Friday, March 24, 2017



The New York Times goes full Duranty on CO2 Scaremongering

Duranty was the lying Soviet-era reporter for the NYT.

What makes a newspaper take it upon itself to foist propaganda on to children? This recent article in the New York Times contains lesson-plan instructions on how to indoctrinate youngsters in Climate Alarm Orthodoxy. It hardly needs Fisking, the bias is so blatant, the intention so obvious. When will it ever end?

Comment from Lubos Motl:

"In the 1980s, we thought that some of our Communist-era education was biased and manipulative. But it has never reached more than 1% of what these two individuals propose - which is a full Orwell 1984. It's just incredible if Trump is paying teachers who are actually willing to do things like that. They should hear "You're Fired" within minutes"

Excerpt from the article:


The New York Times recently published an eight-part series exploring how climate change is displacing people around the world. This series travels from a lake that disappeared in Bolivia, to a Pacific island nation slowly being swallowed by the ocean, to an Alaska town threatened by increased flooding and erosion. Other articles detail climate change’s effects in China, Africa and the mainland United States.

Working in pairs or small groups, students can examine different articles and report back to the class, either through a jigsaw activity or class presentations. To prepare, they can take notes on and discuss the following questions:

 *  How has global climate change affected the local climate and geography of the region discussed in your article?
 *  How have these changes affected the people living there?
 *  How have the people tried to adapt to climate change’s effects?
 *  All of these articles include images which were selected to have an impact on the reader. What do these images show? Which image is the most powerful? Describe it and discuss what makes it an effective image.
 *  Why is this story important for the world to know?

Here’s the home page for the Carbon’s Casualties series, and you can see links to the individual articles below.
Carbon’s Casualties

Articles in this series explore how climate change is displacing people around the world.

You might consider including one additional article, not in the series, as part of the activity. In “Flooding of Coast, Caused by Global Warming, Has Already Begun,” Justin Gillis reports on the pressure that increased flooding is placing on communities in the United States, from Virginia to Florida.

After students have presented what they learned from their article, you can encourage them to make connections between the various articles by posing the following prompts, either in writing or verbally:

 *  What are some links or connections that you heard between the various articles in terms of the impact of climate change?
 *  What do you know now about climate change that you didn’t know before?

SOURCE





The social cost of carbon regulations

Anti-fossil fuel SCC relies on garbage models, ignores carbon benefits and hurts the poor

Paul Driessen and Roger Bezdek

“If you could pick just one thing to reduce poverty, by far you would pick energy,” Bill Gates has said. “Access to energy is absolutely fundamental in the struggle against poverty,” World Bank VP Rachel Kyte and Nobel Prize Laureate Dr. Amartya Sen agree.

The UN Development Program also calls energy “central to poverty reduction.” And International Energy Agency Executive Director Dr. Fatih Birol notes that “coal is raising living standards and lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.” In fact, all fossil fuels are doing so.

Indeed, fossil fuels created the modern world and the housing, transportation, other technologies and living standards so many of us take for granted. They are essential for electricity and life, and over the past 250 years they more than doubled average life expectancy in countries that took advantage of them.

But the Obama Administration and radical environmentalists despise fossil fuels and used every tactic they could devise to eliminate them. One of their most important schemes was the “social cost of carbon.”

Federal agencies used the SCC to calculate the “hidden costs” of carbon dioxide emissions associated with fossil fuel use, by assigning a dollar value to every ton of CO2 emitted by power plants, factories, homes, vehicles and other sources. However, the entire process was little more than junk science and Garbage In-Garbage Out forecasting.

First, each ton of U.S. emissions averted would initially have prevented a hypothetical $25/ton in global societal costs allegedly resulting from dangerous manmade climate change: less coastal flooding and tropical disease, fewer droughts and extreme weather events, for example. But within three years regulators arbitrarily increased the SCC to around $40/ton.

That made it easier to justify the Clean Power Plan, Paris climate agreement, and countless Obama Era actions on electricity generation, fracking, methane, pipelines, vehicle mileage and appliance efficiency standards, livestock operations, carbon taxes, and wind, solar and biofuel mandates and subsidies.

Second, the supposed bedrock for the concept is the now rapidly shifting sands of climate chaos theory. New questions are arising almost daily about data quality and manipulation, the degree to which carbon dioxide affects global temperatures, the complex interplay of solar, cosmic ray, oceanic and other natural forces, and the inability of computer models to predict temperatures, sea level rise or hurricanes.

Meanwhile, as the 2015-16 El Nino dissipated, average global temperatures rapidly fell back almost to their 1998-2014 level, according to Britain’s Met Office and other experts. That means there has been no measurable planetary warming for 18 years. Nor are other predicted disasters happening in the real world.

That means the very notion that U.S. emissions impose major climate costs is increasingly indefensible. Moreover, developing nations are burning fossil fuels and emitting carbon dioxide at many times the U.S. rate; that means even eliminating their use in America would have no effect on atmospheric CO2 levels.

Third, the SCC scheme blames American emissions for supposed costs worldwide (even though U.S. CO2 emissions are actually declining). It incorporates almost every conceivable cost of oil, gas and coal use on crops, forests, coastal cities, property damage, “forced migration,” and human health, nutrition and disease. However, it utterly fails to mention, much less analyze, tremendous and obvious carbon benefits.

That violates a 1993 Bill Clinton executive order requiring that federal agencies assess both benefits and costs of proposed regulations. It is also irrational, and completely contrary to human experience.

Fossil fuels created the modern world and lifted billions out of destitution and disease. They supply over 80% of the energy that powers United States and other modern civilizations; they will continue doing so for decades to come. They generate up to $70 trillion in annual global GDP.

Using readily available data on global living standards, economies, disease, nutrition, life spans and other benefits – and the government’s own SCC cost figures and methodologies – we estimate that carbon benefits exceed costs by orders of magnitude: at least 50 to 1 and as much as 500 to 1!

The U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts that fossil fuels will provide 75-80% of worldwide energy through 2040 – when the total amount of energy consumed will be at least 25% greater than today. That means these notable benefit-cost ratios will continue. The Obama Era SCC ignores all of this, too.

Fourth, SCC schemes likewise impute only costs to carbon dioxide emissions. However, as thousands of scientific studies verify, rising levels of this miracle molecule are “greening” the Earth – reducing deserts, and improving forests, grasslands, drought resistance, crop yields and human nutrition. No matter which government report or discount rate is used, asserted social costs of more CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere are infinitesimal compared to its estimated benefits.

Fifth, government officials claim they can accurately forecast damages to the world’s climate, economies, civilizations, populations and ecosystems from U.S. carbon dioxide emissions over the next three centuries. They say we must base today’s energy policies, laws and regulations on those forecasts.

The notion is delusional and dangerous. The rate of change in energy generation and other technologies has become exponential over the past several decades, with forecasting ability declining at an equal rate. Uncertainties over man and nature-driven climate changes during the next 300 years are equally colossal. Combining all the SCC assumptions, methodologies, fabrications and omissions, and injecting its absurd predictions into high-speed computer models, just means bogus forecasts are generated more quickly.

Finally, the most fundamental issue isn’t even the social cost of carbon. It is the costs inflicted on society by anti-carbon regulations. Those rules replace fossil fuel revenues with renewable energy subsidies; reliable, affordable electricity with unreliable power that costs two to three times as much; and mines, drill holes, cropland and wildlife habitats with tens of millions of acres of wind, solar and biofuel “farms.”

Anti-carbon rules are designed to drive energy de-carbonization and modern nation de-industrialization. Perhaps worst, their impacts fall hardest on poor, minority and blue-collar families. Those families spend proportionately three to ten times more of their incomes on energy than families earning $50,000 to $250,000 a year. They have little discretionary income and face the greatest risk of having their electricity cut off – as happened to 330,000 families during 2015 in ultra-green Germany. Worldwide, billions of people still do not have electricity – and the SCC would keep them deprived of its benefits.

Bureaucrats, activists, scientists and corporate rent-seekers certainly welcome the SCC mumbo-jumbo. They have profited the most from the countless billions that Obama regulatory agencies lavished on them every year, and from the tens of billions that Mr. Obama stashed in dozens of agencies, programs and crannies throughout the government, so they couldn’t easily be found or cut.

Above all, they would profit massively from the $93 trillion that the Financial Stability Board’s climate task force says the world must spend in low-carbon infrastructure programs over the next 15 years, as part of the Obama-UN-FSB-Climate Crisis, Inc. plan to de-carbonize and de-industrialize the planet.

Taxpayers, consumers and families would be hammered if the Climate Cabal got even more power over energy policies, economic growth, livelihoods and living standards. Thankfully, eliminating the social cost of carbon and programs implemented under it requires little more than applying the same rules and standards that government regulators have imposed on Volkswagen, Fiat and Wall Street dishonesty.

That is why the Trump Administration is challenging the SCC, climate cataclysm deception, and the bloated EPA budget behind so much of it. It’s why the House Science Committee’s Environment and Oversight Subcommittees held a hearing on the SCC, and why we and other experts will eviscerate it during the upcoming Heartland Institute 12th International Climate Conference in Washington, DC.

It’s time to rescind and defund the SCC – and replace it with honest, objective cost-benefit analyses.

