Tuesday, April 04, 2017
Remote Sensing Systems lies with statistics
By carefully choosing your starting and end points you can show almost anything with graphs. Below is a graph from the RSS site:
We see a nice rising trend line showing global warming, right?
But look at this:
Where El Niño obvious as is a cooling afterwards. 2017 is back on the "no trend" average that prevailed before El Nino. There is no steady warming trend, no steadily rising line.
Pretend conservatives for not so clean energy
Far-left ‘charitable’ foundations give millions to ‘conservative’ groups to drive climate agenda
More and more conservatives are proclaiming the virtues of clean energy. At least that’s what some groups want you to believe. In reality, far-left “charitable” foundations have given pretend conservatives millions of dollars to advance a climate chaos, renewable energy agenda – channeling the funds through intermediary groups, to OxiClean the transactions and limit transparency and accountability.
The huge Green Profiteers Network has to be at least somewhat bipartisan to ensure continued mandates, renewable portfolio standards, production and investment tax credits, regulatory exemptions and other subsidies that have made Climate Crisis, Inc. a $1.5-trillion international business. With global financial and insurance giants allying with that crowd and determined to procure some $93 trillion (!) by 2030 to create a “de-carbonized” and “sustainable” world economy, the effort has intensified.
But now it must contend with President Donald Trump. His growing list of executive orders and regulatory reviews is rapidly reversing eight years of Obama “Clean Power Plan,” “social cost of carbon” and other regulatory decrees; laying the foundation for reversing EPA’s absurd finding that plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide “endangers” human health and welfare; and putting the United States in a position to lead the world back from the brink of Paris pact pandemonium and wealth redistribution.
Other countries will likely follow these energy and climate actions, says Cornwall Alliance ethicist Calvin Beisner, thereby “sparing their citizens from the crushing costs of pointless policies to mitigate global warming, by raising energy costs and prohibiting the most reliable, affordable forms of energy.” These actions are vital, because “the greatest threat to the environment is not affluence. It’s poverty.”
Radical environmental groups are nevertheless preparing to battle every Trump action in our courts, legislatures, newsrooms … and streets. Preparing to join all the prominent big-name groups is a host of like-minded, tax-exempt, pseudo-free-enterprise outfits, many operating under the umbrella of the Conservative Energy Network. This 2016 creation includes Young Conservatives for Energy Reform, an environmentalist Christian Coalition of America, Citizens for Responsible Energy Reform – and Conservatives for Clean Energy (CCE), launched in 2014 as an “educational” and “charity” organization.
They all advocate the asserted need to “fundamentally transform” energy and economic systems, and switch from fossil fuels to “clean, renewable” energy, to save our civilization and planet from “dangerous manmade global warming, climate change and extreme weather.” The other thing they seem to have in common is funding sources that enable them to be so visible and active.
Prominent among those funding sources is The Energy Foundation. It launched CCE with a $350,000 grant in 2014, gave $535,000 to the Christian Coalition in 2013 and sent $925,000 to the North Carolina Solar Energy Alliance since 2008, the Civitas Institute notes, citing tax filings and other sources.
Between 2007 and 2014, Civitas points out, TEF also gave $4,476,000 to the Southern Environmental Law Center, a litigation factory that uses questionable climate and ecological claims to drive lawsuits against energy and other development projects, raising energy costs, killing jobs, and hammering the budgets, health and wellbeing of poor, minority and working class families.
As a 2014 US Senate Environment and Public Works Committee report explained, a virtual who’s who of ultra-wealthy leftist foundations and their “Billionaires’ Club” of donors is the financial force behind The Energy Foundation. TEF serves as a “pass-through” hub that helps donors make it seem that grant recipients have a more diversified base of support than they actually do; shields them from transparency and accountability; and at times hides contributions from donors that could raise serious “red” flags.
One such donor is the secretive Sea Change Foundation. Set up by billionaires Nat Simons and his wife, Sea Change has been exposed by multiple investigators as a shell corporation that funnels huge sums to radical anti-fracking and anti-fossil fuel activists from Vladimir Putin pals, giant Russian oil companies and investment groups, and more reputable sources like the Gates and Walmart Foundations.
