Friday, April 28, 2017




Cold Comfort from Ice Core Records of Climate

The attempt to defend Warmism below would appear to have solved a problem -- but not the problem they think it solved.  The big problem for Warmists is to show synchrony between CO2 levels and temperature.  There is so little synchrony in modern times that their only recourse has been to look at paleoclimate -- the climate of many thousands of years ago -- as estimated from ice-cores etc.  And when they do that, they appear to find the synchrony they need.   CO2 and temperature seem to go up and down roughly in tandem.

Skeptics however have always made the point that synchrony is not enough.  Following David Hume's notion of causation, you cannot say that X caused Y unless you can show that X PRECEDED Y.  And that is where Warmists became unglued.  If you looked closely at the paleoclimate record, you found that the causation was the other way around:  Warming preceded and hence probably caused CO2 increases, not the other way around.  Pesky!

A small puzzle was that the warming seemed to precede CO2 rises by a lot.  There was a gap of, for example, 800 years between a warming event and a CO2 event.  So the CO2 event and the temperature event were not connected at all.  They were not part of one continuous process. There seemed in fact to be NO causal relationship between the two variables. Skeptics didn't bother too much about that, though.  It was sufficient to show that the sequence required by Warmism did not occur in the record.

But that gap did of course burn Warmist up a bit in their rare moments of honesty and some recent research has gone into getting the timing of the various events precisely right.  The paleoclimate record is very imprecise so I was always possible that more precise measures of it might not show that pesky gap.

And so it seems to have happened. The report below from one of the few Warmist sites that tries to make a scientific case for Warmism lists several studies that essentially eliminate the gap. They find that warming events and CO2 rises were roughly synchronous.  And I am going to take that as read.  I am not going to take a critical look at the studies concerned.

And one of the reasons why I am going to take the "discovery" as read is that it makes sense.  Warming and CO2 levels SHOULD be pretty synchronous.  Warming should cause the oceans to outgas CO2 and thus should produce, more or less immediately, higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.

So the new data do nothing to support the Warmist case.  Rather than show that CO2 causes warming, they are perfectly compatible with warming causing an atmospheric CO2 rise.  Warmists still have no proof anywhere that atmospheric CO2 rises cause terrestrial temperature rises.

It is always a bit of a thrill for me to look at posts on "Skeptical Science", from which the report below comes.  They always seem so sound and solid in their conclusions at first glance.  So it is a challenge to spy out the fast and loose bits that their arguments depend on.  Usually, they simply omit contrary evidence but on some occasions their fault is simply a fault of logic -- as below


When it comes to climate change imagery, the ice core record is kind of a rock star. Graphs of ice core data have become as common as pictures of polar bears and traffic-jammed Los Angeles freeways. And it’s easy to see why- atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, the most important long-lived greenhouse gas, and reconstructions of temperature at the core sites track each other beautifully. As ice cores have been pulled from deeper beneath the surface of polar ice sheets (the longest, in Antarctica, reaching nearly two miles down) the synchronized movement of temperature and greenhouse gases grows more compelling, stretching back more than 800,000 years into the past. In 2006, the ice core record made its big screen debut, with a sizable role in the documentary An Inconvenient Truth. Al Gore showed two lines, CO2 in red and temperature in blue, moving faithfully together across millennia. Matching peak for peak, dip for dip. The effect was mesmerizing. Suddenly, CO2 skyrockets almost straight up, the result of our modern emissions. The implication for future temperature is clear. Gore characterized the pairing this way:

The relationship is very complicated. But there is one relationship that is more powerful than all the others and it is this. When there is more carbon dioxide, the temperature gets warmer, because it traps more heat from the sun inside.

As the profile of the ice core record increased, it became the subject of attacks from those seeking to cast doubt on the reality of human-driven climate change. Some dismissed the data because they disagreed with older methods of estimating past levels of CO2, such as fossilized plant stomata. Others claimed that the coring process caused degassing that corrupted the data. Eventually, many contrarians seized upon a line in a paper (Caillon et al., 2003) published a few years before AIT to claim the entire premise of global warming, the whole enchilada, was wrong. They had found, or at least believed they had found, a loophole. An out. And they had it in writing.

They claimed that temperature and CO2 might move together, but rather than CO2 driving changes in temperature, changes in temperature actually preceded the changes in CO2. It said so, right there in the paper, “the CO2 increase lagged Antarctic deglacial warming by 800 ± 200 years”. And since effect can’t precede cause, CO2 can’t possibly be responsible for changes in planetary temperature. If CO2 “lags”, the contrarians said, it can’t lead. That big CO2 increase Al Gore showed in his movie? It was nothing to worry about. If CO2 was doing the leading now, temperature wasn’t going to follow, period. The contrarians were triumphant.

This “lag not lead” claim was echoed across blogs and online forums, made its way around the News Corp media empire, and appeared in a widely-watched anti-climate-science polemic The Great Global Warming Swindle. It was even championed by Congressman Joe Barton, former Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. It remains one of the most common objections to the reality of man-made climate change to this day.

Climate scientists tried, vainly, to rebut this line of attack. They were quick to point out that, just as Gore noted, the CO2-temperature relationship is complicated. Greenhouse gases weren’t the initial cause of the temperature increases over the ice core record; subtle variations in the Earth’s position relative to the sun (called Milankovitch cycles) were. These orbitally-driven temperature variations eventually triggered changes in greenhouse gases, which then greatly boosted the initial temperature change. CO2 can be both a cause and a response- a forcing and a feedback, in the vernacular of climate science- depending on the circumstances. They also noted that there was still an enormous amount of uncertainty in the exact timing of the changes recorded by the ice cores, so that it wasn’t clear there even was a lag as large as the contrarians claimed. But more to the point, the physics of the greenhouse effect are well-understood and entirely uncontroversial. A guy named Joseph Fourier had it pretty much figured out all the way back in the 1820s (Pierrehumbert, 2004). This is about as solid as science can get, the climate scientists insisted. Our present increase of greenhouse gases will result in increasing temperature, and no amount of arguing about ice cores can negate that. You can’t cheat physics. The contrarians, convinced of their out, were unpersuaded. The arguments in comments sections of blogs and news articles raged on.

And then a funny thing happened- the lag disappeared.

Jeremy Shakun and some of his colleagues had an idea. Noting that the temperature data “leading” the CO2 in the ice core record were an estimation of local conditions near the core site in the Antarctic interior, they set out to reconstruct regional and eventually global temperature change as we thawed out of the Last Glacial Maximum (what most people call “the ice age”). Last year, they published a paper showing that global temperature change followed changes in CO2 rather than the reverse (Shakun et al., 2012). Milankovitch cycles initiated warming of the Northern Hemisphere, which melted a great deal of freshwater previously locked up in ice. This freshwater melting disrupted a global oceanic heat pump, resulting in a cooling of temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere and warming in the Southern Hemisphere. This hemispheric heat switcheroo is known as a “bipolar seesaw”. As the Southern Ocean warmed during this seesaw, it released CO2 into the atmosphere. This increase in CO2 then warmed the rest of the globe. CO2 was driving warming globally, even though it wasn’t the initial trigger. Shakun et al. further found that the Southern Hemisphere warming and CO2 increase were closely coordinated, happening within a few hundred years at most, and possibly simultaneously.

A few months later, a group of researchers led by Joel Pedro published a paper on the lag issue looking at another perspective. Noting the large uncertainty in timing associated with the longer ice core records from the interior of Antarctica, they turned to ice core records from the Antarctic coast (Pedro et al., 2012). These records don’t reach as far back into the past as the records from the interior, but were able to be dated more precisely. Like Shakun’s team, Pedro and colleagues found that the changes in Antarctic temperature did not lead changes in CO2 by 800 or 1,000 years, but rather the two changed pretty much together. This March, a third group of researchers led by Frédéric Parrenin independently confirmed this finding. Parrenin et al. attacked the lag issue from still another angle. Instead of reducing uncertainty in the timing of events by looking in other regions, they used the behavior of atmospheric nitrogen isotopes in settling within snowpack prior to freezing to better constrain the age of the existing data (Parrenin et al., 2013). In doing so they found, like Pedro and colleagues, there was essentially no lag between Antarctic temperature increases and CO2 increases.

These multiple lines of independent evidence were telling the same story- more or less what climate scientists had been trying to explain all along. Local temperature and CO2 increased together, a consequence of the orbitally-triggered warming up north and a resulting bipolar seesaw, while CO2 then drove warming globally. The greenhouse effect endures, vindicated and implacable.

The coupling of CO2 and temperature in the ice core record is a reminder that some technicality buried in the pages of a journal isn’t going to divorce our actions from their consequences. There is no loophole when it comes to physics. As we continue to drive CO2 levels ever higher, that’s something all of us- not just contrarians- should keep in mind.

