From the Friday Funnies linked in today's Cli-Fi post,
David Brower, a founder of the Sierra Club: "Childbearing should be a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license. All potential parents should be required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing."
Now, this hasn't actually happened, but for statements like this to go unchallenged in the public square, along with similar sentiments by Paul Ehrlich, Ted Turner and David Foreman, creates a palpable sense that having a large family is somehow "evil." Au contraire.
I know a lot of us have been brainwashed into thinking that our natural and manufactured resources are shrinking. We're often told that we have a choice of either radically reducing our consumption or our population or we'll eventually run out of water, energy, and food. Excuse me, but this is hogwash. That's because we heard the same thing in 1714, or 1814, and probably the year 10,000 B.C. And they were wrong then too.
What's the biggest reason that the doomsayers about the end of the world's resources have always been wrong? The answer is that some members of those growing populations decided not to give up and came up with new ideas, technologies and resources to replace and improve living conditions. I'm talking about the people who have come up with the technologies to desalinate water, terrace mountainsides, drain swamps and fight disease with vaccinations and sewage treatment. I'm talking about the people who came up with kerosene to replace whale blubber, petroleum to replace kerosene, natural gas to replace petroleum, and so on and so on. All of the above came courtesy of humans. Reduce their number, and you also reduce your chances for the great innovations that make life better for the humans already on the planet and make life more comfortable and possible for billions more to join us.
In short, people are our greatest resource. Economic growth cannot occur without human growth. And this is not a problem that can simply be solved by increasing immigration. That's because there's a societal price we're paying in this country for having fewer children later in life. Just about every parent I know will tell you that the moment their first child was born was the moment they truly accepted the responsibility of their own adulthood to the fullest. That's a moment I'm willing to delay for teenagers - we generally don't want them becoming parents that young. But when we start seeing more 25- to 45-year-olds who clearly haven't yet grown up yet, I get concerned.
Watts Up With That has a great collection of Friday Funnies (Okay, I'm a few days late..) Over a Century's Worth of Failed Eco-Climate Quotes and Disinformation.
The whole thing is full of gems and is best experienced all at once. But Patrick Michaels and Chip Knappenberger at Cato link to the piece and share a great bon mot: Cli-Fi for Climate Fiction. How awesome is that?
While many attendees get the taxpayers (via their Universities) or their NGO's via donors to pay for such things, WUWT has no such resources, and despite the claims common from detractors, we are still waiting for that 'big oil check' to arrive. I'll drive down to save money rather than take a plane.
So, like I did last year, I thought I'd ask the readership if they can help out so that there will be somebody at AGU to report on climate science that can do so from the skeptic side. It is very important that at least one climate skeptic reporter attend. Otherwise, the media coverage will be completely one-sided. AGU approved my media pass, so now I'm set to attend.
A good cause if you can scratch a few nickels together.
The blog has been slow for a couple days so I hope nobody minds if I re-post a comment made on an IBD editorial article.
Not only is global warming not accelerating, it is, in the words of Cato analysts Paul C. Knappenberger and Patrick J. Michaels, "actually decelerating, or, (nearly) stopped."
In fact, there is apparent 100% agreement among scientists that the planet isn't warming.
Knappenberger and Michaels looked at 35 scientific papers published in recent years and "every single one of them acknowledged in some way that a hiatus, pause, or slowdown in global warming was occurring."
They arrived at the figure using the same methodology that John Cook used to arrive at his famous claim that 97% of researchers endorsed the "scientific consensus" that man is causing Earth to warm.
Their 100% claim, found on the Watts Up With That blog, was made with their tongues firmly lodged in their cheeks. But even if only one scientist truly believes that, the facts are still the facts, and they say there's been no warming in 18 years and one month.
You remember the 97% claim, don't you? Well, Bart_R couldn't help himself and waded in to prove the veracity of the piece's title, 'Warming Has Stopped But Eco-Radicals' Lunacy Accelerates.' To wit:
While Knappenberger and Michaels have been industrious workers for Cato, one must ask oneself what sort of person industriously works to promote fossil waste dumping without consent of or compensation to the rest of the world?
What sort of business model is that, where waste disposal isn't paid for by the businesses responsible to the businesses and consumers they dump their wastes on, without limit or consideration?
What sort of investor takes advice to conduct themselves so unethically?
So I dutifully replied:
"Fossil waste dumping?" "Waste?" We're talking about CO2 here. The respiratory by-product of every mammal on earth, and the essential molecule for terrestrial plant life. CO2 could only be called "waste" by a mammal. Well, maybe also a reptile. Or invertebrate.
"I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees, MORE CO2, NOW if you please!"
The key words in your comment are "consent" and "compensation" i.e. EPA administrative law and redistributive taxation. A true environmentalist, one who cares about human progress without careless disposal of pollutants, should not support the use of pollution laws in furtherance of this agenda because when people see the so-called "Environmental Protection Agency" classify this life-promoting gas as a pollutant, they begin to lose respect for the mission and the credibility of the agency.
The funniest stuff I've read in a long time is in this "article" on the California ballot initiative voters "approved" to build a high-speed rail line to Hawaii.
"This is a great day for California," says Walter Miller, leader of the Yes on 49 campaign. "Sure it's relatively easy and cheap to fly to Hawaii. But why would you want to take a 5-hour flight, when you can take a 15-hour train ride in an underground tube?"
So. Climate Change -- we gonna freeze or bake in the winter in America?
If anything, [Martin Hoerling of NOAA] says, the warming world will see fewer extreme weather shifts because the Arctic and mid-latitudes will be nearer in temperature.
But Jennifer Francis, a researcher with the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University who studies the impact of Arctic warming on the global climate, disagrees. Her research predicts that as Arctic warms (and it is warming extraordinarily quickly) the jet stream will weaken and narrow. "When you have a strong jet stream it's like a thick rope. You can give one end a tug and not much happens." But as it weakens, she says, it's more like a string. A shake (or a typhoon) will send waves all along its length, causing the Arctic monster to move south more often.
The city also needs a marketing campaign to engage the community in a shared goal, he [Boulder Senior Environmental Planner Brett KenCairn] said. (...)
"What motivates a community to participate in this level of transformation?" he said. "The way we have been framing the problem and the goal is now part of the problem. Aspirational goals are deeply personal. Climate as catastrophe is not a good motivator."
Question: Once regional drivers pass the city limit sign, don't they belong to someone else's ambitious climate goals?
The romance of the fresh princelings of Beijing is that they needn't abide such barriers to enlightened governance as elections, a free press, transparency, the rule of law and two political parties. They can simply order economic transformation in the next five-year plan, and censor any dissenters as Al Gore wants to do in the U.S. Thus in China Mr. Obama has found the ideal climate-change partner: A technocratic elite that can instruct the bourgeoisie how they must light their homes and commute to work.
We and many others have been skeptical of a U.S.-China carbon pact, though that was because we assumed the White House and green lobby would demand terms that imposed at least some discipline on Chinese behavior. We discounted the possibility that Mr. Obama preferred the illusion of progress, and that his green allies could be rolled as cheaply as the terms of Tuesday's accord.
Under the nonbinding, no-detail agreement, Supreme Leader Xi Jinping promises "to intend to achieve the peaking of CO2 emissions around 2030," and then maybe after that to decline. This is another way of describing the status quo. -- WSJ Ed Page, "Green Leap Forward"
In this new effort, the researchers took a new look at the photosynthesis process and how it might be altered in the presence of increasingly higher concentrations of CO2. They found that as CO2 levels rose, plants altered the way they processed the gas, saving more of it to use as a fertilizer, which allowed the plants to grow bigger or to become more robust, which in the end meant more CO2 was taken out of the atmosphere. Not coincidently, the researchers note, their research showed that when plants were exposed to the same higher levels of CO2 as actually occurred over the past century, they were able to absorb on average 16 percent more CO2, which very nearly coincides with the 17 percent error difference earth scientists have found with their climate models. -- Phys.org
Paul Krugman suggests that "deficit scolds" ignore two important facts: first, any net harm to human well-being generated by government deficits are "uncertain"; second, even if such harm does materialize, it won't do so for many years ("Secret Deficit Lovers," Oct. 10).
Whether or not Mr. Krugman is correct in his fiscal analysis, it's striking that in other of his writings he sides aggressively with those who we might call "carbon scolds" -- people who ignore two important facts: first, any net harm to human well-being generated by climate change is uncertain; second, even if such harm does materialize, it won't do so for many years.
I weep at its beauty.
UPDATE: Boudreaux also has a guest editorial in the WSJ today. If I may paraphrase for those with no susbscription, the GMU economics professor and law professor Todd Zywicki, say "Hayek told you so!" to the developers of Dodd-Frank and the PPACAo2010.
When you point out the unreality of green energy dreams, you are met with foam-flecked denunciations of the Koch brothers. In fact the opposition to the climateers is tiny by comparison to the resources deployed by the environmental establishment, not to mention the massive sympathy they receive from an uncritical media. From the way people like Al Gore complain you'd think the climateers were up against the teachers union. -- Steven Hayward, Climate Change Has Jumped
Blog friend sc shares a link and an observation: "It seems that it's only been in the last few months that progressives are stepping out with this rather than trying to mask it."
It is one thing to see the goofy socialists all come out for the climate change march with their anti-capitalist literature and banners, it's another to see grownups, and I'll kindly include Ms. Naomi Klein and some of the writers at Slate. (Generous R Us, I know.)
The solution to climate change is not just some CFLs and wealth transfer to poor nations in the UN and Neil deGrasse Tyson hectoring us on the Internet. The green skin of the watermelon is peeled away (a very curious way to eat watermelon) and the "red" of the movement is suddenly exposed for all to see.
According to social activist and perennial agitator Naomi Klein, the really inconvenient truth about climate change is that it's not about carbon--it's about capitalism.
Three years ago, Klein wrote a powerful essay for the Nation that tackled this idea. Now, she's turned her argument into a hefty book, which was released last week--just days before hundreds of thousands took to the streets in New York City, many of whom carried banners strikingly similar to the messages Klein supports. (Klein sits on the board of directors at 350.org, an organization at the heart of the growing grass-roots uprising against climate inaction, and which helped organize Sunday's march.)
This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate is focused on exposing how the relentless pursuit of growth has locked us in to a system that's incompatible with a stable climate. The bottom line is, the reality of global warming has forced civilization into a hard choice: Either continue on as usual, committing the planet to growing inequality as the effects of climate change escalate and disproportionately affect the poor, or try a radically different path.
Umm, yeah, that terrible status quo that has lifted billions out of poverty and privation. That McCloskleyesque growth curve -- we have to put a stop to that. I don't know if you watched any of Reason's excellent videos where they interviewed the protesters, but Ms. Klein has nailed it They really have moved on from light bulbs.
The divestment movement is a start at challenging the excesses of capitalism. It's working to delegitimize fossil fuels, and showing that they're just as unethical as profits from the tobacco industry. Even the heirs to the Rockefeller fortune are now recognizing this.
The next step is, how do we harness these profits and use them to help us get off fossil fuels?
Well, that's going to have to be legislated. Fossil fuel executives aren't going to just give away their billions.
Exactly. Exxon needs to pay--it's the most profitable company on the planet. It's also the descendent of Standard Oil.
In the book, I talk a lot about Richard Branson's pledge to donate all the profits from his airline to fight climate change. When he made that announcement, it was extraordinary. The problem is, no one held him accountable--well, besides me and my underpaid researcher. But at least Branson's heart was in the right place. These profits are not legitimate in an era of climate change. We can't leave this problem to benevolent billionaires.
What happened at the U.N. Tuesday was the same thing. Instead of a science-based treaty, with carbon targets divided equitably among nations, what you had was governments and corporations randomly making voluntary pledges and hoping it added up to something.
But, hectoring our friends to change their light bulbs is still really really important, isn't it?
You said you've been working on this book for five years. What changes have you made in your own life in that time to change your own footprint? What can readers of your book do?
That's a complicated question. I think the environmental movement has overstressed the consumer side of it. When you start talking about sacrifices, pretty soon people start feeling like chumps. In my town, we have centralized composting, a new system of better bike lanes, and plastic bags are charged for. But Canada's still missing our carbon targets.
Centralized composting. Still missing targets. It gives one pause. You really have to read the whole thing.
Historically speaking, though, would it have been better for humanity to avoid an "Age of Pollution" and wallow in a miserable pre-Industrial Age, where poverty, death, disease and violence, were far more prevalent in our short miserable lives? Or would we have chosen global warming? I think the latter. And I think we'd do it again.
One is inclined to be generous. My old friend Irving Caesar, lyricist of "Tea For Two" and "Just A Gigolo", had a legendary Broadway flop with a show called My Dear Public. The reviews were scathing, and singled Caesar out particularly, as he was the show's producer, and lyricist, and co-author and co-composer. The following morning he bumped into Oscar Hammerstein and said, "So they didn't like it. But why pick on me?" That's Mann's attitude to the 1999 hockey stick he co-authored: So it's misleading and over-simplified. But why pick on me?
While I enjoyed Matt Ridley's WSJ Editorial on Climate Change, it seems not everybody did.
Post-script. After the article was published, an astonishing tweet was sent by the prominent economist Jeffrey Sachs saying
"Ridley climate ignorance in WSJ today is part of compulsive lying of Murdoch media gang. Ridley totally misrepresents the science."
Curious to know how I had lied or "totally misrepresented" the science, I asked Sachs to explain. There was a deafening silence.
So it begins... You can follow this link to Ridley's blog and read the original editorial outside of Murdoch media gang's lying paywall as well as a lengthy postscript about a HuffPo piece under Sachs's byline (which Ridley does not believe was written by Sachs). Good, clean, nasty fun. The aspersions are so thick you can cut them with a knife!
Frank @ Being Classically Liberal on Facebook asked the other day why libertarians don't just accept climate change: 97% yadda yadda, we don't want to be the anti-science yadda yadda makes us look stupid yadda yadda. I can dig where he is coming from. With all the heterodoxy we have to convince progs and low-information voters, it does seem a side rail at best to wave the 3% deniers flag.
Yet the pushback was pretty strong and I'd say about 97% opposed to his olive branch. All the reasons employed here were brought up (and I linked to the Ridley piece). Denying Climate Change is a popular trope in Democrat campaign ads this season -- and I agree that is probably effective -- but the lack of rigor in climate science needs to be exposed.
He has a guest editorial in the WSJ today that will warm a ThreeSourcer's heart somewhere between 0.3°C and 0.5°C.
First the climate-research establishment denied that a pause existed, noting that if there was a pause, it would invalidate their theories. Now they say there is a pause (or "hiatus"), but that it doesn't after all invalidate their theories.
Alas, their explanations have made their predicament worse by implying that man-made climate change is so slow and tentative that it can be easily overwhelmed by natural variation in temperature--a possibility that they had previously all but ruled out.
When the climate scientist and geologist Bob Carter of James Cook University in Australia wrote an article in 2006 saying that there had been no global warming since 1998 according to the most widely used measure of average global air temperatures, there was an outcry. A year later, when David Whitehouse of the Global Warming Policy Foundation in London made the same point, the environmentalist and journalist Mark Lynas said in the New Statesman that Mr. Whitehouse was "wrong, completely wrong," and was "deliberately, or otherwise, misleading the public."
We know now that it was Mr. Lynas who was wrong.
Ridley is a self-identified "lukewarmer" (I came out as such recently) but is thinking that the temperature sensitivity may well be less than the non-catastrophic levels he expected.
The warming in the last three decades of the 20th century, to quote the news release that accompanied their paper, "was roughly half due to global warming and half to the natural Atlantic Ocean cycle." In other words, even the modest warming in the 1980s and 1990s--which never achieved the 0.3 degrees Celsius per decade necessary to satisfy the feedback-enhanced models that predict about three degrees of warming by the end of the century--had been exaggerated by natural causes. The man-made warming of the past 20 years has been so feeble that a shifting current in one ocean was enough to wipe it out altogether.
Putting the icing on the cake of good news, Xianyao Chen and Ka-Kit Tung think the Atlantic Ocean may continue to prevent any warming for the next two decades. So in their quest to explain the pause, scientists have made the future sound even less alarming than before.
I'll save you the email -- I have a link that should be good for seven days to moochers and looters non-subscribers.
Temperatures measured at the weather station form part of the ACORN-SAT network, so the information from this station is checked for discontinuities before inclusion into the official record that is used to calculate temperature trends for Victoria, Australia, and also the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The unhomogenized/raw mean annual minimum temperature trend for Rutherglen for the 100-year period from January 1913 through to December 2013 shows a slight cooling trend of 0.35 degree C per 100 years. After homogenization there is a warming trend of 1.73 degree C per 100 years. This warming trend is essentially achieved by progressively dropping down the temperatures from 1973 back through to 1913.
Stay with me here, this is a bit tricky. It seems one must be a climate "scientist" in order to comprehend the validity of the, umm, "technique."
Sometimes weather stations are moved, you know, geographically, from one place to another place in the same vicinity. This can produce a "discontinuity" in the recorded temperature. So this "homogenization" algorithm was invented to, you know, correct the "errors" that result when the data is inserted into computer climate models. Well that raw data from Rutherglen was causing a whale of an error. It showed that the observed temperature trend over most of the 20th century was downward, when every climate scientist knows that the globe really warmed during that time, and is still warming today because there aren't enough wind farms. It's a settled consensus it is, dontcha know.
There's only one problem: (Okay, there's more than one problem, but this is the biggest problem.) "There are no documented site moves."
The Bureau has tried to justify all of this to Graham Lloyd at The Australian newspaper by stating that there must have been a site move, its flagging the years 1966 and 1974. But the biggest adjustment was made in 1913! In fact as Bill Johnston explains in todayís newspaper, the site never has moved.
Surely someone should be sacked for this blatant corruption of what was a perfectly good temperature record.
Related: Just coming to this story I hadn't realized that Rutherglen is only one site where data has been "remodeled." There is also Amberley and Bourke.
I understand that by way of response to Mr Lloyd, the Bureau has not disputed these calculations.
This is significant. The Bureau now admits that it changes the temperature series and quite dramatically through the process of homogenisation.
I repeat the Bureau has not disputed the figures. The Bureau admits that the data is remodelled.
What the Bureau has done, however, is try and justify the changes. In particular, for Amberley the Bureau is claiming to Mr Lloyd that there is very little available documentation for Amberley before 1990 and that information before this time may be ďclassifiedĒ: as in top secret.
"Obama Unveils New Plan to Work with Foreign Governments to Ignore the Constitution" screams the headline. I do get a lot of wacko emails. But this is from the partisan-yet-measured Jim Geraghty and he notes the difference:
There are a lot of nonsensical or highly exaggerated chain e-mails accusing the president of working with foreigners to subvert the U.S. Constitution. But this time you've got the foreigners and administration officials themselves confirming it on the front page of the New York Times!
"There's a strong understanding of the difficulties of the U.S. situation, and a willingness to work with the U.S. to get out of this impasse," said Laurence Tubiana, the French ambassador for climate change to the United Nations. "There is an implicit understanding that this not require ratification by the Senate."
"The difficulties of the U.S. situation" is a reference the fact that we have a Senate that opposes the treaty.
In order to "sidestep" the constitutional requirement that laws be made by lawmakers, the Times continues, "President Obama's climate negotiators are devising what they call a 'politically binding' deal that would 'name and shame' countries into cutting their emissions."
The scientists call this problem the Holocene temperature conundrum. It has important implications for understanding climate change and evaluating climate models, as well as for the benchmarks used to create climate models for the future. It does not, the authors emphasize, change the evidence of human impact on global climate beginning in the 20th century.
"The question is, 'Who is right?'" says Liu. "Or, maybe none of us is completely right. It could be partly a data problem, since some of the data in last year's study contradicts itself. It could partly be a model problem because of some missing physical mechanisms."
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott fulfilled a major campaign pledge Thursday when his government voted to repeal the country's carbon tax, provoking wailing from the political left and green groups about climate Armageddon. The smarter analysis is that Mr. Abbott proved that conviction politicians are rewarded when their ideas have economic merit--and are clearly explained--to the electorate. Republicans should take note.
Australia's conservative Liberal Party started to embrace the questionable science of man-made climate change under former Prime Minister John Howard, and the trend continued after the Liberals lost the 2007 national election. Opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull, a wealthy banker who hails from one of Sydney's toniest suburbs, had the Liberals endorse the Labor government's carbon-tax proposal. Predictably, the Liberals went nowhere in the polls.
Ordinary Aussies, as it turns out, hated the idea of having their energy prices raised so that elites in Melbourne and other urban centers could feel good about themselves.
A true revolution would be a new breed of climate activist who admitted what they didn't know and toned down their absurd pretense that they're going to ban or seriously curb fossil fuel by fiat. If they were smart, they would put all their effort into winning government funding for battery research. But there are reasons, quite apart from lack of imagination, which is the nicest explanation of Mr. Steyer's shrill imposture, that this doesn't happen.
Our political system is adept at making use of people like Mr. Steyer. Democrats will gladly spend his $100 million, then go back to their real environmental business, which is green cronyism. Happily Mr. Steyer's fate won't be that of the Hemingway character [in "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber"] --who finally got to prove his merit while accidentally being shot in the head by his wife. But like Al Gore before him, Mr. Steyer will be able to say of his impact on the climate debate: I softened up the public to be milked for green handouts that did nothing for climate change. -- Homan Jenkins
Just when you thought you'd never again see a good-old light bulb because that mean nasty government made them illegal, geniuses at GE and Philips have found a way to make them all over again. [Thomas Edison - call your office.] They're called "eco-incandescent."
This is news, because they just hit the market, but it isn't a surprise as I explained it in a January 2011 blog post comment after carefully reading the 2007 federal law that "banned the light bulb." Bulbs could only be sold if they were more efficient than standard bulbs by, if I remember correctly, at least 20 percent. The new eco-incandescents are (magically) 28% more efficient.
They are also (less magically) several hundred percent more expensive. Thanks mean, nasty government!
Back in 2011 I accused lamp makers of manipulating the market via regulation, so that "Competitors can no longer undercut each other's cheapest products and saturate the market with them." But Hank Rearden, or is it the Chinese, is not deterred. "Eco-Smart" brand bulbs undercut more expensive models by GE and Philips. Depending on wattage, they are one to two bucks each.
I've promised a Review Corner on Bryan Magee's Philosophy and the Real World: An Introduction to Karl Popper. By sheer accident, I read, in series, three books about/by three great early/mid 20th Century thinkers: Chesterton, Popper and Orwell. I've light-bending respect for each but feel they have made errors that were particular to their time.
My original objections to Global Warming were based on Popperian epistemology. Reading Magee's superb introduction I am reminded how germane his arguments are against DAWG.
To prevent Review Corner's becoming about Climate Change, I want to do a separate post. Popper codified what we call scientific method. Fascinating that he developed a full blown philosophy on top, but if nothing else he provides a description of how scientific knowledge advances.
As I said earlier, Popper recommends that we formulate our theories in as clearcut a way as possible, so as to expose them most unambiguously to refutation. And at the methodological level we should not, he says, (see page 19) systematically evade refutation by continually reformulating either our theory or our evidence in order to keep the two in accord. This is what many Marxists do, and many psychoanalysts. Thus they are substituting dogmatism for science while claiming to be scientific. A scientific theory is not one which explains everything that can possibly happen: on the contrary, it rules out most of what could possibly happen, and is therefore itself ruled out if what it rules out happens. So a genuinely scientific theory places itself permanently at risk. And here we come to Popper's answer to the question raised at the beginning of this chapter. Falsifiability is the criterion of demarcation between science and non-science.
Popper has a front row seat to the 30 years that shook Physics and the brainpower to understand advances in relativity and quantum theory. What I read from a textbook happened in real-time to Popper. Newtonian mechanics, which described the world for hundreds of years (I'd suggest it had better than a 97% consensus) was superseded by Relativity. At the same time, Marx, Engels and Freud claim the scientific mantle for their theories. As Popper sang, "one of these things is not like the other one:"
On 29th May the observations were made. And they corroborated Einstein's theory. Other theories which claimed to be scientific and were at the height of intellectual fashion in the Vienna of Popper's youth, such as those of Freud and Adler, did not, and could not be made to, put their lives at stake in this way. No conceivable observations could contradict them. They would explain whatever occurred (though differently). And Popper saw that their ability to explain everything, which so convinced and excited their adherents, was precisely what was most wrong with them.
Climate Science explains everything and no theory since Freud's Id, Ego and Superego has ever been less falsifiable. It is cold, Climate Change; it is hot Climate Change; floods, fires, hurricanes, more ice, less ice...
There is no May 29 for Climate. Every year it seems we read another experiment on a phenomenon suggested by Relativity. New clocks and lasers and rockets have provided a century of May 29ths -- and Albert's predictions have always come up on top.
[CNN President Jeff Zucker] told Bill Carter of the New York Times: "Climate change is one of those stories that deserves more attention, that we all talk about. But we haven't figured out how to engage the audience in that story in a meaningful way. When we do do those stories, there does tend to be a tremendous amount of lack of interest on the audience's part." -- John Fund
A tremendous amount of lack of interest! Those Spinal Tap lads cannot rise to that.
In choosing to spend money in just Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire and Michigan, ["Hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer, who made money from fossil fuels but now seeks to prevent others from doing the same"]'s NextGen is steering clear of most of the battleground states that will decide control of the U.S. Senate. The organization says that it wants to bring the climate issue "to the forefront of American politics" and presents itself as an opponent of "special interest groups" but it seems to be taking pains to avoid the many places where general interest groups, i.e. voters, favor cheap energy. NextGen apparently has no plans to play in tight races in Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, or North Carolina, partly because in many of those places even Democratic candidates are at least pretending to favor energy production. -- James Freeman, WSJ Ed Page
I am working on a new "Elevator Talk" for Climate Change (or DAWG, as it 's known around these parts). The issue is still politically fraught with peril -- every day, my Facebook includes Sen. Mark Udall's asking Rep. Cory Gardner to "sign his petition affirming climate change." It is a crude distraction from ObamaCare®, but don't think crude does not work [insert random Mencken quote here...]
My position has evolved somewhat over the years: not enough to effect policy, but I have softened pari passu with that big Antarctic sheet of ice.
