Monday, December 05, 2016



It's not the oceans wot did it

Warmists claim that just before the turn of the present century, the oceans for some unknown reason started gobbling up all the extra warmth (theoretically) generated by rising levels of CO2.  And there is some slight evidence of increased heat in the oceans.  The latest paleoclimate proxy study (below) is therefore interesting.  It found two things:

1).  Ocean temperature changes over the last 200 years were "below the detection limit". In other words there has been NO ocean warming at all in our times.

2). Further back in the last 10,000 years there WERE times of rapid and substantial changes in ocean temperature.  In other words, long before that wicked industrialization that Warmists hate, NATURAL changes in ocean temperatures did occur.

So we have got a doubly whammy:  There has been NO recent change in ocean temperature but even if there were, it could be all natural, and, as such, no proof of anything.


Rapid variations in deep ocean temperature detected in the Holocene

Samantha C. Bova et al.

Abstract

The observational record of deep-ocean variability is short, which makes it difficult to attribute the recent rise in deep ocean temperatures to anthropogenic forcing. Here, we test a new proxy – the oxygen isotopic signature of individual benthic foraminifera – to detect rapid (i.e. monthly to decadal) variations in deep ocean temperature and salinity in the sedimentary record. We apply this technique at 1000 m water depth in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific during seven 200-year Holocene intervals. Variability in foraminifer δ18O over the past 200 years is below the detection limit, but δ18O signatures from two mid-Holocene intervals indicate temperature swings >2 °C within 200 years. More vigorous transport between the surface and deep ocean or stronger eddy variability than that observed in the historical record are potential explanations. Distinguishing externally forced climate trends in deep ocean properties from unforced variability should be possible with systematic analysis of suitable deep sea cores.

doi: 10.1002/2016GL071450





Reality finally hits an old attention-whore

Robert Bradley has up a series of quotations from Jim Hansen showing how his many prophecies over the years have always been couched in the most urgent language and also showing that they have always been wrong.

Which is amusing enough.  Even more amusing, however is his latest utterance, which is a large backdown.  His words this month include: "“The ponderous response of the climate system also means that we don’t need to instantaneously reduce GHG amounts.”.

After many failed prophecies, the urgency has gone.




Germany tells World Bank to quit funding fossil fuels

Why is Germany building all those brown coal power stations then?  Is German coal more ethical than third world coal?

German development minister says World Bank must focus “all of its work on climate and sustainability targets”

A new coal-fired power plant, which the World Bank is considering sponsoring, is slated to replace the ageing Kosovo A power station, outside Prishtina. Photo: Karl Mathiesen
A new coal-fired power plant, which the World Bank is considering sponsoring, is slated to replace the ageing Kosovo A power station, outside Prishtina. Photo: Karl Mathiesen

By Karl Mathiesen in Berlin
The World Bank must end its support for the industries that cause climate change, Germany’s federal development minister Gerd Müller has said.

On Wednesday, German chancellor Angela Merkel and Müller met with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim to sign a cooperation agreement on climate change.

A statement from the German government said Müller had used the moment to call on the World Bank to put “an end to investments in obsolete and climate-damaging technologies”.1

“The World Bank must also focus all of its work on climate and sustainability targets,” said Müller.

World Bank cash for fossil fuels: The worst kind of hypocrisy

The bank is considering finance for a new coal plant in Kosovo – despite an internal policy ruling out such projects except in rare circumstances. It has also announced support for large gas projects in Azerbaijan and Ghana among others.

One study has found that the bank’s annual contribution to the wider fossil fuel sector was more than $3bn in 2014.1

Germany contributes €105m to the World Bank’s climate programmes. Under the agreement signed on Wednesday this will be targeted towards helping poor countries cut carbon, providing insurance to communities who may suffer climate impacts and forest sustainability programmes.

Müller said Germany and the World Bank would protect developing countries “through insurance against droughts and flooding, through investments in the vital preservation of forests. Climate change is also an opportunity, especially in the developing countries: renewable energies create jobs and are good for human health”.

SOURCE



The world needs more energy!

Poor countries have a right to use fossil fuels and will no longer let anyone stop us

By Steven Lyazi, from Uganda

Our planet is blessed with abundant resources that can generate enormous energy, provide raw materials for wondrous technologies, and build modern homes, roads and other structures – to support every man, woman and child on this earth. But can and will political powers make them available to the people who need them?

Of all these resources, energy is the most important. Nothing happens without energy.

For most of mankind’s history, human or animal muscle, wood and animal dung, water power, and plant or animal oil provided our energy. But the amount and quality of that energy was limited, and therefore what people could do was also limited.

Then, almost suddenly, people began using coal, and then oil, natural gas, hydroelectric and nuclear power. Our abilities, and our dreams, began to reach for the heavens – at least in many countries. Sadly, many other countries lagged far behind, and many still do.

They are held back, condemned to continued energy poverty – and thus to real poverty and the diseases, malnutrition and desperation that go with that absence of modern energy. This is partly because many nations are governed by incompetent, corrupt leaders, who care only about enriching themselves, their families, and their close friends, allies and supporters.

But it is also because callous, imperialistic people in rich countries use exaggerated, imaginary or phony environmental concerns and fake disasters to justify laws, regulations and excuses not to let poor countries use fossil fuels or nuclear power or develop their economies.

They tell us we should only use renewable energy. They say nuclear power is dangerous, and oil, gas and coal are dirty and cause dangerous climate change. They don’t seem to think or care about the poverty, diseases and starvation that we suffer because we do not have fossil fuels.

And when they talk about renewable energy, they mean the very limited energy – and economic growth – that come from wind and solar power, or from growing crops for energy instead of to feed our hungry people. They even oppose hydroelectric power for poor nations.

They are rich and well fed, enjoying amazing homes and jobs and technologies in their modern countries. But they tell us poor Africans (and other people) that we must limit our energy and dreams to whatever can come from expensive, insufficient kinds of energies to serve our large and growing populations. This is greedy and selfish, the kind of attitude of people who only think of themselves.

Yes, they use renewable energy, but only a little. Almost all their energy still comes from oil, gas, coal, nuclear and hydro power. Only a tiny amount comes from wind, solar or biofuels – that they say should be our only sources of energy.

They have money and power, and they can influence what happens to us. But they are causing massive poverty, disease, starvation and death in third world countries.

I support clean energy and don’t want to see dangerous global warming. I agree that everyone should help ensure that we live in a clean environment. Everyone wants that, and to see their children and grandchildren living in a clean environment.

But that does not mean we should accept more poverty. It does not mean these rich, powerful people should be able to take away our right to live. It does not mean they have a right to put make-believe scare stories in our papers, on our televisions and radios, and on the internet.

It does not mean they should invent claims that our planet is boiling and we are causing droughts and floods – and so we should throw away coal and other cheap energies that we need to survive.

Maybe they are right, and humans are warming the earth or changing the climate – a little. But our weather and climate have always changed, and the world was even warmer during the dinosaur era than it is today, and much colder during the ice ages, with no human activities. Climate change has been going on for millions of years ago, but that doesn’t mean today’s changes are because of humans or will be disasters.

Environmental agencies and groups say the world is changing and try to tell us what to do to prevent these changes, which they say will all be bad. But getting rid of poverty and disease is also a big change that would be good for all of us, and cannot happen without fossil fuels.

We’ve all been scared to death by horror movies, especially films that are just plausible enough to make us think it could happen. But when these movies (or computer models) are used to scare us away from fossil fuels, that is wrong and we should not be frightened.

What these rich country movie actors, politicians, regulators, scientists and activists forget is that our planet and environment have existed for millions of years, have changed over and over, and will continue to exist either with or without human interference. But we humans have to live here too.

Denying people their right to use fossil fuels is the worst thing someone can do to a fellow human. Western powers developed massively due to cheap fossil fuels and today live like kings. They have no right to deny their living standards to people in developing countries.

Who invented the terms “developing countries” or “third world countries” anyway”? All countries have been developing at some point. In fact, they are always still developing, all the time.

The only wrong interpretation is to say “third world countries” do not have a God-given right to use all their energy, minerals and other resources to develop themselves, and get rich, create good jobs for their people, end poverty and disease, and grow enough food to make everyone well fed and healthy.

In fact, here is a thought for all African leaders: A collective mindset supporting development will make Africa as great as any other region on earth. We all just need to unite around this idea.

The recent United States elections disappointed many people, but made many others happy. To me, they may be a very good thing. They might mean the new President Trump will be a good leader for the entire world. He might make more people question these claims that fossil fuels cause dangerous global warming – and encourage everyone to use more oil, gas and coal to improve our lives, until smart people someday discover different energy sources that really do work.

We all desire to be healthy and live better lives, just like people in developed countries. Yes, we have had greedy, selfish leaders in the past who might have contributed to our status today. But we can and must learn from our mistakes, and Mr. Trump wants to correct his and Mr. Obama’s mistakes.

African and other countries need abundant energy for economic growth. They need all kinds of energy, especially fossil fuels, to become modern and make people’s lives better.

Anyone who tries to prevent us from using these energy resources is denying us our right to improve our lives, and even our right to live, which is the most fundamental right of any human. That is wrong and immoral, and we will no longer tolerate it.

Via email





My Unhappy Life as a Climate Heretic

By ROGER PIELKE JR.

My research was attacked by thought police in journalism, activist groups funded by billionaires and even the White House.

Much to my surprise, I showed up in the WikiLeaks releases before the election. In a 2014 email, a staffer at the Center for American Progress, founded by John Podesta in 2003, took credit for a campaign to have me eliminated as a writer for Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight website. In the email, the editor of the think tank’s climate blog bragged to one of its billionaire donors, Tom Steyer: “I think it’s fair [to] say that, without Climate Progress, Pielke would still be writing on climate change for 538.”

