Wednesday, August 24, 2016


I have a lot of facial swelling this morning
I have taken Clindamycin for it so that may help
But if it is no better tomorrow morning I will have to go into hospital and be put on a Vancomycin drip
I have been through all this before so I now expect to be up and running again early next week


I had my surgical procedure today and it was as bad as I thought it was going to be.  I went to a good public hospital so I was treated as well as they reasonably could in the circumstances.I ended up with a piece the size of a quarter chopped out of my right cheek near my  nose. Fortunately my plastic surgeon is brilliant and managed to put my face back together again.  I am now out of hospital but am experiencing some pain and discomfort.  So I would  not be clear enough in mind to attempt much in the way of blogging today

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

NOTE:  I am going into hospital later today for a rather complex procedure -- so I may not be blogging for a couple of days -- JR

I don’t need air conditioning, and neither do you

What the writer below says is perfectly correct.  I have lived almost all my life in the tropics and subtropics but it is only recently that I have got AC.  And to this day it is relatively unusual for Australian homes to have AC.

But it is not for others to tell us what we need. That is a personal decision.  In my case, my advancing years made me less able to cope happily with temperature extremes so I had an inverter installed in my bedroom/study.

Leftists always think that they can dictate what people need but that is just their usual Fascistic arrogance.  In the case below the subtext is is that we should not use AC because it consumes electricity, which in turn causes global warming.  The fact that there has been no anthropogenic global warming for nearly 20 years is not considered.

The reality is that we live in an age of unprecedented abundance in all sorts of ways and the Greenies for their own misanthropic reasons have been trying to stop that.

Below is a picture of Bill McKibben, a prominent Warmist.  To me he looks batshit crazy, a man obsessed.  Would you want him telling you what you need?

It’s time to come out of the closet. Or, more precisely, the sweat lodge.

My family lives without air con­ditioning, except for one antique, ­semi-comatose window unit that “cools” the bedroom to approximately the same temperature as Dallas at dusk.

Our house in Philadelphia was built in the 1920s, when people were tough and resourceful. For most of the year, the house is cool and pleasant, as long as there isn’t a mash-up of continuously scorching days and epic humidity, when the air is putrid, stagnant and, if it were a color, would definitely be mustard.

Which would be this summer. Which, so far, is the fourth-hottest summer on record in the Washington area. Emphasis on so far. NASA reports that July was the Earth’s hottest in recorded history. Cheer up, people say to those of us without air conditioning, September’s coming. Except people forget that most of September is still summer.

There are people among you, friends even, who live without artificial cooling during what are affectionately known as the dog days of summer. One-third of American households don’t have air conditioning, according to the Energy Department. Many of those, of course, can’t afford it, but people don’t like AC for a variety of reasons beyond cost: environmental, aesthetic, nostalgic, social and cultural.

And, yes, to humble-brag, which I may be doing right now, about our greater tolerance, lower carbon footprint and puny electric bills, which are half the temperature outside.

Clinical social worker Olivia Snyder lives on the fifth floor of a Philadelphia apartment building with southern exposure and no air conditioning. It gets so hot, she says, “I don’t want to turn on the burners, let alone the oven.”

But window units offend her. “Air conditioners are ugly. I really like the view,” she says. Also, “I hate sleeping with the noise. I’m super-weird about noise.”

There are people who are living without air conditioning in places far hotter than the East Coast. In 2009, Chris George, now a Washington Post digital editor, voluntarily gave up air conditioning for a year while living in the inhumane heat of Tempe, Ariz., mostly out of environmental concern. “I’ve been called many variations of the word ‘insane,’ ” George wrote in the Arizona Republic of the experiment, during which temperatures reached 103 degrees inside his home. But he also learned that “comfort is really just what you’re used to.”

There are a thousand reasons my family does without central air. Actually, several thousand.

Installing central air would be a profoundly expensive enterprise, involving a cavalcade of zeros and most likely new, less-beautiful windows. When our children ask why we’re still sweating it analog-style, and our house feels like a Tennessee Williams stage set but without the fetching undergarments and crippling dysfunction, we answer, “College tuition, vacations, cheese. You know, things like that.”

Also, I don’t like the hermetic feel of central air, the way it reduces everything to an artificial hum and makes you feel isolated from the environment, your body’s natural responses and, depending on your age, all the summers of your youth.

Air conditioning is not sultry or mysterious. It has no place in pulp fiction or film noir. The movie “Body Heat” is set in a small Florida town in 1981 yet is completely devoid of central air, which manages to make absolutely everything seem sexy — ice cubes, sweat, even wind chimes, which are generally just annoying.

There are positive aspects of going without. Fewer house guests. More dinner invitations. That humble-bragging business. Showers. I can’t tell you how rewarding showers feel. And ice cream tastes way better.


EPA lies by omission

Below is a screed about huricanes that the EPA puts out for students.  Most of it is fair enough but, as with all Green/Left writing, what is left out is the key to seeing how you are being misled.  It may be true that hurricanes have become more powerful in some recent period. What is not mentionred, however, is that hurricanes have become much RARER  -- which is actually in line with the absence of any recent global warming.  Taken as a whole, the hurricane data suggest temprerasture STASIS, not global warming

Hurricane in suburban neighborhoodHurricanes and other tropical storms get their energy from warm ocean water. As the top layer of the ocean gets warmer, hurricanes and other tropical storms grow stronger, with faster winds and heavier rain. Because of higher temperatures and increased evaporation, climate change causes other types of storms to get stronger, too.

What's happening now?

This graph shows two lines. One is an index that measures the strength of hurricanes, and the other shows the temperature of the ocean surface. The two lines show a similar pattern.

Hurricanes in the northern half of the Atlantic Ocean have become stronger over the last few decades. This graph shows the Power Dissipation Index, which measures total hurricane power each year based on the number of hurricanes and their wind speed. The graph also shows how hurricane strength is related to water temperature.

Over the past 20 years, hurricanes and other tropical storms in the Atlantic Ocean have become stronger. Since the 1980s, the United States has also experienced more intense single-day storms that are dumping a lot more rain or snow than usual.

What will happen in the future?

As the climate gets warmer, heavier rainstorms and snowstorms (with more precipitation than normal) are expected to happen more often, and hurricanes around the world could keep getting stronger.

Why does it matter?

Hurricanes and other storms can cause flooding; damage buildings, roads, and other structures; harm crops; and put people's lives in danger.


If you don't believe in global warming, you're too 'mentally ill' to be allowed to buy a gun?

In recent days, President Obama announced new "executive actions" on guns, that included language to shore up current federal law aimed at keeping mentally ill Americans from buying guns. Some skeptics of the president's actions believe that, as is usually the case, there are ulterior motives behind his actions.

For example, some believe that the president's order may include guidance on declaring people who disagree with Obama's policies – like those regarding so-called "global warming" and "climate change" – as mentally unstable.

It's not too far out of the realm of possibility, given this president's narcissism, anti-gun demeanor and ideological, cult-like adherence to the concept of man-caused climate phenomena.

As noted by the Media Research Center, anyone designated as "mentally ill" by doctors – who now have been empowered to report patients they deem to be unfit to the FBI – can be denied the right to keep and bear arms.

The official White House fact sheet on Obama's new regulations states:

"Current law prohibits individuals from buying a gun if, because of a mental health issue, they are either a danger to themselves or others or are unable to manage their own affairs. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has indicated that it will begin the rulemaking process to ensure that appropriate information in its records is reported to NICS."

'Climate denial' is a 'mental disorder'

Obama has repeatedly claimed that the threat of climate change is a greater one than that of terrorism; so, aren't people who deny that climate change is real, a danger to themselves or others and, thus, unfit to own firearms?

The notion that climate skeptics are not mentally capable people is not a new concept employed by the radical Left. Consider:

-- Oregon-based "sociology and environmental studies" Prof. Kari Norgaard has publicly stated that skepticism of climate change is a mental problem that must be "treated." (To show what a fruit loop this woman is, she also compared acceptance of the reality that climate change is bogus, to the "struggle" against racism and slavery.)

-- The journal Psychology Today published an article that listed a trio of warning signs that you are living a life of "climate change denial:"

* You think climate change is bad, but not that bad.
* You don't have an emotional reaction to climate change.
* You aren't getting political.

So, if you're one of those people who have come to understand that the climate change agenda is really about control, not "saving the planet," or you're not mad enough about it, or you've opted out of the political fight over it, you're mental.

-- As noted by The Telegraph's Christopher Booker (one of those mentally ill deniers), in a piece entitled, Climate 'denial' is now a mental disorder, says so-called "eco-psychologists" convened recently at the University of the West of England in Bristol, to examine the notion of classifying climate change denial as a "mental disorder."

-- And who could forget that Obama's EPA chief, Gina McCarthy, said that deniers are not "normal" people?