"So, jk, on a scale from 0-10 where zero is 'it's a hoax' and ten is 'metaphysical certitude: we're all gonna die!' where do you stand on Climate Change?"
Does it have to be an integer? I'd say about 4.5 [Who is unreasonable now, baby? I'm a moderate!] Hoax requires mens rea and I will accept that a preponderance of the scientists are genuinely concerned. Politicians probably run the spectrum from following along to "yes, this'll meet my needs," but I'll accept the scientific concern as legitimate.
That gets me to two.
The science of Physics suggests a 1.3° C temperature rise to accompany a doubling in atmospheric CO2. I'm a big fan of Physics -- I have all their albums [pause for laughter as needed here...] Seriously, that is well founded and experimentally reproducible. I accept, therefore, a projected 1.3 degrees of man made warming over the next 50 years.
I think that gets me to four.
Now, the practitioners of climate science take that 1.3 degrees and multiply like a Keynesian at an all-you-can-eat buffet. They show, through computer modeling, that as it gets warmer, there will be more barbecues, and people will eat more meat, and that increased bovine flatulence will raise the temperature 300 degrees and we'll all broil. Okay, it is not that bad, but they are taking fundamentally good science and taking some liberties with it.
The climate science, unlike the physics, is not reproducible or empirically provable.. In fact, the experiment we call the real world diverges substantively from their models.
This puts all the numbers >= five off limits.
But there is a beta, if I can borrow from finance. There is a non-zero chance that they are right. The introduction of more heat to a complex, chaotic system could start a cycle of warming. I multiply the very small beta of probability by the very large coefficient of suckage should this transpire and get 0.5: ergo 4.5.
SecState Kerry suggests that there is no great cost to overreaction and great costs to under reaction. I purport the exact opposite.
If I -- and Physics -- am right, there is a 1.3 rise, which is well within normal fluctuations. Nobody would have noticed had VP Gore won Florida in 2000 and had other things to spend his time on than movies. If I am wrong, don't we want to be richer and smarter? If we waste our time and innovation on government-directed green boondoggles, we will not have the technology or resources to really tackle it if it is bad.
Well, that's it. I've had this in my head for a few days, but was inspired to try it reading the Guest essay by Steven Burnett on the WattsUpWithThat.com site. Burnett has a degree in Psychology and one in Chemistry. He compares the rigor of soft and hard science.
If I may wax poetic for a moment, the hard sciences are like a rock while the soft sciences are like sand. They are fundamentally composed of the same stuff, but it's the structure that makes them different. You must find a comfortable spot to rest on the rock but sand conforms around you. An uncomfortable rock must be dealt with, sand can simply be brushed away. Rock climbing requires training and equipment, a walk on the beach does not. I have had the opportunity to do both, and from personal experience, rock climbing is both harder and more fulfilling.
UPDATE: In case this post wasn't long enough for you... But I had to share the WSJ Ed Page's answer to Sec. Kerry:
The "worst that can happen" is that we spend trillions of dollars trying to solve a problem that we can't do anything to stop; that we misallocate scarce resources in a way that slows economic growth; that slower growth leads to less economic opportunity for Boston College grads and especially the world's poor, and that America and the world become much less wealthy and technologically advanced than we would otherwise. All of which would make the world less able to cope with the costs of climate change if Mr. Kerry is right.
Having read your thoughtful response concerning MMGW wherein you begin with a "0" to"10" what if, and end with a coolly (warmly?) calculated "4.5", I wish to perhaps precipitate a thaw in your math.
There are three distinct areas of focus, however blurred, for a consciousness. They are ideas, things, and people.
The hallmark of the first is the imagination. It is preoccupied with, in addition to whatever may arise to temporarily occupy its focus, envisioned (visionary?) manifestations of "what ifs."
The second area of focus are "things." The hallmark of this consciousness is curiosity. What, how, and why, are perpetual questions to which such a consciousness endlessly seeks answers.
The third area is people. The hallmark of this consciousness, when whatever imagination (ideas) or curiosity (things) might have initially been at play is/are determined to be of relatively little value, it invariably chooses people as the objects of its focus. The hallmark of such a consciousness is politics.
Of course we each are, in differing proportions, amalgamations of all three. On one end of the spectrum lies the occasional Einstein, exploring the intergalactic vortex while working as a clerk in the patent office, never losing sight of his reverence for science and the requirement that his imagination can only become validated when confirmed by reality.
Representing the other extreme, the likes of Barrack Obama, who, apparently never having had an original thought in his life, merely adapted to playing the political game in which he found himself at birth, consistently through to its current manifestations.
The rise of the idea of man-caused destruction of the Earth is the product of politics. It has no basis in actual science itself, and little in its relatively new and larger arena of science, Climatology.
However, since its political postulation, first as MMGC in the early seventies, then as MMGW, recently MMCC, to now, where I indicated at the last LOTR meeting I heard the first snippets of MMCD (disruption replacing change - the boring and virtually imperceptible pace of change giving way to the far more dramatic and dire term, DISRUPTION ((film at eleven!)), the proponents have been joined by sincere and credible consciousnesses who are honestly trying to investigate said claims. To the extent these additional voices remain credible, and are not shown to be seeking renewed funding or new Grant money, they tend to provide a veneer of respectability to what was/is, on its face, a "modern" vehicle for the destruction of individual freedom and Capitalism.
Now, I do not wish to be what I am arguing against. I always remain open to the possibility that the claim of MMCI (influence replacing whatever might be the latest fashion) is in fact occurring. One of the nasty traits of we humans is that certainty stops inquiry. However, I insist that the motivation for inquiry be imagination or curiosity, not arising from the sewer of politics!
The high priests of the "settled science" of MMCI are certain of their inquiry, and denounce, demean, or discredit, any heresy to the contrary. I therefore am resting comfortably at a .0014, awaiting further demonstrable, repeatable, evidence - not simply the computer modeling of premises.
Dave, the denounced, demeaned, "discredited" denier, Walden
I've been trying to make this point on Facebook. Today it has been taken up superbly by Caleb Rossier, who has "[S]pent my life on the foreign-policy left. I opposed the Vietnam War, U.S. intervention in Central America in the 1980s and our invasion of Iraq. I have headed a group trying to block U.S. arms and training for "friendly" dictators, and I have written books about how U.S. policy in the developing world is neocolonial. But I oppose my allies' well-meaning campaign for 'climate justice.'"
Every year environmental groups celebrate a night when institutions in developed countries (including my own university) turn off their lights as a protest against fossil fuels. They say their goal is to get America and Europe to look from space like Africa: dark, because of minimal energy use.
But that is the opposite of what's desired by Africans I know. They want Africa at night to look like the developed world, with lights in every little village and with healthy people, living longer lives, sitting by those lights. Real years added to real lives should trump the minimal impact that African carbon emissions could have on a theoretical catastrophe.
And I oppose the campaign even more for trying to deny to Africans the reliable electricity--and thus the economic development and extended years of life--that fossil fuels can bring.
Talmey-Drake Research and Strategy Inc. said in a written report to the county [Boulder, CO] that focus groups have shown that "support for alternative transportation efforts is driven not by what would get a person out of their own car, but by the hope those programs get others out of their cars so the roads are less congested for them as they continue to drive."
Wow, who saw that coming? Certainly not the people who wrote this:
By investing in such programs as those that support cycling, walking, car pooling and public transportation, "Boulder County strives to make it easier for people to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels, while conserving natural resources and living an active, healthy lifestyle," the county said in a report detailing its sustainability programs.
But what if people don't want those things?
Here's my prediction: Boulder County residents will get the least popular "alternative-transportation program:" Making personal transportation advisers available to advise residents and businesses on how to shorten commutes and reduce car use. That'll get their heads right.
If only! In 'What if a climate scientist fell in the forest" Eric Golub writes, Very rarely does somebody inadvertently do such a spectacular job of making the opposing sideís case. Thomas Piketty did it day before yesterday, and Bill McKibben did it, well, last month.
"So at this point it's absurd to keep asking the scientific community to churn out more reports. In fact, it might almost be more useful if they went on strike: until you pay attention to what we've already told you, we wonít be telling you more."
This guy thinks we are children, afraid to live without mommy and daddy (or mommy1 and mommy2) here to watch over us. Go ahead, climate scientists, "go Galt." We'll manage.
These more frequent illustrations of the nannyists disconnection from reality are some of the things that make me more optimistic that humanity is not doomed to return to pre-history.
Europe has had nearly a decade -- since Moscow cut off gas supplies to the region for the first time -- to ready itself for renewed Russian misbehavior, but has been caught as flatfooted as Obama. Instead of reducing their dependence on gas from Ukraine and Russia, the leaders of Western Europe have chosen to combat climate change. Instead of investing in secure energy, the EU has invested in green energy, driving up energy costs, reducing competitiveness, and allowing Putin to remain in the driver's seat.
By "Europe" we can certainly throw in Sec. John Kerry who still calls Climate Change the greatest threat. The Administration could permit LNG exports, approve the Keystone Pipeline, permit fracking on Federal Lands and tell the free world that America has your back.
I'm not calling for Destroyers in the Black Sea or missiles in Poland, just actions that are in our interest whatever Iran, Russia, or Saudi Arabia chooses.
And I call it a microcosm because I don't think my Facebook friends would argue with how I've laid out the board. Most would be very comfortable arguing that Sec. Kerry and the Administration are doing the right thing and that the German Greens have a longer world view than we goofy Cold Warriors.
UPDATE: In completely unrelated news, Jim Geraghty brings us the President's Thursday Schedule: President Obama to make first appearance on 'Ellen'
"You look at the kind of Democrats who have been elected in the last few election cycles, and they are to the left, way to the left of center in Colorado, and they'll support this fracking ban," said Wadhams.
The Democratic Party's ability to keep its far left in line and avoid fractious battles on issues has helped it win the support of the business community, which values political stability. That could change if business leaders suspect Democrats are aligned with the anti-fracking forces.
"So you're watching the fracturing of the base, but also as important, theyíre going to alienate the business community and [even] the progressive business community," said Ciruli. "I don't think those people won't give to Hickenlooper, but they might not give to these Democratic Senate campaigns."
So Hick might still get donations but his base will not be behind him.
Still, the more gas is available worldwide, the less leverage Putin will have in bullying neighbors and in talks with European powers such as Germany, which also depends on Russian gas.
That's the Denver Post Editorial Board speaking. And if that doesn't sound enough like the words of Republicans Cory Gardner and Rand Paul [starting at 5:00], among many others, the Post continues:
Not everyone agrees, of course. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., was among 20 House Democrats last fall who wrote to the energy secretary expressing concern LNG exports "would lead to greater hydraulic fracturing activity," which is probably true. But we would hope most members of Congress appreciate that fracking can be done safely, and that America's new energy bounty offers a huge opportunity to assist pro-Western governments abroad.
Read more: Liquefied natural gas as a geopolitical tool - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/editorials/ci_25314888/liquefied-natural-gas-geopolitical-tool
Follow us: @Denverpost on Twitter | Denverpost on Facebook
The warming alarmists might earn more support if they acted less like they had something to hide and actually allowed open debate. Perhaps they could respond to their critics rationally instead of reflexively branding them heretics, suitable for whatever is the modern university and research center equivalent of burning at the stake. Real science does not fear those who challenge it, does not work to have challengers' articles banned from science journals, and does not compare skeptics to Holocaust deniers or, as Mr. Kerry did in Jakarta, members of the "Flat Earth Society."
A movement with confidence in its scientific theories would be able to admit there are many climate factors beyond carbon dioxide that are not yet well understood, and that some climate models have been shown to be unreliable. Such a movement would not downplay or whitewash leaked emails evincing the possibility of massaged data. When it criticizes its skeptics as hired guns of the fossil-fuel industry who are influenced by money, it would be willing to acknowledge that it thrives on government and private funding that would shrink if its research did not continue to say warming is here and getting worse. And there would be more confessions such as Al Gore's belated acknowledgment that his support for ethanol was misguided. -- Pete du Pont
A hybrid aircraft, this goofy looking vehicle is capable of heavy lifting and long flight times thanks to the buoyancy of helium gas. The UK Telegraph article that describes it touts its "low carbon" and "green" attributes. I call it a possibly cost-effective vehicle for heavy transport and other specialized uses - provided it is economical in its use of the non-renewable commodity, helium gas.
I just responded to an Upworthy Post with a TED talk!
Me. I feel dirty. You know the kind of person who responds to an Upworthy.com post with a TED talk? Don't tell the folks at ThreeSources, they'll revoke your login . . .
But a not-overwhelmingly-political young person I know posted this:
I did not want to start a Facebook war with this person. But "Upworthy Lad" (kindof "Pajama Boy" with no hot chocolate) claims this has been around for years and nobody has refuted it. And, that grates on me.
Watch if you want, but it is the precautionary principle wrapped up for Facebook crowd. Obviously, the action to prevent something is less damaging: we trade a flu shot for flu, we do not amputate our arms to reduce hangnails. So, we don't know about global warming but it could be really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really bad. So we should "prevent it."
I responded: "You're not driving into work today, are you? The worst that could happen if you stay home is your boss yells at you -- but you could be in a horrific car accident and lose your head! All because you were afraid of getting yelled at..."
But I responded because (Internet Segue Alert) the TED talk linked in my Arnold Kling Post makes a better point. Upworthy Lad no doubt thinks we'll fix it by buying LED light bulbs and driving Priuses. When really "His top left square is not some beta risk of Depression, but 2-4 billion people doing their own washing and burning dung to keep warm."
That is one of the two "biggest challenges facing the world in the 21st century" according to Patrick McCulley at international rivers dot org, who posted [in 2004] Twelve Reasons to Exclude Large Hydro From Renewables Initiatives. Spoiler alert: None of the 12 reasons is "Large hydro is non-renewable." To the contrary, reason #12 admits that it is, precisely, renewable:
12 - Large hydro reservoirs are often rendered non-renewable by sedimentation
Dam reservoirs are depleted over time by sedimentation, a problem that eventually
seriously impedes or ends the ability of a hydro plant to produce electricity. The
great majority of annual sediment loads are carried during flood periods. The high-
er intensity and frequency of floods due to global warming are therefore likely to
increase sedimentation rates and thus further shorten the useful lives of reservoirs.
No word on the required maintenance or "useful lives" of wind, solar or small hydro.
Think carefully for a moment about the phrase, "The science is settled." That would make the issue in question an "absolute" would it not? And absolutism is what Democrats of all flavors most often criticize Republicans for believing.
This is the topic of an entertaining column by Andrew Quinn at The Federalist. The fun begins with his headline: "The Party of Science Has Absolutely No Clue What It's Talking About."
To an intellectually honest observer, these findings compel more questions. What are reasonable expectations for health insurance? Should we be satisfied if Medicaid helps people sleep easier but makes them no healthier? Even if so, is health insurance the most effective way to convert taxpayer dollars into peace of mind for the poor?
Virtually no prominent progressives join center-right commentators in positing such questions.
Because, like most people, progressives are more comfortable with facts that agree with how their mind is already made up. But there is a difference between progressives and the rest of us: They have so convinced themselves that theirs is an ideology rooted in objective science, and any contradictory ideology is rooted in Revealed Truth, that they don't even recognize when their ideology becomes exactly that - an article of faith.
So the next time a Facebook friend tells you his ideas are scientific be sure to ask him for his Hypothesis, Evidence and Analysis that support his Conclusion. If you are sufficiently skeptical he will eventually balk. Then you can ask him to who's authority he is subservient. After all, "consensus" is just another way of saying "I don't want to know any more than I already know." And isn't that why they like to laugh at the Religious Right?
That's the question being posed in the latest issue of an Australian literary journal, Quadrant, by Garth Paltridge, one of the world's most respected atmospheric scientists. [Paltridge:]
It is a particularly nasty trap in the context of science, because it risks destroying, perhaps for centuries to come, the unique and hard-won reputation for honesty which is the basis of society's respect for scientific endeavour.
Another serious scientist joins the good guys. Nice. But what I really enjoyed is his portrayal of climate scientists: Paltridge, again:
A new and rewarding research lifestyle emerged which involved the giving of advice to all types and levels of government, the broadcasting of unchallengeable opinion to the general public, and easy justification for attendance at international conferences--this last in some luxury by normal scientific experience, and at a frequency previously unheard of.
Anybody who has ever had his lunch bought by a Koch Brother or received a paycheck from Exxon is not to be included in the conversation. But flying first class to Davos to meet the Vice President and stay in a five star hotel is somehow just part of living for an academic.
I have always tried to point out that either way, the oil company scientists are going to have a job. But if climate change is anything less than boiling oil catastrophe on a stick: the researchers are going to have to get real jobs.
It depends on the particular type of panel of course, and efficiencies may have improved but still, I wonder how many solar PV evangelists know that the energy produced in the first 2-10 years of their system's operation all goes to pay back the energy consumed to create the things in the first place? "Woo hoo, halfway through my solar PV warranty period I'm finally net energy positive! Feel the clean power baby!"
I heard this topic discussed on a local liberty-oriented radio show last night, where the claim was that the energy of manufacture exceeds the energy produced over a lifetime. While that may be true at extreme latitudes it's a credibility-destroying exaggeration.
Electric company establishes surcharge to customers to subsidize boutique power.
Initial kickback set at about 50 percent of installation cost.
Chinese "predatory pricing" and old fashioned competition drive costs down.
Electric company reduces surcharge.
Non-competitive boutique power installers whine that they "can't afford to pay employees."
Rilly? You were able to pay them when you paid half the cost to start with. What gives?
Oh, it's harder to sell your product to customers. I see.
Every morning you greet me.
Somehow, this seems inconsistent with Popperian Epistemology. But here is a description of the discussion on the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)'s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) Summary for Policymakers (SPM):
Concerning the evidence that the key findings of the report are based on, Saudi Arabia suggested adding "assumptions" or "scientific assumptions" to the list. The addition of "scientific assumptions" was supported by Brazil and opposed by Austria, Canada, Germany and Belgium. The latter underscored that assumptions are already implicitly included in the already-listed theory, models and expert judgement. The Group rejected the insertion.
On the headline statement, which states that warming of the climate system is unequivocal and, since 1950, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia, Saudi Arabia said the statement was "alarmist," urged qualifying the terms "unequivocal" and "unprecedented," requested using the year 1850 instead of 1950, and called for a reference to slowed warming over the past 15 years.
Germany, Australia, Chile, Spain, Fiji, New Zealand, the US, Saint Lucia, Tanzania, Mexico, Slovenia, the UK and others supported the statement as presented, with Germany pointing out that AR4 concluded almost the same. Canada pointed out that factors other than warming will be the emphasis in the future. The Russian Federation proposed "changing," rather than warming of the climate system. After some discussion, Saudi Arabia agreed to accept the statement as presented.
So that's how the Obama campaign raised so much cash "on the internet"
This could be an "Otequay of the Ayday" post:
ďWeíre all familiar with the J-curve in private equity,Ē said Joseph Dear chief investment officer at the California Public Employee Retirement System in March. ďWell, for CalPERS, clean-tech investing has got an L-curve for Ďlose.íĒ
ďOur experience is this has been a noble way to lose money,Ē Dear added.
From an article at thefederalist.com -- The Venture Corporatists - "Saving the planet" has made lot of investors richer. Taxpayers? Not so much, which concludes:
As long as green technology remains not simply an economic venture but a moral one, taxpayers will continue to nobly lose money as politically connected ďsocial entrepreneursĒ reap a windfall.
The IPCC report boldly states in its executive summary that the science is settled but inside its many pages the supporting evidence is unsettling. Go to your favorite denying site for more information.
But go to the WSJ Ed Page for a plausible response:
One lesson of the IPCC report is that now is the time for policy caution. Let's see if the nonwarming trend continues, in which case the climate models will need remodeling. But that's far less costly than trying to undo grand global redistribution schemes like carbon cap and trade.
The other lesson is that amid such uncertainty the best insurance against adverse climate risks is robust economic growth. The wealthier the world is in 50 or 100 years, the more resources and technology it will have to cope if the worst predictions come true. But that requires free-market, pro-growth policies that are the opposite of the statist fixes pushed by the climate alarmists.
They use the flimsy intellectual scaffolding of the IPCC report to justify killing the U.S. coal industry and the Keystone XL pipeline, banning natural gas drilling, imposing costly efficiency requirements for automobiles, light bulbs, washing machines and refrigerators, and using scarce resources to subsidize technologies that even after decades can't compete on their own in the marketplace.
The once prestigious Scientific American Magazine has taken the "skeptic" label a step further and labeled Dr. Judith Curry, director of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology, a "heretic." Then has the audacity to ask in the sub-head, "Why can't we have a civil conversation about climate?"
Her-e-tic: n. 3. anyone who does not conform to an established attitude, doctrine, or principle. Synonyms: 3. dissenter, skeptic, freethinker.
If science always conformed to established attitudes, doctrines and principles then the earth would still be flat and man would be flightless. At least as far as "science" is concerned.
So, how did Dr. Curry's apostasy begin?
But over the past year or so she has become better known for something that annoys, even infuriates, many of her scientific colleagues. Curry has been engaging actively with the climate change skeptic community, largely by participating on outsider blogs such as Climate Audit, the Air Vent and the Black≠board. Along the way, she has come to question how climatologists react to those who question the science, no matter how well established it is. Although many of the skeptics recycle critiques that have long since been disproved, others, she believes, bring up valid points -- and by lumping the good with the bad, climate researchers not only miss out on a chance to improve their science, they come across to the public as haughty.
You mean, she's been trying to have a civil conversation about climate?
Ultimately though, I think this one quote is the most important one in the entire article:
Still, once Curry ventured out onto the skeptic blogs, the questions she saw coming from the most technically savvy of the outsiders -- including statisticians, mechanical engineers and computer modelers from industry -- helped to solidify her own uneasiness. "Not to say that the IPCC science was wrong, but I no longer felt obligated in substituting the IPCC for my own personal judgment," she said in a recent interview posted on the Collide-a-Scape climate blog.
That any scientist would ever substitute anything for her own personal judgment is the reason why science got off the fact-finding and truth-seeking track in the first place.
UPDATE: This article was mentioned by Mark Steyn yesterday, but it was published in November, 2010. [No matches found for "curry" in ThreeSources archives from November 2010.]
In 2007, for my first climate video, I created an admittedly simplistic model of global temperatures. I did not try to model any details within the climate system. Instead, I attempted to tease out a very few (it ended up being three) trends from the historic temperature data and simply projected them forward. Each of these trends has a logic grounded in physical processes, but the values I used were pure regression rather than any bottom up calculation from physics. Here they are:
· A long term trend of 0.4C warming per century. This can be thought of as a sort of base natural rate for the post-little ice age era.
· An additional linear trend beginning in 1945 of an additional 0.35C per century. This represents combined effects of CO2 (whose effects should largely appear after mid-century) and higher solar activity in the second half of the 20th century (Note that this is way, way below the mainstream estimates in the IPCC of the historic contribution of CO2, as it implies the maximum historic contribution is less than 0.2C)
· A cyclic trend that looks like a sine wave centered on zero (such that over time it adds nothing to the long term trend) with a period of about 63 years. Think of this as representing the net effect of cyclical climate processes such as the PDO and AMO.
It works better than the others...
UPDATE: Speaking of "works," EPA admits its regulations won't help:
The moon is full. Jupiter is aligned with Mars. Venus is in the seventh house, and the Environmental Protection Agency actually has made a truthful statement about the effects of a proposed regulation, specifically, its new proposed "carbon pollution" rule for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from new powerplants.
To wit (pp. 16-17): "... the EPA projects that this proposed rule will result in negligible CO2 emission changes [or] quantified benefits... by 2022."
Yes, you read that correctly: EPA argues explicitly that its proposed carbon pollution rule will yield no actual benefits. EPA asserts also that there will be no costs from the rule, a premise deeply problematic; but this projected vacuum devoid of regulatory effects, benefits, or costs is the result of the EPA's broader argument that coal-fired powerplants are unlikely to be built with or without the carbon pollution rule because of long-term competitive pressures from gas-fired plants.
Dr. William Gray's talk at LOTR-F last night was superb. For those who attended (ThreeSources acquitted itself quite well!) the slides are here. And Gray's academic/hurricane page here.
I heard so many of my favorite arguments elucidated well by the charming octogenarian that I became convinced I was of his intellectual caliber. I later recognized the name and realized that he was one of my early influences.
This was the second-best attended LOTR-F evah (Yaron Brook was first). And there were enough "30-second speeches" before that I demurred. But I was prepared to share this from Alex B. Berezow:
The Left repeatedly insists that climate change is the world's #1 problem, and this has distracted us from the world's actual #1 problem: Poverty. About 1.3 billion people don't have electricity, meaning they also don't have adequate access to food, healthcare or the Internet. Essentially, such communities are condemned to a life of indefinite poverty. Providing them with cheap electricity is a compassionate, progressive thing to do.
WORLD ENDS: WOMEN AND MINORITIES HARDEST HIT. Climate Change Will Affect Non-White Americans Disproportionately.
I should not have clicked. But I did. And you will too. This is the literary equivalent of Saturday Night Live's sketch where everyone had to smell the spoiled milk:
What if some people in the U.S. live in areas that are hotter than the neighbors just across town? The researchers, all from the University of California, Berkeley, decided they wanted to check if access to trees and other green cover, which keeps neighborhoods cool, is correlated with race. Having more trees and less asphalt in an area keeps reduces air conditioning bills and air pollution.
The researchers found that non-white Americans are more likely to live in census blocks that have little tree cover and more asphalt than white Americans. Blacks were the most likely to live in so-called "heat islands" in cities and suburbs, followed by Asians, then Hispanics, then whites.
This means that in the future, if global warming brings on more heat waves, non-whites could be more vulnerable than their white neighbors. To fix this, cities could plan tree-planting initiatives, the Berkeley researchers wrote in a paper they published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. Many major cities, including New York and Chicago, already have new-tree plans in place.
Mommy, make them stop excerpting, it hurts, Mommy...