WikiLeaks provides a window into a world I’ve seen up close for decades: the debate over what to do about climate change, and the role of science in that argument. Although it is too soon to tell how the Trump administration will engage the scientific community, my long experience shows what can happen when politicians and media turn against inconvenient research—which we’ve seen under Republican and Democratic presidents.

I understand why Mr. Podesta—most recently Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman—wanted to drive me out of the climate-change discussion. When substantively countering an academic’s research proves difficult, other techniques are needed to banish it. That is how politics sometimes works, and professors need to understand this if we want to participate in that arena.

More troubling is the degree to which journalists and other academics joined the campaign against me. What sort of responsibility do scientists and the media have to defend the ability to share research, on any subject, that might be inconvenient to political interests—even our own?

I believe climate change is real and that human emissions of greenhouse gases risk justifying action, including a carbon tax. But my research led me to a conclusion that many climate campaigners find unacceptable: There is scant evidence to indicate that hurricanes, floods, tornadoes or drought have become more frequent or intense in the U.S. or globally. In fact we are in an era of good fortune when it comes to extreme weather. This is a topic I’ve studied and published on as much as anyone over two decades. My conclusion might be wrong, but I think I’ve earned the right to share this research without risk to my career.

Instead, my research was under constant attack for years by activists, journalists and politicians. In 2011 writers in the journal Foreign Policy signaled that some accused me of being a “climate-change denier.” I earned the title, the authors explained, by “questioning certain graphs presented in IPCC reports.” That an academic who raised questions about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in an area of his expertise was tarred as a denier reveals the groupthink at work.

Yet I was right to question the IPCC’s 2007 report, which included a graph purporting to show that disaster costs were rising due to global temperature increases. The graph was later revealed to have been based on invented and inaccurate information, as I documented in my book “The Climate Fix.” The insurance industry scientist Robert-Muir Wood of Risk Management Solutions had smuggled the graph into the IPCC report. He explained in a public debate with me in London in 2010 that he had included the graph and misreferenced it because he expected future research to show a relationship between increasing disaster costs and rising temperatures.

When his research was eventually published in 2008, well after the IPCC report, it concluded the opposite: “We find insufficient evidence to claim a statistical relationship between global temperature increase and normalized catastrophe losses.” Whoops.

The IPCC never acknowledged the snafu, but subsequent reports got the science right: There is not a strong basis for connecting weather disasters with human-caused climate change.

Yes, storms and other extremes still occur, with devastating human consequences, but history shows they could be far worse. No Category 3, 4 or 5 hurricane has made landfall in the U.S. since Hurricane Wilma in 2005, by far the longest such period on record. This means that cumulative economic damage from hurricanes over the past decade is some $70 billion less than the long-term average would lead us to expect, based on my research with colleagues. This is good news, and it should be OK to say so. Yet in today’s hyper-partisan climate debate, every instance of extreme weather becomes a political talking point.

For a time I called out politicians and reporters who went beyond what science can support, but some journalists won’t hear of this. In 2011 and 2012, I pointed out on my blog and social media that the lead climate reporter at the New York Times,Justin Gillis, had mischaracterized the relationship of climate change and food shortages, and the relationship of climate change and disasters. His reporting wasn’t consistent with most expert views, or the evidence. In response he promptly blocked me from his Twitter feed. Other reporters did the same.

In August this year on Twitter, I criticized poor reporting on the website Mashable about a supposed coming hurricane apocalypse—including a bad misquote of me in the cartoon role of climate skeptic. (The misquote was later removed.) The publication’s lead science editor, Andrew Freedman, helpfully explained via Twitter that this sort of behavior “is why you’re on many reporters’ ‘do not call’ lists despite your expertise.”

I didn’t know reporters had such lists. But I get it. No one likes being told that he misreported scientific research, especially on climate change. Some believe that connecting extreme weather with greenhouse gases helps to advance the cause of climate policy. Plus, bad news gets clicks.

Yet more is going on here than thin-skinned reporters responding petulantly to a vocal professor. In 2015 I was quoted in the Los Angeles Times, by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Paige St. John, making the rather obvious point that politicians use the weather-of-the-moment to make the case for action on climate change, even if the scientific basis is thin or contested.

Ms. St. John was pilloried by her peers in the media. Shortly thereafter, she emailed me what she had learned: “You should come with a warning label: Quoting Roger Pielke will bring a hailstorm down on your work from the London Guardian, Mother Jones, and Media Matters.”

Or look at the journalists who helped push me out of FiveThirtyEight. My first article there, in 2014, was based on the consensus of the IPCC and peer-reviewed research. I pointed out that the global cost of disasters was increasing at a rate slower than GDP growth, which is very good news. Disasters still occur, but their economic and human effect is smaller than in the past. It’s not terribly complicated.

That article prompted an intense media campaign to have me fired. Writers at Slate, Salon, the New Republic, the New York Times, the Guardian and others piled on.

In March of 2014, FiveThirtyEight editor Mike Wilson demoted me from staff writer to freelancer. A few months later I chose to leave the site after it became clear it wouldn’t publish me. The mob celebrated. ClimateTruth.org, founded by former Center for American Progress staffer Brad Johnson, and advised by Penn State’s Michael Mann, called my departure a “victory for climate truth.” The Center for American Progress promised its donor Mr. Steyer more of the same.

Yet the climate thought police still weren’t done. In 2013 committees in the House and Senate invited me to a several hearings to summarize the science on disasters and climate change. As a professor at a public university, I was happy to do so. My testimony was strong, and it was well aligned with the conclusions of the IPCC and the U.S. government’s climate-science program. Those conclusions indicate no overall increasing trend in hurricanes, floods, tornadoes or droughts—in the U.S. or globally.

In early 2014, not long after I appeared before Congress, President Obama’s science adviser John Holdren testified before the same Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. He was asked about his public statements that appeared to contradict the scientific consensus on extreme weather events that I had earlier presented. Mr. Holdren responded with the all-too-common approach of attacking the messenger, telling the senators incorrectly that my views were “not representative of the mainstream scientific opinion.” Mr. Holdren followed up by posting a strange essay, of nearly 3,000 words, on the White House website under the heading, “An Analysis of Statements by Roger Pielke Jr.,” where it remains today.

I suppose it is a distinction of a sort to be singled out in this manner by the president’s science adviser. Yet Mr. Holdren’s screed reads more like a dashed-off blog post from the nutty wings of the online climate debate, chock-full of errors and misstatements.

But when the White House puts a target on your back on its website, people notice. Almost a year later Mr. Holdren’s missive was the basis for an investigation of me by Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva, the ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee. Rep. Grijalva explained in a letter to my university’s president that I was being investigated because Mr. Holdren had “highlighted what he believes were serious misstatements by Prof. Pielke of the scientific consensus on climate change.” He made the letter public.

The “investigation” turned out to be a farce. In the letter, Rep. Grijalva suggested that I—and six other academics with apparently heretical views—might be on the payroll of Exxon Mobil (or perhaps the Illuminati, I forget). He asked for records detailing my research funding, emails and so on. After some well-deserved criticism from the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union, Rep. Grijalva deleted the letter from his website. The University of Colorado complied with Rep. Grijalva’s request and responded that I have never received funding from fossil-fuel companies. My heretical views can be traced to research support from the U.S. government.

But the damage to my reputation had been done, and perhaps that was the point. Studying and engaging on climate change had become decidedly less fun. So I started researching and teaching other topics and have found the change in direction refreshing. Don’t worry about me: I have tenure and supportive campus leaders and regents. No one is trying to get me fired for my new scholarly pursuits.

But the lesson is that a lone academic is no match for billionaires, well-funded advocacy groups, the media, Congress and the White House. If academics—in any subject—are to play a meaningful role in public debate, the country will have to do a better job supporting good-faith researchers, even when their results are unwelcome. This goes for Republicans and Democrats alike, and to the administration of President-elect Trump.

Academics and the media in particular should support viewpoint diversity instead of serving as the handmaidens of political expediency by trying to exclude voices or damage reputations and careers. If academics and the media won’t support open debate, who will?

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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Sunday, December 04, 2016



Total dishonesty about last Thursday's blackout in South Australia

The S.A. government is shrilling that the new blackout had "nothing to do" with the previous big one in September.  I suppose that there is some trivial sense in which that is true but the root cause of both blackouts is the same:  South Australia does not have ANY baseload power of its own.  Had they not decommissioned all their coal-fired stations, neither blackout would have happened.  Their windmills are just not a reliable source of power.  During the latest incident they were delivering only 6% of their capacity.

When the big wind hit in September and shut down the windmills the South Australians could easily have spun up their coal-fired generators to take the load -- if they still had them.  And the same thing applies to the recent loss of supply.

You have got to have hydrocarbon or nuclear powered generators to get reliable supply and S.A. just does not have enough.  All they have are some small gas-fired ones.  They rely on importing power from hydrocarbon-powered generators in Victoria but Victoria has its own problems -- and will soon have much bigger ones with the closedown of the Hazelwood generator.

The South Australians were so proud of themselves for having such a "Green" electricity system but it was a fantasy.  They need to get a couple of their coal-fired generators spinning again or businesses will start leaving the state and taking jobs with them. New investments will CERTAINLY grind to a halt now. See below


South Australia's electricity system separated from the national power grid overnight, prompting a stern warning from BHP Billiton about threats to Australian jobs and investment.

About 200,000 homes and businesses lost power for over an hour, but BHP’s Olympic Dam operations in the north of the state were interrupted for about four hours.

BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie issued an urgent warning to policy-makers after the latest incident, which comes two months after the statewide blackout led to about two weeks of lost production at Olympic Dam.

“Olympic Dam’s latest outage shows Australia’s investability and jobs are placed in peril by the failure of policy to both reduce emissions and secure affordable, dispatchable and uninterrupted power,” he said in a statement.