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




Carbon tax proposals

The article below is by Jerry Taylor, a one-time libertarian and climate skeptic.  It is not clear why he eventually went over to the dark side but I suspect that when his hair began to grey, he found that his good looks could no longer pull in the chicks so he felt that he needed a boost to his social acceptability.  What he proposes below is certainly more rational than the thicket of regulations and policies that presently surround climate policies.  So he is a good critic of such policies.  I won't reproduce the whole of his post below as he simply takes global warming as read.  He gives no evidence for it at all. He is just playing establishment games




On April 11, I was invited by the Electricity Consumers Research Council (ELCON) to debate carbon taxation with the Manhattan Institute’s Oren Cass at their Spring workshop in Washington, D.C. Although the debate was not recorded, it is worth discussing. Cass is one of the most prominent and serious “anti-carbon-taxers” on  the right. His opinions, moreover, track those of Bill Gates, one of the most influential thought leaders in this field.

Our debate was a confrontation along increasingly familiar lines: Does the world need a clean energy moonshot to address climate change, or do we have the cost effective technology to do so right now? My opening remarks follow, after which I will spend a bit of time reflecting on Cass’s rebuttal.

Opening Remarks: The Dangers We Face, the Question of Uncertainty, and the Case for a Carbon Tax

Too many conversations about carbon taxation are bereft of any serious discussion about the underlying problem that we’re trying to address. So let’s begin with a quick review of our present situation, which is far more serious than Cass’s recent essay in Foreign Affairs (“The Problem with Climate Catastrophizing: The Case for Calm“) would have us believe.

According to a new study from MIT, the planet is presently on track to experience a warming of 3-5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels by 2100. The range reflects our uncertainty about how quickly the planet will respond to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions (a concept known in the profession as “transient climate sensitivity”). MIT’s central estimate, however, is that a 4 degrees Celsius warming is the most likely outcome in 2100.

Happily, Cass—unlike most opponents of climate action—accepts the findings of mainstream science and, in his Foreign Affairs essay, accepts the 4C warming projection for 2100. Turning up the global thermostat by 4 degrees Celsius (7 degrees Fahrenheit) is a very big deal. To put that warming into perspective:

Global temperatures during the last ice age were only 4C cooler than pre-industrial norms.

Increasing the global thermostat by 6 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels has in the past delivered unto earth its most epic hothouses (think “Age of the Dinosaurs”).

The last time the atmosphere had today’s high concentrations of greenhouse gases was during the late Pliocene Epoch, some 3 million years ago. Temperatures then were only 2°C to 3.6°C above pre-industrial levels. Under those conditions, there was no Arctic ice cap and sea levels were 30-65 feet higher.

4 degrees Celsius is not the endpoint of our warming under business-as-usual. It is simply a way-point. If we manage to stabilize atmospheric CO2 from then on, inertial warming of the climate will continue beyond 2100. It isn’t until anthropogenic emissions hit zero that we will begin to plausibly reverse course on global temperature.

The MIT report indicates that global emissions in 2100 will still be larger than they are today.

We have little idea how, precisely, the planet will respond to such an unprecedentedly rapid increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases. There are literally no data points either in human or pre-human experience to inform our analysis. Nassim Taleb’s parade of black swans is marching down the street. A long list of socio-economic shocks is plausibly on the horizon.

Given the uncertainty regarding transient climate sensitivity, where the various tipping points lie for warming-related climate shocks, what the economy will look like decades hence, and how that economy will respond, we cannot say with confidence what warming will cost us by the year 2100. Here are the best (if imperfect) guesses:

William Nordhaus’s updated DICE model finds that 4C warming will reduce global GDP by 3.6%. The majority of economists who publish in the peer-reviewed literature on this matter, however, suspect that his forecast is too conservative. They believe that 3C warming will reduce global GDP by 5-10%.

If it turns out that warming affects output growth rates rather than output levels, the cost of warming will increase by many orders of magnitude (for more on this, see economists Robert Pindyck and Geoffrey Heal and Jisung Park). A recent deluge of econometric analyses of temperatures and growth rates shows this could very well be the case. Incidentally, 78% of the economists who publish in the peer-reviewed literature in this field believe that climate damages will affect growth rates.

When those same economists were asked about the chances of low-probability, high-impact outcomes from climate change reducing global GDP by 25% or more (economic losses, in other words, on the order of the Great Depression), they put the odds of that happening at 10-20% given a 3C warming.

Cass has asked me to be concrete about the carbon tax I’m advocating. My preference is for an economy-wide $45 per ton carbon tax, rising 2% above inflation every year.

The tax would be applied or rebated at the border (as necessary) so that U.S. manufacturers are not rendered uncompetitive with imports from non-acting states or exports to the same.

Federal regulatory authority to address greenhouse gas emissions would be eliminated in sub-sectors of the economy where the tax is applied.

I am agnostic about how the federal government uses carbon tax revenues (about $2 trillion over ten years) for the purpose of this discussion. The immediate need is to reduce emissions to hedge against climate risks. How revenues from that undertaking are spent is an entirely separate (fiscal) matter.

Among possibly attractive uses are offsets for corporate income tax rate cuts, providing lump-sum rebates to households to compensate them for rising energy prices, paying down the national debt, offsetting expenditures for national infrastructure, investing in low-carbon energy R&D, and investments in climate adaptation (better that polluters rather than victims of pollution pay that bill).

The tax I propose would reduce U.S. emissions by around 40% relative to business-as-usual by the mid-to-late 2020s. That would put us on a path to reduce U.S. emissions by 50-80% by 2050 (relative to 2005)—the goal that would allow us to play our part in keeping global warming from going above 2C.

SOURCE




The Liberal Crusade to Redefine Science

It seems every weekend brings a march for one cause or another in D.C. Last weekend, folks marched for science. Or did they?

In his preface to “Mere Christianity,” C. S. Lewis explains what happens when words lose their original meaning. Take the word “gentleman.” Once upon a time, Lewis writes, a gentleman was “one who had a coat of arms and some landed property. When you called someone ‘a gentleman,’ you were not paying him a compliment, but merely stating a fact.”

Gradually, however, “gentleman” evolved into just that—a compliment. A true gentleman was no longer someone who met the objective qualifications, but a person whom the speaker liked. Thus, concludes Lewis, “gentleman” became a useless word.

I think another important word is undergoing this same redefinition. That word, alas, is science.

There was a time when “science” meant the systematic pursuit of knowledge through experimentation and observation. But it’s rapidly becoming a synonym for progressive politics and materialist philosophy.

To be labeled a “science-denier” in 2017 often just means you’ve upset someone who insists on teaching strict, Darwinian orthodoxy in schools, or who advocates particular climate legislation, or who supports ethically fraught research on embryos.

In contrast, being “pro-science” has become a shibboleth for supporting progressive ideology. Think of a recent ad by National Geographic with the caption, “Stand behind the facts. Stand with science. Stand for the planet.” But just weeks prior, National Geographic had run a cover depicting a nine-year-old boy dressed as a girl. Because, as we know, they stand with science.

But if there were ever going to be a ceremony inaugurating this new and useless definition of science, it’s got to be last weekend’s “March for Science” in the nation’s capital, co-chaired by Bill Nye, “the science guy.” Nye, a children’s TV host from the nineties with no formal training as a scientist, has recaptured the spotlight with his videos on climate change, abortion, women’s rights, and other topics.

To say his arguments in some of these videos are embarrassing is being kind. For instance, in one odd and rambling speech promoting abortion, Nye claimed that because many lives end through natural causes before they leave the womb that it’s okay for us to kill the unborn ourselves. That’s like saying it’s okay to kill adults, because millions die of natural causes. That does not stop Nye’s supporters from honoring him as a champion of science.

But not all of the marchers are fans. After issuing several revisions to his massive “Statement on Diversity and Inclusion,” the organizers of the March for Science are fending off critics who complain that Nye is a white male whose fame is the result of privilege. One wonders who, exactly, was in charge of this debacle. An official tweet, which has since been deleted, declared that “Colonization, racism, immigration, native rights, sexism, ableism, queer-, trans-, intersex-phobia, & econ[omic] justice are scientific issues.”

Heather Wilhelm at National Review got it right when she wrote that the whole event was collapsing into a civil war of competing left-wing agendas.

I hope someone—anyone—who still believes science has a definition independent of politics will speak up. Because whether it’s the denial that life begins at conception, the denial of sex and gender as biological facts, the denial of decades of research proving that children do best with their father and mother, or the denial of dissenting voices on Darwinism, the left has proven quite capable of ignoring science.

