Friday, February 23, 2018




Who is right?  Judith or Nils Axel?

Nils Axel Morner is a Swedish sea-level expert and he does searching research leading to a conclusion that the sea level is stable overall. His recent Fiji research is exemplary.  The only response to it from Warmists is an "ad hominem" one -- noting that a group of climate skeptics quite openly helped Morner with costs of his trip to Fiji.  The  Warmists see that as a fatal flaw.  They fail to see any similar problem flowing from the fact that Warmists generally have their research funded by sympathetic university departments. Universities are unbiased, you see.  Anybody who has worked in a university department will give that a horse-laugh.

Judith Curry calls herself a "lukewarmer", meaning that she accepts global warming theory but doubts that the warming will be large enough to be worth bothering about. But she does accept that there has been some sea level rise in the 20th century.

These days, just about everything bad is said to be made worse by global warming but the original scare was sea-level rise.  Both Hansen and Gore, for instance, predicted in the early '90s that substantial parts of Manhattan would be permanently underwater some time soon. If that were true, some parts of Manhattan should already by now be looking a bit watery.

Sadly, however Manhattan and most of the rest of the world are going about business as usual.  For most of the world, the sea seems to be just about where it always was.  The lay observer at least can see no change.  So Morner would seem to be the only scientist with his feet on the ground.  Only his account coincides with commonly perceived reality.

So the big threat of severe worldwide flooding seems utterly empty -- which is why a vast range of other bad outcomes from warming have been conjured up.  There have to be new fears to replace the old failed fear.

Warmists are never deterred by reality, however, and continue to assert that sea levels are rising, even if it is very slowly.  So there is a minor industry of trying to work out exactly what the sea level is doing. And most researchers agree that there is some sea level rise going on, though they all estimate only minute amounts of it.  And estimate is the word.  Gross sea level rises such as Gore and Hansen predicted would have hit you in the eye  but the tiny rises that Warmists can squeeze out of their data are very slippery. There is nothing clearly observable.  It is all guesswork.

And a moment's thought will tell you that it HAS to be guesswork.  Oceans have these pesky things called waves.  The ocean won't stay still enough for you to measure it. You can try to measure high-water marks but what if a gust of wind causes a really big splash during the day that is not repeated later in the day?  Is that the high-water mark?

In addition to those commensense limitations on measuring small changes in sea level there are more profound difficulties. Judith Curry lists some of them.  See the folowing excerpt:

"To reconstruct equilibrium sea level changes from tide gauges, account must be made of vertical shifts of the land, caused by geological processes or land use (e.g. ground water extraction). To improve scientific utility for sea level studies, numerous modern tide gauges are being augmented with automated, continuous GPS measuring instruments which records vertical land movements. Further, account must be made of non-eustatic dynamic changes in sea level due to tides, storm surges, tsunamis and large-scale ocean currents.

Further, tide gauge technology has changed over time.  Simple wooden staffs have evolved into higly sophisticated digital equipment — it is likely that the results from different equipment might not agree with each other.

A wooden staff is not going to measure with the same degree of accuracy-or under the same circumstances as a digital equipment.

Tide gauges have the following disadvantages for determining global sea level changes: uneven distribution around the world; missing data; spatial and temporal variations in ocean circulations; and land movements. Because of these disadvantages, calculating global mean sea level rise from the limited tide gauge network has proven to be difficult.

Although considerable progress has been made, further improvements to the historical record are still needed, particularly in accounting for ocean circulation changes."

Despite all that however, Judith does accept that some sea-level rise is proven.  She says:  "Global mean sea level (GMSL) has risen about 8 inches during the 20th century".

In coming to that conclusion she relies heavily on "corrected" data and Morner claims that corrections are the whole of any stated sea level rise.  For instance, Curry appears to accept the Stockholn record.  And it's true that the official Stockholm record does show a slight rise.  But what did that record show before it was "corrected"?  John Daly has the graph:



So an actual FALL in the sea level in the Baltic has been "corrected" to show the opposite.  That is some shenanigans.  But shenanigans like that are common in global warming "research".

So how do they justify their shenanigans?  They postulate just enough "isostatic uplift" to get the result they want.  By isostatic uplift they mean that the ground was rising rather than the sea level falling.  And the theory behind that is that the last ice age put such heavy glaciers on the ground that the ground sank down a bit.  So, when the glaciers retreated, the land bounced back up again.  That seems to be true.  But how come that is still happening thousands of years after the ice has gone?  It makes no sense.  It is just a theoretical fix, not reality-grounded.

It is true that in different times and places the ground does rise or fall in response to various local factors but those changes are all over the place, not just where glaciers used to be.  The most established changes are falls in the land on the East coasts of both Florida and England.  And where I live in Northern Australia, the land is geologically very ancient and very stable.  Glaciers never reached us.  Yet I have documented a notable sea-level FALL in the ocean nearby over recent decades. And let us not forget the earlier but carefully delineated sea level fall at the Isle of the Dead in Tasmania.

And that goes back to the fact that the oceans don't behave like water in a jug. Water in a jug has a fixed level.  The level in one part of a jug will be the same as the level in all other parts of the jug.  But the earth is not a jug.  It is a sphere and the water sloshes about.  So the level in one time and place will be different from the level in other times and places.  You can calculate a statistical average but there is no physical reality to it. And attributing a cause to the observed movements can only be guesswork. The RAW tide-gauge data is full of both rises and falls.  There is no detectable uniform effect -- as global warming theory would require.

But Let's get back to Stockholm and the Baltic. As a very enclosed sea situated withing a limited latitude range and little subject to air and water currents, it should be a fairly good "thermometer" of what the  sea level as a whole is doing -- if anything.  So that Stockholm data is pretty important.  So is it real?  Has the sea level really fallen that much or is it just some error of measurement?  Are there similar findings in other parts of the Baltic?  Could the Swedish scientists have been right to "adjust" it?

Hardly. The Baltic sea level really has fallen.  You can see evidence of it that no adjustment can hide. In the ancient Hanseatic port city of Talinn in Estonia at the East end of the Baltic you can see where the old sea walls used to be.  But they are about a kilometer inland from the present sea-shore.  As the sea level has fallen, Talinn has gained several hectares of new land where the sea used to be.  Even the most dedicated Warmists would have difficulty adjusting that out of existence.  So there are places on earth where the sea level has fallen and places where it has risen.  The situation is nothing like what global warming theory predicts.

Nils Axel Morner is the one in touch with reality. Now that she is retired maybe Judith too can become more skeptical -- JR.





Stronger Law on Foreign Agents Eyed Amid Russia’s Links to Green Groups

Congress appears ready to crack down on individuals and groups who work on behalf of Russia and other foreign nations but don’t fully disclose those ties.

Legislation toughening requirements and closing loopholes in the 80-year-old Foreign Agents Registration Act is advancing in response to growing concerns that some advocacy groups and lobbyists have been permitted to conceal financial and other connections with foreign governments.

In a recent phone interview with The Daily Signal, Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., who introduced the legislation amending the law, expressed confidence that his bill could clear both houses of Congress with broad support.

The law isn’t achieving all that it should, Bonner Cohen, a senior fellow at  the National Center for Public Policy Research, a free-market think tank based in Washington, told The Daily Signal.

“The Foreign Agents Registration Act calls on individuals and organizations to provide full disclosure when they are working to advance the public policy interests of a foreign government,” Cohen said.

“This appears to be exactly what these green groups are doing,” he added, “and the law should be applied to them.”

In a letter  to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin last summer, Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, asked for the administration to look into allegations that the Russian government has funded U.S. environmental groups surreptitiously in a “propaganda war against fossil fuels.”

Such concerns have motivated lawmakers on the House and Senate judiciary committees to move quickly on his legislation, Johnson told The Daily Signal.

The letter from Smith, chairman of the House’s Science, Space and Technology Committee, describes how “publicly available reports connect the dots” of a complex scheme by the Russian government to “advance a political agenda with little or no paper trail” against the U.S. energy sector.

The letter says Moscow primarily targets innovative drilling techniques such as hydraulic fracturing, widely known as fracking, that make it possible to extract natural gas deposits from shale formations.

Smith cites government and other reports that Russia steers funds to U.S. environmental groups, often in the form of anonymous donations, so that those groups may bankroll what the Texas Republican calls “covert anti-fracking campaigns.”

What Moscow Knows

“Russia has a long track record of funding ‘green’ groups as part of an effort to slow down, if not stop altogether, domestic energy production,” Luke Coffey, director of The Heritage Foundation’s Allison Center for Foreign Policy, said in an email to The Daily Signal, adding:

This has been particularly the case regarding fracking. European governments have also faced similar challenges from Russia, because Moscow knows that each barrel of oil produced in the USA or Europe is one less needed from Russia.

Ken Stiles, a 29-year veteran of the CIA, told The Daily Signal in a recent interview that congressional investigators identified a “money trail” suggesting a connection between the Russian government and activist groups opposing fracking operations and pipeline construction in vartious parts of the country.

As previously reported by The Daily Signal, Stiles suspects two anti-pipeline groups in Virginia are “agents of influence” unknowingly operating on behalf of Moscow under Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Those campaigns fell short of obstructing pipeline projects, but environmental advocacy groups have succeeded in blocking natural gas development in New York and other states.

