Friday, March 27, 2015




The latest "ad hominem" attack from a Warmist below

Even an alleged scientist, Ken Rice of U Edinburgh,  just cannot bear to mention any scientific data about climate.  His attack below on the skeptical Richard Tol in fact presents neither evidence nor reasoning.  It is a pure attack on the man himself. And such attacks are a classical informal fallacy in logic. They prove nothing.  Where is the data that prove Tol wrong?  There is none -- not a single solitary fact.  As any kind of a reply to Tol it is non-existent.  It's probably a reasonable expresion of faith though

Richard Tol has another article about how claims of a scientific consensus don’t stand up (you can read it here if you really want to). It’s the standard message that he’s been promoting for quite some time now and I really can’t bring myself to point out the flaws again; it’s just getting tedious. I’m also tired of always being a critic. I thought I might, instead, try to write something a bit more positive.

I think what Richard has done here is a fantastic example of how persistence can eventually pay off. If you have some kind of agenda, or a message you’d like to promote, just be persistent; eventually you will succeed in getting it out there. It doesn’t really matter if what you’re saying is strictly correct, or not. It doesn’t really matter if what you’re saying is balanced and objective, or not. It doesn’t really matter if what you’re arguing against is something you’ve already accepted as being true. Just keep going. Eventually you will succeed.

Ignore those who point out your errors and tell you that you’re wrong. Ignore those who point out that your behaviour leaves much to be desired. Few people are sufficiently persistent, and so they’ll eventually just give up. You’ll be left to promote your message, free from the criticisms of those who would rather your audience were informed, than misinformed.

Now, there are of course some big caveats. Your message does need to appeal to some kind of audience, ideally one with some power and influence. There’s no point doing this if you won’t actually achieve something. Your message also has to be at least plausible, and you do need to avoid promoting something that would be obviously objectionable and/or libelous. Of course, you’ll be reasonably safe from claims of libel, as most who typically complain about such things would probably be in your audience, rather than amongst those about whom you’re writing.

This strategy also isn’t for everyone. If you have any interest in maintaining some actual credibility, this may not be optimal. If, however, that doesn’t particularly bother you, then carry on. It can be a particularly successful strategy, as long as you have suitable persistence and little interest in what others might think of you.

So, there you go. People think that I can only be a critic, but sometimes I can see the positives in what those with whom I broadly disagree are doing. I think Richard is the living embodiment of the saying if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!. Maybe we could all learn a lesson from this episode? Maybe this is a strategy worth considering. On the other hand, if you have any interest in maintaining a shred of dignity, possibly not. Similarly, if you would like the strength of your argument to be based on something other than your critics simply giving up, this may not be for you.

SOURCE







The Religion of Planet Earth

By Father Raymond J. de Souza

One of the more curious aspects of the climate change debate is that those who most loudly profess to follow the science don’t act much like scientists — proposing and persuading — as much as they do ideological enforcers, shaming and punishing those who disagree.

It’s not my field, but those who argue here — Terrence Corcoran, Rex Murphy — for alternative views to the advertised consensus are rigorous thinkers with arguments to be engaged. I try my best to read as a layman what I am able to grasp about the issue. I have a healthy skepticism, not so much about climate science, but that the settled science, we are told, fits together rather too neatly with the agenda of those arguing for every greater state control of economic life.

Given that the principal global economic priority must be the development of the poorer nations, and that their people have suffered far too long from too much government control, I doubt that their affliction will be ameliorated by a global climate treaty. Which presents two priorities often presented in moral clothing — the obligation to alleviate poverty and the proper stewardship of creation.

All of which came to mind reading the letter of resignation of Rajendra Pachauri, head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) from 2002 to 2015, the UN body which provides the imprimatur of orthodoxy for climate science. Dr. Pachauri flew as high as it gets in the climate stratosphere, accepting the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the IPCC alongside co-winner Al Gore in 2007. Dr. Pachauri resigned last week after sexual harassment allegations were made in his native India.

About the veracity of the allegations I have no knowledge, but his letter to the UN secretary-general included this startling confession: “For me the protection of Planet Earth, the survival of all species and the sustainability of our ecosystems is more than a mission. It is my religion and my dharma.”

There are no shortage of Christians who ground their ecological concern in their theology of creation, and certainly the pantheistic religions of the east there would provide similar resources. Yet to declare the care of Earth to be a religion all by itself seems rather careless use of language.

It is unlikely that Dr. Pachauri actually worships his own work. In any case, that would be just workaday vanity in the world of celebrity climate activism, and need not be dressed up in the language of salvation. Likely what he meant was that he places ecological matters at the heart of his worldview, evaluates all other data in light of that, and therefore derives an economic and political program that needs to be imposed on the global social order.

He likely thinks that is what a religion is. But that is the world of ideology, not the world of religion, especially not of biblical religion in the Christian tradition.

Religion is not an ideology, though it can be corrupted to become one. Religion treats as fixed those points of revelation that have as their object that which is unchanging, namely God. Yet their application to the social order precisely requires a response to changing circumstances, including the insights of other disciplines, including economics, politics, history and the environmental sciences. That’s why there is no such thing as Christian tax policy, or trade policy or climate policy. For example, Christians have it as a matter of divine revelation that concern for the poor is not optional, but essential. How to best assist the poor remains a matter of differing circumstances and consequently competing policy choices.

Religion which presents a complete model of the social order, rooted only in principles generated from within itself, has in fact become more of an ideology than a faith open to the truth of the world, both revealed (theology) and observed (science). That actually sounds more like the IPCC today than the pulpit.

A hallmark of the post-Enlightenment world has been the denigration of religious belief as closed-minded by the scientific establishment. There is no more establishment body than the IPCC. It’s a shame that Dr. Pachauri left it to his leave-taking to reveal that his own approach is more close-minded ideology than rational science. A theologian would be more open-minded.

SOURCE





Global Warming Is Killing Everyone

Climate change, formerly known as global warming, often takes center stage for Democrats. That’s not true of the electorate, but Democrats are undeterred. What is astonishing is the degree to which Democrats will mislead their constituents to grab the reins of power in Washington, DC.

Take newly elected Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), who wooed voters by pledging to address man-made global warming with initiatives like cap and trade. On Feb. 4, Beyer wrote on his website, “In all, extreme weather events triggered over $110 billion in losses and almost 7,000 fatalities” in 2014. He reiterated that claim a month later in the Falls Church News-Press, in which he repeated, “More than 7,000 Americans lost their lives to climate change-fueled events last year.”

That’s pretty startling. And egregiously wrong. After Beyer’s assertion received backlash, spokesman Thomas Scanlon attempted to clear the air. “That number should be globally, not just in the United States,” he told PolitiFact. “We made an error in editing this column.”

Even still, the claim is deceptive. The statistic (which was actually 7,700) was derived from Germany-based insurer Munich RE, which tallies “global natural loss event.” According to researcher Peter Hoeppe, “We do not have the ability to identify the direct impact of global warming on fatalities caused by natural catastrophes, other than to say any fatality caused by the earthquake peril are not due to global warming.”

On that note, PolitiFact writes, “Of the 7,700 deaths, Munich RE estimated 850 were caused by earthquakes. The remaining 6,850 deaths, the company wrote, were caused by ‘weather-related’ events.”

But the evidence to back Beyer’s claim is essentially nonexistent. Michael Bastasch of The Daily Caller notes, “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change itself says there’s ‘limited evidence of changes in extremes associated with other climate variables since the mid-20th century.’” Moreover, Bastasch adds, “Not only has weather not been getting more ‘extreme’ in the last century, mankind’s ability to withstand extreme weather events has increased globally. The International Disaster Database reports that more than 3.5 million people were killed by natural disasters in the early 1930s when the world population was about half what it is today. Fast forward to 2014 and only 7,700 people worldwide were killed by natural disasters (which includes earthquakes), according to Munich Re.”

Any loss of life is a tragic part of the human condition, but 7,000 individuals is a far cry from 3.5 million. We should be thankful for the protection we have today, largely driven by fossil fuels and other economic development in the face of ecofascist opposition. But advancing the climate agenda requires alarmism.

One final note: Beyer made a career owning and operating Volvo, Land Rover, Kia, Volkswagen and Subaru dealerships. If he sincerely believes that alleviating “the harmful consequences of global climate change is the existential crisis of our generation,” as he so adamantly professes, perhaps he should start by shuttering his fossil fuel-burning, CO2-belching businesses.

SOURCE





Reporters Explain Why Balance Isn’t Needed On Global Warming

Is it morally permissible to allow “climate deniers” to appear in print and televised media?

Columbia University journalism students wrestled with this question recently at a screening of the new documentary, “Merchants of Doubt.” “Merchants,” based on the 2010 book by science historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, endeavors to smear skeptics of anthropogenic global warming as the henchmen of the fossil-fuel industry. The film is light on evidence, as I show here, but heavy on verve. Director Robert Kenner (“Food, Inc.”) traces the stories of sly 1950s tobacco reps who hired scientists to cast doubt on a growing consensus that smoking was unhealthy. The film’s implication, insinuated rather than demonstrated, is that global warming doubters are likewise mercenary.

If you buy that argument, then it makes some sense to keep “deniers” from deluding the public. In a room full of journalism students in training to ask tough questions and root out the truth, everyone bought it.

Global Warming Opposition Equals Propaganda

“It is a lie to say that global warming poses no danger,” New York Times reporter Justin Gillis told the crowd as part of a panel after the screening. He was responding to a question from the editor of the Columbia Journalism Review, who had asked him whether news outlets present a “false balance” when they cite both proponents and skeptics of anthropogenic global warming. Since the science is “settled,” and “consensus” has been achieved, why not quote only the proponents? “Journalists care about the truth—that’s my only care in life, to find the truth,” Gillis added. “To act as if the evidence is half and half is to tell a lie. I refuse to perpetuate that lie.”

