSoLVE) team, led by Mursula, is not satisfied with the current state of knowledge.

The scientists at the centre want to find out what has occurred in the sun’s activity over the past 150 years.

“We have both direct and indirect observations on solar activity available to us. For example, the number of sunspots have been observed for a long time.”

Information dating even further back can be gathered from drillings on ice caps, which contain isotopes that make it possible to draw conclusions on earlier changes in solar activity. These isotopes indicate that the sun was exceptionally active during the 20th century but periods of even greater activity took place thousands of years ago.

The reason behind the fluctuation in solar activity is not yet known. One hypothesis is that these long solar cycles are caused by the gravity forces of the planets in the solar system.

However, the current knowledge does not support this hypothesis.


Solar cycles linked to climate pause, assist in coastal planning

Australian data

LONG-TERM  natural cycles linked to the sun could explain the pause in global average surface temperatures and offer a better guide for coastal planners to predict sea level rises, storm surges and natural disasters.

Publication of the findings in Ocean and Coastal Management follows a decade-long struggle for the lead author, Australian scientist Robert Baker from the University of New England, whose work has challenged the orthodox ­climate science view that carbon dioxide is the dominant factor in climate change.

Dr Baker, a former chair of the International Geographical Commission on Modelling Geographic Systems, said what had been a purely scientific debate on climate change until 2005 had become political. His latest paper with his PhD student faced a ­series of ­objections from scientists close to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change but was published after an 11-member peer review panel voted 8-3 to publish. An editorial that accompanied the paper said it was an “excellent ­example of how to approach these complex issues that are now vulnerable to often irrational and heated debate instead of the ­required proper scientific discussion”.

The Baker paper suggests a ­hybrid model that allows future climate change to be estimated with or without human influences. The authors said this would provide a better legal foundation for decision making. Problems with coastal planning in NSW, based on sea-level predictions from climate modelling, were cited in the international paper.

The paper accepts that if there is a human influence on climate change, then it could result in a threefold increase in one-in-100-year extreme coastal events. But it says, as the hiatus shows, human influence can be overtaken by long-term natural cycles, making predictions less certain. The combination of natural and human-induced change in a hybrid model of natural cycles and human influence suggested by Dr Baker produces a “planner’s ­dilemma” of determining whether extreme events are natural fluctuations or from anthropogenic warming.

The paper shows, from scientific analysis of a large number of data sets, that previous fluctuations are periodic and likely to repeat, which has previously been ignored in climate models. According to the paper, the new model was able to simulate a number of climate features . This included greater heat uptake in the oceans to explain the present temperature “pause”; regional effects whereby global warming impacts were not evenly spread ; and planetary, lunar and solar cycles being embedded within the chaotic fluctuations in short-term mean sea-level data. Historic cycles could be predicted to repeat, except with the addition of anthropogenic warming, where the impact could be magnified.

The IPCC’s latest report said the “pause” was due to natural variation and ocean warming. Climate scientists say they expect warming to resume in the near future.


Chinese study shows solar influence on climate

Research from China published in a peer reviewed Chinese language journal claims that there is a strong correlation between solar output and the warming of the Earth and implies that the climate models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) may have "underestimated" the impact of natural factors on climate change.

The recent study claims to demonstrate the existence of significant resonance cycles and high correlations between solar activity and the Earth's averaged surface temperature during centuries, according to an accompanying press release. The press release also claims that a peer reviewer of this paper stated "this work provides a possible explanation for the global warming".

This is a controversial claim and flies in the face of evidence presented by the IPCC and accepted by many climate scientists that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) have been the main factor driving up global temperatures in the industrial age.

The press release states: "climate models of IPCC seem to underestimate the impact of natural factors on the climate change, while overstate that of human activities". It adds that the study "implies that the "modern maximum" of solar activity agrees well with the recent global warming of the Earth. A significant correlation between them can be found".

The research by Dr. Zhao Xinhua and Dr. Feng Xueshang from Chinese state space weather laboratory is published in the peer reviewed journal Chinese Science Bulletin. The paper is written in Chinese with an English language abstract.

In their English language abstract (see below) the authors state: “During the past 100 years, solar activities display a clear increasing tendency that corresponds to the global warming of the Earth (including land and ocean) very well. Particularly, the ocean temperature has a slightly higher correlation to solar activity than the land temperature. All these demonstrate that solar activity has a non-negligible forcing on the temperature change of the Earth on the time scale of centuries.”

This research goes to the heart of the issue of the importance of the sun in climate change and also the issue of the so called sensitivity of the climate to changes in atmospheric CO2 levels. The implication of the research is that the sensitivity of the climate to increases in CO2 is less than that assumed in IPCC model forecasts and therefore that the sun plays a far greater role in influencing climate change than previously acknowledged.

The IPCC's AR5 science report published in September 2013 states: "Nonetheless, there is a high confidence that 21st century solar forcing will be much smaller than the projected increased forcing due to GHGs."

A recent study demonstrates the existence of significant resonance cycles and high correlations between solar activity and the Earth's averaged surface temperature during centuries. This provides a new clue to reveal the phenomenon of global warming in recent years.

Their work, entitled "Periodicities of solar activity and the surface temperature variation of the Earth and their correlations" was published in CHINESE SCIENCE BULLETIN (In Chinese) 2014 No.14 with the co-corresponding authors of Dr. Zhao Xinhua and Dr. Feng Xueshang from State key laboratory of space weather, CSSAR/NSSC, Chinese Academy of Sciences. It adopts the wavelet analysis technique and cross correlation method to investigate the periodicities of solar activity and the Earth's temperature as well as their correlations during the past centuries.

Global warming is one of the hottest and most debatable issues at present. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claimed that the release of the anthropogenic greenhouse gases contributed to 90% or even higher of the observed increase in the global average temperature in the past 50 years. However, the debate on the causes of the global warming never stops. Research shows that the current warming does not exceed the natural fluctuations of climate. The climate models of IPCC seem to underestimate the impact of natural factors on the climate change, while overstate that of human activities. Solar activity is an important ingredient of natural driving forces of climate. Therefore, it is valuable to investigate the influence of solar variability on the Earth's climate change on long time scales.

This innovative study combines the measured data with those reconstructed to disclose the periodicities of solar activity during centuries and their correlations with the Earth's temperature. The obtained results demonstrate that solar activity and the Earth's temperature have significant resonance cycles, and the Earth's temperature has periodic variations similar to those of solar activity (Figure 1).

This study also implies that the "modern maximum" of solar activity agrees well with the recent global warming of the Earth. A significant correlation between them can be found (Figure 2).

As pointed out by a peer reviewer, "this work provides a possible explanation for the global warming".


Based on the well-calibrated systematic measurements of sunspot numbers, the reconstructed data of the total solar irradiance (TSI), and the observed anomalies of the Earth’s averaged surface temperature (global, ocean, land), this paper investigates the periodicities of both solar activity and the Earth’s temperature variation as well as their correlations on the time scale of centuries using the wavelet and cross correlation analysis techniques. The main results are as follows. (1) Solar activities (including sunspot number and TSI) have four major periodic components higher than the 95% significance level of white noise during the period of interest, i.e. 11-year period, 50-year period, 100-year period, and 200-year period. The global temperature anomalies of the Earth have only one major periodic component of 64.3-year period, which is close to the 50-year cycle of solar activity. (2) Significant resonant periodicities between solar activity and the Earth’s temperature are focused on the 22- and 50-year period. (3) Correlations between solar activity and the surface temperature of the Earth on the long time scales are higher than those on the short time scales. As far as the sunspot number is concerned, its correlation coefficients to the Earth temperature are 0.31-0.35 on the yearly scale, 0.58-0.70 on the 11-year running mean scale, and 0.64-0.78 on the 22-year running mean scale. TSI has stronger correlations to the Earth temperature than sunspot number. (4) During the past 100 years, solar activities display a clear increasing tendency that corresponds to the global warming of the Earth (including land and ocean) very well. Particularly, the ocean temperature has a slightly higher correlation to solar activity than the land temperature. All these demonstrate that solar activity has a non-negligible forcing on the temperature change of the Earth on the time scale of centuries.

Periodicities of solar activity and the surface temperature variation of the Earth and their correlations by ZHAO X H, FENG X S.Chin Sci Bull (Chin Ver), 2014, 59: 1284, doi: 10.1360/972013-1089


Astronomy journal reports solar influence on climate

Report by an international team

Research published in an astronomy journal suggests that high solar output seen in the second half of the last century was a once in 3,000 year event.

This astronomical finding based on a careful analysis of sunspot activity has clear implications for climate science as the so called “grand maximum” in solar output identified by the researchers and observed between 1950 and 2009 co-incided with the rapid warming of global surface temperatures seen during the second half of the 20th century.

The international team of space scientists from Finland, France, Switzerland and Russia who authored the paper, “Evidence for distinct modes of solar activity” which appeared in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, do not explicitly link their results to climate science.

