Sunday, August 31, 2014

Myth of Arctic meltdown: Stunning satellite images show summer ice cap is thicker and covers 1.7million square kilometres MORE than 2 years ago...despite Al Gore's prediction it would be ICE-FREE by now

Another stupid prophecy bites the dust

The speech by former US Vice-President Al Gore was apocalyptic. ‘The North Polar ice cap is falling off a cliff,’ he said. ‘It could be completely gone in summer in as little as seven years. Seven years from now.’

Those comments came in 2007 as Mr Gore accepted the Nobel Peace Prize for his campaigning on climate change.

But seven years after his warning, The Mail on Sunday can reveal that, far from vanishing, the Arctic ice cap has expanded for the second year in succession – with a surge, depending on how you measure it, of between 43 and 63 per cent since 2012.

To put it another way, an area the size of Alaska, America’s biggest state, was open water two years ago, but is again now covered by ice.

The most widely used measurements of Arctic ice extent are the daily satellite readings issued by the US National Snow and Ice Data Center, which is co-funded by Nasa. These reveal that – while the long-term trend still shows a decline – last Monday, August 25, the area of the Arctic Ocean with at least 15 per cent ice cover was 5.62 million square kilometres.

This was the highest level recorded on that date since 2006 (see graph, right), and represents an increase of 1.71 million square kilometres over the past two years – an impressive 43 per cent.

Other figures from the Danish Meteorological Institute suggest that the growth has been even more dramatic. Using a different measure, the area with at least 30 per cent ice cover, these reveal a 63 per cent rise – from 2.7 million to 4.4 million square kilometres.

The satellite images published here are taken from a further authoritative source, the University of Illinois’s Cryosphere project.

They show that as well as becoming more extensive, the ice has grown more concentrated, with the purple areas – denoting regions where the ice pack is most dense – increasing markedly.

Crucially, the ice is also thicker, and therefore more resilient to future melting. Professor Andrew Shepherd, of Leeds University, an expert in climate satellite monitoring, said yesterday: ‘It is clear from the measurements we have collected that the Arctic sea ice has experienced a significant recovery in thickness over the past year.

‘It seems that an unusually cool summer in 2013 allowed more ice to survive through to last winter. This means that the Arctic sea ice pack is thicker and stronger than usual, and this should be taken into account when making predictions of its future extent.’

Yet for years, many have been claiming that the Arctic is in an ‘irrevocable death spiral’, with imminent ice-free summers bound to trigger further disasters. These include gigantic releases of methane into the atmosphere from frozen Arctic deposits, and accelerated global warming caused by the fact that heat from the sun will no longer be reflected back by the ice into space.

Judith Curry, professor of earth and atmospheric sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, said last night: ‘The Arctic sea ice spiral of death seems to have reversed.’

Those who just a few years ago were warning of ice-free summers by 2014 included US Secretary of State John Kerry, who made the same bogus prediction in 2009, while Mr Gore has repeated it numerous times – notably in a speech to world leaders at the UN climate conference in Copenhagen in 2009, in an effort to persuade them to agree a new emissions treaty.

Mr Gore – whose office yesterday failed to respond to a request for comment – insisted then: ‘There is a 75 per cent chance that the entire polar ice cap during some of the summer months could be completely ice-free within five to seven years.’

Misleading as such forecasts are, some people continue to make them. Only last month, while giving evidence to a House of Lords Select Committee inquiry on the Arctic, Cambridge University’s Professor Peter Wadhams claimed that although the Arctic is not ice-free this year, it will be by September 2015.

Asked about this yesterday, he said: ‘I still think that it is very likely that by mid-September 2015, the ice area will be less than one million square kilometres – the official designation of ice-free, implying only a fringe of floes around the coastlines. That is where the trend is taking us.’

For that prediction to come true it would require by far the fastest loss of ice in history. It would also fly in the face of a report last year by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which stated with ‘medium confidence’ that ice levels would ‘likely’ fall below one million square kilometres by 2050.

Politicians such as Al Gore have often insisted that climate science is ‘settled’ and have accused those who question their forecasts of being climate change ‘deniers’.

However, while few scientists doubt that carbon-dioxide emissions cause global warming, and that this has caused Arctic ice to decline, there remains much uncertainty about the speed of melting and how much of it is due to human activity. But outside the scientific community, the more pessimistic views have attracted most attention. For example, Prof Wadhams’s forecasts have been cited widely by newspapers and the BBC. But many reject them.

Yesterday Dr Ed Hawkins, who leads an Arctic ice research team at Reading University, said: ‘Peter Wadhams’s views are quite extreme compared to the views of many other climate scientists, and also compared to what the IPCC report says.’

Dr Hawkins warned against reading too much into ice increase over the past two years on the grounds that 2012 was an ‘extreme low’, triggered by freak weather. ‘I’m uncomfortable with the idea of people saying the ice has bounced back,’ he said.

However, Dr Hawkins added that the decline seen in recent years was not caused only by global warming. It was, he said, intensified by ‘natural variability’ – shifts in factors such as the temperature of the oceans. This, he said, has happened before, such as in the 1920s and 1930s, when ‘there was likely some sea ice retreat’.

Dr Hawkins said: ‘There is undoubtedly some natural variability on top of the long-term downwards trend caused by the overall warming. This variability has probably contributed somewhat to the post-2000 steep declining trend, although the human-caused component still dominates.’

Like many scientists, Dr Hawkins said these natural processes may be cyclical. If and when they go into reverse, they will cool, not warm, the Arctic, in which case, he said, ‘a decade with no declining trend’ in ice cover would be ‘entirely plausible’.

Peer-reviewed research suggests that at least until 2005, natural variability was responsible for half the ice decline. But exactly how big its influence is remains an open question – and as both Dr Hawkins and Prof Curry agreed, establishing this is critical to making predictions about the Arctic’s future.

Prof Curry said: ‘I suspect that the portion of the decline in the sea ice attributable to natural variability could be even larger than half.

‘I think the natural variability component of Arctic sea ice extent is in the process of bottoming out, with a reversal to start within the next decade. And when it does, the reversal period could last for several decades.’

This led her to believe that the IPCC forecast, like Al Gore’s, was too pessimistic.  ‘Ice-free in 2050 is a possible scenario, but I don’t think it is a likely scenario,’ she concluded.


How to Talk About Climate Change So People Will Listen: A Skeptic’s View

by Joe Bast

An essay in the current issue of The Atlantic purports to instruct readers on “How to Talk About Climate So People Will Listen.” The author, Charles C. Mann, is a long-time contributor to the magazine who writes about history, tourism, and energy issues. With this article, he tries to cut a path between the two warring tribes in the global warming debate, the Alarmists and the Skeptics.

He fails, rather spectacularly I think.

The first four paragraphs (out of 45) are good, as are a few paragraphs later on about enviro fruitcake Bill McKibben. But the rest of the article simply accepts the dubious and sometimes outrageous assertions and false narratives that gave rise to alarmism in the first place, the same ones skeptics delight in debunking. Surveys show most people know more about global warming than does Mann. If alarmists use this article as their guide to how to talk about the issue, skeptics once again will win most of the debates in bars and around grills this summer.

A Good Start

Mann starts out strong, reporting how the media turned an obscure modeling exercise about the melt rate of the western Antarctic ice shelf into hysterical headlines about coastal flooding. Had he waited a couple weeks, he could have written much the same about “Russian methane holes.” The lesson in both cases is that the mainstream media are utterly unreliable sources of information on the climate issue. They profit from exaggeration, rely on special interests for advertising revenue, and lack expertise to report on science matters.

Sadly, Mann doesn’t appear to have learned this lesson. In the rest of his article he treats mainstream media accounts of the climate debate as dispository. The public understands this: Surveys show nearly half believe the media exaggerate the climate change problem.

Mann reports, in a single but very nice paragraph, the world’s enormous debt to fossil fuels. The Industrial Revolution, he says, was “driven by the explosive energy of coal, oil, and natural gas, it inaugurated an unprecedented three-century wave of prosperity.” One might quibble with his take on this: The improvement in the human condition started before 1800 and was the result of changes in institutions (the arrival of markets, private property, and limited government) and embrace of new values (the Scottish Enlightenment) as well as the discovery of fossil fuels. Without the first and second discoveries, the third would have done little more than heat some feudal castles and light some cobblestone streets.

An Important Step?

After this promising start, the errors come fast. “In an important step, the Obama administration announced in June its decision to cut power-plant emissions 30 percent by 2030.” There’s a lot wrong with that single sentence.

The Obama administration can’t cut power-plant emissions, except possibly by turning down the heat in the Oval Office in the winter and the air conditioning in the summer. It can only start rule-making processes that would make it illegal for coal-powered plants to continue to operate, and hope the courts and Congress don’t block or repeal the rules. That’s what it did. Time will tell if emissions fall as a result.

The baseline for the administration’s proposed cut of 30% of carbon dioxide emissions is 2005, nearly 10 years ago. Emissions have already fallen by about 15% since then (depending on who is measuring it), or half the goal. Is it unrealistic to expect a “business as usual” scenario would result in emissions in 2030 being 30 percent lower than they were in 2005?

Economists and demographers are converging on forecasts of continued “decarbonization” of the U.S. economy as electrification spreads, the service and digital sectors displace old-style manufacturing, economic growth slows, young people stay home or return home and stay longer than before, and an older population grows more sedentary. If so, how is the Obama administration’s proposal “an important step” to anywhere?

And just to pile on for a moment, even the Obama administration admits a reduction of 30% from 2005 levels by 2030 will have no detectable impact on global temperatures. Global warming alarmists admit this and call for reducing global emissions by 80% or more by 2050. Since there is no chance China, India, Canada, Australia, or Russia will reduce their emissions (voluntarily) between now and 2050, U.S. emissions would need to go to zero or even negative to meet that goal. (Negative? Yes… our economy would need to become a net “carbon sink,” sequestering more carbon dioxide than we emit.) How is Obama’s “business as usual” proposal an “important step” toward that goal?