“A very important consideration is whether these domestic forces among U.S. environmental groups actually know that they are being targeted and exploited by the Russians,” Paul Kengor, a Grover City College political science professor, said in an email to The Daily Signal.

“Moreover, if they are willfully working with Vladimir Putin’s Russia—deliberate collusion—then that would be egregious and a very serious matter demanding our government’s fully investigating the situation,” Kengor said.

“If these U.S. environmentalists are mere dupes,” he said, “that’s not legally or even morally as bad, but I think they’d have at least a moral obligation to change their ways if and once they’ve realized they’re being targeted and exploited.”

Kengor, a biographer of Ronald Reagan, added:

"Finally, politically speaking, consider the striking irony here: We have the apparent possibility of liberals from the environmental movement working with and helping Putin and the Russians at the very moment that liberals have been screaming about alleged cooperation between the Trump presidential campaign and the Russians. Imagine that."

SOURCE




Survey results show Christians becoming less concerned about the environment

There has been no "greening of Christianity" among people in the pews, despite efforts by some religious leaders to emphasize environmental stewardship, according to new Indiana University research.

David Konisky of IU's School of Public and Environmental Affairs analyzed 20 years of survey results from Gallup public opinion polls in one of the first major studies of how attitudes about the environment by self-identified U.S. Christians have shifted over time.

He found that environmentalism is not increasing, and there are signs it is actually in decline. For example, Konisky's analysis of the survey responses from 1990 through 2015 indicates that Christians, compared to atheists, agnostics and individuals who do not affiliate with a religion, are less likely to prioritize environmental protection over economic growth, and they are more likely than others to believe global warming is exaggerated.

For example, the likelihood that a Christian survey respondent expressed a great deal of concern about climate change dropped by about a third between 1990 and 2015.

The pattern generally holds across Catholic, Protestant and other Christian denominations and does not vary depending on levels of religiosity.

"This relationship between religion and the environment is significant because of the increasing importance of climate change," Konisky said. "There may come a time when religious leaders and faith-based organizations generate more interest in protecting the environment and more willingness to demand action, but we haven't seen it yet."

The current lack of enthusiasm comes despite high-profile calls for action such as the encyclical letter on the environment released by Pope Francis in 2015 and despite initiatives led by Evangelical Protestant groups, such as the formation of the Evangelical Environmental Network.

While those efforts are relatively recent, Konisky said there is a historical divide in how Christians view their relationship to the planet: "Some believe in the importance of stewardship and practice an ethic of 'creation care,' while others believe in human dominion over the Earth, a belief that undermines any obligation to protect the environment."

Konisky said more research is needed to determine whether that belief in human dominion or some other aspect of how people experience religion is influencing a reduced concern for the environment.

SOURCE


US Blizzards, Snowfalls Have Increased Since1950s, Surprising Global Warming Climatologists

On January 4 NTZ weekly contributor Kenneth Richard published a list of 485 papers dumping cold water on climate alarmism in 2017.

Looking through the list I find published papers showing that snowfall frequency has in fact increased over the the past 60 years!

Blizzard activity jumps fourfold

For example a paper by Coleman and Schwartz, 2017 revealed 713 blizzards over the 55 years with 57 federal disaster declarations resulting. Of these 57 declared disasters, more than a half have occurred since the year 2000.

The published scientific study also founds that "seasonal blizzard frequencies displayed a distinct upward trend, with a more substantial rise over the past two decades".

It adds that the modeled increase in blizzard activity showed a "nearly fourfold upsurge between the start and end of the study period at 5.9 and 21.6 blizzards, respectively". If the trend continues, then we would need to expect even more such blizzards.

In a another publication, Changnon, 2017 evaluated heavy 30-day snowfall amounts east of the Rockies in the United States during the period 1900-2016. The comprehensive data assessment identified 507 stations in this long-term climate study.

The author examined the top 30-day heavy snowfall amount and the average of the top five 30-day heavy snowfall amounts. The findings also surprised global warming scientists who warned earlier that snowfall would become less frequent as the globe warmed. The publications abstract reads:

The northern Great Plains, Great Lakes, Midwest, and Northeast experienced more top five periods [more snow] in the second half of the 117-year period [1958-2016], where most of the southern states experienced top five periods throughout the study period."

Finally a study conducted by Hatchett et al., 2017 found a "winter snow level rise in the northern Sierra Nevada from 2008 to 2017". Sea surface temperatures offshore California were observed to be related to snow cover.

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




Science or silence? My battle to question doomsayers about the Great Barrier Reef

By Professor Peter Ridd.  His university is desperate to shut him up as he tells basic scientific truth, which they  see as threatening the funding that they have bought with lies and alarmism. Ridd leads the Marine Geophysical Laboratory, James Cook University, Australia and has authored over 100 scientific papers

Around the world, people have heard about the impending extinction of the Great Barrier Reef: some 133,000 square miles of magnificent coral stretching for 1,400 miles off the northeast coast of Australia.

The reef is supposedly almost dead from the combined effects of a warming climate, nutrient pollution from Australian farms, and smothering sediment from offshore dredging.

Except that, as I have said publicly as a research scientist who has studied the reef for the past 30 years, all this most likely isn’t true.

And just for saying that – and calling into question the kind of published science that has led to the gloomy predictions – I have been served with a gag order by my university. I am now having to sue for my right to have an ordinary scientific opinion.

My emails have been searched. I was not allowed even to speak to my wife about the issue. I have been harangued by lawyers. And now I’m fighting back to assert my right to academic freedom and bring attention to the crisis of scientific truth.

The problems I am facing are part of a “replication crisis” that is sweeping through science and is now a serious topic in major science journals. In major scientific trials that attempt to reproduce the results of scientific observations and measurements, it seems that around 50 percent of recently published science is wrong, because the results can’t be replicated by others.

And if observations and measurements can’t be replicated, it isn’t really science – it is still, at best, hypothesis, or even just opinion. This is not a controversial topic anymore – science, or at least the system of checking the science we are using, is failing us.

The crisis started in biomedical areas, where pharmaceutical companies in the past decade found that up to 80 percent of university and institutional science results that they tested were wrong. It is now recognized that the problem is much more widespread than the biomedical sciences. And that is where I got into big trouble.

I have published numerous scientific papers showing that much of the “science” claiming damage to the reef is either plain wrong or greatly exaggerated. As just one example, coral growth rates that have supposedly collapsed along the reef have, if anything, increased slightly.

Reefs that are supposedly smothered by dredging sediment actually contain great coral. And mass bleaching events along the reef that supposedly serve as evidence of permanent human-caused devastation are almost certainly completely natural and even cyclical.

These allegedly major catastrophic effects that recent science says were almost unknown before the 1980s are mainly the result of a simple fact: large-scale marine science did not get started on the reef until the 1970s.

By a decade later, studies of the reef had exploded, along with the number of marine biologists doing them. What all these scientists lacked, however, was historical perspective. There are almost no records of earlier eras to compare with current conditions. Thus, for many scientists studying reef problems, the results are unprecedented, and almost always seen as catastrophic and even world-threatening.

The only problem is that it isn’t so. The Great Barrier Reef is in fact in excellent condition. It certainly goes through periods of destruction where huge areas of coral are killed from hurricanes, starfish plagues and coral bleaching. However, it largely regrows within a decade to its former glory. Some parts of the southern reef, for example, have seen a tripling of coral in six years after they were devastated by a particularly severe cyclone.

Reefs have similarities to Australian forests, which require periodic bushfires. It looks terrible after the bushfire, but the forests always regrow. The ecosystem has evolved with these cycles of death and regrowth.

The conflicting realities of the Great Barrier Reef point to a deeper problem. In science, consensus is not the same thing as truth. But consensus has come to play a controlling role in many areas of modern science. And if you go against the consensus you can suffer unpleasant consequences.

The main system of science quality control is called peer review. Nowadays, it usually takes the form of a couple of anonymous reviewing scientists having a quick check over the work of a colleague in the field.

Peer review is commonly understood as painstaking re-examination by highly qualified experts in academia that acts as a real check on mistaken work. It isn’t.  In the real world, peer review is often cursory and not always even knowledgeable. It might take reviewers only a morning to do.

Scientific results are rarely reanalyzed and experiments are not replicated. The types of checks that would be routine in private industry are just not done.

I have asked the question: Is this good enough quality control to make environmental decisions worth billions of dollars that are now adversely affecting every major industry in northeast Australia?

Our sugar industry has been told to make dramatic reductions in fertilizer application, potentially reducing productivity; our ports have dredging restrictions that threaten their productivity; scientists demand that coal mines be closed; and tourists are scared away because the reef is supposedly almost dead – not worth seeing anymore.

Last August I made this point on Sky News in Australia in promotion of a chapter I wrote in “Climate Change: The Facts 2017,” published by the Australian free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs.

“The basic problem is that we can no longer trust the scientific organizations like the Australian Institute of Marine Science, even things like the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies … the science is coming out not properly checked, tested or replicated and this is a great shame because we really need to be able to trust our scientific institutions and the fact is I do not think we can any more,” I said.

The response to these comments by my employer, James Cook University, was extraordinary. Rather than measured argument, I was hit with a charge of academic serious misconduct for not being “collegial.”