Believe it – or else

Those crazy Leftists – they create their own narrative and then, when the majority of people catch onto them, they change the rules of the game back into their favor.

Can't convince people to believe in the man-caused global warming hoax on their own? Fine – we'll just label them crazy, and for extra measure, we'll see to it that they are denied their constitutional rights in the process.

Speaking of bat-stuffing crazy regarding this issue, how about Robert Kennedy, Jr., calling for a law that punishes people who don't buy the warming globaloney? That's no different than a dictator requiring his people to believe in his edicts, no matter how obviously flawed they are, or risk losing their freedom (or lives).

It's not clear that Obama's order will affect global warming – let's call them realists – but you can certainly see where this "you're crazy if you don't believe it" attitude could go.


More idiocy from John Vidal and Peter Wadhams

Warmist predicted 4 of the last 0 ice-free summers

John Vidal is probably the stupidest journalist reporting on climate change for the Guardian, which is quite an achievement given the stiff competition. It was Vidal, you may recall, who claimed that the sexual harassment allegations against Pachauri were part of a conspiracy cooked up by climate sceptics.

Today, Vidal says that it is Time to listen to the ice scientists about the Arctic death spiral. Who are the scientists Vidal says we should listen to? Well, it turns out there’s only one quoted (distinguishing between singular and plural doesn’t seem to be one of John’s areas of expertise), and guess what, it’s Peter Wadhams again.

Wadhams is of course notorious for his failed predictions of Arctic ice disappearance.

In the Telegraph in 2011 Wadhams declared that “It is really showing the fall-off in ice volume is so fast that it is going to bring us to zero very quickly. 2015 is a very serious prediction and I think I am pretty much persuaded that that’s when it will happen.” This was unchallenged by the journalist, showing that unquestioning promotion of climate hype crosses the political spectrum in the media.

The BBC told us that Arctic summers would be ice-free by 2013, quoting both Wadhams and Maslowski.

But most remarkable is this article by John Vidal himself, Arctic expert predicts final collapse of sea ice within four years, published in 2012.  I wonder whether John Vidal’s science skills extend as far as adding 2012 and four. If so, this might help him understand why he’s not taken seriously.

But Vidal isn’t just a gullible idiot, he’s misleading readers with falsehoods. In his article today he claims that “Wadhams says what other scientists will not”, implying that other climate scientists agree with him but don’t want to speak out. Nothing could be further from the truth. Other climate scientists have publicly ridiculed Wadhams for his extreme views, with comments such as “ridiculous projections with no basis in physics”,  “Entertaining break with Wadhams. Back to science now” and “Hasn’t Wadhams already predicted 4 of the last 0 ice-free summers?”  Yet Vidal describes Wadhams as an “experienced and rational scientist”.


Rising sea levels caused by global warming could be GOOD news for coral reefs

It all depends on your modelling

Global warming could do at least as much to protect the world’s coral reefs as it will to damage them, new research from Australia suggests.

Climate change has long been believed to be disastrous for the fragile marine environments, but fresh modelling has predicted that oceanic changes caused by the phenomenon will also work to the reefs’ advantage.

Rising sea levels, caused by melting polar ice caps, could help moderate the extreme and often damaging conditions found in many reef habitats, according to scientists at the University of Western Australia.

By studying reef systems off the coast of north-western Australia, they showed how rapid sea level rise could substantially reduce the volatile daily extremes of water temperatures in the shallow reef habitats over the next century.

The resulting changes, they say, may potentially ameliorate the other effects of global ocean warming.

Mounting levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide are predicted to cause substantial changes to ocean temperature over the next 100 years, increasing the frequency and severity of mass bleaching, where corals expel the symbiotic algae living in their tissues, turning them completely white.

In April scientists announced that 93 per cent of the famous 1,500 mile Great Barrier Reef, on Australia’s East Coast, had now been bleached as a result of an underwater heatwave caused by global warming.

The situation caused some scientists to urge the Australian government to decide which parts of the reef it wanted to save.

Reefs in the Caribbean and in other regions such as the Maldives have also been badly affected by bleaching.

Warming seas are part of a “triple punch” said to be hitting coral reefs as a result of global warming, along with ocean acidification, which makes it more difficult for corals to build and maintain their skeletons, and more frequent and powerful reef-wrecking storms.

The new research by Professor Ryan Lowe and his team is the first to attempt to predict in detail the positive effects rising surface levels on reef environments.

Temperatures within shallow reefs often differ substantially from the surrounding ocean, so predicting future patterns of bleaching and other stresses is difficult.

However, recent science has focused on trying to improve predictions of regional ocean warming patterns driven by long-term climate change, as well as by the intensification of short-term climate patterns such as El Nino.

Using a collection of detailed field measurements, Prof Lowe and his team developed a modelling framework for predicting how local temperature extremes in shallow reefs will change in the future as a result of rising sea levels.

They found that even a modest sea level rise could substantially reduce local reef water temperatures in the future, meaning the change may partially contribute to limiting reef heat extremes in an overall warming ocean.

Despite the international carbon emissions caps agreed at the Paris climate talks last year, atmospheric warming is still expected to rise to between 2.7 and 3C above pre-industrial levels, breaching the 2C threshold beyond which many scientists say heatwaves and significant sea level rises are inevitable.

In 2015 the United Nations World Heritage Committee agreed not to list the Great Barrier Reef as an “in danger” site, providing Australia reports back to the committee in December this year with an adequate account of what is being done to preserve the reef.


Beyond The Spin: Alaska Village’s Demise Is More Complicated Than Yelling ‘Global Warming’

The Alaskan village of Shishmaref has voted to relocate because global warming puts its residents at risk of being washed away — or at least that’s the simplified narrative environmentalists and the media peddle.

Shishmaref, a small town of nearly 600 people just north of the Bering Strait, has become a poster child for global warming. It’s threatened by erosion and storm surge due to shrinking Arctic sea ice, and on Tuesday, its residents voted to relocate — they just don’t know where they’re going or how they’ll pay for it.

Shishmaref’s story, however, is much more complicated than news headlines suggest. A look back at the settlement’s history shows life there has always been precarious and always been at the mercy of nature.

“Within the next two decades, the whole island will erode away completely,” Esau Sinnok, a Shishmaref native and environmentalist, wrote to the U.S. Interior Department in 2015.

“To put this in perspective: I was born in 1997, and since then, Shishmaref has lost about 100 feet,” he wrote in his highly publicized essay. “In the past 15 years, we had to move 13 houses – including my dear grandma Edna’s house – from one end of the island to the other because of this loss of land.”

Sinnok’s essay is emblematic of how many understand the situation for Native American coastal villages across Alaska. The spectre of global warming is seen from Shishmaref to Newtok to Kivalina, and even the Isle de Jean Charles in Louisiana.

Read the news and you’ll hear the story of a people being forced out of their homes by erosion after 400 years. But that’s not the whole truth.

Take Shishmaref. People have been there for about 400 years, but only on a seasonal basis. Native Alaskans would traverse the the region looking for the best places to find food, and for part of the year, Sarichef Island had what people needed.

Oregon State University anthropologist Elizabeth Marino is one of the few scholars to really dig into Shishmaref’s history and why the settlement is located where it is today. Marino notes how Shishmaref didn’t become a permanent settlement until the 20th century after the “U.S. government pursued a deliberate policy of ending all nomadic lifestyles among Native Americans,” according to a review of her book by Alaska Dispatch News (ADN).

“The people of Shishmaref weren’t forcibly collectivized in the way that Natives were elsewhere in the country in the 19th century, but the government’s opening of a school in Shishmaref, coupled with the onset of compulsory education, had the same effect,” ADN wrote of Marino’s book.

In fact, Shishmaref isn’t even a native Alaskan name. The settlement is named after a Russian explorer who traversed the Alaskan coast in 1821.

At first, settling on Shishmaref made sense, but it was “always tenuous ground to build on,” ADN reported. Natives cobbled together homes on Sarichef Island out of whatever they could, so their kids could go to school.

But they built on permafrost, and that’s a risky bet without modern techniques and equipment to keep the sensitive frost from melting. Human settlement and rising temperatures melted the permafrost Shishmaref’s homes were built on, meaning basically sand was exposed and was washed away by storm surge. Combine that with shrinking Arctic sea ice levels, and you’ve got a big problem.

“They didn’t think about infrastructure or any of that because there was no such thing,” Dan Kish, the senior vice president for policy of the free market Institute for Energy Research, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“It wasn’t until the government came along and started handing out checks and delivering things that you needed to settle down so you could get it,” said Kish, who spent years traveling Alaska while working for the House committee overseeing U.S. natural resources.

But don’t think it’s just recent temperature rise that’s harmed Shismaref. Storm surge and erosion has been a problem for decades before scientists and activist began worrying about global warming.