The Energy Foundation received nearly $65 million from Sea Change between 1997 and 2015 – plus tens of millions more from the Hewlett, Packard, McKnight, MacArthur, Rockefeller, Pew, Bloomberg, Tomkat (Tom Steyer) and other foundations. All together, over 120 fat-cat foundations gave a whopping $534 million to the Energy Foundation between 1997 and 2015. During the same period, The Energy Foundation gave over $1.2 billion to more than 12,000 activist and agitator groups, investigative journalist Ron Arnold discovered.
It’s a bit daunting to have this kind of money and power allied with green, urban and government elites against Blue Collar America and the fossil fuels that still supply 81% of the USA’s energy.
This is the cabal of “consumer” and “environmental” groups that “Conservatives” for “Clean” Energy has in its corner. With offices in North Carolina and Virginia, CCE is heavily involved in fossil fuel and renewable energy political activism.
It is closely allied with the NC Solar Energy Alliance, to extend government mandates, tax credits and other government assistance to a marginal electricity source that brings higher prices, lower reliability, and reduced ability of families, hospitals, schools and businesses to meet tight budgets, says Civitas.
It has also partnered with the SELC and other groups pursuing new strategies to bankrupt and close coal-fired electricity generation plants, by generating misplaced fear about coal ash impoundments. Once public anxiety rose, activists demanded that the ash be dug up and moved “somewhere else,” regardless of the cost, which could be in the billions – and regardless of the fact that detected levels of chromium-6 (and other metals) do not pose health risks and come from natural rock formations, as well as from coal.
Keeping the ash where it is, and capping it with impermeable clay, is probably the best thing to do now.
But CCE then waded in with an opinion poll, which predictably found that North Carolinians want the ash moved but don’t want to pay for the removals, and support more wind and solar power. The groups are now poised to reprise the tactic in Virginia and other states with coal-fueled power generation.
TEF itself also weighed in, funding a study which predictably concluded that US renewable energy industries would “eventually” create 74,000 new jobs “from the ashes” of coal-related companies. Even if that were true, how many jobs would climate alarmism, chemical fear-mongering and costly renewable energy destroy in other sectors of our economy? Perhaps 740,000 or even 7,400,000?
President Obama’s Clean Power Plan alone could have imposed $1 trillion in lost output, 125,000 lost jobs and double-digit increases in electricity prices, the Wall Street Journal noted. The combined impact of all Obama Era climate and renewable energy programs would have cost the American economy $3 trillion and 6.5 million industrial sector jobs by 2040, Senator John Barrasso stated, referring to a National Economic Research Associates study.
To top it off, “clean” energy is not clean, renewable or sustainable. It requires perpetual subsidies, taken from taxpayers and consumers, and given to politically connected crony corporatists. It needs vast land acreage – for wind turbines, solar panels, long transmission lines … and backup fossil fuel generating plants. And all those facilities require enormous amounts of concrete, steel, copper, rare earth metals, fiberglass, fossil fuels and other non-renewable raw materials dug out of the ground, often in faraway lands that have few environmental, health or child labor standards.
Just imagine the tremendous good all those billions of dollars from all those “progressive” billionaires could do if – instead of lining the coffers of radical anti-energy agitator groups – they were devoted to actually helping poor families in the United States, other industrialized nations, and especially the most impoverished, energy-deprived, disease-ridden, malnourished countries on Earth? That would be real, long overdue social and environmental justice. If wishes were horses
First Amendment Rights Still in Peril Following Climate Change Probes
Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of the day an army of Democratic prosecutors unveiled a coordinated campaign to hunt down so-called “climate change deniers.” Constitutional experts have described the initiative as one of the more egregious attacks on the First Amendment in U.S. history.
One year later, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s coalition of Attorneys General United for Clean Power has disintegrated in the heat of its own abusive law enforcement practices. The same fate seemingly awaits former President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute, caught in the crosshairs of the climate change coalition of the willing, marked the anniversary with a combination of celebration and vigilance.
“While pretending that this was a law enforcement investigation, Schneiderman made clear that he was pushing a policy agenda—‘to defend the climate change progress made under President Obama and to push the next president for even more aggressive action,’” said Sam Kazman, CEI general counsel, in a statement.
“Since then, Schneiderman’s coalition has fallen apart: most of its members have left, the subpoenas served on us and Exxon by Virgin Islands AG Claude Walker were quickly withdrawn, and the climate science debate that this gang tried to shut down is more energetic than ever,” Kazman added. “Ironically, nowhere is that better demonstrated than by [Tuesday’s] environmental executive order from the president.”