University authorities told me in August I was not allowed to mention the case or the charges to anybody – not even my wife.

Then things got worse. With assistance from the Institute of Public Affairs, I have been pushing back against the charges and the gag order – leading the university to search my official emails for examples of where I had mentioned the case to other scientists, old friends, past students and my wife.

I was then hit with 25 new allegations, mostly for just mentioning the case against me. The email search turned up nothing for which I feel ashamed. You can see for yourself.

We filed in court in November. At that point the university backed away from firing me. But university officials issued a “Final Censure” in my employment file and told me to be silent about the allegations, and not to repeat my comments about the unreliability of institutional research.

But they agreed that I could mention it to my wife, which was nice of them.

I would rather be fired than accept these conditions. We are still pursuing the matter in court.

This case may be about a single instance of alleged misconduct, but underlying it is an issue even bigger than our oceans. Ultimately, I am fighting for academic and scientific freedom, and the responsibility of universities to nurture the debate of difficult subjects without threat or intimidation.

We may indeed have a Great Barrier Reef crisis, but the science is so flawed that it is impossible to tell its actual dimensions. What we do know for certain is that we have an academic freedom crisis that threatens the true life of science and threatens to smother our failing university system.

 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.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

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

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Thursday, February 22, 2018



Governments are poor guardians of the environmemt

Governments too often ignore data, and fail badly. Citizens must take more responsibility

Justhy Deva Prasad

A primary reason governments exist is to protect their citizens from dangerous threats - foreign, domestic and natural. People can play important roles in this arena, but most lack the resources, funds, legal authority or political power to act on their own.

In recent years, government roles have become even more dominant and pervasive. On environmental or other grounds, federal, state and even local bodies have steadily taken responsibilities from the private sector, and even prohibited citizens from taking steps to protect their lives and property, such as constructing seawalls to block storm surges or thinning out trees to prevent catastrophic wildfires.

Under these circumstances, it is essential that governments do their jobs right: by implementing informed policies, gathering and utilizing data about potential risks, making wise decisions in time to safeguard property and lives, and not letting special interests delay or obstruct those decisions.

Modern technologies greatly facilitate all these tasks, if they are employed properly. They make existing data readily available, and make it easy and affordable to acquire vital missing information. However, governments have too frequently failed in these obligations, often spectacularly.

These examples are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, and a call for governments to do much better.

Fukushima. Everyone - legislators, regulators, utilities and citizens - knows Japan is in an earthquake and tsunami zone. And yet they permitted insufficient seawalls around nuclear power plants and, even worse, emergency generators in basements, where they would be flooded and rendered inoperable. The resultant reactor meltdowns, power outages and radiation contamination were certainly predictable.

Why didn't Japanese government officials utilize readily available data to prevent this catastrophe?

Superstorm Sandy. City planners, leaders and builders had ample data about previous storms. They knew a direct hurricane hit would have devastating consequences for the New York City region. Yet they narrowed rivers, so that storm surges could go in only one direction: up. They required backup electrical generators, but put them in basements, where they would be flooded and rendered inoperable.

They provided no indicators along streets to show how high waters would rise with specified storm surges, leaving citizens unaware of the dangers they faced. Their warnings were late, inadequate and misleading. People did not evacuate or move treasured belongings in time. Over one hundred died.

After hundreds of U.S. hurricanes, how could governments here and elsewhere be so derelict?

California wildfires. The Golden State has battled droughts, high winds and wildfires for 150 years. But in recent decades, it has succumbed to environmentalist pressure not to thin out forests or allow private communities to remove brush and dead trees, even as more and more homes have been built in or near forested areas, and even as massive conflagrations devastated homes, businesses and wildlife habitats.

The U.S. Forest Service says California has 129 million dead trees, mostly from droughts and pine bark beetles - perfect tinder for enormous fires. Governments even permit or require (or let homeowner associations do so) cedar shake roofs and other flammable materials for homes in fire-prone areas.

They have failed to stockpile sufficient water and fire suppressants or have sufficient aircraft; they have even decreed that fires can be battled only if started by humans, but not by lightning (as if that can be determined amid a conflagration). Again the results are totally predictable. Yet the policies continue.

The 2017 wildfires incinerated some 1.2 million acres of forest habitat - as much land as in Delaware - destroyed 8,400 homes, forced hundreds of thousands to evacuate, often at a moment's notice, with the clothes on their backs, threatened cities like Beverly Hills, cost billions in damages, and killed 43 people. Rain-soaked, barren hillsides then unleash mudslides that destroy more property and kill more people.

Oroville Dam. The tallest dam in the United States, this now 50-year-old dam employs a concrete spillway and a backup earthen spillway to discharge excess water buildup during rainy periods, so that the dam doesn't fail. In 2005, environmental groups raised concerns that the spillways could erode during heavy winter rains and cause massive downstream flooding - and deaths. Federal and state officials rejected their advice, saying everything was fine. Tests for concrete cracking apparently were never done.

Inspectors could have used side scanning radar to detect cavities beneath the concrete, but instead relied on occasional visual inspections from a distance. The last such state inspection was in 2015. Amid historic storms in late 2017, the concrete spillway collapsed into a large, undetected cavern beneath it. Officials ordered 188,000 people living in communities below the dam to evacuate. Luckily no one died.

Rarely, if ever, are the responsible, incompetent, malfeasant, derelict authorities singled out, punished, fined, fired, or even reprimanded or identified publicly when governments fail so spectacularly.

Rarely, if ever, do governments offer compensation to affected families, business owners and employees for lost paychecks, gross inconveniences . or even the total loss of businesses, inventories, homes, cars, precious and irreplaceable keepsakes, life savings, livelihoods, or very lives - as though many of those losses could ever really be compensated. Anything not covered by insurance is just gone.

Except in the case of Fukushima, government officials tried to deflect blame for the above failures by saying the disasters were cause or worsened by "climate change." It's an absurd, indefensible excuse.

Separating human from natural factors in changing weather and climate is impossible. Far more relevant and important, neither human nor natural climate or weather changes can excuse government officials from failing to acquire and analyze readily available or obtainable data - and then failing to use that information to develop sound policies, laws and regulations, and make timely, informed decisions that safeguard people's property and lives.

Climate change does not prevent or outlaw thinning out forests, putting emergency generators above likely flood levels, inspecting and maintaining spillways, or taking other steps to minimize disasters. Neither do other excuses often offered up by government officials to absolve their action or inaction.

Legislators, regulators and judges cannot escape accountability by claiming their hands were tied by environmental, builder, business or other groups that did not want government officials to disrupt their accustomed ways of doing things. They cannot escape their own culpability by saying California, New York, the United States and other countries worldwide should spend tens of trillions of dollars attempting to control Earth's climate - but then fail to spend mere millions on practical steps that would prevent cataclysmic losses from fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, volcanoes and other natural disasters.

They cannot say, "We take full responsibility" for missteps - when they rarely or never do so.

There are billions of people on our planet. Hundreds of millions live along seacoasts, next to forests or in other areas threatened by recurrent natural horrors.

Modern data technologies enable governments to formulate policies and rules that can predict many natural disasters, and prevent or minimize their worst consequences. Other modern technologies enable government officials, citizen groups, businesses and families to build disaster-resistant structures that can save property and lives. But those technologies are worthless if they are not used.

What can be done? Legislators, regulators, judges and even special interest groups should utilize data to develop and implement more informed, responsible laws and policies - that put people first instead of last (or dead last). Insurance companies and homeowner associations should assess threats and take commonsense steps to minimize them. Citizens should elect better representatives - or failing that, take personal steps within the law to better protect their property and families. It all starts with data.

Via email



Cars Remain Popular Because They Are Vastly Superior to Transit Alternatives

The Los Angeles Times has recently reported that public transit agencies "have watched their ridership numbers fall off a cliff over the last five years," with multi-year decreases in mass transit use by up to 25 percent. And a new UCLA Institute of Transportation study has found that increasing car ownership is the prime factor for the dive in usage.

As Homer Simpson would say, "Doh."

Southern California residents bought 4 times as many cars per person in the 15 years after the turn of the century, compared to the decade before. That substantial jump in automobile ownership caused the share of Southern California households without access to a car to fall by 30 percent, and 42 percent for immigrant households. As one of the study's authors, Michael Manville, put it "That exploding level of new automobile ownership is largely incompatible with a lot of transit ridership." In other words, once a household has access to a car, they almost universally prefer driving to mass transit.

This patronage plunge threatens transit agencies. Typical responses echo Hasan Ikhrata, executive director of the Southern California Association of Governments, who said, "We need to take this study as an opportunity to figure out how we make transit work better for us." In other words, we should ignore increasing access to automobiles and overwhelming revealed preferences for driving over mass transit, and find new ways to fill bus and train seats.

Many things are already in motion to solve transit agencies' problems. For instance, in 2015, Los Angeles began a 20-year plan to remove auto lanes for bus and protected bike lanes, as well as pedestrian enhancements, diverting transportation funds raised from drivers and heightening congestion for the vast majority who planners already know will continue to drive.

Such less than effective attempts to cut driving by creating gridlock purgatory suggest we ask a largely ignored question. Why do planners' attempts to force residents into walking, cycling and mass transit, supposedly improving their quality of life, attract so few away from driving?