They state that the sun has several modes of activity and oscillates between periods of higher and lower output. “The distribution of solar activity is clearly bi-modal, implying the existence of distinct modes of activity. The main regular activity mode corresponds to moderate activity that varies in a relatively narrow band between sunspot numbers ≈ 20 and 67. The existence of a separate Grand minimum mode with reduced solar activity, which cannot be explained by random fluctuations of the regular mode, is confirmed at a high confidence level,” they state.

There is an indication that the Grand maximum seen between 1950 and 2009 also corresponds to a separate mode of activity, they state, “but the low statistics does not allow us to firmly conclude on this, yet”. The low statistics they refer to are because the solar output seen during this period was only observed once during the 3,000 or so years covered by the study.
The research was based on analysis of carbon-14 and magnetic evidence contained in sediments and rocks to reconstruct solar activity over a 3,000 year period.

The implications of this result are controversial as they appear to fly in the face of evidence presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and accepted by many climate scientists that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) have been the main factor driving up global temperatures in the industrial age and that the sun has played a minor role.

This finding that the period of most intense global warming has coincided with an unprecedented peak in recorded solar output will add pressure onto the IPCC to look again at the interconnection between the sun and the climate.


Aims. The Sun shows strong variability in its magnetic activity, from Grand minima to Grand maxima, but the nature of the variability is not fully understood, mostly because of the insufficient length of the directly observed solar activity records and of uncertainties related to long-term reconstructions. Here we present a new adjustment-free reconstruction of solar activity over three millennia and study its different modes.

Methods. We present a new adjustment-free, physical reconstruction of solar activity over the past three millennia, using the latest verified carbon cycle, 14C production, and archeomagnetic field models. This great improvement allowed us to study different modes of solar activity at an unprecedented level of details.

Results. The distribution of solar activity is clearly bi-modal, implying the existence of distinct modes of activity. The main regular activity mode corresponds to moderate activity that varies in a relatively narrow band between sunspot numbers 20 and 67. The existence of a separate Grand minimum mode with reduced solar activity, which cannot be explained by random fluctuations of the regular mode, is confirmed at a high confidence level. The possible existence of a separate Grand maximum mode is also suggested, but the statistics is too low to reach a confident conclusion.

Conclusions. The Sun is shown to operate in distinct modes – a main general mode, a Grand minimum mode corresponding to an inactive Sun, and a possible Grand maximum mode corresponding to an unusually active Sun. These results provide important constraints for both dynamo models of Sun-like stars and investigations of possible solar influence on Earth’s climate.

Evidence for distinct modes of solar activity by I. G. Usoskin, G. Hulot, Y. Gallet, R. Roth, A. Licht, F. Joos, G. A. Kovaltsov, E. Th├ębaultand A. Khokhlov published inAstronomy and Astrophysics A&A Volume 562, February 2014 DOI


Climate change a symbolic battle against an unpleasant, toxic way of life

The rural simplicity idealized by Hitler still guides Greens

I suspect most readers of my column do not religiously read The Atlantic. I don’t either. But I have people — readers who alert me to news and information I might not see otherwise. Though the Atlantic has gained recent notoriety for the interview with Hilary Clinton, in which she says: “Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle,” there is more to it. With so much focus on the Clinton quote, it would be easy to overlook an article within the September issue: How to Talk About Climate Change So People Will Listen.

While I don’t think the author of the nine-page article, Charles C. Mann, ever really offers the answers the title posits, and is seven pages in before he even attempts to advise the reader on the premise, he does offer some noteworthy insights.

Mann is obviously a believer in anthropogenic (or man-made) climate change. Much of his essay is spent deriding the left for its unrestrained rhetoric that it uses to “scare Americans into action.”  He says: “the chatter itself, I would argue, has done its share to stall progress.”

Within his argument is some history and context that is illustrative for those who see climate change as cyclical — something natural that has happened before and will happen again, rather than something that is new, scary, and human-caused. Those of us who believe the climate changes, but that human activity is, certainly, not the primary driver, struggle to understand the cult-like following of alarmists like Bill McKibben, founder of (“A group that seeks to create a mass movement against climate change”) — who Mann spends several paragraphs criticizing.

While I doubt that this is Mann’s intent, a careful reader will realize that today’s climate hysteria has less to do with the climate and more to do with control and economic change.

Mann starts his history lesson with Paul Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb — whom I wrote about in June. Mann calls Ehrlich’s book “a foundational text in the environmental movement” — yet, he points out that Ehrlich’s “predictions didn’t pan out.” Instead of discrediting Ehrlich, his work, somehow, gave birth to what Mann calls “environmental politics.” Continuing, Mann asserts that Earth Day “became an opportunity to denounce capitalist greed.”

Using acid rain as an example, Mann points out: “environmentalists meanwhile found out the problems were less dire than they had claimed” and that “Today, most scientists have concluded that the effects of acid rain were overstated to begin with.”

Because I follow the politics of energy policy, I found this point Mann makes most interesting: “Environmental issues became ways for politicians to signal their clan identity to supporters.” He observes: “As symbols, the ideas couldn’t be compromised.” And, he states: “climate change is perfect for symbolic battle.” He calls carbon dioxide “a side effect of modernity.”

Addressing the charts and graphs that so frequently accompany the climate change hyperbole, Mann says: “In the history of our species, has any human heart ever been profoundly stirred by a graph? Some other approach, proselytizers have recognized, is needed.”

When he gets to McKibben, Mann accuses him of stoking concern “Ehrlich-style.” Mann explains: “The only solution to our ecological woes, McKibben argues, is to live simpler, more local, less resource-intensive existences” — which McKibben believes “will have the happy side effect of turning a lot of unpleasant multinational corporations to ash.” He concludes his section on McKibben with this: “McKibbenites see carbon dioxide as an emblem of a toxic way of life.”

In response to McKibben’s model, Mann cites French philosopher Pascal Bruckner, who argues: “people react with suspicion, skepticism, and sighing apathy — the opposite of the reaction McKibbenites hope to evoke.” Bruckner, according to Mann, likens ecologism to “moral blackmail” as it attempts to “force humanity into a puritanical straitjacket of rural simplicity.” “Ecologism” according to Mann/Bruckner, “employs …bludgeons to compel people to accept modes of existence they would otherwise reject.”

Elsewhere, Mann acknowledges: “Nobody seems to have much appetite for giving up the perks of an industrial civilization” that Mann calls a “boon to humankind,” for which he credits “cheap energy from fossil fuels.” He says: “an unprecedented three-century wave of prosperity” was “driven by the explosive energy of coal, oil and natural gas.”

“True,” says Dan Sutter, professor of economics with the Manuel Johnson Center for Political Economy at Troy University, and who has taught environmental economics and energy economics and done extensive research on extreme weather, as well as the political economy of environmental policy. Sutter told me: “The underlying change that enabled the industrial revolution was the emergence of economic freedom and a market economy. The essence of the market economy is decentralized decision making, and this has led to the harnessing of energy to the benefit of humankind.”

Sutter continued: “Stabilizing atmospheric carbon dioxide at something close to current levels (or lower) will require centralized control over the allocation of energy, meaning centralized control over the economy. Thinking about the distant future is difficult, but energy central planning will bring a halt to the market forces that have produced the first significant improvement in human standards of living in thousands of years.”

So, while Mann concedes that cheap energy from fossil fuels “has been an extraordinary boon to humankind;” and that previous crises — Ehrlich and acid rain, for example — “didn’t pan out,” “have been less dire,” or have been “overstated;” and that environmental issues have become political; and that today’s climate crusaders are clinging to a “symbolic battle” with the ultimate goal of “asking nations to revamp the base of their own prosperity,” though “nobody seems to have much appetite for giving up the perks of industrial civilization,” Mann is still searching for a way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal.

The answer, Mann posits, is “retrofitting 7,000 industrial facilities” — coal-fueled power plants. For what? For a crisis that is “overstated” like those before it and turns out to be “less dire,” we should allow the “symbolic battle” of the climate crusaders to remove that which has been “an extraordinary boon to humankind?”

Toward the end of his tome, Mann states: “the environment has become a proxy for a tribal battle.” He doesn’t state what the tribes are, but from the preceding pages, it is clear that he means the left and the right; the Democrats and the Republicans; those who want to turn corporations to ash, denounce capitalist greed, and force humanity into a straitjacket of rural simplicity and those who understand that the industrial revolution, the market economy, and “cheap energy from fossil fuels” have been “an extraordinary boon to humankind.”

Yes, Mann is correct. “The environment has become a proxy for a tribal battle.” But, as Mann points out, the climate alarmists scare tactics aren’t working — only 20 percent of likely U.S. voters believe the scientific debate about global warming is over. He believes it is because they “don’t know how to talk about climate change.” I believe people are smarter than he gives them credit for. They have heard the “chatter.” They’ve seen, that like Erlich, the “predictions didn’t pan out.”