Language is powerful. Words matter. And “science”—real science—is too important a word for us to let go the way of “gentleman.”

SOURCE



The March for Science Fiction

One of the asinine yet oft-repeated phrases in the modern progressive lexicon is “settled science,” an oxymoron that is the antithesis of the scientific method. The literal definition of the scientific method is “a method of procedure … consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.” Modification means alteration or change. Meaning that in science, many, many things are never “settled.”

Among the most well-known theories that have been debunked over time are that the world is flat, that the solar system is geocentric (it is heliocentric), that the physical world is made up of four elements (rather than more than a hundred currently known elements, including four new elements discovered just last year), and that atoms are the smallest units of matter. Each and every one of these was once universally accepted as infallible truth.

This makes the recent “March for Science” in Washington, DC, not only ludicrous, but an indictment of those marching while claiming to believe in science. It was not about science, but about publicly rebuking President Donald Trump behind the thin patina of ideology masquerading as science. The leftist mainstream media played its part well, praising the event while ignoring dissent from actual scientists.

With scathing wit, Jeremy Faust, an emergency medicine physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School, exposed the hypocrisy and lunacy of the march — in the lefty rag Slate, no less. He observed, “Being ‘pro-science’ has become a bizarre cultural phenomenon in which liberals (and other members of the cultural elite) engage in public displays of self-reckoned intelligence as a kind of performance art, while demonstrating zero evidence to justify it.”

Instead of elevating the quality of, and respect for, actual science, says Faust, this march “revealed the glaring dissonance of opposing that trough of ignorance by instead accepting a cringe-worthy hive-mind mentality that celebrates Science as a vague but wonderful entity. … There was an uncomfortable dronelike fealty to the concept — an oxymoronic faith that information presented and packaged to us as Science need not be further scrutinized before being smugly celebrated en masse. That is not intellectually rigorous thought — instead, it’s another kind of religion.”

Indeed, progressive Democrats claim to be the “Party of Science” yet, mind-bogglingly argue that sex/gender is determined by how one “feels” rather than by DNA and plumbing. They accept man-made global warming (now known as “climate change” to free themselves of the pesky fact that the Earth stopped warming for nearly two decades) as inarguable fact. These are the same people who chain themselves to trees to protest the “destruction” of Mother Earth, but refuse to acknowledge that a baby in utero is a living human being.

In short, they are modern-day pagans, worshipping “Gaia” while denying observable truths that conflict with their secular religion, and seeking punishment for the heretics who dare challenge their belief system with something so coarse, so crude and as unenlightened as mere facts.

The ultimate goal of the progressive religionists is to force compliance with their worldview, either through the coercive power of rigid, politically correct orthodoxy, or through punishment such as jail time for “climate change dissenters/deniers,” a position embraced by leftist celebrity and fake TV scientist Bill Nye “The Science Guy.”

CNN, in an interview with Nye and an actual scientist, physicist William Happer of Princeton, inadvertently displayed the truth behind the march with a caption that read “March for Science: Scientists Rally for EPA, Govt Funding and More.” Climate change hysteria is a big business. If you are a scientist, you have access to billions of dollars in federal grants so long as you produce “research” that proves the claims of the alarmists. Politicians pushing climate hysteria can usurp tremendous power over the lives of hundreds of millions of people in the name of saving the world from cataclysmic disaster.

The reality is that “science,” across a broad spectrum of disciplines, is not nearly as “settled” as its advocates would have us believe. In fact, the most-repeated claims have a habit of turning out to be spectacularly wrong. For example, as we’ve noted previously, leftist climate alarmists have been trying to scare us into giving up the abundant energy and higher standard of living that comes with industrialization. They warned that “civilization will end within 15 or 30 years” (Harvard biologist George Wald, 1970), and that (due to scarce food supplies), “The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years” (Paul Ehrlich, 1970), and that by 1980 “urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution.”

They are often insanely wrong in their predictions, and are so wedded to their ideology that they can’t even identify fake science even when it is specifically written to be obviously wrong. Time after time, robotically generated “gibberish papers” were accepted in supposedly peer-reviewed journals.

As amusing as this can be, it’s actually dangerous. The beauty of science is that it is ruthless. It cares not for sex, race, education or socio-economic status. It cares only about replicable fact. But when science — actual science — is hijacked by partisans and ideologues, and propaganda is passed off as science, it undermines our faith in science, and therefore the truth.

And that is never a good thing.

SOURCE




UK foreign office cut climate staff in half under Tory government

The UK foreign office has almost halved the staff it devotes to climate change over the term of the past two Conservative-led governments.

Staffing records, released by the foreign office under freedom of information laws, show the previous Labour government more than trebled the amount of time devoted by foreign office staff to climate and energy issues between 2007 and 2009.

As the world built momentum towards ultimately calamitous 2009 climate talks in Copenhagen, foreign secretary David Miliband headed an army of climate staff, the equivalent of 277 full time jobs.

No such recruitment effort took place under the Tory government of David Cameron – who came to power promising an environmentally friendly agenda under the slogan “Vote Blue, Go Green” – in the build up for the decisive talks that took place in Paris six years later.

On the contrary, over the six years of Cameron’s government, the amount of time foreign office staff spent on climate and energy fell by 46%.

When the Paris agreement was struck, the foreign office had between 149 and 158 full time equivalent jobs in climate-related roles worldwide.

The UK is a self-styled key advocate for greater ambition at climate negotiations. In the months leading up to the Paris conference, the foreign secretary’s special representative for climate change David King helped to develop Mission Innovation, a collaboration between 22 countries and the EU to double public funding for clean energy research and development investment over five years.

Foreign office embassy staff and UK-based officials also provide support for the energy department, which leads UK negotiations at UN climate conferences.

A spokesperson from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said: “Climate change and energy work is a network-wide priority. The FCO works closely in partnership with departments across Whitehall on the international climate change agenda.”

As campaigning begins for the UK’s June election, the Labour Party’s spokesperson on climate change Barry Gardiner said the “staggering cut in the number of FCO staff working on climate change shows that the Government is not serious about implementing the Paris Agreement”.

He referred to a report in the Times this month that prime minister Theresa May plans to “scale down” concern about climate change in order to win new trade partners post-Brexit.

“How can the public have any respect for politicians who are all too happy to sit there for the photo at the signing ceremony but then don’t deliver what is in the agreement? Theresa May has done the same on UK emissions and renewables. The implementation plan that was due last July has now been delayed indefinitely,” said Gardiner.

“Under Labour the UK led the world in climate policy. We need a Labour government that will transform our country at home into a low carbon high value economy; and abroad will give the resources and the leadership required to deliver the Paris Agreement.”

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, April 27, 2017



A very hungry caterpillar

Looks like plastic is "biodegradable" after all

Here is something interesting. A caterpillar that digests plastic. And it makes sense, because it is the wax moth caterpillar that digests the wax in bee hives.

I expect the enzyme that breaks down the plastic will eventually be isolated and reproduced artificially. Then waste plastic will simply be dissolved and turned into fertilizer.

I have never considered plastic to be a great long term problem, just something for Greenies to make a fuss about.

More HERE





The EPA's Secret Human Experiments about particulate pollution

EPA officials first testified to Congress that small particle pollution is a huge health hazard.  Then, when challenged on ethical grounds, they say it is very safe

The issue of small particle air pollution human effects was discussed in a House of Representatives hearing in September 2011 by the U.S. EPA administrator, Lisa Jackson.  In a colloquy with Representative Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Ms. Jackson stated, "Particulate matter causes premature death.  It's directly causal to dying sooner than you should."

Markey asked, "How would you compare [the benefits of reducing airborne PM2.5] to the fight against cancer?"

Ms. Jackson replied, "Yeah, I was briefed not long ago.  If we could reduce particulate matter to healthy levels, it would have the same impact as finding a cure for cancer in our country."

Markey: "Can you say that sentence one more time?"

Jackson: "Yes sir.  If – um – we could reduce particulate matter to levels that are healthy, we could have identical impacts to finding a cure for cancer."  (Author note: Cancer kills a half-million Americans a year – 25 percent of all deaths in the U.S. annually).

The claim stated above by Ms. Jackson is the basis for the EPA's war on coal, fossil fuels, and internal combustion engines.  All other criteria air pollutants are minimal concerns for the EPA.  Surely small particles are a very toxic and lethal thing, as bad as cancer.  Right?  