Wendell Potter from the Huffington Post recommended that newspapers create a new “propaganda beat” with reporters devoted solely to unmasking the “deniers” as frauds.
“Accurate information about climate change is a human right,” insisted Emily Southerd, campaign manager for the advocacy group Forecast the Facts. “Accurate information” in this case apparently means “consensus” information. Southerd shared that her organization is petitioning news stations to quit booking “deniers” like Marc Morano of ClimateDepot.com, one of the “merchants” shown in the film. Wendell Potter from the Huffington Post recommended that newspapers create a new “propaganda beat” with reporters devoted solely to unmasking the “deniers” as frauds.

It’s hard to take such caviling seriously when the New York Times is running beguiling hit pieces on respected (but climate-skeptic) astrophysicist Willie Soon and cheering a McCarthyite investigation into seven other professors who expressed skepticism towards the idea that global warming is dangerous and man-made. In the United Kingdom last summer, after global warming-skeptic Lord Nigel Lawson appeared on the BBC, the head of the BBC Complaints Unit announced that “minority opinions and sceptical views should not be treated on an equal footing with the scientific consensus.” Lawson has not been on the BBC since.

Skeptics are not exactly popular in the media. Gillis acknowledged a tacit pact among print journalists to stop giving credence to climate skeptics. He called this an “enlightenment” that began ten or 15 years ago. American television, he noted, still lets a few skeptics onto the air; broadcasters have yet to come out of the Dark Ages.

Denying the Deniers

The merits of the term “denier” also got some play among the panelists. Southerd cast a strong vote in favor of the term: “these people need to be labeled what they are: climate change deniers.” Gillis explained the need to maintain the appearance of impartiality. “This is much like the abortion wars: what term you use signals what side you are on.” His own preference was to describe the “deniers” as “people who oppose climate science.” He was adamant, though, that these opponents-of-climate-science should never be called “skeptics”; all scientists are professional skeptics, and it would be inappropriate to honor the climate-doubters with such a term.

Paper trails indicate that federal agencies solicited climate science research that supported their conclusions, cherry-picked peer reviewers known to be sympathetic to the pro-global warming cause, and overlooked conflicts of interest.
One member of the audience thought to ask about the funding for pro-anthropogenic global warming scientists. What if someone investigated the money that supports global warming research, and made a “Merchants of Doubt” sequel about the consensus scientists? An excellent question, especially since in the last 15 years pro-sustainability and global warming research has enjoyed nearly $400 million in funding from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); $3 billion from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; $600 million from the National Institutes of Health; $1.7 billion from National Science Foundation; and even $2 million from the National Endowment for the Arts.

No worries about that, Gillis responded: “99.9 percent of climate science is funded by the government.” That means, he explained, that each grant is disclosed by number to the public, making every transaction transparent and trustworthy.

But Gillis neglected to explain that studies from two different organizations have uncovered in this federally-funded research cozenage and artifice of exactly the sort “Merchants” espies in climate change doubters. Paper trails indicate that the EPA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and other federal agencies solicited climate science research that supported their conclusions, cherry-picked peer reviewers known to be sympathetic to the pro-global warming cause, and overlooked conflicts of interest by assigning research papers to be reviewed by members of the same organizations that produced the research in the first place. In response to concerns such as these, the House of Representatives is considering the Secret Science Reform Act and the Science Advisory Board Reform Act to try to bring transparency to the research these federal agencies use as the basis for their environmental regulations.

But none of this was relevant, apparently, in an evening’s conversation about threats to the integrity of climate science. Perhaps such obstinate belief in the credibility of global warming research should itself be labeled a kind of doubt-denialism.

SOURCE







Australia: Herbicide cancer claim cops a spray

The most common chemical used in Australia by farmers and gardeners to kill weeds “probably” causes cancer, according to the World Health Organisation.

The finding by the French-based International Agency for Research of Cancers that the ­active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup — glyphosate — is likely to be a carcinogen has shocked the agricultural sector.

The multi-weed killer remains approved for safe use in Australia, except around waterways, and throughout the world. The federal government’s Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority has not commented on this week’s WHO finding or decided whether it plans to review the safety of glyphosate, which makes up the bulk of Australia’s $1.5 billion annual herbicide sales.

Since its invention by chemical company Monsanto in 1974, glyphosate has become the most common herbicide sprayed by all farmers worldwide, usually ­applied after autumn rain and before crops like wheat, barley and canola are sown to kill weeds.

Monsanto yesterday reacted with “outrage”, accusing the WHO cancer agency of “agenda- driven bias”. It claimed the ruling was inconsistent with decades of safety reviews and more than 800 studies showing glyphosate is safe for human health.

South Australian grain grower Mark Jaensch has been using Roundup and other cheaper or generic brands of glyphosate on his 500ha of crops for the past 30 years.

He is about to order another 600 litres of the herbicide today as he waits for a good autumn break on his Callington farm to signal the start of new weed growth, spraying time and, finally, crop sowing.

Ironically, his glyphosate chemical use has increased since the 1990s when he started using new “direct drilling” methods, sowing crop seeds directly into old stubble beds — without the usual ploughing to control weeds — in a bid to preserve soil moisture and prevent erosion, topsoil loss and dust storms.

“I’m reliant on it; we can’t put our crops in without (glyphosate), it would be hard to replace it,” Mr Jaensch said.

“But to be honest, I’m not too worried about this new (WHO warning); unless something comes out more concrete than ‘probably causes cancer’, I think it’s just scaremongering — I mean it’s not even classed as a dangerous poison on the label and you can still buy it in a spray can from the supermarket.”

Mr Jaensch said the chief difference from the 30 years ago was that he was now a better and safer user of herbicides such as Roundup.

His big tractor with its air-conditioned cab has charcoal filters to prevent him breathing sprayed chemicals, laws are much stricter about under what weather and wind conditions herbicides can be used, and most farmers now must undertake a safe chemical course before being able to buy products.

IARC report co-author and glyphosate expert Kate Guyton said the new finding of “probable carcinogen” was based on existing evidence from multiple studies of the effects of glyphosate on male agricultural and forestry occupational workers.

She said the report stopped short of saying the chemical conclusively caused cancer, or how much exposure would trigger cancer, but did find that scientists know people exposed to glyphosate in their daily jobs experienced a higher incidence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma than those not exposed to the chemical.

Other studies have found that glyphosate leads to DNA and chromosomal damage in laboratory animals, which can lead to cancer.

“I don’t think home use is the issue; it’s [in] agricultural use this will have the biggest impact,” Dr Guyton said.  “For the moment, it’s just something for people to be conscious of.”

A recent study by the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety and the University of Sydney found the incidence of cancer is lower in farmers, than in the general population, despite having the highest level of exposure to pesticides.

Federal Agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce said today he would seek advice from the government’s Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority on whether the safety of glyphosate use needed to be reviewed.

But Mr Joyce did not appear overly worried by the new World Health Organisation “probable carcinogen” warning.  “A literature review of existing research suggests there is limited evidence that potentially links glyphosate with cancer,” Mr Joyce said.

“We propose to seek advice from the APVMA whether, on balance, the position has changed [but] this [IARC finding] would appear to be a re-identification of a small number of old research papers.”

SOURCE






Oil and gas exports: one policy change, many benefits

By Marita Noon

“Businesses that sell to foreign markets put more people to work in high-quality jobs, offering more Americans the chance to earn a decent wage,” claimed the Obama administration’s Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker in a March 18 Wall Street Journal (WSJ) opinion piece.

She makes a strong case for U.S. exports: “jobs in export-intensive industries pay up to 18 percent more than jobs not related to exports.” Her premise is: “The U.S. economy ended 2014 on the uptick, and exports added to the momentum.” Noticeably absent is any mention of the potential for “high-quality jobs” and economic “uptick” that would come from the export of America’s abundant oil-and-natural gas resources — something an executive order could expedite; something her office could champion.

Pritzker states: “From large enterprises and multinational corporations to small startups and local manufacturers, an increasing number of businesses are realizing that their customer base is no longer around the corner, but around the world. They understand that 95 percent of the world’s customers live outside the U.S., and to succeed in the 21st century, they must find a way to reach consumers in ever-expanding markets.” Penny, this is especially true for American energy!

Due to the modern technologies of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing — developed and refined within our borders — the U.S. is producing more oil and natural gas than in decades. So much that we are nearly out of places to store it. We know how to produce it safely and cheaply. But, unlike the airplanes Pritkzer’s co-author Jim McNerney, CEO of Boeing Co., builds, the oil-and-gas industry is prevented from sending its abundance to “foreign markets” — including our allies in Europe who are dependent on energy from a source that uses it as a weapon against them.

The same day WSJ published Pritzker’s piece, it featured a news story announcing: “some of the world’s biggest oil companies are starting to give up” on “hydraulic fracturing wildcatting in Europe, Russia and China.” This, despite the fact: “Eastern European officials who were eager to wean their nations off of Russian gas welcomed the explorers.” It explains: “Wells in Poland and China can cost up to $25 million each, while American wells on average cost about $5 million” — resulting in overseas costs to produce a barrel of shale oil that are higher than what it can be sold for with the current world-wide low prices.

In trade negotiations, the U.S., according to the New York Times (NYT), “typically argues that countries with excess supplies should export them.” We have excess supplies of both crude oil and natural gas that has driven down prices — resulting in “trouble for an industry that has done much to keep the national economy afloat in recent years.” We “should export them”—but we aren’t.

“Why can’t we export crude oil and natural gas?” you might ask — especially when the U.S. can export refined petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. The NYT explains: “In 2011, the country pivoted from being the world’s largest importer of petroleum products to becoming one of the leading exporters.” At that point, for the first time in 21 years, refined petroleum became our number one export product — though Pritzker never mentioned that.

The “energy world changed.” But, as NYT points out, exports could soak up the excess production, “but there are still political hurdles.”