“The challenge to reduce emissions and grow the economy cannot fall to renewables alone. “This is a wake-up call ahead of the COAG meeting and power supply and security must be top of the agenda and urgently addressed.”

Opposition Leader Steven Marshall said Labor had “chased cheap and reliable power out of South Australia”.

“South Australians are now saddled with the most expensive and least reliable electricity system in Australia,” he said.

“The statement from BHP this morning demonstrates how dangerous this situation has become. The CEO of the world’s biggest mining company has singled out South Australia’s fragile electricity system as a threat to mining in Australia.

“Affordable and reliable power is critical to running a business – it’s not a luxury, it’s an essential!”

SOURCE



Warmists are getting cautious with their prophecies

The authors below show that even with conventional Warmist asumptions the degree of warming to be expected in the near future could be quite low.  The 21st century "hiatus" must be getting to them now that El Nino has finished.  The figures are now in to show that the recent warming was just a blip

Prospects for a prolonged slowdown in global warming in the early 21st century

Thomas R. Knutson et al

Abstract

Global mean temperature over 1998 to 2015 increased at a slower rate (0.1 K decade−1) compared with the ensemble mean (forced) warming rate projected by Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 5 (CMIP5) models (0.2 K decade−1). Here we investigate the prospects for this slower rate to persist for a decade or more. The slower rate could persist if the transient climate response is overestimated by CMIP5 models by a factor of two, as suggested by recent low-end estimates. Alternatively, using CMIP5 models’ warming rate, the slower rate could still persist due to strong multidecadal internal variability cooling. Combining the CMIP5 ensemble warming rate with internal variability episodes from a single climate model—having the strongest multidecadal variability among CMIP5 models—we estimate that the warming slowdown (<0.1 K decade−1 trend beginning in 1998) could persist, due to internal variability cooling, through 2020, 2025 or 2030 with probabilities 16%, 11% and 6%, respectively.

SOURCE




Dakota Access protesters accused of destroying environment in order to save it

In the name of saving the environment, thousands of green activists fighting to stop the Dakota Access pipeline are making a huge mess.

Those familiar with the camps near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, increasingly are distressed over the pits of human waste and garbage pockmarking the formerly pristine prairie revered by the Standing Rock Sioux as sacred ancestral land.

Rob Keller, spokesman for the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, said the protesters are “saying one thing and doing another” when it comes to safeguarding the environment.

“We’ve seen pictures of trenches and the garbage thrown in there. So that’s protecting the land?” Mr. Keller said. “And then the snow came in, and I’m sure it’s just a muddy mess now, because that’s river-bottom water, which is silt. It will be a mess.”

Even Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II, who has urged protesters to come “stand with Standing Rock” against the pipeline, is disgusted with how the environmental activists living in the camps have treated the federal property.

“Before this entire movement started, that was some of the most beautiful land around,” Mr. Archambault told the news website Vice. “There was a place down there where eagles, over 100 eagles would come and land. There were game down there — deer, pheasants, elk, geese. Now, it’s occupied by people. And when masses of people come to one place, we don’t take care of it.”

What’s especially alarming is that the camps are located in a flood plain, meaning that the waste and garbage will be carried into the Cannonball River and the water supply as the snow melts and submerges the area.

Mr. Archambault compared the environmental damage inflicted by the protesters to that of fossil fuel companies.

“We’re no different than the oil company, if we’re fighting for water,” said Mr. Archambault. “What’s going to happen when people leave? Who has to clean it up? Who has to refurbish it? It’s going to be us, the people who live here.”

National environmental groups backing the protest, including Earthjustice, the Sierra Club, 350.org and the Indigenous Environmental Network, did not respond to requests asking for comment, but Greenpeace did.

Greenpeace spokesman Perry Wheeler said the blame for any damage lies with those behind the $3.8 billion, 1,172-mile project, which Energy Transfer Partners is building almost entirely on private land in order to transport oil from the Bakken field in North Dakota to Illinois.

“Any environmental concerns sit at the feet of the pipeline decision-makers,” Mr. Wheeler said in an email.

After issuing an easement for a 1,100-foot stretch of federal land in North Dakota, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is stalling the project as it reviews the tribe’s concerns. The four-state pipeline is about 90 percent complete.

“The best way to ensure the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and our earth are treated the right way is for the Administration to stop what should have never started,” said Mr. Wheeler.

State and local officials say they are worried about the environmental damage to the area, but there’s only so much they can do, given that the camps are on federal land.

Scott A. Radig, director of the state division of waste management, said he sent a letter with photos of protesters dumping and burning waste in pits to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which has jurisdiction over the area, but that he has heard nothing back. That was in September.

“They did not respond to us,” said Mr. Radig. “It is federal land, but even though it’s federal land, they still have to follow state laws on state management practices.”

The Army Corps, Interior Department and Environmental Protection Agency did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Mr. Radig said he has been in contact with Alison Two Bears, the tribe’s environmental director.

“She said that when the camp was closed that they would send us their plan for making sure the site is cleaned up and restored to its original conditions,” he said.

Despite its hard line on other environmental transgressors, the Obama administration has given the protesters a pass on camps north of the Cannonball River, allowing them to remain illegally for months and insisting the activists will not be removed forcibly if they defy a Monday deadline to leave.

“They’re on [what] I’ll call a federal refuge because the Army Corps and the Obama administration have refused to demand that they leave that federal land,” North Dakota Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley said in a Thursday interview with WDAY-AM’s Rob Port.

“We’ve had no authority to go in and remove them,” said Mr. Wrigley, a Republican. “But now the Army Corps is saying they have to leave by the fifth. We’ll see.”

This week’s snowstorm and subfreezing temperatures have done what the administration has not by motivating many activists to leave their tents, teepees and campers and return home, or at least check into the reservation hotel and casino.

Even some activists are fed up with the sanitation of the camps, criticizing outsiders who have treated the protest as a hippie festival instead of helping keep the area clean.

“When Chairman Archambault talks about the destruction of the land with pitching of tents, digging pits in Mother Earth, the garbage and human waste, he is correct,” Yvette Hatchere wrote on the Red Warrior Camp’s Facebook page.

“How would some of you feel if we camped in your backyard & left garbage behind and left holes in the ground,” she said. “Well, he feels the same way. Pick up your garbage and find ways to get rid of it.”

SOURCE




Climate Reality Deniers Are Trying to ‘Bork’ Trump’s EPA Transition Leader

President-elect Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency transition leader, Myron Ebell, is a huge threat to the green gravy train. Now, with billions of crony dollars at stake, the green slander machine is doing all it can to slime him.

Following their standard tactic, advocates of big government cronyism have picked someone to demonize as the face of small-government, pro-freedom ideals.

Ebell is that face, and he’s enduring the left’s vilification for voicing reasonable thought on climate change policy. Though he bears the burden with grace and humor, there is no excuse for the personal attacks, which are designed to distract attention from the high stakes of the debate.

What’s at stake for big green is billions upon billions of dollars taken from taxpayers and consumers and given to green crony businesses. Just for wind energy alone, grants, tax credits, loan guarantees, and other subsidies add up to at least $176 billion.

What isn’t at stake—contrary to the left’s talking points—is the Earth’s climate.

As costly as our current energy and climate policies are to the economy (they would cost the U.S. a net loss t of 400,000 jobs and up to $2.5 trillion), they are projected to have negligible impacts on global temperatures—even if you believe the questionable climate models of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

When judged by their actual effect, it becomes clear that the real goal of international climate policies is a power and money grab that no one, not even its most vocal supporters, believes will have much impact on the climate.

In fact, Christiana Figueres—until recently the executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change—noted that the goal of those policies was to rearrange the world economy:

This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution.

The big problem for the framework convention, the IPCC, renewable energy hustlers, and climate rent-seekers of all sorts is that Ebell is on to their game. So, out come the daggers of personal attacks and character assassination.

Many in the media are more than happy to abet the groups who perpetrate these attacks. The Media Research Center provides a nice sampler of these attacks and associated yellow journalism here.

It’s not at all clear what the name-callers mean when they call Ebell a “climate denier,” but in a bizarre semantic twist, they appear to mean that he is not a hysterical climate data denier.

Like most skeptics, Ebell recognizes the basic carbon dioxide science: Adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere may somewhat increase warming. But he also recognizes the much more important question: How much is this “somewhat”?

Ebell and those following the numbers know that the Earth’s warming to date is much less than the IPCC models predicted and that the actual data don’t point to a climate catastrophe.

In addition, the unhinged claims of ever-worsening, extreme climate events don’t square with the data either. There are no upward trends in droughts, floods, tornadoes, or hurricanes.

Because knowledge of these facts is such a threat to the climate-industrial complex, anyone who dares to expose the truth comes under threat of personal destruction.

In 1987, “Borking” became a term for getting shot down after the U.S. Senate torpedoed Robert Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court. We should not allow green activists to make “Ebelling” a synonym for “Borking.”

SOURCE





Climate Regs Impede Carbon Reductions

Under the terms of the Kyoto Protocol, participating nations were to pursue a roughly 5% emissions reduction, relative to 1990 levels, by 2012. The endeavor was considered a success by most environmental warriors. As a newly released Breakthrough Institute study notes, “Every country achieved their emissions reduction commitments.” But was the agreement really all it’s cracked up to be? The aforementioned Breakthrough study goes on to reveal that, no, it’s not.

“Overall, the carbon intensity of economies that were party to the Kyoto Accord fell more rapidly in the decade before the agreement was signed than in the decade after,” according to the report. “In the 10 years before signing, the compound annual growth rate for carbon intensity was -0.7%. In the 10 years after signing it was only -0.2%.”