EPA is discovered doing human experiments

The same month as Ms. Jackson's testimony, Milloy discovered a report in Environmental Health Perspectives, a journal published online and in hard copy by the National Institutes of Health, that reported an experiment on a 57-year-old lady subjected to small particle air pollution much higher than the EPA says is safe, in a chamber at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine EPA laboratory for human research.  A stunned Milloy showed the journal report to Dunn.  So little had come of the decade of human experiments before that Milloy and Dunn had not known of the EPA human exposure experiments project that was at least illegal and unethical, possibly a crime against humanity.  Humans are not guinea pigs.  

The Nuremberg Code; the Helsinki Accords; the Belmont Report; and U.S. common law, statutes, and regulations, to include state laws and the Federal Code "Common Rule" and EPA rule 1000.17, all prohibit human experimentation that might cause harm to the subjects.  Human risk can be considered only for the researchers themselves in circumstances where the research is essential and vital.  The civil or criminal offense of human experimentation that risks harm to the subjects would be either exposure to harm or the fear of harm by infliction of mental distress if subjects found out that the public position of the EPA is that small particles are toxic and lethal and cause cancer.  Which lie to believe?  That is the twist – you can't make these things up.

In 2011 and 2012, Milloy and Dunn wrote letters to the EPA, the NIH journal editor who published the article, the EPA inspector general, and the federal Office for Scientific Integrity.  They wrote to all the physicians in Congress, all the deans of the ten domestic medical schools doing human experiments, and state medical boards in North Carolina and Michigan, all attempting to stop the human experiments.

The authors have written about the EPA project of research that exposed human beings of all ages, even children, to that same small particle air pollution to see if they could cause some harm.  EPA sponsorship of these studies at ten domestic and six foreign medical schools was admitted under oath by an EPA official, Wayne Cascio, M.D., and it is unethical and illegal.  Senior EPA research scientist Robert Devlin, Ph.D. admitted in a sworn affidavit that the EPA epidemiology was unreliable, the reason for human experiments.

EPA hires the National Academy of Science

The EPA, in response to a congressional inquiry and negative inspector general report, engaged and paid the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) contract subdivision, the National Research Council (NRC), to provide a whitewash investigation.  The NAS National Research Council Investigative Committee was convened in secret without notice and without contacting Milloy and Dunn, the complaining parties, or the congressional committee that had demanded an inspector general report that had gone badly for the EPA.

The closeted investigation continued with closed meetings attended only by NRC staff, committee members, and the EPA.  The docket by a year, June of 2016, had 50 documents, all submitted by the EPA or its allies.  In May of 2016, a congressional aide ran across information about the existence of the committee and informed Milloy.  Milloy demanded a hearing and allowance for submissions in June of 2016, which was granted by NRC officials.  Milloy found that 13 out of 19 members of the committee were significant grantees of EPA, amounting to tens of millions of dollars received, with the most extreme example being Charles Driscoll, discussed here.

On August 11, 2016, an internet audio conference  of the National Research Council Panel on EPA-sponsored human exposure experiments titled "Assessing Toxicological Risks to Human Subjects Used in Controlled Exposure Studies of Environmental Pollutants" was held, with two hours of testimony heard and submissions critical of the EPA human exposure experimentation.  After that, nothing was heard from the committee.  

The committee published its news release and a 150-plus-page report on March 28, 2017, ignoring the testimony and submissions of witnesses Milloy, Dunn, Young, Enstrom, and Donnay.  The report exonerated the EPA human experiments on the theory that small particles are not toxic or lethal or carcinogenic acutely – that is, they do not have any acute toxic effects, but rather just long-term deleterious effects.  They said that, knowing that the EPA asserts short-term acute death effects and justifies its regulations on the basis of Ms. Jackson's claim – that small particles kill people and kill them acutely.

The problem for the NRC committee is that they are trying to create cover for the EPA by misstating the EPA position on toxicity and lethality of small particles.  That is clear from this quote from the National Academy of Sciences Report press release:

To assess the level of safety provided by study protocols and the likelihood of participants experiencing any serious health effects with long-term consequences, the committee reviewed eight recent CHIE studies.  The committee concluded that the societal benefits of CHIE studies are greater than the risks posed to the participants in the eight studies considered, which are unlikely to be large enough to be of concern.  EPA applies a broad set of health-evaluation criteria when selecting participants to determine that there is no reason to believe that their participation in the study will lead to an adverse health response.  The health status of subjects is monitored shortly before, during, and immediately after the exposure studies and usually again about 24 hours later.

The NAS report is self-destructive, obfuscatory, contradictory gobbledygook.

The NAS report is so filled with errors, omissions, misstatements, misdirection, and general dishonesty that it would take days if not weeks to fully critique.  The NAS compromised its integrity to cover for the EPA, confirming Eisenhower's warning about the government-research complex that can produce science fraud and misconduct for a political agenda.  Scaremongering is important for justifying government growth and overreach.  After all, the aim of practical politics is to create scares so the populace will be anxious and clamor to be led to safety by government experts (paraphrasing H.L. Mencken).

If the EPA can continue to do these experiments, then it must not be true that any exposure to PM2.5 can kill within hours or days, or even weeks.  It must have only a "chronic" long-term effect that the NRC committee fails to define.  That destroys the basis for the EPA air pollution regulatory regime that has burdened society for three decades and more and is based on scientific misconduct.

Who will reimburse society for the costs and burdens of this scam?  How about all those coal miners without jobs and the companies that had to spend millions to comply with regulations chasing a phantom small particle air pollution menace that was claimed to kill hundreds of thousands annually in the U.S.?

The movie Creature from the Black Lagoon, featuring the gill man, was scary, but corrupt researchers and politicians at the EPA-NAS-D.C. swamp are just despicable.

A comprehensive and informative narrative of the EPA wars and the EPA misconduct and what to do about it is found in Milloy's sixth and most recent book, Scare Pollution (Bench Press 2016).

Dunn's long battle with the EPA on scientific integrity is told here.  

SOURCE




Fracking isn't contaminating groundwater, study finds

A major anti-fracking argument by environmentalists may not have the facts to back it up, a new study conducted by Duke University found.

Fracking has not contaminated groundwater in northwestern West Virginia, according to the peer-reviewed study published this month in a European journal.

“Based on consistent evidence from comprehensive testing, we found no indication of groundwater contamination over the three-year course of our study,” explained Avner Vengosh, the professor of geochemistry and water quality at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment.

The growing industry could help create as many as 3.5 million jobs by 2035, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

While the study concluded that fracking didn’t contaminate groundwater, the researchers did say accidental spills of fracking wastewater could be dangerous to surface water in the area.

”However, we did find that spill water associated with fracked wells and their wastewater has an impact on the quality of streams in areas of intense shale gas development,” Vengosh added.

“The bottom-line assessment,” he continued, “is that groundwater is so far not being impacted, but surface water is more readily contaminated because of the frequency of spills.”

To complete the research, water samples from 112 drinking wells in northwestern West Virginia were evaluated during a three year period. Twenty of the water wells were sampled prior to drilling or fracking started in the area in order to obtain a baseline for later comparisons.

Tests demonstrated the presence of saline groundwater and methane in both the pre-drilling and post-drilling well water samples. But the samples had a chemistry slightly but distinctly different from the methane and salts found in fracking fluids and shale gas. The findings indicated that the elements occurred naturally in the region’s permeable rock and weren’t related to the result of recent shale gas operations at the site.

The study appears in the journal Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta.

SOURCE




UK: We’re All Victims Of The Great Green Swindle

A generation who thought they were doing the right thing by buying diesel and clean energy have been taken for a ride.

When I was three my parents moved next to one of the busiest roundabouts in Europe. Hogarth roundabout in west London leads to the M3 and M4 and the smell of car fumes was only overpowered by the aroma of hops from the brewery on the corner. It was the perfect place to grow up. We had a huge green in front where we could stand on the railings and count the number of cars whizzing past. No one in the 1970s worried about the lead pollution, only about being run over. Nor did we care about where our electricity came from unless the lights went out. Green issues were not high on our agenda nor was our health. Our neighbours happily smoked away and we ate tinned spaghetti hoops and Angel Delight without a care for the sugar content.

Now my family is as green and healthy as possible. We recycle our apple cores, the children play sport every day under the Westway flyover, we bought a second-hand diesel car and then a hybrid and take the train to Devon for holidays. But the children are probably less healthy than I was 40 years ago. When the youngest started to wheeze I took him to the doctor who said he had doubled the number of inhalers he hands out in the past three years, so many children are becoming asthmatic.

“It’s the diesel, all that nitrogen dioxide and those toxic pollutants,” he explained. “He’ll inhale the particles in the car even with the windows shut, when he’s playing football by a busy road and even from the trains at the station.”