Shishmaref is part of a chain of barrier islands — sand islands that are formed by storm surges and separated from the mainland by shallow bays. The Shishmaref barrier islands likely formed about 1,700 years ago, during a period of increased storminess, according to a 1999 study.

Storminess subsided after that until about 1,200 years ago, when they began to get fiercer again. The study suggests the Bering Strait region sea level has risen nearly five feet over the last 5,000 years.

“They built in a bad place,” said Kish. Even Marino noted Shishmaref residents had discussed relocating to mainland Alaska as early as the 1970s. Sea levels and erosion have been impacting the island for thousands of years.

An Uncertain Future

The U.S. government basically forced Shishmaref into existence and now the village is trying to get the feds to pay for their removal.

Shishmaref is at a breaking point. The town voted Tuesday to relocate, but the Army Corps of Engineers estimated in 2004 the removal could cost $180 million — that’s $320,000 per resident.

Federal officials have already given the town $27 million between 2005 and 2009 to stem erosion. Those measures only bought the town 15 years, according to The New York Times.

Some aren’t convinced the relocation will happen — two previous efforts to relocate were defeated over worries about leaving the town’s school behind. Opponents of moving don’t like the potential relocation sites on the mainland because they lack barge access.

It’s also unclear how they’ll pay for it all. Shishmaref is poor and would need millions from taxpayers.

Supporters of moving are somewhat optimistic since the Obama administration natives on the Isla de Jean Charles $48 million in January to relocate.

“I’m going to have to wait to see how all of this shakes down,” a Shishmaref resident told NYT over the phone. “There’s a number of questions to be answered before we can make a very serious attempt at moving.”



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

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


Monday, August 22, 2016

Fracturing common sense

Colorado extremists want to ban fracking, oil, gas, jobs, revenues, property rights

Paul Driessen

Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has given the USA and world centuries of new petroleum supplies, lowered energy prices for manufacturers, motorists and consumers, and altered geopolitics for the Middle East, Russia and Venezuela. New natural gas supplies provide low-cost petrochemical feed stocks, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by fueling electrical generating plants – which you’d think would be good news for climate alarmists.

But naturally, those who inhabit environmentalism’s loonier fringes have gone into overdrive. They used to support natural gas. However, now that they’ve shut down many American coal mines and coal-burning power plants, they’re against it.

In shale-rich Colorado, they’re upset that the state supreme court overturned several local fracking bans. So Coloradans Resisting Extreme Energy Development collected signatures on petitions to have several anti-fracking “citizen initiatives” put on the November election ballots. To them, anything promoting or allowing fossil fuels is “extreme.”

With great hoopla, CREED delivered hundreds of boxes to Colorado’s Secretary of State. Lots of boxes, in a clever PR stunt – but most of them almost empty, and holding only a few thousand more signatures than the 98,492 required to get on the ballot, with thousands likely to be invalidated.

One frack-hater sounded relieved, saying he’d rather see the initiatives kept off the ballot than be “crushed” in the elections. That indeed would be the likely result. Most Coloradans want the benefits fracking brings, know the alleged health and environmental impacts are exaggerated or fabricated, and realize the CREED petitions fracture common sense and truly ethical energy policies.

It’s the same at the national level: Hillary Clinton and her Big Green-Bigger Government allies want to eliminate the oil, gas, coal and fracking job-creating miracle. The only energy jobs they want is those that require perpetual billions in taxpayer and consumer subsidies paid to the Democrats’ campaign donors.

Fractured common sense and ethics also mean hypocrisy. Local control is vital, CREED insists – but only if communities oppose fracking. Never if they want fracking, ethanol-free gasoline or affordable coal-based electricity for poor, minority and blue collar families. Never if locals don’t want bird-butchering wind turbines in their neighborhoods. Never if they don’t want oil replaced by biofuels grown on millions of acres that used to be croplands, forests, grasslands and rainforests.

The anti-fracking petitions also violate private property rights, the bedrock of America’s wealth creating free enterprise system. They endow us with the freedom to work hard to obtain and retain a residence, car, farm, business, college fund or retirement nest egg. They are protected by our Constitution, which holds that no one can be deprived of property without “due process of law” and “just compensation.”

If anti-fracking fringe groups get their way, property rights could become just a fond memory. If their schemes catch on, these fundamental rights could become endangered far more widely.

One CREED initiative, which did not secure enough signatures, would have guaranteed “a healthy environment.” As a Colorado Legislative Council memo notes, that raises unanswered but basic questions. Is the environmental currently healthy? If not, when was it healthy? How will environmental health be assessed – and by whom?

Another failed idea would have banned land and mineral owners from employing fracking to produce oil and natural gas. Another still pending initiative would let localities pass ordinances, including bans on drilling and fracking, with primacy over state law.

#78 would prevent drilling and fracking within 2,500 feet of occupied buildings or “areas of special interest.” CREED defines “areas of special interest” as playgrounds, sports fields and virtually any body of water: lakes, rivers, intermittent creeks, irrigation canals and nearly anything except potholes.

My former home state already has strict setback standards and some of the toughest drilling rules in the nation. Wells cannot be drilled within 1,000 feet of schools and hospitals, and must be 500 feet from homes and commercial buildings. Additional setbacks cover recreational facilities and property lines.

Extending the setbacks to 2,500 feet (nearly one-half mile) would almost eliminate the state’s energy production. Many think is CREED’s real goal. Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission maps reveal that Initiative 78 would prohibit 90% of new wells and fracking operations. In the most energy-productive counties, 95% of energy development would be stopped.

A University of Colorado Leeds School of Business study projects that even a 2,000-foot setback could cut Colorado’s GDP by as much as $11 billion per year and eliminate 62,000 jobs by 2030.

The initiatives severely impact property rights. If an amended state constitution imposes 2,500-foot setbacks, thousands of mineral-rights owners would be precluded from producing energy on their own land. Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper says that could be considered a “taking,” in which the state essentially confiscates private mineral rights. That means it could ultimately be required to pay billions of dollars in “just compensation.”

CREED and its allies couldn’t care less. They want all fossil fuels kept in the ground and claim fracking chemicals endanger groundwater – despite extensive evidence that refutes those claims. Even a landmark 2015 U.S. EPA study found almost no instances where fracking contaminated subsurface drinking water.

They also ignore two fundamental realities. First, government and other analysts point out, oil and natural gas will still supply 65-70% of total U.S. energy needs in 2040. Second, supposed petroleum “alternatives” also have major environmental impacts.

For example, industry and government data show that generating just 20% of US electricity with wind power would require some 18,000,000 acres of land, 186,000 turbines, 19,000 miles of new transmission lines, and 270,000,000 tons of concrete, steel, copper, fiberglass and rare earths. Those materials have to be extracted somewhere, nowadays mostly in countries with regulations that generally fail to protect human health and environmental quality, with Baotou, China a poster child for abject failure.

Of course, these are minor details for zealots. They think they should be the ones deciding whose property rights, jobs, living standards, health, welfare, environmental quality and other basic rights should be protected, and whose should be sacrificed to advance activist agendas.

So CREED and its radical allies like the Sierra Club, Food & Water Watch and intend to stir up as much state and local mischief as possible, to impose their will on America. The high stakes have made the Colorado ballot initiatives vitriolic and expensive.

CREED’s antics are akin to a “toddler throwing itself on the floor, kicking and screaming in the hope it will get its way,” the Greeley Tribune editorialized. Unfortunately, “progressive” toddlers are used to getting their way, in legislatures, in courtrooms and on college campuses.

They remind me of Irish statesman Edmund Burke’s observation. “Because half a dozen grasshoppers under a fern make the field ring with their importunate chink, whilst thousands of great cattle chew the cud and are silent, pray do not imagine that those who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field … or that they are other than little, shriveled, meager, hopping, though loud and troublesome, insects of the hour.”

Will informed, responsible adults finally inject some sanity into state and federal energy policies?

Via email

Cruise ship looks to make clean journey through Northwest Passage

Amazing where you can go with an icebreaker going ahead of you

Crystal Cruises has spent three years planning the Serenity’s voyage to prevent Titanic-like scenarios (and is requiring $50,000 in evacuation insurance for passengers). The Canadian and American coast guards and federal bodies including Transport Canada are also overseeing the trip.

Such preparation is “unprecedented,” Mr. Hutchinson said. “We’ve seen a level of planning that suggests to us the company is taking seriously the conditions they’re going to face.”

The British RRS Ernest Shackleton icebreaker is escorting the ship, along with two helicopters to assess ice conditions. The Serenity is outfitted with a forward-looking sonar, searchlights and a navigation system that displays near real-time satellite ice imagery.

Two veteran Canadian ice pilots will also accompany the captain and his team, who have been trained to navigate far-northern regions. Under regulations, the Serenity is required to debrief daily with the Canadian Coast Guard.