Via email





How Leonardo DiCaprio Can Persuade Me on Climate Change

You probably know that actor Leonardo DiCaprio is a climate activist, and he is trying to persuade the world that climate change is both real and serious. Someone asked me on Twitter what it would take for DiCaprio (for example) to persuade a person like me.

I’ll take a swing at that.

For starters, you must separate the questions of real and serious. The real part refers to the climate models. The serious part refers to economic models. Those are different topics.

If you want to convince me that climate change is real, the best approach is to abandon the current method that packages climate models in a fashion that is identical to well-known scams. (Or hoaxes, if you prefer.)

Let me say this doubly-clear. When I say climate models are packaged in a fashion that is identical to known scams, I am not saying they are scams. I’m saying they are packaged to look exactly like scams. There is no hope for credibility with that communication plan.

To make my point visual, imagine walking into your kitchen and finding an intruder wearing a ski mask and holding a gun. You assume this person is not your friendly neighbor because he is packaged exactly like an armed burglar. If you shoot that intruder, and it turns out to be your neighbor playing a prank, you probably won’t go to jail because it isn’t your fault. The problem was that your neighbor packaged himself to look exactly like an armed burglar.

Climate scientists tell us that there are hundreds of climate models, all somewhat different. I assume that most of them do a good job predicting the past (hindcasting) because otherwise they would not be models at all. Hindcasting is one minimum requirement for being a model in this field, I would assume.

Then science ignores the models that are too far off from observed temperatures as we proceed into the future and check the predictions against reality. Sometimes scientists also “tune” the models to hindcast better, meaning tweaking assumptions. As a non-scientists, I can’t judge whether or not the tuning and tweaking are valid from a scientific perspective. But I can judge that this pattern is identical to known scams. I described the known scams in this post.

And to my skeptical mind, it sounds fishy that there are dozens or more different climate models that are getting tuned to match observations. That doesn’t sound credible, even if it is logically and scientifically sound. I am not qualified to judge the logic or science. But I am left wondering why it has to sound exactly like a hoax if it isn’t one. Was there not a credible-sounding way to make the case?

Personally, I would find it compelling if science settled on one climate model (not dozens) and reported that it was accurate (enough), based on temperature observations, for the next five years. If they pull that off, they have my attention. But they will never convince me with multiple models. That just isn’t possible.

If climate scientists want their climate predictions to be believed, they need to vote on the best model, and stick with it for a few years. If they can’t do that, all I will see is lots of blind squirrels in a field of nuts. Some squirrels will accidentally find some nuts. But it won’t look like science to me because of the way it is packaged.

I do realize that picking one model as the “best” is not something science can do with comfort. It would feel dishonest, I assume, since they don’t know which one will perform best. But if science wants to be persuasive, they need to pick one model. And it needs to be accurate(ish) for the next five years. Nothing else would be persuasive to me.

On the second point, about how serious the alleged problem of climate change is, we have to rely not on scientists but on economists. And economists have zero credibility for long-term forecasts of that type. So the serious part is beyond the reach of persuasion. You can’t get there from here because economic models are no more credible than astrology.

By the way, my educational background is in economics and business. And for years, my corporate jobs involved making complex financial projections about budgets. In other words, I was perpetuating financial fraud within the company, by order of my boss. He told me to pretend my financial projections were real, and I did. But they were not real. My predictions were in line with whatever my boss told me they would be. I “tuned” my assumptions until I got my boss’s answer.

When I tell you it would be hard to convince me that a stranger’s economic model is credible, keep my experience in mind. I’ve seen lots of economic models. I’ve built economic models. In my experience, they are nothing but guesses, bias, and outright fraud.

The only way to convince me that climate change is bad for the economy is to wait until it starts breaking things. If I see it, and scientists agree I am seeing it, I might believe it. But long-term economic predictions can’t get me there.

I remind you that my topic is about persuasion, not the underlying truth of climate change. I don’t have access to the underlying truth because I am not a scientist working in the field. My information comes from strangers that tell me their interpretation of what the scientists are saying. I am as far from science as you can get.

The people who are hallucinating the hardest on this topic are the non-scientists who believe they have done a deep dive into the scientific papers and the climate models and arrived at a rational conclusion. The illusion here is that getting information from other humans is the same as “science.”

Another group of hallucinators believe that they can determine the scientific truth of climate change by counting the number of scientists on each side. But that ignores the fact that science often has the majority on the wrong side. That happens every time a new idea is starting to replace an old one. Darwin did not agree with the consensus when he introduced evolution. Einstein’s ideas were slow to catch on, etc.

When the majority of scientists are on one side, what matters most is the flow rate from one side to the other, not the raw numbers. I need to know which direction the scientists are moving. Are more climate scientists moving toward climate skepticism or away from it? Give me that data and I’ll have something useful. But counting the number on each side during one slice of time is meaningless for persuasion.

My point is that Leonardo DiCaprio would have a tough time persuading me that climate science is both real and serious. But it isn’t his fault, because science has packaged climate science to look like a hoax, and sent him out to sell it. I respect and admire DiCaprio for his heart on this matter, and his effort on behalf of the planet. But science has failed him by giving him hoax-looking sales collateral.

SOURCE





Trump Lays Plans to Reverse Obama’s Climate Change Legacy

President Trump is poised in the coming days to announce his plans to dismantle the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s climate change legacy, while also gutting several smaller but significant policies aimed at curbing global warming.

The moves are intended to send an unmistakable signal to the nation and the world that Mr. Trump intends to follow through on his campaign vows to rip apart every element of what the president has called Mr. Obama’s “stupid” policies to address climate change. The timing and exact form of the announcement remain unsettled, however.

The executive actions will follow the White House’s release last week of a proposed budget that would eliminate climate change research and prevention programs across the federal government and slash the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by 31 percent, more than any other agency. Mr. Trump also announced last week that he had ordered Scott Pruitt, the E.P.A. administrator, to revise the agency’s stringent standards on planet-warming tailpipe pollution from vehicles, another of Mr. Obama’s key climate change policies.

While the White House is not expected to explicitly say the United States is withdrawing from the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, and people familiar with the White House deliberations say Mr. Trump has not decided whether to do so, the policy reversals would make it virtually impossible to meet the emissions reduction goals set by the Obama administration under the international agreement.

In an announcement that could come as soon as Thursday or as late as next month, according to people familiar with the White House’s planning, Mr. Trump will order Mr. Pruitt to withdraw and rewrite a set of Obama-era regulations known as the Clean Power Plan, according to a draft document obtained by The New York Times. The Obama rule was devised to shut down hundreds of heavily polluting coal-fired power plants and freeze construction of new coal plants, while replacing them with vast wind and solar farms.

The draft also lays out options for legally blocking or weakening about a half-dozen additional Obama-era executive orders and policies on climate change.

At a campaign-style rally on Monday in the coal-mining state of Kentucky, Mr. Trump told a cheering audience that he is preparing an executive action that would “save our wonderful coal miners from continuing to be put out of work.”

Experts in environmental law say it will not be possible for Mr. Trump to quickly or simply roll back the most substantive elements of Mr. Obama’s climate change regulations, noting that the process presents a steep legal challenge that could take many years and is likely to end up before the Supreme Court.

Economists are skeptical that a rollback of the rules would restore lost coal jobs because the demand for coal has been steadily shrinking for years.

The policy reversals also signal that Mr. Trump has no intention of following through on Mr. Obama’s formal pledges under the Paris accord, under which nearly every country in the world submitted plans detailing actions to limit global warming over the coming decade.

Under the accord as it stands, the United States has pledged to reduce its greenhouse pollution about 26 percent from 2005 levels by 2025. That can be achieved only if the United States not only implements the Clean Power Plan and tailpipe-pollution rules, but also tightens them or adds more policies in future years.

“The message clearly is, ‘We won’t do what the United States has promised to do,’” Mr. Molina said.

In addition to directing Mr. Pruitt to withdraw the Clean Power Plan, the draft order instructs Attorney General Jeff Sessions to request that a federal court halt consideration of a 28-state lawsuit against the regulation. The case was argued before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in September, and the court is expected to release a decision in the coming months on whether to uphold or strike down the rule.

According to the draft, Mr. Trump is also expected to announce that he will lift a moratorium on new coal mining leases on public lands that had been announced last year by the Obama administration.

He is also expected to order White House economists to revisit an Obama-era budgeting metric known as the social cost of carbon. Economists and policy makers used the metric to place a dollar cost on the economic impact of planet-warming carbon dioxide pollution: about $36 per ton. That measure formed the Obama administration’s economic justification for issuing climate change regulations that would harm some industries, such as coal mining, noting that those costs would be outweighed by the economic benefits of preventing billions of tons of planet-warming pollution.

Eliminating or lowering the social cost of carbon could provide the Trump administration the economic justification for putting forth less-stringent regulations.

The draft order would also rescind an executive order by Mr. Obama that all federal agencies take climate change into account when considering any form of environmental permitting.

Unlike the rollback of the power plant and vehicle regulations, which could take years and will be subject to legal challenges, Mr. Trump can make the changes to the coal mining ban and undo Mr. Obama’s executive orders with the stroke of a pen.