For crude oil, the problem is energy policy enacted before the “energy world changed.” Signed into law in 1975, after the 1973 Arab oil embargo shook the U.S. with high oil prices, the goal of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, according to the International Business Times, was “to stifle the impact of future oil embargos by foreign oil producing countries.” The result was a ban on most U.S. oil exports — though some exceptions can be made and the Commerce Department has recently given export licenses to two companies for particular types of oil. The WSJ reports: “Ten companies have applied for similar ruling to export oil.”

For natural gas exports, the problem is two-fold. Exporting natural gas is not prohibited, but it is not encouraged or made easy. In order to export natural gas, it must be converted into Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) — which is done at multibillion-dollar facilities with long lead times for permitting and construction that require purchase contracts to back up financing. Many potential customers for U.S. LNG are non-Free Trade Agreement (FTA) countries. Currently, Breaking Energy (BE) reports, “the Department of Energy (DOE) has issued five final and four conditional approvals for LNG export to non-FTA countries.” The Financial Times says about two dozen U.S. LNG export facilities have been proposed with four “already under construction, which have contracts to back up their financing.” Last month, according to Reuters, looking to reduce dependence on supplies from Russia, Lithuania signed an agreement to purchase LNG from the U.S.’s first export terminal: Cheniere Energy Inc.’s Sabine Pass, which is expected to send its first cargoes by the end of this year.

Fortunately, as I predicted in November, there are fixes in the works that, as energy historian Daniel Yergin said, symbolize “a new era in U.S. energy and U.S. energy relations with the rest of the world.”

In January, Senators John Barrasso (R-WY) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) introduced the LNG Permitting Certainty and Transparency Act to expedite DOE decisions on LNG export applications. It specifically requires a decision on any LNG export application within 45 days after the environmental review document for the project is published. Currently, applications to export natural gas to non-FTA countries require the Secretary of Energy to make a public interest determination which includes a public comment period. Not surprisingly, “environmental groups are lobbying the Obama Administration to veto the bill.” BE states: “The bipartisan bill could garner enough votes to gain a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.”

A month later, Representative Joe Barton (R-TX), along with 14 co-sponsors, introduced a bill to end the crude oil export ban: HR 702. On March 25, the House Foreign Affairs Committee will meet to debate and vote on the bill — though its passage is not as optimistic as the LNG bill. Bloomberg sees that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are weary, fearing “that they’d be blamed if gasoline prices climb after the ban is lifted.” Oil producers support lifting the ban, while refiners oppose it.

In October, David Goldwyn, the State Department’s coordinator for international energy affairs in the first Obama administration, said: “The politics are hard.” He added: “When the economics become overwhelming the politics will shift.” The NYT stated: The telltale sign of a glut will be a collapse in the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) price, the principal American oil benchmark, which is currently [October 2014] about $3 below the world Brent price.” It continues, “If the spread cracks open, the economic arguments for free export of domestic crude will probably win the day.”

That day may have come. On March 13, the WSJ editorial board announced: “WTI now trades 20 percent below the world market price.” Holman Jenkins, who writes the Business World column for the WSJ, says: “Oil producers are already being denied a premium of $12 a barrel by not being allowed to export this oil.” Thomas Tunstall, research director at the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Institute for Economic Development, reported: “Before the rapid increase in U.S. oil and gas production, WTI historically sold at a slight premium to Brent, typically about $1-$3 per barrel.”

“U.S. pump prices are mainly tied to the price of Brent crude, which is freely traded on the world market and is higher than it might otherwise be because of the ban on U.S. exports,” explains the WSJ. “If U.S. producers were allowed to compete globally, prices of Brent and WTI would converge over time, and U.S. gasoline prices would come down, all things being equal.”

Now, the “industry that has done much to keep the national economy afloat” is in trouble. There have been some 74,000 layoffs in the U.S. oil patch since November.

If Congress could muster up the political will to lift the arcane oil export ban, the U.S. could emerge as a major world exporter, which according to the NYT, would result in the “return to a status that helped make the country a great power in the first half of the 20th century.” Yergin adds: “Economically, it means that money that was flowing out of the United States into sovereign wealth funds and treasuries around the world will now stay in the U.S. and be invested in the U.S., creating jobs. It doesn’t change everything, but it certainly provides a new dimension to U.S. influence in the world.”

Pritzker brags that the Commerce Department has “worked with the private sector to help businesses reach customers overseas; … to open new markets for U.S. goods and services; to reform the export-control process; and to overcome barriers to entry.” For U.S. oil-and-gas producers the biggest barrier to reaching customers overseas and opening up new markets is our own energy policy — something the administration and Congress have taken steps to fix. According to Bloomberg, if they knew the public was with them, lawmakers could easily save American jobs and investment, lower gasoline prices, help balance our trade deficit, aid our allies, and increase U.S. influence in the world.

SOURCE

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Thursday, March 26, 2015



More stupid speculation and bad data from some arch-Warmists

The data behind the claim below is totally corrupt, almost hilariously so, (See here) but even if it were immaculate the inferences drawn below from it would still be very questionable

The North Atlantic meridional overturning circulation is not well understood and attributing a change in it to global warming is pure speculation.  Rahmstorf is an oceanographer so he should be particularly ashamed at lending his name to this.  But, then again, he claims that observed average temperature differences of a few HUNDREDTHS of a degree mean something, even though they are not even statistically significant.

And attributing changes in such a vast body of water to a temperature rise of less than one degree Celsius is on the face of it improbable anyhow

The Gulf Stream, the ocean current that brings mild weather to northern Europe and balmy conditions to the south east of the US, is slowing at its fastest rate in 1,000 years.

New research has revealed that the enormous currents that circulate warm and cold water around the Atlantic ocean has slowed by 15-20 per cent over the past century.

Scientists say that the increasing flow of fresh water from melting Greenland ice sheets may be driving the slowdown.

Professor Stefan Rahmstorf, an oceans physicist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, said: 'It is conspicuous that one specific area in the North Atlantic has been cooling in the past hundred years while the rest of the world heats up.

'Now we have detected strong evidence that the global conveyor has indeed been weakening in the past hundred years, particularly since 1970.

The findings suggest that as global temperatures rise due to climate change, areas that are warmed by the Gulf Stream could see temperatures fall, particularly in the winter. [Warming causes cooling, once again]

The Gulf Stream is a powerful current that forms part of the North Atlantic meridional overturning circulation.

This is a system of currents that are driven by the rising and sinking of water in different regions of the Atlantic.

Warm water from the equator is driven north towards the Artic where it cools, increases in salinity and sinks to the ocean depths.

This drives deep sea currents that pump water back to the equator, where it is warmed, rising to the surface and feeding the currents towards the pole.

In the Arctic, cold salty water sinks to the ocean depths, driving deep sea currents down to the equator where warmer water then rises to the surface and feeds the Gulf Stream.

The influx of warm water from the equator, which travels up through the Gulf of Mexico, past Maine and then up the west side of Britain and Norway, helps to warm weather systems in Northern Europe.

It makes winter conditions in much of northern Europe far milder than they normally would be, keeping Britain and the west coast of Norway largely snow and ice free through the winter months.

The researchers, whose study is published in the journal Nature Climate Change, found that the sea in the northern Atlantic is colder than predicted by computer models.  [What?  Another  model failure?]

They estimate that 8,000 cubic kilometres of fresh melt water haver flowed into the northern Atlantic from Greenland's icesheets between 1900 and 1970.

This fresh water is less dense than the salty water of the ocean and tends to float on the surface, disturbing the balance that causes cold water to sink in that region.

Usually freezing sea ice in the arctic causes the salinity of the ocean water to increase and so become more dense. Adding fresh water dilutes this effect.

Using recent sea surface and atmospheric temperature data, along with data from ice-cores, tree rings and sediments, they found that the changes in the ocean currents are unprecedented since the year 900AD.

However, the researchers also found that the cooling above the Northern Atlantic may also help to slightly reduce the effect of warming on the continents due to climate change.

They warn, however, that if the circulation weakens too much it could even break down completely. [How?]

Professor Jason Box, from the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, said it appeared man-made climate change was responsible for the slow down of the Gulf Stream and may worsen as global temperatures increase.

He said: 'The human-caused mass loss of the Greenland ice sheet appears to be slowing down the Atlantic overturning – and this effect might increase if temperatures are allowed to rise further.'

SOURCE





Why do Climate Denial and Racism go Hand in Hand?

Once again Warmists are abusing the messenger rather than discussing the facts. And they attempt to link only two individual climate skeptics to racism.  So even if all they say is true and relevant, they have no statistically sound basis for any generalization.  A sample of two is most unlikely to yield accurate generalizations. It would certainly fail a test of statistical significance.  Two swallows don't make a summer any more than one does.  So the post below is yet another example of the low intellectual level behind most Warmist writing

Famously climate denying Senator Ted Cruz announced for  President this week.

Above, see   Senator Cruz’s extravagant praise for one of the 20th century’s most prominent Southern racist segregationists, Jesse Helms. There’s a little well-documented history there for those too young to remember.

I’ve posted before on the link between racism and climate change denial, and I’ve noted that Senator Jim Inhofe is to climate denial as Strom Thurmond was to civil rights.  Both clung to outmoded and terribly destructive irrational prejudice, long beyond what reason would dictate. Even Thurmond softened his racial rhetoric in later years – while Inhofe has grown only more bombastic and shrill.

Here is yet another example, in Senator Cruz open admiration for Jesse Helms. Maybe there’s an answer to this in the way the denialist brain functions, that’s an area for further research.

SOURCE





Science Museums Urged to Cut Ties With Kochs

Dozens of climate scientists and environmental groups are calling for museums of science and natural history to “cut all ties” with fossil fuel companies and philanthropists like the Koch brothers.

A letter released on Tuesday asserts that such money is tainted by these donors’ efforts to deny the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change.

“When some of the biggest contributors to climate change and funders of misinformation on climate science sponsor exhibitions in museums of science and natural history, they undermine public confidence in the validity of the institutions responsible for transmitting scientific knowledge,” the letter states. “This corporate philanthropy comes at too high a cost.”

The letter does not mention specific companies, but it does name David H. Koch, who sits on the boards of the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and has given tens of millions of dollars to those institutions....