The Serenity’s sprawling month-long itinerary includes three Canadian stops: Ulukhaktok, a community of 400 mostly Inuit people in Northwest Territories, as well as Cambridge Bay and Pond Inlet in Nunavut. Vicki Aitaok, cruise-ship co-ordinator for Cambridge Bay, will see the population of her 1,600-person hamlet double when the Serenity docks on Aug. 29.

“This one is huge,” said Ms. Aitaok, who oversees five cruise-ship visits over a tight two-week window in late August. The hamlet typically welcomes 100 passengers from small cruises for an afternoon visit. But the Serenity’s stop will require a 13-hour block scheduled to military precision, with 100 passengers passing through each half hour.


Feds permit wind mills to kill more bald eagles

This is outrageous.  There would be an almighty howl if anybody else did this

Back in May, ABC News published a revealing story that is symbolic about the nature, not just of this blog, but of environmentalism itself. At the time and as the article points out, the Fish and Wildlife Service published a rule increasing the amount of bald eagles allowed to be killed by an energy project from 1,160 to 4,200. This based on the agency’s claim that the bald eagle population is healthy enough to sustain such loses.

It isn’t just the demonstration of a once endangered species in danger of going back to extinction, but demonstrates environmentalists exist to destroy civilization. The windmills are (in theory) supposed to use a natural element of Earth to generate power for humans. They are supposed to lessen human usage of Earth’s resources and are a policy environmentalists have advocated for years. The bald eagle is the symbol of the United States of America, the greatest country that has ever existed. But the US and the people who make it up will be sacrificed to the needs of nature as symbolized by the bald eagles who will be killed resulting from windmill use.


Development banks spend $US billions on coal-fired power plants

Generating Greenie agony. See below.  Banks survive and grow by making rational decisions, not by catering to environmental activism

Some 338 gigawatts of new coal-fired electrical generation are under construction around the world, principally in Asia, according to a March study by CoalSwarm, a global network of researchers. That is comparable to the generating capacity of all the coal-fired plants in the United States.

Nearly 1,100 gigawatts of coal-fueled generating capacity are in the planning stages. If even half of the plants planned and under construction operate as intended, that would pour upwards of 122 gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere over the next 40 years, said the researchers.

The consequences for the world’s ecosystems, and especially the planet’s freshwater reserves, are profound. Climate change already affects the stability of the world’s hydrological cycles, producing deeper droughts and more severe floods. Warming waters contaminated with nutrients have given rise to dangerous blooms of toxic algae. The 122 gigatons produced by half of the new and planned coal-fired power plants is a sizable share of the 141-gigaton to roughly 500-gigaton carbon dioxide budget that scientists say the world can produce in the next four decades and still keep the rise in global temperatures to under 2 degrees Celsius, the limit thought to secure human and ecological safety.


Rock star-scientist Brian Cox confused on more than global temperatures

By Jennifer Marohasy

Celebrity physicist Brian Cox misled the ABC TV Q&A audience on at least 3 points-of-fact on Monday night. This is typical of the direction that much of science is taking. Richard Horton, the current editor of the medical journal, The Lancet, recently stated that, "The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue."

Firstly, Cox displayed an out-of-date NASA chart of remodelled global temperatures as proof that we have catastrophic climate change caused by industrial pollution. Another panellist on the program, One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts, tried to raise the issue of cause and effect: querying whether there really was a link between rising temperature and carbon dioxide. This is generally accepted without question. But interestingly – beyond experiments undertaken by a chemist over 100 years ago – there is no real proof beyond unreliable computer simulation models.

Indeed, in 2006, John Nicol (a former Dean of Science at James Cook University) wrote to Penny Whetton (then meteorologist-in-charge of the climate science stream at CSIRO) asking if she could provide him with copies notes, internal reports, references ("peer reviewed" of course) which would provide details of the physics behind the hypothesis of global warming. She wrote back immediately promising to find some – which he thought was odd since he had assumed her office was stacked-to-the-ceiling with such literature.

Whetton even went to the trouble of contacting other colleagues – one of whom sent Nicol an inconsequential article in a Polish journal. After eighteen months of their exchanging letters and all of her promises to be helpful, all she could finally offer was the "scientific" section of "Climate Change in Australia 2007". There, to Nicol's amazement he found nothing apart from the oft quoted: "We believe that most of the increase in global temperatures during the second half of the 20th century was very likely due to increases in the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide".

"Believe", "most", and "very likely" are jargon, perhaps meaning "we don't have a clue".

The chart Cox held up on Monday night – now all-over-the-internet as proof of global warming – essentially represents a remodelling of observed temperature measurements to confirm a belief, that we most likely have catastrophic global warming.

The accurate UAH satellite record shows a spike in temperatures in 1997-1998 associated with the El Nino back then, followed by a long pause of about 17 years, before the recent spike at the end of 2015-beginning of 2016. The recent spike was also caused by an El Nino event. Global-temperatures have been plummeting since March, and are now almost back to pause-levels. Indeed, Roberts was more correct than Cox, when he claimed there had been no warming for about 21 years – despite the rise in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide.

The second misleading statement from Cox on Monday night concerned the nature of the modern sceptic – often harshly labelled a denier. Cox suggested that sceptics were the type of people that would even deny the moon-landing. In making this claim he was no doubt alluding to research, since discredited, funded by the Australian Research Council, that attempted to draw a link between scepticism of anthropogenic global warming and believing in conspiracies.

In fact, astronaut Harrison Schmitt – who actually stood on the moon, drilled holes, collected moon rocks, and has since returned to Earth – is a well-known sceptic of anthropogenic global warming. In short, Astronaut Harrison knows the moon-landing was real, but does not believe carbon dioxide plays a significant role in causing weather and climate change. In fact, Schmitt has expressed the view – a very similar view to Roberts – that the risks posed by climate change are overrated. Harrison has even suggested that climate change is a tool for people who are trying to increase the size of government – though he does not deny that he has been to the moon and back.

Thirdly, Cox has qualifications in particle physics, yet he incorrectly stated that Albert Einstein devised the four-dimensional-space-time continuum. Those with a particular interest in the history of relativity theory know that while Einstein reproduced the Lorenz equations using a different philosophical interpretation, he was not the first to put these equations into the context of the 4-dimensional continuum – that was done by Hermann Minkowski. Minkowski reformulated in four dimensions the then-recent theory of special relativity concluding that time and space should be treated equally. This subsequently gave rise to the concept of events taking place in a unified four-dimensional space-time continuum.

Then again, Cox may not care too much for facts. He is not only a celebrity scientist, but also a rock star. Just the other day I was watching a YouTube video of him playing keyboard as the lead-singer of the band screamed, "We don't need a reason".

There was once a clear distinction between science – that was about reason and evidence – and art that could venture into the make-believe including through the re-interpretation of facts. This line is increasingly blurred in climate science where data is now routinely remodeled to make it more consistent with global warming theory.

For example, I'm currently working on a 61-page expose of the situation at Rutherglen. Since November 1912, air temperatures have been measured at an agricultural research station near Rutherglen in northern Victoria, Australia. The data is of high quality, therefore, there is no scientific reason to apply adjustments in order to calculate temperature trends and extremes. Mean annual temperatures oscillate between 15.8°C and 13.4°C. The hottest years are 1914 and 2007; there is no overall warming-trend. The hottest summer was in 1938–1939 when Victoria experienced the Black Friday bushfire disaster. This 1938-39 summer was 3°C hotter than the average-maximum summer temperature at Rutherglen for the entire period: December 1912 to February 2016. Minimum annual temperatures also show significant inter-annual variability.

In short, this temperature data, like most of the temperature series from the 112 sites used to concoct the historical temperature record by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology does not accord with global warming theory.

So, adjustments are made by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology to these temperature series before they are incorporated into the Australian Climate Observations Reference Network – Surface Air Temperature (ACORN-SAT); and also the UK Met Office's HadCRUT dataset, which informs IPCC deliberations.

The temperature spike in 1938-1939 is erroneously identified as a statistical error, and all temperatures before 1938 adjusted down by 0.62°C. The most significant change is to the temperature minima with all temperatures before 1974, and 1966, adjusted-down by 0.61°C and 0.72°C, respectively. For the year 1913, there is a 1.3°C difference between the annual raw minimum value as measured at Rutherglen and the remodelled value.

The net effect of the remodelling is to create statistically significant warming of 0.7 °C in the ACORN-SAT mean temperature series for Rutherglen, in general agreement with anthropogenic global warming theory.

NASA applies a very similar technique to the thousands of stations used to reproduce the chart that Cox held-up on Monday night during the Q&A program. I discussed these change back in 2014 with Gavin Schmidt, who oversees the production of these charts at NASA. I was specifically complaining about how they remodel the data for Amberley, a military base near where I live in Queensland.