White House staff members and energy lobbyists who work closely with them say they have been expecting Mr. Trump to make the climate change announcements for weeks, ever since Mr. Pruitt was confirmed to head the E.P.A. on Feb. 17, but the announcement has been repeatedly rescheduled. The delays of the one-page announcement have largely been a result of disorganization and a chaotic policy and planning process, said people familiar with that process who asked to speak anonymously to avoid angering Mr. Trump.

“To undo the rule, the E.P.A. will now have to follow the same procedure that was followed to put the regulations in place,” said Mr. Lazarus, pointing to a multiyear process of proposing draft rules, gathering public comment and forming a legal defense against an expected barrage of lawsuits almost certain to end up before the Supreme Court.

But he can suspend application of the rule while the lawsuits go on -- JR

SOURCE




Look out when science and politics tell us the future

Comment from Australia

A growing mood of catastrophism is enveloping our more serious newspapers as the cost of anthropogenic change to the business climate bites.

A decade of ill-judged environmental and energy policy has exacted a terrible toll on the national economy. There is little chance of the investment needed to rid South Australia of its basket-case status while the government is unable to guarantee a stable power supply. Across the country, household electricity prices have more than doubled in less than a decade, and gas is running out on the eastern seaboard.

A decade ago, Australia enjoyed an efficient and reliable energy market and some of the cheapest power in the world. Hubristic government intervention has changed that and the damage could take decades to repair.

The politicisation of the global warming debate began almost 30 years ago with the 1988 climate change conference in Toronto. It was the start of a series of international gatherings, each larger than the last, with escalating apocalypticism and ever more strident demands for action.

The hyper-dramatisation of the millennial drought and the release of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth set the stage for Kevin Rudd to declare climate change our greatest moral challenge.

“There are two stark choices,” Rudd said in an extraordinary speech in late 2009, “action or inaction.” A pedant might describe it as a single choice constructed around a false dilemma, but his rhetorical point was made.

His government, naturally, would choose action since in modern progressive politics the urge to do something is stronger than the imperative to assess the likely consequences of the thing they are intending to do.

Time has helped illuminate the dewy-eyed naivety of the climate change policy Rudd took to the 2007 election. Ineffectiveness is one thing; the damage caused by the unintended consequences is quite another.

By setting a 20 per cent renewable energy target for 2020, the government privileged the suppliers of intermittent energy — wind and solar — over sources of energy capable of producing a reliable supply.

The costs of the scheme were seriously underestimated. The myth was allowed to percolate that renewable energy was free.

If we thought we’d been let off the hook when the Abbott government scrapped the carbon tax, we were wrong. The collective weight of government interventions, large and small, driven by compassion for the planet, has made us poorer than we would otherwise be. The Garnaut report in 2008 spoke of the massive economic transformation required to adapt to a carbon-constrained future but greatly underestimated the cost.

Its logic was obscure and its economic modelling so ambitious that it was frankly unbelievable. Treasury had forecast Australia’s gross national product for the next 92 years, yet one has only to read old budget papers to realise that their modelling breaks down over four.

Today the Garnaut report, with its lofty, theoretical arguments, reads like a brilliant postgraduate thesis. As a blueprint for government policy, however, it is dangerously flawed.

Yet by 2008 science and politics had become indistinguishable. Science provided the justification for political action; politics provided the grants that sent science heading along a single track.

Some say the politicisation of climate change picked up where the Cold War left off. There are certainly parallels: Marxism, according to Friedrich Engels, was scientific socialism; its theories supposedly held to an empirical standard, based on the methodical observation of history.

Once you understood — or thought you understood — the rules according to which human beings operated, you could build a perfect society and create economic order from chaos. There was no room for dispute because the science was settled; authoritarianism was its natural consequence.

The science of global warming offered the intellectuals another chance to organise the world as they wanted it to be, to take charge of human affairs and to bypass the irksome process of democracy. It was a global problem that called for global action.

It was an opportunity to settle old scores by re-fighting the lost battle of the Cold War: the fight against free markets. It justified a new technocratic world order, constructed in the spirit of Thomas Paine: “We have it in our power to begin the world over again.” And they weren’t shy to admit it. As Christine Figuerres, executive secretary of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, put it in 2015: “This is first time in the history of mankind that we set ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution.”

From the perspective of free-market liberals, this is bound to end in tears. The massive collective interventions that have distorted the energy market are choking the economy in the 21st century, as surely as socialist interventions did in the 1990s.

An ideological commitment to address market failure has resulted in something worse: non-market failure. Australia is running short of baseload electrical power, but the disincentives for investing are large.

So the South Australian government now talks of taking electricity generation back into public ownership. Others talk about subsidising baseload power plants from the public purse, falling back on the industrial welfare habit.

It all makes perfect sense to the technocrats and central planners.

SOURCE

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

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

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Thursday, March 23, 2017



The oceans are COOLING

We have seen lots of claims about the temperature records for 2016 and 2015 proving dangerous man made warming.  At least one senator stated that in a confirmation hearing.  Now that HadSST3 data is complete through February 2017, let’s see how obvious is the ocean’s governing of global average temperatures.

The best context for understanding these last two years comes from the world’s sea surface temperatures (SST), for several reasons:

* The ocean covers 71% of the globe and drives average temperatures;

* SSTs have a constant water content, (unlike air temperatures), so give a better reading of heat content variations;

* A major El Nino was the dominant climate feature the last two years.

HadSST is generally regarded as the best of the global SST data sets, and so the temperature story here comes from that source, the latest version being HadSST3.

The chart below shows the last two years of SST monthly anomalies as reported in HadSST3, along with the first two months of 2017.



Note that higher temps in 2015 and 2016 are first of all due to a sharp rise in Tropical SST, beginning in March 2015, peaking in February 2016, and steadily declining back to its beginning level. Secondly, the Northern Hemisphere added two bumps on the shoulders of Tropical warming, with peaks in August of each year. Also, note that the global release of heat was not dramatic, due to the Southern Hemisphere offsetting the Northern one.

Finally, the oceans are starting 2017 only slightly lower than a year ago, but this year with much cooler Tropics.  Notice that both the Tropics and also the Northern Hemisphere continue to cool.  The Global average warmed slightly, pulled upward by the Southern Hemisphere which reaches its summer peak at this time.

March may repeat 2016 when NH bottomed and SH peaked, or maybe both will rise or both will drop.  In the latter case, perhaps we will see the long-awaited La Nina.

SOURCE





The silver-tongued liars’ playbook  

Coal ash scare stories are the latest tactic in their long war on coal-fueled electricity generation

Paul Driessen

Coal-fired power plant scrubbers now remove 80-90 % of airborne particulate, mercury, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and other pollutants. But that means “fly ash” and noncombustible residues (what we used to call clinkers) must be sent to landfills. That’s opened a new front for anti-energy activists, who use accidents, “detectable” pollutants in water, and scary stories about health threats to advance their agenda.

In 2008, a Tennessee Valley Authority earthen retainer dam near Knoxville ruptured, sending 5.4 million cubic yards of rain-soaked fly ash into a nearby river, lake and neighborhood. Twelve homes were damaged by the muck, which contained low levels of arsenic, cadmium and other metals. The TVA’s cleanup efforts were less than exemplary, as were its measures to prevent the accident in the first place.

Companies and regulators clearly must do more to prevent accidents and pollution – and more to educate people about the actual risks involved. With a new fly ash playbook being tested in North Carolina, Virginia and other states, as part of the war on coal and the keep-fossil-fuels-in-the-ground campaign, those informational efforts are vital.

Duke Energy operates 14 coal-fired electricity generating plants in North Carolina – and several large fly ash facilities. Like coal itself, the ash contains trace amounts of hexavalent chromium (chromium-6 or Cr-6) and other metals that can be toxic to humans in high doses. Blazing temperatures bond the vast majority tightly in glassy vitrified ash, and well maintained impoundments ensure that few seep out.

However, tiny amounts can still escape into nearby surface waters and groundwater. Highly sensitive scientific instruments can now detect parts per trillion – the equivalent of a few seconds in 3,300 years. In 2016, an NC state toxicologist ruled that metallic levels detected in surface and ground water around the state were dangerously high. He blamed ash from coal-fired power plants and persuaded Tar Heel health officials to send “do not drink” letters to several hundred families living near coal ash disposal sites.

In his view, there is “no safe level” for exposure to Cr-6, and the state should slash its allowable level from 100 parts per billion down to 0.07 ppb (1,428 times lower). Other health officials reviewed the scientific literature, determined that amounts detected pose no health risk, noted that Cr-6 often seeps from natural rock formations into surface and ground water, and rescinded the warning letters. But the resulting controversy continues, and the company, regulators and politicians are trying to resolve it.

Duke Energy and many health experts maintain that Cr-6 levels found near the ash facilities (and miles away, from natural sources) are far below what cause health risks. But it wants to assuage concerns among families closest to the ash facilities. So the company offered to provide alternatives to their well water, by giving them access to public water sources or installing state-of-the-art home filtration systems.

In January 2017, the NC Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) granted preliminary approval to these company plans for homes within one-half-mile of a coal ash impoundment. Final approval is contingent on state health and environmental departments certifying that water provided via these systems meets “applicable” or “appropriate” standards for each location.