“Similarly,” the study continues, “the low-carbon share of energy was growing at an annual rate of 1.0% in the ten years prior to 1997, and only at a rate of 0.3% annually for the ten years after, meaning deployment of clean energy stalled or slowed in comparison to fossil fuels in these countries after they signed Kyoto.” What’s the explanation? “What becomes clear in looking at climate policy as it has been implemented at the international level is that most countries have only been willing to commit to decarbonization targets that are consistent with expected business-as-usual trends, accounting for measures that they have intended to take in any event.”

Thankfully, America did not participate in this scheme, thanks to the Republican Senate blocking Bill Clinton and Al Gore. And though the Obama administration cosigned the U.S. to last year’s Paris climate accord, past efforts to implement a carbon-reducing system would have fallen short, just like the Kyoto Protocol. According to Reason’s Ronald Bailey, “[T]he Breakthrough analysts conclude that U.S. carbon dioxide emissions have actually fallen faster since 2010 than they would have had the the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade scheme been adopted by Congress. The U.S. trend toward lower carbon dioxide emissions was helped along by the global financial crisis, a weak recovery, and the ongoing switch from coal to cheap natural gas for electricity generation.”

As for what comes next, Breakthrough says, “Even should the next administration withdraw from the Paris Agreement and abandon the Clean Power Plan, the United States might outperform the commitments that the Obama administration made in Paris if it keeps the nation’s nuclear fleet online, continues tax incentives for deployment of wind and solar energy, and stays out of the way of the shale revolution. By contrast, a Democratic administration indifferent to the fate of the nation’s existing nuclear fleet and hostile to shale gas production might ultimately slow US decarbonization trends.”

Given these circumstances, the most pertinent question is this: Why are ecofascists hampering our ability to reduce emissions, which can be accomplished without onerous government regulations?

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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Friday, December 02, 2016



Reversing Warmist spin

The latest article from shifty Peter Hannam, an Australian environmental writer, gives us a good example of how Warmists "spin" their reports. He has some boring statistics to convey but by biased language has made them seem to suggest global warming.  Let me use different language to describe the same stats.  I will suggest cooling:

"A long run of overcast days in Sydney has finally come to an end.  Sydney is at last back to where we were in 1990 but will it last?

Last month's temperature had three Novembers warmer than it in the past

"It's been persistently cool, particularly in the West," Acacia Pepler, a climatologist at the bureau, said.

The month had 18 days above 25 degrees, at last breaking a long run of cool days -- going back to 1894

The past six months have also been a standout for Sydney. A relatively wet winter - with rainfall about 250 millimetres above average - switched to sharply drier conditions, with rain tallies sinking 100 mm below average.  But there were similar conditions in 1885"

Contrast the above with what appears below.  Note that I have unspun only the statistics Hannam has chosen to mention.  They were undoubtedly the one best suited to his cause.  If they can be shown to suggest cooling, one wonders what all the unmentioned statistics show.

Deception is the name of the game for Warmists.  Honest reporting is in general alien to them.  It has to be.  They cannot accept the plain truth of the climate record, which just shows normal ups and downs with no significant trend


Sydney has just capped its sunniest November since 1990, with the relatively warm and dry conditions set to extend well into the start of summer.

Last month was the city's equal-fourth warmest November for maximum temperatures in records going back to 1858, with average temperatures reaching 26.1 degrees, the Bureau of Meteorology said in its latest report. Sydney Airport had an average of 9.5 hours of sunshine during the month.

"It's been persistently warm, particularly in the east," Acacia Pepler, a climatologist at the bureau, said.

The month had 18 days above 25 degrees, the most since 1894 , and its coldest day was a mild 22.7 degrees. All previous Novembers had at least one day below 21 degrees in the city.

The lack of cool days extended across spring, with just six days failing the reach 20 degrees. That's the fewest on record and roughly one-fifth of the average of 31 such days, the bureau said.

The past six months have also been a standout for Sydney. A relatively wet winter - with rainfall about 250 millimetres above average - switched to sharply drier conditions, with rain tallies sinking 100 mm below average.

That's the biggest turn in the weather for the city in 53 years, and the third-most on record with 1885 the other rival year, Brett Dutschke, senior meteorologist with Weatherzone, said.

"Since the start of October, it's been drying out" in coast regions, Mr Dutschke said, adding the western parts of the state had more recent rains and will take longer to cure.

SOURCE




Certified-organic GMO Golden Rice

Mischa Popoff

A half-million kids under the age of 5 will die again this year due to Vitamin-A deficiency in the Third World. GMO Golden Rice could provide the nutrients to prevent blindness and death, but it has been awaiting approval for over a decade thanks largely to organic activists who claim this crop will threaten organic crops.

As someone who worked for 5 years as a USDA organic inspector, please let me assure you that nothing could be further from the truth.

Not only will GMO Golden Rice alleviate the suffering of millions, it could also – in point-of-fact – be grown organically! So I joined with 11 scientists and wrote an article last year in The Daily Caller about producing the world’s first organic-GMO crop. I then wrote a brief follow-up immediately after Mr. Trump won the presidency.

Would you please help get the word out about this? GMO Golden Rice has been given to the world, free of charge, by its inventor, Dr. Ingo Potrykus. All that stands in its way is the lack of political will.

Mr. Trump will soon pick America’s next Secretary of Agriculture, and it is my hope that he will choose someone who understands this issue. Organic activists claim GMOs threaten organic crops. But, as is often the case with anti-everything activists, they have never bothered to read their own federal standards for organic production.

I hope you will help. A decade is a long time to wait for a humanitarian solution to such a tragedy.

Via email




NOAA: U.S. Completes Record 11 Straight Seasons Without Major Hurricane Strike

Today the United Sates completes a record 11 straight hurricane season without a major hurricane striking the U.S. mainland, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

An unprecedented 11 years, one month and six days has passed since the last major hurricane struck the U.S. mainland, according to data going back to 1851 compiled by NOAA.

“The 2016 hurricane season will end officially on November 30. Hurricane Wilma was the last major hurricane (on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale) to strike the U.S. (October 24, 2005),” NOAA spokesman Dennis Feltgen told CNSNews.com.

Major hurricanes, defined on the scale as a Category 3 or above, are characterized by wind speeds of 111 mph or higher and strong storm surges capable of causing “devastating” or “catastrophic” damage.

“It is important to note that this scale covers only the wind impact,” Feltgen noted. “It has nothing to do with the water impact, which accounts for nearly 90 percent of the fatalities - 50 percent of which occur from storm surge and 25 percent from inland flooding.

“The U.S. has seen major impacts from many hurricanes with significantly lower winds on the scale.  Sandy in 2012 and Matthew in 2016 are just two examples,” he pointed out.

The U.S. has now experienced more than 11 years of below-normal levels of hurricane activity since 2005, when four major hurricanes – Dennis, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma – struck the continental U.S., killing nearly 4,000 people and causing nearly $160 billion in damages.

Last month, Hurricane Matthew - the first Category 5 hurricane to form in the Atlantic since 2007 – was downgraded to a Category 1 by the time it made landfall in the U.S. on October 8th, two weeks short of the 11-year anniversary of Hurricane Wilma’s landfall.

About 97 percent of all Atlantic basin hurricanes form during hurricane season, which lasts from June 1st to November 30th. Peak hurricane activity typically occurs between mid-August and late October.

Of the total 991 hurricanes recorded between 1851 and 2015, only 12 have been off-season hurricanes that formed between December and May, according to NOAA. Of those, none made landfall in the continental U.S.

CNSNews asked Dr. Gerry Bell, a hurricane specialist and research meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center, if NOAA had an explanation for the record-breaking major hurricane hiatus in the U.S.

“I see two main reasons for the recent lack of major hurricane landfalls,” Bell replied.

“1) For the U.S. East Coast, the overall wind patterns have been steering more hurricanes out to sea before reaching land; and

2) For the U.S. Gulf Coast, exceptionally unfavorable atmospheric conditions such as strong vertical wind shear and sinking motion have been preventing hurricanes from forming and strengthening over the Caribbean Sea, and have also been preventing hurricanes from moving across the Caribbean Sea.

“As a result, there has been a sharp reduction in the number of hurricanes that would typically migrate into the Gulf of Mexico, which then reduces the likelihood of a land-falling major hurricane along the Gulf Coast,” Bell explained.

“A unique aspect of the current U.S. major hurricane landfall drought is its duration, due to the simultaneous lack of landfalls along both the Atlantic and the Gulf Coasts,” he pointed out.

The historical record shows that the duration of the current major hurricane drought is “unprecedented,” Bell continued.

“The periods with no major hurricane landfalls varies widely between the Gulf Coast and the Atlantic Coast,” he added.

“The Atlantic Coast had a 19-year gap [between] 1966-1984 and an 18-year gap [between]1910-1927. The gaps are much shorter for the Gulf Coast, whose previous longest gap was 6 years (1951-1956 and 1986-1991).

 “In contrast, many seasons during both 1966-1984 and 1910-1927 featured major hurricane landfalls along the Gulf Coast while the Atlantic Coast had none. The Gulf Coast saw 7 seasons with major hurricane landfalls during 1910-1927, and 8 seasons with major hurricane landfalls during 1966-1984,” he added.

“Therefore, it appears that the duration of the current meteorological conditions, which have simultaneously suppressed major hurricane landfalls along both the U.S. East Coast and Gulf Coast, is unprecedented in the historical record dating back to 1900,” he told CNSNews.

“However, please note that the historical record deteriorates in the early 1900’s and earlier due to a combination of 1) lack of satellites, and 2) low population densities along both the Gulf Coast and portions of the Atlantic Coast (especially the southeast).”

Bell also pointed out that Category 1 or 2 hurricanes such as Matthew or Sandy can still cause enormous property damage and loss of life.

“I think it is a bit misleading to focus only on major hurricane landfalls, since there have certainly been numerous tropical storm and hurricane landfalls during the past decade that have caused significant damage, flooding, loss of life, hardship, etc.” he told CNSNews.