The “political back-and-forth has become less productive,” which is why we see a switching of sides. Democrats, like Senator Joe Manchin (D-VA), are defending coal. “Full-throated green-energy champions,” like Mark Udall, are supporting fracking. At risk of alienating environmental groups, those who just two years ago voted to restrict oil-and-gas exports, like Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), are now voting to speed up the government’s reviews of applications to export natural gas, which the Wall Street Journal calls: “a move long sought by energy companies.”

What would cause this shift in the tribal battle? The answer, I believe, is simple: no one wants to be in the losing tribe. As Mann unwittingly makes the case for, alarmist claims are met with “suspicion, skepticism, and sighing apathy” — and those are not the battle cries of a winner.


New Study: Increase In Reported UK Flooding Due To Population Growth, Not Global Warming

A rise in the number of reported floods in the UK over the past 129 years can mainly be explained by increased exposure, resulting from urban expansion and population growth, according to new research by the University of Southampton.

In one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind, scientists have discovered that although the number of reported floods has gone up during the 20th and 21st Century, this trend disappears when the figures are adjusted to reflect population growth and increased building numbers over the same period.

Published in the journal Hydrological Sciences, the study looks at data sets from 1884 to 2013 and found an upward trend in reported flooding, with flood events appearing more frequently towards the end of the 20th century, peaking in 2012 when annual rainfall was the second highest in over 100 years.

The rise in UK flood reports over the 20th Century coincides with population growth from 38.2 million to 59.1 million and a tripling in the number of houses, from 7.7 million to 24.8 million.

“As a result there were more properties exposed to flooding and more people to report flooding,” says lead author Andrew Stevens. “A higher exposure to flooding will result in more reported flood events and larger potential damages.”

The study found significant variation between decades in both the raw and adjusted data, with the years between 1908 -1934, 1977 – 1988 and 1998 – 2013 featuring a relatively high numbers of reported floods.



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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Arctic Sea Ice Area Highest Since 2004

August 16 Arctic sea ice area is the highest in a decade, up 54% from two years ago, and within one standard deviation of the 1979-2014 mean.

Green shows ice gain since August 16, 2012. Red shows loss.


Uh oh: California solar plant fries thousands of birds in mid-flight

Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant’s concentrated sun rays — “streamers,” for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair.

Federal wildlife investigators who visited the BrightSource Energy plant last year and watched as birds burned and fell, reporting an average of one “streamer” every two minutes, are urging California officials to halt the operator’s application to build a still-bigger version.

The investigators want the halt until the full extent of the deaths can be assessed. Estimates per year now range from a low of about a thousand by BrightSource to 28,000 by an expert for the Center for Biological Diversity environmental group.

Jon Gabriel on the history of this plant with environmentalists and regulators:

"The facility has concerned environmentalists in the past, as its construction bladed over 3,500 acres of virgin desert. Being California, the state government required BrightSource to relocate a bunch of desert gopher tortoises to the tune of $22 million. The installation also endangers pilots flying the busy Los Angeles–Las Vegas corridor; they can be dazzled by the intense light.

It remains to be seen if regulators will stop the plant’s operation, but at least the world’s largest bug zapper should educate environmentalists and green energy boosters.

For too long, the public has been told that energy production is less a matter of physics than one of morality. Renewable energy like solar and wind are sold as “good” while reliable energy sources like oil and coal are “evil.” Methods like hydroelectric, nuclear and natural gas all were initially sold as clean and green, but became demonized the instant they turned a profit or revealed unintended consequences."

Between this and slaying bald eagles with impunity, green energy is literally killin’ it lately.


Is the SUN driving climate change? Solar activity - 'and not just humans' - could be increasing global warming, study claims

It's not just humans that are to blame for global warming - natural activity from the sun also has an impact on climate change.

This is according to a Swedish research team that has reconstructed the sun's activity at the end of the last ice age, around 20,000 to 10,000 years ago.

The study shows that the sun's variation influences the climate regardless of whether the climate is extreme, as it was during the Ice Age, or moderate, as it is today.

However the researchers do not say solar activity is the sole cause of the current warming of our planet, which most scientists agree is being accelerated by human activities.

The researchers from Lund University in Sweden came to their conclusion by analysing trace elements in ice cores in Greenland and cave formations from China.

Their research shows that the regional climate is influenced by the sun and offers opportunities to better predict future climate conditions in certain regions.

Dr Raimund Muscheler, lecturer in Quaternary Geology at Lund University and co-author of the study, told MailOnline that solar activity in the modern day was causing about 0.1 degrees of warming in the 11-year solar cycle.

'Bit it's quite debated how much it really contributed in the last 100 years, since solar activity increased a bit,' Dr Muscheler says.  'The long trend is debated, but most people don't think it's much more than 0.1 degrees.'

However, he warned that the sun was not the only factor in causing climate change.

'Climate skeptics like to say sun is causing more global warming than we think but I don’t think so.

'What our paper shows is we need to include all processes - greenhouses, the sun and so on, especially for local climates which is important of course.

During the last glacial maximum, Sweden was covered in a thick ice sheet that stretched all the way down to northern Germany and sea levels were more than 330ft (100m) lower than they are today, because the water was frozen in the extensive ice caps.

'The study shows an unexpected link between solar activity and climate change,' Dr Muscheler said in a press release.

'It shows both that changes in solar activity are nothing new and that solar activity influences the climate, especially on a regional level.

'Understanding these processes helps us to better forecast the climate in certain regions.'

Dr Joanna Haigh, Professor of Atmospheric Physics at Imperial College London, tells MailOnline that the research is interesting but people should not jump to any conclusions.

'This is a very nice careful piece of work which provides evidence from Greenland, over a period 10,000-25,000 years ago, consistent with a picture that has emerged from other studies looking at changes over more recent times,' she says.

'This shows that when the sun is less active winters are likely to be warmer in Greenland and colder in Northwest Europe.

'It is not easy to draw any conclusions from this work with regard to the sun’s role in global warming or the recent slowdown in warming of global air temperature.'

The sun’s impact on the climate is a matter of current debate.

There is still a lot of uncertainty as to how the sun affects the climate, but the study suggests that direct solar energy is not the most important factor, but rather it indirectly affects atmospheric circulation.

'Reduced solar activity could lead to colder winters in Northern Europe,' said Dr Muscheler.  'This is because the sun’s UV radiation affects the atmospheric circulation.

'Interestingly, the same processes lead to warmer winters in Greenland, with greater snowfall and more storms.

'The study also shows that the various solar processes need to be included in climate models in order to better predict future global and regional climate change.'


Is the post-EPA regs power grid ready for a truly hard winter?

During the dog days of summer (which haven’t been all that doggy in the Northeast this year) it’s not very popular to sit and speculate about the winter months ahead, but the people responsible for keeping the lights – and the heat – turned on have to do it. One of these folks is Joe Bastardi of WeatherBELL Analytics, and he’s looking ahead with some trepidation. Joe is reading the meteorological tea leaves and sees the potential for another round of heavy snowfall and crippling cold temperatures coming our way. And he also notes that our net energy production, in the wake of new EPA carbon regulations, is actually declining from the previous curve at a time when bad weather puts full load demand on the system. During an interview with Wall Street Journal Live, he voices some of these concerns.

Joe Bastardi: … It’s flowing along right now into the type of El Nino situation that is notorious for giving the United States cold, snowy winters, especially in the eastern part of the United States, relative to the averages. That would be significant because we were within one power plant last year of having the grid overload …

Question: This is sounding horrific. I know that in the first quarter, the weather was said to be to blame for the slow economic growth. Are we going to stop working, basically is what you’re saying?

Joe Bastardi: This year, if you get the kind of winter that we had in 2009-2010 or 2002-2003 with the nation’s grid on the ropes the way it is and some of these regulations that I hear about coming down that are supposed to close plants on January 1st – and what I know, because we’re involved in getting people ready to fight snow in cities around the country – this could be a very, very big economic impact on the winter. And we’re very concerned about that.
Do you recall those “polar vortex” weeks which were all the rage back in January and February? They may be coming back, and last time it happened the strain hit one of the nation’s major power distribution networks to the point where it almost gave up the ghost.

Last winter, bitterly cold weather placed massive stress on the US electrical system ― and the system almost broke. On January 7 in the midst of the polar vortex, PJM Interconnection, the Regional Transmission Organization serving the heart of America from New Jersey to Illinois, experienced a new all-time peak winter load of almost 142,000 megawatts.

Eight of the top ten of PJM’s all-time winter peaks occurred in January 2014. Heroic efforts by grid operators saved large parts of the nation’s heartland from blackouts during record-cold temperature days. Nicholas Akins, CEO of American Electric Power, stated in Congressional testimony, “This country did not just dodge a bullet ― we dodged a cannon ball.”

In order to comply with the new Obama era EPA regs, American Electric Power, which supplies a major portion of the electricity used on the east coast, will be closing almost one quarter of their coal fired plants between now and next June. This is because they were economically unable to come into compliance with the new regulations in the impossibly short window of opportunity offered by the EPA. This is going to reduce the total surge capacity available for some of our most densely populated areas just when we may get hit with weather related demand spikes beyond anyone’s control.