President Donald Trump announced the Environmental Protection Agency will begin unraveling the Obama administration’s carbon emissions reduction plan that critics have blasted as a job-killing government overreach.
Trump was surrounded by coal miners Tuesday as he signed the executive order. The president has said boosting U.S. fossil fuel production in pursuit of energy independence is a priority for his administration.
“My action today is the latest in a series of steps to create American jobs and to grow American wealth. We’re ending the theft of American prosperity and rebuilding our beloved country,” he said before signing the order at an EPA that clearly is moving in a different direction from the aggressive enforcement agency of the past eight years.
Not surprisingly, the climate change faithful are furious. Obama EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy sees all of her regulatory work going up in smoke.
“This is not just dangerous; it’s embarrassing to us and our businesses on a global scale to be dismissing opportunities for new technologies, economic growth, and U.S. leadership,” she said in a statement.
Nathan Richardson of the environmental extremist group Resources for the Future likened the executive order to the short list of America’s “truly shameful” days. Among them, “the Dred Scott decision, the Trail of Tears, Japanese internment, and Abu Ghraib—most of them symbolic of a larger national moral failure.”
As CEI pointed out, Richardson’s opinion was quickly endorsed by Vox explainers and a New York Times reporter.
Those entities need not fear the threat of a sweeping, state-sponsored investigation into what they said and who they associate with. But CEI and other research organizations that have challenged the flawed science of the climate change crowd have had such a probe hanging over them for months.
Former Vice President Al Gore was on hand March 29, 2016, when Schneiderman and 16 other Democratic attorneys general moved to take up their investigative campaign against Exxon Mobil and other alleged violators of “climate fraud.”
CEI soon after was targeted by Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker. The attorney general sought “kitchen sink” subpoenas that “plainly aimed at suppressing free speech and scientific inquiry” of the nonprofit think tank sponsors.
In June, Walker withdrew his subpoenas of Exxon Mobil and CEI. The attorney general claimed he was looking into whether Exxon Mobil had concealed its “understanding of climate change” from customers and investors.
“He served an astonishingly overbroad subpoena on a public policy organization, demanding that it reveal its internal communications and communications with allies,” CEI’s court motion stated. “He conceded, in his briefing, that his subpoena was unsupported by the statutory authority that he cited as justifying it. And he has undertaken a series of legal maneuvers to evade judicial scrutiny of his actions, even while continuing to threaten CEI.”
The legal battles go on.
In a similar legal battle, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, part of the so-called “Green 20,” sought 40 years of Exxon Mobil’s documents in a subpoena. The company’s attorneys in September argued in a Texas court that if Healey’s overly broad subpoena was allowed to stand, “nothing is to stop a state prosecutor from issuing a subpoena to a political opponent seeking decades of records on the theory that a disagreement about policy constitutes fraud.”
U.S. District Court Judge Ed Kinkeade agreed the New York and Massachusetts investigations were politically motivated. The lawsuit remains in play, with Healey refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas.
In November, a New York Supreme Court justice ordered Schneiderman to release common interest agreements with other state attorneys general that CEI had sought in an open records request.
“CEI’s court victory is a blow to the anti-free speech campaign led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman,” CEI’s Kazman said in a statement. “While the campaign by him and his cohorts that began in March (2016) continues against those who disagree with him on global warming, we are glad to see that it is being held subject to the basic laws of the land.”
Attorney Andrew Grossman has represented CEI in its legal actions against the attorneys general. Grossman and his Washington, D.C.-based law firm also represented Wisconsin conservative activist Eric O’Keefe in a federal lawsuit against prosecutors of the state’s infamous John Doe investigation.
The campaign finance probe, launched by Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, a Democrat, targeted dozens of conservative groups and Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Investigators raided the homes of several citizens and seized millions of electronic communications in the secret dragnet ruled unconstitutional by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Grossman noted the similarities of the politically motivated investigations.
“In both instances you have law enforcement officials using the powers of their office to target people on the basis of their opinions,” the attorney said, adding that liberals increasingly have abdicated their position as defenders of free speech.
Grossman said the failure of the climate change prosecutors’ coalition should be the end of the story, but CEI isn’t taking anything for granted.
“CEI is going to continue to make arguments for First Amendment rights. Not just for themselves; they want to make sure everyone has that opportunity, even those with whom they disagree.”