The reason is simple-cars are vastly superior to alternatives for the vast majority of individuals and circumstances.

Automobiles have far greater and more flexible passenger- and cargo-carrying capacities than transit. They allow direct, point-to-point service, unlike transit. They allow self-scheduling rather than requiring advance planning. They save time, especially time spent waiting, which surveys find transit riders find far more onerous. They have far better multi-stop trip capability. They offer a safer, more comfortable, more controllable environment, from the seats to the temperature to the music to the company.

Those massive advantages explain why even substantial new restrictions on automobiles or improvements in alternatives leave driving the vastly dominant choice. They also reveal that policies which will punish the vast majority for whom driving remains far superior cannot effectively serve all residents' interests.

The superiority of automobiles doesn't stop at the obvious, either. They expand workers' access to jobs and educational opportunities, increase productivity and incomes, improve purchasing choices, lower consumer prices and widen social options. Trying to inconvenience people out of their cars also undermines those major benefits.

Cars' allow decreased commuting times if not hamstrung, providing workers access to far more potential jobs and training possibilities. That improves worker-employer matches, with expanded productivity raising workers' incomes as well as benefiting employers. One study found that 10 percent faster travel raised worker productivity by 3 percent, and increasing from 3 mph walking speed to 30 mph driving is a 900 percent increase. In a similar vein, a Harvard analysis found that for those lacking high-school diplomas, owning a car increased monthly earnings by $1,100.

Cars are also the only practical way to assemble enough widely dispersed potential customers to sustain large stores with affordable, diverse offerings. "Automobility" also sharply expands access to social opportunities.
In all, attempting to force people out of cars and onto transit recycles earlier failures and harms the vast majority of citizens.

As Randal O'Toole noted: "Anyone who prefers not to drive can find neighborhoods ... where they can walk to stores that offer a limited selection of high-priced goods, enjoy limited recreation and social opportunities, and take slow public transit vehicles to some but not all regional employment centers, the same as many Americans did in 1920. But the automobile provides people with far more benefits and opportunities than they could ever have without it."

SOURCE



Security Officials Recommended Pruitt Fly First Class

Media fail to mention high level of death threats against Pruitt and his family

A significant increase in death threats leveled at Scott Pruitt led to security officials to recommend the Environmental Protection Agency administrator fly first class.

Journalists and liberals have made light of security concerns, mocking Pruitt for following the recommendations from the head of his 24-hour security detail, which was required due to "unprecedented" threats.

The Washington Post reported Sunday that Pruitt had spent $90,000 flying in first or business class. The article briefly notes records showing Pruitt does so for "security concerns," and that the regulations allow officials to fly first class under "exceptional security circumstances."

By Thursday, the Post reported the decision to fly first class was made by Pasquale Perrotta, the head of Pruitt's security detail. The security team said there are many reasons why flying first class is necessary for Pruitt's security, such as "the chance to make a quick exit if a situation arises."

Politico questioned the need to fly first class in an article Thursday that made no mention of the death threats against Pruitt and his family.

"Pruitt's security threat? A passenger shouting, `You're f-ing up the environment'" the headline reads.

Journalists and liberals seized on the story, mocking the example of the threatening environment faced by Pruitt, given by Henry Barnet, the director of the EPA's Office of Criminal Enforcement. Barnet cited an incident at an airport where a liberal harassed Pruitt, recording him on a cell phone, while yelling, "You're f-ing up the environment."

Vanity Fair claimed Pruitt's "excuse" for flying first class is "whiny environmentalists."

"Apparently, individuals going up to the E.P.A. administrator and making completely factual statements was a bridge too far. It's not totally clear why the security team believes that only people flying coach think Pruitt is a prick who deserves to be told as much, but perhaps they'll address that at a later date," the fashion magazine wrote.

A reader had to come to the end of the Politico story to discover that the "threats are so prevalent" against Pruitt that his security detail has to perform a new threat assessment every 90 days.

"EPA instituted 24/7 protection for Pruitt last year, a step up from previous administrators who typically were guarded only when in public or traveling," the penultimate paragraph of the Politico story reads.

"Citing security concerns, EPA does not announce Pruitt's travel plans ahead of time, a departure from the habits of previous administrators who would often alert the media about upcoming trips, particularly overseas," the article concludes. "Barnet said that scheduling announcements are not a decision made by the security detail."

The article fails to mention the number of death threats Pruitt and his family have received.

"He has had significantly more threats directed against him," said Patrick Sullivan, the EPA's assistant inspector general for investigations. "There's absolutely no question about it."

Pruitt told Bloomberg News last year that his family was also being targeted, and security officials said the administrator had received threatening letters and packages delivered to his home.

"The quantity and the volume-as well as the type-of threats are different," Pruitt said. "What's really disappointing to me is it's not just me-it's family."

Pruitt recently said he does not make the security decisions but blamed a "toxic" political environment.

For instance, the FBI had to open an investigation after a drunk viewer watching MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show threatened to kill Pruitt and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.). A San Francisco columnist justified the increased number of death threats against Pruitt last fall, saying the threats "make a warped sort of sense."

Pruitt has received up to five times the amount of threats than his predecessor Gina McCarthy, Sullivan has said. The inspector general opened 70 threat investigations in 2017, nearly double the amount during the previous year.

Pruitt has received direct threats, such as, "I'm going to put a bullet in your brain."

SOURCE




WESTERN Nations, Driven By A Global Agenda Of Climate Alarmism, Are Destroying Their Industries With Carbon Taxes And Promotion Of Expensive, Intermittent Green Energy

ANTHROPOGENIC "climate change", and the control of carbon dioxide (energy) has deep roots in a radical, yet gravely misguided campaign to reduce the world's population.

GLOBAL warming aka climate change has little to do with the "environment" or "saving the planet". Rather, its roots lie in a misanthropic agenda engineered by the environmental movement in the mid 1970's, who realised that doing something about "global warming" would play to quite a number of the Lefts social agendas.

THE goal was advanced, most notably, by The Club Of Rome (Environmental consultants to the UN) - a group of mainly European scientists and academics, who used computer modelling to warn that the world would run out of finite resources if population growth were left unchecked.

"In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that .. the threat of global warming.. would fit the bill.. the real enemy, then, is humanity itself." - Club Of Rome

THE Club Of Rome's 1972 environmental best-seller "The Limits To Growth", examined five variables in the original model: world population, industrialisation, pollution, food production and resource depletion.

NOT surprisingly, the study predicted a dire future for mankind unless we `act now':

AROUND the same time, influential anthropologist and president of the American Medical Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Margaret Mead, gathered together like-minded anti-population hoaxsters at her 1975, North Carolina conference, "The Atmosphere: Endangered and Endangering". Mead's star recruits were climate scare artist Stephen Schneider, population-freak George Woodwell and former AAAS head, John Holdren (Barack Obama's Science and Technology Czar). All three of them disciples of Malthusian catastrophist Paul Ehrlich, author of the "The Population Bomb".

THE conference concluded that human-produced carbon dioxide would fry the planet, melt the ice caps, and destroy human life. The idea being to sow enough fear of man-made climate change to force global cutbacks in industrial activity and halt Third World development.

WE are given clues as to the motives of this extreme agenda from various statements by prominent environmental `icons'.

"Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun."
- Prof Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University

"The Earth has cancer and the cancer is Man."
- Club of Rome, premier environmental think-tank, consultants to the United Nations

"If we don't overthrow capitalism, we don't have a chance of
saving the world ecologically. I think it is possible to have
an ecologically sound society under socialism. I don't think it is possible under capitalism"
- Judi Bari, principal organiser of Earth First

"We've got to ride this global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy."
- Timothy Wirth, President of the UN Foundation

"No matter if the science of global warming is all phony. climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world."
- Christine Stewart, former Canadian Minister of the Environment

"In Searching For A New Enemy To Unite Us, We Came Up With The Threat Of Global Warming" - Club of Rome, premier environmental think-tank, consultants to the United Nations

"Isn't the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring that about?" - Maurice Strong, founder of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

"Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class - involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, air-conditioning, and suburban housing - are not sustainable." - Maurice Strong, Secretary General of the UN's Earth Summit, 1992.

***

VIV Forbes on how the control of population growth and people's lifestyles manifests today through the control of energy supply.

The "zero-emissions" zealots want to force us backwards down the energy ladder to the days of human, animal and solar power. They oppose the main thing that sets us apart from all other species - the use of fire from explosives, coal, oil, gas or nuclear power.

They have yet to explain how our massive fleet of planes, trains, tractors, harvesters, trucks, road trains, container-ships and submarines will be powered and lubricated by windmills, treadmills, windlasses, solar energy, distilled whiskey and water wheels.

Western nations, driven by a global agenda of climate alarmism, are destroying their profitable industries with carbon taxes; and their promotion of expensive, intermittent green energy is pushing us back down the energy ladder; and our competitors in Asia are climbing the energy ladder as quickly as they can. At the same time, the enormous waste of public money on government promotion of the climate industry has created a global fiscal mess.

Unless reversed, this wasteful de-energising policy will drive much of the world's population back to the poverty and famines which often prevailed in the past. Some see the inevitable de-population this would cause as a desirable goal.

SOURCE





Enlightenment Environmentalism: The Case for Ecomodernism

Is progress sustainable?