Those Pesky Economists

Mann correctly scolds alarmists for “rhetorical overreach, moral miscalculation, shouting at cross-purposes…,” a “toxic blend” that damages their cause and fuels the skeptic backlash. But then he miscategorizes their opponents as economists, who he calls “cheerleaders for industrial capitalism.” That line reveals how little Mann knows about public opinion or economics.

Surveys show two-thirds of the American people don’t think global warming is man-made or a serious problem. Are two thirds of the American people economists? Not the last time I checked.

In the national (and global) debate over global warming, economists aren’t prominent, despite some attempts and wishes it were otherwise. The skeptics’ strongest weapon isn’t economics, it’s common sense. Temperatures aren’t rising even though carbon dioxide levels are. Reducing our emissions won’t affect climate so long as other nations keep increasing theirs. Some continued warming would produce more benefits than harms. Future generations will be far wealthier than us despite a small increase in temperatures. Each of these common-sense (and true) observations are deadly to the alarmists’ cause.

Everybody knows we reap tremendous benefits from affordable fossil fuels today. You don’t need to be an economist to know that those benefits vastly exceed the benefits, two centuries from now, of slowing the advance of man-made climate change by one degree or two, assuming the alarmists’ dubious predictions are correct.

Mann’s appreciation for fossil fuels, so eloquently expressed in paragraph three, is missing now. He dismisses cost-benefit analysis as having “moral problems” due to the way it handles small risks and long time horizons. That will come as news to all the experts who made careers of conducting cost-benefit analyses on a wide range of programs and challenges. Why is global warming any different?

Politics and Environmental Protection

Mann says global warming legislation no longer wins congressional approval due to a polarization in views over the value of environmental protection that occurred in the 1970s and 1980s. In Mann’s telling of the story, concern for the environment began as a conservative movement, and then businesses “realized that environmental issues had a price tag. Increasingly, they balked. Reflexively, the anticorporate left pivoted; Earth Day, erstwhile snow job, became an opportunity to denounce capitalist greed.”

Some of us who were part of the environmental movement in the 1970s and 1980s saw something different taking place. The great environmental protection legislation of the 1970s passed with nearly unanimous support because the problems were real and begged for national solutions. After early major successes, an iron triangle of bureaucrats, grandstanding politicians, and yellow journalists started a drum-beat for pursuing ever-more stringent emission reductions regardless of their negligible benefits and soaring costs. The consensus that had produced lop-sided votes in favor of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts disappeared, not because of some kind of “political stasis in the ‘90s,” but because the biggest environmental problems had been solved and further legislation wasn’t needed.

It was at this point, during the 1980s, that liberals (or “progressives”) saw the opportunity and the need to take over the environmental movement and use its members as shock troops in its war on “capitalism.” It was easy, since conservatives and libertarians were stepping down and moving on to organizations created to solve real problems. Many histories of the left’s takeover of the environmental movement have been written. A partial list appears in Jay Lehr’s recent Heartland Policy Brief on “Replacing the Environmental Protection Agency.”

Once in charge of the environmental movement, the left turned its erstwhile members into conscripts much like the others in its army: organized labor, feminists, African Americans, trial lawyers, and gays and lesbians. Donors to the environmental movement – solar and wind entrepreneurs, ethanol producers, lawyers, and billionaire financiers like Tom Steyer – are dunned for contributions to the Democratic Party and its affiliates. Propaganda replaces factual information, hysterical warnings of threats to rights and privileges lead to calls to action and “remember to vote on Tuesday.”

The politicization of the movement is made explicit by the League of Conservation Voters’ annual scorecards, which invariably reward Democrats and punish Republicans. The 2013 National Environmental Scorecard, which it says “represents the consensus of experts from about 20 respected environmental and conservation organizations,” includes this nice tribute to bipartisanship: “The Republican leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives continues to be controlled by Tea Party climate change deniers with an insatiable appetite for attacks on the environment and public health.”

More False Narratives

Mann says “a cap-and-trade mechanism… reduced acid rain at a fraction of the predicted cost; electric bills were barely affected.” Actually, research by energy economist Jim Johnston and others shows the cap-and-trade mechanism played only a minor role in reducing emissions. What drove the reductions while allowing prices to stay low was the opening of inexpensive low-sulfur coal mines in western states.

Mann says, “I remember winters as being colder in my childhood….” The 1970s saw some of the coldest winters in the twentieth century, so it’s no surprise many of us remember them that way. But the 1930s and 1940s were warmer than today … and human carbon dioxide emissions couldn’t have been responsible for that warm period. This past winter was the coldest, longest, and snowiest in my life (I live in Illinois and part-time in Wisconsin), and recent summers have been among the coolest I can recall. This morning it was 51 degrees when I walked to my train… on August 15. I don’t remember having to wear coats in August, do you?

Mann says “a few critics argue that for the past 17 years warming has mostly stopped. Still, most scientists believe that in the past century the Earth’s average temperature has gone up by about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit.” This is wrong on a couple counts.

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which Mann and alarmists generally hold out as the gold standard of climate research, admitted there’s been no warming for the past 15 years in its “final draft” Summary for Policymakers, before politicians and environmental activists made them take it out. Is that “a few critics”? And skeptics don’t deny a warming of 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit occurred “in the past century.” Much of the increase occurred before it could have been attributed to the human presence. Why this peculiar and misleading phrasing?

Swallowing the Left’s Rhetoric

By now, most readers will have figured out that Mann isn’t the impartial observer of the global warming debate he pretends to be. I wasn’t surprised to read, “rising temperatures per se are not the primary concern,” which is the alarmists’ pat answer when confronted by the fact that global warming stopped 17 years ago. But here’s the problem with that: According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the alarmists’ computer models “rule out” a zero trends for 15 years or more, meaning an observed absence of warming of this duration invalidates the models… and the alarmists’ theory.

(Here’s the source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2009. Knight, J. et al., Comment in Peterson, T. C., and M. O. Baringer, Eds., “State of the Climate in 2008,” Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Vol. 90, p. S23.)

When data rise up and refute a theory, good scientists don’t reject the data, they reject the theory. Global warming alarmists just say “never mind” and move to the next bit of pseudoscience. Like this: “Note, too, that this policy comes with a public-health bonus: reining in coal pollution could ultimately avoid as many as 6,600 premature deaths and 150,000 children’s asthma attacks per year in the United States alone.”

Really, it doesn’t get much sillier than this. Carbon dioxide is a harmless, invisible, colorless gas. It doesn’t cause “premature deaths” or “asthma attacks.” Shutting down all the coal plants in the U.S. would reduce emissions of real pollutants, which is the basis for Mann’s claim, but those emissions already are too low to be associated with human health effects, and asthma attacks have been rising in frequency even as those emissions have dropped. The dramatically higher energy bills caused by shutting down coal plants, however, would cause morepremature deaths, and since asthma is correlated with family income, would cause moreasthma attacks.

It All Leads Up to This?

After a few paragraphs of criticism of easy-target Bill McKibben, presumably to throw skeptical readers off his alarmist scent, Mann delivers what those readers who haven’t given up already might think is the best talking point: “Let’s assume that rising carbon-dioxide levels will become a problem of some magnitude at some time and that we will want to do something practical about it.”

Yes, really, this is what 40 or so paragraphs have led up to: Let’s just assume it’s a big problem (or will be) and we should all just pitch in and try to solve it. This is where Uncle Jack leans over and says “Um, how about we not make a series of such dumb-ass assumptions and in the process save billions (even trillions) of dollars and millions (maybe billions) of human lives?”

This is the crux of the problem, both with Mann’s attempt to find a middle ground in the global warming debate and with the left’s obsession with the issue. Global warming alarmism rests on assumptions, not facts, logic, or reason. It’s got no game.

“Let’s just assume there’s a reason for government to take over a quarter of the nation’s economy and fix it, just like Obamacare will fix health care. Let’s simply assume the missing science exists, that the warming will be big enough to notice, that it will happen before mankind has found a substitute for fossil fuels or is colonizing other planets, and that the benefits of stopping or slowing climate change would be worth the expense.”

Anyone who stops and thinks about this, even for a moment, realizes it’s nonsense. Why would you make these assumptions? Why would you give up the benefits of affordable fossil fuels? “We may not be scientists,” says Uncle Jack, “but we’re not stupid.”

This is why alarmists always lose debates against skeptics. It’s why alarmists will look and act like fools this summer at countless cook-outs and family parties, while skeptics will sound thoughtful and reasonable. It’s not because, as Mann insists, people are too stupid to understand graphs. It’s because alarmists are wrong and skeptics are right. It’s just common sense.

And that, my friends, is how to talk about climate change so people will listen.


Academics Must Take Skeptics Seriously

by Joe Bast

A review and comment on: Ferenc Jankó, Norbert Móricz, Judit Papp Vancsó, “Reviewing the climate change reviewers: Exploring controversy through report references and citations,” Geoforum, Volume 56, September 2014, pages 17–34.

An article published in the September, 2014 issue of Geoforum, a peer-reviewed academic journal published by Elsevier, reports 90.79% of source citations in Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) were to peer-reviewed journals, a higher percentage than was the case with the United Nations’ IPCC Third and Fourth Assessment Reports. The authors found “the scientific background of the NIPCC report is quite similar to the IPCC report,” and concluded, “when we take the contrarian arguments seriously, there is a chance to bring together the differing views and knowledge claims of the disputing ‘interpretive communities’ (Lahsen, 2013b).”

This is dramatic vindication for the lead authors (Craig Idso and S. Fred Singer), 35 contributors and reviewers, and coeditors (Diane Carol Bast and me) of the 2009 NIPCC report. On a shoe-string budget and tight time-line, we produced a report that is just as credible as those produced by an international bureaucracy involving thousands of scientists, activists, and politicians, spending many millions of dollars, and taking several years to produce.

Since 2009, NIPCC has produced three more volumes – an interim report in 2011 containing chiefly reviews of new research, and two hefty volumes in 2013 and earlier this year focusing on the physical science and biological impacts of climate change. Those volumes are even more comprehensive and authoritative than the 2009 report.

The Geoforum article is not the first time NIPCC has been recognized as a major contributor to the global warming debate. The volumes have been cited more than 100 times in peer-reviewed journal articles and by a long list of prominent climate scientists. In 2013, the Information Center for Global Change Studies, a division of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, translated and published an abridged edition of the 2009 and 2011 NIPCC reports in a single volume, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences organized a NIPCC Workshop in Beijing to allow the NIPCC principal authors to present summaries of their conclusions.