James Pethokoukis is correct. The topic of global warming is fraught with peril for the GOP. Being intransigent, fighting "science," and appearing indifferent turns off a lot of voters -- especially young voters. Especially, well, all the voters all the GOP schemes seek to attract.
And yet, Pethokoukis points out, Republican primary voters want to hear "it's a hoax." With significant tailwinds on size of government and Democratic miscues, the GOP -- on a minor issue -- is set up to be unable to nominate anybody who could win. In my best Mr. Mackey voice, I say "That's bad, mmkay?"
Pethokoukis offers some bold solutions. Even he admits they will be a tough sell. Trading a carbon tax for significant reductions in regulation and corporate tax reform has its charms, but it is a hard sell even to me. So, JimiP, we're going to tax the great engine of what Deepak Lal calls "Promethean Growth" and further establish government as the arbiter of what is good ('lectric cars, ethanol) and what's bad (stinky oil, raw milk, tea party groups...).
In addition, it is pretty easily demagogued; "Gas Tax" like "Amnesty!" has the power to reduce intelligent debate to shouting. ("Advantage TT")
Worse -- and readers know I am a HUGE fan of Pethokoukis -- I think he understates the hard sell to the left. They may have some fears of oceans' rising, but status quo policy is working very well for them. Schooners of money for research, EPA control of everything, a winning political issue.
Pethokoukis's other solution is geoengineering. I will admit that that is my favorite solution if DAWG pans out to be real. Shoot seawater into clouds or reflective sulphate particles into the upper atmosphere. My favorite, not mentioned, is iron particles on the surface of the ocean to enable plant growth. But all of these solutions have to win over a left wing that fights vaccinations and GMO crops and fracking on junk science -- they're going to buy in on atmos-tampering?
On the other side, you're convincing me that the UN should be in charge of the weather. Is that a really good idea?
I applaud his taking this on. I agree that a plan is needed, that leadership is good. Yet how do you ask the party of less government to mobilize legislation against n externality that is not quantitatively understood?
All right you knuckle-draggin', science-ignoring, global warming denialists! Here's your morning read. If you have a progressive friend on Facebook who watches Jon Stewart all the time, she'll be able to help you with the big words.
The Parliamentary Question that started this was put by Lord Donoughue on 8 November 2012. The Question is as follows.
To ask Her Majestyís Government Ö whether they consider a rise in global temperature of 0.8 degrees Celsius since 1880 to be significant. [HL3050]
Doug Keenan, guest-posting at the very interesting looking Bishop Hill blog, takes on that question from the standpoint of selecting the correct statistical model to evaluate the rise.
If that sounded interesting, click away. If not, you're not going to like the post any better than the description. Just turn FOX News back on and see if there are any more Cheetos® in the sofa cushions.
The central fact is that after three quarters of a century of extraordinarily mild conditions, the earth's climate seems to be cooling down. Meteorologists [like economists] disagree about the cause and extent of the cooling trend, as well as over its specific impact on local weather conditions. But they are almost unanimous [Consensus?] in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century. -- Newsweek, April 28, 1975
Related: "Last April, in the most devastating outbreak of tornadoes ever recorded, 148 twisters killed more than 300 people and caused half a billion dollars' worth of damage in thirteen U.S. states." (Same article)
Gripping entertainment. Can I bear the excitement? As I sip my coffee and stare at the ice my thoughts turn to what the polar ice might do this year. Might it also be late breaking up? That would set the cat among the pigeons. -- Commenter Ian H.
Mister H is watching -- live -- what may be the latest ice break up in the Nenana Ice Classic. "The latest the ice has ever gone out was May 20th, 1964 at 11:41 AM Alaska Standard Time. As of this writing there is about 28 hours to go to break that record."
The problem for the climateers is increasingly dire. As The Economist shows in its first chart (Figure 1 here), the recent temperature record is now falling distinctly to the very low end of its predicted range and may soon fall out of it, which means the models are wrong, or, at the very least, that there's something going on that supposedly "settled" science hasn't been able to settle. -- Steven Hayward
A new study makes an interesting point: a very long term study concludes that the temperature swing from 1910 - 2010 is unprecedented. Perhaps it has been colder, perhaps warmer, but it has never shifted so much in only a century. Pretty interesting point.
Furthermore, the study authors feel that we should be in a cold period and that the last, very warm decade would be catastrophic if the same amount of DAWG were present at a warm part of the cycle.
Interesting. But I must -- its being CNN -- excerpt another part of the story. Deirdre McClosky, call your office! We have figured out why prosperity happened -- it was a predictable climate!
Humanity in the last 11,500 years
The scientists chose the period of time known as the "Holocene" for their research, because it is the most recent natural warm phase in Earth's history. It began at the end of the last Ice Age about 11,500 years ago, and we are still in it.
The Holocene has also been the epoch of human achievement, the beginning of civilization. Stable weather patterns helped people do more of everything they wanted to, partly because they no longer had to fight the cold of an ice age.
They began farming, which extended their own life spans and increased population on Earth. They built cities and roads, made art, developed languages and laws. They formed empires and nations.
Eventually, they invented machines, landing themselves in the industrialized age, driven by engines and turbines, which are powered by combustible fuel.
Thus began man-made greenhouse gases.
No mention of the Enlightenment. Stopped fighting an ice age; became prosperous and wealthy -- then ruined the climate. Oh irony, thy name is Man!
The House Science, Space and Technology Committee announced early Wednesday that it's postponing its environmental subcommittee's scheduled 10 a.m. hearing on the state of the science behind climate change. As a reason, it cited "weather."
Of course, that doesn't mean anything. Climate isn't weather -- unless it is very hot.
Detractors like to say "Clean Coal doesn't exist" but Dr. Liang-Shih Fan is one of many scientists laboring, and succeeding, in accomplishing it.
Liang-Shih Fan, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, and director of the Clean Coal Lab, has just completed a 203 hour test of a radical new way of obtaining energy from coal. Typical coal-fired power plants burn coal to boil water, and run the resultant steam through turbines to produce electricity. Fan's process, a new technology called "coal-direct chemical looping," does not burn the coal. Instead, it chemically converts coal to heat in a sealed reactor chamber. Tiny iron oxide beads help to deliver oxygen to the coal particles, which are then cycled through an airflow chamber for re-oxygenation, then run back through the reaction chamber. This is the "looping" in the technology's name. The process gives off no air pollution, and the captured carbon dioxide is ninety-nine percent pure, enough to make it a valuable commodity.
The test, which was run on a lab-sized reactor, produced a continuous twenty-five kilowatts of power.
25 KW! That could power a house! Or a car! Oh wait - carbon dioxide? Hasn't the EPA decided that carbon dioxide, necessary for plant growth, is a pollutant? Never mind. Back to windmills and bicycles.
Walter Russell Mead points out that The Economist magazine has given up on global climate treaties: "Once a believer in the global approach, it appears to have given up"
The good folks at The Economist suggest "[V]oters appear more willing to accept domestic environmental laws than international ones. If true, that is an indictment of years of green activism that has pushed for a global treaty first."
Just tactics, so far, although one appreciates the nod to reason -- especially remembering President Bush's being blamed for every weather incident for not signing Kyoto (after the Senate opposed it 0 - 95, but whatever...)
More important were a couple of, dare I say, scientific concessions:
The Economist also brings us big news on the "settled science" of climate change. A new study has found soot to be twice as bad for climate as was previously thought, making it the second most damaging greenhouse agent after CO2. This is actually good news for two reasons.
To oppose CO2 is to oppose modernity. The dedicated warmie settles for nothing less than "back to the caves." Keystone Pipeline? Fracking? Mai Non! We've a planet to protect! I think even some grouchy old ThreeSourcers could get behind reasonable action on soot. I might be wrong, perhaps there is a pro-soot faction. But reducing soot seems a natural by-product of efficiency. Cleaner fuels, complete combustion should move toward CO2 + H2O as exhaust. Plants' two best friends. As more change is attributable to soot, this reduces the impact of CO2.
If that doesn't melt your cold, cold heart mosey on over to the WSJ Ed Page. "Skeptical Environmentalist" Bjorn Lomborg has a guest editorial. True to his designs, Lomborg -- like Professor Mead and the editorial staff at The Economist -- believes completely in Deleterious Anthropogenic Warming of the Globe. But he wants it addressed scientifically and economically.
This makes his criticism of the hype credible:
Unfortunately, when the president described the urgent nature of the threat--the "devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms"--the scary examples suggested that he is contemplating poor policies that don't point to any real, let alone smart, solutions. Global warming is a problem that needs fixing, but exaggeration doesn't help, and it often distracts us from simple, cheaper and smarter solutions.
Lomborg knows the plural of anecdote isn't data. Wildfires have been reduced, droughts are holdin' steady and the damage from hurricanes is set to halve as a % of GDP by 2100.
This does not mean that climate change isn't an issue. It means that exaggerating the threat concentrates resources in the wrong areas. Consider hurricanes (though similar points hold for wildfire and drought). If the aim is to reduce storm damage, then first focus on resilience--better building codes and better enforcement of those codes. Ending subsidies for hurricane insurance to discourage building in vulnerable zones would also help, as would investing in better infrastructure (from stronger levees to higher-capacity sewers).
That's the news on the science front. Now, from Facebook:
Pretty much captures the important discussion points, does it not?
UPDATE: Insty provides this link to the Lomborg piece, might be free.
A Facebook friend (not one of the Facebook friends) links to a nice piece on scientific consensus. He says all the things I try to say, but the author, Jonathan DuHammel does not quote Karl Popper or use the word "epistemology." Probably the better for both points!
[Dr. Judith Curry, Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology] goes on the write: "With genuinely well-established scientific theories, 'consensus' is not discussed and the concept of consensus is arguably irrelevant... While a consensus may arise surrounding a specific scientific hypothesis or theory, the existence of a consensus is not itself the evidence." And she notes: "If the objective of scientific research is to obtain truth and avoid error, how might a consensus seeking process introduce bias into the science and increase the chances for error? 'Confirmation bias' is a well-known psychological principle that connotes the seeking or interpreting of evidence in ways that are partial to existing beliefs, expectations, or an existing hypothesis. Confirmation bias usually refers to unwitting selectivity in the acquisition and interpretation of evidence."
There are some famous failures of consensus in history. The pre-eminent one was the belief that the Earth was the center of the universe. That was the prevailing consensus 500 years ago. That consensus was shown to be in error, first by Nicolaus Copernicus and later by Galileo, Kepler, and Newton.
"The reason the economics fail in the US is not a failure of Wind, its a failure of greedy corporations to allocate costs in a manner that is for the common good. Energy is like air - it comes from God and should not be for-profit. COOPs are the most cost efficient way to deliver electricity. Remove the corporate overhead with multi-million dollar salaries for CEO's and the economics of wind are obvious."
Posted 3 hours ago as a comment on a blog post at one of my engineering trade magazines. The post itself is noteworthy, for it represents the first I can remember where the realities of alternative energy sources are given as much weight as the pollyanna political correctness.
And then there is the cost of wind per MW hr with the subsidy included. Without the subsidy - fuggedaboutit. And it looks like the forgetting will be happening soon. The tax credits for "alternative" (read unreliable) energy have not been renewed. What was that again? Renewables have not been renewed? Isn't that a contradiction in terms? There is a simple explanation.
Wind power does not succeed by capturing wind. It succeeds by capturing government.
Now, a tune for the choir! I almost get sick of saying it, but private enterprise is cleaning the air and reducing greenhouse gasses.
Thanks to natural gas, market forces, technology, and private sector activity, C02 emissions drop to a 20-year low
In a surprising turnaround, the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere in the U.S. has fallen dramatically to its lowest level in 20 years, and government officials say the biggest reason is that cheap and plentiful natural gas has led many power plant operators to switch from dirtier-burning coal.
Mark J Perry closes: "Another great example of how society is 'cleaned by capitalism.'"
In the United States, the only hope for substantial relief from higher-than-average temperatures in the coming weeks and months would be a striking atmospheric change, like the development this autumn of the weather pattern known as El Niño or a tropical cyclone that moves into the central part of the country from the Gulf of Mexico, scientists said on Wednesday.
But, wasn't electing Barack Obama in 2008 supposed to accomplish this?
PRESS RELEASE -- U.S. Temperature trends show a spurious doubling due to NOAA station siting problems and post measurement adjustments.
Chico, CA July 29th, 2012 -- 12 PM PDT -- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A comparison and summary of trends is shown from the paper. Acceptably placed thermometers away from common urban influences read much cooler nationwide:
A reanalysis of U.S. surface station temperatures has been performed using the recently WMO-approved Siting Classification System devised by METEO-France's Michel Leroy. The new siting classification more accurately characterizes the quality of the location in terms of monitoring long-term spatially representative surface temperature trends. The new analysis demonstrates that reported 1979-2008 U.S. temperature trends are spuriously doubled, with 92% of that over-estimation resulting from erroneous NOAA adjustments of well-sited stations upward. The paper is the first to use the updated siting system which addresses USHCN siting issues and data adjustments.
The new improved assessment, for the years 1979 to 2008, yields a trend of +0.155C per decade from the high quality sites, a +0.248 C per decade trend for poorly sited locations, and a trend of +0.309 C per decade after NOAA adjusts the data. This issue of station siting quality is expected to be an issue with respect to the monitoring of land surface temperature throughout the Global Historical Climate Network and in the BEST network.
Since this is SCIENCE I'm sure Mikey Mann and the rest will immediately back it up with fulsome praise for the authors and a nomination for some prizes.
Anyone who has read many stories on the Colorado forest fires has surely seen at least one account that links the events with "climate change." Stories like Huffpo's "Stunning NASA Map Shows Severe Heat Wave Fueling Wildfires" are an extreme example. But Colorado state climatologist Nolan Doesken has a much different explanation:
While itís true that this June was the hottest June on record, averaging 75 degrees, or 7.6 degrees above normal, he said extreme heat was just one of the ingredientsĖand maybe not even the most important oneĖinvolved in this yearís perfect wildfire storm.
Mr. Doesken noted that July is inevitably hotter than June, but there are fewer wildfires in July because itís also wetter. May and June are typically drier and windier than July and August, which are hotter but more humid.
He said the key to this yearís wildfire season was the lack of snow in March, which left trees more stressed than usual going into the dry spring. Was that caused by manmade climate change? His answer: a definite maybe.
"Itís tempting to say, ĎAh-ha, this is the face of climate change,í but it might not be. Or it might be one of several things," said Mr. Doesken. "The forests burn when the meteorological conditions are right, and when thatís the case, itís going to happen with or without anything we call climate change."
The story continues, exploring more likely factors:
Forest-health advocates say thereís one thing missing from the climate-change-causes-wildfires theory: The forests are so poorly managed that it doesnít take much for them to go up in flames. Twenty years of reductions in timber sales and environmental lawsuits have gutted logging on public lands, resulting in densely packed, tinder-dry trees that are practically designed for crown fires.
Bill Gherardi, president of the Colorado Forestry Association, said the state has historically seen 20 to 80 tree stems per acre in its national forests. Today, he said, the density has increased to 400-1,200 stems per acre.
The problems associated with the lack of forest management are well-documented. A 2011 report by the Forest Service found that the bark-beetle outbreak was partly the result of a drastic reduction in timber sales driven by appeals and litigation by environmental groups, as well as an inability to reach some areas due to inadequate roads.
In Region 2, which includes Colorado, the timber industry declined 63% from 1986 to 2005. ďConsequently, few industrial resources were or are available to help the Forest Service in applying management practices in response to the bark beetle outbreak,Ē said the report, which was requested by Democratic Sen. Mark Udall.
So one explanation is 7.6 degrees warmer temperatures for a month and the other explanation includes 15 to 20 times higher density of trees that are diseased and dead, at least partially due to that very overcrowding. Given that tens of thousands of wildfires occur each year in the United States, Colorado's fire disasters are unprecedented for their severity rather than frequency. And that severity is driven more by wind and fuel density than by a dubious, anti-scientific theory called climate change.
In any case, the United States of America is living proof that there are more ways to address environmental concerns than the green movement as a whole is willing to admit.
And if the United States can achieve this while blowing off the panicky greens and their tiresome Malthusian agendas, so can China and India. That is a very good thing, because those countries have zero repeat zero interest in adopting any green measures that slow their growth.
The truth is that if CO2 emissions are going to come down, it's going to happen the American way rather than the Greenpeace way. Instead of flinging muck and howling curses at the most successful carbon cutting large economy in the world, maybe a few more greens here and there will start thinking about how to spread the magic around.
I did post the last one to Facebook -- about how Fracking was saving the world and all the cute fuzzy critters which inhabit it. Not a peep in reply. I'd like to think I won them over with reason, but I fear they've just completely given up on me. (NO PORKY! BREATHE FROM THE DIAPHRAGM!)
Hat-tip: Instapundit, who nails it with "The problem is, the way we did it provided insufficient opportuinites for graft."
'Bout ready to sign up with VP Gore. . . This is our fourth or fifth day of 100+ which is very rare. It hasn't rained since last Thanksgiving or so, and the entire state is on fire. But -- as I am always reminded when I comment on cool weather -- "weather is not climate." Except, of course when it works for the other guys -- then it is a "dangerous portent of climate change."
So let's all cool down. It seems the Antarctic shelf is not melting (as predicted) and the temperatures around it are cooler than predicted. Huh? #COMPUTERMODELFAIL ?
It turns out that past studies, which were based on computer models without any direct data for comparison or guidance, overestimate the water temperatures and extent of melting beneath the Fimbul Ice Shelf. This has led to the misconception, Hattermann said, that the ice shelf is losing mass at a faster rate than it is gaining mass, leading to an overall loss of mass.
The team's results show that water temperatures are far lower than computer models predicted ...
Aaaah, Antarctic ice. . . I feel better. The quote is from the American Geophysical Union via The (UK) Register, via Lord Glenn of Knoxville.
Poor Bjorn Lombourg. He's gay, european, environmentalist, and a fulsome believer in Deleterious Anthropogenic Warming of the Globe. He respects NGOs and clearly sees a significant role for the United Nations in environmental and economic.
And yet, because he is capable of reason, all his friends are right-wingers -- like me. He is persona non-grata in the rest of the environmentalist community.
But his unfortunate habit of truth telling concerns cost vs. benefit -- where is the best place to put scarce resources? His guest editorial in the WSJ today concerns that, but he takes a sharper than usual look at why people still pursue climate change more than other projects that would be more cost effective.
Why then, do U.N. elites focus all their efforts on a feeble attempt to assist one person before successfully preventing 210 deaths? Because global warming feels more important--more hip. The majority of people in wealthy countries have lived their entire lives with clean air, clean water and electricity supplied through a grid. Air and water pollution is just old hat.
But surely "helping the world" isn't about making us feel good. It's about actually helping poor nations.
Nowhere are these misplaced priorities more apparent than in U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon's favorite program, "sustainable energy for all," which has emerged as a key goal of this year's summit. The program aims to ensure that all people have access to energy, but it places an inordinate emphasis on "green" technologies.
Almost as if the UN was more interested in control and power than people and the environment...
And how did I miss this? Freeman Dyson from 2007 on the need for heretics in Science.
My first heresy says that all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated. Here I am opposing the holy brotherhood of climate model experts and the crowd of deluded citizens who believe the numbers predicted by the computer models. Of course, they say, I have no degree in meteorology and I am therefore not qualified to speak. But I have studied the climate models and I know what they can do. The models solve the equations of fluid dynamics, and they do a very good job of describing the fluid motions of the atmosphere and the oceans. They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests. They do not begin to describe the real world that we live in. The real world is muddy and messy and full of things that we do not yet understand. It is much easier for a scientist to sit in an air-conditioned building and run computer models, than to put on winter clothes and measure what is really happening outside in the swamps and the clouds. That is why the climate model experts end up believing their own models.
Perfect weekend reading length. Hat-tip: Ed Kreyewski in Reason.
Last week I noted that Sierra Club is preparing a "Beyond Natural Gas" advocacy effort as part of its "none of the above" energy strategy. Today the reactionary big-oil shills at the Denver Post editorial board joined my disapprobation.
The executive director of the influential environmental group recently wrote: "It's time to stop thinking of natural gas as a 'kinder, gentler' energy source."
To be blunt, no, it is not time.
We are dismayed that this group is repositioning itself as an anti-gas group, going as far as to proclaim that it will lobby to stop all new gas-fueled power plants.
It seems to us that as market conditions and technological advances have led to a boom in availibility of cheap natural gas, the backtracking is born of fear ó fear that this nation will come to rely on this "transitional fuel" as a long-term solution.
Disapprobation of environmental extremism deserves approbation. I don't say this every day but ... bravo, Denver Post, bravo.
That is where the American environmental extremist group Sierra Club must intend to take American energy consumers.
On Monday I wrote about the use of natural gas as a political alternative to more prevalent and less costly coal as a source of electric power. That effort is supported by Sierra Club in their "Beyond Coal" campaign. But they aren't waiting for Phase I of Operation Nineteenth Century to be completed before launching Phase II: "Beyond Natural Gas." (Not "natural" enough?) Sierra's strategic coordination leaves much room for improvement.
Natural gas drillers exploit government loopholes, ignore decades-old environmental protections, and disregard the health of entire communities. "Fracking," a violent process that dislodges gas deposits from shale rock formations is known to contaminate drinking water, pollute the air, and cause earthquakes. If drillers canít extract natural gas without destroying landscapes and endangering the health of families, then we should not drill for natural gas. [Emphasis mine.]
After the requisite "what do you mean 'we' Kemosabe" the next thing I notice is how this message is designed to appeal to the feeler-perceiver contingent of the public but offers no evidence for the thinker-judgers among us. Fear, uncertainty and doubt anyone? Showing a glass of drinking water doctored with contaminants so expertly as to make Don Draper proud, the campaign against the hydraulic fracturing process seems to revolve mostly around the shorthand name for the method containing letters "F" and "K".
Blogger Jay F. Marks explains that Sierra Club took millions in donations from natural gas corporations for the purpose of bashing coal, but new Sierra Club director Michael Brune opened a new chapter in the war on reliable and affordable energy.
The Sierra Club once had a cozy relationship with the natural gas industry, taking more than $25 million in contributions from Chesapeake Energy Corp. and its subsidiaries to fund the fight against coal.
Brune ended that relationship when he took over as the environmental groupís director in March 2010. He said the club originally worked with Chesapeake because staff and volunteers concluded natural gas might be a viable alternative to coal in electricity generation, but some local chapters developed increasing concerns about gas production.
Let's fast forward, shall we?
Incoming Sierra Club executive director Barnaby Owleton said today that building and maintaining thousands of acres of monstrously large industrial machines to convert wind to electricity is a thorougly discredited process and a clear danger to migratory birds across the nation. "Extinction of multiple species is not just a possibility, but a certainty, if we don't act immediately to move Beyond Wind."
One or two election cycles later...
Woody Weederstein, in his first official statement as new Sierra Club director, slammed the solar electric energy industry for the consequences imposed upon the areas of our planet that are permanently and unavoidably shaded by solar power conversion panels. "In the name of all that is green" he said, "we as Americans have no moral choice but to move Beyond Solar."
And after they succeed in eliminating energy produced by magical unicorn farts the only remaining strategy to "save the planet" will be energy efficiency, which is just another name for rationing. I have a better idea: Hey Sierra Club - Frack off.
Last week I wrote about the Denver Post's utter bewilderment that presidential candidate Mitt Romney would give a stump speech in rural Craig, Colorado (after all, there haven't been any layoffs there ... yet) and countered with the news coverage of the event by Routt County's Steamboat Today.
Today that much more objective publication runs an editorial by Rob Douglas that delves deeper into the contrast that Governor Romney is offering.
Agree or disagree with Obamaís goal, one fact is undeniable. When Obamaís intent became public, every man and woman working in coal-related jobs realized that Obama had placed a bulls-eye on their livelihood. Many of those men and women call the Yampa Valley home.
So when Romney sought the perfect venue to confront Obamaís claim of an ďall-of-the-aboveĒ energy policy, Northwest Colorado was a natural choice. Romney is calculating that he can increase his odds in November by siding with folks employed in fossil fuel industries in states like Colorado, Ohio and Pennsylvania ó all battleground states this year.
After all, Romney has a point when he argues that Obama has continued his war against coal.
This spring, having watched his cap-and-trade legislation die in the U.S. Senate when Democrats abandoned the bill in 2010, Obama bypassed Congress and used the Environmental Protection Agency to start implementing mercury emission, cross-state pollution and greenhouse gas regulations that will kill the coal industry.
But Douglas articulates a much more important message - one I have recognized but as yet not really written about: Coal is not the target. Pragmatic politicians cannot merely "sacrifice" the coal industry conifident in the fact that lost jobs will be replaced by growth in the natural gas industry. If coal is ever defeated the next environmental villain will be natural gas.
Coincidentally, on the same day Romney was speaking to the crowd gathered at Alice Pleasant Park in Craig, the Wall Street Journal reported that, according to the International Energy Agency, ďglobal exploitation of shale gas reserves could transform the worldís energy supply by lowering prices, improving security and curbing carbon dioxide emissions, but the industry might be stopped in its tracks if it doesnít work harder to resolve environmental concerns.Ē
Of course, everything after the ďbutĒ in that last sentence is where the battle lies. Because as can be witnessed even here in the Yampa Valley, there are some who will never accept fossil fuels as part of Americaís energy policy. And just as coal is under attack, these individuals and organizations are mounting battles to prohibit the use of fracking to extract oil and gas ó the same oil and gas that Americans have been led to believe could replace coal as an energy source.
And hydraulic fracturing is only the first battlefront in the coming War on Natural Gas. That little "feature" of natural gas called "curbing carbon dioxide emissions" will be its undoing for natural gas is not without CO2 emissions, and once its use has been predicated on reducing that "pollutant" it can hardly remain a viable energy source since it can also be shown to be a "dirty" fuel.
"First they came for the coal, and I said nothing."
Mitt Romney made a whistlestop visit to Craig, Colorado on Tuesday after seeing this video, which was sent to him by Frank and Kerrie Moe, the hotel-owning couple who star in it. The event was covered by the Denver Post and Steamboat Today, and one is left wondering if the Post's Sara Burnett was at the same rally as was Steamboat Today's Scott Franz.