A common response to good news about global health, wealth, and sustenance is that it cannot continue. As we infest the world with our teeming numbers, guzzle the earth's bounty heedless of its finitude, and foul our nests with pollution and waste, we are hastening an environmental day of reckoning. If overpopulation, resource depletion, and pollution don't finish us off, then climate change will.

To be sure, the very idea that there are environmental problems cannot be taken for granted. Beginning in the 1960s, the environmental movement grew out of scientific knowledge (from ecology, public health, and earth and atmospheric sciences) and a Romantic reverence for nature. The movement made the health of the planet a permanent priority on humanity's agenda, and it deserves credit for substantial achievements - another form of human progress.

Yet today, many voices in the traditional environmental movement refuse to acknowledge that progress, or even that human progress is a worthy aspiration. While it is true that not all the trends are positive, nor that the problems facing us are minor, it is crucial to understand that environmental problems, like other problems, are solvable, given the right knowledge.

In contrast to the lugubrious conventional wisdom offered by the mainstream environmental movement, and the radicalism and fatalism it encourages, there is a newer conception of environmentalism which shares the goal of protecting the air and water, species, and ecosystems but is grounded in Enlightenment optimism rather than Romantic declinism. That approach is called ecomodernism.

Environmental problems, like other problems, are solvable, given the right knowledge.

Ecomodernism begins with the realization that some degree of pollution is an inescapable consequence of the second law of thermodynamics. When people use energy, they must increase entropy elsewhere in the environment in the form of waste, pollution, and other forms of disorder. The human species has always been ingenious at doing this - that's what differentiates us from other mammals - and it has never lived in harmony with the environment. When native peoples first set foot in an ecosystem, they typically hunted large animals to extinction, and often burned and cleared vast swaths of forest.[1]

A second realization of the ecomodernist movement is that industrialization has been good for humanity.[2] It has fed billions, doubled lifespans, slashed extreme poverty, and, by replacing muscle with machinery, made it easier to end slavery, emancipate women, and educate children. It has allowed people to read at night, live where they want, stay warm in winter, see the world, and multiply human contact. Any costs in pollution and habitat loss have to be weighed against these gifts. As the economist Robert Frank has put it, there is an optimal amount of pollution in the environment, just as there is an optimal amount of dirt in your house. Cleaner is better, but not at the expense of everything else in life.

The third premise is that the trade-off that pits human well-being against environmental damage can be renegotiated by technology. How to enjoy more calories, lumens, BTUs, bits, and miles with less pollution and land is itself a technological problem, and one that the world is increasingly solving. If people can afford electricity only at the cost of some smog, they'll live with the smog, but when they can afford both electricity and clean air, they'll spring for the clean air. This can happen all the faster as technology makes cars and factories and power plants cleaner and thus makes clean air more affordable.

This idea, that environmental protection is a problem to be solved, is commonly dismissed as the "faith that technology will save us." In fact, it is a skepticism that the status quo will doom us - that knowledge and behavior will remain frozen in their current state for perpetuity. Indeed, a naive faith in stasis has repeatedly led to prophecies of environmental doomsdays that never happened.

The first is the "population bomb," which defused itself. When countries get richer and better educated, they pass through what demographers call the demographic transition.[3] Birth rates peak and then decline, for at least two reasons. Parents no longer breed large broods as insurance against some of their children dying, and women, when they become better educated, marry later and delay having children. Fertility rates have fallen most noticeably in developed regions like Europe and Japan, but they can suddenly collapse, often to demographers' surprise, in other parts of the world. Despite the widespread belief that Muslim societies are resistant to the social changes that have transformed the West, Muslim countries have seen a 40 percent decline in fertility over the past three decades, including a 70 percent drop in Iran and 60 percent drops in Bangladesh and in seven Arab countries.[4]

The other environmental scare from the 1960s was that the world would run out of resources. But resources just refuse to run out. The 1980s came and went without the famines that were supposed to starve tens of millions of Americans and billions of people worldwide. Then the year 1992 passed and, contrary to projections from the 1972 bestseller The Limits to Growth, the world did not exhaust its aluminum, copper, chromium, gold, nickel, tin, tungsten, or zinc. In 2013 the Atlantic ran a cover story about the fracking revolution entitled "We Will Never Run Out of Oil." Humanity does not suck resources from the earth like a straw in a milkshake until a gurgle tells it that the container is empty. Instead, as the most easily extracted supply of a resource becomes scarcer, its price rises, encouraging people to conserve it, get at the less accessible deposits, or find cheaper and more plentiful substitutes.

A naive faith in stasis has repeatedly led to prophecies of environmental doomsdays that never happened.

Indeed, it's a fallacy to think that people "need resources" in the first place.[5] They need ways of growing food, moving around, lighting their homes, and displaying information. They satisfy these needs with ideas: with recipes, formulas, techniques, blueprints, and algorithms for manipulating the physical world to give them what they want. The human mind, with its recursive combinatorial power, can explore an infinite space of ideas, and is not limited by the quantity of any particular kind of stuff in the ground. When one idea no longer works, another can take its place.

Take the supply of food, which has grown exponentially even though no single method of growing it has ever been sustainable. In The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis, the geographer Ruth DeFries describes the sequence as "ratchet-hatchet-pivot." People discover a way of growing more food, and the population ratchets upward. The method fails to keep up with demand or develops unpleasant side effects, and the hatchet falls. People then pivot to a new method. At various times, farmers have pivoted to slash-and-burn horticulture, night soil (a euphemism for human feces), crop rotation, guano, saltpeter, ground-up bison bones, chemical fertilizer, hybrid crops, pesticides, and the Green Revolution.[6] Future pivots may include genetically modified organisms, hydroponics, aeroponics, urban vertical farms, robotic harvesting, meat cultured in vitro, artificial-intelligence algorithms fed by GPS and biosensors, the recovery of energy and fertilizer from sewage, aquaculture with fish that eat tofu, and who knows what else - as long as people are allowed to indulge their ingenuity.[7]

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.  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, February 21, 2018



Apocalypse Not

In 1919, the director of the U.S. Bureau of Mines offered a dire warning for the future. “Within the next two to five years the oil fields of this country will reach their maximum production, and from that time on we will face an ever-increasing decline.”

Nearly a century later, in July 2010, The Guardian ran a story with an ominous headline: “Lloyd’s adds its voice to dire ‘peak oil’ warnings.” Citing a report by the storied London insurer, the newspaper warned that businesses were “underestimating catastrophic consequences of declining oil,” including oil at $200 a barrel by 2013, a global supply crunch, and overall “economic chaos.”

I thought of these predictions on seeing the recent news that the United States is on the eve of breaking a 47-year production record by lifting more than 10 million barrels of crude a day. That’s roughly twice what the U.S. produced just a decade ago, and may even put us on track to overtake Saudi Arabia and even Russia as the world’s leading oil producer. As for global production, it rose by some 11 percent just since the Lloyd’s report, and by almost 200 percent since 1965.

Call it yet another case of Apocalypse Not. In his fascinating new book, “The Wizard and the Prophet,” Charles C. Mann notes that President Roosevelt — Teddy, not Franklin — called the “imminent exhaustion” of fossil fuels and other natural resources “the weightiest problem now before the nation.” Prior to that, Mann adds, there were expert forecasts that the world would soon run out of coal. Later on, the world became fixated on the fear of running out of food in the face of explosive population growth.

The wizard and the prophet of Mann’s title are, respectively, Norman Borlaug and William Vogt, the former the agronomist widely credited as the father of the Green Revolution, the latter the founder of what Hampshire College’s Betsy Hartmann calls “apocalyptic environmentalism.”

“In best-selling books and powerful speeches, Vogt argued that affluence is not our greatest achievement but our biggest problem,” Mann writes. “Our prosperity is temporary, he said, because it is based on taking more from than earth than it can give. If we continue, the unavoidable result will be devastation on a global scale, perhaps including our extinction.”

In our own day, people like Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein have made careers saying more or less the same thing. This is a world where the clock is permanently set at two minutes to midnight, and where only a radical transformation of modern society (usually combining dramatic changes in personal behavior along with a heavy dose of state intervention) can save us. Above all, the Vogtians say, we need less: less consumption, less stuff, fewer people, and so on.

Borlaug and the Borlaugians take a different view. It’s not that they see environmental threats as bogus: The world really would have suffered catastrophic famines if Borlaug hadn’t developed high-yield, disease-resistant varieties of wheat. Oil is a finite resource, but whether reserves last 50 or 500 years will probably depend less on overall supply than on technologies to extract and use those reserves more efficiently.

The same goes for climate change, which will not be helped by some centrally planned, Chinese-style “Green Leap Forward,” but by a multitude of technological advances that in turn require a thriving capitalist economy to fund, develop, commercialize and make affordable. The foolish idea that capitalism is the enemy of the environment misses the point that environmentalism is itself a luxury that few poor countries can adequately afford. If you doubt this, contrast the air and water quality in New York City with that of any similar-sized city in the developing world.

I fall in the Borlaugian camp. That’s worth noting because one of the more tedious criticisms by the environmental left is that people like me “don’t care about the environment.” But imputing bad faith, stupidity or greed is always a lousy argument. Even conservatives want their children to breathe.