SOURCE



Lomborg on Trump’s climate plan

The election of Donald Trump and Republican majorities in both houses have terrified environmentalists and climate campaigners, who have declared that the next four years will be a “disaster.”

Fear is understandable. We have much to learn about the new administration’s plans. But perhaps surprisingly, what little we know offers some cause for hope.

What really matters is not rhetoric but policy. So far, we know that President Trump will drop the Paris climate change treaty. This is far from the world-ending event that some suggest and offers an opportunity for a smarter approach.

Even ardent supporters acknowledge that the Paris treaty by itself will do little to rein in global warming. The United Nations estimates that if every country were to make every single promised carbon cut between 2016 and 2030 to the fullest extent and there was no cheating, carbon dioxide emissions would still only be cut by one-hundredth of what is needed to keep temperature rises below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius). The Paris treaty’s 2016-2030 pledges would reduce temperature rises around 0.09 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century. If maintained throughout the rest of the century, temperature rises would be cut by 0.31 degrees Fahrenheit.

At the same time, these promises will be costly. Trying to cut carbon dioxide, even with an efficient tax, makes cheap energy more expensive — and this slows economic growth.

My calculations using the best peer-reviewed economic models show the cost of the Paris promises – through slower gross domestic product growth from higher energy costs — would reach $1 trillion to $2 trillion every year from 2030. U.S. vows alone — to cut greenhouse-gas emissions 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 — would reduce GDP by more than $150 billion annually.

So Trump’s promise to dump Paris will matter very little to temperature rises, and it will stop the pursuit of an expensive dead end.

Climate economists have found that green energy R&D investment would be a much more efficient approach.

This is very much in line with Trump’s campaign promise of “investment in research and development across the broad landscape of academia” and with its suggestion that we could develop “energy sources and power production that alleviates the need for dependence on fossil fuels.”

This investment in U.S. ingenuity could help innovate the price of green energy down below fossil fuels. Only then will we truly be able to stop climate change.

Statements by Trump’s campaign also indicate that the next administration will create a global development and aid policy that recognizes that climate is one problem among many.

Asked about global warming, the campaign responded, “Perhaps the best use of our limited financial resources should be in dealing with making sure that every person in the world has clean water. Perhaps we should focus on eliminating lingering diseases around the world like malaria. Perhaps we should focus on efforts to increase food production to keep pace with an ever-growing world population.”

This would be a big change. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development analyzed almost all aid from the United States and other rich nations and found that about one-fourth is climate-related aid.

This is immoral when 2 billion people suffer from malnutrition, 700 million live in extreme poverty and 2.4 billion are without clean drinking water and sanitation. These problems can be tackled effectively today, helping many more people more dramatically than “climate aid” could.

Despite its length, and for all of its heat and bluster, the election campaign left many unanswered questions and understandable concerns about the president-elect’s positions on climate change, aid and development.

But, surprisingly, there is now an opportunity. To seize it, the Trump administration needs to go beyond just dumping the ineffective Paris agreement, to an innovation-based green energy approach that will harness U.S. ingenuity. Far from being a disaster, such a policy could mean a real solution to climate change and help the world’s worst-off more effectively.

SOURCE





U.S. will fall short of ethanol, biofuels targets under Renewable Fuel Standard

The federal Renewable Fuel Standard will fall far short of the goals laid out by Congress, government watchdogs said Monday, dealing another blow to the embattled program and giving more ammunition to critics who say it must be ended immediately.

Government Accountability Office reports say the Renewable Fuel Standard, enacted by lawmakers in 2007, has been crippled by higher-than-expected costs of producing ethanol and other biofuels and by the boom in U.S. oil and gas production, which has made fossil fuels far more competitive in the marketplace.

The program, which requires increasing amounts of ethanol and other biofuels to be blended into the nation’s gas supply each year, also will fail to deliver the kinds of reductions in greenhouse gas emissions envisioned a decade ago, the GAO said.

Taken together, the two conclusions raise doubts about the future of the Renewable Fuel Standard and support critics’ contention that the program is forcing the use of fuels that are too expensive and incompatible with many of today’s vehicles and infrastructure.

“Given that current advanced biofuel production is far below Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) targets and those targets are increasing every year, it does not appear possible to meet statutory target volumes for advanced biofuels in the RFS under current market and regulatory conditions,” the GAO report reads in part. “Current production of cellulosic biofuels is far below the statutory volumes and, according to experts, there is limited potential for expanded production to meet future higher targets, in part because production costs are currently too high.”

Last week, the agency set a 2017 target of at least 19.28 billion gallons of ethanol and other biofuels to be blended into the nation’s gas supply. That is an increase over this year’s target of 18.11 billion gallons but is far below the target of 24 billion gallons set out in 2007 legislation that established the program.

One reason for the gap, the GAO report said, is a lack of incentives for more biofuels production or upgrades in infrastructure because of the relatively low cost of fossil fuels in the market.

Moving forward, the GAO says, the Renewable Fuel Standard faces a bleak future. Investments into ethanol and biofuels, the watchdog agency said, look to be drying up in the energy marketplace, which has been transformed by the boom of domestic oil and gas drilling over the past decade.

That uptick in fossil fuel production seems to have crushed incentives to invest in biofuels and made once-promising ethanol much less appealing.

“The shortfall of advanced biofuels is the result of high production costs, and the investments in further research and development required to make these fuels more cost-competitive with petroleum-based fuels even in the longer run are unlikely in the current investment climate,” the GAO said.

In response to the GAO studies, the EPA conceded that the original congressional timetable now is essentially irrelevant. The agency also cited the relatively low cost of fossil fuels, the cost of new biofuels technology needed to hit the targets and other factors.

“The EPA generally agrees with factors in the draft report identified as affecting the speed and volume of true advanced biofuel production, and which will make achieving future significant increases challenging,” the agency said in written comments.

The program is slated to run through 2022, with congressionally set blend targets increasing each year. After that, the EPA and other federal agencies will be responsible for setting targets, assuming the program continues in its current form.

But that is far from a certainty, particularly with President-elect Donald Trump having said he plans to re-examine all energy and environmental programs at the federal level. He has not specifically said whether he will seek to phase out or eliminate the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Opponents of the fuel standard say that even though the Environmental Protection Agency has backed off the congressionally mandated levels repeatedly, it is still pushing ethanol and other biofuels blending requirements that are unrealistic and potentially harmful.

“EPA unfortunately finalized a RFS volume requirement that looks to force more biofuel in the fuel supply than consumers want or infrastructure can handle,” Chet Thompson, president of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, said in a statement last week. “Refiners should not have the responsibility to force consumers to use products they either don’t want or that are incompatible with their cars, boats, and motor equipment.”

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

*****************************************



Thursday, December 01, 2016



Brainless Greenies again






Pope warns Trump: Do not back away from UN climate pact – Pope declares ‘crisis of climatic change’

Both Mr Trump and I were brought up as Presbyterians so I can guess how much notice Mr Trump will take of the Pope

Pope Francis has issued a climate change challenge directly to President Elect Trump. The Pope, in thinly veiled speech, urged Trump not to withdraw the U.S. from the United Nations Paris agreement reached in 2015. The UN treaty has been said by critics to be “history’s most expensive treaty’,” with a “cost of between $1 trillion and $2 trillion annually.”

Pope Francis warned of the “crisis of climate change.”  “The ‘distraction’ or delay in implementing global agreements on the environment shows that politics has become submissive to a technology and economy which seek profit above all else,” Francis said, in what Reuters described as “a message that looked to be squarely aimed at” Trump.

Trump pledged to pull the U.S. out of the UN Paris climate agreement and defund and withdraw from the UN climate process.

Speaking to a group of scientists, including physicist Stephen Hawking, the pope said in his speech that scientists should “work free of political, economic or ideological interests, to develop a cultural model which can face the crisis of climatic change and its social consequences”. The Pope has previously urged Catholics to pray for a UN climate agreement.

Pope Francis also called for “an ecological conversion capable of supporting and promoting sustainable development.” In 2015, the Pope issued an encyclical on climate and the environment titled “Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home.”

SOURCE




MRCTV’s New Documentary Shows Casualties of the Left’s ‘War on Coal’

MRCTV’s new documentary, Collateral Damage: Forgotten Casualties of the Left’s War on Coal, addresses the struggles West Virginia coal miners and their families are facing largely due to regulations implemented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Between September 2014 and May 2016, the U.S. lost about 191,000 jobs in the mining industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to data presented in the documentary, coal production in West Virginia alone has declined by 28 percent, and more than 9,000 coal-mining jobs have been lost as a result of government regulations.

“You don’t come into an industry that makes up the support system for so many thousands of people and bankrupt it when it’s already struggling with the [economic] downturn,” executive producer Brittany Hughes said at the documentary’s premiere, which was held at the Heritage Foundation in Washington. D.C. Wednesday.

“This is not just an attack on coal. Coal is the first one. It’s the first one. But this is an attack on fossil fuels and this country. At least with the technology we have right now, we can’t run off of windmills and solar panels unless everybody just wants to cover the entire country in them, and even then I’m not sure that it would be effective enough,” Hughes added.

In 2015, an MRCTV camera crew went to the southern counties of West Virginia to expose and document the devastating impact EPA regulations were having on coal mining families and their communities.

Jeremy Abraham, a West Virginia coal miner who was laid off from his job after months of worrying whether EPA regulations would impact the mine where he was employed, told the MRCTV crew that because of the severe economic struggles facing his family, he was forced to sell his house and now has to decide whether or not to relocate his family.

I’ve already sold my house. I’m probably going to have to move my family. I mean I’ve got two young babies at home“I’ve already sold my house. I’m probably going to have to move my family. I mean I’ve got two young babies at home. I’ve got a boy that turned three in August and a little girl that just turned 20 months old,” Abraham said. “And I really don’t want to pack them up and move them away from their grandparents.”