Unemployment in Moffat County was about 8.3 percent in April ó higher than the state average, which increased slightly to 7.8 percent last month. But local miners and the mayor of Craig said the local coal industry has been stable, with no layoffs or reduced hours at the local mines or the power plant.
According to Franz, however, local resident Buchner sees life differently in the remote coal-mining and power generating town:
"We really believe Romney has the tools and the knowledge to get the economy going," Buchner said, adding that she only recently became politically active because of the economy. "When I talked to different people (at the rally), they were worried about money. People cannot get jobs. This is not an election to sit out." She said she doesnít think President Barack Obama can turn the economy around.
Not to worry though, Burnett says:
The Obama campaign counters that the president's "all of the above" energy approach includes clean coal, as well as wind, solar, natural gas and other sources renewable energy sources. They also note the president made one of the most significant investments in development of clean coal technologies with $3.4 billion in stimulus funding.
Now, one has to wonder if Burnett and "the Obama campaign" agree with Al Gore who says "clean" coal "doesn't exist." Clearly this administration will spend billions of taxpayer dollars on something while at the very same time regulating it out of legal existence.
On last week's post criticizing the City of Boulder's "Climate Change Preparedness Plan" brother JK glibly (sarcastically?) quipped that "if things get too warm here [in Weld County] I can drive right over the line [into Boulder County]" where presumably he'll be "saved" from the "deleterious" effects of global, or regional, umm county-wide climate change. Not so fast, dear friend. There's big trouble in little Nirvana.
Seems the CCPP is part of a larger Climate Action Plan (CAP) that is enabled by a voter-approved tax that expires next March. The tax collects $1.8 million annually for the City of Boulder's pet enviro projects. Apparently Boulder County thinks the city is on to something and they are contemplating a "sustainability tax" of their own. Boulder Daily Camera:
"I'm very concerned that if the county goes ahead, our CAP tax will stand a very good chance of losing," Mayor Matt Appelbaum said. "And that will just kill us. That will set us way back. It would be a huge loss for us if we lost the momentum. There are many programs that are just getting going."
Councilwoman Suzy Ageton said the programs will "crash" if the tax is not renewed.
"We're going to go off a cliff if this doesn't pass," she said.
One wonders if Boulder County's "sustainability tax" will be more sustainable than Boulder City's CAP tax.
New research finds that wind farms actually warm up the surface of the land underneath them during the night, a phenomena that could put a damper on efforts to expand wind energy as a green energy solution.
In his commencement speech at Hamilton College on Sunday, former Vice President Al Gore told the graduates that global warming is "the most serious challenge our civilization has ever faced." But as an undergraduate at Harvard University in the late 1960s, Gore--one of the most prominent spokesmen on climate change today--earned a "D" in Natural Sciences.
A favorite TV show growing up was Lee Majors starring as the "Six-Million Dollar Man." After crashing the test flight of an experimental aircraft, Steve Austin was fitted with "bionics" that made him "better, stronger, faster." President Obama has been trying the same thing in America's energy market, with less success. Investors Ed Page says Obama Fought Oil and Lost; Now it's Back to Reality.
In other words, even a fast-forward to 23 years from now doesn't reveal an energy economy substantially different from today's. Obama has run up quite a price tag trying to deny this reality.
By one recent estimate from analysts sympathetic to the green-economy agenda, the government spent $110.3 billion in tax credits, loans and grants to promote the green economy from 2009 to 2011.
The Obama administration also has leaned against oil and toward the environmental lobby whenever the two were in conflict -- most notably in his decision to block the Keystone XL pipeline. What do we have as a result? High gasoline prices, a bigger federal deficit and not-ready-for-prime-time electric cars.
Energy is bound to be one of the key issues in this year's presidential election, and for once the question won't be about managing scarcity. It will be about how to take advantage of the abundant resources under our feet. Barack Obama fought oil and lost, and the next president can learn from his mistake.
Six years ago, James Lovelock, "the maverick scientist who became a guru to the environmental movement with his 'Gaia' theory of the Earth as a single organism" had some somewhat dark predictions:
He previously painted some of the direst visions of the effects of climate change. In 2006, in an article in the U.K.'s Independent newspaper, he wrote that "before this century is over billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable."
In my best Mr. Mackey voice, I'd say "That's bad, mmkay?"
But a big man can admit when he is wrong, and Lovelock has a new book coming out called "Nevermind." (Actually, that is my suggestion, it is not clear from the article if a title has been chosen.)
The new book, due to be published next year, will be the third in a trilogy, following his earlier works, "Revenge of Gaia: Why the Earth Is Fighting Back -- and How We Can Still Save Humanity," and "The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning: Enjoy It While You Can."
Turns out, it was climate's old tricks. Who would have thought that a scientist of Lovelock's stature would fall for those?
"The problem is we donít know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books -- mine included -- because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn't happened," Lovelock said.
"The climate is doing its usual tricks. There's nothing much really happening yet. We were supposed to be halfway toward a frying world now," he said.
Come to think of it, if "Bull's-eye Jim" is not worried now, I am starting to be concerned...
UPDATE: I meant to do this as a segue. Bjorn Lomborg has a WSJ Editorial the same day on the importance of using economic data to steer environmental policy.
But in tackling humanity's biggest challenges--climate change, malaria, natural disasters, education--we need more economic science, not less. Cost-benefit analysis, in particular, is a far more effective and moral approach than basing decisions on the media's roving gaze or the loudness of competing interest groups.
Showing his keen grasp of free market forces, Obama has ordered Justice officials to investigate oil speculation. Of course, there's oil speculation. It's called the futures market. And watching Obama's policies instead of his words, those experts see higher prices coming ahead, as do most Americans in the poll.
When taking office, Energy Secy. Stephen Chu expressed a desire to drive U.S. gas prices to the European levels of $8-$9 a gallon, much like taxation on cigarettes to discourage their use. This administration has achieved more than half that European goal already.
And voters are taking note:
A new Washington Post-ABC News Poll this week finds about two-out-of-three Americans now disapprove of the Chicago Democrat's job on gas prices, whatever that's been.
Maybe if he started reminding them he "killed bin Laden..."
"And since 1979, an entire climate industry has grown up that has spent millions of human-hours applying that constantly increasing computer horsepower to studying the climate.
And after the millions of hours of human effort, after the millions and millions of dollars gone into research, after all of those million-fold increases in computer speed and size, and after the phenomenal increase in model sophistication and detail ... the guesstimated range of climate sensitivity hasn't narrowed in any significant fashion. It's still right around 3 ± 1.5°C per double of CO2, just like it was in 1979." --Willis Eschenbach
In the linked article Eschenbach, a self-described amateur scientist and generalist, gives an overview of climate science since its beginnings circa 1979. Click continue reading for the discussion of computing power that preceeds this quote, and click on the first link to find in his conclusion the real reason for lack of progress. Hint: Check your premises.
So there you have it, folks. The climate sensitivity is 3įC per doubling of CO2, with an error of about Ī 1.5įC. Net feedback is positive, although we donít understand the clouds. The models are not yet able to simulate regional climates. No surprises in any of that. Itís just what youíd expect a NAS panel to say.
Now, before going forwards, since the NAS report is based on computer models, let me take a slight diversion to list a few facts about computers, which are a long-time fascination of mine. As long as I can remember, I wanted a computer of my own. When I was a little kid I dreamed about having one. I speak a half dozen computer languages reasonably well, and there are more that Iíve forgotten. I wrote my first computer program in 1963.
Watching the changes in computer power has been astounding. In 1979, the fastest computer in the world was the Cray-1 supercomputer. In 1979, a Cray-1 supercomputer, a machine far beyond anything that most scientists might have dreamed of having, had 8 Mb of memory, 10 Gb of hard disk space, and ran at 100 MFLOPS (million floating point operations per second). The computer Iím writing this on has a thousand times the memory, fifty times the disk space, and two hundred times the speed of the Cray-1.
And thatís just my desktop computer. The new NASA climate supercomputer ďGaeaĒ shown in Figure 1 runs two and a half million times as fast as a Cray-1. This means that a one-day run on ďGaeaĒ would take a Cray-1 about seven thousand years to complete Ö
Now, why is the speed of a Cray-1 computer relevant to the NAS report I quoted from above?
It is relevant because as some of you may have realized, the NAS report I quoted from above is called the ďCharney Reportď. As far as I know, it was the first official National Academy of Science statement on the CO2 question. And when I said it was a ďrecent reportĒ, I was thinking about it in historical terms. It was published in 1979.
Hereís the bizarre part, the elephant in the climate science room. The Charney Report could have been written yesterday. AGW supporters are still making exactly the same claims, as if no time had passed at all. For example, AGW supporters are still saying the same thing about the clouds now as they were back in 1979óthey admit they donít understand them, that itís the biggest problem in the models, but all the same but theyíre sure the net feedback is positive. Iím not sure clear that works, but itís been that way since 1979.
Thatís the oddity to meówhen you read the Charney Report, it is obvious that almost nothing of significance has changed in the field since 1979. There have been no scientific breakthroughs, no new deep understandings. People are still making the same claims about climate sensitivity, with almost no change in the huge error limits. The range still varies by a factor of three, from about 1.5 to about 4.5įC per doubling of CO2.
Meanwhile, the computer horsepower has increased beyond anyoneís wildest expectations. The size of the climate models has done the same. The climate models of 1979 were thousands of lines of code. The modern models are more like millions of lines of code. Back then it was atmosphere only models with a few layers and large gridcells. Now we have fully coupled ocean-atmosphere-cryosphere-biosphere-lithosphere models, with much smaller gridcells and dozens of both oceanic and atmospheric layers.
"An additional document Gleick represented as coming from The Heartland Institute, a forged memo purporting to set out our strategies on global warming, has been extensively cited by newspapers and in news releases and articles posted on Web sites and blogs around the world. It has caused major and permanent damage to the reputations of The Heartland Institute and many of the scientists, policy experts, and organizations we work with.
"A mere apology is not enough to undo the damage.
"In his statement, Gleick claims he committed this crime because he believed The Heartland Institute was preventing a "rational debate" from taking place over global warming. This is unbelievable. Heartland has repeatedly asked for real debate on this important topic. Gleick himself was specifically invited to attend a Heartland event to debate global warming just days before he stole the documents. He turned down the invitation.
dagny shares a financial "article of the day" via email. "The interesting thing about this is the comments" she writes. "The majority of commenters seem to think that reducing business taxes (i.e. letting business keep the money they made) is a, 'handout,' or, 'corporate welfare.' Betcha they don't think that about refundable tax credits like the EIC."
And why wouldn't commenters such as Chicago's own "gsdfhdgjhfdhjjjjjkgkjgjks" believe that accelerated depreciation and an R&D tax credit are handouts to corporations. President Obama and groups like Clean Energy Works are turning the entire English language upside down:
A memo circulating from Clean Energy Works, an alliance of about 60 groups, outlines a strategy of framing tax benefits the industry receives as corporate welfare. The memo calls the messaging plan a "line of attack" to counteract the description of climate legislation as a national energy tax.
"What they don't want anyone to know is that the American people already have a national energy tax -- The Big Oil Welfare Tax -- in the form of billions of dollars in subsidies to the wildly profitable big oil companies," the memo adds.
So first, "subsidies" to specific corporations equate to a "tax" on individuals. Well, I can see the logic here if the effects of economic growth spurred by a larger (and cheaper) energy supply and continued government spending on unrelated programs are ignored. But this misses the real point that taxing something less than it might be taxed can not in any sense be considered a subsidy. The government is taking wealth from wealth-producing companies. In English this is known as "taxation."
But even if one believes, as I do, that "Big Oil" should be taxed just as much as any other industry it is erroneous to examine a few specific tax categories where rates may differ and proclaim preferential treatment.
According to the Energy Information Administration, the industry's effective federal income tax rate is more than two-thirds higher than the average for all manufacturing industries.
Furthermore, those throwing stones at the oil industry over corporate welfare would do well to first look in the mirror, for the vast majority of them are vocal proponents of so-called "renewable" energy.
Another EIA study shows renewable energy industries enjoy double the incentives of those for oil and natural gas."
But punitive taxation is nothing new in America or anywhere else where wealth is produced and standards of living have been raised. And despite taking one-quarter or more of the freely created wealth of for-profit corporations and individuals, they still manage to keep working and producing and, getting the shaft. Our commenter from Chicago put it succinctly in the comments to the original article. In reply to a previous sarcastic comment which read:
"Nice. kick businesses in the teeth--the ones who hire the most-- and increase gov spending and deficits. Now THAT'S the way to make jobs!"
A while back we had some friends to dinner and got to talking about global warming. My friend -- a pediatrician -- is a down-the-line green believer convinced that Al Gore has it right and the rest of us are in denial. I -- with graduate degrees in physics and fluid mechanics / heat transfer -- am still somewhat skeptical, to say the least. His comment: "Well, I probably just have a different perspective on this because I have a technical background."
Forget global warming -- it's Cycle 25 we need to worry about (and if NASA scientists are right the Thames will be freezing over again)
Met Office releases new figures which show no warming in 15 years.
The supposed 'consensus' on man-made global warming is facing an inconvenient challenge after the release of new temperature data showing the planet has not warmed for the past 15 years. The figures suggest that we could even be heading for a mini ice age to rival the 70-year temperature drop that saw frost fairs held on the Thames in the 17th Century. Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.
East Anglia Climatic Research Unit...now where have I heard that name...
This is not the way science is supposed to work, but we have seen it before--for example, in the frightening period when Trofim Lysenko hijacked biology in the Soviet Union. Soviet biologists who revealed that they believed in genes, which Lysenko maintained were a bourgeois fiction, were fired from their jobs. Many were sent to the gulag and some were condemned to death.
Why is there so much passion about global warming, and why has the issue become so vexing that the American Physical Society, from which Dr. Giaever resigned a few months ago, refused the seemingly reasonable request by many of its members to remove the word "incontrovertible" from its description of a scientific issue? There are several reasons, but a good place to start is the old question "cui bono?" Or the modern update, "Follow the money."
Alarmism over climate is of great benefit to many, providing government funding for academic research and a reason for government bureaucracies to grow. Alarmism also offers an excuse for governments to raise taxes, taxpayer-funded subsidies for businesses that understand how to work the political system, and a lure for big donations to charitable foundations promising to save the planet. Lysenko and his team lived very well, and they fiercely defended their dogma and the privileges it brought them.
Measured and professional -- yet pointed at the same time. You're all going to love it. I'm certain!
Thousands of loggers lost their jobs in the American Northwest because of dubious claims about wiping out the last of the spotted owls. This is just one example of environmental extremists' non-linear cost benefit analysis doing irreparable harm to the livelihoods of American workers.
The latest glaring example of this is TransCanada Corporation's Keystone XL Pipeline project. Despite the safety record showing pipelines to be the "safest, most efficient and economical way" to move the natural resource called crude oil, environmental activists have chosen spill hazards as the primary reason to oppose private construction of the new pipeline. But America is already criss-crossed by 55,000 miles of oil pipelines, many of which are small, old and in disrepair. And the spill rate [pg. 9] for those lines is 0.00109 incidents (spill of 50 bbl or more) per mile per year. That calculates to 60 spills every year. The estimated spill rate for the modern new Keystone XL [pg. 10] is 0.186 spills per year, anywhere over its entire 1371 mile length. (.000136 incidents per mile per year)
So the question every American voter should ask himself is, would I quit my job and ask 19,999 of my neighbors to quit theirs in order to avoid increasing the pipeline spill incident rate by 0.3 percent? (And have you even noticed any of the sixty-odd spills that already happen each year?)
As luck would have it, President Obama actually saved US and Canadian energy companies billions of wasted dollars by using the power of the regulatory state to stop construction of their "disastrous" tar sands pipeline. How do I know this? Al Gore says so.
"The analysis from the final EIS, noted above, indicates that denying the permit at this time is unlikely to have a substantial impact on U.S. employment, economic activity, trade, energy security, or foreign policy over the longer term." Source: Climate Progress
This is an important win not only for the thousands of activists who risked arrestóand for the hundreds who went to jail--but for all of us who want to try and role [sic] back the effects of the climate crisis, not magnify them.
And who could doubt the objective fiscal evaluations of Climate Progress?
The people of Nome, Alaska, know well what it takes to survive the long, cold winter in an isolated town. But a confluence of bad weather and other circumstances has left them lacking the fuel needed to heat homes and power vehicles. Now, America's lone Arctic icebreaker is carving a path to Nome that will bring relief to the city--but it also highlights the critical state of U.S. ice-breaking capabilities.
In a fair and honest world, my blog brother would be correct and the world would begin a serious reassessment of "Climate Science." I do not expect a multi-billion dollar international industry to fold up shop and go home. Yet I do wish there were a more honest news dissemination apparatus. True, none of the numerous emails in Climategate 1.0 or Climategate 2.0 explicitly say
Gosh! This is all a big hoax. Sure hope nobody ever finds out.
Therefore, everybody seems pretty convinced there is nothing to see there. One would have to use and understand the word epistemology.
So when my FOI request came along, you were caught. You were legally required to produce data you couldn't locate. Rather than tell the truth and say "I canít find it", you chose to lie. Hey, it was only a small lie, and it was for the Noble Cause of saving the world from Thermageddon. So you had David tell me the data was available on the web. You knew that was a lie. David, apparently, didn't realize it was a lie, at least at first. You hoped your Noble Lie would satisfy me, that I would get discouraged, and you could move on.
The entire letter is very good. Your lefty friends will not appreciate the site that hosts it nor its tone. But if the science is to be settled, the other guys will have to play like scientists.
That's not my headline. It was written by solar industry CEO Ray Burgess.
If you listen to the mostly-Chinese manufacturers, solar panels work great. They can be expected to degrade about 0.5% a year. So that is how we build the economic models to finance, insure and subsidize the larger solar systems.
In the real world, we are just starting to find out how bogus many of those predictions are. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory says that panels can degrade as much as 4.5% a year. Or more. Put that in your pro forma and see what your banker and insurance agent -- or Congressman -- say about that.
The WSJ Ed Page goes grasping for a present day parallel to this tale
Mr. [Dan] Shechtman, who last week won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, is credited with the discovery in 1982 of quasicrystals, patterned but nonrepeating atomic structures that resemble the mosaics found in medieval Islamic art. For observing under an electron microscope what the scientific community held to be a physical impossibility, Mr. Shechtman was accused of "bringing disgrace" on his lab. Linus Pauling, the chemistry (and peace) Nobelist, called the discovery "nonsense" and denounced Mr. Shechtman as a "quasi-scientist." It took two years before a scientific journal would deign to publish his findings.
Today, Mr. Shechtman's observations have been fully validated and quasicrystals are beginning to have commercial applications. But his story is a reminder that a consensus of scientists is no substitute for, and often a bar to, great science. That's especially so when the consensus hardens into a dogmatic and self-satisfied enterprise
So, in recent days, I've been arguing over whether, as the political Left claims, the political Right is anti-science. Needless to say, commentators of the Left disagree with me. Responses ranged from name-calling and indignation (which are fairly common), to the Left's new answer to charges of hypocrisy, which is to declare all criticism to be "false equivalencies." Apparently, false equivalencies are like Hebrew writing, traveling only from Right to Left. -- Kenneth P. Green
It seems that 1973 physics Nobel Laureate Ivar Giaever has fallen from the fold. The WSJ Ed Page reports that he "resigned last week from the American Physical Society in protest over the group's insistence that evidence of man-made global warming is 'incontrovertible.'"
In an email to the society, Mr. Giaever--who works at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute--wrote that "The claim (how can you measure the average temperature of the whole earth for a whole year?) is that the temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degree Kelvin in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me . . . that the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this 'warming' period."
Mr. Giaever was an American Physical Society fellow, an honor bestowed on "only half of one percent" of the members, according to a spokesman. He follows in the footsteps of University of California at Santa Barbara Emeritus Professor of Physics Harold Lewis, a former APS fellow who resigned in 2010, calling global warming "the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist."
I am in the middle of another pop science book, the fun but überchallenging "The Shape of Inner Space -- String Theory and the Geometry of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions" by Shing-Tung Yau and Steve Nadis. And once again I am amazed that more real scientists do not object to the lack of rigor and political hijacking allowed in "climate science." The suppression of disagreement alone would be unthinkable in any other discipline.
Ken Salazar's Interior Department moves to prevent Exxon from developing a billion-barrel oil field it discovered in deep water Gulf of Mexico in 2007. Because of feared oil spills? No. Because it might impair the mating habits of the Gorite-dwelling shoestring eel? No.
Employing an extreme technicality, these regulators claimed that Exxon's request in 2008 for a short suspension of activity to upgrade and make safer its drilling operation amounted to an abandonment of three of its five permits, simply because Exxon hadn't signed a contract with another partner, Chevron, by the time the suspension was completed.
In the past, such glitches were no problem ó after all, it's obvious Exxon, which spent $300 million on exploratory wells, hasn't abandoned the operation.
But in the Obama era, which demonizes oil production in American waters by American companies, the bureaucrats came up with this permit technicality to effectively expropriate the entire operation.
Climate Change is fraught with peril for the GOP. The best news about this country's complete economic meltdown is that many of the small potatoes issues have been tabled.
But Climate Change will be back. My Man, Jon Huntsman, thinks it's real and I confess I cannot get very excited when a Republican talks it up. OTOH, as texting economists say, I realize that any answer I would like will enrage the press and turn off huge swaths of moderates.
Kenneth P. Green at The American suggests a non-dogmatic answer and provides it free of charge to any of the candidates. They could do much worse, and as Speaker Thomas B Reed would quip, they probably will:
Since Jefferson's time, we've known that people can change the climate locally, regionally, and maybe even globally. Heck, any farmer knows we change the local climate! But activists have so muddied the issue by jiggering the data, suppressing dissent, predicting armageddon, and blaming every pooped-out polar bear on climate change it's hard to know what's real and what's hype.
They want to centrally plan the economy, but won't be honest about what they don't know. When pushed, leading climate scientists admitted they "lost" a bunch of their original data -- that's right, the dog ate it! Now they tell us aliens might wipe us out because of our greenhouse gas emissions!
Well, I don't believe that. What I do believe is that centrally planning our economy would be a disaster that would harm people and the planet. If the climate changes, we'll deal with that, but it will be by moving forward, not back to the caves
Megan McArdle gives a more balanced than you'll see most places look at the dangers of rigid belief.
What these Republicans are doing to people like Chris Christie is no better than what Harvard did to Larry Summers when he suggested that it was possible that women had a different IQ distribution than men. Facts are not good or bad; they are correct or incorrect. And a policy based on hysterical refusal to consider all possible facts is neither good, nor correct.
If someone is wrong about the facts, you should explain to them, calmly and concisely, why they are wrong. If it's really that obvious, it shouldn't be hard to convince them.
When people start trying to expel heretics because of disagreements over facts, it suggests that they suspect--even know--that the facts are not on their side. Which is, frankly, what I tend to think is happening here. If open argument is going to force your ideology to confront uncomfortable facts, you create a closed circle that the facts can't penetrate. If the circle is big enough, the geocentric universe gets a few hundred more years before the defensive perimeter cracks.
Fraught with peril. Even with the momentum shifting towards the DAWG deniers, I cannot imagine that one will be elected in 2012.
Mr. Huntsman, the former Utah governor and ambassador to Beijing, began his candidacy stressing his resume and his attractive family. With that getting him nowhere in a year when issues trump biography, he's now attacking fellow Republicans for, among other things, not embracing the science of global warming. "To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy," Mr. Huntsman said on Twitter, a criticism of recent remarks by Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Mr. Huntsman followed that up on Sunday on ABC, telling Jake Tapper that the GOP has a "serious problem" when it becomes "anti-science." -- Paul Gigot
The bandwagon might suddenly feel 250 lbs. lighter...
In short, the central premise of alarmist global warming theory is that carbon dioxide emissions should be directly and indirectly trapping a certain amount of heat in the earth's atmosphere and preventing it from escaping into space. Real-world measurements, however, show far less heat is being trapped in the earth's atmosphere than the alarmist computer models predict, and far more heat is escaping into space than the alarmist computer models predict.
When objective NASA satellite data, reported in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, show a "huge discrepancy" between alarmist climate models and real-world facts, climate scientists, the media and our elected officials would be wise to take notice. Whether or not they do so will tell us a great deal about how honest the purveyors of global warming alarmism truly are.
As a dear Facebook friend will say "we can't be wasting our time with predictions -- we should be out fixing the planet!"
Hat-tip: Instapundit Sharp Insty readers have already noticed that the idiot who started the "global warming is killing all the polar bears" meme is under investigation.
Colorado's GOP candidate for governor last year was ridiculed for suggesting that the UN had designs on World Government. Now a new UN report admits it.
The press release for the report [calling for a "technological overhaul" "on the scale of the first industrial revolution" to reach a "goal of full decarbonization of the global energy system by 2050"] discusses the need "to achieve a decent living standard for people in developing countries, especially the 1.4 billion still living in extreme poverty, and the additional 2 billion people expected worldwide by 2050." That sounds more like global redistribution of wealth than worrying about the earthís thermostat.
The entire article is a series of jaw-dropping objectives from Turtle Bay. It's worth a click.
If the Obama Administration is liberty's Imperial Cruiser, the United Nations is its Death Star.
As a guy with a medical reason to hate hot weather, I should be a little less flippant. The headline in the NYTimes will read: "Globe warms, MS patients hardest hit."
But that warming -- the very 'W' in DAWG -- remains elusive. While real scientists would be forced to rethink their theory, model, or measurements, "climate scientists" are allowed to look backwards and engage in a bit of ass-covering that is not available to other disciplines.
Or, as Kenneth P. Green puts it "Just another example of the endlessly shape-shifting, non-falsifiable world of politicized climate science."
Comes now the National Academy of Sciences, which yesterday published a new paper that sets out to explain "why global surface temperatures did not rise between 1998 and 2008." Apparently the NAS didnít get the memo from the Center for American Progress that we're not supposed to acknowledge that global warming has not happened over the last decade.
But not to worry. The NAS has it covered. As the rest of the abstract explains:
Yet to question them is to expose yourself as ign'nt...