It also misses the point. As Mann notes, Borlaugians are environmentalists, too. They simply think the road to salvation lies not through making do with less, but rather through innovation and the conditions in which innovation tends to flourish, greater affluence and individual freedom most of all.

There’s also this: So far, the Borlaugians have mostly been right. To the extent that starvation is a phenomenon of recent decades — as in places like North Korea and Venezuela — it is mainly the result of gross political mismanagement, not ecological disaster. Peak oil keeps being defeated by frackers and deepwater explorers. As my colleague Nick Kristof recently pointed out, by most metrics of human welfare, the world keeps getting better with every passing year.

If environmental alarmists ever wonder why more people haven’t come around to their way of thinking, it isn’t because people like me occasionally voice doubts in newspaper op-eds. It’s because too many past predictions of imminent disaster didn’t come to pass. That isn’t because every alarm is false — many are all too real — but because our Promethean species has shown the will and the wizardry to master the challenge, at least when it’s been given the means to do so.

SOURCE





Crucial Climate Verdict, Naked Conflict-of-Interest

SPOTLIGHT: History’s most momentous climate decision was made by people with substantial conflicts-of-interest.

BIG PICTURE: In November 1995, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) declared for the first time that humans were changing the climate. Its verdict turned on a single piece of then-unpublished research. Four months after the fact, the research was submitted to a prominent journal. Three months later it was published.

The world then learned that 25% of the IPCC personnel tasked with making its most crucial determination were involved with this research. In a naked a conflict-of-interest, these nine people, led by IPCC chapter head Ben Santer, had evaluated the persuasiveness of their own fledgling scientific work – and had judged it sound enough to change history.

Academic journals receive thousands of scientific papers each year from researchers hoping to get their work published. Papers that make it to second base are sent to knowledgeable third parties for evaluation. This system, known as peer review, has many shortcomings. But when it works as it’s supposed to, it slams the brakes on exaggerated claims.

In Searching for the Catastrophe Signal, Bernie Lewin notes that this research was toned-down during the pre-publication process. (If reviewer criticisms are judged to be valid, journals will insist on changes as a condition of publication.)

In Lewin’s words, the title of the published version “heralds no breakthrough finding, but instead only describes a search” for human influence (his emphasis). The accompanying abstract tells us it’s likely that a temperature trend is “partially due to human activities, although many uncertainties remain…” (my emphasis).

In other words, the first time outsiders had an opportunity to take a proper look, they weren’t convinced the research demonstrated what the IPCC said it did. Standards at a scholarly journal are evidently higher than at this UN body.

A 2010 review of IPCC procedures identified numerous areas of concern. Among them was the startling fact that, 22 years after it had been established, the IPCC still had no conflict-of-interest policy.

TOP TAKEAWAY: IPCC scientists routinely pass judgment on their own work –  and on the work of their scholarly rivals. But we’re supposed to take its findings seriously.

SOURCE






"Clean" electricity tying New England in knots

All electricity is perfectly clean -- but not in New England, it seems



Massachusetts utilities and state energy officials have picked a backup plan to bring clean power into the state from Canada, while still giving a controversial transmission project more time to overcome objections in neighboring New Hampshire.

The alternative route is a 148-mile transmission project known as the New England Clean Energy Connect that would be built by Central Maine Power Co. and its parent, Avangrid, in Maine.

The state’s three big electric utilities are required by law to increase their purchases of clean power. In late January, a team representing the utilities picked a project that would import around 1,100 megawatts of electricity from Hydro-Quebec through a transmission project known as Northern Pass.

But on Feb. 1, the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee rejected a crucial permit for the 192-mile long Northern Pass. On Friday, state officials said Northern Pass executives have until March 27 to determine whether the transmission project can overcome its opposition in New Hampshire.

Eversource Energy owns the $1.6 billion Northern Pass project, and is also one of the utilities buying the clean power from Hydro-Quebec.

The moves Friday by the Baker administration essentially keep doors open for both projects, Northern Pass and New England Clean Energy Connect.

“The Baker-Polito Administration is pleased that with today’s announcement the Commonwealth is progressing toward securing the largest amount of renewable energy in Massachusetts’ history,” spokesman Peter Lorenz said in a statement.

Eversource is represented on the evaluation team of utility companies that are collectively negotiating contracts for the big clean energy purchase. Separately, Eversource’s promise that Northern Pass could be finished by the end of 2020 was cited as a reason it was initially chosen in January.

The subsequent permit denial in New Hampshire has thrown that timeline into question.

Eversource officials say they can make a strong legal argument to get the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee to reconsider its project, and have a little over a month to prove they can pull it off.

Eversource officials said Friday they appreciate the flexibility being offered by the Baker administration and the other utilities involved in the bidding process, National Grid and Unitil. The decision, Eversource said, strikes a sensible balance by continuing negotiations on Northern Pass while having a backup plan take shape.

The New England Clean Energy Connect comes in at a smaller cost than Northern Pass — $950 million — but would be finished in 2022. The line would run from the Canadian border in western Maine down to a connection point in Lewiston.

Importantly, most of the line would run through existing utility rights-of-way, which could lessen the kind of opposition from neighbors that undermined Northern Pass in New Hampshire.

“We believe the NECEC is a cost-effective response to Massachusetts’ needs,” Central Maine Power chief executive Doug Herling said in a statement. “Given our experience building projects of greater scale and complexity here in our home state, we’re confident we can meet our commitments to the Commonwealth.”

SOURCE





Greenland, Antarctica And Dozens Of Areas Worldwide Have Not Seen Any Warming In 60 Years And More!

For example the North Atlantic, an important region concerning global climate, has not warmed since the 1870s!



The North Atlantic was warmer 130 years ago than it is today. Source: de Jong and de Steuer, 2016.

Greenland as stable as ever

Greenland, a major concern of climate alarmists because it stockpiles enough ice to raise global sea levels some 6 meters, also hasn’t warmed in since the 1880s, as the following chart from Mikkelsen et al 2018 shows:



Antarctica: no warming in 200 years

The big sea level kahuna of course is Antarctica. If that huge block of ice ever melted completely, sea levels would rise some 60 meters! And thus submerge vast areas of lowlands worldwide (never mind it would take thousands of years at extremely higher global temperatures).

Yet According to Schneider et al 2006, there hasn’t been warming there in 200 years!



Antarctic temperatures in fact had been heading sharply south at the time the paper was published.

Himalayas: no warming in 300 years!

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research Director Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber once embarrassed himself by claiming the massive Himalayan glaciers would melt by the year 2030. But the following chart tells us that it might take just a bit longer:

According to a study by Thapa et al, 2015, the Himalayas recently have been cooling and the temperature there now is like it was 300 years ago! Don’t worry, when the year 2030 comes around, we’ll be sure to check to see if the ice is still there. In the meantime, do your best bearing all the suspense.

And so it goes region after region. So the next time the media and climate alarmists issue panicked warnings of rapid warming and melting ice caps, we need to ask ourselves: What the hell are they raving about? Are they okay?

The following is only an abbreviated list of places that have not cooled in a long time, and Kenneth says there are hundreds more like these. Many are from the results of very recent papers.

Since 1870s – no warming
Greenland – no warming
New Zealand – no warming
Antarctica – no warming
North Atlantic – no warming
Western Pacific – no warming
India/Western Himalaya – no warming
Pakistan – no warming
Turkey – no warming
Himalayas/Nepal – no warming
Siberia – no warming
Portugal – no warming
NE China – no warming
SW China – no warming
South China – no warming
West China – no warming
Southern South America – no warming
Canada (B.C.) – no warming
Canada Central – no warming
Since 1940s/50s – no warming
Northern Hemisphere – no warming
Arctic Region – no warming
Greenland – no warming
South Iceland – no warming
North Iceland – no warming
Alaska – no warming
New York – no warming
Rural U.S. – no warming
Northern Europe – no warming
Western Europe – no warming
Mediterranean Region – no warming
Finland and Sweden – no warming
East Antarctica – no warming
North Atlantic – no warming
Western North Atlantic – no warming
Brazil – no warming
SE Australia – no warming
Southern South America – no warming
Andes Mountains – no warming
Chile – no warming

If you live there, send them to your lawmakers and ask why they are wasting so much money preventing something that isn’t even happening.

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




A Coral's Biological Control of its Calcifying Medium to Favor Skeletal Growth
 
Great news for those concerned about potential future impacts of so-called ocean acidification on corals. A New Study shows they are able to continue skeletal growth under the most pessimistic of ocean acidification scenarios



Paper Reviewed: Raybaud, V., Tambutté, S., Ferrier-Pagès, C., Reynaud, S., Venn, A.A., Tambutté, É., Nival, P. and Allemand, D. 2017. Computing the carbonate chemistry of the coral calcifying medium and its response to ocean acidification. Journal of Theoretical Biology 424: 26-36.

Introducing their very intriguing study, Raybaud et al. (2017) write that "critical to determining vulnerability or resilience of reef corals to ocean acidification (OA) is a clearer understanding of the extent to which corals can control carbonate chemistry in their extracellular calcifying medium (ECM) where the calcium carbonate skeleton is produced." However, information about the coral ECM is sparse due to the difficulty of accessing it (it is located under several overlying cell layers and has a thickness varying from a few nanometers to a few micrometers).