Now activists say Duke and other companies should move millions of tons of ash from multiple depositories. Not only would that involve hundreds of thousands of dump truck loads, millions of gallons of fuel, and huge trucks lumbering through towns and along back roads and highways. A far more basic question is: Take it where, exactly? Who would want it? Activists certainly offer no viable alternatives.

Companies previously proposed turning fly ash into cement blocks or gravel, for construction projects. Activists quickly nixed that option, even though it would involve virtually no contamination risks. It’s becoming increasingly apparent that the real reason for all the vocal consternation is that these agitators simply want to drive coal out of business. Indeed, the same unaccountable, silver-tongued agitators also detest natural gas-generated electricity … and drilling and fracking to produce the gas. They oppose nuclear energy, and even want hydroelectric dams and power plants removed. They claim to support wind and solar, by conveniently ignoring the huge downsides pointed out here, here, here, here and elsewhere.

Forcing utility companies to spend billions relocating huge ash deposits to “lined, watertight landfills” (in someone else’s backyard) will bring no health or environmental benefits. But it will bankrupt companies, send electricity prices soaring, and hurt poor, minority and working class families the most.

If rates double from current costs in coal-reliant states like North Carolina and Virginia (9 cents per kilowatt-hour or less) to those in anti-coal New York or Connecticut (17 cents), families will have to pay $500-1,000 more annually for electricity. Hospitals, school districts, factories and businesses will have to spend additional thousands, tens of thousands or millions. Where will that money come from?

Virginia’s 665,000-square-foot Inova Fairfax Women’s and Children’s Hospital pays about $1,850,000 per year for electricity at 9 cents/kWh, but would pay $3,500,000 at 17 cents: a $1.6-million difference.

Will businesses have to lay off dozens or hundreds of employees, or close their doors? If they pass costs on to patients or customers, where will families find the extra cash? What will the poorest families do?

The war on coal, petroleum, nuclear and hydroelectric power is a callous, eco-imperialist war on reliable, affordable electricity, on jobs, and on poor and minority families. Policies that drive energy prices up drive people out of jobs, drive companies out of business, drive families into green-energy poverty.

Preventing ruptures and spills means selecting, building and maintaining the best possible ash landfill facilities. Safeguarding public water and health means properly addressing actual, proven toxicity risks.

The US Environmental Protection Agency and North Carolina set allowable Cr-6 limits at 100 ppb for drinking water (equivalent to 100 seconds in 33 years or 4 cups in 660,000 gallons of water). The state also applies a 10 ppb standard for well water. No one applies a 0.07 ppb standard (70 parts per trillion).

In 2015, the NCDEQ tested 24 wells two to five miles from the nearest coal plant or coal ash deposit; 20 had Cr-6 levels above 0.07 ppb but far below 100 ppb, underscoring its diverse origins. May 2016 tests could not even detect the chemical in Greensboro water, the News & Record reported.

A 2016 Duke University study found that hexavalent chromium is prevalent in many North Carolina surface and ground waters. Some comes from coal ash deposits, but much is leached from igneous and other rocks found throughout the Piedmont region of Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia. Other health experts note that Cr-6 is found in 70% to 90% of all water supplies in the United States. Applying a 0.07 ppb would mean telling hundreds of millions of Americans not to drink their water!

Moreover, studies have found that Cr-6 in water is safe even at 100 ppb or higher. A 2012 paper in the Journal of Applied Toxicology concluded that regularly drinking water with 210 ppb of Cr-6 poses no health risks. (The real health problems involve airborne Cr-6.) Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, US EPA and other studies buttress those findings.

Equally important, an ability to detect a substance does not mean it poses a risk. Cancer is certainly scary, but the risk of getting cancer is not the same as dying from it. And people routinely accept risks of dying from activities they happily engage in daily. For example, the National Safety Council puts the lifetime risk of dying in a motor vehicle crash at 1 in 113; that’s 8,850 times greater than the alleged lifetime risk of contracting cancer from 0.07 ppb Cr-6 in water. Drinking and smoking fall into the same category.

However, all too many people seem easily terrified by “detectable” levels of strange-sounding chemicals. 100% clean is not necessary, not possible, not found in nature and not a sound basis for public policy.

Coal and chemical controversies like these offer our nation, states and communities excellent opportunities to find novel solutions that recognize sound science, hidden agendas, often limited options, and undesirable repercussions of poorly informed policy decisions. Let’s hope they are up to the task.

Via email





Reassessing Obama's CAFE Mandates

Last week, President Donald Trump announced his administration will reassess the Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) mandates the Obama administration’s EPA tried to lock in before the Jan. 20 transition of power. “We’re going to work on the CAFE standards so you can make cars in America again,” Trump told a cheering crowd of auto workers in Ypsilanti, Michigan. “We’re going to help companies so they are going to help you. We’re going to be the car capital of the world again.”

New EPA chief Scott Pruitt promised his agency will coordinate with the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to decide whether the Obama administration mandates will remain in place. The deadline for making the decision is April 2018.

Why the reassessment? “In 2012 the EPA set ambitious mileage standards that required auto makers to achieve an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, nearly twice the 2011 mandate,” the Wall Street Journal explains. “The increases were backloaded such that manufacturers had to hit 36.6 miles a gallon by 2017 and 46.8 miles a gallon by 2022. In the last three years, car makers would need to squeeze an additional eight miles out of each gallon.”

In a letter sent to Pruitt in February, the Alliance of Auto Manufacturers (AAM) insisted no government agency “had ever set emissions standards so far into the future,” and that the final determination engendered by Obama’s EPA was “riddled with indefensible assumptions, inadequate analysis, and failure to engage with contrary evidence.”

The AAM further explained meeting those standards would cost far more than the $200 billion originally estimated by Obama’s EPA because the “electrified technologies” needed to meet them would raise the price of vehicles and depress auto sales. As the Journal notes, the onerous standards might have been feasible when gas cost $3.60 per gallon and passenger cars comprised more than half of all vehicle sales. But when the price of gas dropped, sales of trucks and SUVs skyrocketed, with trucks gaining a 61% market share in 2016. Moreover, the decline in gas prices mitigated the benefits of customer fuel savings the EPA used to justify the increased CAFE standards.

Those standards also increased vehicle production costs, driving vehicle manufacturers to Mexico in search of cheaper labor.

The Obama administration knew all of this and originally promised the incoming administration would get a “midterm review” of the CAFE standards to be completed by April 2018.

Make that an incoming Clinton administration. When Trump was elected, Obama’s EPA set the 2012 standards in stone, even though their own projections revealed fewer than 1% of gas-burning cars would comply with the 2022 mandate, and none would meet the standards set for 2025.

Trump’s having none of it. “We are going to restore the originally scheduled midterm review and we are going to ensure that any regulations we have protect and defend your jobs, your factories. We’re going to be fair,” Trump said. “That is why I’m proud to say I followed through on my promise.”

Predictably, Democrats and their eco-zealot allies are furious. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) characterized the review as “all-out assault” to “dismantle important environmental protections.” Kristin Igusky, Climate Program Associate at the World Resources, declared “the administration is creating more uncertainty and blocking progress toward cleaner, more efficient vehicles for America.”

Christian Science Monitor columnist Zack Coleman joins the chorus. “Transportation is now the leading sector for greenhouse gas emissions in the United States,” he writes. “The lower the so-called Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard, the smaller will be the reductions carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles.”

Not quite. The expansion of the aforementioned “electrified technologies” necessary to meet the Obama EPA standards have environmental problems of their own as onerous, if not more so, than vehicles themselves. “So we’re chasing the car that is fueled solely by the electricity that comes out of our walls,” writes columnist Rich Cromwell. “That electricity is apparently generated by magic, never coal, so battery-powered options would reduce cars' carbon footprint and create a more sustainable future.”

Cromwell also eviscerates the catalytic converter, an ostensible pollutant-eliminating device that’s been around since the 70s and became government required for vehicles in 2010. “Catalytic converters, you see, are made in variety of ways, but all those ways include precious metals,” he reveals. “You know how you get precious metals? By mining them from deep under the surface of the earth.” Cromwell cites an article from MIT that “examines all the ways this kind of mining is abjectly horrible, including its carbon footprint.”

In other words, while environmentalists and their Democrat allies in Congress are quick to tout the transparent benefits of electric cars or CAFE standards, they are rather myopic regarding the unforeseen — or is that conspicuously ignored — deleterious tradeoffs that accompany them.

And not just environmental tradeoffs. As Robert Tracinski explains, one would have to drive a $90,000 electric-powered Tesla for 30 years to equalize the costs between it and a $45,000 gas-powered Lexus, based on the average number of miles most Americans drive, coupled with slightly higher gas costs than they’re currently paying. Thus, many “green energy products” are a long way from being economically viable. On the other hand, Tracinski adds, they remain “very much a plaything or status symbol for the wealthy and upper middle class, the sort of people who uniformly believe in man-made global warming and who can afford to spend tens of thousands of extra dollars just to feel good about themselves.”

One suspects ordinary Americans who can’t afford a Tesla or a Lexus and struggle to make ends meet are less “high-minded.”

And what if CAFE standards are solely about holier-than-thou self-aggrandizement? “Under the Obama Administration, CAFE standards have become a tool for combatting global warming, at which they are utterly ineffective,” Heritage Foundation writers Salim Furth and David Kreutzer declare. “Americans are paying excessively for regulations that fail any reasonable cost-benefit test.”