China And Pakistan Join Forces For World’s Biggest Brown Coal Programme
In the dusty scrub of the Thar desert, Pakistan has begun to dig up one of the world’s largest deposits of low-grade, brown, dirty coal to fuel new power stations that could revolutionize the country’s economy.
The project is one of the most expensive among an array of ambitious energy developments that China is helping the country to build as part of a $55 billion economic partnership.
A $3.5 billion joint venture between the neighbors will extract coal to generate 1.3 gigawatts of electricity that will be sent across the country on a new $3 billion transmission network.
“When I came it was a mess. There was nothing here,” said Dileep Kumar, one of the first mining engineers at lead contractor Sindh Engro Coal Mining Co., standing atop the mile-wide hole in the earth, busy with yellow trucks and diggers on the floor below. “Now look at it. This wasn’t possible without the Chinese.”bs
On paper, Pakistan could be one of Asia’s top economies, with almost 200 million people spread over an area twice the size of California, from the ice-bound peaks of the Karakorum to the warm, dry shores of the Arabian Sea.
But it remains hobbled by corruption, political turmoil, terrorism and poverty, all underpinned by a crippling shortage of energy.
The country has natural gas reserves, four nuclear-power stations and the world’s largest dam. Some 700 kilometers north of the Thar mine another Chinese company is helping build a solar farm eight times the size of New York’s Central Park.
Yet power outages remain a way of life with blackouts of 12 hours or more even in Karachi and Islamabad. By one estimate, the shortage of electricity is wiping 2 percentage points off economic growth every year.
Thirst for energy is taking Pakistan in the opposite direction of Western countries that are trying to reduce coal power, or use cleaner-burning fuel and technologies.
Germany, which still relies on coal-fired stations for two fifths of its electricity, has promised to switch half of them off by 2030.
Pakistan, by contrast, relies on coal for just 0.1 percent of its power, according to the Pakistan Business Council. The Thar projects and others could see that jump to 24 percent by 2020, according to Tahir Abbas, analyst at Karachi-based brokerage Arif Habib Ltd.
Pakistan’s coal reserves would give the nation a cheap domestic alternative to expensive oil and gas imports.
The nation spends about $8 billion a year on imported petroleum and is one of the region’s biggest buyers of liquefied natural gas.
In an effort to curb the import bill and meet demand for power, Pakistan plans to dig up some of the world’s biggest known deposits of lignite, a lower-grade brown coal. But first, it must clear 160 meters of sand to get to the coal.
Australian energy 'crisis' predictable, says former Origin Energy boss
The so-called "crisis" confronting the energy sector was predictable and stemmed from the push for renewable energy as well as restrictions on accessing domestic gas reserves, Business Council of Australia president Grant King said on Friday.
"The first of those choices relates to the RET scheme," Mr King, the former boss of Origin Energy, told a business lunch.
The scheme was intended to prompt spending on renewable energy "to a level that equalled the expected growth in demand for electricity".
"As the growth in energy demand flattened, the scheme no longer provided the new energy investment we needed, rather it displaced existing generation – a risk that was understood because there was a loud call for the scheme to be reduced," he said.
The excess capacity resulted in baseload coal-fired power stations being closed earlier than many expected and the rise in intermittent energy such as wind and solar, which had reduced the reliability of the system and increased the cost of energy, he said.
The second choice was to start gas exports from Queensland, which was based on the expectation that there would be ongoing access to domestic gas reserves to be able to "develop it ... in an effective and timely basis", Mr King said.
"This did not occur, with access being frustrated or denied, particularly in Victoria and NSW," he said.
"The result was the delayed development of [gas] resources, the result of which is a market that is now short of gas, threatening the reliability of electricity supply (because gas is the balancing fuel for more intermittent renewable generation), and eroding Australia's competitive advantage in the cost of energy.
"These two choices more than any other explain why we are in the position in respect of energy that we are today."
But even though the reliability of supply in the national energy market remained high, the rising price of energy and the rising difficulty of accessing competitively priced gas meant "it should be no surprise we think the system has failed us", Mr King said.
"The key lesson must be: Why do we need a crisis before we listen to our experts?" he asked.
"When faced with important choices, we often take the easier path on the day (something we might call populism), yet find that in the fullness of time that path often comes at enormous disruption and cost to the community (something we might call a crisis)," he said.
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Posted by JR at 12:51 AM