Our obsession with cutting carbon emissions has had terrible consequences. Air pollution contributes to an estimated 40,000 premature deaths a year in Britain, mainly among the young, the frail and the elderly, according to the Royal Colleges of Physicians and of Paediatrics and Child Health. It can also hinder brain development, raise the risk of heart attacks, strokes and cancer, and contribute to the onset of Alzheimer’s.

Our attempts to be altruistic have harmed rather than helped the most vulnerable. Almost as bad, those 11 million people who now own a diesel car are about to be penalised for following government advice a decade ago that the vehicles would help the country cut CO2 emissions. [...]

Gordon Brown’s budget of 1998 may have said in the small print that the government “recognises the adverse effect that the use of diesel has on local air quality” but first as chancellor and then as prime minister he shifted incentives towards diesel, until more than 35 per cent of cars were running on it, while manufacturers fiddled their engine management systems to cheat the testers. Japan, meanwhile, steered consumers away from polluting diesel, America stuck to petrol and India began switching buses to compressed natural gas (CNG).

The same mistake is now being made subsidising power stations to burn American wood pellets that are doing more harm to the climate than the coal they replaced, according to a recent Chatham House report. Drax in Yorkshire, once the largest, cleanest, most efficient coal-fired power station in Europe, has been converted to burn wood pellets with an annual £500 million public subsidy but it now pumps out more CO2. Wind farms are little better because we’ve had to build diesel power plants across the country to help on days when the wind doesn’t blow at the right speed.

One Scottish stately home owner boasted to me that he keeps his heating on in the summer as well as the winter because he is paid more in subsidies to use “green” wood chips for fuel than he pays out in heating costs. All this while the rest of us worry about our escalating energy bills.

Anaerobic digesters, which were sold to the public as a means to convert food waste into power, are now turning huge quantities of crops into small quantities of methane for the national gas grid thanks to yet more subsidies costing £200 million a year.

But it is car manufacturers who are still making the most money out of this great green swindle — consumers certainly aren’t. Diesel owners now face having to buy another car at vast expense. Scrappage payments of between £1,000 and £2,000 for the oldest diesel cars would help those hardest hit. However, if we subsidise new electric cars we will have to accept that much of the electricity used to charge their batteries comes from power stations using fossil fuels — or wood chips.

This week Andrea Leadsom, the environment secretary, shelved a new plan for air quality. But Downing Street policy advisers hint that Theresa May is on the side of the consumer, and sceptical of the latest money-spinning environmental fad. Last year, the prime minister’s joint chief of staff Nick Timothy described the Climate Change Act, which has been at the root of many of these misguided policies, as “a monstrous act of national self-harm”. He was right. As soon as the election is over Britain needs a coordinated energy strategy and a new Clean Air Act, to protect the environment and restore faith in government policy.

SOURCE





Settled science? 107 cancer papers retracted due to peer review fraud

The Warmist reliance on peer-review as a warrant of truth is badly flawed

The journal Tumor Biology is retracting 107 research papers after discovering that the authors faked the peer review process. This isn’t the journal’s first rodeo. Late last year, 58 papers were retracted from seven different journals— 25 came from Tumor Biology for the same reason.

It’s possible to fake peer review because authors are often asked to suggest potential reviewers for their own papers. This is done because research subjects are often blindingly niche; a researcher working in a sub-sub-field may be more aware than the journal editor of who is best-placed to assess the work.

But some journals go further and request, or allow, authors to submit the contact details of these potential reviewers. If the editor isn’t aware of the potential for a scam, they then merrily send the requests for review out to fake e-mail addresses, often using the names of actual researchers. And at the other end of the fake e-mail address is someone who’s in on the game and happy to send in a friendly review.

Fake peer reviewers often “know what a review looks like and know enough to make it look plausible,” said Elizabeth Wager, editor of the journal Research Integrity & Peer Review. But they aren’t always good at faking less obvious quirks of academia: “When a lot of the fake peer reviews first came up, one of the reasons the editors spotted them was that the reviewers responded on time,” Wager told Ars. Reviewers almost always have to be chased, so “this was the red flag. And in a few cases, both the reviews would pop up within a few minutes of each other.”

It’s not always the authors providing the reviews. "There is some evidence that so-called third-party language-editing services play a role in manipulating the reviewing process,” said a spokesperson for Springer, the company that published Tumor Biology until this year. Scientists who work in a language other than English may use editing services to polish their papers before submitting to a journal, and some of these services can be unethical and predatory, says Wager.

It might be naive, she says, but “if the authors didn't realize that this is what the editing company was doing, then I feel the authors should have a fair chance. There's probably nothing wrong with the research; it just hasn't been peer reviewed.” But of course, it’s difficult to assess whether the authors knew about it. “It is unclear whether the authors of the manuscripts were aware that the agencies were proposing fabricated reviewer names/e-mail addresses,” the Springer spokesperson told Ars.

This most recent avalanche of fake-reviewed papers was discovered because of extra screening at the journal. According to an official statement from Springer, “the decision was made to screen new papers before they are released to production.” The extra screening turned up the names of fake reviewers that hadn’t previously been detected, and “in order to clean up our scientific records, we will now start retracting these affected articles...Springer will continue to proactively investigate these issues.”

It’s best for editors not to rely on the contact details submitted by authors, but rather search for proper academic e-mail addresses themselves, said Wager. Some journals include this in their editorial guidelines, and other institutions recommend it as best practice. But there are other ways to game the system.

Tumor Biology changed hands in January, and the new publishers, SAGE, were aware of the problems when they took over. “[Springer] were open about the past instances of peer review fraud, and as part of the relaunch they wanted to address the underlying reasons,” a SAGE spokesperson told Retraction Watch. “The Tumor Biology editorial team have already introduced new robust peer review practices expected from all SAGE journals.” However, this doesn’t necessarily mean no more retractions for the journal, since investigations like this recent one may turn up more dirt from the past.

jooced wrote:

The U.S. EPA and Dept of Science should take note of this. This one example is but one of many of scientific fraud. EPA and Dept of Science: you wonder why too many people are skeptical of your work? 1. You are affiliated with the U.S. Government which has shown time and again how it cannot be trusted. 2. You do not hold your own to the highest standards -and- when there is an issue you are too slow to report it and/or out the fraudster.

This is on the scientific community - pure, plain, and simple.

Sigh, it is clear that 68 comments later some people still chose to spew their own nonsense without reading other comments first or having a basic understanding of the scope of this issue. Seriously, don't feel that you are now somehow justified in not believing in science because of anecdotes like this.

I really hate to reiterate the same point over and over, but this particular issue is exactly like what the other reader Veritas super omens stated: a three-year-old running her tricycle into the curb. It does not mean we need to stop all motorvehicles on the road.

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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Wednesday, April 26, 2017



Clean Energy’s Dirty Federal Cronyism

Earth Day started as a protest but has long been a mainstream institution. It’s therefore fitting that the cause it represents often reflects an even older American institution: politicization and cronyism in government spending. In recent testimony to Congress, Independent Institute Research Fellow Ryan M. Yonk explained how the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program exemplifies those unhealthy by-products of government intervention as it creates additional unhealthy by-products.

The loan guarantee program “has been used as a political tool, exposed taxpayers to unnecessary risk, diverted funding from alternative clean energy investments, and primarily benefitted large, politically connected corporations,” Ryan states in his written testimony. Moreover, the program is counterproductive. “The fundamental problem,” he continues, “is that the loan guarantee program makes it more difficult for new ideas to emerge since it further entrenches established ideas.”

Case in point: Solyndra. It was a struggling young company rather than an established firm with large market share, but the solar-systems manufacturer was the darling of a president and energy secretary who were so eager for a political win that federal bureaucrats approved its loan guarantees without completing essential steps required by other applicants. The loan guarantees program also diverts scarce investment funds away from firms who avoid feeding at the public trough. Writes Yonk: “Government support, as a previous chief marketing officer at Tesla Motors complained, may make it easier for those who receive support, but it also makes it more difficult for new ideas to gain private funding and grow.”

SOURCE




New Study Calls EPA’s Labeling Of CO2 A Pollutant ‘Totally False’

A new study published by seasoned researchers takes aim at the heart of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to issue regulations to curb carbon dioxide emissions.

The study claims to have “proven that it is all but certain that EPA’s basic claim that CO2 is a pollutant is totally false,” according to a press statement put out by Drs. Jim Wallace, John Christy and Joe D’Aleo.

Wallace, Christy and D’Aleo — a statistician, a climatologist and meteorologist, respectively — released a study claiming to invalidate EPA’s 2009 endangerment finding, which allowed the agency to regulate CO2 as a pollutant.

“This research failed to find that the steadily rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations have had a statistically significant impact on any of the 14 temperature data sets that were analyzed,” the authors say in the release for the second edition of their peer-reviewed work.