The benefit touted by the Obama administration — a “decrease global temperatures by 0.007 degrees to 0.018 degrees Celsius in 2100” — would be more than offset by “massive losses” imposed on consumers who would increase the number of miles they drive with more fuel-efficient cars offsetting carbon reductions. Many would also eschew higher-priced new car purchases and “delay upgrades, leaving older vehicles on the road longer.”

Pruitt has assured the nation his review of CAFE standards will engender a program that is “good for consumers and good for the environment.” Such balance is a refreshing change from the Obama administration’s “kill the economy to save the planet” mindset.

Nonetheless, he will face resistance. As columnist Ned Barnett reveals, the EPA is still infested with careerists who “believe their own views on global warming and a host of other environmental issues are the only ‘true’ positions. The president, for his part, is clearly preparing to take the challenge directly to the EPA’s permanent staff.”

Hopefully under a swamp-draining Trump administration, there’s no such thing as administrative permanence.

SOURCE




Spying Out EPA Waste, Fraud and Abuse

President Trump wants to cut the budget of the federal Environmental Protection Agency by 31 percent, from $8.2 billion to about $5.7 billion, a reduction of $2.6 billion and more than 3,000 positions. The proposed cuts have drawn attacks from politicians, the old-line establishment media, and regulatory zealots. For their part, taxpayers might keep a few realities in mind.

As an inspector general testified in 2013, the powerful EPA displays “an absence of even basic internal controls,” as confirmed by the case of EPA “policy advisor” John Beale. Beale claimed he also worked for the CIA, but nobody at the EPA bothered to check. That enabled Beale to take more than two years off, with full pay, claiming to be in London, India and Pakistan when he was actually kicking back at his vacation home. Beale pulled off his CIA ruse for nearly 20 years and also falsely claimed to have worked for Sen. John Tunney of California and served in Vietnam. Investigators found little evidence that the fraudster’s management produced anything of value, but the EPA eagerly ponied up retention bonuses. The EPA also continued to pay Beale for 19 months after his retirement dinner cruise. All told, the faker bilked taxpayers of nearly $1 million.

As we previously noted, the EPA has not exactly been forthcoming about what it does with the $6.3 billion it has collected from lawsuits and settlements since 1990. Taxpayers may also recall that in 2015 EPA contractors released three million gallons of contaminated wastewater into the Animas River. This unleashed 880,000 pounds of lead, arsenic and other toxic materials for dozens of miles through southwest Colorado and northern New Mexico. The EPA’s alleged vigilance also did nothing to prevent the Flint water crisis, but despite both disasters EPA boss Gina McCarthy kept her job.

Meanwhile, John Beale served 32 months in federal custody and last year gained release. He still collects his generous federal retirement, so in one sense the fake secret agent man got away it. Patrick Sullivan of the EPA inspector general’s office told reporters, “I’m quite confident that it would be almost impossible for someone like Beale to replicate his fraud.” Taxpayers have good reason to doubt it. On the other hand, taxpayers have plenty of evidence that the EPA deserves a cut of more than 31 percent.

SOURCE



There is a consensus but it is not a scientific one

A few days ago I had a conversation with a very smart university professor of history and somehow the climate change subject came up. Almost instantly he responded to my thoughts by saying: “You must be one of those deniers who rejects the science consensus.”

This is the new form of intellectual bullying and it’s intentionally designed is to stop the conversation not advance it. In the academies it is a technique to close off scientific inquiry.

When the liberals talk of ‎consensus, what consensus are they talking about?  Of whom? About what? Here is John Kay of the‎ Financial Times on the so-called consensus:

"Science is a matter of evidence, not what a majority of scientists think…. The notion of a monolithic “science,” meaning what scientists say, is pernicious and the notion of “scientific consensus” actively so. The route to knowledge is transparency in disagreement and openness in debate. The route to truth is the pluralist expression of conflicting views in which, often not as quickly as we might like, good ideas drive out bad. There is no room in this process for any notion of “scientific consensus.”

Richard S. Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT, has noted that too many environmentalists “ignore the fact that the earth and its climate are dynamic; they are always changing even without any external forcing. To treat all change as something to fear is bad enough; to do so in order to exploit that fear is much worse.”

Then he adds: “… there is a clear attempt to establish truth not by scientific methods but by perpetual repetition.… The consensus was reached before the research was even begun…”

Kay and Lindzen are not alone. In an open letter to the Canadian Prime Minister, 60 scientists urged caution when it comes to any policy with regard to climate:

While the confident pronouncements of scientifically unqualified environmental groups may provide for sensational headlines, they are no basis for mature policy formation.… There is no “consensus” among climate scientists about the relative importance of the various causes of global climate change.… “Climate change is real” is a meaningless phrase used repeatedly by activists to convince the public that a climate catastrophe is looming and humanity is the cause. Neither of these fears is justified. Global climate changes all the time due to natural causes and the human impact still remains impossible to distinguish from this natural noise.

Patrick Moore, a Ph.D. in ecology, is a fallen-away founder of Greenpeace. The following is from his 2015 lecture, “Should We Celebrate Carbon Dioxide?”

"There is no definite scientific proof, through real-world observation that carbon dioxide is responsible for any of the slight warming in the global climate that has occurred during the past 300 years, since the peak of the Little Ice Age.… The contention that human emissions are now the dominant influence on climate is simply a hypothesis, rather than a universally accepted scientific theory. It is therefore correct, indeed verging on compulsory in a scientific tradition, to be skeptical of those who express certainty that “the science is settled” and “the debate is over.”

The world’s top climate body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is hopelessly conflicted by its makeup and its mandate from the United Nations. It is required only to focus on “a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the atmosphere, and which is in addition to natural climate variability.” So if the IPCC found that climate change was not being affected by human alteration of the atmosphere or that it is not “dangerous,” there would be no need for it to exist. It is virtually mandated to find on the side of apocalypse.

The IPCC states that it is “extremely likely” that human emissions have been the dominant cause of global warming “since the mid-20th century,” that is since 1950. It claims that “extremely” means 95% certain, even though the number 95 was simply plucked from the air like an act of magic. And “likely” is not a scientific word but rather indicative of a judgment, another word for opinion.

“Perpetual repetition.” “Unqualified environmental groups.” “Sensational headlines.” This is what mass movements are all about. From his book, The True Believer, here is Eric Hoffer on mass movements:

"Hatred is the most assessable and comprehensive of all the unifying agents.… Mass movements can rise and spread without the belief in God but never without the belief in evil."

By the way, isn’t this what the left accuses the Trump movement to be all about?

Hoffer then goes on to cite the historian F.A. Voigt’s account of a Japanese mission to Berlin in 1932 to study the National Socialist Movement. Voigt asked a member of the mission what he thought. He replied, “It is magnificent. I wish we could have something like it in Japan, only we can’t, because we haven’t got any Jews.” This brought a bit of clarity as to why the mass movement, rather brilliantly, wants to label those of us who have questions as “deniers.”

There are two things necessary for a mass movement to succeed: true believers and a well-defined enemy. The enemy of the climate change mass movement is fossil fuels and the Industrial Age, with the “deniers” being the enablers of planetary destruction.

In the past, the term “denier” has been associated with that extreme group who denies the existence of the horrible, tragic historical fact, the Holocaust. Many climate change true believers want the public to put anyone who questions or disagrees with climate change projections in the same category as the Holocaust deniers. But one is a fact, the other a contested projection. Nevertheless, they have been quite successful.

Here is one of the definitions of “denier” found on the Internet: “a person who denies something, especially someone who refuses to admit the truth of a concept or proposition that is supported by the majority of the scientific or historical evidence: a prominent denier of global warming.”

Here is Hoffer’s warning on the role of the true believer: “where mass movements can either persuade or coerce, it usually chooses the latter.”

Something we are seeing in spades.

The last paragraph of Friedrich Hayek’s 1974 Nobel Prize address, The Pretense of Knowledge, puts the climate change mass movement and its true believers into frightening perspective:

"There is danger in the exuberant feeling of ever growing power which the advance of the physical sciences has engendered and which tempts man to try, “dizzy with success,” to use a characteristic phrase of early communism, to subject not only our natural but also our human environment to the control of a human will."

It has always been worrisome to me that every so-called solution to global warming subverts rather than enhances human freedom and advances the power of the state to regulate energy, industrial activity, and individual behavior That seems to me, a denier, or whatever term you want to use, a potentially greater threat to the future of human welfare than even climate change. Václav Klaus, the former president of the Czech Republic, made this same point when he declared: “What is at risk is not the climate but freedom.”

SOURCE

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

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017



Where are the tree huggers?  Why are we doing nothing to help  our forests?

Even though healthy forests are a CO2 sponge, Greenies never mention them.  Clearly they are not concerned about trees at all.  All they care about is how best to f**k up other people's lives

Greg Walcher

For years, politicians have waged war on coal, stifled oil and gas production, and advocated carbon taxes and other extreme measures to reduce carbon dioxide, while ignoring one of the most important things they could do to help.

It reminds me of my own lifelong battle with weight and the associated health issues. I get so frustrated that I sometimes swear I would do anything – anything! – to lose weight. Well, anything except eat less and exercise. But anything else.