....Chris Norris, a paleontologist and prominent blogger on museum issues, warned that if museums started removing board members or turning down donations, they risked damaging their reputations for objectivity. Doing so, he added, would enable “others to argue that the information they provide is partisan and not to be trusted.”

SOURCE






Fossil Fuel Divestment Activists Could Stand in the way of any Transition to Cleaner Energy

Nobody is likely to confuse tiny Brevard College in North Carolina, student population about 700, with the University of California system, with 233,000 students on 10 sprawling campuses. But they have at least one thing in common: Students and faculty members think they can help "save the planet" if their schools stop investing in companies that recover and process fossil fuels.

Faculty, students, and alumni from 17 schools, including Dartmouth, Georgetown, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford, and the University of Pennsylvania, have even created a donor-advised divestment fund to pressure their universities "to do the right thing and divest from fossil fuels." When a school complies, it will receive the donations and earnings given in its name.

Though the school is not a member of this "Fossil Free Divestment Fund," Brevard's trustees recently fell in line, voting to purge such stocks from the school's $25 million endowment.

While those promoting divestment on college campuses clearly believe in their cause, what they don't appear to understand is that divestment could actually slow America's transition to nonpolluting energy.

As Lisa Jackson, President Obama's first Environmental Protection Agency administrator, made clear in her July 2009 testimony to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, U.S. action on climate change would have no impact on average global temperature if emissions in China, India, and the European Union continue to rise.

If the United States acting alone on climate change would have no practical impact, how much of an impact do you think the symbolic gesture of a few universities (or even a lot of universities) tinkering with their investment portfolios would have?

However, while divestment would have a negligible impact on climate change, it could have an impact on university earnings. That, in turn, could slow efforts to reduce the world's reliance on fossil fuels.

According to the National Association of College and University Business Officers, roughly $22 billion in university funds are invested in energy and natural-resource companies, about 5 percent of all university assets.

Harvard President Drew Faust, whose students staged a sit-in recently in support of divestment, observes that endowments are a "resource, not an instrument to impel social or political change."

Consider the University of California. In its wide-flung system, tens of thousands of students commute to class each day, so there's a practical side to the question as well. But there's also the matter of the reported $91 billion portfolio the chief investment officer manages, which helps fund academics, operations, pensions, research, and scholarships.

This is where divestment activists allow ideology to get in the way of practicality.

Universities already are on the cutting edge of technological advances that could help reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Divestment would hinder those efforts.

Robert Stavins, a professor of business and government at Harvard's Kennedy School and a lead author in three rounds of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says, "The real contributions of great universities to the fight against climate change will be through our products: research, teaching, and outreach to policy-makers. That is how we have made a difference on other societal challenges, and it is how we will make a real difference on this one."

While the vote by Brevard College's trustees may make students feel good, what divestment on a large scale could do is reduce the amount of money universities have to finance serious environmental research.

A bad idea at the best of times, selling oil and gas stocks in today's world of fossil-fuel abundance is an even worse idea. Crude oil prices have fallen dramatically during the past year, and the share prices of U.S. oil companies have followed the market down. Buying "high" and selling "low" is never a wise investment strategy - not for individual investors, not for institutions, and not for colleges and universities.

Universities can help chart America's energy future. But they can do this best in the classroom and laboratory, not by dumping their energy investments - especially at a loss.

SOURCE





An Obama prophecy fulfilled:  Electricity Price Index Climbed to New Record in February

The prophecy

The seasonally adjusted electricity price index climbed to a new record of 213.009 in February, up from 212.290 in January and from 206.404 a year ago.

The average price for a KWH of electricity—at 13.8 cents—was also the highest it has ever been in the month of February.

Electricity prices have not always risen in the United States.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual electricity price index, which measures the price of electricity relative to a baseline of 100, was 45.5 in 1913. By 1947, it had dropped to 26.6. By 1974, it had risen to only 44.1—meaning electricity was relatively less expensive in 1974 than it had been in 1913.

Electricity Price Index-February

Generation of electricity peaked in the United States in 2007, when the nation produced 4,156,745 million KWH of electricity, according the Energy Department’s Monthly Energy Review.

So far, the Department of Energy has only reported the electricity generation numbers for the first eleven months of 2014 (through November). But in those eleven months, the nation produced 3,748,649 million KWH of electricity, which is less than the 3,812,783 million KWH produced in the first eleven months of 2007.

That means the U.S. produced 64,134 million KWH less electricity--or 1.68 percent less--in the first eleven months of 2014 than it did in the first eleven months of 2007. At the same, according to Census Bureau estimates, the population of the United States grew from 301,621,157 in July 2007 to 318,857,056 in July 2014.

There has been a particularly dramatic decline in amount of electricity produced by coal in the United States since 2007. In the first eleven months of that year, the U.S. produced 1,845,881 million KWH of electricity using coal, according to the Monthly Energy Review. In the first eleven months of 2014, it produced 1,463,297 million KWH of electricity using coal. That is a decline of 382,584 million KWHs or 20.7 percent.

Average Price of KWH by Month

Increased production of electricity using solar and wind sources has not made up for the decline in coal power. In the first eleven months of 2007, the U.S. produced 550 million KWH using solar and 17,811 million KWH using wind—for a combined total of 18,361 million KWH for solar and wind.

In the first eleven months of 2014 that had increased to 17,360 million KWH using solar and 167,044 million KWH using wind for a combined solar-wind total of 184,404 million KWH from solar and wind—an increase from 2007 of 166,043 million KWH in solar and wind power.

That made up for only 43.4 percent of the lost production from coal.

Through November, the 184,404 million KWH of electricity produced in the United States using solar and wind equaled only 4.9 percent of the 3,748,649 million KWH electricity produced in the country in the first eleven months of 2014.

Data released by the BLS today also showed that the average price for a kilowatt hour (KWH) of electricity was 13.8 cents in February. That is the same as the average price in January of this year, but the highest price ever recorded for a February.

The average price for a KWH of electricity tends to hit its annual peak in the summer, decline in fall, hit its low point in winter and rise in spring. In July through November of 2012, the average price for a KWH was less than it had been in July through November of 2011. But in 2013 and 2014, the average price for a KWH set a monthly record in every month of the year. January and February of 2015 have continued that trend—with the average price of a KWH setting monthly records.

Annual Electricity Price Index

In June, July and August of 2014, the average price of a KWH hit  an all-time record of 14.3 cents.

While electricity prices have been climbing to new records in the United States over the past two years, that has not been the case with other sources of energy. The price indexes for gasoline and fuel oil have declined dramatically over the past year—although they did increase from January to February.

“The energy index rose 1.0 percent in February, ending a series of seven consecutive declines,” said the BLS in its monthly summary of the Consumer Price Index. “The gasoline index turned up after a series of sharp declines, rising 2.4 percent. (Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices rose 5.3 percent in February.) The fuel oil index also increased after recent declines, rising 1.9 percent. The electricity index rose 0.3 percent in February after a 0.9-percent increase in January. The only major energy component index to fall in February was natural gas, which declined 2.0 percent following a 3.4-percent decrease the prior month. Despite the February increases, the gasoline and fuel oil indexes have declined sharply over the past year, falling 32.8 percent and 31.2 percent, respectively. The index for natural gas has also declined over the past year, falling 6.5 percent, but the electricity index has increased 3.2 percent.”

The overall seasonally adjusted price index went up only 0.2 percent in February. "Over the last 12 months," said the BLS, "the all items index was unchanged before seasonal adjustment."

SOURCE





Hypocrisy Alert: Obama Signs Executive Order To Lead On Climate Change

The week following the Obama’s taking two separate planes to Los Angeles, President Obama signed an executive order that will mandate the federal government to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 2008 levels.

The President is committed to addressing the climate change threat – both by taking action here at home and showing leadership on the world stage. As part of his commitment to lead by example to curb the emissions that are driving climate change, today President Obama will issue an Executive Order that will cut the Federal Government’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 40 percent over the next decade from 2008 levels — saving taxpayers up to $18 billion in avoided energy costs — and increase the share of electricity the Federal Government consumes from renewable sources to 30 percent. Complementing this effort, several major Federal suppliers are announcing commitments to cut their own GHG emissions.

Today, the Administration is hosting a roundtable that will bring some of these large Federal suppliers together to discuss the benefits of their GHG reduction targets or to make their first-ever corporate commitments to disclose emissions and set new reduction goals.

Obama’s plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions supports the climate change agreement he made with China where the president committed the U.S. to lower emissions between 26 to 28 percent below 2005 amounts by 2025.

The federal government will meet part of its emission reductions by using more clean energy and increasing the use of electric vehicles.

Unsurprisingly, Obama did not make any personal commitments to cut back on his family’s use of air travel to save the planet.

SOURCE

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

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

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015



Another blast from the past -- via Steve Goddard

40 years ago, the National Academy of Sciences wanted to evacuate 6 million people to save them from global cooling.







Climate change will allegedly make food TASTE bad: Global warming will lead to tougher meat and flavourless carrots

It's all Warmist theory-based prophecy.  Karoly is an old shell-backed Warmist. And we know how good Warmist prophecies are

But let me mention some facts instead.  If warming is bad for flavour, fruit from the Tropics should be insipid.  But I grew up in the tropics and I can assure you that tropical fruit are yummy:  Pawpaws and mangoes are of course well-known but there are also Granadillas, Soursops, Custard apples and other fruit which are little known because they do not travel well -- but which are very tasty indeed.  If you've never eaten Granadilla and ice-cream, you  haven't lived.  And the sad things called pawpaws outside the tropics are nowhere nearly as good as  pawpaws straight off the tree.
As for any overall shortage of food being caused by warming, that is utter nonsense.  Plantlife flourishes in warm climates like nowhere else.  It almost leaps out and grabs you at times in the tropics


For those hoping global warming will bring more opportunities for a summer barbecue, there may be disappointment ahead - climate change is likely to make steaks and burgers far less appetising.