When the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post reported on the release of the IPCC’s latest report, in late 2013, their news articles also commented on the latest NIPCC report, noting that NIPCC reached the opposite conclusions, indicating that a legitimate scientific debate over the causes and consequences of climate change continued.

The Geoforum article contains statements and information worth noting. Regarding the NIPCC report’s use of peer-reviewed literature, the authors say, “The peer-reviewed material was 90.5% of the IPCC report (and 84% of the IPCC TAR WGI Report – Bjurström and Polk, 2011a) and 90.79% of the material used by the NIPCC.” The authors write that they had “assumed that the reference list of the NIPCC report would differ markedly” from that of IPCC reports due to the alarmist bias of the editors of mainstream science journals and the “malpractice” revealed during the Climategate scandal. “In fact,” they write, “considering the most cited journals (Journal of Geophysical Research, Geophysical Research Letters, Journal of Climate, Nature, Science), it seems that the scientific background of the NIPCC report is quite similar to the IPCC report.”

The authors found the 2009 NIPCC report apparently has 1,466 references, of which 1,331 were peer-reviewed. We never counted them ourselves, so we thank them for this hard work.

The penultimate paragraphs of the Geoforum article call out some findings, but are couched in language that obscures the points made above and reduces the findings to some rather arcane observations. Reviewing the same body of literature and coming to opposite conclusions is evidence that “the assessment process [is] flexible,” another way of saying disagreement can be honest and not due to fakery. Then the author write,

"What are the implications for science? There is a real concern that the controversy has so far had a negative effect on the reputation of science. From the perspective of an idealised public view of science (Lahsen, 2013a), such a polarised debate about ‘truths’ may be confusing. Thus, social science with science studies in the forefront has a mission to change this obsolete view of science. Saying ‘yes’ to our first question we might have a somewhat ‘naive’ implication for the IPCC; improving and widening the reviewing process may be a possible answer to the contrarian criticisms. But when we take the contrarian arguments seriously, there is a chance to bring together the differing views and knowledge claims of the disputing ‘interpretive communities’ (Lahsen, 2013b)."

The final paragraph reads as follows:

"More broadly, we should consider that both reports purport to be based on the ideal of pure, value-free science, where the prevailing scientific practices may not lead to the end of the debate because citations are not solid bricks on which to build statements, conclusions and political decisions later on (cf. Sarewitz, 2004). Scientific reports should be viewed not only as a second level of peer review and canonization of scientific facts but also as a means of politicization of science. Our paper’s final conclusion, claiming a more constructive and iterative science-policy relation, is well echoed in the literature (e.g. Demeritt, 2006; Pielke, 2007; Hulme, 2009; van der Sluijs et al., 2010b; Latour, 2011). However, there will be hope for better science for the public and for policy, for better constructions of the problem only when we fully understand the knowledge controversy around climate change."

This is a little perplexing until you realize they are assuming, but don’t say, that NIPCC is comparable and just as credible (or not) as the IPCC report. Both studies, they say, demonstrate that survey reports like IPCC and NIPCC are not “pure, value-free science” nor are they sufficiently credible to serve as the basis for “statements, conclusions and political decisions later on.” Rather, such studies are “a second level of peer review and canonization of scientific facts but also … a means of politicization of science.”

I take this as an effort to poison a victory by global warming skeptics. NIPCC is just as good, just as credible or reliable, as the IPCC, and this message ought to be shouted from rooftops. But having achieved this despite lack of resources, editorial bias, and outright academic fraud, the significance of our victory is trivialized by saying it hardly matters because neither NIPCC nor IPCC is credible or reliable.

Such criticism of the IPCC is rare in the peer-reviewed literature, and if the price of getting “mainstream” academics to say it is to have our credibility disparaged as well, I suppose it is worth paying. Regardless, it is now clear that mainstream academics must take global warming skeptics seriously.


Australian weatherman’s records reveal warming fraud

AS a child, Ian Cole would watch his father Neville take meticulous readings from the Bureau of Meteorology thermometer at the old post office in the western NSW town of Bourke and send the results through by teleprinter.

The temperature was recorded every three hours, including at night when the mercury sometimes plunged to freezing, and the data was logged in handwritten journals that included special notes to help explain the results.

That all changed in 1996 when the Stevenson Screen, the official measuring equipment, was replaced with an automatic station and moved to an airport site.

The Stevenson Screen went to the dump and, but for fate, the handwritten notes could have gone there too. But without instruction, the records were kept and are now under lock and key, held as physical evidence of what the weather was really doing in the mid-20th century.

These Bourke records have ­assumed a new significance in light of concerns about how historic data is being treated at many sites around the country. The records are also important in an ongoing row that frustrates Mr Cole.

The Bourke cotton farmer may be managing director of the local radio station 2WEB but Mr Cole can only broadcast temperature records that date back to 2000 because the Bureau of Meteorology won’t supply historic records to service provider Weatherzone.

As a result “hottest day on record” doesn’t really mean what it seems. “We keep on being told about records that are not actually records and averages that are not quite right,” Mr Cole said.

Worse still there are concerns about what has happened to the precision of those handwritten records in the earlier years. Bourke now forms part of a network of weather stations used to make up the national record known as ACORN-SAT. The raw temperature records are “homogenised”, a method BOM says has been peer-reviewed as world’s best practice and is used by equivalent meteorological organisations across the world.

Independent research, the ­results of which have not been disputed by BOM, has shown that, after homogenisation, a 0.53C warming in the minimum temperature trend has been increased to a 1.64C warming trend. A 1.7C cooling trend in the maximum temperature series in the raw data for Bourke has been changed to a slight warming.

BOM has rejected any suggestion that it has tampered inappropriately with the numbers. It says the major adjustment to Bourke temperatures relate to “site moves in 1994, 1999 and 1938 as well as 1950s in homogeneities that were detected by neighbour comparison which, based on station photos before and after, may relate to changes in vegetation around the site”.

Queensland researcher Jennifer Marohasy, who has analysed the Bourke records, says BOM’s analysis is all very well but the largest adjustments, both to maximum temperature series, ­occurred in the period 1911 and 1915 with a stepdown of about 0.7C, followed by a step-up between 1951 and 1953 of about 0.45C. Of greater concern to Dr Marohasy is that historic high temperatures, such as the record 51.7C recorded on January 3, 1909, were removed from the record on the assumption it was a clerical error. In fact, all the data for Bourke for 40 years before 1910 has been discarded from the official record. If it were there, says Dr Marohasy, the record would show that temperatures were particularly hot during that period.

For Mr Cole it is a simple matter of trusting the care and attention of his father. “Why should you change manually created records?” Mr Cole said. “At the moment they (BOM) are saying we have a warming climate but if the old figures are used we have a cooling climate.”


It’s about the money, not the climate

By Alan Caruba

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), the Irish poet and dramatist, wrote “Pray don’t talk to me about the weather. Whenever people talk to me about the weather, I always feel quite certain that they mean something else.”

These days, when some world leader or politician speaks of the climate — the weather is what is happening right now wherever you are — they are not talking about sunshine or rain. They are talking about a devilishly obscene way of raising money by claiming that it is humans that are threatening the climate with everything they do, from turning on the lights to driving anywhere.

That’s why “global warming” was invented in the late 1980s as an immense threat to the Earth and to mankind. Never mind that Earth has routinely passed through warmer and cooler cycles for billions of years; much of which occurred before mankind emerged. And never mind that the Earth has been a distinct cooling cycle for the past seventeen years and likely to stay in it for a while. If the history of ice ages is any guide, we could literally be on the cusp of a new one.

If, however, a government can tax the use of energy, it stands to make a lot of money. That is why carbon taxes have been introduced in some nations and why the nearly useless “clean energy” options of wind and solar have been introduced even though they both require the backup of traditional coal, natural gas and nuclear energy plants because they cannot produce electricity if the wind isn’t blowing and the sun is obscured by clouds.

Taxing energy use means taxing “greenhouse gas” emissions; primarily carbon dioxide (CO2) so that every ton of it added to the atmosphere by a power plant and any other commercial activity becomes a source of income for the nation. The Australians went through this and rapidly discovered it drove up their cost of electricity and negatively affected their economy so much that they rid themselves of a prime minister and the tax within the past year.

Fortunately, every effort to introduce a carbon tax has been defeated by the U.S. Congress, but that it has shelled out billions for “climate research” over the years. That doesn’t mean, however, that 41 members of the House of Representatives haven’t gotten together in a “Safe Climate Caucus” led by Rep. Henry A. Waxman. The Washington Post reported that when it was launched in February 2013, the members promised to talk every day on the House floor about “the urgent need to address climate change.”

Check out the caucus and, if your Representative is a member, vote to replace him or her with someone less idiotic.

When you hear the President or a member of Congress talk about the climate, they are really talking about the scheme to generate revenue from it through taxation or to raise money from those who will personally benefit from any scheme related to the climate such as “clean energy.”

The need of governments to frighten their citizens about the climate in order to raise money is international in scope. A United States that has a $17 trillion debt is a prime example, much of it due to a government grown so large it wastes taxpayer’s money in the millions with every passing day whether it is sunny or rainy, warm or cold.

In late July, Reuters reported that Christine Lagarde, the chair of theInternational Monetary Fund, (IMF) opined in her new book that “energy taxes in much of the world are far below what they should be to reflect the harmful environmental and health impact of fossil fuels use.”

Please pay no attention to the billions of dollars that coal, oil and natural gas already generate for the nations in which they are found. Nations such as India and China are building coal-fired plants as fast as possible to provide the electricity every modern nation needs to expand its economy, provide more employment, and improve their citizen’s lives in every way imaginable.

“For the first time,” Reuters reported, “the IMF laid out exactly what it views as appropriate taxes on coal, natural gas, gasoline, and diesel in 156 countries to factor in the fuel’s overall costs, which include carbon dioxide emissions, air pollution, congestion and traffic accidents.” The problem with this is that the costs cited are bogus.