In an effort to overcome this measurement obstacle, the team of eight researchers presented what they describe as "a novel, alternative means of indirectly assessing ECM carbonate chemistry using coral calcification rates, seawater characteristics (temperature, salinity and pH) and pH measurements of the ECM (pH(ECM))." More specifically, this involved (1) calculating coral species-specific relationships between seawater pH and pH(ECM) using pH(ECM) data from six publications on 5 different species that have measured pH(ECM) at several different levels of seawater pH, (2) calculating the aragonite saturation state (Ωarag.(ECM)) and calcium carbonate ion concentration ([CO32-](ECM)) in the ECM from coral calcification rates previously published in 20 peer-reviewed studies and (3) using pH(ECM) and [CO32-](ECM) to calculate the ionic concentration of the other chemical parameters in the carbonate system of the ECM under current and reduced values of seawater pH. This approach yielded a number of significant findings described in the paragraphs below.

The species-specific relationships between seawater pH and pH(ECM) revealed that all five of the corals analyzed in this stage of the analysis (Desmophyllum dianthus, Cladocora caespitosa, Porites spp., Acropora spp. and Stylophora pistillata) upregulated their pH(ECM) relative to that at normal seawater pH. What is more, the degree of pH(ECM) upregulation increased as seawater pH decreased, indicating, in the words of the authors, "an active biological control of the ECM chemistry by corals."

In the second phase of their work, Raybaud et al. discovered that the Ωarag.(ECM) values calculated from the 20 coral studies they analyzed ranged from 10.16 to 38.31 (mean of 20.41), which values were "~5 to 6-fold higher than Ωarag. in seawater (Ωarag.(SW)), which favors the aragonite precipitation of coral skeleton in the ECM." They also note that "Ωarag.(ECM) was higher for cold-water corals, which have slower growth rates than for tropical ones," adding that "the greater ability of certain cold-water coral species to raise their Ωarag.(ECM) may be an adaptive mechanism, as recently suggested by Hendriks and colleagues (Hendriks et al., 2015), enabling these organisms to grow in seawater that is close to under-saturation with respect to aragonite (Ωarag.(SW) ~1; (Thresher et al., 2011))."

Finally, with respect to the third phase of their study -- assessing other chemical parameters in the carbonate system of the ECM -- the authors report that (1) dissolved inorganic carbon and total alkalinity were approximately 3 times higher in the ECM than in seawater at normal pH, (2) carbonate concentration was 5.9 times higher, (3) bicarbonate ions were 2.1 times more concentrated and (4) hydroxide 2.3 fold higher, which observations clearly indicate the ability of corals to biologically mediate the process of calcification in the ECM under present-day seawater pH conditions. But will they continue to do so in the future under projections of pH decline?

To answer this question, Raybaud et al. utilized data from a long-term laboratory experiment performed on the tropical coral Stylophora pistillata in order to assess how coral ECM chemistry might change due to ocean acidification. The results are presented in the figure below, which illustrate the impact of ocean acidification on calcification rates and various ECM chemical characteristics of S. pistillata coral colonies exposed to normal (8.0) and reduced (7.8, 7.4 and 7.2) seawater pH levels for a period of one year.

As indicated there, Ωarag.(ECM) and [CO32-](ECM) exhibited only small reductions under increasing levels of ocean acidification compared to corresponding changes that occurred in normal seawater. For instance, although Ωarag. of the seawater decreased by 78% (from 3.17 to 0.69, as denoted by the blue horizontal lines in Figure 1e), when the pH declined from 8 to 7.2, Ωarag. and [CO32-] of the ECM each fell by a much smaller 9 percent to values that were 22.4 times higher than those reported in seawater outside the ECM in the most severe ocean acidification treatment (i.e., pH of 7.2). Consequently, the team of researchers write that "the ECM in S. pistillata under ocean acidification has a higher buffer capacity than under current pH," evidenced by the increasing difference between Ωarag.(ECM) and Ωarag.(SW) as the seawater pH treatments decline from 8.0 to 7.2 (see the vertical arrows and orange numbers associated with Ωarag. under the different pH treatments shown in Figure 1e).

In light of all of the above facts, Raybaud et al. conclude their results clearly show that "despite unfavorable Ωarag.(SW) [down to a seawater pH of 7.2], corals are able to maintain Ωarag.(ECM) sufficiently high to allow calcification to proceed," as "the biological regulation of ECM chemistry keeps Ωarag.(ECM) almost constant" under ocean acidification scenarios far beyond those likely to ever occur. And that is incredibly wonderful news for those concerned about potential future impacts of so-called ocean acidification on corals.

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.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

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

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018




A basic statistical fallacy in a figure relied on by Warmists

Limitations of the TCRE: Transient Climate Response to Cumulative Emissions

Jamal Munshi

Abstract

Observed correlations between cumulative emissions and cumulative changes in climate variables form the basis of the Transient Climate Response to Cumulative Emissions (TCRE) function. The TCRE is used to make forecasts of future climate scenarios based on different emission pathways and thereby to derive their policy implications for climate action. Inaccuracies in these forecasts likely derive from a statistical weakness in the methodology used. The limitations of the TCRE are related to its reliance on correlations between cumulative values of time series data. Time series of cumulative values contain neither time scale nor degrees of freedom. Their correlations are spurious. No conclusions may be drawn from them.

SOURCE




Climate alarmism is still bizarre, dogmatic, intolerant

Claims defy parody, as alarmists become more tyrannical and their policies wreak havoc

Paul Driessen

Climate alarmism dominated the Obama era and run-up to Paris. But it’s at least as bizarre, dogmatic and intolerant now that: President Trump pulled the United States out of the all pain/no gain Paris climate pact; the US EPA is reversing anti-fossil fuel programs rooted in doom-and-gloom climatology; America is producing and exporting more oil, gas and coal; developing nations are burning vastly more of these fuels; Poland is openly challenging EU climate diktats; and German, British Australian and other politicians are voicing increasing concerns about job-killing, eco-unfriendly “green” energy.

With trillions of dollars in research money, power, prestige, renewable energy subsidies, wealth redistribution schemes, and dreams of international governance on the line, the $1.5-trillion-per-year Climate Industrial Complex is not taking the situation lightly. Climate fear-mongering is in full swing.

Tried-and-true scare stories still dominate the daily news, often with new wrinkles tied to current events. The Winter Olympics were going to take “a huge hit from our warming planet,” the pressure group Protect Our Winters warned us (yes, it’s an actual organization). Of course, that was before fiendishly frigid conditions repeatedly postponed events and drove spectators from PyeongChang slopes.

But of course, bitter cold is “exactly what we should expect” from the global warming “crisis,” said Climategeddon expert Al Gore, who got a C and D in the only two science courses he took in college. It’s reminiscent of dire predictions that the Arctic would be ice-free by 2010 (or 2015 or 2025), and “children just aren’t going to know what snow is” (until record cold and snow battered the UK a couple years later).

We’re likewise propagandized constantly with deliberate falsehoods about “carbon pollution.” We burn carbon, in the form of hydrocarbons and coal. In the process, we emit carbon dioxide which is not a pollutant. It is the miracle plant food that makes life on Earth possible.

Other standard scares ignore the innumerable, monumental benefits of carbon-based fuels – and blame these fuels and CO2 emissions for planetary warming (and cooling), rising seas, forest fires, and every major problem from malaria to rainstorms, droughts, hurricanes and tornadoes.

A newly discovered danger, say a couple researchers, endangers green sea turtles. Planetary warming is causing up to 99% of turtle eggs to hatch as females. It won’t be long, perhaps just decades, until “there will not be enough males” to propagate the species. Some “30 years of knowledge” support this thesis.

That would take us all the way back to 1988, a decade before the 18-year global warming “hiatus” that was interrupted by the 2015-16 El Niño; a half-century since the Dust Bowl and record high planetary temperatures of the 1930s; 40 years after scientists were convinced Earth was about to enter a new little ice age; and some 750 years after the 300-year-long Medieval Warm Period. One has to wonder how sea turtles managed to survive such previous warm spells – and cold periods like the four-century-long Little Ice Age, since cold weather apparently churns out only male sea turtles.

Not to be outdone, Hillary Clinton asserted that women “will bear the brunt of looking for food, looking for firewood, looking for the place to migrate to when all the grass is finally gone, as the desertification moves south” because of climate change. Wrong. Entire families will continue to bear these burdens because of anti-energy policies imposed in the name of sustainability and climate change prevention.

(For more fearsome forecasts, see The Warmlist, a no longer complete, but still entertaining compendium of some 800 horrors supposedly caused by “dangerous manmade global warming and climate change.”)

The constant consternation strikes many as ridiculous. But others have become true believers – and have committed to not having children, not taking showers, de-carbonizing, de-industrializing and de-growing developed countries, shutting off oil pipelines, and other futile actions that bring no earthly benefits.

Our planet has certainly been warming. Thank goodness for that, because the extra warmth lifted habitats and humanity out of the Little Ice Age and its chilly, stormy weather, greatly reduced arable land, short growing seasons and CO2-starved crops. Powerful, uncontrollable natural forces drove that temperature rise. Earth may now face dangerous Mann-made global warming and climate cataclysms concocted by computer models – but no “unprecedented” or “existential” human-caused dangers in the real world.