In a major report on the impact of global warming on food, scientists have concluded that the quality of many meats and vegetables is due to decline at temperatures increase.

The researchers predict that as heatwaves become more common, steaks and other meats are likely to become stringier and tougher - putting the traditional barbecue at risk.

Popular vegetables like carrots are also likely to become less flavoursome and have a less pleasant texture.

Potatoes are likely to suffer far more from blight, which rots the tubers and makes them inedible.

Onions could get smaller if temperatures early in the season increase while fruit and nut trees in some regions may not get cold enough to signal fruit development.

The report, produced by scientists at the University of Melbourne, also warned that milk yields could decrease by up to 10-25 per cent as heatwaves grow more common.

Lower levels of grain production could also hit dairy cattle, meaning their milk contains less protein, which would result in poorer quality cheese.

Professor Richard Eckard, director of the primary industries climate challenges centre at the University of Melbourne, said: 'It’s definitely a wake up call when you hear that the toast and raspberry jam you have for breakfast, for example, might not be as readily available in 50 years time.

'Or that there may be changes to the cost and taste of food items we love and take for granted like avocado and vegemite, spaghetti bolognaise and even beer, wine and chocolate.

'It makes you appreciate that global warming is not a distant phenomenon but a very real occurrence that is already affecting the things we enjoy in our everyday lives, including the most common of foods we eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner.'

The scientists assessed the impact of the changing climate on 55 foods grown in Australia and other parts of the world.

It predicted that as weather conditions get warmer, with heatwaves and other extreme events increasing in frequency, agricultural production will be hit hard.

The cost of apples could rise as farmers try to combat damage from extreme temperatures on fruits like apples by using shade cloths.

Heat stress will have a particular impact on meat production with cattle and chickens suffering in higher temperatures and affecting their appetite.

This will mean meat is likely to be be tougher and more stingy.

Pigs could have particular problems in the heat as they do not possess sweat glands.

Avocados are also likely to get smaller in warmer temperatures as the plants get stressed while the trees themselves will flower far less.

Temperatures above 27 degrees can cause beetroot flowering stems to grow early and result in smaller bulbs, while the vegetable can also lose some of its distinctive red colouring in warmer temperatures.

Professor David Karoly, an atmospheric scientists at the University of Melbourne and one of the co-authors of the report, said countries like Australia, where drought is already a major problem, are likely to be worse hit.

He said: 'Global warming is increasing the frequency and intensity of heatwaves and bushfires affecting farms across southern and eastern Australia, and this will get much worse in the future if we don’t act.

'It’s a daunting thought when you consider that Australian farms produce 93% of the food we eat.'

SOURCE





Solar power is now becoming more affordable (?)

Some dubious thinking from South Africa. When you read the article, it turns out that what they mean is: because the ESKOM utility company raised the tariffs by 25.3%, now more people will be using solar energy. Because it may be cheaper to opt out of the grid

Eskom plans to increase electricity tariffs by up to 25.3%, could mean that homeowners and businesses are increasingly using solar power.

Janine Myburgh, president of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said yesterday that its tariffs are becoming more expensive, while increasingly becoming more affordable to use solar power.

The underlying problem is that Eskom is selling less electricity than a decade ago. Almost a quarter of Eskom's power stations do not generate power because of maintenance or because something was wrong, said Myburgh.

"The less electricity supplied by Eskom, the more shrinkage income from power sales. Eskom to try to solve this by increasing electricity tariffs, but now Eskom is becoming increasingly expensive, while solar power becoming more affordable. "

Eskom's biggest problem is its expenses.  Last year it was calculated that Eskom's coal accounts for the increase in the six years to 2014 to R19 billion to R70 billion per year.  In this period the  utility increased its number of employees from 11,515 to 46,919, Myburgh said.

"Eskom's expenses rise, therefore, while power sales drop. Eskom has a big problem with the productivity of its employees and maintenance that is not done. "

Myburgh said the Eskom dilemma has also had a positive result. Green and renewable energy is becoming increasingly popular as people are forced to use solar panels and solar water heaters to avoid the constantly rising utility rates.

Chris Haw, managing director of Future Energy Sola, who constructed among others the roof-top solar power system at the Black River Park office complex in Observatory, explained solar power is a way to avoid the expensive Eskom.

When the owner of a building decided to invest in solar energy, there is a fixed expense to its budget because the solar power system is guaranteed for 25 years.

Businesses that have mostly energy needs through the day may fit well with solar energy, making it a good choice to be more independent of Eskom.

SOURCE  (Translated from Afrikaans by John Ray with a lot of help from Google Translate)





Radical environmentalism’s death campaigns

Its anti-DDT war is a lethal “death-rate solution” imposed on Third World countries

Paul Driessen

The terms racism, white supremacy, crimes against humanity are bandied about so often that they have become almost meaningless. But they are absolutely appropriate in an arena where they are too rarely applied: radical environmentalism’s campaigns that perpetuate poverty, disease and death, by denying Earth’s most impoverished and powerless people access to modern life-saving technologies.

Imagine activist groups preventing you from having your child vaccinated against polio or hepatitis, or from starting her on chemotherapy for leukemia – because they are “concerned” about “possible side-effects” and the “ethics” of permitting such “risky” procedures. Absurd! you say. Outrageous!

Of course it is. But that is what radical environmentalists are doing to Third World countries. By denying people access to abundant, reliable, affordable electricity, modern fertilizers and biotech seeds, and especially DDT to prevent malaria and other insect-borne diseases, they are killing millions every year.

Many of my articles have documented this. Now a new film written, self-financed and produced by Dr. D. Rutledge Taylor, MD graphically presents powerful new evidence of how the Audubon Society, Sierra Club, other predominantly white environmentalist pressure groups and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency conspired to hide and discredit scientific evidence, and wage a campaign of disinformation and outright lies, to ban the most effective weapon yet devised to prevent malaria and other vicious diseases.

3 Billion and Counting: The death toll is mounting shows how DDT was invented on the eve of World War II and became a secret weapon that kept Allied soldiers on the battlefield, instead of in hospitals or graves. After the war, it was sprayed on millions of Europeans to prevent typhus. It then eradicated malaria in Europe, the United States and other developed nations. No one ever got sick from DDT.

Available on demand and through Amazon.com, You Tube, Google Play, iTunes and elsewhere, the film chronicles how Rachel Carson’s wildly inaccurate book Silent Spring helped persuade the Audubon Society to launch the Environmental Defense Fund for the sole purpose of demanding a DDT ban.

Why would Audubon do such a thing? Its own research and Department of the Interior studies showed that bird and animal populations were exploding during the two decades when DDT was used most widely. Countless other studies documented that the life-saving chemical was safe for humans and most wildlife, including bald eagles. People actually tried to kill themselves with DDT – and repeatedly failed.

An EPA scientific panel conducted six months of hearings, compiled 9,312 pages of studies and testimony, and concluded that DDT was safe and effective, was not carcinogenic, and should not be banned. Nevertheless, without attending a single hour of hearings or reading a single page of the panel’s report, EPA Administrator William Ruckelshaus banned U.S. production and use of DDT in 1972 – at a time when over 80% of the chemical was being exported for disease control.

Then why the attacks? As EDF scientist Charles Wurster said 1969, “If the environmentalists win on DDT, they will achieve a level of authority they have never had before.” When asked later how he justified human deaths from pesticides that replaced DDT, versus the “mere loss of some birds,” he said “organophosphates act locally and only kill farm workers, and most of them are Mexicans and Negroes.”

Ruckelshaus said he had a political problem, and fixed it. He never considered the plight of malaria victims, and anti-DDT activists still ignore their agony and deaths. Audubon, EDF, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, Pesticide Action Network, Natural Resource Defense Council and other radical groups that oppose DDT just don’t give a damn – even as they have become filthy, callously rich by opposing the life-saving chemical and other technologies.

Sierra Club executive director David Brower, Population Bomb author Paul Ehrlich and other arch-environmentalists believed the biggest problem facing Planet Earth was “uncontrolled growth” in human populations. Ehrlich argued that the “instant death control” provided by DDT exports was “responsible for the drastic lowering of death rates” in underdeveloped countries. Those countries were not practicing a “birth rate solution” – and thus needed to have “death rate solutions” imposed on them, via campaigns against energy, Golden Rice and other biotech crops, and especially DDT.

Almost 3.5 billion people worldwide are at risk of getting this horrific disease, 207 million are actually infected every year, and over 800,000 die year after year from malaria. The vast majority are children and pregnant women, and some 90% of them are in Sub-Saharan Africa. In that region, a child still dies every minute from malaria, and most African children have been brain-damaged to some degree by malaria. Worldwide, nearly 80% of all infectious diseases are spread by insects.

Malaria is certainly a disease of poverty. But poverty is a disease of malaria. It leaves victims too sick to work or care for their families, for weeks on end. Medicines and hospital stays drain families’ meager savings. The disease costs tens of millions of lost work hours, billions in lost wages, and tens of billions for medicines and care in antiquated hospitals. It leaves entire nations impoverished.

However, spraying small amounts of DDT on the walls and eaves of cinderblock and mud-and-thatch homes, once or twice a year puts a long-lasting mosquito net over entire households. It keeps 80-90% of mosquitoes from even entering the homes; irritates any that do enter, so they leave without biting; and kills any that land. No other chemical, at any price, can do all this.

In response to these facts, anti-DDT pressure groups rail about risks that are trivial, illusory or fabricated. DDT is associated with low birth-weights, slow reflexes and weakened immune systems in babies, and could cause premature birth and lactation failure in nursing mothers, they claim.

Not one peer-reviewed scientific study supports any of this fear-mongering. Every one of these alleged problems is definitely associated with malaria and other endemic Third World diseases. And compared to the death and devastation that DDT could prevent, the alleged DDT risks are irrelevant.

However, constant deception and harassment by these groups have caused many health agencies and aid organizations to not use or fund DDT, and often other pesticides. Instead, they focus on bed nets, education, “capacity building,” and treatment with drugs that are too often unavailable, counterfeit, or ineffective because the malaria parasites have become resistant to them.