Having the power go out in the summer when you’re trying to run the air conditioning is bad enough. Losing heating when the temperatures head below zero for weeks on end is a recipe for disaster.


We can terraform Mars for the same cost as mitigating climate change. Which would you rather?

One frequently quoted study of the global costs of mitigating climate change put them at around $3 trillion by 2100, with the main benefits being felt between 2100 and 2200. Here is alternative way to spend around the same amount of money with around the same timescale of payback: terraforming Mars.

A standard estimate is that, for about $2-$3 trillion, in between 100 and 200 years we would be able to get Mars from its current "red planet" (dead planet) status to " blue planet" (i.e. a dense enough atmosphere and high enough temperature for Martian water in the poles and soil to melt, creating seas) – achievable in about 100 years – and from there to microbes and algae getting us to "green planet" status within 200 to 600 years.

There are two standard objections to such terraforming. First, it is said to be too expensive, altogether, to be plausible. Second, it is said to require too long a timescale to be plausible.  Both of these objections appear decisively answered by climate change policies and indeed energy policies in general. Between now and the 2035 alone, global investment in energy and energy efficiency (in many cases with a many-decades payback period) is estimated at about $40 trillion, of which $6 trillion is in renewables and $1 trillion in low-carbon nuclear. We are willing to spend many trillions on projects that could take over a century to come to fruition.

But in a century that red dot in the night sky could be transformed into a blue dot, and a couple of centuries later into a green dot. We know how. We just need to decide to do it.  If we decided to go for it, some of you reading this article could be alive to see that blue dot.

What an adventure that would be!  In the ancient world, humanity had poor knowledge of almost anywhere. The conquests of Alexander the Great are sometimes seen through the lens of his desire to stand on the shores of a legendary great ocean he had heard of, where the lands ended.  By the Mediaeval period we had the journey of Marco Polo and expeditions of Zheng He. Then the Portuguese got in with their effort to sail around Africa to India. Columbus sailed West and Magellan circumnavigated the Earth. In the 19th century Livingstone and Stanley explored Africa and as the 20th century began Amundsen discovered the North West Passage and went first to the South Pole and probably also the North. In the Fifties Hillary and Tenzing conquered Everest and in 1960 the Trieste reached the bottom of the Marianas Trench. Immediately humanity had conquered these last earthly adventures, we had the race to the Moon, reaching it in 1969.

And then… well, essentially we stopped.  Like late Roman Imperialists hedged in after the Teutoburg Forest, Western culture has decayed into decadent pleasures. Absent new discoveries or voyages to make, humanity's adventures are sex or thrill-seeking or drugs or, as the character Cuckoo puts in in the eponymous BBC3 series: "Would you like to know the longest journey I've ever taken? The journey into my mind….."

There are perhaps other great adventures humanity could pursue besides the terraforming of Mars. But that is a big and obvious one and one we believe we could indeed do – at a cost that is comparable to other policies we do in fact enact and over a timescale that we do currently consider relevant for other policies.

Furthermore, it is of a unifying nature. Frankly, if you had to choose between spending $2-$3 trillion on preventing the earth heating up more than 2-3 degrees over the next 150 years and spending it on making Mars into a blue planet where algae and bacteria and plants could grow, who is seriously going to choose the former?


Trampling on Coal Country Families


Between 1989 and 2010, Congress rejected nearly 700 cap-tax-and-trade and similar bills that their proponents claimed would control Earth's perpetually fickle climate and weather. So even as real world crises erupt, President Obama is using executive fiats and regulations to impose his anti-hydrocarbon agenda, slash America's fossil fuel use, bankrupt coal and utility companies, make electricity prices skyrocket, and "fundamentally transform" our economic, social, legal and constitutional system.

Citing climate concerns, he has refused to permit construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, and blocked or delayed Alaskan, western state and offshore oil and gas leasing and drilling. He's proud that US oil production has climbed 58% and natural gas output has risen 21% since 2008. But he doesn't mention that this is due to hydraulic fracturing on state and private lands; production has actually fallen in areas controlled by the federal government, and radical environmentalists oppose fracking all over the USA.

Above all, the President's war on hydrocarbons is a war on Coal Country families. For 21 states that still rely on coal to produce 40-96% of their electricity, it is a war on people's livelihoods and living standards - on the very survival of small businesses and entire communities. The price of electricity has already risen 1-2 cents per kilowatt-hour in those states, from as little as 5.6 cents/kWh in 2009. If it soars to the 14.6 to 15.7 cents/kWh paid in "job-mecca states" like California and New York - which rely on coal for less than 3% of their electricity - the impacts will churn through coal-dependant states like a tsunami.

Yet that is where rates are headed, as the Obama EPA's carbon dioxide and other restrictions kick in. Hundreds of baseload coal-fired power plants (some 180 gigawatts of electric generation capacity) will be forced into premature retirement between 2010 and 2020. That's more than 15% of the United States' total installed capacity - enough electricity to power nearly 90 million average homes or small businesses. EPA assumes it can be replaced by expensive, unreliable, habitat-gobbling wind and solar power. It can't.

EPA rules mean the price of everything people do will skyrocket: heating and air conditioning, lights and refrigeration, televisions, computers, medical equipment, machinery and every other gizmo that runs on electricity. Poor, minority and blue-collar families will have to find hundreds of dollars a year somewhere in their already stretched budgets. Shops and other small businesses will have to discover thousands of dollars, by delaying other purchases or laying people off. Factories, malls, school districts, hospitals and cities will have to send out search parties to locate millions a year at the end of rainbows.

Millions will get laid off - in coal mines, power plants, factories, shops and other businesses. Entire families and communities will be pounded and impoverished. Real people's hopes, dreams, pride and work ethic will be replaced by despair and dependency. Bread winners will be forced to work multiple jobs, commute longer distances, and suffer severe sleep deprivation, if they can find work.

Families will have to cope with more stress, depression, drug and alcohol abuse, spousal and child abuse. Nutrition and medical care will suffer. More people will turn to crime. More will have strokes and heart attacks. More will die prematurely or commit suicide. For no measurable benefits.

EPA cites mercury, soot, asthma, climate change, hurricanes, seas rising seven inches a century, and even ocean acidification to justify the draconian rules. But the scientific basis is bogus.

The agency cherry-picks data and studies that support its agenda, ignores libraries of contradictory research, rejects experts whose analyses question EPA conclusions, pays advisors and activists millions of dollars annually to rubberstamp and promote its regulations, and hides its work from those it decrees "are not qualified to analyze it." The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change operates in much the same fashion.

Moreover, unhealthy US emissions plunged nearly 90% since 1970, even as coal use for electricity generation increased 170% - and the newest coal-fired power plants reduce pollution by almost this amount, using "supercritical" technologies, while also reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 20% or more, according the EPA and US Energy Information Administration reports.

Meanwhile, China, India, Germany, Poland and other countries are building some 1,200 new coal-fired power plants, and numerous gas plants, to spur economic growth, preserve jobs and lift people out of poverty. So the sacrifices Mr. Obama is imposing will do nothing to reduce global CO2 levels, which the evidence increasingly shows plays only a minor to trivial role in climate and weather fluctuations.

It's true that Detroit temperatures didn't dip below freezing in January and February in'79 - followed by a frost in June. But that was 1879! When he was a boy, "snows were frequent and deep in every winter," Thomas Jefferson recalled in December 1809. "The Greenland seas, hitherto covered [in ice], have in the last two years entirely disappeared," Britain's Royal Society reported ... in 1817. "We were astonished by the total absence of ice in Barrow Strait. [Six years ago the area was] still frozen up, and doubts were entertained as to the possibility of escape," Captain Francis McClintock wrote in his ship's log - in 1860.

And don't forget the Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age, and the five frigid epochs that buried North America, Europe and Asia under glaciers a mile thick. Or the 4,000-year-old trees that recently emerged as modern glaciers melted back - proving that a forest grew in the now icy Alps just four millennia ago.

On and on it has gone, throughout Earth and human history: wild weather and climate swings on a recurring basis. But now, climate chaos cultists want us to believe such events began only recently, and we could stop today's climate and weather aberrations - if we would just eliminate fossil fuels, destroy our economies, and condemn Third World families to permanent poverty and disease.

The truth is, only once in all of human history was a government able to control Earth's climate, to make it "perfect all year," and it is highly unlikely that we will ever return to those wondrous days.

So how do the EPA, IPCC, Michael Mann, Al Gore and other Climate Armageddonites deal with all these inconvenient truths, questions and skeptical researchers?

They hide their data and computer codes. Complain that they are being picked on. Refuse to debate "dangerous manmade global warming" skeptics. Harass and vilify contrarian experts, and boot them off university committees. Refuse to attend conferences where they might have to defend their manipulated data, junk science and absurd assertions. Al Gore won't even take questions that he has not preapproved.