Back in 2014, the un-adjusted mean annual maximum temperatures for Amberley – since recordings were first made in 1941 – show temperatures trending up from a low of about 25.5°Cin 1950 to a peak of almost 28.5°Cin 2002. The minimum temperature series for Amberley showed cooling from about 1970. Of course this does not accord with anthropogenic global warming theory. To quote Karl Braganza from the Bureau as published by online magazine The Conversation, "Patterns of temperature change that are uniquely associated with the enhanced greenhouse effect, and which have been observed in the real world include... Greater warming in winter compared with summer… Greater warming of night time temperatures than daytime temperatures".

The Bureau has "corrected" this inconvenient truth at Amberley by jumping-up the minimum temperatures twice through the homogenization process: once around 1980 and then around 1996 to achieve a combined temperature increase of over 1.5°C.

This is obviously a very large step-change, remembering that the entire temperature increase associated with global warming over the 20th century is generally considered to be in the order of 0.9°C.

According to various peer-reviewed papers, and technical reports, homogenization as practiced in climate science is a technique that enables non-climatic factors to be eliminated from temperature series – by making various adjustments.

It is often done when there is a site change (for example from a post office to an airport), or equipment change (from a Glaisher Stand to a Stevenson screen). But at Amberley neither of these criteria can be applied. The temperatures have been recorded at the same well-maintained site within the perimeter of the air force base since 1941. Through the homogenization process the Bureau have changed what was a cooling trend in the minimum temperature of 1.0°Cper century, into a warming trend of 2.5°C per century.

Homogenization – the temperature adjusting done by the Bureau – has not resulted in some small change to the temperatures as measured at Amberley, but rather a change in the temperature trend from one of cooling to dramatic warming as was done to the series for Rutherglen.

NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) based in New York also applies a jump-up to the Amberley series in 1980, and makes other changes, so that the annual average temperature for Amberley increases from 1941 to 2012 by about 2°C.

The new Director of GISS, Gavin Schmidt, explained to me on Twitter back in 2014 that: "@jennmarohasy There is an inhomogenity detected (~1980) and based on continuity w/nearby stations it is corrected. #notrocketscience".

When I sought clarification regarding what was meant by "nearby" stations I was provided with a link to a list of 310 localities used by climate scientists at Berkeley when homogenizing the Amberley data.

The inclusion of Berkeley scientists was perhaps to make the point that all the key institutions working on temperature series (the Australian Bureau, NASA, and also scientists at Berkeley) appreciated the need to adjust-up the temperatures at Amberley. So, rock star scientists can claim an absolute consensus?

But these 310 "nearby" stations, they stretch to a radius of 974 kilometres and include Frederick Reef in the Coral Sea, Quilpie post office and even Bourke post office. Considering the un-adjusted data for the six nearest stations with long and continuous records (old Brisbane aero, Cape Moreton Lighthouse, Gayndah post office, Bundaberg post office, Miles post office and Yamba pilot station) the Bureau's jump-up for Amberley creates an increase for the official temperature trend of 0.75°C per century.

Temperatures at old Brisbane aero, the closest of these station, also shows a long-term cooling trend. Indeed perhaps the cooling at Amberley is real. Why not consider this, particularly in the absence of real physical evidence to the contrary? In the Twitter conversation with Schmidt I suggested it was nonsense to use temperature data from radically different climatic zones to homogenize Amberley, and repeated my original question asking why it was necessary to change the original temperature record in the first place. Schmidt replied, "@jennmarohasy Your question is ill-posed. No-one changed the trend directly. Instead procedures correct for a detected jump around ~1980."

If Twitter was around at the time George Orwell was writing the dystopian fiction Nineteen Eighty-Four, I wonder whether he might have borrowed some text from Schmidt's tweets, particularly when words like, "procedures correct" refer to mathematical algorithms reaching out to "nearby" locations that are across the Coral Sea and beyond the Great Dividing Range to change what was a mild cooling-trend, into dramatic warming, for an otherwise perfectly politically-incorrect temperature series.

Horton, the somewhat disillusioned editor of The Lancet, also stated recently that science is, "Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness." I would not go that far! I am not sure it has taken a turn for darkness – perhaps just a turn towards the make-believe. Much of climate science, in particular, is now underpinned with a postmodernist epistemology – it is simply suspicious of reason and has an acute sensitivity to the role of ideology in asserting and maintaining particular power-structures including through the homogenisation of historical temperature data.


Scholar exposes lies behind 'global warming

A Canadian scholar and expert on foreign affairs is uncovering through a new book many of the deceptions used by radical environmentalists and other “climate change” activists to push their “global warming” agenda that is reportedly making government and corporate bank accounts very green.

In his recently published book titled Hubris: The Troubling Science, Economics, and Politics of Climate Change, Michael Hart — who serves as emeritus professor of international affairs at the Norman Paterson School of International affairs at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada — questions the global climate change campaign that has funneled billions of dollars into government hands in a so-called last-ditch effort to save the planet. He was asked what motivated him to take on such a challenge.

“I was initially motivated by questions from my students – and my wife – about the policy implications of climate change,” Hart told LifeSiteNews in an interview. “The more I looked into it, however, the more I learned the extent to which it fit with one of my research interests: the extent to which modern health, safety and environmental regulatory activity relies on poor science advanced by activists to push an agenda. I learned that both domestic and international actors had succeeded in using the poorly understood science of climate change to advance an ambitious environmental agenda focused on increasing centralized control over people’s daily lives.”

Uncovering a lie

The professor, who served as an official in Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, has been conducting research for his latest work for more than 10 years. He maintains that his challenging endeavor is critical to understanding a movement that is determined to use the climate issue to advance a utopian agenda that is misleading – at best.

Hart, whose research debunks the so-called climate change “science,” was asked how the teaching is being misused across the world.

“The global climate is one of the most complex, chaotic, non-linear natural systems we know,” the former visiting chair in Canada-United States relations at the Fulbright-Woodrow Wilson Center explained. “It is in a constant state of flux due to such factors as changes in the output of the sun, changes in Earth’s orbit around the sun, and oscillations in ocean heat uptake. The alarm[ist] movement has taken one such factor – growth in the minor atmospheric greenhouse gas carbon dioxide – to claim that human activity is changing the atmosphere to an alarming degree, leading inexorably to a much warmer climate.”

He argues that climate change activists misrepresent the figures to fit their agenda.

“While increased atmospheric carbon dioxide – from .03 to .04 percent of the atmosphere – should lead to some warming, the extent of that warming within the context of a complex system that is in a constant state of flux due to numerous forcings and feedbacks is highly exaggerated,” Hart continued. “The best evidence indicates that the mild warming at the end of the 20th century was well within historical and geologic experience. Over the first decade and a half of the 21st century, there has been no net warming. The alarmist movement relies extensively on flawed computer models to make its case.”

The climate expert then cited the works of acclaimed science journalist, Matt Ridley, of the United Kingdom, to stress his point.

“Environmental researchers are increasingly looking for evidence that fits their ideology rather than seeking the truth,” Ridley asserted.

Teaching myths as facts

Hart also addressed how global warming can be promoted as fact in virtually every academic institution when such a dearth of empirical data actually supports global warming – similar to the unconditional propagation of Darwinian evolution in academic circles.

“More than one motivation drives the abuse of science,”said the scholar-in-residence at the School of International Service. “Among scientists, the primary reasons are money, career advancement and prestige. In order to pursue their research programs, scientists need money from governments and foundations. They have learned that satisfying the agenda of both helps funds to flow. As a result, they have learned to adapt their research to the desired outcomes. Related to money and careers is the need to publish in so-called prestige journals on the basis of peer review of their work. As I explain in my book, over the years, much of peer review has degenerated into pal review that maintains the dominant perspective. Views that challenge that perspective are ruthlessly weeded out.”

He went on to explain further how the “science” of climate change has been able to advance in acadmia so quickly.

“Additionally, a significant amount of published research fails numerous tests of reliability due to sloppy methods, misuse and abuse of statistics, ignored negative findings and other failings in scientific integrity,” Hart impressed. “Climate change science has been particularly prone to these failings. Nobel Prize winners such as Robert Jastrow and Freeman Dyson have become increasingly critical of the course of modern science. Many indicate that the insights that led to their Nobel Prize would never have passed current peer review.”

As the founder and director emeritus of Carleton University’s Centre for Trade Policy and Law, Hart touched on the propaganda techniques being implemented to propagate the troubled theory to Americans.

“The leaders driving the climate change movement come from a variety of persuasions,” he added. “The environmental movement found in the alarm about global warming – now climate change – a potent new way in which to raise funds and increase awareness of its broader concerns about the state of the environment. UN officials learned that concern about climate change could be harnessed to bolster support for UN social and economic programs and to advance the UN’s goal of world governance by experts. Left-wing politicians discovered in climate change renewed ways to press their agenda of social and economic justice through coercive government programs.”

Hart also referred to the words of former New Hampshire governor, John Sununu on the topic.