Some ThreeSourcers, myself included, may have to stare long and hard into the mirror after reading this Kenneth P. Green piece in the American.
Playing into my original DAWG strategy, Green, who claims he knows 99% or the deniers, calls them rainbow-climatists. Do you question D, A, W, or G?
Some disputed scientific claims about the exact level of climate sensitivity to greenhouse gases. Others disputed this or that climate feedback assumption. Others accepted that climate change was real, but probably not too bad. Some were simply skeptics in the old-fashioned sense of rejecting soothsayers and doom prophets, computerized or not. Still others might have bought most of the green-climatist orthodoxy, and held that climate change was real, partly human-caused, and likely harmful, but they differed regarding policy prescriptions.
Against these diverse skeptics was always a coordinated, monolithic front of doom. Bjorn Lomborg questioned the amplitude of D and was excommunicated without inquest or trial.
But Green sees that growing on the right as elections near.
Over at climatedepot.com, and, apparently in the Rushbo zone, there is a new tone of intolerance when it comes to diversity of climate opinion: Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, and Chris Christie (hail the redeemer of fat guys from New Jersey!) have all been slammed recently for being taken in by the great climate con, and are basically being written off as viable candidates on the right. The Right has refined their tolerance equation to match that of the Left: "you're either with us or against us."
A little skepticism of skepticism might be correct -- and far more palatable to a moderate electorate.
These very pages have called the death knell of anthropogenic warming several times. "That's it," says we, "how can they continue after such-and-such?" But Freddy Krueger's got nothing on environmental science. It never goes away.
Were Milton Friedman around, he'd point out that they have seized the commanding heights. Academia, government, media and entertainment are captive to climate science. But climate science (resist the scare quotes...fight it) has no conclusive proof. To the contrary, most of the empirical evidence contravenes their predictions.
Yet, as leaked somewhat in the Climategate emails, the entire peer-review process is captive to a single side of the discussion. The only thing they can claim is consensus -- the bulk of peer reviewed science agrees with their position. Patrick Michaels takes to the pages of his Forbes blog to show just how unscientific the peer review process has become. "Publishing in the scientific literature is supposed to be tough." But not for climate science:
In order to limit any bias caused by personal or philosophical animosity, the editor should remove your name from the paper and send it to other experts who have no apparent conflict of interest in reviewing your work. You and the reviewers should not know who each other are. This is called a "double blind" peer review.
Well, this is "the way it is supposed to be." But in the intellectually inbred, filthy-rich world of climate science, where billions of dollars of government research money support trillions of dollars of government policy, peer review has become anything but that.
There is simply no "double blindness." For reasons that remain mysterious, all the major climate journals leave the authors' names on the manuscripts sent out for review.
For instance, you can just add 0.3 mm a year to the measured sea levels. OMG We're all going to drown!
Brother jg posted this awesome James Taylor piece both on ThreeSources and on Facebook. The Facebook post spawned a lengthy back and forth between me and a two-letter-sobriqued fellow several of us know. JG had the wisdom to avoid porcine singing instruction but I did not. "No. breathe from the diaphragm, Porky!"
Weather balloons had been measuring the atmosphere since the 1960s, many thousands of them every year. The climate models all predict that as the planet warms, a hot spot of moist air will develop over the tropics about 10 kilometres up, as the layer of moist air expands upwards into the cool dry air above. During the warming of the late 1970s, '80s and '90s, the weather balloons found no hot spot. None at all. Not even a small one. This evidence proves that the climate models are fundamentally flawed, that they greatly overestimate the temperature increases due to carbon dioxide.
This evidence first became clear around the mid-1990s.
At this point, official "climate science" stopped being a science. In science, empirical evidence always trumps theory, no matter how much you are in love with the theory. If theory and evidence disagree, real scientists scrap the theory. But official climate science ignored the crucial weather balloon evidence, and other subsequent evidence that backs it up, and instead clung to their carbon dioxide theory -- that just happens to keep them in well-paying jobs with lavish research grants, and gives great political power to their government masters.
This was the heart of my futile argument. I'm reading Quantum Man, a story of the superbly interesting Richard Feynman by Lawrence M. Krauss. This is the third pop-science cosmology book I've cracked since the first Facebook thread, and it is comical to compare real science with climate science. In Quantum Man, the frequency of a tertiary line in the hydrogen spectrum is off by one part in ten million, and the theory is scrapped until it can be fixed.
In climate science, they are not quite so circumspect. They predict ten years without snow; when they get the two most snow-filled winters in the UK, they say "see, that proves it!"
"If the government goes ahead with what it said it would do, then Germany will be a kind of laboratory for efforts worldwide to end nuclear power in an advanced economy," said Mark Hibbs, a senior associate in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington. "No other country in the world is taking those steps."
I would call it a laboratory for something else - economic self-destruction.
The powerful Federal Association for German Industry, known as B.D.I., sent a letter on Monday morning to the chancellery, warning her about the consequences for German business.
"How will the international competitiveness of German industry be guaranteed?" Hans-Peter Keitel, B.D.I.ís president, wrote. "Industry last year accounted for two-thirds of Germanyís economic upswing."
What could possibly go wrong?
Hat Tip: Wikipedia's "in the news" section. (I sure didn't read it first in the Times.)
UPDATE: The reader may wonder at my connecting this Times story to coal, since it never mentions that fuel which provides half of Germany's electricity. It was, however, mentioned in a reference cited in the Wiki entry. There's also a picture of the very down-to-earth Environment Minister who dismisses more cautious and practical energy strategies. Minister Tritten:
"Ten years ago people told us that there would never be enough capacity to have a relevant share produced by wind - now the same people tell me we have too much wind, and have to export electricity because we have such a huge share of wind energy," he stated.
"So I can't take these arguments seriously."
He stressed he was "convinced" Germany would reach its target.
And he dismissed Dr Pfaffenberger's concerns about cost out of hand.
"He is wrong - simple," he said.
"To hear such arguments from people who haven't learned anything in the last half century - I am very calm on that."
To piggyback on the well-known "end of the world" story in the news last week I wanted to write something that showed the formulaic identity between doomsday preachers in Christianity and in science, and how both groups of fortune tellers want to empty the wallets of the gullible. Better yet, I decided to wait and watch for someone more eloquent to take up the assignment. Heartland Institute's James Taylor obliges.
Much like Camping is now claiming his May 21 Christian rapture prediction was essentially accurate, but that he was merely a few months off regarding the timetable (news alert: beware October 21, 2011!), the alarmists are now claiming their failed North Pole predictions were essentially accurate, but merely a few years off regarding the timetable. They now claim the Arctic Ocean will be essentially ice free by the year 2020 or 2030. Don't bet on it.
Taylor closes with an important, sad difference that even I had failed to consciously notice.
The list of failed predictions regarding global warming raptures is no less extensive than the list of failed predictions regarding Christian church raptures. There is one important difference, however. The Harold Campings of the world reside outside the Christian mainstream. Among global warming alarmists, the serially wrong rapturists define the mainstream.
How sweet is this for a Facebook headline: "James Taylor says that global warming alarmists have egg on their faces!"
The goal is to have the atmosphere declared for the first time as a "public trust" deserving special protection. That's a concept previously used to clean up polluted rivers and coastlines, although legal experts aren't sure if it can be successfully applied to climate change.
Congressman Jared Polis attended. Actresses Daryl Hannah and Sheryl Lee were also there.
"I think it's really inspiring that kids are leading the fight against the climate crisis, but I also think it's very heartbreaking," Hannah said.
Well if somebody as famous as Daryl Hannah... Oh, wait.
Blogger Bruce McQuain writes on HotAir about climate scientist David Evans who said, "I am a scientist who was on the carbon gravy train, understands the evidence, was once an alarmist, but am now a skeptic."
McQuain:"And with that he begins a demolition of the theories, premises and methods by which the AGW scare has been foisted on the public." It is a well written compilation of devastating excerpts. Further editing would be deleterious.
Statements made by the wind industry and government agencies commonly assert that wind turbines will generate on average 30% of their rated capacity over a year, it said.
But the research found wind generation was below 20% of capacity more than half the time and below 10% of capacity over one third of the time.
But industry [damn, it sure feels good to call these environmentalist loons "industry"] spokesmanperson Jenny Hogan, director of policy for Scottish Renewables, was quick to defend the shortcomings of wind power saying, "No form of electricity worked at 100% capacity, 100% of the time."
"It could be argued the trust is acting irresponsibly given their expertise lies in protecting our wild lands and yet they seem to be going to great lengths to undermine renewable energy which is widely recognised as one of the biggest solutions to tackling climate change - the single biggest threat to our natural heritage.
"We have yet to hear the trust bring forward a viable alternative to lower emissions and meet our growing demand for safe, secure energy."
It's been written a few times already. But I want to buy the film rights to "DealBreaker!" A tender tale of a DAWG-denyin' race car driver and his earth muffin girlfriend:
[...]one day, I logged on and saw that he had weighed in on a virtual debate and assumed a staunch position.
"Global warming isn't scientifically proven," he wrote.
WHAT??? Does he think the world is flat, too? I thought in horror. I'm from California. I've been recycling and saving dolphins since I was in the womb. Suddenly, memories came rushing back to me like a horrible movie montage: The arguments we had about hybrid cars--he contended that it didn't make a damn difference, since car companies still pollute in other ways. I thought he was just defensive about his decidedly not-green race car. And the way he would constantly rib on Al Gore, even after "An Inconvenient Truth" won the Academy Award... He was always so skeptical about the merits of organic food, too. And, hey, did he even have a recycling bin?!
Ergo, the ex will remain an ex, but in my story...
So I am not going green with a hybrid/electric. No offense to Prius owners who are doing their part. It is just not for me. I am sticking with a regular gasoline car that gets good mileage but also has good performance. My other car, a 2010 VW GTI is one of those. It is a blast to drive. The 0 to 60 time is sub-6 seconds and it gets 31/32 mpg on the highway. Cost only $25K too. A real winner.
My dear Hawaiian auntie asked, "Does anyone know how much it costs to "fill one of these cars up with electricity"? I've never seen a quote,only how far you can drive & how long it takes to charge them. I realize it depends on how much your electrictricy costs are,but I've never even seen any estimates. Also how many windmills is it going to take to make all this extra electricity. Just wondering."
She's right. The only time the "fill-up" cost is ever talked about they just say "a few dollars." So I did some calculating from data I found at Wikipedia for the Nissan LEAF. [Yes, I know it's a bit long winded but I think you'll enjoy this.]
The Nissan LEAF has a 24 kwh (kilowatt hour) battery. At 10 cents per kwh and assuming perfect conversion of line current to DC and then battery charge the cost to charge the battery from empty would be $2.40.
But it isn't just the cost of the charge that needs to be evaluated. There's also the TIME to recharge.
On 240VAC 30 amp circuit the charge time is 8 hours. On 115VAC 15 amp household outlet the charge time would be about 4 times as long, or 32 hours. They provide this type of charging for "convenience use when making stops or for emergency charging." They tell you to count on about 5 miles of range per HOUR of charge time by this method. Nissan has developed a fast charger that can fully refuel 80% of the 100-mile range of a LEAF in ... 30 minutes. You can buy one for $16,800. (Be careful though, because "Nissan warns that if fast charging is the primary way of recharging, then the normal and gradual battery capacity loss is about 10% more than regular 220-volt charging over a 10-year period.")
IT'S JUST ALL SO COMPLICATED!!!
Enviros and 'Lectric car apologists will try to tell you that all of these limitations are just because the technology is "new" and it will improve rapidly as more people buy the things and by becoming mainstream the car companies will compete with each other and solve all the problems. But electric cars are NOT new. I rode in one in Denver that dad took from the University to Cinderella City to show off to normal people. That was about 40 years ago. FORTY!
Why can gasoline engines get the same range on a couple gallons of gasoline that 'Lectrics get on 32 hours worth of power into the biggest electric heater you can plug into your wall socket? Even though gasoline engines are less than a quarter as efficient as electric motors? Because gasoline has a TREMENDOUS energy content.
"A single gallon of gasoline contains 131.76 megajoules of energy, compared to 2.1 megajoules in a stick of dynamite. 1 gallon of gas therefore equals 63 sticks of dynamite.
An average lightning bolt releases 500 megajoules, or 3.8 gallons of gasoline energy."
Now, going full circle back to the Nissan LEAF ... that 24 kwh battery pack it carries can hold 86 megajoules. That's 0.65 gallons of gasoline. (86 MEGAjoules sounded like a lot for a second there, didn't it!) Cost to fill up: $3.69 per gallon equivalent. Well, at least it's got that in common with gasoline powered cars.
Not only does this recommendation by forecasting expert J. Scott Armstrong of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania hold promise for reducing the federal budget deficit, it could also reduce energy costs across the board nation wide.
The three researchers audited the forecasting procedures used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), whose "procedures violated 81% of the 89 relevant forecasting principles," Armstrong noted.
Armstrong and his colleagues recommend Congress end government funding for climate change research as well as other research, government programs, and regulations that assume the planet is warming. They also recommend Congress cease funding organizations that lobby or campaign for global warming.
"Based on our analyses, especially with respect to the violations of the principles regarding objectivity and full disclosure," Armstrong told members of Congress, "we conclude that the manmade global warming alarm is an anti-scientific political movement."
Some may know that Colorado's latest ex-governor has golden-parachuted into academia in Colorado State University's "Center for the New Energy Economy." Today I learned that ex-guv Ritter's salary as the director there is $300,000 per year. (No word on the pension details.) But the news here is not his ridiculous salary. Rather, it is his apparently complete lack of knowledge on the subject of his office. He recently attended an organized debate at NYU where he and a "new energy" partner attempted to persuade some of the 33 percent undecideds in the audience of the premise: "Clean energy can drive America's economic recovery." From Vince Carroll in the Denver Post:
Before the Oxford Union-style debate, 46 percent of the audience registered support for the proposition, 21 percent were opposed and 33 percent were undecided. Afterward, opinion had made a dramatic shift, to 43 percent in favor, 47 percent against and 10 percent undecided.
And no wonder. Ritter and his colleague, Kassia Yanosek of the U.S. Partnership for Renewable Energy Finance, relied upon anecdote, personal experience and hopeful thinking more than hard data ó and seemed frustrated the other side kept rattling off facts.
So Ritter was so "persuasive" that over two-thirds of the undecideds left the debate agreeing with his opponents. He even managed to scare off one in twelve of those who came in already agreeing with him. I think Carroll closed this story best: "The New Energy Economy is a catchy slogan for a political campaign. But it leaves something to be desired as a substitute for substance."
My involvement in several DAWG debates on Facebook prompted me to look up examples of historic scientific errors. I found the 2004 article Error and the Nature of Science by University of Minnesota historian and philosopher of biology, Dr. Douglas Allchin.
Allchin, who appears to have been an adherent to the climate change "consensus" at the time, gives what appears to be a thorough list of possible sources of error in science. He calls it a "spectrum of error types." Among them are perceptual bias, reasoning error, overgeneralization, and "fraud, faulty peer review, and other mistaken judgements of credibility." Okay, so I'm very intrigued by this point. Here is a science historian looking for ways to protect and defend the reputation and validity of the scientific method, not just from those with an anti-science agenda (religionists) but from the errors of incompetent or unethical scientists.
But what is the intent of this analysis? It seems a clue can be found in the summary statement of the "spectrum of error types" where he writes,
The remedy for tentativeness in science is active analysis of potential errors, guided by an awareness of error types. Analysis may qualify the scope or certainty of conclusions and guide policy accordingly.
Earlier the author uses tentativeness as a euphemism for the inherent uncertainty in science. So in his summary he wants a "remedy" for the absense of the power of science to "guide policy" through greater "certainty of conclusions."
So what began as, in my estimation, a rejection of the influence of democratic principles (consensus) in science evolved into a suggestion of absolutism in science instead. Katie bar the door!
In the case of global warming mankind has been fortunate in that, since 2004, evidence of one of Allchin's most egregious error types has come to public light through Climategate. It is frightening to contemplate how much greater the political consensus could have been by now without that revelation.
Good NewsEarth and it's inhabitants need more, not less, CO2.
More CO2 means:
- More Plant Growth
- Plants need less water
- More food per acre
- More robust habitats and ecosystems
CO2 is Earth's greatest airborne fertilizer. Without it - No Life On Earth!
** For additional peer-reviewed scientific references and an in-depth discussion of the science supporting our position, please visit Climate Change Reconsidered: The Report of the Nongovernmental Planel on Climate Change (www.climatechangereconsidered.org), or CO2 Science (www.co2science.org).
The site also presents this nifty graph of observed vs. UN IPCC predicted global temperatures since 2001.
Forbes' Patrick Michaels called General Motors a liar for the claim that their Volt hybrid is an "all-electric vehicle" and the onboard generator is only to extend its range. That's a serious charge, considering the huge federal subsidy to buyers of the car is based on that dubious premise.
"It's not a hybrid! It's an electric car with a range-extending, gas-powered generator onboard." That was the party line during most of the masterfully orchestrated press rollout of what we've been promised will be the most thoroughly new car since, what, the Chrysler Turbine? The Lunar Rover? Well, the cat is now out of the bag, and guess what? It is a hybrid, after all. Yes, Virginia, the Chevy Voltís gas engine does turn the wheels. Sometimes.
The salient difference between the Volt and the Prius is that the Prius' gas engine turns on at 60 mph and the Volt's at 100 mph. Motor Trend explains this as a second electric motor giving the Volt its top-end boost but glosses over the fact that the second motor, called a motor-generator, doesn't appear to recharge the battery through regenerative braking as the Prius does. In their diagram they show only "power in" from the engine and motor-generator of the Volt.
So is the Volt better or worse than the Prius? Or even really that much different?
The repercussions of the 7th largest earthquake in recorded history are just being understood but there's still time to take a shot at the happiest city in America and one of her sacred cows - windpow .. pow .. poof.
Whilst driving my one-ton diesel pickup (by myself) to pick up a lunch burrito I happened to pass Boulder's swank new "multi-use" development that occupies the old Crossroads Mall site. It's called Twenty-Nineth Street. (No, not 29th Street, "Twenty-Nineth Street.") On the most prominent corner of the property, 28th and Arapahoe, they've installed one a them newfangled "wind turbines." "Free energy from the earf" I think they call it. And on a day when wind had whipped a "controlled burn" out of control in the mountains, the weather reports warn of "60 mile per hour gusts" and the average wind speed at Atlantis Farm has been 15 mph or higher all morning the wind turbine is - not spinning. It twists in the wind alright, and the blades aren't completely frozen but if it completes a full revolution in a minute I'd be surprised.
Could it be that these things require, not just subsidized installation but subsidized maintenance? Stop. Stop! You're killing me!
We've now had two horrific earthquakes in as many weeks and we can be sure that the Lefties will not allow two tragedies to go to waste. Thus, it is just a matter of time before they blame global warming for these catastrophies. The Refugee would like to offer the bounty of a Starbucks to the first Three Sourcer who posts such a news item from the lame-stream media.
Yesterday I wrote about thousands of "clean energy" jobs that could be eliminated if Colorado's largest power company cuts its solar power subsidy in half (per installation). I suggested that those jobs probably wouldn't have existed without the subsidy, which distorted market signals to create economic activity for an economically unviable product.
Building this new economy starts with understanding how clean energy legislation can create jobs. During my four-year term in Colorado, I signed 57 pieces of clean energy legislation. In 2007, for example, we doubled the proportion of energy in the state that is required to come from renewable sources to 20 percent by 2020. In 2010, we increased that to 30 percent for our biggest utility. As a result, Colorado now ranks fourth among the 50 states in its number of clean energy workers per capita, and 1,500 clean energy companies call our state home ó an 18 percent increase since 2004. Wind- and solar-energy companies that have built factories and opened offices in Colorado have brought in thousands of new jobs.
But governor, have you not heard that the American economy is no longer robust enough to support elective boutique energy "just in case" environmental scientists might be partially correct? It's about as popular with voters right now as free pensions and sweetheart health insurance for unionized Wisconsin teachers. Feel-good energy layoffs are happening now in the U.S. European plants are closing now. Why not just wait until the science and technology is sufficient for sustainable energy to be sustainable? It will save a lot of wasted money and effort building new plants and then closing them.
We are now in the season when the media tells us over and over again that "weather is not climate" and that the natural variations in the temperature do not, repeat not, affect the credibility of climate change. I actually believe this, although in just a few months the fiddlehead ferns will be poking up through the forest floor and the media will be back to reporting each and every hot spell as conclusive proof that climate change is already here.
My totally unscientific conclusion based on close study of the media: weather isn't climate in the months which have "r" in them. The rest of the year, it is. -- Walter Russell Mead
Mr. Mnookin was discussing pediatric health with a new parent in his early 40s who explained that he and his wife had decided to delay their child's vaccines. On what sources had he based this weighty decision? Questions along these lines were met with murk. "I don't know what to say," the man replied. "It just feels like a lot for a developing immune system to deal with."
It was this F-word--feels--that left Mr. Mnookin justifiably gobsmacked, and it serves as the departure point for The Panic Virus, an attempt to explain how thousands of otherwise sophisticated Americans could make a fatuous decision to opt out of what is arguably modernity's greatest medical achievement. Most children "exempted" from vaccines (a fittingly ridiculous term, as if the kids place out via AP exam) are not low-information progeny.
Driscoll goes on to suggest that some on the left take an anti-scientific position on climate, including a photo that's worth a click.
If there's one thing that unites ThreeSourcers, its whipping the DAWG. Larry Bell, writing for Forbes.com, presents some excellent facts and uses them to expose the media's DAWG training. The Refugee has no insightful opinion to add, but if you want some more facts for the next time you get into a debate with a DAWG lover, read the whole thing.
Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had it right when she scorned consensus as "the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects; the process of avoiding the very issues that have to be solved, merely because you cannot get agreement on the way ahead. What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner 'I stand for consensus'?"
John Hinderaker at PowerLine reprises a ten year old article in The Independent suggesting the end of snowfall in Britain: "Children just aren't going to know what snow is."
Then, PowerLine helpfully posts several pictures of road closures, digging out, and even some sweet little British urchins enjoying snow.
It's fun to ridicule the warmists because they are so often wrong, but their errors are in fact significant: a scientific theory that implies predictions that turn out to be wrong, is false. A principal feature of climate hysteria is its proponents' unwillingness to be judged by the standards that govern real science.
Predictive power, babies, predictive power.
UPDATE: Don Surber piles on with an xtraNormal vid.
LONDON Ė The Christmas travel season turned angry and chaotic Monday as British officials struggled to clear snow and ice that paralyzed rail and air links and spawned cancellations and delays stranding thousands around the world.
More than 48 hours after Britain's last snowfall, some furious passengers with boarding passes for Monday flights were not even allowed into London's Heathrow Airport. Inside, piles of garbage grew and some people slept on terminal floors.
I like to suggest, in a discussion on deleterious anthropogenic warming of the globe, usually after a beer, that we should let plants vote on carbon-dioxide reduction. "How would we," slurs I, "react if the plants floated oxygen-reduction legislation?"
Tim Blair takes the cause in the Daily Telegraph. Being Australian, I'm going to go out on the limb and suggest that he might have downed a Foster's or two before typing (I have no empirical proof of this scurrilous smear).
Climate change alarmists hate it when we refer to carbon dioxide as "plant food", even though the description is accurate. And what a food it is! Earlier this year, the ABC's Landline program reported on an experiment conducted by the Victorian Department of Primary Industry, which blasted a patch of wheat with higher CO2 levels:
...suggest that doubling the amount of CO2 could raise temps by 1.64 degrees Celsius.
According to Lahouari Bounoua of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, and other scientists from NASA and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), existing models fail to accurately include the effects of rising CO2 levels on green plants. As green plants breathe in CO2 in the process of photosynthesis -- they also release oxygen, the only reason that there is any in the air for us to breathe -- more carbon dioxide has important effects on them.
In particular, green plants can be expected to grow as they find it easier to harvest carbon from the air around them using energy from the sun: thus introducing a negative feedback into the warming/carbon process. Most current climate models don't account for this at all, according to Bounoua. Some do, but they fail to accurately simulate the effects -- they don't allow for the fact that plants in a high-CO2 atmosphere will "down-regulate" and so use water more efficiently.
I've been desirous of an "I love Coal" T-shirt for quite a while now, probably since Climategate hit the news - possibly in response to Colorado's legislature voting to subsidize coal's competition. I've been a denier since before it was cool, but now it's cool! I thought I would have to design and print my own. False.
Anyone who wants to join me can use this refer-a-friend link and reward me with a $10 Cafe Press credit (because you're so thoughtful.)
One of the Update links at the linked article in the Dr. Hal Lewis resignation story was a copy of the APS's public response with rebuttal by Dr. Lewis and two others interspersed in context. While the resignation letter itself is scathing evidence of Global Warming as hoax, it doesn't directly address the issue of "well-funded people believing" and thus, it "not going away." This does: [First the APS' statement, then Lewis' rebuttal.]
Dr. Lewisí specific charge that APS as an organization is benefitting financially from climate change funding is equally false. Neither the operating officers nor the elected leaders of the Society have a monetary stake in such funding.
The chair of the Panel on Public Affairs (POPA) that re-endorsed the 2007 APS Statement on Climate Change sits on the science advisory board of a large international bankhttp://annualreport.deutsche-bank.com/2009/ar/supplementaryinformation/advisoryboards.htmlThe bank has a $60+ billion Green portfolio, which it wishes to assure investors is safeÖnot to mention their income from carbon trading. Other members of this board include current IPCC chief Pachauri and Lord Oxburgh, of Climategate exoneration fame. The viability of these banks activities depends on continued concern over CO2 emissions. Then there is the member of the Kleppner Committee (that reviewed the APS 2007 Statement prior to POPA) who served on that committee while under consideration for the position of Chief Scientist at BP. The position had been vacated when Steve Koonin left to take a post in the administration at DOE. Soon after the Kleppner Committee report in late 2009, this committee member took the BP job. BP had previously funded the new Energy Laboratory at Berkeley, which was headed by current Energy Secretary Steve Chu.
UPDATE: Reformatted for clarity and bolded text for emphasis.