“Nations,” said Lagarde, “are now working on a United Nations deal for late 2015 to rein in greenhouse gas emissions that have hit repeated highs this century, but progress has been slow as nations fret about the impact any measures may have on economic growth.” As in bad impacts!

Ignore the claims that carbon dioxide affects the climate. Its role is so small it can barely be measured because CO2 represents 380 parts per million. When our primate ancestors began to climb down out of the trees, CO2 levels were about 1,000 parts per million. More CO2 means more crops, healthy growing forests, and all the other benefits that every form of vegetation provides. The breath we humans exhale contains about 4% of CO2.

The fact is that the United States and other nations are being run by politicians who are incapable of reducing spending or borrowing more in order to spend more. Venezuela just defaulted again on the payment of bonds it issued to raise money. They did this in 2001 and one must wonder why any financial institution purchases them.

There are eleven other nations whose credit ratings are flirting with big trouble. They include Greece, Ukraine, Pakistan, Cypress, and in the Americas Argentina, Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador and Belize. Borrowing by such nations is very expensive. A U.S. Treasury Note pays an annual coupon of just 2.5%, but the yields on 10-year bonds issue by Greece reached 29% in early 2012, just before it defaulted.

Adding to problems in the U.S. is the Obama agenda being acted upon by the Environmental Protection Agency whose “war on coal” has shuttered several hundred plants that produce the electricity needed to maintain the economy. In coal producing states this is playing havoc and it is driving up the cost of electricity in others.

The growth of oil and natural gas production in the U.S. is almost entirely on privately owned land as opposed to that controlled by the government. Supporting the attack on energy are the multi-million dollar environmental organizations like Friends of the Earth and the Sierra Club.

The world has not warmed since the nineties and many factors influence the climate other than CO2, the Sun, the oceans, clouds, and volcanic activity. Nothing any government does, here and worldwide, has any meaningful impact on it, but if nations can demonize the use of energy and tax the CO2 it produces, they can generate more money to spend and waste.

The lies that governments, the United Nations, and the International Monetary Fund tell about the climate are about the money they can extract from citizens who must be kept frightened enough to pay taxes on their use of energy.


The Trouble With Obama's Non-Binding UN Climate Plan?

It has already been tried, and it failed

‘I am speaking on behalf of the United States of America because my negotiators cannot,” Abigail Borah, a youth delegate to the 2011 Durban climate negotiations, yelled from the conference floor. “I am scared for my future,” she cried, silencing Todd Stern, the Obama administration’s chief climate negotiator. “We need an urgent path to a fair, ambitious, and legally binding treaty.”

Now the Obama administration is signaling that there will be not be a new climate treaty. According to a report in Wednesday’s New York Times, the path to a treaty has come to an end, 14 months before the Paris talks scheduled for next year. Instead, the best deal on offer is a non-binding accord. This is big news.

Meanwhile, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is reheating the rhetoric from its fifth assessment report, doing what it always does: produce the right mood music ahead of crunch-time climate talks. Trouble is, it’s all sounding more than a little dated. In that report, the first installment of which was released last September, the IPCC ducked the big question unsettling climate science. What are the possible causes and implications of the pause — or hiatus, as the IPCC prefers to call it — in the rise in average global temperatures? The pause is already more than a decade old. With 39 explanations and counting, and some climate scientists now arguing that it might last yet another decade, the IPCC has sidelined itself in irrelevance until it has something serious to say about the pause and has reflected on whether its alarmism is justified, given its reliance on computer models that predicted temperature rises that have not occurred.

While the IPCC plays yesterday’s tired hits, it appears that next year’s climate-change negotiations will bring forth a mouse. In retrospect, the Durban climate conference turned out to be the high point for expectations that climate negotiations would produce a binding treaty. It was also the high point for the European Union’s climate-change strategy, knocking the U.S. on its heels. After the acrimonious collapse of attempts to agree to a climate treaty at Copenhagen in 2009, American and European climate negotiators drew diametrically different conclusions about what to do next.

The Obama administration reckoned that climate-change diplomacy had to be based on the recognition that opposition from China and India put a climate-change treaty beyond the realm of the realizable. The Senate was not going to ratify a treaty that did not include all the major emitters, and, as a matter of arithmetic, all the major emitters had to sign the treaty if it were to have any chance of tackling global warming.

It was the same logic that had led President George W. Bush not to send the Kyoto Protocol to the Senate for ratification. Instead, his administration developed a strategy aimed at including the major emerging economies. That strategy was adopted by President Obama. Success required overcoming the division between developed and developing nations that was enshrined in the 1992 U.N. climate-change convention. It is why the Senate adopted, 95–0, the Byrd-Hagel resolution shortly before Kyoto. Speaking with one voice, the Senate said that the U.S. should not ratify any climate-change treaty unless it included specific, timetabled commitments from developing nations.

By contrast, after Copenhagen, the Europeans clung to the hope of a binding treaty embracing all major emitters. Their strategy was to use the annual cycle of U.N. climate-change negotiations to fragment the coalition of developing nations through promises of billions of dollars of climate aid. Finding themselves isolated, the Indians and the Chinese would buckle under international pressure and sign on to a comprehensive treaty.

At Durban, the Europeans had an apparent trump card that encapsulated the delusory nature of the enterprise. All the other developed nations had decided to join the U.S. and effectively exit the Kyoto Protocol at the end of its first commitment period; Canada went further and formally withdrew. Without “hard, bankable” commitments from large nations on a roadmap to a binding treaty, the EU would pull the plug on Kyoto. So threatened Chris Huhne, the U.K. climate secretary who subsequently had to resign and serve time at Her Majesty’s pleasure, for perjury.

The EU’s hard line appeared to move the needle decisively toward a treaty. China indicated a softening in its position. The conference agreed to launch a process that aimed to deliver, at the very least, an agreed outcome with “legal force” applicable to developed and developing nations alike. Even Todd Stern was impressed, calling the Durban outcome “very significant.” The drive toward a comprehensive climate treaty, culminating at the Paris climate conference in 2015, was on.

Now that plan has collapsed. For the Obama administration, this means reverting to its pre-Durban Plan A: no legally binding commitments but voluntary pledges, notified under the auspices of the 1992 convention and underpinned by a regime of “naming and shaming” those who don’t live up to them. There is a big problem with this. It has already been tried, and it failed.

Out of the ashes of Copenhagen came the Copenhagen Accord, under which nations would notify the U.N. climate-change secretariat of their commitments to cut their greenhouse-gas emissions. In January 2010, Japan notified the convention secretariat of its pledge to cut its 1990-level emissions 25 percent by 2020. Last November, the government of Shinzo Abe tore this up, replacing it with a new target that implied a 3.8 percent increase. It caused hardly a ripple. Clearly, an international regime of emissions cuts enforced by naming and shaming has no credibility.

Worse still are the terrible optics of the Obama administration’s handling of the non-treaty. The partisan spin is that this route enables the climate-change negotiations to bypass recalcitrant Republicans in the Senate. The unanimous vote in favor of the Byrd-Hagel resolution in 1997— the current secretaries of state and defense both voted for it — showed bipartisan opposition to any climate-change treaty that does not cover all the world’s major emitters. Blaming Republicans might be smart electoral politics, but it shifts international attention from the opposition of India and China to any treaty that binds them. Playing into the hands of the blame-America crowd is never good politics for an American president.



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Friday, August 29, 2014

Will there be a global famine in 2050? Crops will be overwhelmed by pests in the next 30 years, scientists warn

Another of the "coming shortage" scares that Greenies often resort to, none of which have ever come true.  The scare below  is sheer speculation.  To prove spread they needed similar population counts at two different dates.  But they did not have that.  All they had was "historical observation dates" for a minority of their species.  Anyway, genetic engineering techniques are already reducing pest loads and should continue to do so.  That is why Greenies are trying to ban it

Many of the world's most important crop-producing countries will be fully saturated with pests by the middle of the century if current trends continue, a study has found.

More than one-in-ten pest types can already be found in around half the countries that grow their host crops.

And if this spread advances at its current rate, scientists fear that a significant proportion of global crop-producing countries will be overwhelmed by pests within the next 30 years.

The research from the University of Exeter was published in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography.


Experiments by British academics have found that GM insects could be used to wipe out fruit fly pests that damage crops such as oranges, peaches, apples and pears.

Genetically modified versions of the Mediterranean fruit fly were created earlier this year using controversial technology developed by the UK bioscience company Oxitec.

Millions of male GM flies have been created in the laboratory to include a gene which means that when they mate with wild females, any resulting female larvae die before reaching maturity.

The resulting fall in the number of female fruit flies should, in theory, lead to a collapse in the total population which will mean less damage is caused to food crops.

Oxitec has promoted the technology as an alternative to the use of harsh chemical pesticides to protect food crops and so boost yields and has held talks with UK government agencies to run trials in this country.

It describes the patterns and trends in the spread of crop pests, using global databases to investigate the factors that influence the number of countries reached by pests and the number of pests in each country.

Crop pests include fungi, bacteria, viruses, insects, nematodes, viroids and oomycetes.

'If crop pests continue to spread at current rates, many of the world's biggest crop producing nations will be inundated by the middle of the century, posing a grave threat to global food security,' said Dr Dan Bebber of the Biosciences department at the University of Exeter.

The study identifies the pests likely to be the most invasive in coming years, which includes three species of tropical root knot nematode whose larvae infect the roots of thousands of different plant species.

Another, Blumeria graminis, is a fungus that causes powdery mildew on wheat and other cereals.

And the Citrus tristeza virus (given its name meaning 'sadness' in Portuguese and Spanish by farmers in the 1930s) is also a threat, having reached 105 of 145 countries growing citrus by the year 2000.

Fungi lead the worldwide invasion of crops and are the most widely dispersed group, despite having the narrowest range of hosts.

The study looked at the current distributions of 1,901 crop pests and pathogens and historical observations of a further 424 species.

Significant use was made of historical CABI (Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International) records, which document crop pests and diseases around the world from 1822 to the present day.

'By unlocking the potential to understand the distribution of crop pests and diseases, we're moving one step closer to protecting our ability to feed a growing global population,' said Dr Timothy Holmes, Head of Technical Solutions at CABI's Plantwise Knowledge Bank.