“The alarmists have learned well from the past,” Sununu expressed. “They saw what motivates policy makers is not necessarily just hard science, but a well-orchestrated symphony of effort … announce a disaster; cherry pick some results; back it up with computer modeling; proclaim a consensus; stifle the opposition; take over the process and control the funding; and roll the policy makers.”

Also mentioned was a quote from former U.S. Senator and chief climate envoy during the Clinton administration, Timothy Wirth, which shows how Democrats unconditionally stick behind climate change to forward its progressive agenda..

“We’ve got to ride the global warming issue,” Wirth said. “Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing.”

Humans predisposed to beilieve in climate change?

When asked whether the current obsession with climate change was indicative of something deeper inside modern human consciousness, Hart had this to say.

“Alarm over a changing climate leading to malign results is in many ways the product of the hunger for stability and direction in a post-Christian world,” the author, editor/co-editor of more than a dozen books and several hundred articles asserted. “Humans have a deep, innate need for a transcendent authority. Having rejected the precepts of Christianity, people in the advanced economies of the West are turning to other forms of authority. Putting aside those who cynically exploit the issue for their own gain – from scientists and politicians to UN leaders and green businesses – most activists are deeply committed to a secular, statist, anti-human, earth-centric set of beliefs which drives their claims of a planet in imminent danger from human activity. To them, a planet with fewer people is the ultimate goal, achievable only through centralized direction and control.”

The words of philosopher of science, Jeffrey Foss, were then visited.

“Environmental science conceives and expresses humankind’s relationship to nature in a manner that is – as a matter of observable fact – religious,” Foss explained. “[It] prophesies an environmental apocalypse. It tells us that the reason we confront apocalypse is our own environmental sinfulness. Our sin is one of impurity. We have fouled a pure, ‘pristine’ nature with our dirty household and industrial wastes. The apocalypse will take the form of an environmental backlash, a payback for our sins. … environmental scientists tell people what they must do to be blameless before nature.”

The reasoning behind it …

It was then posed to Hart whether he believed global warming over-focuses on one aspect of life on Earth … to the detriment of other aspects – or if the theory is merely being used for political purposes.

“I think it is both … for some, such as movement leaders, UN officials, and many politicians, the issue is being cynically exploited to advance their agenda of greater control over human livess,” the acclaimed professor answered. “For others, particularly rank and file environmental activists, climate change serves to reinforce and validate their broader concerns to the exclusion of many other dimensions of human life.”

LifeSiteNews’ Michael O’Brien then asked if global warming should be considered as a type of passing urban legend phenomenon that based on questionable science, yet taught as being authentic … or if it is indicative of something more serious taking place within society.

“I believe [global warming] is a similar phenomenon, but one that has captured the imagination and concerns of more people and has more support among elites,” Hart responded. “In my view, it is potentially more troubling and damaging than these earlier alarms.”

Leading to disastrous societal ramifications?

He then addressed a topic in his book about society’s utopian dreams that seem to lead to freedom and a higher quality of life in the beginning, but end up degenerating into a “totalitarian democracy.”

“I am optimistic [that this won’t happen], Hart shared. “I do not think its long-term success is inevitable, but it will take a determined effort by people of faith and conscience to point to its darker motives and its sinister exploitation of populist fears. We know from history that such movements have a predictable life cycle: They emerge with much enthusiasm among intellectual elites, they gain a broad following by focusing on alarmist predictions before becoming part of the political mainstream, and then decline into a minor movement among fringe intellectuals as a new alarm movement takes its place. The problem is that such movements can do a lot of damage and remain embedded within the intellectual community with the ability to rise, phoenix-like, as a new alarm. Former adherents of the eugenics movement and its successor, population control, for example, are now an integral part of the climate change alarm movement.”

The Canadian scholar was hopeful that climate change and the policies needed to carry out its dictates would not ultimately lead to totalitarianism – a kind of a state that renouned atheist Aldous Huxley has warned the world about.

“I remain cautiously optimistic [that totalitarianism will not soon rule the day], Hart added. “Popular support for climate change action peaked a few years ago. In Europe, which has gone furthest in implementing climate change policies, politicians are beginning to look for ways to moderate earlier initiatives. In North America, rhetoric has far outstripped actions while the Obama administration has relied on stealth to implement its climate change agenda. At the same time, climate change has added to the momentum of the broader secularization of society and the pursuit of anti-human policies and programs. We are, sadly, farther down that road than we have ever been before.”



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

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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Should We Be Having Kids In The Age Of Climate Change?

It's hard not to laugh but some galoot is trying below to convince women that they should not have babies because the babies are going to grow up into a world that is a few degrees warmer!

I myself  grew up into a world that was a LOT of degrees hotter -- in the tropics of Australia's Far North Queensland.  And guess what?  We had a life indistinguishable from Western civilization elsewhere!  We probably drank more beer but that was about it it.  No disaster at all!

The high rainfall did give us problems with farm machinery  rusting out on us at a great rate,  but with the assistance of  a Stillson wrench (I still  have one) anything that needed replaced, was replaced regardless.  Long live Mr Stillson!  A Stillson wrench moves ANYTHING.  And real people know that.

Rather good, though, if the Green/Left breeds itself out of existence.  You would have to be pretty Green or pretty credulous to believe the stuff below.  I note that anti-reproductive thinking has a long history on the Left, starting with Karl Marx's hatred of the family.

Such thinking is a logical outcome of the Leftist hatred of the world around them.  "If the world is so flawed, it would be cruel to bring children into it" is the thinking.  Such thinking also affects feminists.  They dislike the whole sex-role system about them so see a refusal to  be a mother as a rejection of the system they hate.

In the days of the Soviet confrontation, the fear was of imminent nuclear war -- and that possibility was seen as a reason not to bring children into a world in which they could suddenly die

And the old Leftist "zero population growth" movement was also  anti-natal. That movement was an outcome of Greenie scares about impending resource shortages (e.g. by Paul Ehrlich) and pre-dated the global warming craze

It is rather cheering that the Left keep finding reasons not to have babies.  May they succeed in their campaigns!

Standing before several dozen students in a college classroom, Travis Rieder tries to convince them not to have children. Or at least not too many.

He's at James Madison University in southwest Virginia to talk about a "small-family ethic" — to question the assumptions of a society that sees having children as good, throws parties for expecting parents, and in which parents then pressure their kids to "give them grandchildren."

Why question such assumptions? The prospect of climate catastrophe.

For years, people have lamented how bad things might get "for our grandchildren," but Rieder tells the students that future isn't so far off anymore.

He asks how old they will be in 2036, and, if they are thinking of having kids, how old their kids will be.

"Dangerous climate change is going to be happening by then," he says. "Very, very soon."

Rieder wears a tweedy jacket and tennis shoes, and he limps because of a motorcycle accident. He's a philosopher with the Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and his arguments against having children are moral.

Americans and other rich nations produce the most carbon emissions per capita, he says. Yet people in the world's poorest nations are most likely to suffer severe climate impacts, "and that seems unfair," he says.

There's also a moral duty to future generations that will live amid the climate devastation being created now. "Here's a provocative thought: Maybe we should protect our kids by not having them," Rieder says.

His arguments sound pretty persuasive in the classroom. At home, it was a different matter.

"I have been one of those women who actually craved to have a baby," says Sadiye Rieder, smiling as she sits next to her husband in the sunroom of their Maryland home. "To go through pregnancy and everything, that mattered to me a lot."

Sadiye also wanted a big family. She grew up among extended relatives in the Turkish part of Cyprus and says she enjoyed having people around all the time.

This was not a problem early in their marriage, as each focused on their studies. But by the time Sadiye began feeling ready for motherhood, Travis' research had delved into the morality of adoption, which led to the ethics of procreation and to its impact on the climate.

They knew they had to talk.

"It's not easy to convince a philosopher!" Sadiye says with a laugh.

Scientists warn that a catastrophic tipping point is possible in the next few decades. By midcentury, possibly before, the average global temperature is projected to rise by more than 2 degrees Celsius, the point scientists and world leaders agree would trigger cataclysmic consequences. Last year's historic Paris climate agreement falls short of preventing that, so more drastic cuts in carbon emissions are needed.

Adding to that challenge, the world is expected to add several billion people in the next few decades, each one producing more emissions.

In fact, without dramatic action, climatologists say, the world is on track to hit 4 degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century, and worse beyond that. A World Bank report says this must be avoided, and warns of unprecedented heat waves, severe drought and serious impacts on ecosystems and "human systems."

"It's gonna be post-apocalyptic movie time," he says.

The room is quiet. No one fidgets. Later, a few students say they had no idea the situation was so bad. One says he appreciated the talk but found it terrifying, and hadn't planned on being so shaken before heading off to start the weekend.

Still. Even given the apocalyptic scenarios: Can you actually expect people to forgo something as deeply personal as having children? To deny the biological imperative that's driven civilization?