Question or challenge climate crisis orthodoxy, however, and you will be vilified and face RICO prosecutions, bogus slander and SLAPP lawsuits, censure or expulsion from your university, attacks for sponsoring museum exhibits, or even “four hots and a cot” in a jail or a faraway gulag.

Thankfully, there are excellent antidotes: books by climatologists Roy Spencer, Patrick Michaels, Jennifer Marohasy, Tim Ball, political observer Marc Steyn and others; and websites like ClimateDepot.com, WattsUpWithThat.com, DrRoySpencer.com and Global Warming Policy Foundation.org, for example.

For a concise, yet comprehensive, and eminently readable lay guide to real climate science, geologist Gregory Wrightstone’s Inconvenient Facts: The science that Al Gore doesn’t want you to know may meet your needs. Its 123 pages are organized into two sections and 30 easily understood chapters, written in plain English and complimented by over 100 colorful charts, graphs, tables and illustrations, covering all the common climate issues, fears and myths.

The book is capped off by a handy list of 60 inconvenient facts that eviscerate alarmist dogma, and15 pages of references. As Lord Christopher Monckton’s says in his foreword, Wrightstone has succeeded “splendidly” in reliably distinguishing myths from realities in the climate debate.

The opening section devotes 54 pages to explaining greenhouse and climate basics, showing how carbon dioxide is huge in planetary life but minuscule on the climate front, skewering the myth of a 400 ppm CO2 “tipping point,” analyzing climate models versus real world measurements of global temperature, and showing why and how water vapor plays such a vital and dominant role in weather and climate.

Carbon dioxide, he notes, is essential plant food that makes forests, grasslands and crops grow faster and better, with less water, and thus able to feed more people from less land. Figure I-15 summarizes data from 3,586 experiments on 549 plant species and depicts how crop yields would increase and generate trillions of dollars in overall monetary benefits, if CO2 levels rose by 300 ppm. His analysis of the “hockey stick,” computer models and temperature predictions is equally illuminating.

Part II of Wrightstone’s book examines the many assertions and myths of a coming climate apocalypse, and demonstrates why they fail to meet basic standards of scientific evidence and integrity. The opening chapter demolishes the phony 97% “consensus” of scientists who supposedly agree that humans are now the primary cause of extreme weather and climate change, ushering in a catastrophic future. Subsequent chapters address famines, forest fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, melting ice packs, rising seas, polar bear populations, and other staples of climate alarmism.

“Ocean acidification,” he points out, is a term deliberately chosen to alarm people about an imaginary problem. Being honest, and saying seas might become very slightly less alkaline (have slightly lower pH levels) from more atmospheric and oceanic CO2 in the coming centuries, wouldn’t suffice. Worse, an oft-cited study ignored a full century of readily available data, and instead used computer models to fill in the contrived “gaps” on pH levels. As Wrightstone suggests, many people would call it Climate pHraud.

The bottom line? Scientists still do not understand the complexities of climate and weather. They still cannot separate human influences from the effects of powerful natural forces that have brought often profound climate changes throughout history. There is no evidence of a coming climate cataclysm.

Spending trillions of dollars – and condemning billions of people to expensive, insufficient, unreliable, land and raw material gobbling wind, solar and biofuel energy – is not just unnecessary. It is immoral.

Via email






Whatever happens they will say it "is consistent with what you would expect from a warming planet."







Shale is the real energy revolution

Shale gas and oil have banished peak oil, revived industry and changed geopolitics: Britain's opportunity

Gas will start flowing from Cuadrilla’s two shale exploration wells in Lancashire this year. Preliminary analysis of the site is “very encouraging”, bearing out the British Geological Survey’s analysis that the Bowland Shale beneath northern England holds one of the richest gas resources known: a huge store of energy at a cost well below that of renewables and nuclear.

A glance across the Atlantic shows what could be in store for Britain, and what we have missed out on so far because of obstacles put in place by mendacious pressure groups and timid bureaucrats. Thanks to shale, America last week surpassed the oil production record it set in 1970, having doubled its output in seven years, while also turning gas import terminals into export terminals.

The effect of the shale revolution has been seismic. Cheap energy has brought industry back to America yet carbon dioxide emissions have been slashed far faster than in Europe as lower-carbon gas displaces high-carbon coal. Environmental problems have, contrary to the propaganda, been minimal.

All thoughts of imminent peak oil and peak gas have vanished. Opec’s cartel has been broken, after it failed to kill the shale industry by driving the oil price lower: American shale producers cut costs faster than anybody thought possible. A limit has been put on the economic and political power of both Russia and Saudi Arabia, no bad thing for the people of both countries and their neighbours. Shale drillers turn gas and oil production on and off in response to price fluctuations more flexibly than old-fashioned wells.

Seven years ago it was possible to argue that shale would prove a flash in the pan. No longer: horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing are the biggest energy news of the century. For those who still think the falling price of wind and solar is more dramatic, consider this. Between them, those two energy sources provided just 0.8 per cent of the world’s energy in 2016, even after trillions of dollars in subsidy, and will reach only 3.6 per cent by 2040, according to the International Energy Agency. Gas will then be providing 25 per cent of the world’s energy, up from 22 per cent today.

SOURCE




Rise of the eco-cup enterprises as war on waste steps up

I am sort of sympathetic to this. I grew up in a long-gone era where the motto was "Waste not, want not" and nothing was "disposable".  So mountains of old disposable coffee cups do seem a waste.

On the other hand, digging big holes and filling them with rubbish is not exactly hi-tech or difficult.  And when the dump fills up it is customary to resurface it as a sports field or park.  A lot of our sports facilities originated that way.

As it happens, I always drink my coffee out of a china cup -- because I like it that way


When Simon Karlik saw rubbish bins overflowing with water bottles, coffee cups and takeaway food containers, he thought the amount of waste was “just insane”.

“I thought, can’t we go back to, in my terms, grandma's day, where you didn't rely on this very lazy option of just using something once and throwing it away,” says Karlik.

That prompted Karlik to start Cheeki, the Sydney-based company which makes vacuum-insulated stainless steel coffee cups you can carry to your café.

Today, his company, which produces a range of eco-friendly food and drink containers, turns over between $3 million to $4 million.

Reusable coffee cups rose in popularity in the wake of the ABC’s groundbreaking television series, War on Waste, which accelerated the public debate about Australia’s waste disposal problems.

According to the program, we throw out around 1 billion coffee cups each year.

Karlik started Cheeki in 2009 with stainless steel water bottles. “The water bottle was my focus for the first year or so and then we fairly quickly went into the coffee cups. And more recently, lunch boxes and food containers.”

He says while the water bottles were well received from the outset, “the coffee cups were certainly slower in the beginning. I remember early on we had a slogan, ‘No excuse for single use’. People didn't even understand that. We tried to speak to a lot of cafes about offering a discount if you brought in your reusable cup and they just didn't really understand.

“And then it really took off with the War on Waste TV show last year. That was the big one that put it into the mainstream consciousness. But there certainly had been a groundswell leading up to that TV show.”

Karlik says he saw an instant spike in website traffic. “It has dwindled away somewhat. But for the month after the TV show, it was incredibly powerful.”

Cheeki products are available through around 1200 retailers including health stores, organic grocers, pharmacies, homeware stores, which account for 95 per cent of their sales. They are also available online.

Karlik says Cheeki focuses on “insulated stainless steel cups and mugs which keep the product very hot for a long time. We have a couple of different styles, but our most popular style is leakproof, meaning you could literally get your coffee and put it in your handbag and run to the bus or something.”

He says the company does “considerable R & D work” and the overseas market is firmly on its radar.

While Cheeki sells in the UK and European market in “a small way”, it is planning to launch properly in the US and Europe in March.

Another product surfing this trend is the JOCO coffee cup.

“The JOCO brand was created in 2008,” says founder Matt Colegate. “The concept or the basis behind the brand was developed out of a personal protest against disposable waste and plastic.”

Colegate says the goal was to have a brand with values that could create eco-friendly products and solutions that then empower those values, “and also empower the individual to make a difference in their everyday life without sacrificing any luxuries as well”.

While the brand was born in 2008, Colegate says the “first product from the JOCO brand was literally a mug I grabbed from the office where I worked. I made a lid for it and started using that at the local cafes rather than disposable cups.

“The JOCO Cup that we feature is far more refined. We didn’t start production till a few years later because it was a side project for us. We had day jobs and the development process was substantial because we were attempting to work outside of the plastic world and that proved to be a big challenge.”

The first cups from the Torquay-based company were rolled out around 2012.

“When we started developing the product, we chipped in around $2000 to work out the design and so forth. Once we got around to the sampling stage, and our first production, we invested around $40,000.”

Colegate says things picked up from there. “Every year we have seen really good growth in uptake of reusable vessels and plastic-free vessels. The business was inefficient basically due to the fact that we were operating outside the plastic world, our costs were huge.

“In the last 24 months, we have really seen a big uptake, especially within parts of Europe and Australia. And then in the last year, with the War on Waste, we have seen increases of over 500 per cent in particular regions.”

The reusable glass JOCO cups are designed, developed and produced in-house, he says. “In the development process we worked very closely with leading baristas from around the world to get the input as to what they need to make the cup a perfect tool for their processes.”

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.  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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