Still, the efforts have been somewhat successful. Millions of women and young children now sleep under insecticide-treated nets. Millions now get diagnosed more quickly and receive better care and medicines, often at clinics where two doctors examine up to 400 patients a day. In 2010, the World Health Organization and Roll Back Malaria boasted of an 18% reduction in child mortality, compared with 2000.

But that is not nearly good enough. We would never tolerate 18% as “good enough,” if American or European children’s lives (or Greenpeace and EDF kids’ lives) were at stake and a 90% reduction were possible – as it would be, if health workers were also eradicating mosquitoes and spraying DDT.

Instead, they protect Africans and Asians from minimal or illusory risks, by condemning them to agonizing deaths from readily preventable diseases. “They are using us in anti-DDT experiments,” says Ugandan human rights activist Fiona Kobusingye. “They are playing with our lives.”

They are also playing with American lives. Spraying clothes with DDT once a year would keep infected ticks away and prevent Lyme disease that leaves tens of thousands battling chronic, debilitating pain and illness for years, Dr. Taylor explains. But the same anti-pesticide radicals are dead-set against that.

Dr. Taylor ends his film by drinking 3 grams of DDT … in 2008 – with no ill effects, then or today.

Watch 3 Billion and Counting. Then contact these Big Green pressure groups and their staffs and board members, and the foundations, politicians and bureaucrats who support them. Tell them it’s time to end their eco-manslaughter.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org),  author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death, and coauthor of Cracking Big Green: Saving the world from the Save-the-Earth money machine. He is a featured expert in 3 Billion and Counting.

Via email




Feds To Block FEMA Funds For States That Deny Man-Made Global Warming

Well, there’s one way to ensure that everyone buys into the man-made global warming hoax: extortion. Starting next year the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will stop funds from going to states that refuse to believe that humans are causing climate change.

This news comes straight from the leftist eco-nuts at Inside Climate News, so you can be assured that it isn’t a “paranoid” conservative interpretation of an innocuous FEMA regulation:

    "The Federal Emergency Management Agency is making it tougher for governors to deny man-made climate change. Starting next year, the agency will approve disaster preparedness funds only for states whose governors approve hazard mitigation plans that address climate change".

Sounds pretty fascist to me. If you have the truth on your side, you do not need to force people to believe it. Only liars and charlatans resort to bullying tactics like this.

    "This may put several Republican governors who maintain the earth isn’t warming due to human activities, or prefer to do nothing about it, into a political bind. Their position may block their states’ access to hundreds of millions of dollars in FEMA funds".

Basically it works like this: state governments must accept that man-made global warming is real and commit public funds to programs designed to mitigate the effects of it, even if it isn’t real. State governments that fail to do this will loose out on millions, if not billions, in FEMA funds.

    "Specifically, beginning in March 2016, states seeking preparedness money will have to assess how climate change threatens their communities. Governors will have to sign off on hazard mitigation plans. While some states, including New York, have already started incorporating climate risks in their plans, most haven’t because FEMA’s old 2008 guidelines didn’t require it".

And it appears that this isn’t just about global warming, but all things that environmentalist hate:

    “This could potentially become a major conflict for several Republican governors,” said Barry Rabe, an expert on the politics of climate change at the University of Michigan. “We aren’t just talking about coastal states.” Climate change affects droughts, rainfall and tornado activity. Fracking is being linked to more earthquakes, he said. “This could affect state leaders across the country.”

What the hell does fracking have to do with global warming? Does this mean that states that allow fracking are also going to have funds withheld? Probably.

Don’t go thinking this new regulation is a shakedown. According to FEMA spokeswoman Susan Hendrick forcing states to accept global warming as reality is actually just a way to “raise awareness and support for implementing the actions in the mitigation strategy and increasing statewide resilience to natural hazards.”

Raise awareness? Sounds more like a fun run than a tyrannical mandate. Here’s the best part about all this:

    "The new federal rules don’t require public involvement in the creation of states’ disaster preparedness plans, eliminating the opportunity for environmental groups and concerned citizens to submit comments or concerns about the assessments".

So FEMA, an unelected body, will withhold vital funds from states if they don’t believe in man-made global warming and there is to be no public debate or scrutiny. That’s as Obama as it gets. I’m sure if this works out, he’ll try a similar scheme for gun control, gay marriage, and abortion.

SOURCE





DOE Wind Fantasies (same assumptions, same results)

“Before Americans are asked to pay more billions for an energy resource that still, after 23 years, cannot stand on its own two feet, Congress should ask DOE to get out of the vision business and report on the practicality of wind energy reaching even 10% of the U.S. power market.”

The Department of Energy, has once again buddied up with its friends in the wind industry to releasing an updated vision of how the United wind energy can achieve a 20% market share of the electricity (not total energy) market by 2030. This time, DOE went a step further to claim we could get to 10% wind by 2020 and a whopping 35% wind by 2050 (wind’s current electric-market share is 4.5%).

A quick review of the report suggests it suffers the same flaws as DOE’s last attempt from 2008. For example, using DOE’s own numbers, between now and 2020 (5 years), the U.S. would need to:

1) Install another 52,000 MW of wind. That would be more than 10,000 MW per year;

2) Of this, 3,000 MW would be offshore, where none exists today. (DOE’s analysis was completed before Cape Wind collapsed);

3) Improve overall capacity factors to 40% average where they have stagnated at 30% for years.

Obviously, we will not see a change in capacity factors for existing wind projects, so that means the next 52,000 MW will have to operate at efficiencies of roughly 50%. DOE’s report, apparently banks on technology improvements between now and 2020 to achieve the increases in production. It also banks on the continuation of the wind production tax credit (PTC).

But what DOE seems to be downplaying is the fact that the wind PTC has never led to the type of wind development the agency is claiming possible.

The years when we had large deployments of wind turbines were tied to the 1603 cash grant program in place from 2009-2012. And these were discrete events – 2010 had 10,000 MW and 2012 had 13,000 MW – with an average across the four years of roughly 8,000 MW. In 2013, only 1,000 MW were installed after the cash grant program expired and the industry flushed it’s project pipeline racing to get the grant money.

Whether DOE’s vision has credibility is one question before us. The second is whether American taxpayers want, or can afford the “investment” in wind power. The federal budget deficit promises to be a major issue for reform in the 2016 elections, if not before.

According to EIA, wind energy received the largest share of direct federal subsidies and support in FY 2013, accounting for 37% of total electricity-related subsidies ($5,936 billion). Nearly three-fourths of FY 2013 wind energy subsidies were direct expenditures largely resulting from the grant program. FY 2013 did not represent the biggest payout for wind. Costs associated with the federal  grant program are assigned to the year in which a project is placed in service. In FY 2010, 84% of Section 1603 grant payments went to wind energy.

Looking at the cost per megawatt hour paid to fund wind versus other beneficiaries, the numbers are staggering. The below table relies on data from EIA for the years 2007, 2010, and 2013.



These numbers represent only the federal subsidies paid to wind versus other technologies. Additional subsidies are available to wind through state renewable portfolio standards and integration costs borne by rate- and taxpayers.

Before Americans are asked to pay more billions for an energy resource that still, after 23 years, cannot stand on its own two feet, Congress should ask DOE to get out of the vision business and report on the practicality of wind energy reaching even 10% of the U.S. power market.

SOURCE

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

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

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015



An amusing new wrinkle on "ad hominem" argument

The latest brainwave of the Warmists below.  Once again they refuse to discuss the science and instead focus on personalities.  And their preamble about the sufferings of Warmists is just fantasy.  No links to proof of the accusations

For nearly thirty years, climate scientists have been the targets of character assassination by the fossil-fuel industry’s hired guns. They’ve been mugged on the streets of public discourse, pounded by the fists of demagoguery and smear. Their lives have been upended in an effort to have their research suspended. They’ve been kicked, slapped, whipped, tripped, and called every ugly name in the book.

Now they’re fighting back, in a bold and innovative new campaign known as More Than Scientists. This campaign provides an inside look into the lives of the climate scientists whose extensive research led to the scientific verdict that greenhouse gas emissions were causing our planet’s temperature to increase to dangerous levels.

Eric Michaelman, a Seattle-based climate activist, is the creator of this effort. In an e-mail interview last week, Michaelman told me that this initiative “developed out of discussions and brainstorming between longtime climate activists in the Seattle area and scientists at the University of Washington who personally wanted to play a more constructive part in the public conversation about climate…[W]e felt that video would be the best medium with the goal of helping the public better get to know the scientists personally, since when you see and hear someone talking it’s easy to make your own impression of their sincerity and conviction.”

Rational-thinking people have long since been convinced of the sincerity and conviction of those who have labored tirelessly for decades to analyze the risk greenhouse gases pose to the planet. However, if you have any friends who still think Sean Hannity knows more about climate change than actual climate scientists, ask them to watch these videos and see if they change their minds…or just keep them closed.

SOURCE





Fossil fuels are here to stay

Matt Ridley

THE environmental movement has advanced three arguments in recent years for giving up fossil fuels: (1) that we will soon run out of them anyway; (2) that alternative sources of energy will price them out of the marketplace; and (3) that we cannot afford the climate consequences of burning them.

These days, not one of the three arguments is looking very healthy. In fact, a more realistic assessment of our energy and environmental situation suggests that, for decades to come, we will continue to rely overwhelmingly on the fossil fuels that have contributed so dramatically to the world’s prosperity and progress.

In 2013, about 87 per cent of the energy that the world consumed came from fossil fuels, a figure that — remarkably — was unchanged from 10 years before. This roughly divides into three categories of fuel and three categories of use: oil used mainly for transport, gas used mainly for heating, and coal used mainly for electricity.

Over this period, the overall volume of fossil-fuel consumption has increased dramatically, but with an encouraging environmental trend: a diminishing amount of carbon-dioxide emissions per unit of energy produced. The biggest contribution to decarbonising the system has been the switch from high-carbon coal to lower-carbon gas in electricity generation.