'The hope is to turn data into positive action.'

It supports the view of previous studies that climate change is likely to significantly affect pest pressure on agriculture, with the warming Earth having a clear influence on the distribution of crop pests.

The authors also describe the global game of cat-and-mouse as crops are introduced to pest free regions and briefly thrive, before their pursuers catch up with them.

Professor Sarah Gurr of Biosciences the University of Exeter added: 'New, virulent variants of pests are constantly evolving.

'Their emergence is favoured by increased pest population sizes and their rapid life-cycles, which force diversified selection and heralds the appearance of new aggressive genotypes.

'There is hope if robust plant protection strategies and biosecurity measures are implemented, particularly in the developing world where knowledge is scant.

'Whether such precautions can slow or stop this process remains to be seen.'


The global spread of crop pests and pathogens

By Daniel P. Bebber et al.



Current country- and state-level distributions of 1901 pests and pathogens and historical observation dates for 424 species were compared with potential distributions based upon distributions of host crops. The degree of ‘saturation’, i.e. the fraction of the potential distribution occupied, was related to pest type, host range, crop production, climate and socioeconomic variables using linear models.


More than one-tenth of all pests have reached more than half the countries that grow their hosts. If current trends continue, many important crop-producing countries will be fully saturated with pests by the middle of the century. While dispersal increases with host range overall, fungi have the narrowest host range but are the most widely dispersed group. The global dispersal of some pests has been rapid, but pest assemblages remain strongly regionalized and follow the distributions of their hosts. Pest assemblages are significantly correlated with socioeconomics, climate and latitude. Tropical staple crops, with restricted latitudinal ranges, tend to be more saturated with pests and pathogens than temperate staples with broad latitudinal ranges. We list the pests likely to be the most invasive in coming years.

Main conclusions

Despite ongoing dispersal of crop pests and pathogens, the degree of biotic homogenization of the globe remains moderate and regionally constrained, but is growing. Fungal pathogens lead the global invasion of agriculture, despite their more restricted host range. Climate change is likely to influence future distributions. Improved surveillance would reveal greater levels of invasion, particularly in developing countries.


UN Climate Chief: 'Not Very Far' from Considering 'Climate Change as a Public Health Emergency'

This is complete and utter twaddle.  It's cold (winter) that kills people, not warmth.  Ask any hospital administrator.  A warmer world would be healthier

Secretary of State John Kerry has called climate change “the biggest challenge of all that we face right now,” and his French counterpart has warned of climate “chaos” in 500 days, and now the U.N. climate change chief is implying that climate change can be viewed on a par with the deadly Ebola outbreak.

Christiana Figueres told a World Health Organization (WHO)-hosted event in Geneva Wednesday that “we are not very far” from the point where climate change should be declared an international public health emergency, according to her prepared remarks.

Addressing a three-day global conference on health and climate – the first of its kind – Figueres said in remarks directed at WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, “Dear Margaret, as much as [I] would like you to, I am fully aware of the fact that you have not convened the international health regulations emergency committee to consider climate change as a public health emergency of international concern.”

“However, we are not very far from this,” she added.

The committee referred to by Figueres is the expert body on whose advice the WHO three weeks ago declared the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to be a “public health emergency of international concern” (PHEIC).

Under international health regulations, a PHEIC is declared in a case where “an extraordinary event” is determined to constitute a public health risk through the international spread of disease; and “to potentially require a coordinated international response.”

In her speech Figueres, who is executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) said that while it was easy to view climate change as “the equivalent of a disease” it was actually the symptom.

“The disease is something we rarely admit,” she said. “The disease is humanity’s unhealthy dependence on fossil fuels, deforestation and land use that depletes natural resources.”

“At the heart of an effective response to climate change is the challenge of taking responsibility for our actions and above all, making tough decisions to change the patterns that have been at the base of our development over the past 100 years, if we are to prevent severe worsening of health and quality of life conditions over the next 100 years.”

The U.N. says climate change is having an impact on health in numerous ways, including malnutrition due to crop failures arising from changing weather patterns; water scarcity; the spread of water-borne disease resulting from rising temperatures; and the effect of carbon emissions on rates of cancer and respiratory disease rates.

Speaking at the conference Wednesday, Chan linked climate change to the emergence of new human diseases. She said many of these originate in wild animals, whose populations, concentration and incursion into areas where humans live are impacted by climate variables.

But she cautioned against speculation that Ebola may be affected by climate.

“I am aware of speculation that climate change may influence the frequency of outbreaks of Ebola virus disease,” she said. “I must emphasize we have no evidence that this is the case.”

Paris agreement will be ‘universal and applicable to all countries’

Like a number of other events around the world, the conference in Geneva is looking ahead to the next major U.N. climate megaconference, in Paris, France in November 2015, when efforts will be made to finalize a global agreement on cutting “greenhouse gas” emissions.

Next month U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will host a summit in New York where world leaders will be urged to make commitments ahead of the Paris conference.

“This agreement will be universal and applicable to all countries,” Figueres said in Geneva. “It will address current and future emissions. If strong enough, it will prevent the worst and chart a course toward a world with clean air and water, abundant natural resources and happy, healthy populations, all the requirements for positive growth.”

“Seen in this light,” she added, “the climate agreement is actually a public health agreement.”


Workers suffer when militarized police and Big Green get together

While all eyes turn to the gunfire and Molotov cocktails of War Zone Ferguson, Mo., many minds turn to questions of mindless faith in the political establishment.

One such mind belongs to basketball champion turned actor and best-selling author, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, whose Monday commentary on Ferguson for Time Magazine bore the chilling headline, “The Coming Race War Won’t Be About Race.”

It will be about class warfare, he predicted — the powerful and wealthy elite against the 50 million Americans who are poor — black, Latino, and white. “Fifty million voters is a powerful block if they ever organized in an effort to pursue their common economic goals,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote.

This great icon’s class warfare insight reaches farther than he knows, into the multi-millions of marginalized, demonized, and despised workers of the resource class — loggers, coal miners, cattle ranchers, commercial fishermen, oil rig roustabouts, tunnel blasters, heavy equipment operators, and on and on — every one of us who gets dirty hands making the stuff of elite splendor and majesty.  And, yes, I once shoveled foundation trenches and shouldered kegs of ten-penny brights (nails) for a living.

All these hardworking people are mocked, devalued, and destroyed by Big Green’s privileged few, as told in the recent Senate report, “How a Club of Billionaires and Their Foundations Control the Environmental Movement and Obama’s EPA.” It’s a class warfare warning.

Natural Resources Defense Council President Frances Beinecke (heiress of the Sperry & Hutchinson fortune, see photo) doesn’t help the poor with their economic goals using her $427,595 annual compensation or the group’s $241.8 million assets, but ruins every resource worker possible.

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s chief investment officer, Denise Strack, doesn’t help the poor with their economic goals using her $1.6 million annual compensation or the foundation’s $5.6 billion assets from the Intel fortune, but helps ruin every resource worker possible.

Big Green conducts class war with its power over the federal government.  If that sounds impossible, let me tell you a story.

On July 27, 1991, thirty U.S. Forest Service agents on horseback, some armed with semi-automatic weapons and wearing bulletproof vests, raided rancher Wayne Hage’s cattle in Meadow Canyon in the Toiyabe National Forest, high in the mountains of central Nevada. The cows were drinking from disputed water and were to be impounded that day, destroying Hage’s livelihood — and dooming some of the meat supply that gave minimum-wage urban burger flippers something to flip.

The agents hoped to infuriate Hage into violence and kill him. However, he showed up with a camera, immortalized them on film, sued them, and after years in a federal court, won a ruling that he owned the water. The Forest Service had no right to impound his cattle.

A court document showed that David Young, special agent in charge of the raid, had personally brought with him several Remington Model 870 pump-action 12 gauge shotguns, Ruger Mini-14 semi-automatic rifles, Sig Sauer P220 .45 caliber semi-automatic pistols and a Smith & Wesson Model 36 .38 caliber revolver.

On April 2, 1990, Deputy Chief of the U.S. Forest Service James C. Overbay sent a letter to his subordinate regional foresters, urging support of environmentalists in return for their help supporting larger Forest Service fish and wildlife budgets, removal of ranchers, and expansion of USFS authority and power. It said:

"Conservation groups representing the organized wildlife and fish interests across the country have given considerable effort, time, and money to help the Forest Service promote these important programs. We need the support of these groups to avoid possible reductions in fish and wildlife budgets. They would like to see the results of these efforts. We owe this to them."

A little over a year later, the Forest Service paid off rich environmentalists by ruining Wayne Hage. The service’s culture of resource stewardship was drifting far from its conservation roots to political obsequiousness and ostentatious zeal.

Overbay had already devastated other ranchers with less publicity, but it was the Hage raid that reinforced Cliven Bundy’s misguided beliefs about federal authority and led to President Obama’s Bureau of Land Management storming the Bundy ranch from attack helicopters duded up in military-grade body armor, flashing short-barreled assault rifles, and crashing around in armored vehicles – enough combat equipment to remove the tinfoil hat stigma from the black helicopter crowd’s collective head.

As John Steinbeck famously wrote in The Grapes of Wrath: “Repression works only to strengthen and knit the oppressed.” A rabble in arms materialized from all over the West to protect the Bundy ranch – ready to die. It was blatant armed insurrection, but federal prudence prevailed and the BLM stood down – prosecutors are dealing with it now.

The militarization of federal agencies has a long history but should have a short future. Big Green’s federal power grip needs to be smashed and its storm troopers disarmed.

In June, Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, introduced the Regulatory Agency Demilitarization Act, to stem the trend of federal regulatory agencies developing SWAT-like teams.

Maybe it’s unrealistic, but perhaps Abdul-Jabbar could recommend a diplomatic mission from the poor to the reviled workers of the resource class, put aside any past hurts and hates for a while, and organize in an effort to pursue their common economic goals.