“Moreover, these research results clearly demonstrate that once the solar, volcanic and oceanic activity, that is, natural factor, impacts on temperature data are accounted for, there is no ‘record setting’ warming to be concerned about,” the researchers say. “In fact, there is no natural factor adjusted warming at all.”

The study is intended to bolster a petition Wallace and D’Aleo filed with EPA as part of the Household Electricity Consumers Council (CHECC), asking the agency to reconsider its endangerment finding.

The libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) also filed a petition with EPA to reconsider the endangerment finding. The Trump administration has not indicated whether or not they will reconsider the Obama-era finding. Any challenge would be met with legal action from environmental activists.

CHECC’s petition relies on findings from a 2016 study by Wallace and company that found the three lines of evidence EPA relied on for its 2009 endangerment finding weren’t scientifically sound.

Wallace’s new study makes a similar finding, arguing the “tropical hot spot” EPA claims will occur as humans pump more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere “simply does not exist in the real world.”

EPA issued its endangerment finding for six greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, in 2009. The agency found that greenhouse gases from vehicles “endanger both the public health and the public welfare of current and future generations.”

The finding gave the Obama administration the legal cover it needed to move forward with regulations to clamp down on greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, power plants, industrial facilities and agriculture.

President Donald Trump issued an executive order in March to roll back many Obama global warming policies and directives, but some say the administration needs to eliminate the endangerment finding to keep future presidents from regulating CO2.

“Claims like that rest entirely on the endangerment finding,” said Sam Kazman, CEI’s general counsel.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt told Congress during his January confirmation hearing he saw no reason at the time to review the endangerment finding.

Sources have also told news outlets Pruitt got Trump to strip language from an executive order that would have ordered a review of the endangerment finding.

On the other hand, sources familiar with Pruitt’s thinking on the matter say he wants to review the endangerment finding, but is biding his time.

Wallace and his coauthors want to give Pruitt a reason to update the endangerment finding. Wallace and company say in their release that “there is no published, peer reviewed, statistically valid proof that past increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations have caused the officially reported rising, even claimed record setting temperatures.”

“And, EPA’s climate models fail to meet this test,” the authors say.

SOURCE




Bill Nye blows gasket when a real scientist schools him on facts about ‘climate change’

Bill Nye, known for his 1990’s science kid’s show who has since become an outspoken advocate on “climate change,” accused CNN of doing a “disservice” to its audience on Saturday by having a real scientist on their network to discuss climate change.

The CNN “New Day Saturday” panel, which included Nye and William Happer, a physicist at Princeton University,” became heated after Happer said the climate change that Nye talks about is a “myth.”

“There’s this myth that’s developed around carbon dioxide that it’s a pollutant, but you and I both exhale carbon dioxide with every breath. Each of us emits about two pounds of carbon dioxide a day, so are we polluting the planet?” Happer, who has advised President Donald Trump on climate issues, said.

“Carbon dioxide is a perfectly natural gas, it’s just like water vapor, it’s something that plants love. They grow better with more carbon dioxide, and you can see the greening of the earth already from the additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” he explained.

Nye hit back and said Happer didn’t understand the “rate,” or speed at which carbon dioxide is entering the atmosphere. Then he ripped CNN for not having only climate change alarmists on their network.

“And I will say, much as I love the CNN, you’re doing a disservice by having one climate change skeptic and not 97 or 98 scientists or engineers concerned about climate change,” Nye said.

When asked why he’s a skeptic, Happer — a real scientist — explained that climate change alarmism is built on a dishonest foundation.

“Let me point out that science is not like passing a law,” he said. “You don’t have a vote to say how many are for the law of gravity and how many are against — it’s based on observations. And if you observe what’s happening to, for example, the temperature, the temperature is not rising nearly as fast as the alarmist computer models predicted. It’s much, much less — factors of two or three less. So the whole basis for the alarmism is not true, it’s based on flawed computer modeling.”

Nye, who is not a real scientist, immediately shot back at Happer.

“That’s completely wrong,” Nye shot back. “He’s cherry picking a certain model. The heat ended up in the ocean. This is not controversial in mainstream science, everybody.”

Nye added that he “encourages” everyone to look at the facts.

For years, climate change alarmists said the polar ice caps would melt completely by the mid-2010’s causing the sea levels to rise by meters, which would then put low-lying coastal areas across the world under water. None of these things ever happened. In fact, ocean waters have not warmed on an overall average basis, despite claims made by people like Nye and former Vice President Al Gore.

Not only that, but a recent National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the government agency that monitors the climate, whistleblower said the agency for years manipulated climate data for political reasons — meaning to show that climate change is happening when it really isn’t.

Still, Nye spouted his talking points and lectured Happer for being a “climate change denier.”

He said:

I encourage you to cut this out so we can move forward and make the United States a world leader in technology. We want advanced wind turbines…advanced concentrated energy plants. If we were to do that, we would have at least 3 million new jobs in the United States that could not be outsourced. We would not need to have our military on the other of the world defending what people call “our oil.” We could move forward and we could export this technology. We could be world leaders in this instead of wringing our hands and cherry picking data and pretending that this problem that’s obvious to the scientific community but it is somehow not obvious to you.

Later in the interview, Happer said the Trump administration should back out of the 2016 Paris Agreement, a global agreement made last year on greenhouse gas emissions. Happer compared the agreement to former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s appeasements of Germany dictator Adolf Hitler in 1938, known as the Munich Agreement.

That agreement allowed Hitler to take over territory in what was then Czechoslovakia known as the “Sudetenland.” Hitler said he wanted the territory because it was occupied mainly by Germans and Austrians. We now know, however, that it was just one more step in Hitler’s plan to begin conquering Europe.

The comparison Happer made stunned Nye and the CNN hosts, who demanded that Happer explain his comparison.

“It is an appropriate comparison because it was a treaty that was not going to do any good,” Happer explained. “This treaty also will not do any good. Anyone who looks at the results of doing what the treaty says can see that the effect on the earth’s climate is — even if you take the alarmist computer models trivial — it will not make any difference and yet it will cause enormous harm to many people.”

The contentious exchange came on “Earth Day 2017,” also the same day that people across the world were marching “for science.”

SOURCE




Climate Marches Aren't About Science — They're About Trump

Organizers promised that hundreds of thousands would participate in an April 22 March for Science planned for hundreds of cities worldwide and an April 29 People's Climate March in Washington, DC.

These events have no more to do with science or climate change than do UN programs or the Paris climate treaty. Their own leaders make that perfectly clear.

A climate website asserts that marchers intend to mark President Trump's 100th day in office "with a massive demonstration that shows our resistance is not going to wane." They intend to "block Trump's entire fossil fuel agenda," with Berkeley-style tantrums and riots, most likely.

A science march website says this is "explicitly a political movement, aimed at holding leaders in science and politics accountable" for trying to "skew, ignore, misuse or interfere with science."

That pious language really means they intend to allow no deviation from climate cataclysm doctrines.

It means everyone must accept claims that fossil fuel emissions, not powerful natural forces, now govern Earth's climate; any future changes will be catastrophic; despite growing wealth and technological prowess, humanity will somehow be unable to adapt to future fluctuations; and mankind can and must control the climate by regulating emissions of plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide, regardless of costs.

Equally revealing, former UN climate convention director Christiana Figueres has said the UN goal is to "intentionally change the economic development model" that has reigned since the Industrial Revolution.

"Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection," former IPCC mitigation group co-chair Ottmar Edenhofer has stated. It is about negotiating "the distribution of the world's resources."

Indeed, under the Paris agreement, UN officials will oversee energy and economic "transformations" in industrialized nations, let poor countries develop using fossil fuels, and oversee the collection and redistribution of $100 billion annually in climate adaptation, mitigation and compensation funds.

Developed nations must de-carbonize, de-industrialize, and reduce their growth, job creation and living standards – while sending trillions of dollars over the coming decades to ruling elites in developing countries that are not required to decrease oil, gas and coal use or greenhouse gas emissions.

The Insurance Journal says the worldwide climate change and renewable energy industry is now a $1.5-trillion-per-year business empire. McKinsey & Co. says the world must spend $93 trillion by 2031 to build "climate-resilient, socially inclusive, sustainable, low-carbon" infrastructures.

Millions of politicians, bureaucrats, scientists, activists and corporate executives clearly have a huge stake in advancing this agenda. However, billions of people have other, more vital, even life-or-death interests that must be protected.

Free enterprise capitalism and fossil fuels have lifted billions out of poverty, disease, malnutrition and early death. They must continue doing so. Indeed, says the Energy Information Administration, carbon-based fuels will provide 75-80% of worldwide energy through 2040 – when total energy consumed will be at least 25% greater than today.