They have no cojones. They hide behind their sinecures the way Hamas terrorists hide behind children.

EPA won't even hold hearings in Coal Country or states that will be hardest hit by soaring electricity costs. It hosts dog-and-pony shows and "listening sessions" in big cities like Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, DC and Pittsburgh - where it knows passionate lefty students and eco-activists will dominate. People who will be grievously impacted by the draconian job-killing regulations must travel long distances and pay for expensive hotels and meals ... or remain silent and ignored.

That stacks the deck - the same way the "public comment" process is tilted in favor of ultra-rich Big Green agitators who have the funding and organization to generate thousands or millions of comments.

We taxpayers pay for these studies, payoffs and propaganda. And we will get stuck with the regulations, soaring prices and lost jobs that result. We have a right to review and analyze the data and claims. We have a right to be heard, in a fair and honest process that truly takes our concerns into account.

The House of Representatives should hold hearings, forcing callous bureaucrats, slick scientists and computer modeling charlatans to present their data, codes and findings under oath. States should sue EPA for violating the Information Quality Act.



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

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


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Kuhn was right: AGW theory will persist until it is replaced by something else

I encountered the same in social science.  Leftists need their explanations ad theories so attacking those explanations without replacing them will have nil effect

Written by Dr Jennifer Marohasy

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend the Ninth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC9) in Las Vegas. If you ever doubted scepticism towards man-made global warming as a growing social movement, well, you couldn’t after attending that conference with hundreds of enthusiastic doubters in attendance and some 6,000 watching online. Kuhn

But I came away wondering about the culture that is developing around the movement, and whether it is truly one of enlightenment.

Most of us share enlightenment values. And skepticism is historically associated with the Enlightenment. But it should be skepticism of entrenched dogmas, not an automatic opposition to every new big idea. Indeed the enlightenment saw big ideas progress; ideas that once realized, dramatically improved the human condition.

Many sceptics apparently think that we have won the scientific argument, and that our next objective should be the dismantling of climate policies and climate research. But they are wrong. We have not won the scientific argument and we won’t, if we continue down the current path of suggesting that we can’t forecast weather or climate. This suggestion, that we can’t forecast, was often made at the conference and made again just last week by Jo Nova quoting Don Aitkin.

The history of science suggests that paradigms are never disproven, they are only ever replaced. Physicist and philosopher, the late Thomas S. Kuhn, also explained that competition within segments of the scientific community is the only historical process that ever actually results in the rejection of one previously accepted theory or in the adoption of another.

In short, if our movement really wants to see the overthrow of the man-made global warming paradigm, it needs to back alternatives and promote new research.

Assuming we are indeed a movement with a desire to contribute in a tangible way to climate science, and a movement looking for viable alternative paradigms, then we need a way of sorting through incommensurable perspectives, and also a way of ensuring that the most promising research is promoted.

Let me make these points in a bit more detail:

1. We have not won the scientific argument.

It was repeatedly suggested at the ICCC9 conference that those sceptical of man-made global warming have some how won the scientific argument. This is nonsense.

On my arrival back in Australia I was forwarded yet another letter from an Australian government official reiterating that: “The Australian Government accepts the science of climate change and takes its primary advice on climate change from the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO. This advice aligns with information provided by the IPCC and national and international organisations such as the Australian Academy of Science, World Meteorological Organisation, the Royal Society in the United Kingdom, and the National Academy of Sciences, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the United States.”

The letter goes on to state that, “The world’s leading scientific organisations have found that the Earth’s climate is changing and that humans are primarily responsible…”

Not only do these esteemed organisations accept anthropogenic global warming theory (AGW), they also work actively with the mainstream media to crush, ridicule or quarantine any criticism of AGW.

If those sceptical of man-made global warming can be accused of denial, it is of this fact. We might be having some impact on the political process, even achieving repeal of the carbon tax in Australia, but the science of anthropogenic global warming remains as firmly entrenched as ever especially amongst the media, academics and legislators.

2. Rebuttals don’t overthrow established paradigms.

Anthropogenic global warming is a fully functional, well-funded scientific paradigm that is having a major impact on social and economic policy in every western democracy.

As I explained in session 13 at the conference: Scientific disciplines are always underpinned by theories that collectively define the dominant paradigm. In the case of modern climate science that paradigm is AGW. It defines the research questions asked, and dictates the methodology employed by the majority of climate scientists most of the time. AGW may be a paradigm with little practical utility and tremendous political value, but it’s a paradigm none-the-less. The world’s most powerful and influential leaders also endorse AGW.

In a lecture to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco in September 2003 Michael Crichton said: “The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.”

Scientists are meant to know the difference between fact and fiction and as a first check of the reliability of a source of information they will often ask if it has been “peer-reviewed”. Peer-review means that research findings are conducted and presented to a standard that other scientists working within that field consider acceptable. This is normally achieved through publication in a scientific journal and involves the editor of the journal asking for comment on the validity, significance and originality of the work from other scientists before publication. In short, the system of peer-review means scientific research is subject to independent scrutiny but it doesn’t guarantee the truth of the research finding.

In theory rebuttals play an equal or more important role than peer review in guaranteeing the integrity of science. By rebuttals I mean articles, also in peer-reviewed journals, that show by means of contrary evidence and argument, that an earlier claim was false. By pointing out flaws in scientific papers that have passed peer-review, rebuttals, at least theoretically, enable scientific research programs to self-correct. But in reality most rebuttals are totally ignored and so fashionable ideas often persist even when they have been disproven.

Consider, for example, a paper published in 2006 by marine biologist, Boris Worm, and coworkers, in the prestigious peer-reviewed journal Science. The study was based on the meta-analysis of published fisheries data and predicted the collapse of the world’s fisheries by 2048. Publication of the article by Worm et al. was accompanied by a media release entitled “Accelerated loss of ocean species threatens human well-being” with the subtitle “Current trend projects collapse of all currently fished seafoods before 2050”.

Not surprisingly, given the importance of the finding, the article attracted widespread attention in the mainstream media and also within the scientific community. But not everyone agreed with the methodology used in the Worm study. Eleven rebuttals soon appeared, many within the same journal Science, and within months of the original article.

The rebuttals, however, scarcely altered the scientific perception of the original article.

In a comprehensive study of this, and six other high-profile original articles and their rebuttals, Jeannette Banobi, Trevor Branch and Ray Hilborn, found that at least in marine biology and fishery science rebuttals are for the most part ignored.

They found that original articles were cited on average 17 times more than rebuttals and that annual citation numbers were unaffected by rebuttals. On the occasions when rebuttals were cited, the citing papers on average had neutral views on the original article, and incredibly 8 percent actually believed that the rebuttal agreed with the original article.

Dr Banobi and coworkers commented that: “We had anticipated that as time passed, citations of the original articles would become more negative, and these articles would be less cited than other articles published in the same journal and year. In fact, support for the original articles remained undiminished over time and perhaps even increased, and we found no evidence of a decline in citations for any of the original articles following publication of the rebuttals…

“Thus the pattern we observed follows most closely the hypothesis of competing research programs espoused by Lakatos (1978): in practice, research programs producing and supporting the views in the original papers remained unswayed by the publication of rebuttals, thus significant changes in these ideas will tend to occur only if these research programs decay and dwindle over time while rival research programs (sponsored by the rebuttal authors) gain strength.”

Indeed it is the naive view that scientific communities learn from obvious mistakes. And as past failures become more entrenched it can only become increasingly difficult to distinguish truth from propaganda, including in the peer-reviewed literature.

3. Paradigms are never disproven: they are only ever replaced.

Since my return from the conference, it has been suggested to me that the ‘new paradigm’ for climate science is the one described in the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) reports, in particular the ‘null hypothesis paradigm’ that according to many skeptics, is far better at accounting for climate phenomena than are the General Circulation Models. I disagree.

The null hypothesis refers to the general statement or default position that there is no relationship between two measured phenomena. In the case of NIPCC the claim is that “nature not human activity rules the climate”. But this tells us almost nothing. In many ways it’s a cop-out. It’s like a theory of electricity without any explanation of charge, voltage or magnetism.

A good test of the value of any scientific theory to those external to the discipline is its utility. For example the calendars that were developed based on Nicolas Copernicus’ Heliocentric Theory of the Universe were better calendars than those based on Ptolemy’s Handy Tables. The new calendars, based on a new theoretical approach, more precisely predicted the position of the sun and the planets and thus the seasons, which, of course, influence the weather. In the same way, those who want to see AGW theory discarded need to increase their expectations of climate science and in particular demand some practical benefits. The most obvious would be better weather and climate forecasts.

Last year, aversion to a new theory attributing solar variability to gravitational and inertial effects on the sun from the planets and their satellites, not only resulted in the premature termination of a much-needed new journal (Pattern Recognition in Physics), but was also mocked by leading skeptical bloggers. More recently leading skeptical bloggers, Willis Eschenbach and Lubos Motl, were far too quick to attack a new notch-delay solar model that David Evans and Jo Nova developed in an attempt to quantify the difference between total solar irradiance and global temperatures and in the process forecast future climate.