But “our community is dying, everything around us is dying. There’s no jobs, there’s no future for them,” he added.

 In his August 2015 response to the adoption of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association, said: “This latest iteration of the EPA’s regulatory assault against coal-fired power generation is being presented as addressing the concerns of industry, but nothing could be further from the truth.

“Yes, the final regulation tacks on a couple of years to the compliance timeline, but all this accomplishes is to perpetuate uncertainty and provide more time for the rule to do more damage – irreversible damage – to the nation’s industry and electric grid,” Raney said.

However, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy defended the plan, stating that “by 2030, the Clean Power Plan will reduce carbon emissions by 32 percent below 2005 levels. Because carbon pollution comes packaged with other dangerous pollutants, our plan protects public health, preventing thousands of premature deaths, asthma attacks, and missed work and school days.

“Our plan will grow and strengthen our economy by sending longer term market signals that will drive innovation and investment. It will keep energy affordable and reliable. It will steer us towards where the world is going, not looking back at where it's been,” McCarthy said.

But the documentary shows West Virginia’ coal-mining towns slowly drying up, their businesses unable to keep their doors open because of the economic downturn forced upon them by the EPA regulations.

Families are struggling to put food on the table because of job loss, and many residents are contemplating whether or not to leave the places they grew up in in search of work.

During the Wednesday premiere, Hughes said that state officials had invited federal regulators and lawmakers to visit the areas hit hardest by the government regulations, but received no response.

“One of the things we heard most often was that they had invited federal regulators and federal lawmakers to come and see, and that at the time they had not gotten any takers,” Hughes said. “We were the only ones who came down and tried to tell their story in any way possible.

One thing that we heard over and over and over again was that people just felt forgotten“One thing that we heard over and over and over again was that people just felt forgotten. People felt like nobody was listening, and that this isn’t just a little hiccup like, ‘Well, I can’t go buy the car that I want next year’. This is ‘I’m losing my home, and my neighbor’s losing their home and the people down the street are losing their homes'," she said.

Although the coal mining community in West Virginia is accustomed to the ups and downs of the coal industry, Hughes continued, the latest government regulations won’t allow them to recover from hard times.

“Their problem is not so much that coal got hit, because they’ve been through that before. I mean these are people that have weathered some pretty rough stuff in that state’s history. They’re sick and tired of being kicked when they’re down.

“And I think that that would be my response to somebody that says, ‘Well, coal was already gonna have a tough time.’ Alright, [but] if you’ve got a person that’s struggling to pay their bills, do you go and take the little bit of money that they do have?”

Hughes said that by filming a documentary that puts a face on the struggling coal mining communities, viewers and federal lawmakers will be challenged to consider their role and take action to help revitalize the affected communities.

“One thing the Left is very, very good at is humanizing their policy issues. Those of us on the Right, we might have the best data and the best science and the best information and the best facts, but if we don’t put a face on it they’re going to win on that every time.

“And so we feel like this really adds a human face to it and can help start to drive that debate,” she said.

The Media Research Center has joined with several organizations, including Americans for Tax Reform, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Cornwall Alliance, Energy & Environment Legal Institute, and The Heartland Institute, to give viewers of the documentary a look at the consequences of the Left’s environmental agenda and to expose the mainstream media’s refusal to cover it.

SOURCE




The facts about wind power are more awkward than the Green/Left will admit

Christopher Booker

I must apologise for having last week mistakenly reported that, despite the drive of the US in the Obama years to build ever more heavily subsidised wind and solar farms, the entire contribution of wind and solar to US electricity consumption is still only “less than 14 percent”.

Foolishly, I cited that figure only after a quick internet trawl. where it is quoted on various websites, including Wikipedia. Only when I subsequently referred to a more reliable source did I find that the figure was in fact absurdly exaggerated. All the US was actually getting last year for all the billions of dollars it has spent on wind and solar farms was just 5.4 percent of its electricity. Most of the rest of course came from those CO2-emitting, “planet-destroying” fossil fuels that Obama was so keen to see disappear.

Siemens wind farm factory 'great for Britain'Play! 00:52
So how does this compare with the position here in England, where we are continually told that wind and solar are now providing ever more of our own power? The official headline figures do not separate England, where most of us live, from the rest of the UK. But thanks to some very clever detective work by Paul Homewood on his Not A Lot Of People Know That blog, we can see that the English figures are in fact strikingly similar to those for the US. The contribution of English onshore wind and solar farms to electricity used in England amounted last year to just 5.3 percent.

That intermittently generated by all the thousands of wind turbines spread across the English countryside was just 2.4 percent: rather less than that fed into the grid by a single medium-size gas-fired power station like that recently opened at Carrington outside Manchester – which, thanks to the “carbon tax” and the Climate Change Act, could be the last we ever see built. There’s another very uncomfortable fact you will never see quoted on Wikipedia.

SOURCE





Australia: Ethanol mandates costing motorists $85m

Why do Greenies want ethanol in motor fuel?  It just combusts to give off small amounts of CO2 the way other fuels do.  It makes no sense
 
MOTORISTS in NSW are spending up to $85 million more on petrol due to the state government’s push to force service stations to sell ethanol-laced fuel, according to the competition watchdog.

In its latest petrol market report, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says the NSW Government’s ethanol mandate has led to less choice and higher costs for Sydney motorists.

Introduced in 2007, the ethanol mandate requires service stations to sell at least 6 per cent ethanol as a proportion of their sales. E10 fuel is a mixture of 10 per cent ethanol and 90 per cent petrol.

Earlier this year, the Baird government ramped up its ethanol push by introducing harsh new penalties of more than $500,000 for service stations that do not stock E10 fuel. Manildra Group, the monopoly provider of ethanol fuel in NSW, is a major donor to state and federal branches of the Liberals, Nationals and Labor.

Former NSW Upper House whip Peter Phelps, who quit in March out of protest against the ethanol fuel laws, told the ABC earlier this year that it was “literally the worst piece of legislation NSW has introduced”.

According to the ACCC, the reduced availability of regular unleaded petrol (RULP) has led to higher sales of premium unleaded petrol (PULP) and E10. In 2014-15, PULP made up 54 per cent of total petrol sales while E10 made up 36 per cent. Nationwide excluding NSW, PULP sales were 23 per cent and E10 just 4 per cent.

The ACCC calculates that as a result of the ethanol mandate, Sydney motorists have spent between $75-$85 million extra on PULP, which averaged 11.5 cents per litre more expensive for 95 octane and 18.5 cents per litre for 98 octane than RULP in 2015-16.

“While the use of E10 may be better for the environment, the ethanol mandate has reduced consumer choice and cost Sydney motorists up to $85 million,” said ACCC chairman Rod Sims. “It has also boosted Sydney retailer’s profits due to the higher margins on premium fuel.”

Mark McKenzie, chief executive of the petrol retailer peak body ACAPMA, said government interference in motorists’ choice of fuel was unwanted and created “perverse economic effects”.

“Simply put, people are making a choice as to what product they put in their car and really are thumbing their nose at the government,” he said. “We’re talking about a mandate that’s been around for seven years. People have tried E10 and have fled from it.

“The issue here is the arrogance of the Baird government. They think they can make policy to suit themselves and their mates, when there is a broader community they’re supposed to be serving.

“Our view is the choice of fuel is that of the motorist and the government has no place interfering in a core product.”

NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury said while it was true people were buying more premium fuel, there had been a lot of “misinformation” about E10 and it was “demonstrably not true” that it was bad for engines.

“The majors are advertising premium fuels quite heavily. People can buy regular fuel or E10 but they’re buying 98 octane and paying upwards of 30 cents per litre more for no real benefit,” he said.

“About three-quarters of the NSW fleet can run on E10. The remaining that can’t are either cars built before 1986 or they are high-performance vehicles that are mostly imported. The manufacturer will specify if a vehicle must run on premium fuel.”

Mr Khoury also disagreed with the ACCC’s finding that regular fuel was harder to find. “There is plenty of regular out there,” he said. “When we quote petrol prices we’re talking regular, not E10. People are buying it all over the place.”

Queensland is set to become the second state to introduce an ethanol mandate from January. Queensland Biofuels Minister Mark Bailey told The Australian many NSW motorists “wrongly assumed” their car could not use E10 because the NSW government did not roll out a consumer education campaign.

“Our ethanol mandate from January is set at a level that will ensure fuel retailers continue to offer a broad range of fuel grades,” Mr Bailey said.

NSW Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello said the ethanol mandate had been a bipartisan policy since 2007.

“The government made changes to the legislation earlier in the year that will boost competition in the marketplace and provide consumers with greater choice,” Mr Dominello said.

“The reforms ensure the mandate is focused on the bigger petrol station operators while providing appropriate exemptions for smaller operators.

“Consumers are encouraged to use the government’s FuelCheck website which empowers them to find the cheapest fuel by publishing petrol prices in real-time for every service station across NSW.”

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, November 30, 2016



Another shriek about bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef

This is just a repetition of a story that has been going on for a year or more.  Previous claims of this nature have been shown to be highly exaggereated so a repetition of the claims from the same people as before has no credibility.

I was born and bred in an area close to the reef and have been hearing cries of alarm about the reef for 50 years.  But somehow the reef still seems to be there.  It has always had episodes of retreat but coral is highly resilient and bounces back quite rapidly.

One thing we can be sure of is that the problems were not caused by anthropogenic global warming.  Why?  Because that theory says that warming is caused by increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.  But the latest readings show NO increase in CO2 during 2015 and 2016

There WAS warming up until recently but that was caused by the El Nino weather cycle, not CO2. Once again we had the chronic Warmist problem that CO2 levels and temperatures do not correlate.  Below is a picture of the El Nino effect on global temperatures.  You see it peaked late last year and has been falling ever since.  So if warmth was the cause of the reef problems, the reef should soon start to recover




Two-thirds of the corals in the northern part of the Great Barrier Reef have died in the reef’s worst-ever bleaching event, according to our latest underwater surveys.