Rieder and two colleagues, Colin Hickey and Jake Earl of Georgetown University, have a strategy for trying to do just that. Rieder is publishing a book on the subject later this year, and expects to take plenty of heat. But he's hardly alone in thinking the climate crisis has come to this.

"The climate crisis is a reproductive crisis"

Meghan Hoskins is among a dozen people gathered in the spare office of an environmental group in Keene, N.H., earlier this year. They sit on folding chairs in a circle, the room humming with multiple conversations.

"If I had told my boyfriend at the time, 'I'm not ready to have children because I don't know what the climate's gonna be like in 50 years,' he wouldn't have understood. There's no way," says Hoskins, a 23-year-old whose red hair is twisted in a long braid.

This is one of 16 meetings over the past year and a half organized by Conceivable Future, a nonprofit founded on the notion that "the climate crisis is a reproductive crisis."

Hoskins says she's always wanted "little redheaded babies" — as do her parents, the sooner the better.

But she's a grad student in environmental studies, and the more she learns, the more she questions what kind of life those babies would have.


Physicist who foresees global cooling says other scientists tried to ‘silence’ her

A physicist who foresees a 30-year period of global cooling says other climatologists have tried to “silence” her latest research on solar cycles.

Valentina Zharkova, a professor at Northumbria University at Newcastle in the United Kingdom, said the Royal Astronomical Society received requests to withdraw a press release on her team’s latest research pointing to a significant drop in solar activity by mid-century.

She presented her results July 9 at the National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno, Wales.

“Some of them [scientists] were welcoming and discussing. But some of them were quite, I would say, pushy,” saidMs. Zharkova in a video interview posted Tuesday by the Global Warming Policy Forum. “They were trying to actually silence us. Some of them contacted the Royal Astronomical Society demanding behind our back that they withdraw our press release.”

She said the society refused. “The Royal Astronomical Society replied to them and cc’d to us, and said, ‘Look, this is the work by scientists who we support, please discuss this with them,’ ” she said.

“We had about eight or 10 exchanges by email when I tried to prove my point, and I’m saying, ‘I’m willing to look at what you do,’ ” Ms. Zharkova said.

She offered to work with the scientists by adding their data to her results, but she said that “they didn’t want to.”

The press release on her research, “Irregular heartbeat of the Sun driven by double dynamo,” was posted July 9 on the society’s website.

Her sunspot modeling indicates a reduced solar magnetic field from 2020 to 2053, producing conditions similar to those during the Maunder Minimum, or “Little Ice Age,” a 65-year period of reduced solar activity and low global temperatures during the 17th century.

“We didn’t have many measurements in the Southern hemisphere, we don’t know what will happen with that, but in the Northern hemisphere, we know it’s very well protocoled,” Ms. Zharkova said. “The rivers are frozen. There are no winters and no summers, and so on.”

Her research has been controversial because it appears to challenge the prevailing climate-change consensus predicting rising global temperatures from increased carbon dioxide from human-caused emissions in the atmosphere.

“Of course, things are not the same as they were in the 17th century — we have a lot more greenhouse gas in the atmosphere,” the GWPF said in its post. “And it will be interesting to see how the terrestrial and the solar influences play out.”


Coal makes a comeback

Less than a year after the coal industry was declared to be in terminal decline, the fossil fuel has staged its steepest price rally in over half a decade, making it one of the hottest major commodities.

Cargo prices for Australian thermal coal from its Newcastle terminal, seen as the Asian benchmark, have soared over 35 per cent since mid-June to more than one-year highs of almost $US70 a tonne, pushed by surprise increases in Chinese imports.

"Coal markets, after five years of declining prices, appear to have found a bottom in the first quarter," Sydney-based Whitehaven Coal said on Thursday, as its shares hit a three-year high on the release of its annual results.

"Reasons for the increase in prices include mine closures in Indonesia, United States and Australia and policy change by Chinese authorities," Whitehaven said, adding it was confident that coal prices will rise.

China has limited its coal production to 276 days a year, which cut its output by 16 per cent, and provided funding to assist coal miners to exit the industry and shut down mines, Whitehaven explained.

Goldman Sachs, reversing a gloomy outlook it issued last September, said this week restrictions on domestic production by Chinese regulators had turned coal "into one of the best performing commodities so far this year."

Global mining companies like Glencore and Anglo American, but also more regional players like Whitehaven and Thailand's Banpu, are reaping the benefits. All four have seen their shares rise sharply.

Banpu, which operates several export mines across Asia-Pacific, said this week that it expects to sell its 2016 coal supplies at an average price of over $US50 a tonne, up from a previous target of $US47 to $US48 per tonne.

The price recovery is an unexpected boon for miners, who were hit hard by a years-long downturn, and stands in sharp contrast to previous calls by Goldman and the International Energy Agency (IEA), who said last year that coal was in terminal decline.

As a result of China's surprise move, Goldman said there was now "support (for) global prices for the foreseeable future."  The bank raised its three, six and 12 month price forecasts to $US65/$US62/$US60 per tonne for Newcastle coal, up as much as 38 per cent from its previous outlook.

Australian mines the big winners

Coal has also been getting support from Asian industrial powerhouses Japan and South Korea, while demand remains firm in India, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Japan and South Korea have both said they want to expand future coal imports while reducing more expensive imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

China's power consumption has also risen against expectations, jumping 8.2 per cent from a year ago in July to reach 552.3 billion kilowatt hours.

While almost all thermal coal miners were hit by the previous price decline, and most shut or sold assets, those left with the best assets now stand to benefit from the rebound.

And the biggest winners are those with mines in Australia, thanks to the high average quality of its coal.

Whitehaven said it was confident its high quality coal will continue to attract a premium price.

Shares of Anglo American, which is a major thermal coal producer with six mines in Queensland and NSW, have also recovered from record lows earlier this year.

Glencore, the world's biggest thermal coal exporter with huge local operations here, has seen its shares soar from around 70 pence early this year to nearly £2.


Obama Administration and Radical Environmentalists Seeking Massive Utah Land Grab

San Juan County, Utah is the poorest county in Utah and one of the poorest counties in the United States. The large majority of the land in the county is owned by the federal government, meaning that locals already face severe limits on economic activity, hardly what a struggling county needs. Now rich, out-of-state environmentalists in San Francisco want to inflict even more pain on the citizens of San Juan County. These environmentalists are urging the Obama administration to undertake a national monument land grab that would put much of the county off limits to productive use. Oppressing poor, rural Americans so that rich, city environmentalists can pat themselves on the back? Sounds like a project the federal government will be happy to help along.

The Antiquities Act, passed in 1906, gives the president of the United States unilateral power to designate so-called national monuments to protect historic landmarks, structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest on federal land. The act also specifically notes that these monuments should be confined to the smallest possible area. But the exact language of the legislation doesn’t matter to radical environmentalists and their ideological allies in the Obama administration. All they care about is power, and because national monument designations do not require input from Congress or locals, they have become a favorite tactic for federal overreach.

The proposed monument in San Juan County is known as Bears Ears. It covers nearly 2 million square miles, about the size of the states of Delaware and Rhode Island combined. Does that sound like the “smallest area” needed? But this national monument designation is not about protecting antiquities, it just one part of the efforts of radical environmentalists to put as much land off limits to productive use as possible, a pattern that is repeated all across the western states.

These radicals do not care about the people who have to live with the consequences of national monument designations. They don’t see the poverty and hardships that incompetent and restrictive federal land management policies inflict on the people on the ground. And make no mistake, the locals of San Juan County, supported by their elected representatives, oppose this national monument. Such is local opposition that environmentalist lobbying organizations had to bus in supporters when Interior Secretary Sally Jewell visited the area.

With the Obama administration coming to a close, no longer answerable to voters, these radical leftist groups are hoping that it will aggressively pursue more national monument land grabs. Yet again we see the danger of granting open-ended power to the federal government, it will always be corrupted to serve special interests. Restraining federal executive power should be a priority for all Americans who want to be free.


Hinkley Point and the fear of nuclear

Delaying building a new British power station is a brake on progress

On 28 July, bottles of champagne stood ready to receive celebrating VIPs at the site for two planned European Pressurised Reactors (EPRs) at Hinkley Point C in Somerset. But dignitaries and investors were left with empty glasses, as that same day, prime minister Theresa May announced a delay on plans for Hinkley and a freeze on the £18 billion building of a much-needed 3.2 gigawatt of electrical capacity.

This delay has caused considerable upset for French company EDF (the main contractor) and has outraged Chinese investors. May’s decision has also delighted anti-nuclear Greens, who view Hinkley as a costly white elephant, emblematic of the sins of nuclear power.

But May’s reversal isn’t just the cautious approach to be expected from a new, cost-conscious government. Within this unelected, prevaricate-about-Brexit administration, there’s also a disgraceful mix of nuclearphobia, Sinophobia and cyberpanic. Coupled with a policy of protectionism, it’s no wonder plans for Hinkley have been delayed.