In attempting to understand Dr Motl’s issues with Evans and Nova’s model, I was told that my work with John Abbot forecasting rainfall was also no better than “a sort of magic” because, like Evans and Nova, I was describing relationships “without a proper understanding of which variables are really driving things”. To the layman the few paragraphs of relevant jargon that Motl posted at his blog may have given the impression of some special knowledge, but in reality he was just repeating prejudices including the popular claim that climate is essentially chaotic.

Over the last few years my main focus of research has been on medium-term monthly rainfall forecasts. Not using General Circulation Models (GCMs) that attempt to simulate the climate from first principles, but rather using artificial neural networks (ANNs), which are a form of artificial intelligence and a state-of-the-art statistical modeling technique. John Abbot and I very quickly established that our method – which relies on mining historical climate data for patterns and then projecting forward – could produce a much more skillful medium term rainfall forecast than the Australian Bureau of Meteorology’s best GCM.

Of course the use of statistical models for forecasting is not new, nor is pattern analysis. Many long-range weather forecasters and astrophysicists rely on lunar, solar and planetary cycles to forecast both weather and climate.

So, I was somewhat surprised to hear so many big names at the conference claim from the podium that it would never be possible to forecast weather more than a few days in advance, some going as far to suggest, like Lubos Motl, that climate is essentially a chaotic system.

Such claims are demonstrably false. Indeed that our ANNs (see Atmospheric Research 138, 166-178) can generate skillful monthly rainfall forecast up to three months in advance, is evidence that we are not dealing with a chaotic system.

Until skeptics start thinking about these issues and the need to back something, rather than perhaps always being too keen to knock the next big idea, we won’t truly make progress towards replacing the current dominant paradigm in climate science.


Global Warming Alarmist Sues Think Tank for Disputing his “Facts”

This article appeared on on August 13, 2014.
What’s worse than a public policy debate that turns bitter and impolite? Well, for one, having the courts step into the marketplace of ideas to judge which side of a debate has the best “facts.”

Yet that’s what Michael Mann has invited the D.C. court system to do. In response to some scathing criticism of his methodologies and an allegation of scientific misconduct, the author of the infamous “hockey stick” models of global warming — because they resemble the shape of a hockey stick, with temperatures rising drastically beginning in the 1900s — has taken the global climate change debate to a record low by suing the Competitive Enterprise Institute,National Review, and two individual commentators. The good Dr. Mann claims that some blogposts alleging his work to be “fraudulent” and “intellectually bogus” were libelous. (For more background on the matter, see this excellent summary by NR’s editor Rich Lowry; linking to that post is partly what led Mann to target CEI.)

The D.C. trial court rejected the defendants’ motion to dismiss this lawsuit, holding that their criticism could be taken as a provably false assertion of fact because the EPA, among other bodies, have approved of Mann’s methodologies. In essence, the court seems to cite a consensus as a means of censoring a minority view. The defendants appealed to the D.C. Court of Appeals (the highest court in the District of Columbia).

Cato has now filed a brief, joined by three other think tanks, in which we urge the court to stay out of the business of refereeing scientific debates. (And if you liked our “truthiness” brief, you’ll enjoy this one.)

We argue that the First Amendment demands that failing to leave room for the marketplace of ideas to operate stifles academic and scientific progress, and that judges are ill-suited to officiate policy disputes — as history has shown time and again. The lower court clearly got it wrong here — and there are numerous cases where courts have more judiciously treated similarly harsh assertions for what they really are: expressions of disagreement on public policy that, even if hyperbolic, are among the forms of speech most deserving of constitutional protection.

The point in this appeal is that courts should not be coming up with new terms like “scientific fraud” to squeeze debate over issues impacting government policy into ordinary tort law. Dr. Mann is not like a corner butcher falsely accused of putting his thumb on the scale or mixing horsemeat into the ground beef. He is a vocal leader in a school of scientific thought that has had major impact on government policies.

Public figures must not be allowed to use the courts to muzzle their critics. Instead, as the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly taught, open public debate resolves these sorts of disputes. The court here should let that debate continue outside the judicial system.


Proposed EPA Regs Would Affect Climate by Eighteen-Thousandths of a Degree by 2100 — and Cost U.S. Economy $51 Billion Annually

The Environmental Protection Agency’s new proposed rules, which seek to limit carbon emissions from power plants, would cost the American economy $51 billion, as well as 224,000 jobs, every year through 2030, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates.

With that significant of an economic impact, one would hope the EPA had a pretty good justification, right?

But I write today:

As the Cato Institute recently noted, the agency forgot to include one very important calculation in the information they released about the proposed rules: whether or not they will actually affect climate change.

“There’s really no reason to go after carbon emissions unless you think they cause climate change,” Chip Knappenberger, assistant director for Cato’s Center for the Study of Science, tells me. The impact on climate change is key. But the EPA hasn’t publicized any finding on that supposed link.

Knappenberger and his colleague Patrick J. Michaels crunched the numbers using an EPA-developed climate-model emulator. They found that the regulations would somewhat affect the climate — by eighteen-thousandths of a degree Celsius by 2100.

“We’re not even sure how to put such a small number into practical terms, because, basically, the number is so small as to be undetectable,” Knappenberg and Michaels wrote when they released their findings. “Which, no doubt, is why it’s not included in the EPA Fact Sheets. It is not too small, however, that it shouldn’t play a huge role in every and all discussions of the new regulations.”

That’s not the only time the EPA has used some suspect math. A new report from the Government Accountability Office found that the EPA was calculating how its regulations would affect employment using a study outdated by 20 years that had, even when current, looked at only four industrial sectors. You can read about even more about the agency’s number-fudging here.


EPA goes from Environmental Protection Agency to Extremist Political Agenda

During the week of July 28, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held hearings in four cities: Atlanta, Denver, Pittsburgh, and Washington, DC. The two-day sessions were to allow the public to have their voice heard about the proposed rules it released on June 2 that will supposedly cut CO2 emissions by 30%.

Many, including myself, believe that these rules are really an attempt to shut down coal-fueled electricity generation and implement a cap-and-trade program that the Administration couldn’t get through Congress in 2009, when cap-and-trade’s obvious allies held both houses of Congress.

If the EPA’s plans were clear, direct, and honest, the public would likely revolt outright. Instead, the intent is hidden in pages of cumbersome language and the messaging becomes all about clean air and water—and about the health of children.

Because I was in the area—speaking a few hours from Atlanta on Sunday—I took advantage of the proximity and signed up to speak at the hearing. When I first attempted to sign up, day one was already full. The EPA had so many people who wanted time to share their opinions, a second day was added, and I was put on the schedule.

The first day, Tuesday, July 29, included competing rallies held in near-record-low temperatures for Atlanta in July. Supporters of the EPA’s plan—many of whom were bussed in from surrounding states—gathered in Centennial Olympic Park. I spoke at the rally, made up of plan opponents, that was organized by Americans for Prosperity’s Georgia chapter held at the Sam Nunn Federal Center—where the hearing was originally scheduled (before a power outage forced a move to the Omni Hotel).

I spent the rest of the day at the hearing. It had a circus-like atmosphere. With tables of literature, people carrying signs, and many of the plan’s supporters identified by their matching pale-green tee shirts emblazoned with:

  Protect our communities


Once I had a taste of what to expect the next day, when I was to present my comments in the five minutes allotted, I prepared what I wanted to say. The following is my original text—though I had to edit it down to get it within the allowed time frame. For presentation here, I’ve also enhanced my comments with some additional insights from others. The verbiage that is not a part of my original testimony is included in italics.

* * * *

I was here yesterday and earlier today. I’ve listened to the well-intentioned pleas from many who have begged you, the EPA, to take even stronger action than this plan proposes. One even dramatically claimed: “You are the Environmental Protection Agency. You are our only hope. If you don’t protect us no one will?”

I heard a teary-eyed, young woman tell a tale about a man she knows who is dying of cancer, supposedly because he grew up near a coal-fired power plant—he couldn’t be here, so she told his story. She also said: “I am fortunate enough to have not been around in the 1960s when there was real smog.” Her father has told her about it.

One woman claimed her neighbor had gotten asthma from global warming.

Another addressed how she gets headaches from emissions. She told how lung tissue could be burned. And, how particulates are why people can no longer see the mountain in her region.

An attorney’s testimony told about seeing “carbon pollution” every day from his 36th floor office “a few blocks from here” from where he looks “out over a smog-covered city.”

The passion of these commenters supersedes their knowledge, as none of the issues I’ve mentioned here, and there are many more, are something caused by carbon dioxide—a clear, colorless gas that each of us breathe out and plants breathe in.