The marchers seem determined to block this progress, regardless of the consequences.

In the United States, their "green" energy policies would send gasoline prices soaring and at least double electricity costs – from Ohio rates to California rates. The cost of heat, lights, AC, goods and services would skyrocket for families, hospitals, schools, factories and businesses. Living standards would decline, jobs disappear, drug and alcohol abuse climb, and people die needlessly and prematurely.

330,000 German families had their electricity cut off in 2015, because they could not pay soaring bills. In Britain, 20,000 elderly people die from illness and hypothermia each winter, because they cannot afford proper heat.

Across Africa and India, over a billion impoverished people still have no access to electricity for lights, cooking or refrigeration. Instead, they burn wood, charcoal and dung in open fires. Millions die every year from breathing indoor smoke, drinking contaminated water, eating bacteria-infested food and having primitive healthcare.

The marchers and climate industry ignore this green energy poverty and death. They dismiss hundreds of scientists who present persuasive evidence that humans are not causing climate disasters, as CFACT detailed in its documentary film, "Climate Hustle."

Danish environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg calculates that implementing all provisions of the Paris accord would prevent a virtually undetectable 0.306 degrees Fahrenheit of global warming by 2100. Doing so would cost up to $946 billion annually, from 2030 to 2100 – another $66 trillion in total!

That money should be spent on electricity, clean water, modern housing and agriculture. Free enterprise capitalism will gradually devise reliable, affordable fossil fuel replacements.

The marchers claim they represent "social, economic and climate justice." It's nothing more than a twisted joke.

SOURCE





Drifting Back to Diesel Power

By Viv Forbes & Helpers

When I was a kid on a dairy farm in Queensland, we relied on green energy - horses and human muscles provided motive power; fire-wood and beeswax candles supplied heat and light; windmills pumped water and the sun provided solar energy for growing crops, vegies and pastures. The only “non-green” energy used was a bit of kerosene for the kitchen lamp, and petrol for a small Ford utility. We were almost “sustainable” but there was little surplus for others.

Our life changed dramatically when we put a thumping diesel in the dairy shed. This single-cylinder engine drove the milking machines and an electricity generator which charged 16 lead-acid 2 volt batteries sitting on the veranda. This 32 volt DC system powered a modern marvel – bright light, at any time, in every room, at the touch of a switch. This system could also power Mum’s new electric clothes iron as long as someone started the engine for a bit more power.

There were no electric self-starters for diesels in those days – just a heavy crank handle.

But all that effort, noise and fumes were superseded when every house and dairy got connected to clean silent “coal power by wire”, and coal was used to produce coke for the new slow-combustion stoves. Suddenly the trusty “Southern Cross” diesel engines disappeared from Australian sheds and dairies, AGA cookers displaced the old smoky wood-burning stoves in the kitchen, and clean-burning coal gas heaters replaced dirty open fires in the cities.

In just one life-time, human energy, wood, candles and kerosene were replaced by diesel, which was then replaced by coal via coal-gas, coke, and clean silent ever-ready electricity.

Today, after Aussies have enjoyed decades of abundant reliable cheap electricity from black coal, brown coal and hydro, green energy gambling has taken Australia back to the era which kept a diesel in the shed.

Tasmania is the greenest state in Australia. It once had a vibrant economy that created mines, saw-mills, farms, orchards, oil and metal refineries, dams, hydro-power and railways. It is now a green no-go land. Greens have stopped new hydro developments, opposed mining, crippled the timber industry, prevented new wood-chip developments and will probably celebrate when their last refinery closes.

Tasmanians get their electricity mainly from hydro assets created long ago by their more productive ancestors. But recently a long drought caused a shortage of Tasmanian hydro-energy - they became reliant for up to 40% of their electricity needs on the Bass-link undersea cable bringing electricity from reliable coal-fired stations in Victoria and NSW. However the overloaded Bass Link cable failed, and an old gas-powered station was brought back into service (importing gas from Victoria) to keep the lights on. Subsequently their politicians hurriedly put 150 diesel generators in their shed (costing A$11 million per month).

South Australia is the next greenest state in Australia, hosting about 35% of Australia’s wind turbines. These were force-fed into existence by mandatory green energy targets and tax benefits. In a burst of green destruction they also closed their gas-fired power stations and demolished their coal-fired station. However wind power failed recently and a storm tore down their life-line bringing reliable coal power from Victoria. Now Premier Weatherill is planning to install up to 200 megawatts of diesel generators in his shed. Many residents are following his lead.

As some wag said: Question: “What did South Australians have before candles?”  Answer: “Electricity”.

The UK has been badly infected by the green energy virus. Engineers warned that this intermittent and unpredictable supply had increased the risk of blackouts, so the UK government offered subsidies for emergency backup power. This subsidy, plus consumer concerns, put so many diesels in British sheds that they now provide a major backup capacity for UK electricity.

Many Spaniards found a diesel in the shed was very profitable. Their government had been drinking green-ale and offered attractive subsidies for solar power produced.

The subsidy was very successful - so successful that someone eventually noticed that some suppliers were even producing “solar” power at night. It was coming from diesels in their sheds.

Finally, our green media likes to feature some green energy enthusiast who is “off the grid”. But it usually emerges later in the show that there is a diesel in their shed too.

Those who remember the days of relying on a noisy smelly diesel in the shed and a smoky wood stove in the kitchen have no wish to be dragged back there by green zealots.

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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Tuesday, April 25, 2017



Warmists have just lost the Antarctic peninsula

The peninsula was the only bit of the Antarctic that suited the Warmists.  They gleefully reported glacial breakups there, quite ignoring that the Antarctic as a whole was certainly not warming and was in fact tending to cool.  The study below however shows that the warmer period on the peninsula was an atypical  blip that has now reversed

Recent regional climate cooling on the Antarctic Peninsula and associated impacts on the cryosphere

M. Oliva et al.

Abstract

The Antarctic Peninsula (AP) is often described as a region with one of the largest warming trends on Earth since the 1950s, based on the temperature trend of 0.54 °C/decade during 1951–2011 recorded at Faraday/Vernadsky station. Accordingly, most works describing the evolution of the natural systems in the AP region cite this extreme trend as the underlying cause of their observed changes. However, a recent analysis (Turner et al., 2016) has shown that the regionally stacked temperature record for the last three decades has shifted from a warming trend of 0.32 °C/decade during 1979–1997 to a cooling trend of − 0.47 °C/decade during 1999–2014. While that study focuses on the period 1979–2014, averaging the data over the entire AP region, we here update and re-assess the spatially-distributed temperature trends and inter-decadal variability from 1950 to 2015, using data from ten stations distributed across the AP region. We show that Faraday/Vernadsky warming trend is an extreme case, circa twice those of the long-term records from other parts of the northern AP. Our results also indicate that the cooling initiated in 1998/1999 has been most significant in the N and NE of the AP and the South Shetland Islands (> 0.5 °C between the two last decades), modest in the Orkney Islands, and absent in the SW of the AP. This recent cooling has already impacted the cryosphere in the northern AP, including slow-down of glacier recession, a shift to surface mass gains of the peripheral glacier and a thinning of the active layer of permafrost in northern AP islands.

Science of The Total Environment. Volume 580, 15 February 2017, Pages 210–223





The coming British election: These are the great unmentionables of this election

As usual when another election comes along, I try to point out some of those hugely important issues which won’t be getting discussed, because all the parties agree not to notice them.

High on the list is the energy future we face under the Climate Change Act, where our politicians have all happily nodded through a “decarbonisation” policy whereby we shall before long be phasing out all those remaining fossil-fuel power stations which still provide more than half our electricity, to rely instead on grotesquely subsidised “renewables” and imaginary nuclear power stations which show little sign of getting built.

Scarcely any MP has yet shown any sign of recognising what a disaster this is heading us for. The only mentions it is likely to get in coming weeks will be virtue-signalling manifesto references to the need for yet more unreliable renewables.

SOURCE






Green Energy Poverty Week

A week dedicated to topics that underscore impacts environmentalists don’t want to discuss

Paul Driessen

April 22 was Earth Day, the March for Science and Lenin’s birthday (which many say is appropriate, since environmentalism is now green on the outside and red, anti-free enterprise on the inside). April 29 will feature the People’s Climate March and the usual “Climate change is real” inanity.

The Climate March website says these forces of “The Resistance” intend to show President Trump they will fight his hated energy agenda every step of the way. Science March organizers say they won’t tolerate anyone who tries to “skew, ignore, misuse or interfere with science.”