That same kind of hypocrisy surrounds rants about our carbon dioxide emissions. Even people who are “deeply concerned” about dangerous manmade climate change drive cars, heat their homes, and sometimes even turn on lights. They embrace modern living standards, while also embracing faddish environmental claims and policies that contribute mightily to problems they insist disturb them greatly.

A popular bumper sticker screams, “TREES ARE THE ANSWER.” Yet when it comes to managing our national forests, many of those same advocates look away, while millions of acres of once healthy trees die, fall down, rot or burn up.

It’s ironic, because those forests provide the world’s greatest resource for cleaning carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere; because the rotting and fires themselves emit greenhouse gases; and because atmospheric carbon dioxide makes all plants grow faster and better and with improved tolerance to drought.

As Colorado State Forester Mike Lester testified recently before a state legislative committee, “When so many trees die and large wildfires follow, our forests quickly turn from a carbon sink into a carbon source.” Trees absorb carbon dioxide as people absorb oxygen, and that balance is critical to sustaining life, as we all learned in grade school.

Yet instead of doing everything in our power to make sure we have abundant thriving forests of healthy trees, we allow them to die and burn and thus belch millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the air.

Lester’s excellent testimony accompanied the release of the Colorado State Forest Service’s annual Report on the Health of Colorado Forests. This year’s assessment is the worst ever, and hardly anybody noticed. There was no outcry from global warming alarmists around the world, as there should have been. In fact, their silence on this issue is deafening. And it’s not just Colorado. It’s every state, and beyond.

The more concerned people are about climate change, the more they should be interested in active management to restore forest health. Yet many of the groups pushing urgent climate policies are the same groups that continue to fight logging, tree thinning and other management necessary for healthy forests. The result is more of the same disasters we have seen unfolding for over 20 years: dead and dying forests, catastrophic wildfires, habitat devastation, loss of human property and lives, and destruction of wildlife.

The new forest health report shows that over the last seven years, the number of dead standing trees in Colorado forests increased almost 30 percent, to an estimated 834 million dead trees. There are billions across the other Rocky Mountain States.

The report makes clear that this continuing trend of tree mortality can lead to large, intense wildfires that totally incinerate and obliterate forests, soils and wildlife. In fact, it is only a matter of time before this happens, if the U.S. Forest Service does not act.

Ironically, the most productive forest health restoration projects in Colorado have been partnerships of the State Forester with water providers like Denver Water, Northern Water Conservancy District and Colorado Springs Utilities. That’s because 80 percent of Colorado’s population depends on water that comes from the national forests.

However, the U.S. Forest Service, which owns almost all of the forestland in the State, continues to work with its hands tied behind its back, its timber programs woefully underfunded and vast sums syphoned off every year for fire suppression. Fire control ought to be funded separately, so that active management of healthy forests is not the perpetually lowest priority.

The Forest Service spends a fortune on planning, writing reports, and defending itself against environmental lawsuits, leaving few funds for what it is really supposed to be doing.

What a golden opportunity for the new Congress and Trump Administration. Reversing this demoralizing trend would restore forests, protect and increase wildlife, bring back thousands of forest products jobs, revitalize rural economies, and do more to reduce carbon dioxide than any previous policy.

The previous Administration created the Office of Sustainability and Climate Change, and Regional Climate Change Hubs, maintained a Climate Change Adaptation Library, mapped drought frequency and intensity, and created massive reports blaming humans for climate change. One study was a vulnerability assessment for the Southwest and California, titled “Southwest Regional Climate Hub and Climate Subsidiary Hub Assessment of Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies.”

All this activity is impressive, and scientific study will always play a role. But none of it actually affects climate change. Growing healthy trees would. Can we get back to that?

Or like me and my weight problem, are we willing to do anything to address climate change and improve our forests and wildlife habitats, except the one thing that might help the most?

Via email





The War on Affordable Electricity

Safe, reliable, and affordable power is a crucial partof a strong and growing economy. The dependability and general affordability of electricity here in U.S. is a significant component of our historically robust economy. But recently, a vocal and active few here in New Mexico are part of a coordinated, nationwide effort to severely restrict our ability produce economical and reliable power.

Earlier this summer, the state of California’s GDP passed that of France to become the sixth largest in the world. Just for comparison, the country just ahead of California is the United Kingdom, where last year’s GDP totaled about $2.85 trillion according to the International Monetary Fund.

Due to its sheer size, California is the battleground for most public policy debates, and the current debate on energy is no exception. Both here and in California, environmentalists have made it their mission to increase the use of renewable sources (solar and wind) while shutting down our most affordable, reliable, and carbon-free source of electricity: nuclear power. California policymakers’ anti-nuclear stance is partially blamed for the use of fossil fuels to increase from 47 percent of in-state electric generation in 2011 to 61 percent in 2013.

Since renewables constantly fluctuate due to changes in weather and we expect electricity to be available 24/7, some source of power must fill that gap in generation. Currently, the only sources of electricity capable of covering that gap are fast-ramping natural gas plants. A new study of over 26 separate countries spanning over two decades reports that “all other things equal, a 1% percent increase in the share of fast reacting fossil technologies is associated with a 0.88% percent increase in renewable generation capacity in the long term”. In other words, gas plants can be seen as “an enabling factor” which allow for the integration of additional renewable sources of power. There is no economical method to store power on an industrial scale, so you cannot add renewable energy sources without a corresponding increase in gas generation to make up the difference and balance the grid.

California policymakers’ anti-nuclear stance is partially blamed for the use of fossil fuels to increase from 47 percent of in-state electric generation in 2011 to 61 percent in 2013.
In New Mexico, the Public Regulation Commission regulates all public utilities including PNM, which provides electricity to most of the state (full disclosure: I am currently employed by PNM as a wholesale power marketer). In August 2015, PNM filed a rate case with the PRC, requesting an increase in rates to help offset some of the costs associated with the environmental gains agreed to last fall (including cutting carbon emissions in half). In its latest recommendation, the case hearing examiner issued a recommendation for a rate increase of $41.3 million, roughly one third of the $123.5 million PNM had asked for in its original request.

As part of her recommendation, the hearing examiner did not allow for any cost recovery for the purchase of a percentage of the generating capacity of Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station. Make no mistake about it: this decision was due in large part to an effective PR campaign waged by local and out-of-state environmentalists demonizing nuclear energy. Unfortunately, they do not see the contradiction in advocating for cheap and carbon-free energy while simultaneously demanding PNM get rid of “expensive, toxic nuclear power”.

In the end, the real tragedy is that if the environmentalists had their way, the cost of electricity would substantially increase, and those hurt the most would be those very same people they claim to advocate for: the poor, the elderly, and others on a fixed income. I urge the PRC commissioners to do the right thing for the people of New Mexico by allowing PNM to recover all or a majority of the costs associated with Palo Verde, the most safe, reliable, and cost-effective power source in PNM’s generating fleet.

SOURCE





Are investigations by the ‘Green 20’ an effort to intimidate scientific dissenters?

By Lamar Smith

Transparency for thee, but not for me—that seems to be the motto of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. Last year they led a group of their colleagues—dubbed the “Green 20”—in a sweeping initiative to target dissenting views on climate change. Exxon Mobil, for instance, was asked to turn over decades of documents.

The Green 20 investigations have been criticized as blatantly political. Last year a federal judge overseeing Ms. Healey’s suit against Exxon expressed concern that she may be conducting it in “bad faith.”

For nearly a year, the congressional committee I lead has been trying to understand the effects of these investigations on scientific research. Unfortunately, the attorneys general have obstructed our inquiry at every turn. Last July, after two months of unanswered requests for information, the committee issued subpoenas to Mr. Schneiderman and Ms. Healey.

The subpoenas asked for communications between Green 20 offices and environmental activists. This would show the level of coordination in this campaign to harass and silence scientists who challenge prevailing climate-change orthodoxies. The attorneys general have refused to comply, hiding behind vague excuses.

The committee has not sought information about the investigations of Exxon. Instead, our interest is in discovering how this attempt at intimidation affects federally funded scientific research. Then we may consider changing the law to allow this research to continue.

The hypocrisy of the attorneys general here is evident—though perhaps understandable. Mr. Schneiderman has accepted nearly $300,000 in campaign donations from environmentalist donors, including members of the Soros family. He has also used the investigation as a way to curry favor with anti-Exxon billionaire Tom Steyer for a potential gubernatorial run, according to the New York Post.

Perhaps Mr. Schneiderman is afraid of what the House committee might confirm in the course of its investigation. Is he using his public office to advance the priorities of interest groups that support his personal political ambitions?

The American people deserve to know how Mr. Schneiderman’s and Ms. Healey’s actions affect the nation’s scientific community. By refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas, they have shown they have something to hide.

To borrow their premise, this obstruction is a coverup—and they must be held accountable for their hypocrisy. On Feb. 16, the House committee reissued the subpoenas, as is customary at the beginning of a new Congress. Although the attorneys general have not yet made any effort to cooperate, I remain hopeful that they will act in accordance with their public statements about transparency and accountability and will comply with the committee’s investigation.