On some reefs in the north, nearly all the corals have died. However the impact of bleaching eases as we move south, and reefs in the central and southern regions (around Cairns and Townsville and southwards) were much less affected, and are now recovering.

In 2015 and 2016, the hottest years on record, we have witnessed at first hand the threat posed by human-caused climate change to the world’s coral reefs.

Heat stress from record high summer temperatures damages the microscopic algae (zooxanthellae) that live in the tissues of corals, turning them white.

After they bleach, these stressed corals either slowly regain their zooxanthellae and colour as temperatures cool off, or else they die.

The Great Barrier Reef bleached severely for the first time in 1998, then in 2002, and now again in 2016. This year’s event was more extreme than the two previous mass bleachings.
Surveying the damage

We undertook extensive underwater surveys at the peak of bleaching in March and April, and again at the same sites in October and November. In the northern third of the Great Barrier Reef, we recorded an average (median) loss of 67% of coral cover on a large sample of 60 reefs.

The dieback of corals due to bleaching in just 8-9 months is the largest loss ever recorded for the Great Barrier Reef.

To put these losses in context, over the 27 years from 1985 to 2012, scientists from the Australian Institute of Marine Science measured the gradual loss of 51% of corals on the central and southern regions of the Great Barrier Reef.

They reported no change over this extended period in the amount of corals in the remote, northern region. Unfortunately, most of the losses in 2016 have occurred in this northern, most pristine part of the Great Barrier Reef.

The bleaching, and subsequent loss of corals, is very patchy. Our map shows clearly that coral death varies enormously from north to south along the 2,300km length of the Reef.

The southern third of the Reef did not experience severe heat stress in February and March. Consequently, only minor bleaching occurred, and we found no significant mortality in the south since then.

In the central section of the Reef, we measured widespread but moderate bleaching, which was comparably severe to the 1998 and 2002 events. On average, only 6% of coral cover was lost in the central region in 2016.

The remaining corals have now regained their vibrant colour. Many central reefs are in good condition, and they continue to recover from Severe Tropical Cyclones Hamish (in 2009) and Yasi (2011).

In the eastern Torres Strait and outermost ribbon reefs in the northernmost part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, we found a large swathe of reefs that escaped the most severe bleaching and mortality, compared to elsewhere in the north. Nonetheless, 26% of the shallow-water corals died.

We suspect that these reefs were partially protected from heat stress by strong currents and upwelling of cooler water across the edge of the continental shelf that slopes steeply into the Coral Sea.

For visitors, these surveys show there are still many reefs throughout the Marine Park that have abundant living coral, particularly in popular tourism locations in the central and southern regions, such as the Whitsundays and Cairns.

Darkspots

The northern third of the Great Barrier Reef, extending 700km from Port Douglas to Papua New Guinea, experienced the most severe bleaching and subsequent loss of corals.

On 25% of the worst affected reefs (the top quartile), losses of corals ranged from 83-99%. When mortality is this high, it affects even tougher species that normally survive bleaching.

However, even in this region, there are some silver linings. Bleaching and mortality decline with depth, and some sites and reefs had much better than average survival. A few corals are still bleached or mottled, particularly in the north, but the vast majority of survivors have regained their colour.

What will happen next?

The reef science and management community will continue to gather data on the bleaching event as it slowly unfolds. The initial stage focused on mapping the footprint of the event, and now we are analysing how many bleached corals died or recovered over the past 8-9 months.

Over the coming months and for the next year or two we expect to see longer-term impacts on northern corals, including higher levels of disease, slower growth rates and lower rates of reproduction. The process of recovery in the north – the replacement of dead corals by new ones – will be slow, at least 10-15 years, as long as local conditions such as water quality remain conducive to recovery.

As global temperatures continue to climb, time will tell how much recovery in the north is possible before a fourth mass bleaching event occurs.

SOURCE





Swiss reject plan to speed up exit from nuclear energy

Swiss voters have rejected a plan to force their government to accelerate the country’s exit from nuclear energy.

A majority of cantons voted against the plan in Sunday’s referendum. Under Switzerland’s direct democracy system, proposals need a majority of both the states and overall votes to pass.

The plan promoted by the Green Party would have meant closing three of Switzerland’s five nuclear plants next year, with the last shutting in 2029. A projection for SRF public television showed the initiative failing by 55 percent to 45.

After the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, the Swiss government adopted a gradualist approach toward transitioning the country to renewable energy by 2050.

The five Swiss nuclear power plants now generate 40 percent of the country’s electricity.

A similar movement is underway in neighboring Germany, where officials are stepping up transition to renewables like solar energy in time to be done with nuclear energy by 2022, a deadline also set after the Japanese tsunami.

As part of an energy plan that runs through 2050, the Swiss government has already agreed not to replace its existing nuclear plants, which can operate as long as they’re deemed safe. The plants are to be closed progressively as their life spans expire, and the government says it needs time to switch to other sources such as wind, solar, and biomass energy.

Switzerland regularly holds referendums as part of its particular form of direct democracy, which allows voters in the country of about 8.2 million to set policy on major issues — at times causing hassles for officials to carry out the public’s will.

The two chambers of the Swiss legislature and the executive Federal Council have variously argued that the earlier shutdown of the nuclear energy program would have forced Switzerland to import more electricity, such as from carbon-spewing coal-fired plants in Germany.

Plus, early shutdowns could make the government — and thus taxpayers — liable to pay penalties to the nuclear plant operators.

‘‘The initiative will compromise the security of our energy supply,’’ Federal Councilor Didier Burkhalter warned in a government video.

But Ilias Panchard, secretary general of a group whose French name translates as ‘‘Get Out of Nuclear,’’ said Switzerland’s nuclear power complex is dangerous, aging, and beset by problems — with two of the five Swiss plants not operating at the moment for safety or technical reasons.

His group insisted that now is the time to set a fixed timetable, before it’s too late to move to a proper replacement.

‘‘If we just wait until an accident or a problem with the plants, then we do not have the time, the energy to replace it. So the idea of the initiative, the referendum, is to say: In 2029 we will have no more nuclear energy in Switzerland,’’ he said in an interview in Geneva.

The initiative would have limited the life span of nuclear plants to 45 years, and force the closure next year of three of the plants, Beznau 1 — which Panchard called the world’s oldest operating nuclear plant, built in 1969 — as well as Beznau 2 and Muhleberg.

‘‘Concretely, that means that in 2017, about one-third of the electricity generated by nuclear energy will be lacking. That amounts to the average annual electricity consumption of close to half of Swiss households,’’ Burkhalter said, adding that renewables won’t be able to make up the difference right away.

Two other plants would shut over the next 13 years: Goesgen would close in 2024 and Leibstadt in 2029.

SOURCE




Solar, wind industries hope years courting Republicans pays off under Trump

U.S. wind and solar companies for the first time gave more money to Republicans than Democrats during the 2016 election cycle, according to federal campaign disclosures, part of a years-long effort to expand renewable energy’s appeal beyond liberal environmentalists.

The industry is now hoping its strategy of reaching across the political divide will pay off in the form of Congressional support as Republican Donald Trump, a climate change skeptic who has expressed doubts about the role of clean energy, takes the White House in January.

"We're not starting from ground zero," said Isaac Brown, a principal at 38 North Solutions, which lobbies on behalf of clean energy clients.

The U.S. wind and solar industries employ over 300,000 people, making clean energy an important political constituency that is about five times bigger than the coal sector for jobs, thanks to years of rapid growth fueled by government incentives and declines in the cost of their technologies.

They have also fought to win over a new breed of backer: conservatives skeptical of climate change but interested in supporting homegrown energy alternatives that increase national security, boost competition, and create well-paying blue collar jobs.

But Trump’s upset victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton in the Nov. 8 presidential election has cast doubt on the future of a federal tax break for renewable energy seen critical to the industry’s continued growth.

Trump has never specifically called for those credits to end, but has expressed skepticism about the role of solar and wind in the U.S. energy landscape, calling both "so expensive" and blaming wind turbines for killing birds and ruining picturesque landscapes.

During his campaign, Trump also called global warming a hoax and promised to quit a global accord to cut greenhouse gas emissions, though he has since softened his stance and said he is keeping an "open mind" about the deal.

The renewable energy industry got a boost last year when Congress approved a five-year extension of tax credits for new power projects fueled by solar panels and wind turbines, and the industry's main concern in Washington is to ensure they are not withdrawn in Trump's first term, or allowed to expire should he win a second.

A Trump official did not respond to a request for comment about how he will approach renewables as president. But one of Trump's potential picks for Energy Secretary, Oklahoma oil and gas drilling mogul Harold Hamm, has been a vocal opponent of subsidies for renewable energy.

Renewable stocks took a beating immediately after Trump’s election but have since mostly recovered.

During the 2016 cycle, the wind and solar industry's political action committees contributed more than $225,000 to Republican candidates for office, compared with $185,000 for Democrats. The numbers are not large by the standards of political donations but they mark the first time the industry has tilted its contributions toward Republicans, according to federal records.

In 2012, Democrats got about two-thirds of the industry’s contributions.

Though Democrats have historically been viewed as the strongest supporters of renewable energy, utility-scale wind farms and solar installations are found throughout the nation - including in Republican-leaning states like Arizona, North Carolina, Oklahoma and North Dakota - and enjoy bipartisan support among Americans.

A Pew Research Center poll from October found 83 percent of conservative Republicans favor more solar installations, and 75 percent favor more wind farms. Those figures were 97 percent and 93 percent for liberal Democrats.

The expansion of solar beyond liberal strongholds like California and the Northeast has been critical to garnering Republican support over the last few years. The wind industry has been established in red states for far longer than solar and has a longer track record of support from Republican lawmakers in those states.