Last November 20 I posted this first news of Climategate, which included James Delingpole's headline: Climategate: The final nail in the coffin of 'antropogenic global warming?'
JK was more circumspect but by December 1 admitted that the scandal was a "game changer." Yet, he still hedged: "But it does not expose a hoax as some have claimed. The believers truly believe. As long as well funded people believe, it is not going away."
Today, or rather October 8, the hoax is exposed.
Harold Lewis - Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, former Chairman; Former member Defense Science Board, chmn of Technology panel; Chairman DSB study on Nuclear Winter; Former member Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Former member, Presidentís Nuclear Safety Oversight Committee; Chairman APS study on Nuclear Reactor Safety Chairman Risk Assessment Review Group; Co-founder and former Chairman of JASON; Former member USAF Scientific Advisory Board - resigned from the American Physical Society over events that have transpired since Climategate.
In discussing the publicly released resignation letter Anthony Watts says,
This is an important moment in science history. I would describe it as a letter on the scale of Martin Luther, nailing his 95 theses to the Wittenburg church door. It is worthy of repeating this letter in entirety on every blog that discusses science.
From the letter:
It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford's book organizes the facts very well.) I don't believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.
He then goes on to expose the calculated lengths that APS management went to defeat his efforts to establish a Topic Group on Climate Change within the APS. Sharp, smart and irretrievably damaging to APS and the Climate Change movement.
I know I beat my Popperian Dead Horse too much. But until I get word that light bulbs will be legal, you'll have to read...
Doctor Barry Marshall resorted to Frankensteinian ("frahnk -in-STEEN-ee-an") theatrics to overcome the conventional wisdom.
"I was met with constant criticism that my conclusions were premature," Marshall later wrote. "My results were disputed and disbelieved, not on the basis of science but because they simply could not be true."
It is often claimed that doctors were wedded to the idea that ulcers were caused by excess stomach acid, or that they didn't believe that bacteria could grow in the stomach. In fact, the main reason for the scepticism, says Richard Harvey of the Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, UK, was that four-fifths of ulcers were not in the stomach but further down the digestive tract.
Yet we now know that Marshall was right. After downing his bacterial concoction, he soon became far more ill than he had expected, vomiting and developing stomach inflammation. Later studies confirmed the theory. His discovery made it possible for millions of people to be cured of their ulcers with antibiotics, instead of having to take acid-reducing drugs every day.
Science, baby! You want consensus, go into market research.
Republican candidate for CO governor Dan Maes took some heat in early August for suggesting that statist influences at the United Nations are inserting themselves into state and municipal governments through an organization called ICLEI. I'll admit that if you've never heard of these self-important busybodies the whole idea can sound a bit conspiratorial. Even our own jk joked "See the bikes all come in black helicopters..."
Yet today, from the "just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not really out to get me" department, we have the White House's Ocean Policy Initiative.
What the administration in effect is putting in place is an alternative power structure that circumvents existing state and local decision-making bodies and replaces them with made-in-Washington zoning. All of this is taking place without the consent of Congress, without the consent of the governors, and, most important of all, without the consent of the governed.
Suddenly the idea that similar efforts to influence local decision-making by the U.N. might "threaten our personal freedoms" doesn't seem like such a crackpot remark. JK commented "Let's pick smarter fights than this, boys." I'll counter with, "Someone has to start connecting the dots for voters sooner or later. Let's hope that when they do it isn't too late to get our liberty back using the ballot box."
This is the title from a piece written by Walter Russell Mead for The American Interest Online that could not be improved upon. Mead dismantles the "green" movement not so much from a scientific standpoint but to illustrate that it has become the enemy that it abhors: The Establishment.
The case environmentalists used to make was that modern science was too crude and too incomplete to take into account the myriad features that could turn a giant hydroelectric dam from a blessing into a curse. Yes, the dam would generate power ó for a while. But green critics would note that the dam had side effects: silt would back up in the reservoir, soil downstream would be impoverished, parasites and malaria bearing mosquitoes would flourish in the still waters and so on and so forth. Meanwhile the destruction of wetlands and river bottoms imposed enormous costs to wildlife diversity and the productivity of river systems. Salmon runs would disappear. Often, the development associated with hydroelectric dams led to deforestation, offsetting gains in flood control.
Mead goes on to point out that greenies have morphed to espousing a simple solution (cap and trade) for a very complex problem (the environment). They now hide behind the "expert" label to hush critics. That's interesting but perhaps not all that groundbreaking.
What is more interesting is how Mead parallels liberal enviro regulation to their handling of the economy. We're told that financial reform will smooth all of the economic cycles and eliminate future "bubbles." Of course, that's nonsense because the economy, like the environment, is too complex for central planning.
Essentially, the core environmentalist argument against big projects and big development is the same argument that libertarians use against economic regulations and state planning. The Ďeconomic ecologyí of a healthy free market system is so complex, libertarians argue, that bureaucratic interventions, however well intentioned and however thoroughly supported by peer reviewed science of various kinds, will produce unintended consequences ó and in any case the interventions and regulations are too crude and too simple to provide an adequate substitute for the marvelously complex economic order that develops from free competition.
This piece seems to meander between subjects, but the common thread is "experts" trying to solve problems that cannot be solved with grandiose solutions. The result is stifling regulation that creates as many new problems as it solves.
I've read a dozen of these and generally find them too optimistic. But Shikha Dalmia says
Future historians will pinpoint Democratic Sen. Harry Reid's energy legislation, released Tuesday, as the moment that the political movement of global warming entered an irreversible death spiral. It is kaput! Finito! Done!
Unlike predecessors, Dalmia admits the back-to-the-cavers will not give up soon and will cause a bit more havoc before they do. Another big private-jetfest is in the works, and they will try to use Executive power and state initiatives. But dead is dead.
The global warming warriors will likely have to go through the five stages of grief before accepting that their moment has passed and the movement is dead. Thinkers more sophisticated than Krugman will no doubt point to many proximate causes for its demise beyond evil Republicans such as lack of engagement by President Obama, bad economic timing, filibuster rules, what have you.
The reality is, however, that the crusade was doomed from the start because of its own inherent weaknesses. RIP
(Filed under DAWG 'cause really, what else does Algore do?)
Al and Tipper (explicit lyrics advisory) Gore are splitsville.
There is oil gushing into the ocean and people are killing humanitarian aid workers and the earth is still warming. (...) I didn't know I had any room at all to care about the Gores' relationship, but maybe because it's something so much smaller, so much more personal, a headline so much easier to absorb than the other larger tragedies playing out around the globe...
On the heels of Charles Krauthammer's King Canute reference, [third comment] Mark Steyn fills us in on the background.
In the age of kings, we were taught that kings were human, with human failings. Now, in the age of citizen-presidents, we are taught that government has unlimited powers over "heaven, earth and sea." Unlike Canute and Alfred, the vanity of Big Government knows no bounds.
You won't be sorry if you read it all. He even takes a whack at the Euro.
Those of us who lived through the '70s and actually remember them (refer to the discussion of recreational drug use below) recall the dire predictions. Pollution was causing artificial cloud cover that would shade the earth, thus causing global cooling. The next Ice Age was just around the corner. Then came along Al Gore and the doomsday scenario du jour (no pun intended) became global warming.
Well, we've apparently come full circle. Dr. Don Easterbrook of Western Washington University now believes that we are in for a period of global cooling.
ďRather than global warming at a rate of 1 F per decade, records of past natural cycles indicate there may be global cooling for the first few decades of the 21st century to about 2030,Ē said Easterbrook, speaking on a scientific panel discussion with other climatologists. This, he says, will likely be followed by ďglobal warming from about 2030 to 2060,Ē which will then be followed by another cooling spell from 2060 to 2090.
It is important to note that Dr. Easterbrook indicates that this is part of the normal pattern. But don't tell Congress - they've got important Cap'n Tax legislation to pass while the time is still ripe.
Hat tip: 20th Century Fox, the owner of this picture, from "The Day After Tomorrow."
Note: Speaking of recreational drug use, while he has no personal knowledge, The Refugee suspects that the above picture is best viewed while on acid.
Those who question global warming alarmistsí claims and policy prescriptions have been compared to holocaust deniers. Yet what are we to call environmentalists whose policies have resulted in the deaths of millions and could exacerbate poverty and hunger? The movie title Not Evil, Just Wrong may be too charitable.
Snap! Now that's what I call 'Hope and Change' in the news business. How did this happen? The story was written by Carrie Lukas, VP of Policy and Economics at the Independent Women's Forum (because "All issues are women's issues.") Their mission:
The Independent Women's Forum is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) research and educational institution. Founded in 1992, IWF focuses on issues of concern to women, men, and families. Our mission is to rebuild civil society by advancing economic liberty, personal responsibility, and political freedom. IWF builds support for a greater respect for limited government, equality under the law, property rights, free markets, strong families, and a powerful and effective national defense and foreign policy. IWF is home to some of the nation's most influential scholarsówomen who are committed to promoting and defending economic opportunity and political freedom.
OK, sounds good so far. They may have been founded in 1992 but it's hard to believe this has been their mission all along. I think JK'd have linked 'em by now! ;) Better late than never though.
UPDATE: Here's the link to the entire US N&WR entry and not just the excerpt on balanced-ed.org. It's an editorial. Oh well, the flicker of hope felt really good for those few minutes. Still check out iwf.org though.
Joe Bastardi, for example, a senior forecaster and meteorologist with AccuWeather, maintains that it is more likely that the planet is cooling, and he distrusts the data put forward by climate scientists as evidence for rising global temperatures.
ďThere is a great deal of consternation among a lot of us over the readjustment of data that is going on and some of the portrayals that we are seeing,Ē Mr. Bastardi said in a video segment posted recently on AccuWeatherís Web site.
I'm linking 'cause I like the guy's name. Wonder if any of the DAWG-promoters have a nickname for Mister Bastardi...
Hat-tip: Instapundit (I thought I should throw a link back).
"I don't think we're yet evolved to the point where we're clever enough to handle a complex a situation as climate change," said [Really Smart Human James] Lovelock in his first in-depth interview since the theft of the UEA emails last November. "The inertia of humans is so huge that you can't really do anything meaningful."
One of the main obstructions to meaningful action is "modern democracy", he added. "Even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while."
Non-James-Lovelock humans are " too stupid to prevent climate change from radically impacting on our lives over the coming decades." Thank Zeus that the 90-year-old super genius is willing to step into the breach and run the world for awhile.
The House of Representatives recently passed its own version of the largely symbolic, but very expensive, 15 ba-billion dollar jobs bill. What frustrates me most of all about this is how they ignore a simple and inexpensive way to create real, private-sector jobs, increase tax revenue, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. EnergyTomorrow.org sez:
Increasing access to oil and natural gas resources could generate nearly 160,000 new, well-paying jobs, $1.7 trillion in revenues to federal, state and local governments and greater energy security. And according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) study, the U.S. oil and natural gas industry already supports 9.2 million American jobs and contributes more than $1 trillion to the national economy, or 7.5 percent GDP.
Our nation has vast on-and-offshore oil and natural gas resources that could be produced safely to put this country's economy back on its feet.
But it's not just domestic oil and gas that will provide the jobs and energy our nation needs. Canada, our friendly neighbor to the north and top supplier of oil, will continue to play a vital role as we seek greater energy and economic security.
According to a recent CERI study, the economic impact of Canadian oil sands development is expected to lead to 342,000 U.S. jobs between 2011 and 2015, and an estimated $34 billion to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2015 and $42.2 billion in 2025.
I've said it before and I'll say it again - Many answers to our economic woes are easy to find; if government hacks really intended to fix the economy they would do it.
On yesterday's program Bill O'Reilly posed the question, "Is the president [Obama] a socialist?" His answer was that while Obama has pursued socialistic policies he isn't an actual socialist because "Mr. Obama doesn't want to seize your house." I would counter that straw man with, "No, but he want's to seize your income to give a house to thems what ain't gots 'em."
Unfortunately I think it gives Obama too much credit to call him a socialist. That would imply that he knows what he's doing. I tend to agree with Randall Hoven at American Thinker who wrote Obama "is the cargo cult president."
At least the real Cargo Cult followers built real things that looked like landing strips to get airplanes loaded with food and supplies to land on them. Obama thinks you get factories to produce things and hospitals to fix people by making speeches -- speeches that are reasonably good imitations of speeches given by real leaders.
If you're not familiar with the cargo cult tribes of the South Pacific you'll want to read the article to see what he means. If you are familiar then you'll want to read the article to see just how eerily similar the Obama Administration (and the alternative energy movement) is to those primitive peoples.
ConocoPhillips, BP America and Caterpillar pulled out of a leading alliance of businesses and environmental groups pushing for climate change legislation on Tuesday, citing complaints that the bills under consideration are unfair to American industry.
The sudden pullout of three corporate giants from a leading alliance of businesses and environmental groups could be the death knell for climate change legislation languishing on Capitol Hill.
The departing are BP America, Conoco Phillips and Caterpillar, which were among the original members of USCAP, a coalition of green pressure groups and Fortune 500 businesses that tried to drive a cap-and-trade program into law. Some corporate members concluded that climate legislation was inevitable and hoped to tip it in a more business-friendly direction. Othersóahem, General Electricóare in our view engaged in little more than old-fashioned rent-seeking. Through regulatory gaming, Congress would choose business winners and losers, dispensing billions of dollars in carbon permits to the politically connected.
The climate bills the House passed in August and Senate liberals are contemplating have stripped away that illusion. Carbon tariffs and other regulations would have damaged heavy manufacturing against global competitors, which explains Caterpillar's exit, while oil companies would suffer as transportation, refining and power generation via natural gas were punished. Then there's the harm to long-run growth, which would slow under the economy-wide drag of new taxes and federal mandates.
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 16, 2010) - Today, Canada's Environment Minister, the Honourable Jim Prentice, announced the Government of Canada's commitment to offset federal greenhouse gas emissions for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
"Canada is proud to be the first host country in history to help offset the greenhouse gas emissions of its Olympic Games," said Minister Prentice.
The London summer games are a mere two and a half years away. Any chance that Canada will be not just the first, but the last? Probably not.
UPDATE: The race is on to abandon the sinking Climate Change fraud. Investors.com:"Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, seeing which way the snow is blowing, has issued an executive order saying her state will suspend its participation in the emission-control plan or any program that could raise costs for businesses and consumers." Interestingly, despite succeeding Democrat Janet Napolitano, Brewer is a Republican.
Professor Jones also conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now Ė suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon.
And he said that for the past 15 years there has been no Ďstatistically significantí warming.
The admissions will be seized on by sceptics as fresh evidence that there are serious flaws at the heart of the science of climate change and the orthodoxy that recent rises in temperature are largely man-made.
Professor Jones has been in the spotlight since he stepped down as director of the University of East Angliaís Climatic Research Unit after the leaking of emails that sceptics claim show scientists were manipulating data.
Of special note, Professor Jones' data is critical in backing up the famous hockey stick graph created by Penn State's Michael Mann.
I hesitate to post this. I don't want to get they guy in trouble and I don't want to see the Boulder store close down.
But Whole Foods chief John Mackey has gone from criticizing ObamaCare (high crime or misdemeanor enough that he had to step down) to suggesting -- in The New Yorker -- that he is reading a book which is skeptical of Deleterious Anthropogenic Warming of the Globe.
As Mackey warns, the higher energy prices, compliance costs of new regulations, and the litigation nightmares will lower our standard of living. One thing he forgot to mention is that these new energy taxes and regulations wonít do anything to reduce the earthís temperature and reducing our economic prosperity cripples our ability to tackle real environmental problems.
Yeah, he is still no Friedmanite, his company has a duty to help the poor and save the planet &c. But damn, you have got to salute us candor and dedication to principles.
A linkety-good Christmas present from a good friend of this blog. Alexander Cockburn's piece in Real World Politics.
This admission edges close to acknowledgment of a huge core problem: that "greenhouse" theory violates the second law of thermodynamics, which says that a cooler body cannot warm a hotter body without compensation. Greenhouse gases in the cold upper atmosphere cannot possibly transfer heat to the warmer earth, and in fact radiate their absorbed heat into outer space. (Readers interested in the science can read Gerhard Gerlich and Ralf Tscheuschner's "Falsification of the Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within the Frame of Physics," updated in January 2009.)
Recent data from many monitors including the CRU, available on climate4you.com, show that the average temperature of the atmosphere and the oceans near the surface of the earth has decreased significantly across the past eight years or so. CO2 is a benign gas essential to life, occurring in past eras at five times present levels. Changes in atmospheric CO2 do not correlate with human emissions of CO2, the latter being entirely trivial in the global balance.
It has been such a fine year for DAWG Denyin' -- really 2k9 was one for the books.
I went from skepticism that man was causing global warming to skepticism that the globe is warming at all. Good times. If things get better, I may start doubting that the Earth is round...
But don't let's forget the D: Is Global Warming, Anthropogenic or not, actually Deleterious? Insty links to a "Copenhagen Coda:" 100 Europeans dead -- just by being on the same continent as VP Gore:
More than 100 people have been killed in the cold snap across Europe, with temperatures plummeting and snowfall causing chaos from Moscow to Milan.
In Poland, where temperatures have dropped to as low as -20C in some areas, police appealed for tip-offs about people spotted lying around outside. At least 42 people, most of them homeless, died over the weekend.
In Ukraine 27 people have frozen to death since the thermometer dropped last week. Authorities in Romania said 11 people had succumbed to the chill, and in the Czech Republic the toll was 12. In Germany, where temperatures have fallen to -33C in certain parts, at least seven people are known to have lost their lives in the freezing weather.
Rough weather in the US lately has lead to dozens of deaths -- at the risk of jingoism -- in a developed, industrial society.
I realized what it was. We had returned to the Middle Ages.
A high tech Middle Ages, of course, but still the Middle Ages. Forget the Renaissance, forget the Enlightenment, forget Spinoza, Locke, Galileo and everybody else, we had returned to our roots as gullible and idiotic human beings, as willing to believe in the primacy of anthropogenic global warming as we would in the sighting of the Madonna at a river crossing twelve kilometers south of Sienna in 1340.
Sanctimonious progressives ridicule social conservatives for refusing to acknowledge the validity of the theory of evolution. Too bad they are too dense to see the obvious parallel with their refusal to acknowledge the lessons of history. But IBD's Michael Ramirez sees it.
I spent the day waiting with thousands of others in subfreezing cold to try to get into the proper building to obtain our credentials for the official United Nations Climate Change Conference -- Ronald Bailey, wondering "how anyone expects the U.N. to run the world's climate if it can't manage a queue?"
That Professor Goddard, with his Ďchairí in Clark College and the countenancing of the Smithsonian Institution, does not know the relation of action to reaction, and of the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react Ė to say that would be absurd. Of course he only seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.
What is noteworthy about the original editorial is not just the ignorance, but the arrogance and the outright nastiness. As the AstronauticsNow post points out, ďThe enlightened newspaper not only ridiculed the idea that rocket propulsion would work in vacuum but it questioned the integrity and professionalism of Goddard.Ē The post goes on to say that ďThe sensationalism and merciless attack by the New York Times and other newspapers left a profound impression on Robert Goddard who became secretive about his work (to detriment of development of rocketry in the United States)ÖĒ
It appears that some of the attributes of the NYT which make it so untrustworthy and unlovable today are actually cultural characteristics of long standing.
Worth keeping in mind when reading NYT analyses of Climategate.
"It's too cold to walk from the hotel to the convention on global warming. Let's take a limo!" -- Simon Scowl
Ms Jorgensen reckons that between her and her rivals the total number of limos in Copenhagen next week has already broken the 1,200 barrier. The French alone rang up on Thursday and ordered another 42. "We haven't got enough limos in the country to fulfill the demand," she says. "We're having to drive them in hundreds of miles from Germany and Sweden."
Former Vice President Al Gore on Thursday abruptly canceled a Dec. 16 personal appearance that was to be staged during the United Nation's Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, which begins next week.
As described in The Washington TImes' Inside the Beltway column Tuesday, the multi-media public event to promote Mr. Gore's new book "Our Choice" included $1,209 VIP tickets that granted the holder a photo opportunity with Mr. Gore and a "light snack."
Some possibly exogenous event has caused the Vice President to cancel, but I bet the snack is still on.
The people who made those adjustments are, we now know, desperately invested in proving the truth of man-made global warming. And they lost the data. Thatís more damning than anything else in the emails. If youíre doing important work that you know will be controversial, you donít lose the data. You document everything you did to the data. You make the data available to others. If you donít do all of those things, people are right to ignore anything you have published about the data. And thatís what we should do with everything these men have published about man-made global warming. -- Charles Murray
I withheld judgment that ClimateGate was a game changer until it got a little more mainstream coverage. Blog Brother Johngalt more approached the "It's Christmas Day and I got a pony!" view.
Well, he has the setup for a pony, and -- while it's still just a blog post -- this <heavenly music>New York Times</heavenly music> blog post by Science Editor John Tierney is a big deal.
Iím not trying to suggest that climate change isnít a real threat, or that scientists are deliberately hyping it. But when they look at evidence of the threat, they may be subject to the confirmation bias ó seeing trends that accord with their preconceptions and desires. Given the huge stakes in this debate ó the trillions of dollars that might be spent to reduce greenhouse emissions ó itís important to keep taking skeptical looks at the data. How open do you think climate scientists are to skeptical views, and to letting outsiders double-check their data and calculations?
No, not my bad language...but a few items today augur well for the ClimateGate controversy's improving the quality of debate on climate change. That's all I ask. If DAWG's real, let's study it and plan around it, based on realistic scenarios.
The Telegraph (I know a lot of Telegraph readers whom I am sure are uncomfortable with the paper's thoroughness on this story) brings us the story of David Holland, an Electrical Engineer from Northampton who makes the most serious and level statement I have heard on DAWG in many years:
Mr Holland, who graduated with an external degree in electrical engineering from London University in 1966 before going on to run his own businesses, told The Sunday Telegraph: "It's like David versus Goliath. Thanks to these leaked emails a lot of little people can begin to make some impact on this monolithic entity that is the climate change lobby."
He added: "These guys called climate scientists have not done any more physics or chemistry than I did. A lifetime in engineering gives you a very good antenna. It also cures people of any self belief they cannot be wrong. You clear up a lot of messes during a lifetime in engineering. I could be wrong on global warming Ė I know that Ė but the guys on the other side don't believe they can ever be wrong."
Nailed it. I could be wrong, but I need to see that the other side understands that they could be wrong as well. Brilliant.
You know, when you consider that "We're Saving The Planet" is the biggest power/money grabbing scam since "We're Saving Your Souls," whoever leaked/released those e-mails and such is kind of like the modern scientific equivalent of Martin Luther. This person/persons may well have broken the backs of the Global Warming Priests who did everything in their power to make sure that the common man, and those who would oppose them, had no direct access to the Spoken Word of God. -- Col. Douglas Mortimer, writing to Instapundit
"2009 is also the first year of global governance"
Hope and Change for the entire planet.
Don't take my word for it. Listen to the new President of the European Union, Herman van Rompuy.
Here is my transcription, complete with relevant emphasis:
It is my firm intention to ensure that our work develops, over a long-term period, a perspective that goes beyond six months and will allow us to be better organized where the major multi-annual dossiers are concerned, such as the financial perspectives in the Lisbon strategy. I also think that going back to our roots in the European Council could help us to discuss from time to time in an informal and open way the big questions of the European project. I'm thinking more specifically of the economic and social agenda and this is a particularly urgent matter because of the environmental and energy challenges we face and aspirations we have for greater security and justice for all our fellow citizens. We're living through exceptionally difficult times. The financial crisis and its dramatic impact on employment and budgets. The climate crisis which threatens our very survival. A period of anxiety, uncertainty and lack of confidence. Yet these problems can be overcome by a joint effort in and between our countries. Two-thousand-and-nine is also the first year of global governance with the establishment of the G20 in the middle of the financial crisis. The climate conference in Copenhagen is another step towards the global management of our planet. Our mission, our presidency, is one of hope supported by acts and by deeds.
Brother tg assures us that the climatologists in the climate cabal "are not evil environmentalists bent on hatching a secret plan to rule the world -- they are scientists, no better or worse than the rest of us." That may be true but it doesn't mean their work is not being used by others to "hatch a secret plan to rule the world."
The Global Warming Extremists controlled the argument for years by saying, it's only legitimate science if it's published in certain journals and peer reviewed, and if you control the Journals you control the science. But sadly with Al Gore's invention, the anointed few are losing control, much like the medieval church did with the invention of the printing press.
Mike Rosen calls them the "Dominant Liberal Establishment Media."
Brother jk calls them <heavenly music>The New York Times.</heavenly music>
Climate change conspirast Michael Mann, of "hockey stick" fame, calls them the "Prestige Press." This excerpt from one of the email thread archives that comprise Climategate definitely is one of the "things that make you go HMMMM."
Andrew Revkin to Michael Mann, Sep 29, 2009, 4:30 pm:
needless to say, seems the 2008 pnas paper showing that without tree rings still solid picture of unusual recent warmth, but McIntyre is getting wide play for his statements
about Yamal data-set selectivity. Has he communicated directly to you on this and/or is there any indication he's seeking journal publication for his deconstruct?
Michael Mann replies, Sep 29, 2009, 5:08 pm:
I'm fairly certain Keith is out of contact right now recovering from an operation, and is not in a position to respond to these attacks. However, the preliminary information I have from others familiar with these data is that the attacks are bogus.
It is unclear that this particular series was used in any of our reconstructions (some of the underlying chronologies may be the same, but I'm fairly certain the versions of these data we have used are based on a different composite and standardization method), let alone any of the dozen other reconstructions of Northern Hemisphere mean temperature shown in the most recent IPCC report, which come to the conclusion that recent warming is anomalous in a long-term context.