On a global level, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar have contributed hardly at all to the drop in carbon emissions, and their modest growth has merely made up for a decline in the fortunes of zero-carbon nuclear energy. (The reader should know that I have an indirect interest in coal through the ownership of land in Northern England on which it is mined, but I nonetheless applaud the displacement of coal by gas in recent years.)

The argument that fossil fuels will soon run out is dead, at least for a while. The collapse of the price of oil over the past six months is the result of abundance: an inevitable consequence of the high oil prices of recent years, which stimulated innovation in hydraulic fracturing, horizontal drilling, seismology and information technology. The US — the country with the oldest and most developed hydrocarbon fields — has found itself once again, surprisingly, at the top of the energy-producing league, rivalling Saudi Arabia in oil and Russia in gas.

The shale genie is now out of the bottle. Even if the current low price drives out some high-cost oil producers — in the North Sea, Canada, Russia, Iran and offshore, as well as in America — shale drillers can step back in whenever the price rebounds. As Mark Hill of Allegro Development Corporation argued last week, the frankers are currently experiencing their own version of Moore’s law: a rapid fall in the cost and time it takes to drill a well, along with a rapid rise in the volume of hydrocarbons they are able to extract.

And the shale revolution has yet to go global. When it does, oil and gas in tight rock formations will give the world ample supplies of hydrocarbons for decades, if not centuries. Lurking in the wings for later technological breakthroughs is methane hydrate, a sea floor source of gas that exceeds in quantity all the world’s coal, oil and gas put together.

So those who predict the imminent exhaustion of fossil fuels are merely repeating the mistakes of the US presidential commission that opined in 1922 that “already the output of gas has begun to wane. Production of oil cannot long maintain its present rate.” Or president Jimmy Carter when he announced on television in 1977 that “we could use up all the proven reserves of oil in the entire world by the end of the next decade.”

That fossil fuels are finite is a red herring. The Atlantic Ocean is finite, but that does not mean that you risk bumping into France if you row out of a harbour in Maine. The buffalo of the American West were infinite, in the sense that they could breed, yet they came close to extinction. It is an ironic truth that no non-renewable resource has ever run dry, while renewable resources — whales, cod, forests, passenger pigeons — have frequently done so.

The second argument for giving up fossil fuels is that new rivals will shortly price them out of the market. But it is not happening. The great hope has long been nuclear energy, but even if there is a rush to build new nuclear power stations over the next few years, most will simply replace old ones due to close.

The world’s nuclear output is down from 6 per cent of world energy consumption in 2003 to 4 per cent today. It is forecast to inch back up to just 6.7 per cent by 2035, according the Energy Information Administration.

Nuclear’s problem is cost. In meeting the safety concerns of environmentalists, politicians and regulators added requirements for extra concrete, steel and pipework, and even more for extra lawyers, paperwork and time.

The effect was to make nuclear plants into huge boondoggles with no competition or experimentation to drive down costs. Nuclear is now able to compete with fossil fuels only when it is subsidised.

As for renewable energy, hydro-electric is the biggest and cheapest supplier, but it has the least capacity for expansion. Technologies that tap the energy of waves and tides remain unaffordable and impractical.

Geothermal is a minor player for now. And bioenergy — that is, wood, ethanol made from corn or sugar cane, or diesel made from palm oil — is proving an ecological disaster: It encourages deforestation and food-price hikes that cause devastation among the world’s poor, and per unit of energy produced, it creates even more carbon dioxide than coal.

Wind power, for all the public money spent on its expansion, has inched up to — wait for it — 1 per cent of world energy consumption in 2013. Solar, for all the hype, has not even managed that: If we round to the nearest whole number, it accounts for 0 per cent of world energy consumption.

Both wind and solar are entirely reliant on subsidies for such economic viability as they have. Worldwide, the subsidies given to renewable energy currently amount to roughly $10 per gigajoule: These sums are paid by consumers to producers, so they tend to go from the poor to the rich, often to landowners.

It is true that some countries subsidise the use of fossil fuels, but they do so at a much lower rate — the world average is about $1.20 per gigajoule — and these are mostly subsidies for consumers (not producers), so they tend to help the poor, for whom energy costs are a disproportionate share of spending.

The costs of renewable energy are coming down, especially in the case of solar. But even if solar panels were free, the power they produce would still struggle to compete with fossil fuel — except in some very sunny locations — because of all the capital equipment required to concentrate and deliver the energy.

This is to say nothing of the great expanses of land on which solar facilities must be built and the cost of retaining sufficient conventional generator capacity to guarantee supply on a dark, cold, windless evening.

The two fundamental problems that renewables face are that they take up too much space and produce too little energy.

To run the US economy entirely on wind would require a wind farm the size of Texas, California and New Mexico combined — backed up by gas on windless days. To power it on wood would require a forest covering two-thirds of the U.S., heavily and continually harvested.

John Constable, who will head a new Energy Institute at the University of Buckingham in Britain, points out that the trickle of energy that human beings managed to extract from wind, water and wood before the Industrial Revolution placed a great limit on development and progress.

The incessant toil of farm labourers generated so little surplus energy in the form of food for men and draft animals that the accumulation of capital, such as machinery, was painfully slow. Even as late as the 18th century, this energy-deprived economy was sufficient to enrich daily life for only a fraction of the population.

Our old enemy, the second law of thermodynamics, is the problem here. As a teenager’s bedroom generally illustrates, left to its own devices, everything in the world becomes less ordered, more chaotic, tending toward “entropy,” or thermodynamic equilibrium. To reverse this tendency and make something complex, ordered and functional requires work. It requires energy.

The more energy you have, the more intricate, powerful and complex you can make a system. Just as human bodies need energy to be ordered and functional, so do societies. In that sense, fossil fuels were a unique advance because they allowed human beings to create extraordinary patterns of order and complexity — machines and buildings — with which to improve their lives.

The result of this great boost in energy is what economic historian and philosopher Deirdre McCloskey calls the Great Enrichment. In the case of the US, there has been a roughly 9000 per cent increase in the value of goods and services available to the average American since 1800, almost all of which are made with, made of, powered by or propelled by fossil fuels.

Still, more than a billion people on the planet have yet to get access to electricity and to experience the leap in living standards that abundant energy brings. This is not just an inconvenience for them: Indoor air pollution from wood fires kills four million people a year. The next time that somebody at a rally against fossil fuels lectures you about her concern for the fate of her grandchildren, show her a picture of an African child dying today from inhaling the dense muck of a smoky fire.

Notice, too, the ways in which fossil fuels have contributed to preserving the planet. As the American author and fossil-fuels advocate Alex Epstein points out in a bravely unfashionable book, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, the use of coal halted and then reversed the deforestation of Europe and North America.

The turn to oil halted the slaughter of the world’s whales and seals for their blubber. Fertiliser manufactured with gas halved the amount of land needed to produce a given amount of food, thus feeding a growing population while sparing land for wild nature.

To throw away these immense economic, environmental and moral benefits, you would have to have a very good reason. The one most often invoked today is that we are wrecking the planet’s climate. But are we?

Although the world has certainly warmed since the 19th century, the rate of warming has been slow and erratic. There has been no increase in the frequency or severity of storms or droughts, no acceleration of sea-level rise. Arctic sea ice has decreased, but Antarctic sea ice has increased.

At the same time, scientists are agreed that the extra carbon dioxide in the air has contributed to an improvement in crop yields and a roughly 14 per cent increase in the amount of all types of green vegetation on the planet since 1980.

That carbon-dioxide emissions should cause warming is not a new idea. In 1938, the British scientist Guy Callender thought that he could already detect warming as a result of carbon-dioxide emissions. He reckoned, however, that this was “likely to prove beneficial to mankind” by shifting northward the climate where cultivation was possible.

Only in the 1970s and 80s did scientists begin to say that the mild warming expected as a direct result of burning fossil fuels — roughly a degree Celsius per doubling of carbon-dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere — might be greatly amplified by water vapour and result in dangerous warming of two to four degrees a century or more.

That “feedback” assumption of high “sensitivity” remains in virtually all of the mathematical models used to this day by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC.

And yet it is increasingly possible that it is wrong. As Patrick Michaels of the libertarian Cato Institute has written, since 2000, 14 peer-reviewed papers, published by 42 authors, many of whom are key contributors to the reports of the IPCC, have concluded that climate sensitivity is low because net feedbacks are modest.

They arrive at this conclusion based on observed temperature changes, ocean-heat uptake and the balance between warming and cooling emissions (mainly sulfate aerosols). On average, they find sensitivity to be 40 per cent lower than the models on which the IPCC relies.

If these conclusions are right, they would explain the failure of the Earth’s surface to warm nearly as fast as predicted over the past 35 years, a time when — despite carbon-dioxide levels rising faster than expected — the warming rate has never reached even two-tenths of a degree per decade and has slowed down to virtually nothing in the past 15 to 20 years. This is one reason the latest IPCC report did not give a “best estimate” of sensitivity and why it lowered its estimate of near-term warming.

Most climate scientists remain reluctant to abandon the models and take the view that the current “hiatus” has merely delayed rapid warming. A turning point to dangerously rapid warming could be around the corner, even though it should have shown up by now. So it would be wise to do something to cut our emissions, so long as that something does not hurt the poor and those struggling to reach a modern standard of living.

We should encourage the switch from coal to gas in the generation of electricity, provide incentives for energy efficiency, get nuclear power back on track and keep developing solar power and electricity storage. We should also invest in research on ways to absorb carbon dioxide from the air, by fertilising the ocean or fixing it through carbon capture and storage. Those measures all make sense. And there is every reason to promote open-ended research to find some unexpected new energy technology.

The one thing that will not work is the one thing that the environmental movement insists upon: subsidising wealthy crony capitalists to build low-density, low-output, capital-intensive, land-hungry renewable energy schemes, while telling the poor to give up the dream of getting richer through fossil fuels.