Calming Fears of Climate Change in South and Southeast Asia

Debunking the threats one by one

South and Southeast Asia. Studies have focused on South and Southeast Asia due to their unique vulnerability to projected effects of climate change: a decline in agricultural production, rising sea levels, increased flooding, biodiversity loss, drought and more intense natural disasters. Countries in these regions are considered especially vulnerable because most are situated on peninsulas or islands and have highly populated coastal cities. With much of their investment and development concentrated in coastal areas, these regions have the most to lose if predictions pan out.

Maplecroft, a global risk analysis company, ranks Bangladesh as the country most at risk to climate change effects, with Cambodia, the Philippines, India, Pakistan, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand not far behind. Africa and the Caribbean harbor many other at-risk countries, but the five cities at the most "extreme risk" - Dhaka, Mumbai, Kolkata, Manila and Bangkok - all lie in South or Southeast Asia. Indeed, reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) conclude climate change will slow economic growth, erode food security and trigger new poverty traps, particularly in these two regions.

Food Security. The World Health Organization (WHO) measures food security by supply, accessibility and consumption. Many observers fear rising temperatures will increase food insecurity in South and Southeast Asia. However, food production has increased dramatically over the past 50 years (see Figure I). Though Southeast Asian food production dipped in the 1970s, it recovered and has substantially increased since the 1990s.

Furthermore, the amount of arable land has remained stable in South Asia and has increased in Southeast Asia, signaling climate change has yet to have an effect on food security and that food production will be able to keep up. Indeed, agronomist and geographer Craig Idso estimates that, worldwide, increased plant production due to increased levels of CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere grew in annual value from $18.5 billion in 1961 to over $140 billion by 2011 and amounted to $3.2 trillion over a 50-year period. Thus, food production in South and Southeast Asia will likely continue its upward trend beyond 2011.

Biodiversity. Another fear regarding climate change is widespread biodiversity loss. According to a study published by TRENDS in Ecology and Evolution, Southeast Asia is one of the world's richest areas in number of species and in endemism -- a species' uniqueness to a geographic location.Though the study's authors fear losses in biodiversity, none of the threats they cite - forest conversion, forest fires, hunting for bushmeat and the wildlife trade - involve climate change.

Coral Reef Bleaching. Climate change has already affected biodiversity in South and Southeast Asia, with bleached coral reefs correlating with rising sea temperatures. However, sea temperature rises appear to have tapered off in recent years, allowing the coral to adapt over time. Indeed, a study published by the Public Library of Science found that rising sea temperatures have been destroying coral reefs in Southeast Asia, but the reefs have adapted to the growing thermal stress over the past 20 years.

Rising Sea Levels. Scientists agree sea levels will continue to rise gradually, but there is no consensus on the exact range. IPCC lead scientists John Church and Neil White predict only a 28-to-34-centimeter rise - roughly one-third of one meter - by 2100. According to a World Bank report, even a one-meter sea level rise would affect only 1 percent to 2 percent of the land area, population and farmland in developing countries (see Figure II). A one meter rise would reduce GDP in the affected countries by 0.5 percent to 2 percent.

Growth and Adaptation to Climate Change. Some believe that regional economic growth has been hindered by infrastructure destruction due to more severe natural disasters. However, there is evidence that climate change has had beneficial effects on these economies so far and will continue to help over the long term. With GDP growth averaging near five and a half percent, South and Southeast Asia are among the fastest growing regions globally and appear strong enough to implement adaptation projects.

Thirteen of the 18 nations in these regions have already implemented 182 climate change-related measures to mitigate or adapt to the effects of climate change. However, the majority of these projects are designed to mitigate, rather than adapt to, climate change. Mitigation generally means projects, regulations or taxes aimed at reducing emissions of greenhouse gases implicated in climate change. Adaptation strategies, by contrast, include focusing on natural disaster recovery and restoration, coral rehabilitation, water resource management, protecting wildlife and so forth.

Given the uncertainty in climate science, adaptation appears to be a more cost-effective approach than mitigation.


Climate Alarmism: When Is This Bozo Going Down?

Climate alarmism is like one of those pop-up Bozos. No matter how many times you bop it, up it springs. In fact, the only way to stop it, as most kids learn, is to deflate it. In this case, the air inside Bozo is your and my tax money.

Two scientific papers released last week combine for a powerful 1-2 haymaker, but, rest assured, Bozo springs eternal. The first says that human aerosol emissions are not that responsible for offsetting the warming influence of greenhouse gas emissions, while the second finds that the observed warming from human greenhouse gases is less than a lot of people think.

We aren’t at all surprised by the first result.  The cooling effect of sulphate particulates, which go into the air along with carbon dioxide when fossil fuels (mainly coal) are combusted, was only invoked in the mid-1980s, when the lack of warming predicted by computer models was embarrassingly obvious.

This is the kind of thing that the iconic historian of science, Thomas Kuhn, predicted in his classic book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. When a scientific “paradigm” is assaulted by reality, increasingly ornate and bizarre explanations are put forth to keep it alive. Sulfates smelled like one of those to us back in the 1980s, and now it looks like the excuses are finally getting comeuppance.

The second result also comes as little news to us, as we have been saying for years that the human carbon dioxide emissions are not the only player in the climate change game.

The two new papers, in combination, mean that the human influence on the climate from the burning of fossil fuels is far less than what the IPCC’s ensemble of climate models says it is. This also goes for the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the EPA ,and the White House.

Rest assured, though, Bozo will rise again—despite a near-continuous barrage of blows supporting the idea that the climate’s sensitivity to human greenhouse gas emissions is far too low to justify any of the expensive and futile actions emanating from Washington and Brussels.

The aerosol paper describes research by a team of Israeli scientists led by Gerald Stanhill (from the ARO Volcani Center) who examined the causes of “solar dimming” and “solar brightening” that have taken place over the past half-century or so. Solar brightening (dimming) refers to multidecadal periods when more (less) solar radiation is reaching the surface of the earth. All else being equal (dangerous words in Science), the earth’s surface would warm during periods of brightening and cool during dimming. Solar dimming has been reported to have taken place from the 1950s through the 1980s and since then there has been a period of recovery (i.e., brightening).  These patterns have been linked by many to human aerosol emissions caused by pernicious economic activity, with heavy emissions leading to global cooling from the 1950s (witness the opaque air of Pittsburgh and London) through the late 1970s and then, as air quality was cleaned up and aerosol emissions declined, an unmasking of the warming impact from greenhouse gas emissions.

This is an essential storyline that might as well have been written by Kuhn. Without invoking the previously undiscovered masking impact of human aerosols, climate models predict that far more global warming should have happened as a result of human greenhouse gas emissions than has been observed, even by the 1980s. Behaving more predictably than the climate, federal climatologists, led by Tom Wigley of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (hey, we couldn’t make up the name of that exclusively taxpayer-funded monster), relied on the aerosol “knob” to try to keep climate models from overheating.

Stanhill et al. have bad news for the feds. In their new paper, they examine the records of sunshine duration as recorded at five observation sites with long-term observations. When comparing these sunshine histories with fossil fuel use histories (a proxy for aerosol emissions) from nearby areas, they find very little correspondence. In other words, human aerosol emissions aren’t to blame for much of the solar dimming and brightening.

What may be the cause? Variations in cloud cover.  According to Stanhill and colleagues:

"It is concluded that at the sites studied changes in cloud cover rather than anthropogenic aerosols emissions played the major role in determining solar dimming and brightening during the last half century and that there are reasons to suppose that these findings may have wider relevance."

Admittedly, there are only a small number of stations that were being analyzed, but Stanhill et al. have this to say:

"This conclusion may be of wider significance than the very small number of sites examined in this study would suggest as the sites sampled Temperate - Maritime, Mediterranean, Continental and Tropical climates,… and covered a wide range of rates of anthropogenic aerosol emission."

The implications are that human aerosols have played a lot smaller role in the global temperature variability of the past 50 years than is generally taken to be the case. And if human aerosols are not responsible for muting the expected temperature rise from greenhouse gas emissions, then it seems that the expected rise is too much. That is, the earth’s temperature is less sensitive to rising greenhouse gas concentrations than forecasted by governmental climate models, and therefore we should expect less warming in the future.

The  second paper, published last week in Science, is yet another study trying to explain the “pause” in the rise of global average surface temperatures.  Using annual data from the University of East Anglia temperature history—the one that scientists consult the most, we are now in our 18th year without a warming trend.

(For a revealing exposé on  how even this data is being jimmied to fit the paradigm, see what just showed up in the most recent Weekend Australian.)

University of Washington’s Xianyao Chen and Ka-Kit Tung found that a naturally occurring change in ocean circulation features in the Atlantic Ocean can act to enhance or suppress the magnitude of heat that is transferred from the surface into the ocean depths. The authors find that this natural cycling was responsible for burying additional heat since the late 1990s while maintaining surface heating during the previous three decades. Coupled with earlier research (Tung and Zhou, 2013), they figure that a substantial portion (~40%) of the rise in the global surface temperatures that has occurred since the mid-20th century was caused by natural variability in the circulation of the Atlantic Ocean.

The implication here is pretty clear—the role that human greenhouse gas emissions play in the observed warming isn’t what it was cracked up to be.  And, with a little nudge from other variables—like the sun—the quaint myth that “all scientists agree that the majority of warming since 1950 has been caused by human activity” does look more and more like another pop-up Bozo.

Taken together, the two paper combination strikes a haymaker to  the alarmist mantra—that dangerous climate change will result from greenhouse gas emissions. The Stanhill paper suggests that the projected warming wasn’t so masked by sulfate aerosols, and the Chen and Tung paper argues that less of the warming is due to a human influence anyway. This combination—greater warming pressure and less temperature change—means that the IPCC and federal climate models are just way off.

Going forward, we should expect much less human-induced global warming than government-fueled climate models project.

If this refrain sounds familiar, it is because we find ourselves frequently reporting on the subject of the earth’s climate sensitivity (how much warming results for a given input of carbon dioxide).  This issue is the biggest key to understanding anthropogenic climate change, and, because evidence continues to mount that the climate sensitivity is much less than advertised, there will be much more where this came from.

But Bozo, inflated by public monies, will spring eternal.


EU to ban high-energy hair dryers, smartphones and kettles

The European Union is considering pulling the plug on high-wattage hair dryers, lawn mowers and electric kettles in a follow up to its controversial ban on powerful vacuum cleaners.