SOURCE



The Growth Of Global Warming Nonsense: Surely We've Reached Peak Madness

Time magazine said Donald Trump's election has climate change negotiators down, but not out, and has "cast a long shadow over progress made at" the United Nations climate conference held earlier this month in Morocco. Seems the alarmist community is still stuck in the denial phase of the five stages of grief.

The negotiators' denial is not their attempt to pretend that Trump didn't win, a road that some on the left have taken. It is more deeply rooted in the fact that their predictions of disaster have not materialized.

They have tried for decades to frighten everyone on the planet and all this time later, few are scared because they see the gaping holes in the narrative, the miserably failed forecasts, the glaring lack of evidence and the garbage dump of lies.

Yet the activists continue to behave and screech as if the world is on the brink and there are only days left to save it.

Average Westerners simply trying to live their lives honestly and work hard for their families aren't moved by the braying. They see insane proposals, such as the one from Oxford University that suggests foods should be priced according to their climate impacts, and shake their heads as if their loony uncle living in the room over the garage is talking to Moses again.

But it's more than that, isn't it? It seems we are watching the psychological breakdown of a segment of the Western population that is desperately trying control other people and greedily snatch the world's economic levers, and employing harsh scare tactics in its effort to achieve these goals.

Let's not even pretend that this group cares about the environment. The international Paris agreement that President Obama unilaterally signed on to without input from Congress, the agreement that the alarmist community has declared to be absolutely vital to putting off climate change, would do little to stop projected warming into the next century.

Researcher Bjorn Lomborg, who believes that man's carbon dioxide emissions are having some impact on the planet, says that if every nation fulfilled its promise to cut emissions by 2030, "the total temperature reduction will be 0.048" degrees Celsius by 2100.

In other words, Paris won't change a thing.

Despite the fact that the Paris accord will produce no climate benefit, the political left, which includes the agenda-driven media, continues its deranged behavior over the election of Trump because he has indicated that he will pull the U.S. from Obama's unethical deal.

This lunacy, consciously chosen, is possibly best illustrated by the Democratic National Committee staffer who whined that Clinton's loss means that he's "going to die from climate change," and marched out of a meeting in which the Democrats were trying to rally from their election defeat.

The unfortunate dupe, who must be a recent campus emission, as he acted like one of higher education's delicate snowflakes, is the product of the hysteria his own party has whipped up.

Global warming raving has also affected a group of eight kids from Washington, who are suing their state over climate change. The Associated Press says they are "part of a nationwide effort by young people to try to force action on global warming."

They've been incited, no doubt, by the Democrats' unrelenting fanaticism about the subject.

But isn't the Democratic Party the party of science? That's the label its members have awarded it. Aren't the kids and the Democratic staffer simply reacting to the party's rational position on global warming? Journalist John Tierney probably wouldn't agree.

"The only successful war on science is the one waged by the Left," Tierney, a New York Times reporter, wrote in the Autumn 2016 City Journal.

He acknowledges that "there's plenty of ignorance all around," but also reports that "some surveys show that Republicans, particularly libertarians, are more scientifically literate than Democrats."

Remember this the next time outgoing (thankfully) Secretary of State John Kerry says anything about global warming. He might be one of the many members of his party who doesn't know that astrology isn't a science and that it takes a year for Earth to revolve around the sun.

SOURCE



Army Corps to close Dakota pipeline protesters’ camp

The Army Corps of Engineers plans to close off a swath of North Dakota land that for months has housed a campsite for anti-pipeline protesters.

The Army Corps sent a letter to the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe Friday that said all lands north of the Cannonball River will be closed on Dec. 5, the Associated Press reported.

“To be clear, this means that no member of the general public, to include Dakota Access pipeline protesters, can be on these Corps lands,” the letter from Col. John Henderson reads.

Tribe Chairman Dave Archambault told the AP that the land to be closed includes the Oceti Sakowin camp on Army Corps land where many protesters have set up.

Another camp, Sacred Stone, sits on the opposite of the river and will not be affected by the Army Corps decision.

Henderson said that the decision “is necessary to protect the general public from the violent confrontations between protestors and law enforcement officials that have occurred in this area, and to prevent death, illness, or serious injury to inhabitants of encampments due to the harsh North Dakota winter conditions."

He said that necessary services, including emergency and medical resources, can not be properly provided to protesters there.

“I do not take this action lightly, but have decided that it is required due to the concern for public safety and the fact that much of this land is leased to private persons for grazing and/or haying purposes as part of the Corps' land management practices,” he wrote.

The letter goes on to say that a “free speech zone” will be set up on the south side of the Cannonball River for peaceful protests.

“In these areas, jurisdiction for police, fire, and medical response is better defined making it a more sustainable area for visitors to endure the harsh North Dakota winter.”

The Army Corps warned that anyone on the lands north of the river after Dec. 5 will be considered trespassing and could face prosecution. They added that anyone who stays there does so at their own risk and liability.

The Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes, joined by a flood of other tribe members and supporters, are fighting the final stretch of the 1,200-mile pipeline, that they say could threaten drinking water and cultural sites. Tensions between protesters and police have escalated in recent weeks, with law enforcement using water cannons and allegedly concussion grenades.

SOURCE




Britain’s Stupid Climate Policy Needs the Donald Trump Treatment

by James Delingpole

Britain has now officially ratified the COP21 Paris climate agreement.

The good news is that this will make no difference to anyone or anything because the agreement is toothless and non-binding. The bad news – as you can tell from some of the ministerial comments – is that it serves to remind us that Britain’s climate and energy policy is still in thrall to the environmentalist lunacy which wiser heads like Donald Trump are trying to write out of history.

Wiser heads? Donald Trump?? Yes, I can almost hear the sneering and the jeering from the usual suspects.

But even if you disagree with Trump’s environmental and energy policy – which I don’t – it remains an unarguable fact that the world’s most powerful nation is heading in a very clear direction for at least the next four years: pro-fossil-fuels, anti-renewables. This is going to have a massive, largely positive impact on the U.S. economy because by bringing down the cost of energy, it will give consumers more disposable income and enable businesses – especially in energy-intensive heavy industry – to increase their profit margins or cut costs to the benefit of their bottom line.

At this point, America’s global economic competitors have one of two options: either they wake up and smell the coffee and move in America’s direction; or they bury their heads in the sand, pretend we’re still living in the status quo ante and sit, helpless, while America’s new higher-carbon economy steals half of their business.

Judging by the comments of the Minister for Climate Change and Industry – about as fatuous a title as being Minister for Veganism and Meat – Britain has already made up her mind:

    “The UK is ratifying the historic Paris Agreement so that we can help to accelerate global action on climate change and deliver on our commitments to create a safer, more prosperous future for us all,” Nick Hurd, Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry, said.

    “We are going to use this positive momentum to grow the UK low-carbon sector, which is already worth over 46 billion pounds, as we continue to provide secure, affordable and clean energy to our families and businesses,” he said."

Nick Hurd, it should be noted, had the best education money can buy at Eton. Clearly, it was utterly wasted if this is the sort of bilge he comes up with.

What can government-imposed limits on carbon dioxide emissions (which inevitably lead malinvestment, cronyism, tariffs and subsidies) possibly have to do with prosperity? Or indeed safety?

It is weapons-grade bollocks and inspires very little faith that Theresa May, despite her axing of the Department of Energy and Climate Change, has any real grasp of the rapidly changing nature of the climate debate. We got a depressing taste of this when she gave the monstrously expensive, outdated, and generally rubbish Hinkley Point C power station the go-ahead.

If the even crazier exercise in green virtue-signalling and crony capitalism the Swansea Bay Tidal Project gets approved, we shall know that the government has lost the plot completely.

Perhaps had Hillary Clinton won the presidential election, this would make a sort of sense. Britain would be merely going with the flow of international policy.

But Trump won and now Britain faces a stark choice, described here by Rupert Darwall who has been in Marrakech at the COP22 conference.

    "Although Britain is formally leaving the EU, its climate and energy policies look set to remain exactly the same. Indeed, when it comes to climate and energy, Britain is being more Catholic than the Pope.

    The German government has stated its intention to keep burning coal for at least the next two decades; Greg Clark’s business department has just launched a consultation on phasing it out by 2025.

    That is unlikely to play well in Washington, to say the least. Coal is important to Republicans. Over the last two years, Britain imported 16.5 million tonnes of coal from America, worth $1.4 billion.

    Four of the top five coal-producing states voted Republican – including Pennsylvania, which switched from the Democrats. Of the top 10 coal-burning states, seven voted Republican last week, including Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s Indiana and swing state Ohio.

    An iron rule of American politics is that domestic politics trump international considerations. As Henry Kissinger told The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg after the election, Trump’s victory “could enable us to establish coherence between our foreign policy and our domestic situation”.

    And it is very hard to envisage the Trump Administration looking kindly on a potential trade deal with a partner that is in the process of banning imports of American coal – and putting American miners out of work"

So far it looks like Britain is hell bent on taking the wrong decision. Business Secretary Greg Clark looks to be clueless and it seems depressingly likely that all the green activists who infested the defunct Department of Energy and Climate Change have simply been dispersed within other ministries, spreading their environmentalist crony capitalist poison.

Here is John Constable’s depressing take:

    "The UK’s new secretary of state for Business, Greg Clark, has just given his first public speech on energy. It suggests, unfortunately, that he is not yet sufficiently confident of his brief to resist the views of his civil servants. Indeed, this speech could easily have been written for Ed Miliband, or Chris Huhne, or Ed Davey, and suggests that the rent-seeking green interests in the electricity sector are re-injecting themselves into the national bloodstream through an interventionist industrial strategy. This will result in overcapitalisation and reductions in productivity"

We have scotched the Green Blob but not killed it. A long hard battle lies ahead of us.

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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