SOURCE




Japan, India and China still turning to more coal throughout the 2020s which means more CO2 and air pollution

Coal is undergoing a renaissance in emerging and developed countries in Asia, buoyed by technical breakthroughs and looming questions about squaring development with energy security. Japan, India and China will try to blunt the air pollution effects from the use of coal which cause millions of premature deaths in India and China and tens of thousands in Japan. However the "low emissions" coal technology is still 30% worse than natural gas for CO2 emissions even though "low emissions" is improved over several decades old coal plants.

BTW- the economic and technological forces in the USA are causing an increase in natural gas power generation in the USA. Any political rhetoric or shutting down of the EPA may slow the decline of the US coal industry but coal power in the US will still decline. US coal mines will then ship more coal to Asia. For the full year of 2016 in the USA, coal made up 30.4% of total US power generation, which is the lowest annual total since EIA records started for the calculation in 1950. For comparison, coal made up 33.2% of US generation in 2015 and 49% of US generation in 2006. Gas plants produced 33.9% of US power in 2016, which was the highest total yet for the fuel, after contributing 32.7% of US power generation in 2015 and 20.1% in 2006.

US electricity generation was 4300 TWh in 2016. This is 40% less than China 5920TWh. India is at about 1400 TWh and Japan at 1000 TWh.

For Japan, coal has emerged as the best alternative to replacing its 54 nuclear reactors, which are deeply unpopular with the population and seen as symbols of devastation after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster six years ago. Mindful of the public mood, the government of Shinzo Abe has completely given up on the country’s dream of nuclear self-sufficiency, and pulled the plug in December on the $8.5 billion experimental reactor project at Monju. On February 1, the government pledged to decommission all reactors and replace them with 45 new coal-fired power plants equipped with the latest clean coal technology.

Japan is turning to coal power due to attempts to transition the country away from nuclear power. Officials promised to replace nuclear power with wind or solar, but this caused the price of electricity to rise by 20 percent. Japan’s government currently aims to restart at least 32 of the 54 reactors it shut down following the Fukushima disaster, and wants nuclear power to account for 20 percent of the nation’s total electricity generated by 2030.

Japan will use high energy, low emissions (HELE) technology that use high-quality black coal.

Japan plans to build ultra-super-critical plants in the 650 MW range. 45 new coal-fired power-generation units with total capacity of as much as 20,884 MW, would come online in the next decade or so. Japan had a total 90 coal-fired units at the end of March 2015, with total capacity of 40,695 MW. Coal power already made up 31 percent of Japan’s energy mix in 2015 but under the current plan, the fossil fuel will become the country’s primary power source by 2019.

Japan is the largest overseas market for Australian coal producers, taking more than a third of all exports.

In the wake of the Tsunami which caused the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011, Japan started importing more liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Australia. The move to more coal fired power was because coal was cheaper than LNG, and the energy security was priority for the government.

India’s current energy plan calls for reducing India’s carbon emissions by replacing aging thermal power plants with energy-efficient “supercritical” ones that will (much like their Japanese counterparts) maximize the energy produced from coal burned, while also curtailing CO2 emissions. This supercritical technology has already had tangible effects on the nation’s plan to cut pollution levels as the 51 units currently installed have saved 6 million tons of CO2 — the equivalent of taking 1,267,000 cars off the road for one year. A few Indian companies and entrepreneurs have been even more ambitious, pioneering local carbon-capture solutions that could keep even more emissions out of the air.

India needs to grow power but is has paused in building new coal plants because of a massively inefficient economic and planning system.

India has power plants with capacity to generate 300 GW. These are operating at 64% capacity because of inability of state distribution utilities to purchase electricity and sluggish economic growth. About a tenth of the total capacity is stranded due to lack of power purchase agreements while another 50 GW is under various stages of construction.

One third of the Indian population has no power.

If India grows at 7 to 9% GDP each year then they will need 3.5-5% more energy each year. If solar power can scale 10 to 30 times beyond what we see today and at costs of about half what we see today then maybe India will not build so much coal power to meet their development needs. If it comes to choice between development or using coal, clearly India will choose to use coal.

China power

China recently announced the cancellation of over 100 coal plant projects. However, China still added 48GW of coal power plants in 2016 and will likely add a total of 150GW by 2020.

The cancellations were partially due to concerns about air pollution, but also mainly about China's planners finally admitting that they would not be able to increase GDP growth to justify the new coal power.

China's annual construction level is higher than Japan's 15 year energy plan. China used just short of 6000 TWh of power in 2016. China had 5920 TWh of power generation in 2016.

SOURCE





Australia:  Closure of big brown-coal generator raises threats of East coast blackouts and manufacturers moving overseas

The head of the Food and Grocery Council says manufacturers will quit Australia if affordable, reliable energy cannot be guaranteed, as concern grows about the cost of power and the stability of the electricity grid with Victoria's Hazelwood power station due to close in a fortnight.

The ageing brown-coal-fired generator in the Latrobe Valley will begin the staged shutdown of its eight units from March 27. The final boiler will go cool on April 2.

With it will go 22 per cent of Victoria's power supply and just over 5 per cent of the energy on a grid that runs from Port Douglas in far north Queensland to Port Lincoln on South Australia's Eyre Peninsula.

The wholesale price of power spiked across the National Electricity Market in November on news that Hazelwood would shut.

Retail prices will follow the rise.

Food and Grocery Council chair Terry O'Brien said his industry had been caught in a pincer movement, unable to pass on power price hikes because of discounting by the two major supermarkets chains.

As many local manufacturers were arms of international companies, pressure was mounting for some to quit the country.

"The decision to stay or go gets more and more marginal as the days go on," Mr O'Brien said.  "And there's not a heck of a lot of sentiment in these internationally managed companies. They go where it makes sense. And if it's not going to make sense here, they leave."

The closure of Hazelwood raises an even larger threat: blackouts.  "To stop production through a lack of energy is just a disaster," Mr O'Brien said.

The threat of east coast blackouts is now real because of the disorganised disconnection of coal-fired generation without any new investment in base-load power.

Hazelwood will be the ninth power plant to close in five years, removing a combined 5,400 megawatt of generation from the grid. The Australian Energy Market Operator is now predicting electricity reserve shortfalls in Victoria and South Australia from December.

SOURCE

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

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

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017



A Greenie moron



Like during the Little Ice Age when famine, pestilence and disease spread across Europe?





James Inhofe: EPA Brainwashes Children With Propaganda

Sen. James Inhofe piled on the EPA as it faces a 31 percent cut in President Donald Trump's first budget, charging on Thursday that the agency was "brainwashing" children with "propaganda."

The Republican Oklahoma senator, and supporter of current Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt, made the comments to anchor Poppy Harlow during an appearance on CNN's "New Day."

"We are going to take all this stuff that comes out of the EPA that is brainwashing our kids, that is propaganda, things that aren't true, allegations," Inhofe said, though at the time he did not point to any specific examples.

Inhofe, a frequent climate change skeptic, made similar comments to conservative talk show host Eric Metaxas after the senator said that one of his grandchildren asked why he was a climate change denier, according to Newsweek.

"You know, our kids are being brainwashed? I never forget because I was the first one back in 2002 to tell the truth about the global warming stuff and all of that," Inhofe said.

"And my own granddaughter came home one day and said, … 'Popi, why is it you don't understand global warming?' I did some checking, and Eric, the stuff that they teach our kids nowadays, you have to un-brainwash them when they get out."

SOURCE




Climate Models Fail So Often Because Climate Science Is So Incomplete

Jeff Jacoby

“Do you believe,” CNBC’s Joe Kernen asked Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency’s new director, in an interview last Thursday, “that it’s been proven that CO2 is the primary control knob for climate?”

Replied Pruitt: “No. I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do, and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact. So no — I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see. But we don’t know that yet. We need to continue the debate and continue the review and the analysis.”

It was an accurate and judicious answer, so naturally it sent climate alarmists into paroxysms of condemnation. The Washington Post slammed Pruitt as a “denier” driven by “unreason.” Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii called Pruitt’s views “extreme” and “irresponsible” — proof of his unfitness to head the EPA. Gina McCarthy, who ran the agency under President Obama, bewailed the danger global warming poses to “all of us who call Earth home,” and said she couldn’t “imagine what additional information [Pruitt] might want from scientists” in order to understand that.

Yet for all the hyperventilating, Pruitt’s answer to the question he was asked — whether carbon dioxide is the climate’s “primary control knob” — was entirely sound. “We don’t know that yet,” he said. We don’t. CO2 is certainly a heat-trapping greenhouse gas, but hardly the primary one: Water vapor accounts for about 95 percent of greenhouse gases. By contrast, carbon dioxide is only a trace component in the atmosphere: about 400 ppm (parts per million), or 0.04 percent. Moreover, its warming impact decreases sharply after the first 20 or 30 ppm. Adding more CO2 molecules to the atmosphere is like painting over a red wall with white paint — the first coat does most of the work of concealing the red. A second coat of paint has much less of an effect, while adding a third or fourth coat has almost no impact at all.

There is a popular theory that atmospheric CO2 amplifies the creation of water vapor, thereby increasing warming through a “positive feedback loop.” But that theory so far is mostly speculative; climate projections using models based on it have consistently failed, nearly always predicting far more warming than has occurred. It should go without saying that if scientists cannot yet make accurate predictions about future climate change, then their understanding of climate science remains highly incomplete.