So, even if there were a problem w/ these data, it wouldn't matter as far as the key conclusions regarding past warmth are concerned. But I don't think there is any problem with these data, rather it appears that McIntyre has greatly distorted the actual information content of these data. It will take folks a few days to get to the bottom of this, in Keith's absence.
if McIntyre had a legitimate point, he would submit a comment to the journal in question. of course, the last time he tried that (w/ our '98 article in Nature), his comment was rejected. For all of the noise and bluster about the Steig et al Antarctic warming, its now nearing a year and nothing has been submitted. So more likely he won't submit for peer-reviewed scrutiny, or if it does get his criticism "published" it will be in the discredited contrarian home journal "Energy and Environment". I'm sure you are aware that McIntyre and his ilk realize they no longer need to get their crap published in legitimate journals. All they have to do is put it up on their blog, and the contrarian noise machine kicks into gear, pretty soon Druge, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and their ilk (in this case, The Telegraph were already on it this morning) are parroting the claims. And based on what? some guy w/ no credentials, dubious connections with the energy industry, and who hasn't submitted his claims to the scrutiny of peer review.
Fortunately, the prestige press doesn't fall for this sort of stuff, right?
Revkin again, Sep 29, 2009, 5:18 pm:
tom crowley has sent me a direct challenge to mcintyre to start contributing to the reviewed lit or shut up. i'm going to post that soon. just want to be sure that what is spliced below is from YOU ... a little unclear . ?
I'm copying this to Tim, in hopes that he can shed light on the specific data assertions made over at climateaudit.org.....
I'm going to blog on this as it relates to the value of the peer review process and not on the merits of the mcintyre et al attacks. peer review, for all its imperfections, is where the herky-jerky process of knowledge building happens, would you agree?
One can almost see the "wink, wink" between the lines when Mann says, "...the prestige press doesn't fall for this sort of stuff, RIGHT?"
The two of them certainly appear to be defending the standing of their sycophantic collection of science journals against any dissent - even from other peer-reviewed journals which may happen to be "discredited."
The evidence pointing to a growing human contribution to global warming is so widely accepted that the hacked material is unlikely to erode the overall argument. However, the documents will undoubtedly raise questions about the quality of research on some specific questions and the actions of some scientists.
As one of the leading lamestream media voices, Revkin's seems to be spinning: Yeah, these guys were doing bad science but we're only talking about a handful of scientists. Well we're also only talking about a handful of reporters who tell us that the science is settled, and Revkin is one of them.
Revkin has authored two global warming books and so has a lot to lose himself from this controversy, as his reputation is just as much at stake as the scientists.' Therefore his defense mechanisms are fully engaged. In his blog post yesterday about the revelations, he states that repercussions "continue to unfold" and "thereís much more to explore," but do you really think he can be counted on for follow-up stories about it this week?
For my part I have to ask, is Revkin a reporter, a blogger, or a co-conspirator?
The conspiracy behind the Anthropogenic Global Warming myth (aka AGW; aka ManBearPig) has been suddenly, brutally and quite deliciously exposed after a hacker broke into the computers at the University of East Angliaís Climate Research Unit (aka Hadley CRU) and released 61 megabites of confidential files onto the internet. (Hat tip: Watts Up With That)
CO2 never was a problem and all the machinations and deceptions exposed by these files prove that it was the greatest deception in history, but nobody is laughing. It is a very sad day for science and especially my chosen area of climate science. As I expected now it is all exposed I find there is no pleasure in ďI told you so.Ē
One email from 1999, titled "CENSORED!!!!!" showed one U.S.-based scientist uncomfortable with such tactics. "As for thinking that it is 'Better that nothing appear, than something unacceptable to us' Ö as though we are the gatekeepers of all that is acceptable in the world of paleoclimatology seems amazingly arrogant. Science moves forward whether we agree with individual articles or not," the email said.
Conan [O'Brien, talk show host]: Ö to create energy, and it sounds to me like an evil plan by Lex Luthor to defeat Superman. Can you, can you tell me, is this a viable solution, geothermal energy?
Al [bert A. Gore, Jr, 45th Vice President of the United States and Nobel Laureate]: It definitely is, and it's a relatively new one. People think about geothermal energy ó when they think about it at all ó in terms of the hot water bubbling up in some places, but two kilometers or so down in most places there are these incredibly hot rocks, 'cause the interior of the earth is extremely hot, several million degrees, and the crust of the earth is hot Ö
John Derbyshire points out that there is debate (the science, apparently being not settled) whether the Earth's core is 5000 C or 9000C, but it ain't millions Mister Vice President.
Here's another rousing cheer for the Obama Administration: American Magazine says that he will be continuing "the failed policies of the Bush Administration" for Four More Years!
Reading the climate-change news in recent weeks, one might wonder who won the last election.
The Obama administration has rejected the Kyoto Protocol (ensuring it will expire), adopted some of former President George W. Bushís key positions in international climate negotiations, and demurred when asked about reports that the president has decided to skip the December climate summit in Copenhagen. United Nations climate negotiator Yvo de Boer has concluded that it is ďunrealisticĒ to expect the conference to produce a new, comprehensive climate treatyówhich also describes the once-fond hopes for passage of domestic climate legislation this yearóor even in Obamaís first term.
Malaria is only weakly related to temperature; it is strongly related to poverty. It has risen in sub-Saharan Africa over the past 20 years not because of global warming, but because of failing medical response. The mainstay treatment, chloroquine, is becoming less and less effective. The malaria parasite is becoming resistant, and there is a need for new, effective combination treatments based on artemisinin, which is unfortunately about 10 times more expensive.
Mr. Samson is right to ask what spending money on global warming could do for him and his family. The truthful answer? Very little. For a lot less, we could achieve a lot more. -- Bjorn Lomborg
The mountains in Europe are growing taller and melting glaciers are partly responsible, scientists say.
Heavy glaciers cause the Earth's crust to flex inward slightly. When glaciers disappear, the crust springs back and the overlaying mountains are thrust skyward, albeit slowly.
The European Alps have been growing since the end of the last little Ice Age in 1850 when glaciers began shrinking as temperatures warmed, but the rate of uplift has accelerated in recent decades because global warming has sped up the rate of glacier melt, the researchers say.
No, no, no, no ó you have committed apostasy; heresy! You are not allowed to speak of warming except in the most emotional, alarmist tones!
You are not allowed to follow an objective, skeptical line of reasoning in this matter. You are not allowed to consider whether or not it is cost-efficient or even possible to cease all carbon emissions; you simply must do it.
This is from a commenter on the Freakonomics blog, requoted in an elegant attempt by a very sharp (scary) scientist to insert actual reason and scientific principles into the debate. Like Freakonomist Steven Levitt, Nathan Myhrvold is not a DAWG-denier I can claim backs me. But, like Levitt, I think he was surprised at the vitriol of the anti-scientific opposition that emerged to question their supposed heterodoxy.
Hey bitter clingers, don't forget that weather does not equal climate, or something.
The U.S. Northeast may have the coldest winter in a decade because of a weak El Nino, a warming current in the Pacific Ocean, according to Matt Rogers, a forecaster at Commodity Weather Group.
ďWeak El Ninos are notorious for cold and snowy weather on the Eastern seaboard,Ē Rogers said in a Bloomberg Television interview from Washington. ďAbout 70 percent to 75 percent of the time a weak El Nino will deliver the goods in terms of above-normal heating demand and cold weather. Itís pretty good odds.Ē
Warming in the Pacific often means fewer Atlantic hurricanes and higher temperatures in the U.S. Northeast during January, February and March, according to the National Weather Service. El Nino occurs every two to five years, on average, and lasts about 12 months, according to the service.
Of course if it's warmer than the coldest winter in the past decade, that's proof for global warming. So there.
Funny, when other people get the data, global warming always looks a little less dire.
The graph above shows what happens to the ďHockey StickĒ after additional tree ring data, recently released (after a long and protracted fight over data access) is added to the analysis of Hadleyís archived tree ring data in Yamal, Russia.
All of the sudden, it isnít the ďhottest period in 2000 yearsĒ anymore.
The Science is Settled! It's just that we lost it.
Read a little Karl Popper. His clarity of thought, reason, and prose is intensely satisfying. I'd read him beating up on Hegel or dictating scientific epistemology with equal glee. The man is awesome.
Then, when you have a basic feel for Popperian epistemology, read this tale about the surface data that "proved" global warming: Patrick Michaels's The Dog Ate Global Warming.
Now begins the fun. Warwick Hughes, an Australian scientist, wondered where that ď+/ĖĒ came from, so he politely wrote Phil Jones in early 2005, asking for the original data. Jonesís response to a fellow scientist attempting to replicate his work was, ďWe have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?Ē
Reread that statement, for it is breathtaking in its anti-scientific thrust. In fact, the entire purpose of replication is to ďtry and find something wrong.Ē The ultimate objective of science is to do things so well that, indeed, nothing is wrong.
It seems other scientists would like to access the data set (Popper would approve). But they have been told a changing sequence of storylines for almost as long as the planet has been cooling. Now, it seems the data do not exist.
You may have seen the new Audi commercial with barrels of oil rolling through the streets and back onto the tankers that brought them here from overseas producers. "If 1/3 of us drove a TDI clean diesel vehicle, we could send back 1.5 million barrels of foreign oil every day."
A TDI engine is revved several times while a white hanky is held near the exhaust pipe. Spotless.
"One drop of diesel fuel has 12% more power than one drop of gasoline."
I'm ready to do my part to reduce global warming-
"If 1/3 of Americans switched from gasoline to diesel, it would be the equivalent of planting 2.2 billion trees."
"so if you take the combination of phenomenal performance with reduced emissions and the positive impact that has on the environment there can truly be no compelling argument against the adoption of clean diesel technology for use on the roads in the United States."
Well, except for the fact that it would obliterate all of the "crises" that environmentalists have concocted to take us back to the caves.
Hey Obama, stimulate THIS!
[UPDATED to add video of the commercial from YouTube.]
Also of interest, a history of diesel cars in America since 1979. Via AudiofAmerica on YouTube. They call it Audi TDI: TRUTH IN DIESEL
CHICAGO ó A chilly, damp summer in the Midwest and New England might make it difficult for people in those regions to find the perfect Halloween pumpkin.
Growers in some states say harvests are down significantly from last year's yield, which could mean shortages or higher prices for pumpkins shipped in from California, Texas and other areas with better crops.
I canít recall exactly when it became unfashionable to be sceptical about climate change. However, I can vividly remember where I was when just as I was giving my trenchant views that itís all a lot of tosh, I looked around the table and realised that I had gone too far. ďStill,Ē I said. ďItís clear that we must do something for the polar bears. Absolutely imperative.Ē
Secretly I remain a heretic: but if I hadnít mentioned the bears the Climate Change Inquisition would have been round to the house quicker than you can say ďice cubeĒ and started pulling out my fingernails until I recanted.
Cutting greenhouse emissions is of course a good idea. The sooner everybody agrees that using the sun as a power source is the way forward, rather than burning dirty coal, the better. What I dislike is the unhealthy alliance of non-governmental organisations, the European Union, the United Nations and others all running around telling us what to do. Wasting taxpayer money seems to be their main priority. And I particularly dislike Trudie Styler, the wife of Sting, a pop star, who pitches up here and there telling us not to burn wood, then flies off in her private jet to one of her 20 homes.
Having said that, as somebody who has spent most of his life in the northern hemisphere, Iím all in favour of climate change. Iíll be sorry to see the end of Bangladesh of course, and Iíll probably never get a chance to see the Maldives unless I go deep-sea diving. But think how good Scotland and Sweden will become.
That is the thing about man: endlessly adaptable. It was the Greek philosopher Heraclitus who wrote: ďYou can never step in the same river twice.Ē Change happens and we learn to live with it, even embrace it. Think of all that virgin tundra! Even Canada might become habitable.
He's all wrong about solar power of course but it's good to see these other refreshing points of view in print. But then, it shares pages with the story 'Omanis Frown on 'half-naked' expats.'
The human-driven buildup of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere appears to have ended a slide, many millenniums in the making, toward cooler summer temperatures in the Arctic, the authors of a new study report.
But Jonathan T. Overpeck, a study author and climate specialist at the University of Arizona, said the rising concentration of long-lived greenhouse gases guaranteed warming at a pace that could stress ecosystems and cause rapid melting of Greenlandís great ice sheet.
ďThe fast rate of recent warming is the scary part,Ē Dr. Overpeck said. ďIt means that major impacts on Arctic ecosystems and global sea level might not be that far off unless we act fast to slow global warming.Ē
So there's clearly plenty of room for interested parties to spin this new "synthesis of decadally resolved proxy temperature records from poleward of 60įN covering the past 2000 years" into "proof" of whatever they want the public to believe (or fear.) But even if we take the findings at face value, who could argue that it is imperative or even desireable to prevent future warming?
On the one hand we are destined for "ecosystem stress" and "rapid melting of Greenland's great ice sheet." On the other hand, as the Times story points out, "much of the northern hemisphere" could once again be buried "under a mile or more of ice."
Keep repeating that as you curl up in a fetal position.
The average June-August 2009 summer temperature for the contiguous United States was below average Ė the 34th coolest on record, according to a preliminary analysis by NOAAís National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. August was also below the long-term average. The analysis is based on records dating back to 1895.
I love the patronizing NYTimes "some global warming skeptics..." locution. Apparently, the skeptics are busy predicting sunspot activity. This one skeptic is more interested in correlating climate change to sunspot activity so that non skeptics do not take us back to the caves.
A new group of sunspots developed, and while not dramatic by historic standards, the spots were the most significant in many months.
"This is the best sunspot I've seen in two years," observer Michael Buxton of Ocean Beach, Calif., said on Spaceweather.com.
The lack of sunspots has allowed the Earth to cool, demonstrating dispositive linkage between CO2 output and global temperature. Now that there are sunspots, the earth will again heat up. The UN will attribute this to affluence and we will all march back to the caves on their Malthusian nonsense.
More than one person on these pages has declared that there is a "consensus amongst the majority of serious scientists that man made global warming is a real phenomenon." The obvious implication is that anyone who disputes this is either an un-serious scientist or a crackpot. I now ask any of you who may still hold that belief, which label would you apply to Dr. Alan Carlin, the EPA's own Senior Operations Research Analyst? Previous ThreeSources blog posts here, here and here have referenced the internal dissent by Dr. Carlin against the hasty and apparently premeditated regulation of CO2 as an atmospheric "pollutant." In Carlin's own words, here is what he has to say about the state of the GHG/CO2/AGW "science."
I have become increasingly concerned that EPA has itself paid too little attention to the science of global warming. EPA and others have tended to accept the findings reached by outside groups, particularly the IPCC and the CCSP, as being correct without a careful and
critical examination of their conclusions and documentation. If they should be found to be incorrect at a later date, however, and EPA is found not to have made a really careful
independent review of them before reaching its decisions on endangerment, it appears likely that it is EPA rather than these other groups that may be blamed for any errors. Restricting the source of inputs into the process to these these two sources may make EPAís current task easier but it may come with enormous costs later if they should result in policies that may not be scientifically supportable.
This is profound enough in its own right. But there is more:
It is of great importance that the Agency recognize the difference between an effort that has consumed tens of billions of dollars by the IPCC, the CCSP, and some additional European, particularly British, funding over a period of at least 15 years with what I have been able to pull together in less than a week. (...) What is actually noteworthy about this effort is not the relative apparent scientific shine of the two sides but rather the relative ease with which major holes have been found in the GHG/CO2/AGW argument. In many cases the most important arguments are based not on multi-million dollar research efforts but by simple observation of available data which has surprisingly received so little scrutiny. The best example of this is the MSU satellite data on global temperatures. Simple scrutiny of this data yields what to me are stunning observations. Yet this has received surprisingly little study or at least publicity. In the end it must be emphasized that the issue is not which side has spent the most money or published the most peer-reviewed papers, or been supported by more scientific organizations. The issue is rather whether the GHG/CO2/AGW hypothesis meets the ultimate scientific testóconformance with real world data. What these comments show is that it is this ultimate test that the hypothesis fails; this is why EPA needs to carefully reexamine the science behind global warming before proposing an endangerment finding. This will take more than four days but is the most important thing I can do right now and in the coming weeks and months and possibly even years.
Emphasis mine. In Dr. Carlin's 85 page review report, composed in about 4 of the 5 days he was given to review the Draft Technical Support Document for Endangerment Analysis for Greenhouse Gas Emissions under the Clean Air Act he made 19 specific recomended revisions to the TSD. In the Executive Summary section he pretty much sums up his opinion with this:
These inconsistencies between the TSD analysis and scientific observations are so important and sufficiently abstruse that in my view EPA needs to make an independent analysis of the science of global warming rather than adopting the conclusions of the IPCC and CCSP without much more careful and independent EPA staff review than is evidenced by the Draft TSP. Adopting the scientific conclusions of an outside group such as the IPCC or CCSP without thorough review by EPA is not in the EPA tradition anyway, and there seems to be little reason to change the tradition in this case. If their conclusions should be incorrect and EPA acts on them, it is EPA that will be blamed for inadequate research and understanding and reaching a possibly inaccurate determination of endangerment. Given the downward trend in temperatures since 1998 (which some think will continue until about 2030 given the 60 year cycle described in Section 2) there is no particular reason to rush into decisions based on a scientific hypothesis that does not appear to explain much of the available data.
Even Glenn Greenwald (not a frequent linkee 'round these parts) finds the following quote "creepy."
It's "stunning that he would ignore the wishes not just of his president, but of his constituents and the country," said an administration official.
This directed at a Democratic Congressman from Texas who had the temerity to vote against Cap'n Trade. Greewald:
This has become an emerging theme among both the White House and House leadership: that progressive membe ers of Congress have an obligation to carry out "the wishes of the President" even when they disagree (now, apparently, it's "stunning" when they defy his dictates).
Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) was not opposing the bill to protect Texas families from a 300% tax on electricity, mind you -- he felt that the bill was too lenient on polluters.It remains a story without a hero -- but with a couple more villains.
"My call to every senator, as well as to every American, is this," he said. "We cannot be afraid of the future. And we must not be prisoners of the past. Don't believe the misinformation out there that suggests there is somehow a contradiction between investing in clean energy and economic growth."
Misinformation? I think John Boehner said it best during his "fillibuster" yesterday (via DVR):
6:04 PM EDT [Reading from the 300 page back-door amendment.] "Now let me get to page 83. Consumer Behavior Research. The Secretary of Energy is authorized to establish a research program to identify the factors affecting consumer actions to conserve energy and to make improvements in energy efficiency. Through the program the Secretary will make grants to public and private institutions of higher education to study the effects of consumer behavior on total energy use."
"Do we really need to spend government money to do a study on why people don't want to pay twice the cost and get half the quality?"
Then there's this:
Obama said the bill would create jobs, make renewable energy profitable and decrease America's dependence on foreign oil.
Does nobody recognize this tacit admission that renewable energy is NOT profitable?
UPDATE: Investor's Business Daily is now reporting the story above, citing them as sources. This could be a stepping-stone to the MSM next week. Maybe not Diane Sawyer, but there's got to be one journalist and editor out there who are willing to risk administration blacklisting to get props for "breaking" the story.
Emissions scheme passes Australia's House - stalls in Senate
In 2007 Australian PM John Howard became Global Warming's "first major political victim." His successor, Kevin Rudd, pledged to sign the Kyoto Protocol. This year Rudd sought passage of a government mandated emissions reduction plan.
The rise in skepticism also came as Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, elected like Mr. Obama on promises to combat global warming, was attempting his own emissions-reduction scheme. His administration was forced to delay the implementation of the program until at least 2011, just to get the legislation through Australia's House. The Senate was not so easily swayed.
Mr. Fielding, a crucial vote on the bill, was so alarmed by the renewed science debate that he made a fact-finding trip to the U.S., attending the Heartland Institute's annual conference for climate skeptics. He also visited with Joseph Aldy, Mr. Obama's special assistant on energy and the environment, where he challenged the Obama team to address his doubts. They apparently didn't.
This week Mr. Fielding issued a statement: He would not be voting for the bill. He would not risk job losses on "unconvincing green science." The bill is set to founder as the Australian parliament breaks for the winter.
The preceding account by Kim Strassel uses this and many more instances to show that the US is out of step with the international community on climate change.
The number of skeptics, far from shrinking, is swelling. Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe now counts more than 700 scientists who disagree with the U.N. -- 13 times the number who authored the U.N.'s 2007 climate summary for policymakers.
Nancy Pelosi's House clearly didn't care about any of this in today's vote for global economic suicide. It's hard to imagine that the Senate will ignore it too.
"Balanced" and "sensible" climate change bill passes House
That's the spin thrown on the bill by President Obama yesterday. Surely it was far from either of those qualities at the time, but prior to passage another 300 pages were shoe-horned in ... at 3 am this morning! [What in the hell is the fixation that Washington politicians have with that time of day?] Minority Leader Boehner said the obvious:
Rep. Geoff Davis, a Republican from Kentucky, said the cap-and-trade bill represented the "economic colonization of the heartland" by New York and California.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) called the bill a ďscamĒ that would do nothing but satisfy ďthe twisted desires of radical environmentalists.Ē
Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) called it a ďmassive transfer of wealthĒ from the United States to foreign countries.
Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio countered that, without the bill, the United States would remain energy-dependent on people who want to ďfly planes into our buildings.Ē
I'd hoped to insert a bulleted list of ways that this bill is a colonoscopy for America but then I realized, Who the hell knows what it does... it jumped from 1200 pages to 1500 overnight!
I was stuck at the hospital all day (drug trials, I'm fine!) but blog friend SugarChuck reports that some Congressional Republicans put up a good fight today. But, as you've no doubt heard, 219 house members thought that the Federal government should control energy use and only 212 did not.
I have no consoling words, but at least we get a good Quote of the day:
Never have so few stolen so much from so many to achieve so little -- @VodkaPundit
Stephen Green (VodkaPundit) also retweets the GOP defectors: "GOP votes for #capandtrade McHugh(NY) Reichert(WA) Smith(NJ) Lance(NJ) LoBiondo(NJ) Bono Mack(CA) Castle(DE) Kirk(IL)"
-- unless, of course, it interferes with our politics!
Scientific findings at odds with the Obama Administrationís views on carbon dioxide and climate change are being suppressed as a result of political pressure, officials at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) charge.
"This suppression of valid science for political reasons is beyond belief,Ē said CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman. ďEPAís conduct is even more outlandish because it flies in the face of the presidentís widely-touted claim that Ďthe days of science taking a back seat to ideology are over.íĒ
This is from the CEI which I consider a reputable group. I have no proof beyond their assertion and do not expect many media outlets to dig too hard on this. But this would be huge if proven true.
Do you need more than the url? The Heritage Foundation has set up a website that allows you to send comments to the EPA.
Also don't miss their blog post on Crony-enviro-capitalism.
But don't worry, says Obama EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. She told the New York Times earlier this year, "We are poised to be specific on what we regulate and on what schedule." In other words, just as the Obama Treasury Department played political favorites when bailing out General Motors and Chrysler, rewarding big labor allies while punishing average investors and secured creditors, the Obama EPA is poised to play the exact same games while enforcing the Clean Air Act.
Good Friend of this blog, T Greer, has an excellent post on "Death by Climate." An NGO headed by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan asserts that climate change currently is responsible for 300,000 deaths a year. Our friend disagrees.
From here it is easy to see the fallacy inherit in any attempt to label a death (or even a group of deaths) as "caused" by climate change. There does not exist a single causality attributed to climate change whose death cannot be sourced more directly to factor of the socio-economic sort. In cases where the deaths are indirectly attributed to climate change** (such as the cholera epidemics or crop failures that often follow flooding in underdeveloped areas) the link between death and weather is even more tenuous; each degree of separation between climatic trends and causality trends simply multiplies the number of factor leading to the end result that are more important than climate change.
TG is a lot more generous with Annan and the Global Humanitarian Forum than I am (as I mention in a lenghy, black-helicopterish comment) but there is much I agree with in his thoughtful post.
Gee, is that even possible? I thought the "evidence is in" and "the science is settled?"
Lest anyone think my prior post is nothing but mere invective, read this interview by Fortune magazine's Jon Birger of veteran climatologist and IPCC contributor John Christy (who has no ties to "Big Oil"). Birger learned that...
...the surface temperature readings upon which global warming theory is built have been distorted by urbanization. Due to the solar heat captured by bricks and pavement and due to the changing wind patterns caused by large buildings, a weather station placed in a rural village in 1900 will inevitably show higher temperature readings if that village has, over time, been transformed into small city or a suburban shopping district, Christy says.
The only way to control for such surface distortions is by measuring atmospheric temperatures. And when Christy and his co-researcher Roy Spencer, a former NASA scientist now teaching at UA-Huntsville, began analyzing temperature readings from NOAA and NASA satellites, they found much slighter increases in atmospheric temperatures than what was being recorded on the surface. Christy and Spencer also found that nearly all the increases in average surface temperatures are related to nighttime readings - which makes sense if bricks and pavement are in fact retaining heat that would otherwise be dispersed.
Birger concludes by asking Christy,
What about the better-safe-than-sorry argument? Even if there's a chance Gore and Hansen are wrong, shouldn't we still take action in order to protect ourselves from catastrophe, just in case they're right?
Christy: The problem is that the solutions being offered don't provide any detectable relief from this so-called catastrophe. Congress is now discussing an 80% reduction in U.S. greenhouse emissions by 2050. That's basically the equivalent of building 1,000 new nuclear power plants all operating by 2020. Now I'm all in favor of nuclear energy, but that would affect the global temperature by only seven-hundredths of a degree by 2050 and fifteen hundredths by 2100. We wouldn't even notice it.
Hat Tip: A colleague of jg's college-professor dad who emailed the link to him with a note, "Maybe you were right all along." Click 'Continue reading' to see what dad said to him in reply.
(Is Fortune Magazine considered an MSM outlet?)
Of course I am right, there is no doubt in my mind whatsoever. The computer models used to predict climate change and the computers used to run them are not sufficient to model what is already known and mitigating factors that we would call negative feedback, that makes the climate systems stable, are not well understood and are almost completely neglected. Whenever one of these ďclimate researchersĒ want to publish a paper all they have to do is alter a parameter in their computer program and speculate about the results. The government funds practically no research to on climate research other than to prove man is causing it; which he isnít. Anyone in this research community including John Christy who says anything counter to the ďaccepted factsĒ is all but ignored. John Christy is too high profile to have his funds cut-off; he is the Governmentís token critic. The present administration has much it wants to do and uses climate crises to cry wolf. Hopefully, the inmates will ultimately be put back into their cages and sanity will reign. Maybe it will happen before they bankrupt the country, but I am not at all hopeful.