SOURCE




Your Pet Is a Global Warming Machine

Greenies hate pets too.  They are consistent haters

Though some environmentalists love their dogs more than they love their Sierra Club reusable water bottles, a single dog can have a bigger ecological footprint than an SUV. And cats aren’t much better. According to research highlighted by the New Scientist, it takes an estimated 1.1 hectares of land per year to create the chicken and grain that a large dog eats for its food. A Toyota Land Cruiser SUV, driven 10,000 kilometres a year, would use .41 hectares of land, less than half that of the dog.

"Owning a dog really is quite an extravagance," Dr. John Barrett of the Stockholm Environment Institute in York, UK told the New Scientist, "mainly because of the carbon footprint of meat."

Cats and dogs also wreak havoc on the local wildlife. The estimated 7.7 million cats in the United Kingdom kill more than 188 million wild animals every year. And cat excrement, which can contain the disease Toxoplasma gondii, has been blamed for killing sea otters (and may have a hand in causing schizophrenia in humans, according to RadioLab).*

The New Scientist has some suggestions of how to lessen Fido’s ecological “pawprint,” including feeding him more environmentally friendly foods. Perhaps forcing people to consider the impact of their pets may keep the carbon footprint on a leash.

SOURCE





Global warming not to blame for mass starvation of sea lion pups, says NOAA

Yesterday it was reported that sea lion pups along the California coast are literally starving to death. According to scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), global warming has nothing to do with it. It's all part of an El Niño weather pattern that's wreaking havoc on the food chain supply. sick sea lion

NOAA released figures yesterday showing that since January 1, "more than 1,800 starving sea lion pups have washed up on California beaches since Jan. 1 and 750 are being treated" in marine mammal care centers across the state.

Scientists at NOAA believe the crisis hasn't reached its peak and expect more sea lions to show up on beaches for at least two more months. Meanwhile, thousands of adult maleCalifornia sea lions are "surging into the Pacific Northwest, crowding onto docks and jetties in coastal communities."

According to NOAA, the "Channel Islands rookeries where nearly all California sea lions raise their young sit in the middle of the warm expanse. Female sea lions have strong ties to the rookeries. They take foraging trips of a few days at a time before returning to the rookeries to nurse their pups."

But this warm expanse has risen from 2 to 6 degrees Fahrenheit (when compared to the long-term average), which is not an ideal environment for the sea lion's diet: fish and squid,including "salmon, hake, Pacific whiting, anchovy, herring, rockfish, lamprey, dogfish, and market squid." Sea lions will even eat clams.

It's believed their food source is moving north to cooler waters, forcing the mothers to abandon their pups as they travel further away from the nurseries in search of food, sometimes for over a week. As a result, "the pups aren't eating as much or as frequently and they are weaning themselves early out of desperation and striking out on their own even though they are underweight and can't hunt properly."

NOAA says that a particularly strong weather pattern known as El Niño is to blame, not climate change. “It’s a very regional patch of warm water and it doesn’t look like global warming to me,” said Nate Mantua, a NOAA research scientist based in Santa Cruz, California.

El Niño weather patterns are "associated with a band of warm ocean water that develops in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific," which in turn warms the ocean off the Southern California coast. The last El Niño of this magnitude was in 1998, when "2,500 sea lion pups were found washed up on California beaches."

On March 5, 2015, NOAA predicted this El Niño weather pattern would be weak, and have little influence on weather and climate. "NOAA scientists will continue to monitor the situation and will issue its next monthly update on April 9."

Meanwhile, NOAA says the sea pups rescued by animal centers are tube-fed, tagged, and then released back into the wild. Unfortunately, the vast majority of sea pups spotted and reported to authorities are beyond help, with some dying and others being euthanized.

SOURCE





It's Not "Global Warming." It's "Springtime."

By Alan Caruba

After decades of environmental claims that “global warming” would plunge the planet into catastrophic harm to its human and other inhabitants—at the same time blaming humans for causing it—the sheer arrogance and ignorance of these claims always ignores the real power that is represented by the Earth itself and the beginning of Spring should be proof enough for anyone paying any attention.

This year, Spring begins in the northern hemisphere on Friday, March 20 at 6:45 PM EDT. In the southern hemisphere it marks the beginning of Autumn.

Spring manifests itself in ways we take for granted yet it is a combination of many events that should make us marvel if we gave them any thought. For example, where does all the snow go? The U.S. and the rest of the world set records of snowfall levels throughout Winter.

As noted by the U.S. Geological Service, “in the world-wide scheme of the water cycle, runoff from snowmelt is a major component of the global movement of water.”

“Mountain snow fields act as natural reservoirs for many western United States water-supply systems, storing precipitation from the cool season, when most precipitation falls and forms snowpacks…As much as 75 percent of water supplies in the western states are derived from snowmelt.”  Snowmelt ensures sufficient water for all of us and for the Earth that depends upon it for the growth of all vegetation.

How do the flowers know it is Spring? In a 2011 article for the Inside Science News Service, Katherine Gammon noted that “Just in time for the birds and bees to start buzzing, the flowers and the trees somehow know when to open their buds to start flowering. But the exact way that plants get their wake-up call has been something of a mystery.”  A molecular biologist at the University of Texas, Sibum Sung, has been trying to solve that mystery and has discovered “a special molecule in plants that gives them the remarkable ability to recall Winter and to bloom on schedule in the Spring.”

Nothing on Earth happens by accident. It is a remarkable inter-related system to which we give little thought. The sheer power of all those blooming flowers and trees should tell us something about the power of Nature that dwarfs all the claims that humans have any influence whatever on the events of Spring or any other time of the year.

Then think about the role of the animals with whom we share the planet. In the Spring many come out of hibernation in their dens, while others such as birds make lengthy migrations from the warmer climes to those in the north. The huge migration of Monarch Butterflies should leave us speechless. Spring is a time when many animals give birth to their young.


A sign of the Spring that leaves us breathless is the way it is the season for the aurora borealis. Dr. Tony Phillips of NASA notes that “For reasons not fully understood by scientists, the weeks around the vernal equinox are prone to Northern Lights. From Canada to Scandinavia they provide a great show.

“Such outbursts are called auroral substorms and they have long puzzled physicists,” says UCLA space physicist Vassilis Angelopoulos. They represent “a potent geomagnetic storm.” The equinox in Spring and Autumn is a time when magnetic connections between the Sun and Earth are most favorable.

One book, “Silent Spring”, by Rachel Carson, first published in September 1962, started the environmental campaign against pesticide use for any reason, leading most famously to the ban on DDT in the U.S. What Carson neglected to tell readers was how they were supposed to cope with the trillions of insects that come with the advent of warm weather.

No pesticide use does not mean less mosquitoes, less termites, less flies, less ants, or less of any other insect species and the diseases they spread, property damage, and the damage they cause to crops of all descriptions. And, of course, the much of the pollination of crops and other vegetation depends on insect species.

Carson’s claims of a silent spring bereft of bird species was a blatant lie. Rich Kozlovich, an authority on pest management, noted that “Bird populations were never so high in North America” despite the use of DDT and other pesticides. “Carson’s claim about how the poor robin was going to disappear was not only wrong, she was deliberately lying.”

“Carson was a science writer for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and absolutely had to know that in 1960 there were 12 times more robins, 21 times more cowbirds, 38 times more blackbirds, 131 times more grackles, etc., compared to 1941 numbers.”

Spring is a time of renewal in the northern hemisphere and it occurs with enormous levels of natural power. Most people, however, are oblivious to that power as they enjoy the sight of flowers and trees blooming.

I could almost guarantee that you will read or hear about “global warming” or “climate change” being attributed to the arrival of Spring. Do yourself a favor. Keep in mind that those claims, like Rachel Carson’s, represent an anti-humanity, anti-energy, and anti-capitalism agenda of the environmental movement.

Instead, celebrate the seasonal renewal of life on Earth and give thanks for the energy that permits you to control the environment of the structures where you live and work, that provides you the means to get in your car and go anywhere, and that powers every device you use

SOURCE





Australia: Dredges will not damage reef

Greenie scaremongering has no scientific basis

The resources and ports sectors continue to defend their dredging practices as safe after the Queensland and federal governments unveiled a long-term Great Barrier Reef management plan.

The plan includes a ban on dumping dredge spoil anywhere in the world heritage area, a limit on port expansion to four sites and targets for reducing sediment, nutrient and pesticide contamination.

It will be a key factor in the UNESCO world heritage committee's decision on whether to list the reef as "in danger" in June this year.

The Greens on Monday urged the federal government to go further after the Australian Coral Reef Society released a report recommending against the expansion of the Abbot Point coal terminal in central Queensland.

Top coral reef scientists were presenting a choice between protecting the Great Barrier Reef and developing Queensland's Galilee Basin, Greens senator Larissa Waters said.  "In an age of climate change, it's scientifically impossible to do both," she said.

"The Abbott and Palaszczuk government's Reef 2050 Plan for the World Heritage Committee completely ignores the impact of the Galilee Basin coal mines on the reef and other world heritage areas."

Ms Waters said increased shipping through the reef would lead to ocean acidification, more dangerous storms and coral bleaching.

But linking the basin's development to the reef's plight was "a new low point in a campaign of misinformation", GVK Hancock said.

Every reputable analyst agreed that global demand for coal would grow for many decades regardless of the basin's development, spokesman Josh Euler said.  "If we as a nation don't develop the Galilee Basin then some other country will develop their equivalent resource," he said.

Mr Euler said this would allow competitors to gain significant financial and employment benefits.  "The expansion of the existing Abbot Point Port will not impact the Great Barrier Reef."

The government's plan ignores a science-based approach to dredging, according to Ports Australia.

An unwarranted blanket ban on dredging was placing the long-term viability of the ports system at risk, according to chief executive David Anderson.

"The science has been discarded, and instead the policy has been dictated by an activist ideology, with the complicity of UNESCO, which has swayed these governments," he said.

SOURCE

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

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

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