Earth’s climate system is unfathomably complex. It is affected by innumerable interacting variables, atmospheric CO2 levels being just one. The more variables there are in any system or train of events, the lower the probability of all of them coming to pass. Your odds of correctly guessing the outcome of a flipped coin are 1 in 2, but your odds of guessing correctly twice in a row are only 1 in 4 — i.e., ½ x ½. Extending your winning streak to a third guess is even less probable: just 1 in 8.

Apply that approach to climate change, and it becomes clear why the best response to the alarmists' frantic predictions is a healthy skepticism.

The list of variables that shape climate is very long. It includes cloud formation, topography, altitude, proximity to the equator, plate tectonics, sunspot cycles, volcanic activity, expansion or contraction of sea ice, conversion of land to agriculture, deforestation, reforestation, direction of winds, soil quality, El Niño and La Niña ocean cycles, prevalence of aerosols (airborne soot, dust, and salt) — and, of course, atmospheric greenhouse gases, both natural and man-made. A comprehensive list would run to hundreds, if not thousands, of elements, none of which scientists would claim to understand with absolute precision.

But for the sake of argument, say there are merely 15 variables involved in predicting global climate change, and assume that climatologists have mastered each one to a near-perfect accuracy of 95 percent. What are the odds that a climate model built on a system that simple would be reliable? Less than 50/50. (Multiplying .95 by itself 15 times yields 46.3 percent.) Is it any surprise that climate-change predictions in the real world — where the complexities are exponentially greater and the exactitude of knowledge much less — have such a poor track record?

Pruitt got it right: Measuring human impacts on climate is indeed “very challenging.” The science is far from settled. That is why calls to radically reduce carbon emissions are so irresponsible — and why dire warnings of what will happen if we don’t are little better than reckless fearmongering.

SOURCE




Puerto Rico Is Full Of ‘Open Dumps’ Ripe For Spreading Zika, And EPA is Ignoring Them

One is inexorably led to wonder if the Obama Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ignored for years an environmental nightmare mess in Puerto Rico – so as to make the case for even more government control

“The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ignored numerous reports that most of Puerto Rico’s landfills are out of compliance with federal law, and some could even become breeding grounds for mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus, according to a new report….(Puerto Rican attorney Hiram Torres) Montalvo’s hard-pressed to find a reason why the EPA, which is generally so eager to regulate every other aspect of life, has done nothing to enforce existing laws for Puerto Rico’s landfills.”

Is there evidence the Obama EPA’s incompetence was in fact willful?  But of course: “My organization, Puerto Rico Limpio, has uncovered a treasure trove of documents and official correspondence that confirm Obama’s EPA purposefully ignored the law even when their own experts called the crisis an ‘imminent threat to human health and the environment.’”

Now, thankfully, mercifully, the Obama era is over.  Enter the Donald Trump Administration and its EPA head – Scott Pruitt.  Whom the Left loathes: “‘Every American should be appalled that President-elect Trump just picked someone who has made a career of being a vocal defender for polluters to head our Environmental Protection Agency,’ Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen said in an emailed statement….’Scott Pruitt running the EPA is like the fox guarding the henhouse,’ League of Conservation Voters President Gene Karpinski said in a statement. ‘The League of Conservation Voters strongly opposes this nomination and urges senators to vote against Scott Pruitt’s confirmation.’”

Obama EPA officials – loathe Pruitt: “‘It is clear that [Pruitt] will launch an unprecedented attack on basic environmental protections that will result in more pollution and illnesses for the American people,’ said…Judith Enck…EPA Regional Administrator for New York and New Jersey from 2010 until last month….’He will do permanent damage to the work of the EPA.’”

Let’s hope “he will do permanent damage to the work of the EPA” – given the Obama EPA’s willful, wanton neglect of Puerto Rico (and its turning whole rivers day-glow orange, and its serial assaults on farmers and ranchers, and…).

Won’t it be ironic and highly amusing when Pruitt – the Left’s Arch-Nemesis – uses the Trump EPA to clean up the Obama EPA’s intentional Puerto Rico mess?  About which the Left for years said nothing – before exploding into unified chorus screeching in protest of Pruitt.

At his confirmation hearing, Pruitt pledged: “If confirmed, I expect to make cleanup of contaminated (Puerto Rican) land one of my priorities.”

Given the Trump Administration’s relentless adherence to keeping its word – we have much evidence to warrant confidence in Pruitt keeping his.

Pruitt absolutely should.  Because it’s the right thing to do.  Because it would countermand the Obama Administration’s attempt to use the EPA to undermine the private sector and expand government power – Obamacare-and-Fast-and-Furious-style.

And because it would be yet another slap to the face of Leftists everywhere. Win-win-win.

SOURCE




Trump must Dump Paris agreement

The International Clexit Coalition today joined the growing chorus urging President Trump to keep his election promises and dump every climate treaty “agreed” in Kyoto, Paris and the UN/IPCC.

The Secretary of Clexit (Climate Exit Coalition), Mr Viv Forbes of Australia, said that Clexit could call on over 190 well-qualified climate realists from 26 countries to provide scientific, business, legal and political support and advice.

Mr Forbes said it was obvious from the Brexit vote in Britain, the election of President Trump in USA, the rise of Marine la Pen in France and Geert Wilders in Holland and the election of Senator Malcolm Roberts in Australia that the general population no longer trusts the globalists controlling the UN, the EU, and the UN/IPCC.

“The whole war on carbon is merely a grab for power using a world tax on energy to fund global government. Voters of the world are waking up and unless their politicians trim their sails to the new sceptical gale they will be swept from office.”

Senator Malcolm Roberts from Queensland, a member of Clexit, said just last week: “We call for an AusExit – getting out of the Paris Agreement and the UN.”

Dr Tim Ball of Clexit Canada said: “Even if fully implemented, the Paris Climate Agreement won’t change atmospheric CO2 levels or stop global warming. However, it will devastate economies and hurt poor people the most.”

Mr Mark Duchamp of Clexit Spain is also opposed to the Paris Agreement: “The recurrent climate event "El Niño" has caused warmth in 2015 and 2016. However temperatures are now back to their usual natural fluctuations, no matter how much tampering with data is done by NOAA, NASA-GISS and politically correct "scientists."

Viv Forbes concludes “The Paris Agreement will destroy industries and jobs and make electricity more expensive and unreliable. One bad winter blackout will be enough to cure the EU heartland of climate alarmism and green energy. Soon the only Paris supporters will be third world and Pacific Island mendicants hoping for climate handouts (but getting energy handcuffs).”

“This stupidity will surely end, but energy costs will rise for every day’s delay.”

SOURCE




Australia: State Premier lies to cover up Greenie folly

His manic anti-coal hatred caused several major blackouts in South Australia

Business leaders have been left stunned after Jay Weatherill, during a debate a year out from the next state election, claimed that Alinta Energy had made no offer to keep the state’s last coal-fired power station open.

This is despite The Australian in August revealing correspondence between Alinta Energy and state Treasurer Tom Koutsan­tonis, obtained under Freedom of Information laws, in which the government rejected a transition plan to keep the Northern power station in Port Augusta open until 2018. The plant permanently shut in May, with immediate price ­surges of ­almost 75 per cent and a wind-reliant grid that has led to a spate of blackouts.

The government is continuing to deny access to 12 documents sought under FOI by the opposition, which are being reviewed by the ombudsman, and will not reveal how much financial assistance was sought by Alinta.

Yesterday, during a pre-election leaders’ debate hosted by Business SA and the Property Council, Mr Weatherill was asked by Opposition Leader Steven Marshall to “tell the 650 people here today” how much Alinta wanted to keep its baseload power station open to help with the transition to renewable power.

“It was put to you, it was put to cabinet, and it was rejected — tell us now whether it was much higher than the $550 million energy plan you’re now putting on the people of South Australia.”

As the audience applauded, the Premier shook his head. “They (Alinta) were never offering to do that, simple as that,” he said. Pressed by the debate moderator, the Premier insisted there was “absolutely” no offer on the table, but later said he would not reveal what Alinta had asked for.

FOI documents show Alinta took a firm transition plan seeking financial support to the government on May 6, 2015. A fortnight later, Mr Koutsantonis rejected the approach, advising chief executive Jeff Dimery that “the support requested would not be forthcoming”.

In a follow-up letter to Mr Dimery, the Treasurer said: “The government considered Alinta Energy’s revised proposal and is unable to accommodate the ­significantly increased funding request.”

Mr Dimery said in June 2015 that despite talks with the government to stay open, its policies to promote high levels of renewable energy generation had forced the power station’s closure.

Mr Weatherill this week recommitted SA to its 50 per cent renewable energy target, saying it had almost been achieved.

Opposition energy spokesman Dan van Holst Pellekaan last night said voters had the right to know what it would have cost to keep the Northern power station operating. He said it was understood the support requested by Alinta was less than 10 per cent of the $550m cost of the Weatherill government’s energy strategy.

“If there was no offer then why is a confidentiality gag in place and why is the government fighting 12 Freedom of Information applications?” he said.

The debate came a day after Mr Weatherill traded insults with federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg at an AGL announcement in Adelaide. Mr Frydenberg labelled the state’s new energy policy as the Premier’s “$550m admission of failure”.

Mr Weatherill on Tuesday said the state would “go it alone” and released a six-point energy plan.

SOURCE

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

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

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