There are some good fact/fiction counterpoints if you follow the original link.
Hat Tip again to www.globalwarming.org. This is an excellent blog with many current stories on the topic. Highly recommended. Blogroll candidate.
WARNING: The recommended site is dot ORG. The easily confused site at dot COM is a kool-aid site. For example, they warn:
The prevailing counter opinion is that all that is presently perceived to be global warming is simply the result of a normal climactic swing in the direction of increased temperature. Most proponents of this global warming ideology have definitive social and financial interests in these claims.
HA! Pot calls kettle black! (I wonder if they recognize the irony that their site carries the dot COM, i.e. commercial, URL extension? Probably not.) At any rate, the first defense they offer is an ad hominem. Sad.
I really wanted to include a little graphic showing the state of California with a FOR SALE sign planted in it right about at Sacramento. Well, just use your imagination.
California's Governor Schwarzenegger has proposed selling a number of state landmarks (state ownership of which is in some doubt) to raise cash and balance the state budget. One-time proceeds are estimated at $1 billion. The budget shortfall is $15.4 billion, just for the next fiscal year. Obviously state officials need more stuff to put in their garage sale. Hmm, I wonder what California has that someone might be willing to pay cash for (other than federal bailout dollars, that is.) Gee, that's a tough one!
According to this handy interactive graphic the total government lease royalty revenue that would result from lifting current oil and gas production moratoria is $1695 billion and of that amount, $1386 billion of it comes from the outer continental shelf (Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf regions combined.) A summary report here provides numerous tables showing the breakdown by area but none were clear enough for me to cite specifically. Let it suffice to say the California budget shortfall, at $15.4 billion, is a bit over 1 percent of the possible OCS government windfall. If the Governator would simply work toward responsible development of his state's natural resources he could balance its budget overnight, and for decades to come.
Brother BR's George Carlin post may have been a re-run but I'm pretty sure this one isn't. Satirist Progressivista says turning off our lights for one hour every year isn't going to get the job done in the cause against global climate change. It's time for the "final solution."
So, next year when Earth Hour comes around again ó instead of having everyone turn off their lights for one hour ó we should have them drink green-colored Kool-Aid laced with potassium chloride, which just happens to be not only the poison Jim Jones gave to his followers, but also the one many abortionists use to terminate those dreaded unbabies.
If the billion people who participated in this previous Earth Hour participate in our new and improved version, we will eliminate more than 7 trillion pounds of carbon emissions per year. And thatís assuming an even distribution of participants around the world. As participation would likely be higher in the nations that emit the most, the actual number of savings may be two or even three times as much.
And if we could get a billion people to participate each year, the planet would be saved in a very short amount of time indeed.
Itís so expensive being green,
Having to pay for all the things big government needs,
When I think it could be nicer not being taxed,
for energy, or my car, or my homeís heating, things like that.
Itís so expensive being green,
It seems the taxes blend in with so many ordinary policies these days,
And people tend to pass them over, because theyíre not standing out like flashy payroll taxes or spending thatís skyyy high.
But, green is the color of taxes,
and green can seem cool and friendly-like,
And green taxes will be big, like a mountain, or seem important like a river of debt,
or sacrifice jobs for a tree.
When green is all your allowed to be,
It can make you wonder why,
But why wonder, why wonder,
Your green, and business wonít do fine, but you better get used to it.
Itís who you have to be.
A good friend of this blog sends a link to The New Yorker (and yes, the page has a cartoon in it). David Owen makes one of the more intelligent and compelling cases that energy consumption is required to advance human comfort and prosperity. Owen flatly states that "the worldís principal source of man-made greenhouse gases has always been prosperity."
The recession makes that relationship easy to see: shuttered factories donít spew carbon dioxide; the unemployed drive fewer miles and turn down their furnaces, air-conditioners, and swimming-pool heaters; struggling corporations and families cut back on air travel; even affluent people buy less throwaway junk.
Where Owen diverges from your average right wing, DAWG-denyin', knuckle-draggin' whacko is that he thinks it is great. He only worries that efforts to revitalize the world economy might succeed -- and concomitantly raise carbon footprints.
The environmental benefits of economic decline, though real, are fragile, because they are vulnerable to intervention by governments, which, understandably, want to put people back to work and get them buying non-necessities againóthrough programs intended to revive ordinary consumer spending (which has a big carbon footprint), and through public-investment projects to build new roads and airports (ditto). Our best intentions regarding conservation and carbon reduction inevitably run up against the realities of foreclosure and bankruptcy and unemployment. How do we persuade people to drive lessóan environmental necessityówhile also encouraging them to revive our staggering economy by buying new cars?
My e-mailer suggests (so pointedly I wish had share permission) that these people have no plans to join us in the caves when we are driven back. They'll spin off a check for carbon offsets before they climb aboard he Gulfstream. But I do appreciate Owen's honesty.
WASHINGTON -- The Environmental Protection Agency has sent a proposal to the White House finding that carbon dioxide is danger to public health, in a step that could trigger the enforcement of stringent emissions rules under the Clean Air Act.
If approved by the White House Office of Management and Budget, the endangerment finding could make regulations of greenhouse gases across the economy tougher than those prepared but not approved by the Bush administration. The EPA submitted the proposed rule to the White House on Friday, according to federal records published Monday.
The executive branch can control every aspect of the economy that uses energy. "Stroke of the pen, law of the land." It's back to the caves, friends -- game over.
I wish to clarify my position on climate change. If you've heard it, skip to the link and enjoy John Fund's brutal takedown of VP Gore.
If you're new 'round here, please accept my argument with the proponents: they do not use accepted scientific methods to evaluate their theories and resolve differences. One of my heroes is Dr. Karl Popper. His writings on philosophy and politics are superb, but he is best known for his scientific epistemology. Popper is - among many things -- the codifier of what we know as the scientific method.
To be accepted by the scientific community, a theory must display predictive power. Most famously, Albert Einstein's Special and General Relativity both predicted complex phenomena that could not be verified by the instruments of their day. Yet, as atomic clocks, and rocket ships, and radio telescopes were invented, underpaid graduate students used those devices to test Einstein's assertions. So far, they have all come true, and Einstein's theories are well accepted.
But it's worth noting that Einstein's theories are still not completely accepted and that a scientist who questions them is not shunned as "A Relativity Denier." He better have something to back up his claims, but his claims can be heard.
Not so to one with the temerity to suggest that Global Warming is not Anthropogenic and Deleterious. Nope, then you're a denier. Segue to John Fund (which must be read in full). VP Gore will not debate Vaclav Klaus, who doubts the W; Bjorn Lomborg, who questions the D; or Dr. Willie Soon of Harvard who asks what VP Gore hopes to accomplish.
At the Wall Street Journal's ECO:nomics conference in Santa Barbara, California, Mr. Gore was initially scheduled to appear with Czech President Vaclav Klaus, a noted skeptic on global warming. Mr. Gore changed his schedule so he could appear the previous day. President Klaus told me this week that the major reason he agreed to travel from Europe was the chance to interact with Mr. Gore. "I don't understand all of this reluctance to engage with others," he told me.
Back to Popper, and real science: the heroes are the iconoclasts who buck "consensus" and say the Earth is not flat, the Sun does not revolve around the Earth, and a four pound stone does not fall four times as fast as a one pound stone. "Eppur Si Muove."
But even if man-made climate change was real (sorry tg, is real) and even if "renewable" energy sources were beneficial to counter it, the least effective entity to make them a reality is - wait for it - government.
Industries generally develop in three stages. First is scientific feasibility, second is engineering feasibility, and third is economic feasibility.
Using the airline industry as an example, the question in the 1800s was: "Is long-distance air travel possible?"
In the 1800s, balloons were already in use but were not practical. The problem to solve was the heavier-than-air machine.
The Wright Brothers in 1903 proved scientific feasibility. They risked their time, money and lives to show that a heavier-than-air machine could fly.
Lindbergh, in 1927, proved engineering feasibility. He risked time, money and his life to show that long-distance air travel was possible.
This gave investors enough confidence to risk their money in the aircraft industry. In 1935 the Douglas Company came out with the DC-3, which was the beginning of economic feasibility.
The modern airline industry resulted from all this risk-taking. Today, a middle-class American can go anywhere in the world much faster, and in much greater comfort, than a Roman emperor could. Travelers fly because the benefits are greater than the costs. This is economic feasibility.
This three-step model explains why governments are terrible at economic development. The "experts" who comprise the government gamble with other people's money, so they tend to confuse scientific and engineering feasibility with economic feasibility.
Once science and engineering prove something can be done, those who comprise the government will do it - even if the costs are greater than the benefits. [emphasis mine]
This economic development of the economically unfeasible is precisely the modern story of:
Solar photovoltaic power
Ethanol (both glucosic AND celluosic)
Hydrogen fuel cells
Dual-mode hybrid cars
The list goes on...
A bit of comment persiflage last week about how DAWG has become a left-vs-right issue. Randall Parker lays out the problem and even a few solutions:
Why has the debate over global warming become so partisan with most on the Left and Right taking opposing positions? Some on the Left argue that people on the political Left are more willing to consider the evidence of science. But I see a more likely reason: People on the Right do not like high taxes and suspect the argument for restrictions on carbon dixoide emissions is just a convenient opportunity to increase tax revenues and the size of government. The Obama Administration demonstrates the truth of these suspicions. A half trillion dollars a year is a lot of money.
I'll let you click though to see the solutions, but it is basically Mankiw's point of making carbon taxes neutral. I've made my voice heard enough on that, but compared to a huge revenue windfall for government, I'd like it just fine.
Yesterday I commented that there's "another important dragon to be slain before" the next elections for congress and for president. That dragon is the myth of man-made global warming caused by our use of economical, safe and abundant energy sources. Many of us have long contended that the idea is founded upon pseudo-science. The late Michael Crighton agreed and in an appendix to his wonderfully entertaining and thought provoking novel 'State of Fear' he wrote "Why politicized science is dangerous."
Imagine that there is a new scientific theory that warns of an impending crisis, and points to a way out.
This theory quickly draws support from leading scientists, politicians and celebrities around the world. Research is funded by distinguished philanthropies, and carried out at prestigious universities. The crisis is reported frequently in the media. The science is taught in college and high-school classrooms.
I don't mean global warming. I'm talking about another theory, which rose to prominence a century ago.
Maybe they need a salty-dog cartoon character to promote Cap'n Trade. After all I ate many boxes of truly disgusting cereal as a kid to get the toy surprise that Cap'n Crunch promised me. It could work.
So far, they are not fooling the WSJ Ed Page. "Don't call it a t--" is the subtitle of An Inconvenient Tax
That didn't take long. The same week that President Obama promised (again) that "95% of working families" would not see their taxes rise by "a single dime," his own budget reveals that taxes will rise for 100% of everyone for the sake of global warming. Ahem.
You don't even have to burrow into yesterday's budget fine print to discover the "climate revenues" section, where the White House discloses that it expects $78.7 billion in new tax revenue in 2012 from its cap-and-trade program. The pot of cash grows to $237 billion through 2014, and at least $646 billion through 2019. If this isn't tax revenue, what is it? Manna from heaven? The offset from Al Gore's carbon footprint?
I'll credit the administration one thing. It is worse than a tax because it has such a strong regulatory component. Cue Cap'n Trade: "It's a tax" "No, it's regulation," replies the Power-Vampire Count Wastefula...
Some London Facebook friends were talking about snowballs, and I get this weather report from Samizdat Jonathan Pearce:
It is on days like these that I am glad that I work for a web-based business and that I work from home for part of the day anyway. Judging by how severe weather has hit the UK overnight, rendering the UK public transport network immobile, that is just as well. The London Underground - with the exception of the Victoria line - is down. Buses and other transport like trains are severely affected.
Blog Brother AlexC finds some interesting weather news for his area:
The average or medium temperature of this month was 44 degrees This is the mildest month of January on record. Fogs prevailed very much in the morning but a hot sun soon dispersed them and the mercury often ran up to 70 in the shade at mid day. Boys were often seen swimming in the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers.
From Charles Pierce's records, the average January temperature in Philadelphia from 1790-1819 was 31.2F. According to USHCN records from 2000-2006 (the last year available from USHCN) and Weather Underground records from 2007-2009, the average January temperature in Philadelphia for the last ten years has been 29.8 degrees, or 1.4 degrees cooler than the period 1790-1819. January, 2009 has been colder than any January during the presidencies of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, or Monroe. January 2003 and 2004 were both considerably colder than any January during the terms of the first five presidents of the US.
In other local weather news, our Minnesota contingent will be pleased to hear that it was unpleasantly cold in Erie, CO for today's dog walk and it should dip below zero tonight.
I had a very fun IM conversation with a good friend and former employee of mine in Ireland last week. He can be counted on to take the stock, European, BBC view on things. He is well informed in that he watches documentaries instead of "Dancing with the Stars" but, like an American NPR or PBS devotee, he gets inculcated in a single view.
He knows I supported President Bush. In fact I was quite the celebrity in my day. Britons and Irish were assured that all of Bush's supporters were buckteethed, Southern evangelicals who were married to their sisters. I had many enjoyable pub yells where respectful folks were truly amazed to hear any argument for President Bush that wasn't "Jesus told me to vote for him."
Anyways, after casual hellos, my friend asked what I thought of our new President. I gave him the "cautiously optimistic but concerned" line you've heard from me around here. He concedes that President Obama is "just a politician" who won't change much, but he is on board for all the promises. "What would you like to see him change?" asks me.
First was to sign Kyoto, second was some amorphous "fix foreign policy" and third was to close Gitmo. This guy is a devout Muslim and has a PhD. He saw some documentary that the residents of Trinidad and Tobago are all relocating off the islands because of global warming. He says parts of Ireland are submerged and that large numbers of people have already lost their homes to climate change. Perhaps a few episodes of "Dancing with the Stars" would be better for my friend. He firmly believes that the residents of Caribbean islands are losing their homes so that Americans can drive SUVs. And nobody cares because the unfortunate are not white and the fortunate are.
I disputed every element of his story and said if did believe it, that the Kyoto treaty would be worthless in stopping it. I said that the US had lowered CO2 emissions through technology and efficiency and complained that most signatories had not been able to meet their modest goals. He disputed that but finally conceded that it was all irrelevant because of India and China.
It's Sunday, there's no football, so I provided that long personal intro. This post is actually about Kyoto. Like VP Gore who flies in private jets and rides in limousines and lives in a mansion, the good people of Germany have coal plants to produce their electricity. And like the VP, they buy indulgences -- er "carbon credits" -- to compensate. The Germans "buy" a hydroelectric dam in China. What does the good, grün, Deutscher Mann get for his Euros? Displaced families, dubious environmental controls and no real reduction of emissions:
But in the end the new Xiaoxi dam may do nothing to lower global-warming emissions as advertised. And many of the 7,500 people displaced by the project still seethe over losing their homes and farmland.
"Nobody asked if we wanted to move," said a 38-year-old man whose family lost a small brick house. "The government just posted a notice that said, 'Your home will be demolished.'"
The dam will shortchange German consumers, Chinese villagers and the climate itself, if critics are right. And Xiaoxi is not alone.
My friend -- again a nice guy and very bright -- just can't wait for America to sign up for this global boondoggle.
I heartily recommend the Facebook group "Not Evil Just Wrong." A new documentary from the makers of "Mine Your Own Business."
Ann McElhinney posts a link to Chicago Weather and sez: "Nation Freezes as Global Warming President Prepares For Office"
A new record was set Wednesday when Chicago had its ninth consecutive day of measurable snowfall, according to the National Weather Service.
The previous record was eight consecutive days set from Dec. 13 to 20, 1973.
Snowfall records in Chicago date back to 1884.
A wind chill warning has been issued as temperatures as tsmperartures will not reach single digits until Friday.
The forecast for Thursday is: Sunny and cold, with a high near -3. Wind chill values as low as -33. West northwest wind between 10 and 15 mph.
Thursday Night: Clear, with a low around -16. Wind chill values as low as -34. West wind around 10 mph.
Friday: Mostly sunny and cold, with a high near 6. Wind chill values as low as -32. Southwest wind between 5 and 10 mph.
Friday Night: Snow likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 5. South southwest wind between 10 and 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
Of course, this is not proof of DAWG-fraud. But, were it unseasonably warm, I'm sure we'd be hearing about it.
UPDATE: David Harsanyi confers:
The carbon footprint of Barack Obama's inauguration could exceed 575 million pounds of CO2. According to the Institute for Liberty, it would take the average U.S. household nearly 60,000 years of naughty ecological behavior to produce a carbon footprint equal to the largest self-congratulatory event in the history of humankind.
The same congressfolk who are now handing out thousands of tickets to this ecological disaster only last year mandated the phased elimination of the incandescent light bulb ó a mere carbon tiptoe, if you will.
You can't believe everything you read from the partisan hacks at Huffington Post. In their mad dash to discredit President Bush and accelerate the acceptance of collectivism, they'll say just about... Oh. Wait a minute.
Harold Ambler claims that a certain ex-VPOTUS owes us an apology;
Mr. Gore has stated, regarding climate change, that "the science is in." Well, he is absolutely right about that, except for one tiny thing. It is the biggest whopper ever sold to the public in the history of humankind [emphasis in original].
Ambler, who has a book coming out "Apology Accepted," presents -- to the Huffington faithful -- a serious and comprehensive refutation of the conventional wisdom on climate change.
Brother AC is right: this might be a very good year after all.
GLOBAL warming preachers have had a shocking 2008. So many of their predictions this year went splat.
Here's their problem: they've been scaring us for so long that it's now possible to check if things are turning out as hot as they warned.
Linked from a James Lewis post in Pajamas Media that makes my favorite comparison. Lewis describes a heated exchange between Czech President Vaclav Klaus and Daniel Cohn-Bendit, whom he describes as a "former anarchist street fighter during the infamous Ď68 riots ó who is now a big Green honcho in European politics. Said Danny the Red to Vaclav Klaus: 'You can believe what you want, I donít believe, I know that global warming is a reality.'"
And there you have it, folks, the voice of skeptical reason assaulted by militant dogma, ready to burn as many witches as may be needed to defend the One True Faith. If this sounds familiar, just think of Galileo and Pope Innocent III, who did not want to peer through Galileoís telescope at the night sky, having a rock-hard faith that made evidence unnecessary. Danny the Red, shake hands with the Renaissance Pope. Two peas in pod.
But it does not matter whether their science collapses -- they've won the election.
Don Luskin links to this Reuters story, saying "Here's a new crisis for you, Paul." I'm trying to keep my humor as well, but this is a real article from a "real" wire service. I'll give you a taste, but you should swallow a couple TUMS® and read the whole, nightmarish thing:
WASHINGTON, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Add another economic worry to inflation and deflation: ecoflation, the rising cost of doing business in a world with a changing climate.
Ecoflation could hit consumer goods hard in the next five to 10 years, according to a report by World Resources Institute and A.T. Kearney, a global management consulting firm.
Companies that make fast-moving consumer goods, everything from cereal to shampoo, could see earnings drop by 13 percent to 31 percent by 2013 and 19 percent to 47 percent by 2018 if they do not adopt sustainable environmental practices, the report said.
The costs of global warming are showing up now in the form of worse heat waves, droughts, wildfires and possibly more severe tropical storms but they are not yet reflected in consumer prices, said the institute's Andrew Aulisi after the report's Dec. 2 release.
Frank Beckmann suggests that the auto execs should have asked Congress some questions:
Why did members of Congress -- such as House Banking Chairman Barney Frank, Senate Banking Chairman Christopher Dodd and others -- raise fuel economy standards, adding more than $85 billion in costs as the industry was restructuring itself?
If the reason was forcing automakers to deal with higher gasoline prices, perhaps the politicians could explain why they have made fuel more scarce by blocking domestic drilling for oil and preventing new refineries from being built during the past three decades.
If global warming was the reason, perhaps the politicians could explain why some scientists now point to cooling temperatures while carbon dioxide levels continue to rise.
Our politicians like to claim the automakers have been slow to react to changing consumer demand. Perhaps they'd care to explain U.S. Energy Department figures that show flex-fuel vehicles, many made by the Detroit Three, accounted for a mere 6 percent of sales in 2007, while hybrid vehicle sales accounted for 2.6 percent of the market.
Politicians who insist on claiming that foreign manufacturers emphasize "green" technology over muscle might explain why sales last year of Toyota Tacoma and Tundra trucks were 30 percent higher than its hybrid vehicle sales.
You may be interested to know that global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of Pirates since the 1800s. For your interest, I have included a graph of the approximate number of pirates versus the average global temperature over the last 200 years. As you can see, there is a statistically significant inverse relationship between pirates and global temperature.
The science is settled. Hat-tip: Samizdata, where Samizdat Michael Jennings points out "the clear increase in the number of pirates indicates that global warming is receding as a problem. This is good to see."
I hyped Phelim McAleer's Documentary Mine Your Own Business to an almost annoying level last year. McAleer uses the documentary format to show Bastiat's "unseen:" the jobs and development that do not happen in developing nations when mining projects are stopped by environmentalists.
I get email today of a new one from McAleer and Ann McElhinney:
We have very good news about our latest film Not Evil Just Wrong. The documentary has been selected to premiere at the Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival, the largest and most prestigious documentary film festival in the world. The world premiere will be on Friday 21st November at 10.30 am. It would be amazing if you could come and join with us in celebrating the launch of the film and hopefully the beginning of a real debate about Global Warming.
Not Evil Just Wrong features a very evil looking photo of VP Al Gore and seeks to discuss "The True Cost of Global Warming Hysteria."
Let's be clear: The work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.
There is no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus. Period. . . .
I would remind you to notice where the claim of consensus is invoked. Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough. Nobody says the consensus of scientists agrees that E=mc2. Nobody says the consensus is that the sun is 93 million miles away. It would never occur to anyone to speak that way. -- the late Michael Crichton, discounting global warming in a 2003 speech.
There's some question about the accuracy of some anti-DAWG information posted by blog brother jg. I have not looked enough to wade in, but got this in my email as soon as I saw tg's comment. I think we can all agree that PBS's Frontline will provide a fair and balanced look at climate change:
For years, big business Ė from oil and coal companies to electric utilities to car manufacturers Ė have resisted change to environmental policy and stifled the debate over climate change in America and around the globe. Now, facing rising pressure from governments, green groups and investors alike, big business is reshaping its approach to the environment, fundamentally transforming the politics of the debate. Producer Martin Smith travels the globe to size up the climate problem firsthand and to test what big business is really doing to solve one of the most urgent issues of our time.
A great lefty friend of mine recently emailed to tell me that he had looked at both sides of the election by watching a Frontline special and reading one of Senator Obama's autobiographies, and has decided to vote for Senator Obama (without even waiting for The Nation endorsement).
I'll quit my job to campaign full time for the first candidate who runs on a platform to abolish PBS.
Judging from this graph of "Lower Troposphere Global Temperature: 1979-2008" it'll soon be much harder to propogate that "proven" "gasoline [and the industrial economy] is destroying the Earth, and humanity along with it" narrative. (Story here.)
Don Easterbrook, a geologist at Western Washington University, says, "It's practically a slam dunk that we are in for about 30 years of global cooling," as the sun enters a particularly inactive phase. His examination of warming and cooling trends over the past four centuries shows an "almost exact correlation" between climate fluctuations and solar energy received on Earth, while showing almost "no correlation at all with CO2."
And there's this for those who believe the world's best science comes from the IPCC:
But in order to prove the climate scaremongers' claim that 20th-century warming had been dangerous and unprecedented -- a result of human, not natural factors -- the MWP [medieval warm period] had to be made to disappear. So studies such as Michael Mann's "hockey stick," in which there is no MWP and global temperatures rise gradually until they jump up in the industrial age, have been adopted by the UN as proof that recent climate change necessitates a reordering of human economies and societies.
So let go of my wallet. I've gotta go buy a new "snow machine" suit.
Brother Johngalt and I had mournfully decided that skeptical opposition to DAWG was a lost cause. Both Presidential candidates and a huge majority in Congress either subscribe to the theory or feel they have to play along to mollify their constituents.
It seemed sad that we lost the battle as the science was crumbling. If I were a lefty, I'd call it ironic. C'est le guerre (le guerre, la Guerra, al gore there's a joke in there somewhere).
Samizdat Brian Micklethwait not only sees the battle as won, he thinks the battle itself signals capitulation in a larger war:
One of the things that irritates me about propagandists on my side is that they are often reluctant to spot a great victory, even when they have just won one. Wilkinson's point is not just that climate chaos-ism is nonsense, a claim that I increasingly find myself agreeing with completely, not least because the now undependable notion of "global warming" has been replaced by the idiotic phrase "climate chaos", or, even more idiotically, "climate change". When was there ever a time when the climate did not change? What Wilkinson is also noting is that the hysteria whipped up around the changeability of the climate was whipped up because these lunatics came to realise that they had no other arguments against a more-or-less capitalist, more-or-less-free-market world economy. They have now conceded - not in so many words, rather by changing the subject - that capitalism works, and the only nasty thing they have left to say about it is that it works so well that it ruins the planet.
Perhaps he's right, but the enemies of free markets don't admit defeat very easily. Last night on Kudlow & Co., Secretary Robert Reich suggested that Kudlow and Stephen Moore were "the last two people on Earth who still believe in supply-side economics." I don't see anybody being more generous with climate science.
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Global Warming
Professor Reynolds links to a Popsci.com story Global Warming: Not So Bad. The piece questions the D in DAWG, showing that many people and species are helped by warmer temperatures.
A 47-year study of one population of great titsógarden birds about the size of sparrowsóis providing hope that some animals can adjust quickly to environmental change. University of Oxford zoologists have found that the birds are laying their eggs earlier in the spring to time the hatching of their chicks to the earlier emergence of caterpillars.
Talk about burying the lede! I'd've headlined the article:
"Great Tits Love Global Warming!"
UPDATE: An emailer is moderately offended and I'm moderately pleased that somebody expected better of me. Sincere apologies all 'round.