The power of hairdryers could be reduced by as much as 30 per cent in order to be more eco-friendly, a draft study commissioned by Brussels suggests, threatening many of the models favoured by hairdressers and consumers for speedy blow-dries.

New proposals are expected next spring to outlaw dozens of household electrical devices that European officials regard as using too much electricity, as part of plans to meet EU targets on energy efficiency.

Current EU legislation covers televisions, washing machines, refrigerators and vacuum cleaners but not most smaller electrical appliances.

A study ordered by the European Commission, currently in draft form, has identified up to 30 electrical appliances including lawn mowers, smart phones and kettles that could be covered by the EU's Ecodesign directive outlawing high-wattage devices.

Günther Oettinger, the German EU energy commissioner, said that legislation preventing consumers from buying high-wattage appliances was necessary to fight climate change.

"We haven't got round to these devices yet, we want curb power consumption," he told Bild newspaper. "All EU countries agree that energy efficiency is the most effective method to reduce energy consumption and dependence on imports and to improve the climate. Therefore there needs to be mandatory consumption limits for small electrical appliances."

The proposals will be a controversial flagship policy for Jean-Claude Juncker when he takes power as commission president in November in order to meet a binding target for energy savings of 30 per cent across the EU by 2030.

EU bans on powerful vacuum cleaners and incandescent light bulbs have provoked a popular backlash across Europe including in traditionally pro-European countries such as Germany.

On Monday many of the best vacuum cleaners available for sale in the UK will be banned as a result of the EU energy efficiency rules that prohibit the manufacture or importing any vacuums with motors above 1,600 watts.

Tesco said sales of the most powerful vacuums had soared by as much as 94 per cent for some models after the Telegraph reported consumer group Which? urging shoppers to act quickly before they sold out forever.

The draft EC-commissioned study says hairdryers’ power input range from 900 watts to as much as 2,300 watts.

It admits that “of course, more powerful dryers may dry hair in a shorter time” but says there is “improvement potential” to cut hair dryers’ energy consumption by 30 per cent. This is based on a German scheme which awards energy efficiency labels to products which “achieve power savings of at least 30 per cent compared to standard appliances”.

Mark Coray, former president of the National Hairdressers’ Federation, said curbing the power of hairdryers would simply mean blow-drying took longer.

Mr Coray said he favoured a 2,100 watt hairdryer at his salon in Cardiff. “You have a salon environment and somebody in their lunch-break wanting to have their hair done; you have time constraints. The more powerful, the faster the blow dry – it’s as simple as that.”

He said one manufacturer had recently brought out a “green” hairdryer with a lower wattage of between 1,400 and 1,600 watts, but he was unimpressed by it. “It gets very hot but it doesn’t blow very fast,” he said.

Hairdressers liked to minimise the time they had to spend holding hairdryers because it could lead to repetitive strain injury, he added.

Herbert Reul, a conservative German MEP, said: "The commission must stop their eco-design plans. It makes no sense to regulate the detail of energy consumption, the manufacture of each product in the EU and to tell the citizen what he has to buy.”

Paul Nuttall MEP, UKip's deputy leader, said: "This is being done in the name of tackling climate change but the reality is it won't help one iota and will just make life harder for house-proud householders. I am perfectly sure grown-ups can decide which hair dryer, kettle or vacuum cleaner they want to buy without nannying EU interference."

Marlene Holzner, the European Commission’s energy spokesman, said: “It’s a big question mark if we go to regulate hairdryers at all. It’s a study we have asked consultants to do. In the final report they will reduce 30 products to 20. In January 2015 we will look at these recommendations then select from this list what to regulate and how.”



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


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Who would be giving the Communist clenched-fist salute these days?

Ecofascists, of course.  The pic above is apparently from a new film full of Warmist hysteria.  Some of the speakers sound a lot like old uncle Adolf too.  One totalitarianism is as good as another to them, I guess.

Details here


Dr David Whitehouse

In popular science journalism the latest is always the best. With all the explanations for the “pause” in global surface temperatures since 1997 – there are now over 30 of them – it is always the most recently published one that is the “answer.”
This time it’s the Atlantic Ocean that’s to blame. A paper published in Science says that a 30-year periodicity warms and cools the world by sequestering heat below the ocean’s surface and then releasing it.

The paper concerned is not an impressive one. It starts off assuming the answer it seeks and finds it! Since the emphasis is on the Atlantic take a look at their data for surface temperature and ocean heat content (OHC.) As you can see OHC is declining, as the surface temperature remains static. Incidentally, a few error bars on the graphs would have been illuminating and would have altered a false impression given by the graphs data’s precision.

The OHC data comes from the Argo array that has been in place for about a decade. When talking to people about Argo I have heard many comments about how it is obviously showing a global increase in OHC over that period but this is something that is not entirely borne out by the data, and will be the subject of a future post.

Before the Atlantic it was the Pacific storing heat beneath the waves and taking it away from the atmosphere. Some scientists were quite confident that it was at the root of most of the “pause” and some still are despite the recent attention to the Atlantic Ocean. Even the authors of the recent Science paper say they are “not downplaying the role of the Pacific.” So there you have it. It is the Atlantic that is the cause of the “pause,” and it is the Pacific that is the cause of the “pause” as well. I’m glad that’s clear.

For those who are impressed with some of the media’s reports that the “pause” has its best explanation to date there are two papers, here and here, published in Nature Climate Change at the same time that say it is, most definitely, due to the Pacific.

The language of science journalism is interesting here. Note that the “pause” has been “seized” upon by “climate change sceptics and puzzled scientists,” and that the “pause” happened after “decades of rapid warming.” (Note to Editor: recent warming started around 1980. The 80s hardly saw “rapid warming” and the warming had stopped by the later half of the 90s.)

You don’t have to look very deeply at the science to realise that, despite the headlines, no one has come up with an answer to the “pause.” Some place their faith that there is a major driver – the Atlantic or the Pacific for instance – that can explain most of it. Others admit that there will not be any one cause for the “pause” and that it is likely to be the result of a patchwork of influences. If so then they have to explain why such a patchwork has for 17 years kept the global surface temperature statistically flat in the face of rising greenhouse gas concentrations – surely one of the most remarkable balancing acts in the history of science.

For many the proof of what is causing the “pause” will not be forthcoming until it goes away and what is expected to be accelerated global warming resumes. But since whatever the culprit is would have been a very significant contributor to the pre “pause” warming in the 80s and 90s, one wonders how swift will be that acceleration?

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Updated list of excuses for the 18 year 'pause' in global warming

"If you can't explain the 'pause', you can't explain the cause". RSS satellite data shows the 18 year 'pause' of global warming

An updated list of at least 29 32 36 38 39 41 52 excuses for the 18 year 'pause' in global warming, including recent scientific papers, media quotes, blogs, and related debunkings:

1) Low solar activity

2) Oceans ate the global warming [debunked] [debunked] [debunked]

3) Chinese coal use [debunked]

4) Montreal Protocol

5) What ‘pause’? [debunked] [debunked] [debunked] [debunked]

6) Volcanic aerosols [debunked]

7) Stratospheric Water Vapor

8) Faster Pacific trade winds [debunked]

9) Stadium Waves

10) ‘Coincidence!’

11) Pine aerosols

12) It's "not so unusual" and "no more than natural variability"

13) "Scientists looking at the wrong 'lousy' data" http://

14) Cold nights getting colder in Northern Hemisphere

15) We forgot to cherry-pick models in tune with natural variability [debunked]

16) Negative phase of Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation

17) AMOC ocean oscillation

18) "Global brightening" has stopped

19) "Ahistorical media"

20) "It's the hottest decade ever" Decadal averages used to hide the 'pause' [debunked]

21) Few El Ninos since 1999

22) Temperature variations fall "roughly in the middle of the AR4 model results"

23) "Not scientifically relevant"

24) The wrong type of El Ninos

25) Slower trade winds [debunked]

26) The climate is less sensitive to CO2 than previously thought [see also]

27) PDO and AMO natural cycles and here

28) ENSO

29) Solar cycle driven ocean temperature variations

30) Warming Atlantic caused cooling Pacific [paper] [debunked by Trenberth & Wunsch]

31) "Experts simply do not know, and bad luck is one reason"

32) IPCC climate models are too complex, natural variability more important

33) NAO & PDO

34) Solar cycles

35) Scientists forgot "to look at our models and observations and ask questions"

36) The models really do explain the "pause" [debunked] [debunked] [debunked]

37) As soon as the sun, the weather and volcanoes – all natural factors – allow, the world will start warming again. Who knew?

38) Trenberth's "missing heat" is hiding in the Atlantic, not Pacific as Trenberth claimed [debunked] [Dr. Curry's take] [Author: “Every week there’s a new explanation of the hiatus”]

39) "Slowdown" due to "a delayed rebound effect from 1991 Mount Pinatubo aerosols and deep prolonged solar minimum"

40) The "slowdown" is "probably just barely statistically significant" and not "meaningful in terms of the public discourse about climate change"

41) The "recent hiatus in global warming is mainly caused by internal variability of the climate" because "anthropogenic aerosol emissions from Europe and North America towards China and India between 1996 and 2010 has surprisingly warmed rather than cooled the global climate."
[Before this new paper, anthropogenic aerosols were thought to cool the climate or to have minimal effects on climate, but as of now, they "surprisingly warm" the climate]

42) 'Missing heat' is not "supported by the data itself" in the "real ocean":
"it is not clear to me, actually, that an accelerated warming of some...layer of the ocean ... is robustly supported by the data itself. Until we clear up whether there has been some kind of accelerated warming at depth in the real ocean, I think these results serve as interesting hypotheses about why the rate of surface warming has slowed-down, but we still lack a definitive answer on this topic."

43) "After some intense work by of the community, there is general agreement that the main driver [of climate the "pause"]  is ocean variability. That's actually quite impressive progress."

44) "This [the 'pause'] is not an existential threat to the mainstream theory of climate."

45) "In a few years, as we get to understand this [the 'pause'] more, skeptics will move on (just like they dropped arguments about the hockey stick and about the surface station record) to their next reason not to believe climate science."