India deals a blow to climate negotiations

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, leader of the world's third-largest greenhouse gas-emitting nation, won't join his U.S. and Chinese counterparts at a United Nations climate summit next month in New York.

Modi will skip the Sept. 23 event, according to the Economic Times, thwarting a potential meeting between the heads of states for the three largest greenhouse gas emitters — arguably the nations that will drive international negotiations next year in Paris.

Modi's absence is a bit of a blow to the summit, as India hasn't made the type of ambitious gestures that China and the U.S. have floated.

China, the world's top greenhouse gas emitter, has intimated it might make sizable commitments to curb carbon pollution — state media reported earlier this month that Beijing plans to eliminate coal use by 2020 in six major districts. The U.S. is pushing ahead with a proposal to slash power-sector emissions 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, an effort that Obama said can secure buy-in from other nations.

Elected in May, Modi has fancied himself a climate champion, helping spur renewable energy adoption when he was chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat. But he is considered a nationalist, and his campaign centered on economic revival. Much of India's rural poor still lack access to electricity — and the country happens to have a significant amount of coal.

The Economic Times noted that Modi has a Sept. 30 meeting with Obama. The publication said that if Modi attended the climate summit, the Indian leader "would have nothing to do" during the intervening week.


Australian Greens in bed with thug union

In a last-minute bid to prevent the election of Liberal Senate candidate and former ACT leader Zed Seselja in 2013, the ACT Greens received the largest donation in the history of the party branch from the pro-Labor Construction, Forestry, Mining and Electrical Union (CFMEU).

Fairfax Media can reveal a $50,000 donation was made to the ACT Greens federal account, which can only be spent on federal elections or administration, on September 3 last year, in the dying days of polling. It was by far the largest single donation ever given to the ACT Greens party and was more than twice as much as was given to the Labor Party over the same period.

It was also four times as much as a 2012 donation from the CFMEU's ACT branch, which made a few Greens members ''uneasy'' at the time.

CFMEU ACT division secretary Dean Hall said the donation had not come from the Canberra branch but from the national division, meaning he had no direct knowledge of it.

But he said it would have been donated to keep the Senate balance of power out of the hands of the Abbott government.

"It was more about the balance of power in the Senate. We tried to find a situation where we didn't have extreme right-wing legislation being passed," he said.

"[The donation] would have been for the Senate campaign. At the time there was a chance that senator Seselja wouldn't get elected [and] I think that's what it was about, trying to secure the balance of power."

He said a very small amount of the donation would have been funded by ACT voters.

ACT Greens convenor Sophie Trevitt acknowledged the party had recieved a donation from the national branch of the CFMEU but would not say where the money had gone and what it was spent on.

She said they had accepted the donation on the basis it came from the construction division of the CFMEU, compared to the mining or forestry divisions, and was derived from union member fees.

She said the ACT Greens had a lot of common ground with the CFMEU in Canberra.

"[We] have supported their calls for safer and fairer workplaces and we have worked closely with the CFMEU to improve safety in the building and construction industry," she said.

When asked whether there had been any conditions on the donation, Ms Trevitt said the Greens did not accept donations with ''strings attached''.

"All donations go through a vetting process to ensure that donations are not accepted from organisations whose principles and ethics conflict with the Greens," she said.

A spokesperson for the CFMEU's national office said all the union's donations were published appropriately and they donated to a number of parties that supported workers' rights.

She also said she wanted to stress the union did not agree with all of the ACT Greens' policy positions.

Former ACT Greens MLA Caroline Le Couteur said there was a donations reference group within the party who veted every major donation and rejected it if it was inappropriate.

She said the Greens had tried to pass donation reform legislation through the assembly which would have only allowed donations from ACT electors, but it had been rejected by the Labor and Liberal parties.

Ms Le Couteur said after all, the Greens were a political party that wanted to get its candidate elected.

"Obviously we don't have anything like as much money as the Liberal or Labor parties [so] if they're playing by rules which allow donations from non-individuals then [refusing those donations] is a bit like cutting off your nose to spite your face," she said.

"We'd like it to be otherwise but ... it isn't,"



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

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


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Two very different Warmists meet  -- and we see which is rational

Kevin Trenberth is allegedly a scientist but is certainly a global warming evangelist.  His second most famous quote is:  "The planet is warming", but "the warmth just isn’t being manifested at the surface".   Pielke Jr. says he believes in global warming but doesn't think anyone can do anything about it.  Pielke enrages other Warmists.  He reports via Twitter:

Roger Pielke Jr. @RogerPielkeJr

I debated Trenberth last week. From Kevin there was yelling, spittle & an apology. I stuck to IPCC AR5 which he called totally wrong. Weird.

IPCC AR5 is the latest U.N. climate report

Claim: 'State-of-the-art modeling techniques' reveal that 'Humans Are to Blame for Earth's Rapidly Melting Glaciers'

The paper is Attribution of global glacier mass loss to anthropogenic and natural causes and it is a glaringly obvious piece of propaganda that starts out with a lie. "The ongoing global glacier retreat" doesn't exist. Overall glacier retreat stopped in about 1950. See here. And their failure to include solar factors in their models is also revelatory -- since sunspots have been known for many years as correlated with climate change. And models will give you any result you want of course

The steady melt of glacial ice around the world is largely due to man-made factors, such as greenhouse-gas emissions and aerosols, a new study finds.

Humans have caused roughly a quarter of the globe's glacial loss between 1851 and 2010, and about 69 percent of glacial melting between 1991 and 2010, the study suggests.

"In a sense, we got a confirmation that by now, it is really mostly humans that are responsible for the melting glaciers," said lead researcher Ben Marzeion, an associate professor of meteorology and geophysics at the University of Innsbruck in Austria.

Vanishing glaciers are often associated with global warming, and other studies have estimated past ice loss and made projections of future melt. But until now, researchers were unsure how much glacial loss was tied to human factors.

"So far, it has been unclear how much of the observed mass losses are caused by humans rather than natural climate variations," Regine Hock, a professor of geophysics at the University of Alaska Fairbanks who was not involved in the study, wrote an in email to Live Science.

The researchers used "state-of-the art modeling techniques," in their work, Hock said.

The research team relied on 12 climate models, most of them from the latest reports from theIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an international group of climate-change experts convened by the United Nations. By combining the models, along with data from the Randolph Glacier Inventory (a catalog of nearly 200,000 glaciers), the researchers created a computer model that included only natural contributions to glacier melt, such as volcanic eruptions and solar variability, and another model with both human and natural factors.

Using data from 1851 to 2010, the researchers compared the two models with real measurements of glaciers to determine which one better represented reality. The study did not include glaciers in Antarctica, because not enough data on the region was available during the 159 years covered by the study.

The model with the man-made influences was a better fit, they found.

"Glaciers thin and retreat around the world as a result of rising air temperature, but the glaciers don't care whether or not the increase in temperature is due to natural or human causes," Hock said. "Over the last 150 years, most of the mass loss was due to natural climate variability, caused, for example, by volcanic eruptions or changes in solar activity.

"However, during the last 20 years, almost 70 percent of the glacier mass changes were caused by climate change due to humans," she wrote.

Interestingly, the study found that glaciers, which are slow to react to climate change, are still recovering from the end of the Little Ice Age that lasted from the 14th to the 19th centuries.  During the Little Ice Age, temperatures were about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius) colder than they are today.
Warmer temperatures after the Little Ice Age affected the glaciers. "Essentially, what we find is that glaciers would be melting without any human influence," Marzeion told Live Science.

The melt, however, would not be happening as quickly as it is today if it weren't for man-made contributions, such as aerosols from wood or coal fires, he said. Aerosols are particles suspended in the atmosphere that absorb and scatter the sun's radiation.

Even if climate change from both man-made and natural causes stopped today, the glaciers would continue to melt and are projected to raise ocean levels by 2.7 inches (7 centimeters) during this century, Marzeion said.

As global temperatures continue to rise, the glaciers will continue to disappear. The melt may provide more water for irrigation and other needs, but it won't be sustainable because the glaciers may eventually vanish, Marzeion said. In the meantime, people can try to reduce man-made contributions to global warming and adapt to the changing planet, he said.

The study was published online today (Aug. 14) in the journal Science.


The glaciers have stopped retreating

A paper published today in The Cryosphere studies glacier length data available worldwide since 1800 and finds that glaciers retreated faster during the first half of the 20th century than the second half from 1950-2000.

This is the opposite pattern that would be expected if man-made greenhouse gases were the cause, and suggests a natural origin. Most warmists and the IPCC claim man-made greenhouse gases did not begin to affect climate until after 1950, and thus can't be blamed for the fastest rate of glacier retreat from ~1850-1950 and subsequent deceleration.

The authors find glaciers showed little change in length during the latter part of the Little Ice Age 1800-1850, but following the end of the Little Ice Age in ~1850 most began a relatively rapid retreat that began to decelerate after ~1950. The data shows that calving glaciers reversed to a net advancing trend after ~2001, and that the number of calving glaciers  has sharply decreased from ~99% to 50% since the year 2000.