The charges against Hinkley Point C

What’s wrong with Hinkley? Firstly, the board of France’s indebted, state-owned, nuclear electricity specialist EDF has continuously argued about whether or not to go ahead with plans for Hinkley. EDF has already racked up enormous delays and cost overruns with its first two EPRs, in Flamanville, France, and Olkiluoto, Finland. Its indecision over Hinkley has had a similar effect, inflating costs from £6 billion to £18 billion.

Secondly, former prime minister David Cameron’s previous government agreed an exorbitant and fixed price at which to buy electricity from EDF for the next 35 years. The decided price of £92.50 per megawatt-hour in 2012 money has forced the government to find £30 billion or even £37 billion in extra taxes. Given the collapse of gas prices since 2014, that £92.50 compares very poorly with the current price of gas-fired electricity.

Thirdly, rather than loan Hinkley cheap government funds, the Treasury insisted that plans were carried out off its books. Instead, the Chinese energy corporation CGN (China’s largest reactor builder), and later the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), were each invited to take third of a stake in the project.

There was a bonus, too: the agreement with Britain signed by Chinese president Xi Jinping in October covered not just Hinkley, but also the erection of a Hualong One Pressurised Water Reactor, jointly developed by CGN and CNNC, in Bradwell, Essex. This gave the export of Chinese reactor technology a key foothold in Britain, as well as the world market.

So what’s the problem with that? May, and others, regard China’s presence at Hinkley and Bradwell not just as financially and physically intrusive, but a means of opening up a whole range of important industrial sectors in Britain to remote manipulation by Beijing.

An article in The Times outlined fears about threats from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, which, it suggested, could have as many as 100,000 hackers at its disposal: ‘China has a history of covert cyberintrusion against its commercial and military rivals. Of interest to the Chinese authorities appears to be infrastructure critical to society, including electricity grids, water purification plants, air traffic control, the rail network and telecommunications. By most estimates, these are strategically sensitive assets.’

Both Cameron and Osborne tried too hard to woo Chinese business during their time in government. But now, in the spirit of post-Brexit anxiety, Chinese business is abruptly feared by the new administration as a direct military threat.

However, Chinese inward investment in Britain remains more interested in Weetabix, Pizza Express and commercial property than manipulating an 8.68 per cent interest in Thames Water or bidding for contracts for UK high-speed rail. How serious can the charges made by Hinkley’s critics be?

A rational response

Much of the mud slung at Hinkley is the wrong kind. EPRs overrunning in France and Finland, for instance, are not necessarily failed technologies. Delays have largely stemmed from regulatory overkill in safety, as well as Europe’s shortages of nuclear skills. To sneer at EPR technology as untested is to ignore how every innovation begins – by being just that, untested. The suggested nuclear alternative, small modular reactors (SMRs), is one that, for all its potential merits, is also relatively untested. SMRs, like Hinkley Point C, are at least 10 years away from being made operational.

The real accusation being made against Hinkley is that, as the National Audit Office (NAO) reports, the cost competitiveness of nuclear power ‘is weakening as wind and solar become more established’. Yet the NAO’s bald statement is not a verdict on present prices, but a newly revised forecast for energy prices in 2025 – upward for nuclear and, guess what, downward for renewables.

Even though renewable energy has overtaken coal as a source of electricity in Britain (24.6 versus 22 per cent), it remains heavily subsidised and unavailable for at least 50 days a year. Handling renewable power also demands more back-up than a grid with conventional sources of electricity. Therefore, to spend £30-37 billion in exchange for meeting a full seven per cent of Britain’s power needs on an uninterrupted basis, for 35 or more likely 60 years, is not such a terrible bargain.

Having said all this, EPRs, EDF’s management and the British civil service’s contractual and forecasting competence, deserve interrogation. It might be better to run with the proven nuclear technologies of Toshiba (which, with a French partner, plans to build 3.4 gigawatt over three Westinghouse AP1000 Pressurised Water Reactors at Moorside, Cumbria) and Hitachi (which plans to build 2.7 gigawatt over two Advanced Boiling Water Reactors in Wylfa, Anglesey). But make no mistake. Were it not for Britain’s endless nuclear regulations, reactors could be built and made operational by 2021, not 2025, using those available on the world market.

Britain urgently needs that new nuclear capacity. The National Grid has a capacity margin of only 5.5 per cent, and, with the usual deftness, was forced last winter to stump up cash to persuade energy-intensive businesses to cut their electricity use. Nuclear power is a high-tech industry which, given the right economic, social and management regime, is entirely safe. Nuclear fuel is not especially labour-intensive to mine, it has a high-energy density, it’s relatively cheap to transport and, because it packs such a punch, it represents a small part of operating costs. It is thus ideal for the generation of baseload electrical power. Nuclear fuel is not bought continuously on rather volatile commodity markets, like coal and gas; rather, buying nuclear fuel for a reactor represents a one-off commitment to making energy for years.

Nuclear plants exemplify what economists call investment in fixed capital. You make the investment up-front, and, after taking that hit, most of the decades to come are about benefits, not running costs. But from High Speed 2 and Crossrail 2, through electrifying the TransPennine line between Manchester and Leeds, to building new runway capacity around London’s airports, the British state’s commitment to future investment in fixed capital is all for the future, if these projects ever happen at all.

A durable commitment to nuclear power is what is needed. Like gas-fired and renewable electricity, nuclear power needs to be bigger, better and cheaper, and it’s by no means a given that Hinkley Point C will provide this. But Hinkley is not just the product of ‘prestige, political vanity, diplomatic machismo and corporate lobbying’ that commentators would have us believe. In their fashionable opposition to megaprojects, Hinkley’s opponents ridicule, not just the usual capitalist stitch-ups, but all technological progress and all human ingenuity in the sub-atomic realm, too. Against that, the still-to-be-enacted crimes of Hinkley Point appear pretty modest.


Climate Alarmism: Probably the Greatest Hoax/Scam in World History

Climate change from the viewpoint of a skeptical former Sierra Club activist and USEPA senior analyst

Climate alarmism is probably the greatest hoax/scam in world history. The main evidence for catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW), the principal alleged adverse effect of human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), is climate models built by CAGW supporters in a field where models with real predictive power do not exist and cannot be built with any demonstrable accuracy beyond a week or two because climate and weather are coupled non-linear chaotic systems. Without the models, the whole hoax/scam collapses. Even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has stated (see Section of the 2001 IPCC Report):

"In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible"

Climate Modelers Knew or Should Have Known the Inherent Limitations of Climate Models

The hoax/scam appears to rest on the authors’ assumption that most people will not realize these inherent limitations of global climate models. Since the model authors all work in the field, they either knew this or should have known these limitations (unless they delude themselves, of course). The authors of the models have a self-interest in supporting CAGW since government grants almost always go only to supporters. This self-interest is what makes the hoax into a scam. If true climate believers understood that longer term projections cannot be made on the basis of these models, they would hopefully dismiss the whole hoax/scam for what it is.

Climate Alarmism Is Basically an Attempt to Scare People with Hypothetical Climate Outcomes Based on Models

Climate alarmism is nothing more than an attempt to scare people with unrealistic hypothetical climate outcomes based on computer models with no predictive power. The far left is trying to use this alleged threat to justify Federal Government intervention in the fuel and energy markets. Others, such as mainstream media, use it to sell their products.

The current proposition offered by climate alarmists is that if people who live in the more wealthy countries cut back their use of fossil fuels and therefore their human-caused CO2 emissions that the world can avoid the alleged catastrophic increases in temperatures based on the climate models. Even the proponents’ climate models do not show that the alleged effects could be avoided even if all the developed countries should somehow made substantial cuts in CO2 emissions. So the problems include the following:

Reductions by the developed nations will not have any measurable effect on either atmospheric CO2 or temperatures.

The less developed nations (where fossil fuel use is expanding much more rapidly) have not agreed to make such reductions.

Any nation that adopts such reductions will make its exports more expensive by raising the price of fossil fuels used to make the exports.

There is little or no evidence that decreasing CO2 emissions will do anything except raise prices for fossil fuels. Global temperatures appear to be the primary determinant of global CO2 levels, not vice versa.

CAGW Is a Failed Hypothesis since It Does Not Satisfy the Scientific Method

The CAGW hypothesis is a failed hypothesis since it does not satisfy the requirements of the scientific method, nothing more. Models showing that catastrophic temperature increases will or are even likely to occur as carbon dioxide levels may increase have no predictive value. Minor increases would be good anyway, not bad.

Various supporters of the hoax/scam have a variety of reasons for supporting it. Some left wing Democrats, for example, like it because if cap and trade should be used to implement the CO2 control program at the US level, the Federal Government would have increased income to use for increased public spending that they favor.



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

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