After eight years of government policies that killed jobs and economic growth – and skewed, ignored, misused, obstructed, vilified and persecuted science and scientists that strayed from alarmist talking points, to advance a climate chaos, anti-fossil fuel, anti-growth agenda – that piety is arrogant hypocrisy.

But their theater of the absurd gets worse. Some March for Science leaders were outraged that the recent MOAB bomb dropped on ISIS terrorists shows “how science is weaponized against marginal people.”

The rhetoric also recalls the annual Earth Hour, when people in rich countries are supposed to turn off their lights for 60 minutes, to repent for the sin of using fossil fuel, nuclear and hydroelectric power to electrify our homes, businesses, schools and hospitals. I personally promote Human Achievement Hour, by turning on extra lights, to celebrate humanity’s incredible innovations and advancements these past 150 years, our modern living standards, and the right of all people to improve their lives and life spans.

I was a campus organizer for the very first Earth Day, in 1970, when we had serious pollution problems. But since then we’ve cleaned up our act, air and water. Environmentalist groups, modelers and Obama regulators ignore these advances, real climate science and the Real-World climate outside their windows.

Far worse, while claiming to care deeply about the poorest among us, they ignore the harm their policies inflict: soaring electricity prices, fewer jobs, lower living standards in the West – and perpetual poverty, disease, malnutrition and premature death in developing countries. We pay more and more each year for de minimis further improvements in environmental quality, combined with ever-expanding government and activist control of our lives, and steadfast opposition to reliable, affordable energy in the Third World.

That’s why some folks who actually care about poor, minority, elderly, working class and developing country families again designated April 17-23 as Green Energy Poverty Week.

For industrialized nations, “green energy poverty” refers to households in which 10% or more of family incomes is spent on natural gas and electricity costs – due to policies that compel utilities to provide ever increasing amounts of expensive, less affordable, politically preferred “green” energy. It’s a regressive tax that disproportionately affects low and fixed income families which have little money to spend beyond energy, food, clothing, rent and other basic needs. Every energy price increase hammers them harder.

Beyond our borders, the concept underscores the lot of families that enjoy none of the living standards we take for granted. They have no electricity or get it a few hours a week at random times, burn wood and dung for cooking and heating, and spend hours every day collecting fuel and hauling filthy water from miles away. Corrupt, incompetent governments and constant pressure from callous environmentalist pressure groups in rich countries perpetuate the misery, joblessness, disease, starvation and early death.

In the United States, green energy policies affect the poorest households three times more than the richest households. In fact, rising electricity prices affect all goods and services, for all electricity users: homes, offices, hospitals, schools, malls, farms and factories. With 37 million American families earning less than $24,000 per year after taxes, and 22 million households taking home less than $16,000 post-tax, it’s pretty obvious why wind and solar mandates are unfair, unsustainable and inhumane.

Unbelievably, one million mild-weather California households now live in green energy poverty, the Manhattan Institute reports. In fact, the once-Golden State now has the USA’s highest poverty rate, thanks largely to government requirements that one-third of the state’s electricity must come from “renewable” sources by 2020, and one-half by 2030. No wonder California’s rising rates are already nearly double those in Kentucky and other states that use coal and natural gas to generate electricity.

Tesla electric cars also reward wealthy buyers: with free charging stations, access to HOV lanes, and up to $10,000 in combined tax rebates. They require batteries made from lithium dug out under horrendous or nonexistent environmental, health, safety and child labor rules in Africa. The batteries cost $325 per kilowatt-hour – equal to $350 per barrel for oil (seven times the April 2017 $50.40-a-barrel price).

Spreading California policies across the United States would send the cost of heat, lights, AC, internet, and all goods and services soaring. Jobs would disappear, living standards decline, depression rates increase, drug and alcohol abuse climb, and more people die from poor health, drugs and suicide.

Over in Europe, electricity prices are double California’s current rates: 30-45 cents per kWh! Green energy policies are hammering jobs, industries, healthcare, family budgets and future prospects.

British families pay “a whopping 54% more” for electricity than average Americans. Nearly 40% of UK households are cutting back on food and other essentials, to pay for electricity. One in three UK families struggles to pay energy bills. Up to 24,000 elderly Brits die from illness and hypothermia each winter, because they cannot afford proper heat; many are forced to choose between heating and eating.

In Germany, 330,000 families had their electricity cut off in 2015, because they could not pay soaring bills. In Bulgaria, 50% of average household income is spent on energy. Greeks are cutting down trees in protected forests because they cannot afford heating oil; hundreds of thousands of acres are being destroyed across Europe for the same reason. A tenth of all EU families are now in green energy poverty.

It’s infinitely worse for billions of parents and children in Earth’s poorest regions. In Africa, India and other impoverished regions, more than two billion people still burn firewood, charcoal and dung for cooking. Millions die from lung infections caused by pollution from these open fires, millions more from intestinal diseases caused by bacteria-infested food and water, more millions because medicines are spoiled and healthcare is primitive in clinics that don’t have electricity, refrigeration or window screens.

In Uganda, “entrepreneurs” burned a village down, killing a sick child in his home, to turn the area into new forest so that the country could claim carbon credits to prevent climate change. Chad’s government banned charcoal, the mainstay for cooking in that nation, out of absurd concerns about climate change.

Africa’s desperate families hunt and cook anything that walks, crawls, flies or swims, endangered or not. They have cut down trees and brush for miles around cities and villages – turning cheetah and chimpanzee habitats into firewood and charcoal. Poverty is undeniably the worst environmental pollutant.

For the wealthy and increasingly powerful radical environmentalist movement, it is no longer about addressing real pollution problems, protecting the environment or improving human health. As UN climate officials have proudly proclaimed, it’s really about ending fossil fuel use and capitalism, redistributing the world’s wealth, and controlling people’s livelihoods, living standards and liberties.

Of course, it’s all meant to save people and planet – from exaggerated or fabricated climate cataclysms and resource depletions. But ponder the Real-World consequences during Green Energy Poverty Week.

Environmentalists profess to care deeply about America’s and the world’s poor and middle classes. But their policies and actions too often speak far more loudly than their words. We might be forgiven for asking, With friends and protectors like these, do the world’s poor really need enemies?

Via email





Sea Ice Off Newfoundland Thickest In Living Memory

Amid reports that ice conditions between Newfoundland and southern Labrador are the worst in living memory, another polar bear was reported ashore in the area — just after biologist Andrew Derocher explained to the CBC that bears only come on land when sea ice conditions “fail.”

“Ice too thick for coast guard’s heavy icebreaker” said a 20 April 2017 CBC report on the state of ice in the Strait of Belle Isle. The pack is thick first year ice (four feet thick or more in places) and embedded with icebergs of much older, thicker ice. The ice packed along the northern shore of Newfoundland is hampering fishermen from getting out to sea and is not expected to clear until mid-May.

The same day that the above satellite image was taken (19 April), at the north end of the Strait on the Newfoundland side, a polar bear was spotted in a small community northwest of St. Anthony (marked below,  “Wildberry Country Lodge” at Parker’s Brook). It’s on the shore of north-facing Pistolet Bay on the Great Northern Peninsula, near the 1000 year old Viking occupation site of L’Anse aux Meadows.

There were no photos of the Parker’s Brook bear but lots of others have been taken this year of almost a dozen seen along Newfoundland shorelines since early March: see my recently updated post, with an updated map of reported sightings. Harp seals are now abundant in the pack ice of southern Davis Strait, providing polar bears with an ample source of food when they need it most and therefore, a strong attractant to the area.

SOURCE





13 Most Ridiculous Predictions Made on Earth Day, 1970

Saturday was Earth Day — an annual event first launched on April 22, 1970. The inaugural festivities (organized in part by then hippie and now convicted murderer Ira Einhorn) predicted death, destruction and disease unless we did exactly as progressives commanded.

Sound familiar? Behold the coming apocalypse, as predicted on and around Earth Day, 1970:

“Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” — Harvard biologist George Wald

“We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.” — Washington University biologist Barry Commoner

“Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.” — New York Times editorial

“Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.” — Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich

“Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born… [By 1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.” — Paul Ehrlich

“It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” — Denis Hayes, Chief organizer for Earth Day

“Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions…. By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.” — North Texas State University professor Peter Gunter

“In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution… by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half.” — Life magazine

“At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt

“Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.” — Paul Ehrlich

“By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate… that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, ‘Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, ‘I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt

“[One] theory assumes that the earth’s cloud cover will continue to thicken as more dust, fumes, and water vapor are belched into the atmosphere by industrial smokestacks and jet planes. Screened from the sun’s heat, the planet will cool, the water vapor will fall and freeze, and a new Ice Age will be born.” — Newsweek magazine

“The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.” — Kenneth Watt

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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