The paper:

A data set of worldwide glacier length fluctuations

P. W. Leclercq et al.


Glacier fluctuations contribute to variations in sea level and historical glacier length fluctuations are natural indicators of past climate change. To study these subjects, long-term information of glacier change is needed. In this paper we present a data set of global long-term glacier length fluctuations. The data set is a compilation of available information on changes in glacier length worldwide, including both measured and reconstructed glacier length fluctuations. All 471 length series start before 1950 and cover at least four decades. The longest record starts in 1535, but the majority of time series start after 1850. The number of available records decreases again after 1962. The data set has global coverage including records from all continents. However, the Canadian Arctic is not represented in the data set. The available glacier length series show relatively small fluctuations until the mid-19th century, followed by a global retreat. The retreat was strongest in the first half of the 20th century, although large variability in the length change of the different glaciers is observed. During the 20th century, calving glaciers retreated more than land-terminating glaciers, but their relative length change was approximately equal. Besides calving, the glacier slope is the most important glacier property determining length change: steep glaciers have retreated less than glaciers with a gentle slope.


Warmists are the climate deniers

An interesting comment by Major Combs on the article above.  Warmists really are pathetic.  Their inability to handle reality shows that they desperately need their mental simplifications

I had the pleasure of discussing glacier retreat with James Balog of "Chasing Ice" fame, and Dr. Robert Bindschadler, retired NASA, on a recent Lindblad/National Geographic Antarctic voyage. Both seemed unknowledgeable about the history of glacier advances and retreats, perhaps because such information did not serve their anthropogenic global warming/climate change agendas. Dr; Bindschadler ridiculed my mention of warmer periods this interglacial, like the Medieval warm period, and denied knowledge of previous sea level high stands, such as during the Holocene Climate Optimum 8,000 to 4,000 years ago. Sadly, it appears that anything that predates Al Gore's alarmism is something that neither gentlemen cared to discuss. I consider both of them to be natural climate change deniers.

Bill Nye, Al Gore Get The Physics Of Global Warming Wrong

Critics are saying Bill Nye “the science guy” and former Vice President Al Gore got their global warming science wrong, citing previously published research.

Back in 2011, Nye and Gore teamed up to show that global warming was real using “a simple lab experiment.” The problem is that such experiments have been discredited by scientists who the say these demonstrations show heat transport, not global warming.

“Although not an accurate demonstration of the physics of climate change, the experiment we have considered and related ones are valuable examples of the dangers of unintentional bias in science, the value of at least a rough quantitative prediction of the expected effect, the importance of considering alternative explanations, and the need for carefully designed experimental controls,” according to a paper by scientists from Tufts and the Technical Education Research Centers.

During a 2011 “24 hours of climate reality” by the Climate Reality Project, a group founded by Gore to sound the alarm on global warming, Nye put together a “Climate Change 101” video which used “a simple lab experiment” to demonstrate how increasing levels of carbon dioxide emissions heat the planet.

Nye’s “simple” experiment involved sealing thermometers inside two identical bottles, which were sealed. To illustrate the effects of increased carbon dioxide on temperature, Nye fits a hose from a CO2 canister into one of the bottles. Both bottles are then placed placed under heat lamps.

“Within minutes you will see the temperature of the bottle with carbon dioxide in it rising faster and higher,” Nye said in his video experiment. “The bottles are like our atmosphere, the lamps are like our sun.”

A paper published in a 2010 edition of the American Journal of Physics found that experiments like Nye’s are “not an accurate demonstration of the physics of climate change.”

These experiments have not just been reproduced by Nye, but by scientists and teachers around the country to illustrate the cause of global warming in a simple, easy to understand way. But they all suffer a fatal flaw: they illustrate “processes related to convective heat transport that plays no role in climate change.”

“All involve comparing the temperature rise in a container filled with air with that of the same or a similar container filled with carbon dioxide when exposed to radiation from the Sun or a heat lamp,” the scientists wrote. “Typically, a larger temperature rise is observed with carbon dioxide and the difference is attributed, explicitly or implicitly, to the physical phenomena responsible for the climate change.”

“We argue here that great care is required in interpreting these demonstrations. … The results arise primarily from processes related to convective heat transport that plays no role in climate change,” the paper continues.

“The greater density of carbon dioxide compared to air reduces heat transfer by suppressing convective mixing with the ambient air,” the scientists continued. “Other related experiments are subject to similar concerns. Argon, which has a density close to that of carbon dioxide but no infrared absorption, provides a valuable experimental control for separating radiative from convective effects.”

Nye’s “Climate Change 101″ video is still featured prominently on the Climate Reality Project’s website, along with content that sounds the alarm on global warming and bashes those skeptical that man-made carbon dioxide is warming the planet.

“Take Climate 101 with Bill Nye (the Science Guy) and you’ll be schooled in the scientific fundamentals of climate change in under 5 minutes,” Climate Reality Project’s website reads.

“Separate fact from fiction, and we can end the debate and denial and move on to solutions, together,” the site adds.


Wind farm 'needs 700 times more land' than fracking site to produce same energy

A wind farm requires 700 times more land to produce the same amount of energy as a fracking site, according to analysis by the energy department’s recently-departed chief scientific advisor.

Prof David MacKay, who stood down from the Government role at the end of July, published analysis putting shale gas extraction “in perspective”, showing it was far less intrusive on the landscape than wind or solar energy.

His intervention was welcomed by fracking groups, who are battling to win public support amid claims from green groups and other critics that shale gas extraction will require the “industrialisation” of the countryside.

Hundreds of anti-fracking protesters on Thursday occupied a field near Blackpool neighbouring a proposed fracking site for energy firm Cuadrilla.

Prof MacKay said that a shale gas site uses less land and “creates the least visual intrusion”, compared with a wind farm or solar farm capable of producing the equivalent amount of energy over 25 years.

He rated each technology’s “footprint” against six criteria covering aspects of land use, height, visual impact and truck movements to and from the site.

The shale gas site or “pad” was the “winning” technology on three measures, solar farms won on two, while wind farms did not win any. None was deemed to have “won” on truck movements as all types generated “lots” of traffic.

Prof MacKay, who is Regius Professor of Engineering at the University of Cambridge, said that a shale gas pad of 10 wells would require just 2 hectares of land and would be visible - due to an 85-foot-high drilling rig - from 77 hectares of surrounding area. However, the drilling rig would be in place for "only the first few years of operations".

By contrast, a wind farm capable of producing the same energy would span an area of 1,450 hectares, requiring 87 turbines each 328-foot tall.

Prof MacKay noted that the actual turbines, access roads and other installations for the wind farm would have a smaller footprint, of 36 hectares, as “the wind farm has lots of empty land between the turbines, which can be used for other purposes”.

But the large area covered by the farm as a whole would mean it would be visible from a surrounding area of between 5,200 and 17,000 hectares.

A solar farm generating equivalent energy would span a 924 hectare area, directly building on 208 hectares of it.

An estimated 7,800 lorry movements would be required for the wind farm and between 3,800 and 7,600 for the solar farm.

The fracking site could require the fewest lorry movements, at 2,900, if water is piped to and from the site. However, it could require significantly more than the other technologies - 20,000 trips - if water was transported by truck.

Prof MacKay said the analysis showed that “perhaps unsurprisingly, there is no silver bullet – no energy source with all-round small environmental impact”. He said that all sources “have their costs and risks” and said the public should “look at all the options”.

A spokesman for Cuadrilla said: "This comparison by David MacKay clearly demonstrates that, contrary to what some people may assume, exploration for and production of shale gas would actually have less far less impact on the countryside than wind or solar energy.

"To supply an equivalent amount of energy a shale gas site would occupy just a small fraction of the land required for either wind or solar sites, would have less visual intrusion and significantly less transport impact, given that in the UK we do not anticipate having to truck water to our proposed sites."

Ken Cronin, chief executive of the UK Onshore Operators Group, which represents fracking firms, said: "David MacKay’s review is a useful addition to the debate. We are going to need all these energy sources to be part of a balanced energy mix.

"We mustn’t ignore the fact that over 80 per cent of homes and businesses are heated by gas. As an industry we are committed to informing and consulting fully with the communities in which we operate."

Dr Jimmy Aldridge, energy analyst for Greenpeace UK, said: “The visual impact of fracking isn’t really the main issue – everyone knows that wind turbines are taller than drilling rigs, so you can see them from further away, but government figures show three times as many people support wind power than shale gas, and that difference just gets more pronounced when it’s in their local area.

"That’s partly because of the risk of localised air and water pollution, partly noise and inconvenience, but most importantly, because shale gas is a high-carbon energy source, which is exactly what we need a lot less of.”

The Department of Energy and Climate Change caused controversy last autumn when it published and then deleted from its website a graphic showing that onshore wind farms covering 250,000 acres would be required to generate as much power as the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset, which would cover 430 acres.



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