46) " I think the findings that the heat is going into the Atlantic and Southern Ocean’s is probably pretty robust. However, I will defer to people like Josh Willis who know the data better than I do."-Andrew Dessler. Debunked by Josh Willis, who Dessler says "knows the data better than I do," says in the very same NYT article that "it is not clear to me, actually, that an accelerated warming of some...layer of the ocean ... is robustly supported by the data itself" - Josh Willis

47) "Ultimately, the challenge is to come up with the parsimonious theory [of the 'pause'] that fits all of the data"

48) "the argument that the hiatus will last for another decade or two is very weak and I would not put much faith in that. If the cycle has a period of 60-70 years, that means we have one or two cycles of observations. And I don’t think you can much about a cycle with just 1-2 cycles: e.g., what the actual period of the variability is, how regular it is, etc. You really need dozens of cycles to determine what the actual underlying variability looks like. In fact, I don’t think we even know if it IS a cycle."

49) "this brings up what to me is the real question: how much of the hiatus is pure internal variability and how much is a forced response (from loading the atmosphere with carbon). This paper seems to implicitly take the position that it’s purely internal variability, which I’m not sure is true and might lead to a very different interpretation of the data and estimate of the future."

50) It's the Atlantic, not Pacific, and "the hiatus in the warming...should not be dismissed as a statistical fluke"

51) The other papers with excuses for the "pause" are not "science done right":
" If the science is done right, the calculated uncertainty takes account of this background variation. But none of these papers, Tung, or Trenberth, does that. Overlain on top of this natural behavior is the small, and often shaky, observing systems, both atmosphere and ocean where the shifting places and times and technologies must also produce a change even if none actually occurred. The “hiatus” is likely real, but so what? The fuss is mainly about normal behavior of the climate system."

52) "The central problem of climate science is to ask what you do and say when your data are, by almost any standard, inadequate? If I spend three years analyzing my data, and the only defensible inference is that “the data are inadequate to answer the question,” how do you publish? How do you get your grant renewed? A common answer is to distort the calculation of the uncertainty, or ignore it all together, and proclaim an exciting story that the New York Times will pick up...How many such stories have been withdrawn years later when enough adequate data became available?"

52) My University screwed up the press release & didn't let me stop them from claiming my paper shows the "hiatus will last another decade or two." [Dessler]

More HERE (See the original for links and graphics)

Climate Change Nonsensus: Only 52% of meteorologists think global warming is mostly man-made

The American Meteorological Society has released updated polling results of their membership [26.3% response rate] which shows only 52% agree with the so-called "consensus" that global warming is mostly man-made. The poll finds "members of this professional community are not unanimous in their views of climate change, and there has been tension among members of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) who hold different views on the topic."

In a must-read post today by Dr. Judith Curry, she explains why the IPCC attribution claim with 95% confidence that climate change is mostly man-made fails the most basic principles of logic, is unsupportable, that the IPCC and the Gavin's of the world are the parties who are "making things up." Therefore, the meteorologists in this poll who likewise claim to know that most climate change is man-made also fail basic logical analysis and thus this opinion is more political than scientific. The AMS poll confirms that opinions on AGW are to a significant degree driven by political views rather than science:


Scientists reveal how they feel about climate change in handwritten letters and photos

Another attempt to substitute appeals to authority for actual evidence

SCIENTISTS can be a practical bunch, they deal with facts, data, hard evidence. But even scientists can lose their s*** sometimes and now they are revealing how they really feel.

Academics from around Australia have posed for striking photographs, while others have put their feelings about climate change in handwritten letters as part of two independent projects.

In one masters project, Australian National University student Joe Duggan contacted scientists and asked them to write the letters about how they felt about climate change.

“What follows are the words of real scientists. Researchers that understand climate change,” states the Is This How You Feel website, where Duggan is publishing the letters.

The letters feel more personal because they are handwritten and the passion, frustration and anxiety is palpable in some of them.

But there is also guilt that they too are left feeling apathetic because of the lack of action and interest in tackling the problem.

A letter from Dr Ailie Gallant of Monash University reflects many of her fellow scientists views: “I hate feeling helpless. I’m ashamed to say that, sometimes, my frustration leads to apathy. I hate feeling apathetic.  “All I can hope is that people share my optimism and convert it into Action.”

Duggan told that scientists were generally called on to communicate with the public about climate change using data and clinical prose but it occurred to him that this might not be the best way, and perhaps giving them an opportunity to express their passion might be a way of cutting through the apathy that many people felt about the issue.

“I’m not trying to convert denialists, I’m trying to reach people who are apathetic, who don’t have an opinion, to show them that climate change is relevant to them,” Duggan said.

On another website launched this month, some of Australia’s top minds have posed for striking portraits and describe what they are most scared of.

This includes earth system scientist Will Steffen of the Australian National University, who says his biggest fear is the loss of control of the climate system.

“If we push the climate too far, if we start losing ice too rapidly, start flipping things like the Amazon, then the internal dynamics of the climate will take over - and even if we pull emissions back, we won’t be able to stop very large changes - that’s my biggest fear.

“The thing people don’t realise, is getting emissions down is not only feasible but economically promising and will actually lead to a better life.”

One of the founders of the site, photographer Nick Bowers said the project was a labour of love that came about after conversations with two fellow creatives copywriter Rachel Guest and art director Celine Faledam.

“We were interested in environmental issues and discussed this constantly among ourselves, we all have young kids,” Bowers said.  “We wanted to try and bring authenticity and humanity to this issue.”

He said the scientists were photographed while they were being interviewed. This includes many prominent names such as mammologist and palaeontologist Tim Flannery.

Bowers said he thought scientists were more willing in recent years, to put forward their personal views as the information around climate change had become overwhelming.  “There’s more evidence of rapid change in climate and that it is going to effect us,” Bowers said.

While some critics have suggested climate scientists are motivated by grant money, Bowers said he got the sense that they just wanted the debate to move on so they could do other science.  “They want to get on with doing other stuff, they are sick of trying to spruik this stuff themselves.”

Duggan has also experienced a strong response from scientists willing to put forward their views. He said he had received about 20 letters from scientists in Australia and estimated that about 70 to 80 per cent of those he had contacted had responded.

“The thing that hits me the most, are that these people are the ones that understand the facts, that understand the data and can pass judgment on climate change and they’re scared. They are literally scared for the world they are leaving behind for their children.  “They get the statistics, they get the facts and they are scared.”

However, Duggan said that while he expected that fear would be the overriding sentiment, he did not expect how optimistic the scientists would be.  “They expressed optimism as well, even with all the problems, there was optimism that they could reach their goals.”


If only EPA stood for 'Enough Protection Already'

 John Stossel

Thanks, Environmental Protection Agency! You’ve required sewage treatment plants, catalytic converters on cars and other things that made the world cleaner than the world in which I grew up. Good work.

Today, America’s waterways are so much cleaner that I swim in New York City’s once-filthy Hudson River -- right beside skyscrapers in which millions of people, uh, flush. The air we breathe is also cleaner than it’s been for 60 years.

In a rational world, environmental bureaucrats would now say, “Mission accomplished. We set tough standards, so we don’t need to keep doing more. Stick a fork in it! We’re done.”

America does still need some bureaucrats to enforce existing environmental rules and watch for new pollution problems. But we don’t need what we’ve got: 16,000 environmental regulators constantly trying to control more of our lives.
OK, I went too far. America does still need some bureaucrats to enforce existing environmental rules and watch for new pollution problems. But we don’t need what we’ve got: 16,000 environmental regulators constantly trying to control more of our lives. EPA should stand for: Enough Protection Already.

But bureaucracies never  say they’ve done “enough.” That would mean they were out of work.

Like all bureaucracies -- regulatory, poverty-fighting and military -- the EPA spends every day hunting for new things to do, even if its new efforts cost much more and accomplish far less. Its biggest current crusade is global warming -- I mean, “climate change.”

Even if it turns out that man’s emission of greenhouse gases is a threat, “EPA’s own cost-benefit analyses don’t really identify any benefits” from additional regulation, says Case Western Reserve law professor Jonathan Adler. “If we are serious about dealing with climate change, we need to reduce per capita emissions of carbon dioxide to the level they were during the period of Reconstruction after the Civil War.”

That reduction in our industrial capacity would be one of the worst costs the human race had ever suffered, all for tiny benefits. Even if we did everything the environmentalists want, the regulators admit it might only lower temperatures a fraction of a degree, a century from now.
By that time, we will have cheaper ways of dealing with the problem, if it is a problem. But government rarely pays attention to costs vs. benefits.

Today, instead of environmental regulations that actually save lives, we pay to subsidize politicians’ cronies and pet projects, such as electric cars.

Voters rarely object to such deals, says David Harsanyi of The Federalist, because government hides their real costs. “If people actually paid what a Chevy Volt cost to make, it would probably be around $200,000. Without government -- essentially, government cronyism and all kinds of subsidies -- the Volt wouldn’t exist.”

He says Chevy, even with its government subsidies, loses about $49,000 on every Volt it builds. It’s ironic that, as environmentalists talk about “sustainability,” they create totally unsustainable subsidy schemes.

“It’s happening with all kinds of alternative energy companies that rely on government subsidies,” Harsanyi says. Politicians, by shifting money away from private-sector experiments, “are hurting companies that actually have some innovation that might work better.”

Since people rarely question spending that supposedly is “good for the environment, green subsidies create opportunity for corruption,” Harsanyi says. “The people who lobby and have the closest ties to government are typically the ones who benefit from the subsidies the government gives.”

Close associates of President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, former Energy Secretary Bill Richardson and former Vice President Al Gore all benefited from well-timed investments in green companies that got a leg up from government subsidies and regulations.

Unfortunately, green companies often do poorly even with government assistance, as was the case with solar panel maker Solyndra.

I don’t doubt there are important technological advances ahead that will make energy use more efficient -- and make the environment cleaner, sometimes as an unintended side effect. But I don’t trust government to pick the technologies.

Why should we think government’s ideas for cleaning the environment are on the cutting edge? As Harsanyi points out, windmills, one of environmentalists’ favorite ideas and biggest subsidy-recipients, “have been around since the Middle Ages.”

There will be a better way. Government probably won’t find it.



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